Recorded: July 11, 2010
Published: July 11, 2010
TWiT 256 •Previous episode – Next episode
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This is TWiT, this WEEK in TECH, Episode 256, recorded July 11, 2010: The Shirtless Page Turn.
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This is TWiT, this WEEK in TECH, the show that covers your technology news. We bring on some of the best minds in the tech community, the journalistic community, to talk about the week’s tech news.
And we have a great panel this week. I’m really glad to have Joshua Topolsky back. He’s the editor in chief of Engadget magazine. Hey, Josh!
Joshua Topolsky Hi.
Leo Laporte Good to have you back.
Joshua Topolsky Good to be back.
Leo Laporte Welcome. Also with us, Mr. Dwight Silverman from the Houston Chronicle. We’ve been trying to get to Dwight on all summer, but he’s just – kind of busy schedule.
Dwight Silverman Traveling man, yeah. I’m back, but I’m here, I’m ready. Let’s party.
Leo Laporte Let’s party. blogs.chron.com/tech blog. And lo and behold, long time no see, Mr. Wil Harris, who is rapidly coming up to be the – what is it? The number two most often used on…
Wil Harris I’ve got to catch Patrick, I think.
Leo Laporte Well, we love having Wil on. He hasn’t been on in a while. From ChannelFlip.com in the U.K. And you’re on because it’s a soccer Sunday all over the world.
Wil Harris Yeah, baby.
Leo Laporte We won’t give you any spoilers.
Wil Harris You’re like Alec Baldwin on Saturday Night Live, who’s – Steve Martin is – who has the most hosts? And then…
Leo Laporte Alec Baldwin.
Wil Harris Absolutely. I’m trying my best.
Leo Laporte Almost as good looking. Oh, that hurts. That’s got to hurt.
Well, who can forget Alec Baldwin’s Skype performance in ‘It’s Complicated.’ It’s burned into my brain, that’s for sure. Remember? You got to see it, it’s a chick flick. I got dragged there by my wife. And then I had to see it again in Blu-Ray. It is a …
Dwight Silverman Oh, wow.
Wil Harris He had to buy it and see it again.
Leo Laporte Yeah, I had to. He is flirting with Meryl Streep. They have a Skype call going on. Or no, Meryl Streep has a Skype call going on with Steve Martin. And they’re having a little thing. But her ex-husband, Alec Baldwin, decides to sneak into her bed naked, doesn’t realize Skype is there. Steve Martin comes back to Skype, he’s left for a while, and there’s a big fat naked Alec Baldwin on Skype. It’s a great moment for Skype, I think.
Dwight Silverman Sexy. Makes you want to Skype.
Wil Harris Thank you, Leo. Now I don’t have to go and see that film.
Leo Laporte Spoiler alert!
Joshua Topolsky Yeah, you’re ruining the world.
Leo Laporte Ruining it! We will not say who won the World Cup, although somebody has won the World Cup. We will not, I promise, blow the vuvuzela anytime soon or anytime on the show.
Dwight Silverman It was a team. It’s definitely soccer – or football team.
Leo Laporte It was a team. It was a European team. So even though England didn’t make it to the end, I think there must be some happiness in the Northern Hemisphere, right?
Wil Harris Well, it was nice to have an all-European final. That was nice.
Leo Laporte Yeah. Do you consider England – England is not in Europe, is it?
Wil Harris Well, technically we are, yes.
Leo Laporte You’re in the EU?
Wil Harris We are a member of the European Union.
Leo Laporte But geographically?
Wil Harris Something about the British kind of character, it doesn’t quite gel with the sort of European – I don’t know.
Leo Laporte No [indiscernible] (4:38).
Wil Harris Yeah, geographically, we’re – just, we’re a little bit less refined, I think.
Leo Laporte Is that it?
Wil Harris Than the rest of Europe.
Leo Laporte Is that it?
Wil Harris We’re a little bit more blunt.
Joshua Topolsky But geographically, Leo, I think they are geographically part of Europe.
Leo Laporte Are they? I always thought that Europe was not – everything but England. And then there’s the U.K.
Wil Harris I think – well there’s some people in England who’d be very happy with that. But strictly speaking, yes, we’re all Europeans.
Leo Laporte I don’t know. This is not what the show is all about, god knows. It is about – one of the reasons I’m glad Joshua is here, because one of the things the show has been about for the last few weeks is smartphones. In fact, in many ways, technology talk these days is more about smartphones than it is about computers, than it is about – we don’t talk about netbooks or PCs or desktops or laptops. We talk about smartphones.
Joshua Topolsky That’s where the innovation is happening.
Leo Laporte Yeah, exactly. You get complaints?
Dwight Silverman Yeah, I get complaints from kind of old school readers who say, this is a tech blog, you should be talking about Windows.
Joshua Topolsky We just – we just got a complaint today like that. We get those all the time.
Leo Laporte But you’re in Engadget! En-gadget! Gadget!
Joshua Topolsky It’s – I know! We’re trying to cover gadgets, you know? How dare we uncover the hot new gadget.
Leo Laporte I always thought actually, gadget was kind of a pejorative, kind of a diminutive phrase. And I never liked doing – whatever I do mainstream – and I stopped doing that pretty much television. They always wanted gadgets. We want to see gadgets. Like that was not as scary to people as talking – or boring mostly – as talking about technology, about computers, about the internet was. But gadgets isn’t really appropriate when you talk about a smartphone that has more power than your computer did five years ago.
Dwight Silverman Well, I mean it’s – you know, what was a gadget? Something you might have because it’s cool or fun to use, or you’re a complete nerd. Now everybody has one, and they’re much more powerful. So…
Joshua Topolsky I mean, is it? I mean gadget, I kind of – I feel like it still applies. I think there’s something about a smartphone that is almost like the perfect, it’s the perfect gadget. It is the ultimate gadget. I think that – and I think that’s why we cover them so much. So I [indiscernible] (6:50) works really well with when it comes to smart phone …
Wil Harris And we have to think about – when you look back to what sort of you know, early mid and late 90s definitions of gadgets were, you know, sort of James Bond stuff. And smartphones really are…
Leo Laporte They are, aren’t they?
Wil Harris You know, video conferencing everywhere, it’s the equivalent of the old – you know, the video screen on your watch or whatever where you’re talking to somebody. Who can say that Face Time isn’t exactly that?
Leo Laporte Right.
Wil Harris You know, knowing exactly where you are at any point in the world, how to get to anywhere else, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
Leo Laporte It is, it’s the book. All it needs is the button that says ‘Don’t Panic!’ and you’re set.
Dwight Silverman It says ‘Don’t Panic!’ right there. I think we’re at the point with gadgets or smartphones that we were with PCs, say in the late 90s. And that the best is yet to come, and that these are – we’re in that same growth period that happened when Windows was about to be on every desktop. The Mac was dying, unfortunately, at the time. And I think that it is – that what we’re going to see in the next 10 years is just going to blow our minds compared to what we have right now.
Joshua Topolsky I have to agree – I have to say I think that the innovation we’re seeing in the mobile space right now is just unbelievable, I mean it’s unbridled. It’s like the brakes have been taken off, and we have this whole new space to explore, this entirely new platform really, when you can do a lot of things you could never do with a computer.
And the – I think the reason why we cover it so much and the reason why we’re talking about it so much is that the amount of technological innovation that’s happening in the smartphone space is unparalleled. Except maybe when you look at the PC race, when it really got going, when people really started figuring out, hey, you can get these things in your home, look at all the stuff you can do with them. I think there’s still some big ones – PCs, internet and I think this mobile space, the mobile internet, smart devices is just barely tapped at this point.
Leo Laporte Let me get a little philosophical on you. Do you think the rate of innovation is constant? In other words, the human condition is such that we will innovate, but happens is, our attention shifts from platform to platform. So now that the PC platform is mature – and really we’ve seen it both Windows 7 and OS X Snow Leopard – there’s not a lot you can do new. All of these – both of these were refinements of an existing OS. Maybe our attention is now shifting to a platform where there is more scope for innovation. Do you think that that’s the case, that it’s just kind of a constant, we just are looking for an outlet and this is what the smartphone has become?
Wil Harris Well, I think there’s a degree to which the innovation has been driven by hardware, or the lack of hardware innovation. I mean the sort of PC massive race that we talked – we were just talking about – was when Intel was constantly making new chips, the gigahertz were going from 200 megahertz to 1 gigahertz to 2 gigahertz to 3 gigahertz beyond the multi-cores, dual core –All these kind of things. And that’s kind of tapered off now. We haven’t seen a processor ever hit 4 gigahertz.
Leo Laporte That’s true. We won’t get more. We’re done.
Wil Harris So what we’ve seen now is that all the, the innovation, the hardware is now moving into the mobile space, things like the A4 chip which will suddenly allow you to start really accelerating that pace of change in the mobile space as well. And so I think although there’s definitely an element of, we’re sort of choosing to move between spaces, I think there’s a good degree of, it’s dictated by what hardware guys can actually make happen.
Leo Laporte The traditional conventional wisdom is that hardware outpaces software. So that you get a lot of innovation in hardware, and then software is kind of slow to catch up and take advantage of it. Are we in that, Dwight? You think that we are in that situation now with smartphones, that the hardware is outpacing what the software is capable of?
Dwight Silverman I would say definitely with one exception, and that is that because Apple is controlling both the hardware and the software, I think that maybe within that space and on that particular platform, that you may have a neck-and-neck situation…
Leo Laporte Yeah, but you could see like the retina display, I mean as good as it is, when I look at stuff on my iPhone 4, very few apps are yet taking advantage of the retina display.
Dwight Silverman Well they just, they just released it, you got to give them time.
Leo Laporte I am in a hurry, come on now.
Dwight Silverman At what point do you say hardware is ahead of it? I mean we’re already started to see apps that do take advantage of the better display, the reading apps look much better for those that have done it, it’s not that hard to do, the libraries are in the software development kit that Apple releases. So on Android, I think you have more of an opportunity to kind of have catch up for the software, because it’s almost all independent. Google gives you the libraries, it gives you the design, but ultimately it’s going to be up to the developers to see if they can make the potential of it. I think Apple delivers more of the potential faster.
Joshua Topolsky I think that this touches on something that is – has been an issue in the desktop and laptop space, which is a real lack of innovation in that software. I mean you – it seems like people hit a point and they said this is what – this is what a desktop environment is going to be like and we’re good with this, let’s not innovate anymore. I mean you have to think about OS X, it’s built on Unix, Windows has been Windows for ages and you have got Linux – and Linux is built on Unix really as well, I mean it’s very similar concept.
So you have got two of the big ones built on basically the same thing. You have got Windows which hasn’t changed and arguably hasn’t changed drastically in now 15 years or 10 years. So there’s not a lot of innovation happening. And I don’t know if that’s just because people have become comfortable with what’s available, or there aren’t any good ideas out there. But what’s interesting is, we’re starting to see the mobile space sort of loop back around and impact the desktop and laptop space. So we’re getting used to all this touch input, all this gesture-based stuff, and that’s starting to creep into how we interact with our laptops and our desktops. And I think that hopefully spur some of that, some of that innovation.
Dwight Silverman I wouldn’t be surprised if you don’t see in the next version of the Mac OS that it looks a lot like the iOS based off the iPad.
Leo Laporte There are rumors that, yeah Apple may even abandon OS X, kind of start doing an iOS.
Dwight Silverman I think there’s probably at least one more release of OS X out there.
Leo Laporte I have to admit that though without touching my screen on my laptop, I have now become, I’ve come to the expectation that I can manipulate with my bare hands.
Dwight Silverman But you know what, that is not…
Leo Laporte Is it not the future?
Dwight Silverman That’s not comfortable [indiscernible] (13:32) to reach out and like, do this, on a…
Leo Laporte In a desktop it’s not, but on a laptop it’s a little more intimate. I could do that on a laptop.
Dwight Silverman If you used the iPad in the dock or with the wireless, the Bluetooth keyboard and it’s in the case, and you have to do something on the screen that you would normally do with a mouse…
Leo Laporte You want to reach for a mouse.
Dwight Silverman Reach out and touch it? Right.
Leo Laporte That’s kind of weird.
Dwight Silverman It’s kind of irritating.
Leo Laporte That’s kind of weird. But that’s what I’m saying, Dwight, I think that that’s because we’re dinosaurs. We are used to the mouse and keyboard. I think if a generation grows up with touch screen devices, whether it’s the iPad or something else, they’re going to get used to that, that’s going to, I think that in many ways may be the form factor of the future.
Dwight Silverman But do the non-dinosaurs on the panel think so?
Leo Laporte Yeah. It’s just you and me, Jim.
Joshua Topolsky I actually think that iPad doesn’t go far enough. I mean I was pretty disappointed and I remained sort of underwhelmed by what Apple did in the iPad OS, I think it’s basically iOS through and through. There is not a, there is nothing that really feels like it’s made for the iPad in that version of iOS. So I think that Apple could go further and I think that what you are saying about it, is the tablet going to be what the laptop becomes? I think it probably will be. They just have to come with a much more intuitive and comfortable way to use it. I mean I think the iPad is okay, but I don’t think you can just slap the iPhone OS on a larger tablet make it.
Leo Laporte Do you think it will have all of them – all of the above? You’ll have a touchscreen, you’ll a mouse. I mean, there are some PCs with that form factor, you’ll have a trackpad, you’ll have one of those nipple devices on the keyboard, you’ll have a head-mount sensor.
Wil Harris I think the nipples are long gone now.
Leo Laporte Let’s hope so.
Wil Harris Surely it’s time to ditch the notebook.
Leo Laporte You’ll have Microsoft Kinect. I think Microsoft is implying that Kinect will make it into Windows 8.
Joshua Topolsky They talked about using sort of motion...
Leo Laporte Yeah. My sense from that slide – that lead slide of Windows 8 is that it would have all of the above.
Joshua Topolsky You know, Microsoft, they always have lofty goals.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Joshua Topolsky They have a huge R&D department. You’d be blown away...
Wil Harris And how much will actually make it in.
Leo Laporte Right.
Joshua Topolsky Right, like the courier, you remember how awesome that looked? And they work on stuff like 24 hours a day and then you see….
Wil Harris And even the file system. Do you remember the sort of debacle the file system for Windows Vista?
Leo Laporte Longhorn.
Wil Harris They did the whole thing and then they just canned it.
Leo Laporte And now they’re you’re talking about Windows 8 and there’s no mention at all of any change in the file system. Still NTFS.
Joshua Topolsky And they’ve got the Cloud. What is their Cloud OS?
Leo Laporte Azure.
Joshua Topolsky That’s right. Azure. That’s right. And is that going to be tied into 8 or is that an experiment?
Leo Laporte Who the hell knows what that is. It’s got to be tied to Ray Ozzie’s ankle for the rest of his life is what’s going to be.
Dwight Silverman We talked about the idea of it not being comfortable reaching up and touching your screen. But if you’re reading on a notebook computer or on a desktop and you want to turn the page, you just do this in the air.
Leo Laporte Natural.
Dwight Silverman That’s really very natural. Or to do like this and do not have to reach up. That’s I think – I would like that.
Leo Laporte Let’s talk about one of the forces that’s going to impede all of this – and we really have got to do something about it – which is patents. And there are two patents that were in the news this week that really do impact that. One is Microsoft says, we are going to apply for patent for the page curl, the turn, where you see the page and you see the back of the page and you see the front of the next page as it turns over. First of all, let’s get rid of that, please. But apparently Microsoft thinks it’s important enough to patent it. Is this – I guess, why not patent it? Do you think the page turn has much life in it, do you guys like it? I’d turn it off immediately.
Joshua Topolsky I do like the page turn. I think it’s a – you know, I found that when I started using iBooks, I realized I did something with books that I wasn’t even aware of, which is – when I’m reading, I’ll kind of curl the edge of the page while I’m reading, it’s just a weird little tick. And I noticed myself doing it a little bit when I read an iBook which is, can be disturbing or weird….
Leo Laporte What do you mean? You actually, you like hold your finger in the corner and kind of slowly…?
Joshua Topolsky I just kind of run my fingers along the pages on the side. And I’m usually shirtless.
Leo Laporte TMI.
Dwight Silverman Thank god it doesn’t have a camera.
Joshua Topolsky But I think it adds a little – I think we need some of that human-ness in the design. I think Apple understands that better than almost anybody. Let’s add, let’s add the thing that maybe is superfluous but also makes it feel a little bit more human and tangible and real. So I like the page turn. Is it patentable? That to me doesn’t seem – that doesn’t make sense.
Leo Laporte You can patent the process involved in making it happen in software.
Joshua Topolsky Yeah, the code.
Wil Harris There’s so much – there’s surely so much prior art in terms of – other people have done before, haven’t they?
Leo Laporte Oh yeah. I am sure that hyper…
Wil Harris Additional page turn?
Leo Laporte HyperCard probably had it.
Joshua Topolsky It does seem like it’s a little late in the game for patenting a page turn.
Dwight Silverman There’s two things that you could do on the iPad, but I don’t know how well this would show up. But you could do the page turn like this…
Leo Laporte Right. We saw that.
Dwight Silverman Or you can also if you don’t want the page turn, you can just tap it.
Leo Laporte Right. You’ve still got a page turn there.
Dwight Silverman And you still kind of a look to it. And this is Kindle app.
Leo Laporte See I turn that off. There’s a basic page turn in the Kindle. You could turn it on the settings that just – it happens to slide. You don’t get the zzzpppp thing. I turned that off.
Joshua Topolsky You hate the page turn?
Leo Laporte I don’t hate it, but it’s like, why waste the time. I know I’m turning the page.
Joshua Topolsky You’re so busy. You’re like ‘I can’t…’
Leo Laporte There’s no physical. I always – I actually think that I understand why initially when new technologies come along, you make them look like the analog world. But at some point, that is kind of a little concrete and you could probably like, go off that.
Wil Harris But it feels to me that Apple is…
Leo Laporte It’s like having a mouse pointer look like a hand. Remember in the early days of the mouse, it was a hand? Like that makes you feel a little bit better?
Wil Harris But it still clicked a link.
Joshua Topolsky But it’s still in browsers, so.
Dwight Silverman Yeah. That’s right.
Wil Harris I mean, it seems to me like Apple is trying to make the stuff more accessible. Right? They just are trying to make it more familiar and less like it’s the scary digital thing and more like it’s an experience you can relate to. If I look at the whole desktop metaphor, we could have left desktop metaphor a long time ago.
Leo Laporte Yeah, we didn’t though. Have we? Yeah, they are probably --
Wil Harris In fact, it is familiar.
Leo Laporte It’s probably holding it back though. There is probably a better way.
Wil Harris People like familiar.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Joshua Topolsky But books have, I mean come on, they have been around a while. Books have really made their mark. Don’t you think? So I think that a little bit of --
Leo Laporte But that’s a negative. By being bound to this notion that what you have is a stack of dead tree material that you are turning, it binds you to a concept of serial data that isn’t required by the form. And so I think it limits the form. And it means --
Joshua Topolsky Some forms --
Wil Harris Okay, so, Leo what would you like?
Leo Laporte I don’t know. I mean I have to get out of that mindset too where I’m also in that box but I am thinking for instance – and I am sure you will see this that books no longer are static text on a physical page. For instance, why do we turn a page at all? Why don’t I just scroll up? Why do I need a – what’s this page have anything to do with anything? It was because we couldn’t make an infinite scroll of papers. So get rid of it.
Dwight Silverman When you look at on a web page and a long, long, long scroll, people don’t like that, they turn away from. They want a break.
Leo Laporte That’s true. They want a page. No, you are right.
Dwight Silverman And I think there is a middle break that you have to make.
Leo Laporte Yeah, you are right.
Dwight Silverman With the page and also Apple is about making things comfortable, warm and fuzzy. There is that – one of the slides that they have done – they did this both at the iPhone 4 announcement and the iPad announcement, the intersection of liberal arts and technology --
Leo Laporte Yeah, I actually liked that.
Dwight Silverman That exactly speaks to that.
Joshua Topolsky They love that sign.
Leo Laporte But I like --
Dwight Silverman They made sense.
Joshua Topolsky I think some forms need limitations. I think that they don’t necessarily, you shouldn’t say well, let’s just blow apart the concept of a book. Look, why do I need words in a book? Why can’t it just be a sound or something?
Leo Laporte Well, it might be.
Joshua Topolsky I think that, well, yeah, but I think that – you get people who say, well, every word should hotlink out to something else. And there should be all sorts of contextual stuff going on. And there is something that is valuable in the isolated straightforward experience of book reading. So the page turning, things separated by pages, and even that animation, which ties into it isn’t necessarily – I don’t think it’s necessarily evil or it should be exorcised. I think that – I think there is some value to the isolated straightforward experience of reading a book. Maybe I am totally insane though.
Leo Laporte Another patent applied for by Amazon could hurt Barnes & Noble is the patent – and could have hurt the Courier. Maybe this is why Microsoft killed the Courier, is a patent on dual screen technology. What exactly, Dwight, was it that they were claiming?
Dwight Silverman They are looking at – right now, the Nook has this – has two screens on it. This is – the Nook is…
Leo Laporte Which is – by the way, its chief advantage, it has a color strip running Android I think.
Joshua Topolsky Yes, it’s Android.
Dwight Silverman Yes, right. It’s running Android
Leo Laporte Underneath the E Ink.
Dwight Silverman And it may be an advantage depending on what you think of the performance which is not necessarily zippy.
Leo Laporte No
Dwight Silverman But essentially, you control page turns, and you control other things by touching the screen down below. The screen up above is like the Kindle, it’s static or non-touch screen, E Ink display. And so if you have the ability to kind of control it down here, the theory is it’s a little more friendly, I don’t [indiscernible] (23:07) read the details of the – exactly the details of Microsoft patent, but obviously, they could come to Barnes & Noble and say hey --
Joshua Topolsky Well, there is two patents actually. There is a Microsoft dual display patent that they filed. We reported on June 30. And then Amazon was granted a patent for a dual screen e-book reader. So I don’t know if there is any interplay there. I don’t think there is.
Leo Laporte I wonder if this was the reason that Courier was killed because that’s exactly what Courier was, right.
Joshua Topolsky I don’t think – I think the Courier was killed because Microsoft couldn’t get it together. I don’t think – they weren’t like, hey, Amazon might do it.
Leo Laporte Oh, my God [indiscernible] (23:45).
Joshua Topolsky I think that it was – that was purely – that was 100% Microsoft if they killed the Courier. But these dual display devices, I mean actually the Nook – you mentioned that the performance, I noticed that the updated performance is a lot better but I still think it’s sort of a failed experience to have that little display down below and then the display up top. And we’ve seen other devices, the eDGe, [indiscernible] (24:08) the enTourage eDGe which has two screens, one is LCD and one is E Ink, also kind of an uneven experience. I think like anything, what really makes this stuff work is a great user interface and a great user experience. And a lot of these companies forget in the excitement of, hey, we can put two screens on this thing, they forget we also need to make an experience for the user really great. So --
Leo Laporte So, there, that’s all there is to say.
Joshua Topolsky Everybody is like [indiscernible] (24:42).
Leo Laporte No, you said the definitive final word.
Wil Harris That is the final word.
Leo Laporte There was nothing more to say.
Joshua Topolsky Sorry.
Dwight Silverman Well, actually, I have one question for Joshua to beat this dead horse.
Leo Laporte Okay.
Dwight Silverman Have you played with the Sony touchscreen reader? I haven’t played with that. What does that --
Joshua Topolsky No, I haven’t. I have not played around with it. I did play with the – what is this, the QUE reader which is the – it’s not out yet. It has a touchscreen overlaid on it.
Leo Laporte Very expensive.
Joshua Topolsky Yeah, the Plastic Logic. It’s great. It’s just very – I mean the UI is actually really beautiful and it’s elegant. It’s just – the response time of E Ink is painful to experience.
Leo Laporte Bing search share is up 7% in June. Google down, huh, 1%. Now 1% doesn’t sound like much but I was told at one point – I think Jason Calacanis told me that 1% of search is worth like $1 billion. So it’s a significant shift.
Joshua Topolsky [Ph] If you have (25:44) $90 billion, you [indiscernible] (25:45) one.
Leo Laporte One, what’s one?
Joshua Topolsky Right, you have $99 billion.
Wil Harris What I can’t work out is if Google lost 1 and Microsoft gained 7, who lost 6?
Leo Laporte Yahoo!
Joshua Topolsky AltaVista.
Leo Laporte AltaVista, Ask.com, I don’t know.
Joshua Topolsky Ask Jeeves.
Leo Laporte Ask Jeeves.
Wil Harris Ask Jeeves
Joshua Topolsky I think – I wish we had more search competition.
Leo Laporte You are right. We need it. And I think we are going to – we are going to see it because I think that the – I mean I think Google knows this very well that the idea of searching and index of pages is not what people want is rapidly becoming obvious which is why Google is adding real time search, why they bought this, what is it, IAT (sic) [ITA], the airline guide because people don’t just want search. This is why I think why Bing might be gaining some traction.
The whole premise of Bing was, hey, it’s not just search. We will help you buy tickets. We will help you find the right flight. And Google is now starting to say, yeah, if you do a Google search where you say I have 7 hours and $1,000 to spend, where can I go, we will be able to give you the answer now, like somebody would actually search for that, I don’t know. Who would want that?
Joshua Topolsky You don’t do that – like I just – 7 hours and $1,000, where am I going?
Leo Laporte Where am I – tell me where to go, Google. But isn’t it true? We are getting past I mean the kind of search that Google is so good at to something else, I don’t know what but --
Wil Harris Well, I think there is a lot of people who are saying that the idea of search being [indiscernible] (27:10) lots of information that you have kind of no stake in or no interest in.
Leo Laporte That’s what those crazy --
Wil Harris And is kind of done.
Leo Laporte Have you seen --
Wil Harris The new search is effectively recommendation. I mean if you want to search for a great restaurant to get a dinner, do you want to search Google or do you want to ask all your friends on Facebook.
Leo Laporte Have you seen – you probably haven’t seen these in Britain, these Microsoft Bing commercials, have you see those?
Wil Harris Oh, the decision thing where all the people go crazy.
Leo Laporte They are crazy. It’s – they call it Search Overload Syndrome. And they are – they grab you because they are so bizarre at first. Here, I’ll play one of them just to give you since you’re stuck in the great UK where you can’t see these fine commercials.
These people seem like Stepford Wives. They seem so strange.
Dwight Silverman They are the Microsoft.
Joshua Topolsky I think Google is turning us all into confused robots.
Leo Laporte Robots, artificial intelligence, machines, I am robot.
Joshua Topolsky I mean do you think – don’t you feel like Google search has gotten – I mean there is so much noise.
Leo Laporte Why is it bad, Joshua? What’s wrong with it, it’s too much noise?
Joshua Topolsky There is so much noise in the Internet. And here’s what the Internet has now become, right. It just feels like to me when I search for something, it isn’t like, hey I wrote and found this thing that I needed. It’s let me shift through this enormous amount of noise to try to find the one piece of usable data that I really wanted to get at.
I mean I actually got this state of search, the whole – this whole SEO race has destroyed our ability to find and use real information. I think that we have a flood of scraper sites, a flood of associated contents with millions of articles. I mean the other day I was looking for something, I found an article that was a review of deodorant. It was literally a thousand word, a human being wrote a review of a $4 tube of men’s deodorant.
Leo Laporte And what were you searching for, Joshua?
Joshua Topolsky I was searching for deodorant reviews.
But I was searching for [indiscernible] (29:28) deodorant or something, but the fact of the matter is --
Leo Laporte But, no, wait a minute, Joshua, that’s the strength of the Internet. If you happen to be looking for a review of deodorant, somebody’s written it.
Joshua Topolsky I will say I wasn’t actually looking for a review of deodorant. I was looking for something else. I just happened to cross this thing and I said I got to see this. It was like JOVAN MUSK deodorant review.
Leo Laporte That was probably [indiscernible] (29:49) right, something like that.
Joshua Topolsky It was in the Associated Content.
Leo Laporte Yeah, there you go. That’s the company that Yahoo! bought.
Joshua Topolsky The whole – this desire for everybody to make money off of search results has really polluted our search results.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Joshua Topolsky It really is just – it’s another way to spam people. If you don’t get the spam email for Viagra, you get the spam search results for Viagra. And so it’s like – I don’t know, I think there’s a real problem. I’m not saying Bing solves the problem. They may just be adding to problem.
Wil Harris Well, I think this is why Facebook has attributed to it so much value because the potential is that you can start to get all the information that you want. You can get your deodorant reviews, but you can get it from trusted sources within your social network. You’ll have to go outside of that network to people that you don’t know or don’t want to know or these spammers to get that kind of thing.
I mean that’s why ultimately people think Facebook is – or why Google is so worried about Facebook because as Facebook gets bigger and as your social circle gets bigger, potentially there’s no – 90% of questions you are going to want to know could be answered by someone in your social network without having to ever go to Google potentially.
Joshua Topolsky We had Nicholas Negroponte on The Engadget Show. And he had written previously about 15 years ago about this system of looking at news and you would have a little slider that you would be able to go to the left and to the right depending on what news you were going to see if it was conservative or liberal, you would literally slide this thing. And I said who is going to be the editor of that. Who would be the person in control?
Leo Laporte The arbiter, yeah.
Joshua Topolsky Yeah. And he said now – and this is exactly what we are talking about. Now that person is your friends, you circle and trusted people who you’re getting --
Leo Laporte I think that’s powerful.
Joshua Topolsky You’re being able to shift through their pits.
Leo Laporte I think that’s very powerful.
Joshua Topolsky I think it is as well. I mean it’s certainly better than a robot. I think an algorithm can’t figure everything out. An algorithm – you have to get to a point where you say it’s like, didn’t we just hear about Google News starting to use human editors to sort through.
Leo Laporte I think it was Techmeme that changed to a human editor, I think it was.
Dwight Silverman Well, Google News is doing it too.
Leo Laporte Are they? Really?
Joshua Topolsky Yeah.
Dwight Silverman Yeah.
Leo Laporte Oh, that’s interesting.
Joshua Topolsky So I think what people are finding out is that when it comes to things that are really important like medical information or news or things where you really need to get – or even less important like a restaurant review or something, now there are so much out there, so much content, it isn’t enough to just say, well, it will – the good stuff will bubble to the top, the bad stuff will bubble down to the bottom because you can game it. If you can game it then you end up with bad information. You end up with skewed results. And so we, the human being is really that barrier between the game and the person on the receiving end.
Leo Laporte Well, that’s what people like Matt Cutts who works at Google fighting spam, that’s exactly – Google has many, many people working on exactly that trying to shift out the SEO.
Wil Harris The trouble is that what people define as spam is different. Josh is saying this sort of really kind of [indiscernible] (32:47) content from sort of content machines like Associated Content it’s basically the modern equivalent of the search equivalent to spam. And for Google that’s kind of a legitimate business that feeds money back to them via adverts. So who define what spam is in that sense?
Leo Laporte Well, that’s – okay. That’s why your social graph is so useful here --
Wil Harris Yeah.
Leo Laporte Because your friends presumably know what spam is. That’s why I think Kevin is doing Digg 4. I think that’s the whole idea of Digg 4 is you find the news that your friends tell you about. He is a little late to the game though. This is why people love Twitter, isn’t it, and I guess why they pay attention to Facebook?
Dwight Silverman And this is also why Google is reportedly working on its own social network that will obviously incorporate its own search. And once you apply Google search, which is very – works well when it finds what you’re really looking for to a social network like – that it would run itself with your trusted sources, that could be pretty powerful. And I think Facebook probably should be a little nervous about that.
Leo Laporte We are going to get to --
Joshua Topolsky Well, I think --
Leo Laporte Go ahead, Joshua, just – but in a second, we are going to take a break. So go ahead and final words on this.
Joshua Topolsky I was just going to say that we know we seem to have decided – actually I don’t know who decided this that making money off of that was the only way to make the Internet profitable for businesses. And we have just sort of locked into that idea. Jaron Lanier wrote a book called You Are Not a Gadget, which touches on this quite a bit. I don’t know if you’ve read it, but --
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Joshua Topolsky The idea that we are just – have decided advertising is the only way to make money off of our content online and of course I speak as a person who makes money off of advertising. That’s what Engadget does. But I think we need to explore some of those other ideas about ways you can – because you don’t want to get into that cycle of spam basically because it’s easy to game that ad system.
Leo Laporte We’re going to take a break and come back with more. Actually Google has made a move apparently that is going to help it with this imaginary Facebook clone by going directly to one of Facebook’s biggest contributors and investing in it. We’ll talk about that in just a second.
Before we do though, I want to mention our friends at Citrix, creators of the great GoToAssist and GoToAssist Express. GoToAssist Express is something that we started using in this, let’s see, I guess 10 years ago almost on The Screen Savers to help people with their computer problems. We would be able to get into their computers and fix it. Well, it’s better and easier and more effective than ever before, faster too. The new GoToAssist Express, you can try it free at gotoassist.com/twit.
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Joshua Topolsky No.
Leo Laporte No. Only [indiscernible] (36:34). You can go to the second one or the third one or the fourth one, up to 8 sessions at the same time. I use it with my family. It’s so great. They do have day passes if you don’t do assist support all the time. But if you are a regular support professional, you’re going to want to get the monthly, very, very effective, very affordable, 128-bit encrypted so that you can use it in open access spot without fear, 24X7 support for you, gotoassist.com/twit. Give it a try. Absolutely free for 30 days; it’s just fantastic.
So TechCrunch had this story and I’m always a little suspicious when I first see TechCrunch but then VentureBeat confirmed it that Google has put $100 million into Zynga, the creators of FarmVille and Mafia Wars. Zynga has apparently raised 0.5 billion this year, which sounds like a lot until you realize they are well on their way to making $1 billion a year selling bids to people who are farming “on their Facebook page”.
I guess it’s a good investment. It wasn’t the venture arm though. It was Google itself that put 100 million into Zynga. I guess it’s a good investment. But it does sound like they are preparing the launch of Google Me. And in fact this rumor on – may even be that they are – and this is what GamesBeat said that they are going to do a Google Games as part of this new social platform. Does that make sense, Dwight?
Oh, Dwight, I can’t hear a thing you’re saying. Unmute yourself.
Dwight Silverman If you – I think it does. If you have a – if you look at how addictive all these games are, everything from FarmVille and the various games that are on Facebook.
Leo Laporte Poker, Mafia Wars.
Dwight Silverman Poker, Mafia Wars, all these, I think that casual gaming, as much as the hard core --
Leo Laporte But this is more than casual gaming. This is virtual goods.
Dwight Silverman Virtual goods and really addictive game play.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Dwight Silverman And I don’t think it necessarily has to be virtual goods. My wife is a serious Words with friends at it.
Leo Laporte Me too, I had 7 games going now.
Dwight Silverman Right, right, and she – what was funny was we would go out to dinner and she’d give me grief for looking at my email and now I get to give her grief for playing Words with friends.
Leo Laporte Stop playing Scrabble.
Dwight Silverman But the addictive nature of this – you can – Google has already said that to get back to our first discussion of the night, Google has already said that everything is going to be mobile first. And so I would not be surprised if you don’t see this launch with the mobile platform as well as the web platform.
Joshua Topolsky Well, I was going to say this seems like it would tie into – I mean potentially if there is this Google Games thing, there is going to be – if Chrome OS exists eventually, which they say it’s going to, there is going to be an applications store for it or in their case start with an applications store because everything is web-based.
Leo Laporte Yeah, a website store.
Joshua Topolsky So it’s like – something like Farmville makes perfect sense because it is online. It’s something you play inside of a browser for the most part. I just don’t understand what people are finding on that. Maybe it’s just me. Who has time to play these games? There are so many people playing them.
Leo Laporte But that’s the strength of it, Joshua. It takes a second here or there. It’s not like you are playing a very long and elaborate game. If you’ve got --
Joshua Topolsky I don’t even get those seconds.
Leo Laporte Well, you do. You’re working too hard. Stop working so hard. No, you can always – there is always a time when you’re sitting, waiting for a phone call, or you are online somewhere where you can play a quick game of Scrabble – not game, quick move in Scrabble.
Joshua Topolsky Right.
Leo Laporte You know I mean you’re sitting here, you’re looking at your board and you say, ah I got to make a move. And I think these are very compelling. I play a number of these casual games and there is something about playing it socially that really makes it fun. I could…
Joshua Topolsky Here is my question about people keep saying Google Me – that’s what their social service is going to be called, the social networking.
Leo Laporte Supposedly, yeah.
Joshua Topolsky What about orkut? What happen to that?
Leo Laporte Have you used orkut?
Joshua Topolsky I’m still part of their – their offerings. I am just…
Leo Laporte I tried when I get…
Joshua Topolsky It’s big in Brazil.
Leo Laporte Yeah. When I click Facebook I said, everybody let’s go to orkut and I went there and I went – oh never mind.
Joshua Topolsky Yeah [indiscernible] (40:46).
Leo Laporte It’s not a great experience.
Wil Harris The other thing to keep in mind is that Apple has announced and as part of iOS 4 that isn’t shown up yet, this Gaming Central feature.
Leo Laporte Right.
Wil Harris That will let you find other players online. I suspect that Google – that’s – Google is so intensely competitive with Apple right now that maybe a part of this as well, that it would allow them to do that on Android so that it stays competitive with iOS.
Joshua Topolsky This is making me – this is depressing me just looking at this.
Leo Laporte Yeah, this is my orkut page.
Joshua Topolsky What are you updating – is this you are updating your status here?
Leo Laporte Yeah, there is my status, look at that, there is the wall. Wow.
Joshua Topolsky It does like Buzz – this is the beta for Google Me.
Leo Laporte Yeah, it might be.
Joshua Topolsky I mean you use – Leo, you are a Buzz user, right?
Leo Laporte I love Buzz, yeah.
Joshua Topolsky I mean Buzz is to me is not a failed Google experiment, I mean –
Leo Laporte I disagree. I don’t think so. I mean, first of all, what is Google need if for it to be a success?
Wil Harris It needs people need to use it more than Twitter.
Leo Laporte That’s not going to happen.
Wil Harris Or instead of Twitter. How about that?
Leo Laporte See I don’t think Google – I think that’s the question, does Google Me have to be used more than Facebook to succeed? No. I think it just – does Google Docs have to be Microsoft Office to succeed?
Wil Harris Sure [indiscernible] (42:00), surely the point of Google Me is exactly that needs to be not necessarily more popular but default social platform in order, if we all sort of agree that search is going more social and social recommendation and for Google to stay the leader in search it needs to be become the leader in social.
Leo Laporte Well, that’s a tough road aho.
Joshua Topolsky I agree with that.
Leo Laporte Oh yeah.
Joshua Topolsky I think that if you’re going to make a play for that space, if you’re going go to – say, we’re going to start a social networking service, I don’t think you are doing it to be complementary to Facebook, I mean I highly doubted if it’s – I mean Google has to go all-in and get that demographic over to their service because it’s easier, it’s more integrated, it’s more fun – I don’t know. But I think that if you get a – you have to play to win in that space I don’t see any other way to do just starting a Lite – social networking Lite for Google doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.
Wil Harris What do you make of the reports that Eric Schmidt and Mark Zuckerberg had a little private tête-à-tête at the Allen & Co.
Leo Laporte It’s Allen & Co. Was that before or after Mark was served?
Joshua Topolsky Two really awkward people talking.
Leo Laporte Yeah, really. I would love to see the –
Joshua Topolsky [indiscernible] awkward to our research (43:07).
Leo Laporte I would love to see the body language analysis of that one.
Joshua Topolsky Yeah. I don’t know – what were they just supposed to have spoken about, just take Eric –
Wil Harris No idea.
Joshua Topolsky ...like I am take you down, Zuckerberg was –
[Multiple Speakers] (43:23).
Leo Laporte Yeah, when you get these big shots together they just talk about BS, how’s the wife? How’s the kids? You know they don’t – what they are going to say, and they’ll dance around the fact – but they’re in – they don’t compete face-to-face, they’re not competing face-to-face. They do not go…
Dwight Silverman Do you really think that at the fabled Steve Jobs, Eric Schmidt, Starbucks meeting that they talked about the wife and kid?
Leo Laporte They didn’t talk about nothing, that was a photo-op.
Dwight Silverman Photo-op.
Leo Laporte It’s a total PR move.
Joshua Topolsky I don’t think that’s true.
Leo Laporte Oh of course it was.
Joshua Topolsky I don’t think, no. I don’t know, they were casually they just went out to their regular coffee place –
Leo Laporte Sat in public, waited for people to show up, get some pictures, and then went back inside.
Joshua Topolsky And what does Jobs – what did he say? They’re going to see it anyways so they might as well, something really mysterious like…
Leo Laporte Yeah, which by the way still makes no sense.
Joshua Topolsky Yeah. I don’t know.
Leo Laporte Or maybe it does.
Joshua Topolsky We don’t have any proof that that was staged, do we?
Leo Laporte No, but I think it was pretty clearly staged, don’t you think?
Joshua Topolsky It’s just so weird why, why?
Leo Laporte Yeah, right.
Joshua Topolsky Do you know why they’re staging?
Leo Laporte Yes, I’ll tell you why because it has been all of this ink going on about how Apple and Google are at loggerheads and that’s not good for either company internally to start thinking there is this rivalry, we got to get Apple, we got to get Google.
Joshua Topolsky Work for Microsoft and –
Leo Laporte And [indiscernible] (44:39).
Joshua Topolsky No, with – I mean the whole rivalry, the Apple – the Apple – when Microsoft rivalry was effective in – for both of them actually when you think about it and really you see Apple kind of reaping the benefits of that fanaticism now.
Leo Laporte Yeah, I think a certain amount of [ph] that was good (44:57) and clearly Steve thought so too because when he spoke to that all-hands meeting he did kind of rev up the [indiscernible] (45:03).
Joshua Topolsky Right.
Leo Laporte I think what happened was right after that he thought that it’s getting a little out of hand, let’s look a little more collegial, Eric used to be on our Board, we do still use a lot of Google stuff on our phones.
Joshua Topolsky What about the Bing move? That’s a gauntlet thrown down there, if you ask me.
Leo Laporte Well did it happen, I mean is –?
Joshua Topolsky Yeah, Bing is on the – is in – it’s an option.
Leo Laporte It’s not the default.
Dwight Silverman When you go to Bing – when you go to Bing on the iPhone and this happens on Yahoo! as well, when you go to Bing on the iPhone and you do a search there when you complete the search it says do you want to make Bing your default on the iPhone. Yahoo! has been doing that for a while but this is the first time that Bing has done that.
Joshua Topolsky The fact that it’s on there at all, I mean this is Microsoft we’re talking about, and this is the enemy, right, I mean if there is an enemy here really, I know they’ve collaborated and blah, blah, they are buddies, but the truth is if you think Steve Jobs is psyched about Microsoft, you’re crazy. So I think it’s interesting that they put Bing on there that they went back far, I mean it’s not essential, Bing isn’t essential to the life of the Internet right now but Jobs thought there was some good reason, I felt like that was a sign, that was a signal to kind of a say no to Google or to say, look we don’t need you, I mean we could move away from you, just keep in mind there are other things out there.
Leo Laporte Yeah, absolutely.
Dwight Silverman It wasn’t like iPhone users were saying, oh my god I got to have Bing on my iPhone, that was not –
Joshua Topolsky Yeah, definitely not. [indiscernible] (46:30)
Dwight Silverman Businesses and nations need enemy.
Leo Laporte We don’t know – yes, that’s true, but we don’t know really know it maybe that Microsoft said, we’ll give you a check for a $500 million if you put it on – I mean we don’t know.
Joshua Topolsky Okay Steve Jobs needs the money.
Leo Laporte I don’t think Steve’s the kind of guy who is going to walk away from money.
Joshua Topolsky How much cash do they have on here [indiscernible] something ridiculous [indiscernible] (46:47).
Leo Laporte 30 or 40 billion or something like that.
Joshua Topolsky They just need to buy few other companies in cash, that’s their problem.
Leo Laporte All right, so is Google really going to do a Google Me and do they have a shot at taking on Facebook?
Joshua Topolsky Is it going to be done Wave style, Buzz and Wave style?
Leo Laporte Okay Wave is a flop, I think we can all agree that. I think Buzz has – here’s a thing, I think Google has some aces up its sleeve that it hasn’t played yet, that are going to be much use much longer so they’re going to have to play them pretty soon, they have to do a search, for instance, Google Me will be clearly tied to Google Profiles as Buzz is tied to Gmail, I think you can tie them all together if you use your search kind of creatively, for instance if you make sure that if you search for Joshua Topolsky which shows up at the top of the search is his Buzz profile – by the way profiles of Buzz are the same tab of one page, and then maybe there is a Me tab, if that’s the first thing you find when you search for Joshua Topolsky, doesn’t that suddenly become a very powerful platform?
Dwight Silverman What if Joshua Topolsky, who is your friend, has already searched for something similar, found what he’s looking for and favorited those and then you come back...
Leo Laporte That’s built-in.
Dwight Silverman ...oh yeah.
Leo Laporte They already do have that feature.
Dwight Silverman Right, right. So the other thing, the thing about Buzz is, Buzz is a new FriendFeed, it looks like FriendFeed, it acts like FriendFeed, which ironically was bought by Facebook.
Leo Laporte I know. And by the way I use it instead of FriendFeed now to do the same things I was doing with FriendFeed.
Dwight Silverman Right, right. So I really think and somebody record this, put it on the Internet that...
Joshua Topolsky That’s being recorded.
Leo Laporte I hope so.
Dwight Silverman ...that this is a mobile play and that Facebook has limited – does limited stuff with mobile, Google is going to do a serious mobile social networking. There is no [indiscernible] (48:44)
Leo Laporte The failure – the only thing really that Buzz is – the reason you would say Buzz is a failure right now is because they were slow to come out with a third-party API, it’s still fairly new, so remember it took Twitter a year before anybody even heard of it.
Joshua Topolsky I think there is a intrinsic problem with Buzz that they right out of the gate I really wish had not occurred, I mean which is the connection to your Gmail account, I mean first off I used a host…
Leo Laporte They made a mistake there.
Joshua Topolsky It’s my main email I use a hosted Gmail account, so I don’t automatically don’t have Buzz in the place where I really live in terms of email. Second, it is attached to a profile that I don’t want it to be attached to, it’s part of a system that I don’t want it to be a part of. Now if Google Me existed, and you said Google Me and Buzz are companion products, they live together, they don’t live inside your email and they don’t live in your Analytics, or whatever other Google services you’re using, fine. I think their biggest mistake here was not saying, this is a standalone product, we’re going to use our resources, you can connect it to your email account if you want, but it’s a standalone product, you can have a separate account here.
One of the big things that Google is doing now that I find rather annoying is the desire to connect each part of your Google experience with the same account. So now when I log in to YouTube for instance, it wants me to connect YouTube to my Gmail account to another account so that I can log in with that and that is not necessarily something that I want or need to do, and I feel like the idea of the unified login, the one login for everything is not only dangerous but it’s actually a little bit annoying when it comes to separating the different parts of your life. I may want to use YouTube for…
Leo Laporte I agree, agree.
Joshua Topolsky …personal projects. I don’t want it to be connected to my work email. I may want to use Buzz for talking to my friends and I don’t want that connected to my work email. I mean there’s just – I think this is a lot of problems with their premise. The idea that you want these things to live together; the Buzz living inside of my inbox is actually awful. I mean I think it’s an awful idea.
Wil Harris Well, I mean that’s really interesting because I think what they’re trying to do in that sense is build what I feel is kind of like the 70% used case scenario where probably you are in a sort of 30% band where you are sort of hardcore power users, you have got a hosted Gmail thing, your own Gmail thing, you’ve got different profiles, you know you are probably uploading stuff to multiple YouTube accounts all those kind of thing, and the unified login is a nightmare because actually for you to be able to distinguish all these separate parts of your online life is already crucial. For most people, the ability to just sign into anything using the same Gmail or Facebook account whether it’s Amazon or Netflix or anything like that, a unified login would just be like a massive hassle saver. And so I think what Google is trying to do is…
Dwight Silverman Go past the secured areas.
Wil Harris Well yeah.
Dwight Silverman I mean there’s a [indiscernible] (51:43)
Leo Laporte It’s a tough position for Google because they do, they want to leverage what they’ve got but you’re right, that’s Joshua. That’s going to piss off people.
Joshua Topolsky I mean don’t get me wrong I like the idea of being able to login in a lot of places with one thing. I am not saying that the premise of that is a bad idea. I am saying I wasn’t given a choice when it came to Buzz.
Leo Laporte Right.
Joshua Topolsky If I could log in…
Leo Laporte I think you’re right. I think they made a mistake. I think they made a mistake.
Joshua Topolsky [indiscernible] (52:04) together.
Leo Laporte Yeah, they made mistake.
Joshua Topolsky Just give me the choice and then I’ll decide after. It’s like – I think Steve talked about this at [ph] DA (52:12) and obviously it was a big conversation there about to opt-in or opt-out, it’s like don’t make it opt out. They could opt in. Give me the power to start with and then go from there. I think it’s frustrating when you have a company like Google which has so much access to so much of your personal information. And I am not a big paranoid guy – like I’m not worried about what they have access to for the most part. I don’t think they really are going to abuse it, because look, their motto is don’t be evil, so how could they possibly be.
Leo Laporte How could they be evil?
Joshua Topolsky So I just think but I think that you got to give people the choice first and then let them make the decision.
Dwight Silverman Do you think they have learned lessons that they will apply to Google Me or is the temptation to use kind of the expansive nature of what they’ve got already such that they will do – make that same mistake again. I mean it’s very tempting. You had to pull together everything.
Joshua Topolsky It was a real mess. I mean they really got some flack for what they did with Buzz. They have to have gotten it that this is not the right way to proceed. You know with Google I – it’s weird I feel like a lot of times the stuff they do isn’t because they are trying to be evil and malicious. It’s because they have this mentality where they say, you know let’s just do it, let’s try this out. This seems like a good idea. We’ll see if it works or not, everything is very beta, it’s a beta mentality. You know they’re sort of tweaking and changing and experimenting and they probably thought they made this decision fairly – in a fairly arbitrary way. Somebody probably said, hey this makes sense to me, let’s do it like that and a few other people said, okay we agree. I am not sure that they had a – maybe they had a strategy but somebody – if I feel like somebody had known this was a potential that the backlash would be so strong, they wouldn’t have done it.
Wil Harris Yeah I [indiscernible] (53:53)
Dwight Silverman It should have been better.
Leo Laporte Yeah, maybe. We assume they’re perfect. They are not perfect.
Dwight Silverman Well they are very engineered driven. That’s what a engineered driven…
Leo Laporte They are not normal humans. Go ahead, go ahead Wil.
Wil Harris Well then you also sort of assumed that these people have got sort of all these experiences before. I mean the idea of the massive amount of privacy needed in the online world is really only come around in the last couple of years as things have gotten more personal and more privacy invading. I don’t think there’s really a sort of offline precedent beyond sort of your government papers or your hospital records or something where you’re so keen to do something in what is effectively a public forum but still maintain your privacy and I think that although in many ways you know the – what the rules should be are relatively obvious. I think they are in many cases where it’s just not that obvious and people are making mistakes because nobody has done this before.
Leo Laporte You know what’s interesting? Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, all of the big players, the four horsemen of the Internet, I am going to use John Doerr’s terms, have made some pretty big blunders of late. You could see all of them kind of stumbling. It isn’t…
Dwight Silverman Because they’re moving so fast.
Leo Laporte Yeah, it’s not an easy thing to do and it’s not immediately apparent what people really want and I am sure Facebook thought that it acted in good faith to do exactly what people were looking for and was – probably they’re shocked when the response was so negative. I am sure Google didn’t plan for Buzz to be such a hot button for people.
Dwight Silverman Is this a case of geeks and millennials? Is this a situation where….
Leo Laporte Well, that might be true too, that the market is very fragmented, that there is no one user.
Dwight Silverman There is no one user and that the people who are developing these things are younger. They’re engineers. You know one of the – I hear from people who work in the design areas at Google who expressed frustration privately about the idea of everything being engineering driven and that UI doesn’t get much of a feel and possibly even just simple rules of etiquette don’t get much of a hearing in Google’s products and so I think if you look at kind of the engineering mentality, kind of a younger group of peoples for whom – what do I have to hide, I – privacy is not that big of an issue for me and then you put it out there and the masses get it, and they go wow, wait a minute, hold on and I think that maybe the case. So I think people – I think maybe they need a more diversity of development and design.
Joshua Topolsky [indiscernible] (56:33) design, they do suffer on the design side.
Leo Laporte Design is – where Apple is so good at design. Google is so bad at design.
Joshua Topolsky I mean they are such engineers when it comes to – even in the logo, I’ve always thought that Google logo is just so – so not designed at all. You know it’s like somebody came up with it one day, they are like we need a logo for this thing.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER Let’s just have Joe put it together.
Leo Laporte Just keep it clean man, just keep it simple.
Joshua Topolsky Yeah, just – make it simple whatever. You know they arbitrarily picked a few colors.
Leo Laporte I think you are right.
Joshua Topolsky I do feel like they have this design thing where it’s – it’s not even about – it’s not about function, form following function. In the computing space, I think they have to be – I am going to say form and function has to be on the same level and in many ways they’re the same thing.
Leo Laporte Right.
Joshua Topolsky Form is function.
Leo Laporte Absolutely.
Joshua Topolsky It comes to…
Dwight Silverman And they knew that at Apple. They know that …
Leo Laporte They sure do, yeah.
Joshua Topolsky And it [ph] sings (57:25) in your products, you can see in the iPhone. You look at the iPhone OS from start to finish has – is an experience that is fluid and natural and feels complete. And you look at Android – I mean it’s taking a year or two years just to get up to snuff really to any kind of fit and finish and it’s still very – it feels disjointed. I think that they need to start putting an emphasis on that if they want to move into an OS space, with Chrome OS, if they want to really convince people that Android phones are the way to move the path of the future, they have to convince people not just on the functionality which is great but on the form as well.
Leo Laporte Yeah, they remind me a little bit of Microsoft and of Windows in the early decades where you’ve – they were in the same situation where you weren’t controlling the hardware. You had a lot of different hardware designers putting their own spit and polish on the Microsoft operating system. Microsoft was not a very good well-designed platform. I think you can say it was fairly ugly, XP comes to mind as one of the ugliest operating systems I’ve ever seen.
Dwight Silverman It is.
Leo Laporte So….
Dwight Silverman Utilitarian.
Leo Laporte Hey, I think XP’s start menu looks a lot like the Google logo. I mean the colors.
Joshua Topolsky There you go.
Leo Laporte Yeah. So we’ve been here before.
Joshua Topolsky And Microsoft started to give it and when you look at Windows 7 and you look at ….
Leo Laporte It’s slick. You know how they got there though? They copied Apple.
Joshua Topolsky And look at like Windows Phone 7 for instance, is a completely – I mean kind of a breathtaking design departure [indiscernible] (59:01) I mean it’s really striking. And I think it will work, I think it will be good but it’s like nothing that we’ve seen in the mobile space.
Leo Laporte Right.
Joshua Topolsky It’s totally different. For Microsoft that’s…
Dwight Silverman Except for Zune.
Leo Laporte Well, it’s a Zune. It is Zune.
Joshua Topolsky Except for Zune, but the Zune HD which obviously is a branch off of the main trunk of this design language but I think that there’s an old clip of an interview with Steve Jobs where he’s talking about Microsoft.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Joshua Topolsky And you know what I am talking about, right?
Leo Laporte Yes.
Joshua Topolsky Well, he’s talking about their – he’s like you know they are not – they don’t make bad products. It’s like that just have bad taste and he’s talking about…
Dwight Silverman Oh, yeah.
Joshua Topolsky [indiscernible] (59:39) spaced and just really specific design stuff, and you know that he is – feels just totally turned off by what Microsoft does in the design space which is not a lot right back then. This was in the late ‘90s that…
Wil Harris Well, that was the famous moment from the D conference right where Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were on stage and you know Bill Gates was asked what’s the thing that you most wished you had and he says Steve Jobs’ sense of taste.
Leo Laporte So he admitted it.
Wil Harris Yes.
Leo Laporte I don’t have good taste.
Wil Harris I mean and that’s a and it’s an amazing video and…
Leo Laporte Talk about engineering driven companies wasn’t Microsoft the original engineering-driven company?
Joshua Topolsky Absolutely. And that’s what Google – Google’s a little different, right, they have a little – I think Microsoft is very managerial; they had a lot of hierarchy, right, so had to – and you see in products like the KIN you get the impression, you hear all the stories, it’s still that way, it goes through all of these steps in rigorous sort of managerial levels, Google seems to be much more like – the spokes are somewhat independent, they are sort of doing their own thing, people are allowed to experiment and push experiments out into the world in a much freer way so you get a lot of innovation there. But there is that same kind of lack of aesthetic that was happening at Microsoft throughout the 90’s at least.
Leo Laporte Let’s take a break; we’re going to come back and talk more with our great panel Joshua Topolsky from engadget.com, Dwight Silverman from the Houston Chronicle and the tech blog there, he also has a radio show there which has been on in Houston, which is just awesome.
Dwight Silverman You were a great guest Leo, you are a hot; you are wonderful.
Leo Laporte I love that show. And you just celebrated an anniversary. What was the anniversary, the…?
Dwight Silverman The show is Technology Bytes, it’s on Wednesday nights on KPFT, you listen to it on the web at KPFT.org, it starts about 8:00 O’clock Central Time and it was our 15th anniversary…
Leo Laporte That’s amazing.
Dwight Silverman I’ve been with it 15 years; I’ve been with them since about 2003 I think but it has – we talked about the idea that when we first went on the air 15 years ago we were talking about Windows 95.
Leo Laporte That’s right. When I first started at tech radio, Windows 3.0, DOS 5, so I beat him by a little bit but not much.
Dwight Silverman A little bit.
Leo Laporte Yes, not much. Also Mr. – our good friend, long-time friend of the show Wil Harris from channelflip.com. We’ll get back to our conversation in just a bit, hope you are enjoying it – by the way you can follow along on our chat room, IRC.twit.tv, give us feedback, I watch it the whole show, I know some of our other panelists do, just a good way to kind of as you are watching live participate or watch live, we do the show every Sunday afternoon 3:00 pm Pacific, 6:00 pm Eastern Time, 2200 UTC@live.twit.tv, the chatroom is IRC.twit.tv. And we are glad to have you.
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This is a story for The New York Times that you posted Dwight and I thought was very interesting the cost of electronic gizmos may go up soon because of labor unrest in China, increasing costs in components, shortages, a big jump soon in how much these gadgets cost. We have been kind of living in a fool’s paradise, haven’t we, the cost of computing has gone down, down, down to the point where companies can barely, when you look at Dell’s earnings they may sell millions of computers, they can barely make any money on them. Maybe it’s time the cost went up to reflect the real cost of this gear. What do you think Joshua? You are one of the people who’s dealing day-in and day-out with this stuff?
Joshua Topolsky Yes, well, what if the quality went up with some of the stuff as well as the price? I think that it’s become very easy to make things very cheap and I think that there is a lot of cheap stuff and I think that there is a lot of stuff made cheaply; those aren’t necessarily the same thing. I think there are conditions in China that we are starting to learn about really that we should be feeling more responsible for, I think that, and I don’t mean us as just in the tech community, I mean, people on the whole, and I think that you have to realize that this stuff comes from somewhere, it’s made by somebody and if those places where that stuff is coming from if the practices there are bad, if the people are being abused, if they are underpaid, if they are overworked, you know, you have to just think about it as a human being you have to say is this – do I feel comfortable with this, is this what I want in the world, do I want people to feel that way…
Leo Laporte Maybe we aren’t paying enough, we’re kind of living on the backs of workers being mistreated.
Joshua Topolsky Cheap labor.
Leo Laporte Cheap labor.
Joshua Topolsky And the other thing is that I think the products themselves could stand to – you know it’s hard to say this because we report on this but what about less crap and more really good stuff?
Leo Laporte We talked about this last week. Dell sold 30 million computers with bad capacitors they knew about.
Joshua Topolsky Right. I mean, let’s get back to a point in the world where things you bought really were made with some level of quality and care.
Leo Laporte Oh, no, that’s not going to happen.
Joshua Topolsky I think the one thing you can say about Apple and I know that the haters all will not like to hear this but look their stuff is – it’s made better than other people’s stuff. I mean you look at the devices, I mean, you have an iPhone 4 sitting there, compare that to even the highest end Android device that’s on the market right now, and in my opinion when it comes to build quality and materials --
Leo Laporte I agree.
Joshua Topolsky There is not a one-to-one comparison that I can find out there.
Wil Harris I think that’s true but I think Apple is kind of very guilty of just occasionally pulling outrageous howlers and completely failing to admit it, you know the number of first-gen MacBooks with fan flaws or that run desperately too hot and the recent thing with the iPhone 4, although I definitely agree that you know that when Apple gets it right there is no – they are peerless in the technology world. They do quite often…
Leo Laporte There are some pretty serious flaws in this iPhone 4 though.
Wil Harris Some things, yeah, right.
Leo Laporte My proximity sensor doesn’t work properly, there is that…
Joshua Topolsky That’s amazing. This is Apple or is this quality control, I mean this is my question, you know, Laura, my wife writes for Engadget as well so we talk about the stuff pretty much 24X7 and I’ve talked about with the other editors and my question is look these things were – they sold how many, two million in three days?
Leo Laporte Yes.
Joshua Topolsky So there is a production line somewhere in China that was working at a pace – they’re probably still going at a pace that is completely insane and this gets right back to the heart of this question and Apple is, talk about being guilty, Apple is as guilty as anyone of not doing as much I think as they could about these – the working conditions and the way that things sort of are run in China, but you have to imagine some of this is quality control. I don’t believe – I have trouble believing and I’m not defending them because I don’t know the answer yet, but I have trouble believing that Apple let this device walk out of their testing with these major flaws and they just said well, it won’t matter, we’ll sell a bunch of them anyhow and if people complain that’s not our problem, so I feel like there is a quality control issue with some of this stuff.
Leo Laporte The yellow blue dots are probably their quality control thing.
Joshua Topolsky That’s a great example, right?
Leo Laporte Yes.
Joshua Topolsky Right. People complain about these yellow, the yellow screen issue, it turns out, oh the glue wasn’t done drying…
Leo Laporte Right.
Joshua Topolsky Because they were rushed so quickly out of these plants in China that literally the glue had not dried. So I mean, I think there is a question of that but I agree with – well, I mean there are – there have been blunders, and there are – they have every now and again they have got something that is just like kind of unbelievable, how could you not catch this. But I do think the general – I don’t think that they are designed to build quality; I do think it tends to be better than a lot of other CE companies. And I just wish that – I wish there is a way that we could find for all the companies to really start concentrating on, hey what are the materials or how is this made, what's the care that’s taken to put it together and not to say, oh we can get the hard drive from over here and some RAM from over there and there is these plastic cases that everybody uses, we’ll just grab those two and there is a computer. You know, I feel like it just leads to an entropic state. And we see it. It sort of this lowest – get down to the lowest common denominator, the cheapest thing you can possibly make. And the market is flooded with a lot of crap. Of course, I might be especially sensitive to this…
Leo Laporte Yeah, you see more crap than a normal person.
Joshua Topolsky I mean we have this – we have to start doing a section called crap gadget which is this USB…
Leo Laporte Sushi USB…
Joshua Topolsky Like the USB, yeah the Sushi thing or just like you know the USB Rocket Launcher or just whatever kind of because that stuff is just sort of novel, but you do get to a point where you – there is so much that people are churning out and you are like, why does this exist, does this need to exist?
Leo Laporte Hey by the way, just Dwight don’t say your wife’s name on words with friends on the air. Apparently I showed my name, look at all the new games that I’ve been invited to participate.
Dwight Silverman Oh, no, I won’t. You know, Apple – Apple uses the same line.
Leo Laporte Foxconn. It’s Foxconn.
Dwight Silverman Right. They use the same manufacturers in Asia that the people who are making the crappy devices too. And in – for example they use a lot of the same components in the MacBooks and their desktops…
Leo Laporte Sony – Sony used to make the laptops.
Dwight Silverman Right, right. And so their – why is it that Apple turns out a higher quality product using the same lines as…
Leo Laporte Well, I think you get the choice. In fact I bet you, there is a little dial practically that you can turn and say…
Dwight Silverman Turn it up.
Leo Laporte Okay, welcome to Foxconn [indiscernible] (72:08), move the slider, where do you want – quality, crap.
Joshua Topolsky [Ph] There are lot good sign, if the (72:14) guys – they have more expensive guys on the production line…
Leo Laporte Not exactly. I’m sure that that’s the case.
Joshua Topolsky It’s hard to say how do you explain to glue that.
Leo Laporte Well, they were rushy.
Dwight Silverman It just hadn’t dried yet.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Joshua Topolsky Those guys are probably dead now by the way.
Leo Laporte Speaking of – hey, Apple is in a little bit of trouble because there is a class action lawsuit, I don’t know the merit of this, saying that the Apple iPhone, AT&T exclusive is monopolistic, the point being yeah they always say oh you can terminate anytime and go to another carrier, but the carrier doesn’t have the iPhone. So in reality do we have choice?
Joshua Topolsky You can have a monopoly when you don’t control the market, I mean you can have a…
Leo Laporte It doesn’t seem like it’s a traditional monopoly, but there is a point, that’s not a bad point. If you want an iPhone, you have to buy from AT&T. I guess it’s in a way a measure of the success of the iPhone that they could even sell it.
Wil Harris It is not like saying like if you want, you know, a Dell computer, you’ve got to go and buy it from Dell.
Leo Laporte Yeah, I guess.
Wil Harris What’s actually – what is typical in that…
Joshua Topolsky It’s a very clean [indiscernible] (73:10) product, right? It’s not a monopoly.
Leo Laporte Right.
Joshua Topolsky It’s similar to the case where people were saying it’s a monopoly that Apple says you can’t put OS X on other computers, you can’t make a computer that runs OS X. And that doesn’t fly because their market share is so miniscule that – if the iPhone were, I don’t know, maybe 40% of all smart phones, let’s say it was half of all smart phones were iPhones, I think you could make a really good case.
Leo Laporte It’s not – it’s not.
Joshua Topolsky Not even close. So I mean it’s…
Leo Laporte In fact with the success of Android, now Android is close to having 100,000 apps in the app store, they are installing, according to Google, as many as five million new Android installations a month, that’s five million new handsets a month. That’s huge. They are doing very, very well.
Joshua Topolsky They have real competition and Microsoft is not going to – is not sitting still when Windows Phone 7 comes out, I mean that could give them even more competition. This is a – if you remember, the smart phone market is a burgeoning market. It is – it is just starting to become this huge sort of beast you know. And so it’s wide open. Apple doesn’t control it. They happen to have what I consider to be the best product in their market right now. They don’t control it. And you’ve got Android devices that are…
Leo Laporte So there is no – on the face of it, there is no merit in this lawsuit?
Dwight Silverman Although the entry fee has [indiscernible] (74:30) at some of these exclusivity deals and not just with the iPhone…
Leo Laporte Well, I think it’s – look, they may not be legal recourse, but as consumers we can look at ScanSet and say, come on.
Joshua Topolsky I think the biggest problem is ergo the way our industry is arrange, which is you have to buy a phone, it’s locked into a carrier at all, I mean the whole idea of that to me seems unfair. There should be two separate things that happen…
Leo Laporte How many different – right, you should be unlocked handsets.
Joshua Topolsky You buy device and then…
Leo Laporte Yes. Then you choose a carrier, yeah.
Joshua Topolsky That’s exactly right. I mean, the fact that we don’t have a set up in that manner that you have to say if you want this device you have to go over here.
Leo Laporte That’s why I use a Nexus One, frankly.
Joshua Topolsky [Indiscernible] (75:07) it’s locked, or what do you have, T-Mobile or AT&T?
Leo Laporte It’s not locked, it’s unlocked.
Joshua Topolsky But it’s T-Mobile or AT&T [ph] band (75:13).
Leo Laporte Right. Because it’s GSM, those are the two GSM carriers in the U.S. But I can take it to UK and I can use it there with some other carrier, just pop a SIM chip in.
Joshua Topolsky Right, but you still have – you still have to use here in the U.S. one of those two.
Leo Laporte The problem in the U.S. also is that we have very heterogeneous networks. We have GSM, we have CDMA. Even the GSM, some of the 3Gs are on different frequencies from here, from different carriers and in overseas. How many companies carry the iPhone in England, Wil? Is it just one, is it two?
Wil Harris No, they all do.
Leo Laporte They all do. See?
Wil Harris There is five different carriers in the UK, all of whom have different networks and all of whom carry the iPhone. So this is what happens – I mean I like to tell you guys your cellular network is the product of massive deregulation.
Joshua Topolsky No, no, no, it’s – this is…
Leo Laporte No, I disagree. I think our cellar network is the product of being at the first – it’s legacy, it’s because – no, it’s because we had – we had Cellular One put in CDMA, and then GSM came along and we had all – and because it’s old, we don’t have the homogeneity of…
Wil Harris I mean – I mean maybe that’s true. I think in the UK, it’s all GSM, nobody has ever heard of CDMA here.
Leo Laporte Right.
Wil Harris And there is also a lot of – the government is pretty heavy on – on making sure the telephone companies give consumers good deals, I mean they are really heavy on it.
Joshua Topolsky That’s a big deal, I think…
Wil Harris And so the fact that you can get the iPhone on all five – on all five [indiscernible] (76:40) network…
Leo Laporte It’s funny because this is so against [indiscernible] (76:43)…
Wil Harris And they all compete with each other, and there are different price plans and all the networks have different price point, say like some places you can get the iPhone cheaper but you pay more for the talk time…
Leo Laporte I will grant you this, that – that is because we have the free market orthodoxy here that the best way to have diversity is competition and deregulate.
Joshua Topolsky No, right, which is obviously is – you know, it’s kind of get us back to where we were saying about ads and if it can be game, then it will be games. If our deregulation could be game, then it will be game, then you can be sure it’s being gamed right now by – I mean the carriers in this country – and the fact in there is we do need – every once in a while it’s not the worst thing in the world if the government steps in says, you know what, let’s actually regulate this to make it fairer for consumers. I’m not, look, I’m not saying…
Leo Laporte I’m going to get Brian Brushwood on here because he is the libertarian in the bunch and he could – he would argue with you on that one.
Joshua Topolsky I’m not going to have an argument.
Wil Harris But I mean, I mean look at the situation that you’ve got, you’ve got the free market [indiscernible] story there where it was (77:36) Apple and AT&T or you’ve got over here you know the hefty regulation where you can get on five different carriers, five different price points.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Wil Harris It’s kind of QED.
Leo Laporte Well, I’d rather have what you’ve got.
Joshua Topolsky What's the best carrier in the iPhone over there?
Leo Laporte Who do you like?
Wil Harris Over here?
Leo Laporte Yeah. O2?
Wil Harris Well O2 were the guys had it originally and so they put [indiscernible] (77:58) into that, you know, upgrading the capacity of that 3G network, but I hear reliable report that Vodafone has actually got better 3G coverage overall. So if you are in a good O2 area, it’s possibly better than a good Vodafone area, but you are more likely to get a good Vodafone area some – you know, across the country.
Leo Laporte And by the way I would point out Joshua that we do have that situation with Android and we’re talking before the show this is a problem for Android because there is so many handsets, every carrier has an Android handset and it’s…
Joshua Topolsky But it’s – yeah, but they are different handsets, it isn’t they haven’t – like the next day...
Leo Laporte But isn’t that good you got choice, but that confuse these consumers.
Joshua Topolsky I know choice is good. What I’m saying is my dream is that you have the choice, you’ve got the Incredible, you’ve got the Droid X, you’ve got original Droid, you’ve got this new Motorola Charm, whatever, you’ve them all, right? But they are not carrier dependant. It’s – they are all available, they are on all carriers or it’s available as a device and then you get the device, you say, I’ve got this device now what carrier do I want to put on this.
Leo Laporte You know why that’s not going to happen? Because they are going to cost five to $700 each.
Dwight Silverman Right. Right.
Joshua Topolsky And this goes back to that, should we be paying more for the things that we – the gadgets that we own is a phone that I’m going to use for a year or two years is it worth $500. And I think if I…
Leo Laporte And it isn’t $500, it’s $500 plus the $2,000 for the bandwidth.
Wil Harris I mean it’s a really good point, right, because over and this is particularly relating to what we were just saying, the iPhone 4 when it came out over here. You can either buy for 100, 200 pounds attached to a network with a contract or you could buy direct from Apple, Apple sold it unlocked for any carrier that you wanted, you can just walk into any carrier, you know, retail store and just pick up a SIM card and out it straight in the iPhone but it’s sort of a 600 pounds. You have the choice, it’s like that’s the real cost of these things.
Leo Laporte Yeah, well the reason though, we know the iPhone costs under $200 to make.
Wil Harris Well yeah, but I mean that’s the retail cost.
Joshua Topolsky They have to make their money [indiscernible] (79:53)…
Wil Harris So it’s [indiscernible] (79:54) straight from Apple and just [indiscernible] (79:55) SIM card into it.
Leo Laporte The truth is that the cell phone companies make money like pirates. How much is $100 a month times two year contract...
Joshua Topolsky How about the text message, forget about that, they charge $0.25 per text message.
Leo Laporte $1,500 a megabit.
Joshua Topolsky They charge $0.25 for a text message.
Leo Laporte Yes, that’s $1,500 per megabit.
Joshua Topolsky The bandwidth text messages used are like [ph] rounding error (80:17).
Leo Laporte Right.
Joshua Topolsky In terms of the overall bandwidth that these networks have. I mean that it is criminal, criminal to me that they can charge $0.25, I mean, the fact that we don’t rise up with like pitchforks and…
Leo Laporte I agree. Well…
Dwight Silverman [Indiscernible] (01:20:29) everybody has a group or a bulk text messaging, you pay one fee…
Joshua Topolsky Oh, yeah, the $20 for 1,000 messages, that’s [ph] sort of (01:20:36) a rip-off too. $20 for the…
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Dwight Silverman Not for a 1,000 unlimited. I’ve got for our whole family $30 for unlimited.
Leo Laporte You know what the bottom line is, we got it because we put up with it.
Dwight Silverman Right, right.
Joshua Topolsky That’s right.
Dwight Silverman Hey Wil, I’ve a question for you.
Wil Harris [Indiscernible] (80:51).
Dwight Silverman I’ve a question for you about…
Wil Harris Yeah.
Dwight Silverman The iPhone and O2. When everybody is predicting that when AT&T looses its exclusivity and let’s say the iPhone goes to Verizon, it will – that there will be a large churn at AT&T as people drop away and move over, did that happen with O2?
Wil Harris You know what, not massively. I don’t know the data but anecdotally I think what most people who were the early adopters of the iPhone have kind of stayed with O2. I think – from my understanding most of the people who have picked up the iPhone on different networks have gone there because they’re on that network already or they are new users. So I think O2 hasn’t seen a massive amount of people suddenly leave O2 and go to a different network because frankly there isn’t – there isn’t a vast amount of differentiation between the networks at all in the UK, they all have within a stone’s throw the same kind of coverage and same kind of data speeds and the same kind of price plans, which I guess is, you know the competition of having these five guys keeps all the prices down, they’re constantly coming up with better deals. So I don’t think O2 has lost massive amounts of people.
Joshua Topolsky What carrier has that – what carrier has the best overall coverage? If I was in Europe and I want to be covered everywhere I went, what would be your [ph] carrier for choice (01:22:19)?
Leo Laporte Deutsche Telekom.
Wil Harris Yeah, Deutsche.
Leo Laporte Deutsche Telekom, yeah.
Wil Harris Because Deutsche owns, well, I mean [indiscernible] (82:20) owns T-Mobile…
Joshua Topolsky I’m talking about including the UK.
Wil Harris Including, yeah, yeah, it’s including the UK, Deutsche owns T-Mobile which obviously is big around Europe and Orange in the UK, which is one of the biggest in the UK.
Joshua Topolsky [Ph] They own (01:22:32) Orange?
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Wil Harris Yeah.
Joshua Topolsky Oh, okay.
Leo Laporte So Germans [indiscernible] (01:22:35) everything. That’s why I am going to – my next phone is going to be, I was looking at the DROID X, like the DROID X, in fact when we come back I want to get you guys’ opinion. I like the DROID X, I am interested but I’m looking at the Samsung GalaxyS line and I think that the T-Mobile [ph] One (01:22:50) is the one I’m going to get because it’s a GSM, I can take it out of the Nexus One, I can put it in there and I can go [indiscernible] earth (01:23:00). We’ll do that in just a second. We’ll talk about that.
And Google; Google in China agree on a fiction. What is going on in China, we’ll get the details just a bit before we do though. Time to talk about audio books who here – who here listens to audio books? Anybody in the panel? Oh, everybody in the audience and Wil Harris you don’t have audible in the UK. Do you?
Wil Harris Yes, we do.
Leo Laporte You do?
Wil Harris Contrary to popular opinion, we have this modern kind of technologies, books that can be read over audio devices.
Joshua Topolsky You have audio books? Wow!
Leo Laporte [Ph] I say (01:23:35) what a good idea. Actually some of the best audio books are from the UK. Stephen Fry reading the Harry Potter books is…
Wil Harris Exactly.
Leo Laporte To die for. John Lee. Who is John Lee? One of the readers for Harry Potter or Audible? Count of Monte, okay, I’m getting a recommendation right now from our live studio audience for the Count of Monte Cristo, we’re talking about audible.com. Audible is your audio book store, 75,000, actually that’s kind of dated, I’m sure it’s now 80 or 90,000, it’s growing all the time, because Audible is recording new books all the time and they’re getting them from all of the best audio book creators, the best readers with the best fiction, there is not a title out there that you – nowadays, you can almost always can guarantee you’re going to be able to get all the best sellers at audible.com.
I’m a huge Audible fan, I think anybody who listens to the show knows by now this is Audible and me go together like grilled cheese and tomato soup. Count of Monte Cristo. You know why I’m thinking of that, because of a Monte Cristo sandwich, that’s what you got me going on that one, let’s see. And you say that the one – but I think there’s one narrated by Orson Welles.
Yeah, that’s going to be good but do you think that John Lee, now this is the unabridged because the Orson Welles is 51 minutes, Orson is very expensive. If you get the unabridged Count of Monte Cristo, one of the great books of all time by the way which I loved, The Man in the Iron Mask, I love this book, 47 hours, this is going to last and you can get it free.
In fact you get two books free if you go to audible.com/twit2. I’ll tell you what, get that and the Three Musketeers. No? The Three Musketeers terrible. Oh! Wow! I’m getting – I’m getting some reviews here. Okay, how about my favorite, Les Misérables, how about that one? We’ll go with that one, that’s Victor Hugo. These [indiscernible] (01:25:33) all came out at the same time.
These are some great books you can listen to where you’ll be swept away. Les Misérables, 57-hours. So we just gave you 100 hours for free of great audible entertainment. audible.com/twit2. But let me tell you, you could read that of course the classics, but they’ve also got brand new best sellers. Look at The New York Times Best Seller list, if you go to audible.com, you see so many great books, I’m reading The Help right now, I’m loving it.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, just finished that. Moving on to The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. Part of the Millennium Series, McMafia. Another – do you like John Lee a lot? All right. We’ve got a couple of listeners in the studio today who are obviously Audible fans. This is one of things that happens with Audible people when they get together. They start talking about, oh, you got to hear this, oh, this is a good one. McMafia. A Journey Through the Global Criminal Underworld. This is non-fiction. I want to hear what John Lee sounds like. This is another great thing about Audible, you can get free use of any books on the website
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Leo Laporte All right, well where this guy come from?
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Leo Laporte [Indiscernible] (01:27:01) BBC, isn’t it? It’s kind of a BBC.
Wil Harris Well that’s – isn’t that…
Leo Laporte It’s John Lee.
Wil Harris What’s the name of the narrator?
Leo Laporte John Lee.
Wil Harris Sounds bizarrely like a really famous actor of Love Actually.
Leo Laporte Oh! Hugh Grant, you’re thinking of.
Wil Harris No.
Leo Laporte Oh, I know, who you’re talking about…
Joshua Topolsky The older one.
Leo Laporte Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah…
Wil Harris What the heck is that guy’s name?
Leo Laporte So do you just listen to John Lee? No, you don’t like…
Joshua Topolsky Hugh Grant would be great [indiscernible] (01:27:34).
Leo Laporte Who?
Joshua Topolsky Hugh Grant would be a great. I’d listen to that.
Dwight Silverman He would be, he would be awesome.
Leo Laporte They should have an – okay, I’m going to go tell the Audible folks, you need a section of guys with poncy British accents.
Wil Harris Bill Nighy is the guy I think…
Leo Laporte Bill Nighy, I love him, you know he was great…
Wil Harris He would be…
Leo Laporte In Pirate Radio. He is so good, I love him.
Wil Harris Audible, go and get Bill Nighy.
Leo Laporte Maybe they have them. B-I-L-L N-I-G-H-E, is that how do you spell it?
Wil Harris G-H-Y…
Joshua Topolsky G-H-Y…
Leo Laporte Nighy. Maybe they have them, you can search for – I tell you what, here is what you do, you go to audible.com/twit2. Oh, listen to this, Radio Crimes: A Charles Paris Mystery: The Dead Side of the Mic. This is Bill Nighy, Suzanne Burden…
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Dwight Silverman Leo, I don’t think that’s a book.
Leo Laporte Yes, it is.
Dwight Silverman [Ph] Common (01:28:30) sex conversation between two people.
Leo Laporte Okay. Okay, if you are Bill Nighy fan, this is a great book which I did read, Eric Clapton’s autobiography narrated by Bill Nighy, you got to love that.
Wil Harris [Ph] Nice. Talk about conflation of (01:28:45) Orson Welles.
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Leo Laporte This is by the way one of the great rock and roll biographies, really enjoyed it.
Wil Harris Kind of want to hear Clapton reading it though, don’t you? It’s written in first person…
Leo Laporte Yeah. Well, they probably couldn’t get Eric to sit still for that long.
Wil Harris I know he know he can sing, he can probably read.
Leo Laporte Oh, it’d be good.
Wil Harris So.
Leo Laporte All right, we’re going to lobby for that too. So Bill Nighy’s got six books on audible.com, so there you go. audible.com/twit2. So here is the problem, [ph] pick any two (01:29:26). Audible plays on everything, your iPhone, Android now has the best Audible application, oh, it’s so good, you can download any of your Audible books directly on to the phone, this is something the iPhone needs desperately, I hope they do one for the iPhone. It also – many GPS devices, almost all of the MP3 players, Kindles, I mean 500 different devices you can listen to your books wherever you are, at the gym, at work, on the commute. I listen while I’m doing the shows to be honest with you, I’m not paying any attention, I’m listening to audible book; audible.com/twit2, we thank them so much for their support of This WEEK in Tech. I think this is probably, I probably [indiscernible] (01:30:02) the lead on this, the big story of the week which is that Google which is about to loose it’s license in China, it’s internet content provider license, decided to stop redirecting Google searches at Google.cn to Hong Kong so that they can get their license renewed.
They replaced – this is weird stuff they are doing. They in fact did get their license renewed on Friday because – well, so here is what they are doing. Google has replaced the search box on Google.cn with a picture of a search box. When you click, it’s – it’s not a – you can’t type – no field, it’s just an image. When you click on it, it takes you to Google.hk and apparently, this was a bad face saving because the Chinese authorities said, okay, that’s all we care about.
So Google still in China, still redirecting but you can’t fill out a form. You have to click a link. I think the real issue is that Google is something that the Chinese elites weren’t really willing to give up and so that’s why they blinked. What do you think guys? Dwight, you have any thought about this?
Dwight Silverman Well, the thing with the image is weird. I don’t quite understand why that would mollify the Chinese government.
Leo Laporte Because they wanted to be mollified.
Dwight Silverman I guess so. Oh, yeah, you put that there and it’s not – I guess because you are not actually typing in a search at Google.cn that then goes to Google.hk, you’re clicking on I guess a portal that takes you there, I don’t know.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Dwight Silverman It’s probably – it’s a cultural thing I suspect but yeah, the headline on there, they agreed to a fiction I think is apt.
Leo Laporte Remember, this is the country that invented diplomacy. I mean this is – they’ve got ways and ways around this thing.
Joshua Topolsky I mean – I think…
Dwight Silverman I am glad to see that Google is at least kind of doing what it can to stand up for…
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Dwight Silverman What it originally said it was going to do.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Dwight Silverman They could have caved in order to keep that license and they found a way to continue to offer unfiltered searches and good for them. And I suspect the people in China who wanted to get unfiltered searches could have gotten them anyway.
Joshua Topolsky Yeah, it’s difficult to know with Google. I mean Google’s motivation, their outward motivations are to – they don’t want their search results censored but I am not sure that – I mean I don’t think this is the only situation where the search results are being censored. I mean it may be a little more extreme than other places but Google obviously – each localized search is going to have that region’s idiosyncrasies. I mean I don’t believe that there are just straight up unfiltered search everywhere in the world. I can’t tell there is another business reason here why Google is doing this or…
Leo Laporte They want to stay in China.
Joshua Topolsky Was just purely altruistic.
Leo Laporte No, they want to stay in China.
Joshua Topolsky I mean of course, they want to stay in China. I mean they are not winning in the search market race there.
Leo Laporte No.
Joshua Topolsky They are being beat pretty badly. But I don’t know if this is pure altruism that they just want to bring freedom to the Chinese and their searchers.
Leo Laporte Well, I mean I’m sure you followed this that Schmidt, Eric Schmidt [ph] wouldn’t want to (01:33:21) abandon the market, wanted to give in to Chinese authorities and follow Chinese law. And that Larry Page was the purist who said, no, we can’t do that, that violates our deeply held beliefs, I don’t want to be in China if we have to filter our search results. And what’s happened is both sides have found a compromise that lets them not lose face but kind of win the point. I think in a way you would have to say the Chinese government is the one that gave in on this. I mean you still can search. You have unfiltered search in China now by Google.
Joshua Topolsky Did they give in or they reached just a really face saving – like you said…
Leo Laporte Face saving.
Joshua Topolsky It’s kind of like…
Leo Laporte Here’s what…
Joshua Topolsky I mean how much they care I think is the question. Chinese government…
Leo Laporte I think, A) you are right, Baidu, the Chinese search engine is huge, much bigger than Google.
Joshua Topolsky Which I’m sure is under complete control…
Leo Laporte Of course, it is.
Joshua Topolsky Of the government.
Leo Laporte Completely censored, but the Chinese elites, and I think this is not to be ignored, use Google and wanted Google. So the Chinese government said, well, look, as long as the people don’t find Falun Gong in their search results, they keep using Baidu, we know our – we want to keep our elites happy too. And so this – I think this is a way of mollifying the elites by letting Google stay in China. That’s who uses Google in China is the intellectuals.
Joshua Topolsky The idea of elites in a communist country is…
Leo Laporte Oh, there are elites. Well, it’s not a communist country anymore.
Joshua Topolsky The whole idea of communism is to eliminate [ph] the leaders (01:34:48)…
Leo Laporte It’s not a – it’s a very capitalistic country.
Joshua Topolsky Yeah, it’s the worst of both worlds, isn’t it?
Leo Laporte I don’t know.
Joshua Topolsky The worst part of communism mixed with, which is like a dictator, fascist dictatorship mixed with the worst part of capitalism which is unbridled…
Leo Laporte Greed.
Joshua Topolsky Unbridled greed at the expense of any – human lives, look, I don’t – I’m sure I’m going to get lot of…
Leo Laporte And [ph] Jesse Wayne (95:10) is putting on the chat room this is true that there still is the Great Firewall of China. So you could find Falun Gong pages, references, but then to click on that page, you won’t necessarily be able to get it. So the search results are unfiltered. Google is returning information unfettered but China still controls what pages you get to see.
Dwight Silverman So are we about to have another China in Australia?
Leo Laporte Yes, that’s interesting. Isn’t it? The Chinese…
Dwight Silverman Yes.
Leo Laporte The Australian government has for a long time been really trying to filter search results or pages and in fact, they now demand – is this the law now that they demand that ISPs block certain sites?
Joshua Topolsky They have sites that they block, yes.
Dwight Silverman I don’t know that they have – I’m not sure that they actually have – I think that law is percolating. I’m not sure it’s necessarily in place.
Leo Laporte It’s not in place yet. Perth Boy, who I presume is in Australia, says not yet.
Dwight Silverman Yes, I don’t think that’s in place.
Joshua Topolsky That’s the goal; that is the end game.
Dwight Silverman There is lot of opposition to it, but…
Leo Laporte Well, this is the same country that proposed a – that filters be put on all computers and then of course the filter was immediately broken by people.
Wil Harris Yes, I mean in Australia…
Joshua Topolsky What is the…
Wil Harris So I was just going to say, in Australia, the sort of the governing party there has said that they want to roll this out and they said that since 2008 but as of yet, they haven’t yet done it.
Leo Laporte Current status according to Perth Boy and our other Australians and we have quite a few in the chat room is that the law has been put on hold for a year.
Wil Harris And what’s really interesting – I mean the comprehensive is wikipedia.org/ Internet_censorship_in_australia.
Leo Laporte There you go, it’s all there.
Joshua Topolsky And what was the goal here? What were they trying to – I somehow have missed this. What was the story?
Wil Harris [Indiscernible] (96:55) of the children.
Leo Laporte Yes, exactly. I think you have…
Joshua Topolsky They are trying to censor porn?
Leo Laporte Child porn, yes. I think you have a very reactionary wing of the Australian parliament or government or whatever they call it that is really scared of the Internet and really does want to filter it. And I think that you also have there a lot of cooler heads including I understand most of the ISPs in Australia who hate this idea. They don’t want to have anything to do with it.
Facebook, according to Inside Facebook, Facebook’s June U.S. traffic did not grow. So good. Facebook’s growth slowed in the U.S., only 320,000 new monthly users in June compared to, get ready, 7.8 million the month before. Didn’t – not only didn’t grow, it crashed. Now the question is…
Joshua Topolsky Facebook is dead.
Leo Laporte Yes, I think it’s over. So let’s call it…
Joshua Topolsky It’s over.
Leo Laporte We’re going to call it 4:50 pm on June 11…
Joshua Topolsky But you know it’s going to be hot though.
Leo Laporte What’s going to be hot?
Joshua Topolsky It’s a good thing that Google …
Leo Laporte Google Me is hot.
Joshua Topolsky Google Me is stepping in to take the place of Facebook.
Leo Laporte So here is the question and I think they debated it on TNT earlier we have a great daily news show by the way everybody should listen to it, with Tom Merritt, Becky Worley, Sarah Lane, Dr. Kiki and many others and that’s a every weekday afternoon 2:30 to 3:30 on live.twit.tv Pacific that’s 5:30 to 6:30 Eastern. But they debated this really and the real question is is it that Facebook’s saturated like everybody in the world is already a member so you’re not going to grow as fast or people are reacting to the privacy issue. I have to think of the former right that it’s just saturated.
Wil Harris People are not reacting. I mean, there are a few people who are reacting to the privacy issue. Most people aren’t – are barely aware of the privacy issue. I think the fact is that in the sort of the markets that Facebook has launched into the sort of primarily western markets they are pretty much saturated. I mean, who do you know who is online doesn’t really have a Facebook account. The major growth and I think Mark Zuckerberg said this at a conference a few weeks ago is going to come for Facebook in developing nations and that’s how they’re going to get to a billion users but they do say that – Zuckerberg said that the billion users is inevitable for Facebook. They are unquestionably going to get that.
Joshua Topolsky The other question that Facebook needs to break through is basically the Farmville needs to be played at places where people are actually farming a lot in real life.
Leo Laporte No I think that would – it could cause a collapse of the food chain and we would all die.
Joshua Topolsky I agree that [indiscernible] (99:26) it’s a question of saturation. I mean, well, they don’t have everybody but they’ve got a lot of people and when you balloon to a certain point and then you have to hang out there a little bit and I think that I don’t think the privacy issue is real to a lot of people. We – I think we might have talked about this on the last show that I think that it’s a small group of people I mean how successful was the Quit Facebook Day, not very successful.
Leo Laporte I think 30 or 40,000 people quit. Not a huge number.
Joshua Topolsky That’s probably how many people are really upset over the privacy issues or even aware of it.
Leo Laporte Right. I think you are right. So saturation, we vote for saturation.
Joshua Topolsky Or it’s dead. Or it’s totally dead.
Leo Laporte Or it’s dead. It would – I think it would have a chance of being dead if there were an alternative but there just isn’t. And this is where the network effect is so hard to overcome when you’ve got a billion people or in this case half a billion people using something it’s pretty hard to get them to move all at once to somewhere else.
Joshua Topolsky And there is a monopoly.
Leo Laporte That’s a monopoly
Joshua Topolsky You want to sue somebody for monopoly, you can start with Facebook.
Leo Laporte Yes.
Joshua Topolsky So they monopolize social networking space online and it’s simply impossible to break into it.
Dwight Silverman Now these same kind of things were said about AOL when AOL was at its peak.
Leo Laporte That’s right. It can not be killed.
Dwight Silverman Right, and AOL – to me Facebook is AOL. I mean I have seen this really before…
Leo Laporte I agree.
Dwight Silverman And the difference is that AOL had a fixed distribution system kind of like newspapers where they connected and talked to people through dial-up modems and they weren’t able to make the leap to broadband and that’s kind of what killed them. At some time there could be something that Facebook basically just doesn’t deal with well that could take it offline.
Leo Laporte Right. It’s going to have to be something like that. So do you guys, any of you, play StarCraft rather?
Wil Harris Back in the day.
Leo Laporte Back in the day. Loved that game.
Wil Harris Yes.
Leo Laporte StarCraft II is out.
Wil Harris LAN parties and StarCraft.
Leo Laporte So, I’ve always had this sensation when you play online with people not like LAN parties like your friend’s fine but when you play against strangers on the Internet that there are just some people who live in a different world from you and me. And now I know it for sure. This is from a documentary called The Hax Life, got this from Ars Technica. They call it actions permitted to be a truly good StarCraft player or I guess any game like this you have to be able to click 200 actions a minute.
Joshua Topolsky My god.
Leo Laporte Look at this guy.
Joshua Topolsky Oh this is not right.
Leo Laporte This is a top class – this is not sped up. This is in real time. A top class Korean player he is playing.
Joshua Topolsky Wow! It’s no way to live.
Leo Laporte He is playing StarCraft II and he is up to 200 actions per minute. He says it’s an average rate of how quickly your fingers move. To win a championship it should be at least over 200 and in the low 300s per minute and you got to see this video because as he is clicking, I don’t know how he’s thinking. I can see how you could click that fast but I don’t know how you can think that fast. He says he puts sandbags under his wrists to speed up his speed. You got to watch this guy. Look at this guy
Joshua Topolsky Wow
Dwight Silverman When he’s not doing this he’s pushing out iPhone 4.
Leo Laporte When he’s not doing this he’s not doing anything. I think this is all this guy does ever.
Joshua Topolsky Is he a professional player?
Leo Laporte I guess so. He doesn’t even apparently he doesn’t even cut his nails. I don’t think he has time. Look at this.
Joshua Topolsky He probably needs longer nails just to reach less far for the keys.
Leo Laporte So if you ever played StarCraft and you wonder why do I keep getting my ass [indiscernible] (103:08) it’s because of this.
Joshua Topolsky Is this part of his money making scheme?
Leo Laporte No, no, this is in gold, this is in gold, what do they call like, gold digging gold, no, this is just this guy…
Joshua Topolsky He just likes it.
Leo Laporte Likes it. Likes to play. He’s a champion.
Dwight Silverman I used to be a pretty avid Quake III Arena player. I was horrible. I had the…
Leo Laporte Finally.
Dwight Silverman My [indiscernible] King (103:41) and there was a reason for that and but I used to put – what I would do is I would go to like QuakeCon and I would play just for the experience I’d play against some of these like Fatality and so forth as part of the press tournament and it was just astonishing to what these guys could do. I couldn’t fathom either watching them, standing behind them or playing against them how they did what they do it just doesn’t seem human.
Joshua Topolsky It’s like Ender’s Game. It’s like their brain is plugged into that environment in a way – I mean I like playing FPSs, I mean every once in a while I’ll play a multiplayer death match. We played a couple of years ago at CES we had a few nights where played late at night we had some unreal matches with the whole team, the whole Engadget team.
Leo Laporte See that’s fun, if you are playing with friends, because they are not…
Joshua Topolsky And we were all in the same room so it was like 20, 25 people in the same room playing which was an enormous amount of fun. But I was surprised because I had played it when I’d be four and had not played it for a long time and it comes back to you. It’s like kind of like riding a bike it’s this weird memory as you get in there and then you can do it, but they are operating – I mean the guy who do that professionally are operating on a level that you just completely…
Leo Laporte Oh yes.
Joshua Topolsky I mean the government should be talking to those guys.
Leo Laporte I know.
Joshua Topolsky [Indiscernible] (104:56) or something, right?
Leo Laporte They are running the predators. I am sure it’s the same guys in the basement in Las Vegas.
Joshua Topolsky Yes, it probably is.
Leo Laporte It’s pretty impressive. But that’s why just so you know that’s why it’s so hard when you play online with real people. We used to do a LAN party at the Screensavers, in fact it was so much fun when we play Halo, it was so much fun that sometimes we would be coming back from the commercial and it’d be like no wait, no wait, no wait. Because you just don’t want to stop. It really is a lot of fun.
Joshua Topolsky [Indiscernible] (105:22) want to have a LAN parties.
Leo Laporte I know. Well, one of the things I’ve wanted to do, and we will do this. Brian Brushwood runs a, I think a Team Fortress clan. But I think we will do this. I want – in fact if anybody listening can do this. I would like a level of some game. It could be any game; it could be Quake, Quake 3. I would like a level of the TWiT Cottage. We will send you plans, we will send you pictures, make a level.
Dwight Silverman Oh, I’m there. I’m so there.
Leo Laporte Wouldn’t that be fun? Make a level, and then we have this Screensavers set level of unreal. So make a level and then we will have a big – we will host a big LAN party after TWiT every week.
Joshua Topolsky I’m into that.
Leo Laporte Wouldn’t that be fun?
Joshua Topolsky [Indiscernible] (105:58) Quake 3?
Dwight Silverman Yes. That will be great. Quake 3…
Leo Laporte Quake 3 will be good.
Dwight Silverman Yes, that’s good.
Leo Laporte That’d be a good one.
Joshua Topolsky All right.
Dwight Silverman It’s had the lowest common denominator game there.
Leo Laporte Yes, well, anybody who has got the skills, look if you are the designer, you got to choose the game. But we will send you anything you need, all the schematics; actually it’d be good thing because we don’t know what the hell is going on in here anyway. We probably should make some schematics. Joshua Topolsky, so nice to have you, Editor-in-Chief of Engadget, engadget.com.
Joshua Topolsky Great to be here.
Leo Laporte Must read, the Engadget podcast is every week, right?
Joshua Topolsky Every week, we do it usually on Thursday or Friday, we put up a post and let people know and then we do the Engadget Show once a month, that’s a live event here in New York, and we will be doing one pretty soon.
Leo Laporte We’d love to get you on back on the TWiT network doing that too. It was really fun when we broadcast – simulcast I guess your Engadget podcast. Engadget.com. Dwight Silverman is the tech blogger and the Houston Chronicle, blogs.chron.com/techblog, and must read everyday and his linkroll was especially useful. He also hosts Technology Bytes, one of what like just 12 hosts or something on that show.
Dwight Silverman I think there is 6 of us.
Leo Laporte Lot of people.
Dwight Silverman Yes. It’s basically it sound like a bunch of guys sitting around making fun of people with computers problems for two hours; it’s a lot of fun.
Leo Laporte It’s really a great show. I mean if you are in the Houston area, you must – is it on all of Pacific or just Houston?
Dwight Silverman It’s just on KPFT, but you can get the podcast at geekradio.com, it’s – the podcast goes up the next morning, kind of like the way TWiT does, and you can listen to it. It’s also on iTunes, it’s called Technology Bytes.
Leo Laporte So great to see you again Wil Harris, I know it’s very late. Did you stay up and watch, we won’t say anything but you stayed up and watched the game? Oh, I can’t hear you, I podded you down, I am sorry. Have you been trying to talk this whole time Wil?
Wil Harris I am always trying to talk.
Leo Laporte I accidentally turned you off. Poor Wil, no wonder you are sitting there with your head in your hands. I am so sorry. I had you podded down. I apologize.
Wil Harris Failed, level failed.
Leo Laporte I thought it was the vuvuzela mic I was turning off.
Wil Harris I thought – this is the one place I thought I could escape that sound.
Leo Laporte Never, never.
Wil Harris I feel somebody did with the vuvuzela; they did like a layering of them at different pitches. So it sounded like the – which is like…
Leo Laporte Wil is the guy who runs a great network out of the U.K. called ChannelFlip, channelflip.com, not just technology video, video on all sorts of subjects; really I think the future of IPTV. And I know you are doing very well. So congratulations.
Wil Harris Thank you very much.
Leo Laporte And always a pleasure, you can go to bed now, what time is it 4:00?
Wil Harris It’s 1:00 in the morning.
Leo Laporte That’s not so bad.
Wil Harris And I got to go to work tomorrow.
Leo Laporte Well, just blame me, tell them to blame me. Tell them it was the vuvuzelas that kept you up.
Wil Harris Something like that.
Leo Laporte One thing we know that it wasn’t the late night celebrations of the England victory in the World Cup.
Wil Harris Oh, just leave it out.
Leo Laporte I was rooting for you right till the second round.
Wil Harris Nobody else was rooting for us over here.
Leo Laporte But it is the land of football we know that. Wil, it’s great to talk to you, we will get you back very soon. Thanks everybody for joining us. We are going to Detroit, I wanted to give you a program note July 31 which is a Friday, we are going to be broadcasting live via our LiveU backpack – lets us broadcast live anywhere, from – I understand we are going to get a tour of Dearborn and the assembly lines, we are going to see how a modern car is built. Ford is going to take us there to their Ford plant, we can actually watch, go and look at the assembly lines, stuff I can’t wait for that.
And then the day after Maker Faire Detroit, we are going to be bringing you live coverage, visit some of the booze, it will be our traditional kind of crazy conference coverage where we become your eyes and ears at a trade show. So that will be a lot of fun, that’s August 1 in Detroit.
And we do have some other exciting events coming up. I know Tom Merritt is going to be at Comic-Con. We are going to send Tom and a bunch of other folks to Dragon*Con in September and of course our coverage of CES is going to be even better than ever in January. We are working on this because we want to do more live stuff for you. Don’t forget TNT every Monday through Friday, Tech News Today with Tom Merritt and his great co-hosts, 2:30 to 3:30 Pacific, that’s 5:30 to 6:40 PM Eastern Time at live.twit.tv, Tom Merritt is coming up next with East Meets West. I am Leo Laporte. Thanks for joining us. Another TWiT is in the can.
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