This Week in Tech 572
Leo Laporte: It's time for TWiT, This Week in Tech. Nathan Oliverez-Giles from the Wall Street Journal is here, Mark Milian from Bloomburg. From Tech Insider, we got Steve Kovach. A great panel, we'll talk about the end of Yahoo. It's going bye bye. An Internet star who says, "Give me your Twitter password and I'll give you something special." Would you do it? And Pokemon Go: Is it the end of the world? Oliver Stone thinks so. It's all coming up next on TWiT.
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Leo: This is TWiT, This Week in Tech, episode 572, recorded July 24, 2016.
A Surplus of Bobbleheads
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It's time for TWiT, This Week in Tech, the show where we cover the week's tech news. There's a lot of it, at least, that's what Nate Olivarez-Giles says, he's from the Wall Street Journal, joining us today. Giles, right?
Nathan Oliverez-Giles: Yeah, that's right.
Leo: I ask you this every time, I'm sorry.
Nathan: It's all good.
Leo: Hard G, soft G, I'm confused by the .gif debate. I don't know.
Nathan: I always say gif, but then...
Leo: But you say Giles?
Nathan: I guess I'm a hypocrite.
Leo: You're one of the few people in the world who can say you're a hypocrite when you say gif because of your name. Great to have you. Also from... Mark Milian is here from Bloomberg Business week. Are you still doing Global, or you're now just tech in general?
Mark Milian: Yeah. We're doing plenty of global. All sorts of tech.
Leo: Your boss is going to endorse Hillary Clinton.
Mark: My boss's boss's boss, Michael Bloomberg.
Leo: Does he come around much anymore?
Mark: Yeah. He's frequently, he's head of the company.
Leo: When he was mayor, he probably had to put the company in the whole receivership or something. Right?
Mark: He stepped aside, hired Dan Doctoroff as CEO, and then one he was done with the mayorship he came back.
Leo: Nice. Good to have you as always. And joining us via Skype from New York City is Steve Kovach. He is with techinsider.io, and he's @stevekovach on Twitter. Hello, Steve!
Steve Kovach: Hello.
Leo: Hot day today in the big city.
Steve: It's ridiculous. I barely left my apartment this weekend.
Leo: I love the album covers.
Steve: Yeah. Those are my Dad's old albums, a few of them. He sent me a whole bunch of them and I framed a few.
Leo: You know what's funny? I recognize a lot of them. They're from my era.
Steve: He listened to those when he was in college and the army.
Leo: Your Dad must be my age.
Steve: My Dad is sixty one.
Leo: I'm fifty nine. Those are the same albums. He was probably my roommate. Great to have you. I guess the big story, which just broke today. Verizon is confirming that indeed they are buying Yahoo. 4.8 billion dollars, Steve Ballmer is going "yes!" He bid 41 billion dollars for Yahoo not so long ago when he was the CEO of Microsoft. That bid failed and Steve dodged it by a huge bullet. 4.8 billion doesn't seem like a lot, even when they first started putting Yahoo on the block chain, they were speculating 8 billion.
Mark: This deal is for the core company, which is search and media and all that stuff, but it doesn't include some of the intellectual property that they sold off.
Leo: That was the most valuable part, wasn't it?
Mark: That would have been included in the Microsoft deal seven, eight years ago.
Leo: It says the stake in Ali Baba and Yahoo Japan are worth 40 billion, so that might have been a good deal. 4.8 billion, that's things like FlickR, it's things like Yahoo Mail. Is Yahoo Mail the most valuable thing? Or is it the ad business.
Nathan: Ad and searches. A lot of users that have stuck with them go to them by default for a lot of web services.
Mark: Personally, the fantasy football is the most valuable part of Yahoo.
Leo: They have a pretty good Fantasy Football, right? They have properties that are very highly visited. omg.com is a very high traffic sight, TV.com. But it does feel a little bit... Yahoo News. It does feel like Verizon is collecting antique Internet properties. They bought AOL, now they have Yahoo. I'm sure they're looking at Alta Vista thinking is this.. can we add this to our collection?
Mark: They've mastered this rapid deterioration of Internet businesses. They picked up Tumblr and instantly it became uncool.
Nathan: What has Verizon done with AOL that's made AOL more exciting, more innovative, and that just makes me think, "What are they going to do with Yahoo?" I understand that they're trying to build themselves into a media company into a fully-fledged tech company and not just dumb pipes per say as a telecom provider, but I just.. I don't know what Verizon's visio is with Yahoo based on what they have done or not done with AOL.
Leo: I guess AT&T is doing similar acquisitions. Is it that the business, being a sale company, is not a long term good prospects? That you need to find some other things? You don't want to be pipes, you want to be content.
Nathan: I think it comes down to showing growth. You're always going to have growth as far as people wanting to get web access in new places, whether it's cellular or delivering Internet to a home or to a business. But, this then gives them something to do with those pipes and to leverage that ability to reach people and gives them something to offer. I think Verizon has an app... what's it called? Go90 or something? They're already delivering video content and I guess if you're controlling the pipes, Comcast, NBC is trying to do the same thing. I don't know.
Leo: Bloomberg technology quotes Craig Moffitt, who is an analyst. He says, "This deal speaks to a clear strategy shift at Verizon. They're trying to monetize wireless in a new way instead of charging customers for traffic, they're turning to charging advertisers for eyeballs. They're seeing, and that's certainly what publishers in other sectors are doing. They're saying our businesses and it always has been for newspapers for delivering ads. Yeah.
Nathan: That's a business model that's existed for more than a hundred years and maybe it's new for Verizon, but it's not new for the world. I don't know. I'm not sure if I see something new there.
Leo: I think you nailed it when you said what have they done with AOL. Makes it more interesting property. They've kept Engadget going, it hasn't changed. They kept tech crunch going. Huff Po. But there's been no changes there. Those properties are exactly as they were before AOL was sold.
Steve: That's the thing I'm most interested in is the new media play they're making. Yahoo news is massive. It's huge. Nate was just saying, It's the homepage for so many people. I just know anecdotally if business Insider and Tech insider gets a link out from Yahoo News, it's like a Firehose.
Mark: I think Yahoo News is still the most visited News property on the web.
Leo: That surprises me, is that a default? Is that why? Did a homepage kind of thing?
Steve: They don't just write their own content, they have AP, partners like VI and C Net and just gobs of other syndication partners. They get all this free content coming in. It's just a massive news site for a lot of people.
Leo: I used my Yahoo for years as my homepage. It's still around. I thought they killed it. But this has to drive some traffic, right? That's the news in the middle here. The big story today, Kourtney Kardashian shows off her chiseled bod. Number two? Selena Gomez bikini grams proves she's definitely a ten. And then careful, these ten cars look nice, but they're made cheap.
Mark: You know these news results are personalized based on your activity?
Leo: It's MY Yahoo! I don't know where they got the idea. I'll never forget. I was at a podcast expo some years ago, some guy came up to me. Said, "Three words. The next big thing in podcasting. Bikini, rich, content." He said that to me.
Nathan: That's basically what Instagram is. I would not..
Leo: It depends. That's what you put in your feed. So I'm looking at news.Yahoo.com. It's a normal news page.
Steve: Yahoo Finance is great.
Leo: I used Yahoo Finance for years. Google has competitors in all these categories.
Mark: They're smaller. Yahoo still leads them in a number of places.
Leo: Old habits die hard.
Nathan: AOL has a substantial amount of people who are paying for dial up. So... There are a lot of folks who like what they have and are used to things being delivered a certain way.
Leo: Verizon is to be praised for not going for the sexy new thing. But instead focusing on the solid...
Mark: If you have the largest collection of readers on the Internet, that's worth something, especially when you combine that with another giant property, which is AOL. You start to put this massive buying power in front of advertisers. They have a lot of leverage in selling ads. You can sell ads for higher prices when you have a large collection of people that can't be reached elsewhere.
Nathan: What is Verizon going to do that Marissa Maynard couldn't do? That she didn't do. She's one of the sharpest minds in Silicon Valley supposedly and has been running it for the last four years. It's one thing to sell ads against these sorts of things, but I don't feel like I'm seeing any genuinely new ideas.
Leo: Maybe it's more valuable to Verizon because of the business that it would be as a stand-alone property.
Mark: And you combine that with AOL, which is another huge online media company. You put those two together and you can conceivably sell ads for higher prices.
Leo: Marissa, by the way, will probably not go along with the deal. She's out. She gets a 55 million dollar gold parachute.
Mark: I know there might be some bruised egos here, but....
Leo: She probably negotiated when they tried to get her from Google, I would guess. 3 million severence. 26 thousand for health benefits? 52 million dollars worth of restricted stock. It's probably just the standard thing, right? We got a little questionnaire for you. Fill this out, your skills, and your interests. Who are you exactly? Wow. She got 36 million dollars last year as pay. So she's not hurting. What will happen to Marissa Meyer?
Nathan: I feel like she could sit back for a bit, maybe advise some startups she really believes in. Has some quiet influential role, let things blow over. Then maybe come out with a great idea of her own in a few years or join as an executive at a big company.
Leo: The least interesting thing for her to do would be to do what most people in her position do, which would become a VC. That's the fall back, I'll be a VC. If you're looking for investment, normally when you become a partnership at a venture capitalist fund, you take some of your money, you put it in, and then they use you as a way to attract startups because Marissa Meyer will be your adviser, she'll help you make connections. I think that a lot of firms are probably already knocking at her door. But again, one of the least interesting things she could do, I like the idea of her saying I have an idea. Let me start a company.
Mark: She's not done that before.
Leo: She's smart, she's young. I think she was put in a position of something that was impossible to succeed at.
Nathan: I think you have to give her some props for taking a company that was in a terrible spot and owning it and trying to turn it around. It didn't work out, but if you're one of the top folks at Google, a growing, innovative cutting edge company, and you leave for Yahoo. That says a lot about how much you believe in yourself.
Leo: Confidence. Some would say hubris, but we'll say confidence. She did everything she could. I don't think we could do a post mortem on how well she did. Her options were, what she might have done, what she might have done differently. Unless you feel confident that you could have saved Yahoo.
Mark: I could have saved Yahoo.
Leo: You're confident.
Nathan: Paid Katie Couric less, maybe.
Leo: What happens to Katie now?
Nathan: They have this massive audience for their homepage. Do we know what their audience looks like for their actual shows which seem to be inconsistent at best?
Leo: One of the things they did some months ago is they killed the verticals. They had verticals and they merged them in. There was Yahoo Car and Yahoo Tech and they kept David Pogue but I think they took tech and merged into the mainstream. They certainly did with many of the other verticals. Katie Couric is still there. She's got a Yahoo News exclusive. Trump Lawyer, Michael Cohen. She's their global anchor. She's in a studio, looks like a traditional studio, but it's Yahoo News studio. I wonder if this will continue. Would you... if there's a Verizon news studio, is that the same? Verizon didn't rebrand the stuff they got from AOL though.
Mark: I think they will keep the brand separate from Verizon.
Nathan: If the point is to retain that audience, which is maybe sticking around based on familiarity, comfort, changing the brand seems like a good way to ruin that, right?
Leo: they're probably looking at Comcast, right? Similar situation. They don't want to be a dumb pipe, they went out and buy NBC universal. Now they're making movies, now they're making a television network. It does say Comcast when you go to Universal pictures. Comcast company and they say NBC universal and Comcast gets mixed in there. When you go Rockefeller center, there's Comcast branding. They're not hiding the fact that they own it, but they have left those properties to NBC. It's a similar idea. All right. Here we go. That's the breaking story for the day. Yahoo. This week is going to be a busy week. We're going to get Apple quarterly results on Tuesday. Any predictions there? You think... Continued decline of the big fruit company? Sales of iPhone continue to decline, iPad continue to decline. But they're waiting for next quarter, the new iPhone in September, right?
Nathan: They're waiting for the iPhone seven and all of those things. I think a little bit of context, like they are declining, but they are selling more phones than any other single company in the world.
Leo: You can't keep that growth up. But you'll watch because the stock market is going to say it's all over. The headlines will come out on Tuesday. It's all over for Apple, what's next? It's a different company. You used to be able to say they'll innovate their way out of this. I don't know if you can say that this time.
Nathan: I think what we're seeing is something a lot of us have written about. The bit of commoditization of Smartphones.
Leo: Can you tell the difference between these and Apple? They're all slaps of glass.
Nathan: Apple was the one to define that. They're still selling more of their iPhones than anything else.
Leo: Which one is the iPhone? The iPhone is starting to look a little bit behind as Android manufacturers continue to innovate, you look at what the Moto X, it's an interesting. The Z, I should say, it's super thin, but you add capabilities by snapping on magnetic backs. The LG is doing the same kind of idea with the modules.
Nathan: Samsung has gotten it together. I've reviewed Android phones for years, I really hated a lot of the early galaxy phones. They're fantastic now. The operating system is starting to not suck.
Leo: We're going to see a Note 7 August 2.
Mark: will it be waterproof?
Steve: Should be.
Mark: Is the seven actually waterproof?
Leo: Didn't you see Lil' Wayne pouring champagne on it? During the Superbowl. Then his buddy pours champagne on his iPhone and they're like, "you can't do that." I did talk to somebody who is very disappointed that his six was not waterproof.
Nathan: They had it with the five, they took it away with the six, they brought it back with the seven.
Leo: Was it Consumer reports that dunked the S7 and said it's not that water proof.
Steve: Apparently they fixed some kind of process that manufacturing process, now it's OK. No one should buy the active. It's ugly. Get the regular S7.
Leo: Totally impractical, but it looks nice. It's the infinity pool of Smartphones.
Nathan: I'm not into the Edge. The screen curves in the end. The screen curves and it feels nice in your hand or whatever...
Leo: The problem is... I touch it by accident all the time. It's a perfect Pokemon Go phone.
Nathan: You have that slight taper, it kind of bothers me in the end.
Leo: There's no doubt at this point. I've been playing with iOS ten that Apple is playing catch up in almost every respect and in some cases is way behind.
Nathan: I think what it's going to come down to for a lot of these companies, and this is where it's going to be about Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon and maybe Facebook is how they tie all of these things together. Right? If Smartphones are growing to a point where it's something that everyone wants to have for a lot of people out there, it is their first computer or their only computer. Then it's going to be about leveraging that and tying those things together. The voice control is going to be important, the search prediction that you're seeing with Siri and Google Now and Amazon Alexa is going to be important. That's the next layer where things are going to go. Samsung isn't even at play in that regard.
Leo: They're Android. What are they going to do?
Nathan: Exactly. They're just making the device, they have some software.
Leo: Where Apple could expand, have its edge is making better software. That's where it's going. They've done that with the camera. The camera is all about the software, not about the lens.
Nathan: You got it. So Google is in that position where they can tie all those services together on other people's hardware and maybe some of their own a little bit here and there, tying it in with the home and all of these things. Apple can do that.
Leo: Maybe that's why Google, it's rumored, will do new Nexus phones where they're going to take control of it. They're going to make themselves more like an Apple where they make the phone beginning to end, control it totally. Maybe that's what's going on with Google.
Steve: It's definitely what's going on. There's no question about it. That's the only way they can push Android forward is to make their own hardware. They hired Rick Ostolo to run this new hardware division. He was at Motorolla before. This is a major part of that is his team. It starts with the phone and branches out to things like home, maybe some tablets and chromebooks. VR headsets if you want to get wacky, but it starts with the phone. As we know, they have this major update problem and Samsung and HTC and the carrier partners can't get it together, so they're going to take matters into their own hands now, and it's going ot be really interesting to see what kind of phone they build first and build out from there.
Leo: Pause for a second. Is that rumbling coming from Steve? It sounds like, maybe move the mic up a little higher. Maybe you're breathing into it. I don't know.
Steve: How's that? You know what it is, it's my AC.
Leo: It's blowing on you. That's what it is. Maybe if you flip the headphones and put the mic on the other side. I don't know if it would be better. Where's it blowing from?
Steve: My window.
Leo: Point to the direction.
Steve: On my mic side.
Leo: Flip the mic around. Usually you can flip it around. You can't on that one? That's better. Can you wear it like that?
Mark: You look like you're about to record a hip hop video.
Leo: DJ Steve Kovach is here.
Steve: There we go.
Leo: That's what it was. It's still doing it a little bit. Sorry about that. Wear it on the other side. Much better. I think it was the wind hitting it.
Steve: The AC is a few feet away from me, so it was the air coming in.
Mark: It's why you need those luxury seats with the fan underneath.
Leo: blows up, not down. No one knows. Well. What were we talking about? I have no idea. Apple! Yes. Android and the new phones from Google. Actually, in one respect, Apple is achieving parody with Android. Android has its stage fright exploit, an exploit that would allow you to send a malformed MMS message to an Android device and the media player would give you full access and you could PWN the machine. Looks like OSX, IOS, even Watch OS and TV OS had the same vulnerability. Cisco discovered it. Did the right thing, they told Apple before they told the world, and Apple has pushed fixes for OSX El Capitan, IOS, Watch OS, and TV OS. Update, folks. What would happen is somebody sends you an iMessage, malformed, and he or she could take over your phone, remote cord execution and get everything. There is no update yet for Yosemite, or Maverik's. So if you're on a Macintosh with Yosemite or Maverick's, don't use iMessage? I don't know.
Nathan: Or get El Capitan.
Leo: I don't know that it's a coincidence that it's in the media player. It's in the same place as it happened in Android or just that these are vulnerable parts and pieces. Windows has had problems in the past with WMF DLL, because you could send it in image and it would allow a buffer overflow and you could use it to execute a code remotely.
Nathan: Both Android and IOS are Linux based.
Leo: IOS isn't Linux based, its BSD.
Nathan: What this was doing is it was using the API that IOS uses to render images and taking advantage of that. You get something in, you think it's a tiff, you render it as a tiff, and then it changes into malware. All the software updates went out on Monday, so if you have any kind of Apple device, update it to the latest operating system you have. It's free, just take the time to do it. The fix is already there. But this was a serious enough thing that it pushed Android to issue monthly OS updates, Google to push monthly OS updates to Android last year. It's not a joke. Especially with Cisco the way they explained it. They detailed how the exploit works, and now that it's publicly known, it seems like folks would actually take advantage of it.
Leo: So it's really important that you take advantage of it now. Let's take a break. When we come back, I want to talk a little bit about Windows. We're only a few days away now from the end of the Windows X free upgrade and Microsoft in one last annoying push is getting a little bit more aggressive. Getting you to Windows X. Lots to talk about. Got a great panel for you. Mark Milian, from Bloomberg Business week. Bloomberg.com/tech. From the Wall Street Journal, Nathan Olivarez-Giles, and from Tech Insider, Techinsier.io, Steve Kovach. We got a new sponsor to tell you about. I want to show you framing. Have you ever done framing? Like you get a poster? No. You don't, because you just put it on the wall with thumb tacks because you're a young guy.
Nathan: Frames are expensive.
Leo: Ah. You're right. They're horribly expensive, unless, I got a new sponsor for you. You should put some stuff up. I'll tell you about Framebridge. This was actually founded by somebody who did a frame, what did she have? She had a drawing. A poster and the frame cost more than the poster and she said this is kookie, so she started Framebridge, which is the easy way to do custom framing online. I've been doing framing of crazy things. Look at this. This is a 2FX motherboard framed. It's not just pictures you can frame. This one I've got to get re-framed. I'm going to send this to Framebridge. Look at this. This is core memory. You don't remember this, but in the old days, Memory was Wires around magnetic cores. Motherboards make a great thing. You've got pictures. You can get your Instagram pictures, they have mini frames for Instagram pictures. We have... since they're a new sponsor, I'm going to show you what it looks like. Pricing starts at 39 dollars for an Instagram. If you've got a giant movie poster, 139 dollars. If you check the frame store two or three times more, so this is very affordable, they have a happiness guarantee. They guarantee that they will give each piece personal care and attention, and if you're not happy, full refund. So you're never at risk. I forgot what we framed now. I sent this away and I forgot what we framed. By the way, they package it because it's your precious thing, very well. You'll have to forgive me as I tear into this packaging, bubble wrap and everything. Look at this. This is nice. This is a family photo that we got for bedtime. I think Lisa took this picture. how much did this cost, Lisa? It was under a hundred bucks, right? It's a small frame. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars at a framing store, let Framebridge take care of you. You call them, you can walk through and you can do it fully online for diplomas, I have, I'm going to send this off next. A map of all the undersea cables. It's huge, and we looked at getting it framed in our frame store, and it was so expensive I said I'm not doing that. So we got Framebridge now, whether you're looking for eclectic frames for the photos on your phone, you need help planning a gallery wall frame. Framebridge has you covered. We've got a deal for you. Let me get this out here. Isn't that beautiful? Look at that. Beautifully framed. I think Lisa took that of Michael, our son and his friend Tanner. That was in Newport beach. It's all framed, they send you with a kit, everything you need to hang it on the wall. They even put little felt stops. This is a quality framing job. This is not a budget framing job, but it is a budget price. They use premium real wood moldings, acid free matte, that's important, so it won't decay the thing you're framing as the matte decays. Shatter proof acrylic glazing. It's as good as glass, but less glare and it protects you from UV. So it really protects your artwork. Their delivery timeline is incredible, they get it to you fast, and you're going to get 15% off when you go to framebridge.com and use the promo code TWiT. 15% off your first order. This is something that people don't do because it is so expensive. I can tell you having framed art whether it's yours or framed photos is awesome, and what a fun thing to do to take your Instagram photo and get a frame instantly. Frambridge.com and make sure you use that offer code TWiT so you get 15% off. You can safely ship your art to the studio and their pre-paid packaging, or upload a picture on the Framebridge site. Use the Framebridge app and you can upload directly from Instagram. Framebridge.com, we welcome them to This Week in Tech. Nice to have you. Moving along. talking about more Tech news. Elon Musk's master plan, he shouldn't call it a master plan. I'm just saying.
Mark: It sounds great. It sounds diabolical.
Leo: He's playing up the evil genius thing. Then the blog post is Master plan part deus for unknown reasons. The first plan was just Master Plan. He did this ten years ago, actually I give him a lot of credit, because he's always been up front about what are we trying to do here. It's not "I want to build a rocket company with Space X " or "I want to build a car company with Tesla" or "I want to build a solar panel company." It's all about looking at the future. I admire this guy. looking at a sustainable future for our planet. Getting us off fossil fuels, getting us on renewable. In order to do that, we got ot own all the pieces of the puzzle, we need to move to electric vehicles, we need to make solar panels everywhere. The power wall is interesting. Tesla makes a giant home battery that allows you to completely get off the grid. You charge the battery during the day with your solar panels, it keeps your house running at night. I think it's pretty impressive. The plan also includes, this is the most interesting thing, now we're starting to look forward with Part deus, making semi -tractor trailer trucks, electric trucks, people movers. He also has in the plan the idea that you might not use your car all the time. Let others use it, rent it out.
Nathan: Like an Uber competitor, some point down the line.
Leo: What do you think of all this? I like that he dreams big.
Mark: He did fulfill quite a bit from the original master plan.
Leo: The original master plan was we'll build an expensive small volume car, sell that to bootstrap a medium expensive luxury sedan, that's the Model S. I don't know about the crossover, the Model X SUV crossover. Then the idea being to use all that to bootstrap an affordable Model 3.
Mark: In the second master plan he did acknowledge that he's abandoned it. The original goal was build a model 3 and keep pouring all of the cash into creating cheaper and cheaper vehicles, which he's now, in the new plan he's said the 3 is cheap enough.
Nathan: He's talked about doing a pickup truck, so he's thinking about broadening the range, making a real car company.
Leo: Everything has to be electric, and ultimately everything has to be autonomous. He also ten years ago said Solar power. That was not, solar city was not his, although he's trying to buy it. So it kind of is his. Success in part one, it's time to start thinking about part two.
Mark: There's quite a bit of trying to sell the solar city deal that he proposed that the shareholders hate.
Leo: Why do the shareholders hate? Because they feel like it's risky.
Mark: It's largely disconnected from building a car company.
Nathan: That's part of why he released Part deus of his master plan now is to show I have a vision, this is how these things tie together, this is where it's all going. I think he's making his public argument. Especially with him coming out recently saying he thinks it's going to pass by a 2/3 vote to approve this.
Leo: He believes that stockholders will go for it.
Nathan: He believes that, yes.
Leo: He believes we're in a simulation and it's not real.
Nathan: Yeah, but he's trying to sell people on that. This is his pitch. He's saying it's going to be 2/3, even if he doesn't believe it, he's trying to make it a reality.
Leo: God bless him. I should disclose, I bought into this, I put a deposit down in October for a Model X and picked it up Friday. Took the factory tour. They're already remodeling the factory, they're already making... it's a big factory. They bought the old general motors plant which has ten times the capacity that it's using right now, so a lot of it is just storage, warehouse, it's empty. They were starting construction for the Model 3 part of it. It's a cool plant. It's a lot of robots, big giant, German and Japanese robot arms, doing arc welding. Moving the car on and off conveyer belts, it's pretty amazing. I may be a Koolaid drinker when it comes to Tesla. But I love the idea, and I have to say we have solar city panels, I've ordered a power wall. The idea of when I drive down the street there's zero emissions from the car, but zero footprint because I made the energy with the help of the sun myself, it's a nice feeling. I think that this is a reasonable place to push the world if we're going to save it.
Nathan: It makes a lot of sense. I'd like to see a little bit more accessibility. That's where things start. Even though he did pull back a little bit on that plan for cheaper electric vehicles, it still seems to be part of what the overall vision is. I think that is super important if it's going to catch on, there needs to be no barriers based on your income level to take part in this sort of thing, which those are real and those exist today. I think the semi-trucks running on electric power is huge, because that's an economic backbone, it's something that's not going to get replaced any time soon as far as shuffling things around the country and internationally, and if you can sell an entire Industry on that to support electric vehicles, maybe that can help subsidize the consumer facing business.
Leo: He's also really, still all in on autonomy, even though there have been some negative headlines. He points out we're terrible drivers. Automotive fatalities are up 8% in 2015 to one death in every 89 million miles. He pointed out very quickly that Tesla's auto pilot was death free for 110 million miles. So even by that measure it's safer. He says auto pilot miles will soon exceed twice that number and a system gets better every day. Consumer report says you should disable it or at least re-label it. Auto pilot is giving people confidence in something they shouldn't have confidence in. He said it would make no more sense to disable auto pilot as some have called for than it would to disable auto pilot in air crafts, after which our system is named. It's beta and we're going to keep it Beta until auto pilot is ten times safer than the US vehicle average, at that point we'll remove the beta label and when self-driving is approved by regulators, it'll mean you'll be able to summon your Tesla from anywhere once it picks you up, you'll be able to sleep, read, or do anything else en route to your destination. People read this and they think they can do it now, and that's why you shouldn't be pushing this so hard. There are people doing that. Don't do that you nut! You'll also be able to add your car to the Tesla shared fleet by tapping a button on the phone app and have it generate income for you while you're at work on vacation significantly off setting at times exceeding the monthly loner/lease cost. There's a real problem right now. We're building a lot of cars, and most cars are not utilized more than 10%, and that's a huge waste of natural resources. The idea of sharing can make a massive difference as well. Isn't it great that you have people who dream big?
Steve: to put a little reality check, it's not just Elon Musk that's thinking about this. He put out this cool master plan, but Ford MGM, and all the traditional car companies are thinking the exact same way when it comes to their services and car sharing and leasing out your own car. So it's not just an Elon Musk thing.
Leo: I give him a little credit for stimulating this though. Ford...
Steve: Ford has been talking about it for a year now.
Leo: Elon's been talking about it for ten years.
Mark: GM bought sidecar.
Leo: Once Uber took off, they realized Car sharing is going to make it. It was Uber. I think Elon, it makes sense what Elon is saying. Uber is just a first step. What you need is autonomy. I've talked to Brad Templeton who is an autonomous car expert. He was one of the creators of Use Net. I talked to him five years ago. He said none of this lives up to its potential until you can have a car come to you when you need it and take off when you don't need it. That's the ultimate hope for autonomous vehicles. It's not about us not driving as much as it is a more even distribution of transportation.
Nathan: I think you have to give Musk a ton of credit for stimulating, driving this conversation. It would probably be taking place whether he was there or not, but a good example is that plant that was a Toyota plant, they were making some electric cars there and they shut it down.
Leo: Very famously, right?
Nathan: Very famously. GM...
Leo: You've seen the movie "Who Killed the Electric Car."
Nathan: There are a lot of reasons why automotive companies don't want us to leave fossil fuels behind. There are a lot of reasons why energy companies, the oil companies don't want us to leave these things behind. They're dipping their toes in the water, they're saying this is the future of everything. They're going that direction. No one is doing just this the way that Elon Musk's companies are. Whether or not that makes good business sense at this point remains to be seen. It's something you have to acknowledge.
Leo: Many people have been talking about this. I don't think he sole handedly created this, but he's one of the people who is pushing it forward faster than anybody. You can't say he's not well ahead of the other auto makers. The master plan is in short to create stunning solar roofs with seamlessly integrated battery storage, expand the EV product line to address all major segments, trucks people movers, develop a self-driving capability that's ten times safer than manual via massive fleet learning. All of this has to be bootstrapped. Somebody has to say we're going to take the first steps. You don't get massive fleet learning until you have a massive fleet. To get a few early adopters to buy this stuff, it all takes somebody to bootstrap and enable your car to make money for you.
Nathan: The only thing that scares me about all this is that if we have cars that are driving themselves and we can't sleep. Nobody is going to actually sleep, our bosses are just going to be making us work. That's the thing that's worst. Right now when you're driving you can say I'm driving, don't mess with me leave me alone. When this happens, it's just one more area of... less time to not have to work. That scares me.
Mark: That's like when WiFi became ubiquitous on airplanes. Oh no.
Nathan: To be clear, Microsoft has come out and said they are working on some of these things to make you be really productive in the car and to make your car more like an office. This is real stuff.
Leo: Make your car more like a living room.
Nathan: Microsoft is talking about making it like an office. But they're the office company, so. I hate that version of the future.
Leo: To some degree, that's exactly what is going to happen. I think if we're safer, that's good. I used to commute. I used to have a very long commute. I'd come home from tech TV, be exhausted after Screensavers, drive an hour or two back to Petaluma. I was getting scared towards the end because I was getting sleepy. I knew I was going to nod off someday and plow into something. It's scary. I had to get home, I had kids and I had to get there, but I didn't feel good about it. I was relieved when I got fired, because I might have saved my life because I'm not making that commute any more. If I were driving at that time, my model X... you don't want to let it drive, but it seems like it would help you an awful lot. In stop and go traffic, particularly on the highway, I let it drive for almost 80 miles. It really did perform very well. It's where I was glad I was paying attention. A bag of cement had fallen into the highway, that happens a lot here in the bay area, I don't know about where you live. There's always crap, I've run into rakes, lawnmowers, bags of cement, sofas. There's always for some reason on the bay area highways. I saw the cement, the car was driving and maybe it would have gone around it, but I wasn't going to take the chance, but it's easy enough. You have your hands on the wheel, you steer around it, then I tapped the stem twice. A couple of times I did that where I didn't have the confidence it was going to do it. Probably doing the right thing, you shouldn't assume it's going to do it.
Nathan: That's what they say it's at right now. You should feel ready to jump in if you feel the need to. How do you maintain that level of engagement of being ready without getting complacent and falling asleep?
Leo: That's what Google says, because if you aren't paying full attention, it takes you a couple seconds to say what's going on, where am I? I don't know how I'll be, this is the first time I used it. The hundredth time I used it on a long drive. I kept my hand on the wheel. It's scary. You don't really want to let the car do it all, you want to be there to supervise it. I imagine that's what an airline pilot is doing when auto pilot is landing the plane. Not when you're flying cross country, but when it's landing, sometimes they let auto pilot land. I would hope you have your hand on the Yoke. Paying attention, making sure.
Nathan: It's probably scary to you because you're used to driving. For those generations behind us who aren't used to driving the way we are, they probably won't care, right?
Leo: They'll get used to it and they'll plow into things. Unless... I think the key is if everybody is autonomous. But there's still going to be cement bags on the highway at least in the bay area. There's going to be lawnmowers. There is a lot to talk about with these auto pilot crashes. At this point, it's a PR war back and forth. Vehicle logs confirm Tesla autopilot prevented possible pedestrian death, Montana accident, people are going back and forth. Was auto pilot on, not on? It's not perfect. I for one, I bought auto pilot because I wanted to see what it was like, but I wouldn't trust my life or my family's life to it yet.
Mark: It's going to be the default legal defense in every auto collision.
Leo: I didn't do it. Autopilot. I didn't do it. I don't want to wreck my car. That's why I'm not driving it any more. I'm going to leave it in the garage. It'll be safer there. I'm a terrible driver. Let's take a break. Talk about the blue screen of Windows X. Has anybody gotten that yet? I've upgraded all my machines so... I think most people have updated. This is the last few days of the free upgrade for Windows X and Microsoft wants to make sure you know. They don't want to get any calls from people and you know they will, saying hey. Where's my free upgrade? I still want my upgrade. Meanwhile, before we do that, let's talk about you're pretty well dressed. I like this shirt. It's stylish.
Nathan: Thanks. It's not bad.
Leo: Do you like to shop?
Leo: He looks like a guy who likes to shop. Mark Milian on the other hand...
Mark: Not a guy who likes to shop.
Leo: I'm more like Mark than I am like Nate. But I have found a way to up my style a little bit with Trunk Club doing the shopping for me. Wouldn't you like to have a personal stylist who chooses a shirt like that. I'm going to take a picture of that and send it to my stylist and say I like this. Summers here, maybe spruce up your wardrobe, they got those fun parties, short sleeved button downs, lightweight blazers, swimwear, beach formal attire, grown up graphic tees. Trunk Club is a shopping game changer, not just for men. It's also for women too. It's from Nordstrom, so you know you're going to get great service, great quality clothing. I love this, it's free. With Trunk Club, you'll never have to step foot inside a store, you'll get your very own personal stylist, you'll talk to her, you'll give her your measurements, you tell her what you like, what your preferences are. He or she will select items from 80 top brands, put it up on a website, you can go yes, no, and more of that. I notice as I've gotten more trunks from her, she's honed in. Now the trunks I get, everything is something I really like. This is the trunk. it comes with all this great stuff. I still have paid nothing. Nothing for the shipping, nothing for the stylist. In this case, I like bowties. She knows that, she sent me some great looking... look at the bowtie with a mustache. I'm definitely keeping the mustache bowtie. That is awesome. It's double duty. There's some shirts, there's some Nate Oliverez Giles type shirts in here. I bet you'd like these shoes. Look at these, they do shoes too. This is your style. See? I'm telling you. All of this, I still have paid nothing. I have ten days to try it on, do a fashion show for your honey, then keep what you want, send the box back, you pay only for what you keep period. It's not a subscription, you're not going to get another box in a month, only when you ask your stylist for it. It's no pain, no fuss, no muss. If you live in Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, or DC, you can stop by their actual physical trunk clubs and meet your stylist and work with them. That's also free. The service, the shipping, always free both ways. To recap, premium clothes, expert advice, no shopping, no work, and no cost to you. I don't know why they're showing you. No shopping, Nate. And, you only pay for the clothes you keep. They're great clothes. Trunkclub.com/twit if you want to try it. Do go to that site, that way we'll get a little bit of credit. Trunkclub.com/twit. We thank them so much for their support of This Week in Tech. We loved them for keeping me kind of snazzy. I'll be wearing that mustache bow tie soon. Let's see if I can find the screen that Windows is now sending out. I've seen it all over. That's not it. Let's see. It says, "Sorry to interrupt you." They're so not sorry. It takes over the whole screen, so there's no menu any more, there's no, here it is. Sorry to interrupt, but this is important. Whatever you were doing, not important. This is important. The Windows X free upgrade offer ends July 29th. There's two buttons. Upgrade now or remind me later, a little bit over on the left that says notify me three more times. Which is the masochist button. Do it again. I like that. Or the one you want, do not notify me again. This is going to last a few more days. July 29th is the end of the line on this.
Nathan: They have bumbled this every step of the way. I feel bad for them because there's no way they can win because they're really just annoying people, but they've had the popup box in the right hand corner where if you check the wrong button it would automatically do it and people are like, "Why is my machine different?" They made the change so it would automatically reschedule itself. Now there's this. It's all so obnoxious. So many people are going to be mad when they can't get a free update after the 29th.
Leo: Somebody sent me on Twitter, it's a Kiosk, running Windows 7. The whole Kiosk is non-functional because it's got that big blue screen that says, "Sorry to interrupt." Sigh. And yet... you're going to get calls on July 30. What do you mean I don't get the update? Did you not see the 18 annoying notices? Did you not see it? It's a mess. They do say if you're using assisted technologies on Windows seven or 8.1, the deadline is extended, which is a good thing. If you're using a screen reader you have a little more time to go to Windows X. I fully believe them when they say they are going to start charging on July 30. Do not assume no. They're joking. I think they are going to start charging.
Nathan: They have to.
Leo: 119 dollars, July 30th onward. Here's why you should do it. I fully respect anybody's decision to stay with Windows 7. Not so much Windows 8. It's your right, it's your computer. Maybe you like it better, maybe hardware doesn't work, but you are going to want to acquire the license so that in a year or two you're not stuck forever or you don't have to pay 119 bucks. You can, if you want, you can back up your machine because you don't want to take a chance, accept the invitation, do the upgrade. You in theory have 30 days to roll it back, if ti doesn't work, that's why you made the backup. As soon as you've activated Windows X and you go to My Computer and it says, "Windows X activated, you can now go back, because you can go to Windows X any time from then on. The other reason you want to do this is I also believe Microsoft when they say this is the last version of Windows ever.
Nathan: I don't.
Leo: You think there will be a windows 11?
Nathan: Yeah. For the simple fact that people are going to get tired of the brand and someone in marketing is like, "We need to re-fresh things and make things exciting," even if it's based on the same exact thing, they'll give it a new name.
Leo: That's what they've been doing. To be honest, Windows Seven wasn't so different from XP or even Vista. It just had a different UI, but it was the same under the hood, pretty much.
Nathan: We've been on OS X forever on the Apple side, now it's going to be called Mac OS, it's the same operating system, with updates every year or two. And it keeps things fresh and exciting. They skipped Windows 9, they called it Windows 10, and they say it's the last version of Windows that's ever going to come out, but they're going to be updating it regularly and there's going to be new features.
Leo: Here's why I believe them when they say this is the last version. What they say they're going to do is two or three times a year, they'll update it. So you're going to get a new version of Windows yearly, or maybe more often than that, just as you're getting an anniversary update is coming out, roughly the same time frame, August second. That's going to continue. They will still be selling Windows licenses to businesses, which is the biggest part of the profit center. They'll still be selling it through OEMs because if you buy a new computer, it will have Windows X on it, and they'll get whatever they get. We don't know, fifteen or twenty five dollars. That's not going to change. How many people upgraded Windows? That's a small portion. That's the only money they're losing, if they don't make you pay.
Nathan: There is an argument, when you look at PC sales and analysts and stuff, they say that a new operating system is for some a reason to buy a new computer. With the PC market sales sagging over however many years, they're going to have to do something to give people a reason to buy a new computer. So it might not be the name of the operating system but it might be like ok, this laptop is going to be able to scan your eyeballs and this one wasn't able to do so, so you've got to get Windows 10 Super Vista or whatever the hell it's going to be called and...
Leo: Super Vista.
Nathan: They're going to be reasons for you to upgrade. Or this one is the HoloLens compatible version of Windows 10 where Cortana will actually talk back to you instead of just listening or whatever, right? So.
Leo: Yea, actually you might be right. Here's the, this is from Net Market Share, this is operating system market share.
Nathan: So much Windows 7.
Leo: Look at it. It's 40...almost half, 49% Windows 7.
Nathan: But a lot of 10.
Leo: 19% 10 which finally has eclipsed 8, XP.
Mark: XP's still hanging in there though.
Nathan: How old is XP, like 16 years old?
Leo: Yea, and I think there's a lot of...
Nathan: XP is like the Yahoo and AOL of Window's Operating Systems.
Leo: I think there are a lot of people with older computers who can't or won't upgrade. There's also a lot of unattended computers in closets and running servers and things that people aren't going to mess with. Of course there's huge security risks because they're not updating XP anymore. So, although, we haven't heard about a lot of XP exploits.
Nathan: Not in a while. Not in a while.
Leo: So maybe it is safe to run XP. I don't know. I could see Microsoft just saying, "This just isn't our business anymore. Our business is not selling shrink wrapped software of any kind. Not Windows, not Office. That used to be our business. Our business is software as a service. It's subscriptions to Office 365. It's cloud services. We want everybody on Windows 10 so that we can make money on all that stuff. And it's more in our interest to get everybody on Windows 10 and if it means giving away" I don't know what percentage it is of people who upgraded themselves but it's got to be less than 10%.
Nathan: Yea, well they had that goal to get to a billion Windows 10 devices by 2018. Now they're saying they're not going to make it after all. But I think that's what it is. Rather than you spending money on Windows or Office once a year, once every couple years, once every three years, give us a little bit of money every month. And it makes sense. If you're trying to build, if you have a publically traded company and you want to show some sort of consistent user revenue coming in, having the same amount every month from a lot of people seems like a healthy business to build.
Leo: Does that make sense? I think we've always wanted to do that. You raise the really, I think, the sole issue which is PC manufacturers. But it's not Microsoft's job to get them, to get their OEM businesses healthy.
Nathan: It's not, it's not. But you know, what I think is interesting, and this is just me wondering and thinking out loud, and I'll be curious to see what you guys think, is when you buy a laptop traditionally you hold on to it for 4 or 5 years, right? And when you buy a PC it's the same thing whether it's a desktop, laptop, whatever. You buy a phone you replace it about every 2 years even if it doesn't have that many new features, in part because the thing slows down and it doesn't work as well, right? So if we're moving to kind of a multiple centric world anyways, and if you're going to rob the PC manufacturers essentially of operating systems as an excuse to buy a new PC, I wonder if there's going to be some more engineered obsolescence happening on the PC side for those who still buy them. I wonder if PCs aren't going to last as long.
Leo: How do you do...you just have them wear out?
Nathan: Yea, I think they're just going to make them lousier.
Mark: Then nobody will buy that company's computers. There is the same phenomena in PCs like 15, 20 years ago. You had to upgrade every 2 to 3 years because then the new Pentium 3 was out.
Nathan: Exactly. But now people are holding onto them longer, so...
Leo: Well part of the problem is that hardware has caught up with software. You don't need a more powerful processer to run that big, sluggish GUI. Our processers are so fast now they do everything. What you need, is you need a new category is what you need. Yea, phones are catching up. But you need a new category. You need VR, you need speech recognition, you need something that's going to drive that hardware harder. And I don't know if that's on the horizon. Maybe augmented reality would be the one.
Nathan: But look at your MacBook which has a mobile processer and no fan in it. That's kind of a step closer to this, this iPad Pro I have which is a tablet. And I don't think there's any expectation that I have that this iPad Pro is going to last as long as my MacBook Pro which will last me maybe 6 or 7 years if I really push it. I mean I think we're already kind of going in that direction and...
Leo: I just bought my last PC. It's going to run free BSD because I don't think you need a commercial operating system anymore because most of what you do, unless you're doing...there's a few things. There's Lightroom, you know, Photoshop. And I think that there's good analogs in the free space for that. Music maybe. But for what I do, I can do it all on a Chromebook, right? All I need is my Chromebook.
Steve: Chromebooks are so interesting.
Nathan: And those are like $250 bucks.
Leo: I got a beast of a computer with 32 GBs of RAM, with you know, 4 TBs of storage, I use ZSF so it's got to be very reliable storage. It's a Zion processor. It's not the latest and greatest but it's 3.6 GHz with massive cache, 4 cores. I can't imagine. It's going to have to be a new platform. It's not going to be, for a desktop computer, that's it. It's done. For a visor that I walk around, yea, a portable, a phone, yea, you're still going to want something new. But that's kind of the end of the...we have reached peak PC or sure, right?
Nathan: Except for like animators and like those very small communities of creatives, you know.
Leo: Art editors are using Windows 8 because they don't need to upgrade. In fact, it would just destabilize this. Adobe Premier and Windows 8, they're...a lot of people are doing animation. They're almost using dedicated machines, right?
Nathan: Yea. And that's a very small slice of the PC buying population, right?
Leo: Apple has really pretty much decided to abandon that market, haven't they?
Nathan: Yea, the MacBook Pro hasn't been updated, in what, 4 years?
Mark: Well they made the garbage can.
Nathan: Yea, that's the Mac Pro.
Leo: That's the Mac Pro.
Nathan: It screams and it still...
Mark: That was 4 years ago, the garbage can?
Leo: It screams in pain. It doesn't scream...you want my Mac Pro? You can have it.
Nathan: I would love your Mac Pro.
Nathan: I would love it.
Leo: It's yours. I'm retiring it because it's a sealed box.
Nathan: It is, it is.
Leo: It's exactly what you don't want in a desktop.
Nathan: But see, I'm one of those few people who still occasionally will open up Final Cut and do some video editing.
Leo: And it works very well for that.
Nathan: It works really well in Photoshop and Lightroom and most people don't do that.
Leo: But you can't, I can't upgrade. The only thing I can upgrade on that is RAM.
Leo: I can't even upgrade the video cards. It's as sealed as an iPhone.
Nathan: And the promise was that with Thunderbolt you'd be able to daisy chain all these accessories. But now everyone's moving to USB-C so that's never going to come to fruition.
Leo: You know what I'm doing with my garbage can Mac? I have three Minecraft servers running on it (laughing).
Mark: You should totally give that to Nate.
Leo: I'm giving it to Nate because I'm replacing it with a small Linux Nug, you know, one of those small computers. It will do a better job. It's more upgradable. And it's more reliable then running...it's silly to run OS10 as a server although that's how I'm using it.
Nathan: That is kind of silly.
Leo: So, it's yours.
Nathan: Yes. Yes. You should get rid of that Model X too while you're at it.
Nathan: Keep talking about how useless that thing is. Geez.
Leo: Oh, man.
Nathan: Back me up here, Steve.
Leo: There is one negative. And Elon, if you're listening, or anybody at Tesla, they block our website.
Mark: Tesla does?
Nathan: So you can't look at in in the car?
Leo: I can go to youtube.com. I can go to twitch.tv. So it's not that they think, "Oh there's video on there." They have podcasts anyway on it. You can't watch video on the screen, not for obvious reasons. But you go to twit.tv it says this site does not exist.
Leo: And I know, I know Elon called downstairs to his factory employees, "When are you putting those Model Xs out there, make sure nobody's going to twit.tv. That guy's a dick." Or something, I don't know what. It's blocking my website. Is that weird?
Nathan: It's super weird. I don't know what you can do about that.
Leo: If anyone's listening at Tesla, can you please unblock TWiT?
Nathan: Did you bring this up when you went on the factory tour?
Leo: There was nobody, it was a bunch of robots. What are they going to do? They go buzz, buzz, buzz. That's all. They had no response whatsoever.
Steve: Time to get rid of that Model X then.
Leo: I think I'm going to give it to Nate.
Nathan: Thanks, Steve.
Steve: Why does Nate get everything?
Leo: (Laughing) because he's the best dressed. No, if I could push a button and have it drive to New York I would, but I can't.
Steve: 10 years.
Leo: Yea. Do you think, I wonder if the Model X will be upgraded to the point where it will have those capabilities or if I have basically bought an obsolete car.
Nathan: Like you can buy a car in an app, and then it drives itself from like North Carolina's manufacturing plant to your...
Nathan: That would be cool. Why not, right?
Leo: Why not? It still won't get to TWiT TV though. One thing it can't do. All right. Moving right along. Do you want to talk about Milo Yiannopoulos and Twitter?
Nathan: Yes. Let's do it.
Leo: Really an interesting story. So it goes back to Ghostbusters. Has anybody seen the new Ghostbusters yet?
Leo: It's good.
Steve: I loved it. I was cracking up the entire time. I loved it.
Leo: So wait a minute. You mean women can be funny?
Nathan: Believe it or not.
Leo: (Laughing) why anybody...by the way in this day and age, thought women couldn't be funny is really beyond me, right?
Nathan: There are a lot of jerks out there.
Leo: Melissa McCarthy is, she walks in the room and she's funny. Kirstin Wiig is funny, just you know, she looks funny. She's funny.
Nathan: But Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones were funnier than those too.
Leo: I heard Kate McKinnon is fabulous.
Nathan: She might be my favorite character.
Steve: Oh, she sold the movie like hands down.
Leo: And Leslie Jones was good?
Steve: She's good, yea. Not as good as McKinnon.
Leo: Here's my theory. So Milo Yiannopoulos, who is or was @nero on Twitter, decided along with apparently some others, that first of all, they shouldn't remake Ghostbusters because the first three were such classics. Were there 3? 2?
Nathan: There was 2.
Leo: Such classics. I don't think that. But anyway. And I think he didn't like that it was women, right? If you're going to remake it at least have guys.
Steve: It's not really him. He was kind of stoking the subculture on Twitter that was saying all these things. And that's why he got bumped off. It's not necessarily...
Leo: You don't think it's him?
Steve: No, it's definitely him. He knows who his followers are and he's like the hub of a lot of this.
Leo: And I also think he doesn't have any beliefs at all and loves just stirring things up. You've met people like that who just get off on...and they think it's all a great game. He's in it for the lulls if anybody ever was, right? So he apparently doesn't like Jones' performance. And starts...I don't know what he tweeted. Did he tweet racist stuff or he just incited his followers to tweet racist stuff?
Steve: He incited it. He kind of...
Leo: He was saying some stuff like, "She's ugly."
Nathan: Yea, he was kind of pointing in that direction and given that he knows who his followers are...
Leo: He knew that they would then post gorilla pictures.
Leo: And really, I mean terribly racist stuff.
Nathan: Unquestionably racist, sexist and just very hateful and kind of xenophobic in general.
Leo: She started retweeting which I thought was an interesting response. It's really hard to know what to do with trolling. Do you ignore it? A lot of people say, "Just ignore it. Don't give them energy at all." But it's hard when people are tweeting pictures comparing you to a chimpanzee and you're an African-American. Do you really, do you want to ignore that? That is, I can't imagine anything more...hateful stuff. Death threats. Horrible stuff. So she takes the unusual tack of...
Nathan: Of essentially exposing it, making it public, making everybody see.
Leo: Feeding the trolls. And then says, "And that's it. I'm outta here. I'm leaving Twitter."
Nathan: But it was like after...you know, in her defense, she had been getting this for days and weeks and...
Leo: Oh, you don't have to defend her. You do not have to defend her.
Nathan: Could you imagine the emotional toll it's going to take out of you after spending all day retweeting the BS which just got more and more...
Leo: Believe me, I don't have to imagine it.
Nathan: I was just like.
Leo: I'm there. So Twitter's response to this is to ban Milo.
Leo: Permanently banned Milo.
Nathan: They've banned him before.
Leo: They punished him before by taking away his blue check. We're taking away your blue check. But now they banned him. Now on the one hand, of course, because he is using his real name...I mean, @nero's not but everybody knows it's him. He doesn't hide that it's him. He even says in his bio they could ban him. The trolls, they can kill that account but they just come back. They can't effectively stop the abuse. You cannot stop the abuse. So in some ways, I feel like he's being punished for doing the right thing, which is abusing her with his real name. It's never right to abuse, but at least he's using his real name, right?
Nathan: He's using his real name and yea, he's not hiding behind anything. Sure, you can give him credit for that.
Leo: Well I don't want to give him a lot of credit.
Nathan: The fact of the matter is, if you're using- like Twitter's Terms of Service say very clearly if you're using it to abuse other people, you might get kicked off the service. I like...and you know, his argument of free speech is just...
Leo: He says, "I am the most fabulous super villain on the internet." I mean he...
Nathan: Did he forget about Martin?
Leo: Martin Shkreli? There's another villain. But Milo loves this. He thinks it's funny. He enjoys it. And in fact this is an article on Medium by Laurie Penny called "I'm with the Banned." She went to Milo's party at the Republican Convention the night he was banned and he was thrilled.
Leo: Best thing that could ever happen to him. He loved the publicity. So it's not a punishment, right? It just validates him, gives his brand mileage. We're talking about him. I wouldn't have talked about him otherwise. He's in all the media. He says, so let's see...
Nathan: Well he was claiming that's the end of Twitter.
Leo: She says, how does he feel about the suspension? "It's fantastic," he says, "it's the end of the platform. The timing is perfect. I thought I had another six months but this was always going to happen." And yea, he thinks it's the end of Twitter. Which it's not.
Nathan: Yea, which just shows how overblown his ego is in this regard.
Leo: You know, it doesn't...(laughing).
Nathan: You know honestly I think in some sense it's good for Twitter to do this because if he's one of those heads of like a really terrible community that exists on their platform, on their service, take down those big folks. Because those people who do use Twitter in that capacity to promote themselves and to build a business and to build a reputation as, in this case, if you want to call him a journalist, or a blogger or whatever, he can't use that platform anymore. He can't reach millions of people that way anymore. The other trolls that are following him around...
Leo: So it is an effective punishment however he acts about it.
Nathan: Yea, because the other trolls that were following him around, they don't have millions of followers.
Leo: There's no point.
Nathan: Exactly. They're just a bunch of...you know, so if you're, you can't get rid of trolling altogether, but you can get rid of the folks that are leading some of this really hateful BS. You can't let it go without any punishment, without any sort of recourse so I think this was smart on their part.
Leo: No one denies it's their right to do this. It's a private platform.
Steve: Oh plenty of people deny it. Are you kidding me?
Steve: Oh my God, you should see the...I wrote a column about that. So you should see the hate mail I'm getting about this. People think it's a violation of their free speech rights. These people have a fundamental misunderstanding of what free speech is, especially on a private platform like this. Oh my God, plenty of people think, disagree with this decision of that.
Leo: Did you just send them the XKCD comic on free speech?
Steve: Yea, actually I linked to that in my column too but I mean it's still, these people are so whipped up they don't pay attention to any of these facts. But I mean the real thing, I kind of disagree with Nate to a degree and that's because we wouldn't even be talking about this had it not been a very famous movie star, a SNL star retweeting all these images, reaching...and Jack Dorsey reaching out to her personally. This happens every day. I have so many friend that have gotten death threats. I really close friend of mine, she runs a feminist website. She's been death threated and you name the worst possible things you can think of, she's had it tweeted at her. And she's reported these accounts for abuse and has gotten, "Oh, sorry. Nothing can happen," back. And so you know it's nice that they can do this and maybe this can be like this galvanizing point that Nate was talking about and they can start doing something but honestly, I'm not optimistic. They've been talking about their line for the last 2 years since Dick Costello was CEO, has been "Oh we're not doing enough to combat abuse." And then they just leave it at that and do absolutely nothing. But I think one move they did make this week that could be like a hint of laying the groundwork towards something, is allowing anyone to apply for verification and maybe you can see them getting to a point where everyone has their own real identity on Twitter. You can still be anonymous if you want to but you're kind of like cordoned off in this dark corner of Twitter where everyone else gets to see a verified identity and a filtered, troll-free Twitter which would be great. I think that's one of the answers to this problem. Not THE answer, but you know, approaching an answer.
Leo: It's an interesting response because of course Twitter is based, well there's a couple of issues here. First of all, Twitter, to keep their stock price up, has to continue to grow. So it's not in their interests to ban users. It's against their financial interests to ban users. On the other hand, if you're a celebrity and this is where I think it is a double standard, if you're a celebrity and you get attacked, you can almost always get your attackers banned because you're a celebrity. You're Robin Williams' daughter or you're Leslie Jones. But I think they have a fundamental issue which is Twitter was created as an anonymous platform. Facebook has issues but nowhere near this degree of issues right? Google+, same thing. Nowhere near this degree if issues. In fact, Google + now lets you use a fake name and it hasn't descended yet but it's started to. There's a lot more spam. There's a lot more ridiculousness on Google +, partly because it's an abandoned platform. The problem I see Twitter facing is they're built around anonymity. I think the verification is an interesting way to kind of slice it so they can have basically two Twitters now.
Steve: Yea, they have a dark Twitter.
Nathan: But the verification as they've explained it so far, because I covered this this week, anyone in the public can apply for it but they've made it very clear that the...
Leo: Oh, you won't all get it?
Nathan: You won't all get it. So you'll only get it if you're a public figure.
Steve: If you're a journalist or something.
Nathan: So you have to be a public figure. You have to be a celebrity. You have to be like an influencer online. You have to be a YouTube star. You have to be some sort of personality.
Leo: But I don't want a Twitter, and this by the way, everybody can do this. You can look at your notifications screen and say, "I only want to see verified tweets." And it's nothing. I don't want a Twitter where it's only celebrities talking at me. That's the worst.
Nathan: And Leslie Jones was verified. You know that didn't protect her at all.
Leo: Oh verification doesn't protect you.
Nathan: So it's like, it's cool that they're opening it up to the public, but...
Steve: They would have to take it a step further is what I'm saying.
Nathan: Exactly, yea. They did do one thing earlier this year where before if you'd report harassment in tweets, you'd have to report them one at a time which who the hell could do that if you're getting thousands of these a day. Which as Steve pointed out, not only celebrities get those but a lot of women and people of color and just in general. But now you can report I think it's up to 3 at a time which is still like insanely low and difficult.
Leo: 3 people or 3 tweets?
Nathan: 3 tweets. So you can't even report an account like this person's hateful. You have to report those specific tweets.
Leo: Oh, you're reporting tweets now.
Nathan: So they've got a long, long, long ways to go.
Leo: I can really see, you can see how torn they are. And by the way, I'm torn too because Twitter is a valuable platform, isn't it?
Mark: And valuable for honest communication too. They credit...
Leo: Anonymity is where this all results from, right? If people have to use their real name, I noticed they don't...I mean, Milo Yiannopoulos aside, they're mostly pretty civil. People like too, most trolls prefer to do it in the darkness under anonymous names. But as you point out, we need some anonymity. Twitter at this point is the last anonymous platform except for Reddit. And by the way, guess what? Reddit has similar problems, don't they?
Nathan: Well Instagram. And if you've look at like any women's account on Instagram, the number of things...
Leo: Horrible. Horrible.
Nathan: That's bad news too.
Leo: Do they have better controls? You can block somebody.
Nathan: You can block their accounts, yea.
Leo: But they can't...if you block them they can't comment on your picture.
Leo: That's the difference of Twitter. Anybody can use your @handle, even if you blocked them as long as they have an account they can @ you.
Mark: But you won't see it.
Leo: You can block it so you don't see it. But that's like sticking your head in the sand. I'm not seeing all these horrible abusive tweets? How does that help anything? Everybody else sees them, right? I think they have a structural issue that's very difficult to solve because unless they're willing to go, turn their back on anonymity, which would then break Twitter in some ways...
Nathan: It's a unique problem.
Leo: It's a unique problem. I don't know. Do you guys have ideas? How would you solve it?
Nathan: Buy Yahoo.
Leo: Buy Yahoo (laughing).
Steve: Or sell to Google and see what they can do with it. Use their machine learning or something.
Nathan: Twitter owns Periscope, the live streaming video platform. I hate saying platform. App, service, whatever and they actually have a feature that they rolled out not long ago where they have essentially like a small jury so anytime that...
Leo: That's an interesting approach.
Nathan: Yea. So let's say I'm hosting a video. Mark leaves a hateful comment and you see it. You can report it and then...
Leo: A randomly selected jury.
Nathan: A randomly selected three other users will see it and then they can vote as whether to it is abusive or not. And if it's decided as abusive, then that person, Mark in this hypothetical situation, would be kicked out for the rest of that session. Or what it is, is they would be banned from commenting for like 30 seconds. They'd get a warning. And then if it happened again they would get kicked out of that specific session.
Leo: They must be, Twitter must be experimenting with this. Do you think they're considering moving it?
Nathan: That's why I'm bringing it up. I think that you know, this is an issue on Periscope. This is an issue on Twitter. Twitter's their main core product and I think they might bring some of these ideas over across if it's successful. But I think doing things like that maybe ban people temporarily you know, maybe putting them in a kind of situation where they can't interact with that other user and like you said, if you block someone, maybe not allowing them to even use your @ handle. I mean the whole point of Twitter is that it's kind of a conversation unfolding online in front of everybody, right? And when we have those conversations with people who follow us or with each other, everyone can see it essentially unless our accounts are private. Well if you block someone that's being hateful to you and if they have examples and proof of that, why not allow that person to not even be able to send you a message publicly on your @ handle? Maybe there are ways around.
Leo: Well I can tell you now that doesn't fix it in my experience because they could still use other peoples' handles and use your name and slime you to other people which is what they want to do anyway, right?
Nathan: Yea, but making...but if so why do trolls at this point really like Twitter a lot more than they like these other platforms that we've brought up and we've been talking about? This stuff's still happening on Facebook. This stuff still happens on YouTube and all these other places.
Leo: It seems to be shut down a lot faster. YouTube's actually very bad.
Nathan: So why does it happen on Twitter more? Because it's a lot easier to do and go and check on Twitter than on anywhere else. So if it's more of a pain in the butt to do, and if it's more difficult to do on Twitter, they'll go somewhere else. You're going to go where it's easier to do.
Leo: Maybe make it harder to create new accounts? Maybe have a waiting period? You're right, there are ways they can make it--
Nathan: You're not going to make it go away altogether. But you can make it a lot harder.
Leo: They don't seem to have the will to do that though, do they? I like the idea of a jury of your presumably peers.
Nathan: Well maybe if it goes over well on Periscope, maybe they'll bring it over. Who knows?
Leo: That's very interesting.
Nathan: But you know, whether they're putting enough resources into it or enough attention into it, I think all of us would probably say no. But they are doing something and they are trying to figure something out. Are they moving quick enough? I don't think so, but, it's not as if they're ignoring it altogether.
Leo: It's such an interesting question because on the one hand, Twitter is a pimple on the butt of the internet. It's a boil. And on the other hand...but at the exact same time it's also one of the best things that has ever happened on the internet. It's a really interesting...I mean we were, we just heard a bad rumor that turned out not to be true that a celebrity had passed. What's the first thing you do? I check Twitter. And you know if somebody's passed, that's where you're going to see it.
Nathan: And we were able to find out that that was a hoax.
Leo: Because it wasn't on Twitter. So that's hugely valuable. Arab Spring, brought down Mubarak in Egypt. I mean you can't be more valuable than that. I mean admittedly other, Facebook had a role in that and other ways.
Nathan: The majority of the dialogue happening with the Black Lives Matter movement and police brutality issues...
Leo: Black Lives Matter a hashtag on Twitter. That makes it visible and viable.
Steve: And in a way that Facebook can't even emulate or hope to emulate.
Leo: I mean the Republican candidate for president, Donald Trump, is to some degree the presidential candidate because his mastery of Twitter, not because of his mastery of Facebook.
Steve: He's not even running ads, traditional ads.
Leo: He doesn't need to. He doesn't have to run ads. He has mastered social media.
Nathan: Specifically, Twitter, more so than anything else.
Leo: More so anything else, Twitter has become a platform for him.
Steve: He's on Facebook but's it kind of minimal I think.
Leo: It's not the same. You know in fact he's better in 140 characters than he is in 140 words. I mean there's just something about that medium. Some people are made for that medium. I find that fascinating. So at the same time that Twitter is the worst thing on the internet, it's also the best thing on the internet.
Nathan: That's the internet as a whole. That's anything. That's money, that's guns, that's politics. You know all these things are just tools that are reflections of ourselves and what we make of them, right? So.
Leo: Let's take a break. We're going to come back with more. We have Microsoft quarterly results to report. Google has some numbers on government requests for user data. And a victory for Google in France, the last place you'd expect a victory from Google. First a word from Braintree. Braintree is the place to go. If you are a mobile app developer or web developer and you want to ad payments, do not try to write this yourself. Use Braintree. Braintree Payments makes it easy to accept any kind of payment period. Credit cards, PayPal, Venmo, Bitcoin, Apple Pay, Android Pay and when the next big thing comes along, Zubat Pay or Pokémon Pay, you can bet you go to your control panel on Braintree and there'll be a checkbox. You can check it and boom. It's part of your app and that's amazing. Easy to integrate. Just a few lines of code. iOS, Android, Java Script. It works in 7 languages. The SDK's in 7 languages, .NET, node.js, Java, Pearl, PHP, Python and Ruby. And of course before you use something like Braintree, what are you going to do? You're going to check their references. Who uses Braintree? Have you seen the buyable pins on Pinterest? That's Braintree's contextual payment system. Amazing. Have you ever used, I don't know, have you ever used Uber? You know, take a ride, you get out. That's it. You're done. You've paid. That's Braintree. And guess what? Lyft uses Braintree too. When you see two competitors using the same service, you know that's got to be THE service. Airbnb uses it. Hotels Tonight uses it. For crying out loud, GitHub uses it. You use GitHub, GitHub uses Braintree. Enough said. Go to Braintreepayments.com/twit find out more. No late nights. No complicated recoding. No stress about staying ahead of the curve. It reassures your customers too because of the great fraud protection, they feel better. They've used Braintree too. And they'll feel better. Fewer abandoned carts, you get fast payouts. Braintree. It gives you an easy way to accept multiple payment types and easy integration into your app. Just a few lines of code and your first $50,000 dollars in payments fee free. Tell the boss, tell your product manager, whoever makes the decision. Maybe it's you. Braintreepayments.com/twit. Do go to that URL because we want Braintree to know you came there because you were watching TWiT. Braintreepayments.com/twit. We thank them so much for their support of This Week in Tech. We had a great week. Fun week. Lots to talk about and we made a small motion picture for you to enjoy recapping the highlights. Watch.
Narrator: Previously on TWiT.
Leo: I wish I had a box to take this out of. I don't. This is a...
Megan Morrone: That would be a lot of Styrofoam peanuts.
Leo: This is the Model X. Just double tap here. I'll double tap this and now watch over here, famous falcon wings.
Owen JJ Stone: I'm so excited about it. I really am.
Narrator:TWiT Live Specials.
Father Robert Ballecer: Here in the Silicon Valley, the internet of things and wearable technologies are two cache phrases. Are we actually going to see a revolution in wearable technology and the internet of things? That's why we're here in San Jose for Wearable Tech Conference 2016.
Narrator: All About Android.
Florence Ion: This week we have the flagship Moto Zs. Here is the projector mod. Snaps on perfectly on the back. And Josh, if you want, we can try and see if we can hit it with the overhead camera. There we go. There's me.
Phil Nickinson: Oh, look at that. That is so cool.
Narrator: The New Screen Savers.
Leo: Michael along with others reverse engineered the API to create a map that shows you where Pokémon are anywhere in the world. There's no public API you just figured out what they were doing?
Michael Christopher: Right, yea, this is all reverse engineering.
Leo: Oh boy. Are you a little worried you're going to get a little knock on the door at some point?
Michael: We're going against the terms of service but I don't think...
Leo: You can't get thrown in jail for that. And it's kind of fun, isn't it?
Michael: Of course.
Narrator: TWiT. Test drive one today.
Phil: I mean they'd have to redo...where's the microphone. Oh, there it is.
Leo: Actually I'm starting to come to the conclusion that VR is the 3D of 2016. Like it was overhyped. Do you think?
Mark: Of 2016, yea. It's not going to take off this year but it will take off.
Mark: Yea. Well, PlayStation VR, it's not going to take over the world when it comes out, but give it a couple years.
Leo: I'm starting to get the feeling that, like we were all excited. It was kind of like Pokémon Go. And now it's like eh. Eh. PlayStation VR, that will be the test.
Nathan: That's going to be the most accessible. I mean a lot, most people aren't going to buy PCs just for VR. But a lot of people who already have PlayStations, millions of them...
Leo: We've got the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive in the backroom there. Everybody was all excited. They drew funny things with TiltBrush and shot at aliens. Do people still go back there and play that? Eh. I think it's...believe it or not, God, this is such a depressing, but it's run its course. It's over. What's next?
Megan: Thank you, Leo. This Friday, July 29, is the last day you can download Windows 10 for free. So get it or don't. But do not say that we didn't warn you. Guess who's releasing earnings this week? Everybody who's anybody. Twitter, Facebook, Apple, Alphabet, Amazon, Verizon, Google, Nintendo, Match Group, Groupon and Samsung. We will cover all of this and the rest of the tech news with Jason Howell on Tech News Today every day at 4:00 PM Pacific.
Leo: That's what's next. Thank you, Megan Morrone, Tech News Today, Monday through Friday. We just got some really good news. We are going to be...you know how Amazon Echo has that update, you can say, "Give me my daily briefing?" And the choice has been kind of limited. I think Bloomberg might be on it, Wall Street Journal's on it, NPR. It's kind of limited. But we just got invited to provide a Tech News headline for the Amazon Echo.
Mark: Cool. That's great.
Leo: Yea. So I think, I don't know, Megan and Jason, maybe I'll do some of them and I think it will be kind of cool.
Nathan: And so it will just be like you talking for a minute or 2?
Leo: Yea. Here's the Tech News headlines from TWiT.tv. I'm your host, Leo Laporte. Yea.
Mark: Can I get you to wake me up in the morning as my alarm? Just you reading headlines?
Leo: You want that? Usually people use me to go to sleep (laughing). Quite the opposite. Yea, I thought that was pretty cool. I guess we called Amazon and they said it's invitation only, but yes, you're invited. Take that, Tesla. But you still can't get us on the Tesla. Google and Bing, good news. The French Court says, after all, we all do exactly do what the French Court says, the French Court says Google and Bing, it's ok to have Torrent searches. This is actually kind of a big deal. Is a search engine responsible for providing you a link to what might be pirated content? The filter was requested by the French music industry. The court, the High Court of Paris said it's too broad, too ineffective and this is so...boy, I'm surprised to hear them say this, but would target legitimate content as well. Just because it's on Torrent, just because it's BitTorrent doesn't mean it's pirated music.
Mark: Who would have thought that France would be more progressive on its internet censorship issue than the UK for example which still has the right to be forgotten.
Leo: Yep. I hope that the US music industry pays attention to this. Obviously it doesn't carry any weight in the US. But it would be nice if they kind of...there's always been this kind of thing like well shouldn't Google not allow searches for stuff we don't like? And I don't think you want to get Google in that position.
Nathan: No, yea. Forcing them to censor or making them censor on behalf of anyone, but much less major corporations isn't really like a good look. So I'm kind of actually about this.
Leo: French courts have used French's Intellectual Property Code, their DMCA, to force Google and Bing to make pirate sites disappear but in this case the court said, "No, it's just not going to happen. We're not going to block all Torrents just because you say so."
Nathan: Do you guys think this is maybe a little bit of a recognition that BitTorrent itself, you know, torrenting is really a type of technology, but BitTorrent the company behind all of this tech, they're trying to go legit. I mean you know they have their sync apps to share files. They have their Shoot App to share photos. They have Bleep, their messaging app. I mean they're trying to turn themselves into a legit company and I think that's an acknowledgment that not all the stuff that's on their service is bad. I think they even have a music service now which I forget the name of, but...
Leo: I think this is brand calling strategy to kind of resurrect the name. They launched BitTorrent News this week. In fact, they streamed the Republican National Convention. I think they're going to do the same next week with the Democratic National Convention. Did anybody watch BitTorrent Live, watch the live stream?
Steve: Yea. My friend was the host.
Leo: You're kidding?
Steve: No, Justin Young, he was one of the hosts.
Leo: So they did their own...
Steve: He was the commentator the entire time.
Leo: They did their whole cover of it.
Steve: Yea, it was really cool. It was very offbeat. I mean he would, my buddy would dress up as Charmander walking the floor.
Leo: (Laughing) That was him?
Steve: Yea, yea. Really a college frame of mind.
Leo: That's funny.
Steve: Yea, he was having a blast and I can't wait to see him do the DNC. You know, it's kind of offbeat and fun and definitely caters to the kind of person who would be paying attention to BitTorrent's News Network, so yea, it's great. I'm really happy for them.
Leo: That was Justin Robert Young?
Leo: Oh, yea, of course I know who he is. Wow. Good for JuRY.
Steve: There he is, yea.
Leo: Good for him.
Steve: He was my editor-in-chief at my college paper a million years ago.
Leo: Of course he hosted a show on this network for a long time. NSFW. Wow. I should have...if I had known JuRY was going to be hosting, I would have watched. That's offbeat. So of course you can get a pool feed of the convention goings on, but it looks like they were doing a lot more than that.
Steve: Yea, they were doing man on the street stuff and just gags and all that kind of stuff.
Leo: 10 to 12 hours of coverage a day during the convention. Are they going to do it again next week, because that's when I'm watching?
Steve: Oh, yea, I think he's going to be there.
Leo: Fantastic. So how do you watch it? On the internet, you can watch it on the web.
Steve: Yea, I think it's a YouTube channel.
Leo: But I think they also have, if I'm not wrong, I think they have an app for Apple TV, right?
Nathan: I'm not sure.
Leo: There is a BitTorrent app for Apple TV. I don't know if...
Steve: I definitely know there is a YouTube channel and they have like only a couple hundred followers at the time. I looked earlier last week but...
Nathan: Yea, you're right. It's on iOS and Apple TV. Their music service, BitTorrent Now.
Leo: Right. So they really are re-inventing themselves.
Steve: Is BitTorrent Now just like Spotify or?
Nathan: No, what it is, is independent artists...
Leo: It's all indie.
Nathan: Yea, you can put stuff up there and you can get it from those specific artists if you want. They can make it free. It's pretty neat.
Leo: We're, the BT Live, we're one of the networks on BT Live. So you can watch TWiT streaming on that. That's also on Apple TV. So they have two apps now.
Leo: On Apple TV. And Fire TV. And there's a Mac version. "Live streaming video. Powered by People." I love this. I mean we used BitTorrent in the very earliest days to distribute the shows because we didn't have bandwidth deals with CacheFly and we asked, we would ask people who watched the show, you want a seed? Ok, download a copy and you can seed. And we would have seeders and that's how we got the show out. And that's always our fallback strategy if we lose our bandwidth deals because it's expensive. Bandwidth's very expensive.
Nathan: It's good because it's actual useful technology that they have and making it more accessible and using it in different ways.
Leo: It's good for them because it's not pirated content.
Nathan: Exactly. And it kind of helps them shield that reputation of just people sharing things that are stolen, you know?
Leo: So they don't use...I think that they don't use bandwidth.
Nathan: It's all peer to peer.
Leo: Because it's all peer to peer. So it costs them nothing in bandwidth. They just create the content. It's interesting they're doing a YouTube Live channel. I mean that's not exactly using BitTorrent technology, is it?
Nathan: But it's getting the name out there in a different way, right?
Leo: Yea, it's getting the name out.
Nathan: It's good for Steve's buddy in the Charmander suit.
Leo: I didn't know that was Justin Robert Young.
Leo: You couldn't really tell. I saw a beard.
Steve: There are better shots of him. He was kind of masking himself there. The best one is he's walking the floor and just talking to RNC delegates. It's really funny.
Leo: What are they...I mean you know what? A political convention is so wild...
Steve: He probably looked normal.
Leo: It's like, oh, yea. You must be one of the dinosaur trunk supporters (laughing). That's so funny. Wow. Why not bring Pokémon to the convention? Well I can't wait to watch him do it tomorrow. Let's see here. Quarterly results. Microsoft Q4 results. It's really, we're watching the transition of this company. It's very interesting. Office 365 subscriptions, 23 million. A very strong quarter thanks to Cloud, their new HR CRM Platform Dynamics, Azure, products and services. They made money on the hardware division, too. Surface. Not so much on the phone part.
Nathan: Yea, that's been a nosedive.
Leo: Not so much there. In fact, they didn't even report phone numbers. Which tells me probably...
Leo: (laughing) They've been reporting it all along. Now we're 4%, now we're 1.5%. I think it's probably close to zero.
Nathan: They also don't report Xbox sales.
Leo: Yea, they never break that out, do they?
Nathan: They stopped after...
Mark: Yea, they used to.
Leo: They used to.
Nathan: They used to. They stopped because they're getting their butts kicked by PlayStation.
Leo: Rightly so?
Nathan: I think so.
Leo: I love my Xbox One. No?
Mark: PS4 is where it's at.
Leo: You're both PS4?
Nathan: I had an Xbox One but I got rid of it because...
Leo: Real gamers are PS4 users, aren't they?
Nathan: I don't want to get into real gamers and fake gamers, there's just more games that I wanted to play on the PS4 and you know, outside of Sunset Overdrive...
Leo: Which is an awesome game.
Nathan: Which is great. And then Halo. I wasn't using my Xbox One. So I got rid of it.
Leo: And I mean there's not a qualitative difference.
Nathan: Most of the games are on both, you know?
Leo: No Man's Sky though, will that be...that's the one I want.
Steve: That's just PS4.
Leo: Yea, no Xbox.
Nathan: Come to the dark side, Leo.
Steve: It's going to be great.
Leo: Would you like an old Xbox One?
Mark: I'll take the Tesla. Keep the Xbox.
Leo: You want an Xbox one? All right, Chris, I'm going to give it to you. And the reason I am is I ordered stupidly, the new Xbox which comes out August 2nd, the Xbox One S.
Nathan: Have we talked about what a rip off this is? They have the One S coming out this year. They have Project Scorpion and another new Xbox supposedly Xbox one coming out next year with even more graphical horsepower for VR. They're trying to sell us a new Xbox every year. I don't like this. I do not like this.
Leo: Well you don't have to buy it.
Nathan: I'm not gonna.
Steve: You'll still be able to play your games.
Nathan: $350 bucks every year? Get the hell out of here.
Leo: The S is the same.
Mark: It's smaller.
Nathan: It can do 4K.
Leo: It can do 4K, it can do streaming video.
Leo: It can do 4K streaming videos, not 4K games, but it can do 4K Netflix. But I don't have a 4K TV so that's no big deal.
Steve: It looks way nicer.
Nathan: It does look nicer.
Leo: It's slimmer, it's a lot smaller, like a 3rd of the size.
Nathan: The old Xbox One on my really terrible looking TV console looked like a big ass old VCR. I hated that thing.
Leo: All right. Chris, I'm going to give you the old Xbox One when the new one comes. You want it? Why don't you have an Xbox One? You're a young person. You have a PlayStation. Son of a... Do you want an Oculus Rift?
Mark: Are you giving stuff out? This is like Leo Santa today.
Leo: Well we've got to move. I feel like you've been left out. I'm not giving you anything, Steve, because you're in New York.
Steve: You're like Oprah Winfrey today. This is great.
Leo: Well here's the problem. I got an Oculus Rift, I bought an Oculus Rift and then they said, "Oh, and you're getting one for free because you supported the Kickstarter." So it's in the...do you have a computer that can run it though? That's the problem. See, nobody does. You have to have this ridiculous machine.
Mark: We reported a few months ago that there are more PS4s in the world than there are computers that can run Oculus.
Leo: Oh, easily. It was something like only 1% of all PCs.
Nathan: They haven't even taken it out of the box.
Leo: No, because...
Nathan: (Laughing) Oh, God.
Leo: But I can't give it to you because you can't use it.
Mark: I would love to have it but I can't use it because I don't have a computer.
Nathan: Take it and sell it on Ebay or something.
Leo: I'm not giving you something that can run it.
Mark: When's the new studio opening up?
Leo: Not long. Less than a month. So actually I should mention, this is the 5th anniversary of the day we moved in here. 5 years ago today, you may remember. We were in the cottage down the street. We had a parade. Look, John's wearing his shirt that commemorates this date, 07/24/11.
Nathan: Very cool.
Leo: We were way down the street. We had a little parade, marched up the street to the new studio.
Nathan: Was everybody carrying like a box?
Leo: Yea, everybody has to carry one box. And then we moved into the new studio and we've been here 5 years. Unfortunately, you know we've been here so long two restaurants have gone out of business next door. So, there's that. But the new restaurant next door decided they want this space to make a brewery. So they want big vats. So they sold the building to these guys. And we thought, "Eh, here's an opportunity to...you've got to redo the place every once in a while." Things wear out. So we're moving across town to a smaller but, studio-wise it will be the same, but it's a little bit smaller facility. We don't need all this room. We don't need a 10,000 square foot basement. Because all that was, was incentive for staff to sleep down there. I started to find like secret, like they called it the "Know Hole". Father Robert and Bryan, they created like this secret playroom down there. And then I think there was bean bag down there, I think people were like camping out on. I think Burke was actually living there for a while. So we didn't really...(laughing) illegally I might add. We didn't really need all the space down there, so...
Nathan: Sounds like a good move.
Leo: I think, just to get the nests out downstairs. We're going to bring a flamethrower in after we move.
Mark: Napalm it.
Leo: Napalm it. Yea, just scour it clean. But the new place is nice. So what we're going to do, just for people who are watching, the last show here will be August 21st. So we're going to do, it's going to be...obviously the transition can't be instantaneous. Well it is going to be instantaneous but it's going to be a little tricky, see, because we've got to have, we have to move everything over there. So we're going to move it piecemeal. We'll have one last, my office will be the last to go. I'll do a radio show in the office on Sunday. The New Screen Savers Saturday, we'll do a special version that we'll record at the new studio. It won't even be done yet but we'll record it over there. No audience for that, sorry. You can come here to watch The Tech Guy on the 21st but at that point, instead of doing TWiT here on that Sunday, we have rented a cable car. And I understand that we're putting in tracks because...but we have a cable car and we're going to all get in the cable car, carrying one...everybody carries at least one box. We get in the cable car. We drive over to the new place and we'll do TWiT on August 21st from the new studio. So that will be fun.
Leo: That's why basically I'm giving everything away because that's one less box we have to carry. So that's the story, morning glory. I don't know why I got into that. I can give you a mug.
Mark: I'll take a mug.
Leo: We'll give you a mug. How many bobble heads are left? There's a lot...we kind of over, we bought out the bobble head market. And I think maybe we have a few too many bobble heads. Good news for Microsoft. Another legal case. Remember Microsoft had email servers in Ireland and they went to court saying we don't want to turn that information over to the US government. It's offshore. Courts said, you're right. This...I thought they were going to lose this for sure. I thought they're just fighting it so they look, so Microsoft looks like they care, because they do obviously. So the government, well this is another court. I'm showing another story. But the government said, "Yes, that Irish server is off limits." However, it's not all pie and Skittles. The US says there's no legal basis for the government to be required to tell Microsoft customers when it does intercept email.
Nathan: Which I very much personally do not like this at all.
Leo: This is a...you know, there's a kind of...encoded in the Constitution is the right to face your accuser, right? I don't know which amendment that is. Yea, go ahead, give him a bobble head and a cup. I didn't mean right now in the middle of the show, but ok. There's your parting gift. Congratulations. You don't have to take the bobble head.
Mark: Well I don't have a car, so...
Leo: You don't need it, yea. It's not exactly a plastic Jesus but anyway (laughing). It's terrible.
Mark: Well you think highly of yourself, plastic Jesus.
Leo: No, I said it wasn't.
Mark: It wasn't. Oh, ok, got it.
Leo: I didn't say it was. I said it was not (laughing). Throw it away. We don't want it.
Mark: Ah, I didn't mean to offend you.
Leo: It's ok, you don't have to have it.
Mark: That's a lovely bobble head.
Leo: No you don't want it either, Nathan. Trust me. No one wants it. That's why we have a surplus. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Yea, what is it? You have the right to face your accuser, right?
Nathan: Right. So if the cops want to come search your place they need a warrant, they need to tell you about it. If you go you know, to court, someone says you're committing a crime, you have a right to know what that crime is and who's accusing you of it. If someone sues you, you get to know who's suing you.
Leo: Link tells me in the chatroom, it's the 6th Amendment, quote "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to be confronted with the witnesses against him." Now if the witness against you is your own email...but it does seem like that should all, it's not specifically laid out, but you should also have the right if somebody's going after you to know that they're going after you. But in fact the Patriot Act is very clear in this. Not only does Microsoft have the requirement to notify you, they're not allowed to notify you in many cases. If you get a National Security Letter, one of the stipulations is you can't tell anybody that you got this National Security Letter.
Nathan: It will be interesting to see how this plays with that other thing you were talking about with where the government basically found that if data is being held in servers overseas, in this case in Ireland for Microsoft, that Microsoft doesn't have to give the information on those servers pertaining to users to the government. But as all this is happening, the Obama administration is negotiating with lots of other countries...
Leo: And get the Irish government to do it.
Nathan: Exactly. So you know, they're all working on these issues. It will be interesting to see how these all roll out because you know, if someone else's government, a government in Europe or Asia or Africa or something has to notify you and they're doing it through them, is that going to be a loophole? You know are there going to be ways to get around these things, so?
Leo: So the...let's see, was it the 9th? No, 2nd Circuit ruled that a warrant issued under a very specific section, section 2703 of the Stored Communications Act, cannot compel American companies to produce data stored on servers outside the United States. So they ruled that on July 14th. It could go to the Supreme Court. This is not necessarily definitive but that's a...by the way, they lost all the way up to this point. Microsoft continued appealing it and won this. This is from a 2013 case where a New York District Judge issued a warrant asking Microsoft to produce all emails associated with an account hosted by Microsoft even though the emails were stored in Dublin, one of Microsoft's centers, data centers in Dublin. Microsoft did provide the US based account information but refused to turn the Irish emails over. They lost in court in 2014. They appealed. Lost again. And they appealed a 3rd time to the circuit court and won. We'll see what happens.
Nathan: It's worth noting that a lot of times things are intercepted as data's being transmitted. So it's not just about what's on the servers, like all the Snowden NSA links and stuff like that. And in most cases, the United States Government was working with foreign governments, especially in the UK to share some of that data back and forth. And so it's like, "Hey, if you do some snooping for us, we'll do some snooping for you. We're share."
Mark: The government fights all these battles to protect every vehicle they have to obtain information, but they have 50 other ways to get this information.
Nathan: Exactly, exactly. At least with this one though, this is about what we get to know about as users. I mean the secret agencies are always going to be operating in secret, but this here is whether or not we have the right to be told by the companies when the government requests it from them. Which is a little different than when they are intercepting it along the way. And so to me I've used one slightly different and you know, not everyone would agree, but I think it's important to know just in the same way that if someone wants to search my apartment, they need a warrant. I get to know who's about it. But yea, we'll see how this whole thing shakes out.
Leo: Seems fair. Google's transparency report, this is one of the reasons many companies are now doing these transparency reports, just to at least let you know. They can't tell you personally that you're being investigated but at least you know that there are these investigations going on. Government requests for user data according to Google hit an all-time high in the second half of 2015. These are governments, not just the US Government, but governments around the world. 40,677 requests for data. Google in many cases fights them as much as they can. That's up 18% from the half year prior to that. So you know, they're asking. Most of the requests did come from the US, 12,523 requests. And by the way, that impacts 27,000 users or accounts because many of these requests have multiple users, multiple accounts. So it's...we're going in that direction. You know one of the ways I'm responding to that is more and more I'm investigating ways of keeping my data off the public internet by using my own private server. I think for email, I think for...I'm looking to replace the entire Google cloud. I don't mistrust Google at all, but Google has no ability to fight the Federal Government anymore.
Nathan: And like you said, a lot of times they're not even able to tell you, even if they wanted to, right?
Leo: And if you guys want to be on my private server you can. I'm going to use something called Sandstorm which is highly encrypted. That will be on a server in my house. And that's what we're going to use for...and Sandstorm allows you to use @apps. There are a lot of apps. I'm going to replace Evernote for instance. Have an Evernote-like notebook app that is web accessible from any device including my mobile phones, but encrypted traffic and encrypted storage.
Mark: Where are you backing up?
Leo: That's a good question. I haven't decided about that. Clearly backup's going to be important. You can do an encrypted backup so if you do an encrypted back up, I could store it somewhere like Dropbox that the government had access to it but at least all they would have access to is my encrypted files. So I'm installing this later this week. It's as much of an experiment than anything else. Can I replace commercial clouds with a private cloud? It looks like I can. It will have email servers. It's all plug and play. They have Dropbox style file servers. It's really interesting open source project called Sandstorm. Standstorm.com.
Steve: Was it easy to set up?
Leo: Very easy. You need a LINUX server. They have a setup script and you're pretty much done. I'm going to...you can use them for DynDNS because most people don't have a static address in their house so it may float around. I actually have Comcast Business Class service so I have a static address. You can also use them and their certificates to do HTTPS although I'm going to buy...and by the way, not at small cost. It's several hundred bucks a year. You need a Wildcard SSL Cert for your site. But I think, again, it's an experiment. But it will be I think an interesting experiment. They have a lot of apps. Apps are easily ported to it and word processing, spreadsheets, drawing. Like I said, Evernote. They've got some games. CRM. You can do a lot of stuff there. You can have your self-hosted GIF or mercurial repositories. Wikis, websites. Quite a complete thing, I think it's very, very intriguing.
Nathan: Looking forward to seeing what your thoughts are once you've actually got it up.
Leo: Yea, I'll let you know. Yea, it's going to be kind of our family server, so I'll invite my friends and family to participate. Let's see. What else? I'm going to take a break and we'll come back. We'll have some of the final thoughts including the case of the cute internet star who wants your password. This is a...did you read about this?
Mark: I haven't read the story yet.
Leo: It is a fascinating publicity stunt. And I'll tell you more about it in just a second. But first a word from our sponsor Audible.com. Audio books are my lifeblood. I discovered Audible in 2000, actually I started to listen to audiobooks even earlier. It used to be you'd get a box of cassettes, like 30 cassettes. And you'd have one month to listen. And if a cassette jammed, oh, you have to send it back and wait. Then Audible came along. Digital downloads? Wow, what an idea. This was before the iPod even. They had their own audio player and man, Audible has grown by leaps and bounds, more than a quarter of a million downloadable titles, books, but also performances, periodicals, all sorts of stuff. Of course all the best sellers now come out in audiobook form on Audible.com. They offer foreign language instruction. The Pimsler series for instance, normally very expensive. You can have that. Foreign language audio books as well if you want to study a language. They've got the great courses now, great, the best college professors teaching everything from physics to game theory to history. It is the ultimate resource for audio and I want you to get two credits which will give you 2 books for free right now. You go to Audible.com/twit2. The only challenge is picking 2. But I think you'll be able to find something. Great science fiction, both classics and modern Sci-Fi. I'm listening right now to a really fun time travel. I like time travel. I don't know why. Connie Willis... Doomsday book. Just finished the Elon Musk book by Ashlee Vance. Fascinating story. The Steve Jobs biography. Several Steve Jobs' biographies are on there. Dan Lyons hysterical book about his life in a startup, Disrupted. He reads it. I love Dan. It's all on Audible. So pick 2 books, go to Audible.com/twit2 you'll be signing up for their...there's Disrupted. You'll be signing up for the Platinum Plan. That's two books a month. You also get the daily digest of the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times so you can listen to Nate's stories every day. Now, the key thing here is this is a 30-day free trial. So you have 30-days no cost for you. Cancel anytime in that first 30-days, you'll pay nothing. You're going to get to keep those two books. So pick something fun. Pick something you're going to enjoy. Oh, Moneyball. What a great book that was. I loved...you know what? Any Michael Lewis book would be awesome. He's just one of my favorite authors. He writes nonfiction. Started writing about the stock market. He just...his book on robo-trading and flash trading, it's called Flash Boys. A real eye opener. John Hodgman's got his books on there, too. Audible.com/twit2. 2 books free. Offer good in the US and Canada and if you're not in the US or Canada, you should try Audible. They're all over the world. Audible.com/twit2. We thank Audible. They've been supporting this show for before we moved, I think almost a decade now.
Leo: This is a weird story about, and I don't know who he is. Jack Johnson, he's a Vine star I guess, and a performer. Last week he told his 4 million Twitter followers...4 million, not bad...send me your password to your Twitter account. Tens of thousands of fans did. And by the way, #hackedbyjohnson. And then what he did is, he would post a personal message on your Twitter feed as if you did it, a video, a song. This is brilliant. This is like using Twitter in an amazing way. What amazes me is that these young people gave him their passwords. But they absolutely trust him. Here's an example of a video he sent one young fan. Let me see if I can...he said, "This song is for you."
Video: (Piano music).
Leo: Now how much would you pay? Would you give him your password to get a personal song played just for you?
Steve: I don't know who this guy is.
Leo: Yea, you got to be one of his fans.
Nathan: We must not be his target demographic.
Leo: No, the power of Vine is amazing. I mean these Vine stars are huge.
Nathan: So were people DM-ing him or where they doing this publically?
Leo: No, they were doing this...oh, I hope they were DM-ing him. Well they would send the password and then what he would do, he would go into your account and he'd read your tweets. He'd learn something about you, do a personalized video. Like one fan he said, "Our picture in your icon is cute." He changed her icon to him and her.
Nathan: (laughing) oh my God.
Leo: This person sent her password to him at least 50 times until a mysterious new video popped up in her account, 16 seconds of Mr. Johnson, I love how the New York Times calls him Mr. Johnson, sitting at the keyboard. He said, well we just saw. "What's good, Tee? I just wrote this one for you." Now she knows that that's actually not an original song because she saw it on Instagram the night before but she still got a little something. Should I start doing this? He is awfully cute. Here, you want to watch another one? You got to be, you've got to be 12. You've got to be 12.
Jack Johnson: Brady, Brady, what's good Brady? How you doing? I think your icon is as cute as hell. What is that? Is that Cleveland? I don't know. But anyways, we look good. Damn, we could be a couple maybe. But seriously, I hope your summer's going great. I hope everything's going great in life....
Leo: This is called retail fan cultivation, right?
Nathan: Yea, he's reaching out to his fans. I mean if his fans are...
Leo: It's authentic, it's real.
Nathan: Yea, that takes a lot of time. It's kind of surprising that he put the effort into doing that for people but you know, word of mouth starts blowing things up.
Nathan: You know, reverberating across the interwebs.
Leo: SoftBank buys ARM. $32 billion dollars. We talked about that last week, didn't we? I can't remember. It happened last Sunday. No?
Nathan: I wonder how Intel feels about that?
Leo: Oh, man, Intel just got burned.
Mark: Huge deal.
Leo: Intel's just got to be scared. I don't think SoftBank, I think this is more of an investment. They say they're not going to move ARM out of Britain, they're going to let the staff stay.
Nathan: They've got a good thing going. That makes sense.
Leo: Yea, why not.
Mark: That's usually how SoftBank operates. They don't intervene too much. Just like with Alibaba. Mostly left them alone.
Leo: They own Sprint. What they did is they give them cash. They say, "Here, do what you're doing." And then, I admit, $32 billion is not a small amount of money, but you're buying the future. You're buying...every smartphone uses an ARM.
Mark: And they're betting on the internet of things.
Leo: IoT. Huge. So it's cash by the way. Must be nice. You kind of wonder at this point, maybe Apple should have done this. They have the cash to do it. And it is by the way, oversees money which Apple is always looking...Apple can't spend all that money it has in the US because most of it's offshore. But they could have bought an English company.
Mark: Yep they just made that billion-dollar investment in Didi.
Leo: Right, the Uber of China, right?
Mark: That's right. So they're looking to put some of that money to work.
Leo: Apple is going to make...ok, we talked about Pokémon Go. I don't know if there's any new angle. This is a new angle. Apple of course is, anytime you buy anything, any in app purchase for Pokémon Go, Apple gets a 3rd of it. They stand, according to GSM Arena or somebody, they stand to make as much as $3...actually it's a banking firm, Needham & Company. An analyst says $3 billion in revenue from Pokémon go over the next year or two. $3...
Steve: I'm skeptical about that number.
Nathan: Do you think it's going to die out before then? Is that why, Steve?
Steve: Yea, I think so. I mean they did confirm, Apple did confirm this week that it is the most popular, or most downloaded app in its first week in App Store history. And keep in mind it was only available in 2 countries that first week, the US...3, the US, New Zealand and Australia. So I mean use that. But I don't know. I feel like this is going to die out before they can generate that much revenue.
Leo: Clearly it's not going to maintain this velocity but this game has some staying powers. People have played Ingress, many people have continued to play Ingress. And that was a much less accessible game with very similar mechanics. I could see this going for a while. I've never seen...have you ever seen anything like this?
Nathan: There's the Candy Crushes and...
Leo: The difference is people have to go out to play this. So you don't know. People play Candy Crush inside. You don't see mobs. They just opened in Japan on Friday. Big money deal too because McDonalds made a deal...this is where you're going to make the big money on Pokémon Go. McDonalds outlets will be Pokéstops. So I mean if you're a small business, you put a lure on a...you're starting to see this at Starbucks and others. Put lures on Pokéstops nearby. Come on by, have a cup of coffee and catch some Pokémon. You're seeing it everywhere.
Mark: We talked to a bunch of small businesses which like did this same strategy of buying lures for Pokéstops. One pizza shop in Brooklyn said they spent $10 dollars on lures and sales increased 30% over one weekend.
Leo: It has to be something that people who are playing Pokémon would...oh, hey, let's get a slice kind of thing, right? You're not going to sell refrigerators that way (laughing).
Nathan: But if you're out there you know, wandering around catching Pokémon, you might get hungry, you might get thirsty. It just makes sense.
Leo: Yea, yea. I don't know. I think there's a big upside to Pokémon Go. It made Pokémon, which by the way, Nintendo doesn't have anything to do with this really. They just own the...
Nathan: They own part of the Pokémon company.
Leo: One third of the Pokémon company.
Mark: They own a third of the Pokémon company. They invested in Niantic when they spun off from Google.
Leo: Did they?
Mark: So Google's a shareholder, Nintendo and Pokémon.
Leo: But it double Nintendo's share price, made them more valuable than Sony. Holy cow.
Steve: Didn't Nintendo say this week that they're not going to, they came out and admitted ahead of earnings that they're not going to make much money if anything off of this?
Leo: Yea, and I think that's true.
Steve: Hey guys, just to clarify, you guys are getting geeked out over this for nothing, investors. We're not really getting any money.
Mark: I'm not sure if the investors are doing this wholly based on the expectation of this game generating a lot of money, but it's a very recent thing like a year ago that Nintendo said, "We're going to finally do mobile and have smartphone games." And I think this is like the first indication that Nintendo's intellectual property is extremely valuable and will translate to mobile. So I think that investors to some extent are betting on when they do this for Mario and Zelda and some of their other properties that it could have a similar effect.
Steve: Hopefully they do that because right now the only games that are confirmed are like Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem which are pretty niche...oh, and then they have the Mi thing that you build your own Mi character. So they don't have the Marios and Zeldas out there yet so hopefully that comes soon and we can see.
Leo: It just validates that the intellectual property of Pokémon is valuable. That by itself, even if they're not reaping the value today, that shows that at least Nintendo is not a shell. There's something there.
Nathan: Well there's a ton of nostalgia to tap into. There's cross-generational fans. A lot of people grew up with Nintendo properties, you know, Pokémon, Mario, all that good stuff. So it makes a ton of sense. And you know, with the way Hollywood's going and everything, they want to tap into franchises. They want to make films.
Mark: And they just sold the rights to the Pokémon movie to Legendary.
Leo: There you go.
Nathan: There you go.
Steve: A live action. It's a live action movie.
Leo: It's live action? Oh, maybe Justin Robert Young could star as Charmander. Justin Robert Young is Charmander. Oliver Stone was at Comic-Con to promote his new movie about Snowden that is going to come out this fall. He says, "Pokémon Go is a slippery slope to totalitarianism." I know some old farts who believe the same thing. He says, "It's surveillance capitalism. It's not funny," he says. "It's the latest sign of an emerging phenomenon of which citizens willingly surrender their privacy to corporations which then profit off it. You'll see a... I should do this in some sort of curmudgeonly voice. "You'll see a new form of frankly a robot society," Stone said. "I call it totalitarianism." All right.
Nathan: I mean well corporations making money off of people's private data, well that's what Google, Facebook, everybody does. That's kind of the entire thing. I mean he might be on one bleeding edge with his viewpoint but he's not entirely wrong per se.
Leo: You can't have my Pokémon Go when you pry it out of my cold, dead fingers.
Nathan: And you know, sure enough, when Pokémon Go first came out for iOS, they're asking for access to people's entire Google accounts, which the patched up about a week after.
Mark: They weren't doing anything with that.
Leo: That was a mistake.
Nathan: It was a mistake but it just shows how much people will give away, not even knowing because they want to play the hot new thing, you know?
Leo: What are you giving away? Your location. Big deal. What are they going to do with that? You worried?
Nathan: Sell you slices of pizza in this case.
Leo: Sounds like a good deal for me. I'll take it. No, I understand. I completely understand people's concern about that.
Nathan: Well if they had access...
Leo: But most of the things that are interesting and new about the internet are going to involve some degree, you giving up some information whether it's the internet of things, Siri or Cortana or Google Now. You're going to have to give some company some information. That's why Apple is so challenged to figure out how they can compete with Google and Microsoft and other companies because they say, "We're going to protect your privacy," but that means they can't do Google now, right?
Nathan: Yea, these services can do a lot less because they know less about you. And that is simply the tradeoff. I mean part of the reason why Google is so useful at telling you when your package is coming or when your next flight is or you know, making a prediction on where you want to go next on Google Maps is because they keep track on all of those things, like where you go and where you might want to go.
Leo: I understand people's concerns and really what the best thing to do is...
Nathan: They're fair concerns.
Leo: Would be a way to some sort of, an explicit way to say, "Well I'll give you this if you give me that." But I think it is implicit. If you use Google Now, the implicit trade is I'm going to give you information for something useful. It may be should be made more explicit. Maybe there's a dollar value to it. I don't know.
Nathan: But for me this goes back to when you give a company like Google or your give Facebook that information, you're getting a trade for that service. Some people fully understand what they're giving away. Some don't. But that's the transaction and then we get into those issues of the government asking companies for unencrypted data and then using that in different ways that people don't necessarily think about.
Leo: I agree. As soon as I can do my Pokémon Go home server I'm going to do it.
Nathan: (laughing) There you go.
Leo: Yea, my encrypted Pokémon Go home server. Couple of quick stories. It's not the Dollar Shave Club anymore it's the billion-dollar shave club. Unilever buying Dollar Shave Club for one billion dollars. Nice work if you can get it.
Nathan: Does anyone thing they overpaid? They're doing like a couple hundred million in revenue.
Leo: They way overpaid.
Nathan: Something like 40 million subscibers.
Leo: But you know...
Steve: Look what Ben Thompson wrote about it. You probably read it, Leo. Did you read his post?
Leo: No, tell me about it. On Stratechery you mean? Strategery is H's new site. Stratechery. What did he say?
Steve: Basically they created this environment where people were buying Dollar Shave Club razors and not Unilever razors so Unilever had to pay what they needed to pay to get it.
Leo: To kind of get them out of the business, right?
Leo: Now Unilever owns Gillette. Does Unilever own--?
Steve: They don't.
Leo: No, they don't own anybody.
Nathan: They own like Old Spice and Axe and a bunch of like these cool young guy brands.
Mark: So now they're getting into the shaver market.
Leo: Are you old enough to thin that Axe smells like crap yet?
Nathan: No, unfortunately (laughing).
Leo: Ok, just checking. I think it's an age thing. I think you're at an age, 25,26 where you realize, that stuff smells horrible.
Mark: It smells like bug spray.
Leo: Yea. You're old enough obviously but Nate...
Nathan: Well for the body wash, but for my cologne I like Aqua Di Gio so.
Leo: Oh, you smell good.
Nathan: Yea, yea.
Leo: Aqua Di Gio? What's that?
Nathan: It's something expensive at Nordstrom's that I think smells really good. But not Axe, not Axe.
Leo: Not Axe. Oh, you're saying the body wash.
Nathan: The body wash though is good.
Leo: It smells good?
Leo: My son still wears Axe. I don't understand it. I go "what are you wearing?"
Nathan: You know what? If you're in high school and you've got a $10 hour job or maybe nothing at all, then...
Leo: It's cheap.
Nathan: You want to smell fresh?
Mark: And keeps you sex free?
Nathan: Way to win. Way to win.
Leo: No bugs on you, my friend, no flies on you. Opera sold to a Chinese company for $600 million dollars. And the last VCR was manufactured this week. Goodbye, VHS tapes, wherever you are. We still...do we not still have a VHS rental store down the street here? Silver Screen Video, right? Oh, they've gone to DVD now. Even Silver Screen Video went to DVD. All right. For a while, until recently you could rent a VHS tape there.
Nathan: Do you guys think that VHS will ever come back the way that vinyl records and cassettes?
Leo: No. No one's nostalgic for VHS.
Nathan: (Laughing) you don't think so?
Leo: Are they?
Nathan: Because there was a new video that I think, can't remember who it was, but there's like a new music video, it's done like in VHS style so it's in a box and it has like messed up colors. I mean, probably not, but there's some of that there.
Steve: It's an Instagram filter.
Leo: Yea. By the way, I don't know if you saw Bernie Sanders tweeting during the Republican National Convention, but a number of people noted that not only...
Nathan: Oh, he's got a VCR.
Mark: He's got a combo DVD / VCR.
Leo: And there's a tape in it.
Nathan: Yea, Bernie.
Leo: But come on, let's face it. Bernie's the kind of guy you'd except to have a VCR with a tape in it. It's good technology. It still works. I'm not throwing it out.
Nathan: I was just streaming an episode of Rick and Morty yesterday, and it started, Hulu started buffering on it, and it froze on me. And I was just sitting there thinking, it reminded me of when I had to rewind the VHS, like why can nothing work? Like this is the same problem I had with VHS tapes. This is the same issue of discs skipping and freezing on me. Now I'm sitting here and watching streaming which is supposed to be the answer.
Leo: And it's not better.
Nathan: And Hulu freezes on me. The same...you can't build anything that works.
Leo: We're out of time. I would love to talk about Kickass Torrents, a site that's shut down with help from a lot of companies you know and love like Apple. Federal Government moved in. Actually they were...where were they located? Where was Kickass located? In Europe I think.
Leo: But of course it was the US rights holders that managed to shut down the largest BitTorrent site in the world. But you know what? You can shut them down. They shut down Pirate Bay. Put them in jail.
Nathan: Another one will pop up.
Leo: I think Kickass was back within a day on some other server somewhere else, so. I think we're done. You guys have been very patient.
Nathan: Was that all the week in tech? All the news?
Leo: No, my God. We have so much more but I think we've just run out of time. I can't keep you more than two and a half hours. That's like, I think there's a rule. I think that violates Geneva Convention.
Mark: I've got nowhere to go, Leo. Didn't you say you've got a cot downstairs?
Leo: (Laughing) He's waiting for something better than an Oculus Rift.
Nathan: Mark's moving in the basement.
Leo: A bobble head. I keep trying to entice him with blandishments. That's Mark Milian. You'll find him at Bloomberg Business Week, Bloomberg.com/tech and he's on the Twitter @markmilian. I've known him since he was knee high to a grasshopper. Actually, how old were you when you...you started on this show when you were 21? 22? Pretty young, right?
Mark: Yea, I was 22. Yea, LA Times.
Leo: Kid back at the cottage.
Mark: That's right, the cottage.
Nathan: My, how you've grown, Mark.
Leo: You grow up so fast. Nate Olivarez-Giles, great to have you, from the Wall Street Journal. What are you covering these days?
Nathan: Consumer tech.
Leo: Oh, nice.
Nathan: So if there's any gadget in the news, or reviews I'm doing those. But also looking at a lot of privacy issues and trying to help you avoid those pitfalls, so take a look at WSJD and you'll always see good stuff on there.
Leo: Love it. And you're nateog, the old school Nate on the Twitter.
Nathan: That's me.
Leo: OG. Great to have Steven Kovach as well. Steve, you're fun, great guy, senior correspondent Techinsider.io @ stevenkovach, K-O-V-A-C-H. @stevekovach, I'm sorry. K-O-V-A-C-H
Steve: Either or.
Leo: Either or? You've got them both?
Steve: Yea, you can call me whatever.
Leo: You've got them all?
Steve: Oh, no. You can call me Steven.
Leo: I think @nero is available now in case you want.
Steve: I should just go grab that.
Leo: It's the only reason I don't leave Twitter is I'm afraid someone will take my handle and be nasty with it. So I'm just going to stay there. I don't care what you say. Thank you all for being here. We do TWiT every Sunday afternoon, 3:00 PM Pacific, 6:00 PM Eastern, Sunday night if you're in Europe, 2300 UTC, or 2200 UTC. Please join us. We love it when you watch live or visit in the chatroom at irc.twit.tv but of course we don't require that. We're on demand everywhere. Start at twit.tv our website. That's where all of our shows begin unless you're driving a Tesla in which case use iTunes, Stitcher or Slacker or Google Podcasts. We're everywhere. Subscribe and be sure you don't miss an episode. If you want to be in the studio, and as I said it's going to be a little tricky on the weekend of August 20th & 21st but if you want to be in the studio before then, come see your brick, firstname.lastname@example.org. After then, come see the new studio, same address, email@example.com. Thanks for being here! We'll see you next time. Another TWiT is in the can. Bye-bye.