This Week in Tech 610
Leo Laporte: It's time for TWiT, This Week in Tech! Great show for you. Jason Snell is here from Six Colors, so is Liz Gannes from 60DB. We're going to talk about United's bad customer service, a murder on Facebook, and what happens when retail disappears in your town. It's all coming up next: on TWiT.
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Leo: This is TWiT, This Week in Tech, episode 610, recorded Sunday, April 16, 2017.
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It's time for TWiT, This Week in Tech, the show where we cover the latest tech news. Joining me, Jason Snell from Sixcolors.com.
Jason Snell: Leo, pleasure to be here. Thanks for having me.
Leo: Have you aired my episode yet?
Jason: We did a special member bonus.
Leo: I'm a member bonus? That would be a great name for the end of the year.
Jason: Member Q bonus the third.
Leo: I'm a member bonus! Also with us, Liz Gannes. I love 60DB, that's the new company Liz works for. 60DB.co, podcast. I listen to it on my Echo.
Liz Gannes: Personalized radio app.
Leo: Have you heard it? It does snippets, you have a long form version and a short form version. The version I have on my echo is the short form. I'll say ask for 60DB, and it starts. It starts with the latest news and throws in stuff based on my interests, and it's great listening. Wonderful! Liz does a lot of the pieces.
Liz: You get pieces from everywhere. On my drive up today, I had VC. Two of your pieces. I learned all about the pancake bot. I really want to buy a pancake bot now.
Leo: Can we make some pancakes for Liz? Do we have the leftover one that's shaped like me! It's a day old pancake, not what you want. We were talking before the show. We had to stop the conversation because everybody got engaged. It is a tech story, and it's a United story. The passenger, David Dowanger on United, who was bumped. United has a policy: it's happened to me, believe it or not, of kicking guests off once they're already seated. There was a camera phone video, two different videos, we saw it on Twitter before it made the news. horrific footage of a guy screaming and being dragged off a flight by three burly police officers. He then ran back. The reporting on this is so hap-hazard. We think he ran back on the plane, disoriented, and was bloodied. We saw the video of that. He was tended to and taken off. According to his daughter, he lost two front teeth, got a concussion, a broken nose. He was bloodied by it. United has apologized. At first, they said things like, he was re-assigned.
Jason: They've increasingly apologized. Keeps getting better.
Leo: In their defense, if you have a plane and a passenger on the plane, if somebody were sitting here and disrupting the show, I would have a legal right to ask the person to leave, and if he didn't leave, I could have a police officer take him out. Some of the blame lies on the police officers who--
Liz: Way too much force.
Leo: But it is clear from a customer service point of view, this is the worst possible thing.
Jason: And also, to call the police to forcibly remove someone is a pretty big step. To have the police enforce your corporate policies-- the United comment was they had no choice. They certainly did have a choice.
Leo: There must have been a better way.
Jason: What the Chicago police... I would like to have a moment of why are we involved in this? This is...
Liz: It was the airport police.
Leo: The guy was wearing blue jeans. I don't know who he was. It doesn't seem like he was a normal police officer. He was airport police. Or some guy in jeans. Anyways, a weird story. But there is a better way.
Jason: There is a tech angle. There's a story that I spotted that was an NPR story that was about Delta airlines. It turns out Delta airlines has a lot less of these... they do overbook flights, that's part of it, because a certain percentage of people don't check in, and so you want to maximize that, so if 5% of your people don't show up...
Leo: It's even a smaller number than that.
Jason: They overbook a little, and usually that works for them, but occasionally it doesn't.
Leo: They know which flights people tend not to show up for. This is a highly computerized...
Jason: This is deep data.
Liz: It is data, but we are people trying to get somewhere.
Jason: Delta, like any other airline will bump a lot of their passengers, but what Delta doesn't do is forcibly against the will of a passenger bump a passenger. That happens less, and the reason is they instituted the system, when you check in to Delta, the Delta app will ask you if we need to bump you, how much money would you accept to be bumped off?
Leo: They ask you? A million dollars!
Jason: This is the thing. You say a million dollars, I say $500. Liz says $700, and they only need one, it's a reverse auction. When you check in for the flight, it's 24 hours away presumably, or less, and they know at that point it's overbooked and they ask this question, and then they look at the list and they take from the bottom up. They save money, they get people to volunteer, and they're willing to go up to a high number.
Leo: Delta has just raised its number in response to the United thing. They say we'll pay up to $950 at this point. You know what?
Liz: I was traveling last weekend and my friend was traveling home on Delta, and all of their computers were down. There are other issues.
Jason: All airlines could be better, but it is an interesting thought that Data analysis and mobile apps allow an airline that wants to embrace this technology to do a better job of it. What Delta has done is they've saved some money and also minimized forcing people off a plane who don't want to go. On every plane there are people who feel they have to go back, and there are people who could stay another day, and it doesn't matter, and it's worth it. Delta built a system that lets them do that, and everybody feels like they won when that happens. United, I just flew United. I was traveling overseas when this happened, and my flight was United, and they might be police to all the passengers on this flight. The irony is I feel like, after 15 years of the experience getting worse on United, I used to fly United all the time and now I avoid them, this trip I felt like they are turning it around a little. It's happening in the midst of this PR crisis. The Delta story is an example of embracing data, so that you don't have these terrible passenger experiences that the staff didn't think, they went by the book. They were terrified to make common sense decisions because they had been trained to do that.
Leo: We should point out, it was a United express flight, the gate agents were United gate agents, but the flight crew on board the plane was not United.
Jason: They subcontract for the short haul flights...
Leo: It makes me want to never fly United. At the same time, I understand an airline has the right to say to anybody... I can't remember the airline, I think it was United. Lisa and I were flying standby on a flight. Once you sit down, they should not...
Jason: Once they give you a seat number, that should be it.
Leo: The door is almost closed, everybody is sitting down, they came up to me and said the plane is overweight, you need to get off! By the way, I didn't scream or fight, I just got off the plane, as I think most people would do. And then two people got on who weren't appreciably slimmer than I am, but what I realized in hindsight, it was a lie. They probably had somebody... my wife and I were flying standby with a higher... This really is also a measure of what has happened to this country with inequality. If you're wealthy enough, you never get bumped, you never have problems, and unfortunately, if you don't make that mark, everybody else has to survive this dog-eat-dog world. I realize somebody who had higher flight status than I did, 1K flyer or something said, I'd like to get on this plane, they said sure, but let's get rid of Leo. They lied! They said that the flight was overweight. I didn't have any checked luggage. That's the main reason they got rid of me, they didn't have to take my bags off. Lisa is not heavy, I'm heavy but not that heavy.
Jason: Pro tip, check a bag.
Leo: How would you know? Is the plane sitting on a scale? That didn't happen. This is not... I don't think this is unheard of. I think most people would say fine, OK. But Doctor Dow did not want to get off.
Jason: This is a chain of things. As so many of these disasters are, it's a series of wrong, from the overbooking system, to him being given a seat assignment.
Leo: There's a sense of entitlement in some cases in law enforcement that anything goes. We're back on time. You're both journalists. I'm curious. One of the things I've noticed with this story is it's very hard to get the facts. There's lots of rumors around it, you'd think it would be pretty straight forward. A reporter could go in and find out exactly what happened and know what the facts were, but even now days later, was that the same David Dow that was professional gambler? There's all this confusion around it. Why was he bumped?
Liz: Partly because there was fixed information at the start. You could see the video, it was clear what was happening, and you had to figure out every other detail around it. Those get more fuzzy. We got this huge headstart. Reporters...
Leo: Video lies too. Angles...
Liz: So it takes some time to disentangle, but all the reporting around it was catching up to the fact that we had already seen this video. That's obvious.
Jason: once it's out there and it becomes a phenomenon, everybody involved is battening down the hatches. We heard from people on the plane, because they have a vested interest in this. United is managing a PR disaster and doing very badly for a couple days, and then the police, where the people involved are now worried about their jobs. You've got the management of the Chicago police department that doesn't like their people were being put in this situation. You've got the guy and his lawyer, and they are thinking now about suing United, so then as a journalist, the core sources are not going to be very forthcoming, so you've got eyewitnesses, but the eyewitnesses are like the video. There's no context around it. If you only know what we saw in the video and what they report they saw...
Liz: But all that is very normal for any story. It's interesting that everyone is talking about this one this week.
Jason: And if people felt genuinely happy about how people got treated by airlines the last decade, it wouldn't have. This is a symptom.
Leo: I should point out, initially United's stock ended up tanking by almost a billion dollars. It came back, and then went down. Some investors, and this was also on Twitter. That's good. They're overbooked, they started buying up stock again, and then it started to sink in as it has over the remaining five or six days that this isn't very good for... It's 69.11, $3 a share, they've got 314 million shares, it's almost a billion dollars. That's a lot of market...
Jason: The question is going to be in reservations over the next year, right? Do people say...Nobody loves an airline really. It's not as bad as your cable company, but it's not like there's huge affection there in general. There are occasional brands that break through.
Liz: And they go away, like Virgin.
Jason: There's another great story that is tech related about this, which is maybe the Washington post wrote a piece about how one of the problems is, unlike restaurants where you have dimensions to the ratings. Service, and quality of food and things like that. With airlines, all of the shopping options are boiled down to price. In fact, even to the point where a lot of those websites, their fees, you don't see those. You pick a cheap flight and find out it's going to cost $50 more because you have to check a bag or something like that. So there's a question there. Is there a product you could make for people who are shopping for a flight that integrates stuff other than a price, because is it worth it to you to pay $20 or $30 more for a better airline?
Leo: Isn't that what Hipmunk does? They have their agony index? I think they could add to the agony.
Jason: if you give data about customer satisfaction for a whole carrier for specific flights, wouldn't that freak the airlines out if they knew that their placement was dropping in the shopping rankings, because they're doing a bad job of keeping people happy? It could help maybe. It's absolutely true that if all you do is sort on price, this is the situation you get.
Leo: It also shows the power of social media and the instantaneous power of social media to hurt your stock price and reputation. In 2008, all you have to say is United Airlines and people will remember 9 years ago, that's the airline that broke the guy's $3500 guitar. Remember that? Google United Guitar. It was a $3500 guitar, he shared his upset on social media, wrote a song about it. United breaks guitar. I tell you what...
Liz: 17 million views!
Leo: This is the power of social media! On the one hand, I celebrate it, this is consumers getting back at big companies and we have a voice now, but it can also be misused in some horrific ways as well. I don't know that this is bad. Social media, we all have a voice. He got a new guitar after they broke his guitar.
Liz: I think Doctor Dow is going to be OK.
Jason: I hope they change the policy. The goal is minimize this sort of thing.
Leo: Once you're on the airplane, you shouldn't be thrown off the airplane.
Jason: If you're in a seat, that's the end of it.
Leo: That's the worst thing you can do.
Jason: Why are you boarding people if you know you've overbooked the flight. The answer is they didn't know that crew was going to show up, so they're trying to pull people off, and the answer is to say sorry, we aren't going to pull anybody off this flight.
Leo: Then the crew is delayed and the flight coming out of Louisville waiting for that crew gets cancelled. It has a ripple effect. It's not just United that is disadvantaged, but a lot of real people are disadvantaged.
Jason: Then you hold open those seats and don't sell them and take a loss on those seats so you can have the flexibility.
Leo: There has to be a better way. I think Delta has an interesting angle on that. Hey thanks for being here. It's nice to have you. I know it's Easter. It's sometimes hard to book a show on a Holiday like this. Apparently both of you... thank you for being here. You had your Easter egg hunt this morning with your kid...? And you? Did you paint eggs or do anything?
Jason: We got some chocolate bunnies and made a big breakfast and there was some stuff in an Easter basket for my kids.
Leo: My favorite tradition during Easter is looking at pictures of horrifying Easter bunnies and the terrifying kids sitting on their laps. There's something scary about Easter bunnies.
Jason: I have a friend who bought an Easter bunny costume and that was his favorite thing too. It's like Donny Darko. It's not... this is my favorite one. Creepy Easter bunnies! There's a whole website. Scaring the chocolate out of innocent children. Wow. That one is really bad. That's one mangy bunny. Those kids are rightly scared. Our show to you today brought to you by a great company. I think a company that is often underestimated. Everybody knows the name Cloud flare. If I asked ten different people, you'd get ten different answers on what Cloud Flare does. Many people know Cloud flare offers the OS protection, so your website can't be brought to its knees by a sudden influx, whether as an attack or a lot of interest in what you're doing of traffic. It does a whole lot more than that. It really is the operating system for the edge of the Internet. More than six million websites, APIs, and SaS companies use Cloudflare. Cloudflare lets you load fast, stay secure, and weather whatever the Internet throws at you. It's easy to set up, less than five minutes, and there's a free tier. I want to tell you why there's a free tier. Yes, you can use Cloudflare for your site right now absolutely free. So Cloudflare is also a CDN, a content distribution network. Some of you are aware of it in that regard, because they have more than 100 data centers all over the world which cash your content, moving it closer to the people who want it, so it loads faster. But you can also get real great advantages by using CloudFlare. The Mobile Web uses IPV6, your website will load faster on Mobile if it's IPV6 compatible. CloudFlare in five minutes can make you IPV6 compatible. HTTPs rewrites keep you secure. Your domain automatically configures to use HTTP 2. That gives you a 30% performance boost, without anything else. End-to-end cloud speeds up every request to your site. Perform DNS, it does DNS, caching, content optimization, load balancing, and a lot more. Plans range from free to $20 a month to $200 a month. Big websites, they've got custom plans for you. Why is it free, you might ask. The free tier helps them because it's basically crowd sourcing their WAF. They have six million domains on their network, if you see trouble, or you request a new custom WAF rule, they analyze it, and then they apply it to every other domain on their network, kind of like Google does with spam. When you notify Gmail that you got a spam, it helps everybody fight the spam. The WAF helps everybody be more secure. So they love having you as a free customer. It helps them improve their protection for everybody. Cloudflare's free plan is part of their mission to build a better Internet. You're part of the neighborhood watch on the edge of the Internet. We have a nice offer for you. One of their best technicians is doing a seminar you can join for free. There's Jameson Sundell. He's awesome. he's funny, he's smart. He understands better than anybody how Cloudflare works. Just for TWiT listeners, we're going to arrange for you to join a free live chat with Jameson if you go to cloudflare.com./twit and sign up today. Do the free tier, it won't cost you anything. WE love these guys and I'm really thrilled that they can be part of our family. cloudflare.com/twit. Enough scary Easter bunnies. This is a weird week. There were 18 stories about Qualcomm, Qualcomm is suing Apple, which sued Qualcomm. Apple accuses... I don't know. Apple accuses Qualcomm of overcharging for their license fees. Everybody uses Qualcomm, you have to. So Apple on the iPhone 7 outsourced not just to Qualcomm, but they started using Intel chips, these are the broadband radio chips, the base band radios. Qualcomm invented CDMA, so if you want to have a CDMA phone, if you want a phone that works on Verizon or Sprint with a CDMA network, you have to go to Qualcomm. Apple sued saying Qualcomm is overcharging, they sued them for a billion dollars for use of their patents and not paying, the FTC sued Qualcomm, now Qualcomm is suing Apple saying you sicked the FTC on us, and we're pissed off, because when you put the Intel radio in the iPhone 7 and benchmarked show that the Intel radio was slower than our radio, what did you do? You slowed our radio down. I'd be pissed if I were Qualcomm. I don't know...
Jason: What Apple didn't want was phone seeking where people were buying the Qualcomm phone and returning it if it was an Intel chip.
Leo: I have the Intel chip in my phone. It's naturally slow. But if you had the Qualcomm chip, I wouldn't begrudge you. By the way, this is the LTE. This is for data.
Jason: Isn't this all part of the grand game of what they're doing to fire shots off of the bows in this case? Qualcomm has patents on a standard because there's this implication legally that they're supposed to offer them for a fair price, which is Apple's contention, that they're offering it for an unfair price.
Leo: Qualcomm says that apple tried to prevent them from making their own performance claims. They tried to prevent Qualcomm from telling people our chips are fast. It's just Apple is slowing them down. If that's the case... that seems to be a nasty thing to do. People are still impressed by my surface studio. Speaking of Windows, Windows Creator's update came out this week. I know you don't care at all.
Jason: I so don't care.
Leo: I don't notice much, except there's a new 3D paint that Microsoft is offering. This is an interesting story, because Microsoft is really pushing 3D on Windows. This goes to Hololens. They have a Holographic technology.
Liz: So you're going to be creating in paint something that would show up in the Hololens?
Leo: I think they want to get people used to... see they just created a flat sphere... I don't understand this. Maybe that's the point, so that we start to understand how 3D works. They want to create a generation... they're aiming this at kids. A generation that creates and thinks in 3D not 2D, because they think that the future of computer interfaces will be augmented reality. They have a version of Windows Holographic where the menus float in space, you can look around them. Everything is in space, 3D. I think the goal with this is to get, and they showed a lot of kids, they want schools to adapt this, kids using 3D software to get used to it, so they can generate content.
Liz: That sounds like a good idea, or totally confusing.
Leo: You can see that I'm completely confused by this program. They do offer a website at Remixed website where you can download 3D models and play with them. It'll be interesting. They're trying to get educators to adopt this. If this is any measure, if you go to Remix 3D, they have models uploaded by kids. 3D models... I don't know who is uploading this. Maybe it's not a kid, but it looks like a kid. This ties in... that's the creator's update. You'll get it if you have Windows 10 over the next few months. I had to force the update, but they give you a way to do that in the update thing. But Microsoft also announced a hardware event may second. They're saying the invite has the hastag Microsoftedu. So, this is a Microsoft hardware event that is targeted at education. Microsoft edu? This might be disappointing to people who were looking forward to surface pro tablets, or some people dream on, have thoughts they might be doing a new Microsoft phone, a Windows phone. But no. I think it's going to be an EDU event. We'll cover it. We'll be there, May second at six AM Pacific. I'll be there. I don't think I can get anybody to join me for this event. But Paul Thurrott and Mary Jane Foley will be there. Do not expect a surface phone. Do not expect a surface pro device. What I think we're going to see: Microsoft, leaked out that there's something called windows Cloud. Now that they're starting to be beaten in education by the Chromebook, they were dominant in education, the Chromebook has started to outsell Windows as well as Mac in education as well as iPad. The thought is Microsoft is working on a low cost Chromebook like version of Windows and windows hardware to sell into schools.
Liz: That's what this event is about?
Leo: I think so, which would be kind of boring. It just shows you how critical the education market is. You start to lose that.
Jason: It's a challenge. Most schools don't have a lot of money to spend on technology.
Leo: It's got to be low end.
Jason: It's viewed as a crucial long game by these companies. It's one of Apple's challenges. Apple's entire business is based on having products in the medium to high end, not low cost products, and you can't do that and also get into schools, but if the long game is you want people comfortable with your tech and have you child's tech influence your home tech because you want to have them in sync, you need to play that game. Apple has struggled with that, Google has done well with Chromebooks. I could see how Microsoft is frustrated that they used to be the cheaper solution in education and now Google has undercut them.
Liz: Until everything goes 4d.
Jason: Once everybody is putting on goggles to go to school, Microsoft has a lead there.
Leo: Apple's share on... first of all. Device makers ship 12.6 million mobile computers. That's laptops, tablets, and smartphones to schools last year. 12.6 million units! That's up from 10.7 million units a couple years back. But percentages have shifted dramatically. It's 58% Chrome OS. 22% Microsoft Windows. And Mac OS is 5%.
Liz: It's pretty amazing that it changes so fast. It's not like you just switch to a different OS on the iPads your school bought last year.
Jason: This is selling a lot of cheap Chromebooks. A school looks at that and says we can outfit our class with an iPad or a Chromebook.
Liz: I can't imagine we hang onto them for less than...
Leo: In 2014, 26% were mostly iPads. It's down 14% in 2016. Does that mean...
Jason: That's one of the reasons that new iPad exists I think. The new iPad fifth generation is like the iPad air brought back and the price drastically cut, and that seems to be Apple's saying here's a product we can sell to schools that is going to be under $300 per unit for schools. Still not as cheap as a Chromebook, but it gets them in the game in a way they haven't been for the last few years because they've been driving towards the high end.
Liz: I love that the kids of America are shaping the product roadmaps for these companies. That's actually kind of cool.
Leo: There's also the future for these companies, because if a kid starts using one of these devices in high school, the presumption is that... do you think that's true? They'll go out into the world and they'll expect to be using Macs or Windows or Chromebooks?
Jason: I'd like to apply some skepticism to it, but in the early 80's Apple gave every public school in California an Apple 2. I may be a product of that program for all I know.
Liz: did you see that Internet archive just put out a simulator of that?
Jason: I think it's the original Mac. You can now run in a browser, which is pretty amazing.
Leo: I paid $2,500.
Jason: It runs in a browser with no plugins. It's just java script. I think there was something to that. If I was Apple, I would say I want them to be comfortable with tablets, not laptops. If you want to be comfortable with a laptop, a Chromebook can do that, and that gets you comfortable with Google services. My son has an iPad one to one in his school, but they're all using Google classroom, so in the end I think Google would be perfectly happy for that. Google classroom tools are very good.
Leo: This is what they should be doing. Mac OS system 7 compilation. It runs hyper card.
Jason: You tap that power button at the top of the screen. That is not a video imbed. That is an emulator. Your webpage is now running a Mac.
Leo: This is a Mac now? It's booting? Oh my god. The memory test!
Liz: This monitor is not the same size...
Leo: Apparently the resolution on the Mac is higher than I can handle. Wow. Welcome back to the watch icon and the hard drive. There's something in my trash. You think they're hiding something in there? ASF...
Liz: I liked Typer card so much that in college I tried to do a presentation on it, even though it was irrelevant. It should come back.
Leo: It's faster than the original Mac. It's running Java Script. It has Draw Mac, Mac paint, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word.
Jason: This was the game we played in the dorm room at college.
Leo: This is breakout, right?
Jason: It's shuffle puck. It's air hockey.
Leo: Is he going to slam me? I can't play this game. Hit really hard and spin it?
Jason: The sequel to this, you played against different characters in a sci-fi cafe.
Leo: There's a buzz. It's also emulating the grounding loop, because I haven't plugged my speakers in properly. This is amazing. So kids, if you never got to play with your dad's Macintosh... guess what? Wow.
Liz: I wonder how much we'll use it. Is it a novelty or something more?
Jason: If you remember a piece of software from back then, you can do a Google search and press play and there's that app, which is amazing. Instead of having to do what you have to do now, which is find an emulator, go to a random place on the Internet where they have ROMS, and find the disc images. Instead you just press play.
Leo: We had Ron Gilbert on Triangulation on Monday. he did Humungous games. He was at Lucas arts, he did Maniac mansion. He's releasing an 8Bit called Thumbleweed park, but I asked him. My kids grew up on Freddy Fish and all these humungous games. And they would like to play them. They were called Scum VM. How do you feel about emulators? He said I think it's great. he did not feel like it was a rip off. I feel like the big companies like Bandi and Namco don't like these emulators.
Jason: Until they can resell them as something else on a console.
Leo: But they don't like the idea that somebody is going to play their game for free. He said that's great. I said so you would agree with Roger Ebert and others who say video games are cultural. They're an art form from the 80's, 90's, and they ought to be preserved. He agreed with me. The problem is you're not going to be able to get an Atari 600.
Jason: There was a story about the Apple 2 archive, is trying to find original games and original software. A lot of the versions that are in the archives now are the cracked versions. They're the pirated versions where the copyright protection was subverted, and the problem with that is that sometimes, the act of removing a copy protection has changed the binary to the point where things aren't quite what the original was and it can actually introduce bugs, and all those discs are dying. They're all rapidly aging. So they put at the word. If you've got original discs, original Apple 2 discs, we want them. We want to be able to preserve in their original form before their gone. They need to get the data off the discs in a way that they can preserve it. The only version they have of that game is the cracked version, and they want the real version, untouched, with no cracked screen put on it by whoever broke the copyright protection. I was just at a conference where one of the speakers talked about how software developers are like ice sculptors. You've got to keep in mind, it's ephemeral. Without emulators or things like this to preserve this stuff, it will just go away. The iPhone is a good example, where the iPhone drops support where the fall 64 apps will be mandated. Anything that hasn't been updated will just go away. How do you run that old version of that old app from five years ago? Eventually there will be an emulator, but do people have those binaries in the Cloud?
Leo: That's why this is so appropriate for the Internet archive to have a Mac OSM emulator, and to be able to run those programs, because there are people now who have never heard of Hyper card. They ought to have experience of Hyper card, so they understand the seminal software.
Liz: It's good that it exists. I am a nostalgic person, but I don't think I'm going to spend all day in this. I agree with you, though, that it's a wonderful thing that the Internet archive exists.
Jason: For history, if nothing else.
Leo: I think Bill Atkinson would be honored to ask him. He's been on before. He's way beyond that. It's old hat for him. It's not like let's bring back the Screensavers... never mind, we did.
Jason: I think history is a part of this too. What was it like? Sometimes you write a story about... history is boring for a lot of people, but some...
Liz: Period piece, movie about the late 80's. They will have accurate stuff.
Jason: I wrote a piece not too long ago about the sounds Apple puts in the Mac. It seems really boring, but Apple hasn't updated its beep sounds in ten years, and one of the things I did was I found emulated versions, because I need to figure out when did they get introduced. You've got to get system 7/6 and OS 8 and OS 8.1 in order to find it. I could not have done that story-- I don't have old computers with old OS's laying around. It was all done with the emulators. Thank goodness they exist.
Leo: To your point, Liz, I think the companies and creators don't look backwards so much. Nintendo, which this was the most popular product Nintendo made in New Year's. It's up there with the Switch. This is the $60 Nintendo Classic. It can fit in the palm of your hand. It played all these games. 30 games... and they killed it! An article from Business Insider speculated on why they killed it. Nintendo said throughout April, that Nintendo territories will receive the last shipments of the NES classic for this year. If you want this system, check with retail outlets regarding availability. We understand it's been difficult to find, for that we apologize. We greatly appreciate the support and interest, but that's it. Here's his theories of why. First, it was never intended to be a product, it's merely a commercial. Is that the case? If you got a $60 product, you can't keep in stock, whether you think it's not, it's a commercial or it is, right? Nintendo has a history of creating collector's items, it goes back to their history as a playing card company. So they made a collector's edition. They didn't notice this year, maybe next year, they'll bring it back. They did have the Switch and they want you to buy the Switch.
Jason: Won't there be a virtual console on the Switch that will let you buy those old games and play it?
Leo: That's interesting. If they do that... Nintendo is very protective of their classic games.
Jason: So don't let anybody play them?
Liz: So far none of this is holding up.
Leo: Nintendo wants to sell you classic games on the Switch. There will be a virtual console service. At some point, what they did is create a demand for these games, and took it away, and said oh. We can do it on the switch. Interesting. We're going to take a break, come back with more. Liz Gannes is here from 60DB.co.
Liz: I have some updates on that for you too.
Leo: It's free. Just go. Sign up. 60DB.co, you can listen on your computer, listen on your phone. The best way, if you have an echo, is awesome. Makes your echo the best radio you ever had. The best Apple site, I don't know why Apple didn't invite you to that briefing that they had.
Jason: I'm not sure I could have gone, but I would have loved to.
Leo: Jason would have been great for that.
Liz: Also had this super interesting selection of people. What's your theory on that.
Jason: The idea is you're giving a briefing, but you're not approving their stories, they get to write whatever they want. So if you're going to invite... if you pick people you trust to not misrepresent what you're going to tell them...
Leo: They're not all Apple fanboys.
Jason: They're all people that believe whatever Apple says in that meeting will be conveyed in an accurate way.
Liz: No one was associated with...
Jason: apple PR has always been about personal relationships. You can see it with this example.
Liz: They don't have relationships right now with the big publications?
Jason: Maybe, to a certain extent. It's possible these are the people they're more comfortable with. They're certainly not picking brains, because you can look at the brains who were there and say... Buzzfeed readers don't generally care about the Mac pro. It's pointless. But those are...
Leo: It's more about Anna Fried than it was Axio.
Jason: And John Panzarino, and John Gruber. That would have been fine, because his audience would have been the best match for the people who care. It doesn't mean that they're viewed as mouth pieces, but that is touchy. They're being given a few days to go away and write the story and convey it, and Apple has no say on what they say.
Leo: Somebody said on one of our shows that Apple picked people who aren't going to ask dumb questions.
Jason: That's also true. Those are all very smart people. They invited five extremely good journalists. They are all very smart. They know the subject.
Leo: They would have invited Noah, but he's retiring. Are you guys going to do a party? It'll be the retirement that goes on and on. 47 years in the business, he ought to have a nice retirement.
Liz: He should do a couple victory laps.
Leo: time to pick snacks. Do you want zesty nacho curls, blueberry almond quinoa bites, garlic plantains? It's OK. I won't hold it against you. Peanut butter graham jam, or nutty power clusters? These are good. Walnuts, almonds, and cashews.
Jason: Peanut butter, man.
Liz: I'll go with garlic.
Leo: These are nature box snacks. Greatest snacks ever! A few features of the Nature Box. First of all, it comes in a nice box. Through your door, once a month, selection of snacks, you can pick ahead of time, tell them whether you like sweet, salty, spicy. You get your choice. They're all designed to be good stuff. No artificial colors, flavors, no artificial sweeteners. Delicious snacks. They pride themselves on being snack designers, so they have new snacks all the time. A hundred snacks so far. If at any time, you don't like a snack, they'll send you a new one. It's the snack of the month club. What could go wrong? You can order as much as you want as often as you want. You don't have to wait for the monthly box. This is new. And no minimum purchase required. You can cancel anytime. They have made it much more flexible. All of these bags are easy open, but they're also re-sealable. Sometimes you open a bag of chips and you feel like you have to eat the whole thing, because what are you going to do with a little bag of chips? These are nice sized bags, they're delicious. If you read the ingredients, they're all super healthy. Big island pineapple. What's in it? Pineapple. That's all. Just pineapple. I don't know what I'm opening here. Blueberry almond quinoa bites. Roasted cashews. Crispy rice. Pumpkin seeds. Roasted almonds. Dried blueberries. Rice syrup, sugar cane, sesame seeds, palm oil, natural blueberry flavor, and sea salt. That's all.
Liz: this one is so good you're going to finish it all. It's not re-sealable.
Leo: They don't bother with the re-sealable on the nacho curls. That's good. You wouldn't expect a quinoa bite to be... that's good. You'll like it.
Jason: Yeah, all right.
Leo: Pardon me, while I... right now you're going to save more, because Nature Box is offering our fans 50% off your first order. How about that? Go to Naturebox.com/twit. I'm going to open the nacho curls. What the hell. These are so good. You want these! You know what? If you're a parent, you'll be happier with your kids eating these than the other guys. These are like the other guys but they're good and good for you. naturebox.com/twit. I can't say they're good for you. Nacho curls. naturebox.com/twit for 50% off. I love this part of the show. It's a good smell.
Jason: Bring it over. I see what they are. I taste the zestiness. It's baked right in.
Leo: Wooh! All right. Liz Gannes, what's going on with 60DB? What's new?
Liz: The last time I was on the show, it was pretty awesome. A bunch of people came from TWiT, but they were upset because they wanted to use the app on Android, and now we have an Android beta. I didn't want to come back until we had an Android beta for you guys. But now we do. The whole app is going to look different in a week, we have a cool refresh coming, but it works great now.
Leo: I never ding anybody for not having an IOS app or an Android. apps are hard. We spent $80,000 to do a TWiT app, and notice that there is no TWiT app. I'm never getting that money back.
Liz: Did you ever release it?
Leo: No. I didn't feel it was good enough to release. We said thanks so much, see you later. $80,000 later. So I understand. making an app...we're lucky. We have fans who make apps. There's apps on every platform for TWiT. None of them are ours. They were all written by fans. So thank you. It's a lot of work. It's good, we don't want to undermine the people who are generously giving their time making apps. Let them make the apps. Thank you for making an Android app. That's fantastic.
Liz: We put the app out there, and we thought we were going to be this commuter app, that's how I use it. I listen to 60DB on the way in and back. You set it and you get in the car... more than half of our usage is over Wi-Fi, so by definition, not in the car. That's why we're making the app more... it's going to look more like Spotify when you login. Do you want to have your morning coffee playlist.
Leo: I like that.
Liz: You'll come in and pick your mood and get your more sports flavor.
Leo: That's great. I need multiple playlists. You are getting better and better all the time.
Jason: It looks great.
Liz: I really enjoy it.
Jason: Long podcasts are great if you want to dive in, but I also like the idea of getting somewhere we you got short bits to mix together.
Liz: You don't have to be long.
Jason: I have a podcast that's three minutes long, and a podcast that is 30 minutes long.
Leo: There's quick hits, and if you click the in depth tab, these are longer. Right? We have TwiT bits.
Liz: In a lot of cases, we cut segments, because we think people want to listen topic by topic, not necessarily an hour long show. Then you have a diversity of sources coming in. Stuff you wouldn't hear normally on the radio.
Jason: You can do Spotify for podcasts, but if every podcast is two hours long, you're like Spotify, I can't wait to see what's next in two hours, which is not interesting.
Leo: You must have stats on what people listen to and what people skip.
Liz: That is the whole other side of this that's fascinating for me as a creator of content. I can see when people drop off from my stories. I'll show you. We can do it for any show. I'll redo a story sometimes if I get a big drop off. That was a bad lead, because I lost 20% of my audience...
Leo: I'm curious if there was a spike in political stories and now people are skipping them more.
Liz: I think there's some Trump fatigue. People want to listen to other stuff too.
Leo: Very interesting.
Liz: You also don't want to listen to five stories about Syria. You want the one good one about Syria.
Leo: In your program, you're thinking about that, right?
Liz: Absolutely. But the world is turning towards what we're doing. The New York Times has the Daily, which is a great daily news podcast, and NPR launched a first, people are coming around to this podcasts don't have to be once a week not really news relevant interesting conversations. You can also do great daily relevant, minute, hourly relevant. It can be quick.
Leo; How long have they been doing TNT? Our daily tech news update? Five years? Six years? Daily is hard. Not that it determines what we do editorially, but it does determine whether we can make money on something. It turns out, daily podcasts, advertisers want weekly. We do it anyway.
Liz: You don't want to have to remember when to come back for it.
Leo: Weekly or daily is important. I think people who watch TNT, our daily news show, love it. It's built a consistent. Of all our shows, it's the most consistent in terms of number of listeners. Every day. It varies very little.
Liz: The same people?
Leo: We don't know that. But we do know the number, so I presume the same people. It's not like 5,000 stop listening and 5,000 start listening. It's a consistent number, which is not the case with any of our other shows, they're much more volatile. Even TWiT, which is our most listened to show. Some weeks, it'll be a quarter of a million, some weeks, 77 thousand. That much of a difference in one week. It may be partly due to measuring technologies. Podcast measurement is not good.
Jason: Unless you've got an app and you got the data from the app, which you do.
Liz: We can give you a representative sample in a really cool way.
Leo: Assuming the 60DB audience is representative. I'll give you an example of a problem that we've never solved. Many podcast players will start multiple connections for the same show, so if you're watching TWiT with Windows Media player, it might open six different connections. I don't want to count that as six people, I want to count that as one people. I debounce it, if they're all from the same IP address, that's one download. But, there's also the case that a company like Microsoft has one IP address for everybody in Microsoft. If 6,000 people listen to a show on Microsoft, they'll count it as one person. There's a middle ground. If it's the same IP address for an hour, we'll say that's one person. As soon as it's into the second hour, we'll say that's another person. But we're still missing a large number of people at Microsoft, because a thousand people could download in one hour and they would still count as one person. It's a challenge. If you're not willing to invade people's privacy by making them use special apps or bugs in the podcasts.
Jason: We're all talking about file downloads and once you get into ranges, it gets confusing.
Liz: I think there's a lot more dynamic stuff.
Jason: I think what's going to end up happening is we'll get some things that are based on a sample, that somebody will have enough data. Midrole, which is a major podcast network bought Stitcher, and one of the things they benefit from that is they get the data from Stitcher, and they get a better sample, not the whole audience, Apple probably has the biggest slice of the listening audience right now, and they're not giving the data out. That gives Midrole a little view into how things are performing. Once you're in the app, you can theoretically follow individual in app behavior, and then you know what they're playing and pausing and subscribing to and all those things.
Leo: Our audience is so touchy about privacy. Rightly so. I can't, even if...
Jason: Podcasting can be kind of an oasis because they don't know about you what the websites know about you.
Leo: Look at how we're making progress in ad blockers. And, where was it? Princeton? Has come up with a way—this is a university, has done research. Motherboard called it an ad blocking super weapon.
Jason: Tell me more.
Leo: (Laughing) You're scared now. This unfortunately only affects banner ads on websites. But what they're doing, is they're actually looking at, a team at Princeton and Stanford are looking at the actual content. This would block native content as well. So, that's one of the things. When a—websites know that you're not reading the ads, whether you're blocking them or not, you're not seeing them. So, what they do is they make content that looks like it's real content, an article you might read, except it's not. It's an ad posing as real content. We call it native content and it's all the rage now. Again, we will never do that to you. But, lots of sites including some pretty well-known sites.
Jason: Have some more Nature Box, right?
Leo: You know there's nothing wrong with—
Liz: Didn't we just have experience with any of that?
Leo: That was not native content. That was an ad. It was clearly an ad, wasn't it?
Liz: Yea, but you're here as part of your show doing it.
Jason: It's on the edge, right? I think for something to be native—
Leo: Oh, come on. You at home. You knew when I put out the Nature Box and we put up the lower 3rd, that that was an ad.
Jason: If we suddenly were talking about how great quinoa was and it comes in many form including this snack from Nature Box, which is sort of what native stuff is. It's like—
Liz: Yea, but native doesn't mean trickery. It just means—
Leo: I think it means trickery.
Liz: It does? Ok.
Jason: I think there's some—well, yea. I think if you talk to a salesperson they'll say no.
Leo: Again, the New York Times even says no, but it exists to trick people into reading content they think is real editorial content when it's not. In any event, clearly these guys think it is because this will block native content. It also looks for, you know, there's many ads including Facebook ads that bypass ad blockers that can't be easily blocked. This will do it. And the reason it works, and watch how long this loophole exists, is because the FTC says ads have to be clearly labeled so that a human can recognize them. Well, that means—
Liz: So can a machine.
Leo: So can a machine. And so they're looking for those, you know, weasel words that indicate, "Oh, what you're seeing is an advertisement." And so as long as the FTC continues to require advertisements to be clearly labeled, these ad blockers will work. As the author points out in his Motherboard piece on this, "Motherboard is supported by ads," Jason Koebler writes. "So, I'm probably biting the hand that feeds me talking about this." And this is part of the ethical issue, is we've got to find a way to pay for content while not offending our viewers. So, that's why I bring this up because you know, clearly we need to find a—we need to pay for our stuff. You need to pay for your stuff. But we don't also want to invade privacy. So, I think there needs to be some sort of relationship between the content creators and the community, so that we don't step on you by giving you ads. So, you can, if you're curious about the Princeton Stanford ad blocker, there's a Chrome extension that is not a final version. It's a proof concept. It's not fully functional.
Jason: I'm skeptical of any declaration that this will end the war, though. Because I feel like what this will do is something that may be a little more insidious, which is it will make the content—if you're using computer vision, right, then you can also use computer vision to design ad units and other content that is not as visual as the computer vision, which probably means that you will add—your banner blindness will go away. So, people will create even more diabolical ad units that even humans can't determine.
Liz: Yea, I think Princeton and Stanford people should find something better to do with their time. They're so smart.
Leo: Oh, maybe.
Jason: I do one of the big—the shame of the web is that the advertising on it is so bad. Because advertising, you know, advertising is not fundamentally bad. In fact, you remember the great days of magazines. Like, people loved the ads.
Leo: That's right.
Jason: Ads can impart information. They can be beautiful. They can be interesting. Good TV ads can be good. Advertising can be good. It doesn't have to be bad. But, on the web, advertising is almost always bad because it's been driven to its lowest common denominator, auction based kind of stuff. And so, it's a shame. Because I think it's kind of ruining it for everyone, that the web ads are so terrible.
Leo: You ought to have a Nature Box granola bit.
Jason: I enjoy.
Leo: (Laughing) just for that. Netflix reaches 75% of streaming service viewers. This is actually a confusing stat. When I read it closely, it isn't exactly what you think it is. Of the people who stream, of people who use over the top streaming services, 75% of them have Netflix. But what a surprise. Pretty much everything you buy, whether it's a Chromecast, a Roko, and Apple TV, a microwave, it has Netflix on it. Your TV has Netflix on it.
Liz: Well, you have to pay for it.
Jason: That's true.
Leo: Yea, so this is unclear whether it means Netflix is available or if they're actually paying for it.
Jason: Clearly, Netflix has done really well.
Leo: That's the term. And it's a term used in advertising called reach. So, we're talking about Netflix's reach. But then if you were talking about engagement, here's an interesting thing. Number of days viewing, actually Hulu, I mean Sling does—
Jason: Right, because that's being used by regular TV.
Jason: So, it makes sense that they don't have a lot of uptake in terms of the number of subscribers, but they spend a lot of time watching Sling.
Leo: This is per month by the way. Days of—so Sling is somewhere around 10-14 days a month, almost half the month viewing. So is Netflix. HBO is considerably lower, maybe 5-6 days.
Jason: Yea, they're just watching one show once a week or something like that.
Leo: Once Billions is over, I'm not going to watch it again.
Jason: Right, you want to watch John Oliver or something like that.
Leo: Actually, Billions is on Showtime. So, it shows what I know.
Jason: Shame, shame. So, yea, the idea is what? Of homes that have Wi-Fi, which is an interesting way of doing it but I get that. Like, you're sophisticated enough to have a Wi-Fi device in your home doing home internet. So, of that, more than half are using over the top services and 75% of those homes have Netflix.
Leo: Right. Right.
Jason: Netflix is the leader but YouTube is catching up.
Leo: I thought that Sling TV doing that well is very interesting. And, by the way, you don't see any of the other over the top services, PlayStation View, YouTube TV, Hulu—I guess, Hulu's there.
Jason: You've got to like that engagement, right? That shows that full service over the top can be really used. And that's good because then you feel like you're getting what you paid for.
Liz: I'm always about to cancel Netflix and then, I don't know. I find something else to watch.
Leo: You know why? That's why they do those originals. There's always something new. We were just talking about Crown.
Liz: Yea, but that's all they have now. It's so hard to find things that are not originals.
Jason: Yea, that's their strategy. But they keep on having new ones to try to keep it. HBO, it's the same thing, right? The one—it's no mistake that the season finale is followed by the season premiere of something else so that they can kind of keep you.
Liz: Yea, but they are stretching it now with Westworld and Game of Thrones. They're running out.
Jason: Netflix is meanwhile, makes so many shows that there's like whole shows you don't even know.
Leo: Same thing with Amazon.
Jason: Same with Amazon.
Leo: Amazon Originals, well, there's that. There's that. I mean, they keep coming up with new ones. And they're not—I have to say, quality level. So, it's an interesting question. Do you make more of a lower quality or do you make fewer of a higher quality? HBO makes fewer of a higher quality. Amazon is kind of notorious for just cranking the stuff out. And obviously they watch, they watch the data very closely to see who's big and who they're going to continue to invest in.
Jason: Sometimes I think that there's no company better at data analysis in Silicon Valley than Netflix. And they keep it close to their vest. They don't tell anybody.
Liz: So, why do you say sometimes you think that?
Jason: Well, because when you get, when you peer in to what they're doing, they will not give you numbers. But they do—they are very aware of what people watch, how long they watch, what other things those lead to and that ends up going into their content deals about what they buy and what they realize and see that it's not an original. There's a lot of analysis of viewers' behavior happening behind the scenes. What happens though, is then their competitors want to know like, give us a number. Give us a Neilson number. And they refuse. And it frustrates everybody else. But they seem very happy with it.
Liz: They can matter more but they don't tell you how much they matter.
Jason: Right. So, they have the best data in the business but nobody knows it. And so, it's this amazing dichotomy where Netflix knows exactly what they're doing and nobody knows really how Netflix is doing. So, it's fascinating to do that. And I imagine Amazon has a similar amount.
Leo: I guess they all do. HBO—well, HBO I guess doesn't because—
Jason: If it's on regular TV, then they have to go back to samples and Nielson diaries or boxes.
Leo: If it comes through the cable company, are they—
Jason: They may sample some of the cable boxes. It's possible.
Leo: Roku is going to try to get that information. It's going to eavesdrop on what shows you're watching. You'll have to give it permission to do ads. And not just shows you watch through Roku. There's a system you might not know about called automatic content recognition. They actually can see—and video too. They're seeing what you watch. Now, you'll have to enable a feature called More Ways to Watch on your Roku TV. It will then collect information about shows you watch, not just on Roku TV but anything that's on your screen because the screen has this ACR built into it and can actually tell Roku, "Right now, he's watching the cable box and he's watching Game of Thrones."
Liz: Some of these recognitions are so dumb. I use Evernote and now they have this special premium feature where they recommend you when you're taking notes on something, related web content. And it's like, this is not helpful.
Leo: I think recognition engines in general don't work really well.
Liz: Especially when you're that much removed from what you're actually doing. Like, Roku is not the content provider.
Leo: But even Netflix recommendations are crap.
Liz: That's true.
Leo: Amazon's are crap. Amazon should know what I would want to buy and instead they keep offering me—they just offered—Jeff Jarvis hosted on Facebook, Things You Might Be Interested in Buying. It was a bunch of phone cord cables, you know, like the RJ11 cables.
Jason: You always need more of those.
Leo: That's what he said (laughing). I haven't bought one of those in ever.
Jason: This is—like, smart TVs, this is a real ongoing story about how they've gotten smart but how they're also doing things with your data and like now that Netflix embedded in that 4K TV, is good for the TV manufacturer because they're giving you a reason to plug in to Ethernet now or something. Or, get on your home Wi-Fi. And once that TV is now on the internet, they can get data from you.
Liz: And so can the CIA.
Jason: And that's what Vizio got dinged for. It's the same kind of idea that you know, we want, "Oh, it's smart TV. Get it on the internet." But you know, it's a two-way street at that point. They can get your data. I mean they aren't necessarily but it's just a computer sitting in your house and it may have a camera and it definitely can see what your screen is and it's going to report back.
Liz: That's actually what I liked about Roku, was it seemed like it was the least creepy of all these things. It was just like a nice, mild-mannered platform.
Leo: You were just living—
Jason: In the TV, because it's got the screen and it can integrate all this stuff into it. So, I feel like there's a group of tech savvy people now, who the first thing they do when they buy a smart TV is turn everything off. The danger is that some TVs like really don't want you to do that, and will even refuse.
Leo: I've always said, I just want a monitor. Don't give me a smart TV. Just give me a monitor.
Jason: The danger is that their business model—
Leo: They don't sell anything else. Good luck trying to find one.
Jason: Well, and this model, once they're starting to build in profit from selling your data into the list price of the TV, they're never going to take it away. They're going to make it impossible for you to opt out. And so it comes back to people who are savvy are going to need to shop for a TV that's not as cheap, just because it's got better privacy features.
Liz: I would.
Jason: Yea, me too.
Leo: This actually segues into the Vault 7 CIA leaks, new information there. Shadow Brokers, new information there. The Equation Group. We'll talk about that when we come back.
Jason: I'm going to be hiding under the desk.
Leo: Yea, the hackers are winning. And Cleveland Police are seeking a suspect of a murder streamed live on Facebook. It was just a matter of time.
Jason: Somebody call Dick Wolf. That will be a Law & Order episode next week.
Leo: The guy broadcast a murder on his Facebook stream. He streamed it on Facebook Live. It's not even the first time this has happened. But it's the first time it was intentional. Oh, my God. What a world. Let's take a break and talk about my doorbell.
Leo: Speaking of the Internet of Things. You know about the Ring Video Doorbell? This has become the king of the category, partly because Richard Branson put $27-million-dollars into it. Ring has grown fast and I see more—I'm really pleased. I see more and more Rings around the neighborhood. The Ring Video Doorbell. I think I must have been the first in my neighborhood. I got mine installed a couple of years ago. And, by the way, I'm no handyman but it was easy to install. The Ring Doorbell comes with everything you need to do it. And if you've got a wired doorbell, it's really fairly easy. There's just two screws holding that in, two wires in the door jamb. It comes with a screwdriver. If you need a drill, it comes with a drill bit. It has a level even so you can make it look nice. And it comes in a variety of finishes. So, it replaces your wired doorbell, pairs up to your Wi-Fi, and suddenly, you never miss a visitor again. And you know, I originally got it because I didn't hear the doorbell ring, like a lot of homeowners. I had the worst chime. Why is it door chimes? Do you have a good one?
Jason: No, I don't have one at all in fact.
Leo: Yea, it's hard to hear, right? You know, ours wasn't even that old. It went donk. It didn't go bong, bong, bong, it went donk (laughing). So, you wouldn't hear it. So, I initially got the Ring because I thought, "Well, my phone's paired to it. I'll have my phone." I have my phone on. Actually, now, because Lisa has it and Michael has it and everybody in the family, the whole house lights up when somebody—not even—by the way, it's when they ring the doorbell you hear da da da. But when the walk up the stoop, walk up the path, there's motion detection in it, it sees you. It sees them and it rings us then. So, I can look at—in fact, the other day, the kids were alone. We went to a movie and the kids were alone. And we heard people coming and going and I was looking saying, "Oh, yea, that's fine." And then one of the kids was like locked out and I pressed the button and I talked to him because it's got a microphone and a speaker in it too. And I said, "Tanner, what's going on?" He said, "They locked me out." "Why'd they lock you out?"
Liz: You're at the movie theater while you're doing this?
Leo: Well, it was in between shows or something. I wasn't doing it while I was—I would never, never.
Leo: Do that. Maybe we were at dinner at the time. Anyway, what's going on? So, you're really in touch with what's going on in your house. I love that. Recently, Ring introduced a new product, because they're constantly doing new products. This is called the Floodlight Cam. It's the world's only motion activated, HD security camera with two high-beam LED flood lights. So, it lights up—this is what you want, right? You want it to light up the area of your house. And, it has 110DB siren alarm. By the way, that's pretty loud. 110DB? That's—everybody is going to hear that in the neighborhood. And, two-way talk, so you can say things like, "If you don't step away from the house, I'm going to press the alarm button." And then deafen the guy. Customizable motion zones and dual sensors so you know, no more false alarms. It's got object and face detection, so it knows—oh, man, this thing is so smart. It's hard wired. It's weatherproof. It's available in black or white and you can use the Ring app not only to talk to and listen to what's going on, but to flash the lights, sound the alarm and zoom in, zoom in to focus. That's why it's got the face recognition. Smart zoom, panning. Wall Street Journal said, "Best of CES 2017" and now it's here. All kits—you can go right now. If you go right now to ring.com/TWiT you can get a deal on their Ring Security Kits. All kits include the Ring Video Doorbell and your choice of either one, two, or three floodlight cams. So, you know, depending on how many you need. The Pro Kits have a slim video doorbell pro. That's got the 1080p HD video, the night vision, hard-wired, never needs to charge. The Ring Video Doorbell and Floodlight Cams install easily in minutes. You can do it. And together you're getting such great 24/7 monitoring of your whole home, wherever you are. You could be in your bedroom but you could also be thousands of miles away. Connect your Ring Video Doorbell with your favorite smart locks and hubs for added convenience, monitoring, and security. Now you've got your castle. Join the millions of homeowners who protect their home with Ring. For a limited time, up to $150 bucks off one of these Ring Security Kits. That's a great deal, depending on which kit you buy. Ring.com/TWiT. $50 to $100-dollars off. That's a great deal. Ring.com/TWiT. Brand new. The Ring Floodlights are here.
Leo: So is Liz Gaines from 60db, s60db.co, @lizgannes on the Twitter. Do you still use Twitter?
Liz: I do.
Leo: Haven't given up on it?
Liz: No, I am not the best Twitter to follow these days. It's kind of just like I share my stories every once in a while. I don't know.
Leo: You use it as publicity.
Liz: Yea, I don't have a current reason I want to share more, but I don't know.
Leo: Right. I think when you have a kid you maybe want to share less, right?
Liz: Yea. I think that's part of it.
Leo: My kids wish I would share less.
Liz: I read Twitter a lot, but.
Leo: Yea, you know, I use it as a news ticker a lot. Like, what's going on?
Liz: Do you want to know a funny story about my Twitter followers?
Liz: I think like most of them are because, followed me because one time Selena Gomez followed me.
Leo: Oh, and they said, "Anybody Selena follows is good enough for me."
Liz: And then they all followed me and then they tweeted at me, "Could you DM Selena to follow me?" That was like for about a year or two. That was all of my@mentions.
Leo: Oh, I'm sorry. Oh, Lord.
Liz: Because she only followed like 70 people or something.
Leo: Why did—so, do you know why she followed you?
Liz: I interviewed her for a story.
Leo: Oh, so you and Selena. Could you get her to like follow me?
Liz: (Laughing) Yes.
Leo: Thank you.
Leo: That would be cool. How about you, Jason? Who's your best follower?
Jason: Oh, I don't know if I have anybody good following me. I mean there—
Leo: (Laughing) All your followers are now really pissed off.
Jason: They're all beautiful. But are they famous?
Leo: That was mean.
Liz: I used one of these analyzer followers tools once. It was like you have the most in common with and it was everyone else that Selena Gomez follows.
Leo: Well, there you go. Yea, you follow one Selena Gomez.
Jason: Yea, I was supposed to say Soledad O'Brien, wasn't I?
Liz: Yes, you were.
Leo: Very nice. You were.
Jason: I just didn't. I just missed it by that much.
Leo: sixcolors.com. A man and fiancé kicked off a United Flight on route to their wedding (laughing). Twitter. I saw it on Twitter. Must be it just happened. Unbelievable. All right. Vault 7 CIA—Vault 7's the CIA hacks, mostly old. Actually, we know they're old because Microsoft announced this week that they've all been patched, which raises the question, how did Microsoft know about these attacks?
Jason: Yea, I mean, and they apparently were alerted, what, in October but didn't release the patch so it was not quite zero day but then was released publicly. I mean the speculation I've seen is that they had a partner.
Leo: Somebody told them.
Jason: The NSA or something like that.
Leo: Not a reason to get angry to be honest with you. That is a reason to be thrilled that there is some sort of channel that after the CIA uses a hack—you know, they discover a vulnerability, or they buy a vulnerability, that's great. They don't want to tell Microsoft yet because they want to use it against somebody. But having used it against their person, I think that's really the best thing the CIA could do is say, and it could be under surreptitious channels, "Hey, Microsoft. There's this flaw. We're done with it so you can patch it now. But don't tell anybody." I think that's fine. Clearly, that's what's going on. And I actually feel like that's a good thing. One of the fixes I presume—was it this Word vulnerability or is that still—that must be fixed now, right? I mean—
Jason: I think so. Yea, they fixed the Word patch that was used. There was also—and this is like state intelligence actors doing all of this. This is government spies using security flaws. And so part of the disclosure becomes part of the game, which is the NSA doesn't need this and they know that some bad guys are using it, then they just maybe disclose that to the vendor and say, "You should close this hole." But if the NSA wants to use it and thinks it's in their benefit to use it, then they don't disclose it.
Jason: Even if it puts American data at risk because they don't want to lose their too. Because these bugs are tools to spying agencies.
Leo: Yea. This was not the CIA. This was as you say the Shadow Brokers leak. It was a Microsoft Word booby trap that loaded PCs with malware. And Microsoft says it's been fixed but it was zero day. And it was first found by researchers at McAfee. So, it effected your machine—and this was the real thing. We've known about Word macro viruses for a long time. But even if macros—and of course, Microsoft as a result now warns you before it runs a document with macros. It says, "There's macros in here. It's potentially unsafe. Do you want me to run them?" Didn't matter on this one, even if you didn't have macros turned on it would run. And it even worked against Windows 10. So, thank you, NSA. Thank you.
Jason: There's a larger question of just the—at one point should a government disclose bugs that they find that are security holes? What is the responsibility of using those as your own spy technique versus closing the holes so the people in your country aren't being spied upon by others? You know, since our government knows that there are bugs that allow this to go on and don't say anything because they want to use the bugs.
Leo: Are they protecting US security?
Liz: And now WikiLeaks has become this check on that system. And is that really the role that anyone wants them to be playing?
Leo: All right, enough. I hate this stuff. It's depressing.
Jason: It's almost enough to make you throw away your computers and hide in the woods, but not quite.
Leo: Government hackers used this. I don't know if it's the same Word zero day or another Word zero day to install spyware on Russian targets
Jason: I think that's the same one.
Leo: Same one? Ok. This one was discovered by FireEye. The hackers left a series of booby trapped documents on a server with an Italian IP address and I guess they were hoping you would just download them or maybe they linked. They probably linked to them.
Liz: There was kind of a sweet story by Quinn Norton on Medium a couple of weeks ago, on Back Channel actually called Love in the Time of Cryptography about having a relationship with someone who was also a nut about keeping everything private. And it's kind of sweet because they don't preserve—there is no like record of their communications. So in the way that we're all constantly captioning our life as we're living it, they don't have that because they're—
Leo: They did it on purpose. They didn't want anybody to—
Leo: See, I think you can go overboard on this. I mean—
Liz: Right. But you can also romanticize it which this story did.
Leo: It made it romantic but they're going to be sorry in 20 years when they want to show their kids their initial romantic love letters and they don't—I mean, they wouldn't want to show them to their kids anyway. Maybe they don't have anything.
Liz: You just found it. You were right there.
Leo: I was right there. I love Back Channel. There it is. Love in the Time of Crypto, how security software and encryption created an old-fashioned romance (laughing). Aw. Did they meet in the hacker IRC?
Liz: They met in real life. Yea.
Leo: And then later—
Liz: So, it was not like a random surprise.
Leo: And then later met on IRC. Wow. All right. I don't know what to say about this story except the Cleveland Police Department has confirmed that it's looking for a suspect, Steve Stephens, who committed a homicide and streamed the crime on Facebook Live. All right, I guess I should give a trigger warning here. What I'm about to say could be very upsetting to somebody. According to Heavy.com, the video showed Stephens speaking to an elderly man before shooting him through the window of a car. On the stream, Stephens says, "I've killed others." And he threatened to continue. Police say he's armed and dangerous, and are warning people—
Liz: They're searching for him now.
Leo: This is an ongoing story. They're warning people not to approach him. A Facebook spokesperson said, "This is a horrific crime and we do not allow this kind of content on Facebook." Oh, well. That's nice to know.
Jason: Against the community standards.
Leo: Yes, it's against our standards. "We take our responsibility to keep people safe on Facebook very seriously, and are in touch with law enforcement in emergencies when there are direct threats to physical safety." It's unclear whether Facebook notified the police or somebody else notified the police.
Liz: Does it matter?
Leo: Well, I mean I guess it would be good if Facebook had some sort of system for monitoring and catching this kind of stuff as it happens. It doesn't save anybody's live but at least it prevents Facebook from being used as a vehicle for this kind of stuff, or at least discourages people. What's wrong with people? Sigh. Did you see the prisoners? Here's a happy story. Prisoners who were working in the prison on computers, this was in Ohio's Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections Center. They were fixing computers and they would steal parts, bit by bit. Then they built two PCs from the parts, hid them in the ceiling and connected them to the state's network. And according to The Register, did cyber-shenanigans.
Liz: That is a cool story.
Leo: 5 prisoners.
Liz: And they're still in prison, but.
Leo: Yea, they didn't get out. But they built- -you know what? Access to the internet's probably a pretty big deal for them.
Liz: Yea, they have a certain kind of freedom.
Leo: They were caught by Websense. So, there's a little ad for Websense. They cobbled together spare parts collected from Marion Correction Institution's RET3, a program that helped to rehabilitate prisoners by getting them to break down old PCs into component parts for recycling. These guys were smart enough to say, "Hey, here's a pretty good sound card."
Leo: I think I could use that motherboard.
Liz: Someone should hire these guys.
Jason: Yea, they should be used for good, not evil.
Leo: Well, wait a minute. They also used the Departmental Offender Tracking System, or DOTS, aptly named, to steal the personal information of another inmate and use those details to apply for five credit cards.
Jason: Evil, I said.
Jason: Use them not for evil. Not for evil.
Leo: In jail and you're committing credit card fraud!
Jason: Oh, my God!
Leo: Additional forensics by a more technical team reported finding "a large hacker's toolkit with numerous malicious tools for possible attacks. These malicious tools included password-cracking tools, VPN tools, network enumeration tools, hand-crafted software." They're writing hacking tools.
Liz: What crime were they in prison for?
Leo: Oh, that's a good question.
Jason: How would you like to be hacked or have your credit card stolen and find out who was behind it and they're already in jail?
Leo: (Laughing) What are you going to do? The forensics team found "self-signed certificates, Pidgin chat accounts, Tor sites, Tor geo exit nodes, ether soft, virtual phone, pornography, videos, VideoLan, and other various software."
Liz: What kind of world are we living on if this is our feel-good story of the week?
Leo: This is our happy story. Happy story.
Jason: The good news though is that they're all now wearing a Faraday Cage jumpsuit. That's their new jumpsuit. And that's it for them.
Leo: I wish I knew what these prisoners were in jail for. I don't think it says in this story which is pretty awesome. They were using Websense. This happened a couple of years ago, but it's just now coming out. A Websense email alert reported to ODRC's Operation Support Center that a computer operating on the network had exceeded a daily internet usage threshold. Further alerts, seven regarding "hacking" and 59 regarding "proxy avoidance," reported that the user was committed to network mischief." But then they had to find the computer which was hidden in the ceiling.
Jason: That's so great.
Leo: Wow, that's kind of remarkable. I think that's initiative. You could make Pruno in the prison toilet. You could hack credit cards. Get some money outside.
Liz: Did you know the most important story this weekend is—
Leo: Please, tell me because I'm looking.
Liz: Yes. New York Times. Is American Retail at a Historic Tipping Point?
Jason: Oh, yea, and that goes with the Zombie Shopping Mall story, too.
Liz: Yea. Sure does.
Leo: What's wrong with America's retailers?
Liz: More workers in general merchandise stores have been laid off since October, about 89,000 Americans. More than all of the people employed in the United States coal industry.
Leo: Yea, I mean that's basically the coal industry is Arby's. This is like retail.
Liz: Yes, this particular sector of the economy which is huge going down the toilet because of e-commerce.
Leo: One retailer said that "The change is coming at you so fast, it feels like it is accelerating. This transformation is hollowing out suburban shopping malls, bankrupting longtime brands and leading to staggering job losses." What's the zombie shopping mall?
Jason: They did a—it's like photos in another story that's related to this. It's probably linked from it. That is, it's the same idea, that there are certain malls that have recast themselves and they've gone higher end. And they've been successful.
Liz: Yea, there's a reason to go.
Jason: But there are a lot of them that are just falling apart because their anchor stores are Macy's and J.C. Penney.
Leo: Oh, you lose the anchor. Yea.
Jason: And those are not drawing people in and it turns out that so many people are preferring to shop at big box stores or on the internet, that the traditional shopping mall is now a lot less appealing. And so some of them can redefine themselves.
Liz: Right, Macy's closing 100 stores.
Jason: But a lot of them can't. And like Sears and Kmart, which Sears owns Kmart, that is a company that may not make it at all. They may just go out of business and so what do you do with that space and how do you turn it into something else?
Liz: Oh, yea, this story's good too.
Jason: Yea, Zombie mall.
Leo: Is this—this is Amazon.
Jason: A lot. You know, and there are other trends too like Walmart.
Liz: And Amazon is hiring. Didn't they just announce they're going to hire like tens of thousands of people?
Leo: By the way, the worst jobs ever. You work in these very—
Liz: That is an issue.
Leo: Difficult conditions.
Jason: With robots that will eventually replace you there.
Leo: And eventually you'll have pick and pull robots.
Liz: But don't—I don't know. I feel bad but I'm happier buying my stuff on Amazon Prime than going to the mall.
Leo: Me too. Do you buy clothes on Amazon?
Leo: Do you buy shoes on Amazon?
Liz: Yea. I just did.
Leo: Those are the reasons people would go somewhere is to try something on, to see how it looks in person.
Jason: I still do that to a certain degree, like I'll—
Liz: They have a terrible shopping interface though for stuff like clothes.
Jason: Yea, so I'll get a pair of shoes at some point at a local store, and I'll pay a lot for them. But when I want a refill, when I want that shoe again, if I can get it on Amazon I'll just get it again because I know it fits. And I know that I like it.
Jason: So, it tends to be like the first purchase is at a store but then if I want 10 more down the road, they don't get my sale because I paid them for their marked up first version but in the end it's just so much more convenient to say, "It's 6 months later and I want another one of these. I'm just going to have it sent in a box."
Liz: I'm in my sister's wedding in a couple months and I bought 3 pairs of shoes on Amazon last week.
Leo: Partly because it's easy to return, right? You buy as many as you want to look at. You look at them at home. You don't have to look at them in the store. They talk about how Burlington Shopping Mall which used to have 100 stores now has 20. 20 tenants. Las Wednesday, a woman came to the mall looking for shoes but left frustrated because the Payless store had just shuttered.
Leo: Two years ago the mall's owners announced a $230 million renovation, but the plans have stalled. You know, I mean I can't say I'm sad that malls are going out of business because you know—but I'm sad about all the loss of jobs and the lost sense of community. Pretty soon, nobody's even going to leave the house anymore, right? Why would you need to? You've got a robot bringing you food.
Jason: Right. Drones are bringing all your groceries to you. By the way, on Twitter yesterday I asked what would you find at the Zombie Shopping Mall.
Leo: (Laughing) Oh, I can guess.
Jason: Forever Dead XXI, Victim on a Stick, Aber-crumbling and Fitch. That's from my friend, Phil. Coffin and Barrel. That's a good one.
Liz: I love it.
Jason: There are a lot of them. Zach Smith, Circle of Hell was a good one. Skin-a-bon I like that one. And of course, the Microsoft store. Anyway.
Leo: Oh! Ow.
Jason: Zing. The last one has to be a real one, right? It has to be.
Leo: That's the joke right there.
Jason: It could be Nordstrom but yea, Zombie Shop. It is scary. When we talk about the work being impacted by automating things, before we even get to that, we're going to have the future of these whole sectors like retail where just the convenience of online shopping. And where there is retail success, it is Walmarts and Costcos and other kind of like big box stores, Targets, that are not the mall where it's like trying to replicate the old downtown of the city where there are 50 different shops. Now, that's also kind of peeling away.
Leo: Is there going to be a backlash? Is there going to be—I mean, somebody coming along saying it's tech that's—in France, for instance, one of the candidates in the presidential election says, "I'm going to fight terrorism by taking on tech companies." These are going to be, I feel like there will be a backlash. That tech is ruining our economy. Well, look what happened in San Francisco. They're raising rents. There was a serious backlash.
Liz: I think it was Mnuchin? Yea, Steven Mnuchin was interviewed and said—
Leo: Our Secretary of the Treasury.
Liz: Increased automation is "not even on our radar screen." 50 - 100 more years away.
Jason: Everybody who knows about that laughed so much at that because he's totally wrong. It's already happening and it's only going to happen faster.
Leo: I think that's a – obviously he knows better.
Liz: Why is he saying that? There must be some game there. What's the game?
Leo: Right. He knows better. His company Goldman-Sachs even says that automation is going to be a problem, right? He knows that. He read that report. So, I think this is—I'm afraid there's two reactions you're going to get from the government. One is, "Oh, we've got to get technology. The problem is Amazon. Let's regulate them. Let's put them out of business. Let's save the stores." The other one which might even be worse is, "I don't hear you. Nee nee nee nee nee nee."
Leo: And I'm afraid that—
Liz: Well, we've all seen that antagonizing the tech industry goes a long way. Why doesn't D.C. see that?
Leo: Well, whatever's going to get more votes, right? So, if you say it's morning in America. Everything's wonderful. We're making America great again and you say it enough times, that might get votes. And it might be that you need a bad guy. And I think you certainly do need bad guys. Fall guys are always valuable in an election.
Liz: So, you think that's their next move?
Leo: I worry.
Jason: The danger is abdicating a responsibility, that they don't know enough about it to want to deal with it.
Leo: Well, it's kind of not the right way to prepare for it.
Jason: So, then you just kind of let it go. And then it happens on its own without any oversight at all until it's way too late. And we've already seen that, right? I mean you talked about the coal miners earlier. That was something that happened. It already happened. But the fallout happened after the fact, so you lose the transportation sector to automated trucks. Elon Musk this week, that was in our little show list, too.
Leo: He said that there's going to be semi-trucks later this year.
Jason: Later this year there's going to be a Tesla semi-truck, semi-autonomous and electric and you know.
Liz: Yea, another huge sector.
Jason: So, what happens? What happens?
Leo: In fact, this was the week that Tesla became the most valuable auto company in America, beating GM.
Liz: That's crazy.
Leo: That's stock, but still.
Jason: Yea, yea, right. Which means that it's about future value.
Leo: Right. I believe it.
Liz: I want to know how many cars they can make a year.
Leo: This was a record year. What was it, 25,000?
Liz: That is not that many.
Leo: It's not a huge number but—
Jason: But to do the 3, he's going to have to—
Leo: He's ramping up big time. He's ramping up big time.
Liz: I think they say 500,000, but that's just unimaginable.
Leo: I would never bet against Elon Musk, I have to say. And part of this is building that Giga Battery Factory, the Giga-factory.
Jason: In Reno, yea.
Leo: Because now you're master of your battery production. Eventually, they want to master the whole thing.
Liz: But do they still make all the cars in Fremont? Do they have another plant?
Jason: I think so, yea.
Leo: Yea. No.
Jason: And the NUMMI plant where they make them in Fremont California—
Leo: That's where they make them.
Jason: Is huge. It's like they're only using a portion of their capacity right now.
Liz: Oh, so they have room to grow.
Jason: A lot of room to grow.
Leo: We were down there because I was picking up my Tesla in July. We were down there. Took the factory tour. They were already building the Model 3 area. I mean, there's plenty of space to grow.
Jason: Yea, because that was where they used to, Toyota and GM had a joint venture and they made lots of cars there.
Leo: There's lots of room. I don't know if you can make half a million vehicles there. I bet that you could.
Jason: Well, it's a starting point.
Leo: We had a great week this week. I think we're not going to run the week ahead promo. We have—are we? All right. Take a look at what happened this week.
Narrator: Previously, on TWiT.
Leo: Matzo Leo. Apple is never going to do a Matzo cracker filter. It would be too undignified. Oh.
Narrator: Tech News Today.
Jason Howell: Google's artificial intelligence is going to make you the Picasso of clipart. When using the auto-draw tool, Google's AI will analyze the image being drawn with every stroke that you add, and update a series of thumbnail images at the top that it thinks match the item that is being sketched. Oh, it's a dog.
Megan Morrone: It's a dog. Oh, hippo.
Jason: Of course it's a hippo.
Megan: But it doesn't know it's a hippo so it's not a good hippo.
Narrator: The New Screen Savers.
Leo: Today you're going to be making pancakes.
Megan: I am?
Leo: With the pancake bot.
Megan: Pancake Bot. Pancake Bot. Pancake Bot.
Miguel Valenzuela: The prototype was originally made out of Legos. 99% Legos and 1% ketchup bottle.
Narrator: TWiT. It's what's for dinner.
Megan: You know, this week Google announced that they developed AI and it can sketch like a human being. So, I think that might be the next step, that you get some AI in here and just see what happens.
Leo: AI Pancake Bot.
Miguel: Hey, Pancake Bot, draw a dinosaur pancake.
Leo: Oh, man, can it do that?
Miguel: Is it moving?
Miguel: You guys got version 2.0 sorry.
Leo: The week ahead looks good, too. Jason Howell has it.
Jason: Here's a look at just a few of the stories we'll be watching in the week ahead. On Monday, April 17th, Google Spaces, also known as that Google group messaging client you probably never actually used, is being shut down. Google says it will fold everything that it learned from Spaces into its other many messaging products. On Wednesday, April 19th, Chinese hardware maker Xiaomi is holding a press event to unveil its Mi6 and it's Mi6 Plus flagship smartphones. It's expected to have a 5.1" display to start, dual cameras on the back, and the top of the line Snapdragon 835 chip inside. On Thursday, April 20th, Slovakian startup Aeromobil will show off its first commercially available flying car at the Top Marques Monaco Super Car Show. Pre-orders are expected sometime this year. And on Friday, April 21st, Samsung's flagship Galaxy S8 and S8+ smartphones will hit US shelves, along with the launch of the redesigned Gear VR to go along with it. And for free if you pre-ordered. You did pre-order, right? That's a look at a few of the things we'll be tracking in the coming week. Join Megan Morrone and me on Tech News Today every weekday at 4:00 PM Pacific, 7:00 PM Eastern here on TWiT.tv.
Leo: And by the way, your Samsung Galaxy S8 will have a special hardware button for their new voice assistant Bixby but if you press it, nothing will happen because Bixby is delayed.
Liz: Is delayed?
Leo: (Laughing) you've got to really feel for Samsung. At least the phone won't burst into flame, will it? We'll find out. I actually get mine on Friday. I'm very excited. Our show today brought to you by Betterment. This is, speaking of robots, the best way to invest for your future. You've seen technology transform commerce, entertainment, ride sharing, home security. Did you know it could also help you invest better? Betterment is the largest independent automated investment service. And it's changed the industry by making investing easier and at a fraction of what you pay for traditional financial services. So, it's better and it's less expensive. Is that awesome? Betterment offers smart technology and human advisors. There one of the few that does it. I really like this. So, you get the best results at every level of investment. The automation's great because it can help you build a portfolio. But then it also monitors it and rebalances it and keeps track of it minute by minute in a way that a human can't. But at the same time, you want to be able to talk to professionals if you've got questions and Betterment offers a team of certified financial professionals and licensed financial experts who will help you. They will monitor the accounts. They can answer questions so you get everything you need, including if you want, planning calls and notifications throughout the year. This is really the way to do it. Betterment's goal based investing framework and advice algorithm will let you know if you're on track in seconds. In fact, you can go there right now and get a checkup. You can also securely sync outside investments with Betterment so you can see your total net worth in one place, get an idea of how you stand all around. They've got something called smart deposits which lets you automatically invest excess cash. That really helps build your nest egg fast. Their retired guide will give you a consolidated review of your retirement, calculates your gap if you've got one. And they do, of course, all the most important things that only software can do well, like tax loss harvesting which lowers investment taxes and increases after tax returns. No trade, no transaction, no rebalancing fees ever and no minimum to sign up. Global diversification, smart rebalancing, lower fees, with all of that and their really great system, you can expect returns higher than the typical DIY investor. It's so much easier. Their end to end investing means faster cash transfers. Tax forms are available at the earliest possible date. Secure investing. It's Betterment. It's a better way. As with everything in life, I should say investment involves risk. But you know, there's a risk if you put your money in the mattress, too. Right now get one month managed free when you make an initial deposit of $10,000-dollars or more. To learn more visit Betterment.com/twit. That's Betterment.com/twit. Betterment is investing made better.
Leo: Oh, this scared me. And this isn't really a news story, except just a beware. Folks at Wordfence have discovered using Unicode, a new way to spoof URLs that look exactly the same. The issue is here, you could have what looks like epic.com in your browser bar, but it's not. It's actually xn--e1awd7f.com but Chrome and Firefox render it as epic.com. I'll show you right now. I'll click it. This is their demo site. And if I go to this site—and it's safe to do so. It's not going to hurt me. If you look in the browser bar, I don't know if you can see this, but it looks like epic.com, except it isn't. And you could if you really knew what you were doing, you could view the certificate but it takes a little bit of effort to go to the settings and the tools. Actually, go to developer tools and I can look at the certificate. And the certificate is reported correctly. Sorry, I'm doing this kind of funny. Developer tools and then I go to the security tab and I can see, even though it says epic.com, I'm on the wrong page. Let's go back. Even though it says I'm on epic.com, if I view the certificate, it shows as the actual certificate which is that xn--e1awd7f.com. So, I know it's hard to see. It's a little small on my screen. But that's a little scary. And it has to do with a flaw in the way the browser renders text thanks Unicode. So, there is a fix in Firefox if you go to about:config and search for punycode, you can change the value from false to true for this network.IDN_show_punycode. There's no fix for it now in Chrome.
Liz: They say it's coming.
Leo: It's in Canary so it's in the Alpha version, which means, yea, it's probably coming in time. Boy, that's scary.
Liz: Watch out this week.
Leo: Yea. That is scary.
Jason: And something that I always do, especially if I get the email from somewhere that tells me to go somewhere and I'll go to the domain name and delete it and then type it back in myself, because that's the thing. You can't even believe your eyes necessarily. So, always when it doubt, if you get an email, see if you can type in where they say you should go and make sure that it's the .com probably domain that you intend it to be, because otherwise they could mask that stuff so it looks legit but it isn't.
Leo: And, of course, the feel-good story of the year. An 8-year-old learns to drive on YouTube and takes his little sister to McDonald's.
Jason: It is a great place to learn things.
Jason: I mean, YouTube, not McDonalds.
Leo: You could watch YouTube at McDonalds.
Jason: You could.
Leo: East Palestine, Ohio, police department responded a series of calls from concerned citizens saying, "There's a little boy driving through town in a minivan." They tracked him to the McDonald's. He had pulled up to the drive through. Decided not to go in. Pulled up to the drive through. The people at McDonald's said, "We thought the parents must be in the back, that they were pranking us."
Jason: Isn't that a giveaway? He should have gotten—I mean, kids. They're going to do what they're going to do but he should have gotten out. Then, no one would have known that he was driving.
Leo: So, when they asked him—
Jason: Maybe he couldn't park. Maybe he didn't know how to park.
Leo: I bet that's it. The boy said he really wanted a cheeseburger but his parents were asleep. So, he watched a driving instruction video on YouTube, grabbed the keys, scooped some money out of his piggybank, packed his 4-year-old sister in the minivan, and headed out.
Liz: What is this kid going to do when he's 10?
Leo: That's my money. That's what Megan asked. Parents of kids go, "Oh, God." Throughout his drive of roughly a mile and a half, the boy followed traffic laws, stopped for red lights, and avoided hitting anything. When he got to McDonald's he pulled through the drive through like a pro, ordering a cheeseburger, some chicken nuggets for his sister, and some fries. The kids did get their snack. No one was hurt and no one, not even the parents, got in trouble. But it just shows you, you can learn anything on the internet.
Leo: Is that a great story?
Jason: That is a visual learner if ever there was one.
Leo: What I didn't realize until I read the article on Auto Blog is that he hadn't been, oh, for the last 6 months watching YouTube videos.
Liz: Just that night?
Leo: Just that night. He said, "You know, I'd like to know how to drive." And he goes to YouTube and he finds out. That's amazing. We are done. I hope you enjoyed your snacks from Nature Box. They're fine snacks.
Leo: #ads, thank you, sponsors. You have to do that. The FTC will ding you if you don't. I feel bad because I keep opening these up and eating more. I really have to put them away. Liz Gannes, it's so great to have you from 60db. Six zero D B .co Go there and get the Android app. We can download it as a beta now.
Liz: Yea, yea, it's out there.
Leo: But that will change later in the week.
Liz: Well, it will just look a little different, but it works.
Liz: I hope.
Leo: I'm getting it. I'm listening to it on the way home. I love 60db.
Liz: And then when you go into your house, you can keep listening, right where you left off.
Leo: Never stop listening. Always. I had a call on the radio show today from a lady who said, "So, how much power does it use if I leave the TV on in every room?" I said, "What do you mean?" She said, "Well, I'm very ADD and I like to sit and watch TV and sew but sometimes I have to get up and I don't want to miss a thing. So, I just walk around from room to room and I want to be able to have my show on everywhere." And I said, "Go ahead. Knock yourself out. How much power can it use? Get some solar panels." Jason Snell, he's at sixcolors.com and @jsnell and the podcast is awesome.
Jason: Thank you.
Leo: And there's many of them.
Jason: There's many. It's a podcast and a network, the incomparable.com. You can check it out. And I've got some tech stuff that I do at relay.fm, so. I'm doing a lot of podcasts.
Leo: Give that a plug because Relay's got some great shows.
Jason: Yea, so Upgrade is the one I do weekly and they do Clockwise which is also weekly that are both tech shows. And Clockwise is fun because it's half an hour, so if you were looking for something little shorter, it will fit the bill. Lots of good stuff. So, yea, it's fun. I'm doing—
Liz: When is the 5-minute show coming?
Jason: Robot or Not is about 5-10 minutes every week or two about—
Leo: Do you ask if this is a robot?
Jason: Well, it started with me asking John Siracusa from—
Leo: Who sounds like a robot, excuse me.
Jason: Well, he's not a robot. We've established it now. But he is very exacting.
Leo: He has kind of that robotic tone.
Jason: No, it's not a robot. So, that's where it started because he has a very particular definition. But now, we've done so many robots I'm sick of it. So, we're branching out into other areas. So, we talked about—we did the sandwich thing because you've got to do a sandwich thing. We talked about what makes a villain into a supervillain. Like, where is the line there?
Leo: Oh, this is good stuff.
Jason: And other esoteric questions that I ask, in addition to finding out whether things are robots or not.
Leo: Everybody knows the biggest debates, the hottest debates, are about the least important things.
Jason: Absolutely. And this is my attempt to cash in on that.
Jason: It's a podcast that basically has no ads. But it's fun and short. People like short podcasts.
Leo: It sounds awesome. I thank you all for being here. We have a few more days in the voting on the Webby Awards. We were nominated, the Triangulation Show is nominated for a Webby for our interview with Edward Snowden's attorney. And I think we're only leading by a few percentage points. So, every vote is going to count for the next few days as we try to beat Marketplace and General Electric and some really big brands. So, if you would, twit.to/webbys2017. That's the shortened URL that we made for you to make it easy. Twit.to/webbys2017. They do ask you to log in to make sure you don't vote more than once. You can use your Twitter account or your Facebook account for that if you don't want to make a Webbys account. But I appreciate the vote and we'll let you know how it all comes out. I think the voting ends on the 20th, right? Pretty soon. Yea, just a few days. Don't forget to file your taxes and remember, the IRS will not be calling you at home. Nor will they be sending you an email so don't believe it if you do get that call or that email. Thanks for being here! We'll see you next time. Another TWiT is in the can. Bye-Bye. Happy Easter!