|This is a transcript of TWiT 183.|
Guests: Cory Doctorow, Ryan Block, Robert Heron, and Gina Trapani
Recorded: February 22, 2009
Published: February 23, 2009
TWiT 183 •Previous episode – Next episode
This Week In Tech: 183
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 183 for February 23, 2009, Pirates’ Circus.
This WEEK in TECH is brought to you by GoToMyPC, wherever you go access your PC and all your files, programs and e-mail remotely with GoToMyPC. For a free trial of this award winning service visit gotomypc.com/twit. And by listeners like you, thanks so much for you contribution. We couldn’t do TWiT without it.
Cory Doctorow You are the Laporte Truman show.
Leo Laporte That is exactly what it is. And it’s so much fun, it’s really – what’s neat about it is, of course podcasting makes it flexible for everyone, you download it when you want to listen to it. But it’s not interactive, it’s really nice to have people – so we have 700 people in the chat – one chat room, 500 people…
Ryan Block People yelling at you in real time.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Cory Doctorow It’s just like JenniCam.
Leo Laporte It’s just like JenniCam. Gee, whatever happened to her?
Cory Doctorow I don’t know. Married, raising a family.
Leo Laporte How old is your baby, I want to say – I don’t want to read her whole name. What do you…
Cory Doctorow Poesy is one – we call her Poe or Poesy, yes, she’s one, she just turned one, got the one-year molars to prove it
Leo Laporte That’s so great. So, it’s been a year, that’s – I think that’s right about when you were on last time then.
Cory Doctorow Yes, it’s been a busy year. We – the last 14, 15 months we changed continents, my wife changed jobs, we had a baby, published a book, went on a book tour, published two more books, wrote two books, spent a month in Asia researching a book, got married, three times on two continents, went on my honeymoon, so…
Leo Laporte What a great year it’s been.
Cory Doctorow It’s been a busy 15 or 16 months.
Leo Laporte We welcome him back for the first time in about that long, Cory Doctorow of craphound.com, a great novelist, what’s your new book? Little Brother?
Cory Doctorow Well the book that I am working on now is called ‘For the Win’, it’s about union organizers in gold firms, the next book I’ve got coming out is a book for grown ups called ‘Makers’ and then the book that just came out last year was called ‘Little Brother’ and it was a young adult novel that’s – it’s doing really well, it’s in its eighth hard cover printing.
Leo Laporte Wow, and you did the same thing with that you have done with your other novels, you Creative Commons licensed it and released it?
Cory Doctorow Absolutely, yes.
Leo Laporte And it’s still in its eighth hard cover printing, folks.
Cory Doctorow Oh, yes. New York Times bestseller, everyone’s bestseller lists, up for all the awards.
Leo Laporte Just shows you, now will you call for the win FTW, just to...
Cory Doctorow That’s the codename as we speak. That’s the, the file is called ftw.txt.
Leo Laporte I love it. Also with us Ryan Block from gdgt, great to talk to you, Ryan.
Ryan Block Hey, thanks for having me back.
Leo Laporte Always great to have you back on the show, and now, I am just wondering if there was any strife in the Block household, when Veronica became a Twitter suggested celebrity?
Ryan Block She’s already – we all know that she is the celebrity in the family.
Leo Laporte Leaving the rest of us in the dust.
Ryan Block No, I am just happy to be associated and to get that little bit of run off.
Leo Laporte Well it’s great to have you. I actually invited Ryan and Peter Rojas, and we will get you both on another time, but just Peter responded too late and I’d already booked the panel up. But we’ll get you two on again soon. It may be next week, who knows?
Ryan Block Yes, we’re not going anywhere.
Leo Laporte Good. Also so pleased to have him on, Robert Heron, an original TWiT, he was on the very first TWiT episode, and many subsequent to that, and then I just, we kind of, my fault Robert, entirely, I am so glad to have you back on.
Robert Heron Hey, we are busy people, thanks, thanks for inviting me.
Leo Laporte The occasion is kind of sad, because DL.TV went into hiatus last week.
Robert Heron It did, a necessary hiatus. It really was just a personnel thing, just not having enough bodies to get stuff done, and basically getting that to everyone’s attention who needed it to be, who needed to be told, so we’re working on it.
Leo Laporte So the plan is, it really is a hiatus and not a cancellation, the plan is to bring it back?
Robert Heron Totally, totally.
Leo Laporte Good, I am glad.
Robert Heron Along with continuing to do all the other content we’re doing through the relationship we have with Meevio and PC Mag as well, including Dvorak’s great Cranky Geeks.
Leo Laporte He is still doing that.
Robert Heron He is, non-stop.
Leo Laporte Yes, there’s been personnel changes there as well, as we all know.
Robert Heron Totally, and it’s partially the economy, just partially too just, about getting everyone on the same page, in terms of what we need to do to make it a better show, for everyone.
Leo Laporte Good, good, I am glad to hear it. I am also really glad, and I am going to add her right now, to welcome – this is a big panel today, so I am going to have to ask everybody to be polite and let other people talk. Gina Trapani, who I have been a big fan of for ages, ever since she created the most singularly useful blog in history, lifehacker.com, and she’s kind of semi-retired from Lifehacker, we’ll ask her about that, and has a new site that we’re going to let her talk about. Gina is on the phone, I think. Hi. Gina.
Gina Trapani Hi, how are you?
Leo Laporte I am calling you on Skype, oh, I have you on Skype.
Gina Trapani Yes, you just got me on Skype, I just switched from my cell phone.
Leo Laporte It’s so cool, so we had her in two different locations. Glad to have you on. Let me introduce you around, because I have been introducing everybody, but we’re getting, due to my – I put a dot instead of a dash, in your name.
Gina Trapani Yes, it was my fault, I think. I told you the wrong thing, my apologies.
Leo Laporte It’s like Morse code, there is a big difference, world of difference between a dot and a dash. Also with us on the line, Cory Doctorow, he is in London right now, where it is late at night.
Gina Trapani Hey, Cory.
Cory Doctorow How are you doing, Gina?
Gina Trapani Good, how are you.
Cory Doctorow Tired.
Leo Laporte You two actually, between the two of you have the biggest blogs in the world, Boing Boing and Lifehacker, come to think of it.
Cory Doctorow I have the largest blog in the world called Boing Boing.
Gina Trapani He does, Cory does. Cory beat me in that sector.
Leo Laporte And I am the biggest podcaster that’s on video 30 hours a week at TWiT Live! So, we are all in good company. Also with us is Robert Heron from DL.TV, my old friend, long time Screen Savers and Lab Rat guy.
Robert Heron Hello.
Leo Laporte And Ryan Block from Engadget, Do you know everybody, Gina, are these strangers to you?
Gina Trapani Yes, to varying degrees, Robert, you and I haven’t met. Ryan, I can’t believe we haven’t met, but Cory and I have certainly met.
Robert Heron Yeah, it’s really surprising that we haven’t, we haven’t crossed paths before now, but…
Leo Laporte That’s the best thing about…
Robert Heron Leo’s great at connecting people. That’s what he does.
Leo Laporte But you know what, I was about to say it’s a great thing about the internet is that you can get to know people, you can read their work, you can feel like you are practically buddies with them through things like Facebook and Twitter and have never met and then meet like this is really great. Serendipitous, so… I have never met Gina but I have been a fan for years.
Gina Trapani Likewise.
Leo Laporte [7:12] There you go. So, lots to talk about this week. We have such a good group. I guess we should probably start with the New Zealand blackout. This is a – I am sure kind of something Cory Doctorow has something to say about. New Zealand passed a law – in fact you can find out more about this, a short URL that I use tr.im/freedom that will take you to the creative freedom.org.nz blog. They – New Zealand amended their copyright law with something called Section 92 A and correct me if I am wrong, Cory, but essentially what 92 A says is if somebody complains about you, a record company or movie company, your internet service provider just pulls the plug with no due process, it’s done. You are guilty by accusation.
Cory Doctorow Yeah, so this is actually, like, not sui generis to New Zealand. This has been a feature of copyright proposals all over the world, in the E.U. and the U.K. Something called the anti-counterfeiting trade agreement that the U.S. and the E.U. and Canada have been negotiating. It is a feature there and it’s this three strikes you are out rule, in which if you are accused three times of infringing copyright, they cut off your internet access. So, my friend Kevin Marks who works with me on the advisory council of the Open Rights Group here in the U.K. and also works with Google, he said well why don’t we have a three strikes rule for copyright holders. So, if you make, if someone accuses you three times of making false accusations, we cut off your internet access, right. So, like if Universal Music gets accused three times of getting it wrong. We just – we go with the bolt cutters to every Universal branch office in the entire world, we cut off their internet access, from now on they can be a music label that does all its business by fax.
Leo Laporte There you go.
Cory Doctorow It’s pretty, it’s the – the thing about this is that it treats your internet access as a thing that you use to get MP3s as opposed to the single wire that delivers freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of assembly, your health information, your job and everything else and not just for you. But for everyone else in your household, I just got the latest Time Out here in London and they had a – an article on life inside one the most notorious prisons in the United Kingdom and they asked all these inmates, these convicted felons what they’re doing. And they’re all getting degrees at Open University by Internet.
Leo Laporte Wow.
Cory Doctorow So these people who’ve been like convicted of felonies get to use the Internet. But people who’ve been accused of downloading music won’t. So you know it’s a really bad piece of policy. It should be a self evidently bad piece of policy and the fact New Zealand government passed it doesn’t reflect well on New Zealand and you know, to their credit the New Zealand geek community who are big and strong and intelligent and clever have really brought us to the world’s attention and I think the reason the world needs to pay attention to this is not because, you know, we bleed for our brothers and sisters in New Zealand, although it sucks for them. It’s because this is the first of several dominoes that the entertainment industry is hoping will fall.
Leo Laporte Is this the first country they have been able get this three strikes law in effect.
Cory Doctorow Yeah, that’s right. There was a bill floated in the American Congress in the last administration that didn’t go anywhere. There have been proposals here in the U.K. and there’s an administrative proposal in the U.S. I think Sarkozy may have actually gotten it in France I’m not entirely sure. I know that in the E.U. when they talk about it as a model they call it the French model, the Sarkozy model.
Leo Laporte You know the French are to blame for everything, aren’t they.
Cory Doctorow Yeah, well Sarko, Sarko is like possibly the weirdest ringmaster that ever ran a three-ring government. I tell you what.
Leo Laporte In the U.S. Congress people who don’t like the stimulus bill say it’s the Frenchification of America. There’s something about – there’s something in the air about France.
Cory Doctorow So you know if we brought back the guillotine maybe we could – for the people who have got us into the economic mess. And we could – that will be a truly French solution.
Leo Laporte I look on my Twitter friends list and I see so many black avatars. This is the protest. It’s to blank out your avatar on Facebook or Twitter or the social network you are on. And it’s kind of – it’s now through the 23rd – as this podcast comes out it will be the last day of the blackout. But the first day of this new law – I don’t known if they are having any success in New Zealand in quashing it. But I am glad that the attention is being brought to it.
Cory Doctorow I think it’s a 21st Century version of the old EFF Blue Ribbon Campaign, which is really EFF’s first public campaign and they won, right. CDA, I mean it took 25 years or whatever. But the Communications Decency Act essentially has been completely gutted as a result of the activism and that started with that Blue Ribbon Campaign. And I think the important thing to keep in mind here is that repealing the law in New Zealand may not be a big bang and may be a series of court challenges and other actions that go on for a long time. But by keeping the world’s attention focused on what’s going on in New Zealand, it will keep us on our toes for when these proposals come to our own home countries.
Leo Laporte There is a leaked letter from the RIANZ, the New Zealand recording industry association, that came out 10 days ago, and it’s now just being published in Computer World New Zealand in which they basically say they want to determine what happens to copyright infringers, they want to – they basically want to be the police, the law and the letter.
Cory Doctorow Yes, so the amazing thing about these self help proposals is that the – the record industry’s and the film industry’s own record on self help, where they’ve had – because they’ve had self help measures with the DMCA where they can send takedown notices and so on and with the bulk litigation campaign against downloaders shows you just how little care they take, right? So, they are arguing, oh, we are sober grown ups, as opposed to those crazy anarchists in their funny black T-shirts that say things that judges don’t understand. So we should be allowed to act as judge, jury and executioner, because we would never fly off the handle and do something weird, we will always behave in a responsible way, except for when we’re suing like dead people and people who don’t own computers and people…
Leo Laporte All of which they’ve done.
Cory Doctorow …little old ladies, people who are in comas and there are some – there was just a stat on the number of suicide attempts related to people who have been – kids who have been targeted by the RIAA, they sent up a DMCA disconnection or a disconnection threat to a laser printer at a university that they said was downloading an Indiana Jones movie. Not only is no one suited to replace the judiciary and due process for when it comes to disconnecting people from the internet or any other substantial area of law. But the record and movie industry are especially not suited to replacing the judiciary and the rule of law when it comes to this sort of thing.
Leo Laporte [14:00] Are you a pirate, Gina Trapani, do you steal music over the internet?
Gina Trapani I think my Skype connection is getting a little flakey. Let’s talk about that later, Leo.
Cory Doctorow Well I’ll tell you what, every time I give a speech, especially at an entertainment company, because I go to entertainment companies a lot, because they are not monolithically evil moustache twirlers, they tend to be filled with people who care about this stuff, some of whom think that they are going the wrong way. I always say, is there any one in this audience who doesn’t think of themselves as a copyright pirate. And no one puts their hands up, Disney, no one put their hand up, PanMacmillan, no one puts their hand up. Every one knows that they are pirates, I mean I compare it to like the Victorian taboo against masturbation, where everyone claimed that they never masturbated and everyone assumed that they were the only hypocrite in the room, one of the nice things about asking that question in public is that when no one’s hand goes up everyone realizes everyone’s…
Leo Laporte We are all hypocrites.
Cory Doctorow …all hypocrites here.
Leo Laporte Right.
Ryan Block My question is, I mean I think that you did a really succinct job at kind of summarizing where we’re at, but my question is, are we doing enough? Are we doing enough to raise awareness, are the actions that we, as a technology community, taking enough to really kind of get this stuff out there, I mean, yes, this topic definitely has its place on a lot of the really geeky blogs, and this blackout avatar thing is something, but is it enough, you know is this really the kind of attention that is going to actually change that legislation. I mean, we have legal parties who are getting involved, and those legal parties are definitely going to put pressure on the government officials responsible for this kind of legislation.
Leo Laporte But is it enough just to black out your avatar, you’re saying, what more can we do, I mean what should we do? I think we should…
Ryan Block You’re asking the wrong person, you know? I would not call myself a great internet activist, but something feels like you know, we need to take this, you know, not to the internet but to the streets.
Leo Laporte Yes.
Robert Heron It seems that it’s more of a…
Cory Doctorow Well, I...
Robert Heron I am thinking it’s more of a complaint just, with that type of legislation just being promoted under pressure from, apparently, lobbyists, where is the public discourse in forming those kind of laws?
Leo Laporte Well, this is it. I mean, unfortunately we are…
Robert Heron It seems like the default where, if you’re a business that’s under attack, supposedly from some, say rogue element that’s downloading your material or copyright infringement of some kind, it seems like they just automatically get a law put in place.
Leo Laporte Now, the problem is that I am not a New Zealand citizen, so I don’t really have standing in New Zealand, so Cory, what are, I mean, for the Blue Ribbon Campaign, that was a little more straight forward, you could be an activist, you go to EFF and fill out the petition and participate, what do we do as citizens of the world here?
Cory Doctorow Well, I think that, speaking as like a, putting on a movement strategist’s hat here, what we need is an ecosystem of different kinds of activity from different kinds of people, because there is no one size fits all mode of engagement, and people move through different kinds of engagement as they are, as their lives change, when you’re a student, you have different priorities, and so on.
But I, there is that ecosystem now, so there is group of people who go to The World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva, and negotiate copyright treaties and stand up for that stuff. And I just heard you talking, I think it was you, no someone else talking about this new pharmaceutical deal where they are cutting the rates for pharma in the developing world, that comes straight out of those people. There is a group, there are groups of people who take to the streets, including some of the Kiwi activists who are on Parliament Hill shouting and waving placards, there are people on Facebook, there’s – one absolutely amazing group is the Free Culture Clubs, which are a global network of campus clubs at high schools and universities, of students who do all kinds of stuff to promote free culture. Creative Commons and iCommons are two closely related organizations that work on this stuff, recruiting artists, recruiting through Science Commons and ccLearn, educators and researchers.
So there is really, like, I hear what you are saying Ryan, and I think that’s where the movement has gone in the last like five or six years, is expanding out from just being EFF and maybe the Free Software Foundation, to being this giant ecosystem of organizations and individuals who have different ways to engage. One thing that I would love to see more, do you remember a few years ago they had the install Firefox on your parents’ computer this Thanksgiving drive. I think that there is a movement, that there is an opportunity a-wasting for like a toolkit of things to put on your parents’ computers to make them more free and more private every time you go home for the holidays.
Leo Laporte That’s a great idea.
Cory Doctorow Like a Christmas DVD and a Thanksgiving DVD and so on.
Leo Laporte I have heard Larry Lessig talk and say this is not an occasion to become a pirate. This is – resist that urge and instead use your energies to change the laws, not to break them. Do you agree?
Robert Heron Right, and you know for me – there isn’t, I don’t think, an equation that you can put to reaching out directly to legislators, but when you compare knocking on doors, making – writing a physical letter or a fax – calling an office versus sending an email, I mean emails get thrown in the trash, emails get filtered, emails don’t really go anywhere and there is only so much, it’s is very easy to tune on what’s going on online when you’re in a government position and you’re living in your little world. So, these legislators tend, I think, to pay attention more to offline type activities and that doesn’t necessarily mean picketing a government building, it means calling, it means writing a letter, things that we don’t normally do as people who are spending most of our time on the internet.
Leo Laporte [19:41] Gina do you think – do you mind if I ask Gina, do you think the geeks are a little too insular and we do things like the blackout avatar that’s easy to do, but are less willing to actually go the extra mile to write a member of Congress to be active.
Gina Trapani I think so, I think to some degree, I mean you know Ryan’s question about whether or not the black avatar is enough, I mean I did it and it’s not, and I wouldn’t, it’s the only thing that I have really done about it and really I became aware of the whole situation because a bunch of friends from New Zealand made me aware and so I changed my avatar and then people asked me about it and I told them. So, I think – it definitely did raise some awareness, but yeah I think we are still a very insular community but we are still a very large community, larger I think than we realize and there is still a lot of education to be done between – within inter-geek communications. So, I think that it does help for sure, I do think we are less likely to start writing letters or picketing.
Leo Laporte It is possible to use these tools to organize. EFF has shown that, President Obama did it very effectively in his campaign.
Gina Trapani Definitely.
Leo Laporte So, the tools can be used to organize.
Cory Doctorow We did this with the last Canadian election, two Canadian elections back where the Liberal Member of Parliament who had proposed a really bad copyright law was actually my old MP when I lived in Toronto. She lost the election, we did grassroots on the ground, door knocking, organizing, well I say we – I was living in London at that time – my colleagues in Toronto did this and she lost the election by the largest swing of any candidate in the Greater Toronto area, like she just, she was just basted by this. And the Industry Minister, Jim Prentice, the older Industry Minister, when he introduced a similar law, his, when he threw like a Christmas constituency party it was not mobbed but filled with very polite constituents of his, who were nevertheless incredibly forceful on the question of why he’d introduced this legislation. Really put it right, front and centre on the political agenda.
Robert Heron Now, you know what’s really irritating me about the situation now is the fact that we still don’t really have a position in our government, someone who has a voice on this type of topic, right? Obama is supposed to be appointing a U.S. “CTO”, and that would be a – you know, when there are human rights abuses in the world, someone in the administration speaks out against that, right, and when there are things happening internationally that are indefensible, people speak out against that within the government, but we don’t have that, we don’t have a voice which is…
Leo Laporte The irony is it’s U.S. agencies that are promoting this through...
Robert Heron Yes, it’s the U.S. trade representative.
Leo Laporte Right, so I don’t know if we would, I don’t know do we have the political will to speak out against it, when the record industry, the movie industry, these copyright holders pump so much money into lobbying, and campaign funding, you get David Geffen throwing parties, I don’t know if we would have the political will to do that, I wish we would.
Robert Heron But I mean that’s theoretically going to be the job of a CTO, that’s a position that stands aside from the lobbying and from the industry.
Leo Laporte Let’s hope so, yes.
Robert Heron That’s a position that ideally would be in a position to really speak out against it…
Leo Laporte And if not, let’s throw those sons-of-guns out.
Cory Doctorow And here is a real-time interjection from Yuha Sarhanin [ph], apparently a Finn in New Zealand, the Labour minister introduced the new NZ copyright law, Judith Tizard lost her seat to a nobody in the last election
Leo Laporte Yes.
Cory Doctorow So, it does happen.
Leo Laporte [23:11] Let’s hope so. All right, well I’ve got another one to throw at you, this is the Internet Safety Act, HR 10 76 S4 36, the Internet Stopping Adults Facilitating the Exploitation of Today’s Youth Act, which would require internet service providers to keep two years of records for the benefit of police investigations, but not just ISPs, or it really could be broadly interpreted to include hotels, Wi-Fi access points, coffee shops, even home users, anybody running a DHCP server might be required by this bill to keep two years of records available at any time for the police. I think they can always use this MacGuffin of child pornography, but it’s not about child pornography, this is just another…
Robert Heron You can get anything past, in terms of restrictions, if you put enough child pornography clauses in it because it’s just….
Leo Laporte Right. If they said this is the record industry retirement fund, they wouldn’t go for it.
Robert Heron Yes, exactly. It’s like no Congressperson is going to vote against the bill that says in its lead, “This is a bill designed at mitigating child pornography…”
Leo Laporte Well, the good news is they have tried to get this in 2006; they tried to get it in 2007. It has failed up to now. I just – I really worry when I see these bills introduced.
Gina Trapani I mean even the Bush administration had reservations about this.
Cory Doctorow That’s right. Until Gonzalez said I want it.
Gina Trapani I mean that says something, yes.
Cory Doctorow Yes. So, you know what I think the biggest risk to kids from this is that the only way to make kids safe is not to keep them safe but to teach them to be safe, and the way to teach them to be safe is to teach them to value their privacy, to avoid wiretaps on the internet and so on. And when you tell them, okay, well what you need to do is whenever you are on the internet, you need to be very cautious of your safety and your privacy and not let people know where you are and who you are and not be in public when you are saying personal things and so on. And while you are doing that, we are going to wiretap everything you say and record it, and if you take any counter measures to avoid it, we are going to expel you from school or send you off to internet rehab camp or whatever it is we do to kids these days.
Kids are pretty good at detecting hypocrisy, and when they detect it, they decide that the person who is saying the hypocritical thing is just lying to them and doesn’t need to be listened to. Stuffing your face with dingdongs while you tell them not to eat sugar is not a good way to convince them not to eat sugar, you need to model the behavior you want kids to engage in by wiretapping everyone on the internet and saying you have no privacy and your personal information belongs to everyone. You are fundamentally saying don’t value your privacy; your privacy has no worth.
Leo Laporte It’s a depressing thing. Another thing you might want to write, as Cory as you say your Congress critter about it and say we don’t want this. We believe in protecting children but we don’t believe in the Internet Safety Act. It’s not what it’s all about.
Cory Doctorow There is a great report commissioned by several attorney generals, I think, like almost all of them on the incidence of child predation on the internet in which they got a bunch of – Mimi Ito, Joi Ito’s sister at USC and her grad students to research just how much kids are approached by strangers on the internet to do terrible things to them, and the answers that they were allowed to come back with were like a lot, a scary amount and you wouldn’t believe how much, and what they came back with was actually not very much, it’s not a big risk. There are risks which is like kids who are kind of screwed up, sometimes try to form relationships with slightly older people like kids in their early teens trying to form relationships with people in their early 20s and sometimes they are successful and that’s really destructive for all parties, and those kids really need help and that’s really bad and that should really be fixed, and the attorney generals just – many of them to their credit were good about this. But a few of them were like, no this wasn’t an acceptable outcome, you guys are crazy. We need to protect children form stranger danger because that’s what they are really at risk from. And it’s like protecting them from tyrannosaurus or something, it’s just – it’s not an appreciable risk to kids as opposed to perdition from family members and their own lack of appropriate risk containment behavior.
Leo Laporte I like to…
Robert Heron Cory, I don’t know if this 100% kind of meets with the realities of life today and that is there is a huge generation gap in terms of technology. It’s hard for parents to teach their kids about how privacy and data is protected on the internet – personal data is protected on the internet, when they themselves don’t have a complete understanding of that sometimes. So…
Leo Laporte Well, that’s why they are scared, isn’t it because it’s something...
Robert Heron I think that’s kind of the root of some of these bills, you know they come to pass and they get voted through or they don’t but they start because I think often times because of a fundamental lack of understanding about the way things are versus the way things ought to be. I just know that, I mean, you, you’re father, you are very progressive obviously. You’d know exactly how to do this but I know many, many people who are in the 20 to 35 age bracket who are just not as well versed in this stuff as people like us are and I don’t think that they would be in a position to raise their child with such an acute awareness of these things.
Cory Doctorow Sure, and I think that’s why experts, particularly experts in government need when they are asked to do something about what is a real danger which is kids behaving inappropriately on the internet and exposing themselves to risk need to come back with - we’ve hired some experts to go and study, we’ve figured out that these are the risks we’ve got the strategy for containing it and we are going to help you the parents and your kids overcome this risk. I mean, it’s not just computers, every major technological innovation that kids were more into cars than their parents when cars were invented. And we needed to kind of sort that out too and I think that one of the roles of an expert agency like the entire administrative branch of government in the United States is to find technical experts to come up with actual solutions not things that make hysterical people feel less hysterical, but actual solutions to actual problems.
Leo Laporte I like the – I’m going to read from your post, Cory, on Boing Boing. This is quoting Danah Boyd who is one of the researchers – that research that you talked about. She says, “Why are we so obsessed with the registered sex-offenders side of the puzzle, and she is talking about booting registered sex-offenders from MySpace and Facebook, when the troubled kids are right in front of us, why are we so obsessed with the internet side of the puzzle when so many more kids are abused in their own homes?”
“I feel like this whole conversation has turned into a distraction, money and time is being spent on focusing on the” – and this is really great, “Money and time is being spent on focusing on the things that people fear rather than the very real and known risks the kids face.”
Robert Heron Yeah, and they can. I think that this really comes – this stems from the fact that there is a lack of understanding and that there is this fear and they feel – people who are looking at this kind of thing feel like they can control it through law and through legislation and through blanket tactics and clearly that doesn’t work. And I think we would all agree on that. But I also kind of understand where that comes from. It comes from ignorance; it comes from not understanding this stuff.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Cory Doctorow Sure.
Leo Laporte Now, you know…
Cory Doctorow Danah is amazing is by the way…
Leo Laporte Is she?
Cory Doctorow …and everything she’s worked on is fantastic.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Cory Doctorow And her PhD thesis was just published and she’s got her own lab in Microsoft Research in Boston now and she’s doing amazing stuff.
Leo Laporte That’s great. That’s really great. Okay, back to the conversation in just a bit, I do want to talk about the Pirate Bay trial, if that’s what you can call it, Circus, and lots more news but first I want to remind you that this show brought to you my friends at GoToMyPC. I say my friends because I’ve known them for a long time. The guys who designed GoToMyPC, the Citrix folks, have been around – I’m thinking particularly of Ed Iacobucci who I remember fondly hanging around CES with Ed. Ed is the guy who did – he was at IBM at the time, did OS/2. But I think, I don’t know if you remember there was this little thing where IBM helped Microsoft with NT and Microsoft helped IBM with OS/2 and Ed was – Ed really did a lot of the core of Windows NT as I remember it. And in the process became an expert on remote access and really knowing how to do it. That’s why Microsoft licenses the Citrix technology.
GoToMyPC takes advantage of that great knowledge to give you the ultimate in remote access wherever you are, anywhere in the world, you can log into your office computer. You – it’s amazing.
Well, here’s the deal. You can do it right now. Go to GoToMyPC.com/twit and before I’m done talking, you will have it installed. It’s really just couple of clicks of the mouse. Do it now. In fact, you will get it free for 30 days. So, do it now and then when you travel, just try; you go to the website, you go to GoToMyPC.com, you give me your log in, our password and you have a secure 128 bit encryption right to your office PC. So what that means is you can surf the net, you can open programs, you can send or receive e-mail, you can copy files, all in safety, security even if you are at the sketchiest internet cafe in the world. It’s remarkable, I mean, you just – and it’s fast, it’s very easy to use, you can even watch video, it’s that fast. GoToMyPC.com/twit.
PC World gave it their World Class Award for best remote access software. They’ve been doing that year after year. Frankly, I just don’t – there are competitors, of course, there’s even open search free competitors. There’s nothing like GoToMyPC, it’s the easiest, the best. And I want you to try it free for the next 30 days. Go to GoToMyPC.com/twit and especially if you are planning a trip in the near future, you are going somewhere; this thing is amazing, gotomypc.com/twit. We thank them so much for making this WEEK in TECH possible. We are talking with Cory Doctorow of craphound.com, great author Gina Trapani. What’s your new – your new site is you kind of semi-retired from Lifehacker, Gina?
Gina Trapani [33:34] Yeah, yeah. I’m writing on Lifehacker once a week but my new site is smarterwear.org.
Leo Laporte And it’s software or just a personal blog?
Gina Trapani Yeah, it’s about software. Yeah, it’s a personal tech blog, let’s say.
Leo Laporte Also Robert Heron of DL.TV and he of course does home theater and reviews of HDTV for Ziff Davis and Ryan Block of gdgt.com. Change of pace, a little bit of a change of pace, Missouri man, 70-year-old man in Joplin, Missouri. His cable went out. He said no problem, I have got one of those digital TV converter boxes in my closet, plugs it in and it won’t work; he does the most sensible thing, he shoots his TV. Unfortunately, he’s arrested for firing an unlawful fire discharge from a firearm.
Ryan Block I don’t know what’s so weird about this; I do this every time a product doesn’t work for me.
Leo Laporte Elvis shot his TV.
Ryan Block This is like routine.
Leo Laporte So the digital transition was put off till June 17th but all they did was say you don’t have to do to the TV stations, you don’t have to, but some have. Has there been howls of pain from the stations that have? Have you heard, Ryan, anything for people saying I can’t see my TV?
Ryan Block I haven’t heard a ton from people writing in stating that they, you know we do that…
Leo Laporte Because your listeners know better, I mean…
Ryan Block No, but we have listeners who work at stations, right. They are the techies who are, you know, keeping the broadcasts online and I haven’t heard a bunch from people who’ve gotten complaints like that. I mean I am sure that they are out there and you know one of the stories that I saw in this week’s feed is that 28,000 some odd people, I think, complained to the FCC that their television was no longer working.
I think it’s a fraction of a fraction of a percent. I mean if you look at 28,000 people as the total percentage of the United States, you know it’s like one one-hundredth of a single percent of the population of the country is apparently upset about this.
Leo Laporte You sneeze; you are going to get 28,000 calls.
Ryan Block Exactly.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Ryan Block So, I’m not super, super worried about it and I know that it is, you know we’ve talked about this on TWiT before. It is going to be an inconvenience for some people and there is no doubt about that but it’s a temporary inconvenience. It’s not something that can be easily fixed and although that there – there is a dollar amount associated with fixing a problem if you didn’t get the coupon in time and if you haven’t gotten your converter box already, it’s not an unreasonable dollar amount, right. I mean if you have to have television, you have 20, 30, $40 for a converter box not going to kill you.
Leo Laporte Have you covered this at all, Robert? Do you – do you, have you reviewed digital boxes or anything like that?
Robert Heron Sure, that and I’ve also received the main complaints that I get from that percentage of people who haven’t made the switch yet are the folks who are really stuck in the analog side of things where they are using the VHS deck as their tuner and when the analog signal stopped in a sense that becomes a useless brick for them and they are either unable or unwilling to upgrade to either something like a digital TeVo device or something else to basically handle their recording. I mean, it’s usually the people who are on the least expensive side of things that are feeling it the most. That ….
Ryan Block These are people who’re e-mailing you, right. So they have …
Robert Heron That’s true, at least they have internet.
Leo Laporte Well I you know, I have gotten slammed because sometimes I come on the radio show and say “Oh come on this is little old ladies who are still watching their 13 inch analog television set who are – who have a rabbit ears. How many” – and I always get slammed people saying “No, there are lot of people watching analog TV if you are in a rural area you just want the, I mean, right now the best deal in Hi-Def TV is free Hi-Def TV through the air waves. It’s – there lot of people out there.
Ryan Block If you are able to receive free Hi-Def TV ATSC signals then you are set
Leo Laporte But not everybody can get ATSC. They might have a Hi-Def TV that doesn’t have a tuner.
Ryan Block So, if you have a Hi-Def TV, spend a few thousand dollars on a television…
Leo Laporte I guess you’re right.
Ryan Block … and you’re watching analog television there’s something wrong with you anyway. Of course, they are going to call you up and be all pissed off at you because there are – they are just not quite doing it right to begin with.
Robert Heron Some of the other complaints that I’m hearing too are the folks that have cable yet now they – before that weren’t using a cable box they didn’t have to. But, some of the cable stations are actually converting to digital. So, they’re “forced” to buy these or rent these or at least these converter boxes and then they don’t get that that signal is different from the signal that they are getting off the air
Leo Laporte Because you not getting locals you mean so they are using the antenna for the locals.
Robert Heron Or that’s just – cable is providing an analog signal
Leo Laporte Well, I think cable’s jumped on this. Cable said, “Hey! We can trick people into –” because they have always wanted to get you to buy that converter box or rent that converter box. So, cable’s saying “Oh yes it’s digital now, you need a box.” That’s just a way of getting into it.
Ryan Block [38:21] There’s actually some legislation going through specifically to address this issue which is that signaling over clear QAM which is basically it’s when cable provides free television access, it’s kind of an alternative to analog television that they are exactly as you are saying taking advantage of the situation and claiming that they have to make switch on the lot of their channels to digital in order to drive new subscribers. So, I don’t know I haven’t checked in on that bill for a little bit, and it may have passed, may not have passed but it’s very, very despicable.
Robert Heron So, I’ve got a prediction that about the third weekend in May we are going to see a huge uptick in complaints about this as people go to the cottage, take their portable TV out to the garage, all that stuff. It’s like when they try to ban smoking in Toronto on January first, and it was completely unsuccessful because none of the smokers were willing to go outside, on January first in Toronto, and then they tried it again the next year on like May 25th and it was no problem because all the smokers already outside, and they just didn’t let them back in again when it starts snowing again in the next autumn and work like a charm but this is going to be in reverse you know.
Ryan Block You know again I just have such a hard time feeling pity for people who at this point of now heard of it
Leo Laporte I don’t understand how you could not have heard of it.
Ryan Block I am not saying the government has done like a really great job of getting this messaging across, I am sure that most people don’t really understand, even people who’d heard of it probably don’t have a full understanding of what that all means. But you can’t have not heard of this date, right. I mean this date has been floating around for years. It’s been on regular television constantly seen commercials for it over the past six to 12 months. I mean you really have to have been tuning everything out at this point not to have heard anything about this over the past few years and if you haven’t, I am not again – I don’t want to see anybody put in a position where they can’t get the information that they need or that there’s an emergency or something like that, they don’t know what’s going on. But look there are no national emergencies going on right now as far as I know and we have to make this switch.
Robert Heron The majority of the complaints I am getting are really just about – it’s not so much the switch, they get that and they understood that was coming it was really just the fact that they are realizing how much of their old hardware is going to be rendered obsolete. And that was one part of it and it was everything from the people that are still using VHS decks and the people that are still using the portable TVs that they take to the ball game, those are two of the more vocal parts of the community.
Ryan Block Yes, the portable TV thing is certainly one, but I mean if you are using VHS deck just put the converter between your signal and VHS deck and nothing changes…
Robert Heron Oh but then you get the arguments about being able to record one channel or
Leo Laporte Yes, you lose your programmability.
Cory Doctorow I was just so wanting to tell this person to just get a TeVo and you’ll be so much happier, trust me. Dump the tapes, get the hard drive.
Ryan Block I do try to be sensitive to people who have older hardware, right. I mean not everybody needs upgrade every single year...
Leo Laporte Well that’s because people like you and me get accused of, we are the shiny objects guys.
Ryan Block That’s the thing, we get accused of that for sure but my thing has always been use what works right
Leo Laporte Me too.
Ryan Block Don’t upgrade if you don’t need to upgrade.
Leo Laporte You don’t have to buy a new computer just because everybody else is, you don’t have to buy a new computer.
Ryan Block Exactly.
Leo Laporte The industry thanks you but you don’t have to do it.
Ryan Block I think at a certain point if you’re using 20 year old technology, that’s kind of beyond the point of reasonability for support period, right. You can’t expect things to be supported for ever, right. The world moves on. We are not burning petrol lamps in order to keep our houses lit anymore, right. We have to build infrastructure and make changes in order to progress.
Gina Trapani It sounds like most of the support calls though, sorry, not to interrupt, but it sounds like most of the support calls…
Leo Laporte Gina if you don’t interrupt, nobody’s going to – you are never going to get a word in. Please interrupt.
Gina Trapani I’ve been figuring that out, I mean it sounds like most of the support calls are from people who knew about the transition, got the box and like just couldn’t, just didn’t figure out that they had to have it scan for the digital channels. You know what I mean it doesn’t sound like these were people that were like freaking out because they weren’t ready or they didn’t have what they needed. I mean I don’t know what the percentage is but 20,000 it really is a big number and I am sure these people were like just why isn’t this working I was ready, but now it’s not.
Leo Laporte You know who really gets screwed it’s the…
Ryan Block You know to point the finger at the consumer electronics industry which is so completely anti-consumer and so un-user friendly, this could have been a brain, a totally brain dead completely simple thing to teach people how to use this hardware
Leo Laporte You know who really gets screwed and really this is, this is a problem I think you are going to see a lot more of, people who are in marginal analogue areas, if they just don’t get a signal in digital areas because the analogue degrades more gracefully than digital and you can actually be getting a signal and it will not work once they go to digital.
Cory Doctorow And there is no easy way for consumers to know which of the tuners that are available are more sensitive or the most sensitive tuners that are available that will pull in those weak signals easier.
Leo Laporte [43:07] Gina, do you use, do you watch Hulu, do you watch your TV on the web at all?
Gina Trapani I do, I do a little bit, a little bit. I got a few different setups. I watch stuff on my Xbox 360. I’ve got a TeVo. I actually have cable but kind of just because of my living situation if I was, if I could opt out I probably would and just go straight Hulu.
Leo Laporte A lot of people are opting. Cable is terrified, in fact that the people are moving off of the cable system and either trying to use them just a data channel or not use them at all.
Gina Trapani I mean this is for the economy, right. Why not? If you don’t have to pay that bill why would you.
Leo Laporte My cable bill is a hundred bucks. I can get this stuff this from the Pirate Bay.
Robert Heron We’ve been asking for a la carte systems for a while now from the cable industry and they’re never going to do it so...
Cory Doctorow That’s never going to happen, but there is that bill, I am sorry not the bill that movement this week on part of the cable side, cable company side which is basically putting out this concept for let there be many Hulu’s and let them be run by the cable companies.
Leo Laporte Let us do it please, please.
Cory Doctorow So they kind of, they get to bundle that in with service. So, you kind of get the best of both worlds.
Leo Laporte That’s the Comcast fan. That’s that fan idea right where you are on Comcast but you are watching through their system.
Cory Doctorow Yeah, it doesn’t meet either need, right, like it doesn’t meet the need of letting me cut my cable television bill and it doesn’t meet the need of letting me have all of my grey content online, right. It’s a half movement in both directions at the same time and it doesn’t meet either need properly. And I have a feeling we are just going to keep seeing this from the cable companies until it is way too late for them.
Leo Laporte This kind of leaves Cory out but Hulu which is I think a great idea and I know a lot of young people, Coleen watches most of her TV on Hulu has pulled itself off of XBMC the Xbox media center which Gina you’ve really turned everybody on to. It’s a great…
Gina Trapani I love it. I love the XBMC.
Leo Laporte It’s wonderful but without Hulu, I mean, that’s a big – and it also just pulled itself out of Boxee.
Gina Trapani Yes, well, Boxee is a fork of XBMC. It sucks. It really sucks. I was trying to figure out surely there are good business reasons to do it but from the user’s side it’s just crappy.
Leo Laporte I can’t think of a good business reason don’t... I mean the ads are in the video. Don’t they want more people to watch? It’s like they said if you’re going to watch us on a computer, watch Hulu but if you are going to watch us on TV, you better not watch Hulu, you got to watch the networks.
Ryan Block I think that’s exactly the thinking, right? That’s exactly…
Leo Laporte That’s crazy
Ryan Block They – I mean right well it’s crazy but at the same time if they can’t get the same CPM that…
Leo Laporte Well they make there’re more ads on the TV version? That’s for sure.
Ryan Block Well, there are more ads but it’s also the value of the ads. I mean if they stream a show on Hulu, let’s say one show, let’s say whatever, the latest Daily Show and they make $10,000 for a million streams, compare that to what they would make on television for a million viewers which maybe 100 or 200 or $500,000.
From a number of standpoints, you can’t ignore that, right? You have to say why we need to delineate. Now, I mean granted it is completely insane, right? For us as users, there is absolutely no reason why we would ever want to watch it on television.
Leo Laporte I know.
Ryan Block Already have it through Hulu and we are already watching those ads. In fact, we can’t fast forward those ads. We have to watch them now.
Gina Trapani Right.
Ryan Block But it’s just this disparity where you got the bean counters and they are like woah…
Leo Laporte We make more money if you watch it on TV.
Gina Trapani But do you think…?
Cory Doctorow These guys are like dysfunctional romantics who won’t break up with their current partner until the next one is there.
Leo Laporte That’s right.
Cory Doctorow And you know what, that does not make either partner happy.
Leo Laporte That’s right. It’s exactly is.
Cory Doctorow We got all you cable refuseniks beat – my wife is a television executive and we don’t have cable.
Robert Heron Do you guys think it’s like the first step though for an uber aggregator service like Boxee seeing that okay they had Hulu and they could easily add any other online distribution service. Is it really just a fear from some of the content owners not wanting to see that become…
Ryan Block Hulu is not the only service that they have on offer, right? Boxee has deals with Central and CBS. There is a bunch of content on there; a lot of which overlaps with Hulu, some which does not.
So, their job is going to be going forward continuing those kinds of deals and continuing to be a platform through which you can get and watch digital media, and they have been pretty good about that so far and hopefully they we will be able to keep it on but um...
Leo Laporte Gina, is there a hack to get Hulu back on Boxee? I think there is a hack.
Gina Trapani Yes, there is, there is. I believe that there is. I actually haven’t tried it myself and my coworkers at Lifehack wrote it up this week, and yes, who knows how long it will work but…
Leo Laporte But this just shows you can’t, in the long run, really fight this. I mean if you are going to put it out on the web, people are going to figure out a way to get it integrated into their Boxee or their XBMC.
Robert Heron And you have services like NetFlix now just moving into more and more set-top devices everything from the Xbox 360 to Blu-ray players you name it and I’d love that.
Gina Trapani Right.
Leo Laporte So, Cory what did you do? Do you used iPlayer the BBC player, how do you watch your – if you don’t have a cable connection?
Cory Doctorow For the most part – well we’ve got Freeview so we’ve got 20, this is what the British did instead of what the Americans did for their DTV transition. They said we’re just going to like light up 30 broadcast channels of standard definition digital television for free forever if you go and buy a converter box. So, it’s basically get free cable forever if you buy a converter box. So, we had a man come in and putting an antenna on the roof but we never watch that either. I mean for the most part the TV we’re not watching is nowhere near as good as the books we’re not reading, the websites we’re not looking at, the 3-minute YouTube highlights of the TV we’re not watching, the games we’re not playing and my wife’s a former professional Quake player, she plays a lot of games. We just don’t have a lot of time in our lives for games, for TV.
Leo Laporte That’s the fear it’s really not about whether it’s on XBMC, it’s that people their screen time is shared with a lot of other compelling content that’s not television.
Cory Doctorow Yeah and all the numbers you hear about how – oh people are still watching TV, people are still watching TV, they are watching it as wallpaper. Actually Ofcom, which is the bureaucrats that regulate TV here have coined a neologism, they called it stacking. When you stack your media which is playing a game and you got the TV on in the background.
Leo Laporte That’s what this is. This is in fact – I designed TWiT Live!, the live stream of this stuff to be stackable, the whole point of it is you’re doing other stuff, you’ve put the window behind or you minimize it, you keep listening in the background it’s just kind of chatter it’s somebody’s keeping you company while you work on your Bash Shell to do list technology. And if something interesting happens you switch to it. We are all living in this kind of multi-stream world now. I mean, we are so ADD now.
Cory Doctorow I have my widescreen computer monitor in front of me and behind that across in the living room it’s my TV running in the background just as wallpaper, literally.
Leo Laporte Isn’t that funny?
Cory Doctorow Well, the weekend sports so
Leo Laporte Gina laughs because that’s in fact her – one of her projects.
Gina Trapani And I love that you love it, Leo
Leo Laporte I love it.
Gina Trapani Because everyone else just kind of makes a kind of blank expression,
Leo Laporte It’s to todotxt.com right?
Gina Trapani Yes.
Leo Laporte todo
Cory Doctorow I’m keeping my to do in a Git repository
Leo Laporte I love this,
Gina Trapani Nice.
Leo Laporte What is this? It’s called freshbake. What is it called?
Cory Doctorow No flashbake, it’s from my first novel Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, the Command Line from the Command Line podcast cooked up some Python scripts for me that take all the fiction I’m working on my to do list and anything else that’s a hot text file on my computer and checks it into a CVS or Git repository and logs with each check-in, logs the time on my system clock, the time zone on my system clock, the weather in that time zone according to Google.
Leo Laporte So cool.
Cory Doctorow The last three headlines I wrote for Boing Boing and I think the next version is going to record the last three songs I listened to on my media player. So, it’s like it’s kind of what was on my mind when I wrote that paragraph in that novel 10 years ago, I’m going to be able to pull that out. The reason I started thinking about is I made an archivist who told me when you are archiving novels, you go through these multiple drafts back in the old days where you could see how the writer changed the book.
Leo Laporte And there was Marginalia, you could see...
Cory Doctorow Yeah, all that stuff. And now, like that stuff just doesn’t exist anymore, there’s sort of one file that just gets modified as the book starts and the book ends. So, I thought this would be really useful and for my todo.txt I just delete lines out of it as I am done with them, they often have useful information like phone numbers where I’d love to be able to go back and search that all without having my to do file grow to 150,000 lines. So I just keep it in a database now. And it even tells me what day I deleted that line. So I know like when that to do item’s from.
Gina Trapani Oh, that’s fabulous.
Leo Laporte Git keeps track of every change you make. Yeah. I downloaded fresh – I downloaded immediately and then I installed Git on my Mac but it’s not exactly – Gina you need to write it up because I need Lifehacker to explain it.
Ryan Block Yeah, I think you need to open source this stuff so we can add...
Leo Laporte Well it is open source, you can download it. It’s Python code, so you can download it, yeah.
Cory Doctorow It’s really – but it’s really early
Gina Trapani Yeah, it is pretty early. I am still figuring it out too. As soon as I get it down working, I’ll write it up for you, Leo
Leo Laporte It’s so cool and I want to do this and Cory, now you – one of the neat things about Git is it keeps a full copy of the repository, unlike SVN, in every copy. So…
Cory Doctorow Right.
Leo Laporte You maintain one locally, do you also replicate it to external servers so it’s preserved forever or –
Cory Doctorow That’s my next step is I’m going to start replicating it and use the permissions to do things like allow my editor to check out the book as I am working on it and then when it’s done, allow the public to check out the book.
Leo Laporte Oh, I love this.
Cory Doctorow And even do stuff like typo diff, so I get sent typos after the book is finished because you never catch them all. And I change them in the electronic file that I make available under my Creative Commons License and then when the publisher says, “well, it’s – we are going to do a new edition,” we sell out the editions which is nice. We are going to do a new edition. We are going back to the press, what changes do we need to make. It will be really nice to be able to say well the last one that I checked out for you was on May the 13th, it’s now August the 10th. Let’s just diff those two versions; there’s your list of typos to fix in the next print.
Leo Laporte So, great.
Gina Trapani Yeah, that’s great.
Leo Laporte So if you want to read more about this, Cory has written up on craphound.com, his blog, it’s called flashbake and…
Cory Doctorow And it’s on the Command Line’s blog as well. He is a great guy. The next version is going to support plug-ins too.
Leo Laporte Oh man I think this is a whole system. I love Git. Git is a really great system.
Cory Doctorow Using programmer tools to do other stuff is like using chef knives to cook, all right?
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Cory Doctorow It’s dangerous. You can really hurt yourself but they really work.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Gina Trapani It’s so true.
Cory Doctorow They really, really work.
Leo Laporte So cool. Well, when I was working on a collaborative novel, we actually did want to set up SVN and have people check in and check out and stuff. Git’s better because it keeps a copy in every repository. So you really have like great backup as well.
Gina Trapani Yeah.
Leo Laporte [54:06] Good. So Gina, you know about it and you are working on it?
Gina Trapani Yeah, I’m doing some coding and we are using Git as our repository, you know collaborating with a couple of developers and up until now I’ve always been subversion but I’m slowly getting wooed by Git.
Leo Laporte I love this idea of having a Git repository that records kind of every, all the little marginalia in your life and then you can go back. Course Cory I always worried that we are recording all this stuff for posterity and posterity is going to have absolutely no interest whatsoever in what grandpa was up to. It’s like oh yeah grandpa…
Cory Doctorow But that’s like saying, oh get rid of all those pod shards, what’s the future going to need with those?
Leo Laporte You don’t know what they are going to need but think about it, our generation is going to leave terabytes, petabytes, exabytes of stuff.
Cory Doctorow That’s right. Charlie Stross calls it the beginning of history.
Leo Laporte Yeah, the beginning of history exactly. Go ahead, Ryan.
Ryan Block I was just saying it’s a good thing that storage is so cheap, right. You know storage is so abundant there is no reason not to.
Leo Laporte I guess.
Cory Doctorow At least if you are storing it for your own benefit, right? I take the other side when it’s like we should put a CCTV out in front of every building and record everyone who walks past it. But the difference in spyware and myware is whether you know you are using tools to find out more about yourself for your own benefit or whether someone else is being a creepy curtain twitcher.
Leo Laporte Of course if you live in London, you might as well like, also get all those pictures of you as walked, how many cameras, what was it? 27?
Cory Doctorow It’s 14 cameras per red blood cell now.
Leo Laporte I saw an estimate. This was a year ago, so it’s probably doubled. In your day-to-day life in London, your pictures have been taken at least 27 times walking around.
Cory Doctorow Yeah and they just passed a law making you liable for up to 10 years in prison if you take a picture of a police officer that may be helpful to terrorists. And the police don’t want it. The Head of the Policemen’s Union was on CBC last week going, we think this is a terrible idea, what a ridiculous law to pass? Why did they pass this? We don’t know how to enforce it. We have to go over to every tourist now.
Leo Laporte Yeah, we have to enforce it.
Cory Doctorow We’ve got real work to do.
Leo Laporte [56:05] Thomas Hawk writes about this a lot. We’re just constantly battling but see Thomas, Thomas is aggressive about this. I mean he really tries to defend the right to take photographs and it’s just amazing how many public places you can’t take pictures of, you get harassed by the police.
Cory Doctorow And as Bruce Schneier points out. No one has ever found a cache of photographs from a terrorist lair.
Leo Laporte Right.
Cory Doctorow There is no reason to believe that terrorists take a bunch of photos unless like in a Mission Impossible movie taking a million photos of the target is not a prerequisite for committing a successful act of terrorism.
Leo Laporte Once again we are spending money to fight the things we fear instead of the actual threats. It’s all theater. Pirate Bay, speaking of theater Pirate Bay is on trial, it started Monday. I don’t even know where to begin on this story. Does anybody want to talk about this at all? The Pirate Bay of course is a bitTorrent site, the place everybody goes when you are looking for the movie, the TV show, the software, I mean this is the – let’s say, let’s admit it it’s the pirate place to get those torrents. Pirate Bay’s founder said – Peter Sunde Kolmsioppi, I don’t know how you say his name, but he says we did a survey and 80% of the torrents on our site are legal, which kind of makes it less useful I thought... it’s a different Pirate Bay to the one I’ve been visiting.
Ryan Block You also have to wonder how many of those supposedly non-legal, illegal 20% are dead torrents or don’t work…
Leo Laporte Maybe that’s it.
Ryan Block Not that I would do a whole lot of downloading or anything but bitTorrents rarely seem to work as promised – there is never enough peers…
Leo Laporte I find it very frustrating. They also talked about a contract that he signed saying he would police the site saying – well actually I didn’t read that, so I don’t know what it said. I mean it’s the strangest trial I’ve ever heard of.
Cory Doctorow I think what this – I think that the coverage on TorrentFreak has been pretty good. There is just a kind of expectation shear about – and reality shear between the prosecution and the defendants here, who just – they just – they are not doing this because they are lawless nihilists, they are doing this because they have got like an actual developed political agenda about why it’s good to share stuff and – but what they also have is an institutional structure that makes no sense at all to the kinds of people who can be hired by record labels. Because they are like an institutional-less institution, they are just a bunch of guys doing stuff like – the Pirate Bays like an emergent phenomenon of beer and Swedes. It doesn’t seem to have like it’s – they are like well where did you plan the Pirate Bay, and it’s like – you didn’t plan the Pirate Bay. Well who controls the Pirate Bay? Well, I guess this there’s like nine guys who’ve got the root password and there’s like 15 more have got admin access on this box and I think we put a box in Romania and we gave a password to that guy, I don’t remember
Leo Laporte So you don’t think they’re obfuscating? This is really how it is.
Cory Doctorow No, I think this is really how it is. I think this is like the trial of the Chicago 8 – whether it said you guys conspired to come to Chicago and make a riot and Abbie Hoffman said conspired? We can even agree on where to have lunch.
Leo Laporte They did agree on where to have the party on the Friday night in Stockholm at the Spectrial Kopimi party. It looked like a pretty good party. They are not taking this seriously; do you think there are at risk of getting jailed?
Cory Doctorow I have no idea, I mean I don’t know what Swedish law looks like but I…
Leo Laporte They don’t store anything illegal in and of itself on the Pirate Bay, it’s just torrent – torrent metafiles.
Cory Doctorow My experience of copyright laws is that they often have a very, very high maximum penalty, that is at the discretion of the judge, and so it maybe that they get almost everything thrown out, and there’s one technicality on which they are found guilty, and the judge uses the maximum penalty, this is sort of like Capone going away for tax evasion.
Leo Laporte Right.
Cory Doctorow But I don’t know enough about Swedish law, I mean, they seem pretty confident, but we’ve seen confident people come and go, we were pretty confident at EFF about Grokster, and we won that in the Appellate Division, and I think the Supreme Court were completely out to lunch, when you read the dicta, they just didn’t pay any attention to the law or the argument, they seem to have gone in with their own conclusions.
Leo Laporte Do you defend Pirate Bay? Do you think that what they are doing is defensible?
Cory Doctorow I think that what the Pirate Bay does represents a complete collapse of the way that we treat copying that by treating all copying, including non-commercial copying as an industrial act that needs to be negotiated by contract between copyright lawyers, what we do is we create this entire outlaw society of people who are vulnerable as a result to being spied on, having their network connections disabled, and so on, and we also fail to compensate artists, and this is like, it’s a bad deal all the way around.
I think that when you, I think that it’s within the realm of plausibility for Swedes to say, we want to have our own copyright law, and we want to exempt this kind of thing, I don’t know if that’s what the Swedish copyright law says, that’s what the Pirate Bay people say that it says, the United States spent 100 years pirating all the copyrighted works of the world, their first century of American copyright law was foreigners don’t get copyright, the word Yankee comes from a Dutch word meaning pirate, because the Americans were pirating the Dutch China designs, the Dutch porcelain designs that the Dutch had stolen from the Chinese, and every pirate who gets successful wants to call themselves an admiral and punish anyone who wants to kind of sink a ship, and so you have the record industry started off pirating the sheet music people, now calling the people who are pirating them on the internet pirates.
Piracy is kind of a natural outgrowth of a disconnection between copyright law and technology, and usually we fix that by changing copyright law to kind of bring the pirates into the admiralty so that they stop kind of destroying things and instead become part of the status quo. The fact that we haven’t done that yet, here we are whatever after 12 years after Napster, 10 years after Napster, is really shocking, I mean, you’ve got 30,000 people deprived of their livelihoods by the record industry and no money for artists, as a result of it, and who is this good for, apart from full employment for copyright lawyers.
Leo Laporte Well, I would like to actually go around and ask all of you, what you think of Pirate Bay and this trial, Gina, do you have an opinion on this?
Gina Trapani I don’t.
Leo Laporte I want to say, I don’t want to sound like I am pro-piracy, but at the same time, it’s hard not to like these guys.
Robert Heron I like it.
Gina Trapani Yes. It’s true, it’s true. I actually, I don’t use bitTorrent, and I read a bit about the trial, and I honestly, I think someone like Cory is so much, can speak to the stuff so much more intelligently and has much more experience. I am just, I agree with Cory.
Leo Laporte Yes, but he dodged the question too. He dodged the question too, I just want to say.
Ryan Block I did find Cory’s response to be pretty interesting and very spot on in a lot of it, but I mean I don’t necessarily think that I agree with this whole disparity between technology and piracy and that’s kind of what moves the industry forward, I mean yeah I get that opinion and I completely see where it comes from, but the point we are at now is the industry is now in a position that the works that it creates can be taken from anyone at any time without permission essentially anonymously, and it’s arguable that there is a very big difference obviously between cost and value, right. There is no cost associated with that but there is value that they could argue is lost. That wasn’t really as much the case in the past and so now when we are talking about, let’s bring the pirates into the fold, let’s push everything forward by figuring out a way to kind of legitimize all this stuff, well I mean I think that the industry is trying to act on that, right. I mean if you go back five years ago, I really would not have believed if you would have told me that by 2009 iTunes the biggest online music store in the world would be completely darn free. I would have laughed in your face.
Leo Laporte Yeah, you are right.
Ryan Block So, we are going there but that doesn’t mean that piracy has to become normalcy.
Cory Doctorow So, Ryan I will just say that the jukebox is actually totally parallel to this where you had jukeboxes were essentially placed by organized criminals, the mafia ran jukebox distributions putting records into diners and other places, not paying the record companies for it. The record companies had no way to control it. It was totally anonymous and what they did was legitimize jukeboxes with blanket licenses that was the origin of blanket performance licenses that are now standard all over the world. So, there is a lot of historical precedent for this.
Ryan Block Right, I mean it’s different to have a jukebox or to have a radio or to have a device that can playback something on a one time or two time basis, right. When it comes on so to speak versus actually having a copy of that media and playing it back for everyone. This is the difference between value and cost.
Cory Doctorow It’s a good point but jukeboxes remember were always commercial too, so there was always someone making money off the record without giving the artist anything, whereas with file sharing it’s often the case that there is no money changing hands, although it may be happening at a greater velocity, there is no money changing hands. So, they are different but there are ways in which jukeboxes were far more grave for a rights holder, you know, that there someone getting rich of stuff and not paying you then non commercial file sharing. They are not totally exactly parallel but there are lots of cases where you had anonymous file sharing or anonymous infringement and infringement that deprived artists of money where we legitimized. That’s because it’s just too hard to stamp it out and you know a war, you know, a cold war just kind of bankrupts everyone. Yeah.
Ryan Block I mean I think that we can probably go back and forth on this for a while. I do really understand we’re coming from and I believe in a lot more you’re saying. I just think that we also kind of need to keep it in perspective as well from the fact that there’s an industry that is trying to make money on creating a product and that industry is obviously changing very quickly and affect my business partner Peter has built another company around the concept of, you know, the artist making money from ancillary avenues either from advertising against the music or from using music as a promotional tool. That’s an actual business with an actual record label and so, clearly these shifts are happening. I just don’t think it’s quite as tectonic and quite as black and white as saying “Okay, well now this is how these parallels had been in the past and now it’s going to happen again” and then once the pirates have been brought in to the admiralty so to speak then, things will be well again.
Leo Laporte Robert Heron, you said “I like it”
Robert Heron I – I – well without a doubt. Pirate Bay’s legal page remains just one of my favorite sources of entertainment in terms of just the way they answer the letters just reminds the world of how copyright law in one country is not the same. It’s not worldwide in any way, shape or form. And I’m just – I’m really curious to see how the result of this trial will either highlight that or perhaps maybe take another step toward making some sort of a worldwide standard.
Leo Laporte We’re clearly in a disarray. But Cory, I love how you bring history into this. But is this a typical time or are we in a completely disruptive era where everything is falling apart?
Cory Doctorow Well, certainly I think that – actually I don’t think those two are mutually exclusive. I think it has been typical for a long time for everything to be falling apart. And …
Leo Laporte Well, it may have been other times like these; I’m not where you have these kind of complete shifts in how it all works. But this does seem to be particularly universal.
Cory Doctorow Yeah, so I think that there are some elements of this that are really atypical – the speed and the global ness of it all are certainly atypical. But the fact that it’s disrupting business models, totally typical, I mean, my little rap on this goes: first the record companies ripped of the sheet music people. Then the broadcasters ripped off the record companies, then the cable companies ripped off the broadcasters and the VCR people ripped off the cable companies. And now the Internet is ripping off the companies that made the VCR, like Sony and at every stage they said what we did was progress, what those jerks are doing is piracy, and at every stage we just fixed it by saying, well, criminalizing the dominant form of entertainment is probably not the right way to solve this.
Leo Laporte Right, so what is the right way to solve this?
Cory Doctorow Well, so, I think it depends, by media, some media, I think you just say, well die, but back in the Napster days there were, there were, half of Napster users said that they would paid $15 a month for it. Napster went to the record labels and said, tell us how many billions you want, we will give you that much to be legit.
Leo Laporte Right, right.
Cory Doctorow Today if you want to play music in a club or on the radio, you don’t need to license each song, you just buy a blanket license, so you can imagine that either File Sharers or ISPs, and as you say, ISPs can be anyone, including university or workplace, or whatever, might chose to buy licenses, blanket licenses for their users, or for themselves, and say get EarthLink, the ISP that comes with all the music ever recorded using any protocol you want, you collect that music, you disperse it to artists.
There is a guy at Harvard named Terry Fisher, who’s written some really good scholarly stuff about this, where he kind of breaks down how much money you could expect to collect based on user surveys, if you got sort of 50% compliance, and what that would mean if you could disperse that to artists and labels, and one of the things that you can do when you are doing this kind of blanket collection is you can earmark a fraction of it directly to go to artists, and groups like the International Music Managers' Federation have done work on what a transparent collecting society would look like, not one of the old, weird, corrupt ones, run by the record labels, but one that was truly 21st century, where everyone could see exactly how the money was being collected, and where was it being dispersed, so you wouldn’t get what SoundExchange who do the web radio did where they were sitting on all those money and they said, we can’t locate these obscure artists, and they finally were forced to name the artist that they couldn’t find, it was like Chuck D.
Leo Laporte Can’t find him, where did he go?
Cory Doctorow Does anyone know a Charles D?
Leo Laporte What’s D stand for?
Cory Doctorow That’s right, we just, we don’t have a last name for him.
Leo Laporte Well, maybe, maybe that’s really the answer that these issue – these Pirate Bays of the world are really just agents of change, and they are just forcing us to move to these new, better systems, and maybe it will all resolve, soon, I hope.
Robert Heron I like the idea too of getting the cost of the media itself, out in the open, where people can discuss and see really what it is, because if you can keep the price low, or very reasonable, that really goes a long way, I think, towards just eliminating rampant piracy in general.
Leo Laporte There was a guy in, it was Canada, I think, who had said that it should be a nickel a song.
Cory Doctorow Yes, it also takes away from the whole argument of going, okay, yes, pointing to the illicit content is somehow a crime rather than the illicit content itself and moving that around, it’s just, they’re better ways for all this energy to be used, I think.
Leo Laporte You should be glad you’re not in the newspaper business, right now.
Cory Doctorow Oh, oh the pain.
Leo Laporte Terrible, but, and yet I love that paper, Newspaper, I mean, how many of you read the Sunday paper, and sit down with it, and go through it?
Ryan Block I load nytimes.com.
Leo Laporte Do you?
Ryan Block On Sunday.
Leo Laporte And you too, Robert, you’re an electronic guy?
Robert Heron More so, I am really hoping that the e-ink type products take off, to where you can get a more portable device that’s really low power, and really durable, a bookish durable, for doing that very thing, away from the computer.
Leo Laporte Gina, do you, you seem to me like a cup of coffee, Sunday Times, kind of person.
Gina Trapani Once in a while, I do get the paper version, but I have a Kindle, I enjoy, I love reading books on the Kindle.
Leo Laporte I guess I am just an old fart I think that…
Gina Trapani But mostly news, I am going to go online, I am just going to check my computer or head to nytimes.com, yes.
Leo Laporte Save me Cory, you like a paper paper?
Cory Doctorow On the weekends, I admit, we spent two hours today at our favorite breakfast place curled up on the sofas, while the baby had her nap, with The Weekend Observer, I tore the stuff out to take home and blog, you will see there’s like three or four things from the Observer up on Boing Boing today. I do love it, and whenever I get on a plane, a B.A. plane, I always grab the pink paper; I always grab The Financial Times.
Leo Laporte Yes, the FT, yes,
Cory Doctorow And there’s always great stuff …
Leo Laporte But do think, do you think Poesy will be reading any newspaper in her adulthood?
Cory Doctorow I don’t know, I mean I think the future composts the past. So, old media tend not to die, but they tend to get sort of folded in. I wrote a column, it’s up on, it got Slashdotted about 10 seconds before this thing started so it’s up on the front page of Slashdot right now about the future of media and one of the futures that I talk about that I think often gets ignored is what happened, there is two actual models for semi-extinct media, one is opera which is basically, it’s really expensive and it is sustained almost entirely by rich weirdos and has almost no cultural currency.
Leo Laporte Exactly.
Cory Doctorow But will never die and the other one is poetry which is really cheap and there is more of it being written than ever before and its an entirely noneconomic proposition, and I think – I can imagine either a newspaper like in The Diamond Age, that Neal Stephenson novel, that is printed on rag paper and ironed by butlers and delivered to rich weirdos or a future like poetry which is what newspapers are looking like now where there is probably more news and opinion being written than ever before and being read by a wider audience, but almost entirely as a noneconomic activity. And, like I think as a matter of policy, if we’re going to make a technology policy to promote newspapers, it should be to promote newspapers, not to promote the profitability of a newspaper company and so long as we are getting newspapers I think and we like the newspapers we get that should be enough. It’s like, it’s not the government’s job or policies job to ensure that the industrial heirs of William Randolph Hearst forever put a quarter in their pocket every time you find out what the weather is.
Ryan Block The problem there though is that there is actually a great disparity between a noneconomic media and the newspaper capital and that is it costs a ridiculous sum of money to print a paper, right. So, you can’t have a noneconomic media offline, right. That has to exist on a device on the Internet. It has to exist in a medium that is not costing on a per-printed basis, right. So, I don’t disagree at all that obviously this media is going online, it’s going in that direction, and that’s what Gina and I have made a career out of is bringing our respective medias online and being obsessive over it and trying to kind of redefine that small amount of space. But what it really is – New York Times is going to have to undergo a shift at some point where it has to make the decision do we keep the legacy paper, right.
Cory Doctorow Sure. Someone asked Clay Shirky last time he was here in the U.K. do you think your kids will read printed newspapers and he said sure they’ll have printers.
Leo Laporte Great answer. Great answer. You want the Sunday Times, print it yourself.
Cory Doctorow I once stayed – my wife and I, we review hotels sometimes for this guide to hotels to go for romantic weekends called the Mr. & Mrs. Smith Books and get a free weekend in a hotel and we stayed in this really swanky high roller suite in Las Vegas at the MGM once and they had like 170 daily papers. They had a service that printed them out on giant sheets of 11 x 17 and they bound them in silk ribbons and they delivered them to your room.
Leo Laporte That’s cool.
Cory Doctorow And the suite came with a butler. And the butler would come and lay out your papers and make your cappuccinos for you in your living room. Unfortunately we only got two nights there but we read a lot of newspapers. It was pretty cool.
Leo Laporte Now, that is luxury. That’s the way to do it. I love it.
Cory Doctorow It’s Vegas, baby.
Leo Laporte What – I don’t know if Vegas has that. Does Vegas have that. I don’t know.
Cory Doctorow That is Vegas.
Leo Laporte That was Vegas?
Cory Doctorow Yeah, yeah, it was the MGM Skylofts, it’s where they put the whales. So, if you got $1,600 a night to spend on a suite. That’s your suite man. They pick you up at the airport in a Maybach and take you to the 78th floor and there’s a guy who takes you to the front of the taxi line when you want to leave the hotel it’s all very swanky. Not that we could ever afford to do this on our own. But if someone else is footing the bill …
Leo Laporte What fun? That sounds fantastic.
Gina Trapani Yeah
Cory Doctorow Yeah, it was pretty awesome.
Leo Laporte Cory Doctorow is at craphound.com C R A P H O U N D . com and of course, everywhere else. I mean is that article that you are talking about that’s on the front page of Slashdot is very good. Actually that’s what kind of prompted my question about the New York Times. It’s on the internetevolution.com site.
Cory Doctorow Yeah, that’s information week’s site.
Leo Laporte Oh, I didn’t know that. This is the first time I’ve seen it. I am going to make it – I’m going to be a regular because this is a great looking site. Very interesting site. Thank you for joining us Cory. It’s great to have you on the show. I really appreciate it.
Cory Doctorow Thanks.
Leo Laporte We’ll have you back soon. Also Gina Trapani from lifehacker.com – great to have you once again. The website is…
Gina Trapani smarterware.org
Leo Laporte That’s the one you want to plug, smarterware.org.
Gina Trapani Yeah, sure. Sure, yeah. Thank you so much for having me. This is – this is a lot of fun. It was nice being in the fifth and final asylum.
Cory Doctorow We now know.
Leo Laporte She’s got those lights that go up and down her spine. We know that. We know the truth. It’s out there. Yeah, smarterware.org and also that’s don’t forget the todotxt.com and I’m going to look for your write up at flashbake. I need that.
Gina Trapani Oh, yeah I’m totally trying out.
Leo Laporte Badly. I need that badly
Gina Trapani I’m so there.
Leo Laporte Ryan Block does a podcast at gdgt soon will be unveiling something new there. A community of sorts I guess. I don’t know.
Ryan Block We’ve got a site coming; I don’t know what it’s going to be out. It’s going…
Leo Laporte It’s going to be fun with Peter Rohas. Peter will be on this show soon. I wanted to get him on too, but it would have been too many people. It’s great to talk to you again, Ryan. I really appreciate it.
Cory Doctorow Ryan, you know what you need until you launch as one of those under construction animated GIFs.
Ryan Block Yeah we were totally thinking about the little guy with the...
Cory Doctorow Guy in a hard hat with a shovel.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Ryan Block Throwing bits over his shoulder.
Leo Laporte E mail us and the mail box that opens up and…
Ryan Block I’ll get on that right now
Leo Laporte I’m sure the Wayback Machine has some samples you could use. And Robert Heron, what’s – DL.TV.is not dead, not forgotten. Will be coming back I hope.
Robert Heron No, same I do. It should be – we’re working on that right now. It’s all in the process of just putting things back together and getting in the people we need to get it done right so. And on top of that we’re still doing things like Extreme Text podcasts and the other video work we do. Of course, I’m always doing my home theater and HDTV stuff….
Leo Laporte Is there a good site besides DL.TV to go to see – I know they have the buying guide and everything on there, is there another site you would like to…?
Robert Heron Just the PC Mag site for anything HDTV related. I mean my reviews are all up there and I get to see just about everything in terms of what’s afoot in the home theater space.
Leo Laporte Can you believe Pioneer getting out of the business?
Robert Heron That made me cry. I just hope that companies like Panasonic license the technology that was exactly…
Leo Laporte That KURO technology.
Robert Heron They were two or three years ahead of everyone else but they just weren’t making any money out of it – a sign of the times. But VIZIO also announced they’re getting out of plasmas as well, so …
Leo Laporte Do you think it’s the end of plasma TVs?
Robert Heron No, not at all. They are…
Ryan Block This is sounding a lot like our conversation from a few episodes…
Leo Laporte You know, Ryan, I got to ask you now because you at that time said Pioneer is dead, they’re out of the business, and we all said – no, no, no they are in the business, they just having Panasonic make their panels and you were adamant. Did you know something?
Ryan Block I am not going to say what I did and didn’t know.
Leo Laporte I think you knew something. You must have forgotten.
Ryan Block You can tell things sometimes and you can see where things are going.
Leo Laporte You were right. We try to….
Ryan Block I don’t think it’s dead but it’s not looking good
Leo Laporte I hope not.
Robert Heron That was a sign of the times at CES when Pioneer didn’t show up with any TVs and you are like okay.
Leo Laporte That’s weird isn’t it?
Robert Heron That was but, they have the best stuff going but there are other companies out there who can pick up the ball and run with it so…
Leo Laporte Do you remember, Robert, when we built the ultimate gaming machines?
Robert Heron Oh yes. With giant monitors…
Leo Laporte You got to see this one we built, Coleen really gets the credit for it, we built the ultimate game machine, quad-core 9770 in it, not one, not two but three, 280 cards, GFX 280. So, it’s tri-SLI, this thing has – dual Velocerapters in RAID 0 for ultimate speed, it is the ultimate gaming machine. We estimated we put more than $10,000 into this. We are giving it away and you have one more week kids to win it.
Now, here is the deal. Here’s how we are giving it away. I am not going to put any restrictions on this, we just – we are doing what I call a 10-5-1 contest. You e-mail me email@example.com that’s firstname.lastname@example.org with your 10 reasons why you should win it. We want to make sure that whoever wins this really can use it. This thing is a killer. We are going to bundle it up with games, it’s just awesome. You can – all the specs are at inside.twit.tv, Coleen’s been writing this up.
Water cooled system. We are over-clocking the thing to over four gigahertz, it has the fastest benchmarks I’ve ever seen on a stock machine. This thing is, it’s not a stock, it’s incredible. So, you send us the 10 reasons why you want to win this to email@example.com, we the TWiT crew will select the five best, what we consider the five most creative, most interesting, it could be text, it could be video, it could be song. Whatever you think on those 10 reasons, we are going to pick the five best and then let the audience vote on them and then we will – actually Coleen will come to your door with ugm because she has to, its water-cooled, she has to put it all together and so wherever you are in the world you will get ugm, you will get the ultimate gaming machine, it will be all yours to keep with that 30 inch Dell display, it is something – it is gorgeous.
So, you have till February 20th midnight, February 20th to get your entry to firstname.lastname@example.org. I just want to – I haven’t plugged it on TWiT at all yet and I really want to make sure you knew about that one. Also if you don’t have – if you can’t send a video through the mail you just send me a link or you put on YouTube or yes that’s fine you don’t have to – there’s lots of places you can put that up. Don’t send me the attachment; just send me a link to email@example.com.
You can hear the shows at iTunes of course, all of our TWiT shows and don’t forget live.twit.tv. I apologize to those that came in early and could not get online. We, of course, perfect timing, as soon as we started TWiT the server went down. Not Stickam, Stickam’s been great but my own server, the TWiT.tv server. Hope you enjoyed watching the show. Thank you all for joining us. We’ll see you next time. Another TWiT is in the can.