This Week in Tech 604
Leo Laporte: It's time for TWiT, This Week in Tech! Oh, we've got a great panel for you. Alex Wilhelm is here, Peter Rojas, and Oh that Flow, Florence Ion. She'll have a report from Mobile world Congress. We'll talk about Snap's IPO. Would you buy that stock? And Uber's really bad week! It's all coming up next on TWiT.
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Leo: This is TWiT, This Week in Tech, episode 604, recorded Sunday, March 5, 2017.
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It's time for TWiT, This week in Tangents. The show where we talk about the latest what? The latest tech news? That's Alex Wilhelm. He's from Canada.
Alex Wilhelm: It's true. I'm Ted Cruz's lost son.
Leo: Are you a blonde?
Alex: I'm going bald. So ambivalent about it.
Leo: Nice to have you. Your new site, crunch base.com has launched.
Alex: Not yet.
Alex: I was a big old liar.
Leo: Congratulations. Editor in chief from a tech crunch folks spin off...
Alex: Crunch base is now an independent company.
Leo: Any relationship to AOL and Tech crunch?
Alex: They used to own us.
Leo: They don't anymore?
Alex: We're split out. I'm not privy to our financials.
Peter Rojas: AOL retains a significant portion.
Leo: That's Peter Rojas. He knows. He's at Engadget.
Florence Ion: Is he like the Angel to your Buffy?
Alex: I'm not allowed to comment on interesting things like that, so I'll pass.
Leo: That is Florence Ion.
Florence: Today is Buffy's 20th anniversary.
Leo: Is it? Happy birthday, Buffy. Seems like it was older than that.
Florence: 1997 on the WB.
Leo: I feel like you were watching it all last night to celebrate.
Florence: I was watching Buffy when it came on.
Leo: What do you do in these days? We talked about this last time, Peter, but refresh my memory.
Peter: Yeah, I raised a Venture fund.
Leo: You're own fund! Is that ROJ.js?
Alex: How big is your fund?
Peter: I can't announce that yet.
Leo: Remember you're talking to Crunch base at this point.
Alex: Just me, really. Now I'm hyper curious.
Peter: We can talk about it later. I'm not allowed to say. I've probably already said too much, according to the SEC. Alex can vouch for it, there's a lot of rules around what you can say around raising new funds. This is actually, this is not a solicitation...
Leo: Read the prospectus carefully before you listen to Peter Rojas.
Peter: I can't even...
Leo: This Week in tangents is on the air. I mentioned Flo, Florence Ion. Host of All About Android, good to have you. You are bearing in your hands something returned from Barcelona. Can I talk about it?
Florence: Yes. I didn't get to go to Barcelona actually. I went to G6.
Leo: Peter, do you have a still vested interest in Engadgets from your time at Engadget? A number of phones announced this week at Mobile World Congress. I think this and the Nokia 3310 got the lion's share of attention. The 3310 is a candy bar feature phone, but the fact that it's back excites people. I thought Nokia announced some interesting small priced phones, but they didn't get nearly the attention the 3310 did.
Florence: They're on Android now.
Leo: They're not made by Nokia, they're made by former Nokia engineers who went next door into a new company.
Peter: But they had to wait a few years before they sold the Smartphone business to Microsoft. It was a three year lockout...
Leo: It's expired now.
Peter: On the up and up. I think when that sale ended, I don't think anybody expected that there wouldn't be any Windows phones, basically.
Leo: Nobody wants Windows phones. By the way, those Lumias were great. Microsoft was right to buy them. They've gone back to making Smartphones as well as candy bar phones, but these are less expensive phones, probably for the developing world, I guess. But for Android phones, they're nice. They're made of Gorilla Glass and they're all aluminum. I'm routing for them, I'd love to see them succeed. They also announced the Candy Bar 3310, which has snake on. Have you played with that yet? I want to buy one. 51 bucks. Why not?
Florence: That's a good idea.
Leo: Tell us about the G6.
Florence: LG's flagship, Samsung didn't announce anything big this year at NWC because that's coming. They did announce the Tab S3, which is a new iPad Pro...
Leo: I got up early for that announcement. We broadcast it, much to my disappointment and chagrin. It wasn't much, it looks just like an iPad.
Florence: It looks like a giant metal tab S2. With a really nice stylus.
Leo: Show me the LGG6.
Florence: It's pretty. This is a glass back, it's got different gorilla glass around it, which is interesting.
Leo: Samsung might have started that with the S7.
Florence: Possibly. 5.7 inch LCE screen, quad HD, HDR capable. HDR display.
Leo: Is this the two by one aspect ratio? That was one thing that intrigued me. I thought it's a little taller than normal.
Florence: It's narrow. Even the screenshots are very narrow.
Leo: The idea was you would be able to use it with one hand, but it's still a 5.7 inch phone.
Florence: You can't use this with one hand. I can't.
Leo: I thought it would look odd. It doesn't look too tall.
Florence: It's pretty. It's a pretty phone. Water resistant. IP 68 rated. You can take it with you in the shower for up to a half hour.
Leo: Fingerprint reader is on the back. It has a physical home button?
Florence: Not the home button. The power button.
Leo: That's really strange. So you turn it on and off from the back.
Florence: That's how you take your screenshots is you hold the back and it's weird.
Leo: We're at peak phone. It's hard for me to do anything that is at all interesting. We're talking about slivers of distance. The iPhone 7 Plus has two cameras, one super wide, one normal.
Florence: Both are 13 mega pixel, one is wide angle. Then the front facing camera is five mega pixel with a hundred degree lens.
Leo: That's wide.
Florence: You'll be able to fit in a bunch of people. So... USBC 300 millium battery pack.
Leo: Isn't it just Samsung and Apple and who cares about the rest? At least in the US. At least in the high end market, there's a lot of market...
Florence: People like the LG phones, though. The G2 and the G3 sold really well. The G4 and the G5 feel like different concepts.
Leo: The Sony fans love their Experius, and everybody else goes, that's very ho hum. Same thing with the LGs. The LG fans love them, everybody else goes it's hard to distinguish that from the Samsung, frankly. It looks a lot like the Square S7.
Peter: How committed do you think LG is to continuing to make Smartphones? They're not doing that well.
Alex: What's their market share right now?
Peter: It's small.
Leo: The real question is how committed is anybody except Samsung and Apple, right? At the high end. And then there's...
Peter: Wawe will stick around, but they've committed to doing at least a phone, they'll continue to put out phones...
Leo: They're trying to Android a lot...
Alex: LG has 10% of the Smartphone market right now. US market share.
Florence: You know why? Low end and midrange phones. They sell a lot of the MVNOs.
Peter: Globally, there was actually a report, it was the company that is OPPO.. Also, there's a third brand under there.
Florence: I want to say Museo...
Peter: The company BBK. They also do Vivo.
Leo: Vivo. I don't know that. For Americans there's a lot of brands we don't really see, like Blue is very popular around the world as a low cost Android device. We have it here, but how many people do you ever see carrying a Blue?
Alex: I forgot that LG made phones before this conversation. So...
Alex: I live in the iPhone world. I buy an iPhone every two years and it works out great and they're pretty good and I'm happy. I have no real reason to change. Maybe I should. Maybe I'm ignorant.
Florence: Try the Pixel.
Leo: What's the best... I love the Pixel. I carry both. Pixel and an iPhone 7. I think those are... that's the best Android and IOS devices. Pixel is pretty pure. You don't get those fun little things. I was mentioning before the show that I had just ordered the HTC U ultra that is so pretty, it has a second screen at the top with an extra little icon. They're stretching, they're pushing. I think we can stipulate, at least in the US, flagship owned outright by Apple and Samsung, The rest are small... how about in the budget phones? There's still a big market for sub 200 dollar phones. The Motorola announced their G5. Did you see that? Did you talk about that at all?
Florence: It's a metal midrange phone.
Leo: It's 200 bucks.
Florence: I've always been a fan of the Moto Gs. They're great midrange phones.
Leo: Then there's the Nokia 3310 for $51.
Florence: That one is only 2G though.
Leo: It's not a data phone. It's a phone phone. You don't need 2, 3, 4 or LTE. They do have a browser, but I don't know why. That's it. They have Snake. You don't need data to make phone calls, you don't need data for text messages.
Peter: I'm sorry, Snake is an online only game. We want to improve the experience of our customers...
Florence: Remember, back in the day of flip phones, there were app stores. I was in the Verizon V cast store. I will never have access to those apps ever again.
Leo: Speaking of Blackberry, we'll be in trouble if we don't mention the Key one.
Florence: That is the new Blackberry phone. It runs Android, it's got a keyboard, it has...
Leo: Keyboard that doesn't slide.
Florence: It's productivity focused.
Alex: Does it run Twitter? I just want to tweet. If my phone only tweeted, I would be 85% happy with it.
Leo: The problem with the most recent blackberry...
Peter: The peak, which I think was the... it was just for Twitter.
Alex: It turns out I am the only person who wants that.
Leo: Did you have a Peak?
Peter: It was adorable. It was a device, they sold two. One for doing email, another one they sold that was just for doing Twitter.
Leo: Peak Internet webman.
Florence: Hold on, let me tweet.
Alex: Here's a headline. The Twitter Peak is so dumb it makes my brain hurt. Thank you 2009 Gizmodo.
Florence: Look how cute that is.
Alex: I want to take it home and marry it.
Leo: I bet it doesn't work anymore. The Twitter API...
Florence: It doesn't even have Wifi.
Alex: Full recharge in under two hours. They're so proud of that. This is quick in 2009. That's how far we've been in the last eight years.
Leo: I can't believe there's 34 customer reviews on that.
Peter: Three stars is pretty generous.
Leo: The keyboard on the new Blackberry is not the Blackberry keyboard we love. That's part of the problem. You're giving them a physical keyboard, but it's not a usable keyboard.
Peter: People who got hands on with it in Barcelona said...
Leo: It was very hard to type on.
Florence: I went hands on with it at CES, the KEY 1. It feels like a traditional Blackberry phone. The keyboard is tiny. You know when the Blackberry got smaller and they were making them in seven colors at Verizon... I don't know what Model number that was. I think it was the Bold. But it's a nice... it harkens back to those glory days. It has a nice rubbery back. It's really nice.
Alex: Can you type faster on it than you can on an Android or iPhone?
Florence: I mean, there's a learning curb.
Peter: When I had a physical keyboard, I used to carry a Blackberry back in the day.
Florence: I used to be able to type so fast on T9. I could do that with my eyes closed in class.
Leo: The Nokia Candy bar will not work in the US. It doesn't have the right frequencies.
Alex: Can it still play Snake for $51?
Leo: It can. It's a Snake machine.
Alex: I really hate to go down Nostalgia lane. My Mom had one of the Nokias when I was a little kid, and I would play with it in the grocery store.
Leo: She rolled up the windows...
Alex: I remember playing that incessantly.
Leo: She put a sign saying the kid is OK, just ignore him.
Alex: I really think it's fun to see the occasional throwback in tech that actually hits the mark and makes an improvement on something we know and love. I like that a lot.
Florence: I think it's the Blackberry Key 1.
Alex: Tell me about it.
Leo: I bought the Priv, and I kind of regret it.
Florence: The Priv was not Blackberry's return to greatness.
Leo: I think the Key one isn't either.
Florence: The Blackberry Priv was done by Blackberry, not by...
Leo: Who is doing Key one. TCL the Chinese TV company?
Florence: Yes, but they have Alcatel, the French phone company? I'm confused.
Peter: I think they have the rights to the electronics brand.
Alex: So a Canadian company's brand is being built by a Chinese television company and marketed under a French...
Peter: Alcatel is a licensed sub-brand.
Alex: This is why I do iPhones, because I'm lazy. I don't have to do any of the stuff.
Peter: Alcatel's phones are pretty great. When my iPhone broke and I needed a phone in 45 minutes, I bought Idol 3. Prime Now. I dropped my phone, it stopped working, I'm like OK. I need something new.
Leo: Nokia bought Alcatel and Lucent. Lucent, which was AT&T Bell Labs sold to Alcatel, which then became part of Nokia, so that's really confusing. Actually what it shows you, does it show you a mature Industry, a shaking out, a merging and reconfiguring? Yeah.
Peter: Lenovo is buying up everybody. They're going to buy another PC OEM. I think they're buying Toshiba...?
Alex: Why would you do that?
Florence: Why wouldn't you?
Alex: I live in an HP town. I've seen what happens, half my friends parents got fired.
Peter: You're buying market share, basically. If you're Lenovo, you're manufacturing at scale also.
Alex: But if there's no economics in making a million PCs...
Peter: They do make some money, it's just a low margin business. They eventually get given the business for free. Toshiba for example, they're using money on it. That's what happens.
Leo: So you're really just branding some laptops Toshiba, because that's a known laptop brand. Absolutely.
Alex: It can't cost that much, but it's not a huge move.
Peter: It's a move that happens at this stage of a market where the business is a commodity, and you have legacy players who are not making money that want to get out. This happened to automobiles.
Leo: We should expect in the next few years a shakeout of a lot of these Android companies. I wonder if they'll just fold or say let's sell the brand. It would be interesting if Nokia acquired the low rent brands, leaving the high end market to Samsung and Apple.
Peter: BBK, that's the one that owns Oppo, One Plus, and Imoo.
Leo: They also have an advantage because they can sell to China.
Peter: If you add all the market share from BBK's different brands, they're the third biggest maker.
Leo: Privo, Oppo, One Plus. I'm looking at the BBK Wikipedia entry.
Peter: Gartner just put out a report, it goes Apple, Samsung, Wawe, and they put BBK as separate, but if you combine them, they have more market share than Wawe. And not that far behind Samsung and Apple.
Leo: Anything else from Mobile World Congress before we move along? Did we hit all the highlights? Somebody wrote that Qualcomm was the big story.
Florence: Yes. Maybe.
Leo: Almost all of these phones, except Samsung, even in the US they use Qualcomm chips. Apple was single sourced on Qualcomm. They're using Intel to their detriment, they're not as good as Qualcomm.
Peter: For the chip sets.
Leo: It's all a system on a chip. You get the radio, you get everything. Apple still makes its CPU. Everything else is Qualcomm.
Alex: Qualcomm makes six billion dollars in revenue. I didn't know they were that big. It's impressive.
Peter: Intel is introducing next generation of LTE chip sets.
Leo: Of course the story was on the iPhone seven, they've duel sourced their radios, Qualcomm and Intel and LT radios were so much slower than the Qualcomm chips that Apple admitted. They slowed down the Qualcomm chips so there wouldn't be any quality.
Peter: With this next generation of LTE which people are going to start to call 5G but it's not. You know what, we saw the same thing with HSPA plus. We went through this before and we survived. There is a technical definition for 5G.
Leo: As there was for 4G.
Peter: They have defined it as at least one gig per minute?
Florence: For instance, at Mobile World Congress, DTE had a gigabit phone that they were showing off, which was to show off the capabilities of what phones will be able to do once 5G becomes available.
Alex: It's what they do now but faster.
Florence: It's going to enable wireless, you'll be able to do VR.
Peter: They're protecting one millisecond latency, which if it's possible, you're able to do stuff with autonomous vehicles that you couldn't do otherwise.
Alex: I just got excited.
Leo: Is this an opportunity to overthrow Qualcomm's dominance in LTE from a company like Intel?
Alex: Intel would love to. They really blew it with Mobile.
Leo: They ignored Mobile for a long time.
Alex: their strategy was bad. They tried to go with atom processors for a long time, which was bad.
Leo: They had a scale for a while, they were attempting a mobile processor.
Peter: They were trying to buy their way into the market, which didn't work.
Leo: Now they admit, they're fabbing ARM chips, which is crazy.
Florence: There was one Intel good Android laptop.
Leo: Qualcomm wants to be big in 5G, and of course, they also have the snapdragon 835, which is in this phone, it's in watches, tablets.
Florence: This one is 821.
Leo: We'll say 835 based...
Florence: That's also true.
Leo: This is a ten nanometer thin fit. It is very advanced chip, but servers...
Peter: HTC wasn't able to get a supply of them for the new phone for the ultra.
Leo: What? I want my money back. The 810 two generations ago was so terrible, a lot of phones had to throttle it. It hurt the entire Android market for a whole year. There were a lot of terrible phones on the 810. It shows you how dependent the market is, and I'm sure these companies would love to see a second source, so if they have an 810 situation with Qualcomm, they could go to Intel or someone else. But no one else is there yet.
Alex: Could Intel mount a credible threat against Qualcomm on the mobile space in 5 years if they put enough resources into it. They're still very PC heavy.
Peter: That's their plan.
Alex: Do we think they're going to pull it off, that's my goals.
Florence: They have to.
Peter: I wouldn't bet against it, but I don't think it's a sure thing either.
Florence: The upside is they've already done it and they've already had a trial run, and now they can see where the Industry is going and adapt to that and maybe 5G is a good entrance to that.
Leo: As long as we're in the phones, and we're going to move on. There have been leeks of the Galaxy S8. They announced an event March 29 in New York City to show this. I think at this point, we know probably everything there is to know about the Galaxy S8. There's going to be an Edge version. I'll be very curious. It seems like we've already decided that six is too big.
Florence: Phones are getting too big and they want smaller. The SE is a sweet spot for a lot of people.
Peter: It depends on the bezels though. Personally, I think 6.2 is probably too big for me.
Leo: I remember the Nexus 6, it was codenamed Shamu because it was a whale.
Alex: The SE is the smaller iPhone, right? I have a more Trumpian size.
Leo: For baby hands? This will be 835. This is all rumors, 64 gigs, they will continue support for the micro SD cards, which is good, but nobody is doing removable batteries. Even LG abandoned removable batteries which is too bad. That was the last phone, I think.
Florence: For a lot of Android di-hards, it's going to be...
Leo: I like a removable battery. But if you want to get a better battery life, if you want to get more battery in the same space by eliminating the packaging you'd get better life. The sad thing about the S8 is Samsung continues along its path to duplicate what Google has already done with Android, they have a new virtual system named Bixby. Just what you always wanted. One more thing to talk to.
Florence: They purchased... I forget the company.
Leo: Is this Viv? Viv was started by some of the guys who did Siri. Samsung bought them. So this is Viv bixby? Interesting. They were using Nuance for S voice. They were licensing Nuance.
Peter: I think they realized they needed to have something announced, so... it does remind me a lot of Samsung's earlier to say our own app store. They launch these things, then they retreat. So.
Leo: All right. Well we'll find out March 29th. Apparently shipping April 21st. Should we talk about Pixel? Rich Ostelo, who is now head of hardware at Google was at Modo. Ran Modo. Did a very good job with the Modo X.
Florence: Rick is a great hardware guy.
Leo: He misspoke. He said there won't be another Pixel Chrome book, then came back and said I want to clarify that. We have no plans at this time for a Chrome book Pixel. I'm not sure that means he got in trouble or they're not doing it. He also said that they're working on a Pixel two for later this year, we don't know when later. That's what they did. It would be a year old in September because they announced it before the iPhone in September. Then today, I saw a new rumor that there might be a low priced Google Android phone they won't call the Pixel. Which would be great. Pixel is way too expensive.
Leo: It's only for people who want to spend 7 or 800 dollars.
Florence: Whereas an Android one device...
Leo: What happened to Android One?
Florence: It wasn't doing so well overseas in India. Those were the test markets. There's so much competition overseas in that market anyway.
Alex: I have no idea what Android one is.
Leo: Because you are all about iPhone.
Florence: It was the low end version that Google announced a couple years ago. Guaranteed updates...
Leo: That's the number one thing people should look for in an Android phone, period. Do you have a gum collection over there?
Alex: Some airheads.
Leo: Tell you what, I'll give you a break if you want to go scavenge for candy. When we come back, there's still lots to talk about. Uber, Snap, Uber and Snap. And Apple. And other stuff.
Leo: You got something to say about Spotify? They're doing well. I want to hear what the millennials have to say. As a baby boomer I don't care what you think. 27 makes you a millennial. He's a baby.
Alex: Am I in trouble now?
Leo: That's why he's eating nerds and airheads.
Alex: I worked out this morning, I'm tired.
Leo: I am too. But I didn't work out. I did, actually. What did you do? Pecks?
Alex: Stop hitting on me on the show, dude.
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Florence: It's unethical for me.
Leo: You could, Peter.
Peter: I could, but I passed. I actually think it will be a bit like Facebook where you had a lot of people excited, and slow growth/earnings don't shape up as quickly as possible. It drops, maybe I'll buy it when it drops.
Leo: Apparently there is as much as a billion dollars in shorting going on right now. A lot of people betting right now that the pop will go away. They're saying that they were going to, you'll help me with this because you're the financial guy. They were saying initially that the IPO would be $14, $16. They ended up opting for $17, which means they took a lot of money off the table. The founders each took 3 million for themselves. In the first day they went from 17, they started trading at 24 a share...
Alex: It's a big dance on the first day of the IPO. You still have the share as the underwriters, you fill a book beforehand, and then the price is set as a give and take.
Leo: Other writers, they've got special clients, they got people they particularly like, they let them in on the deal.
Alex: You and I are not going to get IPO allocation.
Leo: If you're lucky enough to, 44% pop by the time the day was done. I don't know what it is. Made a lot of people very rich, including one parochial high school. The story is, it was a Bay area high school. Barry Edgars, you may know his name, he's at Lightspeed ventures. They were one of the early Snap investors. They made a lot of money. But Barry spread the wealth because he's a para at that high school. The high school had an investment fund, he's the chairman. They bought $15,000 in shares, which are worth now $24 million.
Alex: Did your high school have funds? My public high school had two pencils.
Leo: They have to invest in endowment. A lot of private schools have endowments, we believe the money or whatever. $15,000, that was not a huge amount. I would love to invest in $15,000. They didn't even sell all of it.
Peter: Hindsight is always 20/20. You put 15 grand into Uber... or a lot of things...
Leo: That's the problem. You don't know. Is it Klinkle or is it a Snap. Simon Shoes the President of Saint Francis High school says Barry joins the illustrious group of individuals and families whose foresight and generosity have enriched St. Francis high school. But that's actually not even the biggest take. Light speed did very well.
Peter: The funny thing about light speed is that Gerry Lou had a falling out with Evan, and did not continue to invest. Probably could have made more money.
Alex: Can you do a breakdown for us and the terms in normal human speak?
Peter: I don't have the article in front of me. I read it a week or two ago. He put some terms in it that gave Lightspeed the right to block future investment and take 50% of any future...
Leo: So they could have had more of Snap.
Peter: What happens when you go to raise more money, then later stage investors can say I can't invest in those terms. I need to take 50%, 3/4 of this next round. Lightspeed didn't continue to invest.
Alex: It killed the relationship.
Peter: It killed the relationship.
Leo: Lightspeed made 107, 4 million dollars in that one day.
Alex: They did fine, but they could have made more money if they hadn't been so aggressive with their terms.
Leo: Half a billion dollars, NBC universal, this tells you why Snap is interesting to these investors. Because Snap is one of the few vehicles that reaches young people. People even younger than you, Alex. You don't use Snap, do you?
Alex: I do off and on.
Leo: It's really the 18-25.
Florence: Snapchat is a great app! I use it every day. It's my reality TV.
Leo: That's the point. You don't see that Coke commercial on TV.
Florence: I see it on Snap. I go through celebrities that I follow, I get ads after every one of their long stories.
Leo: It's nuts though. Remember when Facebook bought Instagram for a billion bucks? That's an app for a billion dollars. Everybody said I got to do an app. Whatsapp sells to Facebook for $22 billion. This is an app that is worth more than that. 34 billion dollars in... it's an app!
Alex: It did 405 million in revenue last year.
Leo: What was the profit on that? Let's be very clear. They said in the prospectus we may never make money. In case they don't make money...
Alex: It is a back side cover.
Leo: Just say this, Peter. I may never make money. When I was at AOL, I was in charge of experimental product development, and I'd have quarterly meetings with the budget team, oh so could you project out your revenue for next year. I said just take that number, set that pile of money on fire, it's all going to go away.
Leo: No one can accuse you of over inflating. I know that's not true and I'm going to make a lot of money. You know who didn't make money? Chris Secca, celebrity investor, the guy in the cowboy shirts, he tweeted a picture of an email he received inviting him to invest in Snap. He said guess who didn't make any money in Snap? I didn't answer the email.
Peter: There's always things you're going to miss. No way around it,.
Leo: When Facebook went public, if you had bought stock on that day, you would do well now. Initially you would have lost.
Peter: What Facebook was in the middle of at that moment, was the transition from desktop centric product to a mobile centric product. If they had flubbed that, they would be toast.
Leo: That was the risk at that point. They made that transition. What I said at the time, if you buy Facebook, you're investing in Mark Zuckerberg and I trust that he can make this transition. Is it the same thing case with Snap? You're buying Bobby Murphy and Evan Spiegel, you're saying these guys are smart, and they're taking Snap somewhere.
Alex: Facebook had a billion dollars in profit the year before it went public. Snapchat lost 500 million dollars.
Leo: Worse than that, right before this IPO, the numbers started to go down as people left Snap to go to Instagram.
Peter: The growth slowed. The changes they made to Instagram blunted their growth. I think that it's one of those things that's hard to say where this goes. I do think that there is a lot of people in the media world who have an incentive for Snapchat to become successful. For no other reason, as a counterweight to Facebook. Whether that happens, I don't know.
Florence: What do you mean by that?
Peter: Right now, Facebook has a monopoly on distribution.
Leo: They have Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp. They bought those threats. They tried to buy Snap multiple times. Evan Spiegel said no, and they had a big payday today because they said no to Facebook. Microsoft tried to buy Yahoo. Ashton Kutcher rejected early opportunities to invest in Snap after meeting Spiegel. Part of that, a lot of people thought it was a sexting tool. Kids just sending naked pictures of each other. I knew then it wasn't, because I saw my kids using it. This is how we like to communicate with our friends.
Alex: It brings to light normal, banal conversations. It makes talking to someone fun.
Leo: I do have to give credit to the team. They kept it relevant and interesting. They added those faces, the discover tab, Snap stories. They've managed to, without killing the audience, which is a risk. they've managed to add new features that engage the audience and kept them using it.
Peter: I think long-term, if Snap is going to become a successful company, then they're well positioned for the transition to augmented reality. That's going to happen over the next five to ten years, better than anybody else right now, except maybe Apple. But I think they figured a lot around designing user experiences that people don't realize are AR.
Leo: Maybe that's what the market is saying is they could be an early player in AR.
Peter: To me, that's their path to becoming a massive business.
Alex: Do you think spectacles would count as an early edition of consumer AR hardware?
Florence: It's just an accessory.
Peter: They're testing the market, it's about creating buzz. I will say that one of the rumors I have been hearing is Apple is going to do something similar.
Leo: He was on two weeks ago. Scoble. He thinks the next iPhone will be clear. I said if that happens, I will buy you dinner in Paris. That's never going to happen.
Peter: He's wrong.
Leo: Of course he is. He points out that Apple has a bunch of people working on augmented reality, but what is that going to look like? It's not going to be a clear phone. Who needs a clear phone? Where would the battery go? I love it because Robert is continuing to double down on it. He says My career is on the line, but I am convinced that Apple is going to do AR this year. What is Apple going to do , Peter?
Peter: They will do some dual camera thing that can do some sensing, similar to the tangle technology...It's going to be pretty basic.
Leo: Like Pokemon Go, where I have a Pokemon in the real world.
Peter: Yeah, but because it's single camera, you can't walk around things, there's no real shading. You're not being situated in the environment.
Leo: This is more like Hololens. A way to integrate...
Peter: The thing is, the camera, that will be something where Apple is testing the waters. It's probably a hobby.
Florence: Nobody who uses Snap calls that AR. I see a lot of people coming over to Instagram, and hearing this IPO stuff... Instagram stories. It doesn't do what Snap does, but a lot of people don't want that extra complication.
Alex: The filter in the funny hat does augment your reality. It's just fun. I grin every time I use Snapchat.
Florence: Fewer people see my snaps in real life than my Instagram stories.
Alex: How many friends do you think see your Instagram story on a weekly basis?
Florence: You can see how many people, so when I post a snap, the most I will ever have is 200 Macs. People look at my snaps. For Instagram, because I have way more Instagram followers... I have more than a thousand followers. I can easily get 250.
Leo: You get more engagement on Instagram. I look at Instagram and I don't feel like its UI is very good. I don't see it, to me, it's not close to compelling alternative to Snap, and yet we see these Snap's growth slowed because of Instagram. Maybe that wasn't why Snap's growth slowed. Everybody said that...
Florence: Anecdotally it seems...
Leo: If you're going to invest in Snap or if you're Snap, you've got to figure out why is our growth slowing. What is it?
Alex: There's been 112% of their revenue last year on Cogs. Cost of revenue.
Leo: They spent that much money to get less money.
Alex: Just before staff.
Leo: But they'll make it up in volume.
Alex: That's the PC OEMS we had. Anyways, I'm glad they did well. They're at 27 dollars a share now. Maybe we're all just big old haters.
Leo: Some Snapchat stars... there are Snapchat stars... like CJ cahlen.
Florence: I follow Spencer Pratt and Kelly Oxford. Kelly Oxford is a New York Times bestselling author. She wrote a sitcom, she's popular on Twitter and hilarious on Snapchat.
Leo: Sounds like a more intimate connection somebody could have with an audience. Even better than Twitter, you're talking to them. There's funny faces. Unlike Instagram, there's no commenting.
Florence: I turn mine off so only my friends can comment.
Leo: Why are these big shots frustrated and leaving for Youtube and Instagram. Like Mike Platco, who had a sizable audience, he went to visit Snap. He was turned away at the door. As a result, he says I'm done with Snap. You know what I don't like about these "celebrities" is they're hocking tea and clothes and makeup. It's all crap. It feels sleezy.
Florence: How many times are you going to tell me to get a Fabfit fun box? I don't want a Fab Fit Funbox.
Leo: We'll never get...We've seen this before though.
Alex: I want to be Fab Fit and Fun.
Leo: You'll never be fab fit and fun.
Leo: You're flabby, flaccid, and flatulent. Now that box I would get.
Alex: You're not even pronouncing flaccid right. I blushed a little bit. You may have hurt my feelings.
Leo: Here is how flaccid is pronounced.
Alex: It's your show, man.
Florence: It's flaccid.
Leo: This is a dictionary.
Florence: It's wrong.
Leo: Do you trust Merriam Webster?
Alex: I can concede I was wrong about how to pronounce the word.
Peter: I am genuinely surprised.
Alex: Do an ad Leo, right after that.
Leo: If only we had a Phizer ad right now.
Alex: I'm not the age group for that one.
Leo: You can never be too young for the little blue pill, let me just tell you, my friend. Let's take a break. when we come back we'll have more with this fabulous, flaccid, and flatulent panel.
Peter: It is seriously blowing my mind. I have a master's in English.
Leo: I think flaccid is a second accepted pronunciation.
Florence: I am... My parents are immigrants, so I get away with everything.
Leo: She's a gypsy, did you know that?
Alex: Don't look at me and say that...
Leo: Is Gypsy like the G word? Is that a bad word for Roma? If I say Roma it sounds like you're a tomato. Do you have a violin, will you play for me? Our show... we had a great week this week. It was so much better than this show. Watch this video, and enjoy.
PREVIOUSLY ON TWIT.
Jason Howell: NASA is feeling a little Opera Winfrey at the moment, and has decided that everyone in the world gets a bunch of their favorite software for free. You get a global reference atmosphere for Earth, Mars, Venus, and Neptune, you get an app that calculates the boulian water polyhedral. We all win, people!
Megan Morrone: There was no NASA software under my chair!
THE NEW SCREEN SAVERS
Leo: You know what you can make from crickets? You can make cookie crisps. These are made out of cricket flour. Crickets are all the rage.
Steve Gibson: I company that sells internet Teddy bears...
Leo: I had a few stuck to my cheek, and I had to ...
Steve Gibson: Anyone within Bluetooth LE range is available to connect to a child's cloud pet and upload their own content.
TWIT: Kid tested, mother approved!
Leo: It's not exactly vegetarian.
Kevin Rose: What would it be? It's not pescetarian.
Leo: Jason Howell has a look at the week ahead. Jason?
Jason: Thanks, Leo. Here's a look at a few stories we'll be watching in the coming weeks. Kind of a slow week, I'll be honest, but here we go. On Wednesday March 8, Google opens its doors for its Cloud Next 2017 conference with speakers including Sundar Picai, Eric Schmidt, and Diane Greene. The event is sold out, so I hope you got your ticket in time. On Thursday, March 9, the federal trade commission is hosting its third annual thin tech forum, shining a light on AI and block chain technology, and on Friday, March 10, South by Southwest is kicking off in Austin Texas for a few weeks of interactive film and music related panels and festivals if you go, make sure and pick me up some barbecue and let Austin know I miss it. Also on March 10, LG is releasing its next big flagship phone, the LGG 6, but don't get too excited, it's launching in Korea first, with a release in the US still unannounced, though it's expected to happen sometime in April. I'm sure Uber will have some news as well. That's a look at a few of the things we'll be tracking in the coming week. Join Megan Moroni and me on tech news today at 4PM pacific, 7PM Eastern here on TWiT.tv. Back to you, Leo.
Leo: Thank you, Jason Howell, also your colleague on All About Android.
Florence: He is my colleague.
Leo: Tuesday 5PM Pacific.
Florence: Or am I his colleague?
Leo: Mmmm. We come to you on a ten gigabit symmetric Fiber line. Did you know that?
Leo: I love saying that. The funny thing is, I'll just do the fast.com check here. None of our devices, none of our switches, none of our connections is more than a gigabit but I am getting 940 megabits, very close to a gigabit on here. Yea, you are too. Fast.com will tell you that. That's the Netflix, they connect to the Netflix server. That's thanks to Sonic, the greatest internet service provider. Well, you're on a Mac. What did you want? You're on Wi-Fi too (laughing). I'm hard wired. The greatest internet service provider ever and I almost feel bad doing these ads for Sonic because so few of you can get Sonic and it's really just a mean thing to talk about what Sonic offers. Listen to this. They're doing residential and business fiber to the premises. Fiber to the premises, ok? Now, this is their gigabit connectivity. I think we kind of went overboard but this is what you get with your gigabit connectivity. It's available in San Francisco, the north Bay area, the east Bay area. They are expanding fast. You get—besides gigabit service, internet service includes 15 email accounts. You get a gigabit of cloud storage, personal web hosting with a new domain, fax line service. You also get a home phone—this is all for one price—with unlimited local and long distance calling. You even can keep your existing phone numbers and port it over from your current carrier. It's easy. $40-dollars a month. $40-dollars a month. Now think about your internet service provider and what you're paying for stuff that's not even as good as that. And by the way, no bandwidth cap. No bandwidth cap and if you look at the EFF, they've got what, 5, 6 stars, all the starts for privacy, for standing up for their customers against government subpoenas and warrants, friendly, local customer support. This is what every internet service provider should be. Sonic's customer advocacy is paving the way for a better state of internet all over the country. And we've got to tip our hat to them and thank them for our amazing gigabit, 10-gigabit service here in the studios. Join the internet revolution. Visit Sonic.com/twit. I've been a Sonic customer for 15 years, for a long time. And receive your first month of Sonic internet and phone service for free. Plus, if you bundle it with Dish, yes they offer TV, too, you'll save $120-dollars on your Sonic bill. Visit Sonic, S-O-N-I-C.com/twit. And I love giving them a plug, not only because of what they do for us, but just because I think they're really showing that you can be an internet service provider and you can do all this and you can make money at $40 bucks with no bandwidth caps, which is driving me crazy at home. I can't get Sonic. I come to work if I really want to download anything.
Peter Rojas: I would switch if they came to my neighborhood.
Leo: Who wouldn't, right?
Alex: Come on, Sonic. Glenpark.
Leo: Do you have Webpass? You're in the city.
Peter: Webpass is not so residential.
Leo: It's only in apartments.
Peter: It's apartment buildings.
Leo: Om Malik's always raving about his (laughing).
Peter: No, I have Comcast like every other.
Leo: Yea. BY the way, and it's only going to get worse, I suppose we should do our weekly Ajit Pai update.
Alex Wilhelm: He's charming in person. He is a delight.
Leo: He seems like a nice guy.
Alex: He's just wrong about everything.
Florence: PBS News Hour.
Leo: Huh? PBS News Hour? Is that the one I should go to? FCC Might Scale Back Net Nuetrality. That's not all. They back—
Florence: Notice there's no auto-play on public media.
Leo: Thank you. Public media, no auto-play.
Florence: Thank you, public media.
Leo: No auto-play. They've eliminated the privacy restrictions that were placed late last year by the FCC on internet service providers protecting your data, protecting you against selling your data. I mean it just goes on and on and on.
Florence: I'm so happy to be protected.
Leo: He says net neutrality is a mistake (laughing). All right, well.
Alex: Like I told someone else, elections have consequences.
Leo: Yea. Let's not forget. What can you do?
Alex: Well you can—I don't know.
Leo: Vote next time. If you didn't vote, vote next time.
Alex: I voted.
Florence: He's Canadian. He can't vote for here.
Alex: I voted for what's his name, the handsome one.
Alex: No, Trudeau. Thank you. Bernie?
Leo: Bernie is a handsome.
Alex: You're the only person that goes handsome? Ah, Bernie.
Leo: Bernie Ward.
Florence: Bernie Sanders.
Leo: He's flabby, flaxen and flatulent I can tell you that right now. If you've ever spent any time on the campaign bus with Bernie.
Alex: Do you have stories you want to tell because that seems really specific. Back in 1843, and there we were, passing back the first—no.
Leo: We were talking about before the break, we were talking about Apple AR. We do hear a lot of rumors about the next iPhone. I don't know how many of them are credible. One I really thought was interesting and now is being a little bit debated is whether it will have a Type-C connector, whether Apple will actually 5 years in abandon the lighting cord.
Peter: That got walked back.
Leo: Well, ok, Ming-Chi Kuo walked it back saying oh no, they're going to have Type-C charging.
Florence: Right, fast charging.
Leo: And that frankly would make more sense because Apple—
Peter: It will be USBC to lightning.
Leo: People would—but there's nothing to say about that. What does that even mean?
Peter: Well, it does address the one complaint about—
Leo: You can plug it into a MacBook now.
Peter: Yea, so.
Leo: So they're going to provide a cable, a cable which by the way I've already purchased many times for $5-bucks as a USB-C on one end and a lightning on the other end, that's not a big deal. That's not even news. So you think that was just a bogus story?
Peter: Well, I think it was just—I can't remember who was the original sourcing on that but I think it was just poorly—
Leo: They misunderstood what they were saying.
Alex: But with Apple you want to report every small tidbit you get your hands on.
Leo: It was a small newspaper of the Wall Street Journal I think.
Alex: Oh, I heard of that.
Leo: They're on an island. They're on the east coast. I think it's called Manhattan.
Alex: I read the Journal in print this week.
Leo: It was kind of the last paragraph of their leak story, they said that there would be Type-C. And they didn't make a big deal out of it which everybody who knows Apple and has iPhones would make a huge deal out of it because abandoning the lightning connector so quickly would just frustrate lots of people.
Florence: It would upset many people.
Leo: Christina Warren, she—
Alex: But Apple has courage, don't forget.
Florence: So much courage.
Leo: That's why it's somewhat credible, only because—
Florence: Even though Motorola did it first.
Alex: Says the Android person, partisan.
Leo: Christina writes, "Absolutely insane." At the end she says, "I've invested a not insignificant amount of money in lightning accessories and cables as has everybody who owns a new iPhone. If the next iPhone really does have a USB-C port, I'm going to have to laugh. And then cry."
Florence: Yea, so expensive to replace all those Apple cord things.
Leo: So that's why Apple wouldn't do it. On the other hand if they did it, it would be a good thing.
Peter: I would be happy.
Leo: In the long run—right. Because we have Type-C on our laptops. We have Type-C on every other phone. Is that going to be your new phone?
Peter: And that's one of the things. In Europe there actually is regulation around—there's a standard for—
Leo: That's why micro USB took off. They mandated that it has to be micro USB.
Peter: So Apple has to ship an adaptor with the iPhones there.
Alex: That seems so talked out.
Leo: What if Apple shipped a lightning-C adapter and did change the port? Would that make people feel better?
Alex: I think you would still feel a bit taken advantage of by buying all that stuff and then having to use another adapter. Because imagine how many adapters you have to have in your pocket?
Florence: Think of all the cars that come with like the plug-ins.
Alex: Oh, yea. And those—yea. You can't really just update a car design. That takes like 2-3 years.
Peter: Well every alarm clock in hotels has a 30-pin, so.
Florence: Oh my gosh, that's right. They still do. Oh, you mean you don't have the adapter on you at all times?
Leo: They just didn't want to buy new $10-dollar clock radios.
Florence: Oh. The converter, forgetting the converter is the worst.
Alex: Yea, I do that every single time I travel.
Florence: Hair products? Do you know how many times I've burned off my hair?
Alex: How many times have you burned off your hair?
Florence: Several times.
Leo: Ok, you know what's a little weird? Maybe it's me. This is the article.
Leo: It seems to have that paragraph missing now. Where is it? It's in the middle?
Florence: Looking over your shoulder.
Leo: See if you can find it because I can't—look at the TV. That's a different article. What are you looking at?
Alex: No, it's down here.
Leo: Oh, it's after the graph. Oh I missed it. I stopped. There it is. Here it is. Here it is. You know what? I need to zoom it in so I can see it better. They said—by the way, they're talking about people familiar with Apple's plans. You know who that is.
Leo: Yea, PR people who called. Because the Journal does this routinely. If the Apple PR wants to send a trial balloon up or warn people that we're not going to release this, they call the Journal and they say, "Don't quote me. It's on the background deep. But we're not going to do that."
Peter: Remember they did this with the original iPad where they said it was going to be $1,000-dollars?
Leo: Yes, they—what is the Trump's teams word for that? It was a—
Alex: Alternative fact.
Leo: No, no, they did this right before the non-State of the Union address. They told everybody he was going to let people have citizenship and they said that that was a—
Leo: (Laughing) No, no. There's a phrase for that. Anyway, they said Apple would introduce other updates including a USB-C port for the power cord. So that could be interpreted as you did. Although that's kind of a trivial thing to have a USB on the other side.
Peter: Like I said, I think it was either shoddily reported or—
Leo: Misunderstood probably.
Leo: Yea, ok.
Florence: We'll never know.
Peter: Well, we'll know in September.
Leo: Ming-Chi Kuo who is also a pretty good leaker on this whole thing says, "No, no, no, no, no. They misunderstood. It's going to be Type-C power delivery technology while still retaining a lightning port." As is you guys said.
Florence: Well, hopefully it's fast.
Alex: I'm going to buy it, however it is. So.
Leo: See? It said every Apple fan everywhere.
Alex: To me it's like the generic high quality smartphone experience. It's comfortable.
Florence: It's a Honda Civic.
Alex: It is definitely a—
Leo: And your 2 years is up right? Because you have the older one.
Alex: Yea, so my two years are up in June. So I'm going to wait for the next one to come out. Whenever it does, I don't know. I don't cover Apple. It's going to be fine. It's going to run Twitter like my current phone runs Twitter and after a year and a half it starts sucking.
Peter: They're blocking Twitter actually.
Alex: Well, in that case I'm going to move to Android. How are you all doing?
Leo: I've been using—
Florence: It's great over here.
Leo: I've been using the iPhone more, I have to say. Well—
Florence: Oh, no.
Alex: It's half and half now, guys.
Leo: Only because like a lot of apps come out with—I don't know.
Alex: I don't feel strongly about it.
Leo: I don't feel strongly. I'll use whatever I use.
Alex: But I know Android requires more updates, more security, the app store's a little crappier. Like it's more work to get what I want.
Florence: Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Wait a minute.
Leo: That is all false. That is all false.
Florence: I have a new story on this dock that we have in front of us that say—where is it?
Florence: Where'd it go? Oh, iPhones are much more unreliable than Android devices claims reports by ZDNet.
Leo: I thought that was a really strange—
Alex: Is that report drunk?
Leo: I thought that was a very strange report. How do they justify that?
Alex: Because I've used Android devices. And I've used iPhones.
Florence: When is the last time you used an Android device?
Alex: I just had one in my hand like 10 minutes ago.
Leo: Peter and I are the only two who can speak here because we both use Android and iOS equally.
Florence: That's fair. That's fair.
Peter: I have them both in my pockets right now.
Leo: I think they're both equally reliable.
Florence: Must be nice having pockets on your pants.
Peter: Well, you know. I paid extra.
Leo: Don't be jealous. Peter, would you agree that Apple is less reliable than Android?
Peter: So I have found that the most recent updates to iOS addressed a lot of bugginess and unreliability.
Peter: Certainly the random restarts and things like that have gone down. But there was a good 6 or 7 months where the iPhone was—my iPhone was remarkably unstable.
Leo: It would re-spring. There were certain periods of time where it would re-spring. Not restart but re-spring. It looks like a restart but what happens is the springboard, the user interface crashes, the program crashes, the user interface crashes. But it doesn't—it's not like a full restart. You don't get the white apple and you have to wait a minute while it's starting. It just kind of re—there was a period of time when a lot of that happened. But that was, that seemed like a minor—
Florence: Well it did say that the most reliable iPhone is the iPhone 6 with a failure rate of 16%.
Leo: Well that's the battery problem, right?
Florence: The iPhone 6S and 5S close behind with an 8% failure rate.
Leo: That's like hardware failures.
Peter: Well I had a 6S with a battery issue. I paid to swap out my battery.
Leo: Apple recalled a lot of 6s.
Florence: Only 3% failure on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus which includes battery drain, Wi-Fi connectivity, Bluetooth, touch screen
Leo: That's actually impressive. When you sell 74 million devices. But even with 3% failure rate, 3% times 74 is millions of devices, right?
Alex: So on my iPhone 6 I have Airpods and I loved them when I got them. And now my iPhone has got such a—
Leo: 2.2 million devices to be exact.
Alex: Anyway, if I move my AirPods from my hand to my ear—
Leo: I have lots of problems with the AirPods.
Alex: It used to be really great. I could walk around and everything. But 2.0 has just fallen apart.
Florence: Sounds like a personal problem.
Alex: Maybe it's user error. I'm just saying I was happy and now I'm not.
Leo: No, I have dropped calls a lot on my iPhone. But I think it's because it's using Wi-Fi calling and that seems to drop more.
Florence: Samsung tops the unreliability charts with a 16% failure rate. Given that it is the biggest Android vendor by far—
Leo: Are they including exploding Note 7s in that number?
Florence: Actually that's a good question.
Leo: If you included that it would be 100% failure rate.
Florence: Right. Behind it is Xiaomi, Sony and Lenovo with failure rates of 5, 4, 3, and 3 percent respectively.
Leo: So this is independent information from repair centers or something like that.
Florence: Yes. ZDNet reported on it. Blancco Technology Group.
Leo: You can believe Blancco. If it's Blancco, you can't go wrong. Our show today—oh, you know what I cooked last night? It was so good. It was a Japanese barbeque sauce on chicken and then I can't remember. It was like Yakiniku sauce or something? I never had it before. And then I used something called mirin, I think mirin which is a rice vinegar. And then I had shredded carrots and I marinated the—I'm talking about my Blue Apron. And I've got Blue Apron tonight. We're going—I think we're going to do a teriyaki salmon. Blue Apron's awesome. It's been kind of one of my New Year's resolutions to not eat out so much. Lots of calories eating out. You get the bread. You can't say no. You eat the bread. That's a mistake. You get dessert lots of times. So I've really been trying to be good and cook at home. And Blue Apron has been such a boon. Blue Apron is the number one fresh ingredient recipe delivery service in the country. They deliver amazing—it's all fresh. It's uncooked. They're giving you the recipe and the ingredients to make an amazing meal. The house fills with the smells of ginger or shallots or sautéing garlic. I made jasmine rice. And they taught me how a better way to make jasmine rice. Sautéed garlic and what else? There was something else and then I put the rice in and browned that a little bit. Then I add the water and cook it. It was the best jasmine rice I've ever had. And so once you learn these techniques, from now on—I even went on Amazon and I ordered more of that, what was it, Yakiniku sauce? A Japanese barbeque sauce, it's incredible. Incredible. So you learn these techniques. You learn new ingredients and you're having delicious meals. They have two plans. One for couples. One for families, a family of four. Although we use the two person plan and we feed our teenager too. So they're generous portions. But they're delicious and healthful. And, I always assumed it would cost me more but it's worth it. Actually you'd pay 60% more at a grocery store because if you think about it, they don't have as much overhead as the grocery store. Look what's on the menu. Pork and cabbage tacos. Those look really, really good. With pineapple and pickled jalapeno salsa. Oh, man. And you get just the right ingredients. So I got the mirin which is the rice wine, a very good rice wine vinegar. But I only needed two tablespoons. So it comes in a little bottle of two tablespoons of mirin. So you have no waste. There's leftovers if you don't eat all the food but there's no leftovers from cooking it. You don't get extra stuff. Oh, that's what I'm making tonight, salmon picatta with orzo and broccoli. Pork chops and miso butter with bok choy and marinated apple. We had some good bok choy last night. It was so good. I sautéed it in a pan with the Yakiniku sauce or whatever it's called and with mirin. Vegetable chili and baked sweet potatoes with crispy tortilla strips. Spicy shrimp coconut curry with cabbage and rice. Look, here what it goes. There's no weekly commitment. You only get deliveries when you want htem. You go to the website you look at the menus. They never repeat more than once a year so you'll always have something interesting and different. You customize it. They deliver to 99% of the continental United States. Check out this week's menu and you're going to get your first 3 meals for free with your first purchase and free shipping. Blueapron.com/twit. Blueapron.com/twit. It's named Blue Apron because that's the color of the little blue aprons that the apprentice chefs at the famous French cooking school, Le Cordon Blue, wear blue aprons. Blueapron.com/twit. I love it. I really love it. We're going home. Lisa said, "Should we eat out tonight?" I said, "No, we've got the salmon. We're going to make the salmon picatta." She said, "Oh, that sounds good."
Florence: I'm so hungry.
Leo: I know. It's mean of me to do those ads. It's mean. All right. You wanted to talk about Spotify.
Alex: Yes, please.
Leo: So 50 million paid subscribers. It's weird because their growth does not seem to be slowed by competition from Apple or Pandora or Amazon which announced its unlimited. You don't seem so—
Florence: Well, I noticed you didn't say Title.
Leo: Yea, whatever happened to that? But they're doing a Title thing, right? They've announced that they're going to do high quality music now. For more money, right?
Peter: It's less than $14 or $20-dollars a month.
Leo: Yea. That's a lot.
Alex: Which I would definitely pay for.
Florence: I would pay for as well if I could have high quality music in my car.
Alex: Oh, for sure.
Leo: But wait a minute now. Spotify's 300 kilobit mp3 at its highest level. That's pretty good, right? So is this uncompressed.
Peter: My ears are not good enough.
Leo: Yea, I can't tell the difference.
Alex: I'm a big old music dork, so.
Leo: This is uncompressed. CD quality.
Florence: I hope it is just to hear the difference in sound.
Leo: Do you?
Alex: Do you do this effect with your hands and face when you—
Florence: Oh, the sound.
Leo: You know what you can do? You can just get a recording of (electronic noises) and play that behind your CDs and it would sound just like you're listening to a record.
Florence: That's true.
Alex: Oh, you weren't kidding. You actually do buy vinyl.
Alex: Oh, that's hilarious.
Florence: Like latest.
Leo: Ok, so you would spend $20-bucks a month, both of you would, for Hi-Fi.
Alex: I mean Spotify is the best money I spend every month by far.
Leo: Why is Spotify—
Florence: Their weekly playlist is so good by the way.
Leo: Oh, Discover Weekly, every Tuesday, they make a new playlist based on your interests.
Florence: And it's never off the mark which I—
Peter: Oh, mine was.
Florence: Oh, really? Are you sharing your account?
Leo: That's why. No?
Peter: No, actually I have the family plan where I have a separate account for—I got one just for the Sonos.
Leo: I did get for a while a lot of country music. And then all of a sudden it was all piano, classical piano. Like 18 different kinds of Moonlight Sonata. So every once in a while Discover Weekly is week.
Florence: It depends. I'm a very—I mean I guess I'm limited. I've got to stick to a certain genre.
Leo: I quit. I quit. I quit Spotify.
Alex: Wait, wait, wait. Where'd you go?
Peter: You switched.
Leo: I switched.
Leo: Well, I already had Google Music, Google All-Access or whatever they call it. Google Play Music.
Florence: I'm locked out of it. But anyway.
Leo: You're locked out of it? Did you try to cheat them?
Alex: She broke into the campus again.
Florence: Well I have like 50 devices on my account.
Leo: Oh, you're not allowed to do that.
Florence: And I never called Google.
Leo: Yea, yea, yea. They'll—and then because I have an Amazon Echo, I just decided to get the Amazon Unlimited. And that's cheap. That's $8-bucks a month. And as far as I can tell, almost all the same songs on all of them, right? It's all roughly the same 30 million song playlist. You know what's really interesting? How the music industry's changed because remember it wasn't so long ago that the record industry knew that well, we're going to have two good songs from this band. Let's put it on an album with 10 songs. We'll sell them the album. We'll make more money. Then Apple came along and stong armed them and said, "We're going to do singles for 99 cents." And then the record industry said, "No." And Steve Jobs literally said, "I don't care. We're doing it." And was able to force it through. It changed the record industry. People bought individual, bought ala carte. But they bought. They still bought. Then along comes these streaming services and I've got to think nobody's buying music anymore. Why would you?
Florence: I just bought CDs actually?
Florence: I want to support the artist and I realize it sounds like, I'm not trying to be like a good person but honestly, if I love an artist, I'm going to go see them live. I'm going to pay all the money to see them live. I'm going to buy their records or their CDs.
Leo: Meanwhile, all the artists that you listen to but aren't like a fan are making half, a quarter of a third of a cent.
Florence: I still listen to them on Spotify.
Leo: Yea, but they're not making any money on Spotify.
Florence: Make better music.
Leo: So Spotify says it now has 50 million paid subscribers. Compare that to Apple Music which is at less than half, 20 million.
Alex: So I did the math on this.
Alex: Because I like Spotify a whole bunch. So they added 10 million subs from September 14, 16 to today which is about 59,000 per day or 1.78 million a month.
Leo: Wow. Wow.
Alex: And then I averaged out their entire lifelong cadence from 2011 through 16, and it was 590K a month. But if you go back to just 2016—
Leo: Do you have a graph? Can you show me this in a graph? Do you have Power Point? I don't understand this.
Florence: Do you like math?
Alex: I am indeed a dork, yes. If that's what you're aiming for.
Florence: I'm jealous.
Alex: Anyway, the point is they managed to keep up their 2016 new paid user increasing rate.
Leo: So their acceleration is—
Alex: Has been maintained.
Leo: Has been consistent.
Alex: They're growing faster now than they were before which bodes really well for them. The problem is their revenue is mostly pass through so about 85% of it goes to the labels. They can drive margin just on 15% that goes to credit card processing, marketing, promotions and so forth.
Leo: This is precisely the problem all the services have.
Alex: Spotify needs to find a way to get leverage against the labels to drive a better deal. The problem is the labels bought part of Spotify. So now Spotify has to beat up its parents to get a bigger allowance so it doesn't die before it can go public.
Leo: Do you know what the record industry loves? They love the idea that they own this. And at any oint they can choke it off. They'll use it as long as they get some value out of it. Maybe there's promotional value. But unlike Apple which they cannot control, they control Spotify. And this is the problem. In my opinion, I've said this before, none of these independents have a chance because Apple, Amazon and Google don't need the revenue from their music services. It's incidental revenue, incremental revenue. They can keep it going for other reasons. Spotify, Pandora, Title, they're living on the scraps the music industry allows them and at any point the music industry can say, "That's it."
Alex: Yep. Which is terrifying!
Peter: It's a bit like the airlines. Like none of the airlines really make any money.
Leo: Well, how do they live?
Peter: They all kind of barely scrape by.
Florence: I love hearing that because the transportation I rely on is just barely scraping by. Oh wait, that's BART too.
Leo: That's true.
Alex: No, wait. Southwest had $522-million in net income last quarter.
Florence: Wow. It's incidental compared to the $5-billion.
Peter: But they're not like big, you know—
Alex: They're not Google. There's only on Google.
Peter: I'm saying compared to the size of the airline industry though.
Florence: Did you see that Spotify is trying to get into original podcasts by the way, speaking of—
Alex: That's a hell of a long leap from the airline industry.
Leo: No, this is actually though how all of these companies are responding is and even Audible's doing this, is they're saying, "If we create our own content then we're not beholden to the record industry, the publishers. And maybe we can somehow get a grasp on this business. Make some money. Create our own original content."
Alex: Which is why Facebook is getting into TV style content, right? I mean everyone's doing this.
Leo: Yea. Facebook doesn't have the challenges these companies do. They need a revenue source that isn't controlled by the music industry.
Alex: And also can drive differentiation between them and—that's your point on 30 million tracks. They're all the same. If you're Spotify and you can say, "The only place to have Metallica record—"
Peter: Title's tried to do that.
Alex: Yea, exactly. But Spotify has more clout I think and more total heft than Title has by a factor applied by 8.
Leo: They have the same issue though because who controls who gets exclusives? The record industry.
Leo: Once again, they're completely at the mercy of the record industry.
Alex: So how long until Spotify starts buying up independent labels?
Florence: Do they have the money to do that?
Alex: Well, they borrowed a bunch of money at a very, very expensive rate as I'm sure Peter knows because of the terms on the debt. If they don't IPO the discounts that the people lent the money get larger as time goes along. It's really bad.
Leo: When does the clock tick?
Leo: They have to IPO now?
Alex: They have to IPO this year and they can't.
Leo: Really? That's—
Peter: That's going to be really, really difficult for them.
Leo: So this headline, Spotify now has 50 million paid subscribers, tells none of the story. This is a company that probably isn't going to survive 2017.
Alex: There are articles about them running out of cash this year. It's super bad. But they will not die. This company will zombie on forever because they are a conduit between my wallet and the labels and they own a piece of it. So you can't kill it. But it may not be healthy and it may not be able to go public.
Florence: It's also a good brand. I mean a lot of people know Spotify.
Leo: Look at you guys. You love Spotify.
Florence: I love Spotify.
Alex: I evangelize for it like you evangelize for Android because we're dorks for this stuff.
Leo: Well, I should point out, I also loved Spotify. I loved Discover Weekly. But I didn't love it so much that I wasn't willing to go what is essentially an equal service, really close to equal service. Because I didn't want to pay for 3 services. I'm already paying for 2.
Alex: Well Playlist Lock is a big deal. I have playlists that I built on Spotify. But to me it's a very personal thing. Like that really hits me right in the—
Leo: I kind of miss Spotify. I'm very tempted to rejoin.
Alex: Well, if you just leave that Amazon business behind you can come back to the cool kid table.
Florence: I like how easy the offline feature is on a smartphone because—I even use it on my Chromebook which is awesome.
Florence: Yes, I can do it on a desktop, but I like that functionality.
Alex: That's a Chromebook, right?
Florence: Yes. This is a Chromebook.
Alex: I'm just making sure.
Leo: So you guys just want to talk about this because you love Spotify. That's so cute.
Alex: I mean we can't be cynical and horrible about everything. Just most things.
Leo: So their growth is good. But growth means nothing if you don't make any money.
Alex: Just like when Snapchat makes more revenue but it loses more money.
Florence: Snapchat is also trying to develop its own original content.
Alex: The original content push right now is a facet of the broader platform wars we're seeing among the major tech companies.
Florence: I have my own original content coming out soon. I mean, everybody's got original content.
Leo: You have original content?
Alex: You have original content?
Leo: Jinx, you owe me a Coke.
Alex: I come here too much I think. Anyways, what's your original content?
Florence: You know, it's me. I'm the original content.
Peter: Original content is coming out of her mouth right now.
Florence: Yes, exactly.
Peter: You're experiencing it.
Alex: This wasn't driven to drivel then. Ok, fine.
Florence: Well that's what I mean. Anybody can make original content now.
Alex: We mean—come on. You know what I mean.
Florence: You know what I mean?
Alex: Yea, I do know what you mean. Stranger Things with original content to a higher level.
Florence: Right, yes.
Alex: Stuff that drives conversation like Game of Thrones for HBO and so forth.
Peter: You mean exclusive content.
Alex: Original exclusive content.
Florence: Well that's what can happen with Spotify. They've got all these Beiber wannabes who get on YouTube and they get all popular and they go, "You've got to come over here."
Leo: That's the model they should emulate. Look at how YouTube made it because nobody signed to YouTube.
Leo: But YouTube has its own stars. So Spotify needs to become the YouTube for music but guess who's already doing that? SoundCloud. Can they beat SoundCloud at its own game?
Florence: Are they? Are they?
Leo: I think that's the plan.
Peter: If anything, SoundCloud's going to go out of business before Spotify.
Leo: They're struggling too. All right. Spotify, acquire SoundCloud and build.
Peter: They talked, they were—they have been in conversations. I don't think that that deal is going to happen.
Florence: Which is a bummer because that would be great for me. I mean I love stuff that's on SoundCloud. I want to have—
Leo: Is that the name of your exclusive content? Go with the Flo?
Florence: It should be.
Leo: It's really good from the chatroom.
Alex: Well SoundCloud loses a ton of money too. They're in worse shape than Spotify is.
Peter: So from what I understand, Vivo—I heard that from every dollar that they take in in revenue, $1.05 has to be paid out in royalties.
Leo: Yes, see that's not a stable business model.
Alex: You mean $1.50.
Peter: No, $1.05.
Alex: Well, that's not as bad.
Peter: But they have like the—Spotify they have 85 cents of every dollar. But with Vivo they're actually—
Leo: They're negative.
Peter: They're negative. No, no, no. They're operating expenses and all that stuff, marketing, that's on top of the $1.05.
Leo: But you know why they don't care? You know who owns Vivo? Sony and Universal. It's basically the record companies own it so they're basically paying their artists a nickel more.
Florence: To make original content.
Leo: To make original content.
Peter: And the interesting thing to me is one reason that Apple was able to do the iTunes deals in the first place was that the major labels weren't able at the time to collude, to build their own distribution system.
Leo: Now they can.
Peter: Well, now it's a little—now, they're able to do it by having somebody else come along like Spotify and then make investments in it as part of their licensing deals.
Leo: By the way, one more story. Ajit Pai, I forgot to mention, has said, "I'm not going to review the AT&T-Time Warner merger." This is actually a reversal of what candidate Trump said on the campaign trail. He said he didn't like the idea of the AT&T Time Warner merger and was going to turn it around. As soon as he gets in office, his FCC chairman says, "It's going to go through."
Alex: Are you saying that something that Trump said would happen is not going to happen?
Leo: Well, yea.
Alex: Because that's never happened before.
Leo: Pai all along has said the FCC shouldn't stop mergers. And I presume there is still an FTC or maybe the DOJ can get involved. But you're right.
Florence: Alex, I think we should have a merger.
Leo: I think this is going to happen
Florence: We should just--
Leo: Which is bad for users.
Alex: It will be fine.
Florence: Nobody's going to look at it. It will be fine.
Alex: Just ratchet PE.
Leo: Mozilla buys Pocket.
Florence: Yes, that was out of the blue.
Leo: Interesting. Mozilla I thought was open source company.
Peter: Pocket's been shopping themselves for a while.
Leo: Have they?
Leo: I love Pocket.
Florence: I use it but I never read anything I put into it.
Leo: Is there any way to make money on Pocket? You put ads in there? Do they put ads in there?
Alex: Is there a subscription?
Peter: There's a premium service and I don't think there's really much in the way of advertising. But they raise way too much money and they were trying to shop themselves for years.
Alex: How much did they raise total?
Peter: 28 I think?
Leo: For those who don't know, Pocket is a way to save articles and read them later. It's kind of a read it later service. What really hurt their business is when Apple built that into its own browser. I don't know if Chrome does that. I use Pocket.
Florence: You can have—you have save to inbox and it sends you an email.
Leo: Well, that's no good. That's sad.
Alex: $14.5 million dollars across 3 rounds. A $7-million dollar series being February 2015 so just about 2 years ago now.
Leo: This guy is CrunchBase.
Leo: Like you just ask him and he knows. It's impressive.
Alex: This is my jam. Financial.
Peter: You should be asking me how much money there is.
Alex: Well I thought you would know.
Leo: I was testing.
Alex: I need to raise my cool capital for certain purposes.
Peter: Not for pocket.
Alex: Hopefully. Unlike NEA. Oops.
Leo: According to The Verge, Pocket flirted with an acquisition 6 years ago when Evernote offered to buy them, but CEO Nate Wiener rejected Evernote's offer when it became apparent that Pocket was likely to become a feature inside the bigger company's app rather than a standalone.
Florence: That's fair.
Leo: Pinterest bought Instapaper, its biggest rival last year.
Peter: Yep and so Instapaper, you know that was a Betaworks. Betaworks acquired.
Leo: I loved Instapaper, yea. And a good exit it sounds like.
Peter: Well ultimately because Betaworks was able to acquire Instapaper. They attracted—
Leo: Pennies on the dollar as they say.
Alex: An attractive price is a great way to face a fire sale.
Alex: No, that was a compliment.
Florence: Attractive prices.
Leo: So I'm not sure why Mozilla—I guess you can have—is Mozilla non-profit or is it? I guess it's a for profit company.
Peter: They have the Mozilla Foundation but they can still acquire things.
Leo: They can acquire stuff. All right. Netflix has twice the subscribers as Comcast. Twice.
Florence: They have better stuff.
Leo: How about that, huh?
Florence: Where else are you going to watch Orange is the New Black and Stranger Things? Not Comcast.
Leo: In this top 10 downstream web traffic, 35% of web traffic is Netflix.
Leo: 17.5% YouTube. So it's twice as big as YouTube.
Florence: I watch both of those on the daily.
Alex: You know what I don't see there?
Leo: Amazon Video 4.3%. Other a big 4.2%
Alex: That's my question. Does all owner person content fall into the other category?
Florence: I watch the Google Play? Does that count?
Alex: Not quite what I had in mind but we can take that.
Leo: It's very interesting though. When you are sitting in front of your TV, most people have Roku or Apple TV or some sort of solution, you can watch, you can rent a movie from any of a number of services, right?
Florence: Google Play. That's what I use.
Leo: So you can do Play, you can do iTunes, you can do Amazon, you can do Voodoo. And there's a bunch more. Do you have one that you choose all the time?
Leo: You always—and why?
Florence: Because it's integrated into my Google account. It works with all my different devices. And they have a lot of sales. They have a lot of sales.
Leo: Somebody told me that. Get it on Google Play because then you can—everything has YouTube. And if you own something on Google Play you can watch it on YouTube.
Florence: And I have family library which I share with my besties and we all take turns buying reality TV seasons. And that's how we get our reality TV without having cable.
Alex: Your friends sound a lot cooler than my friends.
Leo: Which reality TV? That's a really good idea actually. Which reality TV?
Florence: Real Housewives. Bravo.
Florence: Bravo. Because none of us have Bravo on cable.
Leo: That's the cultural channel, right? Bravo. Lots of operas.
Florence: It was.
Leo: Symphony orchestras. What about you, Peter? Do you have a preference?
Peter: No, I have an LG TV and it has Netflix and—
Leo: That's the one with Web OS.
Florence: Web OS?
Peter: Yea, it's actually a great TV.
Florence: Wonderful Web OS.
Peter: And it has—I actually know the guy who designed it.
Peter: He's a parent at my kids school.
Leo: Was he from Web OS?
Peter: Yea, he came through the acquisition of LG. He had worked at HP. Small world. And he also worked on the Pebble.
Leo: So he was at Web OS, then HP.
Peter: No, no, HP—yes, yes. Web OS then HP.
Leo: And now—
Peter: No, the Pebble Watch.
Alex: Oh, ok.
Peter: Anyway. He's a great guy. And so it has Netflix. It has Google Play. And it has Amazon built in and Voodoo which I never use Voodoo. So I usually bounce between Amazon and Google depending on availability.
Leo: I guess I don't have a brand, real strong brand loyalty. I just—eh, it's whatever has Netflix and that's why I see 35.7%.
Florence: Yea, I mean that's all the original content that people talk about. There's a couple things on Hulu that people start talking about. Difficult People. A lot of people like that show.
Leo: The problem I have with Hulu is the ads. And it's not so much the ads.
Peter: You can pay for the upgraded.
Leo: It's the, whatever it is, Captain Obvious ad, the same ad like 4 times in the show. It's really annoying.
Florence: Yea, I know.
Leo: I wouldn't mind it if it were 4 different ads so much. But it's the same ad because they can't sell it. You can pay to get all the ads gone?
Peter: Almost all the ads.
Leo: Yea, that's what I thought.
Florence: And Showtime.
Leo: I have Hulu Ultimate or whatever it is but it still has some ads.
Peter: I let my subscription lapse to Hulu. I just didn't feel like I was getting enough.
Florence: Golden Girls in on there now.
Leo: Golden Girls.
Peter: You have a lot more free time than I do I think.
Leo: Golden Girls.
Florence: No. No. No, no, no, no. Just because I watch Hulu doesn't mean I have free time. It's just stuff I like to have stuff on in the background when I'm doing other things.
Alex: He's trying to raise unsecured capital pool for possible disbursement.
Peter: I'm not soliciting anyone for anything.
Florence: That's fair.
Alex: I said that carefully. No, but I think parents have a different set of times constraints on their lives.
Leo: Here's the—actually this is a more interesting graph. This is, the black line is total cable subscriptions. This is from 2012 to today.
Florence: It's going down.
Leo: Slowly going down.
Leo: The red line which is up, up, up is Netflix and then the yellow line is Comcast. So the yellow line is Comcast. So Comcast is flat. Cable's going down. And—
Florence: It's not worth the money.
Alex: I cut the cord.
Florence: It's not worth the money.
Leo: This is a cord cutter story, isn't it right there. That graph tells it all.
Florence: It's the story of a giant corporation that's over charging for things that you don't need to pay for.
Leo: You know what's missing?
Alex: The fact that we pay for access without the ads is an amazing affront.
Leo: Here's what's missing in this. This is Comcast subscribers. But Comcast isn't stupid. This is Comcast revenue because how do you get Netflix? You get it over your internet which Comcast is slowly raised the price of to make up for the loss in television revenues. So Comcast is not stupid. My Comcast bill is basically the same as it always has been.
Florence: That's true.
Peter: Yea, I just have internet and it's like $100-dollars a month.
Florence: Yea, same.
Leo: So you didn't save any money.
Peter: No, I'm not saving anything.
Leo: Comcast very cleverly orchestrated that, right? Because there's no competition, where are you going to go?
Peter: And look, the people that run Comcast are not dumb.
Peter: The whole thing about Apple and Apple TV, the reason why we haven't seen an Apple TV box integrated with cable and all the things they were trying to do is that Comcast refused to do the deal.
Leo: Yea. No, they got everybody by the short hairs.
Peter: Yea. They don't need anybody.
Leo: Quick break and then we'll wrap it up. We haven't talked about the Nintendo Switch. I think—
Florence: Oh, boy.
Leo: I think we should talk about that. Which of you are going to go around the moon with Elon Musk next year.
Florence: I mean, I've been asking him. He hasn't replied to me.
Leo: And the game of the year. GDC was this week. The Game Developer's Conference. What did they pick as the game of the year? Don't look at the notes. Think. Use your head. Use your noggin. Use your flatulent, flaccid, flabby noggin.
Leo: Our show today brought to you by ZipRecruiter. If you wanted to hire a new host for This Week in Tech, you know what you would do? You would go to ZipRecruiter because I tell you what. Let's assume the right, the perfect person to host this show is somewhere. Not me, obviously. But somewhere that person's there. And what job board is that person on? You don't know. You don't know. There's hundreds of them. So here's the deal. You go to ZipRecruiter, you post it once on ZipRecruiter, it goes to 200+ job boards and Facebook and Twitter and everywhere. So the chances are much better that you're going to hit that right person. And here's the beauty part. You might say if you're the poor person in charge of hiring at your company, "I don't want 100,000 emails. I don't want all those phone calls." No, you won't get any. You'll get zero because it goes into the ZipRecruiter interface. And the ZipRecruiter interface is awesome. It reformats the resumes so they're uniform so you can read them quickly and easily. You can set up standard questions, multiple choice, yes, no, even essay questions that you ask every candidate. You can then review those, screen out the people that don't match and then pick the right person fast, all in that interface. So fast that in a few days you'll have the best candidate. It is the most efficient. It's the brilliant way to hire people. That's why it's been used by the Fortune 100, by thousands of medium and small businesses use it. I think more than a million businesses now have used ZipRecruiter.com to do their hiring. We've used it. It's great. Still looking for that host though for the show. Haven't found that person. ZipRecruiter.com/twit. We've got a free trial for you. ZipRecruiter.com/twit. We thank them so much for helping us with our hiring.
Leo: Game of the Year, GDC. And I agree with it. Any thoughts? Do you know?
Florence: I'm a little out of the game.
Alex: Oh, I believe it.
Florence: Overwatch. Of course.
Leo: Awesome, awesome, awesome game.
Alex: It's really, really fun to play.
Florence: Now I feel awful for not guessing that because obviously.
Alex: I was thinking Doom 4.
Leo: You know, there's great games. Call of Duty and there are great games out there but Overwatch has combined the 1st person shooter with online multi-player. It's fun and funny. It's engaging. It's fast paced. You can talk to people while you're playing. It's got all of it.
Peter: People love it. Here's how big Overwatch is. I just saw this so I think it was PornHub released their report for the top 20 most searched terms on PornHub last year. Overwatch was number 11.
Leo: Ok, I'm not going to say how I know.
Peter: Which I didn't know that Overwatch porn is a thing.
Leo: There is—so what they do is they take the characters. Some of the ladies particularly in Overwatch—well even the guys, are good looking.
Alex: I'm not looking at you.
Leo: And somehow people have figured out ways to take those characters and animate them.
Peter: Somehow they've done it.
Leo: And it's—wow. I've stumbled across it on the internet.
Alex: On the PG side of things, I bought an Xbox this last week and this is the thing I'm most excited about playing because—
Florence: You ended up getting the Xbox?
Leo: Xbox One. Get Overwatch Origins.
Leo: Ok. That's not the original.
Alex: I have it for PC already.
Leo: Well, then I don't know if you get a deal or not.
Alex: I think I have to buy it again.
Leo: You have to buy it again. $60 bucks. Awesome.
Alex: Yea, that's fine. Because I want to play it on my TV. I'm very excited about that.
Leo: It's very, very fun. They've done a great job with it. The number one game at GDC and that's like getting an Oscar because that's your peers voting for you on that one. That's a big deal.
Florence: Now all it needs is an Emmy, a Tony, a Grammy.
Leo: SpaceX has announced that next year—this seems on the face of it a little difficult. That next year, they're going to fly 2 paying space tourists around the moon. They didn't say what the price is but I guess if you have to ask you can't afford it.
Florence: If this happens in 10 years—
Leo: Next year. 2018.
Florence: But I mean if this becomes mainstream where I can like buy a ticket to the moon, I'm going to start saving my money and I'm going to start doing this.
Alex: If I save my money for like 714 years I can probably afford a one way.
Leo: Forget it. The two who are going have already placed deposits.
Florence: How dare they?
Leo: We don't know who they are but Elon Musk said they will undergo fitness tests and begin training later this year.
Alex: Oh, you have to work out for this?
Leo: Oh, yea. Like the Apollo astronauts before them, these individuals—
Florence: Yea, you can't just go.
Alex: Why not? Just put on the stupid suit and you're on your way.
Florence: No, your body. Your body.
Peter: The Russians have been doing this space tourism for I mean what is it, like $10 million-dollars?
Leo: Yea, but that's like a lower orbit.
Peter: But I'm saying it's got to be probably, what?
Leo: It was hundreds of thousands of dollars to do it I think.
Peter: The Russian space tourism was like $10 or $20 million-dollars.
Leo: It was that much?
Peter: Yea. I imagine that this is probably a—
Leo: Mark Shuttleworth did it.
Peter: About a $50 million—yea, Mark Shuttleworth. It's a $50-million-dollar ticket.
Leo: Well you've got to pay for it.
Alex: Ok, but to be totally honest though, it's a historical moment for having a commercial company do—
Peter: You know if you're a multi-billionaire—
Leo: NASA pays the Russians. When NASA puts an astronaut aboard a Russian space vehicle to get them to the Space Station, it's $80-million-dollars.
Peter: There you go.
Leo: The space tourists paid $20-million-dollars for a trip to ISS. I don't know why tourists get a cut, get a better deal.
Florence: Can I ask? Is anybody worried about the fact that space programs may be loose, NASA not really getting funded. Now we have space tourism coming. Is the future space?
Leo: I think a lot of people have for a long time said commercial space is an alternative to be done hand-in-hand with government space. But for instance, if you could go to an asteroid and mine it, there could be potentially, depending on the asteroid, trillions of dollars in resources there.
Peter: There's a start-up working on that.
Leo: And there are start-ups.
Peter: Eric Schmidt is an investor.
Leo: That's right.
Florence: You're in human rights violations in going to Africa for all of the mining.
Leo: Yea, think of that. Yea. Apple had to stop its cobalt operation briefly because they heard that there was child labor involved.
Alex: Hand mining.
Florence: No child labor on an asteroid.
Leo: Well, we don't know. But who's going to send a kid to an asteroid?
Peter: They're lighter.
Alex: What if you don't like the kid? What if it didn't eat its broccoli?
Peter: It's a lighter payload.
Leo: (Laughing) Carson says, "I'll send my kid."
Florence: My kid's been to an asteroid. What's your kid done?
Alex: But asteroid mining I feel like is pretty far out.
Florence: It is far out.
Leo: I don't think it's as far out as you think.
Alex: Calm down.
Leo: I think there are a lot of—
Peter: We'll see it in our lifetime.
Alex: Yea, but where going to live pretty far.
Leo: Your lifetime, not my lifetime.
Florence: Our medical advancements, we're going to live for a while I think.
Alex: Yea, you're probably 20 years too early.
Leo: So, do not eat Nintendo Switch cartridges.
Florence: I don't understand this but then somebody said something this morning that makes sense why this happened. It's because just to keep children from putting it in their mouth.
Leo: That's right. So did any of you suck your thumb?
Florence: I actually—
Leo: Or bite your nails?
Florence: I had 3. I was a 3-fingered kid.
Leo: Ok. Did your parents at any point put anything on them to keep you from doing that?
Florence: No, my mother would just—
Leo: So I know a couple of people, Kevin Rose was one of them whose parents did do that. Denatonium benzoate. It's a bittering agent that's being used by parents. You buy it and you put it on their nails and the kids go ugh. That's what's on those cartridges. And it was intentionally put there by Nintendo to keep people, kids, from eating the cartridges.
Peter: Actually that's kind of a good—I like it.
Alex: It's brilliant.
Peter: It's non-toxic.
Leo: I licked Anthony's cartridge and I never had so much fun in my life. No, and it does. It's bitter. It's weird. He has the Nintendo Switch, right? I don't know why I'm pointing over there. He's at home. He was a little traumatized by the whole thing.
Peter: I'm traumatized hearing about it.
Leo: Yea, it's pretty sweet, the Nintendo Switch. We had a review yesterday on The New Screen Savers. $300-bucks. It's hard to get it right now. I actually went out to eBay and paid a slight premium, $70-dollar premium to get it.
Peter: That's actually not that bad.
Leo: That's not bad.
Peter: That's not that bad.
Leo: And you know, $433 included the Zelda. And a lot of people are saying this. Now I've never played Zelda. You didn't either. You were a Mario kid. But I'm told this is the best Zelda ever.
Alex: That's a pretty high bar.
Leo: That's a very high bar.
Florence: That's insane in the membrane.
Alex: Is it though?
Leo: That's insane in the membrane.
Alex: Can we GIF that? That sound? Just for my own personal dilatation?
Leo: I can't do that sound. Insane in the membrane.
Florence: Zelda is such a popular franchise. I mean it's such a long standing franchise. I went to the symphony. It made me cry.
Leo: They played Zelda.
Florence: I've never played Zelda before.
Alex: You've never played Zelda at all?
Leo: I hadn't until yesterday.
Alex: What's wrong with you all?
Leo: I played it a little bit on the Switch and it was neat. There have been some complaints.
Alex: You guys know the convoy truck anthem and you haven't played Zelda? I mean I thought I was the one who was the weirdo at the table but you all are broken inside. Broken.
Leo: Anyway, I am now very bullish on this. The problem is, Nintendo, like Apple and Google and so many other companies can't seem to make enough of them. What's going on? Why is it so hard to make enough to fill demand? Every person who comes to the Game Stop and says, "Do you have the Switch?" And you go, "No." And they walk away. It's $300-dollars out the window. Why is this happening?
Florence: Isn't it like what Snapchat did with the Spectacles? Make them—
Leo: Oh, so it's intentional.
Peter: I don't think it's intentional.
Florence: I know, I know.
Alex: You only do artificial supply constraints when you want to use the product for branding purposes and not to drive revenue or volume.
Leo: Ergo no. So they would like to sell more Switches.
Leo: Why can't—what's the problem?
Alex: They're bad at their jobs.
Leo: No, but Apple's not bad. Google's not bad. You couldn't get a Pixel to save your life.
Florence: That's true.
Peter: Apple has had supply chain issues around some of its—
Leo: The AirPods I think might not have ever been shipped. I mean it was looking really bad.
Peter: So these things happen. You know without having looked into it, I mean it's possible that there's some things, supply constraints around the display or around the chip or something. I think it has Integra I think in this.
Leo: It's basically I was told by our reviewer, John Davison from—it's the Rolling Stones gaming, Glixel, that it's—I was so busy remembering his name and magazine I can't remember his website. I can't remember what we were talking about. What were we talking—oh, it's the same as a NVIDIA SHEILD basically.
Florence: Yes, yes, yes, yes,
Leo: It's very similar to the NVIDIA SHIELD hardware except it's not running Android as the SHIELD is. It's running a very stripped down OS. There's hardly any interface at all.
Alex: Sometimes you'll also think you'll sell fewer than you actually will. So you can underestimate demand too.
Leo: You don't want to make too many.
Alex: Like Microsoft learned with the Surface RT which they had a couple extra laying around afterwards. So I think maybe there's still some bad—
Peter: They gave me one.
Alex: They gave you one?
Leo: You didn't get the little one though, the mini, Surface Mini.
Peter: I don't know that they ever sold that.
Leo: So the story on that is they made millions and this was when Satay Nadella became CEO. And his first act as the CEO is, "We're not selling that." And they had, somewhere there's a landfill.
Florence: Someone get on eBay. There's got to be some floating around on eBay.
Alex: No, there's not. One of my friends who works for the press held on to one and did his report on it because he got like a—I know, but they were super locked down. It makes me kind of curious, was it so awful that they don't want anyone to even see them or? They're a pretty big company.
Leo: For some reason, I don't know why, Virginia is the first state to pass a law letting robots deliver good to you to your door.
Florence: There it goes.
Alex: There goes what?
Florence: The beginning of the end.
Alex: How so?
Leo: So the law was written by Starship Technologies, an Estonian-based ground delivery robotics company.
Peter: I know those guys. They're ex-Skype.
Leo: Ah, Estonian Skype, of course.
Alex: Are they Skype mafia?
Peter: They were early Skype but because of the way that the founders took basically—yea, they took all the equity.
Alex: So, they took part of the team but not part of the equity owning part.
Peter: Essentially. When eBay acquired them they didn't make any money.
Leo: So the robots under the law cannot exceed 10 miles per hour. And I think that's good.
Peter: The Starship ones I think only go under 5.
Leo: Yea, and they can't weigh over 50 pounds. But they are autonomous. So get ready if you live in Virginia to see these little robots wandering around.
Peter: These make more sense I think then trying to do delivery by drone.
Leo: Drone is insane. Nobody's going to do that.
Peter: Drone is the flying car compared to this.
Leo: But don't you think that these are going to get rolled?
Alex: So there was this little robot butler that went around to hotel rooms. It was about this tall and it was pretty cool. And I asked them about that, like what if I'm 8 and I just want to mess with this robot? It's weighted so you can't really knock it over if you're that size. And I was like yea, but I'm an adult and I've had a couple martinis and I just want to whack it.
Peter: There's a few things. One is if you do try to steal it, it has the ability to track you pretty easily. Also there's an issue, a human can—
Leo: Well just pry it open and take the toy.
Peter: It's pretty secure. It can actually only be unlocked using your phone when it gets to your house.
Leo: So they've thought about this. I'm just thinking, remember a couple of years ago there was this robot hitchhiking across the country. And it got to Philadelphia and they beat the crap out of it.
Florence: Is that what happened to it?
Alex: The city of brotherly love.
Florence: He ended up in Philly and—
Alex: Sounds pretty appropriate for Philly.
Leo: There were pieces of it all over (laughing). It was a social experiment.
Alex: Is that roboticide? What does that count as?
Peter: That's vandalism. Destruction of private property.
Leo: He was headed to San Francisco.
Florence: He didn't make it to San Francisco?
Alex: Before we wrap up can we talk about the Studio? Because I'm still in love with this thing.
Leo: Ok, we've talked about this a lot.
Alex: I haven't.
Leo: Alex is all excited about my computer. It's a Surface Studio and yes, I still love it. I got it right away and you know, I ordered it the minute it went on sale. I got it in late December. It's an all in one and as an all in one I don't know if I would use this, you know, like an iMac? But as soon as you do this—and it kills me that Apple has never done this. This is something that every, that Apple should absolutely offer. It can go down at a 20-degree angle so it's like a drafting table. And then it's touch which Apple also kind of eschews. And I think touch makes this a very nice device. Imagine tweeting, I know you're all about this.
Alex: I love Brad.
Leo: Yea, Brad's great. And Brianna Woo. I follow the best people.
Florence: Oh, a Joshua tree. I've never been there.
Leo: Yea, I follow them all. Yea. These are my peeps. Look, there's you.
Alex: That's me.
Alex: See, that's what you do to me. That's how I feel whenever I come up here to spend time with you.
Peter: It's hard to figure out exactly which cringe worthy moment that was.
Alex: This has been one for the books I think.
Leo: You're playing with black and white today, Michael O'Donnell.
Florence: What? I'll have to use that for my Facebook profile.
Leo: Latest photo, Michael O'Donnell. He's our unpaid house photographer. He's actually Silicon Valley's house photographer. The guy gets some of the best pictures. So many feels. Crickets. And he is—you're good. You're doing a great job. And he uploads these as we do the show. Very nice. Look, there's Kera. See, Kera, a picture of you. Look. Good. She's not impressed. She doesn't care. Yea, some of the actual, some of the staff at TWiT uses Windows oddly enough. So including me right now. There you are, Peter. Equal opportunity.
Leo: Finally. Nice. You're cut off on that one. Hey, I want to thank everybody for stopping by. Peter Rojas, R-O-J.AS. He's a partner at Betaworks and is not starting a fund. Under no circumstances should you even consider investing. You'd be guaranteed to lose your money. Is that ok?
Peter: I think you just got me in big trouble.
Alex: Can we control-alt-Z jokes around here.
Leo: We can. We can delete everything. He's not starting a fund. There is no fund. And we can delete everything. Because you don't want anything about that in there.
Peter: But actually you know, in this Trump administration I don't think the FCC is really—
Leo: They're not. They're efficient. They're enjoying their time off. That's a great picture of you, Flo.
Florence: Thank you.
Leo: Look at how beautiful Flo is. That's nice. And you're processing these in the phone, on your phone? You're sending them straight up from the camera. Wow. Shooting a Canon 5D Mark 2, right? Mark2, Mark 4 of course. I'm not great with Roman numerals. There you go. He's @photo. Thank you for being here, Peter. It's always a pleasure to see you. I'm glad you're out on our coast now. We hope to see more of you. We see a lot of Flo and I'm very happy about that. @ohthatflo on the Twitter. She's at androidcentral.com and—
Florence: I'm a TWiTster.
Leo: And every Tuesday on All About Android. Always a pleasure. Thank you for coming.
Florence: Thank you, Leo. I'm sorry I called a gypsy. I'm not sorry I called you flaccid. That is Alex Wilhelm.
Alex: I love how you were serious, serious, serious and then over here.
Leo: Editor in chief at—
Florence: It's so fitting. I love it.
Leo: The brand new CrunchBase.com which isn't there yet.
Alex: Crunchbase.com is there. My little site's not up yet. It will be up soon.
Leo: What will the URL be? You don't want to say?
Alex: I think it's going to be crunchbase.news but not yet.
Leo: Oh, I like that.
Florence: I love that.
Leo: But you're working on it. This is a process. Peter knows about this. He started a site.
Alex: It takes time.
Leo: You've got to do a lot of stuff.
Alex: So patience. I will come back and tell you about it when it's online. So soon.
Leo: Any day you're always welcome. We love having you. We love having all of you join us. We had some great studio audience members. If you want to watch the show live you can. Just email email@example.com. We do this Sunday afternoons, 3:00 PM Pacific, the local time, 6:00 PM Eastern time, if you want to watch on the internet. That's 2300 UTC. And you can watch us on YouTube Live at youtube.com/twit or on twit.tv/live but there's also apps too watch live on Apple TV. There's a Roku app. And of course you can get the podcasts after the fact. Download audio or video on demand. TWiT.tv.thisweekintech. Thanks so much for Karston Bondy our producer, running the board. Anything, Karston, that I left out. Oh, we didn't do Uber. What are you going to say about Uber, though?
Alex: I've got lots of thoughts about Uber economics.
Alex: It's bad.
Leo: They had another horrible week. I mean every week there's new revelations about Uber.
Florence: Well, don't treat your female employees like crap.
Leo: Well it started with Susan Fowler but then Travis Kalanick yells at a driver and the driver's recording it. What a thought.
Alex: It's almost like Travis should not yell at people.
Florence: You can't do anything without someone recording it by the way. I mean, come one.
Alex: This is recorded.
Leo: And then, well now how many people have left now under the scandal?
Peter: The head of engineering got pushed out.
Leo: Somebody left today, I mean this week.
Alex: There have been a number of blog posts.
Peter: The head of growth left.
Alex: And their VP of Engineering, the Google guy who had a sexual misconduct.
Leo: Amit Singhal was from Google.
Florence: He was the grandfather of the Google Search Engine by the way which is like--
Mike Isaac: This is about a potential, another potential scandal regarding Uber.
Leo: (Laughing) You could just record that and use it over and over. This is the one that broke this week is that a tool called Greyball that lets Uber drivers evade authorities. When a police or taxi commissioner or somebody tries to hail an Uber, the software says, "No, no. Don't pick that one up."
Peter: But I don't think this is technically illegal. I think it's just---
Florence: Lame? Just lame?
Alex: Well a lot of Uber hits that grey zone in between.
Leo: So it's called Greyball like blackball, right? And the idea is—of course that tool's used for bad customers because one of the thing Uber does is you rank the drivers but the driver can rank you and they want to blackball customers—I think it was part of a program that was called Violation of Terms of Service.
Leo: And so they don't want people who are going to violate their service.
Alex: But in the article it says that people weren't comfortable with how it was used, right? So to me even though it wasn't always used in an illegal fashion, certainly the people internally were uncomfortable. But it tells you how they were using it and—
Peter: Oh, yea, yea, yea. I'm just saying out of all the things that have come out, this is probably the—
Alex: Oh, in terms of a stacked deck? Yea.
Leo: What it does is it really, it's one more piece of evidence that this was a really nasty corporate culture, right? That this was a corporate culture that was aggressive, that was cheating, that was misogynistic. And yet as an investor, do you really care? I mean you wouldn't be but in general.
Peter: But if Calacanis was on here, he'd be--
Leo: He's got money in Uber right?
Peter: Yea, he was an angel.
Alex: But wasn't he a scout?
Leo: Would he defend them?
Alex: That wasn't his money, right?
Peter: Yea, but he has a lot of carry on that.
Alex: That makes me really mad.
Leo: So he wants Uber to do well but even he must at some point say this is, we've got to bring in somebody and get—I mean didn't Arianna say that? Isn't that why they brought in Eric Holder to investigate?
Alex: Who thinks Arianna is going to show up and—
Leo: No, she doesn't care.
Peter: I think at the end of the day an investor or the board is going to make a decision as to what's going to end up maximizing value towards an IPO and if they decide that Travis is net negative rather than net positive, like they will get rid of him. But I don't think they're at that point.
Leo: Is Travis the problem?
Alex: The fish rots from the head.
Leo: Is it too late? Can you eliminate Travis and then change corporate culture? Isn't that built-in to the culture?
Peter: Yea, and I think something that's really dangerous for Uber right now is that, I mean I know a lot of people, like I switched.
Leo: Dump Uber is what's dangerous for them #dumpuber.
Peter: I stopped using Uber.
Leo: Delete Uber.
Alex: I'm moving to Lyft this week.
Leo: Me too.
Peter: I moved a few weeks ago and I think that—
Leo: That's bad. I mean they weren't profitable anyway, but—
Peter: I would say like it is not, at least in San Francisco, using Uber is not something that you necessarily want to admit to anymore.
Leo: Ah, that's interesting. It's shameful to use Uber.
Peter: Even if I continue to use it, I would not want—
Leo: You wouldn't want anybody to know. I mean I don't mind using Uber but you're right. I wouldn't want anybody to, I wouldn't want to announce it.
Alex: Polly from Bloomberg said, "Who's still using Uber? Who could possibly?" And I had to be like, "Oh yea. I meant to delete that." And so I confessed because I felt bad.
Leo: It's so convenient.
Alex: It's really convenient.
Leo: It's so easy.
Alex: But Lyft is nearly as convenient and costs like 50% more.
Florence: And you can tip your drivers.
Leo: Oh, is it more expensive?
Florence: You can tip your drivers, too.
Alex: It's a better experience overall but there's less supply.
Leo: You can tip your Uber driver too. That's another thing Uber did which kind of pisses me off. For years I took Uber with a kind of tacit understanding that they were taking care of the drivers. And then you find out, no, they never have and they never got tips. And then I feel like a jerk for never tipping my driver. Now I over tip them. Would you give this to the other guy that I forgot to tip 5 years ago?
Alex: I'm sure he'll pass it along.
Florence: One time an Uber driver asked us for a $40-dollar tip.
Alex: Wait, I don't understand the math there. How big was the bill?
Leo: He asked you?
Alex: Is this a Vegas story?
Florence: No, this was in New York. He didn't like how loud our friends were and he—
Leo: You're loud, I'm going to give you a—did he say—do they do that? They blackmail you and say I'll give you a bad rating?
Alex: What did he say? Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.
Leo: That's just blackmail.
Florence: He was just yelling at us to give him money.
Alex: So you got out and he was like, "Give me more?"
Florence: Yea, he's like, "Give me more money and I won't give you a bad rating." So we gave him money.
Peter: You need to like downgrade him and make a note.
Florence: Yea, this was years ago.
Leo: Yea, if you make a note you can put that in their file and it becomes part of their file. The only trouble we've ever had with Uber, we were in Paris where they had just launched and the Uber driver said, "Oh, the app crashed."
Florence: Oh, that's happened to me before too.
Leo: "I don't know what to charge you. Give me money." (laughing)
Florence: Yes. He wanted $90.
Peter: That's so French.
Leo: (Laughing) It's very French.
Peter: That's such a Parisian experience.
Leo: You know what? I gave him money because I was just so happy to have a ride because the cab drivers are far worse. We were in Paris and it started to snow and all the cabbies get out their newspapers, roll out the windows and say, "No." And they start smoking.
Leo: It's like, "No. I'm not giving—no." Remember? We were trying to get a ride. It's snowing. We want to get home. "No." That's why Uber does well.
Alex: Uber lost almost $3 billion dollars last year according to most estimates. So I don't think Uber's doing that well.
Leo: If Uber doesn't do well, Jason doesn't do well. And if Jason doesn't do well—
Alex: Am I allowed to be biased here?
Leo: He's a friend of the network. He used to be my enemy but now he's my friend.
Alex: I'll get there too.
Leo: (Laughing). Well, I guess all that's left is to say thanks for being here! We'll see you next time. Another TWiT is in the can. Bye-bye. Don't beat your robot…