This Week in Tech 603
Leo Laporte: It's time for TWiT, This Week in Tech. It's the morning show crew. We've got Clay Morris from Fox and Friends, Becky Worley from Good Morning America, David Pogue from CBS This Morning, and we'll talk about all the big news, Hartley Cloud flairs, nightmare security flaw. We'll talk about what Mark Zuckerberg meant or didn't mean with his Facebook posting, and Uber. Wow! Could you have a worse week than Uber had this week? It's all coming up next, on TWiT.
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This is TWiT, This Week in Tech, episode 603, recorded Sunday, February 26, 2017.
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It's time for TWiT, This Week in Tech, the show where we talk about the latest tech news. We have a fabulous panel joining us today on Oscar night. They're all television celebrities. They're all morning show celebrities. That's Becky Worley from Good Morning America, hi, Becky.
Becky Worley: Good afternoon. I'll be speaking in my television voice.
Leo: Clayton Morris is also here. Fox and Friends, hello Clayton.
Clayton Morris: With a team you can trust... nice to see you guys.
Leo: These are all people who get up at three in the morning. You don't have to get up tomorrow morning, do you?
Clayton: Yeah. I've got a five AM show tomorrow morning. David Pogue, he's smart. He tapes all his appearances on CBS .
David Pogue: Yeah. Becky and Clayton, tip to the wise.
Leo: Becky and David work together too at Yahoo Tech, right?
David: We have done videos together.
Leo: Great to have you all. You had a good piece this morning on CBS Sunday morning about recreating actors, digital doubles. You said I didn't realize this, that more than a hundred actors have been scanned for movies, including Angelina Jolie, Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Dwayne Johnson. Aren't they worried about losing their livelihood?
David: It's complicated. One of the reasons they do this is if the original actor has died, so Rogue One, the Star Wars with the dead Peter Kushing resurrected started all of this. When I saw that movie, I did not realize that he was completely computer generated.
Leo: So they're not using old clips and jamming them in, they created a whole new character based on scans.
David: They did the same thing with Paul Walker in Furious 7, you remember he died partly into filming. They resurrected the 20 year old Princess Leia for Rogue One. So what started me on this idea for a story for Sunday Morning was not recreating people's faces and bodies digitally, but Adobe's demonstration in November of a new Photoshop for the voice, this is a program where you can feed it recordings of some famous person, 20 minutes' worth, and type in anything you want, and it will say in that person's voice, anything you want. It's the dawn of audio fake news. Adobe suddenly clammed up. No, we're not talking about this anymore...
Leo: Timing was a little bad. A lot of people put out this may contribute to fake anything.
David: That was my story today. Cool that you can resurrect dead actors, but what does evidence mean anymore? If you can make any video of any person doing something they never did, indistinguishably, isn't that the ultimate fake news?
Leo: You talked to somebody from USC who is building a human scanning system using $120 cameras and a home depot shower curtain. So, this could be done at home, in other words.
David: That was the point of visiting that guy. This isn't a million dollar thing any more. This is something you can build super cheaply in your own basement and start creating digital doubles in your free time.
Clayton: This is fascinating to me. I think Arnold Schwarzenegger, a few years ago, when they did that Terminator reboot, they youthened him, I remember him saying he thought this was the future of movies. For those guys who are being aged out of those action roles, is it possible, even X men ,when they looked crappy back then with Patrick Stewart, he looked all cherubic... they tried this with Brandon Lee after he was killed on set, and digitally morph him into the end scenes of the Crow. I think it's fascinating.
Leo: Isn't there an uncanny valley though? I don't know. I didn't see Rogue One. Did they look real? I guess they did. Peter Kushing...
Becky: I don't even know which character that is, which is how deceptive it was. Which guy was he?
David: You'd know if you saw him, He's really skeletal, and British. He's the number two to Darth Vader.
Leo: General Tarkwin. The Battle star is nearly operational, Lord Vader. That guy.
Becky: Yeah. Skeletor.
David: Uncanny valley is this place where completely computer generated humans has been stuck for the last fifteen years where there's something a little off. Theoretically they should look normal, but they look off. The argument of this story now is that we have finally exited uncanny valley. They can now make characters on screen that are completely computer generated that are so real you cannot tell the difference.
Becky: Action movies are such a big thing right now, especially because they really market well globally. In action movies, you don't actually have to know how to act, so I think it doesn't really matter.
Clayton: I wonder what this does to the stunt double. Would this make more stunt doubles fewer actors? They'd have them in more scenes and they'd digitally put their faces on there?
Leo: I hope for a day when I can retire, but there will be enough footage of me that they can... the show goes on with or without me.
Clayton: You could be like Chuck E cheese. Come out every hour and they have enough audio recordings of you that they could probably do something.
Leo: Every hour. Hello boys and girls, welcome to TWiT! So this is Tarkin from Rogue One. Notice, he's dimly lit. If you stall it, his hair looks a little plastic. There is uncanny valley here. But the thing is, it's a short scene that moves very quickly.
David: My story from CBS Sunday morning is online. You can Google it. CBS Sunday morning Pogue, digital doubles. They chose for that some dead on, close up, well-lit dialogue scenes of Tarkin. When I saw the movie, I didn't know.
Leo: Inevitably they'll get better and better.
David: In one of those recent Avengers movies, they youthened Robert Downey Junior, they made him 25 or 20 as a rebellious teen...
Clayton: It was amazing, but I was going to ask you about whether that was in your piece or not. That scene to me, it was like they were not making it as real as they could have on purpose. That's the way I took it. But I was looking at it and I instantly knew he was digital. We know he's not that young. Maybe it's not being able to suspend disbelief that's being pulled out of you because you know he's the age he is.
Leo: Yeah. That does look pretty good.
Becky: Do you guys watch this is us? I've spent so much of that show trying to figure out how Mandy Moore goes 40 years between being a 20 something and a 65 year old something. Even though there's no CGI on that, I feel like I spend a ton of time disbelieving.
Leo: Makeup is amazing. You should see the portrait of me in my basement. Unless the technology is advanced, they sometimes use real actors and modify them slightly.
David: That's what you're seeing here. They got another actor on the left who looks a little bit like Tarkin to wear the motion tracking dots on his face. He performed all the lines, that's how they got his mouth to move, and they got the accent right. He sounds a lot like Peter Kushing, and then they overlaid Kushing's face on the performance.
Leo: Before she died, Princess Leia said that she will not be in future Star Wars movies. She knows for a fact they're not going to do that to her.
George: Actors increasingly are now putting it in their wills if it's allowed to be done with them. I think Robin Williams said you can't use me for 25 years, no way no how.
Leo: Remember Fred Astaire dancing with a vacuum, with a Swiffer? They've been doing this for a while. You figure 25 years from now, Robin Williams will resurface and it'll be in ads and stuff. I wouldn't want... it leads me to this question: why would these actors allow themselves to be?
David: The Fred Astaire one, I'm glad you brought that up. First of all, that's a different matter. They're taking existing footage, there's nothing new created. But the reason I think that one is so significant, is because his widow gave permission, but his children said no way. So obviously the rule now is get the estate's permission. But what if some agree and some don't?
Clayton: Or what if things change where the language isn't even written in the contracts, like this new technology doesn't even exist. Johnny Cash's estate, weren't they upset they used Ring of Fire for a hemorrhoid commercial?
Leo: If the shoe fits...
Becky: Michael Jackson, the O performance in Las Vegas...
Leo: He appears on stage for a bit. I saw it. There's a Michael Jackson show.
Becky: It's Cirque De Solei. To answer your question, why these performers would want to do it is because there is a form of artistry in that. When the hologram appeared onstage, I will completely admit it, I cried. It was so surprising and emotional, and growing up in the Michael Jackson era, it shocked me a little bit. I can see why an artist would want to expand the boundaries even after death.
Leo: My memory of it is that it looks like a pepper's ghost. It intentionally doesn't... it's a little ghostly.
Becky: It's not trying to be perfectly human.
Leo: Otherwise, you'd go what the hell. What's he doing there?
Becky: You got used to it really fast too. It was the initial surprise, and once it was there for a couple minutes, all technology you assimilate it into your thinking so quickly.
Leo: The larger question which you raised at the beginning, David, is what does this do to facts? What does this do to... we used to say "Photos or it didn't happen." That clearly is no longer proof of anything. You can make anything up, then what?
David: I interviewed three people for this, and they had three different answers. The first guy who does this all the time said look. Nowadays you know if a photo is real. Either you go that's fake, or that might have been faked, or yeah. That's plausible. We've learned to have a filter. The same will be true of videos. This won't be a problem because we'll kind of know. The second guy said we're in deep doo doo. This is going to be a disaster, we're going to have to become more skeptical consumers, and the third guy said we need to start coming up with rules. We need to make some laws, we need to convene a body on the ethics of creating scenes that never existed.
Leo: Fascinating. Nevertheless you can have all the rules in the world, but it's not going to prevent somebody from doing it if they're malicious, right?
David: If there's a penalty for doing so, that might be a start.
Leo: Might not be detected. What a world we live in, technology. It has clearly outpaced our ability to adjust and forget congress, forget courts, laws, they're way behind. We can't even adjust to it in real time.
Clayton: Who would thought Amazon at the Oscars is going to have a movie in the Academy awards. Manchester by the Sea is an Amazon studios. If you had tried to predict that a few years ago...
Leo: We interviewed one of the nominees for animated short. It's a pearl. It was a Google spotlight story. Remember Google spotlight? You can still get it. It's a 360 degree movie about a girl in a car, and you can watch her grow up, basically, because it's 360, this is a whole new medium for filmmakers. This was nominated for an Oscar, first 360 degree virtual reality film nominated for an Oscar. Clearly we're entering that world. I asked the director, can you really, have you seen Pearl, David? If you watch it it really does tell a story. But it's very limited because you can't control the point of view.
David: Stop right now. Are you moving that? The problem with VR movies, is we're looking out the wrong window. The purpose of a director is not just to direct the actors, it's to direct your attention. We could sit here for five minutes and miss it! What's the value of 360 if you're supposed to look in one direction the whole time?
Becky: 360 is amazing for GoPro surfing videos, not for narratives, fictional accounts, in my opinion.
Leo: Watch. If he wins an Oscar, that's going to change a lot of things.
Becky: There's innovation and something that's going to be a trajectory, and those aren't necessarily the same thing.
Leo: Let's take a break. None of you are in Barcelona.
Becky: I like the cold wine.
Leo: There are lots of people in Barcelona this weekend, getting ready for Mobile World Congress which starts tomorrow. We had a number of Press conferences already, a lot of new phone announcements, we'll talk about some of those, including Samsung's announcement which started 25 minutes late, as a result I had to cut it off so I could do the tech guy show. They didn't announce anything important, you didn't miss a thing. Our show to you today brought to you by Betterment! This is taking the world by storm. You need to invest, you need to save for your future. A lot of people try to do it themselves, but there's a better way. Betterment: Customers can expect 4.3 higher returns in a typical do-it-yourself investor. Why? Because betterment is automated. It automatically diversifies. Rebalances, fees are lower. The computer does things like tax harvesting, which would be harder for you to do, but they do automatically, which lowers your investment taxes, increases your after tax returns, and it's a total end to end solution. Faster cash transfers, tax forms available at the earliest possible date. Many of us have old traditional advisers. I'll tell you what, you're lucky if you get your 1099 investment forms in March or April. Investing is completely secure. Betterment is the largest independent automated investment service with more than 5 and a half billion dollars in investment, 180,000 customers. Their portfolio is designed to achieve optimal results no matter what kind of investor you are. No minimums to sign up, either. I love that, so you can go and give it a try, and you can understand it. Save up to 6 times on fees, no trade fees, no transaction fees, no rebalancing fees. You can even use the investment dashboard at betterment to keep track of your other investments. You can sink them all so you can see your total net worth in one place. Betterment provides investing advice through smart technology and real people to help with account support 24/7. Investing does involve risk, but I'll tell you what. Right now, get a month managed free, when you make an initial deposit of $10,000 or more at betterment.com/twit. That's betterment.com/twit. We thank them so much for their support of This Week in Tech. David Pogue, Becky Worley, Clayton Morris. Feels like this is the Morning show team. This is good. I like this.
Becky: We're missing NBC, I think.
Leo: Screw 'em. We know whoever is over there, we probably know them. Everybody seems... I go over to headline news now, I see Michaela, and Erica Hill right after. All the tech TV people. I'm glad they succeeded where I failed. Uber. We should talk about Uber. This was a bad week for Uber. I'm really torn. I like using Uber. Increasingly, I'm feeling like it's not a great company. Most recently one of Uber's employers, Susan Faller, wrote a blog post indicting Uber. She worked there for a year and has since left for its treatment. I love Kara Swisher's argument about it. She says it's all about the leather jacket. Should I tell that story? Becky, I'd like to hear a woman respond. You're our token woman. Ha ha. Recode Cara Swisher: for the want of a leather jacket, is Uber lost? She tells among all the horiffic HR stories, she was harassed in all sorts of ways, HR never responded. The one that Kara said was most telling, Uber ordered leather jackets, but only for the men because they got a bulk discount. There were six women left, and they said it would be discrimination to buy you jackets, because we get a better discount to buy 120 jackets for the 120 men, it would cost us more to buy you jackets, so we're not going to get you jackets. Susan writes, "we were told if we wanted leather jackets, we women needed to find jackets that were the same price as the bulk order price of the men's jackets?" Now who cares about jackets? But it does tell you something about the culture, right? This was a director that told her that.
Becky: That is the over-arching... it gives you an indication of the institutionalized perception of women at the company, but to peel it back and go back to the story that Susan Fowler told about her manager, that's the one that really blew me out of the water.
Leo: This was right when she started. She started as a developer in the reliability department. SRE they call them.
Becky: I'm just going to read from this blog that she wrote, because I think it's really important. "On my first official day rotating on the team, my new manager sent me a string of messages over company chat, he was in an open relationship he said, and his girlfriend was having an easy time finding new partners but he wasn't. He was trying to stay out of trouble at work, he said, but he couldn't help getting into trouble. It was clear he was trying to get me to have sex with him, and so clear I took screen shots and reported them to HR. HR did nothing, they told the woman he is a high performer and it's the first time..."
Leo: This is the first time, it had never happened before...
Clayton: You're supposed to be able to go to the HR department without facing retaliation from anybody in the company. If you don't feel safe going to the HR department, you're in trouble. There was a company culture, this toxicity, even within the HR department, which knew this was not the first time this guy had done this, and it was also lying to her and other women inside the company.
Leo: Uber did immediately respond. Travis Calleneck hired Eric Holder, former attorney general to lead an independent investigation. We certainly, I didn't know about this, and I would never condone this, and we're going to get to the bottom of this, and we're going to root this kind fo institutional sexism out.
Becky: There was a great article about this basically saying this is just a reaction to the press and that they also pulled out Ariana Huffington, who is on their board. She said the company would no longer be hiring brilliant jerks, where has she been the last 12 months? This is obviously an institutionalized problem. Let's just say that they have finally gotten the message that this is not a good culture for women. I think they started they had 15% of their engineers were women and they're trying hard to create a woman friendly environment.
Leo: The post said by the time I left a year later, most of the women had left. There were only 3 or 4 woman engineers left.
Becky: The big questions are do they get it, and even if they get it, how do they reboot their corporate culture? I was trying to think of companies that have been...
Clayton: Once they start peeling this onion back, especially when you have a former attorney general in there, he's not going to let anything go. What they're going to do is if it's an independent investigation, they're not bound by Uber anyway, they're going to be bringing people in, former employees and current employees, and they're going to tell them, you have full and unfettered ability to tell the truth. What you say with us is in this room, and you're going to let us know, did this ever happen,. They're going to ask us a series of questions, they're going to go down the line, and they're going to start to find stuff. They're going to peel this onion back and the assessment that they come up with is going to be damning. It's going to be either you've got to clean house, you've got a laundry list of people who are covering up for these individuals, and there's going to have to be a clean house. I've already enjoyed deleting Uber off my phone.
Leo: There was a delete Uber movement earlier when Uber after the taxi strike at JFK Uber said we eliminated surge pricing, take an Uber, and everybody said wait a minute. Then the hashtag deleteuber. Frankly, I don't think that was fair. I don't know if that was a good reason to delete Uber. It could have been an automated... then they were trying to be responsive, saying we've had problems with surge pricing before, people seeing that as predatory, so we're not going to do it. And it backfired on them.
David: I think the outcome that Clayton described might be one possible outcome. But I think a more likely outcome will be as the blog post by Uber investors pointed out, Eric Holder is not independent. Eric Holder is on their payroll. His firm is being paid to do this investigation. He has been involved in previous Uber investigations, you may recall. And nothing has changed, this is not the first really nasty smell we've had coming from Uber. They've been in one mess after another.
Leo: It feels like a continuous drumbeat.
Clayton: The newest story is the self-driving car line that they got caught in.
Leo: OK. So there's video in front of the museum of modern art, a very crowded area down by Masconi center, a guy is watching as an Uber whizzes through a red light and it just misses a Pedestrian. Uber, when confronted with that, said that was a human error. It turns out that was a lie.
Clayton: You remember their PR statement that they released back in December and it was widely reported that people were chunking it out saying that this sounds like they're wording this to mislead, there was a human driving the car, but if you started to look closely, it could be the case that the car was in this autonomous mode. Turns out it was a total lie.
Leo: How do we find that out?
Clayton: New York Times.
Becky: Do you think morning TV would accept the word 'douchey?'
Clayton: That's the perfect word to describe it.
Leo: Some of this is because Uber had to be a combative company to disrupt the highly entrenched Taxi companies in city after city. They faced lawsuits, fights, boycotts. This was not an easy thing to do, and in the face of it, they created a billion dollar company, very quickly. So maybe this combative nature of Uber in general, they're just an aggressive company.
David: I'm surprised Lyft hasn't come up in this conversation yet. They do exactly the same thing without a bunch of douches at the helm.
Clayton: I downloaded their app when I deleted Uber off my phone.
Becky: I think a lot of companies that have strong founders go through painful adolescence periods where they're used to being able to turn the Zodiac on a whim and act as individuals, and have their personality pervade the entire company, but once you start driving a titanic, it doesn't work like that anymore. You lose something in translation. This is a company that is going through a painful adolescence. They have whole specialists that come in and help founders transition from that Zodiac mentality to driving the Titanic. The first thing that has to happen in order for that to occur is the founder has to go through the AA process. Recognizing there is a problem and recognizing they have a problem.
Leo: I found a Travis Callineck quote, and at the end of the quotes, they say since you're reading Travis's quotes, you might like quotes from Elizabeth Holmes, Evan Spiegel. I guess the algorithm understands what douchery is... Brian Chesky from Air bnb. There is a certain bro spirit in a lot of our startups. Is it part of a startup that you have to have a certain attitude? Cavalier? You don't have time for political correctness?
Becky: I'm more interested in this, I can't speak for this because I've never worked at a company that has had a toxic culture towards women. I work in a company that has a matriarchal affect to it, you don't mess with Diane Sawyer and Martha Radditz. I have had the opposite experience. My bigger question is I don't know if corporations have the ability to recover from scandal like this. Name me one company that has had a scandal that has totally fixed their corporate culture. Tyco? Volkswagen? Now it has come back full circle. The Catholic Church?
Leo: We don't know if they've come back or not yet.
Becky: That's the thing. There's no one glowing example of this company had this terrible problem and now they just completely fixed it and came back.
David: Uber had that town meeting audio that was fixed last week. Travis met with a hundred women from the company and listened to their grievances, and he said OK. Things will change, I'm really sorry, you're right you're right. This is bad. As they said in this leaked audio, Travis, this is what you say every time. Nothing changes.
Leo: I think about Facebook, which has for years had a policy, forge ahead and apologize later. It wasn't a sexist issue, it was issues of privacy. Violating user privacy, and backing off on that. It does seem that is kind of the philosophy of many startups. We don't have time for niceties. We're just going to forge forward. I'm looking at Samsung, you talk about reputation. Samsung was third in brand reputation in 2015, seventh in 2016, this year after the recall, 49th. It can really hurt you.
Becky: Let's talk about market forces. You've got the marketing problem, then you've got the talent problem. Talent is a big issue in San Francisco. If you can't get 50% of the engineers, if you make yourself unattractive to a large swath of talent, then there's a market force that's going to have an effect.
Leo: So what happens to Uber? They're well capitalized. They're losing money very fast, but that doesn't seem to hurt anybody in today's tech world.
Becky: I don't see this as a huge impact on their business or their trajectory or their bottom line. There are many other market forces that will affect them in a larger way than this. People will have a perception of them as being douchey, but when you're drunk and it's 1AM you're going to call an Uber.
Leo: That's the bottom line.
Clayton: I used Lyft last week. Was in Nashville, flew back, used Lyft at the airport. It worked flawlessly. I deleted Uber and never looked back.
David: It's David and Goliath. Lyft is this, and Uber is this.
Leo: Chris Saad who is the head of product at Uber tweeted people don't understand. Uber is a great company, we're going to fix this and we want to fix this. He was really defending his company and saying Fowler had overstepped. That was an issue with... this is often what happens, by the way. It happened with Ellen Pao when she sued Reddit. She was CEO of Reddit... she was Kliner perkins. She sued and lost after a vicious trial. I think this is one of the reasons women don't come forward. I admire Susan Fowler for writing this piece, because often they get tarred with that brush. Company goes on fine.
Becky: She did a nice job of not being hyperbolic in her description. She was so understated in everything from the title to the description of what happened. It was so egregious that anyone who tries to push back on her is reaching. It was very factual and clear, and not trying to make an outrageous case.
Leo: She did it well. But didn't sue.
David: But Susan Fowler's thing is only the top of it. Then the New York Times did that big expose after interviewing thirty people of the culture and the way it is in there.
Leo: Yeah. So this is..
Becky: Remember the Amazon piece...?
Leo: A, is this business as usual in startups, they're really inhumane, they drive people hard and they often do things that we would redeem as reprehensible and establish as business like ABC. Two, does this hurt the company? There is the delete Uber movement, Clayton did it. He's taking Lyft from now on. Or is, as Becky says, is this bad publicity but Uber will... because when you're drunk at 1 AM who are you going to call?
David: You've got to remember that all these things we're talking about, like fairness, equality, and fairness of rights regardless of gender or sexuality, these are East coast west coast liberal city feelings, as we know now from the election.
David: A vast swath of the country doesn't care about treating people fairly. Grabbing people by the.. you know.
Leo: There's a significant number of people who say that's Susan Fowler and I'm still going to use Uber. Yeah. Before the show, we were talking about Hidden Figures, and it wasn't so long ago where you see these three black women at NASA and the discrimination that they faced, the nastiness that they faced, that wasn't that long ago. It was just accepted. YOu see all these smart male engineers saying I'm not going to drink that coffee, she just drank out of that. Tragic.
Becky: We have a space in our collective acceptability spectrum for a lot of these behaviors. But if you look at the trajectory of where we're going, it does point to this being unacceptable and I hope market forces will drive it out of the business world, because it just doesn't make sense in the long run. It's not good for anybody.
Leo: It's the question. Is it or is it not, Uber has done very well. NASA did OK. They got a man in space. Maybe it doesn't hurt the company, or can you make the argument, and I think you can, that diversity makes a better product. I'm going to switch focus here to Snapchat, which is probably going to do its IPO this week, and they got a lot of pain, they did blackface filters, and an Asian filter that were wholly racist. The point was made if you have a bunch of white bro programmers writing these filters, it's not that they're racist necessarily, but they're not going to be sensitive to what blackface means. It hurts the company in the long-run.
Becky: If you have a global multicultural consumer base then you need to have someone who understands the people in that consumer base.
Leo: That's the question. Is it going to hurt the company or what?
Becky: I think they're going to call me for that tagline. I'm drunk and it's 1 AM so suck it.
Leo: Just don't barf in the back.
David: I took an Uber the other day, the driver told me the most unbelievable story. This isn't typical TWiT stuff, but you'll enjoy this. You know the Uber pool where you share an itinerary with total strangers. The driver is driving along and he picks up the first passenger, a business man who sits in the passenger's seat and gets busy on his phone. The driver picks up a young couple at a later stop, they're all going down the same highway, so they're sharing a car for less money. The young couple gets in the back and they're making out hot and heavy. Attractive young man and woman. There's no conversation, they're just driving along. After a while, the girl in the backseat giggles at the touch of her boyfriend. The passenger, the business man in the front seat turns around and says, "Meghan?"
Leo: Oh god! Oh no!
David: He didn't know that his girlfriend was cheating on him, and the guy she was cheating on him with didn't know that she had another boyfriend, and he's in the front seat.
Leo: Be interesting to watch how this is going to affect Uber. I agree with you, Becky. I think it's not going to affect their business one whit, and it's just, they'll just go on. If it were just this incident, maybe. But it's this continuous day after day story about Uber. There's another one, Google is suing Uber. Actually, they're suing a company Uber acquired called Auto. That's the self-driving trucks. Apparently a guy who was working for Google's Waymo, their autonomous driving division, Anthony Levindowsky downloaded 14,000 technical files from the Google servers and launched the autonomous truck start up auto. Which was acquired a few months later by Uber and Levendowsky is now running the automated car division at Uber. So Google is now suing Uber saying we don't want to do this, we don't like to do this, but when somebody steals your stuff, then you get upset. According to Wired, it's the lasers. The lasers that they're using that make the Lidar maps are the technology that was borrowed from Waymo.
Becky: Reading about this story, one of the things that that I found really interesting is I had presumed, incorrectly, that Google was going to be licensing their self-driving technology to other manufacturers of cars who were already in the business, but at the Detroit auto show early this year, the CEO of the Google self-driving car announced.
Leo: Both Auto and Waymo have the best names.
Becky: So good.
Leo: It's way mo betta!
Becky: They are actually going to be making the hardware themselves, Google is. That the LIDAR sensors can cost up to 75,000 dollars per sensor group, and what Waymo has done is decrease the price of that by 95% in their manufacturing research, so to be able to shave 67, 68 thousand dollars off of this component is a huge advantage to them. So the fact that they have such compelling evidence that this guy has stolen the design components, I don't know if most people know this. The whole story was a supplier for Waymo accidentally emailed them, and they included Auto's new design spec, which looked like Waymo. Waymo went back and did an investigation and found out that Lewendowsky came from... it's a total smoking gun.
David: Obviously Waymo has a point here, and I bet they'll win. Whatever. There is also the argument about what is Google doing? They are years ahead. We're going to license, we're not going to license, we're just not going to do anything. We're going to partner, they keep changing their minds, meanwhile the competitors have caught up and lapped them.
Becky: You are completely right and completely wrong, David. Here's why. I think they had the technology but we weren't mentally prepared for self-driving cars, so unlike Microsoft which has the unfortunate habit of releasing technology we're not yet ready for, and then getting skunked on it ten years later, I think they were waiting for public opinion and public awareness to catch up to the technology that they already owned.
Leo: I feel like you can say that about everything in the Google labs. The face recognition, the robots. They've got it, we're just not ready for it.
Becky: And it doesn't work consistently enough. Until it works as well as that silver thing behind me where you open it up and the light goes on and it keeps all my food cold, that is consistent performance. I want to see my technology have that kind of performance.
Leo: That's a Samsung, I think. Can you tweet from that refrigerator? I actually had a call from somebody who had a Samsung refrigerator with an Internet connection and it used to have his calendar on it, but Google changed the calendar API and the Samsung refrigerator has no updates, so the calendar doesn't work anymore. This is why you don't put a calendar in a refrigerator.
David: I fooled around with the Samsung refrigerators at CES, but the scrolling speed was so slow. Are you kidding me, you'll spend $12000 for a fridge that will seem obsolete next year!
Leo: Put a raspberry pie in it.
Clayton: You could just snap an iPod into it. I'd rather have that.
Leo: I don't know if I need a computer for my fridge. Did you buy that for GMA, Becky, is that a GMA fridge behind you?
Becky: No. This is my set.
Leo: I want to take a break, then we'll talk about Snap and the Snap IPO. Should you or shouldn't you jump on Snap? Snap has had its own issues, there's some question about whether Snap's IPOing at the peak. It's the OMG pop phenomenon. Remember draw something that was the hottest app in existence, then Zynga bought it and boom. They bought them at the absolute peak. Maybe the same thing with snap. Let's talk about Eero first. Happy birthday, Eero. Eero created the mesh Wi-Fi that is changing the world, and it is an amazing solution. Everybody knows Wi-Fi has become a problem. Few reasons. There are so many Wi-Fi networks in your area, congestion, our houses are bigger, we're doing more, we're sending more stuff over Wi-Fi. A single router model which was great five years ago doesn't work. You need a distributed system. Eero, the world's first home Wi-Fi system. It blankets the entire home in fast, reliable Wi-Fi. No more buffering, no more dead zones, this is not a repeater. This is not a Wi-Fi extender. Eero is much smarter then. It's a mesh system. Is that an Eero? I see it. It really was a transformation. You manage it through an app. They've managed to make something that's easy and straight forward to set up and use, but if you dig deep, they have features that even some geek routers don't have. They come with more memory and power than you need currently to zap Wi-Fi. That means that they can upgrade it. They over built the Eero. I don't know if people realize this, but for instance, they just had the 2.0 update, which enhances the new mesh, but there's even more capability, because they over built it. They put more CPU and memory in there, so they can add all sorts of things. Eero is one of the only routers that gets updated automatically all the time. Plus, as you can see, there's no way to hide it. It looks great! State of the art wpa2 encryption, of course. Great customer support. I actually tested them and called them up and said I can't get my Minecraft server working. You've seen them everywhere, we've talked about them. 4.4 stars on Amazon, 750 reviews, one year warranty, of course we'll work with your existing modem or Internet service. There's a 30 day money back guarantee, to celebrate their birthday, they have permanently lowered prices. 399 for the three pack, 299 for a two pack. Each Eero is good for 1500 square feet. So many people, a two pack would be plenty. The nice thing is you can always add more Eeros as you need them. To get Eero at its low price, eero.com, or BestBuy or Amazon, to celebrate one yearo of Eero. Everybody loves Eero. Snap, the latest is... they're going to do their IPO this week, like Wednesday, March 1. It's going to be big. 20 billion, their initial price, they have 14 to 16 a share, 22 billion dollar market cap at that price. 17.8 billion dollars. The New York stock exchange symbol snap, that's a good easy one to remember. Like Uber, like a lot of companies, they have great revenue. 404 million dollars in revenue, last year, that's up from 58 million dollars the year before, they also have great losses. Revenue does not necessarily mean profit. Their net loss, remember 404 million dollars in revenue, they lost 514 million dollars. In other words, they spent half a billion dollars to make 400 million dollars. Not a good business, in the long run. The year before, they lost 372 million dollars. They are close to having lost a billion dollars in two years.
Clayton: Did you read the piece by Owen Williams in Medium this week? It's an anecdotal piece about his experience noticing that more people were not using Snapchat, friends had dropped off.
Leo: He said why I'm leaving Snapchat and so are all your friends.
Clayton: Listening to, there was a group of teenagers at Panera, and they were on Instagram. One of them mentioned something about Snapchat, and the other said we don't use that any more. I was never on it to begin with. I survived that tech spike, but when you start to see people around you using Instagram stories, which came out a year ago now. That's cute, they're trying to mock...
Leo: They completely copy Snapchat stories, right?
Clayton: And they have the ability to because so many people are on Instagram, and it's the natural extension of that platform. The live and advertising. How is Snapchat making money?
Leo: They're not. Although I thought they would.
David: You said you don't use Snapchat, but I'm going to perform an astonishing feet of mind reading over the Internet. Ready. Leo, you don't use Snapchat either. Wait, I feel it. Becky doesn't either.
Leo: You're wrong. I use Snapchat all the time. I love Snapchat. Snapchat is awesome.
Becky: What is a story?
Leo: One of the reasons a lot of adults don't use Snapchat is it's completely opaque. Nobody can figure out how to use it. Look, Jimmy Kimmel has just appeared. This is how they make money. There's an Oscar Snapchat filter, hi kids. I now have lipstick and sunglasses. This is why I use them, because it's funny. By the way, Instagram and others have added these capabilities. Facebook just bought a company masquerade, which does an amazing job. Arguably better than Snapchat.
Becky: Those filters are addictive.
Leo: I can record this, save it to a story, that easily. Strangers can see my snaps...
Clayton: Is that worth 20 billion dollars? That's a feature.
Leo: Apps sold for 22 billion dollars to Facebook. That was arguably not much more interesting than Snapchat.
David: What I was driving at is 80% of Snapchat users are female. A huge percent are under 25. It's 13 year old girls.
Becky: My hairdresser uses it and she loves the news feature on Snapchat. It doesn't come from anyone she knows, it's not imbued with negative feelings.
Leo: Snapchat used to just be pictures of Kim Kardashian's butt. Mostly because the companies who put the news on here, if we put her butt on here, people will click on it. Snapchat made rules a few weeks ago to eliminate that kind of click bait. How much more boring this is than it used to be. Daily mail is something, a young woman in some sort of lingerie on the front. It got really bad at one point. There was a story, it was a Wired Story about guys using a technology and they had a picture of a girl in a bikini on the front page just to get you to click it. It got out of control. I see the power of Snap, but what you've brought up, Clayton is interesting, which is anything based on a social graph, including Facebook is very vulnerable if those users like those teenagers in Panera decide en masse to move. You go where you friends are.
Clayton: I'm confused by Facebook. Maybe that's why they bought WhatsApp and Instagram. Facebook is where everyone is by volume. I don't know. Are kids using Facebook, are they on Facebook?
Leo: I look at my son who is 22, and a big Snapchat user, and all his friends are Snapchat users, they don't participate Facebook or Instagram. A little bit Instagram, but mostly Snapchat, because the pictures go away.
Clayton: But how is Facebook such a behemoth? When you look at their ads platform and what they're able to do with ads, it's arguably no better driver. We said this before, if you're a small business, you're a pet store in a small village in a small town, you better be on Facebook. You can do such micro-targeted smart advertising to pet owners who live in your zip code who can come into your town and you offer them a coupon to come in and say hello and I'd like to meet you. It's phenomenal, there's no better way to connect for businesses to drive traffic that way than to use Facebook ads. Then to retarget those people who were very eh, retarget those people. I'm curious, I'm confused by that though. So many people are saying Facebook isn't cool, then how is Facebook such a behemoth and continuing to see phenomenal growth?
Becky: Look at it this way. Let's think about Snapchat as Justin Bieber. You got a huge fan following of the perfect demographic that every advertiser wants so they can hook you for life.
Leo: Bingo! That's why Snap's hot, right?
Becky: But the problem is that it's hard to know if they're going to stay with you or move on to the next hot artist.
Leo: They're fickle.
Becky: Facebook is more like the label. They are constantly trying to cultivate new stuff that's going to be hot, maybe not with that perfect demo but with the bell curve. And they're always looking to see if they can get some up and comer because they have the money to do it.
Leo: And the fact that Facebook was able to buy Instagram and then Instagram is now eating Snapchat's lunch proves your point. If Facebook needs to expand into an area they can buy WhatsApp or they can buy Instagram and like buying an artist.
Becky: I'm so bearish on this. I think this IPO is not a good bet and obviously people are going to go for IPOs like this because they think there's a chance that they might get a 10X return even though they know that that's very—it's like your one time only chance to be a VC. The number one reason why I'm bearish is because I don't see any opportunity for them to have any horizontal expansion of use. So you look at—you know, what they do so well is this sense of the ephemeral, of fun, connecting in the moment. But that doesn't necessarily grow with you and it doesn't have a lot of expansion capability. I mean it's kind of like Disney in the feel of it. And Disney's figured out how to create this huge horizontal umbrella of vertically integrated businesses. I don't see anything in the core values of Snap that would create more value.
Clayton Morris: What about the argument that they are a camera company? You know we saw Snap Spectacles last year roll out and now they're going to be available not just in those little kiosks that you have to fly to some town in Deadwood, South Dakota to find them. You can actually get them more readily.
Leo: I actually bought mine at a premium on eBay just so I could—
Clayton: How much did you pay for them?
Leo: Actually only $200, so it wasn't a huge premium.
David Pogue: How often do you use them now?
Leo: They're sitting on my dresser charging.
David: I figured.
Leo: (Laughing) but it was cool to have and I wanted—you know, part of my job is to see what is going on here. Doesn't this remind you though a little bit about the conversation before Facebook went public and people saying, "Come on. They haven't licked mobile. They're going to be completely disenfranchised once everybody goes to their phone." There was a lot of debate over whether people should by Facebook stock.
Clayton: The question was at the time was their ads platform. It was nascent and people were wondering if this was really going to catch on. They're going up against the beast that's Google Ad Words. Are you going to be able to slay that beast and it turns out, yea.
Leo: Yea, they did. I said at the time, if you're buying Facebook, you're betting on Mark Zuckerberg. That's what you're betting on. You're betting on that this guy will figure it out.
Becky: Despite Allen K's words to the contrary that all software companies should make their own hardware, is there a good example of an app or software company going into the hardware business that has been successful? I mean I think of hardware as the death knell. Just talk to GoPro or some of the other hardware companies, especially camera companies, to your point, Clayton, that have bombed.
David: Well, Amazon. That's the big counter example.
Leo: Yea, they've done quite well with the Echo and tablets.
Becky: Good point.
Leo: The Fire Phone. Microsoft went from being a software company to being a software and hardware company.
Clayton: But at its core, Snapchat is a camera app.
Leo: App. You're not saying a physical camera, you're saying the app.
Clayton: Exactly. And we see Spectacles as a whimsical play on that idea of the app, but the idea that the Snapchat camera filter could pop up in the Facebook app. Like, "Oh, you want to take a Snap?" inside your Facebook app as a feature. I mean that's where I can see it going. But I don't see it, to your point, Becky, I don't see it expanding across horizons. We're going to have a Snapchat style home theatre device that we're going to be able to say, "Hey, Snap, what's the weather today?" You know I'm going to get some answers. It's going to be able to open my garage door. I don't know. I don't see it.
Becky: Or even the ability for it to grow with the audience like I don't see a 39-year-old mom in 20 years sending a Snap to her PTA friend. Like, why now, bitches? You know, I don't see that happening.
Leo: I think you made the right point which is, you compared it to labels and artists but I say platform versus apps. Facebook's a platform and Snapchat's just an app. And yet, just as when I said if you're investing in Facebook stock you're investing in Mark Zuckerberg, you could say you're investing in Evan Spiegel, the founder of Snap. This guy is shown that he knows how to reach at least that very valuable demographic.
Becky: Can I turn the conversation to Mark Zuckerberg's letter and manifesto this week?
Leo: We can do that in a moment, yes. I would love to do that, yea.
Becky: I'm interested in your thoughts. I want to hear what you think?
Leo: David, before we move on, would you—I mean, look, first of all, anyone who takes stock advice from us is nuts. That's given. And I don't know about you, but I don't buy tech stocks because I don't want to have an investment in any of these companies. But give us some advice. Would you buy Snap stock?
David: I wouldn't and I would argue that the entire premise of our conversation here today is you know, there's this Business Insider guy saying—I've stopped using it and I know this is anecdotal, yes it's anecdotal. This whole argument is ridiculous. And even with all due respect, I saw some people in Panera Bread not using—that's not, that's not a real scientific survey.
Leo: (Laughing) there are numbers though. There are numbers.
Clayton: I hang out at Panera Bread every day with a clipboard.
Leo: There are numbers that show that Instagram has in fact taken a lot of business from Snapchat, right? Snapchat growth slowed 82% after Instagram Stories launched.
David: I think that's a far more telling data point and for that reason, I wouldn't invest. I just, oh yea, you can see it slowing down there. There you go. I just can't see this thing being around in 10 years or 5 years. It's a one trick pony.
Leo: I have to say, when I saw Instagram Stories, I thought well that's a Snapchat rip off. Why would anybody do that? But so there's something—I don't understand really what's going on about the migration to Instagram. I do not understand that. I don't think it's as appealing as—it looks like an old person's app compared to Snap which felt like a kids app, you know, a fun app.
Becky: For the record, does it play in Peoria has become does it play in Panera.
Becky: That's the new—especially in New Jersey, right, Clayton? You notice?
Clayton: That's right.
Leo: Oh, we've got Panera everywhere. Panera is a very good measure.
David: I did an explainer for Yahoo Finance a couple of months ago on Snapchat for those who don't know what it is, which is most people. And there's a lot of psychology to it that again limits it to this particular age and gender bracket. For example, Leo, you were pointing out how opaque it is, how non-intuitive and I actually think that's part of it.
Leo: I agree.
David: Teens and preteens want something that their parents can't use and won't understand and in terms of the large email teenager thing, it's been argued that that's because women, girls are so constantly judged today for their looks, for their behavior, for their clothing that something that lets you send an unfiltered snap of yourself where it's not going to come back to haunt you, it's not going to be judged is this huge psychological burden lifted. And again, though, that's kind of unique to, I mean not solely unique, but that's a lot of teenage girls who feel that way.
Clayton: Well, the opaqueness, you're right about that. It's like the opaqueness is what we saw in iOS 10 with the Messages app. I mean try to navigate that if you're my mom. You're not going to be able to do it. But if you're a teenage girl, you're going to be able to find all these hidden things inside the Messages app and on purpose. Look at Pokémon Go. It's pretty opaque and you try to find and navigate through, that, try to figure out different menus and submenus and it's part of the fun of the hunting and pecking of that game. I wouldn't be surprised if in a future version of iOS we see a self-destructing photo feature that you know, Sherlocks the idea of the disappearing photo from Snapchat.
Leo: There's a word, affordance, that user interface design people use. That is, an affordance is a capability of an object, like you look at a doorknob and you can kind of intuit that it turns and you know, if it's—you can push a push plate and you pull a handle. There's certain information you gather from looking at it. And of course Snapchat and more recently Apple's Messages have all these hidden features. And I'm of the opinion it's intentional, that these hidden affordances are actually a social tool because the encourage people to share, look, I figured out how to do this and show other people. And it actually helps their word of mouth. I think Snapchat almost proved that by being completely opaque. Yea, it hid it from parents, and you know, there was an in group who would understand it and an out group who didn't. And then people who were in the out group who didn't understand it, but were buddies with people who did and wanted to be in the in group, so the buddies got some social reputation by saying, "Oh, I know how to do that. Watch, you do that." And then you're in the in group. And I think that was part of how it spread. But I also think that Apple saw this and said, "We should probably put some hidden affordances in Messages and see if the same thing can happen." And I don't know if it did, but I do have to admit, I spend a lot of time with my 83-year-old mother showing her how to make balloons appear on an Apple message. When you do that, see what happens is when you do that, you send a message to somebody and they get the confetti or the fireworks or the laser show, the first question is, "How'd you do that?"
Clayton: How'd you do that. Exactly.
Leo: And you get some social currency by saying, "Oh, well, I'll show you."
David: Well I certainly hope you're wrong. I mean Apple's whole thing has been—
Leo: I know.
David: It's history, a screen towards user interface, simplicity, clear away the hidden crap. I mean this would be a radical change.
Leo: But it is. Don't you think, David, Apple's going through exactly that? It's opposite day in Cupertino.
David: The question is, is it intentional?
David: Apple Music when it came out—
Leo: Well, that's just crappy.
David: Was a disaster. And what did they do? Did that make it popular?
Leo: No. That was just bad design.
David: That was just bad design.
Clayton: I think Messages clearly with these hidden features was a play towards Snapchat.
Leo: I think they tried to do it. Exactly.
Leo: I mean it's hard to say. I think that both things were in play. Apple Music was just bad. And I think Messages is not bad. This is an attempt to try this, especially since it's so closely related to Snapchat. It's in the same field and that kind of thing.
David: But why would you assume that one is just clueless and—
Leo: (Laughing) Well, because Apple Music, there's no social credit to be gained by saying, "I know how to use that feature," and showing somebody. You just stop using the thing. This is a piece of crap.
Clayton: Well and also, iMessage is the number 1 app on the iPhone.
Clayton: It's used more than any other app by a landslide on the iPhone. It's not a mistake that they made it this interesting and this complex and multi-layered.
Leo: David, you and I are original Apple fans. I mean this is how you got in the business, right, showing composers how to use Apple computers, Macintoshes?
Leo: We've been Apple guys from way, way back. And it's a very different company than it was. The company we fell in love with, the computer for the rest of us.
David: Oh, yea. It's not even recognizable.
David: (Laughing) I do this series of 30 second tip videos for Yahoo Finance called Pogue's Basics. And one of the most popular ones was How to Hang up a Call on the iPhone.
Leo: (Laughing) I see the green bar. I know I'm in a call.
David: They've taken away that hang up button, the red X is gone. So what happens is, you're on a phone call. After a certain point the screen goes dark. And once it's dark, the hang up button is gone when you wake it.
Leo: It's so crazy.
David: So you have to know to tap the name of the person and then unlock and then you can hit hang up.
Leo: I've got to watch your videos because I don't know. I just basically, I put the phone aside and hope the other person will hang up.
David: (Laughing). Ok, that's not good design.
Leo: If they don't hang up right away I start singing out of key. That ususally does it.
Clayton: Well, that's because Apple wants you to buy AirPods so you just double tap on the AirPod.
David: Actually I found a tip for hanging up an iPhone call. You think anyone wants to know?
Leo: Yes, please.
David: Hit the sleep switch. It makes it go dark and hangs up the phone.
Leo: Oh, that's clever. That's nice.
David: But they don't tell you that.
Leo: They don't tell you that. And I think that's bad design, not the magic of hidden affordances.
David: Yea, that's just bad design.
Leo: Bad design. Let's talk about Mark and his 6,800 word Facebook, the Uni-Bomber Manifesto as written by Mark Zuckerberg and what it all means. Because there's some interesting—did we talk about this last week? I feel like we talked about it. I think not. Ben Thompson from Stratechery had a very interesting take on it. Others have said this is Mark's first salvo in his run for president for 2020. What does it all mean? Becky wants to talk about it. Becky gets whatever she wants.
Becky: Oh, I like this show even more.
Leo: She is the greatest. Becky Worley from Good Morning, America, my old friend. We worked together at Tech TV for many years and it's always wonderful to have you on. Clayton Morris from Fox & Friends, another great, old, dear friend and of course married to another great, old, dear friend—well, she probably wouldn't want me to call her old, Natalie Morris. It's great to have you on. And you'll have to at some point explain your 4-foot-tall Storm Trooper behind you. It's a little scary.
Clayton: He's here to watch and make sure I don't go off the rails.
Leo: (Laughing). Did you get that at Toy Fair? That is awesome.
Clayton: No, my buddy was thinking of a Christmas present to get me and so he had ordered me a Waterpik for some reason. He thought I had beans in my teeth. And I said, "What did you order me a Waterpik for?" And then suddenly these huge boxes show up at the house one day. And he was like, "I wanted to get you something fun. And these are not for the kids, by the way." And they're like 4 and a half foot tall Star Wars figures.
Leo: They? There's more than one?
Clayton: There's a Darth Vader that I put up in my son's room to make sure he goes to sleep on time.
Leo: He's going to have nightmares.
Clayton: Yea. We put them strategically around the house to scare off vagrants and robbers when we're out of town.
Leo: But he also sent you a Waterpik.
Clayton: No, he returned the Waterpik.
Leo: He didn't say, "Clayton, let's talk about gingivitis."
Clayton: When I'm out of town I'm going to have him sit at my computer so when people look in through the window they're going to think that someone's home.
Leo: That's pretty funny. That's a good deal. I would take—you could send me a Waterpik if you feel bad about it and then give me Darth Vader later. That's great. That's awesome. Also another great friend, David Pogue. Known him for years. The great tech writer. He's got the new missing manual of OS10 Sierra, Mac OS. I guess you have to call it Mac OS now. Mac OS Sierra. And of course Pogue's Basics which is a series of books that help you live life better. And you see him at Yahoo Finance in the tech section. He's a tech editor for Yahoo Finance. Last time you were on you had a new, you had Pogue's Basics. What's the newest one?
David: The newest one is Money.
David: 200 loopholes in life and society that lets you pay less for things.
Leo: So you've done Tech. You've done life. What was the other one?
David: Wow. Look at all those starts. Wow.
Leo: Look at that. 4.5 stars, 60 customer reviews. I didn't know much about life and I certainly didn't know much about money until I read David Pogue's Basics. That's awesome. That's fantastic. And we are glad all three of you are here. You make TWiT worth living.
David: Leo, I'm concerned for you.
Leo: I know. That sounded really dark.
Becky: Was that a plea for help?
Leo: That was really dark (laughing).
David: You should model your slogans more on Uber I think.
Leo: When you're drunk at 1 AM, what else are you going to do but listen to TWiT. We will have more in a moment.
Leo: Our show today brought to you by my webhost. They do my site, Leolaporte.com. They do so many people's sites. I'm talking of course about Squarespace. Squarespace is the best place to create your next thing. It's never too late to reinvent yourself, change careers, launch a creative project, make your next move known to the world with Squarespace. The best hosting plus the best templates to give you a site that looks like you're a web wizard. You don't have to know any HTML or CSS you just take a template. They've got the best engineering, the best designers. By the way, if you are a designer, if you're a developer, Squarespace is a great platform for you too. They've got a developer platform. You just check a box. You have access to all the code. You can modify it. You start with a great template and you can enhance it. Select a template that fits your vision. Actually, I tell you what. Go right now to Squarespace.com. Click that get started button and you can start designing a site right now at no cost. Pick a template. They've got some really nice new style grid templates. They've got full bleed image templates so if you're a photographer for instance, and you want your images to sing it would be great for a portfolio. Every Squarespace site though has commerce built in which is awesome. In fact the only platform I know that will let you create, manage and brand an online store that doesn't just look like something, and afterthought, hanging off of your site. It has the same design as your site. It fits in and integrates beautifully into your site. But you have all these nice features including Squarespace analytics so you can—with visual, beautiful visual reports that let you keep track of your page views and conversions and popular content immediately. The minute you press the button to set up the store you can start taking credit cards, PayPal and Apple Pay. They integrate with Mail Chimp as well as many other things, but if you want to do an email campaign or a newsletter that's easy. Calendars, lists of events. You can take RSVPs right from the site. It's the most powerful, most sophisticated site. RSS is built in too, of course so you can publish directly from your blog. Great for a podcast for that matter. Update your content once and you share it across all your social media platforms. And not only that, but your visitors can do the same. Share and Pin It buttons let them share your content to their followers. Pursue your passion. Make your next move with Squarespace. Go to Squarespace.com. Try it for free but if you decide to buy, don't forget to use TWiT as the offer code because you'll get 10% off. That's Squarespace.com and the offer code TWiT. I should show you Leo Laporte. I think Becky's in one? I have a slideshow on the front page of images. I've got to add you 3 to my slide show.
Becky: I want that one of us when your dressed up in a Sumo suit.
Leo: Oh, yea. The Party.
Becky: I liked that one.
Leo: That was old school, yea. That was a fun party.
Becky: One of money.
Leo: So, did you actually read Mark Zuckerberg's 6,000 word piece?
Becky: No. I read pieces of it but for some reason—
Leo: I tried.
Becky: Yea, tell me—I know you said you fell off the cliff with it.
Leo: Well, you start reading it and your initial reaction, my initial reaction is this is just a bunch of business-y kind of gobbledygook. But a number of people kind of swayed me into thinking this is almost a global power grab from Mark Zuckerberg. Here's an article by Jan Dawson in Recode, Mark Zuckerberg wants Facebook to have more power in our lives and we should resist. But the one that was most dramatic was Ben Thompson's article in Stratechery. He addressed directly the rumor that Mark might be interested in politics and a presidential run saying, "Why would Mark Zuckerberg, the almost entirely—" he says, "Mark owns Facebook. And Facebook owns the social graph. Given this reality, why would Zuckerberg want to be President? He's not only the CEO of Facebook, he's the dominant shareholder and answerable to no one. His power and ability to influence is greater than any president subject to political reality and checks and balances. And besides, as Zuckerberg made clear last week, his concern is not mere country but rather the entire world."
Becky: I disagree with you. I don't think he is unanswerable, that he is answerable to no one. And I think this is at the heart of what this is about. Facebook sent me a summary that they approved for what this letter was about in case people like us couldn't read the whole thing.
Leo: They had to explain it. Ok, the Cliff Notes.
Becky: Right. The most important—these are the 2 points that I think are really interesting. For the past decade, Facebook has focused on connecting friends and families. With that foundation, our next focus will be developing the social infrastructure for a connected, global community. Up until today, Facebook has focused on—Oh, that's the same thing. They said it twice they thought so strongly about it, sorry.
Leo: (Laughing) Did you read that first sentence? Let me say it again.
Becky: Yea, so my point about he answers to no one, you know who he answers to? Pricilla Chan.
Leo: His wife.
Becky: His wife. And you know this is a man—did you ever see the video of him speaking Chinese?
Leo: Yea, he learned Mandarin.
Becky: You don't do that lightly.
Becky: And I don't think that's just a we've got to get into China and we really want to be in China because it's a good business decision. I think that this is the complete 180 view of the world from Donald Trump. This is so not nationalistic. It's so—
Leo: This is a response to Trump.
Becky: It's a complete response.
Clayton: And that SCC filing we saw too, back was it in April? Buried in that SCC filing was that he has the ability that if he takes a leave of absence from Facebook, that it would not constitute a voluntary resignation if it were in connection with him running for public office.
Leo: Furthermore, he can serve in government and still run Facebook this filing said. So they restructured, as part of the restructure, they restructured how the rules work for Mark Zuckerberg. So it does indicate, I think—and he's also on a 50 state tour, right? Saw the pictures of him in Alabama.
David: How do you guys think he would be as president?
Clayton: Well, that's the thing. You have to be a dynamic speaker. And I think he's been—that's also interesting.
Leo: If you can learn Mandarin, you can learn to give a speech.
Clayton: Right, but what my point is he's usually awful at it. And he's not awful anymore. He's gotten a lot better. He's nowhere near as bad as Elon Musk giving a speech. Did you see Elon Musk giving a speech for the unveiling of the solar panels? That was awful. That was maybe one of the worst public speeches I've ever seen.
Becky: They have opposite reactions to public speaking. Do you remember the Recode, all things D when Mark was just sweating profusely?
Leo: That was the old Mark, yea.
Becky: Elon's like, he goes narcoleptic. I mean he speaks with the most bored tone about the most ridiculously insane things. It's so disorienting.
Clayton: We just landed on Mars. I just wanted to let everyone know. We just built a teleportation machine.
Leo: You know, I know a lot of people who think, who love that because they find it refreshing and authentic. And one thing you do get from a lot of keynote speakers and CEOs is this phony rah, rah. Just do an extract of Apple keynotes and all the superlatives and after a while it just starts to go, come on, guys. Just be normal.
David: But I think we're quickly learning that bad and talent free might be refreshing but it's also bad and talent free.
Leo: Well, ok.
Becky: It's authentic. Authenticity is the coin of the realm right now.
Leo: I do think so, yea. No one can argue that Donald Trump is an eloquent public speaker but there's something about his ability to speak that connects with people very clearly.
David: Eloquent is not the word you're looking for.
Leo: It's not eloquent. But nevertheless it's authentic and it's impactful and it's—and I would argue that it's persuasive to some anyway.
Clayton: But wait a minute. What's the end game for him? You know, I'm trying to wrap my head around what would be the purpose.
Leo: Well I do agree with Ben with why would he want to be a president. That's a very—that's a job that's considerably a step down.
Clayton: Well, it's very limited.
Leo: It's limited.
Clayton: It's a very limited roll and even as President Trump is now experiencing with his first 100 days, whether or not he's going to be able to get tax reform through and these sort of marginalized republican candidates in certain districts are feeling squeezed about Obamacare. They have to be answerable to that. So it's not going to be as clear sailing as anyone thinks it is when you just have all this power.
David: Plus, don't you have to be 18 to run for President?
Leo: (Laughing) You know what's interesting, Zuckerberg just passes—you have to be 35—just passes the Constitutional requirement in August of 2019 or 2020. I guess it's of 2020 which would be the filing deadline for a Presidential run in November. So he can squeak in under the wire. He'd be the youngest candidate, or one of the youngest candidates if not the youngest candidate ever.
Clayton: Hey Ted Cruz was Canadian. He ran.
Leo: There you go. Obama was Kenyon so you know, it's possible.
Becky: Do you guys have Facebook fan pages or pages where you—
Leo: Yes. I ignore it and I have it.
Becky: Have you ever looked at the metrics of where your people are from?
Leo: No, I should
Becky: It is—ok, I'm going to give you a little quiz. So 5,000 likes on Facebook, where do you think my number—give me my top 2 or 3 cities where people are coming from. Guess.
Clayton: Louisville, Kentucky.
Becky: Ok, good guess. Good Morning, America. That's me. Where else, Leo?
Leo: I would say St. Louis, Missouri.
Clayton: Dayton, Ohio.
Becky: David, any guesses?
David: Yea, it's going to be middle America. It's going to be Des Moines.
Becky: Here we go. Top 10. Singapore.
Becky: Kaison City.
Becky: Metro Manila. Dubai. Karachi, Pakistan.
Leo: No, come one. That's bizarre.
Becky: New York City is number 6, Los Angeles is number 7.
Leo: Those are all bots.
Becky: Maybe. Manila again. Riad, Jakarta.
Leo: What the what?
Becky: How's that?
Clayton: Where are you finding this information by the way?
Becky: If you go to Insights and People.
Leo: You get a lot of insight, yea. You know, I don't know how fair it is to use mine because I don't really cultivate these.
Becky: I've spent a lot more time on this lately than Twitter because I feel like I get so much more and there's so much more diversity in the type of material you can publish.
Leo: My fan base is predictable in terms of countries, US, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, English-speaking countries. Number one, Los Angeles. That's because of the radio show. Number two, New York. Number 3, San Jose, San Diego. See how much more normal? I don't know. Something's going on with your stuff.
Becky: Well I do a lot of tips and tricks. That sounded bad but—
Leo: (Laughing) And they love tricks.
David: Just don't do the tricks for tips.
Becky: (Laughing) But my most popular video is—
Leo: Becky Worley is our private dancer. I love it.
Becky: That's sound bad. But my most popular video is about Excel. How to manipulate an Excel spreadsheet.
Leo: I know if I'm looking how to work Excel, I go to Good Morning, America. That's absolutely true. Wow, that's interesting. Yea, I mean if I use this more I would certainly pay attention to it.
Becky: I guess my point is that the global business is the Facebook business.
Becky: Not just his world view.
David: The thing about Zuckerberg's note is on one hand it was an anti-Trump cry. We're all people. We're one planet. We're all just together in this. And on the other hand, that fits very nicely with Facebook's master business plan. Of course they want no barriers.
Leo: Right. I looked at it and I couldn't quite figure out what he was trying to say, what the underlying motivation was there. It wasn't clear to me. And you know, he went from a one sentence mission statement to a 5,800 word mission statement that wasn't completely clear, so. Apple is—
Becky: Too many words to get elected, that's for sure.
Leo: Yea. Yea, he's going to have to shorten that up.
Clayton: He's going to have to whittle that down to 3 words.
Leo: Yea, yea. Well, he needs a slogan. Make Facebook great again. I don't know.
David: Call me when you're drunk.
Leo: Give peace a chance. Apple has announced that it is going to open the new campus in April. They're going to start moving employees. It's going to take them a long time. 12,000 people will be moved in over 6 months. And it's not done. They're still going to be working on buildings and park plans. This is the amazing space ship campus, 2.8 million square foot mail building, clad in the world's largest panels of curved glass. This is the theatre which is where you guys will all go when you get invitations to Apple events.
David: Which you won't.
Leo: Not that I'm jealous or anything.
Becky: Not that somebody else here didn't get banned because of you.
Leo: Oh, yea, you got banned because of me, right.
Becky: I got banned because of you. But that was—
David: Tell that story. What?
Leo: She jumped Steve Jobs and I don't know, somehow—
Becky: He jumped me.
Leo: He jumped you?
David: Is this part of your tricks?
Becky: Again, this sounds wrong. Exactly, those tips and tricks. No, I was Facetiming with Leo from the Magic Room, you know the place where you go look at the new stuff afterwards? I either call it the Champagne Room or the Magic Room, but I was Facetiming Leo from there and Steve Jobs came up to me and was asking what I was doing and didn't realize that I was basically live casting. And—
Leo: So he came up to you?
Becky: He came up to me.
Leo: I didn't realize that.
Leo: And then you asked him, "When are you going to open up Facetime like you promised?"
Becky: (Laughing) That didn't go over well.
Leo: And that's when you got talk to the hand. But you haven't been invited to an Apple event since then?
Becky: No, they're still mad.
Leo: Wow. I plan to, and maybe you guys can help me because I know Clayton goes and I know David goes, I plan on getting on my knees and beg Katie Cotton—actually she's not there anymore. I have to figure out whoever's there, and say, "Please, I just want to go to the first event at this new place." It's 1,000 seats. It's bigger than the old Apple event auditorium. That was only about half the size.
Becky: They should have a journalist and a seat program.
Leo: I need a little amnesty. I just need a little amnesty.
Clayton: You just go to Guantanamo Bay for a year, yea.
Leo: Whatever it takes. I will, if you want me to crawl on my hands and knees to Cupertino from here, anything, whatever it takes, I would really like to—
Becky: We were wrong. Apple was right. We were wrong Apple was right.
Leo: Yes. That's right. I think I'm going to have—there it is. This is Becky Worley and—
David: Oh my God.
Becky: Steve's making the rounds, talking to the people.
Leo: This was our special, by the way, a first for us. A Facetime call to the Apple Campus.
Becky: Yea, he was—they're going to name the theatre at the new facility after him which I think is appropriate.
Leo: Yea, I think that's nice.
Becky: Yea, that was a long time ago. He'd be 62 next week. Is that right?
Leo: Yea. Yea.
Becky: I think I read that. That's crazy.
Leo: February 24th and so they're naming the Steve Jobs Theatre. It's on top of a hill on one of the highest points within—Apple Park is by the way what they're calling this new complex overlooking meadows and the main building.
David: And that's a carbon fiber roof, one giant piece.
Becky: Wow that's amazing.
Leo: This is in some ways Steve's last creation. Shortly before he died he went to the Cupertino City Council to plead to get the permits to do it and he had a big hand in the design of it along with Jony Ive and I think it's very appropriate. It's beautiful.
David: What are the pros and cons of that design though, a giant ring? I mean if the person you're supposed to have a meeting with, you're at 12 o'clock and you're at 6 o'clock? I mean is there a shuttle bus?
Leo: Pi R squared.
Becky: Clearly these people have never been to an airport because that does not work in any airport I've ever been to.
Leo: Walter Isaacson in the biography says that in the initial design, Steve had one bathroom in the whole place because he wanted everybody to meet and you know, he wanted a lot of cross pollenization as people walked a mile over to the bathroom. This is straight out of Hidden Figures, isn't it? Somebody talked Steve out of that. You know, I've talked to also some of the builders involved in this and there have been problems with expansion, heat expansion causing some of these plate glass windows to break and they're very expensive, tens of thousands of dollars for each panel and they don't make them one at a time. They have to make them in a batch so one breaks, that means a half million dollar batch of panels has to be made to replace that one and they lost, I was told by the builder, quite a few. So it's ambitions, right? But it will be, I love this, 100% solar. They've got 17 megawatts of solar panels on the roof. The whole roof is covered with solar panels.
Clayton: And because it's a ring shape there's no drainage. And when it fills up in the middle with water—
Leo: You'll have a pool.
Clayton: They have a pool and an aquarium.
Leo: And the dolphins will be so happy (laughing).
David: Of course the other advantage is that when North Korea starts the nuclear war with us, everyone who works at Apple will just get in the ring and it will go—
Leo: I hope so. We're going to Mars, kids. Apple putting a lot of energy into some new Seattle office as well and this is kind of interesting. These are the office focused on AI and machine learning and they've got ties to the University of Washington there where there's a very good program. And they've endowed a million dollar professorship that was made possible by Apple's acquisition of Seattle based machine learning start-up Turi. It will give the University of Washington Computer Science and Engineering department a chance to attract more top talent. That's what you do, right, if you're going to build a team, you get the university, the nearest university to create a program so you can draw people in, the best and the brightest. Talk about long-term thinking. I mean it was long-term thinking to build this building. But that's how long-term their thinking is. We're going to grow our own.
Becky: Do you think they're doing that to poach from Amazon?
Leo: That's interesting. I don't know.
Becky: Why else would you go to UW?
Leo: Yea, that's interesting. Amazon or maybe Microsoft?
David: The thrust of this is AI, right?
Leo: Yea, not AR which of course AR is where Microsoft has a strong lead with its HoloLens.
David: Apple is—if I were them I would be sweating AI. That's probably what's really behind this. I mean they missed the Amazon Echo boat. They've got nothing like that. They're Siri is falling farther and farther behind. It's not extensible like the Amazon Echo is. They abandoned their self-driving car thing. I mean Apple should have been on top of AI.
Leo: They have so much cash that you'd think they could just throw money at these kind of problems but I think—you know, it's hard to get the brains. And if you're a top AI researcher, where are you going to go? Are you going to go to Apple or are you going to go to Google? Or are you going to go to Amazon?
Leo: Google, right?
Becky: Yea, did I get that right?
Leo: Yes. A plus.
Clayton: Apple kind of crapped on machine learning with the roll out of Apple Music. They made a number of statements.
Leo: That was Jimmy Iovine.
Clayton: True. But there was this push to where they saw Google going, where the saw the ability to do people or human curation.
Leo: Even before they bought Beats, one of the things about Beat Music, Iovine made a big deal about it, is it's human curated. It's human curated. So I think that was Iovine speaking basically once Apple acquired them. We're going to do human curation. And I think actually that works. I mean compare Apple Music's choices to say Pandora which is all machine based.
Clayton: And I don't think Apple's missed the boat on the connected home, you know, that device in the kitchen that can tell you when your eggs are done, what's the forecast for tomorrow. I think there's a long way to go and I think you know, Apple does what Apple does which is just sit back and watch these companies try that. I think there's a space for something with a screen in that environment. You know, how many times do you wish that your Echo had some sort of a screen on it that you could interact with on a deeper way. Or the Google Home for that matter instead of having to go back to square one, there's a way to work with it. And yea, Siri has been woefully behind in certain ways and the speakers that are on our Apple devices don't kick on unless I have it right up to my face to be able to get answers to it. But I think there's still a lot of room for growth there. I don't think Apple's that far behind. If they put their strength behind that bat they could hit a home run pretty quickly.
David: I think the genius of the Echo and the Google Home is no screen, is that it's ambient. It's over there. It's your whole house listening. The home kitchen appliance thing has been tried and died thousands of times. The 3Com Audrey.
Leo: Remember that? Yea.
David: Nobody wants that. If we want that we have a laptop or an iPad. No, this is the idea that wherever you are, hey, make it 2 degrees warmer in here. I mean that's magic. Not going over and tapping something.
Leo: You could make the case that—
Clayton: And I don't mean tapping it but being able to see results in a way. I mean I'm sure that this is all on the R&D floor in Cupertino now, of course, right? So you know, how is that interaction? How are those experiences playing out and do you want to? You have your hands covered in something. I was cooking something the other day and I wanted that recipe that I had saved in Epicurious a while ago, right? I don't want to have to tap for it, but wouldn't it be great if that device was able to bring up that recipe right before me, right there on that screen, but could also be playing music and have a countdown timer and there is a need for those types of things. And I think Apple is probably testing it. I'm sure Amazon is probably testing it as well. We don't know until we get our hands on it, right?
David: You can actually do that on your Mac laptop now. You can say, "Call up the Epicurious document called Marinated Flank Steak that I had opened last week," and it will open.
Leo: Really? I didn't know that.
Leo: Oh, that's neat.
David: You've got to read Mac OS Sierra, the missing manual, man.
Leo: I've got to read that. No, I think it's not that Apple's missed the boat, but the boat is at the dock. The engines are revved up. It's about to sail and what we don't know is what Apple's got hidden away in its labs. They don't talk about this stuff. So—
Becky: And I think their mistake is announcing things like Home Kit. It's here. It's not.
Leo: You've got nothing. But they're not alone in that. Google also and everybody's announced home automation and nothing has happened at all. Let's take a break. I want to talk to you guys about what you're up to in a second and we could also talk about the big, they're calling it cloud bleed. The big security issue at Cloudflare. We had a Cloudflare encrypto guy on yesterday on the New Screen Savers to talk about it. It's a fascinating case study if nothing else.
Leo: Our show today brought to you by Rocket Mortgage. Certainly if you are in the market for a new home and you're watching this show, you're thinking to yourself, "I don't really want to go into a loan office and gather a box of papers together. I'd like to do this all online." And guess what? Quicken Loans has your back. Quicken Loans, the best home lender in the country and you don't have to take my word for it. They've won year after year on the J.D. Power customer satisfaction awards. They are really great. They've decided to make a product just for us geeks. An entirely online mortgage process. They call it Rocket Mortgage because it's 21st century. It's fast. It will lift you up. And you know, it's nice to work with a lender who you trust. It's nice to have the transparency and the speed of the internet. And you don't even have to waste time searching through stacks of paperwork. Rocket Mortgage you can actually securely share all the financial info they need to get mortgage approval fast, in minutes. You can also play with it. You can adjust the rate and the length of your loan in real time. You can tailor it to just exactly what you want and get turned around get approved in minutes. Whether you're looking to buy a home or refinance your existing mortgage, lift the burden of getting a home loan with Rocket Mortgage. Skip the bank, skip the waiting, go completely online. Quickenloans.com/twit2. Quickenloans.com/twit2 for Rocket Mortgage from Quicken Loans. Equal housing lender, licensed in all 50 states and MLSConsumerAccess.org number 3030. Rocket Mortgage from Quicken Loans. Just go to quickenloans.com/twit2.
Becky: Can I produce you for a second?
Leo: Produce me, will you?
Becky: I have three things I'm very curious about. One, what you think is interesting at Mobile World Congress.
Leo: Oh, good.
Becky: Two, what you made of the FCC Ajit Pai stuff this week. He was on CNBC and had some comments. And three, this cloud bleed. What do you want to start with? You get to kick it off.
Leo: All three are good.
David: (Laughing) Wait a minute. Is this show getting hijacked?
Leo: Yea, yea. No, sorry, she's—
Becky: We go way back.
Leo: We go way back. It started in 1998 when she produced The Screen Savers. She was the person in my ear who was telling me what to say and what to do. So I just listen to whatever she says.
David: I'd like to talk about my new book, my new show and my pet.
Leo: We are going to talk about your new show. And actually, for the first time ever I've seen PBS go to Kickstarter to raise money for a show. That's very interesting. But I guess we should talk about Mobile World Congress. It starts technically tomorrow although all day today there were press conferences. We tried to cover the Samsung press conference this morning but they started 25 minutes late so I had to cut it off. And as it turned out, you missed nothing. They announced a Galaxy Tab 3 which is an exact copy of an iPad. 9.7". The only difference is that it's an OLED screen and probably a very nice OLED screen. But it has a stylus. It has all the same things the iPad has. Then they announced an exact copy of Microsoft's Surface Pro 4, a tablet, Windows 10 computer with a detachable keyboard. And then they announced a copy of Google's Daydream. They take the Gear VR Virtual Reality Headset and it's basically the same but they added something that Google added to the Daydream a lot of people liked which is a little controller, a push button. So that was Samsung's announcements. They did not announce a new phone. They said they wouldn't. They're going to do that on March 29th in New York City and then the Note of course is in the fall. But the Galaxy S8, we expect them to announce that in March with April availability. LG did announce a new LG G6 which looks pretty nice. It's kind of interesting. It's a super tall 5.7" screen. They decided that people want big screens but they don't want a big phone. In fact everybody's trying to solve this. Apple I'm sure with the next iPhone will try to solve this. Samsung has too with a curved screen. This is going to be a weird aspect ratio, a 2 by 1 phone. So it's taller than you're used to but the idea is you can hold it in your hand and still get lots of screen real estate. Dual cameras as before with the G5. Sad to say they're removing the removable battery. This is—the G5 was one of the last phone you could still get a second battery and put it in. There'll be 2 G6's, one the smaller one will have a removable battery but the high-end will not. And as a result, better battery life.
Clayton: Nokia's back from the dead with the 3310.
Leo: What do you think, are you going to buy a 3310?
Becky: I'm going to buy 2.
Clayton: I'm going to buy the orange colored one.
Becky: It's going to be my kids' first phones.
Clayton: I had that phone.
Leo: Yea, we did. It was the candy bar phone, one of the best-selling phones of all time. They sold, I think the number was like 75 million, some huge number of these because they're cheap. This will be $50-dollars. It is not a smart phone. It has a browser but I doubt you'd want to use it. It doesn't have a real keyboard, it has a regular phone keyboard.
Becky: What does it say the resolution of the camera is? I'm curious about that.
David: 640 x 480.
Leo: No, it's better than that. I hope.
Clayton: Will Snake make a comeback?
Leo: Snake is on it. Snake is on it. They're claiming 22 hours talk time, 30 day stand-by time.
Becky: Oh my God. That's hilarious.
Leo: Look, Snake. In color. In color, color Snake. You can get it in warm red and yellow, dark blue and gray. So pick your color. You know what? This might actually—of course it's aimed at the developing world. It's not aimed at the US market where the big flagship smartphones are.
Clayton: It's aimed at parents to give to their kids.
Becky: This is totally the phone my kids are getting. I mean it makes perfect sense. No texting or laborious texting.
Leo: It's just a phone. You can text but yea, you'd have to learn how to—it does support 2G but since most of the carriers are dumping their 2G networks, I don't think that matters (laughing). Awesome battery, 2 megapixel camera. You weren't far off, David. You weren't far off.
David: 2 megapixels.
Leo: 2 meg. But, it does have a headphone jack. It does have—mmm hmm. You know who may have given this an advertent boost? The Customs and Border Patrol. I think that a lot of people traveling will bring a phone like this overseas so they can get it back in the country without fear. I'm going to Cuba for New Year's Eve this year, if I can get in.
Clayton: Customs and Border—the Border Patrol will look at this thing or the TSA and they'll laugh at you.
Leo: (Laughing) They'll say, "Oh, we don't need your PIN, Laporte."
Clayton: You don't need to turn on that phone.
Leo: We believe you. But I figure if I go to Cuba, I'm going to have a hard time getting back in the country, right? This is going to be—I certainly will be challenged. What were you doing in Cuba?
David: And with good reason in your case.
Leo: I think so. Great, David. Now you just made it worse (laughing). I might as well just wear a turban and put this phone in it.
Becky: Oh, Leo.
Leo: That would be provocative. So yea, this was one of the announcements. Not only is the 3310 back but Nokia's back. They're back making phones. The deal with Microsoft was that they couldn't make phones until this year. But now they can. Not that this is going to compete with a Windows Phone.
Becky: How about the Blackberry KEYone? Did you see that?
Leo: Yea. So now Blackberry's back to its physical keyboard, traditional. This is not inexpensive, it's $549 dollars which—
Leo: A number of tech blogs said, "Well, that's it. It's over." It does look like a Blackberry, right, because it has—it's Android but it has the traditional keyboard at the bottom, not a slider.
David: Hey, did you hear? Sony has a new VCR.
Leo: Hey kids. Polaroid's back. Actually Polaroid really is back. People really love those instant cameras.
Clayton: I got some for my kids for Christmas.
Becky: Well it's actually the Fuji that was really good, the Instax. Did you get the Polaroid or the Instax?
Leo: No, no, I didn't get any of them.
Leo: Oh, you got one? Oh.
Clayton: Yea, I got it for them for Christmas. They love it.
Becky: See, the Instax is a little bit easier for them to use because my littles have that too. So I'd be curious. You've got to do a comparison with your guy.
Clayton: Yea, I'll have to check it out.
Leo: I feel so—
Clayton: The paper, the paper is the ridiculous. I mean $10 and you get—
Leo: How much? A buck a shot?
Becky: A buck a shot.
Leo: A buck a shot.
Clayton: It's like a buck a shot.
David: Yea, but each one is a sticker, right?
Leo: Well, that's worth it then.
Clayton: Yea, pull off the back of the zinc paper or whatever and it's a sticker. You can get them with sticker or non-sticker. I just got a package with like 50 on Amazon because we're going a trip this week to spring training so I wanted to get a box for the kids to bring to the beach, you know, their cameras.
Leo: Oh, wow.
Becky: Natalie's pilgrimage.
Clayton: No, no, no. This is Phillis territory. We go to Clearwater.
Leo: Oh, Phillies. You're going to Clearwater. No more Scottsdale. Uh oh.
Becky: I don't know. Your in-laws aren't going to like that, buddy.
Leo: Do they have cheesesteaks in Clearwater?
Clayton: They do at the Bright House Field there. They have all of the local vendors from Philadelphia there, yea. They've got some good stuff.
Leo: Spring training's awesome. I love spring training. What a cool thing. That's going to be fun. I brought the kids to spring training a few years ago. It was—Scottsdale of course but it was really fun. What other phone announcements? I think that's it.
David: Well, Nokia said they're starting to dive into Fitbit type stuff. They bought Withings or Withings.
Leo: Withings, yea. I like the Withings stuff.
David: And now they're rebranding.
Leo: I've used Withings. Oh, they're going to finally get rid of that weird French name that nobody can pronounce?
David: Well, that's right. And what's funny is I asked the Withings PR rep if it's Withings, Withings, or what.
Leo: She said, "Whatever you want."
David: No, no, she said it used to be—she said it's changed. It was originally Withings and now it's correct to say Withings or is it the other way?
Becky: I was also told Withings but I will tell you, David, I got the smack down from Nokia. It's not Nokia.
Leo: Every time we say it, we get people from Norway or Finland or whatever calling and saying, "You're not saying it right."
Becky: It's just south of Nokia.
David: Here's the one that will really get you in trouble though. Is it Nutella or Nutella?
Leo: It's Nutella. It's Nutella?
David: Google it. You'll find the two factions warring like brick states and blue states.
Becky: This was my nightmare when I was covering viruses back in the late 90s, early 2000s because people would make up these insane names. And there was no way of knowing what the correct pronunciation was. But I think that's my favorite site online is how do you pronounce it. Have you ever done that? It has the correct pronunciation for everything. It's the most ingenious site.
Leo: Today, speaking of internet wars, is exactly the 2nd anniversary of The Dress. February 26, 2015, it's 2 years old.
Clayton: You know you're old when an internet meme makes you feel old.
Leo: We can resurrect it. What color is this dress? Is it—
David: That is so funny because on Tuesday, I was at USC for this shoot about the Star Wars dead character digital resurrection thing and they had that dress hanging up.
Leo: What? What?
David: In our interview set. I mean you could buy it, right? It wasn't the one photographed but it was the same dress. And I asked, "Why don't you explain it to me since you're an optics guy." And he said, "Give me your phone." And he did the coolest thing which you can do on your own when you see that dress. So your phone has a white balance sensor, right? It tries to make everything spread the spectrum.
David: So when I held the phone back like this, it was clearly blue and black. The actual answer is blue and black, by the way.
Leo: No, it's gold and white. What are you looking—you look at that and you say blue and black?
David: Yes, I always have but in person it's blue and black. But if you bring your camera—cheating!
David: If you bring your camera close enough that it loses the context of the background, the white balance things says, "Oh, that blue, that must equal white. I need to brighten that all up. And it starts adjusting the contrast of the whites and darks.
Leo: So you're saying in person it is blue and black when you look at it with your eyes.
David: The dress in real life is blue and black.
Leo: Wow. Wow. Well, we've learned something two years later. And it's Withings. See I always said Withings because it's a Wi-Fi scale.
Becky: That's what makes sense.
Clayton: But see that's weird. They told me the opposite.
Leo: It's French. It's probably Withings. Withings.
Clayton: I think their CEO even told me years ago at CES. I asked him and he said it's Withings because Wi-Fi.
Leo: That's why I've always said Withings.
Becky: Really, that's before it changed, Clayton. Come on.
Clayton: Is it Lego Land or Lego Land?
Leo: Lego. Lego?
David: Yea, it turns out it depends on which one you call. I actually called them up and asked the receptionist.
Leo: Is it moleskin, moleskin?
Clayton: Is it Bernstein Bears?
Leo: That one I know.
Becky: Wow, this is going deep.
Leo: So that was story one, Mobile World Congress. There's a lot more. Oh, and one thing I didn't mention which was a little weird, during the Samsung event, somebody came onstage, a protester, and the speaker—it was right at the beginning—said, "Ok, you've made your point. Get off stage." And we didn't see it but it was a Greenpeace protester with a kind of inscrutable message. He had a yellow flag with the recycling logo on it and inside it said Samsung Galaxy Note 7 and then #Greenpeace and I'm not sure what the point was. But in case you were wondering.
Clayton: He wanted to—there's still like 20% of those phones, or like 17% of those phones are still out being used. He wanted people to recycle them.
Leo: That's what he was doing, yea. Actually the factory, the factory that was recycling the batteries caught on fire (laughing).
Becky: God. Oh, God.
Leo: So it's just bad all around. Ok, so that was story one.
Becky: Right. Story two, I've been following the saga of your attempting to figure out your relationship with Ajit Pai, the new head of the FCC.
Leo: Yea, I'm trying to give him the benefit of the doubt but he's not helping.
Becky: Yea, you're kind of trying to figure it out, right? So this week he repealed privacy regulations for ISPs and just make sure I get this right, so that they can't sell your data the way that search engines and social networks can sell your data for advertisers.
Leo: This is a relatively new rule created last fall under democratically controlled agency that said that cable and wireless internet service providers had actually tougher privacy restrictions than Facebook, Google or Google. So for instance, the FCC rule said the marketing of web browsing history would require your permission, your opt in. The FTC requires opt in only for certain sensitive categories of information for Google and Facebook. So Pai's position and this is by the way I believe what's really going on, Pai wants to eliminate FCC regulation of the internet entirely and put it under the FTC, the Federal Trade Commission.
Becky: On this issue, not on every issue.
Leo: I think on every issue. He doesn't believe the FCC should have a regulatory role when it comes to the internet.
Becky: Ok, so he was on CNBC and I got this, watched it. And I recommend watching it because you get a measure of the man more so than all these discussions to try to kind of figure out what he's about. So to give you a little, the most important part, he says, "My own view that light touch regulation means we create broad regulatory frameworks to protect consumers but," blah, blah, blah, "competitive marketplace being the primary thing. We shouldn't micromanage how these companies operate in the absence of evidence of a market failure." Light touch regulation.
Leo: The problem is, it is in a competitive marketplace and that's partly thanks to the FCC but it is not a competitive marketplace. 86% of Americans only have two choices, your cable company and your phone company for internet service and a great many have one choice. That's not competitive.
David: And why are we talking about the privacy thing when this is the guy who wants to get rid of net neutrality? Why haven't we dedicated 2 hours talking about that?
Leo: Well, it's all of a piece and I really think that—did he address this FTC thing? Because some people say of course you don't want the FTC to regulate it because they're overburdened trying to regulate things like false ad claims. The FCC does not have an enforcement arm. The FTC does. But they're doing many other things.
Becky: In the CNBC article, or in the CNBC interview, he didn't address that directly but in some of the other articles about this he says that if they're going to do it, they should do a broad regulatory framework that effects everyone's sense of this as opposed to just picking and choosing.
Clayton: But what does that framework look like? Who's going to—who's going to weigh in on this framework? What is that regulatory framework even look like? It's nice to be able to throw around loose language like that.
Becky: And why repeal before you have a replace?
David: Well, the bottom line is, the elephant in the room is that he was a Verizon lawyer and he's a—
Leo: Yea, but Tom Wheeler was also a—
David: I know, but Tom Wheeler got pushback from the public and changed his mind. He came around.
Leo: Right. And in fact, ended up being a great defender of the public interest I think.
David: Everything Pai has done or said is to the benefit of the bottom line of the Comcasts and against the interests of the consumer. Seriously.
Leo: Well, you could say that about the Trump Administration in general.
Becky: Yea. I mean that seems like it is overreaching. His comment was, "Otherwise, we don't sit in judgement in Washington D.C. My own view is that the internet should be run by technologists and engineers and business people, not by lawyers and bureaucrats here in the nation's capital. I mean that's just—
Leo: Who could disagree with that? I don't disagree with that.
Becky: Well but and that's also just standard—you know, that's kind of Republican policy.
Leo: Boiler plate, yea.
Clayton: I mean, what part of the framework that hey, these cable companies get the opportunity then to look at this data, that they get to understand that it's their business after all, all the pipes through which these users are using their data. I mean using their information through their pipe? We'd like to know, can we provide better service to those individuals?
Leo: It's not merely know that, Clayton. It's sell it that people are concerned about.
Leo: Right. I mean and I think people often—we hear all these people complaining about Google and Facebook and what they know about us. No one knows more about you than your ISP. Everything goes through your ISP, including your Google and Facebook stuff. Anything that's not encrypted anyway. You know, I am still—I think the jury's still out. I think what I hope for is a kind of more traditional Republican administration that favors deregulation as opposed to what I'm fearing we're getting which is a Trump administration run chiefly by Steve Bannon's doctrine of eliminating government entirely.
Becky: I did not get that sense from him in that interview and it was much, it was comforting to me along those lines.
Leo: Because at CPAC Bannon basically said what we want to do is get rid of all of these administrative—we want to get rid of these cabinet jobs, or not cabinet jobs, get rid of these agencies, cabinet agencies. Just eliminate them entirely. That would be a little more scary to me than a more—I'd be very happy with a kind of more traditional outlook, Republican outlook on this at this point. We'll see. All I can say is that we've got to watch. And here's why, David, I'm being, I'm reluctant to—because Tom Wheeler, we really did think he was going to be a jerk. John Oliver called him a dingo. Was it John Oliver or was it—it might have been on the Daily Show. It might have been Jon Stewart, said—you know, it was Oliver right?
Becky: He did that whole thing on net neutrality.
Leo: Putting net neutrality in the hands of Tom Wheeler would be like giving your baby to a dingo. And John Oliver apologized and Tom Wheeler said, "I am not a dingo." And he turned out not to be. So I'm hopeful, right?
Clayton: And his privacy rules were pretty stringent. They go pretty far, exactly.
Leo: And that's in fact what's being overturned right now. I think that though, you're right, David, when you say it was the public response that changed his mind, overwhelming public response in the case of net neutrality. So let's keep that pressure up and tell them what we want. Maybe we could influence it. All right, last story. Heartbleed. And there's not much to say about this. It's a very technical topic. I guarantee you will be covering it in great depth on Tuesday with Steve Gibson but in short, on a week ago Saturday, Tavis Ormandy at Google started noticing some very odd data in cached information from websites. Dug deeper and he realized that it was websites that were using services from Cloudflare which is the CDN network often used by people to prevent DDOS attacks and for other purposes. And contacted—well, he didn't contact Cloudflare, he tweeted (laughing) to Cloudflare and Cloudflare reacted very quickly on Friday. It was an all hands event a week ago, Friday. And within 47 minutes the discovered and fixed the bug, a bug that was kind of a weird interaction between two different pieces of software they used and so they mitigated it. They didn't announce it publicly until Google wiped the cached information which took them another week and we learned about this just a few days ago. The cloud bleed affected a large number of sites although if you're interested I do encourage you to watch the interview we did yesterday on The New Screen Savers with the Chief of Encryption at Cloudflare who I think did a good job of explaining it and what he essentially said was "Our CTO," who is a good friend of the show, John Graham-Cumming. I've known him for years. "And I are not changing our passwords. So that should give you some idea of how serious we consider this. It is not hair-on-fire time by any means. But we'll watch this with interest." It's pretty technical so I'm not sure there's a whole lot to say except I think Cloudflare responded appropriately and quickly and did what needed to be done. And I don't think they were particularly to blame for this. This wasn't a case of them accidentally leaking information because they did thing stupidly or badly. There was a bug. A really, pretty stupid programming bug in a library that they were using that interacted poorly with some of the other software they were using.
Becky: What seemed interesting to me about this is wondering if it isn't a service or maybe incumbent, maybe not incumbent but it would be a nice service from your password managers like LastPass to be the determinant of when you do need to change your passwords. They don't do anything like that, do they?
Leo: They do. Both One Password and LastPass have a security check up there. Watchtower program on One Password and LastPass security check. But the problem is it's not—it's very difficult to know, A, what sites were effected and B, what information was leaked? There's no way to know that. So this isn't like the Target breach where you can look at a database for a list of Target information and say, "Oh, look at all these email addresses. You've been PONED." This isn't going to show up in that way. So it's very difficult for them to do that in other words. However, if—
Becky: And LastPass services is passive though. You have to go in and dig around and find that security check as opposed to when you log on to your vault and then say, "Hey, just so you know, this vulnerability happened and therefore this password could be vulnerable."
Leo: Unfortunately it's impossible to know. But the good news about any password vault is they generally have some sort of simple automated system where you can change passwords. In my opinion, you don't need to, especially if you're using two-factor authentication. If you have two-factor turned on, on important accounts, you really don't have anything to worry about. But I would suggest you listen to your interview with Nick Sullivan. He's the head of crypto and Cloudflare. We talked to him yesterday on the New Screen Savers. Tune in Tuesday because Steve Gibson will have a deep dive I'm sure into this bug and what it means and what you can do to mitigate it. In my opinion, there's nothing to worry about at this point. But it's hard to know.
Becky: All right. Good news in security.
Leo: Yea, it's better news than—well, you know, for instance there's a GitHub page that publishes a list of every company that uses Cloudflare. They're not all affected by this. In fact it was a very tiny percentage of companies that use Cloudflare that are affected by this. So it's probably not a problem. But you never know, do you? All right, David Pogue, tell me why Nova has decided to go to Kickstarter to raise money for—is it a show? What is it exactly you're doing?
David: Yes, it is a show. It's a 2-hour special about molecules and the elements called Beyond the Elements. And you're right, this is really kind of extraordinary. A public television show is seeking money from the public via a Kickstarter campaign. It's Novakickstarter.com and we're looking to get—yea, there you go. We're looking to make $200,000-dollars to start shooting this thing. And we're about halfway there. You know, it comes at a time when both public broadcasting is being defunded and science is being defunded. So, to me it's kind of like guys, let's show the world that science matters, science education matters. Nova's an amazing show. It's been on the air for almost 45 years. It's the most watched science show in America.
Leo: It's a great show and you're great on it. I watch it every single week. I love Nova.
David: Well, thank you. So we're—yea, this is a sequel to Hunting the Elements that I hosted in 2012 that's now a staple of high school science curriculum all over the country. And we're hoping to take it one step farther. But I mean just getting involved with this as always with Kickstarter it's not just about the money, right? There's these cool rewards. And one of them is as we shoot this show, I will be sending you outtakes and bloopers and backstage videos right from my phone in the various places we go. And there's some cool rewards too. You can have lunch with me. Who wouldn't want to back that?
Leo: I feel like we've cheated because one of the levels of rewards is a video chat with you, David, and here I am kind of doing that.
David: Well, I'll look for your name in the list of backers, Leo.
Leo: You've got a ways to go and I think that one of the things I remember you—well, didn't you initially ask for a million dollars? Was that right?
David: Yea, the original ask was a million dollars. We were going to try to almost fund the thing through Kickstarter. And unfortunately, we launched the day after the inauguration when the country's hair was on fire and people were funding really important things, you know, Planned Parenthood and the ACLU and it was kind of like we ranked too low on the who cares meter I think at the time. So we closed that and relaunched for this much lower target.
Leo: And you're almost there. You're halfway there, anyway. 12 days to go. $91,000 raised, $200,000 is the goal. There are 1,000 backers so far. This is definitely worthwhile. And this isn't really in a sense, this isn't new for public broadcasting. It's always been supported by its viewers.
David: That's true. The stations are supported by the viewers and then that money trickles back through a very complicated series of channels. The appropriation for public broadcasting, and PBS and WDBH and eventually winds up in individual shows. But this is a really remarkable experiment going directly from Nova to the public. In fact, on particular special, one documentary that we're trying to make to the public. So—
Leo: I like it. I think it's a great idea. Yea.
David: It will be cool. I guarantee. Just kick in $10-bucks and become part of the movement. You'll get a lot of fun stuff just out of that.
Leo: What did you say, Nova.kickstarter.com? Is that the—
David: Just novakickstarter.com.
Leo: Novakickstarter.com. One word. Great, David. Good luck. And thanks for the great work you do. You're really great on Nova and CBS This Morning, of course at Yahoo Finance and it's always nice to have you on the show. I really appreciate it.
David: Thank you, kind sir. It's a pleasure.
Leo: Becky Worley, what are you up to? You're doing GMA every day it seems like.
Becky: Yea, well that's my gig. I give my plug to David. Go give a buck to his Kickstarter. It seems important to me that we have to keep telling stories about science. Yes, watch me on Good Morning American, but go give some money to David. And also, I don't know why I'm plugging everyone else, but Clayton, I have to tell you, I've been loving your real estate investing podcasts.
Clayton: Well, you're very, very sweet. Thank you so much. Yea, and I will plug, because my wife and I, Natalie do that show together. We talk about real estate and building net worth and accelerating your financial freedom. How to pay off your house in a few years using our HELOC strategy and so we tell you now we do it with rental real estate. We try to buy a property once a month is our goal this year. And we tell you how we do it, all the ways you can save on taxes, depreciation, all of the—and more millionaires have been built in this country around owning real estate than any other form of investing. And so we walk you through our strategy on how we do it with single family properties. And so yea, the investing and real estate podcast, we do it three times a week if you can believe that.
Leo: You're up to 122 episodes, yea.
Clayton: Yea, and Ink Magazine this week just named us one of the top business podcasts, so thank you to Ink Magazine.
Leo: Nice. Wow. Nice. Congratulations.
Becky: And Leo, I would also like to add that this is first podcast my new puppy has made it through.
Leo: (Laughing) Awww.
Becky: Without barking. This is Akamai.
David: Akamai is bigger than you are.
Leo: Does Akamai mean something in Hawaiian or I mean?
Becky: It means smart.
Leo: I knew it was the Akamai Content Delivery Network. That's a Hawaiian word meaning smart.
Becky: Yea, so there you go. So this is my—my plugs are all given to—
Leo: Smart and tired apparently.
David: Akamai loves these tech podcasts.
Leo: (Laughing) Not to mention your daughter being very quiet too.
Becky: That went well.
Becky: See I broke my screen policy for you guys.
Leo: Thank you. Thank you. Well, go all watch the Oscars because that's what's coming up next. Thanks so much to all three of you. Thanks to all of you for joining us. We do TWiT every Sunday afternoon, 3:00 PM Pacific, that's 6:00 PM Eastern time. We started a little early today. If you tuned in and said, "What? They started already?" Well, we wanted to get everybody out of here by Oscar time. But normally 3:00 PM Pacific, 6:00 PM Eastern, 2300 UTC. If you watch live, join us in the chatroom. Irc.twit.tv and of course we make on demand audio and video available of every single show at twit.tv/ I don't know what it is. Just go to twit.tv. This is the one show that doesn't have its own dedicated URL because it would be twit.tv/twit. Does that work? Maybe it does. You can also subscribe. It's maybe a little bit easier. You can find TWiT in a podcast application. We're everywhere you subscribe. Let's see, twit.tv/twit. Yea, it does work. Look at that. I never knew that. The internet, what will the think of next? Thank you everybody. Don't forget, last day of our survey is Tuesday so if you haven't yet taken that 2-minute questionnaire. It helps us understand you. We do it once a year. Helps us sell advertising, understand who's listening, makes big, better show for you. That's at twit.tv/survey. And we appreciate it if you take that survey. Thank you so much. Thanks, everybody! We'll see you next time. Another TWiT is in the can. Bye-bye.