Recorded: October 11, 2009
Published: October 12, 2009
TWiT 216 •Previous episode – Next episode
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This is TWiT, this WEEK in TECH, Episode 216 for October 12, 2009: It’s Pimpin’ Time.
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Molly Wood This is TWiT, this WEEK in TECH. I am Molly Wood, filling in for Leo Laporte who is in Dubai at the TEDx conference and I was just saying that as much as I am thrilled and honored to be hosting TWiT this week, I frankly would kind of rather be Dubai looking at the fabulous buildings. Still…
Brian Brushwood Except, there’s a problem with you being in Dubai.
Molly Wood There is, yeah. They don’t want me there. Anyway, I am very excited about today, I’m here in the TWiT Cottage, I am joined by Brian Brushwood, the host of Scam School on Revision3.
Brian Brushwood Howdy! How are you, Captain Kirk?
Molly Wood Right here in the – yeah, I’m wearing Captain Kirk orange today.
Brian Brushwood Because you’re the leader, you’re in charge. You’re running the show.
Molly Wood It was an accident. But I feel good about it.
Brian Brushwood I’m wearing a red shirt, which all of a sudden….
Patrick Norton I was going to say, dude, take the red shirt off quickly!
Molly Wood I wasn’t going to mention it, but yup, he’s going down. Also joining us on Skype, Gina Trapani, host – co-host of This Week In Google. So you already know her, TWiT fans. And everyone is so excited. Hi, Gina, say hi.
Gina Trapani Greetings, humans! Hello.
Molly Wood This is what happened when we all heard that Gina was going to be on the show. Patrick Norton, Colleen who’s totally in charge of the board and the switching and everything today, and everybody else was basically like, oh Gina!
Brian Brushwood It’s rock star time.
Molly Wood Yeah, so no pressure.
Gina Trapani No pressure.
Brian Brushwood You even have the Madonna microphone going on.
Gina Trapani I do, I do. I got the little invisi-mike thanks to Colleen. I’m feeling very chic.
Molly Wood Very fabulous. And, TWiT regular, because we needed somebody to keep us in line around here. Patrick Norton.
Patrick Norton I don’t think I’ll be able to succeed keeping this crew in line. I’ll just try to keep from getting run over.
Brian Brushwood Not remotely. Like if he was here in the studio he’d have power. But he’s too far way.
Molly Wood It’s true. He is far away, he can’t do anything. And also we could probably ask Colleen to turn him off.
Brian Brushwood We’ll just see how that goes over.
Molly Wood I’m just saying, look out. All right. Well then let’s …
Patrick Norton Oh, my.
Molly Wood Let’s get this train rolling. So it seems that the big story of the week and the weekend that just keeps getting hotter and hotter is that, evidently, T-Mobile has lost all of the data…
Brian Brushwood Whoopsy!
Molly Wood …of its Sidekick users. Dun dun dun! Or as Engadget puts it: “one of the biggest disasters in the history of cloud computing and certainly the largest blow to Danger and the Sidekick platform.”
Brian Brushwood Is it looking like it’s confirmed, like it’s definitely gone?
Molly Wood They….
Patrick Norton The last – sorry.
Molly Wood No, go ahead.
Patrick Norton I was going to say the last email I saw was apparently they were doing a SAN upgrade – a fairly standard SAN upgrade, that they didn’t do a backup before the SAN upgrade, and things went really, really sideways. And that they think they’ve pretty much lost everything that you didn’t have backed up locally, which – on your phone. So, meaning if it’s (03:58) still on your phone, you can probably put it back up on their servers again, assuming you haven’t pitched your phone at the wall in disgust and…
Molly Wood Right.
Patrick Norton …completely melted down [indiscernible] (4:05).
Brian Brushwood They’re encouraging people to, like, not reboot their phone. Don’t turn your phone off, see if we can make something happen.
Molly Wood Yeah.
Gina Trapani That is so ridiculous. So you just have to plug in your phone and hope that things are going to come back or that you can back up your phone to your computer?
Molly Wood Basically. And that is essentially what they said to people, like, we’re really sorry, but your data has quote, “almost certainly been lost”.
Patrick Norton Wow! Yeah, that’s….
Molly Wood Can you imagine?
Brian Brushwood Can you imagine being the guy be who has to write that email? Like how do you do sit down and start typing that one out?
Patrick Norton I feel bad for that guy, but not nearly as bad as I feel for everybody in level one tech support who’s dealing with people going berserk on the phone right now because the pictures of their grandkids are gone. Like the guy who screwed up the backups is probably getting fired or beaten with a stick or whatever they do to people who have an oopsy of that magnitude.
Molly Wood Yeah.
Patrick Norton But I really bad for everybody that’s basically, you know – ‘Hello, this is T-Mobile, my name is Nuwanda can I help you?’ And then going through that process of, ‘we lost your stuff, we’re really, really sorry.’ And then getting screamed at and then having to do whatever comes next.
Molly Wood So, can you imagine? When is the last that you’ve ever called tech support? I mean, at least they usually pretend that they can give you an answer even though they almost certainly can’t. Like, to call tech support and to basically – and you know every call is like [frantic chattering sound] and then have them go, ‘yeah, you’re out of luck.’
Patrick Norton ‘We’re really sorry about that.’
Gina Trapani Make sure you don’t power down, kids.
Brian Brushwood Now, I tell you, I’ve never been happier to have an iPhone then right now. Because before the iPhone, I never would have backed up the contacts and stuff on my phone number, because it’s such a hassle, it’s such a huge pain in the butt. But because it’s integral to getting your updates on podcasts and all this – and your calendar and your other synchronization, finally I have a backup for all my numbers. I would have been one those people screwed if I had a Sidekick.
Molly Wood Yeah, that’s a really good point. I actually think that most smartphone owners who are not – like you said, iPhone owners who are connecting to iTunes all the time for various reasons, usually 80 meg upgrades, is that I don’t think smartphone users do back up their data. I know that I don’t.
Patrick Norton They do if they’ve had a phone stolen.
Molly Wood The – what?
Patrick Norton They do if they’ve had a phone stolen.
Molly Wood Well, good point. They should, if they’ve had anything else stolen and they’re still not.
Brian Brushwood That’s the tough thing. It’s easy to say, oh you should, you should, you should. But I’m saying, realistically, never. Never would have plugged it in, never would have backed it up, would have been one of those people saying, golly gee darn.
Molly Wood Right.
Brian Brushwood Only I don’t think I would have used those words.
Molly Wood The chat room is pointing out by the way if you have a Sidekick that the reason they don’t want you to power it off is that like a Palm, the data’s stored in RAM. So that if it is powered off or if the battery runs out, then all that data’s gone. As if it’s not gone already. That is definitely, though, that is a huge cloud problem.
Brian Brushwood Yeah. How many people like does – obviously, none of us – I’m saying obviously, but does anyone here have a Sidekick? That seems like kind of a non-techie-kind-of-guy-phone to have. Like, you don’t have a Sidekick, do you?
Molly Wood No, no.
Brian Brushwood I’m acting like it’s a second class smartphone or something.
Molly Wood Well, that’s the other thing. It is kind of, right. It’s not an actual smartphone as the weird definitions go. It’s a messaging phone. So it’s definitely even less likely to be backed up. But what is everybody using? I’m on a BlackBerry now, because I broke up with my iPhone.
Brian Brushwood Yeah, it’s got to be an iPhone.
Molly Wood Gina, what do you have?
Gina Trapani I have an Android phone, G1.
Molly Wood Yup, not surprised. Patrick?
Patrick Norton I had – I was planning on breaking up with my iPhone, then my hardware got repaired and AT&T went to 850 megahertz in San Francisco, and it saved our relationship.
Molly Wood It won you back.
Patrick Norton Actually, 850 megahertz made the iPhone functional. Because it basically – it had stopped working in my house.
Brian Brushwood Does it work in the office now? Because I know none of the iPhones seem to work at Revision3 headquarters.
Patrick Norton If I – it depends on whether – in my cubicle, which is like dead center in the Faraday cage, it’s a little awkward. If it’s on the right side of my cube, I get four bars, and if it’s on the left side of my cube, it gets a bar. But I can actually stand up and use my cell phone in the office for the first time ever.
Molly Wood That’s pretty good.
Patrick Norton They can’t roll out 850 megahertz nationwide on AT&T fast enough for me.
Molly Wood I broke up with my iPhone and then a week later got an email from AT&T saying that they had put up a new 3G tower a mile from my house. Which sounds like it should have been a wah-wah kind of moment. But then my friends came over with their iPhone 3Gs, still didn’t work.
Brian Brushwood No kidding?
Molly Wood Yup.
Patrick Norton Yeah.
Molly Wood Talk about living in a Faraday cage.
Brian Brushwood So you’re screwed no matter what. Sorry, Sidekick. Sorry, iPhone.
Molly Wood No matter what you do.
Brian Brushwood Actually, Gina, are you happy with your Android phone? Since we’re talking about…?
Gina Trapani I love Android. I don’t love the handset. I would love to upgrade to a new handset, the G1 is kind of crappy. But Android is fantastic, and I do love it. And I’m actually wondering if synching to Google -- that doesn’t really count as a local backup, does it? But I don’t know. I feel like Google’s probably not going to lose all of my account data anytime soon. Like this is just a ridiculous – I mean, how do you not have a backup, even if it’s a day-old backup? I don’t understand that.
Molly Wood Yeah, I agree. It is – most importantly, it is totally unacceptable to have a cloud service like that and have that level of failure. And apparently there’s already a class action suit brewing,
Brian Brushwood Like anything will ever happen to the cloud again after this. This is a one time deal, it’s going to be fine forever.
Molly Wood It’s going to be fine.
Patrick Norton Actually, there’s one really good thing about this, is that everybody who has anything stored in this manner, anybody who’s doing cloud computing right now on a really serious basis is now freaking out to make sure that they’ve done due diligence and have better backup systems in place. At least I hope.
Molly Wood Hopefully.
Patrick Norton As I stare at like Gmail and Google Docs and oh, Dropbox and…
Brian Brushwood I tell you what, at least it’s just a one-off isolated thing. It’s not like there is another story that’s similar to this of somebody whose data’s in the cloud and all of a sudden they can’t access it, like that would never happen twice in the same week.
Molly Wood No, never, there’s no way that if you were, for example, a fan of Google Voice, you just couldn’t make calls in certain areas, like…
Brian Brushwood Well, it’s – okay, well maybe that. But certainly Facebook would be fine, right? Like there’s no chance that…
Molly Wood Oh yeah, Facebook would be fine. No, no.
Brian Brushwood No ways.
Molly Wood Wow, are there just like a bunch of different stories like this today? Yeah, we’ll get to the Facebook thing in a minute. Although first, I want to talk a little bit about Google Voice, because this is pretty germane to our kind of mobile device discussion. The FCC now says, after AT&T accused Google of violating net neutrality laws by refusing to provide calls to rural areas…
Brian Brushwood For free.
Molly Wood …for free, even though they’re not a phone service. And we -- I believe on my show characterized that as ‘bald-faced lies from AT&T.’ Nevertheless, the FCC has decided to investigate whether Google has in fact violated telecommunications laws by refusing to connect some calls to rural areas.
Brian Brushwood By the way, I cracked the code on this one. Because you notice at the very end of the article it says, they asked how the service works and how Google sees the service fits under the FCC’s regulatory schemes. It also asks the company to explain its invitation-only policy for the trial service. I think they’re upset because they did not get Google Wave invites. That’s what this is all about.
Molly Wood That seems like the most likely possibility. Now Gina, I feel confident that you have probably talked about this issue, and exactly how Google Voice works. Is the FCC just misunderstanding the way that Google Voice works, or do you think this is a legitimate kind of thing to look into?
Gina Trapani I think that the FCC does kind of misunderstand. I mean I think Google Voice is kind of a new product, and I think that it’s important to understand that Google Voice is really kind of a complement to your existing phone service. Like, you can’t make Google Voice calls without a phone…
Molly Wood Right.
Gina Trapani …to begin with, it is not a phone service, just a sole phone service. It’s kind of – it’s an addition to that. I mean it gives you number portability, and it gives you voicemail transcription. But you still need a phone to use it. And they are providing it for free. So I think Google’s argument is valid, and I think that it’s so funny that they title – Google’s official blog posts are always very kind of politically correct, but this one was like, ‘Sex, Call Centers and Google Voice’. They’re making the argument that some of these rural areas that are really expensive to route calls to have like, sex call centers in them to pump traffic…
Molly Wood Right.
Gina Trapani …into them. So I thought it was kind of an interesting point that they brought up. But I think Google has a good point. And it would be really interesting to see, this is totally one of these new technologies, they’re sort of breaking new ground and the FCC’s got to figure out, well, are we going to treat these kinds of things differently?
Molly Wood Yeah, I think it’s reasonable in that sense for the FCC to at least look into it and say well okay there is no question that this is new technology and even if it’s not strictly speaking a phone service, is there a reason to check this out? And then I mean I guess you do have to wonder like is it okay for Google Voice to say, we’re just not going to provide service to those areas if they want to play in the telecommunication space. And I think what got AT&T so frustrated is that they were thinking well you are playing in our sandbox, but you don’t have to follows the same rules, although one could argue, should you have to follow the same rules if you are not actually a phone service? Which I guess I just keep coming back to.
Brian Brushwood So did I hear – did you say that the app only works on the phone, there is no way to use the same service from your desktop PC?
Gina Trapani Well, I mean from your desktop PC you could initiate a call – through Google Voice, through your Google Voice number, but it calls your phone.
Molly Wood Right.
Brian Brushwood Okay, so you can’t receive incoming calls that way. Got you.
Molly Wood Yeah exactly.
Gina Trapani Right, right. And I mean, cell phones – I don’t know if this is comparable, but cell phones can’t make 911 calls, right, from certain voice-over-IP. I mean there are restrictions with different types of phones that there are, right? I mean…
Patrick Norton Well, at this point, most of the voice-over-IP should be – sorry, all of a sudden the Blue Angels are roaring over the building. So if I start looking up and hiding under a desk, you’ll know why – But most of the voice-over-IP systems now have 911 call routing, the major ones. And that’s I mean that’s kind of been the classic fight between traditional telecommunications and everything coming out of like Silicon Valley or technology whatever it is, is all the people like AT&T is looking around like we have to comply by all these rules, we have to do all these things. And oh, yeah Google you call us out any time you feel annoyed by anything we do. So I think there may be just a little bit of tit-for-tat going on here to try to make it feel more competitive for AT&T or maybe less annoying because they have to be looking at Google and being like what are you guys doing?
Molly Wood Oh, I’m sure it drives them crazy.
Gina Trapani But they’re just scared to death that they can’t tie people to a single number for a two-year contract.
Molly Wood Yeah. And that’s the thing is that they are saying look, here’s this thing that has a really good chance of taking away business from us and yet they don’t have to follow the same rules that we do and they basically get to keep going around acting like big old jerks who still everybody loves. I mean, I think they are just like, ‘oh, I hate you Google!’
Gina Trapani Yeah.
Patrick Norton Do you think it – do they think it will really take away business or because it seems like it’s going to be a complement to any existing phone line whether it’s a landline or a cell line or are you thinking like people are just going to hop from account to account as soon as they have like a relatively guaranteed number through Google Voice?
Molly Wood Yeah, I mean I think it’s – I think it’s what Gina said is that people are going to be less -- they are going to be – if this technology becomes widespread, let’s start there, right, because right now it is very tiny. It’s a very tiny number of people who are using it, but if it becomes widespread it’s absolutely the kind of thing that could make people significantly less interested in signing those long contracts with a given carrier. They are going to be a lot more interested in buying unlocked phones paying for a small, a much smaller and cheaper plan and then using something like Google Voice with like -- or using a Verizon MiFi and an iPod touch and Vonage or something, I mean I think it just – it says, it makes the whole sort of cell phone hegemony slightly less necessary.
Gina Trapani It’s true.
Molly Wood But yeah, so let’s -- moving on to the cloud. Let’s get back to the cloud thing. Now that we’ve got that boring Google Voice out of the way.
Brian Brushwood Minor story.
Molly Wood Brushwood was totally trying to skip that. He was like, I don’t want to talk about…
Brian Brushwood I just – it was related it, you went for it, it was a segue.
Molly Wood Totally, it is really – it was a good segue, I agree, I blew it.
Brian Brushwood That got slapped down.
Molly Wood Anyway, yeah so people are reporting -- so last week, about seven or eight days ago, there were all these outages on Facebook. I saw one. It said that the accounts were down for maintenance and then apparently now reports are still rolling in like crazy that people cannot access their accounts. No word on whether those accounts are actually gone for good but…
Brian Brushwood Don’t know if it’s a psychic problem yet.
Molly Wood But people are still shut out. I haven’t seen – I haven’t seen super widespread reports but it does sound like the inaccessible – the inaccessibility continues.
Brian Brushwood I am not one of those guys that’s totally like sucked into the Facebook vortex, but I know people who are that way. And I would imagine if you just explode their brains with frustration trying to deal with that.
Molly Wood Yeah, I can imagine – well Facebook outages, I mean forget Twitter outages right. A serious Facebook outage. That is Ragnarok. Right there, not funny. Apocalypse.
Brian Brushwood It took me a second to remember what Ragnarok was. I’m like, is that a band?
Molly Wood Disaster! It should be. If it’s not, Ragnorok is a great band name. Speaking of sites with outages, Twitter is apparently, this was so sad for Twitter because there were reports that Twitter was having talks with Microsoft and Google on AllThingsD about big data mining deals and then right in the middle of that last week, Twitter outage…
Brian Brushwood Or did they? Ah, I am sensing a theme in all these stories.
Molly Wood I know.
Brian Brushwood The cloud is not your friend! Why does this feel like 1995 all over again?
Gina Trapani And the Twitter outage was particularly creepy, right, because it wasn’t like Twitter is down; failwhale. It’s like you can only see your own updates and no one else is saying anything. Like you’re alone in Twitter; dun dun dun! And it was really scary.
Brian Brushwood And I think it happened for all of us, where it was at that awkward moment where we made a joke and we were like, right guys? Right?
Gina Trapani Right.
Molly Wood Crickets, crickets.
Brian Brushwood Right? Guys? Is this thing on? You know what’s funny is I didn’t even know there was a Twitter outage but I had that moment, the moment you described when like that’s why nobody thought I was funny that day.
Molly Wood I know. I had it too and I didn’t know. Then it was like a day later that I read there was an outage. And I was like, phew!
Gina Trapani You know, to come back to the Facebook thing really briefly. I think this is the thing that scares me about cloud computing the most; it’s not that like we’re going to have some giant server outage and everyone’s data is going to be gone. I mean that’s a possibility. My greatest fear is that one day somebody is going to try and brute force my Gmail login and Google’s going to decide to make my account inaccessible. It’s a free service and I can’t contact them and they won’t let me back in. So, just my account will be down. So the whole Internet won’t be up in arms, I’ll just be screwed and if I wasn’t doing This Week in Google no one would know about it. You know what I mean? I think the account lockout is a thing that I’m a little more concerned about.
Molly Wood It’s absolutely true; it’s more the sort of the secret police threat than the actual apocalypse kind of thing.
Patrick Norton Well something I always laugh about; a certain ex-eBay person who wants to be the governor of the State of California, Meg (18:37) you are the person who is single-handedly responsible for the worst customer service I’ve ever received in my life. You locked down $1400 of my cash in a PayPal account because of something you refused to explain and couldn’t explain, unless I faxed in a copy of my driver’s license and my social security number to a random number like and I am sitting there and like, you know what I mean, like – you like -- and people are like and you sit there.
And I completely understand where Gina is coming from, where it’s just like – look at it and if like – yeah, if everything’s gone it’s really gone. And if you can’t call anyone, you are so beyond screwed and it’s a little frightening. As I’ve had Google outages when I was – Google was my – has been my primary e-mail forever. It almost never happens but I’ve had Google outages -- Gmail outages happened while I was on deadline. And that’s like so you are calling people up, you are setting up an alternate account, you are transferring stuff and that’s a bad thing. Especially when literally there is no one you can talk to, to try to resolve the situation.
Gina Trapani And as the trend towards free cloud services increases, so it’s like this total inverse, right. The customer service accessibility decreases and I mean Facebook is a perfect example of this, the most important site in the world to some people, the most important thing that they do all day, all day long at six minute intervals, check Facebook and then if you go…
Brian Brushwood Like Mafia Wars.
Patrick Norton Oh! Gosh.
Molly Wood Can I just, can we…
Brian Brushwood Farmville.
Molly Wood Can we put a stop to the Mafia Wars because…
Brian Brushwood Down with it.
Molly Wood I can’t take that.
Brian Brushwood My mom got involved in Mafia Wars. I couldn’t believe it. This is like…
Patrick Norton What? What?
Molly Wood Least likely people in the world do – like people you’d never expect are obsessed with Mafia Wars.
So anyway, there it is, really important, and if you go to the Facebook customer services page, they have a list of most commonly asked questions on Facebook. And the number one question on their most commonly asked question page is – how do I contact Facebook
Gina Trapani Yeah.
Molly Wood Because the most important thing that you do all day…
Brian Brushwood You don’t.
Molly Wood You cannot find them. You cannot get in touch with them. And number two is how do I delete my account. I thought that was kind of surprising.
Brian Brushwood Well, on the Twitter thing, outside of their fail this week, I actually am super excited about the talking that they are doing because this is the light at the monetary tunnel for Twitter. And I think none of us wants to see Twitter become wholly ad-supported where all of a sudden we get ad alerts on our phones. But this is a way, this is…
Patrick Norton I am sorry, Brian, are you telling me Google and Microsoft will not monetize Twitter through advertising?
Brian Brushwood Who knows what they are going to do. But the talk is that they are looking at aggregating all the results of what’s happening real time on Twitter and involving it in the search engines where there is some fabulous data mining to be done. This is literally the pulse of the world.
At any given time it’s a giant open source, open conversation, where all of a sudden like there are companies like Gallup Organization that you have to pay a lot of money for poll results, to know whether people like something; Nielsen – people run these little studies to find out what’s going to play well for the public, what’s not.
And if they could find a way to mine all that, in fact before it got absorbed into the mother-ship Summize before it became search.twitter.com and got totally broke, had a really cool thing they were doing where they were taking – you could put in a search word and it would figure out how many positive words were associated with that object versus negative words.
And it would actually give you a visualization with red and green and colors in between, which I guess is just brown. I think it was white in this, but all of a sudden you could know, like I remember typing in when Scam School launched to see that, okay, generally people are digging on Scam School. They are mainly saying positive words associated with it.
Molly Wood Yeah, I mean, I think that it doesn’t that – well, frankly the idea of being able to actually monetize anything like this effectively through advertising at least right now is not really working out for anybody. So I do assume that they are hoping to make money on data mining. I mean that alone…
Patrick Norton I thought Facebook was making money or am I just completely….
Molly Wood Facebook is cash flow positive. They are not necessary – and that’s you know, that’s very different from profitable. They may be able to like – we don’t know exactly what it means, they are maybe just covering their own expenses but not paying back their investors. But either way, they are getting some money. And I think a lot of that money is coming from data mining. If Twitter could cut those kind of deals, they would need – what’s interesting is they will need a lot more than the 54 million users that they have now.
Patrick Norton Right.
Molly Wood I mean it’s not like they actually are aggregating the entire world.
Brian Brushwood Right, it’s a useful service. But it’s not valued at $1 billion useful by any stretch. But you got to remember also not only do you know what all of America is saying or whatever the segment of America that’s using it, you know by demographic. You can know exactly what 14 to 16 year old girls are saying about any particular topic at a given time.
Molly Wood If they filled out their profile.
Brian Brushwood I think most of us do, I did it.
Molly Wood Yeah, most people do.
Brian Brushwood Yeah.
Molly Wood Yeah, I think so because everybody is looking for dates.
Brian Brushwood I think that’s a techie thing to do as to put in a bunch of bogus information. That’s something like – I don’t think most people – like my mom wouldn’t do that. She’d be like, oh, they are asking, I got to give the truth.
Molly Wood Absolutely. All right, let’s take a little break since we’ve now annoyed everybody with talking about Twitter.
Leo has kindly prerecorded some ad stuff for us. So I don’t have to do it. Take it away, Leo.
Leo Laporte Brian Brushwood, Molly Wood and the gang’s so good.
Brian Brushwood That was spooky.
Leo Laporte Shwood and Wood, it’s good. I am sorry, Leo Laporte here, hello – didn’t mean to interrupt, I just want to mention – just – I am just, I am driving. It’s a drive-by commercial to mention our great friends at squarespace.com. Have you made a website with Squarespace yet?
Brian Brushwood Yes.
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Try it now and get 10% off if you decide to sign up when you use the coupon code “twit”, TWiT. We love them, Squares and you will too. And we thank them for supporting the show; squarespace.com/twit. And now here are the stars of our show, back to Shwood and Wood.
Brian Brushwood We sound like a crime fighting duo.
Molly Wood We do I know, I think maybe we should start a band, Shwood and Wood, or at least a website. All right, let’s talk a little about the moon bombing.
Brian Brushwood Yes.
Molly Wood The best headline I have seen about…
Brian Brushwood No more moon.
Molly Wood About the moon bombing this week was like, it was really exciting for scientists and then the public didn’t care.
Brian Brushwood Really, we loved the headline though. Are you kidding me?
Gina Trapani Yeah, moon bombing.
Brian Brushwood We’re blowing up the moon. Did you ever see that Mr. Show Sketch?
Gina Trapani No.
Brian Brushwood America blows up the moon. That’s Justin Robert Young over at weirdthings.com. That’s how he pegged the whole thing. He was like NASA is blowing up the moon for real. But instead of the actual link, he linked to the Mr. Show segment where it was all fake news footage of them actually blowing up the moon.
Molly Wood But in this case, so aren’t we basically just trying to see if we can go live there.
Patrick Norton This is not the first time…
Molly Wood Or looking for water – I mean I know it’s not the first time we have looked for water but…
Patrick Norton Well, but in that same spot because was it there – there was like an errant satellite that wasn’t being used anymore. They had to go down anyway. So they went ahead and they pegged it at roughly the same area on the pole. And it didn’t really see anything because they said, ah, it was a long shot. We didn’t know if we would actually see anything or not. But this one was actually built for the purpose of finding out if there is a lot of water on there, which even then, I think they were excited about like maybe two or 3% water.
Molly Wood Right, but it sounds like they didn’t get the plume of splashiness that they were hoping for. They got sort of – it’s too early to tell but they were like, when they break it down, they said, well, we were looking for a really – a plume-ish thing, like they weren’t trying to explain…
Brian Brushwood They set up bad expectations. I thought the moon was going to be gone and I was going to correct them. I was like you should have gone when it was a full moon so you make sure you get the whole thing. This is bogus.
Gina Trapani They shouldn’t have kept playing that little – that graphic. It just set expectations so high, like data animation and what would happen and then it was like the photos were just sort of this grainy black and white thing.
Moll Wood Yeah.
Gina Trapani What actually happened.
Molly Wood It’s such a letdown that animations are so much cooler than real. But I just want to know, I went to – have been in the meeting where they said like – let’s just slam a rocket straight into it. You know how we should do this is just, I mean like…
Brian Brushwood I can see it now, it’s like gentlemen, ideas, hit me up.
Molly Wood It’s like Armageddon, you know…
Patrick Norton I mean the guy who came up with ballistic re-entry, which is basically what we use for Mercury and Apollo and everything, the guy was like, we are going to put a really cool fireproof substance on the bottom of a can and that’s going – slide through the earth’s atmosphere and then a parachute come out, everybody gave – like looked at him like Wile Coyote had come to life off a giant box of Acme. Do you know what I mean?
Brian Brushwood That’s how it had to be.
Molly Wood That’s how I imagine the meeting totally. That he was like, no seriously it sounds slapstick.
Brian Brushwood But I think it could work. Listen guys, we’ve got about $100 million left in the budget. What do you want to do?
Patrick Norton I want to shoot a rocket to blow up the moon.
Brian Brushwood Done
Patrick Norton Done
Brian Brushwood Actually apparently, the scientists, they are pretty excited about, the Weird article is very complimentary and how everything went. Everything was real smooth. And of course that’s problem is that the devil is in the detail. You’ll have to wait for all the analysis to find out what this really means long term. But apparently it was success.
Molly Wood Yes.
Patrick Norton Well, if you don’t have to shoot water in the space, then long term space exploration starts becoming a lot more practical because you’d stuff more non -- you know what I mean? It’s like a hiking in the woods, you got to carry the water.
Brian Brushwood No, totally it’s – what does the cost? $10,000 per pound to send stuff in the space right now. And so if you could find the water there obviously if you want to live off the land, if you can.
Patrick Norton You though Evian was expensive.
Molly Wood Yeah, exactly, to be fair they are not probably really looking for ways for us to live there although let’s be honest, we’re going to need a new rock. They are in fact hoping to make it like a little pit stop for space exploration and also we could live there. So speaking of flashy technology, this I thought the story was very exciting at news.com.
Brian Brushwood I just realize that was a pun. Was that a pun?
Molly Wood Yeah, that was.
Brian Brushwood Oh! that was a good pun.
Molly Wood Thanks.
Brian Brushwood All right.
Molly Wood Good catch. It’s sounds like – so we heard I think last week about Light Peak, this idea of Intel’s Light Peak, which would be an universal connector for computers and other devises, which just sounded like, ‘up high in the sky, water in the moon’.
Well, at least one company is saying that they may actually be in mass production on Light Peak technology by the beginning of next year 2010. Can you imagine?
Brian Brushwood I’m little bit nervous about – I mean first of all, I was --
Molly Wood Universal connector?
Brian Brushwood I think it’s great that they are moving forward. I am a little bit nervous about replacing everything with fiber optic cable because you’ll notice it says in there, like it was a big deal, that you could curve it to – like you move the wire into a one inch diameter but it’s like with copper I mean I don’t think any of those wires would survive travel on the road, with me anyway, for anywhere because it’s like – everything gets scrunched up.
Patrick Norton Are you -- No, optical cables, I mean if you bend it at right angles and beat the hell out of – optical cables are actually pretty tough.
Patrick Norton Are they?
Brian Brushwood I mean, I’m not going to say they are as tough as copper, you definitely don’t want to be bending them at right angles and, you know, tying them into knots and stuff, but…
Molly Wood Let’s be fair there is a real big difference between Brian Brushwood and the average consumer, because I don’t know if you guys have seen his iPhone. But…
Brian Brushwood I replaced it, it’s fine.
Molly Wood Okay.
Brian Brushwood Everything is fine here.
Molly Wood All right, he is like when you have like a son who is like five or six and then he breaks everything, and you don’t even know how it happens because everything is like –
Brian Brushwood A toddler beating on a drum, I hear you.
Molly Wood I think that’s kind of like him. But it does sound like these cables would be at least slightly – but then the other thing though, is if it was actually a universal connector, like who cares? Because everywhere you go, boom there would be cables.
Brian Brushwood That’s true.
Molly Wood Because it’s universal.
Brian Brushwood And in fact I’m in general a fan of people jumping the gun and just not waiting for something to be a settled standard, just to get out there and start making it and getting it in people’s hands. And I know it’s frustrating when you got to buy stuff all over again. But I’m ready to see the technology progress. Although, Patrick is laughing at me.
Gina Trapani It’s supposed to be really damn fast, right? I mean that’s the really exciting thing, right? I mean I get the whole universal cable thing, but it’s supposed to be like super duper crazy fast.
Brian Brushwood 10 gigabits per second.
Molly Wood 10 gigabytes per second.
Gina Trapani Yep.
Brian Brushwood Fast enough for video to replace everything.
Gina Trapani Yes.
Brian Brushwood Yes, I love the concept – I was covering ultra wideband for a while and it’s like you know how all those wireless connections we have to our HDTVs right now?
Molly Wood No.
Brian Brushwood Oh wait there is like – it’s I think it’s an awesome concept, I will be delighted if it ships. I will be delighted it if ships next year. I will also be incredibly shocked because cable and wireless cable and faster cable standards and I mean it always takes forever to roll that out. And then you have to like figure out.
Patrick Norton But there is a buzz factor to cash in on. I mean if a year from now the technology is hyped a lot more. And somebody says guess what is here, you are going to get a substantial number of consumers running out and insisting that their new computer have – whatever just built into it whether or not it actually works, whether or not there is anything that you can do with it.
Brian Brushwood Spoken like a very hopeful PR rep from the company that’s hoping to make a lot of money on this.
Patrick Norton No, spoken like a realist who understands that there is a financial benefit to jumping on the bandwagon.
Brian Brushwood USB was out for like six years and on tens of millions of PCs and it took the iMac, you know what I mean, an Apple beating a bunch of vendors with a stick to come out with USB printers and stuff.
Patrick Norton Same thing happened with DVDs.
Molly Wood But that’s the thing, Apple did the same thing with FireWire, I mean look at FireWire, right?
Brian Brushwood Well, I never really got beyond Apple for FireWire.
Molly Wood Which was a standard that was practically dead in the water. Or it was just kind of not – it didn’t have a ton of traction, all of a sudden Apple gets behind it in a huge way and FireWire then they turn it into this big video standard and then kill it which was obnoxious. But now they are getting behind Light Peak in the same way. I mean I think that there is a vendor support in a way that that could make it. I mean, granted, it’s not going to be massively available in 2010. This company is going to start shipping some cables, but it won’t be a standard yet because they are applying for a USB standard, it won’t be in all the hardware yet but by 2012, you don’t think so?
Patrick Norton [indiscernible] (32:57) 2012.
Brian Brushwood [indiscernible] (32:57).
Molly Wood Gina, be positive, what do you think?
Gina Trapani I want to go out there. I want really fast cables that will plug into everything, so I’m going to be hopeful. I don’t know, I honestly, I’m not being much of a gadget geek and I haven’t follow the history like of USB. I’m going to defer to Patrick and you on this but you know, I mean, I’d love see it. Hey, it if comes out and people start asking for it. I mean I’d love to see it, I hope it works out.
Molly Wood Yeah, me too. One thing it’s sounds like is not going to work out for much longer: DVDs.
Brian Brushwood Yes, thank goodness. Gah, it takes forever!
Molly Wood And you know that DVDs are in fact on the way out when it’s not just like tech-forward streaming nerds like us who are talking about it, it’s Netflix’s CEO, Reed Hastings.
Brian Brushwood This was my favorite story of the week, so excited.
Molly Wood I know, me too, I thought that this was phenomenal he said in an interview with Motley Fool that DVD would only be the primary delivery format for Netflix for the next two years. Like, he basically set DVD at least for us, and that’s what we do.
Brian Brushwood Can I tell you -- that’s already -- like I subscribed to Netflix a long time ago. And I said like the physical media they sent, first disc I got was Michael Clayton. I sat on it for six months, now keep in mind, I’m watching all the movies on the streaming, I’m watching all the series, you know we just finish all of Weeds on the streaming service. And meanwhile that one disc sat there, so finally we sent it back but now we have changed. Now instead of sitting on one disc for six months and then sending it back, we get the disc, we sit on it for two days and then send it back. Like I literary don’t think I’ve watched a single movie. We’ve gone through like 25 discs and I don’t think I’ve bothered to – I just can’t be bothered, you got to take the disc and you got to put it in the tray and it’s like, oh, the freaking FBI warning; gah!
Molly Wood Oh! I know.
Gina Trapani And then it’s scratched and you have to rub toothpaste on it or get the Pledge out, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Molly Wood Wait, wait, wait, wait. Get all life hacker on us. What now with the toothpaste and the Pledge?
Gina Trapani Yes, yes, the Pledge will help with a scratched DVD for sure. But you’ve got to go to the mailbox, and pick it out. It’s annoying, yes. So, DVD is out and [ph] electronic link in (35:02) that’s what I say by 2012.
Patrick Norton Sorry, you got to go the mailbox and pick it up. It is so annoying. That’s like so 21st century.
Brian Brushwood Oh yes.
Molly Wood It is. Sometimes I don’t know...
Patrick Norton I have to leave the couch to get a movie. That’s unacceptable.
Gina Trapani Come on my mailbox is not at the house. I have got a mailbox down the road.
Brian Brushwood No, I am right with you dude. It is driving me nuts. I am so over physical media.
Molly Wood I actually, I have the same annoyance with that. I have to put the thing in the thing.
Gina Trapani Yeah.
Molly Wood That’s how lazy I have become as a human where I am just like, I have to go all the way over there and open it in my DVD player’s old and it takes a long time for the drawer to open. And then I have to move it, because it’s a changer and next disc, next disc…
Patrick Norton And then the worst are that the ads that you can’t skip past.
Molly Wood And the ads you can’t skip are ludicrous. But so what, so Hastings didn’t specifically say, and this is what is kind of interesting, what would take over for DVD, what would supplant DVD. I bet I think we are all assuming streaming.
Patrick Norton Oh streaming has gone so well. It’s so good enough and it’s so fast and it’s so easy. I mean…
Molly Wood Yeah and Netflix is so everywhere.
Patrick Norton Yeah.
Molly Wood They are in every device now.
Brian Brushwood Yeah. There was a fascinating article in Wired magazine talking about that decision. They were originally going to be another box on your shelf and instead they last minute scrubbed it and said let’s just be on everything and be a software platform and I think it has worked out great for them.
Gina Trapani Good decision on their part for sure. Kudos to them for being forward thinking and saying this primary thing that we made money doing ain’t happening anymore and being forward thinking for sure.
Molly Wood Yeah I think it is, go ahead.
Patrick Norton They originally said there was – they were like almost 20/20 originally for DVDs and Hastings is only – he’s basically said they expect to keep handling DVDs for another decade at least. I just, I don’t know if the bandwidth is going to cope to getting – I mean I like streaming movies but I also like extra features, I also like the resolution quality of Blu-ray.
Brian Brushwood Well I think yeah you will have…
Patrick Norton A lot better than 720p over like stream compression and I think streaming has evolved.
Brian Brushwood The good-enough market.
Patrick Norton I think streaming has evolved. Yeah, the good enough market is big but it’s going to be interesting also to watch Hollywood still shaking out what it wants to do next and the availability on DVD versus the availability on streaming, there is still a great big wide chasm in between those two.
Brian Brushwood Yeah but I tell you it has been massively exploding in the last year because you remember earlier this year that’s when he was saying it’s going to be 2018 till we stop handling physical media, the DVD is still our primary mode of distribution and what I think is happening is I think we have seen a tipping point. All of a sudden people are jumping on board. It is getting easier for them to go to developers and say we want your content and we want it – you know we have a distribution method that’s secure, that’s probably not going to get ripped off. And people are going on. I think in the next year you are going to see a massive, massive explosion of the Netflix online library and I couldn’t be happier.
Patrick Norton I hope for that but it’s also -- don’t confuse Netflix’s business model with the entire business model for people that distribute video. They are not the same thing.
Molly Wood They are not the same thing but you have to admit that Netflix is at the forefront of a trend that is increasingly important and it is important because the places that people consume media are exploding themselves, right? It is not about anymore just sitting in front of your TV and watching...
Patrick Norton No I mean on HD Nation people are confused about like do we get a Blu-ray player, do we get a set-top box, do I need to get a separate one, do I get a home theater PC. Do I get, do I buy an LG so that I can have integrated Netflix, well I can’t use a PS3 but I can use my Xbox 360 and it is also still a real soupy mess for a lot of people. Having the Xbox 360…
Gina Trapani Well totally
Brian Brushwood Well, it’s still for the high end experience.
Gina Trapani And it will be for a while.
Brian Brushwood Yeah, the high end experience is definitely going to be Blu-ray for the foreseeable future but meanwhile the good enough market, it’s going to be Netflix streaming I think.
Molly Wood Yeah I think you are right. I agree, Patrick, that I think that the hard thing is going to be bandwidth. It’s going to be hard for people to keep up with the bandwidth to do that kind of streaming especially as the trend in ISPs is to do more throttling and to say we don’t...
Patrick Norton And more caps
Molly Wood And to do caps exactly. And to say we don’t want to deal with this.
Patrick Norton Because there’s the five gigabyte and 40 gigabyte caps you can – I mean a five gigabyte cap is three movies, I mean that they have 40 gigabyte cap you know if you have got a toddler that hits play a lot you can destroy a 40 gigabyte cap in like a week.
Molly Wood Very true. But I think there is no, to me there is no question thought that that’s where we are headed. That we are headed toward an on-demand kind of an all-streaming world and it is going to take us a long time to get there but I think the idea that Netflix realizes that it is not going to be delivering the – DVDs as the majority for very much longer and I think it is really true and I think the Blu-ray is never going to be as big as the DVD because it is going to be supplanted by streaming.
Brian Brushwood By the way, in addition to my predication that a year from now streaming will be way huger than it is now. I also predict that we will be having a TWiT where we discuss the great Netflix outage of 2011.
Gina Trapani I was right at the critical point of my favorite movie and they cut out on me, those bastards, they lost everything.
Patrick Norton That is Facebook nonsense. That’s nothing compared to the fury.
Molly Wood Compared to like I was right in the middle of the True Blood cliffhanger. Disaster. Well there is no question that the whole trend is toward digital, including books, and the Kindle…
Patrick Norton Ah, very smooth.
Molly Wood I know, right.
Patrick Norton Very smooth, you are on a roll, you are out of control.
Molly Wood This is just getting like – it’s like tacky at this point.
Gina Trapani She is good. She is good.
Molly Wood She’s tacky to be so obvious. Amazon cut the price of the Kindle this week. Added a global version, which everyone was very -- so the Kindle now, their Kindle 2 is $259 and they added a GSM version and that will work internationally on AT&T’s network and partner networks and then that was really – everybody was really positive about the news, except for me because I have a Kindle 2 already and it is CDMA. And I’m going to get that. And you are just shaking your head no matter what, right?
Brian Brushwood I am shaking my head because this is, I mean, number one very smart, right direction because it is obvious that there is a market for this kind of device and whoever gets there first owns the market, at least in the public’s mind. So this is all very smart for Amazon, unfortunately I don’t think they are cutting the price nearly enough to grab enough of the market. It is got to be $99 for me to hop onboard. They got to take bigger losses on this if they want to actually own that market. Because right now like most like – what I would be most excited about with the Kindle would be to read my regular websites you know to actually treat it like a daily newspaper kind of device but the problem is I can already do that with my iPhone for the most part.
Patrick Norton Yeah but the reading experience is so much better on a Kindle compared to -- having read novels on both platforms. The Kindle was much more enjoyable and continues to be much more enjoyable than reading on my iPhone.
Molly Wood Yeah I absolutely agree. I think...
Brian Brushwood But also they are in a race. If the rumors are true about the Apple tablet device and if it is actually going to try to be a reader device then they have to own that market. They have to say, nice try Apple but we already, we already own this.
Molly Wood Although yeah. I don’t know, what do you – Gina what do you think about the price? The 259, I have argued for a long time that the Kindle was not too expensive but it is possible that as competition creeps up there might be -- that might be a problem. 259, what do you think?
Gina Trapani Yeah, I don’t know I think I kind of agree with Brian on this one. I think it needs to go a little lower, I mean I love my Kindle and so do – does all of us – do all of us here have a Kindle?
Molly Wood I have one.
Brian Brushwood No, I do not.
Molly Wood You do not. Patrick, yes,…
Gina Trapani And you do not. Okay.
Molly Wood And Gina, yes?
Gina Trapani Yeah, I do have one but I got one when like Oprah did her big discount thing like I – and I had gift certificates and stuff, because I am kind of cheap and I wasn’t sold on the idea. So I do kind of think that the price needs to come down for people to really get onboard and -- but the reading experience is definitely much, much better on the Kindle although I don’t use it to read websites. I use it to read books, long-form books. Websites I will browse on my phone.
Brian Brushwood I am too far down the audible rabbit hole, like I just I mean not that -- I love reading online, I love reading books occasionally …
Patrick Norton Right.
Brian Brushwood …if I am sitting on the beach or something but far and away I am chewing through a book a week at least doing OnlineAudioBooks.
Gina Trapani And you are not going to take the Kindle on the beach.
Molly Wood When I bought – yeah, that’s very true. When I bought the Kindle actually I felt like I had this big dilemma because I had this big pile of IRL books like real life books that I felt like I was betraying because I had the Kindle thing and it was a little awkward. But I actually think that what is coming out – what’s coming out, I don’t know I get weird. I used to be that way about stuffed animals too like that bear is going to kill me in the night because I played with the other one.
Patrick Norton No I was just laughing because it was like, I thought I was you person who thought about it that way like the books are looking at the Kindle and being really pissed off about it.
Molly Wood I did, I was like sure that they felt kind of offended. The ones that – like Water for Elephants was sitting there on the shelf like seriously, really you’ve been ignoring me for like a year and a half and now you got a Kindle.
Gina Trapani And then how many books did you buy on the Kindle and not quite read it because it’s a book buying machine as much as it is a book reading machine and it is like a compulsive book buying machine.
Brian Brushwood Now you know how all my DVDs feel, just sit there on the shelf. The Netflix DVDs like streaming come on, dude you had me for six, come on.
Gina Trapani Look my beautiful cover, fondle my disc.
Molly Wood I know but you Gina you’re – you’re totally right like I have gotten into a situation basically now where if friends get too many beers in me, I’ll buy just about any book. Which is ludicrous; you just whip it out and go okay.
Gina Trapani Okay that’s good book. I am buying it right now.
Molly Wood That’s $10.
Gina Trapani Look at me; look at me buying the book! Look!
Molly Wood I need like a – I need a probation period. I need for the Kindle to have a little probation period where you have a grace period after you buy a book, after you make the ill-advised Infinite Jest purchase, to be able to just return it.
Gina Trapani That’s why I keep just downloading sample chapters.
Patrick Norton So basically like – instead of drunk dialing, it’s the drunk Kindling problem.
Molly Wood It is.
Patrick Norton Friends don’t let friends Kindle drunk.
Molly Wood Yeah, I know that makes me a giant nerd that I have drunk-Kindle-bought but it happened.
Brian Brushwood That would be interesting when somebody grabs your Kindle and kind of peruses your library and he is like really, The Da Vinci Code really? Like ah…
Molly Wood Like shh… I did a video actually on how to hide embarrassing books on your Kindle as a ‘how to…’ because I had a such – because you buy anything for one thing and then the Kindle it turns out as a huge vector for soft-core porn, like there have been a couple of studies that basically say that the bestselling titles on the Kindle are basically erotic fiction because everyone’s like awesome, now I can read this on the bus and no one can see. But the problem with the Kindle is that it’s such an attention magnet that people grab it and pick it up and start looking through your library – and you are like ‘ha-ha-ha, put that down’, anyway.
Patrick Norton [ph] I don’t know who put that on there (45:05)
Brian Brushwood Oh, oh robot, we got robo-Patrick.
Molly Wood We’ll call him back. In the meantime though we will talk about …
Patrick Norton I am back.
Molly Wood …some other competition for the Kindle which is Barnes & Noble planning to do an e-book reader. The thing so far is that everybody who announces the plans to do an e-book reader like the IREX. They’re still talking about $400 although I don’t – I don’t think there is pricing yet on what Barnes & Noble might do. I mean, don’t you kind of feel like really Barnes & Noble e-reader, how cute.
Brian Brushwood Yeah, well I tell you the difference between first place and second place; that’s – it’s a race and Amazon’s just running away with it right now.
Molly Wood Yeah, is Sony in it, you guys think with their reader? I mean it’s like Sony was actually there first.
Brian Brushwood They were first, but they weren’t first in the mind of the customer and that’s what really matters.
Gina Trapani Yeah, that’s true. Isn’t Android involved in this new Barnes & Noble reader supposedly, is that the rumor?
Molly Wood Yeah, it’s expected to run the Android operating system and then if it…
Gina Trapani Interesting.
Molly Wood ...I mean if it ran that and then it had wireless downloads, maybe…
Gina Trapani Interesting.
Molly Wood Yeah, I don’t know I do feel like the Kindle is the – kind of the iPhone of the e-book market.
Patrick Norton Oh definitely, and the whole --
Gina Trapani Yeah, no doubt
Molly Wood It’s the one you get if you are – you know.
Brian Brushwood The parallels are so right, it’s first in the mind of the customer and it’s also the way they are doing the 9.99 per book is modeling right off of iTunes, $0.99. Everyone griped about the $0.99 download to begin with but it was very effective to grabbing everyone’s attention in and pinning it in their mind that oh I can get songs for a buck and now it’s like oh I could get any book for 10 bucks.
Molly Wood Plus it’s white.
Gina Trapani Yep.
Brian Brushwood Wow! Racist!
Molly Wood That wasn’t, no, that was – that was really well thought out in a market analysis. It’s also white like the other one.
Patrick Norton And clean.
Molly Wood All right, I am not going to dig myself any deeper. Let’s go ahead and take another break and listen to some Leo, shall we?
Leo Laporte Shwood and Wood. Thank you, gang. We’re going to get back to you guys in just a bit but I wanted to mention – I know I am in Dubai but I can’t help it, dial-in via time machine and tell you about, GoToMeeting. GoToMeeting from the great folks at Citrix. It’s a great way to meet online with clients and colleagues, a great way to collaborate. According to American Express, and they ought to know, the average cost of a business trip is $10,000, for one trip and let me tell you something, if you’re going to Dubai, it’s a heck of a lot more and a lot longer. And there’s such a better way to meet with clients and colleagues whether they are across town or around the world with GoToMeeting.
Forget $1000, how about $49 a month for unlimited meetings as long as you want, as many as you want. You start your GoToMeeting with the single click of the mouse. In fact you could send out Outlook invitations automatically or you could just start a meeting as you’re on the phone. It’s so easy, you just say, hey look, I got to show you this PowerPoint; I want to show you these drawings.
Go to gotomeeting.com, this is what you tell your clients or your colleagues. Go to gotomeeting.com; press the Join a Meeting button. Here’s the meeting ID, you give them a nine digit number, boom, they are seeing your computer on their screen. It’s beautiful. There’s a chat on the side, there’s meeting attendees, there’s – it’s – this is designed for online meeting, it is slick, it’s elegant, because it’s from Citrix. They have had years to design this and make it the best.
Very fast, just sitting there, waiting for the slides to change. They keep – they keep up with you. I use it for – I have used it for our shows, a number of our shows use GoToMeeting when we have remote hosts like Ray Maxwell, who’ll use GoToMeeting to show us his screens. It’s so great I want you to try it right now, go to gotomeeting.com/twit, gotomeeting.com/twit. You can try it free for 30 days a month of unlimited online meetings. You get Voice-over-IP, you get phone conferencing, free.
Award winning and PC World keeps giving it their best in class award for online access. I mean there’s nothing better for this, for online meetings, nothing better for this. I think this is just a must try application, will you try it right now? Go to gotomeeting.com/twit, you’ve heard me talk about it, why wait? Give it a try today. We thank Citrix so much for supporting our shows. Gotomeeting.com/twit.
Now back, my friends, to Shwood and Wood.
Patrick Norton The crime-fighting duo.
Molly Wood He’s having a little too much fun with that Shwood and Wood business. Wow, me too though, now that I’ve said it fast like that.
Brian Brushwood Once you say it, it’s like, ‘oh, okay.’
Molly Wood I know. All right, let’s go to everybody’s favorite topic: patent infringement lawsuits! Hooray! Good times. This is major though. Eolas, which is the company that won $585 million from Microsoft when they sued them for patent infringement…
Brian Brushwood Yeah, floodgates are open now.
Molly Wood …is feeling flushed with success, not surprisingly. That happened in 2003. They have now sued 23 companies including – maybe you’ve heard of them – Apple, Google, Adobe, Amazon, eBay, Playboy, Yahoo!, and YouTube, among many others.
Brian Brushwood You know, there’s – one of those kind of stuck from the others, could you go down that list again? One of those just kind of popped out at me, I don’t know.
Molly Wood Yeah, eBay? Yeah.
Brian Brushwood Yeah, that might have been it, that might have been it.
Brian Brushwood When I – when I first – I mean it sounded to me like it’s a legitimate clam. I mean, if it was right against – I mean if anyone’s going to put up an active defense of this, it’s going to be Microsoft, and once Microsoft goes down, and if they’re in the right against Microsoft, I’m thinking they’re in the right against everyone else. I’d be interested to hear what Patrick has to say about it.
Molly Wood This is Patrick’s debate right here.
Patrick Norton I didn’t actually get a chance to read this one. Is Eolas a holding company that bought the technology patents and has a whole flood of lawyers? Or they are just one of those quiet little companies that nobody knew about that got a bunch of patents back in the 80s?
Brian Brushwood The story I heard was that they were the real deal.
Molly Wood They actually applied for patents – they are the patent holders; Eolas and The University of California…
Patrick Norton Okay.
Brian Brushwood Right.
Molly Wood …were granted the patents themselves. Yeah, they didn’t – it’s not like they bought it as part of a portfolio.
Patrick Norton Okay. Yeah, because they’re – there was some interesting stuff actually going around JPEG and other places, where companies were being – basically somebody did a round of funding, gathered a bunch of lawyers, and started combing through IP that they bought to look for stuff that they could use to leverage for lawsuits to generate more capital as a business.
Man, you know, what I’m more scared of is that these guys claim that they have a patent that pre-dates AJAX being implemented. That just sucks. You know to me, like – it’s kind of like MPEG-4 is actually completely tied up in – basically MPEG-4 is completely owned and completely patentable and chargeable. And one of the interesting things is looking at like, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 which has been exempt from licensing fees for non-profit use, which essentially means consumer use and for businesses that are basically doing short videos or online distribution. And if this – if the patent holders wanted to, they can essentially charge every single person that distributes video online a fee for the use of that the way they do for people who create Blu-Rays or large corporate sites to distribute video. So – it’s like, welcome to patent law. You own a patent, you defend the patent, you collect cash, and then you start collecting more and more cash.
Molly Wood Well, yeah, but – I mean it definitely sounds like this is beyond patents as business plan, although potentially even more scary. Well Gina, you look like you were biting your tongue there too. What do you think about – what do you think about the…?
Gina Trapani I’m kind of – I’m confused about this. So this patent is a claim that – on a program inside of a web browser specifically? Like any plug-in running inside of a web browser?
Molly Wood Yeah, essentially a program that runs within another program. Any – and it addresses…
Brian Brushwood It’s actually even worse than that, Gina. The summary I’m reading here is the 906 patent: 5, 838,906 and U.S. patent 7,599,985. ‘The 906 patent broadly covers any mechanism that can be used to embed an object within a web document.’ When Eolas says it says object, it means any applets or plug-ins. So Adobe’s Acrobat Flash…
Gian Trapani Okay, so anything embedded in a web document. Okay.
Brian Brushwood QuickTime, ActiveX Controls, Windows Media Player, Sun’s Java Virtual Machine, and any web browser that automatically invokes each applet and plug-in when you click on an appropriate link are in violation of Eolas’ patents. This is from Computer World.
And so basically, they’re saying anything that’s embedded in a web browser we – we own the rights to embed anything in a web browser in any way and in any fashion. It’s a little vague.
Molly Wood Yeah. Well, the thing is it’s so vague that it is utterly terrifying, right? Because potentially, yikes! What is not covered? But then…
Gina Trapani Right.
Molly Wood Then the question that I have is, why does this patent keep getting upheld?
Gina Trapani Yeah, I mean this is like trying to patent – like this is a design pattern like embedding a program to run within another program happened – I mean I guess you could say a web document is another program. But it’s like this is just weird. It’s like saying, patenting like, I don’t know. Putting a paragraph in a document. I mean it just sounds crazy to me.
Molly Wood I own the patent on putting words inside a book.
Gina Trapani Yeah.
Patrick Norton It’s Steven J. Vaughan – actually Vaughan-Nichols wrote this up for Computer World. And what he’s saying is that even Tim Berners-Lee has written The United States Patent Office and said, look, there’s pre-existing art here, they did not invent this. And there’s actually – there are people that are listing previous browsers that are doing this. Because these patents came fairly late.
Molly Wood Yeah.
Gina Trapani Hopefully that will help.
Molly Wood Yeah, I hope so. Yeah, it was granted in ’98. So you figure, if Tim Berners-Lee says there was prior art, he probably made it.
Patrick Norton And that’s Sir Tim Berners-Lee to you.
Patrick Norton But it’s an object that acts within a browser. We came up with the idea that you can put something inside of a web browser window. And The United States Patent Office gave us the approval for that. Yeah, now I’m really ticked off.
Molly Wood Which – exactly, right? Which you I believe have hit on the completely the most salient and the germane point of all, which is that The U.S. Patent Office not only granted a patent on that, like the idea of patenting a word inside a book. But then they have upheld it three times since then. They have said, no that sounds totally reasonable, like, you have in essence, if read properly by the right and most clever lawyer, you have patented almost everything about the way the web works today. So go crazy, get your lawsuit boots on because you’re going dancing.
Yeah, it’s unbelievable. I don’t know. Yeah, I just feel kind of at a loss. I mean I hope that – I don’t know. That someone comes to their senses. Otherwise I guess everybody’s just going to have to pay this guy and then invent a new internet.
Brian Brushwood Unless somebody wants to fight – I mean is Microsoft going to fight this all the way to the Supreme Court?
Molly Wood No, Microsoft paid, I think, right?
Brian Brushwood Yeah. Because they were fighting with Eolas for like a decade, apparently.
Molly Wood Yeah.
Brian Brushwood Which is a long time to be – well, I mean obviously Microsoft has money and a lot of in-house lawyers, but ouch…
Molly Wood The kind of – the only ray of hope that we have is that the Supreme Court is currently reviewing the issue of whether software should be patentable.
Brian Brushwood Right.
Patrick Norton Altogether?
Molly Wood Altogether. Because the idea of software patents is really fuzzy, right? I mean there’s so much prior art involved, there’s so much – it’s not like as much of a cut-and-dried invention. And a lot of them are so broad that that they lead to these kinds of problems.
Patrick Norton Wow.
Molly Wood Yeah. So I guess there is some hope there. Less hope for YouTube in its defense against Viacom, an exclusive on News.com.
Patrick Norton Billion dollar – billion dollar lawsuit.
Molly Wood There is a $1 billion lawsuit and then it turns out some e-mail surfaced that showed – kind of not surprisingly in my opinion – that YouTube employees knew that there was unauthorized content on YouTube.
Patrick Norton Yeah.
Molly Wood And didn’t take it down and then may have even uploaded that content themselves.
Brian Brushwood Well like – it made it sound like individual employees at YouTube may have uploaded the account. And I don’t know that that should really be a big factor. But well, I don’t know actually, I don’t know anything, first of all. But that seems like less of the crime. But the idea that if they totally did know that there was – that there was illegal content being uploaded and as an official policy, they did not do anything about it, that’s – that’s a bummer…
Patrick Norton And they left an e-mail trail, which is even more horrifying.
Molly Wood Yeah.
Gina Trapani Yeah.
Patrick Norton Because that’s a – you know, I mean lawsuits aren’t about what's right or what’s wrong. It’s about what you can prove in a court of law against this – this standing, you know what I mean? It’s just ouch.
Brian Brushwood Yeah, that’s – it’s pretty heavy duty, because I mean I think, pretty clearly, YouTube – whatever YouTube has become now, it rose the prominence on the back of pirated content, in my opinion. I know that – that was the first time I ever heard of YouTube was when…
Molly Wood Yeah, totally.
Brian Brushwood …I think there was some cartoon I wanted to watch and that was the first place it showed up. Allegedly.
Molly Wood Yeah, I think there’s no question. I mean there’s no question that back in the day – and this is – that’s kind of the question, right – it was back in the day when I don’t – when everybody was still pretty fuzzy on how much you could violate copyright and what was fair use and what wasn’t. And YouTube obviously built its reputation on that kind of content and knew about it and probably did upload its own stuff. But you are right, Patrick, the problem is that there are, evidently, e-mails about it and if the reason that is – such a problem is that it would mean that Google -- YouTube now owned by Google couldn’t qualify for safe harbor under the DMCA right.
Patrick Norton Well in the system they have now, where you wait for a takedown and then once it’s brought to their attention by the owner they take it down. I think it’s a pretty good system but obviously that wasn’t how it always was and certainly if there is evidence clearly showing that their policy was; let it ride, we’re getting famous then that’s going to be a problem and maybe Viacom does deserve a chunk of change in compensation for unwittingly being the engine that rose YouTube the prominence.
Molly Wood Yeah, or maybe Viacom could just back off and admit that the Daily Show is where it is right now because of YouTube.
Brian Brushwood Well, that’s -- and that’s the two sides of the coin, right? It’s like on the one hand that clearly they derive a massive benefit from YouTube and it works both ways. So I don’t know, freaking lawsuits.
Molly Wood I mean, really do you think that like, Gina, do you think that it’s possible that – that Viacom lost money because of YouTube?
Gina Trapani Absolutely not, no way. I don’t think so, but I don’t know anything either.
Brian Brushwood No, no, no I think you’re right. I don’t think – I don’t think Viacom actually lost any money but whatever YouTube is valued at I think you could definitely say that some percentage of that value is derived from the Viacom content that was on YouTube for a long time.
Gina Trapani I mean I would argue it was mutually beneficial situation.
Brian Brushwood Yeah, I would agree with that totally.
Gina Trapani Regardless of the legal technicalities of it, shows got more viewers because of YouTube. YouTube got more viewers because of shows and that’s – that’s probably. That’s my opinion on how it went down, although obviously, I have absolutely no numbers to support that thought.
Molly Wood Yeah, but yeah I mean my gut tells me – my finely honed gut tells me that’s probably true and then – by -- if you use the argument that, that YouTube owes Viacom some kick-back because that was a content they used then Google would owe everybody on the web, a lot of money. I mean, it’s…
Patrick Norton Yeah, that’s the other problem here.
Molly Wood I think they’ve just kind of…
Brian Brushwood And I don’t know, and I understand…
Molly Wood I sort of feel like everybody should just give a little hand shake and walk away.
Brian Brushwood Right, that’s what it seems like to me and I know that with the lawsuit, it’s game theory you got to ask for the moon even if it is blown up. But in this case, I mean a billion dollars. A billion dollars!
Molly Wood Yeah, come on. That’s a little RIAA of them.
Brian Brushwood I love that you just used RIAA as a synonym for a word I’m probably not going to say on this show.
Molly Wood Yeah. Nope; that’s why I use that word instead of any other ones. Bloggers are -- this was the other kind of the big news of the week. Bloggers are now under the watchful eye of the Federal Trade Commission.
Brian Brushwood This terrifies me.
Molly Wood Does it, how come, really?
Brian Brushwood Because, because now I am in that boat, like…
Molly Wood You take payola? I knew it.
Brian Brushwood Well, no, but like I’m compensated by my sponsors and now when I want to talk up how great Squarespace is, by the way Squarespace is the sponsor of Scam School which pays Brian Brushwood. It’s like I’m affected by that. Now I can’t say necessarily what I love, I have to go back in my mental rolodex and say, well, I don’t know, am I being compensated by them in any way?
Molly Wood If you are being compensated by them, isn’t there like an ad?
Brian Brushwood What – there is an ad, there is an ad, but like when I Twitter about Squarespace, hey everyone check out my new Squarespace page, I’m very proud of it.
Molly Wood Oh! Do you have to say every single time that you’re…?
Brian Brushwood That’s – by the letter of law you have to disclose, same thing with Audible. I just said how much I love Audible, how I don’t read many books in physical media anymore because I’m too busy doing audio books. Oh wait, oh wait, Audible is not a sponsor. Yes, so anyway I love audio books I mean, they are not sponsoring me personally.
Patrick Norton There was a pretty good interview with the – with one of the principals at the FTC. Like look, everybody is freaking out which is what the blogosphere does best, right?
Molly Wood Right.
Patrick Norton And basically what he said is the scumbag rules in effect. You know what I mean? If the law was applied to people who are like – people who go out of the – people who are not – you know, the most amazing thing about the Ford is that it’s so wonderful and it’s so this and it’s so that and it’s so -- you know what I mean? And they want the blogger to be basically like, Ford give me this car.
Brian Brushwood Yes, but I hate that defense, because it’s so – it’s the Patriot Act defense, it’s like, oh! Oh, no, no, we’re not really going to use these to sneak and peeks on you.
Patrick Norton No, no stop, stop, this is not the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act is one of the most scum-baggy, weasely, sad, and pathetic pieces of rubbish –
Brian Brushwood All right, let’s pick another one, it’s the seat belt law of defense then, we are not going to pull you over for not wearing your seat belts, we’re just going to – if we pull you over and we see that you don’t have your seat belt on, well, then we’ll give you a ticket. It’s only – we are not going to pull you over for that one thing. Whatever it is – whenever you use -- it’s a slippery slope and especially when you deal with government, I really dislike anything that has the little asterisk saying, ‘but we’re not really going to enforce it the way it says. We won’t misuse this.’ It’s like this is how it begins, I don’t like where – I don’t like it.
Patrick Norton Okay, so basically bloggers and people on the Internet should be able – and marketing – more importantly, marketing companies should be able to take advantage of all of the online media out there to sell whatever they want, however they want by pretending they are whoever they want to pretend they are, being honest on the inter-webs. And there should be no recourse for the protection of consumers?
Brian Brushwood Oh! I’ll not fool – I’ll not fall for your debate tomfoolery, my friend. I’ll avoid that trap. The point is, it’s like by the letter of the law what it says, I don’t have $11,000 laying around and I hate the idea that now that – my little tiny square inch of the public spotlight I have to be careful about what I say as a result to this law, because it’s driving me nuts.
Molly Wood I think that is totally reasonable. It is totally reasonable to say look you have a duty at the minimum to just be honest with people; that if you are talking about the product because and it’s not, I really don’t believe that it’s going to come down to like you’ve mentioned Squarespace and you actually personally like them and they also happen to be a sponsor. It’s more like, if Squarespace gave you 10 free accounts, right? If there was not an ad for them on your page, if they just said here is 10 free accounts. No reason and then you talk about how – or flat out said and some companies have, some companies have really said here is a free car, please talk about it. And I think that these are the kinds of rules they could actually protect bloggers.
Like there was a big thing about mommy bloggers a couple of years ago and it has been ongoing since when that became a really big lucrative segment of the blogging population and all of a sudden these mommy bloggers were getting inundated with free stuff and it was predatory. I mean they didn’t know any better, they are not journalists and I think that they were…
Patrick Norton A lot of journalists don’t know any better by the way.
Molly Wood A lot of journalists don’t know any better either, exactly. But I think on the one hand it can protect bloggers from being used by companies who are saying like we want to use you for a free publicity and then on the other hand I don’t think there is anything wrong with basically saying you shouldn’t be allowed to lie to the people who trust and like to read you.
Gina Trapani Yeah, I totally agree, I don’t have a problem with this at all. I mean this is, disclosure has always been something that I have tried to do all the time. I don’t think there is anything wrong with saying, I really like this thing and oh, by the way they paid me junkets, review units, all these things. I don’t know. I think it’s a good thing. I don’t have a problem with it. I think everybody should be doing it anyway and I don’t have any problem with it being laid out in the law.
Molly Wood Yeah, I think it’s a best effort kind of thing, I don’t think you have to be that scared. Although Brian maybe should be terrified...
Brian Brushwood I was about to say.
Molly Wood He is the guy who is going to deliver our next ad.
Brian Brushwood Everyone in the chat room has been wondering what this card I was handed just says and it says Shwood will do Audible Platinum ad, as I was warned five minutes ago. But it’s true. I mean, it’s like I guess it goes back and ties the room together real nicely, not unlike a certain rug but the – you know I don’t read a lot of physical books. I am glad you enjoyed that.
Molly Wood 2 points!
Brian Brushwood And I don’t – because I’m doing audiobooks all the time. I am on the road 200 days out of the road and I chew through books because I do it all the time. I do it while I am doing chores around the house while I am waiting in line for the TSA to manhandle me, except I take it out for TSA because you have to. While I am on the plane, while I am driving it’s -- this is all down time. This is when my brain would normally be in screensaver mode but instead I am able to experience all the best books out there and in fact I’m like Leo because Leo talks about, he makes it sound like he is the only crazy guy that listens to so many books per month. I am right up there with him and that’s why we are talking about the Platinum Edition, the Platinum Audible at audible.com/twit2. Twit2, you got to add the 2 in there and it looks like, how many? Yeah, you get two free audiobooks to try it out or one gigundo (sic), mega-sized book as well.
And in fact that’s what I am going to recommend because I am knee-deep – and I mentioned it earlier, a little while ago -- I am actually, I had never heard of Peter F. Hamilton, but I started reading Pandora's Star which takes place 300 years in the future where in this it’s this – it’s kind of like, I don’t know it’s a really neat world to sink your eyes into or your mental, your picture to picture yourself in because it’s a world where every 60 or 70 years people go and they get a tune up and essentially they reset their body back to 20-years-old. So as a result, you have this kind of epic tale that takes years and years. I don’t want to spoil too much about it. It starts off so random and so bizarre but by the time it’s over, you’ve experienced such an epic story that I am actually on to the second series that takes place a thousand years after that and it actually has some of the same characters from the first one. Pandora's Star is the first one. It’s called the Commonwealth Saga. You can choose it at audible.com/twit2 as one of your books on the Platinum plan.
Molly Wood I sense a Kindle impulse buy in my future, personally.
Brian Brushwood It’s big. It’s a long one.
Molly Wood Maybe you can e-mail me about that later. All right, let’s do the wrap-up real quick so that we don’t get accused of doing an overlong TWiT even though it’s kind of short by TWiT standards.
Brian Brushwood It is kind of short.
Molly Wood I am skipping ahead though because I just frankly I only want to talk about Ralph Lauren going after BoingBoing.
Brian Brushwood Yes.
Molly Wood …because of the Photoshop model. This is my favorite story of the entire week and possibly the year.
Brian Brushwood And it doesn’t get really good until you see the picture. Because I read it and I’m on this slow connection at this hotel. And so I’m actually reading the story, and then halfway through the story the picture shows up to my right. And alone in my hotel room I burst out laughing, because I could not believe – I thought for sure this was a joke, that somebody had – I thought that the end of this was going to be, there was a bogus story because there was no way this cartoon stick figure could ever be thought to be intended as a real person.
Molly Wood A real human.
Brian Brushwood But then apparently it was, they copped to it. They admitted, “yeah, that’s supposed to be a person.”
Molly Wood Yeah…
Gina Trapani That made it through its editorial process?
Molly Wood Yeah, it’s – I was utterly dumbfounded and I think Xeni Jardin had maybe the best headline of the year too when she originally wrote it up. And she said something about like, they’re now selling – they – oh, Ralph Valley has opened up a new store in the Uncanny Valley. Right?
Brian Brushwood That’s exactly what it is.
Molly Wood Like, get that girl a Webby just for that. Because it does, it looks like some sort of terrifying android creature. And she said – they’d showed up originally on what is it, terriblephotoshop.com or photoshopdisasters. And it was this ad where they had retouched this woman to the point where as Xeni put it: ‘dude, her head’s bigger than her pelvis.’
Brian Brushwood It’s true. Somebody in the chat room described her as looking like the alien at the end of Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
Molly Wood Serious, and then her one hand is like almost gone, and then her – it really just – it couldn’t look less natural. But so then, rather than cop to it originally, though, and this is where the story gets super awesome, Ralph Lauren came after BoingBoing, and accused them of – oh, everybody’s favorite club for the stupid: Copyright infringement.
Patrick Norton Copyright infringement, yes.
Molly Wood For reprinting the ad, yeah. They said, you reprinted our intellectual property when you were making fun of this terrible editorial work that we have done here.
Patrick Norton Right, that we placed them in a public forum, and now we’re shocked, shocked that you’re discussing it in a public forum.
Molly Wood The horror! The horror! But they did, eventually – what, Gina?
Gina Trapani It’s such a, it’s just such a great story. It was just delicious, every bite – it just kept getting better and better.
Molly Wood Yeah. I know, I agree. And I do, frankly, I can’t stop looking at the picture. I want to move on and finish up, but I just can’t.
Brian Brushwood It’s hypnotic, try to look away.
Molly Wood They did actually…
Gina Trapani If I were that model, I’d be pissed.
Molly Wood I know, wouldn’t you?
Brian Brushwood You know what, I wonder how she felt before the controversy. I wonder if she looked like that, looked at that and just kind of went, huh, all right whatever. Or if she feels different now that it’s sort of big hubbub kind of thing.
Gina Trapani I wonder, I wonder.
Molly Wood I want to meet her in person and just see.
Brian Brushwood You know what, that’s the real twist at the end of this story, Ralph Lauren comes out and like, sorry, that’s no Photoshop.
Patrick Norton And what’s funny though, it’s like, okay, her pelvis is at an angle to the camera, it’s probably about 30, 40 degrees long, her chest and her head is directly facing the camera. She’s probably like 5’10 and 120 pounds which is – I used to work in a part of Manhattan that was basically rife with modeling agencies and photographers’ lofts up in the Flatiron District. And it was kind of – being a squat little punk rock guy wearing his dad’s leather jacket and a pair red Keds surrounded by people wearing Armani suits back when Armani suits were a status symbol, if not a punch line. And models like walking to agencies. You could really feel like, ‘I am small and squat and ugly and everyone else is wearing nice clothes and they’re pretty and tall.
Brian Brushwood This is how you wanted to look, is what you’re saying.
Patrick Norton I don’t think – no, I’ve never really gone into the looking like a weird Brook Shields…
Brian Brushwood You wanted to be the meatball on a noodle. That was the look you were looking for.
Patrick Norton I wanted one of those beautiful suits and a pair of $2,000 handcrafted shoes, or at least not to look like the one guy in the neighborhood that couldn’t afford a really expensive car. I have since obviously matured, I now live in hoodies and shorts and I am much happier for it. But the – I don’t know, man. I don’t know, it’s – modeling in general is filled with people who are anatomically bizarre compared to most of the population.
Gina Trapani Come on.
Molly Wood True, I mean that’s totally true, although there are limits. I’ve definitely seen the people that you’re talking about where you question how they could even exist, really. But this is like, terrifying. Anyway, Ralph Lauren did eventually cave to the fairly obvious argument that in fact that was not copyright infringement and are you crazy. And then said, okay you’re right as it turns out we have learned – we have learned – that we are responsible for the poor imaging and retouching that resulted in a very distorted image of a women’s body. Not like, not like, I don’t even think you need to worry about little girls seeing this and feeling like they need to lose weight. I think you have to worry about them seeing this and having nightmares.
Brian Brushwood Well what did they say, like they even went all the way around and said ‘the very distorted image,’ it wasn’t even like, what, she’s too thin for you guys? Like, they acknowledged like… yeah, that’s a freak, dude.
Patrick Norton I’ve got a friend who is a counselor and a dietician that works with children with eating disorders. And when you talk to somebody who deals day in and day out with teenagers and younger, who have completely destroyed any normal relationship they have with their body image because of them wanting to be the advertizing or some extreme distorted version of it as it gets filtered through their psyche, you know I mean? Like on one hand, like kiss my ass, Ralph Lauren. I mean, [ph] if you weren’t photoshopping it for the media (1:14:41)
Molly Wood Like, how dare you?
Patrick Norton But it’s the entire industry. It’s Hollywood, it’s the expectations everybody has and it’s brutal that anybody who doesn’t exactly fit into that for a lot of people.
Brian Brushwood It’s a bummer that it takes a case like this, like – it’s a bummer that Ralph Lauren actually did this on purpose. Because otherwise, this is a great topic of discussion to bring -- about how ridiculous the imagery is that they’re putting out there.
Molly Wood Right.
Patrick Norton So, three cheers for Dove soap.
Brian Brushwood Yeah that was the best viral video!
Molly Wood Yeah. That’s good stuff. I know absolutely…
Patrick Norton I was thinking of the print ads they did on all the bus stops and stuff around here. It was interesting to watch people react to that, like – she’s not very skinny. And it’s just like, well, yeah, it’s the whole point of the ad, dude, it’s like irony and you’re just a little too [ph] close to it (1:15:31).
Molly Wood That don’t seem right to me, that billboard. Not sure why. All right, I think we’re going to call it there, and I am really excited about the – okay, well first, I promised that I would do this earlier, and now here we go: It's Pimpin' Time!
Brian Brushwood Yeah!
Molly Wood Brian Brushwood, what are you working on?
Brian Brushwood What am I pimpin’? I am pimpin’ Scam School, the only show dedicated to social engineering at the bar and on the street at scamschool.tv, and my little weekly train wreck at the bbliveshow.com. Terrible, terrible show. Nobody should watch it. At bbliveshow.com.
Molly Wood Your first elevator pitches a lot better than your second.
Brian Brushwood But my second is a lot more honest.
Molly Wood Gina, you’ve had the whole show to prepare. What are you pimpin’?
Gina Trapani I am pimpin’ my other TWiT show that I co-host with Jeff Jarvis and Leo, when he gets back, This Week in Google, it airs on Saturdays at 2:15 p.m. Pacific Time, you can catch that here. And I am also disclosing all of my sponsorships at smarterware.org, where I blog when I’m feeling good.
Molly Wood What do you do when you’re feeling bad?
Gina Trapani I don’t blog. I Twitter when I’m feeling bad.
Brian Brushwood She accepts gifts in exchange for positive blogs.
Gina Trapani I accept gifts and then, you know, compose blog posts with full disclosures.
Molly Wood Patrick Norton, what are you working on? Tekzilla as usual, and what else?
Patrick Norton Tekzilla.com with the fabulous Veronica Belmont. We’re the Mickey Mouse Club for geeks, except I didn’t say Mickey Mouse, because then Disney would sue me, so we’re...
Brian Brushwood Mickey Mouse!
Patrick Norton … enthusiasts for technology. Yes.
Molly Wood Colleen is going to bleep that later in the download.
Patrick Norton Thank you, Colleen. And by the way, fabulous new haircut, Colleen. And of course HD Nation with Robert Heron, so we’re all HD all the time, whether it’s your surround sound home theatre, stereo system, the best new content, weekly Blu-ray releases. We love our home theatres. So.
Molly Wood That’s why you’re so wedded to DVDs right now.
Patrick Norton No, I’m wedded actually to something I double checked, right. Netflix has 12 million subscriptions. And there are something like 60, 70, 80 million households with DVD players out there.
Molly Wood Yeah.
Patrick Norton It wasn’t until 2006 that there were more homes with DVD players in them than VCRs. So….
Brian Brushwood Wow!
Patrick Norton You guys got to remember that the consumer option curve is very, very slow for most of the – most of the world.
Molly Wood Yeah.
Patrick Norton Or at least the United States. Anyhow, revision3.com/hdnation.
Molly Wood Nice. I was like oh crap, I accidentally reopened a discussion. What was I thinking?
Patrick Norton We’ll never get out of here, Molly. We’re all going to die.
Molly Wood In case you were out there thinking who is that person and where did she come from, I am an executive editor at CNETTV.com where I host a show called The Buzz Report. It’s kind of like The Daily Show for technology news. And I have a new show called CNET Conversations, because every time I am on, Leo goes, ‘what you doing that’s new?’ And it makes me feel like a loser. This time I have a new show called CNET Conversations where myself and a colleague from news.com interview a really important person in technology. We’ve talked to Aneesh Chopra, the Federal CTO and then our latest interview is Steve Ballmer.
Brian Brushwood Wow!
Gina Trapani Nice.
Molly Wood Yeah, that one’s up right now at ……
Patrick Norton Check you out, Molly Wood.
Molly Wood …….cnet.com/conversations and yes, he is scary.
Brian Brushwood I was about to say, is he physically intimidating?
Molly Wood Yes.
Brian Brushwood Wow!
Molly Wood We will talk about that in the post show because another TWiT is in the can.
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