This Week in Tech 580
Leo Laporte: It's time for TWiT, This Week in Tech! Great panel today, Georgia Dow joins Larry Magid and Phil Libin, former CEO at Evernote, to talk about the week's tech news. We'll show off the new iPhone 7, yes we have a black one. Explain what happened to the headphone port and what they could replace. The answer may surprise you. We'll also talk about why Congress might need to act quickly to keep the FBI from snooping into your computer. It's all coming up next, on TWiT.
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Leo: This is TWiT, This Week in Tech, episode 580, recorded Sunday, September 18, 2016.
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It's time for TWiT: This Week in Tech! The show where we cover the week's tech news. Hi, I'm Leo Laporte, we've assembled a lovely panel here. This is my getaway day. I'm going on vacation right after the show, so everybody agreed to start early, so I can get to the airplane. Look who's in studio? I'm really thrilled. An old friend, Phil Libin is here. You probably remember his name as the CEO of Evernote and now is at venture capitalist, so instead of working for Evernote you want to be on the show. You actually wanted to be on the show!
Phil Libin: I did. You were the first person I met when I moved to Silicon Valley a few years ago!
Phil: Been a lifelong dream of mine.
Leo: Where did you come from?
Phil: That's a long story.
Leo: You're Russian, right?
Phil: I was born in Russia. Born in St. Petersburg, then I moved to...
Leo: Do you consider it your hometown?
Phil: I do not.
Leo: You were a baby.
Phil: I was eight. I remember it pretty well. But it was a long time ago.
Leo: What's interesting is your accent is a mix of Russian and New York.
Phil: I grew up in the Bronx.
Leo: Evernote was when? Ten years ago?
Phil: Yeah. 2007. Came out to California in 07 for Evernote.
Leo: Before you were a part of it, it was a couple of Russian brothers, wasn't it?
Phil: There's two pre-cursor companies to Evernote. There's a team here that was started by Stephan Pacikov who was a brilliant Russian American engineer guy. He is one of the guys who did the hand ignition for the Apple newbie.
Leo: They were trying to do a grocery tape continuous roll... this is before One Note.
Phil: We called it the toilet paper interface. It was a big toilet paper you could write on. It was super cool. I had a team in Boston. We started working at a similar idea, got together, recreated the company, so modern Evernote came around in 2007.
Leo: You left the company a year or two ago.
Phil: Became a VC.
Leo: Are you still on the board or associated with them in any way?
Phil: I stepped down from the board yesterday.
Leo: What? It's been struggling, but I root for it. I love Evernote, and I loved it when I first used it. I want... I have more data stored in Evernote and I keep looking at other options. Nothing suits.
Phil: I use it multiple times a day every day. I life in it. I'm really proud of what we built.
Leo: I think part of the problem is that it's freemium. The conversion rate is low.
Phil: I don't want to officially speak for the company any more.
Leo: You don't? That's why I'm asking now. You could never tell me before!
Phil: I think it's doing really well. Numbers are all good.
Leo: They raised the price a little bit.
Phil: They raised the price in some countries, lowered it in other countries. Basically just re-priced it.
Leo: That bothered some people.
Phil: I'm sure it bothered a lot of people.
Leo: It's worth eight bucks to me.
Phil: I think it's a fair price for what you get out of it.
Leo: Also joining us to your left, one of my favorite people whom I have never met, Georgia Dow of iMore.com. Hi, Georgia!
Georgia Dow: Hey Leo!
Leo: She's borrowing Johnny Ive's room once again.
Georgia: I set up my back area. I will at some point have it set up.
Leo: I've been interested. I'm wondering that the reason you were in this new area is you gave your husband your old studio for his Vive room.
Leo: Here we are several months later. Still using it?
Georgia: Yeah. We both still love it. We have beanbags that we move out of the room so we can play some of the newest games. We have Oculus also downstairs which we'll probably move upstairs as well. So yeah.
Leo You haven't tired of it?
Georgia: I love it.
Leo: Ok. I have another question. As soon as I put the anniversary update on my Windows 10 on my ultimate virtual reality gaming sheet, the Vive started crashing every time. Is it working OK with Windows 10 anniversary update for you guys?
Georgia: Yeah. I don't know how you have it set up, but it might be just for you
Leo: I haven't had time to set down and do it. I haven't checked lately. I thought they'll update the driver eventually and it'll work. It was one of the many things that stopped working with the anniversary update of Windows 10.
Phil: I spent an hour in job simulation the other day. It was fulfilling.
Leo: It was weird. You Xerox your butt, you can staple things. Throw stuff over the cubicle wall.
Phil: Uncanny representation.
Georgia: Why he had to leave Evernote. I love Quiver as well, which is a great game if you haven't already tried it. It's an archery game where you're defending a Keep. It's still in Alpha mode, but it's a fabulous game, and I think I play it... every time I play the Vive, I'll play Quiver.
Leo: Let me introduce Larry, then I'll continue. Larry Magid is also here from CBS Radio news from connectsafely.org and safekids.com and it's always a pleasure to have you too. My good buddy.
Larry Magid: Always a pleasure.
Leo: You couldn't come today because your media group is meeting. It's not a book group.
Larry: It's a book and movie group. Tonight's subject is in ensuring candidates. We had to read the book and watch both movies and I thoroughly... the book was good. I'm not completely done with the book--I fell asleep at some point-- I read it on an airplane last night, but I love the Frank Sinatra, the old movie, the original movie is phenomenal. The newer one... Denzel Washington is not that great, but the movie is not that good.
Phil: Have you done The Martian yet?
Larry: Not yet.
Leo: Does it always have to be a movie book tie in?
Larry: This Media club is only about two media club events old.
Leo: That's not a bad idea for a book/media club.
Larry: My wife is actually getting Manchurian food for dinner tonight. It's going to be good.
Leo: I was going to ask about VR. I'll ask both you, Phil, and Georgia. Maybe Larry has been using it too. I'm tired of it. I'm over it. It's like 3D for TVs to me. Did it. Not going to live in it. It's fun. You're not sick of it?
Georgia: For me, it's immersive. I enjoy gaming but to be able to game when you're actually exercising and working out ducking behind things, the wonderful thing is I can use my martial art training and I actually feel like I can actually fight things.
Leo: You're not fighting anything. You're looking like a dork with a toaster on your forehead and nun chucks in your hand.
Georgia: In my mind, I look amazing.
Phil: But if you look like a dork in the forest and no one is there to see you....
Leo: That's not what stopped me. I just don't want to wear that headset for more than a little period of time.
Larry: With Vive, don't they have a boundary thing?
Leo: You can see when you get too close to the edge of your space a little green line.
Larry: If you use the Samsung VR, you can walk off a cliff. I wouldn't say I've completely tired of it, but I don't find it that compelling. Maybe it's my age. I'm not a gamer. I have one problem. The New York Times had this on an app. They gave away the cardboard of VR. I'm watching this compelling video.
Leo: Children of War, were you watching Children of War?
Larry: I'm not enjoying it, but I'm appreciating it. And all of a sudden, I hear this plane and it's dropping supplies in Sudan, but I don't see the plane, because in the world if the plane were flying over my I would know it was over me because I would hear it was over me, but I couldn't figure out where this plane was, and I missed the important scene. I realized, in a movie, a director goes out of his or her way to make sure that you're looking at the important thing that you should be paying attention to. In VR, it's up to you to know where to look. It works well in some environments, but for movie type presentations, I felt myself not getting the full value out of it.
Leo: You're right. You have to tune it for the experience. That's why gaming works well. As opposed to story telling!
Phil: I think story telling is going to be great, but people haven't figured out how to do it. There's..
Leo: None of these do the audio right. They don't move the audio in the same way they move the picture.
Phil: I've seen some with very good.. all of the first movies, when films first came out, it was people filming plays and it took decades for people to figure out how to tell a story. It'll take a few years. But it'll be amazing. The experiences have been getting better exponentially. It's already great, but it's not yet good. As soon as we get to good.
Larry: How do you get to great without going through good?
Phil: Most of the important things skip good. They go directly to great and take a few years to work backwards to good. File off all the rough edges.
Leo: I'm willing to withhold judgment. I just feel like there was so much hype and I fell for it and spent money and time doing it. I have this gnawing suspicion it might be a fad.
Georgia: I don't think it's going to be a fad because I've had everyone I know try it out and these are people that usually don't game. I think it's really good at certain things, so when you're playing first person shooters against other people, it's a wonderful experience. It's much more salacious when you shoot someone and you're ducking behind something and running towards them. I have been punched a couple times when my child is playing it, and I have hit the wall and broke my controller once as well. But, it's a really immersive experience. There are certain things it would be good for. Watching a horror film in VR might be too intense, but for people who want that level of intensity, the fact that you might miss something and you're constantly looking around your shoulder would add to the experience.
Larry: Anybody have updates on the porn, I know that porn hub is...
Leo: I get tired of that too.
Larry: I haven't checked that out. I actually haven't. I'm not saying I wouldn't, I just haven't.
Leo: I checked it out, I got tired of it. It's pretty immersive.
Larry: That's what porn ought to be about.
Leo: I don't know. I don't think so.
Larry: Maybe not.
Leo: Maybe this is another case where they'll get better at it because we don't know how to do it properly.
Larry: Aren't they usually the early adopters... the old thing with VHS...
Leo: First of all, I'm not sure that's true. I think that's a common misnomer. I think... here's my problem VR in general... demo is great. People get very excited when they first do it. It's really exciting. I think I'm not clear that it has a long-term appeal to it, for a number of reasons it makes people queasy and about ten percent of people who use it, it's going to stay queasy. But also... I don't know. Maybe I feel the same way about video games. I get tired of it after a while.
Larry: I turn on the TV and it's right there, right? If I want to do VR, it's like playing soccer.
Leo: Sony is going to come out with this new Playstation VR in a couple of months and that will be a lot easier.
Georgia: The Playstation VR is fabulous. That's a great... I was surprised with how good Playstation VR was when I tested it out. I tested it out on Heist, which is the same game you tried with it. It was great.
Leo: You're riding in a car, they're worried about catching terrorists on motorcycles... that one?
Georgia: It was really... It was much faster to set up. It was easier to use. It was exceptionally good. This is something that tis more exhausting. If you want a passive experience, VR is not that. It's immersive, it's a little bit exhausting, it's tiring. For the younger generation, they're looking for that, they'll want something that'll be more immersive than a game that you're looking on a screen. It increases my anxiety faster. It makes me feel like I'm there. If you're looking for something you can relax and do, I think that virtual reality is not that by its nature.
Larry: By the time I'm ready to play a game, I'm sitting on the couch with a beer vegging out. I think that's a good understanding of it.
Leo: Partly, this is an occupational hazard. Part of my job is to look at any new thing and say is this genuinely live changing or technology changing, or is it just... let's face it. Silicon Valley is throwing a lot of stuff up against the wall and most of it isn't.
Phil: But you can tell early.
Leo: You think this is a big deal? If you say it, I'll believe it.
Phil: It is a big deal. The problems that you guys are pointing out are kind of funny. It takes too long to set up.
Leo: It's expensive. We had to build a multi thousand dollar PC to do it.
Phil: This reminds me of a conversaiton I was having a hundred thousand years ago when Fire first came out. It's hot. It burns you...
Leo: Are you saying, Phil, that this is equivalent to the invention of fire?
Phil: Yes. That's exactly what I'm saying.
Georgia: It's virtual fire.
Phil I think it's a big step forward. Everything is kind of clunky right now, but it has the seeds of greatness in it in a way that 3D TV never did.
Larry: What about virtual versus augmented.
Leo: To me, augmented is really going to be the revolution. The reason I wanted to ask Georgia is you and your husband were very hot on it. If anybody was going to get tired of it, it would be you. You're early adopters but you've spent a long time and you still love it. That's a data point that's valuable to me. I've always said, by the way, Tim Cook said it this week as well, he said that Apple is much more interested in augmented reality than virtual reality.
Phil: I think they're different things. I think VR is entertainment and it's meant to be immersive.... AR is...
Georgia: You don't want to. You're sad and depressed when you go back to your regular world.
Phil: AR is less entertainment. For the most part, it'll be about productivity and it'll be about what happens.
Leo: Somebody called the radio show today and said I have a medical condition where I can't remember faces. I think I have that too. That is a real thing, right, Georgia?
Georgia: Facial aphasia. That's a real thing.
Leo: He said I know there's facial recognition, is it possible for me to use it when I see people to remind me who I'm meeting. I said all the companies have it, it's not hard to do, Google has it, Facebook has it, Apple has it, but none of them are willing to release this general recognition mostly because of the stalker problem. I wonder if you had facial aphasia if you could get a prescription for it. That is what augmented reality would be, it would be awesome. It would be being in Daniel Suarez's demon where you look at somebody and they got not only their name, but that's Joe, his wife is Irma, her birthday is tomorrow. But also reputation score. Like he's high on chaotic evil. Stay away. I would love to be gamifying the world. That's more than productivity. That's fascinating.
Georgia: Before the user score, I was with you. If you look at your own photos, and you set it up yourself, that wouldn't be something you would set up... it would be helpful for people who are dealing with that because people don't understand how difficult it is to go through life if you're dealing with that. I think having the rep score from different people....
Leo: We can take that out.
Larry: I meet a lot of people who seem to recognize me and I don't recognize them. It's not just that they've seen me on TV, they actually seem to be people I have met. I try to act like I know who they are. But...
Georgia: Leo, you probably meet way too many people. There's no way you could store that many people.
Phil: I've had this problem since before anyone else. It's gotten worse since I've gotten known.
Leo: I think we all have that problem. Right? Nobody wants to admit it.
Phil: This is definitely technology that's coming. I'm really looking forward to it.
Leo: Enough about VR, because we have one iPhones here, and that's what really matters.
Phil: Speaking of new iPhones, the first mainstream augmented reality experience I think is not going to be visual, it's going to be with the Airpod.
Leo: That is to me the most interesting thing about what Apple did this year.
Phil: The most interesting is Mario. The second is Airpods.
Leo: The idea that these are going to become more than just headphones. These are hearables, and they ultimately can add a lot of value.
Phil: This is going to be the mainstream wearable. The Wearable is going to be the headpiece.
Leo: Just like VR, they're going to be awful at first. They're going to fall out, you look like an idiot with a thing coming out of both ears.
Georgia: I wish they would have them in metal or black so it didn't...
Larry: Or like high end hearing aids that are invisible.
Phil: They should just be awesome looking.
Leo: The thing coming down is a mic. Both ears have a microphone, which is not typical of Bluetooth headsets is that convenience of manufacture, or is their beam forming from my favorite martial mandibles here? So we have here some iPhone sevens. Apple was funny this week, they said don't get it line if you want a seven Plus because there are none. Somehow, one f my employees not only got a seven plus without having ordered it, but even got a seven plus that's shiny. That's a jet black. It's a finger print magnet. He's said you can't put this on the table, I have to have this special cloth here like a museum piece because he doesn't want it to get scratched. Already, I'm sorry Josh. I got fingerprints. I got the... I got a gold one. No one wanted that one.
Phil: I couldn't get one. I was 13 minutes late pre ordering.
Leo: Here's a funny anecdote. I fix it, Josh it's OK, I'm not going to scratch it. I fixit tore these down. They went to Japan, Tokyo, got it early, tore it down, and remember this is the phone. You can't really see it, this is like the B2 bomber. This is the phone that instead of having a headphone jack over here to the left of the lightening port has another speaker grill. Ifixit tears it apart and they say wait a minute. Those are holes in the body, there's actually no speaker there. The stereo speakers are this speaker and the one on top that you listen to. They said we're not sure what's going on. There's a plastic baffle behind this. Apple now forced to reveal the truth said that plastic baffle is a barometric filter that keeps water from coming in but allows the air pressure to equalize inside the phone, why? Because there's an altimeter in the phone, and if the air pressure doesn't actually match the inside and the outside, it won't know what the altitude is. So... we gave up a headphone jack, but we got an altimeter. Congratulations.
Phil: I'll take it.
Leo: You'll take it?!? Really? You think that's a fair trade. They always had an altimeter, but because it's a sealed phone, they had to have some way of letting the air pressure equalize without letting water in. But Apple made this big deal about taking out the headphone jack because there was so much more room to do stuff, apparently it gives us more room to put a barometric...
Larry: The other thing they say it helps is with waterproof, although the Galaxy S7 is water resistant and it does have a headphone jack. By the way, it's good that it's water resistant, because when it catches on fire you can dip it in water.
Leo: If you have the Note 7, it's a bigger screen, a pen, and a smaller form factor. While Apple is saying we needed the room, and everybody will be doing it, I for one hope that everyone is not doing it. I'm traveling with this iPhone 7, and I'm searching for my dongle. I got to have a dongle!
Larry: That might work if it weren't a proprietary connector, if it were a USBC, and I can say fine. The whole Industry has got to switch, but... lightening to every manufacturer, which is not going to happen. We're going to have a world of different adaptors.
Leo: Eh. What can I say?
Phil: I'm with Apple on this. I'm an iPhone user. It's the six plus.
Leo: You're not in a hurry to get the seven?
Phil: I'm in a total hurry, but I was 13 minutes late. Now it's shipping in two weeks.
Leo: You can play with this one. There are a couple of differences, one it's not a physical button, it's a haptic button. First time touching my haptic button. It gives a little eh.
Georgia: I don't like it as much. I find the haptic button on the phone doesn't give me the same oomph when I push the button.
Leo: It also doesn't work with gloves because it is capacitive. Now...
Georgia: But when you have capacitive gloves, it'll work with capacitive gloves.
Leo: Now I got to get capacitive gloves!
Georgia: I live in Canada, everybody has to have capacitive gloves because it's cold and you want to use your phone.
Leo: By the way a physical button is going to break sooner, wear out sooner and is more of a problem.
Phil: I think this is a beautiful design.
Leo: It's the same as the old one!
Phil: I think the... the old one is beautiful. I have no problem getting rid of the headphone jack.
Leo: OK. Why? You just buy a bunch of dongles? Or will you only use Wireless?
Phil: I think probably most of the time I'll use Wireless.
Leo: I think that's the plan.
Phil: The headphone jack is dumb. It's not a piece of electronics you can carry a smart signal through.
Leo: Dum bin the sense that it is just an analogue port.
Phil: Which means you are limited to what you can do. What Apple wants to do is say that every headphone in the future is going to be a wearable computer that you can do a ton with that you can swipe on that has sensors on it. It is the ultimate wearable. Getting rid of the headphone jack and making people go with a lightening connector or Wireless makes a ton of sense. I'm glad they did it.
Larry Except for the fact that it's a proprietary interface.
Phil: The Apple has always been about the privacy of the user experience and the expense of...
Leo: It's gradually been moving into its own sphere but this is the biggest step to saying forget the rest of the world. You're either all in at Apple, or you're not.
Phil: In some ways they're become more open, in some ways they have become more closed.
Leo: How are they more open?
Phil: A lot of the software stack is.
Leo: No one can use the NFC except Apple.
Phil: But the actual development for it, there's more inter-operability with apps.
Leo: That has improved. The biggest improvement you can get on your phone, the iOS 10, the new Siri and the opportunity to launch apps, I like IOS 10.
Georgia: I thought I was going to be upset about the Airpods. I really didn't like to lose the connector and I didn't have to use a dongle, but when I tried out the Airpods, they fit comfortably in my ears. Double tapping to have Siri control volume everything, it was nice and effortless, they have fabulous sound as well. I think that people will move over more quickly than we thought they would.
Phil: I want it telling me things in my ear. Reminder... It's going to happen. That's what people are going to be working on. This is going to be a significant thing.
Larry: I think we put a lot of pressure on Apple each year to make a massive change to the phone. It doesn't have to be. Even in this, the talk year where we have a new design. Apple is not going to not have an event and make a big deal about the new phone, even if it isn't that much different, you got the duel lens camera, you got a haptic button, faster processor, better screen. These are better incremental minor improvements. What Apple is good at is telling a story, and they're brilliant at telling this story and getting people excited and buying into the story. Whether the story is technically makes a lot of sense, or if it's a really technical achievement. You must know this. You must have experienced this in your own career in tech that the story is as important if not more important than the technology actually.
Phil: As long as the story is true.
Leo: But it has to be something that resonates with people. Frankly it doesn't have to be 100% true, because I'm not going to buy the story that the headphone jack is obsolete and dumb... but if you do, then something magical has happened for you and that is what Apple is really most skilled at is creating that sense of enchantment.
Phil: A year from now, there are going to be apps that rely on smart headphones. That are going to be magic, that wouldn't have happened if they had kept the headphone jack.
Larry: I'll be excited then. Right now, it's a pain in the ass because I have to run around and get a nine dollar dongle. It comes with one.
Georgia: Just keep it attached to your ear pods. Keep those inside your pocket when you travel, and that's it.
Leo: I think that's where my dongle is. I don't think I've lost it yet. I'm not going to lose the Apple supplied lightening headphones; they're not very good. Maybe when the Airpods come out, I'll be convinced. Jet black. Did you see that? That's it.
Larry: I have one other comment. We make such a huge deal about a jet black iPhone. I'm trying to figure out why that's more than passing interest.
Leo: Apple tells a story. Did you see the video? We polish it in sand in three different axes, and then the giant wheel comes down and... the thing is... it's paint. That's the real problem. You get it and you go that was made in special sand with a giant wheel, and then it scrapes like paint.
Larry: It reminds me of the wine industry where there's always pretentious things about these things. Come one, just a beverage.
Leo: That's the best example. They've done tests where they change the label on wines. People think the expensive label is so much better. I think Apple is doing exactly the same thing.
Larry: I did something on Facebook. I was in New York and took a picture of a building on both a Galaxy S6--not even the latest galaxy. And the honor 8 that came out. This cheap 400 dollar phone and I posted it on my Facebook page, I said guess what camera I used? Everybody was certain I was taking these pictures with an iPhone 7 Plus. Of course I wasn't I"m not saying the iPhone doesn't have a better camera. It does. But when I was posting these pictures, including some relatively good zooms, people were impressed, even though I was using an old phone and a cheap phone.
Leo: I had a call from a woman who has an iPhone six who says I talk for 18 minutes on T mobile and it drops. But John Ledger, CEO of T Mobile says if you don't have an iPhone 6, 6 Plus or an iPhone SE, do not install iOS 10. It's causing those three models to lose connection to the network. Just on T Mobile. It was originally believed the carrier update was on T Mobile's end. He says Apple is working to resolve the issue, but in the meantime, if you're a T Mobile customer, IOS ten is not for you. There were other problems with the initial launch of IOS ten, including bricking in the first hour. Apple fixed that right away. Apparently... according to TMobile Apple has, this is the latest. Good news, IOS ten fix is ready early, go to settings, general software update, if you have a T mobile phone. Let's take a break, come back with more. We have a great panel. Great to have you, Larry Magid. You wanted to mention Connectsafely.org and safekids. I have to say Thank you, because we had an issue with our 13 year old, online harassment and stuff, and it's normal. Your kid, you try stuff out, we tried the contract, the safe computing stuff. We made him sign it. Problem solved.
Larry: We have our first project, but not for your 13 year old, but for you. We published the seniors guide. Alexa, how old is Leo Laporte.
Leo: She is a lying black cylinder. When did I become a senior? 59? I'm not hiding it.
Larry: I got my AARP card at 50. I felt outed at the time, it was horrible. We look at it, at the other side of the age spectrum and give advice to seniors. It is pretty much the same advice we give to kids, ironically. Or not surprisingly, I suppose. Strong passwords, watch out for scams, if the IRS calls, it's not the IRS.
Leo: That's a big problem right now.
Larry: People fall for that. But the interesting part... I did some research. Meeting new friends and romantic partners. A lot of seniors date online. They're more likely to get scammed by somebody who is younger, appears to be younger.. probably not the same gender... but there's all these dating scams that seniors have fallen for. We did this. You can go to Connect safely.org. There's a link to it at the front page. It's also good if you're caring... I have a 94 year old mother in law that I care for. I don't physically care for, but I manage her finances and handle things for her, and it's good advice for people in that situation as well.
Leo: I think a lot of us are supporting parents who are in the tech world and need help. I have a call coming in. Hold on a second. Can you hear the audio from my phone? Let me start it over.
Larry: It's an important call.
Phone: This call is an important call from the IRS. The nature of this call is to inform you that we have received legal petition notice concerning tax fraud against you.
Leo: Oh no! This is robocall complaints in the first half of the year. Look at the growth. 1.5 million complaints to the FTC, that's people complaining. What's great is she supplied some audio examples of robocalls.
"Hello this is Rachel at cardholder services, calling in reference to your current credit card account. There are no problems with your account."
Larry: But Rachel seems so nice. I like Rachel.
Leo: Se seems sweet, doesn't she?
Phil: Why do people still answer their phones?
Leo: I know. Some people have to.
Phil: I haven't answered my phone in years.
Leo: Most of the calls are like this.
Josh: Hi! This is Josh from the customer service department. Can you hear me OK? OK great. You have been pre-selected to receive a vacation for one of our all-inclusive promotions, which includes Disney tickets for free. It covers all your accommodations and all your food and drinks for up to two guests. I know you're going to have a lot of questions, so I'll briefly go over a couple highlights first.
Leo: That's how I got my trip. They said they'd be waiting at the dock, those tickets will be waiting for us at the dock.
Phil: But seriously. If you don't know who is calling, why would you answer your phone?
Leo: One of the scams is they spoof your area code. A lot of people get calls from clients or schools or they may not recognize the number, but they say it's local, that can't be a scammer. It is. I was driving the other day and I got a call. Hello, this is Josh calling from Microsoft, you are infected. We see a lot of activity coming from your computer. Are you in front of your computer right now? I could have messed with him. I said shame on you. You should be ashamed. What would your mother say if she knew you were calling people and scamming them? He hung up on me. I thought if everybody did that, maybe he'd feel guilty.
Larry: I had a conversation with a guy. He was in the Philippines and said, could you give me a job? I said I'm pretty tech savvy.
Leo: You don't judge them. They're out of work, many of them are tech support people and they're trying to hold their family together. So I understand that, but don't fall for it!
Georgia: Unfortunately, most of the people who watch your show wouldn't be one of the people who would fall for that, but for my Mom or a lot of people, they're not that tech savvy, and they're really scary and forceful when they're calling you up. It sounds very official, so we need to be talking about that.
Larry: One of the things we say in the guide is not to feel bad if it happens to you. We also point out is just because somebody is old doesn't mean they're not tech savvy. I got a call from a company that had a cell phone that was easy enough for seniors to operate. Who do you think invented the cell phone? He said it was invented by people now really old. Don't patronize folks with gray hair.
Leo: Many kids don't know how to use cell phones.
Larry: That's true. A lot of kids are dumb when it comes to tech.
Leo: We're going to take a break and come back. Great panel. Also, Phil Libin... is it Libin or Lie bin?
Phil: It's Libin.
Leo: Former CEO and really great guy at Evernote. Did great work for them, but yesterday got off the board, now he can be on the show. That's how fast it happens. Managing director at General Catalyst, which is a Silicon Valley firm. Also, my favorite person from Toronto, you and Renee Ritchie. Montreal, I should say. Georgia Dow o imore.com. Did you come down with Serenity and Renee for the Apple event?
Georgia: I didn't. I went to fireside conference. I was speaking during the event. It was amazing, it was a lot of fun.
Leo: You got to try Renee's airpods?
Georgia: I got to try them out, I got to try out the seven plus till I got mine.
Leo: I'm interested in those Airpods. But we'll find out next month. I don't expect a lot from the first generation, but it's a finger pointing in the direction that Apple wants to go.
Georgia: They're better than you'd expect. They fit better in my ears, I shook my head around to try and see if they would fall out, that was my fear. They sound fabulous. Really nice! I think that you will be excited to try them.
Leo: I will reserve judgment. Our show to you today brought to you by stamps.com. If you do mailing of any kind at all, maybe you sell on eBay or Etsy or maybe you sell through Amazon if you have to do fulfillment in your business, if you send out invoices or brochures, you've got to know about stamps.com, because if you're still going to the post office... buying stamps or... it's so sad. We have a post office box. I don't have to buy stamps any more, I got stamps.com, but I see people waiting in line with their giant bows machine making... really? You're still doing that? Stamps.com does everything you can do at the post office from your desk. You can buy US postage at stamps.com, you can print it with your postage meter, you don't need special ink or anything, you can print it from your printer with your computer, you can do all the mailing and shipping you do, we're going to get you a USB scale so you get exactly the right postage every time. You also get all the forms filled out for you. If you sell on Ebay or Etsy or whatever, it'll pull the address that you're sending to from the website, it will recommend the kind of mail, if this is a book, they'll say this should be media mail and print out the exact postage, the exact sticker to put on there. You can print on the envelope if you're just mailing paper. It'll print your logo and a return address automatically. Post office loves stamps.com, it saves them time and money because it has that bar code or QR code right on the stamp, so they can machine read it. You get benefits from the post office right away. For instance, there's a rule since 9/11 if you're going to mail anything more than a pound, you have to bring it to the post office for inspection, unless you use stamps.com. Then the mail carrier comes to you, they'll pick it up, fill out all the international customs forms automatically, certified mail forms, they'll give you the cost for everything ahead of time before you buy. It is the right way to do fulfillment. We've got a great special offer for you, it's a four week trial of stamps.com. But you also get more. You get 110 dollars in bonuses, including that USB scale, you get 55 dollars in free postage that you can use, not right away but spread it out over the first few months of your account. That's a big savings right there. Stamps.com, give it a try before you do anything else, click on the microphone at the top right hand corner, type in TWiT, and you'll get that special 110 dollar bonus offer. We use it here all the time at stamps.com, click microphone and the offer code is TWiT. Anybody played with the new iMessages? Isn't that fun? it's embarrassingly fun.
Phil: it's fun. Already annoying, but I'm optimistic that as people get it out of their system they'll settle into something that is fun and useful.
Leo: I'm playing words with friends in messages with my Mom, that's cool.
Phil: The whole idea of playing the game into the message thread is a big idea.
Leo: A lot of apps. Because there's so much, there's a complicated user interface. If you go into messages, you press the right arrow, you see the app store, but there's a lot of little four dot... this is the stuff I already had. By the way, if you have Evernote installed, it'll automatically add Evernote to the messages.
Phil: Evernote has a nice iMessage extension.
Leo: These are my notes. I could send them notes out of my Evernote. This is kind of cool... it also has a... if you press plus, it has a mind bogglingly large store. A lot of people have said "This is just a copy of Facebook messenger or Line or Whatsapp." But because it's Apple, the developers have jumped on this. Look at the categories. It's fun to see. The number one money maker is Disney. They charge $1.99 for Disney stickers, and they're getting it. For 99 cents, this is called grammar snob, you can red pencil people's bad grammar in messages. Yes. I'm sorry, it's supposed to be you're. Red pencil. Love that. You got a favorite, Georgia, that you like from this?
Georgia: Right now it's still new and fun. I'm sure I'll hit the point where I feel annoyed with it. Right now, I enjoy it.
Leo: I like cat paint. You can take any picture and add a lot of cats to it. I took a picture of Lisa and I put a bunch of cats, because she's a little bit cat crazy coming out of her purse, cats lying next to her, man that went over really well. I'm just saying. Get cat paint. What picture isn't better with cats? I think that's an interesting thing, what I find amazing is how quickly the developer community said we'll do this.
Phil: Conversational UX is the next major development for how we interact with tech.
Leo: Was it a lot of work with Evernote to support this? or does it come with the territory?
Phil: I don't know the exact details. My guess is doing everything well is a lot of work.
Leo: Figuring out for instance what a note taking app would mean in a messaging app. What would be the context here?
Phil: The conversational paradigm is a really big deal. You see it in bots, you see it in the iMessage extension. This is ho the world is going, away from a monolithic app and towards everything happening in line.
Leo: You can't search for butt or huge though. You and I, Larry, are 13 year old boys because we both snorted when we said that.
Larry: Wasn't the problem with butt was bringing up porn?
Leo: Deadspin said if you search for butt, you get a highly sexualized my little pony gif. I dont' know what that could be. A woman on the Verge said her 8 year old daughter trying to send a message to her dad was presented with an explicit image. She had searched for the word huge. They've fixed this. She said, "I grabbed the phone from her immediately. She typed in the word "huge." It's not sexual, it's just a word.
Larry: One of Donald Trump's favorite words, actually.
Leo: Yuge! If she'd spelled it with a y... what would you get? Apple is reasonably banning butt. Apparently you can't search for huge any more. I don't know. The search feature is powered by Bing, so you could blame Microsoft for all of this. Anyway.... thought this would give you a chance to try other words. I do that all the time, when I used to do that, search for the right gif... it's awesome. giphy. Hisses and buzzes in the iPhone. Do we care? iMore had the story. Renee Ritchie is on top of everything. He says it's not hiss gate. Some people are reporting a hiss from their iPhone seven when they really get it working hard. He says it's not unusual for devices to make noise when they pull more power. I would be willing to take a wild guess. As the phone heats up, it's got these seals and I bet that hissing is coming out of the old headphone port as it equalizes the pressure as it gets hotter inside. My guess. Anyway. I haven't heard it. According to Renee, it's not unusual. He says, and I think he's right, since the Galaxy Note debacle, people are worried about unusual sounds. Things hiss. Hiss happens. What are you going to do. In other words, don't worry. We were talking about IOS ten and its adoption. It's interesting to compare the adoption of IOS to the adoption of Android. It's amazing. In the first 24 hours, it's 14%. That's typical in the Apple world.
Larry: It's one of the reasons, of course, Apple enables everyone to upgrade on day one, whereas in the Android world it depends on your carrier. Depends on your handset, even if you wanted to upgrade, you might not be able to. So much easier in the Apple world.
Leo: I don't think it's a knock on Android, it's just a good thing to understand. One of the reasons that security on Android is a challenge, it's not Google's fault. Manufacturer's and carriers don't like to update new phones, but if you look at it, Marshmallow the latest but one version, current version doesn't show up on this chart, you want your phone, don't you? I'm sorry. I have to interrupt now, because Josh can't live without his jet black, beautiful... it's beautiful. Oh, I dropped it!
Georgia: Just scratch it already. Get it over with.
Leo: He got a brand new Honda. He said he got a scratch and was devastated.
Georgia: Now he can drive the Honda! Get it done, then you can put the phone in your pocket.
Leo: I offered to put my plastic case on it. He wouldn't let me put it on there...
Georgia: You don't buy the Vader black phone and put a case on it.
Leo: One does not buy the Vader black phone.
Georgia: No one can look at you lustfully about your phone.
Larry: You can't even tell it's an iPhone seven unless you look at it really carefully.
Leo: That's why you buy jet black. Apple is so smart. When I had to buy a gold iPhone 7, I was so humiliated. This isn't even last year's color. this is 2014's color.
Larry: How awful.
Phil: Yet, you bought the clear case to show it off.
Larry: This is going to be for the jet black one when it comes later. I did in fact... this is really a first world problem. I bought both, one so I'd have one for the shows, and then the one I really wanted.
Larry: When did you order it, Leo?
Leo: I was faster than Phil. I got on at midnight, refreshing the website, I got on the iPad at 12:08, I made a note of it. I immediately went to iPhone 7 Plus jet black and it said October 4.
Larry: I tried ordering one a few minutes ago, and one of the problems is I told it I have AT&T, but it wanted to know my account number, my fear is it will disable my current phone when the new one ships, and I want to pop my own sim card in.
Leo: To get the phone, I had to buy it through AT&T, which humiliated me. It comes, and I'm going to Europe and I don't want to use AT&T, I have a T Mobile Sim. I have a Google I'm bringing, this is the AT&T phone, I thought if I do this before I active it, I won't tell it. I put the T mobile in and I said no. But what you could do, Larry, is take your old Sim and put it in. What's going to happen is it'll de-activate the old phone no matter what.
Larry: But I could put it back in my old phone either way.
Leo: But I don't think it's some magical Sim you're putting in here, it comes with a Sim in it, I activated it, I activated it on my AT&T number. I wasn't sure this would work, in fact I was pretty sure this wouldn't work. I thought it's activated. Let's just put the T Mobile Sim and see what works.
Larry: You have a Nexus X. You can get Project Fi on that. Do you have Project Fi?
Larry: I use that exclusively when I'm overseas. It's such a great deal.
Leo: It' costs the same overseas as it does in the states.
Larry: When I get home. I put it on pause because I don't need it at home. T mobile and sprint don't work well where I live, but I activate it whenever I go overseas. It's great.
Leo: I've heard lately... (I haven't traveled overseas in a while), but T Mobile always offered low speed two G for free, unlimited international texts, 20 cents a minute for phone calls, but I've heard from some that it's been 3 G or better. You're getting faster speed. So I'm going to bring it, what could possibly go wrong. Should I bring it to Russia, though, that's the question. Should I worry?
Phil: You should worry, but you should bring it.
Leo: That's not a good answer!
Phil: You're not going to not bring it. What are you going to do? Leave it on the ship?
Leo: I'll wipe it afterwards. Right? If you bring a phone to Defcon, the general wisdom is you should wipe it afterwards.
Phil: The general wisdom is wiping it isn't enough.
Larry: Not with a cloth, anyway.
Leo: Marshmallow 18.7% Lollipop.
Phil: Apple tells such a good story is that people know why they should upgrade as soon as it comes out. With Android you don't know.
Leo: The other difference is something we already mentioned is not everybody who has an Android phone even has the option.
Phil: This is of eligible.
Leo: This is of eligible?
Phil: It should be. Maybe not, but it should be.
Larry: Which is ironic, because I think of Android as a phone that geeks use, I use Android because I like the flexibility and the geekiness of it. You would think that a lot of Android people would be tech savvy and would be wanting...
Leo: There's both. There's a lot of us, and I include myself who use it, because we like to fuss around and do things and you have more flexibility in an Android phone, and it's also and I would say this of the majority of Android users, it's the cheap phone. In many countries it's the cheap phone, so there are a lot of people who have phones that can't go past Gingerbread.
Larry: Even if you buy a cheap phone, they may not be able to upgrade for a while. They don't ... you have to wait until they get around to it.
Leo: My Galaxy S 7 is not yet Nougat. I don't have any Nougat phones, except for the Nexus...
Georgia: I think for a lot of people, they don't upgrade because they already know how their phone works, they feel comfortable with it, they understand the ecosystem, they understand the user interface, and they don't want to change that, they don't want something to happen, they don't want something that they don't understand. That causes a lot of people anxiety, and once you're comfortable with it, they want to keep it that way. Apple does a great job of giving you all of these candies and bells and whistles, if you haven't upgraded people are saying this would be sent with lasers, and they sent a heart but you can't see it, and that makes people say I want to send hearts, I want to be able to do what you can do. That increases people saying, "You know what? I might have a little bit of anxiety of having to re-learn how to use my phone again, or some things may be in a different place, but these cool things make it worth that hump to be able to go over it."
Larry: Plus, as some iPhone users found out last week, there is a risk, during an upgrade that something could go wrong. There is that "ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality in Android. I think about that. I never upgrade, for example, when I'm traveling. I want to be home, where I have backup phones if something goes wrong.
Leo: Isn't it the case though that Apple doesn't tell you about the update for a while? So you can find it if you go and look in your settings. It's usually a week or more after the update's available that Apple will then start giving you notification.
Larry: See I always upgrade the minute it's available.
Leo: Geeks have the ability to go and, "Oh, let's see. I just read. It's out. I saw on iMore." But most normal people will not update in the first week and by that time Apple's fixed any massive problems and they'll get the notification then. I think Apple actually does that quite well. But partly because they complete—they were in a position to completely control the ecosystem. When they came out, they held AT&T's feet to the fire. When Verizon wanted an iPhone they held their feet to the fire. So they have better deals frankly than any Android manufacture has with the carriers. And they benefit from that. Let's take a break because I want to—we were talking about messages. There is something comparable coming from Google I'm very excited about and it may be coming soon.
Leo: But first a word form GoToMeeting. Be a meeting MVP with GoToMeeting. Step up your meeting game. Take them to the next level. Instead of having a boring old conference call, use GoToMeeting. It's just like a conference call bridge. In fact, you can have an audio only call. What's nice though is you can do it on your phone, but you can also do it on your computer using VOIP with your headsets. It's built in to the GoToMeeting software. You can do it on your iPad. You can do it on your iPhone or your Android device. So you've got the audio but then—it happens to me all the time. We're on a conference call and I'm like, "Let me show you." And I have the screen sharing and I turn that on. "Oh, yea. I have a PowerPoint presentation. Let me show you." Or, "I'd like to see you. Let's turn on the cameras." And suddenly you have HD video and it's kind of getting more and more like you're meeting in person and that's what's so great about it. You're on the same page with screen sharing. It's like you're in the same room with HD video. You can pass off presenter duties. It's a great way to collaborate. It's a great way to present. It's just the easiest solution. Once you install GoToMeeting, and you can do it free right now if you go to GoToMeeting.com, you can set up a meeting in seconds. There's even integration into Outlook, Microsoft Outlook. So you send an email. Your client will get an email that says, "Hey, we're going to have a GoToMeeting at 9:00 tomorrow morning." When the time comes around it's in their Outlook calendar now. They get a notification. They click the link. Even if they've never used it or installed it before, 30 seconds later the software installs. They're ready to go. It's so easy for them. And that's important too because if you're presenting to a potential client, if you're pitching somebody you don't want to make it hard on them. You want to make it a great experience. It is. It invariable is. It's really awesome. One click recording, built-in audio, toll-free calls as an option and you can do things like have back channel chats which is always fun when somebody's presenting. You can send private links and so forth. It's good. It's the best. GoToMeeting.com. Try it free for 30 days and step up your meeting game. Be a meeting MVP with GoToMeeting. We thank them. They've been one of our best advertisers, supporter I think from 2005 or 2006, for a long time.
Leo: We're talking about the week's tech news. An early edition because it's a getaway day for me. I'm headed out and I'm a little disappointed because I've been waiting for Google's version of messages, Google Allo. They announced it at WWDC in June and they said it would be out by the end of summer. Well, when is the end of summer, September 21st? Soon.
Phil: September 45th.
Leo: (Laughing). It's a funny game that some of these companies will play. Is it calendar summer? Is it Labor Day? Well it's obviously not Labor Day. Ed leaks, he's usually pretty good on this he says it will be out this week. Allo is going to be very interesting because all the things we were just talking about with Siri in your ear and the messaging platform, Google can do, and I think it intends to do with Allo including automatically pull up bits and pieces of apps even if you don't have it installed. Evernote for instance, I don't know if they're going to do this but they could. If I don't have Evernote on my Android device—and by the way, it's cross platform, Android and iOS which I really like. This is probably an Android only feature though. If I don't have Evernote installed I can ask for something from Evernote and it will download a small bit of Evernote, just a bit to accomplish that and then after doing the task, say if you want the full app, it's available. I think that's great for app developers. It's a chance for them to get some exposure. And it's great for users because it adds capability. Allo becomes your ombudsman, your middleman, the guy-- instead of, and this is one problem I had with the chat platform on Facebook for instance where I was interacting directly with the bots. They got annoying after a while. With Allo, and I suspect Apple's going to do this with Messages too, it represents you to the outside world. So you ask Siri, or you ask Google Now for something and it handles, "Oh, I'll make the reservation for you." Or, "I'll call that Uber for you." We'll see. It's supposedly coming out soon. End to end encryption but you have to turn it on. That's a little controversial but I think I understand why. Google Assistant built in and yes, sticker packs. Will they be as good? Apparently there are some—well, according to this, condoms, butts and nipples. So if once again, Apple has aced you out of the dirty GIFs, you can get them from Google. I don't know if that's good.
Georgia: Now, when you use the assistant features, do you have to turn off the end-to-end encryption?
Leo: Yes. And that's exactly why. The Assistant—otherwise the Assistant, it's not encrypted, right? It's listening in. It's not encrypted. And I think that's why Google made it optional and off by default because they would obviously like to hear as much as possible of what you're saying. And I don't mean to cast dispersion on them spying on you, but that's how they get the functionality.
Georgia: Well, that's how they sell your information.
Leo: You know, that's one way of looking at it but when I arrive at the airport, my Android phone will pop up my boarding passes. "I see you're at the airport." This was in Gmail.
Georgia: Yea, but you could always do that. Sorry.
Leo: Great. You're an iPhone user. You just don't know. It's a great feature.
Larry: But they're going to use your phone number instead of your Google account to identify you.
Larry: And that's probably good for most people, but you and I, Leo, who have multiple phones—
Leo: Yea, I don't like it.
Larry: And I don't know what's going to happen but does that mean my Google Voice—I do put my Google Voice number on all my phones. I don't know if that's going to work or what's going to happen.
Leo: Duo does that as well and made it a little bit less useful. One of the things that Apple does so well is one person, one account, all devices same.
Larry: Same you, yea.
Leo: Same you. So for instance let's say—
Larry: Well that's true of Google accounts as well if it's an actual Google account.
Leo: Yea, but they're not doing that, are they? They're using funnels.
Larry: Not in this case.
Leo: So Apple for instance, if someone calls me on Facetime, it rings all my Apple devices, which ever one's handy is the one I can answer. Google Hangouts used to do that.
Phil: I'm guessing you'll be able to associate multiple numbers but I'm not 100% sure.
Leo: You can't with Duo. And that's what's weird about Duo. Duo is tied to that phone number. They can't—so I can't call Larry, I can only call that number.
Larry: The same thing with WhatsApp also. You have to type in your number and I tried my Google Voice number but it doesn't always work because it can't validate that it's really my number, so, you know. Again, it's probably a rare group of people that carry multiple phones. But I've always got at least two of them.
Leo: Yea, you know, I guess we're probably a little odd in that respect.
Larry: A little odd in many ways, Leo.
Leo: But maybe not. I think a lot of people have a work phone and a home phone.
Larry: Hillary Clinton.
Leo: She has, how many? 11 Blackberries? That's a lot.
Larry: Yea, really.
Phil: I'm pretty sure this is something they're going to fix if not at launch then immediately after. Like it's a very basic thing.
Leo: Ask Jeff Jarvis. They've said they're going to fix the Google apps account, merge that with your personal account for years and nothing.
Larry: And they're already messing with, or they may be messing with Google Voice. They certainly have made it hard to have Google Voice and Project Fi at the same time.
Leo: That's depressing. I love Voice. I love Fi.
Larry: Yea, so.
Leo: Amazon's Dot suddenly dropped in price to $50 dollars.
Larry: Hey, you want to buy one? I've got one in a—here, wait a minute.
Leo: You're not using your Dot?
Larry: Oh, no, no, no.
Leo: I love my Dot.
Phil: I couldn't get one. Are they back in stock?
Leo: Yea. So before you had to have a Prime Account and an Echo and then you'd say, "I want to buy a Dot."
Phil: Well I've got all those but—
Leo: Now you can buy it—
Larry: Yea, brand new.
Leo: They're selling them in 6 packs, dude.
Phil: I want like 6 of them.
Larry: So here's my problem. I have a brand new one that I just bought but I bought it 45 days ago, so I can't return it.
Leo: Oh, and that's—that's the old one.
Larry: So I paid $90 dollars for this guy, right? It's in the original packaging. And the new $60 dollar one or I think $50 dollar one-- $60 right?
Leo: $50. $49.99.
Larry: $50 is better.
Larry: So what do you offer me for this? Nothing, right?
Leo: Nothing. You've got the wrong Dot.
Larry: No, I have 4 Echoes now. I love the Echo.
Leo: Me too.
Georgia: You can give it as a gift. It's still a good gift.
Larry: I can give it as a gift, right.
Leo: Give it to an ignorant person who won't know that' it's the old one.
Larry: I'm going to sell it to an ignorant person.
Leo: Look at this. They're saying make it a six-pack. This cracks me up. You buy 5, you get one free.
Larry: And you want one in each room. You really do.
Phil: Yea, I've got 2 Echoes now and it's the most common thing I use at home.
Larry: The only thing that is not good about the multiple Echoes is you can't go from room to room and listen to the same music like you can with Sonos. You can play the same songs, but not—
Leo: But that will change next year thought, right?
Larry: I hope so.
Leo: They say they're going to add Sonos capability.
Larry: That'd be great.
Leo: My problem is if you have too many Echoes, they—sometimes more than one hears you.
Larry: Yea, yep.
Leo: (Laughing). The Echo in the kitchen and the Echo in the gym respond to me, and if I set a timer they both go off. Or one of them says, "I don't know, I couldn't hear you." And you're having like this weird 3-part conversation with a robot. However—
Phil: I really want to put the Echo in my car.
Larry: You know I tried that. I actually—I had the portable one. What do they call the one you—
Leo: Dot. Dot.
Larry: No, the—
Larry: Tap. And I actually paired it with my phone and so it had Wi-Fi. And it kind of worked but it kind of didn't work. It wasn't reliable enough.
Phil: No, I want to tie the Dot into—through the audio jack of the car.
Larry: Right, exactly.
Leo: So you could talk to the car.
Phil: Or have it permanently wired in with power.
Leo: The problem is we have many people that have tried that. Of course, when power, when you turn off the car, the power's down, it has to restart up again, reacquire Wi-Fi and it goes through that whole thing. So you need a battery. It gets a little complicated.
Larry: But the battery, you know, as long as you drive your car—the battery should stay, should stay charged up. The car would recharge as you drive.
Leo: Yes, no. But as long as the Echo continues—it needs to have continuous power.
Larry: Oh, right.
Leo: Right? And so if you turn off the car and the Echo loses power, that's not good. So you need some sort of back up.
Larry: I have Android Auto in my car. Some of you might have Google, Apple Car Play and it kind of gives you the same experience. But not as reliably I think as the Echo does at least not in my experience.
Leo: I love it that we've got this race between these companies trying to get better at this. This is a great area to really excel in. Google of course has its Hello. They're apparently rumor says announcing it on the 4th which will do a lot of what the Echo does. I think you're going to see on your mantle in your living room you're going to have 4 or 5 of these devices.
Larry: What drives me crazy is sometimes I say, "Hey, Google," when I should be saying, "Alexa."
Leo: Yea, right.
Larry: I get confused.
Leo: Or, "Hey, Siri."
Larry: Yea, exactly. I just said Alexa and she lit up. Alexa, who is Leo Laporte.
Leo: You know that there are people listening on their Echoes right now.
Georgia: They all have it answering.
Alexa: The American technology broadcaster and author.
Larry: See that? Now we all know how old you are.
Leo: That's from Wikipedia.
Larry: Yea, that's how it does it. Anybody on Wikipedia can have that ego gratification.
Larry: I probably just turned on every Alexa in the world.
Leo: Well, yea. We grapple with this all the time because of course our audience, unlike other television shows for instance, our audience—they're all sitting there going, "Stop triggering my Echo."
Larry: Well you know it's funny because I don't know if you ever think about this but I do a family segment for CBS and I sometimes take some sounds, some sort of natural sound. And there were a couple of segments where I wanted to use a siren because it would have worked really well for my segment.
Leo: You can't. No, you can't.
Larry: And it occurred to me, people are driving. Don't do that.
Leo: We have—I worked for, my radio show is for Clear Channel and I have to do training. Because some idiot Clear Channel disc jockey in New Orleans played the emergency alert tones.
Larry: Oh, no. Oh, no.
Leo: And the company had to pay a million-dollar fine or something. And now every 6 months I have to do training on what not to play on the radio.
Larry: Do they do training on the FCC rulings?
Leo: Oh, gosh, I have more training, I have to be trained constantly (laughing).
Georgia: Does he still have a job?
Leo: The DJ? I don't know. That's a question. I don't know. I think probably not. That's a pretty bonehead thing to do. But DJ's, they're known for doing that. There was a guy in San Francisco that decided to tie up the Bay Bridge one day in the morning. Not a good idea. Don't know why he thought that was a good idea. A little break here, but before I get to the commercial, I think we should see this. This is a short compilation of some of the best moments of the past week on TWiT. Watch.
Narrator: Previously on TWiT:
Leo: I could probably retire now but I don't plan to but I like doing what I'm doing. I don't know what I'd do with myself.
Paul Thurrott: Clearly, that would get boring.
Leo: Right. I don't want to be the guy at the bar saying, "Hey, anybody got any tech questions, over here."
Narrator: Android App Arena.
Jason Howell: I've got an awesome guest. You may know him. His name's Ron Richards.
Ron Richards: All the games inside Pinball Arcade are actual digitized versions of real pinball machines that are out there in the world.
Ron: So you've got real pinball players using Pinball Arcade as a tutorial.
Narrator: Tech News Today.
Jason: Forester released a report last month that predicts 6% of jobs will be taken over by bots by 2021. The jobs seeing the biggest impact include those in transportation, logistics, customer and consumer services.
Megan Morrone: Surely the jobs for people who like to take a news story and use it to cause mass panic, those could never be replaced by a robot. I cornered the market on that, so.
Narrator: TWiT. Making the world safe for technology!
Leo: That was kind of cool (laughing). They beamed us in. I didn't know—is that part of the new studio feature? That's nice.
Frederick Van Johnson: Did you pay extra for that?
Leo: Sure we do (laughing).
Leo: That was fun. That was Frederick Johnson if you missed this week's New Screen Savers. We had a great time with Frederick Van Johnson. What's ahead in the week? I don't care. I'm leaving. But Megan Morrone does so let's listen.
Megan: Thank you, Leo. Here's what's coming up this week. MacOS Sierra comes out on September 20th. The update is free and includes some fabulous new features including Siri for the Mac, Apple Pay for websites and more. Get it. And if you like to add GIFs or even GIFs to your wordy tweets, you're in luck. Our sources say that starting tomorrow, Monday, September 19th, Twitter will stop counting images, video and other media in its 140-character count limit in tweets. In VR news this week, if you're in the UK or Canada you will finally be able to pick up an Oculus Rift even if you didn't preorder one. Also, Amazon's Fire HD 8 ships this week and includes Alexa integration, a larger battery, more RAM and storage and it starts at only $90 bucks. And finally if you were the proud owner of a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 and you want to get a new one without an explosive battery, replacement devices should be coming out this week. And also this week, Samsung will reportedly begin capping battery charge on the Galaxy Note 7 at 60% with an over the air software update. The phones are officially recalled as you know, so stop using yours please. And if you're selling them, don't do that. That's the legal. Back to you, Leo.
Leo: That's part of the CVSC recall, you can't sell it.
Larry: So does that mean that you don't get as much battery life if it's capped at 60%?
Leo: Yea. Yea, exactly.
Larry: That's kind of a bummer.
Leo: Well, why are you still using it? You're not even supposed to turn it on.
Larry: No, when you get the new one and you've got the new one and—
Leo: No, this is not for the new one.
Larry: Oh, just for the old one. That's good. Because I would hate the idea that they did that.
Leo: I know.
Georgia: I want to start the tagline, Galaxy Note 7: Grab Them While They're Hot.
Leo: (Laughing). I had one. I loved it. I was very sad. But I was not going too—in fact I even thought it was safe. But I was not going to bring it.
Larry: Well I was doing two days for CBS the day when the official recall came out which I think was Friday morning, which is the same day that Apple released the iPhone 7.
Leo: Nice timing, huh?
Larry: So well, the greatest is that I could say you've got Samsung Galaxy Note 7s that are exploding and Apple's—
Leo: I turned mine in for $850 bucks. Got myself a brand new iPhone 7. How about that?
Georgia: Well there you go. You can check if you have the exploding excitement.
Leo: They're still saying they want them all.
Leo: And who's going to really go, "Oh, well it says here it's fine so I'm just going to keep using it."
Larry: Isn't like 97% of America and the US, Note 7s are within the exploding category?
Larry: I think it's the—not that they will explode, but that they—it's not that—
Georgia: Their batteries where made at the center where—
Leo: The Korean place instead of the Chinese place.
Larry: And there's always controversy as to what actually is causing the problem.
Leo: Well that's part of the problem is as much as—I think Samsung's done a good job on this. They haven't been completely forthcoming as to what the problem is because we first assumed it was just when you charged it, it was an over charging problem. That's very common. But apparently some people are saying, "No, no, it just burst into flames while I was using it."
Phil: How many have actually done that though?
Larry: Not that many.
Leo: 78, something like that.
Larry: How many do you have?
Leo: How many do I have? No.
Larry: I heard 92 is what they reported in the US.
Leo: 92 now. Ok.
Larry: Yea, but that's what they reported. But who knows.
Leo: Well I think it's accurate. I mean—
Larry: There may be instances they don't know about.
Leo: Come on. If your phone bursts into flame, you're going to tell them.
Georgia: It could be more (laughing).
Leo: Shh. Don't tell Samsung. I want to keep using it.
Larry: Well the funny thing is I've been known to fall asleep with the phone next to me in the bed. Could you imagine?
Leo: I know. I know. Well I'm going to get on a plane. Every airline now is saying don't bring it on the plane. And I'm going to get on a boat and I have to charge it. I'm going to be on the boat for a week. I don't want to—
Larry: You could just throw it overboard.
Leo: Yea, great.
Georgia: Well the fear is if it happens while you're asleep.
Leo: Right, yea.
Georgia: Or if your child is using your phone or if it's near something flammable, this is a really big deal.
Larry: It really is. It's a very big deal.
Leo: Now they're saying, and this is the most recent news, is they're going to have new safe Samsung Note 7s in stores by September 21st, by this week.
Leo: I don't believe that for a minute.
Larry: It's amazing if they can pull that off.
Leo: I just find that very hard to believe. Don't they have to get them vetted? Don't they have to say, well bring them to UL or somewhere and say, "Ok, see? It doesn't blow up." I mean I just don't think you can say, "No, no. We fixed it. Here."
Phil: Unless they had a run that was some kind of a different process.
Leo: Well they think they know what it is. They think it's—because for the first time ever, Samsung was making their own batteries. Most of the batteries, most of the phones where made with Chinese batteries as they have in past years. But again, Samsung hasn't been super forthcoming about all this.
Larry: Right, because at first I heard that it was one of the suppliers was at fault. And now—
Leo: It was them. It was their own affiliates.
Larry: Their own affiliate. But now all batteries came from that affiliate.
Leo: No, in fact that's why—my phone was made in China.
Georgia: 60-70% of their batteries did though. So.
Leo: But any phone made in China apparently, don't quote me on this. But according to the Wall Street Journal, they said that any phone made in China had the Chinese battery. Those were safe. Most of the T-Mobile phones have Chinese batteries. They were safe. The T-Mobile guy in fact told me, "Well you know, this is probably ok." And I did say to him, "Well is it your advice that I not exchange it?" He said, "Oh, no, no, no, no. You should definitely turn it in." He didn't want to be responsible.
Larry: But yours didn't overheat though, right?
Larry: Yea but then the question is then why are some made in the same factory overheating and others are not.
Leo: No, we think that it's the ones made with the—
Larry: But even if you had one made in that factory, it may not have overheated. I mean 92 cases out of a million phones is a very small percentage.
Leo: Right in fact I think Samsung said it was only one in 38,000, one in 32,000.
Larry: So the question is what is it about those phones that are causing it since all the rest aren't.
Leo: You know you can blame it on Sally. She forgot, you know, she was a little hungover that day and she forgot to put in the little thing that checks the temperature.
Phil: I mean do we really care why? Like it's such a low occurrence. They recalled the thing. You're going to get new phones. They're not going to explode.
Phil: This is not like the most gripping story that's ever—
Georgia: It does—
Larry: It's actually a pretty good story.
Georgia: It's a huge story because it really does wreck consumer trust. Like companies spend billions of dollars to try to build up their brand that it's safe, it's reliable, it works, it does not explode. Hard to spin exploding as a feature, right? Keep you warm at night.
Leo: I think it hurts Samsung's brand.
Phil: It's an expensive—they reacted it to correct.
Leo: They handled it properly.
Georgia: Well they didn't have much of a choice. You know, they didn't react really quickly.
Leo: They reacted as quickly as they could, I would say. They didn't go to the CPSC right away but they did say, "We'll take them back," right away. They said, "We'll give you a $25 dollar credit."
Phil: I hate when you compare this to like you know, airbags in cars being kind of malfunctioning for years.
Leo: Right, took a long time.
Larry: I have a car. In fact, my car has a malfunctioning airbag I'm told. But the replacement isn't available yet. And nobody told me I could take my car back to the dealer and get a loaner until the new airbag comes out. I'm still driving the thing, so.
Leo: Right. This was handled as well as could be, I think, handled. It's just, it's hard. I think it's hard on the company and I think it's a lot of money.
Larry: Well that's the other thing is they—
Georgia: Well they rushed. They rushed to get the phone out.
Leo: Is that why you think? They tried to beat Apple.
Georgia: Yea. They're trying to beat Apple to the punch and so they probably did, they cut where they could. They couldn't cut in—they probably cut a little bit, tried to rush manufacturing. People are probably working extra hours, a little bit more tired. And then they didn't have the same amount of time that they would have in order to test the phones. So yea, probably some of them kind of went underneath the radar.
Leo: Will people buy Note 7s now or?
Larry: So here's my—yea, or will people buy an iPhone 7 Plus instead of a Note 7? Will people actually go out and buy a different phone?
Leo: I did. I traded it in.
Georgia: I don't think that for most people they will. You're comfortable with an ecosystem, you're probably going to stay in the ecosystem. It's really hard to change to a completely different device. I think that if you're new to a cell phone or thinking of switching, this may be that defining factor but in another month or two, people are—attention spans are unfortunately and fortunately are really short and this will no longer be a story. There will be some other interesting scandal that we'll be covering. And so people will go back to their phones and be happy with them.
Phil: Well there's barely a scandal now or not at all.
Leo: It's not a scandal.
Phil: It's barely a story now. Of course it's not going to be a story in 2 months. You know, they did the right thing. They recalled them.
Leo: I bet you though they don't sell very many Note 7s going forward. I think there'll be—the new Google phones come out on October 4th. I think this will benefit Google as much as it benefits Apple.
Phil: It's definitely a big hit to the current product line, the brand. They made a mistake and now they're paying for it. But I think—I don't think there's anything like unvirtuous in how they acted.
Leo: It's a huge company and they absorbed it, yea.
Larry: Right and that's exactly my point. They can handle it. If it were a smaller company I would worry about them dying through all of this.
Leo: For Blackberry this would be it. It would be all over.
Larry: Of course.
Leo: (Laughing) it may be all over anyway. Blackberry goes under because of the Note 7. That's all. That's the story.
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Leo: Here's the—thank you to the chatroom. Here's the DJ. Bobby Bones. I guess he's a well-known syndicated country show. In 2014 he broadcast the EAS signals and cost his company, my company, a million dollars in fines.
Larry: They could have given you a raise.
Leo: He's still working.
Georgia: He's still working. They liked him.
Leo: He is, well he is a star. And you know what? If you're a star DJ, you can do—it is now the biggest country music show ever (laughing).
Georgia: Well maybe the publicity was good for him. Everyone knows his name now.
Leo: Old Bobby Bones. Who doesn't? Who doesn't know Bobby Bones?
Phil: Maybe the emergency tones sounded better than the music.
Leo: (Laughing) You don't like country music?
Leo: Not a fan of the twang? The torch and the twang?
Phil: No, I'm just really fond of test tones.
Phil: Like the fax machine recordings.
Leo: 2 million people watched football on Twitter on Thursday night.
Larry: That's amazing to me.
Leo: Blows me away. I thought, "Why is Twitter streaming football?" Now, it wasn't, it wasn't all at the same time, 2 million. You know, that was spread out over the game. But still, that's a surprising number of people watching football on Twitter. Did anybody do that?
Georgia: I can only think that they are people that are at work or have to be doing something else. They're having a family meal so they're sneaking their phone underneath the table so they can watch without anyone knowing that they're watching. That's the only reason that I can see that people would be watching on Twitter (laughing).
Leo: The average count was 243,000 at any given time. 2.3 million—ah, ok. Wait a minute though. The average watched 22 minutes but 2.3 million watched at least 3 seconds.
Larry: Oh, come on.
Georgia: I don't know if that counts.
Georgia: That's when you didn't know it was football.
Leo: What's this? Oh. Moving on.
Phil: 3 seconds is the longest I've ever watched football.
Leo: (Laughing) I think the idea is—
Georgia: You might have been counted in the numbers.
Leo: Yea, you were. The idea is that football, it's fun to watch with a community. I mean that's one of the things Twitter's kind of cool is a lot of people—for a long time I would only watch the Academy Awards with the Twitter stream running, the snark stream running in the background. Can't do it on the West coast with some of the other award shows because they're not live. But with the Oscars you can do it. So I think that's Twitter's idea.
Georgia: I think the Oscars are kind of dull without, you know—I like the banter.
Leo: Actually you're right.
Georgia: Or Ricky Gervais. If he's doing anything, I'll watch. But I just watch his clips.
Larry: I remember the presidential debate, the first one between Romney and Obama and I'm watching it thinking Obama's blowing it. And I kind of felt that, right? I went on Twitter and confirmed—because all my friends, many of whom are Obama supporters and some aren't, confirmed that he was blowing it. It was kind of a nice validation to realize that I was observing this the way other people were.
Leo: Thinks have changed in 4 years, my friend I think if you—
Georgia: It's interesting though. Because that could actually change public opinion. We can actually change the way people feel about something just by having enough of a group that says differently than your own opinion, slowly your opinion will sway because of that group tribalism and you want to be part of it.
Larry: I bet you some people are thinking about that with the debates coming up. Because if you could move a small public opinion in a presidential election as close as this one is, it can actually have a difference. I realize that—
Leo: Which candidate of the two major candidates—so actually of all 4 candidates, which one uses Twitter best?
Leo: It's obvious.
Larry: Best or most?
Leo: Well best or most.
Larry: Well, Trump uses it extensively.
Georgia: What does best mean?
Leo: Well, he's very effective on Twitter. He's the Twitter candidate.
Larry: He is.
Leo: I mean I know Hillary does tweet but I mean they're just bland tweets, you know, normal campaign tweets.
Larry: Right, she probably—
Leo: I don't know if Jill Stein tweets. I'm sure she does. I don't know if Gary Johnson the Libertarian tweets. I'm sure he does but who's the master of Twitter? I would say arguably, of all Twitter, not just political tweets, but of all Twitter.
Phil: That's possible.
Leo: You might even say he was created, in some ways created by Twitter.
Larry: 11.6 million followers. That's amazing. That's more people than watch most television show at any given time.
Leo: Doesn't mean that's 11.6 million fans or people who are going to vote for him.
Larry: No, I follow all the candidates.
Leo: It's the most interesting feed on Twitter.
Leo: You never know what's going to happen.
Larry: Today I didn't know that. He said, "Happy Birthday to the United States Airforce." I wouldn't have known that if it weren't for Donald Trump.
Leo: You see? It's educational. It's educational. And I guess Twitter now is on Apple TV as well. So you can—
Phil: I actually just got the Apple TV update.
Leo: What does that look like?
Phil: It's pretty decent sit back on your couch experience.
Leo: Are you—is it the whole screen is Twitter or is it like a sidebar?
Phil: It's the whole screen but they're really trying to optimize the media, the watching.
Leo: I guess with Apple TV you couldn't be an inset. You have to take over. On the Xbox, I have like—I can for instance watch NFL and have my fantasy stats on a sidebar. I wish—and I think you might be able to do that with Twitter. That's what they should be able to do. That would be interesting. You're watching a show and you're seeing the Twitter feed. That's kind of what you did, Larry, right? You had your tablet or your laptop open.
Larry: Right. I just keep my laptop or my phone whatever as I'm watching events that I want to get opinions on.
Leo: Right. Right.
Phil: It's probably better on a 2nd screen though. You're better off having the feed on your phone or your tablet while you're watching TV so you can kind of control what you want to pay attention to when instead of having things scroll by right as part of the—
Larry: The other thing is if I watch the show with my wife who does not want to know what my Twitter friends think, she just wants to watch the show, it would be very annoying if the feed were on the television set. So it's kind of my private little thing on my phone or my computer and she watches the TV.
Georgia: Yea, it would be distracting having someone trash your favorite character.
Leo: Facebook also very much wants to be that go to social site that you have side by side. It has never really I think in my mind anyway taken the place of Twitter in that regard. They're gathering debate questions. We've got a debate coming up. And I'm not sure if these questions will be used in the debate or not. They were in past Republican debates, right?
Larry: They had official deals with the network.
Leo: Yea. They were so dopey. They did the same thing with YouTube. And now a question from YouTube. Why do you part your hair on the left? I mean I really felt like this was really not a good idea. But I guess it maybe made people feel like they were part of the process or something. I don't know. Facebook's Vice-President of Project Management says that newsfeed curates—curates, interesting choice of words—2,000 stories a day for users. We make them for you but only 10% of them are actually read.
Larry: I never even notice it. I mean I know they're up there in the right hand side but I'm not looking for them.
Leo: Is this the trending stories? Is that what this is?
Larry: It's where the trending stories would be.
Larry: Oh, the newsfeed stories.
Leo: Newsfeed is different, yea.
Larry: They're in the middle.
Leo: The trending one is the automated one.
Larry: Yea, that's the one I pay no attention to.
Leo: Yea, because who cares? Yea. Wow, listen to this. On average, people in the US spend 45 minutes a day on the Facebook Newsfeed. Slowly and steadily over time, people are spending more time reading more, liking more, commenting more. So people are—so that's what Facebook's trying to do is increase engagement with that Newsfeed. And they're doing a good job.
Larry: And the thing about Facebook is it's for everyone, it's not just for geeks or political junkies or people who are intensely interested in a particular topic like Twitter is. It just seems like everybody I know is on Facebook.
Leo: It's different from what I originally thought Facebook was going to be. Just I'm going to go see pictures of my family and friends and their kids and stuff like that. I really thought that was what it was going to be. And then gradually, it just became kind of this hodgepodge of stuff I'm going—and I think this is what Facebook's trying to do—of stuff I might be interested in and they algorithmically tune it to make it stuff I'd be interested in so I spend more time reading it. So it's a mix of everything, right? It's like a little cocktail party on wheels or something.
Phil: They've managed to do a bunch of things pretty well.
Phil: Really reinvent themselves a few times, stay relevant better than Twitter's been able to do.
Leo: Much more nimble.
Phil: And Snapchat's the real kind of surprise thing that came out of almost nowhere, right?
Leo: The funny thing about Snapchat is since it's so personal, you don't see it, right? You don't know what's going on in Snapchat.
Phil: Which is kind of part of the brilliance, right? You have followers but you're not really sure—
Leo: Who's seeing you or what.
Phil: You're not really sure how many followers people have. But I really think like the stories on Snapchat are pretty great. Like I'm impressed with how the news organizations, the brands, how they've really taken to making stories.
Leo: That Discovery Channel has been huge for Snapchat.
Phil: It's like non-trivially good.
Leo: Do you think Instagram's attempt to copy it has paid off or?
Phil: Not yet but we'll see how that goes. I think it's not a bad idea for them to pursue it because it is so successful for Snapchat.
Leo: Feds are, well according to Wired Magazine, soon will be able to legally hack you. Anybody.
Leo: Yea, nice.
Phil: It's probably not hacking if it's legal.
Leo: (Laughing) well, you tell me if it's hacking. The Justice Department's planning a vast expansion of government tools. Under a new set of rules, the FBI would have the authority to secretly—now you tell me if this is hacking— secretly use malware to access thousands or hundreds of thousands of computers belonging to innocent 3rd parties, even crime victims. This would be legal according to Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. The government could hack a million computers or more with one warrant.
Larry: Oh, great.
Georgia: I don't see anything that could go wrong there.
Leo: Now what could possibly go wrong?
Larry: Can they use that information against you if they, you know, manage to find out you're doing something illegal?
Leo: Well, this is what they say. They need this power to investigate a network of devices infected with malware and controlled by criminals. You know, many of us, well not me, but many of you, your computers are without your knowledge occupied by malware which allows a bad guy to use you against other systems of vDOS attacks, as a bot net. So apparently they're asking permission to examine your computer to see if you have a bot on it. How do you feel about that?
Georgia: I'm sure that they won't use anything else that's on your computer against you if they so happen to find it.
Phil: You know, I don't think the snark is the right way to handle this. I think they need to be able to combat bot nets. It's obviously pretty dangerous to expand this authority but we should have pretty hard core rules about what they can and can't do, who sees it, who doesn't. What are the rules for evidence gathering? Like this is a real thing that we need to confront.
Leo: If Congress doesn't weight in, December 1st this new rule goes into effect. Seems unlikely Congress is going to do anything. I do understand why the FBI would love to be able to be proactive in fighting these bot nets. We all would like them to succeed in this. This is a mass problem.
Phil: I mean just like the definition of what a bot net is, you have to be able to say these are the—here's a million computers infected with it. We need to do something.
Larry: Why do we need the FBI? I just got a call from India the other day telling me that my computer was infected through Microsoft.
Leo: (Laughing) So I'm going to put myself in the shoes of federal law enforcement agent. Some of this is very sophisticated technology. We would like—let's say what we would like to do is create a—I'm not going to call it malware. That's Wired's term. I'm going to create a tool that automatically spreads throughout the internet. It looks at your computer and examines it for a bot. If it finds one, it does some forensics to figure out who the bots contacting, what the bot's up to. And then deletes the bot and moves on. Would that be ok?
Larry: It would be ok with me as long as it asked me for permission in advance.
Leo: No, no, it can't ask you for permission in advance.
Larry: Well, no, if I'm a victim of a bot net I might—if I'm a potential victim, I'm just average Joe citizen, I might want the government to help me keep bots out of my computer.
Phil: Well it's not going to know. I mean if it needs to ask you for permission in advance before it can look or before it does anything?
Larry: Well what I'm saying is I would be willing to allow some trusted authority that I trusted if the government qualifies to help me keep bots out of my computer. That's what I want to do. Just like I don't want criminals prowling around my backyard. I mean that would be a good thing.
Georgia: The problem is with Congress. Congress doesn't have the technical knowledge in order to make these decisions so that they're actually protecting the privacy of the people that are going to be having this. In comparison to if a company, say Apple said, "Listen. We would like to systematically, every once in a while, check your computer to make sure that you do not have any malware on it." I would have a completely different opinion on this. But because we know that any government will want to have more power in order to protect you, but then that power could be used against the same people that they're hoping to protect. And then to control the way that people vote, sway public opinion and also be able to monitor which we already know that they are doing at a vast expansive place in a very closed, enclosed kind of way without our knowledge. I think that they've already set the precedent of not being able to feel, to have the public feel comfortable and trusted.
Leo: Now does this change your opinion if I tell you that this article that I'm reading from Wired, this opinion piece, was written in part by Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon? He is very much a member of Congress. He's actually one of the smartest in terms of technology, serves in the Senate Select Committee Intelligence. He's worried about this.
Larry: That does change my opinion.
Leo: Believes that Congress is not going to act on this. Also, Matt Blaze who is a professor of computer information science at University of Pennsylvania and Susan Landau, the Worcester Polytechnic Institute where she also teaches cyber security policy. So these 3 people are pretty serious about all of this. They're very concerned. They also say the FBI's statements to date don't inspire confidence that it knows what it's doing. One FBI Special Agent testified that a tool was safe because he had tested it on his home computer and it quote, "did not make any changes to the security setting on my computer," end quote. Obviously that's not enough. On the other hand, I do think it appropriate, I agree with you, Phil, of appropriately giving them the tools to do this kind of thing with the appropriate privacy guards is not a bad thing. But the problem is—
Larry: If we believe that they are not violating their own privacy policies and standards. That's part of the problem with the MidGate issue.
Leo: Well they really want to do this and I wonder why they really want to do this, right? There's lots of things they could do with it.
Phil: I think it could be useful to think about how would you be comfortable with the situation being handled?
Leo: Right, right.
Phil: It's easy to say, "We don't trust the FBI." And I don't particularly trust them by default either.
Leo: Well you shouldn't.
Phil: Exactly. That's like you're not supposed to.
Larry: The government goes through our stuff every time we get on an airplane and if, by the way, you had marijuana in your bag and they found it, they would arrest you.
Leo: That's different because you've gone out in public and you've given permission. Same thing as driving. You are using these public transportation systems and part of the deal is you agree to give up some rights to use them. But if you're in your home now, using your own computer.
Larry: Right, but my point is--
Phil: You're connected to the internet which is public.
Leo: Ah. Interesting.
Larry: The reason you're going through a metal detector, getting inspected before getting on a plane is to make sure you don't have a weapon on board. It's not to make sure you don't have some other illegal substance that may or may be dangerous.
Leo: Well a bot's a weapon.
Larry: Connecting an infected computer to the internet is endangering other people.
Leo: I understand but they broadened the search to other stuff.
Larry: Let's say the discover something else. And it could be something like terrorism which is a horrible, dangerous crime but still. Would they be able to act on that?
Leo: There does have to be a limit on any phishing expeditions obviously. And the Supreme Court has ruled on things like this. In fact, there's quite a famous ruling involving police officers investigating reports of a bullet being shot through a wall, seeing stolen stereo equipment, looking at the serial numbers and arresting the perpetrator and it was thrown out by the Supreme Court because they said, "You were there to investigate the bullet not check the serial numbers on the home stereos. You exceeded your authority."
Phil: Did they see the stereos through the bullet hole?
Leo: (Laughing) no, they actually went into the guy's apartment, said, "Did you shoot a gun? And by the way, where'd you get that stereo system?" right? And I'm—you know, this is an interesting balance. Hey we've got to take a break because I have to get out of here pretty soon.
Leo: And I want to mention our great sponsor Casper, a maker of amazing mattresses. It's really interesting how this has become a category, right? This is reinventing—this is what I love about the internet. Reinventing the things we do normal course of events, but using the internet to make it work better. Now often that means eliminating the middleman, but in this case it's more than that because of course we've all been putting up with this idea that you can go lie on a mattress for 5 minutes in a brightly lit showroom with a sales person glaring at you and know, "Oh, this is the right mattress for me, baby. I'm taking this one." No. Casper, because they don't have showrooms, has found a better way. They had to find a better way. They let you get this beautiful mattress. It's engineered to perfection. Made in the United States. Springy latex foam supported memory foam so you get a beautiful sleep surface, award winning in fact. They got the 2016 Business Intelligence Group Innovation Award. And then you get 100 nights to try it. 100 nights. And if you don't like it, no problem. They'll come and get it and take it away and refund you every penny. It costs you nothing. Casper mattresses uphold the highest environmental production standards. You can tell, by the way, when you open the box, it's a very compact box, and your mattress comes out and it smells fabulous and it breathes. It is the best mattress for hot summer nights. It's cool. It's made in the USA. Shipping is free. Returns are free in the US or Canada. It's an amazing mattress.
Larry: What do you do with your old mattress though?
Leo: Well you know there's a great article in The New York Times actually. It's interesting that you should ask this Sunday. And what they did is they bought mattresses and they returned them. In some cases, in most cases, now this was the problem is they did it in Manhattan where it's kind of hard to find charities to take mattresses. But in most cases they tried to find a charity, a homeless center, that kind of thing, and they don't resell it. They just give it to the charity which is I think kind of cool. In any event, it's off your hands and you've got your money back. I don't think you're going to return it. I think you're going to love it.
Larry: No, I'm saying when you replace your mattress, like I've got a king size mattress—
Leo: Oh, I don't know.
Larry: If I were to buy something, the store would take away the old one. I wonder what I would do with my old mattress.
Leo: Give it to Good Will? I don't know.
Larry: If they'll take it. Will they take mattresses?
Leo: Sure. They steam them.
Phil: Or you could just not move your mattress when you move and get a Casper at the new place.
Leo: Do you know? Oh. One of our audience members is brilliant. You just stack it up like The Princess and the Pea. It gets more comfortable.
Georgia: You just have to launch yourself onto the mattress.
Leo: Yea, you need a ladder.
Georgia: Don't fall off.
Leo: Go to Casper.com right now. You'll get $50-dollars off your mattress purchase if you go to Casper.com/twit and use the promo code TWiT. So it's already a great deal on a mattress. It's going to be even better.
Phil: You can use your old mattress just to line your VR room walls.
Leo: There you go so you can bounce off the walls.
Larry: Put it in my studio to absorb the sound.
Larry: That's not a bad idea.
Leo: Actually the Casper would be great for that. Casper.com/twit. $50-bucks off.
Larry: And you can sleep on the wall.
Leo: (Laughing) hey, we've had a lot of fun. I don't know. Did we cover every story you guys care about? I think we've got it all. I'm just looking at this US tech firms including Facebook, Google and Twitter are urging Congress to support the government's plan to give control of the DNS system to ICANN. I guess the Commerce Department still has oversight. I thought that that happened years ago. ICANN will be in charge, oversight of the non-profit ICANN—oh, I see—will go out of the Commerce Department's control October 1st unless Congress votes otherwise. This is—you know there's this whole conspiracy theory. "The UN wants to take over and the Russians and blah, blah, blah." No country should control the internet. I think this is appropriate.
Larry: This is controlling not even the plumbing, but the way we name the plumbing. It is the most boring—I mean I've been to ICANN meetings. It is the most tedious and boring thing. If the UN wants to take it over, or if the Russians want to take it over. I mean it doesn't control content. I mean obviously we don't want any government controlling where we can go on the internet. But—
Leo: The internet is a global medium. It doesn't make sense for the US Department of Commerce to control it.
Phil: I mean, the only way to think about that is like is it broken now? It's kind of a big deal. Is it broken or is it working and is this something where we can—
Leo: It's working now.
Phil: Right. So there's an argument to not screw around with it.
Phil: And giving it to the UN is screwing around with something.
Larry: Well no, what they're really saying is it's technically the US has some authority. But when we're talking about—
Phil: And the internet's done pretty well under that authority.
Leo: Yea, but when Facebook, Google, Twitter and Amazon, CloudFlare and Yahoo all agree, "Eh, it's about time." I think we can say these guys know what they're talking about.
Phil: I would be happy to be with those guys.
Leo: I'm all for it. Hey, Phil, great to see you.
Phil: Great to see you again.
Leo: Thank you so much for coming on the show. Come back soon.
Phil: Thank you, anytime.
Leo: What are you up to? What are your investments that you're really excited about? Anything you want to talk about?
Phil: Well my investment hypothesis, hypothesis is—there's basically two possible futures for this world. The world can move to become more like Star Trek or the world can move to become more like Mad Max.
Leo: I hope for Star Trek (laughing).
Phil: I vote for Star Trek too.
Georgia: I'll take Star Trek.
Phil: Yea, and that's kind of my job so I want to invest in things that make the world more like Star Trek.
Leo: I love that. That's great.
Phil: And the other folks at General Catalyst are giving me enough rope to do that so I'm pretty happy.
Leo: That is a great, that is a great philosophy. I support you in that.
Phil: Thank you.
Leo: Can we get the holodeck anytime soon?
Phil: You know, probably in the next few years we'll have something, something similar. Maybe something you have to strap on to your face.
Leo: No, I don't want to strap it on. I just want to wear—I just want to live it.
Phil: One of the things that exists in Star Trek is I think that most things are much more beneficent. They're like made in the interest of the people.
Phil: Like mattresses in Star Trek, like when you buy a mattress it's probably not this like slimy thing that somebody's ripping you off. And so actually I think something like Casper, which is not one of our—
Leo: Is the Star Trek future.
Phil: Well it's getting us in the right direction. The idea that you could like do something, buy a mattress or open a banking account without it feeling like someone is ripping you off is a big deal.
Leo: I agree. I agree.
Phil: That's the kind of thing I'm interested in.
Leo: Nice. Great to see you again. Come back soon.
Phil: Thank you.
Leo: Georgia, you're coming down here. I don't know if I'm going to be here when you're in town. You're going to the Yosemite Conference?
Georgia: Oh, no. Really?
Leo: I don't know.
Georgia: That's—I'm really sad right now.
Leo: I want to see you.
Georgia: It's like in March.
Leo: March? Oh, I'll be here in March. I'll make a point.
Georgia: Ok, good. I'll be staying for like 2 weeks. I'll be there, so at some point I'll crash the area (laughing).
Leo: Catch Georgia's work of course at iMore.com and let's not forget, is it anxiety videos?
Georgia: It's anxiety-videos.
Leo: That's right, dash. I always forget the dash.
Georgia: Yea, if you're dealing with anxiety, sleep issues, depression, we have some new ones on boundaries and consequences, parenting, some other stuff like that so if you want to, take your therapy at home.
Leo: Georgia's a psychotherapist by trade. She's not making this stuff up. She's a trained professional.
Georgia: Yes (laughing).
Leo: I can see people going, "Well, what do you know about it?" Well she knows a lot about it. And they have some great videos that are well worth it especially the sleep video. Get the sleep you've always dreamt of. Look at all this new stuff you're doing too. That's fantastic.
Georgia: Yea, yea.
Leo: Boundaries. I think boundaries are a big one.
Georgia: Yea, boundaries and consequences is wonderful because it teaches you how to help other people to treat you. We teach people how to let us be treated. And so it just keeps all your relationships happy because you're not undermined or angry but not able to share that because you've created a self- boundary and consequences when someone walks over that, so. Everyone should do that.
Leo: I don't think people think about that or talk about that at all but that is a great way to contextualize it. So that you protect yourself in a way that not only protects yourself but is responsible about your relationships with other people.
Georgia: Yea, and it's not about just parenting. It's about love relationships, work relationship. This is something that everyone should do and I think that very few people even know that they have a right to have a certain level of interaction with someone else or consequence to that.
Leo: Right. I love this comment in the chatroom from Dr. Wiggs. "Oh, that Georgia Dow. I've got that bookmarked. I didn't know you were on TWiT." Yes, that Georgia Dow, not just a Georgia Dow, the Georgia Dow.
Georgia: What other Georgia Dow is he following?
Leo: I guess there must be others.
Georgia: Some other one. I'm also going to be speaking at CocoaLove. It's our last CocoaLove and I'm going to be the keynote speaker and I'm going to be talking about helping people get more connected and—
Leo: What's CocoaLove? I love the name.
Georgia: CocoaLove, yea.
Leo: Is there cocoa involved?
Georgia: There'll probably be cocoa there.
Leo: Where is that, in Montreal?
Georgia: That's going to be in Philadelphia and I think that the tickets are on sale until the 23rd of September and it's October 14th to 16th. And it's a lot of fun.
Larry: I might be in Philadelphia that week.
Georgia: Really? Why don't you come?
Larry: I'm planning a conference, I'm planning an event on February 7th in Philadelphia.
Georgia: Are you?
Leo: It's the city of brotherly love.
Larry: I was just there on Thursday. Lovely city.
Georgia: Oh, and I love doing conferences. So everyone should go to a conference if you've never been to a conference before.
Leo: This is like Yosemite. This is another Apple conference.
Georgia: Exactly. Yea, and go to the keynote.
Larry: And go to The Constitution Museum right across from the Liberty Bell. It is awesome.
Leo: Oh wow.
Larry: While you're there.
Leo: You know what's cool about this is with the demise of MacWorld Expo, all of these independent, wonderful, very personal events have sprung up and I think that's—in some ways that's better than having one centralized event.
Larry: MacWorld Expo turned into iPhone case expo.
Leo: Yea, the last few years.
Larry: Oh my God, a new iPhone case. How exciting.
Leo: Good. All right. Cocoalove.org. Larry Magid, you'll find him at connectsafetly.org or safekids.com
Larry: Or larrysworld.com
Leo: Or larrysworld.com and of course regularly on CBS radio. You've heard that voice over and over.
Larry: Oh, God, it gets so tedious.
Leo: (Laughing) I listen to KCBS in San Francisco and I hear you all the time.
Larry: Every day at 3:50 in the afternoon.
Leo: You do a great job. It must be just when I get off the air or something because I hear you every day. And you do a great job.
Larry: Thank you, Leol.
Leo: Thank you everybody for joining us. We do This Week in Tech on Sunday afternoons, 3:00 PM Pacific, 6:00 PM Eastern time, 2200 UTC. You can always watch live at twit.tv but you can also get on demand audio and video after the fact. You can also be in the studio. What a great studio audience. You guys were fabulous. Not a peep out of you the whole time (laughing). It's email@example.com. We'll put a chair out for you and if you can't make it in the studio or watching on the stream you can always get it on demand because every one of our shows is available for download at twit.tv or where ever you get your podcasts. Next week, Carson, who's filling in for me next week? Jason Calacanis. That will be interesting. He's putting together his own panel? Oh boy. That will be fun. Jason's the greatest. We'll look forward to that. He'll have a venture investor focus on that one. And then the following week is it Becky Worley who's doing the show? Becky Worley's going to be filling in for me. So some great TWiTs coming up. But I am headed out for adventure so—
Larry: Have a great trip.
Leo: Thank you. I'm looking forward to it. My wife is saying, "Come on, the car's—your ride's waiting."
Georgia: It's waiting. It's waiting right now.
Leo: Thanks for joining us. We'll see you next time! Another TWiT is in the can. Bye-bye.