This Week in Tech 620
Leo Laporte: It's time for TWiT, This Week in Tech. We've got a great panel for you. Owen JJ Stone, (ohdoctah,) he's always fun. He joins Tom Merritt from the Daily Tech News Show, and Jason Hiner from Tech Republic. We're going to talk about drones; Jason has become a drone king. We're going to talk about all the latest new drones, Apple, and their new music plan, plus the new iPad Pro. I have it right here. And why did Amazon buy Whole Foods for all that money? We'll explain, next on TWiT.
NETCASTS YOU LOVE FROM PEOPLE YOU TRUST, THIS IS TWIT!
Bandwidth for This Week in Tech is provided by CacheFly at cachefly.com.
Leo: This is TWiT, This Week in Tech for you. Episode number 620, recorded Sunday, June 25, 2017.
From Key West to Key Lago
This Week in Tech is brought to you by Drobo. A family of safe, expandable, easy-to-use storage arrays. Drobos are designed to protect your important data forever. Visit drobostore.com to learn more and use a code TWiT10 to save 10% off select Drobos, including the Drobo 5n2.
And by Bombfell. Bombfell is an online personal styling service for men that helps find the right clothes for you. Get 25$ off your first purchase at Bombfell.com/twit.
And by Rocket Mortgage from Quicken Loans. Home plays a big role in your life. That's why Quicken Loans created Rocket Mortgage, it lets you apply simply and understand the entire mortgage process fully so you can be confident you're getting the right mortgage for you. Get started at rocketmortgage.com/twit2.
And by Blue Apron. The number one fresh ingredient and recipe delivery service in the country. See what's on the menu this week and get 3 meals free with your first purchase and free shipping by going to blueapron.co/twit.
It's time for TWiT, This Week in Tech! The show where we talk about the week's tech news with the best tech journalists I can find. On a beautiful summer afternoon at the end of June, that's actually not easy, but I'm very easy that three of my favorite people have consented to come in out of the sun, to come from the pool and to join us. Tom Merritt is here from the Daily Tech News Show. And Tech Republic.
Tom Merritt: Yeah, sometimes. I'm proud to sacrifice my vitamin D for this show.
Leo: Thank you. It doesn't look like you've been getting a lot of it.
Tom: It never does.
Leo: It's the pasty boy's show, yes, it is. That would be a good name for a boy band. That's Jason Hiner. He lives in Louisville, but you'd never know it. He is the editor in chief at Tech Republic, he spends a lot of time indoors as well. Hey Jason, good to see you.
Jason Hiner: Great to be here as ever.
Leo: Clearly a Broadway fan. Whenever you broadcast from home, we see your Hamilton and your 1776 poster. Did you see 1776 on Broadway? You must have been two.
Jason: I was too young, unfortunately. It's one of my favorites though. Hamilton's the best show that I've ever seen by far, 1776 is kind of a classic. I watch it every year on fourth of July. I end up singing all the songs and annoying my family.
Leo: And finally somebody who has clearly not been in the sun at all is Owen JJ Stone. Ohdoctah.
Owen JJ Stone: I have a year round tan, I don't need the sun. The sun doesn't need me.
Leo: He's in his featureless dark room that he's been in lately.
Owen: The bat cave. Guess what I did for you, Uncle Leo? I did two things for you. One is on my Instagram. The other thing is I have switched from Mac to PC for the first time in 12 years.
Leo: You did that for me? Why would you think I would want you to do that?
Owen: What are you looking down at right now, Uncle Leo?
Leo: Surface Studio baby.
Owen: I wanted that so bad, but it doesn't have the power I need. My last post right there, that's for you.
Leo: This is Ohdoctah. You've got a Vive, baby. You've got a Vive Boomerang.
Owen: I'm going to test it out, play with it a little bit.
Leo: You didn't do that for me. You did that for you.
Owen: Look. I come on this show, I bash it all the time. People yell at me and tell me I don't like the future, so I figure I might as well give a little test run, now that other people have threw up all over themselves in their rooms.
Leo: Did you see the most recent Silicon Valley? They've got a fake Palmer Lucky. He's completely nerdy and a VR guru and completely a huckster. At one point, he walks through the office and there's all these giant pictures of him in the same post Palmer Lucky had on the cover of Newsweek. But he turns out to be a complete huckster, sells out to Hooly, which is like selling that to Facebook. There's one point that Richard, the star of the show says I don't do VR. He is so sick. It's worth seeing!
Owen: They told him it was going to be better, he still got sick anyway.
Leo: Yeah. Welcome. Nice to see all three of you. I'll be interested in your experiment with Windows. What did you get out of that?
Owen: I went back to my roots and I built Verizon 7.
Leo: You went with the new AMD chip.
Owen: This thing is a beast. 32 gig ram, I got water coolant, it looks super sexy. It's so fast. I render videos and it's so fast compared to my Mac Book Pro that I had. Oh my goodness it's so fast. I just like it. I'm sad to say I don't like it, but I like it.
Leo: That's the thing to say, Windows isn't as bad. It goes downhill fast. I think Windows has gotten better. Frankly, as Mac OS has gotten worse, the distance between the two of them has decreased. As you point out, you can get much better hardware now.
Owen: I ended up spending 1700, and if I wanted anything close to the power I'm getting, Apple wants 5 grand and it's outdated so I can wait for the future of whatever, and it'll be outdated by the time the future gets here. I was just done with it, and I use creative suite mostly anyway. It's the multi-platform, and the rendering on this thing, it just crushes the stuff on the photo and video that I'm doing, and I love it.
Leo: As you know, I just got back from vacation. Thanks to Jason Calacanis and Jason Snell who filled in for me while I was gone. While I'm on vacation, Apple has an event, and announces the iMac Pro. I thought they were joking. This is a $5000 iMac that they claim pros are going to want. It's an iMac. It's not like you can add 5 SATA hard drives. This starts at 5,000, but somebody imagined what it would take to upgrade it to the top of the line, and they said it will probably top out around 17,000 dollars. It's not as upgradable for one tenth of the cost what you build, Owen.
Owen: I didn't spend that money for what I needed to be doing. I was like a photography and video editing. Going from my iMac, it was a 2014 iMac, rendering an hour of video. Took me almost 40 minutes, I did it in five minutes on this machine.
Leo: Did you do research into what you give up when you go with Verizon as opposed to...
Owen: I didn't get my Thunderbolt... but the price difference is so good. I could spend $500 and get something they want $1500 for. You lose maybe 1 or 2% on your rating. Why not? I'm not trying to spend 3 grand on something if I don't like Windows.
Jason: My son is really into video editing and computer animation and special effects. My wife is a photographer and she has the MacBook Pro, my daughter has a Mac. I use Windows too. But for my son, it was going to cost a crazy amount to get a Mac. It was before the recent bump. This is just the way to go.
Leo: It hurts a little bit.
Jason: It does. There's no doubt. But the thing about Windows is Windows is so much better on a desktop than it is on a laptop. On a desktop where you don't have to worry about sleep and those kinds of things, Windows is great. If you're on creative cloud all the time, it really is fine.
Leo: Photoshoot and Lightroom are exactly the same. We use Premier for editing. Our editors are using Windows. They're using Windows 8. They never leave. What's the difference?
Jason: Where Windows still struggles is on a laptop, I took one to China last year, and I did not want to bring any laptop I cared anything about, so I brought this Samsung laptop with Windows. I yelled at this thing the whole week I was there. It was on sleep, I tried to get it out of sleep, it wouldn't wake up, I'd hit the power button. This was a daily occurrence.
Tom: That's a risk of multiple hardware vendors. I've got a Surface Book, and that thing is a dream.
Leo: But Tom, when did you get your Surface Book? Recently or a year ago? The power management was terrible for the first 8 months. Remember the Hot Bag syndrome, because it would somehow not sleep. You'd take it out of the bag and it would be burning hot. The battery would be depleted.
Tom: I never had that happen to me.
Leo: If somebody could run and get me, I just got the new Surface laptop. Go ahead if you want. It's in my office. Love our audience. I'll go get it. It's in my office. That new Surface Laptop with the fabric, that's a little weird. But I have to say, I took on my trip, I decided to get a Lenovo second generation X one, I think these pads are pretty nice. Toshiba, of all people, this new Portege. I think the laptops are getting better. Microsoft still has trouble for some reason with power. I think that's partly Intel's fault. Sky Lake had real power issues. Somehow Microsoft does seem to have solved this. This is the Microsoft laptop. For those of you listening at home, I'll describe it. It's red, and it has fabric on the top.
Tom: That's not going to wear well.
Leo: Was it PC magazine? They rubbed Cheeto's into it? Does anybody have Cheeto's we can rub into this?
Owen: Don't do that. The Internet has done that for you. Calm down.
Leo: They said they couldn't get it out. Permanent Cheeto. The other problem with this, it's not a bad laptop, it's thin and aluminum, it does run this weird version of Windows. 10S, which I'll talk about in a second. Ifixit said you can't get into it without tearing off this fabric. There's no way to remove it without destroying it, so it's unrepairable. They're keeping up with Apple, aren't they? It's pretty and when people see it they go oooh.
Owen: I feel like it's for old people.
Jason: It's like a shag laptop.
Tom: It is marketed for people who don't want to repair their laptop, who don't want a full version of Windows. That's why Windows 10S isn't on it.
Leo: AS I learned, playing on this, it's really Windows 10 Pro. They flipped a switch that doesn't let you install anything except from the App store, and there's no C prompt. This has to be the first Microsoft product in History not to have a DOS point. Right? You can't put Linux subsystem or anything on it. It isn't more secure necessarily. Was it ZD Net that was able to put ransomeware... jumping through some hoops. You had to hit the task manager, run Word as an administrator. But they were able to get a Word Macro to get ransomeware on 10S. I guess because they had to put this subsystem on here for Office, I don't believe it will end up being any more secure than Windows 10. So what are you giving up? You're giving up Chrome, a decent email program. All sorts of stuff because you can only use stuff from the Windows store. What are you getting? Very little.
Tom: It protects some users from accidentally installing things.
Leo: Grandma can't go to Softpedia and download the ask tool bar.
Tom: She'll be upset about it, but Grandpa won't be, because Grandpa is teh dumb one who didn't know to go there.
Leo: What was that horrible email program to put dancing bears in your signatures? That was Grandpa.
Tom: Grandma was running Thunderbird.
Leo: Thank you ace detective, man. He's protecting us from ourselves.
Jason: You remember when quarters were cool? You know how they would get all rubbed really thin on your bottom where you sat? That's what it's going to be. Like the butt on your chords.
Leo: The good thing is I always name my laptops when I get them. I've named this one Al Contara. So it came with its own name, because that's the fake fabric.
Jason: They're going after Chrome Book. By and large, it's not a crazy idea, I don't think the execution is terrific on that machine, but I think they're going in the right direction, going after Chrome Book, because more and more I've recommended a dozen people in the past year get a Chrome Book.
Leo: This is expensive, but this is not the ultimate product that Microsoft envisioned. This is 12.99. As you see here. There are some manufacturers doing $198 versions. Look at what is in the app store. It's not great stuff. You know what you get on a Chromebook that you don't get on a Windows 10S? Chrome. You have to use Edge on this.
Jason: For the people who are really in the Microsoft ecosystem, it's maybe a better thing for a Chromebook if they're in Outlook and Office 365, and Skype is their IM client, maybe it's a better thing for them. It might be a better machine for them. I can't see anybody I know that I'm going to recommend one of those machines instead of a Chromebook yet.
Leo: My opinion is you should only get Windows because you want to be in the broad, diverse application ecosystem that Windows offers. You want to do that variety of things, that's why you get an operating system like Windows. If you don't, then you should get a Chromebook. It doesn't make sense to get a weird stripped down and perhaps less secure version of Windows if you're not going to use the vast Windows Ecosystem.
Tom: if you're somebody who needs to use Office but you don't really want anything else.
Leo: But you can use Office on anything now. The web version of Office runs on a Chrome Book.
Tom: There's still issues though.
Owen: You know the cool thing about today is? One, we haven't even gotten to an article yet, and two, nobody can talk to us about being Apple fanboys, because we started this off about Windows.
Leo: I can't win though, because then I get emails saying how dare you host a show called Mac Break Weekly if you're not in love with Apple. I don't understand. Then somebody wrote me an email saying don't let Leo take vacation when there's an Apple event. Apple didn't tell us there was going to be an event until a week before.
Owen: I don't know what Apple is doing anymore. Their vision ...
Leo: I'm going to defend them in a second, but first I have to say here's the one program you can't get on Windows ten that you wish you could. The fabulous, Incredimail is still available, including animated email notifiers, email backgrounds, animations in your email, 3D effects, come on everybody, download it. This is the bane of my existence. This is the reason I still have a radio show. There's people who download this crap and they call me and say what happened? It was so much fun until my computer blew up. We should take a break, but I do have the new iPad here, and I think that the new iPad is a stealth product from Apple. There's something more than just meets the eye here. It's not an upgrade to the iPad. It's a little more exciting than the iMac Pro for $5000. But we will take a break and talk about that. Ohdoctah is here. It's great to have you here from iqmz.com. That's his website. Follow him on Instagram. Ohdoctah. Watch him throw up with his brand new Vive.
Owen: I'm not letting that leak out anywhere.
Leo: You may be amazed where it leaks out. Virtual reality. You may be amazed. Also with us Jason Hiner from Tech Republic. He's editor in Chief over there and nominally has a little to do with Tom Merritt's app pics. Tom Merritt is here from the Daily Tech News Show.com. Great to have all three of my good buddies on the show. It's a good way to come back. Our show today brought to you by something you can use, Ohdoctah. With your new PC< your new Drobo. Wouldn't this be great if this were a game show? Ohdoctah, you just wona new Drobo 2!
Owen: Drobos are sexy.
Leo: Sexy is a good word. When these came out, they were a revolution. Drobo was started when his founder... he was running Raid. You know the software Raid? He thought I'll never have a hard drive crash. His Raid failed, and he realized you can't recover this, I've lost my data. So he said we can do a better job, they created beyond Raid, which lets you easily add capacity to your live Drobo storage history. It has all the benefits of Raid, but all of the redundancy benefits as well. I've been using Drobo for years, both for speed, capacity and redundancy. I have a Drobo Mini, for instance, I have attached to my iMac that gives me massive speed because it's Thunderbolt and it has 4 SSDs in it. Plus, all the new Drobos now have these great accellerator base, so you can put a little flash drive in the bottom there that helps you with small file reads and writes. They offer so many data backup features, like the data backed up cash that prevents failure or data corruption. You can open the front of these, it's so easy. They're just attached by magnets, and add drives without any tools. The status lights in the front, so you know exactly what's going on. How much capacity is left. I mentioned the 5N too. This is the new network storage device, and this is really awesome. It's high performance, they've upgraded the processor. Doubled the performance. It's an apparent 5N . Duel bondable gigabit Ethernet ports. Standard or SSD drives in there. I like to use the mass drives in there. Huge capacity. You can put 5 drives in there, you can get up to 30 terabytes in one of these. 30 terabytes! Power failure protection. They support a single smart volume of up to 64 terabytes. What's great about the drobos is you can throw in whatever drives you have lying around, the drives don't have to be all the same as they do with other systems, they don't have to have the same capacity. Now because the 5N 2 has all this processor power, the drobo apps really sing. Drobo picks for your backup, you can put Plex on there, it's a great media streaming solution. Cloud apps for backup for data syncing. They've got no JS on there. WordPress for web developers, you're using Angular, you put Angular on there. You can have your whole development stack right there in the House. App developers can use Python, Ruby, there's a Git client. You know what's great about that? Having your own Git client is awesome. I don't just use it for Code. I use it for everything. If I'm writing a document, I committed to Git, I commit changes, I can restore it, I go back and forth. It's awesome. Drobo store.com. That's where you can buy your new Drobo, but if you do, including the 5N too, you'll save an extra 10% on models by using the offer code TWiT10. Drobostore.com. We thank Drobo for providing such great hardware for This Week in Tech.
Tom: 10% discount is a pretty solid discount.
Owen: Drobo is one company that should have the whole we-create-magic stuff. You just be hot swapping, it doesn't matter what kind of drive you have going there. Magical! Magic is when I take something old and something new, mix and match, and it just works. That's magic. I'm not smart enough to understand the complexity...
Leo: A lot of Mac users are Drobo fans. It's what made Drobo in the early days. It was like this is the magical solution, it's so much better than the other stuff out there. And having all that storage, the Thunderbolt, that's fantastic.
Tom: Every time you swap out hard drive from your laptop, you just put the older hard drive in the Drobo.
Jason: Because of hard drives going more to SSDs, you have smaller drives in your actual machine, my wife is a photographer, so especially with these faster ports USBC, they're using Drobo and editing it on the machine. They don't edit anything onto their local laptop.
Leo: That's right.
Jason: Files are so huge now.
Leo: In a way it saves you money. You can get 128 gig SSD as your boot drive, and that's plenty because you have all your data on these external drives. That makes a big difference.
Jason: It's so much safer, because if you're working off a Drobo or an external device like that, you have it backed up, you run a backup like that to the cloud.
Leo: Alex Lindsay has worked like that for years. While I was gone, Apple has made it way too easy to buy stuff. You can just use your Fingerprint now at Apple Pay on the Apple store. I'm in the air flying to Miami during the Apple event, and I had no idea. We didn't have Wi-fi. Wheels down, turn on the phone, start reading. Oh the 105 came out. Before we got off the plane, I had ordered one. For $700. I'm very happy I did. First of all if you just look at it, you'll say it's got less of a bezel, bigger screen, roughly the size of an Air 2. Little bit bigger, but noticeable differences. First of all the camera is an iPhone 7 camera. I have mixed feelings about this.
Owen: That's not even a thing.
Leo: It's the worst thing at concerts, you see people with these... get out of the way! However, from the point of view of the photographer, especially if you have a decent camera, you have the best viewfinder ever made. Especially for video you're looking at real time what it's going to look like. So that's one. Two, you really will notice it if you put it side by side with an older iPad. The screen is remarkably good. It is so fast. I know people always say that. But usually the speed increments of ten are 20% you don't notice. This one, feels like why did they put so much speed into it? This new iPad isn't about the current version of IOS. It's not about the current apps available. This for IOS 11 where they're going to put more PC like apps on here. You're going to have drag and drop files, but also, this is an AR device. That's why they have such a good screen, such a good camera, so much power in here. Nothing you can get today uses that. It's all about augmented reality this fall. I have to say, I really think it's a strong indicator of where Apple wants to go with the iPad, and they need to go somewhere, because no one is buying these things.
Jason: I think it's also a MacBook air replacement.
Leo: I think so too.
Jason: Jason Snell is writing about this on Tech Republic, the power to use that as a replacement to the MacBook air. I'm not one of the candidates for this, but I know people that are obviously really happy with it, and I'm seeing more and more people with iPads still using them as replacements, and so I think that it's going to be interesting to see. Look for that article from Jason Snell. If there's anybody I trust to give a really sober but honest and enthusiastic opinion about it, it's him.
Leo: Absolutely. Apple has been advertising for a few months that the iPad is the replacement for your laptop, and I've mocked that. However, it's clear that's where the company wants to go. If you were wondering what's the future of Mac OS, I think this new iPad is telling you something.
Owen: If you want to go with that, it's the most affordable unaffordable laptop replacement you can get. Give me a second. I'm living out here in the real world, I just came from a family of six, they have Chrome books. They sold their iPads, the cost is too high. But when you think about it, as opposed to a MacBook Pro, 1500 yeah, $700 and I feel like that's a laptop, that's the cheapest Apple laptop you can buy. In retrospect, it's a great buy. I don't know how many people want to be dropping, outside of the bubble and the world that we're living in, dropping $800 on that thing as a laptop.
Leo: I completely agree with you. Apple's never cared about that. That's not what Apple is trying to do. They are irrespective of price, trying to create breakthrough products. They've never tried to help people with a price ever.
Owen: But this is a product that the problem is scaling now. This is something they're hoping might shift that, because again, people have iPads who are three years old.
Leo: I think what they've decided is we're not going to try to get those people. We're going to try to get the people buying Macbooks. Not because... they see this as the future. First of all touch is important. Microsoft, as decent as Windows 10 is, is a crappy tablet operating system. iOS is the best tablet operating system, even Android doesn't come close. Certainly in terms of the app ecosystem there's no question. But Apple doesn't care. Don't kid yourself. Apple doesn't care about cost. Look what they charge for this stuff.
Owen: I'm just talking about volume in the world.
Leo: I don't care though. They've never made a cheap iPhone, they don't want to. It's not a mass market product, Owen. I agree with you.
Jason: It's not. But for the people who bought Macs and want to replace their MacBook air, I think some of them, not if they're creating photos or video...
Leo: I think this is aimed at photographers. Even Adobe does by the way. Adobe says our mobile app on IOS will have all the capabilities of Photoshop for the next year or so.
Owen: For editing, not for taking photos.
Leo: It is an iPhone 7 camera. That's a pretty good camera.
Owen: But how many iPhone 7 photographers are...
Leo: For people like Jason's wife... I took a Windows laptop and a tablet with me on our last vacation. Took 4000 photos. Did them all on a windows laptop. I think the next time I could take an iPad. I would still want to do raw processing once I got home, but it's so light and portable, a lot of the triage you do daily on a big photoshoot you could do. The only thing it's missing, maybe there's a way to do this, I want to pick all my photos, do everything I need to do, and then I want to say import the raw in the desktop at home, and somehow communicate from the light room on the iPad to light room on the Photoshop on the desktop. These are the picks. These are the adjustments.
Jason: You can flag photos in Lightroom now on the Lightroom app.
Leo: That's a reasonable workflow. And this is so light that with a keyboard now, I'm not going to replace my Windows laptop with this. Top writes novels. By the way, congratulations on your novel.
Tom: Thank you.
Leo: But you probably wouldn't want to write that on this.
Tom: I don't understand anyone replacing a laptop with a tablet. IOS 11 is going to do a lot to change some of my objections which have to do with file tasking and multi windows, but it's not going to do enough to change my mind, and the Pixel C did pretty much everything that the iPad Pro does with the keyboard and multi windows, and I was never going to replace my laptop with that either.
Leo: There were no good tablet apps. I loved the Pixel C form for that.
Tom: I love the Pixel C as well, I use it every day, but none of these are changing my mind. The tablet is good for certain things, for tablet oriented things. I use mine as a prompter. I use it to watch video when I'm traveling. It's great on airplanes, but I think Ohdoctah has it perfectly right. It is a luxury device. It is something you get when you have the money to spend and can say I want to have that nice, portable, 12 and a half inch screen that I can pull out of my laptop bag. I want to be able to tap out some emails, edit some word documents, but if you have to pick one, it is not the device to pick.
Leo: I tell on the radio show, every weekend, get a Chromebook. For most people, you should just get a Chromebook.
Owen: I'm shooting on a 5D Mark 4 and ADD. You know what that tablet does for me? It gives me a secondary screen to shift my pictures and make selections and star them. That's what the iPad does.
Leo: That's not bad!
Jason: I've got an iPad mini that I use. I've been doing some drone photography, with a DGI.
Owen: Great drone photography too, by the way.
Leo: Where is it?
Jason: Instagram. Go to instagramjason.hiner. I use the Macbook Pro and the iPad Mini as a viewfinder instead of using my phone. I don't want to tie up my phone on there. It's brilliant. It works perfect for what it is.
Leo: Which of these pictures is from the Mavick?
Jason: The newest one right there on the bridge.
Leo: Look at that.
Jason: There's one...
Leo: You're a photographer too. I didn't realize that, Jason. Look at this.
Owen: Scroll down. He's got one where the Mavic looks like a supermodel. I thought that was the classiest picture. I'm going to steal it for my own in a couple months.
Jason: The picture of the Mavick itself, I made it sit down. You can make it look like a robot.
Leo: That's it? That's hysterical!
Owen: Look at how clever and creative he is! I'm stealing that.
Leo: How much is... this is their new inexpensive one?
Jason: The great thing about this drone is it folds up. It's the size of a water bottle.
Leo: That's right.
Jason: That's why I wanted to use this one.
Leo: did you have a lot of drone experience before you got this?
Jason: Just the ones we tested in the office.
Leo: I can crash any drone, even an uncrashable drone.
Jason: I almost crashed it today for the first time, but it was super windy at the bridge, so it almost blew it into traffic, but I pushed it up high and got control of it.
Leo: I have a pile in my home office that is the place drones go to die. It's a drone graveyard. I can't throw it out... I have the beebop drone that was supposedly uncrashable. First time I took it out, crash it. Now every time I turn it on, it flops over. It's in the graveyard there. You think I could use this one? Wait a minute. It's 1299 bucks.
Jason: That's the pack. It's like $1000 without.
Owen: I just ordered one. Mine is going to be here on Tuesday.
Leo: I'm not crashing a thousand dollar drone. It's too much money for one flight.
Tom: Just sell one of your iPads, you'll be fine.
Leo: There you go.
Owen: I got 32 phones, I only use 2. Maybe I could Ebay some of them... just get the drone! It's like idiot proof.
Leo: When we were in the Galapagos, there were a few places it would have been so amazing to have a drone. There's twin sinkholes that made a bubble of lava a thousand feet across and then it collapses, and it's beautiful. I said did you ever bring a drone, they said they don't let us. Can't bring a drone in here, they won't let you, but if I had this in my pocket...
Jason: My key is, I go early to these places, because it's golden hour anyway. There's nobody there to harass you, especially if it's public places you can fly. You know what the great thing is, Leo? It's almost like having a gym, you don't have to fly up in the air to get those shots, you can fly 20 feet up in the air and get shots you couldn't have, move it in like a gym does on old school film crews. You can get amazing shots that were never possible before. You don't have to do the stuff way up in the air. Those are awesome...
Tom: OK, Jason, I'll start using drones at the beginning of top 5.
Leo: It's so fun. My favorite drone shot is where you do have a standard shot and the guy is sitting there and all of a sudden it pans back 200 feet. Suddenly the guy is this little person on a cliff. That's my favorite shot.
Owen: I want to tell you two things. One, Jinx again. I've been wanting a drone, but you inspired me to get a drone.
Leo: Is Jason some sort of pathetic loser? If he can do it, I can do it.
Owen: I break him down to build him up. Leo, just stop.
Leo: Owen, if I can do it, you can do it. Jason knows what he's doing.
Owen: I'm trying to tell you Jason, I just ordered a handheld system for it. It's called Katana. You can actually walk around with it and you'll have a three access camera. Just slide it in and it's got a mount for your iPad or phone on the top. So if you don't want to fly but you want some ground footage or shots, it has a steady cam so you can use it.
Leo: They also have the spark, which is another... This is even smaller. This is a mini drone.
Owen: Buy that one, Leo. You can't crash that.
Jason: That's like a selfie drone.
Leo: I can crash it. Don't make me. So how much is this one?
Jason: That one is like half.
Owen: It's not 4K, it's 1080. It's not 3 access, it's two access. I'm up on drones a little bit, I did my research.
Leo: You are. But for that selfie shot, that jib shot, it would be five for that. Look at that. It sees your face and it stays on your face? What?
Owen: You do a pan off shot just from using your hands.
Leo: You do that and it goes like that? What are you guys? The drone whisperers? This is like the Music Man. You know, if you only...
Tom: At the end of this, Jason and Ohdoctah will reveal their new startup.
Leo: This has a return to home feature? That's important, because the first drone I ever flew... I have to say, thank you to father Robert Ballacer, we call him the quad father, because he's the King of drones, he says first drone get the cheapest drone you can find, because you'll crash it. Lisa is saying wait until we get home. I couldn't wait, and I put it on the deck, and I said fly up, and it kept flying up, and it never came back. It got to be a tiny speck. I don't know where it is. At least it was only $40. I need return to home, a button that says come back to me.
Owen: The first thing I'm doing is putting a tile on it.
Leo: That's a good idea. But around here, you've got to use a TrackR. We don't like the Tile. We like the TrackR. TrackR is a sponsor. You probably do need that, because when it flew up, eventually it ran out of power and crashed, but I have no idea where. I hope it doesn't hit anybody. I don't know where it ended up. I looked around the property and the neighborhood, I never saw it again. I thought it's somewhere.
Jason: Fell down and killed a squirrel somewhere.
Leo: I hope... it was light. I'm a little drone sensitive.
Owen: Have we talked about a story yet today besides... what happened today?
Leo: I got a story for you. This is a great story. Have you ever heard the phrase neighbor spoofing? Do you ever get on your cellphone a phone call from your area code, maybe even your exchange, I had somebody call me on Monday or Tuesday that said did you just call me? I said no I didn't, but I can guarantee you that was spam. They use your phone number. It's called neighbor spoofing, it's illegal, and I think they got the guy who is doing it. The FCC is proposing a 120 million dollar fine for a Miami man named Adrian Abromovich. Just stick the word allegedly in a few times. Allegedly what this guy was doing was making robo calls, he was selling time shares. The call would come in, and it would say I'm calling from a well-known name. Hilton or Expedia, Trip Advisor, press one to hear more about exclusive vacation deals, then you'd get routed to a call center that had nothing to do with those big name brands where they would advise you to buy a timeshare. Trip Advisor got wind of this, they launched a private investigation, they traced the calls back to Abramovich, he was in Miami, Florida. A gated community in Coconut Grove, and they turned this information over to the FCC. The FCC got his call records in December of last year. They got three months of call records in three months he had made 96 million, 758 thousand, 223 robo calls. More than a million a day, every one of them spoofing your area code. So you'd go it must be a neighbor or somebody important. I did the first 20 times it happened. Eventually I figured out this is not...
Owen: So you bought a time share...
Leo: It's a nice time share!
Owen: You got got. That's what happened.
Leo: It didn't matter if you were on the do not call registry, he wasn't paying any attention to that. It didn't matter that this kind of spoofing is illegal. He didn't pay attention to that, allegedly. The FCC after getting these records is now proposing...
Jason: He has 30 days to respond.
Leo: That gives him an extra 30 million calls he can make.
Owen: What do you think the success rate is? 10%?
Leo: Let's say it's 1%. 1% of a million is ten thousand time shares. Do the math. We can't do it without Python.
Owen: He could have possibly been paid 300 million dollars. If so, 1% as a Time share. Never mind, I'm going to go.
Leo: It's easy to do. You can spoof phone numbers easily. I hope this is the end of that. But just so you know, that's the new term. Neighbor spoofing. It is illegal. I'm not sure if it's illegal because you're spoofing the number or spoofing it from your area code. Probably both. But the FCC maybe got him. We'll keep you posted on that story. Other Apple news. Apple quietly announced a new tier on Apple Music, there's a $99 a year plan.
Tom: Get a discount for paying a year in advance.
Leo: That makes it a little more than $8 a month. Does that mean they're struggling?
Tom: Is that the family plan?
Leo: The family plan is $15 a month. They didn't really announce it, you just have to go to the Apple music membership and see individual one year, $99 bucks. I see that more and more on subscription sites, they offer a year plan and a lot of times I fall for it. It's so much cheaper, and then I never use it, but they got you for a year. But you don't think about it because it renews automatically and you forget.
Tom: They always send you an email that your subscription is renewing, so if you're doing it monthly, you get an email once a month. You get 12 opportunities, yearly, there's only one.
Leo: Did you see the video? We had John Markoff on Triangulation. Of course, he's retired from the New York Times, one of the great tech journalists. Took a job as historian at the computer history museum. Did an amazing interview with some of the original iPhone team members, including Hugo Fine, Scott Herst, while talking about the iPhone and Apple. Thank you fortunately, Rene Ritchie watched the whole video. I started and I didn't get through the whole thing, but he gave us some highlights. So one of the reasons the iPhone exists, Steve Jobs hated a guy at Microsoft who claimed that their tablet PC, remember the tablet PC, I got one in 2000. Microsoft at Comdex put a Poust there. Like with the Wizard of Oz, dropped a house in the parking lot, put these Stepford clone people. There was a kid in the kid's bedroom, and there was Mom in the kitchen and Dad in the living room, and they all had these Windows tablets, but it was 2000, so what was that, XP? Horrible. Bill Gates was all in on tablets. Apparently Steve hated these so much he came into the office at Apple and said it's all wrong. The stylus is wrong. Let's do fingers and multi touch. At first, they were going to do a tablet. One of these guys, Hugo , talks about going into a room once he was hired for the iPhone team in 2005, goes into a room with a giant computers hookup with this big tablet. They didn't think phone at first. The fact that everybody on the team hated their phones made Steve come in and say could you take the demo of the tablet and make it a phone, something you could fit in your pocket? They did it. So they put the tablet on hold and they started working on a phone. That was two years before the iPhone's release. Apple investigated all sorts of ways. When they were first talking about the iPhone I said you don't want to get in this business, these guys are terrible. Apple talked about buying Spectrum, doing an NVMO, about partnering. They started meeting according to the interviews, carriers thought of manufacturers, these guys are the scum of the earth, so they gave Apple pages of requirements. Finally they got singular which became AT&T to agree.
Jason: Apple said we're going to do it, but we're going to do it by our rules.
Leo: Forestall says singular executives keep coming in with these terrible ideas. Like one of them was adding a button for email. Why not just having a physical button where you could press it and get your email? And then Scott said good idea, we'll think about that later.
Jason: AT&T dug their heels in on some of the most important features. One example was one of the Apple executives who was on the team, he was saying that the whole visual voice mail, Apple was like people don't listen to their voice messages. Let's make it visual, so you look at it like email, and then people will actually look at their voice messages. But these people can't figure out how to get their voicemail. AT&T was like we can't do it, it's physically impossible, and what you want to do isn't real, and they say no look, we've demoed it, we've figured out how to do it. They said you can't do it at scale, and all of this. Finally, Steve Jobs had to go to the CEO of AT&T and say look, we're doing this voice mail thing, just tell your people to knock it off.
Leo: It's amazing to think about the clout that Apple had at this time, that Steve had at this time. They wanted to demo the phone to Singular, but they were worried about cell reception in Vegas, so they wanted to use Wi-fi, but they were at the Four seasons, and because the four seasons had one of them captured portals, you had to login through and pay for, they were worried about that whole process, so they called the four seasons and at first says I couldn't mention Apple, I couldn't say anything about Steve Jobs, so I pretended to be a singular executive, I need to do a demo, can you make sure the Wi-fi is free? And they said Four seasons is... you have to make it free for everybody in the hotel, and they said good. Can't you do it. You're the four seasons, you can do it. And they did it. So they did the demo. A couple days later, the IT guy calls and says can I turn charging on back now? Yes you can. I do recommend the video, I've been watching it in chunks, it's fairly long. By the way, kudos to John Markoff. It's really great to see him continuing in his role as explainer of tech. But in a great venue. The Computer History Museum.
Tom: Got to talk about morphism too.
Leo: What did he say? Tell me about that.
Tom: He said why did you do that, Scott? We wanted to make iOS approachable and easy to use, and we thought that would help if people saw things they recognized.
Leo: The other day I saw an original iPad, which you can't update, so it had the old icons on it. Next to mine, it was like ewe.
Jason: We evolve, and we think everything that was before was bad. At the time, it had a good purpose. It served its purpose and we moved on from that, but that doesn't mean everything was terrible. We have some of this is an American thing. We're so future oriented and we look back and like to laugh at ourselves or the things we did. Particularly we love laughing at others and the things they created and we think are terrible. I got what he was saying. It did change my perspective on it a little bit. I was one of the ones who didn't love all the gemorphic kind of things.
Leo: It made sense when he explained it.
Jason: It made sense. Look, there are a lot of people who can barely figure out how to use their phones. I remember trying to give people a Windows Phone and a Blackberry and saying try to make a call and most people...
Owen: And the Internet was the planetary button in the middle.
Leo: Let's not forget though. Take out your phone right now and look at the icon to make a phone call. What does it look like? A handset. I haven't used a handset in a long time. Where is the email button? Although if you have a Samsung S8, you do have a Bix button, which is the dopiest thing ever. Florence Ion was on the new Screensavers yesterday, and she installed the Bixby beta software that finally gives Bixby the voice on the new Samsung Galaxy S8. Up to now, I press the button, wait a minute because they're really slow, and it would put up a Google now style set up cards or calendar or weather, that kind of thing. But, pretty soon Samsung... the problem was they did it in Korean, and she played for me the Korean voices which don't sound robotic at all. Somebody who is a Korean speaking speaker in our chatroom said it was very natural, very real sounding. The American voices still sounds a little bit robotic but apparently it was more difficult for them to get from a Korean Bixby to an American English Bixby. That, by the way, is the only version that will be available. It is the only version currently available in this beta. It also isn't really Google Assistant. It really isn't anything like Siri. It's not about the outside world. It's much more about using the phone. But she showed me, you can actually say, "Open this image. Crop this image." Speak to the phone and then the phone will pull up the dialog in that. So, it's kind of—it's almost like an accessibility feature, where you can talk to the phone and have it do stuff.
Tom: I miss Windows 3.1 where I could just tell it, "Read the labels," and go from one to another.
Leo: It's kind of like that, yea.
Jason: You know, when I hear Bixby, I want it to have a British accent. Something about that makes me.
Leo: It should be called Jeeves and it should sound like Stephen Fry. It's clear. I'm sorry, sir, I can't do that.
Leo: Perhaps I should check the internet for you today.
Jason: Yea, it's a good phone. I'm really—
Leo: It is a good phone. The Bixby button's dopey but in other respects it's fine.
Jason: It's true. Exactly. I feel like they still are trying to do software. Maybe, eventually, they'll figure software out but there's no signs of it so far. Most of the software they do is not good. They really should, I still feel that they should just focus on making a better Android phone and tie in hardware, working on better hardware integration. If that phone wasn't, if that button was a Google Now button, obviously you can say, "Ok, Google." But I don't really like having that thing turned on. And so, but if that just turned on the Google, the OK Google prompt, I'd be much happier.
Leo: Yea, and early on people were able to hack it to do that but I think Samsung disabled that capability which is a little annoying. You can speak to Bixby. You don't have to press the button. You can just say, "Hey, Bixby."
Tom: And that's not Viv, which Samsung owns. It's a different—
Leo: And that's the—yea. So, the people—is that weird?
Tom: So, I'm wondering when the other shoe drops, right?
Leo: Yea, well, so, Samsung bought—the guys who created Siri sold it to Apple then left Apple. Created something new called Viv which Samsung bought. My guess is it's not for the phone, it's more for an Echo style device, Tom, I would guess.
Tom: Yea. Well, you would think they would want it across platforms like Google and Apple are doing.
Leo: Yea, but it's weird on an Android based phone because you already have the very good Google Assistant.
Leo: You don't really need it on the phone.
Tom: This is the problem I have with all of these assistants right now, is that even though, yea, I can put Cortana on my iPhone if I want, I can't make it the default. So, everything's in a little dark—
Jason: Yea, I think they're probably going to put it in the TVs, honestly. Probably going to be the remotes and that kind of thing would be my guess. But, you know, we'll see.
Owen: Time will tell with all that good stuff. But it is a great phone.
Leo: Do you use Owen-- I can just see you ranting and raving at one of these devices. Do you use an Echo or anything like that?
Owen: No, I don't like the government in my home uninvited, so.
Leo: (Laughing) They're not listening on your Echo. Come on.
Owen: I might trip and fall and kill myself by accident. Then we've got a whole JFK situation. I have my phone and I have all the automated stuff, my Nest and my lights and all that stuff. But my phone, I just click a button and I'm not that fat that I can't just click a button. I have to talk out loud to do it. I can still click a physical button to get the things I need done, so, I'm not an Echo guy. Apple's speaker's crap. So, you know, I'm waiting for everything to be great. So, when it's super duper great—
Leo: Oh, you'll be waiting a long time.
Owen: I've got time. Nothing but time.
Leo: I know what you want. You want Her. You want Scarlett Johansson to talk to you.
Owen: Oh, if I could get somebody to love me, hell—I'm feeling like Donkey Kong. Somebody to maybe order some clothes from Bombfell and the stuff just shows up because they care. I mean, something like that. You know, it would be nice if someone did something like that for me. I could appreciate a Her.
Leo: Look, it's amazing. I don't know how you—but your Bombfell package just arrived.
Owen: Oh, see?
Leo: Seriously, somebody was listening.
Owen: Yea, there we go.
Leo: You know, I signed up for Bombfell a long time ago when they first came out because I loved the idea and I've been a Bombfell member for a long time. So, Bombfell is an online personal styling service for men that helps you find the right clothes for you and the way it works, and I went through this. I think it was a couple of years ago. I was on iOS Today with Sarah Lane, so that's how long ago it was. You do a questionnaire and they match you one-to-one with a dedicated stylist who then picks your clothes for you. She'll or he will email you their selections. Mine's a lady. And frankly, I'm glad, because I don't think guys have very good taste. That's one of the whole reasons I'm doing this. And then you've got 48 hours to change it. This is in the email. And then—and by the way, they have every brand name. They can go through all the brands, all the designers from all over the world to find just the right stuff for you. They ship it to your door, so you don't ever enter a store. You go through the stuff. You pay for the clothes you keep, send the rest back, you pay nothing. It's the only styling service that doesn't charge a styling fee or a subscription fee. And so, shall I open? Now, I don't know if this is for you or it might be for me, Owen.
Owen: The style's going to be different, I'll tell you that.
Leo: I don't know. What would you have in your Bombfell?
Owen: I'm a plaid guy believe it or not.
Leo: No plaid. Look at this, see, I've got nice chinos. See the nice chinos? Look at that. Oh, this is kind of a nice fabric. And the nice thing is, this is in my size so I don't have to—I can try it on but—and by the way, if I try it and I don't like it—oh, I did say I want some jackets. I'm looking for some new jacket styles. Look at that. That is—this one I'm definitely keeping. Look at this. This is the Thelonious C Christopher Knit Nappy Blazer.
Owen: Ok, Thelonious?
Leo: Thelonious, I'm going to look like a monk. No, that's pretty, isn't it? Look at that tweed. I like that. Thelonious C, that's a big brand.
Owen: That's a classic.
Leo: It's a classic. Everybody needs to have at least one of these, right? All right, I'm keeping that. By the way, again, you pay for nothing you don't keep. Oh, here's another jacket. Oh, this is nice too. Oh, I'm going to be very happy. I'm going to be very happy. Let me put the Thelonious on right now while I tell you how you can get Bombfell. Just go to Bombfell.com/twit. Gonna get you $25 bucks off your first purchase. Get these great clothes delivered to you. Work with a stylist. It is the only service that doesn't charge you a fee for the stylist. You just pay for what you keep. And it makes it very easy. There's a shipping label for the return and everything. Couldn't be easier to return it. The Thelonious C Linen Jacquard Blazer as well. These are both from Thelonious C and then the Big Star Union Classic Pocket Trousers. Oh, I'm so excited. I want to put this on right now. Bombfell. I don't know what the name means. But it's easy to remember.
Owen: An explosion of clothin'.
Leo: A clothin' explosion!
Tom: There was a bomb and it fell right into your lap.
Leo: (Laughing) This is really nice. I think this will look good. I could wear this right now. It will go with my outfit. $25 bucks off your first purchase. Bombfell.com/twit. Special offer just for you, our listeners. Thank them so much. I think this is a brand-new sponsor. Very glad to have them on This Week in Tech. All right, meanwhile, my Surface decided to go to sleep. So, I'm going to do the thing I like so much, the Windows Hello. It just logged me in because it looked at me. Isn't that nice?
Tom: I mean I know it's not that secure. I get that. It's so convenient.
Jason: Super convenient.
Leo: Yea. It's secure enough. No one else in the studio can get this thing to unlock except me.
Jason: I've got a story. Oh, sorry, go ahead.
Leo: Go ahead. You do yours and I'll do mine.
Jason: Ok, so, because you mentioned—sorry, it's a drone story. But it has a point. You mentioned the Parrot Bebop was the one that you crashed, like the uncrushable drone. Also, the Parrot Bebop 2 recently came out and it has a first-person view, a FPV drone. So, you put some like goggles on it but Ant Pruitt just reviewed it for TechRepublic. It's one of the top stories on TechRepublic if you go to TechRepublic.com right now. Actually, Ant Pruitt would be a great person for you to have on this show. You would really—
Leo: Is she your aunt?
Jason: No, his name is Andy Pruitt but we call him Ant.
Leo: (Laughing) It sounds like a lady. Sounds like Aunt. Hello, I'm your Aunt Pruitt. I'm going to stay for a week. All right, so this looks just like the Bebop I have. But they've updated it so that you put on the VR goggles. See, now, if you really want to get sick, do that. Wow. Wow.
Jason: But it also—Ant writes about the fact that this has a lot of interesting business use cases too because it's one that you can use inside. So, think about people like architects—
Leo: Right, wandering around.
Jason: Yea, you can run it inside and so he's got some demos of that.
Leo: See, I love the idea. You know, when they do drone racing which is, as you might imagine, very fast, you have to wear VR goggles. You have to be, the driver has to be in effect on the drone. There's no way you'd be able to pilot it remotely. So, they wear VR goggles to do this. I would think that I'd have less trouble with flying—
Jason: There's Ant.
Leo: There's Ant. I'd have less trouble flying this if I'm wearing VR goggles. On the other hand, if I crash it might be really devastating to my psyche.
Jason: Like imprinted on your brain.
Leo: It's just too real, man, too real.
Tom: Maybe it trains you better that way because you don't want to crash again after that.
Jason: True. It's true.
Owen: Can we get into some Amazon topics? I've been waiting to fight all episode with Tom and it hasn't come up yet.
Leo: Well, this is the one I wanted to bring up because while I'm in this news drought in South America, I read another story that Amazon bought Whole Foods for $13.7-billion dollars and again, I thought, "What?" And I couldn't wait to get back here and ask you all what you think of this. Amazon buys Whole Foods. Now, there's some lags who said, "I don't think this is how markets work," but who said, "Amazon stock went up by more than $13.7-billion dollars." So, in effect, it was free. It wasn't a stock deal, though, so.
Jason: It's not really how it works, but yea.
Leo: But it certainly was a good move at least from the point of view of the market. They thought, "Hey this is a good acquisition." Is it? Why would Amazon buy a brick and mortar grocery store? Who wants to start.
Jason: Whole Foods has had some struggles.
Leo: Let Tom Merritt, because apparently, Owen J.J. Stone thinks they're going to have a fight.
Tom: No, I want Owen to go first so I can just take the opposite of whatever he says.
Leo: Oh, that's Owen's technique. Oh, man, a little jujitsu.
Owen: That's why I don't like Tom. I'm trying to get Tom out of here. Tom, no. But look. This was the greatest deal known to man. Are you crazy? Do you know how awesome this is? First of all—
Leo: Why is this a good deal?
Jason: Let's hear it.
Owen: First of all, Whole Foods, aka Whole Paychecks, has done the marketing research and they only are in rich environments. Those people are the people that can afford to pay Amazon to deliver and or pickup and or drop off their expensive groceries. Because regular people won't do it. So, taking an ACME or a Shop-Rite or a Lyon or whatever grocery store isn't going to help anybody. This is a national food grocery store, so, coast-to-coast, Key West and Key Largo. There are a bunch of benefits.
Leo: Oh, I like that. Key West to Key Largo. That's both in the same state.
Owen: Don't question to what I'm saying, just listen to what I'm saying.
Leo: It sounds good, though (laughing).
Owen: Don't question what I'm saying, just listen to what I'm saying. Anyway, it's great for them because they have many markets in certain areas that are affluent areas to test their whole pantry system and food that they're trying to sell.
Leo: Key West to Key Largo's like 10 miles. That's—(laughing).
Owen: Why are you focused on that? I've said 32 things in 5 seconds and you're stuck on Key West to Key Largo. Shut up and listen.
Leo: Sounds good. I like it. Go ahead.
Owen: This is a smart dinosaur. Most companies, Blockbuster sat there and watched Red Box eat their lunch. They watched Netflix eat their lunch. And they didn't do anything. Amazon is the end-all, be-all of retail selling and this is a strong foothold coast to coast, San Francisco to Miami that's going to help them expand their grocery brand that they are obviously moving forward to. They're probably going to scale back on the high-priced items but it's a great move for them and it gives them a foothold in something that they bought quote unquote, on the cheap, big quote unquote, got for free. It's great.
Leo: It wasn't that cheap. That's by far the largest acquisition. The next biggest one is like Zappos for $2-billion.
Owen: It's expensive to me, it's cheap to you, Uncle Leo. It ain't nothing but a thing to you.
Leo: That's true.
Owen: You see what I'm saying?
Leo: Jeff Bezos, what does he make? Somebody says he makes like $10-million dollars a day. So, I guess he can afford it.
Tom: He has the cash on hand too, so he can afford it.
Leo: Oh, this looks nice, doesn't it?
Tom: I didn't disagree with anything that Owen is saying. The thing that I was saying about Whole Foods was they were, their profit margins have been degrading.
Leo: They've been in a little bit of trouble, right? They're not—
Tom: They're fending off a little bit of activist investor pressure. So, this was a way for them to make an exit to somebody who can absorb that pressure and not worry about it because Amazon runs on thin margins all the time. Amazon just made Amazon Fresh, fresh again. Because they get a presence, like Owen's saying, in all of these different markets. And they get brick and mortar outlets that they can use as distribution for that. The problem is, Instacart has a 5-year deal with Whole Foods. So, they're going to have to figure out what to do to either break that deal or coexist within Instacart delivering from Whole Foods for the next 5-years. And Instacart's out there immediately saying, "Amazon is a threat to every other grocery store. You want to sign up with us right now."
Leo: Is this though—it seems like that assuming that this is a deal about Amazon delivering groceries to its customers, seems like it's less than it really is. It feels like there's more to this than just that.
Tom: Well, more than just that, yea. I think they obviously want to jumpstart the same thing that they've been doing with the brink and mortar book retail stores. And there's been a lot of rumors that they were thinking about doing electronics outlets and they had that Amazon Go Convenience Store. So, that maybe, if they can get the kinks worked out, thinking about bringing that type of technology into the Whole Foods outlets to make them super high-tech places to shop. So, yea, I don't think it's just about delivery but that's the big early win for them.
Leo: It's funny because as Ben Thompson points out in Stratechery, it was only 2-years ago that Whole Foods CEO John Mackey predicted that groceries would be Amazon's Waterloo (laughing). So, if you can't beat them, buy them. Yea.
Jason: Here's how I think of this deal. And, Larry Dignan on ZDNET, you know, my colleague has written very smartly about it.
Leo: He's great.
Jason: He's pretty skeptical too. He's pretty bullish on it as well and obviously we talked about it a lot. But here's kind of how I think it is. There's a little similarity that Whole Foods and Amazon have in that Whole Foods was struggling because all of these grocers were carrying the same products that Whole Foods carries. A lot of them, not you know, all of them obviously. But they were carrying, they were starting their own brands to do all of these same kinds of organics, you know, clean eating kind of products. And that was slowly siphoning off more of Whole Foods business. Amazon had, you know, its biggest threat—I mean, let's be honest. Amazon is such a monster right now. In the US last year in the holiday sales which is when everybody makes all of their money in the 4th quarter, Amazon owned like 40% of the holiday gift market. The next closest competitor I believe was Best Buy in the low single digits like 3-4%, right?
Leo: But who wants to buy milk and eggs and bread online? I don't understand.
Jason: It's not that. It's what they're going to do. So, the biggest threat for Amazon was all of the clicks, the brick and mortar, some of the bigger brick and mortar ones, you know, getting smarter about online. They are getting smarter. Their transformation efforts are happening.
Leo: Walmart is probably the biggest threat to Amazon, right? And vice versa. Walmart relizes—
Owen: Amazon's the biggest threat to Walmart. Walmart's out here trying to do mafia style stuff. Oh, you shopping at a Walmart? Then you don't want to come over here. Like they're doing weird stuff.
Tom: They're encouraging their partners to pull out of aid of the US and move to like Azure or something else.
Leo: Isn't that wild?
Owen: It's Soprano's stuff. It's mafia…
Leo: If youse was to want to continue to do business with us, you'll probably would want to reconsider your relationship with Amazon.
Owen: I'm not saying that's going to happen, but you might not walk again.
Jason: When they saw this, Walmart flipped out because they—
Leo: So, they see this as a threat.
Owen: And let me answer your question because as you know, I am affiliated with local UPS stores, family business, blah, blah, blah. But we get a lot of Amazon Pantry orders coming through and I see them more frequently than not. And no, they're not yet getting their milk and eggs, but they are getting their noodles, their toilet paper, laundry detergent.
Leo: Lisa orders from Safeway online. She goes to the website and gets the chips and soda, dry goods from Safeway. The guy comes in the truck. You can't tip him. He just delivers it and it's very convenient. And then for—but, don't people want to squeeze the melons? I mean if you're going to buy fresh food, don't you want to go to the store?
Owen: If you're in Whole Foods areas and markets, there are people who don't want to squeeze anything. They just want to show up and have stuff in their fridge. And they've got the money to do it.
Tom: Or they hire people to squeeze melons for them.
Leo: Actually, we were talking about this on This Week in Google, and Stacey pointed out, one of our sponsors, Blue Apron, has demonstrated that you can have a food delivery where the produce is perfect. It's never—there is never a bruised anything. It's always—it's better than I would get at the grocery store. It's always perfect, like beautiful. And so, there is a clear example of—and maybe as people, then you get the confidence. Oh, this is always going to be great. Why do I need to squeeze the melon? Let some guy do that.
Owen: And not for nothing, but some people don't know how to squeeze the melon and they're a bad fruit anyway.
Leo: No, that's really true. That's actually really, really true. I knock on the watermelon but I don't know what I'm listening for?
Tom: I do the grocery shopping in our house, and if I don't, Eileen would just order it. She's like, "I don't have time for that. I'm not going to go."
Leo: But you do it? And this is important. You do it as an aesthetic experience.
Tom: I do. I do it because it gets me out of the house and I enjoy walking around.
Leo: Actually, you're a bad example because your whole job is in your living room.
Leo: So, that's a bad example. But somebody who works 9-5 at a real office outside of the place, let me ask you. Do you want to go shop or—we got a couple here. They work in the finance industry, they live in Greenwich Village. They're the prefect- you are the Amazon dream couple, right? Do you shop? It's hard in Manhattan, isn't it? Oh, they live next door to a grocery store. But, I have to say, the grocery stores in Manhattan, there's two kinds. There's super convenience stores, right, where you just go in and you get it. And then there's Zabar's, there's the really upscale nice, where you want to go because of the experiential—it's an experience. And I think Whole Foods is more on that. In fact, Stacy was telling me the Whole Foods in Austin, they have like a DJ bar and they have—like, it's an experience.
Tom: Yea, because that's the headquarters, right there. They can knock it out.
Jason: This gets back to what Owen, to Owen's point is that a Whole Foods retail, and this is retail groceries in this case, is all about location, right? And Whole Foods has scouted out and taken some of the best locations across the US.
Owen: They're the Starbucks of grocery stores.
Leo: Yea, from Palm Beach to Key West (laughing). They're everywhere.
Tom: There's a logistical angle to this, right, because Amazon just bought some prime real estate on top of things and—
Leo: What? I didn't hear about that. Where did they buy this real estate?
Tom: Whole Foods stores.
Jason: All the stores.
Leo: Oh. Oh, that (laughing). Now, that's a good question. I remember I watched the movie about McDonalds and the insight that McDonalds had, the founder, the insight they had was hey, we're not in the food business, we're in the real estate business because we own this very valuable land. Are all the Whole Foods, they're not leasing that property? They own?
Tom: Yea, that's what I don't know, how many of them are leased and how many of them are owned, but I know many of them are owned and they have a warehouse distribution network. Amazon's buying planes and boats and all kinds of things to tweak their logistical network.
Leo: But if Whole Foods couldn't make a run at it, in other words, if they're in financial trouble, what is Amazon bringing to the table that changes that?
Owen: I told you three times already. Why is everybody listening but you? They all get it. They have brought—Amazon Pantry. They have brought billions of people with Prime.
Leo: I'm still on Key West to Key Largo (laughing).
Owen: Business to business. Look, you stay off my coast to coast. Leo, I'm telling you that the bottom line is that if you live in New York City and you're in Harlem and you're in a walkup on the 5th floor, you want Whole Foods delivering your food via Amazon door to door.
Leo: Do you go to the bodega and is it a bodega next to you or is it a nice grocery store next to you? You want it delivered, right? Even if it's downstairs. But the difference is there is an aesthetic experience and I think that retail if it's going to succeed is going to, whether it's a bookstore, a grocery store, a movie theatre, it's going to succeed because of the experience, not because of the products, right?
Jason: Oh, yea.
Tom: And Amazon doesn't need the retail to be profitable, to make this worthwhile, any more than they need Amazon Video Prime Video to be profitable.
Leo: Tell me about that. Don't they want to make money?
Tom: Amazon's—Amazon's low margin, first of all, but second of all, as long as it feeds another part of the business. That's why I say there's a logistical side of this that they might see as being worth it. There's the fact that it might tweak more people to go to the Amazon website and order Amazon Fresh and therefore order more Amazon—I mean they do all kinds of things that are loss leaders to get people in to Amazon.
Jason: I mean, Amazon's major business may be—so, one of the, the one of the X-factor in this, because I think that's kind of what you're looking for, Leo, is, and I've wondered and lots of wondered too, is are they going to eventually get into the delivery business, right? Because this is their biggest rising cost. This is the biggest thing Wall Street has dinged them on and they're biggest competitor in China—
Leo: Badoo? Alibaba.
Jason: Well, Xinhua and there's several of them.
Tom: JD.com and yea.
Jason: JD.com. JD is probably what we would think is more of the Amazon, right? They—10 years ago, JD made this bet that the markets there hated, the investors there hated. They started their own delivery service. And 10 years later, they look like a genius, because they dealt with their biggest cost. But now—
Leo: Sure, that's why Webvan is such a huge success today. I mean we've tried this. Peapod. Webvan. I can go on and on. We've tried grocery deliveries and they failed.
Jason: I know. Think of groceries as only one part of the delivery thing, right, right? So, Amazon is delivering some people packages almost every day, right? And they've started doing—
Leo: Ah, that's a good point. If the truck's coming to you anyway, might as well put some groceries in there.
Jason: Exactly. You have your daily delivery from Amazon. They've already started doing this in some of the small markets.
Leo: By the way, I'm just pointing out that I'm completely playing devil's advocate. I haven't been out of the house in years. I order everything, including all groceries, online.
Tom: I mean, he gets his clothes delivered to him.
Leo: And by the way, is this not looking pretty nice? I like this jacket. I think this is a big upgrade.
Jason: Very sharp.
Leo: Can I ask a question? Why do they sew the pockets shut?
Tom: You can clip them open, you know.
Jason: Because if you put something in there, you get all rumpy.
Leo: It won't fall apart if I clip? Why do they sew?
Tom: They sew the pockets so insects don't crawl in.
Owen: They sew the pockets so that people like you won't put 32 gadgets in there and ball it up and looking like you've got lumps.
Leo: I've got bulges all over.
Jason: You're not going to look sharp anymore.
Owen: And look trim. Yes, that's why. You can't be trusted, Uncle Leo. That's why they sew the pockets shut.
Leo: It's like Frankenstein's mouth stitches. So, I'm going to tell you what Ben Thompson said because Ben is a very good, a very astute—actually, we wanted to get him on the show to talk about this. He'll be on soon. He couldn't do it today. So, he's talking about Mackey and how Mackey said, "We're going to kill Amazon." Two years later. He said, "Mackey's misunderstanding is profound. Amazon and Jeff Bezos have their sights set on being the most dominant company of all time. Start there, and this purchase makes sense." And what he does, is he actually, this is really brilliant, he does the company's mission statements. There's three different mission statements. When Amazon first started in 1997, "Amazon.com's objective is to be the leading online retailer of information-based products and services, with an initial focus on books." Yea, that was a pretty accurate description, right? Jeff was a hedge-fund manager who said, you know, he did an analysis on an online bookstore and said, "Yes, it's a good business. I'm getting out of this hedge-fund. The real money's in selling books online." Who knew he was right? Then a few years later, "Our vision is to be earth's most customer centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online." The most recent drops that 2nd clause. Amazon's current mission statement is very short and simple. :we seek to be the earth's most customer centric company." Ben says, "What they seek is to own—to be the middle man, to own every online transaction of all. All of them." Amazon's goal is to take a cut of all economic activity.
Tom: And that's why I say they don't need the Whole Foods to be profitable.
Leo: By the way, that's a good business plan (laughing). Let's take a cut of all online activity, all economic activity. Not even online.
Owen: Well, they've essentially, they're doing what Walmart has done in real life, online. Walmart loves to go to Mom and Pop shops and are like, "Hey, you sold 3,200 of those hats. Cool. I'll buy your IP. You can make me 4 million. Never make a hat for anyone else again." And they just go town to town, shop to shop, buying up everything on the earth. And then they looked up in the sky and Amazon's looking down like, "Hey, brother. You ain't got no way. We're going to be up here doing our thing. You all stay down there. Have fun with that."
Jason: What Amazon really is, is a delivery company. They will deliver you anything you want. They will deliver it virtually. They will deliver it physically. That's why I do think eventually they either buy UPS or they make their own UPS and they—
Leo: You know, they bought planes, right, or they leased planes. But I think this is all peripheral. That in order to take a cut of all economic activity, you also have to be a great online store. You also have to have delivery. You have to have all these parts. But this is the real goal. We want all economic activity to go through Amazon's cash register. And even if you only take one cent out of each of those transactions, that's a lot of crumbs.
Jason: To Tom's point, they don't have to make money on the groceries, right? If they are delivering it, they're going to charge you a delivery fee. That's what I was trying to get to.
Leo: They sell the groceries at cost. Yea.
Jason: Yea, the sell the groceries at cost. They charge you a $35-dollar delivery fee. They're making money anyway, right?
Leo: By the way, notice for a long time Brand was a big deal, right? But notice, like even with this Bombfell jacket. I didn't buy it from wherever that was, Thelonious Monk. I bought it from Bombfell. The brand was completely secondary. And I think when we buy on Amazon, increasingly the brand is secondary, right? It is a commodity sales. And they don't care about brand. That's what the Amazon Look, the Echo with the screen that looks at you and says, "You should buy this and this. And those two don't go together." That's all about that. That's all about disintermediating brands and saying, "No, no, you don't need to go to Nordstrom's and look at brands. You need to go to Amazon and we'll figure out what brand you want. You don't need to worry about that."
Jason: For some things, right? Brand is always going to—buying is not always a very logical thing still.
Leo: It's changing. I mean, do you care whether you get Tide or Cheer?
Owen: I do care.
Leo: Wait a minute. Why do you care if you get Tide or Cheer, Owen?
Jason: One smells better.
Owen: Look, first of all, one is a superior product. One is the little brother. If I got it for free, I wouldn't care. But if I'm going to spend my money—
Leo: Do you care, Crest or Colgate?
Owen: I use Sensodyne. Yes, I care.
Leo: I take it I'm wrong about brand except that you guys are just old and the new generation couldn't care less.
Owen: What are you talking about?
Jason: So, in China, but again, Baidu was the big giant in commerce. They're still giant but JD.com has come, as that market has gotten more affluent, as more of the people have become middle class, they care about brand, what they see there. And I think it's, you know, most of them are young people. They care about brand as soon as they have the choice, right? And not just going for whatever's cheapest. Then all of a sudden the story that the product tells and the brand that it's about means more to them then just getting it at the lowest cost. And that's why JD.com is exploding there. And Baidu, you know, is really challenged.
Leo: I think you could argue that China is behind us in this regard. There was a good article, where was it, was it the New York Times? About how people used to show their wealth and status by conspicuous consumption. I've got Louis Vuitton bags. I've got some fancy watch, you know, a Rolex watch. And now, that's changing because it no longer proves anything to have a Louis Vuitton bag or a Rolex watch. It's not a status symbol because everybody's got them. So, now you show your wealth, you show your power, you show your discernment by experiences. And I do think that maybe brand is big in China but that is not necessary at Bellwether. I would say it's the opposite. China is a nascent consumer of economy much like we were maybe in the 60s and 70s. This is a mature consumer economy. I don't think brand is important anymore.
Owen: You just spoke about the upper echelon 1% of people who can experience experiences. The whole rest of us, the whole other 99%, care about having a Samsung TV or an iPhone or a Samsung phone versus an Insignia or RCA. Brand don't matter when you're broke because you get whatever you can get. But if you've got a little bit of money, you want to Canon camera versus a ShinShung camera. Like, you're talking about experiences and travelling. Yea, you get to go on a vacation for two weeks at a time and go to lovely places that don't let you fly drones. I get to live through your pictures. That's the regular people in the world. So, yes, Captain 1%, Louis Vuitton doesn't show that I'm rich because these rappers are just popping up everywhere with them. What are we going to do? We're going to go buy Bali. Let's go buy Bali. Like, it's a small percentage of people above branding right now. The rest of us, branding still matters.
Leo: Owen, always the voice of the people on this show. Thank you.
Tom: And I think that article said that. I saw an article similar on Hacker News. I don't remember where it was from.
Leo: Yea, that's what I saw too. So, it's the same article, yea.
Leo: So, it said ultimately, it said that it was only rich people who cared about experiences, poor people care about—
Tom: Yes, aspirational people care about brand and then once you make it and you have money, you don't care about brand as much.
Owen: Some people write stuff. Like I read those articles that looking at a women's breasts makes you 3 times smarter. That's just a dude that wants to get away with looking at women's breasts. Some people just write stuff to write stuff.
Leo: Actually, I just saw a Reddit (laughing) and a study shows that using sex appeal in ads doesn't make your brand more memorable and in fact, ultimately hurts the brand. But I've always thought that, you know, using sexy ads.
Owen: Depends on the sexy ad.
Leo: But I'm not letting somebody else squeeze my melons. I'm telling you.
Tom: I just hope Amazon brings the prices down at Whole Foods so I don't have to mortgage my house to buy groceries.
Leo: Louise in our studio audience points out that traffic is so bad, and by the way, this is a funny thing whenever you travel, everywhere you go they say, "You know, our traffic's worse than anyone. This is the worst traffic." Traffic is a nightmare everywhere now. And that is a very good reason why you might not want to get in the car. Unless you live next door to Zabar's, you might not want to get in the car and drive to the grocery store. It's time consuming. It's expensive in a variety of ways. I think more and more, especially if price goes down, and you're right Owen. Everybody's price sensitive. As price goes down, if Amazon says, "Look, we're only going to charge you for delivery. The groceries are at cost. You're going to get Whole Foods quality at a Kroger's price. And it saves you time." People will give up the idea that they have to go and buy this stuff and they will take it in delivery. And I think that the evidence is that that's the trend. That's where we're going and that's where Amazon wants to do, right?
Owen: And they keep it at cost—
Leo: Go ahead, Owen and then Jason.
Owen: Just real short, if they keep it at cost, they give that average person the feel of luxary.
Leo: That's right.
Owen: If an average person could feel like, "Ok, well I only make $70,000-dollars a year," which is still high, "but I'm only making that much money and I don't have to go shopping anymore?" I can spend the $35-bucks for delivery. And then they feel like they're included in that luxury. And that might be a big boom for that business.
Leo: Precisely. Go ahead, Jason.
Jason: Also, retail and location do still matter. I think that is—it will matter. It will continue to matter. If you're in a good location and people are walking home or it's on their way home and they want to just stop and get something or they want to go in and squeeze the avocado. I love avocados. I'm not getting avocados delivered because I don't trust them that they're going to get them in the ripeness that I like.
Leo: What if one time you got avocados and my God, they were perfect, better than I could ever find. Wouldn't you then use that service?
Jason: I don't know if I trust them.
Leo: No, you don't trust them because you haven't experienced it yet. And that's the point. I think Amazon, one of the reasons you buy Whole Foods is because you think you can now solve that problem and convince Jason Hiner that he can get perfect avocados every single time.
Jason: It's true. But I do think that also, again, location matters. I was in New York this week. When I walked by, our office is not that far from the Empire State Building, when I walked by the Empire State Building, I looked right across the street and I saw a new thing that said, "Coming, Opening Soon. Now Hiring. Amazon Books."
Leo: Yea, I really wonder what they're—I feel like more, that's about data gathering than actually an attempt to create bookstores.
Tom: And showrooming.
Leo: Well, then that raises a very interesting point which is that the future, and I think I was starting to get to this, the future of retail isn't purchasing. The future of retail is experience, showrooming. You go there. It's an experience, maybe an author reads. You can browse. You can learn. You can talk to people. That's what we're going to want in stores in the future and everything else just gets delivered to us. I still go to bookstores but if they don't have the book I want, I go home and I order it on Amazon. It's my shameful secret.
Owen: Well, Best Buy is also doing that thing with a startup that you get to rent items for a cheaper cost for a time period. So, you get to play around with it before you buy it. If you want to keep it, then you pay for it but you get to walk out of the door with it, only paying a small percentage of what the item actually costs.
Leo: Well, doesn't Amazon do that with Easy Returns? Isn't that in effect what Easy Returns are? Amazon had to—Zappos is a good example. Nobody wanted to buy shoes. Everybody has always said, "No, I can't buy shoes online. I've got to try them on." So, Zappos said, "No problem. Order all different sizes. Send the stuff back you don't want." Suddenly, you're trying it on at home. That has solved the problem and I think that they've demonstrated people will buy shoes online.
Owen: The thing at Best Buy, a physical location, is again, when you actually get to go in and pick up the camera versus another camera and feel it. And then say, "Ok, I like this camera. I'm going to buy it. Take it home." And then you get that buyer's remorse and you get to take it back in there and actually feel the items you're going to get. There's something to that.
Leo: That's showroom. That's showroom, right? That's the idea of showrooming which is—in fact, I remember, we used to have an advertiser on the radio show, a mom and pop camera store in LA, a very nice one. In fact, Shuchat & Keeble, which was the great camera store in LA. These stores are going away because that's what people would do. They would go in the store. They would try it. They would get all their questions answered and then they'd go home and they'd buy it online. And it killed these stores.
Jason: Again, that's why location still matters and showrooming is a real thing and Amazon, if their driving people out of business. But those people, those businesses were driving demand for the products that they sell, right, and then they also, they recognize that they have a problem there and that's why, you know, putting a location like an Amazon Books on 34th Street in New York, buying Whole Foods to learn more about retail—
Leo: Well, it's perfect. If people want a showroom and they buy from you anyway, that's exactly what you want. The problem was that people would go to Keeble and Shuchat. They would look at the camera and then they'd buy it from Amazon. But if you go to Amazon's Keeble and Shucat store, you look at the camera and then buy it from Amazon, there's no problem. It's kind of sad. 51 years in Palo Alto, one of the great camera stores. It's really sad.
Jason: It really is sad. It's one of those things, like it's a natural outgrowth of capitalism. Capitalism wants to—it just naturally wants to aggregate wealth. It's just part of the way the ecosystem works, right? In the same way that two centuries ago in England they had primogeniture. Having that concentration builds jobs, builds communities, yadda, yadda, yadda. We have the same argument interestingly enough in free market. But there are a lot of tradeoffs with that and one of the ones in the US right now is that small businesses, as much as we talk about entrepreneurs and we talk about startups and all of that, they've been on the decline for over 20 years.
Leo: Just go to your local mall if you can find one.
Owen: Leo, I live in the suburbs. We've got malls all over the place. People love malls.
Leo: Yea, but they're dying. They're dying.
Owen: My malls aren't dying.
Leo: What do Radio Shack and CompUSA have in common? I mean, J.C. Penney's.
Owen: My Radio Shack is opening back up. Sprint owns it. It's a Sprint Radio Shack. They're coming back, baby. They had to reopen one in my town.
Leo: If I can't buy capacitors, it ain't no Radio Shack.
Owen: True store. I've got two things for you, Uncle Leo. One, the chatroom is roasting me about saying that 70K is medium. I said it's the high medium and it's in the area of Whole Foods. Whole Foods is around people who make money. So, their medium is like 70K. Secondly, we keep talking about real estate, you know the cool thing about real estate? Real estate purchases and getting loans has moved online. Tell me something about that, Uncle Leo.
Leo: Well, that's a very interesting question. Perhaps you've heard of Rocket Mortgage.
Owen: Oh, tell me about it.
Leo: Owen J.J. Stone. Now you know why he's on the show, ladies and gentlemen. This man knows how to pitch. Thank you, Owen.
Leo: Rocket Mortgage from Quicken Loans. The best mortgage lender in the country, Quicken Loans. Just look at the website. You see all those JD Powers Customer Satisfaction Awards year after year? The most satisfaction as a loan originator, as a loan servicer and now you can get your home loan from Quicken Loans through Rocket Mortgage and do it entirely online. See, Quicken Loans saw this. They said, "The mortgage experience is not keeping up with the times. It's dated." It's like you're going to the 19th century with some guy with an eye shade and sleeve garters and a quill pen. You want a loan? I can get you a loan? I remember—this is actually true. 3 years ago when we bought our house, we went to a guy. You have to go to a guy, right? The guy and he has a stack of, a sheaf of very like rice paper on a giant clipboard and he's licking his finger and thumbing through it. Let me see what rates I can find for you. That's crazy. We've got, nowadays, this thing called computers. Rocket Mortgage does it all online. You're getting it from a great lender. It's simple. It's transparent. This is important. You understand all the details. You go through it. It's very convenient because they've got partnerships with all the financial institutions, so you don't have to go through boxes of paperwork. You can submit your paystubs and your bank statements with a touch of a button. A touch of your finger. You can do it on your phone and whether you're looking to buy your first home or your tenth, they're going to make it easy for you. It's all done in seconds right before your eyes, based on your income, your assets and your credit. You can choose the term, you can choose the rate. They'll find a loan that's just right for you and you will get it in minutes. And that's the best part of all. You'll get it in minutes. You can actually do it at an open house and get home loan approval at an open house on your phone. Apply simply, understand fully, mortgage confidently. Rocket Mortgage at rocketmortgage.com/TWiT2, rocketmortgage.com/TWiT and the number 2. Equal Housing Lender, licensed in all 50 states, NLMS consumeraccess.org number 3030. It's time for the loan business to get into the 21st century. Lift the burden of getting a home loan or a refi if you're doing that at Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans. And we thank Quicken Loans and Rocket Mortgage for their support of the show.
Leo: And I think Owen J.J. Stone, OhDoctah we call him, for his eagle eye on the bottom line. You know what? This year I may make more than $70,000 thanks to you. I can afford this Bombfell jacket.
Jason: You could go to Whole Foods. You can shop at Whole Foods.
Owen: As long as I can bring a briefcase and raid the cabinets next time I come out there to visit. I'm trying to get—you're giving away my inheritance, so, from now on, keep all old drones, all old phones.
Leo: You know what? You want those old drones, I will package them up and send them out to you.
Owen: You do that.
Leo: You turn them on, they go like this.
Owen: Just between you and me, I'll put some gum on that thing and we'll be flying this weekend.
Leo: You can fix that. By the way—
Jason: Take a picture of that drone morgue that you've got. I'd love to see a photo of that.
Leo: It's the funniest—it's like this pile. Except for that one that got away. Amazon also this week launched Prime Wardrobe by the way. Very similar to Trunk Club or Bombfell and what they do, you get more savings the more you keep. So, they incent this. Again, brand? No. The brand is Amazon. And that's all you need to know, right?
Owen: They are the dinosaur that continues to eat. Other ones sit there, they get upset because, "Oh, I used to eat meat." Well, Amazon's like, "We'll eat everything." Vegetables, nuts, oxygen, whatever we need to do to survive, they do it. And they're doing it so well it's scary. So, Amazon.
Jason: Also getting out front on AI, getting out front on the cloud.
Leo: What about the rumor that they were going to buy Slack? Amazon's was going to bid $9-billion for slack according to Bloomberg.
Jason: The day before they buy Whole Foods which is—
Tom: They might. They might still.
Leo: Why would you?
Tom: My guess is Amazon was meeting with Slack because they want to buy some productivity to add to their Enterprise offering and why wouldn't you meet with Slack? All the reports were that they were having initial meetings to discuss things but they weren't talking deals yet.
Jason: I mean these companies meet all the time. Like you take that deal, you take that meeting all the time. So, yea, I didn't necessarily put a lot of stock into it, but I think that they want to, obviously cloud software is where they are making most of their money. Amazon AWS is their cash register. And long term, you know, they are probably going to make more money running things. That's why I think that's a delivery business, right? I still think that because they're not making a lot of money on retail, I still think of that as a delivery business which is why that I have to think that at some point, they get big enough and they buy FedEx or UPS or they just start their own because they're really in the delivery business. They deliver information and they deliver goods.
Leo: Well, you may remember there was a great book about Amazon called Dogfight. I don't know if you read it. A really good book. And one of the things they talk about is how Amazon hard balled FedEx when FedEx said, "You guys are getting way too good a deal. You're well below market. We're going to raise your rates." And Amazon said, "No problem. We can handle that. We're just moving all our business to UPS." And it was like over. Or it might have been the other direction, but it was just over. Amazon does so much that they don't need these guys.
Owen: Amazon plays that game where they don't care who you are. They're like "Look, we're giving 20% to the post office. We're giving 50% to UPS and then the rest we're shipping off on our own."
Leo: I love it. At the post office, the mailman comes to me on Sunday, not for mail, but for Amazon (laughing).
Owen: What day is it today?
Leo: Sunday. This is when, because I guess a lot of these trucks are contracted out? I don't know what the deal is.
Owen: The number day is the 25th. Today is the day that if you're listening to this podcast and you are listening and heeding the words of Jason, you would go out and buy UPS stock that's only $110-dollars a share currently, and just sit and wait. Just don't drop 3Gs on it.
Leo: Why wouldn't you short it?
Leo: Do you think they'll buy UPS?
Owen: It's $100-dollars a share. I'm just saying that if you're broke, you can afford $100-dollars a share. I sure as heck can't afford Amazon's price right now. But I'm just telling the people, if you've got an extra hundred dollars.
Leo: There's a risk. You're taking a chance and maybe they'll buy UPS but maybe they won't. Maybe they'll just set up their own, which is what they're doing, right?
Owen: Let's put it this way. UPS ain't going out of business no time soon.
Leo: It would be smart to by the logistics operation of either UPS or FedEx.
Jason: Yea, UPS is an amazing logistics company. They are more and more a technology company, right, then Amazon. At some point they become a threat to Amazon and so taking them off the market, taking a competitor off the market is always, you know—
Leo: Maybe, can we agree that this is just the beginning of a buying spree? That Jeff Bezos is about to go all in, like push all his chips in and say, "All right. The time is right."
Owen: You read the mission statement, brother. You read the mission statement. Stock's cheap right now, that's all. I'm going to get me a couple extra shares. I've already got some, but I'm going to get me a couple extra just because. You never know.
Leo: Jim Cramer think's you're right.
Jason: That business is strong, right? Whether, yea—however it is. And UPS is based, their headquarters are—one of their big headquarters is in Louisville.
Leo: I know. You know why? Because your airport is perfect.
Leo: You're like a hub, right?
Jason: It is a hub. And that's like half of the traffic at the airport is UPS and it's also I think made—it's the 4th largest shipping airport in the world or in the US.
Leo: And where is FedEx? Is it Knoxville?
Jason: It's in Memphis, Tennessee.
Leo: It's in Memphis, that's right, Memphis.
Jason: Yep, yep.
Leo: So, there must me something about that particular area, I guess because a lot of businesses on the Eastern Seaboard. But that's the hub you want. And everything, if you ship FedEx, everything—I could ship something from here to San Francisco but it would stop off in Memphis on the way.
Leo: It's wild. Those are logistics businesses and I guess, I have to think though that Amazon also knows logistics pretty well.
Tom: Yea. Amazon buys UPS if they see a piece of technology there that is easier for them to acquire. That would be my guess.
Leo: Buy or build. That's always the decision. All right, we haven't talked about Travis Kalanick yet.
Tom: Ah, I've got my shot glass ready to pour a little out.
Leo: (Laughing). Uber. It seems for a while there, every week there was a new Uber story, just unbelievable story.
Jason: Groan after groan.
Leo: Groan after groan. Of course, the story this week, Travis Kalanick—great story in the New York Times about how the board decided to fire, after hours of drama, we are the board. Resistance is futile. Mr. Kalanick's exit came under pressure after hours of drama involving Uber's investors according to people with knowledge of the situation. And their phone calls and hotel calls and Bill Gurley, who, by the way, is a partner at Benchmark Capital, one of the big investors, has left Uber's board to put another partner on the board. Or maybe he's somehow tarnished. But Kalanick was in Chicago. A letter hand delivered to him says, "Mr. Kalanick, time to say goodnight." Now, he's still going to be Chairman of the Board. He's ain't going really anywhere. But he's not going to have day to day operational management. Interestingly, a thousand Uber employees signed a petition saying, "We must have him back. He's the only guy who can run Uber." But the investors clearly felt that he was more of a liability than an asset to the company. Your thoughts. Tom, you start. Go ahead.
Jason: Tom, go ahead.
Leo: You've got the shot glass in hand.
Tom: I think this is a very difficult situation for Uber to be in. They have virtually no C-level executives. They have a committee of 14 people running the company. Travis Kalanick was doing the things that he needed to do at this point. Now, you can rightly say two little, too late as far as forgiving him personally, but he was finally saying, "Yes, we're going to get rid of people. We're going to change the company culture." I mean, Arianna Huffington was right there next to him cheering him on saying, "Here's all the things you have to do." And yet, that faction of the board said, "You know what? We'd just rather have you out of the way so we can pick an adult."
Leo: And maybe not that they didn't think the world of Travis or his abilities, but it was too much of a liability.
Tom: And I think what is odd to me is that they didn't have a candidate already lined up.
Leo: That is interesting, right? We don't know who's taking his place.
Tom: Yea, and that will be the telling tale here, right? If they were to get a Sheryl Sandberg, I don't think they'll get Sheryl Sandberg to leave Facebook, but if they were to get somebody like that, that makes sense to me. If they get someone unknown or someone who doesn't have a proven track record, then that makes not a lot of sense at all.
Leo: Yea, and in fact, you're right. What would have made sense was to go out and talk to a Sheryl Sandberg or too. I'm sorry for the auto play video. Thank you. Or go out and talk to Susan Wojcicki, she's been floated as the next CEO of YouTube. Maybe a guy? Maybe someone like Alan Mulally, another person who's been named as a floater, former CEO of Ford who is currently you know, just kind of hanging out, not doing anything. And a smart guy and if you think that self-driving vehicles are important to Uber's future, might be a good choice. Wouldn't you go and talk to some of those people and say, "Look, we're going to boot Kalanick. Maybe—"
Tom: Because the reason you get rid of Kalanick, as far as just brass tacks, if you're the board, I think you get rid of him, obviously not to please the employees, because you've got an employee revolt going on, but because you want to polish it up for the IPO. You don't want to have this in the way for the IPO.
Leo: And regulators, you know, I mean you've got to consider government issues. I mean, Uber's been fighting the government since day one, local governments.
Jason: They obviously considered him a toxic asset, you know, at this point and so, he had done a lot. His obviously aggressive—he is the one that made Uber, Uber and for better and worse and they have a lot of stuff they need to clean up and clean their house. And they just decided that he wasn't the one to clean it up. Like, he was the one who created the mess. Having him clean it up, you know, probably doesn't work.
Tom: When he owns the majority of voting shares, the only way you convince him of this is to say, "We need to bring in a caretaker CEO who's going to guide us through the IP and make that really profitable for you, Travis, so it's worth it to step aside.
Leo: And it's ideally a woman, right, because if you bring in a woman, then you can maybe get rid of that, shed that bro image.
Tom: And then maybe you say, "Travis, we'll bring you back after the IPO a year or two later."
Leo: Here's CNBC looking through some possible candidates. Ursula Burns, former CEO at Xerox. She retired in December. Megan Smith, of course, who was at Google and is currently the—well, I'm not sure what she's doing now. She was CTO, U.S. CTO under Barak Obama. I guess she's gone from—yea, her last job ended in January. Don't know what happened January 20th. Something happened. She's out of work. By the way, formally a partner of Kara Swisher. Jon Rubinstein, ex-CEO at Bridgewater, world's largest hedge fund. I'm not sure—Adam Bain, former COO of Twitter.
Tom: They're good IPO related hires.
Leo: Howard Schultz. Starbucks CEO. That's a joke. Nobody's going to hire Scott Forstall or Tony Fidel. I mean, they both have kind of contentious reputations from Apple.
Tom: They'll hire Marissa Mayer before that.
Leo: Marissa Mayer's available.
Jason: Yep. Alan Mulally would be great.
Leo: I like Alan Mulally. I really do.
Jason: He's terrific. I don't think you'll get him out of retirement. I'd be shocked. But if they did, what a coup.
Leo: You know who else was at Ford and currently looking for work? Mark Fields (laughing).
Jason: I don't know.
Owen: Can I hop in here? One, good riddance. Two, whoopdy-doo, a thousand bros spoke up on his behalf. I'm sure there's close to a million Uber drivers, so that's like .100 and a minus negative 2%. I'm just like, this dude can't be trusted to right the ship because he's just running around throwing gasoline on everything and his hands are on fire. The dude needed to--
Leo: It never got better, even after—and by the way, credit to Susan Fowler who wrote the blog post that brought Kalanick down, complaining about her year as an engineer at Uber where she was not only sexually harassed but her complaints to supervisors got ignored, got pooh-poohed. They say, "Oh, yea, that guy? He's a nice guy. This is the first time this has ever happened." And she found out later, this has happened 20 times before. It was just a mess. Susan Fowler's blog post, I think you can directly attribute it to the fall of Travis Kalanick.
Owen: And this is just a bait and switch to get you to not look at the ship still being aflame because the culture at the top core is still the same. You get rid of him, but the people who allowed it and accepted it are still there. So, I mean they've got a lot of restructuring to do and they've got a lot of things—
Tom: They've got pretty much the entire top level.
Leo: There were, by the way, more scandals to come. Apparently, Kalanick knew that Levandowski had stolen intellectual property from Google.
Tom: No, no. Levandowski said, "I have a couple of discs worth of Google's stuff." And Uber said, "Great. Keep it to yourself. We don't want anything to do with it. We don't know what was on the discs."
Leo: What we don't know is if they said, "Keep it to yourself. We don't want to know," or "Keep it to yourself. We don't want to know. Wink. Wink. Nudge. Nudge."
Owen: What we do know is Uber is now allowing tipping. Woo hoo.
Leo: Yes. They've always allowed tipping. This is, by the way, it's always pissed me off. I feel guilty because I for years took Uber's because I somehow got the impression that they—
Tom: They wouldn't let their drivers tell you.
Leo: And then I found out—because somebody sued, right? Some driver sued and I found out. Oh. So, now I tip but now finally they're putting it in the app in some regions.
Tom: Sekani Wright does a column at Dailytechnewsshow.com called Your Private Driver from the perspective of an actual driver for Uber and Lyft.
Leo: Oh, interesting.
Tom: And he's very happy about Uber putting this in. He's like, "Do tip your drivers when it's appropriate, when you get good service."
Leo: I always tip them.
Tom: He said, "We don't see the amount until after we've rated you. So, don't worry about if you don't tip, you're going to get a bad rider rating." So, this is a big deal for the drivers.
Jason: I take Uber and Lyft a lot. I talk to a lot of drivers, too. And I think that you know, by and large, and because of the smell test with Uber lately, I always take Lyft when I prefer to. That said, we have to keep the big perspective in mind in that Uber has over 50% market share in this market. In most places, Uber is a verb. Most places don't hear about any of these stories or hear very little about them. And five years from now, it's going to be one of those things where if you ask somebody on the streets if they're still taking Uber, and they're going, "Yea." And you ask them like, "What do you think about their whole CEO thing and their new CEO and all that?" They're like, "Oh, yea, didn't like the founder a few years ago, they replaced him with somebody else?" They're not going to know, right? All they know is they've got a much better way of taking, you know, of getting a ride than they used to.
Owen: Hey, Jason? Jason. In 5 years, you're going to be in a car with no driver. Have you ever asked them a question?
Leo: Well, clearly that's the only thing that will save Uber, Lyft and all these guys in this business, because what I didn't realize, is how much of the cost of an Uber ride is subsidized by the company. I mean, I knew that they were losing money hand over fist despite massive revenues. It turns out, 41% of the—you only, when you take an Uber, you pay for 41% of the cost. The company pays 59% of the cost. That's why they lose money like crazy. Uber rides, and I presume that this is true of all of these ride sharing services, are highly subsidized. They can't survive with the driver economy. They can only survive in an autonomous economy.
Tom: That's not a lot better because Lyft doesn't spend as much money as Uber on a lot of this stuff.
Owen: They're trying to get to a lower, lower price for fairs and it's not really helping the drivers that much either. It's like a payday loan at Uber.
Leo: Every time I talk to an Uber driver, it's a mixed bag. On one hand, they like if they can make money on their own time and all that stuff. Almost all of them drive for multiple companies anyway. But, nobody loves Uber I don't think. Nobody who works for them loves them except the bros. By the way, this is not unique to Uber. This week we also learned that a venture capitalist, Justin Caldbeck at Bain Capital and Lightspeed Ventures, who then started his own firm, Binary Capital, had been harassing female entrepreneurs who would come to him for funding or advice. Six women have come forward now. He's stepped back. I don't know the name, and I guess he's not that well known outside of VC but his firm had raised $300-million dollars. They're holding off on their next round because, well, he's taking more time to be with his family. And he says he's going to undergo treatment. But it doesn't—we keep hearing these stories, right? There is something going on in Silicon Valley. There is some sort of bro cult
Owen: There's something that goes on with—there's something that goes on with powerful, rich people.
Leo: Yea, because look at Fox, right? There it is. You're right. Look at me. No, don't look at me.
Owen: Once you're at the top echelon, it's the tale of time. I'm the boss. You're the secretary. Do you want to be in a position of not being secretary? Well I'm going to achieve what you do to get that position. And these people sit out there in Silicon Valley with money to burn.
Leo: The problem is men.
Owen: And it's free money. They just burn it, blown it, acting crazy, losing their minds. And all these old dudes thinking their special, you're not special. You're out here messing with these women, messing with people.
Leo: It's not ok.
Owen: Stop yourself.
Tom: This guy's going to get off with an apology. Oh, I'm really sorry.
Owen: He's going to go to therapy.
Leo: He's going to therapy, yep.
Leo: (Laughing) Supreme Court—let's do a couple, we're going to take a break. Let's do a couple of Supreme Court stories and then wrap it up because I know, Tom, you've got to get out of here in a few minutes.
Tom: Yea, thanks, man.
Leo: Tom Merritt, dailytechnewsshow.com, @acedtect. You've got a hot date. You're going out to a show, theatre. Taking Elayne to a fine restaurant.
Tom: No, I'm doing another podcast (laughing).
Leo: Oh, ok. By the way, it's Eileen. I just call her Elayne because it drives her crazy.
Tom: It's a tradition now.
Leo: It's a tradition. I called her Elayne from day one. I don't know why.
Tom: You did. I don't either.
Tom: Too much Seinfeld.
Leo: That's it. Also, Jason Hiner from—I've never called his wife by any other name. Jason Hiner from Tech Republic. Great to have you. Always a pleasure. And Owen—there he is. What are you doing?
Jason: I'm here. My camera must have frozen. Hang on.
Leo: Ok. The disappearing Jason Hiner. He's invisible. He's wearing that cloak. The Invisible Hiner.
Jason: I've taken off the invisibility cloak.
Leo: And Owen J.J. Stone, OhDoctah.
Owen: Come one, Eileen. Oh, I swear, at this moment. Whatever the song goes. That's how you've got to remember her name.
Leo: I used to sing that to her and she practically hit me.
Owen: Oh, she does not like it but that's how you remember her name.
Leo: She likes the song. She just doesn't like me singing it.
Owen: She doesn't like you singing it. Speaking of dinner, Uncle Leo, you know what you should do?
Leo: You know what I made the other day? Oh, it was so good. Cannelloni, spinach cannelloni and then it had a lovely shallot and lemon dressing on our cucumber salad. It was so good. And it was a Blue Apron. I've got waiting for me, I've got some Blue Apron. It is—well, I can get you three meals free if you want. I'll tell you how to do that.
Owen: Well, that's even better. That's even better.
Leo: I'll tell you how to do that. Blue Apron, we talked about it earlier, they've really demonstrated—this is why they're the number one fresh ingredient company delivery service in the country. They've really demonstrated that you can deliver people amazing produce and meats and just fresh, no frozen in a refrigerated box with a recipe card and make people a better cook. Every time I cook Blue Apron, we do about three times a week, I go, "This was easy. I could do this again." This cannelloni, I now know how to make cannelloni. It was so good. I made the sauce. They sent me a lovely can of Marzano Tomatoes from Italy. I had—it was so good. Blue Apron. Get cooking today. You can choose the meals you want. In fact, let's go to the Blue Apron menus and see what's on the menu today.
Owen: Is that salmon?
Leo: Yea. Salmon and cilantro lime rice with peach corn salsa. Fresh basil fettucine with sweet corn and cubanelle pepper. I don't know it but oh, it looks good. I bet it tastes good. They have vegetarian meals. Summer squash and quinoa burgers with spicy roasted carrots. So, you're going to choose three of these meals. This is the two-person plan. They also have a family plan. By the way, the family plan has ingredients that are kid friendly and there's nothing like making a meal with your kid. Fontina cheese burgers with rosemary oven fries and basil aioli. Asiago cheese and purple potato pizza with marinated peach and arugula salad. Damn, this looks good. There's nothing like making a meal with your kids to get them excited about cooking. They get invested in it. It is really, really fun. The two-person plan, Lisa and I had leftovers almost every time. We share it with Michael. You can probably really get three people on this. And it's very affordable. Less than 10 dollars per person per meal. In fact, it costs you less than the grocery store because no brick and mortar. They don't have to maintain a big outlet. It is the best way to get seasonal recipes, pre-portioned ingredients, everything you need to make delicious home cooked meals in 40 minutes or less. And there's no waste. If you need a lemon, you get a lemon. You know, you don't get—if you need two ribs of celery, you get two ribs of celery. So, I love that. There's no weekly commitment. You only get deliveries when you want them. You choose the menu so you can customize it based on your dietary preferences. It is delicious. So, all I'm asking is go to blueapron.com/twit. Check out this week's menu and we're going to arrange three meals free with your first purchase and free shipping. Blue Apron delivers to 99% of the continental United States. Blueapron.com/twit. I can't tell you how much I love them. I just love Blue Apron and every time I come home and the box is on the doorstep, I go, "I can't wait." Lisa chooses the meals. I cook them. It's a good—she sometimes cooks them, but a lot of times I like to cook. Let me, let me. She'll help me with it. So much fun. And you know, that's another good thing for a family or a couple to cook together. It's so much fun.
Leo: All right. I don't know what's going on with Jason. We'll work on getting him back. I think we're pulling up a still now (laughing). Maybe this—
Owen: Mug shot.
Leo: Mug shot.
Owen: Mug shot.
Leo: Maybe it's just time to call it quits. We've got to let Tom go anyway. Tom Merritt's got to go do another podcast. You want to tell us what it is?
Tom: Well, yea. Rob Reid and I are collaborating on a podcast in support of his forthcoming book, After On. It's a story about AI and quantum computing, set in the Bay Area in Silicon Valley and so, we're doing 8 episodes where we talk with experts about the real ideas that underlie the things that he put in the book.
Leo: Good idea. I just got my copy by the way. Thank you, Rob. He's been on the shows before. In fact, he was on TWiT a few weeks ago talking about After On. That's a great idea for a show. I love that.
Tom: Meron Gribetz, who is the CEO of Meta, talking about augmented reality. Adam Gazzaley, who has been on the cover of Nature, he's a neuroscientist talking about the way to hack your brain and all kinds of good stuff. We're going to try to get Nick Ahlstrom. Kevin Kelley's going to be on.
Leo: Oh, fun.
Tom: So, yea, Cindy Kohn from EFF.
Leo: So, is this the first episode?
Tom: Yes, so we're going to be launching it I think around mid-July. Keep an eye out. You can go to After-on.com and Rob will keep you up to date. And it's just going to be good conversations about real concepts. And then I love his story. His story is great. And you and I are both on the audio book which is going to be really cool too.
Leo: Oh, that's right. I forgot I did that. Yea. I'm the San Francisco Chronicle on it.
Tom: Right, and I'm ARS Technica. No, wait, no. Is that right? I don't think so.
Leo: And then Tom's novel is out now, right?
Tom: Oh yea, you can get that right now. It's called Pilot X, time travel story, available wherever books are sold.
Leo: Very nice. Pilot X. How's that, how is that? Do you like writing better than you like podcasting, or do you need to do both?
Tom: About the same. You know, I like podcasting when I want to chat. And I like writing when I want to be alone.
Leo: See, I think podcasting spoiled me for writing because it's so easy to talk, I can no longer write. It's like too much work. I just want to talk.
Tom: Yea, that's why I write fiction.
Tom: Because podcasting's kind of my nonfiction side.
Leo: Got it, that's smart. Every time I write fiction, it sounds stupid so I stopped.
Tom: That's why I've got to keep doing it. It started stupid and now it's less stupid.
Leo: No, I've always liked your stuff.
Jason: Writing until it's no longer stupid.
Leo: Tom, great to have you. Thank you for joining us. Give my regards to Rob.
Tom: Thanks, I wil.
Leo: All right. DTNS, the dailytechnewsshow.com. And of course, don't forget to follow him at the most memorable Twitter handle ever, A-C-E-D-T-E-C-T. @acedtect
Tom: If you work hard enough to spell it, you'll hopefully get it.
Leo: Great to have you, Tom. Good to see you again. Thank you, Jason Hiner. He came in at the last minute because—
Jason: I made it back.
Leo: Our scheduled guest, Ashley Esqueda got laryngitis. She'll be back, but Jason, it's always great to have you on. Editor in Chief at Tech Republic!
Jason: Oh, absolutely. When you said back, I thought you meant dropped and now I'm back and so—
Leo: Well, that too. We got you back for that, too.
Jason: I want to plug my book because both you and Tom are in it. And so, for fans of Tom Merritt and Leo Laporte, Follow the Geeks, you can read their stories in full, along with the stories of many other amazing, amazing people.
Leo: It's the closest thing I'm ever going to come to having a biography, so folks, read chapter 10. It's highly recommended.
Jason: Audible, too. On Audible, I was the co-author of this book with Lindsay Gilpin but in the Audible book I actually read the audio book. And the sample chapter in that is the beginning of Leo's chapter as well.
Leo: Oh, that was nice of them. But don't think you're getting the whole thing. You've got to buy the book.
Leo: Yea. It's so great to have you on, Jason. Thanks for joining us.
Tom: People who bought Follow the Geeks also bought Rob Reid's book and mine.
Jason: Excellent. Look at that.
Tom: All in the family.
Leo: Isn't that weird.
Jason: All in the family.
Leo: And Danial Suarez.
Tom: And Danial Suarez, I know.
Leo: And Nick Bilton and Steven Levy. Look at that. What is the thread that ties all of those together, I ask you.
Leo: And by the way, this guy, Brian Merchant, author of The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone, he's going to be on Triangulation in a couple of weeks. So, I'm just saying.
Jason: Yep. The one connection is you, Leo.
Leo: Well, I wasn't going to say it. But thank you. Owen J.J. Stone is actually the single connecting thread that holds us all together. He is in fact the person that created the universe.
Owen: I believe that's true. Secondly, just to a whole bunch of stuff. One, Jason, if I get you on Doc Tales, and that will be everyone, because Leo's been on Doc Tales.
Leo: Jason, don't do it.
Owen: Tom's been on Doc Tales.
Leo: Don't do it. He pulls stories out of you that you thought you'd long forgotten that you never wish anybody heard. He got Georgia Dow's real name out of her.
Owen: And then we put it on the internet. I was hoping to get into a tweet fight with Tom because Tom is one of those people, I love and dislike Tom more than anything. I consider myself one of the wittiest, snappiest people in the world and Tom's brain is like two times faster than me. It's kind of like I can't deal with somebody who's more Key West to Key Largo faster than me.
Leo: OhDoctah, we are all occluded in Tom Merritt's shadow.
Owen: Oh, it's sickening about the way Tom Merritt is and—anything you talk about, Tom knows three things and the history and 1984, 1777. Well, did you know that it came with four parts? Tom makes me sick. But besides me not loving, hating—I love Tom. Tom knows. I'm just going to tell you all something about the internet, ok? A lot of people in tech are listening to this show. And if you're living out in Bro Country, stop being a bro. We were talking about the Uber thing and we kind of breezed by it. But I have a daughter. You have a mother. Everybody who listens to this has a mother. If you see somebody being a bro, if you're at a hedge fund, tech fund startup and you see these dudes acting crazy, first thing you do is check them. Go to him and be like, "Yo, dude. She's got a job to do. It's not cool to do that." Then secondly, maybe you check with her. If he continues to do it, you can support her when she goes to HR and they ignore her, so there's a man standing behind her. Because you can't just accept that culture and live in the world and spend all that money and let people do what they want to do and get away with it. It's not right. It's wrong. We talk about these things over and over and over again and we have to hope to Jiminy Christmas that somebody listens to a woman. There's too many men working in these environments, not backing these women up and it makes me sick. That's what I wanted to say earlier but I tried to calm it down. But it just made me mad the longer I sat here. I love you, love the show. Thanks for having me on. Internet.
Leo: That is nice. That is nice. IQMZ.com and don't forget Doc Tales. Just whatever you do, Jason, don't go anywhere near that because the guy will pull stuff out of you.
Owen: Come on, Jason. I need your social, Jason.
Leo: Owen OhDoctah J.J. Stone, Jason Hiner, Tom Merritt, bless you all for being here. Thank you so much. And thanks to all of you for being here. We do TWiT every Sunday afternoon, 3:00 PM Pacific, 6:00 PM Eastern, that would be 2200 UTC. If you want to come by and watch live, join us in the chatroom at irc.twit.tv. We would love that. We also love having a live studio audience. We do a great studio audience this week. All you have to do is email firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll put a chair out for you. We'd love to have you come by. But, of course, if you can't make it in person, if you can't make it live, you can always do it at your convenience. In the shower, in the car, anywhere you are just download a copy. You'll find it at twit.tv. All our shows are on demand, audio and video. So, you get to pick the format you like. And if you do me a favor and subscribe, that would be great. Use your favorite podcast application. Subscribe, that way you won't miss an episode. We appreciate it. Thanks for joining us. And I'll see you next time. Another TWiT is in the can. Bye-bye everybody!