Recorded: October 10, 2010
Published: October 10, 2010
TWiT 269 •Previous episode – Next episode
This transcript is provided by our friends at Pods in Print
Introduction Netcasts you love, from people you trust. This is TWiT.
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This is TWiT, this WEEK in TECH, Episode 269, recorded October 10, 2010, Fowl Play.
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It’s time for TWiT, this WEEK in TECH, the show that covers the week’s tech news. Joining us this week as I go round the table, a nice cast of very talented people, including somebody who hasn’t been on TWiT in a while but is here to celebrate 10/10/10; John Graham-Cumming of jgc.org, the author of The Geek Atlas. Hi, John.
John Graham-Cumming Hi, how are you doing, Leo?
Leo Laporte Coming to us all the way from U.K. Where in England are you?
John Graham-Cumming I’m in a basement, of course. And I am in London.
Leo Laporte In basement, England. I am surprised there isn’t a town in England named ‘in the basement’.
John Graham-Cumming Actually, it wouldn’t surprise me if there was.
Leo Laporte Basement on Avon.
John Graham-Cumming But it wouldn’t be pronounced by that.
Leo Laporte Right. It’s pronounced Derbyshire. Also with us John C. Dvorak in a lovely shirt, that connotes fine-dining. What is –
John C. Dvorak It’s a commemorative Hawaiian shirt, the kind you used to wear –
Leo Laporte I would if I had –
John C. Dvorak On the old screen saver show before the suits told you to stop it.
Leo Laporte Yeah. I told – I asked them once if I can wear bowling shirts and they said it was too down market. So I was wearing Hawaiian shirts and they said stop it. What – commemorating what?
John C. Dvorak What?
Leo Laporte That shirt?
John C. Dvorak To bring the loss of the Hawaiian shirt to this show, I don’t know.
Leo Laporte Is that – what does that mean? It’s got food, wine, sushi?
John C. Dvorak Yeah, just – it’s one those Jams World shirts that people like to collect. It’s has got a bunch of designs on it.
Tom Merritt I like it.
John C. Dvorak It’s like wearing art.
Leo Laporte Okay. Some might call it that. Also here with us – I’m so glad to have him, Tom Merritt. He hasn’t been on. I have been very careful and protective of his time because of course he’s our day-by-day host of our tech news show, Tech News Today. Hey, Tom?
Tom Merritt Hey, Leo, how is it going?
Leo Laporte Since we acquired Tom in a trade in June for a player to be named later, he has not been on TWiT. So this is your first time?
Tom Merritt That’s right because the last TWiT I did was the day before I started, two days before I started.
Leo Laporte Right. And it really is a case of me trying to protect the franchise. I don’t want anybody to think that TNT is TWiT, or vice-versa.
Tom Merritt Or vice-versa.
Leo Laporte And well, I don’t mind the other way round. But and this is your day off. So thank you for being here.
Tom Merritt Yeah, though I was going to come up to the cottage but then I was doing podcasts all morning and run out of time.
Leo Laporte On your big day off?
Tom Merritt Yeah.
Leo Laporte Well, thanks for being here. And finally last, but certainly not least, from gadget gdgt.com, Ryan Block is here and –
Ryan Block Hello.
Leo Laporte The reason I wanted to have you on Ryan actually there’s so much I can talk to you about; the launch of the Google TV and so forth. But you did a fairly – I would say a fairly big deal article this week. You’re calling it Glassgate about the iPhone 4?
Ryan Block That’s I – I certainly did use it as kind of tongue-in-cheek but –
Leo Laporte Too late! Too late!
Ryan Block Yeah, I know that’s certainly the shorthand I think that’s going to stick, if not possible.
Leo Laporte So, let me recap. Apple sells actually, at this time in their stores but one iPhone case. It’s their own bumper case which doesn’t, in anyway, cover the front or the back. It’s just a plastic rim that goes around the case.
Ryan Block Right.
Leo Laporte It has one chief merit which is that it fixes the antenna problem. And I guess if you dropped it on the edge, it might protect it. But it’s really – it’s about as minimalist as a case as you can get. I use, in fact I’ll show you what I’ve been using up until I read your article, for a case, that I bought from the AT&T store from a company called iFrogz, with a Z. It’s a slip-on case that covers the back. And I kind of like the idea because it protects the back. Well, apparently, that’s not what’s happening. Tell us what’s going on, Ryan?
Ryan Block Well, how far back in time you want me to go? I mean is it worth kind of getting into how Apple’s whole system of selling stuff works?
Leo Laporte Yeah, sure.
Ryan Block So, some people who’ve been in the industry have kind of seen this system for a very long time, and not very many companies outside of the gaming world tend to do this, but Apple does. Way back in the day, I think it was 2003, 2002 when the iPod was first starting to take off, they created a Mayfri iPod program. What that meant that was they would license third-party iPod accessories and a licensed accessory meant that you got access to Apple’s CAD schematics for the devices, sometimes in advance of launch so you could have the accessories ready.
Leo Laporte And you get logos. And Microsoft does this, made for Windows too, with software.
Ryan Block Yeah, they do that. It’s something you see a lot more in, like the gaming world, right? Like licensed accessories.
Leo Laporte Right.
Ryan Block But Apple started doing this and so they had ‘made for iPod’. And then when the iPhone came out, and the iPad came out, they did ‘made for iPhone’ and ‘made for iPad’. And that program is called MFI, Made For I, whatever.
And it’s actually a really cool program for them because they don’t have to go through the work of creating a whole line of accessories. But they get to take basically a chunk of profit from anybody who creates an Apple accessory and gets the license – gets the Apple license. And then, if Apple really likes your accessory, they are going to carry it in the store. And that is – then they are taking both the license fee for the accessory as well as some of the margin off of the actual cost of the sale. So Apple kind of double dips on it. But most accessories companies really like this because they make less money but they sell more units. So they –
Leo Laporte If you think about it, getting in the Apple store is a huge retail opportunity.
Ryan Block Absolutely. It is – if you make Apple accessories, there’s nothing you want more than to be in the Apple store even despite the fact that Apple is double-dipping on your profits. And so where – my whole story with the iPhone cases comes in is – if you look at what cases have become available on the Apple store this week, and there were no cases available for the last couple of months and now cases are just starting to become available, right around the same time I published the story. You’ll notice that there are no slide-on cases and – but actually I might have an example. I don’t have one handy right now. But it’s any kind of case where you know you put the iPhone into it and slides it. And basically what I’d heard –
Leo Laporte So this is the – this is an example of such a case. This is the – and I bought this at the AT&T store. This is the iFrogz. So, it slides on here, and then the bottom slides on there. Frankly, this is what I’ve been using. It does the same thing as a bumper case but it also protects the back.
Ryan Block Right.
Leo Laporte And there’s – I also have a Mophie Juice Pack Air which does the same thing – slides on.
Ryan Block Yeah. So there are a lot of cases that do this and some of them are actually licensed. Like the Juice Pack Air, I think is licensed and I think the Duracell one is a licensed accessory. But Apple is not selling them. And Apple does sell the Juice Pack Air for other products as well and they sold slide-on cases for their other iPhones, for the 3G and the 3GS…
Leo Laporte But not for the four.
Ryan Block But not for the four. And there is a reason why. But before I get to that, I mean when you look at the other cases you see that they don’t have – the other ones don’t have this mechanism where it slides on to the phone. They have some kind of mechanism where it snaps on, or in the case of the bumper, it goes on the edge of the phone and kind of flips on to place.
And the reason being, what I heard from a source who’s given me very reliable information from Apple for many years. And then which I also confirmed from a very large third-party accessories manufacturer, independently, was that Apple’s kind of gone into lockdown. And right after Antennagate, they were basically looking for issues. They were trying to find anything else that could blow up in their face.
Leo Laporte We don’t need another hate on this platform.
Ryan Block Right.
Leo Laporte We don’t want to give consumer reports anymore ammunition.
Ryan Block Absolutely, absolutely. And what they discovered was the slide-on cases, if there’s grit or any kind of matter in between the back of the case and the case as it’s sliding – the back of the phone and the case as it’s sliding on; it can scratch and score the glass which can turn into a fracture or crack.
Leo Laporte So this one – this iFrogz case has some velveteen in there that – I mean you could still get some gravel in there, I mean I don’t know how you would. So what you are saying is really more than just the case, is that if this so-called Gorilla glass back is scoured, that might be sufficient to turn into a fracture on the back.
Ryan Block Right. I mean it’s glass. It’s actually not – Gorilla ….
Leo Laporte Isn’t it Tuffen Glass?
Ryan Block It is. It’s Tuffen Glass, it’s not Gorilla Glass because Gorilla Glass is made by Corning.
Leo Laporte That’s a brand, right.
Ryan Block But it is a strengthened composite glass, very similar to Gorilla Glass. But it’s ….
Leo Laporte It’s stronger than the front, though, isn’t it, the back?
Ryan Block No, I believe they are actually the same material, the same kind of glass.
Leo Laporte Interesting. Okay.
Ryan Block But – you know, it’s glass and it scores and it cracks and it shatters.
John C. Dvorak You know what’s interesting to me about this?
Leo Laporte What?
John C. Dvorak I’ve never heard of such a thing as scratches on any of these devices.
Leo Laporte You are being facetious. In fact this is big problem. Apple got sued because of – because the iPod was so easy to scratch – one of the iPod models. But this is more important than just a scratch, this is not merely cosmetic because if it fractures, you could have a break. Is that you were talking about, Ryan?
Ryan Block Yeah. I mean, when they do fracture it’s not like the – all the glass comes apart. I mean, it’s kind of like the safety glass in a car …
Leo Laporte Right.
Ryan Block … where if it sustains like an acute impact, it’s not all’s just going to fall out, right. It does hold together but you will wind up with – you would not necessarily wind up with a fractured back. But if you do wind up with a fractured back, it’s going to be – it’s going to look like a piece of shattered glass on the back. And so what Apple is concerned about is basically that you would buy a case, and Apple had licensed some slide-on third-party cases – that you would buy a slide-on case, you would put it on. And you are a diligent customer, you want to take care of your phone, you want to put in the case. So you buy the Apple licensed case from, potentially the Apple Store, it could be somewhere else. And then, maybe a month later, you take it off and you find that your phone which you’ve taken great care of …………
Leo Laporte Is scratched.
Ryan Block …. Has a crack on the back.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Ryan Block So what Apple did, was they kind of went in to lock down on this.
Leo Laporte What does that mean when you say went in to lock down?
Ryan Block So they started a test lab specifically for testing this. They started investigating this very thoroughly; and then they also basically completely wiped the store clear, I mean the slide-on cases.
Leo Laporte So that’s – to me that’s – the proof of this is that you couldn’t buy a slide-on, you still to this day.
Ryan Block You cannot buy a slide-on case.
Leo Laporte Can’t buy a slide-on case just for the phone.
Ryan Block Not from Apple. You can buy them and they are out there.
Leo Laporte Right.
Ryan Block And I am sure that this concerns them but you cannot buy a slide-on case right now from Apple.
Leo Laporte Now, I guess the online store is selling that. Is the online store is selling some? Because …
Ryan Block The online store just this week I think actually the day before I published this story, just put their cases back online. You know the funny thing about the story is I’d been – I had the story. I’d been sitting on it for a couple of weeks and I’d been talking to people and trying to build the evidence I thought that was necessary to publish this with the requisite credibility because the Apple stories are obviously subject to a lot of scrutiny. And I reached out to Apple and asked for a comment and again their store had had zero cases; no iPhone cases for weeks. And then in the time I did that, and about 36 hours later when I published the story, a bunch of iPhone cases went back up on the site.
Leo Laporte You think this is in response to you?
Ryan Block I don’t necessarily think that it’s in response. But it was pretty funny timing because I happened to have reached out and, granted, I reached out in early October. I mean, I had expected them to put some of these cases back online anyway because the case, the free case program ended ….
Leo Laporte Right.
Ryan Block … on September 30. But it was just very, very bizarre timing. And actually I think it kind of worked in my favor because, you know, like you said, you go to look at the accessories that they sell, there’s no slide-on cases. And there are slide-on cases for the iPhone 3G and 3GS. And there are all kinds of slide-on accessories for those phones. And we also know of course that you can buy slide-on accessories for the iPhone 4 but Apple is not selling any of them; they are completely off the site.
Leo Laporte Why would they put it back on the website? Is it – I mean, if they are dangerous why are they selling this spec case?
Ryan Block Well, so – the cases that they are selling on the site right now are not slide-ons; they are the snap-ons.
Leo Laporte Okay.
Ryan Block So, the core of the issue is ….
Leo Laporte So you still can’t buy a slide-on case anywhere from Apple?
Ryan Block Exactly. The core of the issue is, if there is like some grit on the back of the phone or inside the case ……..
Leo Laporte Right. Sliding it scratches.
Ryan Block …. which definitely could happen. It is the sliding motion that scratches it and begins the fracture.
Leo Laporte Right. So you published this in gdgt a few days ago. What was – what’s the response been from your readers? Have they confirmed this or is this – not seen, not very likely?
Ryan Block Well, one of the things that I put out there and I try to be really clear about this is that it’s pre-emptive. I don’t think that this is a massive epidemic issue right now. And I think that most people will probably agree with that. And I think that that’s in large part to Apple trying to contain this as quickly and as early as possible. I think that if everybody out there was getting – and you also notice that in the free case program there are no slide-on cases; they were all snap-on cases.
I think that if there were tens or hundreds of thousands of slide-on cases out there, this might be a bigger deal. But Apple I think is doing everything they can to prevent that from happening. So I think they are doing their job, I mean, they are doing a good job at containing this. And you know, my goal here was not to – to try to scare people into buying cases or something like that, or not buying cases, but really just to inform people as to what’s going on behind the scenes.
Leo Laporte Very interesting. So if you have a slide-on case, which I do, what is your recommendation? To retire it?
Ryan Block You know what I actually did? I have a slide-on case that I’ve been using for a little while.
Leo Laporte I haven’t had any problems with it yet, but ………
Ryan Block Yeah. What I would recommend is, if you have a screen protector, put the screen protector on the back of the phone …..
Leo Laporte Right.
Ryan Block …. In between the phone and the slide-on case. And that should help.
Leo Laporte Okay.
Ryan Block That would be my first recommendation.
Leo Laporte Gdgt.com if you want to read more on the story and there’s about 84 comments in there. Some people have had this problem, some have not. The fact that if anybody has seems like – you’re right, you put a case on it to protect it. If it’s going to scratch it, that’s not such a good thing; and if it’s going to fracture it, that’s really not a good thing.
Thank you, Ryan.
Ryan Block Thanks.
Leo Laporte Ryan Block, gdgt.com. We are going to take a little break, come back with more John C. Dvorak, Tom Merritt and John Graham-Cumming. We’re going to talk a little bit about the Analytic Engine of Charles Babbage, a big anniversary today. Before we do that though, I would like to mention our friends at Citrix who do the fabulous GoToMeeting. GoToMeeting reduces costs, improves efficiencies, makes your meetings come alive. It’s the best web conferencing solution by far and if you haven’t tried it, I want to give you a free 30 days to try it at gotomeeting.com/twit.
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John, I don’t know why John does that. But he likes to cover up the screen when we are doing a commercial.
John C. Dvorak What?
Leo Laporte Is it – are you embarrassed to be associated with a money-making enterprise, is that it, John?
John C. Dvorak No. If I leave, to go baste my meat, I don’t want people spying on the room.
Leo Laporte Who knows what they might see! I’m sorry Ryan couldn’t stick around because there’s actually some really interesting stuff going on this week.
Ryan Block Why couldn’t he stick around? He could have stuck around.
Leo Laporte He can’t. He couldn’t.
John C. Dvorak Why?
Leo Laporte I don’t know. He had to baste his meat. I don’t know, but he had something else to do. He very kindly agree to come on – well, actually, you know before we move on I guess – I take it just watching the chat room, you had some skepticism about this whole thing?
John C. Dvorak No. I just think –no, I didn’t. But let me just say this, I think you should have at least invited him to stay.
Leo Laporte No. I did. We invited him to stay before the show and he said he couldn’t. And I said, could you please come on for 5 minutes and at least talk about this because it was a big story, so he agreed to take some time. It’s Sunday. He’s probably watching the ball game.
John C. Dvorak By the way what you want to watch– you don’t want to watch any ball games, you want to watch the RedZone.
Leo Laporte RedZone. I know. Are you – this is the DIRECTV thing?
John C. Dvorak No. No, it’s on Dish Network too.
Leo Laporte Dish has it too?
John C. Dvorak Oh, yeah.
Leo Laporte I had to say I am tempted to get a dish, a Dish dish, because of this Google TV because it’s the only DVR that works with the Google TV.
John C. Dvorak The Dish Network dish?
Leo Laporte Yeah. The TV …
Tom Merritt They are building it into the set-top box in other words.
Leo Laporte Thank you, Tom. So the DVR that comes with the Dish dish is supported on the Logitech Revue.
John C. Dvorak Oh, cool!
Leo Laporte So that if you have – you can say on your Android phone, your iPhone, you could say Hawaii Five-0. And it will not only find Hawaii Five-0 on your program guide on the Internet, on the internet – if you can watch it on the internet, on various stores. But it will also, if you have DVR recordings of Hawaii 5.0, it will find it there as well.
John C. Dvorak That’s not the feature. Have you ever seen that show?
Tom Merritt Yes. And I agree.
Leo Laporte John has a point. Why would you want that? All right. All righty, all righty. Should we move on to another story or should we go on about this – anybody have anything to say about this iPhone case thing?
Tom Merritt Well I was in a chat room, and the chat room was going crazy about how this was not a story. And I think…
Leo Laporte Isn’t that interesting?
Tom Merritt I think the blogosphere has echoed it a little stronger than it probably deserves. But I think it’s worth paying attention to, if you have one of those cases. Like you do, Leo, you should know like hey, there’s a risk of breaking in there. I do agree that I don’t think it’s a big controversy that Apple is going to have to come out with another press conference and it’s going to kill iPhone sales or anything like that. I think it’s just kind of more of a consumer awareness issue.
Leo Laporte Yes. Well we certainly gave it – we led with it, so maybe their problem is – and I only led with it because…
John C. Dvorak Because you couldn’t keep Ryan on the whole show.
Leo Laporte Because Ryan had to go.
John C. Dvorak Aww.
Leo Laporte Aww.
John C. Dvorak He’s good on his regular show.
Leo Laporte I love Ryan, Ryan’s great, he does a show on GDGT and I would have love to have kept him, he will be back, we will have him back next week or next time he is available. Next time there isn’t a big game or he is not watching The Red Zone or whatever.
The Red Zone is only the – you know, I read somewhere that if you actually time it out, there’s only about four minutes of action in an NFL game, literally.
John C. Dvorak That’s why The Red Zone’s so good.
Leo Laporte And it’s not even all the action, just the stuff within the 20 yards of the end zone. Is that it? John Graham-Cumming, are you very confused by all of this?
John C. Dvorak Well, not really. That’s the main idea, is that is that they just show you what’s going on in The Red Zone on all the games at the same time. But they’ll show you other stuff. Like if somebody throws a long bomb or something, it doesn’t make it to The Red Zone, they’ll still show it.
Leo Laporte John, in the U.K. do they have something similar for cricket matches or anything?
John Graham-Cumming Actually, I was thinking exactly that; which is that cricket of course is completely the opposite. It takes about three weeks to play and involves having cups of tea every few hours. So, the contrast couldn’t be greater.
John C. Dvorak I don’t even know how they score. It’s 6 ups and 4 outs and 10 runs and there’s like – there’s a variety of numbers, and I don’t know what number has to be the highest for you to actually win a game.
John Graham-Cumming Well actually, almost nobody knows that. I think what actually happens is at the end of the it they decide who had the best tea, and then they – that’s the one who wins the game.
Leo Laporte Ah, now I understand. It’s like that game in the Fantastic Mr. Fox, Whackbat, which actually reminds me of modern cricket.
John Graham-Cumming Yes.
John C. Dvorak So, I have a question, Leo.
Leo Laporte Yes, John.
John C. Dvorak Are we going to get to any news stories today?
Leo Laporte Yeah, we’ve already covered…
John C. Dvorak Just wondering, it’s not like I’m complaining.
Tom Merritt Who brought up the red zone, yeah.
Leo Laporte Well thank you Tom Merritt, defending me, defending my honor.
John C. Dvorak Hey, touché, Mr. Merritt.
Leo Laporte You want to talk about Google cars?
Tom Merritt Oh, yeah these self-driving cars are pretty cool.
Leo Laporte Autonomous vehicles, Article in the New York Times, Google Cars drive themselves in traffic, I wonder if there is an ice-cream truck with Eric Schmidt not driving. The idea behind this Dmitri Dolgov, is a Google engineer, I just do it because I can do a Russian accent.
John C. Dvorak Google guff.
Leo Laporte He is a Google guff. He is driving – well I guess they put an engineer in there just in case it crashes.
Tom Merritt Well to make it legal, to make it street legal.
John C. Dvorak Just put a dog behind the wheel. That would be funnier.
Leo Laporte But if they…
John C. Dvorak Just put a dog behind the wheel.
Leo Laporte Yeah, that’s right, have an engineer. So if you’re driving – now, see I’ve driven Highway 1 between San Francisco and Los Angeles. It is a twisty, crazy, scary road. And if I were to see a Toyota Prius with a curious funnel like cylinder on the roof and no one at the wheel, I think I would freak out.
Tom Merritt Well they had to put somebody at the wheel. So that’s why nobody was freaking out. Because they couldn’t tell he wasn’t driving it. But to actually make it street legal, they did some look at the rules of the road in California and found out that you can have automatic systems as long as there is somebody there monitoring them, so they had an engineer, who could turn off the automatic driving by hitting the brake pedal, by speaking a word and one other way. And they said they only had to actually do that half a dozen times on this long trip.
Leo Laporte A thousand miles these cars have driven without a driver, the rotating cone on the top is call LIDAR. It’s a sensor on the roof that scans more than 200 feet in all directions to generate…
Tom Merritt Lies!
Leo Laporte Lying radar! To generate a precise three-dimensional map of the car’s surrounding. It then has four automotive radar sensors, three in front and one in the back to determine the positions of distant objects. It has a position estimator, a sensor on the left rear wheel, which measures movements made by the car. I guess it’s giving you kind of dead reckoning, there is also a video camera in the front windshield, near the rearview mirror that’s detecting traffic lights. So there is – and there are computers…
John C. Dvorak And all this for less than $250,000 million. I want one.
Leo Laporte It says seven test cars have driven 1000 miles without human intervention and more 140,000 miles with only occasional human control. They even went down Lombard Street, which is the twistiest street in world, in San Francisco. The only accident was when one car was rear-ended whilst stopped at a traffic light. Wasn’t even the car’s fault.
Tom Merritt And they also said, a lot of the time when they had to…
Leo Laporte Go ahead, Tom.
Tom Merritt I was saying, a couple of times when they had to take control was because of bicyclist actually ran a red light in front of them and it was harder for the car to see that.
John C. Dvorak Which reminds me..
Leo Laporte Yes.
John C. Dvorak …bicyclists are doing this all the time. Why aren’t they stopped and cited.
Leo Laporte They would be if the cop saw them and at least in California, bicyclist has to obey the same rules of the road that a car does, including stop signs and red lights.
John C. Dvorak Never seen it.
John Graham-Cumming That will be solved by the Google cars which would just run straight into them and…
Leo Laporte They will kill them all, that’s right; it’s Darwinian. So what were you going to say John about these Google cars?
John Graham-Cumming I was just wondering if they can drive on the left.
Leo Laporte Oh, you know, it’s the exact kind of thing, you’re right. Probably nobody has really thought about it, yeah.
John Graham-Cumming I just have a funny story about this, which is I met the guy who ran one of the DARPA Challenge Projects, the Stanford Racing one that won it.
Leo Laporte Right.
John Graham-Cumming They went through the desert of Nevada [indiscernible] (27:08). And he told me that one – the way they insured software quality was when a software engineer said, my module is ready, he said great, we’ll put you in the car.
John Graham-Cumming And they basically, they had to go in the car for a few hours. And he said, no one ever failed to say, you know I could do with an extra week.
Leo Laporte Yeah, we will strap you to the bumper of the car, how about that?
John Graham-Cumming Yeah.
Leo Laporte So this is, this is you know, look – this is not technology that’s going to be on the roads of the U.S. in the next few years but it’s something we’ve been talking about for a long time and in the theory of autonomous vehicles, they said, it would – they would be safer because a lot of accidents are human error, yes?
Tom Merritt Yeah, it’s funny you brought up Stanford, John. Because one of the guys that oversaw Stanley, the DARPA car that did this is one of the guys that’s doing this for Google on contract. And it’s kind of a surprising leap to hear that we went from a total failure, the first DARPA Grand Challenge, to a successful yet very restricted test, to somebody taken a car just out on the public street and having it drive itself. I mean, its expensive, its far ahead but this could save thousands and thousands of lives, and save a bunch of time too, if it actually works.
Leo Laporte I remember talking, I wish I can remember his name too, a researcher in this autonomous car thing and he had this amazing kind of vision, not only of safety but of efficiency. Imagine he said, that no one owns a car. It’s kind of like the zipcar idea that when you need a car, one arrives. And that for instance, you order a car, car arrives takes you to where you are going and then disappears; and lets say you need a RV instead of buying an RV you take the car to where you’re going, an RV is already waiting for you there. You get in the RV, you sleep, you spend the night whatever and then you go on. In other words, it’s just in time cars. And he said this would save us a lot of fuel, of time of – you know, in efficiency.
John C. Dvorak So Leo, you are telling me you lost your Ford sponsorship?
Leo Laporte No, no, no – I think Ford…
John C. Dvorak Then why are you promoting such an idea?
Leo Laporte Ford is right in the forefront of this as a matter of fact. Well you saw the YouTube video of me crashing my explorer. I just, I was…
John C. Dvorak Good work.
Leo Laporte Yeah, no actually it was Flex. I was in a Ford Flex, it was on the Ford test track, I think I was wearing a helmet at the time; and they wanted to show me the auto park feature, which is you know, I asked these guys, they said yes of course we could do this in a much grander scale but in fact, I asked Alan Mulally, the CEO of Ford, he said people like to drive. So we are not going to, we are trying to take the wheel out of their hands, they like it.
John C. Dvorak I think so, and by the way I want to tell people out there because I don’t think a lot of people know this but Leo actually drives around all the time with a helmet is weird.
Leo Laporte [Laughter] I’m required to by State law.
Tom Merritt He walks around with it too.
Leo Laporte Yes, well that was after the injury I had to because I have – people – this is not commonly known, but you know the Fontanelle, that normally that children have, babies have where there is a soft spot where their brain is exposed and it closes up as you grow, my never did so…
Tom Merritt Never went away.
Leo Laporte If I were to be struck right here on my head…
John C. Dvorak Or push.
Leo Laporte Yes, or even to push, I would black out, and if you’d struck me hard enough I’d actually, my brain would turn to jelly.
Tom Merritt It’s like an Achilles Heel on your head.
Leo Laporte Exactly.
John Graham-Cumming You just gave away your Kryptonite right there.
Leo Laporte That is my Kryptonite, it is the only way I can be stopped. Jason Calacanis is making notes right now.
John C. Dvorak He is drilling a hole in his head as a matter of fact.
Leo Laporte So this is the 173rd annual – anniversary of the invention of the analytical machine and this man knows a little bit about it because he wrote The Geek Atlas, which includes geek places to go for geeks around the world including the Babbage’s has housed the analytical machine itself, what can we see?
John Graham-Cumming So, let me set you right on one thing, it’s not a very wonderful anniversary today, the real point is that no one built Babbage’s computer…
Leo Laporte There is no analytical machine. It was never made.
John Graham-Cumming It was never made although bits of it were made and so what I’m trying to do is build it. And which is quite a large machine; it’s about the size of a small truck and so I started a project to do the research necessary to finish it and it will have about 1.7K of memory made out of brass essentially and powered by a steam engine.
Tom Merritt Now, what is the difference between the analytical engine and the difference engine? Is that just two words for the same thing or are they two different things?
John Graham-Cumming No, so the difference engine just basically what it does is it calculates polynomials and so it’s a calculator. Right. It does one thing. The analytical engine is a programmable computer; it had memory, actually quite expandable, memory at some point Babbage thought we might need up to 20 K of memory; it has a CPU which is separate from the memory; whereas the difference engine it’s all mixed together, and it was programmed using punched cards. So it’s very similar and it even has micro code like any…
Leo Laporte Really.
John Graham-Cumming Modern microprocessor, and even actually most amazingly it has instruction pipelining like an OS processor; just the whole thing is completely mechanical.
John C. Dvorak John?
John Graham-Cumming Yes.
John C. Dvorak This is a – kind of fascinates me, by the way and I hope you actually do this, but have you thought about the kind of the history as in so far as why nobody has actually tried to build one of these before because we have a lot of billionaires that are techie nerds out there that have got more than enough money to finance something like this and they could have done it 20 years ago, and has there been any attempts or is there a history behind this because it has always baffled me that nobody has tried to – or has actually built one by now.
John Graham-Cumming So, I hope the billionaires are listening because I need about a million dollars…
Leo Laporte It’s that expensive, wow!
John Graham-Cumming Well, it will be expensive for one really big reason which is we built Babbage’s difference engine as a copy in the Computer History Museum Mountain View because Babbage laid out complete plans, so his boss would just go get the plans out of the science museum in London and essentially build it.
The analytical engine much like with any other computer, he kept improving it. So there is a whole load of plans. And every now and then he optimized some bit of it making multiplications faster or addition pipelining, all these things, so there is not one definitive set and I think the big reason people haven’t built it yet is there is actually a research project to do which is to say, all right look, what if these plans actually constitutes the analytical engine and once you do that then you can start to build it.
Leo Laporte So this is the difference engine…
John Graham-Cumming Yes.
Leo Laporte And this was the source of my confusion; I didn’t realize there was a difference; I’ve seen this, this is local.
John Graham-Cumming Yes. Yes, so basically in the late ’80s the Science Museum in London built a difference engine…
Leo Laporte It’s all cogs and brass wheels, I mean it’s beautiful.
John Graham-Cumming Yes, it’s absolutely beautiful, and the point of doing that was to show that first of all Babbage’s machines would have worked. And also that the technology available to the Victorians was good enough because they built this to the tolerances that were available in Victorian with alloys that were available; so the point is that took away all of the uncertainty about whether Babbage’s machines could have been built and so now what we want to do is say okay, let’s decide what the analytical engine was and let’s build it and then let’s program it.
Leo Laporte So this is a big, this is just a big calculator; you are talking about building the first computer really.
John Graham-Cumming Yes.
Leo Laporte A multi – all purpose computer.
John Graham-Cumming It is a general purpose complete, it has loops, it has all the things you recognize in a computer, it has a printer, and for graphical output it has a plotter.
Leo Laporte Wow.
John Graham-Cumming So it’s absolutely…
Tom Merritt And it runs on crank then, same as the difference engine?
John Graham-Cumming Steam.
Tom Merritt Steam, yes, okay, but in other words…
John Graham-Cumming It’s two bits basically.
Tom Merritt There’s no electricity in it.
Leo Laporte No.
John Graham-Cumming No.
Tom Merritt Yes.
John Graham-Cumming There’s no evidence actually that Babbage ever considered using electricity for any of his computers. He was a contemporary of Faraday so there was work going on with electricity at the time but he was completely thinking about mechanical devices powered by steam; the most fascinating thing for me is he believed in his lifetime it wouldn’t be built because essentially he was working alone and he nevertheless wrote that one day some one going to build one of these analytical engines i.e. a computer and it’s going to shape the course of science forever.
Leo Laporte Wow.
John Graham-Cumming And I think that’s quite amazing, he was sitting there in 1847 saying, you know, once it is built it’s all going to change, I can see it coming.
Leo Laporte Who was Charles Babbage? I mean how did he get this vision?
John Graham-Cumming He was a mathematician. He was very wealthy because his father was a banker and he inherited a lot of money. He was in minor aristocracy in Britain, and so he was Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge, he was a very good mathematician and he got the idea because at the time it was necessary to build, to print books of tables, log tables, some of you are old enough to remember using log tables…
Leo Laporte Oh, yes, I remember those, yes.
John Graham-Cumming And they were full of inaccuracies because people would make mistakes and Babbage said all this ought to be done by steam, everything from the calculation to the printing, so there is no room for error and he built that, that machine is the difference engine which you can see in Mountain View, the printer even does text justification, so I mean, go look at it, because it is stunning, but while he was working on this, he said, actually, I think there is more I can do, if I can get feedback in the system.
And the feedback is what led him to the computer and that’s what led him to the analytical engine.
Leo Laporte How did Ada Lovelace get involved in this?
John Graham-Cumming So, she was of course Lord Byron’s daughter – well, one of his children, the legitimate one at least – and she had some mathematical training. Babbage, because he was a member of high society in Britain, had parties at his house where he would demonstrate bits of the difference engine. So he really was a nerd in my opinion…
Leo Laporte No kidding.
John Graham-Cumming Can you imagine being invited around to his house? With the Duke of Wellington, Sir Robert Peel, Prince Albert, let’s turn this – and in fact the bit that he demonstrated is in the Science Museum in London and every time I kind of look at it I think, this is what the guy showed at parties.
Leo Laporte Oh dear.
John Graham-Cumming Luckily he was wealthy enough that people came – Ada Lovelace was one of those people, she became fascinated by the analytical engine and she translated a paper, the only really good paper that was published at the time which was published in French, she translated it into English, and that’s really where we get her name associated with it because she added to that paper pages of notes from her own thinking about the analytical engine.
Leo Laporte So you are trying to raise 500,000 pounds, about a million dollars, to build this.
John Graham-Cumming So, yes, I’m trying to raise about – I’m trying to get 50,000 people to say they’ll put up $10, pounds or euros, depending on what your currency it to kick it off. It is going to probably need more. We know from the cost of the difference engine, the difference engine costs about 400,000 pounds and this has got some research behind it. But I think that the – one of the goals will be actually to digitize all of Babbage’s papers because they are not available on the web, they are in the Science Museum in London and so this is really an educational thing as well as ultimately trying to build this computer and show that in 1837 Babbage had invented a general purpose digital computer with a printer or plotter, punched cards, you know, micro code, instruction pipelining, you name it.
And it’s kind of amazing that it’s a 100 years later in 1937 that you had Alan Turing who wrote his famous paper in which he laid out the Turing Machine. And so part of what I’m saying is there is a 100 years here that were sort of lost.
John C. Dvorak And John?
John Graham-Cumming Yes.
John C. Dvorak I just want to ask you one question, after you finish doing this steam computer, steam powered computer; Are you going to go one more step and do a steam powered Internet?
Leo Laporte Wasn’t that a Stevenson book, kind of along those lines?
John C. Dvorak Actually, I have the Victorian Internet somewhere here. I mean, that actually is a whole other interesting thing which is the telegraph and how they operated in this era so the era that Babbage was working not long after that of course the British Empire was very big, and you keep the British Empire under control with the telegraph. It was possible to telegraph a message from London to Bombay in the middle of the 1800s in 8 minutes, which makes you think the Internet now, I mean it’s only a little bit faster than that.
Leo Laporte A little bit. I think it is interesting that the Turing machine was never built either. A lot of these were kind of mental exercises more than, although I guess Babbage expected it to be built at some point.
John Graham-Cumming No, there is a huge distinction, right, which is that Babbage was building something practical. He saw real use of it. Turing was laying down the fundamentals of computer science. So it was very, for me Babbage is a computer pioneer and Turing a computer science pioneer. So they are doing slightly different things. Of course the interesting thing is looking back Babbage’s machine was Turing complete, it was a computer that we would recognize…
Leo Laporte He’d already done that thinking, hadn’t he?
John Graham-Cumming He hadn’t realized that there was only one Turing’ness, but yeah, he built it.
Tom Merritt Now is this the ultimate steam punk project.
Leo Laporte Oh, yes.
Tom Merritt I mean there is nothing not steam punk about it. It’s pure awesome.
John Graham-Cumming This is the ultimate steam punk project and I will probably have to start dressing up in Victorian clothing if I get…
Tom Merritt You will, it’s a sad fact, but yeah, you will.
Leo Laporte The top hat and goggles are on their way. If people want to pledge, now you have only got 101 pledges, I’m going to pledge some money into this as well. In fact I will tell you what you’ve got 101 people donating 10 bucks, why don’t I just double that and put another $1,010 in there. At least it should be a little bit closer. You need 50,000 people to make this happen. So I may be throwing, well I guess I won’t pay anything unless you get the 50,000.
Tom Merritt Are you using Kickstarter for this or something else?
John Graham-Cumming I am not using Kickstarter because Kickstarter only accepts if you have a U.S. bank account. I’m using a thing called Pledge Bank which is very similar and it operates worldwide. It’s a very similar idea. The only difference is you don’t actually have to give your credit card number or anything. You just, it just a literally a, I am willing to do this, and the reason I picked 50,000 is that when I do the Alan Turing apology petition last year…
Leo Laporte Which you succeeded in.
John Graham-Cumming Yes, I did, yes, I got 35,000 people in Britain to sign that. So this is, this project is worldwide. So I’m betting that I have a good chance of getting 50,000 people to say yes, 10 bucks is enough to go and see a truck size steam powered brass computer.
Leo Laporte Well, if we have enough people listening that if only, only say 20% of the people listening donating I think you would be there. So everybody get out and do it.
John Graham-Cumming And that sounds fantastic
Leo Laporte Go to a John site which is jgc. – is it .org?
John Graham-Cumming .org, it is .org, and you can see under my blog there is a link on the right hand side there where it says pledge, hideous purple color, you can’t miss it under the blog.
Leo Laporte And then I just sign up and Pledge Bank and I will, I guess Pledge Bank doesn’t give you an opportunity to say how much you are pledging.
John Graham-Cumming What you can do if you want to be public and say, hey I’m willing to give more, because somebody has said that there is actually a comment section where you can say I will give you a 100 bucks or whatever you feel like.
Leo Laporte All right, so I’m going to put a 1,000 in because I want really want you to do this, but I have one request is that we get to cover live the switch flip.
John Graham-Cumming What I wanted – here’s what I have been thinking about, I wonder what this thing sounds like when it boots.
Leo Laporte Oh, can you imagine.
John C. Dvorak My word, it sounds like when it crashes.
Leo Laporte When it crashes, it literally exactly crashes. No, I wanted, no, we will put a 1,000 in and we will raise money, I want to get this going. I think this is a great project. It’s perfect for the 173rd Anniversary of the Babbage Analytical Machine. I mean what better time to do it, and I’m glad to put some money in and we would love to cover this, the process of building it. I know it’s all the way in London but I think this is – and if there are any millionaires listening you could just cut to the chase right now.
John Graham-Cumming What is going to be done tomorrow get over with it.
Leo Laporte Just imagine what a great museum piece this would make.
John Graham-Cumming And there is the important side of this, there is also this very much research education side, it is not as a folly of let’s build a massive brass machine, I do want to do that bit. But we have to understand what Babbage really was saying and do the research, so I’m looking forward to it.
Leo Laporte Good, nothing to knock folly, let me tell you. I would never discourage any one’s folly, so go to jgc.org and follow the link, the purple link to the Pledge Bank and pledge, I bet we could get 10,000 people…
John Graham-Cumming Just at the end of the show.
Leo Laporte By the end of the show, just because you really wanted to do this, 10 bucks, what does that cost, 10 bucks, it’s well worth it. You can stop your donation in No Agenda for a few weeks.
John C. Dvorak Hey, don’t take the money out of our pockets.
Tom Merritt For the price of a week of No Agenda, you could help build the Analytical Engine.
Leo Laporte How about a week of no No Agenda? How much do you ask people in No Agenda for?
John C. Dvorak How much?
Leo Laporte Yes, do you like have a set donation?
John C. Dvorak No, we have, you go to no agendashow.com or dvorak.org/na and there is a huge variety of opportunities.
Leo Laporte And you get different things if you donate different amounts.
John C. Dvorak Yes, you can become a knight which I am sure a British friend would appreciate.
Leo Laporte Yes, a knight.
John Graham-Cumming Buying a knighthood is probably the wrong thing to do over here.
Leo Laporte See if I had given you 1,000 bucks instead of this Babbage thing I could have been a knight of the No Agenda round table.
John C. Dvorak Sir Leo.
Leo Laporte Sir Leo. There is a knight layaway plan
John C. Dvorak Layaway plan there is.
Leo Laporte There is the – that’s the 20 month program with $50 for 20 months, you know, about 3 months into that $50 a month thing I have a feeling people might have second thoughts. I don’t know, I’m just guessing. And then there is the $33.33 mothership boarding pass, so you can be on the mothership when that Adam tells us is coming. But there is other, other things. There is a $5 month subscription. There is the lucky $30 mo sub, you are very clever in this.
John C. Dvorak It never ends.
Leo Laporte He is very clever. Why is it lucky to give $30 a month?
John C. Dvorak We don’t know.
Leo Laporte We just know it is.
John C. Dvorak Yes, it’s just all empirical, the feedback we get.
Leo Laporte You just know it’s lucky.
John C. Dvorak This is very lucky.
Leo Laporte Oh Lord, all right let’s take a break and because I got to make to some money so I can give this $1,000 to a truly good cause, the Babbage Analytical Machine. I just think it is so cool that he essentially came up with the principles of computer science 173 years ago in the 1840s, I mean that’s amazing.
John Graham-Cumming He missed a couple of things but not much.
Leo Laporte What did he miss?
John Graham-Cumming Well, the program wasn’t stored inside the computer, so it was on the cards. It wasn’t loaded into memory.
Leo Laporte He didn’t have RAM.
John Graham-Cumming He had RAM, but it was only for, the RAM was made of brass but it is was only for storage of numbers basically, not for the program.
Leo Laporte Interesting.
John Graham-Cumming And the other thing he didn’t do was he didn’t let the program address memory [indiscernible] (47:29) it was fixed memory location, so he couldn’t do things like erase…
Leo Laporte Right.
John Graham-Cumming But he had enough power in there.
Leo Laporte He would have no doubt figured it out had he done it.
John C. Dvorak I want you to design that thing so it can run APL.
Leo Laporte Then you have to have a special keyboard. Was there a keyboard, was there any user entry?
John C. Dvorak Yes, there was, a special whack job keyboard.
Leo Laporte No, not for APL, for the Babbage Analytical.
John Graham-Cumming For APL, yes
Leo Laporte APL I know.
John Graham-Cumming You had to punch cards and then you fed everything in the cards, you put in your program, your numbers, everything and it would punch cards out.
Leo Laporte I love it. What a great idea. Hey, before we go on I do want to mention Ford, we were talking about autonomous cars. I had a great time driving that Ford Flex with, it was actually really cool. I didn’t do it right but you, so you are looking for parking space, I know it’s a fairly big car because it seats like 8 or something, so you press the button that says “find me a parking space”, you are driving along and it sees, it spots a space that’s big enough and the little light goes on and then it says “pull forward”, so you pull forward, pull forward, pull forward, pull forward then it says okay stop. Then it says “now, park” and you press the button and the wheel goes bzzz and it parallel parks you automatically.
Now my mistake was I should have thought about this that I took my hands off the wheel but I also took my feet off the brake. They didn’t mention to me that well, actually once you are parking probably you should put your foot on the brake because the car is idling and it will continue to back up, so I’m just like going wow, this is cool and with my hands and feet are in the air and of course the car parks perfectly and then continues to back up into the Fiesta behind me.
Now, the good news is I was wearing a helmet so I was uninjured and neither the Flex nor the Fiesta took even a dent, they looked fantastic. I think we were going, by the time we hit the Fiesta because it was a bit of ways we were going 8 or 9 miles an hour. It was – it jerked me but anyway, they are working on this stuff, this bliss stuff that lets you know if there is a car in your blind spot and there is some really cool stuff in there, but the technology that you know I love the best in my Ford Mustang, they call it Ford SYNC, now they call it MYFORD TOUCH, it’s the amazing turn by turn directions, voice activated, music search, traffic alerts, audible text messages, 911 assist in the Ford Sync MYFORD TOUCH. It’s amazing, it’s amazing.
You know, essentially Ford made a very clever decision. They said we are going to build this capability into the car but it will use the capability of the phone, because these phones are getting upgraded all the time. So, as the phone capability is improved, automatically MYFORD TOUCH gets smarter. So for instance, I have the new Android Droid X, well, when a text message comes in and you could turn this off but I haven’t said so that MYFORD TOUCH says ping, there is a text message. I can say read it to me, it reads me the message then gives me a set of canned responses I could send back. All without taking my eyes off the road and my hands off the wheel, I mean it’s just fantastic.
Of course, if you get an iPod or iPhone with Bluetooth or it’s got an iPod USB connector so you can connect any device via USB, it will play the USB device – songs of course but it also – you can command a song. You can say play YouTube, and it will play YouTube. You can say play next, play more like that. You can say call John and it will call John. I mean it is so fantastic, works with your Bluetooth enabled phone. On most phones not only can you make calls but you can also listen to music. You get turn-by-turn directions without buying a more expensive GPS device with a big screen. You get personalized traffic alerts, it knows your route and it will send you traffic alerts as you go and even reroute you with turn-by-turn directions.
It is hands-free calling at its best. I want you to try it. Go to any Ford Lincoln and Mercury dealer say I want to see the SYNC, the MYFORD TOUCH or you can go to syncmyridepodcast.com to find out more. They’ve got lots of videos and demos and so forth. And next week, I think I’m going to talk about the Ford Edge because this is the – this is their highest tech vehicle. This car has every wonderful feature in there, I’m just really excited about it. Ford is taking the state-of-the-art to the next level.
MYFORD TOUCH at your Ford Lincoln or Mercury dealer or visit syncmyridepodcast.com.
John Graham-Cumming is here from jgc.org. He is a computer scientist, right? I mean you work in the computer business?
John Graham-Cumming I am a nerd.
Leo Laporte He’s a nerd. Also the author of The Geek Atlas which is a wonderful, beautiful book with a 128 – is that how many it is, beautiful geek sites that you should see?
John Graham-Cumming It is 128 places, yes.
Leo Laporte All the places you should get to.
John C. Dvorak I want to go. So this is off topic, I want to show you something.
Leo Laporte All right.
Tom Merritt We get off topic. We just came out of the ad.
John C. Dvorak Look.
Leo Laporte Don’t deny, John. Is that an avocado?
John C. Dvorak This is an avocado.
Tom Merritt Wow! It is a huge avocado you got there, John.
Leo Laporte That’s an alligator pear, it’s a Hass.
John C. Dvorak No, it doesn’t have any of those little bumps on it.
Leo Laporte Oh! What is it then?
John C. Dvorak It’s a Mexican avocado.
Leo Laporte Okay.
Tom Merritt You know what they say, the bigger the avocado…
John C. Dvorak I’ll tell you some of that, bet you this thing tastes like crap.
Leo Laporte Well, thanks for sharing it with us, John, go make us some guacamole [Indiscernible] (53:02) watch the baseball playoffs and TBS has ads for avocado, not like the brand just avocado.
John C. Dvorak Yes.
Leo Laporte Like who pays for that?
John C. Dvorak The avocado consul or the Hass company, which is not the same as the Avocado. It’s the name of some distributor.
Leo Laporte I don’t even understand it because I mean I grew avocados, we sold them in the store. I mean – aren’t there a million different avocado growers? Is there like one – is there like somebody who’s so big that it’s worth buying the baseball playoffs?
John C. Dvorak Who eats avocado outside of California?
Leo Laporte Oh! Maybe that’s the issue they are trying to…
Tom Merritt Are you kidding me?
John C. Dvorak Yes.
Tom Merritt All over the place.
John Graham-Cumming Everybody eats guacamole.
John C. Dvorak I’ve never seen a good avocado in New York.
Leo Laporte Guacamole, that what’s changed John.
Tom Merritt Well, there are other places besides New York in the world.
John C. Dvorak Really.
Tom Merritt All of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona…
Leo Laporte Yes, yes, guacamole. In Austin, they love the guac, don’t they?
John C. Dvorak You can’t find a good avocado in Wyoming.
Tom Merritt I don’t know. I’ve never looked for one. You may be right.
Leo Laporte That’s why they are buying the ads because they want the world to know.
John C. Dvorak And I’m looking at the chat room and here’s a guy Lenin 2010 says guacamole is nasty.
Leo Laporte See.
John C. Dvorak I mean, come on. How can that be?
Leo Laporte Were you the one who said avocado product doesn’t taste very good?
John C. Dvorak No, that avocado got to be a dog. Come on. It’s watery, tasteless.
Leo Laporte No, that looks – not all avocados are bumpy.
John C. Dvorak I know but very few of them that besides the Hass variety are – they have that intense avocado flavor.
Leo Laporte By the way, Woz is going to join me and Tom this week, Wednesday, 4:00 PM Pacific, 7:00 PM Eastern for one-on-one discussion.
Tom Merritt I guess it’s going to be at two-on-one discussion.
Leo Laporte That’s right. It’s kind of like that triangulate thing, John that we’re going to do. We’re going to start bringing in some big names. We got John Perry Barlow next week. We’re going to bring in some big names. Tom and I right after TNT, our week – our daily news hour which is by the way starts at 2:30 Pacific, 5:30 Eastern at live.twit.tv. So, Tom will do TNT and then we’ll come right out of it and we’ll be talking to the Woz. That’ll be fun. I look forward to it.
Tom Merritt Yes, I can’t wait.
Leo Laporte We’ve have had Woz on Wiz – on Wiz. We’ve had Woz on TWiT before but it really make sense just when you get somebody like that to just spend time with him and not actually ask him to talk about the tech news and stuff like that.
Tom Merritt Like comment on why Carol Bartz thinks Facebook is creepy.
Leo Laporte Yeah, does she?
Tom Merritt Apparently.
Leo Laporte I think Carol Bartz is creepy.
John C. Dvorak Here we go.
Tom Merritt She said in an interview that she thinks Facebook is creepy. I don’t care to find an old boyfriend one time just to see if they got fat and bald but then leave me alone. But I am old. That was a quote.
Leo Laporte The only thing that’s good about Carol Bartz – actually this is not the only thing but one of the great things about Carol Bartz, former Autodesk’s CEO and now CEO at Yahoo! is unlike most CEOs, she speaks her mind. And she even said FU to Mike Arrington which I thought was for her a very –
John C. Dvorak You’ve done that.
Leo Laporte Very small select group.
John C. Dvorak Well, I don’t think it is very small group to be honest about it.
Leo Laporte No, actually I started a Facebook group, people have said FU to Mike Arrington and there’s about 4,000 of us now. When you think it is Facebook groups, I’ve started – I have used them a couple of times, in fact I invited Tom. You are in the host, TWiT host group, that’s a private group –
John C. Dvorak I thought you quit Facebook, Leo.
Leo Laporte I had to go back because I couldn’t cover the damn story, John, right? I had to go back. You know when I went back John, is when they introduced places and I said, well, I can’t talk about places because I don’t have places and so I’m keeping my eyes on them. So I know what they are up to. That’s all. No, I admit, it’s kind of my tail between my legs. I have to say praise for Facebook. I’ll be the first to praise them for one of the things they did this week which was they announced that you can now download all of your Facebook content, there’s a big old zip file, it’s an html file with all the pictures, not only –
John C. Dvorak The biggest mistake they’ve ever made.
Leo Laporte I know. They opened the door, didn’t they? All the pictures and not only that but all the pictures other people have taken and tagged you in. Why is that a mistake, John?
John C. Dvorak Well, obviously you have that other movement going on in the open source Facebook and any competitor that comes along now, obviously, they have got this from the bloggers, the idea the bloggers, if you got – if you run TypePad you can export it to WordPress –
Leo Laporte Squarespace, export, yeah, yeah, yeah.
John C. Dvorak You can do all these kind of cool things. But they essentially had a captive audience and now they’re saying yeah, you can go wherever you want. Now you can quit our system when something better comes along, what kind of marketing idea is this?
Leo Laporte I think it is good marketing. It gives people – this is called responsible marketing instead of trying to trap people in your roach motel.
John C. Dvorak You already have them trapped. It’s not like you’re trying to do anything sneaky.
Leo Laporte That’s true. They’re already trapped…
John C. Dvorak They could’ve just said – they could’ve just ignored the idea.
Leo Laporte So, John you’re saying you have got them, why let them out?
John C. Dvorak Sorry?
Tom Merritt Well, MySpace didn’t stop, didn’t allow people to take their data with them and everybody left them anyway. And I don’t think most people are going to go to the trouble to export all of this data necessarily.
John C. Dvorak Let me write the date of this down, hold on a second, Tom. I need to write the date you just predicted that nothing is going to come up.
Tom Merritt 10/10/10. Well, it’s 10/10/10 in America but John, in England, you probably write it 10/10/10.
Leo Laporte Right.
John Graham-Cumming That’s correct, yes. Luckily, today is the one of those few days when we can agree on what the day is.
Leo Laporte And I suppose we should commemorate it because although this I think is stretching considerably 10/10/10 is binary for the number 42, which as everyone knows, is the answer to the question of life, the universe and everything.
Tom Merritt [indiscernible] (58:59) we can come to that answer today.
Leo Laporte You know like next year, 11/11/11, well that’s binary what, 128? Ooh.
Tom Merritt Why 128?
Leo Laporte Yeah.
John C. Dvorak 128, that’s the first memory that you have got in the original Macintosh!
Leo Laporte See, you see, you see, you see, you see? And then 12/12/12, that’s nothing.
John Graham-Cumming It’s not 128, Leo. It’s 127.
Leo Laporte I’m sorry.
Tom Merritt Ah, well.
John Graham-Cumming Sorry to write on you.
Leo Laporte Damn!
Tom Merritt 127 was the…
Leo Laporte Now wait a minute, John. Did you enter that into a calculator or you just knew that off the top of your head?
John Graham-Cumming I knew that off the top of my head.
Leo Laporte All right. He’s a geek.
John C. Dvorak That was a good idea.
Leo Laporte Seven 1s. Eight 1s is 256. So seven 1s – but eight 1s is not 256, it’s 255.
John C. Dvorak Well, somebody says it’s actually 63.
Leo Laporte Wait a minute is eight 1s – it’s six 1s is 63. It’s six 1s.
John C. Dvorak Yeah, 63.
Leo Laporte So it’s half of 128.
John C. Dvorak So we would like to find anyone who’s 63 years old on that day. That would be interesting.
Leo Laporte Yeah, you are 63 years old today on 10/10/10. Happy birthday. That’s all.
Tom Merritt 12/12/12 in base 2 is nothing. It doesn’t mean anything because…
Leo Laporte Because there’s no 2.
John C. Dvorak There’s no 2.
Tom Merritt …it’s base 2.
Leo Laporte Keith’s in here, Keith what birthday is this for you today. He’s 55. So if you’re 55 on10/10/10, nothing. You don’t get any prize or anything. But it is his birthday.
John C. Dvorak So let’s go to a couple of new stories that fascinate me.
Leo Laporte What fascinates you today, John C. Dvorak?
Leo Laporte Google’s response to Oracle’s Android patent lawsuit.
Leo Laporte Yeah. Did you like the response?
John C. Dvorak What was it?
Leo Laporte Well, this is Gizmodo – no Engadget writing we break it down and basically they broke it down into this one sentence. Google says Android doesn’t infringe on any of Oracle’s patents and even if it does, those patents are invalid and/or unenforceable for a variety of reasons anyway. So you know, shove it.
Tom Merritt We don’t violate any of your patents and even if we did, your patents suck.
Leo Laporte So there!
Tom Merritt Just take your bad patents and go home.
Leo Laporte Oracle and Sun …
John Graham-Cumming Especially how patent law works.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
John Graham-Cumming That’s how patents work, right? You just say, no, even if I did, no. And even if I did, no.
Leo Laporte Right. And then let the courts sort it out.
John C. Dvorak Yeah, unfortunately. So okay – so do we – moving on…
Leo Laporte So that’s it on that one. You’re done with that one now.
John C. Dvorak Do you know anything about thimbl.net?
Leo Laporte No. What is that?
John C. Dvorak It’s a decentralized Twitter. Anybody heard of this?
Leo Laporte Well, is there an E in it, or is it t-h-i-m-b-l?
John C. Dvorak Yep. Dot net.
Leo Laporte Thimbl with no E dot net, and the idea is it’s a manifesto; so it’s not actually doing anything. For the open web written in code, oh well, maybe it’s doing something.
Tom Merritt It’s not the Birchcroft Fine Bone China site then. You have to drop the E out of thimble.
Leo Laporte Ah, you see, you put a thimble in there. The more significant challenge, the open web will – I don’t know why everything is underlined on here. This is a bad sign. It’s not good.
John C. Dvorak Yeah, well at least it’s not all centered. That’s my favorite one.
Leo Laporte Yeah. It’s close, it’s close. They’ve got …
Tom Merritt How is this different from identi.ca?
Leo Laporte Yeah, identi.ca is – or status.net as it’s called, we’re going to actually move. We have a identi.ca blog, micro blog called The TWiT Army, army.twit.tv which we are going to move to status.net. They do hosting. Any how that’s the idea is it is federated so that in fact it works very well. If you want to follow something – it doesn’t work with Twitter or Facebook because they don’t have – they won’t open it up but if you want to follow somebody on status.net or identi.ca from our TWiT Army you just add their address and you are following, I mean, it’s in your stream.
Welcome to Thimbl, the free open source distributed micro-blogging platform. If you are tired of being locked into one – I might go there because you know what Twitter just did to me? Let me see it if it still happen.
John C. Dvorak What did they do to you now?
Leo Laporte Oh man!
John C. Dvorak They’ve been screwing you over, Leo.
Leo Laporte Oh, stop trying to start a fight. Let me see if it’s still that way.
John C. Dvorak It’s a fact.
John C. Dvorak So if you go to twitter.com/leolaporte that’s my tweets …
John C. Dvorak I am THErealDVORAK, by the way for anyone who wants to add me.
Leo Laporte So if you scroll back in time you get 6 October, 5 October, 3 October – oh, good, 1 October. They lost 2.5 – for a while they had lost 2.5 years worth of tweets. It looks like they are back though. Thank goodness. They had to do it before …..
John C. Dvorak Oh, you don’t want to lose those.
Leo Laporte For like several days – yeah, everything I…
John Graham-Cumming What was in that that was so important, Leo?
Leo Laporte I don’t know. I can’t see it. I tweet important – anyway it’s all back. Thank goodness. For a while they lost all my tweets for 2.5 years worth of tweets. But I am okay.
John Graham-Cumming But this Thimbl thing, do they actually have code, these Thimbl guys or are they just saying we want to make something free and open and arbitrary or something.
Leo Laporte You see, it’s a manifesto in code. So it’s like they have code.
Tom Merritt You have to allow scripts from Googleapis.com if you want it to show you any content though. That’s kind of a weird design choice.
Leo Laporte The whole thing is weird and it’s by a company called Telekommunisten.
John C. Dvorak Oh, the communists are at it.
Leo Laporte I think it’s communists.
Tom Merritt We still have communists?
Leo Laporte No.
John C. Dvorak Yeah. Let me just say the only entertainment you can get nowadays.
Leo Laporte What do you think of Google TV? I mean we’re looping around again, but $299 the Logitech Revue, it’s one of the units. There’s a Sony unit, presumably there’ll be others as well.
John C. Dvorak I saw this over at the developers – Intel Developers Conference a month or so ago, they had it. And it’s a harmony controller for one thing.
Leo Laporte Right.
John C. Dvorak Which is about $200 anyway. Those things are expensive.
Leo Laporte Well, so yeah, for 299 you are getting a very – well you can use your iPhone or your Android phone as a remote. That’s kind of cool. I ordered one just because we’ve got to talk about it. But I don’t know if would recommend anybody ordering at this point. What do you think, Tom?
Tom Merritt I think it’s early. Yeah, and I think I’ll probably get one just for the same reason. So I can play with it in my house and see how it works. But I don’t see this yet as the box. If I were to recommend to somebody right now, hey I want to get my parents something so that they can watch Internet video really easily, I’d get them a Roku.
Leo Laporte Yes. I’d agree.
Tom Merritt Because it’s small, it’s simple, it’s 60 bucks for the base one and it’s really that simple to teach somebody how to use it. The complications come in signing up for the service. If you sign them up for Netflix, you sign them up for Hulu, but once they are going with it, it just kind of works.
Google TV does a lot more and it’s a smarter bet because they can use it on different platforms it’s not locked into one box. But right now I don’t think it’s so dead simple for people.
Leo Laporte You know I think it’s a big deal that Hulu Plus is going to be on Roku. That means that Roku will have most of the content you would want. I mean you can watch us on Roku which is great. You’re going to watch Amazon, Netflix. It won’t have iTunes but the Apple TV has that and Netflix only.
What do you use, John? Do you have – do you do anything?
John C. Dvorak I have a Roku box I don’t use. I don’t use anything. I use the DVR from the DISH Network and that’s about it, but I am seriously thinking of going a little retro because they have new HDTV channels that are apparently quite nice. I think and I want somebody to send me some literature or some recommendations because I know some of the listeners out there do this. I want to go with a big C band dish.
Leo Laporte You get them cheap right now. They are cheap.
Tom Merritt You just want to catch the people – the feeds of the folks talking when they are off the air.
John C. Dvorak They still do that. Yeah. You could still…
Leo Laporte Do they still do that? I thought they started scrambling that.
John C. Dvorak I have a pad in the backyard. I can put a big C band dish on there and, Leo, you’re out in the sticks. You should have two of them. And we can get the real deal, the real big – the bandwidth there with that big dish.
Leo Laporte A C-band dish.
Tom Merritt In all seriousness, that is the best way to get access to all the content. The problem with it is you can’t get it on-demand, you have to wait until it gets broadcast and then DVR it. What the box that we’re waiting for should do is allow you to see what’s being broadcast right now from your C band dish or whatever and be able to get Hulu, Netflix, essentially every online video version of every show that’s available. Nobody’s going to be able to do that unless you get licensing cleared up. Even – Google’s got a great interface here, but as long as the licensing windows are so messed up where not everything is available from everybody at every point, it’s hopeless and you are stuck just watching it on broadcast and recording.
Leo Laporte I am going to get Charles Babbage’s analytical engine to power my TV.
John Graham-Cumming Just wait.
Leo Laporte All I to have to put – I have to put wood – we’ll watch TV in a moment, I’ve got to fire up the boilers honey.
Tom Merritt That’s right.
Leo Laporte Practically like that right now. I mean, my wife is so mad at me because she says, I just want to watch TV. How do I watch TV? She cannot watch TV unless I am there, because it requires the use of three separate remotes. And I don’t think – I don’t see a Google TV really changing that. In fact now you’ve got a keyboard a mouse, I mean, oh honey, it’s no problem. You just go to the command prompt and type CDNBC and you’ll find all of the – just do an LS there, you’ll find all of the NBC shows listed. And when you want to run one, it’s run-tq space and then the name of the show. If you want to run it in widescreen then another dash ws; I think she’ll like that or maybe we can do it all on Python.
Tom Merritt If there’s anything friends and family members love, it’s learning command switches.
Leo Laporte I’m convinced – I know, my wife is convinced and I am convinced she’s probably right, it’s just a plot by geeks to make it so that you can’t watch TV without them. You watch TV without me?
John C. Dvorak So there are up to 259 donations already for the analytical engine.
Leo Laporte That’s good. We’ve doubled….
Tom Merritt It’s wonderful.
John C. Dvorak My advice, take the money and run.
Leo Laporte No, he doesn’t get any money, right?
John Graham-Cumming I don’t get any money.
Leo Laporte You don’t get any money unless you get 50,000 people and then what happens? You get to check?
John C. Dvorak And then half of them will forget what it was for.
Leo Laporte Right.
John Graham-Cumming That’s all right. I’ll go back and I’ll [indiscernible] (70:04) forget.
John C. Dvorak Find a millionaire.
Leo Laporte Find a millionaire is always the best idea. We are going to take a break, come back. When we do, Mark Zuckerberg finally saw the Facebook movie. We’ll tell you what he thought in just a little bit. But first, I want to talk about audible.com, a great place to go to get your audio entertainment. I am a huge Audible fan. I think you know that. I listen to Audible all the time.
Right now – and it’s because of you, I blame you for this one, Tom, I am listening to what will probably be the longest series I have ever listened to, The Dark Tower series by Stephen King. Just completing the first one, The Gunslinger; you never listened to it either, had you?
Tom Merritt I have it, and I have yet to start because we are doing T.H. White on Sword and Laser. So that’s my current audio book.
Leo Laporte Oh, E.V. White you mean? T.H. White.
Tom Merritt T.H. White, The Once and Future King –
Leo Laporte The Once and Future King.
Tom Merritt Which is sold on Audible if you are looking for it in the three parts because it was originally put out as three different books.
Leo Laporte Oh, interesting. So you have to buy it as three different books?
Tom Merritt Right.
Leo Laporte The Once and Future King is one of the best books I have ever read. It’s the story of – it’s one of many stories about Arthurian legend. I am actually surprised that Veronica let you do that.
Tom Merritt She actually was – it was a vote. It was a fan vote. And she actually honed in The Princess Bride as a second selection.
Leo Laporte Because I know she loves the fact that you know everything there is to know about Arthurian legend. But I have a feeling –
Tom Merritt I wish I did.
Leo Laporte Well, you know, I don’t see it on Audible. You sure it’s on Audible?
Tom Merritt Look for The Sword in the Stone.
Leo Laporte They call it The Sword in the Stone?
Tom Merritt That’s the name of the first book.
Leo Laporte I get it. Because The Once and Future King is the full set.
Tom Merritt But you just search for T.H. White, you will find it.
Leo Laporte I see it here. I didn’t put in the dots. So there’s The Sword in the Stone, The Witch in the Wood and The Ill-Made Knight, and The Candle in the Wind.
Tom Merritt That’s the second book.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Tom Merritt It’s actually two combined.
Leo Laporte So I can see why it’s three books because these are a total of 32 hours.
Tom Merritt Yeah, it’s quite a toll. It’s like Lord of the Rings. That was actually the opposite. Tolkien conceived it as one book, and they made him break it up into three, because they’re so –
Leo Laporte Right, this is I would say the best written – best – the best example of Arthurian legend. I just loved it, T.H. White, one of our best writers. Didn’t he write The Making of the President as well? Is that him? I think so. Let’s listen to a little of The Sword in the Stone here.
Leo Laporte Do you find this pretty easy to listen? It seems it would be very fun and easy to listen to.
Tom Merritt Yeah, and it’s the right kind of reader for that story.
Leo Laporte Oh, yeah, you got to have somebody very British, The Sword in the Stone…
John C. Dvorak Can you look at my book that I am – my current favorite book?
Leo Laporte Yeah.
John C. Dvorak Just came out. I know it’s on Kindle but I haven’t seen the – I don’t know if it’s on Audible. But this is a book I recommend.
Leo Laporte How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st –
John C. Dvorak Nullification is the name of the book.
Leo Laporte Oh, Nullification. Isn’t that a crack-pot theory?
John C. Dvorak It’s not a theory, it’s the tenth amendment.
Leo Laporte All right, it is on Audible if you want to listen to it. So we’ll have two recommendations, The Sword and the Laser – Sword and Laser, book of the month, which is The Once and Future King. Search for The Sword in the Stone, it’s all there. And then Nullification: How to Resist Federal – let’s just listen to what Alan Sklar sounds like. “So Sir Hector said, it’s the Tenth Amendment!” Let’s see what he says.
Leo Laporte What is Nullification, John?
John C. Dvorak Nullification is based on the tenth amendment, which says that the state law unless it’s specifically in the constitution, state law trumps federal law in all cases in federal laws that are either unconstitutional or – say, for example, legalize marijuana in California, proposition 19, that violates –
Leo Laporte I was just thinking that’s what you are doing here.
John C. Dvorak That violates –
Leo Laporte Federal law.
John C. Dvorak Federal law, but as a state law, it trumps the federal law because it’s not in the constitution. That’s why they passed the Volstead Act for prohibition –
Leo Laporte There had to be a federal law.
John C. Dvorak To make it constitutional.
Leo Laporte Right, had to be a constitutional amendment.
John C. Dvorak Right, so when 19 passes, if it passes, it should –
Leo Laporte I think it’s gone.
John C. Dvorak The Feds are going to probably sue the State of California claiming that oh, you can’t do that because we have a federal law that says marijuana is illegal. And the whole thing is all based on the tenth amendment that California is within its rights to do that.
Leo Laporte But that’s not really what this is all about?
John C. Dvorak Yes, that’s what it’s about.
Leo Laporte What, it really all – it’s not about marijuana?
John C. Dvorak Yeah.
Leo Laporte Come on.
John C. Dvorak Okay, it’s about – a lot of this is basically about the states telling the Feds to shove it.
Leo Laporte Yeah, I guess it could be whatever your agenda happens to be.
John C. Dvorak Well, in my case I have none.
Leo Laporte Well, you might like this then, The Manchurian President: Barack Obama’s Ties to Communists, Socialists and Other Anti-American Extremists, also on Audible.
John C. Dvorak I already read the Malkin book. What else can they say?
Leo Laporte [Laughter] The beauty of this is Audible has books on politics from both sides of the aisle or sometimes completely off the aisle. I don’t know where the hell this one is. And this is the beauty of it. You can hear opinions, facts. This is – the great thing about Audible is you are learning in the time that you spend driving home on your commute or doing the housework or at the gym. I listen at the gym every single day. That gives me an hour a day of reading. I am getting great reading.
You know what I do is I alternate because sometimes I listen to a book like this and I get all steamed. And then I listen to a little bit of fiction like The Gunslinger or The Sword in the Stone. And then I feel much better. And then I listen to another book I get very steamed. And then I listen to some fiction. I go back and forth. Believe it or not, two books a month is not enough for me. I love Audible.
But I am going to set you up here with the platinum account. That’s two books a month. It’s a good way to start. The first month is free. That means you are going to get two books absolutely free. They are yours to keep forever. You can cancel it anytime. But it’s a good way of getting introduced. So why don’t we give you two books. We’ll give you The Sword in the Stone. That will make you smile and also get you ready for The Sword and the Laser, and Nullification by Thomas E. Woods, How to – I actually want to listen this, John, because I am looking forward to fighting the Feds.
John C. Dvorak I’m telling you, you would be a convert.
Leo Laporte No, I think this is – I think I am a favorer of states’ rights. I think that’s appropriate. It’s in the tenth amendment as you said. How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century, we’ll find out more about that, 4.5 stars on this one. People like this book.
Audible.com/twit2, give it a try. I think you will like it. All kinds of books, fiction, non-fiction, classic, sci-fi, self-help, there’s books for teens and young adults. There’s books for little kids too; audible.com/twit2. And if you are in the UK as our good friend, who is gone now, John Graham-Cumming is.
John Graham-Cumming I am here.
Leo Laporte But your picture has disappeared. There it is.
John Graham-Cumming I will reappear. Here I am.
Leo Laporte As John – oh, I hear the analytic engine running in the basement.
John C. Dvorak It’s the washing machine.
Leo Laporte If you are in the UK, there is Audible UK but the books are different and so forth and some of the offers may be different but it’s worth a try, absolutely.
Tom Merritt Books are all in English too.
Leo Laporte That’s one of the things I like about the Audible UK, folks. Audible.com/twit2; we thank them so much for their support. So Mark Zuckerberg said, I am not going to see The Social Network. He said I will never see that. I don’t want to.
John C. Dvorak Yeah, big talk.
Leo Laporte Yeah, yeah. Well, it was a big talk apparently. He shut down the Facebook offices, bought out a theater so they wouldn’t see him cry.
And took the entire Facebook staff of four or 500 people to see the movie. I think that’s kind of interesting. Apparently…
John C. Dvorak Did they boo?
Leo Laporte Well here is – we don’t know because there is no spy in there. But this is – this is an article published by Lucy McDonald, showbiz correspondent for Sky News. She says, Jesse Eisenberg, who plays Mark in the film, has a cousin who is a senior staffer at Facebook, of all things, and he is close to Mark. Afterwards he emailed Jesse to say Mark really liked the parts of the movie he agreed with. This is a quote. This is actually Aaron Sorkin talking. So we don’t know. We don’t know what he agreed with. And I think there – everybody knows that there are things in the movie that never happened.
John C. Dvorak Do you know that movie was sped up to meet time requirements?
Leo Laporte Really? How do you know that John?
John C. Dvorak They used two technologies, they used both the – the fact that they – you change the frame rate and you keep the voices exactly the same so it sounds natural. And then they also – they also – they pulled frames out to give it kind of a more hectic quality.
Leo Laporte You know, it’s funny you should say that.
John C. Dvorak It’s actually a three-hour movie.
Leo Laporte It’s funny you should say that because it felt that way to me. And I thought I was just Aaron Sorkin’s boom-boom-boom writing.
John C. Dvorak No.
Leo Laporte It felt hectic to me. It felt sped up to me. It felt it was – I was anxious.
John C. Dvorak It was sped up. It was unnaturally fast.
Leo Laporte You know we had Dana Brunetti, the producer of the film from Trigger Street on net@night last week. I should have asked him about that. That’s fascinating. I had no idea. I’ll send him an e-mail and ask him to confirm or deny it.
John C. Dvorak Yeah.
Leo Laporte I wouldn’t – it was – it seems like it should have been a longer movie. It seemed little frantic.
John C. Dvorak Yeah, apparently the producer – whoever was at the top of the studio said, hey this movie we can’t have it that long, so listen I have an idea, let’s just speed it up.
Leo Laporte Have you all seen it? You liked it?
Tom Merritt I saw it, yeah.
Leo Laporte What do you think, Tom?
Tom Merritt I thought it was a great movie if you don’t care anything about the Facebook story or social networking, you are not in social media, you are not inside the bubble, great movie, well written, well shot, all that, very nice story. If you were going to it wanting to see the story of Facebook, well like many Hollywood movies you are not really going to see that. There is a lot of gaping holes in it and Sorkin modified things to make a good story, and he made a good story. But it’s not a biography, it’s not as true to the Facebook situation as – I put it on Twitter, it’s like as the Lion in Winter is to Henry II.
Leo Laporte Right.
Tom Merritt The social network is the Mark Zuckerberg.
Leo Laporte This is why I follow Tom on Twitter. It’s abstruse solutions like that bring his Twitter feed the life.
John C. Dvorak Somebody in the chatroom asked the rhetorical question, Chatroulette in 3D?
Leo Laporte Don’t know what to say about that.
John Graham-Cumming No.
John C. Dvorak Sorry, I just saw it, thought it was funny I guess.
Leo Laporte Facebook did – we started talking about it, I didn’t get to finish – I mentioned that the – their download thing, but they also added Facebook Groups; we’ve been using Groups as I said, but there is a flaw in Groups which a number of people have pointed out is that you – anybody can add you to a group, well not anybody, any of your friends can add you to a group. Somebody added Jason Calacanis to a group called NAMBLA, not the same NAMBLA – not the National Association for Man/Boy Love, but a group created specifically for the purpose of embarrassing people. Now this is a problem because Jason added – I think he was like me with Facebook originally, he added anybody who asked to be a friend, so he has the 5,000 friends, the limit, and obviously they are not really friends. Facebook’s point of view is, look, if you make somebody your friend, that means you trust them enough to not add you to groups you shouldn’t been added to. And therein lies the problem. Not only that, once you get added to a group, you get a ton of email from that group. Are you on Facebook John? Because I tried to find you so I could add you to a group.
John C. Dvorak Sorry, no.
Leo Laporte Damn.
John C. Dvorak For that reason alone.
Leo Laporte I had some good groups I was subscribing to. Tom, you’ve had – I’m sure you’ve had this happen, now people have added you to groups. Have you noticed the sudden flood of email? It’s the only notice you get.
Tom Merritt The only groups I’ve been added to were by you.
John C. Dvorak Thanks, Leo.
Tom Merritt No, because about a year or so ago I changed how I use Facebook because I saw them starting to integrate this data into more and more places. I said I can’t use this as an open like I’ll let anyone follow me, I’ll follow anyone sort of situation. It’s becoming too personal not by my own choice but by the way Facebook is saying we are going to use your contact list, we are going to make it integrated into this and that. And I’m like, wait a minute, I don’t want that. So I went through and I purged my friend list of anyone that I didn’t actually know. And most people understood, a few people who got their nose bent out of shape, but after I explained like, hey it’s nothing against you, I’m – just the way Facebook is using this data now, I need to make sure I protect it. And I’m glad I did that because now with this groups thing, I haven’t been added to any groups because I don’t – I’m not like Calacanis where he’s got everybody that he can possibly up to the 5,000 person max follow. And so, so far my friends have not been that funny.
John C. Dvorak That killed the show.
Leo Laporte Well I’m just thinking about this whole idea, you know this is – I think the reason Facebook does this is because there is a lot more – well, first of all remember that Google presentation they did in Europe where it say, here is the problem with friends is that there isn’t just one monolithic group of friends, there is different kinds of friends, there is coworkers, there is people you went to school with, there is people you hang out at the bras with, there is different kinds of friends and perhaps these groups don’t really – shouldn’t really overlap. If you are a school teacher for instance and you have some of your students or friends because you want to mentor them, you may not want to have pictures of you at the bar sent to them. So I think Facebook realizing that they needed to address this issue because the way it is on Facebook up to now has been you are either a friend or not, right, there is no – so they made Friend Lists but then Mark Zuckerberg quite rightly realized nobody ever wants to make lists, that’s a pain in the ass. So they created these Groups. And I think the Groups actually do exactly what they wanted because you don’t have to do all the work. Your friends can help add people to the Groups, you can – the Groups kind of form themselves naturally and now you can have a group of school chums that sees pictures that are different from the group of bar mates. And I think that’s a good way to do it. I just think that they have to tweak a little bit because it is sending a lot of email and maybe a little of a surprise.
Tom Merritt Well, not everybody has been using Facebook the way [indiscernible] (85:00) would like them too.
Leo Laporte Well, that’s the real problem. That’s the real problem, isn’t it? Yeah.
John Graham-Cumming I did a very similar thing, which is I deleted everybody who wasn’t an actual friend or family from Facebook and that was most of my friends were colleagues and I decided I put people who are colleagues on LinkedIn and they could save me there and anybody who wanted to deal with me in public on Twitter. So I just used three different services, and on Facebook it’s totally friends and family. Because I think this dividing into groups is just way too complicated, I’m bound to accidentally send a picture of me completely drunk to all my coworkers, it’s just going to happen.
Leo Laporte Well we don’t have to ask what Facebook’s motivation is it’s much – it’s just more information about your social graph, who you know, who you don’t know and how you’re related to them. And the more they get of that, the more valuable that information is. I mean it’s –
John C. Dvorak Can you opt out of Groups?
Leo Laporte I don’t believe you can. Oh yes, you can. Wait a minute, I take that back. I think there is a button that says I will not be part of Groups. Let me see.
Tom Merritt But I think it’s all of them at once, not –
Leo Laporte Right.
Tom Merritt It’s an all or nothing proposition.
Leo Laporte You can quit a group.
Tom Merritt You can quit a group but you can – I think you can block and say, don’t ever add me to a group, but you can’t say, make me – allow me to approve every group before I’m added to it. If you’re added to a group by a friend –
Leo Laporte I wish you can do that, yeah. They did really need a setting for that.
John Graham-Cumming We’ve been through that with e-mail, right, with e-mail lists, the – getting added to them or actually opting into them. I think Facebook probably ought to make this an opt-in thing where you say, do you want to be a part of this group and you confirm it.
Leo Laporte You know already there is going to be an interesting use of this, there is a Robert Scoble started a couple of groups, one called Tech Leaders and Influencers, and one called Tech News Bloggers. And Facebook responded to these criticisms within the Tech News Bloggers, I mean what a great way for Facebook to go right to the people who are talking about this issue, and –
Tom Merritt Were they members or they just spying on the group?
Leo Laporte That’s a good question. I presume they were – that’s a very good question, I am going to presume that they didn’t violate any rules when they actually were asked to join the group. Maybe they asked Robert, hey can you add me to the group so I can respond to it. But it was actually – they said, well here’s our thinking, here’s something we’ve never heard from Facebook before, here’s why we implemented at this way and they said, it’s – we think it’s kind of like an e-mail list where – or e-mail, you don’t ask to be added to e-mail you just – you get an e-mail, somebody – an e-mail thread, and somebody adds you to the thread, you cc it and then you’re part of that thread. I am not sure I agree with their logic but what I found interesting was that they had thought about this quite a bit and tried to figure out what’s the best way to implement it. And you can imagine how difficult it is to implement something like this.
John C. Dvorak I’ve got – I don’t just jump into a new topic –
Leo Laporte Go ahead. We’re done with this one. New topic.
John C. Dvorak Adobe, Microsoft – anybody have any thoughts on this?
Leo Laporte I think it’s bogus. Tom, you covered this when it was breaking news that Adobe – that Microsoft might be acquiring Adobe, they haven’t meeting with Adobe.
Tom Merritt Yeah, well that’s the – the actual story is that, Steve Ballmer and the CEO of Adobe had a closed-door meeting, it’s reported that they talked about ways of partnering and then somebody, somewhere speculated that maybe they talked about buying, because well there’s one way of partnering is Microsoft buys Adobe and then it just all went off from there, it’s not.
John C. Dvorak My understanding of the story was Ballmer made some allusion to it.
Tom Merritt I never saw a quote, maybe I missed it, but I never saw –
Leo Laporte Well first of all, this will be a huge purchase – I mean how much is Adobe worth? I mean we are talking of big, big purchase – not that Microsoft couldn’t do it –
John C. Dvorak Not as much as Yahoo! 20 billion.
Leo Laporte 20 billion.
Tom Merritt Yeah, so it’s not an easy acquisition, especially from a company that hasn’t acquired publicly any company this year, they’ve done like some small acquisitions but they haven’t made a big deal about. But there hasn’t been anything newsworthy that they’ve acquired all year long. Maybe they are saving up for Adobe, I don’t know.
John C. Dvorak Well the reason for that Tom is, because they’re still wiping their brows saying, wow we just dodged a bullet with that Yahoo!
Leo Laporte We almost bought Yahoo!
Tom Merritt They woke up with their hangover and were like, what did I – I almost bought Yahoo! last night.
Leo Laporte Yeah, no kidding.
John Graham-Cumming I think it would be a good think actually if Microsoft bought Adobe because they would concentrate all the really bad security vulnerabilities in one company.
Leo Laporte That’s what we need to do, it would sure help users. It would be bad for Apple though, it would be really a quite a challenge to Apple because Adobe publishes the most – some of the most – well between Adobe and Microsoft probably three-quarters of the Apple software marketplace between Office, Photoshop –
John C. Dvorak But it brings us to the real point here which is Microsoft trying to shove Phone 7 down everyone’s throat, anybody think of – have any thoughts on where that’s headed?
Leo Laporte We’re going to cover – we’ve decided to cover even though I have to get up very early in the morning to do it, because it’s 6:30 –
John C. Dvorak In New York?
Leo Laporte Yeah at 6:30 Pacific Time, 9:30 Eastern tomorrow morning, Microsoft will stream this live, Tom you want to come in early, you don’t have to.
Tom Merritt I missed that e-mail.
Leo Laporte Yeah, I’ll be sitting here in my jammies and –
John C. Dvorak Microsoft – let me get this straight Leo, Microsoft’s going to be streaming it live to the West Coast at 6:30 in the morning, this is their idea of good marketing, right?
Leo Laporte They hadn’t really thought about it, they said, well it’s 9:30 in New York, they hadn’t really thought about it obviously.
John C. Dvorak It’s a Seattle company, people that even work at Microsoft won’t be seeing it.
Leo Laporte Well I mean, yeah. It does seem odd. But we will be here. I’ll turn on the cameras, we’ll stream – I may not look too clean shaven but we will stream it live and I’ll do what we do traditionally with this kind of breaking news which is commentary. Paul Thurrott will be there so we will get him on after the event and ask his opinion, he’s written the book on Windows Phone 7. I – you know John, everybody I know who’s seen Windows Phone 7 kind of likes it.
John C. Dvorak You know I believe this is probably a good product but that doesn’t mean anything.
Leo Laporte It’s too late, is that what you’re saying?
John C. Dvorak It’s a too little too late, they still probably not going to have to display the Apple has and they are so far behind in the – on the curve even though they invented the entire market which is the irony here. They are so far behind on the curve with the new – the new paradigm for these things that I don’t see how they can catch up and I think it’s already too late. I think they are locked out.
Leo Laporte You know who really doesn’t like Microsoft right now? The folks who do Angry Birds, Rovio Mobile, which is a Finnish company, observed in Microsoft ad – online ad copy where they were showing icons for apps, the Angry Birds icon. Rovio said, hey they didn’t ask our permission, we aren’t currently developing for Windows Phone 7, we don’t know if we will develop for Windows Phone 7. We think it’s foul play to show the Angry Birds icon in an ad for Windows Phone 7. I kind of agree this is the hottest app on iPhone, on iPad and now on Android and this is obviously Microsoft saying, hey here we got that too but they don’t. They tweeted it’s – they are not presently committed to bringing the game to Windows Phone and the icon is being used in Microsoft marketing completely without permission. Oops.
John C. Dvorak Well there you have it.
Leo Laporte Oops.
John C. Dvorak In a nutshell.
Leo Laporte That’s a good way to piss off the number one developer for games. Microsoft sent a note to Engadget saying, it appears information was mistakenly posted to Microsoft’s website and has been removed. And of course the offending logo is now gone, but thanks to Engadget we have a screen capture that will live forever.
Tom Merritt Microsoft do that out of arrogance you think – just?
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Tom Merritt They won’t care, they love the free publicity.
John C. Dvorak That’s very common to Microsoft, yes.
Leo Laporte They probably assume, hey we’re going to be a huge platform, of course they are going to develop for us.
John C. Dvorak Well there is a story that goes along with that, if you want to hear it.
Leo Laporte Yes I do.
John C. Dvorak So when we licensed PC Magazine to Brazil for the first time, I went down there and hung out with the guy who was the publisher, who apparently was a world-class surfboard – whatever you do when you have this surfboard, I don’t know anyway...
Leo Laporte Surfer, we call it. You mean wind surfer?
John C. Dvorak Yeah, wind surfer, world-class.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
John C. Dvorak So anyway he brings up the story about Microsoft because he’s getting advertisements for the first few issues and the Microsoft guy comes in and he says here’s the ads I want to put in, I want this ad, this ad and this ad, I want it on page four, and I want this and that. And so the guys says, okay, well this is going to cost – no, no, no, we’re not going to pay for these ads. And he says, what you mean I am not going to pay for these ads? He says, no, you have to put these ads in because no one is going to think you are a credible magazine unless you have Microsoft ads in your magazine.
Leo Laporte Fair, fair try. Did he do it?
John C. Dvorak No, he told them to screw themselves and slammed the door on them.
Leo Laporte And did people believe that it was a credible magazine without Microsoft ads?
John C. Dvorak Stuck around for a number of years and then now he’s done.
Leo Laporte I would be – I would be incensed by such arrogance.
John C. Dvorak He was incensed. That’s why he told me the story knowing I would repeat it.
Leo Laporte Yeah, I mean that is fairly arrogant. Although it’s a reasonable try.
John C. Dvorak Yeah, I guess [indiscernible] (94:11) could give it a shot.
Leo Laporte You can give it a shot. It didn’t pan out but you can’t fault them for –
John C. Dvorak Yeah, you can’t fault the guys for trying.
Leo Laporte Trying. Hey, give us a free ad. Look, you don’t ask.
Tom Merritt Well they need it.
Leo Laporte Yeah, like they need it. You don’t ask, you don’t get, right. It’s just that simple. This was a crazy day on Wednesday. So Google TV announcement from Logitech, Facebook announces Groups and this download thing, and then Cisco same day, same time – and all of this by the way happening in San Francisco has a press conference announcing ūmi, perhaps the worst name I have ever heard.
Tom Merritt And it’s not even ume, right, it’s ūmi.
Leo Laporte ūmi, so everybody is saying oomi, ooma –
John C. Dvorak Oomi.
Leo Laporte Oomi.
Tom Merritt Oprah.
Leo Laporte Oprah. Well, if you look at the advertising –
John C. Dvorak Isn’t this some sort of fish roe that’s kind of gooey?
Leo Laporte Yeah, that’s what – who said that that sounded like as a bad sushi? I think Molly Wood. It’s got one of those bars over the u. So you know you are pronouncing that long. So that’s u.
John C. Dvorak Oh, yeah, all Americans know that.
Leo Laporte But they –
Tom Merritt Well, they do because of Mötley Crüe.
Leo Laporte Right, Crüe. No, it’s not an umlaut.
John C. Dvorak No, it’s not an umlaut, it’s a long…
Leo Laporte And they neglected to tell us how to pronounce the “i”. So really they have left it up to us, whether it’s ūmi, umy, could be either.
Tom Merritt I would say ūmi looking at that.
John C. Dvorak I would say ūmi.
Leo Laporte Oh, you’d be wrong. See that long bar over the u means it’s a long u, it’s ūmi.
Tom Merritt When I was in grammar school, I was taught that means oo.
John C. Dvorak Y-O-U?
Leo Laporte You were taught that means oo?
Tom Merritt Yeah, and then a smiley face above it means aa.
Leo Laporte That’s a short u.
Tom Merritt Yeah.
Leo Laporte Is the smiley face, and a bar is a long u.
Tom Merritt Which is oo.
Leo Laporte Is oo?
Tom Merritt Yeah.
Leo Laporte Long u is oo?
Tom Merritt Yeah.
John C. Dvorak Yeah, I think it is. I think Tom is right.
Leo Laporte Oh, then they are really screwed up.
John C. Dvorak I would pronounce it oomi.
Leo Laporte Okay, let me ask the chat room. Are there any English teachers, sixth or fifth grade English teachers in the chat room?
Tom Merritt We have a native English speaker. We should ask him?
Leo Laporte Are there any native English speakers in the chat room?
John Graham-Cumming What I’d say is $599 for a video conferencing thing seems like a lot of money.
Leo Laporte I guess we really won’t have to learn the name at all.
John C. Dvorak Now we change the name to you-gypped.
Leo Laporte Not only is it 599 to buy it but you pay $30 a month to use it.
John C. Dvorak Oh, that’s no good.
Leo Laporte It’s 26 – $26 a month to use it.
John C. Dvorak Can’t you use Skype for free?
Leo Laporte Yes.
John C. Dvorak And it works on a computer. You don’t need this device.
John Graham-Cumming I think it sounds like they woke up in sort of 1985 and thought, wow, video conferencing is going to be this thing of the future and that – didn’t realize it’s already been done.
Tom Merritt There is this mistaken belief and this is in the Skype TV as well that you want to use your television for calling people because your television has video on it. So isn’t that great? I am going to call grandma on my TV.
Leo Laporte No, you are not.
John C. Dvorak Hey, Tom. Do you remember when there was a – Leo, you probably remember this. There was a bunch of televisions that were brought out in the 70s that you run your phone through and when the phone would ring, it would interrupt the TV show and you talk, you wouldn’t –
Leo Laporte Just what I want.
John C. Dvorak But you can talk over the TV. It was ridiculous.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Tom Merritt It’s like caller ID on your DIRECTV.
Leo Laporte Yeah, I remember that, yeah.
John C. Dvorak And now the murder is – ring.
Leo Laporte Ring, ring. Hi, honey. Are you doing anything?
Tom Merritt That was before DVRs when you couldn’t even rewind.
John C. Dvorak Right.
Leo Laporte Now you can’t call a ūmi from your PC. We’ve actually bought a ūmi in order to – well, just because we thought, well, maybe if it’s – like maybe it’s so good. Oh great, this is what everybody wants to watch, you doing a limbo party, oh.
John Graham-Cumming Yeah.
Tom Merritt Flying boxes.
Leo Laporte And then – oh, never miss a thing. Well, I didn’t miss that.
John C. Dvorak Cisco has got their heads up their ass when it comes to marketing. Their latest thing – obviously somebody has a – what’s the name of that girl who was in Juno, the actress?
Leo Laporte Oh, those are the worst ads I have ever seen.
John C. Dvorak Ellen Page.
Leo Laporte Ellen Page.
John C. Dvorak All this says to me is there is somebody in the marketing department who’s got a crush on Ellen Page.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
John C. Dvorak And so they hired her to do these ads. It’s idiotic.
Leo Laporte They are terrible ads. Let’s just watch one. Just – oh, it’s knocked down everything. Let’s just watch one just so you get an idea of how awful these ads are. This is Ellen Page.
That’s great. My local police are watching me –
John C. Dvorak Spying.
Leo Laporte Spying on me with a Cisco system and they are showing Ellen Page how it works. Come on in, Ellen!
John C. Dvorak Right, exactly. Look, here’s Leo’s bedroom.
Leo Laporte What the hell? I don’t want that. By the way, who is that ad for? Is it for police departments?
Tom Merritt I’m glad I’m an omega. I’d hate to be an alpha.
John Graham-Cumming So in Britain we’ve got CCTV cameras everywhere. And in fact, there is a plan that’s being talked about where the actual citizens can watch the CCTV cameras and report crime to get cash.
Leo Laporte Oh, yeah.
John Graham-Cumming Cash rewards. So, we’re on the – if you want the bleeding edge of the big brother state, come to Britain.
Leo Laporte Cash rewards, let me just check by the way.
John Graham-Cumming Cash rewards.
Leo Laporte 277 people have now pledged to babbage. We only need 49,723 more. Please, please give generously. Give generously.
Tom Merritt Give till it hurts.
John C. Dvorak It’s like the countdown to Bernie Madoff being let go.
Leo Laporte You know what happened? I have lost control of the switcher. I can’t get rid of this picture.
Help me. Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. I don’t know what’s happened. I pushed the button. You just kind of have to watch this.
John C. Dvorak You pushed the wrong button. You didn’t push it.
Leo Laporte I pushed – I can’t – we’re stuck on that page. I can’t do anything.
John C. Dvorak It’s a special page. It sticks you.
Leo Laporte I don’t know what I did.
John Graham-Cumming You need to put more coal.
Tom Merritt There it is.
Leo Laporte Oh, there it is. Thank goodness.
John Graham-Cumming Here I am.
Leo Laporte Oh, that was painful. I don’t know. I clicked a button. Well, now I know what that button does.
John C. Dvorak Oh, you just pushed a random button just to see what it does?
Leo Laporte No, I accidentally clicked it. Whatever you do, do not push that button.
John C. Dvorak Okay, what do you got there, Leo that you hung there? You didn’t hang it there for not to get some attention? What is that?
Leo Laporte No, no, it’s just a – well, we had a visitor from Kuala Lumpur, KL, as he calls it.
John C. Dvorak Yes, KL.
Leo Laporte He’s wanted you to go to Kuala Lumpur for some time. And you refused. So he gave me this little handicraft wood placard that says TWiT.
John C. Dvorak I refused what?
Leo Laporte Well, he told me that he couldn’t get you to KL.
John C. Dvorak I have been to KL.
Leo Laporte Oh, there you go.
John C. Dvorak I would go back in a minute. It’s a fantastic place.
Leo Laporte Daniel, he would go back in a minute.
John C. Dvorak I would.
Leo Laporte He is the host of This Week in Asia, which is not an affiliate of –
John C. Dvorak Is that one of your shows?
Leo Laporte No, I don’t know anything about it. But I don’t – but see, I don’t mind if Daniel does that show. I think it’s a good thing. Let’s see here. North Korea, as long as we’re in Asia opens up the Internet for a national anniversary. Isn’t that nice of them? North Korea appears to have made its first full connection to the Internet. The connection, planning for which has been going on –
John C. Dvorak Is this a steam connection?
Leo Laporte For at least nine months. It took them nine months, came as the reclusive country, prepares to mark the 65th anniversary of the founding of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea with a massive celebration and military parade.
Tom Merritt An analytical engine is powering you.
Leo Laporte They have a total of, get this 1024 Internet addresses. They have been reserved for North Korea but never used, what is that, a class G?
John Graham-Cumming I think its NK.
Leo Laporte I’ve got more addresses on my Cisco router, other North Korea linked websites operate from locations outside the country via direct connections to the China Internet, but now the North Korean IT guys really know their stuff says Melissa Chan, a correspondent for Al Jazeera. We have access to Facebook, Twitter, and here I am able to Skype with you. This press release reads like – this is from Computer World but it reads like it was written by Kim Jong-un whatever his name is, the new guy.
Tom Merritt Yeah, Kim Jong-un.
John C. Dvorak Kim Jong – something.
Leo Laporte Kim Jong-un.
Tom Merritt Kim Jong-Il is the current.
Leo Laporte Right. And his son is –
Tom Merritt His third son has been named.
Leo Laporte Unbelievable.
Tom Merritt Kim Jong-un.
Leo Laporte Unbelievable.
Tom Merritt Close to that.
John Graham-Cumming Didn’t it happen in the U.S where the third son got named to be president, I could have sworn…
Leo Laporte We did the same thing, didn’t we?
Tom Merritt Yeah, they are just imitating us.
John C. Dvorak Yeah, as long as Jeb Bush doesn’t get anywhere.
Tom Merritt Actually this is an interesting thing about Korea and then we will get back to tech is that Kim Jong-Il’s father is actually still the leader of the government, even though he’s dead.
John C. Dvorak That sounds like a good way to go.
Tom Merritt Yeah.
John C. Dvorak I think dead politicians running things is the way to go. Can’t make any mistakes.
Leo Laporte Can’t nullify them. According to Reuters, Hulu is planning an IPO that may raise as much as $300 million. Would you buy stock at Hulu today?
Tom Merritt Yes.
Leo Laporte John?
John C. Dvorak Probably not.
Leo Laporte John II, I don’t know what, John Graham-Cumming.
John Graham-Cumming Well, so I can’t contact him from here because they just say to you and you know in the U.S. so you can’t watch anything, go away.
Leo Laporte So I will buy stock too so that they have got $10 so far Tom.
Tom Merritt Well we can’t, I can’t because I come from technology, so I won’t buy it but if I could I probably would.
Leo Laporte I wouldn’t actually, I don’t if I buy stock, I don’t know.
John C. Dvorak I’d shore it then.
Leo Laporte Shored it, well, I don’t know if I shored it either. It’s one of those things where who knows what’s going to happen, don’t you think…
Tom Merritt I think, I’m putting my faith in Hulu’s leadership not in their backers.
Leo Laporte Yes, that’s the problem.
Tom Merritt The guys who run Hulu actually know what they need to do and they are just chipping away at the folks who are actually backing them trying to get them to cooperate and do it.
Leo Laporte Right, exactly, exactly which is why I think it’s a bad idea of putting money in them.
Tom Merritt You may be right.
Leo Laporte If they were all united.
John C. Dvorak They are not – never will be, too many old farts in the industry, suits. You know what I’m talking about Leo.
Leo Laporte I do. I wear a suit.
John C. Dvorak We are talking about your Hawaiian shirts.
Leo Laporte That’s it, look at my suit now, no Hawaiian here, they beat me down. So once again tomorrow morning, 6:30 in the morning I can’t believe I’ve committed to this, I’m going to be turning on the cameras, we will do live coverage at 6:30 and Pacific 9:30 Eastern Time of the Windows Phone 7 launch out of New York City with Microsoft, Paul Thurrott will co-anchor in New York City. Wednesday, Tom and I will be interviewing the Woz, the founder of Apple Computer, co-founder of Apple Computer that will be 4:00 p.m. Pacific, 7:00 p.m. Eastern and of course don’t forget to watch Tom show Monday through Friday Tech News Today that’s starts – pre-shows at 2:30 Pacific, 5:30 Eastern and then they get underway really by 3:00 p.m. Pacific, 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time and of course you can subscribe and should subscribe to either the audio or the video or both if you should choose at twit.tv/tn. Tom, it’s great to have you on the show. Thank you for taking some time off your day off.
Tom Merritt Yes, no, it’s great, TWiT is the perfect complement to Tech News Today because what we do everyday is say these are the stories that broke, here’s why they are important today, here’s some stuff you need to know, here’s what you guys are saying about it and we are out. Whereas TWiT you get to analyze it a little more and kind of put it in context, talk about what it means.
Leo Laporte We chew and we chew it till it is softened in our cud.
Tom Merritt Yes, it’s like the saliva for tech news.
Leo Laporte Exactly, think of us as the second stomach. You are the first stomach.
Tom Merritt Tech News Today is the teeth to TWiT saliva.
Leo Laporte And then the stomach, and by the way you are going to stick around because coming up East Meets West in just a few minutes with Roger Chang.
Tom Merritt All right.
Leo Laporte John C. Dvorak is the host of No Agenda.
John C. Dvorak And by the way, Leo, I’m telling you right now, TWiT is the perfect complement in No Agenda.
Leo Laporte And why is that, John?
John C. Dvorak It’s the saliva for political chat.
Leo Laporte We are the sputum that spews forth from the mouth of No Agenda or something.
Tom Merritt Sputum?
Leo Laporte Sputum.
John C. Dvorak Channeldvorak.com, check it out.
Leo Laporte There it is and don’t forget to contribute to No Agenda because God knows they need your money. How much to be an executive producer, $200?
John C. Dvorak Yes. And you get an actual credit.
Leo Laporte Would it be funny if I were the executive producer of No Agenda?
John C. Dvorak You could do it. Actually you’ve got to hit 333 to get the – that’s the associate executive producer is, 333 and up you get to executive producers.
Leo Laporte How many executive producers are there?
John C. Dvorak Any given show like this show we had probably 4 executive producers and 3 associates.
Tom Merritt Wow! Not really bad.
Leo Laporte What the hell? Wait a minute. Let me do some quick math. You’re making thousands of dollars an episode.
Tom Merritt You had 4 paid executive producers?
John C. Dvorak We picked up a grand, maybe an episode enough to get by, enough to pay a couple of bills. We don’t make the kind of money you’re making, Leo.
John C. Dvorak Wait a minute you’re saying that 4 people pay $333 to be just for that?
John C. Dvorak Actually more than that, that’s the minimum.
Tom Merritt They are allowed to pay more.
John C. Dvorak We have supporters and they pay us to be on the air unlike people that use advertisers.
Leo Laporte I clearly have missed the boat here somewhere.
John C. Dvorak No. No. You believe me you did not miss the boat.
Leo Laporte Wow! Anyway, John, is at channeldvorak.com, give him $333.33. Wow!
John C. Dvorak You’re flabbergasted.
Leo Laporte I’m stunned.
John C. Dvorak What you’re implying is that why would anybody…
Leo Laporte That’s exactly what I’m saying.
John C. Dvorak [Indiscernible] (108:59) nickel.
Leo Laporte We ask for $2. $333 and that only gets you one show, right? You’re not like the associate producer forever.
John C. Dvorak No. No. You get the show, now you’d actually be the executive producer of that show. That’s the way the executive producer business is.
Leo Laporte So, I would have to give you $333.33 every episode to be the executive producer of that episode forever.
John C. Dvorak Yes. That’s fine. You can afford it. It’s well within your pocket book.
Leo Laporte And Jason Calacanis thought This Weekend was a good idea.
John C. Dvorak Well, you have it.
Leo Laporte John Graham-Cumming is the author of The Geek Atlas, and please help him. Go to pledgebank.com and help him raise some money to build the Babbage Analytical Engine. We want to see it. We want to touch it. We want to hear its thrumming motors, its giant steam engine, its 1.73 kilobytes of memory. Great to have you on again, John. Thanks for staying up late with us.
John Graham-Cumming Thank you. I think I am going to go bed now.
Leo Laporte Yes. Nighty-night.
John C. Dvorak It’s late.
Leo Laporte Nighty-night.
John Graham-Cumming It’s 1:00 O’clock in the morning.
Leo Laporte Pledgebank.com/babbage.
John Graham-Cumming Thanks very much.
Leo Laporte Give him $333.33, it’s really neat. Hey, thank you all for being here. We do TWiT every Sunday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. Pacific, 2200 UTC, 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time at live.twit.tv; you can watch live, you could join us in the chat room, always a lot of fun in there. Crazy, crazy people. If you want to join us in the chat room, just go to irc.twit.tv during the broadcast, you too could be part of the fun at no charge, no cost to you, no operators will call.
I am Leo Laporte, thanks for being here. See you next week in another TWiT is in the can.
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