This Week in Tech 615
Leo Laporte: It's time for TWiT, This Week in Tech. We've got a great panel for you! Jeff Jarvis is here. He's visiting us from his home in New Jersey. Also in studio, Mark Milian of Bloomberg Business Week and our old friend, Nathan Olivarez-Giles. We're going to talk about Google IO, all the things Google announced, Facebook's new rules for blocking abuse, and what Teresa May has planned for the UK that may scare you.
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Leo: This is TWiT, This Week in Tech, episode 615, recorded Sunday, May 21, 2017.
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It's time for TWiT, This week in Tech, the show where we cover the week's tech news. As Jeff Jarvis said, it is a journal heavy panel today.
Jeff Jarvis: I'm the oldest Journo. Old man!
Leo: Buzzmachine.com is his blog. He's a professor of journalism at City University of New York. He's an esteemed and respected professor of journalism. And my booth mate at... we were just down the road from some other VIPs I didn't recognize. Hey, Jeff, you made it back!
Jeff: I just put up my favorite tweet I've ever done in my life of tweeting.
Leo: Did you write it or use somebody else's?
Jeff: Two pictures.
Leo: Still using Twitter. Here it is. Pictures. The flying monkeys with the Wizard of Oz, you've got the Wicked Witch of the West. Dorothy...
Jeff: Click on the other photo.
Leo: Oh wow. This is President Trump in Saudi Arabia, is that the King he's with there? He's touching his orb! They have many rituals in Saudi Arabia that are odd.
Jeff: I don't think this is a historic ritual. This is something new.
Leo: Is he controlling something?
Mark Milian: The eye of Sauron.
Leo: It's a Palanter.
Jeff: It's going to be great material this week for the late night shows.
Leo: Interesting image. Thank you, Jeff. Also with us, Mark Milian, from Bloomberg Business Week. I have to say, Bloomberg.com/tech. Great to see you.
Mark: Great to be here. I have not seen the new studio.
Leo: I didn't realize you hadn't seen this yet. And of course, Nathan Olivarez-Giles.
Nathan Olivarez Giles: Happy to be here.
Leo: One of our most recent hires. Welcome. So you guys are all like serious journalists and that kind of thing. That's what I hear. You want to start with Google? Google IO?
Nathan: Google IO should have been the biggest news of the week.
Leo: It wasn't.
Nathan: It let a lot of people down. There was a lot of significant stuff, they didn't really explain why the stuff mattered that well.
Leo: Much of the stuff wasn't available yet.
Jeff: I think Gizmodo's piece by Michael Nunez was the best. It said you can't see it, you can't touch it.
Leo: In Google's defense, that's a good point. If you're making big strides in AI, that slips away. That is one of the things Sundar Pichai said. We're moving from the Mobile First world, to an AI first world. That's interesting.
Nathan: That was the sell last year for Google IO. One of the things that sticks out to me. If you look at the complaints before Sundar took over as CEO a year ago, a lot of it was that you go to Google IO, you see all these really fun gee whiz ideas that you realize are costing money. Sundar came to the company, got rid of that sort of thing, and this is what the company is focused on. This is iterative stuff, and it's good progress, like the Cloud TPU set up is computer chips that will help their machine learning system grow faster.
Leo: Fascinating. So these are inexpensive, they got four processors on big heavy duty GPU stuff. This is no raspberry pie. 180 teraflops.
Nathan: This could give them an advantage in their cloud services versus Amazon, this could give them an advantage in their AI.
Leo: They're also making it available to third parties... They've already open sourced Tenser Flow the software, and these are hardware devices designed to run Tenser Flow at speed. If you're impressed with 180 Teraflops, that's not the point because the idea is they massively paralyze them. These racks are multi petaflops per. This is 11.5 petaflops of machine learning in this rack.
Nathan: The missing piece was Sundar saying Hey, this is what... here are the cool things we'll be able to build with this technology, here's the stuff, first come in and help us build together. Regular people coming in and watching this, here's what the future is going to look like. Here's the vision. Sundar's Google doesn't do as good a job illustrating that vision in these keynotes as...
Leo: Let's face it. Tech Journalists would rather have Sergei Brinn parachuting in with Google goggles on. It's a better show, but it's equally meaningless. Much more meaningless.
Nathan: It's less exciting, but this is probably one of the most significant things Google has announced...
Jeff: I think that's right. It's enabling. You know the name of that guy we talked about on the show for an hour once... was he Swiss or an Austrian AI genius? He talked about how the theory is ahead of the Practice because exactly what you just said. Their theory is way ahead...
Leo: You're talking about Jurgen Schmitthooper. Oh yeah. Not the best website I've ever seen.
Jeff: Click on What's new.
Leo: I've also probably zoomed this in. That's what it's supposed to look like.
Nathan: Here's this opportunity... sell us on the future. Tell us where this is going and why building this together with you is better than putting your energies as a developer...
Leo: Maybe not. Maybe the smartest thing for them is to shut up.
Nathan: This is what Google doesn't do. Google doesn't shut up.
Leo: Apple shuts up.
Nathan: Google builds their products in front of you, sometimes they fail. But they always... basically you get to see how the sausage is made. Apple, they keep it secret and then when they have a fully realized product, usually, unless it's a beta like Siri or Apple Maps, they'll bring it out to you. This is something Mark and I have been talking about recently. Just as friends but also on our Buzzkill podcast. This is a difference between.... Facebook with their F8 developer's conference, they're further behind on all this tech. But they showed some camera apps. They got people excited.
Leo: I respect a company like Google where they're not going to do the Flash. They're going to do the... remember it was a Developer's conference. They're not going to try to impress.
Nathan: It's a Developer's Conference, but these Keynotes have been filled with Consumer news, the expectation these days is you'll have something clashing.
Leo: I was disappointed we didn't see anything about Chromebook, we didn't see anything about a lot of Consumer products. They didn't mention Pixel phones, they did mention Google Home and the assistant. The assistant now is on the iPhone, which is really a stealth introduction to the system, to get iPhone users to understand. You know that Siri you've got, that's crap. This is what a real assistant can do. I think hoping to woo some people over to Android. But at least to get him to buy the Google home. The other thing, maybe it's just me. I keep mentioning this... I think the fact you can make free calls to any phone in the US and Canada on your Google home is impressive.
Jeff: It amazes people our age. We're old enough that our parents would yell at us to get off the phone.
Leo: Because it's long distance, it's costing a lot of money.
Nathan: It's not impressive at all.
Leo: You have unlimited minutes.
Jeff: Nobody wants to talk on the phone.
Nathan: If I have to go to my phone to set up my speaker, my speaker should know that my phone exists and it should be able to be a speaker phone.
Leo: You millennials.... you can only call other Echos. In a couple ways, they scooped Amazon's big announcements for the last few weeks. Because that was one announcement, was free Echo to Echo calling. Big deal. They also have some privacy issues, because there's no way to block calls. The fact that anybody who figures out how to get ahold of you on your Echo can bug the hell out of you in your house. But then remember, Amazon has announced but not yet shipped this Home. What do they call it? The Show? The Show has a screen on it. It's a tablet with an Echo built into it. But Google says well, we didn't do that because you got screens all over the house. So how about if you just cast your calendar to your TV or any other cast ready screen in your house? Of course most people have cast ready screens all over the place now. So I thought that was impressive.
Nathan: It does make me wonder if, and this is something Megan Moroni brought up, we were talking about it earlier, is whether or not this puts pressure on Amazon to come out with a phone again. Google has its apps on the iPhone, and they have Android, but if you're using an IOS device or an Android device, they have a presence on your phone. The reason why this might be a jump ahead for them in this phone calling thing, they have access to your phone in ways that Amazon doesn't yet.
Leo: That's the other thing Google has to think about is the creepy line. Right, Jeff? Every time they announce something, there are going to be a group of people, privacy advocates, that say hell no.
Jeff: Yeah, right.
Leo: The Google lens is funny. This is an AI capability that reminds you of Google Goggles and Amazon's Firephone. But I asked somebody at Google who was involved in integrating this into search and photos, she said this is AI. Goggles is prepopulated, we had to teach it. This is learning all the time. For instance, I love this. Take a picture of a flower; this happens to me all the time. What is that flower, it will say that's a milk and wine lily. It will even give you nearby florists who can order it and buy it. That's a business proposition for Google. If you have barcodes on the back of your router, it will automatically configure, connect to it, by taking a picture of it. My favorite one was they showed you using your phone. I'm not sure what app this is. Maybe it's the camera app. You point at different store fronts, and it will tell you what the star rating is, how much it costs. You can make a reservation.
Jeff: This is AR beyond what Facebook can do, because Google has all that data.
Leo: I know Apple, at some point, they're going to announce AR. I think they've scooped them a little bit. Here's an example, they took a picture at a marquis. One of my favorite clubs in San Francisco. The lens is smart enough to know that's a Stone Fox. It offers you Stone Fox's music, offers to add that to your calendar, which is impressive, and shows you where you can buy tickets to that, all from taking a picture of the marquis. Those things seem like the kind of things that can be useful.
Jeff: It's an entirely new user interface with computer. They have typing, they have conversation, now they have sight.
Leo: You do know most people will never know that existing.
Mark: Does it even work outside of New York and San Francisco?
Leo: That's a good question. That's part of the problem with the keynotes, is you don't know until you try it. None of this is available yet.
Nathan: Not many other companies have, to Jeff's point, this data repository that Google has. Basically if their systems are sophisticated enough and can learn quick enough, and maybe someday teach themselves, all these images that people upload when they're at a place and they're tagging them and uploading them to Google maps, and they're using them on Google image search, all of that should be feeding data to say that small diner in Tucson might not be as popular as that place in San Francisco, but a couple dozen people have been there and here are some photos. Let's put it together and help this camera recognize it.
Leo: Tess Townsend argues on Recode that this is Google's future. This is Google lands is an example of device independent computing. AI. She said, and she's, there's something to be said for this, even though this is nothing new, it tells us something about where Google is going. It's part of a less device centric and more user centric focus. I like that idea. I think that's... you still need a device, you still need a camera.
Nathan: Google has never cared about what device it used.
Leo: this is Surge. Instead of typing in a search, you just search and that's Google's core business.
Jeff: It pulls out all of Google's data, it's utilitarian. It's that or sharks swimming around your cereal bowl, which is a more useful form of AR.
Leo: I agree with you. I think this all came into our lives in a more subtle fashion, and yes it's not exciting what Google does, a keynote, but if, by the way, none of these are available. We don't know what they're going to be like... whether they'll live up to their promise, etcetera.
Jeff: The other thing they showed was going into the Home Depot and getting right to that... You add Tango into it. This presence about your world, Google can add value to your world. That's a big deal.
Leo: Tango is always bothered me, because it never felt like an interesting or consumer friendly technology. The devices were big old outlets. Now they start making Tango phones that are more normal. They showed an LG phone that had Tango...
Nathan: They still had phones with cameras... a little bulkier than an average phone.
Leo: I was unclear in the Demo. They showed two sides of it. They showed the gathering of data part where the computer is learning all these information points. Who does that? does the store keeper do that?
Mark: Definitely not. They've tried to do these in store mapping things forever, and they'll get one or two retail partners that's willing to go through it, but all the other retailers it's like, we're just trying to stay alive.
Leo: By the way, you can't do it just once, you've got to do it every week because most stuff changes. What are they going to do? Drive a little tank or cart around? Then they showed the consumer facing side. It's like Google maps inside a store. You can say where is a screwdriver, I think most stores, that's why Home Depot has a guide there in a tool belt, so I can say it's on Aisle 3. I don't know if that's not working yet. Maybe it's solving a problem that doesn't exist yet. Tango has always felt to me like a technology search.
Jeff: But you add it together with that data backed AR, the image, Google constantly being able to know where you are, being able to take you to things, is aware of your surroundings, that provides the context, you can ask questions about your surroundings. Which is the best widget? What do other people say about this, all those things start to come out, because it is aware of context. Google is always looking for context so it can anticipate your needs. Now it will have more context.
Leo: I think we don't really care about what they announce. If we don't, consumers even less. Doesn't matter, because what is going to happen without anybody noticing, is the assistant is going to get better and better, these technologies are going to surface, because in the natural course of using your camera, it'll say do you want to know what that flower is? What we will, in a few years, we'll look back and go we've made considerable progress. Look at speech recognition. Their error rate is under 5%.
Jeff: That's better than I do at my age.
Leo: That's what they said. It's better than humans.
Jeff: They said that about imagery. I don't understand that at all.
Leo: By announcing this... it's not inspiring or exciting. If they just shut up and let it get better and better, and put it on Apple, give them a Google assistant, and people say this assistant does a good job. Gradually, people will start putting Homes in their houses. I think that gradual is the best way to do this. Surprise people.
Jeff: Plus, you have less problems of scaring regulators.
Leo: That's the big risk.
Nathan: That's a genuine concern. If Google's approach is going to work here, it's going to rely on people uploading and sharing all their photos. Essentially every time you use a Google lens, you're sending that photo, that imagery, whatever, to Google. That will leave a trail. That is a repository of all the things you've been looking at to your phone through Google. Now it'll offer that context through a store, but also…
Leo: Is it bad, or is that a good thing?
Nathan: It's a privacy trade off. It's a question we need to ask ourselves. But it could be a bad thing.
Leo: Right. There is a risk of course, because Apple does a better job marketing... I think people assume Siri is better than it is. Siri is terrible. Don't you think?
Nathan: They're all pretty bad. But I think that's because the pop culture idea of what AI should be... they're not the star trek computer yet, they're not whatever. But I think they're where they're supposed to be at this point, given the technology that AI is at.
Leo: That's almost why I think this is going to gradually sneak up on us that this is... wow.
Mark: The only way it's going to improve is if people keep using the bad product to teach it, so it gets better and better.
Leo: This is where Google has a huge advantage, because they have this virtuous circle where people use it and it feeds into it and gets better. You're right. They do need to get people to keep using it.
Nathan: For Google, even if people aren't using Lens, even if people aren't talking through Text and Aloe, they're still using Google Search. All of those things inform their AI. they're able to tie all of that stuff together. this company is set up and built for this problem.
Leo: Don't you think people are starting to realize that Photos is remarkable. Maybe it's just me, but I put everything into photos now. I don't ever have to worry about categorizing or anything. It just knows.
Nathan: You're helping to feed their image recognition and all of that stuff.
Leo: And they offer it for free, it's a very compelling offering. It's free backup of your photos, automatic categorization.
Mark: The new shared libraries sounds really cool. I haven't tried it yet, but...
Leo: So they're giving us little bits of candy. They're giving us Hansel and Gretel breadcrumbs leading into these technologies. In I think an appropriate way for people to use it more and more so they can get better.
Nathan: Photos, interestingly enough is a big advantage for Facebook. Online, the biggest place where the most people upload photos is Facebook. FlickR even more than Google photos.
Jeff: You're right, but they've never provided that kind of functionality where you can organize your family stuff and see photos of your kids and all that. They don't have the middle layer.
Leo: Do you think they're working as hard as Google on AI?
Nathan: I think they're throwing as much money and resources at it, but they're so far behind, because they don't have as many signals.
Leo: It's almost as if Google knew ten years ago... do you think they knew this was the end game? They're pretty forward thinking.
Nathan: I think Google is trying to get all the data they could... Google has been the bastion of the...
Leo: Organizing the world's data and making it acceptable. That was from day 1 their mission statement. Maybe they didn't know. Even in 1975, the key to AI was data.
Jeff: What's his name? The brilliant Russian investor who does physics prize... When he started investing in Twitter and Facebook long ago, he said it was because AI is coming, and they have data.
Leo: Big data. But nobody has done a better job of capturing it and capitalizing on it than Google. I'm waiting to see Apple and Microsoft and Facebook and Amazon do the same, and it seems as if Google has a handle on this.
Nathan: Google has been one of the worst companies when it comes to respecting consumer privacy. But that's allowed them to build...
Leo: Facebook is clearly the worst company.
Nathan: Facebook might care less and they might make more mistakes.
Leo: They take everything, but they tell you what they take in Dashboard. They let you...
Nathan: They tell you in places where nobody looks. Most people don't go to Dashboard, most people don't go to my account. Most people don't go into their user settings that way.
Mark: Those are the two companies that don't default to we're going to take and keep everything.
Mark: Whereas Apple and Amazon are on the other end of the spectrum.
Jeff: Apple is so far behind.
Leo: I think Google does it well. Maybe I'm prejudiced. They collect as much as they can, but they tell you. Admittedly, people don't care. they don't hide it, they encourage you to review your settings and review your... they say in their terms of service in fairly clear English what they're doing. If you're going to win in AI, you've got to collect that data, don't you? I tell you what you do see when you look at Facebook and google is scale. Sundar Pichai gave out some numbers. 2 billion monthly active Android devices. 2 billion! It's not quite 2 billion. Microsoft has 1.5 billion Windows machines.
Jeff: Yet both companies are personal services companies. We in media still treat everybody the same. We have the same single product. Google and Facebook scale at a personal level.
Leo: And it's big growth from a year ago, when they had 1.4 billion September 2015. 800 million monthly active users on Google drive, Google photos, 500 million monthly active users.
Nathan: I wonder how many of those 2 billion Android devices are running on OS.
Leo: None of them. Only people who are the pixel owners. The million pixel owners. That's about it.
Nathan: It hurts to see all this cool stuff at Google IO, and so many people don't have access to it.
Mark: Android O looks cool, even though people won't be able to use it for a couple years.
Leo: Let's talk about it. I know Jeff installed it immediately. It's a public beta now. You probably have to have a Google phone or a Nexus or a Pixel.
Mark: Can we place our bets on what the O is going to be?
Leo: When we come back. We're going to take a break. Mark Milian is here form Bloomberg Business Week. bloomberg.com/tech. If you have any questions about the Bloomberg terminal, he knows how to operate it. It's kind of complicated. It's for traitors. @Mark Milian on Twitter. Nathan Olivarez-Giles who I really think is... you should thank your Mom and Dad, because Nate OG is the best Twitter handle ever.
Nathan: That came from an elementary school teacher who couldn't say my last name. I don't think they were anticipating...
Leo: Original Gangsta! Is that what that means?
Nathan: My street reputation precedes me.
Leo: We're proud to say our newest reporter here. In fact, I'm working on Nate to do a car show. You guys do a podcast together called Buzzkill. Don't you have to say the X? What do you guys do on that show? I know you have the buzzer.
Mark: We try to keep it under 30 minutes.
Leo: What a foolish idea. We've already gone past 30 minutes here. No stamina.
Mark: WE pick topics in advance, and then over the course of the show, whenever any of us gets bored with a topic, you can hit a buzzer and that forces the conversation to move onto the next topic.
Leo: Barcelona FC. Andrea is from Barcelona. There's two clips of Barcelona, aren't there? Jeff Jarvis is also here from City University of New York. Buzzmachine.com. Let's talk about O in a second. Our show to you today brought to you by Rocket Mortgage from quicken Loans, the best mortgage lender in the country, because they're high tech, they're transparent, they do a great job, they're number one in customer satisfaction. From JD Power. Year after year. You got to love Quicken Loans, and now the geek in me loves them more because they've created an entirely online mortgage process. That happens fast, because it's computers. Last time we bought a house, took us a month. From one of the big banks. We gave them the normal stuff... they kept asking for week after week. We were faxing from a cruise ship. Information before we got our mortgage. It was crazy. Next time Rocket Mortgage. You can do it at the open house. Secure, trustworthy, they even give you buttons to choose a term and the rate of your loan. Submit all the paperwork you need with the touch of a button, including paychecks and checking statements. Because it's computers, they customize it just for you, and they turn around. Literally not months, weeks, days, but minutes. Rocket Mortgage. Skip the bank, skip the waiting, go completely online. Quickenloans.com/twit2. Get that address right, quickenloans.com/twit2. Equal housing in all 50 states, consumer access number 30. Do you have sponsors on the Buzzkill?
Nathan: We have no sponsors. We get some 800 listeners a week.
Leo: Let's get it bigger. What's the website?
Nathan: We don't have a website. We're millennials.
Mark: It actually comes on cassettes.
Nathan: It's on Soundcloud, it's on iTunes, it's on every podcast.
Leo: I guess you don't really need a website anymore, do you? Think of all the money I wasted over the years on websites.
Nathan: I thought Squarespace was hooking you up.
Leo: We run our own sites. It's Druple, backend, it's on Horoku, we use Reddit. It costs me $6000 a month, but it's modern. You're flabbergasted, aren't you?
Nathan: We might have a buzzkill website eventually.
Leo: Wordpress is really good for Podcasters. Oh. So. I took a picture. I was at Google IO in the Press area. I took a picture. I don't know if this is indicative of anything, of a big basket of Oreo cookies.
Nathan: I hope Android O is called Oreo. I love Oreos.
Leo: Who doesn't? Do you have Oreos in Barcelona? He says of course. It has to be international. That's part of the problem. Nouggat was sort of International, but I don't think Americans really know what Nouggat is.
Nathan: If you're a hardcore Snickers person, you know it's inside of Snickers.
Leo: Remember they named it Kitkat and they got some flack for using a brand name. Maybe they have to make a deal with Nabisco. What about Orange.
Leo: Orange Julius.
Nathan: Orange slices are the things they give to kids after soccer games. You could be an orange slice.
Leo: Orange slice. I like it. Oatmeal cookie. I like Oreo. Remember when we thought it would be Nutella.
Nathan: It's going to be Ozark Pudding. It's everybody's favorite nutcake.
Leo: Orange is too political because of the Dutch.
Jeff: And the President.
Leo: Emails to Jeff Jarvis. Don't bother me. How about... Have you installed O? I didn't install O on my Pixel. There are a few interesting things about O. Right, Jeff?
Jeff: I didn't install it on this phone, but I already got it.
Leo: You must have pushed that button. If you go to Android.com/beta, they'll show you the compatible phones, and then there's a button that you push that says sign me up. At that point, you get an over the air update.
Mark: What's your favorite feature, Jeff?
Jeff: That's the problem. I don't even know what features are on. It doesn't onboard well.
Leo: Here it is. How does the Android O beta program work? Here's the two phones I own that are compatible. Both Google pixels. If I were to enroll the device, I would get it over the air.
Nathan: You don't have any Nexus devices?
Leo: I do. I don't know why it didn't show those. I have a Nexus 6P. I kept the 6.
Jeff: Fostbites did this list of O desserts for the O. There's not an obvious O.
Leo: I think Google wasn't thinking about this.
Mark: Oley boley doesn't jump out to you, Jeff?
Leo: That's a Dutch dessert? what's it like?
Nathan: It's like powdered sugar...
Leo: It's spelled so strangely, i can't think it would be a winner.
Jeff: I was thinking TapiOca.
Leo: That's a bit of a stretch. They look like begnets. Dusted with sugar to make them extra healthy.
Jeff: When I went there for meetings with newspapers, they're honored to use... they bring out bitte ballen.
Leo: How does it happen that we in America are overweight and dying at younger and younger ages, but people in Holland are eating fried food like there's no tomorrow and they're healthy. What did we do wrong?
Jeff: They ride their bikes.
Leo: So smart reply, that's not an O thing. That's in Gmail.
Jeff: I said this on Twig the other day. Do you use Smart reply, and do you feel guilty when you do?
Leo: Anything to make my email faster, I don't care. I use it.
Mark: It's nice.
Nathan: I usually ignore it. I almost never use it.
Leo: They didn't show the most felicitous example on the stage. It was like do you want to see the chain smokers on Saturday or Sunday, which day? And the three responses were Saturday, I don't care, and whatever. It wasn't the most useful.
Nathan: Even Google, which has one of the best AI ever.
Leo: That was the example they chose!
Jeff: My argument is that Google already knew you were busy on Sunday.
Leo: It could. Notification dots. The iPhone has had notification dots since it started. These are little badges that tell you you've got something.
Nathan: If you press on them, you'll get a menu.
Leo Google has had long Press for a while, right? Or that came out in N. Jeff is showing it.
Jeff: You can't see it.
Leo: I like this. I would use that.
Nathan: Do you use it on your iPhone?
Leo: No. 3D touch is too weird on the iPhone. It's too... it's finnicky. Do I press hard, do I press light? Do I touch and hold?
Mark: I use it all the time. It's great.
Leo: You like it.
Mark: Instead of double tapping the home buttons to select apps, you can press the home button from the left side of the screen...
Leo: It never does that for me unless I don't want it to do it. Drives me nuts. OK. You like it. I think iPhone users generally like 3D touch. This basically is the same. It's long press. Long press pops up an extra menu of content sensitive things. That just makes sense to me. Google can do that, because they don't have the jiggle jiggle. The iPhone has the jiggle jiggle jiggle.
Mark: Which I think is more confusing, because then you've got two actions that are roughly the same.
Leo: That's why I get confused. If you put your finger on an icon on the iPhone and hold it for a while, the icon goes like this and you can delete it or move it. On Google, you just drag it around.
Nathan: Google might not have the 3D touch thing because they'll have to put the operating system out to devices that won't have that sensitive display, but if we get to a point where we have no bezels, no buttons, you're going to want...
Leo: That's the advantage Apple has to make all the hardware. They know their phones can have that capability. iPhone 6s don't . Notification dots is an example of the most incremental not very exciting improvement. What else is a no? Faster boot time.
Nathan: That's where Android has been the last few years. It's a really good operating system, but they're making it better. It looks good.
Jeff: What's the install base for IOS now?
Leo: I can ask the Google.
Jeff: OK. Google, how many IOS users are there?
Google: Android holds the largest number of install base devices with 1.9 billion in use in 2014 compared with 682 million iOS, Mac OS.
Leo: In 2014...
Jeff: Is it still the case that developers do IOS first, or is that story...
Leo: You know why? It's money. The problem with Android, that 2 billion number, as we said at the very beginning is such a large number of people who never buy apps. You can't really use that as informative.
Nathan: One of the things I was looking for in the IO keynote which I never saw was Google coming out and saying Play si kicking ass, and here is how much money developers made and we paid out to developers. Apple will do that at Dub Dub DC. I was waiting for that at IO, and it never came.
Leo: Apple, on the other hand, does overstate the strength of the app store economy. They have a new page touting. I'm sure this is for the US government, for the benefit, it's their two million page. It's Apple.com/jobcreation. 2 million US jobs and counting. Which sounds good, until you look at the breakdown, which is 80,000 Apple employees. Then suppliers, 450,000. Of the two million, more than 3/4 they attribute to the app store ecosystem.
Leo: That's some guy writing a calculator app who is making diddely doo doo. They created 2 million jobs. It's clearly for the benefit of the Trump administration. See, we're creating jobs.
Mark: They were doing this before. It feels like a page that was designed by lobbyists.
Leo: Yeah. Alaska, 74 Apple employees, but 1,000 app store ecosystem jobs. You know, we're making it safe to work in Alaska again. I don't know how I got into this, I'm sorry. Let's see. Dippin Dots. What else for Android O? Can we go back and rename Android D? What was D? Donut. Let's call it Dippin Dots. They announced a VR headset that is standalone. They didn't announce a price or availability. It did say it will be made by HTC who makes the Vive, and Lenovo, who makes the Motorola phones. This is an education play. I don't... daydream if you've got a Smartphone is cheap. You just plop your Smartphone, but they pitch Daydream at schools. But they don't mention that each and every one of you has to have an $800 phone. There's some very nice curriculum, Google expeditions where you can travel the world, but a school can't assume that kid is going to have a Smartphone. I don't think there's a big market, but they figure we can count on 4 or 5 Units to every school in the country. Museums, sure. Although, do you want people walking around blind in your museum?
Nathan: If you're going to compete in VR, whether it is at homes or schools or museums or whatever, you're going to have to have a wireless headset, because Oculus is working on it.
Leo: Oculus doesn't have it.
Nathan: Oculus had a running Demo at some previous developer conferences. They actually showed one you could try out at Google IO. They said it exists and we have the technology and we're working with hardware partners but we're not going to show you what it looks like. You're not going to get to try one out yet. It wasn't a surprise at all that they announced it.
Leo: I don't think it's a big market. No. It's not end users. I think end users have a Smartphone that is daydream capable. S8 will be daydream capable. LG is going to be daydream capable. It's next generation flagship. If you don't have daydream you can use Samsung Gear VR. I don't know. Maybe there's a market. I'm still skeptical about VR in general. I don't know about AR. What else about O? Nothing else.
Nathan: The sensors for this headset are built into the headset. So unlike what Oculus is doing or what HTC is doing, you don't need the sensors in your living room.
Leo: I have in my living room two Vive sensors nailed to the wall.
Jeff: Which room?
Leo: The VR room. It's a game room. The problem with Vive is you need a lot of room. You need a 6 by 9 space that is cleared so we have to shove those chairs out of the way. I brought it in here. It's here. I didn't bring... I still have them hanging on the wall though, just in case. Anything else about Google IO before we move onto other...
Jeff: I just saw that they redesigned emojis.
Nathan: That's part of the Android O. And the updated... they had... the smiley face was a little blob. And now a smiley face will be a circular more Apple like... face.
Leo: The burrito is now wrapped in foil. It has delicious toppings. Is this a Klingon? Oh. It's lothloriel? I don't know. I'm making up names.
Jeff: They have a breastfeeding one now.
Leo: This is controversial. I remember we talked to the emoji guy from the Unicode Emoji committee, and he said initially we wanted the breastfeeding emoji to be gender neutral, and the only way they could think of doing that was cutting the head off. So you had a headless person feeding a baby and it didn't look good.
Jeff: That makes no sense, Leo.
Leo: I am not going to weigh in on this one at all. I have been told that some men can breastfeed.
Mark: Let's talk about the Panda emoji.
Leo: I think the breastfeeding emoji does have a female head on it.
Leo: What's going on here?
Mark: That's the massage emoji. That one has been around for a while.
Leo: You kids today. You know this stuff. Is she making a fried egg. Yep. It's sticky.
Jeff: The also animated a lot of them.
Leo: What does it say about the world that we're worried about this? Apple got a lot of press for IOS 9 and the redesigned emojis. In fact, the scandalously sexy dancing lady and the Peach. The Peach went back and forth. Woah. Is that me? Am I finally having acid flashbacks? Is that the animation? It's the change. These are more streamlined. The gorilla doesn't like it needs a haircut anymore. It looks like more of a clean cut gorilla. Yeah. Bedhead gorilla. You don't want a bedhead gorilla. By by blobs, hello Emoji with Squishy circles. I did not like the blobs. They looked like the tip of your thumb. They looked like they painted your face on the tip of your thumb. They're now back to the traditional round...Did you ever paint a face on the tip of your thumb?
Nathan: When I was in Kindergarten? What thumb puppet traumatic experience did you have that makes you hate them so much?
Leo: It's truncated. I don't like it. Oh look. Re-useable components.
Nathan: Which is something that we see in iMessage apps.
Leo: You're paying too much attention to this. We've shared many of the eye and mouth components between expression and animal emoji.
Nathan: One of our good friends makes an iMessage app that lets you put on sunglasses and hats and all sorts of stuff.
Leo: What is that called?
Nathan: Sticker pals?
Leo: Yeah. You told me about that. I love Phil.
Nathan: He's a huge fan of yours.
Leo: Oh. We should have him on. He did the original camera plus.
Nathan: Yeah. They're working on Heads up right now.
Leo: He only IOS. He doesn't any Android stuff. They don't like to mix Android and the other stuff. Oh here's the breastfeeding emoji. That's nice. It's lady and a baby. There's the hedgehog, the zombie, the vampire, the exploding head.
Jeff: I like that one, the exploding head.
Leo: I think they used you as the model for that.
Leo: That's a Jarvis rant, emoji. This is a Medium Post. You saw the New York Times article? Ed Williams said the Internet is all screwed up but he's going to save it.
Jeff: It's also his fault that it's screwed up. I say that with a lot of respect for Ed. but when he started Medium I said it was his penance for giving us Twitter and I think that's what he's saying there.
Leo: The Internet is broken. @Ev is trying to salve it.
Jeff: Give people more communication, what good or bad comes from that? That's what the question is.
Leo: Ed Williams Founded Blogger, sold it to Google, then he founded something called Odio which was a little remembered much beloved Podcast directory. Odio flopped because iTunes killed it. Famously gave the money back to the investors, which was a good move. One of his colleagues had this idea... the reason I know this, back in 2007 when Twitter had just come out, was it Jack? Jack Dorsey had this idea for something TWTTR, he said let's try it. Lo and behold, Twitter is all that. Ed says I think the Internet is broken. He's believed that for a few years, but things are getting worse, according to the Times. It's a lot more obvious to a lot of people that it's broken. He says it's broken because people are using Facebook to show suicides, beatings, and mass murder in real time. Twitter is a hive of trolling and abuse, fake news runs rampant. 4 out of 10 adult Internet users told the Pew survey they had been harassed online. "I thought once everybody could speak freely and exchange information and ideas, the world is automatically going to be a better place. I was wrong, says Ev Williams." So what's he doing to fix it? Medium?
Jeff: The Business model is still... I was thinking about this. The counter intuitive business model, I actually think that the writers should pay.
Nathan: Every writer I know is broke.
Jeff: I would pay to be in an environment that was guaranteed to be quality, and that means you can fire me. I'm going to judge who gets in.
Leo: There are blog platforms that pay. What makes Medium unique? Why is Medium different than Wordpress or SquareSpace? Wordpress.com has an active front page social community.
Jeff: Not the same way. My Wordpress blog has no relation to any other Wordpress blog, whereas my Medium post doesn't get recommended on Medium.
Leo: You and I talked to Steven Levie who his publication Back channel is owned by Condi Nast, but they didn't make a website for it. They just posted on Medium. Should we consider that off the record, Jeff? You're the journalist.
Jeff: I guess so. Yeah. Let's put it this way. They asked what do you think of Medium now?
Leo: Let's put it this way. They're as baffled as everybody about what the future of Medium is. Ed says when he launched Medium he wanted to create "a beautiful space for reading and writing and little else." The words are central. Is it living up to that. I think so.
Nathan: I think Ed's central thesis of the Internet, making the world a worse place than it was before is wrong. So. To me the whole thing is a bit... him thinking to himself, But, you know, before the internet, in order to publish, in order to get your stuff out there, you had to be rich enough to own a printing press.
Jeff: Amen, sir. Amen.
Nathan: And a television station? You had to have the money to own a television station. Now, even if you don't own a computer, you can go into a library. You can have access to basically the same tools for the most part that we use as journalists to get stuff out there. Now, is there maybe more noise and confusion than ever before? Maybe. Big news is propaganda. Well, there's always been that sort of thing out there. These aren't new problems. I mean, it might be amplified because more people are participating than ever before, but upending old power structures of a select few people who had control of all the media, I think that's actually a good thing. Now, the problem for our industry is that we can't make as much money off of it as we used to. Hopefully, eventually because this model will be found, but the central idea that the internet has made the world the worst place, off the bat I disagree with it.
Jeff: I absolutely agree with you. And I'm the optimist to a fault and I'll salute that flag. But there's also two disturbing documents that are in the rundown this week. One is Danah Boyd's, date on society released a report from two other researchers, 1,069-page report about all the mechanisms and means of manipulation of terms. And there is a Guardian story about the reviewers of instructions that come out for Facebook. And it's depressing as hell to read what people do. And so, this discussion I've long had is that the problem with Twitter is the openness, probably necessarily breeds trolls and bad behavior. So, I agree with absolutely everything you said, but there's a price that comes with it, if we're going to be truly open. And even if you're a closed network, even if you're Facebook, to be big and what they feel they must tolerate about speech, and I love free speech. A lot of it is really obnoxious and really horrible and you know, abusive of animals, even abuse of children. As long as it's not celebratory, they leave it there to be aware and we live in an ugly world. And that's why I'm thinking maybe what Evan really wants to do is create a happy place. What does a happy place look like?
Leo: He says that he's always done the same thing, that all of his ideas are basically the same. But if you create a great tool to let people speak—
Jeff: They're going to speak.
Leo: They're going to speak. How do you make sure it's only used for stuff you approve of? You can't.
Jeff: Well, that's called a magazine. That's called a newspaper.
Leo: And then you're a publisher not an entrepreneur, not a platform.
Jeff: You're a publisher. That's where Ed was headed.
Leo: Yea. Medium's publishing. But who says no to on Medium?
Nathan: Well, what they're doing is they're curating the publishers that publish on Medium and the regular people.
Leo: So, if I wrote a hate piece could I post it on medium?
Jeff: I think you can but it won't rise. The argument is that it won't rise, that they'll recommend only the good stuff.
Nathan: There are also some terms both on Twitter and on Facebook and on Medium, there are certain things that you can't get away with out there, so, you can definitely post something being hateful, talking smack about somebody. But there are certain lines that can't be crossed.
Leo: Ev does apologize for Twitter's role in electing the president. This is also from the article. President Trump says, I don't know why his name has turned orange. That might be some editorializing on the New York Times.
Nathan: Because you used control-F to find.
Leo: Oh, ok. President Trump says he believes Twitter put him in the White House. Recently, Mr. Williams heard the claim for the first time. He mulled it over for a bit, sitting in his Medium office, which is noteworthy only for not having a desk. "It's a very bad thing," he said finally, "Twitter's role in that. If it's true that he wouldn't be president if it weren't for Twitter, then yea, I'm sorry." That's kind of tepid. He spoke at the commencement in Nebraska and I thought his quote from that—let me see if I can find it, is interesting, if a little bit classical. I'm going to have to do another search for Prometheus. In a commencement speech at University of Nebraska this month, Mr. Williams noted that Silicon Valley has a tendency to see itself as a Prometheus. He's just showing off now. Where did he go to school? Stealing fire from selfish gatekeeper gods and bestowing it on mere mortals. All right, so the ability to have a voice. Quote, "What we tend to forget is that Zeus was so pissed at Prometheus that he chained him to a rock so eagles could peck out is guts for eternity," Mr. Williams told the crowd. That's uplifting if you're a college student and you're graduating to heat that. "Some would say that's what we deserve for giving the power of tweets to Donald Trump."
Nathan: I think he's maybe giving himself a little bit too much credit there. Giving Twitter a little too much credit.
Leo: You know, yea. If Twitter had not existed, we would have had to invent it. I think there would have been some way for him to and all of us to speak. You could blame YouTube. You could blame Facebook. There's plenty of other platforms.
Nathan: And you know, Trump's team is savvy at all of them.
Leo: They're very savvy.
Nathan: They're savvy at all of them and you know, he was elected because he won the electoral college.
Leo: Yea, he won. You know, you can't deny that.
Nathan: Like it or not, it's a reflection of our electoral process. I don't think Twitter should take all of the congratulations or blame.
Jeff: No, it shouldn't. But there was a role here. We can never put it off. But the Data & Society Report goes through the levels of manipulation that occur. And they manipulate Google. They manipulate Facebook. They manipulate Medium very much so. That's their goal. The public, advertisers and these institutions are not being savvy enough to account for that.
Nathan: And it's a worthwhile report. And it's all spot on. It's true. But as long as there have been things to manipulate, there have been people to manipulate them.
Nathan: Right? So, again, these aren't necessarily new problems.
Jeff: And are we good at adjusting for that? So, PR was able to manipulate us to the press. And so, we try to account for that. Sometimes we use them, sometimes we don't.
Leo: Well, maybe more to the point, this is something that Russian and Putin's government has used very effectively in manipulating its own people, is this flood of news, mix of truth and untruth, making it difficult to establish facts from lies. Intentionally overwhelming people with signals. They did that because they controlled the media in Russia. Well, you don't need to control the media in the west, you just need to be able to post on Facebook and Twitter and the rest follows. So, in a way, maybe we gave a very useful tool to somebody who was really willing to misuse it and manipulate it.
Mark: He was effective at manipulating the media, too, I think is the point. CNN would air his entire—
Leo: They fell for it too. They fell for it too.
Mark: Rallies in their entirety.
Leo: You know what? It's still the best. What was it the United Nations was saying? There's people starving to death. Would you stop covering Trump? And it is still the most entertaining. Whatever else you might say about the president, he and his team are very good at making entertainment. And you can't stop watching it.
Jeff: And media are built for the reward system.
Leo: That's how it works.
Jeff: As I said, I interviewed David Kenny, the head of IBM Watson. They had Watson write headlines and they fed the business model of the channel into it and so guess what? It wrote clickbait.
Jeff: Because that's what was going to work.
Leo: Ev says in this article, concluding it, "I think we will fix these things. Just don't hold your breath. The work has barely begun." He says, "Twenty years isn't very long to change how society works." So, even E isn't all that convinced that there's going to be—that we're going to be able to do much about it. I think the risks of stifling free speech are so great that it's really a difficult thing, a challenging thing to solve.
Jeff: If you were Ev, what would you do with Medium? Any of you.
Leo: Well, I wouldn't have created Medium in the first place to be honest with you. I think that that's a little quixotic. Anybody?
Mark: I mean, it sucks.
Leo: What do we need a centralized journalism platform for?
Mark: Well, I think there's room for new publishers and if he can look at it just as a new media publisher, then that could be—like, he's already had his big businesses that have made thousands of dollars.
Leo: It does feel a little like a millionaire's hobby as opposed to an intent to create a viable business.
Nathan: I mean the one thing that bothers me about it is I think he means well. But and I'd throw this criticism at any media company, Legacy or new like what's Ev's doing with Medium, is they're not necessarily doing anything that new. Like it's still revenue.
Leo: It's kind of like a blogger.
Nathan: It's exactly like it. Its revenue comes from ads. And you're asking people to publish for free. And they're saying, "We might promote your stuff."
Leo: I feel like we have the world-wide web. We don't need Medium. Everybody can publish.
Nathan: Well, I think this is something that Jeff and you hit on earlier, is the idea of curating what's there to create that happy place. I think that was kind of the goal with Medium is there are a lot of great voices out there. Let's put them together in a more like-minded place.
Leo: I'm not knocking it. I read Medium all the time. I like it. It's beautiful.
Nathan: Yea, but it's also—
Leo: I like being able to underline it and see what you guys underline.
Nathan: Yea, but just like a magazine, it is a curation of like-minded, for the most part, folks.
Leo: Well, that's not a bad thing.
Nathan: No, it's not bad.
Leo: Except that the advertising model failed so now he's kind of between a rock and a hard place.
Jeff: I'm not sure he tried enough of the advertising. I think if you look in—and Quartz is now profitable. Yes, it does need its advertising but it's well labeled.
Leo: I like Quartz. Is Quarts making money?
Jeff: It is. It had a profitable year last year.
Leo: That's good news.
Nathan: But see, Quartz is an outright publication. Medium's more like the Huffington Post or BuzzFeed where they let people go on there and write for free, as in they don't pay them, and they benefit from this swell of content coming in that they don't pay for. And then they have their editorial teams over the top of it. And then they work with those who paid to get in to get the extra promotion, which for Medium is actual publications, where for BuzzFeed it's like Tide or whatever brand. So, again, it's not really a new model. It's not a new idea. It's just his curation and it's great and I enjoy it. It's you know, if you really want to say you're going to do something new and groundbreaking for journalism, well, this ain't it!
Leo: Quartz I noticed has completely changed its look and feel. It was the infinite scroll magazine before and now it's just a little bit, I guess it's still.
Jeff: Well, they had no homepage at the start.
Nathan: Well, if you go to a specific story you still get the infinite scroll.
Leo: You still do. So, yea, what does a homepage mean in this day and age where all the traffic comes from links from Twitter and Facebook?
Mark: It's a branding exercise. It helps set your design esthetic.
Leo: People go to Bloomberg.com, right? I mean that's a—
Mark: They do. It drives traffic still. Not as much as it used to. The New York Times homepage, people still go to. But yea, the homepage does not have the relevance that it once had.
Leo: Actually, I think that's one of the things, and I think I can say this one, I was asking Steven Levy if people went to Backchannel.com or—and he said, "We do get front page traffic." As you are also saying. But I think deep links into the article directly is the most traffic for everybody.
Mark: When I was talking about the homepage as a branding exercise, it's like you know, Bloomberg is about data. So, we present marketing data at the top.
Leo: You can see all the things Bloomberg does here. That's what we wanted to do with our website, too, is if you didn't know what TWiT was, you could go to the front page and quickly grock what it was about. That's the best you can hope for with a homepage, right? And you're not going to get somebody going back again and again. You're going to get them the first time when they're researching you. So, we have these big banners that say what we do and then right underneath it, Latest News, Help and How-To, Reviews, so you understand that there are shows and there are shows in these categories. That's all we ever hoped to do, frankly, with the front page.
Nathan: I think that that in and of itself is reason enough to have a homepage.
Nathan: Instead of just—
Leo: It's a billboard. Let's take a break. I do know that Biz Stone has gone back to Twitter. I don't know if that's a big story or not but we can talk about that. Apple has some interesting ideas about tracking your blood sugar. In fact, Tim Cook's seems to be wearing an unusual watch these days. And Amazon. I don't know what the news is but I'm just going to say the word. Amazon, Facebook, Twitter and some stuff that will just make you want to cry. It's all coming up. Great panel today. Jeff Jarvis from TWiG, This Week in Google and of course the City University in New York, Buzzmachine.com. Always a pleasure. It was really nice to see you. I wish we had more time together. But I got to capture bubbles. Not the chimp. There was a thing before the I/O. They were keeping us entertained with really the dopiest games ever. Mark Milian is here, Bloomberg Business Week. Bloomberg.com/tech for his great tech coverage and of course our own, Nathan, Olivares-Giles, Nate OG.
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Leo: Does it mean anything that Biz is going back to Twitter or does it really mean just craziness ahead where you've got you know, CEO's at each other's throats. I mean, founders at each other's throats. A board that doesn't know what to do.
Mark: He's filling a Biz sized hole.
Leo: (Laughing) Is that what he said? That's his line?
Mark: That was on his blog post. He's like, "They haven't outlined an exact job for me but I'm filling a Biz sized hole."
Leo: Oh, it's on Medium. Of course.
Nathan: It sounds like he's going to go back to basically kind of like rally the troops, rah, rah, like company culture, get people excited and he'll probably be a little bit of a liaison between what the company and the press and the company and its employees itself.
Mark: And in the early days a lot of his role was marketing and PR. So, I think they could use a little bit of help in that sphere. So, it makes sense for them. But like for a company whose one of their biggest financial issues is that they're compensation packages are so extreme that they pay out so much equity which contributes to their losses, to hire somebody and not formalize a role for them is a little bit weird.
Nathan: And that's one of the things that I would have loved to have seen but no stories out there have answered, is how much is he getting paid if he's getting paid at all? It would have been nice to see if he's just talking a dollar or something.
Mark: I'm willing to bet he's getting paid more than a dollar.
Nathan: But no disrespect to him in this role, but it seems like it's kind of like what Palmer Lucky used to do for Oculus. It seems like he's going to be kind of the face of the brand.
Leo: He says in his Medium post, "My top focus will be to guide the company culture, that energy, that feeling."
Nathan: I don't want to say he's going to be a mascot of sorts, but he's going to be there to basically get people off their butts and kind of feeling good.
Leo: "I'm not replacing anyone at Twitter. Somebody mentioned I'm just filling the Biz shaped hole I left. You might even say the job description includes being Biz Stone." Oh my God, I'm going to throw up. That's my job description. Being Leo Laporte. Yep. Well, Ev said, and I think this is—I don't know if this is a compliment, "Well, you're among the best in the world at being Biz Stone." If I were an investor in Twitter this would not to me herald any big improvement.
Nathan: It will kind of calm down after the announcement. It doesn't do much.
Mark: You think they will put out a job posting just in case? See what other applicants the get?
Leo: We've got a Biz sized hole we'd like to fill. Anybody Biz shaped out there? I understand a company like Twitter needs to have kind of an overall feeling. But at this point, Twitter is a utility. It just should be, I don't know what. Somebody should just say, "We're not going to make any money. We're just going to buy it and let it run."
Nathan: Well, I guess.
Leo: I don't know. I don't know what to say.
Nathan: One of the maybe good things that can come from this is this is genuinely like the most important thing Biz Stone has ever been a part of in his life, so.
Leo: What did he do after he left Twitter?
Nathan: Jelly. He started Jelly, like a question app that was—
Leo: Oh, yea, it was Quora.
Jeff: They sold it, right?
Nathan: Yea, the sold it to Pinterest.
Mark: And he was at Pinterest for a short while. I think he's staying on as an advisor.
Nathan: I think Pinterest bought it because they had some sort of image recognition technology there were working on or something like that.
Leo: This is a good country to be a former founder.
Mark: It's a good country to be a billionaire in.
Leo: It's a good country to be a billionaire. A lot of opportunity out there for the billionaire. Somebody, Alex C in the chatroom says, "Things not to bring up on a first date, your Biz shaped hole." It's Biz-ness time. Let's talk about—I don't know. I don't care about anything anymore (laughing). It's just, it's all—you know, I'm just waiting for the artificial intelligence to kick in and then I'm going to—
Nathan: Just take over.
Leo: Apple CEO Tim Cook has been wearing a weird watch. Apparently, he has been test driving a glucose monitor. According to CNBC, Apple has a team dedicated to the holy grail in diabetes, non-invasive, in other words, no pinprick, continuous glucose monitoring.
Jeff: That's huge if they do it. If they find a way, it's huge.
Leo: He's been spotted at the campus wearing this watch. I don't know how they know that that's what that watch does. A source—I think it has a specialized band. A source says that Cook was wearing a prototype glucose tracker on the Apple Watch that points to future applications that would make the device a must have for millions of people with diabetes. Now, of course, Apple could easily have this. The problem is to put it out as a product, you've got to get FDA approval. This is non-trivial. This requires trials. I'm sure Apple will do it. They've got the money.
Jeff: Kardia is the company that's done something along this line.
Leo: That's Vic Gundotra's company, yea.
Jeff: Vic Gundotra's company.
Mark: Yea, I was going to say, it's not quite clear that it's even an Apple made product from this story. Like, maybe it's a 3rd party device. We don't know.
Leo: Apparently, he talked in February at the University of Glasgow to some students and didn't say if it was a medical device from Medtronic or Dexcom, some other company, or an Apple prototype. He just said—
Jeff: See, the other thing is, here is that—this interests me because my mother is a type I diabetic and has been since I was born. My fault. And there are other signals too. There are sets of signals that if your blood, if you're going into acidosis, it's like going into an epileptic seizure or going into a Tourette's outburst. There's things that may be predictive with AI that go beyond—
Leo: Well we've seen—even the heartrate monitor on the Apple Watch, we've seen evidence that it can be used to detect tachycardia or as you have, fibrillation, and warn the user, hey, your heart rate, your heart beat is abnormal. You better maybe get one of those Kardia out and do an EKG. These would be hugely valuable things. And it would take something, a product that's kind have been languishing, looking for a niche to fill. It's been selling I guess ok but isn't anything anybody needs. Man, there's 11 million diabetics in the country. Every one of them would buy something they didn't have to—
Jeff: Oh, God yes.
Leo: And by the way, a lot of people that aren't diabetics—Tim Cook's not a diabetic, he said he lost 30 pounds. He's just been paying attention to how what he eats affects, spikes his sugar. And he's been able to use that to his health advantage. So, it's a really big market, frankly.
Nathan: And you know, as far as wearables go, the Apple Watch is really the only outside of Fitbit as a company as a whole, but it's kind of like the only smart watch that you can really do see a massive amount of people out there wearing. It might not be an iPhone sized blockbuster, but a lot of people wear them. They sell quite well. If they do have a genuine advantage on the health side, because Google's trying to invest in this and Microsoft's been trying to invest in a similar thing. They aren't the first ones to try and solve these problems, but that would be a big win for them.
Leo: Huge, huge. That's a massive business.
Jeff: I could see other things, too. Again, who knows what things like a sensor here on eye dilation?
Leo: And we know Google, in their Verily division, their med sciences division is doing a contact lens that can also monitor glucose levels.
Jeff: Right. Right. So, I think there's a lot of—and if you put AI behind this, if you get enough data to recognize those signals—
Leo: Oh, imagine.
Jeff: God knows what all you can start to interpret about somebody. Imagine if they could start getting any percentage of predicting a heart attack an hour before you have it.
Leo: Well, we know that the sooner you get to the hospital after a heart attack, the better your chances of total recovery. Stroke, too. Those things would be—yea. I mean major life saving technologies. Sad because available only in the 1st world to effectively wealthy individuals. But maybe Apple can solve that too. Your colleague, Mark Gurman, saw him at Google I/O. Smart kid. Has some pretty good source.
Mark: Yes. He's full force.
Leo: He says Apple plans laptop upgrades that they will announce June 5th at WWDS. This is something we've been waiting for. Microsoft is having an event on the 23rd, this week, in Shanghai, that they're also expected to announce laptops. This is the time of year, believe it or not, for school. You announce these things in June. You want to get them in the stores so that kids can buy them for a September return to school.
Nathan: Yep, August, September.
Leo: Yea. So, Apple's laptops have been kind of lagging. You're both using Apple laptops. You have a MacBook Pro with the toolbar. And you've got the MacBook minus the toolbar.
Mark: No toolbar.
Leo: No toolbar.
Mark: One port.
Leo: You know what? I kind of miss my MacBook. I gave mine to my mom which is great for her because it's very thin and light. But I kind of miss it. It was a—I hated the keyboard. The keyboard just awful.
Mark: Well, the keyboard I like. It's really grown on me.
Nathan: I love the keyboard.
Mark: It's kind of slow. The chip in it is not great.
Leo: It's a Core M processor.
Mark: Yea, mobile chip.
Leo: And of course, Microsoft did announce the Surface Laptop which is kind of their version of the MacBook except with Alcantara, a fine Alcantara fabric on the keyboard.
Mark: Their hardware's come a long way, though.
Leo: I'm using the Surface Studio. I really like this and I ordered a Mac, rather a Surface—isn't that interesting. I called it a Mac but it's a Surface Laptop. I ordered one. I think, and we were talking about this before the show, nowadays a lot of what people do isn't really on an operating system. It's in the cloud. Most computing is done in the browser. So, the operating system gets less and less important. The difference between a Mac and Windows 10 is so minor at this point, if mostly you live in Chrome, it doesn't matter.
Jeff: So, that's why I have my Chromebook.
Leo: Right. Well, and a Chromebook would—boy, if you were running Windows 7 you'd probably wished you were running a Chromebook this week. WannaCry, what a nightmare.
Nathan: The biggest distinction between operating systems is security. It really seems that way.
Leo: Although, don't pat yourself, you Mac users, too much because there are ransomware attacks.
Nathan: There are, there are.
Leo: Nowhere near and there's no WannaCry. It's an interesting thing because WannaCry, it's just another kind of ransomware. It spread rapidly because it was able to take advantage of an exploit in Windows SMB, their Samba messaging which is—I call it Samba but there's something message block. I can't remember, single message block. Their networking technology that allowed it to spread as a worm throughout the entire LAN. So, if you got it on a laptop, brought it into work, the whole place would go down. Unless they were running Windows 10 or they had patched Windows 7. We're seeing now that almost 98% of the infections are Windows 7. Very few XP people got bit because they're aren't very many XP machines attached to the internet. And Microsoft had patched it in March, but a lot of businesses don't update their patches. And now here's the kind of the double twist. Microsoft was really angry at the NSA saying, "It's your fault. If you hadn't found this exploit, if you had just told us. If you had just told us, we wouldn't have had this problem." The only reason the patched it is because the NSA got hacked or leaked and the Shadow Brokers published gigabytes of data about NSA exploits, one of which was this SMB exploit. But now, there's a guy who's created a fix for WannaCry. If you haven't rebooted, there is a fix for WannaCry that is—it's kind of Microsoft giveth and Microsoft taketh away—another but in Microsoft Windows that—so, it turns out that the WannaCry guys were, you know, they were efficient. They used Microsoft's own encryption technology to encrypt the hard drive. It turns out there's a flaw in Microsoft's encryption technology. It keeps the two prime numbers, the factors, in RAM and so, a guy has written a program that goes through RAM, finds that if you haven't rebooted—if you've rebooted, all bets are off. Finds the key and it will unlock your hard drive. I mentioned that carefully. Dan Goodin writes about it and I trust Dan.
Mark: It only works for XP.
Leo: Yea it looks like it only works for XP. I'm not sure. I think that maybe—I don't know. This might be an older article and there might be more to say about it. In any event, I just find it ironic that it's something poorly written about Microsoft's cryptographic application programming interface, API, keeps those keys in memory which is of course a stupid thing to do But, maybe you can fix your Windows XP. Don't be fooled though. There are a lot of people out there who offer phony ransomware decryption tools. There are some cases where they work, but in a lot of cases, they don't. Eternal Blue was the NSA exploit that WannaCry took advantage of.
Jeff: How did the guy that stopped and find—what did it take to find the kill switch?
Leo: Oh, the kill switch is funny. So, that's another story. This isn't the kill switch but that's another story.
Jeff: Oh, sorry.
Leo: You know, I saw one or two reports that some intelligence officials think that WannaCry comes from North Korea, that it was actually a state sponsored attack which makes sense because they've made very little money, right? And most of these ransomwares don't make a lot of money. And it was well-written. It was translated into more than a dozen languages. It had a very helpful link of what was Bitcoin and how to buy Bitcoin. And it had a kill switch was not something that the typical Macedonian hacker would build in. The kill switch works that there was a very long, obscure URL that didn't exist, that wasn't registered as a domain. But WannaCry would go out, would check the web to see if this domain existed. If it did it would say, "Ok. I've been terminated." And would not encrypt your hard drive. So, somebody was going through the code. He didn't even know what it would do. He just thought, "Well, I should register this domain name." He created a website there. And it stopped WannaCry because WannaCry said, "Oh, there's a website. We've been turned off." Then people who wanted to retroactively use WannaCry, probably not North Korea but just random script kitties, a couple of them tried to overwrite, they took the WannaCry source code and they used a HEX editor to override the domain name and then now there's a DDOS attack against the domain, hoping that that will reactivate WannaCry.
Mark: Take it offline.
Leo: It's just—what a world. I blame Ev Williams and Twitter.
Nathan: (Laughing) Thanks, Ev.
Leo: Yea, the New York Times said actually that clues point to North Korea, partly because some of the code is very similar to the code used in the Sony exploit which intelligence officials also believe came from North Korea. Also, a Bangladesh bank attacked last year and Polish banks in February. American officials said they'd seen the same similarities. I don't know. I mean, if when in doubt, blame North Korea.
Jeff: Do you think that either could have been done for hire by somebody?
Leo: Yea, I mean it's so hard to know where this stuff comes from and of course by now, others are reusing WannaCry code and—
Mark: Although I feel like this does sort of help Microsoft's point that the NSA should have told them about it. If it were a North Korea weapon, the NSA should have been like, "Oh, we found this thing an enemy of the state plans to use. You might want to fix it."
Leo: Yea. Well, on the other hand, if you're the NSA and you spend great time and effort to collect a bunch of exploits that will help you spy on Mark Milian as soon as he starts contacting terrorist rings—I just used your name in vain. I shouldn't. I should use my own name. Leo Laporte when he starts to—
Mark: Now I'm on the NSA watch list. Thanks, Leo.
Leo: Sorry I just put you on the watch list. I'm so sorry.
Mark: I blame Ev.
Leo: It's all Ev's fault Blame Ev. That they would want to stockpile those and keep them. You've got to keep them guys. If you make them, if you create these exploits, you better lock them up really tight. And they didn't. Somehow, we don't know how, but maybe a contractor like Edward Snowden leaked these out to WikiLeaks. And you know, Microsoft, as soon as they found them, patched them in March. But yea, I think Microsoft goes a little overboard in blaming the NSA. I think that—don't you think everybody's stockpiling these?
Mark: It is unreasonable for a company to think that their government is going to clue them in to every weapon that they have.
Leo: Basically, that turns the NSA into a security outfit protecting Microsoft. Maybe that's what they should do. I don't know. I don't know but—yea. Actually, I want to talk about Theresa May and the UK because, of course, there's an election coming up for actually—this whole system is confusing, this Parliamentary system. But there's an election coming up. There will be perhaps a new Prime Minister. Theresa May would like to keep her job and the platform—she's a Tory. Seems like she should be wearing a wig if she's a Tory. The platform of the Tories has something that is notorious. We'll get to that in just a second. Mark Milian, Bloomberg Business Week, Bloomberg.com/tech. Always great—I haven't seen you in so long. I feel like we have much catching up to do. It's great to see you.
Leo: Is Goron yours?
Mark: Goron's mine. Mine and my wife Christina.
Leo: What is Goron up to? I feel like I just saw something from Goron.
Mark: I'm willing to be he's sleeping.
Leo: He's a French Bulldog.
Mark: That's usually what he's doing.
Leo: I follow him everywhere, on Instagram, on Twitter.
Leo: I'm a huge Goron fan. And I feel like something. I just saw something about him. He's sleeping though. That's what French Bulldogs do.
Nathan: I'm going to be dog sitting him in a couple weeks.
Leo: He's the cutest dog ever. Will you bring him in?
Nathan: I would love to. I'm actually glad you asked. I will bring GoronSF.
Leo: Oh, I've never met Goron. There he is doing what he loves to do best.
Nathan: Mark's dog.
Leo: What is Goron? What is that name?
Mark: It's from the Legend of Zelda.
Leo: I should have known.
Mark: The mountain creatures.
Leo: I've been playing the new Zelda a lot. I love it.
Nathan: It's so good.
Mark: Excellent game.
Nathan: We actually just got tickets to the Symphony of the Goddess. Basically, Nintendo has an orchestra that travels around playing all of the Zelda music.
Leo: Oh, that would be fun.
Nathan: Then they play parts of the game on screen. So, we're going to go see that in August.
Leo: That would be really fun.
Nathan: Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco.
Leo: Is a whole bunch of people from Twit doing that because I know they like to do that. They went to the—was it the Star Wars concert the other day? No, it was a Star Trek concert.
Mark: You guys should come. Everybody.
Nathan: We'll have to ask. We'll have to see what's up.
Leo: That's Nathan Olivarez-Giles. He is in charge of parties here at TWiT.
Nathan: (Laughing) That just happened.
Leo: Our concert master. Also, of course, Jeff Jarvis. Great to have you all.
Leo: Our show today brought to you by, guess what? WordPress. Yay. I just moved my site back to WordPress. I love—you can take a look at LeoLaporte.com. I love WordPress because I've used it for years. That's been my longest standing blogging platform. I just think it's gorgeous. And it was so easy to move stuff over. And WordPress.com is a really great solution because WordPress does all of the upgrades, all the security patches. And that was the reason—I used to self-host, right? And it was so, I was always patching. This way, they keep it up to date. They give you all the great templates you can ever want. They've got a great support team. I actually took advantage of their support team. I said, "I want a full bleed slide show on my front page. How do I do it?" And they told me. Oh, you'd like the 21st Century template. I do. It's very nice. We use WordPress.com every day. In fact, you, believe it or not, use WordPress.com every day because WordPress runs 27% of all the websites in the world. So, whether you're looking to create a personal blog or a business site or both, you're going to make a big impact when you build your business on WordPress.com. There's a community there, too. I get a—there's a little follow button on my WordPress site. And I have, I didn't even know this, a huge number of followers. I have 593,898 followers at WordPress.com. That's just because I'm on WordPress. That's awesome. Hundreds of themes to get started. Pick a template. Make it your own. Of course, the beauty of WordPress is that all the content is separate from the theme. So, if you say, "I want to change the content. I want to change the theme today," It's easy to do. Connect in all your social networks. I've got my Instagram updates, my Twitter updates, even my you know, my indie web updates feed into my WordPress website and I love that. And support's there 24/7. More websites run on WordPress than on any other platform, including many of the publications that you read every day. Paul Thurrott's site, WordPress.com. So many sites are on WordPress. It's a great content management system. Get started today. We're going to get you 15% off any new plan purchase. Go to WordPress.com/twit to create your website and find the membership plan that is right for you. WordPress.com/twit for 15% off. I'm actually very pleased to say—oh, I took off the archives. I've got to fix that. I was able to get every blog post going back that I made in 2000 or 2001 when I started blogging. And I was able to import that right back in to WordPress. And that's really great, you know? And now I own it. It's mine. I've got it. WordPress.com/twit.
Leo: In fact, I'm looking at my tweets and here's the story right there from BuzzFeed. Theresa May Wants to Regulate the Internet. So, the conservative platform, the call it their Election Manifesto, has a line at the very end, BuzzFeed found this, that goes like this. "Some people say that it is not for government to regulate when it comes to technology and the internet. We disagree." So polite. So nice. But what it really means is that the Tories- you know, Theresa May wrote the Snooper's Charter. She sponsored it when she was a member of Parliament. Got it forced through when she became PM, and now it looks like the conservatives, if they win the election and the polls say that May will win the majority in next month's election, they will have a mandate to significantly extend internet regulation, all based on the idea, I'm quote BuzzFeed, that it's a government's duty to protect citizens just as much on the internet as it does in the real world. The proposals, which apparently are all over the manifest, or manifesto, involve all kinds of things. Legislation would be introduced, for instance, to protect the public from abuse and offensive material online. Everyone would have a right to be forgotten. The right to wipe material that was posted when they were under 18. Internet companies would be asked to help promote counter extremism narratives. I don't know what that means at all but that's scary. There'd be new rules requiring companies to make it even harder to access pornography and violent images. Content creators would have to justify their policies to the government, and by the way, even if Labor won, it ain't so very different. So, this is my fear when we take about fake news and we talk about how the democratization of the internet has brought us, has brought a lot of negative voices to the floor. I really worry when we say let's control them that this is the end result of it.
Jeff: I agree. If you look at the-- the Guardian is not helping things. The Guardian had a story I think I mentioned briefly before that goes into the instructions for people who monitor the complaints on Facebook. And it's not frightening about Facebook, it's frightening about mankind. What we do and what we do in public and so, you put this kind of stuff out there and the reflex is, surely, shut this down. Package this. Edit the room. But I know we'll never get it to work.
Leo: Yea, but at the same time, you know, one of the guidelines is revenge porn. That's reprehensible. It's horrible. The victim has a miserable time stopping it. It's really, you know, something that the internet makes very easy and I just don't know what the answer is.
Nathan: Well, I think there should be a distinction too, between Facebook versus the UK's government. Facebook is a social network. It's a business. It's a place where you share things and they put ads next to those things and then they make money off of that, right? What the UK's talking about is kind of taking a censorship approach to the internet as a whole, as it exists in its country. And those are two totally different things. I mean, now for many people Facebook is where they get most of their news and they communicate with friends and family so in some sense it's for those specific folks. It might be their internet because that's the only part of the internet they're hanging out on. But it's not the internet, right? It is a business. It is a closed space you need a password to get in and all that stuff. It's not public versus the stuff that the UK is talking about. And as you mentioned, between the Tories and the Labor Party, there's not much difference in the way that they're trying to approach that regulation which in this instance amounts to censorship.
Mark: It's going to be a really interesting time in the UK because they had essentially ceded all of internet regulation to the EU when they were a part of it. Now that they're breaking, they get to set the agenda.
Leo: EU has been aggressive but not this aggressive.
Mark: Right and in the discussions around internet regulation when Britain was a part—they're still a part of the EU but in those contexts, the UK would usually be more on the side of leniency more like the US was and Germany would be on the far other end. So, now we'll see has the UK shifted a little bit? Are they disassociating from the US mentality and what will the US do now that Donald Trump's supposed to be a little more eager toward regulation?
Leo: Well, even if we don't here in the US, when a country like England, a big country like England does this, it affects every company that works there.
Nathan: Oh, yea, definitely.
Leo: I mean I guess Google could change its search results in England and not here. They do that with the right to be forgotten in the EU, right?
Jeff: But it sets a precedence. I think Mark's really right that it's a chase down. Part of the problem here is we're constantly concentrating on the bad. We're trying to play whack-a-mole with the bad. We're never going to get rid of HCHAN and 4CHAN and the bad parts of Reddit. They're going to find a place to go. And if that's all we concentrate on, then we've got a problem. Whereas if we find ways to support the good, and there's lots and lots of good as Nate said earlier, then that's what we have to put our energy behind. And part of the problem is that the relation works so well that you do the bad stuff—the Historical also has a report coming up Monday that we helped fund at NII, the thing I'm running now, News Integrity Initiative, and you know it's fascinating to see how quickly things rise from HCHAN or 4CHAN up to Breitbart, up to the world. And media is still set up at a point where they swallow it and they give it promotion. And that's the goal. That's the vision of the world that we see as a very tiny, small number of people who do crappy stuff get huge amplification in media. So, it's not the fault of the internet. It's as much as fault of the media as anybody else. And that's what we have to fix.
Leo: If you look at these rules at Facebook's—was this leaked to the Guardian?
Jeff: It was leaked, yea.
Leo: Well, in the slide deck and I guess this is used for training, they call it the Facebook Files. It says that moderators often have just 10 seconds to make a decision. There's so much content that they have to review. One document says Facebook reviews more than 6.5 million reports a week on fake accoutns alone, fake accounts alone. I would hate to be—this would be tough job and you'd have to work very quickly. And if you read the rules, you know, it's not immediately obvious.
Leo: For instance, videos of violent deaths, while marked as disturbing, do not always have to be deleted because they can help create awareness of issues such as mental illness.
Jeff: If the celebrate or encourage, they're taken down. But if they are there—this is a journalistic issue. If you have Ferguson, Facebook took down, Twitter took down the videos from Ferguson, we never would have seen the Black Lives Matter outcry that was able to gather around it. So, pictures of death matter there.
Leo: It's difficult. Videos of abortions are allowed as long as there's no nudity. That's just weird. If you want to live stream attempt to self-harm Facebook will allow it because quote, it, "Doesn't want to censor or punish people in distress."
Jeff: These are hard, hard, hard decisions. The problem is you can read any of that stuff and say, "Oh my God, look what Facebook's doing to the world." No, look at what the world is doing to itself and Facebook is in this positon of judging now and I'm not saying they do things right. They had the Vietnam Napalm, they screwed things up there. These are hard human decisions. An algorithm is not going to make them well.
Leo: And I've got bad news for all of you. Anyone with more than 100,000 followers is a public figure which means you don't have the same protections as a private individual. They've actually given it a numeric—Mark Milian's quickly checking how many followers he has (laughing).
Nathan: Well, you're already a public figure because of the blue check next to your—yea.
Leo: Oh, God. You just missed.
Leo: I don't know if that means you're going to get more abuse, but this Guardian article is interesting. I mean, I don't know. You're allowed to say, "Kick a person with red hair." But you're not allowed to say, "Someone shoot the president." You're allowed to say, I don't even want to read this. I don't even want to read this. You're allowed to say, "Let's beat up fat kids." But you can't say—I don't even want to read these. You should read the article. It's ridiculous. It's ridiculous.
Nathan: But I mean, as Jeff said, these are the questions that they have to wrestle with because of the position they put themselves in.
Leo: They understand. They have to be explicit and train people and say, "This is ok and this is not."
Nathan: This is the company that built themselves to be.
Mark: There are a lot of guidelines driven by advertisers, what advertisers are willing to stomach. Look what happened with YouTube when they were serving ads next to Neo-Nazi videos. They were doing that for a long time.
Jeff: It's not like other media where there's a problem of adjacency. Oh my God, you put my ad on Breitbart or on a Neo-Nazi site or on a porn site, right? And Facebook, there's never once is the ad next to the same content, right?
Mark: It's similar to YouTube.
Leo: It's in the column on the right, though, right?
Jeff: Well it's on somebody's page and there's no adjacency there. Now, they're changing that around Instant Articles. There's going to be adjacencies. But right now on Facebook there's not an adjacency problem so much. So, I'm not so sure that it's advertiser motivated as it is fear of regulation motivated and bad PR motivated.
Leo: But if you look at this, there's no way that if you're a member of Congress, you're going to say, "Oh, that's fine. Graphic violence?" Generally, imagery of animal abuse can be shared. You might want to mark it as disturbing. Oh. Oh. And I can see Congress looking at this saying, "Well, no."
Jeff: But then you have—but then, ok, let's say the Philadelphia Enquirer does a story on what's his name that plays for the Philadelphia Eagles now that got in trouble for animal abuse.
Mark: Mike Vick.
Jeff: Thank you. One real man among us.
Nathan: He actually is retired now. He hasn't played for the Eagles for 2 seasons.
Jeff: 2 real men among us. I wouldn't know this, you see?
Mark: I've got you.
Jeff: But they can report on somebody who snuck in and did all these things that they say he is doing this, then should the Philadelphia Enquirer's report be killed?
Leo: No, right? That's news.
Jeff: So, the problem is the context, it just sounds like it's some sicko showing animal abuse. Well, maybe it's an expose of animal abuse. Maybe it's a necessary thing for the world to know what's going on.
Nathan: And that's why there are these areas that are spelled out in Facebook's directions where it might be ok to publish some of these things, right?
Jeff: Yes. But what Leo's point is, which is quite right, a member of Congress comes along and says, "Oh, man. I've got fresh meat. These people allow pictures of animal abuse. How dare they?" The speech writes itself.
Nathan: Yep, yep.
Jeff: And the FCC comes along. Oh, joy. Ajit Pai? He'll have fun with this. And the parents, the parents whatchamacallit council I used to hate when they'd go after Howard Stern, oh, they'll have a field day.
Leo: Well, good for Howard Stern because Howard Stern seems quite tame now (laughing).
Jeff: Yea, yea.
Leo: You know, times have changed. Russian hackers target Pentagon workers with malware laced Twitter messages. Eh, well, so what's new?
Jeff: That's our world now.
Leo: Chelsea Manning, I saw a beautiful picture of Chelsea Manning who is now free from prison.
Jeff: I didn't realize that. I saw her portrait today on TV that she, because she is going to appeal the verdict against her, she's still officially on active duty.
Leo: No kidding.
Jeff: I had no idea of that.
Leo: And so, it was a military court that convicted her?
Jeff: Oh, yea.
Leo: Ok. Zomato was hacked. Do you use Zomato? I don't know what Zomato is. It's a restaurant search service. 17 million customer email addresses and passwords stolen. The Sweeds have dropped the rape case against Julian Assange, not so much because they gave up, they don't think there's a case, but just since it's been going on and on and they're not really—they can't make any progress on it. He's staying of course in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
Jeff: So, here's a question for you. Does Donald Trump prosecute him or pardon him?
Leo: I don't even think that—that would be, you know, I think his brain would explode if you asked him that question. I don't think—because on the one hand, he praised WikiLeaks.
Jeff: Oh, did he ever.
Leo: But on the other hand, now they're leaking about him, so it's not so good. Let's take a little break. Wrap this up. There's probably much more to talk about. Microsoft is patching Minecraft so kids won't poison their pet birds anymore.
Nathan: (Laughing) What?
Leo: Apparently, there was a big controversy in the Minecraft Community when fans of the game pointed out that cookies, which you use in Minecraft to tame parrots could actually be deadly to real -life birds. In fact, it was the most uploaded post of all time on /R/Minecraft.
Nathan: Kids thought that because they feed cookies to birds in the game they can feed cookies to birds in real life.
Leo: Do not feed your parrots cookies in the real life.
Jeff: You know the controversy around the Opening of Lou Grant? Leo, remember that?
Jeff: The Opening of Lou Grant, my sons, was a show about a newsroom. Well, let me explain to you what a newsroom was.
Leo: (Laughing) You see, as time goes by it's getting harder and harder to explain.
Jeff: At a newspaper—so, they go through the whole process of putting out the paper and all the wonderment that goes into it, and they go through opening credits and then the paper ends up lining a birdcage. But that would poison the bird.
Leo: Oh, you don't put newspaper in the birdcage?
Jeff: No. No. NO, the ink. It's bad for it.
Leo: I had no idea. It's a good thing I don't have any birds.
Mark: I didn't know that either.
Jeff: Did you find it? Oh, yay. Oh, yes. Oh, memories.
Leo: Mason Adams. I loved him.
Nathan: Not really a problem these days. Who subscribes to newspapers anymore, right?
Leo: Nancy Marchand as Mrs. Pynchon. And there's the newspaper. That's called the printer, kids.
Jeff: That's the mail room.
Nathan: Mark and I have seen newspapers for the record. We know what they are.
Leo: Did you deliver newspapers when you were kids?
Leo: No? So, the fellow goes. He reads the paper with his coffee, Los Angeles Tribune.
Nathan: Made to look like the LA Times, where I used to work.
Leo: Cuts out a piece and then puts it in the birdcage and the canary dies.
Mark: The bird is dead.
Leo: So sad. On that note, we had a fun week this week. It was a really good week and we've made a little tiny movie so that you can see it and see everything you missed. Watch.
Narrator: Previously, on TWiT.
Leo: Jeff Jarvis is here, unusually next to me which means I can do—that's great (laughing).
Narrator: This Week in Google.
Jeff: So, the reason he mentioned this image recognition improvement is to announce a new project called Google Lens.
Stacey Higginbotham: I have been wanting this forever because I like constantly do things like walk through my yard and I'm like, "Oh, is this a weed or is it a plant? Can I eat this?"
Leo: Oh, there you go. That's something that a human would be not good at, right?
Narrator: The New Screen Savers.
Leo: The Maker Faire at San Mateo, this is the original, the 12th annual. We met a lot of fans but also saw a lot of cool stuff. These are shadow boxes kids made. Maker Faire is so fun because it just shows human creativity, ingenuity and technology.
Narrator: Know How...
Father Robert Ballecer: This week we're going to do something a little bit different which is liberally infecting your network. This is something you should not do.
Bryan Burnett: Go ahead and run it.
Narrator: TWiT. Making the world safe for technology.
Fr. Robert: So, this is the screen. Oh, wow.
Leo: Wow! He installed WannaCry on our network? Oh, how dare you, Fr. Robert! Fortunately he can also exorcise it so that's good. Yea, he does it both ways.
Jeff: You know what, Leo? You run a great company. There's great stuff that goes on in a week.
Leo: (Laughing) Thank you, Jeff. I know, it's always fun. We have a lot of fun here. We've got a great team of people and a great week coming up I should point out. Megan Morrone, what's ahead?
Megan Morrone: Here's a look at just a few of the stories we'll be watching in the week ahead. Microsoft is holding an event in Shanghai where we expect to see an update to the Surface Pro. Rumors and leaks show not much of a redesign for the new Surface Pro which will probably just be called The Surface Pro instead of the Surface Pro 5. Say goodbye to Hangouts, SMS messaging. Google is removing the option this week on May 24th. The Women in Engineering International Leadership Conference will be held in San Jose, California this week. Speakers include Lakshmi Puri, the Deputy Executive Director of UN Women and Maria Klawe, president of Harvey Mudd College where half of their current computer science majors are women. And finally, the IEEE Computer Society Technical Committee is holding its 38th annual symposium on security and privacy also in San Jose. That's a look at a few of the things we'll be tracking in the coming week. Join Jason Howell and me on Tech News Today every weekday at 4:00 PM Pacific, 7:00 PM Eastern here on TWiT.tv.
Leo: Yep. Keep up on your tech news all week long. Nathan often appears on that show as well. I don't know. I feel like we've covered everything. I'm sorry.
Jeff: You've covered a lot.
Leo: Caught me off guard here because I was trying to—Pandora stock soaring following talks that Sirius XM is in talks to buy it.
Nathan: That would be pretty interesting.
Leo: Yea. Uber starts charging what it thinks you're willing to pay. This is from Bloomberg.
Mark: Yea. Yea, we got a little scoop on this.
Leo: Tell us about this.
Nathan: Is this one more reason to stop using Uber?
Leo: You know, I used Uber the other day. It's just easy. It's fun. It's natural. It just comes naturally. I probably shouldn't.
Nathan: But, I mean, there's Lyft. A lot of people have gone over to Lyft.
Mark: So, since late last year, they've been quietly experimenting with this new pricing method.
Leo: Route based pricing.
Mark: They call it route based pricing. And instead of the old model which was some calculation of distance times—
Leo: Like a cab works in other words.
Mark: Yea. They now use, they say they use AI to essentially estimate how much you're willing to pay and they use signals such as if you're coming from an expensive neighborhood and going to another expensive neighborhood.
Leo: Oh, no.
Mark: They can estimate, well, this person may be willing to pay a little more than somebody—
Leo: Inverse red-lining. Oh, my God.
Nathan: Is this the worst AI that's out there? It's just like, no way.
Leo: Actually, that guy's rich. He should give me more.
Nathan: Charge him an extra $5 bucks. Charge them an extra $2.
Leo: Well, they're still losing money. They lost $2.8-billion dollars last year, so.
Mark: They're losing a lot of money. And so, they finally come out and say—because drivers were complaining that they were saying, "I'm finding out that passengers are paying a lot more than you're paying me. So, what's going on? So, they finally came out and said, "Ok. We've been doing this experiment. We're going to continue paying drivers based on the old model of distance and time. And we're going to charge riders based on this new category."
Leo: That's even worse.
Jeff: Oh, that's worse.
Mark: They're keeping everything that's in the middle.
Nathan: I wonder if they have an AI that's like, "Oh, I wonder how little we can pay that driver versus how little we can pay that driver."
Leo: You know, he didn't shave today. He clearly needs the money. We're going to pay him half as much today.
Jeff: It's is if they came along and said, "All right. Google says don't be evil. How can we make a company that makes money by being evil?"
Leo: How evil could we be and still have a business?
Nathan: It's a good scoop, Mark.
Jeff: It is a good scoop.
Leo: FCC claims without any evidence that they've been DDoSed, darn it. You know, that go FCC yourself, the John Oliver saga. FCC yourself. John Oliver sent so many comments as he has before to the FCC over the net neutrality debate. So the FCC—
Nathan: He was advocating for people to tell the FCC to keep net neutrality rules in place instead of undoing them the way that Ajit Pai, the current chairman, wants to do.
Leo: So, he sent a lot of people there. I went there. I commented earlier this week on Tuesday. I said, "You know I run TWiT as an internet based streaming service. If internet service providers were allowed to discriminate against me it would put me out of business. I feel that—you know, we exist. We innovate. We hire and pay 25 people, full-time staffers and many dozens more contractors because we're able to make a living on the internet. We exist because the internet is open and free." And I sent that in. I guess I got that in but apparently, because they were DDoSed—I think the DDoS was a lot of people commented. They never demonstrated any way that it was a malicious DDoSing.
Nathan: Last time this came up about 4 million people commented, which a couple years ago got us to the net neutrality rules we have now. That was under the Obama Administration.
Leo: Right. And it opened Tom Wheeler's eyes.
Nathan: Exactly. And a couple million people have commented so far. They say it's around like 2 million. So, not as many as last time. But Ajit Pai so far has said that public polls and comments won't sway his opinion.
Leo: No, because they're wrong. Because net neutrality is bad for business.
Jeff: That's all that matters.
Leo: So, if you go to John Oliver's Go FCC Yourself site, Hello. Because of a procedural quirk, the FCC will not be considering any comments on the issue of net neutrality that are submitted over the next week or so. We'll update you when the comments are officially open again. In the interim, you'll have to find something else to be mad about on the internet. Thank you, FCC. You'd almost think like they'd—
Jeff: What's that URL again?
Jeff: I'll remember that.
Leo: It's almost as if they feel like the public shouldn't have any say in this. Why would they want to talk about that? This is between us and the internet service providers. We'll handle this. Don't worry your pretty little heads about a thing. We've got this. Infuriating. Infuriating. Yea, I mean, maybe they'll reopen it. They say, "We're not going to publish evidence of the DDoS. You're going to just have to take our word for it." Yea.
Nathan: Smells like BS.
Leo: There is so much of it. So much of it. So, I guess they voted to take the comments, but what is the timeline now?
Nathan: I think it's a two week period which is normally shorter than usual I think. I could be wrong but I believe that's what it is.
Leo: Ok. Yea. I don't know what else to say. And this just goes right on the topic. A reporter, actually a very distinguished reporter, J. M. Donnelly of the CQ Roll Call is also the Chairman of the National Press Club's Press Freedom Team, President of the Military Reporters and Editors Association was apparently asking too many questions at the FCC at a public hearing. Was forced to leave the premises by security guards.
Jeff: This comes after a reporter was arrested for asking questions of the Commerce Secretary, I believe it was for West Virginia.
Leo: He was non-confrontational. He was politely asking questions at the FCC commissioners as is his role as a reporter representing us, since we couldn't be there. They forced him to leave the building under implied threat of force. These are plainclothes private security personnel. Donnelly said, "I could not have been less threatening or more polite. There's no justification for using force in such a situation." The National Press Club President, Jeff Ballou said, "Donnelly was doing his job, doing it with his characteristic civility." Reporters can ask questions in any area of a public building that is not marked off as restricting them. The officials were fielding the questions. They're not required to answer but it's completely unacceptable to physically restrain a reporter that has done nothing wrong or force him or her to leave a public, public building paid for by us, the taxpayers as if a crime has been permitted. No comment from the FCC. Anthony Weiner pleaded guilty (laughing). Oh, here's some good news but I think it's a temporary respite. You no longer have to register non-commercial drones with the FAA. The court threw the rule out because apparently—
Jeff: Oh, fascinating that the drone companies are unhappy because they—
Leo: Yea, that's why.
Jeff: Yea, I like that.
Leo: So apparently, there was a law passed by Congress in 2012, the FAA Modernization and Reform Act which prohibited the FAA from passing rules on the operation of model aircraft. But the drone manufacturers kind of liked it. You know, you had to register. Why did they like it?
Jeff: I think because the bad press for drones doing bad things would kill the whole industry, yea.
Leo: Bad for drone sales, yea. Well, I suspect, in fact there's already moves afoot in Congress to change the law and make it legal again. I think we can wrap it up. We've been here a long time, You've all been very informative, intelligent, entertaining. What? Oh, let me do an ad first. And then we'll have some final words. I forgot. Thank you, Karston. I meant to do that right after The Week Ahead.
Leo: Our show today brought—and this is important in a WannaCry world—our show today brought to you by Carbonite. And I think, you know, if you're reading these stories about ransomware—ransomware, by the way, made more money last year than ever. It's expected it will make a billion dollars this year. That's in just in hard payments to ransomware authors. The actual productivity loss is estimated to be as high as $50-billion dollars this year and that was before WannaCry. So, ransomware's a real problem. And business, if you have lost access to the data on your computer, that means you've lost everything. You've lost your customer list, your accounts receivable, your supplier list, your books. You can't do your taxes. You can't do anything. You can't go forward. You might say, "I've got no problem. I've got a good backup. It's right there. Joey in the mailroom, he does that every week." Yea, that might be encrypted as well. You've got to have offsite backup. I want you to go to Carbonite.com even if you don't become a customer. Go to the Carbonite for Business. They've got it for home and for office. Go to Carbonite for Office, you'll see right there on the menu, resources and they've got a number or white pages on ransomware. What to do to plan for it, what to do to remediate it. It's not a big ad for Carbonite. It's very helpful, useful information. You'll want to create a disaster recovery plan and no matter what, you want to have offsite backups. That's the safest. Carbonite has a lot of ways to solve that problem, including on prem hard drives that back up to Carbonite. They've got high availability solutions. Businesses love Carbonite and believe me, if you get—there you go. That's the E-Vault. That's a really nice solution. If you get hit by ransomware, you will love Carbonite too because you will be back to business instead of shutting the place down. Find out more about Carbonite. Go to Carbonite.com. They have free trials of the home version and the business versions. No credit card required. I would suggest the free trial. Do me a favor, though. When you do the free trial they'll ask you, they'll say what's the offer code? Just put TWiT in there so they know you heard it on This Week in Tech. And by the way, when you do that, you'll get two free bonus months if you decide to sign up. It's the most affordable solution for home and office. It's the most effective solution. And if you haven't looked at Carbonite lately, they've got more and more great solutions for small, medium and large enterprises. Carbonite.com. You've got to back it up to get it back. You're right with Carbonite. Don't forget to use the word TWiT in the promo code.
Leo: Actually, I do love this story. The kill switch guy, the guy who published, you know, registered the site, he gets a $10,000-dollar bounty.
Jeff: Which he's giving to charities.
Leo: And a year's free pizza.
Jeff: That I hope he's keeping.
Leo: UK security researcher Malware Tech, white hat hacker, that was the guy who just said, "You know, what if we register this domain?" (Laughing) And Hacker 1 which is a bug batting service said, "Just for that, we're giving you 10 grand," which he's going to split among charities and a year's worth of—although, is British pizza good pizza?
Mark: Yea, what kind of pizza I was going to ask.
Jeff: There can be. But it's free.
Leo: It's Just Eat Reward Mobile I Team. So it's Just Eat is the name of the—
Mark: Oh, it's a big delivery company in the UK.
Leo: Oh, ok. That's nice. And then the guy writing for them says, "Malware Tech, allow me to add another offer to this. If our paths ever cross I'd love to buy you a pint. Several actually." Isn't that nice? That's Matthew Hughes. Ladies and gentlemen, what a fun day today. Thank you, Nathan , coming in on your day off, spending some time, for driving up with Mark Milian, he of Bloomberg Business Week.
Mark: Always a pleasure.
Leo: Always a pleasure to have you. Bring Goron.
Nathan: Oh, it's going to happen.
Mark: He's coming.
Nathan: It's going to happen.
Leo: Nice. I want—I've heard very good things about French Bulldogs. If you show him to Lisa, I'm going to kill you because she wants another dog.
Nathan: (Laughing) Wait, wait, wait, what? Lisa's always here. What day can I bring Goron when Lisa's not here.
Leo: Oh. Yea, you're right.
Nathan: I can just lie and tell her it's a different kind of dog.
Leo: Can he be trained to bite people on demand?
Mark: We can do that.
Leo: That will solve it.
Nathan: He's such a good dog.
Leo: Oh, he's a sweetie and I know what Lisa's going to do. She's been saying this for a while. Ozzy, as you know, has passed away. We lost our sweet Papillion. And I'm still grieving. She's not. She wants another dog. You know, we have three cats. I don't think another dog is in the mix. Does Goron like kitties?
Mark: He hasn't had too many interactions with cats.
Leo: Yea, maybe I'll bring a cat. That will fix him.
Nathan: He's great with other dogs, though, because he thinks he's so much bigger than he actually is. So, he'll play with anyone, big and small.
Mike: Yea, huge Golden Retrievers.
Leo: I shouldn't be here either.
Leo: And there you go, Jeff Jarvis. Always a pleasure too, for joining us.
Jeff: Always. I'm so happy to be able to be at the grownups table. I love the grownups table.
Leo: We'll be back at the kid's table on Wednesday on This Week in Google. Catch Jeff's work at Buzzmachine.com and get his books. Just buy all his books. Put them on the bookshelf. People will think you're an intellectual. It's a good thing to do. Have you measure how wide the shelf? Would it be a seven foot shelf if you've got all of Jeff's books?
Jeff: It would be about 8 inches.
Leo: (Laughing) Just leave it at that. Thank you for joining us. We do TWiT every Sunday afternoon, 3:00 PM Pacific, 6:00 PM Eastern, 2200 – about 8". UTC if you want to join us in studio, email email@example.com as some intrepid adventurers did from all over the world. We'd love to put a chair out for you, have you join us. If you can't watch live or be in the studio or be in the chatroom at irc.twit.tv, don't worry because everything's on demand at the website TWiT.tv. That expensive, expensive website. Please visit it. Just make me feel better. And by the way, while you're there you can subscribe or just use your favorite podcast program and subscribe because we don't want you to miss an episode. Thanks for being here! Another TWiT is in the can. Bye-bye.