This Week in Tech 592
Leo Laporte: It's time for TWiT, This Week in Tech. Wow! We've got a great panel here for you. Christina Warren is going to bring her Snapchat spectacles. Devindra Hardawar's great good humor, and Ed Bott's assessment of the tech scene. We'll talk about all sorts of stuff, including "Is Russia Hacking the United States?" And what can we do about it, next on TWiT.
NETCASTS YOU LOVE FROM PEOPLE YOU TRUST. THIS IS TWIT.
Bandwidth for This Week in Tech is provided by CacheFly at cachefly.com.
Leo: This is TWiT, This Week in Tech, episode 592, recorded Sunday, December 11, 2016.
McAfee for Cyber
This Week in Tech is brought to you by Casper, an online retailer of premium mattresses for a fraction of the price, because everyone deserves a great night's sleep! Get $50 off any mattress purchase by visiting casper.com/TWIT. Enter the promo code TWIT.
And by Carbonite. Keep your business safe this year, protect files on your computer or server with automatic cloud backup from Carbonite. Try it free, without a credit card at carbonite.com today and when you use the offer code TWiT, you'll get two free bonus months if you decide to buy.
And by WealthFront. WealthFront is a low-cost, automated investment service that's the most sophisticated way for you to invest your money. Whether you've got millions or are just starting out, visit WealthFront.com/twit to sign up and get your free personalized investment portfolio.
And by Harry's, for guys who want a great shave for a fraction of what you're paying now. Just in time for the Holidays, go to Harry's.com and use the offer code TWiT5.
It's time for TWiT, This Week in Tech, the show where we talk about the week's tech news with a carefully crafted panel of tech journalists. Three of the best with me today via Skype: from New Mexico, Ed Bott of ZDnet joins us. Great to see you, Ed!
Ed Bott: It is a pleasure to be here, Leo.
Leo: Over your left shoulder, my right, the Bob Dylan poster to celebrate his Nobel-tude. Nice.
Ed: You got to give him props for that speech that he wrote this week. It was amazing.
Leo: Wrote but didn't read. I think the ambassador ended up reading it, and Patti Smith performed. But he did not go. Now apparently he has to give a lecture if he wants the $800,000. One question: clearly Bob Dylan is too cool for school and is not going to go. That's why he didn't go. But here's a question. $800,000, do you give the lecture?
Ed: I think if you go to Google and type in "Bob Dylan net worth" you'll realize he doesn't need it. $800,000 would be nice, but he doesn't need it.
Leo: Also with us, from Gizmodo, she's senior editor there, it's great to have Film_girl, Christina Warren.
Christina Warren: Hey! Great to be here.
Leo: Nice to see you with your Apple TV in the background.
Christina: Yes. Apologies for the lighting in this room. It's the best I could do. It's gotten dark a lot earlier.
Leo: I know. In a way it's better, because what it used to be is you start all lit, and the sun would... this is good. You're prepared. Devindra Hardawar is here, also joining us... I think you're in New York. Manhattan or Brooklyn?
Devindra Hardawar: Brooklyn. I can't afford Manhattan.
Christina: Who can?
Leo: You're in Brooklyn too, right, Christina?
Christina: I am in Brooklyn, yes.
Leo: There was a great YouTube video. Settlers of Brooklyn. Did you see that? There's a great game. Settlers of Catan, a lot of people play it. This is a bunch of Hitlers... sorry. Hipsters. Not Hitlers. A bunch of hipsters sitting around playing the award winning game of entitlement, self-discovery, and hipster tude. Oh man. Somebody put a lot of effort into this. Which pizza Parlor do you frequent, Devindra?
Devindra: I have a couple I really like.
Leo: I understand that's one way to distinguish.
Devindra: In my neighborhood, there is one called Defarez, which has been around... it's an 80 year old guy who has been doing it forever. He's been hand rolling the pizza every day.
Leo: You're not some Johnny come Lately, You're a real deal.
Christina: That's a place where he won't let his son roll the dough, right? He's still not allowed to...
Devindra: It's the "Jiro Dreams of Sushi" of Pizza. The Basil comes from Israel, it's all fresh, it's all special ingredients. You go there and wait an hour for a pizza.
Leo: I've got to come out and go. That sounds wonderful. Where should we kick off this show today? Was there a big story this week? I think the funniest story is Samsung saying in a few days, on December 19th, they're going to send an update to Note 7 that will basically turn them into bricks. You won't be able to use a Note 7 unless it's plugged in. They're effectively rendering it useless. When Verizon said we're not going to do that upgrade... First of all, how many Note 7s are still out there?
Christina: They say that 93% have been turned in. So if this is in the United States, they sold about 2 million. So whatever 93% of 2 million is! It's not non trivial. How many of those are on the Verizon network is a better question.
Leo: I have to say, I haven't seen a lot of reports of Galaxy Notes bursting into flames, so maybe these are the ones that are OK?
Christina: I don't think you can say that.
Leo: Samsung doesn't believe it.
Christina: Right. And neither does the consumer safety product commission. Neither do any of the other agencies around the world. They definitely want everybody to turn them in. That's why they want to issue this update. It's interesting that Verizon won't do it, and they claim it's because of the Holiday season.
Leo: Let me read the quote. That's what they're saying. I think that's funny, because they call it a software upgrade. It's not an upgrade. We will not push a software upgrade that will eliminate the ability of the Note 7 to work as a mobile device in the heart of the holiday travel season. We do not want to make it impossible to contact family, first responders, or medical professionals in an emergency situation. That's reasonable, although Samsung said we would prefer that people's houses don't burn down during the Holiday season too.
Georgia: The Aviation administration has said we would prefer that we insist these not be taken on airplanes, so holiday travel season, unless you're in an airplane, in which case every major airline will tell you before you get on board, you're not allowed to have it. If you do have it, you need to put it in a special flammable proof bag that has to be in your line of site at all times. Then dispose of it. I don't know. John Gruber had an interesting view on this. He said why didn't Verizon push for them to do this sooner? I think that's probably fair. They pushed out similar working updates in other countries, I don't think it's OK that Verizon is doing this. Whatever opinion you have over a company taking this action to work a phone, I certainly understand the point of view, which is to say I bought this device, I'm the one who takes a risk. When it does become a safety issue, I understand making the decision to break the phone. I don't like a carrier stepping in and taking the unilateral position of usurping what the company wanted because if they're doing it in this case, Verizon is claiming on their Network that they're more important.
Leo: They may not want to get sued by somebody who is having a heart attack and couldn't call 9-1-1 because their phone couldn't work.
Christina: They've given them many opportunities to return the phone.
Leo: Stacey Higgenbotham's parents were still using Note 7s until last week. They finally stopped because they said you can't make a call, anytime you do anything on the phone there's a pop up saying please turn this phone in.
Christina: I think part of it is has Verizon done a good enough job of getting people and themselves? I know Samsung Australia were sending out updates very quickly and getting the carriers on board and constantly sending notifications. Part of me wonders was Verizon not doing enough to get people to turn their phones in and making it as easy as possible to turn your phone in. I know early on with the first recall, not the second complete recall, it was a nightmare for customers to even exchange their phone. You could understand why people wouldn't want to go through the hassle. But at this point, it's not just a safety concern. I don't like the idea of a carrier saying in any situation we're going to unilaterally refuse to allow... we're going to be the gatekeepers to decide what can and can't be issued to your phone. If they could do it in this instance, we could also seem them doing this in instances of software that needs to be issued. Apple is the only company and Google through the Nexus line that could bypass the carrier person and you see certain phones sold through those... the blue phones that had malware on them. Carriers, they'll issue out an update and then carriers won't let the updates through. I don't like a carrier stepping in and saying we're not going to issue an update to this phone for whatever reason. I don't like the precedent that sets.
Ed: This is what Verizon has always done. This was their Modus operandi on every phone. It's one reason why I stopped... Verizon is the only US carrier that I can use. Because here in my office it's the only one where I get a decent signal. And they would not issue updates for the Windows Phone that I owned. Six or nine months after Microsoft had released it, they were still refusing to issue a major update that the phone desperately needed. I finally threw up my hands. They've done that with Android phones as well.
Leo: For not a good reason. For no good reason.
Ed: For no good reason whatsoever. To go back to something you said, Leo, I wanted to pile on a little bit there. You said maybe these are the safe phones that are out there. I read an interesting analysis of the problem with the Note 7 the other day. There was a group of material analysts that had done some Micro photography of the phone. They had basically determined that Samsung in their desire to make a phone as thin as possible had basically not left any expansion room for the battery. All batteries expand. It's only a micron or two or three. But you have to leave some expansion room, so what that means if their analysis was correct, but this was eventually going to happen to every phone. The first phones that they discovered this flaw in, they were the canaries in the coal mine. This was going to happen more and more often. Probably increasingly as you hit the one year mark. You really started to feel the heat on these battery packs. Just a terrible, I can't imagine that Samsung's brand is going to.. . not going to suffer major damage from this event.
Leo: Does Samsung ever say why?
Christina: They haven't figured it out.
Leo: They don't know?
Devindra: I wonder if this is going to be a warning sign to all manufacturers. Maybe we should stop making phones as thin as possible, and maybe we need to look at other things. When you look at something like fast charging, which Samsung has also been pushing, that is a lot of power happening quickly in a tight environment, and that can be a problem.
Leo: The last thing I'm looking at, this is Tech Times from September. Samsung says in the Chinese phones... they said you don't have to worry about phones in China because they use different battery and then there were fires. They said that was from external heating. Ed, I think it confirms your supposition that there is no room for expansion. Everything that warms up gets bigger.
Ed: I think that's Fud's third law of opposition.
Leo: Fud's third law of opposition. Whatever goes up must explode. 133,000 to 140,000 people still have Note 7. December 19, unless you're Verizon. You're good. Just keep using it, why not. When you guys flew out from Milwaukee, didn't they tell you? Did the airlines announce no Note 7? I talked to somebody yesterday who said when we flew out they didn't say anything. So some airlines have thrown up their hands.
Ed: I was on half a dozen flights last week. There were at least six flights involved, on every single one, there were extended safety advisories about the Note 7. They didn't say anything about putting it in a bag. What they said, if you have one, you have to alert the cabin crew, and you can't turn it on, it must be out where we can see it at all times. Every single one had a full speech that they gave on it.
Leo: As you say, this has got to be bad for the brand all around. I can't imagine. We're hearing rumors... I don't think it's a rumor, I think it's true. The S8 in March at Mobile World Congress. Right, Devindra?
Devindra: I would assume so. They have had separate events. Mobile World Congress hasn't been a big phone announcement for a very long time. But, I don't know. Maybe they'll need some partner help this year.
Leo: Will They ever do another Note?
Devindra: I can't imagine.
Christina: I think they have to kill the Note name. I think you have a product that is the same as the Note in every same... but you can't call it a Note.
Leo: The original Note, everybody laughed at me when I got it, and by three or four years later, everybody had a five inch, six inch phone. Everybody.
Devindra: They also got smaller too. It wasn't the screen size.
Leo: Screens got bigger and bigger, but the bezels got smaller. That was one of the things that was great about the Note 7. It was smaller than an iPhone 7 with a bigger screen.
Devindra: I noticed that too about the Pixel XL. It feels really good in your hand, especially compared to the Six Plus or seven plus.
Leo: Well, I feel bad for Samsung. I think Samsung is doing everything they can. It's moronic that Verizon is going not so fast. Think of the liability if Verizon does have a fire.
Christina: That's what is interesting about this.
Devindra: It sounds like this might be partially a lawyer decision too. Maybe they did the math and were figuring the circumstances of somebody not having access to their phones... it is a small chance of a fire, but it's still a chance of a fire. I can't say too much before the Verizon gets me. Technically I work for Verizon.
Leo: That's right. Verizon owns you. It's so confusing. Verizon owns you. Samsung doesn't own Christina. Who owns Christina?
Leo: Univision. And Ed Bott, no one knows who owns ZDnet.
Ed: It's CBS interactive. Basically we could make some emperor Palpatine jokes.
Leo: I don't think he's actively involved any more, is he? He's 93 years old.
Ed: Emporer Palpatine? He's 130 years old.
Leo: Apparently the family is trying to take the money and run. From Vanity Fair, of course, "Inside the raging legal Battle over Sumner Redstone's final days." I think he's still alive.
Christina: He is.
Leo: Anyway. I don't know how we got into that. Media is weird.
Ed: It all started with Verizon. Verizon is currently on the hook to buy Yahoo.
Leo: What's the story there? We have heard nothing.
Baratunde: I think after the Yahoo hack, Verizon is like, you guys didn't tell us about this.
Leo: That should take a billion off, right off the top.
Devindra: Our office is here in New York. We have a bunch of we love Yahoo signs around. I wonder if they still love Yahoo.
Leo: Have we heard anything about Marissa Meyer? She's still there.
Christina: She always said she was going to stay through the transition, and we assumed when the sale was complete she would leave. There's no way she would work with Tim Armstrong or work under Tim Armstrong.
Leo: She's got a very hefty severance package.
Christina: Very nice.
Leo: I saw a picture of Marissa at some society event. Looking very content. Not looking at all nervous about anything in the future. That's... I thought I'd start off with something light and chewable. A para tife. Before we dig into the somewhat more challenging content. For instance, Big tech summit on Wednesday. President Elect Trump is bringing in the big guns. Larry Page, Tim Cook, Charyl Sandburg, although Zuck is not going will be attending the tech summit. Perhaps even Jeff Bezos of Amazon, although Bezos is one of the people Mr. Trump doesn't like too much because he owns the Washington Post. Satya Nadella will be there from Microsoft, Chuck Robins from Cisco, of course Jeannie Rometti of IBM has stepped up to volunteer with any databases the President would like to create of any kind. Brian Kruzanitch of Intel, and Saphra Katz, who apparently is the CEO of Oracle, although you don't hear a lot of...
Christina: Co CEO.
Leo: That other guy is...
Ed: That was quite the quote today from her.
Leo: What did he say? Can I find it? Let me see if I can find it.
Ed: It was basically we will provide, we are here to assist in any way possible with your database needs. It was basically the joke you just made for real.
Leo: Wow. That's what Jeanna Rometti's open letter to the Trump administration, "IBM is here to help."
Christina: Given IBM's past database...
Leo: As they have in the past. We know how to make... If you have a hundred billion dollar market cap or higher, you should have been invited. Apparently that's the thing in common. Based on the invitees named here, it appears public US Tech companies are the market cap. Greater than a hundred billion were invited. That makes sense.
Christina: Except Brian Chinsky from Air BNB, they certainly don't have that market cap. I think he's unable to come, according to Carol Swiher because he'll be out of town.
Leo: That's convenient. Oh Golly. I'm going to Palm Springs, I am so sorry.
Christina: They'll both be out of the country. I don't know what Uber's valuation is, they're certainly not public. But Air BNB is close to a hundred billion. I think because Peter Thiel is a big investor in them, that might have been part of it.
Leo: Thiel has become an advisor to the transition team. The President calls, you go. That's traditional.
Christina: What some people were saying is that they went for Obama and for past presidents, so even if you disagree, you go if the President Elect asks. A lot of these CEOs have publicly supported positions of people that are completely opposite Trump. You're invited, you go. Even though Trump has had battles and boycotts for companies like Apple, yeah. You show up.
Leo: If I were Tim Cook, I might be nervous that I might be singled out.
Christina: Especially when we know what happened when he had a similar meeting like this with the media. When he met with CNN and some of the other networks. The one that was off the record where the executives told Jeff Zucker how terrible CNN was and you people were biased against me. You wonder is this going to be another meeting where Trump airs his grievances. "How dare you say that?"
Leo: Bring your aluminum bowls, kids.
Ed: I think this is going to be a one way airing of grievances. At least for the next two months.
Leo: If I were one of these CEOs, I'd be very curious to hear what President Elect Trump has to say. In many ways, he's pro-business. Certainly his cabinet is full of generals and business men.
Baratunde: I can see people at least wanting to be there to help stop him.
Leo: Do you think? What is your opportunity there to stop anything? I think you're there to hear...
Devindra: Seeing how the actual situation is working behind the scenes, because Trump is so secrative, and doesn't really... he doesn't talk to Press normally.
Leo: You can see his reality show roots. He does seem to be running this like a reality show. You almost expect cameras outside and Tim Cook going "I hope he likes me, I don't want to be kicked off the island." It almost feels like that. Ten will enter, but nine will come out kind of a thing. We'll see.
Ed: There is, however, a fairly well established dynamic in the way that Trump operates. Multiple people have commented on this, which is that his decisions tend to be heavily influenced by the last person that he talked to.
Leo: So you want to get his ear.
Ed: You want to be in the room, and you want to make sure if you have a thing that you want to have happen, then you say that out loud. You make your case, and hope that ear worm gets planted.
Leo: Yeah. The other tech story having to do with the election and the President elect: by the way, the CIA and the FBI seem to disagree on this, but the CIA has apparently said it believes Russia was trying to help Donald Trump win the White House, and their evidence for this is that the Intelligence community seems to mostly agree, that the Russian Government hacked both the Democratic National Committee, and the Republican National Committee, but only released the emails of the Democratic National Committee. The President is now asked for a full investigation and report before he leaves office on January 19th. Don't know what to say. It's clear that there's hacking on both sides. We hack them, they hack us. What would it mean if a foreign Government attempted to influence American elections? And what do you do about it if they do?
Devindra: I see a bunch of other people smarmily pointing out, "Oh, the American Government has done this forever in other countries, and we deserve this.
Leo: We certainly have thrown elections in the past. The CIA in fact has thrown elections in the past.
Devindra: I think you can separate that issue with this one, which is, "Oh my god, the country is on fire, and we got to do something about it."
Leo: One former CIA director said if you find out this is the case, you have to do a do over. I don't think we're getting a do over.
Leo: I don't know what the...
Devindra: We don't know what to do. A lot of people have been asking, the CIA says Russia pushed our election. And Trump, what we do know, he has close ties to Putin, he's spent a time defending Putin. So where do we go from here? We don't have the mechanisms to do anything, really.
Leo: There's no precedent.
Devindra: It's disturbing.
Leo: No precedent.
Devindra: Short of the electors refusing to elect.
Leo: Right before the election, I remember Biden going on the morning shows and saying, threatening, if you guys mess with our election, we have tools in place for a commensurate response." We won't tell you what we're going to do, but it will match the impact you had on us. That seemed to be a hollow threat, but it was clearly a threat. Don't mess with our elections. Hacking is... 2017 is going to be an interesting year for hacking. I say that every year. I've been saying it for five years now.
Devindra: Did you say the Alex Gibney movie, Zero days? That's a great film. Makes a lot of great points. He predicted we would be seeing more of this. Who knew it was going to happen so quickly?
Leo: It's a safe and easy prediction. He was talking about our hacking, or maybe the Israeli hacking, certainly Governmental hacking of the Iranian centrifuge using the Stocksnet virus to prevent them from creating the atomic bomb, which by the way, as surgical strikes go, is a good idea. Unfortunately, they didn't design it well enough, and we all got it.
Devindra: The bigger take away for me from that movie is that we all need to get together internationally and say there has to be an international conversation about these cyber tools. Because...
Leo: A Geneva Report of what you can and can't do.
Leo: We live in interesting times. This is a former CIA director, Michael Haye. This is the trailer for Zero days, which if you haven't seen it, I think it's on Netflix for free. Highly recommend, although it's a little terrifying, frankly. This is what's going on. Nobody is gain saying this. As far as I know, this is 100% accurate. It is ironic, isn't it, that the agency that we created to, and has actively overthrown other Governments for years is now calling fowl on the Russian Government. Of course the Trump team says, "No, nothing happened."
Ed: They didn't just deny it. The Press release today, the three sentence Press release, each one of those sentences was not true. So Three sentences, three lies. But more importantly, it, normally we have institutions in this country, and you may disagree with the work of the institutions, but the intelligence community is composed of professionals. What Trump and his people are basically saying is that they disagree with all of the output from the Intelligence community. Now his people are saying "We're going to put our own people in." That to me, is the more frightening thing. It takes a long time to build up both the defensive capabilities for this kind of thing. If the new guy comes in here and upsets the game board, throws it up in the air, that has potential for very serious consequences.
Leo: The Press release said, I can read it in its entirety. These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of Mass destruction. That's demonstrably false. The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest electoral college victories in history.
Ed: That's two lies in one sentence. It was the 46th largest out of 58, which is the opposite of a landslide.
Leo: And statement three, you could debate whether this is true or not. "It's now time to move on and make America great again."
Ed: I think anybody who looks at this, if you see that 17 agencies in the US intelligence community basically agree that there was some kind of activity by the Government, even if you disagree on the scope of that and the impact of that, it's not time to move on, it's time to investigate it. Even if you benefitted from it, in a normal election, after a normal election result, the winning candidate would say, "I agree completely with this. We should have a full investigation."
Leo: I think the winner writes the history. I don't think that this goes away on January 20th.
Ed: They would control the investigation, so they would say "Of course we're going to set up an investigation, because that's what you do." And then you have an investigation, and you let it go on. By saying vehemently as Trump has done, "This is not true," how does he know that? How does he know this is not true? When thousands of analysts you know have been working on this.
Leo: We should point out, it isn't unanimous, a senior US official said there were minor disagreements among intelligence officials because some questions remain unanswered. So for instance, they don't know if the Kremlin directed this.
Ed: When the guy says this is not true, and he's only participating in one out of six intelligence briefings, who is telling him that this is not true? The same people who told him there were 3 million illegal aliens who voted in the election?
Leo: The question is: "Is it not true because it's not true, or because you don't want it to be?" This probably explains why Obama says let's have an investigation now, and you're going to have to report to me in the next few weeks, because I'm going to be out of here on January 19th. And so are many of you. So, let's ask the next two questions. First of all, what do you do if they come back and say it's true? I don't know what they're going to do. It's different. How do you... what's the response to that? You can't fix it. As you say, Devindra, we're in a situation where we have no precedent. You can't do the election over.
Devindra: You could.
Leo: This is something the founding fathers did not anticipate.
Devindra: Either it's all up to the electors, or I could see some other...
Leo: The electors vote in five days. It's the 19th. So I don't think... a number of states have probably unconstitutional laws that say the electors will be prosecuted if they're faithless, if they don't vote as they've been told. I wouldn't anticipate any reaction from the electoral college. It's too soon, and it's legal in some cases. I'm sure there's internal debate over all this.
Ed: In most cases, the electors were chosen because they were a slate that supported the candidate. So they're among the most enthusiastic supporters. Likely that you're going to get enough of them to flip, and their conscience on an issue like this is unrealistic. So no, I'd say two things. Number one, it's a genuine constitutional crisis, because as you say, the founders didn't know about Twitter. They didn't know about fake news. They knew about fake news, but they didn't know about Facebook fake news. They didn't know that. The other thing that I'd say is the more likely outcome of all this, is that the incoming administration is about to discover the power of entrenched bureaucracy, which are capable of acting independently of... when you have hundreds of thousands of people within an organization, you can bring in a few new people at the top, but you can't replace them wholesale.
Leo: I don't want to conflate. A lot of the people in the chatroom are saying, "it's over. Trump won." I don't want to conflate a political debate over who won or who should have won with the appropriate conversation we should have about if we're being hacked by a foreign nation, what do we do about it? That's the technical conversation. I would hope we would still have this debate no matter who won the election. There is not a matter of we don't like the result, let's figure out a way to overturn it. It is not that. It is what do we do if a foreign nation has the capability of doing this? How do we respond? The capability... first of all, is not traditional hacking in the sense that they may be hacked the voting machines. It's a case of propaganda, frankly, of them hacking both the DNC and RNC looking for information for both and selectively using Wikileaks releasing the information that was in favor of one candidate against another. That's an indirect way of influencing the election. Although, there is a larger concern that maybe they got something from the RNC that they can use against the RNC and blackmail them. I don't know. So there is a National security issue at stake here that goes well beyond who won the election and who didn't win the election. So... I don't want this to be... it would be a mistake for us to act as if Hillary should have won. It's not that. It's really a question of, what's going on? If Russian government actors... the way they do this by the way, this is part of the debate inside the intelligences as I understand it is not whether the Kremlin did it or not. Because they use third parties so that they can have plausible deniability. If any nation tries to influence us, how do we defend against it?
Devindra: This is tough, even if we re-do a vote, in that miraculous event, the damage has already been done.
Leo: That's exactly what you don't want to do. Great we've got turmoil now.
Devindra: We've also seen in this entire campaign, facts and truth hasn't had much of an effect either. Especially when it comes to Trump, they bounce off of him.
Leo: Unfortunately, the chat room has completely gone off. There's some guy who is saying sore losers.
Devindra: This is why we have to close comments whenever we write about hacking for Trump or anything. Because yeah.
Leo: Let me ask you. You say "You're sore losers." Is this not a legitimate conversation, no matter what happened in the election? Should we not be concerned about foreign Governments hacking? Are you saying it didn't happen? Or are you saying you're just sore losers, we won get over it. Which is by the way, those are the two sentences that came from the Trump campaign.
Christina: The reality is, let's say the situation was reversed and Hillary Clinton won, and we got the same report. Let's pretend that happened. We would be having this exact conversation.
Leo: I would hope so.
Christina: If anything, the fervor would be ten times harder, where we would probably be having a more substantive conversation about what this means for the future, rather than the people who are saying the sore loser talk would be leading the opposition to be doing as thorough a investigation as possible. Talking about it, the broader implications of a different state interfering with our election, that's a very serious issue, take the politics out of it. That right there is something that is problematic and troubling, and is something that should be investigated. I don't know what we can do about it.
Leo: I would say we can't stop it. It's pretty clear that we can't stop anybody from hacking. We are basically helpless in the face of Governmental hackers, just by the way, as they are in the face of our hackers. Right? Is that not the case? Software is imperfect. Let's see if we can do this in a logical... Software is imperfect. Imperfect software will always have some form of exploitable security flaw. Can we stipulate that? A state actor, determined enough with enough resources, including their own intelligence but also the ability to spend millions of dollars on other hacking teams and security companies buying exploits, that's really where a lot of this comes from. If you have millions of dollars to spend, you can gain these exploits. This is the question we ask on Security Now all the time. Is it possible to fully secure anything? Obviously Sony Pictures Entertainment is not secure, but we were able to point fingers at an IT team that said security. That's not worth the money. We don't care. But then I look at, here's my example. Sheldon Adelson, very wealthy man. Runs the back end casino operations for many casinos in Vegas. Maccao is where he made all his money. Lots of money. Presumably unlimited resources. Iranian hackers were able to hack the Sands backend, which rant he Casino operations in many of the casinos in Vegas, and steal from it. Now if you can hack a guy who has unlimited funds and a very strong motivation to secure the back end of the casino operations... I saw Ocean's 11. This is stuff that you don't hack. If they can't do it. I basically feel like it can't be done, right? So we've got a geometric proof that we're screwed.
Ed: Here's my take on it. Strip the election results out of it to take away the...
Leo: Because there's this big emotional thing going on. We don't want that.
Ed: It becomes an emotional response and a distraction. Historically large nations have had spies. It's been what gentlemen did for hundreds of years. You use spies to get information so that you can make better decisions so that you can know what your enemy was thinking what your friends were thinking even. It's one thing to get information and use that information to make decisions. It's another thing to get information and use that information to influence the course of business or the course of Government. I would take the example, imagine that the Russians had hacked Exxon Mobile. That they had used the information to compromise contracts with Exxon Mobile making it easier for a Russian company to win a lucrative multi-billion dollar contract, what would the American response be in that case? I hope we would be outraged at the fact that if a foreign nation was interfering with what we like to think of as a free market.
Leo: But again, can we do anything about it?
Ed: Sure there's things that can be done. They're the same kinds of things that have been done to spies behind the scenes for years. And you don't read about them until typically 30 or 40 years later, after the classification on it expires and most of the people involved in it are dead. The handful who are left can talk about it. This is exactly the same... this is a different dimension for the same kind of activities that have been going on for as long as people have been running Governments.
Devindra: That's a good point. We've seen a lot of recent spy movies. That is in the plot. Right? Getting the information out there, making it public. They just assume all hell will break loose. That is kind fo what's happening too.
Leo: I'm going to end the conversation, because everybody says we're talking politics. WE are absolutely not, but this is part of the reason why this conversation isn't going to go much farther, is because people have decided that's politics. It's not. I'm not hearing you because you're talking politics. It's not. It's about whether a foreign nation, or frankly us, it's cyber warfare. I think we need to think about that. If you listen to this show and don't think about it, I guarantee you, nobody else is going to think about it.
Ed: The other thing to say to those people is look. The people are making the argument that this is all politics, you say, "Look. The fact that the actors on the other end of this operation have managed to wrap this up in politics so that we can't respond to it in a traditional and rational way is part of the problem." A very large part of the problem. Somebody has to step up. It's going to take people from multiple sides to be able to say we need to be in a non-political approach to this. But there are national security implications involved and a hell of a lot of technology, which is why we're talking about it here.
Leo: Don't worry, because we're going to get to more important things, like why the air pods are delayed and everything will be fine. Don't worry about it, we're done now. I don't know what to say.
Leo: I'd like to be friends with Russia. Wouldn't you like to be? What's wrong with that? Let's be friends with Russia. If we're friends, maybe they'll stop messing with us.
Christina: That will totally work.
Leo: There is a really interesting conversation... we won't have it today. But there is a really interesting conversation about whether we have entered a new era. A couple things have created this situation. But a post fact era where partly because by the Internet's ability to create a filter bubble around whatever you want to believe combined with an onslaught of information that is difficult to vet, so essentially every piece of information true or not has equal weight. The lack of... this is an interesting thing, when I was growing up, there was a national consciousness, because we all watched the same TV shows at the same time because you couldn't tape them, so when people come into work and talk about Johnny Carson said last night, you would have all been watching the Beatles on Ed Sullivan, so there was an interesting situation where the National conversation was the same thing. I don't know if that's a good thing or not, you could make a strong case that it wasn't such a good thing. Because who was controlling that conversation? But now we're having a thousand different conversations, and you basically decide which Bubble you want to be in, and you join that bubble, and you don't hear anything else. I do think that we're entering this post fact era. I don't know what that looks like in the future. You hear terms like moral relevant, now we have factual relativism.
Devindra: Reality relativism.
Leo: What is the end game there? What does that end up looking like? Maybe it looks like Wall E where we're all riding around on our floating chairs with our VR helmets experiencing our own personal reality that has nothing to do with real reality.
Devindra: I think we're at a point where librarians and people who study that sort of media training, because I remember back in high school and college, that was where you started learning about where to find a good source for your reports and everything. I wonder if we need to have that at a national level taught alongside civics. Which is also not taught that much anymore in high school. Yeah. There is so much stuff going on, information is moving so quickly and we have to teach people to be aware of that and figure things out.
Leo: It's not that propaganda... fake news is not new. What's different is the power and ability to spread this information and the ability that people have to choose an isolated... I poo pood the filter bubble for years. Ultimately the Internet gives you so much information, some variety of information is going to leak through. You always have the opportunity, and in many cases, regardless of your choice, you're going to get other points of view. Now I'm starting to think maybe that's not true. We live in the world we want to believe in. In reality we choose. Isn't that what all this technology is pointing to is choose your own reality?
Ed: Let me retweet this, maybe you'll see it. But there was a study...
Leo: I don't go to Twitter because it's not true. By the way, I blame Twitter for a lot of this.
Ed: There was a study that the MIT media lab did of the bubbles that you're talking about. There's an interesting visualization. Did it show up there. It's from reality matters.
Leo: What's your Twitter handle?
Ed: Ed Bott.
Leo: That's easy. Not film_boy.
Ed: Clinton and Trump supporters live in their own Twitter worlds.
Leo: I saw this. So they have a cloud of what are these? Sources? Dots? The red dots follow Trump, the blue dots follow only Clinton. The purple dots follow both, the grey dots follow neither. I'm not sure I fully understand this, but that's interesting.
Ed: The more of a bubble you see...
Leo: The better for the bubble.
Ed: There were several people who criticized this graphic, saying there's actually a fair amount of purple. The really interesting thing there is the bright red, and this aligns with the thing that we heard from these kids in Macedonia who were making $30,000 a month building fake news sites. They said we were building...
Leo: This is who we're targeting. What's interesting is they tried targeting these people over here and it didn't make them much money.
Ed: They said they would put something out there and it would get de bunked in five minutes and nobody would retweet it.
Leo: I feel like this is the future. Susceptible to propaganda is the future. It's going to be all of us at some point. This is where Twitter and Facebook are pointing us. Isn't it? If you've ever played Conway's life or Osmo, it's self-feeding. There's some point where it becomes the Universe.
Devindra: Even on Hillary's camp there were bubbles of conversation too. There was a lot of talk like Pant Suit Nation, the Facebook group, I can understand why people were excited about it, I feel like it's not as useful as broadening the conversation and making the entire country aware.
Leo: I followed on Facebook, I followed every candidate. I followed all of the Republican nominees, all the Democratic candidates.
Ed: did you follow the trans humanist candidate?
Leo: I got everybody, because I wanted everybody in my feed. It's interesting because I Have a feeling, Facebook modified it. Even though I was following all of those, Facebook watched my tendencies, which stories do you read? Not in an attempt to propagandize me at all, but in an attempt to maximize my time spent viewing gave me more of what I liked. Even if you try you get funneled in, based on what you read.
Ed: This is a problem for journalists.
Leo: I'm doing it right now. The chatroom is saying you're political, get off the subject. So I'm ready to move on. That's what happens! I'm influenced too. It's hard not to be influenced by your viewership. Give them what they want.
Devindra: The thing is, there are definitely some valid complaints against how the social algorithms are leading us when it comes to news, but these sites were never meant to be news readers. They're not like Google reader used to be or an RSS reader used to be.
Christina: I think that's giving them more of a break than they deserve. Because it became clear quickly early on, Twitter especially and Facebook once they had the newsfeed and started allowing other links into it, I think that you have to start considering and once you make algorithmic changes based on what people will see and like and you start personalizing things, I think those companies can't say they're tech companies. They are media companies.
Devindra: I'm talking about the function of a news reader, like an RSS reader versus a social feed.
Leo: I think it's time to stop using Facebook for news. That's...
Devindra: Most people won't do that. They're stuck with that situation.
Christina: More to the point, the media industry, all of us included, rely on Facebook. It's easy to say we should stop relying on Facebook for news, but the reality is it's a big part of Facebook's business. Facebook is a big part of the news business.
Leo: It's really an interesting... it's an open ended conversation. I don't think there's any answers or certainly no easy answers to any of this. I do think we're entering a different era. Twitter and Facebook have a lot to be responsible for. I really do. Less so Twitter. Twitter inevitably is more diverse. It's Facebook that actively cultivates the feed.
Christina: Twitter I would say, you choose who you follow. In some ways it's more diverse, but in a lot of ways, you explicitly choose whom you follow. They don't do it now in the mobile app, they had historically not done what Facebook has done which is personalize the feed and determine what you see. They haven't made those sorts of judgments. Instead it has become much more self-selected. Depending on whom you follow, that's what you see. In some way, they haven't had to answer as many of the questions that Facebook has, because Facebook, so many people share so many different things, and if you like one thing... I'd say they're slightly different, but yeah.
Leo: Huh. Well, we always knew that technology and the internet would change the world. We just maybe didn't really understand how much.
Devindra: It's kind of a reckoning though, right? It's oh yea, they got what they wanted. Like Facebook is our de facto solution for being social online except, oh, now you have specific responsibilities and you better step up to those, yea.
Christina: Exactly. It's like Facebook wanted to be the internet. Now it is.
Leo: And now what?
Christina: You have to deal, now you have to deal with the responsibility that comes along with it.
Leo: Now what are you going to do, yea.
Ed: And I think we have also the conflict that started out in the early days of the internet, of the web anyway with. Which is better? An algorithmic completely mechanical presentation of information or a curated presentation of information like the old Yahoo lists and the original Moz feeds, things where you had experts do those. And that was fine when the web was 4,000 pages. It's literally impossible now. The reality is that Facebook had become a huge newspaper that publishes a new edition every 20 microseconds and there have to be human editors involved in that process, even if they're just backstopping the algorithms to avoid things going wrong.
Leo: I always thought that this would be a self-correcting system. I was a fool. I really—
Devindra: Well, because they rely on humans, too you know.
Leo: Well I just thought there was enough sources and there was enough this and that that it would self-correct. And what I've realized is quite the opposite. We've reached a tipping point and a point of no return, frankly.
Devindra: After the whole PizzaGate thing, it's like—
Leo: There's a really good example.
Devindra: How can anybody believe that and it's gotten to the point where a guy brings a gun into a freaking pizza shop. It's insane.
Christina: Right. It becomes a real problem and I think what we also mean, you thought it might be self-correcting but it also turns out that there is a financial incentive to create fake news which I don't think a lot of people saw coming. I know I certainly didn't that you would, that there would be as much of a financial incentive to people who just make money.
Leo: We did. It's just the next step of link bait.
Christina: Sure, yes.
Leo: We kind of saw this coming, really.
Christina: Well I mean I guess but it seems—there's a difference I think between link bait and spam and purposefully setting up pseudo newsrooms where people just write ridiculous stories that are literally meant to—
Leo: That's what they did. They made—this is what Upworthy does for a living. By the way, Upworthy set up by Eli Pariser, who wrote the book about the filter bubble. Eli figured it out and then said, "Oh, good, let's make some money."
Christina: But my point is there seems to be a difference though between Upworthy and that sort of level of click bait versus literally hiring people to write stories that are not only completely made up, but are made up in our design to appeal to a very specific audience so that you can get the advertising, you can get people to share, you can make it go viral. That's very interesting to me.
Leo: I'm not sure I understand the distinction.
Ed: But I think one of the things—go ahead.
Devindra: Go ahead.
Ed: Ok, one of the things that we've learned though in all these years is that any tool that you put out there is going to be abused by completely amoral actors as quickly as possible. So that's how we got viruses. That's how we got, that's how we got ransomware. That's how we got advertising scams and so it was completely predictable if you look at the evolution of who used the technology out there. The only difference between journalists like those of us on these screens here and these fake news guys is that we have a professional code and morals where we actually have a line that we draw where we say, "Ok, I can't do that. I can do this and gee, I want this to be a really sexy headline. And I know that it's slightly misleading, but—"
Leo: We're just old fashioned. That's just old fashioned.
Ed: It's going to bring them, well—
Leo: Scruples are—forget scruples. That's old fashioned. That's old folks. Code. Morals. Scruples.
Devindra: Well we have reputations that we want to protect.
Leo: Oh, yea, the journalistic code. That's just, you know, go back to the front page. That's 19—
Devindra: But to what we were talking about earlier, I think even more so than like click-baity headlines, you can look at like the Taboola links.
Leo: That's what I'm thinking exactly, Taboola and Outbreak.
Devindra: The garbage that has basically cluttered the internet, we've grown so used to it and big publishers are making money off of it. I think you know my point is a whole bunch of site are.
Devindra: We've grown used to that and that's, that's I think a bigger problem when it comes to these.
Christina: Yea there was a story in The New York Times today that was about like fake news and there was an ad for a fake ad about like saying that Alec Baldwin had died.
Christina: And that happens a lot. You know that's just because of the—
Leo: And then it ended up he didn't really die, he's taking a diet pill that you should be taking also.
Devindra: Watch this gallery.
Ed: On the page, on it there was an interesting Medium article the other day. On the page on Facebook where Zuckerberg says, "You know, we've been doing soul searching about this fake news thing and we're trying to come up with solutions but we don't think it influenced the election," blah, blah, blah. Somebody did a screenshot of that—
Leo: Yea, fake news.
Ed: Zuckerberg's article with two fake news ads next to it. It was like you can't get any more perfect than that. And there—ultimately when you get down to it, all of this technology is being monetized in ways that if you take the morality out of it and you take the controls, quality controls out of it, you end up where we are now.
Leo: All right. Well, I don't know if we're going back to the good old days, but it sure was fun while it lasted (laughing).
Christina: We miss them.
Ed: I'm going to move to Macedonia.
Leo: It's beautiful country. It's really gorgeous. I highly recommend it. All right, let's take a break. We have spent a lot of time on this and I think good, really good conversation. I mean I don't think it's the end of this conversation. I think a lot about this and I don't know what the answer is, I really don't. But and I don't know if there is, I don't know if there is anything you can do about it. I mean aside from censorship or something, I don't—nobody wants that. I don't think there's anything you can do.
Devindra: You need a smarter population. That's what we need.
Leo: Well we are what we are. We're human and so we're going to get that. That's what we're going to get. We're going to get humans. And it's like you gave a kid a nuclear weapon and then you're shocked that he used it.
Devindra: There you're talking about the Trump presidency.
Leo: (Laughing) Now, that was political.
Devindra: Why are we laughing? Let's not laugh at that.
Leo: There's nothing to laugh at.
Devindra: It's terrifying.
Leo: But it's kind of like that. We're humans. We—you know it's not like there's 10% of humans are bad and the rest are good. We all have 10% bad I think. Some are really bad but I mean we all have a little bit of bad in us and we just gave ourselves tools and then we're surprised that what happened was you know, we all end up throwing excrement at the monkey cage. I don't know. It's very interesting. But, Ed, you and I and I think Christina and Devindra, we're going to uphold journalistic standards and integrity. I've also said that. I've always really felt like that's important and you know, my kid wants to be—he's 22. He's in college. He wants to be a journalist. And I'm continually kind of feeding him this line. And I hope his professors are too about journalistic integrity and the rules and you owe it to your readers. You owe it to, you know, this is the way to do it. And he's getting the AP Style Guide and Legal Manual for Christmas. And I just—you know, I'm hoping. Just hoping.
Ed: That brings literally a tear to my eye. It does.
Leo: Jim Louderback with Tech TV wrote a statement of ethics and he was really, I was really—I really will always honor Jim for doing this. And he went around in our studio and he taped over every brand name. I mean it's very old fashioned. But he was really right on. He came from the old Ziff-Davis days where this was this kind of standard and it was beat into you, you know. Let's take a break. We have a great panel here. Devindra Hardawar from Engadget where he's a senior editor. Senior writer for Gizmodo, Christina Warren is here. I love all of you guys. Just want to shut the rest of the world out and hang with you guys, just chill with you guys. And Ed Bott, my old friend from ZDNet. I've known Ed 20 plus years now.
Ed: 20, yea, it's at least 25.
Leo: You were editor-in-chief of Windows Magazine, right?
Ed: PC Computing.
Leo: PC Computing. That's it. Ed Dvorak and I used to have you on the radio show way back when. Whew.
Devindra: I think that was one of my first computer magazines, too. So.
Leo: Great. I love PC Computing! Always loved it.
Christina: It was a great magazine.
Leo: Yea. You know are there any magazines anymore at all? I mean computer magazines.
Christina: I don't think so.
Leo: I go to the airport and I see them.
Devindra: Wired doesn't count.
Leo: Wired, ok.
Devindra: Does that count?
Leo: They still do—
Christina: I mean, kind of. Because it's culture really as much as anything else but like the hardcore—
Leo: PC Magazine's gone, PC Computing, long gone. Windows, Windows Magazine gone.
Devindra: Laptop is still around.
Devindra: Laptop Mag.
Leo: Ok. There you go.
Devindra: They have a thing.
Leo: Why (laughing)?
Devindra: People like laptops. I don't know. Wired, that goes back into tech.
Leo: Wired, yea. All right, Ed's going to call us back while we do a little break here.
Leo: We want to talk about my mattress. Hey, at least I sleep well at night thanks to Casper. That's important. Get a good night's sleep on your Casper mattress. This—there are some amazing thing's the internet has brought us and this is an example of you don't have to go to a mattress store and lie on a mattress in broad daylight with a salesperson staring at you going, "Get your shoes off my mattress," let alone rolling around, maybe bringing your honey and doing a little smooching. You don't get to test a mattress at a mattress store. As a result, you get it home and well, good luck. With Casper, you're testing your mattress at home for 100 days. You get a great deal on a mattress that is obsessively engineered in the United States for outrageous comfort. It's really—it comes in a very compact box. You open it up. Smells beautiful. It breathes and you sleep cool at night. It's comfortable and you will love it. It is literally changing the way people shop for mattresses. Look, they've got a dog mattress. That's so cute. I want you to go to Casper.com and check out these amazing Casper mattresses. If you decide you want to get one, I'm going to get you $50 bucks off the mattress. You can get—it starts at $500-dollars for a queen all the way up to the Cal King size. $50 bucks off when you use the offer code TWIT. You've got to go to Casper.com/twit. It is a trial. So if in 100 nights you say, "Eh," they will come and they will get it. You don't have to fit it back in the box, I promise. They will come. They will get it. They will take it away and refund you every penny. The design story behind the Casper is fascinating. They spent a lot of time, did a great many prototypes, 108 prototypes, 100 plus formulations. They were looking for firmness, airflow, density, transition temperature, rebound speed and odor. I swear to God, these things are important. And I have to tell you, they got it right. But you don't have to take my word for it. You can try it and if it's not perfect for you, you've got plenty of time to return it. Designing the perfect mattress. C-A-S-P-E-R.com/twit. Here's the co-founder lying on the mattress. That's the testing right there. Casper.com/twit use the offer code TWIT for $50-dollars off. Terms and conditions apply. You will love your Casper Mattress.
Leo: We're talking tech. Hey, the latest thing, and I wasn't joking, is the AirPods, the AirPods.
Leo: Apple's AirPods. Remember, it was, I don't know if it was real or fake but—
Christina: I have a pair. I have a pair.
Leo: Yea. Everybody has a pair. The journalists have the preproduction pair.
Christina: Yes we do.
Leo: But they're not in the stores. And I think this is a big deal since Apple took the headphone jack out. You've got to think they want to get these AirPods into the market, but does anybody know where they are and why?
Christina: The closest report says, the Wall Street Journal story basically says they were having—it kind of explains a few things. It kind of makes some suppositions about the fact that there might have been some manufacturing problems which John Gruber's sources kind of confirms that they've had a hard time kind of mass producing them. And the Journal goes on to kind of suppose they might have had some issues getting the two pieces to independently talk to one another because how AirPods work versus a lot of other fully wireless earbuds is that each bud has an individual wireless signal to your phone rather than—how a lot of them work, not all of them. Some of them do what Apple's doing as well. But how a lot of them work is that you pair—one is paired to your phone and the other is paired to the other bud. And so that can lead to some lagging.
Leo: Have you noticed that on yours?
Christina: No, my AirPods are fine. But what I found with other purely wireless headphones is that if they don't—they can have a lag issue because one of them is paired to the—like the left ear is paired to the right ear and right ear is paired to the phone. And in the case of AirPods, they're both paired to the phone. So they both have an independent signal coming. And so the Journal's story kind of intimates and says that it's possible that they could have had a problem with some of the radio stuff and the Bluetooth stack. I guess that's possible. The preproduction ones which they gave to journalists which are obviously not the ones that are mass produced have been fine. I mean I have—
Leo: Yea, nobody I know, Rene Ritchie, nobody I know, you, have had a problem with them.
Christina: So what John Gruber's sources have told him is that it's been more of a mass production issue which could make some sense. You know, I think that this is a different kind of product for them and they might have run into some production problems. Regardless of whatever the reason is, it certainly is not great that—
Leo: 3 months.
Christina: 3 months and it was touted it was supposed to be out in late October and then was delayed. You're not going to have it out in time for Christmas.
Leo: That's a bigger deal, right? Because this is the perfect stocking stuffer, even at $150 bucks.
Christina: Oh, it's the perfect stocking stuffer for a lot of people. They want them. And so, yea, I mean Gruber's sources say manufacturing problems at scale. It doesn't matter what the reason is. The reality is we're not going to get them in time for Christmas or barring some sort of miracle, they're not going to be done in the next 2 weeks. And you know, I think that Apple had introduced them obviously right as kind of a way I think to lessen the sting of getting rid of the headphone jack. In all honesty, I think that most people that have an iPhone 7 haven't really had that much—I know I haven't had a problem. It's one of those things that the included adapter worked well and I actually got a pair of new Bluetooth headphones recently that have the W10 chip.
Leo: Oh really?
Christina: Yea, I got the—
Leo: So you can get—somebody's making W1 headphones?
Christina: Yea, W1 headphones. Yea, Beats is. So you get the Beats Solo3—
Leo: Oh. Apple is.
Christina: You can get the BeatsX. They have two pairs. They have two of them available. And that chip is fantastic. The battery life is--
Leo: So let me ask you this. And I don't know if you know this, but in my opinion, Bluetooth headphones do not sound as good as wired headphones. There's a compression that just doesn't—the music isn't as open. It doesn't feel as good. It's fine for voice.
Christina: Well, I mean I think that it depends on the pair of headphones. I think there are—
Leo: I have a $400-dollar pair of Sennheiser Bluetooth headphones because I said, "Well, maybe you're right. Maybe it's just because I'm buying cheap Bluetooth headphones." And I've bought a lot of them, including Beats. So I said, "Let's get the top of the line. "The most expensive ones I could find were the Sennheisers. Everybody raves about them. Same exact thing. There's some sort of—it's not—and that makes sense. They've got to compress it a little bit.
Devindra: It depends on the source too, right, because if you connect those to a MacBook, for some reason OSX, it has Aptech support for Bluetooth but iOS doesn't.
Leo: Oh. So listen—because Aptech's supposed to better. Is it better?
Devindra: It's a little better, yea. It makes it—it's less compression and higher quality all around.
Leo: Ok. I'll try that. I'll do it on my MacBook.
Christina: I mean, what I fine sometimes, is I would say this. I would say that a $400-dollar pair of wired headphones are certainly going to sound better than a $400 pair of Bluetooth headphones. But a decent pair of Bluetooth headphones will probably sound every bit as good as, you know, a decent pair.
Leo: Let's face it. You're selling into a market of kids that have been wearing the included earbuds on their iPhones for years. They don't know.
Christina: Exactly. Without a doubt. And the Beats, I love them because they're great subway phones and I like them for the fashion. I would never say they're the best audio quality. I buy them, I buy them because they're rose gold and now the new ones have 40 hour battery life.
Leo: Wait a minute. You bought them because they're rose gold?
Christina: Absolutely. I bought my last pair last year and I spent another $300-dollars this year to get the upgrade pair. Absolutely.
Leo: Do you pair them with the Snapchat Spectacles?
Christina: (Laughing) I mean that's a little much. Ok.
Leo: Come on.
Christina: Probably. Probably.
Christina: Probably. Probably.
Leo: Am I going to see you on the F-Line wearing the Snapchat and the thing?
Christina: Yea, probably. Probably.
Christina: I hate myself but yea.
Leo: They're your subway—these are my subway headphones. I don't wear these.
Christina: They are though.
Devindra: Subway headphones are great because yea, you don't want the cords to tangle you. And there's going to be a lot of noise, right, so it's not like it's a quality audio experience. You just need something loud to block out everybody else. I was thinking0—
Leo: Can you also get like nose clips so you can't smell it?
Devindra: You need that.
Christina: Sometimes you do. Sometimes you do.
Devindra: I love the situation where I go into a train car with everyone else and everyone takes a sniff and just backs out.
Leo: (Laughing) You get in the car. There's one guy sleeping on the thing and the rest of the car's empty.
Christina: Yea, yea.
Leo: And the other cars are jammed.
Christina: Yea, exactly. Everybody's like, you see it come across and you're like, "Oh. Empty car." Then you step on and you're like, "Nope, nope, nope."
Devindra: Too good to be true.
Leo: I'm thinking if you live long enough in New York you lose the sense of smell for urine. It just doesn't—you can't smell it anymore.
Christina: You can say the same thing about San Francisco.
Leo: You're right. Oh, you're right. I shouldn't—I'm not—you're right.
Christina: Honestly, I've seen a lot more stuff in San Francisco (laughing).
Leo: And the sad thing about San Francisco is the homeless encampment is in the city hall, you know, park there, right in front of city hall. That's where everybody lives, so.
Devindra: It's a sad situation. It is.
Leo: It's a sad situation. I don't know what to do.
Devindra: There was back, like talking about the Apple stuff, like why did we lose the headphone jack in the first place? It was for a bigger, what was it, the touch thing, right?
Christina: Yea, bigger touch processor or whatever, yea.
Devindra: And who cares? Who cares? Like what added functionality did that—I know it added like some new tactile features when you're scrolling through menus in iOS 10 but otherwise who cares? I think most people would have rather kept plugging in their headphones.
Christina: I agree with you. My conspiracy theory which is in no way based on any sort of reporting I have at all, so it's complete conspiracy. I just want to put that out there. My theory is that they did it this time for the big redesign phone that we're supposed to get, they needed the space.
Leo: My theory is the Russians did it. It's all the Russians' fault.
Christina: My theory was get everyone ticked off this time and let them get it out of their system and then—
Leo: And then next year in the iPhone 8, that would not get the attention it would have gotten if they had waited until then.
Christina: Exactly. They didn't want to take away from, oh, this beautiful redesign with all this other stuff they're doing. Yea.
Ed: Ladies and gentlemen, that is how fake news is made.
Leo: (Laughing). She just made that up.
Ed: You just watched it happen in real time.
Leo: But it's plausible. It's plausible.
Ed: It is. I'm going to go tweet that right now.
Leo: I'll tell you what. Don't tweet it because I have an opposing viewpoint. Because who is the number one Bluetooth headphone manufacturer in the world?
Leo: Apple. Beats. So they get rid of the headphone jack, who does that benefit? Bluetooth headphone manufacturers. And if Apple could just get their gosh darn Bluetooth headphones out the door.
Christina: Right, seriously.
Leo: Profit. So there's, I think there's 2, there's 2 motives. I think—you know what's really sad, I think you're going to see other companies do the same thing now because they're slaves to Apple and well, Apple got rid of it. It must be the right thing to do.
Christina: Well, I reviewed—ok, so who was it? It was Motorola who didn't have it on one of their phones.
Leo: The Z doesn't have the headphone jack.
Christina: The Z doesn't have it. And then I reviewed LeEco or LeEco or however you say their name—
Leo: Yea, how do you say that? LeEco?
Leo: It's Chinese and they have a French name.
Christina: It's Chinese. And sometimes they say LeEco. I don't know. Anyway I reviewed what was there S3, their S Pro 3 or whatever and that has USB-C so it comes with these earphones that look just like ear pods, like they look identical to ear pods but it has a USB-C jack instead. And you know, the rumor is that the S8 is going to not have the headphone jack after Samsung made hay about, "Oh yea, our phone has a headphone jack." But the S8 is reportedly not going to have it either. So I think you're right. I mean people just follow the, they just follow Apple.
Devindra: Follow the leader, yea.
Leo: Wow. Wow.
Devindra: It seems like this is like one of many like anti-consumer moves I think Apple has been making lately. Like there are arguments to be made to about the new MacBook Pros and how disappointing those are as upgrades, lacking other ports that people need or the Touch Bar and it's like who—is that going to be as useful as people think versus—
Leo: In my experience, I don't know. I'd love to hear what you think but my experience with the Touch Bar which I thought—I mean it has a high cool factor because it's OLED.
Christina: It's cool. It's very cool.
Leo: Touch ID is great. I like that.
Christina: Touch ID is awesome.
Leo: But I never use the track bar because it's always different and I have to look down to see what it is and I just don't find it useful. So I just don't use it.
Christina: Yea, there's certain apps I use it in but most apps I don't. And I think that—but my review was basically like, it could become useful. It's really going to depend on 3rd party to support. And unfortunately that comes kind of down to like Force Touch.
Leo: I kind of think it doesn't ever become useful because it's just—you know, we're all taught to touch type, to not look at the keyboard. That's what Ms. Krasinski told me in 9th grade. "Do not look at the keyboard." And so I'm looking at the screen and there's nothing—so I'm not looking down at the keyboard.
Devindra: Nobody is taught to type anymore. I think people just get it. Like I know a lot of people, young people, who don't type properly. They're still doing two fingers too, so it's kind of tough. But I guess my bigger issue is that they spent so much time on that Touch Bar and not on like actual functional things that professional users might want in a MacBook Pro, that's where it's getting kind of worrisome. Like just having USB-C ports which I love that you can't even connect the iPhone to it, so.
Leo: By the way—
Devindra: Those sorts of things.
Leo: Do you like the LeEco Le S3?
Christina: It's fine.
Leo: And it's cheap. It's $250 bucks.
Christina: So here's the thing. I did a battle between that and the One Plus 3T.
Leo: Which is really nice.
Christina: And the One Plus 3T—because their specs are almost identical. And the One Plus 3T is a better phone. But it also can cost in some cases $150-dollars more. Is it $150-dollars better? No. I think that the S3 Pro or the S Pro 3 is a very nice phone. I don't love some of the—excuse me, the Le Pro 3. I'm wrong.
Leo: Le. Le.
Christina: Le Pro 3. They have a S 3 Pro or something that's even cheaper. But the Le Pro 3 can sell for $300-dollars.
Leo: $399. $399.
Christina: Yea, but it's often available for $300 because they have this Le Rewards program. And so for a $300-dollar phone, I think it's very good. There's some software things I don't love about it and that I think that I would definitely install a different modster on it for one thing.
Leo: I always do though on ever phone I have.
Christina: But I think that in terms of everything else, it's a very good phone.
Leo: Wow. Great battery.
Christina: Very big battery. It's got basically the same specs as a Pixel. And you know, that's impressive. So I think that—
Leo: For a few hundred bucks more, yes.
Christina: Yea, exactly. I think that for a lot of people, you get the Pixel because you want to be a part of the pure Google experience and all that but I certainly wouldn't think that it would be worth spending more than twice as much.
Ed: Exactly. And that's why so many of these Chinese companies are starting to really impinge on the market that Samsung and LG and HTC have historically had with phones that instead of being $650, $750 bucks, they're selling for $299 to $399 that were from a functional hardware point of view, they're almost identical.
Leo: Yea, I really love the Axon 7 from ZTE. That was one of my favorite beautiful phones, yea. And I hear the One Plus 3T is fantastic.
Christina: The One Plus 3T is great. Like I would in some cases recommend like the One Plus 3T over the Pixel. Just because I don't think the Google Assistant is that useful yet.
Devindra: That camera is great.
Christina: That camera is great. I don't know if it's—yea, I don't know.
Leo: The Pixel's my daily driver right now and funnily enough, the smaller Pixel not the bigger one. But it's just—it's funny. It doesn't inspire in any way when you look at it. It's kind of—it's just another. But there's something about it. It's a very practical, useful phone. It's a shame it's so expensive.
Devindra: I kind of feel bad for HTC these days just seeing all these other phones that have basically lifted the HTC One design form a couple years ago. Even I think Apple has kind of lifted that design.
Leo: The Axon 7 looks just like an HTC One.
Devindra: Exactly like it. So it's really funny that the Google Pixel phones were built by HTC but kind of echoing that design as well.
Leo: Don't look that good (laughing). I wish—
Ed: I kind of like it.
Leo: It's ok. Front facing speakers though, that's awesome. I wish they would do that. I love that. I'm going to stick with the Pixel and I think any Android phone user should probably, just because security is a big issue now and you want to get the updates. My Pixel already has the November 5th update and I'm sure you can't say that of any other.
Christina: I think Blackberry but they're not on Nougat so—and by Blackberry I mean parentheses Blackberry because it's really Alcatel and then the Blackberry software. Blackberry now is doing a pretty good job in software these days. They're one of the only—and you will never hear me say a nice thing about Blackberry. I will actually give them credit for that. They are actually pushing out the security updates.
Leo: This Gooligan thing is very scary. We've been talking about this on Security Now. More than a million Google accounts now hacked by Gooligan according to Check Point software. They're seeing 13,000 devices breached every single day. You get it if you're using an older phone that's not up to date.
Ed: Right it has to be like 4.4 or earlier.
Leo: Right, right. But that's the vast majority of Android phones, though. And you still have to do a bad thing. You have to go to a 3rd party store and download an app.
Christina: But still, so many people in parts of the world where they don't use the Google store do that. So I mean and I guess this was not to go back all the way to our earlier discussion, this is why I get annoyed when Verizon won't issue an update because we can't—this is the problem with Android. Google made that deal with basically letting the carriers worldwide have control over this stuff. And so they can't, they don't have any control and OEM for that matter too. They don't have any ability to push stuff out, you know?
Leo: We've got to take a break. Ed's only got half an hour left before he turns into a pumpkin. I don't want Ed to turn into a pumpkin. It happened once before. It wasn't a pretty site.
Ed: I can go 40 minutes. That's it.
Ed: And then, and then, an orange cloud.
Leo: Poof. Poof.
Leo: Our show today brought to you by the best backup solution you can imagine. Carbonite Online Backup. My God, how many times do I have to tell you, people? You've got to back up. I still get calls all the time from people whose hard drives died. Actually most often, you know, you can talk about the big disasters. You know, there's a fire, my whole business burnt down or whatever. But most of the time it's, let's face it, human error, right? Human error. You deleted a file and you go oops. Empty the trash. Oops. Carbonite Online Backup, this is the one and only defense against ransomware, against human error, against acts of God. It's cloud backup. If you go to Carbonite.com you get it for Mac or PC. You can get it for home or office. They've got a lot of different plans. They even have a plan where you get a physical hardware device so you have a local backup and then it backs up to the cloud. That's of course for businesses. They've got server backup and more. But in every case, you can try it for free and you don't have to give them a credit card. So it's one of those—it's a real free trial, not one of them that's going to trick you into renewing or whatever. Go to Carbonite.com and give it a shot. Automatic backup. You don't have to think about it. You pay once a year or even you know, once every two or three years if you want. And then you're just done. It's backing up whenever you're online. You can get to your stuff anytime. It's always a nice feeling. I don't like backup solutions where you can't tell. With Carbonite you can log on to your Carbonite from any computer and see everything. You can even download and email it so it's cloud storage too. They have free apps. You can do it on your devices. It's got all the features you're looking for, for business as well as for home. Very affordable. The home plan, $59-dollars a year for everything on a computer. That's less than $5 bucks a month. They have backed up half a trillion files now. More importantly, they've restored—I can't remember what the number was. It was like 5 billion files restored. That's 5 billion files that would be lost forever if people weren't using backup from Carbonite. A million and a half homes and small businesses trust Carbonite and I'll I'm asking is that you try it free. Go to Carbonite.com. Do use the offer code TWIT when you do it, you'll get 2 free months when you buy. Carbonite. You've got to back it up to get it back right with Carbonite.
Leo: PewDiePie. What's going on? I don't even know if we should talk about PewDiePie. He deletes his YouTube Channel. No, not really.
Christina: He trolled us.
Leo: He trolled us. And then—
Christina: Honestly, he was never going to delete that channel. Come on.
Devindra: No, no.
Leo: He makes millions of dollars a year as far as I can tell.
Christina: He's the highest paid YouTuber. Forbes just ran their list. He's the highest paid YouTuber.
Leo: Does anybody really know what people get paid though on YouTube?
Christina: No, but they have—I mean, you know, Forbes is able to do their analysis the same way they do their other lists and so, I mean, I guess they have some—I don't know. But according, by all account he's making millions. He's making millions of dollars.
Leo: I love Mashable's headline on this. Forbes 2016 list of highest paid YouTubers will make you weep.
Christina: That's such a Mashable line.
Devindra: I did cry though.
Leo: You used to work there. You know how the sausage is made.
Christina: I know. I know. And I'm rolling my eyes.
Christina: Love them. Love it. Love it.
Leo: So what PewDiePie did is he said, "My numbers are going down and I think it's racist. I think it's because I'm white."
Christina: My God.
Leo: "And Lilly Singh, she's not white and so she's getting more promotion from YouTube so I'm going to kill my channel." But it was all just a troll, right?
Christina: Right. It was just a troll. He just deleted a secondary channel that still had a couple million subscribers even though he never uploaded anything to it.
Leo: Must be nice to be so rich you can throw out 2 million subscribers.
Devindra: Yea, seriously.
Leo: Like they never counted. According to Forbes, and this is again a guess because nobody's talking, PewDiePie made $15-million dollars last year on his channel. That's before subtracting management fees, taxes. It does include I think subsidiary income, right, not just directly from YouTube videos.
Christina: Yea I mean I think it would have to come from—
Leo: His book.
Christina: His book and the YouTube Red series where YouTube is definitely paying him a lot for that. And you know, all the sponsors, the direct ad stuff that he's able to do in addition to the AdSense stuff.
Leo: Right. AdSense I can't imagine is a big chunk of that somehow. Maybe, I don't know.
Christina: I mean the YouTube ads, whatever.
Leo: No, I can't imagine those YouTube ads are worth that much, are they?
Christina: I think on his scale they probably are.
Leo: I don't know. Maybe they are, yea, when you have--
Christina: I think on his scale when you have 50 million subscribers. I think that's the whole problem though, right, is you have to have that scale. You have to have that level of commitment for it to work and that's why it doesn't work for most people. But I think when you have that many subscribers and anybody you put up is going to get minimum of a million or a couple million views, then it's a different category.
Leo: So here are your top ten counting backwards: Colleen Ballinger made $5-million dollars. She does Miranda Sings. You may recognize her.
Leo: You're not going to recognize Colleen Ballinger but you're going to recognize Miranda Sings.
Christina: She's got the Netflix show too.
Leo: Yep. Rhett and Link of course. They also do a morning talk show, Good Mythical Morning. $5-million dollars. German Garmendia. I don't know any of these people are.
Christina: I feel so old.
Devindra: I saw this list.
Leo: This is Latin America's biggest YouTube hit, the Chilean comedy and music star, 48 million subs. Markiplier, is that how you say his name?
Leo: $5.5-million dollars. No idea. I feel so—it does. It makes you feel like you're just culturally illiterate. Tyler Oakley, $6-million dollars.
Christina: I'm rolling my eyes so hard.
Leo: Rosanna, Rosannadanna. No, Rosanna Pansino, $6-million dollars. She says, "I think we're in one of the most exciting times ever for on demand entertainment."
Christina: I'm sure she does.
Leo: I'm sure you do at $6.5-million dollars I would too. Smosh.
Devindra: They're still around? What?
Leo: They started their channel in 2005. $7-million because they run all these other channels basically. That's the way to make money. Become a mogul like me.
Leo: I'm a mogul. Wait a minute. Now I'm getting—Lilly Singh. $7 and a half million dollars. She's a Canadian rapper, comedian and dancer.
Christina: She gets all kinds of endorsements. She's great.
Leo: I think that's really where a lot of this is from is from endorsements, right?
Leo: Secret ads and stuff. Roman Atwood, $8-million dollars. There he is, number one, PewDiePie, $15-million bucks.
Devindra: All right.
Leo: I'm just jealous. You know me.
Ed: I have never seen a PewDiePie video. I've never seen a video from any of the people on that list. I live in a parallel universe.
Leo: And you know, this is why I wonder why there's so much money. It's younger people. It's like under 20-year-olds, right? It's not—
Christina: But like if you've ever been to VidCom, VidCom literally is—
Leo: Oh, yea, it's incredible.
Christina: And this is, these people are gods meaning that the kids go wild.
Leo: That's with the slower kid chi, I hope? Like a 4 Loki level.
Christina: I don't know. I don't know. You see in the way some of these YouTubers at VidCom, seeing the reaction and the fans, it's otherworldly.
Leo: I know, I know.
Christina: It really is. I mean they are the real celebrities. And then it goes with the other things. There are full on fandoms for some of these YouTubers like full on. And that's incredible. So I think that there's a certain disconnect for those of us on this panel where we don't spend all of our time watching all of our content on YouTube. We still use like traditional media stuff. Anyway, my idea of a celebrity is different than what somebody who's 15 years old is. It just is.
Leo: Somebody in the chatroom said, "Interesting take on this. We should honor these people because they're creating opportunity for young people."
Christina: Are they though?
Leo: For 10 young people (laughing).
Christina: Because I mean the thing is—
Leo: They're no more creating opportunities for young people than Shaquille O'Neal is creating opportunities for young people.
Christina: You get very—well, part of it is luck. Part of it is hard work. Part of it is talent. But it's all—
Leo: But they work their butts off. Everybody I know who's a success works really hard.
Christina: Absolutely. But the idea that anybody could do this is a lie because no, very talented people who have a certain je ne sais quoi and you know, have—
Leo: The only one I really know is iJustine who's not on that list but makes, you know, probably makes a million dollars a year. And she works her but off. And has a lot of following on YouTube and is in the YouTube Rewind. I was wrong. I thought she wasn't but it was because she's wearing a sia wig so you can't see. But she works really hard and a lot of her money comes from endorsements outside work. That's—YouTube is, I think in most cases, a launching point for a more traditional career.
Devindra: Right. If anything like they're all saying that yea, a kid could do something like this and YouTube is the platform. They don't need to wait for permission to get—
Leo: That's what I like about it. There's no gate keeper.
Christina: That's very true.
Leo: You don't have to get past Rupert Murdoch or Roger Ailes and God knows getting past Roger Ailes, he's very grabby.
Christina: But it's funny because I've talked to some of the YouTubers for years and the irony, I mean it's changed a little bit but like you always ask them like, "What's your next big goal?" And so many of them, if you really like—as much as they talk about how much they love and, "Oh, I just need to do the YouTube thing," as soon as you give them the opportunity to be on a more established platform, they jump. They will go. And you know what I mean? And like Miranda Sings is a perfect example. She got the opportunity to do a Netflix show and who would say no to that? But to me there's a certain amount of—I have to kind of laugh because I'm like, "Oh you keep talking about how this is the future and regular media is dead but any of them, if they had the opportunity to do more established media, to be on other broadcast or cable or do a movie or be on Netflix or whatever, they would take it.
Leo: Here's Fred Wigglesworth. Whatever happened to him (laughing)?
Christina: Yea. I mean that's the real problem, right?
Leo: Well I think the shelf life of a YouTube star is relatively short. Although PewDiePie has been around for a few years now.
Christina: And iJustine, you know, she's been around for a long time because like you said she's worked really hard. But yea, I think that you age out at a certain time. You've got to continue to be because the audience-
Leo: It's young. It's a young audience so you can't—somebody that's my age is never going to be a YouTube star.
Christina: No, and I think even people like, you know, if you would try to start it now it would be difficult because you need to appeal to just a different demographic.
Devindra: To babies. Just appeal to toddlers and that's the next YouTube star.
Leo: That's the next big—I think Amazing Orange appeals to pretty young people.
Devindra: Yea, there you go. There you go. But as my suggestion to you, watch the South Park episode with PewDiePie. I think that will both introduce you to PewDiePie and also tell you why we're all just
Leo: Oh, I've got to watch it. I've got to watch it.
Devindra: It's a great episode.
Leo: Now he's a celebrity. I didn't know he was on South Park.
Devindra: Because it's the South Park kids reacting to their younger siblings who are into watching the video games and the South Park kids are like, "But we like playing the video games." And their parents are like, "Why do you guys like to play video games? You're just wasting your time. Go outside." Like it's every generational shift of people thinking—
Leo: That's really true, isn't it?
Devindra: That's pretty much it.
Leo: Get some fresh air. Your eyes will stick that way.
Devindra: I think that, yea. I like actually doing things.
Leo: My parents had a really strict rule about how much I could watch TV. At one point it was down to half an hour a night.
Christina: Yea, mine did too and it didn't work.
Leo: It didn't work?
Devindra: Like what happened?
Leo: As soon as I got old enough I bought a TV and I watched it nonstop. We're going to have more in just a moment with a great panel but first we had a great week this week on TWiT and we have made a fantastic trailer that you're going to get to watch in the comfort and convenience of your own home right now.
Narrator: Previously on TWiT.
Hiroshi Lockheimer: I was in France last week and it's Nougat, it's not Nougat.
Jason: I know, I know.
Hiroshi: Listen, I was there for 12 hours. I am clearly an expert in French now.
Narrator: iOS Today.
Megan Morrone: So today we're going to talk about snip, snip, snip, cutting cords. Over the top.
Leo: Over the top so we'll show you DirecTV Now, PlayStation View and Sling TV. You should pick the one that has the channels you want because there's a lot of overlap but there's also a lot of exclusives.
Narrator: Tech News Today.
Megan: Amazon officially teased their rumored brick and mortar grocery store today with their patented new Just Walk Out technology. You scan your phone on the way into the store and then you choose what you want off the shelves and then you walk out. You just walk out like shoplifting. It's awesome. It's called Amazon Go.
Narrator: All About Android.
Ron Richards: It was around this time last year that there was all those wild rumors running around that you guys were going to merge Android and Chrome OS.
Hiroshi: For us, there's no point in merging them. They're both successful. We just want to make sure that both sides benefit from each other so that's why we brought the apps, you know Google Play for Android over to Chrome OS. And then for instance the update mechanism from Chrome OS to Nougat.
Narrator: If you missed TWiT this week, you missed a lot.
Leo: That was a great week behind, but what's in the week ahead? Jason Howell has the deets.
Jason: Thanks, Leo. Here's a look at just a few of the stories that we'll be watching in the week ahead. It's a little quiet because we're getting close to the holidays but here's what we got. On Monday, December 12th, Microsoft will begin to allow Oculus Rift owners to stream their Xbox One games in to the VR headset by way of the Xbox One Streaming to Oculus Rift app. Nice app name there, Microsoft. Also if you're one of those eagerly awaiting a big update to Pokémon Go, prepare for an infusion of new Pokémon on the 12th. Fans have been hoping for the inclusion of generation 2 Pokémon. We'll see what they get. I say they because I stopped playing months ago. But in games I might actually play a heck of a lot of news, Nintendo is set to release Super Mario Run to the iOS App store on Thursday, December 15, for $9.99. Expensive for a mobile game but those who've played it mostly say it proudly carries the Nintendo level of quality throughout. That's a lot of gaming news. Anyways, there's other technology news. Megan Morrone and I will be covering all of this and a whole lot more all week on Tech News Today each and every weekday at 4:00 PM Pacific. That's a look at the week ahead. Back to you, Leo.
Leo: Thank you, Jason. Don't forget Tech News Today, you're daily dose of tech news Monday through Friday, 4:00 PM Pacific, 7:00 PM Eastern Time, 2400 UTC on TWiT.tv.
Leo: Our show today brought to you by Wealthfront. Look, if you're PewDiePie and you're making $15-million dollars a year, you've got to sock some of that away for your old age like when you turn 30. Then what are you going to do? Wealthfront is about saving, long-term investments. Not saving a savings account or buying a CD but really investing your money so there will be something for retirement, for college, you know, for buying that first house. You could of course put it in stock, go get a stock broker and get a wealth advisor and have that person. First of all I always ask the question, "Well if you're, if you're sitting in this strip mall with a little sign out front saying Wealth Advisor and you're telling me how to invest, why are you still here if you're so smart. What are you doing here?" And, by the way, those guys charge you 1,2 or even 3% of what you have under investment every year. That means you have to make 3% more to break even. Not going to happen. Wealthfront is a part of a kind of a revolution. They call them sometimes robot investors. It's a computer doing the work but a computer that's been trained by some of the smartest minds in the business. People like Burton Malikiel who wrote The Random Walk Down Wall Street and Charles D. Ellis, The Investors Guide. These guys, the people on the board at Wealthfront have the most incredible backgrounds and so you're getting the benefit of their knowledge and it's built into something that checks your portfolio, not every week or month or year or even every hour, every minute, constantly, constantly reinvesting, doing things, very sophisticated things like tax law harvesting that maximize your returns, minimize your tax bill. And you're going to see the benefit. And all of this comes, not for 1,2, or 3% of what they manage, but one quarter of 1% a year. And there are never any other commissions or hidden fees. They're not investing on their account, they're helping—because it's a computer. It's helping you. Wealthfront's portfolios are based on modern portfolio theory, designed to adjust according to your risk tolerance while staying diversified and tax efficient. This is the stuff you need. By the way, they have 529 College Savings Plans, like Roth IRA for college. They have 401K rollovers. You can rollover your 401K. They have Roth IRAs, they have traditional IRAs, trust accounts, joint accounts, individual accounts, long term investments. This is not day trading. This is for money you're going to put aside for that rainy day. $3-bilion dollars now in client assets and they grow all the time. They're really good. This is the way to do it. And I'm not even telling you to invest. I'm just saying go to Wealthfront.com/twit. They will, you can go through the question and answer process, you know the few questions that they ask. Get a free investment portfolio design based on those questions for you. What they would start you with, you'll see the customized allocation they recommend for your time frame, your risk tolerance, all of that. And you can get started. If you decide, "That looks pretty good," You can put as little as $500-dollars in. That's how you start. That's all. But I have to tell you, your first $15,000-dollars is free of charge. Not a quarter of 1%, but free forever. But you've got to go to Wealthfront.com/twit. This is a really great solution. This is the hottest—I just saw an article on The Wall Street Journal that says people like Schwab are terrified by these, this company. It changes the whole equation. Puts the power in your hands. Wealthfront.com/twit.
Leo: Talking about putting the power in your hands, Amazon's got a new grocery store where there's no clerks. Man, how many people are going to lose their jobs over this? You go in, you walk in the store. You scan a barcode on your phone, pick up what you want and walk out. That's it. They've got the kind, you know, the sensors that they have in Vegas in the minibars but they also have cameras so if somebody catches like pick up a bottle of cherries and put it in your bag, you get charged. This is wild. Now there's one already in operation in Seattle near Amazon's headquarters but I think more to come. What do you think?
Christina: I love the idea in theory. I don't know how well it will work in practice. I would never want to do like full grocery shopping this way because I frankly like someone bagging my groceries for me.
Leo: Oh, good point. You can't bag. No, you've got to bag yourself.
Christina: You've got to bag yourself. But I think that like a bodega, like a stop and grab, honestly this would be great. There are plenty of times when I go into a Duane Reed or a CVS or something and I just want a Diet Coke. I don't want to have—and then you have to wait in this long line.
Leo: You walk in and you walk out.
Christina: Yea, that would be great. To you're point obviously, I don't love the implications of what this means to the service industry, you know. I don't like to think that people will be out of jobs but I personally, selfishly would really like to just be able to walk into a bodega and walk out without having to wait in line.
Leo: This isn't a self-scan. I never use a self-scan thing. I feel like that never works well.
Devindra: Those things have gotten better, but—
Leo: They're very popular.
Devindra: Yea, the next step towards a situation where, yea, you could just go in and walk out. I mean losing cashier jobs is one thing. I think that's one of the most—I forget who had the stat, but it's like one of the most prolific jobs in America right now.
Leo: Right. That's where everybody starts out, right?
Devindra: Yea. Yea.
Leo: Bagging, checking. So losing stock boys, it's only a matter of time before they have little robots going around filling the shelves.
Devindra: Exactly. Exactly. Like what's happening in Amazon's warehouses right now.
Devindra: But the bigger problem is I think we're kind of optimizing human interaction out of our future. And what does that mean?
Leo: That's more of that filter bubble thing. I'm telling you, I don't want to talk to humans. I just want to watch my visor floating chair, Big Gulp, I'm happy.
Devindra: Yea. Like sometimes, yea, I do want to go into Duane Reed and just get like some candy or something or whatever I need. But you know, my local bodega guy, I like to—I go in there. I say hello. We have like a working relationship.
Leo: That's, the bodega is part of the community.
Ed: It's a huge thing in New Mexico as well. People who come and visit here—my wife and I talk about this all the time but people who come and visit here, you can tell when the tourists are in town because they show up at the grocery store and the person who's in front of them in line is talking to the checker, "How're you doing? How's Maria? How's Joseph doing?" And they have this conversation. And they're going, "Can you speed it up?" And it's like, "No." The while point of this is these are people who live in the community and they know each other. And there is a human interaction going on here. One of the things about Amazon Go that bothers me is, I guess 2 things. Number 1 is that it's just more stuff to track us with, everything is—
Leo: Yea but don't you think they already do that though?
Christina: See, I was going to say, I'm not bothered by the tracking because if you have a loyalty card, they already know everything.
Leo: I bet Ed didn't and I've never bought a loyalty card even though—
Ed: Actually none of the stores that we go to use loyalty cards anymore.
Leo: Don't even have them yea.
Ed: They don't even have them. So you don't—
Leo: The thing I hate about loyalty cards, so if you go to a Lucky or a Safeway here, they charge you like 20% more because you don't have a loyalty card. I don't see it as the loyalty card is giving you a discount. I see you getting penalized.
Ed: They are basically paying you to allow yourself to be tracked. You know, so that's one thing that bothers me but the other thing, the other thing, it goes back to the conversation we were having an hour ago which is every form of technology like this eventually winds up being abused by people who don't have scruples or morals. And I just, I wonder if they've thought through the implications of this.
Leo: Well that's why they're doing it in Seattle first because everybody's nice in Seattle.
Ed: Well yea, but Amazon is good at this kind of thing. You know and they'll do a few of these things. But if it heads out, you know, you get the companies that aren't so good at it and I don't know where, I don't know where it goes. But there's just opportunities for this to go bad.
Leo: 3 million jobs according to Rolan00 in our chatroom. 3 million checkers in the US. That's a lot of jobs. You add that to the people who drive which is 1.4% of the job market. They're going to be losing their jobs. I mean I just, and all this does is create just absolute disruption. And yet, I think it's inevitable. I think technology doesn't stop because it's going to cost jobs, does it?
Ed: Automation, it isn't moving jobs offshore that's caused the loss of jobs in this country. 90% of the jobs that have been lost have been lost to automation. In some cases the automation is offshore. In most cases it's right here. But you know that was the case in the 19th century and the 20th century and will be in the 21st century as well. Automation takes people's jobs and we should be thinking about what the next step is for the people whose jobs go away. Because if they don't have education and skills to step into something that replaces it, then we're creating economic chaos.
Leo: Well and the jobs we're talking about, being a truck driver is one of the highest paid things you can do without a college degree. Cashier is a classic entry-level occupation. But those go first. By the way, this is the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Lovely picture of a cashier checking out the flowers. And it's just a communal experience. Never going to – not going to be like that anymore. You just kind of go in, take what you want. But those are the jobs that go first. But I don't think it's the end of the line by any means. I think more and more of the jobs—look, you guys, you're writers. You're livelihood is threatened. We're already seeing automated sports writing.
Devindra: Yea, although I think for some of the—I like that some of the horror stories, like what earnings reports. That's kind of the—
Leo: Yea, let the computer do the earnings reports.
Devindra: Yea, I don't want to write that. So please, go ahead. Let me like extrapolate from that information. You can repeat the press release or whatever. So that sort of thing is fine. And I do think we need to have a more ethical consideration of like where these jobs are going, you know? Because a lot of people in the country are worried about jobs going offshore or immigrants coming in and taking your jobs. And it turns out it's really progress. It's really automation that's going to be doing that like Ed has been saying. So what do we do about that? We have to be aware of it and we kind of have to, I know. Either as a society we need to do something better. Some people have talked about this being a good reason to have. Maybe we should think harder about the minimum, what do you call it, the minimum income or something with security for everybody.
Leo: Guaranteed income.
Devindra: Guaranteed income. Will probably never happen but I think that sounds like a good idea, especially if all this stuff is being automated.
Leo: There is some controversy over guaranteed minimum income as well though because what tends to happen is you give people a cash payment but you eliminate every one of their, you know, health care, food stamps, Head Start. You eliminate all the other programs because that's how you fund it and nothing could possibly go wrong if you give somebody $1,000-dollars a week and say, "Spend it any way you want."
Devindra: Hopefully an automation rich society could afford to do that. You know, if we're saving so much money by automating our work—
Christina: Except that's not what would happen because instead the companies, the automation bridge companies are the ones that make money and those executives and people up top.
Leo: We're already seeing the consequences of income inequality and it's only going to get worse and I think as long as we're talking about interesting futures, that's another one we're going to have to think of.
Devindra: Automation tax, guys. Automation tax.
Leo: Yea, tax the automators. Steve Kovach's going to be on the show next week I think but he wrote this week in Business Insider, Wearables are Dead.
Christina: Poor Pebble.
Leo: Pebble's dead. They've been basically—it's sad because Pebble, at one point somebody was offering $740-million dollars, right?
Christina: I don't know how—if that deal was real, if that's accurate, I don't know how—
Leo: They turned it down.
Christina: Yea, I mean because I don't know how a board would let you turn that down, even if you think, even if you wanted to stay independent, I don't understand how your board of investors would be willing to say, "Yea, we're going to turn this down." So there's something fishy about that to me. There's something about that that just doesn't seem right because if you genuinely had an offer like that on the table, I don't see how you ever in any circumstance would be like, "Yea, we're going to keep going."
Devindra: Especially for a company like Pebble which has not exactly been on fire ever.
Christina: Yes. No.
Leo: If you think about it though, I mean the story was it was from Citizen, the Japanese, almost 100-year-old Japanese watch maker. If you're, you know, last year you're wondering where your future is as a watch maker, you might say, "Well, we've got to get in on this wearable thing because."
Christina: I agree. I agree that Citizen might look into it. But what I'm saying is I don't understand how anybody at Pebble on their board or investors turned it down.
Leo: Turned it down.
Christina: Yea, which is what the reporting, some of the reporting says is that Pebble is the one who said no. And that's the part that to me just doesn't jive with reality.
Leo: It wasn't the end. Then Intel made an offer for $70-million.
Devindra: That seems more realistic.
Christina: That seems realistic and I actually could understand turning that down even though it was double what Fitbit reportedly paid for the assets just because $70-million might not have been enough to cover debts and might not have been a big enough return for the investors. So I think they raised about $35-million. It might not have been enough of return and if you're thinking well we could have one more hit, if we could make this work financially, if this next product can bring us back in the market, then we shouldn't sell for $70-million. I could see turning that down. That one, I'm with you, Devindra. That seems realistic. $740-million, I just don't see it.
Leo: Well they're not getting anywhere near any of that. Fitbit's buying Pebble. We don't know for how much according to the information around $40-million.
Christina: Well, $40-million, yea.
Leo: And that barely covers the debt.
Christina: Yea, I don't even think it did. I mean I think that they, they bought the assets. They bought the software assets and some of the employees. And I guess the patents.
Leo: So is Steve Kovach—I mean that's one bit of evidence. The other bit is that Motorola has said "We're not going to make another Android Wear Watch."
Christina: Yea, and—
Leo: Google's delayed Android Wear 3.0 until next year.
Christina: Yea. Apple Watch sales.
Leo: Nobody's making money except maybe Apple and Fitbit.
Christina: I'm sure that Apple—yea, exactly. Well, and Fitbit's stock has been in the tank for a lot of reasons. They haven't, you know, sold as many units as they projected to sell. So it's not even just smartwatches, it's fitness trackers too. And then there's the Apple Watch, obviously—there's an IDC report that came out a couple of months ago and the identical report came out last week you know, that says Apple Watch sales were down significantly.
Leo: Yea but then Tim Cook comes out and says, "Oh, no. It's the best sales we've ever had. We broke all records." He didn't give any numbers.
Ed: You know what? And when they don' t have any numbers, that's when you know that there isn't a really good story to tell. I looked at the, I look at that quote too. It's a very interesting, very lawyerly quote.
Ed: It was about sales during the holiday week. Sales during the holiday week, blah, blah, blah and you know what? So then I went back to my newsfeed where I said, where I had Black Friday deals coming up in a newsfeed, and guess what? Best Buy and Target among others had huge discounts on existing Apple Watch stuff. So I think this was, I think they—and probably those were subsidized by Apple, move this stuff out of the way to make room for the current generation product. But they have, it sounds like they had warehouses full of this stuff. And they were able to give incentives on this stuff of $100-dollars, $150-dollars off of the regular sales price for these things. And you're going to shift a lot of merchandise at that point. You're not going to get traditional Apple margins at all when you do that.
Leo: This is Tim Cook's quote for Reuters, "Sales growth is off the charts." That is, by the way, a meaningless statement. "In fact, during the first week of holiday shopping, our sell-through," that's important, the sell-through, "of Apple Watch was greater than any week in the product's history." Any week. "And as we expected, we're on track for the best quarter ever for Apple Watch." But you're right. It could just be because they drastically cut Series 1 prices.
Christina: Yea, they cut Series 1 prices and there were some deals on Series 2s and I also think that the average selling price on the Apple Watch for the Series 2 has gone down because you know, they're not selling. They're really hyping up the sport model. You know they don't even call it the sport anymore versus the ceramic which they're selling for a lot more money. So like they, you know they're not even really emphasizing the stainless steel anymore. So yea, I think that who knows what the sales are. They're probably making more money than anybody else in the smartwatch space but I think that anybody who's trying to make the argument that the Apple Watch has been this huge bonafide hit. I mean I'm somebody who's been wearing an Apple Watch every day for 18 months and that's just not true. You know, I get use out of it I guess but I like mine. But it's not, it didn't change my life and certainly this is the one time of year, it was this way last year too but this is the one time of year where my friends are like, "Should I buy an Apple Watch? Which one should I get?" And I think it's because it's a decent holiday item to buy. Fitness trackers are the same way. You know people start to get excited about the new year, you start to rethink—
Leo: A $90-dollar Fitbit's an easier buy though, right?
Christina: Well I think a $270-dollar Apple Watch I think for—
Leo: That's a lot.
Christina: It is and it's not. I mean if you're also buying it kind of with the fashion thing involved, I think there are plenty of people who say I might be able to have $150-dollar for this or I could see people making the leap for fashion.
Devindra: It is a faster device than the original Apple Watch Sport. That's a good deal. Honestly.
Leo: It's better in every respect.
Ed: This is a very coastal elite point of view I have to say.
Christina: Of course. Yes.
Ed: $270-dollars is a lot of money. For most people they're going to spend that on a phone maybe every 5 years. I think—
Leo: Especially when you can get a Timex for $20 bucks.
Ed: And there is the problem. The Apple Watch and the Android Wear things too, I bought an Android Wear Watch 6 months ago just to—and I think it was on some sort of Amazon Deal of the Day kind of thing so I said, "Oh, I'll check this out." And you know tried it for 2 weeks and said, "You know—"
Leo: It's just not compelling. It's ok.
Ed: It wasn't compelling. I sent it back and got my money back and it was one of the better ones that I had bought. So I think that's the problem with the category is that it is always going to be an add-on for a phone and so you've already got a small percentage of the market out there. So whatever percentage of the phone market you've got, now you can get some small percentage of that as an add-on for it. That's a good, that's a fine business model for Apple because Apple can do that the same way they can do with the AirPods. They can make money on add-on products. Nobody else has the volume to make money with add-on products. Nobody.
Devindra: And outside of smartwatches, I think like the traditional like activity trackers, but prices have just kind of bottomed out, right? You can get some really, really cheap ones from no name manufacturers, even some well-known manufactures for what, $30 to $50 bucks so things are getting—
Christina: And the software differentiation isn't big enough for a lot of people to make the leap. They have an app and it tracks their steps. So that's what they want it for.
Devindra: Yea, exactly.
Leo: You know what I'm getting my son for Christmas? I'm getting him a Harry's Shave Kit. Let's take a break. I've got the weirdest story of the week coming up in a second.
Leo: Harry's for guys who want a great shave experience for a fraction of the price. This is the time of year where you can go to Harry's and you can find some great gifts. It was started by two best friends, Jeff and Andy. They said, "Why are we being charged so much for razor blades at the drugstore and they lock them up so you don't steal them. Why is that?" So they started Harry's. And they did the right thing. They got investors and they took all the money the investors gave them and they bought the razorblade factory in Germany, one of two factories that make the best razorblades in the world. They bought it. So now you're buying factory direct. You're razorblades cost half as much as drugstore blades and they're great. And the Harry's kits are even better. All the kits come with a razor handle, and you get to choose, depending on which kit you get. Shaving-- you can even get it engraved if you want. Shaving cream. You get 3 blades and 3 cartridges. These are all 5 blade cartridges with a flex hinge, the precision trimmer for the sideburns which I really like. The Winston Set includes an engravable chrome handle, like I said. You can choose from the foam which is kind of the traditional. I actually like the cream. And then you sign up for the, you know, replenishment and every month you get the blades you need, the cream you need. You never have to use a blade longer than you should. You always have a nice, great, clean shave. What a great holiday gift. Go to Harrys.com. You can save $5 bucks right now. For the guy on hour Christmas list, use the offer code TWIT5, TWiT and the number 5. But if you want to get if for the holidays, ground shipping ends December 16. So you only have a few more days. Go right now to Harrys.com and don't forget that offer code, TWiT5 for $5 bucks off. I hope Henry's not watching. See, I didn't get these engraved but I figured the H on there, he'd think it was Henry, right? Using the old noggin there. If you have somebody with an H in his name, buy it. Harrys.com and the number, the offer code rather, TWiT and the number 5.
Leo: The weird story of the week. Outside the Trump Tower, 30 demonstrators gather to make John McAfee the nation's Cyber Security Czar.
Devindra: Oh, man.
Christina: Oh my God.
Devindra: Let's not do that.
Leo: No. I think it was organized by Anonymous and I think they did it for the lulls. I hope so.
Christina: Or, or, or, maybe, just maybe because he was the 1st person to tweet about it and then that tweet mysteriously disappeared, maybe he was the one who organized it.
Leo: Oh, interesting. He gave them all masks. And actually if you're a hacking group, who better to be in charge of cyber security than a guy who's stoned out of his mind?
Christina: His eyes look really nuts.
Leo: Right? McAfee will make the internet safe.
Leo: That's what the posters said. Cyber Security Czar.
Christina: If he had such great software, if he was actually making software, McAfee was always great, guys. It was never terrible. Always. Always.
Leo: Now let's be fair though. You probably can't blame John McAfee for the McAfee software.
Christina: No, I mean—
Leo: He wrote the 1st version but I doubt he was—
Devindra: You can blame him for all the other things because I do.
Christina: I think that was bad in the 90s. It was bad in the 90s. I don't know.
Devindra: He was at CS last year. He was like hawking this little startup, I've got to look up the name, but I got him on camera, guys. And that was one of the most amazing interviews that I ever had because just—you could tell like the rage on his face as I was talking to him because I was kind of like—that was when he was announcing his presidency campaign.
Leo: He ran for president.
Devindra: Yea. And I was just like really pushing against all of his talking points so that was a fun interview. Check that out on Engadget.
Ed: I'll go look for that one. Hey, Leo?
Leo: You're up, pumpkin. I know. I can see it happening right now. Your face is starting to swell. So, thank you, Ed Bott. ZDnet.com, does the greatest coverage of Windows. I didn't have any Windows stories for you, but I've got to tell you, I love and I don't think this is surprise to anybody who watches the shows, this Surface Studio is awesome. Did you notice that's what I'm using?
Ed: I did. And this, and I've been doing this here on a Surface Book so, you know, we're a direct channel.
Leo: Who knew?
Ed: A direct channel. All Surface all the time.
Leo: I can't believe. I mean I've been a Mac guy since 1984. Unbelievable. We're actually—
Ed: Great to meet you, Christina. Thanks so much.
Leo: See you, Ed.
Christina: Nice seeing you, Ed.
Ed: Later, guys. Bye-bye.
Leo: We're hacking it. Father Robert tomorrow on Know how is going to put a SSD in this and—
Devindra: That should be fun.
Leo: We'll wrap up with this. This is the best Minecraft mod I've ever seen. Somebody has created an Atari 2600 emulator.
Christina: Ah, that's so cool.
Leo: In Minecraft.
Christina: Oh, my God!
Leo: He built. He's playing Donkey Kong. Look how big—and by the way, in order to do these things, you've got to make it huge. You've got to make it huge to do this. I mean look—it literally is the circuitry and everything. Look how big that is. Fortunately Minecraft in Creative Mood, you can fly. So that's not a problem. And this is a YouTube video if you want to check it out. An Atari 2600 emulator. Unbelievable. Let's skip ahead and watch. It's probably not quite the fastest emulator you've ever seen. Those barrels aren't exactly flying down. But hey, it's playing Donkey Kong. Devindra Hardawar at Engadget. So great to have you, Devindra. We missed you last week but I'm glad you could make it this week. I really appreciate it.
Devindra: Always glad to be here.
Leo: Always a pleasure. Film Girl, you're the greatest. How do you—I meant to ask you about the Snapchat Spectacles. You waited 5 hours in line and you hate yourself for it.
Christina: I do hate myself for it. But yea, they're fun. They're fun.
Leo: Are you still using them?
Christina: I am. I am. They're fun.
Leo: Can I follow you on Snapchat and see?
Christina: You can. I'm Film_Girl on Snapchat.
Leo: And you're like—what happens? You press a button and 10 seconds of video.
Christina: Yea, and you know, you open up your phone and it syncs the video and you can choose which one's you want to share, so.
Leo: Oh, so it doesn't just kind of go out automatically.
Christina: It doesn't go out automatically, no. You pick and choose which videos you want to choose, you want to share. Because you could share them to your story or give them to individuals, so.
Leo: Wow. I know the show must be over because my Pixel's just gone into night mode.
Leo: What the hell? (Laughing). We need to get out of here. That's never happened before. Thank you, Film Girl. Thank you, Devindra. Thank you all for being here. We do This Week in Tech every Sunday afternoon, 3:00 PM Pacific until night falls. That would be 6:00 PM Eastern time, 2300 UTC. We'd love it if you stopped by and joined us in the chatroom. If you can't though, don't worry. On demand audio and video is always available after the fact at TWiT.tv. And wherever you get your podcasts. We're working on our best of. So we have one more week believe it or not. Next week great show planned for you and then two weeks from now is Christmas Day. Have you finished your shopping? Get going.
Christina: No. I need to get started.
Leo: Can I get, can I get you to wait in line for a couple more Snapchat Spectacles for me?
Christina: (Laughing) Well, now the line is easier. Now they give you a time to come back and they have three Snap Bots. So the day after I waited for 5 hours they changed the whole line setup.
Leo: Because, man, I would be a hero if I got that for my kids. Oh, man, would I be a hero. I finally saw them. Yesterday on The New Screen Savers, Trey Ratcliff's daughter Scarlet who is about 8 has a pair.
Leo: They're so cute. Do you have them with you? Put them on.
Christina: Yea. Hold on one second.
Leo: So we're doing, we're putting together our best of episode for Christmas Day and then—actually Christmas Day we have the Holiday Episode which is a great roundtable with Denise Howell, Steve Gibson flew up and Denise flew up from L.A. and Rene Ritchie flew down from Montreal and it was really a lot of fun talking about the most important stories of 2016. So that's the 25th. And the following day, the following week is New Year's Eve, and that's going to be our best of. So if you'd like to, if your remember something happened, great. Actually it's New Year's Day. Remember something great that happened on TWiT in 2016, TWiT.tv/bestof or any of the shows, and yea, I know, it has these red stars that require—actually they took them off, didn't they? Thank you. There were all these fields. You don't have to know the time code, ok? You don't have to know exactly when it aired. Whatever information you know would be great. That would be very helpful. And if you are doing some holiday shopping, you have a couple more days to get the TWiT Army shirts. Oh, look at you.
Leo: You got the black ones.
Christina: I have them in the coral too. But the black ones look better.
Leo: So you get a total of two.
Christina: Yea, you can buy two at once.
Leo: I went to eBay. I can get them for $300-dollars on eBay. Is it worth it?
Christina: I mean I think they're pretty fun. Yea. For you, Leo—
Leo: Worth it for me. I don't snap.
Christina: It would be for your kids. Yea, no, I know. For your kids. Yea.
Leo: That's a lot of money.
Christina: It's a lot of money but they're fun. And they're actually really well made.
Leo: They seem like it. They're actually kind of cool. So one is the camera and the other is the light.
Christina: Exactly. So the camera is on the right hand side and the light is on the left hand side and you know, the build quality, they feel kind of like Ray-Bans. I mean they're a lot better than I expected them to be.
Leo: They're not that expensive, what, they're $129 bucks?
Christina: $130 bucks if you're able to wait in the line. What I would say, if you could find a line waiter in New York, Leo, somebody who—
Leo: I hear that's not hard and it's going to get easier when all those people don't have checkout jobs.
Christina: Right but you might be able to look for someone to wait in line for you. Pay somebody to wait in line and then send them to you. It might be cheaper than $300-dollars a pair.
Leo: Oh, I could do that and I could trust them to mail them to me?
Christina: I mean, you could look for reviews on TaskRabbit and stuff like that and see.
Leo: I'll get TaskRabbit to do it.
Leo: There you go. Boy, I'd be a celebrity in my house. Do you have a pair, Devindra?
Devindra: No. I'm—
Leo: You work at Engadget. You have every excuse to get a pair.
Devindra: No. That's other people at Engadget.
Christina: (Laughing). Yea, I mean I wasn't supposed to be the person at Gizmodo but I was the one who was willing to wait in line for 5 hours so it happened.
Leo: Hey, anybody can do it if they wait in line. Now that it's easier, I expect to see more on eBay for an even more affordable price.
Christina: Without a doubt. My friend Jim went and got them for his daughter yesterday. And he showed up in line because now they basically will say, you show up in line around 5:00 and they say, "Well come back at 7:30." And you can—or 4:00 and come back at 7:30 and you can you know, pick them up. And he was like, "Well, I could go home." So he just came back earlier the next day and was able to get a stamp and a ticket and then you know, they tell you now, what time to come back. And in the process probably isn't 30 minutes to an hour after that. So, fortunately most people won't have to do what I did. I wish that obviously had been the case when I, you know, waited in the cold for 5 hours. But, hey.
Leo: But you have them.
Christina: But I have them. I have them, so, yea.
Leo: Well, look, I can get you something less expensive. Go to teespring.com/twit. No waiting. You'll get your TWiT Army—we've got a nice one. These are nice. This is the t-shirt. We also have hoodies now. Isn't that cool? Anthony Nielsen did that design. I love it. Love it. Well, we'll send you one. But you only have a few more days if you want to get it in time for Christmas. And we're going to pull that off once that date passes because we don't want anybody to be disappointed, but that's three days from now. But, yea, but they'll be back because we're going to do a regular TWiT Store. I've been looking at Snapchat and thinking, "I should just get—I need a vending machine with balloons on it and I could make a killing." Make a killing.
Christina: Open up across from the Apple Store on 5th Avenue.
Leo: Yea, you go. Thank you so much to all of our guests, to Ed Bott who's gone but also to Christina and Devindra. You guys are great! Thank you all for being here. We'll see you next time. Another TWiT is in the can. Bye-bye.