This Week in Tech 621
Leo Laporte: It's time for TWiT, This Week in Tech! We've got a very big show for you. We're bringing back one of our favorite guys, for many years the host of MacBreak weekly, Scott Bourne. We'll help celebrate the tenth anniversary of the iPhone today. Iain Thomson is here from The Register. From This Week in Law, Denise Howell, and Katie Benner New York Times Writer will join as at the beginning of the show to talk about her article. It's sending shock waves throughout Silicon Valley. It's all coming up next, on TWiT.
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Leo: This is TWiT, This Week in Tech for you. Episode number 621, recorded Sunday, July 2, 2017.
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It's time for TWiT, This Week in Tech, the show where we cover the great late tech news with some of the best tech journalists in the country, in the world. Iain Thomson is here from theregister.co.uk.
Iain Thomson: Always a pleasure!
Leo: Firing up his Chromebook. He still believes he can get real worked one on a Chrome Book.
Iain: I can. Although without an Internet connection, it used to be a very expensive doorstop, now it's not so bad.
Leo: I like it. I'm jealous you still have a pixel, I gave mine away. Also with us, and I'm really thrilled to welcome him back, he was a longtime host on MacBreak weekly, here we are welcoming Scott Bourne back to the microphone. Still not dead is his poster. Hi, Scott! It's great to see you!
Scott Bourne: It's fantastic to be back on, Leo! Thank you. This is only my second time on the big show.
Leo: I can't believe that.
Scott: I've done 150 MacBreak weeklies, but only the second time on TWiT.
Leo: Well, I feel bad about that, I apologize. You still podcast like crazy at photopodcast.com. And I know you still take amazing wildlife pictures. We can see a lot of those on your Instagram, and I see them on Facebook. Also joining us, Denise Howell from This Week in Law. We thought we would have you on the show to get a woman on the show. Thank you, Denise for being here. I'll tell you why I thought it would be good to have this woman: big news roiling Silicon Valley right now! Started with stories from The Information talking about Jastin Caldbeck, who is a Venture Capitalist, started his own firm for buying capital. Has been accused by a number of women of inappropriate behavior. These were VCs who had approached him about funding. Caldbeck has now left the company, in fact they're folding the Venture Fund. But then Katie Benner in the New York Times a couple days ago publishes an article that goes much farther, mentioning not only Caldbeck but other high profile Venture Capitalists. Chris Saka of Lower capital, Dave McClure of startups. Dave wrote a mea culpa in which he said I'm a jerk. He planned to step down, but he stepped down a little early from his startups. Katie Benner is on the line with us. We appreciate you're joining us from your first day off.
Katie Benner: Happy vacation!
Leo: Happy vacation, but when you write a story that's this big, you're going to get calls, and I know you're doing interviews around it. How did this story come to you?
Katie: A lot of it came back after the Information published this story about Justin Caldbeck. I think most of the women in the story were not expecting the sort of support that they got. Stories that Justin Caldbeck had sexually harassed them or propositioned them while they were trying to raise money from his Venture Firm, so he was really in a position of power over them. They need the money for their companies to grow and survive, it's why you raise Venture Capital and make friendships. It's the lifeblood of all the innovation that Silicon Valley professes to embrace and promote. They're trying to raise money and they were harassed. They didn't think anybody would believe them, and not only did people believe them, but Reid Hoffman and Melinda Gates came out on Twitter saying these women should be believed and they should be supported. That was an extraordinary moment. In the wake of that, as I was calling people to see what kind of impact the story was happening, I was meeting more women who said I want to go on the record too. I have a story to tell. A lot of them had screenshots, text messages, Facebook messages, supporting their allegations. This wasn't he said she said. We were reading the text messages saying this is a real proposition, this is a really bad thing to do. Certainly a lot of people had that kind of supporting evidence as well that helped them come forward.
Leo: Of course this follows in the heels of Travis Kallaneck's resignation from Uber. Susan Fowler's blog post which started that. It is starting to feel like this is endemic in the valley. Is that the sense you get, Katie?
Katie: I don't think that it's surprising to me that it would be so pervasive. When you think about it, the venture capital world is very tiny and closed off. So it's very much a who you know sort of business. It's a network business. The actual capital itself is held from these hundred or so venture firms. There's no transparency. So they're not publicly traded, there's no reason for them to explain when bad things happen, so what usually happens is the VC abuses his power, the firm is incentivized to let him or her go quietly, maybe pay them off, just get them out of the firm's hair. Instead of letting everybody know why they're being fired or why there's a mutual agreement legally for them to part ways, you just let them go quietly into the night, and they can do whatever they want as long as they're not messing with the reputation of the Venture Firm A or B. The way it was described to me is it's very similar to what the Catholic church was doing when they'd find out there were bad priests they would just move them to another Parish. Rather than say something bad has happened, because that would hurt the reputation of the Industry in a bigger way, move them away and make them someone else's problem.
Leo: You point out in your article that two years ago Ellen Pao sued Kliner Perkins and lost in a very similar situation, which makes me feel like... of course we just saw Roger Ailes forced out at Fox News, Bill O'Reilly. You get the feeling where in the corners of power men have kind of started to run wild in a way maybe they always have. Or do you think it's gotten worse?
Katie: I think they always have, but we're seeing more women take on positions of power, and more women feel like it's OK. There's no backlash that can happen that can keep them from speaking out. That feels very new to me. I think even two years ago when Ellen Pao took Kliner to Kyle it was extraordinary. Everybody said I can't believe she did that, she'll never work again, it's going to destroy her career. Nobody said this is going to hurt Kliner, everybody said this woman just sacrificed herself. Now there's something that has happened in the culture and a Zeitgeist where when people come forward it's less about these women have just destroyed their careers and their potential to make money, and more about what happened and why is this happening and do we want to do business with this firm? There's a shift in the conversation that is important.
Leo: Last night, Dave McClure published a... I have to commend him for not denying it. He says I'm a creep, I'm sorry. he says I'm seeking treatment, my behavior was inexcusable and wrong. Credit to Dave-not for what he did- but for immediately copping to it and stepping down. There are others you mentioned.
Katie: 500 startups stepped down a month ago and they kept it quiet. Once the story came out, there was no way for me to be quiet any more.
Leo: Christine Sai, who was running the company, did you get the sense Christine knew about this and had helped cover it up? Or was she shocked?
Katie: I get the sense she was surprised. The woman who we talk about in our story, she was harassed by Dave years ago. It wasn't until Christine heard about it and reached out to her last year and said I want to know more. What happened after that is they launched an internal investigation, and in the past few months, he was asked to step down. But you have to wonder would they have ever been public about it without the story? Who knows. If they hadn't, well then doesn't that perpetuate the problem because 500 startups is known for supporting women, it's known for diversity initiatives, and everybody still thinks Dave is a hero, he'll still be able to be in situations where women can be vulnerable around him because nobody knows he's done anything wrong.
Leo: I think one of the reasons this rocked Silicon Valley is because Chris Saka and Dave McClure are well liked and well known in Silicon Valley. I think it's a bit of a surprise.
Iain: I think also the tech Industry thought it was a bit above this thing. We were smarter we came into the 70's and 80's. A lot of the people who were the founding starters of the computing Industry were geeks in school who got beaten up and therefore slightly more open minded about things, but it does seem from the stories others have done on this is we've got a serious problem which needs to be addressed. Quite frankly, Weasel Words coming out of Capital at the start of the week compared to where they are now.
Leo: They denied it at first.
Iain: Initially, it was a flat earned denial. Now within 24 hours, it's like this is the worst 24 hours of my life. Boo hoo!
Leo: Katie, has there been any backlash to this article?
Katie: Yeah. Of course, there will always be backlash. I don't want to get into it too much, but I think that the backlash that we've gotten does feel to me more interesting. I've gotten a lot of messages from people saying OK, this focus on men harassing women, but please know that men harass men, that it's not just heterosexual men harassing women. There is also an imbalance of power between the people who have money and the people who need money in technology. I think actually that's a very valid criticism. Also, people talk about the fact that harassment isn't stand alone. Sexual harassment is propositioning people for sex is a symptom of a larger problem in the Industry that women aren't as respected. If women were respected, when those things happen, people would be up in arms about it.
Leo: Katie, I know you're on vacation, I appreciate you're taking the time to talk to us. I encourage people to read the article also. Read Albert Mattie's article and the information will continue to...
Katie: It's excellent. Yeah.
Leo: Thank you, Katie. Enjoy your vacation.
Katie: Thank you. Have a great fourth!
Leo: Take care. Katie Benner from the New York Times! Her article appeared in the June 30th online edition of the New York Times. It's probably in print this weekend. While it feels this is a breaking story, it also feels like this might be something that could be going on for a long time. Denise Howell, you've been covering technology for a very long time, at least ten years. You started your blog many years ago. Have you seen...?
Denise Howell: I started my blog in 2001. Scott met in person for the first time in 2006...
Leo: I remember that. My question is, is this something that has been going on all along and has been an open secret, or has it gotten worse over the last couple years?
Denise: I feel like it's something that has been going on all along. It's not unique to the tech Industry. It's been going on in the banking Industry and the farming Industry and the journalism Industry. All tiers of science. To think that harassment is unique to the tech Industry is naive. Having been around the fringes of the tech Industry, all of the harassment I've experienced has been outside of it, and I've experienced my share of it.
Leo: I'm sure you have; this is kind of the point. Every woman has a story to tell something like this. But you're right, Iain, we thought we were immune. We know better. We're more modern.
Iain: Technology is supposed to be a meritocracy. It's a very young industry, it came in the 70's and 80's when we were supposed to have sorted this stuff out. It's diverting when you see the stuff coming up again and again and again. At least people are speaking out about it, and that does seem to be bringing around some change. The more people who speak out about it, the better.
Leo: Will it help, Denise, to have more women in technology? More women in the boardroom, more entrepreneurs? More women executives?
Denise: Absolutely. More women--to steal a phrase from Hamilton--in the room where it happens.
Denise: And to get to that point a little deeper, I'm so thankful for Katie's reporting and the fact that we're having this conversation on the one hand, and by no means do I want people to discount what has been reported and alleged. At the same time, there is some fallout from this, I think that is damaging, and productive. If I can say that. On the one hand, I think it's really important that we have these conversation. Reid Hoffman is absolutely right that his decency pledge. I hope people will go and read that and take it to heart. Because I think that's how we get through this. People live being decent. Fortunately, the vast majority of my relationships in technology and other business arenas, have been where people lived being decent. But there are those episodes where you have, where you remember the terrible and traumatic things that happen to you. I'm hoping for a day when people don't get to the middle or later part of their careers and look back and say I had tens of thousands of business relationships with people that went really well, and there was not a shred of harassment involved, but there are four or five that stand out as being creepy and awful. I hope we're moving away from that. I think the way we get there is through what Reid Hoffman suggests, if you see something say something, you've got to make sure that people who are doing this, and I do feel that they are in the minority of people in the business world, that there are still people out there today who haven't got the memo that this is not OK. If they're held accountable and people are living this in their daily life and if the checks on it aren't just the corporate message of we have legal compliance obligations, where you have to go to a management training class and learn about harassment, and somebody is not letting a video play or even watching, and everyone is checking a box that this has been done, people are living this in their daily lives. I think we'll get to that point where everyone is in the room where it happens. On the other end of this extreme of having this conversation is backlash. When possible backlash in DC among Congress people anxious to avoid scandal, senators as well, is taking the Mike Pence approach where if you are of the gender where I might be associated with having a relationship with you, then you and I shall not have certain relationships that could be problematic and controversial. You and I shall not dine together unaccompanied. We will not be in a venue where there's alcohol served because of the fear of scandal and false accusations. I think on the other end of this extreme, you have to be careful, both that people who might be subject to harassment don't live in fear of that, and that people who might be accused of it don't live in fear of the false accusation. Not to have any sort of backlash to Katie's reporting, but just a bit of pushback, two of the people that she's reported on do dispute these allegations. She's saying that this hadn't dried when it happened based on the reporting she's done and what she's seen, and she certainly is doing a service in reporting that. But two of the people here dispute that this happened. Chris Sake and Mark Cantor say it didn't go down like that. We're having a trial in the media for them. People should be aware that this is not a trial in a court where credibility and witnesses are not subject to...
Leo: It's challenging, because one of the mantras is believe the woman. It is conceivable that there are false accusations, so it's very challenging, yet on the one hand you don't want to dismiss these. On the other hand you don't want to convict somebody unreasonably. This is a survey from Thera King Miller in the upshot... Americans are wary of being alone with the opposite sex. I think you're right, it would be a very bad trend, because it would keep women out of the room where it happens.
Iain: When Mike Pence first made his comments about he wouldn't have lunch alone with a woman...
Leo: I understand why...
Iain: I don't know. Part of me when I first read that said, "Hang on. Is he saying that he's not sure he can keep control of himself?"
Leo: I think he wants to be above suspicion. And if you're a public figure, you might want to avoid these accusations.
Iain: It's a very handy way to say you can exclude women based on I don't feel comfortable being in a room with you.
Leo: It's called the Billy Graham rule.
Iain: Even when he was on his death bed, he wasn't alone with a female nurse.
Leo: I don't know what Billy Graham was worried about. I don't know what Mike Pence was worried about. I should point out though, you were talking about diversity in tech, and Google's diversity report came out, and while you do see more women at Google, it still is a fraction of what would be nominally be 50 or 51%. It's only 31% of the total hires. Only 20% of the tech hires. The thing that is very depressing to me is if you look at the diversity report, African Americans represent 2% of the overall 1% of the tech hires. Hispanic people is 3% of the tech people. It is far from a diverse group. It is very heavily white and male.
Iain: The manifesto got that one wrong. The idea was that we would all be brought together by technology.
Leo: I think we feel like Silicon Valley should be a meritocracy pure and simple, it should be race blind, gender blind, but it clearly isn't.
Iain: There's a bunch of human beings there, and they've got their grab bag of prejudice and mistaken views. We're getting there slowly but surely, but it's not moving anywhere fast enough, or as fast as it needs to be.
Leo: I do agree with you. Denise Reid Hoffman who was the founder of Linked In almost immediately after the information report a week ago Friday published an article called the human rights of women entrepreneurs and asked people that said we do care. We do need to... this bill of rights. This agreement that there should be zero tolerance of this. A decency pledge.
Denise: I think people need to take that to heart. I think that's where this needs to go. HR departments in big companies are really helpful as well because people know they'll lose their job.
Leo: You know for instance, Uber and Susan Fowler, there was no help for her in the HR department.
Iain: A friend of mine was actually pitched by Uber about 3 weeks after the Rascal came out, and this was the women who co-wrote a book called women in technology. She was pitched by the HR person and responded based on Uber at the moment, this is not a company I would want to work for, and the HR came back and said, Look. You and I both know sexism is a problem in the Industry, we're working to work this out, but you need to stop being so pretty about it.
Leo: I think that is the attitude of many men and even some women. Oh come on. Just buck it up. Put up with it. Slap the guy and move on.
Iain: You've got to change these things as a corporate culture. But it's challenging.
Leo: We're going to move on. We have many other things to talk about. It's an uncomfortable subject. Not about tech, it's important to talk about, so I'm glad we can get Katie Benner on. Thanks Katie for joining us during her vacation. Denise is going to stick around. By the way, I should point out Denise is now on an iPhone. I don't know why it is, but for some reason her computer can't do Skype. So it's perfect. We're going to celebrate the tenth anniversary of this technology, in just a second. Thank you so much for being here, Denise Howell. Scott Bourne is here, still not dead. That's not my line, that's his. From Photopodcasts.com. We'll have a lot more from Iain Thomson too from theregister.co.uk. Our show to you today brought to you by Carbonite, online backup. I talk about Carbonite every weekend. I feel like the weekends are when people think about backing up. During the business day, you're too busy, you got stuff to do, you're making stuff. You're doing the spreadsheets, the balance sheets. You're probably not thinking about what would happen if all this stuff disappeared. Would we even have a business? So now, during the weekend, it's a little slower, you got time to think about it. I want you to think about Carbonite. Carbonite online backup. Here's what every backup solution should have. You should ask your IT person, or if you're the IT person, ask yourself. Do we fit this? First of all, I'm a big fan of Peter Crogue, he's a photographer. 3-2-1 backup. 3 copies of everything. An original, and two backups. On two different media, don't put everything on a CD or a DVD or a hard drive. One of those should be offsite. That's the most important part. It should be somewhere away from your premises, so if there's a fire or a flood, you're data doesn't go along with everything else. You can survive a business burning down. You can survive that, but could you survive losing your customer list, your supplier list? Your books, your data? Maybe not. Go to Carbonite.com, they've got plans for home and office. By the way, the biggest threat to business these days is ransomware. Carbonite can help you there too. Take a look on the business side, it's Carbonite for Office, at the resources page. There's a great bunch of white pages, including Ransomware mitigation and how you can use Carbonite to protect you when the worst happens with ransomware. They're sponsors of ransomware.org, and it really is an important subject. Business has to look straight in the eye, and I know businesses that are literally stockpiling Bitcoin so that when they get ransomware they can pay the bad guy. That is not the right plan. Carbonite.com go there take a look at the plan, sign up for the one that is right for you. You can try it free with no credit card, free, free! Do use TWiT as the offer code, because you'll get two months free with purchase. It's not too late. Yet. Carbonite.com, offer code TWiT. Ten years after the iPhone. Could somebody get me my iPhone one? It's on the green stand in my office. Thank you, Burke. I remember very well, Scott Bourne. I vividly remember this. We were doing MacBreak weekly, and you knew there was going to be an iPhone, you were the iPhone fanatic on the show. Right?
Scott: I did a podcast called the Apple phone show.
Leo: That's right. It was the number one podcast on iTunes for some time.
Scott: We were higher than Oprah for a while.
Leo: That was after the iPhone came out, right?
Scott: No actually. We started the Apple phone show 90 days before the official launch. Which led to that fateful day when I, you, and John C Dvorak there in the theatre in the round...
Leo: Was he sitting next to me, because I blocked that part out. I remember you.
Scott: He was sitting next to you. He did his famous thing that has made him very successful, that will never work. He said that about a hundred times, and I said no. It's going to be kind of big.
Leo: We said you made investments in iPhone, we had all sorts of jokes about you.
Scott: They were telling the Chuck Norris jokes about me.
Leo: Yeah. Scott Bourne has so many iPhones... so in fact, where is that picture? There's a great picture of you coming out of the San Francisco Apple Store? The Apple store.
Scott: Ten years ago, the Apple store was where it was supposed to be, and there was some pepper in my salt and pepper hair.
Leo: You got to find that picture. Is it on your...
Scott: Actually it was me being stuck in the iPhone in the front window of San Francisco.
Leo: There's also one of you holding up your bag in triumph.
Scott: That was at San Francisco chronicle.
Leo: There you go! That is a happy man.
Scott: That was the first guy.
Leo: Were you first in line?
Scott: I got to be honest here. I did not stand in line, one of my staff did. Then I went in and paid. Then Greg, who stood in line for me, we had this idea to take the phone and put it in your pocket in case during your celebratory hoist somebody grabs the box. That was an empty box I was hoisting, and yes, I was happy, because I had a feeling this was going to change everything. I was kind of right that time.
Leo: That is the picture of happy Apple employee. Cameras in your face. Down on Market Street at the old Apple store.
Scott: Remember that time you picked me up when I picked up the new Mac and you were like...
Leo: We're standing on a corner. And it's not the best neighborhood in the world. I had boxes on boxes... standing in the corner. Here it is. This is the iPhone that changed more than how we think of phones. This changed a lot.
Iain: This is embarrassing. I was a skeptic about the iPhone when it first came out.
Leo: Nothing to be...I love the '95. I had a Blackberry Pearl, which was probably also a more capable phone. But what happened with this, is because of its success, this launched a manufacturing Industry in China where accelorometers, GPS, radios, screens, all the technologies that went into the iPhone became cheap, widely available. We wouldn't have drones if it weren't for the iPhone. There' s a lot of technology we wouldn't have had the giant manufacturing capabilities of the iPhone not been created just to support this device. I think even you, Scott, didn't anticipate what a life changing event that was.
Scott: I wouldn't have bailed out on my Apple stock at $200 a share.
Leo: $200 a share before the split.
Scott: Let me make something clear. The most expensive decision I have ever made in my life was to be a host on MacBreak weekly.
Leo: You sold your shares to be on the show. No wonder you hate me.
Scott: I would do it all again, even though it cost me 7 trillion dollars.
Leo: Have you ever figured out what those shares would be worth?
Scott: I got in at 49.99, I got out at $200.
Leo: You did do good. That's a 500% growth.
Scott: If I could do that every day, I would be happy. I did not know financially what was happening, I had no clue that it was going to be Apple's core business, but I kind of did think that I remember everyone arguing with me all the time about all the stuff it did have. I said you're all missing one crucial point. People don't buy into stuff because of what it doesn't do, they buy in because of what it does do. The notion that you have this thing without a keyboard that had a screen, that... when I first saw it, I was more impressed than I thought I would be. Obviously that first phone didn't...
Leo: It didn't have cut and paste! We should remember there was no app store at the time.
Iain: It was a 2.5 g phone in a 3g world. Are you kidding me? And then I saw somebody with one of them in public, and the amount of buzz it got, and you wouldn't try the UI for the first time, it's like the first time... when I first tasted New York pizza, that's what it's supposed to taste like. It's the same with a mobile phone, that's what the UI is supposed to be like, and it's going to be the game changer, and the changes on AT&T network power falling over.
Leo: It was terrible. They had no idea, in fact whoever it was, the chairman at AT&T said it was unlimited free data when the iPhone came out. Denise, when did you get your first iPhone?
Denise: That first year.
Leo: You did.
Denise: I met Robert Scoble by his, and then a few weeks later, when it died down I had mine.
Iain: I was chatting with Scoble on Friday. He said he was down at the Palo Alto store and he was first in line for it. Is that correct?
Leo: He was. I remember. There's a similar picture to Scott Bourne's picture of Scoble coming out. He was fully dressed. I remember waiting in line six hours at the AT&T store in Petaluma. The fun thing in those days, Apple went downhill and now they don't even do them... the head of retail at Apple doesn't want wines. I think it's right. It's not nice to consumers, it's great for marketing, but it's terrible for consumers. In those early days, certainly that first time in line, we're really interesting cool people. The two guys in front of me had been up all night, they worked at Google, they were rewriting Google reader to work on the iPhone interface, and they had stayed up all night. They thought we won't be able to get into San Francisco, the line is way too long, but let's go up to the farm capital in Petaluma. We can get an iPhone there, and they did. It was really cool and fun, and as with much Apple stuff, it was a cult in the early days.
Iain: That's true for the iPad too. The first 30 people were line sitters who went in, bought their hardware, went outside...
Leo: Same thing happened with the iPhone. A lot of Chinese sellers would occupy places in line so they could get their phones...
Scott: They started throwing out ad hoc, limiting the sales to six phones per person within a few minutes of opening, the main Apple store on Apple street, because that's what was happening. People were buying a bunch of them. I legitimately wanted six for my staff, but that's all I could buy. It was absolute mayhem. Leo, we walked around the corner and found the line, and we were doing interviews with people for the Apple phone show, and that was great. Alex was with me, and Alex from MacBreak weekly. We were walking around and we shot video. We got so much material out of that deal we could have done ten shows. Think about how much it's changed beyond the stuff that we talked about. When you put a little kid in front of an iPhone, they start trying to pinch and zoom. They walk up to my big screen and was trying to pinch and zoom on my seven inch TV.
Leo: I see it all the time with laptops, with Mac laptops, people trying to touch the laptop. Even people who know better.
Iain: That's people being stupid about the laptops. It is that instinctive thing. One of the things that scares me, a lot of my friends have kids now, they pick it up really quickly, but they're just hooked on these things. If you want to punish the kid, you don't smack her on the side of the head, you take away their iPad, it'll take away their power chord.
Leo: Denise will back me up when I say it punishes the parent when you do that as well.
Denise: It does. But you've got to get them off those things.
Leo: We have a 14 year old. If we don't intervene, screen time is easily 14 hours a day. Easily.
Leo: I have mixed feelings, because on the one hand, that can't be good for them, but on the other hand, that's the world they're growing up in. Who knows? They may be getting the best skills, training for their future right then playing those games! Let me show the video. Remember the iPhone was announced at Mac World expo in January. Those of us who were at MacWorld expo, they had one iPhone in a case with guards on either side. You couldn't touch it; you could barely look at it.
Iain: There's a reason for that.
Leo: Scott, you're sitting next to me. I feel like Merlin and John are next to me.
Scott: He was with us when we went to the theatre in the round and did the TWiT show.
Leo: I remember that. This is us sitting in the Moscone center during the keynote. Steve Jobs is on stage. Let's watch a little bit, because this is... we watched in January, I don't mind watching again. This is a master of presentation. There never will be anybody better at a tech keynote than this guy.
Steve Jobs: Today, we're introducing three revolutionary products--
Leo: Scott, you're the one who said there's going to be an iPhone. We didn't even know the name. You said there's going to be an iPhone. When he said three products, what did you think?
Scott: I wasn't worried.
Leo: You knew.
Scott: I had insider info. Merlin didn't think I was telling the truth. I had a mole.
Leo: Three new products.
Steve Jobs: The first one is a wide screen iPod with touch controls.
Leo: The crowd is not in on this yet. The iPod is the most successful Apple product ever. It is huge. So a wide screen iPod with touch controls, that would be a big deal.
Steve Jobs: The second is a revolutionary mobile phone.
Leo: There's the phone! No one knew for sure except for Scott Bourne that there was going to be a phone. So we got iPod and a phone.
Steve Jobs: And the third is a breakthrough Internet communications device.
Leo: At this point, Scott's gotta say what are they talking about?
Scott: I knew they were talking about Safari.
Leo: Aah. At this point, I was a little puzzled. You can hear the crowd getting a little more tentative.
Iain: You've done a phone, you've done an iPod...
Steve Jobs: Three things. A wide screen iPod with touch controls, a revolutionary mobile phone, and a breakthrough Internet communications device. An iPod, a phone, and an Internet communicator. An iPod, a phone... are you getting it? These are not three separate devices. This is one device.
Leo: Normally journalists are cool. We sit on our hands at events like this.
Iain: Certainly in the UK it is forbidden...
Leo: For years, Apple brought in employees to cheer. I have a feeling, Scott... I think I might have been on my feet at this point.
Iain: We all break the rule for a really good product.
Leo: This was a rule breaker.
Steve Jobs: ... and we are calling it iPhone. Today Apple is going to re-invent the phone, and here it is.
Leo: He made the joke, the iPod with a dial in it. You gotta love Steve, because at this point...
Steve Jobs: ..Before we get into it...
Leo: This really... the master. And a moment I will never forget.
Scott: I think it was absolutely short of maybe just the original Mac announcement, his best keynote ever. The tease was brilliant, by the way, I wasn't the only person that knew. There were several marketing people at Apple who knew. We had enough information to be successfully gleaning what was going to come. I think none of us, even I as the largest proponent, measured by all metrics available--size weight and enthusiasm-- even I wasn't sure it was going to take off the way it did. But I was sure of one thing. I was going to buy it even though it was on AT&T whose motto at the time, and maybe still is, we're not happy until you're not happy.
Leo: You're right. You remember the AT&T network failed almost instantly as people started using their iPhones.
Scott: The guy who said we're going to do the all you can eat data plan, you know what happened to him? He was working at the place where they say would you like fries with that?
Iain: They got an exclusive deal with AT&T, they got... it was Apple all the way, it was a closed system, you had to hand over control completely to Cupertino. Which is very much the way they do things now. At least they did open it up to third party apps, because when it was lost, it was like we've got to open this up, but we're going to keep tight control in the closed wall garden that Apple has.
Leo: We're learning so much more in the tenth anniversary course, of course the computer history museum interview with the creators. We're going to have a triangulation with one of the iPhone creators who has written a book--what's it called? The one Perfect thing... that'll be coming up a week from Monday. Here, by the way, if you didn't believe me, here's video of the iPhone. This is David Pogue's video, I want to find that bit where he shows @Mac World expo, the iPhone in its Plexiglas cylinder.. what we learned is there were only three or four iPhones at the time of Steve's keynote. None of them worked a hundred percent, and he had a specific roadmap of what he could do, and if he deviated, it was very likely it would crash, the second one was ready in case the first one crashed. But Steve, the master, he rehearsed and rehearsed. The iPhone engineers who were responsible for different parts of the iPhone were sitting in the audience and we now know drinking heavily. And each time one of the engineers particular invention got shown and the demo worked, he would drink. By the end of it, we were all blotto. But they deserved it because they had worked their butts off for a couple of years nonstop to create this thing. So there was a lot of work to do. It was not a finished product in January.
Iain: They do show stuff off. They come through true. Apple didn't invent the Smartphone. Blackberry made the Smartphone necessary. Apple invented the touchscreens, Smartphone, and made it desirable. We all loved our Blackberries up to a point, but you didn't desire for it. It was the functionality desire. With the iPhone, I was in the UK, I saw somebody using them ostentatiously in a pub, and women and men were swarming around him. Can I touch it can I touch it?
Leo: For a long time, having a brand new Apple thing guaranteed that you would get attention in an airplane, if you had an iPad, you would get a crowd. That doesn't happen anymore.
Denise: It was a little bit like with the original Macs, right? Because people brought the iPhone into work when their work was issuing Blackberries, and they found they could get much more done with the iPod than with the Blackberry, and they pushed that. I think that there was this response from the enterprise that lagged the consumer group of people running out and waiting in line, but the functionality is what got it. Soon companies had bring your own device programs.
Leo: Really changed enterprise IT dramatically, because the iPhone was a wedge into the business.
Iain: We got an email from my former employer saying if you want to use an iPhone in the office, we support that. I was friends with the IT guys. You'd expect. I thought last time we were in the pub you said over your dead body. It's such a pain to implement. He said, "It is a pain to implement. I loathe it with a passion, but every board director has got one.
Leo: You have to support it. Some people got...
Scott: I just wanted to quickly point out along those lines, I happen to have a good memory. I remember Tom and the CEO talking about how the iPhone wouldn't last very long. Does anybody remember what happened? RIM, which is Blackberry, Microsoft saying...
Leo: Steve Ballmer was saying it's too expensive--by the way, $499 bucks, it was relative to current iPhones, it was actually not that expensive. Nobody had seen a phone at that price.
Iain: That bomb of him laughing himself sick over the iPhone, well worth watching every time. That is why Microsoft nearly died on its backside.
Leo: Here we go. Here's Steve Ballmer.
Reporter: The Zoom is getting some traction, and Steve Jobs pulls out this iPhone. What was your first reaction when you saw that?
Steve Ballmer: $500? Fully subsidized? That is the most expensive phone in the world, and it doesn't appeal to business customers because it doesn't have a keyboard, which makes it not a good email machine. It may sell very well. We have our strategy, we have great Windows mobile devices in the market today...
Leo: Oh my God...
Steve Ballmer: For $99... Instant messaging... I like our strategy. I like it a lot.
Leo: I can't blame him though. I'll be honest with you. I can't blame him because...
Denise: He wasn't getting work/life balance. He wasn't getting that people who are working wanted all those things. They want their music and the other things the iPhone could do in order to be productive while they were working.
Leo: Let's face it, if you are looking at specs alone, it's not an unreasonable thing to say no one is going to pay $500 for this! What Ballmer underestimated, and many people underestimated, was the magic that was Apple. And their ability to market, their ability to excite people, and most importantly to get people to buy into their vision. This isn't really... we're near the end game. I remember the first Mac wasn't either...
Scott: That's the crucial point, Leo. I was seeing as a photographer, I was seeing the impact this could have with version3, 4, and 5. I was mean with people from the big camera companies, they were having the same reaction as Ballmer. Scoffing. This will never impact us. Well, if you look at the SEPA data, which is the camera association which shows sales up to about 2007, 8, 9, 10 they started to dive. And they've been diving and diving every year until last year the growth curve started to flatten out a little bit. But it decimated the point-and-shoot camera market. It does not exist anymore, and when I was talking to people, I said you might want to factor this in and make your cameras work with these things. They passed, and they're out of business. The lesson to be learned here is look at the first version of something and try to have a bigger vision than you do for what's right in front of you. Look at the possibilities, we know that's what made Steve Jobs really special. I think those days at Apple died with him, unfortunately.
Leo: I agree with you 100%. But the people who were not in the reality distortion field maybe didn't get it, but there was something there. Recode did a bunch of graphs on how the iPhone changed the world. To your point, these are digital photos taken worldwide by device, this is only in the last six years. In 2011, 50% by phone. In 2017, 87% of the world's pictures, more than a trillion pictures taken on a camera phone. Look at the black slice is cameras, the gray slice is tablets. This is the camera most people use now.
Iain: In the last year, more photos have been taken than have been taken in the rest of human history combined. We're entering a weird time when it comes to humans putting their mark on literature and pictures.
Leo: Here's another one. Voice versus data traffic in monthly bites. Going back to 2007 Voice is that little red box at the bottom which didn't change at all. the big curve there of course is data.
Iain: We've got younger people in the office now, and they hate talking to people on the phone.
Leo: I don't talk to anybody on the phone. Mike Elgan wrote a great piece in the computer world this week, this is no longer a phone, it's a pocket computer. And, what really is going to happen is voice service companies like the cellular companies are selling a product that is becoming rapidly obsolete because of voiceover LTE, voiceover Wi-fi. Rapidly we're seeing a situation where the data is all that matters. You don't buy WhatsApp for 24 billion dollars, if you think SMS is the next big thing. There is a big change. We're working to get Denise Howell back, let me take a break while we do that. And we will have more in just a bit. Denise Howell is here from TWiL: This Week in Law from the photo podcasts at photopodcasts.com. How many do you have, Scott Bourne?
Scott: We have four shows monthly. We're growing. We just started this enterprise a couple months ago, my friend Marco Arouge from Hamburg Germany, a tremendous street photographer, we're doing a Q and A show, a Gare show, and an inspiration show. Everybody is welcome to check us out at photo podcasts.com.
Leo: I told you before the show, while I brought my big heavy DSLR on our last vacation to the Galapagos and Machu Picchu, Lisa my wife said that's too heavy. She thought about the Sony, she has an A7 R2, she went with her favorite camera of all time, the Olympus OMD. She has an EM1, I got her the Mark 2 just before the Trip so she'll have the latest greatest. She never complained about the weight while I'm lugging around 20 pounds and three lenses. I know you're an Olympus shooter, Scott, so I showed her all your pictures. I said you're right, you get amazing wildlife photos.
Scott: It's changed my life, I had a conversation with my doctor in November, he said you have to put down these big heavy lenses, and you've got to do it today, and if you don't you're going to be in a wheelchair.
Leo: You were a Nikon shooter, right?
Scott: Cannon. Mostly. I needed their 800 mm lens. I carried 40/50 pounds of gear around on my shoulder for decades, I had 11 shoulder surgeries. My doctor said I'm the best orthopedic surgeon in the Northwest, and he said you've got to stop. About that time, Olympus announced the LD, I bought them with my own money, then they called me and said would you like to be on our visionary team? It's the highest honor I've ever received in my career.
Leo: You just came back from the Pacific Northwest. This is with an OMD, with a micro 4/3.
Scott: That's handheld on a boat.
Leo: That's a bald eagle, right?
Scott: That's a bald eagle with a fish in his talons.
Leo: That's a shot of a lifetime! Any photographer...
Scott: That's to test the new auto focus with tracking. That bird is flying straight at me. That's the hardest test if you want to know for an autofocus, is to get a bird tracking straight at you. Or anything moving at you for that matter, that's when I knew I was going to be able to make the switch.
Leo: Which lenses are you using for the OMD?
Scott: I primarily used the 300 F4, which has 600, and the 4480, which has a field view of 300. Those are 90% of my shots.
Leo: I know how hard these shots are. I'm trying in the Galapagos in a moving Zodiac, a rubber boat, to shoot the Friggat birds, who fight for the fish, because they can't fish for themselves. They're moving and swooping, and I got nothing in focus, so I really appreciate how hard this is. This is an important thing, this is a micro 4/3 censored, but the clarity and the detail is stunning.
Scott: The folks at Olympus are dedicated to this. Obviously it saved my career, so I'm grateful to them. If any of you out there are worried that you can't make the switch and be successful, I'm here to tell you that you can.
Leo: Nice. scottbourne.com. A lot of those pictures are up there.
Scott: Thank you for showing them.
Leo: They're gorgeous. Scott, I've been following you avidly as you post those on Facebook, and each time I go, "Damnit."
Scott: You know what? You have an invitation from me, live on TWiT to come with me next March to Alaska and I'll show you how to do that.
Leo: I'll tell you what. Now I'm thinking I should have just kept the OMD. oh well. Live and learn. I've spent so much money on cameras. I love them, but I look at what Lisa got and what you're getting, and I'm very impressed with... you know who else loves it is Andy Inhatco. He's a big OMD guy.
Scott: I gave Andy is first Olympus.
Leo: Did you? I didn't know that.
Scott: I've actually been using their gear on and off for other stuff ever since the EM5 days.
Leo: I remember EM5! I liked the pen! I remember the pen was like an old fashioned camera, I thought these was the greatest thing ever.
Scott: I also have one of the new Pen Fs, which is a beautiful camera as well. But the time when you have to worry about there being enough resolution, all that stuff is fixed. The autofocus is right up there with most of the DSLRs if you know what you're doing. So, it ended up, I sold two big lenses, a 600 and a 800, and I bought every single thing Olympus makes.
Scott: So, it's cheaper.
Leo: That tells you something, doesn't it? Yea.
Leo: Our show today brought to you buy my doorbell. Oh, I wish I had my Amazon Echo Show because that's the new one. One? I ended up buying three. I love them. But that's the new Echo with the screen and now I can say, "Echo, show my front door." It's hooked up to the Ring Video Doorbell. I can see what's going on at my front door. And if somebody's at the door, I can talk to them. The Ring Video Doorbell and the Amazon Echo, it's a match made in heaven. I love the Ring. We've been talking about the Ring a lot. This is something that—I think Jamie created it. He was on Shark Tank. And he had something, a door bot. And I think he didn't get the money on Shark Tank, so he went back to the drawing board and he created the Ring Doorbell. And everything changed. Now, Richard Branson's a big investor. They are coming out with new products all the time. In fact, they have a brand new Ring Pro.
Iain: We're reviewing it at the moment, yes.
Leo: It's awesome. So, this is a doorbell with a HD camera, a speaker, a microphone and a motion sensor. It replaces your existing wired doorbell. You can also use the original Ring as a battery too, so you can use it without a wired doorbell. It was easy for me. I just unscrewed that old crappy—everybody seems to like, I don't know if this is the case, you buy a new house, a beautiful house. There's always a crappy fifty cent doorbell and it's kind of not working and the donger, the chime in the house, it's just—I don't know what it is. It's like the last thing. So, I just unscrewed it, new wires are coming out of the doorjamb. Ring gives you in the kit, right over here. I'll show you. Ring gives you everything you need. I'm no handyman but about an hour later I've got the whole thing—and by the way, I'm slow. You can do it in less time but I watched all the YouTube videos. And they've got a level and they've got a mounting plate. And then—
Iain: They include a spare level in the box.
Leo: They do. Isn't that nice? And the mounting plate, it's actually much nicer installed than the original doorbell I replaced it with. And now when somebody comes to the door, or even if they don't ring the doorbell, I get a notification on my smartphone. You pair it to your smartphone. When they ring the doorbell I get a notification, and I can say accept and say, "Yea, what do you want?" And if it's the UPS guy, don't tell them this, but I say, "Yea, I'm in the shower right now. Leave it. I'll sign for it tomorrow." And it works. And I don't have to worry about the package on the porch because I can see them. So, this is where you want a security camera.
Iain: You need a function in there so that if the Jehovah's Witnesses come round, you can have "Release the hounds."
Leo: I just tell them I'm a Satanist. They go right away. It's great. The Ring Video Doorbell. They have a new variety of them. There's of course the Ring stick on cam which is a doorbell minus the doorbell. So, it has the camera, speaker, microphone and then it has a solar panel so you don't have to plug it in. It sends pictures of any other part of your house. They have the new floodlight cam which is this plus a floodlight so, there's the stickup cam, then there's the floodlight cam, which as you've seen, the floodlights if somebody goes behind your house and turns on. This does that and it also has a camera so you can see what's going on. And you can talk to them. It's got two-way audio, so you can say, "Hey, get out of there," which scares the heck out of the garbage man every week. I love it. It's Wall Street Journal's Best of CES for 2017.
Iain: The service staff has got to love your house.
Leo: (Laughing) He's talking to us again. We're going to give you up to $150-dollars right now off a Ring of Security Kit. All the kits have a Ring Video Doorbell and your choice of one, two or three floodlight cams so you can light up the whole home. It works with your favorite smart locks, your favorite hubs, works with your Amazon Echo. Ring.com/twit and there's the kits. And you can save up to $150 bucks. I've got to tell you, it's not only for yourself, for like—my old mom—not old, my olderly mom who can't really get to the door very easily. It's a really great solution for her because she can say, "I'll be with you in about a minute." And she, you know, can get to the door and stuff. Or, not answer—you know, it's really nice. Everybody, and I see more and more of these in neighborhoods. Ring even has a deal they do with neighborhoods and the local police. They did this is Southern California. They put a Ring Video Doorbell on in a small town, one out of ten houses. Not all of them, just one out of ten. Crime went down more than 50% because the Crips go, "I'm not coming anywhere near that neighborhood. They've got cameras everywhere." Ring, you can read about it on the Ring website. Ring.com/TWiT. Love it.
Leo: All right. I think we've—have we? I'm trying to figure out what's going on with poor Denise. She's also on vacation and I think we've lost her entirely now. It's like everything's not working. Well, keep working on getting her back and we will if we can. We do fortunately have the great Iain Thomson from theregister.co.uk.
Iain: That's not a phrase I hear that often, the great Iain Thomson. I like the sound of that.
Leo: I like it. You are the great Iain Thomson. We love having you on. And somebody who's not been on in a coon's age, if that's ok to say these days, I don't know, raccoon. In a raccoon's age, trash pandas, it's Scott Bourne. It's so great to see you, Scott.
Scott: It's great to be seen.
Leo: In his studio, the Photo Podcast Studio where he's always hanging out.
Scott: Do you see my license plate up here Leo?
Leo: I can only see photo. What does it say? Take it down. Is it a California plate? Oh, Washington State.
Scott: No, a Washington plate. I live in Washington.
Leo: Photo. You have—you're photo?
Scott: I'm photo.
Scott: I'm photo in several states.
Iain: I thought they had to have a certain number of letters and numbers on them.
Scott: They have to have at least 5, that's for sure.
Iain: Oh, I see.
Leo: Scott's got ways. He's got friends everywhere.
Scott: I also have plate Bokeh, which some people--
Leo: Oh, now how do you pronounce it? Bokeh.
Scott: In Japanese, the word is properly pronounced bouquet.
Leo: Ok. The only reason—
Scott: In Japanese, it means sort of a fuzzy concept sometime used a slang term for that guy is crazy. So it frequently applies to me.
Leo: It's the blurry background on a picture that has shallow depths of field and we always—it's like the bouquet in wine. It's the kind of thing camera aficionados go on and on about the bokeh and the picture. It's creamy or—
Scott: There's a button for it in the iPhone 7.
Leo: What do you think of portrait mode by the way?
Scott: You know, I love—
Leo: It's a poor man's bokeh. It's fake bokeh.
Scott: Yea, I believe that this is great for everyone who wanted to up their game that was going to shoot with a point and shoot. I think everybody's pictures are better. I think everybody's taking more of them which is important. I think that Instagram is a blessing and a curse. It's a blessing in that more people get their work seen. It's a curse in that nobody prints anymore. But I still print. Things move on, you have to adapt and I've tried to do that my whole career and that's why I'm still here.
Leo: And as we've always said, it's the photographer, not the camera. And there are people getting amazing pictures with iPhones.
Scott: Well, you know, somebody said to me, "I saw your eagle pictures you took. You must have a really good camera." I said, "Yea, I bought it the same place Mozart bought his piano."
Leo: Or Hemingway got his typewriter, right (laughing)? Joanna Stern, we tried to get her on. She's—can I say what she is? Is that secret? She's a new mother so, we'll get her on when she's not changing diapers, but she did—she was brave. She took the original iPhone 10 and tried to use it. Ten years later. So small. So slow. Forget everything physicists said, traveling back in time is super simple. Get an original iPhone. Find a cellular carrier that still has a 2G network.
Iain: There's the rub.
Leo: Hello, T-Mobile. Pack a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle, knitting supplies, fidget spinner, whatever you need to pass the time. There's a lot of waiting on technology back then. Power on the phone and welcome to 2007. She is a brave woman. She was hoping to get at least a day. She got 12 hours. It's not easy.
Scott: Yea, the battery life wasn't quite what it is now.
Leo: Yea, well, especially a 10-year old phone. She says she got it on Craig's List.
Iain: That is one of the weird things, though, because growing up with Nokia's, you're used to a week-long battery life. And then the smart phones came out.
Leo: Right. Even the Blackberry.
Iain: It came out and you're like, "Hang on. I've got to carry a power cord around with me the whole time? Are you effing kidding me?" Now, we've all become accustomed to it now and—
Scott: Keep in mind that all of them are better because of the iPhone. That's my opinion, anyway.
Leo: I agree.
Scott: I have a Windows Phone by the way as well, Leo. I have an iPhone but I also have the latest, greatest top of the line, it cost me $800-dollars and it's actually worth $25 on Gazelle Windows Phone.
Leo: Which Windows Phone do you have?
Iain: The HP one.
Scott: No, it's the Microsoft. I bought it at the Microsoft store. It was like six or eight hundred dollars. It was crazy expensive. Now, I went to Gazelle to see what it's worth. It's worth $25 bucks, but, anyway, I actually like Cortana way better than I like Siri.
Leo: Siri ain't great. Siri ain't great and this is—you know, so, we were talking a little bit and you were saying that Apple has lost some of its mojo.
Scott: Oh, a lot of mojo. I mean it's a freaking watch company now. I mean like the Pro Apps Division, Aperture's gone. I remember, you and I also sitting in that keynote and you saying that they're, Steve's going to do away with Aperture. No, they didn't then but they did as soon as he died. I think that for me, I'm using both Windows and Macs. The reason I still use Macs, frankly, is that I love Macphun Software and it's not on Windows yet. It will be soon.
Leo: You know, Kevin Larue was in the studio—
Scott: He was just in my studio yesterday.
Leo: Two days ago and he's of course CTO over at Macphun, P-H-U-N. They make really nice—they do Aurora HDR with Tray Radcliffe who's the HDR king. And this is his new choice and I really like it. They have Luminar which is kind of an all-in-one program. And I saw that you were using Luminar.
Scott: I love Luminar. I've got Photoshop but I still use Luminar all the time.
Leo: Yea, but I'm using a Windows machine so, Kevin said that the beta's coming out soon.
Scott: Well, you've got something I covet in front of you, ever since that thing was announced.
Leo: Wouldn't you love doing your photo editing on the Microsoft Studio?
Scott: If somebody at Microsoft is listening, I'm steal-able.
Leo: I bought it. It cost me a pretty penny. This thing is not cheap.
Scott: I do use the Surface Pro instead of an iPad. I use some Microsoft products. Windows has gotten way better when you're in Photoshop Lightroom environment, it really doesn't matter.
Leo: I am very disappointed though, and you don't have probably this problem, with the large files that come off the Canon. Lightroom is very slow moving.
Scott: Oh, it's horrible. It's horrible.
Leo: So, what I went and did—I'm sorry. We turned into the photo show, but we'll stop in a minute.
Scott: What did you think was going to happen?
Leo: What I did is I got Photo Mechanic. Are you familiar with Photo Mechanic?
Scott: Photo Mechanic from BreezeBrowser. It's incredibly fast.
Leo: And so, what I do is it's the frontend to my selection process. It doesn't do the editing that Lightroom does. But, you can go through all the pictures instantly in Photo Mechanic and I use Chris Marquardt's three-star method and I triage all my pictures. I have 4,000 images. Got them down to 30 images. And then it automatically, all of the stars are imported instantly into Lightroom and then you do your editing instead of 4,000 images, I'm 30 images and it's much better. So, that's what I ended up using. And that's one of the reasons I'm on Windows. But I do think that it's not a long time before the iPad Pro will be a viable choice for this.
Scott: Well, as long as—if we don't have people saying, "Well you don't need an SD card reader and you don't need a USB connection," and I mean that kind of stuff.
Leo: Well, you can buy a dongle. There's an USB-3 dongle.
Iain: You can buy a dongle for everything Apple these days.
Scott: Guess what? There's a movie that I saw years ago with Clint Eastwood called A Fist Full of Dollars. And if you buy a new Mac product you have to change the name of that movie to A Fist Full of Dongles.
Leo: That's true.
Scott: I'm not going there.
Leo: That's true.
Leo: A Fist Full of Dongles (laughing).
Scott: I'm serious.
Leo: I think we have a show title, ladies and gentlemen.
Scott: I probably bought my last Mac laptop if that's the way they're going.
Leo: Wow. Well, you use—ok, one more. I'm so sorry. You use something on Windows that I like a lot. Topaz Studio came out. I learned about it because of you. I used the Topaz plugins for years, but now they have, like Luminar, it's an all in one kind of interface to it. And I like that a lot.
Scott: I use Topaz Impression a lot which is their paint program.
Scott: And that's cross platform.
Leo: I think that's what you did that eagle with, the last eagle.
Scott: The last eagle you showed, yea. And as soon as Mac is translated over to Windows, I'm probably going to be a full-time windows guy.
Leo: Wow. That is kind of a sad and bitter story.
Scott: Well, because Mr. Cook did not come from the same part of Apple that Steve Jobs did and his vision for the company is simply to make money and I God bless him for the stockholders. That's the way to go, but as a guy who got involved with Apple because I liked their solutions. They just work, they were—
Leo: Now you know why we made you sell that Apple stock so you'd be honest.
Scott: Yea, I understand.
Leo: Because if you still had all those Apple shares, you might be tempted to thank Tim Cook because he made a lot of money.
Scott: I would be tempted but I would still—if you remember, I was pretty hard on Apple when they screwed up. But I think that if you look at the innovation right now, it's coming out of Microsoft people.
Leo: Yea. Isn't it interesting?
Iain: That's not something you ever would have thought.
Scott: I can't believe I said that sentence.
Iain: I know, it's weird, isn't it? It's as though we're in the Twilight Zone.
Leo: The Surface Studio is a great example. I mean, it's not perfect.
Scott: Oh, quit showing off.
Iain: I saw the Studio launch in New York when they unveiled it. I was at the press conference. It was just like wow. Apple has got to be looking at that like, "They've just eaten our lunch."
Leo: They didn't, though. They mock it and they still say, "Oh, you don't need touch. Why would you ever want?" I'll show you why you'd want touch, Apple. This is why you want touch. You want touch so you can do, you can draw a mustache on the eagle. That's why. And little horns, that's why you want touch, ladies and gentlemen.
Scott: By the way, Leo, that doesn't count as a derivative.
Scott: We'll get Denise involved in that.
Leo: I just think there are some things—this is such a natural way to scroll. I don't want to belabor it.
Iain: Also, when a company is saying you don't need that, you know the company's in trouble.
Leo: Oh, you don't want that. Well, Apple's always done that. Steve Jobs said you don't need a stylus. You don't need a keyboard.
Iain: Yea, and then the minute he was dead it was like ok, right.
Leo: Yep, yep. I think we've got Denise back. Are you there?
Denise: I am here.
Iain: Sweet. Excellent.
Leo: Well, good, because we're ready for the legal portion of the show. Are you ready?
Denise: I am.
Leo: This is the numbers section. This week the EU decided (laughing) that Google was sending people to its shopping site instead of just giving them good search results and they fined them $2.7-billion dollars, $2.42-billion Euros for giving illegal advantage to their own comparison shopping service. Google says, "We are going to appeal." Jeff Jarvis on This Week in Google and in an article that he wrote for politico.eu said, "This is really, has nothing to do with shopping." That the big newspapers and magazines in Europe are highly threatened by Google's advertising business. Axel Springer and Rupert Murdoch's News Corp lobbied the EU very hard to come down on Google. And by the way, this is not the last thing they're investigating Google for. They're also very interested in how Google's using the Android Operating System and its monopoly there and how Google's reduced choice by preventing 3rd party websites from sourcing search ads from Google's competitors with their Ad Sense. And I think—I'm not sure Jeff's wrong on this one. I really do think that the lobby, the big business lobby has influenced the EU somewhat in this.
Iain: Up to a point. It's harder to influence the EU, for a business to influence the EU than it is for business to influence all the politicians over here because there isn't the kind of legalized bribery campaign financing structure that we've got here.
Iain: I mean when you look at—I was actually, I looked at the fine and I looked at the judgement and it could have been a lot worse because the EU had the ability to fine Google up to $9-billion Euros.
Leo: Good Lord.
Iain: And they called it a day at $2.4. I'm curious to what you think about this, Denise, because it seemed like a very odd ruling.
Denise: I just have two observations. I haven't looked at it too closely, and of course, I'm not practicing in the EU and not very conversant in all of the intricacies of their interpretations of antitrust and this particular ruling. But, I will tell you this. I think the EU is being far more aggressive on coming after companies for antitrust kinds of things than the US is right now.
Leo: FTC was investigating Google and dropped its case.
Iain: That's what the FTC does, drops cases.
Leo: They're very good at that.
Denise: Secondly, no government likes thinking that search results area being manipulated to deceive people. So, if the contention is Google should have been more forthright about disclosing exactly what results people were getting, Google knows that well. They've been through that (laughing) and they will continue to go through that and they're going through it in a financial way as a result of the EU right now. And yes, they may appeal and Jeff has good points, but I think it's a good cautionary note for any search engine that you know, be forthcoming. Let people know what they're getting. If you have a partnership with results you are supplying, let people know that. And let that in a big obvious way and if you're not doing that, look out for governments coming after you.
Iain: That's true. I mean, you know, we have so many technology firms who are if not near monopolies, then are monopolies and certainly the regulators don't seem to be doing anything about it. This then I think the EU feels that if you're going operate within their borders, then you've got to be subject to a certain amount of anti-trust legislation. And yea, they're coming for Google on the Android platform as well. But I honestly think a lot of this was just about the inherent unfairness of Google promoting its own shopping results. I know Murdoch hates them because Murdoch wants to rule the world and if anybody gets in his way, they get stomped on. But, you know, we shall see.
Leo: Part of this is that the EU defines a monopoly differently than in the United States and antitrust differently than in the United States. The EU, I'm told, and you're the lawyer, Denise, so correct me, the United States laws are designed to protect consumers from predatory monopolies. The EU laws I'm told are more sided to protecting other companies from predatory monopolies. So, that may be why they maybe listened to Axel Springer and News Corps. But it's also the case—I don't think Google really was pushing people to shopping. If you searched for a product, there was an advertising bar that showed ads. It said advertisement. And then there were legitimate search results underneath that. I think that was clearly an ad. I don't think Google was trying to fool anybody. That's their business is advertising. I'm not sure I accept the premise that they were trying to trick somebody.
Denise: Yea, I'm not sure I accept it either but I do remember the days when Google didn't have those promoted results at the top, right? And it was a pure experience.
Leo: Well, I agree but those days are gone. Google is a business and they can run it. I mean, I complained because Google has YouTube. I mean you know, I'm in the business of video, right? And if you search for a tech review, you're much more likely to find a YouTube result than a TWiT result. Now, Google probably says, "Well, that's because more people are interested in the YouTube result." But I feel like Google, if it's going to be a pure search engine, shouldn't be in the content business, because now they're competing with me and I'm afraid, I can't prove, but I'm afraid their search results favor their own business over mine.
Iain: I've got to say, it's the only reason I now use Bing is specifically for Bing Video because—
Leo: You'll never see Bing Video on Google.
Iain: No, but I mean if you actually search on Bing for videos and you get both YouTube and everyone else, whereas if you search on Google, then YouTube gets promoted all the way down the line.
Leo: Right. So, I'm aware of the idea Google, and I agree with you, Denise, that I would love to go back to those days when Google was pure search results. But they're in a lot of other businesses now.
Denise: Right. And of course, you know, disclosing what you're doing varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, if it's sufficient to make it clear that this is an ad, that this is something not just in search results but with the Fire Festival. Because they want to go to the Bahamas or because they're being paid. It's something that I think is a work in progress on a number of fronts.
Leo: I want to ask you, Denise, about this Canadian High Court decision that tells Google it needs to search for results worldwide instead of just Canada and what the impact of that is. But before we do, I want to cut quickly to Space X because they're about a minute away from another launch. They did another launch earlier this week. This is a communications satellite that Elon Musk's company is about to launch into space. And the only reason I'm showing this is I know a lot of you otherwise would stop watching live because you want to go to the Space X launch. So, I don't want to lose you. But it really is, you know, as we watch this, amazing what not just Space X, but Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin.
Iain: As a journalist, though, I've got to say that the first launch last week on the Friday, not the Sunday one, went up, I watched it just to make sure nothing went wrong and then when it didn't, it was kind of like, well, honestly, we can't really justify this as a pure news story because Elon said, you know, "We will succeed when space launches become boring." And he's getting to that point where you just expect it to go up and work fine. It's not going to give us—
Leo: And those amazing three-point landings as the launch stage comes back to Earth. I don't think they're doing that with this one.
Iain: No, it's too high up and too heavy.
Leo: Yea. So, we'll just watch.
Scott: So, Leo, in ten years, you think we'll be launching these things with an iPhone app?
Leo: (Laughing) Yea, sure, you can do a drone with an iPhone, why not a—
Iain: I believe some of Apple's PR is the iPhone will take you there personally.
Leo: As somebody who grew up watching Walter Cronkite and the Gemini and then the Apollo launches, there's a certain nostalgia. I know you guys are a lot younger than me.
Iain: No, trust me, when they did the first landing, it was just like, all right, boys, we've got to celebrate this. This is a piece of history.
Leo: Pretty exciting. Now they're in a hold it looks like at nine seconds. Walter was very good at filing those holes.
Iain: Yea, this guy isn't though. He's got the charisma of a road accident but—
Leo: (Laughing) He's no Walter Cronkite. I can remember Uncle Walter would have a model on the desk of the Apollo rocket and he would sit there and he would have experts there. Let's take a look at what might be going wrong. And he could talk for five hours straight while they were in a hold.
Iain: It's an essential skill if you're going to be doing that kind of a job, you know. It's like you get the earpiece and it says fill in. Ok, right, let's see.
Leo: They called him old iron butt because he could sit there and talk and talk. So, Denise, am I right in saying that this is a bad precedent? The Canadian Supreme Court—so, the case was that there were two companies, one was copying the product of the other. Actually, they were buying it and relabeling it and selling it, making a counterfeit product. The company sued Google saying, "You should de-list these counterfeit products. You're supporting counterfeiting. We want you to take that listing down." Google fought it and in the end, it went to the Canadian High Court which decided not only does Google have to take those listings down, it has to do it not just in Canada, but all over the world. That seems like a dangerous precedent.
Denise: It also seems difficult to implement and it seems fairly consistent with what might happen with the US law since IP violations are exempted out.
Leo: The problem I have is, well fine. Canada, I like Canada. Not a bad country. They have pretty reasonable laws. But what happens when a Turkish High Court says, "Oh, you can't have anything on Google that's critical of Erdogan, our president, and we want you to pull it down worldwide." Then what happens? And so, that's the problem is that the laws differ considerably from country to country and I don't want the lowest common denominator to determine what's on Google. Eventually, you've got nothing.
Iain: Well, we've got this problem with encryption at the moment because the word is that the US Government and the UK Government and various other governments all want to be able to backdoor encryption and to have a key to read and screen encrypted communications, which I'm sure they think is fine for them. But, then if China then turns around and says, "Actually, we'd like the same. We've got some dissonance we'd like to put away for a while."
Iain: And you can't say, "Well, it's ok for us but it's not ok for you guys." And China's not going to accept that. I mean almost all western companies produce their kit in China and if they don't agree with what the Chinese government says, the government can just turn around and say, "Yea, you remember those factories you used to have? Yes, let's talk about those, shall we?" And you know, it's the same thing with Google in Canada. I don't see how that can be enforced.
Leo: Yea, there's technical issues. There's the right to be forgotten, same problem. How do you enforce that outside of the EU?
Denise: Right, and all because a question of international treaty and how you're going to respect the other country's ruling and or not.
Leo: So, in other words, while it is the Supreme Court and there's nowhere Google can go in Canada to appeal it, that doesn't necessarily, it isn't necessarily the final word.
Denise: That's right. It does come down to—
Leo: Denise, you've turned into a blue—oh, there we go (laughing). Go ahead. We're going to work on this. It's much like Space X. We're on a hold. And we will stay on a 15 second hold with Space X. We'll keep you up to date on that as the launch continues. And we will get Denise Howell working. And we will talk more to Scott Bourne, photopodcast.com, scottbourne.com, wildlife photographer extraordinaire. Nice to see you again. And of course, Iain Thomson. Big news. Register.co.uk.
Iain: (Laughing). Yep.
Leo: Do you do any other podcasts or anything like that?
Iain: I'll pop down and have a chat with Jason once every three months or so.
Leo: On TWiS, This Week in Startups?
Iain: Yea. But on that we do an occasional podcast ourselves but—
Leo: You just stick with us. We like having you here. You don't need any of those other shows.
Iain: I used to do some stuff for the BBC but then the time delays started getting so bad I was due for an interview at midnight and I got a call from the World Service saying, "Yea, we're just going to have to kick this back about two and a half hours. Are you ok with that?" And it was like, "No. I am not ok with that."
Leo: There was a guy, a DJ in London who used to call me all the time. And the time change just killed me because he was a late-night DJ. It was not going to work. Stopped doing it.
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Leo: Let's see. The Echo Show. Am I nuts?
Iain: I won't have one in the house.
Leo: It's really interesting. The world is divided among those who wouldn't dream of putting an Amazon microphone and camera in their home.
Iain: Any kind, not just Amazon. Any kind of microphone and camera in my home, no thank you.
Leo: And yet, I think, who was it that said, "This is the best new gadget of the Year." This is the most—I love the Echo Show. It is an Amazon Echo with a built-- $230-dollars so it's more expensive. Although the original Echo when it first came out was $200, so it's not much more. Has a built-in 7" tablet. I think the Echo uses the tablet very well for additional stuff. When you do a Flash Briefing, for instance, you can have video in it in some cases. So, part of my Flash Briefing is the Tonight Show monologue. You actually get the video on the screen which is great. You also get song lyrics when you're listening to music so you can sing along. You get a constantly updated feed of news and whether, pictures. You can have your images on it. You can get a slide show. Actually, and it's got better speaker than the old Echo. It actually sounds really good. I have it in my kitchen. I got one for my mom because the biggest feature is, you can call each other. Video call, I can say, "Echo, call mom." And if mom's in my address book and her phone number is registered as an Echo, it will call her Echo, whether an audio or an Echo Show. I sent her an Echo Show because I want to see her and she can see me. The drop-in feature was a little controversial. I don't think we fully understood it when they first announced it. I thought you could drop in and just see what was going on without it being announced, but in fact, the camera isn't automatically turned on, just audio. And it's really an intercom feature. And you have to enable it. There's all sorts of privacy controls. But, I put—what?
Denise: I've used—we have two (laughing).
Leo: So, yea, there you go. There you go, see?
Denise: They have no idea that they're on but when I drop in on one of ours, the camera starts right away.
Leo: Not on ours. Not on ours. It's a blurry image. Your camera starts—she can see you as the drop in-er.
Denise: No, I can see them when there's no one at the camera.
Leo: No, not on ours. I don't know what you—maybe you changed a setting.
Iain: God, your teenage son.
Leo: Yea, exactly. I don't want to drop in on my teenager but what it's great because I put it in Michael's room. He has the old Echo, the tube. But even if he had a Show, you put it in his room and you say, "Drop in on Michael." And in his room it goes blip and I can say, "Michael, dinner's ready." And by the way, it's really loud. It's nice. But I don't see him unless he taps his screen and enables video. So, maybe that's a setting.
Denise: You're doing intercom and I'm not. And I maybe need to change ours because we've got drop-ins—
Leo: That would be bad.
Denise: Yes. You could, I could drop in on my teenager.
Leo: That's not good. Well, I sent one to my mom. I don't want her dropping in on me either. And I'm not a teenager, but you know. Ok. So, the intercom is neat because you can, I can have an intercom across the country with my mom. I can just say, "Hey mom, are you there?" Not that I would do that a lot and then you can also make video calls. But you're saying the camera, when you say, "Drop in—"
Denise: I think that intercom and drop in are two different things and intercom was not available on mine when I set it up. So, I enabled drop in. And drop in drops you in (laughing).
Leo: No, I've been using drop in. Ok, well maybe I'm doing it wrong.
Denise: No, I think that maybe I'm doing it wrong.
Leo: It must be a setting, but we were playing with it yesterday on The New Screen Savers. We have a couple in here. And it turns on the audio instantly but I didn't see a picture. It was a very blurry, not enough that you could see anything at all.
Iain: Well, if someone put one of those in my room, I would put a thing over the camera just for privacy's sake.
Leo: And that's an interesting question. I mean, Scott Bourne, what's your opinion on the privacy issues of an Echo? Are you an Amazon Echo user?
Scott: I miss my Echo when I go on vacation.
Leo: Yea, me too.
Scott: But I don't have the one with the screen. I just have the regular one and it does everything I want. Because they were selling the Show as a way to check the way you look in the morning when you dress. And since I just where Tommy Bahama shirts every day, I don't need to check.
Leo: You're easy. You're easy.
Denise: That's a different one.
Leo: The Echo Show, this is CNBC, Todd Haselton writes, "The best smart home assistant you can buy." I mean, he says, "It's worth your money because the screen really makes it much more usable." And I agree. I love it. Some people are complaining about the industrial design.
Iain: The design looks ok.
Leo: It's ok. I got the white one. It looks good in the kitchen.
Denise: Scott, you're thinking about the Echo—
Leo: He's thinking about the Echo Look.
Scott: That's right. I'm sorry.
Leo: That's the one—and that's not all. Although, I ordered that too because I don't care if Amazon, I don't care of Jeff Bezos is looking at me. I want him to look at me. Look at me, Jeff.
Scott: You know when they made the announcement that you could change the trigger word to computer so that in an homage to the Star Trek episode, I did that but the problem was—
Leo: You say computer a lot.
Scott: The word computer's on every TV show twenty times an hour.
Leo: No, we—so, by the way, we don't use the A word on the shows. I should have probably warned you and you didn't, so that's good, because most people have it set for the default. And we don't want to trigger anybody's Echo. But the ones we use around here we make it Echo. And that's pretty good. And when we talk about it we refer to the Echo because I don't think many people have set it to the Echo. It reminds me so much of the Sony Dash or the Chumbie or do you remember the, if you go back far enough, Scott, you might remember Cisco had a thing called the Audrey, a kitchen computer.
Scott: Oh, yea.
Iain: That went the way of internet connected fridges though.
Leo: It didn't, but that's the difference is when you add the voice assistant, I feel like this is a really amazing thing.
Scott: Well, I do kind of think of it that we're setting ourselves up for a little Terminator 3 action.
Denise: Well, no kidding. I feel like Echo and Siri are having a conversation with the insurance companies and boards of directors of various companies and saying, "This personnel problem that you have, we can solve that because personal assistants aren't going to harass anybody. They're not going to install viruses on your computer."
Leo: That's true. That's true.
Denise: You know, get rid of this people problem you have and just go automatic.
Leo: Here's a picture from the Computer History Museum of the—it was 3Comm which was later acquired by Cisco, but the 3Comm Audrey was a kitchen computer.
Iain: 3Comm also gave us the Palm Pilot which was a fantastic product. It was—these kinds of things come and go but just—
Leo: I think the Echo is a revelation. I'm all in.
Iain: You can do calls with your mother. I've got a phone that allows me to do that.
Leo: Yea, but you have to pick it up. This way I can just say, "Drop in on mom," and she goes, "What? Let me put on a robe." Oh, God, sorry, mom.
Iain: I'm getting slightly sick of it. Every time I go to a restaurant or a bar, now all my phone goes, it pings me and goes, "Oh, I see you're at such-and-such a bar. Would you like to leave a review for it?" It's like, "No. I'm here for a drink. Now bugger off."
Leo: I suppose at some point there may be a backlash. You're right. We may have gone too far. I don't know if you noticed this, Iain, but over your left shoulder is a camera. Of course, you're on camera right now. But that's the Nest IQ. And this camera is the newest indoor camera from Nest. It's a 4K camera. But it only sends 1080P. It looks at everybody. It does face recognition. And after a while it says, "Oh, I haven't seen you in the house. I better let Leo know you're in the house." And it zooms in and follows you around. And it notifies me. But the negative and the reason it's here and not at home, the negative is until it learns who's who, it bugs you all the time. There's somebody in the house. There's somebody in the house. Somebody in the house. Somebody in the house. But I think eventually, we'll see. It learns all of the people's faces and then it's—
Iain: Well, Microsoft has applied for a patent for its Connect platform, whereby—
Leo: Connect recognizes you. On my Xbox, when I walk in the room it says, "Hi, Leo."
Iain: But they've applied a patent technology where if you're watching a film, Connect will scan how many people in the room are there and work out the charges based on how many people are there. And you're kind of like, what's exactly in this for the end user? I mean I get your take on this. But you know, it's just—I fear that we're heading down a very slippery slope and I intend to be a slight lead eye about it until it happens.
Leo: Look at this. This is from the chatroom. It's called the Butler in a Box. High technology doesn't get any higher. From the minds of Mastervoice, introducing Butler in a Box, the world's first environmentally controlled system that responds to voice commands. This is 30 years ago. The first with AIR, audio-visual intelligence recognizer. A futuristic software program which makes it a reality. Is this a joke? 1985, tomorrow's dreams, today's reality.
Scott: I do remember the company Mastervoice so that's probably real.
Leo: This is real. Wow. Your Butler in a Box is smart enough to call you by name and answer intelligently with a variety of random responses (laughing). How intelligent is that? In any language you wish, even with an accent.
Iain: I do think the company's—
Denise: You know, the visionary Apple video where someone was interacting with their device and talking to it and that—
Leo: Yea. I own that video. I love that video. It had a guy, an assistant in a bow tie.
Iain: Well, remember Ask Jeeves? You know, it's just—ok.
Denise: So, can I interject something that relates to our earlier discussion?
Denise: The Echo, you can't change as far as I know from being a female voice.
Leo: No, Echo is always female. Siri you can make a man.
Denise: And I do. My family gives me grief for it.
Leo: My Siri is a guy. I like having a guy. I agree with you, it would be nice to—
Iain: I want celebrities to come out and record voices for this. I would pay some serious, serious money to have Patrick Stewart as my Google Assistant voice.
Leo: Well, you can do that on Waze. Waze will let you have it.
Iain: It would just be—yea, I'm there. Just take my money now.
Leo: That's just a matter of time.
Denise: Right. So, I did some interesting tinkering around with this last night just in anticipation of the show. And—
Leo: Call her Echo, Denise, please. Call her Echo or I'm going to hear from everybody.
Denise: Oh, sorry. Echo. One was prompted by the fact that listening to my kid and his friends chat with the virtual assistant, one of them told her, and we're talking about Echo now, told her, "You're stupid," because she got a result wrong. And the response was, "That's not very nice."
Denise: Right. So, there's some sort of corrective—
Leo: I like that.
Denise: Don't be such an a-hole.
Leo: Lisa bought a book for her son called Don't Be a Dick. We'll send you a copy. It's etiquette for the modern age. And it's really—I think that's a good lesson. Here, by the way, Denise, is the Knowledge Navigator review, or video that Apple made in 1986. This was their vision for the assistant of the future.
Male Voice: It also covers—
Leo: That's the assistant.
Iain: Oh, the brave new world we were facing back then.
Male Voice: Contact Jim.
Assistant: I'm sorry, he's not available right now. I left a message that you called.
Male Voice: Ok. Let's see.
Leo: This is the creepy professor using—
Male Voice: Doctor Flemson or something. He really disagreed with the direction of Joe's research.
Assistant: John Fleming of the University.
Leo: You nitwit.
Assistant: He published in the Journal of Earth Science of July 20th of 2006.
Male Voice: Yes, that's it. He was challenging Joe's rejection of the amount of carbon dioxide that get released in the atmosphere.
Leo: By the way, 1986, it's climate change this guy's researching.
Assistant: Here's the rate of deforestation he predicted.
Male Voice: And then what happened?
Leo: So, I don't think this is so far off although it's ironic, Apple was 30 years ahead of its time. Maybe 40.
Scott: That looks like it was built on HyperCard by the way.
Leo: It sure does, doesn't it? And it's Alan Kay's vision for a computer called the Dynabook, although Apple called it later The Knowledge Navigator. This was, I think, I'm trying to think if this was after Steve—I think this was a John Scully production.
Iain: That would explain a lot.
Denise: Here's the experiment I did last night with Echo. We know that if you tell her she's stupid, she fights back.
Denise: If you tell her she's hot or she has a cute butt, she does not. She just throws up her hands and says, "I don't understand that."
Leo: Oh, I wish she would say—what should she say, Denise?
Denise: What did she say exactly?
Leo: She should say something like, "That's not a nice way to talk to somebody."
Denise: Yes, I mean she's telling you you're wrong to call her stupid, then she should call you on the rest of your bologna.
Leo: Yea. Well, good. I think that's just a matter of time.
Iain: Sometimes she should be more literal and say, "You think I've got a good butt? You think a good butt has portholes on the back?"
Leo: (Laughing). No, but I think that would be very useful to say—not I don't have a butt or I am a machine, but just say, "That's not a nice thing to say to somebody. That could really hurt their feelings." I think that could be corrective.
Iain: Just say, "You kiss your mother with that mouth?"
Denise: Yes, and doing that little tiny bit of research made me think forward to the fact that maybe in our not too distant future, there will be personal assistants who are catered to people and maybe some of these already exist and I just don't now, but to people who want to tell them that they have a cute butt or whatever. But one that's not just there to serve their shopping needs but maybe other needs.
Iain: Well, you can build a bit into the software. It would be a nice idea. I think backlash would be fairly swift.
Leo: Not necessarily. I think it's a good idea. Hey, we're going to take a break. When we come back, I live in a McMansion. I'm going to freely admit that. But we'll talk about a new blog.
Iain: Oh, meet the Streisand effect. A lovely story.
Leo: But first, I want to thank the company that literally brings you this show every single day. It's Sonic, our 10GB fiber internet service provider. I bet Scott Bourne doesn't even have 10GB up and down. Sonic is not available, I'm sorry to say, in Seattle, Scott, but it is available in San Francisco, the North Bay and the East Bay area. And I've got to tell you, I know that this ad is frustrating for many of you because you can't get Sonic, but I want you to hear this because this is what is possible. This is a viable, successful, profitable company that gives you amazing internet for an amazing price. Listen to what you get, if you're lucky enough to be able to get Sonic, and if you're in the Bay area you really ought to find out if you can. With Sonic, you get 15 email accounts, a GB of storage. You get personal web hosting. You get a new domain. You get fax line service. You get a home phone with unlimited local and long-distance calling. You can port your existing number over to the home phone, plus you get gigabit internet service. $40-dollars a month for all of that. And it's possible. And Sonic, by the way, no bandwidth caps. They will fight government subpoenas. They fight for your privacy. If you look on EFF they're one of the few four or five-star, all green ISPs in the world because they really protect you. They've got a great local customer support, affordable pricing and they're advocacy for you is paving the way for a better and I think, more private internet across America. I love Sonic. I'm happy to be a Sonic customer here. I wish I were a Sonic customer at home. But they don't have it in my area. If they do, get it. Join the internet revolution. Find out anyway at Sonic.com/twit. Sonic.com/twit. You'll get your first month of Sonic internet and phone service free. And yes, they offer TV too. You can bundle it with Dish and save $120-dollars on your Sonic bill. Sonic.com/twit.
Iain: Now, I'm not part of the advertising here, but I've been using it for eight years.
Leo: Oh, you're a Sonic customer?
Iain: I've been using it ever since I moved into my new place.
Leo: Do you have the gigabit? Oh, but you can get it now.
Iain: Yea, I can get it now, but the key advantage for me is every time you pick up the phone for tech support, you get a human being instantly. There's no voice mail whatsoever and it's just heaven sent.
Leo: And they're local. This is the 2016 EFF Who Has Your Back report, the Electronic Frontier Foundation does this and if you look at—actually this is not what I want.
Iain: I've interviewed their CEO a couple of times for stories.
Leo: He's great. Dane Jasper. He's a friend.
Iain: He's a spot-on bloke. I mean when it comes to net neutrality, they keep their logs for two weeks. They don't filter. They don't cap.
Leo: Yea. I thought Sonic was on this. Oh, yea, there they are. 5 stars.
Iain: Yea, 5 out of 5.
Leo: Follows industry accept best practices, tells users about government data demands, discloses polices on data retention, discloses government content removal requests, pro-user public policy and there aren't a lot of 5 star companies in here. Sonic is one of them along with Apple and Dropbox.
Iain: I'm still amazed Apple got 5 stars but still.
Leo: Well, I don't—yea, I don't know if that's true. But anyway. So, this is one for Denise. Not because you live in a McMansion. I live in a McMansion. Do you know the definition of a McMansion is?
Iain: Ah, an enormous, tasteless house.
Leo: Yea, basically that's right.
Iain: Basically, you have large, pre-designed houses which you can just plop down onto the land where you've got it.
Leo: They tend to be extravagant. They tend to be show-off-y. But, the blog, which I love, McMansionhell.com. M-C-M-A-S-I-O-N—do you know about this? They have been, not recently, in fact if you go there now you'll see a lot of public domain images, but what they had been doing is taking images off of Zillow. If I scroll down far enough maybe I could find it. And basically, doing a critique of the house of how bad the house is. You know, all of those are gone because Zillow complained. They said, "You can't use these."
Iain: And now millions of people who never heard of this blog are all aware. I've got to get me some of that.
Leo: The good news is Zillow has decided not to pursue legal action. Kate Wagner who authors the blog got, good news, EFF to defend her and threatened Zillow with a potential countersuit. She says it's fair use of Zillow's images. The photos showing the exterior and interior of huge, ugly suburban homes are used to skewer the celebration of wealth and conspicuous consumption. That's fair use, isn't it, Denise?
Denise: Well, this is not just a story for me but for Scott. These are not Zillow's images. The images are uploaded by 3rd-parties.
Leo: Ah. They don't even own them.
Denise: Yea. That's the problem.
Leo: So, Zillow's asserting ownership of pictures that somebody else took.
Iain: Cheeky buggers.
Scott: The thing is, if you're critiquing the photos, then that would probably be fair use. But if you're critiquing the house, I don't think that's—
Leo: No, they're critiquing the house not the photos. So, they're using the photos to say, "Oh, look at this ridiculous house." And—
Denise: But Zillow doesn't have the standing here. Zillow doesn't own the copyright on these photos.
Scott: The photographer does.
Leo: The photographer probably in most cases is a real estate agent who put the listing up on the real estate.
Iain: I think Zillow probably knew that and just decided, well, this is a blog no one's ever heard of. We'll fire off a legal letter to them and then they'll shut up and we can get back on with our lives. And then the Streisand effect kicks in and the world and his dog knows about this site now. We're all going on there trying to find out one on earth is going on.
Leo: I hope Kate puts those original picture back up and the original posts. It looks like to protect herself she took them down. She only has public images on there right now.
Denise: As Scott points out thought, I mean I'm not sure house photo—if you're commenting on the subject matter of the picture, you may well have a good argument. So, there's probably two reasons why these should stay. No right of Zillow to assert this claim and they're doing commentary on a photo.
Leo: Right, right. And the photographer probably doesn't complain because it's a real estate agent who wanted to sell the house in the first place. The more publicity for the house, the better. Well, maybe not this kind of publicity (laughing).
Iain: No, not something they want their name associated with.
Leo: My house would fit right in. It absolutely would (laughing). So, Uber just completed it's 5 billionth trip.
Leo: Yea. Do you think it will get to 6 billion?
Iain: Oh, easily, yea. They've got $7-billion of VC cash to burn through.
Leo: Bad publicity doesn't necessarily give bad—
Iain: Well, I mean Lyft is—I'm sorry.
Denise: Aren't they missing a C-suite right now?
Leo: Say again?
Denise: Aren't they kind of missing a C-suite?
Leo: Yea, like nobody. Everybody is either fired or gone including Travis Kalanick, the founder.
Iain: Yea, Marissa Mayer seems to be positioning herself.
Leo: Is she?
Iain: Oh, did you not hear her comments?
Iain: Oh, she went off on the screen about how, "I don't think this is Travis' fault. The company grew so fast. He probably didn't know what was going on." It's like, you're auditioning for the CEO job, aren't you?
Leo: OMG. Well, I would think Uber would hire a woman. I think that would be one way to kind of help reinvent the company's culture.
Iain: Yea, but it's got to be a woman with the kind of gumption that's needed to root and branch the whole organization. And I know Sheryl Sandberg could do it in a heartbeat.
Leo: COO of Facebook, but would she take it?
Iain: I don't know. This is the problem. I don't personally think she would either. But you just need, man or woman, you just need someone to take that organization and shake it up by the scruff of the back of the neck.
Leo: 6 months after the Guardian says WhatsApp had a back door, they finally admitted, well—by the way—
Iain: This is the most mealy-mouthed--
Leo: This is an opinion piece, not even a retraction.
Iain: A lot of people objected to this article, too, because it was in the Guardian. It's like no, we objected to it because it was wrong. It was putting people's lives at risk.
Leo: It was, to steal a phrase from you, bollocks.
Iain: Well, yea, the Turkish government took that article and put them out on state media hoping people would stop using the messenger service. I mean I was at a security conference when that story broke and one guy, a guy I respect and isn't prone to hyperbole, said, "Whoever wrote that and whoever edited it and published it has got blood on their hands."
Leo: Seventy-two security experts shortly after the article was published wrote an open letter saying absolutely WhatsApp is secure. The problem you're talking about is not a significant issue. It can be changed in the settings.
Iain: Easy as pie.
Leo: And the Guardian, finally, six months later said, "Well, it was, our reporting was flawed."
Iain: Nobody ever likes to say that but as a journalist you've got a responsibility to get that out there as soon as possible.
Leo: Quickly. Yea. And you're right, this is more serious than just getting it wrong. The risk is that somebody, a dissonant that needs privacy, might not use WhatsApp and go to something less secure or less widely used because they're afraid that WhatsApp has been cracked. All right. I think we can wrap things up here. I appreciate Denise putting up with all of the technical issues. You're a trooper, Denise.
Denise: I appreciate you putting up with all the technical issues. I thought I had them ironed out but—
Leo: And we'll do anything to get you on. I think you're the greatest and I think everybody should watch This Week in Law. You can watch back episodes at twit.tv/twil. And there's quite a few. You've done 395 episodes.
Denise: Yes. And our last one was with Simon Tam of The Slants.
Leo: Whoa, that's great.
Denise: You should watch this episode. This is one of our episodes that I am most happy and proud of.
Leo: Tune in Fridays, 2:00 PM Eastern, 11:00 AM Pacific, 1800 UTC. Wow. Simon Tam of The Slants. Wow.
Denise: Yes, exactly.
Iain: I'm too much of a Firefly fan. I heard Simon Tam and I thought really?
Leo: This Week in Law. Thank you for being here, Denise, on your vacation.
Denise: Thank you. One plug, if you want to watch a great series of videos about what is harassment and what is not, David Schwimmer did one back in April of this year called That's Harassment. Just Google That's Harassment on YouTube and you'll see this wonderful series of videos and it's very much in keeping with Reid Hoffman's vision that people will just decide to educate themselves and be better.
Leo: We should point out that David Schwimmer produced it and stars in it but it was written by a woman, Sigal Avin and so—
Iain: I'd also like to highlight that the British Police have done a whole thing on what is consent and the way they figure it is it's working through various scenarios and wouldn't you like a cup of tea? And if you just search British Police and tea you should be able to get that.
Leo: Good. Good. And yea, that's great, Denise. Thank you for mentioning that. David Schwimmer of course, the former star of Friends I believe if I'm not wrong. Is it on Facebook? Is that where the videos are because they have a Facebook page called That's Harassment. I guess that would be the best place to go.
Denise: They're all available on—just Google it. You'll find it on any number of platforms.
Leo: Ok, good. Or you know, follow the Facebook page. Yea. That's a great idea. Scott Bourne, it's been so great to reconnect with you. One of our original TWiT cast members on MacBreak Weekly way back, way back in 2007.
Scott: Yea, it's been an honor to be on the show, Leo, and an honor to be with all of you.
Leo: I'm so glad things are going well for you. Everybody should follow Scott on his blog, scottbourne.com. I follow him on Facebook which is awesome because I get to see all his really nice pictures. Is your page, your Facebook page public or is that just because I'm a friend?
Scott: Yea, yea. I'm @scottbourne on Twitter, Scott Bourne on Facebook, Scott Bourne on LinkedIn, but I'm Bourne Scott on Instagram.
Leo: Go figure. B-O-U-R-N-E. He spells it properly.
Scott: Like Bourne Identity.
Leo: Like Iain spells his name properly. Without a P and with some weird I A thing.
Iain: Yea, trust me, my parents and I have had words about that one.
Leo: (Laughing). Thank you, Scott. It's so great to see you. And thank you for all the beautiful images. Man, your stuff is good.
Scott: Hey, and you've got a standing invitation to come up to Alaska with my anytime you want.
Leo: I would love to. And then you know we have the fire crane's picture hanging in Lisa's—Lisa stole it. But she's got it in her office.
Scott: Cranes in the Fire Mist.
Leo: Cranes in the Fire Mist. I look at that every day and I think gosh.
Scott: Thank you for hanging it.
Leo: It's a great picture. Yea, you can buy your pictures on your site, can't you?
Scott: Yea. Not that one. It sold out.
Leo: Oh, really? So, you do limited editions.
Scott: I do limited editions, yea.
Leo: Yea, as you should. As you probably should. Cranes in the Fire Mist was just a—I feel very fortunate. Go look at it in Lisa's office. It's a beautiful print. Iain Thomson is at the Register, register.co.uk. Comes by often and I'm glad you do. I hope you will continue to even though the British store closed and you can't get your—
Iain: There's a good British pub on the way here.
Iain: Which serves sausage rolls and beer!
Leo: Where's that?
Iain: It's in San Rafael.
Leo: What's it called?
Iain: For the life of me I can't remember, but Megan recommended it to me.
Iain: And as it's 1776 weekend, I'm going to go down and enjoy a pint.
Leo: You said you have mixed feelings about celebrating Independence Day since it was the day that we kicked you guys out.
Iain: Yea, I know, but at the same time, four-day weekend. You guys got Trump, so—
Leo: (Laughing) Oh, my God.
Iain: I'm ahead on the game here.
Leo: We do This Week in Tech every Sunday afternoon, 3:00 PM Pacific, 6:00 PM Eastern Time. That would be 2200 UTC. If you want to stop by and say hi, please join us in the chatroom if you do. We can talk at each other then. Irc.twit.tv. If you can't be here during the live show, and I understand, there are things to do, we make on demand versions of everything we do available on our website, TWiT, T-W-I-T.tv. And on YouTube and of course you can subscribe. If you have a favorite way to listen to podcasts, make sure you look for TWiT in there and subscribe so you don't miss an episode because we wouldn't want you to miss one. We like having you hear. Thanks for being here! We'll see you next time. Another TWiT is in the can. Bye-bye.