TWiT 254/Transcript

From The Official TWiT Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Episode 254


This transcript is provided by our friends at Pods in Print

Leo Laporte Audio bandwidth for this WEEK in TECH is provided by Winamp, subscribe to TWiT and all your favorite podcast with the ultimate media player downloaded for free at Video bandwidth for TWiT is provided by Cachefly at

This is TWiT, this WEEK in TECH, Episode 254, recorded June 27, 2010: Digg 4 Was My Idea.

This WEEK in TECH is brought to you by iStockphoto, the original source for the royalty free stock, images, media and design elements to help you get creative with your website or blog. Check out these specials offer at

And by If you haven’t tried Audible yet, download a free audio book without a credit card now through July 2, go to

And by, the fast and easy way to publish a high quality website or blog. For a free trial and 10% off for your new account, go to

This is TWiT, this WEEK in TECH, our 254th episode and continuing soccer trying to understand what’s going on in the world with tech and I’m so glad one of the original twitters is here. That doesn’t sound right. One of the original people who tweeted twitter – no that doesn’t sound – Kevin Rose, my old friend is here. Hi, Kevin.

Kevin Rose Thanks for having me.

Leo Laporte Good to see you. We’ve got some big announcements from Kevin today.

Kevin Rose Semi-big.

Leo Laporte One really big, one huge and then one we don’t know because he won’t tell me.

Kevin Rose That’s right.

Leo Laporte Also with us, Ohdoctah, Owen Ohdoctah Stone.

Owen JJ Stone Yes.

Leo Laporte He’s in the house. Hello.

Owen JJ Stone Digg 4 Was My Idea even though you’re right here.

Leo Laporte You like my shirt?

Owen JJ Stone That’s amazing.

Leo Laporte Thanks for the t-shirts plus for sending me that it says, “Digg 4 Was My Idea” because it was Kevin but I’ll explain that later.

Owen JJ Stone Hopefully, it’s everything you dreamt of. Hopefully, it’s everything you dreamt of.

Leo Laporte I’m thinking of this but we’ll see. We’re going to take a look at – that’s the, that’s new story one. We’re going to get a look at the brand new Digg 4 and Kevin’s very kindly offered to do this for the first time.

Kevin Rose [ph] Demo here first (02:31) in public.

Owen JJ Stone I suggest people get logged in now or where we’re going.

Kevin Rose Well, yes, I was going to say…

Owen JJ Stone You can start with us.

Kevin Rose So the little announcements were opening up just for the first time just to the TWiT audience right now, so if you go to and then click on request and invite, once you do that, put it in your Digg user name and password and it’ll let you right in. You are in.

Owen JJ Stone So request and invitation okay.

Kevin Rose Oh, that’s it? You don’t need to do anything special.

Kevin Rose Nothing special.

Owen JJ Stone And that lasts until 4:30 today.

Kevin Rose Until 4:30, yeah.

Leo Laporte 4:30 Pacific so, it’s only for people who’re watching live right at this moment.

Owen JJ Stone Yep.

Leo Laporte So I’ll just tell…

Owen JJ Stone I was planning to come to the show.

Leo Laporte Oh, man this is so exciting. Let me, let me take it off here before I [indiscernible] (03:11) my password. I mean, I enter my email address. Oh, I see, I click – I don’t need a password.

Kevin Rose You should put request and invite and then…

Leo Laporte I’ll login now. Oh! good, good, good – there we go.

Kevin Rose It might not let you in and tell you actually – you have to request an invite for us.

Leo Laporte Let me in.

Kevin Rose Let him in.

Leo Laporte So what do you think, is this new, is this the new one?

Kevin Rose That’s it. that’s part of the [indiscernible] (03:32) boarding now.

Leo Laporte So tell me about the process. What is Digg 4 all about?

Kevin Rose So essentially, [indiscernible] (03:40) log in, get this done. And coming back at the Digg, to give people little, little background, I started the company five years ago, but I really kind of stepped out and let other people run the show for a while and so, I was busy….

Leo Laporte You were busy you were doing other stuff.

Kevin Rose I was doing [indiscernible] investing (03:58) stuff and just – just three stuffs.

Leo Laporte This is – I don’t think we know that you really weren’t part of Digg?

Kevin Rose I mean I was there a couple days of week, but outside of that I was busy just working on other projects, helping on other entrepreneurs and I sat down with Mark [ph] Andreas in a while ago (04:13). He’s one of our board members and investors and talked to him about some of the frustrations I had with not being able to scale Digg and we had problems for years on scaling Digg like we couldn’t write any new features.

Finally, the new Digg deal, you’ll see it’s a lot faster because it’s all based on Cassandra backend. We’ve got to appoint where we can actually develop new features again. So I was like, well – this is great, I can actually see some of these features that I wanted for a long time.

Leo Laporte So that’s interesting. So you weren’t satisfied with where Digg was. You just couldn’t change it because of the technology.

Kevin Rose We – we haven’t rolled out anything new in the last two years – two – two and half years and like that.

Leo Laporte Since the Digg lab stuff that you did the flash stuff – since that was cool…

Kevin Rose Digg D3 …

Leo Laporte Yes.

Kevin Rose About two-three months after that is one thing, start of falling over just from the traffic.

Leo Laporte Wow, so was that – was that a hockey stick at traffic, I mean was there any?

Kevin Rose I mean, it’s – Digg still is 27-nish million people a month, [indiscernible] (05:10) a month…

Leo Laporte Gee.

Kevin Rose And so it’s like, it’s just scaled that kind of traffic, it requires a special type of engineer and backend and we’re very right intensive App with all the Diggs obviously.

Leo Laporte Right.

Kevin Rose So finally, we’re on a new backend and so when I came in back into the company here a few – couple of months ago, my whole thing was let’s prepare this down to just three to five awesome features that we’ve been wanted it for a long time and get the release out there to do something really simple. And so what you’re going to see is basically us fixing a lot of the problems. So, it’s super fast, when you Digg something, your friends and followers actually see it. That was a big thing for a long time. People would come in, they Digg stories but no one would actually see those Diggs.

Leo Laporte Right.

Kevin Rose So the new default view is what’s called mynews. In mynews, it’s essentially a way for you to see what you’re seeing right here is all stories that have been touched by my friends. So the first story here has been dug by my friend, Daniel Burka. [ph] So I says (06:08) dburka right there. The story underneath here has two friends at a [indiscernible] (06:12), so you see little number two there and as my friends at Digg staff, it just appears right here and this fee for them. If they Digg, it goes out to their followers. So, it’s a really efficient way of spreading links, link sharing essentially on the Digg platform and then if you look on the upper right hand corner here you’ll see this is the hottest news as determined by my friend. So…

Leo Laporte That is the biggest and I think that’s why I’m wearing this t-shirt, the most important change you’ve made because the thing to me about Digg that always made a little less useful as it wasn’t, people I cared about, it was everybody, it was universe. That’s what determined [ph] why their story was dugged (06:46).

Kevin Rose Right, right exactly.

Leo Laporte And what I really would like to do is, is use a Twitter style situation where I get to choose who I care about, let them [indiscernible] (06:54) my news for me. That’s what so powerful about Twitter.

Kevin Rose Right, exactly. So you…

Leo Laporte So this is the model. Is that what we’re doing now?

Kevin Rose Absolutely, so you’re picking. So I’ll show you like – when you log in for the first time this is what you’re going to see – something just like this. We’ll see a bunch of suggested users to you, you’re on here, [indiscernible] (07:11) you can follow Leo.

Leo Laporte I’m following you, I’m following Engadget of course nothing to post. You know what these are good suggested users, Time, Trent Reznor. These are some of your friends too which is cool.

Kevin Rose Some friends on there.

Leo Laporte And [ph] life hacker (07:23), of course.

Kevin Rose [indiscernible] (07:25) is a hilarious comic. You got to check it out and follow it, it’s pretty awesome.

Leo Laporte [indiscernible] (07:27)

Kevin Rose And then you can go on the left hand side. You can see – here is a little different categories so if you just want to follow business sources you can click on business over here…..

Leo Laporte Oh, so you have effectively like Twitter lists.

Kevin Rose Yeah, so – it [indiscernible] (07:38) filter and find the source that you want to follow. But the cool thing is as a publisher so like for example with your profile, Leo, I think what we did, let me go to – we’ve changed, we now have [indiscernible] (07:48) your username is name…

Leo Laporte Oh, oh.

Kevin Rose In this case…

Leo Laporte Wait a minute. Aaron, Aaron – an error occurred at 79.7% like this is Aaron’s fault.

Kevin Rose Is that Aaron’s fault and…

Leo Laporte That’s what I linked to my site. Can we break it?

Kevin Rose No, no, it’s up I’m [indiscernible] (8:08)

Leo Laporte Okay there it is. Okay.

Kevin Rose So check out your profile.

Leo Laporte I’ll look, these are all our shows.

Kevin Rose Yes, on the right hand side what we’re doing now is that publishers for the longest time and said that we have [indiscernible] (08:17) content but we have to go and manually submit all these stories, right?

Leo Laporte Right.

Kevin Rose So you can link up your RSS feeds for it and claim your feeds that you own and so we’ve linked up here your Google buzz feed and your feed and so every time a podcast comes out, it automatically submits the Digg with a single Digg.

Owen JJ Stone That’s awesome.

Leo Laporte Yeah.

Kevin Rose So no more submission and it’ll go out to all of your followers instantly and then if they Digg it, it goes up to their friends and so on. So, a – just a lot of stuff that we should have done a couple of years ago.

Leo Laporte Can we add comments like you could before.

Kevin Rose Yeah.

Leo Laporte When I Digg something it’s the same – same process of digging something, yes?

Kevin Rose Right, same process. It’s a lot faster I mean [indiscernible] (08:52)

Leo Laporte So with all the Digg, bookmarks and all the other stuff that we’re just – are still the work the same.

Kevin Rose Yes, they are going to once we put over the API which is, what we’re still, that’s why we haven’t [indiscernible] (09:04) yet. That’s where we’re still working on.

Leo Laporte We should tell everybody. You’re getting special access, right?

Kevin Rose This is early, this is alpha. There’s bugs…

Leo Laporte Yeah, yeah.

Kevin Rose There’s going to be bugs.

Leo Laporte Now, after an hour and a half are they not going to be getting here anymore or just …

Kevin Rose Yeah, just for the hour and a half – just because we’re trying to keep it.

Leo Laporte [indiscernible] (09:21) from going crazy.

Kevin Rose Yeah, we still need to test out some stuff, but we’ll open this up probably about, say in another month or so. Well, actually…

Leo Laporte What takes so long in stuff like this? Where’s the, where’s the effort?

Kevin Rose I mean the backend is all Cassandra which is one of those no sequel solutions and we’ve got a few other sources [indiscernible] (09:38) database…

Leo Laporte But it’s not my SQL….

Kevin Rose Right.

Leo Laporte And it’s flat. Is it – what file is it?

Kevin Rose It’s just weird that you guys don’t know…

Leo Laporte So the queries and all the stuff.

Kevin Rose Yeah, it’s just a different way of storing data and we have it now in multiple – multi-data centers like we have the East Coast and West Coast that we’re serving out of and so there’s a lot of ….

Leo Laporte [indiscernible] (09:58) to do, yeah.

Kevin Rose There’s a lot of really weird little bugs that we’re just trying to work out.

Leo Laporte Right.

Kevin Rose So, it’s a complete refractory. And we have to port all of our old data over. So that’s a lot of work as well.

Leo Laporte So, we actually should say when you say you guys, we have some other people in studio I dragged over here from Foo Camp. Let me see I can figure out where there camera is? There you go. Tim Shey is here. He’s from which is a great, kind of TWiT like network, really of aggregated – how many shows you have?

Tim Shey I think there’s like 81 channels now or something like that.

Leo Laporte Wow! Huge, and sitting to his left is the evil genius from the developer of Boing Boing, Dean Putney. Hey, Dean, good to see you. He is the junior at CMU.

Dean Putney Yeah, I just finished my junior here.

Leo Laporte Rising senior.

Dean Putney Yeah.

Leo Laporte And also was at – where else were you at?

Dean Putney Institute for the Future, MAKE Magazine.

Leo Laporte Cool, cool. Are you a maker or you are a web guy?

Dean Putney I am a web guy.

Leo Laporte Yeah. So do you – when Kevin says Cassandra [indiscernible] (10:54) does this ring a bell?

Dean Putney Yeah, yeah, I am familiar with that stuff. I did a project at Carnegie Mellon using Mongo, so…

Leo Laporte So these are – are these servers or they are databases?

Dean Putney Yeah, this is a database system.

Leo Laporte We did a thing on Mongo on FLOSS Weekly. That’s another NoSQL, NoSQL, yeah, yeah, I remember that.

Dean Putney These are few competing projects right now.

Leo Laporte Yeah, yeah, yeah. Well there was even a session at Foo on NoSQL.

Dean Putney Yeah. It’s a hot topic now.

Leo Laporte Why? What’s wrong with MySQL? Owen, wake up.

Dean Putney It’s not really that things go wrong with it so much.

Owen JJ Stone I’m in the chat room. I am good. I am still with the people.

Leo Laporte I thought you were sleeping, dude.

Dean Putney I think he likes that chair a little too much.

Owen JJ Stone You guys talk all nerdy for five minutes, not [indiscernible] (11:33). I’m just trying to Digg stuff right now.

Leo Laporte Owen are you on Digg, are you on Digg 4, Diggingit?

Owen JJ Stone Digg me, follow.

Leo Laporte You are O-h-d-o-c-t-a-h?

Owen JJ Stone That’s right. I am alive. Don’t worry.

Leo Laporte So why do they hate – why do they hate MySQL so much?

Dean Putney I think a lot of it has to do with relationships in the database and how you connect different types of data to each other so, I mean, example your Diggs and users so I imagine that it makes it really easy for you to get all the Diggs for a particular user in the NoSQL database.

Leo Laporte A lot of joins with MySQL and that’s really heavy on the database, so …..

Dean Putney In the NoSQL system you can just collect – it will – is Cassandra using better documents or ….

Kevin Rose I do no