|This is a transcript of TWiT 182.|
|Hosts: Leo Laporte|
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This Week In Tech: 182
This transcript is provided by our friends at PodsInPrint
Leo Laporte Bandwidth for this WEEK in TECH is provided by AOL Radio at aol.com/podcasting.
This is TWiT, this WEEK in TECH, Episode 182 for February 16, 2009: Have you met the internet?
This WEEK in TECH is brought to you by; audible.com, sign up for the Platinum plan and get two free books – go to audible.com/twit2; and by GoToMeeting, for your free 30-day-trial, visit gotomeeting.com/twit; and by listeners like you. Thank you so much for your contribution. We couldn’t do TWiT without it.
This is TWiT. This WEEK in TECH, the show that dissects, analyses, chews up, then spits out the latest tech news in small, mouth-sized – I am getting nauseous.
Leo Laporte Right now, joining us John C. Dvorak. Dvorak, what is it, Channel Dvorak.com?
John C. Dvorak That’s a good one.
Leo Laporte Is that right?
John C. Dvorak Yes.
Leo Laporte Channel Dvorak.com, I’ve got to change your URL…
John C. Dvorak I mean you can go to dvorak.org/blog if you want to go to the blog, but if you want to see all the stuff, it is probably Channel Dvorak, it’s probably the best.
Leo Laporte You’ll see it all on Channel Dvorak.com, every little bit of it. Also with us, really glad to have her because I, for a while, was thinking she just really didn’t like me. Molly Wood.
Molly Wood Hello.
Leo Laporte We love Molly Wood. And now that you are not on Buzz Out Loud so much, I think we can have you more on TWiT.
Molly Wood I think it’s good news for you because I won’t be regurgitating all my opinions, I’ll practically be hearing it for the first time.
Leo Laporte They’ll be fresh.
Molly Wood I know, I might be completely uninformed, I have to warn you.
Leo Laporte That’s fine. That’s par for the course. That’s how we work. That’s how we roll here at TWiT. So I read your blog post, which I loved, really loved about being a woman in technology.
Molly Wood Oh, thank you.
Leo Laporte But I didn’t really get what you said, because towards the end you said, “I am going to do less stuff.”
John C. Dvorak I thought that was funny too.
Leo Laporte I kind of missed...
Molly Wood I liked it but I didn’t understand a damn thing.
Leo Laporte I kind of missed. Well, I missed the, kind of, the point which is you aren’t going to do as much Buzz Out Loud.
Molly Wood Well, it is interesting because this blog post went up a couple of weeks after I had announced on the show that I was going to do Buzz Out Loud only once a week. I am no longer a full-time host of Buzz Out Loud. And so, this was kind of like a reaction to the reaction…
Leo Laporte Explaining it.
Molly Wood …of me not doing Buzz Out Loud. Yes, here’s what has been happening people. It was just one of the – it was one of the – it was the kind of blog post that I thought John Dvorak would just have a field day with; overly personal, emotional, pathetic.
Leo Laporte And it was, by the way, in small type.
John C. Dvorak Did you say pathetic?
Leo Laporte No, it was a great post. I loved it.
John C. Dvorak So, what is the reason for this? I didn’t receive the post.
Leo Laporte Summarize. It’s thoughts on being a woman in technology.
Molly Wood It is. It started out as…
John C. Dvorak Because you are a woman, you’re giving up? This is the problem we have, people always go, “why don’t you get more women on your shows? Why don’t you interview more women?”
Molly Wood Well, that’s interesting because it started out as thoughts on being a woman in technology and ended up as thoughts on being a human in the world. I have had a problem setting boundaries for myself. I was, at one point, doing 17 shows a week for CNET TV.
Leo Laporte Well, I don’t know what that’s like.
Molly Wood I mean, Leo knows. I don’t know how he does it, but I was like…
Leo Laporte You know what the difference is, Molly? They are my shows. That’s the big difference right there.
Molly Wood And I have a toddler. I mean not to be like...
Leo Laporte No, and I didn’t do that when I had little kids. You’re absolutely right. I have teenagers now.
Molly Wood Exhausting kind of thing. So, I just am trying to set – so the post was really about in 2009, just trying to find my place, figure out what I want to do and set some boundaries for myself and one of those is like I can’t do a daily show. That is a part-time job, and I have a whole other full-time job to do.
Leo Laporte You know, if you go back to 2006, I did very much the same thing on TechTV. I quit the Screen Savers because I was doing Call for Help every day and then a radio show on the weekends, and people thought that was crazy.
Molly Wood Yes.
Leo Laporte Very similar. It had nothing to do with being a woman in technology.
Molly Wood Right. And that’s where – at the end of the post, it all falls apart because I go, like, this isn’t really about being a woman – the first part is sort of about being a woman or whatever but most of it is just about, like, you have to take care of yourself, people.
Leo Laporte But I do think there is more pressure on a woman who is a very visible woman in technology because there is so few of you. You have this kind of burden on you. Just as Obama, I am sure, has a burden being the first African-American President. You kind of become a standard bearer for your gender which is hard for anybody.
Molly Wood It’s hard. I think that the worst thing that any woman in technology can hear, the worst insult that can be lobbied at us is that you don’t know what you are talking about. And that is almost the instant conclusion that most people make if we make a tiny mistake, if we pronounce something wrong, God forbid, that kind of thing but it gets tiring, that kind of scrutiny.
John C. Dvorak What is interesting about that is that women always assume that it’s about them being a woman when somebody says that. I get people saying that to me constantly.
Leo Laporte Yes, there are plenty of men who get that. I get it too. Everybody gets it.
John C. Dvorak Yes, you don’t know what you are talking about. You don’t know what you are talking about. But we are not hypersensitized to it, and in many cases, the women, because they seem to be sensitive to that particular complaint, they go overboard with trying to know too much about something.
Molly Wood I definitely do not do that, if you…
John C. Dvorak But that’s why you quit.
Molly Wood Watch my podcasts…
Leo Laporte No, but I think what Molly’s saying, I’m not going to put words in your mouth, Molly, but it’s not merely saying you don’t know enough, it’s saying you don’t know enough because you are a woman.
Molly Wood And it is some – I mean, I have had my fair share of comments accompanied by bimbo and blonde. There’s a – it gets a little…
John C. Dvorak Followed – yes right, about the tenth would say “I’d do her”…
Leo Laporte There’s a nice one too. You’re hot even if you are dumb.
John C. Dvorak These guys are 12. I mean you have this, she is ugly, she is – and then there’s an argument about your looks. I mean I have seen this…
Leo Laporte Well, it’s terrible. We don’t have to deal with that, John, we don’t have to deal with them.
John C. Dvorak Well, it depends.
Molly Wood And I have, I mean I have, at this point, the skin of a dinosaur. I am not reading those threads and getting upset about them anymore. What I am trying to do really is just find the right compromise between my life and my work.
Leo Laporte Yes, right.
Molly Wood That’s it, because that’s what everybody is trying to do actually.
Leo Laporte Everybody has to do that. Yes. That’s what I am saying is I did the same thing. We all have to do that. And the problem is that with this work, and this is true of broadcasting actually, and acting and any other performance, this is just not tech. Is that you want to take every opportunity you get because you don’t know when the next opportunity is going to come along.
Molly Wood You do, yes, and you get so excited about everything and you don’t want to say no to anything and then the next thing you know, you’re half dead, and crying all the time.
Leo Laporte I have learned from John to say no. John’s good at saying no. I just say no.
John C. Dvorak Say no.
Leo Laporte But when you were a columnist, John, you, at one point, were doing 20 or so columns a month.
John C. Dvorak I think 23 was my peak.
Molly Wood Yes, that’s unbelievable.
Leo Laporte That’s a case of not being able to say no too, isn’t it?
John C. Dvorak No, no, no, no that, no. Actually, the thing is that I had geared myself, and it turns out that when you are writing at a really high frequency, essentially daily, you just get into the mould of a daily columnist and it doesn’t really take you much longer to…
Leo Laporte It’s almost easier, yes.
John C. Dvorak It’s almost. It is easier and I could tell you this, and people who do a lot of writing and if they have done it long enough they’ll tell you the same thing, it’s harder to write one column a month than it is to write 10.
Molly Wood Yes, I totally agree.
John C. Dvorak Right – because you never get in the groove. If you are in the groove, it’s like you don’t have a choice, you got to finish. It’s like coders who program and program and tweak and tweak and program and tweak and tweak because they don’t have a dateline. If you like have 23 datelines a months, you crank out this stuff, you finish it, you get it done, you are done with it, you move to the next one. It’s like production work and it’s actually easier. I don’t like gearing up to do that but once you’re geared up to do it, it’s not that hard.
It’s a little different with broadcasting, and I think generally speaking, I always comment about this and I think both of you would agree at some point. Which is why you have to admire the three-hour-a-day daily guys, which you did for a while, Leo. It’s extremely fatiguing, I think much more so than writing, to do two hours or an hour of TV for example.
Leo Laporte I agree.
John C. Dvorak You are really burnt out because the level of the concentration is different than with the writing. With writing, you can take a break, you can do this, but with TV you are geared up, you’re at full concentration mode, you can’t take a mental break for the period of time that you are working, and then you are extremely worn out and it is hard to explain to people who haven’t done it.
Molly Wood Because you’re on.
Leo Laporte There’s also this thing, and baseball players know this, that if you do another show every day, if you screw up one show, you always have tomorrow. But if you only play in a football game a week, one little error is magnified. So, it is kind of nice to have another. I am doing about 30 hours a week and it is not tough because I am just sitting here on my little…
John C. Dvorak Well, yes. You’ve got it now down to a fine art. By the way, Stickam, according to Eric, my son, Stickam is hosed and doesn’t work at all, so folks have hacked together things so it’s piped through…
Leo Laporte Ustream?
John C. Dvorak …Ustream. Here it is for people that want…
Leo Laporte There is no video though. I don’t care what they are doing. I am not broadcasting video. I can’t get the video out.
John C. Dvorak Oh, okay. Well you…
Leo Laporte So, they are doing the audio. So, here’s the deal. I just…
John C. Dvorak But my making this announcement is ludicrous because nobody is going to hear it.
Molly Wood No one knows, I know.
John C. Dvorak But it’s http://www.ustream.tv/channel/twit.
Leo Laporte Or if they are hearing it, they don’t need it.
John C. Dvorak Exactly.
Leo Laporte So, here’s the deal. We normally stream video over stickam.com. I don’t know, something is wrong with their credential server. Not their regular server because video is still going out from other people, but I use a special server, that credential server is down. So, normally, we stream the video production of this and live.twit.tv. It’s not going out today but I have my own audio server, which is twit.am and that’s what they are doing. They are taking the twit.am audio only feed and re-streaming it on various – it’s being re-streamed on Stickam as well as Ustream. It’s being re-streamed everywhere. That’s great. That’s the community. I love that.
Molly Wood I know. They are desperate for the stream.
John C. Dvorak They are desperate, they are desperate.
Leo Laporte [10:58] So, here’s a couple of interesting stories, I think some really interesting stories. Here, in the schadenfreude category. What was it? I forgot what it was. It was a great schadenfreude story that I loved. Oh – cable operator Charter Communications to file Chapter 11.
John C. Dvorak Is that unbelievable?
Leo Laporte So, John and I worked for TechTV which was a Paul Allen joint, and Paul lost a lot of money and got fed up, sold it to Comcast which promptly destroyed the thing. He had overpaid – he also owned Charter Communications which was a big cable company. He had overpaid considerably for – I remember when he did it, for cable subscribers all over the place. Now, they are struggling, they are going to do Chapter 11 on April 1st, and Paul Allen, he did the same thing at TechTV. He’s going to basically be made whole but all the common stockholders, the investors, are wiped out.
Molly Wood Yes.
Leo Laporte How can he? Is not that illegal?
John C. Dvorak Well, it depends on the way it’s structured. It’s totally legal...
Leo Laporte He did the same thing on TechTV, you know we all had shares on TechTV and that was the first thing they told us. Well, Paul is going to get his money out, then... and then you’ve got nothing.
John C. Dvorak Yes, it’s a different class of stock, I’m sure. So, they….
Molly Wood That’s why that guy’s so rich.
John C. Dvorak That’s why – he loses a lot of money. I think…
Leo Laporte Well, that’s the thing he’s lost – he says he has lost $7 billion on Charter.
John C. Dvorak Yup, Paul’s got a lot of money but it’s Microsoft money. I don’t know how much he’s actually made on his own. But the fact that you can’t make a cable company – how do you lose money with a cable TV, it’s a monopoly.
Leo Laporte Yes.
John C. Dvorak It’s like you have to really do some crazy things. It doesn’t make sense to me. I don’t know.
Leo Laporte He did, he paid way too much to acquire subscribers.
John C. Dvorak Maybe he spends too much time on his three mega yachts.
Leo Laporte He’s got the one. Did you ever go on one of his yachts?
John C. Dvorak No, I don’t get invited to anything.
Leo Laporte No, I never did either. But our management did, but we didn’t get to go. He’s got one yacht with a submarine.
John C. Dvorak Yes, that’s the big one.
Molly Wood What?
John C. Dvorak And I think he’s got two helicopters, and a submarine.
Leo Laporte He doesn’t – this is the story that was told me, and I don’t know if it’s true or not. And Paul Allen, if you ever want to come on the show, you are more than welcome to disabuse us of this. But I was told that Paul, who likes to scuba dive, doesn’t like the jarring shock of jumping in the water. He prefers to emerge into the water from a submarine.
John C. Dvorak Yes, that’s because his yacht is about 13 stories high.
Leo Laporte He also has a recording studio in the basement. He kind of fancies himself a rock and roll star. He has a recording studio in the basement, staffed full-time, 24/7. So, should he get the urge to lay down a track, he could just go down and lay it down.
Molly Wood So, what’ll happen to the Charter, I mean, because John’s right, in a lot of places...
John C. Dvorak Comcast’ll...
Molly Wood ... it’s a total monopoly and there’s only the one provider but they’ll continue to have service, right?
Leo Laporte It’s Chapter 11, so they are not pulling the plug, it’s not...
Molly Wood Right.
Leo Laporte And who else is going through real trouble, is XM SIRIUS, or is it SIRIUS XM.
John C. Dvorak That is a foregone conclusion.
Molly Wood Yeah, quelle surprise.
Leo Laporte They have huge debt that they owe this month, and of course Charlie Ergen at Dish – Charlie is a character, he owns EchoStar, which is the guy, the people that do the Dish TV. He owns quite a few of those bonds. So, he’s saying, I’ll take it – I’ll take over the debt, we’ll acquire you. But Mel Karmazin, who runs SIRIUS XM, XM SIRIUS, says yes, but I’d lose control. So, he is trying – now he’s gone over to DIRECTV saying would you guys like to buy me.
Molly Wood Who would! I mean, I just can’t….
Leo Laporte Terrible business.
Molly Wood Right today, there is no reason for anyone to pay $10 a month for radio. I mean that is the first thing to go if you’re going through...
John C. Dvorak That was always the Achilles heel.
Molly Wood Yes.
John C. Dvorak So, then if you don’t look at the...
Leo Laporte I hate it when a company has to make money. That’s just – that really makes it hard to work.
John C. Dvorak Radio is – the problem is that radio has been inculcated as a free service, right, for decades and decades and decades, and the fact that they came out – it’s not $10 a month if you look at it objectively. It’s a $120 a year plus the cost of the equipment.
Leo Laporte Right.
John C. Dvorak It’s an extremely expensive proposition, and in these economic times nobody can afford $120 a month when they just can put a CD in their player, and listen to the music that way. Everyone’s got a huge collection of CDs by now. You can go iTunes, that’s cheaper.
Molly Wood Or you can plug your iPhone or your iPod or your Zune or whatever into your car stereo. There’s just – or you can stream Internet Radio in the car over your 3G...
John C. Dvorak Even better, if you bring down some podcasts like this one, and listen to this.
Leo Laporte You can listen to this in your car, live, right now. There’s an application on the iTunes store called Twit.am. You press a button and you’re listening and frankly there’s …
John C. Dvorak In my car?
Leo Laporte Yes, on EDGE, even on EDGE.
John C. Dvorak I haven’t got EDGE, I haven’t got an internet...
Leo Laporte Do you do that? Do you do that Molly, or if you have an iPhone or a phone that has – do you, you’re not an iPhone user, are you Molly?
Molly Wood I am an iPhone user, yeah. I do streaming radio, I use the Slacker Radio app.
Leo Laporte Slacker is great, Pandora is great. AOL radio.
Molly Wood Yes, and I just don’t – yeah, it’s not even about, like it’s breaking my heart that this company has to make money and they can’t. They are trying to make money off of something that we can get elsewhere, and maybe it’s not as good, but it feels just as good because it’s not $10 a month.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Molly Wood It’s just not a good business proposition if there are so many alternatives that don’t cost me that much money.
Leo Laporte You know, it’s hurting broadcast radio too, frankly.
Molly Wood Yeah, I did an interview about it actually with the CBS radio. And you could practically hear the glee in their voices as they talked about the possibility...
Leo Laporte Really?
Molly Wood ... of SIRIUS going under. No, I mean, I’m sure that broadcast radio wouldn’t shed very many tears if SIRIUS XM went under.
Leo Laporte No, but they’re wrong in thinking that’s the threat. They’re threatened in the same way as XM is, by internet radio, I mean, I think that there’s no reason to assume that broadcast radio has a monopoly either. Aren’t they hurting just from people listening to music on their iPods already?
Molly Wood Oh, sure yeah, I think so.
Leo Laporte I wouldn’t be too gleeful. This is going to be the schadenfreude edition. I wouldn’t be too gleeful.
John C. Dvorak You said that word twice now.
Leo Laporte [17:09] I know, I like saying that word. I don’t know what it means but I like saying that. So, this is not schadenfreude, but it’s bad news. Pioneer’s getting out of the TV business.
John C. Dvorak Didn’t we talk about this weeks and weeks and weeks ago?
Leo Laporte Well, you know.
Molly Wood It’s been in the works for a long time.
Leo Laporte This is what’s interesting.
John C. Dvorak When Ryan was on here, he was confused.
Leo Laporte We thought Ryan was wrong, we thought Ryan was confused, because Ryan said no, no, they’re getting out of the business. And we said no, no, they’re letting Panasonic make the panels, but they’re still selling them. He said, no, no they’re getting out of the business. He knew, he must have known something. Clever boy.
John C. Dvorak I don’t know if he did, because he wasn’t familiar with the fact that Panasonic was making the Pioneer panels.
Leo Laporte Well, he was – if he didn’t know, he failed up, because he was absolutely right.
John C. Dvorak He failed up.
Molly Wood I like that, failed up.
John C. Dvorak I like it, I’m using it now.
Molly Wood I haven’t heard that, I know, that’s what you think.
John C. Dvorak I’m taking it, it’s my book, it’s a book title and I’m taking it, it’s mine.
Molly Wood It’s mine, mine, dibs.
John C. Dvorak It’s a race to the publisher.
Molly Wood Shotgun on failed up.
Leo Laporte You can both have it.
John C. Dvorak You don’t care, what are you going to do.
Leo Laporte I hate writing, I hate writing so much that I – it would, just not – it would kill me to write another one.
John C. Dvorak By the way – I got a note from one of the listeners who says broadcast radio’s also bankrupt if we’re gonna be honest about it...
Leo Laporte Absolutely and as somebody working in broadcast radio I’m not too thrilled about that. But why do you think CBS bought CNET, Molly? I mean that’s their...
John C. Dvorak To get out of broadcast radio.
Leo Laporte To at least broaden their depth, because – broaden their depth makes no sense, but to give themselves some alternatives.
Molly Wood Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, it’s an escape hatch, I mean the internet is an escape hatch for traditional broadcast.
Leo Laporte Do you think CBS – I would think, I would bet CBS is most interested in the streaming stuff that you guys are doing.
Molly Wood I think so, and I think there’s a lot of opportunity there. But honestly, I think that CBS and advertisers and the media world at large, should be a lot more interested than they are, in podcasting and download delivery like, we are moving toward – we are an on demand culture, more and more and more every day. And I think we are going to have to get over this idea that you can’t track it right, and podcasts aren’t that sellable, and audio is boring, whatever. People want to be reached everywhere, including at the gym and in their car, and that’s what on demand and audio gives, that.
Leo Laporte There’s an interesting thing happening. I mean, obviously I agree with you, I wouldn’t have started a business three years ago, come on, based on on demand audio. But there’s an interesting thing happening, and I’m trying to stay one step ahead of this. So, clearly by far, by like 90%, our audience listens download. But I’ve become very interested, and one of the reasons we are doing all this live streaming is, in the notion that yes, while you do want that capability, there’s also something cool about being able to tune into something live. You want both – point is, you want choice.
Molly Wood You want both, right, and we are doing both, you are doing both, I mean I think that is definitely the key and that’s how you build that community too, of the people who come and watch you every day.
Leo Laporte Exactly, because if you’re not live, you’re not interactive. So, if you want to – a community, to me, in the long run, it’s not download, live, it’s really about community. How big your community is, how active your community is.
John C. Dvorak I hate to disagree, and unfortunately I have to backtrack on my disagreement, because you know, we’ve been doing that with Cranky Geeks to a point but we don’t have true interaction, but Adam decided to start streaming No Agenda live and it makes a big difference when you do the show because you say something, and there’s not a big audience compared to the real audience, but it’s like 95% like you. But the audience that’s listening, they got stuff to say and they throw it at you and you go, oh – I can use this material.
Leo Laporte I agree.
Molly Wood That‘s great.
John C. Dvorak It’s like crowd-sourcing.
Molly Wood It is, it enriches the show as the show is happening, it’s really a phenomenal experience.
Leo Laporte And even though – in numbers, in pure numbers it’s a fraction. Who was it said that all you really need – was it Kevin Kelly, all you really need is a thousand people? Dedicated, committed people, to make it. Whether it’s a rock band, or a radio show, or TV show, that thousand people, those core P1, most involved listeners, are the ones that will propel you to success.
I don’t know if that number’s right. It seems like it’s low. But right now we have – even though we are not streaming video, usually we have two or three thousand people watching the video. But there’s 700 people in the chat room and those are clearly – anybody who goes into a chat room is clearly heavily invested in the community.
John C. Dvorak Or a nutball. Or a wisenheimer, which is a word I should reinvigorate.
Leo Laporte I love the wisenheimers. They’re great. I don’t care, they’re involved, even if they’re making wisecracks they’re involved.
John C. Dvorak Let me make a note of that.
Leo Laporte Wisenheimer.
John C. Dvorak Wisenheimer.
Leo Laporte I’ve got your new book: Wisenheimer’s fail up.
Molly Wood I have dibs on fail up.
John C. Dvorak Too late.
Molly Wood Don’t make me arm-wrestle you for this.
John C. Dvorak You know the thing is, titles are not copyrightable, do you know that?
Molly Wood Yeah, I do know that actually from my days at O’Reilly.
Leo Laporte We were going to call this...
Molly Wood There was a lot of anger about that.
Leo Laporte Yeah. But you can still threaten, and saber rattle. We were going to call the show, remember TWiT started, we were called ‘The Revenge of the Screen Savers.’ And I got a very nice letter from G4 saying well, you really can’t name it that. But I could have, right?
John C. Dvorak You could have done whatever you wanted, you could have told them to pound salt. What difference does it make to them anyway.
Leo Laporte It’s not like they are doing the show. ‘Revenge of the Attack of the Show’ – that’s just confusing.
John C. Dvorak You could have just changed the name to ‘The People at G4 are big A-Holes’. I don’t think there’s a copyright violation there.
Leo Laporte Paul Allen sucks.
John C. Dvorak Paul Allen sucks, that’s another one.
Molly Wood Paul Allen, weirdly not good at business.
Leo Laporte What a surprise!
John C. Dvorak What do you mean, he’s a coder.
Leo Laporte So, 10,000 jobs at Pioneer gone, they’re going to get out of TV into the very lucrative what? Car stereo and GPS business – that’s where they are putting all their hopes. Nobody’s even buying cars anymore.
John C. Dvorak Crazy.
Molly Wood But they are upgrading their – I mean, if you’re – at least they’re doing after market. Or are they – are they actually going to try to be OEM.
Leo Laporte For what?
Molly Wood … with that stuff or do after for the car electronics.
Leo Laporte Oh, I don’t know.
John C. Dvorak They’ve always made radios for cars, so that shouldn’t be a problem for them.
Molly Wood They’re going to do after market car electronics, and try to….
John C. Dvorak It ‘s crazy why bother? It’s stupid.
Leo Laporte [23:14] VIZIO is also killing the plasmas. It’s kind of sad, because – I think plasma’s really given you the best home theater look.
John C. Dvorak Right now.
Leo Laporte But LCDs are just killing them. Because you know why – because you go in the store and they’re brighter, and they look better in the store.
John C. Dvorak I was just in Costco yesterday, as a matter of fact. And when you go to Costco, anyone who is a Costco fan, by the way – if you do a lot of shopping at Costco you are completely, clinically insane not just spend the $100 for the executive membership.
Molly Wood Oh, please do that, I totally agree.
Leo Laporte Well they sure push it hard, like every time I go to Costco they say, you know, you’d save a lot of money if you had the executive membership. Why would I want that?
John C. Dvorak Because I get it checked every year...
Leo Laporte How much did it cost?
John C. Dvorak Because I get a check every year, for between 125 and $250 rebate, which pays for the executive membership. So, in other words, I’m paying – my membership is free
Leo Laporte That’s a lot of toilet paper.
Molly Wood You really get – I don’t know though, I am like a pretty casual Costco shopper, and it still pays off for us, we go maybe once a month, now.
John C. Dvorak You know, I don’t go more than once a month, but you know I’ll buy wine, and I’ll buy a bunch of these items, I can’t get out of Costco without dropping $250.
Leo Laporte I know.
Molly Wood I wish I could only drop $250 at Costco.
Leo Laporte That’s a lot of Pampers.
John C. Dvorak So, the point is, is that if you join the executive membership…
Leo Laporte Oh, yeah the wipes. You know you still buy, even when they are teenagers, you still buy the wipes, by the way.
Molly Wood Those things are amazing.
Leo Laporte They are great, everybody should – everywhere.
Molly Wood They will get anything off anything.
Leo Laporte There is some solvent they put in there, I am sure.
Molly Wood They really – I don’t know what’s in there, but I can’t believe it’s safe for babies.
John C. Dvorak It’s amazing how off the course we go on this show.
Leo Laporte And they say women don’t belong in technology.
Molly Wood Someone – I know, someone said to me on Twitter, “are you guys going to actually talk about news today?” And I wrote back like, not bloody likely. You know…
John C. Dvorak Shove it buddy.
Leo Laporte I think there is a misapprehension that this show is somehow supposed to be – you do, Buzz Out Loud! does a very good job running down the daily, running down the all the high-tech stories.
Molly Wood Tom is a task master.
Leo Laporte This is more, this is more like some friends sitting around gassing.
John C. Dvorak I don’t know, I think it was – I think we should still have more tech, but let me get back to the, let me take the detour off the road, back onto the freeway, on the on-ramp going the other way and get back to my Costco story. I walk in to – anyone who walks into Costco, the first thing you notice is there’s a – first a display of the Plasma displays.
Leo Laporte Okay.
Molly Wood Oh, yeah, that.
John C. Dvorak And then next to that are the LCDs, as you walk further.
Leo Laporte So they start with the Plasmas?
John C. Dvorak Yes, and I don’t know of a store that doesn’t do it that way, and I won’t – although I only go to three to four of them, I go to one in Port Angeles, I go to San Francisco, I go to the one up in your the neck of the woods in Novato, and I go to Richmond. And they start off with this Plasma, the weird thing, by the way as an aside, there is a store in Washington State and Port Angeles , it’s exactly backwards, you go into the left hand side and you go around exactly the opposite way, it’s very, very unnerving.
Anyway. So, I have been – I was looking at the Plasmas, and I have to say, now you can get a really good 50, 52" Plasma for about $999, this would have been – the same device would have been $30,000 a few years ago. It’s a lot better than it used to be, because the old Plasmas used to posterize, it’s just a beautiful image, beautiful, and the LCDs, to me, I still see them falling apart, they fragment when there is high, when there is heavy action, they try not to show too many action movies on the LCDs.
Molly Wood Do you think that Plasma really lost the PR war in some ways? Because I feel like I still hear people saying, “well Plasma’s gonna get burn in” and “Plasma is a huge energy hog.” It may have gotten – there’s like a negative vibe about Plasma, there’s just a dark cloud hanging over them. But the LCD comes off as slicker and nicer and brighter.
John C. Dvorak Well, the last bastion of Plasma is Panasonic, in terms of who…
Leo Laporte That’s it, yeah, although, I read a stat and I finally started to believe that Samsung and LG sell 90% of all Plasmas. That can’t be right, that must have been an error.
John C. Dvorak I find that hard to believe too. But anyway, the Plasma – I have talked to Panasonic people about this over and over again, and they say that burn in thing is long, that’s not true anymore, the things last at least a decade of constant use, it’s just a completely – there is a little more energy use, but it’s not as though the LCDs are necessarily cheap, I mean they still have the fluorescent bulb in there. I would say once the LCDs go 100% to LED backlighting, then I think that the days are numbered for Plasma, but if I was going to go buy one today, I would buy one of these Plasmas.
Leo Laporte I tried to get Robert Heron on the show to talk about this and also the demise of DL.TV, which we will talk about a little later, but my other home theater expert Scott Wilkinson says that these new LED backlit LCDs, they have some that the blacks are every bit as black, in fact even blacker than Plasma, and that really is where Plasma has an advantage is in the contrast ratios.
Molly Wood Right.
Leo Laporte So, they are getting LCD every bit as good, in fact a little bit better than Plasmas.
Molly Wood Yes, I mean, I would buy an LCD now, I don’t – I totally admit that I think I’ve fallen prey to the dark cloud over Plasma.
John C. Dvorak No, go to Costco and look at these Plasmas, these Plasmas are gorgeous, they have…
Leo Laporte Oh, I love my Pioneer.
John C. Dvorak Then look at an action movie on them.
Leo Laporte Oh, I love my Pioneer.
Molly Wood I mean that’s why I have a Plasma now, it’s just like if I was going to get a second one, I think , oh I don’t know, I guess I’d…
John C. Dvorak I am using a projector.
Molly Wood What? Oh, well that’s kind of awesome, actually.
Leo Laporte No, if he’s got a good one, that’s better than anything, but then...
Molly Wood Yes, if you’ve got a good one, that’s way better.
Leo Laporte But you have to have blackout curtains on the windows to watch.
Molly Wood Yes.
John C. Dvorak No, if the sun is not pounding into the room, you can watch.
Leo Laporte VIZIO is also getting out of the Plasma market.
John C. Dvorak Oh, that’s weird, oh well, yeah, they are going straight LCD.
Leo Laporte It’s LCD, yes. They are not getting out of TVs; they are getting out of Plasma.
John C. Dvorak Well, I guess the LCD business, they, apparently they’ve gotten to the 8th generation, or maybe, I don’t know, maybe further, and I went to one of the display shows, and they show the different size of the panels that they manufacture at these factories, the ones they are making now are the size of like, they are huge, they are like 8 feet tall by 6 feet wide, they are monsters.
Leo Laporte Oh, yes, we had a 108” LCD on Regis and Kelly, Kelly looked like a little tiny little elf next to it, she was so small, actually Regis did too, Regis isn’t much bigger.
Molly Wood They’re both, yeah, they’re little people.
Leo Laporte They are diminutive, would be the proper word.
Molly Wood Diminutive, that’s a nice way to put that, I mean, I guess, that’s what the technology is doing, so LCD it is.
Leo Laporte There we go.
Molly Wood Bring it on.
Leo Laporte [29:45] Two satellites collide in orbit, I don’t know think, has this happened before, a commercial, Iridium communications satellite and a defunct Russian Cosmo satellite ran into each other Tuesday, what are the odds of that? Above Siberia.
John C. Dvorak Some may think something is phony-baloney about this.
Leo Laporte Oh, you are talking to Adam Curry, does he think it’s the grand conspiracy?
John C. Dvorak Well, he thinks everything is, but that’s kind of beside the point. No we don’t – they’re just sketchy, I mean who says that they are, I mean who says this is going to happen?
Leo Laporte I heard the space debris, you can go, I was listening to spaceweatherradio.com, and they said, at exact – this was a – we did it on the show, it was Thursday, at, I think it was 3.45 Pacific, we were listening to this “kuuh” and they said, “listen, you’ll hear a tone if we – if the radar detects space debris, “kuuh… whoo… kuuh.” It was just like that.
John C. Dvorak Jesus, sounds like you could do a dolphin imitation, with that voice.
Molly Wood I know, that was impressive.
Leo Laporte So, so, I heard the space debris, of course they told me it was space debris. But, they are apparently over Houston right now, debris is falling, as we speak.
John C. Dvorak Oh, horse [beep] debris is falling.
Leo Laporte That’s the name of my new book.
Molly Wood Debris is...
John C. Dvorak I’m going to write that down, that is a good title. Debris is falling.
Molly Wood I – what – I get – I don’t understand what we get out of the satellites collided conspiracy, other than the idea of maybe not putting so much junk up there in the first place.
Leo Laporte There was a space war, and…
Molly Wood Oh, we need to...
Leo Laporte One of our TIE fighters was blown up.
Molly Wood Explain it away.
Leo Laporte And so, it was satellites, yeah, that’s…
Molly Wood It’s alien debris.
Leo Laporte It’s aliens!
Molly Wood Alien debris…
Leo Laporte Six hundred pieces of debris.
John C. Dvorak It could be a flying saucer that blew it out, why?
Molly Wood I did see a meteor in broad daylight the other day.
Leo Laporte Oh, really, that’s cool.
Molly Wood Like a really a bright streaking across the sky
John C. Dvorak That’s a big one.
Molly Wood During the day, yes, it was huge and I thought that that…
John C. Dvorak If it’s a good meteor, you can see it during, I have seen one during the day.
Molly Wood But I understand it was pretty close to the satellite collision event, so could have been part of the alien war. Cricket, cricket.
Leo Laporte If you, if you, okay.
John C. Dvorak I already do a show with Adam Curry.
Leo Laporte I am going to say if you plant this with Adam, and like say that’s what it was, it could take...
John C. Dvorak I can assure you that Adam is listening.
Molly Wood I think there is just a bunch of crap up there, and it’s not surprising that it eventually runs into each other.
Leo Laporte We are going to have more of these, yes.
John C. Dvorak I think it’s…
Leo Laporte Adam is online on Skype.
John C. Dvorak This brings up a woman’s driver joke I remember seeing from…
Leo Laporte Oh no, no, no, no.
John C. Dvorak Years and years ago, where was this woman in…
Molly Wood He’s just baiting me now.
John C. Dvorak Middle of the desert, and one tree, and she ploughs into it, I mean, this is not – it’s unlikely...
Leo Laporte That’s the joke?
Molly Wood That was a hilarious joke. Let me tell you.
John C. Dvorak I am just saying it reminded me of that, I didn’t say it was funny.
Leo Laporte You guys are funny!
John C. Dvorak [32:35] Okay, so, Windows, let’s go to Windows 7.
Leo Laporte Windows 7, now this is a completely, I think a silly rumor, but it’s a rumor, I guess we should report it. It’s certainly, PC Magazine felt it was worth repeating. This is Chloe Albanesius writing in pcmag.com, that there is, that Windows 7 will come out at the end of the year, and there will be a free upgrade for Vista buyers.
Molly Wood This is what they do.
Leo Laporte Oh, yes.
Molly Wood This is what Microsoft does, they did the same thing….
Leo Laporte Does it mean all Vista...
John C. Dvorak This was – this exact same thing was announced months ago.
Leo Laporte Oh, it’s not all Vista users, just the ones that buy it.
Molly Wood It’s ones that buy within a certain date.
Leo Laporte Like after July 1.
Molly Wood Yeah, they did the same thing for Vista, if you bought it like from October until the time that Vista – I was amazed that this was so breathlessly reported.
Leo Laporte I got excited. Well, I misunderstood, I thought it was for everybody, because I really would love to have that free upgrade.
Molly Wood That would have made sense.
Leo Laporte I am campaigning for it to be a 49.95 upgrade. It really should be a cheap upgrade, people who bought Vista, you know, are unhappy.
Molly Wood They deserve it.
Leo Laporte They deserve it? They deserve …
Molly Wood We deserve it, no, no, no, we deserve a cheap upgrade.
Leo Laporte Yes. We – it should be a cheap, you know, okay, I know that they are not going to go for 49.95 but $99, they could go for.
Molly Wood Yes, that wouldn’t be too bad.
Leo Laporte I think that’s. I think that’s a reasonable goal for us to...
John C. Dvorak I think it should be free.
Leo Laporte Okay, anywhere from free to $100.
Molly Wood Preferably, closer to free.
Leo Laporte Yes.
John C. Dvorak So, okay, so let’s talk about the Microsoft retail stores.
Molly Wood Love it.
Leo Laporte You do?
Molly Wood Love it.
Leo Laporte Now, see they’re looking at Apple, going man these guys, I mean Apple’s really, I pooh-poohed it when Apple said let’s do retail stores, I said, look what happened to Gateway, you don’t want to be in the retail business, and I was so wrong.
John C. Dvorak Gateway, CompUSA there is a whole bunch. Well I wrote a column in MarketWatch, which you didn’t put on the list here, you ran this joke column from PC World.
Leo Laporte Oh, I am sorry, that was a mistake, I’ll do that instead.
John C. Dvorak It’s okay, no, I don’t care.
Leo Laporte Go for the MarketWatch columns.
John C. Dvorak But I wanted to mention something that’s seems to be overlooked in this “oh, well, you know Microsoft is copying Apple, Microsoft is copying Apple.” Microsoft had a retail store two years before Apple had its retail store, and it was at the Metreon in San Francisco.
Leo Laporte Oh, it was awful.
John C. Dvorak In the second floor of the Metreon in San Francisco – why was it awful, Leo?
Leo Laporte Because it was no – well as Robert Scoble pointed out it was on the second floor, there was no foot traffic, you’d go in there and everything was in boxes, and it was a flop, wasn’t it?
John C. Dvorak I was there at, I think, three times, and I was the only person there ever.
Leo Laporte Yes, it was…
John C. Dvorak Now…
Leo Laporte Because they didn’t know how to merchandize, they...
John C. Dvorak How about this for a concept? Microsoft never told anybody this store existed.
Leo Laporte Well, all right.
Molly Wood Now they are. See? They are already doing it better.
Leo Laporte All right, what would you do in a Microsoft retail outlet? How would you make, because the truth is really most people’s relationship with Microsoft isn’t through Microsoft, it’s through an OEM, it’s through Dell, or Gateway, or Sony. They don’t have a relationship with Microsoft. So how do you make a nice Microsoft store, you show people’s computers, other company’s computers?
John C. Dvorak I think it’s got to be a store oriented toward the Xbox 360 and games.
Molly Wood And the Zune, I mean, I think you can make it more of a sort of a multimedia store, it’s not a computer store , it’s not like BestBuy, or it’s not a – the idea that you walk in and you are buying a laptop, although they should have that, they should definitely gear it for the really…
John C. Dvorak I don’t know if they even should, because they having somebody else’s products, unless Microsoft, by the way, and I have been predicting this forever, but it hasn’t happened yet…
Leo Laporte Hardware?
John C. Dvorak Hardware, that Microsoft will bring out a branded computer some day.
Molly Wood Yes.
John C. Dvorak And if they were going to do that they’d have to the store, because they’d never sell any if they didn’t.
Leo Laporte That’s ultimately what, why Apple did a retail store. They couldn’t get Apple computers in regular retail. They said we’ve got to do it our ourselves. I don’t know...
John C. Dvorak They had …
Leo Laporte They had a deal with CompUSA…
Molly Wood Because they kept yanking them out of retail because they couldn’t control it.
Leo Laporte Right.
John C. Dvorak Right. The control is the issue. In fact I have been writing about this since the first computer store opened when Byte was – you know, the Byte stores and ComputerLand, which is the fact that I could not understand why these hardware companies weren’t opening, not necessarily mega stores or big stores, like the Gateway store which I thought was poorly advised. But small outlet stores the way the car companies used to do in the ‘50s, that just had their models there for sale and a salesman who knew how to sell, that had one sales pitch, I want you to buy this computer, when you went to CompUSA it’s a crap-shoot on who’s getting bribed, as to what they’re going to push.
Molly Wood Yes. I think the reason – I think the Apple stores have done a phenomenable – a phenomenable? Wow. This is what happens when I only do this once a week.
John C. Dvorak Now we see why you quit the radio show.
Molly Wood A phenomenal amount of good for the brand, like I think that they – it – those stores have really contributed to their rise in market share because you can go in, have a nice interaction and walk out with something. There is an instant gratification that occurs and it’s a pretty good retail experience, if Microsoft can replicate that then I think there it will be huge for them.
John C. Dvorak Yes. Well we know they won’t do that.
Molly Wood They’ll probably blow it, it’s true
Leo Laporte They’re not the best at marketing ever, I mean …
John C. Dvorak No, they’re a monopoly, monopolists don’t…
Leo Laporte Don’t know how.
John C. Dvorak They never get good at marketing.
Leo Laporte There’s no pressure on them to do so. Is there any PC manufacturer who does a good job on this?
Molly Wood Of sales, of direct sales, or…
Leo Laporte Yes, like Gateway store wasn’t so hot. Dell does some, like they are in malls and places and stuff. But is there anybody who does a good job? Sony?
Molly Wood There’s not. And that’s why I think the Apple stores have been so good.
John C. Dvorak No none of them do...
Molly Wood Maybe Sony, they have those weird Sony Style stores. But with Apple you – it’s like it’s an easy experience for someone to walk in, buy an iMac and leave. And if you can make it that easy to buy a computer that’s just a winner.
Leo Laporte They really pay attention to a lot details too, the way you’re approached in the store, you don’t wait in line at the cash register. They will sell you the computer, you are standing right there, they carry those little Windows Mobile devices. They’ve done it right.
Molly Wood Yes, it’s not a perfect – everybody is going to have a story about how they went in there and it sucked. But for the most part you can have a pretty good experience and they know what they are talking about. I think that makes it a big difference. And then they actually to a certain degree demystify the purchase process.
Leo Laporte Yes.
Molly Wood You don’t have to make that many choices.
Leo Laporte I think it’s kind of a lie, not just the Apple but every PC maker tells that these things are easy to use and that you are going to be able to get home and do something with it. I often feel like they really – in fact all of us are a little bit party to this, misleading normal people. Because the truth is …
Molly Wood Totally…
Leo Laporte It’s really not that easy, it’s really a mess, you get home, it’s going to be a nightmare, you are going to be pulling your hair out. Nobody tells the real truth about this. Don’t we all kind of – aren’t we a little bit culpable there.
Molly Wood Yes.
John C. Dvorak You know the thing is that, from the beginning of the personal computer desktop, micro-computer revolution in the mid-70s. It was always required that you had a friend.
Leo Laporte Right
John C. Dvorak Somebody that will help you get up to speed, because it’s not that hard. If you take somebody and sit them in front of a Macintosh, or even a PC for that matter and you spend 15 minutes with them showing them how do this, that and the other thing, they’ll at least be on their way and then they can maybe call you again shortly after. But it’s a very community-oriented thing, it’s like learning how to drive, you just don’t go buy a car and then drive, you have to be taught how to drive and you have to take tests, and your dad shows you how to drive or whatever.
Leo Laporte Yes, you are right. I mean we assume that we could just drive a computer without anything, we can just sit down and it’ll work. But I think we’re told that.
Molly Wood It takes a village.
Leo Laporte But in the early days of automobiles, when you bought an automobile you got a chauffer. You got a driver, a mechanic with I; you didn’t expect to do it yourself.
Molly Wood Well yeah, and Tom Merritt makes this point a lot that the computer is still fundamentally, even now, after all these years, kind of a tinkerer’s machine, a tinkerer’s experience.
Leo Laporte It’s worse. It’s worse than ever.
Molly Wood Yes, I think it absolutely – it’ just getting more confusing and then more fractured, you have got more alternatives whether it’s the Dell or HP putting a little mini-OS over the top of windows for instant boot, and then the Windows versus Mac thing, and the boot camp thing, it’s just a mess out there.
Leo Laporte You have to be an enthusiast to have a chance at this and then the security issues alone.
Molly Wood Yes.
Leo Laporte I got a call from a friend saying, my aunt Petunia, can you stop at her house? The computer’s not working. You know, I can’t, because if I started doing that I’ll be stopping at aunt Petunia’s house, everybody’s house every day. But you need a friend who can do it and if not you are really out of luck. Ah well, there’s nothing we can do about it. Just, everybody should buy more computers and …..
Molly Wood And then demand better
Leo Laporte Demand better, I don’t know what the solution is? What is this?
John C. Dvorak I am sorry, go ahead.
Leo Laporte I know what you are going to want to know about, the live birth on quick.com.
John C. Dvorak No, no, I thought that that was an interesting…
Leo Laporte We will talk about that in a moment. We will also talk about – what – what do you think interesting?
John C. Dvorak Well, that you are going to find out, after you tell us about ...
Leo Laporte GoToMeeting, GoToMeeting, is that what you were talking…
John C. Dvorak Yes, yes, yes.
Leo Laporte I want to talk about Mitnick says he’s going to hack Obama’s BlackBerry. I want to talk about that. And I want to talk about the new camera phones, wow… but first I want talk about GoToMeeting. Our good friends at Citrix really know how to make your computer easier to use, to make your computer a tool for sales, for training, for collaboration, GoToMeeting is just the pinnacle of this and it’s gotten better and better and better and if you haven’t tried it why don’t you try it right now.
In fact if you have tried other online meeting software, I really want you to try GoToMeeting, because this is not like the other stuff. GoToMeeting.com/twit, that’s the place to go. You could try free for 30 days, I am not going to ask you to pay for without trying it. Try it free for 30 days, you’ll see, first of all before the show’s over you’ll have it installed, it installs with a couple of clicks of the mouse in a minute or two, and then the next time you’re on a conference call, all you’ve got to do is say go to – you set up the meeting, it’s couple of clicks of the mouse, okay, now go to GoToMeeting. Here’s the meeting ID, they enter it and all of a sudden they are seeing your computer…
Now, see what I’m talking about? See, here is the presentation, here is the PowerPoint, or here is the – or let’s work together on a document, or I’m going to show you how to use this programme, now you can use it. It’s the kind of thing you can use to help your friends, to sell more, to train, to collaborate and it’s free, why not try it, come on. GoToMeeting.com/twit. If you decide to stick with it, it is the most affordable solution out there, one low flat monthly fee for as many meetings as you want, as long as you want, you don’t have to count the minutes or any of that stuff. It’s secure, it’s easy to use, it’s fast and if you haven’t tried GoToMeeting, or worse, if you’ve tried that other guy, GoToMeeting.com/twit, trust me, it’s the best.
We thank them so much for their support of this WEEK in TECH, I really like the guys at Citrix, they’re old friends and they do great stuff. So, you don’t think it’s a big deal? I think it’s a great big deal. I think – I should ask you, Molly, you’re a mother, what if your husband had said honey, there is 500 people watching you right now give birth, give them a little shout out…
Molly Wood I cannot even imagine. I actually did a bit about this on the Buzz Report and was just like, you’ve got to be kidding me, like presumably as soon as this woman recovered from birth she threw a garbage can at this guy, like, it was just…
Leo Laporte My wife was mad at me anyway. She said “you got me into this you son of a…” and if I had been videoing it, that would have been… But let alone, this is more than videoing it, this is streaming it…
John C. Dvorak It’s ridiculous.
Molly Wood I mean I would – I am assuming that she is in on it, and okay with it – but I don’t know, I mean if this is the first baby, I don’t think you have any clue. I – just, no. Just no. Like there is the question of just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. It shouldn’t, like, be illegal, you can put whatever you want on the internet but for God’s sake people have some self-respect. It’s a baby.
John C. Dvorak What’s interesting here to me is that the headline is another baby birth stream. How many times has this gone on?
Molly Wood This is the second one that I know of, because we did the thing on the Buzz Report a couple of weeks ago.
Leo Laporte Guy did it on Ustream.
John C. Dvorak Why happens if it becomes a fad, can you imagine?
Leo Laporte This was a c-section, so…
John C. Dvorak Mommy, mommy, how come I wasn’t on the stream when I was born?
Leo Laporte Didn’t you love me? How come you didn’t stream my birth?
Molly Wood There will be – it will be the new bumper sticker, my child was a live stream birth at Ustream.tv.
John C. Dvorak We brake for live streamed births.
Leo Laporte The nurse said turn it off, sir. And he didn’t. The nurse knew, the nurse knew. But I have to admit that, I think this a way that anxious fathers are handling their anxiety. I remember that, now my daughter was born in ‘92, so we didn’t have that much. But we had HyperCard, and I made a HyperCard stack, that would time the contractions. Every time I pressed the space bar.
John C. Dvorak What a nerd.
Leo Laporte So, so I said honey, are you having a contraction, is it now? Now? And then I pressed the space bar. But, but it didn’t work. But Amber McArthur, who just had a baby, a couple of weeks ago, her – she says we used iPhone contraction timer.
Molly Wood Oh really.
Leo Laporte I was there first. If only I had commercialized the product.
John C. Dvorak Whatever happened to – yeah, you could have actually made a patent.
Leo Laporte I could have made a buck. Whatever happened to what?
John C. Dvorak Whatever happened to patent, the HyperCard?
Leo Laporte It just kind of withered on the vine, there were clones made, it was – you remember what, how important and how big a deal that was, I mean it really, made it, it was the first one you could really easily write software for a Mac, I mean graphical stuff, it was very cool. But it’s long gone.
John C. Dvorak Talk about dying on the vine…
Leo Laporte There is lot of stuff like that if you – fortunately I have no short-term memory, so I don’t remember it, but every once a while I read a story and go, oh yeah, I remember that.
John C. Dvorak So, here’s the story that I was thinking of.
Leo Laporte Okay.
John C. Dvorak [47:08] This one. Canon has no sense of humor, tries to shut down fake Chuck Westfall blog update and fails. What is this?
Leo Laporte So, Chuck Westfall is he the CEO of – Who is Chuck Westfall? I don’t know.
John C. Dvorak Well I don’t know. According to this picture on the Thomas Hawks Digital Connection, he’s some, looks like a guy who should be doing those documentaries about…
Leo Laporte That’s not Chuck Westfall, that’s a joke.
Molly Wood In real life he’s the…
Leo Laporte Chuck Westfall is the…
Molly Wood He’s the technical information adviser for the camera marketing.
Leo Laporte Okay. So, he’s like a – he’s like the point-man to help you with Canon issues.
Molly Wood I think so, yeah. Or to – yeah. I mean he’s a – so he’s a marketing guy. Apparently, he’s well known, it says, in the photography community. He’s interviewed a lot about photography and photographic equipment, magazines, all that. So, he’s sort of a, and this is where it gets a little sticky. He is a slight public figure.
Leo Laporte Oh, he’s not like a – if it was fake – fake Obama blog or fake Steve Jobs, you can’t do anything about it, but because this guy is maybe not a…
John C. Dvorak No, I don’t know. I think Molly is indicating the other
Molly Wood Well I’m saying that I think he kind of is. So, I think if he is in fact a public face of Canon then I think that they have almost no…
John C. Dvorak He’s fair game.
Leo Laporte It’s not like they didn’t say fake. It’s in the name.
Molly Wood Right, that too.
John C. Dvorak So, it says, here’s the main objections that Canon seems to have, as cited, I’m sorry, this sentence, I just don’t like it. But anyway…
Leo Laporte Always the writer.
John C. Dvorak No, I’m just…
Leo Laporte That’s not writing. It’s typing.
John C. Dvorak That’s not writing, that’s typing.
Molly Wood This sentence needs some commas…
John C. Dvorak Number one, the fact that fake Chuck is using the Canon stylized logo. Which is – there’s some – maybe but then again this is a parody, for the – humor is always protected, by the way. Threats of physical violence against our clients and employees. An invasion of privacy, and the overall look, feel and the tone of the blog is calculated to mislead, isn’t the word fake used here?
Molly Wood Yeah, over and over.
John C. Dvorak How is that misleading anybody?
Molly Wood Yeah. I mean, and they took down the logo. They were like, alright, well, maybe the one even remotely legitimate argument you have here is that we are using a trademark logo. So, goodbye to the logo and now we are all good.
Leo Laporte I love it because WordPress, it’s on wordpress.com and WordPress stood up for the blogger, which I really think is great. They wrote back saying that owner has removed the Canon logo. We consider the privacy complaint about the names of Chuck’s wife and child void since he mentions them in his own biography.
Molly Wood Online, his online biography.
Leo Laporte We also reject your other complaints regarding the blog being confused because it says fake and then the about page actually starts with “Hi, I’m not actually Chuck Westfall” and it’s satire. So, good for – WordPress really kind of stood up to Canon on that.
John C. Dvorak Well, you know they can’t afford not to, because if everybody has a petty grievance against every little thing that tries to be funny on the internet, and there’s plenty of that. They would be spending all their time fighting this stuff one way or the other and they would get a bad reputation from their users, so they had to do this. But I do agree good for them, but the fact that Canon has got the stick up its butt over this thing.
Leo Laporte Well, the funny thing is.
John C. Dvorak Is a humiliation I think to the company itself and they should be ashamed of themselves – ashamed of themselves.
Leo Laporte The funny…The humor of it is I never heard of Chuck Westfall.
Molly Wood Me neither.
Leo Laporte I never heard of the blog but I am reading now.
Molly Wood I know. I know literally saw this and thought…
John C. Dvorak Bad public relations done by a Japanese company.
Leo Laporte Wow.
Molly Wood You just think like who is this guy. Yeah, and you know what, there are certain companies that have this goal and that goal is to control every single bit of information that bleeds out about them. And it is absolutely ludicrous that they wouldn’t have someone inside the company who would say, look, this is a) not a legally viable argument and b) it’s going to backfire in a phenomenal way because have you ever visited the internet. Who? I mean really they need to get some serious, like, internet advisers in the company, like have you met the internet? You don’t want to do this. It’s going to be bad.
Leo Laporte Have you met the internet?
John C. Dvorak I don’t get it, firstly how people – how long is the – yeah, absolutely. That’s a good book title, hold on a second, meet the internet.
Molly Wood I will trade you that for fail up.
Leo Laporte I think you could have written have you met the internet, but I think you would have had to have written it in like 1995, because…
Molly Wood Yeah, maybe.
Leo Laporte It’s a little late for that.
John C. Dvorak Oh! Yeah, you are right. Okay, never mind.
Leo Laporte No, because the subtitle could be ‘An introduction for clueless companies’.
Molly Wood It is, exactly.
John C. Dvorak Perfect, let me write that, hold on a second.
Molly Wood No, no, no, no, that’s only mine. No, that is beautiful. That is a blog just waiting to happen. It’s all yours.
Leo Laporte But there are so many companies, still to this day who have a tin ear about this whole thing, who fight this stuff and end up making it far worse.
Molly Wood Monster is an excellent example.
Leo Laporte Yeah, they sued. Well, who they do sue?
Molly Wood Everyone, the latest was the mini-golf company.
Leo Laporte Because they have the word monster in the name.
Molly Wood Yeah, it’s like…
John C. Dvorak Monster Cable or monster.com.
Leo Laporte Monster Cable.
Molly Wood Monster Cable is the one who sues everybody. They sued Monster Blue Jeans because of – over rivets in the blue – I mean they are just out of hand, and they are really torpedoing their reputation.
Leo Laporte Certainly in the geek community, they have lost it entirely and I guess if you are Monster Cable that’s kind of important.
Molly Wood Yeah, exactly who else is going to buy that overpriced crap?
Leo Laporte Maybe that’s it, because they know the geek community thinks that, so it’s like, well we already lost those guys…
John C. Dvorak Let’s go for the dummies…
Leo Laporte We can’t charge $90 for an HDMI cable, those guys they know too much. It’s pretty funny, you know you could, I think companies often say “well, if you don’t defend your trademark, you’ll lose it” but not against a blue jean company or a mini-golf company. There’s no confusion.
Molly Wood Yeah, no, absolutely not, it’s ridiculous and they are – if in fact you had to defend it as violently as Monster has then you would see this kind of behavior all the time. It’s like Monster Cable is the only company who is acting this vehemently about defending their trademark. So, it’s obviously not the requirement.
John C. Dvorak I don’t know how far back you go as a writer, Molly, but there was something that happened, I think it was starting to show up in like the mid 1980s, where you would get a press release, during the days of the press release and you’d read this press release and every other – every mention of the company’s name had a trademark little thing next to it. So, it’s like duh duh duh trademark, trademark, trademark, trademark, trademark, trademark and the whole thing was so filled with these little trademark things, which are unnecessary and stupid, and it was like a trend. It was this weird trend until somebody said hey, you only have to do the trademark thing once if at all and they finally realized you could put it down at the bottom.
Leo Laporte And then I remember there would be these long paragraphs at the bottom of these things that said, Microsoft Windows is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation, Sony is a trademark of Sony Corp. Do they still do that, have they stopped doing that too?
John C. Dvorak I don’t know.
Molly Wood You will see it sometimes at the bottom of e-mails and then it will also include the confidential and private…I mean I think…
Leo Laporte I like that one. If you are reading this e-mail in error, please destroy it now and try to forget you ever saw it.
John C. Dvorak Yeah, right, pal.
Molly Wood [54:01] Right. I think what these companies don’t realize is not only do they have a tin ear when it comes to understanding the internet response, they don’t know there’s going to be an internet response. I think they really still live in such a bubble that they think they can send out an e-mail or a legal notice to a blogger and that blogger is going to pee his pants and take the site down. And those days are long gone.
Leo Laporte Are they? I mean, look, I would be scared, I don’t have the money that Monster has or Canon has to fight it.
Molly Wood Yeah but you can get – I mean you can get…
Leo Laporte Is EFF going to come and defend you free?
Molly Wood You might get enough responses on Twitter alone to build a decent case; at least a good letter like that…
John C. Dvorak Just avoid the process server.
Molly Wood Or…
John C. Dvorak No one’s going to come up there and serve you? They wouldn’t be able find you.
Molly Wood That too.
Leo Laporte Are you kidding? People wander in here all the time.
John C. Dvorak Yeah but no one knows – only a few people, I don’t think any process server is ever going to do it and if somebody comes up to you, Leo, and says you are Leo Laporte, just say no.
Leo Laporte Okay, I will do it. Is that your technique, John?
John C. Dvorak You know, I don’t get served. It’s funny.
Leo Laporte Does that work, by the way, if the process server can’t serve you, are you not served? I mean if you avoid them.
Molly Wood Yeah, you are not served.
John C. Dvorak Well….
Leo Laporte That seems like a 10-year-old playing that game. Oh, you didn’t catch me.
Molly Wood I don’t think you can run away.
John C. Dvorak There’s some truth to it in certain situations.
Molly Wood I guess I only…
John C. Dvorak They have to serve you. Somebody has to serve you. Somebody has to…and they can do it in different ways but you – they just can’t
Leo Laporte They just can’t…
John C. Dvorak You show up in court and say “where’s Leo Laporte. He is supposed to be here, you are suing him” and he says “well we couldn’t get a hold of him” What do you think the judge is going to say of that?
Leo Laporte He ran away, your Honor. He ran away.
Molly Wood He ran away, I couldn’t get him. The bell rang.
Leo Laporte That’s the best part of Pineapple Express, is right at the beginning where he is a process server and all the tricks he uses to serve people. Did you see that one?
Molly Wood I do wonder – no, but I do wonder if, because I only have ever seen serving stuff in the movies, I wonder if any of that stuff is true.
John C. Dvorak I served someone once.
Leo Laporte Were you a process server?
John C. Dvorak No, I was given an assignment to serve and I did.
Leo Laporte Really.
John C. Dvorak And it’s done exactly the way it looks like in the movies. What the movies are showing you is exactly what you do. You find the person and you go – you know, like it would be you, Leo, Leo Laporte? Yeah. Here.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
John C. Dvorak And you just give them the piece of paper, and then you walk away.
Leo Laporte Oh man. That’s cold. How? Wait a minute, who were you working for that they made you serve a...
Molly Wood I know, what... you’ve got stories.
John C. Dvorak I did it voluntarily on some situation where somebody needed to be served and I knew I could do it.
Leo Laporte Were you ever a bounty hunter?
Molly Wood Come on, admit it, you have leathers.
Leo Laporte Dog, Dvorak Dog.
Molly Wood And another book.
Leo Laporte I would be scared of that.
John C. Dvorak We’ve had a couple of situations. We served somebody, that’s some other thing, and you came in, you don’t have to be a process server to serve. You know you can, it’s...
Leo Laporte Really, anybody can?
John C. Dvorak Yeah but you, right, you would have to testify if the person, you know, refused to show up.
Leo Laporte Ah, interesting.
John C. Dvorak That they were served.
Leo Laporte On December 15th at 11:42 a.m...
John C. Dvorak You do it with a deposition.
Leo Laporte I served John C. Dvorak with a subpoena to appear in court on... yeah, that doesn’t – I wouldn’t want it, that’s like being a meter maid. I really wouldn’t want that job.
John C. Dvorak I don’t know as a job, but I think it pays well, maybe not. Some... people can tell us.
Leo Laporte Boba Fett.
Molly Wood And they will.
Leo Laporte [57:21] Twitter raises another $35 million. It’s almost like it fell in their lap. They said we didn’t really need the money, but well, somebody offered us 35 million and we’ll take it.
Molly Wood That is just not happening to me these days.
Leo Laporte No, nobody ever offers me 35 million, and I understand they are now valued at more than a quarter of a billion dollars.
Molly Wood Valued.
John C. Dvorak Well it sure shot up in usage.
Molly Wood It is up. I just saw a link actually. It’s up over 900% in the last year, is that what that says?
Leo Laporte Yeah, I believe it.
Molly Wood Yeah, 900% in the last year.
Leo Laporte And sometimes people say oh, it’s spam and there is a lot of spam now but – it’s not spam, this, this – that the real world has arrived. That’s what’s doing it.
Molly Wood Oh, yes.
John C. Dvorak Huge, huge.
Molly Wood The celebrity factor alone, I think, is shooting up the Twitter user, the user base, I mean I can’t believe, everywhere I turn there’s some other famous person on Twitter.
Leo Laporte I am now – Lance Armstrong has lapped me. I am now like number 12 on Twitter.
John C. Dvorak You are doomed.
Leo Laporte I am doomed.
John C. Dvorak We are going to be bragging about being in the top hundred before this is over.
Leo Laporte I know. Hey, I was once number one on Twitter.
John C. Dvorak You were.
Molly Wood I have fallen out of the top hundred. My heart is broken. I am like in the top three hundred now.
John C. Dvorak I got to seven and that’s the highest ever.
Molly Wood Follow me!
Leo Laporte But you know, it’s saying something that you can have 87,000 followers and still be number 12...
Molly Wood I know.
Leo Laporte …on the list. I mean, Steven Fry now has 183,000 followers, Kevin’s at 126,000, Britney Spears 112,000.
John C. Dvorak Ah, she’s the one I predicted would bring it up, too.
Leo Laporte It’s not even her and everybody knows it’s not her but they still follow her.
Molly Wood Yeah.
Leo Laporte Wossy is number eight. That’s Jonathan Ross, he’s a presenter of, apparently very well known in Britain. The Brits have invaded. It’s the British invasion, part deux.
Molly Wood The British invasion – it’s the British celebrity invasion.
John C. Dvorak Well, I think once you get past a certain number; 10,000 is probably a good number, you have a pretty good group of followers that you can crowdsource, I mean I usually...
Leo Laporte Yeah, you don’t really need 100,000 followers.
John C. Dvorak No.
Leo Laporte I keep telling myself.
Molly Wood What are you going to do with them? Come on.
John C. Dvorak Well you can do crowdsourcing, I did that recently. You know Horowitz and I do this little podcast on the stock market, and we needed a logo for the iTunes, and I just crowdsourced and I said, “can anybody design this little album cover art?” And they came up with three...
Leo Laporte It’s amazing, isn’t it? Yeah.
John C. Dvorak …decent ones and I said – then I said, “let’s vote on it” and I threw it out to the Twitter followers, just which one do you want, number one, two or three? And so I thought it would be – it was somewhat amusing because there would be these tweets coming in, one, two, one…
Leo Laporte Oh no.
John C. Dvorak So, I mean basically these all the tweets are just the number, I mean, I think that people watching this were going, “what they – what is this?”
Leo Laporte Sometimes that’ll happen, you’ll be reading Twitter and it’s just like incomprehensible nonsense, comes across as like, I know that something’s going on and I know I’m not a party to it.
John C. Dvorak Well, if you go late enough at night, it’s always in Japanese.
Leo Laporte Yeah, that’s fun too. The middle of the night Twittering.
Molly Wood Oh, yeah. But I’ve never, I think I’ve gotten to that – the Twitter front page like two or three times, I mean the thing is it just doesn’t, I don’t know. I don’t know, I don’t understand the impulse to keep throwing money at Twitter without at least asking them to say just one time.
Leo Laporte Is there any plan at all? Any...
Molly Wood Is there a plan?
Leo Laporte Any plan, anything at all? Any thought of monetizing, anything?
Molly Wood Even beyond that like, you know what, I’m past the we have a plan stage, now we need to know what the H is the plan.
Leo Laporte What is the plan?
Molly Wood Seriously.
Leo Laporte There is light at the end of the tunnel.
Molly Wood It’s just – it’s the weirdest – no one ever, I mean, imagine being a person, right, like I joke about no one ever does this to me. But imagine if people just came up and kept giving me money like, “honey, you got potential. You are going to be huge”, or something, here’s $20 million, like “what the hell was that?”
Leo Laporte Oh, it’s amazing.
Molly Wood Who are these people?
Leo Laporte What – and this is in a time when everybody is saying there’s no money to be had, no venture funding, everybody is dying. They keep getting more money.
Molly Wood Yeah, it’s ludicrous. It really is, like no offence to Twitter but...
Leo Laporte What the heck?
Molly Wood …they have magic Jedi mojo, that’s all I can say.
Leo Laporte They do.
John C. Dvorak All right, so we – I’ve mentioned this before, we always seem to get caught up in Twitter chitchat, it’s amazing.
Leo Laporte Well, here – there is – because it’s a story! 35 million and then here, Pete Hoekstra, Congressman Hoekstra from Michigan; he’s a ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee. He’s in Iraq, on a top secret congressional envoy and he is twittering, “just landed in Baghdad. I believe it may be the first time I’ve had BB service in Iraq.” His BlackBerry, right? “11-hour trip here. Moved into green zone by helicopter. Iraqi flag now over palace. Headed to new U.S. embassy.”
Molly Wood This guy is pretty lucky that they’re shutting down Gitmo [Guantanamo Bay Naval Base], that’s all I’ve got to say. Because...
Leo Laporte The Pentagon was not happy.
John C. Dvorak Oh, I don’t see what difference it makes.
Molly Wood He was Twittering along the route though.
Leo Laporte And where he was!
John C. Dvorak Yeah, but how many Al-Qaedas are on Twitter?
Leo Laporte Here’s his –
Molly Wood What! Everyone’s on Twitter.
Leo Laporte I’m sure there’s at least one guy. “Yes, you are the Al-Qaeda’s social media expert. Your job is to follow Twitter.” As the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, his spokesman said...
John C. Dvorak Is that your Arab?
Leo Laporte Yeah, I didn’t want to go all the way on that one. I thought I’d hold back a little bit.
John C. Dvorak I don’t think you’ve got the Arab down.
Leo Laporte No, I haven’t, but I don’t want to do it. I don’t want to be seen as racist.
John C. Dvorak Well, how is it racist?
Leo Laporte It’s no more racist than any of the other accents I do, they’re all racist.
John C. Dvorak You should do all of them.
Leo Laporte They’re all bad. As the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee – this is the Congressman Hoekstra’s spokesperson. The Congressman is fully aware of security issues when traveling abroad. He believes in giving people, the people of West Michigan, as much access as possible, and posting on Twitter allows him to provide real time insight into the sights and sounds of his congressional activities.
John C. Dvorak Oh brother.
Leo Laporte He’s still twittering. He twitters all the time, several times a day. And when...
Molly Wood I don’t know.
Leo Laporte And when the vote was going on, on the stimulus bill, Congressman Culberson was twittering at like 12 or 15 times an hour saying, “I don’t have time, I don’t have time to read the bill, I don’t have time to read the bill.” Finally I just sent him a twitter saying “less twittering, more reading.”
Molly Wood Seriously.
Leo Laporte “I don’t have time. I’m too, I don’t have time to read the bill.”
Molly Wood It’s pretty interesting though, because we do want, we geeks – talk non-stop about transparency. We want that.
Leo Laporte We do.
Molly Wood And yet this guy comes off a like a total idiot.
Leo Laporte There’s some places you probably don’t want to be twittering from.
Molly Wood Yeah.
Leo Laporte And even those of us in our own lives have that. Hey John, I’m getting some echo from you, are you – ?
John C. Dvorak Oh, let me turn it down.
Molly Wood Yeah, I’m getting – I hear myself back.
John C. Dvorak Okay. How is that?
Leo Laporte Whenever John wants to start, say, playing sound effects down the road all of a sudden we hear echoes because I know he’s about to do something. You don’t listen to us on headphones, John?
John C. Dvorak I should but I don’t want to do this because I am doing other things. The –
Leo Laporte Your ears itch?
Molly Wood Well that’s flattering.
Leo Laporte “I should wear headphones, but I find them annoying.”
John C. Dvorak I’ve worked on – have you ever worked on any radio shows where the guy – like, a talk show, and the guy doesn’t use headphones and he doesn’t expect you to use them?
Leo Laporte Yeah, I find it very disconcerting because actually like –
John C. Dvorak It’s very disconcerting. I like the headphones a lot.
Leo Laporte But if you’re in the same room as the person, you don’t really need them. And then I guess they use a little speaker for the phone call.
John C. Dvorak Well, you do need them if you want to modulate your voice.
Leo Laporte Did Larry King – “yes, that’s right. And I use headphones for that very reason.” Did Larry King wear headphones when you did the Larry King Show?
John C. Dvorak I don’t recall him wearing headphones. I don’t think he did.
Leo Laporte The old guys, the really old guys in radio would hang... they’d have this thing that would hang on their ear, it wasn’t headphones. It was like a speaker, a little speaker that would hang on their ear and they would listen – and you could hear, it was so loud – hello – like little transistor radios on there, you could hear it. And I’d know they were deaf in that ear. It was like piercing.
Anyway, let’s take a break because I think we want to talk in just a bit about this new Sony camera and the new Samsung camera. We’ve done our twittering stories, let’s see, what else.
Would you pay for YouTube? There’s a move afoot to charge you to watch movies on YouTube. And the hackable BlackBerry, but first I got to tell you about Audible.com. Have we gotten you listening to Audible yet, Molly?
Molly Wood Oh, I am a total Audible user, yeah.
Leo Laporte I think when you’re a mom, and you know you have your hands full, and you are shopping for diapers at Costco, Audible is a life saver.
What do you listen to? What kind of stuff you like, fiction, non-fiction?
Molly Wood I was just cracking up at the thought of myself in Costco with my iPhone, now Audible.
Leo Laporte Listening.
Molly Wood I like to listen to espionage action thrillers.
Leo Laporte Oh, cool.
Molly Wood As audio books. That is like my favorite audio book genre, so I’m all about the Robert Ludlum books.
Leo Laporte Ludlum is great.
Molly Wood One after the other, after the other, bring them on.
Leo Laporte And they are big and thick. So they last a long time.
Molly Wood Exactly.
Leo Laporte Like...
Molly Wood Yes.
Leo Laporte Like Tracker Bars or something.
Molly Wood Nothing.
Leo Laporte Never mind. Forget I said that. And okay, Ludlum, anything else, any other – I love Ludlum. I haven’t read all his stuff though. I have to go back. You like all the Bourne books and all that stuff?
Molly Wood I do, yeah. It’s just a nice big catalogue of audio book and I am digging it.
Leo Laporte That’s what’s cool about it.
Molly Wood And then I have been – I admit, I’m taking a brief break from Audible because I’ve been on this weird actual book kick, but I think I’m going back.
Leo Laporte No, no, no, that can’t happen.
Molly Wood I know, it’s got to stop.
Leo Laporte It’s fun – actually it’s kind of fun, every once in a while, to pick up a book and go, “wow haven’t seen one of these in a while”, between the Kindle and Audible, It’s like, “oh, look the page is crisp, crumple.” It’s kind of funny.
Molly Wood It smells so interesting, like...
Leo Laporte Yeah, what is that smell? Oh, I forgot it smelled like that.
What are you reading in the hard cover genre?
Molly Wood I just actually closed the last – the book on Outliers, just finished like the last...
Leo Laporte Isn’t that a great book?
Molly Wood Yeah, it was really interesting.
Leo Laporte Now see, I’m listening to the Malcolm Gladwell Audible version of it. And he’s great. He really gives it life as he’s reading, and it’s really fun to listen to it. He – have you ever seen him speak?
Molly Wood No, I would love to though, he is...
Leo Laporte I hear he is a great speaker. I haven’t – have you seen. Oh, John’s off, doing his dinner, I’m sorry. I won’t talk to – I’m not supposed to talk to John during the commercials. He uses these as an opportunity to do something. I don’t know what.
Molly Wood Good to know.
Leo Laporte Just a word of warning, don’t...
John C. Dvorak I have to go to the bathroom.
Leo Laporte He’s in the bathroom, I knew it. I knew it. I wasn’t going to say it John, it’s okay. No, he cooks dinner.
So, actually they have Blink in English but they also have a, rather – they have Outliers in English but they also have Blink in Spanish. You know how you say blink in Spanish?
Molly Wood No.
Leo Laporte Blink. And they have The Tipping Point in Spanish, El Punto Clave. I like that. El Punto Clave.
Molly Wood I didn’t know they had all those Spanish books.
Leo Laporte Yeah. Audible’s one, I... 51,000 titles, science fiction, fact. The new Christopher Moore just came out. We’ve talked about him. He is a TWiT listener. Hi, Christopher. It’s called Fool. He wrote You Suck and Blood Sucking Fiends and Coyote Blue. His new one is called Fool: A Novel. Actually this is an exclusive. You have to be an Audible member to get this one. I’m going to make this my recommendation. This is so good. Christopher Moore is funny, arch, clever and a geek’s best friend, his new book is called Fool. It’s about the fool in King Lear, actually.
Molly Wood Wow.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Molly Wood Like from the fool’s perspective?
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Molly Wood Interesting.
Leo Laporte I like books like that, I don’t know why. There’s a lot of books like – I think it’s a great genre. Get it right now by going to Audible.com/twit and you can get any book for free, credit toward a book for free. Actually, let’s do the platinum. Audible.com/twit2, that gives you two books when you sign up for the platinum account, two books a month and you get two credits absolutely free.
So, you can pick that and Outliers for instance and just – it’s a wonderful, wonderful resource for reading, if you are a new mom and you want to listen while you’re doing all those chores or if you – I listen in the gym, I listen in the car.
Audible.com – if you go to Audible.com/twit2, you sign up for the platinum account, you’ll get credit towards two books, and actually that may sound like a lot at first, believe me, it’s not nearly enough. Audible.com/twit2, we thank them so much for their support of this Week in Tech. Great people and a great pro– and by the way I am very happy to say we just got the note, Audible has signed up for another, I think another six months with TWiT. So, we are very happy to have them in the fold. They are very supportive which is kind of nice, because you know you might think we are almost in competition right, like well if they listen to TWiT are they listening to our books?
Molly Wood I know, congratulations.
Leo Laporte Yeah, I am really happy about that.
Molly Wood That’s great news.
Leo Laporte Despite the economic, so called downturn which I know a lot of our friends are out of work, it’s really breaking my heart. Stuff like this seems to be doing okay. Buzz Out Loud seems to be doing okay.
Molly Wood Yeah, yeah, that show’s doing, no I’m just kidding.
Leo Laporte That show.
Molly Wood It’s doing all right. No, it’s doing well.
Leo Laporte So did Natalie Del Conti kind of take your spot?
Molly Wood A little bit, yeah.
Leo Laporte You do it Mondays?
Molly Wood I do it Mondays. I mean she did takeover as the full-time co-host for now.
Leo Laporte Can I – I love Natalie but I miss you.
Molly Wood Aww…
Leo Laporte You and Tom…
Molly Wood That’s a common sentiment.
Leo Laporte Yeah, you and Tom and Jason, it was just such a great show. You were really the heart and soul of the show from day one. And, I do miss you. It’s still a great show and I – whenever anybody sends me hate mail, which happens once in a while, they go “that TWiT you guys you suck, you talk about Twitter too much,” whatever. I say, you know, and I am sincere, there is another show you’ll probably like better, that’s – they cover the news, they do a great job, it’s daily, it’s called Buzz Out Loud and you are going to love it.
Molly Wood I am glad to hear that – we, I do another podcast over at CNET actually called Gadgettes.
Leo Laporte I love that.
Molly Wood Like a total gadget show from like the female perspective where we really that’s our kind of total goof-off show. So…
Leo Laporte Who’s on that with you?
Molly Wood It’s for the people who like the TWiT thing, we wonder that is Kelly Morrison and then Jason Howell from Buzz.
Leo Laporte Fantastic. Gadgettes. Is he a Gadgette or he is an honorary Gadgette?
Molly Wood He is our gender gap guy. He is like there to keep us – we have a whole segment actually called gender gap that is just like gadgets that dudes think are awesome.
Leo Laporte That’s so funny.
Molly Wood Yeah, it’s a really fun show, it’s not just for women either.
Leo Laporte [71:52] No. Best place to go is cnet.com/molly. You all find all of Molly’s stuff there. Have you talked about these new camera phones yet?
Molly Wood I have – no, because they have come out since we recorded last week.
Leo Laporte This just was announced.
Molly Wood And they are hot.
Leo Laporte Very interesting. So, it starts with…
John C. Dvorak What?
Molly Wood And he is back.
Leo Laporte Welcome back John C. Dvorak. Starts with the, let’s see, no I guess the first one was Samsung…
John C. Dvorak It was the Samsung.
Leo Laporte Samsung Memoir.
John C. Dvorak 12 Megapixel.
Molly Wood Oh yeah.
Leo Laporte No, no, the Memoir is 8 megapixels. So, you’ve got to start with the little ones.
Molly Wood Pathetic.
Leo Laporte Pathetic. The Samsung Memoir which, but that’s going to be out in 10 days. That’s going to be out on T-Mobile. It looks a lot like – it’s a full screen, touch screen, very much iPhony, but 8 megapixels which is kind of mind blowing and then Sony Ericsson announces their edo 12 megapixels.
John C. Dvorak 12 megapixels of blur.
Leo Laporte Well, that’s the question – I mean – it’s more than megapixels obviously. But, I don’t know Sony does good cameras…
John C. Dvorak I mean for once, let’s take a look at this objectively. How big can the sensor possibly be in these things…
Leo Laporte Well, that’s true.
John C. Dvorak Considering if you look at the size of the lens. So, it is got to be something that’s got like no contrast, no signal to noise ratio that’s worth a powder. This is like a crap. It’s crap pixel. A cra-pixel.
Leo Laporte Cra-pixel!
Molly Wood A crap of pixel.
Leo Laporte The Memoir is interesting because it’s autofocus. It’s got a real flash. Not one of those phony flashes. It’s got a Xenon flash. It’s got…
Molly Wood That one’s got anti-shake.
Leo Laporte Yeah. Yeah. You know, you’re right.
John C. Dvorak That’s digital anti-shake.
Leo Laporte Probably not optical, you’re right. In fact the zoom is digital, it is not optical. But I think autofocus is great because autofocus allows you to do things like take pictures of bar codes. That’s what I like about the G1. Take pictures of bar codes and then you could send it back to the server, and it will say hey you can get this cheaper down the street. I love that. That is like the coolest app of the GI. That and latitude. Latitude’s pretty cool too. Have you played with that? That’s the new Google one that follows you around everywhere.
Molly Wood I don’t want that on my phone. I sort of refused to install that, no it freaks me out.
Leo Laporte Well, I guess the difference between this and something like Brightkite. Brightkite, you exclusively push a button and it says I am here now. This, if yeah there is a map and as you move around, you move around on the map always.
Molly Wood I don’t need Google to know that, no.
Leo Laporte It is a little creepy but I – am an exhibitionist? Because I kind of like this.
John C. Dvorak Yes.
Molly Wood Is there a Latitude Facebook app yet? Because that is excellent crossover.
Leo Laporte Yeah, that’s a good point.
Molly Wood You could just have a little app on your profile and everyone can see where you are at any given moment.
Leo Laporte You’re a little dot moving around.
Molly Wood Crazy!
Leo Laporte Oh look, and somebody said the first thing that’s going to happen, some guy’s going to install this on his phone and he is going to tells his wife he went to the ball game, instead he’s down at the massage parlor and it’s going to be all over.
Molly Wood Yeah. That thing is terrifying. I refuse to install it or try it.
Leo Laporte Why, what is wrong with me that I think this…
Molly Wood I told that to Adam Curry…
John C. Dvorak That’s what we’d like to know. We have been wondering about you, Leo.
Leo Laporte I have installed it and I sent out invitation, I think I send you guys invitations say follow me.
John C. Dvorak I think you’ve got some sort of a death wish.
Molly Wood Follow me literally.
Leo Laporte Follow me literally. You can know where I am at every moment. The only problem with it is is that the Google phone has like a five-minute battery life. So, you can, you can only follow me for a little while, but apparently they are doing iPhone application that’s going to even be better.
Molly Wood I think these, I think actually speaking of phones, I think these are the kind of features that they are the only hope for phone makers, right who are really trying to compete with kind of that overall iPhone usefulness.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Molly Wood It’s like you can appeal to people now in a niche category like well okay, you have a phone that does it all but you also really like photography. Ka-ching!
Leo Laporte No, exactly. In fact, I think I said that on the radio show. They tried to compete against the iPhone. It’s getting harder and harder, the app store is so good – the usability, the interface, it’s just they can’t compete, but at least they can say, hey we got a 12 megapixel camera.
Molly Wood Right.
Leo Laporte I agree with you exactly Molly, I think you hit the nail on the head. That’s, it’s almost them saying we give up, we can’t …
Molly Wood Maybe, or we’re making an end run at best, or at minimum.
Leo Laporte Pricing on the Samsung Memoir on T-Mobile: $250 with a two year contract. It kind of looks nice, but I am Sony Ericsson fan because I like the Symbian OS I like S60. I don’t know about 12 megapixels though, you’re right, John, on a tiny chip more megapixels actually is worse.
Molly Wood Yeah, I think the 8 megapixel and all of this sort of advanced camera features, that sounds a little better to me, the Memoir sounds a little better, although and to be honest I would rather have all the awesome utility like I am really excited about the Palm Pre.
Leo Laporte Are you? I am too, but I don’t – I am holding off until I see it.
Molly Wood Well, yeah, I’m not going to doing anything rash.
John C. Dvorak You know what pre means, don’t you Molly, you know what the pre stands for?
Molly Wood No, what?
John C. Dvorak Pre-bankruptcy. What can I do?
Leo Laporte Will the next one be post? New from Palm, post!
John C. Dvorak [77:05] Post, yeah. So, I took the plunge and I got myself, I ordered two of those converter boxes from the government.
Leo Laporte Did you get the $40 coupon?
Molly Wood People need those.
Leo Laporte Who needs those?
Molly Wood I can’t believe you took that out of the hands of the poor and infirm. That is shameful.
John C. Dvorak The infirm?
Molly Wood That is shameful.
John C. Dvorak Anyway, the one by the way I recommend to people out there is the Channel Master, CM-7000.
Leo Laporte Yes! The Channel Master 7000 as recommended by John C. Dvorak. And what does…
Molly Wood Good luck getting one because he took the last two.
Leo Laporte The last two! Apparently, there is a shortage.
Molly Wood There is a shortage.
Leo Laporte Did you also get a coupon, John?
John C. Dvorak No, I got two coupons.
Molly Wood Course, he did.
Leo Laporte Oh, man. You’re even spending the money of these poor… Oh, man.
John C. Dvorak What? Just what the government, they are giving money away, what am I supposed to do? Just, “No, I am too rich for your money. Give it to the bankers!”
Leo Laporte You know, if you go down there is free cheese in Portland. Government, don’t knock it, it’s not bad, government cheese.
John C. Dvorak Too far to drive.
Leo Laporte All right.
John C. Dvorak This comes in the mail.
Leo Laporte So, but I take it you actually had a need for this?
John C. Dvorak Yeah, I got a couple of monitors that could use a tuner.
Molly Wood I am horrified.
Leo Laporte Did you go to Pinnacle and buy a tuner and all that stuff or …
John C. Dvorak I did online it at Solid Signal, ’cause you can’t get the Channel Master from anybody in a brick and mortar.
Leo Laporte Now, why do you recommend the Channel Master?
John C. Dvorak When I looked at all the different reviews and of all the different ones and this one seems to keep cropping up. It has got an S-video, most of them don’t have that. It has got other features that are kind of cool. And by the way someone mentioned to me that the stimulus bill includes $640 million for these decoders.
Leo Laporte That’s right. They are trying to refund it. That sounds like a lot, but it’s a big country. There’s a lot of people.
Molly Wood It’s 5%, isn’t it? It’s something they think it’s 5% of households.
Leo Laporte Will need this?
John C. Dvorak I think most people don’t know that they need this.
Leo Laporte That’s what is going to happen. They put it off, but come June 17…
Molly Wood They are still not going to know.
Leo Laporte They are still going to be flooded with calls saying “what happened?”
John C. Dvorak “I thought I did have a digital TV. It has a digital front piece. It’s got a 12:00 on there and that’s digital.”
Leo Laporte “It’s blinking 12 at me, what, those are digits?”
Molly Wood Well, when that apocalyptic day comes, maybe John can donate his boxes to…
Leo Laporte Yeah, really. John’s got two.
John C. Dvorak I am hooking them up, I got a use for them. I have an old TV in the kitchen that would use one of these, right?
Leo Laporte You get cable, right, where you live, I mean you are not like…
John C. Dvorak I use the Dish network.
Leo Laporte Okay, you get Dish. So, you don’t need one…
John C. Dvorak I actually have cable too. I have the cable hooked to a Slingbox.
Leo Laporte So, you got cable and you got satellite and now you can receive through rabbit ears.
John C. Dvorak Actually, I have been receiving most of my HD TV programming already not through rabbit ears but with a UHF antennae...
Leo Laporte That’s true, actually that’s the best deal. It is, that’s the best deal in high-def, it really looks good.
Molly Wood That’s what I have heard that, yeah. Alright, my child just woke up from his nap. So…
Leo Laporte Perfect, because I just ran out of stories. Molly Wood is online ladies and gentlemen at cnet.com/molly. You are the best Molly. We miss you on Buzz Out Loud, but I am glad you could be here on the TWiT. I really appreciate it.
Molly Wood Thank you. I hope to do it…
John C. Dvorak Yeah, I’ll be on Buzz Out Loud tomorrow or Tuesday.
Leo Laporte Oh, really?
Molly Wood Oh, yeah, actually I will be on that one too.
Leo Laporte Oh, great.
Molly Wood We will be reunited in two short days.
John C. Dvorak Hurray!
Molly Wood Yay!
Leo Laporte John C. Dvorak is at Channel Dvorak.com. Thank you for being with us, John.
John C. Dvorak And THErealDVORAK on Twitter, I can use a few more people.
Leo Laporte Yeah, I’ve given up on that Twitter thing. It’s never going anywhere.
John C. Dvorak Yeah, right.
Leo Laporte Thank you all for being here. We will see you next time, another TWiT is in the can.