This Week in Tech 607
Leo Laporte: It's time for TWiT, This Week in Tech, an all-in-studio panel! Nathan Olivarez-Giles, Rob Reid, and Georgia Dow all in studio. We're going to talk about a Supreme Court decision that could change the way you buy printer cartridges, Apple's ransom, and the future of electric vehicles. Plus, we'll look for a name for Android O. It's all coming up next, on TWiT.
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Leo: This is TWiT, This Week in Tech, episode 607, recorded Sunday, March 26, 2017.
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It's time for TWiT, This Week in Tech, the show where we cover the week's tech news. We're all here today, which is nice! Our newest employee, Nathan Olivarez-Giles, is here. It's great to have you, Nate OG.
Nathan Olivarez-Giles: Yeah, it's great to be here. Nice to be an official member of the TWiT family!
Leo: We first met you doing TWiT. Who dragged you in here? Mark?
Nathan: Yeah. Mark Milian from Bloomberg dragged me in. I guess I was working at Wired at the time.
Leo: You've been through a few jobs. That's OK, I'm not going to hold it against you. I just hope you stay here longer than you did at Wired.
Nathan: That would be nice. We'll see how that goes.
Leo: Nate is going to be a regular on the new Screensavers. You'll also be developing some shows you would like to do here. I want you to do a gaming show, because you're a serious gamer.
Nathan: Consider it done.
Leo: I thought if we do a gaming show, we should do a let's playish kind of show, where we play the games. Because we did a gaming show for a while that was talking about the games. That's not as interesting.
Nathan: I think people would love to see how bad I am at video games.
Georgia Dow: Especially the scary ones!
Leo: Hi, Georgia Dow!
Leo: I'm thrilled to have you in studio. Georgia was on the new Screensavers yesterday, and rave reviews. They said please hire her, she should be on the show. But I don't think we can get you to move from Canada.
Georgia: It's beautiful here.
Leo: It's raining. You like that though. Did you do anything? Good wine.
Georgia: I don't really do wine.
Leo: Do you do beer?
Georgia: Not really.
Leo: She's good at sleep though. She has a number of videos at anxiety-videos.com. Sleep like a baby. It's nice, that's a good one. Babies sleep well. If I could sleep like that, I would. That is Rob Reid, great to have you, readrobreid.com. Is that the new site?
Rob Reid: It is a site. I think I have every derivative of Read all positions pointing there.
Leo: We've had you on before, also on this show and on triangulation to talk about year zero. Rob did a great Ted-talk on copyright math. It was one of the best explanations of why this complaint of the music industry that they're losing money to pirates is bogus, and then he followed it up with this book, which is Aliens. It turns out aliens have been using our music for a long time. They owe us a horrendous amount of...
Rob: This is the tale based on a true story of a vast alien civilization that is so into American pop music that they accidentally commit the biggest copyright infringement since the dawn of time. Thereby bankrupting the entire universe!
Nathan: There is an episode of Rick and Morty based on this.
Leo: Sue Rick and Morty now.
Nathan: There's like a karaoke show, and they...
Rob: did they come before this? This is a few years old, my book.
Georgia: copyright violation!
Leo: It would be ironic, wouldn't it?
Rob: I'm a very open sourcey guy. Because I am here on TWiT this week, Random House has agreed at my urgent request to put the digital version of this book on crazy discount. It is 1.99 all week because of this TWiT appearance. I said I'm going to be on TWiT, and the book has been out for a few years.
Leo: It's funny. The first sentence is "Aliens suck at Music." That is not for a lack of trying. Rob has a little experience at this, having founded listen.com and rhapsody. You go back a little ways. You're a reformed entrepreneur.
Rob: I'm a recovering entrepreneur turned science fiction author.
Leo: Of course Tech TV fans will know that Morgan Web is your spouse. Which is pretty cool.
Rob: It is the coolest fact about me.
Leo: Tell Morgan one year from May is the 20th anniversary of the launch of tech TV. 20 years. I think we need to have a big party. May 11, 2018. That's scary. It was ZD TV at the time. Was she there at the beginning?
Rob: No. She would have still been at Berkley at that point. She probably started 2000, 2001ish. I'm going to guess. It was already tech tv when she came.
Leo: This was a week for tech news. There was a lot of it. We should probably mention that the Senate did revoke an SCC rule that had been promulgated October of last year that prevented Internet service providers from selling your browser history to the highest bidder without permission.
Nathan: This is something every ISP is doing.
Leo: AT&T did a deal where if you agreed to it, you would get a reduced price for your Internet access, but for the most part, until October of last year they did whatever they wanted with it. Verizon put those undeletable cookies. You surf with a Verizon phone, identified yourself to the website, and they would charge websites for that information. They inject ads into your search results, into your surfing, they've done all these things. They were really stymied and didn't like it one bit that the FCC stopped that. But this is back under Obama. The senate has voted in a fairly close vote along party lines exactly to say that's it, you can do anything you want. This is going to be the trend from the FCC and Congress to eliminate consumer protections and say competition will take care of it. I don't know if I agree with that. The House has to approve it. Is it a Bill? It's a rule. It's not a law. It's the rollback of a regulation.
Georgia: Review something that was done within 60 congressional days and they can review it. Exactly.
Leo: Sad. What's really sad to me is that our members of Congress are very clearly in the pockets of big companies and not in the pockets of consumers.
Rob: I'll add that it's cool that the Canadian knows our laws better than we do. The three of us had no idea.
Nathan: I don't want to sound defeatist here. If this is something you strongly believe in, whether you're a Republican or a Democrat, call up your Congress member, tell them. that vote was close. It was along party lines, but as we just saw with the GOP giving up on Trump care, they can be persuaded.
Leo: We're the boss, but we have to assert that.
Nathan: The fact of the matter is, ISPs, cable companies, TV set makers, any sort of Internet collected device you have is collecting this data. This is a business for all of these companies, whether or not you like that business existing is a separate issue, but whether or not there's transparency about it, and whether or not they ask us permission first is what this is about. So keeping that rule in place, I don't see how that negatively impacts business, which is in existence and growing. If anything, it just keeps us in the loop about that, and I don't know how anyone could be mad at that, so... if you want them to roll this back and repeal it, tell your elected officials that. Here's an opportunity to be active and engaged.
Leo: This regulation, by the way, I'm reading an article on Buzzfeed that says the President does have to sign it. It won't make any difference. I should point out, prior to October 2016, this was what it was, the way it was six months ago. I would hope that we would get some protection of our privacy. I hear from people a lot in our audience who were upset about Google spying on them, or Facebook spying on them, but your Internet service provider is prior to Google and Facebook. It knows much more about what you do online. By the way, this would allow them to sell location information. ISPs are not just land line based, but also cell phone companies. Verizon and Sprint could know where you are and sell your location information.
Georgia: I don't think people get that this would be what time did you wake up at, where you were when you woke up, what websites you surfed, what people you follow.
Nathan: Who you're communicating with...
Georgia: Where you're traveling to, how long it takes you to get somewhere. It's information about everything in your life.
Rob: Or how much you weigh..
Leo: I tweet that.
Nathan: But it would be nice if you could make the choice to tweet that.
Georgia: If you know, you can choose... some people don't even have a choice. They may even have an ISP provider that is in their area. Alaska said they're not going to be using this information and selling it. That sounds good, that would at least give a little competition, whereas if Verizon says we're not going to sell your data, it would give us a little bit more power.
Leo: ISB sonic doesn't sell that data. Now your opportunity is to choose the right ISP.
Nathan: If you have the... Likely, I would guess, if you can afford that choice. This is probably going to be a situation where you're going to have those boutique ISPs...
Leo: You think they'll rebate you the money they make...
Georgia: When I wanted to be outside of the phone book, I had to pay money so I wouldn't be in the phone book.
Rob: How did it work before October? I don't think we were aware of this. I don't know if this is a radical change. The other thing I worry about with transparency, and maybe I'm a little too cynical about how companies go about things, but if transparency were imposed on them, I imagine it being the ten thousandth word in the Eula. When you're clicking robotically through things... that's the notification we would have gotten.
Leo: Here's an article from the electronic frontier foundation, Jeremy Gelulla wrote the five things, and this is a subset of the total things your ISP could do. The reason these are critical is they've done them all. Sell your data to marketers, hijack your searches, snoop through your traffic. Do you remember the Nebu ad and the form controversy? This was software. We talk about this on Security Now. ISPs we're using, and here's an article about Telecom using it to insert ads into your surfing, so they get marketing information about you like Facebook does, and instead of it being about Facebook, everywhere you go. Pre-installing software on your phone to record URLs you visit, AT&T and Sprint and T Mobile do that, and injecting tracking cookies....
Nathan: This is a situation where technology is moving faster than the laws have been able to keep up.
Leo: We see that all the time now.
Nathan: That's what makes this discouraging is just in October they got their act together and said you got to ask permission first....
Leo: We were so close...
Georgia: They often say they do it because they can, not ask if they should. How should that be enacted? If anyone that is in the house had this happen to them with all of their information given back to them, that would be the first time they're like oh my goodness, how nefarious could this be? This can be used this way....
Rob: You're not suggesting that or anything?
Georgia: No! That would be wrong.
Rob: By the way, to put a pin in an upcoming story, undeletable traffic cookies, I forecast that will be Android's dessert for the letter U.
Leo: We were talking before the show on what Android O could be named, there are really a limited number. Rob has a pick that is going to be a wildcard. I don't know if it's going to be the first choice...
Rob: Should we talk about it now, or later?
Leo: That's a tease. We'll also talk about the Turkish crime family, that's a tease. I am mad as heck and apparently somebody else is. My rundown has been defaced with the words "why? what the hell is wrong with you Google?" Google is dropping SMS support from Hangouts. WHY?1? We'll talk about that in just a bit. Our show to you today brought to you by Blue Apron. I got a box waiting for me. I think we're going to go out to dinner after the show. But tomorrow, I'll have a box waiting for me with a Blue Apron meal ready to go. I love Blue Apron. We get the box, you get to choose, by the way. It's not a subscription. You choose what weeks you get it. In each refrigerated box, Blue Apron will send you three different meals that you can make yourself including the recipe card, and every ingredient. It's not more than you need. If it needs two teaspoons of soy sauce, you get a bottle with two teaspoons. Ingredients you've never tried before and a meal that will blow your mind. They have plans for couples and plans for families with more kid friendly ingredients. The day you get the box, it's not automatic, you pick the meals you want in the box. You're going to save money. Blue Apron is less expensive than shopping at the grocery store, and it's better food. It's fresh, it's from local farms, the meat is fresh, the fish is fresh from sustainable fisheries, the beef, chicken, and pork come from responsibly raised animals. The farms they use use regenerative farming practices, they're trying to build a more sustainable food system. So you have the good feeling of knowing you're getting amazing fresh food without the middle man, which saves you money. A grocery store is going to be 16% more expensive than Blue Apron. They deliver to the continental United States, sorry Hawaii and Alaska. There's no weekly commitment. You customize it based on your dietary preferences. They save food too, because there's no waste. If you need two scallions, two carrots, whatever. They're going to send you what you need. If you need a clove, they send you the whole head. It's OK. I can always find a use for garlic. What's on the menu this week? How about Salmon Picatta with orzo and broccoli? Pork chops and miso butter with bok chop and marinated apple. I have learned 12 ways to cook bok choy. I didn't like bok choy before I got my Blue Apron box. Now I am a bok choy master. It's good for you. It's a really good vegetable. Vegetable chili baked sweet potatoes with crispy tortilla. Spicy shrimp coconut curry with cabbage and rice. Just look at what's on the menu, and order your first box. You're going to get your first three meal free with your first purchase and free shipping if you go to blueapron.com/twit. The meal is on us. Blue Apron. Short rib burgers on pretzel buns. When is that going to be in my life. They don't repeat more than once a year. Once you've cooked it you know how, so you can make it again. Your kids will say, Mommy! I want that short ribs burger and pretzel thing again, and you'll have to say not until next year. blueapron.com/twit. I do make the recipes, because you have the recipe card and now you know how the ingredients work. It's really expanded my repertoire. They call themselves the Turkish crime family. Almost certainly not Turkish. Definitely not a family, but they are criminals. They claim they have a quarter million I Cloud accounts, passwords and logins. 250 million, quarter billion. Damn. iCloud accounts, and they're apparently blackmailing Apple. They say if you don't pay the ransom by April 7, we will reset the passwords on those accounts and remotely wipe iPhones. But what do they want, Georgia?
Georgia: That's the best part. 75 thousand in Bitcoin, or $100,000 in iTunes gift cards. If you go on the streets, and go...
Rob: It's like Doctor Evil, isn't it? I've got a quarter of a billion accounts. What do we want? $75,000.
Georgia: Do more! I wonder if they would just sell them, would you have one card that was just a hundred thousand dollars. I don't know.
Rob: I think they have a lot of friends and they want to gift people with songs.
Georgia: You're going to wipe all your accounts and then replenish them with these cards they give you later.
Leo: The Turkish crime family is very available to the media. There's a quote from Motherboard, I'm going to add the accent. I just want my money and I thought this would be an interesting report that Apple customers would be interested in reading and hearing. They're not from Turkey. It's just a ruse. Generic Slavic accent. A member of the Apple security team wrote to the hackers a week or two ago. The hackers did give a subset of the data. 54 passwords to ZDnet, ZDnet took the trouble of verifying that they were in fact passwords to iCloud accounts. They attempted to contact the account holders. They were able to get ahold of ten of them. At least ten were real in a set of 54. They talked to the various people, most of these were old passwords. Like three or four years old. Ten people said they were accurate and changed them. The ten people we spoke to said ZD net was based in the UK and had UK cellphone numbers, but the Turkish collector says we have data in groups. Bundles, so I gave you a UK bundle, but it's all over the world. They also all ten confirmed they had used the same password since opening their iCloud account. We don't know how old they are, most of them are four or five years old. However, this is the weird one. One of the people, the presumption is that Apple wasn't breached, somebody else was breached, people got passwords that had been used on iCloud and the Turkish hacker family did some sort of automated system of saying is this an iCloud password? One of the people that they talked to said their iCloud email address and password were unique to iCloud. They had not been used on any other site. Which would indicate that maybe iCloud was breached.
Georgia: They didn't say that they breached Apple. They said that they didn't. Our memories are so faulty, if you ask me how many things I've signed up before, I have no clue. I have absolutely no clue. I can barely remember my own password.
Nathan: Exactly. It seems as though the way to protect yourself is to change your password to something unique that you're not using on another site. And then turn on two factor authentication. Even if they have the password and if they use it, if they have two factor, they're not going to get...
Leo: Do that...
Nathan: We're all going to be OK here. This is the sort of advice that all of us give out to our friends and family all the time. So it should be a fairly easy fix, I don't think Apple is going to send an email telling anyone to change their password or anything, but if you're watching the show and if you're worried about it, that's what you should do. You can protect yourself fairly easily. Is that an over simplification of things?
Leo: You should still change your password, but turn two factor when you can.
Rob: Did the article indicate how much ZD net was able to raise in their own ransom?
Leo: They actually mocked this group. They said based on our experience and interactions with the group, it's evident they're naive and inexperienced. It's almost a troll. Based on its grandiose claims and its cherry picking of media outlets, they called media outlets. When we began asking the group questions, the conversation turned to whether CBS news would cover this too. Can you get us on CBS news? The group also appears disorganized and unable to maintain order in its own ranks, seen by the apparent firing of one of its members who ran the Twitter account. They can't seem to stay on message as evidence by the need to correct the record after reporters misunderstood the situation. A breech, meaning this is a quote from the group, the hacker, the Turkish crime family. A breach means nothing in 2017 when you can pull the exact same user information in smaller scales through companies that aren't as secure. That's what they're saying. You know what they might have gotten is the password vaults. ZD net says we can't be sure this is something big, but based on reporting, we can't say it's nothing.
Nathan: So it's either massive or meh.
Leo: I'm always a fan of turning on two factor and changing your password. Nothing wrong with that. That's a good template for future, because that is a real threat. If you have somebody's iCloud account, you can wipe their mac, you can wipe their iPhone.
Nathan: Matt Hone went through that when he was at Wired a few years ago. He lost a lot of pictures of his children.
Rob: They can wipe your Mac?
Nathan: This is because he did not have two factor turned on and he was using the same password for iCloud and Gmail.
Leo; It was a sophisticated hack. They used Amazon, apple. They got the last four digits of the credit card number by a social engineering hack. They went to Apple. They went to Amazon, they said that we were changing the credit card. The irony is this group that was doing it to Matt had only one goal. They wanted his Twitter account because he had a three letter Twitter handle. MAT is a valuable Twitter handle. In those days, kids wanted clever handles. There was a whole thing to get clever three letter handles. I worry about Alex Wilhelm's future. I'm glad I didn't do @Leo. I could have. I went for my full name, and I'm grateful at this point. iCloud may have doxed a journalist Twitter attacker. This is an interesting slant on the story we already reported on Kurt Ichenwald who is the reporter for Vanity Fair who upset a troll. Kurt is epileptic, the troll sent him an anime gif...
Nathan: An animated gif that looked like a strobe.
Leo: Hoping to send him into a seizure. We found out how this happened, and that's why the Verge is saying iCloud may have doxed a journalist's Twitter attacker. This is the steps that the police use. They sent a quarter to Twitter saying we know this account. Twitter was @jew_goldstein, which will give you an idea of what kind of person this is. Twitter said all right. We'll give you the data, but the data only showed a dummy email address along with an IP address and phone numbers for a prepaid track phone, which is normally anonymous, but the guy foolishly put it in his iPhone six. Let's go to Apple to find out what iCloud accounts are associated with his phone number, and Apple said we know who this is. That's how they got the guy. Allegedly. This is an example of the fact that there's information about you out there all over the place.
Georgia: Then they use that information from iCloud to be able to read his messaging and his searches. Messages saying I'd like to have him have a seizure.
Leo: He was sending DMs to people bragging about it. I hope he dies.
Rob: He really hurt the guy. I was doing a bit of research. Apparently the guy had trouble speaking for weeks afterwards. He damaged the guy badly.
Georgia: It's like going through an electro shock.
Leo: That's an assault.
Nathan: What is the most fascinating aspect about this to me is it's one of the situations where we're seeing trolling on the Internet that has a real implication in the real world and there's the evidence to tie it, because so often we hear these trolls have real world impact. Now here's the evidence, and this wasn't something this man could avoid.
Leo: It wasn't the first time it had happened. He had been attacked a couple other times. He dropped his iPad.
Rob: Wasn't there some crazy thing that happened with a Japanese TV show several years ago? What was it? Pokemon, where a whole bunch of Japanese kids were put into a seizure.
Leo: Go to their father's wallet and..
Nathan: There are certain video games where before you play them, there's a warning about...
Georgia: That was without intent. Pikachu is innocent.
Leo: The fellow was arrested and has been charged with cyber stalking. We'll see what happens. We'll follow that story; that is terrible. This is why we can't have nice things. We got it all, unless you want to talk about augmented reality. We talk about this every week, I'm tired of it. Although there is no more evidence that Scoble may get dinner in Paris on me.
Georgia: I remember that.
Leo: Scoble says there's going to be a clear iPhone at the end of the year. That is not going to happen.
Georgia: He stated June.
Leo: I said if that happens I will buy you dinner at the restaurant of your choice, so he chose a restaurant in Paris.
Georgia: He has good taste.
Leo: Jeez. Now I'm praying Apple doesn't do anything interesting.
Georgia: That's why you don't want to talk about it. It brings up some Post traumatic stress.
Leo: In my mind, there's no dispute that Apple is working on this. Tim Cook has said it many times, they have probably spent billions on it. They've hired a lot of people. The question in my mind: does Apple still have the mojo that the company had when it changed the world with the iMac and the iPod, the iPhone, arguably the iPad. Maybe the Apple watch. It's been a slow decline. But Apple used to. Maybe it was only when Steve was there. They could take a product that everybody knew about and do something that made it amazing.
Rob: There are countless tragedies associated with Steve's untimely death. This is one of them. When he passed away, there was widespread hope that there were three or four years of awesome in the pipeline. We haven't seen the thing. I remember Walter Isaacson's book, which came out around the time he passed away, he said he had fixed television. If over five years after Steve passed away, there's been nothing but size and color changes. Bigger and smaller iPads and iPhones...
Leo: I know Tim Cook, and Johnny Ive, and everybody at Apple knows this. There's a lot of pressure, and they want badly to do the next big thing, but the question is can you throw money at something like that? Can you just hire people and make it happen?
Georgia: What would be the timing to that? Tim cook said I'm going to go through and it's probably going to be more software related then hardware related, so they're going to first try to do something with the phones that we already have upgraded to a certain capacity. It sparkles, I know.
Leo: It doesn't just sparkle, it flows.
Leo: That's a nice iPhone case. It's girly. Like a 12 year old girl.
Georgia: that's about where I stay, is a 12 year old girl.
Leo: Did you buy this at 21 forever?
Georgia: I was searching for a water case with sparkles.
Leo: I'm buying one.
Georgia: You can get one with black sparkles.
Leo: Manly sparkles. Little penises floating around. No? OK. What were you saying? I do this to Georgia every time, I'm so sorry. I'm just jealous because of your manly sparkles. AR. Can they spend the money and make it happen? My fear is that they're going to make it a Pokemon go, basically, where you look through the phone. We've had AR browsers for at least three years...
Georgia: Pokemon Go isn't really AR. That's an image supplanted on top of a background.
Leo: Your camera is taking a picture of the street and the Pokemon is on it.
Georgia: It would be like you see the lamps and you go to another language. The contact name would be something that is more software related...
Georgia: A little.
Leo: Well you got sparkles, so.
Rob: So they're saying AR advances are software related, rather than hardware?
Georgia: That's what he said, yeah. Right now. He didn't say not in the future.
Leo: Scoble is doing a video with Zeis, and Zeis is making glasses for them. For AR, that is the context. Contact lenses or glasses.
Rob: No one wants to walk around---
Nathan: With a Hololens on their forehead.
Georgia: This is not great.
Nathan: It is with the sparkles. It is a good look with the sparkles.
Georgia: You see Morgan rocking the sparkles.
Nathan: To a certain extent, we need to calm down here. Most companies have zero ground breaking products history making products. Apple has been pretty fortunate in that they had the original macs, then you had the iMac and the iPod. By the way, it doesn't exist anymore outside of an iPod touch, it is essentially an iPhone, then you had an iPhone. So I guess in some ways we've been spoiled by recent...
Rob: They have a run that no other company could possibly match.
Nathan: Being realistic, that's not sustainable. If you look at all of those things, whether it's the original Mac or the iPod, or the iPhone, they all happened under one person's watch, but they were all things that existed that Apple modified. Let's be real. AR right now sucks. Virtual reality is not great. These are early adopter things. If you want to go by Apple's history, then Microsoft has to make a competent Hololens, and Apple will find the consumer angle that fits our culture and lifestyle.
Rob: They were agenda shattering with the iPad. There wasn't much... there were some tablet things before that.
Nathan: The iPad is a big iPhone for all intents and purposes.
Leo: That's what happened. These got big enough that people didn't need the iPad. That's why tablet sales in general have disappeared.
Nathan: People hold onto iPads for a really long time.
Leo: I think what happened is it was an intermediate product. It was in between your phone and your laptop. As the phones got bigger and more capable... no one wants to buy an extra $500 intermediate product. I got a phone, I got a laptop. What do I need an iPad for? I would be very surprised if they come back. If your theory is correct, people got it. At some point they're going to get a new one, but I don't think that's going to happen.
Georgia: What would happen if schools started to take in for iPads as they become more affordable..
Leo: They did briefly. Chromebooks stole all that initiative.
Nathan: They were cheaper. But where a laptop is going, they're going touch screen.
Leo: They're going to convertibles.
Nathan: All this stuff is converging. I think there's still hope for an iPad like product for Apple to dominate on, and iPad sales are still way bigger than Mac sales. Even with their decline.
Leo: By the way, we will talk about what Apple announced this week. Unfortunately, it wasn't new Macs. It was just a red iPhone and bands. A tablet that is the cheap iPad. The one you get if you can't... this is one for schools. It's the $399.
Nathan: What I wanted was a pro version of the mini.
Leo: Rumor is that there will be a new mini and a new iPad pro. Among other iPad pros, one that is the same size as the 9.7 inch iPad but with a 10.5 inch screen, they're going to reduce the bezzle. Have you ever tried the 12.9 inch iPad? It's so big!
Nathan: I love...
Rob: It can also double essentially. You can get the keyboard with the pro, and it starts replacing your laptop for flights.
Leo: Thisis the problem, it doesn't have windowing, if you don't have windowing, are you really a computer can you use..
Georgia: I have lots of iPads and they lie in an iPad graveyard. I use my air or my Mac. Really, I never use my iPad because of that. If there was pencil support, maybe.
Leo: Here's the one I'm going to get. It has a built in diamond ring. This case. They have all kinds of cases here. All of them have the liquid backs... ooh. How about a fairy?
Georgia: I like that one.
Leo: Cherry blossom festival!
Georgia: I think some of them don't have the liquid back.
Leo: I don't think the one with the ring does.
Nathan: It reminds me of the Nexus 4, they had that sparkly back. There's precedent.
Leo: I'm not going to be here because I'm going on a mini vacation, but Wednesday, we're going to be streaming the Samsung event live. I think from the rumors that I've seen, the Samsung Galaxy S8 will be a really interesting phone. You could argue that there's nothing new you could do on a phone, but there's some things, this is going to be a beautiful phone with new features including the features Apple is expecting later in the year. Getting rid of the home button, having a fingerprint reader underneath the screen. I'm going to be watching with interest to see what Samsung does on Wednesday. We'll have a live stream of that. What time is it, Carson? 9 or 10? 11 AM.
Nathan: I hope Samsung spends time talking about their revamped battery safety procedures.
Leo: They will. They did a press remember... They have a six step program. They're telling other companies to do this. X ray the batteries.
Georgia: I don't know if they're the ones that should be telling other companies how to do this.
Leo: Definitely not. That might be a differentiator for them. Our batteries blew up, so now we're going to do it right.
Georgia: They've learned 20 different ways how not to make batteries.
Nathan: I'd like to see them talk more about that. There were some manufacturing errors and it wasn't our fault...
Leo: If they don't reassure consumers, I gave my daughter my old S7, her friend said you got the blow up phone. The problem is every Samsung is now perceived as the phone that blows up. They're going to have to bend over backwards to reassure people that the phone won't blow up.
Georgia: The wonderful thing is people don't steal them now. Oh, I'm going to leave that phone there.
Leo: Samsung will also have a new voice assistant called Bixby. What do you think about Bixby? We have two people in the audience who used to work at Nuance. Remember Samsung's S voice used Nuance.
Nathan: S voice was trash, by the way.
Leo: And why did they put a voice assistant on a phone that already has Google's voice assist.
Rob: Are they going to get in an argument with each other like Bixby and Google Voice?
Georgia: My money is on him.
Nathan: There's a lot of people who buy Samsung phones. And don't understand they have an Android. I've spoken to folks who I'm like you have an Android phone, and they're like no, I have a Galaxy.
Leo: That's right. That's why they skin it. The Pixel is the Android phone to get. But I will be very interested. Samsung is number 2 after Apple. They are an absolute presence. People still buy Fords. Nobody buys pintos any more. So this Wednesday, which is March 29 will be the announcement they predict is going to be April 21. Some interesting looking colors too. Black gray and silver.
Rob: Is this the one that's going to have three cameras on it, specifically for retinal and face recognition.
Leo: Probably. I would guess that they do that in this one. As you may remember, they put eye recognition in the Note 7, and the...
Nathan: Galaxy S3, but they scrapped it after that. Add features and take them away.
Leo: 5.7 inch S8, according to the rumors. It's very interesting, there will be a 6.2 inch version. That seems to me too big.
Georgia: There's a point where it's too large. I have a purse, and sometimes when I'm holding up my phone I'm like, this is a little bit large.
Rob: I think it would be a great prank Leo for you to go into public with this thing and take a call on it. That would just... it would be such as poof.
Leo: The Surface Studio? Let's do a bit for the New Screen Savers.
Georgia: You can say it's the new phone!
Leo: How big is too big?
Nathan: Have it on your shoulder like a boom box?
Georgia: Hang it there...
Leo: What will probably happen is we'll watch the event and go oh. It's just another phone. It's hard to come up with something new. I've had the same problem with Apple. It's hard to do anything new. It's a slab of glass with rounded corners. What are you going to do that's different? I'm going to put a lovely case on it with a diamond ring. Is that so you can hold it?
Georgia: It's so you can hold it, yeah. Because a phone is large and you need...
Leo: These are cheap, these are nine bucks.
Nathan: Is that the same brand that you got?
Leo: I think it is, because they have floating hearts.
Georgia: I got mine on Amazon. I like the cherry blossom... I don't think those ones...
Leo: The iPhone six S that had floating stuff. The one with a ring?
Georgia: No ring. Just sparkles.
Leo: Our show to you today brought to you by Betterment. If you're saving for your future, and you ought to be, we always have the challenge of where do I put my money that would be better than the mattress? Actually putting a savings account in your bank, that's as bad as putting it in a mattress! You've got to invest. But who has time for that? Nobody got time to watch your stocks every day. Well, here's Betterment. Tech has done so much to transfer to commerce and entertainment. But it is also now changing how you invest. Betterment, the largest, independent automated investment service is changing how people invest. I like Betterment because they have people as well as computers. This is unusual about Betterment. They combine the smart technology with human advisors, so you get optimal results at every level of investment. You get access to their team of certified financial professionals, licensed financial experts. They are also monitoring your catalogue along with the hardware and software. They can answer questions. You can also have planning calls, you can get notifications throughout the year. But, the Betterment software will be monitoring your investment every second of every day, making sure it's properly balanced, that they do tax and harvesting to lower investment taxes, increase after tax returns. No trade, no transaction, no rebalancing fees. A minimum to sign up. You can dip your toe into see how you like it. They use global diversification, smart rebalancing and lower fees. That means you're going to get higher returns than a typical DIY investor. End to end Investing means faster cash transfers, tax forms available at the earliest possible date. Secure investing. As with everything in life, there's some risk involved in Investment. But no risk, no reward, right? Do it right. Get one month managed free when you make an initial deposit of $10000 or more. Betterment is a better way to invest. Betterment.com/twit. betterment.com/twit. Betterment is investing made better. This Week in Tech. It's great to have Georgia Dow in studio from iMore magazine. She's also anxiety-videos.com. That's where she and her partner Sandra, both therapists, have videos on reducing anxiety, sleeping better, parenting. I wish you made those a few years ago. Too late for me. I watch them now retroactively and I tell my kids, last time I yelled at you? Let's try it again this way.
Georgia: You could try.
Leo: They're screwed up already. But the good news for your Industry is they both have therapists and they probably complain about me incessantly.
Georgia: I can be the good and bad.
Leo: It's great to have you, Georgia Dow, in studio for the first time ever. I've never met her, and now I have. Rob Reid, you've been here before. It's always great to have Rob here. He is the guy who started listen.com, Rhapsody, and is a reformed entrepreneur. A science fiction writer. You can find out more about his book, Year Zero at readrobreid.com. Working to get the discount you were talking about.
Rob: I'm all digital platforms. I say that...
Leo: You go to Amazon and search for Year zero, you'll get the discount there too?
Rob: For Kindle. It's on digital platforms, and it will be 1.99. That is literally because I'm on TWiT. It's for everybody in the world. TWiT viewers in particular, and thank you for giving me an excuse to go to Random House and say let's do this cool thing, because we did it once before a couple years ago, and it was really fun.
Leo: Is it OK to say this? Working on a new book?
Rob: Yeah. I've got a new book coming out this summer. I liked to talk about it when we get closer to it. There's quite a bit to say about it, and I may have more to say about it when I'm next here.
Rob: Yes. Near future. Nine seconds in the future. Whenever you read the book, it's placed nine seconds from then.
Leo: I was talking this morning on the radio show about how science fiction signals to viewers that it's the future. If it's the distant future, spaceships, you know. But if it's the near future it's harder. If it was a black President you knew it was the future a long time ago. that doesn't work anymore. But in the near future they're wearing tunics. They did it on She. Remember that? Scarlett Johanson as the artificial intelligence? It was the near future, and the only way you could tell was the pants..
Georgia: Now they're wearing the pants high.
Leo: They are?
Georgia: Yep. It's very predictive.
Leo: Often they have clear cellphones in the future.
Georgia: Oh. Far in the future.
Leo: That's a problem, because if you're making a science fiction movie today and you use anything that looks like a cellphone, it's like having a wide tie. When I look at Wall street, Michael Douglas and Wall Street, it's one of those giant phones. It looks like ancient history.
Nathan: I don't know if anybody saw Get Out, but everybody uses a Windows phone. I love the movie, it's a great movie. The best movie ever! It's a new genre.
Leo: Comedy horror. I guess it's not a new genre. It's a really great movie. You're right, they've got surfaces. Surface tablets. At one point, he's sending a text on a Microsoft Windows phone. It's like...
Nathan: He calls his buddy and his buddy picks up a Windows phone.
Leo: Where's my Windows phone?
Rob: I heard it on my Zoon.
Nathan: That's how you know it's not the future.
Leo: Also here, Nathan Olivarez Giles, we love having Nathan in studio with us, and we are having more of him now.
Nathan: All the time. No going back now, Leo.
Leo: I stole you from the Journal. I feel good about that. You'll still be doing some work for them, I know. You still doing your podcast? Your kitchen table version of this show?
Nathan: Not quite this show. But, I'm doing a podcast called Buzz Kill with my friends Mark Milian from Bloomberg and Bryan Jen from the New York Times, and we spend a half hour talking about Tech, politics, and pop culture, and if any one of us gets bored with the subject at hand, we hit a buzzer and it kills the conversation and we move on.
Georgia: I love that!
Leo: We need that here.
Georgia: It's like X factor of a show. Every talks fast and tries to be punchy, if it's not, it gets voted. Does someone go around and take out the batteries of someone's buzzer?
Nathan: It's a laptop in between all of us.
Leo: That's a great idea.
Nathan: iCloud, iTunes, Google Play.
Rob: It must be very scary to be a guest on that show.
Georgia: That would be bad.
Nathan: Right now it's just the three of us. But we'll have to get someone to not be on there.
Rob: It's like the gong show.
Leo: Chuck Harris CIA spy.
Leo: CIA assassin? Or was he nutty? he claims he was. There's even a movie about it.
Nathan: My Dangerous mind, or something like that?
Leo: He took the secret to his grave.
Rob: I like the idea that we live in an interesting world, and Chuck Harris was actually a CIA assassin was much more interesting. I like that to be.
Leo: If you're going to be a CIA assassin, you want to have good cover. It's a great cover story.
Rob: It's like hiding in plain sight! It's never going to be this guy.
Leo: I would not fear him. He might gong me. Instead he pulls out a gun and whacks me.
Rob: That's the thing before you off someone. Here's the gong.
Leo: Confessions of a dangerous mind. I did not know about this until Gizmodo wrote about it, but maybe you've heard about the Supreme Court case. Impression products versus Lex Mark. Impression products was a small 35 person shop that was refilling printer cartridges. Actually 25 people. They specialized in buying used printer cartridges and re manufacturing them. Lex mark, the printer company had been suing other manufacturers. They decided to add impression to the case in 2012, five years ago. Everyone else settled, except for the little impressions product and they fought it and now they're in the Supreme Court.
Rob: Is this the DNCA thing? I remember Lessig used to talk about the fact that the DNCA could be perverted to things as bizarre as you made ink for my printer, so this is a DMCA wow, and it's going to the Supreme Court.
Leo: It already is! They had arguments this week. Here's Ronald Man writing in SCOTUS blog. He says, unfortunately, I don't think many people left the court room knowing much more about the case than they did... perhaps the justices wore themselves out with such incisive = questioning in the Microsoft versus Baker case. Apparently the justices were baffled by the whole thing. The case involves the doctrine of exhaustion. That's worse than a buzzer in a podcast under which patent holders write to enforce patent articles or they run out the moment the patent holder sells the object. If I say I've got a patent on ink cartridges and sell you the ink cartridge, that's it. Now you own the ink cartridge, you can do what you want with it. The question is, are Lex Mark's rights to the cartridges exhausted when it sells them? But Lex Mark has shrink wrap on there that says you're not buying this cartridge. You're borrowing it. We'll only let you use it if you agree, by opening the cartridge, that you will not refill it.
Rob: By ripping this thing open, you've agreed...
Georgia: I was one of those people with a syringe and ink, and I'd try to refill the ink and get it everywhere...
Leo: This is probably a good thing, but the real problem is, I wish the Supreme Court would address Shrink Wrap licenses, or actual patent rights. But they're probably going to make a very narrow decision because—and that's the right thing to do. You don't want to make—Chief Justice Roberts and Stephen Breyer probed repeatedly as to why patent holders can't just use contract, cannot rely solely on contract law, but instead need patent law to enforce these restrictions. And after listening to the Lexmark attorney's response, Breyer seemed confused (laughing). As we all are. I'm not sure how much of this I want to read but they did talk about it. According to this SCOTUS blog, my take on this is that the justices are well aware of the major implications here and don't see any obvious way to avoid doing something that will have real economic consequences. So maybe they will have to make a significant decision. This might be pretty important. I find as a consumer, reprehensible that they sell, and other companies do this, they put chips in the cartridge so you can't buy 3rd party cartridges.
Rob: Well, just the very notion that you've paid an extravagant amount of money for a little, tiny bit of ink, right? And then they sort of sneak up on you by saying on the wrapper, "By opening this you agreed on." I mean, that's just sleazy. You know, at some point it becomes such common sense for balance.
Nathan: It's trickery.
Rob: It becomes such a parody of itself. Hopefully the Supreme Court saw that. Because that's just—there's no way there's been informed consent, has been given by somebody who had a market choice to make in that environment when they've ripped open this—it's just ridiculous. So I hope that—it's going to be four to four, right? We know how it's going to turn out.
Georgia: Unless someone does a lot of printing and they're like, "You know what? I'm so done with this." Because there's no way that you've read the small, fine print when you've ripped something open. You can't really say that that's a signature on something. I think that a little bit of an overhaul to patent law would be just a good thing.
Rob: I think so but if the judges go four to four, could it go into Supreme Court overtime?
Leo: The real question is, which dogma are the justices going to adhere to? I mean for instance there's other big businesses who are in favor of the little business, against Lexmark. Costco, Costco filed an AMICUS brief—
Rob: On whose side?
Leo: On the side of Impressions against Lexmark saying goods of all kinds, computers, smartphones, automobiles, even medicines, incorporate innumerable components made throughout the world. Each product developer and manufacturer would be required to trace to origin and the patent rights of every single component it purchases. That's too much to ask a retailer to do and a consumer to do.
Rob: It's like the litigator full employment act. It's just awful.
Leo: No, we don't want that. Aren't you trained as a lawyer?
Leo: OK, good.
Nathan: It sounded like for a second there. It kind of feels like to me on the whole right to repair idea, so whether it's your sealed iPhone or the laptop that nobody opens up anymore, it's like do we have the right to replace our ink cartridges or not? Do we have the right to open these things and fix these things ourselves?
Leo: It's kind of that right of repair issue, right?
Nathan: That's what I'm saying. And I think that to me is the question that I hope the Supreme Court really gets at and you know, getting into patent law, will there be consequences or not? But I feel like that's what this is about is you buy the printer. Do you have the right to your own ink in it, right? And of course, Lexmark wants you to keep buying their ink. We get that. But the idea that you can't go anywhere for ink and that you can't repair this printer that won't work without the ink any other way is just—it's ludicrous. That's why I hope they really dig into it.
Leo: It appears a Supreme Court decision in favor or Lexmark could open the floodgates for copy protection in everything you buy. You don't own anything. We're already moving in that direction with digital rights. You don't own anything.
Nathan: Well, it's kind of like what it is with a cable box. You know, they send it to you and it's not really yours.
Georgia: Yea, you don't really own it.
Nathan: Yea, exactly.
Rob: Yea, you can only fill your car with gas bought at Exxon because your manufacture has done a deal with Exxon.
Nathan: It's a very dangerous slope here that, I don't even want to call it slippery. It's like we can see the future and it's not a pretty one.
Rob: And I wonder—it's interesting. I wonder if the natural reaction of the conservatives on the court or the liberals on the court will be to go one side or the other if this is something. Because on one side you can see people who are like militant about property rights doing one thing or the other. Like I wonder if there's going to be a left, right ideological break.
Leo: Well, Breyer who's considered—he's a democratic appointee and considered to be on the left, actually said conflicting things. So on the one hand he said, "Any monopolist including a patent monopolist would love to be able to go to each buyer separately and extract from each buyer and user the maximum amount he would pay for that particular item. But by and large, that's forbidden under many laws even though it does mean slightly restricted output. It also means a lower profit for the monopolist." But then he said when discussing the application of U.S. patent law overseas, "They have received money for that first sale under, let's say, a German patent, and they have not received any money on this American patent. So, they say, well, how could you be subjecting us to a rule that that first sale exhausted our right to money under the American patent when we never even got any money under the American patent?" So that sounds kind of like a pro Lexmark argument.
Rob: He was also described in the article as confused, correct?
Leo: No, that was my take and now you know why.
Rob: Seems accurate.
Leo: This often happens though in Supreme Court oral arguments. The justices will take opposite, they'll sometimes do that. Hypotheticals, they take opposite sides. It's often difficult to figure out where they stand on a case. We'll find out June the next time this might pop up.
Rob: It's a very important case.
Leo: Yea, I don't think it's well covered because it's kind of confusing. But as geeks we should pay attention. And of course, somebody in the chatroom said, "Don't forget that great Motherboard article about American farmers hacking their tractors with Ukrainian Firmware." Because of course, John Deere won't let you modify your—in fact, if you get your John Deere tractor repaired by a 3rd party, you then have to, this is from a license agreement that John Deere required farmers to sign last year, you then have to go to John Deere and get it authorized so that you can continue to do it, continue to use it.
Rob: To continue to use it?
Leo: Yea, because you licensed the software. Yes.
Rob: You may no longer use the tractor you bought?
Leo: So 3rd part technicians—
Nathan: Because they can control the software.
Leo: John Deere charges $230-dollars an hour. $230-dollars plus $130-dollars for a technician to drive out, plug a connector into the USB port to authorize the new part. So, you have—you get the new part, you get somebody to put it in. It doesn't have to be a John Deere but then you have to have John Deere guy come out and charge you a minimum of $360 bucks to say, "Yea, ok, you can use it."
Nathan: These guys are basically jail breaking their tractors essentially, right?
Leo: So he says, "What you've got is technicians running around with cracked Ukrainian John Deere software they bought off the black market." Here it is. Cartec-Systems, and you check the box and you generate the key. $99-bucks so the guy doesn't have to come out.
Georgia: And then you can sell your tractor for more because you're like, "Mine's a hacked tractor."
Georgia: That's better.
Rob: A hacktor!
Georgia: Hacktor. I like that.
Rob: Hacktorvists are very big in Nebraska right now. It's big.
Georgia: It's a similar thing to what Elon Musk said, though, that if you're driving my cars you can't be using that to be able to like—over a car that's going to be driving itself. Because they want to go into business to be able to have their own self-driving cars to be like a taxi service to that. So, they're also trying to control how you use something and not really yours. Like you're signed on to buy it and then you have to not drive it and never drive left of something else.
Rob: I've heard that also it was going to be forbidden to listen to untasteful music.
Leo: (Laughing). Only in alien society.
Leo: But we don't know what those aliens like to listen to.
Rob: Oh, we do though.
Georgia: One person does.
Rob: We do.
Leo: One man does.
Georgia: Yes. Like I said, read the book to find out.
Rob: Like I said, based on a true story.
Nathan: It's kind of a shame all this stuff because you know, you want technology to be like a beautiful thing that pushes us all forward, like opens up new possibilities, expands the capabilities of what we have, allows us to have a better life. At the same time there's this old school idea which I really love which is like hot rodding and tuning and like messing with what you've got and customizing things and you know, we're getting to this point where tech is so ubiquitous, there's so much software in cars nowadays that you—I mean, you know, you buy a new car, you pop the hood and it's covered in plastic. You can't even work on it yourself. And I come from a background of doing that sort of thing.
Nathan: Yea, with my dad.
Leo: I feel so young. I thought you would have grown up in the era of no serviceable parts in these things.
Nathan: No, I mean the first car I had was a 5-liter Mustang that my dad and I bought together and it had no door panels, no center console. It had a roll cage and 4-point racing harnesses, but you know, it was that sort of thing. It's like you can get in and turn a wrench and do some stuff. Now—
Leo: I used to change the oil, tune the car. You'd have a little volt meter and you could check the timing. Those are old school Volkswagens.
Nathan: Yea, so that stuff was fun but there were also technological advancements that came from that. I mean one of the things that racing has done has resulted in safer vehicles and better efficiencies.
Leo: Right. I wouldn't want to try to change the oil in my Tesla.
Nathan: Yea, right.
Leo: I don't think there even is oil (laughing).
Rob: There isn't.
Nathan: You see, these sorts of things like they—
Leo: Where's the oil? I don't know.
Nathan: They block that. They block that like outside of your company ingenuity. They block that kind of creativity.
Leo: And they killed shade-tree mechanics unless you're working on an old car. There are no shade-tree mechanics.
Nathan: Yea, there's nothing like that anymore, right? And so then I find it offensive and kind of sad in just our daily lives, but there's not even that many farmers left and you're screwing with those guys. You know, it's just the whole idea. I get why John Deere would want to control some things but make it as simple as hey, you voided the warranty. But if you come back and you pay us, we'll still fix it for you. Like, why do you got to screw us over in every possible angle?
Leo: These things are more than just, you know, you think tractor, you think of a guy sitting on a thing bouncing down the road. But these are, these are—
Rob: Industrial machines.
Leo: They're machinery. We have a listener that owns a farm in western Australia. He was up here a couple of months ago, and he says, "I listen to you while I'm working on the farm." And he literally spends his whole day sitting in what is like an office on a giant combine.
Leo: And he's not, he doesn't have much to do.
Nathan: He's watching the robots basically.
Leo: Yea. The thing is a huge, you know, giant machine and he's not steering it. He says, I said, "Well, don't you have to do anything?" He says, "When we get to the other row I have to tell it to go to the next row." But so, he can listen to podcasts. He's there, kind of keeping an eye on it. So, you understand there's a lot of software in these things.
Nathan: Yea, and I get why John Deere would want to say, "Listen." Or any company would want to say, "We've built a complicated product. It's built to work in a specific way. If you mess with it, it might be dangerous. It might not be good." Or whatever, right? I get that. But some things feel kind of petty when a guy is driving out to plug in a USB port and you've got to pay him a few hundred bucks.
Georgia: There's a difference between trying to make sure that it's safe and that we're not going to take warranty if something bad happens, we're not going to be the ones that—this is trying to squeeze out of people as much as you can so that you're kind of stuck.
Georgia: There's nothing else that you can do unless you have a certain amount of technical knowledge to be able to go around that.
Rob: So, a lot of people have been talking about their first cars in the chatroom. Just to bring this full circle, mine was a Pinto.
Rob: It never did blow up.
Rob: No, it never did.
Nathan: Gosh. Wow. Well, two Fords here. All right.
Georgia: Mine was a Ford as well.
Nathan: A Ford what?
Georgia: I think it was a—I don't remember. Was it a Tempo?
Leo: Anthony knows.
Georgia: Yea, yea.
Leo: I would tell you what mine was but it's the answer to one of my secret questions, so (laughing). I hope yours isn't.
Rob: Oh, it's the answer to one of my secret questions to but I lied on the answer because I didn't want to admit it was a Pinto.
Georgia: You didn't even want—when they go searching for you data, like you don't want them to know this.
Nathan: You're like Ferrari.
Rob: If I do get hacked it would be so humiliating for the world to know that I had a Pinto, but of course now—
Georgia: So, we'll talk about it on a podcast.
Nathan: Hey, there's nothing wrong with humble beginnings. Be proud of that Pinto. Be proud of that.
Rob: I am proud of my Pinto.
Leo: There you go. There you go. By the way, speaking of—I'm just looking at some of the big harvesters. This is probably something like the thing our listener sits in.
Rob: That's what my Pinto looked like.
Leo: Did you see the picture of the President driving the Mack truck (laughing)? I am amazed that we didn't see more meme action around him going like this, "Vroom, vroom."
Nathan: There was a decent amount. There was one where he was like a little Playskool pedal car which was pretty good.
Rob: Was this like the caucus on the tank again, just to date myself.
Leo: There's actually a whole series of pictures, I suppose. He was meeting with truck manufacturers.
Georgia: He looked really happy, though.
Leo: He was having—he got to play, he got to pull the horn and oh, the video's not available. Too bad. But there he is, there he is.
Rob: He's like a little tyrannosaurus rex hands.
Leo: (Laughing). Having a good time. These are not Photoshopped, kids. These are real. Let's—you know, we had a fun week. Didn't we have a fun week? You were great on The New Screen Savers.
Georgia: That was so exciting.
Leo: Loved having you on.
Georgia: Thank you.
Leo: Nate's great on—let's take a little look at some of the fun things that happened this week on TWiT.
Narrator: Previously, on TWiT.
Leo: If you can't afford a red phone, you can at least get the Product Red new phone case.
Jim Dalrymple: I don't use cases. I don't use cases at all. I stick it in here and—
Narrator: All About Android.
Ron Richards: Like Christmas coming early, Google released the Android O Developer Preview. The Developer Preview version hit and it is now available for download and install and everyone has been scrambling to check it out.
Narrator: Tech News Today.
Megan Morrone: Nate was talking about a game called Everything, where you can play as anything, a blade of grass.
Sam Machovech: Everything, it's a strange experience in which you don't really have an ending and you just start to ask yourself, "What am I? Who am I? Where are you? What is TWiT?" You know, it's just a lot of important questions.
Narrator: This is your brain. This is your brain on TWiT. Any questions?
Jim: I mean I'm beautiful the way I am. There's no need to put me down.
Leo: No need to put Jim in a case, that's for sure.
Leo: Jim Dalrymple. He keeps his phone in his beard (laughing). I think he's capable of that. Megan Morrone, what's coming up this week?
Megan: Here's just a few of the stories that we'll be looking at in the week ahead. Samsung will hold an event to unveil their latest flagship phone, the Galaxy S8. The company is hoping for the latest Galaxy to make a big splash to finally put the Note 7 debacle behind them. RIP Club Penguin, one of the first social networks for kids is finally shutting down on the desktop and mobile devices on March 29th. It started nearly 12 years ago, in 2005. Bryan McClendon, Vice President of Maps and Business Platforms at Uber also plans to leave the company this week. Probably someone else will leave Uber this week too if I had to bet on it. Bluetooth World in Santa Clara, Black Hat in Asia and April Fool's Day are all happening this week. Plus, March 31st is World Backup Day, so back up your stuff, my friends. That's just a few of the stories we'll be following this week on Tech News Today every weekday at 4:00 PM Pacific and 7:00 PM Eastern on TWiT.tv.
Leo: Thank you, Megan Morrone. And you had some fun. You were filling in for Jason this week.
Nathan: Yea, I was filling in for Jason Howell all last week and Monday and Tuesday. I thank the audience for suffering with me but no, it's been a lot of fun for me and I guess I'll be on there every once in a while when they take vacation or something like that.
Leo: You'll be doing more than that.
Nathan: Oh, yea. And well, and creating hopefully and developing—
Leo: Get to work. Get to work. Samsung, by the way, is offering an app you can install on your Android device called Unpacked 2017. If you're lucky enough to have to have an invitation to the event this week in New York City. You can use it to get in with a QR code but if you're not going, it will stream video. And we'll do our live stream thing as well with the Mystery Science Theatre.
Nathan: It will be more fun than that, for sure.
Leo: I think it will be a lot more fun (laughing). A lot more fun.
Nathan: I want to see like, I really enjoy Samsung's press events because they're kind of—
Leo: So bad.
Nathan: So bad at times. I mean, I don't know if anybody else feels that way.
Leo: No, they're terrible.
Georgia: That's the best part to watch. You get to see it live. Get to see cool tech and you get to see when things don't really happen the way, smoothly.
Nathan: Yea, they have a lot of tech like errors and flubs and they had that like overproduced Broadway show in New York that one time.
Leo: That was horrible where women, oh, I can't touch the phone because my fingernails are drying.
Leo: So, I can just wave. It was so offensive.
Nathan: Yea. So, I always look forward to seeing—
Leo: You never know.
Georgia: You're looking forward to a train wreck is what you're hoping for.
Rob: I am going to be in New York City next week.
Nathan: Are you?
Rob: I don't know how I can—
Georgia: You need a QR code.
Leo: Oh, I can get you in. You want to go? I've got an invite. I'll get you in.
Rob: I do now.
Leo: You can be our reporter for on the scene. And now, we go to the reporter on the scene. Rob Reid has the latest. Oh my God, it was the worst thing I ever say.
Rob: I'll get a fedora.
Leo: If you still for some reason, some inexplicable reason have a Note 7, by the way, this is the month Samsung is going to kill it, literally, remotely, turn it into a brick.
Nathan: Good. If you're still using one, just stop. What is wrong with you?
Leo: If it hasn't blown up yet.
Georgia: If it hasn't melted by now.
Leo: It's probably ok, right?
Nathan: No. It's not ok. It's never ok. No, Leo, no.
Leo: Nate thinks he's talking to his elderly father. Grandfather. Maybe great-grandfather. Dad, get rid of the Note 7.
Nathan: Well, if it hasn't blown up yet, it may blow up tomorrow.
Rob: It's like my Intel. It hasn't blown up yet. It's got to be one of the good ones.
Nathan: You publish books. It's time to buy a new car.
Leo: You can afford a new car.
Nathan: I'll cosign for you.
Leo: Before the show, Jason mentioned on All About Android, I guess it was Rob mentioning Android O is out. This is the beta version. It will be this fall before we see the next version of Android.
Nathan: We should see some new features because all they were talking about was snoozing notifications and battery life.
Leo: They're trying too—well, but that's a big issue.
Georgia: Battery's nice and cutting off all of the things that are running in the background. That's great. But it's not something that's really going to drive a lot of press.
Nathan: Exactly. Those are the sorts of things that they should be doing. Give me some like cool flashy—
Rob: Every phone reset from time and memorial, promised better batteries. It's like it would be great if it was going to deliver that.
Georgia: But it's probably not going to be the headline, Better Battery Life, right? These one's aren't going to melt in your pocket, better battery life.
Rob: No, it's going to be, it's really going to be about dessert.
Leo: That's what I'm wondering.
Rob: What do we do with this O?
Leo: We spent some time on this and in fact, I think because of us, if you do a Google search for, you start O it will autocomplete to O dessert names. Apparently many people searching for desserts that begin with O.
Nathan: Well do we know if that's the whole internet or just like your search engine.
Georgia: Yea, I think it might be just—
Leo: No, it's the whole internet.
Georgia: Oh, sorry. Yes. The whole internet. The whole internet! I'm sorry. I won't be invited back.
Leo: It's the whole internet.
Rob: Login anonymously through a VPN in Kazakhstan and even there.
Nathan: His ISP was tracking the data so they knew.
Leo: It turns out if you go to Wikipedia and look at desserts, there are very few O desserts. Android Central's out together a few. Ox-tongue pastry.
Nathan: That doesn't roll off the tongue in a nice way.
Leo: It's a Chinese treat. And this is one of the problems, of course. They need a name that is not specifically American. They need a name that's international, right? Nougat was really very international.
Rob: Ozark is a foreign country, right? This is my favorite. This is my favorite.
Leo: You don't like Ontbijtkoek which is a Dutch cookie loaf spiced and sweetened, served with butter at breakfast time?
Rob: That's my second favorite.
Nathan: The Ozarks are in Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma.
Leo: Oliebollen, which is literally oil balls, a touch of Dutch donut made by dunking dough into a deep fat fryer. I don't think Android O Oliebollen is going anywhere. And here's your favorite, Ozark Pudding.
Rob: This is my favorite. Ozark Pudding. Or Ozark Puddin' sometimes.
Leo: I've never heard of this.
Rob: I had it down in Florida once, which is not far from the Ozarks as it turns out.
Leo: It's a dried fruit and nut custard, so disgusting and dry that they usually put a scoop of ice cream on it to sweeten it up.
Rob: The Android Ozark Pudding just is—
Nathan: It's like eating the composite wood inside of an IKEA dresser is what it's like.
Georgia: Oh, it sounds horrible.
Nathan: So you really need that ice cream.
Leo: It was the favorite dessert of President Harry Truman.
Georgia: There was only so much choice then.
Leo: Well, Oatmeal Cookie.
Georgia: I like Oatmeal Cookie.
Nathan: I could get behind Oatmeal Cookie.
Leo: It's a two worder. I don't think you're going to have a two worder.
Nathan: Oh, yea. Yea.
Rob: Harry S. Truman on Twin Peaks I believe was fond of Ozark Pudding. I'm just making that up. But his name was Harry S. Truman, the sherrif.
Nathan: They would go to that diner and they would buy stuff.
Leo: This is where pies go to die. Orelletes, which is a Catalan pastry that looks like ears.
Rob: It looks like ears.
Nathan: A fried, crispy kind of thing.
Leo: But everybody seems to agree, Oreo is the one it should be.
Nathan: Oreo's what I'd like to see but I would be thrilled if it was Ozark Pudding.
Rob: It really would make me happy.
Nathan: I really hope you're right, Rob. I really do.
Leo: The problem also is I think Google got burned with KitKat where they used a brand name and I think people, journalists in particular, I resented having to say KitKat all the time. That would sound like an ad for Nestle.
Nathan: Does it make me a bad journalist that I thought it was fun?
Leo: You thought it was cool?
Georgia: I like KitKats too. I'm ok with that.
Leo: You're more of a journalist than I am, Nate. If you say it's ok.
Georgia: You do so many shows, though, Leo, you had to say it a lot more often.
Leo: Well, the only good news is whenever we do finally get the new, you know, phone and the new Android, people pile onto our table here whatever dessert. So, we've had Nougat. We've had Lollipops. We've had Jelly Beans. And yes, we've had KitKat bars.
Georgia: So now you're hoping it's not Ozark because you'd have to eat it on air.
Leo: A pile of Ozark.
Rob: Ozark Puddin'.
Leo: Ozark Pudding on the table. No. It's got to be Oreo. They've got to make it the O.
Rob: There's rarely a G included.
Leo: Sorry, Puddin'. Ozark Puddin'. So why—so Karston had the same reaction I did. Google, they're messaging strategy is so confusing. I, as a Google Voice user and a Google Fi user, have been using Hangouts because it's the only messaging platform you can use on Google that works on iPhone, that works on the desktop. It works everywhere.
Leo: And that's why it's—
Nathan: Yea, text messages.
Leo: It's ugly. It's not a great messenger but you use it too, I guess.
Nathan: Yea. And I hate the iOS app because it's so slow and frustrating. But because it's so useful, because so many of my friends use it, I stick with it.
Leo: I have it on every phone and I have it on every desktop. I have, as you can see, my Chrome, I have a Chrome extension for it. It's the closest thing Google has, Android has to Apple Messages where it's cross platform. And it's got a desktop. I like having a desktop. Well, it was because they're going to take SMS support out of it.
Rob: I made the mistake of porting my phone number that everybody in the world has over to Google Voice. Which has just been a catastrophe and it's like—
Rob: Yea, they came up with a new app and literally the new app on the iPhone, what it does is you hit the button that summons the, you know, like basically the dialogue pad. That is a crash the app button. I've installed and uninstalled probably 20 times. I'm literally getting a new phone which I'm due for and switching providers in order to finally claw my phone number back from Google Voice. And you know, they've got Hangouts. Do they still do Google Talk?
Leo: This is part of the phase out of Google Talk.
Rob: Got it. Ok, yea.
Leo: They did say that if you use Google Voice or Google Fi, which I do, that you still will have SMS support, but you've got to think that the days are numbered. They're trying to move everyone to Android Messenger. I don't know.
Georgia: That's what the problem is, right? They're trying to do a little bit of a culling and it just might not have been the one that they should have given the ax.
Leo: Allo has Google Assistant built in. Make Allo your SMS choice.
Nathan: Well, that's where this is going. They're trying to turn Allo into the consumer app, right?
Leo: But it doesn't do SMS yet.
Nathan: Well, not yet. But it will someday. And Hangouts, which is what consumers were using, and people were fairly happy with, which is a decent product and one of their most popular messaging options outside of Gmail.
Leo: Because you could use it everywhere.
Nathan: They're trying to pit that into and Enterprise product, right?
Leo: Right. It's part of GSuite.
Nathan: Exactly. So then they're sunsetting Google Talk and now we're going to have in Gmail, it is going to be rebranded as Hangouts which is kind of silly because it's always worked with the Hangouts App anyways, so no one will even be able to pick that up. So, they're literally like sunsetting Talk, sunsetting parts of Hangouts to pivot you into Enterprise, trying to build up Allo and then there's Messaging inside of Google Voice, too. So, it's a total cluster.
Rob: And this is one of the smartest companies in the world that's allowed this to happen by launching 19 products and then I love the fact that we're—talk again. This is Google, the smartest company in the world and then they said, "Well, they haven't gotten around to SMS yet." It's like that's 1993 technology, isn't it? And they're like, "We can't quite do that yet." 9 of our telephony products, just not the 10th one.
Nathan: This is one of the things that I both love and hate about Google is like they're so willing to just do this out in the open and just say, "Let's see if it works. Like, let's just build this crazy thing and I don't know. Nexus Cube. Google Glass. Let's just mess around with Messaging." And they just don't think things all the way through and it's fun because you get to see these decisions and these mistakes and we all get to learn together. But at the same time, if you use this stuff—
Rob: It's not fun when you can't use it.
Georgia: And Google Glass, they're giving you something that you already use. They're not taking away your eyes and giving you Google Glass and your forced to have to use them.
Leo: That would be a bad thing.
Georgia: That would be bad.
Leo: Can we take people's eyes? What do you think?
Georgia: They'll survive.
Nathan: Well, they are working on the contact lenses.
Georgia: The contact lenses which, you know, will probably fry your—
Nathan: But with this I think part of what the issue is, just from speaking with people who work on messaging products over the years and reporting on these sorts of things, is that I think they really see that there is this important thing happening in messaging that they weren't able to key into and that's, that's really a lot of apps like Line, like building and operating system—
Leo: But that's the Rich Communication Services, RCS is all about. Google's trying, Google bought a company called Jibe which had this technology and they're trying to convince the carriers and all the users to—and by the way, Android Messenger supports RCS, to move to this RCS standard which will replace SMS standard, do much of the same things that Apple Messages does.
Nathan: And this move is almost an Apple-esque move where they're like you know, let's just go to USB Type C. Like even though you're still using that other.
Georgia: Yea, force your hand.
Leo: Part of the problem is that carriers have to agree. Carriers have their own agendas. Sprint's using it sort of. It's kind of a mess.
Nathan: Yea. To a certain extent, well, there's another part here that I think is important is that they want people to take on the Google Assistant and Messaging and having that. And Allo to a certain extent is a little bit of an experiment and they don't want to alienate the people who love and use Hangouts with that.
Leo: Well, then kill Allo. Kill Hangouts. Make Android Messenger, Messages do everything it's supposed to do. And I think that's their goal but there's—
Georgia: The way that they do it and I think that a lot of companies, and I'll just talk right to camera, companies, listen to me, tech companies. Once people are comfortable using your technology and like it, small, incremental changes to the better. Don't suddenly just take away 3.5mm headphone jack. Just don't take it away. Give us a better option. Once we get comfortable, slowly shift it out because people get really angry. You use something. You're comfortable with it. It works. Then you change it and we end up with that anxiety, that tech anxiety of is it going to work? What's going to happen? Am I going to have to change everyone over to it? And we're unsure of that. And that causes a lot of distress. It's unnecessary.
Leo: Nothing a sparkly phone case can't fix.
Georgia: That is true. That is true.
Leo: You're using that to hypnotize me.
Nathan: Oh, you're still getting over the loss of Google Reader.
Rob: Still getting over the loss of Google Reader.
Leo: I'm still missing Wave. Enough of that. Let's take a break. Come back with more. Great to have you all here. Nathan Olivarez-Giles, NateOG. Man, if I had the name NateOG I'd use it all the time. I love it.
Rob: Would you?
Leo: Original gangsta Nate.
Georgia: I like that. That is catchy. You have to go with that.
Leo: NateOG's his Twitter handle. NateOG.
Nathan: You know, street cred everywhere I go basically.
Leo: When are you getting your own YouTube channel? Hey, guys. NateOG here.
Nathan: I don't want to say hey guys.
Leo: But you have to. That's a YouTube requirement. Hey, guys. NateOG. You have to say it so fast nobody know what you just said.
Nathan: No, no, no, no.
Leo: Also, Rob Reid. He is an entrepreneur and now a lapsed entrepreneur, now a science fiction author. Readrobreid.com. He's @rob_reid on the Twitter, R-E-I-D. And the wonderful Georgia Dow who has graced us for a couple of days. You were on The New Screen Savers. It was so great having you and your husband Anthony. And you're going to spend a little time in the wine country and then go back to—is it freezing cold in Montreal right now?
Georgia: It snowed. There was a big storm. We went down and took a look at the cameras and it was just straight across.
Leo: And if you don't think she's crazy, she left her kids with Rene Ritchie which is nuts.
Georgia: Rene is awesome. He is awesome. My kids are having the best time.
Leo: He's like that uncle that never grew up kind of. He's like that kid uncle.
Georgia: He's great. He's great fun and his mom's amazing.
Leo: They really love it?
Georgia: Love it. Like really, the kids are like, "When are you coming back?" And then they're like, "No, no, no. It's all good. Don't worry about it. Things are great." And then I have photos from them of like you know, hot chocolates and Pokémon hunting and watching movies and going for long walks.
Leo: How fun. How fun.
Georgia: They don't do that with me so—
Leo: It feels like that iMore is like a tight family. Like you guys really—it's not just that you work together, you guys are all buds. It's really nice.
Georgia: Yes. It's really nice and when you work with people you really like, it comes through.
Leo: Yea. iMore.com you can see Georgia's work and of course if you want to get her videos, anxiety-videos.com.
Leo: Our show today brought to you by Rocket Mortgage, the best mortgage lender in the country. Quicken Loans. Actually great story, Quicken Loans. They are revitalizing downtown Detroit. Did you know? You probably knew that.
Nathan: Oh, yea.
Leo: Kind of an amazing story. The guy who owns them, I can't remember his name.
Nathan: Dan Gilbert.
Leo: Dan Gilbert.
Nathan: He owns the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Leo: He owns the Cavs. He doesn't own the Pistons. He doesn't own any Detroit teams. He's a Detroiter.
Nathan: No, he doesn't. But he's supposedly like working with the owner of the Pistons to bring the Pistons back.
Leo: He really wants—he loves Detroit. He wants to bring Detroit back, which I completely applaud. It's a beautiful city. It really deserves to be one of the great American cities. Anyway, that's where Quicken Loans is headed, is headquartered. But he also is a tech. Dan loves tech. And so they are one of the largest mortgage lenders in the country. I think $92-billion dollars in loans last year. And they realized that a lot of people, us, don't want to go into an office. They don't want to—we don't want to go through paperwork. We just want to do it all online. So Quicken Loans, one of the best lenders in the country made this whole online process for getting your mortgage approved called Rocket Mortgage. It's amazing. It's at quickenloans.com/twit2. Quickenloans.com/twit and the number 2. You go there and you can literally get approved for a mortgage or a re-fi in minutes because it's all online. It's all computerized. You submit all the paperwork weather it's check statements or pay stubs or whatever electronically. Couldn't be easier. You even get to choose your rate and your length of loan in real time so you can completely customize it. And then you will get approved not in days or weeks or months, but in minutes for a loan that is just right for you. Skip the bank. Skip the waiting. Do it all online. Quickenloans.com/twit2. Quickenloans.com/twit2. No more frustration. No more fax machines. No more going into the mortgage office and doing this stuff. Just do it all online and do it fast. Equal Housing Lender, licensed in all 50 states and NLSconsumeraccess.org number 3030. Quickenloans.com/twit2. We thank them for the their support of This Week in Tech.
Leo: Sometime I'm going to more on RCS because I feel like this is something Google's all behind, this Rich Communication Service. They've got some global partners but it seems like American carriers say, "Eh, we want to do it ourselves." And this is clearly the endgame on Android Messaging but we're so far away from it.
Nathan: It would be nice to dive into it and really see what the hype's about.
Leo: Let's do something, yea.
Nathan: What is the benefit? Why is Google so hot on this?
Leo: Right. Let's see. What else? The other Google stories. So, one thing Google does do very well is they enforce their view of how the internet should be run. And they've been pissed off at Symantec for some time because Symantec apparently has been kind of fast and loose with their certs. You can buy certs from Symantec. In fact, they're one of the biggest cert companies in the world. 30% of all of the internet's certificates in 2016 come from Symantec. In fact, according to Firefox, Symantec issued certificates and are responsible for 42% of all certificate validations. However, Google ain't happy. Google says Symantec has misused more than, mis-issued more than 30,000 certificates. So, Chrome is going to stop recognizing the extended validation status of certificates issued by Symantec. Now, that's a big deal.
Georgia: Because wouldn't that effect the 48% of the certs that are valid?
Leo: All the people that use it.
Leo: So, the way they're going to do this is kind of gradually. They'll decrease the maximum age of Symantec certificates over a series of releases. Chrome 59, which is 3 versions from now, will limit the expiration to no more than 33 months. By Chrome 64, nine months. So, they're phasing them out. Now you could still—if you don't get the extended cert, the extended cert. I'm on—let's see, if I go to Amazon for instance. The extended cert will turn green and you will see the company name. Amazon.com or Microsoft.com. That means that the cert authority has gone to the company, they've called them, they verified. They may have taken extra steps to verify this really is Symantec. Unless the certs like for TWiT that we use are not extended. They're cheaper. Extended certs are very expensive. They just send you an email verifying that you own the domains somehow, you know? And then they send you a cert. And that's what we use. So, it's not like you're going to be able to go to these sites and they won't be secure anymore. Although, I do worry that over time that may become Google's strategy.
Nathan: Well, basically you'll see a popup and then you'll be given a warning and if you want to proceed, you have to say so.
Leo: Right. This site is not—you know, you've seen it before.
Nathan: Yea. It's just a pain to have to do. It seems kind of petty.
Georgia: It seems like a punishment, really.
Leo: Well, it's to preserve the integrity of the cert system. And Symantec has just been kind of—we talked a lot about it on Security Now. They've been fast and loose with this stuff.
Georgia: So, you think this is more of them trying to ensure that everything is going to be secure than them trying to be punitive in nature.
Nathan: It seems to me it's like Google basically is like kind of tugging on a leash a little bit and saying, "Get it together. You've been slacking off." And since some of them are in question, all of them aren't good here anymore.
Rob: It maybe a negotiating tactic. Like this may be something—don't be surprised if it never actually gets implemented. I think that if I were Symantec I would be wide awake at this point.
Leo: Well, they're pissed. They said, "Google's statements about our issuance practices and the scope of our past mis-issuances are exaggerated and misleading. They say 30,000. And Google's referring to 127 certificates were identified as mis-issued by a 3rd party security researcher. They resulted in no consumer harm. We have taken extensive remediation measures to correct this situation. We immediately terminated the involved partner's appointment as a registration authority, and in a move to strengthen the trust of Symantec-issued SSL/TLS certificates, announced the discontinuation of our RA program." They were selling, these certs were being issued by a 3rd party through Symantec. Google says, "This remains an ongoing discussion." (Laughing).
Rob: I love the gap from 127 to 30,000.
Georgia: Big difference.
Leo: Big jump.
Rob: We're just going to round it up to the nearest 30,000.
Leo: Big jump. Google's prickly. And you know, I've had problems with Google before. But on the other hand, they feel like they're kind of responsible if somebody doesn't enforce this stuff. And of course, it's the browser makers that have the most power in this, Microsoft, Apple, Google, Firefox.
Nathan: And no browser's bigger than Chrome these days.
Leo: Chrome's a big one.
Nathan: Going back to the negotiating tactic idea, right, Google mentioning that this is an ongoing discussion. Also, the version of Chrome that this would run is 18 weeks away, right? So, it's three versions.
Leo: So, maybe this was all just, "Guys, take this serious or we're going to do this."
Nathan: Yea, so, there's time. They're basically saying, "In 18 weeks, this is going to the public." It's 3 versions out.
Rob: They're like 2 cars heading towards each other playing a game of chicken, only at this moment, one is in Vermont and the other is in California. And there's a lot of time to swerve that wheel.
Nathan: Well, if they were self-driving cars, they could hit some things along the way, so let's hope.
Rob: Only if it's a—well, no, I won't say it.
Leo: No, Uber and self-driving cars—
Nathan: It wasn't their fault.
Leo: It wasn't their fault.
Nathan: It never is.
Leo: The car did not yield to them.
Nathan: It never is.
Rob: Failure to yield to Uber? Off with his head.
Leo: Well, maybe Steve Mnuchin is right. Our Treasury Secretary says, "Oh, don't worry about losing your job to artificial intelligence and automation. It's 50 to 100 years off. We don't have to think about that." He said—now admittedly he's Treasury, not, you know, Labor Department.
Nathan: He's Treasury but he used to be the Chief Information Officer at Goldman-Sachs. He also used to run hedge funds.
Leo: Even Goldman-Sachs says automation is coming soon.
Nathan: Exactly. So, in his past job, it was his job to know, like what technology's coming? What could be disruptive and transformative? And now that Steven Mcuchin—I mispronounced it as Munchin last week.
Leo: Or Munchkin. Just don't call him Munchkin.
Nathan: Now that he's the Secretary of the Treasury, now he's saying 50 to 100 years off which, if you want to talk about asleep at the wheel, like that is just ludicrous.
Georgia: I don't know if it's so much asleep at the wheel or this is a choice, right? They're kind of the tactic of no one create panic. Don't worry. Everything's going to be ok so that he doesn't have to do anything about it and then when his term's up, it's like ok.
Rob: Then he could say 9 years out.
Georgia: Yea, 50 to 100 years is a really—if you look back 100 years from now, the way that technology went and the way that technology is speeding up, that's absolutely ludicrous.
Leo: In the same interview with RCS he said that Donald Trump has perfect genes. So, maybe everything he said was not 100% credible. But it's our opinion I think—but I've talked to a lot of people and there are people who say, like John Markoff, automation is coming but it's not going to necessarily cost every job. We're going to have jobs to replace the jobs that are lost. For instance, if you're a truck driver or a cabbie, this probably is a good time to start thinking about training up for something different.
Nathan: And I think that's what the conversation should be.
Leo: But that's what the government should be doing.
Nathan: They say, "Listen. Automation is coming. In some cases, it's already here." If you've been to the grocery store, you've seen the automated checkout. If you've gone to a bank, you've seen a lot of ATMs. Like these things are slowly happening. So, let's retrain folks. Let's find out what those new jobs are going to be that will be created and hopefully will be a better quality of life for everyone. Let's figure that out. And to say that it's 50 to 100 years off is irresponsible.
Leo: It's sticking your head in the sand.
Nathan: It's irresponsible.
Georgia: I don't know though about the thought that there'll be- I think that there'll be new jobs to replace it but I do not think that they will be in the same number. Because a machine can do thing much faster to many more people. And I think that the quality of jobs and the amount of education that in some places is not free, to be able to have to get different jobs to be able to deal with that because a lot of the manual labor jobs are going to be going away.
Leo: So, the solution is training people for jobs that will persist over the next few decades.
Georgia: I actually will say something even more radical, but I'm Canadian so I can say this. I think that in the end, we're going to have to really look at something like Universal Income and taxing the machines that are going to be taking jobs away so that the companies are going to be able to support that. In Ontario we are actually taking a look at—
Leo: That's right, you're doing the pilot.
Georgia: Basic income for everyone just to have a quality of life where you're going to be all right.
Nathan: Well, it's an important conversation to have and you can't really have that conversation at full if you don't consider those ideas, whether you choose them or not, right? And to back up your point, if you just look at the change in manufacturing, and this is part of what Trump ran on is bringing back manufacturing jobs that went overseas, right? A lot of those jobs that went overseas that I think are never coming back, those jobs are done in a combination of people and robots today, right? So even if those jobs came back, they wouldn't have that one for one match on what was lost.
Rob: But they'd be American robots.
Nathan: But they'd be American robots. But when you're running on that idea of replacing this thing that is arguably irreplaceable, then you're already not fully understanding the picture or maybe not disingenuously, maybe selling it short. And so this does kind of fall in line with the rhetoric that we've seen which is unfortunate because it deserves a real, genuine dialogue especially from our leaders at the top. But to have that conversation, you need the context to understand the impact technology's already had. And that's what I mean when I say automation is in some respects already here.
Leo: In many respects it is.
Georgia: It's a scary conversation to have, though. I think that that causes a lot of worry and anxiety to people, the thought of what are we going to do going forward? What are the jobs that are going to be more easily automated versus jobs that will not be easily automated? And there's a lot of different changes that are happening with AI and robotics and machine learning. So it's a really big deal.
Leo: Emily Deryfuss writing for Wired, interviews Andrew McAfee, who was the cofounder of MIT's Initiative on the Digital Economy. He did a poll of 140 experts in AI on automation and employment at an event that they held. He said, he aside the question, "When will the robots take all the jobs and how worried are you? And the conclusion was this is happening soon. You see the graphs here. 50% of highway miles, when will 50% of highway miles be driven by self-driving vehicles? The consensus was 2030. The mean, 2032. The soonest would be 7 years. The median was 2030 and only 5 of 140 said later than 2050 or never. So there's a fairly strong consensus it's going to happen in the next few decades.
Rob: I'd like to meet the people who said never.
Leo: Well, I think that there is, there is—
Georgia: You haven't seen Quebec drivers.
Leo: No, but there is I think a large, credible group of people who say it's not going to be as bad as you think. Like John Markoff who I think is very astute, former New York Times technology writer. He says there's a lot of experts who say, A, it's not going to come as fast as you think because there are a lot of the hurdles and B, many jobs will be created. They're just going to be a different kind of job. But I think the real thing to worry about, and this is why people are looking at basic income, is that it's the lowest paying jobs, the cashiers, the grocery store clerks, the drivers, machinists, those are the people who are going to lose their jobs soonest. A lot of people work in industrial. And so those are the people I think would be kind of responsible of the government to acknowledge that we ought to be spending money on retraining and education.
Nathan: You would think, but politicians don't care about poor people or something.
Leo: Unfortunately, they seem to be more short-sighted than ever before. They care about the next election, the next vote and they're really not looking that long-term
Nathan: It's a shame. This is a big opportunity. I mean we can create the future. Like we have to—
Leo: We have to. We have to.
Nathan: It's going to happen. Why not have a voice?
Leo: Is it on Silicon Valley's shoulders to be responsible? I mean one of the complaints people have is that Silicon Valley is inventing this stuff without taking responsibility for the consequences of it. Should technologists be more responsible and be planning for this?
Georgia: I think that it's a really hard question because you, everyone wants to make a certain amount of profit. And I think that our entire society is based upon this amount that having more is better. And so you ask Google, well, should Google make less profit?
Leo: Communism (laughing).
Georgia: And would that be wrong? I think that it really is up to a government to take care of it's people. And the problem is with lobbyists and the way that you have to be funded in order to have a campaign, it being so expensive, then you become in the pockets of the people who put that money there. So, I think that the entire system forces everyone's hand. That's the only way to get up there to make the change. You already have to be beholden to the people that are not the ones that we need to be protected from.
Rob: It's also the impossibility of foretelling. You know, it's like who could have foreseen the consequences of the iPhone?
Georgia: A lot of science fiction writers.
Georgia: See, science fiction.
Rob: They have a pretty lousy record.
Leo: No, I think—
Rob: Where's my flying car?
Georgia: I've been waiting for that, too.
Leo: It's risky for someone to say, "Well, that's speculation. We don't think that's going to happen." I mean I don't think it's too risky. Although it's interesting that the pushback as you mentioned, because so many people at Silicon Valley and technologists have said, "You're crazy. This is not happening fast."
Nathan: Just because you can't necessarily predict the future doesn't mean that you can't try to shape it.
Georgia: Right, and protect people before it comes to the place where you have to. That sounds just like a good idea.
Leo: This is not really a philosophy that is very au current in Washington D.C. these days. But companies are designed to maximize profits. That's how it's supposed to work. And that it's appropriate for us as a society to say, "But maybe our goals don't coincide." It's really what you said, Georgia. Google's goals. Google's going to maximize profits. But maybe we as a society thing that there are better ways to do that. And I think that we should have the right to do that. But right now in Washington, the philosophy is let the free market rule. It will handle everything. And competition is the key and we shouldn't mess with the gears. And I, frankly, I also understand that point of view. I'm not sure if that's the wrong point of view but that's kind of where we stand right now. And so I think that's what you're going to see, at least for the next 4 years. YouTube is facing some problems with advertising. We'll talk about that problem. And the laptop ban and why these airlines, all from the Middle East, are now allowed, are saying passengers cannot carry laptops, Kindles, or iPads. There is a theory regarding this. It says it goes down to a plot to put explosives in iPads. We'll talk about that in just a little bit.
Leo: But right now—you're book's on Audible? Year Zero?
Rob: It is and it's read by the inevitable John Hodgeman. He's a brilliant comedian. He reads it magnificently. Hysterically funny. It's a wonderful way to consume that book.
Leo: Well, Audible as you know is our sponsor. And we're going to get you 2 Audible books right now. It's their new Gold Plus One plan. So you can try out 2 free Audible books and then get one book credit per month as an Audible subscription. Of course you can cancel any time in the first 30 days and pay nothing but I think we've got your first book It's going to be Year Zero, right?
Rob: I would love for that to be the case.
Leo: John Hodgeman.
Rob: John Hodgeman is brilliant.
Leo: You don't get better than that.
Rob: You don't.
Leo: He's got that nice dry wit that's perfect for your prose, I think. So there's one. What else do we like on Audiobooks these days?
Rob: I'm listening to Patrick Rothfuss'
Leo: I love Name of the Wind.
Rob: And I just started, I'm finally catching up.
Leo: Trey Radcliffe said, "If you don't like this book, I don't want to be your friend anymore."
Rob: I think that's the second in the series.
Leo: The Kingkiller Chronicles. You're reading the first one, The Name of The Wind which is awesome.
Rob: So good.
Leo: Apparently, Patrick has given up though. I don't know if we're ever going to see another one. He's supposed to be working on it. But the work is going very slowly.
Nathan: A very nerdy book that I really like, I think it's on Audible, is the Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz.
Leo: Wonderful book.
Nathan: Yea, and Lin Manual Miranda.
Rob: You're kidding. The reader?
Rob: But he must have read it years ago because that came out in like 2007, 2008. Or did he just rerecord it?
Nathan: He just recorded it, yea. Because originally, yea.
Rob: It's one of my favorite novels.
Nathan: Yes. Thank you. It's so good.
Leo: What is it called?
Nathan: It's called the Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. If you just search for the author's name, Junot Diaz, J-U-N-O-T Diaz.
Rob: And it won the Pulitzer Prize and deservedly so.
Leo: Oh, I thought you said Oscar Wilde. It's Oscar Wao.
Nathan: Wao, yea.
Leo: Read by—wait a minute. I've got to listen to a little of Lin-Manual Miranda narrating this. That is fantastic.
Nathan: If you like this book—
Rob: I adore this book.
Leo: You've read it.
Rob: Oh yea, I read it the year it came out in print. I've never listened to it but this is a great reason to go back to it. It's probably almost 10 years ago, maybe 7, 8 years old and it won the Pulitzer the year it came out.
Nathan: I think it might be—
Rob: 7, 8 I'm going to guess. In that ballpark.
Leo: So, well, we've got 3 books. You only get two. But I'm going to give you (laughing).
Rob: Well you get 13 as a Gold Plus or 14.
Leo: Well, if you continue, yea. So this is the Gold Plus Plan, 2 free audio books to try out the service. After 30-days, $15.00 a month, $14.95. And you get a credit every month. And that's the most affordable way to get it. This is a weird book but it is one of the most exciting audiobooks I've ever read.
Nathan: I've been wanting to read this.
Leo: 166 narrators, including Nick Offerman, Tom Swanson from Parks and Rec, David Sedaris. They're kind of the lead readers. But so many people are in this. Lena Dunham is in it. In fact, you listen and you go, "I know—wait. Who's that? I know that." It's amazing how many people are in this. Bradly Whitford, Bill Hader, Rainn Wilson, Jeff Tweedy of WILCO.
Leo: He does Captain William Prince. It's awesome. Don Cheadle is in this.
Rob: Susan Sarandon.
Leo: Susan Sarandon. As soon as she starts reading, you recognize her voice immediately. So it's really fun. The plot is bizarre. I would guess it's kind of more like Sci-Fi fantasy than anything else. And I don't want to give it away too much. It all happens on one night in a cemetery in Washington D.C., the night that Lincoln's son, Willy, is buried. And that's all I'm going to tell you because it's really fun just to start listening to this and figure out what's going on. And once you do, it's like jaw dropping. It is a beautiful book. And very deep but at the same time, funny and interesting. It's unusual.
Nathan: Yea, I've really been wanting to read that. I love George Saunders.
Leo: So, this is his first novel. He's written a bunch of short stories.
Nathan: Yea, yea, he's—I mean, if you like fiction and you like things that are a little surreal and kind of funny but a little bit of social commentary but not hitting you over the head with stuff, he's fantastic.
Leo: And this is—this is where audiobooks sing. Because you can read the book. And you can imagine the voices. But when these, all of these great actors and readers and rock stars perform it, it comes alive.
Nathan: Pulling together that cast—
Rob: That's incredible.
Georgia: That's amazing.
Leo: I don't know how they did it.
Rob: Maybe we should say now that you are going to be reading a small segment of my next novel.
Leo: I have agreed to read a tiny portion. Absolutely.
Rob: We're not going to have as many voices as Lincoln in the Bardo by far.
Georgia: Are you going to be one of the aliens?
Rob: No, this is a new book that takes place 9 seconds in the future.
Georgia: Oh, 9 seconds in the future.
Leo: So I'll be tomorrow's San Francisco Chronicle.
Rob: You will 9 seconds from now.
Leo: (Laughing) Anyway, here's your deal. Go to Audible.com/twit2 and you can sign up. This is a free 30-day trial. You'll get 2 audiobooks and then if you decide to stick around, a book a month after that. And as with all of their subscriptions, you get a daily digest of The Wall Street Journal or The New York Times as part of your subscription. This offer is good in the U.S. and Canada but Audible's worldwide. While we can't give you this great deal outside of the U.S. and Canada, you've got to try it. Audible.com/twit2. Do you do audiobooks, Georgia?
Georgia: I do. I love doing audiobooks because I'm just so busy, right? I don't have the time to be able to deal with that but when we go take long car rides, we usually listen to an audiobook and—
Leo: I love it. It's fun with the kids, isn't it?
Georgia: It's wonderful.
Leo: Do you have a kid book that your kids like?
Georgia: We just did Dune.
Leo: Your kids are sophisticated.
Nathan: That's awesome.
Georgia: Well, they don't watch TV or watch video games so this was like really a big deal for them and they were able to go through it and it was just some little tiny pieces to that and it was a lot of fun.
Nathan: That's cool.
Leo: They have a very good version of Dune. In fact, they have all the Dune novels on here. I've listened to Dune on audio as well. It's really, really good. Audible.com/twit2. We're all Audible listeners.
Rob: I listen to 5 or 6 books a month easily. Easily.
Georgia: Wow, that's great.
Leo: Every once in a while I will say, "I've got to have this book." And I'll buy a book just outright because I just want it. And I think Lincoln in the Bardo was one of those. What a—boy, read it. Listen to it. It is amazing. Let me know what you think, Nate.
Nathan: Oh yea, I definitely will.
Leo: So this—I thought this was an anti-competitive measure. We talked about it a little bit because United, Delta and America, the American Airlines, have been long upset with Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airlines because they get massive government subsidies. But you know, so does British Airways. So, does Air France. There's a long-standing tradition of airlines being subsidized by the government of the country they belong to. We don't do it here in the U.S. There's no American subsidized airline. So, they feel like it's an unfair competitive advantage and last week, the U.S. and the U.K. banned big electronic devices, basically anything but a cell phone from flights from 10 countries, originating in the Middle East, on these airlines only. And some thought, I thought, well, it's an anti-competitive measure because you can fly United, American, Delta and still keep your laptop and your Kindle and your iPad. But maybe not because here is the story from The Observer. Laptop bans on planes came after plot to put explosives in iPad. So maybe the Department of Homeland Security and the U.K. Security Forces were responding to that. It bans tablets, laptops, game consoles, Kindles to inbound flights from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and Turkey. In the case of England, they did, this does apply to British Airways, Easy Jet, Jet II, Monarch, Thomas Cook and Thomson as well as the 8 foreign carriers. The U.S. is banning flights from Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Qatar, Kuwait and the UAE. So, security sources say the bans were not the result of single incidences, specific incidences, but a combination of factors including the discovery of this plot. Remember, you used to have to turn on electronics. Then they stopped doing that, right?
Georgia: Yea, they used to.
Leo: That would be one way to handle this. I don't think you can have a bomb in an iPad and have it be a working iPad.
Rob: Maybe in a laptop. I mean I always—I remember when they would do that and it was like, couldn't they just come up with something where the screen lights up and—
Nathan: You know, you want to give the government the benefit of the doubt saying that this is about safety, but when you see, at least on the U.S.'s part that it only applies to airlines that aren't owned by U.S. companies, that seems discriminatory to be quite honest. And the fact that it is only Muslim majority nations and the U.S. and the U.K. seems to have coordinated, but they didn't choose the same countries which is also very interesting. So, there's a lot of just like what here and if that's your genuine concern, you can still take all those devices on a flight, you just have to pack them in your luggage and you have to check the luggage. So, what's in question here is you can't actually use these devices in the cabin during a flight. But, you can use them if they come from the airlines. So this doesn't apply to the flight crew. This doesn't apply to the cabin crew.
Leo: Well, that's reasonable because presumably the stuff provided by the airline is secure.
Georgia: Well, there's also lots of different electronics you can put explosives in.
Nathan: There's lots of things you can do.
Georgia: So, it's like, what's exactly, what is exactly happening here? How much safer are we really that this is happening than people who just fly. Like, ok, I'm not going to fly Delta now. Now I don't know what, where am I really going to be that safe? It seems like there's probably a lot more to this than—
Nathan: Well, yea. Bombs are bombs whether they're in checked luggage or if they're in the overhead.
Leo: It's much worse if it's in the cabin. It could blow a hole in the cabin. Passengers could get sucked out.
Nathan: But it's still in the air.
Leo: You can't say where the bomb is going to be in checked luggage. It could be near the skin of the plane but it could also be in the middle. So, it may not be as effective. There are a lot of questions about this but I had to, since I had suggested this was actually kind of a crypto, you know, anti-competitive move, I have to point out there is a security issue and that may be what—
Nathan: It seems there's one. It would just be nice to feel like it was more well thought out as to what the security issue was and what the solution is.
Leo: Well, there's a lot of security theatre, right? Bruce Sheier has always called it TSA and this is not the TSA, this is the DHS but it's often called TSA Security Theatre because you take off your shoes because the guy tried to light his shoes on fire. But I don't know. And the thing that gets me is if I ever fly business class, almost always when I fly business class, I'm sent to the TSA-Pre. You know, you don't have to be a member of TSA-Pre to get selected for it. And that's the one where you don't have to take off your shoes and you don't have to take out your laptop and you just walk through a metal detector. There's much lighter security. And it always strikes me—but the hijackers in 911 all were flying first class because they wanted to be at the front of the cabin. Flying first class doesn't make you a better person.
Nathan: No, it just means that you paid for that.
Leo: So it makes me wonder, what's the whole thing about TSA-Pre if they're going to let you through because you bought an expensive ticket? It's theatre. It's security theater.
Rob: If I had to fly from Dubai from San Francisco—
Leo: Without a laptop.
Rob: Looking at my fingernails.
Leo: Without a—oh, my God.
Rob: Talk about air rage. That's a dangerous proposition.
Leo: Oh, my God. I don't like that argument at all.
Rob: An entire plane full of people. I mean I think a lot of folks would be perfectly happy watching the movies and so forth. I need to read and do work on the plane. Like I would be so bummed.
Leo: That's why I thought it was really about some sort of trade because the most valuable customers are the ones—
Rob: The business traveler.
Leo: The business traveler, first and business class who are working on the plane. If you take away their laptops, they're going to go from Etihad to Delta or American or United where they can carry their laptop. It felt to me like a trade, a little bit of a mini-trade war, crypto trade war. Amazon is now, it's official, going to collect sales taxes on all states starting April 1st. The last hold out's Hawaii, Idaho, Maine and New Mexico. Remember what a big deal this was that Amazon had this advantage over brick and mortar stores because they didn't have to charge sales tax. And the brick and mortar stores are upset. The states were upset because they were losing revenue. Amazon said, "We're not doing business in California. Our fulfillment center's in Nevada. That's over the border." Remember, for a while they said, "All right. Fine. Then we're not going to give associate fees to anybody in California." And that pissed off everybody. Finally, they negotiated with the state of California and they've negotiated with all the states and so all of these states now will be charging sales tax.
Rob: On the flip side of this conspiracy theory has been, and I've heard it articulated a lot. There might be some truth, is when they realize that they really couldn't win fighting the states, they kind of led the charge into saying, "Fine, we're going to pay sales tax everywhere." Because they are a large and sophisticated enough company that they can actually—
Leo: They can do it.
Rob: They can figure out how to pay differential taxes in 4800—I think it's something crazy like that, jurisdictions with the counties and the towns and everything else. So at the end of the day when the realized that they could not win against the state of California, some argue that they led the charge in saying, "Ok, fine. Let's just do this." Because that would just really cripple folks that don't have—
Leo: Yea, Amazon's already made it. Amazon no longer needs that competitive advantage.
Rob: And then they can do this in 4800 jurisdictions of just like, oh, we'll throw 100 engineers at it.
Leo: Well, that's what they always said, it would be impossible to figure that out. Come on, Amazon. I could write a program to do that in Basic.
Georgia: They can make drones to deliver to your house. They can probably figure out how to do sales tax.
Leo: Actually, the National Conference of State Legislature estimated that in 2012, $23-billion dollars in tax revenue was lost because of online purchases. So, it's a big deal for states.
Nathan: It's a big deal but Amazon used to argue that it would negatively hurt their business too and it hasn't done that at all. They've been fine, so.
Leo: And incidentally, in theory, you still owe sales tax. Amazon didn't have to collect it, but you still had to pay it. So every year for the last 10 years, the State of California has asked on my tax return, "What did you buy online and give us your tax. You owe us." And I always said, "I never bought anything online, sir." Right? Online? What's that?
Rob: That's crazy.
Leo: I go down to the store. Model 3 almost here. You're a Tesla driver, no?
Leo: No, alright. Nobody cares.
Georgia: (Laughing) I do.
Nathan: I care because this Tesla will be about $35 grand.
Leo: Did you put a reservation in, Nate?
Leo: Oh, you should.
Nathan: But I kind of feel like I—
Leo: Nate doesn't even own a car.
Nathan: But Nate's going to be buying a car soon, hopefully.
Rob: Nate's got some driving to do 3 times a week.
Nathan: Yea, Nate's got some driving to do.
Leo: Just today I was saying, or maybe it was yesterday, I was saying how much—once you drive an electric car, you never want to go back to an internal combustion engine. There's something about it.
Nathan: If only there was someone I knew who had a Tesla who would let me drive it.
Leo: I'll let you drive my Tesla. Here you go. Here's the keys.
Nathan: Take it around the block.
Leo: Take it around the block, kid.
Nathan: But no, I mean—
Georgia: What's your favorite thing about driving an electric car?
Leo: Well, besides the kind of feeling, facetious or not, that you're being good to the environment, we have panels so we're generating our power. So I think it's pretty good. I'm not getting my power from a cold fire plant. But besides that, it's funner to drive. Is that a—
Nathan: Well, it's just like all torque, right?
Leo: Instant acceleration. You just do this and also most of them have regenerative braking so you don't put the brake on when you want to stop at a stop sign. You just let off of the accelerator. It slows down. You brake at the very end. Once you get used to that, you never want to drive a normal—when I drive my wife's ice car, internal combustion engine, it's noticeable, the hesitation.
Nathan: It's kind of interesting that you mention all this because I am looking for a car right now. I'm trying to figure out what to buy.
Leo: But you have a long commute. That might be a problem.
Nathan: It's about an hour.
Rob: It's well in range, yea.
Nathan: Well, the thing is I don't have a house to charge it in So I'll be doing street parking. I can get a garage to rent, but.
Georgia: And you'd have to wait for a really long time, like the waiting is like a year or two?
Leo: You know, we could facilitate that. Let's get—Lisa, let's get a charger out front, right? Because then you'd drive here and you could charge it.
Rob: Then you're definitely coming to work, man.
Leo: No, because we'd make money. It's a buck an hour. We'd make money. We'd make money on it.
Nathan: Well whenever the Tesla Model 3 does come, hopefully it will be affordable and attainable and there will be plentiful charging stations. Whether or not I can afford the car at that time—
Georgia: Right. You see one of those wall units on the ground to plug it in.
Rob: Or you could put some of these new fancy Tesla roof tiles on the car.
Leo: By the way, those are coming.
Nathan: They are.
Leo: They're going to start taking orders next month.
Nathan: A few of the things I've been looking at, one is this little Toyota called the GT86. It's a fairly inexpensive, naturally aspirated, you know stick, kind of noisy, stiff suspension.
Leo: Wait a minute. What's naturally aspirated? It breathes air?
Nathan: No turbo, no super charger, yea. It's nerdy.
Leo: Oh, it's a NA vehicle. I understand.
Nathan: Well, it's a nice vehicle. So, it's kind of old school. It's a little rough. You're driving stick and I really enjoy driving stick. I kind of like some of those older ideas that are going to get thrown away.
Rob: Go with a Mini with a stick shift. I had that in San Francisco. It was a riot.
Nathan: It's great for street parking, right?
Rob: It was. It was so much fun. That thing had so much power going up the hills.
Nathan: But I am excited to see the Model 3 actually driving, even if it's just a silly little GIF that Elon Musk shared on Twitter.
Leo: He says he won't drive one.
Nathan: How does that make sense?
Leo: Well, he's got a Model S.
Nathan: But this is a near consumer ready version of your, arguably the most important car you've already released. The one that will be affordable to many, many people. And you don't want to drive it? What does that tell me?
Georgia: That there's a better Tesla car out there is really what he's saying.
Nathan: It's like, come on, Elon.
Leo: The Model 3 – he doesn't like the name. He says he didn't realize it would cause confusion. They wanted to name it the Model E but Ford. So, they have an S, the have an X, they have an E or a 3 and the 3 looks like an E. And what's the next one going to be? Y. The Model Y is coming so this is sexy. S, E, X and Y.
Nathan: I wonder if Elon was 13 years old and he said, "Someday I'm going to have a car company."
Georgia: He's chuckling to himself. Sexy. I actually did it.
Leo: I guarantee you. I guarantee you.
Rob: He's going to collect on a bet from somebody like in 4th grade.
Georgia: Right. Right, right.
Rob: I did it.
Georgia: Give me the $5-dollars now.
Leo: Georgia Dow, thank you for coming. I hate to end this show because I don't want you to go back but I really appreciate you being here.
Georgia: Thank you so much for having me.
Leo: And thanks to your husband Anthony who's had to put up with now two TWiT shows. Poor guy.
Georgia: (Laughing) Even got a little bit of air time on the last one.
Leo: You don't let your kids play video games?
Georgia: They have to earn their time. They fight.
Leo: You don't know this, but Georgia and Anthony have a virtual reality room.
Leo: And they play—in fact they have two. She'll be downstairs and he'll be upstairs playing against each other in virtual reality. But the kids don't get to use it.
Nathan: That is torture. That is mean.
Georgia: (Laughing) They earn points. They earn points. We have a system where if they get good grades—
Leo: It's like you own a holodeck but not for you, kid.
Georgia: That's true. That's true. Get your own VR. No.
Leo: (Laughing) Someday you'll have a job and you can afford it yourself.
Georgia: They earn their points and then they get to play. Just like life, right?
Leo: That's real life.
Georgia: I work hard and then I—
Leo: How old are they?
Georgia: 8 and 11.
Leo: Ok, so they're not yet—
Leo: Teens. Wait until they get to 13 and see how that works (laughing).
Georgia: Right. We'll see. We'll see.
Leo: When I was a kid we broke into mom's liquor cabinet. But when they're teenagers they'll be breaking into mom and dad's VR room.
Georgia: They'd have to drag it off of us first, so.
Leo: (Laughing) What game are you playing these days?
Georgia: The last game we were playing is Quest. We're playing right now and Robo Recall.
Nathan: Robo Recall is so good.
Georgia: It's such a good game. And Anthony's playing a really scary one called Chair in the Room. If you do the game show, you have to play that and video it. I have video of Anthony.
Leo: Chair in the Room?
Georgia: Really scary.
Rob: That sounds scary.
Georgia: It is terrifying. I started it.
Rob: There's something eerie about that title.
Georgia: Terrifying. Like absolutely the scariest thing.
Leo: Nice. When you play, like you're downstairs and he's upstairs, do you see each other in the place?
Georgia: We used to play in the same room and we had pillows on the floor.
Leo: You'd run into each other.
Georgia: But every once in a while, one of us would clonk the other one. He says that was by mistake. But I'm not really sure. So we've now separated each other so we each get a little more play time. It's hilarious.
Nathan: It's both ridiculously adorable that you like—that you play together.
Leo: Isn't that sweet?
Nathan: And it's also like—you leave the kids out.
Georgia: I know. I know. I'm just a big kid. I'm a big kid.
Nathan: It's great. It's great.
Leo: Georgia's videos are at anxiety-videos.com. She's got a parenting video. You can find out what her method to her madness. And of course, we catch her on iMore.com and is a regular on TWiT and MacBreak Weekly. It's great to have you. Come back soon.
Georgia: Thank you so much. Thank you.
Leo: All right? Both of you.
Georgia: Thank you.
Leo: Thank you, Rob Reid for being here. Don't forget, Year Zero is available from Amazon and other places for $1.99?
Rob: Just for the digital copies. But, yea all digital platforms, Barnes and Noble, Amazon.
Nathan: It's going to end in a week or something?
Georgia: How long?
Rob: For about a week. About a week, maybe 7, 8 days. Definitely today.
Georgia: Grab it early just in case.
Leo: You absolutely, you've got to read it. It's hysterical and at a buck ninety-nine, there's really no excuse not to read. The Kindle edition or the Barnes and Noble edition of Year Zero: A Novel by Rob Reid. And we'll look forward to having you back this summer when the new novel comes out. I appreciate it. And give our love to Morgan, of course. You married well, my friend.
Rob: I did.
Leo: And of course, Nathan Olivarez-Giles. So, wonderful to have you. He's all over the network.
Leo: And will be back next week on The New Screen Savers.
Nathan: You got it.
Leo: Can't wait. NateOG on the Twitter. We do This Week in Tech every Sunday afternoon, 3:00 PM Pacific, 6:00 PM Eastern time, 2200 UTC. We love our live audiences. If you want to be here, if you're going to be in the Petaluma area, just email email@example.com. We'll make sure there's a seat ready for you. You can also watch on the live stream either twit.tv/live or YouTube Live or Twitch or YouStream Live. There's even live audio. You can listen while you work. And if you can't, on demand audio and video available at TWiT.tv/thisweekintech and wherever you get your favorite podcasts. Thanks for being here! We'll see you next time. Another TWiT is in the can. Bye-bye.