This Week in Tech 616
Leo Laporte: It's time for TWiT, This Week in Tech. What a great show we have! Tim Stevens is here from Cnet, Clayton Morris from Fox and Friends, my old friend Dan Patterson from Tech Republic. Now we've got some deep, heavy topics to discuss. Who is winning the AI race? Can Facebook tell you how to reach depressed teenagers? And robots roaming the streets of Dubai. It's all coming up next, on TWiT.
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Leo: This is TWiT, This Week in Tech, episode 616, recorded Sunday, May 28, 2017.
That's Not a Hot Dog
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It's time for TWiT, This Week in Tech, the show where we cover the latest tech news with a panel of inspiring, brilliant, tech journalists. Starting to my left with Dan Patterson. When is the last time you've been in studio? Ages.
Dan Patterson: I have never been in studio, but I haven't been on the show since 08 or 09.
Leo: And you never bothered to come visit us?
Dan: My heart and soul is in Sonoma county.
Leo: We started talking to you when you were at ABC. You're doing some great reporting. You occupied Wall street, you covered the Presidential campaign--
Dan: Three of them.
Leo: There have been that many? It feels like there's only one.
Dan: They're all fake.
Leo: I'm starting to wonder. He's currently senior writer at Tech Republic, our friend Jason Hiner. Is he your boss?
Dan: Jason is my boss. If you think of drama, we are the anti-drama. Tech Republic is good people doing good work.
Leo: I like that.
Leo: Tip of the hat to C Net. That's where our friend Tim Stevens hangs his hat. TheRoadshow.com. I think he says some of the best automotive journalism out there, he's also a racer--
Tim Stevens: Thank you very much.
Leo: He races his ice... He's an ice road racer. Tim, I learn things about you all the time.
Tim: There's so much more to learn too. I'm on the asphalt more now.
Leo: We waited until the Indi500 was over before we made you show up.
Tim: I appreciate that. Also your good friend, Clayton Morris from Fox and Friends and his company Morrisinvest.com. Hi, Clayton!
Clayton Morris: Nice to see you guys. Thanks for having me back.
Leo: Close personal friend of Donald J. Trump. No. You would do me a favor, the next time he's on, wear the wookie mask? I think it would be interesting to see...
Clayton: I don't think he likes me much. I do...
Leo: Has he ever tweeted about you?
Clayton: No, but I do always ask the tough questions to people from his staff that are on our show. I'm not afraid to ask those questions. When other people are fawning over him, I'm not. I just ask a straight question.
Leo: He does live tweet Fox and Friends. Does he ever live tweet you?
Clayton: He's definitely live tweeted things that literally we just said or commented on stories clearly no one else was covering.
Leo: That must be intimidating to know the President is in there and watching you.
Clayton: This morning we had on a group of Veterans who were riding on to DC for the Thunder, forgive me for butchering it. All the motorcyclists, there were 96,000 of them. Rolling Thunder.
Leo: The Rolling Thunder run.
Clayton: To honor those forgotten POWs. There are tens of thousands that have gone missing, forgotten. Anyway, we had the founder of it on this morning. I knew the President was on watching after his 9 day trip to the mid-east, and they're frustrated with the Government spending thousands on the defense budget but not spending money to find these soldiers and get them back. Identify grave sights etcetera. I said do you have a message for the President? And he said President Trump, we'd like to meet with you. That's a mechanism. he was frustrated. He was frustrated with this administration. He was frustrated with the last administration. It's a crazy time.
Leo: Now your schedule has changed a little bit. When are you on Fox and Friends now?
Clayton: I do the weekend show. Saturday and Sunday. I'll be on tomorrow morning, Memorial Day. 6-9 AM. I fill in during the weekday, but Saturday/Sunday the weekend anchor of Fox and Friends. The Number one show in the world.
Clayton: Number one morning show in all of Cable news.
Leo: in your time slot or in general?
Clayton: In our time slot.
Leo: If you're number one in general, wow.
Clayton: We go up against The Today Show, but we're Neck and Neck with some of those guys.
Leo: That's really a big deal. So here's a top story. Steve Jobs hype is over. According to Z D Net, they auctioned off yet another rare Apple One. I don't know if this is Mitch Wait. We had Mitch Wait on this show. He had an Apple One that looked just like this. It was an auction in Cologne. There are only 8 Apple ones out there. The guy who bought it, $130,000. That's all! They sold for $666 back in 1976 or '77. The reason the seller was disappointed was one had sold for $905,000 and another sold last year for $815,000. It's a bit much to say the Steve Jobs hype is over, however. Got me to click though. The German engineer bought it. $130,000. But it did include the cassette player.
Tim: How many are there?
Leo: Eight working. There are many more not working. Mitch Wait who is from the Wait Group Publisher, he is now famous because he has done some really nice bird watching apps for IOS. He has an Apple One that he got ages ago, and he got a friend and they worked on it. It was a working Apple One, but it was non-trivial to get it working again. These things corroded over the years. I think Mitch will be disappointed, because he thought he was going to make a pretty penny off of that.
Dan: I love the idea that Jobs hype is over though.
Leo: In fact Steve's greatest accomplishment opening now. Apple Park, the brand new campus. That was his last... it's very sad when you look at the video of Steve presenting apple Park at the Cupertino city council. He was really on Death's Door. It's almost open now. Let me show you. Matthew Roberts has made a time lapse of the construction of Apple Park. He's got it down to a minute and five seconds. The Spaceship Campus. Started in March 2016. Why do they always have this music on these?
Tim: Didn't they have some trouble with the glass?
Leo: Yeah. I don't know. Maybe you heard me talk about that. I thought I had the scoop like for tech Republic, but we had an engineer in, he said I'm working on the Apple Campus. I said, "Oh really." He said Yeah. I said, "How's it going?" He said well. It's settling. I said "What?" Anytime you build a building it settles, right? The problem is these panes of glass are massive. They were breaking. He said the real problem is that they're expensive. They're $100,000 each. You can't just make one, you have to make them in big batches. They make a million dollars of these at a time. So if one breaks, you have to make a million dollars' worth of glass Windows. I guess it stopped settling. They're moving in. I talked to an Apple employee who was in the studio visiting us Saturday, and I said do you get to be at Apple park, he said yep. I said when are you moving in? He said later this year.
Dan: Like 500 at a time, 300 a time.
Leo: He's the guy who works on the human interfaces on the iPhone. He gets to be in there.
Clayton: You don't have any earth quakes in California which is really good.
Leo: That's a relief. No tornados. No earthquakes. It is an act of God of any kind.
Dan: 4 foot springs or some insane....
Leo: Nowadays when they build buildings, there's one building in San Francisco that's falling over, but normally when they build them they build them on big rollers so the building can move. I'm sure they've done that with the Spaceship campus.
Dan: Joking aside, I do hope this is the last Jobsian effort that we see, this push up the hill. I hope this allows Apple to move into an era that is defined by their successes and failures as well.
Leo: I wish they'd spend less time on that and more on the laptops.
Dan: That's precisely what I mean. I'd like to enter into an era with Apple where we can say, "Oops. We messed this one up."
Leo: They did. They said that. The Mac Pro. I bought it 3 years ago, and they never updated it! I had it as a doorstop for a while. Literally.
Clayton: You are seeing quite a shift though. Wouldn't you guys agree? To a more open Apple. See and hearing from executives, Jimmy Iovene and that music publication just did an interview. But you're right. They still have a long way to go if they're going to move completely in that direction. I also think it's not... they're also doubling down on secrecy. So we don't know a lot of what to expect at WWDC. You remember past keynotes where everything was detail. It took the shine off of.. we don't know much about anything for WWDC.
Leo: That's a good point. I haven't really thought about that. Mark German of Bloomberg did say that WWDC will announce new laptops. I don't mean new in the sense that the design will change...
Dan: This was an intentional leak to stop the drip, drip, drip of negative press about how bad this current crop of laptops is.
Leo: I feel like when you see Tim Cook and Phil Schiller giving interviews that it's all part of an Apple campaign to dampen expectations, to set an agenda. Tim Cook has now several times said we're doing AR, you never would have heard Steve Jobs say that. What does that mean? You got Robert Scoble on this show saying at the end of the year you're going to be amazed! I'm thinking no I'm not.
Clayton: Yes, but that's Robert. I love Robert, but...
Leo: He's an enthusiast. You can't knock him because he's an enthusiast. I love Robert too. He's an old friend. We have a bet. He says the next iPhone will be clear. I said the one in the fall will be clear? I said yes. I said if the one in the fall is clear, I'm taking you to dinner at your favorite restaurant. He said it's in Paris. I said fine. So I hope it's not clear.
Clayton: Does he mean no bezel?
Leo: That's not clear. It'll be an OLED Screen. it won't have much of a frame, no bezzle. But that's going to be the standard in Smartphones.
Dan: For Apple as well. I think the era of the next Big thing, the surprise Apple is long gone. They want to try to delight users in their language, but I think that we will see predictable incremental upgrades from Apple for a very long time.
Leo: How much of that is Apple, and how much of that is the Industry? We're at peak Smartphone.
Dan: IOT is coming, but it's way more of a business thing. It's not like consumers are going to get hyped up about their next wearable thing.
Leo: There's another thing Tim Cook has been hyping. He mentioned it in Scotland. He said his Apple Watch monitors his blood sugar. He mentioned it again. If you read Rachel Becker's article in the Verge, no one has ever done a needle less blood sugar monitor. At least one that's on the market. It's a difficult thing to do. Sure it's a big market. 30 million Americans have diabetes and would want this. It may not be Apple. Tim just says it's on my watch. If they have a non-intrusive blood glucose monitor that would be huge.
Tim: Nobody else has been able to do this. It's almost like a professional motion machine, but none of the companies have managed to do this in a reliable repeatable way.
Leo: It's cold fusion of public health.
Clayton: The idea of being able to take off different bands and being able to put them on the watch and interact with the watch, isn't there a lightening connector on the back side of the watch as well?
Leo: Nobody has ever developed anything to do it before. It's just Apple.
Clayton: Apple uses it for diagnostics, but to be able to use the band, instead of having Nike sport style, there might be a special glucose monitor.
Leo: That would be amazing. I would buy it, I think every diabetic would buy it. Google was working on a glucose monitoring contact lens. But according to Rachel's article it's really hard to do. I did not realize this. But there's only a sugar packet's worth of glucose in your blood at any given time. She quotes Mark Rice who is a diabetes expert and Vanderbilt. It's an incredibly difficult problem, everybody thinks they have a way to do it, and everybody so far has failed.
Clayton: The other side of it is getting regulatory approval. I had a chance to moderate a panel on this exact topic a few years ago at CES. You had consumer medical device companies, as well as ones that in the Industry had to be regulated, and the problem is the lead time. Two years. Can you build something for an apple watch that is going to be relevant and have the same size and shape? You know how Apple likes to change connectors and sizes and cases. By the time you get approval, they want to move on from that same technology. I interviewed a company that was doing heart rate measuring on the back of an iPhone case for an EKG monitor.
Leo: I have that.
Clayton: It took two years... but by that time, the iPhone is a totally different shape and it won't snap on any more.
Leo: This thing is cool. It works with Android and iOS. You don't have to snap it on. The Cardia. They did get FDA approval, it is available. It's $80. If you have a heart issue, Jeff Jarvis one of our contributors on This Week in Google has been hospitalized for Aphib several times. He has this, and he can send an EKG... if he feels weird he sends an EKG to his doctor and the doctor can say within minutes get to the hospital or it's OK. That's huge. But I'm wondering... it's difficult to do the glucose monitoring. B, it's years away no matter what because they have to get FDA approval. Why does Tim Cook keep bringing this up?
Clayton: I think Apple really does care about health.
Leo: I'm a cynic. I think it's all a game.
Clayton: Marshaling the forces to when you realize not everyone can stand. Let's literally devote an entire team to work with people who are wheelchair bound. And have to monitor their activity. Work with folks who are in wheelchairs and study how they move, what types of exercises. Swimming. A whole range of different activities to get people moving and a better life. I'm not terribly cynical about this. Think about...
Leo: You wear an Apple watch, don't you?
Clayton: I do. It certainly has made me healthier. To hit certain steps every day and monitor breathing.
Leo: I agree with you.
Dan: This is the number one reach. I think trust is at the center of this. I think the market is emerging, but we're not talking about humans now, we're talking about the market that will emerge. I think Apple is looking five and ten years down the line, and you really have to start banking this top of mind awareness with consumers very early
Leo: This really is a change then.
Dan: I'm cynical, Leo. I'm a journalist and it's my job to disbelieve all the things. I disbelieve all the things. Maybe Tim Cook buys into this, maybe he doesn't, but what I think they see is an emerging market and they see an emerging market that may take a long time for Apple to earn consumer trust.
Clayton: I think that there is a lot to unpack with this. Apple could also if it's approved in the right way, could be subsidized by your insurance. Imagine an Industry where these watches are subsidized by insurance.
Leo: Apple is so big that they don't consider anything that's not a multi-billion dollar business worth their energy. This is a big business, and if it were any other company, it would be an Uber sized company. This is huge if they can make it. I don't deny that at all. There's a sniff test that is what I'm saying, I'm starting to sniff a number of leaks, quotes from Apple that feel like they're desperately trying to look like they are relevant and cutting edge, where if you didn't look at any of that but looked at the products they're putting out, it would be quite the opposite. When you say the airpods are the coolest things Apple has released in three years... right? I'm just saying. when you say that's the coolest thing, a pair of Bluetooth earbuds, this is a company that isn't cutting edge. I think they're really... Apple is working on a dedicated chip to power AI and devices. That's clearly an Apple house leak to say no. Google has said the same thing. No we're doing that too! I feel like this is Apple desperate for...
Dan: Do we have expectations. This is the way the Industry has worked for along time. This is the way Apple has worked for a long time. I think that these leaks are relevant... I don't know that cutting edge is in the cards for consumers any more.
Leo: It reminds me when Apple announced the iPad, and said Oh, we got a big ass table. We've been doing that for a long time. Somebody in the chat room said, I couldn't agree with them more, Apple is sliding into "Ballmer" land. The difference between public relations, propaganda, and authentic marketing is the difference between Steve Ballmer and Elon Musk. Apple is moving into Ballmer land.
Clayton: I'm interested to see.. I run my entire company off an iPad Pro. Right? There's huge areas they can improve with iPads. I use my Mac for..
Leo: What are you? A masochist? Don't you wish you had a keyboard?
Clayton: I do. I use the keyboard. I like the simplicity of it. I appreciate split view, I like being able to sit and focus on one task at a time.
Leo: You don't feel like it's a compromise for you?
Clayton: I really enjoy... I like being able to snap it off and hold it in my hand. The True tone display is gorgeous. I wish all Apple products and True Tone display on it and once you see it, like Phil Schiller said last year, you're never going to go back, which is odd that the iPhone still doesn't have it. With the new iPad hardware we'll probably see true tone display on everything. But I think there's huge strides that can make with IOS for the iPad, and I would love to see some really step up moves on the pro side on the iPad.
Leo: That's an interesting question there. What's happening with the iPad? The only iPad announcement they made was a cheap one.
Tim: I thought it was a step back if anything. Much like the last Macbooks were delayed because of some issues internally as well. There are definitely internal issues with Apple as well, not only in terms of being creative and coming up with mind blowing products but getting these regular updates to market even. I have a doubt as to whether they can maintain cadence of these products, even if they are predictable updates.
Leo: If you think that Apple will announce new iPads a week from Monday? June 5?
Tim: I think they need to. They're way overdue at this point. But there's been suggestions that there's a new form factor that's going to be shared between iPad and iPhone and for that reason we may not see the iPad until the end of the year. I think it's time even if it is a predictable... we're overdue for that thing, unless they want to do everything in September, it would make sense for them to do that now. Especially if we're talking about more productivity. By the way, I use my iPad a lot for productivity now too. I've come to appreciate the fact that I can focus on a given document and write something without having notifications pop up all the time. But I tried to do photo editing on my iPad at an event a couple months back and absolutely wanted to throw the damn thing out the windows.
Leo: Lightroom is an interesting product for the iPad. Eyes to your desktop, so you can do some simple editing on the iPad or at least triage.
Tim: The act of importing, editing, exporting, and uploading took me hours and hours which would have taken me twenty minutes on my MacBook. There are definitely situations...
Dan: Tim and Clayton, I'd be curious about your process. I have to produce a copy and video content. As a productivity cost, that opportunity cost of time feels insulting when I go, damnit, all I have to do is move this graph from here to here and this took seven minutes?
Clayton: I do a lot in Dropbox on my iPad, so if I'm sending something to a client and I want to have multiples of something to send them, and I have to go back and open Dropbox again, why can't I select three when I'm in there? No, I can only grab one. Those are severe areas of restriction. I haven't seen an update to the larger iPad Pro, the 12 inch one since 2015. That was the first one. It's long in the tooth. I want to see what they do in IOS. The iPad Pro is pretty darn good. It's pretty darn fast.
Leo: Clayton, you're not taking pictures with your iPad, are you?
Clayton: I have. If it's near me and we have an 8 month old. I didn't have my iPhone with me, and the baby started crawling for the first time, and my iPad was there and I shot video of her crawling for the first time on the iPad Pro.
Leo: I have to say, I have become apostate. I am going rogue. I'm sitting in front of a giant Windows machine, the surface studio, which I happen to really like. I really wanted to like the new MacBooks. I bought the new Macbook Pro. The Touch bar is so problematic to me, I traded down, and then I said now I only have two type c ports, so I ended up getting a Windows laptop with USB and Ethernet and two type cs. I feel like this is what I'm going to be doing my leg room on, a think pad, not a Mac. Believe me, I was an avid Mac guy for a long time. I feel like Apple's lost its way a little. Here's the leak. 9 to 5 Mac got a hold of some cases. This is what a new device will look like. Case manufacturers. It's my understanding that Apple never gives samples of anything to anybody ahead of time. They just say wait until it comes out, then you can design your case. But Pelican, which makes a rugged case, and somehow this leaked out and it is a different dimension. It is for a 10.5 inch iPad pro. If that's the case, if they had some insight from Apple, maybe this will be announced on June 5. Maybe that's... I would love to see it.
Clayton: I'm going to quickly change a camera hole on one of these things... you'll get press releases immediately after Apple announces these things They'll have all sorts of colorful pictures from Griffin, from Belkin All these cases will hit your inbox. That's amazing. They're all renderings. They have some idea where this camera hole will go, I don't know. Then they get them cranked out pretty darn fast.
Dan: AS much as that's funny, Clayton you are absolutely right. Let's not forget the lessons of this previous election cycle. The value of earned media. A leak that shows up in your inbox or Tim's inbox or my inbox, then one or two or five of us do a story, that branding alone is worth considerable money to the company that's pitching it. They could be a peripheral company. That company gets a lot of value, even if the story is untrue.
Leo: That's true. All you really had to do was render something and put it in Silicon Mold.
Dan: This is earned media for companies, and they pitch journalists in technology because they know a lot of us need... fortunately...
Leo: Especially if you're covering Apple. You're just desperate at this point.
Dan: Jason sees that and goes Oh brother.
Clayton: This move to Windows, Leo. What would it take for you... I feel the same way about the Mac Book pro. the touch bar I use is for touch ID. I'm in calendar. I don't know what's popping up... What would it take for you to go back to a MacBook Pro? What would you need for it to be killer?
Leo: One of the things that has changed, and one of the reasons I can contemplate using Windows is that nowadays, a lot of our computing is operating system independent. I live in Chrome. Chrome looks the same everywhere. I'm using Adobe products. That looks the same on both products. That looks the same on both platforms. A lot of what I do is cloud based, so it doesn't really matter what hardware I use. At this point, I'm choosing machines... the thing about the Windows ecosystem is there are hundreds of manufacturers and they're all struggling to do something innovative. With Apple, you don't like the touchbar, you're kind of screwed. There's only one person making it. With Windows, you don't like that? Get this. You don't like this? Get the other thing.
Dan: My productivity day starts in Mac OS. I toggle over to Windows X. Here's why. Because I can't get stuff done in Windows X. The best Windows hardware is Mac Hardware. I'm not kidding you...
Leo: This Lenovo, it's an OLED screen, 10 point touch, comes with a stylus. It's got... normally the track pad are lightyears ahead what you can get on Windows. This one is as good as the glass track on...
Clayton: Does it have a little red nipple?
Leo: It has a little red nipple, which I disabled immediately. I never understood the value of that, but some people love it. It has ports. It has three USB ports. It has two type 3 thunderbolt three ports. It has a full sized HTMI port. It has a micro SD reader. I don't know why. I would like a regular SD card reader. But this is the same price as a comparable MacBook.
Dan: The Samsung Chromebook Pro, why do I need a Macbook when I can blaze on that thing?
Leo: That's the point. I think Apple is suffering at a very bad time from a lack of imagination. I really felt comfortable saying Mac OS is superior to anything else out there, even Linux, because it had a BSD kernel, that's the biggest thing I miss on Windows. I miss the terminal. That's a nice power tool. But... who would miss iTunes?
Dan: What a missed opportunity that was.
Leo: There are little things that Apple does where you really wonder. Isn't there anybody in charge of this? Search on the Apple store is broken.
Dan: There are so many companies that game the SEO in iTunes or in the app store. That is...
Leo: Apple has a problem. They're working to get rid of that. I don't mean to bash Apple. I don't mean to, I want Apple to succeed, I'm rooting for them. I want them to be the Apple of old, but I feel like there is that old story. It's like being on the cover of Sports Illustrated, it's a jinx. When a company builds a giant corporate headquarters, that means they're at the apex.
Dan: I will tell you, Apple treats me with respect. There are problems with their product. Let me give you a great example. the iPhone 7, these are unlocked phones, there is the Apple upgrade program. There is one model of that that is hardware locked to AT&T. Apple knows about this, and they communicate with the customers about this. So if you want to go to Verizon or T Mobile and you want to leave, it is one model that is locked to AT&T. AT&T is AT&T and they're a pain in the neck to work with. Apple will for months walk you through, they will take care of you.
Leo: They'll help you unlock it?
Dan: I had the best experience with Apple. They refunded me the price of that phone. They said this is our mistake, it's our manufacturer, we've had a tremendous... this is off record. They said we've had a tremendous problem working with AT&T, this was iPhone 7, and we just had a manufacturing batch that was tied to AT&T, we are going to refund you. I'm not kidding.
Leo: I agree with you 100%. There is no better support anywhere. You can go into a store, and they're really good. They do sometimes say dumb thing, but generally they're very good. At least when it comes to their profits, the iPhone, they do better than anybody at all. Go ahead and try to get support from Samsung. One of the reasons I bought the Lenovo is they still do good support. I spent 300 bucks on next business day on sight replacement, including accidental. It wasn't very expensive, and they will come to me and replace it. It was Cory Doctoro who told me that. Cory only buys Lenovo He immediately puts Linux on it. That's the other reason I bought it is there's a fallback. I can put Linux on it. He said because I'm a writer, I can't be out of pocket for a day, so I buy Lenovo's. Once a year I buy a new Lenovo think pad because I can get next business day on sight replacement. This has a nice keyboard. You can't tell me any current Apple MacBook has a nice keyboard. They're horrible. That's why you guys don't mind typing on glass, or a little flimsy fabric thing..
Tim: I had the Microsoft keyboard, which is not a bad typing experience. I don't like the new Mac keyboards either.
Leo: Play with that keyboard there while we take a break. Lenovo still makes great keyboards, I have to say. I put Lenovo in the doghouse after the super... it's not as good as five, ten years ago think pads, but it's still superior to most companies, which are putting crap keyboards.
Clayton: You get a solid hour and a half battery life out of that thing, right?
Leo: They claimed 15 hours battery life. I don't know what they're doing. I get 3-4, which is OK. I'm not going to complain, but it's nothing like you're ten hour iPad. That's kind of pathetic. Our show to you today brought to you by ZipRecruiter! If you are in the powerful but not enviable position of doing the hiring for your company, you know that everything is resting on your shoulders. The person you hire can make the company. A company is just a bunch of people, right? A great employee is transformative. A bad employee, you're going to be suffering. It's going to be painful. It's a big deal, being in charge of hiring. It always happens at the worst possible time, you're at the end of a quarter or you're down a person. Even that could be... Zip Recruiter is going to transform your life. It makes hiring the right person easy as can be. First of all, let's presume the right person is out there. How do you find that person? How do you get to them? there's more than a hundred job sites. How do you get on the one that that person is looking at? You go to ZipRecruiter. One click of the Mouse at ZipRecruiter goes to 100+ job sites. Plus Twitter, plus Facebook. I know immediately people say that's terrible. I'm going to get all those calls and those emails. No. It all flows into ZipRecruiter interface, they reformat all the resumes so they're uniform so you can scan them quickly, you can even put questionaires on the posting. Yes/no true/false multiple choice, so you can have a screening process built right in, which means you can eliminate the wrong person fast, rank the rest of them, hire the right person. 80% of the jobs posted on zip Recruiter get a qualified candidate in less than 24 hours. That's how fast it happens. No juggling emails, no calls to your.... Look at the million plus companies in the world that use ZipRecruiter! We use ZipRecruiter. We love it. Screen, rate, hire the right person fast. Find out right now why ZipRecruiter is being used by businesses of all sizes, by trying it free. Go to ZipRecruiter/twit. We thank them for making a fabulous product. I think we can stop talking about Apple. Somebody in the chat room says, and this is so true, Apple gets such unearned press constantly. We love talking about it.
Clayton: It's intriguing, and there's a ton of products that are about to be announced--or not-- think of how many people use their products.
Leo: That's a good point. They are the most valuable company in the world. It's not like Apple is suffering and failing. They're doing OK. There is one more Apple tidbit before we move on. One way we know new products are coming out, the Apple store gets warned you can't take a vacation. The blackout dates for the Apple store staff imply that it will be September 17 that we will be able to buy new iPhones. that's a Sunday. But typically they do hold iPhone events in September. This has got to be the first one on the new Campus, right? You'll come out for that, won't you Clayton?
Clayton: I will. For sure.
Leo: It's a challenge. Apple, like everybody else has got to figure out something to make people come back to the store more than once every few years. Not easy to do. Let's talk about Google. Big victory yesterday for alpha Go. Three in a row against the world's best go player. Happened in China. I was told I was not able to independently verify this, the YouTube stream of the independent games have been blocked in China. The Government doesn't want people to see machines... Alpha Go is retired now. It beat him decisively, three games in a row. It's retiring.
Tim: What else are you going to do? I wish a few football players would learn this. The research team... this is a press release behind Alpha Go will now throw their considerable energy to the next set of grant challenges, developing advanced algorithms that help scientists to tackle our most complex problems. Sounds like it's following in Watson's footsteps. Watson was based in deep Blue, the chess player, right? Finding new cures for diseases, dramatically reducing energy consumption, or inventing revolutionary new materials.
Dan: There are some people within the machine learning community, some are like Ben Guertzel who believe that Google is inches away from...
Leo: What is AGI?
Dan: Artificial general intelligence. Artificial intelligence is frequently a misapplied term that can be broadly applied to many different topics. You get a little more specific when you talk about machine learning or algorithms, but these things, we are already living in an age that is defined by machine learning, and will continue to be defined by machine learning. This could be anything from a gaming AI, but Artificial general intelligence, and what alpha go has done with Go, by the way, Go, I've been playing Goh for 15 years. Goh is a peaceful game. If you want to challenge your mind and have a peaceful relaxing experience with someone, I encourage you to play Goh. If you're on IOS, there's a great app called Smart Goh Keefu.
Leo: I have to try this. I played Goh when I was a kid; I played chess much more seriously. I remember when the chess community was beaten by Deep blue. Our game is solvable, a computer can best a human, and the chess community has come around. They now train with computers.
Dan: This is the interesting nuance with Goh and Artificial general intelligence. Artificial general intelligence are algorithms that teach themselves what Goh is. They teach themselves that... first I have to know what a pixel is, then I have to know what a computer is, then I have to know that Goh is a game. Goh is a game humans play. Goh is a game I need to figure out the rules. OK, I figured out these rules, now let me apply these things. You see, it's layers and layers. The artificial general intelligence, and if it can learn what Goh is, it can learn what I am. This is called recursive AI, intelligence that looks at itself and its own failures and improves on them. There are very few rules that define Goh. This is a 19 by 19 grid. You play black and white stone. Goh means to surround, it's very simple. The nuance of Goh... the legend is that it was developed by a Chinese emperor to teach his son how to wisely rule his kingdom. Goh is full of proverbs. The first proverb of Goh is a one stone jump is never bad. No matter what, do not over extend yourself, but do not under extend yourself. Push past your limitations as far as you are able. When you take proverbs... there's another proverb, when at the end of two stones. If you see two white stones together and you're playing black, play at the end of those two stones, it will increase your likelihood of victory. These proverbs you extrapolate to Government to politics, to interpersonal relationships. Goh is a game that is designed to teach you how to rule, run, and be a better person.
Leo: So in other words, a computer learning how to play this is significantly.... light years beyond chess. Chess is calculable. You can teach a computer to look 40 moves ahead, which is plenty to win any game. With go, you can't do that.
Dan: There are nuances to your humanity and nuances to Go. So when we have artificial general intelligence, it is beyond machine learning, or language processing, or narrow AI. When this happens, I start to go...
Leo: This is a picture of the end of the match. A couple things to note, Kujo is the number one player. They started with 3 hours each. He's got 32 minutes left. Alpha go has two hours left.
Dan: It is speed as well as ability.
Leo: Humans try to win decisively. In Chess, Bobby Fischer said I'm here to crush my opponent, physically mentally emotionally, crush him. That's how he was such a good player.
Dan: In Go you're supposed to learn from your defeat. If I beat you, I'm supposed to help you learn how I defeated you.
Leo: We do that in Chess. At the end of the game, both players will analyze the game and say what if I had done this? There is that collegiate point. What interests me about Alpha go is it's designed merely to win. It won by the slimmest point, half a point, because that's as good as winning by a thousand. It doesn't matter. Here is Kudja. On the right, the guy who is making the moves the computer is making. He doesn't need food. The computer is doing all the work.
Dan: I wonder the processing power that is designed for AGI. This is alpha Go.
Leo: Watch this because this is the end of the match. Kudja is making his final moves. What you also see is a picture of exhaustion and dejection. You can feel the human player just go oooh.
Dan: Another nuance of Go is the game isn't over until.... it's not like Chess where it's check mate and then done. In Go, the game isn't over until both players concede. So you could be on the losing end... if I don't pass, I don't end the game, which also means that the human player has to accept defeat internally and say I have won. Or I have lost.
Clayton: Did you see the other Google story this week? Talking about machine learning and what Google knows about us and what Google is trying to understand about the world and when we buy stuff at a Brick and mortar store Google is able to understand it started with one of their ads.
Leo: This is called Google attribution, and it's something we can't do here. You guys can't do on Fox and Friends, which is tell an advertiser, Coca Cola buys an ad on Fox and Friends, you can't connect that to sales directly. Google, because they have all the data, they can say you know that credit card purchase? That's because of that ad on that banner on that website. They say they can anonymized it. I hope they can.
Clayton: Is there really any such thing as anonymized data at all?
Leo: We've seen in the past that that's a myth... people anonymized data all the time and we've always been able to figure out, given enough data, if you give me ten searches, I can probably narrow it down to somebody.
Tim: It's not tied to your name, if they know your address, your date of birth, where you went for dinner last night, even if they don't know who you are exactly; that's enough identifying information for most people.
Leo: The other thing Google is doing is these tensor processing units. One of the things Google did is they gave away Tenser flow, which is their AI engine, so anybody can use it on the Google compute cloud, and now they have hardware. This is remarkable hardware. Each of these TPU units is a quadcore that can do 180 teraflops, and they put them together in big racks that can do 11 petaflops. 11 billion billion floating point operations per second. Somebody pointed out one of the problems of this is you can use it cheaply and use their software for free, but it's proprietary in the sense, that when you generate these TPU clusters, it's in Google's cloud. You can't then use Amazon's AI.
Dan: It's the worry with AI. It'll be siloed.
Leo: What do you guys think? Has Google won?
Clayton: It's between Facebook and Google for user data.
Leo: I'd say Google has twice the information Facebook does though. Right?
Clayton: Do they? Remember when Facebook wouldn't allow itself to show up in Google's search? That great battle, 8 years ago, that data where Facebook was keeping all that data, and that was the holy grail for Google, the more personalized data, the moods, the vacations, the information that you can't get from a simple Google search.
Dan: I think Google can get that data.
Leo: I think Google gets it peripherally.
Dan: I think that's why they stopped caring about Google Plus. The value here isn't as strong as we thought it was.
Leo: That's in effect what happened. They said we don't need that. We get it anyway. If you use Google for all your searches and you use Google devices and even if you're using an iPhone, you may be using google assistant, you may be using Google search... you're getting so many signals, and I don't think it's a question of how much data you have at this point. It's how much intelligence you can apply to the data you have to make the connections. I feel like Facebook is certainly data rich, but I feel like computer scientists at Google... I don't know. That's a really interesting question. Did you see this? Facebook, according to an Australian news website, which has seen internal research, saw that Facebook was classifying the emotions of teenagers, stressed anxious, nervous, or otherwise, and offering it to advertisers who could use it to hone in on teenagers when they're most vulnerable. According to USA Today this information was shared with an advertiser. Facebook says no. We have a process in place to review the type of research we perform, and in this case, maybe we didn't follow the process.
Clayton: How would that work? It seems odd to me, unless it's a high level advertiser that is spending tens of millions of dollars in their ads manager. Because there is a process in place. There are only certain campaigns that you can run.
Leo: Do you believe the Cambridge analytical story or not?
Dan: I got sources there like crazy.
Leo: This comes to the Trump campaign. Jered Kushner was charged, he started a unit in San Antonio to use data from a company called Cambridge Analytica, and they did Facebook quizzes to gather information about Facebook users, and the Trump campaign bought very targeted ads, based not merely on whether somebody was likely or unlikely to vote for Trump, it was useful because you could discourage a likely voter for Hilary Clinton not to vote, and you could encourage a likely voter for Trump to vote, but even using sentiment analysis, like we know there's group X, large set of people who will support gun rights, but more than that we can subdivide that group by emotion analysis as to why they care about gun rights. Some are hunters, some are worried about safety and security, some are libertarians who believe no government interference, and then target an ad... and these are dark ads because no one sees it but that person. Target an ad towards those interests. That was what was alleged.
Dan: I don't mean to cut you guys off... the way you characterized it, this is the definition of data analysis on this previous campaign used many of those tactics. But you have to separate Cambridge Analytica from this.
Leo: Some claimed more than they were capable of...
Dan: So we have all this reporting at Tech Republic, I know the CEO of Cambridge very well. They got into hot water, because yes, they do quizzes. Cambridge made up a lotof their data.
Leo: Oh, wow.
Dan: This micro-targeting—they used quizzes. This micro—alleged. This micro-targeting is precisely—the real company, there are a number of real companies that do this. One is L2 Political. If you buy data from L2 Political, you can login. We can login right now and I could show you all of those things about ever y single—I could find you and see your social security number, how much money you make, where you live. All of these things that you say. So, everything you just said, Leo, is absolutely correct, whether Cambridge did it or not—follow Gerrit Lansing on Twitter. I'll leave that right there. But during the campaign this was precisely what we covered at Tech Republic was the data and the data analytics. We didn't cover the horse race because the politics are less interesting.
Leo: As it turned out you covered the right thing because this in my opinion, this was the most significant development.
Dan: We were finding bots. You can find this on Tech Republic. Find stories from January 2016. We were finding bots buried in the Twitter. You can look at the spikes in Trump's and Clinton's Twitter followers and correlate them. Yes, these things happen. And the micro-targeting, every single political campaign, every smart political campaign is buying and using data.
Leo: From now on, if you're not, you're going to lose.
Clayton: And being able to go into these towns, I mean the real story was the targeting of the ads was huge. But, also to be able to use that data for speeches. So, they knew down to a granularity—it was almost like the speeches themselves were crowdsourced. So, you could go into Phoenix—
Leo: Well, Trump was very good, now, this was obvious if you watched him, at reading the crowd and feeding them stuff that made them more excited. I mean, there was a direct—he didn't have to use any analytics. There was a direct feedback loop.
Dan: In fact, that was the lesson of the campaign. Also follow Chris Wilson on Twitter. Chris was Ted Cruz' data analytics guy. Ted Cruz really pioneered this and it was one reason he rose so high. Clayton, what you said is precisely accurate. It was less about the geo-TV, the get out to vote and it's more about targeting the right language that we know will elicit a response. And Gerrit's an interesting guy.
Leo: Is this Gerrit Lansing?
Dan: This is Gerrit. He was the White House, he was in charge of tech at the White House for about 3 months.
Leo: Under Obama or under Trump?
Dan: Under Trump. Gerrit's a real good guy and I'm not saying—all I know from Gerrit is that he did analytics. So, Gerrit is not my source. And I won't get him into trouble. I won't reveal who my sources were. But Gerrit is somebody you could turn to for accurate information about data analytics in this current age. So is Chris Wilson. And there's no fudge with those guys. Again, I really like the humans at Cambridge Analytica and they're going to hate me. They're going to send some emails after the show. But what they did is not what they claimed to have done. They sent emails. The day after the campaign, I was at Hillary Clinton's HQ, through the campaign. As soon as the tide started to turn, Cambridge took credit for Trump's win that night.
Leo: So, ok. But irrespective of that, there are companies doing this now.
Dan: Yea. Precisely.
Leo: It might not be CA, but there are companies doing this kind of thing.
Dan: The way you framed that is precisely right, Leo.
Leo: And more to the point, Facebook will sell ads based on that data.
Dan: Oh, yea. More data is scraped from Facebook, yea.
Leo: How do you buy an ad like that? You don't say to Facebook, "I want depressed teenagers." You'll know, before that, you'll know who it is.
Clayton: That is my question because I do a lot of Facebook stuff and for my company. And it's important that I do it. Without it, I would be—
Leo: I don't know why anybody buys ads, and I shouldn't say this out loud, anywhere but Facebook. Right? I mean you can really—talk about efficient ad spend, right?
Clayton: Right. Yea, like I said before, think about it. If you're like a pet shop owner in a small town in Massachusetts or just take that as an example. You could—why would you put up a billboard or why would you take an ad out in the local newspaper?
Leo: A billboard, why would anybody buy a billboard these days?
Dan: You're right, Clayton.
Clayton: So, why wouldn't you just target pet owners in the three zip codes that your pet shop would service in the little downtown area and run a little coupon on a Sunday. Hey, we're new in town. We just opened our store. Pet owners, come to our store. You're going to get a free doggie toy on this particular day. You're only targeting pet owners through the Facebook Ad Platform. Right, and between 30 and 50 years old. Maybe you're not going to target—
Leo: The only thing that saves us, by the way, is that at least people when they buy ads on TWiT, they know you're getting geeks. You're getting a tech enthusiast. So, just buy virtue of the content, we are a somewhat narrow niche. But, boy, I would really worry if I were network television, a newspaper, a Clear Channel selling ads on billboards. You can't compete.
Dan: Your sophistication and you're advocating the exact right tactic, it is that other industries aren't as sophisticated at geeks.
Leo: They're going to have trouble going down the road because Proctor & Gamble, which by the way, is that sophisticated, is going to eat their lunch.
Clayton: But my question is how are they getting this data? How are they getting the depressed teenager data? I mean, because if you go through the ads manager as a normal company—
Leo: Facebook's not telling you you're saying.
Clayton: Right. You can't find that data in there. You can find people's credit history and if they own a mortgage and if they have you know—
Leo: Facebook quizzes. Facebook quizzes.
Dan: If they listen to some sad music or maybe they're posting feelings and sentiments.
Leo: So, if I create quizzes, let's say, what Game of Thrones character are you? And I create a quiz and those things spread virally on Facebook, like wildfire. I get the data from that quiz, right? And Facebook gets it but I also get it, right? Is that one way to do this?
Clayton: How would you do it? I'm just trying to think, through the ads manager platform, I don't know how that would work.
Leo: No, no. But you don't understand. I'm not saying through the ads manager. I'm saying you create content on Facebook.
Clayton: Oh, and then you're retargeting. So, that's how you're getting it. So, you're able to see if the hundred thousand people that answered your quiz on your Facebook page, the Donald Trump Facebook page, answered it that they are sad.
Leo: And part of the reason this works is Facebook's very lax privacy policies which allow you for instance, if somebody answers a quiz, to get not only information about that person, but their friends, right?.
Dan: Right. And we as individuals, we as individual buyers are not an enterprise company or a highly influential individual.
Leo: So, Clayton's not getting the good stuff (laughing).
Dan: So, there are—
Clayton: I am not.
Dan: But you know, Clayton, you and I and everybody in the media, if I want traffic I can arbitrate. I can buy it off of Facebook and I don't necessarily need to get very granular about that until I have my own analytic systems on top of that. So, if you think about political campaigns, you don't only rely on Facebook but sometimes rely on Facebook. And you have your own analytics process, excuse me, processes and really smart data scientists who all want to be influential inside an administration, or good jobs in the private sector. It's not just Facebook data. Facebook data is part of the bigger picture. Again, check out L2 Political if you want to see how this works.
Leo: Are political campaigns the most sophisticated users of this data at this point?
Dan: No, that's why I'm saying geeks are. Because like Clayton, what you're describing is stuff that like—a lot of those tactics we kind of know. Or if you're a small business or even larger SMB, an Enterprise company, you might know some of these tactics. But a political campaign, look, I know political campaigns. They're not that sophisticated.
Leo: That's reassuring, by the way (laughing). I'm very glad to hear that because whether you buy Tide or not is less important than who gets elected President, so, it's nice to know. But I do have to say that there are people who do know this. They are going to, you know, survival of the fittest, they are going to become more and more successful, more and more powerful. Eventually this will become the province of election campaigns. How does this change—what we're really seeing is, and we've seen this for years. Big data, more and more big data, better and better ways to process big data. And then there are some companies, and maybe Google's the one, but there are some companies who have a head start, such a lead in this that it will only make them stronger and stronger. Their lead will magnify as a result. Is that fair to say?
Clayton: Yea, when did they become a monopoly of this data?
Leo: They are though, right? Facebook is—I mean you can't say Google—the data Google has is unique to Google.
Clayton: Well, then you have this move by cable companies and you know—
Leo: But Google is everywhere you go on the internet is Google. Not Cox. Not Comcast. In fact, what do you think Google's been pushing? HTTPS everywhere, right? Google's pushing this very hard. Your Google searches, for instance, are encrypted. Your ISP does not see those searches. All they know is that you're using Google. And Google wants this for every website. In fact, they've already said, "We will rank you higher if you're secure website." We make TWiT secure, not because there's anything on TWiT. We don't know anything about you. There's no account. You don't create an account on TWiT. But we made it secure because it helps our rankings on Google.
Dan: So, you think this is Google playing defense against the ISPs?
Leo: You bet. That way, Google has a monopoly on that information. Nobody else does.
Clayton: Well, and they're scary. I spoke to an IT genius the other day over coffee and the guy's quite brilliant. He's started a number of companies and sold them, a multi-millionaire and he said the real trouble right now for ISPs is that when you come home, most people aren't switching to Wi-Fi.
Leo: Oh, really? They're using their carrier.
Clayton: LTE. Because LTE is just fast enough. It's fine. And most people kind of forget to jump to Wi-Fi. I know my mom, my parents come home. They don't jump over to Wi-Fi because they're home. We do it kind of instinctually. But now there's this real fight. Verizon doesn't want to build any more fiber to the home. And now they're really targeting these new—
Leo: Well, that's interesting. That would explain why Google and Verizon have stopped their fiber issues.
Clayton: Right. They're done.
Leo: They're happy if you use the carrier.
Clayton: The future is the spectrum that's available and it's going to be wicked fast.
Leo: 5G, right?
Clayton: Yea, 5G. 5G probably not until 2020.
Leo: Just in time for the next election (laughing). This is why, by the way, I think you could make a strong case that Mark Zuckerberg will run for president and other technocrats will run for president because they will be—I really feel that we have, we are at a paradigm shift. I hate to use that phrase. We're at the bend of the hockey stick. And things are going to rapidly change. That's five years—five years from now will not look anything like this today, I would guess. And AI will be the driving force behind that. Yes? You guys are smart. Do you think? Will the Rock be the next president because he can, because he's stronger than the rest? Let's take a break. We've got a great panel. Clayton Morris is here, Fox and Friends and let's not forget morrisinvest.com where he teaches you the miracle of residential real estate which, by the way, Lisa and I are all in on. We're—
Clayton: I know. We've got to talk about it.
Leo: Last time you were on I went to Lisa and I said, "We've got to do this. This is brilliant."
Clayton: So many TWiT listeners have come and—
Leo: Thank you. I'll be working here for 20 more years. They're going to retire.
Clayton: Most people think it's super difficult to do it and really, if you think about it, you add up your monthly expenses—
Leo: Oh, that should be you. That should be you and Natalie.
Clayton: On our website?
Leo: Yea, that's clipart. I want you, Natalie. I want Miles.
Clayton: I didn't want it to be about me. I honestly, I rebuilt the whole website to be about people, like other people, helping them achieve financial freedom and so.
Leo: That family kind of looks like you.
Clayton: All right. I see some smiling people that look like they might be real estate investors.
Leo: A little bit like you, except you need a baby in the background.
Clayton: I mean honestly, the common investor that I work with is like I'm tired of driving 2 hours to work, back and forth every day. I've got two kids at home. I'm tired of being selfish, you know?
Leo: Also, we've got the great Dan Patterson. First—I didn't realize it. He's been on the show many times. First time in the studio.
Dan: Wonderful to be here.
Leo: I have met you, physically though, haven't I?
Dan: Yea, many—but this is a truly wonderful thing to see.
Leo: Thank you for being here. And you know, I think you've got some stuff. I want to ask more questions about this work you've been doing. No, no, no. I want to know. You can read Dan at Techrepublic.com. Yea, yea. Really interesting stuff.
Dan: We talk AI, I get worked up here.
Leo: It's exciting. And Tim Stevens. He's always a pleasure to have on from TheRoadShow.com., up there in upper New York state where nothing changes year to year. They still have a milkman up there bringing you the milk.
Tim: As a matter of fact, we do.
Leo: I knew it. I knew it. As long as there's a milkman, I think life can continue.
Clayton: Do you live up there near—there's so many celebrities that live up that way. Mark Ruffalo lives up there, right? Matthew Reese and what's her name from the Americans.
Tim: I couldn't tell you.
Leo: Well, that's the point. They're all up there but nobody knows.
Tim: You want your privacy and I get that.
Leo: Plus who doesn't like the smell of manure in the morning? I love that. We used to vacation in upper New York State in Cooperstown because my dad was a baseball fan. And I'd always know we were almost there because, ah, smell the cows. Actually, to me, the smell of sweet grass and cow manure is actually really pleasant.
Tim: It's good for me. I grew up on a farm in Vermont.
Leo: I get so excited when I smell it.
Clayton: We were talking about Kickstarters, there's a new Kickstarter you can order manure on the internet and they'll deliver it right to you.
Leo: Is that true?
Clayton: No, but I'm going to start it.
Leo: I like it. We've got the manure. We've got the raised beds. We've got the manure. Petaluma has a fragrance. A couple of times a year they fertilize. That's all I'm going to say. I don't want to conjure any particular image in mind. Smells like victory.
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Leo: So, I'm following two new people on Twitter now. I've got Chris Wilson. He's WilsonWPA. That's Ted Cruz' data guy, right?
Dan: Chris is brilliant.
Leo: And then I'm also following Gerrit Lansing.
Dan: Sorry, Gerrit.
Leo: Why sorry? He's an ancient Greek nerd he says.
Dan: Gerrit's wonderful. He's wonderful.
Leo: Does he want to be under the radar?
Dan: No, I don't want to imply that Gerrit's my source. He's not.
Leo: No, he's not a source. Nobody ever said that. He's just a good guy to follow.
Dan: I just don't want to get Gerrit in any trouble by implying he said things that he didn't say. Gerrit is just one of those guys who understands data and politics.
Clayton: Another great person to follow on Twitter is @ClaytonMorris.
Leo: I hear that the is not only brilliant, but very handsome. I like that Morris guy. It's too late. I'm already following him.
Clayton: How are you guys using Twitter these days? We have this debate all the time. I don't know. Do you use it much anymore?
Leo: I have very mixed feelings about Twitter.
Tim: I pretty much, you know, stream of consciousness of whatever's going on kind of thing. It's not really a promotional tool. But then, for me, it was always a means of communicating and kind of getting in touch with people. It was never much of a promo tool for me. I share what I'm up to, but I never look at it as a way to generate traffic and stuff.
Leo: I have stopped tweeting kind of the random personal tweet and I realized that if you follow me on Twitter, you're probably following me for tech information and news, right? So, what I've started doing, I, as I am sure all of you guys do, I have a beat check every morning, every evening. I go around. I go to Tech Meme. I go to Hacker News, a variety of sites and I pick articles that we'll be talking about on the shows. I have always used Pinboard which was so good. When Yahoo bought Delicious, they killed the API. Joshua I think is revitalizing or somebody bought Delicious. But the way I work is I'll use Pinboard, add a little extension, and so all the articles are ended up on Pinboard. And you could follow me. It's a public feed. Pinboard.in/u:leolaporte but I decided to link it using Appy or one of those tools to my Twitter feed. So now, if I bookmark a story we're going to cover, I might modify the title for a little commentary and then it goes on my Twitter feed. And actually, that's I think the most useful thing I can do on Twitter, which is post articles that I'm going to talk about that I think are interesting, with the slightest pit of commentary. How about you, Dan?
Clayton: That's all I really use it for. I use Linky in iOS and make a nice little post about something I'm reading. My paranormal news in addition to real estate.
Leo: That's right, you're a ghost hunter. I forgot about that.
Clayton: Yea, I want disclosure, baby.
Tim: Yea, me too.
Clayton: Oh, you're into it to?
Tim: I have a studio full of podcasts all the time. Absolutely. Not something I'm necessarily proud to admit, but yes.
Leo: Really? Really? Really?
Clayton: I am proud. I try to do as much of it as I can on Fox and because I think there's so much there. If you guys wanted to have your minds blown, check out Corey Goode. And I would even recommend checking out Gaia.com. Check out Cosmic Disclosure. It's a show on Gaia and Corey Goode interviewed by David Wilcox, a great writer and a journalist who's been at this for many, many years and has spoken to people at the highest levels of military.
Leo: Oh, please. He says that there's a secret space program?
Clayton: Oh, absolutely. Just dive into some of the Apollo transmissions when they were seeing objects on the moon following them.
Leo: Secrets of the Apollo Missions.
Clayton: I'm telling you. See? Once you go down here and you go with an open mind—
Leo: I have a completely closed mind. I think it's crazy. I think you're nuts.
Clayton: Here's a challenge for you.
Clayton: I'll throw down a Leo challenge. So, the next time I'm on TWiT, watch all of Cosmic Disclosure. Watch some of those shows and we'll see if your mind has changed at all. And see if you start to see. I'm telling you. I have talked to—
Dan: I watch for totally different reasons.
Leo: You find it humorous.
Dan: It's entertainment. Like, I'm going to bed.
Leo: I used to listen to, what is that Art Bell show?
Dan: Yea, Art Bell, right.
Leo: Coast to Coast. I've been on Coast to Coast and I always felt a little dirty afterwards because I feel like here I am talking about real stuff like technology, and then the guy right after me is going to be talking about secret alien autopsies and it's like, oh, please.
Tim: Coast to Coast was kind of like Penthouse stories because you could pretty much get on there and say anything you want to.
Tim: That was I think entertaining.
Leo: All of this stuff is like Penthouse stories. You'll never believe what happened.
Dan: You get a dopamine reaction too, right?
Leo: I think it's exactly that. But, hey, you're a smart guy, Clayton. I'm not going to dis you at all. I'm going to listen to Cosmic Disclosure and next time you're on we can talk about it.
Clayton: Yea, just watch—there's a couple seasons. Go through it and listen to it and I would love to hear your thoughts on it. I reversed engineered some of the stuff.
Leo: I'm going to Manchu Picchu, the ancient Inca ruins in Peru next week. Is there anything I should do while I'm there? Anything I should dig up or look for? Secret signs?
Clayton: Well, when you're at the top and you'll know this and I'm sure you've heard about this, when you get to the top, you're supposed to strip down and be totally nude.
Leo: Totally nude.
Clayton: Regardless of—totally nude. Regardless of how many people are standing around you.
Leo: Ok, deal.
Clayton: Don't even Google that. Just go and do it.
Tim: Next week in Tech, Leo Laporte arrested for public indecency.
Leo: I'll never forget a few years ago we went to Egypt and went to Luxor and went in the pyramids and stuff. And we went into one of the ancient tombs. And there was a whole new age group there chanting. They were holding on to the alter going, "(Chanting)." And I thought, "Oh, wow. We must be at the center of something." I didn't feel any better or different when I—
Dan: But you did buy a Bonsai tree after that.
Leo: (Laughing). You got me. You got me. Obviously, I do believe in Kickstarter, ok? I have a deep-rooted belief that Kickstarter is real.
Dan: Like fake make-believe things.
Leo: Oh, Lord. Somebody in the chatroom said that the Google Ad Conference, everybody paid attention to Google I/O, but the Google Ad Conference was really the event that people should have been paying attention to. They call it their Marketing Next Conference. And this is where they announced that tool for measuring brick and mortar sales after an ad campaign. He said in the chatroom, he said, "You should watch the videos. A lot of these videos have been put out here." And advertisers actually are very excited. Advertisers would love to know about our behavior and what we do and whether their ads work. That was always the saying. I know that half my ads work, the problem is I don't know which half.
Tim: If you want to be cynical, you can look at a lot of the stuff that came out of Google I/O that was really exciting. The idea of 3D mapping within a building without having to have location beacons within the building, well, now you can find your way to the Captain Crunch, but now, you know, Captain Crunch can know how long you stood there standing in the cereal aisle looking at that stuff, too. So, even Google Automotive, for example, there's been a lot of resistance among automotive manufacturers to put Android Auto in the car because Google needs to take some information out of that so they know where you are and where you're going. That, too, can be looked at as a skeptical, as a little bit of a tin foil hat way of saying this technology is cool and it does give you benefit, but ultimately it just makes Google better at serving you ads and learning more about you. So, you can look at this stuff in a lot of cynical ways and ultimately I think it does make Google very, very powerful.
Clayton: Yea, Geico could start sending you ads because it knows that you speed or blow through stop signs.
Leo: How is Android Auto different from Google Automotive, Tim? What is—explain what that Google Automotive is.
Tim: So, right now if your car has Android Auto, basically your phone is effectively working as a drone, providing an interface, effectively doing a video without a signal and taking over part of the dashboard of the car. If you do run Android within the dashboard as we saw some demonstrations from Volvo and from Audi, that is actually Android running natively in the car. In that case, if there is a native infotainment system there from, for example, Volvo Sensus system or the Audi system, they're actually running on top of Android. So, it's kind of like turning things upside down. Whereas you know have internet running on top of the infotainment system, you then have the infotainment system running on top of Android. But the net result is the same basic interface, the same basic app speed. You no longer would have to have your phone connected to the car. You'd have Spotify running right there in your car now and you'd have your playlist right there. You'd have an active data connection in your car serving up that data.
Leo: These are-- Ron Amadeo at Ars Technica was on TWiG on Wednesday, and these are the pictures he took at the event. So, this is to compete with QNX and other car operating systems? Microsoft's Auto?
Tim: Right, QNX is a big player in basically providing the low level operating system that then these infotainment systems like SYNC 3 and built on top of. There's LINUX in the car as well which is making a big play to be—
Leo: Our Tesla's are running on LINUX.
Tim: Right, and there's a big push to make that a lot more sophisticated than it has been in the past. But, this is a huge money maker for QNX right now and ultimately Android wants to be in there as well to have more power down low basically. So, that really would mean the foundation of those operating systems would be Android based, which is, again, a LINUX based operating system.
Leo: Well, it's also data for Google, right?
Tim: Absolutely. And they're getting—you got to think Google's getting a lot of that information anyway if you're taking your phone with you. But ultimately having that in your car means that they know your destination. In theory, they could know your rate of speed. It remains to be seen exactly what Google would be able to take out of the car, but ultimately, if they're tied within the CAN bus of the car, they can in theory get anything they wanted to, even with your turn signals on or whether your traction control activated, which means that they might be able to use that data to then serve Waze. If you slip on a patch of ice in your car, maybe there's an automatic Waze notification that's posted that would then alert drivers behind you. Again, there's a case for positives out of this, but if you are concerned about privacy, there's some negative implications, too.
Leo: And of course—
Clayton: Yea, some of that's outdated to the government perhaps. I mean I'm not trying to be cynical, I'm trying to be positive. They maybe could then use that information to improve infrastructure and roads in a way that they couldn't before, the way that traffic flows.
Leo: Well, self-driving vehicles, right? One of the problems self-driving vehicles face is humans driving other cars in the same environment. That's a mess. But maybe if you were driving a car with Android Auto or Google Automotive underneath, at least it could communicate with the self-driving car and say, "Look, my human's about to do something really stupid. So, you might just want to hold back a little bit," that kind of thing.
Tim: I think a lot of it is way down the road. Right now, this Google system isn't really powerful enough to power all the systems within the car, but definitely building it inside of the dashboard means that it does have easier access to a lot of that data and that means that down the road, it could certainly have a lot more power and a lot more communications. And Google has basically always said, "We don't need this standardized vehicle to vehicle communications systems that the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration has been pushing for decades now. We don't need any of that stuff. Just give our cars an active data connection and we'll kind of take care of the rest." And this is another step in that direction.
Leo: This is another ARS Technica article from Ron Amadeo, the state of the car computer: Forget horsepower, we want megahertz! I don't think he's speaking for the car companies. One of the things he pointed out was that car companies have a 5-year development cycle so, many of the car companies are running Android are running Gingerbread, KitKat, really old versions. So, that's another problem for Google.
Tim: Honda's one of the few manufacturers that has Android in the car right now and yea, it is quite old. And that 5-year life cycle is getting better. Ford, for example, did the Ford GT in under 2 years anyway, so, there are signs for improvement. Ultimately, the goal is with a system like Android in the dashboard, at that point you can do over the air updates relatively trivially. But, of course, that's a whole new thing for automotive manufacturers. They're used to writing software once and shipping and having it be supported for 10 years as is. So, the notion that you would need a software update for security reasons in your car, that's kind of whole new world for manufactures, something that they're still getting their heads around.
Clayton: Right, the wife has the new Volvo, what is it, the XC something, the SUV. Yea, and recently there were some software glitches and we had to drop it off for a day. They had to take care of and update the software. It's decidedly inconvenient, whereas a Tesla, overnight you can say your download time, when you want the software update to go. I want 11:00 at night and it will be done by 1:00 AM and then you wake up the next morning and it shows you what was in the update right on your screen. These are the things we updated. And so, you have these manufacturers that need you to drop off your car to do a software update.
Leo: I had an Audi for three years, never got it updated. The maps just went more and more out of date. But my Tesla, we get updates every few months now. It's very—it happens all the time. And, by the way, Tesla puts in Easter eggs. They're so funny. Before when—so, you normally tap, if you have auto-pilot, you tap the stem twice to turn on auto-pilot. If you tap it four times now, it does the Super Mario rainbow road and for a while it was playing I think a song from Mario. But now it plays I Want More Cowbell from Saturday Night Live. It's like, I don't even—so, you just wonder what else is in this thing? At Christmas, did you—on my Model X, the doors opened and played a Manheim Steamroller Christmas song and it was flying. And they took it out. I was pissed. I wanted it to keep doing it.
Clayton: I want the Super Mario Brothers stuff. I've got to check for that.
Leo: Yea. You have to have auto-pilot. I don't know. There's a whole—you know, you can find it on the web, a whole bunch of I guess Tesla Easter eggs. So, it's interesting because when for instance Microsoft did Microsoft Car, they just wanted another market for Windows. It was Windows CE. Now, you've got to feel Google is fighting for more than—in fact, they're probably giving it away like they're giving away Android because they want the data.
Dan: Yea, they want the time spent in car for you to be—
Leo: That's crazy.
Dan: No, I really think they want you to be producing 20 minutes, 30 minutes more data and sending it.
Leo: They want data from you every minute of your life.
Dan: Yea, that's right.
Leo: They'll put a sensor in your bed. They'll put a camera in your bathroom. Actually, isn't that what Amazon's doing with the Amazon Look and the Amazon Show? And by the way, I immediately ordered both because I'm an idiot. Well, there's two ways to go. I mean, and I'm probably, I'm starting to regret the way I went. But, you could either be paranoid and careful and tape over. I see lots of people taping over their cameras, forgetting of course that you have a camera conveniently in your pocket with a microphone and a GPS that's always connected to the internet, so who cares about your laptop.
Dan: Those apps are listening.
Leo: They could be. In fact, some of them are.
Dan: Well, they are.
Leo: They're listening to the TV.
Dan: Right, exactly. They are listening.
Leo: So, I just gave up. I said, "Oh, screw it." When I install Windows now I say, "Do it all. Turn it all on, Microsoft. I've got nothing to hide." I don't cover up my cameras. I buy the Look and the Show from Amazon. I feel like I've just given up and like what is the worst that's going to—seriously. I ask you, gentlemen, smart gentlemen of the jury. What's the worst that's going to happen?
Clayton: When you just also ordered that Amazon stripper pole and you've got the Amazon Look next to it.
Leo: Yea? So what? No one wants to see me naked. And by the way, I will be naked in Manchu Picchu about June 8th. Just reminding you of this sacred moment.
Clayton: Get out your wide angle.
Leo: (Laughing) Yea, you're going to need it.
Clayton: I don't know. I guess I'm the same way as you, Leo. I could go off into paranoid space. But then you really have to be all in on that. And you really have to start—I mean you have to turn off location tracking on your phone.
Leo: I tried. Good luck. Good luck. Basically, you'll be going back to the 19th Century.
Clayton: And then also don't leave your house because now there's traffic cameras everywhere. You want to go down the streets in Manhattan? Every corner has a NYPD traffic camera on. Try going to London. The whole city is covered in cameras. I mean, what are you going to do?
Leo: Should we fight this? Should we all be petitioning our member of Congress?
Dan: What are we fighting and why?
Leo: We want privacy. I want privacy so, if I want—
Dan: No, you don't.
Leo: I don't? No, because I like all the modern conveniences.
Dan: Yea, totally.
Leo: I want Google to remind me, "You better leave for work. Traffic's terrible." I want it to do that.
Dan: There's a couple groups of people that need to care. And that's the politicians like Anthony Weiner.
Leo: I like that. I think that's great. That's going to weed out the bad apples, right?
Dan: It will.
Leo: Did you see—so, on Silicon Valley, have you been watching the latest season?
Dan: Oh, my God, this is my schadenfreude. I love that show.
Leo: So, they develop an app. They call it Seafood. So, one of the guys living in the house actually wanted to do 28 octopus recipes and he called it sea, S-E-A food. But then they go to the pitch meeting and very quickly pivoted to S-E-E, you see food and can identify it. But he was lazy so all he could do was identify hotdogs. So, it identifies hotdogs or not hotdogs. You take a picture of something. So, HBO in all their brilliance has developed a hotdog app that does exactly that. You can download, and I encourage you all to do so, the brand-new HBO Hotdog Not Hotdog app. I don't want to mention what it actually ended up being used for, but let's put it this way. Periscope bought the company because it could be useful at identifying things that are hotdog like, but not hotdogs. Can you believe that? There's Jian-Yang, the founder of the hot or not dog app. Not hotdog app. It's called Not Hotdog. TV. See, this is why I want them to know everything about me, so that everything I do, every media event I consume is tailored to my particular bizarreness. Wouldn't that be awesome? Everything personalized, even my insurance policies. Our show today—actually you know what I want to do before that? Let's take a look at what you missed this week. It's been a fun week. We made a little movie all about it. Watch.
Narrator: Previously on TWiT.
Amanda Alden: Happy 300.
Dan Wilbanks: Happy 300 and 1, everyone.
Dr. Bob Heil: 300, that's why I'm all dressed in my best suit.
Leo: 7 3, some of the smartest people I've ever met.
Gordon West: Happy 300 to the chatroom and to those that made us where we are today.
Narrator: All About Android.
Jason Howell: Flo and I have the opportunity and we're super thrilled to do it, to sit down with a few of Android's top executives.
Male 1: Project Tribal, we call that because it's all about the base, was huge. We had to change every single interface with Android. We had to separate all the vendor code to run in a separate process. It's probably the biggest engineering change we've made to Android since we started.
Narrator: Home Theatre Geeks.
Scott Wilkinson: In Episode 355 I chat with re-recording mixer Mike Minkler about his work on the original Star Wars which debuted in theatres exactly 40 years ago.
Mike Minkler: I made a special attempt to make Chewbacca's footsteps big and powerful and when George heard us, he said, "Wookies don't make footstep sounds. Take out all of his foot sounds. I don't want to hear it." So you hear everybody else running around but you never hear a Wookie footstep."
Narrator: If you missed TWiT this week, you missed a lot.
Leo: That's useful trivia. It's what? Did I miss last week? I heard it's your 301st episode of Ham Nation. Good job (laughing).
Leo: Ham Nation. That's a fun show. It's amateur radio enthusiasts. And that one's on every Wednesday on our network. Megan Morrone, we've got a big week ahead. What's cooking?
Megan Morrone: This week, former Android head Andy Rubin will unveil a secret new company that he has been keeping under wraps. Essential will likely announce a bezel-less smartphone. If you want to see a silhouette of the announcement that's said to come on May 30th, take a look at the company's Twitter account, @essential. Blackberry's Key One will be available in the US and Canada this week. The phone was supposed to be released last month but ran into a few snags on the way. And in other smartphone news, the recently announced T-Mobile program Digits launches this week. T-Mobile plans to virtualize its customer's phone numbers in a way that makes them accessible across a number of platforms and devices. The new system is free to all T-Mobile users and to all those who might want more than one number to hand out, they can pay $10-dollars to snag an extra. And finally, this week Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass officially goes live. If you're a gamer who's always dreamed of having a Netflix style, all you can stream subscription service, this might be as close as you're going to get. We'll see how it works this week. And that's just a few of the things that we will be tracking in the coming week. Join Jason Howell and myself on Tech News Today every weekday at 4:00 PM Pacific, 7:00 PM Eastern here on TWiT.tv.
Leo: Subscribe and you'll never miss another tech story.
Leo: Our show today brought to you by Rocket Mortgage. If you're getting a new home, buying a new home, unless you're paying cash—I know you're all very wealthy and just have to write a check, right? No, you're going to get a mortgage. Or maybe you would like to get a little money out of your house or lower your interest payment maybe with a re-fi? You've got to check it out. The best mortgage lender in the country, bar none, Quicken Loans and they have—look at all those customer satisfaction awards. Number 1 year after year and they have a product just for us geeks. They call it Rocket Mortgage. It's a completely online mortgage approval process. Whether it's buying a new home or refinancing your existing home, you can do it all in minutes. The last time I bought a house, it took me a month from that big bank down the street. They wanted more paperwork and more paperwork. We went on vacation. We were faxing paperwork from a cruise ship. It was crazy. Rocket Mortgage, you can do everything you need online including submitting the paperwork you need, the paystubs or the check statements. And you customize it, customize the term and the rate and get approved in minutes, not days, not weeks, not months, minutes for a loan that's just right for you. Now I know you're probably not buying a house right now, but make a note of this. Quickenloans.com/twit2 and when you're ready to buy, you go to Rocket Mortgage. Quickenloans.com/twit2. Equal housing lender. Licensed in all 50 states. NLMSConsumerAccess.org number 3030. We thank Rocket Mortgage and Quicken Loans for super serving us geeks.
Leo: Clayton Morris is here from Fox and Friends and morrisinvest.com. Tim Stevens is here from CNET, TheRoadShow.com. We've got Dan Patterson in the studio for the first time ever from TechRepublic.com. Here's the phone. This is kind of a giveaway. Here's the phone. Andy Rubin, who invented Android, and then sold it to Google and ran the Android division for years, left, started running robots and then left completely to create a new phone company. He's been tweeting secret tweets, "Can anyone guess what my colleague Wei is working on?" Now, look at that. That's obviously if you look at it, obviously a 3D camera, right? He says, "If you can, I'll give you a signed copy of our first product." And then he tweeted this silhouette. Well, it's obvious of the new phone. Why would anybody buy a new smartphone, I don't care how sexy and bezel-less it is, with a 360 degree camera off the top? They eliminated antennas just a few years ago, now they're putting that on?
Tim: I'm hoping that that's removable so that you can then put it in your pocket and then leave it in your bag and forget it somewhere and never see it again. And hopefully it's cheap to replace.
Leo: (Laughing) Yea, because you know what this would mean is an avalanche of really ugly 360 degree pictures.
Tim: That's true.
Leo: We'll see. You know, I do remember this teaser picture that he put out earlier. Something big is coming.
Tim: I'm excited to see what it is but I'm a little bit skeptical that the world needs another high-end smartphone right now.
Leo: Look at the companies that have kind of grounded on the rocks of that, HTC pretty much is gone. LG I know they're making beautiful phones but I've got to think they're not doing great. Sony's dropped kind of many of their Experia phones. They're still going to do the high end but they're not going to do the mid-range. It really is a Samsung and Apple world, isn't it?
Clayton: Yea, and to Tim's point, where do you go from here? What—
Leo: Yea, how can you do anything that makes people go out and buy you?
Clayton: You can only do so much on this device right now. But, maybe to your point earlier, Leo, 5 years from now we're not going to recognize these. Things are going to be totally different. But I don't know. It's hard for me and I'm not terribly bright, to wrap my brain around what more do I need from a smartphone right now?
Leo: Well, as we mentioned, Google and Apple both say, "We're going to put dedicated chips. You've got a CPU, you've got a GPU. We're going to put an AIPU or something, some sort of artificial intelligence chip." I don't feel like that—the problem is not more processing power. The problem is it's dumb.
Dan: There may not be a problem.
Dan: We're not missing a problem. The market's needs have been filled.
Leo: Yea, well I talk to Siri and mostly I swear at her because she doesn't seem to understand anything I say. And even when she does she gives me useless information.
Tim: And the majority of that's happening in the cloud. That was the biggest of four when phones started to really be able to understand what you're talking about, is when they stopped doing it on the phone to begin with. And that was back before data networks were anywhere near as good as they are today. So, now that we have all of that cloud processing at our disposal and a lot more bandwidth than we did when Siri first came around, I'm a little bit skeptical that having something like that on the phone is actually going to make this that much better. So, maybe 360 photography is that next big thing that will push the smartphone forward and make this the phone that everybody has to have. But, yea, I'm a little bit skeptical that's going to be the thing. But I'm, you know, I think the fact that they're thinking about that, it's interesting. They're trying something different. We've certainly seen 3rd party dongles that will do that for other phones before.
Leo: There's two at least on the iPhone that work exactly like that. They snap over the iPhone and I guess use—I don't know how they connect, but they somehow—but they look just like that. So, I don't.
Tim: Yea, but maybe this means that they're also going to be trying some interesting, exciting things.
Leo: Well, Google Tango, that was the idea of Tango and would require giant phones that would map the space you're in. I never got that one either. Here's a—we've already seen the face recognition on Samsung's Galaxy S8 phone cracked. Actually, it was cracked at the event when one of the publications brought a, took a picture of himself on his existing phone and showed it to the Samsung Galaxy S8 and it unlocked. Now, it turns out the iris recognition system is also hackable. The Chaos Computer Club in Germany, kind of one of the classics. Yea, the CCC, say it's really simple. "We just take a picture and it doesn't even have to be a really good picture of your iris with a camera." Here, I'll mute the sound. So, you can see he's about 16' away but he has a zoom lens on his point and shoot. Doesn't have to get—look at how big. The face isn't even that big.
Tim: Not even a killer DSLR or anything like that.
Leo: No, it's just a crappy little point and shoot. He's got a picture. They now print out the picture of the eyeball. They blow it up and print it out. Then, in order to trick the Samsung Galaxy S8, they have to make it look spherical. So, they print it out at life size and then the put a contact lens on top of it to make it look like an eyeball. The contact lens distorts the picture to make it round. You'll see it in just a second. So, he's got his iris now registered into that phone. And now he's going to unlick it using—he's proving that he can do it. He takes a contact lens—I love the Chaos. I just love these guys, the Chaos Computer Club. Puts it on top of the picture and then uses the picture, holds it up and boom, the phone's unlocked. That was easy. So, just a word of warning (laughing), if you're depending on iris recognition. I thought, we were told, iris recognition was the best of the bunch, better than fingerprint, better than face. No. WannaCry is probably not the end of the line. Excellent article in the Atlantic today from Bruce Schneier, one of my favorite security guys. The Schneier Blog is really great. He talks in this article about the Shadow Brokers. This is the hacker group that dumped, embarrassed the NSA by dumping a lot of exploits on to the internet. That's where WannaCry's magic capability of spreading over your local area net came from. It came from the NSA and came from this Shadow Broker's dump. The Shadow Brokers now say, "Oh, we're not done yet. In fact, we're thinking about doing a dump of the month club." Because apparently, they have quite a few more exploits from the NSA and they don't seem to care much about publicizing them.
Dan: If this isn't an argument against stockpiling zero days, I don't know what is.
Leo: Well that's an interesting question because don't you think that intelligence agencies also want, need hacking tools?
Dan: Yea, hacking tools are one thing but stockpiling, we have a story that kind of picks apart the reason, the real nuanced reason why coming out on June 1st. But, the basics are easy to understand and that is if there are zero day exploits within a system, hacking tools are something different. You have to give Microsoft and other companies the ability to patch these holes. If you stockpile them, this will happen.
Leo: But if you—But—I'm playing devil's advocate here.
Dan: Yea, please bring it.
Leo: But if you, if the NSA and their hackers are working hard and they find, "Oh, this is great. We can use SMB1 to spread—" by the way, they wouldn't do it with encryption, ransomware, they would use it to spread an eavesdropping tool onto all of the computers in the Russian Embassy, wouldn't they want to hold on to that? Why—if they tell Microsoft, they can't use it.
Dan: And there is solid evidence. You know we are 6 years now, 7 years past Stuxnet, but there's solid evidence that Stuxnet put the Iranian nuclear program by at least 3 years which is what we needed to finish the negotiations.
Leo: That was the hack that ruined their centrifuges so they couldn't enrich uranium so they couldn't build a nuke. And that helped us negotiate.
Dan: It targeted Siemen's Industrial Control System.
Dan: Yes, SCATAs, yep, right. So, I understand that argument and I really emphasize with the people and the agency within the NSA. However, I don't think any of that excuses stockpiling vulnerabilities that allow massive attacks like this to occur.
Leo: You guys agree? (laughing). It's a tough one. Because I think we all want the intelligence agencies to do their job. We want them to protect us from terrorism. We want them to do espionage as needed to protect us from foreign powers who are, by the way, without any trepidation, stockpiling and spying on us. I don't think the FSB in Russia is having any debate at all about whether they should reveal these vulnerabilities.
Dan: Not a bit.
Leo: So, don't we—now, there was under Obama, back in 2008, something created called the Vulnerabilities Equity Process. And the theory was all the stakeholders come to the table and they actually had a, it was actually quite interesting, a series of questions that they needed to ask about this vulnerability to determine whether they NSA should be allowed to keep it, or the CIA or the FBI, or should be required to turn it over. Let me see if I can find the questions that they ask. This is from Epic.org the Electronic Privacy and Information Center. They have a lot of information about this VEP. And it's been around, as I said, since 2008. The questions seem completely reasonable. For instance, how much is the vulnerable system, in this case, the WannaCry case it would have been Windows, used in the core internet infrastructure and in other critical infrastructure systems in the US economy or in national security systems? In other words, what's the danger. Does the vulnerability, if left unpatched, impose significant risk? How much harm could an adversary nation do, or a criminal group do, with knowledge of this vulnerability. How likely is it that we would know if someone else was exploiting it? How badly do we need the intelligence? This is a really important one, the one that the NSA's going to argue, how badly do we need the intelligence we think we can get from exploiting the vulnerability? This is a cost benefit analysis, right? The benefit would be—well, what would we get? Are there, and this is good too, are there other ways we can get it? Could we, let's say, utilize a vulnerability for a short period and then disclose it? How likely is it that somebody else will discover it? Can it be patched or mitigated? In other words, if we tell Microsoft, can they fix it? The problem is, this process, although it exists, doesn't seem to have been used much.
Dan: And there's liability that now affects people at tremendous scale. So, when you have the agency working 10 years ago, 15 years ago, the vulnerability of intelligence leaks, you could mitigate the damage. If we look at what's happening with IOT and what we expect to see in the next 5-10 years, plus all of these really kind of poorly made firmware that's on all these IOT devices, right? So, the scale of damage—
Leo: Well, look at the Mirai Bot.
Dan: Precisely. And because this, if you go to a pedestrian, a normal person on the street and you say, "Hey, tell me about the zero days." They'll go, "What? What are you talking about?"
Leo: But there's a point because the Mirai Bot probably wouldn't—it was useful in creating a distributed denial of service botnet, but probably would not have been useful in targeted intelligence gathering, which is what the NSA's up to. So, if they had discovered Mirai, that one under the Vulnerabilities Equity Process, would have been revealed and fixed. But they might keep something that allows them to say, hack your smart TV because, well, we can get Ambassador Kislyak. We can see what he's up to by spying on him through is Samsung. I'm torn on this one. By the way, there's a move in Congress to make this law. This was merely an inter-agency agreement. Oh, we'll do this. There's a move in Congress to actually enshrine this in law. That seems like a good step forward. At least you need a process. You have those questions. Now, we talked about this on Tuesday on Security Now. Steve Gibson pooh-poohed the idea of a law. He says, "This is never—it's not going to make—the NSA's going to come to the table every time and say, ‘No, we need it.' Ok, thanks. Bye."
Clayton: They're not going to receive a warrant.
Leo: No, this is like—I mean look at the FISA Court. Even the FISA Court looks like a rubber stamp. This would be ten times worse.
Dan: And technology, as we all know, is always constrained by laws.
Leo: Yea, right.
Dan: So, you can make a law. It's not going to stop—
Leo: It doesn't change anything.
Dan: Right. It doesn't change anything. It certainly won't stop our adversaries.
Leo: Yea. I'm going to be travelling out of the country. I hope that I will be able to bring my laptop on the plane. Unknown (laughing).
Tim: I just go back from Europe and I was dreading the whole time I was there that they were going to pass this new regulation while I was there.
Leo: Please don't change.
Tim: Yea, exactly.
Leo: I do like what 1Password has done and I hope others will do this. They've created, this is-- 1Password is a very popular password vault, something called Travel Mode. You will, you indicate on your passwords which ones you want to keep while you're traveling. Everything else will be deleted before you get off the plane. You press the Travel Mode button.
Dan: That's brilliant.
Leo: Nobody can tell you've done that. It doesn't magically show that.
Dan: Oh, man.
Leo: And then when you get home, you just resync and all your passwords are back.
Dan: So, I'm going to the Ukraine in about a week and a half.
Leo: Oh, don't bring anything electronic.
Dan: Right. Well, first of all, Tim, I'm definitely not bringing a laptop. And this, this, our number one concern is phishing of those around us and the number two concern is what happens to any device I have?
Leo: Imagine, you're coming back from the Ukraine, customs and border patrol are going to be looking at you saying, "Give me your phone."
Leo: Give me your phone.
Dan: And, I believe in the work that customs does and so, not the Ukrainian customs, but the American customs I will happily give them my device. But I don't want my passwords there.
Leo: Where's my—John, do you know where my steam punk laptop is? I want to show you the laptop I'm going to—
Dan: Did Corey build it?
Leo: No, actually I paid a lot of money for it. The guy who used to build these, he builds all sorts of steam punk stuff. He passed away. But I thought, somebody in the chatroom is saying, and I think they're absolutely right, "Bring the steam punk laptop. That way if the border patrol keeps it, it's like, fine." The only problem with it, it weighs about 80 pounds.
Clayton: You're going to look out the window as those guys are throwing your bags into the bay.
Dan: I'm not brining it.
Clayton: That's what I'm scared about.
Leo: What is the chance that this laptop travel ban will happen? Are they just floating this as a balloon, or are they seriously considering? I understand the reason why, we know because Donald Trump told the Russians in the Oval Office, "Oh, yea, we're worried because we got Israeli intelligence that people are putting bombs in laptops or planning on that." So, I understand that. Yea, by the way, that must have really thrilled the Israeli's when he did that. But, that would make sense. In fact, I kind of assumed that after all this travel, talking about these bans on laptops, that must be what they—they got some intelligence that said there's a plan afoot.
Clayton: Oh, I was just saying that I had a feeling this was coming. If we have to take our shoes off? I mean, batteries inside of a laptop. I mean, you know, in this age of cyber warfare, what does a terrorist or some sort of advanced organization like ISIS. We know how savvy they've been online, what they've been able to do to recruit people. I mean, using laptops was not that far afield for them.
Leo: So, is it possible? I'm going to be gone June 5th through the 18th, that sometime in the middle of my trip they're going to say, "Oh, yea, by the way, don't bring that. You're going to have to check." Well, you'd have to put it in the checked luggage. It's not like I'll have to give it up. But, God, how boring to be on a 20-hour flight. It's everything but your phone.
Tim: Yea, and it's not just laptops. It's also tablets and Kindles.
Leo: Yea, you can't bring your Kindle.
Dan: What? That's devastating.
Leo: How much bomb can you put in a Kindle? Set it down right down here. This isn't my steam punk laptop but I think I might bring this one on the trip because if they keep it—
Dan: Do it. Do it.
Leo: (Laughing) Wouldn't it be funny? Only problem is, if they said—this is like, what is this? It's an old Mac luggable. The only problem is if they said, "Can you turn that on?" I don't think I could. This is powered by 145. Look at that trackball. Man, that was state of the art.
Dan: That might have been the first laptop I ever had.
Leo: And the best—look at the size of that thing.
Clayton: You know what? We should all revolt and all bring typewriters on flights.
Clayton: With a really loud carriage return.
Leo: A Selectric.
Clayton: So everyone on the flight has their tray tables, pounding away.
Leo: Oh, man. Tom Hanks has a typewriter out. Have you seen that out?
Clayton: Yea, yea. Hanx Writer.
Leo: H-A-N-X Writer and it's really loud when you use it on your iPad. He's got, they released three new typewriters for it, including a Selectric which is really good. Unfortunately, I was very disappointed because the Selectric, while it has three different fonts, type face balls, you know how the Selectrics had those balls? It doesn't have the speech writer ball which I really liked. That was really giant text. A very silly app. So, you think they're going to—you think, Clayton, that in all likelihood they're going to do this.
Clayton: I don't know. I just felt like it was only a matter of time. Like this new Utopia. Well, think about it, right? We now have to take off our shoes. You ask how much bomb can you really fit in a Kindle. How much bomb can you really fit in the sole of a shoe?
Leo: Well, there was that guy who tried to light his shoes on fire, remember?
Dan: You can fit a bomb in a Kindle.
Leo: Can you?
Leo: How do you know that (laughing)? A Kindle like a Paperwhite?
Dan: One of my sources in Cairo, we were teaching encryption to Sudanese guys and we brought them from different parts of Sudan up to Cairo and we taught them how to use encryption on a mobile device, so when they came back—
Leo: I remember when you were doing that. It was great.
Dan: So, one of my sources, and I have a story that's been vetted. Like, I'm not making this up. But he was like, "I'm so poor, I'm going to either make bombs for ISIS or sell my kidney." And so, I'm sitting there interviewing him. And we vetted him through the UN. His story checks out. He was kidnapped when he was young in Sudan and taught how to make bombs and taught how to make very small, very effective bombs that will fit inside electronic devices.
Leo: Like C3? What would you use to—
Dan: You know I didn't ask him that.
Leo: Actually tough, if you think about it, and this is why I get if you check it they're not as worried. If you're sitting in the cabin and you're right next to the wall, you put that Kindle bomb on the wall, all you have to do is blow a small hole in the wall.
Dan: Yea, you just got to depressurize it.
Leo: Ok. I take it back. In fact, please don't carry any devices on the plane. Please. I don't want—just bring books and magazines. Couldn't you—a smartphone. Is that big enough to make a?
Dan: Oh man.
Clayton: I mean Galaxy Note 7.
Leo: Don't bring that on the plane. Don't bring that on the plane.
Leo: All right, we're going to wrap this up in a minute. We've got a bunch more stories I want to talk to you guys about.
Leo: But first a word from Blue Apron. I made Blue Apron last night. It was the best thing. It was so good. What is—and my mouth waters when I do these ads. It makes me so hungry. Blue Apron delivers you—it's the number one fresh ingredient and recipe delivery service in the country. They deliver incredible seasonal recipes with fresh high quality ingredients to make amazing home cooked meals. Tonight we're doing blackened pork. Can't wait. Last night we made—it's from Nashville, a spicy chicken, a kind of fried chicken. I made mashed potatoes and always in mashed potatoes I use cream and butter and they did it with Fromage blanc and butter and it was so good. And then the green beans, I sautéed the green beans up, chopped up a shallot and then I put—they had a little bottle, a little bottle of vinegar. I put a little vinegar in there. Sautéed the green beans, put them in the shallot vinegar mixture. Oh, my God. Your mouth—the house smells so good and your mouth. And it took me half an hour. It is this gourmet meal and here's the best part. I didn't have to buy one thing. Everything I needed including a half a cup of milk in this little box. Everything I needed to make this amazing recipe. Now, we have Blue Apron for two although partly that's because our son doesn't like fancy food and he just wants plain pasta, you know, and rice. But the truth is, there's enough of this meal that we can give him some and he actually really enjoys it. It's a great way to introduce your kids to new flavors, new tastes. And they have a family plan which has more kid friendly ingredients. Look at that. There's a chicken schnitzel. Oh, that looks good. Fingerling potatoes. Oh, what is that—roll back up. I want to see the recipe. And marinated Napa cabbage. That's like coleslaw. Oh, my God. You can make this. And the thing is, once you've done it—they don't repeat recipes more than once a year, so you're not going to get that recipe choice. And you do get to choose. It's all online and you choose what you want in the box. You choose when you want delivery. It's not a subscription so you get it whenever you feel like it. You get, you see exactly the right ingredients. Everything's fresh, even the meat, the fish. Never frozen, it's in a refrigerated box. And once you've made it, you know now how to make it. And you can go to the store and you can buy the ingredients. So, it's like a cooking school in a box. In fact, I think that's why they call it Blue Apron because if you go to the Cordon Bleu in Paris, the apprentice chefs wear little blue aprons. And I think that's where they got the name. The box has a blue apron on it and everything like that. Look at the recipes. Baked Spinach and Egg Flatbread with Sautéed Asparagus and Lemon Aioli. See, that's vegetarian. They have vegetarian meals. They can assuage your needs. You never get anything you didn't order and so you totally customize it. There's no weekly commitment. They're freshness guarantee promises every ingredient in your delivery arrives ready to cook or they'll make it right. And if you don't like a recipe, they'll send you another one. Look, go there right now. Blueapron.com/twit. Check out this week's menu and get three meals free with your first purchase, and free shipping. Blueapron.com/twit. I love it when you get home and the Blue Apron box is on the doorstep. Like I said, blackened pork tonight. You're all invited, although I only have enough for 2, so you have to like fight over it. Blueapron.com/twit.
Leo: Did you see this article, Tim? Tesla Analysts Split. I guess some people think Tesla's the greatest thing since sliced bread and some people think it's over. The stock is over. Oh, let me stop Bloomberg. They say it comes down to whether you're a tech guy or a car guy.
Tim: Right, and me being a tech and a car guy, obviously I think the truth is somewhere in between the two extremes there. Yea, I think from a tech perspective it's pretty easy to overlook a lot of the complexities of developing a car, just like I think Tesla and Musk would admit they did exactly that when they were launching the first car. You know, it took a long time to bring the Model S to market. It took a long time to bring the Model X to market. They're learning. They're getting better but the question right now in my eye is can Tesla continue to be quicker at innovating than a company like Volkswagen, like Porsche, like Audi? Can they beat those guys?
Leo: So, in other words, they've done very well. They've done great. You can't deny they've done great. And they've ramped up and they're producing the Model 3 and it looks like they're going to get to whatever their goal is for year, what was it? 80,000 vehicles a year? But you're saying, ok fine, now here come the big boys.
Tim: Right. Exactly. And Porsche's investing hundreds of millions of dollars into battery facilities and into basically the groundwork that they need to make a killer EV and you know, that's going to be a really good car when it comes out. If they can make the car that's better than the Model S, that costs less than the Model S, and from a brand like Porsche, I mean, are people really going to continue to support Tesla? Right now, Tesla's got a unique proposition. They make a really fast, really nice looking EV. When everybody has a really nice, really fast looking EV and you can buy one at any dealership just down the road and have a warranty that you can trust and all the other things that come along with buying from a major manufacturer that you're familiar with, will Tesla continue to have this position? And that I think is the big question and ultimately, I don't think anybody really knows the answer to that right now.
Leo: But that's for investors. For people buying a car, would you say—did I make a mistake buying a Tesla?
Tim: Well, we talked about this before. I'm a little bit skeptical of the Model X reliability in the long run. But, no, I think those are really great cars.
Leo: If those gull wing doors or those falcon wing, whatever they call them, fall off, I'll let you know. I'll be the first to tell you.
Tim: Tesla makes a car that drives like nothing else on the road right now.
Leo: I love my Tesla.
Clayton: Oh, it's fantastic.
Leo: And once you drive an electric car you don't really ever want to go back to a gas vehicle, right?
Tim: Go ahead, Clayton.
Clayton: I was going to say when you can go from like zero to sixty in like three and a half seconds, you're kind of—
Leo: It makes my head hurt, though. I don't do it anymore because it feels like my brain hit the back of my skull. It's like I don't want to—it hurts.
Clayton: What I was going to say about—and they sort of—I don't know if it's an Apple approach. It seems like it is, but sort of. And, Tim, you can speak way more intelligently than I can, but the sort of Apple approach to upgrades and fixes and sort of the wink, wink, nudge, nudge, hey if you have a problem with this, we'll just swap everything out. If there's a problem with the battery four years from now, we'll just yank it out of the floorboards and put a brand new one in there for you. There's not a lot of moving parts. If we have any problems, we check it once a year. We fix anything.
Leo: I know. I haven't brought my car in. There's no oil to change or anything.
Tim: That's one of the hidden things, the hidden values of owning an EV is the lack of maintenance. There's really nothing you need to do about it except replace the washer fluid every now and again, rotate your tires and you're pretty much good to go.
Leo: That's about it, yea. Patreon, what a success story. And now they way—now, I think this is probably because they're going to go for either more investment or maybe even an IPO. I don't know. But they say, they put out the word, they now have a million paying patrons. One million. That's doubled in a year. The number of active creators on Patreon, 50,000. This is the site where—and I actually support a number of podcasts and my LINUX distribution that I like. I actually give the guy $5 bucks a month. It really is a great way for creators to get kind of patronized, subsidized by patrons. They are on track to pay out, unbelievably, $150-million dollars to creators this year. That's just amazing. Now, that doesn't mean they're amazingly profitable because they take a 5% cut. So, a little math will tell you that's $7.5-million dollars in revenue for Patreon. So, they're kind of a small company. But some congratulations I think are in order for Patreon and the success of Patreon. It's really kind of impressive.
Dan: And the success they enabled. I think this is also one of the blown opportunities of Medium. You know, everybody thought for a while Medium recently launched their subscription program forgetting Yog's law. Which way does money flow in publishing? Towards the creator.
Leo: Oh, interesting.
Dan: Medium wants you to pay them to curate stories that other people created.
Leo: There are bloggers on Patreon, aren't there?
Dan: Yea, Patreon takes a percentage of revenue generated by creators. So, this is a huge missed opportunity by Medium.
Leo: You're absolutely right.
Dan: Right? It's Yog's law. All money in publishing should always flow towards the creator. Your agent takes a cut. The publisher takes a cut but in Medium's case, they wanted us to pay them instead of paying the creator. I'm way more loyal to a writer, to somebody who creates software for a living, I'm way more loyal to those things than I am to some startup that's already well funded.
Leo: By the way, I love—I never heard it before, but I'm in love with Yog's law as a creator.
Dan: Right, right.
Leo: It's a good law (laughing). I'd like to make that a law. Robot police in Dubai. Right now they don't do much except salute and answer questions, but could it be Robocop? Dubai says that they want 25% of their police force to be robotic by the year 2030. Is this just a gimmick? Hello, citizen.
Tim: You can definitely see some limited security roles being easily done by them, if it's just someone on patrol, taking reports, you know, monitoring suspects, that kind of thing. That I think is easy enough to do and that's probably a pretty substantial part of a day-to-day work force of the security officers. So, that kind of thing sounds realistic. But ultimately, the idea of a District 9 style digital soldier walking down the street with a gun on their hip, I think we might be a little further down the road than 2030.
Leo: Go ahead, Clayton.
Clayton: We also-- age of Ultron. You know how that goes. You make that mistake. I can see this being like meter maids.
Leo: You've got to have a kill switch. If you're going to make a robotic cop, there has to be a plug you can remove. You know, unplug and plug. You know, it's just obvious. All you have to do is see Robocop and you know, you need a way to unplug the thing. That's all. And we'll wrap up with a farewell to the dean of tech journalism, Walt Mossberg's last column appeared on Recode on May 25th. He's been doing this longer than anybody except me. He started in 1991, right about when I started doing Tech Talk Radio, although I had been writing about tech since the late 70s. Long time to be writing, first in the Wall Street Journal. Then he left the Journal and started Recode. Here's his first column. And you know, you could probably, you know, say the same thing again. "Personal computers," he wrote, "are just too hard to use and it isn't your fault. The computer industry boasts its products can help everyone be more productive. Maybe so. But many people can't afford the time and money needed to get the most out of PCs. So, Walt, well done. I hope I can retire someday too. But, in the meantime we'll stick around and fill the gap left by Walt Mossberg. Hey, you guys are great. Thank you so much for being here. Dan Patterson, you can find more of him at Tech Republic. I think we just get you on and talk about all the things you learned covering the campaign, the tech angles on the campaign. And we'll look for your writing on Tech Republic about that.
Dan: Well, it's always wonderful to be here. Leo, you have been, and TWiT has been, through thick and thin, I've had a long career and I've had ups and downs, and TWiT has been there consistently.
Leo: Mostly thick when it comes to us (laughing).
Dan: I'll join you.
Leo: Well, thank you. It's really great to have you, Dan, and I really appreciate it.
Dan: Great to be here.
Leo: Yea, a huge respect to the stuff you do.
Dan: You too.
Leo: Clayton Morris, you'll find him at Morris Invest, not plural, singular. MorrisInvest.com, @claytonmorris and of course one Fox and Friends every weekend. Thank you. I'm sure you're tired. You must have gotten up at 4:00 this morning or 3:00. When do you get up when you do that show?
Clayton: yea, I got up at 4, 4:00 this morning and I've got to get up at 4:00 tomorrow to do the show on Memorial Day.
Leo: Did you get a nap or anything?
Clayton: No, I didn't because my wife had me grilling. We had a whole bunch of people over for a Memorial Day thing, so, I get to grill out and get the yard ready and all that stuff.
Leo: Gotta have the barbeque. What did you grill? Did you brochette? Did you—
Clayton: We did some burgers, some burgers and corn. Put some corn on the grill.
Leo: Nice sweet New Jersey corn.
Clayton: Yea, a little olive oil, a little sea salt wrapped up on the grill. It was good.
Clayton: And there's some fireworks going behind me, too.
Leo: Get on out there and enjoy.
Clayton: You'd think it was the 4th of July.
Leo: Thank you so much, Clayton. Also, thanks to you, Tim Stevens, at TheRoadShow.com. I actually wish we had more time, there's so many other car stuff that I want to talk to you about. But good news. You can follow him at TheRoadShow.com and get your fill of automotive information. Thank you, Tim.
Tim: Thanks for having me, Leo.
Leo: I appreciate it. We do TWiT every Sunday, 3:00 PM Pacific, 6:00 PM Eastern Time, 2200 UTC. If you want to watch live and I would love it if you did, you can also join us in the chatroom at irc.twit.tv. And of course we have an open studio, so if you want to stop by. We have a nice bunch of people in the studio today. It's easy. All you've got to do is email email@example.com. Do that though because, as you know, I'm going on vacation. That doesn't mean you can't come. In fact, who's filling in for me? Jason Calacanis which would be interesting. Is Becky Worley filling in? Jason Snell. So, if you want to come to those shows, you can. But if you email firstname.lastname@example.org, we know the schedule. We'll let you know who will be here on the days you'd like to be here. But, do let us know. Now, if you can't be here in the studio or online watching us live at YouTube or UStream or Twitch or TWiT.tv/live you can always get shows on demand. That's what the website's for, TWiT.tv/twit for this particular show and for the best thing to do, whatever program you use to listen to podcasts, just search for TWiT and subscribe. That way you don't have to think about it. You'll get it automatically every single Sunday night. You can listen Monday morning. We salute all the men and women who have given their all in service of our country on the Memorial Day weekend. Thank you very much. It's more than barbeques and parades, it really is a chance to remember those people who've given so much to preserve this nation we love so much. Thank you for your service. I'm Leo Laporte; thanks for joining us! Another TWiT is in the can.