This Week in Tech 632 Transcript
Father Robert Ballecer: It's time for TWiT, and this week has been crazy! Apple has dropped some igoodness on us, Google is in deep water for pay inequality, should Facebook be the gatekeeper for Democracy, and Foxcon goes all cheesehead. Coming up next, on TWiT.
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Fr. Robert: This is TWiT, This Week in Tech, episode 632, recorded Sunday September 17, 2017.
The Smartest Dumb People in the World
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Fr. Robert: It's time for TWiT, This Week in Tech. This is the show that releases vital, important, crucial data than Equifax. It's going to be quite the show as this was a super busy week, from Apple's newest announcements, to Google dealing with a record fine, to Uber behaving badly again. We've got the perfect panel to break it all down into brain sized chunks of data, starting on my left with Doctor Jeff Jarvis, he is a journalist, public speaker, leading voice in online news, and a professor at the CUNY school of journalism in New York. Jeff, this is the first time I've had you on a show that I've been involved with.
Jeff Jarvis: I am delighted for more reasons than you know. Who was supposed to be in that chair today?
Fr. Robert: Mr. Calacannis. He became ill.
Jeff: So basically I went from a devil to an angel, and this makes me very happy. I'm sorry that Jason is ill, I feel bad for you, Jason, but I feel good to have you here.
Fr. Robert: I think he would accept the phrase "devil investor." That would be a new one. Demon investor. That would fit right along with his next book, angel, devil. Right? Of course, we've also got Mark Milian. He is Bloomberg's technology writer and editor. He is also quite possibly the fountain of youth in the TWiT TV studios right now. Mark, I have worked with you before, how have you been.
Mark Milian: I've been great. I enjoyed your sick burn against Equifax. That's really good.
Fr. Robert: Equifax is the, we're going to talk about it. It's the gift that keeps on giving. If by gift you mean black eyes and... of course, it can't just be those folks that are in the studio. We need to bring in someone who could really break down the knowledge into what we need, and of course, that's got to be Ohdoctah. Owen JJ Stone. I have not worked with you in years, and it is an absolute pleasure to see you again, although I have to say, the last time I saw you, you had a bookcase cat anime background going on, and now you seem very minimalist.
Owen JJ Stone: With the Equifax leak and me being on the dark web, I've got to re-allocate my social security number and the situation I find myself in. The Internet is out here trying to find people, so I'm just trying to hide out. Until this whole thing blows over, admin admin password is out here floating around. We've got some big issues on the Internet right now, so better safe than sorry, gentlemen.
Fr. Robert: We will get to that story in a bit, but I have to say I was a little sad the password wasn't 12345. That would have been the geek... horrible thing. But gentlemen, let's go ahead and dive straight in, let's start where a lot of people are starting. Whether or not they are fans of Apple, Apple did make some significant announcements this week, not just in product, but also in policy and in pricing. So let's jump into what we know. We know they released three phones, we've got the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus. Both are nice. Many people are saying they could just as well be the 7 and the 7 Plus. They've upped the technology a little bit, they use Apple's new A11, the bionic processor, with six cores, two of which are low performance, four of which are high performance. It's got a new 12 megabyte, megapixel camera with optical stabilization. With Apple's signal processing, so they say they've upped their lowlight performance, a new portrait mode, which I kind of like. It's basically a filter before a filter. It can actually detect what a scene is like and choose the right settings for that. And 3000 milli-amp power battery. It's going to last long, it's going to be faster, it's got an all glass back, let's start with that. Obviously we want to get to the X. But are we impressed with the 8 Plus? Have you pre-ordered? Are you ready to buy it? JJ, is this going to be your next phone?
Owen: I'll let everybody else go first. I'm going to go last.
Fr. Robert: Wow. He's going to sit on that for a while. Mark, what do you think?
Mark: It's a decent phone. This is comparable to any other step along phones that they did each year. The all glass back is a nice throwback to the four, which I thought is one of the most attractive phones ever made. This is not the phone...
Jeff: It's impressive that you can keep the model straight.
Mark: That was the Gizmodo leak. That was a classic phone.
Fr. Robert: It was strange, because when they went away from the glass backing, it had a couple people scratching their heads thinking it looks like every other phone again. With that glass back it was unique. Yes, it had a couple issues that needed to be sorted out...
Mark: The antennae, yeah for sure. But also glass is more susceptible to breaking, so when you put glass on both sides, you've got a Faberge egg that you're trying to carry around. So, from a practical perspective, we'll see how strong this glass is, I look forward to the inevitable YouTube videos of people trying to smash it when it comes out. It's a fine phone, this is not the phone that the people who listen to this show are interested in. It's not the one that I would be interested in. It's a decent phone, and the edition of wireless charging, I think they're moving in that direction for a lot of their products, so that's going to be an interesting move for Apple.
Jeff: Are they going to keep the seven on sale at a lower price? What's the, what are they going to have to offer?
Fr. Robert: They did announce their pricing, so they are dropping...
Jeff: The 7s, the 8, and the ten?
Fr. Robert: You can get the six. I have to say, if I had a six, I would not feel a great urge to upgrade. If I had a seven plus, I would definitely not feel the urge to upgrade. It is so... the 8 Plus looks like the seven plus, it is slightly faster, but the seven plus was already so fast and the screen was so wonderful that unless I really want wireless charging, which I don't see as a big thing. I've had wireless charging on a lot of phones, and sure it's nice every once in a while, but the difference between putting it on a platform and plugging it into a cable, that was never a huge story.
Mark: I think they're not even releasing the Mat until next year. So.
Fr. Robert: The pricing is going to be a little higher. For the 8, which is a 4.7 inch screen, it's 1334 by 750. You can either get the 64 or the 256 gigabyte version for 700 or 850. And the Plus which has the 5.5 inch screen, that's a full HD. 1920 by 1080. 64 or 256 gigabyte for 800 or 950.
Jeff: That's the lower the phones announced.
Fr. Robert: Let's jump to the X. Sorry, Owen, you wanted to jump in on the 8s.
Owen: It sucks. It's the same thing. I am so tired of Apple's marketing. Apple has the best marketing in the world. You say the same thing every year. Ooh. Wireless charging, cool story. My Grandma was doing that back in 2012. Glass back? Oh yeah. It looks sexy until you break it. Forget the YouTube videos, the average user always breaks that glass backing. When you have the metal backing, sure you have a little bend, but at least it took a dent and kept on ticking. Now when you break the glass and you cut your thumb on the back, because lord knows half the people that have a regular job don't want to spend the $200 to send the phone back in to get it fixed because most people don't get the Apple care because... so that's just one more thing to break. I don't care how Gorilla super-duper this glass is going to be, it's breakable glass. Why. You made the same phone and then you had the nerve to skip the seven S and call it the 8. Who is running this monkey show over there anymore? I miss Steve so much every day. It is insane. Who cares about the 8? Nobody. You can dim the lights on my picture. Cool story bro, I got light for 9.99 a month. Let's talk about this X.
Fr. Robert: To address that, you're still on the fence though. That's what it sounds like.
Owen: Who's on the fence? People are going to line up to buy this phone, to resell this phone, thinking they're going to make money off it. They don't. People who spend $40 a month on this stupid phone and they don't have life insurance. I understand if you want to buy a phone, but my goodness, Samsung and Nexus, and Google and everybody and their Mom who makes a phone has been doing this. The new X looks like an HTC phone from a few years ago with that stupid loopety looop on the top.
Fr. Robert: Let's go the ten. Actually that Loopety hoop is what everyone is talking about.
Owen: UGLY! You put devil horns on the top of my phone! This is ridiculous.
Fr. Robert: But this is the new thing and it's beautiful and everybody is going to love it because it's a 5.8 inch screen, it's 24 inch by 11.25, it's OLED edge to edge, except for the nodge. And it's only $50 more for the highest of the 8. So why wouldn't you wait for a ten?
Owen: Because it's only got 60 gigs of space. My Grandma had more space back in 1942. What are you doing charging $1000 for 64 gigs when you have a phone that's not upgradable in space capacity? Ripping people off knowing they're going to line up and buy this stupid phone and then the next jump is up to 256? Everybody on that panel knows it should have been 128 for a thousand.
Jeff: I'm waiting for the nine.
Owen: Ain't no 9.
Mark: They could do an X-1 and a 9.
Owen: What do you do? 11x? Xi?
Fr. Robert: I think the 9 is going to be one of those lost models, like X Box 720 or Windows 9. We're just going to pretend like that doesn't exist. Let me ask you about this. Because JJ makes a good point. From the people who have been watching technology and are kind of agnostic about their handset, the announcements that Apple put out, OLED screen, wireless charging, bigger battery, those have been features that have been available on other phones from Android and Microsoft for years. Literally years. Yet it's premium on the iPhone 10. Is that right, is it justifiable? It doesn't seem to be stopping presales. People are still jumping out there. They're lamenting the fact that...
Jeff: Is there going to be a line?
Fr. Robert: I think there will be a line for the 8. The people who are buying the 8, the only reason they're buying the 8 is because the X won't come out until November.
Mark: But also to save money. Some people don't feel like they need...
Fr. Robert: The top of the line 8 Plus is 200 less than the top of the line X. When you're already spending 8-900 dollars, that's not a whole lot.
Owen: The seven sold more than the seven plus so you would assume the regular 8 that fits in most people's hands is going to be the unit that sells more as the 8 comes out too. Yes, at the top end of the 8 Plus, which isn't the majority of users, so that price is a big jump for the majority of people that usually buy the iPhone.
Jeff: So when was the last thing that Apple announced that excited you?
Owen: The Apple watch. Then I got unexcited.
Fr. Robert: We can come back to the phones. There's so many programs that have covered the phones. I think people understand the price breakdowns. This is Apple, people will buy it, it will still be a blockbuster product even if there are people looking at it going, I don't understand why it's so expensive.
Mark: Face detection is significant if it works the way they say it will.
Fr. Robert: Let's cover that really quickly.
Mark: Samsung had it. You hold up a Polaroid of somebody's face and it unlocks it for you. If Apple can do it where it actually maps faces, that's a big deal.
Owen: Cool. Let me just tell you a couple scenarios. I may or may not have had a criminal past in my life, but unless I get into an occupation with the police, I tapered on my phone, I try to lock my phone up, I'm in the backseat of a cop car, they hold my phone up to the back window and boom delete all the videos of them beating up me and my friend and throwing us in a ditch. I know they're not supposed to, I know there's laws against that, but I've seen that happen in the past. Secondly, I'm trying to creep on a conversation at my office and play words with friends. And now instead of hitting my thumb on a button and leaving my desk, I got to look down and up at my phone to make sure it gets my face.
Mark: You can still punch in your passcode.
Owen: Man look. I'm talking about the easability, the flexibility, you have me spending 1200 dollars on a phone, and I ain't got no fingerprint reader on the back like every other phone that charges you like $900... again. When you talk about design and how sexy everything is, I don't understand why I can't still have fingerprint reader and why I've got to use my face. There's all other kinds of reasons and problems with the face, and I don't think it's that cool. I can make emojis. Make poo move. My daughter is the only person I know who sends me those happy birthday balloon laser light show text emojis. So basically we're hoping kids spending 1200 on a phone and use poo face emojis? Come on. Marketing, I get it. I don't think it's a perfected technology, and there's a lot of problems I see on the horizon with that.
Fr. Robert: The demo did fail while they were showing off the facial recognition, but Apple released a statement later on. It was actually a feature, not a problem. What happened, according to Apple, is many people had handled the phone, and it tried to do face detection on everybody who handled it, it erred out so many times that it locked itself, which is a security feature.
Jeff: You know what I dread? when I go into the men's room now and I try to go under the sink, it thinks I don't exist. I'm afraid if I have this phone it would say you're not real.
Owen: Hey Owen, can I look at your iPhoneX? Nah dog. Too many faces look at it and it locks. How about we just look at the back of my phone, we can look at the camera that's actually a Samsung camera, but that's neither here nor there, let's not talk about licensing. Let's look at the back of it, you'll get the gist. Come on.
Fr. Robert: I do want to address one point you brought up Owen, and that's unlocking the phone. So if Ellie wants to unlock the phone, we know right now that biometric data is not protected. They cannot demand that you enter your pin. They can throw you in jail until you do, but they cannot demand that you give them your password. However, your fingerprint and your face are not protected. It's not covered under the fourth amendment. Right? By that logic, the phone should not also have a biometric fingerprint reader. If you're really concerned about that.
Owen: If I'm dealing with somebody, at least I can go like this to protect somebody from taking my fingers when I'm getting put into a squad car an unlocking my phone. When you go like this, you're beat and they're into your phone. So yes, I get the gist of it.
Jeff: So somebody steals your phone from you, they hold you up. You're still standing there because they've got a gun on you. You take their phone, they can unlock your phone and then go away.
Owen: Jeff, come on. We got to find out what's going on. I just want a fingerprint reader. That's all.
Owen: Since they made the button out of physical... you can just make the circle and made it flat to the back of your phone, because your butt deserves a real button.
Jeff: Maybe you should have said stroke the notch.
Fr. Robert: Show title.
Jeff: Android watches that have the flat tire irritated the heck out of me. It was bad design, it was trying to solve a problem. The notch is a kluge.
Fr. Robert: I don't see how that bit of real estate at the top is anything but saying we're edge to edge. It's not useful screen. You can't put anything that's going to look good. It's always going to be that notch.
Mark: Is there any way to technically put a speaker and a camera under that part of the screen?
Fr. Robert: That's not where they're going to put it. I could see some great skins being put on this thing.
Owen: You run the line across the top like the Galaxy does, but all the technology is old. They make it sound sexy and people go buy it, but at the end of the day, it's not exciting. For people who are in the know, what am I supposed to be excited about? We're going to talk about all the other stuff, but everything we're going to say about Apple has been done by other people and other devices for years now. Apple TV, cool story bro. 4K just came out yesterday, all right. You had a device that came out a year and a half ago, well 4K was still popping. A watch. You got cellular service, you want to do surfing in the ocean, well you put the smallest water protection meters in your phone. You can only go 3 feet with an iPhone. You can go 10 feet with a galaxy phone. Apple does the bare minimum to make something sound like it's something and it's not. At the end of the day, I got an iPhone seven. I'm a loser too. I'm a crackhead to the ecosystem. I got iPads, I get it. But I'm not going to sit here and get excited about it and act like it's something cool.
Jeff: Are you going to buy one of the new ones?
Fr. Robert: Let's break this down here. Owen, I know you use an iPhone. Jeff, I know you use an iPhone...
Jeff: No no no no. No. How dare you! Pixel.
Fr. Robert: I'm Android. Mark?
Mark: iPhone 7.
Fr. Robert: So we're split 50/50.
Owen: If I don't like that, I'm just going to wait for a Samsung to come out with the iPhone xi, because I'm not going to get this iPhone X.
Jeff: The Pixel you think is going to be good?
Owen: I love the Pixel. The Pixel is a sexy, thin, fast... it's just like you, Jeff. It's why they call it the Jeff Pixel. It's a great phone. I'm waiting to see what the next one is, and if that doesn't move me, I'm switching to Android. It's gotta happen. Apple's not getting any more of my money.
Fr. Robert: Let's cover the other announcements. There was the Apple watch, which Owen, had you excited back in series 2 for a while. This is new in that it has an LTE radio. This has been hinted at for a while. I know some people who made this happen. It has been a challenge because of RF battery design, but they think they've finally got it nailed down. Does this make it a different product? Because it had previously been tied to your phone. You had to have an iPhone to make this thing work properly. Does the fact that now I can leave my phone at home...
Jeff: Like you're ever going to leave your phone at home ever??
Owen: I predict this is going to be one of their best selling items. My daughter, I'm in the tech bubble for certain things, she's had a Touch since she was 3. The biggest thing why I switched her to a phone when she was six is so I could track her, so I knew what she was doing. She doesn't need to be on Wi-Fi. If I could have given...
Jeff: Surveillance dad!
Fr. Robert: Modern dad!
Owen: Oh man. You know how many people with iPhones have kids and don't want to give their child a cellphone, but they can say hey, you can listen to Kids Bop on your watch with some headphones, and if there's an emergency I can call you, and if Kalamazoo rolls up to you in a candy van I can track you until he throws it out the window. This device is great for children. It's an actual functioning device that works. There's a lot of other kids watches that they sell you. There's a Mickey Mouse club watch, but there's no closeness to the technology that's in this thing, and some of those watches go for $200 bucks, I think this will be a bit hit, especially with children.
Fr. Robert: This is 300 dollars?
Owen: Ten dollars a month for the plan.
Mark: But is it completely untethered, or do you need to set it up with a phone and have it...
Owen: It's on its own. It's got its own.
Fr. Robert: You still need an iPhone to set it up. You can run without the iPhone, but I don't know how you're going to set it up unless you're using an IOS device. That's how you get it set up.
Owen: I figure most people who buy it will have iPhones.
Fr. Robert: Here's my thing though. We have had a decent watch that's been connected for a long time. At IFA they released the Samsung gear S3, which had an LTE radio, great battery life, multi day battery life, and the big selling point was it's no longer tethered to the phone. Very few people are using the LTE features. Very few apps are utilizing the LTE features, because they realize I'm not going to do a text message on my watch. I'm going to pull my phone out and do it that way. I'm not going to do anything on my watch if I've got my phone because it's so much easier to enter the data. I'm wondering if that holds over to the Apple Watch crowd, or did Apple do something that's going to make this really work without a phone.
Owen: You know what Apple does? Marketing.
Mark: They've also got a premium customer base that doesn't care about spending an extra hundred bucks to get the cellular model. For me, personally, i could not get enough use out of it to warrant $10 a month, but I think there are not enough Apple customers who would just spring for it because they get the top of the line thing.
Jeff: I don't get the need for that. I'd be afraid of getting wrist cancer.
Owen: Even when you're surfing? Dinner's ready. Marketing is the difference between Apple and Samsung when it comes to their accessories. Apple makes you think you need it. More people than not are going to buy it and say I'll do the ten bucks and at some point turn it off or figure out they like it. You're going to the gym, you put your playlist on, you don't have to carry your phone around with you, you can lock it up in the closet and keep it moving. There's a lot of different things.
Mark: That's a big use case that Apple is targeting. Workout and exercise, and they're really going after the Nike niche, which is creating an aspirational brand, which is buy this thing you'll go and work out and listen to music on it while you're working out. The same people who buy Nike never go to the gym.
Fr. Robert: It works. Apple has made a fortune on it. They don't have to have the biggest specs or the newest tech, or the greatest design, they just have to sell an experience. The experience they sell is second to none right now. Does this fit the experience? Is the connected watch going to make you a better athlete? A better mother? A better parent, a better whatever? I think you can make a good case that they've done that. People will pay a premium even if they won't use the feature because they think they could use the feature.
Owen: There's some crazy stat like 78% of people that sign up for memberships at the gym only go twice a year. So. It's a business model. You sell it to people, it'll make them feel better. I counted how many steps today? That's horrible. I need to take this watch off.
Jeff: It's like describing to the Economist or the New Yorker, it just piles up guilt.
Mark: There could be a new Apple watch that counts your steps for an extra 250 or 300 a month.
Owen: Like I said, everything about this stuff drives me crazy. They tell you they have lightning charging now. It doesn't come with a lightning charger, it comes with a small block, and then you've got to buy a new block that is the size of my fist to get the lightning charging. If they were so brave, they should have been like, look. We're switching over to type C for the phones now. We want everything to be light and faster and better for you.
Jeff: I predict the XI or the Y or the 11 is going to have no orifice. It will be solid.
Fr. Robert: That's Apple's dream. They've always wanted that, and they could do it with wireless charging. People will still buy it in droves. They'll say look at what my phone has. None of what your phone has.
Jeff: It will finally be waterproof.
Mark: I don't think I've ever heard anyone describe a port as an orifice .
Owen: I was going to let that slide, Mark. The thing is too, you're going to wireless charge. Cool story. Good thing I got this cellular watch because it'll take me 4 days to charge my phone, I'll be back next week to pick it up and use it for a day before the battery dies.
Fr. Robert: I'm just thinking data transfer. Because if you're connecting to your phone via Bluetooth or even Wi-Fi, it's going to take a long time to move things along. Versus being wired in.
Mark: People don't do that very much.
Fr. Robert: My phone is also my storage device. I'm Android, but when I'm travelling, it is a fantastic way to move a lot. It's always on me. I know if someone is trying to copy off my USB stick, like the last time I was in a certain Asian nation when the USB sticks in my room were not the same ones that I left there with. That was the weirdest experience, by the way. It was just documents for what I was doing on that job, but it was strange. Let's move away from the conspiracy stuff. There is another Apple story that I think we should touch on, and that is the reformatting of the, Apple is of the mind that the Apple experience needs to be more than just buying stuff. That was the old Apple. The new Apple is a town square where we can have discussions about politics and humanity and philosophy and buy a bunch of Apple stuff. Is this the experience, the new experience, the new Apple?
Jeff: One, they used to have that. They used to have the auditoriums and the events. I remember I moderated Jason Calacanis and Nick Denton at the Apple Store. It was a public space where you could do that. I used to go... here's the problem. Browsing in the old physical sense. I used to go wander the bookstore or record store, I'd hit crazy Eddy's or Best buy or the Apple Store. Years ago, there was nothing left to buy in the Apple store. You wanted tchocskies. I used to like the store at headquarters where you could get the cool T-shirt or something. They don't think like that anymore. Things that have been way too expensive, so why go in?
Fr. Robert: What do you need to encourage town square like activities?
Jeff: Activities, education, talks, pizza, coffee.
Mark: This was the Starbucks model where they would encourage people to just come in and hang out and get free Wi-fi. They've since moved back from that a little bit. Apple is trying to do the same. I don't know if they're offering the right incentives, to Jeff's point.
Owen: The only incentive is what you just said, food. If you wanted me to go into Apple, putin salad works with some crappy frappe, I feel like I could talk to somebody. Last month at Apple store, it was when something broke. Time before that, when something broke. When you look at someone you think they're cute or weird looking, you don't even pay attention to people any more. I'm here to do what I do and get out. No one is going there to talk. Have you seen the comments section on Facebook? If you think you want to have a town square... Apple is usually in an affluent area, but you still think you want to have a town square of people talking to each other and becoming friends over Apple devices? I need to go sit on a board and throw out these frivolous stupid things. You're better off getting a free cup of coffee if I come in there and sit for ten minutes. Other than that, I don't think this will work.
Fr. Robert: Jason Calhoon in our chatroom has a good point. He says for something to be a town square, it has to be public. If it's private space, private property, you can get kicked off for any reason. Then we know it's not a town square. One last Apple story before we move on, I promise, we have to move on because other things happened in the tech world other than Apple, I want to do one more quick story. Apple thinking about a 3 billion dollar bid for Bain capital stake in Toshiba. We know Toshiba has been trying to sell off their chip division because they had a disastrous year with their nuclear power division and they need to pay for it. Now, Apple, the timing is perfect for them, because they are undergoing shortages of parts. Everyone is undergoing shortages of nan parts. That's why they bumped the price of the iPad Pro by $50. The manufacturers are switching over to a 3D nan process, which restricts the supply of 3D flash memory. Apple is looking at Flash memory as the last main component that they don't have control over. They make their own CPU. They make their own image processor. They make their own DSPs, they have their own semiprivate facilities for creating all the structure needed for their devices, but the nan is not there. The thing that bothers me about this, the factory that they're looking to buy will ultimately need to be upgraded to 3D nand as well. They're not just paying 3billion dollars for Toshiba's equipment, they're also paying an additional two to three billion dollars in the future to upgrade all of that to 3D capacity.
Jeff: They have more money than the pope. Why not spend some?
Fr. Robert: They're not known for spending money frivolously. Even Beats, they're going to make money off of it.
Mark: they don't do many deals. Especially, they don't buy into the components Industry usually. They do chip design now, but they don't actually manufacture the chips, they outsource that to other companies to make them. This, I think is to reduce their reliance on Samsung which has a dominant position in this Industry, and they feel like they're going to get squeezed if they don't find an alternative.
Fr. Robert: This has always been an Apple trait. They want to own the core technologies. That's why they didn't license a processor. The same thing with their image processor, the same thing with their DSPs. I think it makes sense for them to have a card that they can show to Samsung and say you better cut us a better deal, otherwise we just move everything over here. However, at the moment, that's an empty threat, because Samsung is the leader in 3D nan right now. They have almost moved over their entire production capacity, and they can say you're two years behind using being able to meet the 3D nan demand. So you just blew 3 billion dollars for a bluff.
Owen: I think Mark hit it on the head. Maybe they're a little bit smarter than us. They do plan things well, I think they have a long game that we're not seeing if they make this move. They have so much money it doesn't matter. It's not really a loss, then we make the leap next year. They have to have something stirring for them to want to do this. More than just a bluff, I think. But, again, gotta do something, as I said, Galaxy iPhone8, Samsung is doing everything and it sucks for Apple in that respect.
Fr. Robert: To be fair, the 3 billion dollars, it's not a far sale price, but it's close. The Toshiba needs to dump. They've run into regulatory problems, they've run into problems with their partner C Gate, which didn't want them to dump the unit, even if apple never uses the capacity, they'll be able to sell it back for 3 billion dollars to somebody else.
Mark: My colleagues at Bloomberg broke some news on this. Apple would probably come in as an investor and not buy the whole thing outright. It would be part of a consortium, and Toshiba unit could continue selling to other suppliers, it wouldn't be Apple exclusive deal. Apple has shown a willingness to fall behind in order to reduce its reliance on a competitor. You look at Google maps, they want to pull off the iPhone, they didn't want to renew the deal, they put out a maps product that was far inferior.
Fr. Robert: It was entertaining to see directions that included things like drive through lake. Or fall off bridge.
Mark: We never saw the actual financials, but they probably saved themselves a lot of money by not re-negotiating that deal with Google. They're a shrewd company. Like Owen said, it could just be a long game.
Owen: Or if you wait until Google said we're not going to renew you and then you're scrambling to make your own thing. They play long games for things, I can't see them making that move without having some sort of purpose. Even as far as design, but I believe in them as far as making money. They make that money.
Fr. Robert: If you look at Apple in terms of the Industry as a whole, their sales and their marketing is second to none. But also, their logistics. Especially long chain logistics, looking far into the future has been the envy of everyone in Silicon Valley. They're making moves for stuff that they're not going to use for ten years.
Mark: That's what Tim Cook has always been good at. That's what he did at IBM, that was his main role at Apple until Steve Jobs stepped away. He is the supply chains operations guy.
Fr. Robert: This could be one of those things that looks like a horrible thing until it looks genius.
Jeff: One last Apple question. Do we know when the visitor center is opening?
Fr. Robert: No. I'm assuming people like Mark are going to get the invitation before everybody else. Were you at the Steve Jobs ampitheater?
Mark: I was not. We had a few people there. Apple reporter Mark German...
Fr. Robert: I have to say for the first hour of the event, there were far more comments about the ampitheater than the technologies being released. People hyped. They loved it.
Mark: It looks slick from the photos. It's this weird underground... it looks like the fifth avenue store in the middle of an orchard.
Owen: If you took the Apple logo off, all their buildings look like evil lairs. I'm waiting for Skelator to come walking down with a cane. Everything they make looks like a Bond villain had way too much money.
Fr. Robert: I think they're going to have a visitor's center, but you have to go through the gift shop on the way out. And the gift shop is just...
Jeff: Thousand dollar items. Yeah.
Fr. Robert: Gentlemen, let's move away from Apple. This has been great, but we do have some other news to cover. I want to cover something non contentious, something nice and easy that's not going to cause any conflict, that's not going to result in any screaming matches. How about after the break we talk about Facebook potentially subverting our Democracy? yeah? Sound good. Let's get right to that, but first here's some messages from Uncle Leo.
Leo: Sorry to interrupt, but I want to tell you about Texture. Texture is the Netflix for magazines. I have to say, some of the best journalism is being done in magazines all over the country, all over the world, and there's, I would say every week there's one or two articles I want to read in a magazine. New Yorker, National Geographic, or Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, or Hollywood Reporter. The problem is if I were to subscribe to those, it would cost a packet. Texture is awesome. Put Texture on your iPad or tablet, and now you've got access for allow flat rate every month to more than two hundred of the best magazines. National Geographic, Wired, Fast Company, PC Magazine. What's nice about Texture is they have the curated sections. The highlights, the Wonder of Gal Gadot. Here's the top ten reads. Here's daily news featuring Reuters. Collections. Of course I subscribe to the top news stories in science and tech. Popular mechanics, all my favorite magazines are in here and I don't have to buy a subscription. I don't have to buy a newsstand issue. When you get the magazine, it looks great on your tablet, in fact that's one of Apple's top 2016 iPad apps. Texture gives you every page in the magazine. You can zoom in, make it easy to read. Images are fantastic because you can zoom in on the images. If you get National Geographic or Shutter Fly or a photography magazine, the print version is not nearly as good as the tablet digital version because it's not screened. You're looking at the original photo. I love it. New York magazine, People, I gotta get my gossip fix. I just subscribe to all of them with one subscription with Texture. Get every magazine you want, all the articles you could ever read, bonus material you don't get on the newsstand like Video. Next time you're on a trip, next time you're taking some time off or you want to go to bed and have some light reading, you'll be glad you have Texture. Try it free right now at texture.com/twit. 14 days free. See all the magazines you can get, see how easy it is to read every page, current issue plus back issues. Texture.com/twit. I thank Texture for their support. 14 days free, texture! You love it.
Fr. Robert: Thanks Leo. Let's get back to the action. We have to set some ground rules, because it's going to be very easy for us to go off on a political rant, we really want to talk about the tech. We want to talk about the policies that are in place with our online advertisers. This is a general note to anyone who might be listening. We do know now some of the facts behind a recent spat of very interesting ad buys that have been happening across networks. Not just Facebook, but Facebook is in the crosshairs right now. Specifically, Facebook has disclosed that over $100,000 of ads were purchased by fake accounts by sites that were run by known Russian troll organizations. One group was known as Secure Borders, and it bought ads across many of the groups that were identified as being susceptible to having a nudge in voting. Of course, Carson, if you go to my computer, these are some of the ad buys that were showing up across Facebook. We've seen this before, you take a little truth, you take a meme, then you plaster it everywhere.
Mark: It doesn't need to be truth.
Fr. Robert: You take a suspicion. These are the kinds of ads that were being plastered across the different ad networks. Facebook has identified them, and now people are starting to get past the shock phase, and are saying why didn't you do anything about this? You saw this coming. You just took the money. A hundred thousand is what they've identified, but it's going to be way more. The question is here, does Facebook have a responsibility to stop this? They're not a National watchdog. They don't need to make sure a foreign entity isn't interfering in an election. They just sell ads.
Owen: Let me jump in first. No. They don't. Far be it from the American people that are not that bright who will just fall for anything, but somebody paid money for something. Somebody put money up to do what they wanted to do. You can get into the semantics, but when does it stop? What makes your ad more viable or credible than my ad that I'm paying for, and how I want to manipulate it. At what point does this company say I don't want to take this money, which we don't make money on anything anyway. You take the money, you put the ad up. It's not their job, other than the bot part of it. People are susceptible to these ads because a lot of Americans are dumb. That's the bottom line. If we spent more time on education, then people wouldn't fall for everything they see on the Internet, but they do. I'm not even mad at Facebook. There are bigger problems that we had then Facebook manipulation on votes. That's just me.
Jeff: Let me do full disclosure here for a second. I started the news integrity edition of Cuny, which has money from Craig Numar, Facebook, and the Ford foundation among others, so. I think there's a fundamental change in the architecture of media, including the advertising here. We keep trying to bring our old presumptions of old gatekeeper mass media into this world. Google and Facebook enabled anyone to advertise anything. That was never possible. Pod Ray's Country jams, you could sell that stuff, that was never possible before. Good, God bless it. YouTube, no one could make TV shows before. Now everybody can. Now, anybody can advertise. As a result, you have a problem of scale, now that anybody and everybody can advertise, that means that other bad guys will now manipulate the system. That's why Google had natcuts. That's why they had to worry about the spam. There's an expense these companies will have to go to. JJ, I'll agree and disagree with you to this extent. Getting bombarded with propaganda, hate, lies, bigotry, mysogyny is not a good user experience, and at some level, I think Facebook has to worry about that. I agree with you though, they put up ads, they can buy ads now, they want to buy these ads. What I think they should be is a lot more transparent. I think that Facebook should be revealing the ads and especially the target criteria for these ads. Both Facebook and Google should be revealing how they are manipulated and how people try to manipulate us. Facebook's argument has been that legally they can't reveal it because of privacy. Bots now have privacy?!? That's absurd. So they've already handed over the data to Mueller, to Congress. It's going to get out anyway. I think Facebook should get way ahead of this and say here's how the bad guys were trying to convince you. One last point, it's also been argued that before all political ads had to be public. You had to know what was what on TV or radio. That's not true. Ever since the invention of direct mail and robo calls, there's been dark advertising around politics. There's nothing new there.
Mark: The companies--Facebook is chief among them-- try to position themselves as these neutral platforms. They do police what goes on there. When is the last time you saw a porn ad on Facebook or Google? So they, I haven't personally looked at the foreign campaign finance law, but I don't know that Facebook is off the hook. If they knew what they were taking money for.
Jeff: Do you think they do? Given the scale, could they have known? How hard was it to know do you think?
Mark: I personally think they probably didn't know. But that is a question Muller would be asking the company and asking for emails and documentation related to these ad buys.
Jeff: If targeting criteria were passed over from the campaign to these Ruskies, that's collusion.
Fr. Robert: There is another part of this story. $100,000 in ad buys is nothing. That is a drop in the bucket. Where the analytics goes crazy is how effective it was. If you look at a standard ad, and you expect 1X efficiency, these ads were something like ten thousand efficiency. That only happens if you really know how to target it. You had some inside information. This wasn't just shotgunning out. You had someone in the country who was able to look at the demographics, look at the groups that were forming on Facebook, tie that into some local grassroots groups and know this is a group you should target, these are keywords you should target. That's actually a part of Muller's investigation. It's not necessarily did the ads happen, but under whose direction?
Owen: Sometimes we give things a lot more credit than they deserve. We also got to think that the guy running for President was saying "Lock her up," and "Crooked Hillary." So put Hillary Clinton behind a cage, it'll get millions of clicks on it. Happened without collusion, advertising money, or anything. It was some dude named Jebediah in a cave down in Alabama that was like lock her up, and he put it out there and it was a meme and it went crazy. Yes, you have to know what's going on, but the guy running for President was a meme machine. All he was doing was spitting out stupid chunks of information that was easily reverberated through like-minded communities.
Mark: Doing that is perfectly within our laws though. For a foreign Government to influence the US election is illegal.
Owen: I'm with you on that. As far as my feeling on Facebook's issue with it, is it wrong, yes. Am I mad at Facebook? No. Could they do better? Sure. For a meme with words in it, they're not checking to make sure if it's factual or not factual. They wouldn't do anything if that's the case. Advertising integrity? I don't know. Apple just told me they made the greatest iPhone X. So, really?
Fr. Robert: We were done with Apple! We were done!
Mark: I think you can argue that Facebook could not have expected this was coming and did not build in safeguards for it, but you can defend against this. You can look for where is the money coming from and what is the type of content and if it's a Russian source with connections to the kremlin, and it's trying to place a political ad especially during election season, you should probably turn down that ad.
Jeff: There's a big if there. If you have ties to the Russian money. If you don't know that, that it is legal...
Fr. Robert: We know now in hindsight, because we've had a chance to examine the data. But doing that in real time is tricky. They get an ungodly number of ad buys. A hundred thousand dollars wouldn't trip anything.
Jeff: To give you an idea of scale, Occupy Democrats, which is an advocacy group, during the height of the election, they just make memes. They were getting between 100 and 3 million impressions a week on Facebook.
Mark: That was also part of the Russian campaign too. They were creating fake bot accounts to drum up these memes organically.
Fr. Robert: Which ties into another bit of the Facebook story. We know there were some algorithmically generated buy targets. Remember, we're all about the purity of the algorithm, it doesn't have any bias, it looks at what's popular and tries to sell against. But because of the traffic that was running through Facebook, you had topics like "Jew hater" or "black people ruin everything." You could buy ads against those.
Jeff: I bet I could go in today and buy puppy killer. It's not an indication of Facebook, but an indication that there are people who are talking about this crap.
Fr. Robert: That's the point. That's not Facebook's problem. They didn't create those ad buys over those targets. It's just a target. You can't really fix that unless you have many humans sitting down and going no.
Mark: But they have thousands of humans and they just hired thousands of moderators. So this is something they can fix, and they're trying to fix it. Twitter had a policy before this, which failed them recently to block offensive terms so Twitter is not profiting off of hate.
Owen: It's good that America has never paid a PR company to do propaganda overseas in other people's countries... oh wait. Never mind. We did that? My bad. We're out here doing the same exact thing on massive scales. Last I checked, there was about 500,000 the American Government was spending on propaganda videos. Got the story wrapped up? We done? Next one?
Fr. Robert: Can we put Facebook to bed? yes, this is something that's going to be investigated, we need to know how this happened, so they can put some preventative measures into place, however, I'm of the mind that this is... you cannot drop this on Facebook's door.
Jeff: Let me ask it a different way. So Google's don't be evil, which was licensed to employees to keep the company from being evil because being evil is bad business. Maybe it should have been "be good." And in this time when there is huge pressure from competitors, from Publishers, from Yelp, these companies, I like these companies, I'm a fan of them, but they hold a huge responsibility. They hold the Internet and the future of society in their hands. We can't make them responsible for everything, but the question is under what standards and ethics and morals do they believe they should operate. If you're Facebook you should come along, Facebook should come along and say we should make all political ads public and you do it in the light of day. That would be a principle. Another principle to operate under is free speech. Any schmo can sell their jam and their viewpoints. What are the larger ethical considerations for these companies, given where they stand in our world now? If you were their ethical consultant, what would you say to them about how they should operate?
Fr. Robert: I would say I think we all recognize that even though you're a private company or publicly traded company, once you grow to x amount of the market and you control a certain amount of mind share, you cannot operate like every other company on the planet, we've seen that with Google, with Facebook, with Apple. They're held to higher standards because their decisions can have so much more weight than anybody else. The ethical decision would be Facebook, we understand that you're operating as a business, however, because you control so much of the world's mind share, it's incumbent upon you as a corporation which has been granted entity status by the Supreme Court of the United States to act responsibly. Acting responsibly means transparency. Maybe not being the police, but at least let people know where these things are coming from. Even then, saying that much brings up a bad taste in my mouth because it sounds like I'm asking Facebook to be a gatekeeper, which I don't want, but I think we can all admit that there's something more that they're responsible for, that Myspace would never have been responsible for. Is there something different?
Mark: There's been a shift in the larger consciousness away from letting Facebook and Google off the hook. I think they're being held to a higher standard in the mainstream. There was a Financial Times op-ed today saying that the tech companies are too powerful. And this is like a theme you see in a lot of the books, the business books that are coming out now. And I'm curious like how that changing sentiment effects how they operate. I don't know that anti-trust action is going to be taken, especially from the US because it's hard to argue consumer ARM and especially when so much of what they offer is free, it's hard to—
Jeff: And there is competition for everything but the advertising.
Mark: Right. Right.
Fr. Robert: Not super effective competition, but it's there.
Mark: And it doesn't sound like this government is going to be the one that's going to push that type of case.
Jeff: Europe for sure
Mark: Europe for sure is continuing to push hard.
Fr. Robert: How about this? Let's jump to Europe next. Ok, let's get off Facebook and we'll talk about some other good news like Google being fined a record amount of money for monopolistic tendencies. Let's do that. But before we do that, let's jump back over to the other side of the studio because Uncle Leo needs to have another word with the TWiT army.
Leo: I hope you're enjoying this week's TWiT. I'm sorry I couldn't be here with you all, but it sounds like fun. I wanted to thank our sponsor, ITPro.TV. These guys have been with us since they started. In fact, Tim and Don, the founders are very clear. They were influenced by TWiT and by Tech TV before it. They were IT trainers forever. And they saw what we did at TWiT. And they said, "You know, it would be kind of cool to do something like that but for IT professionals, or people that want to become IT professionals" And ITPro.TV was born. Of course, now, they far exceeded anything I ever dreamed of. They have 5 studios. They're putting out 125 hours of content, fresh content every week. You can watch them live. They're back catalog has thousands of hours of on-demand training in every category. Certified Ethical Hacker. Kali Linux, Microsoft Server, ITIL, AWS Sys Ops, Comp TS Security Plus. All the certs that help you get the job. All the information that helps you keep the job at ITPro.TV. And they have team solution. I really want to emphasize this. If you work on an IT team, and ITPro.TV's team solution, with the group pricing and a supervisor portal that allows you to control the training schedule, create custom groups, training assignments. You can see individual analytics, group analytics. If you log in you can check in on viewing time, video downloads, track course completion and more. So, it is a training solution. The ultimate training solution for any IT team. And of course, it's convenient because you can stream it over anything. They've got apps for Chromecast, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, a great Apple TV app. Of course, you can watch it on your PC. You can use their iOS or Android dedicated apps. You don't have to send your staff all over for training, they can do it from their desk during lunch. ITPro.TV. Here's the deal. Go to ITPro.TV/TWiT and you can find out how it can offer you as an individual or a team the best IT training solution. Get the certs so you can get the job. Then once you've got the job, and new skills, keep the skills you've got. Keep them up to date with ITPro.TV. If you got to ITPro.TV/TWiT you're going to get a free 7-day trial when you sign up for an individual monthly membership and you've got to use the offer code TWiT30 because that's also going to give you 30% off your subscription for the lifetime. As long as you stay active, 30% off. And if you're on a team or you run a team, or you want to get something for your team, you can sign up for a free demo of the supervisor portal. That's ITPro.TV/TWiT. Make sure you tell them you heard about it on TWiT. ITPro.TV/TWiT. Use the code TWiT30. You get a free 7-days and 30% off for the life of your individual membership at ITPro.TV. Now, back to the TWiT crew.
Jeff: Leo said he was unhappy not to be here. I don't believe him.
Fr. Robert: No, I've seen his Google + and his Twitter feed. He's in a wonderful place.
Jeff: He's very happy.
Mark: He still uses Google +?
Fr. Robert: Whoa. Wait. Ok, look. Some of us have great interactions on Google +. I'm just going to say it.
Jeff: Well, when it's only three people, of course you do. I used to love it. I used to adore it, but.
Fr. Robert: It works for some groups. Like on my Know How group, we've got 12,000 people. It's incredibly active.
Jeff: J.J's, I can see him winding up.
Fr. Robert: I understand it's a ghost town in a lot of places, but one of the nice things about that is, it's for the geeks and the marginalized, it's become a great place. I don't have to worry about extraneous messaging. It's just what we want.
Owen: I think the FBI should investigate that group. If there's 12,000 people on a Google Group, I think—
Fr. Robert: (Laughing).
Jeff: They're all bots and Russians.
Owen: They should definitely investigate that group. I'm just saying, the CIA, the FBI, somebody ought to get in there. Just make sure everything's kosher. I love you Father, but look, the Lord knows we've got to find out what's going on if there's 12,000 people. Second thing. Google still has social media. I don't use anything on Google except Google Photos and my email. I don't know anything else that Google does, so, that's not here nor there. But yea. 12,000.
Fr. Robert: I get it. I understand. And you're right because a lot of the groups that I am a part of on Google +, they've emptied out and they've all moved over to Facebook. But, there are those of us who are loyalists until Google announces that they're going to pull the plug.
Jeff: I loved Google + in the day. But—
Fr. Robert: Wait. When was the day?
Owen: The day it came out.
Fr. Robert: Tuesday?
Jeff: (Laughing) Even you can't resist being cruel.
Fr. Robert: It's true.
Owen: I'm sorry.
Fr. Robert: Ok, let's do some happy Google news. This is actually something I'm very interested in even though we have very little details about it. Google's going to announce a brand-new Pixel on October 4th.
Jeff: Yay. My Pixel is clapping.
Fr. Robert: Are we excited? This is about a much detail as we have. There was a bulletin board that went up in Boston and all the bulletin boards was saying was, "Go to this website and Ask More." And if you go to Ask More and they ask for your email address and the last 6 digits of your social security—no, that was Equifax. Sorry. It asks for your email address and it looks like they're going to announce a new Pixel, maybe a new Chromebook, maybe?
Jeff: Oh, I pray, I pray, I pray. I love my Chromebook Pixel. I own four of them.
Fr. Robert: I have one now and I love it.
Jeff: I love it.
Fr. Robert: And I got one for my parents.
Jeff: I love it but it's getting old and I'm not sure about the new ones, so I want a high-end Chromebook. I have lived entirely on Chromebook, entirely for almost three years now.
Fr. Robert: I don't know anyone who has a Pixel who doesn't like it.
Jeff: Even Leo used to make fun of them. He now likes them. When I travel I throw in my Pixel C which is the tablet. I don't even carry a laptop anymore.
Fr. Robert: Ok. I will draw my line there. I love my Acer Chromebook. I have a R13 because it also does Android apps and it's convertible and it's very low cost. It was a $300-dollar Chromebook but if I can only carry one device, it's not going to be that, it will be this Acer S7.
Jeff: Can I ask you a question? So, the dialogue box you get, once or always, I answered wrong a few times and when I click on let's say a media link or a New York Times link, it goes to the app and I don't want it too. I want it to go to the web. And I don't know where to turn that off.
Fr. Robert: Right. There's actually app preferences. Unfortunately, it's kind of ham-handed because unless you know exactly which app preference you want to reset, it resets all your app preferences, which I think is a wonderful design, by the way.
Jeff: Yes, it is. Anyway, I love my Chromebook. I want a Chromebook. But here's a J.J. question, too. What can they—the Pixel is a darn good phone. What can they do to this that will make me spend an extra $900-dollars?
Fr. Robert: The notch. If the put that notch at the top, thousand-dollar phone.
Mark: And take the fingerprint off the back.
Fr. Robert: J.J. is not impressed.
Owen: It's a—I don't know. It's a sexy, boring phone. Like when you hold the phone and you use the phone, it is fast, it is responsive, the camera is amazing. It's such a great phone. But it doesn't excite me per se. When I hold it, I feel happy when I've got it in my hands. Again—
Jeff: What more do you want in life, man?
Owen: I need marketing. I need a video of a kid in the rain doing some kind of dance that I'm never going to do. I need paint splashing through windows and I need the right song to go with it. That's all the difference in these phones. These phones—I mean, look. I love my phone but it's not like I'm sitting over here drooling over this phone. They need to do something that makes me feel good about myself having the phone. And as stupid as that sounds, that's why Apple sells so many phones. They make me feel important in having this phone. I feel better than most people knowing that I've got an iPhone. The phone ain't better than other people's phones. But I feel better having that phone over other phones. And that's something that the Pixel needs to do.
Fr. Robert: Ok, wait a minute. Wait a minute here because I have, we have an example of a phone that created excitement. And it created a narrative where I have to have this because it's the next thing and it's beautiful and it's greatly designed. It was the Essential Phone which we got a copy of here. We actually had to buy it. And it was hyped. Both Leo, Jason and I, we all wanted to take it for a spin. We thought it was a great design. This was going to be the Jesus phone and it was horrible. And I'm sorry.
Jeff: Horrible? Not just disappointing, but horrible?
Fr. Robert: I will say horrible. The camera didn't work right. It crashed consistently. The case was just a fingerprint magnet. That's all it was. It was literally—there was no place you could hold that didn't smudge the phone. The performance was middling and we managed to crack it in 24 hours.
Owen: I hate to call you a nerd, but you're a nerd. No one in the real world had any kind of high desire or care for that phone. I'm talking about making the world, not just myself, not just the bubble, not just you in the studio and you've got every single device that comes out on the face of the planet. I'm talking about everybody. When I go to the soccer field, I want that soccer mom saying, "I don't want this Samsung 8. I want a Pixel phone. Have you heard about the Pixel phone?" And they don't do that. So, that's what happens with Pixel. It goes by the wayside even though it's a sexy phone. And they are doing something smart. One of my buddies says he has an old Nexus and they sent him some kind of email that if he sends his Nexus in, they're going to send him the old Pixel because the new Pixel's coming out. That's a great way of adoption, getting all those old phones out of circulation and getting your stockpile out of warehouses. But like I said, I'm talking about real people. I'm not talking about you drooling over some fake phone that has you hyped up, and Uncle Leo hyped up. Uncle Leo gets hyped up with anything with buttons on it, ok?
Fr. Robert: (Laughing) Well, ok, wait a minute. Because here's—the Pixel is a boring device. It is an incredibly boring device. And I want a boring device because I don't care about the device. It is just a tool for me to do all the incredible stuff that I want to do. I want it to work well. I mean, I think that's the normal person.
Jeff: What would it take for you to switch to Android?
Mark: Why don't you have a Pixel?
Fr. Robert: Because I can't afford it (laughing). I'm still rocking a OnePlus One, ok? I'm holding back.
Owen: One Plus phones are awesome. I love OnePlus phones. All that RAM they give you? That's a good, solid phone. The price is reasonable. I tell people all the time, if you don't have it in your budget, the problem is you've got to put the money outright mostly because they don't have a plan for the phone, but that is a solid company putting out solid phones end over end. And the thing that gets me most excited is every time I hear that number with RAM. That's the first cell phone I gave my daughter, was a OnePlus phone, so ain't no hating on them, player. I mean it's a training wheels phone, but still, it was a baller phone. I gave it to my other friend because it was my backup phone. But that phone's still living in this world. OnePlus. Shout out to you.
Fr. Robert: The only thing is, it's not just a OnePlus One. I have the unicorn of cell phone plans. You cannot get it anymore, so you have to hold on to it if you have it. It is a pre-pay phone, pay as you go. $30-dollars a month, T-Mobile, unlimited data, high-speed, and 100 minutes of voice. And you can't buy it anymore but it's $30-dollars a month.
Mark: Unlimited data until like 3GB.
Fr. Robert: 5GB. 5GB and then it goes from 4G down to like 3G. I mean it's awesome. It's incredible. And even though I had to pay outright, it was still cheaper, way cheaper than buying out a contract.
Owen: Can't I get you just a $10-dollar Patreon because the 40 unlimited right now is killing it. Unlimited minutes, unlimited data up to 22GB, unlimited—come on, baby. It's $10 more dollars. Let the past go. Let the past go. You had me thinking you were on some Megatron tablet playing, Jesus playing, that Leo got in the 80s. I mean, $30-dollars? You can't spend—come on, man. I'm on T-Mobile. $40-dollars for everybody. All taxes, dog. You can spend $10 more dollars and call me. That's why you never call me back because you've only got 100 minutes. See? This is ridiculous.
Fr. Robert: I need that extra $10-dollars for the watch plan that I'm going to be getting. So, I can't.
Owen: Ok, ok. Nice move with that one. You just saved yourself from being—I was just getting on you. That was a good move right there.
Fr. Robert: Ok, let's move past hardware because some of us are excited about the Pixel, but nobody's excited about Google lawsuits and right now we know that Google is going to appeal a record lawsuit, a fine that was slapped on them on June 28th. Now, the EU slapped Google with a $2.7-billion dollar fine for denying, quote, "Consumer's a genuine choice," end quote, by using their search business to steer consumers away from competitors and to Google's controlled shopping platforms. The EU Commission concluded that Google was giving its own shopping services priority placement and you can see this. If you go to actually, Karsten, there's a picture in that story. It shows you what a typical Google page would look like. You've got your ads, but right above it you get something that doesn't look like an ad but is actually Google's partners and Google's shopping platform where they'll get a cut. The fine could have been as much as 10% of Google's annual sales, or $90-billion dollars, but instead they did the $2.7-billion dollar fine. The EU has set a September 28th deadline for stopping the practice. So, Google will no longer be able to prioritize their own ads. But Google has now filed an appeal. And they were probably buoyed by a decision this past week for Intel. Intel was able to force a re-examination of a $1.06-billion-dollar Euro judgement against them for similar practices, for monopolistic practices. Now, we had a long history of going back and forth with Google in Europe, be it with Spanish publishers or the right to be forgotten and now with this. This idea that they're using their market dominance to push a shopping platform that will get them even more sales. Let's start with the lawsuit itself. On its face, does it make sense to you?
Mark: Google Shopping sucks. I was really annoyed when they changed it to like a pay or play model. It used to be a good aggregator of like you're looking for a product. Here's all the retailers that carry it. Here's the price. Now, retailers have to pay to get into it. I mean it is—it's not a good experience.
Jeff: It violates—the original ad model that Google copies was paid placement and search. And Google said, "No, no, no, no, no. We're above that." And then they went and did that with shopping. I also can't imagine they make much money at all on the shopping. I can't imagine they make $2.7-billion-dollars- worth of shopping stuff. It's a bad service. It's not their—that's what gives lie to the EU argument that this is a huge anti-trust, the behemoth is coming in. What? With nothing.
Fr. Robert: I think the clue there is the $2.7-billion-dollar fine. It's deliberately, it's way lower than even what a normal fine would be of this magnitude because they've realized the financial impact really wasn't there. And if it does to an appeal, and Google actually does lay out their books and say, "This is how much we made from it," they could make a good argument to say, "This is nowhere near a monopoly. We may have had better placement, but people are still buying from all the ads that we placed down below." But does that absolve them? If they say, "Our strategy didn't work," does that mean that it wasn't a monopoly?
Mark: I think yea, by definition, if it didn't work it's not a monopoly. But this is just a beginning. The Android probe could potentially be much, much bigger which alleges that they prioritize their own services on Android phones over competitors with the result of consumer harm, which is something that they need to prove. But Android has become a significant revenue driver for Google and it's just a massive product that the world uses.
Jeff: Well, that's going to be part of their argument, and you can't win because Google's strategy was to give away an operating system to beat Apple and then now by giving, they're basically getting accused of dumping. And they're not. They're giving us something for free. Isn't that nice?
Mark: Europe is behind.
Fr. Robert: The economic harm part is always the most difficult piece to prove because if your laws haven't caught up to the fact that we're making money by giving things away, that little tidbit is almost impossible to prove, especially through a court of appeals. Owen, what do you think? Is Google in the wrong here? Did they do a bad, bad thing or is this the EU overreacting?
Owen: The EU has got a lot of issues and getting some free money would help those issues, so, that's why the fine I only $2.74-billion because no matter what happens, you can appeal, they're going to settle out of court for $1.2-billion and go on about their day and say, "We're never going to do it again because we didn't make any money from it in the first place." The EU says, "Cool story, bro. Let's go get private jets next week." So, I mean, it's neither here nor there as far as I'm concerned. It's just legally, there's people out there trying to get a free check because it's wrong. Yes. But they're not very good at it and Mark, I wasn't even going to say anything because you said exactly what I was going to say. Their experience sucks now, so I mean, shame on them for even trying because it's just a horrible experience which makes me care not for the whole issue.
Fr. Robert: Let me ask the panel, does anybody here actually buy stuff from a Google search, because for me, I start with Amazon. I type into Amazon. That's where I go.
Owen: If Amazon doesn't have it, Walmart does.
Fr. Robert: Yea. I can't remember the last time I actually bought something because Google had it as an ad or in the Google Shopping Platform.
Mark: Yea, I mean I'll Google around to try to compare prices on more expensive items.
Fr. Robert: And then I go back to Amazon because I can get it the next day.
Mark: I'm all over the Wirecutter, though.
Fr. Robert: Yes.
Mark: I trust that immensely.
Jeff: And that's a really interesting business now, too, because Wirecutter brought together some people in commerce and media in New York and Purch, you know, Purch, P-U-R-C-H. They do great, very focused things. Gizmodo, Medium, formally known as Gawker, Business Insider, New York Magazine, they're all going to commerce. And commerce is interesting because what they said, these editorial people said is, "You have to have trust there." If you're Gizmodo and you say you're going to have the best bargain out there, and you don't find the best bargain, and you give people stuff you're going to make the most money on, people won't come to you. So, the idea of the kind of clickbait media model that we were in, commerce might actually help us a little bit.
Fr. Robert: Yea. We'll see. All right. How about a Google story that is going to make everyone uncomfortable and that's the fact that Google is again being sued by its employees, this time for pay discrimination against women. Three women have sued Google for discriminating against female employees. Specifically, the suit hinges around so-called career tracks. Kelly Ellis, Holly Pease and Kelli Wisuri say that they were placed into lower tiered tracks than they were eligible for. Ellis was put on a level three track. That's where beginners start and she was put on front-end development. Now, the suit claims that in her case, there was a male colleague with the exact same amount of experience, who was put in level four which puts him on the back-end team. And the back-end team is a much more prestigious spot. It gets much more pay and it has more opportunities for advancement and it's almost exclusively male. Wisuri was hired into a level two sales while a similar male candidate got level three which also gave him commission. Pease had 10-years of experience going in but was listed as managerial instead of technical, which limited her opportunities for advancement since she was not a technical team, all of the people that she was in charge of eventually passed her. Now, this is always very, very iffy because of course we don't have any of the details really, other than what it says in the lawsuit and other than the very limited information coming out of Google. But right now, the attorney for the three women, James Finberg, is trying to win class action status which would cover all women at Google for the past four years. And of course, whenever you're dealing with a class action, you're assuming that once it starts, the complaints are going to come flooding in because that's the only way this is going to work. Is this something that's actually going to work? Will this achieve class action status? Will you see sort of a stampede of women at Google saying, "Yea, that's happening to me as well?" Or, is this an edge case?
Mark: Well, it's definitely not an edge case if there is indeed pay discrimination and big pay discrepancies, that's a national and global problem. So, I think if they were indeed discriminating against women, then good. The women should be able to get class action status and get that corrected.
Fr. Robert: Now, those of us in the valley who have friends who work for Google and other tech giants, I'll say, this is not the first time I've heard this. I've heard this a lot. And this is actually a way to get around some of the reporting information that Google has been doing to the Department of Labor because you can say, "Well, we placed this person in a higher end job. That's what suited him or her." And so, then you say, "Well, there's no pay discrimination because it's a different position." What these women are saying, "Wait a minute. We were placed in the wrong tracks. We were deliberately placed in the wrong tracks. They knew we were in the wrong tracks. And they let us stay there because it would allow them to advance the men above us without it looking like it's blatant sexism."
Fr. Robert: That was a big sigh.
Owen: As much as I love California for being better than like most of the rest of the country, that pocket that is San Francisco and is Silicon Valley is messed up. It is run by mostly white males and the systems that are put into place benefit those males first and males in general and people of color and women have tons of issues that are bigger and smaller than money. And the bottom line is, I don't know for sure that there was discrimination, but I like the fact that there's a class action suit afoot so we can find out. And if the pattern and the system seems to be laid out and corresponding to make sure these women could not advance in the way that they should, Google should be sued. Facebook, any other large company with massive amounts of employees that might be doing something that's similar or something different should also be looked at because at some point it's got to stop. And in that place in particular, there is so much money being thrown around and everybody pretends that they're better than they are. And they're not. Just because these companies rule the world, look like they're ruling the world, try startups here and there, the problem again is the core process of these white males not funding women founders. From top to bottom, it's an issue. So, I will never side with a Google or anybody else over women or minorities and I love white man, too, ya'll. My brothers on this panel but just in general, I have to side with everybody else first, especially in Silicon Valley because at some point, it needs to get turned on its end. It has to stop because Silicon Valley has this arrogance that it's better than everybody, that they're doing something special. And when it comes down to it, same systemic problem are pouring out into the Valley. It is disgusting because everyone there acts like they're better when they're not. And more men need to stand behind these women and support them so it's not just women in their class action suit. Because some men are good men and know better, so they need to work with them on that.
Mark: Glad we finally had an all-male panel for this very important gender issue.
Owen: Exactly. Exactly. Hey, I've put in a lot of times when it's minority stuff and it's a whole bunch of white guys and sometimes the white guy says the right thing. That's all that matters. As long as somebody cares and is willing to help change because again, women can't just be out there doing their own because they need their male counterparts to support them as well.
Fr. Robert: This is a super sensitive topic just because there's no way to win it. You can present all the data. You can present all the anecdotal evidence that you have, but at some point people just have to say, "Gosh I can see both sides." I think there's actually something deeper though than just Silicon Valley. There is—I don't know if it's an American thing. I don't know if it's a technology world thing but there's such a hesitancy to talk about our salaries. We don't do it. That's not polite conversation. And you can't really talk about pay equality unless you're willing to talk about your pay.
Jeff: But again, it's not just the pay for the same job. That's been the issue in the past. What this says is that you're putting me at a different rank. It's not the same job and you can justify the pay. Listen, I agree with everything that Owen said, and he said it better than I could have. But there's clearly a problem across this country. Didn't this election show us, with understanding diversity and there's clearly a problem in Silicon Valley with diversity, And Silicon Valley actually knows it. They just haven't figured out what to do about it I think. And being forced into this position probably in the end will be a good thing because the more diversity there is at every rank in the company, the better the products and services are going to be. The more they're going to be serving larger markets. And it's good business. It's like don't be evil. Be good. This is part of being good.
Fr. Robert: And that's, for the longest time, that's been the idea that we ask you to be socially responsible because it's good business. You hire the right people and you treat them right and you get better people. You act properly when you sell products and you get a better, more loyal customer base. Unfortunately, I don't know if that always plays out properly. It's not. A lot of companies that don't play by the rules, that aren't being fair, that aren't being ethical will get ahead. They will get a leg up and so the other companies will say, "Hey, why should we follow the rules if they're not?"
Jeff: Well, you can be rude for a while but not forever.
Fr. Robert: Yes. Yes. Actually, wow, I love that. That should be the show title. You can be Uber for a while. All right.
Owen: Hang on.
Fr. Robert: I'm sorry.
Owen: Go ahead.
Fr. Robert: No, no. Please.
Owen: What's your next story? What are we looking at? I'm looking at this list and it's not where I wanted to go.
Fr. Robert: What do you want?
Owen: I'm always in the notes. I'm all about the ads. I'm all about the money. But I want to get to these two ex-Googlers.
Jeff: Oh, yes.
Fr. Robert: Oh, yes.
Jeff: The Bro-dega.
Owen; We're killing the time right now. We're flowing. So, I want to make sure I get that in before we jump to those other stories. We can jump into an ad too, if you'd like but—
Fr. Robert: No, no. Owen, take us to Bro-dega Town because this burned down the internet for a couple of days. Yes, of course, we're talking about the two ex-Googlers who decided that they are going to innovate by removing all your bodegas. Now, if you don't live in an area that has a lot of these bodegas, then maybe you don't understand the story, but think of it as a life line. It is the place where you can go down to the corner and get anything you need from a—
Jeff: You can get your egg and cheese on a roll.
Fr. Robert: Exactly. And these Googlers said, "You know what would make the bodega experience even better? This experience of reaching out to your neighbor and seeing people and interacting? What if we made it completely impersonal by replacing them robots?" That, my friends, are the Bro-degas. Now, Owen, obviously you have some strong sentiments on this.
Owen: Ok. So, first of all, again, two white guys, ex-Googlers, it's always cool when you get to put ex-Googler in front of something and it's supposed to make me think that you're the smartest person in the world. I mean, hundreds and thousands of people have come and gone from Google. But Lord knows these ex-Googlers and their startups. I mean, let's just heaven to Betsy, turn over the world to them. Second of all, so you take a vending machine and tell the world that you're going to kill mom and pop shops and bodegas. And then you call your company—you're going to get free money right now. Bodega, if you're all listening, call me. Don't call me. Listen. It's free. So, you're going to call your company Bodega instead of calling it Vendor and spell it weird like every other normal tech person in Silicon Valley would have. You call it Bodega.
Jeff: (Laughing) And you know what else? The mascot? You saw that?
Jeff: The Bodega Cat.
Owen: Listen. Listen. If you put a Bodega vending machine in New York City, you would literally have a fight on your hands. So you would take that thing off a truck and them some Julio and Juan would beat you up and make you put it back on the truck because you're messing with the family business. Secondly, if you were smart, besides not calling it Bodega and using appropriation and just stealing and then lying and telling the people that you had someone do a survey. Whatever company that you had to serve you, you should sue them because they lied to you. And I don't think you had a company do a survey in the first place. But listen a minute. If you just would have said, "Hey, we know that people are busy and their companies and stuff like that. So, we want to bring the bodega experience to the company. Because when I leave Facebook at night, I've got to go home and do the laundry for my kids. So, it would be nice if I could go to a vending machine and get some Tide Detergent now instead of going to the local grocery store. And I'm just trying to help out people like that." Or better yet, "I'm going to put it outside a mom and pop shop that maybe doesn't do 24-hours and work with them because we're going to have logistic problems putting all this stuff in a vending machine. So, maybe we could help the mom and pop shops instead of saying we're going to kill them and destroy them and take them out into the backyard." It's like who are these people and who gives these people money for these stupid ideas? And then, you spend all this money on PR and oh, boy, who did your PR? Because I'm thinking, wait, this is like a Postmates that I can steal. Because Postmates comes and brings me what I want when I just make a phone call or do on my app. They just bring it to me. But you're going to put a box that I'm supposed to just not rob through glass? And then how do you fill it? Like what are you doing? Who are these people? Ex-Googlers. My fault.
Fr. Robert: We need to take a pause for a cigarette break (laughing).
Owen: Dude, my brain hurts so bad. Stuff like this is so stupid. I'm about to start a company that says, "Run it By Us," and just be like, "Look, just call me and give me your pitch. I'll charge you like five-grand. I'll give you an hour and tell you what's wrong. I'll call a black friend, a Latino friend, a gay friend, somebody outside of your bubble because these people are just, for being so smart are so dumb." So dumb. And then they surround themselves with yes men and-- I don't know what water is going on in there. There are some water problems. There's something in that water out there in San Francisco because it's bro country, bro.
Jeff: It's built on toxic waste, so.
Owen: It's killing everybody's brains. Smartest dumb people in the world out there sometimes. Woo.
Fr. Robert: I think the most interesting thing about that story was the fact that those two ex-Googlers, they were really caught by surprise by the backlash. They did not expect that.
Mark: As were the investors.
Fr. Robert: They were like, "Oh. So, you don't want us to kill the stores that you've had for a hundred years? Oh."
Owen: The dude from capital is going out there and tweeting, "We've got a bodega in our office. Everybody loves it." Who? They love getting toilet paper from the glass machine on their way out the door? Of course, they do because you gave them money, you doufus. And then you're going to go on Twitter and tweet that dumb stuff. Like I said, I wish they would take one of these bodegas to New York City. Woo! I'd pay money to sit front row to watch it come off a truck.
Jeff: So, here's a question for you. Here's a question. It goes with what you said. If they had just called it VNDING 2.0 without an E, right? If they just said, "You know that vending machine you have to kick because the thing gets stuck in it? We're going to make a better vending machine. It's just going to be on shelves. You're going to pick it up and it's going to be ok. And your office, your office vending machine will now be this." Would that have been—they could have maybe had a business there.
Owen: Dollars to donuts, that's how you make money. You put it in high-end offices or high-end apartments, hotels that don't have that kind of machine, and then that would have made you money. That would have given you some footing to start to grow the business because right now, like I said. Take that thing off the truck and see if you all last. That company is—
Jeff: And in New York, what's already dead is the office newsstand. Every big building used to have a newsstand where you go down, you get a Snapple. You can look at the magazines and not buy them and all that, and they are dead. There's no such thing in New York anymore. Nothing. And so, if you want to go out and get your Doritos, you've got to go—you're in the office. Not at a neighborhood bodega who knows the residents. If you're in a horrible office park, there's no where you can go. They could have had a business here. I think still, you're right, it's dumb to say there's this thing with glass and shelves and surely, it's not going to work and people are going to figure out how to rip it off, but that's their problem.
Owen: Exactly. I don't know. This made me so mad.
Fr. Robert: Bodega, if you're listening, you might want to contract with Owen J.J. Stone, because he's got a way for you to pivot your business into something that's not going to outrage the internet.
Jeff: Or at least save yourself from making a bloody fool of yourself.
Fr. Robert: There you go. There you go. Now, when we come back, I would actually like to go a little bit over this interesting story forming in the heartland of America that centers around jobs, technologies, factories and Amazon. Can we do that? All right. Well, we'll do that but first, let's take another break and toss over to Uncle Leo who has these words from a sponsor of TWiT.
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Fr. Robert: Thanks, Leo. All right. Let's go ahead and take a trip over to cheese land. I've actually lived in the state of Wisconsin. Wisconsin, three days ago in a 64-31 vote, approved an incentive package to lure Foxconn into the state. Of course, Foxconn is the famous manufacturer of so many of your favorite pieces of gear from phones to networking units. Now, they will be investing $10-billion dollars to build a factory. And for that investment, over the course of 15-years, Foxconn will get $2.85-billion dollars in tax incentives from the State of Wisconsin. Now, the factory will build everything from TV's, again, to networking devices. It will initially employee 3,000 workers who are expected to make about $54,000-dollars a year plus benefits. It could, could, potentially employee up to 13,000 workers in the future. The finances are a little interesting. This is where the story kind of goes south. The Legislative Fiscal Bureau, a non-partisan financial watchdog, they calculated that assuming that Foxconn hires all 13,000, not 3,000, but 13,000 workers and assuming that you have an additional 22,000 jobs created by suppliers wanting to come into the area, that in that best-case scenario, you will start to get a return on the investment in 25 years. So, that part doesn't sound super, super great. And people are jumping on that. However, I think this is actually part of a much bigger bet. This is not just a gamble on Foxconn. Wisconsin wants this to be the new Silicon Valley. In fact, at the—
Jeff: Who doesn't want to be the new Silicon Valley?
Fr. Robert: Right, because it's money. But at the end of the announcement, when the bill was going to be signed, they specifically called about Amazon. And they said, "We're going to be the new destination for tech. Amazon and their 50,000 jobs would be more than welcome. And we'll give them a premium place in the new Silicon Valley."
Mark: They already gave away their tax break. Amazon's not going to go there if they don't get $5-billion dollars.
Fr. Robert: Right, right. And this is—we've actually seen this a lot. We saw a new Silicon Valley in New York. We saw a new Silicon Valley in Illinois. We saw one in Israel. We saw one in India. We saw one in London, Berlin.
Fr. Robert: Everyone's trying to recreate the Silicon Valley and they all have the same strategy which is, we'll give you a lot of tax breaks so that you can come in and then you'll stay. That's not how it works. They come in. Then the tax breaks stop. And then they leave because someone else is willing to give them a bigger tax break.
Jeff: But it also means that within the nation, we're competing with each other.
Fr. Robert: Right. Of course. Of course. Because we all want it in our state. But, my question to you is, is this a bet? Is this actually a bet or is this destined to fail?
Mark: The latter. I think these—aren't these always destined to fail?
Fr. Robert: I really want this to work. I mean it's kind of bold. Again, they know it doesn't make financial sense to get a ROI in 25-years, you're basically writing it off. So, they need other businesses to come in. I just don't see it.
Jeff: I get that, but how can they really make themselves cool? It's Wisconsin. Love it. The cheese is great.
Owen: No, again. The short story, sure, you gave somebody a couple jobs. First thing is the weather. You're never going to be Silicon Valley. End of story. The weather. Second of all, just to get a return in 25-years, they'll be gone before those 25-years even came back around. And whenever I hear possibility of up to 3,000 jobs, this is one of the core things that I dislike about America. Rich people who are ungodly rich, pardon the use of the word, are just so rich they can afford to do anything, still want and demand things to be free. The fact that we as tax payers allow football owners to come in and have the tax payers pay for their stadiums and I'm sitting there thinking to myself, "So, as a taxpayer, when do I get my free ticket?" I feel like if you come in as a taxpayer's pay, every single man, woman and child of that region should get a ticket to one game. I don't care if it takes 20-years to get them to one game. They should be able to take their family and go to a game because they're the ones paying for it on their backs. So, to get Amazon or Foxconn or Ramacon to come here, I've got to give you $3-billion dollars, take money out of the people's pockets of Wisconsin, who 3,000 of which do not have jobs. Imagine 13,000 people still don't have a job and you're pre-taking away money from people who might never get that money back. But, that's the way the system works because we have lobbyists and the way the world works and technology. So, no, sir. Sadly for you, the dream of this working only works for the rich because that's the way the cookie crumbles. The game is rigged and I can't stand it.
Fr. Robert: I'm absolutely with you on this being put on to the backs of the people who really can't afford this kind of a tax incentive. However, I'm not willing to go as far as saying it's corrupt. It looks corrupt. It looks stupid. But, I mean if you've ever lived in Wisconsin, that state's hurting. There's a reason why we've got an up swell of very strange conversations and this is part of it. When you have people who are so far down, this sounds like, ok, well, we have to do something.
Jeff: Also, from the demand side not just from the—let's give them a tax break and force them to come in here. Instead, you really change your schools and you have tremendous talent based there. And if people wanted to go in there, then that would make a difference. The other story that's in the rundown is Amazon of course is looking for its next HQ2. And every city is now talking about this. I'm going to make a pitch right now because I live near it. I want this to go to Newark, New Jersey. And here's why. Audible is already headquartered there. Audible knows the city. It's next to an airport. It's next to the center of the universe know as New York, New York. It's next to a lot of things but it could make a difference. It could make a huge difference in that city as it starts to come up. And it needs business and 50,000 jobs to make a big difference. So, part of the question is, does Amazon go to just where they get the best deal, or where they can make the most difference?
Fr. Robert: Well, if they're responsible, then they go to where they can make the biggest difference.
Jeff: Because it's going to have a value in the long-run. I don't know where it's going to go.
Owen: Didn't Mark Zuckerberg give an imaginary $100-billion-dollars to like Newark?
Jeff: No, the money wasn't imaginary but the benefit unfortunately was.
Owen: Ok, because I live in Jersey and I just remember it not doing anything but it ended up on Oprah and Cory Booker became a national name and again, don't ask me these questions. Because it's all just so much fluff and crap and when you actually look at it and you know what's going on, it's ridiculous. I'm like, man, I would love to be on a social media team one day when Cory Booker tries to run for something because Mark Zuckerberg came down, load up a check and sent stock up to whatever, and they got a couple books and I've been through Newark and Newark is still not a cool place to be. Good luck to you, Audible. Imaginary animals. Amazon's not going to Newark because they can't supply their employees with enough vests to protect themselves, so.
Fr. Robert: There is another development in the story, which is if you look at the actual contract, you look at the numbers, Foxconn will get the full tax incentive in 15-years. The ROI doesn't hit until 25, so can you guess what's going to happen in 15 years? It's probably—and I'm looking at this going Foxconn is right now doing a lot of investment into robotics.
Jeff: Let's even say that Foxconn says, "No, no, no, no, no. We're going to stick around as long as we can." The stuff they make will all disappear. We get implanted bio-chips and Foxconn is out of business.
Fr. Robert: Yea, yea. And there's also the fact that there's a reason why a lot of factories are moving out of the United States. We don't like them. Factories destroy the community in which you live. Why do you think that we move from everything was made in Taiwan and then everything was made in India. Now everything is made in China. And even then, they're starting to say, "This is not worth the ecological disaster that we are facing." At some point, the pain becomes so much that you say, "We are willing to outsource this. We are willing to lose 3,000 jobs if it means that our state doesn't turn into a toxic waste dump."
Owen: Oh, humanity.
Jeff: (Laughing) Show title.
Fr. Robert: I mean if we really wanted to do something that was—this is not social justice warrior, but if we wanted to do something to wake people up, we would go to a city like Los Angeles and say, "Hey, you guys buy a lot of iPhones. We're putting an iPhone factory in Los Angeles." But we don't see that. It's always, it's one removed. It's not in my backyard. I get this wonderful device and all the bad stuff goes to another part of the world, or in this particular case, another part of the country. I don't see that changing any time in the near future.
Jeff: And by all accounts, Foxconn is not exactly a great place to work by the way.
Fr. Robert: No. I mean $54,000 plus benefits, that sounds, that's tempting to a lot of people.
Owen: When you're hurting, yes, it sounds great. It does. But again—
Fr. Robert: Even though the chance that you're one of the 3,000 that's going to get that $54,000-dollar job.
Jeff: The two-mile line long, long line to get the jobs, yea.
Fr. Robert: A great name (laughing).
Owen: Con. Con.
Fr. Robert: All right. Let's move a little bit to something fun and theoretical. Cryptocurrency. We all love bitcoins, yea?
Fr. Robert: Oh, wow, we've got bitcoin. You actually have a bitcoin. I also have one bitcoin so I am, I was worth $5,000-dollars 12 days ago. Then I was worth $2,900-dollars yesterday. And now I think I'm up to $3,700-dollars today. It fluctuates a lot. We've known this. Bitcoin is pretty volatile. In fact, it's that volatility that makes it an interesting investment for a lot of people. But recently there's been a very strong downward tug on the block chain because China has decided they're not going to have exchanges anymore. They will just not allow it. Their thinking is that they have startups that are using cryptocurrency specifically bitcoin, to fund their ventures and the highly speculative nature of this means that if they have enough of these businesses, then a bad day of bitcoin could wipe out an entire sector. And they've said, "No more." So, at the end of September, they don't allow them. All Bitcoin exchanges will shut down.
Mark: Or wipe out a lot of people's fortunes. China has had a problem with this for a long time where there is this sort of cult of the IPO because there was an era in China where you buy shares in an IPO and you suddenly have like a lot more money. And so, very uneducated people in the middle-class were like spending money on IPOs and then that whole market kind of collapsed upon itself. A lot of people lost money. And ICO's look similar. You put money into it and it's like wow. All these other people are putting money into it. It's huge fortunes.
Fr. Robert: So many of them look so sketch. I've received announcements for ICOs probably at least one or two per week for the last two months. And they all have the same pitch. The next big thing in cryptocurrency. And we've got this person and this piece of talent and they don't explain why they're going to be the new cryptocurrency standard. They just all assume that oh yea, you're going to think this is bitcoin, therefore you'll buy in.
Jeff: This is going to sound off topic but I promise it's not. I'm watching this amazing series right now on Amazon, Trapped, that is Icelandic, which is to say the language is Icelandic, right. And it's a large cast, I figure it's about 10% of the entire population of Iceland is in the show. But the great scene I just watched today is there's somebody coming in. They're going to put a harbor in here. We've got to get ready to buy. Chinese. America's over. China is where it's at. And there's one old fisherman who says, "We went through this already. Didn't we learn?" And there's the crash in Iceland, right? The crash of this country and we never learned. We never learn,
Fr. Robert: Well, China just had this. They just got over a major real estate crash. They had all of these apartments and office buildings that were going up because they assumed that you were going to continue growing at this incredible pace which is a speculative market. And just destroyed wealth. Hundreds of billions of dollars of wealth wiped out literally overnight in some cases. So, they're doing it again. It's the exact same thing. You're going to make a lot of millionaires and billionaires and then you're going to break a lot of millionaires and billionaires. In this particular case, though, China is saying unlike the real estate crash where there was something left, there was a corpse you could take over, when you have a cryptocurrency crash, there's nothing. It's just gone. It's into the ether.
Mark: Yea. The other side of it is China has a relatively controlled currency and bitcoin allows people to exchange money in a way that's not always apparent to the government where it's going. And so bitcoin has obviously had a lot of money laundering claims for a while, but within China, it's also people can just use it to buy other currencies that they otherwise wouldn't be able to buy into.
Fr. Robert: That's what surprised me about bitcoin being allowed in, the exchanges being allowed in, in the first place. I thought China would be one of the last places that would allow it because—specifically because of that. You can't control your currency if you have this wild card currency running rampant, not even in the back alleys, in the streets, in your vision of Wall Street. We've seen $60-million dollars of cryptocurrency wealth wiped out in the last week because of the fluctuation. We know that China has one of the largest bitcoin exchanges right now, but they're volume has been decreasing since January because that's when China mandated fees. It used to be it was free to exchange bitcoin for other currencies in China. They mandated a fee to bring it on par with the rest of the world, so it's down to about 10%. A lot of the bitcoin aficionados are saying, "It's not that much. Exchanges will pick up elsewhere," which I'm sure they will. But do you see this? Let's get speculative right now. Do you see this action being repeated across multiple countries as they start to look at this, at China specifically, and their answer to stopping a speculative market that could destroy their economy, is this going to be repeated again and again and again?
Owen: China is China. And other countries are not China. So, just think of it this way. China has a mom and dad and they control your piggy bank and they control how much TV you watch. They control how much internet you watch. They control what you learn. America has an infant leader who says, "Do what you like. Have fun. Burn it all down. Build it all up. Whatever." And the rest of the world kind of goes on that model, so, no, I don't see it going that way. But again, with all the bitcoin stuff, you know, fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice—I forget.
Fr. Robert: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice—I can't be fooled again.
Owen: I can't remember what he says, but China is one of the only countries that could do this. Everybody else is not going to follow China's lead with this. I don't see how they could.
Mark: Yea, I don't think the US is going to ban bitcoin, but the FCC has talked about ICOs in particular and has warned about potential pump and dump schemes.
Jeff: Well, there's no regulation whatsoever.
Fr. Robert: They're not considered financial institutions.
Jeff: This is Florida.
Mark: So, I could see the FCC more closely scrutinizing ICOs and shutting down some of those businesses.
Fr. Robert: I have a relative who lives in Florida and is retired, contact me about an ICO that she thinks might be a good investment. And I was like, "No. Stop. Stop." "But so-and-so down the road, they invested and they tripled their money in 24 hours." I'm like, "Ok. Ok. But think it through."
Jeff: Look up Ponzi.
Fr. Robert: Exactly.
Owen: The thing is, that same story happens with real estate from Uncle Johnny, buying a car from Willie down the block. I mean it's cool and it's bitcoin and it's like imaginary money. Let's just also remember that, also. When a person puts in their money, yes, it's real money. But there's also a lot of, "I was rich yesterday," when you only put in a hundred dollars. "But it was up to—" you never had $3,000-dollars, bro. Like if you thought you had $3,000-dollars you should have cashed out instead of living this dream that you thought was going to happen. So, there's always scammers. There's always scams. This is just another form of it and hey, maybe you get rich and go live the dream like Uncle Leo on a yacht somewhere in France. I don't know.
Fr. Robert: When we come back, I do want to cover just a tiny bit more. Did you know that you can automatically sue and potentially get $25,000-dollars? We're going to bring you all the Equifax news because we've got to do it. I'm sorry.
Mark: Sounds like an ICO style scam.
Fr. Robert: It is an ICO style scam. We've got this alternate Ponzi scheme, but it's actually a real deal. We'll get to that, but first, if you haven't been watching TWiT this last week, this is what you missed.
Narrator: Previously, on TWiT.
Leo: Remember when I started to install Windows 10S on this computer? All it will do now is that.
Paul Thurrott: Ok. I've got to go. Bye.
Narrator: Know How.
Fr. Robert: Today on Know How...
Megan Morrone: Protecting your credit.
Jason Howell: Getting smarter with your finances.
Fr. Robert: Today, what we wanted to do is to give people actual actionable information that they can take and they can use to protect themselves.
Narrator: The New Screen Savers.
Fr. Robert: We talked about preparing for disaster.
Patrick Norton: This is a tool.
Fr. Robert: It's a tool.
Patrick: Just like a rock.
Fr. Robert: I thought what we could possibly do is go through some of our go bags and some of our philosophies of putting together disaster preparedness kits. And the whole idea is I need something that can keep me alive. You've told me that I shouldn't be carrying this. I always included a prybar, a crowbar in every bugout bag.
Patrick: To make sure you're not going to end up in prison because—yea, actually crowbars are really effective for self-defense.
Narrator: TWiT! Don't make me come back there.
Fr. Robert: I have to say, that episode with Patrick Norton was a lot of fun. But also, that MRE tasted a lot better than I thought it would.
Jeff: So, what did you have?
Fr. Robert: I had Mexican stew? Chicken stew-ish stuff? I mean it was ridiculously salty because it has to be but it lasts up to 6 years in storage. That's not bad, right?
Jeff: You're going to become a disaster guy?
Fr. Robert: Oh, a prepper?
Jeff: Yea, a prepper.
Fr. Robert: Not a prepper, but I do like to have at least a bugout bag. Owen, do you have a bugout bag?
Jeff: He's in earthquake territory. He's bugging out.
Fr. Robert: Oh, he's bugging out. We were just wondering if you have a bugout bag, Owen.
Owen: I do have a bugout bag.
Fr. Robert: And what's in it? Is it like a 3-day supply to get out of the country or is it just in the back of your house?
Owen: I'm running to the bathroom real quick too. But the coolest thing that I have in the bugout bag is Newport cigarettes. Two cases, vacuum sealed. I swap them out every 6 months.
Jeff: Is that your Bitcoin?
Owen: Oh, definitely. You know what people would do for a cigarette?
Fr. Robert: (Laughing).
Owen: I can get a lot of stuff from a pack of smokes. You have no idea. Be right back.
Jeff: There you go. It's a whole new business. Bitcoin you can smoke.
Fr. Robert: Oh, my goodness.
Jeff: Bitcoin you get addicted to.
Fr. Robert: On that note, let's go ahead and jump to one more sponsor of this episode of TWiT.
Leo: Man, this show goes fast. Sorry to interrupt one more time, but I've got to tell you about WordPress. That's where my blog is. In fact, if you want to see pictures of my trip, I'm blogging it. Or, I will be. I probably don't have anything up yet. I'm a little slow. At LeoLaporte.com. I'm so glad to be back on WordPress. I know I flirted with some other guys for a while, but I've been using WordPress site since the early 2000's. I self-hosted it for a while. Ran it myself. But now I'm on WordPress.com and I love it because I don't spend any time updating it, making patches. I get all the plugins I want. And I've got a great site with an easy to use WordPress interface. Because WordPress runs 28% of all the sites in the world, 28%, more than a quarter of every site you go to is a WordPress site. WordPress.com/TWiT. Set up your site. If you have a business and you don't have a website, it's like you don't exist. I'm not kidding. You may say, "No, but I'm on Facebook or I have a Twitter handle." Yea. Good, you should have that but at any time Facebook, turn it off like that. Twitter, turn it off like that. You need to have a place that's yours that you call your own that you control, and that's going to be at WordPress.com. Put your content up there, engage your customers. When they find you, when they see your ad or whatever, they have somewhere to go. You put an ad in the Yellow Pages, you put a billboard up, you're going to want to put a web link, not "See our Facebook Page." You're going to want to put yourbusiness.com. You can do it at WordPress.com. And I know you don't do that right now because you don't want to be a web—you don't want to learn all this. You don't have to learn anything. It's easy. Take my word for it. Go to WordPress.com/TWiT and try it. You'll get 15% off a brand-new website if you use that URL, WordPress.com/TWiT. The business plan lets you access hundreds of plugins and things. You're part of a giant community at WordPress.com, plus the best support ever. These people will jump through hoops for you. And I know because they've done it for me. WordPress.com/TWiT. The web's most popular and powerful site in building platform. It's the best. I didn't even want to use that phrase, site building platform. It's your new home on the internet. Try it. WordPress.com/TWiT. And now, back to This Week in Tech.
Fr. Robert: Thanks again, Leo. Now, let's go ahead and bring it home with—I think we can all agree, is the feel-good story of the week. And that is Equifax's incompetence is coming out even more. We know last week, 143-million, basically 50% of all adults in the United States has their super sensitive information revealed. That includes social securities, names, addresses, ages, driver's license numbers, credit history, that was all exposed, all breached. We've also known that Equifax has been a little hesitant in releasing details as to how it actually happened. A lot of analysts were saying—
Jeff: I'm their admin, you know.
Fr. Robert: But, what is coming out this week is it is worse case. It's what the security researchers had feared, that this wasn't a zero-day hack. This wasn't someone being very ingenious and social engineering their way into the system. This was, they did patch vulnerabilities in struts and they left admin privileges at default. There was one web facing server that had the admin user name of admin and the admin password of admin which, you know, is absolutely fantastic.
Mark: How did they guess? They're evil geniuses.
Fr. Robert: That's what I have on my luggage. But—
Jeff: There is kind of a reverse psychology there, though. We'll have great security if we have the dumbest possible password. They'll never guess it.
Mark: Brute forcing every other—
Jeff: Everything else, because they're sure they couldn't have used admin, admin.
Fr. Robert: They wouldn't be so stupid as to use the default password. Nah, I'm just going to skip that, right? That's what they were thinking. Now, there is a wrinkle that I actually covered this week on This Week on Enterprise Tech and that's the fact that the people that they hired to do security at Equifax who have for no related reason, have decided to spend more time with their families, which is code for, yea, fired.
Jeff: Are those the same people that sold their stock?
Fr. Robert: No, no. These are different people. But they were in charge of security. They were in charge of making sure that the data was maintained properly and we now know that they have—
Mark: Chief Information Officer, Chief Security Officer.
Fr. Robert: They had no security background whatsoever, which is not super rare. You see that a lot. But you at least see people who have backgrounds in which they have practical experience in security. This was one of these things where one was an art appreciation major.
Jeff: They've got to do something with all those people.
Fr. Robert: And this is raising more questions than it's answering. It looks as if Equifax really thought security was just not something they had to worry about. You've covered a little bit of this story, Mark.
Mark: Oh yea. We broke news on the stock sales for those three executives. Yea, it's a whole mess. It also came out this week that as many of four hundred thousand people in the UK were also affected.
Fr. Robert: They haven't released the data on Canadian citizens yet, although we know that Canadian citizens were included in the breach. Not the same number, but yes, there's that. I think this is what's really bothering the security community in that first, it was six weeks before they revealed that this breach had occurred. Secondly, you had executives that had been selling stock during that time. Third, they had obviously not done even the most minimum bit of security preparedness, definitely not PEN testing. And also, the fact that it looks as if Equifax's whole culture is based around this idea that if we don't think about it, it just won't happen. And that's enraged a lot of people.
Mark: Yea, yea. I think one of the most frustrating things about this is unlike the Sony hack where like, yea, I love my PlayStation. I gave up my information and now it's come out. Like, I didn't choose to use Equifax. I don't love Equifax. I didn't want to give them my social security number and all my private information, but you know, the system holds us hostage to these companies, and clearly they're not even doing their one job which is to protect the sensitive data that they hold.
Jeff: But I think at this point, I tried to have this discussion with Leo and got nowhere on TWiG so, I'll try it again. He was thinking about vacation. He was already out of there. All this information, if it hasn't already been breached, is going to be breached. So, what we have to change now, is not the security around the data that will be breached, it's instead around what could be done with it. So, transactions have to become more secure. We've got to figure out that end. Who cares if you have somebody's name and address and birthday and that stuff. Apart from stupid people and passwords, admin, admin, that will never go away, but at some level we've got to rethink the whole notion of transactions.
Fr. Robert: I think there's only one solution. There's only one solution. I'll get to you next, Owen. The one solution is to use the facial recognition feature on the iPhone. That's the only way to protect our financial transactions. There you have it. Owen?
Owen: Mark said everything I wanted to say in a much calmer tone. You know, just to let people know, to be honest, I could give a hoot about Apple. They don't pay my bills. I don't care about Bodega. I like yelling about the stupid stuff because it gives me a release. I'm really not this angry or upset. But I mean, when it comes to my social security number and the fact of like Mark said, you don't give that out. Here's the coolest thing about that. Now, this inept, handicapped, special-needs company is going to try to sell you on protecting your identity. Oh, come check us out and find out if we broke your stuff which we already did, but here. Give us $10-dollars a month and we're going to monitor to make sure that nobody illegally uses your information to do something harmful to you. Like, they're trying to sell stuff to people and they haven't even admitted everything that they've done wrong. This is the world we live in. Like I said, oh, the humanity. I just, I laugh in my heart because, you know, it's so serious but we can't even do anything about it. It doesn't even matter. The fact that you're talking about a better security, when you have that level of information, there's not really much security you can do because with that I can do anything. I mean, anything if you're smart. So, I'm just going to sit here and hope that my credit score stays like a 640. I don't got good credit, so, I'm not so worried about it. I mean I've got to pay cash for everything I want anyway. But that's neither here nor there. Don't judge me. Other people out here have to worry about their credit score. I'm thinking to myself, "Shoot. I had a roommate. He had great credit. I still know his social. I might as well just sneak in there and blame it on Equifax and go get me a new ride next week." It's embarrassing. It's insane. It is absolutely insane that we just sit here like, oh, wow. Admin, admin. I have to laugh at it, at how sad is that. These companies should all take notice. Every single major institution in the world should be like, "Oh. We should change it from 123, right? Like really? Ok, great." Hire somebody. Do something. Call a cousin or a nephew and ask them how to shore up your internet. I don't know what to say anymore.
Jeff: Here's my big fear. The nuclear code is password, password.
Fr. Robert: No, password, admin. That's how that works. There is one good thing from this. If you've bene watching the trend meters for Google and Facebook, because there are actually sites where you can see what are the queries. About midweek last week we started to see much more of a trend of asking, "What is a credit bureau? What is a CRC?" And people are actually starting to realize, these companies have all this information about me? I had no idea. And they honestly, they did not connect their credit score with these companies that are maintaining vast amounts of information on their credit activity. That's actually a good thing. That's part of a good conversation of wait a minute, how do we decide who we entrust our data with? Your point taken. I think we ultimately have to move to a society where this information can be in the open and I can still be secure. That's ultimately the goal, but it never hurts to have people start looking at who actually has access to their information. That could be one good thing that comes out of this. Now, Elizabeth Warren has already submitted legislation. She's trying to get support for it right now, that would essentially make Equifax responsible for everyone that the victimized for the rest of their lives. I have no idea how—whether or not that's going to go through. And then you've got—yea?
Owen: Oh, oh. Let me—my credit core was an 820. And now all of a sudden it's a 640. I will get a record case of that goes through and I will get a check.
Fr. Robert: (Laughing) So, we've had our first instance of fraud here, live on the show.
Owen: Come on, man. We can edit out the first one. How are you going to call me out for fraud?
Fr. Robert: No, but, honestly. If you could have an honest conversation with the average person. Let's talk about that honest person again who buys an iPhone because they like the style and get them to realize all the different places that are making money off of their information, do you then make a more informed populous, or is this one of those things that is in one ear, out the other? People don't care.
Jeff: I think it is. Look at what happened in the EU, where cookies, cookies are evil. Cookies are tracking you. Cookies are awful. So, on every single site in Europe, you have to—cookies, cookies ok, ok, ok, ok. Cookies, right? And now we have the GDPR, the privacy regulations coming in, in May 2018 in Europe and I think that—I think it was Dana Boyd who taught me long ago, you don't want to regulate knowledge. You want to regulate the use of the knowledge, right? The fact that somebody has its name that was born on this date and their mother was named that, that's just knowledge. What you can do with it is the issue. The fact that I have prematurely grey hair and you choose not to hire me because of it, I can't make you not know unless I'm Men in Black, that you haven't seen me and you don't know how old I am. But if you don't hire old farts like me ten times in a row, the use of that knowledge is wrong. We've got to change the whole paradigm here around this and I don't hear that discussion happening. I really don't. Bitcoin is going to solve it all.
Fr. Robert: Apple and Bitcoin.
Jeff: Will solve it all, right, Owen?
Fr. Robert: Quick question for the panel. Have you all set your fraud alerts already? No?
Mark: No, I have not. What do I need to do?
Fr. Robert: Ok.
Owen: What did I tell you? People spend $41-dollars a month on an iPhone plan and don't have life insurance. We don't care. I started the show today telling you, this is America. We're not worried about that, ok? I'm sitting here watching the football game. I'm half paying attention to you all right now and you think we're going to set fraud alerts? Fraud alerts? I'm from the hood, B.
Jeff: Who's winning?
Owen: I'm worried about the fraud down the street with them trying to sell me a car from Leroy, not an Equifax hack.
Fr. Robert: Ok, let's do a quick public service announcement here. Right now, if you don't have a fraud alert, before this show actually ends, you could go to fraud.transunion.com. You have to enter in some personally identifying information but—
Jeff: Oh, good. Good.
Fr. Robert: It's not Equifax. It's not Equifax, so it's a different thing. It's one of the other big three CRCs, Credit Reporting Companies. Once you report it to one, they report it to the others. So, you just have to do it once. You can do it entirely online. And the nice thing about this is it will give you a reminder when it's about to expire. So, once it expires, you just renew it. So, it's good for 90-days. Now, if you actually detect action on your credit report, so, someone has tried to use your ID, you can get a fraud alert that can last for 7-years. And again, that's free and you just do it once. But there is a difference here between a credit alert, a fraud alert which is what we're talking about right now, and what Leo is advocating which is a credit freeze.
Jeff: Which I had to do.
Fr. Robert: Which you had to do. If you've got a credit freeze, you don't need a fraud alert. The difference is, when you do a fraud alert, companies can still get your credit report but they get a bit of information saying, "This identity may be compromised. Here's a number you should call which will put you in touch with the actual person so you can verify whether or not this is them. In a credit freeze, they can't even see that. They see nothing until you whitelist them.
Jeff: Right. Because when that was happening to me, I don't know, it wasn't a lot, but people were, to harass me, they were just getting credit cards in my name.
Fr. Robert: Yep. Yep.
Jeff: Right? And so, the credit freeze means now they can't do that. And it's a pain but I'm old and I already have my house and I'm not going to be getting any credit.
Fr. Robert: But you should know. People should know that if you do put a credit freeze it will affect you in things other than applying for loans or credit cards. If you apply for a new job, one of the first things they'll do is they'll check your credit history because that will determine whether or not you're a trustworthy employee. If when you go to buy a new phone, they will check your credit history. So, you have to whitelist that. You will find yourselves in a lot of situations where you have to take the extra step and login to the app, give your PIN and make sure that, ok, I'm going to whitelist Apple.
Jeff: PIN? I forget the PIN. Where's the PIN?
Fr. Robert: Owen, you seem unimpressed.
Owen: Like I said, you lost me at go give somebody else some more information to confirm that I am who I am and then I've got to wait for them to call me back on the call back with the call back, and now all of a sudden I can't get a new iPhone X because my credit just dropped 32 points because I checked it 14 times. I had to wait for the call to get back. So, yes, no. I'm not alerting my fraud. I'm going to roll with these punches and see how it happens and worry about it on the other end.
Fr. Robert: Well, you can do the fraud alert. It's not a freeze. And remember, it's free. Totally free. Completely free.
Owen: Yea, but what do I got to do to get that again? What's the first thing I've got to do?
Fr. Robert: Fraud—oh. Yea.
Fr. Robert: Ok. How about this. You can use my information and then you can put a fraud alert on my account I guess.
Owen: Ok, yea. You never know.
Fr. Robert: That doesn't work. You have to trust somebody, right? You have to trust somebody.
Owen: You have to trust somebody. You know who I trust? The same person you trust.
Owen: The Lord. The Savior.
Fr. Robert: Oh. He's got a phenomenal credit score.
Owen: There you go. You've got a friend in me. That's who you trust, brother. That's who you trust.
Fr. Robert: Oh, gentlemen, gentlemen. This has been a lot of fun but I think we have to start calling it to an end here. Was there any story that was in the dump—we had a lot—that you really wanted to talk about that we didn't cover? I just want to make sure that everyone's happy here.
Jeff: You got all mine.
Mark: I'm happy.
Fr. Robert: You're happy, Owen?
Owen: I'm good. I got what I want. I'm always happy. I'm the happiest person on this panel.
Fr. Robert: Yes, I actually will admit that. Thank you all for making this so enjoyable. I didn't know I was going to be doing this until a couple of hours ago, but I love doing TWiT. It is one of my favorite shows just because I get to talk tech, I get to talk geek. Let's go around the table and make sure everyone knows what you're doing, where they can find you. Mark, if people wanted to find ourtmore about your work, or about what your publication has done to expose things like incompetence at Equifax, where can they go?
Mark: They can go to Bloomberg.com/tech for all of our tech coverage around the world. And I am @markmilian on Twitter.
Fr. Robert: And then he is one of the chilliest people I know in tech, honestly. Nothing phases you. I've never seen you angry.
Mark: Keeping it chill.
Fr. Robert: Is there a story we could cover that might make you go off on a rant like Owen?
Mark: I don't think I could ever match Owen.
Fr. Robert: (Laughing) I don't think anyone could potentially match Owen. OhDoctah, where can they find you when you're not hiding in the black background of solace?
Owen: First of all, I love Jeff. I do a podcast, Jeff. I've got to get you on my podcast. Mark, I got to get you on the podcast. Padre, we've got to reschedule because we were supposed to do that. Secondly, Mark is like my inner being. If we couldn't both be the same, I'm not trying to have us be twins on the show, so I'm Mark's spirit animal, he's my spirit animal. We just switch up for the show. That's really how it's going down.
Mark: I feel you, man.
Owen: iqmz.com is where you can find my stuff. @ohDoctah on everything else. If not, it's fraud because I'm OhDoctah on everything. What I really wanted to show you guys was I got a TWiT fan that gave me this shirt and it says, "Sorry, do you know, do you have any idea how black you were driving?" And it's from Urban Profilers, one of the TWiT Nation-ers sent it to me. So, I wanted to give him a shout out because I thought that was a funny shirt because I get pulled over all the time. But, great show. Loved the show. I love ranting and yelling at stuff and Jeff—
Jeff: We love your ranting.
Owen: You are more on my team than usual. I'm glad. We're all getting the iPhone X, the Pixel X.
Fr. Robert: I want the notch. Are you kidding me?
Owen: Yea, I don't know. I hope Google does something with that, but that's all I wanted to say I love you guys. We had a great show. It was fun. Love the chatroom, too. The chatroom's the best. They're smarter than all of us. I only have time to read half of the information that they're pouring into us. That's where I get all my good tidbits. That's why I sound like I know what I'm doing.
Fr. Robert: Owen J.J. Stone, again, OhDoctah, always a pleasure. And speaking of pleasures, again, the fact that I get to work with you officially for the first time. We saw each other at the Christmas party way back in the brick house but of course they're going to find you in New York. They're going to find you writing wonderful stories.
Jeff: BuzzMachine.com is the blog. Medium@JeffJarvis, Twitter @JeffJarvis but if you read that, you know too much.
Fr. Robert: You know, there's still a story that goes around the studio anytime we talk about standards and how they're different from country to country. I was watching live when you had you BBC appearance and you said, "Crap."
Fr. Robert: And evidently that's horrible in the UK.
Jeff: I got kicked off the BBC.
Fr. Robert: It's terrible.
Jeff: I had no idea.
Fr. Robert: No one had any idea.
Jeff: Because I was going to say the S word, and I thought I was going safe by using the crap word. But no.
Fr. Robert: I think you actually would have been safe using the S word.
Jeff: I think I could have. I think I could have, yea.
Mark: You should have said shite.
Fr. Robert: Ian Thomson has taught me to just say bollocks. Or dog's bollocks. I can't wait. One of those is good. Bollocks is bad and dog's bollocks is good. I don't understand how that works, but that's it.
Jeff: I'm not going there.
Fr. Robert: No, not at all. Folks, don't forget that we do TWiT every Sunday starting at 3:00 PM Pacific time. You can watch us live at live.TWiT.tv. As long as you're watching live, why not jump into our chatroom at irc.twit.tv. There, you'll be able to converse with the TWiT army as well as give information to the host. We've got you right there. There's a small screen right below the cameras so we can read your comments. We can see your thinking. We can incorporate you into the show here at TWiT.tv. Also, don't forget that you can find us at our show page at TWiT.tv/TWiT. I know, it's a little redundant but it's also easy to remember. If you go there, you can find all of our back episodes, all of the links to the stories that we talked about, so you can make your own analysis. This is ultimately what we want here at TWiT.tv. We want you to take the knowledge we give you and make up your own mind. Also, don't forget that you can subscribe on that page and you can get an audio version, a video version or a high-definition video version into your device of choice automatically. Just go to TWiT.tv/subscribe. Finally, thanks to everyone who makes this show possible, to Lisa and Leo who have kept this show on the air for all of these years, to our engineers, John Slanina, who made sure that all of our cables were hooked up to the right thing and to Karsten, the super producer who hooks our guests, who pushes the buttons and makes sure everything—
Jeff: Yay for John and Karsten. Yay.
Owen: Hey, bonus note. You know what the last thing is?
Fr. Robert: What?
Owen: Another TWiT is in the can!