This Week in Tech 576
Leo Laporte: It's time for TWiT: This Week in Tech. A very special episode, our very first episode from our new Eastside studio. We hope you like the new place, and breaking it in, my favorite people. Our local show hosts, Jason Howell and Megan Morrone, and Father Robert Ballecer, and Alex Lindsay. It's going to be a really special TWiT next. Stay tuned!
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Leo: This is TWiT, This Week in Tech, episode 576, recorded Sunday, August 21, 2016.
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Leo: The champagne popped a little bit early. We welcome you to the TWiT Eastside studio! Still in beautiful downtown Petaluma. Hello everybody. Our brand new studio is online and on the air and we are celebrating with champagne. Alex Lindsay, can I pour you a little glass?
Alex Lindsay: Yes please.
Leo: We brought all in-studio hosts today, all of our staff hosts. There is Jason Howell from TNT, Father Robert Ballecer. Are you allowed a little champagne once in a while?
Father Robert Ballecer, SJ: Only if I drink from both hands at the same time.
Leo: Father Robert, and also Megan Morrone. I thought it would be fun to start this new episode in our life with our hosts, the people who come in every day and work so hard. Formerly at the brickhouse studios, now here in our new studio. It's a little rough, if you're just tuning in, I got to tell you it's... the engineers were up all night. They've been up for several days, frankly, many of them, wiring and moving stuff over, because I was mean. I said, I don't want to miss any shows. I want to go as best we can from broadcasting at the brickhouse to here at the Eastside studios. You know what? To their credit, they made it happen. A tip of the hat! John Slenena, Alex, Russell Tameni. To our engineering director, Bruce Chessam, to you, Patrick Delehanti. To all the people who work so hard behind the scenes to make this possible. Let's toast the new Brickhouse, Eastside Studios. Cheers! All right. So if you're watching, and most of you listen, so if you're listening you probably don't notice anything different. It looks the same to you. The dark red at the back of your eyelids, they're exactly the same. For those of you watching on video, there is a little bit of a difference. We brought the Gear with us. We brought the wall with us. We brought the thing behind us. We have a new table. They promised me this table is impervious to any kind of abuse we might give it.
Jason Howell: Except that you have all of the audio controls for all of our microphones right underneath where you're sitting. Be careful.
Leo: Probably not their permanent place. I also should thank, if I want to go home tonight, my wife, Lisa, our CEO, the person who really made this all happen, who was the project director. You should get some champagne too. Woo. Without Lisa, we couldn't pay the bills, we wouldn't have this beautiful studio. She found it for us, she managed to build out. Thank you to everybody here in studio. We got a huge studio audience today. Some familiar faces, some new faces. Welcome to all of you to Petaluma. What do you think? You like it?
Leo: Yeah. We survived. I don't think we lost anybody in the process. We are streaming this for the first time ever in 360 surround, thanks to you, Alex Lindsay. Tell us about that.
Alex: We're using one of the Nokia Ozos. We did this with Macbreak a couple months ago and it took like a week to render it.
Leo: You could record it and you had to process it for a week before you get 15 minutes.
Alex: Yeah. It was like an hour. So now we have syntheticated servers that are actually able to stitch everything live. It's capable of stereo 4K. We're doing Mono right now. I tweeted out, and I think also in the forms we've got the links to both the Youtube...
Leo: Which is youtube.com/twit, I think.
Alex: Yeah. It's in the channel there.
Leo: It's a little lower quality, but that's the one you use if you're using Cardboard or...
Alex: Exactly. So that one is at 1440 P, and then the one at the pixel core sight, and it is pixelcorps.com, and I also tweeted those out, so you can find those there. It's 360 live. It is the next thing, we think.
Leo: It's fun!
Alex: You get a whole behind the scenes view of it. This is really, in our opinion, there's a lot of 360 cameras. For live, specifically, we think this is the best.
Leo: How much?
Alex: It's gone down!
Leo: It cost more than this entire studio!
Alex: No. These cameras are now 45 thousand a piece.
Megan Morrone: Dollars?
Alex: Yes, exactly.
Leo: Now you know why at MacBreak weekly we invented a unit of currency called the Alex. Which is 700 dollars. It makes everything sound a little bit more reasonable.
Alex: It is.
Leo: It's only a thousand Alexes.
Fr. Robert: We interviewed Alex at NAB for this. One of the features I love about this, and no one else is doing this, is the fact that it uses multiple microphones, because when you're thinking a 360 immersive experience, it's not just what you see, it's what you hear. With the microphones pointing in different directions, they can actually capture that.
Alex: This one has eight mics on it.
Leo: So if you're watching with a Vizor, as you turn your head to look at someone on your left, the sound will move with that?
Alex: On the Nokia platform right now it will. Other people will have to adopt it into the players, so it's not adopted into the YouTube player or the Streamshark player that we're using on this one. But we're working with folks as they start to adopt those. That's going to be one of the next things for VR is the audio. When you hear it, all around you it is impressive. It really changes, the 360 gets you most of the way there. It turns out that sound is more important than stereo as far as pulling you into that. It's a work in progress.
Leo: That's not a surprise at all to me. It's always been clear that our audio is really important.
Alex: As soon as you have surround audio, immediately just lock in.
Jason: Your cues in reality in general come from the audio.
Alex: It creates a whole new set of problems. At NEB we were cutting between different cameras live, and how do you...
Leo: You had three of those?
Fr. Robert: They had a trailer that did nothing but hosue the servers needed to process everything!
Leo: That's processing real time, right?
Alex: The real time processing right now takes two GPUs that are fully, in a pretty beefy machine that unwraps for each camera. Once we get it, it's a 4K, basically a mercader projection or a rectalinear. But the... so we edited in a black magic switcher and add graphics. It's easy. Jumping from one surround sound mixed to another turned out to be more complicated.
Leo: We'll get it. I think the Samsung 360 is about $350. That's what we're going to get.
Fr. Robert: This is more in our price range.
Leo: It' gets you 80% of the way.
Alex: Audience members, reach under your seats! You get a 360 and you get a 360...
Leo: Stop it! I used the theta s, and you showed me, Alex how to stream live with that. This streams live as well, but you have to have a Samsung phone to stream to.
Alex: You need to stream through the Samsung phone. It'll record.
Leo: Live is really the most interesting.
Alex: The big thing for us, the more Industrial version, which is the Ozo, because it uses an HDSI feed, I can literally put it over fiber networks so I can have the camera sitting in New York and be streaming in DC. That's the hard part with the smaller...
Leo: The Ozo is laughing at you.
Alex: the reality is this is where it's going. This is, in the next five years, we're going to have little cameras that are doing these...
Jason: In a small form factor like this, how do you work in stereo view?
Alex: There's no stereo. What's really hard about streaming is right now getting good stereo and sound.
Leo: Stereo you mean stereo vision? 3D depth? As opposed to 360 degree looking around, you're also getting 3D information, depth information? That does not do that.
Alex: We're only streaming right now.
Leo: I don't know if it can handle 3D. I think I'm going to urp up. It's bad enough to do 360.
Alex: There's a couple shots from one of the political conventions recently. If you take a look, we have, there was one on a stage. When you look down on the stage, you literally, your whole stomach pulls up. The pole had to be right on the stage, it definitely, you start feel like you're part of that environment. The three best cameras for Stereo right now are Jump, the GoPro/Google jump camera, the Facebook camera, and this camera, are probably the three best stereo cameras. The only one that does live currently is this one.
Leo: Really? And this is Nokia, right?
Leo: I don't even know why they bothered.
Fr. Robert: The NEB demonstration had a semi-cirque troupe. Maybe off cirque. You could see everything in the trailer, and at the same time I'm thinking, these people need more clothes. It was outside, it was Las Vegas, so it was ridiculously hot and you had these performers trying to do these intricate moves sweating through every piece of clothing they had.
Fr. Robert: Some things you don't want in 360.
Leo: I'm thinking of the 360 for us more as a spy cam. Not so much as a broadcast medium. It's not what we do, somebody said this in the chatroom. I don't need 360 degrees. You just want to hear your voices and what you're talking about.
Alex: This is a good start and playing around with it. What we're playing around with is bringing it a little bit closer. Someone would be able to feel like they were literally sitting at the table with us. That's where we're...
Leo: But like a person with a... they can't talk. But it's like Megan. They just sit there silently. I'm sorry, that's mean. I didn't say that. Speak, Megan.
Megan: I was thinking this was one more thing that will keep us all inside our houses. We won't have to go anywhere. We have so much room for a studio audience, we want people to come here, not just feel like they're here. Like me.
Leo: It's good to have both. We do like having people come. We have more room than we had before, that's probably a little more comfortable for people.
Jason: Certainly provides a better view for everyone. Not having a...
Leo: It's related. We designed this because not only would it be better for an audience, but it would be better for 360 view. The studio is around you with no obstructions, that's good for the audience and good for the 360 cameras. Yeah. Thanks to Ryan Marsh for lighting this and getting all the rigging up and helping design the look and feel of the studio. We've got a lot more to do. The wall behind you, Robert, is plywood. But it will be brick. I see we've saved the clock. Megan, you're set right where TNT is going to be, right behind you. We'll rotate this table around so. Yeah. When we do IOS today, we're going to be doing it in our new living room set, which is over there with all the champagne on it.
Jason: Is that going to be there every day?
Megan: Some days I need it.
Fr. Robert: They put a little cot behind the walls, so during IOS today you might see Burt wake up.
Leo: That was actually the biggest challenge is where are we going to let Burt sleep? There isn't a basement? You can't quite fit behind that wall. As skinny as Burt is.... You're going to busy tomorrow. Jason on All About Android, because rumor mill says Nuggat comes out tomorrow. Is that right?
Jason: It's not outside the realm of possibility.
Leo: Why would they wait until they have the new Nexus phones?
Jason: That's a big question. That's very different from what we've been seeing up until now. I think there has been one other release of the OS that wasn't completely tied to the Nexus devices since they started the Nexus. We already know that the LG V20 which is supposed to ship in September is going to tease that it's going to be the first shipping device with Nuggat.
Leo: This seems unfair that LG should get that...
Jason: A little strange that they'll say that. I don't know what kind of deal they made.
Leo: HTC is making the new Nexus phones, right? The sale fish and Marlin? Both game fishes that you sail out to sea.
Jason: They love all their code names to be creatures of the sea. Apparently. They've got a thing for creatures of the sea.
Leo: OK. Meanwhile Apple is not sitting still. I just got pushed another update to IOS 10. I think they're getting very close to the final version of IOS 10. I think we all know that there is going to be a new iPhone in the next month for sure, right? Although... we're leaving the country right before the iPhone is supposed to arrive. I'm thinking we'll pick one up in London.
Fr. Robert: If you order it, I'll take care of it for you.
Leo: This will be the first time I've missed an iPhone watch. It's interesting, because this might be the first time I don't actually buy...
Megan: You were going to say you weren't even interested in getting it.
Leo: Headphone jack... we really got to the point now where phones are not... there's not a whole lot new. This is the new Nexus, the Galexy Note 7. I think in many ways this is going to be the new Apple hardware. I would say it's the best screen on the market today. It's very bright. Very crisp. It's got a great camera. Apple could beat the camera. Apparently they're going to have two imagers.
Megan: That's what we hear, better for taking pictures inside.
Leo: Who is doing that? Somebody is doing that with a black and white and a color lens. They're doing two different lenses.
Jason: Someone does that with a P9.
Alex: HTC had that with the M8... but it was using it for a short depth of view.
Fr. Robert: Lenovo has Project Tango built into theirs.
Leo: Tango doesn't excite me. Why is Tango such a good thing?
Fr. Robert: Because of what you can do.
Leo: Where did you get that watch?
Fr. Robert: You.
Leo: That was on the table?
Fr. Robert: As a developer I could make a green screen effect without a green screen. I could tell Tango only take things that are within five feet of the camera.
Leo: ZX, you could say within a certain distance this is...
Fr. Robert: I could also say a sensor has a super accurate GPS. I could go into a building, and because it's always collecting data points, it will know what room, in fact what chair of what room I am in the building. That's the kind of things you can start...
Leo: Isn't it big and clunky to have those sensors? I don't see people buying Tango.
Fr. Robert: I see Tango as something that ends up getting included. Then developers start playing with it. Right now, it's just an oddity.
Leo: The other reason people are talking about Tango right now is you can map a store so you can go in a store and know where the pants are. It's because you have a map of the store. We need to re shoot our 360 tour of the studio. We had one for the old brickhouse, and the developer who did that says he's coming back.
Fr. Robert: Can we put the Ozo on a hat and just have you walk?
Leo: It's kind of complicated. He did it with still pictures. I can't remember. Then Google makes you blur out faces, so you can't see people.
Fr. Robert: They do that for you, right?
Leo: Yeah. It's all part of the deal. So. New iPhone. You've got to buy one. You have one?
Megan: I definitely want one. I'm happy with my Bluetooth headphones, I'm OK with dongles.
Leo: I don't want to have to wear Bluetooth headphones!
Megan: Because of the sound? The sound isn't good enough.
Leo: I walked into work today. I had headphones plugged into the headphone port on my phone and listened to a book. Why should I have an extra dongle or I have to do wireless...?
Megan: I wish I could take a compilation of all the times you say, "I'm not going to do that!"
Leo: No, but this is different. They got rid of the CD. You complained but you were happy. they got rid of the floppy, you complained, but you were happy. I don't think the headphone jack... it's like saying we're going to get rid of the keyboard. That's 150 year old invention! You don't need a keyboard.
Megan: They did that on the phone!
Leo: Oh yeah. Everybody has to type Dvorak from now on. You can't use qwerty. How about that? You could reasonably say that's the future, it's a more efficient system. We should adopt that. I don't buy that with a headphone jack. I think that's a universal port that everybody has and you need it.
Fr. Robert: I was with you.
Leo: You've changed too?
Fr. Robert: It's that... I have a little developer thing on this. I was able to look at the logs. It does record every time you plug a headphone into this. I realized I haven't plugged a headphone into this phone in 18 months.
Leo: Use Wireless.
Fr. Robert: I have Bluetooth in my car and I have a bluetooth headset.
Alex: I've been playing with some Bluetooth stereo, headsets. I don't think the audio quality is any different. The hard part is figuring out how I manage it, how I turn them on and off and the process of that. I've been testing them. I bought the Froggies?
Leo: It was a Kickstarter. Really, you like those? That was the biggest flop ever. Yes they were. Yeah it was a Kickstarter. Bluetooth, they didn't have any wires. They cleverly decided the way the second headphone.... one has all the juice in it. The second one is they fire radio waves through your head.
Alex: That makes me feel so much better.
Leo: You like the sound on those? A lot of people complained the sound was poor.
Alex: It depends on what headphones your comparing them to. I think the hard part is the microphone, if you're going to use it as a cellphone, the Microphone is too far away from your mouth.
Leo: But you don't want to look like the Time Life operator.
Alex: When we're using these for events, we have a big head. I don't know which ones we use. We have these big ones that have a boom mic down. All you care about is clarity. You're not doing a fashion statement at that point. We've been testing a lot of them again because we want to know. The nice thing about the Bluetooth one is you set the phone down and you walk around and you're not carrying the phone around with you.
Jason: I don't know why I'm resistant to Bluetooth headphones. I've never actually owned a pair for myself. Primarily because anytime I ever use Bluetooth for audio with other things, I feel like it's rarely ever stable enough. There are random dropouts that I can't explain. I don't want that in my ear.
Leo: They're substituting this for innovation in my opinion. Look how future forward thinking we are, we're eliminating the headphones!
Jason: The official reason is because they want to make it thinner because..
Leo: That's not an official reason because we haven't heard it.
Alex: There are a bunch of competing reasons, I think. One is that it closes the analogue connecting so that... but also if you look at things like Square and anything else... it gives them more control. They also do happen to own a headphone company. It would be convenient if all those headphones
Fr. Robert: You can buy the new gold plated Beats for just 3,000 dollars!
Megan: And a cold plated dongle.
Alex: Apple doesn't have to wait for people to support this. What we're going to see is Beats is going to come out with a whole line of straight lightening connectors. If you look at the investment, when you look at people investing, this is another one of those things where everybody invests in expensive lightening headsets. Not goggles, but headsets. How quickly are they going to change phones now that they have? It's another buy in. Not to be cynical. I got 300 dollar headsets that are lightening only.
Jason: That's absolutely a component of that.
Leo: Meanwhile Android posting the highest ever market share in the latest mobile data. Apple is doing this at a risky time. If you look at the graph, Android is 86.2% of global mobile market share. That is significantly higher. On this graph, the blue big line is Android. IOS is the purple line hovering at around 20%. It has that saw like shape because sales go up when Apple releases an iPhone.
Megan: It is an interesting move. Basically we have to convince ourselves to buy a new phone, now they've done it with a headphone jack, they've convinced people not to buy a new phone.
Leo: That's what I think.
Alex: I don't think that there is a huge conversion from Apple to Android. There won't be over one year. I think if Apple, if next year's... if people don't upgrade, Apple starts to see some erosion. Again, you have a lot of buy in. Among tech folks like us, they'll just go out and buy everything again, but from the average person, once they've got a bunch of apps they understand it, once they have all those bits and pieces, they're not all buying in a new phone every single time anyway. I think that Apple has... I would love to see them progressing as fast as they have in the past, but I'm resigned to the fact that they don't need to go as fast as they have been going.
Leo: Meanwhile everybody else is going full speed ahead, that's the problem. Android is iterating much faster. Apple is a new phone every year, Android because it is multiple manufacturers is iterating very rapidly. It's a real race between manufacturers. Admittedly the individual manufacturers aren't doing as well as Apple because they're splitting the market, but it's a bigger market and it's growing all the time. This is a huge risk.
Fr. Robert: This is how Apple used to be in the 80's and 90's and early into the 2000s where they didn't care about market share. All the strong Apple fans said we don't care. We just like it that it's a great product. They design for the higher end market, they design for a profit margin.
Leo: 80% of Apple's revenue comes from the iPhone. At this point, they are as close to a one product company as you get. It's a risky thing to take your one product and say by the way, we're going to get rid of something, we must have done market research, but we're going to get rid of something that's fundamental to the operation of everybody else's phone.
Alex: The market research they have, they have a lot of data about how people are using their phones.
Leo: They must know like you do, when it was plugged in. They see people not using headphones. Didn't Apple make its name with white ear buds and that was a big marketing thing was you saw those white ear buds everywhere and you knew they were listening to an iPod, and later an iPhone?
Alex: Again, I don't think they're not gonna ship them with headphones. I just think they're going to ship them with headphones that work with the lightening connector.
Jason: By the way, Android is not not doing this also. Motorolla is...
Leo: We don't know yet because it's not out. It's coming out now...
Jason: I'm not saying it's a good idea...
Leo: that's crazy talk! I think. Google released Duo this week. This is their Facetime competitor. I think that's directly a competitor to Facetime. Alo is their competitor. Their messaging competitor. I had a call on the radio show from somebody who said everybody in my family uses iPhones, moving to a PC. How am I supposed to message them? Is there a message for the PC? I said No. You have to use Pushable or something like that. You can send them a message on MS. Apple is increasingly moving into this silo, and google is making products that are cross platform. Duo is cross platform, Alo will be cross platform. Apple's new messages is very powerful. This is the highlight of IOS ten for many people.
Alex: I have to admit, I thought that was the silliest part of the presentation.
Leo: They spent a long time.
Alex: I completely changed, only because I put my kids on beta. So my kids have...
Leo: Giant emojis.
Alex: They figured out how to send each other disco smiley faces. They're like...
Leo: By the way, your kids are how old?
Alex: Seven and eight.
Leo: so they're little kids. But they know better how to do it than their Dad does.
Alex: The part I had to unlearn from them was how to change their password because they.... not because they changed the password, but they forget the password and then I have to reset the whole thing. So anyway, it's good to have a family have your kids iPads in the family group so you can reset their iPad every time they...
Leo: So you don't have to worry about that any more.
Alex: I was like OK. It wasn't a bad idea.
Leo: Did you get them to use Duo?
Alex: They're so tied into Facetime, I've tried to get them to...
Megan: You like it better than Facetime?
Megan: Because you can use it on Android?
Leo: It's cross platform. That's an advantage.
Megan: I think that we have so many ways to use video messages in addition to Facetime. If you want you have Facebook messenger, you can do video chats, you have Skype.
Leo: Duo is simple.
Alex: That was the problem with Hangouts or Messenger. For us it was nothing, it was no problem to jump into video. There were definitely relatives and friends that...
Leo: Remember when I replaced my phone icon with on the phone? That's the Duo icon. Actually, I learned this last week on TWiT. Was it Alex Wilhelm? Didn't have his phone icon on his phone anymore. Then I realized, much like analog headphones, I don't use a phone anymore. And if I'm going to use a phone, I say OK Google and have a car, or I'll use a shortcut to a family member. Most of my phone calls are incoming, and I want to start using Duo. It's that easy, it's by phone number, so the people you call show up.
Jason: For sure. It's linked up to your phone number, it's not linked to a Gmail or Google account. So it's definitely a bonus. The challenge right now is that it's not audio, but apparently they're working on that. Plans to have audio calls on Duo at some point.
Leo: Here's a trick. Keep it in your pocket and talk.
Megan: I don't love video calls.
Fr. Robert: I don't ever do video calls unless...
Leo: We're all done. Thank you.
Fr. Robert: It's text and email for me. I have a limited plan, so it's got unlimited data, but only is a hundred minutes. I never go over ten minutes.
Alex: Every meeting that's a video meeting, the first ten minutes is trying to figure out why someone's connection isn't working, and then the rest of it is... I'm not a big fan of mono tasking, so if you put me in a box where I have to monotask, in a video thing where I have to sit there and look at you and talk rather than fiddling around, I clean my office. It keeps me calm.
Leo: Alex is our visitor from the future. Most people just call it tasking. You call it mono tasking.
Jason: Because the norm is anything but one task at a time.
Alex: There's very few times..
Leo: Oh, I don't monotask. I have too many things to do. You should learn to write with both hands.
Alex: Everyone knows when I have lots of meetings, because my office gets really clean. I literally disassemble my keyboard and I clean every bit of it. Anyway.
Leo: This is fun. This is our first TWiT from the new studio. So far, so good. I think if you're listening or watching at home, you can see that not much has changed. This isn't all in studio TWiT because our skype o saurus is still being constructed. Maybe it's working, but we didn't want to rely on it. It's great to have our regular hosts and our staff hosts. Megan Morrone from IOS Today, wonderful to have you.
Megan: Thanks for having me.
Leo: Father Robert Ballecer, Digital Watch stealer, and digital Jesuit. I put that on the giveaway table. That, and you got the cookie jar. The Digital Jesuit. He is the host of TWiat, and Know How. It's been Grow How lately, but it's been a lot of fun. We made you uproot your farm.
Fr. Robert: Yeah. It's now growing on the roof of the Jesuit residences.
Jason: It gets no sun.
Fr. Robert: No sun. A lot of fog.
Leo: Also Alex Lindsay from the Pixel Corps, not technically a staff member here, but you sure are a member of the family. Thank you for bringing a 360 degree view today. Also from TNT and All About Android, Jason Howell. Our show to you today brought to you by perfect timing for those of you. What are you laughing at? Did I say something wrong. Did you make a face?
Jason: I made no face.
Leo: Yeah you did. He made a face. Do it again because I missed it. I'l have to watch the video. Man. Behind my back. Jason is the only guy who fits this table. We all look like little kids here.
Jason: It's too tall for me too.
Leo: There must be a standard table height, right?
Fr. Robert: Or we could just get power chairs.
Megan: We could stand.
Leo: Aren't you glad I didn't decide we should do TWiT standing?
Megan: But look at how many points we'd get on our Apple Watches!
Leo: It's true.
Fr. Robert: Is that a thing.
Leo: Oh yes.
Alex: If I have to put my Apple Watch on charge in the middle of the day, I feel like I'm getting shorted. I did some walking in the warehouse, did I get any points for that? No.
Fr. Robert: So far the only thing I use this for is to control this when it's doing YouTube so I don't have to get up to push the...
Leo: That's the exact opposite! It's the exact opposite. That's the I don't want to take any steps watch. We are going to talk about a new Apple Watch. It's coming soon. But first, let's tell you what to do with the old stuff. The old phones and iPads and computers. Gazelle.com, a trusted online marketplace for selling your used gadgets and for buying gently used gadgets to replace lost gadgets or to save a little bit of money. Go to Gazelle.com, you're going to get a quote that's good for 30 days. A 30 day quote is on your benefit, because you're not obligated in any way. You know what? We're going to have a new iPhone in 30 days, so go get a quote now on your old iPhone, just in case. You're not obligated, they are. They promise to pay you that price any time in the next 30 days. You have 30 days to decide, once you do... and by the way, before you do, throw in your other used gadgets. Throw it in and once you decide to pull the trigger, they'll send you a box, pay for shipping, turn it around fast, send you a check or a Paypal credit or an Amazon gift card, and they bump those up by 5%. They also take the very best stuff they get in trade and sell it back after a 30 day rigorous inspection, make sure it's fully functional, no major scratches, everything works fine, and of course, they'll back it with a 30 day return policy. So you can buy as well at Gazelle. iPhone success, Success plus, iPads, Samsung Galaxy phones. There's going to be a flood of new iPhones coming in as people buy the next iPhone. It's going to be a great time to get a great deal on an iPhone at Gazelle.com. They do provide financing on all devices by a firm. You can do that at checkout, get approved instantly. We also have a 12 month warranty for cellphones and iPads, and it includes water damage and cracked screens as well as... That's Gazelle. Give new life to used electronics, trade them in for cash and buy certified pre-owned at gazelle.com. We thank them for their support of This Week in Tech. When is Alo coming?
Jason: We pretty much are certain that it's going to come out, or at least we thought it was going to come out, with Nuggat.
Leo: Maybe Monday! That I'm more excited about. I think universal messaging platform, if it does all the things Messages does...
Alex: And it goes to all the different places you want to use. I think that's the problem right now with the whole tying to a phone number. Why I don't use WhatsApp. I have more than one device I want to connect to.
Leo: Watch 2. What do you know about that, Megan Morrone?
Megan: We don't know anything for sure, but of course we have all the rumors. Mark German at Bloomburg.
Leo: One rumor was wrong.
Megan: One about it being connected to a cellphone, that's what we heard. We heard you were going to be able to untether it. Apparently we won't be able to do that because of battery life issues.
Leo: This is my fault. I'm not going to say it's my fault. It's Bloomberg's fault. Their stupid auto play video.
Megan: Let me talk you through what we know so far. But it will have GPS built in, which isn't a big deal for most people, but I use it to run, and I also bring my cellphone with me so that it can accurately track. If I don't bring my cellphone I still get an idea of how far I've run, but not exactly, and as we talked about before, you need to know exactly how much you worked out and be able to see it. Or else it didn't happen.
Leo: By the way, Robert, you can't control your TV with it. So here's the good news. There's a remote control built in.
Megan: Supposedly. It's important to know this about when a new phone comes out versus when a new OS comes out. Watch OS 2 is also coming out. That will be separate, we can run that on our current watches. Then there's Apple Watch 2 that will also come out when we want a new watch.
Leo: You're a runner. GPS is pretty important.
Megan: I strap this giant iPhone to my arm so I can know how far I run. I can run without it, but then it's not as accurate. So I will like that, also it's nice to have anybody be able to track me if something horrible should happen. Silence.
Leo: Is there an emergency button you can press?
Megan: That is coming with Watch OS too. The emergency button, so it's great for people who...
Leo: I'd give that to my daughter, walking around campus at...
Megan: For an older parent it's great. It will contact your emergency contacts.
Leo: Is Apple going to call it IPhone and I can't get up feature?
Fr. Robert: No, it's the iFind my body.
Megan: That was further. The line was here, I got here.
Leo: My role.
Megan: I think that will be a game changer for some too. It'll make you feel safe, give you a reason to buy it, because we need a reason. You need one big reason to buy this watch. A lot of people have said, "I have no reason." A lot of people bought the first one and don't wear it anymore.
Jason: Wearables as a category has been so up and down validating itself for the last couple of years. A lot of people have been grasping at the reason why it exists and they need to do that, but if there's one category that really has shown over the years is the fitness aspects. If you have the GPS, tie that in with the Fitness functionality, slap an Apple logo on it. That never hurts. That makes perfect sense.
Leo: So we learned a lot about Apple this week from Barbara Streissand. She was on NPR and she told the host Tim Cook told me that IOS 10 is coming out September 30th. And one of the reasons she cares is apparently Siri mis-pronounces her name. Anybody have an IOS device? Can you ask.... how would you find out how it pronounces her name? Ask her...
Megan: Who is Barbara Streissand?
Siri: I can search the web for something if you ask.
Leo: You got a guy in there! That's not Siri, that's a man in your phone.
Megan: And he does whatever I ask him to do.
Megan: What's one of her movies?
Leo: Who starred in The Way We were?
Megan: Who starred in The Way We were?
Leo: Our Internet is really slow here. It's only 20 gigabits per second.
Siri: Interesting question, Megan.
Leo: The emphasis is on the second S of her surname with a z. So it says "Stry/zand." She called Tim Cook and said Streissand with a soft S like sand on the beach. I've been saying this for my whole career. What did I do? I called the head of Apple Tim Cook and he delightfully agreed to have Siri change pronunciation of my name. Finally with the next update on 30 September.
Megan: Does she know you can get Siri to pronounce Siri to pronounce anything any way you want it?
Leo: But she's Barbara, she doesn't have to.
Megan: She probably called them up because that big interview he did where he said it was lonely to be CEO. She's like he's lonely, I'm also lonely.
Leo: People who need people are the happiest. I think she's actually wrong, because by all accounts the Apple event will be early in September and they'll certainly have a new iPhone out by the 23rd.
Alex: My guess is she told him by the 30th so she would stop calling him.
Leo: He probably said, "Barbara. By the end of the month, you'll be happy."
Megan: The carrier phones wouldn't come out until September 23rd. That's what Mark German also said.
Leo: I think we'll see these by then. As long as we're doing the Apple Rumor mill, let's go for it. By the way, here's Apple's response to the fact that Android phones are 82% of the marketplace. New report confirms that iPhone and Android combined are 99% of all phones sold.
Fr. Robert: What is the 1% of smartphone?
Megan: Don't forget the Windows phone!
Jason: Very small party.
Leo: 99% market share. Together we have 99% market share. Wow. That is in the ...
Alex: I think that Blackberry is just the Government.
Leo: Android 82%, IOS 14%, Windows 2%. Blackberry .3%. Holy cow. That was second quarter 2015. The current one says .1 percent for blackberry. Holy cow.
Alex: The phones are, but the car business is the big business for them, right?
,now in the new studio? No. Carson is laughing. Hey Carson. Wait a minute, we have a camera on Carson. Do we have that camera? That's the shot! Why do we have all those lights? We are going to have a good Carson cam. I see he's got lights. Do you have a microphone yet?
Alex: That is something you need, Leo, as an EDS. That is the replay. You can take the whole show and shift it by ten minutes and you can re-wind and move things around.
Leo: Nobody would even hear my stupid comments.
Alex: You can literally re-edit the whole thing.
Megan: For 45,000 dollars, that should do that.
Alex: The EDS is more expensive.
Leo: They can only do 45 degrees.
Fr. Robert: All of the Alexes.
Leo: It's hard for a chord, because you have to have a digital buffer for ten minutes. That's a lot.
Alex: Basically with an EDS you can take up to six inputs, though typically you do four.
Leo: Do you use that for President Obama?
Alex: I can't comment on other shows.
Leo: If I were President Obama, I would have that. President Trump is going to need it.
Alex: Every time you see a replay for sports, that's all these EDSes.
Leo: Aren't they delayed?
Alex: A live game might be 20 seconds behind, but basically the EDS operator has four inputs coming in. They have six in and outs, but they use two to send out to the switch.
Leo: It's a digital dump. Right? Radio stations.
Alex: It can record up to 20 hours. You might have 3 or 4 EDS operators sitting there getting four cameras each for a football game, and then the director will say give me that shot and they'll literally go and play it back, but what we use it for a lot is to actually if you're at a conference and you have six rooms and you can time shift the rooms. Ten minutes here, a half hour here. Play it back. It's awesome for this kind of thing.
Leo: I don't think we'll be getting one of those. I don't think we'll be needing one of those.
Alex: New Tech does make a smaller version called a three play. We talked about it. These guys need a three play.
Leo: All right. According to Mac Rumors, the name for the new iPhone is iPhone 7. Just a rumor, kids.
Alex: I see what they're doing! They're following Samsung's naming convention.
Leo: That's what happens. When you share 99% market share, everything is Samsung. They're all friends. All on seven. There were rumors they might drop numbers. Rumors we started.
Alex: It was so confusing when they dropped iPad numbers. I don't know what to call it any more.
Leo: It's just the current iPad.
Megan: They were going to call it the Pro too. Like iPhone Pro, but they're not doing that.
Alex: It sounded like they were going to have a phone that was going to be..
Megan: Right. Be a pro. Be more expensive.
Alex: The thing is, for me if it had two cameras and you could draw on it, the big thing for me now with the phone is I want my pencil to work on my phone.
Leo: Cute little stylus, you pull it right out of the Note seven. Shall I try it?
Fr. Robert: No! Don't do it!
Leo: They call it the Leo. You can't put it in backwards any more. This is pressure sensitive. It's not as good as an iPad Pro. But at least you have a stylus on them. Are you going to buy one?
Alex: I buy one every year. It works with Gear VR.
Leo: You know what bugs me? See that back, it looks like a mirror. It's not a mirror though. They do something so it doesn't reflect you. Why would you do that? It's a fake mirror. why would you go to all the trouble to put a mirror back on but not have it be a mirror? It would be useful.
Megan: Have you heard about how you can take a selfie though? You can just look at yourself that way.
Leo: That's insane! You use the camera on your phone to look at yourself?
Fr. Robert: That actually could be a safety feature. If you make a mirrored back, if you have this on your car, say on the driver's seat, you turn and the sun hits it, and it will shine in your face.
Leo: It's probably a safety feature.
Jason: Also probably cuts down on the visibility of things like scratches.
Leo: Fingerprints. It's a real fingerprint magnet. I was surprised at the amount of upset about this. Google has announced that they're going to kill Chromium apps on Windows and Macintosh. I don't know how many people use this, but the idea was there are apps, if I look at my Chrome, which I'm running right now on my Mac, show apps, and that will pull up both extensions and apps. So that's up here. Then I can scroll through my apps. Some of the apps are more standalone than others. Some of them are web HTML 5. Some of them are extensions. The ones that are apps are going away, and Google's story is nobody was using them.
Alex: There's a lot of Echo here, and we decided to get rid of the Echo.
Leo: They said the reason they did these in the first place is because we wanted to make certain experiences on the web that we couldn't do it a browser. Working offline, sending notifications, connecting hardware. So they started a Chromeapp thing, so you could do more within a browser. This is reasonable, because nowadays the browser is the application you live in for the most part. They say in the blog posts, since then we've worked with the community to enable an increasing number of these use cases on the web. HTML5 has gotten more powerful and it can do a lot of these things, service worker, web push, more capabilities will continue to be available. They say in order to simplify Chrome, we're going to take the packaged apps out. 1% of users on Windows Mac and Linux actively use Chrome packaged apps. Apparently all of those 1% are on Reddit though, because there was a lot of upset.
Fr. Robert: I think on Reddit there's generally a lot of upset.
Megan: So if the idea was to be offline, does this show how much we're online constantly now?
Leo: That's an interesting question. I don't know if new browser capabilities support more offline stuff or if they just notice that people don't really care about it. Everybody is online all the time.
Fr. Robert: It's a different environment. Remember when the Chromebooks were first released they were like, "This is stupid. Why would I have a computer that's crippled when it's offline?" Now it's like if I'm offline, I'm probably not getting work done anyway."
Alex: From a Mac user perspective, or a Windows user perspective, I don't think that Chrome is a solution to something I can use offline. I think part of it is there was no thought that...
Leo: Just accept the fact that it's a browser.
Alex: I run my whole company on Google docs. It's something we use a lot.
Leo: You can download Google docs and use it offline. You know that right?
Alex: The reason we use them is because ours are... the sheets are tied together. So when you change one thing, it changes across many sheets.
Fr. Robert: You can tell I've been using a lot of Chrome apps, because I still have the original Angry Birds, the Google IO 2010, and the Gangam style game app.
Leo: I think that's just a picture of you. You like it for that reason. All right. I'll mention it, it won't be until 2018 that they'll be gone completely but they'll start phasing those out over the next year.
Alex: Hangouts get phased out a lot faster.
Leo: Sometimes I wonder what Google's overall strategy is. It's baffling.
Fr. Robert: They've had some decent products, and either they have combined it with the grap product so no one wants to use it, or as it starts to gain steam, they say we're not going to support it any more. Hangouts is a pretty decent service.
Alex: Hangouts themselves are not going away. The Hangouts on air, the streaming solution that's connected to that, and if you look at what most people were using them for, they were just streaming them talking to one other person. I think that was the... You didn't need 10 people to...
Leo: This is a challenge for Google because of course they operate at such a massive scale, even if only 1% of users adopt something, that's hundreds or thousands or million sof people, and those people are all going to be upset. I think it does hurt Google, I have to say when Alo comes out, I will have some resistance to going all in on it, because maybe they'll lose interest in three years or whatever and I'll be stuck again. Nobody wants to keep going through that process.
Jason: Google is really good at coming out of the gate with a strong phase, like being super positive on a new product that they're launching right out of the gate, so you get swept up in it, the promise of this is so cool. Yes, of course, I'm going to get in on Alo. It's the 1, 2, 3 years down the line where they trail off. They get distracted, they see a squirrel. They go out on that new thing, and this old thing that was once so promising gets left behind in the dust. As a user that's very confusing, especially when they've got five million messaging platforms. What on earth do I use?
Fr. Robert: We saw that on IO, right? We were sitting there and I was talking to the developers. It's different from the IO I attended six years ago. One was wide eyed and very excited about the things. Now it's like, OK. I'm going to wait two years before I start developing for that because I don't want to start and have them kill it.
Jason: It's not a good place to be when you're Google. Trying to push out all of these good initiatives.
Fr. Robert: At some point that whole throwing spaghetti against the wall and seeing what sticks fails. You're too big for that any more. Give me something that's cooked and ready. Give me something that I know you're going to keep around for more than the next executive who wants to kill a project.
Alex: When we developed hangout tools, we kept them all internally. I didn't want to go through the trouble of externalizing them, I never knew how solid that ground was going to be to step on it. I'll use them for my... it was easier to keep them internal.
Leo: I noticed that with Duo. I was really reluctant to invite other people to use it. I don't want to put my reputation on the line. No, I'm not going to do this. It's another Google, never mind. Forget it. I would love to get my Mom to start using it. She likes using Facetime. It's easy for her. It would be just as easy. There's a picture of me, she presses it. Knock knock thing she'll like. I'm nervous about getting her in on that. Then a year later, we got to stop using it.
Alex: For me, I put it along with my Slack and Messenger and Hangouts. I put my whole front screen...
Jason: It's like the nesting folder is a whole screen.
Leo: It's worse for Android users, because we get conflicting... Samsung wants us to use their messenger, you start using Hangouts. Google says don't use Hangouts, you should use our Messenger. You launch Facebook and Facebook messenger says "Why don't you use me?" It's a mess! It's really bad. Somebody has to fix it. Oracle says we're behind this. Apparently the Oracle lobbyists in Washington DC, there's something called a Campaign for Accountability. It's a nonprofit. It's a mystery group, they won't say who pays for the activities, and within the Campaign for Accountability, there is the Google transparency project, which exposes villainies carried out by the search giant. Well, apparently, that's Oracle. Oracle you may remember is in a big suit with Google at the moment. And actually what's weird is that senior vice-president of Oracle, Ken Glueck, admitted it. "Oracle is absolutely a contributor, one of many, to the Transparency Project." It's not a clear one of many by the way. "This is important information for the public to know." Well, yes, it is.
Alex: What are they talking about with Google, specifically about the Transparency Project?
Leo: Well, you push—well should we find out what they're saying?
Alex: I have to admit there's a lot of things I disagree with, but I don't think of them as doing evil.
Fr. Robert: A while back there was an Oracle PR critter, who was basically complaining that the reason why the lawsuits were going against Oracle was because Google has too much mindshare in the public.
Alex: The judge was using Google.
Fr. Robert: Precisely. Oh, people just like Google so they think Google can do no wrong. And this sounds like an extension to that. It's like well, if you knew, if you knew what Google did behind closed doors you wouldn't like them so much.
Leo: If you look at this, it looks like a non-profit, that somebody—Google in Government: Explore the Data. The White House kept close tabs on FTC Google probe. Google pulled White House strings to kill telecom treaty. Google's revolving Door in the US. Google's revolving door in Europe. The revolving door is of course people going from government into Google and backward.
Alex: Because no other company would hire someone from the government.
Leo: Google funded speakers dominate policy conferences. Google pressed on White House visits. This is like politics. This is like the kind of stuff you see in political attack ads. Eric Schmidt: Obama's chief corporate ally. And so when you read stories, and by the way, this is the new thing to do, by the way, is you create a kind of a shady group that looks very data heavy and responsible. You create a lot of data which you pass along then to mainstream media who picks it up as information and reports it. It's a great way to hide your agenda and slant the news a little bit against your opponents.
Megan: It's pretty ironic that that they're funding this Google Transparency Project and they're secretly behind it, transparently.
Leo: (Laughing) transparently. Well now you know, ok? AT&T, Apple and Google are going to join with the FTC to try to kill robocalls. Oi, don't you hate robocalls?
Fr. Robert: Not going to work.
Leo: Never does.
Jason: Never does.
Leo: They try. They keep trying. It's a task force. I'm sorry, a strike force. That's one up from task force.
Alex: It seems like they could almost do it, they could almost do it automatically without any—because every time you get a robocall, you know, you get that weird silence at the beginning. Feels like you could just have a setting on your phone that said, "If I get that weird silence at the beginning— "
Leo: People do that. There's software to do that. Unfortunately, the carriers of course don't want to support this because, well-
Alex: They make a lot of money on this.
Leo: They make a lot of money on it. So it's, you have to usually, to use these kinds of tools, port your phone number through another company. They get the call first and then route it to you. And they listen for exactly, that silence and stuff and they kill robocall. There are a number of services that do this like, I think it's Robo No More or something like that. But I don't know if I want to patch my phone through another company. That seems like not an ideal situation.
Alex: I would just love the Apple, like Apple to have a little switch that just want to turn that off.
Leo: Well, they are participating in this along with Verizon and Comcast. They're going to report to the FCC by October 19th with "concrete plans to accelerate the development and adoption of new tools and solutions," says AT&T Chief Officer Randall Stephenson. He's the chairman. What they're hoping to do is implement caller ID verification standards to help block calls from spoofed phone numbers. That's big problem right there.
Jason: That's a big part of it right there. You end up getting this call that's totally from your own area code. I get so many of those. Like what did I do? I feel like somewhere along the line I totally messed up and as a result I'm now getting those.
Fr. Robert: I don't ever answer a call unless it has the name on it. And it must be someone I know. If it's just a phone number, it's a robocall.
Jason: And in some systems you can, you know, at least modify a setting that says if this number calls back you can block it. Or at least I don't see it. Don't ring my phone when it calls then it doesn't bother you.
Fr. Robert: But the problem with all of these task forces, strike forces, is that they're all going to suggest the same thing. You find the company that does the robocalls. And you can fine up to $10,000 dollars per call. The problem is you can literally create a robocall company overnight, do 10,000 calls, and then shut down.
Leo: Right, right. Disappear.
Fr. Robert: So that if you go out to that company, it doesn't exist anymore. And you can't stop that. So unless you're going to change the rules about how you set up a limited liability corporation, and accept payment from companies who want you to robocall on their behalf, you can't stop robocalls.
Leo: Tom Wheeler, chairman of the FCC says, "This scourge must stop."
Jason: Oh, Tom.
Leo: "The bad guys are beating the good guys with technology due in a large part to industry inaction." Everybody agrees robocalls are horrible and there's nothing, really nothing you can do. There's a Do Not Call Registry but they don't adhere to that. There's nothing you can do. You just get the calls. There are technological solutions. I've used Truemessenger, that's a Swedish company. Have you ever tried that on your Android phone? They keep a database of, it's kind of crowd sourced, of spam calls, spam numbers. But the problem is the really worst people don't use the same number twice. They use random numbers. Spoofing—now if you could stop spoofing, then things like Truecaller would work.
Jason: Well what about that? Make spoofing calls illegal.
Leo: I think that's what they're trying to do.
Alex: Now if you have time on your hands, because I used to have a lot of fun with robocalls. Like someone would call through and I would say, "Hey, what are you selling?" And then I'd talk to them for a little while and go, "Oh, that is such a great idea. Wait. Someone's at the door. Can you wait a second?" And I'd just put the phone down. And I found that if you came back every 5 or 6 minutes and did that, you could hold somebody on the call for like over—37 minutes was my record.
Fr. Robert: Oh, I love that. That is so great. That is perfect.
Alex: If you're not really busy and you get one of those calls, you got to tell them. And the more excited, you're like "Oh, this is exactly what I wanted. I can't believe that you called right now. The timing's perfect. Oh, wait, I'm sorry, I've just got to get something out of—and I'll be back. I promise I'll be back." There are some people that you do that, and you always felt like you blew it when you do that, you set them down, and then you come back like 4 minutes later and they were gone. And you're like, "Oh. Missed opportunity. I was obviously not exuberant enough about how I was going to…"
Leo: We had—
Fr. Robert: I want one of those tech support calls where they try get you to install—
Leo: Oh, wouldn't that be great?
Fr. Robert: I have my—it's on my computer right now so if they try to install malware on my computer, it actually takes over their computer.
Leo: You can't—that's illegal.
Fr. Robert: It's total illegal.
Leo: But they started it.
Fr. Robert: But I'm talking theoretically now.
Leo: Wow. Theoretically there are people doing that, aren't there?
Fr. Robert: Yea.
Leo: So we had a guy on the New Screen Savers right, Carson? The Jolly Roger Phone Company. It's really, it's kind of low tech but it's hysterical. What you do when you get a telemarketer is you conference them in with the Jolly Roger Phone number and then he starts playing a recording of exactly what you're talking about, where you know he'll say, "Wait, I'm sorry, I got distracted. What were you saying?" I should play. Should I play a little bit of it? Do you remember this?
Megan: Yea, I was co-hosting.
Leo: It's so funny.
Megan: February 20th.
Leo: Yea. Let's see if I can find it. They have some sample Jolly Roger's on here.
Megan: Up at the link.
Leo: They problem is they go on for a long time. But you know, they say, "Did you ever just wake up and you can't remember anything and you're like a little groggy? That just happened to me so could you start over?" And then it really is fun to hear people yelling and screaming at him after a while. Here we go. Agent not sure if this is a recording – trying to pitch me anyway. Can you hear this?
Female from video: Hi Mr. or Mrs.
Male: from video: Yes?
Female from video: Mr. or Mrs. This is Kirstin with—
Male from video: Are you a real person?
Leo: So his voice is recorded.
Female from video: Yes I am.
Male from video: Hang on a second. Yea. I'm on the phone. Well we haven't really gotten that far. I'm not sure yet. Sorry. Can I talk to you later? Ok, thanks, bye. Sorry, ok, I'm back.
Leo: Oh, this is awesome.
Female from video: Not a problem.
Male from video: Can you start over? Why are you calling?
Female from video: Yea, this is Kirstin—
Leo: I feel sorry for Kirstin. She's 21. She couldn't get a job out of college. This is all she could do.
Female from video: In regards to solar.
Alex: The question is, is it as effective as a recording?
Leo: It just drives people crazy.
Alex: I know, it's awesome.
Leo: We all feel so bad for her.
Alex: If we all decided to do this though, it would like literally shut the whole industry down because their whole thing is based on you hanging up immediately. I mean if you're not the kind of person—
Leo: His software waits for a pause.
Male from video: Hello?
Female from video: Hi. How much do you pay for your electricity bill?
Male from video: Hello?
Fr. Robert: (Laughing).
Leo: (Laughing). It's satisfying.
Female from video: How much do you pay on your electricity bill every month?
Jason: Oh, boy.
Male from video: Yea.
Leo: Eventually he says, "Oh a bee landed on me." I mean it's mean but it's satisfying because we all suffer from that.
Fr. Robert: And I do feel bad for that person. They're just trying to pay some bills.
Jason: Yea, I did phone marketing when—
Leo: Is this just the worst job you can get?
Jason: for 3 months because apparently at least when I lived in Montreal, man, it was 96 and I was only there for like half a year. But apparently Montreal was the hotbed of telemarketing positions. And you know, they always promise good money.
Leo: How horrible was it?
Jason: I ended up working at three different places before I was like, "All right. This is not for me." It was pretty bad. I mean one of them was really bad. One of them was—
Leo: A lot of hang ups or—
Jason: Yea. But that kind of came with the territory. One of them was one of those vacations, like stand-by, you've been selected for a vacation, blah, blah, blah. And you were lucky if you got—you were doing ok if you got like 5 sales a week. So you're talking, I think I was working 30 hours a week.
Leo: Were you on commission or hourly?
Jason: It's commission.
Jason: But you know, you're putting in your time and if you get a sale, you get like $90 dollars. So there was always that potential that today could be a great day and I could get 5 sales and wow that just adds up quick. But there were other ones that were a lot shadier like selling white pages to, or business listings in business white pages to companies and it was just a total sham. And it was just like—and they were everywhere. You could get these jobs so easily. And I mean it's just, yea. As an operator though, like I'm trying to listen to this and put myself on the other side from when I was doing that. And I guess I'd be a little upset but I wouldn't be offended personally because I'd know what it is that I do for a living.
Leo: But if we are wasting your time.
Jason: Well I would quit that place and I would go to a different telemarketer. I suppose if I was really deadest to be a telemarketer.
Leo: Well, we're glad you didn't become a telemarketer.
Jason: I am too. It was not very fun.
Leo: I have friends getting out of high school and that's what you do. It's the best job you can get. And I feel bad for them so I'm usually very nice. I say, "Put me on your do not call list. And thanks, have a nice day." Because I know that they're—I feel bad for them. But it does get to you after a while.
Jason: For sure.
Leo: Yea. We're going to take a break. Jason Howell is here, former telemarketer, Jason Howell.
Fr. Robert: (Laughing) Nice to be off the chain, just lower 3rd.
Leo: (Laughing) Host of TNT and All About Android. From MacBreak Weekly and The Pixel Corps it's Alex Lindsay. Always great to have you. Thanks for the Ozo. If you're just tuning in, watching our live stream, our first live stream from our new Eastside Studios, you can also watch it in 360 if you'd like to kind of see what it looks like to be in the room. Alex has brought an Ozo camera and is streaming it to our YouTube feed, youtube.com/twit but also to his page. It's a little bit higher quality there at the Pixel Corps, pixelcorps.com.
Alex: There's like a 360 button on top you can use.
Leo: Press the 360 button.
Alex: Just press it.
Leo: See what happens. Also with us, Mister Father, Father Mister, Reverend—what are the, so what are the different honorary titles I could call you? Father, right?
Fr. Robert: Father.
Leo: The Honorable? The Reverend? Can I call you Reverend?
Fr. Robert: You can call me Reverend.
Leo: I always thought that was a Protestant thing. A priest can be Reverend?
Fr. Robert: We're Reverends.
Leo: Are you the right Reverend? That's a bishop.
Fr. Robert: Mostly the wrong Reverend.
Leo: (Laughing) Fr. Robert Ballecer, PadreSJ on the Twitter, he's also the Digital Jesuit and we thank the church for letting us have you for the time being.
Fr. Robert: They're taking me back for a month.
Leo: So I hear. What is—now, you told me you have to go to Rome sometime soon.
Fr. Robert: I do. So we've got this thing that the Jesuits do every generation or so and I'm part of the next one.
Fr. Robert: I tried to—
Leo: Is it like an Ecumenical Council kind of a thing?
Fr. Robert: Kind of yea.
Leo: Yea. A Synod?
Fr. Robert: We call it the General Congregation. We're going to elect a new leader.
Leo: Oh, wow.
Fr. Robert: And then we kind of set the agenda for the Jesuits for the next 10, 15 years.
Leo: So the Jesuits are a sub-group of Catholics. There's Franciscans, there's Dominicans. I always think of them as Abbots, not abbots, Friars as monks. But they're not monks.
Fr. Robert: No, Jesuits are very non-mark. That is part of our charismatic—so we are the largest order of the Catholic Church and we're known for schools. So Georgetown, Boston College, those are all ours.
Leo: There's a lot of great schools. And of course the Pope is a Jesuit.
Fr. Robert: Yes, he is.
Leo: And I should mention that one of my heroes was a Jesuit priest and a teacher at LaSalle I think, John McLaughlin, passed this week. He did 34 years of shows and didn't miss a show until the last one where he fell ill. 34 years of shows without missing one.
Alex: I watched him every Sunday.
Megan: Me too.
Alex: As a kid I would always watch him.
Megan: Me too.
Leo: And I have to mention this is why we do what we do. He was my inspiration for this round table style show. Although I'm not as—what would you call it? Flinty as—
Fr. Robert: (Laughing) He has s style.
Leo: Wrong! Wrong, he had no style. Wrong!
Fr. Robert: Imagine TWiT if you just went around the table and said, "No, that's wrong. Megan, no! Jason!"
Leo: But I loved that and I loved that style. I tried to do that at first but it's just not me. I can't be like that. But I really do love that style.
Fr. Robert: We have another Jesuit you might have heard of.
Leo: Who's that?
Fr. Robert: The Governor of California.
Leo: Jerry Brown.
Fr. Robert: He was a Jesuit.
Leo: He went to the seminary. He never got ordained.
Fr. Robert: He was never ordained.
Leo: Yea, wow. That's right. I forgot about that.
Fr. Robert: We have a couple.
Leo: There's a few.
Fr. Robert: There are agents everywhere.
Leo: See you don't say that because now people are going to conspiracy theory it and—
Fr. Robert: Wait, wait, they're going to cut this out. Jesuits are everywhere.
Leo: (Laughing) no, that's going to get to the Pope and you're going to be in trouble. Stop it. Knock it off. No, we love him. Fr. Robert Ballecer really represents the order very well and is a great host on TWiT. We'll miss you for that month. Come back quickly. Also with us of course, Megan Morrone, one of my oldest, dearest friends all the way back to Tech TV and The Screen Savers and now a host of Tech News Today with Jason every Monday through Friday, 4:00 PM Pacific, 7:00 PM Eastern, 2300 UTC. You missed a day on Friday, right?
Megan: No, we did the show. We just did it early. We're like The McLaughlin Group. We don't miss a show. No we don't. And my order—I'll also be gone for a month. My order goes to Hawaii once every 4 years and you pay for it.
Leo: Yes, that's good. And you elect a new leader.
Megan: Yes, a new leader of my secret order.
Leo: I like that. I like that.
Jason: I'm in an order that takes me to Hawaii too.
Leo: Actually you and I will be back here sitting on the new living room set. It will be a little rough. It's not quite done although we do have the bricks and the arch has been put in, the windows are almost done for our new set and we'll do that tomorrow and you can tune in for TNT tomorrow as well. We're going to do all the shows. It might be a little rocky at first, a little rough. It might not look as polished as it will be but I think it's functional.
Jason: Most people just listen anyways.
Leo: Yea. That's what I keep saying. Ah, they just listen anyway. Our show today brought to you, well if they were paying attention, they would notice of you except Alex have excellent, clean shaven faces.
Megan: Thank you.
Fr. Robert: (Laughing).
Leo: Well done. That's thanks to Harry's. Actually, I don't know, do you use Harry's? Lisa loves her Harry's. She really likes it. Harry's is the—they sell to men a great shave every man deserves but there's no reason why a woman couldn't use it as well. You know how razor companies are always changing the handle, putting out new models. "Oh, look we've added a 17th blade." Well, and then of course they raise the price each time. Harry's does not believe in doing that. They completely improve their razors all the time. The price has never changed. About half the price of what you pay for that expensive Gillette blade at a drug store, just $2 dollars a blade. And now they've really improved—the handles are new, soft texture. But I think we should also talk about the new features in the blade itself. They have a softer flex hinge for a more comfortable glide. And this was something I really wondered about. You know the very expensive drugstore blades have that extra blade at the top, the 6th blade there for getting under the nose and the hard to reach places. Anyway, Harry's has it now if that's something you care about, that 6th blade. They have a lubricating strip of course and they have the textured handle for more control when it's wet. This is the new Harry's handle and if you are new to Harry's, you can get this for a reduced price. Harry's was founded by two friends who wanted to offer great shaves at a fair price and they did the smartest thing I could imagine. They actually bought the factory that makes the blade in Germany. One of two big glade factories, they bought it. And that way they're selling—it's really factory direct to you. They're selling you the blades they make and design for performance and quality and they sell them for half the price. Quality always 100% guaranteed and if you don't love your shave, Harry's will fully refund you. The way you start though is with a kit. You need the weighted razor handle of your choice. And these Harry's kits are really a great deal. You get the razor, three blades. You get the travel cover and you get a full-size bottle of the shaving foam. This is the shave gel, the foaming shave gel. They also have a cream. I kind of like the cream. That's what I use. But you get to pick. And you pay no more than $15 dollars for this. This is the Truman set. If you want a metal handle, they have the new grippy metal handles are beautiful, the new Winston set. That's $10 bucks more but in both cases, we've got a special, limited time offer for you. If you go to Harrys.com/twit you'll get $5 dollars off your first purchase. So that means $10 for that, to get started with a Harry's kit and then you get your subscription and you'll get the foaming shave gel and the blades delivered right to you at a very, very, very fair cost every month or every two months depending on what you need. Harry's, H-A-R-R-Y-S.com/twit. Go there right now. Get $5 dollars off your first purchase. We love them. We use them. That's the best testimonial of all. And we invite you to try them yourself. We thank them so much for their support of This Week in Tech.
Leo: Our first show from the new Eastside—it could take a while to get used to saying Eastside Studio. I made that name up, mostly because I wanted to play, "Movin' on up, to the Eastside." And then I realized the next line was to what? A deluxe apartment in the sky? And I thought, "That's not really what I think of this, is a deluxe apartment in the sky."
Megan: Could we just call it TES, like The Eastside Studios, TES.
Leo: TES. Oh, I like that. TES. That's better. I like that. It's personified.
Fr. Robert: I don't like saying, "I'm going to be in TES for the next 8 hours."
Leo: (Laughing) Oh, geez.
Fr. Robert: That's going to get me in trouble.
Leo: Oh, no, never mind. You can say Eastside Studios. You can say Eastside Studios.
Fr. Robert: (Laughing) What?
Leo: My son is a student at CU Boulder. He's going to get to try this new wireless broadband network that Google is launching. Wireless. So Google made a lot of noise with their gigabit broadband that they're offering in very limited cities. Never did quite make it to Petaluma. Remember the competition? We tried to—
Alex: We worked on it.
Leo: We worked on it. We tried to get them to put it in here. Thanks to Sonic.net I'm ok. Because what do we have here, 20 gigabits? 10, 20 gigabits? We have fiber in here. Is it 10 or 20? 10 gigabits symmetric. Frankly past 4 or 5 gigabits you really don't notice the difference (laughing) but it's really nice to have that kind of speed. Thank you, Sonic.net for that. But Google is going to start rolling out wireless and I think this is kind of key to getting to the next level. Google's realized as has Verizon that it's very expensive to put fiber in there. $500 dollars a foot, something like that.
Alex: Well I think a lot of the problems with the roll-out for a lot of the locations is that they had to have cities that had the right ownership of right-of-way—
Leo: Right, it's very hard to do.
Alex: So it's all the, there was incredible amounts of red tape and obviously the wireless is still challenging because now your negotiating is where do you put the transmitters.
Leo: Right, but a lot easier.
Alex: But a lot easier than digging.
Leo: They started in Kansas City. Then they went to Provo. They're in Austin. But according to a recent Wall Street Journal story, it was really expensive and the company now wants to find a better way, either lease existing networks or go wireless. So they're doing a trial in 24 US cities. Boulder will be the first. So that's, I think that's exciting. That's really good news.
Fr. Robert: They've been playing with this tech for a while.
Leo: Is it? So I wanted to ask, is this 5G? We talked about 5G last week and I got very excited about ti.
Fr. Robert: So if it's like the technology that they tested in San Francisco last year, it actually uses three different sets of radios. So you have a higher, a lower frequency radio to do the long haul. That's going to transfer massive amounts of data, connect the towers with each other. Then there's like a micromesh of 433 MHz that connects blocks. And then you get down to more ISM 2.4—
Leo: So it's not Wi-Fi but it's Wi-Fi like?
Fr. Robert: It's Wi-Fi—like the last link I Wi-Fi.
Leo: Ok. So they have a microwave link at the higher to the head end or to whatever the root place is, then Wi-Fi from that.
Fr. Robert: Which works. And the technology was proven to be able to do a very nice mesh but the problem is, you're just running into fundamentals of physics here. There's only so much RF energy you can pump into the air before it becomes saturated. And it's not like a cable, where you can saturate that cable and it won't affect anything else. If you start saturating RF bands, it's going to affect everything in the air.
Alex: And also there's different challenges in different cities because there's a lot of cities that have a RF component that is very complex like San Francisco being one of them where there is—I know when we work with a lot of electronics, it's just very noisy. There's just a lot—there's a lot of traffic already there and so it will work at different levels.
Leo: There's also the legal issue because next to people like Comcast and Verizon, many states have laws against municipal Wi-Fi.
Alex: I think this gets around a lot of that because Google's actually providing, they're actually the service provider.
Leo: They're a commercial operator.
Alex: The city is not paying Google to put that in.
Leo: Right, and that's important.
Alex: It is.
Leo: It's like, "Hey you didn't pay us. We're doing this on our own, right?" Although the city obviously would love this. It's a good thing for a city to have high speed internet.
Fr. Robert: And this is all that's left because the FCC just got shot down. They just lost a higher court ruling on municipal fiber networks, which is ridiculous because we're talking about cities where Verizon, AT&T and such, they don't want to come in. There's not enough there for them to make money. But—
Jason: Outlying areas outside of where municipal Wi-Fi's already offered.
Leo: It reminds me of a little story of a dog in a manger. I remember reading about some time ago. I don't know why I'm looking at you.
Jason: (Laughing) you remember that story, right?
Leo: You remember that story. Is that in the bible, or is that just a story we tell after the fact.
Fr. Robert: I don't think the dog is actually in the bible.
Leo: (Laughing) That's the one I read.
Alex: There's not going to be any internet access in this manger, I'm just telling you. I know you want to Tweet, but I'm just saying.
Leo: I'm here, you're not, get out of here.
Fr. Robert: OMG, the savior of the world is here.
Leo: At least you could tweet it. Well maybe not. Twitter is a honeypot for a-holes according to BuzzFeed. And then Time Magazine just published a cover story on trolls. I love the story because it said, "writing this story is like putting out a pan of baklava for bears. It is not the right thing to do but sometimes we just have to talk about trolling." This BuzzFeed article we talked about last week, really kind of opened the lid on the issues going on with Twitter. I don't know why I brought it up.
Megan: Because there's a new filter. They have a new filter.
Leo: Oh, the filters, that's right.
Megan: A new way to—
Leo: So tell me about that. I don't know about that.
Megan: So it rolled out on, I thought on a Friday, a Thursday or Friday, it makes it easier for you to control your settings. You can also just not see people that you don't follow.
Leo: You have to use that in the Twitter, the official Twitter app on iOS.
Megan: Yes, yes. So you can control it so that you don't see any of this stuff.
Leo: So what do you say? I don't have it on Android yet. What does the setting say?
Megan: I don't think that I updated yet. I don't want to use it. I want to hear from everyone.
Jason: It's a quality filter which apparently verified users have had for—
Leo: I've had the quality filter.
Jason: And it's rolling out of the quality filter.
Leo: And I don't use it because when I turn it on I don't see anything.
Leo: I get three tweets. It's nothing (laughing) I don't know if that's a statement about the quality of Twitter or—part of my problem is I want to know if there's abuse and harassment going on.
Megan: Right. Me too.
Leo: At the same time, I like others, I get on Twitter and I feel like my life is going downhill. I just get depressed. What should I do about that?
Fr. Robert: I like to mute people so that they continue to yell.
Leo: And they don't know.
Fr. Robert: And they have no idea.
Leo: The problem is it's only muted for you. Everybody else is seeing that.
Fr. Robert: But most of the accounts, the troll accounts, they have no followers. Or they have, they have 14 followers, all of which are their friends.
Leo: Are them. Yea, they're sock puppets.
Fr. Robert: So they can yell to themselves as much as they want. If it makes them feel better, then great. I see that as outreach to the poor.
Megan: I think this is such a personal thing. I mean everyone has their own experience on Twitter and my experience is different than other people's experience. I wouldn't say that for anyone to not use these but for me, like I just don't experience that much hatred. I don't experience violence or threats or anything like that and so I want to see when people disagree with me. I want to see that.
Leo: That I want to see. The problem is it's very hard to titrate that. Well, is that abuse or just somebody who just says, "You're wrong. You're full of it."
Megan: It doesn't always feel great, but that's our business, right?
Leo: But I want to see that, yea. I want to be corrected.
Alex: Well I don't think that—And I don't think that the problem with Twitter and the problem with trolling is really us filtering what's coming to us. It is how it's going through the entire ecosystem and effecting—well I guess—
Leo: Well you Google it. You find it. I mean it's there.
Alex: It is. It's just that—
Leo: Oh, the world in general.
Alex: The echo chamber that it builds quickly of – and admittedly you look at Twitter, if I'm upset you know, I don't do it on Facebook.
Leo: It's a great place.
Alex: Because on Facebook, I use Facebook if I'm talking about cool things and I'm doing this stuff. On Twitter, I also talk about things that I think are cool or things that I want to announce or things that I whatever. But definitely the place that, as my daughter would say, it might have been on another show. But as my daughter would say, "You know fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to Twitter."
Leo: (Laughing) Your seven-year-old said that?
Alex: No, my 21-year-old said that.
Jason: True, though, right?
Alex: You know if like you're mad—but if you have enough, if you build up enough followers, you do get to a point where you're like, really you're not going to get me a seat on that plane. I had a seat on that plane. You just took it away. And then you're like, you tweet, "Dear United." And the next thing you know.
Jason: I hate people like that.
Alex: I've done it like twice.
Leo: So tempted to do that.
Alex: I've done it twice and it was like I had a $60,000 dollar camera that they were not going to let me carry on. I knew—
Leo: Did you get some satisfaction by tweeting?
Alex: Oh yea.
Fr. Robert: Was it this one? Because I wouldn't let you carry that on either.
Fr. Robert: That really does look like something bad.
Leo: That does look like a bomb.
Alex: You should see it in the x-ray. Yea, like—all those little lenses, they all look like springs going back into a center thing.
Leo: Excuse me sir, is that an atomic bomb or a hydrogen bomb?
Alex: We do carry those on and every time you go through TSA they're like, "Excuse me, sir, I need to open that." Because they just want to see it.
Leo: Yea, what could that be? They've never seen anything like it.
Alex: But it doesn't—it doesn't look bad other than it looks very complex with a whole bunch of things pointing at a center unit which may—
Jason: I feel like I need a lightsaber to train with.
Leo: Like that orb. It is.
Fr. Robert: (Laughing) Oh my goodness.
Leo: Put your helmet on. Let's see how you do. Put your helmet on.
Fr. Robert: Ok, wait, wait. Devil's advocate because there's going to be people who listen to any discussion about trolls, Twitter, whatever it might be, and they're going to say, "Why not just ignore? Why not just block them? Why not grow thicker skin?" So how do you answer that?
Alex: Well here's the problem. We see, we do a lot of events that have a lot of viewers on things like YouTube and so on and so forth. What happens is all those trolls basically make the entire comment system useless. You know like it just completely—
Leo: That's true.
Jason: And that's why online publications like NPR are getting rid of all their comments because it's toxic.
Alex: And so that and that's why for instance, you know we spend a lot of time building tools that let us basically, and we actually learn how to—you know the stuff that we did, the question and answer system.
Leo: You created a place where trolls could come just to learn how to block them.
Alex: Yea and TWiT turned out to be a great lab.
Leo: I'm a pioneer at trolling. In fact we turned off our comments ten years ago.
Alex: (Laughing) but we learned there's better ways to do it. I mean the big thing is that what, and I think YouTube started going down that way and then everyone got upset. As soon as you know who people are, like when we started the Pixel Corps 15 years ago, one of the first things we did is everyone has their own photo. Everyone has their own name.
Leo: A lot to be said for verification.
Alex: As soon as you do that, suddenly—
Leo: People are much nicer.
Alex: There was very little, it was always within a tempered level. It's the anonymous nature of it. Now, it doesn't mean the anonymous nature shouldn't exist. You want to be able to have people say what needs to be said anonymously. But on a general process. And I think we're going to see organizations find ways to tighten—and a lot of it has to do with if you're going to come back to my channel over and over again, I can start saying, "Upside, you're a bad actor." And you know, we're not going to listen to you. So you want, you don't want to be you ignore it, you want as a channel, on a channel level you want to say, "I want to flag these folks and no one can see them on my channel."
Leo: It was on this show a couple of weeks ago that Jason Calacanis said that he had heard the inside story that Twitter was going to roll out verification for everybody. Right now it's only for celebrities, movers and shakers, people like that.
Fr. Robert: I just got it.
Leo: Did you?
Fr. Robert: I just got it.
Fr. Robert: I'm verified.
Jason: Wah, wah, I did not.
Megan: Yea, Jason and I are still part of the unverified out there.
Leo: 187,000, there aren't very many. And I think that if they rolled that out and let everybody verify, not any criteria about who gets to verify, but just make it everybody. Then reasonably, a filter would make sense. Then you can turn on the filter and you say, "I only want to see people who are willing to stand behind their comments with their own name." Then that's different I think. That's a different story.
Jason: I just wonder how Twitter has—ok, because we've been talking about this whole Twitter, troll problem for years.
Leo: Forever. Since Twitter began.
Jason: So obviously it's a long term thing that Twitter is grappling with. How did this filter exist and it was really only kept for a very small percentage of people? I understand the application of it for someone who has millions of followers and everything. It might be a little bit better used in that scenario. But when it comes to your users who are exposed to certain actions from people like I feel like any way to be able to control would be nice.
Leo: Would be nice, yea.
Jason: Just I'm surprised that it took them a year and a half since the point of creation of this tool to figure out—
Megan: Well look at that article. It's about they're just disorganized in a sense. They don't really know what they're doing. They're not, they're primarily male which maybe they're not experiencing the same kind of harassment. So if that was what the article said essentially. But I also don't think it's personal. I'm not saying I don't block or mute people. I sometimes do but it's my choice. And I like having that choice.
Alex: And I think that we, I think there's a lot of sensitivity to also having large numbers of people leave your service because they're upset that you—even if it were 20 million trolls that left, the newspapers are just going to say 20 million people, or 50 million people have left Twitter. And everyone is so concerned in these social networks of any kind of losing any ground of the number of active users that I can see why they would hide that for a long time and only have those tools for certain people because they don't want to, they're afraid of getting the reaction that YouTube got. You know YouTube decided we're going to make everybody use their G+ account. And it wasn't to push G+ as much as it was to make, what I think, Make YouTube more usable. And you know the YouTube community. And so the problem is you also have a culture of what people expect you to do and this is why they joined and whether you agreed to that or not because you let it go for that long.
Fr. Robert: There's also a pendulum here because not all trollish behavior is what we would consider trolling. There's nothing wrong with being a provocateur, about throwing out a question once in a while to get people talking. That's how you get good conversations.
Leo: That's what I do.
Fr. Robert: Yea, rather than an echo chamber. I think, we made a mistake as the digirati calling it trolling. You call it what it is. It's stalking. You're getting stalked. You're getting bullied online.
Leo: Well there's different, there's bullying, there's stalking, there's abusive, there's hate, there's a lot of—and there's as many different kinds of trolling as there are trolls.
Fr. Robert: And that pendulum's going to just keep going back and forth. We're going to get too tight and then they're going to go, oh, we've got to loosen it up because we've been too restrictive and then it will get too loose and it will go back and forth and back and forth. That's not Twitter. That's not Facebook. That's conversations throughout mankind.
Leo: There is a criticism here of Twitter and you kind of alluded to it in a way. They've had this for a year and a half for celebrities. And Twitter's not any different than Facebook or frankly any other business where people, celebrities get treated very differently.
Jason: Yea, and you see that not only with the verified profiles and the tools and special privileges of being verified, you also see it with their video platform. Like they're really—Twitter has stars in their eyes.
Leo: There's a special Twitter app.
Jason: To be special, like a celebrity, entertainment and sports and all this kind of stuff. That's very validating to Twitter as a company.
Leo: Twitter and Facebook have apps for celebrities to use that are better—they don't have ads. They're better than the other apps.
Alex: And I think also, I think Twitter in many ways lost its soul when it decided it was going to suddenly promote—like years ago when the—
Leo: The suggested user list.
Alex: When they started doing the suggested user list, started pushing all these stars, I think that they really lost this ground swell. If you look at YouTube for instance, YouTube has a whole set of celebrities that the mainstream doesn't even know exists.
Leo: You're right. If YouTube had tried to pick winners, it would have failed miserably.
Alex: Miserably, because then they're, then they're just more of the same. But what YouTube did really well was that they basically just let these stars build up. And they helped build them up and it's hard when we explain, like we talk to people about doing their events. You know, we're doing these live events and we always go, "Yea, so bringing someone in from Hollywood is not particularly useful." Just so you know, if you're doing a live stream, what you want are Twitter and YouTube stars and really the YouTube stars. Like that's what's going to get viewers.
Leo: Look at Bit Con. Bit Con was loaded with people I've never heard of them who had screaming fans.
Alex: I mean iJustine has to go around with bodyguards. But the mainstream sees iJustine as a very popular every once in a while.
Leo: I would say most people have no idea who iJustine is. But obviously in her world she's huge. She's as big as Beyoncé.
Alex: Yea. And so it's—but we always try to explain to people like that is—
Leo: It always baffles me too because from somebody like me, from an old school media point of view, what I see those people do, I don't understand why they're celebrities. What makes them so—I mean it's not the traditional definition of celebrity that we have or I mean we're not talking Johnny Carson here. We're not talking Jerry Lewis here.
Alex: In that vertical that they're in, the serve that vertical, my son—
Leo: It's a very specific niche.
Alex: My 8-year-old son watches Minecraft. If I let him go he'll watch you know, hours of someone sitting there playing Minecraft.
Fr. Robert: It's the new stardom. The old stardom was I look at someone, I say, "You are someone I will never be and it's amazing I get to see part of your life." The new stardom is, "This person's like me. This person has the same interests as me. He does the same thing I do every day. I like it."
Leo: In fact, as PewDiePie has gotten more successful, he's kind of being more rejected by his fans. Oh, you sold out, you became Hollywood.
Alex: And I think that the other thing, from the interactions that we've had with for instance YouTube stars, they're not nearly as much like everyone thinks they are. They come across that way and everything else but these are folks that are very organized. They work very hard. And when they tweet, when they post, how they post, what they say, all those little things.
Leo: iJustine is a good example. She knows exactly what she's doing. She's very, very smart about how she's doing it.
Fr. Robert: Owen Digit, great example because I mean his persona online is he's kind of disheveled and he's random.
Leo: Far from it.
Fr. Robert: Everything is so planned. What he tweets, all of his content, when he creates it, who he's hired to do the production. And so he's doing a persona.
Leo: Is that shared? Is that lore and knowledge that's shared between these people? How do they learn this?
Alex: They set up their own panels and they talk about how they do that stuff. And YouTube does a pretty good job—
Leo: So you could go to someone like that and study it and say, "I want to be this person." It's one thing to say, "If I practice shooting a lot I'll be a NBA star." There's a lot that goes into becoming an NBA star. Is it like that?
Alex: In the same way that is not just practice, you have to A. what is the vertical that you're going to serve that is going to be different than something that everybody else is doing. There's room for a handful of them but there's only so many people that are going to be—
Jason: It's like opening toys. That's my vertical.
Leo: It feels like there are verticals being invented that we didn't even know existed. They're being invented as we go. Who knew that opening toys would be a thing. No one knew until they did it.
Fr. Robert: Why aren't you doing that, Megan? You should do that every week.
Megan: Exactly. Well they're not the same gatekeepers, right? I mean as kids are deciding what they want to see. And there's so much of it. So your kids watch different things than your kids that watch different things than your kids and my kids and you know, the kids that you work with. And so you know, it's just, we don't know. There's so much. And so, and also it's a lot of luck. I think you could do everything right and not be lucky too. Like you're in the right place in the right time and that sort of thing. But it's not the same. It's not the old media where like there were a bunch of old guys in a room that were like, "What can we make for kids that we can put ads on?" That's just not what it is anymore.
Alex: And it's just this random, you know, I couldn't believe it. I wanted to show someone. I didn't want to try to explain it. I would just go watch a movie on how to solder an XLR cable. And then we'll sit down.
Leo: On YouTube.
Alex: There's whole pages of it. And like there's pages of guys doing it in different techniques and the process and some are better video. And some of them are like hundreds of thousands of people have watched this video on how to do an XLR. But that's the kinds of things that—and that's the power of, I don't know, that's the power of the internet is that you can have these niches that are no longer a local niche of what happens in Petaluma. It's a niche of there is a hundred thousand people spread around the world that are interested in XLRs.
Leo: The world's a big place. There are a billion and a half people on the internet so it doesn't—there's going to be more niches. Actually it's pretty exciting. It's the other side of the Twitter thing, the other side of the YouTube's comment thing is yea, it's democratizing. That means people, all people will get a chance to talk. Some of them are annoying. Some of them are the next big thing.
Alex: But it's also, it's what's changing you know how we look at law enforcement for instance. I mean I think it's a hard conversation but Will Smith I think said it best where he goes, "It's not that law enforcement got any worse, it just started getting filmed." You know and so the fact that it's been the same and I think that the thing that we're starting to see now with, we start to see movies, but we're going to see probably in the next 2 years basically a feedback loop where you see a live stream that creates a crowd reaction that feeds into the live stream. You know, like something's happening on this corner in Petaluma, people watch it live and go do something about it while it's still streaming.
Leo: Wow. That's scary. That might be.
Alex: And I think—but that's the, but in the next two years I think we're going to start seeing these feedback loops because people have the ability to stream from their phones, you know, that kind of stuff is going to happen. And I think that it's going to change a lot.
Fr. Robert: I've always wondered why there's not the I've been stopped by a police officer app where you push one app, one button and it automatically starts recording and sending it to the could.
Leo: ACLU makes it.
Fr. Robert: They do? Wait, really?
Leo: Yea. So, yea, it's an ACLU app. I don't think it's actually called I've Been Stopped by a Police Officer but it's the same idea. It immediately starts streaming, starts recording. And it's illegal in some states but—
Fr. Robert: It's illegal? Oh, because you're filming a police officer.
Leo: Some states, not all. Most states it's not. Let's take a break. We're going to do a live week ahead so prepare your script.
Leo: Get the teleprompters ready. I don't know what you do for that. But we'll get that ready in a second.
Leo: Before we do, do we have a promo for this week, Carson? All right. Let's see what happened. It was a big week.
Narrator: Previously on TWiT.
Leo: Oh my goodness, this is the last New Screen Savers from the beautiful Brickhouse Studios. In fact, as we record this, the movers have arrived. We're going to start taking stuff out of here.
Fr. Robert: Today on Know How.
Narrator: The New Screen Savers.
Fr. Robert: I'm here at Rancho Obi One with the CEO, Mr. Steve Sansweet. How long has it taken you to collect everything that's in here?
Steve Sansweet: Star Wars just celebrated its 39th anniversary but I've been collecting for over 40 years.
Leo: Oh, wait a minute. The racoon. He's leaving. He's packed his spindle and he's about to leave.
Narrator: Security Now.
Steve Gibson: The massive misreporting across the entire industry of this Microsoft Secure Golden Key. That did not happen.
Leo: Oh. Oh.
Steve: They used the term Golden Key and because their write up was itself very confusing and dense, what this actually was, was an implementation design error. That's all that is. There's no key involved.
Leo: All right, close the door. And for the last time I say goodbye. Here we go. Let's get on the cable car. We've got to ride. Wow you got this in fast. Our editors worked fast. We're going to cut the ribbon on the Eastside Studios. All right. Yay!
Narrator: TWiT. Broadcasting from the capitol of the free world, Petaluma, California.
Leo: (Laughing) by the way, I want to—yea, that was nice. Our editors worked fast because that, some of that was—
Jason: That was 5 minutes ago.
Leo: Yea it was a minute ago. I do want to give a lot of Kudos to Steve Gibson because everywhere in the media and we reported it too. I reported it. We talked about that Microsoft Golden Key. And I got fooled because you know, I tried to read the text and you know, it was jiggling around a bit but it looked like there were a bunch of hexadecimal code in there that was a key. He read it closely and paid attention, and more importantly, understood it. And said, "That's not exactly what happened at all." I think we were and the media in general was so anxious to find a story about why having a golden key is a bad idea, that we could spank the NSA and the FBI and members of congress that want us to have a backdoor key, that we wanted that story to be the case. It wasn't. It had nothing to do with a golden key. It was an error implementation on Microsoft's part. Didn't really effect people as badly as it might have and I'm sure they will fix it at some point. But although difficult to fix because it breaks a lot of software to fix it. Anyway, if you want to know the details, I doubt very much you'll see articles on the internet starting tomorrow saying, "Oh, it wasn't a golden key." But if you want to know the details you can listen to Steve's Security Now from Wednesday because he does talk about what it really was and what it really means as opposed to what we thought, and I include myself in this, what we thought it was. We've got a great week ahead planned for you in the brand new Eastside Studios. Megan Morrone, what are you going to be covering this week?
Megan: Well hopefully Nougat will come out.
Leo: Nouga? Have we decided?
Megan: Nougat. I call it Nougat. I don't let anybody call it Nouga.
Jason: I go back and forth because it's fun to say and be undecided.
Megan: Yea, and so when Nougat came out that was when Jason and I were going to switch phones and he's going to try iOS.
Leo: I'm going to bring you my iPhone and you're going to be using my iPhone 6S Plus. I'll wipe it for you. Clean off the fingerprints.
Megan: I'll use one of those mirrored Android phones.
Leo: Which one—do you want to try the Note?
Megan: Yes (laughing).
Leo: Yea. Ok. You're willing to be like—oh, I don't want to go back to my iPhone?
Megan: I'm willing to try, yes.
Leo: Are you willing to say, "Oh, I don't want to go back to Android?" That would kind of ruin your—
Jason: It's really difficult to do that. I've done so much with Android for my job.
Fr. Robert: I'll be using a Blackberry.
Leo: Yea, and we're going to make him use it.
Megan: Alex, you get a Windows phone.
Alex: I'm ready.
Megan: Well of course Gawker's going to shut down this week. You know, some are mourning it. We had a great interview with Will Oremus about that. Good reasons to mourn it, you know there still needs to be gatekeepers for the tech elite, people who are willing to speak honestly about them and I'm sure there will. Like a lot of those people are going to other places in Gawker. Lifestage launches this week. That's a Facebook app but you don't have to have a Facebook account. It was created by Michael Saymen. He's a 19-year-old product guy from Facebook and has a great background. I definitely recommend looking into him. He's a very young app developer. It's for only people 21 and younger so you can use it if you're 22 but you can't see any other people's stuff. So it's people, it's to try to get people hooked into the Facebook atmospheres but you don't have to have a Facebook account which more 21-year-olds and younger are not interested in Facebook, so check that out. Friday is Pluto is not a Planet Day. 2006—
Leo: How dare they have a name for that? Still bitter.
Megan: That was when Pluto was demoted of course from Planet to dwarf planet. And also this week in 1991, August 23rd, Tim Burners Lee opened the world wide web to new users. So it was publicly available on August 6th but new users were allowed to come in 1991 on August 23rd. And there are some security conferences this week. Cyber Security for Critical Infrastructure in Exchange in San Diego, Energy Sec 2016 in Anaheim and the Cyber Security Summit in Chicago. So.
Leo: Wow. We've got a lot of stuff.
Fr. Robert: August is like security month, security mayhem month.
Leo: Yea, that huge DEFCON deal last week and now new stuff will be coming. Thank you, Megan, Morrone. That's TNT, Monday through Friday, back to its time of 4:00 PM Pacific, 7:00 PM Eastern, 2300 UTC from the brand new Eastside Studios tomorrow.
Jason: Right there.
Megan: Right there.
Leo: I do want to talk about that Gawker story. I also want to talk about the NSA's Equation Group and what that leak meant. But first let's talk about this. This is—I'm so excited. I just got the new Automatic. Did you know they have a new one?
Fr. Robert: No, it's exciting.
Leo: So we've talked about Automatic before. This goes on the OBD2 port of your car. Every car since '96 has one. You may not even know it. It's right below your steering wheel. It looks like the kind of thing, oh yea, that's the dealership. They're going to plug into a machine to that. But you could plug the Automatic into it and get the kind of information that previously has only been available to a dealer. The Automatic will give you thigs like well that's what, this is what that check engine light means. It pairs to your phone via Bluetooth. You get all sorts of information about how much gas you're using, what your fuel efficiency is. If you're a good driver. I get a score as I drive in my Automatic. And this is cool. The new one, the Automatic Pro, and buy the way, it's not just a few bucks more which is really great. It is a little heavier because inside of here, I feel it, there's a 3G radio in here. And no monthly fees or subscription for 5 years. So this Automatic now is on the internet which gives it a huge range of things it can do. For instance, you'll always know where your vehicle is parked at any time. Or put this in your car and you can track your vehicle even when you're not with it. So when Annabella starts driving in a couple of years, you put this in the car and you can have even geo-fencing because it will know exactly where she is and you can say, "Annabella, you're not allowed to go outside city limits. You're not allowed to go to the highway." And you can actually look on your phone. You'll be able to see where she is. It works with If This Than That which means you could have it hooked up to do all sorts of things. I have it hooked up with my Amazon Echo. I can say, "How much gas is left in the car?" And it will tell me. It doesn't do that with the Tesla because there's no gas. But it does do it with your automobile that uses petrol as they say. You can link it to your Nest thermostat so as you drive home it will turn the heat up or the air conditioning on. You can even ask Alexa, "Where did I park my car?" Oh, I'm sorry, a lot of people are going to have it. See, if you had this—and you can even get human help in a crash. The Automatic Pro detects severe accidents and calls the trained responders for you even if you cannot. This is awesome. Every car since 1996 has an OBD2 port. Not every car yet has an Automatic Pro but it's my goal to get every car in the nation with one of these. Normally it's $129.95 which I think is a great price. And by the way, no subscription fee. You don't pay for the internet connectivity. But use our exclusive offer code TWIT, you'll get $20 dollars off. So now it's pretty much back to the price of the original Automatic. That's a really good deal. Get all these new features basically almost for free. Visit Automatic.com/twit for more information. And don't forget if you want to get $20 dollars off, use the offer code TWIT at checkout. The brand new Automatic Pro 3G Car Adapter. This is huge. Real time driving location and the crash alert. That's going to be fantastic.
Leo: You're watching TWiT from our brand new Eastside Studios. We really want to thank the live audience that came out to help us celebrate. We seem to have a few bottles of champagne and some cupcakes and things and I hope you will partake. Feel free. And if you want to be here and visit us in the studio, just email firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll make sure you can come in. We're going to maintain our open studio policy. I was thinking about that. We didn't do that in the cottage did we? There was no room for an audience.
Fr. Robert: Where would you put them? In the host chair?
Megan: Sometimes people came and they—
Leo: Kind of peeked in the door. They would sit in the corner.
Jason: In the corner, yea. I remember that a few times.
Leo: It was hard though because there was no room. So I think that this, having a studio audience really started with the Brick House.
Jason: Yea, for sure.
Leo: Yea. I hadn't really—it feels like we've always had a live audience.
Alex: You need to have stadium seating like stands.
Leo: We used to have that. Remember the Screen Savers? They built the little bleachers.
Alex: You need the ones you can pull out and then just pull them out.
Leo: Yea, I think it's a good idea. I think it's a good idea. We have plenty of room for our studio audience. That's nice. So we look forward to seeing you. People are asking about the bricks. I don't know where they're going to go but I think we're going to go line the hall with them. Because this wall on the studio here as you come in from the door would be a perfect place. You'd see your brick as you came in.
Fr. Robert: It's all white right now so it's a nice place to put some texture.
Leo: And you know what I really want to do? Patrick Delahanty had this idea and I'm going to figure out a way to do this. The other wall on the other side also is long. It's weird. It's a long hall and everything comes off of that hall, right, including the studio. He wants to put a timeline, a TWiT timeline along that. Like you know when you go to a museum and you see first there were the birds and the dinosaurs and the rodents and—we want to make like a timeline. We'd have all the hosts, when they started their shows. We'd have pictures of the hosts. Somebody else said—you know you said this. You said we could get monitors and have little videos.
Fr. Robert: The Harry Potter picture frames.
Leo: Yea. I think this'll be really fun. So we're going to figure out a way. It might take a while for us to do but put a timeline down the wall, kind of the history of TWiT and all the shows we've launched. It's been 11 years. That's not as long as the dinosaurs but sometimes I feel like one. The comet could be coming at any time now. So let's talk about this. This is probably going to be a Steve Gibson subject. I think we talked about it a little on Wednesday, but more news keeps coming out. It was revealed by a security group that NSA tools, older tools but nonetheless tools, they had hacked, somehow hacked into the NSA and got tools from the Equation Group. Wikileaks says they are going to publish these tools. There was some question, the Shadow Brokers who published two chunks of data, they say they'll—one was open to all and the other they're going to sell for the highest bidder, at least a million dollars. Wikileaks says they already have the files for auction and will publish them in due course. The questions, of course several questions come up when you read this story. First of all, are these really legitimate NSA hacking tools? Second of all, how dangerous are these tools? Can they actually—you know, if hackers got a hold of them, if some hacking group spent a million dollars and got a hold of them, would that mean the end of security? Would this be a big deal? And finally who are the Shadow Brokers and how did they get them? That's a big question, right, because if the NSA's getting hacked, that's not, that's a little scary. That's a little worrisome. We know the answer to the first question now. I think we do because the stuff they released so far jives well with previously unreleased documents from The Edward Snowden Hall. The Intercept released these documents and at least initial comparisons show, there are some debate over this, that these are in fact legitimate, these are the NSA tools that Snowden had information about, that they match. The second question is a little more difficult to tell how dangerous these are. So far what we see requires that you have access—it's a flaw in an older form of Cisco router, the PIX routers, PIX operating system that A. has been patched. PIX has been obsoleted for about 7 years I think. So their older routers, most of them have been patched. If not, then you should probably get a new Cisco router. And to fully use these exploits, things like breaking in to VPN, in general it sounds like you need to have access already to the internal network.
Fr. Robert: They're infrastructure tools.
Leo: Yea. So once you're already in, you can use these then to get more information.
Fr. Robert: Yea. I mean it sounds really bad that oh, there's a hacking package out there. But those exist. Those are legitimate. Like Raphael Mudge and his penetration testing tools. Those are some of the most advanced tools on the planet and yes, you could use them for bad things but I think what the NSA tools give us, is it gives us a peek into where the NSA may have their hooks into the internet's infrastructure because some of these tools access things that regular people don't see. They won't have access to.
Alex: What's going on with that is 7 years is not a long time for a router.
Leo: No, there are a lot of PIX routers still in use.
Alex: And probably a lot of them that haven't been—how many people upgrade the firmware on their router?
Alex: So I think that that is the real challenge there. And you know, it wouldn't be hard to get physical access. You can get a job as a maintenance guy. But this all, it's going to become more and more important for every company to be constantly paying attention to all of their hardware. You can't just have it like I'm going to go down to Best Buy and buy some routers or whatever and just expect it to be anywhere near secure.
Fr. Robert: And also, the downside of a story like this is yes, it's nice to bring people's attention to security. They start thinking, "Oh, I need some super hacker-y tool in order to get access to blah, blah, blah, blah, blah," which is completely not true. Just a couple of weeks ago, TWiT was at Black Hat and we spoke with a security researcher who showed how trivial it was to break into 5 of the top 10 most popular home routers and small office routers that were out there. And these are firmwares that will never be patched. No one ever patches their home router because security researchers have realized you don't need to own the big Cisco switch that's in the core of an Enterprise. If I can own the home router that an executive uses to connect to the office, I have all the same access and it took a whole lot less work. So while it's good that people are thinking about security, they're thinking in the wrong direction. It should be, "Ok, I need to make my place as secure as possible."
Alex: And the problem is that that executive is probably also writing their password down on a sticky and putting it on their monitor.
Jason: I've never seen that before.
Leo: And it is still under discussion how real these are. I've seen stuff going back and forth both ways. Is the greater—and we know they're old. They're not going to be super dangerous. Maybe a little dangerous. But the real question to me is what kind of security does the NSA have? Looks like the evidence is all these files were stolen before 2013. So whoever got in had access then. But shouldn't—the NSA of all—this stuff should not be leaked out. That's the real question.
Fr. Robert: But they're field tools so I mean it could have been a simple as some—
Leo: Some USB key?
Fr. Robert: Somebody left a computer or a USB key and someone got it. And this—you don't need to be on the NSA network in order to access these tools. So I'm pretty sure it's not like someone did a social engineering hack where they got into Langley and they figured out exactly where these super keys are held in a vault. It was probably just some low level employee forgot his laptop.
Megan: What about the theory that it's a mole, that it's someone inside? Do you believe that?
Fr. Robert: Well, if that's true, the NSA is actually very good at that so.
Leo: There is some question that—Dimitri Alperovitch at Crowdstrike, knowing that the most recent file in this dump is from June 2013, surmised that the leakers were sitting on the information for years, waiting for the most opportune time to release it, which I—
Fr. Robert: Why would it be now?
Leo: Yea, why is this—
Alex: Well it could be opportune because it's much useful.
Jason: And I believe Snowden has said that at least on his Twitter account that it's possible that the release now is a shot across the bow from—because some speculation has this pegged at the Russians getting access.
Leo: Because of the Russians.
Jason: With the DNC hack and all that kind of stuff that it's kind of a shot across the bow to say, "Hey, check out what we've got. You want to bring it, we can bring it." It could have been that deal.
Leo: Interesting. No surprise that the NSA has the Equation Group. These are the same kind of governmental operators that created Stuxnet and while I think they're—there's a larger debate that I would live to see as a nation about how we want to participate in cyber warfare. We're very vulnerable. I mean we're probably among the most vulnerable, if not the most vulnerable nation in the world. Because we're highly technological. Our infrastructure is very highly technological. But it's older and it's not well secured. We know the grid for instance is really poorly secured. That people who operate it are electric power companies all over the—they're all over the place. Some of them are private. Some of them are run by cities. Some of them are run by states. Some of them are like quasi-public utilities. They all have different means of securing their data, some not very secure. Some of them are running Windows XP machines. I mean it's a checkerboard and according to the people I talk to, very vulnerable. The NSA and others are trying to do the best they can to teach them better security strategies and help them secure. But this is a really crazy quilt of companies and you know we also know that if power goes out in one area it tends to cascade and I think would not be so hard to create for instance, devastating infrastructure attack on the United States. So should we be in this cyber warfare game where we are the most vulnerable? We need hackers I guess but isn't this opening up the door to hacks against us? Their hackers are as good as ours I would say, right?
Fr. Robert: Well I mean it's a different—most of the infrastructure that we have that's vulnerable in the United States is because of old generation SCADA devices for user control and data acquisition.
Leo: Right, and guess what Stuxnet attacked?
Fr. Robert: But those were never designed to be on a network. They weren't designed to be on the internet so you've got these people who are putting things like gas pumps onto the internet so that the home office can check to see how much gas is pumped. Well, that's great except the password is 1-2-3-4 and you can't change it. It's hard coded.
Leo: Yea, right.
Fr. Robert: And that's one example. You've got water plants where the valve controls are old SCADA devices from the 80s. We had an entire village at DEFCON where they took SCADA devices and they were able to reprogram like Tetris. That's how open they are. So in that sense, yea, we shouldn't be inviting. We're not holding a red flag out and saying to people, "Come attack us." But we do need to build up some home brew capabilities to at least figure out where we're vulnerable.
Leo: Yea. Well defensive ability in other words as well as offense.
Fr. Robert: Well but there's no defense for that.
Alex: I think that it's in general, this is a general question about how the United States projects its power, whether it's cyber warfare or real warfare or anything else, it is always going to be not always positive. And so it's not, there's always going to be blowback from whatever we do in these areas. And I think that—
Leo: That shouldn't stop you from trying.
Alex: No, it shouldn't stop us from interacting with it but I mean I think Stuxnet is a, could be very frightening about what it can and can't do as far as what they figured out how to do. And it does open up a Pandora's box that we have to be careful of all the time. And I think that—
Leo: The US has never claimed responsibility for Stuxnet but I think it's widely believed that it was the US and Israel.
Alex: I don't know what—
Leo: In fact it might have been the Equation Group, right? Duqu, Stuxnet—
Alex: What I heard, I look at it. It's some of the most elegant code written.
Leo: No, no, it's definitely governmental action.
Alex: And so yea. I think that the problem you get into is the people who are actually implementing these are more interested in the battle. I mean they're there. They're in the middle of it. They're trying to solve it. And you do need to have someone step behind them going ok, do we really want to open—and somebody who actually, the problem really is, is that someone who's making the decision to give them the go has to be someone who actually understands what go means. And I think that—
Leo: The Diplomatic Corps which would normally make that decision is completely unable to understand the technology.
Alex: It's like oh yea, it might slow the Iranians down but it could invalidate the security of every USB device ever made. Just saying.
Leo: Oops. I have to watch Alex give me zero days because they cover this in great detail and I hear it's very good. You were at DEFCON.
Fr. Robert: Yes.
Leo: Funny thing. Before you arrived at DEFCON, there were 8 GSM towers around the Bally's and Paris hotels that once DEFCON took off, there were 38. 38 cell towers all of sudden. 30 more cell towers.
Fr. Robert: They really wanted to make sure we stayed connected.
Leo: Yea, yea. So basically these were all stingrays, right?
Fr. Robert: Yea, well it's scarier than that. So there was a security researcher by the name of—
Leo: By the way, you don't go to DEFCON—you assume that this is the case.
Fr. Robert: Oh, absolutely. That's why we're not joking. When we tell people, "Turn everything off."
Leo: Don't join any Wi-Fi networks. Don't use your cell phone.
Fr. Robert: Put your cell phone in airplane mode. Turn off Bluetooth.
Leo: Because a cell phone will automatically join one of these stingrays. It doesn't know the difference.
Fr. Robert: That's what it does. That's its job. There was a security researcher by the name of Jeffery Von who did a scan of the area around Paris and Bally's where DEFCON was held, DC24. And he found 8 towers. On the day of the show, he did another scan, he found 38. Now some of those could be the hotel turning on extra repeaters so that you get service.
Alex: And I would like to say that anyone who's gone to Las Vegas, they really do need 38.
Leo: (Laughing) it wouldn't be a bad thing.
Alex: It's constant shaking your phone.
Fr. Robert: Bur some of them, some of them are probably government sanctioned ISMI, those are the dirt boxes, stingrays.
Leo: But you—a hacker can build a stingray.
Fr. Robert: That's the other problem which is I could go into the vendor area—actually not this year because there were no software defined radio vendors this year. But last year I could have gone down and bought about $2,000 dollars' worth of gear and built my own stingray in about 30 minutes. So that technology is no longer in the realm of law enforcement anymore. Your neighbor could build a stingray with instructions they find on the internet. That's to me, it's scary but at the same time it's kind of cool.
Leo: A stingray acts as a cell tower, captures your phone. Typically will the pass that traffic on to the cell network?
Fr. Robert: So the way it works—
Leo: So it's a man in the middle?
Fr. Robert: The phone, your phone is actually pretty stupid about this. All it knows is it wants the best possible signal.
Fr. Robert: It will look for the strongest tower. So let's say I set up a stingray in the room next to yours. Automatically, you phone will connect my box, and my box will forward the traffic onto an actual cell tower. But I'm now a physical man in the middle of the attack. So because the phone is only encrypted between the phone and the tower, it trusts the tower, it's now unencrypted on my side. So I can see your texts, I can listen to your calls. I can see what sites you're visiting, what apps you're using. It's—and it's actually pretty easy. They did a really good demonstration this year.
Leo: T-Mobile has announced there will be but one plan, one plan only. $70 bucks a month, unlimited text, data and voice and that's that.
Jason: Oh yea, and no other aspects.
Leo: Well there's a couple. If you are a super user—what was the number? It was like 36GB a month? There was some huge number. If you used more than that, well we may have to slow you down a little.
Megan: Well you also have to pay extra if you tether to your iPhone or anything like that.
Leo: Pay extra for tethering. And your video is going to be 480p period unless you pay for, $25 dollars extra a month for high def.
Fr. Robert: I think they have a grandfather plan. So this is prepaid. I pay month to month.
Leo: You have the $30-dollar plan.
Fr. Robert: I pay $30 dollars.
Jason: Yea, I do too.
Leo: That's that 100-minute voice plan.
Fr. Robert: 100-minute voice plan, 500GB of high speed.
Leo: It's a only pay as you go and you have to search for it. It's in fine print at the bottom of the Go Phone page. You have that too?
Jason: I have it too.
Leo: It's a good idea.
Fr. Robert: It works really well.
Leo: Will you be grandfather in, do you know?
Fr. Robert: Well I was told that if I switched off of it I wouldn't necessarily be able to switch back. So I think they want to get rid of it.
Leo: Stick with it.
Fr. Robert: Yea. And they're not legally bound to keep giving me that price because it is month to month. They could just say, "We don't have this anymore." But I like it.
Leo: 26GB of data. The top 3% of its subscribers use more than 26GB of data month will see some throttling. So it's unlimited up to.
Alex: That would explain why mine is so slow.
Leo: (Laughing). 26GB, what are you doing?
Alex: I have to admit—
Leo: That's like a GB a day.
Alex: I don't know if it is accurate or not, but there was one point where I looked at my phone, and I looked at the phone and I was like—it said, "You've used since your last whatever." It was like 90GB of—and I was like, I don't even know how that's even possible. Like I didn't—
Alex: I was probably updating my phone.
Jason: Mine's YouTube.
Fr. Robert: This is not my YouTube device.
Leo: But you can't use a GB a day on YouTube, can you?
Fr. Robert: If—
Leo: Remember, you also have to be outside of Wi-Fi range.
Fr. Robert: I spend two to two and a half hours on the car driving to the studio every day.
Megan: Watching YouTube?
Fr. Robert: Well, no, listening. Listening to music.
Jason: Background, background play.
Alex: My current on my phone—the current period of 17 days, and my current period cellular usage is 64.8 GB.
Alex: So I guess I'm one of them.
Leo: Who's your carrier?
Alex: AT&T. I'm in the old—I have an AT&T—
Leo: Do you have the grandfathered unlimited?
Alex: Uh huh.
Leo: You're the reason AT&T's going out of business.
Jason: How many Alex's is that (laughing).
Alex: What happens is you get—I'm like I'll be downloading something and the Wi-Fi gets slow and I turn off the Wi-Fi and turn on LTE. It works fine. If I'm having trouble with like my messages aren't coming through or whatever—
Leo: You're right. It's often faster to use the LTE than it is to use the landline.
Alex: And you know what I think a lot of it is also is I take a lot of photos and I think I'm—
Leo: Are you uploading everything to 15 different services?
Alex: No, no, no, I think that it doesn't upload them. Oh, but Facebook will upload them all LTE or Wi-Fi. So I think it's like grabbing them all.
Leo: I want you to figure out what it is that using all the data. He could do that, right? Android has that? I know iOS does where you can see how much bandwidth each app uses.
Jason: Oh for sure.
Leo: Hey let's take a break and we can wrap up with Gawker.
Fr. Robert: That's fine.
Leo: Yep. Just like Gawker got wrapped up, we'll wrap up with them. Our show today brought to you by Braintree. If you're a mobile app developer you know that having payments in your app is key, key. But can I suggest that you don't want to write it yourself? I know you don't want to. Maybe you feel, "I can do it." But don't. It's fraught with peril. A shopping cart that loses people's money is going to be a big problem. Of course you've got to have the confidence of your users and 70% of mobile shopping carts get abandoned. And that's probably because users are looking at them and going, "Eh, I don't know if I trust this." You want to use Braintree. It makes it easy for you. It gives you every kind of payment period. Bitcoin, Apple Pay, Android Pay, credit cards, PayPal and if something new comes along, they do the work to integrate it. You just check a box in your control panel and bada bing bada boom, no late nights. No complicated recoding. It's all working. You don't have to stress at all. Braintree Payments. And may I tell you that you've used Braintree Payments. I can say that with absolute confidence. You have used it. Because you know who uses Braintree for their payment system? Uber and Lyft, Airbnb and Hotels Tonight. GitHub uses Braintree. It is the payment system. When everybody uses it you know this is the right way to go. Check it out. It works in iOS and Android and Java Script. It's got 7 languages. The SDKs come in dot.net, Node.js, Java, Pearl, PHP, Python and Ruby. It's easy code. The integration is just a few lines. You can do it in a heartbeat. And your first $50,000 dollars in payments are fee free. If you're a mobile app developer or want to have a shopping cart on your website and you want to do it right, go to Braintree. Braintreepayments.com/twit. Braintreepayments.com/twit.
Leo: Do we want to say—do we want to do a eulogy for Gawker? Do we want to be sad about Gawker?
Alex: There should be champagne around here.
Leo: Should we say—or should we say—what do they say on Battlestar Galactica?
Fr. Robert: So say we all.
Leo: So say we all. Screw you. Oh no.
Alex: I thought it was going to be a—
Fr. Robert: So say we all.
Leo: I am not conflicted about this at all. I probably should be.
Fr. Robert: Should I be conflicted? I want to be conflicted but I'm really not.
Megan: You should be conflicted.
Fr. Robert: I should?
Megan: I mean I don't know. I think that Gawker was mean and petty and I think they went about—they weren't that smart with a lot of the stuff they did. And yet they uncovered a lot of big stories that a lot of journalists are afraid to cover like things about Mark Zuckerberg, you know about his house. Things about—
Leo: Do we really need to know about Mark Zuckerberg's house?
Megan: Well, when he bought all the houses around him because he wanted privacy.
Leo: Yea, it's a great story.
Megan: When he doesn't want the rest of the people to have privacy, like those kinds of things. I think there was room for that.
Leo: It's gossip.
Megan: Yes, it was gossip. But there's room for that. People in power need to be checked. They just do I think. But I think there's other places for that. We talked about this on Friday. I think Satire's a really good place for that. Like that's what The Daily Show did perfect. We need a tech Daily Show.
Leo: Nobody says, "Oh, the Daily Show, I can't wait until they stop." They were great, right? They were beloved.
Megan: Yea, like a Stephen Colbert. That's what we need. That's what we need because—and that's sort of what Silicon Valley, HBO's show is a little bit.
Leo: Gawker was mean spirited. Right.
Megan: Like you know who they're talking about. You know who they're making fun of. They're not mean. They're not outing anyone. You know they're not doing those things. And they're protected. Like they're protected satire speech.
Leo: Well like Gawker's protected. Gawker's protected by free speech but you're not protected against an awful lawsuit by somebody whose free speech, you know, whose privacy you violated and if the courts decided against you, you lost in court. That's what happens. That's the checks and balances on this. I don't think it's anti-free speech. Admittedly having Peter Theil fund it—the optics aren't good.
Fr. Robert: That's the thing. If Thiel—
Leo: But he didn't do anything illegal.
Fr. Robert: He didn't. He didn't. But if it was Billionaire Funds Law Suit to Take Out the Wall Street Journal.
Leo: Then you have to trust the courts to do the right thing. In other words, Hulk Hogan and Peter Thiel used the legal system appropriately I believe. And the fact that Gawker lost is sufficient. Now you can of course use your money to harass somebody and tie them up in court even though there's no merit to it and that would be wrong. I don't think that's what happened here. I do think Gawker crossed the line many times and so for that reason I think they're appropriately being chastened. But I agree with you, Megan, we do need people to speak truth to power, absolutely. Just don't cross the line.
Leo: You don't need to out editors at Conde Nast who aren't public figures. You don't need to do that.
Leo: And I think they went too far.
Alex: And I think that they went too far and it puts you in a position where people are willing to spend a lot of money on somebody else's court case. You know I think that that is—
Leo: I think Peter Thiel had a legit beef against them frankly.
Alex: I think he did and I think that, I think more—the average person just doesn't have the power. People are upset because the average person doesn't have the power to properly defend themselves in court. The reality of it is that Hulk Hogan couldn't afford to go even with whatever his mansion is or whatever, he could never afford to have those kinds of lawyers.
Leo: There's a lot of people who would have loved to sue Gawker and probably could have won a lawsuit against Gawker for defamation but didn't because Gawker had lawyers on retainer and they did not.
Alex: And that deep pocket is what's required sometimes to push a lot of this stuff down the path.
Megan: They also used shame. You know they used shame so people are not going to sue because then oh, then it just becomes a bigger deal. That's what they use that and I can't stand that. So yea, I mean I think that it's a scary world in journalism right now. I mean Bezos owns the Washington Post, you know all these companies, AOL owns TechCrunch and BuzzFeed is supported by venture capitalists. Like we're in a world where you don't know who owns who in tech journalism. It's a scary world to be in. We way what we want but we, you know, we're not beholden to anyone. And that's nice. But if we were ginormous we might not be able to do that anymore.
Alex: But I think the other thing is though—
Leo: Or if Peter Thiel decided he didn't like us for whatever reason, that would be scary. I couldn't defend a lawsuit like that.
Jason: Well that's the big challenge, right? That's where the lines get really blurry. Like say, you want to start a new media outfit, you're less inclined, at least on the surface you're less inclined to trust your instinct that this is worth covering and this is not because at least in the example of Gawker and Thiel, there is a world that exists where this man with a lot of money can decide that he doesn't like the line that you've drawn.
Leo: That's scary.
Jason: And that's a chilling effect right there for any new publication or existing publication. And I think that's where the confliction comes from. It's like we kind of get it. You know you look at Gawker's content. You look at a lot of the stuff that they did and you might not like it. But when it comes down to it, some guy with a lot of money decided he didn't like them. And that he didn't like the brand of media covers that they were doing. And decided to put his money into taking them out of existence and is it too much to believe that that couldn't also happen to this media company or that media company. Simply for reporting the things that they are going to report.
Leo: I have feelings on both sides of the equation. I don't know what the right answer is.
Fr. Robert: I absolutely wanted Gawker to die.
Leo: I did too (laughing).
Fr. Robert: But it does sound like this is a huge chilling effect. Jason's right on the whole well what happens when they go after an outlet that you like? Now it's bad where before it wasn't?
Alex: And you know funding other people's lawsuits for your own thing is not something new or even original or even interesting. I mean it is something that happens all the time. You know and so you get someone—now it happened to happen to Gawker but you know, in local politics this kind of stuff happens all the time. Somebody comes in and you start—
Leo: You have to trust the court system and maybe give tools, maybe like slap tools where if you lose a decision, if it was harassment then you get punished for that. There needs to be some solutions.
Alex: Oh, absolutely.
Leo: Your father is a prosecutor.
Alex: You lose a case—if you lose a case there's going to be a countersuit for all the legal fees. So that's kind of a known danger that you're going down that path.
Leo: And that's an appropriate thing. In Canada they have slap laws where if you lose a suit you're liable for the legal costs. And that's really reduced kind of frivolous lawsuits.
Alex: And I think that—
Leo: You want to make it easy to sue. For real reasons you don't want frivolous lawsuits that are designed just to tie a company's hands.
Alex: At the same time though, those—what's at stake has to be high enough that the media company's going to pay attention to it. I mean if you look at a lot of the stuff that the National Enquirer or other people post, they just post whatever they want to.
Leo: Because they know nobody's going to sue them.
Alex: Or that if they sued them, even if they win, they've made the calculation of—so what this is also shown is if you're going to start putting out a bunch of stuff like that and breaking privacy rules, breaking all these other things which we're going to actually—you know I wouldn't feel that bad if someone took the National Enquirer out because they were breaking people's privacy.
Leo: It wouldn't be a loss to the national dialogue as I don't think the loss of Gawker is a particular loss.
Alex: You look at these—
Leo: By the way, the Jalopnik and Gizmodo and some of the other properties--
Leo: Jezebel will continue under the new owner Univision Communications, but Gawker itself, that site is shut down.
Megan: And I think the Gawker writers who haven't left yet are going to be spread around there.
Alex: And I would love to see you know, a chilling effect on paparazzi. Like I'd love to have them feel like they're—
Leo: I will watch TMZ whenever it's on. I love that stuff. Don't you love TMZ?
Fr. Robert: I have never watched TMZ and I never will.
Leo: Oh, it's great. Harvey Levine and I love it. It's just so good. TMZ has style just like the Daily Show has style.
Megan: Sort of.
Leo: Hey, this has been a lot of fun but I think we've got a party to go to. I am really thrilled with how this worked. Thank you so much to our team. They stayed up all night wiring and getting this all working and they did a fabulous job. We really appreciate it. Thanks to my team here at the table, the greatest Megan Morrone, it's such a thrill to be able to continue to work with you after all this time and keep making great stuff. We'll see you tomorrow for iOS Today and of course Monday through Friday for TNT. Father Robert Ballecer, the Digital Jesuit. He's on loan from God but we're glad to have him and I don't know, if God ever wants you back.
Fr. Robert: I'm on a mission from God.
Leo: We're on a mission from God (laughing). This Week in Enterprise Tech, Know How. Am I missing anything?
Fr. Robert: Just the live events.
Leo: And great job by the way at IDF last week.
Fr. Robert: That was fun.
Leo: At DEFCON. Where are you going next? What's the next live event? Are you going to IFA?
Fr. Robert: We're going to Berlin. TWiT will be at IFA covering three days of the show.
Leo: That's exciting. How soon is that?
Fr. Robert: That's what? In a week and a half.
Leo: Wow. And you're taking Bryan Burnett?
Fr. Robert: Bryan Burnett and Colleen.
Leo: Bryan Burnett was going to be on this table. He's also one of our hosts. But he very kindly agreed to bow out because this—apparently when they designed the table, they said, "Leo, what's the most number of people you would ever want to have on this show?" And I said, "We would never want more than 5 people on this show." And of course the very first show we do here, I wanted to have 6 people. John said, "You said 5." So Bryan, thank you. We love you, Bryan. We'll get you on a TWiT real soon. Thanks also to Alex Lindsay. Appreciate the 360 degree. That's awesome.
Jason: It's a wonderful gift. Thank you.
Fr. Robert: (laughing).
Leo: Yea I hope people are watching.
Alex: (Laughing) No problem.
Leo: It's going to be on YouTube permanently, right, so people can go back and look at it.
Alex: Yea, and then we'll also take some of the footage and I don't know if I'll do the whole show but we'll do an example that's in 4K stereo. And that still takes a little time.
Leo: But people who were watching it were thrilled. It was fun for them to take a look around and see it. So we'll do something with the 360.
Alex: We're still figuring it out. So a lot of it is we just like to figure out, put it in places and see what happens. You know, like—
Leo: Yea. It's really interesting. And of course my good friend Jason Howell. Always a pleasure to have you. The host of TNT and All About Android. Thanks to all the people who came out today. It's been really great. Thanks to all of you at home who put up with the disruption. I hope it hasn't been too bad. We plan on continuing all of our shows from our new Eastside Studios. You can come and watch us. Email email@example.com. Watch live 3:00 PM Pacific, 6:00 PM Eastern, 2200 UTC every Sunday afternoon or get your show on demand. Audio and video of all of our shows available at our website twit.tv or wherever you get your podcasts. Subscribe, make sure you get every single episode. I'm Leo Laporte. Thanks for joining us. Another TWiT—I'll say it one more time—is in the can. Yea. Thank you. Thank you!