This Week in Tech 563
Leo Laporte: It's time for TWiT, This Week in Tech! Georgia Dow joins Clayton Morris and Ohdoctah to talk about all of Google's announcements at Google IO, the conservatives go to Facebook and Apple opens the genius Grove. It's all coming up next, in TWiT.
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Leo: This is TWiT, This Week in Tech, episode 563, recorded Sunday, May 22, 2016.
Is That an Echo in Your Pants?
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It's time for This Week in Tech, the show where we cover the week's tech news. There was a lot of news, but I have a feeling there's going to be a lot more fun on this show. We have our fun team on today. Team fun assemble! That's Clayton Morris, from Fox & Friends, @ClaytonMorris. Are you at the lake?
Clayton Morris: No. We just moved.
Leo: You have a new house!
Clayton: Yeah. We just moved over the hill in Morris County New Jersey. Had to move to a county after my own last name, you get tax breaks.
Leo: That's like the Lucas ranch is on Lucas Valley road. You're in Morris County.
Clayton: Morris County, New Jersey. I'm just outside of Manhattan.
Leo: Nice. I love Morris County. It's beautiful. It's why they named it the Garden State.
Clayton: The whole musical Hamilton revolves around...
Leo: Are you near where Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton had their famous duel?
Clayton: Of course. I was a history major in college, so you know I'm fascinated by this. The heights of Weehawken, right outside of Manhattan is where the duel happened, right outside the Lincoln tunnel. You go through, and yeah. Right down the street here is Washington's headquarters, the winter headquarters where he and Alexander Hamilton were hanging out, the Skylar sisters came down and Hamilton was cavorting around the camp with many ladies on a regular basis. In the winter, quartering in Morristown. A lot of history around here.
Leo: Washington named a tom cat after him. It's true. Hey. That's Owen JJ Stone. Ohdoctah is with us in the house today.
Owen JJ Stone: I would like the Mystery Van as opposed to the A Team van.
Leo: The one you shouldn't take candy from? That van?
Owen: Yeah. I wouldn't trust me as far as I can throw me, and I'm kind of big so don't toss me that far. I'm just saying.
Leo: You're always fun. We love having Owen JJ Stone on. You're looking mighty fine today. You're using a 70D. What are you using?
Owen: I lost like 8 pounds too. You know the camera adds ten, so I had to drop eight. Negative net two. I am using my 70D, and I had to put Bootcamp on my Mac, because the software that I am running is called Sparko Cam, to run that through my Skype. So... That's what I'm doing right now. With that 50 mm lens.
Leo: If the camera adds twenty pounds, Clayton must weigh 80 pounds.
Clayton: I have let myself go lately. Here's a little secret in broadcasting. I had to pop off... 175 is my fighting weight. I'm at 193 right now.
Leo: Now it begins, Clayton.
Clayton: It's all downhill. The other day on the show, I was like, "Oh my god. My neck has gotten out of control." I had to undo the button and use the tie to tie it. So the buttons were open because the neck is getting out of control.
Leo: Owen and I know that story pretty well.
Owen: Choke back. You got to fold it down.
Leo: Wait until you're doing that with your pants. That's when you really know. The belt... There's Georgia Dow!
Georgia Dow: Hello!
Leo: You are looking great as always. You're in a white room now. Did you borrow Johnny Ives?
Georgia: It's the opening of the new Mac Store. That's where I am right now.
Leo: It's the thinnest, lightest iMore I've ever made. Perfect.
Georgia: We moved. We're still waiting for our Vive. We'll talk about that later, because that's traumatic.
Leo: You moved? So you could put the... You told us you were going to do that. Your husband...
Georgia: He did that. He didn't ask me.
Leo: He stole your studio?
Georgia: Yes. He stole my studio.
Leo: For the Vive?
Georgia: Yes. For the Vive. We moved the movie room to the opposite section, with all the movie room chairs where you can put your drink holder and everything. Recliners, true movie room seats. He moved all of those, moved my podcasting room so I have no lights up right now.
Leo: Looks great. All three of you look fabulous.
Owen: Georgia may or may not have been committed. All of a sudden he moved her out of that room, into the other room. Why not move into the other room, set the Vive up that doesn't have any of the setup. I'm just trying to figure out what's going on. If you need help wink twice.
Leo: You need 8 feet by 8 feet for the Vive, so you can move around.
Owen: Blink. We will send out the team. The Mystery Van is afoot.
Clayton: This is part of your rehabilitation. This is your dream, it's a nightmare and you should wake up immediately.
Leo: So, don't tell your husband this, but I got to play with a PlayStation VR on Monday. It's Triangulation so you can see it. We interviewed Rick Marks who is the guy in charge, been there for a long time. It's awesome, but it's one of those, Oculus is like this too, where you don't move around a lot. The game that I got to play, you sit in a chair, so you don't need a lot of space. I have to say, that's going to be the one to beat. The one to watch, anyway. It's going to have 50 games by the end of the year. It was really fun.
Georgia: I watched you playing. I did it when my husband wasn't watching.
Leo: Once you buy the Vive, you're 800 dollars in the hole, plus a PC.
Georgia: We'll get it all. We really will. I love that.
Clayton: You look like the guy that came to our table the other day to blow up toy balloons for our kids.
Leo: That is so dorky! Is that what it looked like? That's horrible.
Georgia: The cutest thing was watching Leo start shooting...
Leo: Why didn't any of you tell me?
Georgia: It was adorable.
Leo: I look like..
Clayton: They're still using the PlayStation Move.
Leo: And the camera. The idea is that you're going to have the same hardware you probably already have. They do have a kit for 400 dollar that has the camera and the move and the vizor.
Clayton: I thought the move to be the most accurate of all those devices.
Leo: It's fun. This is one of the problems with the VR. Don't tell your husband this, Georgia. You look like a moron. I really exacerbate it by wearing suspenders.
Georgia: Wait until the guy hits the windshield. It was so cute! You flew backwards. You were really worried.
Leo: I had a gun. I was loading the gun. I had no idea I looked so dorky. In my mind, it looked cool! I was driving down the highway, I'm shooting my guns.
Clayton: Do you think we're going to see wide-spread adoption of this?
Leo: Not now!
Clayton: I think you just killed it.
Leo: Remember Palmer Lucky on the cover of Time Magazine. Same thing. You don't look good doing these things. I guess we'll get used to it.
Owen: The only time it looks cool is those amusement park settings I've seen, when they have the phone board set up and you walk through like you're doing stuff. I haven't yet seen one of those situations where you look stupid, because they move through those physical things and they're touching walls, sitting on benches, it's there. When you're just sitting there floating through the middle of space in a chair, you look like a doofus no matter what you do.
Georgia: The controllers look a little bit more comical then cool as well. They look a little... balloon toys that you're trying to shoot things with. I think that with controllers that look a little less multi colored...
Leo: Clayton, what were you going to say?
Clayton: I was just going to say the New York Times just wrote out their VR app, and one of the cool things they did was they added a walkthrough of Pluto. I was talking about the aircraft took ten years to get there and they built this nine minute visual VR walkthrough in their New York Times VR app, so it's a stand-alone app. You can download it, it asks whether or not you've got Google Cardboard, so you can watch it just as a video or you can order Google cardboard and do it there and plop it into the Cardboard mask and do the visual walkthrough. I don't have the cardboard yet. I just ordered it. I lost my other set of it. My son was excited, so we launched it today and he was doing the video and holding it up and walking around, doing the visual tour of Pluto for the first time.
Leo: How old is Miles? He's like four or five.
Leo: That's what's interesting to me. This is a generation that's going to grow up with this. This is going to be commonplace for them.
Clayton: For him, that was the first time he had seen anything like that. Using the exceloramater...
Leo: What was his reaction?
Clayton: He thought it was amazing. He loves StarWalk Kids, so being able to go outside at night and hold up the phone and recognize certain planets, to get that overlay. Having that overlay over the actual sky is pretty cool. It's interesting to see whether or not this has widespread adoption.
Leo: Nobody looks good playing video games. You look like a slack-jawed beast. That's why I never thought TWITCH or E Sports would do well. You're watching sports, but people look like they haven't been out much.
Owen: First of all, you can see Mars with a naked eye tonight, so use Real World.
Leo: Not as good!
Owen: When it gets dark, look for a red dot, that's Mars.
Leo: That's it, it's just a red dot.
Owen: Secondly, I'm very athletic when I'm using my controller, and I'm yelling at the screen.
Leo: I bet you look like Star Wars kid.
Owen: The best thing about watching... it's funny when you talk about that because people get so into it. They are so tense, depending on the game that they are in, like a fighting game or a sports game, you can just see the weight of the world in their body language. It's amusing.
Leo: That's what's interesting about VR. Georgia, you probably can explain this. It doesn't take a lot of cues. Obviously VR is not super realistic, you're not feeling anything, you're not smelling anything, you have sight and sound. It's about it. And yet, even with the barest of cues, your mind takes over and immerses you in it to the point where it is hard. If you've done a lot of VR, when you take off the vizor, it's extraordinarily disorienting to re-enter the world again.
Georgia: Our brains are made to be exceptionally visual. We spend most of our brain power on visual cues over scent, even over touch, and so because of the immersive experience of seeing something that is all the way around you, our brain really believes that. Some of the coolest applications are now not just dealing with a spider phobia and dealing with that through virtual reality, but also we can go through social anxiety and dealing with paranoia through a virtual experience, so there's some new applications coming out to help people deal with being able to do an interview by making it much closer to real life without having to have you and the same therapist, because that's not very effective. I think that immersion really does work. We've done studies with people with phantom limb syndrome, where they have a missing arm that has pain, has neurological pain, even though the arm has been cut off, or it really hurts, and it feels like your hand is in a fist. They don't have that hand, but they have been using mirror, so they put a mirror in between, so you see the mirror image of your other hand, releasing from that pain and feel neurologically better on the other arm that isn't even there. It works really well.
Leo: That's amazing, isn't it?
Clayton: It's a lot better than making balloon animals.
Leo: No. Nothing is better than making balloon animals. Let's take a break. There's a lot of news this week. We should get into it. We've got Google IO and a considerable number of applications. I think we're going to have a good philosophical conversation about this, because there's two different ways to look at what Google did this week. There's Apple news, there's Facebook. Security Now. The usual suspects, and I've got a really beautiful, thin laptop from HP that I want to show you, that has one thing that just frosts me. I feel like it's a trend in the Industry that needs to be ended. This is the new HP Spector, which is gorgeous and in many respects a brilliant idea. Better than the MacBook with one exception. But first, let's talk about stamps.com. I don't want you to go to the post office any more. Nothing against the Post Office. I have a fond feeling for the Post Office, I guess because mail carriers would bring my toys when I was a kid. I would wait for the mail carrier to come because I was going to get my Mr. Potato Head that I ordered eight weeks ago. By the way, that means a lot of time waiting for the mail carrier. Cool stuff comes in the mail when you're young, it's not bills, it's cool stuff. However, as you get older, you form different opinions, and one of the last things you want to do is go to the post office and wait in line to buy stamps. Stamps.com doesn't just eliminate that, it eliminates everything you would do at the Post Office. stamps.com lets you buy and print real US postage from your desk, no postage meter, just your computer your printer. You don't need anything else, just a stamps.com account. They'll send you some great stuff that makes it even better because you can print right on the envelope, your company corporate logo, it'll take your return address, the sender's address from your address book for sending out bills and brochures. If you're a seller on Ebay or Amazon or Etsy, and you're not using stamps.com, you're missing the boat. Stamps.com makes your package look more professional, you can print labels for any kind of... it'll make suggestions like, "Hey you should probably send this medium mail and save yourself some money." I want you to go to stamps.com right now. Click on the microphone in the upper right-hand corner and use our offer code TWiT. When you do that, you're going to get $110 no risk trial offer. You get a month free of stamps.com, but you get some other stuff, including a digital USB scale, so you never have to get the postage, it knows how much so you never do too little or too much. You get a five dollar supply kit, you get 55 dollars in postage coupons you can use over the first few months of your stamps.com account. This is a remarkably good deal. We use the digital scale here. We have a video fo Carlie plugging it in. It's as simple as it can be. I think she is going to open the trial offer box, so you can see what comes in there. Stamps.com, again sign up today. Don't go to the Post Office, just go to stamps.com, use the promo code TWiT, get a four week trial, a hundred and ten bonus offer, and everything you see in that box, including that USB scale. stamps.com. Google IO was this week, and I have a demonstrator of one of the things Google announced. The new Google Home, which is actually a Glade air freshener. It's roughly this size. It looks like that. Right?
Clayton: Is it vanilla and cinnamon?
Leo: How did you know? You have the same one?
Clayton: I grew up with that same scent in my bedroom.
Leo: Oh god it's disgusting. That's the hint that you're now a teenager and they put the Glade all over your room. Spray you down with Fabreeze before every day. They announced a number of things, but the over-arching announcement is interesting. I want to know what your announcement is on this. We'll start with you, Clayton. Some people said Oh yeah, it's all me too stuff. Amazon has an Echo so now we have the Google home. Facebook has messenger and Bot, so now we have Alo. Apple has Facetime, so now we have duo. The VR Vizor looks almost exactly like the Samsung gear VR and works pretty much the same way. In one respect you could say that these are all me too products and Google is late to the party. The other interpretation is that Google has a secret sauce that's going to make every one of those devices and programs a leap ahead because they have been doing something none of the other companies have been doing. Building their machine learning and artificial intelligence over ten years. Gathering information about us, about how we use it, so all of these products will be superior to the existing products just because of that alone.
Clayton: This idea that because the echo came out last year that Google wasn't already working on something similar to this is ridiculous. I was impressed with the overall Keynote. In years past, if you think back to the Google keynotes, it was a mess. It was a hodgepodge of things. Things that seemed out of touch with its users, with its consumers, I thought it was pretty focused and reflected the new alphabet organization under Pichai's leadership. It's focused on things that Google is good at. Even before the show, we were testing sports scores. The speed at which you can return the results, the contextual learning, I think has been far superior than anything out there. Seeing what Amazon has been able to do with the Echo, Google had the Smart Hub. The Router. The On Hub. They've been dancing around with this idea of trying to bring everything under one umbrella for a long time and I think we're seeing a better implementation of that. Overall, I was impressed with the Keynote, what about you guys?
Leo: Anybody... Georgia, what do you think?
Georgia: I think they did a great job with the Keynote. I thought that it was clean, that it was interesting.. they're way ahead...
Leo: She froze. That's why you shouldn't move your studio. Say that thought again, because you froze in the middle there.
Georgia: It's about AlphaGo.
Leo: The Go Playing machine.
Georgia: Which is phenomenal. I think they're pushing the envelope.
Leo: AlphaGo is interesting, because before Alpha Go, Facebook said we've got a Go Playing machine and it's going to... have we heard anything about it since then? Alpha Go beats the world champion and it's... never mind. Marco Armond wrote on marco.org, Marco is well known. He started at Tumblr, written great apps, including his latest app, which is his overcast. He said that this is a risky moment for Apple, that Apple might be faced with Blackberry. Blackberry was the King of the World until the iPhone came out, but because Blackberry hadn't been doing the work all along over the years to make the leap into SmartPhones, they just got eclipsed completely by the iPhone. This is the risk right now that Apple, as well as Amazon and Facebook are facing because of Google investing heavily in big data web services and AI for many years.
Clayton: Here's the question I have. How many people are using AI? How many people are actually using... Every person I'm out to dinner with or drinks, they're shocked that I can press a button and get a sports score. Does anyone you know use it?
Leo: Even I don't talk to my phone... I think I should have probably just asked it.
Owen: First of all, Google is the worst thing in the world. You all are wrong. I'm totally joking, because I just got to be the opposite person. In general, it's amazing to me how people get in that mindset. Google is Johnny Come Lately. Apple has done this for years. They sit back and let every other phone have all these features for two or three generations. Then they come in and it's thinner and lighter and it actually works when they do it. They come in three years later after they look and see what they've done and learn from the mistakes and make a better product. Why doesn't Google get credit for doing the same thing. Duo looked awesome! I was sitting with a buddy who all he does is call me on Facetime. People never pick up his calls, probably because he's annoying but also because they can't see the stupid faces he's making. If he had that, people would be more likely to pick up his calls.
Leo: Duo is the same as Skype or Facetime with this one exception. Knock, knock.
Owen: I think that's neat. It's personable, you can feel something, it evokes a feeling and it makes you want to answer the call, or not answer the call. It is better than a blank screen that just says Facetime audio or Facetime video. My second point as far as automation, kids use it more than adults use it. My daughter and her friends, I yell at them all the time for asking me dumb questions, but I hear them all the time. Siri what's this? OK Google, what's that? They're always, instead of asking us as parents, I hear kids doing it a lot.
Clayton: My kids love the Echo. They walk into the room and they can interact with it. My three year old can say, can ask the Echo to play Christmas music or REM. They're shocked, they start dancing around, they have a dance party and I don't have to be involved.
Georgia: It's great. It's going to be much harder to not answer the call when you see your friend making cute sad, pouty faces at you. Why aren't you picking up the phone? I think that for that, that's the exact reason for Facetime. I think they answered a question that we have perfectly. I think Owen said it really well. It makes it much more experiential and we don't have to worry what am I going to be in for? It's much harder to say no to someone directly to their face and not answer it when they're looking going "Hi. Please answer."
Leo: Is there going to be a stalker problem? Your miserable ex keeps calling you and sends you pics?
Owen: Let me get the train back on track. First of all, we have a block button. Second of all, let's think about the phone calls where I'm sitting there with my flat tire and I'm showing you my flat tire and asking you to come help me. I'm not changing your flat tire fool. Call Triple A. There's a block button for people who are stalking and crazy. And just like not letting people go the bathrooms, you can't stop pervs from doing what pervs do, but you can try.
Leo: It's a whole new avenue for pervs. I'm not planning anything, I'm just saying it's something to be aware of.
Owen: It used to be polaroid pictures, and now it's this. I guess it's something we have to deal with.
Leo: I was anticipating a lot of pushback over all the things Google is doing. I'm all in on Google. I fully embrace our future overlords, but I could understand people saying you're putting an array mic in every room in my house that the NSA could turn on at will and I could hear a pin drop in my house. You're putting.. for instance. One of the complaints about alo came from Edward Snowden. Alo has strong encryption built in, but it's not on by default. You have to say I want to go into incognito mode. Snowden said it should be on by default. If you want to choose that, there are plenty of choices like Signal and WhatsApp and incognito mode. You're not going to get the AI in Alo, which is their messaging app to know about you and listen to you unless you don't do that for a while. I'm willing to trade that privacy, especially if I don't care...
Owen: All you have to do is ask the question. I use Incognegro mode in my household, but that's just me. The two things you ask yourself are 1, who do you trust? Do you trust Amazon or Google or Facebook? I have so many apps on my phone, you'd be mining for a year to find the apps we're talking about. After you figure out who you trust, the next question is, when's the next time you commit a crime? I myself as a former criminal and sometimes a future criminal, I know better than to use objects that might talk to the NSA and alert the police. You cannot find me, I'm in the bat cave. Criminals know better. I'm not saying I am one, I'm just saying I might be one in the future. You would know better.
Leo: Is there nobody who is going to stand up for our privacy rights and say Edward Snowden is right?
Georgia: He is right. I think the point of... I understand the thoughts of if you're not doing anything wrong you shouldn't have to worry about it, but it's not just about that. One is we should never have to give up our privacy in order to have cool features. The second thing is that it can be used against you, so everyone has something on them that they wouldn't want other people to know, what kind of nefarious websites they serve, what kind of people they talk to. What are their basic interests? That can be used against you to gain control. I think that there is something really dangerous about giving up your privacy so effortlessly, and unfortunately, by nature people are made to want to have things easier, more than they'll think ahead. We'll sell our future for right now and that's the way we are. Because of that, because there's so many cool features on Alo, you'll be like, I don't want to turn on Incognito Mode, then I can't do any of the cool things I want. It's not just finding out about what you do, but your mannerisms, the way your patterns of speech are, the things that you enjoy, the things you don't enjoy. Your political alliances. Where have you traveled? It's getting inclusive, and I think that's dangerous.
Leo: There's an interesting story about the engineer who worked on the Encryption in Alo. He has a personal blog and as with all engineers at Google, he has allowed some leeway as long as it says "My opinions are not those of Google." He said that he wanted to push for default end-to-end encryption. His name is Ty Dwong. He was a hacker, or at least a white hat hacker who came up with a number of serious flaws in a variety of technologies. He published on his blog is the burning question now with incognito mode is so useful, why isn't it the default? In other words, lobbying for that, those paragraphs about that have been erased from his post and his title has been changed from Ty Dwong is working on Encryption at Google for Alo to was working on Encryption for Alo. What's interesting is Google is sensitive to this. I think you're not going to get... I don't know. Here's my thought. This goes back to what Marco was saying. Apple chose a long time ago to go the privacy route. We're going to sell the fact that we're not collecting data on you, we don't want to know anything about you as one of the features of our operating systems in our devices. Google has always gone the opposite direction saying the more we know about you, the better we can help you with things like Google Now cards. Is Apple going to paint itself into a corner? will Siri ultimately be limited because of Apple's stance on privacy? Can Google go full speed ahead? The question is, is the market going to weigh in favor of privacy and go with Apple or in favor of convenience and go with Google? I think those are unanswered questions at this point.
Clayton: One of the limitations... first of all, I think Siri is behind because it's behind. Not because it doesn't have access to this data in a way that Google does.
Leo: Even if it does, Apple doesn't want to cross that creepy line, right?
Clayton: They're all in on not crossing that creepy line. Can they create a robust enough platform that people are actually using in ways that are useful like the assistant feature. Being able to preemptively see things that are coming up. We're going to see more shades of this at WWDC this summer about how intuitive Apple is, and seeing things ahead of time and making them useful. I'm curious what the limitations are right now. Other than the speed with which we're able to see results, but Google has been out in front on that.
Leo: Just think about Maps for instance. Google is collecting huge amounts of data about how your commute, of course the creepy line, I don't find it creepy, but some might find it creepy. Google now cards will tell you it's going to take you seven minutes to get home and maybe you want to leave now. I see you're flying out of town tonight, you might want to leave now for the airport. I think that's insanely useful, but I think I could see reasonably that some people might think that's creepy. I don't think it's something Apple can do very well, because for two reasons. They aren't collecting that information and they don't want to be perceived as collecting that information. They don't want to cross the creepy line. Is that going to be a market problem for them?
Clayton: They're looking at your calendar. We already get nice alerts that if you leave now you should get there because of traffic...
Leo: Should they do more of that or less of that?
Georgia: In the end, everyone wants to have a virtual assistant that's going to be able to help them. People can't afford to have an assistant to deal with that. In the end, our level of stress will be lowered if something can help us out and say "listen. You have two appointments at the same time. You'll have to leave at this time to be able to arrive there." I think that most people would sell off their privacy to be able to have their day-to-day life be more calm. In most cases it's not going to matter. Most cases it's not going to be used against me. I think the danger is that we're so effortlessly giving that away, that it should be something we discuss more often. You know what? I'm not doing anything wrong so I shouldn't have to worry about that. As political atmosphere changes, you don't know how that's going to be used against yourself or someone else.
Owen: Most people live in a default world. They don't even know what the privacy settings are until there's some hubbub about it. They live in a world where it doesn't matter. Case-in-point. Apple doesn't have anything to sell, so them collecting data on you isn't as effective as I bought a tile from Best Buy and they asked me if I wanted my receipt emailed to me and they emailed me my receipt and now for the next three weeks everything I open is going to say buy a tile. I already bought one. I have a receipt. That's the power that Google has, to push things into your face.
Leo: do you hate that? Because it's trying to sell you something you already bought? If it were a better recommendation engine, would you embrace it? Now that you've got the tile, you want the grout. That would be an ad that would be more useful to you. would that make it OK?
Owen: At some point, we will get to that. That's the whole point of AI and doing things in position for you. I can't get annoyed at it because I'm using a free service and it's a service I don't pay for and they've got to make money. If they can make money off of me buying something I already got, they're going to figure out in a week or two that I didn't click it. Apple doesn't have that mechanism to say I've been listening to you all week. Let me sell you some cookies through an affiliate program that I've got set up. They have no benefit from it. That's why they're gung ho on , "We're going to sell you products that don't sell you to the world."
Leo: That's my point. It doesn't have to benefit purely from advertising. A lot of the benefit Google is going to get collecting information is it's a smart assistant that is actually smart, as opposed to Siri, which isn't.
Owen: Most people don't use anyway, outside of our Bubble.
Leo: Maybe they would if they were useful. allo... I thought there would be more pushback to be honest with you guys. I'm going to have to start getting anti-Google here. You all seem to welcome...
Clayton: We're de-sensitized to it. Once we had the baby monitors that people hacked into, listening to babies, there's a level of convenience for a mom and dad to sit downstairs and watch Game of Thrones and look in on their SmartPhone and check in on their kids. With the baby monitor, we're seeing this slow evolution of the home automation. It's way behind where I want it to be. I want the home to be more integrated.
Leo: Isn't that why we love the Echo? It disappears as a device. You're talking to your house.
Clayton: To have that unified experience, home kit that hasn't come to fruition in the way that we would want. You've been talking to companies that want to have home kit integration feel like Apple has been letting that languish or making it difficult for them to get the proper implementation into it. Even companies that... I know Leo you had played with this and I have been playing with it. They want to send you a new one because I was talking about you with them. Allo...
Leo: They're fans, but I haven't been able to get it to work.
Clayton: You have some firmware issue. Talking about what their future looks like, they're looking at the home as this connected environment.
Leo: They're trying to solve a major problem which is that we all embraced wireless networking, and it was a great thing until everybody else did. Now it's so congested that it doesn't work very well.
Owen; Until we get a situation where I hear about somebody getting busted from their home, from their nest or Echo. That has to happen one time for you to get pushback from me and the nation. As of right now, if the NSA is out there listening to me, and they know what my secret hiding spot is, then I'm cool. If they've been listening, they would know.
Leo: I think, I understand what you were saying. It's kind of like what I've been saying, which is most of the dangers the hazards of this stuff are hypothetical for now. I'll ask people and say, "What if your insurance company denied you insurance because Google told them you were eating donuts" that would be bad, but that's a hypothetical risk that hasn't happened. In fact, if you think about it, one of the reasons life insurance companies ask you so much information before they give you life insurance, is that if you lie about anything, they can deny you your payout. He said he didn't smoke, but we got video of him smoking. They know plenty about you already. I don't think that's a hazard. You make a point. If that does happen, Owen, is it going to be too late by the time that happens? What if we get an authoritarian government that decides to start using this against us? By then it's too late. We all have microphones in our house.
Owen: But they got armies and tanks and guns and stuff we got to worry about far more.
Leo: This is a tool we can use with those armies and tanks and guns.
Clayton: We could go red dawn on their ass!
Leo; I want that to happen!
Owen: I unplug my PlayStation, and the only reason I have an X Box is the X Box is always listening. I don't have an Echo.
Leo: You are aware of this.
Owen: I unplug everything that listens to me.
Leo: The worst thing about this, and I presume the Google home as well, I'm holding up an Amazon Echo. By the way, if anybody wants to buy my Echo, I'm going to put it on Craigslist and I got five of these. Because this has sophisticated array mics, it's not like the microphone on your Smartphone. This is a microphone that can hear everything in your house. What we don't know and could very well be happening is national security letters could be going out to Amazon saying we'd like to turn on the Echo at 140 Keller Street and listen for a while.
Clayton: That's the most frightening of all of those. We're opting into these technologies. We're buying and choosing to put an Echo in our home, or not. Or turn it off in the case of Owen. We have all of these other devices that we choose to plug in and we are opting in on these different websites, and of course Google Now features. A lot of it's default, as you mentioned. We're not necessarily opting into it. Some of it's on by default. With the Government, that's an entirely different animal and doesn't have a right to be spying on Americans.
Leo: So the way to pursue this is to go after the NSLs and the Phiza Courts as opposed to saying I'm not going to have anything in my house because I worry about it.
Georgia: The Government is supposed to protect our rights. The funniest part is they don't need to bug us any more, we're bugging ourselves. It makes it really easy for them, and there's no way that a Government entity that would be able to do good wouldn't say let's turn on this tiny devices. It's already there, and it'll hear everything, and let's track whatever is happening for whatever reason. If a Government is doing the right thing then you wouldn't have to worry about that. Unfortunately you never know with people and power. If you end up with a Government entity that might be more nefarious then you want, they may be using this for ill will and be able to control other political opponents so they're not going to go out there. They know what websites you've been surfing on late at night and be able to leak that out which would ruin your campaign and tie up people's hands.
Leo: We know this for a fact. The FBI planted bugs all around the Federal Courthouse in San Matteo County because they wanted to hear privileged conversations between attorneys and felons, or felons on trial. They did this, and so admittedly, you're in the public. It's a little different than in your house, a lot different than in your house. Nevertheless, I think this shows there's a strong inclination on the part of law enforcement to gather information any way they can.
Owen: What about the one politician that tweeted out his website and had porn tabs open? He told on himself. Georgia, you're immune to this...
Leo; He was doing research, Owen. I want to be clear about that.
Owen: This guy is telling himself Americans are dumb. We live in a world where we're a heartbeat away from electing Donald Trump as president, we think the Government can get together to do something on somebody's phone, hold on. Let me sip my tea about that.
Leo; Should Donald Trump become elected, I think he would have the competence and maybe even the desire and will to start doing stuff like this. I don't think we're so far away from... we've never been far away from that risk. That's something we have to be eternally vigilant of. Government that is not... that's what the founding fathers were worried about.
Clayton: Sting for crying out loud. When he was with the police in the early 80's. Every breath you take is about Reagan's America. This idea of surveillance and constantly watching. This has been around for many years. This isn't new under Trump, this isn't new under Obama. Police have body cams, all of these things. Is this making us safer? How intrusive is it? Can people be listening in with Microphones on all of these things? Police Departments want this technology. You see it around NYPD, around NYC streets with police cameras all over the city, but in the end it ends up being Citizen awareness that stops things. You remember that van that was parked in Time Square during the Christmas Holiday season packed with explosives? It was because a Bodega owner noticed it and called the police. Even the cameras that were right there... one of those sub towers, the police can go up in the ladder and hang out didn't notice it.
Leo: There's wide spread use now of stingrays, local police all over the country are using these devices that simulate a cell tower and collect not just the cellphone information of a bad guy, but everybody in the area. Everybody goes by the stingray, joins the cell tower, they can collect text messages, they can collect information from your phone. They know who you are. This is spreading a net, so in other words. Law enforcement is willing to, and 99% of them were well intentioned to use technology to surveil us with the intent of making us safer. I respect that. The reason I brought all this up is I tried to raise some concern of what Google is up to, but at the same time I think these are devices I want.
Clayton: From the history perspective, Thomas Jefferson talked about fearing the Government, That the Government should fear the people, the people should never fear its Government. They should always be in fear of the people. When the Government becomes too big, we should throw off the shackles of this Government. So the idea that Owen, to your point, you don't think they're competent enough, or they don't have the wherewithal, yes they're going through all of our emails, but what the heck? Are they really going to sit there and pour through all of this or create the algorithms to study and find out minority report style pre-crime where things are about to happen? I don't know.
Leo: Computers make it easier.
Clayton: Anything we say, you never know when someone is going to be using this information. In the case of the IRS, look at the IRS scandal in the Cincinnati offices. I don't care what your political persuasion is. Democrat, Conservative, Libertarian, whatever, the fact that they were targeting conservative groups and limiting their ability at free speech and form organizations and the IRS was targeting them, that's troubling.
Leo: On the other hand, I think Allo, which is their messaging program, you have encryption. It's not on by default, I think that it has some very interesting ideas. For instance, this is where Google is doing something intriguing. It's not just Allo, it's also the instant app feature that they ended the keynote with as a quick mention. What they're trying to do, and it will be beneficial for Google, is become an intermediate between you and your apps. One of the problems I had with Facebook's messenger bots is that you had to subscribe to individual bots, and then they annoyed you. I subscribed to that weather bot and it bugged me so much I had to block it. I couldn't turn it off, I had to block it. The way Allo is going to work is you don't add bots. You interact with Bots by interacting with Google. So you say Google, what's a restaurant near me? I need an Italian restaurant near me. It tells you. It says make a reservation at that one. Then it calls open table, and if you don't have Open Table installed, the instant app will load enough Open table to make a reservation and get back to you. I think this is really interesting. Two things, it's a new form of search. Google is the King of Search realized that the ten blue links aren't search anymore. There's a new kind of search that's more interactive, more talking to an agent that is working on your behalf, and it's also a new way of thinking of your devices. You don't need apps! Your cellphone becomes your do everything device, and it calls upon the skills it needs. It loads the skills ad hoc, as needed. I think that's a revolution.
Clayton: I think it could be. I think the future was apps, and then we have 30 apps from one company that all do different things. You have Messenger, then Facebook Pages, Facebook Mentions, Facebook Live. 30 apps from one company. Putting these overlays, circumventing the open web, and not having you have to open all of these apps, but pulling out the best parts of these apps. We started seeing this over the past few years with Apple as well and IOS. And being able to tap into certain features. I think it's one of the best things to happen to mobile since the beginning.
Leo: Is the problem we all have as technologists. On the one hand, we want these capabilities, we want these skills, we are excited about what they offer. On the other hand, we know as well as anybody the risks inherent in using these tools. How do we balance this? Owen, what do you think? Of all of us, you have been the most effected by inappropriate Government attention. You've been pulled over how many times this year?
Owen: Six this year, last year 13.
Leo: For driving while black.
Owen: 90% of the time.
Leo: Because you're a big African American driving a nice car in a nice neighborhood.
Owen: Last year I got stopped 13 times, and I got two tickets.
Leo: They're seeing what are you doing. You were in your own driveway, you were in front of your house.
Owen: That's what I was saying earlier. As far as I'm concerned, Not to pull the black card, people of my nature have been used to the Government doing things to them and being on top of them and secretly doing stuff for history and a lifetime. I know that they're doing stuff they're not supposed to do, but I try not to worry about it. I live my day-to-day life and I know if it ever gets bad, people are protesting and that stuff, I know that there's a fire in people's hearts. If the Government went too far, we will burn this sucker down, and it will look like Batman/Dark Knight and we would rise up against the overlords.
Leo: I do have faith. I hope it doesn’t come to a red dawn. I have faith that the people are smart enough to protect ourselves.
Owen: At the end of the day, you're smart enough to protect yourself. We might not be smart enough to listen to Edward Snowden. Some people think he's a traitor, some people think he's a liberator of knowledge. Everybody has an opinion. At the end of the day, when all people are oppressed at one time, that's how all empires have fallen. You know what I mean? America's looking good right now, but you tell me one empire in history that hasn't come a tumbling down when greedy gets too greedy, then the needy get super needy.
Leo: I would also point out, I know Clayton you know this well, it never is bloodless. It is never victimless. It is a painful, violent process that one would want to avoid as much as one could.
Owen: At this point in history, this is one of the better situations. They're stealing our information, they're messing with our taxes, they're stealing property and phone conversations and throwing you in jail, but it's not like they're coming in.
Leo: Yeah. It's a mixed bag.
Georgia: It's good. Shouldn't we fight for more? I think everybody has a right to surf whatever they want to surf, and it shouldn't be pre-eminently dealing with what you might do, it should be what you have done. I think we should still be informed and be able to say to our Governments that this is not something we think is acceptable, so that they don't go too far. We have everybody feeling that freedom of not being creeped out about their Echo in their house. It creeps me out, I don't have one for that reason. I don't like it. I don't like having Google know my location on my computer. Every time I surf the web for somewhere and I always sign out of Google and they add another look you've been looking at kites. Here's some other kites. You know what? This still bothers me.
Owen: All my information is wrong on my account. Facebook thinks I'm a 30 year old white man. I got the old lady dating sites. There’s a 68 year old woman in your neighborhood.
Leo: You could start sending all those adds to me, that would be great. The reason I bring both of you in, is because Clayton and I are going to embrace it, we've got nothing to lose. We're the establishment.
Owen: Clayton is at the top of Jersey, I'm at the bottom of Jersey. Two totally different ecospheres of the Jersey lifestyle.
Leo: It's important we understand the risks for everybody. It's a difficult challenge. I have an echo, I love my Echo. I have many Echos everywhere I go.
Owen: There was a great article I read about not using your thumbprint on your phone, because what if you get pulled over and people are checking to see if you texted or didn't text. But what if they go in there and you smoke weed. They find a picture of you smoking weed.
Leo: They don't have to look far. I posted one on my Facebook page.
Owen: I think of crazy things like, there are perverts in the world. What happens if you get mistaken as a pervert because you got pictures of a child that happens to be your nephew or niece, but this person wants to put a case against you. I just think of all the outlandish things of why I can't use my fingerprint on my phone. I don't want anybody getting on my phone.
Leo: You don't use fingerprint?
Owen: I always tell myself. I got taken to the police station, I had a warrant out because I had a ticket, I was in the hospital, I missed court. It was a 500 dollar ticket, I wasn't doing anything criminal, I was speeding. But when they took me in, I was like I already paid the bail. They took me in anyway, they fingerprinted me, and they guy was like unlock your phone. And I'm like what do you need to go in my phone for? He's like I need you to unlock your phone. He didn't like the way I was talking to him.
Leo: You were mouthing off.
Owen: He left the room, I unlocked my phone in my handcuffs and I called my friend and said, get down to the police station to check on me and make sure I'm all right. He comes back in and says I saw you on your phone, who were you calling? I'm like, my brother to come here to make sure I'm all right. Well, I'm going to roll the tape back, if you said anything incriminating, I'm going to listen to it. I'm like, feel free to listen to the tape. Long story short, I paid the bail, because I thought I was going to be going to court. In their system it said I was on this bail. I was like why did he want to go on my phone? Again, I don't have anything in my phone.
Leo: It feels like a fishing expedition. Doesn't it? Of course, you get into court they're going to say they can't use that. Nevertheless...
Owen: He forgot to read me my rights when he arrested me, or whatever, so when he comes in he's like I need you to fill out this form that says I read you your rights. I'm like, You didn't. He's like, I need you to sign them because I read them to you later. I'm like, I can't sign that. I'm like I have to sign it? When I know I'm in the right, you ain't going to Sandra Bland me. I tell you what. I can't sign that. You didn't read me my rights until after I got here. I can't acknowledge that. He said you have to sign it. I'm like, so you're forcing me to sign it? You got to initial that, and say forced to sign and I'll sign. Then he just walked out, ten minutes later I was let go anyway. I tell you what. Like I said, I am super-duper polite, but half the time I get pulled over, I'm bumping Taylor Swift. My radio is loud.
Leo: I know how it is. Taylor Swift gets you angry.
Owen: I was bumping Taylor Swift. Cop pulls me over. I'm bumping the whitest thing available, why are you... He's like tail lights out. I'm like my tail light can't be out. This is a 2015, it's brand new, 3000 miles on it. License and registration. I was like, "Sir, if you come back with a ticket for my tail light being out, I'm going to need you to allow me out of my vehicle so I can take a picture of my tail light." He comes back, I gave you a verbal warning for the tail light being out. Fix it.
Leo: Was your tail light out?
Leo: So really, he's checking you out.
Owen: It's not like I had a noise ordinance, it was the middle of the day, and I was on the highway. He just didn't like that I was thumpity thumping down the street. It's Taylor Swift Bad Blood, brother. You don't like Taylor Swift? It's America.
Georgia: I'm dancing really loud to music in my car, never had that happen. You see someone dancing crazy in the car, it's me.
Leo: I turn up NWA as loud as I can and I cannot get pulled over.
Owen: The best thing about my car radio being loud is when I pick up my daughter from school, all the kids start dancing in the street. I love that. I love pulling up on people that are like Star G and annoying, and I throw on some classical music or something and roll my window down. I give them that pummel.
Clayton: I can't see why you'd be pulled over.
Leo: Were you blasting classical music at those elderly people, Mr. Stone?
Clayton: Their IQs went up 15 points.
Georgia: My brother has the car from the Gray Poupon commercial, and he actually carries it in his glove compartment, because people stop him.
Leo: Is it a Rolls or something?
Georgia: Yeah. People would ask him if he had any Grey Poupon and he would give them...
Leo: I have a spoonful, but don't forget to give it back. Why is he rocking a Bentley?
Georgia: My brother has all kinds of old cars, he's got the old Cadillac with the fins, he's got...
Leo: Does he have a Lincoln with Suicide doors?
Georgia: He does not.
Owen: He doesn't want the GPS. Old school!
Leo: Old School. No airbags for me, man.
Georgia: He has Game of Thrones set up in his backyard with all the walls of faces. He builds... my brother has Narnia in his backyard. He has Castle Ruins, he has old skulls. It's amazing. His backyard is used for... people go to hang out at my brother's house.
Clayton: Is he in Canada?
Georgia: He's in Canada.
Owen: I need an invite to a family dinner.
Leo: We're all going to have smoked meat and poutine.
Georgia: Come on down. My brother’s barbeque! You guys are invited.
Leo: Is this in Montreal?
Georgia: You can totally come.
Owen: Come on, Uncle Leo, let’s go.
Leo: Let’s go to Montreal. Road trip.
Georgia: Montreal’s awesome.
Leo: I love Montreal.
Georgia: Clayton, you too. You can head on down.
Clayton: I would love to. We’ll come to the red wedding.
Owen: Let’s not push it. Let’s not push it.
Georgia: Red barbeque.
Owen: I’ve escaped all by ex’s without being shot yet. I’m not trying to serve a red wedding.
Leo: The girl has no nose. Let’s take a break and come back with more. We’ve got Owen J.J. Stone, Ohdoctah is with us. Georgia Dow from iMore.com. Clayton Morris from Fox and Friends. It’s a great team. I told you it’d be fun. Told you we’d have some fun today. Our show today brought to you by GoToMeeting. It’s time to step up your meeting game. Take your meetings to the next level with GoToMeeting. It lets you easily collaborate with clients and colleagues anywhere in the world. And nowadays in this global village of ours, they may be anywhere in the world. You can be a meeting MVP no matter where they are, no matter where you are. GoToMeeting, you can start meetings with a single click of the mouse. You can meet with your team from anywhere, anytime, even from a mobile device. I’ve held meetings on my iPad. It’s awesome. You can use your webcam. They can use their webcam. Now you’re seeing your colleagues in high def. It’s like being in the same room together. But you don’t have to go to lunch afterwards. I like that. Share your screen. You get on the same page. You can pass off presenter duties. Great for collaboration. Great for pitches. If you’re going to do a sales pitch, make it easy for your client. Make it fun for your client. You can even if—this is kind of mean, but you can have private chats and video links so you can be doing it in the background while the guy’s doing his presentation. GoToMeeting. It will help you step up your meeting game and your best work will shine through. I know teams that keep GoToMeeting running all day long. Now is the time to put on your best performance. Be the meeting MVP at your place of employ. Start your free 30 day trial. GoToMeeting.com. Click on the button that says Try it Free. GoToMeeting.com. You’ll be up and running with your first meeting in just a couple of minutes.
Leo: I think we’ve probably done Google I/O. We did the VR, we talked about. We talked about the Glade Home thing. We talked about the instant apps.
Owen: It was actually nice to love on Google. Google actually did something right where we’re on board.
Leo: I’m shocked. I really thought people would be just slamming them.
Georgia: Well wait. I do still think that Google is Cybernet. I’m not saying they’re not.
Leo: Skynet. Skynet.
Georgia: Skynet. Cybernet is the company that makes Skynet, yea. I think they’re—
Leo: They are—
Owen: We’ll all be wearing Google socks. I’m just saying that they made some cool products.
Leo: They I noticed were downplaying the use of the term artificial intelligence and big on machine learning. That sounds harmless, right? It’s just machine learning. Or is it?
Georgia: That sounds scary.
Leo: That’s kind of worse, isn’t it?
Georgia: They have Pikmin, like Pac dog and the spider thing. Like, no, they’re all ready.
Leo: The big problem Google has, though, the big problem Google has right now is they have abandoned so many great things. They put out so many things. Like the OnHub Router. There’s an example that had all of this promise that never materialized. There’s going to be a lot of people who are going to say, “Well, I’m going to wait and see. Is Allo going to be great? Is the Google Home going to be great? I’m going to wait and see.”
Clayton: Google Glass.
Leo: Yea, Google Glass, yea.
Owen: The one thing Google needs to—
Georgia: Google Glass was in fact great though.
Leo: No, it wasn’t.
Owen: Google also has the ability to, and the thing I respect is, they do let things go to bring in new things. Because when something hits it hits and when it takes off it takes off. They usually like don’t beat a dead horse. But the other problem Google has is, they have no marketing budget whatsoever. Like this Duo thing was the first thing that I can think of that they’ve done that, as I said earlier, made me feel something. Now Apple, even though I’m sick of it, and I’m force fed it and I understand it, they always make me feel like I’m going to be a better person when I buy their stuff. I know I’m still a piece of trash, but when I first buy this phone, I feel like I’m better than everybody else who’s not in this line of work. That’s what Apple does.
Leo: I’ve got your next phone, Owen.
Clayton: That’s a great point.
Leo: Take a look. This is your next phone, Owen.
Clayton: The new flip phone?
Leo: I’m waiting. There (laughing.)
Owen: That think looks awesome.
Leo: No, you’re lying. That looks terrible.
Owen: Man, I’m trying to transform my Voltron. You don’t know what it’s going to look when that flips?
Leo: (Laughing) This is Project Ara. This was something that Motorola had left behind when they left Google to join Lenovo. And Google, one of the things they announced at Google I/O is “Yea, we’re putting this out this fall, the developer edition.” It’s a modular phone. You think this is a good idea?
Owen: Hey, again, they try it. I might buy it. Again, the problem is they don’t make me feel anything. Google, if anybody is listening at Google, listen. Hire me. I will make the commercial for you that will actually make people feel something. Even if they hate it, I’ll make them feel something. You all don’t make people feel anything with all that stuff you make, which is the biggest problem because you can’t even bring people in and trick them to buying it and then falling in love with it. Because most of the time, my iPhone isn’t perfect. But I think it is because I love it.
Leo: You love it. You’ve been brainwashed. You want to be brainwashed.
Owen: I can’t even go back to Windows. I had to put Boot Camp on my Mac because I can’t justify my brain buying a PC anymore.
Leo: It’s true. Apple is a little too good at marketing if you ask me.
Clayton: We’re missing a larger point which is the storefront. You know, Amazon, right on the front of Amazon.com, every one of their new Kindles, the Echo right at the top. We don’t have sales numbers of course. But it’s doing well. We know that. And we know that—
Leo: Are you going to buy that $300-dollar Oasis?
Clayton: I’ve been testing it.
Owen: It’s on the nose.
Owen: It’s on the nose about the storefront.
Clayton: I mean look what, I mean look. Amazon’s not really, also to your point, Owen, I mean Amazon’s been willing to concede defeat with like the Amazon phone, right? That was Bezo’s pet project and it was a disaster. Gone. Totally deleted. No sign of it.
Leo: Yea. Yea.
Clayton: Amazon—but to your point, where do you go to buy Google stuff? I mean are you going to have on the front page of Google.com, the coveted home page where we saw the Nexus for a short time. Right was it the Nexus there for a short time?
Leo: Yea. They don’t want to put ads though, there, right? They want that to be the clean. People were mad at them for putting the Nexus ad there.
Clayton: Where do you go? Are you going to have a Google store? Is that the next—
Leo: There is a Google store. Oh, you mean a physical store.
Clayton: A physical Google store.
Leo: I mean I think their store at Google.com is actually pretty, is as good as Apple’s, isn’t it? It sells the product.
Owen: What he’s saying is I can walk into it, I can see it, I can feel it, I can taste it.
Leo: All right. After we go visit Georgia’s brother in Montreal, you’re all invited to the new Apple Union Square store. They just opened it Thursday.
Georgia: Wow. This is a beautiful store.
Leo: I think it’s dopey.
Leo: Yea, it’s just dopey. This is a dopey store.
Georgia: Why? What’s dopey about it?
Leo: Do we have the video that Kara shot? Is that around on the Tricaster? No. We sent somebody down to shoot some video of it. So this is their 15th anniversary store and they’re re-doing all the Apple Stores I think are going to look like this. It has a forest, a little garden grove inside the store.
Georgia: What? Why are you hateful? What do you have against trees?
Leo: It’s not a store.
Georgia: What’s wrong with trees?
Clayton: They call it not the Genius Bar, the Genius Grove. You can go out and get some free basil.
Georgia: It’s like a little tiny. I love it. I think it’s a great idea. It’s community.
Leo: (Laughing) free basil.
Georgia: It’s community. This is a place where people can just hang out and chill. And I think that’s what people are missing. People are so sick of buying things online with computers where we can actually got there and actually meet other people and hang out and relax and not to have to feel any pressure, have some cool Apple products hanging out in the background. You can check out the nice beautiful rose gold, relatively useless MacBook. And just enjoy. There’ll be music. There’ll be bands. There’ll be artisans. You can go there and have a meeting. There’ll be places where you can hang. This is an area where we can actually deal with community and you know, have Apple products in the background. I think it’s brilliant marketing. And those 42’ you know, glass doors, opening those up so that it becomes part of, it’s no longer a store it’s just an area you can walk in and forget where inside is and outside is. I think it’s great marketing. That’s my though on that.
Owen: Leo, Leo, Leo. You are so wrong. Captain, get off my lawn.
Leo: This is technology as a lifestyle. This is exactly what’s wrong with Apple.
Owen: No, see you don’t understand the way the world works. We live in a world where we’re jaded by everything digital and bibbidi bopping and you tell kids, “Don’t go outside.” Well the trick to get them to go outside is to bring the outside to inside.
Leo: There’s a grove inside the store.
Owen: There’s trees and plants. Have you not been to Japan and seen Bonsai trees on the side of a room and the spirit and the essence of life and the Feng Shui? You don’t know nothing about Feng Shui. I’ll tell you.
Leo: I don’t want Feng Shui. I want a gosh darn computer. I think they’re selling a lifestyle that is bogus. It’s BS.
Owen: Listen to the love in Georgia’s voice.
Georgia: If we believe it, it’s all that matters.
Leo: I don’t believe.
Owen: All that love in Georgia’s voice, you can’t even fight that with your grumpy old man, get off my lawn. I’m bringing you a Bonsai tree next time I come out there.
Leo: No, I ordered a Bonsai tree. I got the floating one on Kickstarter. I’m find on Bonsais.
Georgia: Has it arrived?
Leo: Not yet. Probably will never.
Georgia: He’s just grumpy about trees only because he didn’t get his Bonsai yet.
Leo: I love trees. I don’t want to conflate trees with commerce. Trees are trees. They should be in a forest. Go in the forest. That’s fine. This is a store.
Clayton: Beyond just the aesthetic, what has changed from the experience? I mean that’s the larger question.
Leo: They’re not selling stuff anymore.
Leo: That’s what’s changed. They’re trying to make it—I’m not kidding. I find this creepy. They’re trying to make an Apple lifestyle. This is taking the brand too far in my opinion.
Owen: It’s the trend of the world. If you go to Asia, they have cat and puppy shops where you can just walk in and literally drink coffee with somebody’s cat because you want to feel things and be outside of your home.
Leo: And this is what you want? This is what you want for the world?
Clayton: This is coming from the guy who lives in Queens right now.
Owen: I wish for the hallowed days of Leo Laporte when you used to work out of a cottage and have some spirituality and ask to share the community pot. Now you’ve got this big industrial warehouse and you think that you’re on top, mister. Well, you’re wrong. Because I heard the love in Georgia’s voice.
Leo: (Laughing) I’m going to put some trees in here and then you’ll be visiting the TWiT Forest.
Owen: You better do it and also in your will, put your thing as your urn as a plant. So you can be planted as a tree when you die.
Leo: I love trees. I love nature.
Georgia: I think it is that you just don’t want to go to a store to hang out with other people because you’re done after doing all these podcasts.
Leo: It’s cultish.
Georgia: You’re done with people.
Leo: I’m going to put my sneakers and my white running shoes and my white track suit on and I’m going to sit there say I’m waiting to be taken up to Steve’s land. It’s cultish. It’s weird. It’s creepy. They’re selling computers. They’re making, they’re fetishizing stuff.
Georgia: But I don’t think so. I think that they’re giving something back to the community where if you have a small startup you can go there and hang out and actually deal with business. If you, you know it’s going to have the little tiny open Union Square thing where you can just sit there 24/7 and not buy anything, listen to music, have free Wi-Fi, drink your latte. You don’t have to buy anything at all.
Leo: I think that’s what they want.
Georgia: Yea, it just makes it a part of the community. It’s kind of giving back whereas yea, we can say that the Echo, where your able to sit in your house and you no longer even have to leave the house for getting toilet paper.
Leo: Wait. But we have a massive homeless problem in San Francisco.
Clayton: I was just about to say something.
Leo: (Laughing) wait until the homeless people start coming in. Are they going to let them sit around? No.
Owen: They just had a problem with that out here in Philly with Philly Jesus went to an Apple Store and apparently he went down on a day where there was a new manager, somebody who didn’t know what’s going on. But he goes in and he charges his phone every day. He’s a homeless guy who walks around dressed like Jesus, he has this big wood cross. Everybody knows him. He’s harmless. But they actually had him arrested which did nothing but raise his profile and he got to speak to more people about being Philly Jesus. To your point, I know I was yelling at you. I was kind of joking. They’re doing all the sell things and to make more money, yea. It’s all marketing. Like I said, they’re really great at marketing and invoking a feeling. Like I said if you listened to the way she was talking, she was pleasant and she was happy and it invigorated an emotion in her. That’s what they do. And as far as letting homeless people in, they need to. But I highly doubt they will.
Leo: Of course they’re not.
Owen: I had that incident, my own incident with Apple and—
Leo: Yea, forerunner.
Owen: Yea, in LA. So Apple is you know, they’re going to have to tiptoe around that because that Philly thing got a lot of buzz out here. People were upset. Because again, it’s something that the guy did every day and they actually let him go in there and charge his phone. They didn’t do anything about him. I guess they have a time limit or something on how much time you can spend in the store if you’re not doing something. So.
Leo: I just think this is—
Georgia: They probably don’t unless they probably noticed that he didn’t look the way that they were hoping that he looked. So.
Leo: Well that’s kind of my point which is—
Georgia: If I hung out for a full day in an Apple Store, they’d say nothing.
Leo: Yea of course not. That’s my point is that you’re welcome as long as you’re part of the cult and you’re kind of in the—but if you look like you’re, you know, a little weird, bye-bye. I don’t know. I just feel like it’s—it’s nice. It’s fine.
Owen: Isn’t that every store though? Isn’t that any place you go into?
Leo: Yea, yea. No, it’s fine.
Owen: If you don’t have yourself put together they kick you out?
Owen: Or they don’t want you in.
Georgia: Did you suddenly bring a tree in (laughing)?
Leo: I don’t know. It’s a pussy willow or something. I don’t know.
Georgia: Well look at that. This place, it’s already looking good.
Leo: See? Welcome to the Apple Grove.
Owen: Now we feel it. We feel it.
Georgia: But yea, I think it’s great marketing. I think it’s going to work well for them. I think that it’s a nice idea to be able to have a store where it’s not unwelcoming. And hopefully it will be welcoming to everyone. I doubt that that will be the case to that but yea, I like the idea of it just being open. You can just walk in. You don’t have to worry. It’s not going to be one of those stores where you feel like you go in and everyone’s staring at you and you’re not, you know, able to enter there and be able to just chill out. And I think it will be great. But yea, they did this for marketing for sure.
Owen: Apple doesn’t do that anyway. There’s people always in there playing with games and apps and stuff and they’re never really trying to sell you anything or help you with anything unless you ask them because there’s 42 million people just floating about. So it’s already, again, it’s just something else to market and say, “Oh, look at what we’re doing now because you haven’t come into an Apple Store in the last 3 years and our numbers are down. And we’re going to launch this new thing to get you back in.”
Clayton: I drop my three-year-old off at the iPad table and I just go to work.
Leo: Exactly. Exactly. It’s daycare. It’s daycare for the tech.
Owen: Can we do that? Can we do that as a Fox and Friends thing? Just setup some GoPros? Just drop the kid off and just see how long it takes for them to be like, “Look. The kid’s been here for 4 hours. Can we get a sippy cup or something?” Yea, let’s see how long they notice.
Clayton: 4 hours. I’ve got this much screen time.
Leo: I actually, I forgot, there is one more Google thing.
Georgia: Sorry. All the trees.
Leo: There’s one more Google thing (laughing) I do want to mention is that they announced that Chromebooks are going to be running the Android Store soon.
Owen: That’s amazing.
Leo: I think that’s interesting. Does that excite you, Owen?
Owen: That please me to no end. Especially like if I can use Instagram on the computer instead of having to use my phone, oh happy day. I’m buying me a new laptop. ASAP.
Leo: It makes the Chromebook very interesting. And they did mention that it’s selling more now. They sold last quarter more Chromebooks were sold than Apple Macintoshes.
Owen: Well they’re probably selling a lot of those to schools and things like that.
Leo: They are. It’s the number one computer in schools now.
Owen: Leah’s school just got a whole new crop of them. And they used to have the old Dell desktop things that were horrible. And then they said, “Oh, we just bought all new Chromebooks.” So everybody’s got a Chromebook now. So I’m sure they’re killing it in the educational market.
Clayton: Well what is the future of Chrome OS?
Leo: Well I feel like this is the future. In other words, more of the question is what’s the future of Android in some ways, right? Because although I guess you still need Android for a touch device, a phone or a—actually, here’s what the question is Clayton. What’s the future of tablets? My wife, Lisa was asking me this. “Well are they going to still sell tablets if you can get Android apps on your Chromebook, what do you need a tablet for?”
Owen: Because you don’t want a keyboard and you want the touchscreen, you want the portability. I mean having a Chromebook is cool and all but the whole reason tablets are awesome is because I don’t have a keyboard attached to it. If I’m on the go I take my tablet. I don’t dislodge my laptop. Even my Air. I’ve got an Air sitting right here too. I barely take this thing out anymore unless I’m traveling.
Georgia: You see, I’m the opposite. Now I don’t use my tablet anymore because my MacBook, it’s like it’s thin and almost as light as a tablet but I appreciate the keyboard if I have to write a long email, tapping on glass just does not do it for me. And I hate having to carry the tablet. It’s like they do have the light ones but I like having a track bag. I just want it to be able to do all of it. I want the touchscreen, the keyboard it all there and to be light and to be able to travel with it. So now I don’t use my tablet at all.
Leo: Does it make a difference?
Owen: You don’t have a touchscreen on your Apple, though. You don’t have a touchscreen.
Georgia: I know. I’m waiting for it. I’m waiting for it.
Owen: We were so in sync today and then you had to go and ruin it.
Leo: Apple’s never going to put a touchscreen on.
Leo: They don’t want, they’re already losing market share to the iPad. It feels like there’s more greenery than there used to be here. Am I wrong?
Georgia: (Laughing) We’ve lost Leo. Where’s Leo? It’s like Jurassic Park.
Owen: Leo Laforest.
Leo: Do you feel better now, Owen? Are you feeling a little more at home in the grove?
Owen: Do you know why I feel better? Because the joy of my heart, every time Georgia giggles when they put you on screen. Of course I feel better. She’s by Chewbacca mom for right now. I’m enjoying the heck out of it.
Clayton: Wait a minute. This Week in Wiccan.
Georgia: How are we able to find Leo?
Leo: Actually, speaking of the Chewbacca mom, don’t you have one of those masks, Clayton? Did you get it?
Clayton: What? What?
Leo: Ah! Ah! Ah! Oh my God, that’s terrifying. Can you laugh maniacally for us?
Clayton: (Chewbacca noises). It’s a little too tight.
Leo: I love it. I love it.
Owen: Can you wear the mask and go driving around with it?
Leo: By the way we tried, we desperately tried to get those (laughing).
Owen: See, listen to her laugh. It’s amusing.
Leo: She’s like the Chewbacca mom.
Clayton: People listening at home right now.
Georgia: I was drinking water. I almost like ruined my laptop at the same time.
Clayton: Leo just removed his shirt.
Leo: Well I don’t think that really explains the whole, the—
Owen: Leo has removed his shirt and is sitting in a forest.
Leo: The totality experience frankly.
Owen: He looks like, he looks like the hair shampoo. What is it? It begins with a N.
Georgia: Taking a photo. I have got to remember this moment.
Owen: What is that hair shampoo where the girl puts it on and she turns into a jungle and she’s having like the time of her life?
Leo: Oh, yea, what is that? I know what you’re talking about.
Clayton: Herbal Essence.
Leo: Herbal Essence. Herbal Essence.
Owen: Leo Laporte looks like he is in a Herbal Essence commercial and he is waiting for the shower scene to start. He is surrounded by flowers and trees and foliage and a microphone. He is the silver fox in the wood. He is the silver fox in the woods.
Georgia: People who just tuned in at this point, they’re going to be like—
Leo: I feel like I have now, I’m channeling Jonny Ive and I really want to have kind of a TWiT glade, a TWiT forest. And by the way, you’re laughing but the entire studio audience has also disrobed.
Owen: Now who’s running a foliage cult? Every Sunday, they get naked with you. You’ve got plants all around. Welcome to the new TWiT Cult.
Georgia: This is the new TWiT.
Leo: It’s the new TWiT Cult.
Georgia: TWiT 2.0.
Leo: So we’re going to take a break.
Owen: Is this a Snapchat moment? We’re living in Snapchat. We are living in Snapchat.
Owen: I’m trying, I just need Clayton to wear the mask and ride around the hood with me and see if we can get a DWC show going on. Two brothers in the hood.
Leo: (Laughing) two brothers in the hood. I’m sorry.
Georgia: And then let’s see if they pull you over.
Leo: It’s the new thing. Driving with Chewbacca. Yea, it’s yea. Very risky.
Owen: It’s the Snapchat TWiT. It’s a Snapchat filter.
Leo: I did, did you know that I ordered a unicorn that farts rainbows by the way?
Georgia: Are you kidding?
Leo: No, it was a Kickstarter, Tootz. You know about Tootz?
Owen: I do. I have a black unicorn. I’ve got the older one coming.
Leo: T double O T- Z, right? The unicorn on Kickstarter and it’s tied to my Twitter account. So whenever anybody—I don’t know, we can make it whatever we want. Like if anybody says something nice it will fart rainbows (laughing). Anyway, that goes right alongside my floating Bonsai tree that I also- I buy the stupidest stuff on Kickstarter.
Amazon Echo: Please visit Amazon.com to track—
Clayton: Is that an Echo in your pants?
Leo: (Laughing). I don’t know what my staff has done to me, but it doesn’t feel quite right.
Leo: Gazelle. Thank you.
Leo: Gazelle. Gazelle is a great place to go both to buy and to sell your gadgets. You know if you have a bunch of gadgets sitting around as we do in the basement by the way, it’s like putting hundred dollar bills in drawers in chest and boxes, just letting them gather dust. You wouldn’t do that. That would be crazy talk. Well that’s what you’re doing if you’re not going to Gazelle and selling your old gadgets. Go to Gazelle.com right now and get a quote on your iPhone, your iPad, your Samsung, your Surface tablet, your Kindle tablets. They will give you top dollar. And by the way, there’s no commitment. You go, you get a quote. You’ve got 30 days to take advantage of it. So you just find out. Just find out. Once you decide yea, no, I’m going to take advantage of this, and by the way, don’t stop with one, get everything in there. You say, “Ok, I’m going to check out.” They send you a box. They pay the postage on anything worth more than a buck which is almost everything. Even broken iPads and iPhones are worth something at Gazelle. And they will send you a box and then they turn it around fast. If you forget to wipe your data, don’t worry. They’ll do that for you. They’ll also check the quality and sometimes, and this has happened to me now twice, they will up the offer. They said “No, no. That’s whatever. Better memory, more memory than you said. Or it’s better quality than you said.” And they will up the offer. Which is, they have no obligation to do so but they do it. They’re very honest. And you’re going to get a great price. Then they’ll send you a check or if you want it right away, PayPal credit or if you’re the savvy shopper, get an Amazon gift card because they will bump that up by 5%. So it’s an extra 5% for you. So that’s how it works to sell at Gazelle but you might ask, “Well what happens to the stuff they buy?” Well the very best stuff they sell on Gazelle. So it’s a great place to get slightly, gently pre-used, pre-owned devices. iPhones, iPads and Samsung devices at Gazelle. You can get an iPhone 6S, a 6S Plus, an iPad, Samsung Galaxy phone, every one of them fully inspected backed by a 30-day return policy, sold without carrier contract. But, yes of course they work on all the major carriers in the US. 3, 6 or 12 month payments too now with Affirm which is really nice. It’s just a check box at check out, say “I want to finance this with Affirm” and they’ll do that too for you. They also offer 12 month warranties on cell phones and iPads powered by Assurance Solutions. And these are great warrenties. They cover water damage, cracked screens. It’s awesome. Gazelle. To buy or to sell. G-A-Z-E-L-L-E, Gazelle.com. Give it a try today and we thank them so much for their support of This Week in Tech.
Leo: We talked about Android on Google, that’s going to, on Chromebooks. That’s going to come later this year. But if you have one of three devices including the latest Chromebook Pixel, you can turn on developer mode and get that starting next month. I did that immediately. Stop taking pictures. No, I’m just kidding. Take all the pictures you want. You want me to stand up.
Owen: Someone in the chatroom has its logo over you.
Leo: (Laughing) oh, that’s the least of it. I like what, I’ll have what Georgia’s having. That looks good.
Owen: Well my thought process was that this show was the nightmares of a padded room, Georgia Dow in tech.
Leo: Georgia, this is your dream.
Georgia: This now seems more like that.
Owen: Yea, that’s exactly what it is. I said it at the top and we have morphed into your mind.
Leo: You’re not going to remember any of this.
Owen: But I need out (laughing).
Leo: Let me ask you, Georgia, because I know iMore’s covered this. Apple has pulled back it’s iPad update. What was that, iOS9.2.3 was it?
Leo: Because it was bricking iPads.
Georgia: (laughing) yes, we didn’t install. I wait until everyone else—I had to have a hat. I feel like I’m left out.
Leo: No, you look good. I think you’re fitting in.
Georgia: Clayton has Chewbacca.
Leo: Yea, you got a hat.
Georgia: Owen just has the eyebrows.
Leo: Owen’s just Owen.
Georgia: Awesome guy.
Leo: Owen doesn’t need to do more than that.
Owen: You look like you’re about to go on a forest hunt for Uncle Leo. That’s what you look like to me.
Leo: I think so. I think so.
Georgia: Well, if he’s in danger I’ll head on out. Yea, so I always wait though. I always wait to update until Rene like has already vetted it for me so I let it brick all of his stuff first.
Leo: I put it on my iPad right away. It didn’t do anything bad to my iPad, so I don’t know. They say a very small number of people have had that happen. But there you go. There’s a fix on its way.
Owen: I never update my, I never update my iPad on the first update. Never. I stopped doing it. I had a problem like 2 years ago with an update. So now I at least wait a week, see what rolls through and then get that secondary tier update because somebody was arguing with me. They were saying, “Apple has all this R & D. Why can’t they fix this before they send it out?” And I said, “Well the infinite multitude of things that are on people’s phones, one app might affect the update. Something else might affect the update that they can’t plan for. So they do the best they can as a general surface. And then oh, 30% of the population has this goofy app that affects the update in this way. They patch it. They fix it.” So that is what it is. I just let other people be my guinea pig. I don’t need to be first and first and first on anything like that anymore. I don’t want to have to deal with those issues.
Leo: What’s the count by the way on that Facebook Live lady? How high did that go?
Owen: 120 million.
Leo: Wow. In like 2 days, right.
Clayton: It was at 91 million yesterday morning.
Leo: You had her on, right?
Clayton: Yea we had her on the show. Her name is Candice.
Leo: Is she normal or is she weird?
Clayton: She’s normal as—
Georgia: (Laughing) you can’t ask that wearing a wig.
Leo: Who says I’m wearing a wig? Georgia, are you on something?
Georgia: (Laughing) I might be. When I thought about what TWiT would be like, it wasn’t like this. This is so much more awesome.
Leo: Isn’t this your dream come true (laughing)?
Georgia: This is my dream. This is my favorite TWiT so far I have to say.
Leo: So you, now by the way, did Kohl’s bring you that Clayton? I tried to get one. You can’t get one. They’re sold out everywhere.
Clayton: No, my son, this is my son’s so the other night my producers texted me like Friday night and they said, they know me because I’m the nerd guy.
Leo: They knew you’d have one, right?
Clayton: “Do you have a Chewbacca mask?”
Clayton: A s a matter of fact.
Leo: As a matter of fact. I wish I did.
Owen: Who doesn’t?
Clayton: My son had it up in his toy chest. He goes to bed like at 7:30, 8:00 so he’s up there fooling around. He should have been in bed and I heard, you know, I creep into his room and he’s sitting there fooling around. And I’m like, “Hey buddy, can I borrow your Chewbacca mask?” He’s like, “Daddy, why?” I said, “I need to take it to work tomorrow.” He said, “Oh, why?” I said, “Well, I need to wear it on the show tomorrow.” He said, “Ok. Is it going to be stuck in your office? Will you bring it back home?”
Clayton: So yea we had her on. She’s totally normal. But yea, this is amazing. So this video has broken the record for the most watched video in Facebook history.
Owen: Only Live, right? That’s for Live? Isn’t that only they broke the Live.
Clayton: Yea, probably.
Leo: It was over 100 million last time I looked.
Owen: Yea, this morning it was 100 million.
Clayton: It was 91 now it’s 120 million, yea.
Leo: And of course Kohl’s, you can’t get publicity like this, a viral video like this. They gave her a whole bunch of masks and what was it, $500 dollars in Kohl’s cards. They really ought to give her more if you ask me.
Owen: You know how much stuff you can get for $500 at Kohl’s? You could shop for—
Leo: I know. They have her, like what did they give her? Like 10,000 Kohl’s points which actually is pretty good.
Georgia: She should get a year of shop for free for that.
Leo: Yea. So what would, how much did Miles pay for that because it’s now selling for $75 dollars on EBay.
Clayton: On EBay? Wow. I think it was like $30?
Leo: Under $20 bucks. $30?
Clayton: $20? $30? He used is allowance and paid for it.
Owen: Isn’t that a starting bid? That’s not the final bid. That’s the Buy It Now.
Leo: No, that’s the Buy It Now bid. Yea. They’ve sold more than 49% this says.
Owen: I’m surprised.
Leo: Wait a minute. The postage is $15 bucks (laughing).
Clayton: Remember during the holidays, they had that commercial, that Target commercial that showed it with the dad and the son had them on together.
Leo: Oh, I don’t remember that. Somebody’s making some money on these. Hasbro. It’s a Hasbro product.
Clayton: Yea, and it’s—
Leo: It just shows you. You can’t, you can think as long and as hard as you want, and making a viral video cannot be—yea, this is the actual video. You probably shouldn’t show it too long because people are getting really sick of it. But it’s very funny. She puts the mask on and she laughs—you know if you haven’t seen it, if you’re one of the 5 people who hasn’t seen it, she laughs uproariously for minutes. And it was, did you ask her Clayton? She didn’t think, she wasn’t trying to make a viral video?
Clayton: No, no, no, no, no. She was just you know, she was buying this. She thought she loved Star Wars. She was sending this to her friends. She just wanted to see what her friends’ reactions were and she just—so she was live, interacting with her friends and she’s like, “Well I’m going to put this on.” And she just thought it was hilarious looking, seeing herself like in the mirror and she just thought it looked ridiculous. And it just exploded. I asked her what the response has been. And you know people have just been writing her this crazy nice stuff, like one woman said her autistic daughter hasn’t laughed in years and this is the first time that she’s laughed.
Clayton: Like those types of things. Like one person said, “You know I’ve been suffering from depression and anxiety. And this was the first thing that made me laugh.” And she’s like “We just need more laughter in this world.” And that was like her message. That’s great. That’s exactly what we need.
Leo: You know it’s cool. She just laughs. Show a little bit of it. And it’s a genuine—Georgia, we were talking about this. It’s a genuine laugh.
Georgia: Yea. Yea.
Leo: You don’t feel like it’s fake.
Leo: But you can’t, you couldn’t—
Georgia: It’s pure joy.
Leo: You couldn’t make that up. I mean you couldn’t invent that, could you? You couldn’t say, "Oh, let’s make a--“ Kohl’s couldn’t say, “Let’s make a viral video like that.”
Georgia: No, people try and then there’s such a backlash when people find out that it’s viral that they’ve been duped.
Leo: Yea I hate that.
Georgia: There’s something nice about the genuine—
Leo: I think a lot of people thought this was fake, actually.
Clayton: The other story here is Facebook Live. And of course the Facebook News this week. But you know, Facebook Live now being ubiquitous instead of it just being celebrities and tied to their pages and so forth, the real push into live video for Facebook, what it means for businesses, what it means for individuals. You know, where Periscope I don’t think really ever got the traction that something like Facebook could have. And YouTube quite frankly doesn’t have the gravitas that Facebook Live is probably going to have.
Leo: Are you guys, is Fox considering doing a lot of Facebook stuff?
Clayton: You know before shows, after shows, I know one of our weekday guys who does radio for three hours after he gets off the morning show so he’ll kind of do live, and he’s a workhorse, so he’ll do like Facebook Live before he goes on the air, kind of like teasing what’s coming up and sort of interacting. And so, there’s a lot of that. You know I do four hours of live TV so the last thing I want to do is like jump on and do extra things later. But I think that there is definitely—the traffic that our pages get is just through the roof. I mean it’s bonkers.
Leo: So it really works.
Clayton: It really works and because it’s tied to Neilson ratings. You have to remember it’s weighted, right, it’s not a one to one so viewership to social media interaction but obviously people, the social media interaction, Facebook and Twitter and so forth is weighted in all of that. So it’s possible for shows that don’t have as much as a viewership to then capitalize on their social media following and help them in their overall Neilson ratings.
Leo: How is it—I don’t understand how it’s tied to Neilson ratings.
Clayton: Well Neilson, I don’t know—
Leo: What are you laughing at?
Georgia: (Laughing) Leo, I’m sorry.
Leo: What? You didn’t just think something weird happened did you? Like were you seeing—
Georgia: I’m still checking the walls. I’m good.
Clayton: What happened to Puck?
Leo: (Laughing) get the Puck out of here. So you know, I know that movie companies for instance are paying stars more if they have a larger Twitter following. Although that seems to be kind of dumb, but they do, right? That this is—because it’s seen as such a huge marketing tool.
Owen: Well it’s not dumb because they’re—
Leo: Well if they’re real. If it’s real.
Owen: It’s not—so first of all, it’s more real than what everyone else is going to be real. Because I know dummies want to know what the Kardashians are doing or what the President of the United States is doing.
Leo: That’s true.
Owen: So let’s just start off with that it’s real, ok? It’s real. So when Kevin Hart comes in—
Georgia: Well some people buy their Twitter followers.
Leo: Well that’s what I mean. Yea, I mean.
Georgia: There’s a whole bunch of people that have fifty thousand Twitter followers.
Owen: Ok, out of the bubble and into the real world, we’re talking about super stars and celebrities and the money they get paid because they’re their own marketing company. Case in point. Kevin Hart has 34 million people. He goes into the negotiations—
Leo: He has 34 million followers?
Owen: I don’t know what it is. He’s got a lot of followers. It’s a lot. It’s really high. It might even be that number.
Leo: It’s high, yea.
Owen: So he goes into a deal and he says, “All right, I want to get paid this for the movie. How much additional are you going to give me for marketing?” And they say, “Well why are we giving you anything for marketing?” And he’s like, “Well, you have a marketing budget, right?” He’s like, “Yea.” He’s like “Ok, well on my last movie, I drove this X of numbers to videos and promos and things I’m going to be doing. And that’s extra out of my time. So if you’re going to pay a promotional company, I’ve got more than this fake promotional PR company that you’ve got going on and I’m the product. So why not pay me that?” And at first they snubbed him. He said, “All right well I’m not going to work with you.” Then they came back, they gave him the money, and guess what? Him and the cast do things where they go and they buy a whole movie theatre or city tickets and pay for all their tickets and go sit down with them and the watch movie. Then they pop up and Kevin Hart’s like, “Oh, how’d you like the movie?” Everybody gets their picture taken with him and the cast members are all over doing it. Their promotion is real and organic as they can do as opposed to stupid, “Oh, 4 out of 8 people said that the dinosaur was a real dinosaur.”
Leo: Yea, you’re right.
Owen: So again, celebrities have real numbers. They can move real units. Like it’s a legit thing.
Leo: By the way, you were right on. This is Kevin Hart’s page. He’s got almost 30 million, almost exactly 30 million followers. And look at the big ad for his latest. But you know what’s the funniest thing? There’s a fake Kevin Hart that has a million followers.
Clayton: It’s good for him. Gets the overflow traffic.
Leo: It’s the overflow.
Clayton: Well to answer your question, Neilson rolled out their social content ratings I think it was last year, 2015, but it was just Twitter.
Leo: Oh, interesting.
Clayton: And then in January of this year, Neilson rolled out, they added Facebook. So during programs, what they’re saying is that obviously 60% of people who are watching these programs are sitting there with some sort of tablet or device while they’re watching these shows. And they’re interacting with them. They’re on Facebook, you know, and if certainly if you like the Phillies or something like that, if there’s a Philly’s game that’s live it allows you to interact in that way. But they’re looking at the overall tweets, mentions @replies, likes, engagement during those programs and then of course these Neilson social content ratings are weighted in your overall Neilson ratings. So you can look at that. If you’re a show that doesn’t maybe have as much viewership but you’ve got a really rabid fan base online, on Facebook who people are jumping in and really talking about your show live, that can be really powerful to help move the needle.
Leo: Very interesting.
Owen: And he’s got 35 million on Instagram.
Owen: Like I said, and when you look at his videos or whatever, his Central Intelligence has 645 thousand views.
Leo: I have to think a lot—I mean yes, of course probably half of those are spammers and bots and stuff. But still, even if it’s half, 15 million is a significant number.
Owen: Again, they are people that are directly plugged into the content. People watching TWiT right now don’t care about me. They’re here for you. I’m just a byproduct of joy and light.
Leo: No, they’re here for you. Make no mistake about that.
Owen: But I’m the only adult here today so I’m going to take it when I can get it. Because normally it’s me with the Calgon take me away and the mask and the wig and the hair. Today is my day to be an adult and I’m so happy to be it.
Georgia: (Laughing) it’s overrated. It’s overrated, Owen.
Leo: (Laughing) Oh yea. Oh yea.
Owen: I got all the pictures with the droid mask. And, oh, did you see that Uncle Leo?
Georgia: That’s true. That was a good picture.
Owen: When I put, when I was on VR and I put the headphones on. And then somebody made the headphones with the eyes on it?
Leo: No, I didn’t see that.
Owen: It was a headset with—
Leo: That’s when you were on TWiT last time.
Owen: Yea. And you tilt it down. Someone’s like, “You are from the future, Ohdoctah. Somebody made that thing you were joking about.” I’m like, “See? It’s all in here.”
Leo: Hey do you think Kevin Hart tweets for himself? Or does he have a social media team?
Owen: He tweets for himself.
Leo: That’s the key I think. I mean I look at people like Trump. Isn’t that interesting. Clearly Trump’s running his own tweets. You wouldn’t pay somebody to write those.
Leo: Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, the people who really do work it do better don’t they than the people who fake it.
Georgia: Well people want to be a part of this. This is great. It builds community and when people feel part of something, then you know, they’re going to spend more money towards those products like the Apple Store.
Leo: And it’s not hard to do. I mean, after all, it’s under 140 characters.
Georgia: Well probably there’s a lot of replies. I open up my Twitter when there’s like something happening and I get, I have 35 people replied to me, being Canadian I want to reply to everyone.
Leo: You’re nice.
Georgia: I get overwhelmed. I like, I don’t have that money people so it’s not that hard (laughing).
Leo: Snapchat’s being used that way too, isn’t it, by the movie stars? Hart has a Snapchat.
Owen: Yea, everybody’s snapping.
Leo: Yea. George Takei is the counter example, right? I mean he’s a fun—that’s an interesting example because he’s fun to follow but is clearly, and they even say it, it’s his team. And they’re filing a lot of viral videos so you follow him because of the content. But it doesn’t really build his brand.
Owen: It does. It still does. Ok, so being organic is great and all. The whole world isn’t Kevin Hart charismatic and some people need help with certain things. So if you have a good team that curates things that are about you and are on message, people are fine with that too. What they don’t like is you’ve got a robo-tweet coming out that says, “Hey, I learned how to bake 12 cookies yesterday,” and there was a mass shooting 15 seconds ago and you’re on this auto-bot just tweeting out stupid stuff. That’s what people don’t want to hear.
Leo: Yea, there’s the real risk.
Owen: That’s the difference when you find that. I have no problem with you having a team, Romany Malco or he’s doing it himself or whoever’s doing it, but I just want it to be you authentic at least in your team. So you said, “Ok, this is what we’re going to do. I approve this. I approve that.” When you’re just automating everything and you’ve got random stuff coming out at all kinds of times, that’s what people don’t like. It’s disingenuous and you get caught very quickly.
Georgia: Yea, and if you’re up front about it then people are cool about it. If you’re saying that I’m replying to this and they figure out that you’re not, then people feel really angry because then they feel betrayed.
Leo: All right let’s take a little bit of a break. Gosh this is fun. I’m loving this. Clayton Morris is here form Fox & Friends. What are you up to these days, Clayton? You’ve got the new financial thing, right?
Clayton: Yea, well you know actually about an hour ago, I tried to time it with tonight because it was ramping up and I thought, “TWiT would be a perfect time to launch it.” I just launched a brand new real estate investing podcast. Just tonight.
Clayton: It’s called Investing in Real Estate with Clayton Morris and yea, I’ve been—
Leo: How did you get into this? It seems like something very different for you.
Clayton: Well about 5, 6 years ago I started buying rental properties. Like $35, $40 thousand dollars, 3 bedroom, 1 bath houses that cash flow—
Leo: Are they fixer uppers or?
Clayton: Yea, so I totally gut rehab the house and have a great tenant. We have a whole team that—
Leo: Wow. Do you do that or do you have people that do that?
Clayton: Well I oversee the company and I have my whole team that does it and so now we do about 20 houses a month.
Clayton: Yea, so in Midwest, in the Midwest states.
Leo: Wait a minute. How many houses do you have?
Clayton: Well I mean, I sell them a lot to my clients.
Leo: So you flip them too.
Clayton: Yea, I flip them.
Leo: It’s not just rental properties, you’ll flip them as well.
Clayton: Yea. So I talk about being passionate about investing. I really think it’s the number one way to build wealth in this country, legacy wealth for your family instead of relying on, hoping that your 401K is going to be there. The average 401K is $70 thousand dollars when people retire, so the podcast is just really totally devoted to buy and hold real estate. That’s it. If we focus on how to start when people thing they have no money, there’s so much private money out there for people who want to earn like 5% interest, do a 5 year note.
Leo: Is it like value investing where you kind of, you’re not looking for real estate in New York City, obviously.
Clayton: No, no, no, no. So I’m in the Midwest where you can get a high ROI. Like I won’t touch a house unless I can do a minimum 12% return, cash on cash for the year. Minimum 12%. Like in the stock market, people are moving and buying like utility stocks right now at like 4% return if you’re lucky. So that’s what—and by the way, you’re building like assets for yourself. And it’s actually passive income. Like every month, if you have one rental house, ok, $800 a month. Then double that. $1,600 dollars. You know that’s how you figure out.
Leo: Aren’t you consumed with, I mean how do you have time? Don’t you have to manage these properties? I mean—
Clayton: No I have a whole team so my property management team that manages all the properties, does all the tenant screening.
Leo: So the 12% you’re making, a lot of that’s going to end up going to your team.
Clayton: No. No, that’s minus 40% for vacancy, repairs and expenses. So really it’s closer to 30% but I pad, I take that out. So you want to take out 40%. Not to get all financial on you.
Leo: I’ve got to get my wife listening to this podcast. Where can I find this podcast?
Clayton: So it’s in iTunes. And it’s all over the place. Google Play, we’ve got it approved everywhere so it’s just Investing in Real Estate. I try to keep it very accessible so we’ll have case study episodes with newbie investors, guys that own like one rental property. I interview those people. I have some experts on as well, like some great finance experts. Mike Michalowicz, the author of Profit First which is by the way, you should be structuring your whole business around the way that he implements finance. And then also just monologue episodes where I’m just talking about my strategies, things that have worked for me, how I’ve been able to buy you know, 15 properties and so forth and build like this portfolio of properties for my family and to help others do it. So many clients started with me three years ago, had zero properties now have 15 and it’s—I love watching people like overcome their fears and face their fears and actually start to take action and build something for their family. Most of my clients, I swear to God, overwhelmingly like just had a baby. Or they just stopped being selfish because they’re not single anymore and they have a baby for the first time or they’re a new dad. And now like that’s the thing where they start thinking about, well wait a second. How can I start doing something important for my family? So anyway, not to derail things.
Georgia: So this is good even if someone’s never done this before. They can listen to the podcast. If they should, what they need to get ahead beforehand. Be able to get involved.
Clayton: Exactly. Yea, because I had a lot of fears of money growing up. So, like money doesn’t grow on trees.
Leo: Did you grow up poor?
Clayton: Middle class but you know I had a lot of memes. And I think a lot of people suffer from this stuff, thinking like money doesn’t grow on trees, we’re not the Rockefellers, we can’t afford that. All of those things were implanted so be careful about the way you talk about money with your kids because it stays with them.
Leo: Yea. Right.
Clayton: And so I talk a lot about that too, trying to overcome those things. And trying too—you know I’m really passionate about trying to talk to inner city kids as well because they’re just thinking you have to get a paycheck. Like that’s the way you build wealth and it’s absolutely not the way you build wealth in this country. Going and getting a paycheck is not the way you do it.
Leo: So I had this thought. So there’s—the government owns a naval base in Sugar Grove Station in Pendleton County, West Virginia. It’s 100 miles south of DC. 122 acres. It’s got a town. It’s go 80 single family homes. It’s a million bucks. What if I bought that and fixed it up?
Clayton: There you go. See there’s so much private land out there right now.
Leo: By the way, this is in something the government calls a radio free zone. You can’t use a cell phone. You can’t watch TV. You can’t do—
Clayton: You build a resort there. Be like, “Look, come here. You have to unplug. You’re forced to unplug.” You know?
Leo: Yep. Yep.
Georgia: Make it a feature. It’s NSA free.
Leo: No it’s not. That’s why it’s a radio free zone. The NSA just over the hill has its listening station. Literally.
Owen: Actually I think they’ve got aliens buried in the basement and their signal is blocking all signals from getting in.
Leo: Probably the good thing is that they’re not going to listen to you, because there’s nothing coming out of you. You’re radio free. So they can hear everybody else.
Clayton: I wanted to go into a segment there. I saw that story a few years ago.
Leo: Isn’t that awesome?
Clayton: Nothing works there. I thought—
Leo: Nothing works.
Clayton: I mean I bought this house. I made sure when I was standing in this house that we just moved to, that I had good LTE coverage here. Otherwise I would have probably not have bought it.
Leo: I know. 1 million dollars, you can get an entire town. There’s only one flaw. It’s beautiful by the way. There’s only one flaw. There’s no electronics.
Owen: It’s not a flaw. He just gave you the million-dollar plan.
Leo: I know. It’s the plan, isn’t it?
Owen: You turn it into a nudist retreat. You put some plants up and an Apple Store. And you’re good to go. And that’s it.
Georgia: Leo’s already halfway there.
Leo: I’m there, man. I’m there.
Owen: You’re golden. I mean also just to reinforce what Clayton was talking about, I was just talking to a friend about holding paper and stuff like that for buying houses. And it’s amazing all the stuff you can learn. You definitely got a listener in me for that.
Leo: Yea. Yea.
Clayton: I don’t have any reviews yet. I have literally no reviews. There’s three episodes. So I would be thrilled if TWiT listeners listened.
Georgia: So listen and review Clayton’s show.
Leo: Would this still work though if we all did it? I mean?
Owen: It always works. Just as a layman, my cousin who was talking about owning paper, he bought like 4 blocks in Detroit. And he got them for like $4,000 dollars apiece. He got a whole block with like 6 houses on it. And the taxes and properties are so cheap, he went in and he fixed them up. Now he’s renting them out to people who don’t have a lot of money, some through HUD and things like that. But he’s renting thing off for like $750. But his mortgage on that house is only $100 dollars a month. So he’s got 20 houses right now, he’s making $500 a month on all these houses.
Clayton: I just want people to stop thinking like, “Oh, I’ve got a crappy credit score,” and you know we have our self-worth tied to this artificial number in this country. Credit score. You go to other countries that don’t even have credit scores. You can fly to Finland and they don’t even have a credit score I don’t think. So you’re like what, your self-worth goes up because you took a plane ride to another country? So you don’t have to be like tied to traditional banks which are the worst and using like a credit score to build wealth. Like Owen was talking about, there’s so many creative ways to do it.
Leo: I have my own financial freedom plan, I’d like to share it with you. I’m going to sell t-shirts at just about break even.
Leo: But I’m going to make it up in volume.
Owen: I’m buying one right now.
Leo: Our new TWiT t-shirts are here. We call them the 2016 World Tour Ts because they have on the back of them, they have kind of all the TWiT shows. It looks like a world Tour T. These are nice. You get a variety of different styles. There’s ladies as well as men. There’s a V-neck as Lisa insists. Teespring. T-double E-S-P-R-I-N-G.com/twit. I’m kind of proud of these. Lisa said, “How much should we charge?” I said “How much do we make?” She said, “Nothing.” I said, “Then don’t charge very much. Make it $20 dollars.” So these are inexpensive, practically at cost. I think we get a couple of bucks per shirt.
Georgia: Do you sell the hoodies?
Leo: No, we don’t. This is the whole idea is that every 30 days we do something completely different. And you know, we’re creating false scarcity. At three weeks you won’t be able to buy this ever again.
Owen: Can we partner and to the TWiT Incognegro shirt?
Leo: Yea. Incognegro is in, man. It’s our next shirt.
Owen: There we go.
Leo: And actually since we’re moving out of here, it’s okay if they fire bomb us, right? Ok. That’s Owen JJ Stone, OhDoctah. What are you up to these days?
Owen: Just living the dream trying to be like you when I grow up. That’s why I got my studio set up so I’m looking all handsome and fresh so I can come in and dominate and be a little Leo in the world with a tan.
Leo: IQMZ is going to be the place, right? That’s going to be where everybody is going to go.
Owen: Talk about sports and life and all kinds of stuff. I can’t talk about tech unless I’m like here yelling at people.
Leo: Yea, yea.
Owen: I tried to do it.
Leo: No, it’s been done. Don’t do—why would you—
Owen: That stuff makes me so angry. I get mad at a lot of the tech stuff that we have to deal with every day.
Leo: Yea, yea.
Owen: I’m not in the bubble. It doesn’t make me happy all the time.
Leo: Yea. And well, we love it. IQMZ.com if you want to get mental, mental with OhDoctah. Mental Entertainment.
Owen: I’ve got to interview you again, Uncle Leo.
Leo: I’d love to do it. Anytime. You got it. I’m yours. You’re mine, I’m yours. It’s kind of a mutual thing. And Georgia does a great series of videos at anxiety-videos.com. She does it with her partner, Sandra Reich. And this is a great place too to get their sleep series and their parenting series. It’s all hear. Get the sleep voice.
Leo: See everybody’s got a little something going on. $10 dollars, $59 dollars and 99 cents Canadian which is just like $10 American I think.
Georgia: (Laughing) something like that. Yea, well a lot of people don’t want to go in to do therapy. They’d rather do it from their home and so it gives people some tips, tricks on how to live a better life and you know, deal with fear of failure or abandonment or whatever other issues that you have, so, yea.
Leo: See? These guys are all great. They’ve all got their own little thing going on. I’ve got my T-shirts. It’s all going to be great.
Georgia: Try it. Try something.
Leo: We actually, we had a lot of fun this week because not only did we have Google I/O—I tell you what, we made a little short movie about the week gone by on TWiT. Why don’t you watch.
Narrator: Previously, on TWiT.
Leo: I’m very excited because we did get one of the Google Home devices. No we didn’t. That’s a Glade freshener. Another thing geeks don’t like, fresh air.
Narrator: TWiT Live Specials.
Ron Richards: Hey, I’m Ron Richards and welcome to TWiT’s Special at Mobile Focus World Showcase in San Francisco. Super excited to talk with some awesome companies with some really exciting technology based around the mobile world.
David Schick: This is a smart fabric that’s called Tap. And it turns anything that you touch into a keyboard.
Tammy Lee: These are made from Vegan leather.
Ron: They do feel very comfortable for Vegan headphones.
Leo: Our guest today is Richard Marks. He is a Senior Research Engineer with PlayStation. Whoo! Somebody’s shooting at me. That’s not good. So this is kind of—it feels to me like a classic PlayStation game. It’s got that experience. Whoa! Hello.
Narrator: This Week in Google.
Leo: I think Google Home is very interesting too. This is basically a speaker to take on the Amazon Echo.
Jason Howell: One thing that we’re not going to get from what I understand right out of the gate is multi-account capability.
Leo: We’ve just broken Jeff’s heart. Ah, Google can’t you fix this?
Narrator: TWiT. Now also available in several colors and unapologetic plastic.
Leo: Oh, look. Just for you. I don’t want this anymore. You want an Amazon Echo? I’m so over.
Leo: Going to be a good week ahead to. Megan Morrone has the week ahead.
Megan Morrone: Thank you, Leo. Here is what’s coming up this week on Tech News Today. Xiaomi’s first drone will be unveiled on May 25th. We’ve heard rumors that it will have 4K video recording and you’ll be able to control it with a watch. But who knows. The Chinese company will unveil the quadcopter on a live stream this week and we will bring that directly to your eyeballs or to your ears. What else? Apple says they’ll end support for iTunes allowances this week. That’s also happening on May 25th. Apple says after this date, any unused allowance credit will be rolled over into your basic iTunes accounts. So you better find out a better way to pay your kids for scooping dog poop. Also coming up this week, earnings for HP and the IEEE Woman in Engineering International Leadership Conference is San Jose. The annual go-to software developers conference in Chicago, and the Cloud Foundry Summit in Santa Clara. Oh, and this Thursday is also National Paper Airplane Day. I did not make that up. You can get all of this week’s tech news on Tech News Today hosted by Jason Howell and myself. That’s 4:00 PM Pacific time Monday through Friday. Back to you, Leo.
Leo: Thank you so much, Megan Morrone and Jason Howell, Monday through Friday for your daily dose of tech news. Our show today brought to you by Audible.com. They have updated the count now. Now a quarter of a million. More than a quarter of a million downloadable titles, all kinds of literature, fiction, non-fiction. I listen to a lot of history. I know, Clayton, you were listening, or maybe you read it the Ron Chernow Hamilton biography. Loved that. That was awesome. There’s just so much great stuff on here. I kind of alternate fiction and non-fiction. So I listen to a fiction book and then a non-fiction book. Here’s the deal. I’m going to get you 2 books. You see, I have two credits so this is fun. I always look forward to my renewal date on Audible.com because then I go, “Oh, I’ve got 2 credits. What can I get?” Go to Audible.com/twit2, that’s TWiT and the number 2 and sign up for the platinum plan. That’s the 2 book a month subscription. But your first month is free. So you get two books. You get the daily digest of the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times as well. Cancel any time in the first 30 days, you’ll pay nothing but those books are yours to keep. There’s so much good stuff. Clayton, are you listening to anything you want to plug? Reading anything you like?
Clayton: Well you know, because I’m a real estate freak, if someone is honestly interested in that realm, there’s some great audiobooks on Audible that you’ve got to check out. I mean I think one of them is The Millionaire Real Estate Investor by Gary Keller who built Keller-Williams Real Estate. He wrote it before the crash. But had people actually paid attention to what he said, we probably wouldn’t have had the crash. And it’s really like the foundation of everything that I do in real estate. It’s a fantastic book.
Leo: He’s written a lot of books. I didn’t realize this.
Clayton: This book though is really, really excellent. And it walks you through that. And also a huge fan of the audio version of Rich Dad Poor Dad. I’ve mentioned that to you before but such a great book. If you’ve not read, one of the greatest books in business ever written and really will wrap your brain around how to think about. Like if you grew up thinking about money or struggling with those ideas like I did and sort of shifting that mental paradigm, that’s a great Audible book. Those two I listen to like once a year. Great, great books on Audible.
Leo: Great summer reading, too. Lots of good fiction. I just interviewed Ashly Vance the author of Elon Musk, the unauthorized biography. Although she tells a great story about meeting Elon and how Elon changed his tune about that. It’s a really, really good book. Lisa and I have been listening to this together as we walk. Another thing you can do. See, the thing is, Audible’s great for your commute but there’s other ways you can use it. In the gym. Lisa and I like to take walks, take hikes and we’ll listen to a book together as we’re doing that.
Clayton: How do you do that? With like shared ear buds?
Leo: She thought that was a good idea until I realized that her pace is like 10 times faster than mine. So now she just puts it on the speaker and we just scare the deer as we’re walking through the woods and I can listen. I’m like, “Slow down, wait. I can’t hear.” But it’s fun. She’s—I don’t know what it is, but she—Georgia, I think women walk faster than men. I do think that’s true.
Georgia: Depends on the pace. Everyone walks a little bit different to that, so.
Leo: I don’t know.
Georgia: Depends on your stride level and where you feel good. So she’s probably just really fit and just walks fast.
Leo: Oh, that, yea. There’s some good fitness books on Audible as well (laughing) by the way. Audible.com/TWIT2. Get your first two books absolutely free. Audible.com/TWIT2. We thank them so much for their support. They’ve been a—I think we were the first podcast in the world to have Audible on as a sponsor. And they’ve been a sponsor with us for many, many years. But I’ve been a subscriber for longer than that, since 2000. This is before podcasts existed.
Leo: All right, we can kind of wrap things up. I do want to mention that BitTorrent has a new Apple TV app. BitTorrent Live. This is kind of intriguing. They are including TWiT on it. So another way to watch TWiT on your Apple TV is to get the BitTorrent app. They also have other networks, equally cheesy networks, so that’s good. We’re all in the same boat. You might want to check it out. BitTorrent Live. It is free and it is on your Apple TV. Let’s see, what else is going on. I want to get all the little bits here. The Moto G. Are they going to do, were you a Moto X fan, Clayton? I feel like you were.
Clayton: Yea, I had a Moto X, yea.
Clayton: That was—I carried that and my iPhone in my pocket for a long time.
Leo: Loved the Moto X. And I feel like Moto—of course Lenovo bought them. It’s interesting because Rick Osterloh, the guy who really I think was the guy who you can give a lot of credit to their success, stayed with Motorola after Google bought them. Stayed a little bit longer after Google sold them but now he’s moved over to Google which is interesting. He’ll be running Google Hardware division which means Rick will be charge of the new Google Home among other things. Lenovo has decided they’re going to go all in on the less expensive Moto G family. They’ve got three of those. And I’ve seen some talk about a Moto Pure which is an interesting idea. They made the Moto X pure. The reason they’re calling it the Moto Pure is it’s going to be a pure Google experience. It’s not going to have any other stuff on it. And I think there’s a market for that in Android. Especially with the Android N coming soon. People are going to want to be able to get the latest versions of Android software. Western Digital bought SanDisk. Don’t know what that means. The hard drive market has just collapsed into a just a handful of companies. 16—get ready for this. $16 billion dollars. SanDisk of course makes SSDs and Flash cards that are probably the premier Flash cards in the market. $16 billion dollars.
Clayton: The Facebook news this week.
Leo: What’s that?
Clayton: Well a meeting. A big meeting.
Leo: Oh, yea, yea. Glen Beck—oh, this was really a surprise. So Facebook after getting accused of steering its trending topics away from conservative stories, denying it of course. And there was only one anonymous curator of trending news that claimed it. And I don’t think there’s a lot of evidence that Facebook was doing that. Although their algorithms are not as automated as one would think. There are humans involved and of course human judgement means there will be bias as well.
Owen: There’s a little something to that. They come out and say, “We don’t have people do anything.” And then the very next day—
Leo: They do.
Owen: Some people are doing some stuff. That’s a smoke screen in itself so don’t—when you put it in that there’s only one person. It only takes one person to snitch.
Owen: For it to be somewhat of the truth, so—
Clayton: Well they took this very seriously. That is a very good point. They took this very seriously because at the meeting, I had a couple of close friends at the meeting and when you walk in and Sheryl Sandberg is there, Zuckerberg is there, Peter Thiel was there. They’re taking this very seriously.
Owen: As well they should.
Clayton: And they admitted as much. They said, “Look, this is not perfect. This is in Beta. There’s a couple of different products in play here. Obviously the trending topics on the right sidebar is different from the Newsfeed but yes, it’s not perfect.”
Leo: And so unexpected too. Because Glenn Beck, the conservative pundit who was also there, lambasted the other conservatives there for a witch hunt. He said, “What disturbed me about the Facebook meeting” in ways you wouldn’t think of at all. He said, “We are really kind of lynching Facebook.”
Clayton: Well look at—so, look at Glenn Beck, right. He’s had to lay off 40 employees. His company’s basically going under, his network. And maybe he sees an opportunity to be a millionaire. Say, “You know what? Hey, is Facebook interested in some sort of olive branch?” Maybe wants to buy the Blaze. Maybe we could get some sort of streaming partnership involved here? Kind of come up with some ideas. It was odd. And I don’t know. I found that moment odd.
Leo: So you think he parted ways with his conservative colleagues on this. That this was maybe an attempt to curry favor with the other guys.
Clayton: I think that was the sentiment that came out of the room certainly that they were in some sort of shock that he was kissing up to them as much as he was. That was certainly the news that came out of that room.
Leo: He said it was, this was the quote, “It was like affirmative action for conservatives. When conservatives start demanding quotas and diversity training and less people from Ivy League colleges. I sat there looking around the room at ‘our side’ wondering who are we? Who am I?”
Owen: Well the real question is who are you? You’re anybody that can be bought for anything. That’s not—
Leo: (laughing) Ok.
Owen: So when your ship is thinking and you see somebody coming by with a cruise liner for Lord’s sake, yes, you’re going to be down with the cruise liner. You’ll say anything to get aboard that boat. But little do you know, we already know he’s a zombie and the living dead and they’re not going to let him on that boat. But at least he tried. I can’t knock the man for a valiant effort to say, “Hey, you want to have more conservatives on? If you guys promote me and the Blaze then nobody can really ever say that you’re squandering people’s sanity because obviously if you’re showing me, you back insanity.”
Leo: Well there’s nothing, no doubt at all that we have to be very—both Facebook and Google and to a lesser degree Twitter, carry a huge amount of responsibility. That you know, they could for instance easily throw the election one way or another should they decide to. I think in every case these companies really want to toe the line, don’t they, Clayton? Or do you not think that that’s the case?
Clayton: Toe the—well—
Leo: Toe the line’s the wrong phrase. Go right down the middle.
Clayton: Right and I think that’s what came out of this meeting was look, what we want is—the way that I understood it from the people who were in the room were saying Zuckerberg explained if we allowed for truly the algorithm to do its job. That’s it, no human sort of curation of what is really a trending topic, also what is appropriate for the newsfeed, you know the clickable, sharable things. He said, “Lunch would be a trending topic every day at noon.”
Clayton: Because that’s what people are always typing in. So every day at noon, the word lunch would be the top trending topic. Ok.
Leo: Is there anything wrong with that?
Clayton: Well Twitter tried that right, until they started moving into Twitter Moments and realizing that “Well does anyone want to see all of these random hashtags that are always populating?”
Leo: But isn’t it really risky if they start curating it because bias will in either direction will come in.
Clayton: Right and it’s apparent that whether or not this is true, one sort of liberal on the algorithm panel or whatever was just trying to keep things off of that trending topic list in a way.
Leo: Maybe not even intentionally. Maybe just subconsciously. You know that’s where your biases sneak in, your unconscious.
Georgia: Yea, and we all have them. Anything that’s going to be curated by humans is going to have bias. You try to do an impartial news story. You’re still coming at it from a certain end. I do therapy. I have to always check out my unconscious biases that may come into therapy by my own views of ways that I’m going to be able to deal with it. I think that unfortunately the AI is still—we need to have something that’s going to be overlooked by humans. If not, it’s going to be very dull and trending topics will no longer be useful and no one’s going to look at them. But I think that it is something that we should be checking for. But yea, like you know, to think that anything is going to be completely unbiased is impossible to achieve in the first place. So you know, they have to take a look at it and I think that good for Glenn Beck for jumping on at the perfect moment where, you know what, you end up supporting me and that will show that you are definitely not biased. So I think that was just a smart move on social engineering.
Owen: And Facebook should have made a statement similar to that. Again, it’s the biggest thing when these companies sit around with these expert panels, these PR people and they don’t know how to tell the truth and to be honest. And they come up with their schemes and their plans knowing that everything comes out at the end of the day. If they would have made any kind of remote statement that she said, “Hey. Sometimes we have bias on a panel. We’re going to look into it.” People accept that. But when you come out and say, “No humans.” And the next day you say, “10 humans.” Like you just lose all trust factor. I don’t care about anything you say after that. Because in their mind, lying.
Clayton: That’s a great point. And one of the other things that came out of this meeting was the idea of diversity and this idea of well if you’re going to have 21-year-olds out of Silicon Valley all sort of curating this news then it’s going to be group think. And so Glenn Beck was blasting the other conservatives in the room for sort of calling for diversity. Since when did we start talking about quotas and all these sorts of things? And the other conservatives in the room were saying, “You know we’re not talking about just skin color here.” Like that diversity is actually deeper than ethnicity.
Leo: Oh, yea, heaven forbid you talk about skin.
Clayton: Susan Rice for crying out loud, National Security Advisor for President Obama saying, “Look, you know the National Security Team, it’s all typically white, male, go to Yale.” And so maybe not the white part so much is as important as that sort of group Yale think. Like what if you had different viewpoints across the country that were influencing this news feed or what’s being curated? So those sort of institutional biases but then also that life experience bias might be completely different if you live in Dayton, Ohio than you do San Francisco.
Leo: This is the problem that you have when—and I think this has happened. Facebook moved from a social media, social network into media media.
Clayton: Right. And one of the biggest in the world.
Leo: Yea, very powerful overnight.
Owen: That’s the thing that drives me crazy about Facebook. Facebook is playing this chicken and the egg game of when something goes wrong, oh well we’re not media. But then they live the rest of their lives force feeding the ultimate media down your throat. And again, when you talk about a diversity panel, what’s a diversity panel? Are you going to have one person in every state of each ethnicity and each generation so you need a 30-year-old, a 40-year-old, a 50-year-old. I mean how are you going to figure out—
Leo: Let’s be fair though. Facebook’s interest in not currying, not leaning one way or the other, but giving you, getting you to read more Facebook. That’s all they really care about. They’re completely agnostic. And should be if they’re going to do their business right, right? So they should show liberals liberal stuff. They should show conservatives conservative stuff.
Clayton: Here’s the other thing. No, go ahead, Owen.
Owen: Look that’s what I was going to say.
Leo: In a perfect world which it’s not.
Clayton: Also part of it, you know the idea that the news feed needs to be curated. I mean you’re curating it yourself, right, by the people—if you, for instance if you only watch like MSNBC, that’s the world you live in, right, you are probably going to have friends that are like that and so those are the pages you’re going to like. That’s going to pop up in your news feed. It’s going to reinforce your own world beliefs, your own world biases, right. If you have a conservative viewpoint you might click on and like certain things. You know you might have libertarian views whatever that happens to be. You might like Gary Johnson. You might like who knows. But those things are going to bubble up to the top of your news feed and you’re probably going to unfollow people you don’t agree with. So you’re curating your own environment. And you’re creating your own cloud. I’m curious how much of Facebook’s influence is in that world, in the things that you’re curating. We know that they have, they split test moods and sentiment over the years and they kind of got some backlash for seeing that people were angrier during certain times because they were putting angry content and you know shootings and things like that into their news feed to sort of test that. And that’s the kind of stuff that I find troubling.
Owen: Check any post—I was going to say, just check any post. I fully agree with what you’re saying but it also doesn’t work that way because if you go to a Hillary Clinton post right now, you’re going to get the she’s a witch, she’s heaven sent and I don’t know what’s going on. And you’re going to get that for each one of these candidates right now. So even though we’re curating people you’re still being force-fed certain things that people just jump on because they’re angry or whatever. So there’s still a really crazy mixture of Facebook is pushing in your face for what they validate as important content.
Georgia: I think it’s really interesting that people claim usually bias and want for diversity when it doesn’t include them. It’s rarely that people are thinking outside the box and wanting to have different opinions and different thoughts and having different ideas. We feel really uncomfortable with other people and other discussions that are usually similar to our own. We don’t really look at it heuristically and see different feelings to that. So it’s kind of interesting that people don’t mind to have news that is their type of news when they curate it but then when they feel like they’ve now been omitted from that dialogue, now they’re saying you know what, it would be really nice to have diversity. But they weren’t doing that for other groups of people, other ways of thought. And so you know that that in of itself is their own unconscious bias.
Leo: I just want to see my friends and family (laughing). I don’t want to see everything else. Isn’t Facebook supposed to be people I know sharing stuff they like and—
Owen: Not when you’re Leo Laporte and you max out your 5,000 count.
Leo: No I don’t. No I don’t. I only follow friends and family.
Owen: Oh, ok. Well not when you’re everybody else besides Leo Laporte and you max out your 5,000 and everybody’s your friend. Billy Joe Josephine from 3rd grade.
Leo: No, I have to know somebody in real life to follow them. Although, I did like, I did like all the presidential candidates both on the left and the right including Gary Johnson because I did want to get more of that in my feed and that actually hasn’t really worked. I’m still getting mostly puppies and kitties.
Owen: You live a good Facebook life.
Leo: It’s unpredictable. I guess that’s the best you can say. Hey this is just opened a great topic of conversation but we really are out of time. And I don’t want to keep you guys past your bed time. It is Game of Thrones night.
Owen: I was already looking at the time. You have 24 minutes.
Leo: Oh, you East coasters. No spoilers, ok?
Owen: We are the best coasters. Philly love.
Clayton: That’s right.
Leo: (Laughing). Hey, yea, I noticed Clayton the whole time wearing a Philadelphia Phillies jersey.
Owen: I was going to wear my Eagles jersey but I didn’t. I should have.
Clayton: You’ve got the Philly soul sound here. It’s Hall to buy Oates.
Leo: (Laughing) All right, Oates. That’s Clayton Morris from Fox & Friends. Great to have you, Clayton. Claytonmorris.com would be the place to go to see all your stuff.
Clayton: Yea, that’s a great place. Claytonmorris.com and link me up there. And if anyone’s interested in anything I’m doing you can go over there. Or download the new podcast too and I’m happy to answer any questions. I love talking to people about investing and everything else. So thank you so much for having me. I always love doing it.
Leo: I’m steering my CFO, my financial manager over there. Lisa, my wife.
Leo: See if she can keep me from eating Alpo in about 10 years. We also (laughing) are thrilled to have Georgia Dow. Everybody should check out everything Georgia does, both at iMore.com and anxiety-videos.com. So nice to have you. And I don’t care if your husband kicked you out of your studio. It was great having you here today.
Georgia: (Laughing) Thank you. Thank you for having me.
Leo: And Rogers of course as soon as the show’s over starts to screw up your signal. This happened every time we talked to Amber as well. Like Skype. Oh, no, you’ve been on Skype too long. Can’t be doing anymore Skype. Thank you, Georgia. And Owen JJ Stone. We call him OhDoctah. There he is with this Flyers shirt. He’s the man. Eagles, the Flyers, the Phillies. It doesn’t matter. If it’s got cheese steak on it, he loves it.
Owen: Can I talk to the people for 30 seconds, Uncle Leo?
Leo: Please. It’s all yours.
Owen: Every once in a while you guys get mad at me and think I bring too much funny and levity to the stories but I want you to remember that on this day, this great day, I held my composure. I brought up Gazelle, the ad reads. I kept the train afloat. Georgia had a wild dream and it intercepted Leo’s mind and then we had a Chewbacca. We had an owl hunt in the woods. And none of it is my fault. I am here for you and Clayton over here is doing it again. You think he’s a Chewbacca mom. People done lost their minds. But not me. I’m here for serious tech news for you today. And TWiT nation, I love you. And I would tell you that TWiT’s in the can, but that’s Leo’s. Tell them, Uncle Leo. Tell them.
Leo: Thank you all for being here! Another TWiT is in the can. Bye-bye everybody.