This Week in Tech 571
Leo Laporte: It's time for TWiT: This Week in Tech. Tom Merritt returns, alog with Christina Warren and Tim Stevens. We'll talk a little bit about Pokemon Go and what it means culturally, about the big news week behind us, and the big news week ahead of us and how new media is going to change how we gather the news. And a little bit about Tesla and more. It's all ahead. This Week in Tech is next.
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Leo: This is TWiT, This Week in Tech, episode 571, recorded July 17, 2016.
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Time for TWiT, This Week in Tech, the show where we cover the latest tech news. I feel like this is going to be a cozy, fun TWiT. It's my buddies, my friends. Christina Warren is here from Mashable. film_girl, always great to see you, Christina.
Christina Warren: Great to be here.
Leo: Yes, you are playing Pokemon Go.
Christina: I'm absolutely playing Pokemon Go.
Leo: Are you catching a Fyero right now?
Christina: I'm absolutely playing Pokemon Go on two different phones with two different accounts because...
Christina: This is problematic. I wanted to start out with a Pikachu and I realized you couldn't do that without starting over a whole new game, and then I started catching Pokemon on the headcount that I didn't have on my other account, so I'm going back and forth.
Leo: You need them both. Got to get them all. Also here, Tim Stevens who is now playing the game. He wasn't when you dialed in ten minutes ago.
Tim Stevens: I succumbed to peer pressure about five minutes ago. I'm now part of the club.
Leo: Oh man. Welcome from theroadshow.com where he covers driving and upper New York State, great to have you, Tim. And my old buddy Tom Merritt is here from dailytechnewsshow.com. You have two, what is this?
Tom Merritt: Daily Tech Headlines is just the headlines. If you're looking for the news in less than ten minutes a day.
Leo: You're doing two shows now.
Leo: Nice. Excellent. Do you do them one after the other?
Tom: I knock Daily Tech Headlines out in the morning. It's audio only. It's for people who want the boiled down headlines and then Daily Tech news show is still the same show it always was.
Leo: I think there's a real market for the quick hit. You know what we're trying to do, and you probably should too, is get on the Amazon Echo as an option for the Daily briefing, you know?
Tom: The Briefing would be perfect for that.
Leo: They don't have enough choices, but I think they're going to add some more. I think that would be great.
Tom: The most important question is are you Team Mystic, Team Valor, or Team Instinct.
Leo: I am Valor. Red. What are you?
Tom: I'm mystic. I'm blue.
Leo: You're valor, Christina?
Leo: Tim, you've got five levels before you have to decide. But let me just point out, red seems to be dominant. There's more valor... Yellow is easily the smallest contingent, so maybe that's the one to choose. Maybe not. Do you want to be on the biggest or the smallest?
Tim: I'd rather be in the smallest, I think. I've got five levels anyway, so people can pitch me any way.
Leo: This is, OK. If you just tuned in and you had high hopes that we would not talk about Pokemon Go... it could be worse. The Republican convention starts tomorrow. We could be talking about that. By the way, I understand the Cleveland convention hall is a poke gym.
Tom: Blue and red become whole different things.
Leo: That means they're different things! Yeah. Yellow could be libertarian. They need green. Wonderful to see you all here, and always fun. In a way, Pokemon Go. I'm getting an Email from people. nice guy, 50 year old guy says "I'm 50 years old. Love you, love the network, please do yourself a favor. Stop talking about Pokemon Go." Usually people say "I will never listen to you again." This one is just, take some advice from me. Take it down a notch. But it's a story, you cannot deny it! Question one, have you guys ever seen anything on this scale of virality?
Tom: Everywhere I go when we're out and about playing it, there are definitely other people playing it. It's not like we're the only ones here.
Leo: Everywhere you go.
Christina: We've certainly seen big viral hits before with games and apps. But other than almost a utility app and an instagrammer or a Facebook or a Snapchat, this is the first time I've seen a game do this, and certainly this quickly. I think this has caught on even faster than any of the social networks we talked about before. Like Tom. When I go out and I'm playing in the streets in New York, I'm not alone. Even the first day, when they launched on a Wednesday night, and that Thursday morning I was walking to my subway stop and I was not the only one who had my phone out playing Pokemon Go and this is six, seven hours after it launched. I can't recall seeing anything this big this fast before.
Tim: It also has some positive aspects. People getting out, walking around, eating out, getting some exercise, meeting each other to capture these things. Obviously some people are having a negative reaction because it is all over every airwave at this point. It is a great story. It's something that's getting people out and doing things and being sociable.
Tom: We've had people cheering, Pokemon woo! It's a positive thing for the people that are playing it.
Leo: When I walk downtown, if there's a lure set, that's a thing that attracts players because you can get more Pokemon faster there. If there's a lure set and you can see it, especially if there's an area where there's several stops within an area that you can go, there's a park over here nobody goes to. Remember Henry Park, Tom, up on the hill there with a cannon?
Leo: Nobody goes there because it's up on a hill, you have to climb stairs to get to this postage stamp park. It's not that interesting, but it has three Poke stops in the park all within reach of one another and people set lures in all three, and there's dozens of people up on this hill that never has anybody but maybe a homeless guy. He's wondering what the hell is going on? This is my house, what are you doing here? You go Team Red, Team Yellow, it's friendly. It looks as you see people walking down the street, a little anti-social, but there is a social component to it.
Christina: This is what is so interesting to me. The original Pokemon game, if you think about it, was pretty social in a virtual sense. You would take a cable and connect your gameboy or Gameboy color, and you could trade Pokemon and battle that way. So there was definitely a social aspect, even though you were obsessed with your screen. With Pokemon Go it's almost the inverse. Whereas you can't do anything. You can say what team you're on, but I can't give you a Pokemon, Leo.
Leo: Soon. I understand. That's coming.
Christina: But I can't do that right now. Instead what I can do, is if I run into Tim and we're in the neighborhood together, we can talk and be like Oh there's one over here. I found one over there. There's a weird thing where you don't have the social aspect inside the game itself, but instead the entire outside world has strangely become more social because we've been a force to converse with one another.
Leo: I kind of love, Friday evening we went to the big city. Santa Rosa. It used to be, in the old days on a warm summer night people would be out. Walking around, and in the last ten years it's gotten not so much. People don't go out any more. It was like the old days. There were all these people out and different generations, families, admittedly they were all staring at their phone, but the question really is, what is this phenomenon. Here is a graph from survey Monkey Intelligence. Repeat daily active users, it has already in less than two weeks the biggest US mobile game ever. Bested Candy Crush, Draw Something. Remember Draw something? That was over in a week. Zynga bought them and them boom. Clash, Slither IO. Easily besting all of those. The real question, I think a lot of the nay sayers say "Two weeks, and it'll be Pokemon Who?" I don't know if that's the case. I think this has legs.
Christina: I think it can continue to add more Pokemon to it, if they can continue to add features. There has been reports that if you go into the code, they're going to have sponsor gyms, like they might have a sponsorship with McDonald's, so every McDonald's location is a gym, if they do add in the social features like being able to battle one another and trade Pokemon with one another, I think that could keep people engaged. Is it going to be this huge phenomenon forever where everybody is doing it? Of course not, but I think that this more than other types of viral hits we've seen have staying power, provided they continue to update the game, get rid of the bugs, continue to unboard new players, because there's something simple about it, it's not a very... huge game. It's not complex at all, it's easy to do, there's not a lot of overhead. The gaming mechanics are really basic, but there's something really fun about it. Not to mention the nostalgia factor for a lot of us, will keep this enduring longer than the draw somethings out there. That's the hope. Hopefully for Nintendo's sake they can draw this out until the real Pokemon game comes out in the fall and gets that customer base excited.
Leo: Nintendo's stock...
Tom: I wonder what the bottom of that is. It will definitely not stay at this new everyone is interested in it level. Will they be able to sustain a certain number of people that will always be outed in the parks and you'll always see the Pokemon Go people or will it go more towards what Ingress became, yeah there's people playing it but you don't notice them.
Leo: Nintendo's stock got huge jumps. Does Nintendo benefit from this? Didn't they sell the Pokemon property off to the Pokemon company?
Tom: They own 33% of the Pokemon company. Isn't that right, Christina?
Christina: That is correct. They licensed, they own the Pokemon characters and the Pokemon company handles the licensing. Pokemon company works with Niantec. They get some money from this game. What this really helps them more than anything though is the fact that people are talking about Nintendo in a positive way. We're not being like, "OK E3. We saw Zelda and that was it. There's a console coming out that no one is that excited about." Instead we're all stoked about the fact that a Nintendo property is doing game busters on a hand held and people like me are thinking how much better would this game be if this was a fully robust Pokemon experience from Nintendo and not licensed? It makes you hope and cross your fingers and go "Please Nintendo, seriously consider making mobile first games that are not dedicated solely to your console or handhelds."
Leo: That's the question. Who benefits from this? Niantic is really taking a property ingress that it created. It's just skin. Basically. Ingress. Made it much more appealing, much more friendly, and they benefit because the players of Ingress were the ones who established all these Pokemon Stops and gyms way back when. It's interesting. In Petaluma, the places of interest, Poke Gyms are mostly murals. Not so much buildings, they're weird. It's because of Ingress. I don't understand how it happened. The company started, in 2010 it was called Keyhole. John Hanke, Mr Hanke I like to call him. Formed it. Google bought Keyhole, Keyhole was Satellite imagery. Google added the keyhole satellite imagery to Google Maps and Google earth. I guess what happened is once they were internal at Google, the engineers, Hanky and a couple of engineers created Niantic labs. That was a Google company. Ingress was one of those cult hits, it never broke out but was, can you still play it? It's still around. I think they learned a lot from Ingress. Licensed Pokemon characters and created Pokemon Go. Does Google, Google spun it out.
Tom: They have a stake in it. Nintendo has a stake in one side, Google has a stake in the other, and Apple is getting 30% of all in game transit.
Christina: Everybody is making money.
Tim: It's all run by the CIA if you listen to the conspiracy theory.
Leo: What are the privacy implications? There was a misstep early on where you could use your Google account and most people did because the Pokemon trainer accounts were blocked like crazy because there were so many people using it. They signed up with Google and the way it was set up was incorrect and it gave them full Google permissions, which is typically only given to browsers and operating systems. Niantic said that was a mistake, they patched it. It's been patched all around. It now does the normal permissions that any game might do using the features of Google. But, there still persists these concerns, for instance, people saying Yeah. You're just handing your continuous GPS coordinates over to some strange company that might be handing it over to the CIA. Is there a privacy concern.
Tim: I don't think so. Personally, I think people aren't aware of how much that data is already being tracked.
Leo: Google already knows everywhere you are. All you have to do is look at your Google dashboard, you can see everywhere you've been, your location history unless you've disabled it.
Tim: Anytime Google predicts navigation for you and says, "hey are you trying to go here? I'll give you directions." Obviously Google has already figured it out.
Leo: They know where you live.
Tim: They know where you're going before you even get there. This sort of thing doesn't bother me, as long as users are getting something out if it. Obviously people are having a good time with it, so that's fine. It's not a problem for it. I think it's something that people are still slowly getting around to the idea that the phones know a lot more about them then they think they do.
Tom: The key is always transparency. As long as I know that it's collecting data about me, and in this case I know that Pokemon Go is collecting location data because it can't work otherwise, I know what they're going to do with it, then I have the right to either play the game or not. What was disturbing is that when you did log in with a Google account, it didn't say would you like to give full permission, it just signed you up and gave full permission. I'm still waiting for Google to explain how any authentication could ever give full permission even by accident without alerting the user that it was about to do so.
Leo: That's a good point.
Christina: To me, that was the reason they had to patch it so quickly and came back with their response so quickly. That wasn't just a violation... I think that's technically a violation of Google's API's. There's supposed to be a pop up that says this is what you give and this is what it can do. In fact, that's what the Google account login says. It can say, "we cannot access your account. But we know your email address and we're... it didn't give you any of that before, and I think that's a violation of Google's policies around their login. It is certainly a violation of app store rules, because the app store is very clear at least on IOS, this is where the problem was on the IOS side that if you're taking permission for some sort of other third party login, you've got to display what's happening to the user, and the fact that it wasn't was problematic and it makes you think, at least to me, I'm going how many other apps are out there that are using Google tokens that don't show the proper modal window?
Leo: You could find out. You go to your account access and you can see it. The good side of this is they brought a lot of people to the Google page to see what apps have permissions, what the permissions were, and to turn off any apps that they didn't want to continue with those permissions. I of course immediately turned of Niantic and re-signed up. You'll notice they...
Tom: That app that's not been around in years, why does it still have permission? Get it out.
Leo: Do it with Twitter and Facebook too. These single sign on systems, you want to make sure you prune those periodically. So there's a benefit I guess. One thing that struck me is it's a shame Google didn't come up with this before Google glass fizzled out. Glass would have been perfect for Pokemon Go.
Christina: Totally. Already we've seen somebody who has a demo setup of how it could work with Hololens and obviously Hololens isn't perfect for Pokemon Go because you're tethered to your device. To me this kind of proves that eventually, it did not, this particular game, other types of games will be able to take advantage of this stuff and this sort of augmented reality kind of world.
Leo: It's faux augmented reality.
Leo: In fact, most people by now have turned it off to save battery life and to make it easier to catch Pokemon, but it was cool. It spawned a million Instagram shots of Pokemon in your world. I also think there is an icebreaker. It's going to make people a little bit more comfortable with the idea of technology in the real world and an interface between technology and your real environment.
Tom: This is what people will look back and say "augmented reality broke through into public consciousness with Pokemon Go." Because now you can say, if someone says "What's augmented reality?" You can say Pokemon Go. A large percentage of people will say, OK. I get it now.
Leo: It makes us more comfortable with walking around. I guess we already were somewhat with maps, but maybe more so, walking around interacting with our real world using our device.
Christina: I think the difference is the map in this situation, it's a utility and so you're trying to find a place to go, and you're not, you know... you're not that self-conscious about it. This as people are becoming less and less self-conscious about the fact that they've got their phone out and are looking for Pokemon in the middle of the world, I think will lessen the stigma for future types of games like this.
Tom: We were pulled over this side of the world at a Poke stop and having fun watching people walking down the sidewalk looking at their phones and trying to say, "OK. Just on their phone or Pokemon?" You could tell because they would stop and start spinning and catching Pokemon or whatever. But it made me aware of how many people walk around looking at their phones who weren't playing.
Leo: It feels like this is somehow qualitatively as well as quantitatively different from anything we've ever seen before. It's hard to say exactly what it means. For instance, we know now that self-driving cars and Uber and many of these vehicles that are mapping the world have all sorts of utility for the company that owns them. What can Google do, because Google gets the data, right? The stack goes through Google. They're using Google code, they're using the maps. All the data is going through Google. What can they do with that?
Christina: I guess they could look at certain types of Gathering patterns. See what sorts of people are nearby, what times they'll congregate. What types of... how people will move through things. I would just think pattern data would be one of the things they could get. Yeah.
Tom: It's a little bit clouded by it's only data of people playing the game. Versus something like Waves, everybody is driving. You can't tell if that is normal for that area or just because it happens at a gym. There's something there for sure in being able to tell population clusters and which stops and gyms get the most traffic.
Tim: And the revenue opportunities as well comes to creating deals and the getting some money off of a drink if you're playing Pokemon Go, that kind of thing, which is ultimately where this happens.
Leo: Huge money in this. They haven't begun to tap the gold mine that is this game.
Christina: The only real challenge they're going to have is still really hot. I'm not like some of the skeptics that think this is going to disappear overnight, I think this is going to last longer, but they've got to start turning on that monetization spigot ASAP beyond in app purchase stuff. While you've got people engaged, start making the money. Don't fall into the trap of Zynga and Draw something as you were mentioning before and not taking advantage of it while people are out there.
Tom: One of the parallels is Blizzard in that you have to keep adding things to the game like they did with World of Warcraft to say OK. It's not just enough to have an MMO, how do you keep people playing it? Pokemon Go is going to have to figure that out as well.
Leo: I think we are smarter about this kind of thing. I think a lot of, these guys are thinking hard about this. It's not a complete accident that this game is such a success. They learned from Ingress, this is not accidental. Timing might be accidental. Timing greatly benefitted, because we were all a little depressed over the last couple of weeks and having something fun that brings us out of our houses, had a salubrious effect psychologically. At least in the US, but I would guess around the world.
Tim: Getting out of school as well. Pretty good timing there.
Leo: Summer time.
Christina: Now everybody is out of the summer.
Leo: Can't keep the servers up. That's the biggest frustration. That could hurt them. Right? People get frustrated and say I'm not playing this dumb game, although I don't see that happening.
Tom: That's the magical thing, right? By all respects, people should have abandoned this game because it's unreliable, but people keep playing it anyway.
Christina: It is just like early World of Warcraft days. You get in and you're like I'm never logging out again, because I'm on right now. I'm never getting off again, and you continue to hammer and open the app until you get in, but you're right. By all accounts we should have been like screw this, but instead we're like, "No please, please."
Leo: But given the amount of money they're already making... early estimates were 2 million dollars a day, I would say it's an order of magnitude greater than that today, so they're clearly making plenty of money. Why can't they keep the servers up?
Tom: It's like anything else. You can never properly estimate a hit. When you've got something that's successful, it will always go past what the system administrators expected because you can't test a hit until you have a hit, and I assume that's what's going on.
Leo: They initially slowed the roll out, they went to Australia, New Zealand, they seem to have turned the steam back on. Probably, Christina, as you point out , they want to capitalize on this before it goes away, so they went to Germany, Spain, the UK, and Italy, and now 26 more countries, Austria Bulgaria, Croatia, Cypress, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Greenland, Hungary, Iceland. Iceland! Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Lutvia, Luxenberg, Malta. It's not in Russia.
Christina: All of Europe basically. Wonder when it's coming to Asia. That's going to be the really interesting test.
Tom: Hopefully by the end of August, because I'm going to Japan.
Christina: I wonder how many people in Japan, they're so obsessed with Pokemon anyway...
Leo: Oh my god, it would kill the servers. A hundred percent would play. You'd have 100% penetration. When are you going to Japan?
Tom: End of August, first week of September.
Leo: You must report back.
Leo: You'll be on the front lines of the Pokemon mania in Tokyo. It'll be insane!
Tom: Hopefully I can master all the gyms because I've already been playing for a long time.
Leo: Lots of concerns. A lot of hate going on. People who aren't playing hate it. It's gotten almost to the point where you're walking around playing it and people are being rude. I had an older fellow go "hey." He was like 20 feet away. He said, "I don't want you to run into me." OK, I won't run into you. I actually had the presence of mind to say, "Sir if I run into you, you wil know it." Which was rude, because I understand how they feel. It must be really frustrating and annoying if you don't get it. All these people are doing it. What's wrong with you people. It's like Invasion of the Body snatchers!
Tom: It's bad enough when everybody is walking around looking at their phones, which is already happening. Now you unexpectedly stop and are so absorbed that they don't realize the traffic is flowing around them, so yeah it takes a little bit of self-responsibility to say if you're playing this, pull over to the side of the sidewalk get out of the way of traffic. Don't keep walking while you're battling, et cetera.
Leo: You've all seen the amazing video from central park where a rare Pokemon shows up and the crowd stampedes and what is amazing in this video is right at the beginning of it, you see a guy who is in the street jump out of his car and abandon it, leave it, just run away. What was the Pokemon they saw? I don't know. It was rare. A Vaperion. Watch. Let me roll it back a little bit. This guy gets out of the car and leaves it. He's just running into the park! Look everybody is taping it. It was a Vaperion. Is that even that rare?
Leo: Ask my expert. That's an evolved Evie, so if you have an Evie, you're going to get a Vaperion eventually. But man it'll save you some time. Evie's evolve into a whole bunch of stuff, so.
Christina: What's amazing is there were people who were playing and wanted to do it, and then there were probably because it's central park and you see people running, they're like Oh my god, what's happening, I have to be part of this. People who were wanting to play the game, and people who were like Oh, crowd is moving must follow must record.
Leo: It was a flash mob.
Leo: So far the good news is not too many people have been hurt. A couple of guys walked off a cliff. Probably there were other circumstances involved. You have to be pretty oblivious to walk off a cliff.
Tom: It is not normal expected behavior in this game.
Leo: It doesn't urge you to walk off cliffs.
Christina: Not even close.
Leo: Very early on a young woman found a body in a river.
Christina: That's not the game's fault.
Leo: It was a good thing.
Christina: It was a good thing. Where did that happen, Montana?
Leo: The good news is those guys suffered injuries, but they didn't die. They're OK. Probably great injuries to their ego, their pride. That's just dumb.
Tom: Cliffs implies road runner, Wile E Coyote, this is a beach where it was a sand break that fell down.
Leo: That's one of the things that's going to be a side effect. This is a lot of media hysteria about how people do stupid things.
Christina: We're all watching for it. And last week there were the robberies, which was... I think my tag line when I had to write about that was this is why we can't have nice things, because people go to Poke stops to ambush people and rob them. Although at this point it might get harder to do that, as stops become more popular, more and more people are going to show up and you might be, if you're trying to jump someone and there are twenty Pokemon Go players around it might not be the best thing.
Leo: It's good for our downtowns. Here is a public service I give you. MMOServerStatus.com.
Tom: I couldn't get to MMOServerStatus.com.
Leo: It shows you ping times in not all the regions, but in the most of the regions. Right now in the UK, Spain, Germany and Italy, and Portugal but it's going right in the US, Australia, New Zealand and other regions. It's just bizarre. I feel like they ought to know. They ought to know how to scale up. The problem is you can't buy enough servers.
Tom: There's also reports of a DDOS attack.
Leo: Is that credible? That was from a hacker team, what are they called, some silly name. Poodle Corp. Poodle Corp took credit.
Tom: D Doses are easy to perform and they're also easy to take credit for, so who knows? I wouldn't doubt that someone has tried it, whether it's the reason for this or not, who knows.
Leo: From the hill.com, Pokemon Go craze swarms Capitol Hill. Not just tourists but staffers.
Christina: You know that the staffers and the interns, this is what they're doing right now.
Leo: Fortunately our members of congress are probably not playing Pokemon Go. But only because they have Blackberries.
Christina: No they don't. Most of them have iPhones.
Leo: Here's Lynn Jenkins, she's a member of Congress. Things I've caught in my office. Mice and this. A sparrow.
Tom: You might want to play Pokemon for the demographic.
Leo: It would be good for your career. Here's the US marines. Found a Pikachu. Got to catch em all.
Christina: Remember that photo of John McCain playing solitaire on his phone or some sort of game on his phone during the senate, someone caught him on his iPhone and I would, if I were people on C Span right now, that's what I would be doing. Looking for shots of the galleys to see who is playing Pokemon Go while sitting in Congress.
Tom: Whose fingers are going up regularly on their phones.
Leo: Of course, John Ledger immediately jumping on this. Zero rating on Pokemon Go, if you're a T Mobile customer you get free Pokemon Go data for a year. It doesn't use that much data I would guess.
Tom: And you have to do their crazy Tuesday app to get it too. It's not even that much data, just make it for all the subscribers. Come one.
Leo: Come on.So what, I Have to download an app? The Tuesday... what's it called? T Mobile Tuesdays...
Christina: It's a deals app. Then you can claim the free data thing. You've got until August ninth to claim the free data for Pokemon Go for a year. It uses ten or twenty megabytes an hour or something.
Leo: I checked. It wasn't too bad.
Christina: Most users are probably fine. Give it to T Mobile for biting a hot trend and capitalizing on it.
Leo: By the way, who do they have introducing T Mobile Tuesday? D J Khaled. He knows. John knows how to jump on every gosh darn trend there is. Hey, it's DJ Khaled. I just wanted to tell you.
Tom: Don't play yourself, Leo.
Leo: He's a Snapchat star, mainly, right? I still don't get it.
DJ Khaled: Free stuff and epic prizes. This Tuesday and another one. Just for being you. I love that. Tuesday is the new Saturday, and Saturday is still itself. Bless all.
Leo: Bless all. I really, sometimes I feel disoriented. I guess I understand how non Pokemon Go players feel. I feel like the world has left me behind. I look at DJ Khalled and I go, my time here is almost over.
Tom: Do you follow him on Snapchat?
Leo: I do. That's even more baffling. What the what? What am I seeing here?
Tom: Secure your bag. Good.
Leo: I just think my time is almost over, and I don't understand the world anymore. I guess that's what happens. When you get to a certain age, I now understand it. When you get to a certain age you look at the world and go yeah. I guess it's over for me. I no longer understand anything.
Tom: You just need to get DJ Khaled to swing by the TWiT studios and talk.
Leo: Explain it all to me.
Tom: I like that.
Leo: So you guys are all in the DJ Khaled group here. You understand it, right? Because you're young people.
Tim: I'm border line in that case. I'm mildly confused.
Christina: I met him a Beyonce concert and did take a selfie with him. It was one of those things where I am in the vicinity of famous people I'm not a fan girl and I'm not like, "take a selfie with me," but I figured if I was in a suite with DJ Khaled, I'm going to walk up to you and get a selfie. He looked up from his phone for two seconds got the selfie, went straight back to his phone.
Leo: Bless up. I don't know. The lingo. Last time you were on you did Taylor Swift lyrics. How do you stay so young, Tom Merritt?
Tom: Eileen. My wife introduces me to that stuff.
Leo: She has to. She's at the YouTube facility in LA. She's seen them all. She's learning it. Let's take a break. Tom Merritt is here from the Daily Tech news show, great to have you Tom, once again. Glad to see the fireplace is still there. Still in tact. How's the dog?
Tom: Dog's are great.
Leo: And Eileen of course. Miss her. From Mashable, the wonderful Christina Warren. She's Film_Girl on the Twitter. And is Twitter still happening, or is Pokemon Go going to supersede Twitter? It's all over now, right?
Christina: We are in a Pokemon Go universe and to me great displeasure, my Pokemon Go name is not film_girl because they won't allow underscores. I'm Christinamon. It's a whole new brand for me, I'm starting over.
Leo: I'm sorry, did you say? I have to get this rattata. I'm Chief TWiT. What's your handle, Tom?
Tom: It's Ace Detect.
Leo: Good, you got it. Tim, have you come up with a clever handle for your Pokemon Go?
Tim: I'm Zap Rowsdower. Mystery Science Theatre 3000 nerd.
Leo: I don't even know how to spell it, but I like it. It doesn't matter at this pont because you can't communicate, although there's all sorts of rumors they're going to put messaging in, all sorts of different stuff.
Tim: Soon we'll be promoting our articles on Pokemon Go.
Leo: Pokemon Go instant articles.
Christina: It's going to be a thing.
Leo: I want to take a break. When we come back, let's talk about the news. Now longer belongs to traditional media. It belongs to Twitter and Facebook and we got a Republican convention coming up, starting tomorrow, and I have a feeling Facebook is going to be a big player in this. Twitter wants to be too. We'll talk about it when we come back. Leo Laporte and This Week in Tech, our show to you today brought to you by our friends at Citrix who do GoToMeeting. Oh man, I love GoToMeeting. Best way to step up your meeting game, take your meetings to the next level. If you're in business, you're going to be doing the conference calls, you're going to be doing the meetings. The best way to start a conference call, GoToMeeting. You can do the conference call, but then should it happen you want to share a screen, show a Powerpoint, collaborate on a document, it's right there. You turn on your camera, suddenly you're seeing the people you're meeting with, you can be a meeting MVP. It's like you're right there. No matter where your clients or colleagues are, anywhere in the world. It's easy you can start a meeting with one click, with the GoToMeeting software, if you're using Outlook for instance, you go click, send out the invites if the meeting is ready. It's so easy. You can even do it from a desktop, but hold a meeting on your iPad for instance. Use your webcam to see your colleagues in HD, share your screen to get on the same page, pass off presenter duties with ease, you can even send private chats and video links. Hey, I just got a Pidgie. GoToMeeting, be kind of fun to do a Pokemon Go, looks like they're doing it right there. Pokemon Go GoToMeeting. It's a Pokeball. Now's the time to put on your best performance, be a meeting MVP and start it free at GoToMeeting.com right now. Click the "try it free" button. GoToMeeting.com, and we thank them so much for their support of This Week in Tech. I was watching, seems like every day a new fresh bad news story, this morning get up watching CNN, police shooting in Batton Rouge, first thing you see, vertical video from Facebook live, was a trending topic on Facebook live before it was on TV. Facebook live was a big part of last week's news, watching the Turkish Coup, or whatever happened in Turkey because it seems unclear at this point, prime minister Erdoğan uses Facetime, and then the coup plotters, as always the first thing you do is shut down the TV and radio and now Facebook and Twitter, although they didn't do it completely. As a result, lots of video coming to the rest of the world on what was going on in Turkey. Whether it was a real coup or a fake coup. I don't know what the question here is. I guess, is this a partnership between old media and new media? Or is new media going to supersede old media. CNN out of luck here? NBC, CBS, the conventions coming up this week, are people going to be watching on Twitter?
Christina: Twitter hopes so.
Tom: BitTorrent hopes they'll be watching on BTN, and Twitch hopes they'll be watching on Twitch.
Leo: Twitch is doing the Republican convention?
Tom: They're going to carry streams of the Republican and Democratic conventions.
Leo: Wow. But in the case of Twitter, the streams coming from mainstream media, it's coming from CBS. How about Twitch, where is it coming from?
Tom: I don't know. I don't know what their source is.
Leo: They're owned by Amazon. Maybe Amazon has got a network.
Christina: Washington Post TV. I think that it's partnerships for now because obviously there are infrastructures that exist on both sides that don't exist on the other. You have the technology infrastructure if you're on Facebook or Twitter and you have the media reach and the cameras and the talent and if you're some of these other places. It benefits everybody that they're working together, but all kinds of companies are trying to get the eyeballs and that is certainly not a good thing if you're the more traditional CNN of the world, although I think CNN is probably shifting the way that it counts its ratings and its impressions of things and says we can get people watching on our Facebook live stream or if we can get people watching through an app or through another source, then we'll count that towards our total that we sell versus however many people are tuning in to the traditional broadcast feed.
Leo: You're our canary in the coal mine, Christina. How are you going to be watching? With Twitter by your side on a television?
Christina: Twitter probably. Facebook. That's been the case for a little while. The last election we saw this a lot too where you saw the older media partnering with the debates for YouTube Twitter, and Facebook. Now we're seeing more of that and obviously we have the live video component that we didn't really have those infrastructures before where you could really broadcast and consume the stuff that way. I anticipate I'll be watching a lot of the speeches through Twitter or through Facebook. We have TVs in our office at Mashable that are tuned in to the different news networks, but I think most of us, it's easier to consume it on the screen that we're already tuned into. I think I'm not alone in that. I think a lot of people when they get home or if they're at the office or something else, it's easier if they have it pulled up in Facebook or they're already browsing anyway. Why not just have video stream going from there?
Leo: One thing that this does is it disconnects the content from its source. For instance, this morning I wanted to see Trump's speech about his VP choice, and there was video. I was probably reading a newsfeed or tech meme. There was video and I clicked it. I'm watching the video, I don't know where it came from, I'm watching the video of this speech and I'm like I would like to chrome cast this because I want to see it on the big screen and there was no button and I realized this isn't YouTube, this is Facebook. I'm watching Facebook video now. It disconnects. You don't know where you saw it. What's the benefit if I'm not viewing it on Facebook, it's imbedded. What's the benefit.
Tom: Right now it's just uptake. They want people to use the platform. Eventually they'll figure out how to monetize that. They already are doing it in small ways to begin with.
Leo: Do they need to be more subtle than traditional media? Traditional media will say we'll be back after this word from our sponsor. YouTube has this middle ground where they slide up a banner, those are annoying, unless you have YouTube Red. Or are they going to get more subtle? How do you monetize if you're Facebook? Especially if it's not on the page. I understand...
Tom: Facebook would like you to answer that question as well.
Leo: I understand if it's on Facebook.com you're going to monetize it because you get the ads on the side, but I notice this is imbedded video. I was reading somebody else's site.
Tom: That's part of the calculation, I think. Even if you're not always watching it on Facebook, if enough people are using it, that's bringing people to Facebook.
Christina: Yeah, and they can probably grab some demographic information from the imbed anyway. There's some ad co-share where they can get some information about the location and maybe something from your browser cookie that can add to their demographic information for those side bar ads that you'll see. I think that the short answer and Tom would know better than I would, but I think obviously there's pre-roll would be an easy thing for them to do. Once it comes to imbeds that are already happening on the stream, I don't know if they want to do the YouTube route of doing the pop under and overlay or what. I think right now they're trying to get as many people watching as possible. They'll worry about making money off of the video component later. That's going to be there. That opportunity will be there for them. I think the big thing is they want as many people as possible using their platform to broadcast, because that really helps, showing "Hey, we've got people who are using their phones and are capturing these major events, whether they're positive or negative using Facebook live. That's a big thing. The secondary thing is whether they're watching it imbedded in a stream on a web page or if they're on Facebook.com.
Leo: We used to say that the advantage Google had is as long as you use the Internet more, you would make money. You can't say that about Facebook. You can't say as long as you use the Internet, Facebook will make money. Or can you?
Tom: You can say as long as you use Facebook more, Facebook will make money. Because Facebook is trying to make itself the Internet.
Leo: It is the Internet. For a lot of people, that's probably true.
Tom: Twitch doesn't say exactly where the streams are coming from, but they say they're partnering with the parties, so I assume it's a pool feed that the parties provide from the conventions and they're doing it as a public service, so it ties into what we're saying here, which is Twitch is doing it to bring eyeballs and maybe just use our platform. The other interesting thing is they're letting you as a Twitch user re broadcast that with your own commentary and streams on your Twitch channel.
Christina: That's actually interesting. That teaches that the pool feed concept which has been around for a long time and that truly does democratize it. Before you added that part, Tom, I didn't understand why Twitch would care because I would think the typical Twitch audience isn't going to be as engaged with party conventions as some other things, but if you could add in that commentary factor, that's very interesting, and that's smart on their part. I wonder how many people would use it. That's really smart.
Tim: It's one thing to be able to stream these things, I think that's great, but do people really want political commentary from professional gamers?
Leo: But it doesn't have to be professional gamers. Twitch is now at first when they started they said it has to be gaming content. They've stopped that. It could be any kind of...
Tom: They're opening it up to a lot of different creative types.
Leo: I'd be really curious. Who's on the beach? What journalist is on the beach? When Brian Williams for instance was in purgatory, wouldn't it be interesting if he went to Twitch and said I'm going to do the Brian Williams commentary, maybe nobody watches it, but it's a way to end around the networks.
Tim: That's one of the big things that would be missing from live streams on Twitter or Facebook or who else. It's one thing to sit there and watch C Span, but ultimately it's not going to be a very informative thing if you've never watched these conventions before, and certainly not everyone is going to be able to sit there all day and watch the whole thing anyway. That's what CNN and everybody brings to the table. They have roundups, they bring out the important parts and talk them up, unless you're able to watch all day long and you watched them before. You aren't necessarily able to pick those things out, so I think that's the big advantage for the news networks at this point. But yeah, as we see people being able to re-broadcast these things and cut them up and put together their own highlights, that does bring the democratization to another level for an event like this and it will be interesting to see what comes out of it.
Leo: Tim, where are you going to... what are you going to do? If you wanted to watch the Republican convention, how would... You have a lot of choices now.
Tim: I've actually been, not to be too patriotic to my own corporation here, but I've been enjoying CBSN, our local streaming news network.
Leo: I love that.
Tim: We have actual news commentary and actual people who I trust and respect on there. If I just wanted to tune in and see what's going on, yeah I'll check out Twitter or somewhere else to get the live stream, but just to get what's going on in the news and to launch live events that are happening, I've been using CBSN quite a bit.
Leo: I have a feeling, I hope I'm wrong, I have a feeling there will be a lot going on this week. Maybe even some crazy stuff going on. I'm very worried, because you've got open carry in Cleveland, you can't bring a squirt gun to a protest, but it turns out, along gun, no problem. I'm worried about what's going to happen. Who knows what's going to happen in the convention hall? I think there's going to be a lot of news coming out of there. It'll be interesting to see how, what choices people make. I feel like we're reaching a tipping point. This last three weeks we've seen a very rapid migration to alternative sources for your content.
Tom: Saturday morning, I never turned on a video stream. I essentially consumed the news about the VP announcement on Twitter. I didn't need to have the stream on. I watched the video later, I was getting all different sides, supporters and antagonists giving their opinions as it happened and I felt like I had a richer experience that way. Other times I go to Sling TV, I turn on BBC World News because that gives non US centric opinion, CNN is on there as well, Facebook Live was great when the problems were happening in Istanbul over the weekend. You had all these Facebook live videos coming out of Turkey. They've shut down Facebook so many times in the country people know how to get around it with VPNs, et cetera. So yeah. It's fascinating, the wealth of choices you have to keep up on an event that we've never had before in history.
Tim: Of course if you follow it on social media, you get all the great and logistical...
Leo: In some ways that might not be bad. I almost feel like you're in a control center. I'm thinking, I was six when President Kennedy was shot. There was this unity, the whole nation was watching the same thing. Storekeepers put speakers in their windows, I remember I was walking down Main Street, I was in Providence Rhode Island at the time. You never were outside the radio audio of after those few days. Events happened very rapidly, but you were never, it was the first time you were in the bubble all the time. But we all experienced all the same thing. Now you can re-mix the news at will. You kind of do, don't you? You're doing mash ups as you go.
Tom: It took back then a Kennedy assassination level event to make everyone pay attention at the same time and talk about it. But what happens now is almost to the negative, every event can get that level of coverage but I think the positive side of it is everyone can talk to each other about it, not just whoever you happen to be around at the time.
Leo: I do feel like events are accelerating, right now, something is happening. It's not just Pokemon Go. Right now something is happening, and it's happening in the way we see the world around us. Maybe, I don't know. Is it we geeks who are spending a lot of time sitting in front of screens? I think it's everybody.
Christina: I think it's everyone. We've seen it from all types of people who are broadcasting this stuff and who are reporting on the news and on all parts of the world. I think this is the reality.
Tom: Christina is right. We all have phones now.
Leo: That's right. That's the difference, isn't it? We are all on screens, everybody and not just geeks. I was looking at a New York Times headline from Wednesday and it said another night another shooting on Facebook live, and that was Wednesday. And when they wrote that headline, they probably didn't think Oh and then there would be Thursday and Friday and Saturday too. And Sunday, as it turns out. I just feel like events are snowballing and these forms of coverage are snowballing. It's very interesting by the way that although they tried to shut down social media in Turkey, they could not do it effectively. So as a result, everybody knew what was going on, and Erdoğan was able to say to the people go out on the streets and show your support.
Tom: Erdoğan has shut down social networking so often people have figured out how to get around it.
Leo: That gives me hope for all of the world. Putin last week announced even more Draconian measures banning encryption in Russia, but I have hope for the whole thing that people have figured this out and they will get around it. That technology will in the long run win.
Tim: I think we're going to have to somehow recalibrate ourselves, because we're not used to seeing these events as up close and personal. There's always been some barrier, some buffer, someone saying shocking footage ahead, you may want to tune out, that kind of thing. That barrier is gone now. These sorts of things are in your Twitter feed, they're in your Facebook feed. They're in your face all the time and we're not really used to seeing these things, not used to being able to avoid seeing these things I guess. I think that's something we as a society are going to have to deal with and adapt to somehow. I'm not sure what the solution is or even if there is a solution or if we'll just become more jaded about these things, which will be unfortunate. Ultimately, we've never had this kind of exposure and this kind of insight into these terrible events as we have had over the last few weeks, and it's changing our perspectives on the world at large.
Leo: We talked about this last week on TWiT. During Vietnam, the networks very consciously edited out bloodshed. As a result, we got a sanitized picture of the war, same thing happened in the first Iraq war. It was very sanitized. We saw the shock and awe from a distance, but we didn't see the bloodshed. I think that's changed now and you're going to see the bloodshed and it's shocking. You might be right, we may not be ready for this. There's nobody intermediating now.
Christina: Well, if you've ever seen the classic film network, at a certain point where one of the subjects of that film when it was done in the 70's was satire on the media Industry and now it just looks like a predictor. The whole thing of having a coup stage and murder happening on live television and now that's actually things that are happening. Network has become... ten years ago that was something you could say and point to things happening, but now it literally is happening.
Leo: You don't have to throw up in the window and say, "I'm mad as hell, I'm not going to take it anymore." Just go to Twitter, because that's where everybody is doing it anyway.
Christina: Or doing Facebook live, these things are being broadcast in real time without anybody wanting to censor it. And so it's becoming, whether or not we're ready to see it or not I think. It's a very interesting question. But it's happening.
Leo: I may be wrong but it just feels like there is a significant difference to what's been happening the last couple of weeks and what's going to happen next week and what's going to happen through November in this country than anything we've seen before. And I don't know what the impact, the societal impact of it is. And if the personal impact of it is, clearly it has a personal impact. I mean I think we are more gutted by the things that have happened in the last two weeks than we would have been if we hadn't seen them un-intermediated, seen them directly. That really hit home, didn't it?
Tom: Yea, I 100% agree. I think for good or ill, you can't ignore things by just reading about them in the newspaper. People are shot and killed every day by policemen and policemen are killed, not every day, but regularly by citizens. But they show up as numbers in a column. And so now you actually see what happens and it forces people to pay attention to that. And if you think back, you're talking about in the 60s, the civil rights protests and the water guns being show on television was brand new. Instead of just hearing about something and reading it in the newspaper, you could see it and this is the evolution of that.
Leo: Yea. YouTube—so another thing that happened is the networks stopped doing gavel to gavel coverage of the conventions. When I was a kid, you could literally sit in front of the TV from the 1st gavel to the last gavel and watch everything. I even remember in contestant conventions writing down the votes and keeping track of it and all this stuff. Because I was some sort of weird nerd. But then the networks stopped doing that, right? And then they do a wrap-up with a half hour newscast. Well, we're back to gavel to gavel. In fact, we're back to immersive gavel to gavel. If you want to wear a Gear VR all night, you can. YouTube's going to stream the conventions in 360-degree video.
Christina: It's interesting because I do wonder how many people will actually tune into that. I have a feeling it's a very small number.
Leo: Well you don't want to do it for long. I watched one of the debates that way.
Christina: Yea, I did too and it wasn't a good experience.
Leo: Yea. It's kind of blah. Kind of nauseating actually and I don't know if it was the debate or—
Christina: The battery didn't last very long. Like the battery didn't even last the entire debate as I recall. I had to like stop three quarters of the way through because it like—
Leo: But I saw stuff that I wouldn't have seen because one of the cameras was, like as people were coming on stage and you would see it was very telling, the candidates gear up for their introduction on stage. It's kind of a personal moment. They probably weren't aware of these 360-degree cameras. They're small. They didn't realize that people were watching them. I think that there's a potential here to kind of pierce the image making and see what's really going on.
Tom: It's the learning step, right? You put those cameras in to see what happens and what doesn't work so that you can figure out what are the things that these are good for. And that's one of the things they're good for, yea.
Leo: They're also, YouTube's also going to have people like the Young Turks, Complex News, Seeker Daily, Ingrid Nielson, Mark Watson, Julia Borowski—those are names you may not know but they are—and I don't know many of them, but they're YouTube stars that will be participating in YouTube's coverage. So this is a chance for a new generation of media stars to participate in what was traditionally the realm of Huntly, Brinkley and Walter Cronkite.
Tim: I'm curious to see what their reactions are on these things. I mean as you mentioned, those are great journalists that you just named and obviously they've had a lot of extensive training to be not biased and shooting strait effectively. This new generation of YouTube stars, they obviously have a great following and hopefully they can bring a positive message to it all. But I'm definitely very curious to see what that message is that they bring to the coverage. How straight they can shoot.
Leo: Right. But it doesn't matter anymore, right? First of all that was an illusion that there was objectivity. I mean there was an attempt at objectivity. Now it's like, no, there's no attempt at all. It's advocacy all the way down.
Tom: It would be interesting to see if somebody could do an attempt at responsible coverage. Objectivity is something none of us can achieve 100% of the time but that was what the broadcasters did try to do is attempt objectivity and at least have responsible coverage.
Leo: Boy, what an opportunity for somebody, right? Somebody really smart. Boy, that would be interesting. Somebody like, who's the 538 guy? Nathan Silver, to do something really smart and different. Who could do that?
Tom: It's Silver and Christopher Buckley together.
Leo: (Laughing) I'd love that. Wouldn't you watch Nathan Silver and Christopher Buckley doing gavel to gavel convention coverage? I'd love that. So here's an opportunity instead of doing the same old thing to do something really new and different and find an audience. And that's the other thing that has changed is you don't need 18 million people. I mean we've shown that with TWiT. You can have a niche audience and can do fine. And so, let 100 niches bloom.
Tom: Yea, man, I have way fewer people than TWiT.
Leo: And you're doing fine, right?
Tom: I'm doing ok, yea.
Leo: You're making a living thanks to Patreon and the tools and you've got tools to disseminate and YouTube. You could do this is your living room and do great.
Leo: I think that's, to me, that's very encouraging. That's kind of the promise of all of this. But we'll see. Often the promise just doesn't deliver when it comes to things like national news stories. Taking a break. Come back with more. Tom Merritt, Daily Tech News Show. You should do your gavel to gavel coverage next week.
Tom: I've got a gavel back there.
Leo: (Laughing) You do. I see it. DTNS.com, DailyTechHeadlines.com for the short version, short audio version every morning. From Mashable, it's film_girl, Mashable's Christina Warren. Do you do, you need like a Christina's corner thing.
Christina: I do. I do.
Leo: Where do you do that? Do you do anything like that?
Christina: I mean the closest thing I come to that is I do a podcast called Rocket where we talk about tech. But I don't have my own thing. I should probably start.
Leo: But you see, I mean you look at what Tom's done. It's really great because you build a brand, you build a name. It should be your name. It should be you.
Leo: Yea. I'm just saying. Tim Stevens, he's got The Road Show. I mean theroadshow.com. That's really, I mean I know it's become a big enterprise now. You've got all these people all over the world, Detroit, San Francisco. You going to Paris for the big auto show next week, or two weeks, right?
Tim: Just about a month actually. So, yes, I'll be in Paris for that and then we've got LA coming up not too long after that. I'm going to Tokyo too at the end of, right after Paris actually. So yea, I'm getting all over the place.
Leo: We were thinking we should do some coverage of the LA Auto Show. Is there one show that's more technical than others, like more—I guess that they're all technology now-a-days.
Tim: Yea, they definitely are. Both LA and Detroit are making a big push this year to be the kind of go-to automotive tech show. LA previously had the Connected Car Conference that led into the LA show. Now they've kind of consumed that into the show itself. But Detroit's making a big push this year. They're dedicating a lot of floor space to start up some of the joint area in autonomous cars, that kind of thing too. So it's going to be kind of a fight between the two but the Detroit show's definitely the bigger of the two by far.
Leo: Actually when we come back we should talk about autonomous vehicles. Consumer Reports told Tesla, "You should stop saying that's a self-driving car. That's not the right message." And clearly not. We'll talk about that when we come back a little more in just a bit. Tom Merritt, Christina Warren, Tim Stevens, This Week in Tech.
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Leo: Consumer Reports says, "Hey, Tesla, knock it off." What are they complaining about, Tim Stevens?
Tim: They're complaining about a lot of things actually. This letter that they wrote—
Leo: Isn't it Consumer Reports that said that Tesla was, that the Model S was the best car they ever tested in the history?
Tim: Yea, and that's one of the many reasons that I have a lot of issues with this Consumer Reports over the letter. Consumer Reports first said that the Model S was the best car. It was so good that it broke their scoring system.
Tim: And they actually gave it two slots in their top 5 best cars I think it was of 2015. That's how much they were in love with the Model S. And less than 3 months later, they said, "Actually, you know what? We don't recommend the car after all because of the reliability concerns of a lot of people."
Leo: Not even knock it down a point but don't recommend it.
Tim: Right. It went from the top 2 cars, again Model S had two slots in their top 5, to be not recommended even though in that first recommendation they said, "You know, we were first concerned with reliability but we don't care. It's such a great car." Then they turned around and said, "You know what? The reliability's worse than we thought so we're not going to recommend it after all."
Leo: Is it really that bad by the way? Because I'm about to get a Model X.
Tim: It is definitely- I would get the extended warranty. Yea, there are a lot of people getting battery pack swaps. We've heard there's suspension issues as well. There are definitely concerns about reliability for sure. I don't think it's honestly you know, horribly bad but there are definitely concerns. And a lot of people are going through multiple battery packs in cars. Which thankfully are covered by a very generous warranty.
Leo: Well it's also I'm told a very expensive car to repair, right?
Tim: It is, yea. I mean there are fewer components which is good so maintenance is a lot easier. You won't have to worry about oil changes. Brakes last a lot longer. So in terms of cost of running overall it's probably not that much different from a normal car but the componentry that's in the car of course is very specialized so it's not like you can go down to a local Napa and get some new inductor coils or that kind of thing for your car. It's a very specialized thing. And Tesla makes it very difficult to work on it yourself so everything pretty much has to go back to the Tesla mechanics which definitely add some cost to it.
Leo: So there have been 2 or 3 autopilot crashes. Probably just 2 because now Tesla's saying what was initially billed as an autopilot crash wasn't because Tesla has the telemetry. They said, "No, the autopilot was not turned on." But the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating. Security Exchange Commission investigating some sale of stock issues. And Consumer Reports now writes the letter, quote, this is Laura MacCleery, Vice President of Consumer Policy and Mobilization for Consumer reports. Quote, "By marketing their feature as ‘Autopilot,' Tesla gives consumers a false sense of security. In the long run, advanced safety technologies in vehicles could make our roads safer. But today, we're deeply concerned that consumers are being a pile of promises about unproven technology. ‘Autopilot' can't actually drive the car. But it does allow consumers to have their hands off the steering wheel for minutes at a time."
Tim: The most important thing here is that autopilot in a plane does not fully control the plane. In fact autopilot on a plane is in a lot of ways very similar to the autopilot system that Tesla offers. An autopilot system will not taxi down a runway, will not take the plane off the runway for you. It will control the plane and maintain the heading and it will maintain a course for you and indeed autopilot systems will land the plane for you in many cases as well. But it's not the kind of thing where I would turn on autopilot and go take a nap or go play Go or watch a movie or that kind of thing. In fact there are specific regulations that the FAA has in place about when you can use it and when you should not use it. And a lot of recommendations about using autopilot to effectively reduce the workload of the pilot so they can be paying more attention to things like traffic in the air, inclement weather conditions and that kind of thing. But ultimately the system that autopilot has in planes is not as comprehensive as what most people think. And I think that's where this disconnect is. Tesla is saying, "It's like autopilot in planes." And people think, "Oh, well autopilot flies a plane for you. You don't have to do anything." That I think is where the big disconnect here is.
Leo: But I'm not sure Consumer Reports is wrong because of course if you're a pilot, a commercial pilot, you're highly trained and know exactly what autopilot will and will not do and what your responsibilities are. But Tesla drivers, you know, they just have a driver's license. They've probably never driven a car with these features. By using the word autopilot, you know as a pilot and pilots know that's not what we think it is but can you expect the guy off the street to know what that means?
Tim: Right and I think that's the big disconnect. But certainly when you enable that system in the car, it tells you exactly what it does and does not do.
Leo: Right, it's pretty clear, right? You have to turn it on. It isn't on by default.
Tim: There's a little bit of EULA fatigue there though. I mean people get excited about autopilot and they think that means it will drive the car for you even though it's not what Tesla said. And so they treat it as if it will. And I think that's what Consumer Reports is reacting to. In my opinion, they're overreacting to it. I think Consumer Reports has the right to change their mind and say, "Now that we've seen that the reliability concerns are true, we're going to adjust it." It seems like they're going from one extreme from another though.
Leo: They say that Tesla should disable automatic steering in the cars until it updates the program. Actually what they're really saying is add the feature that says driver's hands must be on the wheel for this to work. Right now, what is it, Tim? You can take it off for a minute or two but eventually it vibrates and buzzes and it slows down.
Tim: Right, it's somewhere between 2 and 4 minutes usually. I don't think there's a set time that Tesla has stated but certainly it's definitely more generous than we have seen in other manufacturers. But one of the points—I wrote a big editorial about this because it kind of made me upset. But one of the points is that we've had cruise control forever. In fact, the first generation of cruise control was called autopilot ironically enough.
Tim: To me, people who were doing things—you know, we've seen controversy in the past where people have done stupid things with cruise control on. But there's no regulation about having to have your feet on the gas and the brake pedal ready to take over. You can be paying attention and you can be alert in the car without having your hands resting on the steering wheel at all times. I don't think that is necessarily the crux of the problem. I think the problem is that ultimately a lot of local news stations is particular have been misrepresenting what this system is. I did a 2 second Google search and came up with 10 different local news reports talking about the Tesla Model S being a self-driving car. Even one that called it a driverless car which is completely outrageous!
Leo: Yea, but wait a minute. Musk kind of encouraged that perception by saying things like, "Soon you'll be able to get the car to come to you from across the country."
Tim: I don't know that he said that. He did say you could drive from Seattle to San Francisco with your hands off the wheel which I thought was definitely—
Leo: Well, that's inappropriate.
Christina: I mean look. He's definitely played up from a branding perspective that people can trust this thing a lot. And I think that, although I agree that the Consumer Reports is overreacting, I do understand where they're coming from in the sense that I think so many people buy this car, they buy into—they're a hardcore Tesla fan. You know you've got to be on a waiting list to get the car. You get the car. You like the technology. It works really well. It works better than anything we've seen before. And you trust it. So you are willing to give it more responsibility than maybe you should. And I think there is going to be said about that the branding that Tesla's done might be too good and is leading some users to think that they cannot be as alert as they are in these partially autonomous systems.
Leo: Tim, is there any car out there right now that does steering?
Tim: There are two other cars on the market that have a very similar system. Mercedes Benz E-Class and the Volvo S90, both of which are very new on the market. In fact, I don't think the S90 has come to the US just yet. They both have the same basic functionality though to steer around corners and speed up and slow down of course and change lanes for you, too. Both of them though have much shorter restrictions in terms of how long you can take your hands off the wheel. I don't know exactly what the time is but it's less than a minute I believe for both of them.
Leo: Interesting. You can take your hands off the wheel.
Tim: Yea, and Volvo's got their Driver Me pilot system coming to Sweden next year. That's going to be a very limited number of cars, I think about 100 cars. But that will be a fully autonomous car on the highway that you will be able to—you will be able to take out a book and take a nap if you want to. That will be a fully autonomous car. But again, not until next year and it's only going to be about 100 so far.
Leo: What is—
Tom: I think that one of the biggest problems here is what some people are calling ambiguous role allocation. When the car doesn't entirely drive itself, but you're not also entirely driving the car—
Leo: Who's in charge?
Tom: It does slow your reaction time. There was a University of Strasbourg study in 2013 that found with cruise control, episodes of drowsiness increased 25% and reaction times to emergencies was lengthened by one second. Now I agree with Tim. I don't think that means we need to ban cruise control. But I do think that we have to keep in mind that when we are using these assisted technologies, there is an extra responsibility on us to stay alert, that things could happen, and we might be less likely to notice them right away if we're not constantly paying attention like we would if we were driving the car entirely ourselves.
Tim: I'm not sure who should be doing the messaging here because all of Tesla's messaging has been saying exactly what the system could do. I don't think that they have gone out of their way to swat down every single mistaken report that says, that has kind of mislead people to believe that these are self-driving cars. And I don't know if that's something that Tesla should have to do because what would we be thinking about them if they were correcting every single news report that went out there. I mean they'd have to have a staff of hundreds just to keep up with that. But I'm not sure what the solution is to get people more educated because the manual says what it can do. All of Tesla's messaging says what it can do. But yet people are using the system incorrectly. And so I'm not sure what the solution is but ultimately disabling it and renaming it? I don't think that's going to fix the problem here.
Leo: And by the way, keeping your hands on the wheel doesn't mean you're paying attention. So this same problem that you referred to, Tom, is going to occur even if you have your hands on the wheel.
Tom: Yea, it's about attention.
Leo: Google talks about this with their self-driving cars. They don't want people—they take the steering wheel and the pedals out because it takes you too long to figure out what's going—you might say, "Oh, gosh. But I need to take control." But you still have to readjust yourself to be in the situation. And by that time, you're in trouble. I think the way is to disambiguate it and either the car's driving or your driving but there's no middle ground. You can't both drive.
Tim: Yea and unfortunately we're going to be stuck in that middle ground for a good couple years anyway as this technology evolves. I think the other big problem is there's no way of knowing how many lives this has saved and I'm sure it's saved a couple of people's lives at this point. But there's no way to prove that. There's no way to know. But obviously when a life is lost because the system failed, that's obviously really easy to tell and it's obviously a tragic situation but for sure these systems have saved lives. Even the emergency braking system—there was a study I think 2 years ago that showed car emergency braking alone you are 42% less likely to get involved in a rear end collision that involves injury. 42% just from this one system. And Tesla's got access to a bunch of others. So I am sure that there are fewer accidents happening, fewer serious accidents happening because of this system. But there's no way to prove that ultimately and that I think is an unfortunate thing that there is just no answer for.
Tom: That's a really good difference too from cruise control. Cruise control is not designed to avoid an accident. And so that ambiguous role allocation can be more dangerous than something which is a driver's assistance that does lane detection and collision avoidance which is actively trying to help you avoid getting into an accident.
Leo: Yea, I mean a number of cars including my current car have adaptive cruise control which is great in stop and go traffic because you kind of just let the car maintain a safe stopping distance at any speed. And it will even come to a full stop if the car ahead of me stops. It's not as smooth a driver as I would be. It tends to jam the brakes on a little which is a little scary. But it does the job. And I still would never, ever take my hands off the wheel or stop paying attention. Of course it's not steering for me but you clearly need to pay attention. I don't know. We'll see. I've got the autopilot in the Tesla. I'm scared to turn it on.
Tim: It is a genuinely great service. If you're paying attention, it's one last thing that you have to worry about. Having that on the highway, you can relax a bit more. And honestly I think it makes me a safer driver because I can be looking around for incidents much more than just worrying about staying between the lines, worrying about how fast I'm going, worrying about maintaining a safe gap between the car ahead of me if they're speeding up and slowing down. The car kind of takes care of all the menial stuff and frees me up to be looking for someone who's driving in an unsafe way or straight lights ahead, that kind of thing.
Leo: It should make you a better driver, not a worse driver.
Tim: Right and it does if you use it as you're supposed to. But if you are using that as an opportunity to do something you shouldn't be doing, then obviously it could cause a lot of problems.
Tom: Leo, don't worry. Turn it on just call it something different.
Leo: (laughing) it's not autopilot. It's a driver assist. You know if you say driver assist, that's really—so I'm a little bit on the side of Consumer Reports here. I think they're also a consumer advocacy group and I think it's a good idea to say, "Hey, it's not, don't call it autopilot. That confuses people. Call it driver assist." That's a perfectly legitimate description.
Christina: It doesn't have the same branding kind of you know—
Leo: Well you can't have it both ways. Yes, I agree.
Christina: You're not wrong. You're not wrong. I'm just saying that I don't see Tesla changing their marketing that they've done.
Leo: Well that's what their response is.
Christina: As Consumer Reports wants them to. I mean that's just not going to happen. I think Consumer Reports wishes they were influential. They're sadly not even though I think on the whole they're making good points, you know, I don't know about pulling their entire recommendation for the car. That seems going a little bit far. I should note here, I'm not a driver. I don't have a driver's license. So I don't have a lot to add.
Leo: You're lucky. You're so lucky.
Tom: You have a vested interest in these cars—
Leo: Hitting you, yea right.
Christina: Without a doubt I do. But I kind of wonder from you guys like do you think that we can live in this kind of middle ground world where we do have these systems that are partly autonomous and partly not because to me that becomes the big question. Like I don't really have a problem with weirdly, with the fully autonomous car on the road because even if there will be crashes I think that the software will get better and things will probably be safer with more autonomous, fully autonomous cars on the road. But in its middle ground, I do have to be concerned with if people really understand they still have to be paying as much attention if not more versus just doing what I think a lot of people are going to do. I know a lot of my friends who drive who are already distracted while they're driving without any sort of autonomy and giving them an excuse to not have their hands on the wheel—you know, you're just concerned. So I wonder like can we live in this middle ground world or are we going to have to kind of wait for the fully autonomous cars to come?
Tim: We can. I'm sorry, go ahead, Leo.
Leo: I talked to Tesla owner today. He was in our studio visiting. He's such a Tesla fan he's actually had some cards printed up that say Tesla Evangelist. Unofficial Tesla Evangelist. He said because he often gets drowsy, this was something that really scared me when I had a commute. I would get drowsy on the way home after the show and I'd be tired and I'd get drowsy. And I was so glad when I stopped driving because I was really afraid I was going to die at some point by drifting off. He said, "There is something to be said for the kind of- you shouldn't be taking naps at the wheel. But should you get drowsy, if you've got these service turned on, you're more, you're safer, right? You're less likely to have an accident due to inattention. You should pay attention of course we know that. No one should drift off asleep." But these things might protect you if you for a moment, you know, momentarily lose focus.
Tim: And many of these cars can actually tell if you do fall asleep because they have infrared cameras that are watching you. So they will tell if you're getting drowsy, if you're not paying attention and some of them even have retinal scanners, retinal position detectors so they can tell exactly where you're looking.
Tim: So and that's part of this handoff that's going to be put in place which is uncomfortable as you're going from the car driving to driving the car. It has to make sure obviously that you are paying attention before it will give you control back if you get in a situation where the car really can drive itself. But these cars can really tell in a lot of ways your health situation. In fact, Ford's working on seats that will tell if you're having a heart attack for example. Things like that which are coming, which are encouraging and I think will make driving safer. But ultimately, there are ways to exploit these autonomous systems and as we've seen people are doing. We've all seen terrible YouTube videos of people in their Teslas playing board games or eating snacks or taking naps.
Leo: Stupid, stupid, stupid.
Tim: I hope that people will be responsible so they don't have to worry about some kind of draconian legislation that sets the whole world of autonomy back by 5 or 10 years. But ultimately, I think it's too early to tell. But I think this ties back to our conversation before about things getting more sensationalized and getting more coverage than I think they did before. If the news media sees these things and runs with them without getting all the facts right, as we've certainly seen in the case of the unfortunate death of, I think Joshua Brown was his name who died in the Model S. There has been a lot of misreporting about that incident just because everyone wanted to cover the story of the first person who died in a quote unquote self-driving car. And so if we have a lot of misrepresentation and that gets momentum, that could definitely set things back. And that's really what I'm most concerned about here.
Tom: We almost have zero data points, right, Leo?
Tom: Like we're talking about something that's happened once. It doesn't really tell you one way or another whether it's dangerous or not.
Leo: One thing we know from watching this over and over again is technology disrupts the state. And during the period of disruption, whether it's cord cutting or self-driving, it's weird things. Bad things sometimes happen, weird things happen. It doesn't work very well. And this is, we're kind of in that—I think for the next decade probably in that interregnum between driving yourself and having the car drive you where it's going to be just weird and that disconnect of well, who's in charge here? We're going to be putting up with that for a while. So people, pay attention. Don't trust the car. And this had been good for me. You know we're in a lucky position. I think all of us are in the lucky position of we are not, we don't have the pressure to file every 5 minutes and generate a lot of traffic. We have the luxury of not having to sensationalize the news, of being able to sit back and say, "Well let's tell, let's find out what really happened." And I feel fortunate that I don't have to be first on any of these stories because they change. And you know, maybe this new media landscape will help with that a little bit. We're going to take a break. I want to talk about Prime Day. Did you guy buy stuff on Prime Day, the 12th?
Christina: I got a TV.
Leo: Whoa. Let's hear about it in just a second. Wow. Nice. Our show today brought to you by my mattress. A good night's sleep, God, it's so important. It is, you are not going to have a good day if you did not get a good night's sleep. You're not. It's just hard. You have to slog through the day and talk about being dangerous at the wheel, if you're sleepy driving, that's really bad. So get a good mattress. It will help you get a good night's sleep and Casper is the mattress to get, for a lot of reasons. Of course it is a great mattress. It combines two technologies. Latex foam and then supportive memory foam so you get an award winning sleep surface with just the right sink and just the right bounce. It's kind of hard to describe. You've got to try it. 2016 Business Intelligence Group Innovation Award winner. It's summertime, it's hot. You will be very glad to know that the Casper mattress sleeps cool. It breathes. And that's a big, that's important. That's a very big part of having a good night's sleep. Comfort, coolness. But here's the best part. You can try it. You don't have to listen to me. You can try it. Now that's not in the store. That's not how you try a mattress. Yea, I know that's how we used to do it. You go to a store, you lie on it for 5 minutes, getting the stink eye from the sales person as you, you know when you've got your shoes on you can't really see if this is a comfortable mattress. Can't tell you how many mattresses I've bought and then spent years on suffering with because I bought it in a store. No, the way you get the Casper is you order it. Right now by the way. Because you're buying directly from the factory, very affordable. Starts at $500 for a twin. Comes in a compact box, very easy to get in the door. And then you open up the box and whoosh, you've got a mattress. Oh, you've got a nice mattress. But try it. You have not one, not two, not three days. You have 100 nights, 100 nights. If at any time in those first 100 nights you say, "Yea, I like my old mattress better," you just call Casper. They'll send a courier. They will take it away. They refund you every penny. It will have cost you nothing. It is engineered, the Casper mattress, to meet the Goldilocks standard of not too hard, not too soft, but just right. Casper mattresses also made in the US. Free shipping and returns to the US and Canada. You know, I was a little worried when I opened the mattress I would have to air it out because it would smell like latex or something. No. No. It's great. Casper.com/twit you can save an additional $50 dollars towards a mattress purchase when you use the promo code TWIT at Casper, C-A-S-P-E-R.com/twit. Terms and conditions apply. Casper.com/twit save $50 bucks off the best mattress you've ever had or send it back. Really happy for my son. You know he's in the dorm and they have terrible, disgusting mattresses. So I sent him a Casper and he's 3rd floor but he was able to easily, you know, maybe he had to do it with a buddy, get the mattress up. I don't know how he's going to get it out. He should probably just leave it there. I'm sure he left it there. Why not? He just left it there.
Leo: Let's see here. Prime Day was July 12th. I looked, I didn't—you know the problem with the sales like that, this is Amazon Prime customers only, is you tend to buy stuff you don't want. So I just, I looked at it and I said, "No, I'm not gonna." Did I miss out? What did you buy, Christina? A TV?
Christina: I got a TV, yea.
Leo: Whoa. Like a big one?
Christina: Yea, 43". It's not the one behind me. It will eventually replace the one behind me. I haven't put it up yet but I got a 43" 4K TV for $300 dollars.
Leo: Whoa. Nice.
Christina: It's a Hisense. It's probably not the best TV but frankly it will be good enough and has a 4 year warranty, 4 HDMI ports. The reviews were solid. It was like $100 bucks off and I was like, I kind of need a new TV. It's ben time. We've got a newer TV in our second bedroom. And so I just figured, ok, I'll go for it. And what actually happened, it was very funny, I hit the buy button and I went through the process and I had the wrong shipping address chosen. I had my work address chosen. And I was like, no, I do not want the TV sent to the office because then I'll have to get an Uber to get it home.
Leo: It's hard to bring a TV home on the subway.
Christina: Well, right, especially a 43" TV. And it was like 30 pounds. I was like I'm not dealing with this. So I cancelled the order. But then I can't repurchase it because I already claimed it once. So my colleague Raymond Long was nice enough, Ray-Ray was nice enough to buy it on his account and get it sent to my address. So using the magic of Venmo I paid him back but it arrived and I'm putting it up probably after the show. So yea, I got a TV. And I got a USB thumb drive because it's 2016 and it was like $15 dollars for like a 64GB and I was like why not?
Leo: Nice. Why not? You guys, did you buy anything?
Tim: I tried but I was on a plane over the Atlantic and the connection was slow and I missed my opportunity and Gogo and limited time deals really don't work well together.
Leo: I'm kind of impressed that you tried.
Tim: There were a few tools and things for the garage I was looking to get. Nothing too exciting. No TVs.
Leo: Actually I'm really interested in how you like, Christina, the Hisense. Because you know these guys, these are the Chinese TV companies, TCL and Hisense, are coming up strong. Hisense took over Microsoft's massive booth at CES two years ago.
Christina: No, I know, I've seen their TVs before and I've been impressed. So I'm looking forward to it too. I mean I know it's not going to be look, I'm not making a mistake and thinking it's going to be as good as like a high-end Samsung or something but for $300 dollars, frankly that's like if it sucks, if it breaks in a year, like, ok. You know like, it actually has a 4 year warranty which is crazy. I'm like if I'm still using this TV in 4 years, I'll be very happy.
Leo: Isn't it funny how that's changed?
Christina: It really is.
Leo: It used to be you keep a TV for 10 years easy. And now 4 years, that thing's ancient. We're at 18K.
Tom: My TV's 9-years-old.
Leo: Yea, you're that type. You're an intellectual, Tom. You don't—
Tom: (Laughing) That's why I wear the glasses now.
Leo: You probably have a rug over the TV.
Tom: No, I don't. I have an old Panasonic plasma 1080p. It works great.
Leo: No, that's a good TV.
Christina: A Panasonic plasma, you don't ever get rid of that.
Tom: Right. Exactly.
Leo: They don't make plasma anymore.
Tom: It's an antique.
Christina: Was it a KURO, Tom?
Leo: KURO, yea.
Tom: No, no, it's a Vixia.
Leo: That's so funny. That's our big TV in the living room. That's our Game of Thrones TV. That's what I call it.
Tom: At the time which was 2007, 2008, it was the TV to get.
Leo: It was the TV. Yep. I think we have the same model.
Tom: That's so funny.
Leo: Yea, probably. You know, I know I should get a new TV, because, well—
Tom: Because you're an intellectual.
Leo: I'm an intellectual. But I don't, I've resisted. I don't want to get a new TV. But I'm missing out. Like the new OLEDs. Everyone's like, oh, they're really good.
Tom: When 4K is like worth getting and there's tons of programming and I feel like I'm really missing out, I'll get a new TV.
Tim: Yea, same for me. Well, not 4K but OLEDs are attainable I'll be there.
Tom: Yea, yea.
Leo: You know the one that everybody likes, the LG OLED that's the one that—what's the one the New York City TV? The value shoot-out they called it. The value TV shoot-out where they get the best TVs and then they have all these TV reviewers vote and the LG OLED won. And they make a G line, a G6 line which is the expensive one. But then they make a B6 which is they take out like 3D. Oh, gee, wow. I don't know how I'll live without it. They take out 3D and it's $1,000 bucks less. That's, now you're talking for a 55" something like $4,500 for an OLED. So they're getting close. I mean yes, that's still a lot more but they're getting there.
Tim: They've got a sweet Web OS interface too which is—
Leo: It's got Web OS. I love Web OS.
Tom: Award winning interface.
Leo: Do I have to swipe up?
Tim: No, but there are some cute animations that panes fly up and lots of pinks and magentas and things too, so.
Leo: Most smart TVs are dumb. I wish they would just sell me a monitor and let me apply the smartness at another place.
Tom: Well the ones—in fact I was going to ask you, Christina, does yours have like Roku built in?
Christina: It has YouTube and Netflix built in.
Tom: Oh, it has its own.
Leo: But not a Roku?
Christina: It's not auto-Roku. But it has YouTube and Netflix so for the 4K content, that's how it will come in. I mean like I don't need a 4K TV especially at the size I got is just for, it was cheap and I was like well I can watch 4K Netflix. That will be cool. I can watch Game of Thrones or not Game of Thrones but Orange is the New Black.
Leo: Well Game of Thrones is also 4K but you've already seen it.
Christina: Yea, I've already seen it and also I mean HBO—I don't think my cable provider offers 4K.
Leo: It's probably safe to say now it wouldn't be a spoiler, that Donald Trump becomes the president on that show. I don't think that's a spoiler. It's been long enough.
Christina: It's been long enough.
Leo: (Laughing) Couldn't resist it. Couldn't resist it. What was it? There was something else I wanted to bring up. It was World Emoji Day. I was supposed to wear my World—I got a, the Emoji people sent me a t-shirt, yea.
Christina: They sent me a shirt too and some stickers. But yea, I forgot. I left it at the office unfortunately, so I couldn't wear it.
Leo: I forgot to wear it.
Christina: I hate that it was on a Sunday this year but yea, World Emoji Day.
Leo: Actually, can you get—John, I think I left my—I should put it on right now. It won't be too late. Yea. Who sent us, the Emoji Consortium?
Christina: It was Emojipedia.
Leo: Oh, Emojipedia, that's a good site.
Christina: That's a great site.
Leo: That's the site where if you don't know what the thing with the things coming out of it and the thingy is, you can go there and find out.
Christina: And it will show it to you in every rendering style so it shows it how it's rendered on Apple, on Android, on Windows, on Emoji 1, on Twitter. Like it shows you all the styles. It's great.
Tim: Yea, yea, yea.
Leo: There it is, Emojipedia.
Tom: It would be crazy if Unicode was sending people t-shirts, yea.
Leo: I want it. I want a Unicode (laughing).
Christina: It would be crazy if Unicode would ever answer my requests for comment. I always reach out to them and they're like, "Oh, go through our mailing list." I'm like, "Are you serious?"
Leo: There it is. World Emoji Day. Woo hoo!
Tom: Congratulations. I'm glad it was that emoji. I was worried.
Leo: It's not the pile of poo emoji. No, it's a—I don't think this is an emoji, is it? With the hat?
Christina: No, it's their own I guess little creation. But it's cute.
Tom: That's why Unicode doesn't support that shirt.
Leo: This is not a Unicode compliant shirt. So there are, and if you go to Google.com, at least in the US but I bet worldwide, they have a little Google doodle. It's World Emoji Day and it says, "Team Girls."
Christina: They're cool.
Leo: Code an emoji that's unique like you. And this is because Google was able to tell the World Emoji Consortium to actually add some female emojis with jobs instead of just—what were the women, the girl emojis before?
Christina: It just depended. There were mostly just men for jobs. It was like if you were a farmer or a doctor or whatever.
Leo: Can't be a lady farmer. Can't be a lady doctor.
Christina: It's like c'mon, Barbie was all of these things. Come one, emoji, get in step with Barbie.
Tom: And the game developer.
Leo: That's the new Barbie, though. That's not my Barbie. That's not Barbie from my era. That was only recent Barbie became anything more than just a busty companion to Ken.
Tom: The world is changing.
Leo: Who had all the jobs.
Tim: 4K TVs. Female doctors. It's insanity.
Leo: So let me see. It's time for emoji equality. Until now emoji represents—this is Google's madewithcode.com. Until now, emoji representing women haven't been well representative. Let's change that. Google is working to make sure emoji include a wide range of female professions. And now, we're inviting you to join the movement by coding your own. Oh, this is kind of cool.
Christina: It's really cool. It's actually really cool. I'm playing with it right now and it actually uses their blocky programming which is actually really awesome.
Leo: So there's a code block. Let's add a character. This is kind of like Android App Inventor. Use the drop down menu and choose a character. Oliva. Allaya, Emma, Rebecca, Lily, Taylor, Mia, Valentina, Nellie, Marina. Well there's no Christine. I'll be Emma. And then you can snap eyes. Oh my gosh. Let's snap in some eyes. This is kind of cool because it really is just building a character but you can say where the position of the eyes are.
Tom: Yea, and what code is it underneath?
Christina: Probably Java Script. I don't know.
Leo: Java Script.
Tom: Yea, that would make sense.
Leo: So now I've made the eyes off to the left a little bit. That's not good. Oops. That's kind of creepy actually.
Tom: You know, whatever. It's your emoji.
Leo: It's my emoji.
Tom: You can leave the eyes there.
Leo: The eyes, it's googley eyes. Let's move the eyes in a little bit. There you go.
Tom: Eyes on the chin.
Leo: Eyes on the chin. That's good. So you can make aliens, too. You know and I think aliens are somewhat underrepresented in the emoji space.
Tim: There's only one.
Leo: There's only one. And we know there's more aliens than that. Let's give her a mouth. This is fun. Tongue. I can choose a tongue and position the tongue. 50,50 – this is kind of—there you go. That's my emoji. She should have a hat.
Tom: It's quite psychedelic.
Leo: It is good. I like it. What kind of hat would you where if you were, if you looked like that? A flower crown?
Tom: Oh, no, flower crown, absolutely.
Christina: Flower crown.
Tom: On her chin, though.
Leo: On her chin? No. Wait. Let's raise that. Lower it. Ok. There you go. There you go.
Tom: It's a flower choker now.
Leo: Flower choker. I'm done. And what happens when you're done? What did you learn? You learned how to change the position of an object on its x and y values and I can now download it. Very nice. And I have my—this is going to be my new Twitter profile picture. Actually, I did one earlier this week and I used Prisma on it, you know, to take a selfie. But Prisma brings out lines and stuff and shadows. And I didn't really notice it. But then I used it and somebody said, "Dude, your emoji looks like Hitler." (laughing). And I looked at it and I realized, it does. So I backed down. But this doesn't look like Hitler.
Leo: This is a safe emoji. It's the exorcist emoji.
Tom: For those listening to the audio podcast, we're not going to try to describe it.
Leo: Just go to Twitter. Actually this is great. You can use it for all your profile pictures everywhere. Let's see. Oh, I know what I want to do. We had a fun week, an interesting week. We talked about Pokémon Go pretty much incessantly all week. I'm curious. Let's see if the promo this week features any Pokémon at all.
Narrator: Previously on TWiT.
Leo: I thought for sure this would be the first show I've done all week that doesn't mention Pokemon Go (laughing). Can you turn that down?
Narrator: The New Screen Savers.
Leo: This is $49 dollars. It's the Pocket Chip. What it really is, is a full Linux computer plus keyboard.
Bryan Burnett: You can prototype inside of it and take it apart. So it has no glue and no screws and of course the entire thing, the hardware, the software all designed to be completely open source.
Narrator: This Week in Law.
Denise Howell: And we have two fascinating guests, both working at the forefront of AI when it comes to the law.
Joshua Browder: Do Not Pay is a chatbot to help people with their low level legal problems. For example, parking tickets or delayed flights. From my experience, you have these guys copying and pasting templates into Microsoft Word and the charging $100 dollars to do so. I think that's just the perfect thing to be kind of disrupted by technology.
Narrator: Security Now.
Steve Gibson: We've got to talk about Russia's president Putin, whether his shirt is on or off. He ordered the Federal Security Service Bureau to produce encryption keys capable of decrypting all data on the internet. But no one's really sure exactly what that means.
Narrator: TWiT. Broadcasting from the capitol of the free world, Petaluma, California.
Mary Jo Foley: Yep.
Paul Thurrott: Leo's off getting Pokémon's again.
Mary Jo: He is. He's a freak.
Leo: (Laughing) they caught me. Megan Morrone has a look at the week—I should have you do this, Tom. He's getting chills down his back. He's like, "No." Megan Morrone has a look at the week ahead.
Megan Morrone: Thanks, Leo. Coming up this week on Tech News Today, July 18th is the final deadline for bids on Yahoo. Does anyone want it? You? You? This week will also see earnings from some of the biggest names in tech including the aforementioned Yahoo as well as IBM, Netflix, Qualcomm, Intel and Microsoft. BitTorrent's live streaming TV news network also launches this week bringing Republican National Convention straight to you and your devices live. And for those security minded among us, RSA Asia takes place this week in Singapore with keynote speeches from Bruce Schneier and others. We'll cover these and more on Tech News Today at 4:00 PM Pacific Monday through Friday.
Leo: Thank you so much, Megan Morrone, the host at TNT. iOS today, in fact we're going to do that show when she's back from vacation. We'll do that show tomorrow. Who's on Triangulation tomorrow, Karsten? Are we going to do—is Alan Cooper on?
Karsten Bondy: Virginia Heffernan, author of Magic and Loss.
Leo: Oh, Virginia Heffernan. I can't wait. She's a New York Times writer and was the first and I'm going to call her on this, to write about TWiT in the New York Times. She said we were obsessively tech focused. And I made that our motto for some time. Remember that, Tom? Maybe it was before your time.
Tom: Yea, yea. I always thought that was funny because it's like, yea, you got it.
Leo: I think she thought she was insulting us. But no, no.
Tom: I don't know if she thought she was insulting, but yea. It did seem it was little on the nose maybe.
Tom: I wanted to ask Megan a question. Is she gone already?
Leo: Yea. Stop it (laughing). Yea, sorry. She left. She was out Pokémon hunting.
Tom: Ah, well.
Leo: Virginia's new book is actually going to be kind of interesting. It's called Magic and Loss: The Internet as Art. The logic and aesthetics behind the internet. Is that fascinating or what? I don't even know, I don't know where to begin. I know.
Tom: Susan Sontag and Marshall McLuhan she's getting compared to in the description.
Leo: Yea, that's an interesting blurb. I don't know if I would let my publisher compare me to Susan Sontag and Marshall McLuhan but there you have it. There you have it. Live online in the highly visual, social, portable and global incarnation. We'll talk about that tomorrow. And then Alan Cooper the inventor of Visual Basic in a week. Maybe. Someday.
Leo: Possibly. We're working on him. Let's see here. FBI says, "Hey, when we write malware, it's not malware. You know why? Because we're the good guys." Ok. I'll take their word for it.
Tim: I don't think any of us can have anything to say about that. I mean it's an obviously true statement, so.
Leo: Yes. This was—
Christina: There's obviously nothing wrong with that at all.
Leo: This is—I mean, this is when the FBI was running its own child pornography site so.
Christina: Right, on TOR, right?
Leo: Yea, so is that? The good news is that in several cases the judges have thrown that out but the FBI filing a legal brief said, "A reasonable person or society would not interpret the actions taken by a law enforcement officer pursuant to a court order to be malicious. How could that be?"
Tom: Well pursuant to a court order is the key there, right? If the court responsibly has said you get to tap a telephone line then it's not against the law.
Tom: The problem is we don't have good, clear law about what you're allowed to do on the internet. Because I am a little bit sympathetic to the FBI saying, "Well if you're trying to tap an internet connection, like a particular, specific person that we have probable cause about, we may not know where they are." But that doesn't give them the excuse to then say, "So we never have to know where anyone is and we get to tap anyone we want." Like there needs to be a balance there.
Leo: Well, and this is precisely why judges have thrown out some of these decisions because they said the FBI did not have a warrant to run a child pornography site or to use malware to crack TOR. They just did it.
Christina: Right. Creating a honeypot to try to catch, look, creeps, I don't think anybody's defending the people that they were going after. You know when you don't have a court order, when you're just going off the hip and you know, we'll just get permission later, that doesn't work. That's not ok.
Leo: No, no. Galaxy Note 7 probably, right, being launched August 2nd. You're going to go, you're probably in New York. You're going to go to the Samsung Unhinged event. That's not what they call it.
Christina: They're Unboxed, yea.
Christina: I'll be there. And yea, no, it seems like they're going to be doing, the rumor is they'll be changing the naming convention. It's been a year behind. It's been the—like they're skipping the Note 6 and just going straight to the Note 7. Which makes sense because you've got like the S7, the S7 Edge and it's always weird that they didn't have the Note 6. So it makes sense to have them have the same number.
Leo: It looks pretty—
Tom: Samsung is always ripping off Microsoft with their naming convention.
Tom: Skipping numbers.
Leo: Skipping numbers. Just skipping ahead.
Christina: Just skipping ahead. Just like you know, we don't want this. Maybe they're just concerned with maybe 6 is unlucky for them for some reason? Who knows, but yea.
Leo: By the way, a little public service announcement in case you didn't know. You can get a free upgrade to Windows 10. Did you know that? If you're—no, it's a surprise.
Tom: I wish someone would have told us.
Leo: (Laughing) I wish they would have let us know.
Tim: Let me close this popup on my desktop. There we go. Ah, I didn't know.
Christina: I was going to say, I think I just got one installed. I accidentally clicked an X and it installed in anyway.
Tom: Of course. That's how it works.
Leo: Paul Thurrott of course, our Windows Weekly host, was talking about how his wife who, you know she's married to one of the premier Windows journalists in the world, she saw that box. She just dragged it off the screen, like to the corner of the screen which is what normal people do. I don't know what this is. I don't want it but I'm just going to put it over here. And of course she got Windows 10 as a result. Anyway, that is going to run out in 12 days. We're almost done. Satay Nadella this week said, "That's the future. There's no new Windows ever again. This is it." Windows is now software as a service.
Tom: That's why they're being so pushy about getting people to upgrade.
Christina: Exactly, exactly. Because they promised us what, a billion devices by 2018 or something? Like that's a really tall order. I think they're 3 or 4 hundred million in. I'm not sure they're going to meet that unless—
Leo: They're even saying now they're not.
Tom: They back out on it.
Tom: They said, "Ah, we were counting on a lot more Windows Phones when we made that prediction, so." I can't remember their exact words now but that involved more focus on the phone market.
Christina: And they're like, "Oh, you mean that $9 billion dollars you spent and then basically wrote off." And, yea, good work there. Good job. Go team.
Tom: It's all Steve Ballmer's fault.
Christina: It was, but.
Leo: Yea. That's all right. We can't blame Steve. He was a vivacious.
Tom: He's in a better place now.
Christina: Honestly he's living his best life and—
Leo: He is.
Christina: You know this is just literally what he's meant to do. He's living his best life as a sports team owner, getting to yell and cheer and scream you know, "Players, players, players, players, players!" And it's great.
Tom: And they're successful. A team that was never successful. That's amazing.
Christina: They are. Well again, it's because he's like the ultimate—again, he's living his best life and we can only all wish that our retirements could be that fruitful and amazing.
Leo: Yea, well if you have a couple of billion dollars lying around you can buy a NBA Team and—
Tim: That would make anybody's retirement a lot better.
Leo: Yes, sir. We're going to take a break. Then we'll talk about the Yahoo deal and kind of wrap it up. I think we're running low on fumes here, almost out of gas. This show brought to you by Squarespace, the place to make your next website. I love—it starts with the templates, the gorgeous Squarespace templates. I got a really nasty tweet because I said, "You don't need a web designer." The guy's a web designer. He said, "You're putting me out of work." Well, sorry. But frankly, unless you're a big corporation and can afford to spend a lot of money, you're better off going to Squarespace because they have the best designers, the best engineers designing these new templates. You start with a template and you get state of the art design. And by the way, kind of the—it's very fashion driven so you're going to get the latest, greatest looks but when a new one comes along, you push a button. And it's easy. You just apply a new template. Your content's all there. And they're all the best engineering, all the state of the art stuff like mobile responsive design which means your site, you don't have a separate mobile site. Your site looks good on every size screen. They have some new templates. Actually this is kind of a new thing they can do. You can put multiple templates on one website and work on multiple designs at once. So suddenly the whole thing, the template space is really up and up because the sky's the limit. You can do anything. They have these great magazine templates, grid-style landing pages, infinite scroll, related posts, author profiles, search in the header, all of that. You can now get e-commerce in every single site and it's good too. It's the e-commerce that you would want. It doesn't look like it's an afterthought. It looks like it's the design of your site. So people feel good about it. They're liking the same spot. Boy, is this all so affordable. Plus, you get a free custom domain name with an annual purchase, access to 24/7 customer support. They do domains now which is really nice. Support for over 200 top level domains. All the big ones and some wild ones too. And if you have an idea but you're not, you know, Pokémon Go. There you go. We need to do a site. Let's see what we can get. They'll give you great—there's .com, there's .net, .org, .info. And if you're not ready to do the site yet, they'll give you a landing page that doesn't have ads on it. It's just gorgeous. Look at all of these. I love it. They just introduced analytics for commerce, allowing you to view the traffic of your visitors in real time. And things like abandoned checkouts, device filtering and more. This is the point is you sign up. You're part of the Squarespace family and you get all of this automatically because it's the best hosting and the best software, security updates, upgrades, new features all come with the territory. And members who have built or contributed to 3 or more active Squarespace websites now can join the Squarespace Circle. Circle membership includes advanced guides, optimized support, 6-month trial periods for new projects and more. And the nice thing about a Squarespace site is you design it, it's going and it goes and it goes and it goes. It just never goes down. Squarespace.com you can try it for free but if you go there and you decide to buy, may I suggest you use the offer code TWiT because not only will they then say, "Oh, you heard about it on TWiT." But they will also give you 10% off as a little thank you. Squarespace.com use the offer code TWiT.
Leo: So it's finally happening. Tomorrow, ladies and gentlemen, Yahoo will be sold. The gavel—is that a golf clap?
Tom: It was.
Leo: Yahoo is over. Final bids for the services that is search, that's email, that's advertising, that's media operations are due tomorrow. The board will make a decision quickly after. I think the board probably already knows who they are going to award it to I would guess. Verizon seems to me the inside track. They would probably merge it with AOL and I don't know they could go—they could, what could you do? You could do Yahool?
Leo: Yahooaol? Somehow merge them. But AOL is kind of a similar property, right? It's not—it's still got a lot of traffic. There's still a lot of content. There's a lot off-
Christina: I mean the Yahoo home page I think is more than the AOL homepage but yea, I mean they've got programmatic advertising and media content and you know, video and other stuff, so yea.
Tom: It's an ad tech buy, right?
Leo: oHon Yea, ad tech and numbers and you know data.
Tom: And audience.
Leo: Yea. AT&T also in the mix apparently including Quicken Loans co-founder Dan Gilbert with support from Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway. Actually a number of equity firms interested. Probably they would chop it up and sell it off in pieces for parts, right?
Christina: Yea, I'm sure.
Tom: Would have a Ziff-Davis like effect on it probably.
Leo: Yea. Boy, it's amazing when you see what happened to Ziff-Davis after we worked for ZD, Tom and I.
Tom: Yea, yea.
Leo: And did you—it was owned by Softbank when you joined us, right?
Tom: Correct. Yes. I was under Masayoshi Son.
Leo: I worked for Ziff-Davis for 10 years and had 4 different owners (laughing). And now it's owned by, weirdly enough, Ziff-Davis is owned by—I can't remember.
Tom: Well CNET owns ZDNet still and owns the domain name for zdtv.com.
Leo: But like PC Magazine and Extreme Tech.
Tom: Yea, what's left of Ziff-Davis Media—well Ziff-Davis Media got spilt up into two different pieces too. There's different equity firms behind it.
Leo: Yea, that's what will happen.
Tom: And so that may be what happens to Yahoo. I'm with Christina. I think Verizon is probably the best bet to get Yahoo. It just makes the most sense to me.
Christina: It makes sense. How do we think Tim Armstrong will be given control over both?
Tim: I would say so, yes.
Leo: In fact they—yea, that makes sense. 5G, very interesting. Federal government President Obama says and the Nation Science Foundation says, "We're going to put $400 million dollars into 5G over the next few years."
Christina: That's not a lot of money though.
Leo: $400 million dollars?
Tom: I said the same thing, Christina.
Christina: Honestly it's not. For the infrastructure? Are you kidding me? That's like a drop in the bucket.
Leo: But we've first got to do the research, right? I mean we've got to—no. They already have the technology.
Christina: They already have the research, yea.
Leo: So it's just putting it in?
Tom: It's rollout. It's spectrum allocation. The FCC has voted to make spectrum available for it. Its standardization still has to come. It hasn't actually been voted on as standard. But the same thing happened with 4G. People were rolling out implantations before the standards.
Leo: And they have private industry involved as well. Maybe there'll be more money. Samsung and the carriers are putting—
Christina: Yea, the carriers for sure. Because the last thing that anybody wants is for us to have what we had here which was remember—what was Sprint's terrible thing called? Their 1st version of 4G?
Christina: WiMAX versus LTE debate. And we all knew, we all knew that like WiMAX was dead. We were like, "Sprint, what are you doing?" And Spring was like, "No, no, no, no, no. We swear it will be good." It wasn't. So I mean, we can't have that.
Tim: It's still big in Japan. They have WiMAX 2 even.
Tom: Yea, I was an early optimist about WiMAX.
Leo: We all were.
Tom: When it was only Sprint, I knew the writing was on the wall.
Leo: We all were.
Christina: Same. When it was very clear that it was only Sprint that was going to be involved, it was like oh well, that's over. Good luck there.
Leo: HTC also participating. Intel, Oracle, Nokia. Not Apple, Google or Microsoft. They're not getting involved.
Christina: No I mean I think Apple and Google are smart enough to recognize that once there's a standard they'll sign on board. They don't need to be involved in it earlier than that. If you're a chipset provider, even if you're a Qualcomm or someone, then maybe you care more if you're a radio provider like Erickson. But if you're not doing those things, I mean, why bother?
Tom: Yea. I mean Google, if they got involved, that would be very telling for their plans for Project Fi.
Christina: That's very true. Which, that was some other news this week. They, you can now get international 4G with Project Fi for the same price.
Tom: Yea, LTE.
Christina: Yea, LTE which is amazing. I mean like that's seriously unreal.
Tom: I signed up for Project Fi right away because I'm going to be travelling internationally and I have T-Mobile. T-Mobile only gives me a slower level of service which is nice.
Christina: Which is great but if you're going to be in Japan, you don't want your 2G on T-Mobile so you might as well take an excess 6P or whatever—
Christina: And get $10 dollars a gigabyte or whatever it is which is awesome.
Leo: You pay the same rate in 15 countries that you pay in the US for high speed. And you get full high speed.
Tom: You get the fastest speed available is what they say. Now I don't know if that means available in our partners or available. I imagine it means available in our partners.
Tim: Our partners for sure, yea.
Leo: Yea, Three is their partner now in the UK. Three is a very good carrier in the UK. I don't know what they're doing in Japan but yea, that would—
Tom: I think they used Three's roaming partners to kind of get into the international market.
Christina: Fill it out? That's smart.
Tom: That seems to be what they did.
Leo: Well if you're leaving in September that's probably when there'll be a new Nexus phone or phones. That might be the time to pick one up. Get a Fi chip and go for it. The 5G story, data rates in the tens of megabits a second. But even higher, a gigabit per second in some cases.
Christina: That's huge.
Leo: Lots of efficiency, better coverage, latency significantly reduced compared to LTE. I'm looking at the Wikipedia article about 5G. Now don't get all excited because according to this, the Next Generation Mobile Networks Alliance is calling for 5G to be rolled out by 2020. So we're a few years off.
Christina: We're a couple years away but I mean at least—we have already seen I think just how much faster LTE rolled out than a lot of us were expecting. Once it finally got over like, it was going to be WiMAX or LTE, and once the bigger manufacturers jumped on board, you know that roll out which at first the carriers were kind of reticent to do came fast. I think we can thank the iPhone roll out for that but I think they were just kind of forcing the carriers to say now we've really got to blanket the place with it. But now I haven't even in places that there are a few world pockets were you won't find LTE in the United States, but it's come faster and faster. And I think that will only be good things once the 5G roll out happens. And, yea, that's 4 or 5 years away. But that's still in the grand scheme of things not terrible for a wireless gigabit which is a great thing to think about.
Tim: I just hope the marketing companies just call it 5G this time. They don't have to do the 5G LTE thing which of course was necessitated by the WiMAX. Just 5G.
Tom: And what happened was T-Mobile started calling their HSPA+ 4G when it wasn't 4G so don't anybody call something 5G if it's not actually 5G.
Leo: But you know they will.
Christina: Yea it will be like 4 and a half G which is half HSPA+ they'll be like, "Oh, but it's 5G. It's a marketing term." And we're like, "No, actually it's not but thank you." Yea.
Tom: So LTE advanced implementations going to be called 5G.
Christina: Oh my God, you're so right, it is. The next LTE advance is going—oh my God. Yea. That's totally happening.
Leo: So the DARPA Grand Challenge brought us autonomous vehicles. It was amazing. In just a few years cars went from running of the road after 30 feet to driving long distances. The new DARPA Grand Challenge is a cyber challenge. August 4th, in between Blackhat and DEFCON in Las Vegas, computers are going to hack each other. 7 fully autonomous computers will face-off in a historic battle, each to try to defend themselves and point out flaws without any human intervention.
Christina: That's awesome.
Leo: That is—I'm telling you. It's 7 teams of finalists with names like Deep Red and Code Jitsu were given a DARPA constructed computer. Their task, program it to be able to recognize and understand previously undisclosed software, find its flaws and fix it. And once the challenge starts, no human involvement. That's it.
Christina: That's so cool.
Leo: The machines have too—
Tim: I don't think it's quite as exciting as cars driving.
Leo: It won't be much fun to watch.
Tim: It is interesting.
Leo: But what will be fun, the teams that wins gets $2 million dollars. 2nd and 3rd a million and $750,000. So there's some incentive here.
Tom: Yea, $2 million dollars plus immediate interest in signing them on provide security research.
Leo: You're hired.
Leo: I presume people are working on this right now. I think this is very cool.
Tom: Well what is this do to putting malicious hackers out of work though? Do we need to program—
Leo: Well, we can only hope (laughing). We can but hope. The world's first all machine hacking tournament. I hope there's lots of lights because otherwise it will be very boring just to watch. And now he seems to be—
Christina: There should be lights and there should be like bells every time something is hacked or repaired you get another Bing.
Leo: It's computing. Yes, it's still computing. Wow. Talk about watching grass grow.
Tom: I don't know. It could be exciting if you had casters who knew what they were talking about. Like you can see he's trying to get around the firewall here but watch as the—
Leo: Oh, he's trying a buffer overflow, but no, it's thwarted. Quick, divide by zero and yes.
Tom: He slams those ports closed before he can get to them.
Christina: We need to get sports commentators involved. Like can we combine those two roles?
Leo: It would be funny.
Tim: You'd need an old school hockey commentator who talks about closing ports down.
Leo: I think Fr. Robert's going there. It's hard to get people to go there. A lot of the people we work with said, "No, not going anywhere near DEFCON." But I think Fr. Robert goes down. And he usually sanitizes his inputs before.
Christina: No you go down there with like a dummy laptop and phone. You're like just in case.
Leo: Bring a Nokia candy bar phone.
Christina: And a Chromebook that's loaded with a profile that doesn't belong, like a dummy profile.
Leo: Hey speaking of Chromebooks, boy I had a happy occurrence on Thursday. I rebooted my Chromebook Pixel. I put it in developer mode some time ago and low and behold, the Android Store, the Play Store popped up.
Christina: You playing Pokémon Go on it?
Leo: You can. It's a little weird. You have to have GPS and it doesn't know where you are but other than that-
Tom: You just spoof the GPS then you don't have to even leave.
Christina: You just spoof the GPS and you can be anywhere, Leo. You can literally go anywhere.
Leo: Ooh. Now we're talking. But never move more than 5 miles an hour and you're golden.
Tom: There was a YouTuber, I wish I could remember his name, who used BlueStacks and spoof GPS to do that.
Leo: All right. I'll have to look into that. I did install a number of apps to see. Many of them are kind of like you have a phone on your screen. But some are smart enough to go full screen. SnapC for instance is a great Google photo editing program. It works like a desktop program. It's pretty cool. And if you have a Pixel, and I think that they are kind of encouraging touch. Right now there's 3 Chromebooks, more to come in the fall. And you have to be in the developer track to do it. It did, I got, it's buggy. I got some real slowdowns like weird things going on but nevertheless the fact that you can run Android apps on your Chromebook really adds a whole other layer of capability.
Christina: When are they just going to fuse the two projects?
Leo: Well, I think that's where they're going.
Christina: I mean yea, I've been predicting that for years and I've been told by like the Android and Google watchers, "No, no, no, you're wrong. You're wrong." And I'm like, "No, but come on."
Leo: Really. Seriously!
Christina: Do you need to have two separate stacks because two separate—I mean you've got two versions of Linux happening right now like just merge them into one thing.
Leo: Right. It just adds 2 million apps now that you can run. And by the way, I did not notice any attempt to restrict the apps you could get. Like oh this is—like with Android TV you could only get a small subset of the total store. It looked like the whole store was there, even if the app made no sense on a Chromebook.
Tom: I'm curious what the end of that road is because Microsoft's trying to do the same thing to say, "We have one operating system on multiple platforms." And Google's taking a different approach. I think they don't know whether they will actually merge Chrome OS and Android. They're just trying things to see how they work. And this is the next step.
Christina: Yea, I think that's a good point. Because it's a different implementation. It is a slightly different user interface. I guess for me what I could see them doing at some point would be if Android becomes, develops enough, have the same Chrome that's running on desktop on Chrome OS and Android literally being the same branch. And that would at least get you closer.
Tom: Yea, I have a Pixel C and I would love to have some Chrome ability, some Chrome OS ability on theat.
Leo: Oh, wouldn't' that be nice. I had such high hopes for that and I ended up—
Christina: Yea, not a great experience.
Leo: Too bad. We're out of time. What a fun show. Great to have you all. Tim Stevens, he's now the host of The Roadshow. If you're into automobiles, that thing is becoming a juggernaut. I mean you really—this is, you've gone—this is like you've got a whole team now. You've got people all over the world. Really great.
Tim: We do, yea. We've got a great team. We've got folks in London and Detroit and San Francisco. I'm in New York and yea, a lot of great stuff. And a lot of great news and reviews so check it out.
Leo: What are you most excited about in the automotive world?
Tim: Well in just a couple weeks I'm going to Reno, Nevada to see a certain battery factory that's opening up soon, so that's coming in a couple weeks.
Leo: Ooo, that is exciting. Actually we just got an invitation to go down and visit one of—there are a number of Hyperloop projects going on. They're all funded by angel investors who are excited about the prospects of Hyperloop and we're going down I think to San Jose to look at one of the companies that's starting to do some Hyperloop development. I believe, in Russia apparently, is all in on Hyperloop. Who knew?
Tom: They want you to think that.
Leo: Yea. Oh, we do it. It's good to be great. Right after we get to moon. The story on that, Jason Calacanis told us some months ago, is not necessarily the San Francisco to LA super train that they've talked about, that Elon's talked about. But really for cargo, undersea cardo. And imagine if you had a Hyperloop from let's say Asia to the west coast, and you could, instead of on containers you could really rapidly move goods back and forth. That would be—
Tom: That's a long Hyperloop.
Leo: Well, the nice thing about that is it's, there's no humans so if there's an issue, no lives are lost.
Tim: You'd have it submerged too that would kind of float like a Trans-Atlantic cable kind of thing.
Leo: Exactly. Yea. Very interesting. All right. Thank you, Tom Merritt. DTNS, DailyTechNewsShow.com, DailyTechHeadlines.com. Support him on Patreon and you'll find him searching the Pokémon as acedtect.
Tom: That's right. We've always, every day covering the tech news and having good conversations on Daily Tech News Show and if that's too long, Daily Tech Headlines exists as just a brief update for people at DailyTechHeadlines.com.
Leo: Nice. Thank you so much. Always great to see you.
Tom: Yea, always great to see you too, Leo.
Leo: You should come back more often. I know Sundays—it's hard to get people on Sunday.
Leo: They go out, they do things and having a life.
Tom: Hunt Pokémon.
Leo: We try to focus on people who don't have lives here.
Tom: Or hunt Pokémon.
Leo: It's a lot easier to get them. Christina Warren, film girl. She not only has a life, she has a new TV. You'll find her—yea, baby. Mashable.com. It's great to see you as always.
Christina: Always great to be here. Thanks for having me.
Leo: And Christina's also a regular on Tech News Today. We see her often there. Thank you for being here. We love, we love having you come by on Saturday afternoon, 3:00 PM Pacific, 6:00 PM Eastern—Sunday afternoon. What day is today? Sunday afternoon, 3:00 PM Pacific, 6:00 PM Eastern, 2200 UTC. If you can join us in the chatroom, IRC.twit.tv we encourage you to do so. What did I forget? I said hi to Tim. I said hi to Tim. Tim, did I ignore you?
Tim: I say hello.
Leo: (Laughing) why are you saying Tim? Did I call him Tom? Ok. I know there's Tom and Tim. There's also Tim Tams, a fine candy, cookie from Australia but they're not related.
Tim: Timbits the donut holes.
Leo: Tim Horton. The late, great Tim Horton, hockey star. We do this show as I said, every Sunday afternoon, but if you can't watch live, do get the on demand audio or video. You can find that at TWiT.tv all our shows are on the website. Or wherever you get your podcast! If you want to join us in the studio, we'd love it. We have a great studio audience today. Nice to have you all. I love your shirt, sir. I love that shirt. I'm going to steal it from you. And we also have a studio member who's wearing a Nintendo controller and the shirt says, "Classically trained." I think that's—yea, yea. Are you ready? Are you excited for the little Nintendo NES that's coming out? Oh, boy that will be fun. Doesn't it take cartridges even?
Tom: No, it's all 30GBs inside.
Leo: It's all built in.
Christina: It's just like the old Atari flashback but it's so cool.
Leo: Still. If you grew up with Nintendo—
Christina: I'm buying one.
Leo: Absolutely. Pokémon's on there, I'm sure. I would hope.
Christina: No, there was never a Pokémon NES game.
Leo: Uh oh. That was a test. You passed it. Very good. I didn't know. I'm impressed. No, as a matter of fact, Pokémon was never on the Super NES. I think you're mistaken.
Leo: Never. Thanks for joining us. We'll see you next time. Another TWiT is in the can. Bye-bye. Yay! Yay!