Recorded: September 5, 2010
Published: September 5, 2010
Transcript •Previous episode – Next episode
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Introduction Netcasts you love, from people you trust. This is TWiT.
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This is TWiT, this WEEK in TECH, Episode 264, for September 5, 2010: Blackballed.
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This is TWiT, this WEEK in TECH. Hello, everybody. We’re going to do a great little show this week talking about latest the tech news. Here in studio with me – I am really – I love this panel. Of course my bud, John C. Dvorak, is here, channeldvorak.com. And he has a new booze newsletter.
John C. Dvorak Summer wine.
Leo Laporte Wine. Booze, wine.
John C. Dvorak Somebody who wants to get on the mailing list, just send me an email, email@example.com and put wine mailing list in the subject line and I’ll put you on the list. It’s free.
Leo Laporte That’s awesome.
John C. Dvorak It only comes once in a while. So when I see some huge deal at Costco, and after I am in --
Leo Laporte Yeah, you get it and then --
John C. Dvorak Then I tell people, hey, go, sell it out – or K&L Liquors, just a bunch of these different places.
Leo Laporte Also in studio, really pleased for the first time – I know Andrew because he did The Gillmor Gang on a fairly regular basis and in fact, was there with the famous incident with Mike Arrington. Andrew Keen is here, the author of The Cult of the Amateur. Why the Internet is screwing it up for the rest of us. No, that wasn’t quite it.
Andrew Keen How the Internet is killing our culture?
Leo Laporte Killing our culture. Andrew does – you do a show, a regular show on TechCrunch TV.
Andrew Keen Yes.
Leo Laporte It’s quite good. I really enjoy.
Andrew Keen Quite meaning reasonably good or very good?
Leo Laporte Well, if I were a British, quite would be --
Andrew Keen Quite would be reasonably good.
Leo Laporte Reasonably good.
Andrew Keen American quite means very.
Leo Laporte So --
John C. Dvorak Quite.
Leo Laporte Quite, it’s quite good.
John C. Dvorak Quite, quite.
Leo Laporte Quite, quite good. Wait a minute. Who is that? There he is. Ladies and gentlemen, in his beautiful mountain layer, British Garden south, Jerry Pournelle, jerrypournelle.com, the man who really inspired my career by writing those great Chaos Manor columns at Byte magazine, still writes Chaos Manor. You can get a link to that at jerrypournelle.com. Hey, Jerry, good to see you.
Jerry Pournelle Hi.
Leo Laporte I shouldn’t call it British Garden, that’s kind of insulting. I apologize.
Jerry Pournelle No, you really shouldn’t. I get – it’s a beautiful place.
Leo Laporte It has the Bavarian feel. Let’s just put it that way.
Jerry Pournelle Yeah, I don’t wonder that Hitler liked it. But I do not think that --
Leo Laporte No endorsement.
Jerry Pournelle -- just because one like British Garden, one becomes --
John C. Dvorak Hitler.
Leo Laporte No implied endorsement. And you don’t have a St. Bernard – a German Shepherd named Schatzi, so.
Jerry Pournelle I not only don’t have a German Shepherd, but nobody else does. There has never been in the history of mankind, there has never been a case where a German Shepherd was known to shepherd anything.
Leo Laporte There’s a story here.
Jerry Pournelle I’ll stick to police dogs mainly but --
Leo Laporte Thank you. The Alsatians.
Jerry Pournelle Alsatians, they come from Alsatia. They are not really German even.
Leo Laporte Man, that’s fantastic. We’ve broken Godwin’s law and learned about dogs all within 30 seconds.
Jerry Pournelle Yeah.
Leo Laporte And now, John will don a fez. And all in favor of Atatürk’s rule that no fezes should be allowed inside The TWiT Cottage, raise their hands. So, John, I think we got to do something different today in honor of Andrew Keen being here. He doesn’t really know what we do on TWiT or he wouldn’t be here probably.
I think we let the chat room choose the stories. There certainly was a lot of tech news. Apple had an announcement today – or this week. Google’s got an announcement coming up on Wednesday. It’s kind of mysterious. But I think you wanted to lead, John, with the story that --
John C. Dvorak Oh, the good story.
Leo Laporte The good one. Craigslist is dropping adult ads in the U.S.
John C. Dvorak Yeah, no more hookers on Craigslist.
Leo Laporte The last time we talked about this, I actually went to Craigslist and --
John C. Dvorak To look for hookers?
Leo Laporte Yes, just to see.
John C. Dvorak Oh, okay.
Leo Laporte And I got in trouble with my wife.
John C. Dvorak Was she dogging your searches or what’s the deal?
Leo Laporte No, I drove --
John C. Dvorak She looked at your – did you click the privacy button and get rid of all those searches.
Leo Laporte She’s actually not that sophisticated. She doesn’t know how to do history searches. But we were driving by a place in town. And I said, oh, yeah, that’s a massage parlor. I saw that on Craigslist. She said what?
John C. Dvorak Maybe just shut up, it would be easier.
Leo Laporte And she said, eh and I – it does sound kind of frankly pathetic when you say, well, honey, we were covering it on the show. And I just was --
John C. Dvorak Oh, yeah, right. I read Playboy for the article.
Leo Laporte Research. It was all research. That’s what – when radio hosts get in trouble for the sites they visit online, it’s always research.
John C. Dvorak Didn’t work for Bernie Ward though.
Leo Laporte Didn’t work for Bernie. No. Is he in jail? I think he is.
John C. Dvorak I think so, yeah, unfortunately.
Leo Laporte One of our local radio show hosts.
John C. Dvorak It’s an inside joke.
Leo Laporte So Gawker --
Jerry Pournelle Is that what Tiger Woods called it?
Leo Laporte Research. I am doing research.
John C. Dvorak Yeah, he wanted to see how his new clubs will work.
Leo Laporte So I want to thank the folks. I want to thank Nick Denton and the folks at Valleywag for putting together a Post-Craigslist Guide to Buying Sex Online so that you really don’t have to worry so much. And I am not going to give you the addresses. But let’s just say there are plenty of places still to go. Why did Craigslist dump adult stuff?
John C. Dvorak They became the lightning rod for this whole bogus kind of witch hunt. And the fact of the matter is, it’s now going to create more problems than it solves – this elimination of this --
Leo Laporte Why is that?
John C. Dvorak Well, because you want to compartmentalize the hookers. And I believe, by the way, this is why I’ve been pushing for almost 20 years the .xxx top level domain.
Leo Laporte And that was the fight over it, by the way, was that they didn’t want – even the pornographers didn’t want xxx because they felt like they would be ghettoized.
John C. Dvorak They were ghetto – that’s the idea. That’s why you want it but --
Jerry Pournelle Yeah, but – red light districts, for god’s sake.
John C. Dvorak It’s exactly the same as a red light district.
Leo Laporte But do you want a red light – who wants a red light district?
John C. Dvorak If there’s going to --
Jerry Pournelle Baltimore sure as hell did for a lot of – for most of its existence.
Leo Laporte In Amsterdam --
Jerry Pournelle Baltimore?
Leo Laporte No. I don’t, Jerry.
John C. Dvorak You want a red light district.
Leo Laporte I just want my wife to know, I do not remember the street.
Andrew Keen Amsterdam is a very --
Leo Laporte Amsterdam has a red light district, doesn’t it?
Andrew Keen Yeah, but it’s very small.
Leo Laporte In fact, that’s what they named it.
John C. Dvorak No, actually they have about 3 of them.
Leo Laporte Isn’t that what they named it, red light fork, because of the red lights in Amsterdam?
John C. Dvorak I don’t know.
Andrew Keen Has anyone ever said to you, it’s very small?
Leo Laporte [Sings] Roxanne!
John C. Dvorak I got the joke.
Leo Laporte I got it too. I just was going to --
Jerry Pournelle I have no idea whether the street in Baltimore is as big as it used to be but back when – back in 70s and 60s when I had aerospace contracts with – over there at Fort Detrick and those places, sometimes we – bunch of us would go down and tour down through that street not for buying anything, but just to look at, and that was an amazing place. It really was.
Leo Laporte I don’t even know if I want to ask any questions about this, so.
Jerry Pournelle You can ask questions because any answer I gave you I guarantee is broadcastable.
John C. Dvorak Do they have – still have hookers in Los Angeles around Hollywood Boulevard or Sunset or anything like that? I don’t know.
Jerry Pournelle Do they have anything else?
John C. Dvorak I guess that’s a yes.
Leo Laporte I just would like to remind everybody --
Jerry Pournelle And you may get them in any sex you – any gender that you prefer.
John C. Dvorak So here is the problem I have with the Craigslist deal. Now these girls who are going to be like --
Leo Laporte Where are they going to be? They are going to be everywhere. They’ll be everywhere.
John C. Dvorak It’s like scrambling around like ants that somebody – you kick over the anthill and the ants go all over the place. And so you’re going to be looking up – you want a PENTAX lens or a Nikon or a Canon lens and it’s going to be an ad for a hooker right there in something else, so they are going to trick you into seeing these ads all over the place.
Leo Laporte That’s true. I don’t want that.
John C. Dvorak That’s why you want this to get away.
Leo Laporte A xxx domain which we do have now is a great idea. Although what does playboy.com do? Does playboy.com go to xxx now or are they going to still be playboy.com?
John C. Dvorak It’s not xxx. You don’t have to be in the xxx. The idea is to slowly gravitate people like that to the xxx.
Leo Laporte All right, you want something scary? Watch or listen to this video from consumerwatchdog.com. This is a video that they aired on Times Square over and over again spending millions of dollars to scare you about Google.
That looks like Eric Schmidt with a Nazi moustache. He actually has a Hitler moustache.
Jerry Pournelle They should play the audio of that on the radio.
Leo Laporte Yeah. Yeah. Have you seen the video yet, Jerry? And this is really terrifying.
Jerry Pournelle Yes, I went and looked for it after I heard you play the audio.
Leo Laporte I mean it’s terrifying.
Well, the Rose Foundation has given millions of dollars to consumerwatchdog.org.
John C. Dvorak Kevin Rose?
Leo Laporte I don’t think it’s Kevin. And they opted to spend some of this money making this very high quality profession.
Jerry Pournelle If it is going to have any effect whatsoever, the people who know who that is, are not likely to be much affected by that ad.
Leo Laporte That’s a good point.
First of all, question one, ad hominem, right, I mean what did Eric Schmidt do to piss these guys off? Right?
John C. Dvorak Something.
Leo Laporte I mean this is terrifying.
John C. Dvorak I have no idea.
Leo Laporte This is terrifying? Question two, is Google, by the way, and I’ll give them the plug here, your privacy is no laughing matter, go to indsidegoogle.com.
Jerry Pournelle And get bored.
Leo Laporte Well --
John C. Dvorak This could be a shakedown.
Leo Laporte It’s a little odd.
John C. Dvorak You know there is a lot of these operations out there and, Jerry, you know who half of them are. They seem like public service operations and then they find some corporation and then they essentially shake them down for money. And they go after --
Leo Laporte Is that what Greenpeace did to Apple?
John C. Dvorak It’s a possibility.
Leo Laporte Yes.
John C. Dvorak I would say almost half of these groups do these constantly. And there is all kinds of stories about it and --
Jerry Pournelle We all know a bunch of civil rights groups that do that.
John C. Dvorak They do it constantly
Jerry Pournelle They’ve been doing it for 20 years.
John C. Dvorak That’s how they get funded. And there is – and this looks like a shakedown video to me because there is – I mean it’s just ridiculous.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Andrew Keen It was the background on the foundation?
Leo Laporte Well, I’m trying to – I’m looking at it. It looks pretty responsible, reliable --
John C. Dvorak They all look responsible but they still do shakedowns.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
John C. Dvorak That’s how you get big.
Andrew Keen That’s a bit cynical though, isn’t it?
John C. Dvorak It’s a fact.
Leo Laporte Well, but, Andrew, do you think they are right in attacking Google in this way? Does that make sense what you just saw there?
Andrew Keen I think it’s obviously a little exaggerated, but there are some relevant themes.
John C. Dvorak Yeah, here is the question. Google gives them $10 million the next day and that ad goes away?
Jerry Pournelle Try the Reverend Jesse Jackson.
John C. Dvorak No, Jesse Jackson is well known for pulling this.
Andrew Keen But Google also play the game. I mean they – the rumor is they fund a lot of the network neutralities and the stuff, so –
Leo Laporte Yeah, well, I would if I were them too. Now this is the link they want you to go to. It says tell Congress we want – bandwidth limit exceeded, great, I guess it’s working too well. Tell congress that we want a do not track me list if you try to go to that site – bandwidth limit exceeded.
John C. Dvorak [Indiscernible] (12:51) can’t hear. You gotta work the mic.
Leo Laporte So – but I guess what they are lobbying for --
Jerry Pournelle Is this a good or a bad example of the need for network neutrality?
Leo Laporte Well, I don’t think this is network neutrality. I mean it’s free speech. These guys have the right to run what is --
Jerry Pournelle No, I meant that you were getting bandwidth exceeded --
Leo Laporte Well, yeah, that’s a good question. They obviously should have taken some of the Rose’s --
Jerry Pournelle Maybe I’ll show you what we think of this.
Leo Laporte They should have taken some of the Rose’s money and bought a bigger server perhaps. But this shows you the success of the campaign. Here is what I said. Now you probably heard me say this on the radio, Jerry, okay, fine, you should – we should watch Google, absolute