Recorded: October 25, 2009
Published: October 26, 2009
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This is TWiT, this WEEK in TECH, Episode 218 for October 26, 2009: Escape from Farmville.
This WEEK in TECH is brought to you by audible.com. This week a new audible exclusive: The Copper Bracelet. Your first chapter is available now, free, no credit card necessary at audible.com/twitcopper. And by squarespace.com, the fast and easy way to publish a high quality website or blog. For a free trial and 10% of your new account go to squarespace.com/twit. And by GoToMyPC. Unchain yourselves from your office PC and access it from anywhere with GoToMyPC. For your free 30-day trial visit gotomypc.com/twit.
Leo Laporte It’s time for TWiT this WEEK in TECH. Today the child-centric version because in studio with us Mr. Seamus Norton. Hello Seamus, how are you doing? And his father Mr. Patrick Norton, hi good to see you.
Patrick Norton Good to be here.
Leo Laporte His t-shirt today says ‘science, it works bitches.’
Patrick Norton This is XKCD. If you have never been to the cartoon site XKCD, you should go. They are into science and math and ...
Leo Laporte I love it. Somebody said there is going to be an animated XKCD.
Patrick Norton That’s a really frightening thing to contemplate because there is...
Leo Laporte Because it’s stick figures.
Patrick Norton Well I can deal with – Stick Figure Theatre actually is one of the best things that I have ever seen where they summarize – it’s like Bunny Theatre. It’s like basically 60-second summaries of classic cinema like Jaws.
Leo Laporte And now also with us, Mr. John C. Dvorak.
Seamus Norton Dada da!
Leo Laporte Dada da da?
John C. Dvorak So Seamus is looking at the monitor and saying ‘dada’ at the picture.
Leo Laporte He is pointing at you and saying ‘dada’, which is a little scary.
John C. Dvorak We’ll, no he’s – when you had Patrick on there...
Leo Laporte And let’s put Patrick back. Let’s put Patrick –
Seamus Norton Dada!
Leo Laporte It’s dada on the monitor.
John C. Dvorak Yes channeldvorak.com, dvorak.org/blog and whatever else we...
Leo Laporte Also with us Mr. Dwight Silverman all the way from Houston of the Houston Chronicle and the Tech Blog at blogs.chron.com/techblog. Hey Dwight good to have you.
Dwight Silverman Great to be here Leo, thank you for inviting me.
Leo Laporte We had a windows house party here on Thursday for the launch of Windows 7, and look we have jigsaw puzzle, a Windows 7 jigsaw puzzle and Seamus is going to put it together. That’s exciting.
Dwight Silverman As long as he doesn’t start chewing on the pieces.
Leo Laporte He can chew it’s – I don’t care, he can do anything he wants with that. That’s a ...
John C. Dvorak Soft (3:00) puzzle.
Leo Laporte So, you know actually we had a race. We wanted to see if it would be faster to install Windows 7 than put the puzzle together. And puzzle won, but it was a pretty easy puzzle. Dwight are you hearing...?
Dwight Silverman It looks like – is that, yeah is that the picture of the guy floating in mid-air? Is that what’s –
Leo Laporte It’s the turtle with the city on its back. One of the few things that they surprised us with, from those of us who’d used the Release Candidate 7100. In fact as far as I could tell the only thing that was different.
John C. Dvorak So was that – are they telling you that the things runs like a turtle? Is that what the product is like?
Patrick Norton It’s turtles all the way the down.
Leo Laporte It’s turtles all the way down.
Patrick Norton Do you know that story?
Leo Laporte Yeah I do know that story. Do you want to tell it?
Patrick Norton Ah, you’ll do it better.
Leo Laporte It’s a great story. Who was it they were talking to? It was a lecture and great physicist was lecturing about the creation, the big bang. Was it, who was it? Was it Heisenberg or was it Einstein?
Patrick Norton Or Feinstein.
Leo Laporte Or – let me look it up. Feynman?
Patrick Norton Feinstein, similar to Feinstein.
Leo Laporte Let me, I got to look this up.
John C. Dvorak Great physicist Dianne Feinstein.
Leo Laporte There’s probably – if I Google ‘turtles all the way down’ I am sure. The infinite turtle theory.
John C. Dvorak So what’s in the news this week?
Leo Laporte It’s an anecdote published by Stephen Hawking. I’ll get to it in a moment. The widely known version is that a well known scientist – some say it was Bertrand Russell, once gave a public lecture on astronomy. He described how the earth orbits around the sun and the sun orbits around the center of the vast collection of stars called the galaxy. At the end of the lecture a little old lady at the back of the room got up and said – ‘what you have told us is rubbish. The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise.’ The scientist gave her a superior smile before replying. ‘Well madam what is the tortoise standing on?’ ‘Ah, you are very clever young man, very clever, but it’s turtles all the down!’ It’s a great story, classic story and you know it’s funny because that’s what that desktop is of; a turtle carrying the world. So I think I would be wanting to bet that’s a little in-joke for Microsoft.
John C. Dvorak You think it’s about that, or it’s not about the speed of the product.
Leo Laporte I think it’s more that than the speed of the product. No, the product’s very fast.
Patrick Norton 7 is snappy.
Leo Laporte Show of hands. How many people are using 7?
Patrick Norton Yeah, wait until you have – I have a copy.
Leo Laporte Patrick is, I am. John is and of course Dwight, you are probably...
John C. Dvorak Wait until – wait until you have Tuesday patch, Tuesday patch, Tuesday patch, Tuesday – one year from now, the thing will be as slow as a pig.
Leo Laporte Yeah well..
Dwight Silverman There is a website called turtlesallthewaydown.com by the way.
Leo Laporte Oh and what does it have there?
Dwight Silverman It’s a blog.
Leo Laporte Of course. That’s a great name for a blog actually. So I think that Microsoft can rightly proudly pat itself on the back. This has been a great launch.
Patrick Norton I think it’s a wonderful apology for Vista.
Leo Laporte It was – well, and clearly they were responding to Vista
Patrick Norton Clearly they were desperate to regain the lost corporate enthusiasm for upgrading Microsoft products.
Leo Laporte Well I think part of it was, in fact CNN surprisingly got this, I think, right. They wrote an article saying that one of the things Microsoft learned from Vista was you can’t just develop an Operating System in secret and throw it over the wall. You have to include your users and you have to include your hardware manufactures.
Patrick Norton Well I think OS X has done a pretty good job of developing behind a wall, although they are building on it open source kernels.
Leo Laporte But I think that I made that point actually in a tweet earlier this week, because people were saying ‘well, how come you don’t recommend people go to Snow Leopard right away but you say there is no need to wait on Windows 7’ and the point is that Microsoft pre – beta tested Windows 7 with now – that turns that the telemetry was 15 million people used the beta of Windows 7. 15 million people over the last year, whereas Snow Leopard was tested only by a few thousand developers and there was no public test.
Patrick Norton Yeah.
Leo Laporte Now Snow Leopard hasn’t had major problems but they have had a few data issues, there’s a few compatibility problems.
Patrick Norton If you are one of the few people that had the data issues you might consider it as a major problem.
Leo Laporte Yeah, that would be a major problem.
Dwight Silverman Well the difference is that Apple controls the hardware and Microsoft has no control over the hardware of what it runs; it has to hope and work that – work to make sure that it runs on all that various, the whole Windows Ecosystem. But Apple can kind of control the environment that it runs in and I think that’s one reason why they can do it in secret. But Vista had a lot of beta testers too. I remember seeing on Twitter some complaints when Ballmer said that ‘oh, we had all these beta testers on Windows 7 and that’s what made it different.’ Then a lot of people said ‘hey they were a lot. They were billions of people testing Vista, too, and complaining about it at the time, and Microsoft didn’t seem to do what they needed to do.’
Leo Laporte They didn’t listen. I think that that was part of the problem. And there is also the CNN story, talks about Windows Starter Edition, where Microsoft proposed that they were going to do a Starter Edition for netbooks that only allowed you to win three applications at the same time.
John C. Dvorak Yeah, that worked out.
Dwight Silverman And net – well, netbook manufacturers howled, rightly so, and Microsoft backed down. And that’s something that they might not have done in the Vista days. So I think it is a chastened Microsoft.
Patrick Norton Well they’ve still -- between Microsoft and Intel they have managed to cripple an entire generation of netbooks.
Leo Laporte Yeah, but now …
Patrick Norton [Indiscernible] (08:05) XP.
Leo Laporte With the Atom deal where you can’t put more than a gig in and all that but – but now I think with running Windows 7, a netbook is not so bad. I think it’s – running XP on the netbook was kind of painful but …
Patrick Norton Actually, it hasn’t bothered me that much.
Leo Laporte I just can’t -- XP …
Patrick Norton Because I am not trying to do photo editing or anything like that.
Leo Laporte XP reminds of Fisher-Price operating systems, big buttons and -- that might have been your term, actually, I think it was. You coined that.
John C. Dvorak Somebody says that the chat room has been down for some time, but not the chat room I’m in.
Leo Laporte Oh please, just stop paying attention to those people.
John C. Dvorak What on Twitter? The Twitter people?
Leo Laporte Pay no attention to those Twitter people, they don’t -- the kids are coming to Twitter, apparently, did you see that article? It’s becoming a youth culture.
John C. Dvorak There’s two articles like this that have bothered me; that one and the one that says 20 million – 20% of the entire U.S. Internet using population is using Twitter.
Leo Laporte Oh, yes sure.
John C. Dvorak That’s what I said.
Leo Laporte They may be signed up.
Dwight Silverman There’s like 120 million homes with broadband so …
Leo Laporte So let me see if I can find the – this article that talks about the – the kids coming to Twitter. I haven’t noticed that if I – when -- you know where you notice it is on the trending topics because – I look on …
Dwight Silverman [Ph] Right, you see (09:12) things that they are interested in …
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Dwight Silverman The stuff that young people are interested in.
Leo Laporte The stuff is trending is not anything I wouldn’t follow, I mean just – it’s weird stuff.
John C. Dvorak What, on Twitter?
Leo Laporte Yeah. Do you ever clicked those trending...?
Dwight Silverman Well, I’ve noticed it with my daughter and her friends, now, she’s a journalism major so – she’s – their – journalists are more interested in Twitter I think than the average person. But more and more of her friends are using it and kind of in – I try to keep track of what is happening in Houston and I see younger people all the time getting on it here and I think that it really – that really has been happening for a while. Probably when it became mainstream it wound up on places like Oprah and you see constant references to it in the media, I think that’s driving it.
John C. Dvorak Too many references that’s the problem.
Dwight Silverman Yes, I think, so I think – I think Twitter is not at the point yet where you can say it – you can mention it and just automatically presume that people know what it is, I think you still have to have a little bit of explanation and you see references to it all the time without explanation and I don’t think it’s ready for that.
Leo Laporte This is a big shift, Pew – the Pew Internet and American Life Project, which I really love. They kind of deal out these factoids, it’s kind of an ongoing study; their research in December found that users in the 25 to 34 year-old group or slightly more than likely used Twitter now, it’s 18 to 24, is the biggest cohort, they’ve got a nice little graph which is reproduced on the Huff-Po. As you can see the shifting demographics, it’s only a matter of time before us old farts start to say, there’s too many kids on Twitter.
John C. Dvorak So I am looking at trending topics and right now it’s number one is – it should be illegal.
Leo Laporte Okay, now click it and what you get, do you see a lot of these, they’re continuations. It should be illegal, dot dot dot, and then you – I’m guessing but I think that’s what...
John C. Dvorak Somebody started this up, yeah?
Leo Laporte Yeah, if you use Brizzly which is a Twitter web-clone, it’s Twitter but it has a different interface to it. Now this has really nice feature on the right, where you can look at the trending topics and click ‘why’ and somebody will have written an explanation – in this case people are tweeting things they think should be illegal to do. Then there is another one, you know you’re a thug when...
John C. Dvorak Right, this is like, a series of jokes.
Leo Laporte I hate this, it’s kids.
Patrick Norton Yes, that is kids.
Leo Laporte It’s kids and a kind of – and then there is – it’s Sunday, so there is the Bears, the Saints, the Cowboys. This is not – this trending topics is not a useful use of Twitter. But I think very interesting this week that the Twitter sold its fire hose to Facebook – I’m sorry, to Bing and Google as did Facebook, although Facebook didn’t sell it, Facebook apparently gave the information for indexing. And Google has announced they are going to do something called Social – Social Search.
John C. Dvorak They’re not going to mix up it up with their regular search, I hope.
Leo Laporte They’re going to do both, I think. Bing is already – if you search for a hot current topic on Bing you’ll get Tweets as well as regular pages.
John C. Dvorak Like Miss Frank.
Leo Laporte Yeah, I don’t know what that is, what is it?
John C. Dvorak Maybe somebody in the chat room knows, what’s Miss Frank?
Leo Laporte I’ll go back to Brizzly, I will tell you. Miss Frank.
Dwight Silverman See if you can – okay, it’s a challenge, chat room versus Leo …
Leo Laporte Girl group from the X Factor, this week’s losing act in some sort of British Idol thing.
John C. Dvorak You beat them, you beat the chat room.
Leo Laporte Course I did, of course I did. I have got Brizzly on my side. So what do you think Dwight?
Dwight Silverman I like Brizzly. I like this.
Leo Laporte Isn’t that cool, oh you haven’t seen it before.
Dwight Silverman Yeah, I had signed up for it but I hadn’t explored it but for the print – the trending topics are trying to figure out what the hell people we’re talking about. This is excellent.
Leo Laporte And it’s a wiki thing because you can explain it if it is not explained or you can add your explanation to it.
John C. Dvorak All right but anyway…
Leo Laporte I know you hate the Twitter stuff but there’s one – but I want to know about what you think about the notion of real time search being incorporated into Bing?
John C. Dvorak I don’t like it. I don’t think searching Tweets is, like, going to be valuable to anybody.
Leo Laporte I think there’s some value to it.
John C. Dvorak I think if there was a special tab and you could just give that on it, then...
Leo Laporte Yeah, but that’s what Google wants to do. They want to do – they want to do a social search which takes the information from your Google profile, I don’t know if you have created a Google profile yet but you can.
John C. Dvorak I refuse.
Leo Laporte You want to see mine? It’s Google – I don’t – yes, you know I do everything, google.com/profiles/laporte. And so if you actually populate it you’ll have all of the websites you use, all your Facebook log and all that stuff. Google uses that information and then puts together a customized search based on the people you follow, on all of those sites, I think that’s great idea.
John C. Dvorak Laporte?
Leo Laporte Yeah, google.com/ [inaudible] (13:53).
Patrick Norton Do you think that it’s too complicated though that fairly, that’s a fairly complex thing …
John C. Dvorak Says it doesn’t exist.
Leo Laporte google.com/profiles…
John C. Dvorak Oh, profiles.
Leo Laporte /laporte – complicated because you have to set up a profile.
Patrick Norton Profile.
Dwight Silverman Right, right.
Leo Laporte But I think if – I think that, well. Google is trying to make these profiles more useful. If you use Wave for instance.
John C. Dvorak It’s just a million pictures of you.
Leo Laporte One of the features of a Google profile …
John C. Dvorak A typical Leo thing.
Leo Laporte No, no, one of the features is it’ll get your Flickr feed, so you could put your pictures in there so that that way people know what I look like. And then it has …
John C. Dvorak Is it just a way for some stalker – to make it easier…
Leo Laporte No, no, no. This is your – in my opinion this is a way that you can control what Google puts out about you. You know the problem is that this shows at the bottom of a Google search for you. If it showed up at the top, I think it’d be a little bit better. But the idea is that if somebody searches for my name, in the search results are my Google profile. So this is the official stuff.
John C. Dvorak Oh so – you can …
Leo Laporte You control it.
John C. Dvorak Bogus it up to the max.
Leo Laporte You do whatever you want if you’re a Vivek Chandra, you can...
John C. Dvorak When did you live in Santa Cruz?
Leo Laporte I went to Santa Cruz High School, you didn’t know that about me, see? If you visited my profile once in a while you’d know a little more about me.
John C. Dvorak That explains it.
Leo Laporte I’m a hippie! When we moved from Rhode Island and when I was in tenth grade, I went to Santa Cruz High, and I graduated from Santa Cruz High, then left as quickly as my little feet could scamper.
John C. Dvorak Hey, you worked at KNBY Monterrey.
Patrick Norton So how is this different from Facebook?
Leo Laporte Well, this is the other thing is that Facebook has also said we will give Bing and Google status updates, news, information, and so forth but because Facebook has this privacy issue, they’ll only do it if users say, it’s okay and they say they are going to modify how Facebook works so that users can specify, and are encouraged, I guess, to specify that their updates the public. They really – Facebooks got Twitter envy. That’s pretty clear.
Dwight Silverman Oh definitely and that’s odd because they’re so much bigger than Twitter.
Leo Laporte I know isn’t that silly, they’re growing faster, they got more going on.
Dwight Silverman I think Facebook isn’t as cool as – there’s a cool factor with Twitter that Facebook doesn’t have. Facebook, I think I have said it before here and others have said it, it’s AOL for the 21st century and I think they know that and they would like to be something cooler than AOL but that’s basically what they are.
Leo Laporte Could be worse. They are actually kind of almost classmates.com for the 21st century. It’s actually a little bit worse.
John C. Dvorak Let’s go over some of this stuff. People need to know this. What is whack-a-poopah?
Leo Laporte John has discovered the – what do you mean Wakoopa?
John C. Dvorak Isn’t that what it is? Oh, Wakoopa.
Leo Laporte What are you looking at? Oh, this is my profile.
John C. Dvorak It’s listed on your profile.
Leo Laporte Okay, okay.
John C. Dvorak This is the stuff that Leo belongs to. Let’s go over some of these things.
Leo Laporte Wakoopa. I will tell you what that is.
John C. Dvorak Claim ID.
Leo Laporte Okay, okay. Claim ID is an open ID site that tells you which, if you click on it, you will see My Claim ID page and it shows you all the sites that I say I am responsible for and all the sites and sites that I am not. So for instance, there is a Not Me section that has my face fake – fake Facebook page, my fake blog, my fake MySpace.
John C. Dvorak Okay.
Leo Laporte So, it’s kind of a you claim this.
John C. Dvorak Okay. All right.
Leo Laporte Wakoopa tracks the applications you use and posts them on a social site. So it’s…
John C. Dvorak Why? Who cares?
Leo Laporte It’s a great site. You don’t know about Wakoopa?
John C. Dvorak No.
Leo Laporte So the deal with Wakoopa is, you can see what other people are using, you can get some information about what’s good.
John C. Dvorak Okay. I will check it out.
Leo Laporte You can see how you use your computer, for instance I know that last week I used Mail, Apple Mail, then Firefox, and VMware Fusion the most.
John C. Dvorak Oh wow.
Patrick Norton Although how do you feel, Leo, about kind of broadcasting the apps that you are using out there?
Leo Laporte Well, I will tell you where it gets a little squirrelly. It also does. They added recently Web Apps. So you got to be careful…
John C. Dvorak You got to stay off the porn sites.
Leo Laporte Yeah, exactly.
John C. Dvorak Okay, Disqus Comments.
Leo Laporte Disqus Comments, Disqus is a commenting system that I use on one of my blogs.
John C. Dvorak Oh it’s pronounced Disqus with a Q.
Leo Laporte Yeah. I pronounced it wrong. I found out that Posterous is actually Posterous.
John C. Dvorak Yeah, it’s preposterous.
Leo Laporte Exactly.
John C. Dvorak That was the earlier version. So okay Disqus Comments is what again?
Leo Laporte It’s a commenting system for blogs.
John C. Dvorak Okay, fine. drop.io we know what that is. It’s just a – basically a open thing you just put crap in. Delicious Bookmarks we know, YouTube we know, Flickr, SmugMug we all know that…
Leo Laporte SmugMug, that’s my photo site.
John C. Dvorak Google Reader linked with Facebook.
Leo Laporte See these are all good things.
John C. Dvorak TWiT Army, that’s your thing. Does anybody still do that? TWiT Army thing?
Leo Laporte Oh yeah.
John C. Dvorak FriendFeed, Tum -- what’s Tum blog?
Leo Laporte Tumblr, you know Tumblr?
John C. Dvorak Yeah I know Tumblr, what’s this Tum blog?
Leo Laporte Well, that’s my Tumblr blog.
John C. Dvorak Okay.
Leo Laporte I call it Tumblog.
John C. Dvorak And then a blog and then the Tech Guy radio show. Okay. Well, it’s just the ones at the bottom that I didn’t know.
Leo Laporte So, it’s all my – Well, that’s why it’s at the bottom. Those are like the, it’s like the dregs.
John C. Dvorak Well, I will check out Wakoopa.
Leo Laporte Wakoopa is cool. Wakoopa is a great site if you want to find out what people are using. It has reviews. It has suggestions but there is a better site that actually I like even more.
John C. Dvorak And you are on it already?
Leo Laporte Oh yeah.
John C. Dvorak You are logged in?
Leo Laporte Yeah.
John C. Dvorak Yeah, of course.
Leo Laporte It’s called AlternativeTo. Alternative…wait a minute, is that right? Alternative…
John C. Dvorak We could just do a show just listening to this crap you do in your spare time.
Leo Laporte I don’t have to… I have to find out the website now.
John C. Dvorak Alternativeto.com.
Leo Laporte No, that’s not right unfortunately. No, what is it? It’s alternativeto.net, sorry. Alternativeto.net.
John C. Dvorak Prooferone.com. What the heck…
Leo Laporte No, no you went to the wrong one. Alternativeto.net. So what this does is it shows you alternatives to mainstream applications. So you say well I can’t afford…
John C. Dvorak Why, why am I getting a TWiT search box here all of a sudden?
Leo Laporte Welcome to the TWiT Cottage. I own everything in here, even your searches. No, that’s a -- you know that is?
John C. Dvorak What?
Leo Laporte Open. It’s OpenDNS. You know about OpenDNS?
John C. Dvorak I have heard it but I don’t know anything about it.
Leo Laporte So the DNS we use here in the TWiT Cottage is monitoring what you do.
John C. Dvorak So when I make some error…
Leo Laporte It takes over?
John C. Dvorak It takes over.
Leo Laporte But you must mean something else.
Patrick Norton It automatically adds it to John’s Google profile…all of his errors are moved by Wakoopa to his profile.
Leo Laporte You know what it is John is there is a vast world of web 2.0 sites out there that you have just apparently ignored.
John C. Dvorak I…no, I have actively ignored.
Leo Laporte You don’t want to know anything about and this is why John and I, well -- it’s like Lennon and McCartney. It’s like Yin and Yang.
John C. Dvorak By the way this is coming from a guy who, Leo, a guy who never answers his e-mail.
Leo Laporte I am too busy playing with Wakoopa. Who has time for e-mail?
John C. Dvorak Lennon and McCartney.
Leo Laporte No because you, you, you hate everything on site and I love everything on site. You are Lennon, I am McCartney. That was basically their MO.
John C. Dvorak It’s possible.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Dwight Silverman This means Dvorak is dating Yoko Ono?
Leo Laporte Yeah, I met Mimi.
John C. Dvorak Let’s see.
Leo Laporte I want to talk about Windows 7 a little bit more. Can we take a break? Because I can see John’s had a little too much caffeine. I have to titrate his dose here for a little bit. He’s feisty today.
John C. Dvorak Before you do that, before you go to the commercial, what was the name of the site I am looking for?
Leo Laporte Alterenativeto.net.
Patrick Norton With a TO.
Leo Laporte TO. Alernativeto.net. The idea being you are looking for Photoshop, you don’t want to spend that much money. What’s a good alternative and it uses kind of Digg-style voting. As people vote it up and down. You are not…you are still not finding it?
John C. Dvorak I got it. I am on it now.
Leo Laporte Yeah. It’s a cool site. Go take a look at that but while you’re doing that I want to invite everybody…
John C. Dvorak I’m going to baste the meat.
Leo Laporte There is no meat you could baste here. Unless you brought like a grill with you. Did you bring your Hibachi? Did you ever have a Hibachi?
Patrick Norton Yes, I did, as a matter of fact.
Leo Laporte I thought you might. He seems like a Hibachi-type. Let me talk about Audible actually this week because there is a special offer from audible.com. So we have a new Audible URL. Audible has a really cool sequel to the audio book of the year last year. Remember the show [indiscernible] Manuscript (22:12) we talked about? They brought together 16 authors, great thriller authors to create a book called The Copper Bracelet. People like Jeffery Deaver and Lisa Scottoline, Lee Child, Joseph Finder and so the sequel to the show [indiscernible] Manuscript (22:33) is called The Copper Bracelet exclusively for audio. Sixteen of the best thriller authors and you can get it right now as a digital download for $9.95 and this is something Audible’s never done – a money-back guarantee. If you don’t like it, if you don’t like the book, they will give you the money back. No questions asked.
Audible has this issue and I am really sympathetic where a lot of people have never used audio books and they are a little hesitant. They go well, I don’t know, am I going to enjoy an audio book? So their solution to this is really, let you are try them for free. And we always had the TWiT deal on audible.com, and now we have a special TWiT deal for The Copper Bracelet. So, something new, something different, great original content, some great names. The first chapter is available for free, so that’s a good way and then if you go to our special page, let me just make sure -- I am typing it in right now, make sure I have got it right --audible.com/twitcopper. I can hear you typing it in. You get the – instead of the download the first chapter free, you can get the whole book for free right now. How about that? The $9.95 promo price. Actually let me get…so the $9.95 price is to all members and non-members.
You can get the first chapter free and then there is a $9.95 price through November 24. You can still get your – any book free. I don’t know if it’s this one or not. I think you can get any book free by signing up for the Gold account, but this is – this is another way to try Audible. If you like – if you loved the [ph] Power Manuscript – I did it (24:28) was incredible. You want to listen to the Copper Bracelet. It’s a clever idea. It starts with a peaceful picnic in the French countryside and explodes in violence, a mysterious assassin hisses a deadly threat and events are set in motion that could propel India and Pakistan down the road to nuclear confrontation. Try it right now, go to audible.com/twitcopper $9.95 for the book, special deal, but you can also get the first chapter free, what are you looking at me like that for?
John C. Dvorak Two things, one my wife’s listening to an Audible book.
Leo Laporte Yeah, what is she listening to?
John C. Dvorak That Michelle Malkin book.
Leo Laporte And did she like it?
John C. Dvorak She thinks it is fantastic.
Leo Laporte Malkin is the right wing nut-ball and is your wife a right wing nut-ball?
John C. Dvorak She is actually more of the reporter type that just doesn’t do well on TV.
Leo Laporte Malkin is – I thought she was another one of those…
John C. Dvorak She is actually a legitimate journalist.
Leo Laporte Oh, all right, I’ll have to listen to that.
John C. Dvorak But she is a right wing nut ball, but she is not… but she is a reporter.
Leo Laporte She is not a – she is not a talk show host type.
John C. Dvorak No, she can’t – I don’t think she could do it. I think she is, wouldn’t be able to pull it off.
Leo Laporte Yeah, what’s the book?
John C. Dvorak I don’t know.
Leo Laporte Well, just search for Michelle Malkin?
John C. Dvorak It’s a hot book, it’s the hot book.
Leo Laporte It is hot right now, I remember seeing it.
John C. Dvorak It’s very hot, it’s very good. Now why I was looking funny is because you get 322:05 over there, but that’s…
Leo Laporte Oh, that’s not the right time; that time is crazy. I don’t know what’s wrong with that thing. It’s had the wrong time ever since we put it there.
John C. Dvorak Is it recording, you sure?
Leo Laporte Yeah, I don’t why it says 320.
John C. Dvorak I think it’s interesting that the VU meter, I can see it from here so that I can kind of modulate my voice without a headset.
Leo Laporte You want me to turn that a little more towards you? There you go.
John C. Dvorak Yeah, that’s kind of cool.
Leo Laporte Yeah, now you can watch it. You want me to turn this too?
Leo Laporte You can see what camera is next. You can see when you are about to be on.
John C. Dvorak It’s like a rocket. It’s like the Houston Center in this place.
Leo Laporte I know. I love it.
John C. Dvorak You know, that’s the reason that Lauderback came in.
Leo Laporte He just wanted to see it. He didn’t really want to be on the show, he just wanted to see it.
John C. Dvorak No I was having lunch with him and he says, what about Leo? I said oh, you got to see his place.
Leo Laporte Oh good.
John C. Dvorak I said this is the one-man shop; it’s the combo dream come true.
Leo Laporte I hope he enjoyed it.
John C. Dvorak He says ‘you are kidding.’ I said ‘it’s – at Leo’s place…’ and by the way anyone who is out there that can make it to possibly visit this, you should.
Leo Laporte Oh yeah, we invite – people come by all the time. We had, like, 20 people here for our Windows party.
John C. Dvorak Leo’s studio – you’re only supposed to have nine!
Leo Laporte I know; I only had nine napkins.
John C. Dvorak Leo’s studio is probably the most advanced podcasting system…
Leo Laporte Oh yeah.
John C. Dvorak …in the world.
Leo Laporte I almost feel bad because people come by who want to start podcasts.
John C. Dvorak Well, you probably put them off, they’re all like ‘oh my god…’
Leo Laporte And just, they go ‘I can’t do – what are you – how much did you spend on this?’
John C. Dvorak It’s about hundred thousand dollars worth of gear.
Leo Laporte Probably by now it is, yeah. Actually you are right, it is, come to think of it.
Dwight Silverman Yeah, I need to come by sometime next time I’m about in California.
Leo Laporte I would love you to come visit, I would love you to come visit. All right, I’ve totally screwed this Audible ad up. So…
John C. Dvorak You did [indiscernible] (27:14)
Dwight Silverman I have $20 of equipment right here.
Leo Laporte It’s all, that’s what I tell people. I say ‘all you need, you got a laptop? Get a headset mic and you got a podcast. It’s all you need.’
John C. Dvorak Yeah, but they are going to sound to like crap compared to you.
Leo Laporte That’s what I want.
Dwight Silverman He wants to hold everybody back.
Leo Laporte I don’t need the competition. No I encourage everybody. We tell everybody you can – you don’t need – this is nuts. I spent all this money for – to broadcast video. Like, who is watching? Nobody is watching video. They all just listen in their car, nobody wants this.
John C. Dvorak A lot of people listen in their car, but you have a lot of people on these chat rooms and they are…
Leo Laporte I think have a few people on the chat rooms, kibitzing.
John C. Dvorak The U.S. stream is frozen, they say.
Leo Laporte No it’s not. What are they, nuts? They’re crazy. We’re watching it right now. Look, see that, see; that’s the stream. Are we in the U.S.? Yes. Frozen, no. See you move it moves. It’s like a mirror. You paying attention to this, chat room? I don’t know why you are paying any attention to that.
John C. Dvorak No because they have a lot – I love these chat room people. They are very insightful.
Leo Laporte Somebody said ‘frozen, no; boring yeah.’
Dwight Silverman I can’t do IRC and…
Leo Laporte Maybe that’s what they mean. They mean –
Dwight Silverman …and do video. I have tried it and I get incredibly distracted.
John C. Dvorak Somebody just accused me of being a suck up.
Dwight Silverman They won’t let me [ph] be still (28:31) and when I do Technology Bytes, they won’t let me even look at the – they say ‘are you looking at IRC?’
Leo Laporte Stop looking at IRC!
Dwight Silverman I just get too distracted.
Leo Laporte Anyway get the brand new thrilling sequel to The Chopin Manuscript. The thing that’s confusing me a little bit is I am at the site and it says not available until the 29th. They told me it would be available today. First chapter is available now, on the 29th you can get the book for 9.95, but do go to audilble.com/twitcopper. I guess I jumped the gun and I apologize.
John C. Dvorak That’s better than jumping the shark.
Leo Laporte Or get the Michelle Malkin book.
John C. Dvorak It’s apparently very entertaining.
Leo Laporte I am sorry I said she was a right wing nut-ball, I apologize.
John C. Dvorak Well she is a right wing nut-ball.
Leo Laporte Not that there is anything wrong with that.
John C. Dvorak But she is not – but she is also a journalist and she does a lot of research. I mean she – she is not writing – all these other right-wingers that write their books are just…
Leo Laporte It’s all, it’s all rhetoric, it’s all…
John C. Dvorak Yeah, she actually has stuff she has dug up.
Leo Laporte Oh good, then I should read it. Culture of Corruption; Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks and Cronies, that’s it.
John C. Dvorak That’s the book.
Leo Laporte That’s a balanced book, a fair and balanced look at the Obama administration right there. I am downloading it right now, because I want to show you that I am an open minded fellow.
John C. Dvorak Yeah, yeah. Let’s see how much of it you listen to before you go ‘ooh…’
Leo Laporte If I drive my car other side of the road.
Dwight Silverman Does she read it herself?
Leo Laporte No. Johnny Heller does; you want to listen? Let’s listen to a little bit. This is Johnny Heller reading –
Johnny Heller reading Culture of Corruption; Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks and Cronies …brain power and political muscle this early in a cabinet in our lifetimes’, Stephanopoulos dribbled. After blotting his chin a bit he added, ‘he has managed his transition with the same kind of precision and discipline that he managed to show during the campaign.’ It’s hard to imagine this transition going much better for the President elect. The Washington Post and Newsweek both indulged in…
Leo Laporte I could tell where she is going on this. But I like the, I like the Stephanopoulos dribbling.
John C. Dvorak You know, the problem that she has, my wife caught this, is that she – she writes for reading, silent reading. She doesn’t write for a book reader – and for somebody to read her book out loud.
Leo Laporte Some times that can be hard, yeah.
John C. Dvorak And that’s actually something that writers – this is like I tell writers about, writing for a magazine or a newspaper is different than writing for the internet. When you write online…
Leo Laporte You taught me, you taught me very early on, because I did some writing for you, and I – this was very valuable to me, to always read out loud.
John C. Dvorak Oh, yeah.
Leo Laporte As, like, part of your final edit is to read it out loud. And you are – you always, your writing always had, I could hear your voice, maybe because I know you, but I could hear your voice when I read your writing.
John C. Dvorak Yeah.
Leo Laporte And it is – it’s almost spoken word. Do you do that Dwight? Do you read out your stuff out loud before you file.
Dwight Silverman No, unless I am doing it for audio, like if I’m doing something for radio. But for the most part I don’t, and I write horribly for radio if I don’t do that. It’s – I have complex sentences, and lots of commas and semicolons and I just – I am terrible at that. I have to stop myself and change it deliberately when I do that.
Leo Laport Yeah. Okay.
[A long pause ensues]
John C. Dvorak Well, that was fascinating.
Dwight Silverman You wanted to talk more about Windows 7.
Leo Laporte I do want to talk a little bit more about Windows 7. Have you heard, Dwight, because I know you are – you’ve got your finger on the pulse of users, have you heard of any problems there?
Dwight Silverman They are complaining vociferously.
Leo Laporte Are they?
Dwight Silverman No, no, no. They’re complaining –
Leo Laporte They say, ‘getting your hand off of my fingers, but get your fingers off my pulse!’ No, but have you heard of any problems, I mean this is the thing that kind of the other shoe to drop, you kind of wait for when a new operating system comes out. It seems to me that Window 7 was very robust, very reliable, very solid. But you never know until it goes wide.
Dwight Silverman The only thing that I’ve heard – I’ve heard two things, I’ve heard from a couple of people who have had very long installations. If you remember, back in September there was a Microsoft engineer who did a blog post where he said that if you have a lot of data on your drive, when you do an upgrade…
Leo Laporte It’ll take all day.
Dwight Silverman …it will take a long time. And I’ve heard from a couple of readers who’ve said that that’s happened to them. In fact one guy…
John C. Dvorak Do have any – is there a rationale – I’m sorry Dwight. Is there a rationale for this that is – is there an explanation for this anomaly?
Dwight Silverman The way both Vista and Window 7 work is they kind of scoop out, when you’re doing an upgrade, they kind of scoop out your existing installation and set it aside and then they put down the Window 7 bits and then they go back and kind of plug in your setup before. And apparently when it goes back and plugs in the setup before, if you have a lot of programs and a lot of data, it’s a very complex process and that makes it happen very slowly. If you are doing something like a clean install or a custom install, it’s like 20 to 30 minutes, it’s really fast. But…
Leo Laporte And that's by the way what everybody should be doing is custom install. It’s crazy to try to upgrade an operating system in place.
Dwight Silverman Particularly if you have – if you keep all your data on the same drive as your operating system, and in the scenario that the Microsoft engineer was talking about, it was just a huge amount of data and 40 programs and it was all on the same drive. And what you should do is move that kind of data off onto a separate drive or an external drive at the very least when you’re doing the upgrade or that’s how you should run, period. You shouldn’t keep your data on the same drive with your operating system.
Leo Laporte I have a Dell laptop that I had separate partitions for my data and the operating system. Of course all the applications just because of the way Windows works, still have to be on – really should be on the C-drive, you can move that program file folder but it’s always a mistake. So I had to reinstall apps, but boy it was a smooth – I did a clean install too. I wiped the drive, installed 7. You can – this is weird, Paul Thurrott came up with the workaround, it’s a very weird workaround. You can use the upgrade media to do a completely clean install, and install as if there’s never been any Windows there at all. But you have to do – what you do is you install it without the activation key. You format the drive and install without the activation key. And then there is a little bit of a registry modification and there is a command line you run and then you enter the activation key and you are fine. Which means no one should buy the full version of Window 7, you don’t need it.
And I said to Paul, well what about the ethics? He says, Leo, do you know anybody who does not own a copy of Windows already? I mean it’s all an upgrade; nobody is starting from scratch.
John C. Dvorak That’s a good point.
Leo Laporte I mean unless you’ve only used Macs since 1984.
John C. Dvorak And very few people use a Mac and then go back.
Leo Laporte Right. So I think that the ethics of it – let your concise be the guide, but you certainly don’t need to buy the full version of Windows.
John C. Dvorak What's the deterrence in the price?
Leo Laporte Well if you are a student, if you have an edu email address, $30 at win741.com. If you want to buy three licenses, you can get the home version of Windows home premium, the multi-seat package, three licenses is for $150, that’s $50 per machine. That makes sense if you or somebody you know has – you can find three people with Windows, $50. Worst case scenario, you don’t know anybody, you don’t want to buy the three licenses, you go to [ph] Egghead (35:55) it’s about $120 for the OEM version of Window 7.
John C. Dvorak How – let’s compare with the price of, let’s say Ubuntu?
Leo Laporte Zero. In fact they’ll even send you the disk.
John C. Dvorak That’s interesting, isn’t it?
Leo Laporte You know what the price of MAC OS X is? $30.
Dwight Silverman $30 if you are upgrading from Leopard to Snow Leopard.
Leo Laporte Right. But it doesn’t check either.
Dwight Silverman Right, it does not check either. So there is your – there is your other ethics. You’d asked also about problems and you’d mentioned the $30…
Leo Laporte Student, yeah.
Dwight Silverman Student addition. There were some issues downloading the 64 bit version from Digital River which was supplying the eCommerce component of it. It sent it to you as an .exe file and when you went to unpack the .exe file, it crashed, it cratered. And Microsoft is giving $30 refunds for that.
Leo Laporte Are they really – they’re refunding?
Dwight Silverman Yeah, yeah.
Leo Laporte I thought they might find a fix. Apparently if you burn it to an ISO in most cases it works. But it’s a kind of a mess, that $30 version because you get an .exe file – it’s kind of a mess
Dwight Silverman And you mentioned an edu file – I mean an edu email address. If you, a lot of people who have been – went to university and maintain an alumni account with the alumni association have an edu email address they use.
John C. Dvorak Yeah, I actually have one with the University of California.
Leo Laporte Yeah, I tried it…
Dwight Silverman I’ve one from UT, Austin, so…
Leo Laporte Yeah, I tried it as well with my alumni address, it worked fine. I didn’t actually buy it because I thought well I’m not – it’s says very clearly you have to be a student.
John C. Dvorak Is this your Yale alumni or the one from the Santa Cruz High School?
Leo Laporte It’s from the Phoenix, University of Phoenix.
John C. Dvorak University of Phoenix, right. Everyone can get one of those.
Leo Laporte Yeah, yes University of Phoenix .edu.
John C. Dvorak You should be able to get – there’s probably some open edu emails you can pull down some place or other.
Leo Laporte I think Microsoft sells so many copies of Windows that they don’t really care. It’s like – it’s de minimus.
John C. Dvorak They figure that they get anybody to pay a nickel…
Leo Laporte $30 will take – yeah, what is the cost of Windows really? I mean what does cost them? They’ve done the R&D, which was probably half a billion. But you know, they are going to get their money out of that.
John C. Dvorak Somebody in the chatroom has a Phoenix.edu address.
Leo Laporte By the way the people who are having trouble with the chartroom are trying to go through the web interface Mibbit, which is our web interface. There was – there is a trouble with web – with the Mibbit for some reason. I don’t know whether it’s because we’ve got so many people in there or Mibbit is having trouble.
John C. Dvorak You have 868.
Leo Laporte Well that's why I said, look I’m seeing 800 people in there, can’t be too bad. If you go in through an IRC client, no problem at all. So it’s a Mibbit issue.
Apple released – it’s interesting, Apple responded to Window 7 by releasing three new ads directly aimed at Windows.
John C. Dvorak I think there was four, there is a fourth one that I’ve only seen on the internet.
Leo Laporte Yeah, here is one of them:
Get a Mac advert ‘Broken Promises’ released 23/10/09
Justin Long Hello, I’m a Mac
John Hodgeman And I’m a PC. Hey Mac, did you hear the good news? Windows
Justin Long What
John Hodgeman Windows 7 is out, and it’s not going to have any of the problems that my last operating system had. Trust me!
Justin Long I feel like I’ve heard this before PC.
John Hodgeman What?
Leo Laporte And he goes back in time…
John Hodgeman Windows Vista’s here, and it’s not going to have any of the problems that Windows XP had.
Leo Laporte Brown suit…
John Hodgeman …it’s not going to have any of the problems that Windows ME had… it’s not going to have any of the problems that Windows 98 had…
Leo Laporte Mustache…
John Hodgeman …it’s not going to have any of the problems that Windows 95 had…
Leo Laporte Spiky hair…
John Hodgeman …it’s not going to have any of the problems that Windows 2 had. Trust me. This time it’s going to be different; trust me.
Leo Laporte He’s got a mullet…rolled up sleeves. I love John Hodgman. Oh, he is so funny. That’s a pretty effective ad I think, I mean, you know…
John C. Dvorak That particular one I think is the best of the group.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
John C. Dvorak Because essentially – which is – this is the fractal of the Microsoft rollout. It’s one – they’re always the same, and you always come out and every show he did the same thing –
Leo Laporte It’s the best version of Windows ever.
John C. Dvorak This is what you say, every time. You did it with Vista; you thought it was fantastic.
Leo Laporte I have a recording – I have a recording John of the show you and I did. And I’ll have to find this, when I’m saying, hey I just tried Windows 3.1 and this thing is pretty good.
And you are going – and you are going, ‘you drank the kool-aid’. And I say, ‘yes John, Windows 3.1, it is the best version of Windows ever.’ 3.1, that’s how long we have been working together!
John C. Dvorak Yeah, and you’ve been saying the same thing every time a new Windows come out.
Leo Laporte This – hey, it’s not just me this time. Walt Mossberg agrees.
John C. Dvorak Walt has gone both ways. He’s like going bi. He can’t…
Leo Laporte He can’t decide.
John C. Dvorak He goes one way, then he’s the other, then he’s...
Leo Laporte Do you know what he is – he is trying to prove, as I am, his independence.
John C. Dvorak Okay, fine.
Dwight Silverman This is the best version of Windows ever.
Leo Laporte I think there is no question in my mind…
John C. Dvorak Every version is the best version.
Leo Laporte It is. Well, but I mean this really…
Patrick Norton Are we – are we recording. Are we recording where you say – so 20 years from now you can say, ‘Dwight you said it.’
Leo Laporte You said it.
Dwight Silverman It is the best…
Patrick Norton It is!
Leo Laporte But John has a point that every version should be better.
Patrick Norton But Vista wasn’t; Vista wasn’t and we knew it at the time.
John C. Dvorak Yeah, Vista is pretty good.
Leo Laporte Windows Me wasn’t, Vista wasn’t.
John C. Dvorak No, Windows Me wasn’t that bad.
Leo Laporte In my opinion this is – the last great version of Windows was Windows 2000.
John C. Dvorak I agree with that.
Leo Laporte This is I would say as good as Windows 2000, at least on the surface. That’s why I’m asking you Dwight if you’ve heard of any problems because I’m kind of waiting to be mocked.
Dwight Silverman I have – the only – those two things I’ve heard is the long installation. I had one issue myself with Windows 7 where it wanted to install older drivers than what I had put on…
Leo Laporte That’s not good.
Dwight Silverman ..the hardware. I had – I had gone out and I had installed newer network drivers and one of the things that they are trying to do with Windows 7 is have Windows Update provide the latest drivers so you don’t have to worry about it. And so the whole time during the beta process as well as in the release candidate they kept giving you new drivers.
And so when I put the RTM on and I went out and installed the latest drivers for the network card and then some more showed up then I thought ‘oh, great now I have better drivers’ and I installed it and it broke my network connection. I began having time-outs when I was transferring large amounts of data across my home network. I went back to the old drivers and that fixed it and I talked to Microsoft about it and they asked for some data from it, some logs. And I sent it to them, I haven’t heard back from them since. But they were concerned about the fact that it was indeed delivering the older drivers, the drivers were dated early 2007, they were early Vista drivers. And what I had downloaded were drivers that were specifically for Windows 7. So, that’s not good.
Leo Laporte That’s one of those anomalies that probably doesn’t happen that often, right? One hopes.
Dwight Silverman Well, there’s – well, except that it’s happened with the video drivers. I have the newest ATI video drivers and it keeps trying to give me the ones from about a month ago, even though I have got the new ones in place.
Leo Laporte Maybe there are some issues. I have had – I have installed it a number of times and have had very good results.
Dwight Silverman I like it, I like it a lot. And I think that it is – it’s very stable, it doesn’t get in your way. It does use fewer system resources. I mean, I love the Aero interface. I know a lot of people who are kind of cautious…
Leo Laporte Do you you ever used Shake and Peek?
Dwight Silverman I don’t – I use Peek all the time. I don’t use Shake but I do use the thing where you can move two Windows to the edge and put them side by side, because I do a lot of drag and dropping. And that works really well.
Leo Laporte And they snap – do they snap to the edges, that what it is?
Dwight Silverman Yes, yup.
Leo Laporte Yes, that’s nice.
Dwight Silverman When I do the – when I do the link post on my blog, I can actually drag from Chrome into Windows Live Writer and it brings over the headline and – as well as the link. And I have it. I use Windows 7 for that. It works great.
Leo Laporte Peek is where you have minimized programs – they minimize now all into the same icon, the original application icon and then you hover it over and it shows little thumbnails of all the Windows.
Dwight Silverman Right and if you have – it doesn’t work I think yet with Chrome or Firefox but if you are using Internet Explorer and you have multiple tabs opened, it shows you what’s in each tab. And so if you use and if you’re working on the web and you have a lot of tabs opened, it can be really handy. It saves me time, I think it’s more productive.
Leo Laporte No, I love that. Shake is kind of weird, where you shake – I could never really…
Dwight Silverman Yeah I don’t do that.
Leo Laporte You shake the window and ….
Dwight Silverman Although that might be useful if you are – if you have a touch interface. If you are working on a Tablet and you do this, that might be useful in a touch interface.
Leo Laporte I think that a lot of this is touch focused. In fact, Acer and a number of companies are doing touch laptops with Windows 7 and I think there’s a lot of touch buried inside of Windows 7. I think touch is ….
John C. Dvorak That’s what they already said this is the case. One of the things of course, touch with a laptop I can just see it. You go to touch something, you got some mustard on your finger, you make a mess on the screen so you start to wipe it often and you start opening programs by accident and the whole thing goes completely out of control. I just don’t see it as practical.
Leo Laporte I love touch. Look at the iPhone success and that’s a touch interface.
John C. Dvorak Yeah, but that needs to be.
Leo Laporte Yeah, because it’s small. Actually it’s interesting because Apple responded to Windows 7 not only with these ads but also two days before the Windows 7 launch on Tuesday, with the launch of some pretty nice hardware. A 27-inch iMac that has in and out – video in and out, so it could really be used as a television, as a home theatre-PC.
John C. Dvorak Right, that’s the idea.
Leo Laporte And also a new revised 999 MacBook, that’s the white plastic one but it’s got more battery life because it’s got that sealed-in battery that Apple seems to like so much. It’s much thinner, it looks pretty attractive. I mean, they clearly I think, if you read – and oh, new Mac minis – if you read the tea leaves it’s not something to celebrate. It’s Apple saying, ‘we are a little worried about Windows 7, we better have a response.’
John C. Dvorak Really? You think that?
Leo Laporte I think so, yeah.
John C. Dvorak I don’t know whether it is.
Leo Laporte It shows weakness, shows weakness on their parts.
Dwight Silverman There’s a blogger [indiscernible] (45:41)
John C. Dvorak That they’re worried? You think that shows weakness?
Leo Laporte Say again, Dwight?
Dwight Silverman There’s a blogger named Marco Arment if you go to marco.org, and he has a really interesting piece on the 27-inch iMac which is an unusual size for a PC monitor.
Leo Laporte 2560X1440, it’s massive.
Dwight Silverman And he talks about – he says that the fact that you can get something like this for $1,700 – you know the 30-inch display only – cinema display is $1,800.
Leo Laporte Is more?
Dwight Silverman Right. But it’s $100 more and he can see people buying this for the monitor alone and then connect – because you can connect a notebook computer to it and run it as your main notebook display. So – and the pricing – he thinks the pricing is pretty unusual. He can’t find anything like this looking around at other products.
Leo Laporte It’s very aggressive. And you might say, oh well, in fact HP did and as you go to Microsoft’s Windows 7 launch page, you’ll see HP saying, well, 1,199 that’s the bottom of the line iMac, you can buy three HP computers and we’ll throw in a wireless router. I mean, they are really hitting the Apple-tax thing. But I think that people aren’t maybe that price sensitive. And 3when they see a 27-inch display and a very nice computer, i5 or i7¬-based computer for under $2,000 I think that’s pretty – I think there are people who’ll buy that, obviously. Did you see Apple’s results, their quarterly results?
Dwight Silverman Yes, I mean, they’re obviously – they are doing something right and I did a blog post where I actually said okay, I have been wrong in the past, I have been calling on Apple to lower its prices and …
Leo Laporte Didn’t hurt, did it?
Dwight Silverman But I think that, actually, that they are doing exactly what they want to do, that they don’t want to be – Apple does not want to be Microsoft. They do not want to have…
Leo Laporte They want to be BMW. They want to be Mercedes.
Dwight Silverman They want to be BMW. And actually I think if they were to kind of become a huge numbers, huge market share let’s say 25 to 50% market share, it would stress their systems. Their support wouldn’t be as good as it is.
Leo Laporte That’s interesting.
Dwight Silverman I think they are much better off as a niche player and certainly I think their shareholders agree that what they are doing is working.
Leo Laporte They posted 47% increase in profit in quarter four. A lot of companies are reporting better profits because of reducing cost.
John C. Dvorak Right; cheating.
Leo Laporte I don’t think there’s evidence of that. In fact Apple…
John C. Dvorak No, Apple’s not, everybody else is.
Leo Laporte The sold three million Macs, that’s 17% more than…
John C. Dvorak Their revenues are up.
Leo Laporte Their revenues are up. Yes.
John C. Dvorak That’s what you look at; revenues. Their revenues going up. And Microsoft’s revenues are going down even though they have…
Leo Laporte Right. Did Microsoft save money by cutting cost? That’s where Microsoft’s…
John C. Dvorak Yes, they fired people.
Dwight Silverman And they also deferred – Microsoft deferred revenue from Windows 7 ‘til after the Windows 7 launch. So, they all – they denied themselves some cash.
Leo Laporte They’ll have such a – a better quarter next quarter of course.
Dwight Silverman Right.
Leo Laporte Apple sold 7.5 million iPhones. That’s up from 6.9 a year ago, year to-date. They had a hell of a quarter.
John C. Dvorak Their iPod is the only thing that’s falling.
Leo Laporte 10.2 million iPods, that’s 200,000 fewer than the Wall Street projection.
John C. Dvorak Then need to do a refresh.
Leo Laporte They did a refresh, it wasn’t enough.
John C. Dvorak They need another design refresh.
Leo Laporte They need a new design. They need a major – well they need something compelling. I think they’ve saturated the market. Everybody who wants an iPod has three.
John C. Dvorak Well, how many you have?
Leo Laporte I don’t – I can’t even count them!
John C. Dvorak Yes, this is the problem
Leo Laporte Everybody in my family has some. Net income rose to $1.67 billion. That’s the net, kids. For three months. Up from 1.14 year to-date. Revenue up from 7.9 billion to 9.87 billion. Yeah, this is not a cut – cost cutting, this is –
John C. Dvorak So, Horowitz I discussed this on our – on the Dvorak Horowitz Unplugged show, another podcast. And Horowitz spotted something that was interesting which is that Apple is cautioning that there’s going to be problem in the next quarter because of increased shipping costs. Which was definitely – which led me to believe that the only thing that could cause the increased shipping costs is the fact – and other people have said this before, but I said it again and I wrote it up; I actually didn’t write it up. I just chatted it up that Apple – and there is no reason for me not to think that they wouldn’t do this because they got the stores and everything and the infrastructure, is to bring out an actual TV set, an LCD TV that has Apple TV built into it.
So you have essentially --
Leo Laporte Calicanas predicted that a year ago.
John C. Dvorak Well, I predicted it two years ago then. So – but the idea to do that, now is the time – and Apple may have --
Leo Laporte Well, in a way they have with this 27. I mean it’s got a computer in there.
John C. Dvorak It’s kind of --
Leo Laporte You can hang it on a wall, you know.
John C. Dvorak Right, well, if you make – I can see Apple bringing it out like a 32 or 40 inch, 42, 47, 55 inch, who knows. But that’s the only thing that accounts for it. What else are they going to do that’s going to affect shipping? Those things are expensive to ship if they ship a boatload of them over here.
Leo Laporte And also Apple’s really good at over – under, they – under-producing and – underselling and overproducing it -- warning the market of problems that don’t ever exist and that way they get these great expectations.
John C. Dvorak Well, that’s an old trick in Silicon Valley.
Leo Laporte Yeah, they are good at that.
Dwight Silverman During their conference call, they made reference to --
Leo Laporte Sandbag.
Dwight Silverman That they were going to have enhanced or higher shipping costs because of a specific product that they were going to be selling. This was before they announced the 27-inch iMac. And you know there may be something --
Leo Laporte That’s going to cost some money.
Dwight Silverman That is going to cost some money. But maybe there is something else. And I like the idea of Apple TV built into a TV. I think that’s just really natural. And they may not do it now. But I think they will do it eventually, probably after their tablet.
John C. Dvorak Well, with those stores they’ve got, that New York store, for example, I mean they have room in there to set up a TV showroom and just push those things and they could be nicely profitable. They could charge a little more than any – they can charge Sony prices.
Leo Laporte It practically is a kind of a high end audio showroom already.
John C. Dvorak Yeah, looks like it. It has that look and feel. So you might as well put some fancy – you might as well have some Apple speakers while we’re at it.
Leo Laporte Well, they tried that. Remember, when Steve Jobs comes on stage, these sound so good, I threw out my stereo system and they were these crappy powered speakers, which Apple has since discontinued. I hope Steve didn’t throw out his stereo system but just put it out in the maid’s quarters so he could get it back when – once those speakers were off the market.
Let’s take a break. I want to come back; Apple has a patent that is causing some people to think it may change its entire business model. But I’ve – well, we’ll find out. But first, I want to talk about GoToMyPC. This is the company that allows you to get remote access to your computer, anywhere you go, any time securely. It’s easier to use but more secure than a VPN. This is a great solution, gotomypc.com.
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And you can try it for free for 30 days. All you have to do is go to GoToMyPC, gotomypc.com/twit for your 30 day trial of GoToMyPC. If you haven’t tried it yet I really want you to give it a try. We’re actually putting it on all of the computers including our switcher because sometimes in the middle of the night, the switcher will stop playing.
Colleen says, Leo why don’t you get me GoToMyPC? All right, all right, Colleen, I am going to put GoToMyPC on there. I think we have it installed everywhere, gotomypc.com/twit. You’ll want to install it everywhere once you give it a try. And we thank them so much for their support of This WEEK in TECH.
John has left the studio. But I do – I don’t know, I normally don’t report on Apple patent filings because like most big companies, they have got a Skunkworks going all the time. And they file patents like crazy. It doesn’t mean anything. There is a blog called Patently Apple that talks about this Apple patent for ad-supported operating systems.
Now it could just be – I think a lot of times when you file a patent, you’re just protecting something. You don’t have any intention of doing it. But lately, there has been just kind of this feeling that both Apple and Microsoft are looking at this model. What is your sense of it, Dwight? Does this sound like something reasonable?
Dwight Silverman Well, in that story they note that one of the names on the patent application is Steve Jobs. And that means --
Leo Laporte Does that make it more credible?
Dwight Silverman May make it more credible. It’s – there is this constant speculation that at some point Apple will start letting other manufacturers put OS X on their machines despite the Psystar lawsuit.
Leo Laporte Right.
Dwight Silverman And I wonder if this wouldn’t help pave the way or that’s how they do it is that you could use OS X on a non-Apple product but you have to show ads at the time. That will be – I can’t see them wanting to put this on their hardware. I just think – it does – it seems very non-Apple to me.
Leo Laporte Yeah, and it seems very anti-user to me. I don’t want ads on my operating system. In fact, this patent requires – has buttons like click here within five seconds. I mean it almost requires you to act, to watch the ad, which is really kind of appalling. So I don’t know --
John C. Dvorak This may be for some sort of a product we’re unaware of or some or perhaps --
Leo Laporte Or maybe an Apple TV, I don’t know.
John C. Dvorak Well, that would be interesting.
Leo Laporte An iPhone.
Dwight Silverman Yeah, or the tablet, what if you did that on the tablet?
Leo Laporte Because the tablet is going to be so expensive and no carrier is going to subsidize that.
John C. Dvorak The tablet is going to be a book reader, I don’t believe it’s going to be a computer.
Leo Laporte Is it? Boy, that’s the hot commodity right now.
John C. Dvorak Because they could blow everybody out of the water with a nice book reader.
Leo Laporte What do you think of Nook e-? I’m sorry, the Nook e-reader?
John C. Dvorak I don’t know. What do you think?
Leo Laporte Barnes & Noble in a perhaps mistaken attempt to take over --
John C. Dvorak I’m just waiting for the second version, the Cranny
Leo Laporte It’s called the Nook e-book reader.
John C. Dvorak Yeah.
Leo Laporte Say that fast and you get something else. And it’s from Barnes & Noble, has some color at the bottom which is kind of interesting, black and white e-ink at the top. But it’s not just Barnes & Noble now. Everybody says, we’re making an e-book.
John C. Dvorak Yeah, I’d like to some numbers here. By the way, as we are talking about patents, we might also mention what’s going on with the Nokia suing Apple patent.
Leo Laporte Yeah, Nokia says, hey, we were there before with the smartphone.
John C. Dvorak And I wonder where that’s going to end up?
Dwight Silverman They were talking to each other. They’ve been negotiating. This just kind of indicates that the negotiations have not gone anywhere.
Leo Laporte I just – I think anytime you negotiate with Steve Jobs, I just have a feeling, there’s a high ‘I’m out of here’ factor, you know like, screw you.
John C. Dvorak Apple’s so quick to draw – the quick-draw artists when it comes to like suing people left and right. Now they’re getting sued.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
John C. Dvorak I think --
Leo Laporte I don’t – one of the reasons I don’t really pay much attention to stories like that is because there just seems like there’s always lawsuits flying back and forth. And it’s just a way of doing business. And I don’t know if it’s – I can’t tell if there is merit or not in this.
Dwight Silverman It’s part of the negotiating process for them.
Leo Laporte Exactly.
Dwight Silverman They’ve been talking for a while and so now they’re going to take it public and kind of try to shame them into it.
Leo Laporte Exactly, we’ll see. I mean Nokia certainly had the first smartphones. Do you still use your E71, John?
John C. Dvorak Yeah, I have it on me.
Leo Laporte You know what I just ordered and I’m really excited about? The N900.
John C. Dvorak I think it’s a – maybe.
Leo Laporte It’s running Meamo or Maemo, the Linux version – it’s Debian under the hood but Nokia has been developing this open source operating system for phones. It has a lot of the features of the iPhone. You can slide pages. In fact it looks a little bit like a Pre. You have multiple applications running in the switcher as you slide it. It’s a big screen, touchscreen with haptic feedback, five megapixel camera, high quality video.
John C. Dvorak You think it’s going to be better than the best of the best Droids?
Leo Laporte I don’t know. Let’s – I mean I think what we’re seeing is some real competition from them.
John C. Dvorak I use this – the N71 because it’s really light, very thin and --
Leo Laporte Right.
John C. Dvorak And it has a little keyboard.
Leo Laporte This is not bad.
John C. Dvorak I can do messaging but going on the web to do anything is just completely useless. So what I have discovered though I don’t think you need a phone that has web access at all because so many people around you have the phone with web access and they slavishly will go on their iPhone in front of you and say well I don’t think where do you think that restaurant is? Well let me look it up.
Leo Laporte I would love show you John, you know I have GPS.
John C. Dvorak So, essentially, it’s like having assistants. You don’t need to do anything anymore.
Leo Laporte So John I will be the guy with the computer in his pocket. It really is wide, it has a slide-out keyboard, 32 gigs of internal storage, it does run Firefox basically. It runs a portable version of Firefox, on an ARM Cortex which I think is the same – is the Cortex is the same as in the iPhone? It’s a very powerful processor. It has full Flash, Flash 9 on it, not a strip down Flash. It’s GPS, quad-band, it will run on the T-Mobile network at 1,700 megahertz, Flash 9.4, I mean, I think it’s very interesting plus you can run other – it’s a real Linux, you can run other Linux software on there. And get this on a – go ahead.
John C. Dvorak It sounds like a hacker’s dream.
Leo Laporte Well that’s why I was intrigued, yeah.
Dwight Silverman Yeah, in the good sense, not the black hat sense.
Leo Laporte Unplug and plug-in again, you’re burbling on us.
John C. Dvorak Yeah, your phone…
Leo Laporte It’s – but get this – and this is what excited me, 840x480 screen. That’s almost a full screen, wow, hello John, hello Dwight.
Dwight Silverman I’m back.
Leo Laporte Okay, 800x480 resolution; that’s a usable screen size if you ask me. Full keyboard, removable battery, I asked some people who got one at the Maemo Developers Conference, what kind of battery life they are getting this morning on Twitter and they said four to six hours if you really rock it hard, but most people are saying you know it’s like any smartphone. I love that E71 though John, it’s just [inaudible] (61:05)
John C. Dvorak Have a look at it.
Leo Laporte It’s just a beautiful phone, it’s really, really pretty.
Dwight Silverman How heavy is the N900?
John C. Dvorak 14 pounds.
John C. Dvorak Six to eight ounces. Now it says it’s A-GPS, assisted GPS, does that mean it’s using GPS or it’s using the cell sites only? What is A? I keep seeing …
John C. Dvorak Somebody in the chat room will know, they are geniuses in there.
Leo Laporte I think it’s both.
Dwight Silverman I think it means it uses the regular GPS and then also does the cell triangulation as well.
Leo Laporte I have done what you do John, I have outsourced my brain to the chat room.
John C. Dvorak To the chat room.
Leo Laporte It’s kind of similar.
John C. Dvorak There’s 918 people in this…
Leo Laporte See it’s a good brain. That’s a good – I have been actually figuring out what is the optimal size for a chat room if it’s going to be your brain. And it has to be over 500 people, but under 1,000.
John C. Dvorak One guy says is it is the cell towers.
Leo Laporte But some say it’s both.
John C. Dvorak Oh here it is, this is – Wikipedia has got the answer.
Leo Laporte Assisted GPS, well there you go, just click that link to see how quickly they…
John C. Dvorak Just got to get to it before it scrolls off.
Leo Laporte Quick, quick. Help me. Generally abbreviated A-GPS is a carrier network dependent system which can, under certain conditions, improve the startup performance of a GPS satellite-based positioning system. So it is used with GPS-capable cell phones to give you kind of a quick start. So it uses the cell towers to narrow it down, but then you have true GPS.
John C. Dvorak So it’s just for fake performance.
Leo Laporte Well, I will give you an example. You know this, when you first startup a GPS in a new area, it has to download the almanac.
John C. Dvorak Right. It takes forever.
Leo Laporte So this is – this says okay, cell towers where am I? Give me the almanac. The almanac is then downloaded over the 3G network and not – [ph] and then it much more (62:46) quickly. Network also can give you atomic time with accurate time assistance. Sounds good. This is a pretty hot little device. Now I had a Nokia 800, their Tablet, and it was really slow and not very attractive. But I am excited about this.
John C. Dvorak We will see.
Dwight Silverman And how much is it?
John C. Dvorak It’s $5,000.
Leo Laporte It’s a little under 600. But well, okay [indiscernible] (63:10)
John C. Dvorak You can buy a car for less money. It’s quite a lot, right?
Dwight Silverman It’s unlocked right?
Leo Laporte It’s unlocked – well, listen to this, listen closely, it’s going to cost me less than the iPhone, and I will tell you why.
John C. Dvorak I am all ears.
Leo Laporte This is what – actually, this is why I ordered it this morning. T-Mobile just announced this new plan…
John C. Dvorak A new data plan.
Leo Laporte That is – they say if we don’t subsidize the phone, 79 bucks for everything, unlimited phone calls, unlimited data, unlimited Internet, unlimited texting for 79 bucks as long as we don’t subsidize the phone. So in effect, I am paying about 20 bucks a month less, I don’t have a two year contract anymore. So even though the phone costs about 400 bucks more, I am saving that much on the contract, actually saving what is it, $480.
Dwight Silverman Can you bring an unlocked iPhone to it?
John C. Dvorak That’s a good deal.
Leo Laporte Yes. Oh, iPhone…
John C. Dvorak What’s the catch? What’s the catch?
Dwight Silverman Can you bring an unlocked iPhone to it?
John C. Dvorak Yeah you can bring an unlocked G-phone…
Leo Laporte Any phone, yeah. But you wouldn’t get the benefits of whatever it is the iPhone [indiscernible] (64:18).
John C. Dvorak What the – what…
Leo Laporte I am sure it’s a five gig data cap, they don’t – I’m sure it is, but they say unlimited.
Patrick Norton Yeah, that’s what they say.
Leo Laporte Well, I’ll tell you, I’ll let you know.
Dwight Silverman Yeah, okay. You will be out your five gigabytes in one day.
Leo Laporte I know these are five mega pixel images. T-Mobile is struggling, right, as is Sprint. Verizon and AT&T are sucking all the oxygen out of the room: AT&T with the iPhone, Verizon with their better network, because they have got a great network. Sprint’s dying on the vine, and T-Mobile is a weak fourth, they have got to do something. So they announced this morning, this is Project Dark or something they call it. And…
John C. Dvorak Project Dark Side.
Leo Laporte I think it’s their last ditch attempt – but you know that Deutsche Telekom, this is a little – this is something a little more common in Europe. In Europe people don’t expect a subsidized phone quite as much, do they?
John C. Dvorak No, you can get -- most of the phones are unlocked.
Leo Laporte Unlocked.
John C. Dvorak Yeah.
Leo Laporte So this is called the Even More plan. They started 49.99 for unlimited calls and no annual contract and then if you want the unlimited data and text, it’s 79 and no contract. I think that that’s kind of – that’s really basically saying okay we want to be the company that people like you, John, with your E71 or me with the N900 go to. I think it’s a very clever differentiator.
Dwight Silverman Although they have the worst 3G network in terms of coverage.
Leo Laporte I know, I know they have sucky…
Dwight Silverman So you have 3G in Petaluma with T-Mobile?
Leo Laporte No, no it’s Edge.
John C. Dvorak I have 3G here with the AT&T.
Leo Laporte Yeah, AT&T has 3G here as of course does Verizon and Sprint. You know what, let me look at my – I have to look at my G1, I have been using a G1 on T-Mobile. I should look and see if it’s still Edge. I think sometimes you get 3G.
John C. Dvorak [ph] I’ll get Patrick to talk to you (66:03)
Leo Laporte I hear Shamus is back. Oh Shamus. (66:05).
John C. Dvorak You let him drink the coffee, I told you not to.
Leo Laporte Did he drink that coffee?
Patrick Norton Yeah.
Leo Laporte Shamus, you’re like your dad, you like your coffee black and your woman strong. He is a sweet – I have to say he is the sweetest kid, I am sorry that he a little rambunctious. He napped on the way here, that was the problem.
Patrick Norton [indiscernible] (66:25)
Leo Laporte Yeah, that’s fine. I’m so glad to see you.
Patrick Norton [indiscernible] (66:32)
Leo Laporte Come next week. Anytime, great to see you. Patrick says he’s sorry. He has taken off with the kid and the dog.
John C. Dvorak And the dog. Leave the dog.
Leo Laporte Yeah, I like that dog. He is a great dog. I like that dog. Did I get that backwards? What did I get backwards? Oh yeah, his woman’s strong, no his coffee strong, no I don’t know anyway. I like my coffee like I like my women, weak and bitter, that’s the one? Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.
John C. Dvorak All right, what else is in the news?
Leo Laporte Oh there’s so much to talk about. I don’t even know where to start AT&T weighs higher fees for data hogs. We are talking about limits…
John C. Dvorak If there’s a cap what difference does it make?
Leo Laporte AT&T is finalizing a plan that it could impose higher fees on big data users subject to the rules that may come from federal regulators regarding net neutrality.
John C. Dvorak Oh they are just trying to…
Leo Laporte If the government let’s us do it, we will.
John C. Dvorak See I can’t – the net neutrality argument has got me bugged because there are arguments on both sides done by reasonable people that both make sense, but then – so, I go to plan B which is to analyze who is on each side of the argument and see what sleazeballs – what the sleazeballs are saying, and sleazeballs are on both sides of the argument.
Leo Laporte Oh, I hate it when that happens. Golly! How could they? How dare they?
Dwight Silverman Well, this is for the data networks. And there’s another article that you have on your list, Leo, from a woman who writes over at CNET about why she chooses 3G over WiFi…
Leo Laporte I think that was really interesting.
Dwight Silverman That was really interesting. And it kind of plugs into this, in that the argument that AT&T and a Verizon CEO made last week was that because they have licensed spectrum and they have to manage that spectrum, this is not strictly internet, before it gets to the internet it goes over their network, that they need the right to be able to manage their networks pre-internet. And that makes a certain amount of sense, particularly since they have paid for these licenses. Once you get out on the internet, that’s open territory. And they’re arguing that they should be allowed to manage that, and AT&T’s is part of that.
Leo Laporte I would buy that if – see, this is Marguerite Reardon writing – if Marguerite’s contention that 3G was always better and less congested than WiFi were true. But it isn’t true, it’s just as congested. In fact, I think half the problems AT&T suffers, especially in areas where there are lots of iPhones, like San Francisco, is it’s just they have too many users and they don’t manage it properly.
Dwight Silverman Well, I think that you know – obviously they’re working on it. They’re spending umpteen amounts of money trying to fix that problem, and I think – I have a prediction. I don’t think that AT&T is going to lose the exclusivity next year, I think they’re going to keep it, on the iPhone. And I think it’s because…
Leo Laporte I think you’re right, I don’t think you’d see this ‘Droid does’ commercials if Verizon thought they’d any chance of – I mean they’re doing a hit piece on the iPhone, there’s no way they’re going to get it, obviously, if they thought they were going to get it, they wouldn’t be doing the hit piece.
Dwight Silverman Right. And I also think that AT&T has shown to Apple, and probably even more than we’ve seen at the moment, that they’re going to attack and solve the problem. I was in New York a couple of weeks ago and I had heard about how bad it is there with the iPhone. But it was astonishingly bad. And if – putting higher fees on data hogs helps that situation, should they do it?
Leo Laporte Well that’s – well there are people, we all know them – we might even be them – who use a lot of data.
John C. Dvorak I think you’re on the top of the list.
Leo Laporte I mean when I’m – I’m blogging, I’m setting photos up, I’m using a lot of data.
John C. Dvorak You’re streaming video on ten different networks simultaneously.
Leo Laporte Yeah. So it’s reasonable…
John C. Dvorak And you’re paying to do it.
Leo Laporte But I pay more than a thousand bucks a month for upstream bandwidth because of it. So – and I don’t mind doing that and I think it’s appropriate for me to do that, and it would be kind of unconscionable for me to use my local Comcast, suck up all the bandwidth in the neighborhood. ‘Well, I got an internet network to run here!’ So we buy special bandwidth for that purpose. But I think that you’re right, I think there are a lot of people out there who are just…
John C. Dvorak But if there’s caps, it doesn’t make any sense to me. A cap is a cap.
Leo Laporte Well that’s what we – we have had this conversation so many times now. ‘Tier it.’ That’s all anybody says. ‘I hate caps; tier the damn thing.’ If you want to have…
John C. Dvorak That would work for me.
Leo Laporte Yeah, tier it. So…go ahead.
Dwight Silverman There is a – if you have an iPhone there is a real – AT&T has an app that lets you monitor your data usage.
Patrick Norton There’s an app for that?
Dwight Silverman There is an app for that.
Leo Laporte And you damn well better use it because if you use –
Dwight Silverman You better use it.
Leo Laporte If you use the built-in app as I did in Egypt, get ready to be screwed. I used the usage stat from the iPhone as AT&T told me to and it was off by 200%.
John C. Dvorak That’s not good.
Dwight Silverman Was that this app or…
Leo Laporte No, it wasn’t the myWireless app, it was the built in iPhone usage. And you are right, you now – you have to use the myWireless but the problem is, that uses data.
Dwight Silverman Right, to get it, right.
Leo Laporte To get it. The phone knows how much data it’s used, I don’t understand why I can’t trust the phone.
Dwight Silverman Well this is, I think that – I have been using this and I find I used actually less data than I thought I did.
Leo Laporte Interesting. Yeah five gigs is more than – I mean it’s not a bad amount of data, right?
Dwight Silverman Particularly the way you use this phone.
Leo Laporte Right.
Dwight Silverman I don’t know how the apps work, but I – my suspicion is that there is some kind of compression with a lot of the apps that allows it to use less data than, say, if you were just using a straight HTTP connection.
Leo Laporte I say Egypt, it wasn’t Egypt, it was China that I got screwed.
John C. Dvorak So you are all over the world now. You can’t even keep track.
Leo Laporte I have no idea where I am right now.
John C. Dvorak You did get screwed in China.
Leo Laporte Yeah. And I am never doing it again. Great foot rubs though, did I tell you that?
John C. Dvorak I’ve never had a foot rub there. Really?
Leo Laporte Yep.
John C. Dvorak You sure it was a foot?
Patrick Norton Great tea and foot rubs.
Leo Laporte Great tea foot rubs. So here – I don’t know whether you would call – classify him as a sleazebag or not, John. The Verizon CEO?
John C. Dvorak Oh, bingo.
Leo Laporte Ivan Seidenberg [ph] speakering (1:13:05) at Supercomm says ‘I am worried about the FCC’s proposal for a stricter regulation on net neutrality.’ He says, “Proponents of net neutrality have a world view – ” now, see if this is you “ – have a world view that network providers and application providers like Google occupy different parts of the Internet.”
Patrick Norton Huh?
John C. Dvorak What? What does that mean?
Leo Laporte Oh, what does that mean? I am glad you asked. “Dumb pipes versus smart apps.”
Patrick Norton What?
Leo Laporte This is what he said, I am reading this.
John C. Dvorak Not trucks.
Leo Laporte “This is a mistake.” You think – I don’t know… “This is a mistake, pure and simple. It’s an analog idea for a digital world. It completely understates the need for sound practices and ignores the benefits of smart networks.” It’s actually what you were saying, John, which is a managed network costs more but gives you more value for your dollar.
And then net neutrality prohibits – these guys say, keep us from doing a managed network. I would submit that that’s not the case.
John C. Dvorak I don’t think so.
Leo Laporte I think you can manage…
John C. Dvorak Bull crap.
Leo Laporte You just have to manage fairly. You can’t prioritize one – you can’t say I prioritize…
John C. Dvorak Of course, it depends on the way they write this up, and I think that’s the concern a lot of these people have. Because the government gets involved and you have – somebody mentioned one of the articles I was looking at, John McCain is all upset about this, and he doesn’t even know how to use the Internet or know how it works.
Leo Laporte McCain is really off his rocker.
John C. Dvorak So he is crazy and you have bunch – the government is going to get involved, they are going to write something. You don’t know what they are going to do. The only concern that I have ever had so far as the net neutrality debate is concerned, is the idea that I am Verizon, or I am AT&T and I decide all of a sudden to do a newspaper. [ph] At Home (1:15:02) as a matter of fact did this, they had a content service.
Leo Laporte Right. I remember that.
John C. Dvorak And so you all of a sudden, you are running a content service and then you find that somebody else is like, say, somebody else doe a content service that’s directly competitive and you just screw them. You shut them off, you put…
Leo Laporte Well that's what this is all about.
John C. Dvorak That’s what I thought it was about, but apparently there is more to it and that's what the problem is.
Leo Laporte No, no. no, no.
John C. Dvorak But if that’s what it’s all about, how come right now for example the Dvorak Uncensored blog dvorak.org/blog is like I can’t get – and half of Russia won’t take this thing because the ISPs have blocked it because of some software. And I still have corporations all over the country. Guys saying ‘I can’t get to your blog.’ I say, ‘Well what’s – why?’ And this is – well now everybody is outsourcing some little filtering system to keep porn from going on the net, or whatever and I’m put on the list. In fact there is one company which I’m going to write up and market watch if they – they never even got back to me, it’s one little ISP in the middle of nowhere and…
Leo Laporte McCain’s bill, the Internet Freedom Act…
John C. Dvorak I mean, I have a beef, obviously.
Leo Laporte Yeah, I can tell. McCain’s bill, the Internet Freedom Act basically says the FCC “shall not propose, promulgate, or issue any regulations regarding the Internet.”
John C. Dvorak What does that mean?
Leo Laporte Well, that's what they do! You are saying the FCC – basically you are saying the FCC cannot – cannot in any way talk about the internet. Stick with what you know, the TV. Here is my – I think it comes down to the same arguments you hear all the time from the – from business interests which is ‘the government’s got our – its hand is in our pockets, we don’t want to be regulated.’ And then it’s liberals like me who say, ‘well, wait a minute, government regulation protects everybody.’ And your example is very good. I’ll use the example of Skype versus Comcast’s voice service.
John C. Dvorak Right.
Leo Laporte Comcast is going to take those Skype packets, slow them down just a little bit…
John C. Dvorak That’s why they have deep packet sniffing on all these new routers.
Leo Laporte You know, they do it in Canada right now. Shaw admits it. Shaw says ‘yeah we deprecate Skype packets. We don’t want people using bandwidth for free phone calls.’ Comcast could also say, ‘we don’t like BitTorrent because you’re getting movies for free; that’s our business.’
Patrick Norton Comcast isn’t doing that now, is it?
Leo Laporte Well that – you’re right, that’s the argument people say, is – well show us where it’s been a problem in the U.S. Comcast is doing deep packet inspection. They have cut off Bittorrent. The question is, are they doing it because of data hogs, or are they doing it because it hurts their business?
John C. Dvorak Which reminds me, when we’re done with this debate. I have Google Voice now.
Leo Laporte Isn’t that cool?
John C. Dvorak You got it?
Leo Laporte Love it.
John C. Dvorak Well there’s something, no wonder AT&T is all bent out of shape.
Leo Laporte Yeah! Cheap phone calls around the world.
John C. Dvorak Cheap? Free! Except you got to go all over the world…
Leo Laporte Using data instead of cell minutes.
John C. Dvorak [ph] Well I got a phone with it (1:17:47) that plugs right into the real system, it comes out, you can make a phone call on your own real phone.
Leo Laporte There’s issues with it, there’s a lot of latency. But nevertheless…
John C. Dvorak I’ve gotten some pretty good connections.
Leo Laporte You’re right, that’s why they’re scared. And I think that – well, Dwight, give us the other side, give us the argument. Are you saying that it’s anticipating a problem that doesn’t exist yet?
Dwight Silverman You know I think that as – what people are looking at is the fact that data is exploding, and all these people are saying that as phone conversations and more video goes out over the internet, they’ve got to have a way to be able to control it. The fear is yeah, that you’ll end up choking out your competitors. And I think if you have regulation that says, you know, you don’t do that, I don’t think you’d necessarily need to over regulate. I think you…
Leo Laporte No, I agree.
Dwight Silverman Stick to the basics, and then you’re in good shape.
Leo Laporte So we agree, that it’s possible to write a rule that simply says, “do not discriminate.”
Dwight Silverman Right. There are – now what’s interesting – what’s happening as it often occurs in these overheated debates, you have a lot of people who are starting to kind of see monsters under the bed. There’s a significant part of the conservative blogosphere that is now thinking that net neutrality is the new fairness doctrine which they’re worried about being re-instituted. And that this is the way they’ll get the fairness doctrine in. I don’t think that that’s what’s going to happen at all. I think – I don’t think you need anything draconian, you just need something simple. But not as simple, on the other side, as say McCain’s “don’t touch anything at all.” That’s just…
Leo Laporte That’s going a little far. I understand – I’m with you, John, I understand the argument on both sides. Clearly there’s an explosion in the use of the internet, and companies want to make the most. What Verizon says – Steinberg pointed to Telemedicine, he says, ‘look, we need to be able to prioritize packets that are transmitting medical monitoring data over e-mail to make sure that it gets through the network quickly.’ But he’s afraid that rules will keep him from doing that. That’s not what anybody is saying. Nobody’s saying you cannot have quality of service. They’re saying you – it’s the opposite. You can’t slow somebody down because you don’t like them. Are those different things? Or is speeding up medicine traffic the same thing as everyone else?
John C. Dvorak It’s two sides to the same argument…
Leo Laporte Is it?
John C. Dvorak …one with a positive spin and one with a negative spin.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
John C. Dvorak It’s a half-full, half-empty thing.
Leo Laporte Yeah. It’s a tough one, and that’s why Dwight maybe you need smarter legislation that takes into account whose ox is being gored. If it’s telemedicine, then the FCC would say, well of course you can prioritize telemedicine. If it’s Skype, the FCC might say, well of course you can’t slow down Skype.
Dwight Silverman Is there a problem right now with telemedicine going – telemedicine packets?
Leo Laporte Not that I know of.
Dwight Silverman I haven’t heard anything about…
Leo Laporte I tell you, the only problem we’ve had in the U.S. – and as I said, I used Canada as an example because there’s been absolute, blatant and complete – the telcos there have even admitted that they do this, that they slow down Voice Over IP. They’ve had no problem admitting it. In the U.S., the only example we have was of Comcast doing deep packet inspection – interestingly enough using Canadian software – and turning off bittorrents. They said to protect the network from bandwidth hogs, some might say to protect their business interests. That’s the only example I can think of.
Dwight Silverman And they have stopped doing that – Comcast have stopped…
Leo Laporte They’ve – because the FCC said to stop doing it.
Dwight Silverman Right. What’s interesting about Comcast is they also now have a 256 gigabyte cap which nobody ever approaches that I know of.
John C. Dvorak I monitor mine.
Patrick Norton And they also – and they promised, Comcast promised last year in 2008 this time, that they were going to have a bandwidth meter that would let its customers measure…
Leo Laporte I remember that.
Patrick Norton …the amount of bandwidth and it hasn’t appeared. They have not been able to produce it.
John C. Dvorak I have a bandwidth meter on my machine and I’m on Comcast. And I don’t know how you can get – possibly get to those amounts.
Leo Laporte People don’t use the amount that – in my opinion…
John C. Dvorak 30 gigabytes a month, maybe.
Leo Laporte I know, it’s a lot. A gig a day is a lot. But in my opinion – even if you watch our network all the time, you know. But in my opinion, it’s really not about 250, it’s just about setting up – having some limit which they can then…
John C. Dvorak Right, then they can…
Leo Laporte Lower.
John C. Dvorak Change – well, or raise.
Leo Laporte They’re not going to raise it. I want to talk a little bit about Droid. We haven’t talked about Droid, we’ve kind of alluded to it, and I’m curious if you know anything about it, Dwight, or John and have anything to say about it, because I’m intrigued by this.
John C. Dvorak You know what’s interesting about Droid when you look at the ads? If you get to see a newspaper ad, if you ever see a newspaper. I got The Sunday Chronicle.
Leo Laporte What’s that? A newspaper? What is that?
Dwight Silverman Hey, hey, hey.
John C. Dvorak It’s like, the Sunday paper is so small now. And if you ever seen the ad, ‘Droid’ is a registered trademark of LucasFilms.
Leo Laporte Used with permission.
John C. Dvorak Used with permission, yeah.
Leo Laporte Oh, they paid a little money to…
Dwight Silverman I hate those ads.
Leo Laporte The Droid ads.
Dwight Silverman The Droid ads.
Leo Laporte The i doesn’t – the iPhone doesn’t…
Dwight Silverman Yeah. For several reasons. Number one, it’s extremely geeky. It’s not the kind of ad that’s going to appeal. It says, ‘I don’t do open development.’ Does your mom know what open development means? And then it’s all white and happy and when they talk, when they come to the product that they want to sell you, it gets dark and ominous. “Droid.” And I’m not sure that the mainstream is going to be – that that’s going to appeal to it.
Leo Laporte It’s a very interesting campaign. It’s obviously aimed at us, right? It’s aimed at geeks. “I don’t run widgets, I don’t have interchangeable batteries, I” – I mean – and then the Droid thing is very Saw, you know, very scary Saw kind of thing.
Dwight Silverman Yeah, Saw, that’s what it looks like.
Leo Laporte Yeah. Don’t you wish you had a robot sidekick that moved at light speed, could get you out of any problem and lived in your pocket? Well, no, that’s a little scary right there. That’s kind of creepy!
Dwight Silverman Is that a droid in your pocket or…
Leo Laporte Well I have to say, every – and The Boy Genius report had a hands-on review that made it look very sexy, I mean it’s a good looking phone. I think it’s interesting, it’s taken three years, but finally – I don’t know why it took so long, but finally Motorola and Nokia coming up with handsets that at least can give the iPhone a run for its money. I don’t if they will but they…
You know you can’t – one thing you can’t underestimate is 85,000 applications. That’s something nobody else can do.
Dwight Silverman Although it’s – on the other – on the flip side it is 85,000 applications, 99% of them are crap.
Leo Laporte Okay, it’s true.
Dwight Silverman And finding the good ones is not necessarily easy.
Leo Laporte Yeah. That’s a good point, if the – but the Android development, Droid runs Android and Nokia that runs Maemo which runs any Linux app, you’re going to have even more crap, right because you don’t have anybody overseeing that, Apple at least is trying to maintain some standards, successfully or not, I don’t know.
Dwight Silverman Yeah every time somebody says, oh! I like the – I like the fact that you know, there are 85,000 apps, the problem is that’s both…
Leo Laporte Right.
Dwight Silverman …a good thing and a bad thing.
Leo Laporte Right, very excellent point. Let’s take a little break and come back with the little bit more in a bit, you’re listening to TWiT with Dwight Silverman of the Houston Chronicle, John C. Dvorak of channel dvorak, I am Leo Laporte and I want to talk a little bit about my friends at Squarespace, you do a great Squarespace ad John. I have to say the things you said on the tech…
John C. Dvorak You know it’s about the Tech Grouch.
Dwight Silverman Tech grouch.
Leo Laporte Where you do a demo of like the Squarespace feature, I love that. It is really clever, in fact I would like to steal it but…
John C. Dvorak You can just do it.
Leo Laporte Here’s how it works. Squarespace.com, it’s a web design – wonderful web design tool but – really what it is, is web hosting with an amazing content management system behind it, it’s kind of the best of both worlds. If you go to squarespace.com/twit right now, you can try free with no credit card or anything for two weeks, and I’ll tell you it’s a great way to try because it can import the data directly from your Word Press or your Type Pad blog, Blogger, get it right in there, you have incredible templates, they’re so beautiful and then you use and drag and drop with Ajax to build your site, it’s just incredible and then if you decide to buy it’s as little…
Unknown Speaker Squarespace is an exceptional…
Leo Laporte …Squarespace. It’s as little as $8 a month for the hosting and the hosting is so good, you’ll never, never – there is no TWiT effect because they use virtualized hosting that just gives you bandwidth when you need it. If you go to squarespace.com/twit right now and try it, I think you’re going to be amazed, I get emails now every day, you must too John, every day from people say, you know I tried Squarespace because you were talking about, you’re right this is amazing, it is 21st century webhosting with some of the best templates, the best designs, stats and more, read all about it, at squarespace.com/twit take the tour, sign in for the two-week trial, I think you got a one, if you are designing a website, if think you’re going to want this, a forum, a photogallery, a blog, squarespace.com/twit. You’re going love it. Give it a try today.
Houston Chronicle host your blogs, Dwight so you can’t really, you can’t freelance out. Are you there did I lose you? We don’t hear you Dwight. Are you sitting on the mute button?
Dwight Silverman I am sitting on the mute button. I was communicating with my lovely wife about lasagne, so…
Leo Laporte Were you? Is that what’s for dinner? I am jealous.
Dwight Silverman Yeah, come on over.
Leo Laporte I love lasagna.
John C. Dvorak [indiscernible] (87:38) told me to do the Wine Grouch.
Leo Laporte Oh, that’d be good…
John C. Dvorak Well, I – no it’s just going to be one bit – I only have one joke, I’d be, oh that stinks.
Leo Laporte It stinks!
John C. Dvorak Throw the wine out.
Leo Laporte Drink Bordeaux, it stinks, drink more Bordeaux. We were talking – John and I were talking about Bordeaux, this is like the most addictive wine, right? I mean, this is like how –
John C. Dvorak No, Burgundy is.
Leo Laporte I’m sorry Burgundy. Yeah I thought you liked Bordeaux?
John C. Dvorak I like Bourdeaux, I prefer Bordeaux, I drink Bordeaux, because I can afford Bordeaux, Burgundies are only for rich people.
Leo Laporte Oh! I misunderstood. So Burgundy is what you want to get into.
John C. Dvorak Yeah. No, no you don’t want to…
Leo Laporte So I thought I’d try it.
John C. Dvorak …because they are extremely addictive.
Leo Laporte It’s all right, I’m ready to be like the Hunter S. Thompson of the podcasting.
John C. Dvorak And you get started drinking these Burgundies, if you can get the good ones, the trouble with Burgundy is that there is a very…
Leo Laporte Yes. You have to know what to get.
John C. Dvorak You got to know what to get because there’s really -- most of it’s crummy, but…
Leo Laporte So you think this could – you could do the Wine Grouch…
John C. Dvorak I could do the Wine Grouch.
Leo Laporte I think you should.
John C. Dvorak But I think I’m doing the Wine Grouch now. You don’t get as much bang for your buck…
Leo Laporte It’s a segment.
John C. Dvorak But there are certain Burgundies that are incredibly compelling.
Leo Laporte I got to try some. It’s – actually maybe there is a listener…
John C. Dvorak Hurst (88:48).
Leo Laporte You know, we should get him on the show. Problem is he clams up. John C. Dvorak Yeah he does, he clams up.
Leo Laporte But now he is no longer like, he is just he is like a normal…
John C. Dvorak Maybe he won’t clam up this time
Leo Laporte He can talk.
John C. Dvorak He can give you the wine -- he could give you Burgundy tips because he’s got – he is a collector.
Leo Laporte Let’s get Will up here, we’ll do a Burgundy show.
Dwight Silverman Okay, could you get Gary V on or would that be too much?
Leo Laporte I like Gary but he’s little too high energy for me, it makes me tired, I watch him, I get tired. Amazon says Windows 7 was the biggest pre-order of all time. Not surprising.
John C. Dvorak That’s interesting.
Leo Laporte Did you see Amazon’s results by the way?
John C. Dvorak Unbelievable.
Leo Laporte Holy cow!
Dwight Silverman There’s a stock [inaudible] (89:25).
John C. Dvorak This is an example of the company that went public because they could go public in an era that it was easy to go public before Sarbanes-Oxley and now we have one of the great retailers of the world at amazon.com, it’s a very successful company, done very well for itself and we have not seen anything like this since Sarbanes-Oxley came out in 2002 and pretty much put the kibosh on anybody…
Leo Laporte Do you think that’s keeping somebody from competing with Amazon?
John C. Dvorak I think I – [indiscernible] (89:53)…
Leo Laporte You can’t raise the money.
John C. Dvorak …with Google, you’re small company is trying to compete with somebody like let’s say Google, another search engine. You can’t raise enough money to stay in business…
Leo Laporte Not with an IPO, but just with VCs, because the VCs have no exit.
John C. Dvorak Right. And they won’t you any money because without the exit, what good is it except to sell to Google. The whole thing is in the toilet and it’s all because of Sarbanes-Oxley.
Leo Laporte And Sarbanes – SOX – Sarbanes-Oxley was created after the Enron scandal.
John C. Dvorak Yeah.
Leo Laporte To require better reports.
John C. Dvorak Right and if you really look at Sarbanes-Oxley and the Enron scandal and reverse-engineer it, it wouldn’t have done anything…
Leo Laporte Wouldn’t have helped. Well, there is an example if you want do an argument against net-neutrality, the law of unintended consequences of sometimes of you pass a law with the best intentions…
John C. Dvorak Right.
Leo Laporte The regulation can kill you.
John C. Dvorak Yeah, I mean that’s what – which is one of the arguments against the net-neutrality folks and that’s actually big.
Leo Laporte I understand that.
John C. Dvorak Yeah.
Leo Laporte I’m kind of…
Dwight Silverman Although there were arguments at the time that Sarbanes-Oxley was proposed and debated that the exact things that we’re seeing now would happen, did happen.
Leo Laporte Nobody listened…
Dwight Silverman Right, nobody listened, but the thing is with, you know with the current VC climate, there are companies that still emerge that are small and that find favor because what they do is good and the best example that is Twitter.
Leo Laporte Right. But they are small and that’s the key, you couldn’t – you can’t do an Amazon because it’s so capital-intensive, what did Amazon do with all that IPO money? They built distribution centers everywhere.
Dwight Silverman Physical – physical plants…
Leo Laporte But you can’t – Twitter doesn’t need to do that so yeah you can have a small web company…
John C. Dvorak Yeah but Twitter is something that be cloned easily and…
Leo Laporte Well, exactly. That’s the point is that –
Dwight Silverman But they tried and nobody has.
John C. Dvorak Nobody has because they look at Twitter and say, well it’s just a money drain.
Leo Laporte They aren’t making any money yet.
John C. Dvorak There’s no money to be made, so why would anyone want to clone it? If somebody comes up, I guarantee if somebody comes up with some way of really making a ton of money like Google did out of Twitter then I – you’ll see start to see Microsoft would do it.
Leo Laporte That’s what I’ve been waiting for.
Dwight Silverman I expect there was a good amount of money exchanged in the deals with Google and Bing and Facebook. I think there were some cash there.
Leo Laporte It was interesting because Twitter said, use the word ‘sold’ the information. Facebook was very clear to point out that there was no money exchanged. So I don’t think Facebook made any money, but of course Facebook makes plenty of money on advertising, they’ve had a net positive this year. Mostly because of Zynga. Do you play FarmVille? Do you know about FarmVille?
John C. Dvorak I don’t.
Dwight Silverman FarmVille?
Leo Laporte Are you on Facebook Dwight?
Dwight Silverman I am on Facebook but I’m real get-off-my-lawn kind of guy on Facebook, I don’t let, I don’t do any of the apps and I don’t – I don’t friend anybody who isn’t like really my friend. So I stay away from that stuff.
Leo Laporte Yeah, well, I don’t want to [indiscernible] (92:47).
John C. Dvorak The way I see it, it’s for kids.
Leo Laporte So,
Dwight Silverman A Dvorak in training on Faceboook.
Leo Laporte I started playing this game FarmVille, Zynga is the company. Zynga recently was estimated they are making $150 million a year on Facebook ads, they have Yo Ville! FarmVille as far as I know they have the Mafia Wars, they have a few others, they are – there’s an interesting lifecycle on here. Somebody is just using Facebook and they see their friends using FarmVille because all of these post updates into the news feeds, so you see ‘Leo just found a black pig in FarmVille’ and it goes up and there is a cute little picture. So they think, oh! What’s that? They click it and kind of start playing with it just kind of futzing around, pretty soon they are addicted and I was that way, you can’t stop. I’m starting to check in at Facebook 10 times a day to make sure that I have harvested my artichokes and that the lambs don’t need milking.
John C. Dvorak Is this a fact?
Leo Laporte This is a fact.
John C. Dvorak This is pathetic.
Leo Laporte It’s a fact, it was horrible! It was horrible, John! So finally, and it has all the engine -- social engineering because you trade with your friends, you give them gifts, you can – and here’s their smart move, Zynga made a very smart move. Pretty soon you start buying social objects. This is the new economy, you give them actual money so that you can have fake FarmVille money so that you can buy a fake fence or a fake pig. And it’s something how compelling people and they’re spending a lot of money on this…
John C. Dvorak Well, there was a bunch of the multi, massive multi player online games that did this kind of thing before right.
Leo Laporte Sure. Sure.
John C. Dvorak And people would start to accumulate things and they’d sell like their city to somebody else on…
Leo Laporte Second Life is an example on…
Dwight Silverman World of Warcraft.
John C. Dvorak Well, and they do it on through Craigslist.
Leo Laporte Yeah. Gold farming.
John C. Dvorak My – one of my kids was -- wanted to buy some like that – I think I’d like to catch up and get a whole a city of little peasants.
Leo Laporte What did you say?
John C. Dvorak I said no!
Leo Laporte John, I thought you were like the permissive…
John C. Dvorak Not when they are spending money on…
Leo Laporte Real money…
John C. Dvorak On virtual nothing.
Leo Laporte Well this is a big part of the economy now, and if you create an addictive game, it really is, if it’s a little cynical if you ask me. The CEO was at the Web 2.0 conference this week in San Francisco talking about this and they create these addictive games that have these cycles and then there is always another one because there’s only about a month…
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