This Week in Tech 629 Transcript

Leo Laporte:  It's time for TWiT, This Week in Tech!  Harry McCracken, the technologizer is here, along with Lisa Schmeiser from Windows.  We're all watching to see who the next CEO of Uber will be.  Rumor says Mick Whitman is in the running.  Should you tip your Uber driver?  I don't know.  We'll talk about Oreos, both the cookies and the Android, and drones! Is there anything they can't spot?  Next, on TWiT.


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Leo: This is TWiT, This Week in Tech, episode 629, recorded Sunday August 27, 2017.

When in Doubt, Hit the Raccoon

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It's time for TWiT, This week in Tech, the show where we cover the latest tech news.  We've got a great panel here.  Returning the panel that was here when I wasn't here last time, Jason Snell brought together an old host of his, Lisa Schmeiser, she took Paul Thurott's job. 

Lisa Schmeiser:  I wouldn't say I took it.  I stepped into very big shoes.

Leo:  He left, and months later took off.  There was a gap.  She didn't push him out.  Great to meet you, Lisa, and have you on here.  Supersite for Windows, and she's also at the Incomparable. With us also the technologizer, Harry McCracken.  And you two know each other. 

Harry McCracken:  Yes. 

Lisa:  We have a wide circle of people in common.

Harry:  Yes.  Many former colleagues who were each other's former colleagues and friends. 

Leo:  Mark Milian from Bloomberg was scheduled to be here, but Mark said I can't come today, I'm going to be watching the Wire.  He probably has a wire machine in his living room, which he's waiting for the five bell alert.  Do you remember those?  Did you ever work with those?  Ding ding ding?  That would mean a presidential big thing.  We are all waiting, because today the Uber board meets to name a successor to Travis Kalanick, and what's interesting is we talked about Jeff Immelt, CEO of GE, former CEO who was widely expected to take the job.  He tweeted this morning at 8:47, sorry, I took it off the screen, "I'm not doing it."  That's not a flattering picture.  That's on recode.  Kara Swisher wrote this.  We know Kara.

Harry:  If you are no longer vying for that job, does that mean you would turn it down if offered?

Leo:  that's what is interesting.  Because now the frontrunner is somebody who has turned it down. 

Harry:  She said Meg Whitman will not be the next Uber CEO.

Leo:  It turns out if you read the Wall Street Journal, she has met with the board, she met with them yesterday and made a presentation to them.  What Kara is assuming and I think others are, is that she made some demands.  I'm sure the Uber board would like a woman as CEO, given that a lot of the reasons Travis is gone is because of this rampant sexism.    It's been such a combative company-partly because it had to be in towns where local Government and taxi commission didn't want Uber to exist- I think that was part of their startup nature.  This pugnacious we're going to do it anyway, but it did not help that a number of people started talking about harassment, corporate culture that was bad for women.  Of course, Susan J Fowler wrote that blog post earlier this year that blew the lid off it, and ended up taking down Travis Kalanick. Whitman's after tweeting last month, I'm not going anywhere, Whitman's demands are that A, Travis be nothing more than a founder.  He's on the board right now. 

Harry:  he seems like he is angling to come back someday. 

Leo:  This is worse than Game of Thrones.  He's been writing letters to Uber employees saying maybe you can go ahead, would you start a grass roots movement to bring me back...

Lisa: If you have to ask...

Leo:  Remember when he was knocked out there was a petition that circulated Uber that at least a thousand people signed saying no, we can't be Uber without our founder.  Founder has a lot of loyalty.

Lisa:  I'd be interested to see the breakdown.  This is not in a persecution way, I'd be interested to see the breakdown, what level of employment they're at.  I'd also like to see the breakdown demographically speaking between men and women. 

Leo:  Do you think there are any women left?

Lisa:  Well there's Bozma St. John now, who is a great strong hire, and if you take a look at what they're doing now where they've got the driver friendly features in the tips, I get the sense she's behind pushing a lot of these stories out to change the Uber narrative to one where we're better for drivers, drivers have more control.

Leo:  Hire a strong, powerful, woman of color to be the front person to say "No, this is not the Uber that you think it is."  She came to our attention first when she was working at Apple and she was so good. 

Lisa:  The experience that she had before Apple was branding and campaigns for Pepsi, moved into music development, and that contact brought her into Apple's music business.  But you're talking about somebody who has decades of professional experience figuring out how to construct a campaign and how to lay down very simple talking points that resonate with people. 

Leo:  I love her Twitter bio.  There's nothing more badass than being who you are, I am  a force of nature in fierce stilettos.  Chief brand officer at Uber.

Lisa: She's lost her husband to cancer a couple years ago, so she's doing all of this while being a single mother.

Leo:  Oh my goodness.  I adore her.  She knocked me out at that Apple event.  Apple was famous for not having any women on stage, and all of a sudden, they've got Bozma Saint John on there.  Let's see more of her.

Lisa: She was a really strong brand ambassador.  I wouldn't call it a big loss for Apple because Apple is good at building a deep branch of talent, but she brought something to Apple that they're going to have to work very hard to try and find again.  She's been really proactive in regards with the press for Uber saying, Yes, I'm going to come in.  This is good company, I believe in what it's doing, we're going to take steps to address complaints, here's where it's going.  I was looking at the Tech Crunch story talking about Uber adding more driver friendly features and hitting 50 million tips, and some of the talking points in the story from Tech Crunch...

Leo:  Wait a minute.  50 million sounds like a lot until you realize that was on a billion dollars in rides. 

Lisa: What they say, here's the talking point that I have a feeling got drifted out from Uber and into the story, Oh 50 million, just a few weeks is great, because Lyft has had the tip feature for years, and only hit 250 million tips this year, so what they're implying is that Uber's users have been responsive to this in a way that Lyft's users have not.  They're also implying that Uber's drivers are getting tips because they're so great, people are dying to tip them, this is so great for the drivers.

Leo:  Which is really misrepresenting it, because Uber for years pretended that you didn't have to tip.  The tip was somehow included.  No tipping, you don't need to tip, when in fact, you weren't tipping.  I felt like a jerk when I found out they weren't getting anything.

Harry:  I'm still not sure how much you should tip, by the way.  They suggest a dollar as an option, that's definitely not 20% of any ride I take.

Leo:  For a long time, Uber didn't put it in the app, which meant you had to have cash to tip, which was not a good way of supporting it. They were ordered by a court to allow the drivers to ask for tips.  They were not allowing them to ask for tips.  As soon as that court order happened, people started putting up signs in their Uber, some drivers saying it's OK to tip me.  I felt terrible, and I over tipped for the first few months because I felt so bad I hadn't been tipping.  Now it's in the app, and they suggest $3 amounts.  I don't think it's very high compared to what I would normally tip a cab. 

Harry:  Take a New York Cab, the options they give you are 15%, 25%...

Lisa: And it goes up and down depending on the time of day. 

Leo:  I always over tip cabbies, because I feel like that's a hard job, they're underpaid, they have to pay a lot of money, especially Uber drivers for gas.  They have to pay for the expenses of it.  I always give them a good tip.

Lisa: The Uber story is interesting with the we're empowering you to drive and set your routes and stuff like that.  One of the data points I've noticed in my last few Lyft rides is there's almost an adversarial relationship between the driver and the app they have to use.

Leo:  Take this street.  Don't go that way. 

Lisa:  There was a  case where I was coming home from an airport, it was late at night, and my driver couldn't pull up a route on his app.  I said you've started a pizzaria in Emoryville, and he said, No, it's the app.  The app doesn't know what it's doing.  I was walking him through the steps to get back to my house, but the whole 35 minutes home, he was ranting about how awful the app was and how it's unhelpful and it sends him places he wouldn't want to go.  And it was not the first time I've had that experience.

Leo:  Was that his fault or the app's fault?  Sounds like it was his fault.

Lisa:  You never have a user problem, but there seems to be more adversarial relationships between the drivers and the tools they're being expected to use.

Leo:  Every time I take a Lyft and an Uber, I ask the driver.  Drivers seem to like driving for Lyft better.

Harry:  They seem to.  A hell of a lot drive for both, and if you ask them, they say that Lyft is easier to work with.  I don't know if that's still true given that Uber has been doing some more driver friendly stuff lately.

Leo:  One of our producers reported for a job at Uber to drive, and was surprised that they never asked to inspect or see his car, it was a pretty easy process becoming an Uber driver.  Not a lot of background checks and all of that stuff.  Lyft is apparently more assiduous about looking at the car, inspecting the car, and making sure the car is safe.  Anyway, we're going to probably... Mark Milian stayed home to cover the session of Meg Whitman as CEO of Uber.  We'll let you know and keep an eye on that and let you know if a decision is made.  The board is meeting right now.  Apparently Whitman met with them yesterday and said Travis can't be on the board.  He will have a role as a founder, I'll consult him.  She also... what were the other conditions?  She was pretty clear that she was willing to do it if Uber would agree to go along with it.  Kara Swisher predicted before the Tweet... Kara has replaced her Yahoo scoops with Uber scoops.  When are you going to write about Yahoo.  Kara writes, "Let's just say Whitman's driving the car, deciding on the route, not paying for the gas."  She apparently wants a lot of control over... she wants a new board and wide latitude over who she hires.  But you would ask for that, especially if you were coming into a  fairy challenging role. 

Lisa:  If the problem is institutional culture from the top on down, then you're going to want to say I'm not walking to this house unless I have an iron clad guarantee to clean it as I see fit and fill it up as I see fit.  You're not going to come in and say everybody here, that's fine.  I'll just be your CEO. 

Leo:  She also says Whitman was worried about other undiscovered problems.  That's a reasonable thing to worry about, because for a while there was a story every week about stuff. 

Harry:  I hear there is a third candidate though.  Kara has not identified yet.

Leo:  A woman or a man?

Harry:  I think it was a guy. 

Leo:  Meg Whitman is not necessarily considered a great CEO.  She was CEO at eBay for a while. 

Harry:  CEO at eBay when it was tiny. 

Leo:  And then went to HP.  I'm looking at you, Harry.  How good a CEO is Meg Whitman? 

Harry:  eBay is still a pretty impressive story overall.  She turned something tiny into something huge, which is one of the few Internet companies from years ago that still matters.  With HP...

Leo:  She ran for President in 2008. 

Harry:  She ran for Governor. 

Leo:  I'm sorry, yes.

Lisa:  During the HP tenure, wasn't she responsible for overseeing the split of the company into services and hardware? 

Leo: She took over a very troubled company.  Her predecessor had really done some terrible things, including acquire a company that had no value at all and spending billions for it, that was a huge flop.  You could say she turned around HP.  The split was a success too. 

Harry:  The last few years of HP have been the least disastrous HP years.  They had so many problems and so many CEOs before that.

Lisa:  It was a good market position too, to explicitly separate out services from hardware, because she recognized at a pretty crucial point that hardware was going to be a commodity spent from now on, whereas services can be a continuous revenue flow if you do it right. So it was smart to isolate out two different models and say OK, let's see how to grow revenue in two different ways, in two different companies.

Leo:  You wonder if that wasn't the fallout of the HP compact merger which was considered one of the worst mergers in technology in all time. 

Harry:  Well they doubled down on PCs, in 2001.  That was under Carly Fiorina, who was another HP person who was a senatorial nominee and ran for President.  They doubled down on PCs, which even if it made sense at the time, it only made sense for a little while.  The closer we got to the Smartphone era, the less that was valuable. 

Leo: The irony is HPs PC division is knocking it out of the park in the last two years.  The designs and the quality have been stellar, a big improvement. 

Harry:  They're the most important company in a troubled Industry, and an Industry which is destined to... years ago HP did phones, they bought Palm, they made TVs, all kinds of consumer electronics.  Most of which fell by the wayside.

Lisa:  Didn't they do a smart appliance way back in the... they tried a prototype or something like that?

Leo:  I remember the Audrey.  It was 3com. 

Lisa: Should have a graveyard behind you with all the...

Leo:  The graveyard is behind me. I don't have an Audrey.  If anyone wants to send me an Audrey...

Harry:  I'm not sure the Audrey ever shipped or not.

Leo:  Basically the Echo Home is the modern day Audrey and it does everything ten times better.  She started at eBay when it had 30 employees, a revenue of 4 million dollars, she took it to 15,000 employees and 8 billion dollars in revenue.  She was a huge success I think at eBay.  She took over a troubled HP and if not turned it around, she made it viable. She's probably a very good candidate to do something.  She's my age, she's 60, so it's not like she would have a long tenure at Uber.

Lisa:  But the argument is she's a growth artist and a turn-around artist.

Leo:  She's got the skills.  Yeah. 

Harry:  She's a tough cookie, which they need right now.

Leo:  she stepped down as chairwoman at the board of directors at HP in July, but she's still the CEO of HP enterprise, so she would still have to leave HP to do this, although she says "I am fully committed to HP enterprise and plan to remain as the company's CEO.  We've a lot of work to do, I'm not going anywhere.  It's a lot like the people who protest like Mark Zuckerberg.  I'm not running for President, until they do. 

Lisa:  How much of this messaging is to preserve stock prices or to keep investors happy.

Leo:  The Uber transition is all about stock pricing.  Not stock price, but investors and valuation.  There's  a lot of money that's been sunk into Uber. Frankly, I have to say if I was thinking about taking over Uber, I would be more concerned not about sexual harassment and the bro culture, but the runway.  Uber, right now subsidizes every ride to the tune of 59%.  41% is what you pay, the rest comes out of Uber.  In effect, they're spending billions of dollars to lose billions of dollars.  I don't know, they have a lot of money, they've raised a lot of money, but I don't know how much runway they have.  It can't be more than a few years.  At some point they're going to have to go back to investors and say that hundred billion dollars you gave us, can we have more?  Or they're going to run out of time.  There's a light at the end of the tunnel, it's self-driving cars.  One of the ways they get this... they can't raise prices.  People use Uber because it's cheap.  But they can eliminate one of the big costs, which is drivers.  I know they're working very hard on self-driving cars.  I would guess that most of the investment money isn't about replacing taxi cabs, it's about replacing drivers. 

Lisa:  There's only a few years of runway, though.  Are you going to be able to pull together the tech ecosystem and get through regulatory hurdles, and more importantly land with users who are totally fine with being driven around by a robot?  That's...

Leo:  You've got to get Governments to agree to this.

Harry:  We've also had troubles with self-driving cars too, because they have this lawsuit with Waymo. 

Lisa:  Their thing, there was an article this past week on Bloomberg, talking about how a lot of people who are working on self-driving cars have finally realized that the national transit safety board has a vested interest in what these safety regulations for these cars look like, and they are only now beginning to reckon with the scope of all of the safety features that are going to have to be regulated, and what the acceptable parameters for safety for everybody are going to be.  It's not going to be a speedy process.

Leo:  I want to talk in just a second, the Germans have made rules for self-driving cars, I want to talk about that in just a second, and we'll see if we agree.  I am watching, I am monitoring Twitter to see.  We'll have the news when word comes out, it may not come out during the show, but I'm told the board is meeting right now to decide. 

Harry:  I suppose they're not meeting right now to announce employees until next week. 

Leo:  I have a feeling Kara Swisher has a bug in there.  Actually, this is Kara's tweet from two hours ago.  Uber board meeting to pick, but Whitman still has not gotten all the things she wants to be CEO.  Kara says my bet is she will get what she wants.  So, that's what the board is deciding right now, do we give her all of that?  How important is it to maintain a solid board and to keep Travis happy compared to keeping the investors happy.  One of the reasons this is important is big institutional investors like Fidelity were saying we're not sure we want to be in this company any more. 

Harry:  He's getting in trouble with Benchmark, fighting with other VCs. 

Leo:  This is tough.  All right, we're going to take a break.  Breaking story we'll continue to cover.  I actually have a tweet search filter on Uber's CEO, and it's actually pretty funny.  It's interesting to watch.  I'm thrilled to have you both here.  Mark Milian, Mark's doing what we're doing, which is watching this.  Twitter is the place where you would watch this, right?  Where else would you go nowadays to keep breaking news?  You watch it on Twitter.  So, as much as I dis Twitter, I think it still has some significant value, at least for covering Tech news stories.  Great to have Lisa Schmeiser here.  She's editor in chief of the Supersite for Windows.  Harry McCracken the Technologizer.  You're Technology editor?

Harry:  Technology editor for Fast Company. 

Leo:  Nice.  Our show to you today brought to you by technology I use and love.  It's Eero.  I first tried Eero maybe two years ago when it was the first of the mesh Wi-Fi solutions, and was very happy with it.  I tried them all, and then Eero came out with their newest, second generation Eero, and the Eero Beacon, and I flipped my lid.  The second generation Eero, they've learned, it's twice as fast.  It's triband.  The beacons plug into the wall, so they're easy to install, they also have a nice nightlife feature which I really like.  It's very easy to set up the Eero.  You can do it in minutes.  You get your Eero, you plug it into your router, actually it's going to replace your router if you can.  You can use it with your router.  But I would plug it into the cable modem or the DSL modem.  Make it be the router, it does a better job, then you fire up the app on your IOS or Android device, and it walks you through installing the two beacons, which spread the Wi-Fi throughout the house, about 1500 square feet per Eero device. This is big enough to do a 45 hundred square foot house, and if you want to add more, you can get out to the pool.  I have to say, Eero has transformed my experience of Wi-Fi, if you have the experience of bogging down Wi-Fi, stalling, buffering, not working right, devices having a hard time joining it, devices sometimes joining the neighbor's Wi-Fi, you've got to take a look at  The second generation Eero and Eero beacon are even beteter.  More speed, more range.  The five gigahertz radio means you get more bandwidth but more places to put content.  So if you're going to watch Game of Thrones streaming tonight, you're going to wish we had an Eero.  You're going to wish you had an Eero, the new thread radio built into the Eero can connect low power devices, locks, doorbells, and other sensors.  Thread is the new standard for Internet of Things devices, and it's very easy to isolate your Internet of Things devices, or if you've got guests, set up a guest Wi-Fi network, keep them off your main network.  So security is paramount, and I should show you my Eero app.  Probably too small to show you on the iPhone.  But with the Eero you can name every device in your house, and assign them to a user, so I've got my devices, Michael has his devices, our kid, and if it's time for Michael to go to bed, it's the easiest thing in the world. I can do this on my Echo, by the way.  I can say, Echo, pause Michael's Wi-Fi, and he's offline, he has to go to bed.  Or I can do it right from the family profiles on the Eero app, I just press the pause button.  It doesn't affect me, it only affects Michael, there's also fantastic, this is new Eero plus filters.  So I can say Michael's devices are blocked from adult content.  They have to use safe search, and ours not maybe?  All of our devices are protected against malware.  You can schedule pauses.  I have a schedule that says between 10 PM and 7AM Michael can't use the Wi-Fi, he's got to go to bed and get some sleep.  Any house with teenagers in it will appreciate that.  Eero, free overnight shipping in the US or Canada, go to, and all you have to do is select overnight shipping at checkout, and use TWiT at checkout, and that will make it absolutely free.  You're going to want it.  Get it now.  I have the best mesh solution.  Don't forget the offer code TWiT for free overnight shipping.  Harry McCracken the Technologizer, Lisa Schmeiser, the Incomprable.  You need a nickname. 

Lisa:  I do. 

Leo:  So.  I loved this, and it really isn't that big a story, but you always hear on autonomous vehicles, what are they called, the trolley scenario?  Do you know what I'm talking about?  Car is driving down the road.  And there's a bunch of these.  You have a choice.  Do you kill one person?  You're driving down the road.  You're going to have an accident.  You can either plow into the trolley car and kill everybody, 20 people, or plow into that beautiful mother and her baby girl walking across the street, what will you do?   Now a human, I don't know.  But people say we have to tell self-driving vehicles which to do.  My opinion, what you tell the self-driving vehicle to drive as well as it can, hit the brakes, and cross its robot fingers.  You don't say hmm.  Maybe you should hit the trolley.  Germany has decided kill animals and destroy property before hurting humans, Germany tells future self-driving cars.  That's kind of what they said.  Wednesday, the federal minister of transport and digital infrastructure announced it's going to implement guidelines devised by a panel of experts, not amateurs on 14 scientists and legal eggheads, and their 20 rules.  I love the Register. 

Lisa:  I want legal egghead as a job title. 

Leo:  In my opinion, if anybody has designed autonomous vehicle software, please call me, come here, tell me I'm wrong.  It strikes me what you do is you don't make a rule about what to hit and what not to hit.  You say drive as well as you can, try not to hit anything.  Just try not to hit anything, and if you do it's an accident, just like a human.  No human is saying, I think I'll drive off the cliff rather than run into that trolly.  No human is doing that. You're going to try to not hit anything. 

Lisa:  Can I tell you a story from my vacation last week?  We were up in the lost coast, Northern California.

Leo:  This wasn't for the eclipse.  This was to get away. 

Lisa:  At one point we're driving through two lane roads, it's hairpin turns, I've tossed the air sickness bag back to my kids. 

Leo:  I used to get carsick in the car as a kid.  It's horrible. 

Lisa:  As we're driving these really curvy hairpin roads, I round a corner and there's a faun that runs across the road.  What happens is Bambi saw the car, ran the opposite direction, ran in front of us again, for seven minutes.  I was thinking about this.  This is the thing about driving cars and making rules about animals, animals don't behave predictably or logarithmically.  You have to be able to write software that can respond to each individual movement. 

Leo:  I think software can do it better than a human.  The software doesn't have an expectation that the deer will get out of the way.  Software says something is in the way, try not to hit it. 

Lisa:  Bambi did eventually bound down the side of the road, and we made sure there was not another Bambi or Bambi's mom heading after it.

Leo:  This is an example of a self-driving car that will do a better job than a human, because humans have expectations, oh that guy isn't going to hit me, or whatever, but Bambi is going to run.  He came back...

Lisa:  It seems like it's a data filtering challenge on one level, because if you have a self-driving car you have to be able to identify all potential obstacles that are coming at you.  It's a data filtering challenge, data identification, and reaction.

Leo: It's just a rabbit hole.

Harry:  Do we know if current self-driving software is designed to identify Bambi? 

Lisa:  Or raccoons.  Who will speak for the trash pandas? 

Harry:  Does the software say, OK. There's a trolley here, a mother and child here...

Leo:  No!  Software says thing here, thing there, try not to hit either one.  I would hope you don't have to write that in the software. Because then you say if you kill that grandfather and the grandchild isn't born so they won't be able to make the Terminator, so kill the Grandfather!  This is what the Terminator says. 

Lisa:  The reason you set regulations like this is it protects a Government from future lawsuits. 

Harry:  Even if the number of people who die goes down dramatically, we'll have to deal with a certain number of horrible problems. 

Lisa:  The first time software fails, or the first time it's an operator error, but the operator in question wants to say it's a technology error.

Leo:  Humans are so bad at this.  I would submit it's the humans who have all this worrisome stuff, because we're irrational.  A computer will say that's 33,000 traffic deaths that have been taken off the road, and I killed 5 people, big deal. 

Harry:  Airplane accidents freak us out.

Leo:  But they're so rare, airplane accidents compared to car accidents.  Nevertheless, we're in the sky, so it's scary.  This is what the Federal German ministry of transportation says.  The protection of human life always has top priority.  Duh.  If a situation on the road goes south, and it looks as though an accident is going to happen, the vehicle must save humans from death or injury, even if it means wrecking property or mowing down creatures. 

Harry:  Very Isaac Asimoov is logic. 

Leo:  The Germans have rules.

Lisa:  Do you kill five people or the endangered species?

Leo:  You don't. You avoid an accident at all costs and if you hit something, it was by accident, and it was the... if an accident was unavoidable, the self-driving ride must not make any choices over who to save.  It can't wipe out an elderly person to save a kid.  No decision should be made on age, sex, race, disability.  All human lives matter.  OK. 

Lisa:  It will be interesting to see how they plan on developing for that.

Leo:  There's no way you can develop for that.  It's silly.  Where's my pen.  I want to show off for Lisa.  Three.  This is the liability part.  A surveillance system should be in place, such as a black box that records the steps leading to an accident, so it's obvious who was driving at the time and who was at fault.  The human behind the wheel should be identified and entirely possible to proportion blame accurately, essentially.  That's insurance.  Nobody else cares.  We can learn from it. 

Lisa:  It also helps make sensible policy.  Such as these are the circumstances under which we allow self-driving cars in these roads, these are the upper and lower limits of who gets to use them, things like that.

Leo:  Drivers should have full control over what personal information is collected from your vehicles.  Actually, Tesla right now knows everything.  I called them and said your car went backwards when I pressed forwards, and they said let's check the logs and see what you actually did, and they said, "No.  Leo. You weren't in reverse."  They know where I am at all times. 

Lisa:  That seems like that could be an interesting dimension for future suits.

Leo:  Just a little tip for abused spouses, if you have the Tesla app on there and you're logged in, you can see where your car is at all times.  mmhm.  The Register goes on to say ultimately drivers will still bear a responsibility if there are a ton of charabanc crashes.  What the hell is a charabanc?  Did Iain Thomson write this?  Unless it was caused by a system failure, in which case the manufacturer is at fault. 

Harry:  But it's typically for pleasure trips. 

Leo:  An early form of bus. 

Lisa:  Wikipedia says it's pronounced charabanc in British England, and it was an early type of motor coach. I like the historic reference where it was the first iteration of a technology. 

Leo:  We've all learned something.  We've not done this in the US yet, maybe this will become a template for US law.  Maybe not.  What I want to hear from is some artificial intelligence expert who writes software for self-driving cars.  Do you code that in?  If in doubt, hit the raccoon.  You say, don't hit anything.  You don't put in code that says if you're going to hit something, hit the raccoon.  Why would you put that in?  I don't know.  It's a chance to get raccoons!

Lisa:  I have two in my yard. 

Leo:  Are you a raccoon lover?

Lisa:  I tolerate them.  We share the island with them. 

Leo:  You live on an island?  Where is this island? 

Lisa:  It's Elovida. 

Leo:  It's a big island.  It's like saying I live in the isle of Manhattan. 

Leo:  Alovida was an air station, so there's not a lot of residential owners there, right? 

Lisa:  There's more now.  There's a small corps of pre naval station houses, and houses that were built in the WWII run up. 

Leo:  What is the population of Alomedia Isle? 

Lisa:  78,000.

Leo:  Bigger than Petaluma.

Lisa:  I would argue that the raccoon population is probably in the six figures.  I've got an albino possum in my backyard. 

Leo:  So we had a very fun week.  We had the eclipse and Google piggy backed on the eclipse and embarrassed us.  Because they announced they were going to have a big reveal streaming right after the eclipse, so we brought in hosts, we had Jason Howell of All about Android, we brought in Staff.  What we do with live streams, we sit there and talk about live stream, the live stream, I can show you the livestream, there wasn't much to it.  There was a stage in the park in New York City.  And the curtains opened, and a giant, oreo shaped robot appeared.  That was it.  Nobody took the stage, there was no Bozema St.  John to say how wonderful Android Oreo was.  There it is.  That's the video.  I felt so bad for Jason.  That's it.  We brought you in. TWiT Live Special.  It's an Oreo. 

Harry:  I'd love to know about the negotiations for this and for Kit Kat. 

Lisa:  Are they licensing it?

Leo:  You have to. 

Harry:  I'm guessing maybe money does  not exchange hands.  This is the case of stories about Android Oreo that weren't so favorable. 

Leo:  KitKat was tricky because it was partly owned by Hershey and it was owned by Cadbury or something. 

Harry:  Nestle in the rest of the world. 

Leo:  So Oreo is a little complicated, because Cadbury has a stake in it.  I think it's owned by Mondolese, so Google always said we didn't give money to Hershey/Nestle, but they must have talked to them, and maybe it wasn't money, but they're giving them a big ad.  And how many tech journalists are going to be eating Oreos from now on?  Right? 

Harry: I never eat Oreos, and I almost did after reading this news.    Definitely has a favorable...

Lisa:  It would be funny to see if the sales are actually around because of the power of suggestion. 

Leo:  Of course!  The Oreo biscuit was first invented by Nabisco. 

Harry:  It was a very dainty biscuit for ladies to eat at parties. 

Leo:  1912, the current state of Chelsea Manhattan. 

Lisa:  Was it launched as a competitor to...?

Leo:  It was launched as a competitor to Hydrox.  Which is a terrible name, but a delicious cookie.  I find Hydrox are often imperfect, whereas Oreos tend to be perfect. 

Harry:  Do you eat a lot of both?

Leo:  I'm just saying.  From my memories as a child, the Hydroxes were a little whopper jawed, where there would be an uneven layer of filling, but the Oreo always seems to have... It may be because Oreo and its food scientists have five patents for the Oreos.  Porcello retired in 1993.  This is good.  In the early 90's, health concerns prompted Nabisco to replace the lard filling with partially hydrogenated vegetable oil.  Now we know that lard is safer.  Bring back the lard! 

Lisa:  It says starting in January 2006, they replaced transfat with non-hydrogenated vegetable.  So.

Leo:  Causing a run of Oreos.  There is a risk of... people like Oreos because there is no animal product.  It is a vegan cookie. 

Harry:  They were originally sold by the pound. 

Leo:  Really? 

Harry:  Everything was sold by the pound in those days at grocery stores.  Probably out of barrels. 

Leo:  In 2013, research on rats at Connecticut college revealed that Oreos may be as addictive to rats as cocaine. 

Lisa:  Those poor rats are always going to get addicted to everything.

Leo: This is what Nabisco is worried about.  It was all really good until Leo mentioned the rats.  Right?  It was all really great stuff.  I'm sure there are a lot of people coming out to buy Oreos.  I feel like we were willy nilly forced to advertise for Kitkats, now we're forced to advertise for Oreo, but when you get to O, there aren't a lot of choices. 

Harry:  You could just call it Android O. 

Leo:  They might do that. 

Lisa:  Aren't people complaining that you're breaking the loosely thematic snack system. 

Leo:  It's all deserts. 

Harry:  Why did they decide for K and O to do the brand name and not for other ones? 

Leo: No one knows. 

Lisa:  I wonder if it's based on the snack preferences.

Leo: See?  This is why Google should have said a little more about Android O than it's a cookie.  Right?  Anyway, apparently, I've been checking on my Pixel every five minutes and we will at some point at least on the pixels get an update to O.  You can if you're in a hurry do the public beta, and if you do that you'll get the official version of O.  I've been checking every day since Monday.  That was Monday. Wednesday or Tuesday... Wednesday Samsung announced the Galaxy Note 8.  No cookies.  Just 8.  But a big speed button.  Which disappoints me.  This is a phone that hasn't had a great history in the last year.  I think it's very important to Samsung's future, and is there anything either of you have to say about it? 

Lisa:  I was at a couple Samsung events over the last year, and they've been really forthright about saying our phones have been bursting into flames. 

Leo:  To their credit.

Lisa:  They've been really up front about it, which is probably the best strategy, and what I have also noticed is that the Samsung Note phones really have a hard following.

Leo:  I am one of them. 

Lisa:  The chatter I've heard with this coming out is hooray, a new phone.  The price point is a little bit concerning, because we're looking at a thousand dollars for a phone.  But that is what we're trending now, I guess.

Harry:  I met with the President of Samsung electronics North America, he started by showing me a video of Note owners talking about how much they love their notes and how they're looking forward to this one.  He also said he did not mention the name Apple.  He said that the two companies that dominate Smartphone market are both going to have these high-end flagship phones. 

Lisa:  But they both have devoted customer base.  I get the sense that this is an experiment to see exactly how much people are going to pay for a powerful computer..

Leo:  What's your guess?  I certainly don't think there's any question that Apple fans will pay whatever Apple asks for the next iPhone, especially that tenth anniversary iPhone.

Harry:  I think that the Note brand will survive its problems.  Especially since there's all these people who didn't buy one last year, so they're stuck with a two year old note.  For the most part it's very nice, it's very similar to the Galaxy S8.  That's the big downside.  It's a mistake which I assume they will correct.  Other than that, it's beautiful.  The edge to edge screen is nice, every time they come out with a new one, they improve the pen a little bit. 

Leo:  So the biggest differentiator in the Note is 6.2 inches. 

Harry: The Galaxy Line comes in large, even larger than that.  It's different than the old days when there was a clear dividing line between the Galaxy S and the Note Line.

Leo:  The Pen is a differentiator.  And then the third differentiator this year is the camera.  It's going to have the duel lens and do what Apple does  live with a slider which is cool. 

Harry:  You can adjust the blurriness, which has optical image stabilization on both lenses.  When I met with Samsung, they have this cool box, the fake scene with a fake woman in the background, and they have a Galaxy Note and an iPhone 7 Plus, and then they have a switch on the box where they can make the box vibrate, so they made the box vibrate and they took pictures with both. 

Leo:  The phone is vibrating or the scene? 

Harry:  At least in that demo, you realize the difference.  The Apple picture was blurred.

Leo:  A lot of times at events they show on the screen, but you saw it happen in real time, and that's more encouraging. The thing about the event that I liked the best was the box, but it was the giant box that the presenters were on.  We realized this at first, it looked like a giant stage, I couldn't think why the stage was so big until I realized it was screens, and they were standing on screens backed by two giant screens, and the effect was quite dramatic.  Let me see if I can, we'll have to skip to the, here we go.  So that's the stage.  The phones look like they're coming out of the stage, and the people on stage look like tiny little, this is a really nice effect.  I expect we'll see more of these.  But look at that.  Isn't that not remarkable?  He's walking on water now.  The following day, the vice chairman of Samsung Korea was sentenced to five years in jail. 

Lisa:  Did you watch the coverage for that? They had Paparazzo style coverage.  For a while there was a live feed of the vehicle that transported this person. 

Leo:  It was like their OJ.  Samsung is a family run business.  his father, Lee Jay Ung's father was a chairman, still is, but had a heart attack and was incapacitated.  So even though Lee Jay Ung is the vice chairman, he is running Samsung.  They'll appeal no doubt, so he'll have more time before going to jail, but five years in jail would be devastating, and the reason it's a big story in South Korea is this is unheard of.  Traditionally these guys running big companies have been immune from this kind of prosecution. 

Harry:  Various pardons have come along in the past when they needed to. 

Leo:  They should have jailed illegal immigrants, they might have gotten away with it.  I'm sorry, I got political.  iPhone is the next on the agenda, and we're going to see an iPhone reveal on the 12th,  The rumor is.  How credible is that?

Harry:  That's when you would guess, based on the last few years.  Something else would be an aberration essentially. 

Leo:  They traditionally do it on the Wednesday after Labor day.  Is that what they do?  This is not rumor, it's based on calculation. 

Harry:  Supposedly somebody has scuttle butt, although sometimes the scuttle butt is wrong. 

Leo:  Right.  Typically Apple will announce pre orders the Friday after the announcement, and then shipping a week later.  But I think with this phone, who knows?

Harry:  There will be lots of people wondering whether their schedules were slipping.  We might be talking more like October or later for the thousand dollar flagship phone.  No actually, they are putting together the pieces as they normally do.

Leo:  I tell you one thing.  Labor day is on a Monday.  Apple event is not going to happen on Tuesday, even though Tuesday is a normal day, because they don't want employees to work on Labor day weekend to get ready for an event.  So if it's the first week, it would be a Wednesday or Thursday, so the sixth or seventh.  Failing that would be on the following Tuesday.  You haven't seen sign ups for anything.  They haven't blacked out. 

Lisa:  Do you think they'd have it in San Francisco, or do you think they'd try to have it closer to..

Leo:  First of all they stopped having them in San Francisco. 

Lisa:  They moved VWDC to San Jose this year too, and that seemed to be a pretty clear sign. 

Leo:  I think they're going to be in Apple park, but will they be in Apple park?

Harry:  This is their big event, so they need lots of seats.  As opposed to an iPad announcement. 

Leo:  So Bill Graham, you think?

Harry:  I have no idea.  It can't be at a teeny movie theatre. 

Leo:  Do we know how big the Apple park press is?  It's not big. 

Lisa:  It would be fairly cheap. 

Leo:  We'll find out I guess.  Invitations go out a week ahead of time, so...

Harry:  We'll know more next week.  Either we'll hear about it or we won't. 

Leo:  The 12th, maybe.  We're supposedly going to hear about hardware.  Apple Watch series three.  I think the smart money is also expecting an Apple TV.  We'll see.  One of the reasons Mark German had that scoop last week, one of the reasons people think that is some people have seen in their stored movies 4K options.  There's no Apple TV that plays 4K currently, so that's possibly it.  Updated TV app that might have live TV.  Become a cable box in effect.  I trust Mark German.  He seems to be thinking all of the above, so we shall see.  It's that season.  And then, by the way, we'll still be waiting for the essential phone at that time.  I ordered ten days ago, they said it'll be a week.  Yesterday I got the email that says you want that camera?  360 camera.  I said sure, why not.  Add insult to injury.  Let me give you another 50 bucks.  At some point, that will come.  The rumor is according to Richard Gao at Android police that Google will wait until October 5th to announce the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.  Seems strong indication that the Pixel 2 will be made by LG.  Might look a lot like the LG LED 30, which is coming out as well.  And, here's an interesting story, everything else is going to have a Snapdragon 835, including the Note 8.  Google may scoop that with an 836.  Eve says 836. 

Lisa:  Has he explained the difference between an 835 and an 836 in how it will affect a user?

Leo:  Don't know.  It's only one better.  Usually there are bigger jumps, right?

Lisa:  This is one of my ongoing challenges with keeping on top of Android is the market.  It's difficult to find some place that collects all of the information to explain the hardware and the iteration of Android that is running on it to tell you do you want a phone that's faster, or do you want a phone that is responsive, do you want a phone that does this or that?  So when you're like it's a different chip, and?  What does that mean?  Is the phone faster, does it process better? 

Leo:  The stories I've seen say that the 836 is a minor upgrade, and not a big jump to the 835. 

Harry:  As its name suggests. 

Leo:  The 845 is for next year.  That will be a bigger jump.  Qualcomm, which makes these chips, says that they're going, they're in a ten nanometer thinfet, which is pretty interesting.  For the 835.  I don't know if they can get any smaller. Yep.  7 nanometers?  When you get to zero, let me know.  7 nanometers?  What are we going to have?  Petometers?  What's next after nanometers?  That's a billionth of a meter.  I can probably look it up on Wikipedia anyway.  It's a thousand whatever that is.  Now I've got to look it up.  Let's see.  You've got millimeter, you got a centimeter.  You got... huh?  Nano, mili, centi, what is next?  So these are littler.  Deci, centi, mili, micro, nano, picometer.  A thousand picometers would be one nanometer. 

Harry:  Get back to us when you have picometer process?

Leo:  That sounds pretty good.  I want a picometer chip.  All right.  Excellent point, Lisa, what's the difference?  No one knows.

Harry:  Are there Android people who pay that much attention to the chip? 

Lisa:  I don't know. 

Leo:  First of all, you're hard pressed to get a non Qualcomm chip because they own the CBMA patents, which means if you want to support the CBMA on your phone, you're going to be using a Qualcomm radio.  Apple famously put Intel radios, and half of it is iPhones, and they performed so poorly that they slowed down the Qualcomm radio.  They had to slow it down, it's the LTE radio.  So I agree that it's probably meaningless, and yet all anybody does is say I have an 836.  That's bragging rights.

Harry:  It makes me think of 1993 when you could get a PC with a 25 megahertz DS, or a 33 megahertz. 

Leo:  Right.  I got a turbo boost on this one. 

Harry:  and they were hundreds of dollars in difference.  It seems like those days are long over.

Lisa:  This knob goes up to 11. 

Leo:  I really think that's the difference.

Harry:  Or it would be like you need 2 or 4 megabytes of ram.  That actually had a huge impact on the price of the device. 

Lisa:  One of my favorite Christmas presents was I got ram doubler.

Leo:  Did you get QEMM as well?

Lisa:  I was ecstatic though. 

Harry:  There was Softgram, which was one of the best selling things on the market.

Leo:  It didn't do anything! 

Harry:  But people loved it even so. 

Leo:  That's my point.  Well, it's compressing your RAM.  It's good.  QEMM, 386.  I can't remember what that did.

Harry:  It allowed you to get past 640 K barrier or something like that.

Leo: I was testing you, Harry.  We're going to take a break.  Lisa Schmeiser she's editor in chief of Supersite for Windows.  It's good to have you, Lisa.  Also here, the incomprable.  I had nothing to drink, I assure you of that. Also with us, Mr. Harry McCracken the Technologizer of Fast  Our show to you today brought to you by the backup experts, the data protection heroes at Carbonite.  By the way, I haven't said this yet, but our hearts, prayers, minds, and thoughts are all going out to our friends in Texas.  Harvey, what a nasty storm, and now huge flooding even in metro areas like Houston and we just, we hope you're all alright. And not to commercialize it, but every time I see a disaster like that, I think, "I hope those businesses—even though you can rebuild the business, you can buy new computers, but the data on the computers, that's pretty hard to replace if you haven't been backing it up." And I just think about when disaster strikes, when ransomware ravages the world—I just read that Maersk, the big shipping company which got bit by Petya ransomware virus, in their quarterly results said, "We lost $300-million-dollars because of Petya." $300-million-dollars. The pharmaceutical company Merck shut down, had to shut down. They closed their offices. So, data loss is a serious thing. Now, if you've got a good data protection strategy, you don't have to worry about ransomware and I would submit that if your business isn't using Carbonite, you better darn well check it out. for home or for office. If you go to the office side and look in the resources section, there's a bunch of white papers. A lot of things about backup but also ransomware mitigation. Protecting your business from ransomware. Read about that. They even have a link to They're a supporter of that, to help you understand, teach your employees what not to do. But ultimately, no matter what, if it's acts of God, ransomware, acts of hackers or just human error, you got to protect your data and you've got to do it right with Carbonite. Go to, pick the plan you want. They've got high availability plans. They've got hardware solutions that then back up to the Carbonite cloud, the E-Vault. They've got a bunch of different—there's the E-Vault right there, bunch of different solutions. And if you're a business that needs to get back online fast, you'll really appreciate their high availability solutions. This is not your pappy's backup solution. This here is the best data protection experts at Carbonite., start your free trial today. No credit card required but do use the offer code TWiT and you can get two free bonus months if you decide to buy. And big savings, too, at Back it up. The data protection experts.

Ok, let's see. We talked about Apple. We talked about Google. I think we got all the phones. Are there any other essential phone? Note 8. At this point, and this happens every year around this time because I buy these things which is crazy. It's a budget buster. I don't even want to think about another—and $1,000-dollars for these devices. So, Jason said, "Since you bought the Essential, I'll buy the Note 8." Well, I'll buy them all but he'll be the one holding it. And I think I'm going to get the new iPhone and I definitely get the Pixel XL, Pixel 2 XL. I'm a Pixel fanatic. That's the Android choice for me. I won't go through the images of the iPhone 8 and all this. The Note, the Essential phone comes with 6GB of RAM, right? The Note is 4GB of RAM, or is it 6? Maybe it's 6 too. I don't know. I think that's another one of those bragging rights things where you probably wouldn't notice a difference.

Harry: On tablets, it definitely makes a difference.

Leo: Yea, although Apple's notoriously stingy with RAM, aren't they? I don't think they have anything more than 4 out.

Harry: The iPad Pro is ok.

Leo: I feel like the iPad Pro—you're using a 12.9" iPad Pro? Is that the newest version?

Harry: No, this is the original one. Or actually this is the 256GB version of the original one. It's not the brand new one.

Leo: I have to say the new 10.5" is noticeably faster and I think some of that is because of ARKit. I think that they want to be ready for that to be the AR device with—look, you're both using iPads, aren't you? Cute.

Lisa: Mine is an iPad Air 2, so.

Leo: They're so cute.

Lisa: I love it.

Leo: And I'm using my giant—this is the giant iPad. The 30" iPad that Apple never made but really ought to. This is the Surface Studio, but it's kind of like—when you look at it, it's kind of like—

Lisa: The Surface Studio's beautiful.

Leo: It's kind of like the iPad.

Lisa: Well, Lenovo's got a couple of machines like that, too, where they've moved towards—

Leo: All-in-ones?

Lisa: Yea. And they've emphasized, with Lenovo they've emphasized portability and the demos I've been to and the hands-on stuff I've done, they've shown that you can play board games on them.

Leo: I know, those are really weird, aren't they?

Lisa: Well, no, I was thinking it was really smart because what they're doing is—

Leo: They're tables almost.

Lisa: What they're doing is they're turning the computer into a social experience and a family experience. So, instead of having 4 people in front of their tablets at night, you can pull out one and everyone plays a game and then goes back to their tablets.

Leo: They're like 27"? Is that the size? Yea, I think we had an Idea.

Lisa: Yea, and I've seen them used as recipe stations in kitchens and things like that, but the deal was you had this big iPad-esque experience you can just take from room to room. And it would change contextually depending on what you wanted to do. I thought it was a great—

Leo: Father Robert had one. I don't think it had a stand or it had like a weird like tilt stand. That's the only thing to me that makes this—well, I like the high resolution. I love the screen, but really, the fact that you can tilt it to 15 degrees and make it like a drafting table, that to me is the most interesting thing about the Surface Studio.

Lisa: The person I know with a giant iPad, the massive iPad is actually an architect and she does bring it home to do work and it is tilted like that.

Leo: Sure, sure, or Harry.

Harry: And me. This is my primary computing device.

Leo: Really? You use it as a laptop?

Lisa: They're so much lighter. It's nice and I'm sure you use it that way, yea.

Harry: Although until recently I still will take like a MacBook Air to press events because for live blogging, I was more confident that I could be able to multitask and go back and forth between my live blog and Twitter and Slack.

Lisa: Because the screen real estate is still a consideration.

Harry: But with this I can share more stuff onscreen at once and I'm finally at a point where I use this as my primary live blogging tool.

Leo: Interesting. So, is there something that you can't do with that, or that you wish you could do with that, that you could do with a laptop?

Harry: I mean there are some things that are easier like Photoshop is still the most powerful tool for serious photo stuff.

Leo: Although, Infinity Photo is—that's really powerful.

Harry: That's pretty impressive.

Leo: Hard to use, but pretty powerful.

Harry: I swear by Dropbox. Dropbox is just more flexible on a Windows PC or a Mac than it is on a device like this.

Leo: Apple though is building a pretty big support for Dropbox and now you've got iOS 11 or have you?

Harry: This is running the—

Leo: So, you have the file manager.

Harry: Yea. I don't find that terribly exciting though.

Leo: It does give you access to your Dropbox files though.

Harry: Yes, but it's not life changing. I wish that it treated Dropbox and iCloud more similarly. iCloud is still much better integrated into the operating system than Dropbox.

Leo: You can't really blame Apple for favoring their own personal service.

Harry: I'm not surprised but I think there's still a place for these 3rd party document managers.

Leo: You know what really—and I haven't really thought about this, Apple's—this was a study of teenagers. Apple doesn't say anything about who buys iPhones or any demographic information, but in this study, it said that the majority of US based teens, 75%, three-quarters have iPhones. 76%. And 81% say their next phone will be iPhones. This is from Piper Jaffrey and what's interesting is that means iMessage, forget WhatsApp, forget Facebook Messenger, forget Google completely. iMessage is dominant among the under 20 set. Fascinating. I mean, that shows that Apple—and now Apple's putting more and more into its messaging. I think payments are coming.

Lisa: Yea, that was one of the announcements they made at their last tech announcement. Well, at this point if the teenagers have iPhones, the question that doesn't get answered but I'm curious about is what percentage of those teenagers bought their iPhones themselves and what percentage from the bank of mom and dad.

Leo: I'm sure they're almost all from the bank of mom and dad. In many cases, hand me downs, right? That's where our teen gets his. When I'm done with my iPhone 7 Plus, he'll replace his 6S with that, right?

Lisa: So, I know there have been studies that showed that one of the reasons that tablet sales have plateaued is because device makers were not counting on—

Leo: Hand me downs (laughing).

Lisa: No, they weren't. They were seriously thinking that people would always just buy the next batches. And there's been a hand me down effect. Have there been similar studies that have shown that being the case for phones, or?

Leo: I don't know. That's a good question. Although, Apple seems to have no trouble selling iPhones in mass quantities, much higher quantities than iPads.

Harry: Yea, I think it turned out the iPad was less of a device for everybody and they family has their own one, more like a PC, more of a shared resource. And a shared resource you don't want to upgrade every single year.

Leo: Yea, it's a really interesting question. But it raises a good question. Do people buy a new iPhone every year or every other year? Is that kind of like automatic?

Harry: Well, I mean in the old days you had your two-year contract which gave you an incentive to upgrade every two years. And they don't do that now, but there are all these plans from Apple and from the carriers that allow you to pay for your phone in installments and then when the next one comes up a year later, to trade in your old one for a new one and continue making installments which mathematically is probably not the world's greatest idea although I do it myself. But at least it's a plausible thing to do.

Leo: Yea.

Lisa: Well, the Pure Research Center keeps track of digital habits of Americans.

Leo: There's a great study of American internet usage.

Lisa: And I just looked up the most recent numbers and they say that 92% of 18-29-year-olds own a smartphone.

Leo: 92%.

Lisa: So, you're looking at—

Leo: It's pretty well saturated.

Lisa: Yea, you're looking at true saturation, so we figure we no longer give quite a side eye, but I'd really like to know a break out by—

Leo: Well, 76% of that 92% is iPhones. That's pretty good. That's a pretty good percentage.

Harry: For years, there were all these experts who were constantly predicting that Apple was losing its luster among young people and Samsung—

Leo: It's quite the opposite.

Harry: Nobody is still claiming that.

Leo: No. Samsung was the one to claim that.

Harry: They were also—

Lisa: I think one of the things that it points out too, is that Google has made tremendous inroads in the US education market where the Google Apps are pretty much a default for many, many school systems because you can do collaborative work, teachers can issue assignments quickly. They don't have to manage files that way. So, are we looking at a generation of users who are taking it for granted they're going to have to negotiate multiple platforms and multiple vendors just to get stuff done?

Harry: The Chromebook. I mean, it turned out where the Chrome Pack has really had its impact in school systems and it is sort of the new Windows PC and it really has hurt Apple in terms of other doing there which is why Apple came out with this new $329-dollar iPad which actually seems to be a hit. And maybe will help them compete.

Lisa: Well, I have a very small school-age daughter and her class is a Chromebook classroom.

Leo: Oh, good. I actually prefer that. They have a real keyboard.

Lisa: And the school district does use Google Docs all the way up through high school because when I work with high schoolers, they'll usually just send me a Google Doc.

Leo: Google seems to have a complete offering for a school. Who's really suffering there is Microsoft, Windows, because that was the dominant school platform, not Apple, but Microsoft.

Lisa: Well, it made Bloomberg news a couple of weeks ago when Nielsen Research announced that they switched from Microsoft Office for their workforce to the Google Suite. They said, "Yea, this is actually what we're using as a recruiting tool because younger adults who have come up through the school system and through college using the Google tools expect to walk into a workforce and have feature parity with the software." And they're not thrilled with Office. They'd rather use the same Google Apps they've been using for nearly a decade.

Leo: And now you see why it's so important to get in that school.

Lisa: I wonder, and this is purely speculative, but you think about the foothold that Apple had in education in the 80s and 90s and how much do you think helped rocket the popularity of the iMac in the late 90s because you had people that were not that many years removed from the experience, and how much do you think it helped with something like the original iPod where there was the expectation that I get how this works. This hits a button in my brain that's been installed as a child.

Harry: A lot is my guess.

Leo: Well, and I think that's why Apple's clear strategy is abandoning Mac OS and moving everybody towards iOS because you've got a generation that intimately understands how iOS works.

Lisa: They were mobile first.

Leo: They were mobile first. And they're going to use iPads and iPhones. Maybe not even iPads. Maybe just—I mean as we get more powerful with these phones, you may not even need—what do you think of the solutions that Samsung, they mentioned this again in their Note 8 announcement, Samsung and Microsoft also has something similar, these solutions like Samsung's DeX or Microsoft's Continuum that allows you to use your phone as a desktop computer. Kind of almost a Chromebook where you dock your Samsung Galaxy Note in a little DeX thing and it's connected to a keyboard and mouse and a big screen, and now you're working. Is that a—did you see that scenario? Have you ever seen anybody do that? I mean, let's put it that way.

Lisa: I haven't seen it in a while but I don't discount it.

Leo: I haven't done it. I have a DeX but I did it once.

Lisa: Well, I also wonder how much longer the keyboard is going to be your primary interface for dealing with computers because again, you're looking at generations of people who have grown up with drop and drag and touchscreen and typing with just two fingers because that's a transitional technology. So, who is to say that we're not going to see somebody who figures out a better way to—

Leo: DeX is a transitional technology. The keyboard, the mouse and the monitor, that's just to make people feel comfortable. Millennials will say, "Well, I don't need that. I've got my phone."

Lisa: Because the keyboard was a transitional technology from a typewriter. So, who's to say that we're not—

Leo: Voice will eliminate the need for a keyboard input eventually.

Lisa: Only if the software's really good.

Leo: And it's getting good.

Lisa: Because I was thinking about this. One of the stories that we have on the list is about Google and Walmart teaming up for grocery delivery.

Leo: Let's get to that. Actually, that's a great thing. So, why does that help, though? What does that have to do with voice?

Lisa: Well, they say, "Oh, we want to—" they want to do it because they want to gain a foothold in voice assistance and voice activated grocery deliveries where you can just say, "Hey, make sure my regular order is available for pick up at Walmart." And—

Leo: Do you think this is a big story because I thought—I mean, it's obvious that Google and Walmart are pairing up only in the face of the threat of Amazon.

Lisa: I think it's an interesting strategy. And—

Leo: Do they have a chance?

Lisa: Yes.

Leo: Have you used a Google Home to buy anything?

Lisa: I haven't but bear in mind that I don't like using the voice activated devices because I find it's too much work to train them right now.

Leo: I use my Echo almost every day to buy something. Because it's tied to Amazon. Amazon knows everything I've ever bought, so, it's very easy for me to say, in effect, "You know that thing I bought last week? Buy another one of those." If I say, "Echo, buy batteries," it just says, "Well, the last time you bought this. Do you want more of those?" And it knows. And that is easy. There's no training. That's easy.

Lisa: So, the reason I think that it's actually a really smart strategy is Whole Foods is fairly geographically limited. When they expanded the franchises, the people who cited Whole Foods always look for really specific zip codes with really specific demographics because they wanted to make sure they could guarantee so many sales per square foot and they're only so many zip codes you can do that in. So, Amazon doesn't, is not going to have the same comparative geographic reach as Walmart does, because Walmart has a much different geographic strategy. So, if you are Google and Walmart, you don't go after Amazon Prime customers, you go after the people who are not geographically served by the Whole Foods Amazon team up. And you go after people who still have to buy fresh produce and eggs but may live in rural Illinois or may live in southwestern Virginia or someplace where the nearest Whole Foods is not half an hour away. So, they have a real opportunity here to serve a market that has not seen a lot of attention and love.

Leo: Just because there's so many Walmart's everywhere.

Harry: And it gives Google a scale that's never going to meet with something like Google Shopping Express which still seems like an experiment.

Lisa: Exactly.

Leo: Shopping Express has a lot of vendors. I thought they were just going to add one more vendor to Shopping Express.

Lisa: Because Shopping Express has CVS and they have Costco right now. And again, Costco is another one of those retail chains that are in a limited footprint. They don't have—they have more outlets and they're not tied exclusively to high income neighborhoods but because Costco's business model rewards more conservative growth in terms of putting down more stores and training a new workforce, they don't have the same geographic penetration as Walmart does. Walmart's traditional markets have been in urban areas. But Amazon Prime and Whole Foods do very well there. So, by focusing on parts of the country that are underserved by an Amazon/Whole Foods team up, what Google gets out of this is a tremendous amount of retail data that they don't have access to otherwise and they get a reach that Amazon would have to work very hard to get into with Whole Foods. Because right now what Amazon can offer is, "Oh, you can now buy the 365-brand pasta if you're a Prime member." Hooray because you've been dying for this dried pasta.

Leo: I was told one of the reasons Amazon really liked Whole Foods is because of their generics.

Lisa: Yea, and they do have a great generic section but—

Leo: They're not really generics, they're 365 house brand.

Lisa: House brands. They do have great house brands and the house brands are competitively priced. But—

Leo: So, is this kind of the Mayweather-MacGregor of e-commerce? And if it is, who's MacGregor and who's Mayweather (laughing)? My money's on—I think Amazon's Mayweather. My money is on Amazon. I think this is a scrappy—Walmart and Google are a lot like MacGregor. They're not really boxers. They're coming from a different discipline and they're just hoping to box up against the big guy in this market but I think Mayweather, I think Amazon owns this. Amazon in ten rounds! That's my prediction.

Lisa: Don't underestimate how much people will like it if it's easy for them to get fresh produce and dairy and eggs just by driving to a curb and picking it up.

Leo: I don't have to drive anywhere with Amazon and Whole Foods. It comes to my door.

Lisa: It's urban privilege though. We're coastal.

Leo: Actually, we're not urban here in Petaluma. This is almost as much as a backwater as Alameda Island.

Lisa: (Laughing) Oh, I walked into that one.

Leo: We can get Amazon grocery delivery here. Frankly, here the competition here is Safeway, the big grocery store chain.

Lisa: Yea, because I know Meijer, I think it's pronounced Meijer, it's got a J in the middle of it. I've only ever seen the signs in the Midwest. I don't think I've actually ever heard someone say the name. But there's a mid-western chain, Meijer or Meijer, and there's Kroger and there's Safeway, that they've all launched delivery things too. What I've heard from people who have used services like that is they get irritated at not being able to easily replicate things and pick them up when they want them to. If Walmart could manage to nail convenience, they'll really have something there.

Harry: And you really want to be built into somebody's voice assistant at a very deep level and if we're talking about, it will never be built as deeply as Amazon is. So, I think it makes sense for Walmart and it makes sense for Google too because Google needs scale for shopping.

Leo: Is, ok, so is it going to be related to the success of Google Home versus Amazon Echo? Because again, my money is on Echo.

Harry: Mine too.

Leo: Look at this. When Amazon said, "Our deal with Whole Foods is closing on Monday with FCC approval," stock decline on Thursday, last Thursday, 8.1% for Kroger, almost 7% for Sprouts, Costco 5%, Target 4%, Walmart 2%. Actually, Amazon went down a little bit and Whole Foods went up but there were $12-billion dollars in market value from grocery stores.

Harry: Yea, and it makes total sense because their profit margins are tiny right now and Amazon can afford to do crazy things.

Lisa: Amazon's got a cloud business subsidizing it, so—

Harry: They don't have to worry about profit margin potentially and Safeway cannot lose money on every sale.

Leo: I'm telling you, you've got to make a strong case for me why this Walmart Google deal is going to do anything to stop the Amazon juggernaut.

Lisa: I don't know if it will stop. I think they'll have different market positions.

Leo: Walmart, by the way, hates Amazon.

Lisa: Oh, yea.

Leo: Walmart is—I mean, Walmart, they bought Jet, right, so that they can compete with Amazon. I haven't seen anything come of that by the way. Have you? Nothing's changed there. That was a waste of money.

Harry: They put the Jet guy in charge of all of Walmart e-commerce, so he may have played a role in this deal with Google.

Lisa: He's been reorganizing positions and they have been lining up behind the scenes.

Leo: It just takes time. They're just doing it behind the scenes. The Jet guy hates Amazon because he started and Jeff Bezos basically put him out of business and bought him for pennies on the dollar. Killed him and he went, "I'm going to screw you. I'm going to start Jet." Which didn't really take off but at least, well, I'm sure he made his money back with the Walmart acquisition and now he's running e-commerce for Walmart. So, you've got these Amazon—I don't know. I would, I am not a bet against Bezos kind of guy. I feel like he's the one to beat at this point and—

Lisa: I think the problem that Amazon and Whole Foods are still going to have to crack is how to reach market penetration and saturation in parts of the country where you don't already have a built-in grocery infrastructure.

Leo: Well, that's assuming they're going to stop with Whole Foods.

Lisa: Yea. I mean they could buy somebody else. You know, I joked that they should actually talk to the Albrecht brothers, either the guy who runs Trader Joe's or the other brother who runs Aldi.

Leo: They should actually buy Trader Joe's. Absolutley.

Lisa: Because then you've got a couple different market price points there and Trader Joe's has enough of a cult-y following where if people were like, "Oh, I can now order my ginger snaps over Amazon Alexa. Sign me up."

Leo: Do you want—I mean, Walmart makes you drive to the store and pick it up. Do you want to do that or wouldn't you rather they just brought you the food? Why do you want to get in the car? I don't understand that.

Lisa: You can pick it up on the way home from work which is one way of doing it or you're at Walmart and you've picked up your pre-packed groceries, you remember that oh, I also have to pick up—

Leo: Well, I understand why they like it (laughing).

Lisa: No, but shoppers work this way, too.

Leo: Shoppers like it? Ok. I understand that I'm not a good test for this.

Lisa: I mean there are sometimes when you are strictly task oriented and then there's sometimes when you're like, "Oh, so as long as I'm here, this target of opportunity has come up."

Leo: I've increasingly noticed that I, more and more of the stuff I get comes in a box from a UPS truck, mostly from Amazon. And I feel like there is a jump for groceries, right? And I've already made a little bit of that jump with Blue Apron, so I'm almost there. I can get three meals a week from Blue Apron. And of course, Amazon has their version of packaged meals, not as good as Blue Apron but I have a feeling that if Amazon doesn't acquire Blue Apron they will duplicate it which is why, by the way, the market agrees because Blue Apron stock is also—

Lisa: I think that can also be contextual though. Because like you, there's stuff I get though subscribe and save. You know, like—

Leo: I live on subscribe and save. I get a box too big for my mailman to deliver once a month.

Lisa: So, there's that but there's also last-minute things where somebody is saying our class has run out of graham crackers for snack. Can somebody please bring in a few boxes tomorrow? So, there's responsive task oriented, there's the routine deliveries or there might be special occasion things. I mean food shopping is not—

Leo: What if I could have a drone deliver it to you?

Lisa: Drones are so cool. I have wished that there was a drone donut delivery service because when it's 7:30 on a Sunday morning, and I'm like, I would have to put on shoes and leave.

Leo: Ah, donuts. I know. Amazon needs to buy Sprinkles and oh, Amazon should buy Dunkin Donuts.

Lisa: Krispy Kreme.

Leo: Krispy Kreme. Why not? They've got plenty of money and they should buy—as long as they buy Noah's Bagels, too.

Lisa: See, Jeff Bezos is grinning at you for that idea.

Leo: Jeff looks like he's the cat that ate the canary. Jeff has definitely back in there behind that bald dome there, there's something going on. There's some thoughts going on. He knows he's on top and everybody—it's clear when Google and Walmart partner, not natural friends, natural allies, when they partner it means they're worried about Amazon. And I think they should be. I do. Amazon did announce, I don't understand it, that on Monday when the acquisition goes through, they're going to drop the prices at Whole Foods on kale—

Harry: Bananas.

Leo: Bananas, avocados and salmon. Run in there. Now, is that long-term? Is that just to get attention?

Lisa: I would be curious to find out if those are—if they've looked at loyalty customers and seen that those are often repeat purchases and this is a way for them to try to make repeat customers feel good about the merger by saying, "Look, you benefitted immediately."

Harry: I think at Whole Foods, Kale is a staple pretty much.

Leo: It is. Kale and avocados, banana.

Lisa: Because I was like those first three ingredients are smoothie ingredients.

Leo: The biggest bin in our Whole Foods is bananas. It's so huge. It's like, I feel like I've moved to Belize. It's gigantic. And avocados are next, so.

Lisa: Well, they're clearly sucking up the housing market obviously. All those millennials buying avocados instead of buying houses.

Leo: Yea, why not? It's the new luxury. Luxury experience, not luxury things. Well, I'm going to do a Blue Apron ad now (laughing). Actually, Blue Apron, I should have mentioned, is a sponsor.

Leo: Blue Apron is an interesting—it's kind of like the gateway drug for this, right? Because I was always skeptical about getting food, particularly fresh produce delivered. I thought, "No, no, no, no, no. I'm not going to—they're not going to pick out the melons, the avocados, the stuff I would pick out. It won't be the same." And so, and I always went to the store to get fresh stuff, fresh produce. And then I tried Blue Apron. And I think I realized, "No, actually, it's completely possible to deliver amazing quality veggies, meats, fish." Never frozen, fresh. It's a refrigerated box. It's got dry ice in it and it is incredible. It's so good that you know, they have a guarantee. Blue Apron is, the idea is you get like everything you need to make an amazing meal. We get our Blue Apron three times a week. Actually, we get three meals a week, three meals for two a week. I give one to our—we give one to our in-laws which is really nice. We prep them a little bit so it's ready for them to go. They don't have to chop anything. The nice thing about Blue Apron is it's everything you need. If you need a tablespoon of soy sauce, you get a little bottle. See, that little bottle? A little bottle with a tablespoon of soy sauce. If you need three fairy eggplants, you get three, not two, not four. So, there's no waste. It actually makes it easier to make the recipe because you know if it's here, it must have to use it in some way. And it turns you into an amazing cook. These are meals you can make that smell delicious. It's great. It's so nice to make them in the house because the aromas fill the house. I made the ramen bowl you see on the right there. I made that the other day. And people go, "When's dinner? Oh, that smells good. What are you cooking?" It is fabulous. You feel good about it. They sit down to an amazing, healthy meal with fresh ingredients. They think you're a great cook and you say, "Well, yea, I am. I'm a great cook thanks to Blue Apron." Blue Apron is trying to build a sustainable food system and a community of home chefs with the highest standard for ingredients. I think they're knocking it out of the park for all three. It's less than—it's very affordable. It's less than going to Whole Foods, less than going to any grocery store because they don't have the brick and mortar. They don't have to worry about clerks and stocking and all those things. They don't have to rent a big space. For less than $10-dollars per person per meal, you're going to get seasonal recipes, perfectly proportioned ingredients. You can cook the meals in 40-minutes or less. There's no weekly commitment by the way. You only get deliveries when you ask for them. You get to choose from the menus so there's lots of choice to suit your dietary requirements, your preferences. Yes, they have vegetarian options. And you know, you don't ever have to worry about a box arriving when you're out of town because you only get it when you ask for it. Listen to some of the things on the menu this week. Basil Pesto Chicken with Summer Vegetable Panzanella. We're at the tail end of the summer stuff. We're going to start getting to the fall foods. Oh, man, I hate doing these ads because they make me so hungry. Sautéed Shrimp and Green Beans with Globe Tomatoes, Spinach and Orzo Pasta. Here's a vegetarian one. Whole Grain Pasta and Summer Vegetables with Heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad. Miso Butter Salmon and Low Mein Noodles with Cucumber and Cherry Tomatoes. Meatball Pizza with Fresh Mozzarella Cheese and Charred Tomatoes. Now, they have two plans, one for couples, one for families of four. You're a family of four, right, Lisa? Three—ok. Actually, we feed three with the two-person plan. I should mention this. Sometimes we'll make a little rice extra or something like that. But even Michael who's a teenager, he's like amazing, like a Brontosaurus, we generally have enough food with a meal for two. But they do have a meal plan for four. And they have more kinds of—if you look at the family friendly, it's more—you know, the family plan is more family friendly. Barramundi and I don't even know what—Tzatziki Sauce is, but—is it good? Summer Vegetables. See, doesn't that look good? First three meals free with your first purchase. Just go to They're making me so—it's like torture. Free shipping, too. You will love how good it feels and tastes. Create incredible home cooked meals with Blue Apron. And I look at Blue Apron and I think, Amazon should just buy them because Blue Apron customers, and I know so many people, many of our staff here is Blue Apron. You use Blue Apron, right, Karsten? Yea. He's got two boys and feeds a family of four. That's when you realize, no, I don't have to go to the store to shop. This is perfect. This is better than I would have picked. Perfectly ripe and fresh and delicious., three meals free with your first purchase.

Leo: We had a fun week this week on TWiT and I think we've got Joshua to put together a little mini-movie. Do you have that movie, Karsten? Let's roll it.

Narrator: Previously on TWiT:

Jason Howell: And, and it is in fact Oreo.

Florence Ion: Oh, my gosh. I have no idea how to swallow this right now.

Jason: Well, obviously with a glass of milk.

Narrator: Know How.

Patrick Delahanty: It didn't have to be disgusting.

Father Robert Ballecer: It's not disgusting. It's just a camera cable. It's going to help you see any sort of microelectronics. But then naturally you probably can—you know. Or you know, there's also—

Patrick: One of the most uncomfortable episodes ever on the network...of all shows!

Narrator: Tech News Today.

Jason: Now, AI is responsible for all the music on a full-length album called I AM IA by artist Tayrn Southern to create and produce all chords, production work and instrumentation on the album.

Owen JJ Stone: Did you hear this song? I want to feel. I want to touch. I want to breathe. I want to be alive. The thing just made a song talking about I'm trying to get out of this machine. The first song it makes with a full album, full band, full poetry, is I want to be human and take over your life because you've got me stuck in this box.

Narrator: TWiT! All your favorite podcasts from the 80s, 90s and today.

Owen: You ever think about being real? The thought process of what. And the next thing you know, you find out how you can get it. We're all going to die.

Jason: Owen says this about Amper, we're all going to die.

Leo: OhDoctah. OhDoctah. We've got a big week coming up, right? Do we have a week ahead? We don't know what's going to happen. It will be a mystery. I can guarantee you it's going to be a fun week. And you will get it all if you watch TWiT.

Lisa: IFA's coming this week.

Leo: IFA is in Berlin. You going?

Lisa: I am.

Leo: So jealous. When do you leave for Berlin? I've never been to IFA.

Harry: It's a fun show.

Leo: Are you going too?

Harry: Not this year.

Leo: But you've gone in the past.

Harry: I have.

Leo: It stands for, I can't—my German's not very good but basically it's been around for hundreds of years. It's a radio— but now it's gadgets. Mobile World Congress was not in Barcelona. It's going to be in San Francisco, right?

Harry: That's not the big show.

Leo: It's still Barcelona.

Lisa: There's still a Barcelona show.

Leo: Ah, I was confused. So, IFA in Berlin at the end of the summer and the fall or winter we get the—So, what are you looking for at IFA this year?

Lisa: To be honest, I haven't—

Leo: No idea.

Lisa: No. Exactly (laughing). Because to be—I'm going on vacation then I'm going to see if I can line up a few more press things while I'm there, so.

Leo: Oh, you're so smart. It's that or Burning Man, right?

Lisa: You know, if I had been smart I would have stayed in San Francisco to enjoy the empty streets.

Leo: Everybody leaves for Burning Man. Everybody's already there. I see on my Instagram all these people setting up.

Lisa: And you know what? I feel like I should actually backtrack the conversation about 20 minutes and point out that when I made the comment about millennials not buying houses because they're buying avocados, that was purely tongue in cheek and making fun of the popular sentiment that's come out.

Leo: I think it might be true. In fact, I'm not sure that's a bad thing.

Lisa: Student loans, man. These smart guys have student loans.

Leo: Don't buy houses. Rent. Seriously.

Lisa: I got told it's because my generation bought too much Starbucks, but it's always, hey we are going to ignore the complete system.

Leo: My generation was fed a bunch of bologna. Home ownership is the only thing. You have to own a home. Now, admittedly, it could be a good investment but it's not a guaranteed good investment. I've both lost and made money buying and selling homes. But I think that the problem with home ownership, especially if you're young is it ties you down and you can't go where the jobs are. And look at Detroit and all the empty homes that have been vacated by people who said, "I'm just going to walk out the door because I can't get a job here. I've got to go somewhere else." I don't know. I'm just hoping they're buying avocados because there's nothing better than a nice guacamole, is there?

Lisa: I'm not an avocado person at all.

Leo: What?

Lisa: I apologize for that. I just can't get past the texture.

Leo: Wait a minute. You'd rather eat a donut than an avocado?

Lisa: Oh my God, yea. A nice crueler?

Leo: A bear claw.

Harry: A bear claw maybe.

Lisa: Rudyard Kipling wrote the Great Grey-Green Greasy Limpopo in reaction to having his first avocado and I stand by that response.

Leo: Oh, I didn't know that.

Lisa: Yes.

Leo: I did not know that.

Lisa: I read that somewhere.

Leo: The Great Grey-Green Greasy Limpopo River.

Lisa: Yes.

Harry: And he loved donuts probably.

Lisa: As all right-thinking people do.

Leo: If you can eat a chocolate donut without licking the icing first, you're a better man than I am, Gunga Din. Facebook has a new public editor. This is not going to end well. So, Liz Spayd who was Kara Swisher's boss when Kara first started at The Washington Post, she was hired briefly as Public Editor at the New York Times. So briefly that they decided, they not only got rid of her, they eliminated the job. But they had a great Public Editor. Remember, what was her name?

Harry: Margaret Sullivan.

Leo: Margaret Sullivan. She was wonderful.

Lisa: And she's at The Washington Post I believe, yea.

Leo: She went to the Post. She was an ombudsman for the reader. So, she would call The New York Times to task when things, you know, when they did a story that wasn't well researched. I remember the New York Times wrote a story about the sweatshop workers, child workers in China for Apple and she would call them on the carpet. And then, I don't know how Liz did, but she was apparently a little abrasive.

Harry: She was not beloved by journalists on Twitter.

Lisa: She tended to advocate for the institution over any reader response to what the journalist would report.

Leo: And that's the opposite of her job, right?

Lisa: And it was a lot of, "Well, you people who are giving us blowback on Twitter, let me explain to you how news works and how you should have read this story."

Leo: Oof. Don't get defensive if you're the public editor. That's the last thing.

Lisa: So, being told that you just didn't read the story the right way and discounting the social media dialogue that sprung up in reaction to the stories, like that's not necessarily a great starting point if you were to be the so called "Public Editor" of a newspaper where your beat is in fact how the public reacts and responds to your institution.

Leo: It's like if you had Steve Jobs as the public editor. You know, you read it wrong.

Lisa: And she also was not really—she didn't seem to see social media as part of today's media landscape. She really didn't seem to grasp that interaction and reaction to jobs, to articles is now part of the whole public sphere.

Harry: She had trouble with The Times' journalists kind of being themselves on Twitter.

Leo: Oh, she wanted them to shut up.

Lisa: It is inappropriate to retweet dog stuff apparently, things like that.

Leo: I think the Times was very lucky with Barbara Sullivan. They got this person who was brilliant, the job was made for her and she held it for not that long, a few years.

Harry: They had several good people before that.

Lisa: They did. It used to be a very strong position and this was very adversarial and unfortunately she held the position at a time where the media didn't need to be called into account over how they chose to cover several stories over the election season.

Leo: She was, you know, kind of the fake news, the front of the fake news.

Lisa: And for people who—

Leo: That's not what you need. You don't want a PR person. So, Facebook has hired her which, I mean, I'm not sure exactly what she's going to do here. She's blogging I guess or I'm not sure. But Facebook says, "Well we have Campbell Brown," who's the CNN journalist they hired as their head of news partnerships. Campbell is going to be more public facing. "We're going to make Spayd kind of somebody who's inside but calls us to task." Is that the right job for Liz Spayd? I don't know.

Harry: I think she's done some good work in the past because she was at the Columbia Journalism Review which is certainly a force for good. When she was at the Times it was a little unclear whether she could get her head around social media in world in which—so, it does seem like an odd hire but who knows? Maybe she made a case for herself.

Lisa: Well, that's what's a little concerning, is since Facebook, Facebook has the well-publicized, you know, fake news issue they're still trying to deal with and they also have as—I wouldn't say a mandate for growth but a huge component of their operation comes down to people sharing news articles and commenting on it or commenting on publisher streams. And unless you can understand how people have chosen to dialogue with one another—oh, God, I just used dialogue as a verb. I'm so sorry. How people chose to conduct a dialogue.

Leo: If I were Spayd, I would get my ruler out and hit your knuckles.

Lisa: You know, if you can't really look at what is in an online space and accept this is how people choose to talk about the news and you're like, "No. This is how you should use Facebook instead," I'm not sure you're setting yourself up for success.

Leo: Facebook is going to be streaming movies live on Facebook Live. Not current releases. These are older releases. Actually, the Motorcycle Diaries which is quite good. The Constant Gardner I'm not familiar with and The Eternal Sunshine. Is that good? Oh, John Le Carré. Oh, ok. Oh, I don't know that one. Is it George Smiley? Is it the Smiley—ok. Well, I'll be watching that and The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind in which Jim Carey tries to keep his face from making funny images. They'll all be broadcast from the Focus—these are all Focus Films, Focus Features Facebook Page. First time a studio has ever broadcast actual movies on Facebook Live. It will be, the first broadcast at 6:00 PM Friday, August 25th. Did I miss it? I missed it. Well, there'll be another one.

Lisa: What is the site getting out of this?

Leo: I don't know.

Lisa: Yea, because I wonder, what did Facebook promise Focus Features, or rather what is Facebook—

Leo: I think Facebook says, "Go ahead. It's your page. You can do it. And since you own the rights to the movie it's not privacy. They say this is part of their 15th anniversary celebration. It's certainly PR. It's not a movie that they're probably making much out of.

Lisa: I mean do you think they're doing this to try to gather engagement or streaming metrics internally so that they can start negotiating with studios and with movie theatres?

Leo: You always have to suspect when Facebook does something it's really just about the data.

Lisa: Well, I'm also suspecting that for Focus Features because one of the things that's going on right now in movies as well is you have production companies that have been getting into step with theatre chains over the terms of releasing the movies in theatres versus streaming or video on demand. And so, it's also in the interest of a studio to be able to say, "Hey, we've got this kind of interest with streaming. It does not hurt us to walk away from box office distribution." And this could be, this data could be used as bargaining chips later, especially during reward seasons, when rewards are often predicated on airing it in a cinema.

Leo: Ah, wouldn't it be interesting because during award season I get DVDs with lots of anti-piracy messages and stuff on there for your consideration. Wouldn't it be interesting if instead they streamed them on Facebook for your consideration instead of, "All right, celebrities, you want?" The problem is piracy is a big problem because these are all in many cases movies in the theatres still. So, I'm supposed to shred the DVDs after I get them.

Lisa: Well, streaming is already something that is happening for pop culture journalists. I write for a site called Previously TV where it's pop culture and TV writing and riffing and recapping.

Leo: Oh, neat. I'll have to check that out. What's your beat?

Lisa: Whatever they give me (laughing).

Leo: You don't focus on 80s sitcoms featuring Ted Danson or something like that?

Lisa: No, not yet.

Leo: Although that would be—

Lisa: I'm sure that's—but when I first started the gig I would get watermarked DVDs and it would oh, please, piracy.

Leo: Oh, they say all sorts of stuff.

Lisa: But now, it's a password protected site where it's streamed and I no longer have the DVDs at all. I just have a password protected site and some of these sites actually limit the number of times you can watch a pre-released show because they want to make sure that we're not handing out the user ID and password to people willy-nilly.

Leo: The reason I get the DVDs, I'm not a member of The Academy. I'm a member of The Screen Actors Guild. And so, The Screen Actors Guild Awards send out movies ahead of time. It is nice. They're not HD.

Lisa: Do you have screening parties? I would have screening parties.

Leo: I'm not allowed to. Yes, I do.

Harry: One reason, another reason why Facebook is doing this is because they are trying to figure out how to integrate professional content into Facebook which I think they're doing partially because YouTube has placed a large emphasis on integrating more professional content into YouTube.

Leo: Nobody's licked this yet though. Apple wants to. They even announced they're going to spend a billion dollars on new content. YouTube spent hundreds of millions and maybe will spend more coming down the road. But the companies like HBO and Netflix just are so dominant. They make so much better stuff. Netflix says, "We're going to spend $7-billion this year on original content." And I imagine HBO spends something like that. Ok, since you specialize in covering television among other things, why is it—so, look at what Apple's made so far. They've trashed Carpool Karaoke and made this awful Planet of the Apps show. They haven't shown any ability. They hired two executives from Sony. Maybe that's their bid to get some expertise in here. A billion isn't a whole lot of money compared to what Netflix is spending. How does Apple or Facebook or YouTube convince people? YouTube already has people watching but they watch short, groin, crotch shot videos. It's not—

Lisa: Well, they watch instructional videos too.

Leo: Oh, it's huge on that. My son learns everything from instructional videos on YouTube.

Lisa: I have friends that bought and flipped a house and taught themselves all the construction techniques based on YouTube tutorials.

Leo: Actually, that's absolutely true. But it's not long form, you know, it's not competing with network television.

Lisa: And what I found very fascinating actually, and we can get back to the scripted shows, but I found BuzzFeed's Tasty.

Leo: Very good.

Lisa: And they've also got a new DIY crafty series they do where they can show you how to make crafts and they accelerate through that too. I'm trying to remember what it's called. Nifty. That's what it's called. And I think it's really interesting that BuzzFeed has effectively pioneered and nailed this visual format for super quick, super instructional videos. I have reservations about how useful they are say, if you don't have broadband or if your internet connection goes down and you're mid recipe. But, I honestly don't understand—I should say I don't think it's necessarily smart on Apple's part to push out original content. I don't see why you don't just work on making partnerships with companies that do that already but that's mostly because maybe this is the inverse of the Whole Foods Walmart thing we just had where you put out Netflix is so dominant in this space. HBO's done a great job. A lot of other channels do streaming content. Why would you not just lock down a really nice deal with them and then that burnishes, that makes it more compelling for people to use your product.

Leo: What's the skill that Apple lacks and Facebook lacks and YouTube lacks that Netflix and HBO had? Is it a personality issue?

Harry: I wouldn't lump them all together. YouTube for a while was doing kind of random celebrities and giving them lots of money.

Leo: That flopped, remember? Shaquille O'Neal had a channel that didn't make any.

Harry: And they eventually swung back to people who actually do have a critical mass of fans on YouTube which makes a lot more sense.

Leo: By the way, we should point out, the whole purpose, at least for YouTube and probably for Facebook, not so much for Apple, is advertising revenue. For Apple, it's a little more complex because they want to generate revenue through hardware.

Harry: Although, YouTube also wants you to pay for YouTube content. They want you to subscribe.

Leo: So, it's both. But really, I think YouTube's trying to upgrade the quality of their content because advertisers don't want to be on groin shot videos.

Lisa: I think if you're Netflix though, one of the advantages you have is you have a deep well of content and people will get on for nostalgic reasons. For example, I feel like oh, the entire run of this British sitcom I like happens to be on Netflix and it's $9-dollars a month and I get access to Orange is the New Black and Milan and all these new movies. Why not? And so, they just don't come for one show. They come for one or two shows and then they go for the back catalogue and when they emerge 48 hours later their loved ones are shocked they're still alive.

Leo: You mentioned, it's interesting you mentioned the BuzzFeed Tasty videos because they're very well done and they're very viral. They're produced by Ze Frank who—do you know?

Harry: He's an old hand at this.

Leo: Ze Frank, he's an old hand at this stuff.

Lisa: And creative, yea.

Leo: And he was one of the earliest blogger on the internet and very famous for, "I Will Not Blink" videos, fast cut. And he went on to BuzzFeed and creates video content for BuzzFeed. So that underscores what I maybe think is the case is that it's really, if you're going to make this kind of content, you need—there's some people who know how to do it.

Lisa: You need a distinct—you need to have the visual vocabulary and you need to have the skills as it were. Like you need to be able to identify what works in a video and what doesn't. And that's a while different set of skills then say—

Leo: Well, and the new video is. If you look at Tasty, that is not like long-form.

Lisa: No. Well, that was actually a big problem with food blogging and this is something that I suspect only irritates me, but I used to read a couple different food blogs and I had to stop because every recipe was proceeded by a 2500-word essay on the first time they had it and how it feels in their mouth and how exciting it is to make it and then like a side bar into the history of kale and then back again. And I'm just like, "I just want the recipe for the cookies. Let's get to the recipe." And Tasty just cuts right through and it's cute and compelling and fun to watch.

Leo: I should play a little Tasty just so people who have not seen—let's see. These are not videos. This is the Tasty page. It's mostly on Facebook that I see them, right?

Lisa: Yea.

Leo: I can't—I don't know how to use the internet. You know, you see them every time you go to Facebook, but try to find them, good luck. I need a teenager. We got any teenagers here?

Lisa: If you were to put out a teenage signal what would it look like?

Leo: Uh oh. I broke the internet. I broke the internet.

Harry: You really don't know how to use it.

Leo: How can you break the internet? I'm going to try again. You know what? I am an old man and I'm typing in all caps. All right. All right. That's the dead give-away. Here. Here is a typical Tasty video and this is the kind of thing my son sees all the time. They're kind of sped up. They have the recipe in it. You can't—it's pretty compelling because it's happening so fast. This was actually—and this is a format now. Everybody's copying the format but I'm sure Ze Frank was the one who thought it up. Brilliant. And it has the other advantage of cooking shows. It's very consistent.

Lisa: It's a very consistent format thought, so people know what to expect. I think it helps if you're cooking something unfamiliar.

Leo: Well, I never click it because I just see it in my YouTube stream basically. It has the other thing people watch the Food Network obsessively for, it makes you hungry. You look at it. You go, "Oh, that's delicious. I think I'll make that someday." But you never do it. Do you make stuff from this?

Lisa: No.

Leo: No. Nobody does.

Lisa: I'm still reading through all those epics in food blogs. 5000 words on the history of buttermilk dips, so you know.

Leo: Yes, let's just all sit and watch Tasty videos. So, this is a reason why longform may not be right for YouTube. This is perfect for YouTube. This is perfect for Facebook. Maybe it would be a mistake to say, "We've got to do what?" There you go. Maybe you don't have to pivot to video.

Lisa: So, do we have stats on when the people do the majority of their surfing? And the reason I ask is because I've seen stats for individual sites and there are some sites that have a lot of workday, a lot of workday consumption.

Leo: That's old school, right? I hope it's not my employees.

Lisa: But what I'm saying is that short videos may do better simply because it is easier to watch a 3-minute video when you're taking a work break than it is to have a movie streaming on a Facebook tab in the background.

Leo: Well, also, they are naturally shared on social media and I think really, nowadays, we get our links—remember in the early days of the internet, you would follow links and you would go and I don't know. You would start and then you would go down a link hole and you'd be just kind of have hours like—we don't do that anymore. We go to Facebook and we go through the feed and we watch videos sequentially. Or we go to Twitter, we go through the feed and we watch videos sequentially and then you're done. I'm done anyway when I get to the one that I saw already if I remember it. So, well, we've just demonstrated there's something different going on that maybe the expertise to do this isn't going to come from Hollywood or from Sony. And that Apple needs to get out of the business because they have no clue what they're doing.

Harry: You kind of have to be all in or not do it I think.

Leo: Or not do it for the wrong reasons because Apple really just wants to generate traffic to Apple.

Lisa: Maybe recognize an audience as opposed to recognizing an advertiser.

Leo: Ah. Thank you. Make it about the audience. That's where Netflix and HBO have a huge value. Netflix partners with dispensary for strains of weed based on 10 of its original series. Camp Firewood.

Lisa: An American summer ten years later.

Leo: An American summer ten years later. I'd smoke that. What is that? Prickly Muffin? What is that? I know, I can't read it.

Lisa:  Oh, yea, Firewood is from One Hot American Summer.

Leo: Yea, that's the camp's name.

Lisa: Yea.

Leo: This is something Karsten found. What were you looking for, Karsten? What were you seeking there?

Lisa: Banana Stand Kush. Oh, there's always money in the banana stand.

Leo: Banana Stand Kush. That's Arrested Development, yea. I like—that's actually kind of cool. I don't know if it's really a great marketing technique. I don't know. Maybe it is. Do stoners watch more Netflix? You bet.

Lisa: Yea. All they need is the donut drone delivery and it's a seamless—see, circle of life.

Leo: And that's why Netflix shows just cycle automatically because you're too stone to find the remote. So, you just keep it playing. Keep it playing. Where's my donut drone? I'm hungry.

Lisa: So, when I used TaskRabbit to move something recently, the guy told me that he only did TaskRabbit when his side business of delivering fast food to stoners was slow.

Leo: Well, I'm just glad that there's an ecosystem for this guy. That's great. That's great. Our show today brought to you by Rocket Mortgage. We'll get back with Lisa Schmeiser from the Super Site for Windows. She's Editor-in-Chief over there. She's also on The Incomparable. And I'm learning that she also writes for some TV thing. What was it called?


Leo: I love that name.

Lisa: Yea, it's a great—Tara Ariano and David Cole founded it with Sarah Bunting and the URL is fantastic.

Leo: Previously, on Cheers.

Lisa: So is the content. Many, many gifted writers.

Leo: Harry McCracken's also here. He's the technologizer from and @harrymccracken. And do follow him on Instagram because he and Marie are always posting weird and interesting stuff.

Harry: I posted stuff from here.

Leo: We do have some retro stuff though. I know you go to the history museum and places like that and do some interesting—

Harry: I went to the Living Computers Museum in Seattle.

Leo: Oh, fun.

Harry: It was a feast.

Leo: Yea, they had actual running—like an Atari 800.

Harry: There as an Apple One.

Leo: That's really cool.

Harry: And I took pictures of everything and put them on.

Leo: Instagram. Is it Harry McCracken on Instagram? What is your—

Harry: Technologizer on Instagram.

Leo: Ok.

Lisa: That's such a great name.

Leo: I've followed you forever so I don't even remember. I just see your stuff all the time. Mostly Instagram's what I use when I can't sleep at four in the morning. Is that like you?

Lisa: I don't got on it that much.

Leo: Oh, Doggy Diner.

Harry: I went by the Doggy Diner.

Leo: The Doggy Diner head.

Harry: Yea, there's a little child's dancing slipper.

Lisa: A baby shoe.

Leo: Cinderella.

Harry: I was out biking this morning and it was by the side of the road.

Leo: Cinderella. Your shoe. See, nowadays you don't have to go around trying on shoes, you just put it on Instagram. Here's a Radio Shack.

Harry: That's our local Radio Shack which just closed but the lights are still on, on the sign.

Leo: The door is closed but the light's still on.

Lisa: That seems very Blade Runner somehow.

Leo: Much like our president. Operation Handcuff. Notice to drug dealers. Now is the time to get your 2018 calendars. They're really desperate now when they're saying that. I like to by my 2018 calendars in August.

Harry: Avoid the rush.

Leo: Avoid the rush.

Leo: There's a Bay Area bookstore chain called Pegasus and Pendragon. They've got outlets in North Berkley, Berkley, the Rockridge area, things like that. And they do a great calendar sale on the first day of January.

Leo: That's when I buy my calendars. You're nuts to buy it ahead of time. Buy it one-week in. Nobody wants an old calendar. Oh, here's the stuff.

Harry: Here's the old stuff. It was from the Vintage Computer Fair. That's cool.

Leo: Wow. That was the computer where if you slid your feet along the carpet and touched it, it would die forever. Oh, an Apple II disk.

Harry: The old floppy disk envelopes were so nicely designed.

Lisa: Oh, the were.

Leo: Was this a Wos? This was a Wos disk, wasn't it?

Harry: It was from his era for sure. Memorex.

Leo: Memorex. It's turning into something.

Harry: And the old Microsoft logo which I still love.

Lisa: It's so 1980s.

Leo: Microsoft should bring that logo back. I like that. Oh, and there's your wife Marie with her sister from another mister, @yiyinglu who has also been on our shows. We love Yi Ying. She is the artist who designed Twitter's Fail Whale and is a wonderful artist. She's still doing great stuff. Did she go to the museum with you?

Harry: She was at the Vintage Computer Festival.

Leo: How fun.

Harry: There's a little kid playing a game.

Leo: Yea, what is that? Ok, chatroom. You see the game he's playing? He's going into a cave. Whoops. I went too far. What is—whoa, stop it. What is he playing? You know what that game is? It's on a Commodore, right? I am sorry. I'm jumping all over the place. Crystal Caverns, Boz, you win the prize. Congratulations. Somebody else said Tonsil Runners. Close. There's a PET. We had a PET. I think we gave it away when we moved. We had a PET, a working PET. TI 99A.

Harry: Somebody was selling a pile of TI computers.

Leo: Wow. I found one on the road a couple of years ago. Yea. Not worth anything. Apple IIC.

Harry: I was tempted to buy that.

Lisa: That was my first computer.

Harry: $250-dollars for a working one with monitor.

Lisa: Oh, that was my first computer. I played Zork on it for hours. Oh, my gosh.

Leo: You wish you could kind of play these old games again. Zork was so much fun.

Harry: A lot of the stuff you could emulate on a Windows PC or a Mac.

Leo: Look at that beautiful picture of the Sydney Opera House (laughing). It's almost like being there, isn't it, yea? Vivid.

Lisa: It is almost impossible to state how much using one of those felt like the future in the 1980s.

Leo: Yea, in those days.

Lisa: It really did.

Leo: There's somebody with some future paper, all tractor feed. Ah. Space Invaders. This is fun.

Harry: I think that's from California Extreme which I also went to which is a show where you pay like $30 bucks.

Lisa: Is that the one in Santa Clara the last week of July every year?

Harry: Yes, limited access to hundreds of old arcade games and pinball machines.

Lisa: You need to visit me on the Island of Alameda because we've got the Pinball Museum on one end and we have a video game arcade where you get unlimited play for $15-dollars on the other.

Harry: I haven't been yet but people always tell me that.

Lisa: Yea.

Leo: What is this? It looks like Space—

Harry: It's Duck Tracks which was like a home system.

Leo: It looks like Asteroids back when Asteroids was all the rage.

Harry: It's like an abductor system with cartridges for home play which I finally got to play.

Leo: Ihnatko says to your picture, "Oh, God, this is like when the kids go to Plymouth Plantation and watch the re-enactors churn butter, isn't it?" And I love your response. "Whoever that was, he played for a long time before he gave me a chance." I love it.

Lisa: I really hope that you guys, you and Andy go to one of these games dressed as Pilgrims now. That would just be—

Leo: It's an anachronism. 

Leo: Our show today brought to you by Rocket Mortgage from Quicken Loans. I know, you know, when it comes to getting a home loan, I remember when it's like you ask a neighbor, you ask a friend, you ask your realtor. You don't really do a lot of thinking about it. You just, you know, because you assume well, it's all the same process. And it is if you don't mind being back in the 19th century. It's roughly the same process. Somebody, someone, it's almost three or four years ago. There was a guy with a clipboard. It was about, you know, three inches high with little foolscap, thin rice paper practically. And he licked his fingers as he went through the rates looking for a rate for us. The guy might as well have had sleeve garters and a green visor on. I mean it really was antiquated and it was—we were getting a loan from the big bank. It was actually the biggest lender in the country. And they wanted more paperwork and more paperwork. And we had to fax it to them for months. It was just—it was a terrible experience. Fast forward, we're in 2017 now and we've got Rocket Mortgage from Quicken Loans. The number 2 lender in the country but definitely the best lender in the country. Rocket Mortgage from Quicken Loans. If you look at the website, you'll see all those JD Powers customer satisfaction awards year after year, number one in mortgage origination. That's what we're doing here. And now I think better than ever because it's entirely online with Rocket Mortgage. You can do it on your phone and it's so fast you could do it at an open house and before you leave, you can show the realtor, "We're approved. We can buy this house if we wanted to." Rocket Mortgage makes it completely transparent, too. In fact, you don't have to go through piles of paperwork or you know, go up in the attic to get your paystubs, your bank statements. They have partnerships with all the financial institutions, so they've got your information. You don't have to do anything. Based on your income, assets and credits, they will crunch the numbers and within minutes they will give you the loan options for which you qualify. You pick the one that's right for you. The term, the rate. It's fully transparent. You'll understand everything that's happening. It happens fast and you'll know you're getting the right mortgage for you. So, instead of just kind of going along for the ride next time, this is probably the biggest purchase you make in your life. Go to That's and the number 2. Equal Housing Lender. Licensed in all 50 states. number 3030. Rocket Mortgage. Apply simply and understand fully and mortgage confidently. I know you're not buying a house right now. Bookmark it, ok? Bookmark it in your phone, that way you'll know when the time comes you'll be ready to go.

Leo: Speaking of ready to go, there's no point in continuing this show much longer because Game of Thrones last—this is the last episode of the season, right? Am I right? Am I wrong?

Lisa: I believe you are right.

Leo: And then they're going to have another season next year which they haven't even started filming and then it's over for good. 73 hours. Benioff, one of the creators said, "I'm making a 73-hour movie." Yea, it feels like that too, by the way (laughing). Anyway, I don't want to keep you from your Game of Thrones, so let's just see. First of all, do we have a CEO? Nope. Nope. Nothing to say here. Nothing going on. Ok. See? Mark, you could have come to the show.

Harry: Did you see what else Kara has to say?

Leo: What is Kara saying, anything? Good news. We mentioned that the US Department of Justice had asked Dream Host for every single IP address, everybody who visited an anti-Trump website. This was a website that was created,, to protest at the inauguration day, January 20th. 1.9 million visitors and the DOJ wanted everybody. DOJ has backed down. Oh, we didn't really want that. No, we didn't really want that. Dream Host, congratulations. Thank you. Dream Host decided not to comply with the July 12th warrant. They said it was overly broad and I think they would have gone to court to defend that but the prosecutors amended their request saying that while the government wants information on subscribers, it's not interested in data logs containing information about visitors. Hey, give us the information, but we'll put aside anything that doesn't involve rioters. You know, that's problematic. That is very problematic. US Attorney's Office in Washington says, "The website was to recruit and organize hundreds of people who rioted. 200 people were charged. 19 people pled guilty. But honestly, visiting the website? That's not a crime. And it's really chilling that they wanted all that information. They've backed down a little bit. State Supreme Court, good news. Now, this is only a state Supreme Court but in Massachusetts says, digital cameras can't be searched without a warrant. It's kind of a strange case. A robbery suspect apprehended. They searched his backpack. They found a digital phone. Looked at the phone. Discovered a photo of the suspect next to a gun. Later determined that it had been stolen. He got convicted for stolen property and carrying a fire arm without a license. He said, the defendant challenged it saying, "You know, most of this information you got from going through my camera phone."

Lisa: Digital warrant.

Leo: Did you have a warrant? No. The state of Massachusetts said, "Well, the Riley decision which was a decision blocking this kind of thing for cell phones doesn't apply because digital cameras—" I guess it wasn't a cell phone. It was a digital camera. "Lacking the ability to function as computers, are not analogous to cell phones for Fourth Amendment purposes." Well, the court said, "Ah, no. No." So, digital cameras and cell phones at least in the state of Massachusetts protected against unlawful search and seizure. Weird story. You've probably been following the arrest of Marcus Hutchins. He's a white hat hacker that the Department of Justice is accusing of writing malware on very thin evidence. There was a defense fund created. And you know, I've got to say, the internet sucks. According to the lawyer who managed the fund, at least $150,000-dollars of the money collected for the defense fund came from fraudulent sources, illegal credit cards. And since he can't figure out which is legit and which isn't, he's refunding everything and Marcus no longer has a defense fund. We've been covering this story on Security Now if you want to know more information about this. We don't know what Marcus did or didn't do but it sure looks a little fishy, DOJ, as has happened before, kind of overstepping their bounds going after a guy who, Steve feels, appears didn't do anything wrong. DJI is going to have to ground your Spark. I almost bought a Spark. I'm glad I didn't now. You have to get a firmware update. Apparently, Sparks were falling from the sky and if you have a Spark and you don't update the firmware by September 1st, it won't fall from the sky. It won't even go into the sky. It will just stop working entirely. I didn't know they could do that. Install the firmware by September 1st or your drone will not take off. Anything else? There's so many stories and we didn't get to all of them, but I don't want to keep you much longer.

Lisa: Actually, Leo, I have a question for you. How does your Maybe Don't Kill the Animals technology stand up to the shark drones off of the coast?

Leo: I love that. That's not killing them. It's discovering them. I love this because it shows how far machine learning has gone. As you might imagine, off the beaches of Australia, great whites are a problem. I think the number two shark bite capital after the US. But, so they have shark spotters but shark spotters only do, they're only about 20-30% accurate, so they have trained cameras to recognize sharks. They're putting them on drones. They'll be used with a human assist but they're 90% accurate with the machine learning compared with the humans at 20-30%. So, in a move that would really thrill Dr. Evil, shark detecting drones, no lasers, are going to patrol Australian beaches. Bravo. And that keeps the sharks out of trouble, too. Oh, look. It's a shark. There's a shark. It also can tell the difference between a shark and a dolphin, a man-eating shark and a woman-eating shark. What? No, there's no difference.

Lisa: Not all sharks.

Leo: Not all sharks. Only some sharks. And that I think is going to wrap this up., I look forward to reading your stuff there. Are you a Game of Thrones fan? You aren't, are you? You're not.

Lisa: No, I'm sorry.

Leo: Do you not even watch it?

Lisa: I do tune in very occasionally.

Leo: Forget it.

Lisa: Look, there's an entire TV recap industry out there and there are podcasts devoted to it, so even if I skip it, I feel pretty confident about it.

Leo: You're writing about Veronica Mars.

Lisa: I'm not personally. I haven't written for the site in a couple of months. But I am about to launch a feature with a partner on next month.

Leo: Nice. What will you be talking about?

Lisa: We are hoping to revisit Emmy Awards from the past 20-years to see who really deserves those awards.

Leo: Oh, I love that.

Lisa: Who on, now that there's the benefit of hindsight, who really got lucky.

Leo: Oh, I love that. Also Editor-in-Chief of something a little more serious, the Super Site for Windows. Paul Thurrott's old site. Great to have you aboard there.

Lisa: Thank you. It's a pleasure. I really enjoyed this.

Leo: Yea. Lisa Schmeiser. And where can we find you on Twitter?

Lisa: @lschmeiser. L, S-C-H-

Leo: Do you do it?

Lisa: Yes.

Leo: L?

Lisa: S-C-H-M-E-I-S-E-R.

Leo: Shouldn't you—

Lisa: Oh, you just spelled it.

Leo: Yea, I know I did.

Lisa: It's the German with the four consonants in a row.

Leo: I left out the H.

Lisa: It happens.

Leo: It's fun to say, though. Schmeiser. Sounds like the late Jerry Lewis, Liza. Is that you as a little kid in a clan robe?

Lisa: No. Oh my God.

Leo: Sorry. I should have recognized the cinnamon buns.

Lisa: Yes, the cinnamon buns are right there. It's Princess Leia.

Leo: Ok, I was teasing. Of course not.

Lisa: That's my Halloween costume, you monster (laughing).

Leo: I am horrified, horrified by the thought. I love it. Catch her on The Incomparable as well. It's nice to have you, as always, Harry, Harry McCracken, the Technologizer. You can follow him on Twitter @technologizer. Oh, no. You're not.

Harry: Twitter is @HarryMcCracken.

Leo: But Instagram.

Harry: Instagram Technologizer.

Leo: And of course, read his writing at Fast Company. We had a great studio audience. People, a bunch of wimps. And I say that with love in my heart. The wimps are—it stands for what? Web Internet Media Professionals. Don't go to, go to and many of them were here today. Is this the whole WIMP group? No, no. Got a lot of people. Thank you for coming. I really appreciate this. Also, from Brazil and Arlington, Virginia and all over the country. If you want to be in our studio audience, we love it when you're here. And notice, the entire front row is available. It's like school. Nobody sits in the front. Two people sat in the front. They don't even know each other but they sat in the front. No, that's a joke from before the show. If you want to be here, email Please do email us so we know how many people are coming. We can prepare to great you and the guard won't shoot you when you come in the door. Email No, he is there with a gun, but he's not going to shoot anybody. I promise. He's for our protection. I don't know. That really brought the whole thing down. I shouldn't have said anything. It's not a gun. It's a taser. It's practically non-lethal. You also can watch the show on the live stream. You don't have to come here. Just go to No guns involved at all. And if you're there, you should join us in the chatroom so you can talk back. Now, if you're not available during our broadcast, 3-5 or 6 PM Sundays Pacific, that's 6:00 PM Eastern Time, 2200 UTC, you can always get the show on demand after the fact on our website, just like all our shows. is the website. Or subscribe at Pocket Casts, or Stitcher or TuneIn. Whatever app you use, subscribe and that way you'll get every single episode the minute it's done, fresh off the turntable. We put them on vinyl, right? That's how we do it, right? Thank you for being here! We'll see you next time. Another TWiT is in the can. Bye-bye, everybody.

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