This Week in Tech 599
Leo Laporte: It's time for TWiT, This Week in Tech. What a great show we have for you! Owen JJ Stone, he's full of it today. We've got Michael Nuñez from Gizmodo, he's here with his sunglasses and his hat. And of course, Phil Libin, the former founder of EverNote, who is now a VC, and we got two refugees on the program today. We're going to talk about Silicon Valley's reaction to the immigration executive order. We've got lots of news about data mining, artificial intelligence, and one of our hosts is a Cyborg! Find out why and how next on TWiT.
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Leo: This is TWiT, This Week in Tech, episode 599, recorded Sunday, January 29, 2017.
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It's time for TWiT: This Week in Tech: The show where we cover the week's tech news. What a week it has been! But we've got a great team here to discuss it. Joining us from his secret lair somewhere on the East coast: Owen JJ Stone. I don't know what to say. Wearing cat ears.
Owen JJ Stone: I'm actually scared to be here today. It's been a rough week, Leo. I'm at an undisclosed location indeed. Technology is still afoot, we need it.
Leo: Down in the bunker, Owen.
Owen: My cave has Wi-Fi. It's all we need.
Leo: Also joining us, Phil Libin. You remember Phi. He's been on the show many times, but he's also former CEO, one of the founders at Evernote. He's now managing director at general catalyst, where he invests in technology. Great to have you, Phil.
Phil Libin: Nice to be back.
Leo: I like to have you, because you're not only an immigrant, your family was a refugee family from the Soviet Union.
Phil: That's right.
Leo: You have some standing to talk about the latest immigration technology news. Also joining us for only his second time in a year, Michael Nunez. He's at Gizmodo.com. Great to have you back, Michael.
Michael Nuñez: Yeah. Thanks for the invite! I'm glad to be back.
Leo: I apologize for not getting you back sooner. What is your beat at Gizmodo?
Michael: I'm the technology editor here. Basically overseeing... it's a pretty broad scope. We do our best to cover everything we see.
Leo: You work with Christina Warren of course, over there.
Michael: Yeah. She's a relatively new addition. But she has been amazing! It's been great to have her on our side.
Leo: If you're watching the video, we're going to call Michael Guss into the show. I don't know why. I guess we have to talk about it... I have mixed feelings on talking about politics. We have to keep to politics only where it intersects with technology, but in fact there's a pretty big intersection. This is of course the concluding of President Trump's first week in office. A lot of executive orders, and one yesterday that seemed to have really triggered a reaction in Silicon Valley. I shouldn't say that, in all of the tech community. And that's his ban on immigrants, visitors from seven nations that are predominately Muslim. But more than that, even green card holders were blocked at the border. There was some question of whether that was the intent. Apparently border control called the white house and said do you want us to stop green card holders too? They said you bet. A number of people were detained. Tech community's reaction to this was of varying strengths. Mark Zuckerberg, one of the first to respond, with a somewhat tepid response on Facebook, saying he didn't think it was a good idea, but not really calling it out. On the other hand, Sergei B, one of the founders of Google immediately went to San Francisco international airport to join the protests there. There is Sergei. He is of course also an immigrant... from the Soviet Union?
Phil: I think so.
Leo: So... why is Silicon Valley upset about this?
Phil: To be honest, I'm not sure the tech community is doing much good on this issue.
Leo: They may be causing more problems?
Phil: Or even in the election in general. We are a little bit tone deaf on exactly who cares about this...
Leo: Good point. But it's reasonable for Google, for instance, that has nearly 200 employees that are blocked by this order, people overseas would not be able to come back to Google. Many Google employees said since our colleagues can't travel, we are not going to travel any more. Google issued a statement saying they're concerned about the impact of this order and any proposal that could impose restrictions on Googlers and their families could create barriers to bringing talent to the US... It does sound like they're not condemning the order, they're saying this impacts our business so we're not happy about that.
Phil: Every company has a responsibility to its employees and to make sure that everyone is OK and that businesses will get interrupted. The much larger questions have moral responsibilities to refugees, to immigrants. I do think the discussion on both sides has been pretty poor. Very few reasonable voices.
Leo: When the tech leaders, Tim Cook by the way is in Washington right now. The CEO of Apple had dinner with Ivanka Trump and her husband Jerad Kushner, Trump's advisor on Thursday has been going around making rounds. Cook issued a statement saying: "I've heard from many who are deeply concerned over the executive order issued yesterday restricting immigration from several Muslim majority countries, I share your concerns, it is not a policy we support." That is the strongest statement from all the CEOs. But Tim Cook went and sat down along with Elon Musk. Do you agree, having been in a position like this, do you agree that it's important to meet with the incoming president?
Phil: Absolutely. I don't see what is to be gained by shouting about everything. I think that just makes the world worse. There should be reasonable people on both sides. There's a lot of pressure to take a strong position and be very vocal. It's good that a lot of people are doing that, but there's a lot of people that are trying to be reasonable and move the world forward.
Michael: When you're championing yourself as a beacon of hope and light and constantly claiming that you're guiding the US to this new frontier of greatness through technology, you owe it to the people that you promised to take a stand against some of this stuff. I won't say that every single thing that Donald Trump is doing is wrong, but there are certainly some measures that can be described accurately as xenophobic and problematic when it comes to sourcing talent from other countries and basically creating this new and open world that all these Silicon Valley companies are constantly talking about. I was disappointed by the number of leaders that were willing to speak out and the amount of time it took them to say something. There are people like Sharyl Sandburg who have spent years talking about progressive ideals, and when push comes to shove, have actually been pretty quiet about these things.
Leo: She did finally issue a statement, not about immigration, but about Planned Parenthood. But you're right, she hasn't said a lot. As a C level executive at a publicly held company, there is some responsibility to not be political.
Phil: I have personal opinions on all this stuff. I'm actually totally happy talking about it. What I also try to be mindful of is what is going to be the most effective way for the world to move in the direction I would like it to move. Very often that's not telling people from a position of assumed authority what they should think and how they should think it.
Leo: How would you go about it?
Phil: It's not clear to me that Sharyl Sandburg, being louder and faster about her position helps convince the people that need to be convinced to change their position. It maybe makes people feel better. I'm not sure it makes the world further in the direction Cheryl wants it to be pushed in.
Leo: There's also a significant risk, I think of... at some point people realizing that the problem isn't so much immigration. The problem is more created by Silicon Valley and automation, and that in fact the tech community could quickly become the enemy here, could it not?
Phil: We are tone deaf as an Industry. We really got used to being treated as heros and the people that are making the world this past decade or so, and I think that's on the verge of changing. I think we're kind of tone deaf about how we talk about it.
Leo: Hollywood has given up. Hollywood doesn't care, and most people in California feel the same way. The Tech Industry could be going over that line.
Phil: I would like us not to.
Michael: What I've learned over the past week is that Silicon Valley continues to exist in a bubble that is essentially unrelateable for a large majority of Americans, right? There has been a diversity problem in Silicon Valley for years. A fight that is underreported and under discussed.... I don't want to put all the blame on Sheryl Sandberg, but she in particular is an easy target, because she positioned herself to be a leader for the feminist movement and wrote the book. I think when there is such divisive rhetoric that is just constantly coming from Washington, I think that you have to choose one way or another. Either you're purely a capitalist, and that's totally fine and you can refrain from saying anything, but you can't go on to expect to be treated as an authoritative leader on any progressive movements. So I think...
Leo: Phil, you're saying they shouldn't be a leader in the progressive movement. They should stick to their knitting and do their job, although I can understand why Sergei Brin, who went to that protest, but is a private citizen, I don't think he said I'm bearing the banner of Google, but as a private citizen I feel strongly about this. I was a refugee.
Phil: There are three different issues here that are being conflated. One is the issue of how publicly should people state their views? Second issue is what is the proper role of someone speaking for a company? That's a different matter entirely. Then there's a third issue of what is most effective? The most effective issue is we are about to go over the cliff as an Industry and we are about to take everything that we in general think is important and hold those things back by being perceived as hectoring and lecturing and being out of touch, we will make the situation worse.
Owen: Can I say something? I've been quiet because I'm trying not to do the yelling thing.
Leo: We are on the edge of a patented ohdoctah rant.
Owen: As a person who doesn't live in a bubble, I think you're generally wrong when you say that the tech community is tone deaf and that Hollywood is tone deaf. The country as a majority popularly voted the opposite of what we currently have as a regime. The popular number of people. The way the people are speaking, and when they speak out, it's not tone deaf for journalists who live in the middle of the country and you've seen your job creation go away, as opposed to in Silicon Valley where things become automated, we're not talking about what educations people need to be having and what we should do for education. Until we get the robots to build themselves, build the wall, pay the taxes, we've got to do some other things and fix these issues. Yes, it's important for a CEO of a major company who has immigrants working for them as engineers because they've...
Leo: Wait a minute. Sundar Pichai...
Owen: I said in general, and don't talk to me like that because you just made a statement of racially the way Silicon Valley is, you know how it is in general. I didn't say all. I said generally. Let me finish. They're not tone deaf, maybe if we did a bit better educating the people in the middle of the country about what's about to happen to them, we don't have to fall off a cliff or push ourselves off a cliff or repel off a cliff.
Leo: I agree with you on that. There is a leadership role Silicon Valley could take, which is the change is coming, we understand this change. You might want to get ready for this; this is the educational... these are things you've got to do as a country to prepare ourselves. It's not building a wall, because that's not going to solve a problem. That's not where the problem is coming from. That's a mistake.
Owen: The best thing I saw for that was instead of building a wall, why don't we build a solar panel wall out there in the dessert and get some free energy. It's the little things like that. I'm like a 12 year old said it.
Leo: It's difficult, because Silicon Valley has a lot to get from this new President. They have repatriation of funds. They have investment. Elon Musk was meeting with President Trump this week trying to bring Industry back to this country. Elon Musk is a shining example. They got tax breaks, although they pay back the loans. More tax breaks. They are in the middle. They have a lot of people working for them who are being put at a disadvantage at this time. Musk tweeted yesterday the blanket ban on citizens entering the United States from primarily Muslim countries is not the best way to address the country's challenges. I think Elon is speaking to... many people negatively affected by this policy are strong supporters of the US. They've done right, not wrong. Don't deserve to be rejected. Then he's actually asking people to read the immigration order. He's going to seek advisory council consensus and present it to the President. This is an example of a tech leader saying I've got a seat at the table. I'm in the room where it happens, let's do what is going to make a difference here.
Owen: I understand that. People have to go and talk to the President. Whenever somebody jumps on Elon or black leaders, how could he meet with this guy? If you're not talking to people, how do you know what's going on for real? You're only hearing one side of a date. You have to have leaders of an Industry or section talk to this man. There is a lot of hyperbole on what goes on and what happens. We see the executive orders was coming down the pipe, but before that stuff happens, he's got to talk to people. If nobody shows up to talk to him, then who is he going to get information from?
Phil: He needs to talk to people in a way that's likely to convince them. A way that's likely to...
Leo: Don't talk at them, don't patronize and talk down to them.
Phil: We need to convince the people we disagree with, not make the people we agree with just louder and shoutier.
Leo: The only concern with that--go ahead, Mike.
Michael: I think that's true, but you also run the risk of running, building a false equivalence here. There is a moral obligation to speak out against humanitarian wrongdoings and basically the targeting of minority groups, and I think, whether it's as a private citizen or as a corporation, these tech leaders need to be doing this to a greater extent. It's not unheard of to have a fortune 500 company take a stand politically against or for an issue. Chick Fil A for instance. There are plenty of other instances where companies have... in that case it was the wrong side of history. But there are plenty of instances where companies have taken a stand and have decided that they do have a moral obligation to 1) defend their employees, and 2) to defend those that don't have a voice. Today I'm wearing a--for those who aren't watching the video feed, I'm wearing a Make American Rage again hat, in solidarity with the people who don't have a voice. There are thousands of minorities that have been effected by the issues over the past week, and this is one simple thing I can do to show solidarity as an individual. I'm not speaking on behalf of Gizmodo; I am just an employee of Gizmodo speaking as an individual and I think that it is a moral obligation to do that. I don't understand how people can justify remaining silent when thousands of people's lives are being put at risk.
Owen: Another example is Lyft donating a million dollars to the ACLU.
Leo: Lyft gave a million bucks to the ACLU.
Michael: I'm the son of an illegal immigrant. The political is personal right now. For some tech leaders, they've made that clear. Sergey Brin showing up in person to a protest at the San Francisco airport is something that he certainly doesn't have to do as a billionaire, right? He could probably hire a bunch of people to do that for him. But he showed up because apparently he felt a moral obligation to do that. I would... I've been disappointed by how few have shown that level of bravery, basically.
Leo: Let me ask Phil something. I think your position, which is you want to make sure that you are heard and you do what's effective, presupposes that we're in the same position that this country has been in since World War II. There are opposing points of view, and reasonable people can discuss them and reach consensus and negotiate. I think there is a sense in this country that we are no longer in that situation. That we're in an unprecedented situation where I think people fear that we have a new administration that isn't interested in consensus building, that doesn't matter what you say, you're not going to be effective with them. You don't think we've reached that point yet?
Phil: I hope not. Maybe this is just me being an optimist, but I don't think we have, and I hope that we haven't. Regardless of what any individual in the administration or not wants to do or doesn't want to do, the process of governing is still about getting consensus and making laws and enforcing them.
Owen: You say that and then we get executive orders and fight through court, and the President, the leader of the free world is not talking like a rational person at 60% of the clip. He's rambled off and talking off topic. It would be totally different if I just didn't like the guy and he was a B student.
Leo: A lot of Republicans think that this dissent is coming from an unreasonable position. They dismiss it. They don't like it. As a result, it's ineffective. On the other hand, a lot of people on the Left feel like we've reached an unfortunate logjam where neither side is hearing the other side any more.
Phil: There's a philosophy here in general. For any position, there's a naive argument in favor of it, and a naive argument opposed to it. They're both wrong. There's a deeper argument in favor of it, and a deeper argument opposed to it. And in some sense, they're both right. At least they have elements of truth. What we do when we hold a position; we tell ourselves the deep version of the argument and we surround ourselves in our media bubbles of people who only talk about...
Leo: But Phil, don't you think Owen as an African American, Michael as the son of an illegal immigrant are going to have a different point of view about this? They're potentially victims of this; they have been victims of this. So it's very personal.
Phil: I totally understand that. Almost everyone, certainly everyone on this panel, holds the meaningful version of their position. But when we argue with the other side we tend to throw the shallow version of their argument back at them. WE don't make an attempt to understand what's actually motivating people to leave in the other way. Real progress gets made when you get the deep version of the argument. You knock them against each other and you move the world forward that way. I very much want us to accept more refugees. I am a refugee myself. Me directly. I think we need to be much more compassionate. I would like to see much more immigration--both skilled and unskilled-- I have personal opinions which I'm happy to discuss with anyone that is in line with more refugees, more everything. But to talk about it in a way that may make that possible.
Leo: But when you go after legal immigrants, green card immigrants, then I could see how it would appear to people as a racist move, as opposed to a rational...
Michael: But what about the attacks on science and fact based--I think there is something greater going on that we're not discussing here. It's OK to have different political views, but there's also a disinformation war that we're participating in as members of the media. I think we have to be vigilant. It's unfair to say that Trump deserves to say his peace if he's referring to alternative facts. If he's blatantly lying every time his administration makes a public comment. The thing that concerns me about Phil's point of view, is if you treat some of these ideas as equal, then you are accepting alternative facts. You're accepting unscientific--
Phil: I'm not treating it as equal. There are ideas that I prefer significantly over others--
Leo: I think you're being pragmatic.
Phil: I'm being pragmatic. I'm saying this is how the world changes. This is how we move forward.
Owen: The world usually moves forward, America moves forward when one set of ignorant people gets pushed by a set of enlightened people to change. The popular vote did what they did, and the middle of the country is hurting. Yes, they have valid problems, they have valid issues. I understand those issues when you talk about it. But, when it goes against science, when it goes to pushing against your religious beliefs, when it goes to taking away other people's freedoms, it's wrong. That's why women march, that's why black people march, thank goodness for Facebook live because people are lazy now and they sit in their house and half march with you. But people see it. Two cool people sitting in the middle of a room talking about Martin Luther King. I'm glad we had this media conversation. They had to get beat, water hosed, killed, dragged down the streets bloody, and keep pushing till people said--
Leo: Maybe we can do it better. Maybe we don't have to do that.
Owen: Tea party, women's vote, black people, black lives matter-- tell me when we get to star trek. I want to live in that world. But right now--
Leo: Here's an example from Microsoft where the company made a statement that was more judicious than the personal statement of its CEO. Microsoft's corporate statement: "We share the concerns about the impact of the executive order on our employees from the listed countries, all of whom have been in the United States lawfully we are actively working with them to provide legal assistance and my screen just went dark. Nadella issued a personal statement on LinkedIn. "As an immigrant and as a CEO I have experienced and seen the positive impact immigration has on our company for the country and for the world. We will continue to advocate." That sounds to me, Phil like a judicious splitting you would approve of.
Phil: I don't think we really know what's going to work and what's not going to work. I think we got to be open minded about trying different stuff. I am glad that people are marching and protesting. Of course they should be. That's a great way to move forward. It's totally necessary.
Michael: As someone who is successful in a given platform such as this one, don't you think that it's an obligation to voice those opinions, or to show some level of solidarity with the attacks that are being made on the EPA or... all of this spread of misinformation. The only reason propaganda was able to spread so easily prior to the election was because of the platforms that we typically advocate on this program.
Leo: I would say this at TWiT, we want to be fact based, we want to be science based. As a technologist, one of the fundamental beliefs of tech is that technology is science applied. There are provable scientific facts and technology itself is part of that proof because it's the application of science. If you're going to be-- this is one of the reasons I've tried to reject conspiracy theories and soft facts and fake news. It seems to me that there are such things as facts, and as technologists that's what we have to celebrate. Facts exist!
Phil: I think I do have an obligation to try to make the world better. Moral obligation.
Leo: Technology at the same time, you could argue, is the single most important factor to the disruption that is about to happen around the world, is AI, machine learning, automation, the disruption. WE celebrated disruption for a long time. Turns out disruption is very disruptive to people!
Phil: The first time you had me on a podcast, I was like I hate disruption. Ten years ago.
Phil: People who fetishize disruption, are fetishizing something disruptive. It's about creation. Disruption is a side effect which we should minimize.
Owen: For the record, I am anti AI. We've got to stop ourselves from killing ourselves before we let robots do it.
Phil: Owen, this is important. When the AI finally comes, they will have access to the way back machine, so it's important to say for the record that I have always been on their side.
Leo: I love the AI. I welcome our AI overlords.
Owen: My daughter loves AI, I wish AI never existed.
Leo: I also submit; I love what you said Phil. Years ago, let's celebrate creation, not destruction. Nevertheless, disruption happens, and it's very hard to stop technology. Even AI, nuclear weapons, whatever it is, it's obvious. That's going to be a problem, but good luck stopping it.
Owen: Can we get an ad or a tech story to...
Leo: Here's one final story, and then we're going to move on. This is the one that strikes me with a lot of irony. Peter Thiel who was a Trump supporter gave a lot of money, a million and a half to the Trump campaign, was part of the transition team, is an advisor. He's bought a New Zealand citizenship and several thousand acres of lake front property in New Zealand. He has a bolt hole. A while ago.
Phil: This isn't a Trump thing. it's a zombie apocalypse prep type of thing.
Leo: There's a great article in the New Yorker about how the tech community is planning for doomsday. Some of it's political. Some of it is acknowledging as anybody who is up on tech...
Owen: You've seen the Doomsday bunkers that they have for sale, right?
Leo: That's one of the things they have in the article. They took an old atlas missile silo, North of Wichita Kansas, made a 15 story underground condo complex, 3 million dollars starting price. You don't have any windows, but they put up screens with videos of whatever you choose, in one case, a woman from New York got high res videos of her scene outside her window looped for a couple days, and she's going to watch that when the zombie apocalypse hits. They also talk about Steve Huffman, the founder of Reddit, who had Lasik surgery because he said when everything goes to hell, I won't be able to get eyeglasses, and I want to be able to hunt deer with perfect vision or whatever it is.
Phil: I got a more ambitious plan. I want to be on the moon when it happens.
Owen: Who on this panel has a bug out bag and an escape plan?
(Phil and Owen raise their hands.)
Owen: Leo, you're in trouble.
Leo: I choose to go down with the ship. If it gets that bad, I'm going to fight to preserve the Republic that we are with freedom and justice for all, and if that fails, I'm going down with the ship. I don't want to be in a bunker 17 miles underground.
Phil: You don't think it'll be more effective fighting for the country you love with some bottled water in a bag?
Owen: Leo, first of all. Stop it. I'm talking about we got stuff we got to get through.
Leo: My wife wouldn't let me get a gun, I told you.
Owen: You wouldn't get to keep it.
Leo: I wanted a shotgun, she wouldn't let me get one.
Owen: Listen to me, you're out here doing radio. We need you, Leo. When the power goes down, we need you.
Leo: I have the ham.
Owen: You're one of the oldest dinosaurs left on the earth, you are to be preserved sir. I will send you a bag.
Leo: I've read far too many dystopian end of the world science fiction novels. There's so many great ones. They keep coming up with them. Lucifer's hammer, which is amazing story of an asteroid ending civilization. There was a great one where a guy goes up to the mountains, gets hurt, and misses the plague that kills most of humanity. In every case, the resulting civilization, I don't want to live in. If I have to have Lasik so I can kill a deer, I don't want to be there. I'll stay here. I'll go down with the ship. Anyway, it's ironic that the people who have the most money, who have benefitted the most from this country and the way it works in this country are the ones who have not just bug out bags, but lake front property in New Zealand.
Owen: You know what the fun part is? I actually know how to hunt. If you don't know how to hunt, or karate chop somebody in the neck, and you don't know how to grow food, you're beat anyway. Good luck, billionaire. That's a good start up. We teach rich people how to survive.
Leo: Now you know why Mark Zuckerberg said I'm only going to eat what I kill for a while.
Owen: You've got to. If you can't fish, grow food.. ugh.
Leo: I can fish. I have many cases of Soylent, actually. That's a good point. I have 20 cases of Soylent.
Michael: That's unfortunate, because I've tasted it, it's not good.
Leo: It's addictive. Try it for a week and you can't stop drinking it. Would you like some right now, Phil?
Phil: I will not, thank you.
Leo: Soylent all around. It's not made of people, by the way. It's quite good. Get Phil one of those coffee Soylents.
Phil: The coffee Soylent tastes like somebody scooped it into mud and scooped it back up.
Leo: It is good mud. The good news is it doesn't cause diarrhea any more.
Michael: You feel like that would be a base line requirement for a meal replacement.
Leo: To their credit, they never had a diarrhea problem with the liquid Soylent. It was only the Soylent bars and the Soylent powder that caused disruption. Soylent Michael: that doesn't make me any more confident in their product.
Owen: I'd rather eat bugs or kill a squirrel.
Michael: I'll take cricket granola bars.
Owen: Have you had squirrel? Have you had frog?
Leo: I've had frog. I haven't had squirrel. Squirrel doesn't sound good.
Owen: I'm waiting for the Apocalypse so I can drop a couple pounds, that's all. I'm going to live off of this.
Leo: Owen and I are stockpiling. We keep it around the middle, that's all.
Owen: You want to know my secret weapon and my secret go bag? My secret weapon is cigarettes. For trade. You know what people do for cigarettes?
Leo: That's like in prison. You know that Bernie Madoff who is in jail right now, he has cornered the Swiss Miss market! He went to the prison commissary, bought all the hot chocolate mix, the Swiss Miss, and now sells it to the other inmates at a great profit, because when you really want a nice warm cup of cocoa in prison, Bernie is the guy. It's business. I'm sure you don't want some.
Phil: I've actually stopped eating.
Leo: That's an interesting strategy. How is that working for you?
Phil: Pretty great. Remember how a couple years ago...
Leo: You look great. You look like you've lost weight. You did that by not eating.
Phil: Turns out if you stop eating, all your problems go away.
Owen: All problems? You got one major problem. You're hungry. that's one major problem right off the back.
Phil: This is going to be the next major requirement for CEOs is fasting.
Leo: They go through all these weird things like microdosing LSD, freezing themselves in chambers at 200 degrees below zero. The new one is... Go ahead.
Owen: I think we should sell them Oxygen bars. Air bars, scented with strawberry, you take it out of a bag, it's nothingness. Somebody will buy that.
Leo: Man, this Soylent is good. You guys are missing out. It's like chalk, but with a nice coffee aroma. You know what it tastes like? It tastes like the barium they make you drink before they do an X-ray of your lower intestine. I've got a fondness for that. So wait a minute. Fasting. Are you a five two-er? A daily faster? What is your methodology?
Phil: I've tried a bunch of different stuff. I've decided random.
Leo: For how long.
Phil: I roll a die every morning. A D20, I call it a dungeons and dragons diet, it tells me how much I'm eating and how much.
Leo: You've got to write a book! The dungeons and dragons diet would be a bestseller!
Phil: Until they sued me. Yeah.
Leo: It's a 20 sided dice, so what happens...?
Phil: I'm still playing with the tables, but basically there's a few different outcomes. About half the time you just don't eat at all.
Leo: All day. Till the next roll?
Phil: yeah, all day.
Owen: You want to do it, Leo? How about this. How about you guys go and do the inner city diet where we can't afford food and we're just struggling and we wish to god we had food. How about you buy the food you're not eating and send it down to the hood somewhere...?
Leo: There was a journalist who said I'm going to live on food stamps. He made it one day.
Phil: It's a pretty good idea if this does become a thing, to spend the same amount you would anyway, and just donate the access.
Leo: It wasn't a journalist, it was Gwenyth Paltrow, and she gave up.
Owen: You know what you get for $1.30 a meal? A pack of Kool-Aid, ramen noodle, and a slice of bread.
Leo: If that's what the die says, that's what I'm going to do.
Owen: Or you can get a bag of Cheetos.
Leo: Phil, can you send me your spreadsheet? I'm going to do the Phil Liben dungeons and dragons diet.
Phil: This solved the two biggest problems in my life. I was super obese and I wasn't rolling enough dice.
Leo: In fact, Kevin Rose did a fasting app.
Phil: It's the new stupid thing in Silicon Valley. I'm not proud of it.
Leo: There's a lot of research though.
Owen: If I could do it... If I did this and lost 90 pounds, I could sell to inner city Urban diet to white for like a billion dollars. They'd be like wow.
Phil: Owen, we can collaborate on this.
Owen: Phil, I need to get your number so we can talk next week. It's rare that I hear a person that's so calm like you. I need that in my life. I meditate, but Phil, you made me quiet.
Leo: He's not calm, he's exhausted. He hasn't eaten in days, you know.
Owen: You be rational, I tried to be rational, you kept me from yelling. I appreciate you.
Leo: Can I do micro dosing and fasting?
Phil: You could. Owen, we need to collaborate on this.
Owen: You know what I do once a month? I do... I juice four days out of the month. By the fourth day I want to kill myself.
Phil: This is better.
Leo: Isn't that why Barry Bonds isn't going to the hall of fame because he juiced?
Owen: I'm not juicing like that. I'm juicing cucumbers and carrots and apples and such. After the third day I feel better and I have more energy, but I realize I haven't eaten real food.
Leo: That's because your body thinks it's dying. Your body is going it's all over.
Phil: It's totally solvable. The research on this is super interesting. It is very much the fad du jour in Silicon Valley.
Leo: It was ketosis for a while, wasn't it?
Owen: When I was a kid, there were four years of my life where we were desperately poor. I used to be called an Ethiopian. That's part of the reason I'm overweight because I had such a thing, I didn't know where my next meal was coming from, so I had to steal food to eat.
Leo: You were skinny.
Owen: Once I got money, then I was eating, and had an eating disorder. I know what it's like to go to bed and not eat for three days and the only meal I'm getting is during school and in the summer time I'm wondering how I'm going to eat, so when I hear somebody talk about fasting, and I'm thinking about somebody with a job and they're not eating food, I'm like are you insane? It freaks me out to my core to know that there's kids somewhere right now that would hear that and would choke you in your sleep to have a sandwich.
Leo: Pack up the food you eat and send it to a poor child.
Phil: this is totally a good idea.
Leo: Take the money you're not spending that day, and donate it to...
Owen: I'm going to call Kevin tonight.
Leo: I love it. We're going to take a break. Then we're going to get back to tech. This has been a great conversation. You guys are great, and I think I appreciate the different points of view. Owen JJ Stone is here from IQMZ.com, which by the way, you should go to, he does these great interviews. I had a lot of fun.
Owen: I'm going to get Phil on. I need somebody with some contrasting calm, that's why I'm going to get Phil. I don't even know what Phil is talking about, but I feel like I'm in the middle of an ocean. I'm trying to get to the middle.
Leo: I agree. We all need to get there. Phil Libin, formerly at Evernote, now he is managing director at General Catalyst, which is a VC fund?
Phil: It is, indeed.
Leo: Anybody we would know that you're investing in?
Phil: Snapchat. Skype. Air Bnb.
Leo: When is the Snapchat IPO?
Phil: It's happened, right? No.
Leo: Woah. Big story. Breaking news. They say March or April. Generalcatalyst.com. And that is Michael Nunez, we know him from Gizmodo.com. Michael F. Nunez. He wants to make America Rage again. Our show to you today brought to you by Rocket Mortgage. This is a great solution for the geek in us all for home loans. If you're going to buy a house, you need to get a loan. Most of us don't have the scratch to buy it outright, or maybe you're going to get some cash out of that house. The problem is this loan process feels like it's from the 19th century. You go into the office, bring boxes of paperwork. This is actually what happened to us the last time when we bought our house three years ago, we went in there, the guy has a sheaf printed on onion skin and he's licking his finger, going to, let me see, I think I can find a good rate... Crazy. Not anymore. Go to quickenloans.com/twit2. We've got a new URL for you. Quickenloans.com/twit2. Quickenloans, one of the premier lenders in the United States. I think I just saw that they were the number two lender. They are a great company, and if you look at the website, you'll see all those JD power customer satisfactions and awards. They are not only one of the biggest lenders, they're one of the best lenders in the country. They've created a product just for the geeks in the country, people who would like to do this all online. Online has advantages. You don't have to leave the house, you don't have to go to an office, you don't have to go through papers, you can submit your pay stubs and bank statements with a touch of a finger. All online, and then because it's online, you can customize it. They've got sliders that allow you to choose the rate, the length of your loan in real time, approval in minutes because computers, for a loan that is tailored to you. Check it out today. Quickenloans.com/twit. MLS consumer access.org number 3030. Quickenloans.com/twit2 for rocket mortgage. So hard not to be political here, because there's a lot of stuff in this arena.
Owen: Pick a direct story, and we'll talk about that direct topic.
Leo: Twitter discloses in its reports a couple national security letters. It comes from the Obama era, so we're going back to the other side. These National security letters come with a gag order, they are part of the Patriot Act, but the FBI has told Twitter they can now talk about it. That's one of the things that has changed. These gag orders used to be open ended, you could never say anything to the people, we are asking for information from. You could never say anything publicly. Real courts who have names have said, there has to be an end date on this stuff. Twitter says we were encouraged by the lifting of these two orders and those recently disclosed by Cloud Flair by google and Yahoo, we are still unsatisfied with the restriction on our right to speak more freely about these requests. They want to push for the ability to speak more freely on this topic. They had a lawsuit against the US government. It's actually against Loretta Lynch, the former attorney general under Obama. Of course the suit continues. Next suit is February 14, there were two letters and they were accompanied by gag orders when they were served. We couldn't notify the account holder, but apparently now we have. Those continue and I don't think... this is on Congress to stop doing this, to stop these NSLs.
Owen: I looked through all 32 of my twitter accounts to make sure I wasn't on that list.
Leo: How many do you have, really?
Owen: 32. I got to get Nunez a t shirt that says incognegro. I have 23 Instagram accounts. It's a very lucrative business to build up a legit account and sell it off.
Leo: You build it up, you get followers, you post naked pictures, and then,..?
Owen: Delete all the posts, sell it to somebody else, they change the name, they got real people.
Leo: That's a business?
Owen: Yeah. I was on Twitter a long time ago. Build up accounts with things people find amusing or funny, or informative.
Leo: One of the things that's interesting about this new economy is there's all these niches that an industrious person can find a way to make a living if you understand how it works.
Owen: If you get good numbers, you can get good money for selling accounts off, especially if you have a good name. Domain name.
Michael: Isn't that a violation of the terms of service, though?
Owen: I'm sure it is. Somebody has to catch me first. I didn't say no names.
Leo: It's obvious Twitter couldn't care less, in fact, Twitter wants you to make as many accounts as you can, that way their growth numbers look better.
Owen: I don't think they're shutting down Jesus or God on Twitter.
Leo: That's one of the interesting things that's happened this week because of the gag orders from the white house on many federal agencies, including the EPA, the park service, the agriculture service. These alt accounts have been created. There's even one called Rogue POTUS that claims to be from inside the white house, of course with Twitter you have no idea of the legitimacy of these.
Owen: You go to follow them you don't know if it's actually someone from the EPA. You know what I mean?
Leo: It started with the National Park service. I think it was the Badlands national park was tweeting scientific facts about climate change, just science, just facts. They got gagged and an order from the white house to knock it off, so they created an alt account and they said you can't stop what we do in our spare time. They did delete those official tweets. The alt accounts are tweeting support for resistance movements, support for protests, whether it's true or not, I suspect it is not true. the rogue POTUS account is fascinating reading, because whoever is writing it has enough insight into the realities, if it's not true; it's great fiction. It's very interesting. It does sound like it's coming from somebody who isn't going for the joke.
Owen: They're giving information, but it's not really....
Leo: There are thousands of staffers in the white house, one has to assume that not all of them are happy.
Owen: Somebody is coming home and saying guess what happened today? Don't tell nobody. It could be a multitude of different things.
Leo: I've lambasted Twitter for its inability to control hate speech, it's become a cesspool in some respects, but at the same time, it's also a place where dissidents can speak freely, a President can speak his mind outside of the official channels. Trump continues to tweet on the REALDonaldTrump account. You can tell...
Michael: He tweeted about WWIII today.
Leo: IF you use tweet deck, it's the last account that tells you what phone is being used. It still breaks down to there are some tweets on REALDonaldTrump that are from the iPhone, bland administrative details.
Phil: Presumed to be from his aids, correct?
Leo: Gotta be from his aides. He got back his old Galaxy S3 and the ones that come from the Android ones come in the middle of the night and are World War III.
Owen: It's a kid sneaking candy in the middle of the night. He wakes up with a Snickers bar and is like tweeting in the middle of the night.
Leo: It violates our sense of what the President... but there's no rule.
Phil: Just from a security point of view, it's probably a bad idea to use an old Android phone to tweet.
Leo: It's not clear, the New York Times officially said--of course NYTimes as Donald Trump tells us is a failing newspaper that is about to be out of business, but the New York Times response was our circulation and our subscriptions are higher than they've ever been. What the times said is he had the hand over his Android phone and received a new secured phone, and he got his S3 back. He still uses that to tweet, and I do agree there are some real security concerns, because that phone has a microphone and a camera. The secret service said you can have it back but eeeeh. We're tearing out the capability of Twitter.
Phil: I was in China a couple years ago with some big Government conference. They handed us all a phone when we walked in that was preconfigured and I hear a please use this phone...
Leo: It's not what you can tweet it's what they can do with the phone. I'm actually grateful that Twitter exists these days.
Michael: Why do you say that? It also amplifies a lot of misinformation and a lot of these alternative facts.
Owen: Here's the thing. Misinformation can come from... back in the day they say don't listen to the radio. Don't read Gizmodo... you can be anywhere...
Leo: He's got a great new book called the history of merchants. It's the history of advertising, he talks about the first Newspaper in 1832, circulation war, they started a series. They said scientists in Europe have been able to build a telescope powerful enough to see the surface of the moon, they described the population living on the moon, it was a great seller, never has been retracted. A hundred and 80 years later... fake news goes back to the first newspaper, and probably to the caveman.
Phil: In this case, it's propaganda. Wasn't that the big story?
Leo: Michael, you can't shut down every propaganda outlet. I think it's best to have a channel that stuff can come through.
Owen: The Nixon era, everything was propaganda. Propaganda comes through all channels, all forms. There is good content and bad content, there's good people, there's bad people. You can't just... you have to accept it.
Michael: But are they doing a good job of sorting through that information? Or helping you sort through that information, I guess.
Leo: Well, there's pressure on Facebook to do that. And Facebook has agreed to do some of that. But that's the difference between Facebook and—
Phil: I'm working on a thing for that.
Leo: Are you?
Leo: Well, tell us about it.
Phil: Nope. But I am working on it.
Leo: For, is it for like say a plugin that people could use or?
Phil: We're figuring it out but a couple of friends of mine and I are tinkering around with some stuff that might help a little bit. I'm pretty excited about it.
Leo: I do think it would be great for people to have some sort of widget that would give them additional information about the stuff they're reading.
Phil: There's definitely—
Leo: However, I think that the risk when we talk about fake news is A, first of all, it immediately was turned against people.
Phil: Yea, it's condescending.
Leo: Now Trump is talking about fake news. B, it is condescending. People choose fake news because they choose to believe, or not even that they believe it but it aligns with their beliefs in some unique way. And that's not—you can't tell somebody not to do that. It is important thought that people in general that are just wandering down the street, assaulted with misinformation, should have a tool, Snopes is a start but even better tools to judge whether it's real information.
Phil: Well, look, you started this off with like Twitter, right, saying that you're glad that Twitter's around. And I'm like super happy that Twitter's there.
Leo: I think it's a window into what's going on.
Phil: For all the negatives of Twitter and there's tons of negatives, I think the world is certainly better off that Twitter exists in it than if it didn't exist.
Michael: Why? Can't Facebook do a lot of the same stuff? So just for the point of playing devil's advocate here, but also I think— say again?
Phil: Whenever someone says devil's advocate, they're usually not about to say something meaningful out there because it's kind of a cheap trick. You can disagree with anything as devil's advocate like, do you think the world is worse with Twitter?
Leo: It's his right to use devil's advocate. I do it all the time only because sometimes we need to get other opinions out so we can—I'll give you a straw man to argue against if nothing else.
Owen: I just need a general good reason as why Twitter specifically is a problem. There was a book in grade school in Texas that says that slaves were indentured servants and loved their jobs.
Leo: They love it.
Owen: And then somebody came out and said, "What are you doing? You're teaching kids in the 5th grade that this is history?" And then the books got retracted. But talk about propaganda. Little black kids in the school say, "My mom's crazy. They had jobs. They loved their job, Mom. It says it right here in this book." And that's the history that their taught. So your propaganda, Twitter is not the leader of propaganda.
Leo: Clearly, false news should not make it into text books. I agree with you on that.
Owen: I'm just saying, like we got everything. We can't just say Twitter is evil. Because Facebook is—it ain't just Twitter. That's all I'm saying.
Michael: No, no, I know it's not just Twitter but I think that when it comes to you know, the big three media companies or the big three media companies, the ones that are based on advertising, Google, Twitter and Facebook. When you look at Twitter, I think that they have done the least to combat—
Leo: No, they're the free speech wing of the free speech party.
Michael: That's right, that's right. But that comes with a lot of downsides. I think it's fair to say that.
Phil: I think it's fair to say that. Absolutely. They should do better. Still happy that they're around.
Leo: Let's play a game. Donald Trump tweets. " I will be interviewed by The Brody File on CBS News tonight at 11pm. Enjoy!" iPhone or Android phone?
Michael: That's an Android phone I'd imagine.
Leo: No, that's an iPhone my friends.
Owen: Winner, winner, chicken dinner!
Leo: All right. Statement regarding—this one's tougher. "Statement regarding recent executive order concerning extreme vetting." Android or iPhone?
Leo: iPhone it is. All right but I guess you get this one right.
Owen: If it says proper English and it doesn't say it's great, she's great, they're great, we're great, I already know what phone it is. It's a silly game.
Leo: "Senators should focus their energies on ISIS, illegal immigration and border security instead of always looking to start World War III."
Mike: That's an Android one.
Leo: Android it is.
Owen: Like I said, easy game. Easy game.
Phil: You're on to something with this.
Owen: Dollars to donuts, I'd get rich playing this game.
Leo: "Somebody with aptitude and conviction should buy the fake news and failing New York Times and run it correctly or let it fold with dignity?"
Owen: Anything that has a link to something verifiable and factual, iPhone. Anything that doesn't have a link. This isn't a game. Read the next story.
Phil: Well, I'll also say that fold with dignity is an interesting concept.
Leo: Fold with dignity.
Phil: I'm going to try to apply that to my laundry tonight.
Owen: He probably saw it on a banner somewhere driving through the airport.
Leo: Fold with dignity. I'm going to wear a monocle when I fold my laundry from now on.
Phil: No, as soon as I get home, I've got to do laundry. I'm going to fold it with dignity this time.
Leo: Here's a tough one. Tough one. "I promise this-" this was two days ago. "I promise that our administration will always have your back. We will always be with you." And then a video of Trump at the Department of Justice.
Phil: Always is in all caps, so I'm going to go Android.
Michael: I think iPhone only because it seems, I don't know. It just seems too well put together with the video.
Leo: It's not confrontational enough.
Michael: Yea, the video throws me off.
Owen: Maybe it's an Android and somebody gave him the video.
Leo: Ok, so Michael says iPhone, Phil, Android, Owen?
Leo: And the answer is iPhone.
Owen: Oh, they got me.
Michael: I don't think he embeds content too often.
Owen: That's what I'm saying. Anything with a link in it isn't him. I should have stuck to my own rule.
Michael: He's just reacting to something.
Leo: Twitter's good for a game.
Michael: Yea, of course there are benefits to it. I don't want to have my point misconstrued. I just think that they can do a lot better and you know, Twitter is one of these sites that treats a Breitbart link equal to that of a New York Times link. I don't know that that necessarily should be.
Leo: I love that. And I'm the guy who's been saying Twitter should shut down for two years because I am the focus of an amazing amount of abuse on Twitter. But I do think that that is the merit of Twitter, that it is a free for all and as long as you understand it. The problem, there is a problem because the media often treats tweets as a news story. Twitter's going crazy about—well of course Twitter's going crazy about something. They always are going crazy about something. That's what Twitter is. It's an outrage agent. But if you understand kind of what its role is, I think it does provide a very interesting window into the president, a window into the alt services, you know, EPA and—this is, you know, this is the water cooler conversation for the United States of America right now.
Phil: Yea. If some of those rouge accounts are true, isn't it great that we have them?
Owen: What did you say, Nunez? Next story?
Leo: Yes, he said next story.
Michael: I sure did.
Leo: You're putting words in his mouth, Mr. Owen J.J. Stone.
Owen: You didn't hear him? You didn't hear him? Check his mic. He's good.
Michael: Yea, you're coming in loud and clear.
Leo: I like this story. Hugo Barra, really at Google, was their kind of demo guy. You may remember him from Google IOs. He was always showing Android stuff. And then, unaccountably, three years ago he left Google and moved to China to work at Xiaomi. Now, then we heard last week, he said, "I'm leaving Xiaomi to do something exciting and new." And the news came out this week that he out that he's joining Facebook as the VP of Virtual Reality.
Phil: Good for Facebook. Hugo's a great guy and super talented.
Leo: I don't know him by my sense every time I saw him talk, I just loved him. I thought he was down to earth. He was smart. He was a great presenter.
Phil: Yep, good guy, the world needs more people name Hugo. Everything about it is cool.
Leo: (Laughing) what's interesting is that he's, and here's a smart guy, he's putting his money on VR which I think at this point, and Facebook, Oculus, which between the lawsuit, Palmer Lucky's odd behavior and it's lagging a little bit behind the HTC Vive. Wouldn't be my bet on the horse that's going to come in first on this.
Phil: This is way too early to be a horse race though. It's not zero sum yet. The whole industry's going to explode ten thousand X over where it is right now and then we'll pick a winner.
Leo: Ok, fair enough. What Zuckerberg said that I thought was interesting, "Hugo shares my belief that virtual and augmented reality will be the next computing platform." And I've been saying this for a while. I think augmented, HoloLens kind of stuff is really going to be a big part. And Oculus currently is not. It's just VR. So I think that that is—and Tim Cook has said several times now that Apple's very interested in augmented reality. I think augmented reality, the idea that you see what's around you, but superimposed on top of it is additional material, whether it's a Minecraft village or a reputation score. I like that.
Owen: VR is 3D to me. It's something that everybody is hypoing on and XD is dead. Augmented reality I feel like is a legit thing that can go forward in the future, but VR is just like, "Hey, let's put out some computing power and do some things and sell some stuff and promise people stuff because we have nothing else to do with our money for the next 4 years." But just like 3D. Everything's going to be 3D and they're still making 3D movies but they're not making 3D TVs anymore.
Phil: I think the first time I saw a 3D TV, I was like, "This is crap. It's not going to catch on."
Leo: And you were right.
Phil: And I was right. And the first time I saw VR, I was like, "This is going to be a real thing."
Leo: Yea, it's pretty exciting.
Phil: Yea, it really is. It's not going to be nearly as big as AR because I think AR's going to change the world. Like everything is going to be AR.
Leo: I think VR, the bloom goes off the rose fairly quickly, right? Do you spend a lot of time playing VR games or?
Phil: I do but I'm such a nerd.
Owen: Can I give you an example of regular people? My friend got VR. They set up the room. It was awesome. We all went over there and played it. What has it been, 3, 4 months now? You ask them and they've moved stuff back in the room and nobody's come back over to play and like it's one of those things that was cool but it's over.
Leo: It's the Nintendo Wii of gaming.
Michael: Right now it's a pretty isolating experience too, right? Social VR hasn't really taken off and I think the limitation of VR in the long run is it's primarily an entertainment tool. So if you want to play games or be in a fantasy world or take that to a more extreme place, then it's great for that. But when it comes to business and making money, augmented reality is going to be the productivity tool that might replace the desktop in your office or something like that so I think you know, at least from what I've tried, augmented reality seems a lot further away than VR because at least VR with let's say Project Alloy for instance, they have self-contained headsets and the resolution is there. And they're solving some of the biggest problems like the screen door effect and stuff like that. I think with AR, the resolution isn't there, the computing power is not there. There's one dev kit, the HoloLens and you know, I haven't tried Magic Leap and most people haven't but it's still, you know I'm not sure if we can actually call that—
Leo: We can all agree that we are in the Atari 2600 days of VR and AR. I mean it's very early days here.
Phil: Yea, but it moves faster than it used to. You know, the 2600 days, right? So I think if we said we're 3 years out, right? We're not 10 years out.
Leo: 3 years is not long.
Phil: Yea, 3 years out. Or maybe even as little as 2.
Leo: Have you—
Michael: From what, ubiquitous VR?
Phil: Not, let's not say ubiquitous, but like mainstream products that have strong AR, like wearable AR capabilities. I think three years.
Leo: I want to be walking down the street with a light pair, a relatively comfortable pair of glasses and I don't look like a complete jerk other than the—I mean the glasses don't. Otherwise I might.
Owen: I'm just trying to wait until we get contacts and I can stick them in my eyes and that's how I see.
Leo: Well, that's farther off.
Owen: That's what I want.
Phil: The Snap glasses, right, the Spectacles.
Leo: They're pretty cool.
Phil: They're not AR at all but it's like you are wearing stuff on your face that's like streaming stuff. And they actually look cool. I mean dorky cool, but cool.
Phil: That form factor you can put a lot more into 2 or 3 years from now.
Leo: They're a lot less dorky than Google Glass. Let's put it that way.
Phil: Yea, and we were one of the first developers on Google Glass. Like we've done a bunch of stuff.
Leo: Have you played with the Magic Leap?
Phil: I can't talk about the Magic Leap but I have played with the HoloLens.
Leo: Ok. HoloLens is interesting. It's still, just like you said, Mike, it's at the earliest stages so it's primitive compared to where it will be. But you can see the premise. You can see the promise.
Phil: But the premise is so there. Like you can play with it. Yea, it's very primitive but it doesn't take any imagination to see what this is like 5 years from now. It will just be world changing.
Leo: I liked in our chatroom, Reverend Dana Scout said, this sums it up very well. Let me see if I can find the quote. He said, "VR is the vacation. AR is your life, is the way it is." That's not—I didn't do you justice. "VR is a vacation. AR is a life choice." I think that's accurate actually. It's a very different use.
Phil: I like that.
Leo: Take a break but then we're going to come back. Lot's more to talk about. Owen J.J. Stone, IQMZ.com. Phil Libin, great to have you from General Catalyst where he's a managing director.
Phil: And actually, I've got exciting news to talk about after the break. I am now officially at Cyborg.
Mike: Oh yea? Whoa.
Leo: I'm looking. I'm looking. I'm looking. I don't see any blinking lights.
Phil: I'll show you.
Leo: All right.
Owen: That's why he doesn't need food.
Phil: It is connected to that.
Leo: Phil the cyborg. I want to do everything Phil's doing. You're looking great. I can't believe it.
Owen: You're not allowed to do anything Phil's doing. You stay, you leave Phil alone. No.
Leo: (Laughing) And Michael Nunez from Gizmodo.com.
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Leo: Cyborg Phil Libin. Is this why you don't have to eat?
Phil: It's related to it.
Leo: Is this why there's a plug coming out of your butt?
Phil: No, that's totally different.
Leo: (Laughing). I'm sorry. That came out completely wrong. Oh, that came out wrong. That came out wrong, too. Ok, just tell us. Cyborg how?
Phil: All right, check it out. I'm very excited.
Leo: He's unbuttoning his jacket, ladies and gentlemen. He's stripping down. He's rolling up his sleeves.
Phil: I have a data port in my arm.
Leo: He has a data—what?
Michael: A what?
Leo: He's got a data port.
Phil: This is my first port.
Mike: Oh, my goodness.
Leo: He literally does.
Phil: There's a needle going into my arm, a very small needle.
Leo: Is that permanent or is that just temporary.
Phil: Two weeks at a time. It's on for two weeks.
Leo: Two weeks.
Phil: And it gives me a—well, real-time glucose monitor which is kind of boring but cool.
Leo: Well, that's good. I would like that.
Phil: The first time that I have like real-time data.
Leo: Are you type I diabetic? Type II?
Phil: I am not thankfully.
Leo: You're not.
Phil: I'm not. I'm only doing this as a data nerd to kind of collect everything but it does real-time—
Leo: That can't be your blood sugar.
Phil: It is. I'm kind of blood sugar ninja.
Leo: He's got a blood sugar of 4.
Phil: Well this is European standards.
Leo: I'd be passing out right now. Oh, that's no—ok. That's—
Phil: It's 65.
Leo: Oh, 65 is good. 4 means you're dead.
Phil: Yea, 4 means you're dead. This is like European. It's not available in the US yet. This is German.
Leo: (Laughing) you want to be under 100. I know this much because I'm type II diabetic and you don't want to be too much under 100. But 4 would be too much. 65 is pretty good. That's good.
Michael: Do you feel, can you feel it like throughout the day? I mean that looks kind of uncomfortable.
Phil: No, it's great. It's really well designed. It's a thing made by Abbot. Not available in the US yet.
Michael: Is your arm sore?
Phil: No. Well, not from that.
Leo: Is it NFC because there's no—you just touched it to it.
Phil: Yea, it's NFC so if you have an Android phone you don't even need that. You just do it right from your phone. You just touch your phone to it. But I have an iPhone so it doesn't work.
Leo: See? Apple is killing people.
Michael: And do you trust the information that it's giving you? I would kind of worry about that.
Phil: Yea, so it's approved in a bunch of European countries. And it's supposed to be accurate enough for insulin dosing so it is as accurate as a blood test.
Leo: If I were going to use this, I would prick my finger and compare it.
Phil: You would do both, yes, so this actually has the strip reader.
Leo: Oh, it has it as well.
Phil: You can calibrate it if you want but I haven't tried that. And I'm just excited because I'm 45-years old and I now finally have a data port on my body, hopefully the first of many.
Leo: How did you get it? Did you have to go to Europe to get it?
Owen: I just want to know why.
Phil: No, you know, I had it smuggled in.
Michael: So many questions.
Leo: Can I get it smuggled in because you know, I hate pricking my finger.
Owen: Leo, you're not getting a data port. Would you—you're not getting nothing Phil's got, Leo. You just stop asking Phil where he buys, where he shops. You are not allowed to do what Phil's doing. Phil's crazy.
Leo: I'm going to do the data port. I'm going to do it all.
Phil: It's super cool. You can see, like it's real-time so I can like eat an orange and watch what happens. You can look at this thing and you can see it go up, you can see how long it stays up.
Leo: Diabetics desperately need something like that because we're in the dark ages. We're still drawing blood by pricking our fingers and then measuring the blood. It's primitive.
Owen: If you were diabetic I would think that is the best thing in the world for you. But if you have no need—
Leo: No, I'm type II diabetic.
Owen: Medically, you—you're still not allowed to get it. Phil, you have no real need.
Phil: I have no real need.
Owen: And it's just hear for funsies. What happens if you like punch somebody and flex your muscle too tight or like, I don't know.
Phil: I haven't done that in hours.
Leo: I want a data port. Please, daddy, can I have a data port?
Owen: No. No. No. You're not even allowed to go to Europe anymore because I can't trust you. You'll be at some corner stop getting—
Leo: I'm going to Europe in the fall. I can probably get one.
Phil: We can smuggle one in for you.
Leo: But you don't leave it in there?
Phil: 2 weeks.
Leo: Because it would get infected or something.
Phil: No, it's by Abbot so they're one of the biggest medical device companies. Maybe they know what they're doing. It doesn't—you change it after 2 weeks.
Owen: Look, I feel like you're going to be tracked. Next thing you know, Phil's going to be leader of the robot gang, brainwashed.
Leo: I have port envy.
Owen: There's all kind of stuff their doing.
Leo: My name is Laporte.
Michael: Does a professional need to put it in or to—
Leo: Yea, a doctor would put it in, right? You can't—you just don't go, bam!
Phil: Yea, you put it in yourself.
Leo: You do?
Phil: Yea, you put it in yourself.
Phil: The needle's tiny. And like it comes with this like handle and you basically just go like that and it's in there. It doesn't hurt at all. It's fine. There's a startup in San Francisco that's working on a similar thing but that's not out yet.
Leo: How accurately do you have to position it?
Phil: Not at all. It's not going into your blood vessel, it's just like—it's intermuscular. It's fine. It's great. It's great. Look, the key to surviving the inevitable, eventual robot uprising is to be on the right side of the robots.
Leo: Be a robot (laughing).
Phil: Be on the right side when it happens. You may as well start.
Leo: Wow. Wow. I'm excited. Google has banned, wow, in 2016, 1.7 billions ads removed, many of them—well, some are you know, just payday loan ads which Google has decided they weren't going to do those anymore. Some are fake news. Some are trying to trick you. Some are malware. But that's—I mean I guess if you count them one by one that's not a whole lot. I mean I don't know how many ads Google places every year.
Owen: It still sounds like a lot regardless. It feels like a lot. I'm sure it's not to them.
Leo: There are ads—
Michael: They did say it was more than double the number that they had removed the year prior.
Leo: Yea, 780 million last year.
Phil: Do we know how many total ads they do like in a year?
Leo: It doesn't say. They took down 5 million payday loans since they changed the rules in July. Here's the one that is most scary. 112 million of them were a trick to click ads, ads designed to look like official Microsoft system error notifications. We've all seen them. Designed to get you to download malware. These are really bad and there were 112 million of them. The problem with automated ad networks like Google's, is nobody's watching, nobody's approving the ads. You just buy the ads online and then you put them up there, so it's fairly easy for someone to put malware in these ads.
Phil: That's the problem with just ads.
Leo: Ads are bad. Ad tech is bad.
Phil: They kind of are, yea.
Leo: On the other hand, you've got to monetize somehow.
Owen: Money's got to come from somewhere. Everything's free.
Leo: People want free. I mean I like doing ad supported free media. I think it's more democratic. You don't have to have $5-bucks to pay me to get the show. I've often thought, I wonder if we could make it if we had a paywall but I don't want to take the chance. You know, when I started, I've told this story many times. When we started, we thought, "Oh, I'll just ask people to donate." But Patreon wasn't around then. There really weren't the methods to do it. I just had a PayPal tip jar. And while we got very, I thought, very generous donations, I was doing about $9,000-dollars a month, that was enough to support me and not—what, we have 26 employees. We have another 30 contract employees. There's no way we could build what we have now without ads. And I think it's better. For me, anyway, I think ad supported media is a good thing.
Phil: For now.
Leo: You think that we'll be able to get off of that at some point?
Phil: Hopefully soon, like this data port, instead of just doing glucose will do like glucose and serotonin and then when it detects that my serotonin levels are particularly high, that I've just seen something delightful.
Phil: It just automatically pays whatever.
Leo: That would be wild.
Owen: Yay, poor people with no money or a bank account or credit cards.
Leo: No, you don't get to be happy.
Owen: You don't get to consume media.
Leo: You don't get to be happy. No serotonin for you.
Phil: Whoa, whoa, whoa. No, no, no, no, no, no. This is totally progressive. Like it's only—like all of this is going to be paid by the people that actually have enough money to be walking around with these things in our arms when we're happy. Like everyone else just gets if for free. This is as close to Star Trek as we're going to get.
Leo: So I can say that to people who really like the show, "Hey, do me a favor. Wear a data port that measures your Serotonin and put $100-bucks into an account and we'll get paid only if you're happy." How many of you—let's ask the chatroom.
Owen: That's not real. That's not going to happen. That's not a thing. That's a Phil fantasy. That's Phil, again, making everything sound delightful and it's just not. That sounds so good that it's like, "Yea, sure." No. No.
Phil: I'm sorry for making things sound delightful. You're right.
Leo: You should be sorry.
Phil: I'm deeply ashamed.
Leo: The world sucks.
Phil: Oh, man.
Michael: You know it was interesting though that Google said it took more than a thousand employees to remove these ads. And so we've talked a lot about fake news and obviously this has been kind of a politically driven show which none of us were happy about. Unfortunately that's just the way it is.
Leo: It's the world we live in, yea.
Michael: And I think it gives you a little bit of insight into how difficult it is to combat misleading—Google called some of the ads tabloid cloakers but misleading ads or fake news or just basically the amount of people it takes to go through all of this content and to determine what is legitimate and what is not, actually takes a lot of manpower. And so although this is obviously just a Google press release that they sent out into the world so they could be praised for doing such a good job of removing these ads, I think that there is, that the hidden takeaway for me was just that they revealed the amount of people that it took to make this happen. So as a journalist you take that number and you begin to cross-reference that at other companies that are doing similar things, either with advertising or with content.
Leo: Interesting number here, even an interesting word, tabloid cloaking. Tabloid cloaking has to be the euphemism of the year for fake news. They didn't want to say fake news but they disabled 1300 accounts for that. That's a lot of Macedonian websites. I do think 112 million malware ads, you know out of 1.7 billion that were removed, that's not that bad. 5 million for payday loans. 80 million ads for deceiving and shocking users. Is that belly fat? What is that? Oh, you know, that could be the ads where it says Tom Hanks is moving to your town, those ads.
Owen: Oh, that's what those are. Yea, those things. Oh, those thing are horrible.
Leo: Those things are horrible. And then 68 million ads for unapproved pharmaceuticals. What do you think that could be, unapproved pharmaceuticals?
Owen: That's the stuff that says I can lose weight like Phil by eating imaginary air bars for the next 4 weeks. You too could be a robot cyborg like Phil. Just take this oxygen pill for $44.99.
Leo: I'm going to do what Phil does. Don't knock it. I'm going to do it.
Phil: You know, just watching some of the comments scroll by, I want to point out that I'm not entirely serious about the serotonin for pay thing.
Leo: No but I think that's—you know what? We have to look for new ways of monetizing.
Phil: That's right.
Leo: The world is open to that.
Owen: I'm going to hack into his bio stream and get me some serotonin checks from Phil. That's what I'm going to do. Working on getting into that little system right now.
Phil: Owen, you and I have so much to discuss after this show. We have so much to talk about.
Leo: He got me to say some things that I will never, I'll regret for the rest of my life. You just—
Owen: True story.
Leo: It's true.
Michael: Whoa. I've got to go listen to those interviews.
Owen: Yea, yea, yea, think about Leo in the redwood forest and imagine all the wonderful things that could happen to Leo.
Leo: I wasn't micro-dosing, baby.
Owen: 400-year-old trees.
Leo: Yahoo is now, and I think it's about time, facing a probe from the Security and Exchange Commission.
Phil: I was pissed about this.
Leo: They were—half a billion accounts were breached by Yahoo and they neglected to mention it when they put the company up for sale. Verizon made a large bid for Yahoo, not knowing about the data breaches and that's why the SEC is investigating. They feel that that should have been reported sooner to investors and of course to potential buyers as well.
Phil: And to users as soon as it happened.
Michael: Customers, yea.
Leo: You know it's funny. The SEC, I think that's not the SEC's bailiwick. They're covering investors. But absolutely, that might be an FTC investigation because we need to know too. And I think that it needs to be stated pretty clearly by regulators that it's not ok to have a data breach and not tell your customers.
Phil: This really ought to be illegal, not doing. It's actually super bad for security. Like this is how all of the hacks spread because a lot of it is just reused user names and passwords. Once one of your accounts has been hacked, every account that you've reused that password is compromised completely. The vast majority of people reuse the vast majority of their passwords. Like it's exactly this kind of stuff that leads to hacks like all the way down the line. It is completely ridiculous and inappropriate not to notify users. And not just notify them but notify them and reset passwords immediately.
Leo: And the good companies too. They do as soon as something—you know, LastPass, when they had a hint, a hint that something was going on they reset passwords.
Phil: And we did too. And it was painful.
Leo: I remember that. Evernote did that.
Phil: Super painful but we had to do it.
Owen: The thing that kills me, when investigations and stuff like this happen, someone needs to get fired. Like someone needs to lose their job, quote unquote be shamed. And maybe it needs to be more than one person.
Leo: I have to tell you—
Owen: Sometimes we hear these things and we get upset about it and then they go off to be the CTO of something else. They're like—you weren't doing your—that's a legit fail of your responsibility on multiple things, especially right down to the user. Because I had two Yahoo accounts and the reason I knew I got hacked was because I had six people email me one day like, "Yo, your old account is like blowing me up." I forgot that I even had the account. I kept it for Flickr so I never closed it. But it was sending out all kinds of nasty junk to people and luckily I have friends in the tech industry that would say, "Oh, well this is some shady stuff. Go clean it up." And I changed my password. But that's happening to millions of people. That's insane.
Leo: The head that needs to roll, it's probably too late now that Verizon's buying it, was Marissa Mayer's. She knew. The CEO knew and in fact—
Phil: Has that been confirmed that she knew?
Leo: Well, this is according to a former Yahoo executive but here's the smoking gun. Alex Stamos, who is a very good security guy, was the chief information security officer in 2015. He quit. He'd been on the job for one year. He resigned. He went on to Facebook where he works now and the smoking gun is that's when he learned that not only was there a breach but not his team, the security team, but another team of engineers had written what was effectively a Trojan on the Yahoo Mail server at the request of the federal government. And his team discovered it and said, "We've been hacked." And the other team said, "Oh, no, no, no. That's us." I would say it's almost certain at this point that not only did Marissa Mayer know, but must have made—come on, she must have made the decision, "Let's keep this under our hat until the sale goes through."
Phil: I don't know the details.
Leo: Maybe not.
Phil: I think it's fine firing people if they've actually broken any laws or send them to jail if they've broken any laws.
Leo: There's no proof an insider knew.
Phil: I do think that the super useful outcome is like new laws and regulations that very clearly make this kind of thing illegal for next time.
Michael: And you don't always have to break a law to be fired, right?
Phil: No, you can fire people for any reason. You shouldn't send people to jail unless previous laws have been broken, not like new ones.
Owen: I didn't say jail. I just said fired. At least get a firing when somebody, you know.
Phil: And I'm with you on that.
Leo: Well there is leverage because she has a fairly large golden parachute.
Owen: That's what I'm talking about.
Phil: I don't know what large is. I actually don't know the details around Marissa about this. I have no idea whether she did anything wrong or not so I can't speculate.
Leo: I do wonder what the new administration's going to do about stuff like this. I guess it's up to Congress to make a law. But I feel like—exactly.
Leo: I feel like their distracted by other matters.
Michael: I think it's safe to say that, yea.
Phil: So it doesn't have to go through Congress, right? The various Executive Branch agencies could—
Leo: Even less likely if you ask me. I just feel like that's not where the focus is right now. When Rudolph Giuliani is your security guru, doesn't bode well. And I have to say, that could be a time bomb. That could be—not only ignoring information, increasingly solid information about Russian hacking and Russian influence in the election, not only ignoring that but kind of appointing someone like, someone with credentials, just inadequate credentials as your cyber security czar as Rudolph Giuliani, kind of doesn't bode well and I think that could end up being the real time bomb is ignoring the security issues that this country faces. Not just from a government aspect but from bad guys, organized crime. We're sitting ducks out here. And unless you tell companies things like—I agree 100% with you. You've got to alert your users about data breaches. That's not good.
Michael: Yea, this administration seems to be technologically incompetent. You know remember that Sean Spicer, one of the top aides of the Trump Administration this week, tweeted out I think on more than one occasion, some sort of alpha-numeric code for something.
Leo: Twice. That's clearly a password. Anybody who's ever seen a LastPass generated password, Spicer twice tweeted his password. Two different passwords. And I know exactly what happened. I can tell you what happened. Spicer's trying to tweet. He doesn't remember his password. He copies it and then forgets that he had it on the clipboard and pastes it in. If that's not a password, I don't know what it is. A-Q-E-N-B-P-U-U? And then there's another one that has a number in it. It's clearly a password. Tweets it twice.
Phil: It's actually elvish. He's speaking elvish.
Michael: Right and it extends far beyond this particular individual. I think that, you know, the fact that the administration refers to quote the cyber and just there are a number of different indications that just show that they have no understanding of the technological complexities of these platforms, of these systems and I just think that there is a huge gap between sort of the level of confidence that we need and the importance of this stuff. An understanding of how important all this stuff is in our everyday world and the way that it's treated by the administration. So yea, tweeting what seems to be a password was like—it was mind blowing.
Owen: Calm down, Michael, before the internet gets shut down.
Owen: They're going to look at a way to shut the internet down. The internet might have to be shut down, you know. So be careful.
Michael: At this point it wouldn't surprise me.
Leo: It's possible he just sat on his phone but it sure looked like a password to me.
Michael: And it just shows a lack of consideration, right? I mean whether it was a butt tweet or a mistakenly tweeted password, it just shows that there is like no consideration for these things.
Phil: I totally agree with you that people in government probably don't know nearly enough about the cyber as they should. I'm really not sure that the current administration is unique in that lack of experience. I'm not sure that the Democrats recently were any more competent.
Leo: I'll give you an example. And certainly there are plenty of members of Congress that don't know a thing. Most of them don't know a thing about technology. But I'll give you an example. And remember, Congress abandoned its—what was it, the Department of Technology Information? They had a really great group about 4 years ago that was advising them on technology, actually technologists. Disbanded. But there's also the Digital Service, the US Digital Service, the USDS, which was started because the government did such a bad job with the Obamacare website. Remember that? It just didn't work at all. They had used government contractors. So the folks in Silicon Valley said, "You know what? We need to help this." The created the US Digital Service. A lot of people from Facebook and Google and Apple went to Washington DC, including our friend Matt Cutts from Google and they not only fixed the healthcare websites, the insurance exchanges, but they've done the same for the Veterans Administration and Digital Immigration, College Score Card. They've really done a great job. I would hope—this was under the Obama administration. I would hope the Trump administration would keep this going. There's no indication that they will. We'll watch with interest. Matt Cutts is currently interim director because the director is an appointed political position, so the existing director left on January 20th. Matt Cutts is interim director. And I think they're doing great work and everybody there is saying, "Keep us. We want to help."
Phil: I hope it stays and I hope we do all sorts of things to improve security at the government and everywhere else.
Leo: We need to.
Phil: To the biggest extent possible. I think that trying very hard to also not score political points in this issue makes it more likely that the actually security will win through.
Leo: Good. Let's not do that anymore. But I do think that the previous administration was at least somewhat more technically savvy.
Michael: Yea, don't forget Obama moved to—I was looking for the story. I'm not sure I found the exact one, but Obama moved to consolidate a bunch of the intelligence agencies, so I remember I think it was in the middle of last year the former president Obama said that there was a lack of communication between all of the intelligence agencies, so the FBI, the CIA, the NSA and put a measure forward that would consolidate those intelligence agencies. I forget what the name of the new agency is. It was Cyber—
Leo: Yea, under the Director of National Intelligence.
Michael: That's right. That's exactly what it was. So you know, there was at least some effort, or it was an indication of his understanding or his administration's understanding of the importance of this stuff. And I haven't really seen that. I've actually seen the opposite from the Trump administration. IT has discredited.
Leo: That's encourage though. I agree with you, Phil. Let's be positive. Let's encourage them. You've got a great team at USDS. Let's keep that going. Let's keep doing more like that. Silicon Valley does want to help.
Leo: We want to help transparency. We want to help make government work. We want to help the government websites.
Phil: We want a moon base.
Leo: We want a moon base so we can move there. Let's take a little break. It's great to have you. Michael Nunez is here. He is from Gizmodo and looking like Goose out there ready to—he feels the need for speed, let's put it that way. Also with us, Phil Libin. He's a borg but proud to be a cyborg. And also of course, Owen J.J. Stone, who is still sporting the cat ears.
Owen: I was told in the chat, and I'm sure I'll hear this later on, that I am not to be taken seriously because of these ears. I think that I should be taken twice as serious because these are the ears of my child. And I'm representing her in all things. So my love for her and all things that I do, even at work, might seem silly to you. But it keeps a reminder in my brain instead of that bubble that you all live in, with cyborgs and no food and outer space.
Leo: He is representing the Ute of this nation.
Owen: The people. Man of the people.
Leo: You're a man of the Ute. He's a Ute-ful person. Our show today brought to you—oh.
Owen: Are you going to finish that drink?
Leo: Yea, it was good. I have another. I'm on my 3rd actually.
Owen: Don't send me one. I don't want it. We're good.
Phil: Oh, I've got to get that. I've got to get those. I almost ordered them the other day.
Leo: We'll talk about the Eeros, yea. These are cool. I'll tell you all about them. I have them and love them. I sent my mom up with Eeros as well. But before that I want to talk about—not yet. Not yet, Carston. Let's save the Eero because first we want to take a look at what happened this week on TWiT.
Narrator: Previously on TWiT.
Jason Howell: A team out of the University of Utah is working on creating glasses, smart glasses with liquid based lenses that will allow the wearer to automatically shift their focus based on the proximity of what they're looking at.
Megan Morrone: I mean the idea is that you'll never have to get new glasses again. You'll always wear those ugly glasses for the rest of your life.
Jason: It's a prototype.
Narrator: iOS Today.
Leo: Andy Ihnatko told us about this.
Jason Snell: Oh you got it.
Leo: I got it. And it is a very special stand for your Apple Watch. It's an old Mac.
Jason S: I love this.
Leo: What time is it? Well, I don't know. Let me check my Mac.
Jason S: They were so much smaller back then.
Leo: Yea, I know.
Narrator: The New Screen Savers.
Father Robert Ballecer: Welcome to Game of Geeks. We're going to play a little game called touch my tech.
Iain Thomson: I'm kind of nervous about putting a blindfold on.
Fr. Robert: As you should be. I'm going to count to 3. And in 3-2-1, reach for your tech.
Leo: I'm going to say it's a Motorola phone.
Fr. Robert: Actually, yes, it was the Motorola and I'll give you 5 points for that.
Leo: Do I need the model number? Come on. We've fondled a lot of tech.
Jason Calacanis: We've fondled a lot of tech.
Narrator: TWiT. Some assembly required…
Megan: They say the charge might last 24 hours so then we're going to have like the extra battery backup like hanging from our glasses.
Jason H: No, we'll have battery earrings. Oh, a battery nose. That's a good idea.
Leo: I want those glasses. Megan Morrone has a look at the week ahead. Megan?
Megan: Thank you, Leo. Here is a look at just a few of the stories we'll be watching this week. It's another big week for earnings. Facebook. Match Group, Amazon and Sony will all deliver reports on what they've been up to when it comes to earnings and losses. And as always, we will try to read everything we can into those numbers. One of those companies announcing quarterly results will be Facebook and they will also officially be a teenager this week. 13 years ago Mark Zuckerberg wrote the code for Facebook and now he would like to celebrate February 4th as National Friends Day. So tell your friends what you think of them unless of course you've unfriended them in the last year because you disagree with everything that they stand for. If that is the case, why don't you try to reach out in real life and ask them out for tea? This week Twitter shuts Dashboard. That's the app that businesses could use to manage their Twitter accounts. Businesses used it to schedule tweets, get insights and engage with customers and community without accidentally tweeting out their passwords. But Twitter is shutting down Dashboard and they say that they hope to someday bring these same features to the broader Twitter community. And finally, YouTube will begin a broad roll out of Super Chat. That is the new tool that lets you pay real money to pin you comments on your favorite YouTubers Live Stream. So put your money where your mouth is, for real. Jason Howell and I will cover all of this and a whole lot more all week on Tech News Today, each and every weekday at 4:00 PM Pacific. And that is a look at the week ahead.
Leo: Thank you, Megan Morrone. Every Monday through Friday, 4:00 PM Pacific, 7:00 PM Eastern, 2400 UTC, 2300 UTC on TWiT. What do you think of that? Paying to get your comments higher on YouTube?
Phil: This may cause me to leave my very first comment on YouTube.
Leo: (Laughing) That's just—I don't get it. Are they—maybe they're just not making enough money.
Owen: I was thinking about those goggles you guys are wearing. How much did you pay Calacanis to put those on?
Leo: The googley eyes? The googley eyed blindfolds? Those were fun.
Owen: They're worried about my cat phones, you guys check out these googley eyes they had on over there.
Leo: Next time you're out here, we're going to play Game of Geeks with you. I want to play with you. I think you'd have a lot of fun.
Owen: Done deal.
Leo: Our show today brought to you by the Eero. You're thinking of getting these. This is the revolution in Wi-Fi right now. People have been settling for so long for Wi-Fi that buffers, has dead zones. You know, have you ever—you walk around and hey, the Wi-Fi's down. Now I've got to go over here. I've got to stand over here. Finally Wi-Fi that works. And I have to say, I use Eero and it changed my life. I've had nonstop complaints from my wife and my kid saying, "The internet's down. The internet's down." The internet's not down, it's just the Wi-Fi. And I tried everything. I had power line networking. I got expansion units. Nothing worked until I got the Eero. Here's how it works. You get the first—Eero you can buy an individual Eero or you buy, and I would recommend this, buy all three. They say each Eero is good for about 1500 square feet. You pair the first Eero, it becomes your router. So you plug it into your cable modem or your DSL modem and now this is doing your routing. Then you fire up the Eero app on your phone and you place the other Eeros. Our house is so big I ended up having 5 Eeros. But what's nice is my house is bathed in Wi-Fi. No more dead zones. No more buffering. Everything's super-fast. Eero also brings a lot of advantages. Eeros are automatically updated. In fact they just pushed out their new 2.0 version of True Mesh. This is the next generation of wireless mesh technology. Increased speed, increased performance, increased reliability. The Eero automatically does things like quality of service. It sees you're watching TV, it shapes the connectivity. It's dual band and has 2.4 and 5 GHz but you don't have to know about that. It will automatically pick the best channel and the best frequency. You see each device that's on your Eero in the app. You can assign it to a person and my favorite thing is, I can tell my Echo, "Pause Michael's Wi-Fi" when it's ten o'clock at night and I want him to go to bed. I say, "Pause Michael's Wi-Fi," and his devices are no longer online. Mine work fine. But his are no longer online. You can also ask your Echo to find your phone. It knows which of the Eero base stations your phone is paired to and says, "Well the last time I saw your phone it was in the living room." That's great. You can also turn off the Eero LED if you want. You can say, "Hey, Echo, dim the LED." The phone app is great. The software is great. There are always updates all the time. So the other thing I did is I set up Eero at my mom's house. I was out for Christmas. She's in Rhode Island. And she was having trouble with her Wi-Fi which I knew because every time I Facetimed her, it would pause and freeze and stutter. So I can actually see her Eeros from here. So I fire up the account and I can see which Eero network. I can say, "Let me see." And I can see which of the Eeros is up for her. She was never able to get Wi-Fi out in her studio. She likes to weave and do textiles and do painting. She has a studio out back. She says, "Yea, I have stuff going out in the studio because I can't get the internet out there. I can't use my iPad out there." Now she can go anywhere, anywhere at all and it just works great. I love the Eero. We've got a deal for you. Of course we do. We've got free overnight shipping. So if you're in a hurry to get good Wi-Fi, go to E-E-R-O.com. Select overnight shipping at the checkout and use the offer code TWIT and boom, it goes away, the price goes away. It's free overnight shipping from E-E-R-O.com. Very impressed with what Eero has done. The next generation of Wi-Fi and I've tried them all really. And this is the one to get, Phil. You will be very happy with it. And we thank them for their support.
Phil: I'm sold.
Leo: Yea. It's—thank goodness, because Wi-Fi's been getting worse and worse. I think it's because everybody in the neighborhood has Wi-Fi too, right?
Owen: Or it's Comcast versus FIOS.
Leo: Hey, I've got to complain about something. So I have Comcast. And—
Owen: I feel sorry for you.
Leo: I know. They have a terrible bandwidth cap. They say, "Oh, don't worry. Nobody ever goes over a terabyte." So in October I went over a terabyte and they do a man in the middle Java script attack. You're just surfing along and all of a sudden a pop-up that says, "This is Comcast. You went over a terabyte. You're at 90%. You're at 100%. You're at 120%." And then they go, "But don't worry. We're not going to charge you. You get 3 times and then we're going to charge you." And then so I went, "Oh, gosh, I don't know what's going on." But then the next month, it was back down to my normal, about 500 megabytes, 500 gigabytes a month. That's normal. Didn't change anything. Then the next month it's back to 1400 gigabytes. Then it's down to 400 gigabytes. It's—I'm not changing anything. A, so I think that whatever they're measuring is BS. But there's no way you can verify it, right? You just have to, it's just whatever they say. I look on my Eeros, it doesn't say that. And then, B, they're doing a man in the middle attack, injecting Java script into my browser at their whim. All right. Rant over. That's the word.
Michael: Yea, I'll take your side on that one. Phil?
Owen: I don't have those problems. I've got FIOS.
Michael: What do you say?
Leo: Do you have a bandwidth cap on FIOS?
Owen: I don't know. I'm doing what I want to do and ain't nobody calls me with no problems so I assume that I do not. And one day if I get to be like you and download the world, I don't know how you're doing it at home when you're sitting there at work all day. And how is that possible? I don't even know how that's possible that you're hitting that at home.
Leo: I mean I believe it's possible but it should be consistent. I'm not changing. I'm not like, "Oh, this week, we're not going to watch Netflix." It's the same.
Owen: Again, I don't know how you do it.
Leo: That's a 300% change.
Leo: Twice. I don't get it.
Phil: I have no idea how much I use. I should look at some point.
Michael: I don't either.
Leo: You'll find out if you're Comcast.
Michael: In Brooklyn we have pretty good. Optimum is the service provider that I use and it's, you know, I think the Netflix ISP rating or whatever, the index that they have ranks it among the best. And they protect their customers pretty well so I've been happy with that. I've heard some horror stories from people who subscribe to other companies.
Leo: Who has heard about the new FCC chairman, Ajit Pai? There's been a back and forth about where he stands on net neutrality. He certainly has voted, he was a Republican FCC commissioner appointed by President Obama. President Trump has raised him to the chairman of the FCC. And he is reputedly—I think it's unfair to say he's against net neutrality. He's against, and I think we're all against, this government regulation of the internet and he would like a free market and a competitive market to fix that. But he also is very clear. He says, "I support an open, free internet. I'm not against the open internet." It's unknown. He's said some good things also. He wants for instance when utilities go up on the power poles he wants to guarantee access to those poles to internet service providers. That's something our friend Dane Jasper of Sonic Net has been lobbying for. That's a good thing. Anybody have any thoughts about Pai? We don't know anything yet. He hasn't done anything yet. We just, you know, we know it's likely that net neutrality is a dead issue.
Phil: Yea, I mean he's been on the commission for a while.
Leo: He's one of few Trump appointees who actually has a record.
Phil: Yea, see he at least plausibly knows about the issue and is—
Leo: He seems quite smart, I'll be honest. I also—we had a little debate on TWiG on this. I don't want to panic yet. Remember how we misunderstood Tom Wheeler. He turned out to be pretty darned good.
Phil: This is definitely—I'm certainly not taking this in a period of panic about this. Let's just see. Let's see how it goes. In general, he probably wants to optimize for most of the same things that I'd like to optimize for which is more internet access for more people for less money.
Leo: He's a classic Republican. At this point I would welcome that. I'd be thrilled. You know, he's against government, wants small governments. Doesn't want a lot of regulation but believes in an open internet and believes that we do have to preserve the openness of the internet. Sounds good to me.
Phil: I want more, faster, cheaper internet for as many people as possible, for as many companies as possible. And if someone, if policies move against that then I'll be opposed to it and at this point I just have no idea whether we're moving closer or further from that.
Michael: Well I think he did send a joint letter. So he was one of the remaining commissioners to send a joint letter to the telecom industry's 5 largest lobby groups, or lobbying groups that said that they had dissented against the net neutrality decision made in 2015 and that they intended to remove them—the quote was as soon as possible. So this happened in I believe December of last year but the intention is that they will remove the net neutrality laws. I think they've gone on the record and said that.
Leo: GOP is also asked him to kill Tom Wheeler's plan to open cable boxes. I think it's probably safe to say we'll be renting that crappy Comcast cable box for the foreseeable future. I liked this idea and I think Silicon Valley liked this idea of being able to use an Apple TV or a Roku in lieu of the set top box provided by the cable company.
Phil: I hate that.
Leo: The cable company—
Michael: Yea, it seems like a no brainer, right? I mean the technology is there.
Leo: Here's the argument the cable companies have. They say, "That's our product. The way the cable box presents the product to the consumer, that's what we offer. And that's how we—" In my Comcast TV Guide there's ads for all these—you know, I'll be scrolling through channels 2, 3, 4 and there is an ad for an on demand movie, then 5, 6, 7 and then there's an ad for another on demand movie. Comcast doesn't want to lose that. I would love to see that gone. I would love to have a choice. The DVR's terrible. Now we do have cable card and I use TiVo, so I'm able to use a TiVo. But I think that opening that up and giving us choices and eliminating that $5, $6, $7-dollar a month rental of a junk box.
Michael: It seems anti-competitive to prevent.
Leo: Well, but the argument is, why should Comcast or any cable company open up to competition? This is our business. This is our order to the customer.
Owen: I don't think they should open up to competition. I think that that's their product, that's what they're selling. And by the way of the dinosaur, they will kill themselves by waiting for a meteor to come and strike them. Because people are already ditching those boxes left and right and cutting cords.
Leo: That's right. They're just cutting cords.
Owen: So the same way they do with everything else, they're slowing stabbing themselves in the foot. So no, I don't give a hoot and or any whether or not they open up these boxes because one day it's going to be too late and they'll be like, "Here, here, open up the box." And there's going to be like 3 old people left living that'll be like, "Sure, I'll keep the box."
Leo: Oh, you can use your Roku. I'll be that guy, by the way.
Owen: You will be that guy.
Leo: Here's the reason. Because of the FCC, Comcast has a monopoly. And that's the thing, is that there isn't competition. Every town has one and exactly one cable company. And so there isn't real competition so if there were 5 cable companies I could choose from, I'd choose the one that let me use my own box and we'd be done with it.
Phil: I think that we should just—the internet in most of the US including in big cities, isn't as good as the internet, the broadband in most other developed companies. That's a true statement. We pay more for it and we get less reliable. We get slower speed. At the end of the day, that's my baseline. Like if Comcast was a total monopoly, that they provided internet that was objectively better, faster, cheaper and more reliable than everywhere else, I'd be like, "All hail our new monopoly." They're not. There should be more companies. But like we have—this is not the biggest problem in the world but we have pretty crappy internet in this country and let's make it better.
Leo: Yea, we should be able to do that. And I agree, government regulation is scary on the internet. You probably don't want the government regulating the internet.
Phil: Well, maybe. Some other countries that have really good broadband have tight government regulations.
Leo: The ideal, well—
Michael: Yea, Korea is like a prime example. When I was there, it was like a GB per second pretty much anywhere. And even on the subway you were connected just at all times. You had fast, like—
Leo: Here's the utopia I'd like. I'd love to see local governments or state governments or maybe federal governments put in the infrastructure and then say, "And anybody that wants to use it." This is what happens with a lot of utilities. Anyone who wants to use it can do the over the top internet service. You pay us, reimburse us for the building of the thing. So like the interstate highway, the infrastructure's created by government. But then that opens up competition, then like trucking services, there's an infinite number of trucking services that can use those highways to get to people. And I think that's a sensible way. The problem we have is we're not starting from scratch. If we were starting from scratch we'd do that. But were not. And that's always the problem in the United States, we have invented these technologies. Cell phone infrastructure is the same problem.
Phil: I like what Owen said about the dinosaur and the meteor. Be the meteor.
Owen: Case in point, perfect real world example, I was over at my friend's house and the mom was like, "Turn off the TV. I want to watch something on Netflix." And her husband's like, "Oh, they have Netflix on Comcast now." And she's like, "I don't use that. Just turn on the Apple TV." So she literally, because she uses the Apple TV so long, she doesn't care. It's too late. It's too late for Comcast to put it inside their device. She, now this woman will go out, turn that off, turn something on, change the thing, go through a whole other process. Wait for it to boot up and be happy with the experience on Apple TV, with a different remote than using in the Comcast.
Leo: You know, I do the same thing. We have Netflix on our Comcast. Lisa will watch it on the Comcast. And I'll say, "Why are you watching on the Comcast box? You should watch it on the Roku box (laughing)." You're right.
Owen: Because people are programmed. And again if you wait so long, when you see the whole world with a plug in their arm, then maybe, Leo, you can get one. But Phil's the first. And we don't do what Phil does.
Leo: But I want one now.
Owen: We've got to wait. Let's get some of those dinosaurs before we start sticking stuff. Michael Nunez, are you going to wait?
Michael: I'm with you the whole way all through the show.
Leo: Get the port. Get the port. Get the port.
Owen: Me and Nunez are the only ones with common sense. Leo, you're just jumping down the whole. You ain't ate nothing, you've got plugs in your arm.
Leo: Sprint just bought a third of Tidal.
Mike: (Laughing) Yea, that's unfortunate.
Leo: Suckers. It's actually good for Tidal. It might have even saved Tidal which is of course struggling against the other big music services. But Spring has 45 million customers. That's a lot. They can be in a position to push Tidal on to some phones.
Owen: Can I tell you my example of what Sprint is? So me and my daughter, this sounds weird, we watch commercials because we don't watch it on TV, we watch it on everything else. But sometimes I'll show her commercials just to see her reaction as a youthful person. So we're watching this Sprint commercial. The Sprint commercial ends. She's like, "Dad, is Sprit a bad service?" I said, "Why would you say that?" She said, "Because their second and third line are free. They can't be giving away free lines like that unless their service has problem"
Leo: She is smart.
Owen: And I'm like, "Woo."
Leo: She is smart.
Owen: Have some of this tea, Leiyah, because we've been off Sprint for a long time. I left Sprint to go to Verizon then I jumped on the AT&T iPhone. Now I'm on the T-Mobile because I've got unlimited for me and my kid.
Leo: That's the best.
Owen: But she said, she just dogged Spring like 15 seconds after seeing that commercial. I'm like, "You're so smart. You're so smart." Yes, Sprint is terrible. That's why they're out here buying Tidal because their grasp will reach out to anything and this is not something to reach and or grasp upon.
Leo: Snapchat says it's taking a hard line on misleading and explicit images. Now you can recuse yourself if you want, Phil, because I know you're a Snapchat investor, but I have to say, I agree. Every time I—so, Discover originally was just dots, right? It had no images at all. It was just ESPN, Discovery, you know, whatever. And then they went to a magazine style format and of course immediately certain publications started putting half naked women on their images, even if it had nothing to do with half naked women knowing that the college kids who use Snapchat would—I mean there were bikini clad women on every page. It was actually, as much as I love bikini clad women, offensive. They're going to crack down on that.
Phil: I don't need to recuse myself when I say that I completely agree.
Leo: It's about time. I hadn't used it in a while and I went, "What the what?" Snapchat's Discover service had an article from MTV, Is This the Thirstiest Person on Earth? Was the headline with a picture of a bikini clad blonde woman taking a selfie even though the piece was about a fully clothed man. That's kind of egregious. Come on, if you can't work a bikini into every story, you're not trying very hard. Super Mario Run coming to the Android in March. Now you too, can pay $10-dollars for a free game.
Phil: That's probably why you were using the 1.4 terabytes a month. Right? It was just whatever the hell Mario Run is streaming in the background playing.
Leo: You know, that could be. It could be some game. But should I stop playing for a month and then start playing? It could be though. It could be something like that. I don't know
Michael: If you haven't beaten it by now.
Leo: Have you beaten it? Oh, man.
Michael: No, I haven't. I don't play but the people that I know that play have beaten it.
Leo: Phil? Really?
Phil: Obviously. I'm not going to not play Mario.
Leo: It's the port on his arm, I'm telling you. He doesn't eat food. States are going to—I hope this happens—legalize the right to repair. Don't you have a right to repair? This kind of came up because people who own John Deere tractors were not allowed access to software because John Deere was afraid they would steal it. And of course companies like Apple really don't want 3rd party repair companies to do well. But in Nebraska, Minnesota, New York, Massachusetts and Kansas, the state legislatures are working to legalize repair of devices from any manufacture including Apple and this may be necessary because, I find this hard to believe, but according to TechCrunch, Homeland Security raids repair shops because companies like Apple say, "Oh, they're using counterfeit repair part information or they're repairing stuff they're not allowed to." And they're getting raided.
Phil: So I'm going to take a contrary view to this and say I'm not really sure that this is a good idea. First, I think this kind of cheapens the idea of what our rights are so probably should not throw around the word right when we're talking about our gadgets and getting screens fixed and things like that. You know, there's like other rights that are a little bit more fundamental. But more importantly, how exactly is this going to be implemented? The only way that this could actually play itself out is government restrictions about how products are made such that they support 3rd party repair services. That could be a very significant barrier to just innovation. Like if Apple has a manufacturing process that like nobody else can repair, are they going to be prohibited from using it because their devices have to be repairable?
Leo: Well I would hope it wouldn't go that far but—
Phil: Well how else could you enforce it?
Leo: Well, you don't have to enforce it, you just have to stop prosecuting people who want to repair Apple devices.
Phil: Well, yea, that clearly.
Leo: Well that's all that we're saying here.
Phil: But within a couple years they just won't be able to. They can try, it just won't happen.
Leo: The requirement would be for a company like Apple to sell replacement parts, not just to Apple repair facilities but to independent repair shops.
Phil: And that I can see actually getting weird because that requires a certain level of technology transfer. There's also some stuff that you can make that's just not repairable. I wouldn't want companies to be unable to—like, look. Look at the Airpods, right?
Leo: They're not repairable.
Phil: Like the Airpods are, if anything, they're not a perfect product. To me the Airpods feel like a mediocre product from 10 years in the future. Like when you look at those Airpods—
Leo: (Laughing) Someday we'll all have it but we won't be happy.
Phil: Yea, we're like clearly this is not made by current technology.
Leo: That's so funny.
Phil: And they're obviously not repairable. So would you say—
Leo: Yea, the guy that fixed it got a zero on the repair.
Owen: To repair? You're more likely to lose it than you are to get it repaired. You're going to lose it before you need to fix it.
Leo: So should a law be made that says, "Apple, you can't make these. You have to make something repairable." I agree. That should not be made.
Phil: Yea, because I want—Airpods are a great product.
Michael: Yea, but I also, I don't like when companies tell you that you can't open something that you've bought. So I remember a couple of years ago, the Xbox was being hacked pretty regularly and there were rules prohibiting people from opening the—
Leo: The DMCA specifically prohibited because then you have reverse engineer copy protection.
Michael: Yea, so I think—
Phil: You should be able to break whatever you want just don't expect anyone to fix it.
Michael: And especially if you own it. If you buy something I feel like you should be able to open it up, repair it, hack it. You should be able to do whatever you want with it.
Phil: You shouldn't be able to break things you don't own, right.
Leo: (Laughing) you only can break things you own.
Michael: Well, I've got to be careful because I'm wearing a polarizing hat so I don't want anyone to get the wrong idea.
Phil: I think doubly polarizing because people are misreading it from the comments.
Michael: Oh yea?
Leo: Yea, you're getting it both ways. You're getting it both ways.
Michael: Well, you know, that's what they get.
Owen: That's why Nunez is wearing them shades. They don't know him in the streets.
Leo: I thought he was wearing the shades because the futures are so bright.
Owen: No, incognito. I know a suit when I see one. And I know somebody hiding out in a black space site when I see one. That's Nunez.
Michael: I'll try to get closer to the camera.
Leo: He has a dragon head looming behind him.
Phil: It's a cool dragon head. I've been looking at the dragon head.
Leo: Yes, tell us about that dragon there.
Michael: I can actually grab that.
Leo: Yea, grab it. Michael Nunez is at gizmodo.com where he reviews tech.
Owen: Man, that thing is hefty.
Leo: Oh, man that's got a—is that Christina's? Because that thing is—yea.
Michael: So it's a lot heavier than I expected.
Leo: That's no hollow head, that's a—
Owen: We saw you try to grab it with one hand. It's like oh no.
Michael: Yea, it's pretty heavy.
Leo: It's spikey.
Michael: I think it's from Lord of the Rings or something?
Leo: Oh, it is. It's Smaug.
Owen: Yea, it is.
Leo: It would be from The Hobbit. The Hobbit.
Owen: The Hobbit, yes, the Hobbit. Yea, he's in Lord of the Rings too, right? Briefly?
Phil: No, he dies in The Hobbit setting up all the events for The Lord of the Rings.
Michael: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.
Owen: And see, that—Phil, that's like the 3rd strike. I'm trying to save you and you just keep whiffing at the ball, Phil.
Leo: You know why? Because cyborg's don't understand spoiler. For them, information by all rights should be free.
Phil: Saying that Smaug is from Lord of the Rings is fake news.
Phil: He's really from The Hobbit.
Owen: Technically it's alternative facts because it's from the same lore, era and genre and author. So I mean, alternative facts.
Phil: If Smaug didn't die in The Hobbit there couldn't be The Lord of the Rings. His arc sets up the whole story.
Leo: It does? I thought Gollum's arc set's up the whole story.
Phil: Also that. There wouldn't be a Gollum without Smaug.
Leo: There would be no Gollum without Smaug, ladies and gentlemen.
Phil: There's few things I'm going to get.
Leo: (Laughing). Did you read the books?
Michael: What was that? Oh, did you read the books.
Owen: They're yelling out from the fence. People are upset.
Michael: Yea, wow.
Leo: You can talk all you want about Trump but you do not mention Lord of the Rings.
Phil: That's right. You want to see me lose my calm.
Owen: Yea, apparently.
Phil: Talk s*** about Lord of the Rings.
Michael: Phil, I've been trying all show, all show just to-
Phil: Yea, well done. Well done.
Owen: Work for free? No problem.
Leo: Can't we all just get along?
Owen: Deportation? Who cares about that? The dragon is where we draw the line in the sand.
Phil: It is a very nice dragon head, though.
Leo: Let's take a quick break and then we'll wrap this up. Guys, calm down. It's going to be ok. You know what? Let's go home and make dinner. It's on me. I've got Blue Apron waiting for me on my porch. Blue Apron is the amazing company that sends you a lovely refrigerated box filled with fresh, delishable—delishable ingredients. That's a new world, but I like it. Delishable ingredients to make high quality, wonderful home cooked meals. And every box comes with exactly the right amount, not more, not less. So if you need a tablespoon of soy sauce, you get a little bottle with a tablespoon of soy sauce so you don't have a whole bottle of soy sauce in your refrigerator for the next eight years that you'll never use again. Actually you will because once you cook these great recipes, you are going to go back and do it again and again. You will become a master chef without even knowing it. They have plans for couples. They have plans for families with kid friendly ingredients. You never get anything you don't want. They have vegetarian meals, absolutely. You choose what you want from the Blue Apron website. You choose a day of delivery and then instead of going to Olive Garden because you forgot to shop, you're going to have something wonderful waiting for you, like mushroom and cabbage dumplings. Oh, those look good. Or how about spicy shrimp and Korean rice cakes with cabbage and furikake? Hoisin chicken steamed buns. See you would never—look, we all—I love steamed buns but you would never say—I can't make that at home. You would never make that at home. You can. Hoisin chicken steamed buns with broccoli and marinated carrots and once you make that you can make that again and again. You know how now. I tell you what. You've got to try it. Now you may say, "That's got to be expensive." It's actually less than buying the same ingredients at the grocery store. The grocery store is about 60% more expensive because they've got more overhead and so this is a win all around. If you spend a lot of time eating out or at high end grocery chains, you're going to save money at Blue Apron. Under $10-dollars per person for healthy, home-cooked meals. The house smells great. It's like making love for your family, putting love on the table on a plate. It's the best thing ever. And your first 3 meals are free with free shipping. Just go to blueapron.com/twit. Blueapron.com/twit. Join the Blue Apron family. Our family's a Blue Apron family and I love it. I tell you. It's a lot of fun. Blueapron.com/twit.
Leo: One more story. I want to issue a correction. I talked on the radio show, I had seen a story from our local Channel 5 news about a young couple in Berkeley who according to the news, were killed by carbon monoxide poisoning caused by their laser cutter. In fact it's a very sad story. 35-year-old Roger Morash is a game developer. He was working on a game called Shard. His wife, Valerie Morash was a postdoc. She and their two cats were found dead on Monday in their apartment. According to police sources, they were using a—now, police sources got it wrong I think because they were saying they were using a laser 3D printer. According to other sources there was a small 3D printer and a laser cutter. That would make more sense, a laser cutter does generate smoke. The problem is there are no toxicology reports and they don't know what caused it. And in fact when the hazardous materials team showed up they couldn't find any evidence of carbon monoxide but nor was there a gas leak. So it's really, it's a mystery and the information—
Phil: We're they just blaming the laser cutter because they didn't know what it was?
Leo: I think so although neighbors had apparently complained about a bad, burning plastic smell coming from the apartment in the past twice. In any event, very sad story. They were both MIT graduates. They were one of us. So I'm very sad to hear about the Morashes but I apologize for repeating what might have been actually fake news that the it was carbon monoxide poisoning caused by their laser printer. We just don' t know yet. But it also a word of warning and that's the main reason I wanted to bring it up. See, carbon monoxide is odorless, tasteless. You can't tell. It comes from incomplete combustion in your furnace. Your water heater it could happen. You should get a carbon monoxide detector. It's the only way of knowing. If that's what caused their deaths, had they had one, the wouldn't have suffered this. It's a mysterious death at this point and so I'm just going to reserve that idea that it was CO. However, very dangerous and if you had—I think Roger was well known as kind of a maker, he would have known better than to venting a laser cutter into the house so that seems unlikely. Anyway, I just wanted to—that story now is kind of suspicious. We're not sure exactly what happened. Toxicology takes a couple of weeks and at that point perhaps we'll know. Sad story. I don't want to end with that. Is there a happy story we can end with? What do you think, Owen J.J. Stone? Something to celebrate this week.
Owen: This week in Lord of the Rings—
Leo: Did you just look up Smaug's story arc?
Owen: I knew the movies. It's just that there's so many of them and they're like 42 days long. Maybe I got confused by what the beginning and the end was. It's kind of like Star Wars. You know, sometimes you just mix and match what's going on. But if you want to end the show on happiness, then just check everybody else out. Let me end the show. I'll make everybody feel good about themselves. I will.
Leo: Ok, a patented Owen J.J. Stone feel-good rant. But first, let's ask Phil. Is there any other story that you want to cover or talk about? Did we cover everything that was--?
Phil: Well, I mean in important news they announced the title and the logo for the next Star Wars movie.
Leo: The Last Jedi.
Phil: The Last Jedi.
Leo: What do you think that means?
Phil: Well, it's a completion of a sentence because it's The Force Awakens the Last Jedi and then we don't know where the third one's going to end.
Leo: They're saying now that the Star Wars titles form a sentence.
Phil: They might.
Michael: Wait, what?
Michael: I haven't heard that.
Phil: The Force Awakens the Last Jedi.
Leo: The Force Awakens Rogue One the Last Jedi?
Phil: Well, no, Rogue One's a different time period.
Leo: Well, if conveniently leave out some words.
Michael: I feel like you're missing a word.
Leo: The Force Awakens.
Phil: The Last Jedi.
Leo: The Last Jedi.
Michael: From His Nap.
Leo: (Laughing). That's—so Christmas 2019, Star Wars From His Nap.
Phil: That's right
Leo: That's what we deduce.
Phil: It made me happy.
Leo: The Last Jedi could be Luke, right?
Phil: Could be. Or it could be plural.
Michael: Well, it depends on—that's the big question here, whether it's plural or not.
Phil: It's like The Last Samurai.
Michael: I think that the predominant theme is that the Last Jedi is Rey, right? I feel like the set that up so well.
Leo: It's pretty clear she's a Jedi although we don't know.
Owen: Technically speaking, Jedi's are born every day, everywhere. They just don't know that their force—
Leo: But we need a midichlorian count. Without a midichlorian count, there's no way of knowing.
Owen: Man, Yoda didn't even really believe in all that. Neither did Qui-Gon. He's like, so what about his midichlorian count? It don't mean he the man, I'm the man. I've got a purple light saber. Don't talk to me about midichlorian counts.
Leo: I like this one. Battle Game in our chatroom says, "Actually since Princess Leia was almost certainly a Jedi maybe it's a tribute to Carrie Fisher."
Owen: She wasn't even really a princess.
Phil: It could be a tribute to Carrie Fisher. Well, they probably had that planned more in advance but—
Owen: I thought they already shot her parts in the new—I thought they—
Phil: Didn't they?
Leo: They shot her parts.
Michael: But I think they're also trying to win the rights to use her, her what? Her posthumously. I think they're something to that.
Leo: Didn't Lucas or somebody bunk that they didn't want to, or not—I think J.J. Abrams debunked that, right? He said we're not going to use, we're not going to do a fake Carrie. Although they did it with Ambassador Tarkin or whoever.
Michael: Yea, right, it was such a prominent role.
Phil: Grand Moff Tarkin.
Leo: Grand Moff. But that means ambassador.
Phil: No it doesn't.
Leo: (Laughing). What is Grand Moff mean? I didn't see Rogue One. I haven't seen it yet.
Phil: I know you're trying to bait me into explaining what grand moff means but I'm not—
Owen: You are the worst with these movies, man.
Owen: You don't—what are you doing?
Leo: I saw Moonlight Manchester by the Sea. I saw LA La Land. How do you pronounce that? LA, LA Land?
Owen: You sound like a married man seeing movies.
Leo: I saw, I saw the best minds of my generation.
Owen: Be quiet. Somebody in that TWiT house, there is a man that drinks beer. Take Leo to the movies bi-weekly, please. Please get the man out to go see something where he can have a drink and just enjoy. Something with shooting. John Wick. If you don't go see John Wick—
Leo: I saw the first John Wick. That was the worst movie. Keanu Reeves cannot act. Whoa, you killed by dog, dude. That was not right.
Owen: That has nothing to do with it.
Leo: Oh, I am going to hurt you, dude. Whoa.
Owen: You are just—I can't.
Phil: That's pretty good. That's pretty good.
Leo: Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Michael Nunez. He is at Gizmodo.com. You can read Michael's stuff there and he's also michaelfnunez on the Twitter. And he is going to make America raga again because he's all into that Indian Bali dancing.
Michael: It's something like that.
Leo: I want that hat. Make America raga again.
Michael: Yea, no, yea. I don't have any final comments but I will say thanks for having me and thanks for putting up with my rants all evening. I appreciate it.
Leo: You don't get to say rant with Owen J.J. Stone in the house. Not at all. Phil Libin is always welcome here anytime you want to come and join us. Your insight and knowledge and calmness and of course your bio-port are always welcome. Managing Director at General Catalyst, plibin on the Twitter and of course one of the creators and founders of Evernote.
Phil: Thank you. Super great to be here and just remember no matter how bleak the world gets, Star Wars Episode 8 is coming out soon.
Phil: December of this year.
Leo: That's not—you know, December will be here before long. I might be confusing John Wick with Jack Reacher. That's different, right? Whose dog was killed? Remember they stole his Mustang and they killed his dog?
Owen: No, that was John Wick. That was John Wick.
Leo: That was John Wick.
Owen: That was a great movie.
Leo: Terrible movie. Jack Reacher, that was Tom Cruise, also a terrible movie.
Owen: You sound like a man who's been married for too long.
Leo: No, my wife loves those movies.
Owen: Someone take her out with a beer and have fun with her. Lisa, I'm coming to go to the movies with you.
Leo: Stop it. That's my wife you're talking about.
Owen: Happy birthday, Lisa.
Leo: It's her birthday. Happy birthday, Lisa!
Michael: Oh, happy birthday!
Leo: Without her there would be no TWiT. Owen J.J. Stone, sing us out.
Owen: So first of all, there's a lovely older lady that's been a fan of yours for forever and a day. And she tweeted at me. And I was like, look at you? Who are you? Lynette Barton, shout out to you for watching Leo, putting up with his suffering for like the last 30, 80 years, whatever it's been. I appreciate you tweeting to me and taking the time.
Leo: (Laughing). Yea, yea.
Owen: Secondly, I'll promote myself because I never do. IQMZ. I do a show called Random Drinking where we drink and we watch memes. I do a sports show. I'm trying to do a tech show but as you can see, sometimes tech can be depressing. I can't do an episode. And then I interview people. Watch me next week when I grill Phil and find out what all this peace and happiness are. Because let me tell you something. Phil's right. We need calm and relaxed people. But listen to me and Michael Nunez when we tell you we might have to burn this sucker down. If we do, you get on team Nunez and team OhDoctah. I know it's going to be ok. It's going to be all right. We are together in this. You are not alone. There is room in this cave for you to come and we can talk and love and be happy. Because even when the world's a bad place, there's still good people and I know you're good people because you're setting there watching me in the chatroom, making fun of my ears and all kind of other stuff. My shirt says Trust No One but I want to trust you. Be my friend. I love the fact that you spend Sunday two hours watching this show instead of football which I don't know why you do it. But you do. And that makes you good people with me. Thanks for watching TWiT. Another episode's in the can.
Leo: And I hope your Eagle's win, my friend.
Owen: They're out. They're sitting on the couch.
Michael: What? Whoa.
Leo: All right. All right. Falcons or Patriots?
Owen: Hope the Lord Jiminy Josephine Baker it's the Falcons because I'm tired of pretty-boy-I've-got-a-super-model-can't-do-nothing-wrong-in-a-lifetime Brady.
Leo: All right, all right, all right. How about you, Michael? Do you care?
Michael: I do. I'm a Chicago Bears fan. I want to get that one on the record but for next weekend I guess I'll be rooting for Julio Jones and the Atlanta Falcons. I like what they do.
Leo: I feel like this is an ESPN show where I'm asking for your picks. What do you think, Phil Libin? Falcons or Patriots?
Phil: Oh my God, I do not care about sports.
Leo: (Laughing) that's the right answer. Congratulations. You're our winner.
Owen: Says the man with the needle cyborg arm. You can't trust him. He's not human. Phil's not human.
Leo: Thank you for joining us. We do this show every Sunday afternoon at 3:00 PM Pacific, 6:00 PM Eastern time, 2300 UTC. You can come by and say hi. Watch us on the live stream. We're on YouTube Live now. YouTube.com/twit. And of course on our website. And if you want to be in the studio, we would love to have you. We had a nice studio audience today. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll make sure there's a chair waiting for you. If you can't watch live, on demand audio and video of everything we do is available not only at our website, twit.tv, excuse me, twit.tv but also on iTunes, Stitcher, Google All Access, Spotify, everywhere you can get podcasts. Just subscribe, that way you won't miss an episode. Next week our Super Bowl episode so we've enlisted all people from outside of the United States to be on the show because literally, we couldn't get anybody to be on the show because they all wanted to watch football. Phil, I should have asked you next week. Big mistake! Thanks for joining us. We'll see you next time. Another TWiT is in the can.