Recorded: March 28, 2010
Published: March 29, 2010
TWiT 241 •Previous episode – Next episode
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Leo Laporte Audio bandwidth for this WEEK in TECH is provided by AOL Music and Spinner.com, where you can get free MP3s, exclusive interviews and more. Video bandwidth for TWiT is provided by Cachefly at Cachefly.com.
This is TWiT, this WEEK in TECH, Episode 241 for March 29, 2010: I Never Touched One.
This WEEK in TECH is brought to you by Audible.com. To download two free audio books of your choice, go to audible.com/twit2. And don’t forget to follow Audible on Twitter at Audible_com.
It’s time for TWiT, this WEEK in TECH, the show that covers technology news in a unique unflavored fashion. Joining us today in studio, hey, good friend, Owen Stone, OhDoctah from ohdoctah.com. Hey, Owen, he is wearing Reggie – whose
Owen Stone Reggie White, you got it.
Leo Laporte Reggie White.
Owen Stone Eagles.
Leo Laporte Eagles, old 92.
Owen Stone Yes, good man, good team.
Leo Laporte Good to have you here, Owen.
Owen Stone I appreciate you letting me stay here.
Leo Laporte From New Jersey, I let him stay.
Owen Stone You let me stay. I am paying rent.
Leo Laporte Also here, Kara Swisher from All Things D, All Things Digital.
Kara Swisher Hi.
Leo Laporte Good to see you, Kara. Welcome back.
Kara Swisher Thank you.
Leo Laporte Mr. John C. Dvorak of Channel Dvorak.
John C. Dvorak Hello.
Leo Laporte Hello. He is wearing his hunting flannels.
John C. Dvorak I’m going to hunting.
Leo Laporte I thought you just [indiscernible] (1:49) something like shoot you thinking you’re a --
Owen Stone Change in style.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
John C. Dvorak Well, that could be too. So – you can’t take – can’t be too careful nowadays.
Leo Laporte Some day elves are going to start wearing red plaid and then they’ll be in trouble. And also I’m glad – very glad to welcome the man in the dark if you’re watching on video, Mr. Ryan Block, from GDGT.
Ryan Block Hello.
Leo Laporte You didn’t go to CTIA.
Ryan Block No, you know, I’ve been trying to curtail my traveling, it’s been nice.
Leo Laporte CTIA is – was it in Vegas?
Kara Swisher Yes.
Ryan Block It’s in Vegas, yeah, this spring. I’m not sure where it’s going to be in fall.
Leo Laporte It’s the big – well, there’re several big cell phone conferences. But this is one of them.
Ryan Block Yeah. That’s right.
Leo Laporte It’s not the biggest.
Ryan Block Mobile World Congress I think was the one to be at this year.
Leo Laporte Yeah, that was the one in Spain?
Ryan Block Yeah, in Barcelona.
Leo Laporte Barcelona.
Ryan Block It’s where they introduced Windows Phone 7.
Leo Laporte Yeah. Anything – well, apparently lot of Android handsets. You were – Kara, you must have been at CTIA?
Kara Swisher I was not this year. I was last year, but I was not this year. But it was Android heavy from what I understand.
Leo Laporte Yeah, that’s exciting.
Kara Swisher Yeah, yeah, indeed.
Leo Laporte For those of us who – like me carrying a Nexus One, what – you know, this would be a good poll. Owen, what do you carry?
Owen Stone iPhone, two of them.
Leo Laporte Two iPhones.
Owen Stone Unfortunately.
Leo Laporte Kara, are you an iPhone user?
Kara Swisher I tried the Nexus one. It was a little too geeky for me. So I gave it to John Paczkowski. And it’s too geeky for him.
Leo Laporte Really?
Kara Swisher He kicked it away. The iPhone as what we use. We use the iPhone.
Leo Laporte Okay.
Kara Swisher [Indiscernible] (03:09).
Leo Laporte John, you still using the E71, the Nokia?
John C. Dvorak I use the E71 depending – if I’m going to be doing anything more complicated I use the Nexus One just for the turn-by-turn instructions if nothing else.
Leo Laporte You’ve heard it here first. John uses depends. And, Ryan, you could use any phone in the world. I guess we all could. What do you use?
Ryan Block I use a few phones, but the 3GS is my main – I’ve a Nexus One on my desk though. I like playing around with it.
Leo Laporte I love mine.
Kara Swisher Yeah.
Leo Laporte I guess I’m the only one here. I love it. And I retired the iPhone for the Nexus One. I just love it.
Ryan Block You know what, if you want to make calls, great phone. If you want to use 130,000 apps, then probably not your cup of tea.
Leo Laporte Well, there’s apps out here that I really love. There is a new Google Apps called My Tracks. It’s really great because it has background processing.
Kara Swisher Goggles is great.
Leo Laporte Goggles is great.
Kara Swisher It’s kind of freaky though. I have to say I was with one of the 12-year olds who was working on the Nexus One and I asked him in the Goggles where you can – it’s a visual search essentially. And I said well, can you do people and they said, we don’t. And I said, well that’s not the answer. Can you? And they said we don’t. So --
Leo Laporte They can obviously.
Kara Swisher They can obviously. So that was little freaky.
Leo Laporte In fact there are others who are doing it. And I don’t know I feel like Google should turn that on.
Kara Swisher Yeah.
Leo Laporte I think that the government can do it.
Kara Swisher Yeah, they are not scary enough as it is. I think they can.
Owen Stone Yeah, just give them all the power in the world.
Leo Laporte It’s not Google that would be scary of the face search. It’s the stalkers who would be using it to take pictures of people on the street.
Owen Stone [Indiscernible] (04:38) everybody is in the stalking now. It’s the big thing.
Kara Swisher Exactly.
Leo Laporte But that’s opt-in. Goggles would be --
Kara Swisher Opt-ins.
Leo Laporte Not opt-ins.
Kara Swisher Yeah, whatever – yeah, that would be the favorite tool of stalkers everywhere, so.
Leo Laporte Yeah. So why not?
Ryan Block Let’s be honest. Goggles does not really work all that fantastically well.
Leo Laporte No.
Kara Swisher Not yet, not yet but it has got attention.
Ryan Block But it’s okay but it did not blow my mind the first time I used it, at least not like the actual voice search on the Nexus One which I thought was great, especially because it has that mic on the back of the phone that could pick up background noise and kind of cancels it out makes the voice search a lot more accurate.
Leo Laporte Not just voice search, everywhere a keyboard comes up you have the option of voice dictation. I use that a lot for texting and chatting.
Ryan Block Right.
Leo Laporte And if you are careful in your speech and pronounce each word carefully, you can get a pretty – you don’t even – it does a pretty good job.
Kara Swisher It does. It does.
Leo Laporte I kind of like that. I found – the screen is better, I found the applications for the most part that I want around there. So I’m pretty happy. I am – I do not feel like I am missing out on anything.
Owen Stone I just want a Google Voice on my iPhone. That’s the one thing that --
Leo Laporte That’s the app that’s awesome on this.
Kara Swisher Yes.
Owen Stone Yes.
Leo Laporte Basically, you use Google Voice on the Nexus One, it becomes your voicemail.
Owen Stone Exactly, that’s the one thing that kills me about the whole battle that goes on with these companies. They’re starting to like cut each other off of the hip for no reason.
Leo Laporte Well, now that’s an interesting thing because last week – and we talked about it, The New York Times had a very big article about the Google versus Apple wars. Is it a coincidence that on Friday, Steve Jobs and Eric Schmidt are seen sitting outside having a cup of coffee, Coffee Shop at Palo Alto?
Kara Swisher They had no idea they’d be seen [indiscernible] (06:11).
Leo Laporte No idea.
Kara Swisher Yeah, there are no coincidences.
Leo Laporte And they sat outside.
John C. Dvorak Yeah.
Kara Swisher Yeah, they need disguises. They need to create like disguises. Eric Schmidt could wear a wig and moustache or something like that.
Leo Laporte So do you think, Kara that this was a set up?
Kara Swisher Oh, totally. Come on, please. They know it. I mean Steve Jobs is one of the best known people at least in Silicon Valley, perhaps not across the world, but across the world even --
Leo Laporte At Palo Alto he is, everybody knows him.
Kara Swisher Oh, certainly, absolutely. And Eric Schmidt is relatively well known. But they knew they were going to be found.
Leo Laporte They gathered a crowd. A crowd gathered.
Kara Swisher It’s kind of like the celebrity thing. When the celebrities bring out their kids into a playground or whatever, like Tiger Woods wife wearing Nike now, I don’t know, something like that.
Leo Laporte So do the semiotics, what’s the point?
Kara Swisher They are not hating each other maybe.
Leo Laporte Why?
John C. Dvorak I think they just wanted to have a cup of coffee together or tea probably at Steve’s case.
Kara Swisher To calm things down I think probably.
Leo Laporte The thing is – go ahead.
John C. Dvorak This wasn’t in downtown Palo Alto. This is at a small coffee shop in kind of like in a strip mall.
Leo Laporte Strip mall. Yeah.
John C. Dvorak Yeah, not too from Cupertino. And I know I’ve been to the coffee shop for – it’s pretty good. So I don’t – I mean these are two very busy guys. I am sure that they knew there was a possibility. But they don’t exactly have time to sit around and hope that they get photographed and block off two hours of their day on the off chance that finally somebody is going to take a shot of them and send it to a blog.
Kara Swisher I think they knew. I think pretty – I think they knew.
Leo Laporte I have to say I feel like it’s a set up too. You think so too, Owen.
Owen Stone I don’t know how you don’t know.
Kara Swisher The Google people they tell me it was. So --
John C. Dvorak I am with Ryan on this one.
Leo Laporte You think it’s a --
Kara Swisher Ryan, get honest.
Leo Laporte Wait, okay, now, first of all, we should say that this café Calafia is run by a former Google chef.
Kara Swisher Yeah.
Leo Laporte So Eric probably said, Steve, let’s meet at my former Google chef’s café and have a cup of coffee.
Kara Swisher Right.
Leo Laporte Steve was gesticulating wildly and according to Gizmodo said something about oh, they are all going to find out about it anyway. I don’t know what he is – maybe he is talking about his mistress. I don’t know.
Kara Swisher We’re not going there.
Leo Laporte We’re not going to go there. You’re absolutely right, Kara Swisher.
Kara Swisher Indeed not.
Leo Laporte Leave it to Gawker.
Kara Swisher Yes, let’s have them do that – take care of that for us.
Leo Laporte The skuzzy stuff.
Kara Swisher I live in the Castro at San Francisco. If you want to date a donkey, it’s fine with me.
Owen Stone Good to know, good to know.
Kara Swisher So you know. I don’t care.
Leo Laporte Are there a lot of donkeys down there?
Kara Swisher There’s lot of donkey dating here. Yeah, but we don’t judge, so --
Leo Laporte We don’t judge.
Kara Swisher No, we do not.
Owen Stone Who is doing more of the donkey dating, the men or the women?
Kara Swisher Well, you know, the men of course. Hello
Leo Laporte Hello.
Kara Swisher The pick better animals.
Leo Laporte This is the week that the iPad will be coming out. I told my wife, this is my last weekend without an iPad, honey. She thought that was the geekiest thing she had ever heard in her life.
John C. Dvorak Are you sure she said – or she went what are you talking about?
Leo Laporte No, no, she knows.
John C. Dvorak Oh, she doesn’t know what they are.
Leo Laporte Of course, she does. Well, okay, John, you wrote an article in MarketWatch saying Apple iPad is far from a sure thing, in fact titled again Stomping the iPad.
John C. Dvorak Yeah, well, the reason I think is because there is no – there is nothing – unlike both the iPod and the iPhone, there was just kind of – all of the iPod was largely a marketing scheme to get market share. But the iPhone was a big shock to everybody. And it caught everybody off-guard literally with their pants down, especially the smartphone.
Leo Laporte Wait a minute, literally? No, I think you mean, figuratively.
John C. Dvorak I mean, figuratively not literally in case --
Ryan Block Hello.
Leo Laporte I believe my pants were full [indiscernible] (09:41) on that one.
Owen Stone I can’t comment.
John C. Dvorak So anyway, the point is that there is no surprises here. This is essentially just a giant iPod touch. And so everybody is already – they’re already planning their clones and everything else. And there are people from the chip company that made the – I don’t know what –
Leo Laporte Snapdragon folks?
John C. Dvorak No, not those guys, but the big boys.
Leo Laporte Intel? Have you heard of them?
John C. Dvorak No.
Leo Laporte The big boys? What can he be talking about?
John C. Dvorak Yeah, the guys who make all the chips for these small devices.
Ryan Block ARM.
Leo Laporte ARM.
John C. Dvorak ARM. Geez, ARM. Anyway, they --
Leo Laporte They don’t make any chips.
John C. Dvorak ARM says there’s 15 machines coming out with their chips alone.
Leo Laporte But that’s the point. You cannot clone this. Apple owns all the intellectual property. This is the only one that can be a giant iPod touch.
Kara Swisher Right, I think – go ahead.
John C. Dvorak I’m just saying that they can make all kinds of – there’s all kinds of work-arounds. There’s going to be a lot of things that are going to be similar or better. And --
Leo Laporte I think the only thing that will be close maybe is an Android tablet. What do you think, Kara?
Kara Swisher Yeah. I agree, I think it’s a great – I used it only briefly at that event. But I think it’s – everyone’s – I was at a dinner party with – people were like, oh, it’s a giant iPod touch. I’m like and the problem with that is what?
Owen Stone Yeah.
Kara Swisher I don’t know why that’s a problem. Like there’s 75 million people that know how to use it.
John C. Dvorak Nobody ever said it was a problem.
[Multiple Speakers] (10:52)
Kara Swisher Great, great.
John C. Dvorak Problem it has – the iPod touch.
Leo Laporte Well, it sounds diminutive.
Owen Stone The biggest thing is I’m going to have to hear for the next three years while someone catches up to technology about the iPad killer, like I’d hear about the iPhone.
Leo Laporte Yeah, you’re right.
Owen Stone Finally after three years, there are phones that are comparable at least to have a real conversation about being equal. I mean so iPad whatever, you know what, I’m going to have one next week and I don’t have any of those. I don’t have any of those.
Leo Laporte You don’t think the joo-joo is the –
Owen Stone No.
Leo Laporte Ryan, this is your beat. I mean you and Kara really cover this. What do you think?
Kara Swisher I think – go ahead, Ryan.
Ryan Block Well, like I just said, I think it’s both accurate and reductive to call it a giant iPod touch. I mean, it’s –
Leo Laporte Reductive, that was the word I was looking for.
Ryan Block It really is, I mean if you really think about it, it really is like a giant iPod Touch. Or if you have 3G in there, I guess it’s more – even more like a giant iPhone. But that’s I mean – like Kara said, that’s not a problem. And that doesn’t mean that it can’t be a transformative device.
I just – I haven’t really seen anything yet that makes me think, this is something that is going to change computing. I’m not saying that it won’t. But all the stuff that Apple showed at the event, I mean, it was basically just kind of scaled-up versions of mobile apps, or scaled-down versions of desktop apps. And there wasn’t anything that really felt kind of native to the platform.
And I think because of that that might have been why people weren’t super into the concept of the iPad. Because they didn’t really show anything that was – you know, you saw it and you thought, oh, I could really only do that on the iPad.
Leo Laporte Will there be things like that?
Ryan Block I’m sure that there will be, but Apple hasn’t shown it. So I mean at a certain point, maybe they feel like they have to let it go out to developers and then developers are going to come up with the concepts that are going to really make it sing. But I mean, when the iPhone was announced, there was a whole bunch of core functionality there that was really transformative. And we just haven’t really seen that for the iPad. I mean, I don’t think there’s anything in there that makes it incredibly different from tablets that are come before. I mean yeah, you can browse the web, you can play music. You can do that on any tablet, though.
Owen Stone It will actually work, though. It won’t freeze and I won’t be upset about it. I mean, I’ve used other tablets before, and it’s kind of not the same, because they crash…
Leo Laporte Tablets have done – they’re a flop, really.
Owen Stone Yeah. They don’t sell, they don’t have any buzz to them. And the only time I use them is when I’m at a bar, and someone wants to ask me my age, sex, location and tap it on the screen. I mean nobody’s really using them. I mean people are going to be using these in stores to ring people up like the App Store does. Like I said, older people that just don’t want to have to pay thirty bucks to have internet, email, video – it’s a basic function and a simple product that’s controlled and will actually work. I had two netbooks, I got rid of them.
Kara Swisher My mom reserved one already. I mean my mom is 75 years old and she likes her iPod Touch, but she’d like it bigger, I mean – and she didn’t take any [indiscernible] (13:37) from me to do it. So.
John C. Dvorak Aha!
Leo Laporte Somebody’s saying in the chat room that the reason that people are badmouthing the iPad is because it’s all geeks who have the voice, you know, it’s a bunch of geeks who – they’re not going to like it, because it doesn’t have multi-tasking or camera or whatever the geek –
Kara Swisher It will. It will. It’s like – it will.
Leo Laporte But it’s true, you could get all of those features at a half-price netbook.
Kara Swisher Yeah.
Leo Laporte And if that’s what you want, you should get that.
Kara Swisher Yeah.
Leo Laporte But I don’t think – I think this is an appliance, this is not a computer, even.
John C. Dvorak I think we should wait and see what happens instead of…
Kara Swisher Yeah, that’s right.
John C. Dvorak …speculating till the last minute.
Leo Laporte All right. But that’s what we do on this show.
Kara Swisher Yeah. I think one of the issues is everyone thought it was going to be like a Viagra of tablets, like, oh my god, it has to be fabulous. I think it’s just a very good tablet. What I saw was a very good tablet, I don’t – I haven’t used it extensively yet. But if it’s a decent – it’s just not like – they wanted something so dramatically game-changing, I think – you know, whatever, that’s what happens around all Apple products.
I think, we’ll just wait and see how people – I don’t think we know what people are going to use it for yet, just like the iPhone or the iPod. We don’t know, we have no idea what can be created.
Owen Stone Well, they’re sure going to get a lot of advertising with this crowd.
Ryan Block I think the idea that it can be an appliance-like device is actually really interesting. I don’t really know if I buy into it necessarily, I mean history is littered with Internet appliances, everything from the Audrey – I mean there’s just been dozens and dozens of appliances that failed.
Owen Stone The Audrey was a classic.
Leo Laporte It was a kitchen computer.
Ryan Block That’s the example that you can always kind of point to right – that’s the stand-by. But the point being that appliances are not a kind of a no-quantity. There’s absolutely no indication that an appliance is going to be successful in the market. So – if people are thinking about it, as an appliance, maybe that’s not actually the best indication of whether or not it’s going to do well. I think it has to be thought of as maybe that and a lot of other things. Maybe giant iPod Touch is actually a good thing for a lot of people.
John C. Dvorak For the grandmas for sure.
Leo Laporte But that’s not much of a market if that’s all you can sell to.
John C. Dvorak No, they need the big type, the big print, the big font.
Leo Laporte Well, my mom in her 70s loves the Kindle because she can make the type bigger, it brought her back to reading. So that’s not something to be ignored, but I don’t think it’s a big enough market to make it a hit by itself.
John C. Dvorak Well, I think we should wait.
Leo Laporte Well, you’re the one who wrote the article. I’m just –
John C. Dvorak Oh, well, I know. But the article was – what did I say in there? I can’t ever remember these things.
Leo Laporte Pre-orders, according to one blogger, 240,000. If you go to the Apple Store right now, it will say you can’t get this till April 12. Which means they ran through the first manufacturing run. Any speculation from anybody what that first run might have been?
John C. Dvorak Probably half a million.
Leo Laporte That’s what I’d think. That’s a lot to sell.
John C. Dvorak Yeah, but it’s not enough for you to win the bet yet, Leo.
Leo Laporte I have a bet with John that Apple will sell five million in the first year.
Ryan Block I don’t think it was a half a million. Half a million is very, very aggressive in terms of manufacturing.
Leo Laporte 300,000?
Ryan Block Maybe – maybe. I would say somewhere between 100 and 300,000. I could be wrong…
Leo Laporte Is it going to be like Kindle where we’ll just never know?
Kara Swisher Yeah. Probably.
John C. Dvorak I will probably never know anyway.
Ryan Block I mean if you think about the iPad, half a million unit is an absolutely enormous amount of units for any device. I mean most major companies would be just totally stoked to move a half million units in a year. So I mean I just – I only mention that to put it in a little bit of perspective.
Owen Stone They have a nice base, though. Because all the people that are out there that are basic iPhone and iPod Touch users, they’ve already got those people hooked into something that, as we just said, is just a bigger unit. And those people want them. And they’re going to be lined up waiting at the door like they were for iPhones, waiting for two days to get one.
Leo Laporte I’m trying to decide if we should – Robert Scoble wants to do overnight coverage Friday night/Saturday morning at the – he calls it Steve Jobs’ Apple Store in Palo Alto. I don’t know, I don’t think it’s going to be that kind of excitement. Maybe, I don’t think so.
John C. Dvorak No, there are people that like to do it just cause they got nothing else to do.
Leo Laporte So there’s a contest held every year in Vancouver by CanSecWest, it’s a hacker conference. And they do a thing called Pwn to Own, where they line up a bunch of stock devices running Windows 7, OS X, and a bunch of stock browsers – Internet Explorer 8, Firefox 3.6.2, Safari – and they have a big prize for the first person to hack the device. And already, the first round of victims, Explorer fell first, then Firefox…
John C. Dvorak How do they define hack?
Leo Laporte Own, you gotta own it. In other words, you’ve got to find an exploit that goes through the browser and let’s you own the operating system to the degree that you can put any arbitrary piece of software on them. Critical vulnerability. And what happens is, these hackers save them all year. Because you get a – I think – the last one was a – I don’t know what they won this year, but last year it was a laptop, Apple laptop. So it was a nice prize.
Kara Swisher Wow.
Leo Laporte So they save up, they get a – oh, I found a Firefox exploit, and they say I hope nobody finds out about it and it’s patched before I can get to it. So IE8 fell, Firefox fell, then Safari fell. You know what hasn’t fallen? By the way, Charlie Miller, who’s done this every year, won once again by finding a critical Safari vulnerability on the MacBook. So he gets the top prize, which I think is a MacBook.
The iPhone was hacked, a zero day exploit on the iPhone. Sandboxing features in Windows 7 protected mode did protect Firefox and IE8. But the only browser that wasn’t hacked? Guess?
Ryan Block Chrome.
Leo Laporte Chrome! How’d you know? How’d you know?
Kara Swisher Yet.
Ryan Block Yet.
John C. Dvorak Yet.
Leo Laporte They’re still working on it.
Kara Swisher Yeah. Come on, I mean, it’s like the house, any house can be broken into.
Leo Laporte With enough people hammering at the door, yes.
Kara Swisher Yeah.
Ryan Block Well, you know, Google has their own exploit program that they have running. And if you can do this, they will give you $1,337.
Leo Laporte Leet. Leet money.
Ryan Block They’ll give you leet dollars, if you can own Chrome and report a bug that is fixable and is attributable to something that they’re…
Leo Laporte I think they had a winner, right? They’ve given away one – at least one prize.
Ryan Block Yeah, I think so.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Ryan Block So I don’t know if that’s because people are kind of going through the Google program…
Leo Laporte Can you imagine Microsoft doing that? ‘Find a bug in Windows, we’ll give you leet money.’
Owen Stone They will be broke.
Leo Laporte They’d be broke.
Kara Swisher Broke, it’s true.
Leo Laporte They can’t do it.
John C. Dvorak I think – didn’t they use to pay 50 bucks a bug years and years ago?
Leo Laporte They used to have bug hunts where they did have the employees come in. They’d have pizza. They’d stay in the campus. And then that’s where they were – they were giving to employee but they never opened that to the public.
Owen Stone They really do things with beta though like alpha whatever when they release things, they give people that are certified --
Leo Laporte Get a hat.
Owen Stone Whatever it is.
Leo Laporte Though you don’t get a laptop.
Owen Stone Hey, thanks, they give something, lot of hats given out.
John C. Dvorak T-shirt.
Owen Stone Whatever it was.
Leo Laporte According – I think maybe we talked about this last week, but according to one of the analysts, the Nexus One last month in February sold more units than the iPhone.
John C. Dvorak I find that hard to believe.
Kara Swisher You mean, it’s first couple of months, correct? Imperatively.
Leo Laporte No, well, they’re saying February – outsold the iPhone by 16% in the month of February. This is –
Kara Swisher That could do it. That could make sense. I mean it’s – there is not a – there is a new iPhone coming out soon.
Leo Laporte Is there?
Kara Swisher Yeah, yeah, I think so. I mean it’s been written about quite extensively.
Owen Stone Every June.
Kara Swisher Yeah, I think in June.
Leo Laporte Yeah, but wait a minute, but every March they announce it. Last time I checked – we are at the end of March.
Owen Stone They didn’t want it to clash with their iPad.
John C. Dvorak Yea, I’m not buying it in any way.
Kara Swisher Yeah, yeah.
John C. Dvorak I mean the iPhone is sold through the major AT&T stores. It’s well known. People are replacing older ones. Nexus One, who – how do you get to go on – how do you even get one? I mean, I don’t see how this thing could have possibly outsold the iPhone. Something is bogus about this story.
Ryan Block Yeah, I’m going go with John there. So a couple of weeks ago there was a story about – from Flurry. They are an app analytics company. And they estimated that the number of Nexus Ones out there today is somewhere in the range of about 80,000 which is really – it’s not bad for a phone, but not great for a phone as kind of high profile as the Nexus One, but –
Leo Laporte But that’s –
Ryan Block The other thing to remember here is that the Nexus One has no television marketing campaign.
Leo Laporte Right.
Ryan Block It’s not sold in any stores and – physical stores where people walk into a carrier, they look at a phone and then they walk out with the phone.
Leo Laporte Right.
Ryan Block That is the by far the number one way phones are purchased. So it’s not sold in the stores. You can’t play with it first. It’s not marketed on television, not marketed on radio. It has all the odds stacked against it. It’s not moving units for good reason. I mean Google is not pushing it that way.
Leo Laporte But in fact, if you say all that, it’s doing pretty well, considering.
Ryan Block Yeah, exactly. I mean –
Leo Laporte And it’s only been on T-Mobile. Now it’s going to be on Verizon, I am sure, any day now, Sprint?
Owen Stone Sprint.
Leo Laporte You can run it on AT&T now.
Ryan Block But it’s – for how much they really handicapped it in terms of sell-through, it’s doing I think remarkably well. I mean there are very, very few phones like – you take the Nokia N900 for example, which is a phone I would say of equal kind of caliber and it’s sold in the U.S. and you can buy one and it’s seven or $800 I think. If Nokia can move 800,000 of those – I am sorry, 80,000 of those, I think they would just – their minds would be blown.
Leo Laporte Yeah, I bought one and I regret it.
Ryan Block I don’t think they are anywhere near that.
Leo Laporte Yeah, it’s not. I mean it’s nowhere near the Nexus One. I bought it because I wanted to have what I thought were going to be the top three smartphones, an iPhone, Nexus One, and N900. I was very disappointed with the N900. It’s big, it’s clunky, it’s not very responsive. The Maemo operating system is not well – the edges have not [ph] been rounded (23:28).
Owen Stone They got you. They got a lot of people with it too.
Leo Laporte Yeah, I bought it, what the hell.
Kara Swisher Yeah, but it’s a nice alternative to the iPhone if you want – it’s just a nice – Nexus One is a nice alternative.
Leo Laporte Yeah, it’s a little mini, tiny little tablet.
Kara Swisher Yeah, lot of teens like that DROID I think.
Leo Laporte The DROID is very popular, yeah.
Kara Swisher Yeah.
Leo Laporte What about the Sidekick? Is it over for the Sidekick?
Kara Swisher I would say so. I don’t know. Some people who like it like it.
Leo Laporte Speaking of teens.
Kara Swisher I think the Palm Pre is really the problem.
Leo Laporte Oh, boy.
Owen Stone I feel sad.
Kara Swisher Not a bad phone, not a bad phone.
Leo Laporte No, I loved the Pre. I was very – I really thought that Pre was a fairly credible competitor.
Owen Stone I like the operating system. I don’t like the phone.
Leo Laporte Where did they go wrong? Was it that creepy ad with the redhead weird --
Kara Swisher The lady, let’s blame the lady.
Leo Laporte It was the lady. Oh, that was creepy.
Kara Swisher She did and she is like the ice princess from Chronicles of Narnia.
Leo Laporte Whose idea was that? That’s a –
Kara Swisher I don’t – they fired the whole marketing staff. That didn’t get really written about. They got rid of their marketing stuff. But they – I was always like hire like Reese Witherspoon or someone, people – I was going to say Sandra Bullock but right now –
Leo Laporte Yeah, not some – that’s a creepy, weird and it wasn’t – it was also just not compelling. It was like…
Kara Swisher Well.
Leo Laporte …what is this? What am I buying here?
Kara Swisher Yeah, there she is. It didn’t show off the phone. And the phone is a decent – is a pretty decent phone.
Leo Laporte It’s a great phone.
Kara Swisher It’s a little slow. It’s a tiny but slow. [ph] [indiscernible] It’s a nice choice (24:41).
Leo Laporte There was a viral video this week by a fan, which was a much better marketing effort on the Pre.
Kara Swisher Yeah. Look at that thing. That’s so freaky. It’s like [ph] Korea [indiscernible] except they are fat in that (24:51).
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Ryan Block I think a lot of –
John C. Dvorak That is just a whacked out commercial.
Kara Swisher Yeah.
Ryan Block I think a lot of people tend to overestimate though the actual impact of television marketing and when you look at some of the studies in the smartphone market that have been released over the last couple of years, specifically post the announcement of the Pre and webOS, Palm have a lot of mindshare, right. People –
Kara Swisher Yeah.
Leo Laporte They did. They owned CES in 2009.
Kara Swisher Yeah, they did. I remember that, yeah.
Ryan Block People like regular people knew that this was a phone that could be a viable alternative to an iPhone.
Kara Swisher Yeah.
Ryan Block The problem is they made two I think really fatal mistakes. One, they priced the phone way too high.
Kara Swisher No.
Ryan Block Granted it was only $200 which is not unreasonable but when you compare that to a $99 iPhone, I think most people are probably going to go for the iPhone.
Leo Laporte How many $99 iPhone did they sell though really? I mean that was a –
Owen Stone They sold enough.
Ryan Block Even if the Pre is a better device I think most people are not going to buy a $200 Pre. So the –
Leo Laporte They bought a lot of $200 iPhones.
Owen Stone But it’s too small.
Leo Laporte I think you’re a big man.
Ryan Block Right, because [indiscernible] (25:57) go in for the $100 iPhone. And then you walk with $200 one.
Leo Laporte Right, okay, okay.
Ryan Block But then you’re getting the top of the line iPhone, right, instead of the $99.
Leo Laporte Right.
Ryan Block So there was that. There was – the price I think was way off. They needed to be way more aggressive. And then there is the apps. I think –
Leo Laporte 2,000 apps total.
Ryan Block Yeah, the time for being able to walk in the door and not have a huge app ecosystem is gone. You can’t do that anymore, right. It’s over. You have to walk in the door and have a very aggressive plan for coding, developers and getting apps on your platform. If you can’t do that, you’re not going to have a smartphone platform. Just period. Google is pretty smart about this. They put out Android well over a year before the first phones came out and then they did this big app hacking competition. They offered $1 million in prizes. And they got a ton of apps ready for launch. They are still not anywhere near the iPhone. But they are number two. Palm is way behind on apps. And that’s a very important story right now in terms of smartphone OS.
Leo Laporte So as I remember the numbers were Pre, 2,000; Android, what is it? 40,000; iPhone, 170,000. Of course, the problem you have with Android is you have this plethora of operating system versions which is not good for the ecosystem.
Owen Stone No.
Leo Laporte 1.6; 1.5; 2.0; 2.1.
Owen Stone Hopefully, that slows down a little bit. Once they get more in the peoples’ hands that will slowdown. I mean you talk about TV advertisement. That’s one thing where Apple just says, look, I got a bank app. Look, I got a dinosaur app. I mean people that don’t even know anything about an iPhone and really don’t care, say, I get on the subway everyday and I wish I had a virtual subway application. I need that phone.
Leo Laporte I see iPhones everywhere. I see iPhones everywhere now.
Owen Stone So that’s the thing. I know people that don’t know anything about technology that see those commercials and say, did your iPhone really do all that stuff? So you know, now go get one. Don’t switch because of that. So app’s important.
Leo Laporte Is Palm out of business, guys?
Kara Swisher I don’t know. I mean I think they get bought or I am not sure what’s going to happen to them. I mean they keep saying they remain independent but on some point even if you have a pretty good phone, it’s just hard to compete with Google on one side, Apple, and then you still have RIM, which is a big company. But maybe they will get bought.
Leo Laporte They still have a bunch of [indiscernible] (28:06) money though. They’ve got like 300 million.
Kara Swisher Yeah, they have got a lot, 600 million I think, it’s a lot of money.
Leo Laporte Yeah, 600, okay.
John C. Dvorak She [indiscernible] (28:12).
Ryan Block There is a lot of talk about Apple or Google acquiring Palm.
Leo Laporte Why though? What would they get?
Kara Swisher Well, that’s a nice team.
John C. Dvorak What about Microsoft buying –
Leo Laporte Wait a minute, wait a minute. It’s the Apple iPhone team that all left Apple – it’s Jon Rubinstein.
Kara Swisher Yeah, I think there’s some talk about bad blood and they are not going to be having coffee any time soon.
Leo Laporte No, I don’t think Apple’s going to buy Palm because they are just off of those guys.
Ryan Block You might be surprised. They might buy it just to shut it down and keep the balance because Palm’s patent portfolio in the handheld space is unbelievable.
Leo Laporte Oh, that’s interesting.
Owen Stone That’s worth something.
Ryan Block They basically invented handheld computing for the most part as we know today.
Kara Swisher Yeah, they did.
Ryan Block And a number of patents that they have that would be valuable for Apple in their case against Google and HTC, namely HTC right now, are great. And defensively, you know, Google might want to pick those up to kind of help ward off Apple in this new [ph] suit (28:57).
Kara Swisher Right.
Owen Stone That sounds ingenious.
John C. Dvorak And then there is Microsoft.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
John C. Dvorak They could actually use the company.
Kara Swisher Actually [indiscernible] (29:06) talked about them buying RIM I mean that would be the one they would be more inclined I think. He said to people, Ballmer that he doesn’t want to buy Apple. He wants to buy RIM at various discussions.
Ryan Block [ph] The time for (29:17) that has passed.
Kara Swisher Yeah.
Leo Laporte Is it Microsoft now just kind of wait to see what happens to Windows 7 series, I mean Windows Phone Series 7, whatever the hell that –
Ryan Block [ph] [Indiscernible] to see how far they could go (29:26). I mean they might have picked up RIM like four or five years ago when it was at a reasonable price but now RIM is – they are just – the amount of money that they would – Microsoft would have to shell off for RIM is just unbelievable.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Ryan Block They have grown a lot in the last five years.
Kara Swisher You could always pick up Nokia. I don’t know. You never know. You see how – this was – they are betting on Windows 7, Mobile 7, so let’s see.
Leo Laporte Yeah, at this point, that’s what you got to do. You got to see, see how that does.
Kara Swisher Yeah.
Owen Stone It’s really kind of –
Kara Swisher Someone will pick up Palm. I think it’s a really – again as Ryan said, it’s a very – it was a pioneering cell company. There’s a lot of amazing talent and technology there. And I think they are definitely – I don’t imagine it’d be – it was Apple. I mean we had Jon Rubinstein at CES [indiscernible] (30:07) there. He was – [ph] first time reason (30:10) I got him to say that he never touched an iPhone in his life –
Leo Laporte What? I thought he invented the – I thought he worked on the iPhone team.
Kara Swisher He never – said he never touched one, I don’t know, who knows.
Leo Laporte Wait a minute.
Kara Swisher I was perplexed, go find the [ph] quotes (30:22), it was –
Leo Laporte Wait a minute.
Kara Swisher Said I have never – I have never touched – I – wish I had one on my hand because I would have like – made him touch it – touched my iPhone.
John C. Dvorak Touch this or else.
Owen Stone Windows [indiscernible] (30:34).
Kara Swisher Touch my iPhone.
Owen Stone They haven’t made a phone. They haven’t made a phone OS in a long time.
Leo Laporte He was Senior Vice President of Hardware Engineering at Apple Computer.
Kara Swisher We were all either he – he was either lying or he really or I don’t know. It was amazing that he hadn’t. He said people in his – under his [indiscernible] (30:51) had touched it but –
Leo Laporte I guess it could be because he left Apple in 2006, so I guess that could be.
Kara Swisher It was some legal thing, I am not sure why that would be any legal can touch an iPhone.
Leo Laporte I am not allowed to touch that. Could you please dial the number for me and hold this to – hold it to my head.
Kara Swisher Yeah, it’s true. I made him repeat it three times because I couldn’t believe it so that’s –
Leo Laporte Interesting.
Kara Swisher Whatever.
John C. Dvorak Well, Palm’s [ph] getting on the plan (31:16) I am looking at their market capital is 656 is actually probably including –
Leo Laporte That's all the cash, that’s it.
John C. Dvorak Well, no their cash is – they got a lot of cash but they still have foreign debt, 600 million in cash but 400 million in debt. So they really only worth about 455 according to this calculation.
Leo Laporte And their stock prices [indiscernible] (31:34).
John C. Dvorak [indiscernible] (31:35) just buy them like – following up a log. That's a no-brainer.
Leo Laporte That’s – yeah that’s Ballmer cigarette.
John C. Dvorak They have to – they pay a premium so that they have to pay probably a billion.
Ryan Block I think it’s a question at this point also of pride, Elevation Partners, put a lot of money and they own, I think, 30, 40% of the company now.
Kara Swisher They do.
Ryan Block They are very, very much behind Palm, so better or worse.
Leo Laporte Yeah but they lost.
Ryan Block And I think for them it would be a really – it would not look good, right. It would not be a good look for them [ph] to take Palm (32:06).
Kara Swisher They have – they have [ph] Forbes (32:07) too [indiscernible] (32:08) couple of hundred millions [indiscernible] at Forbes (32:09).
John C. Dvorak They [ph] now while you can. (32:09)
Kara Swisher There was like 200 million in [ph] Forbes (32:11), some larger number. I figured what it was but it was another large debt on [ph] Forbes now [indiscernible] (32:16) so they have a lot of –
Leo Laporte Is [indiscernible] (32:19) doing well?
Kara Swisher No, I am just saying they’ve just made a lot of big debt.
Leo Laporte Right.
Kara Swisher This large – large scale debt.
Leo Laporte Best Buy – you should have bet on Best Buy. Best Buy – who would have thought this? The Wall Street forecast for profit and sales in the holiday quarter and forecasts stronger than expected earnings in the current year as demand for electronics picks up.
Owen Stone Those are competition, Leo.
Leo Laporte Oh yeah, it’s got Circuit City’s bond, right, so.
Kara Swisher Yeah.
Owen Stone CompUSA’s debt – I mean they are –
John C. Dvorak Hi, what about the good guys?
Leo Laporte Best Buy’s profits rose to $779 million. So that's good, so there is still a chance. I tell you who the competition is, Amazon.com.
Kara Swisher That's right, that’s right, it’s online.
Owen Stone Again what we said about the Nexus One. People like to walk into a store and touch things, Leo. I like to touch things.
Leo Laporte I also have [indiscernible] (33:05) Santa Monica. They found out that you like to touch things.
Owen Stone And no, then they bum rushed me, so.
Kara Swisher [ph] Touching gadgets [indiscernible] (33:11).
Owen Stone Well, price is only in the West Coast.
Leo Laporte I think though if – I mean I think that the real problem is that people, yes, they like to touch them. What they do is they go in, they touch them and then they leave and they buy them on Amazon.com and that's even – it’s actually worse than if they didn’t like to touch them.
John C. Dvorak If you are not in a hurry, why not?
Owen Stone Given the money that Best Buy is making, so it doesn’t happen like that. You think it does but it doesn’t. People want things instantly.
Leo Laporte Rumor is by the way that Best – you do – you want to [indiscernible] (33:36).
Kara Swisher Yeah, I buy everything minute I touch it.
Owen Stone Yeah, I want it and if I don’t I go back [ph] so I can get this on [indiscernible] (33:41).
Kara Swisher I am not like Tiger Woods though.
Leo Laporte I touched it and now she’s mine.
Owen Stone [ph] It’s not (33:48) looking everything in the cottage [ph] and taken everything (33:49).
Kara Swisher [ph] She’s back, she’s back (33:51).
Leo Laporte Best Buy – the rumors are that Best Buy – I guess we saw might have been a fake memo but that Best Buy will have the iPad [ph] day off (34:05).
Owen Stone I hope that happens [ph] so I can get this – (34:07).
Leo Laporte [indiscernible] (34:07) because it’s too late to go to the Apple store, so you are going to go to Best Buy and camp out.
Owen Stone Yeah, camp out.
Kara Swisher You are going to do a camp out.
Owen Stone Yeah, [indiscernible] (34:14) and some hot dogs.
Kara Swisher You really?
Owen Stone Yeah.
Kara Swisher Because you know [ph] Scoble’s (34:17) doing. We have been in touch with [ph] Scoble (34:18). Our intern is going to be –
Leo Laporte Are you going to go because we are trying to decide if we should go?
Kara Swisher No, [ph] I am starting my intern (34:23) to be with [ph] Scoble in the tent (34:24) so we will be –.
Leo Laporte I am going to send my intern as well.
Owen Stone I am going to send my intern as well.
John C. Dvorak I am sending my intern.
Kara Swisher No –
Owen Stone My intern is my [ph] dog, Maximus (34:32).
Kara Swisher [Indiscernible] (34:34) he’s very excited to campus [ph] Scoble (34:35), I can’t believe it but it’s true.
Leo Laporte Oh dear.
Kara Swisher Yeah.
John C. Dvorak There are people like that.
Kara Swisher I know.
Leo Laporte Ryan, are you sending your intern?
Ryan Block No, I am not sending anyone.
Leo Laporte The [indiscernible] (34:45).
Ryan Block You people are ridiculous. You are just insatiable.
Kara Swisher He’s really – he’s so excited that I can’t even tell you [Indiscernible] (34:53).
Leo Laporte Last year, [ph] Annie Hirschfeld (34:56) showed up, [ph] Walsh (34:56) showed up, I mean luminaries, luminaries.
Ryan Block I have been on TV three times because I of camping out for a PS3, for the Xbox and the Wii.
Leo Laporte I live for being on TV.
Ryan Block They won’t buy it and asked what crazy people are doing outside and I said I don’t have an intern. I have to do it myself.
Kara Swisher I did it last time, I did it last time.
Leo Laporte It’s something – I don’t like to go because I don’t want to look like a cheerleader but there is something about those [ph] license (35:19) kind of interesting.
John C. Dvorak Hey Leo, you are doing a fine job on the show.
Leo Laporte Oh shut up, shut up. I’ll cheerlead for this. Have you seen, Ryan, the Skinput system?
Ryan Block The Skinput system, actually I haven’t.
Leo Laporte Development is underway to interact with mobile phones or MP3 players simply by tapping your hand or forearm. The Skinput is being created by a Ph.D. student in computer science at Carnegie Mellon and Microsoft Research is pumping some money into this. They project, I guess, sensors or buttons on the hand or the arm and then you tap the skin which scatters acoustic signals throughout the arm waves, travel along the skin surface, others propagate through the body and some sort of computer model then filters it out and figures it out but based on that tap, you hit this button.
Ryan Block There’s been a few systems like this that use the capacitor properties of your skin.
Leo Laporte Right.
Ryan Block As an interface, and there has actually been some kind of, like you can draw lines of circuits on your body and then kind of interact with them – with certain kind of wearable computer system.
Leo Laporte No, we see this like every year at CES there is typing on the table or tapping on your body or...
Ryan Block Yes. I am not really at a lack for interfaces which interact, right. I haven’t run out of them and then now need to use my body for that.
Leo Laporte It does seem like though it would be a good way to make a cell phone more compact. Isn’t that kind of one of the issues?
Ryan Block I am not so sure but I would really like some kind of embeddable devices that kind of control bodily functions.
Leo Laporte Yes, what.
Ryan Block So that I could tap out on my palm interface, please drop five pounds.
Kara Swisher Oh that will be good.
Leo Laporte Yes, I thought you want to like a Japanese toilet seat.
Owen Stone Yes, I thought he was going to somewhere like a diaper type of deal but maybe not.
Kara Swisher There is a lot of really cool stuff in the heart area putting intelligence stance and stuff. I think that's a very big area eventually. I mean stance and various things that have a lot that give certain drugs certain times. I think that's a fascinating area but this sounds kind of creepy.
Owen Stone I don’t trust the drug thing either. The last thing you want to have somebody OD because something malfunctioned in your body. I went through like check in at the airport and the next thing I am OD on morphine. I don’t want to have that happen to me.
Kara Swisher I don’t know.
Owen Stone It’s going happen to somebody soon as they start doing it the first fatal flaw.
Kara Swisher Yes, perhaps. I think it’s more for – there is some stuff for old people where it will give – it will deliver the drugs when you forget or…
Leo Laporte That's a good idea.
Kara Swisher Around Alzheimer’s stuff like that. There’s all this cool stuff going on. I think it’s interesting. We will study – someday we are all going to have chips stuck in our nose.
Leo Laporte God, I hope so, I can’t wait.
Kara Swisher I want to know why Dvorak has that Barney behind him, now that's really…
Leo Laporte Oh that's the 1.2 million view Barney.
Kara Swisher Oh is it?
John C. Dvorak That is the big Barney. He is the record holder.
Leo Laporte Unbelievable. This is the thing that mainly give up all hope on viral video. John gets this stupid Microsoft Barney – when is it – two or three years ago.
John C. Dvorak Oh that's right 10 years the thing is they are old.
Kara Swisher I was unaware of this.
Leo Laporte He shoots a YouTube video of this thing in his bathroom, you can see the freaking tile in the tub with his son’s stupid camera phone, puts it on YouTube but how many views now?
John C. Dvorak I think it’s 1.5 million something like that.
Leo Laporte And you are about to add to the count and I just give up because I – how can I – how can I compete, possibly compete?
John C. Dvorak People have watched this show and I keep moving the Barney around and they keep finding it.
Kara Swisher Wow.
Leo Laporte It’s an Easter egg.
John C. Dvorak It’s not because of an inside thing.
Leo Laporte That's his Easter egg.
John C. Dvorak And then the other thing they started noticing that I put crazy little images on the monitor back over here and right there and yes, and then somebody will identify it.
Leo Laporte People on this show or people on your other show.
John C. Dvorak No, people on your show, these guys that listen and watch the show of yours are crazy.
Leo Laporte Wait a minute, let’s look, let’s see. Can you zoom in on that? What is that?
Kara Swisher No, I can’t.
Leo Laporte I can’t even...
Kara Swisher What is that? Can’t say?
Leo Laporte What is that, John?
John C. Dvorak Somebody in the chat room will get it.
Leo Laporte No, I can’t.
John C. Dvorak It’s a very, anyone who knows what – knows that image will get it.
Leo Laporte That’s it’s a tree.
John C. Dvorak Nobody’s seen it. Okay? Somebody got it.
Leo Laporte I know what is this, it is Mothman.
John C. Dvorak No, the guy got it right here, John Doe, I think just scrolled off, it’s the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
Leo Laporte Oh it’s the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
Kara Swisher Of course.
Leo Laporte Or Mothman.
Owen Stone The mystery is solved.
John C. Dvorak Mystery solved. Boy, this is entertainment, isn’t it?
Leo Laporte I tell you. And this is why…
John C. Dvorak We know how to entertain a crowd.
Leo Laporte This is why broadcast television doesn’t have a chance.
John C. Dvorak It’s doomed.
Leo Laporte It’s doomed. According to a U.K. professor, cases of syphilis have increased four fold in Britain because of…
John C. Dvorak The Internet.
Kara Swisher Facebook.
Leo Laporte Facebook, Kara Swisher, you win.
Kara Swisher That’s ridonculous, that’s the stupidest story I’ve ever heard. Sorry – that was on a Murdoch paper.
Leo Laporte It is in Fox News. You are very good. They are in balance, according to Professor Peter
Kara Swisher My people.
Leo Laporte According to Professor Peter Kelly, Director of Public Health for the U.K., NHS Tees, it’s because of people hooking up on Facebook that syphilis is up now. How else would you explain four fold increase?
Kara Swisher It’s like Facebook doesn’t cause syphilis, people cause – something like that. You’ve to kill Facebook.
Owen Stone MySpace has a striking line STD…
Ryan Block That old phrase.
John C. Dvorak I think more likely due to MySpace.
Owen Stone Yes. MySpace – used to get all kinds of STDs from MySpace.
Leo Laporte You did?
Ryan Block [Indiscernible] (40:50) My Space was ridiculous. I mean, an overweight guy’s kingdom is MySpace. Facebook, I haven’t got any woman from Facebook. They can actually know about me and friends as well. MySpace, I create my empire and get a whole a bunch of flowers and fans women just throw themselves...
Leo Laporte We have a Facebook hook-up in the studio.
Ryan Block Facebook? No.
Leo Laporte Yesterday in the studio there was a Facebook hook-up.
John C. Dvorak Really?
Leo Laporte Yes.
John C. Dvorak Well, tell us about it, Leo.
Ryan Block That’s love.
Owen Stone That’s not STD [indiscernible] (41:12).
Leo Laporte It wasn’t love. I am not saying there was syphilis involved but I don’t know if it was love. We had a couple in here. A couple came in to visit. I don’t know if I want to name names, so I won’t.
John C. Dvorak Well tell us in general.
Leo Laporte They had been high school sweethearts and hadn’t seen each other in decades and hooked up on Facebook and I can tell you, love was blossoming.
Kara Swisher Well, there you have it. That’s nice.
Ryan Block That’s nice.
Leo Laporte It’s sweet.
John C. Dvorak What was blossoming?
Leo Laporte Something.
Kara Swisher Maybe there’s STDs but there’s love too. Whatever? They are whole like blaming technology for various things, there’s a story like this every quarter, some crazy Facebook has caused this…
Leo Laporte I know. I love it, that’s why [indiscernible] (41:51)
Ryan Block It fills MySpace or even Twitter [indiscernible] (41:52).
Leo Laporte Prof. Kelly says there’s been a four fold increase in the number of syphilis cases detected with more young women being inflicted. I don’t get the names of people affected just figures and I saw that several of the people had met sexual partners through the sites. Social networks in fact are making it easier for people to meet up for casual sex. There’s a rise in syphilis because people are having more sexual partners than 20 years ago.
John C. Dvorak Does anyone actually studied this in real way or is this all theory?
Kara Swisher No, no this is all theory.
Leo Laporte He is making it up.
John C. Dvorak FriendFinder, for all you know, could be just a blogging, it could be Twitter. I mean who knows?
Owen Stone Dating.com or one of those dating sites online.
Ryan Block It’s actually true, though, there is a direct correlation between the spread of STDs and the presence of Facebook. So I mean, okay, maybe it’s true, but doesn’t that speak more to the values of our society today and last – what is Facebook supposed to do?
Kara Swisher It’s just a tool, the need to get someone to get syphilis.
John C. Dvorak It’s a tool to get syphilis.
Leo Laporte Facebook’s just a tool.
Ryan Block [indiscernible] (42:53) more like condom advertisements on the side bar.
Leo Laporte I get plenty of them.
Kara Swisher You get condom ones. I get gay cruises.
Leo Laporte Really?
Kara Swisher Yes. Freedom range I can’t stand it.
Leo Laporte So is there something on your Facebook profile that indicate…?
Kara Swisher This is gay, it’s gay I guess. I don’t know.
Leo Laporte You’ve said you are gay and so you get…
Kara Swisher No. I said married to a woman. So that sort of suggests gayness.
Leo Laporte There are things like they are doing some artificial intelligence there.
Kara Swisher If I wanted a gay cruise I’d shoot myself in the hand.
Owen Stone They know I am black, they don’t sell malt liquor advertisement my way or anything, so I don’t know.
Kara Swisher So what do you get, what ads do you get on Facebook?
Owen Stone I get like young hot chicks…
Kara Swisher Looks like [indiscernible] (43:30), I don’t get those, I get gay cruises.
Leo Laporte Yes. Now you wouldn’t mind some hot chicks.
Kara Swisher Whatever, whatever.
Leo Laporte Let’s see what am I getting, I am getting graduate degree programs in computer science network security and data at the University of Louisville. I am getting a Paris writer’s retreat. They must think I am intelligent. Do you most authentic work in Paris with New York Times bestselling author and literary agent. And then I get the [indiscernible] (43:56), do you love Jewish food, become a fan of the [indiscernible] (43:58) for daily recipes and kosher cooking tips.
Kara Swisher I know the Paris writers’ thing too, ooh, I just got the Paris writer’s…
John C. Dvorak I don’t think they got you at all Leo, that’s terrible.
Owen Stone Pastry.com find out where [ph] O doctor (44:03) came from. They have been watching the show, they are watching the show, Uncle Leo.
Leo Laporte There we go, I was doing a little genealogy with the [ph] O doctor (44:12) earlier today.
Ryan Block And Facebook knew it.
Leo Laporte Facebook followed.
Ryan Block They are honing in. Their algorithm is impenetrable.
Leo Laporte Facebook’s response by the way to this British assertion, Facebook is no more responsible for STD transmission than newspapers are responsible for bad vision.
Kara Swisher That’s strange.
John C. Dvorak What kind of an argument is that?
Kara Swisher It sounds like [ph] Elliot Schrage (44:32).
Leo Laporte I am trying to figure that out. What the hell does that mean?
Kara Swisher That’s [ph] Elliot (44:36) trying to confuse you all.
Leo Laporte No. It’s Andrew Noise.
Kara Swisher Yes. Andrew is in DC.
Leo Laporte Noise noted as Facebook’s more than 400 million users [indiscernible] (44:47). Our website is not a place to meet people for casual sex. It’s a place for friends, family and co-workers to meet for casual – no connect and share. So that’s not – they say no. That’s absurd, of course that’s absurd. And it does come from the sun.
Kara Swisher There you are.
John C. Dvorak There you go.
Leo Laporte Thank you, Rupert. Rupert has decided by the way to charge for the…
Kara Swisher Nice segue, nice segue.
Leo Laporte I am getting good at this – about three more decades and I will be ready. Rupert’s decided to charge 17.99 for The Wall Street Journal iPad app which is twice what it charges for the web.
Kara Swisher So they say.
John C. Dvorak Makes sense to me.
Leo Laporte I love it because if The Wall Street Journal – the stories in The Wall Street Journal quoting sources, who should know...
Kara Swisher You should know – that would be Rupert Murdoch.
John C. Dvorak That would be The Wall Street Journal.
Kara Swisher It’s my guess.
Leo Laporte It’s The Wall Street Journal quoting sources, you should know that The Wall Street Journal is going to charge 17.99. I would think they would go.
Ryan Block Journalism as a whole is an embarrassment right now, in general for the regular American person journalism is just an embarrassment.
Leo Laporte But this is the question. How does Rupert think that he can twice as much for an iPad app than for the web.
John C. Dvorak He was a – smart thinking. He figures anyone dumb enough to buy an iPad is going pay any kind of money.
Leo Laporte There you go.
Kara Swisher I think that [indiscernible] (46:06)
Owen Stone There you go.
John C. Dvorak Hey I got one.
Ryan Block Nailed it.
Leo Laporte You used to work for the Journal?
Kara Swisher I did, yes I quit the Journal several years ago. But I am in the Rupert universe. I am a contract employee for Dow Jones with all AllThingsD, yes indeed.
Leo Laporte Would you – if you said something bad about Rupert, would you get a call?
Kara Swisher No. I do it all the time. I do it all the time.
Leo Laporte You did [indiscernible] (46:25).
Kara Swisher One time he threatened to fire me and he thought it was funny.
John C. Dvorak He seems to do it all the time.
Kara Swisher Yes, he likes to – he doesn’t care. He knows he is a big public figure and he enjoys [indiscernible] (46:37).
Leo Laporte That’s kind of the – I think Letterman might have been the first to do this kind of bite the hand that feeds you. But now you’ve watched 30 Rock and they are mocking the fact that NBC just sold to Comcast.
John C. Dvorak Kable Town.
Leo Laporte Kable Town with the “K” I love that.
Owen Stone Did you see the logo; the logo is exactly the same.
Leo Laporte I think it’s great that they ……
Ryan Block How can you get away with that stuff? People like to laugh and as long as you don’t cross the line which you are not going to do because it’s regular television. It doesn’t even matter.
Kara Swisher I don’t think he cares. I can’t imagine he cares what I think of him. But I think he is – since he’s had had enough people attacking him, that he doesn’t care what people like me think of him. But for charging I mean, it will be interesting to see if he extends it to all the – to everything else.
Leo Laporte This is what he wants to do. He’s got a pay wall, right? In fact there is a…
Kara Swisher Well, it’s called Project Alesia, named by his son James, which is after a Roman battle a very famous Roman battle of Julius Caesar’s which basically, they want – they beat the Gauls for the first time in a very significant battle. I guess, I had written a piece on it [indiscernible] (47:34) and the Gauls, so they managed to subjugate the Gauls in this battle and it had a lot to do with the walls and it had a lot do with walls about putting walls around the city. The very area you die, the Murdoch, so they are using…
John C. Dvorak Sounds like they are going – getting carried away with the symbolism.
Leo Laporte All I know, is all of Gaul is divided into – what parts [Indiscernible] (47:55).
Kara Swisher That’s from that battle. It’s from that battle. Anyway, so we’ll see how it goes, we’ll see if people…
Leo Laporte Tres, three parts.
Kara Swisher I know he was very annoyed by the amount of money they had to give over to the Kindle. He certainly was publicly irked, and I’ve heard him talked about it, about the money that they had to sort of share with the Kindle. So I think he wants to sort of try to get at least the value he thinks he’s owed for the contents.
Leo Laporte Murdoch is….
Ryan Block At best it’s is going to be 30% margin for Apple there, right?
Leo Laporte Right. That’s exactly....
Ryan Block You get 70% - $0.77 on the dollar for your Apple content.
Kara Swisher I think it was split in the – at the Amazon case they were quite [indiscernible] (48:34).
Leo Laporte They were 70-30, that’s right.
Kara Swisher Yeah. Exactly. And then also they didn’t get control of the names. I think that was another thing, control of the actual names of people who sign up. There are all kinds of sort of anger over the Kindle deals. So, I think they see this as a savior, which I don’t know – we’ll see about that.
Leo Laporte Friday, News Corp. announced it’s going to charge for the websites of two of its British papers, The Times and The Sunday Times starting in June, will be available for £1 a day or £2 a week. It sounds antiquated. ‘It’s a pound of wool.’ Print editions of The Times cost £1 during the week, £1.5 on Saturday and £2 on Sunday. So it’s a deal.
Owen Stone You’ll see if people even really even pay for that kind of stuff. They don’t pay for it, they’ll drop it…
Leo Laporte You know why? They won’t because it’s not that they are willing to pay £2 for The Sunday Times, but they can get it on the web from a lot of other sources free. So that’s the competition.
Ryan Block And a lot of things on the web have links out. So if I’m reading an article and you’re linking, on my iPad, I’m out. When I read the paper, I’m stuck to reading what you read to me and tell me what sources are what sources.
So go ahead and charge what you want, people don’t pay for it, you’ll drop the price. They do, they’re done.
Leo Laporte We are going to take a break, come back with out obligatory weekly Lady Gaga story. But first word from audible.com. Audible is of course a great book store of audio entertainment books, comedy, performances, radio shows and more at audible.com. I am big Audible fanatic.
John Dvorak Yeah. I got a book for you.
Leo Laporte What? Really? Are you an audible listener too, John C. Dvorak?
John Dvorak Family of Secrets.
Leo Laporte Oh, yeah.
John Dvorak You should get that book and listen to it, Leo.
Leo Laporte Tell me what it’s about.
John Dvorak It’s about the Prescott Bush, George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush and everybody, all the Bushes in between.
Leo Laporte That’s because I hang out at the Bohemian Grove you think I might not know about the Family of Secrets?
John Dvorak Well, I don’t know. It’s good stuff, it’s just really interesting.
Leo Laporte All I know is if you say Skull And Bones, I have to leave.
John Dvorak You have to leave the room.
Leo Laporte I have to leave. Actually unfortunately, Family of Secrets I don’t think is on Audible. I wish it were.
John Dvorak Aha, figures! [Indiscernible] (50:42) pressed this book.
Leo Laporte Because it’s secret. They are.
However, there are many other things on Audible that are secret, or not so secret. If you go to audible.com/twit2, you can get your first books, first two books absolutely free, audible.com/twit2. I’m just taking a look at The Edge of Physics by Anil Ananthaswamy; the Nicholson Baker’s newest The Anthologist, I’m a huge Nicholson Baker fan; the Pride and Prejudice, the new Pride and Prejudice, it’s prequel, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Prequel, I guess this is a different if I say Pride and Prejudice or Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, just called Dawn of the Dreadfulls, it’s how the zombies first came to Regency, England, and how the Bennett girls were transformed into savage slayers.
I just love – let me explain a little bit, I just love the reader on this book.
[Audio clip] (51:38)
Leo Laporte Now, listen her voice is just – oh, I love it. Poncey.
[Audio clip] (52:02)
Leo Laporte I don’t know what happens after that, but I don’t care, I just love it!
John Dvorak That’s good enough.
Leo Laporte That’s good enough. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, so here is the deal, you go to audible.com/twit2, you sign up for the Platinum account, that’s two books a month and the first two are free, cancel any time, so you get to keep them forever, the Tournament of Audiobooks is on right now too because we’ve got the final four in basketball or the NIT Final, March Madness; they have got March Madness, you’ve got your own little brackets here in audio books if you want to play along the Tournament of Audiobooks, we are kind of narrowing it down now, the third round is going on right now, as we get to the final four of, you choose from best sellers, customer favorites, editors’ picks, this is always fun, I really enjoy this. [Indiscernible] (52:58) going to win that one, which is kind of automatic. Beat the Reaper versus Always Looking Up, that’s a tough one. The Gathering Storm versus the Girl Who Played With Fire. One of the things about Audible, they do such a great job of giving you a look at what you could be listening to, it’s so much fun to browse. audible.com/twit2, the new Christopher Moore is out, Bite Me: A Love Story, he is a listener, we love Christopher Moore stuff.
Audible. – and I’m going to make this one my picks, how about Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and then for the vampire lovers, Bite Me: A Love Story by Christopher Moore. A little bit of this – just want to hear it…
[Audio clip] (53:38)
So you get your valley girl vampire and you get your British Regency vampire – zombie.
Owen Stone That’s nice.
Leo Laporte Yes, it’s kind of like a good two-fer. Audible.com/twit2, give it a try, we know you’ll love it, so Lady Gaga baby, the first…
Kara Swisher Love her.
Leo Laporte Love her. You like the new Telephone? I think you know Kara, when I saw it I thought of you.
Kara Swisher I love it. What’s not to love, Beyonce, her, Poison, Pussy Wagon…
Leo Laporte Pussy Wagon. I knew you were going to get there, I knew you were going to get there.
Kara Swisher You know it’s so fun, but it’s so funny.
Leo Laporte It’s so fun.
Kara Swisher It’s just making fun of everyone. I like that she makes fun of everybody.
Leo Laporte She mocks B-movies, prison films…
Kara Swisher Everything, prison lady films, who doesn’t love those.
Leo Laporte It’s wonderful.
Kara Swisher You know it’s hard not to.
John Dvorak You know I have my own interpretation of that video.
Leo Laporte Telephone?
Kara Swisher All right.
Leo Laporte What?
John Dvorak And it’s very obvious to me. This is actually a symbolic video complaining about AT&T’s service and [indiscernible] (54:40) plans. And you think about it, they first have a plug in there for Virgin which is one of the few services that’s not locked in…
Leo Laporte There is quite a bit of product placement in this.
Kara Swisher There is a little – she likes it with Polaroid tubes.
Leo Laporte Yes, Polaroid.
John Dvorak Lock in jail and then they – you know is when she leaves the guard says don’t worry, you’ll be back means you’ll be back on AT&T and then at the end of the thing they have a helicopter, an AT&T helicopter flying follow on her.
Ryan Block You spend a long time alone.
John Dvorak I’m telling you this is a protest video.
Leo Laporte I think John might have hit it.
Ryan Block I think he spends a lot of time alone.
Kara Swisher I want to watch it with John again. I want to come to come out from my house and watch…
Leo Laporte John, let’s watch it together and we can deconstruct…
Ryan Block You’ll need to see what he sees.
Leo Laporte He sees dead people. Yes, you don’t want to see what he sees.
Ryan Block It’ll be a different experience.
Leo Laporte So but actually that’s kind of interesting, John. Not including Telephone, Lady Gaga now has a billion views, the first anybody to have more than a billion views on YouTube, that’s kind of stunning.
Ryan Block And thanks a lot MTV.
Leo Laporte You think it’s MTV’s fault?
Ryan Block No, I’m saying MTV totally blew it.
Leo Laporte Who needs MTV, exactly go watch Cribs.
Ryan Block They totally blew it.
Leo Laporte Yes, you can watch Cribs or you can watch Lady Gaga over and over and over. I wish we knew how many unique views, though. Don’t you – wouldn’t that be curious if it’s like…
Kara Swisher Well I have like a 1,000.
Leo Laporte You have a thousand uniques?
Kara Swisher No, no, I’m just like…
Leo Laporte 1,000 views. You have watched it a thousand times, I get it.
Kara Swisher Yes, I think she is really fascinating – she is really, it’s hard to look away from Lady Gaga. What’s interesting about her is I find her – I call it like the super talented Madonna…
Owen Stone Thank you. Yes, she just reminds me of Madonna in the 80s, there is really no – she likes a lot more blood than Madonna ever did, I don’t know why she always…
Leo Laporte I wasn’t crazy about the MTV [indiscernible] (56:20) stuff.
Owen Stone She is always doing things like that but other than that it’s just Madonna…
Leo Laporte That the blood is…
Ryan Block Wearing skimpy stuff, dance around with cones on your chest…
Leo Laporte It’s post feminist.
Owen Stone Have the men with feathers on their face and sell records.
Leo Laporte Don’t you think that blood is – as the sole woman on this, the blood is kind of a post-feminist nod to menstruation?
Kara Swisher I have no idea. I guess.
John Dvorak The show just went off the track, I’m going – making the announcement now.
Kara Swisher The kids, my kids love Lady, the songs are very – I don’t know what it is…
Leo Laporte Telephone is extremely catchy. I kind of start humming it after seeing it once.
Kara Swisher Paparazzi, Bad Romance, they’re all, my kids listen every single night, it’s very odd. I don’t let them watch the videos.
Leo Laporte You know why I watch the…
[Multiple Speaker] (57:00).
Kara Swisher No, they do not watch the videos. No.
Ryan Block How crazy the videos are against the lyrics which are just kind of like…
Leo Laporte Boring.
Ryan Block They are just like pop songs but the videos are just nuts and you wouldn’t want your children to see them.
Kara Swisher My kids got two seconds. My one son almost got to Bad Romance and I was like I caught him before he could get to it, I don’t want him to see the videos.
Leo Laporte Which one is the least kid friendly, Bad Romance?
Kara Swisher No, no, Paparazzi I think. Paparazzi is really freaky. There are several.
Leo Laporte You have to – to watch these you have to say you are old enough or something, and it is kind of a…
Kara Swisher He’s is not going to watch it. Not on his iPad, he is not going to.
[Video Representation] (57:42)
Leo Laporte And almost feels like – I love the fashion on it too.
Kara Swisher She looks like Madonna.
Leo Laporte She looks just like Madonna. But I love the fashion.
John Dvorak Oh brother!
Leo Laporte All right, all right, all right, we are going to stop it.
John Dvorak You love the fashion.
Ryan Block And she got all these – because this is Telephone, so everybody…
John Dvorak She is wearing a bunch of police barricade tape, how is this fashion?
Leo Laporte Not that one, there is one where her hair is like a telephone, I love the hat.
Kara Swisher The hat, no it is, John, [indiscernible] (58:17) she is making the video John.
John Dvorak That bunch of telephone, by the way, that shows you, that particular thing was symbolic of the fact that all these burner phones which were, you know, all these old phones that you go through with AT&T…
Leo Laporte Yes.
John Dvorak They all just got useless and so you can wear them as a hat.
Leo Laporte Yes.
John Dvorak I’m telling you this is about AT&T, the whole thing.
Leo Laporte Wow, you are…
Kara Swisher I feel a column coming on, John…
Leo Laporte Yes.
Kara Swisher I think you need to get it right out there immediately.
[Multiple Speaker] (58:33).
Ryan Block You need a parody song for it quickly.
Leo Laporte Oh I’m sure there will be a parody.
Ryan Block Yes.
Leo Laporte And isn’t that…
Kara Swisher Speaking of which, I don’t know if I put up today the mash-up of Yes, We Can and Hell No, You Can’t, which is like really interest. John Boehner, Republican representative was screaming, ‘hell no, you can’t,’ about healthcare, and so they took a mash-up from the Will.I.Am, Yes We Can thing and just play them one after the other, and I think it speaks to all the situation of partisanship in this country right now.
Leo Laporte This again, I got to point out, this is all YouTube.
Kara Swisher Yes.
Leo Laporte Which by the way this is a very moving video.
[Video Presentation] (59:17)
Leo Laporte I think that’s effective political dialogue right there.
Kara Swisher It kind of says it, it kind of says the whole thing.
Leo Laporte Yes.
Owen Stone See how they got a whole bunch of brothers in the video with the guy, see what I’m saying
John Dvorak Well, I might as report to everybody that – sorry?
Leo Laporte OhDoctah says that Obama is a halfie.
Ryan Block Why can’t they have a white guy standing there with the President? His mother was white. Why do they got to have some black rapper stand there – white people don’t sing anymore?
Leo Laporte Are you saying Obama played the race card?
Ryan Block Of course he’s playing the race card. He overplays the race card.
Owen Stone No there is a lot of white people in that Yes, We Can, that’s not true.
Ryan Block Okay, I didn’t see any, all I saw was…
Leo Laporte Later, later – later there it is.
Ryan Block Okay, towards the end, we sit the white guys in the back. I got it.
Leo Laporte That’s where they belong.
John Dvorak Well, talking about white guys, it looks like Duke is going to beat the Boys. It’s about a minute left in there [ph] ahead (01:00:12).
Owen Stone There you go. I don’t know, I’m in a cottage, I don’t know anything but us.
Leo Laporte What's he talking about? I don’t know.
John Dvorak 69 to 62, for everyone interested.
Owen Stone I’m in a dungeon.
Leo Laporte Yes, you can.
John Dvorak 70. Sorry.
Leo Laporte Go ahead. You said that ………
John Dvorak Update for the three people out there because I’m going to be soliciting some more hoodies shortly.
Leo Laporte Oh, you’re talking college basketball?
Owen Stone Yeah, yes.
John Dvorak Yeah.
Leo Laporte Now I understand. Now I get what you are talking about. Let me see what else is in the news. There’s quite a few things I’m sure that we can talk about. Oh, the Twitter hacker, the French guy. Apparently very – he says I’m a nice guy, I’m a nice fellow. He’s the guy speaking of Obama, who hacked Obama’s account, hacked my account, I think. Did hack your – did he hack your account John? You’ve been hacked several times I believe.
John Dvorak I haven’t been hacked several times, I was hacked once on Twitter.
Leo Laporte That’s what he was talking about, Twitter.
John Dvorak Yeah, but I’ve only been hacked once.
Leo Laporte Only once?
Ryan Block John, you’ve got to stop making your password, ‘password.’
John Dvorak I made my password a mile long.
Owen Stone One, two, three password.
Leo Laporte Well this guys, the way he – quote, he says he’s not really a hacker. He says the way he did it is not cracking password or suits, some arcane exploit; he just guessed their – he answers their secret questions. He’d go online, do some research, and he answered the – and get the answers to the secret questions.
John Dvorak Oh that’s interesting. I wonder if by putting my password as the answer to the secret question if that could be any good.
Leo Laporte Yes, I think that’s a [indiscernible] (01:01:40).
Ryan Block Those things, they are all so basic anymore, it’s like ‘what’s your mother’s maiden name?’ I can google that. What street you grow up on?
Leo Laporte Right. That’s what he did.
Ryan Block We started talking about stuff when you were a kid…
Leo Laporte But you know what I do? I lie.
Ryan Block Oh yeah? You are a liar, aren’t you?
Leo Laporte I say my mother’s – I lie. I lie.
John Dvorak What do you say your mother’s middle name is then, Leo?
Leo Laporte French Fry. It doesn’t matter. You make up something fraud. But the only thing is you have to remember your lies.
John Dvorak It’s too much work.
Leo Laporte He’s unemployed, he says I’m not much of a computer expert, he says he did it – this is what they always say, to reveal how vulnerable online data systems are to break-in. I am a nice hacker – Francois Cousteix.
Ryan Block I’m sure the Twitter people probably wouldn’t agree with this.
Leo Laporte He’s the guy who gave TechCrunch their secret documents.
Ryan Block He could have done an enormous amount of direct damage.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Ryan Block I’m not talking about kind of indirect damage that comes by taking a lot of internal documents and circulating them around the Internet but direct damage. Actually ……….
Leo Laporte He could have blackmailed them.
Ryan Block …bring down Twitter like corrupt the app, leak the source code…
Leo Laporte But he didn’t do that.
Ryan Block He could have done a lot of things and he didn’t. So, I mean it is worth remembering that like – yeah, I mean that was not like the nicest thing in the world to do, but it was also clearly I don’t think intended to be just purely malicious.
Kara Swisher I don’t know whatever.
Leo Laporte He did send the – and of course there was a lot of controversy we talked about. TechCrunch actually published these documents.
Owen Stone He could have spammed them like people do when they hack into accounts or…
Leo Laporte Right.
Owen Stone Could have done a lot of things. He got his 15 minutes of fame, I’m a nice guy, Twitter you have no security still with all the money in the world…
Leo Laporte It’s true. John got hacked a couple of weeks ago.
Ryan Block When you get to the point that he was at in the system, I mean he could have taken Twiter.com and redirected it to a page with ads for him [indiscernible] (63:31). I mean he was at that level
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Ryan Block He could have – he could have changed anything he wanted to, he had access to all of their accounts and all their systems, and he didn’t do that. So, you know I’m not saying like let the guy go or whatever, but it’s worth kind of putting in a perspective.
Leo Laporte So Google’s lawyers say that the guy who leaked the confidential Viacom information that we talked about, the information in that Viacom lawsuit that they told us how much Google thought YouTube was worth and how much more they pay, apparently is a Los Angeles broadcast journalist according to the Google lawyers named Bob Tur. He sued YouTube in 2006 over a copyright complaint. And Tur’s source of documents leaked to Greg Sandoval at CNET, including a deposition on behalf of Eric Schmidt which led to the revelation that Google knew it had overpaid for YouTube when it bought it. You kind of got a little fracas, Kara, on Twitter over the new TiVo.
Kara Swisher Yes.
Leo Laporte What happened?
Kara Swisher Yes. I would like to stop this thing right now, got kind of out of hand. What happened was Josh from Engadget………
Leo Laporte Josh Topolsky.
Kara Swisher Yeah, Topolsky, and then Brian Lam jumped in from Engadget, thought Walt had…
Leo Laporte Broken the embargo.
Kara Swisher Broken the embargo, and he didn’t. They didn’t ever actually call him or contact him to – sorry this is a little [indiscernible] (65:05) right now, they didn’t contact him to find out if it was true or not, they just sort of started tweeting it and there were some, not probably Josh, but some other tweets that were really obnoxious. And they didn’t actually check and actually Walt didn’t break an embargo, he was told the time to publish and he did it, and you know, they didn’t ask him and they didn’t ask TiVo, I don’t know if they asked TiVo or not but this just started the thing – and I just – when I saw it I was like we don’t do that, actually we are very particular about not, Leo, I hate it when embargos are jumped and they get jumped all the time often on stories I’m working on.
Sometimes we agree to them, sometimes we don’t. but he did not break the embargo, and they just kept accusing him, and then everyone just sort of piled on in a strange, you know, pig pile, kind of – I don’t know how to explain it, it just got – it went nuts. And it was – none of which was based on the fact which was that he didn’t. And so I…
Leo Laporte Typical Twitter stuff. I mean this is what happens.
Kara Swisher Well, it was kind of a little – then it got a little personal about some stuff that I was in the [indiscernible] (65:56). So of course as usual I have to jump in because I have like almost no impulse control.
Leo Laporte He was kind of mean to you, actually.
Kara Swisher A little bit. Yeah, then he said, all my stories I get handed to me…
Leo Laporte Right.
Kara Swisher …which is hysterical, I would love that, that would make my life 100% easier, which is not true at all. We do huge amounts of scoops and breaking news that we actually work hard to get Peter Kafka, John Paczkowski, and I. And so – and then that was also not factual. I don’t mind having a fight with someone, but it got – it was just no true. I wouldn’t mind fighting on the facts, but you know, we settled, and Josh had a talk with Walt I know, and he realized that Walt in fact didn’t break the embargo, and also Walt doesn’t know what deals anybody else makes with people. He makes his own – he has his own relationships with [indiscernible] (66:40).
Leo Laporte Why would they tell him, yeah?
Kara Swisher Why would they tell him?
Ryan Block Let me break this down from the other side.
Kara Swisher Sure.
Ryan Block …because I’ve been doing that…
Kara Swisher I know it’s annoying, Ryan, but it’s not true, you know what I mean, like maybe annoying that they treat Walt differently but I don’t know – that’s your issue with the company; is not necessarily with Walt.
Ryan Block Yeah. So, to kind of explain the back story here and how some of those kind of fit together because I used to be the editor of Engadget and Josh [indiscernible] (67:01)…
Leo Laporte You know these guys well.
Ryan Block Yeah, when I left, and I’ve known Brian for years and years, and you know, so I know the other side, I know what’s it like to kind of be on the outside looking in – obviously Kara and I’ve known each other for a long time too, and Walt know that. So we all kind of know each other. But basically what you have the kind of led to this I think is a pattern. And we can talk about the cause of the pattern but generally what you see on the other side is Walt publishing early for whatever reason, right. Walt publishes before – either before the embargo time that you’ve been told or because Walt had an exclusive. So we can talk about why [indiscernible] (67:38)…
Kara Swisher Right, that’s true. There is no question about that.
John Dvorak I’m sorry, I missed the premise.
Leo Laporte John is just rejoining us. John, there was a fight on Twitter couple of nights ago, Josh Topolsky and Brian Lam accusing Walt Mossberg of jumping an embargo on the new TiVo. Turns out…
John Dvorak Did he?
Leo Laporte No, well, they had to apologize.
Ryan Block Yeah, so let me – let me kind of explain how we got here. So there is this pattern, it’s clearly not the first time, there’ve been many times where I have an embargo of 8 a.m. in the morning and then Walt publishes at 9 p.m. the night before…
Kara Swisher 9 p.m., which is typical.
Ryan Block …and then it’s like oh crap, we’re not ready, we have to go write the story now because we are going to write it overnight. Or whatever the story is, it happens – it’s happened dozens of times over the years.
Kara Swisher Sure.
Ryan Block I don’t think that personally, and I told actually the same thing to Josh and to Brian that night, I don’t think that it’s a Walt thing as much as I think it’s a PR thing.
Kara Swisher Right.
Ryan Block PR people are a little bit more inclined to do something special for Walt or to let him publish because the journal publishes his pieces I think at 9 a.m. Pacific and…
Kara Swisher That’s right.
Ryan Block And midnight Eastern.
Kara Swisher Right.
Ryan Block So they say, yeah, okay, go ahead, we know you are going to publish at 9 p.m. and then they tell everybody else it’s going to be 8 a.m. the next day. And so what happens, everybody is expecting 8 a.m. the next day. Walt effectively gets an exclusive although it’s not really because everybody else is still [indiscernible] (68:57).
John Dvorak Well it is really – I think that’s nonsense. This is not acceptable.
[Multiple Speakers] (01:09:00)
Leo Laporte Hold on, we can’t all talk at once; nobody will be able to hear. John, hold on a second, we’ll give you a chance to talk. Go ahead.
Ryan Block So you are in the middle, whatever, you are in the middle of dinner and you have to go write your story and then everybody is pissed off at Walt, right or wrong, because he published first when in reality it’s generally PR people kind of thing. Okay, yeah, go ahead, Walt, do your thing. And you know, part of that is because PR people hold Walt in a particular perspective and I don’t think that PR people find it as easy to say no to Walt and say no Walt you have to publish at 8 a.m., at the same time as everybody else. And they are also a little bit inclined I think to say yeah, you know whatever, he’ll publish first, it’s not a big deal. The other guys you know, they’ll pick it up.
But yeah, in fact is ultimately I think this is – this is a PR thing.
Kara Swisher Yeah.
Ryan Block This is – if Walt for whatever reason is able to set embargo to 9 p.m. Pacific, it is the PR people’s responsibility to tell everybody else that’s when the embargo time is. Period. Always.
Kara Swisher You know what, that’s fine, I just think I don’t think Walt is necessarily responsible for – John, say what you want to say, go ahead.
John Dvorak I think Ryan actually hit it there. If these guys are going to play games with these embargoes, which is what we’re talking about here; and they make everybody else not do something because of this embargo, it has to be assumed that everybody’s playing by the same rules, not one guy gets to go off and do whatever he wants.
Kara Swisher Come on, that’s not true, that does not happen in Washington. It doesn’t elsewhere.
John Dvorak I don’t care – that’s the way it’s supposed to be. That’s the way all these ethical people are going on and on about the way it’s supposed to be. Now, yeah okay, if one guy wants to jump it all the time, then the whole thing is meaningless, so let’s screw the embargo.
Kara Swisher But it doesn’t jump it, he’s given it time. John, that’s not true. See, once again, it’s not factual. He’s given it time, he does not know when someone else’s time is. He’s told this is the embargo. This is the time he publishes. This is an issue with the companies, and not necessary – it just was like it’s easy to slap Walt around, which is [indiscernible] (1:10:49) and go ahead, go ahead.
John Dvorak I don’t care, no, it’s not about Walt, I don’t care about what Walt does. If Walt is given a 9 o’clock time when everybody else is given a 10 o’clock time, then these companies can screw themselves, you shouldn’t write about it at all. You can’t get – unless - these exclusive deals and then putting in everybody else on an embargo, what’s the point? Once Walt’s thing runs, the embargo is off. So the embargo is a big bunch of bull crap.
Kara Swisher Well, that’s an issue that embargo –
John Dvorak Yeah.
Kara Swisher I mean Ryan, tell me something. If you got an early version of something, of whatever, some product – would you actually say, no, I’m going to wait until my friends at Gizmodo can have it at the same time as me?
Ryan Block Well, I’m not even – that wasn’t even an aspect of this that I was talking about. I think everybody acts in their own self interest, and that’s totally fine. And I’m not saying anything Walt. I’m saying this is at the end of the day, I think this is a PR thing. If you’re given an exclusive, take the exclusive. I think there’s a whole lot of discussion to be had about asking for exclusives instead of being offered them. I’ve never asked for an exclusive, I’ve never demanded an exclusive. And I think that part of what kind of came into the dialogue here is, does Walt demand exclusives. And that is of course factors into, when does he publish and stuff like that. That’s not even the conversation I think that is important here, though. I think it’s the behavior of PR people and how they set embargo times.
Kara Swisher Right. I mean what’s interesting is, it happens in politics constantly. Like I mean they give The Washington Post things and The New York Times things. And I had to deal with it a lot with The Journal getting things and we trying to beat them all the time, because we don’t – I tell you from the news perspective, they don’t hand things to me a lot of the time, Maybe once or twice, and it’s always inane. But often, I find that I’m handing over stuff to whatever. I mean I think it’s just that it’s difficult in a review area which is different than news, where you can compete for scoops and things like that. But that’s again…
Ryan Block I think that’s the other kind of bigger part here is, ultimately these kinds of stories are frankly not that important. I mean…
Kara Swisher Right.
Ryan Block Just – they’re really not. The important stories are the things that you break because of inside sources. They’re the things that everybody points to you about. A review about the TiVo premier, I mean that’s great. You have to do it, I mean if you’re in Engadget, you have to do it. But that’s not that interesting. Ultimately, that’s not what will make or break your career as a journalist.
So at a certain level, I keep talking about like, PR people I mean, they’re just causing themselves a lot of trouble. Because they’re going to start ruining these relationships over stories that are really just not important.
Kara Swisher Right, right.
Leo Laporte Let me ask a question. Is it more important or less important in this digital age that you be the first with a story? Is that more important now because everything’s moving so fast?
Owen Stone I would rather have something right.
Ryan Block It depends on what the story is.
Leo Laporte Let’s say you’re the first to have an iPad review. Which I’m sure Walt will be. WALT, David Pogue and [indiscernible] (1:13:32) from the USA Today will have the first reviews, right.
Ryan Block Yeah, sure there’s absolutely value associated with that, absolutely.
Leo Laporte To be the first.
Ryan Block I’m sure there are people out there who would pay a very large premium.
Leo Laporte I don’t think there’s any value to the reader at all. I don’t care.
John Dvorak I have a thought on this.
Owen Stone As a person who reads –
Leo Laporte Well, let’s ask the OhDoctah first because he’s a reader. Does it matter to you who gets the story first?
Owen Stone It doesn’t matter who gets the story first because it’s one person’s opinion. And I mean some people you like, some people you don’t. People watch FOXNews, people watch ABC. So hearing it first on FOX doesn’t mean Jack to me, because I don’t watch FOX.
Leo Laporte I’m going to Walt’s review and David’s review, but I’m going to read other reviews too. All right, John, what’s your perspective on this?
John Dvorak Well, first of all, I think it’s a conflict of interest and an ethical violation. Because it encourages soft reviewing. If you’re constantly being given the product before anybody else, there is a wink-wink, nudge-nudge involved that [indiscernible] (74:30)…
Leo Laporte Do you think the public knows that?
John Dvorak …to do a soft review. And David Pogue’s reviews are soft and so are Walt’s.
Leo Laporte I agree. Do you think the public knows that, then?
John Dvorak None of these guys are hyper-critical and they never will be.
Leo Laporte So it hurts them in the long run.
John Dvorak Well, I mean I don’t know if it hurts them. I mean they get their thing done, they get to keep their jobs.
Kara Swisher [Indiscernible] (1:14:44) but here, I think you can meet a lot of reviews. The iPad review, you’re going to read 20 reviews if you like the iPad.
Owen Stone Exactly.
Kara Swisher And you should, people should compete on the quality – I mean I was talking to Josh about this. Josh’s review is what’s going to matter if he does the review. I don’t know who is doing the review.
Leo Laporte Not who got it 8 hours faster.
Kara Swisher Yeah, I think whoever – you pick the people you like in movie reviews, in all kinds of reviews and I think you just have to – it may be a short advantage to have it first. But I don’t think it will…
Ryan Block What you have seen a lot in products like this – especially Apple products, not as much in other products, but in Apple products you see not as much Levy anymore but definitely Pogue, Walt, [indiscernible] (75:23) and – usually those three guys.
Leo Laporte Those are the three.
Ryan Block Getting it not just like a few hours in advance, but like a week in advance [indiscernible] (75:31)
Leo Laporte Three days…
Ryan Block Doesn’t make a big impact.
Kara Swisher Now you guys have no – I mean your traffic is amazing at Engadget. Engadget and Gizmodo have gigantic traffic compared to any of us.
Ryan Block Well, it’s not my traffic, I haven’t been at Engadget.
Kara Swisher Oh I know, you know what I mean. I’m just saying, the people who do these things, I mean they’re doing great. I mean and it doesn’t seem to – and because they do a great job with all these different gadgets.
Leo Laporte I guess that’s my question is, does it matter any more?
Kara Swisher Oh no.
Leo Laporte And in fact to John’s point it might even be to their detriment, because whether it’s true or not, there might be a perception that they are somehow getting special treatment.
Owen Stone And to someone on the ground level, I don’t sit around and talk about tech all the time or discuss all these conversations. To a regular person, sometime it doesn’t even matter. Because the first thing isn’t always the best thing. And again, people like what they like. So as soon as Engadget puts it up? It doesn’t matter if it’s a week later. I care about Engadget, so that’s where I’m going to go to read it. And that’s how people are…
Leo Laporte So maybe all of this…
Owen Stone Loyalty is what matters.
Leo Laporte Maybe all this fighting is typical of journalists who are kind of living in their own little world.
Kara Swisher That’s right. Yeah I think it is, I think it’s quality of the review should matter. That’s – to me is whoever, whatever you like and whichever review you trust, is what should matter. And that’s – to me they’re important. It’s just like our stories. If we have the better stories, that’s what should matter in getting it up first. I mean you don’t want to be worst but first, you want to be best but first.
Leo Laporte One of the reasons I don’t take review units is so to avoid that perception of being favored by the company. And so maybe John, you’re right to some degree that – I don’t mind not being first. I don’t do NDAs or [indiscernible] (77:02).
John Dvorak Sometimes it’s more important to have the biggest audience than it is to be first.
Leo Laporte But it also may be kind of something – a hangover from print journalism, when you needed lead time. I don’t need lead time anymore.
Owen Stone The other thing too is you have an audience. I mean, I want to be first because I’m OhDoctah, nobody knows me, so if I had an iPad today…
Leo Laporte That’s true, that would be good for you.
Owen Stone I would blow up like [indiscernible] (77:21) so that would be great for traffic. But as far as quality, you got an audience, you build an audience…
Leo Laporte But you’re never going to first, because of course the company is going to give it to the people with the biggest audience.
Owen Stone Exactly, so that’s why I kind of [indiscernible] (77:30) call on Uncle Leo and…
John Dvorak You also have to do the – you have to segment the geeks that listen to this show and the people are on the show typically and the mass market, which is the big audience that reads The Wall Street Journal.
Kara Swisher Right, so USA Today would be a natural…
Leo Laporte Presumably, that’s what Apple’s PR or TiVo’s PR is doing, they’re parsing that and trying to figure out, well who do we want to give it to?
Ryan Block Right. And so, kind of – to go back to what I was saying a little bit earlier, I mean the macro of this when you really zoom out is just that this particular situation with TiVo, although it’s incredibly frustrating to be in that situation, especially because if you’re not done with your review at that point, and you’re in the middle of dinner or you’re just not working….
Leo Laporte You’ve got to run.
Ryan Block You know, at nine o’clock at night, it’s nice to be able to have a couple of minutes not to have to be at the machine. And I’ve been in this situation many times. You don’t want to have to run back and then have a like a rushed product review go out...
Kara Swisher Maybe you should get it ready, I get things ready a lot.
Leo Laporte Like an obituary. Like, I’ve been writing John’s obituary for a couple of years now. So when John kicks it...
John Dvorak Well, thanks, Leo.
Kara Swisher I actually – when I...
John Dvorak I’m going to stay a lot longer than you, I swear.
Leo Laporte ‘I’ll dance on your grave, whippersnapper!’
Owen Stone If [indiscernible] (78:41) all of this technology or anybody who has a product really cared about having someone to review it, they would find someone who has bought a similar product that they make and just send to them and ask them what they feel about it. And get the real response from somebody. Because if they send it to you or any kind of tech person, they’re going to break it down, some people have favoritisms. But I want to hear from a fan and a hater. Find somebody who – if it’s a Apple product, find somebody who loves Apple, find somebody who hates Apple, and I’m going to get the basic idea of the product. So much now it’s like politics behind the scenes stuff and you find out this person [indiscernible] (79:11) company, and nobody really cares anymore.
Ryan Block [Indiscernible] (79:12) fans and haters of any given product, just go to the comments.
Leo Laporte Yeah, that’s all you –
Owen Stone I’m just talking about having stuff first and then getting a real idea of what something is.
Leo Laporte Well this is the last iPad-less TWiT, I just have to say –
Owen Stone Until you drop it in the toilet. And then you’re going to be a sad, sad man.
Kara Swisher You’re going to have one? Are you going to have one? You reserved one?
Leo Laporte I reserved one – I am – actually, I’m hoping – because you could order – when I ordered it, you could have it deliver day of, right, I’m hoping that –
Kara Swisher Yeah, that’s what they do.
Leo Laporte During the radio show, the FedEx guy will come and I’ll open it on the radio show.
Owen Stone Can I come next Sunday? I might need to steal an iPad.
Leo Laporte Wouldn’t that be fun?
Kara Swisher Saturday? Saturday?
Leo Laporte Saturday, yeah.
Owen Stone I don’t have my own. So can I come back on Sunday and steal yours?
Leo Laporte Forerunner! Forerunner! Security, quick, stat!
Owen Stone Snipers at the cottage, take him down!
Leo Laporte OhDoctah, OhDoctah, you’re the greatest – Owen Stone is OhDoctah at ohdoctah.com. I’m so glad you could stick around.
Owen Stone Thank you for having me. I appreciate it. I’m going to hit up that Chinatown round the corner.
Leo Laporte You didn’t get lunch. Kara Swisher, writes for allthingsd.com. Actually kara.allthingd.com...
Kara Swisher Kara.allthingsd.com
Leo Laporte ...and then you can eliminate all that Walt Mossberg stuff –
Kara Swisher It’s Walt at allthingsd.com.
Leo Laporte If they go to Kara, they don’t have to see Walt.
Kara Swisher Oh, come on.
Leo Laporte I’m just teasing.
Kara Swisher Don’t insult Walt. You know how I get.
Leo Laporte I love Walt.
Kara Swisher You know how I get.
Leo Laporte Can you get – can you get – yeah I know – why are you so protected of him, are you his left…?
Kara Swisher I love Walt [indiscernible] (1:20:32) he and I have been in business together for a long time.
Leo Laporte He’s great. I would love to put in a good word, I’d like to get him on the show sometime.
Kara Swisher I will – [indiscernible] (1:20:43) Walt Mossberg. He actually walked me down the aisle when I was married, so.
Leo Laporte Oh isn’t that sweet? When we were at CES, he was sitting in the Ford Taurus SHO while I was talking to Alan Mulally. Outside of it. And I waved at him.
Kara Swisher Interesting.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Kara Swisher He’s like Brangelina there.
Leo Laporte He is, he is. He is superstar. Superstar!
Kara Swisher It’s really freaky, all these people sort of – it’s strange. I am sure that happens to you, Ryan.
Leo Laporte Ryan Block of GDGT. He is a gadget superstar. And anything new at gdgt.com you’d like to plug? You got a great podcast there that you do with Peter Rojas.
Kara Swisher Speaking of which, I love this, Ryan, it’s terrific.
Ryan Block Well you know we’re launching I think – thanks. We’re actually launching a couple of new categories this week. But we also have a big feature coming up where we completely re-did our discussion system. Which we’ve done some really cool stuff with it. And I think we’re going to be launching at this week. The team has been just working crazy hours for last three weeks doing it. It’s not up yet, though. So might be like a one, two days maybe tops – we’re trying to get it done in time for the iPad, though.
Leo Laporte 129 new products this week alone. They’re always adding new stuff.
Ryan Block Yeah, we have got a lot of stuff in there.
Leo Laporte It’s amazing. Gdgt.com. Thanks for being here, Ryan, we appreciate it.
Ryan Block Thanks. It’s always a pleasure.
Leo Laporte John C. Dvorak is at channeldvorak.com and John, you can tell your minions to stop calling the radio show to plug No Agenda, okay?
John Dvorak You know, they’re out of my control. That’s the problem
Leo Laporte Yeah, yeah, yeah. ‘I have no control over my minions.’
John Dvorak We go for maximum freedom.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Kara Swisher The Dvorak army.
Leo Laporte It was – and I told the guys, you need a word, you need a code word, you need a baba-booey or something. What can we do for No Agenda, like some word?
John Dvorak Come up with something and we’ll use it.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
John Dvorak And then they won’t bother you anymore.
Leo Laporte They won’t bother me, they’ll just call with a nonsensical question which I’ll answer at the end of it they’ll go ‘baba booey to you all!’ ‘Why that would be the code word for some podcast I believe, that no-one ever heard of. No, it is noagenda.mevio.com, right?
John Dvorak Noagendashow.com.
Leo Laporte All right. If you go to channeldvorak.com, it’s all there.
John Dvorak It’s all linked.
Leo Laporte We do video of this show now, you can watch us live every Sunday at 6 pm Eastern, 3 pm Pacific. That’s 2200 UTC at live.twit.tv, or after the fact at youtube.com/twit in the TWiT channel. Or subscribe on iTunes, we have high quality and low quality, suitable for all devices. And when you see the video, it’s a different experience. It’s different, it’s more and less at the same time.
Owen Stone I’m glad you let me bring a little color to the show today.
Leo Laporte Even if it’s like chocolate.
Owen Stone Even if it’s like chocolate.
Leo Laporte Another TWiT is in the can.
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