Guests: John C. Dvorak, Pete Cashmore, and Jason Hiner
Recorded: July 26, 2009
Published: July 27, 2009
TWiT 205 •Previous episode – Next episode
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This is TWiT, this WEEK in TECH, Episode 205 for July 27, 2009, Step Up To The Guru Bar.
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This is TWiT, this WEEK in TECH, registered trademark TWiT LLC. I am Leo Laporte and joining us today around the table we’ve got, so pleased, from the U.K. Mr. Pete Cashmore of Mashable fame. Great have you back Pete.
Pete Cashmore Thank you, good to be here.
Leo Laporte Thanks for being here. Also here the man who helped me get elected president of the Internet, Jason Hiner of TechRepublic, the Editor in Chief. Hi, Jason.
Jason Hiner Hey, Leo, glad to be here. I have to tell you I listen to a lot of podcast and I always come back to Buzz Out Loud, TWiT and Cranky Geeks, so being on TWiT’s kind of like checking something off my bucket list.
Leo Laporte No, if only Pete would do a podcast, do you do podcast Pete?
Pete Cashmore No, it’s not really I mean, you’ve got that market sewn up, Leo.
Leo Laporte Good, thank you, keep up the good work. I appreciate it. And also here, first time ever on video, which is really remarkable. From his…
John C. Dvorak Well, it’s not the first time I’ve ever been on video.
Leo Laporte No, but on this show.
John C. Dvorak Yes, I got a camera up there glued up to the wall.
Leo Laporte So, folks if you listen to the audio of the show, which most which is like 99.99% of you do, you’re missing out – you can watch the video, we produce it live 6 P.M. Eastern every Sunday. We never – we don’t release the video. We just produce it but we never release it and it’s kind of a treat to see John. Well, thank you all for being here and John, thank you for filling in for me when I was in China. I really appreciate it.
John C. Dvorak Yes, that was fun and by the way this – when you go to the commercial this time you can see when I leave to go baste the meat.
Leo Laporte I know, we’ll know!
John C. Dvorak You will know.
Leo Laporte There will be no mystery about where John has disappeared to.
John C. Dvorak Yes.
Leo Laporte Yes, you did a great job with Becky; you had Natali Del Conte, Becky Worley, bunch of people in there.
John C. Dvorak Yes, it was Carlos from MEVIO was the producer, I think he worked at TechTV for a while. But, yes, it actually worked out okay and Natali was – I’m glad that people get to watch this on video because for some reason she is pretty anyway, but she looked really good.
Leo Laporte She did look good; she had a good lighting, good camera, good everything, yes. Well, China was amazing, you told me it would be and it was. I didn’t get to Shanghai but boy, Beijing blew me away. It did not seem like the place – you know, I was expecting people in Mao hats.
John C. Dvorak Exactly. The first time I went which was long ago, we were expect – and this was before they even turned over Hong Kong, I was expecting Mao hats and Mao jackets and we went around looking actually to see if we can get some as souvenirs and they said, “what, are you are kidding us?” They haven’t sold those things for decades. Peasants in the middle of nowhere have all of them, and then we had to actually scrounge around to get a Mao poster.
Leo Laporte My son bought a – my son turns out to be an amazing bargainer. I didn’t know this, he can haggle.
John C. Dvorak Send him to Iran.
Leo Laporte Yes, yes, he is good with that. And he went – he haggled a Mao shirt which says something in Chinese and I have no idea and I’m a little nervous about it, but it’s got Chairman Mao on the shirt. And he was going to wear it as we were leaving the country and I said, you know, Henry, maybe you want to change it to something that’s says Levi’s instead.
John C. Dvorak Yes, really?
Leo Laporte And unknown Mao slogan…
John C. Dvorak [Indiscernible] to the SFO.
Leo Laporte We are back from Red China. Anyway it was fun.
John C. Dvorak So, anyway we found some guy who got into the library archives and found some of the original old posters.
Leo Laporte Oh, neat.
John C. Dvorak And he pulled about five or six of them out and we took those, and – but I was, all the time I am there I’m thinking wow, the souvenir opportunities for the little red book and all because you know American tourists are looking for that stuff even though it’s, I guess it’s offensive to somebody. But, you know, they had nothing, we couldn’t find anything.
Leo Laporte I don’t think it offends anybody. I went to Mao’s mausoleum, you know, I waited in line to see his body and thousands of people. They get there two hours before it opens, the line was two hours long from getting there an hour ahead of time and people are putting chrysanthemums on his grave. I think that for a lot of people even though you know, if you look at his history, this guy was as bad as Stalin, as bad as Hitler, I mean this guy was awful. I mean, he was author of the world’s worst famine, 20 million people died during the “Great Leap Forward” I mean this guy was a nut ball.
John C. Dvorak Yes, you’re not going back. So…
Leo Laporte Yes, I guess not now!
John C. Dvorak [indiscernible] you’d be shot!
Leo Laporte So, let’s talk about – can I briefly mention congratulations to the NetFlix prize winners. We’ve been following this horse race?
Pete Cashmore Did that just change? I was just following that I think that just changed at the last minute, didn’t it?
Leo Laporte We got – yes.
Pete Cashmore I just saw a story go up on Mashable.
Leo Laporte It just changed, so, what – you know this NetFlix…
Pete Cashmore Oh, that must be annoying.
Leo Laporte Yes.
Pete Cashmore That must be so annoying.
Leo Laporte All these guys!
Pete Cashmore Wasn’t that, like, $1 million?
Leo Laporte Yes! So, NetFlix wants to make its recommendations better. So, you know, when you go NetFlix to rent a DVD, it says you might like this movie too. And there – you know these recommendation engines suck, they’ve always sucked. I’ve never seen one that worked. But NetFlix said we’re going to put up a million bucks for any artificial intelligence team or whatever that can figure out a way to make this 10% better. Now, I don’t know how you measure 10% better but they had some metric. And a team called BellKor's Pragmatic Chaos, you might recognize BellKor, that’s the old AT&T labs name, and in fact members of the team were from AT&T’s labs and others got it up to 10.08% and…
Pete Cashmore My editor just pinged me and said winners not announced yet, there are two scores to calculate, we don’t yet know who is going to win, so it’s kind of down to the last minute.
Leo Laporte I thought, yes, NetFlix, I thought they announced that they had a winner, but in any event, so, BellKor was, now the way the rules worked, once you broke 10% that started the clock ticking and then all the other teams had 30 days to beat your result. And this second place team yesterday came up – The Ensemble, with 0.01% better. I think BellKor had 10.07, then they came up with 10.08; BellKor about an hour ago, this is really sneaky, said, they held onto it and then put it up, 10.09%. The Ensemble comes back four minutes before the closing time.
John C. Dvorak What, these guys get all their experience from eBay?
Leo Laporte It’s like sniping! Four minutes before closing time at 18:38:22 and they put up 10.10% improvement. I don’t know if they have – I don’t know if they have, Pete, if they’ve announced it but I think I saw that NetFlix had said that we do have a winner. But I am looking at the website now netflixprize.com and they haven’t said. So, I don’t know with the latest is but isn’t that amazing?
Jason Hiner Wow.
Pete Cashmore It’s been going for ages as well.
Leo Laporte Yes, years.
Pete Cashmore So we kind of assumed that that – once you hit the 10%, oh, they are going to win that, surely. I mean, if you’ve been working on this for how many years, just seemed like they would be the obvious winner and then how come all this development in the last month?
John C. Dvorak You know these two groups should get together and split it.
Leo Laporte Well, that’s what happened initially is the BellKor was AT&T, Commendo, Yahoo! Research, Pragmatic Theory, a bunch of team member – different competing teams pooled their results to get this result.
Pete Cashmore You know who the winner is though; it’s NetFlix.
Leo Laporte Oh man!
Pete Cashmore Because they are going to make way, way more than a million dollars out of this. You know, think of all the media attention firstly, everyone’s been writing about it. But secondly just like, would it cost you more than a million bucks to improve your recommendations by 10%, how much is that worth to them in terms of bottom line?
Leo Laporte Oh, it’s well worth it.
Pete Cashmore Way more.
Leo Laporte Oh, it’s well worth it.
Pete Cashmore And so I think it’s a lesson for other companies. You know, if you can’t be bothered getting developers on something for years just start a contest! They will – I think the novelty is going to fade though. I think you’re not, if you do another NetFlix prize type thing for another company it’s not going to have the same media –
Leo Laporte Well, it worked for – it’s work for space exploration with the X PRIZE. And Google put money now into the new X PRIZE, which is what, I can’t remember what it is, getting to the moon, right? They want to do moon exploration.
The interesting thing is you should – any – these guys obviously are master strategicians. It should have been in your hind sight obvious that they would hold off to the last minute. They would hold better results back and fire away at the last minute. But they blew it because they fired too soon; this other team, the ensemble came back and said, no, we can beat you by 0.1%. I would – this is – I love this story. I just – I think that’s wonderful. And you are right, the big winner is NetFlix.
John C. Dvorak Well Hopefully it’ll be finalized eventually. Hey there’s one of the stories on your list that I wanted to talk about.
Leo Laporte Yes, sir.
John C. Dvorak Microsoft tweaks ad after Apple complains.
Leo Laporte Yeah, you know we talked about this last week. Now I would love to get your opinions on this. So Apple… well it starts with Microsoft, it starts with a Microsoft guy saying ‘Oh! Apple’s lawyers called me to complain about our ad.’ And they said that it wasn’t true anymore and he said ‘I never had such a good call in my life, I was jumping up and down, running down the halls, yelling at everybody’ because you know, big victory for Microsoft.
John C. Dvorak What that apple was complaining?
Leo Laporte That Apple was oh so upset about the ad. But it’s my opinion that Microsoft, this guy made this up, Apple didn’t call him.
John C. Dvorak I just would have – that’s
Jason Hiner I think they did, I think – I'm pretty sure Apple did call and actually…
John C. Dvorak But who at Apple?
Jason Hiner Tell them, you know, look you’ve got our price wrong for the machine that you’re comparing in the ad.
No. First, okay – this is the story – last week at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference in New Orleans. COO Kevin Turner…
Jason Hiner Yep
Leo Laporte …said he did “cartwheels down the hallway after getting a phone call from Apple’s legal department complaining about the campaign”. “We’re just going to” he says “we’re just going to keep running them and running them and running them.” First of all, he’s at a sales conference. I think it’s BS.
Jason Hiner No, it’s a developer – it’s a developer conference, it’s a partner conference.
Leo Laporte Partner. It’s – this is BS. Apple sends a letter, they don’t make a phone call.
Jason Hiner Yeah, right, no, I'm sure it was a letter not a phone call.
Leo Laporte The whole things suspect.
Pete Cashmore But they did, they changed it –
John C. Dvorak Yeah, well for one thing it wouldn’t be a phone call because you wouldn’t know who to call 90% of the time.
Pete Cashmore Yeah no doubt, not at Microsoft.
John C. Dvorak Right.
Leo Laporte ‘Let’s call Kevin, he’ll know.’
John C. Dvorak Yeah sounds like a – it sounds like a bogus story. What’s he cartwheeling for, is he 12?
Leo Laporte In any event apparently Redmond has quietly changed, according to AdvertisingAge, the ads because remember the laptop hunter ads kept saying that MacBooks were $2000 or more, Apple’s dropped the price. So they just kind of – they snipped that part out. Big deal. I think this is all just publicity for Microsoft. Even this story is just more pro-Microsoft propaganda.
John C. Dvorak But it’s lousy propaganda, because those ads, for one thing, suck. They’re not selling Microsoft, they’re selling laptops. Microsoft, I hate to bring it to their attention but they don’t even make a laptop.
Jason Hiner Yeah, I do think it hits Apple where it hurt though. And I do think that that’s why Apple has reacted to this. And the fact that Apple has – knows that it hits somewhere that it hurts is that right now people perceive them as a premium brand and in this economy premium brands are taking a little bit of a beating and that’s how they’re pitching them. And Microsoft should have been doing this – I agree the ads are actually lousy, but they are – the strategy is right, the execution is wrong.
John C. Dvorak What I – and so far as premium brand is concerned, I can’t imagine anybody being more cost conscious than my son who I wrote a column about in, I guess in PC Magazine, saying my son bought a Macintosh, because he bought one of the MacBook Pros, the unibody one.
Leo Laporte 13-inch?
John C. Dvorak Yeah, I think it was –
Leo Laporte Those are sweet. I like those.
John C. Dvorak Yeah, it’s a nice little thing, it’s got a little SD card thing in it and the whole thing. It’s got little button that show you the battery – it’s got a lot of interesting features, I actually like the machine. And it’s light. And he could have bought something cheaper, but the thing is he got the thing for just a little over $1,000 and I was thinking I’d buy this myself, it seems like a good – maybe if Apple’s got a complaint is that they’re not as premium as you might think they are.
Leo Laporte I don’t know if you want to go any cheaper to be honest with you. According to NDP, the analysts NDP, Apple’s got 90% of the “premium laptop market”.
Jason Hiner Yep but you could have gotten – I mean your son could have gotten something a lot cheaper John, I mean he could have gotten – probably for what you get in that machine, you could have got a 5 or $600 machine but –
Leo Laporte But it’ll be crap..
Jason Hiner But it would have been crap, right? And Apple – what Apple’s done well is say ‘look it’s not just about price’ they don’t say ‘spend a little bit more’ but that’s what you are saying. You spend a little bit more with us, but you know you’re going to get good support, decent support.
Leo Laporte Here’s why this story is really bad news for PCs. First of all, when we’re going to get to it, the results for PC makers and Microsoft were horrendous this quarter.
Jason Hiner Yeah.
Leo Laporte But 9 out of – according to NDP, for the month of June, slightly more than 9 out of every $10 spent on – now when we say premium, any computer over $1,000, Apple got 90% of the buy. That means whatever PCs are selling are these kind of low-end, sub $1,000 PCs. Low margin too, I might add and probably most of them are netbooks.
Jason Hiner Yeah. That’s where all the money is, the ones that Apple’s selling – when I saw that, I mean I'm still a little skeptical of that report to be honest. But I think it’s probably, the numbers are close, but that’s where all the money is. I mean, I was kind of shocked when I saw that, it shows that Apple is just stealing the best part of the market from all of these PC makers.
Leo Laporte Average sale price of a Windows laptop, if you exclude netbooks, $569. Average sale price of a Mac laptop, $1,400.
Pete Cashmore Jeez. Yeah.
Leo Laporte That’s just, I mean this is much better news for Apple than it is for PCs. And it’s why probably Cupertino doesn’t care about market share. Who cares?
Pete Cashmore No, yeah, exactly.
Leo Laporte They care about margin.
John C. Dvorak No, they’ve always been a margin-oriented company, always. They’d never – market share is just an embarrassment to them but it’s not what they’re all about. They’ve always been big on margins. I mean Microsoft’s kind of the same way, only they don’t sell any hardware, but they’re huge on – but I mean their margin, because they’re just selling at a $0.25 disk, you know that they stamp out and mass produce and they sell for…
Leo Laporte It’s all margin.
John C. Dvorak …2, $300, I mean it’s like holy crap, talk about margin.
Leo Laporte It’s all margin. Yeah, I’d rather be in that business to be honest with you.
For the first time ever, Microsoft reported its first year-over-year decline in sales in company history. Now, they still made money, $58.4 billion.
John C. Dvorak Yeah, those poor bastards…
Leo Laporte Well you’re the one – and we’re going to get to this, who wrote the article in MarketWatch saying it’s all over for Microsoft.
John C. Dvorak Yeah, I know. I heard you earlier because I was listening in what you were trying to communicate with me about how ‘I’ve been saying – it all Dvorak says, he’s been saying it since…
Leo Laporte You’ve been saying it for years! It’s true!
John C. Dvorak …I first met him back in 1903’
Leo Laporte No. No.
I won’t say that. But I think for, in fact for a while – no, I think it’s been at least four years you’ve been proclaiming the death of Microsoft.
Jason Hiner Well they haven’t focused for 10 so 4 is a bit –
John C. Dvorak I think that’s reasonable.
Leo Laporte All right. Well they now –
Jason Hiner They’ve lost their mojo. Ever since the DOJ went after them, I mean Microsoft has been on defense, and they’ve been playing zone defense, it’s not like they are playing aggressive man-to-man. They’re playing zone defense. So –
John C. Dvorak I like the sports analogies.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
John C. Dvorak They’re pretty – no, worse than that, let’s take and move it to football; they’re playing prevent defense.
John C. Dvorak That’s prevents you from winning.
Jason Hiner Yep. But I do think they’re doing – they are getting a little aggressive. I mean I wrote something last week saying that ‘has Microsoft switched from defense to offense?’ I mean with Bing, which they’ve wasted a zillion dollars on and the Microsoft stores, you know all of these things, at least they’re trying to push forward. I think they are pushing forward on the wrong stuff, they’ve taken their eye off their core market. which is similar to what John is saying. But at least they’re acting a little aggressive again and just not sitting back and letting people pick them apart.
John C. Dvorak I personally don’t see that – them being any more aggressive than they were with the pen computer that Bill Gates says is going to take over the world by 2003, or they were anymore aggressive than they – every once in a while they get a kind of – they get a bug up them and it’s all of a sudden they’ve got to – they get all jazzed about something like Bing and they get all worked up and they let it slide and they go on to something new. I mean my column was about – not so much about Microsoft fall – ending – at the end of the reign. It’s mostly about the fact that they’re letting the cash cows languish and they keep jumping from one thing to another. Yeah, Bing is really hot for them right now and then they’re going to look at the number at some point and it’s going to the be the same numbers they’ve always had from Search. And then they’re going to do a deal with Yahoo! and then they’re going to be buzzed about that and then that will languish.
I mean this it’s just – I mean, just, it’s the same, that’s why I keep predicting the demise, because it’s the same story I’ve seen forever and I don’t see a changing and at some point when the numbers start to turn like they just did, it could the be beginning of the end.
Jason Hiner Yeah they’re wasting a lot of money – I mean they’re wasting money and effort and focus. I mean they have not focused on their core businesses, Windows and Office and servers, actually the big winner in Microsoft’s lack of focus is Oracle, because they’re going in and they are running roughshod over the whole business software market where Microsoft actually has some decent products and could undercut Oracle and make a lot of money with products like SQL Server and Windows Server and all of these kind of thing. And Oracle is just going in and running roughshod over that whole and making a zillion dollars and Microsoft is out there messing around with search engines and anti-virus software and all these kind of stuff. And they’re going to lose –
John C. Dvorak No I agree 100% with that. That’s – actually the thing I left out of that article, now that you mentioned it, is that element, the fact that they could actually take Oracle on head-to-head. But again it’s there’s this, they kind of got into the database business on a offhanded way, they bought FoxPro, they saw this other people making money in it so they got interested and then everything folded and so they kind of lost interest and, you know meanwhile, you’re right, they could probably – because they do have a good product, they could easily take on Oracle if they had a mind to. They don’t, they don’t care.
Jason Hiner Yeah.
Leo Laporte Pete, you were going to say something?
Pete Cashmore I don’t have any insights into Oracle versus Microsoft. But I was going to say –
Leo Laporte Me neither. So I’m letting you talk.
Pete Cashmore I remembered a – on the consumer side at least, I remembered a survey from back in May and John saying that maybe those ads are kind of useless. If you look the stats that came out – there was a report by a company called BrandIndex, that was Microsoft versus Apple consumer value perception ages 18 to 34. Essentially which do you think is a value brand? And you look at when they started that campaign there’s an article on Wired called Survey: Microsoft's 'Laptop Hunter' Ads Are Hurting Apple.
And it’s pretty clear that the value perceptions score for Microsoft went way, way up and the value perception score for Apple went way down. In other words, young people look at these two brands any say ‘hah, I‘ve seen those ads and I kind of think that I’m getting more value from a PC than a Mac.’
Leo Laporte I think – nobody would –
Pete Cashmore And you know if you look at those ads, John Hodgman’s way more sympathetic in the Mac ads than in – than the Mac guy is.
Leo Laporte Absolutely. But nobody would contest ever in history that the value proposition is better for Windows, would they?
Pete Cashmore Well people who have Macs think the value, I mean, why else would you buy a Mac? You think you’re getting more value because you’re getting better quality.
Leo Laporte Because people don’t buy just for value.
Pete Cashmore But quality is value, I mean, if it’s a high quality product then –
Leo Laporte Oh all right. I bet if you asked though. See, I think that’s a different question. If you asked people what’s the better value proposition, Windows; what’s the better quality, what are they going to say?
John C. Dvorak Mac.
Leo Laporte Of course they are going to say Mac.
Jason Hiner Definitely.
Pete Cashmore I think that’s the same question, I think Mac’s a better value but I think the perception’s changed.
John C. Dvorak Yeah that’s a British – the British are more likely to think of good quality because it lasts longer and has – than Americans. Americans are into disposable more than the English. And so your commentary there, it actually matches your culture, because –
Leo Laporte [laughs]
John C. Dvorak No seriously people buy like an $800 pair of shoes in England because they know that they’re going last 15 years and we won’t do that. We buy plastics shoes.
Leo Laporte Not me. We invented McDonalds, we buy Crocs.
John C. Dvorak I got Dorks on.
Pete Cashmore I don’t think you do buy Crocs any more, do you? I think it was all out as well.
Leo Laporte No Crocs’s out.
John C. Dvorak You buy the clones.
Leo Laporte I was surprised though. You know who’s buying Crocs? Chinese. There’s – there was Crocs store in China.
John C. Dvorak Wow!
Jason Hiner Interesting.
Leo Laporte All Crocs in one store.
Pete Cashmore Oh! It’s such a fad, isn’t it? I don’t see the long term in that at all.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
John C. Dvorak Yeah.
Leo Laporte How did we get the Crocs?
Pete Cashmore I think Crocs just killed it.
Leo Laporte No, but I think that – well, I mean we’re the land that invented the Big Mac, I mean, I think you’re right we are the disposable society. However Apple does better in the U.S. than it does in any other country in the world, right?
Pete Cashmore Well, like that’s –
John C. Dvorak I think that’s a marketing issue, channels. Sorry?
Pete Cashmore There was on the consumer side on the PC versus the whole Mac debate, which is never ending, but I don’t know anything about the Oracle debate. I think on the website, which is where I have kind of knowledge, I think Bng’s a good product, it’s a good search engine, people – I think it’s beaten expectations, so if you look at how dominant Google is in that space, no one would have imagined that Microsoft could have a play of – the tech industry said ‘you know that’s actually quite good, it’s okay, it’s a contender, it is not going to beat Google.’ But they’ve made more head way than you might expect. And we’ll have to see what happens when the kind of the initial spike wears off from that huge ad campaign they’ve waged.
But on the web in general, no, they’re losing that battle.
Leo Laporte Oh! Terribly.
Pete Cashmore And they’re continue losing that battle. And seeing as the web is the entire operating system battle going forward they’ve, I agree with John overall that long-term they’re kind of done. They’re coasting on prior revenues. They don’t really have a direction on the web, they don’t dominate that space. It’s pretty obviously that Google’s going to dominate that space.
Leo Laporte With the Chrome OS, you think?
Pete Cashmore I was thinking a bit more holistically than that. That’s TBD.
Jason Hiner See the thing at Microsoft – the problem Microsoft has is they want to be on all – I think John said it best in his MarketWatch article it’s like they go after these shiny objects and they get caught up in that. And Bing is the one right now. The only thing Bing has done for them is, it’s kind be a bee in the bonnet of Google. Google’s – they’ve taken some of the buzz around search engines and they’ve taken that. But a 4 or $5 billion bee in the bonnet of Google’s, I don’t know, I’m not sure that’s a really good value investment.
But if Microsoft would just step back and try to say ‘look we’re going to be more of a background player, we’re going to provide the software that people want, we’re going to be a great software company.’ they could still be a great player for decades. But they’re not doing that. They want to be the coolest kid on the block, they want to be the one who has all of the shiny stuff and the one that gets all of the attention. And it’s like at some point they’re going to lose if they don’t just say ‘you know what, we don’t care about getting all of the attention, we want to create great products and make money because we’re a public company’. If they do that, they still have shot, it’s not over for them.
Leo Laporte John, do you have a set of speakers open?
John C. Dvorak Oh! I’m sorry.
Leo Laporte It’s really echoing back in here.
John C. Dvorak Now. Can you hear fine?
Leo Laporte Much better.
John C. Dvorak Good, sorry.
Leo Laporte Yes you don’t have headphones, do you?
John C. Dvorak I’ve had to turn down your speakers for now that I’m away – I got to fix this studio up because the speakers are unfortunately not the –
Leo Laporte Best thing would be to wear headphones, because there’s always going to be a little echo coming back at us.
John C. Dvorak I don’t mind wearing headphones except that wearing them over – on an hour show it just bugs you.
Leo Laporte I know it’s get sweaty, I know. I’m wearing them too.
John C. Dvorak But I’ll some on next time.
Leo Laporte Okay. If you want to take a break, you may. We’re going to come back and talk more about Microsoft. We’re going to talk more about shoes, of all things and Google privacy. There’s a lot to take about, AT&T, the iPhone.
But first I want to talk about audible.com. Audible of course, our great sponsors, the folks who do those audio books that I am so hooked on.
You can get a special deal right now, the Audible Platinum deal gives you two free books when you sign up at audible.com/twit2. That’s the Platinum. Two books when you sign up for the Platinum plan. Audible of course is the ultimate in online book stores. Even the content’s digital and it’s not, no it’s not like a Kindle. It’s audio content, that’s what I love about Audible.
I listen to audiobooks all the time, in the gym, on the plane when I was traveling. It was just a life saver. And I want to encourage you to give it a try. Audible.com/twit2, that’s the place to sign up for the Platinum account and get your first two books free.
I’m Just looking through my Audible collection here, see if I can find a good book for you. Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales. That’s for John he’ll love that.
The Panic – he’s still there. The Panic – how about this one? The Panic of 1907: Lessons Learned from the Market's Perfect Storm. Did you know that there was a – you knew, you know that, John.
John C. Dvorak I’m back, yeah.
Leo Laporte 1907
John C. Dvorak 1907? Yeah. It was a whopper. 1907 actually matched perfectly, going by my 80-year cycle. It’s an interesting year because 80 years later of course we had 1987, which was exactly the same – it was – and this happened by the way 80 years earlier. You had a market collapse that there was no real explanation for at the time, but it was always – these collapses are always reverse engineered. They keep looking at them ‘oh maybe because it was because of this, it was the monetary policy.’ And they go on and on but The Panic Of 1907 is an absolute classic and it’s beautiful because it’s right on the money. Very predictable.
Leo Laporte People don’t – everybody knows about 1929, nobody knows about 1907.
John C. Dvorak No, 1907 – that’s a big one. In fact – and you can expect the same thing to happen in say 20, 80 years from 1987 there’ll be another one, exactly the same.
Leo Laporte None of us will be here to prove you right or wrong, John so it’s –
John C. Dvorak You can – put this is in time capsule, ladies and gentlemen. Just sell around June of that year.
Leo Laporte Was this year an 80-year cycle from something 1929, 2009, I guess it was?
John C. Dvorak Yeah and take a look.
Leo Laporte Why 80 years? That makes – that seems very mechanistic.
John C. Dvorak No, I know. No, no.
Leo Laporte It’s not though.
John C. Dvorak Well, I mean, just another reminder, I got to finish my little tome, so…
Leo Laporte Please finish your tome. But meanwhile, until then, the Panic of 1907: Lessons Learned from the Market's Perfect Storm, Robert Bruner, Sean Carr. What are you laughing at?
John C. Dvorak Lessons learned is what I get a kick out of.
Leo Laporte Like we learned anything.
John C. Dvorak Nobody has learned anything. Ever.
Leo Laporte Not a thing. It’s a good book to listen to anyway.
Jason Hiner Hey, I’ve got a pick.
Leo Laporte Yeah, sure.
Jason Hiner It’s actually not – Audible has more than just books. They’ve got some other stuff too. They’ve got one – I don’t know, I’ll hold it up to the camera if you can see it. It’s – no it’s too – it’s called The Course of Human Events by David McCullough. It’s actually a lecture.
Leo Laporte I love David McCullough.
Jason Hiner I do too, just fantastic author. And this about the founding fathers, it’s about 40 minutes long and his point is great in this. It’s like ‘look these guys it wasn’t just that they were these sort of gods that knew everything and had all it together. They argued with each other, they couldn’t figure out a lot of this stuff.’
Leo Laporte Right.
Jason Hiner And they were really just trying to figure it all out. But also some of their imperfections balanced each other out and then their – in unity they came up with some great stuff. So anyway it’s a great lecture by McCullough. It’s in – it takes place in DC, it’s to – it has some really great stuff in it anyway.
Leo Laporte You’re absolutely right. I mean it’s more than just books, lectures, comedy performances, radio shows, even podcasts. But this – they have a lot of McCullough stuff; The Johnstown Flood which I haven’t read, John Adams which I did which is incredible. And on some of the best of them he narrates them, because he has the best voice ever you know.
Jason Hiner Yes. Fantastic.
John C. Dvorak Did you just say I haven’t read?
Leo Laporte Yes.
Jason Hiner Johnstown Flood?
Leo Laporte I haven’t read The Johnstown Flood.
John C. Dvorak No but you listen to these things.
Leo Laporte No, you’re not going to be one of those pedants who says “you’re not reading”, are you?
John C. Dvorak No I’m just staying.
Leo Laporte I’m reading them by listening them in my – pouring them in my ear. It’s – look, it’s the same thing, it’s the words on the page, but somebody is reading out loud, isn’t that having read a book?
John C. Dvorak No I don’t believe so.
Leo Laporte I listen to it or I haven’t listened to this.
John C. Dvorak No, I’ll tell you why because writers – in fact there are writers out there who’ll have to agree with this, is that when you read something out loud, reading to yourself, you get a different impression. Your ears…
Leo Laporte That’s right. Far better impression, you absorb it.
John C. Dvorak I’m not going to say it’s better or worse.
Leo Laporte You know when I read your column John, I hear your voice. And I think any good writer...
John C. Dvorak I think you should see a doctor.
Leo Laporte Any good writer you hear that...
John C. Dvorak Because I’m standing behind you, Leo!
Leo Laporte I hear John... Well I have known you for so long, but I mean I think that’s true if you knew – I think when I read David McCullough I hear hi cadence, his rhythms, his voice.
John C. Dvorak Yeah, no; he’s got a good voice. [indiscernible] voice in writing.
Leo Laporte Yes, anyway. Yeah, it’s voice. In fact I was always told that when I write I should read it out loud before I am done. That’s one of the final things you do.
John C. Dvorak Yes, that’s for editing purposes.
Jason Hiner I do that too. I do that. It’s kind of old school but I had a real old school journalism teacher and so I do that.
Leo Laporte If it’s well written, it will scan, it will read well as well.
Jason Hiner Yes.
Leo Laporte I think. Well anyway this is a little off-topic.
John C. Dvorak I usually read it to my cat.
Leo Laporte If the cat doesn’t get up and leave, it’s a…
Jason Hiner Do you read it to your plants? You know that’s supposed to help plants grow.
John C. Dvorak That’s a good one, yes. There’s a joke in there. I’m not going to use it though.
Leo Laporte There are two books that we recommend. You get two, that nice audible.com/twit2, get The Course of Human Events, David McClelland’s great speech about the founding fathers and you can also get 1907: Lessons Learned from the Great Crash that Nobody Remembers. But you know, that’s just two of sixty thousand titles, audible.com/twit2. We thank them so much for their support and they owe me now about $1000 for that extra long commercial they just got.
Pete Cashmore They are on Twitter as well aren’t they Leo, audible_com?
Leo Laporte Yeah, audible_com.
Pete Cashmore And I also just found there’s a U.K. version if you’re in the U.K. audibleuk is their Twitter handle here. I don’t think your codes work in the U.K. but…
Leo Laporte Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t, but they don’t pay us…
Pete Cashmore I will try. I’ll get back to you on that one.
Leo Laporte This is a really classic issue in general which is that advertising agencies are, at best, national. So they have a budget and they don’t care, right; the fact that 30% of our audience is outside the U.S. They don’t pay us for that 30%, they don’t care and it just drives me crazy.
Jason Hiner It’s the next stage. They have got to figure that out and some of the smart ones will and they’ll leapfrog their competitors when they do.
Leo Laporte Well I think they know and they just say hey we’re going to save 30%. But you know some of our sponsors are paying for the full international audience, in fact almost all of them except Audible. Audible’s been with us for so long.
John C. Dvorak Leo?
Leo Laporte We’ll have to get away with murder. Yes.
John C. Dvorak Listen to Jason’s voice and tell me who you think he sounds like.
Leo Laporte Jason Calacanis?
John C. Dvorak No, Jason Hiner.
Leo Laporte Oh, Jason talk to me a little bit here.
John C. Dvorak As we go.
Leo Laporte As we go he sounds like somebody we know?
John C. Dvorak Yes but I have not been able to nail it.
Leo Laporte Oh, alright. Huh.
John C. Dvorak Huh.
Leo Laporte Huh. I’m usually pretty good about that. I know that Pete sounds like Sean Connery.
Pete Cashmore Do I? I’ve been told that I don’t really have a Scottish – it comes and goes [indiscernible] so I’m a bit more Scottish.
John C. Dvorak Let’s give him some lines to read.
Leo Laporte There is a little Scots there. There’s a little Scots; I like it. I like it. So Amazon, as long as we’re talking results, Amazon also reporting bad results, in fact weaker than expected earnings. That’s always bad, you don’t want to disappoint the market. It’s okay to have bad earnings as long as they thought you’re going to have bad earnings, a steep decline in its flagship business of selling media products, books, music and DVDs. Net profit down 10%. You know when you mentioned, what was it Microsoft made in the year; 54 billion and whenever? Amazon in its quarter only made $142 million. Chicken feed.
Jason Hiner Yes, nothing compared to what Microsoft’s making.
Leo Laporte Nothing. And they hadn’t had warehouses, second quarter revenue up 14%.
John C. Dvorak It’s a more normal business.
Leo Laporte It’s a more normal business, that’s right.
John C. Dvorak Yes.
Leo Laporte Analysts thought earnings would be $0.32 a share. Well they were $0.32 a share. Part of it was the legal settlement to Toys R Us. Now Amazon spent some money this week. They bought Zappos.
John C. Dvorak I found that peculiar.
Leo Laporte Because Amazon sells shoes already.
Jason Hiner Yeah, and Zappos was the one company I thought that could really push Amazon online. I mean Zappos has got great customers service, they really know what they’re doing online, one of the few great e-commerce retailers out there. And I was like this is the company that is going to kind of come up and nip Amazon...
John C. Dvorak And maybe that’s why they bought them.
Pete Cashmore I think that’s the point. I think it’s taken out its competitor. I mean, what if Zappos suddenly said, hey, we’re doing shoes really well, because they’re not really a shoe company, they’re a marketing and customer service company. So if they suddenly say, hey you know there’s all these verticals that Amazon have got, let’s start doing books and music. And – they’d have a real chance there. So I think it’s removing the biggest threat online to Amazon’s business.
Leo Laporte And why did Zappos sell do you think?
Pete Cashmore Well apparently the – now, I don’t want to weigh in too much but apparently the CEO wasn’t perhaps on board and the investors were kind of pushing for it.
Leo Laporte Tony Hsieh didn’t want to do it?
Pete Cashmore Yeah, but he is not talking, so who knows.
Leo Laporte Yes. I think he is part of the secret of success of Zappos. They have a unique corporate culture. I mean it really is customer focused. It is very – I mean you go to the Zappos offices, it’s very different from anywhere else, very Web 2.0. And I think his Twitter presence had a lot to do with the success of Zappos. So he is a very important part of the whole picture. I don’t know if he could duplicate the culture in a bigger company.
Pete Cashmore Well, how much of the – well they’ve done very well culturally. Their revenues are so significant that I would be hard pressed to put it all on Twitter. I think that’s kind of our perception because we see them through the lens of Twitter. I think it’s far more significant online presence than just Twitter.
Leo Laporte Well, they do a lot of stuff. You know the fact that they – when I buy shoes from them every once in a while they say, “Hey! We thought we would FedEx your package for free.” You know, just surprise you. They do a lot of little stuff like that.
Jason Hiner ZDNet actually just did a special report on Zappos and their social marketing strategy, and I think they said that they spent like 300 grand a year on the social media stuff. Tony said they never tried to put ROI on that. They just felt that it was a part of being out there, being connected with customers and they just took that as part of doing business and being a, like you said Leo, Web 2.0 company. But they were making – so according to their revenue, the revenue was I think like 1 billion if I remember right.
Leo Laporte Yes. They turned themselves into $1 billion company like almost overnight.
Jason Hiner Almost overnight, so it’s pretty impressive. But they weren’t spending a whole lot of money or putting a ton of energy – Tony in his report, which is great, I’d recommend everybody read it if you’re interested in Zappos and they are fascinating company. They said that, like I said, no ROI and they were just trying to get to get their name out there and still he said the best social networking is with phone and e-mail. He said Twitter, Facebook, none of them compare to phone and e-mail which I thought was pretty wild for him to say.
Pete Cashmore And also they are very established company and Twitter’s only has really grown significantly in the last six months. So I’d – I’m supposed to be the social media guy; I wouldn’t put too much of that emphasis on Twitter. I think they must have had a very scalable business.
Leo Laporte Well I admit to be in completely myopic because of course that’s how I found about Zappos. My engagement with Tony Hsieh on Twitter is what kind of made me like Zappos.
Jason Hiner Oh, cool.
Leo Laporte Okay. You are right. I mean, that was maybe how many people did he reach, thirty thousand or something, and not enough to make a billion dollar company for sure. However I have to think it’s had some significance and now do you think Pete going forward now that Twitter is much bigger, it could conceivably be a tool that companies could use to gain that kind of market share?
John C. Dvorak Well, you know $800 million, jeez.
Pete Cashmore Well, what did dell do? Did Dell not come out with a report recently that said they’d done about 3 million in revenue.
Leo Laporte From their Dell outlet account.
Pete Cashmore Yes we don’t have that many numbers, I mean it’s single digit millions for Dell.
Leo Laporte Yes. Not billions anyway.
Pete Cashmore I think going forward TWiT is growing like crazy and a lot of those accounts have critical mass in the sense that everyone knows them, everyone on Twitter’s marketing for them. I don’t think it’ll be that big but I think it’s going to become more significant as an outlet.
Leo Laporte Right.
Jason Hiner And the key to Twitter I think is reaching influencers like you Leo. I mean Zappos Tony getting connected with you, connected him then with a lot more audience, right? So influencers are key to Twitter I think.
Leo Laporte No, I think you are right.
John C. Dvorak By the way I got Jason’s voice. I finally figured it out.
Leo Laporte Who is it?
John C. Dvorak Well, you probably don’t know him, but I think anyone who is listening to this show, who watches a lot of sports will pick it up and they’ll amused because it’s so good that I think we can actually use him to punk somebody. He’s got the dead ringer voice from Max Kellerman who used to be on ESPN, now he’s on HBO Boxing.
Leo Laporte Do you know Max, Jason?
Jason Hiner Yes, yes that’s hilarious. I’ve never gotten that before, but that’s very cool. I’m a big sports fan, so I love it.
Leo Laporte Well, I’m going to have to find Max Kellerman and see –
John C. Dvorak You’ll hear – you’re going ‘oh my god.’
Leo Laporte I’ve always wanted to do a TWiT where everybody sounds exactly the same.
John C. Dvorak There was either a Family Guy or one of those, or Simpsons episode where they had all these guys who sound – around the table sounding exactly the same.
Leo Laporte It was very confusing. Very confusing in audio.
John C. Dvorak Oh yeah totally.
Leo Laporte So here’s a story that just will not die. Yahoo!’s Board of Directors, according to the Wall Street Journal, met Thursday to discuss an ad sales deal with Microsoft, search ads. Industry analysts expect the deal is closed – I love this. You know how you know a deal is closed? Because Carol Bartz is saying ‘I just love that Bing.’
Jason Hiner Yeah, that’s a pretty good sign.
Leo Laporte That’s the giveaway. She says, Carol Bartz, the CEO of Yahoo! who was brought in to save the company, “I think actually Bing is a good product.” I don’t know how you’d say this with a straight face. “It actually extends, sort of, the experimentation around search and how people use it instead of just thinking like a standard blue link” she said. ‘I think they’ve done a…’
John C. Dvorak She said – by the way, she’s saying this Leo as she’s doing a calculation on her stock options.
Leo Laporte Exactly. ‘I think they’ve done a good job. I think Microsoft should be given kudos for Bing. I think they’ve done a nice job.’
John C. Dvorak That is very odd.
Leo Laporte It’s pretty strange.
Jason Hiner Oh my gosh.
John C. Dvorak It’s like Larry Ellsion saying complimentary things about Ballmer.
Leo Laporte No kidding. ‘That Ballmer, he’s a good looking guy.’ Wow so – go ahead Pete.
Pete Cashmore It wasn’t me.
Leo Laporte No, Jason. Go ahead Jason.
Jason Hiner I was just going to say, my colleague Larry Dignan wrote an article about this to – about the whole – he was on the call where Bartz was very complimentary and he’s like ‘what’s – what’s up with this because she doesn’t – that’s just not her take usually’ and so, yeah it’s got to be – there’s got to be something going on there.
But still it’s one of those stories like you said, that just won’t die, I mean I remembered talking about this and a lot of people felt like it was never going to happen anyway and now maybe the business, them buying the search business makes more sense than them buying all of Yahoo! I mean it’s still a massive distraction for Microsoft but I don’t know, what is it Calacanis says –
Leo Laporte Why would they want it?
Jason Hiner I know – yeah. It’s a dying – why would you want to buy something that’s dying?
Leo Laporte Although, while Microsoft’s profit’s down 29%, Yahoo! actually – this is weird. I guess it’s because it was so low to begin with, but their profit was up 8%.
John C. Dvorak Yeah, their profits were up but their sales were down. I mean this is the ‘let’s fire everybody, we can make the profits look good.’
Leo Laporte I got it. So they got the bottom line up. Got it. Well –
Jason Hiner But Yahoo! still has good businesses. It’s not that Yahoo! doesn’t have some good businesses.
Leo Laporte I love Yahoo! I use Flickr, I use Delicious, I mean –
John C. Dvorak Boy they’re raking in the dough from that, aren’t they?
Leo Laporte I know. They’ve got a problem, okay? They’ve got some good properties. They just haven’t figured out what the hell to do with them.
Jason Hiner Well, they’re making good money off these broad mass market CPMs, you know, because they do so much broad traffic and they’re – they can –
Leo Laporte Buzz
Jason Hiner Yeah Buzz, you know, all of these things, the meat and potatoes of the Internet is some of what Yahoo! does. They make money, decent CPM money off of that.
Leo Laporte Right. One of our chatters, “KishKaman” says Yahoo! – and I don’t know if this is true, see if you can confirm this. Yahoo! has a patent that Google is using and Microsoft wants the patent.
John C. Dvorak Oh yeah, you know, I wrote about this actually about – this, when this thing first developed, somebody sent me a note about this patent and I wrote it up and this was like early on in the negotiations – when they were first talking about this rumor and there…
Leo Laporte Interesting.
John C. Dvorak I can’t remember what the patent – there is a really important patent and it’s something that Yahoo! seems to have just – they bought some other company and the patent came with it. This is – I kind of vaguely remember the story. The patent came with it and they’ve kind of kept it on the shelf but it’s needed, I think something Google’s doing in particular. And I think it has something to do with AdSense or the way you present ads by doing the keyword search.
Leo Laporte That’s valuable.
John C. Dvorak That’s what is all about and so they both – everybody needs this patent and I think Microsoft would love to get a hold of it, because the way I understood it when I wrote this, was they put the screws to Google.
Jason Hiner I’d love to read more about that, that’s interesting.
Leo Laporte That’s a very interesting story.
John C. Dvorak I can dig that column up and post it.
Jason Hiner Cool.
Leo Laporte Yeah, I’d be very curious about that. When we come back – yes go ahead Pete?
Pete Cashmore Are we’re going to add, ‘we’re going to add don’t interrupt the ad!’
Leo Laporte No, no…
Pete Cashmore I want to speak about MySpace when we move on.
Leo Laporte Deal, yeah, MySpace. They have a whole new thing they want to try. I also want talk about the Palm Pre. It’s on between Apple and Palm back and forth, fascinating story. They’re – and some complaints to the USB folks over all of this.
But before we do that I am going to mention the folks at squarespace.com, Squarespace is more than just a blogging tool. Squarespace is your future on the web. In fact lately we‘ve been thinking more and more about moving everything to Squarespace. Squarespace.com/twit, take a look at it. It’s – first you might say well this is like a, you know, a blogging tool and you can certainly use it for that. In fact if you’re a blogger, you’re going to like the fact that you can try Squarespace for free, no credit card necessary and it imports from all the major blogging tools. So it’s a very easy way to try, Squarespace. It’ll import all your blog comments, all your blog posts, removable-type, word press, typepad, blogger and exports. So you’re never stuck.
But it has all sorts of additional tools that make it really useful for any kind of website, including form building, data collection, incredible statistics, photo galleries, complete integration with all social media without third party scripts, you know, Disqus. I use Disqus for my comments and that was the first thing I said. There’s a Squarespace iPhone app. I said ‘do you use, do you support Disqus?’ ‘No problem, a little java script, snip it’.
Try it for free. I think you’ll like it, 10% off if you use the coupon code TWiT and if you decide to buy. But you don’t need a credit card, you just need to go to squarespace.com/twit and you could try out for a few weeks and see what you think.
Pete Cashmore Yes Squarespace is actually a really awesome platform. I have been checking it out and you know this is where blogs are going in terms of, it’s not quite this defined thing where it’s just like ‘hey I am going to write some tech’, it’s pulling all of the social media stuff, it’s [indiscernible] the Disqus comments, so you want to bring in all the comments from everywhere else. And you know I think in – calling it a blog platform might be kind of limiting it’s scope. It’s kind of more like a – it’s more like a kind of a basis for starting your whole presence online.
Leo Laporte Well every time one of our servers goes down, which it did at the beginning of the radio show today, I was going ‘why the server goes down during the radio show not, you know, just’ – but I think in fact Beo our assistant man said ‘why don’t we move into Squarespace?’ The virtualization technology they use, they put more bandwidth online. You’re not on any one machine, it’s cloud hosting. It’s very interesting what they’re doing, these guys are brilliant.
Jason Hiner This is the future of aps, by the way.
Leo Laporte I think so.
Jason Hiner Virtualization and the bail over and all of this kind of stuff. Everybody’s putting big money into this right now, and Squarespace, I don’t know how they did it, just a bunch of smart guys really trying to get this together, but they actually leapfrog a lot of really big companies who have been trying to do exactly what they’ve figured out.
Leo Laporte Interesting. I hadn’t –
Pete Cashmore Well, I don’t know if you guys remember when everyone started blogging, we had to install on our server and then you get dug or something and your site will go down, it was a pain. You don’t want to deal with all that stuff.
Leo Laporte So the – I have the patent number here John.
And somebody in our chatroom has put up a Valleywag article. I always go to Valleywag for the most trenchid
John C. Dvorak Oh that’s right
Pete Cashmore Yeah, that’s where I go for my facts, yeah.
Leo Laporte And especially enjoy the tin foil hat. I don’t know what’s going on here. But apparently there – this is a funny looking article. But apparently there is a patent and the number is 6,269,361. Thank you Web637 [chatroom participant]
John C. Dvorak Can I do a big product – a quick product call out.
Leo Laporte Yes.
John C. Dvorak Because the reason I didn’t get up to Sonoma was because I went to a camera swap meet in Hayward.
Leo Laporte Oh how fun.
John C. Dvorak Yeah, my daughter thinks I’m a complete nerd. So the reason was because I was looking for this lens, which I got, which is – this is one of the new – this is the new Olympus –
Leo Laporte Do you love your EP1? You love that camera?
John C. Dvorak I find it’s a great travel camera.
Leo Laporte I’m really interested. It’s a little pricey, it’s the three quarters of frame, right?
John C. Dvorak No, it’s four thirds.
Leo Laporte I mean four thirds. Wait a minute, four thirds?
John C. Dvorak Yeah but the thing is you don’t have a mirror in it. So that allows – and they have a little more room and so they have these adaptors. And this is what’s cool about it, I think. This is the adaptor for the thing, it’s a –
Leo Laporte So, you could put a Leica lens on it or anything on it, right.
John C. Dvorak This let’s me use an OM1 lens.
Leo Laporte Oh I loved that OM1, that was…
John C. Dvorak So I tracked down this guy here which – at the swap meet, this very small 50 mm OM-1 basic focus lens...
Leo Laporte How fast?
John C. Dvorak But this is the one this says made in Japan on the outside, this extremely famous lens.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
John C. Dvorak So I got it for 20 bucks.
Leo Laporte Woah!
Jason Hiner Wow.
John C. Dvorak So I put it on here and I took some sample photos and holy crap! I mean this is so sharp…
Leo Laporte Now you are making me want this camera. This is not an ad, folks. This is just...
John C. Dvorak No, this is a product review. The review is the camera – the camera is a great little camera, but the product review is for this cheap lens that you can buy at camera swap meets.
Leo Laporte Because nobody wants a film camera. The OM-1 was, I think, one of the best film cameras ever.
John C. Dvorak Yeah, it was a great camera and had some tremendous lens.
Leo Laporte Small.
John C. Dvorak So this little lens by the way, so what you do with a camera like this is as you set it to aperture only and then you set whatever you want for your aperture on the lens. You do have to – you have to focus it by hand –
Leo Laporte I was going to say, because it’s a manual lens. You can’t – it doesn’t do all the electronic stuff.
John C. Dvorak Right. Well, it was an autofocus lens on those old cameras but not on this. So, essentially, but when you put on A for aperture then you just set your aperture to what you want, typically eight, and then you can just focus it and shoot. And the camera itself will adjust the shutter speed so you get the exact [indiscernible].
Leo Laporte Oh, I might have to get this camera, because my wife is a – one of those people who’s a film buff, has an old Olympus that she loves and would be, I think very interested in moving [indiscernible].
John C. Dvorak Oh, yeah. Because with this camera you can put all those old lenses on it.
Leo Laporte Just like a film camera, yeah.
Jason Hiner This guarantees my wife will actually watch the show. My wife’s a photographer. So now I can tell her look, Dvorak talks about this really cool thing, so you got listen to TWiT this episode.
Leo Laporte We are going to do a Derrick Story who is a photographer and was on the geek cruise with me also has a E-P1 and we’re going to do a whole show on it, because it’s really a neat camera. They are not cheap though, right? They’re like 800 bucks.
John C. Dvorak Oh, I didn’t get – I think you could shop around and get it for the high sixes.
Leo Laporte That’s not too bad.
John C. Dvorak No, it’s not cheap, but it’s a really well made – it’s not a cheap camera either. It’s really, it’s actually – it’s all metal and it’s a rugged camera. I dropped on a cement floor already.
Leo Laporte That’s a loaner though, right? Is it yours or is it a loaner?
John C. Dvorak It’s – I’m borrowing it for the moment.
Leo Laporte So who cares, drop it all you want.
John C. Dvorak But it didn’t do anything. There’s like a small nick. It was astonishing. Any other camera would have been shattered.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
John C. Dvorak It’s kind of like the MacBook Pro with the unibody. I am angling for one.
Leo Laporte Oh good. Will MySpace become MyVideogameSpace? Poor MySpace. You know I just got – talking of products, I just – Clarion sent me their new GPS, which has built-in WiFi and the idea is that this thing is going to be kind of a GPS and a little computer. It’s got an ADAM processor in it and, but the sad thing is they must have designed it a few years ago because yeah, it’s got WiFi, so you can get weather and other stuff and you can get on MySpace with it.
John C. Dvorak Ah! Wow.
Leo Laporte Who – what’s the market for that?
John C. Dvorak God. Who dreams this stuff up?
Leo Laporte So I am thinking, well they must have designed it like – there’s a cycle and they probably designed it a few years ago when that would have been a good thing.
John C. Dvorak In the late 40s.
Leo Laporte I thought, oh, maybe it has Twitter! No. Facebook; no, FriendFeed; no, MySpace? Anyway MySpace integration. What is happening to MySpace, are they going survive, Pete?
Pete Cashmore MySpace is in a really difficult situation strategically. One of the problems with these social networks is that you – we saw the same thing with Friendster where it suddenly becomes un-cool for whatever reason. There is a better option.
Leo Laporte Right.
Pete Cashmore And by the same way that you go where ever your friends are, all your friends move. There is this exodus which has happened from MySpace.
Leo Laporte I don’t understand, frankly, Pete why this didn’t happen years ago. That is the most ugly, dysfunctional…
Pete Cashmore There wasn’t really an amazing alternative. I mean, Facebook’s come a long way.
Leo Laporte I guess not, but that was. MySpace is disgusting. Every time I look at it, it’s just the worst…
John C. Dvorak MySpace made the LiveJournal look good.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
John C. Dvorak It made Geocities look good!
Jason Hiner Also it’s just there’s so much crap on there and you know…
Leo Laporte My son uses it, my 15-year old uses it, and I don’t know why, but I guess his, because as you said, Pete, his friends are there.
John C. Dvorak Maybe he likes to collect animated gifs.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Pete Cashmore There is definitely a demographic – it’s the same myopia that you were saying on, that we have or at least we have this different lens. That we know that Facebook is very much, kind of, college kids, people like us, people in tech, and maybe we have a slightly different perspective on it, because we know that the demographics that are using MySpace are kind of more minority or just a completely different cultural and social setup to the sites that we use. So I think maybe we are not seeing it but by the same token, no one disagrees that MySpace is kind of in decay.
Leo Laporte What would you do if you were going to save them? And this new thing, to become a gaming…
Pete Cashmore This is actually not a bad idea. So the idea is they are going to start becoming a video game portal.
Leo Laporte This is Jonathan Miller’s brilliant idea.
Pete Cashmore Yeah. So, he is saying they want to become a video gaming platform and it’s true that nobody has really taken that market yet. I mean where do you go if you want to play games socially, what is the YouTube of gaming? Is there…
John C. Dvorak Well, Yahoo games.
Pete Cashmore Right, so there’s obviously is an open opportunity there. This is the kind of gaming we’re about – not something of the kind of the Xbox kind of market but the more online gaming. It’s a huge market. There is money in it, because you can get people to pay for these things in a way that is not necessarily gambling. So – and remember, MySpace, I kind of started covering MySpace years ago like maybe three years ago when they were doing kind of gaming things and they were actually – they had this kind of partnership thing where you could play games with your friends, it didn’t really work out, but I think there’s definitely a market there.
Leo Laporte My kid plays like the Mob Wars games and stuff like that. These are kind of – kind of asynchronous, almost move-based games. They are not very exciting and yet, they are kind of compelling social games. I that kind of the game that you think they’ll do?
Pete Cashmore I think they’re going to do flash games, but I haven’t…
Leo Laporte Like hearts?
Pete Cashmore I haven’t been through the whole story, but I think if the story is, they are going to do flash gaming, I think there is definitely a market for that. I think Facebook unfortunately is already getting some traction there because it’s got the applet form, there’s not that many ways to get your [indiscernible].
John C. Dvorak This is a dumb idea.
Pete Cashmore What is your idea for saving MySpace?
Leo Laporte You can’t, it’s too late.
John C. Dvorak Well I think what they have to do – let’s starts with what they…
Leo Laporte Let me, can I just point out though, they have 125 million users.
John C. Dvorak Yeah, then there is money in that.
Pete Cashmore Up until recently they where dominant in the music – or at least we perceived them to be dominant in the music space, where if you are a band you go create MySpace page, you go and push your MySpace url. And some people still think that’s salvageable, although we put out stats, I think it was maybe last week saying they’re losing in music and entertainment now as well, that market is kind of going away from MySpace.
John C. Dvorak This is where I think – this is what I think the mistake is. You don’t jump from one thing to something crazy like MyVideogameSpace.
Leo Laporte It’s too different. You are going to lose all of the people you got.
John C. Dvorak I mean, it’s crazy!
Jason Hiner Yeah.
Leo Laporte You’re starting from zero.
John C. Dvorak The thing is, they were the dominant factor and I don’t see anybody that’s really replaced them in this music scene thing and what they should do is ask their users what they can do to improve their situation and make the thing more appealing, and maybe push the music thing even more so they just own it. I don’t see –
Leo Laporte I agree with you, I think that’s the opportunity,
Pete Cashmore I think jumping around like this is nuts.
Leo Laporte Start a gaming site and call it MySpace Games. You don’t have to change what you have got.
Pete Cashmore Yeah. They have already done that in the past, it didn’t work too well.
Leo Laporte Oh. What did they do?
Pete Cashmore I don’t recall but they definitely had a casual gamer – by the way I’m just reading through this. It’s not really clear on whether they are going to be doing casual gaming or not.
Leo Laporte I think I’m with John. It’s possible to salvage the music thing.
Pete Cashmore I think everyone agrees that it is possible to – that music is their only remaining core. It was always their core.
Leo Laporte It’s why they were starting in the first place.
Pete Cashmore Facebook has absolutely no play there and they should by now, though they are kind of lagging on that. There was obviously, iLike took off really, really quickly.
Leo Laporte People who use Facebook are too old.
John C. Dvorak And by the way...
Jason Hiner They should just feel social network for music which is so labels – I mean, the great thing is that they did was they let indy artists skip the whole – they let them basically give the finger to the music industry and say, you know what? Forget you, we are going to go up, we are going to put our music for free or some of it for sale on MySpace and we are going to show you when our events are and when you can come see us and we are going to make money on it, and you know what, we would rather do that than sell out to the music industry and let them give us pennies on every piece of music we make. If they kept pushing that culture and keep going that and let the big artists come in if they want, I mean they’ve still got a wide open field ahead of them.
John C. Dvorak I agree, but here’s another thing that is completing missing from the model, which is where is the publication that is part of MySpace that helps people find the music on the site? I mean if I want to look at new bands of a certain ilk that I’d like to listen to –
Leo Laporte Oh no, you can’t do that.
John C. Dvorak I couldn’t find one on MySpace unless I knew the name of the group to begin with. They don’t help these people at all. There is no marketing angle.
Jason Hiner Yeah that’s true. And there is also, it is a very poorly designed site. They have never gotten out in front of that. They have never built a good search. They have never build a good directory and there is no excuse for as long as they have been around that they haven’t done that. And so for all the problems that they are having they really deserve them because there – these are things they should have solved.
Leo Laporte Oh, it’s the worst platform ever.
Pete Cashmore Well, I think they’re almost in a position that’s harder than new players coming into the market, because not only do they – they have this challenge where they have this horrible co-base, they’re essentially having to – you know people who start from scratch almost have more opportunity to define the space. I think MySpace is just really going to struggle here. Music is, I think we all agree, the direction they need to go in.
Leo Laporte You know what there’s
Pete Cashmore They’ve got so many – they’ve got baggage. I think that’s the word I’m looking for with…
Leo Laporte Yes.
Pete Cashmore …this horrible co-base, we all think it’s horrible like – if a new player came into the music space we’d give them a chance. MySpace, we’re kind of already against it.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Pete Cashmore So I think they’ve got a lot of baggage right here and I think that music they can still –
Leo Laporte Well, there is also a huge security issue, which is yet to explode in their face but I think any day now – the security flaws on that site, the number of unsophisticated users, mostly kids who are using it. It could be a vector for a horrible infection.
Pete Cashmore Do you mean like a cross-site scripts?
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Pete Cashmore That was the biggest issue they suffered because you can essentially put your own code in there.
Leo Laporte Exactly.
Pete Cashmore But that was why it took off in the first place. They had this system. So they almost, in a way, defined this whole, what we now have as APIs and very structured and hey developers can build stuff. They did that way before where they –
Leo Laporte Paste arbitrary code in your profile.
Pete Cashmore Well, they say it was accidental, that it was actually a security issue, but for whatever reason this widget thing sprung up and we had sites like Slide, remember Slide came up, we had Imageshack, we had Photo Bucket. All these sites built on the top and it was kind of like the first version of what we now have with the Twitter API, where there’s just thousands of applications.
So you know that was both a blessing and a curse, because you had this huge security hole, which still hasn’t really been solved and then you also have this idea that people could just paste code that made a theme and then we have this issue where you’re going to have to take that feature away because people hate that. They think – they go to the pages and they’re slow loading and they’re ugly and they have all these animated gifts, so then they have to backtrack. Now they’ve tried to make clean profile pages but they don’t want to take away the features they’ve already given to the users who really like those pages. So that’s where all the baggage comes from. There’s all these users who want the features that aren’t going to work going forwards and how can you like keep them on board but change it dramatically?
Leo Laporte They’re screwed.
Pete Cashmore I think they’re in a difficult position. You know what happened with Friendster and these were guys that were before them, they went in a different direction. Friendster reportedly is doing quite well but outside of any of the markets –
Leo Laporte In the Philippines.
Pete Cashmore Yeah. Outside of any of the markets that we ever cover. So nobody knows about it I think.
Leo Laporte They’re huge in the Philippines.
Pete Cashmore They’ll probably do well from the tangent, they will probably – maybe they’ll bring back with the music thing. They’ve obviously peaked, unless they can really turn around this music thing and do something huge. But iTunes is just the leader there.
Leo Laporte It is interesting because there is this network effect and so Friendster, solely because everybody in the Philippines uses it can become a success in the Philippines, or Kutt because everybody uses it in Brazil, can become a success in Brazil and there’s this kind of localized network effect.
John C. Dvorak It’s weird.
Leo Laporte Yeah, but it can keep a site alive long after everybody…
John C. Dvorak You know in terms of the MySpace complaints that I keep hearing, which seem to be technical, why can’t they use two code bases? I mean there’s no reason to have everything running on a same code base.
Leo Laporte They could start from scratch. God knows Murdoch’s got enough money to say ‘hire a hundred good programmers and start from scratch’
John C. Dvorak Yeah and do the second code base, have them run in parallel. And as People start – slowly abandoned the old one for the new, you know they have the same URLs, it wouldn’t make any difference, that can all be dealt with. And then you just pull the plug on the old one.
Pete Cashmore By the way I don’t think MySpace is going to do the same thing as – oh the chat room wants us to move on – I don’t think MySpace is going to do the same thing as Friendster and go into other markets. They don’t have any real significant international reach. Facebook has the international reach there. I mean if you – right here in the U.K., people are using Facebook. They’ve sort of been transitioning from Bebo which was very big, MySpace was big as well.
Leo Laporte Is bebo losing ground?
Pete Cashmore Oh, it’s just not a player. I mean after the AOL acquisition that was pretty much – it just started – people just started the whole exodus from Bebo to Facebook.
Leo Laporte Facebook is the dominant platform. I just saw 300 million in this article. 300 million users now. Unbelievable.
Of course there are more – I was just reading this statistic. There are more Internet users in China John than there are people in the U.S.
John C. Dvorak Yeah. Why can’t we find some way to sell them something?
Leo Laporte 338 million.
Jason Hiner Exactly.
John C. Dvorak That’s when everybody said ‘oh we open the Chinese market’ – I remember hearing this years ago – ‘when the Chinese – you know the Chinese market is so good and all we have to do is sell every Chinese person one pair of shoe laces and we make all this money.’ Meanwhile they ended up – yeah, it opened up all right and they ended up selling us everything. We never sold them anything, we got ripped off.
Leo Laporte They’re smarter than us John. That’s the truth.
Jason Hiner So are we ready to tow up Palm Pre thing, the Palm –
Leo Laporte Yeah this is an interesting story. So when Palm actually – I mean Jon Rubinstein said this, he said ‘and among our other features’ when Palm first announced the Pre ‘it will sync with iTunes’, which I thought was a very bold thing to say. Remember Rubinstein used to work on the iPhone team at Apple. In fact most of the Pre folks did. So when the Pre ships, first thing I did when I got my review unite is plug it in, sure enough, it shows up on iTunes, it says it’s a Pre and I can synchronize it. I thought does Apple – are they – how? Is this licensed?
John C. Dvorak Apparently they found out.
Jason Hiner Apparently not licensed, I think that’s the thing is – apparently Palm did this, they didn’t license iTunes and they synced it, they sort of did it you know, so, made it look like an iPod, now it doesn’t sync anything with DRM but obviously – or anything I think bought in the store, so you can burn your CDs and stuff and then sync those. But what’s interesting and there’s an angle that I am trying to follow on this story so I was hoping we’d talk about it, is that Blackberry does the same thing.
Leo Laporte What, really?
Jason Hiner BlackBerry desktop software syncs with iTunes.
Leo Laporte Oh that’s interesting.
Jason Hiner And so I’m trying to dig this up, like, okay did Blackberry actually license it? Because they’re not trying to shut Blackberry down.
Leo Laporte Oh, that’s interesting. Well why would Apple who is trying to survive against Blackberry, who is – you know – the Palm is – the Pre is completely aimed at the iPhone, why would Apple cooperate in any way?
John C. Dvorak No wait a minute, what are you thinking there Leo? I thought – my impression is that Apple would be more concerned about Pre, because Pre came out as a – targeting Apple. I think Blackberry’s shown no ability to go against the…
Leo Laporte Oh that’s not true at all. It’s the number one smart phone.
John C. Dvorak Yeah, no, I realize it’s the number one smart phone, but it’s not – but I think that market is descript and I think there’s a – I think there’s a different type of target. I think there’s a different type of user. I don’t think it’s the same person. I mean I could be wrong.
Leo Laporte Oh a different market, oh, yeah, you might – yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. No you have a point. I think it probably is. In fact after reading this account, the hacker who said by the way iPhone is completely insecure, it doesn’t encrypt the data. As soon as you log in, your data is fully unencrypted. It’s completely inappropriate for enterprise use.
Jason Hiner I am sorry, Somebody in the chat room said that what the difference is, is that somebody – Blackberry made software that communicates with iTunes whereas Palm Pre made it’s – made the Palm Pre look like an iPod. So it’s taken a different approach to it.
Leo Laporte Right. Well, Apple ships iTunes 8.2.1 this week and it stops syncing. Palm makes a very interesting change and in fact there’s some – Palm complains to the USB folks, whoever this is, the folks who approve –
John C. Dvorak The USB, the working group that does the USB?
Leo Laporte Yeah.
John C. Dvorak Okay.
Leo Laporte Saying that Apple’s acting inappropriately here that you can’t block an individual USB user. You know either allow people to use it or not, you can’t say ‘well is it a Pre? Well forget it.’ Then meanwhile Palm comes back and solved – by the way completely reverses the block by announcing itself as an iPod. They modified the Palm’s software. They shipped out an upgrade to the Pre.
John C. Dvorak Okay, well is that any different than the early versions of Opera’s telling the servers that it was Microsoft IE?
Leo Laporte Well you’re not supposed to do it. You’re supposed – according to these rules that the – whoever these USB people are, because you have IDs and stuff and they assign an ID. You’re supposed to identify us who you are. So the Palm Pre now says ‘I’m an iPod.’ Although the USB – but it’s not over yet, because somebody has pointed out that the USB hub still identifies as a Pre. So iTunes may come back with 8.2.2 looking at that and Palm will have to change that. So we’re in a little shooting war here.
John C. Dvorak It sounds like fun.
Leo Laporte I like it.
Jason Hiner You got to like a company that‘s going to stand up Apple.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Pete Cashmore And what’s best I mean – we’re – I am going to see where everyone’s kind of supporting Palm to some degree here, what’s best for the consumer?
Leo Laporte Exactly. Exactly.
Pete Cashmore Do you want integration between these things or don’t you? Of course you do. So it’s kind of anti-consumer by Apple. Apple obviously always like this bubble. They don’t want anyone else kind of – they say we’re trying to maintain the consumer experience. ‘We don’t want people ruining the experience. What if his Palm breaks, that’s going to reflect badly on us’ but really it’s about you know protecting their asset and being anti-consumer.
Leo Laporte It’s a monopoly. Let’s say the M word, it’s monopoly.
Pete Cashmore Yeah.
Leo Laporte Yeah
Pete Cashmore So what’s – the real root of the story is we’re all kind of routing for Palm and hoping that they’re going to keep fighting that battle, and –
John C. Dvorak Well let me – let me defend Apple in this thing. It’s my understanding that from the get go, even though Apple makes a lot of money, they have a lot of downloads, is that the whole orientation, it was a razor blade scheme to begin with and it was actually iTunes that was the loss leader designed to sell more hardware, their expensive phone and the iPod, both high margin items. So now some interloper comes along and takes advantage of the loss leader, in other words you know they’re losing money by running the service in the first place and they don’t want them on there. It’s just like that’s money out of their pockets. It’s ridiculous. I don’t blame Apple for being upset about this.
Leo Laporte Palm says that Apple should not be allowed to set iTunes to respond only to devices with the Apple USB codes. And so they have gone to the USB Implementers Forum to complain. However, the USB Implementers Forum says a vendor ID used by a product must match the ID code of the company producing the product. Palm is not doing that. They’re saying, no, I’m an iPod.
Jason Hiner Yeah, I think Palm’s strategy is really flawed here. I mean they really – anything they do with this, they’re really reinforcing sort of Apple’s position in the market.
Leo Laporte And they can’t win in the long run. Can they?
Jason Hiner They cannot win, no, exactly. They –
John C. Dvorak Well, they can win in the EU if somebody cracks down on it.
Leo Laporte Yeah, that’s true.
Jason Hiner That’s true. That’s true. But I mean they really just need to come up with their own software that pulls in just – use their desktop sync software, pull in, like the MP3 store from Amazon, pull in AAC files. You can get AAC files, these files are unlocked now. They don’t have DRM locking them down. You can take those files and pull them on to the Palm Pre and play it in their software. It’d be a much better move for them just to create some really good desktop software that pulls the stuff in.
Leo Laporte I agree. It’s kind of childish to be honest with you.
Jason Hiner It is, it is.
Leo Laporte It’s kind of an odd thing for a company to do. We can do it. We can sync – and it’s not that important really for the functionality of the Pre, let’s face it.
Jason Hiner Yup.
Leo Laporte I don’t think they need to do it.
Let’s see here. iPhone will not be exclusive forever, says AT&T’s CEO kind of admitting to the world that AT&T isn’t going to be able to own this phone forever. In fact Verizon’s CEO is kind of intimidating that they’re going to have the iPhone soon. And now we’re seeing from AppleInsider, what they say is we believe given our source that this is absolutely true that the Apple tablet has been approved for the first quarter of 2010, maybe this will be a device that ships on the Verizon platform. Verizon is pushing its new [indiscernible].
John C. Dvorak The tablet?
Leo Laporte Yeah, a 10-inch…
John C. Dvorak The one – the big old thing that you got to hold up to your ear? Hello? [Indiscernible]
Leo Laporte I don’t think it’ll be a phone. I hope not!
Jason Hiner Here we go again.
John C. Dvorak [Indiscernible]
Leo Laporte I hope not. I think it’s supposed to be a computing device, but maybe not. I don’t know.
John C. Dvorak How about this story by the way? Skype singled out as a threat to Russia’s security. Did you do that one?
Leo Laporte I throw those in so I can use my Russian accent. That’s the only reason.
John C. Dvorak Oh! Fantastic.
Leo Laporte It’s all I do, look for story that says Russia, Russia’s most powerful business lobby move to clamp down on Skype and its peers this week. Telling lawmakers Internet phone services are a threat to Russian business and national security.
John C. Dvorak How is this – what’s their logic?
Leo Laporte I have – this makes no sense. The former world champion of chess, Garry Kasparov, who has become a very political, in fact, ran for the President in Russia, he said if it weren’t for Skype, I’d be in jail right now. He said, whatever the modern equivalent of the KGB taps all my calls. I only use Skype because of the encryption.
John C. Dvorak They are looking for his moves.
Leo Laporte It’s not safe out there, it’s dangerous. Without government restrict – this is really crazy. This is crackpot. Without government restrictions, IP telephony, they say, causes certain concerns about security. Most of the service operators working in Russia such as Skype and ICQ are foreign. It’s therefore necessary –
John C. Dvorak Heh. They’re foreign.
Leo Laporte It’s necessary to protect the native companies in this sector and so forth.
Jason Hiner I don’t know, I kind of wonder if there is something under the surface going on here I mean Russia has a lot of serious hackers and cracking rings tied to the mafia. They have a really bad organized crime problem. I don’t know, I kind of wonder if maybe this is about trying to keep those organized crime rings from getting out of the –
Leo Laporte Maybe, maybe they know something we don’t know, yeah.
John C. Dvorak That’s a possibility.
Pete Cashmore Speaking of communications and security, can we do our daily Twitter segment – or weekly Twitter segment, the Twitter app that someone create for TWiT skips past?
Leo Laporte Sure.
Pete Cashmore Because we haven’t mentioned the T word at all!
Leo Laporte No, I’ve –
John C. Dvorak Yay!
Pete Cashmore We’re doing really well.
Leo Laporte John – it makes me nervous to mention the T word with John in the house.
John C. Dvorak Well, now I have to say THErealDVORAK, ladies and gentlemen, I’m trying to get my numbers up a little bit, but they just seem to be stagnant.
Leo Laporte A lot of people lost followers this week as Twitter clobbered some spam.
Pete Cashmore Yeah, there was a big drop. We had a couple of stories on that. And just crazy amounts of people piling in and I think like a thousand comments on the stories about – obviously people seem to really watch that number and be kind of offended that they lost 20 followers. That wasn’t the story I was going to pick up on actually, but –
Leo Laporte What is the story you want to talk about, Pete?
Pete Cashmore It was that you put in this “Twitter banned from The White House” story.
Leo Laporte Ah yes. Well of course, The White House has a Twitter account as does Barack Obama. They use it for PR, publicity and so forth. However, I don’t know how exactly they are posting. According to ReadWriteWeb, Steve – rather Robert Gibbs, Press Secretary mentioned casually to CNN that Twitter is blocked on official White House computers.
Jason Hiner Well, let’s be honest –
John C. Dvorak Censorship!
Leo Laporte That’s censorship! How dare they?
John C. Dvorak [indiscernible] censorship does not – it makes no – this is horrible!
Jason Hiner If I was running The White House, I’d block Twitter too.
Pete Cashmore I would as well. I’m surprised that –
John C. Dvorak Oh yeah, you guys are all – everybody is a big talker about the Internet and all this, and then you want to block stuff. That’s [indiscernible], the Chinese do it. Oh, my god! They can’t put up with that.
Pete Cashmore I don’t see the value add here of using Twitter in The White House. I mean this is – all it’s going to do is leak stuff.
John C. Dvorak I think it’s up to the individuals to make the decision. You can fire somebody, you can monitor them.
Jason Hiner That’s true.
John C. Dvorak But I think blocking is a bad thing.
Jason Hiner Now that’s true, that’s a good – you just have a policy. Maybe it’s better to just have the policy and say, look if you do it we’re going to fire you.
Leo Laporte Lot of businesses block social networks, not for security –
John C. Dvorak They blocked Dvorak Uncensored for God’s sake [indiscernible].
Leo Laporte Yeah, you’re blocked in China by the way. You’re blocked in China. I couldn’t get to your site in China.
Jason Hiner 71%.
John C. Dvorak You didn’t even try.
Leo Laporte I was so overwhelmed with withdrawal, it was so tough.
Jason Hiner 71% of IT departments block social network [indiscernible].
Leo Laporte You bet, not because of security –
Jason Hiner Yeah, but I –
Leo Laporte Because it’s a timesink!
John C. Dvorak It’s censorship!
Leo Laporte No, it’s a timesink! I block Twitter here at the cottage.
Pete Cashmore I think that’s different though. I think if you’re at a business, then all your employees can be your marketers. If you’ve got all your employees with a good Twitter policy, and they’re saying, hey, I’m working on this awesome new project, service, we’ve got coming out, then you can get people really engaged with your business. It’s marketing channel. The White House doesn’t really, in my opinion, need all its staff to be marketers for The White House. So I just don’t see that.
John C. Dvorak I’m against all of censorship.
Jason Hiner I agree with John though. Do it as a policy, don’t block it. Do it as a policy. If people don’t follow it –
Leo Laporte Here is the funny thing. According to Mitch Kapor, they are doing the same thing that people in China do. The White House staffers are using their iPhones and they are getting around the block and they’re still –
John C. Dvorak Oh, using IMs?
Leo Laporte Yeah, they – well they use iPhones to any of the Twitter apps, they don’t go to the website –
John C. Dvorak All right, you can go to the Twitter app on the phone.
Leo Laporte Yeah, you use Tweetie and it just goes right out. You don’t need to – it’s the same problem they had in China. I was able to get onto a lot of these sites even though they were blocked just by using iPhone apps.
John C. Dvorak Oh, I found most of the propaganda about China, you drive around, everyone has got a dish – network dish.
Leo Laporte Oh, absolutely. But I was watching CNN and as soon as they started talking about the Uighur rebellion, pssht! It goes black.
John C. Dvorak Oh, you actually caught that?
Leo Laporte Oh, yeah, for two minutes it’s black and then it comes back when the next story is on. Oh, they are pretty – I think they are pretty aggressive about blocking.
John C. Dvorak What hotel were you at?
Leo Laporte Raffles. And then at the Sofitel in Xian, same thing happened. But these are Western hotels for Westerners and they still do it.
But you’re right. Everybody has a dish. I was in the countryside. These people raise kumquats. They make their own tofu to make a little extra money on the side in the local market and they’ve got a 50 inch HDTV with a satellite dish in their house!
Jason Hiner Wild. Even people internationally, I have some friends that are Iranian in the U.S. here and they have satellite dishes that pick up all the Iranian satellite channels here in the U.S. And so –
Leo Laporte That’s amazing.
Jason Hiner They watch all of the channels. Now some of them don’t come from – some come from in Iran, some of them are broadcast like from LA and London and places like that. But it’s pretty wild. It’s just a different world.
John C. Dvorak Well actually, if you get a hold of the dish network folks, they actually have international plans that they don’t advertise much. Because I know someone and she says, it’s all dish network. It’s on their menu and the whole thing, all Russian TV.
Leo Laporte Oh, I love it. It’s good. I’m going to get that.
John C. Dvorak I’ll make some dubs for you.
Leo Laporte Will you please? I need to practice accent.
Pete Cashmore I think one key thing when you say it’s censorship is, okay sure, there is a risk of leaking but what about kind of consuming information? I mean you were saying, Leo, that you’re using Twitter to read news and consume content.
Leo Laporte It’s true. It’s true. And it’s replaced my news reader.
Pete Cashmore So there is an argument that at least on the inbound you’re going to get a lot more value out of something like Twitter than reading RSS, you’re going to be a lot more clued in.
Leo Laporte I think –
Pete Cashmore So there is that argument on the inbound that certainly you should be reading Twitter.
Leo Laporte I think you got to grow – you got to grow up. You got to assume your staffers are adults. This is ridiculous – to block something is absurd. That’s just absurd. That’s treating them like kids.
Jason Hiner It means you don’t trust your people.
Leo Laporte Yeah, I’m sorry. That’s ridiculous.
John C. Dvorak Yeah, you should spy on them instead.
Leo Laporte Yeah, we can see what you’re doing, we don’t have block anything. Lets take a little time out, if you want to go baste your meat John, you may do so…
Jason Hiner Is this a euphemism? I hear this in every show.
Leo Laporte It all started when John…
John C. Dvorak It’s become a – it’s become, yeah a euphemism, definitely.
Leo Laporte It’s a euphemism.
John C. Dvorak No, I cook!
Leo Laporte He literally, it’s Sunday afternoon when we record the show, John frequently is making pulled pork or some other fine roast…
Jason Hiner So what can’t we just have [indiscernible] – why can’t we just have this at Dvorak’s house and have dinner afterwards?
Leo Laporte I agree, I think John we should be going over there, and what are you cooking tonight, are you cooking?
John C. Dvorak I’m just doing some flank steak. But doing a pulled pork would be a good – the problem is, it’s the timing on pulled pork. It’s like, takes 12 to 14 hours, sometimes 16 to make the damned thing.
Leo Laporte Now flank steak is a fantastic cut, but it can be a little chewy. Do you tenderize?
John C. Dvorak No, what you do – flank steak is a simple thing to cook. I actually had a recipe that I posted when I used to…
Leo Laporte It’s very lean; it’s very healthy for you.
John C. Dvorak Yeah it’s very – and tasty.
Leo Laporte Oh! I love it.
John C. Dvorak But it’s essentially – you have to cook it over extremely high heat, very short period of time and you marinade it for a very short period, about 20 minutes max with – and what the easiest one, I’ve tried a lot of different things, but for people out there who want to catch this recipe, you take a flank steak and you just soak it in – of all things – and this is the best, believe me – Kikkoman soy sauce, the one that’s made in the United States. It’s a soy based – it’s actually a tenderizing product. And you soak the meat in that for about twenty minutes at the most and if you over soak it, it will cook the meat because it’s so salty. And then you get a really hot barbecue going, you definitely have to have the thing blazing, so it’s about 800, 900 degrees on the surface temperature and you throw the flank steak on and you cook it on each side rather quickly for about 2, 3 minutes, you get the hang of it after you do about 2 or 3 of them. And then you make the sideways cut, you do – you cut at an angle, with the – you have the grain going across it and the grain goes this way…
Leo Laporte Because, won’t a flank steak curl because it – do you…?
John C. Dvorak No, no.
Leo Laporte You don’t have the curling problem.
John C. Dvorak It won’t curl if you do at this way.
Leo Laporte Okay
John C. Dvorak And also that membrane is broken down by the soy sauce.
Leo Laporte Ah, okay.
John C. Dvorak Throw it on for three, three and a half minutes on each side. Bang, bang, bang, you get – the thing is, the most unbelievable cut of meat. And they’re always available – there is only two of them on a steer but they’re available because nobody knows how to cook them. And if you don’t know what you’re doing, they will be horribly tough.
Leo Laporte Tough and dry and horrible, Yeah, so fast cooking, marinate in Kikkoman for 20 minutes, ladies and gentlemen, there is our recipe of the day thanks to John C. Dvorak. I love this show.
Jason Hiner [indiscernible]
Leo Laporte You can go, you can go listen to your Buzz Out Loud, you can go watch your news on TV, but nowhere are you going to get a flank steak recipe, no other tech programming will give you…
Jason Hiner No recipes on those shows!
Leo Laporte No!
John C. Dvorak Especially on those shows, they eat burgers, those people!
Leo Laporte No other show will give you this quality content. The good folks at the Citrix are our sponsors and I’m going to mention their product GoToMeeting right now. We use GoToMeeting on a couple of our other shows, Maxwell’s House for instance, he does it for screenshots. GoToMeeting is designed to make online meetings every bit as good, every bit as effective, every bit as compelling as the in-person meeting.
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I have actually used it to rehearse. We had a speech I was doing with three other guys and it was a very fast paced speech we had to go boom boom boom boom boom. They had it all in PowerPoint, they had written it, I had never seen it before. We rehearsed, using GoToMeeting in real time. It was incredible. This thing really works, brought to you by the folks at Citrix so you know it’s secure, you know it’s fast, you know it’s going to work and I will tell you, the day you save 300 bucks on a plane ticket is the day you realize how affordable GoToMeeting is at $49 a month. For as many meetings as you want, as long as you want, but try it free right now for 30 days. Go to gotomeeting.com/twit. gotomeeting.com/twit. From the great folks at Citrix, we thank them so much for their support of this WEEK in TECH.
So we have had now in the last month two, count them, two false positives in antiviruses and the most recent is a nasty one: Computer Associates Antivirus. I hope nobody is using that. Had a false positive that if you are running it, this was the latest version, updated, it would warn of an infection, quarantine the files, the files turned out to be critical Windows system files, as soon as it did that, boom! Your system crashed that’s it, it’s over.
John C. Dvorak I love these stories.
Leo Laporte What a piece of crap!
John C. Dvorak Thanks for your help.
Leo Laporte What a piece of –
Pete Cashmore Actually related to that I covered a story on, I think it was Friday, AVG had a huge issue because AVG is a big, big, very, very popular antivirus software and it was identifying iTunes as a trojan. So it would pick out all these iTunes files and then you’d go okay let’s quarantine those, and then you’d try and use iTunes and it obviously wouldn’t work because you’ve just quarantined a bunch of the files that iTunes requires to work. I think they’ve issued a patch, I think if you go and update AVG now, it’s just if they updated their virus definitions they included iTunes files for no particular reason. People say, oh my goodness, have I got an iTunes trojan and you know, obviously.
Leo Laporte CA has it patched, CA has it patched too.
Pete Cashmore That one’s slightly less annoying than the one that you just mentioned which was, essentially, it sounds like it just – end of world scenario.
Leo Laporte End of the world, yeah.
John C. Dvorak I’m a big fan of AVG.
Leo Laporte No I think probably I would bet you most of our audience, more than half of audience uses it, because it’s free.
John C. Dvorak Yeah if you can find it free… it’s free.grisoft.com ladies and gentlemen.
Leo Laporte That’s right, free.grisoft.com.
Pete Cashmore I used to use it, yeah.
Leo Laporte I don’t mind spending thirty bucks for a good antivirus to be honest with you.
John C. Dvorak I don’t mind it either, but I don’t like them getting on my machine and then reminding me for the rest of my life [indiscernible] or it interrupts me, I can’t take it.
Leo Laporte That’s Norton. I hate Norton. I use Norton 32.
Jason Hiner One of the best ones was actually OneCare, Microsoft OneCare and they got rid of it.
Leo Laporte Well no, but now they’re going to – now, and this is the interesting thing, all these companies are going to be out of business because they are going to give it away, Microsoft in a couple of months you are going to get free security suite from Microsoft.
Jason Hiner I’m glad you brought that up because some people are talking about this, this is an anti-trust thing. Although they’re going to offer it as a free download, so I really hope we don’t hear any of that crap. So Microsoft is going to fix its own product, build something in they should have done a long time ago and make it more user-friendly security features and then they are going to get sued for doing that, for putting people out of business. Look, if you’re a virus – antivirus maker and you made a product, you’ve always known that someday Microsoft could include this in the system. You took that risk when you became an antivirus…
Leo Laporte You’ve been lucky all this time that Microsoft was screwing up so bad and didn’t bother to fix it
Pete Cashmore You know Leo, this is a great transition to your story that you bookmarked about machines taking over the world.
Leo Laporte Okay…
Pete Cashmore And there was actually some good points in that article too, I can’t remember where that article is, I haven’t got it up. But basically it was that people were, there has been meetings about seriously considering this possibility that the machines are getting [indiscernible].
Leo Laporte Well, you know this has been the stuff of sci-fi, the Terminator and all that, but it turns out actually scientists are actually worried about this.
Pete Cashmore And one of the points in that article is that, you know, there are viruses out there that are essentially like cockroaches now; we can’t stamp them out even if we wanted to, and if we get to a point where these viruses can mutate, much like biological viruses, they’re in a situation where we could have no control over these viruses and then we’d reach a point where we have no control over actual physical hardware that’s able to self replicate.
Leo Laporte One of the things they were actually particularly worried about is autonomous killing machines. Right now the US has become more and more adept at to fighting a war with these Predator drones that are piloted out of a complex in Las Vegas and I think that’s where we’re headed, where the video game jockeys growing up today are going to end up piloting these machines. But autonomous machines are a little bit scary because they are not piloted and that was something that particularly scared these scientists. There was a meeting of artificial intelligence researchers and roboticists at a cinema in Monterey just recently. There is a New York Times article on it.
John C. Dvorak There is always a good movie about this. What was that movie that these guys are out in the desert and there’s these autonomous things that were under the sand and they grind you up and then one of them came along, it was robot and there was…
Leo Laporte It’s called Transformers, it was a fantastic film.
Jason Hiner No, that wasn’t Transformers. And by the way we should always give a shout out to the classic movie The Last Starfighter which was a movie where the kid was a great video game player and then was recruited.
Leo Laporte That’s right.
John C. Dvorak And then was recruited. And that’s – every time I see those drone guys in Vegas, you know, I’m thinking there you go, there you have it.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
John C. Dvorak What’s the difference?
Pete Cashmore I think the greater concern immediately with these drones is that they just go wrong. There was a story on – I think it was on another podcast called Buzz Out Loud, which is equally awesome, about – the problem is these – you know, you arm up these robots they have the exact same issues of software that we have on our machines, except when they make a mistakes they kill a bunch of people and that’s the – that’s the immediate concern, that…
Leo Laporte That’s life.
Pete Cashmore Software is imperfect. And we’re arming up our – you know, you get a bug and it kills some.
John C. Dvorak Alright, let’s get it back. We’re drifting off there into Never, Never Land.
Pete Cashmore I have no transition here but you got a story about Bill Gates quitting Facebook.
Leo Laporte He’s dropped his Facebook and you had a – I actually saw this on Mashable because I followed your link to PC World’s…
Pete Cashmore You saw it on Mashable, but you linked the New York Times. What’s with that?
Leo Laporte I’m sorry I put a New York Times link in there. But – well, the New York Times link has his – has his – more from his speech. He talked about a lot of things.
Pete Cashmore I know, I just went for the cheap shot, I know.
Leo Laporte He talked about a lot of things, but I did like that fact that he said, “I don’t – I stopped my Facebook page because 10,000 people wanted to be my friend I didn’t know which ones were actual friends and which ones weren’t. So I just screw it.”
Jason Hiner What!? Hey Bill, wake up!
Leo Laporte I can’t tell which of you I know!
Jason Hiner None of them are your friends, none of them. Just say yes.
Leo Laporte But PC World did a very funny parody Bill Gates’ Facebook page.
Pete Cashmore Yeah, so when I was looking through on this, I find this PC World thing and we actually put up a post today called “Top Five Funniest Fake Facebook Pages”, where I’ve started digging into this stuff, and there’s actually – there’s actually the funnier bit of the story was that PC World, no one had really seen it, it didn’t get Dugg or anything, they’d created back in April like a parody Facebook page of Bill Gates and it has like, you know Steve Jobs saying that the new iPod – well, him saying to Steve Jobs that, you know…
Leo Laporte Well, it’s – no, no, no, get it right, get it right. Because it starts, it starts, it says “Steve Jobs says: Oh, Bill, hey, remember that great operating system that you wrote? Oh yeah, neither do I”. And then Gate responds – this was on the wall – Gates responds back, says “Yeah Bill, that iPod nano, it looks like a tampon!” And it’s just really funny, I mean it’s like if they had a Facebook page, this would be what it was like. It was very funny.
Pete Cashmore It’s brilliant. And then we did a “Top Five Funniest Fake Facebook Pages”.
Leo Laporte So are these on Facebook? Because you can’t really put a fake page up.
Pete Cashmore No, they are mock-ups. They are – you know people in – [indiscernible]
Leo Laporte So, who else, what other people have Facebook – fake Facebook pages?
Pete Cashmore Let me go pull up the post. I mean there was one from – there’s a – there’s one for the story of Genesis – God’s Facebook page.
Leo Laporte Oh yeah.
Pete Cashmore There is one that’s Satan’s Facebook page and he’s just signed the Jonas Brothers for three thousand years. There’s some really good ones actually. And I’m not doing a justice with that pulling it up…
Leo Laporte Actually that explains a lot!
Pete Cashmore There’s Obama’s first 100 days from Slate, all told in kind of Facebook updates; there’s Hitler’s Facebook; there’s Steve Jobs, they did one on Steve Jobs which was very, very funny.
Leo Laporte By the way, that’s an Internet meme that can die now. The – they use that scene, the Hitler scene from the Bruno Ganz doing Hitler.
Pete Cashmore Oh, honestly, yeah.
Leo Laporte And then they just tie some other – you know it’s a subtitle that ties like Hitler learns that Michael Jackson is dead, or – I’m so sick of this meme. You can stop that now kids. No more of those okay?
Here is an interesting story. For seven years, the National Transportation Safety Board has known – the Highway Safety Agency, actually, I should get this right – the NHTSA, the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration has been wanting to recommend that cell phone use of all kinds be banned in cars, because they’ve known since 2002 it’s just as dangerous even with a hands-free unit.
John C. Dvorak Yeah, that’s because people can’t concentrate and drive at the same time. How many times you have been down the road with somebody yakking on the phone, they’re swerving all over the place and they’re ada da da da da, and you know they’re…
Leo Laporte There’s studies galore that show that this is just as dangerous, this is the equivalent of having three or four drinks in you and in fact this report, which was suppressed – the only reason we know it’s out is because Public Citizen and the Center for Auto Safety filed a freedom of information…
John C. Dvorak Yeah. Obviously, somebody was paying off somebody, the phone company, the handset makers…
Leo Laporte They suppressed this!
John C. Dvorak …actually it would have to be the cell phone companies not those handset guys.
Leo Laporte That’s who it is, the cell phone companies.
Jason Hiner Well, I have to admit, you know this spring I spent some time in San Francisco and they have the ban of course, in California you can’t do hands-free. I do think not having your hand on the phone – having your hand on the phone is even a more impairment.
Leo Laporte Yeah because you can’t actually – you can’t even steer, because you are…
Jason Hiner Yeah, exactly, so I came back, when I came back to Louisville, which is where TechRepublic’s headquarters are and I was there and I noticed I was sitting at the light my first stay back at work, and every freaking person is on the cell phone. And I’m like I felt…
Leo Laporte It’s scary.
Jason Hiner …well, you know, yeah, kind of scared. It was like none of these people are paying any attention to anything and they are driving.
John C. Dvorak Why do they need to talk so much?
Jason Hiner I know!
Leo Laporte This is my – there is two theories. There’s a conspiracy theory that the cell phone companies suppressed this report. By the way one of the things they said in this report was that they didn’t recommend state legislation requiring hands-free units because that “may erroneously imply that hands-free phones are safe to use while driving.” So, they didn’t even think that there should be laws banning the use of a cell phone or requiring the use of a hands-free. They said that this should be banned in cars completely.
Now here is – there’s two scenarios: One that the cell phone companies got to them and said “Hey, you’re not – there’s no way you’re putting that out.” The other one I think is maybe even more likely they realized that voters would go crazy if anybody attempted to ban cell phone use.
John C. Dvorak I am not convinced of that second scenario and I’ll tell you why. I think most of the people that are on the phone all the time are too dumb to vote. And they probably have no [indiscernible] and the rest of us have been scared once or twice a week by some maniac that almost kills us because they’re on their cell phone.
Leo Laporte Oh yeah, absolutely.
John C. Dvorak And are texting –
Pete Cashmore I don’t know, I think it – I think it’s unpopular policy though, I mean…
Leo Laporte Texting’s really – I mean I’ve done that. I’ve held the steering wheel and texted with my thumb.
Jason Hiner Ever since I saw that Will Smith movie I’ve quit messing with my – you know where he’s texting, on his BlackBerry and then he hits that other family, and oh yeah. After that I was like, okay, I’ve got to quit.
Leo Laporte Yeah, no, it’s very dangerous. You don’t think that – I mean I think legislators probably realize that they would be hideously – it would be death, political death, to sponsor a bill that prevented people from using cell phones.
John C. Dvorak They should have some guts.
Pete Cashmore I think it would be – it would be hugely unpopular, but if you’re saying, you know, it’s as dangerous as…
Leo Laporte It is!
Pete Cashmore …not quite drunk-driving, but having a few drinks in you, you know clearly it’s very, very popular, talking on your cell phone, but it’s hugely dangerous.
Leo Laporte What are the laws in the U.K.? Can you – are they – do they require…?
Pete Cashmore I actually can’t remember, that’s a good point. I don’t recall I just never – I don’t have a car-phone so I don’t –
Leo Laporte So you don’t do it?
Pete Cashmore No.
Leo Laporte Good for you.
Pete Cashmore No. But I – I think you know, it’s not about – it’s ultimately about the right of whatever the pedestrian that could be killed, or you know other driver that you can crash into. It’s, you know, a rights and responsibilities thing, and if this is as dangerous as the study suggests, then obviously it’s not going to be popular to ban it, but it’s what you are going to do if you’re going to – if there’s a significant number of deaths happening from this.
Jason Hiner I am going to blog about this next week. I'm on vacation, but I'm still going to blog about it.
Leo Laporte Good.
John C. Dvorak Now there’s one story that before we finish I want to mention. Did anybody take a look at this PowerPoint presentation of the Microsoft Store, that’s just leaked out?
Jason Hiner I haven’t seen this.
Leo Laporte Tell us about it, John.
Pete Cashmore It sounds good.
Leo Laporte First of all their plan is to build stores next door to the Apple stores.
John C. Dvorak Yes. And I – by the way and I’ve mentioned this before and I’ll mention it again and [indiscernible], but they kind of took out the name of the company and also if this was – took place in the 60s not the 70s like I’d recall, which is the, there used to be a hamburger chain, and Leo might remember them. But they were called Henry’s and you can look them up on the internet because there’s a bunch of people that collect their old signs and stuff. It’s actually one of these nostalgia places. Anyway Henry’s $0.15 hamburgers was – their strategy was to find a McDonald’s and figure that somebody knew what they were doing to put the McDonald’s there and they put a Henry’s right around the corner.
Leo Laporte Well, it’s true! McDonald’s like Starbucks and any other really sophisticated retail operation does a lot a research before they choose where to build a store.
John C. Dvorak Yeah, especially in the early days. And so what – Henry’s would just find – say “Oh let’s put one here”. And they have – I went on to one of the Henry’s sites in they showed, they failed to mention that there was a bunch of these places in California and I remember the Henry’s hamburgers in San Jose. But anyway there was – the thing was also a McDonald’s clone. They tried to look like a McDonald’s only. the theme was green and red. And it was just sucked. I mean the burgers were almost identical so that didn’t make much difference, but it was like a bad stupid idea, there was no originality really and this is exactly what Microsoft’s doing which is another point I try to make which is, okay, Apple’s got the store – and nobody’s done well with the stores, I mean everybody’s pretty much almost gone out of business with [indiscernible].
Leo Laporte Gateway, remember Gateway?
John C. Dvorak Gateway, well before that CompuAd.
Leo Laporte CompuAd.
John C. Dvorak And before that IBM.
Leo Laporte So Microsoft stores are basically very similar – you know Apple stores really succeed, whether they sell computers or not they succeed in kind of positioning the Apple experience. And I could see why Microsoft would want to kind of…
Pete Cashmore Well, yeah but Apple’s a lifestyle brand.
Leo Laporte …get some of that magic.
Pete Cashmore That’s completely different. I mean if you’re selling a lifestyle brand and you’re selling hardware.
Leo Laporte Well, yeah Microsoft doesn’t even sell – yeah.
Pete Cashmore Microsoft sell some hardware but they don’t sell the computers that are running Windows, so I don’t see the sell here.
Leo Laporte Here’s some of the copy from the PowerPoint.
“Emily has come in for an appointment at the Windows bar.”
It said Genius.
Pete Cashmore Is that what they’re going to call it?
Leo Laporte It said Genius but they crossed that out. “The Windows bar for personal training. The easy to find iconic glass back wall boldly showcases this service offering throughout the store. The dynamic video or screen projection inside the wall broadcasts brand messages. Truth is beauty.” ‘War is peace’ – no, no that’s something else. “As well as queue status and announcements welcoming new PC users after a sale.” ‘Congratulations Lauren, you’re a new PC owner!’
Jason Hiner This sounds fake to me. This really does.
Leo Laporte No, no, Microsoft has confirmed these are real.
Jason Hiner Oh! God. You got to be kidding me.
John C. Dvorak That’s how bad it is, that it would sound fake. That’s how bad it is.
Leo Laporte “Before her appointment”
Jason Hiner I was just about to defend them on this actually –
Leo Laporte No, no this is real.
John C. Dvorak Always a mistake by the way.
Leo Laporte Yeah, don’t defend Microsoft. “Before her appointment, Emily receives an email notification” by the way this is everything Apple does “reminding her of the appointment. Real time email notifications keep her informed of her place in line. The friendly associates enhance the Windows bar experience with their distinctive style, knowledge and recommendations.”
Pete Cashmore Wow.
John C. Dvorak It’s pathetic.
Jason Hiner There is one scenario where they could actually – this thing could actually work for them. I don’t know if you guys have seen their booths at CES? If the people who put together their booths at CES…
Leo Laporte Those are quite beautiful, yeah.
Jason Hiner …did their stores, it would be great. Because it would be – it was kind of similar to Apple – it’s a showcase right? It shows what they’re working on now, but even more it shows like ‘here’s stuff that we’re working on that’s kind of coming’ and some of it’s concept car-ish – but I think technofiles like that stuff – the technofiles that go to the Apple stores that aren’t Mac boys would like that.
John C. Dvorak There is no chance in a million years that the scenario you described would ever take place. Microsoft does not have very good inter-corporate communication to begin with…
Jason Hiner You’re right, you’re right.
John C. Dvorak …and there’s so much jealously on all kinds of levels there that you wouldn’t let this guy who does the trade shows even talk to these people. I guarantee there’s going to be none of that element at these stores.
Jason Hiner If they did, they could win. But I think you’re right, I don’t think they will.
Leo Laporte I just think it’s so funny that they can’t come up with anything original. They’ve got a Genius bar, they’ve got appointments, I mean if you look through it, it’s – they might as well have just taken the plans for the Apple store and…
John C. Dvorak Well, even they – they have the plans on slide five and it looks like the layout of an Apple – of an early Apple store.
Leo Laporte Yeah. They have a theatre; they have a stage where they do instructional stuff. I mean the whole thing is –
John C. Dvorak Yeah, I know, you know. Anyway these companies have failed it. This is the hardest thing in the world to do. To do a –
Jason Hiner It is and it’s expensive too. You’re setting yourself up with this massive overhead of all these stores. Even if you decide it fails it’s not like shutting down Bing or something…
Leo Laporte That’s true.
Jason Hiner …and say ‘all right we’re to move some people here or there’. I mean shutting down stores is as expensive as opening them.
Leo Laporte I am sorry. They call it the Guru bar.
Jason Hiner Oh jeez.
John C. Dvorak Even worse. ‘Can we have something that starts with a G?’
Pete Cashmore They just basically opened the thesaurus and said ‘ok what’s good for Genius? No one will notice.’
Leo Laporte Genius, Genius…g, g, g… Guru!
Hey guys – I wanted – not Bing, Bingo! I want to thank so much for being here. Pete Cashmore we love Mashable, I’m so glad you could spend some time with us today, it’s really great having you on. Mashable.com an on twitter you are…
Pete Cashmore @Mashable
Leo Laporte @Mashable. There’s no Pete Cashmore account?
Pete Cashmore Uh, nope! I just use the @Mashable.
Leo Laporte That’s all you need. Well, it’s great to have you. Thank you for joining us
Jason Hiner is the Editor in Chief of the TechRepublic. Go there now and you can see my cabinet.
Jason Hiner That’s right.
Leo Laporte What did we make John is he the Secretary of..?
Jason Hiner Secretary of Justice.
Leo Laporte Justice John.
John C. Dvorak Justice. ‘Right you’re all – life sentence’.
Jason Hiner And Adam Curry as Secretary of Conspiracies.
John C. Dvorak Oh, that’s normal.
Jason Hiner Yes.
Leo Laporte ‘I’d never join a government, that would have me.’
Jason is the Editor in Chief of TechRepublic, great Ziff Davis Publication one of the last remaining.
John C. Dvorak CNET isn’t it?
Leo Laporte No, I’m sorry. It was Ziff Davis. Now CNET.
John C. Dvorak No, it never was Ziff Davis, was it?
Jason Hiner It was never Ziff Davis. Yeah, yeah it was – and so – I know it’s a convoluted…
Leo Laporte So confused.
Jason Hiner ZDNET, CNET – CNET bought ZDNet and then – and TechRepublic and then CNET…
Leo Laporte Okay, you were merged with ZDNet and then made into CNET, which was made into CBS.
Jason Hiner Yeah, pretty much, that’s –
Leo Laporte Which is soon to be a MySpace property. No, that’s not true.
Jason Hiner So you could also find me on twitter @JasonHiner. Just Hiner.
Leo Laporte JasonHiner.
John C. Dvorak And you can catch him on the HBO every other Saturday night at the –
Leo Laporte Using his pseudonym Max Kellerman.
Jason Hiner Right.
Pete Cashmore That’s right, of course.
Leo Laporte And Mr. John C. Dvorak is at ChannelDvorak and of course he’s the host of Cranky Geeks and Tech 5 and No Agenda and many other great programs, which all can found –
John C. Dvorak And a substitute host at once every two years on this show. Now –
Leo Laporte I’ll have you back anytime. You were great.
John C. Dvorak TheRealDvorak on Twitter is what I need, because I got to get my numbers up a little bit. I’m falliing, I’m lagging here.
Leo Laporte How many – well, how many followers do you have?
John C. Dvorak I think I’m at 58,400.
Leo Laporte You know it all pales compared to the two million plus that Ashton Kutcher has.
John C. Dvorak Yeah but –
Leo Laporte He is the master of true engagement.
John C. Dvorak I actually don’t think it would be good to have that many, because I’d like to still crowd source and I’m already – at 58, it’s actually too many.
Jason Hiner It becomes very hard once you get over, yeah, that many to actually track all your replies.
Leo Laporte Well, you don’t follow, you can’t follow every –
Jason Hiner I used to.
John C. Dvorak No it’s not that following thing, it’s the crowd sourcing, I’d say – you ask your crowd a question.
Leo Laporte Oh I see.
John C. Dvorak Yes.
Leo Laporte But you know the truth is, I bet you of those two million, how many are actually engaged, very few, right?
John C. Dvorak Yeah, I’ve done some, you know, testing and I think you’re lucky to have 10% of those people ever paying any attention
Leo Laporte You know what I did recently, which really worked out well, Jay Rosen who’s a Professor of Journalism at NYU and is a great guy to follow on Twitter, said and he just posted a Tweet “I have my – I follow 600 tiely tuned people in the Journalistic community” and I just stole his – all the people he followed. I just started following them. And it’s worked out really good, there’s this great discussion going on in journalism. In fact, I’m thinking I recommend this to people maybe look for somebody who is interesting himself or herself and see who he or she follows, because that’s a very good way to find out who else is interesting, particularly in an area.
Jason Hiner Yeah.
John C. Dvorak I think you should post your list, Leo.
Jason Hiner I’ve got a post coming up, a hundred technology experts on Twitter, including all the present company.
Pete Cashmore You know what they could do is RSS where – you know with RSS they have this OPML format…
Leo Laporte They need OPML. They need OPML for follower lists.
Pete Cashmore It’ll be cool if I can go ‘who does Leo – because I want to get started in podcasting, who does Leo follow’ and that would be really valuable.
John C. Dvorak All Leo follows are just B and A list celebrities, period.
Leo Laporte And porn stars.
Jason Hiner And porn stars.
Leo Laporte I keep hoping one of them will say something interesting. Constantly disappointed, let me tell you.
John C. Dvorak That’s kind of the drawback to those…
Leo Laporte The most boring people in the world are porn stars. Just –
John C. Dvorak ‘I have a shoot at one’
Leo Laporte Yeah, not even that!
John C. Dvorak ‘I’m going to wear my red shoes.’
Leo Laporte Yeah, not even that. I would love to hear that, not even that. ‘My cat is pink.’ I mean, I don’t know it’s like, inane.
John C. Dvorak And then they misspell pink, that’s the worst part.
Leo Laporte Yeah. Inane. I don’t know why I expected more, but I did.
Thank you all for being here, we will – don’t forget of course you can get TWiT at the iTunes store for free, even though it’s in the store, you explain that to Apple would you please? Or on the Zune store, same thing, free, just search for TWiT and all of our podcasts are there. But you can also watch us do it live every Sunday afternoon 6 PM eastern, 3 PM pacific at live.twit.tv and that’s the fun. That’s the fun. That’s where the fun happens.
Where people let their hair down and say at all that’s the stuff we edit out. We’ll see you next time. Another TWiT is in the can.
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