TWiT 277/Transcript

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Transcript

This transcript is provided by our friends at Pods in Print

Leo Laporte Audio bandwidth for this WEEK in TECH is provided by Winamp for Android, the ultimate media player for your desktop and Android device featuring wireless sync. Download it free at winamp.com/android. Video bandwidth for TWiT is provided by CacheFly at cachefly.com.

Tom Merritt This is TWiT, Episode 277, recorded on December 5, 2010: Throw Momma In The Tube.

This episode of TWiT is brought to you by Ford and the new 2011 Ford Edge. It grabs attention as well as it grabs the road and features available, MyFord Touch to connect you to your vehicle in new and innovative ways. The 2011 Ford Edge, drive one this week at a Ford dealer near you.

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It’s time for this WEEK in TECH, Episode 277. I am Tom Merritt filling in for the French Leo Laporte. He is at LeWeb right now enjoying himself visiting the Eiffel Tower, eating baguettes, probably drinking wine while we slave away here in his absence.

But we have a great panel for you today starting in the studio this time, Mr. John Dvorak. He had some booze to pick up. That’s why you dropped by. Is that right?

John C. Dvorak John C. Dvorak to you.

Tom Merritt That’s right.

John C. Dvorak And yes, as a matter of fact, because I know these guzzlers around here would wipe this thing out if I left it here another week.

Tom Merritt channeldvorak.com, if you would like to learn more about why you need to put that C in the middle and other things.

John C. Dvorak Yes, just for channel.

Tom Merritt Right.

John C. Dvorak johnchanneldvorak.com.

Tom Merritt John Channel Dvorak. John Dvorak, his middle name is Channel. Also joining us from CNET, executive editor, is that right?

Molly Wood Yeah.

Tom Merritt Molly Wood, host of Buzz Out Loud, host of the Buzz Report. I’m just going to list everything you do now.

Molly Wood We could be here a while.

Tom Merritt We won’t be here.

Molly Wood You don’t have that kind of time.

Tom Merritt Hey, it’s great to be doing a show with you again.

Molly Wood I know. I missed you.

Tom Merritt I missed you too.

Molly Wood I wish I was in the studio but it’s too rainy and I can’t go out.

Tom Merritt It’s too rainy yet John C. Dvorak came here.

John C. Dvorak That’s right.

Molly Wood Yes, but that’s because there was booze involved.

John C. Dvorak But again there was a reason as we expressed earlier.

Molly Wood If you had told me about the booze.

Tom Merritt Ah, see, that was our mistake. We shouldn’t have told – we should have told you.

Molly Wood Should have.

Tom Merritt And also joining us, the Director of the Telecommunications as Commons Initiative, Mr. Christopher Mitchell, welcome, sir.

Christopher Mitchell Howdy?

Tom Merritt Very good to have you with us especially because we have some network neutrality news this week.

Christopher Mitchell Yes, I am looking forward to talking about it.

Tom Merritt Alright, well, let’s do then. Level 3 Communications issued a statement beginning of last week, around Monday, saying that Comcast was going to block them if they didn’t pay up. And they said that they should be having a peering arrangement between the two. And peering, if you don’t know, means that I send you a bunch of traffic, you send me a bunch of traffic, we call it even because we’re both big players on the Internet. Comcast says, no, Level 3, mostly because they have a deal with Netflix is going to send us a lot more traffic than we are sending back to them. This is not a peering agreement. This is a – what would you call it, Chris? They are trying to say it’s a transit agreement or an interconnection agreement?

Christopher Mitchell Right, I think it’s actually technically still peering. It’s not settlement-free peering anymore which will be the change. And there’s a lot of facts that are in dispute still and actually probably will remain that way for a long time because there is no real mechanism of resolving this. It’s a somewhat new problem that’s arisen in terms of how things have been traditionally done and apparently how they’ll be done from hereon out.

Tom Merritt So the FCC says they are going to look at this. Comcast says this is just Level 3 trying to get by without paying for stuff. Level 3 says, no, this is Comcast trying to put a squeeze and make people pay twice for something. What do you think, John?

John C. Dvorak Let’s get to the basics here. Comcast sees Netflix as a threat to its basic business which is selling movies on pay-per-view, very similar to what Netflix does, and if you have a Comcast account, there’s all these opportunities to rent movies exactly the same way Netflix offers them. And they don’t – they are of the opinion, I can’t imagine how somebody can get to this perspective. They are of the opinion that [ph] Gulli, (4:52) we give these people this great bandwidth and then they are other screwing us by taking advantage of it because something up to 20% of all Internet traffic during the TV watching hours is supposedly – I don’t believe this totally, but they keep saying it –

Tom Merritt I’ve heard that statement.

John C. Dvorak Which is 20% of all Internet traffic during TV viewing hours is Netflix. And so Comcast sees it as an infringement on their basic business model and they don’t see any reason why they – they don’t have to let them have the traffic. Why should they? At least they are not throttling it.

Christopher Mitchell Yet.

Tom Merritt Yet, exactly.

John C. Dvorak Yet, well, that’s a good point.

Christopher Mitchell And it gets a little more complicated I think. And I think one of the interesting things that we can say here is that even if Comcast is acting on its best behavior and that this is inevitable that they would have to charge Level 3 that even then it’s a really broad consequences for the future of Internet video because Comcast’s customers will always be guided then towards Comcast’s selection of Fancast rather than Netflix’s. And so Netflix will always have a disadvantage relative to Comcast.

Molly Wood Yeah, I mean I think there is no question that Level 3 did come at Comcast with a much greater than expected traffic proposition kind of all of a sudden. And I buy that they were able to negotiate a good deal with Netflix by promising potentially a price that they couldn’t deliver knowing that they had this traffic sharing agreement or peering agreement with Comcast. But there is no question that Comcast wouldn’t probably be responding this way if it weren’t Netflix traffic we were talking about and there’s also no question that Netflix – or Comcast is in a really dangerous position in terms of putting down the hammer and saying, we’re not going to carry your traffic because people don’t have the competition to go elsewhere if they do that.

John C. Dvorak Well, I think you brought up an interesting point. And I think that what you say is possible that there’s something because generally speaking with these sorts of new stories, there is something missing from the story we don’t know about. And it’s quite likely that Comcast got wind of these guys probably – like you said promising more than they can deliver in the process having to deliver more than they – or I am sorry, to deliver what they promise they have to screw Comcast. Comcast then decides that they got wind of it or there’s some back channeling going on, they say this is ridiculous. These guys can’t do that. Well, let’s just charge them. I mean I am convinced that there’s a – and not to defend Comcast, which is Comcastic by the way but –

Tom Merritt By definition.

John C. Dvorak I am not completely –

Molly Wood I was totally waiting for that. I can’t believe it took this long.

John C. Dvorak There may not be a bad guy element here. I mean maybe they’re trying to defend themselves against some nefarious dealing by the other guys. I mean I am not totally – jump on Comcast evildoers.

Christopher Mitchell If this is something where Comcast is trying to move and make a big change, this is obviously the worst time for them to do it. And so for me, that’s one of the best pieces of evidence to suggest that probably it is a pretty gray issue, this fairly new answer is no bad guy, but I have to say that I think the consequences are pretty dire. And so it has to be dealt with intelligently. And I’m glad the FCC is getting involved. We’ll see how it gets resolved.

John C. Dvorak Are you going to personally – because I don’t want to do this, are you going to personally listen to the C-SPAN testimony because you know it’s going to be on C-SPAN?

Christopher Mitchell No, I won’t be actually. Most of my work really focuses on local and state levels. We follow the FCC when we have to. But what I want to say is that right now, all these peering arrangements are done in secret. No one has any idea what’s going on. And it’s only probably because Comcast is in the limelight with this merger with NBC that Level 3 decided to try and make it a public issue, would be my guess because they thought that it would help their ends.

Tom Merritt Yeah, from what I understand what Comcast reacted to was Level 3 said, we need about 26 more connections. And they said, well, we can give you 6 in our current peering arrangement. And we would have to charge you to do the rest of them. And that’s when Level 3 freaked out. Now I am wondering if this was not Comcast, if this was a different ISP that didn’t have a cable television service and didn’t – I don’t know if there’s any of those left frankly –

Molly Wood I was going to say those don’t exist.

Tom Merritt But in some imaginary world where it was just an ISP without a conflict of interest, Chris, do you have a sense of what would be the normal reaction and why haven’t we ever seen this kind of dispute before?

Christopher Mitchell Well, that’s a question that I can – I will jump at and I will do my best answer, but I will tell you my expertise is not in this, so. The way I would look at it is that it seems to me Comcast would be benefiting from having a direct connection here. The worst thing that could happen to Comcast is if they had to pay someone to get access to Netflix content because me, I am a Comcast user, I want to watch Netflix. I watch a lot of Netflix. And there’s million others like me and so if Comcast has to pay someone else to get access to that that would be the worst scenario. For Comcast to get it for free seems like a decent scenario because someone is going to be delivering that content to Comcast somehow. So in my mind there has got to be facts here that we just aren’t privy to and it may just be a case of both sides just trying to use the public limelight to get an edge in their negotiations.

Molly Wood It is.

Christopher Mitchell But again, I just think it’s the worst time for Comcast to do this.

Molly Wood It’s a really bad time for Comcast to be – I mean I can only assume, right, that negotiations must have gotten to a pretty ugly place for Level 3 to take this step, like it’s pretty bold for Level 3 to come out and issue a press release and say Comcast – say in essence, Comcast is violating net neutrality. And whether it’s true or not, like it seems like it was clearly an exaggeration on the part of Level 3, but it’s such a bold move and such a kind of bizarre public action given like you said that most of these peering agreements are conducted in secret that it really does make you wonder how hard was the ball that Comcast was actually playing here.

Christopher Mitchell Right, and actually my interest is mostly in local community fiber networks, city-wide networks, and what I’d be interested in also is if Level 3 has all these power of Netflix, do they have the ability to just force any smaller provider to do what they want. And so I don’t know enough about these agreements to really go further in that. But I think there are some real issues in terms of the market power of the players involved. And I really hope we can just talk briefly about this post, I don’t know, if someone can put it in the chat-room, but you found a blog post from an ISP called ipHouse which puts some numbers to this and I think really was well written. ipHouse is a provider here in the Twin Cities, Minnesota. And they are terrific people and they know a lot about peering obviously because this is what they do. And one of the things that they pointed out was that you cannot route around Comcast to provide the requested content to Comcast subscribers. And so a lot of the peering agreements typically are more sort of two networks that are exchanging backbone traffic as opposed to one network delivering it directly to the subscribers. So that’s another area in which this is different and why I think the FCC is getting involved rather than just saying work it out amongst yourselves.

Tom Merritt I got to thank Kendrick Erickson here who sent me that link. It was a really eye opening link from ipHouse. But what I want to know is if Level 3 said, no, we are not going to pay you, Comcast, would there be no way for a Comcast subscriber to receive that traffic, it couldn’t come some other way?

John C. Dvorak They should be able to go around the horn.

Tom Merritt Yeah.

Molly Wood Well, and I feel – but it does seem like this blog post is saying that they can’t and that that is what caused Level 3 to raise the alarm in the first place so that even though they may have raised an exaggerated alarm, they were in a position where Comcast was saying, okay, but we are not going to –

John C. Dvorak That’s the way the Internet works.

Molly Wood Like I would say to my three year-old, then, all right, I am not going to carry your traffic, which is like a pretty terrifying concept because you have to admit that, however, this ends up in the future, Comcast is a company that’s very familiar with and comfortable with the idea of offering content packages to its subscribers. And there is no reason to think that they don’t, down the line, really want to offer that in terms of Internet service too.

Christopher Mitchell I think it could turn into a Cablevision sort of situation like we had with the baseball in terms of – and I think it was FOX.

Molly Wood Totally.

Christopher Mitchell And the question is who is going to blink first, right. So if Level 3 and Comcast have this fight and Comcast won’t allow a subscriber as me to get my Netflix content, the question is who blinks first. I am not switching to anyone else. Comcast is the only one that offers real broadband in my area of the world. And Netflix clearly would be losing a lot if it loses access to millions of customers. And so I think that would be terrible for everyone. The only way that I would think that if Comcast is not going to accept peering from Level 3 if they fight about this, it would be if Level 3 was sending it across another network that is peering to Comcast which would be just totally inefficient and really defeat the purpose of the CDN to begin with.

Tom Merritt Right, okay, so it could be possible but it would not be ideal.

John C. Dvorak It might be herky-jerky.

Tom Merritt Yeah. Level 3 has already agreed to pay as I understand it too. So I’m not sure with all of this putting out of the facts and the press releases are they just hoping to get legislative action or they just want to embarrass Comcast or I am not sure what they are – what result they are looking for.

Molly Wood I think they are probably trying to force some legislative action and also to shine the light on the NBC merger because that content delivery conflict of interest is just going to keep coming up. I feel like there is no question that that is a scary issue for anybody who is doing business with Comcast. It’s got to be scary for Netflix, and I suspect that they were just trying to kind of keep that pending merger in the spotlight as much as they could

Tom Merritt Right and it’s terrible –

Molly Wood And hoping that the FCC just go ahead and reclassify broadband too, you know [indiscernible] (14:38) –

Tom Merritt As a sidelight.

Molly Wood Yeah.

Christopher Mitchell It’s a terrible precedent for the future of Level 3 if this is what they want to move into is CDN presumably with more than just Netflix. So I think they want to resolve it and try and get back to an arrangement where they have a free peering arrangement.

Tom Merritt Brian Monroe in the chat-room says they could peer with public peering locations but would not work well with that load that Netflix delivers, that’s kind of the key there.

All right, well –

John C. Dvorak By the way, I have a solution for the whole thing.

Tom Merritt You do? What’s the solution, John?

John C. Dvorak Comcast should buy Netflix.

Tom Merritt I think that would clear a lot of the problems out of the way.

Molly Wood That’s true.

John C. Dvorak All of them.

Tom Merritt And Comcast should probably buy Level 3 too.

John C. Dvorak No, if I was Comcast, I’d buy Netflix and screw Level 3.

Tom Merritt And screw Level 3. Cancel the deal.

Christopher Mitchell And kick it around the federal government hearings for another couple of years while they figure out if it’s okay or not and eventually approve because they only ever approve these mergers it seems.

Tom Merritt We’ll pay you your money, Comcast, but we are going to soil your deal for NBC. That might be a good thing for Comcast.

John C. Dvorak When is that thing going to get closed?

Tom Merritt Well, it’s never going to close now because the FCC is going to constantly be referring to this and looking it over, it’s going to last forever. Do you think that’s a good thing for Comcast though? NBC is not doing so well.

John C. Dvorak Well, they needed – they just need something to kind of balance their business.

Molly Wood Yeah, NBC would be –

John C. Dvorak And I think a content company is the one to do it with.

Molly Wood Sure, NBC will be doing fantastic –

John C. Dvorak Yeah, I think it’s a great idea because they are weak so they can get them –

Molly Wood If it was the only thing you are allowed to watch.

Tom Merritt That’s right. They have plenty of channels. Why do you need more channels?

John C. Dvorak You must watch Brian Williams.

Tom Merritt They’ve got Bravo and Sci Fi.

John C. Dvorak Yeah, they’ve got all kinds of stuff.

Tom Merritt Yeah. Universal Movies.

John C. Dvorak Right.

Tom Merritt Why would you want to go out of their walled garden, be like the NBC – be like AOL on steroids.

John C. Dvorak So you want to watch Letterman,

Tom Merritt No, no.

John C. Dvorak You want to watch Jon Stewart.

Tom Merritt No.

John C. Dvorak I mean there’s a lot of reasons to go outside the walled garden.

Christopher Mitchell Yeah, I have to admit that I have to pull a little [indiscernible] (16:27) here in note that I really don’t know what NBC produces. I am too long removed I think from watching live television and caring about that. It tends to show up on a device in front of me and I watch it.

John C. Dvorak Generational.

Christopher Mitchell So for me, I am not even sure what I would be missing if NBC just disappeared tomorrow.

Tom Merritt Facebook is overhauling their profile pages. There is an interview with Mark Zuckerberg on this evening’s 60 Minutes where they will be going over this. It’s Zuckerberg’s first appearance on TV since the release of The Social Network movie. And it looks like the overhauled profile pages will be interesting. They are going to have photos elevated up to the top, added icons to all of your interests so it’s more visual, your vital statistics, things like your relationship and your job and your hometown are all up at the top, it’s a more readable situation. But the most interesting thing to me about this is they are letting you opt in, instead of doing what they have always done in the past, which is just pile it on you and force you into it, they are saying, you know what, you want to go into it, go to this URL, we’ll ease people into it.

Molly Wood I am suspicious.

Tom Merritt Why are you suspicious, Molly Wood?

Molly Wood That’s just not how they roll. There has got to be something else going on.

John C. Dvorak How they roll? What are you, Snoop Dogg?

Molly Wood Yeah. Well you’re putting me on front-street for my lingo, Dvorak?

[Laughter]

Christopher Mitchell Yeah, I prefer the old Facebook.

Molly Wood I am not suspicious at all. I just feel like flabbergasted by the fact that they are not opting people into this. And I don’t know what to do with it.

Tom Merritt Well, maybe they learned finally. Maybe they said, you know what, this hasn’t worked for us the past 50, maybe we’ll change.

John C. Dvorak Ah! We won’t.

Christopher Mitchell No, the thing is at first they didn’t learn, I prefer it when they are stumbling around because I think they are a real threat to the future of the open Internet, horrified when I see all these commercials that pop up and say their Facebook address of a company rather than the www, the Internet address. I think it gives Facebook way too much power over what people are seeing and doing on the Internet. So when Facebook gets savvy and starts doing things better, I sort of grow more fearful for the future of the Internet.

Tom Merritt Well, yeah, and Lesley Stahl tries to hammer Zuckerberg on that apparently in the 60 Minutes interview, like do you want to own the Internet? Do you want to have everyone inside of Facebook? And he kind of doesn’t answer it of course.

Molly Wood Because it’s yes.

Christopher Mitchell Yeah.

Tom Merritt Because the answer is yes.

Christopher Mitchell Okay.

Molly Wood I mean what’s he going to say?

Christopher Mitchell Are you offering it?

Molly Wood No, no, who would want that.

Tom Merritt I will take that.

Molly Wood Why would I? Prepare yourselves for the inevitable freak out is all I have to say about the Facebook profile pages.

Tom Merritt Well, that’s the thing, right? None of these changes seem all that dramatic. But you know people are going to freak out about it.

Molly Wood Yup.

Christopher Mitchell Well, especially you said – the article said you can’t go back once you’ve started it.

Tom Merritt Right.

Christopher Mitchell So that would probably be the freak out now.

Tom Merritt Even though I opted in, I want to go back to the way it was. Change is always dangerous.

Molly Wood That’s it. That’s the trap.

John C. Dvorak My advice, stay off Facebook.

Molly Wood I knew there was a trap. I’m just saying it.

John C. Dvorak Stay off Facebook. There was a piece of advice for you.

Christopher Mitchell Is there going to be a new social networking site at dvorak.org?

Tom Merritt You are going to run a Diaspora server?

John C. Dvorak You know, there is a thing called e-mail, there is Twitter, there is blog, there’s a million of things you can do if you want to if you have to constantly be in touch with everybody every minute of the day, just in case.

Tom Merritt Go to facebook.com/about/profile if you want to risk the new thing. You click Get the New Profile down at the bottom and that is the one-way ticket.

John C. Dvorak The one-way ticket to doom.

Tom Merritt To doom. But people – I mean, yeah, it really is just a new profile, it’s not that big of a deal. But you are right, Molly, people are going to freak out about it.

Molly Wood I know they will.

Tom Merritt What they’re rightly freaking about is WikiLeaks. This week was all WikiLeaks all the time.

John C. Dvorak Who’s rightly freaking out, specifically?

Tom Merritt Hillary Clinton.

John C. Dvorak Well, she should be a little concerned.

Tom Merritt Pretty much every diplomat who’s mentioned in the gossipy cables. Why are they called cables, by the way? Isn’t it more…

John C. Dvorak That’s what I like to know.

Molly Wood Yes, actually.

John C. Dvorak There’s a cable that came in.

Tom Merritt Can you answer that?

Molly Wood The cable – the reason that they are called cables was in Page 4 of The New York Times article and nobody got that far. But it was like…

John C. Dvorak Is it because it’s boring?

Molly Wood 9,000 words in, they explained that. It is basically just an archaic term for what used to in fact be literal cables. So it’s sort of like how you might still say memo.

Tom Merritt Or album?

John C. Dvorak Album?

Tom Merritt Yeah.

Molly Wood Exact – it’s they are now obviously electronic transmissions, but they are still referred to as cables.

Tom Merritt So it’s just lingo.

Molly Wood And there’s some formatting, like if you format a special letter. So there is some government formatting that includes the secrecy level and maybe like who it’s addressed to and especial government salutation and all of that kind of makes it like a cable instead of an email.

John C. Dvorak Okay. I think we’ve had heard enough.

Tom Merritt Dearest friend, I want to swab your cheek.

Molly Wood Good, because I have to go.

Christopher Mitchell I think – I hope a lot of people saw that Secretary of Defense, Gates was not freaking out in trying to say that this really wasn’t as big of a deal as everyone’s made it up to be.

John C. Dvorak No. Gates was the coolest cucumber in the whole thing. It’s almost as though he is behind the whole deal. Just thinking. Anyway you watch No Agenda, or listen to noagendashow.com.

Tom Merritt Do you think he gets up in the morning and starts by leaking things?

John C. Dvorak Well, to the bathroom maybe, you’re talking about that?

Tom Merritt No, no. It’s just that before he goes to work.

John C. Dvorak Yeah. I am going to leak a couple of memos.

Tom Merritt So here’s –

John C. Dvorak He’s got bladder problems too [indiscernible] (21:47) that result in leaking.

Tom Merritt The first big issue that hit the tech world was Amazon kicked them off after they started getting denial of service attack. Although Amazon claims they got kicked off because of they didn’t have the right to publish this material.

John C. Dvorak What is the Amazon, the judge and jury here? Give me a break.

Tom Merritt Amazon’s term of service say, you can’t put up material that you don’t have the right to publish.

John C. Dvorak How do they know this?

Molly Wood Although they don’t – they don’t...

John C. Dvorak It’s government documents, it’s generally a public domain.

Molly Wood Yeah. It’s illegal and it is arguably – I mean the rightful freak-out thing has kind of shifted in my mind because arguably this has become a little bit of our free speech issue, maybe a big one because WikiLeaks , you could argue that The Wall Street Journal never had the right to publish any of the Watergate stuff that it got, but it has long been protected speech.

John C. Dvorak You mean The Washington Post?

Molly Wood The Washington Post, sorry. Thanks. Even if you received the material, the material itself is obtained illegally.

John C. Dvorak We don’t know that.

Molly Wood You still have the right to publish it in theory and we don’t know and nobody’s been accused of any crime. So what happening is like…

John C. Dvorak I don’t see anybody filing any papers.

Molly Wood Website censorship.

Tom Merritt Yeah. I think Amazon’s claim is a bunch of bunk. However, there’s been some other open DNS kicked off their WikiLeaks .org URL because again – because of the denial of service effect.

Christopher Mitchell I think it’s every DNS

Tom Merritt I’m sorry, every DNS.

Christopher Mitchell Right.

Molly Wood Yeah, DNS. We all get to make our little mistakes here and there.

Tom Merritt I just wanted to make it feel better.

Christopher Mitchell I think there’s a really interesting question here which is that with Amazon, maybe they were bowing to pressure from the government, maybe they were just afraid of attracting a whole bunch of hackers that are trying to bring down WikiLeaks .

John C. Dvorak Now I think you’re getting closer.

Molly Wood I would respect them a lot more actually if they just said that. But you have to admit like that. People are dropping like flies because then the latest one is PayPal…

Tom Merritt Right.

Molly Wood Which says you’re not going to be able to use our service for illegal activity. Well, once again, no crime has been alleged or proven, not even alleged. No charges have been filed. It’s basically just been government level freak out.

Tom Merritt The DNS provider’s the only in my mind that has the right thing here. They’ve said, we gave them 24 hours notice that we were getting too much traffic. It’s perfectly normal for a webhost and DNS providers to do this…

John C. Dvorak Too much traffic, more traffic than Netflix gets?

Tom Merritt More traffic than we can handle. I don’t know if it’s 20%.

John C. Dvorak More traffic than 20% of the entire Internet, I don’t think so.

Christopher Mitchell I don’t think….

Tom Merritt But it was probably more than they can handle because they’re in – they are small provider.

Christopher Mitchell It’s a couple of guys…

John C. Dvorak Did you download?

Tom Merritt It’s a free DNS provider. So they are…

John C. Dvorak Okay. Well…

Tom Merritt So they are saying, look, we can’t handle this. We’ve given you 24-hour notice to move your DNS somewhere else.

John C. Dvorak Sketchy.

Tom Merritt WikiLeaks didn’t move it. And so the URL went down. But the fact of the matter is you can mirror this thing all over the place. It’s being mirrored everywhere. So it’s not like even if that was malicious that you can really stop the signal at this point.

Christopher Mitchell Wasn’t there actually a network – a dark network called Freenet or Freenode or something, people were talking about 10 years ago that was specifically supposed to solve this problem where it would be – it have all those information that was more or less hosted anonymously on everyone who’s participating and government couldn’t track it down.

Tom Merritt Yeah, that was Freenet, I remember that. I don’t know whatever happened to them. There’s also OpenNIC which requires you to make a settings tweak in your network settings but then you can have any domain name you want, any domain extension you want, like dot geek or dot leaks.

John C. Dvorak That was Mickey Mouse operation. I mean first they went to a clearing, had one main DNS, go to one place and say well, let’s see what this is and if that ever closed down, that was bad.

Tom Merritt And if you get the IP address of WikiLeaks , you can go right there. You don’t even have to have DNS resolve….

John C. Dvorak We should be publishing that.

Tom Merritt Yeah. I don’t remember what it is off the top of my head. It’s 86 something.

John C. Dvorak Well, it doesn’t help. 86 something.

Molly Wood This has become a really weird story and one that I feel sort of uncomfortable with because I don’t want to have to be on the WikiLeaks site, because I think what they did is sort of unnecessary. It’s kind of – it falls into that just because you can doesn’t mean you should [indiscernible] (25:41)

John C. Dvorak You know, Carl Berns…

Molly Wood But it’s not damaging and it’s not illegal and they have now become the subject of a full-on witch hunt that I think is going to prove down the road, especially if laws get passed as a result, to have some…

John C. Dvorak You know, they’re…

Molly Wood Really bad unintended consequences.

John C. Dvorak This should be unconstitutional. First of all, Carl Bernstein, I think he was on one of the shows, talk shows. I think he was one of the few guys in the media, the media wall all crazy. Carl Bernstein said, hey look, we’re journalists. This is like a goldmine of material, why would we want to reject it and condemn it when it’s like there’s stuff here for us.

Tom Merritt And apparently they…

Molly Wood And there is no way that a newspaper wouldn’t have published this if they got it.

Tom Merritt And they did. From what I read, WikiLeaks started by working with the SPIEGEL, the Guardian, New York Times.

John C. Dvorak That’s it.

Molly Wood New York Times.

Tom Merritt And said, look, help us figure out what names need to be redacted here, we want to be responsible about this. And they allowed those publications to publish things and then they simultaneously published the leaks. So this was done in coordination with major journalistic outlets.

John C. Dvorak But it was funny is of course the Guardian which is a communist newspaper by all intents and purposes out of England, they just piled on – I mean they are just like, I mean they are the ones that – if you want – anybody out there wants to read to good gossip, it’s in the Guardian. I mean they just barrel into it.

Tom Merritt And isn’t that…

Christopher Mitchell What I want to see is with the – what they had to do with Bank of America stuff. Because [multiple speakers] (27:08) it may disappear because of a bunch of cables that really aren’t that interesting and they don’t have a smoking gun but apparently they claim to have a whole lot of really interesting stuff from Bank of America, perhaps other corporations and banks that have done real damage and may actually help us understand what went wrong a little bit better and that exactly these people knew what they were doing. And so I don’t want to see Julian Assange disappear before we actually get this through.

Tom Merritt Has he appeared?

John C. Dvorak And by the way – yeah, he did appear today.

Molly Wood Well, he disappeared.

John C. Dvorak It just doesn’t make sense to me that everybody and their sister hasn’t sorted the Bank of America. It just seems like an obvious thing to do. And if the WikiLeaks thing never appears and you buy in at the low, I mean, it just doesn’t make sense to me that this isn’t a stock market manipulation.

Tom Merritt 213.251.145.96 is the French IP address for WikiLeaks , but that is – the French government is trying to shut that one down.

John C. Dvorak Well, there’s another one here…

Tom Merritt Well, there’s another one that’s – the Swedish one….

John C. Dvorak 86.75.30.19 or 9 – 86.75.30.9

Tom Merritt That’s the primary one and that redirects to 213.

John C. Dvorak Well somebody says, yeah, somebody says that it redirects.

Tom Merritt But 213 is in France.

John C. Dvorak The chat room is up to speed on this.

Tom Merritt Thank you, chat room. So I’ve been wondering why is it that we had all these leaks about Afghanistan and Iraq, was it a month, month-and-a-half ago, two months, back in the summer. And there was a bit of an uproar but we didn’t have anyone taking them down. We didn’t have PayPal withdrawing their support. We didn’t have all of this controversy about it. Now, we have a leak that is mostly about gossip but it involves politicians instead of the military and now WikiLeaks is on the run. It seems pretty clear to me.

John C. Dvorak That shows you who is danger – who is more dangerous. Wait till the banks get a hold, it’s ratcheted up. First the military was, okay, whatever, it did doesn’t mean anything to me. And then it went to the politicians who get all bent out of shape and made the media condemn the guy. Now the bankers, this guy is showing up death left and right. Go watch the movie The International, if you want to see what the international banking scene is like even though it’s a movie. But those guys are more dangerous than these other people.

Christopher Mitchell But let’s also remember why WikiLeaks is on the run right now. And it’s because of the companies they have depended on to get their information out. There’s no real alternative, it seems like and you have both PayPal and Amazon that seemed to have these acceptable use policies that were similar to what I understood as Soviet law which was that everything was illegal so that they could arrest you when they wanted to. And in this case it seems like everything is against acceptable use, so they can kick you off when they want to.

John C. Dvorak That’s where it’s headed.

Tom Merritt PayPal says their payment service cannot be used for any activities that encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to engage in illegal activity.

Molly Wood Once again, this is not illegal.

John C. Dvorak What it is – yeah. This is bogus.

Molly Wood Like publishing this material is not illegal. You are absolutely right. You are absolutely right, it is the most arbitrary sort of Calvinball that they are playing with their own terms of service and the law.

Tom Merritt You could make an argument that encouraging people to leak things could be violating the law.

John C. Dvorak That’s – no – there is the law…

Tom Merritt Publishing is different than leaking.

John C. Dvorak There laws that protect whistleblowing, which is leaking stuff. So that’s not true. The fact of the matter is we have a bunch of spineless corporate executives, let’s face reality, we are talking about a bunch of jellyfish out there that run this companies and they pull the plug on stuff left and right as fast as they can so that they don’t get in trouble because they are afraid that their easy income is going to go down the tubes because they don’t know, they don’t get it, and so that’s all it is and this is the problem with the entire country.

Tom Merritt That’s essentially what Julian Assange has said he is after. He is trying to fight powerful organizations whether they are governments or corporations or anything else.

John C. Dvorak Yes.

Tom Merritt He sees himself as a publisher, as a journalist and doing the job that journalism has sort of drifted away from doing.

John C. Dvorak Right. No, we rather talk about Britney Spears.

Molly Wood And free speech, I mean, as you know, once again, when this stuff was first published I was like really, you guys, but they, the fact is free speech is often uncomfortable and frankly at its best it should be, and the fact that these companies, like you said John, are running in terror at the slightest, you know, at the tiniest little staffer phone call from Joe Lieberman’s office is scary stuff and Joe Liebermann is actually proposing legislation. God knows if it’s going to pass, but if it does it will have an utterly chilling…

Tom Merritt Well, the legislation…

Molly Wood It’s serious business.

Tom Merritt Would say you cannot leak, you cannot publish the name of an intelligence operator.

Molly Wood Right.

Tom Merritt So it would be a prior restraint, I’m not sure that passes the constitutional test.

Molly Wood Well, hope springs eternal but they’ve gotten away with…

John C. Dvorak Hope springs eternal!

Molly Wood Some pretty crazy stuff in today’s paranoid climate.

Tom Merritt The other thing…

Christopher Mitchell There is one thing I think that we can say that a positive in terms of government wanting to discourage these sort of leaks which is there is a real danger I think in terms of the future of a person that’s giving advice to the government whether it’s from the private sector or two people in the public sector conferring if they are afraid that those words will be later disclosed because sometimes candid advice is not popular and if there is a culture of fear that anything you say can show up the next week on the Internet then you will start having bad advice given or no advice given. And so from a policy perspective there is a problem with just publishing all these stupid little documents as opposed to ones that are actually important like the Pentagon papers which are brought up frequently in this context.

Tom Merritt Well, that’s true, John, you made the crack about Britney Spears but a lot of these stories that are being put out are not any level above that…

John C. Dvorak It’s pretty close to Britney…

Tom Merritt It’s just put a diplomat’s name instead of Britney spears and it’s the same story…

John C. Dvorak Yes, that’s actually funny.

Tom Merritt In some cases. Graduate students are being warned away from admitting they’ve read the leaked memos, the leaked cables…

John C. Dvorak What!

Tom Merritt The White House is forbidding a lot of Federal Departments from reading them…

Molly Wood Ridiculous.

John C. Dvorak Don’t look.

Tom Merritt They are blocking them.

Christopher Mitchell And that’s just terrible. I have a masters in Public Policy, a lot of my friends went through difficult situations applying for jobs at state and federal governments. And to be honest, it horrifies me that they would put the sort of additional burden on people that they should never use their computer to go to a site that has something like this, especially because I actually think these documents, though I just argue that they probably shouldn’t be released when they are so meaningless, can actually be helpful for students that are trying to understand how these decisions are made and how the government actually works. It’s incredibly difficult to understand how our government works believe it or not, right. And so the idea of being able to see this as a student when you have time to just mull through it and see how these decisions are made and it actually can be interesting. And so if anyone should be reading it, it seems to me maybe students should.

Molly Wood No, it’s unbelievable; it’s starting to feel like it’s – you know we are wandering into book burning territory. The idea that you shouldn’t read this material that is now…

John C. Dvorak That’s bad.

Molly Wood Publically available all over the web because you might not get a job someday, this is appalling.

John C. Dvorak It is. You are totally right.

Tom Merritt And to bring it back to technology…

John C. Dvorak And she works for CBS.

Tom Merritt I’m not even sure that you can stop this from happening. If you got rid of Julian Assange, if you got rid of WikiLeaks , there is still Cryptome out there, there are still other sites, DRUDGE REPORT leaks stuff all the time, there is plenty of sites…

John C. Dvorak The Monica Lewinsky thing was a leak from the DRUDGE REPORT.

Tom Merritt Yes, there is plenty of other avenues…

John C. Dvorak Made his reputation.

Tom Merritt And even if you shut down WikiLeaks .org, a bunch of mirrors show up, you have torrents of the entire package of cables out there. I mean this is something that the entertainment industry has learned very well which is on the Internet, where things are infinitely copy-able, once it’s out, it’s out. And actually trying to step and stop on it makes it more widespread.

Molly Wood And if you continue to…

Christopher Mitchell That’s right but there is a bottleneck – go ahead Molly.

Molly Wood Persecute WikiLeaks and continue to create the sort of witch-hunt, you will then be creating a whole other army of Assange-esque kind of missionary types who want to take up the cause on his behalf because they will say, you know, look at this reaction, this reaction shows that the U.S. government and any government just as we have been saying all along, right, wants to conduct all its business in secret, they don’t want their dirty laundry out, they don’t want you to know anything and then look at how they violated their own principles when they were faced with their own actions.

John C. Dvorak Actually may be worse than the way you are describing if you think about what you said, which is that remember when the virus thing started up and people – there were very few of them and then all of a sudden became a trendy thing so everybody started writing and designing viruses and then…

Molly Wood Exactly.

John C. Dvorak Every hacker in the world came out of the woodwork. I mean if this thing went crazy and you had a bunch of kids that were just hacking in the government computers and doing all kinds of nutty stuff, which would be totally illegal and then spreading it all over the place like crazy, you’d really have an interesting situation on your hands.

Christopher Mitchell Well, if you reading out the modern day Pentagon papers, you probably went to WikiLeaks to get rid of them because you trusted them and you knew that your identity will be kept secret and what not. But my understanding is it’s been several weeks since WikiLeaks has stopped accepting new data because in the words of the founder their collecting of data was increasing exponentially and their ability to verify it and do anything with it was increasing linearly.

John C. Dvorak We need a new WikiLeaks out there.

Tom Merritt Well, there is, there are some people who did not like the way Julian Assange ran WikiLeaks have left, they are trying to start their own WikiLeaks type organization that focuses more on local issues rather than these big exploding national issues.

Christopher Mitchell Good, because with no journalist at the local level that’s incredibly needed, but what is needed is the trust, and that’s where the internet has a million places you can publish but you need to find a place you can trust if your – the future of your job, all of your employment is at stake, if you are going to leak something or blow a whistle.

Tom Merritt All right, let’s…

John C. Dvorak Let’s just move on.

Tom Merritt We are going about some Google news, they’ve got an event announced. But I want to thank our sponsor Ford, makers of the 2011 Ford Edge, I got to drive around in a Ford Edge, my brother and sister, or my brother-in-law and my sister went town for Thanksgiving and they rented one, smooth lines, fully aerodynamic shape, instrument panel is very nice, door trim, floor console, best in class second row leg room, I can attest to that, I’ve got long legs, I could sit back there, my nephew has got even longer legs these days, he could sit back there, and ambient lighting that you can choose, you can choose the lighting that fits your mood. That was interesting when we were in the car and I didn’t realize this but then Ben, my nephew, says, turn it to Comet blue which Comet’s the name of the High school team in Greeneville where he lives and so there were actually a couple of blues you can choose from, so you can change that instrument panel, they have unbeatable V6 highway fuel efficiency, best in class 27 highway miles per gallon. Edge is also available in a high performance Edge Sport which offers even more horsepower and 280 foot pounds of torque. The 2011 Ford Edge also features Ford’s MyTouch, connects you to your vehicle in a new and intuitive ways. You’ve heard us talk about Ford voice-activated SYNC, that’s the voice controlled part of Touch. There is also three touchscreen LCDs providing information, there are LCD screens providing information and there is one 8-inch touchscreen in the center stack, two 5-way switch pads on the steering wheel. If you haven’t, if you are in the market for a car and you haven’t driven one, go try test drive, drive a Ford 2011 Ford Edge. And if you’d like a free test drive in Madrid, Spain, you can go to twitfordfocus.com and upload a video explaining why you would want to win and why you think $10,000 should be donated to a charity of your choice, just make that video, keep it concise and upload it at twitfordfocus.com, you could win a trip to Madrid for a test drive at the Ford Edge as well at the National Institute for Aerospace Technology, they make rockets there, you know.

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All right. Google is going to launch something on December 7. This is an auspicious day for many reasons, obviously it’s Pearl Harbor day, but it’s also the launch of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, there is another conference going on de-mobile something is going on and Chrome is now going to have an announcement December 7 at 10:30 AM in San Francisco. Two main bets: it’s going to be either a Chrome OS update, probably not a netbook, they said they wouldn’t have one of those till after the first of the year, but either a new version of Chrome OS or the Chrome Store, where you can buy web apps.

John C. Dvorak The Chrome Store.

Tom Merritt Which do you think it is going to be?

John C. Dvorak I think it’d be the Chrome Store.

Tom Merritt It seems more likely sine they are not going to have the netbook. You agree Molly?

Molly Wood Yes, I think it’s going to be the Chrome Store. I’m still holding out hope actually that they are just going to come to their senses and scrap all that Chrome OS business anyway.

John C. Dvorak I hope so.

Tom Merritt Oh, they are not.

John C. Dvorak Same with you.

Tom Merritt You can hope all you want. But it’s coming.

Molly Wood You’re all so smart, why are you doing this?

Tom Merritt But that’s what the Chrome Store is about. The Chrome Store is when we have Chrome OS; this is how you have your applications since Chrome OS, I mean, if people don’t know it’s just a Chrome browser [multiple speakers] (40:26).

John C. Dvorak Do you have a machine with Linux?

Tom Merritt Yes.

John C. Dvorak And you know there is basically a Linux store hook to Ubuntu, you’re kind of think, boom, you get all the – every....

Tom Merritt Your repository, right?

John C. Dvorak Yeah, but there is a million things online you can load anytime you want. There is thousands of apps.

Tom Merritt MAXX is going to have their store.

Molly Wood You could still just have Android and have the Android store which they already have like I don’t --

Tom Merritt Yeah, but those [ph] aren’t (40:50) web apps.

Molly Wood ...operating system.

Tom Merritt That’s what gets me.

Molly Wood [ph] But they can be (40:51).

Tom Merritt Why do you want to buy a web app?

Molly Wood If iTunes can become your source for shoe buying, like, recipes, music, movies, podcast, books, any – really anything you could ever think of, why can’t the Android market expand to include web apps when inevitably becomes a netbook and tablet operating system which is already [multiple speakers] (41:13).

John C. Dvorak I think they just sell recipes. 10 cents a recipe.

Christopher Mitchell I think it’s part of the – it’s the net building cycle of having a browser that – that is really fast and then you say, it’ be really cool if we could do a couple more things and then you blew it all down and then someone else comes out with a new browser, Chrome, and it goes really fast because there is a not a lot in it, you start saying how can we add more things to this, I mean…

John C. Dvorak You’re right. Absolutely. That’s exactly what happens with all these things – with the operating systems it happens.

Tom Merritt Well, this is not a new idea, Netscape had this idea. The Netscape Constellation back in 1986, do you remember that, John?

John C. Dvorak Yep.

Tom Merritt And it was going to replace your operating system, you wouldn’t need it anymore. And that’s essentially what Chrome OS is.

John C. Dvorak Which I think was actually Gates’ idea. I don’t think Netscape people thought about this to begin with but then Gates is, all they’re going to take over the world because – and recently made some casual comment, they said, well it isn’t a bad idea let’s do it.

Tom Merritt Do you think it’s a bad idea?

John C. Dvorak Yeah, I think it’s a bad idea.

Tom Merritt I think it would’ve happened by now.

Christopher Mitchell Dvorak, if it’s a bad idea.

John C. Dvorak Yes, a bad idea. I mean, yeah, it would’ve happened by now. Everything is a bad idea.

Molly Wood I think it’s true.

Tom Merritt But that – okay, so let’s take Chrome OS out of the equation just for a second. Chrome browser launches with a web app story, let’s say that’s what we get. It seems to be the most likely scenario. Is that any better of an idea, a web app store?

John C. Dvorak No, I am not into this stuff. As far as...

Tom Merritt Okay...

John C. Dvorak I think Apple kind of did it the right way. I think web apps, I mean, come on, you just go on the web, what you need a store, you just put up a website if you – like you – now you say you design something, you have to go through the Google web app store to distribute it when you’re going to just have a crappy web page that you could put on with wordpress.com, it makes no sense.

Tom Merritt Flip it around, can you think of even one reason why you would want to have a web app store.

John C. Dvorak No.

Tom Merritt Yeah?

John C. Dvorak Okay, wait, wait, you have one. Go tell us what it is.

Tom Merritt No, I don’t.

John C. Dvorak Oh, I thought you do.

Tom Merritt No, I was hoping you did.

John C. Dvorak No, no, I don’t.

Tom Merritt Because I can’t think of one either. Molly, can you think of one? Chris?

Molly Wood Well, yes, I mean I think right now web apps, I think right now apps in general are a stop-gap until the actual web experience catches up to, or gets a lot better in terms of the interfaces that we’re all starting to use. Right now, there isn’t a good touch interface kind of system for using the web, right? The web isn’t touch-friendly. The web isn’t Google TV-friendly because you don’t have – I don’t know, voice controls or it’s annoying to use a keyboard with your television. And so, I think apps are kind of the halfway house. I mean the HTML5 and the web experience catching up to these new kind of class of always on, always connected devices. And so, okay, give me a web app store right now, because I want something that is more focussed than the web at large faster and streamlined for my device. I just don’t want that to become the dominant paradigm forever.

John C. Dvorak Well, I don’t think so, but I want to give an – I mentioned in the chat room with, they’re doing this – from Marco, they’re doing this because they’ve realized that Apple’s found a marketing crippling your users with less functionality. Anyway, I personally found that amusing.

Tom Merritt Well, there is something to be said for simplicity, right. If it’s just a portal that says, hey, here are bunch of good websites essentially that are – that happened to be apps, and that doesn’t – well, the way I remember them unveiling this when they talked about it before was it was a store and you had to download something, and lot of them you had to pay for. And I just don’t see why you do that.

Molly Wood Oh! Yeah to be clear, I totally think it’s stupid; they are trying to come up with the [multiple speakers] (44:39).

Tom Merritt Yeah, yeah you did a good job.

John C. Dvorak Hey, Molly? Hey, Molly?

Molly Wood Yes.

John C. Dvorak Am I being snippy with you? I have this one guy that keeps harassing me in the chat room that says I am being mean to you.

Molly Wood If you are, I haven’t really noticed.

John C. Dvorak Yes, and I knew it.

Molly Wood And this is – this is how we roll.

Christopher Mitchell I think Molly can take care of herself on these issues.

John C. Dvorak Yeah, all of these guys.

Tom Merritt That’s because you’re [ph] street (44:57).

John C. Dvorak I am the snippy man with spinner bones.

Molly Wood You’re snippy with [multiple speakers] (45:02) because I am not vulnerable as a girl.

Christopher Mitchell There is a Snape app coming out, right. And so...

John C. Dvorak 10 cents snippy.

Tom Merritt I think John’s being snippier with me than Molly.

John C. Dvorak And well for a good reason.

Tom Merritt Exactly.

Christopher Mitchell I’ve watched John for a long time and he actually seems to be in rather good spirits tonight, I haven’t detected snippiness toward anyone.

John C. Dvorak There you go.

Molly Wood No. We’re all doing great.

Tom Merritt When picked up his bottle of juice, so.

Molly Wood Thank you chat room, I appreciate it.

Tom Merritt To appreciate the concern.

Molly Wood Thanks for looking out for me.

John C. Dvorak They’re trying to get update.

Molly Wood But it’s totally is to his bad, bad thing.

Tom Merritt Google also ended its week-long suite – well, we don’t if I – going on for a longer than week, but the rumours have been going for a week that they were going to buy Groupon. Apparently, Groupon walked away from it. Now...

John C. Dvorak This is – I am now think that this is a publicity stunt...

Tom Merritt For Groupon?

John C. Dvorak Yeah.

Tom Merritt Yeah.

John C. Dvorak Or for both of them, I don’t know. This whole...

Tom Merritt The amount that Google needs...

John C. Dvorak The deal didn’t sound right, did it?

Tom Merritt It sounded weird that Google would buy a company that doesn’t do anything algorithmically.

John C. Dvorak For that kind of money – and for that kind of money and a make buy decision that Google couldn’t do it? Come on.

Tom Merritt It was a $6 billion they walked away from. This reminds me of a conversation Molly Wood and I had on Buzz Out Loud years ago when Facebook walked away from – what was it? That was like going a few million I think, right?

Molly Wood Yeah, that was...

John C. Dvorak 36 billion.

Molly Wood 30 or 40 million I think. I don’t understand anybody walking away from $6 billion. If that deal [multiple speakers] (46:15) I think it has everything to do with Justice Department and nothing to do with money.

John C. Dvorak I think it had nothing to do with anything. I think this was a phony deal from the GetGo.

Tom Merritt Groupon, by the way if you don’t know. It’s pretty popular, so I imagine most everybody knows but it’s a way to get discounts, right. It’s a coupon site. A one deal per day per city.

Molly Wood I don’t think it was bogus though, because everybody else is doing this, Amazon put that money into whatever that one [multiple speakers] (46:41)

John C. Dvorak Yeah, it was 6 billion.

Molly Wood ...same thing. But, no, everyone is getting into a way to try to localize search results and localize reviews so there is no question that Google should want something like this. I just – maybe they didn’t want to pay that much in the end. I cannot see Groupon being like 6 billion – I don’t think so.

Tom Merritt I agree. I heard some good reasons why Google would want to have a company with a huge local sales staff that would – could help out with [multiple speakers] (47:05)

John C. Dvorak Yeah, they have something like 2,500 sales people, really.

Tom Merritt Yeah. And they – and Google doesn’t have very many sales people, they kind of rely on AdSense to just work on its own.

Molly Wood So Amazon invested $175 million in LivingSocial. eBay invests – or bought some other company that does – milo.com which also does niche like localized searching. So everybody in Google space is starting to play in the local playground.

Tom Merritt Maybe this was a move from Groupon to get all of their competitors bought, so they could be the only remaining independent.

Molly Wood That’s [ph] convoluted (47:42).

John C. Dvorak Well, you know the other – if you’re going to go along that line of thinking, there is also the possibility because we’ve seen Google do this before, try to bid something up to make some sucker aka Microsoft come in and overspend on something that Google really didn’t want in the first place and I think this may have been like one of those deals where you have the dollar bill hook to a little fish line you know when you throw it out you see if Microsoft tries to pick it up you pull it away.

Tom Merritt Does $6 billion for Groupon – I think everybody agree that that was just an outrageous amount of money for this company at least right now. Is this a sign that there is a bubble in venture capital in investing?

John C. Dvorak No, I think it’s pent-up demand because there is no – nobody can do an IPO because of Sarbanes-Oxley and...

Tom Merritt I was waiting for.

John C. Dvorak Well, you know I’d bring it up when I can, he’s the one who set me up with a slow pitch, so nobody can do an IPO and so you got all these people they got money they want to invest, they want to throw it at companies and they can’t so they have to buy these companies because these companies can’t go public and get some money to grow. It’s ruining the economy, it’s ruining the country, it’s ruining the business. We’re screwed because of this.

Molly Wood I think there is a venture bubble, though, too. I mean I think there is a way everybody’s over relying now on purchasing smaller companies to build up your portfolio and as a result venture capital guys are just throwing money at these tiny companies that are wanting to get bought. And I just yesterday had – wait, Friday, had lunch with somebody who is going to work, get a start-up, and said, it’s warm body time again in San Francisco where they’re just pulling people off the street, giving them the hot meal, cleaning them up and put into work.

John C. Dvorak You’re spraying them down. Get in the room here we got a – hose them down, hose them down.

Tom Merritt That’s why all those start-ups have showers, it’s not for the bikers.

John C. Dvorak It’s hosing them down.

Molly Wood No, because [ph] they are hiring scums (49:23).

John C. Dvorak [Indiscernible] (49:24)

Tom Merritt I think the reason there is a bubble is because you have people saying there is definitely not a bubble whenever there – you know that is the true sign is when people say, hey, is there a bubble and people to go definitively, no. This will last forever. This is not a problem.

John C. Dvorak That is a bubble, you’re right. Well that’s…

Tom Merritt And we’re starting to get people saying that.

John C. Dvorak [multiple speakers] (49:44) been investing, investing in the stock market and nobody thinks it’s going to crash...

Tom Merritt Right.

John C. Dvorak ...or it crashes. Or oh! It’s terrible; don’t buy any stock and it goes up. I mean, not unusual.

Tom Merritt So I don’t know that there is a dangerous falling out from an investment bubble, the way there was from a stock market bubble because it’s a limited group of people but does that mean we would just not see any new – if it did burst, we just wouldn’t see any new companies for a while?

John C. Dvorak Well, I think that’s for sure. We were not seeing a lot – I mean lot of companies can’t really grow because of this, the problem of getting public money. But I think Molly may be on to something because I’ve noticed the traffic has been a little more congested than usual at this time of year. And that’s always – I kind of judge the activity in the Bay Area in terms of high-tech or whatever just by the freeways. And it’s a little bit annoying. It’s jammed up a lot more than it used to be.

Tom Merritt On Friday I was driving, there was hardly anybody going across the bridge though. That’s – I guess [ph] startup (50:42) people don’t work on Fridays.

Molly Wood Well, it’s December.

John C. Dvorak Yeah, it’s four day. It’s a four day job.

Molly Wood So December is hit or miss in terms of traffic.

Tom Merritt That’s true too.

Molly Wood No, I definitely – I have noticed more traffic.

John C. Dvorak Yeah.

Molly Wood I have been definitely attributing the increase in just Bay Bridge traffic to like a slow and steady improvement in the economy.

John C. Dvorak Friday was – now that you mentioned, I was on the road on Friday. And you are right. Friday was exceedingly dull. There wasn’t anything going on. But the rest of the week, Wednesday was pretty rough.

Tom Merritt We are devolving into traffic reports, which is almost as good as talking about the weather. So I am going to take –

John C. Dvorak It’s as good.

Tom Merritt Take a moment to talk about Squarespace.

Christopher Mitchell We got great weather up here too if we can come back to that.

Tom Merritt Okay. In Minnesota?

[Laughter]

Christopher Mitchell Yeah.

John C. Dvorak Sunny, warm and sunny?

Tom Merritt We’ll have Chris with the weather next.

Christopher Mitchell I will quiet down now.

Tom Merritt This episode is brought to you by squarespace.com, the fast and easy way to publish a high quality website or blog. I use it for FourCast, fourcastpodcast.com is on Squarespace. We use it on Sword and Laser. It’s got an easy to use UI, optimized for beginners and CSS experts. It doesn’t matter whether you are a starting person who just doesn’t really know anything but wants to create a website or if you are one of those people who likes to tweak the code, you can get in there and do that too; hundreds of design templates, all inclusive services, including blog modules, import and export too.

If you want to try it out for free, you can actually do that, take your WordPress, your TypePad, your MovableType, Blogger blog, whatever you got, import it into Squarespace, try it out for free and see how you like it. You can just import everything over and play around with it. They have got Flickr widgets, Twitter widgets, website tracking, and you don’t have to worry about bandwidth. If you are hosting your site yourself, like if you have got WordPress up on a web host, you might get overwhelmed, Squarespace can provision that stuff as they go.

Sign up for a free account. You don’t need a credit card to do it. Just go and use the offer code TWiT and get 10% off the lifetime of your new account at squarespace.com. Is it squarespace.com/twit – or I think you just go to squarespace.com use the offer code TWiT. And we thank them for their support of this WEEK in TECH.

A Russian man who is thought to be responsible or at least accused of being responsible for, what is it, a third of the world’s spam, has said no, I am not. It’s all a ruse. I am pleading not guilty to this. Do you believe him, Molly?

Molly Wood Well, I mean it seemed like sort of a weird number anyway, right? It seemed a little suspicious to say like, yup, this is the guy, 30% of spam.

Tom Merritt His botnet does it all.

Molly Wood Does it all. It feels a little hard to count exactly what a botnet is sending out. So maybe he is just quibbling a little bit with the numbers. It seems pretty clear that whatever is going on –

Tom Merritt I am not guilty of a third. I may be guilty of a sixth.

Molly Wood Exactly.

Tom Merritt But I am not guilty of a third, that’s ridiculous.

Molly Wood I wish. I wish I was guilty of a third. A third sounds like amazing.

Tom Merritt He is in Madison, Wisconsin. He is in jail waiting trial. His lawyer has said he is king of nothing but that cell they are keeping him in. He is not a spam king.

[Laughter]

John C. Dvorak King of the cell. At least he is king of something.

Tom Merritt Oleg Nikolaenko is the –

Christopher Mitchell Well, the thing that kills me is that – strikes me that with all the spam that we are still getting that this – perhaps prosecuting people one-on-one isn’t the best solution for it.

Tom Merritt Well, sometimes though they have been able to –

John C. Dvorak There was a huge monster in the spam community.

Tom Merritt They have been able to reduce spam significantly when they take down certain botnets. But I don’t know, you may be right, Chris, taking out an individual may not take out the botnet, so.

Christopher Mitchell Don’t get me wrong. The individuals should be taken out but if we want to solve spam, it’s not going to be resolved in the courts. I mean I think it really has to be a technical solution. And this argument about 33% of the spam, I mean I don’t really care if it’s 1,200 messages in my Gmail spam folder or 800 or whatever, I mean there is – and maybe we have solved it. I mean Dvorak has a solution. Gmail has a solution. But to a certain extent it seems like not an interesting trial, just because it’s just – if it wasn’t that guy, it would be another guy, right?

John C. Dvorak Pretty much.

Tom Merritt Well, that’s the thing, right. He has got a botnet. He has got a system. He goes to jail. That doesn’t take away the spam.

Molly Wood Nothing. Microsoft has actually had a little bit of success in shutting down the botnets themselves. I mean I think there was one point where they had released – they had reduced global spam messages by 2 or 3 billion messages a day by taking out an actual botnet. And it’s true, like you can put this guy in jail, but I am sure that – I mean for thing, the botnet runs itself.

John C. Dvorak Yeah and, gee, funny thing is most botnets run off of Microsoft Windows.

Tom Merritt Well, most computers run off of Microsoft Windows.

[Laughter]

John C. Dvorak Well, still.

Molly Wood I don’t know seriously, what?

John C. Dvorak Good point.

Christopher Mitchell Comcast is taking action though. And I hope we see other ISPs stepping up to say we have a role here and we can take action. We can work with our subscribers proactively to tell them that their computer is infected because of the pattern of traffic. And that to me seems like a good solution. It’s just one that’s labor intensive and so the major ISPs don’t want to embrace it, will be my guess.

Tom Merritt Google is going to take the side of copyright owners. They put up a blog post this week laying out four principles to their plan. They are going to act on reliable copyright takedown requests within 24 hours, prevent terms that are closely associated with piracy from appearing in auto-complete, improve their AdSense anti-piracy reviews, so that AdSense ads are showing up on sites that link to infringing materials, and experiment to make authorized preview content more readily accessible in search results. Now combine this with their earlier cooperation with Verizon to propose net neutrality rules, Google seems to be crossing over to the corporate advocacy side rather than the individual advocacy.

John C. Dvorak It could be just a lip service for all we know.

Molly Wood Well, I think Google is – I think two things; one, Google is trying very hard to make nice with rights-holders right now because of the Google – the growing debacle that is Google TV. And they know that if they can’t get some deals with some actual major content providers and networks, then Google TV is a little bit dead on arrival. So I think they are trying to kind of suck up to them and say like, listen, we will protect your rights online so that people aren’t stealing and also hopefully provide you with a new business model. But I also have to think that this is a little bit of chilling effect fall out maybe from the U.S. government seizing 82 domain names with roughly no due process because they used an argument that could – these domain names were pointing to copyrighted material that could potential extend to Google.

John C. Dvorak Let’s grab Google. Now that will be something if the government shut down Google.

Tom Merritt Well, you are right. But the logic they use, I mean they did go to a federal magistrate but no one was allowed to defend themselves. They said look there is infringing material. It’s pointing to it. We get to seize it, every search engine, Bing, Google, Ask.

Molly Wood eBay.

Tom Merritt Northern Light, AltaVista.

Molly Wood I mean anybody, craigslist.

Tom Merritt Anybody could be linking to infringing material. I mean the – and of course there is that law working its way through Congress. It was approved by committee that would make it explicitly the authority of the government to seize a domain name.

Now seizing the domain name as we talked about in WikiLeaks doesn’t actually take the site offline. It just makes a little harder for your average person to find.

John C. Dvorak Makes a lot harder.

Christopher Mitchell I think it’s scary though. I think a lot of this we are looking at right now is the demise of the original – I think it was John Perry Barlow’s suggestion that the Internet was beyond the jurisdiction of governments. And in this week we’ve certainly seen that governments when they want to can assert some jurisdiction and at the very least make it a tremendous hassle to getting your message out regardless of whether it’s pirated materials or allegedly pirated materials or secret cables or whatnot. And I think the Chinese government, for instance, is probably looking very interestedly on all of this and others as well. So I think this has been a very sobering week for the way government interacts with – the federal government interacts with the Internet.

John C. Dvorak The golden age of the Internet is over.

Molly Wood Well, and just last week you had Tim Berners-Lee writing basically a manifesto saying, hey, somebody needs to stand up and protect the Internet because it is under attack from all sides up to and including the government and Facebook. And it’s time to say, look, this is a thing that has changed the world. This is an invention whose fundamental openness and innovative nature has created possibly the best age in human history and it’s being impinged upon by all comers pretty much.

Tom Merritt It’s – go ahead, Chris.

Christopher Mitchell Although I would say also that we say government and it’s a complicated term, and there is a fascinating article that I just read. It’s called – oh, well, I just lost it, The Internet that Might Have Been, if you Google it, I bet, it’ll pop up. It was a law professor out of New Orleans. And it goes through and it illustrates the way that government has allowed the Internet to become the strong force that it is by having good policies. And so that means there’s like two countervailing forces at work there. And right now we are just seeing a whole lot of the force we don’t want to see, the force that the EFS steps up to fight.

John C. Dvorak You know, what the irony of the whole thing is, is just kind of interesting is that remember when they – first – Internet first started cropping up and started to getting some traction in the mid 90s and then anytime someone would try to commercialize anything, they would jumped, oh! You can’t do this; you’re a horrible person for putting in advertisement on the Internet. And it went on and on like that. Now it’s gotten to the point where there is nothing but advertisements on the Internet. It’s completely switched around, you put any real facts or information user-free anything other than advertisements, which is worth all headed then – now, that’s bad and the government goes after you. Just I find it slightly ironic.

Tom Merritt Well, yeah, I remember I resisted getting a graphical browser for just that reason for a few years. I wanted to stay on links; I didn’t think that was a good idea to put graphics on the web.

John C. Dvorak You were one of those guys?

Tom Merritt I changed my mind, yeah.

John C. Dvorak Ads were terrible.

Tom Merritt Yeah, exactly. Do we think Google is changing sides here? I mean, are they going…

John C. Dvorak It’s possible if you think about it.

Tom Merritt ….to be on the side of the little guy and the free Internet people to being on the side of…

Molly Wood They’ll never, come on. Google is on Google’s side.

John C. Dvorak Yeah, I know, that’s true.

Tom Merritt Thank you, Molly.

Molly Wood What they might is, as they could figure they have – they find themselves in bed with bigger partners.

John C. Dvorak But you know, Microsoft pulled this, if you remember, Microsoft had a knuckle under all these few that were worried about their content being ripped off and so they – so you have Microsoft, the media product that they have, it doesn’t do this, it doesn’t do that, it’s got all kinds of digital rights management stuff built in. You can’t do this; you can’t do that, because Microsoft is kowtowed. It’s Hollywood, and Google to get any traction and I think you know, Molly is right that Google TV thing is moribund it’s just stuck in the mud and they need to do something so they’re doing the same thing, they’re selling out instead of leaving these things open for people use them any way they want to. They’re going to sell out to the user, so somebody else can you know, make even more money, have the second limo…

Tom Merritt Really, one of these four principals that I have a big problem with this, the Autocomplete one, same we’re…

Molly Wood Seriously.

Tom Merritt …going to respond to DMCA take down notices, but that’s a problem with the DMCA not Google, AdSense any piracy review that’s their own deal that’s ads; making authorized preview content more accessible seems to be a positive thing, but how do you decide what terms are piracy related?

John C. Dvorak You tell me?

Molly Wood Oh, no, really.

John C. Dvorak I don’t know.

Molly Wood I mean, are you certainly not going to get an instant search result for Avatar.

Tom Merritt Yeah.

Molly Wood You’re – maybe you’re doing student research into piracy, right? And you look into – you’re Googling for Avatar piracy.

John C. Dvorak Avatar.

Molly Wood You know, you got nothing.

John C. Dvorak MPEG 4.

Molly Wood I mean, you’ll still get results.

John C. Dvorak Just looking.

Molly Wood But the other thing is, it’s just such a bizarre cosmetic change anyway, it’s like, oh, yeah, we have this awesome feature, Autocomplete, you’ll still get search results, if you search for Avatar torrent, but you just won’t see a drop down at the same time. Like you have to think of it all by yourself. It’s not only disturbing; it’s actually just kind of dump.

Christopher Mitchell It’s actually seems antithetical to the point that Google has been trying to make which is that, they’re search engine returns what it does, because it’s a good algorithm and it actually seems more or like, they’re sort of getting into the tampering that they want to avoid, because they really don’t want to be accused of selecting certain e-commerce sites or companies over others when there are searches. And so I kind of wonder if they’re going to see some blowback in that regard?

Molly Wood It’s a bad road for them to go down, for sure.

John C. Dvorak So far.

Tom Merritt So far. I – yeah, I think Autocomplete is a sort of a silly thing…

John C. Dvorak I turn mine off to through out.

Tom Merritt I got sick of it. Yeah. I mean, because – I don’t even pay attention to it a lot.

John C. Dvorak Oh, it jumps around, drives you crazy, I think you can have an epileptic fit looking at that.

Tom Merritt I look at it as an easy spell-check.

Molly Wood Now, that’s instant, this is different.

John C. Dvorak Oh, I’m talking about the instant one…

Tom Merritt Yeah, okay.

Molly Wood Okay. This is just like, it will not complete the words for you, you have to type them yourself, I mean. If I was a rights holder unless it was Google’s attempt to suck up to me, I’d be saying – because I do think they are, there’s no question, but if I am a rights holder, I’m like, why weren’t you responding to DMCA take-down notices faster before? How was James taking it out of Autocomplete going to deter anybody from anything if you are not absolutely changing search results? Why wouldn’t you be as a decent search engine offering links to previews that are illegal? Like it’s sort of, if you break it down, it’s kind of like Google giving the impression of selling themselves out more than they even are, and it doesn’t seem like it’s going to make anyone happy.

Tom Merritt You know, a company that’s got a better approach to fighting piracy is Netflix, because what they do is say, you know, we want to make as many things available for legal streaming as possible, New York Post earlier this week reported that Netflix is making a run for in-season episodes of big TV hits. It was rumored they were willing to pay $100,000 per episode to get the rights. paidContent’s Andrew Wallenstein said, that’s a bunch of hooey, this is not what Netflix is going to be able to do, no TV network in the right mind would license Glee to Netflix, because…

John C. Dvorak Who wants to watch Glee anyway?

Tom Merritt Well – or any – you pick your…

John C. Dvorak Funny, you’d bring up Glee of all examples.

Tom Merritt CSI.

John C. Dvorak I suspect you watch Glee.

Tom Merritt I watch it every so often. My wife is a huge fan of it.

John C. Dvorak Okay, whatever.

Tom Merritt You know, Gwyneth Paltrow can sing. You should watch that episode.

John C. Dvorak I’m not watching Glee.

Tom Merritt Molly, do you watch Glee?

Molly Wood I don’t watch Glee but John is now annoying me enough that I kind of want it.

John C. Dvorak Yeah. Aah, my job is done.

Tom Merritt Any way what paidContent’s Andrew Wallenstein pointed out is what they should do is try to get the serial dramas that don’t go into syndication. His argument is why would anyone sell the rights to current episodes to Netflix when they can make so much more money in syndication? And most of – three of the networks have a Hulu interest they can use for that. They wouldn’t give them to Netflix, but the older serialized shows that are harder to jump into in the beginning might be a good opportunity and then he used AMC’s Mad Men or CSI as examples of ways that you can possibly have Netflix help you out with your ratings.

John C. Dvorak Yeah, I think so, I think that yeah – that should be a kind of a dichotomized approach to these things, I think things you write, Mad Men is a perfect example of something people like to watch. They get into it, you’ll get into late in the game, a lot of these things like Mad Men and Ribcon was the same way. If you didn’t see the first few episodes or you can’t keep up. You can’t. You have to go back and you have to find some way of watching it from the beginning. And…

Molly Wood It is – as much as that I agree with that point of view to a certain extent, I – the networks still have been totally resistant to do that. I mean, Hulu is the perfect example like there are so many shows that I wouldn’t want to watch if I could get caught up, and if I could just stream them at work and get – but I can only see the last five episodes of Fringe or something on Hulu and it’s just – I don’t – I feel like Netflix is probably pursuing everything with the same fervor because the networks are objecting to any flexibility with the same fervor.

Christopher Mitchell Netflix ….

Tom Merritt Well they don’t want to give up the money – I’m sorry Chris, I’ll just say this real quickly, they don’t want to give up the money that they already know they can get through existing licensing sort of situations to risk the money that they might get if online television really takes off.

Christopher Mitchell I think that if you look a step ahead, Netflix licenses a couple of these series that people really want to see, we’re looking at 20% if you believe the number right now of the streaming traffic, more people are finding out about them, more people are signing up for that $9 a month or whatever it is, offered to…

Tom Merritt It gets $8 for streaming only 9 with one disk, yeah.

Christopher Mitchell Okay, so $8, I think there’s really – it’ll be really interesting to see, I don’t think our cable and DSL networks can handle that many people streaming these shows, and so I kind of wonder if Netflix could be a victim of its own success by just getting too much good content, because right now, they’re doing tremendous with movies that are a lot of times four weeks after their release date; television shows that are season or two out, and so I think there’s – it’ll be interesting to see what happens if they’re able to do this. I don’t know if they have a plan moving forward of how they’re going to really deliver it to people and at high-quality.

Molly Wood You know, our networks, the ISPs and the backbones could probably handle it if they haven’t so successfully killed off, and/or demonized BitTorrent technology just saying.

Christopher Mitchell Right. Maybe.

John C. Dvorak Yeah, that’s a good point.

Tom Merritt No, Vuze uses BitTorrent to stream video..

John C. Dvorak Who?

Tom Merritt Vuze.

John C. Dvorak I don’t know Vuze.

Tom Merritt It’s been called something else before that, but again because what Molly just said, because of the demonization of the word nobody – everybody is hesitant to get in bed with them.

Molly Wood Yeah…

Christopher Mitchell Well, I don’t think actually BitTorrent would have – it’s a great point I mean, BitTorrent were to solve some of these issues with the streaming, although CDNs through a certain extent, the Content Delivery Networks took that over. But fundamentally there is just not the capacity for everyone to – right now we’re seeing traffic broadband increase by 30% on the year, I think, if it goes up to 50 or 60, I don’t think anyone is really prepared for that.

Tom Merritt 20% is Netflix don’t forget.

Christopher Mitchell Oh, yeah.

Tom Merritt May be.

Christopher Mitchell The increases I believe it’s on the order of 30% or 40%, and I guess the question I have is, is just, I don’t think there’s an infrastructure already to handle this. There’s certain cities that our FiOS can handle it, number of the community networks can handle it, but Netflix is sort of full speed ahead without regard to the fact that I don’t think a lot of people would be able to use this when everyone’s getting on it.

John C. Dvorak No, it’s – absolutely, so it was a disaster waiting to happen, the FiOS can handle the downloads, but can Netflix deliver enough? That’s the problem. And that’s the – there was the great – the beauty of torrents is that it – everybody took part in this kind of passing around aspect of it, so you know you had, it wasn’t like dependant on one single source but you know, then there’s all kinds of legal issues…

Tom Merritt Well, and if everybody was using torrents then Comcast would be sending as much traffic back to Level 3 as Level 3 was sending to hit.

John C. Dvorak Right, it’s true.

Christopher Mitchell BitTorrents make it really great if I have a piece of content that I want to get out to millions of people but there’s still the fact that I need to get at a certain number of bits down to my computer at a certain rate in order to have a good quality experience watching it. There’s also just the fundamental stupidity of streaming when you have an Internet like we have where progressive download or something like that would be far superior but the content creators want to use streaming because I think it will prohibit the piracy.

Tom Merritt Bring back ZOOST.

John C. Dvorak ZOOST.

Tom Merritt ZOOST was using a BitTorrent for its streaming.

John C. Dvorak It was?

Molly Wood Yeah.

Tom Merritt Yeah, worked well. Even with those few users that it had, it worked well. Can you imagine if –

John C. Dvorak It was you and what five other guys.

Tom Merritt Well, Molly was next door to me at the time.

John C. Dvorak That’s two, yeah.

Molly Wood That’s true, yeah.

Tom Merritt We were watching. Yeah. That was it. We were sharing the bits back and forth.

Molly Wood It worked perfectly, though.

Christopher Mitchell If ZOOST is in an app store from Chrome maybe people would know about it.

Tom Merritt It all comes back to that.

John C. Dvorak It all comes back to round and about. Show’s over.

Tom Merritt Another program –

Molly Wood [ph] Fallbacks (70:53) are the sole of comedy.

Tom Merritt Right. One more program that uses P2P is Skype. And they are ramping up, according to TechCrunch, a new series of web-based products. This rumor goes in line with the rumor that Facebook would be integrating Skype. This is what they say – Jason Kincaid says on TechCrunch is that Skype is hoping to launch a web-based service in the first quarter that would integrate into multiple partner sites, the ability – maybe in Linkedin or Facebook to use Skype to call people and you would have a special plan in Skype that would allow you to do that. It may be free to start with and then they try to show you premium features.

John C. Dvorak Like what?

Tom Merritt Like text messaging –

John C. Dvorak Skype is free now. You get all that stuff for free. It’s free.

Tom Merritt International calls, all that stuff. It would be the same thing, right, in your embedded version.

John C. Dvorak Like I said, I don’t think people should be using Facebook, so –

Tom Merritt Well, what about Linkedin or what about anything else, any other sites channeldvorak. Would you put Skype in there so you could –

John C. Dvorak No. Why not? Well, you want a Skype account, just go to Skype – Skype.com, Skype.org. I mean what is the idea here? It doesn’t make sense to me.

Molly Wood You don’t have to download software. I like a web-based approach.

Tom Merritt It’s web apps.

Molly Wood For Skype. It’s web apps. It’s not even a web – it doesn’t have to be a web app. It just web-based like as opposed to downloading a piece of software. That’s awesome.

John C. Dvorak Web-based, oh web-based, oh.

Tom Merritt This is essentially what we thought eBay was going to do with Skype when they owned them.

Molly Wood Right

John C. Dvorak Yeah, well, they didn’t because it’s a bad idea.

Molly Wood Why is it bad idea?

Christopher Mitchell If it works better than the system where it’s people who –

John C. Dvorak It’s just a bad idea. What’s wrong with Skype the way it is? I just don’t get why everything has to, all of a sudden, be web-based.

Christopher Mitchell The problem is that you need to have a webcam that works and I go through the family members.

Molly Wood What was wrong with horses the way they were, why would we build cars?

John C. Dvorak I agree with that. We should be driving horses.

Tom Merritt I think the question is, is it going to be –

John C. Dvorak The trouble with horses is they’re going to crap all over the place, can you imagine what it smelled like in New York around 1890? I mean, just imagine.

Tom Merritt There’s not an analogous problem with the web app of Skype, though.

John C. Dvorak Well, there is. The stink aspect. The idea stinks just like horses’ backwards.

Tom Merritt I’m sorry, Molly, what were you saying?

Molly Wood I just said maybe like DLLs or the metaphor like Skype craps all over my registry, I want a web app.

Tom Merritt That’s exactly. The web app is cleaner and I think the idea is, I don’t have to launch a separate application if I’m in – I know you don’t want to use Facebook but let’s – a lot of people are using it as their contact manager now and if I want to call somebody I can call them somebody right out of Facebook if I’m already in it or Linkedin.

Molly Wood Yes, like Meebo.

Tom Merritt You use Linkedin, John?

John C. Dvorak Yeah.

Tom Merritt What if you could just call somebody right out of Linkedin?

John C. Dvorak I don’t want to call anybody on Linkedin.

Tom Merritt Well, you just don’t want to talk to people.

John C. Dvorak Absolutely, I mean you know what am I calling people for?

Christopher Mitchell I think maybe too early for this.

Molly Wood [ph] I think this beginning (73:28) nowhere portion of the show.

John C. Dvorak Yeah, let’s go into the next topic.

Tom Merritt Let’s move on. Prosecutors dismissed the Xbox modding case. It was quite a week for the Xbox modding case. Robert Crippen was being brought to trial for selling modchips for the Xbox. First, he was told that he could not use “fair use” as a defense. Then, when the trial started and the jury were seated, the Judge went on a tirade –

John C. Dvorak Oh, great.

Tom Merritt …against the prosecution and then suggested maybe he could use “fair use” as a defense.

John C. Dvorak No.

Tom Merritt They took a recess, came back, looked like the prosecution was willing to carry on under the new rules that Judge Philip Gutierrez had put in place and then the next day, they dropped the case.

John C. Dvorak So, this is a waste of the taxpayers’ money, is what you’re saying.

Tom Merritt Big waste of the taxpayers’ money because they got nowhere, there’s not even a precedent here but Crippen gets off and he doesn’t have to pay any money or do any jail time or suffer any penalty for selling the modchips for an Xbox.

John C. Dvorak Well, I hope he keeps doing it then.

Molly Wood Well, and better yet, nobody sets a really disturbing hardware-related precedent that says you can’t mod or pay somebody to mod your own hardware that you bought, which is good.

John C. Dvorak And that’s a good thing.

Molly Wood That’s a good thing.

Tom Merritt But it doesn’t set a precedent that you can either and I think that’s why the prosecution dropped the case as they were worried about that.

Molly Wood Well, yeah.

Tom Merritt They were worried that this would end up setting a precedent saying you know what, any time you are doing it for a reasonable purpose like making a backup of your own game, you should be allowed to do. That would break the DMCA wide open.

John C. Dvorak Yeah, [multiple speakers] (74:54).

Molly Wood Yeah, if you put it that day, it’s sad that it didn’t go forward but given the 50-50 chance it would have gone – actually probably better than that in today’s climate, it would have gone the wrong way…

Tom Merritt I bet Mr. Crippen is really glad it didn’t go on.

Molly Wood He’s fired up, yeah.

Tom Merritt Yeah. He’s pretty excited.

Molly Wood I am happy that it went away. Like I’m willing to of – committed the amount of time and money that was committed to it…

Tom Merritt He said he’s going back to school. He is going to finish his degree. He’s done. He’s not going to sell modchips anymore.

John C. Dvorak He’s going to go get a degree in law.

Tom Merritt Maybe he’s going to get a law degree.

Christopher Mitchell How many other people with good ideas are going to just not move forward with it because they are afraid of just the law battle because that’s a pretty major determinant right there, that’s a victory for the – those who don’t want the modding.

John C. Dvorak For the forces of evil. Let’s be real about this.

Tom Merritt Who’s on the forces of evil?

John C. Dvorak The people that are trying to just slam down any poor kid who’s got a good idea, that and Sarbanes-Oxley just thought I’d get that in.

Tom Merritt Drink.

John C. Dvorak So have another – what’s our next topic?

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Alright. MacBook Air performs poorly compared with similarly priced Windows laptops, this according to PCWorld comparison. They basically said, they’re always heavier. The Windows machines are always heavier. Go ahead, John. Come on in, just blocks the camera, it’s not a problem –

John C. Dvorak Nobody was going to see me and switch, I could have done that transparently but no, that wasn’t going to happen.

Tom Merritt The MacBook Air always lighter, often better with battery life but if you want a more high performance computer, they said, you should probably go with a Windows machines. It’s just going to hurt you back.

John C. Dvorak Who said this? I missed that part.

Tom Merritt PCWorld.

John C. Dvorak Oh, gee – duh.

Tom Merritt Oh because they’re called PCWorld?

John C. Dvorak Yeah.

Tom Merritt That just means personal computer and MacBook Air is a personal computer.

Molly Wood Oh come on. How would this not – I would have been absolutely astonished. I would have said you know what Apple has turned water into wine if they had come up with another finding than this. Because this has always been –

John C. Dvorak Exactly.

Molly Wood It’s an underpowered machine for the price, that’s the deal. Like this isn’t a headline if you pay that much for a Windows machine, hell yeah, you’re going to get a smoking machine.

John C. Dvorak Yeah, that’s true. You get twice as much power for the money. But beside the point, the MacBook Air is a fantastic product.

Christopher Mitchell It’s just a little pricey.

John C. Dvorak Yeah but think about the effort that they went –

Molly Wood Sure.

John C. Dvorak I mean they grinned out a piece of a solid block of aluminum to put this thing as very well –

Tom Merritt It’s not hand-chiseled or anything, I mean –

John C. Dvorak It’s hand-chiseled by slaves.

Tom Merritt You make it sound like – there’s like –

John C. Dvorak They chisel with a saw, saw, saw –

Tom Merritt …like artisans, in a [ph] fetch (78:20) roof cottage.

John C. Dvorak Exactly, that’s what they do.

John C. Dvorak And so, they whip them, they whip these people.

Christopher Mitchell If it was [ph] fetch, the [indiscernible] (78:28) employees couldn’t jump off it as easily.

Tom Merritt Now, it’s a good point.

Christopher Mitchell Too soon.

Tom Merritt Thank you Molly

Christopher Mitchell It didn’t mean to – I didn’t mean that to be harsh.

Tom Merritt For a thousand –

Molly Wood Oh no, that was just – that was pretty much just the chance for Tom and I to do a little same brain…

Tom Merritt Yeah, yeah, exactly.

Molly Wood Hi-five.

Tom Merritt For $1,000, Asus U33Jc is $300 cheaper than the 13-inch Air and last seven plus hours on a single charge. So if you want to find out, go to PCWorld, you can see all the comparisons they did. You’re right it’s not that surprising. Does this surprise you, rearview cameras could become mandatory on cars in the United States?

John C. Dvorak Mandatory?

Tom Merritt Mandatory.

John C. Dvorak What corruption is involved with this idea?

Tom Merritt Oh, I don’t know what Congress person has a stake in camera makers but –

John C. Dvorak Somebody.

Tom Merritt …new vehicles starting in late 2014 under this plan which received a strong endorsement from the insurance industry is likely to get some level of support from car manufacturers, at least that’s according to the LA Times.

John C. Dvorak Yeah, because they can charge you another $100.

Molly Wood No, that is absolutely ludicrous that they would mandate a feature that expensive that causes and I am sorry I don’t mean to discount the death of anybody as a result of this but 292 fatalities a year?

Tom Merritt Yeah, I mean –

John C. Dvorak 292 for the people backing up on somebody? Hey, grandma.

Tom Merritt If you know or loved one of the 292 fatalities, you are obviously going to feel different –

Molly Wood Right.

Tom Merritt …but from a purely statistical point of view –

John C. Dvorak The number is zero.

Tom Merritt …that is a miniscule number.

John C. Dvorak It’s nil.

Tom Merritt They shouldn’t sell ladders.

Molly Wood This is ludicrous.

Tom Merritt I mean more people probably fall – I am guessing –

John C. Dvorak Yeah. No, I’m sure they knew [multiple speakers] bathtubs (80:02).

Tom Merritt Fall off of ladders and kill themselves, and as I know falls is one of the top reasons people die. You guys all travel pretty frequently…

Molly Wood Yes, I’m sorry but if they do not mandate for example Bluetooth in every car like I know someone who has just bought a new car, a 2010 model that doesn’t come with Bluetooth as an option. In California where it’s the law that you have to do handsfree calling, if they don’t mandate Bluetooth, if they don’t mandate breathalyzers in every single ignition then they can not possibly justify mandating the…

John C. Dvorak Has she jumped a breathalyzers?

Tom Merritt Well, no the breathalyzers I think is a really good point because…

John C. Dvorak I don’t want a breathalyzer in my car.

Tom Merritt …more people die in drunk-driving accidents than die from backup fatalities, so if you are going to mandate a backup camera why wouldn’t you mandate a breathalyzer?

John C. Dvorak I suppose that logic is impeccable.

Christopher Mitchell When you guys travel, have you noticed the last 3 or 4 cars that I have gotten when I traveled and friends of mine that have new cars, they seems like they are back all slopes up, and it’s really hard to see actually and so I kind of wonder if this is related to that or if I’m just imagining it wrong cars?

John C. Dvorak So you are imagining that the designers have a scheme afoot.

Christopher Mitchell I don’t think that’s what I was imagining. But it does seem like cars are harder to see out backwards now.

John C. Dvorak Yeah, well you know, I always get out of the car when I have to backup I stop the car, open the door, I get out, look behind and make sure somebody is not laying there…

Tom Merritt It’s the only way to be 100% safe.

John C. Dvorak …to set me up, it works.

Molly Wood According – okay, of course, this is just what I was able to find from 2008, right; in 2008, 11,773 died in alcohol impaired driving crashes, compared to 292 who died by being backed over.

John C. Dvorak Backed over, sorry.

Molly Wood You wouldn’t mandate a breathalyzer but…

John C. Dvorak But how about people who die in the bathtub, let’s do something about that.

Molly Wood What is wrong with this world?

Tom Merritt I think I know, my guess about what is going on here, is some insurance actuary noted the amount of savings they could have probably more for the injuries, because there is 18,000 injuries, if there were a backup camera on every car and said, you know what let’s try to push for this to be mandated because then there is fewer payouts that we have to make for injuries.

John C. Dvorak Let’s take another look at this, people are not looking behind their car when they back up apparently, and what makes you think they are going be looking at the screen, they are probably just oblivious to the entire world, they are not going to look at – necessarily look at the screen to see what’s behind them, it might be out of range, who knows, and they are going to back up over somebody laying back there, this whole thing is a waste of time and money.

Christopher Mitchell If we are going to mandate anything it should be wireless in public buildings I think.

John C. Dvorak I like that.

Tom Merritt Well, that’s going to happen too. Thank you for the transition Chris.

John C. Dvorak Good one.

Tom Merritt Yeah, the…

Christopher Mitchell I’m not sure why, but okay.

Tom Merritt A bill is being proposed in Congress that would require Wi-Fi base stations in all federal buildings. It’s a bi-partisan bill. Senator Olympia Snowe, Republican of Maine and Mark Warner, Democrat of Virginia introduced the legislation on Friday.

Christopher Mitchell And Mark Warner is really good on broadband generally and I just want to read the purpose of this which comes from the bill itself and that’s to install Wi-Fi hotspots and wireless neutral hosts systems in all federal buildings in order to improve in-building wireless communications coverage and commercial network capacity by offloading wireless traffic onto wireline broadband networks. Strikes me it’s kind of an odd situation, I mean, I was just thinking about where the city halls and public buildings are around Minneapolis and I just don’t see this being all that helpful and why the federal government is mandating that local governments have to help private companies to manage their traffic is even more sort of confusing to me. I don’t really understand the point of this, although quite honestly having more open Wi-Fi for people to use is certainly a good thing.

John C. Dvorak So you are against it?

Christopher Mitchell It really strikes me as being unnecessary.

Tom Merritt It sounds like you don’t think we’d get the benefit from it because there is just not enough federal buildings that would warrant this because it’s only the federal buildings that would required to be retrofitted by 2014.

Christopher Mitchell Yes, you are right.

Molly Wood I think that’s exactly why, yes.

John C. Dvorak The bill is sponsored by Cisco.

Christopher Mitchell You are right.

Molly Wood What possible purpose would this have that it warrants a law?

Christopher Mitchell It’s like I read it and I didn’t even listen to it but you are right, it’s only the federal buildings which was even fewer of.

John C. Dvorak Can you get the signal outside the building? That’s what I’d like to know. So you can drive up…

Tom Merritt Well they put it in the basement, so yeah, probably, no, that’s what it says.

John C. Dvorak How is it going to radiate north?

Tom Merritt It goes up pretty easily and then out.

Christopher Mitchell These are pretty big buildings, they would have to have multiple access points.

John C. Dvorak You better have a bunch of this.

Tom Merritt Well to make it any good, right, you have to have multiple access points to spread it around. I don’t know if this calls for that or not.

Christopher Mitchell I still don’t understand the purpose of it being to help commercial carriers to – I mean it just seems, if it’s good public policy for people to have better access to Internet when they are in federal buildings, then let’s do it, but to throw that in just confuses me.

John C. Dvorak So are we going to get WiMAX apparently in the next few weeks in the Bay Area?

Tom Merritt Yes.

John C. Dvorak You are going to try it? We are going to try it, we are going to…

Molly Wood Yes, that’s what we hear.

Tom Merritt I have a Sprint Overdrive…

John C. Dvorak You do?

Tom Merritt That uses WiMAX and I’ve used it in Atlanta and it worked great. So I’m curious if it’s going to work here.

John C. Dvorak I got to talk to it, you have the Sprint PR person, I got to discuss this, this is like important to me because I usually…

Tom Merritt No, I bought the Sprint Overdrive. I don’t have a PR contact.

John C. Dvorak Groan!

Molly Wood Look at him horrified.

John C. Dvorak So it’s like I’m horrified. I’m horrified. No, it’s because I used to have Sprint Broadband Direct which is about 10 years ago or more.

Tom Merritt Oh my gosh, yes.

John C. Dvorak And they cancelled it saying oh we are going to – you know they grandfathered a few people in and the next thing you know they said, we are going to – we got a million technologies, we are going to replace it with 10-years goes by and they have nothing and so now they are bringing this thing out and I’m wondering it’s about time (a) and I want to check it up because it seems to me that once you standardize on one technology with WiMAX which is problematic because all the trechnologies none of them work together, so but Clearwire is doing all of them, so it might actually work. The long story short, ladies and gentlemen.

Christopher Mitchell I really like to hear what Tom’s experience was and how good it was because I’m guessing your Comcast connection is going to be superior to anything you are going to get from WiMAX.

Tom Merritt Well, yes, I am comparing the Sprint Overdrive to the Verizon MiFi and the Verizon MiFi only does 3G, the Sprint Overdrive did WiMAX in Atlanta, and it was excellent, it worked really well unless I was deep inside a building and then the WiMAX’s problem penetrating buildings started to show up and it would switch to 3G a lot of the time, but most of the time that wasn’t…

John C. Dvorak Everybody I’ve talked to in Portland that uses it, which is it’s one of the first cities they implemented it, they say it’s fantastic.

Christopher Mitchell Yes, no, actually I have a different experience, a friend of mine who is in Portland was disappointed to find out that they can’t get it because they are on the wrong side of a hill --

John C. Dvorak Oh that’s a bad experience, I would agree.

Christopher Mitchell …so there’s clearly some gaps, but I did some research on this recently and they have the two plans one of which I believe is like a gigabit down and half a gigabit up, I’m sorry, that would be incredible, a megabit down and half a megabit up…

Tom Merritt There you go.

John C. Dvorak That will be good.

Tom Merritt That would actually be 4G, if it was – or even 5G…

John C. Dvorak The guy in Portland in the chat room says it sucks in Portland but you know again it might be where you are located.

Tom Merritt It probably is.

Christopher Mitchell Right, but when I looked at it, then they have an unlimited plan and from what I could tell sort of averaging responses on message boards and whatnot, it looks like the best people do is about 5 megabits a second sustained and I just, I mean that can be terrific for a handheld device but I don’t see that replacing a wired connection and fundamentally I mean we have 4G Verizon LTE coming out today I believe and I think there is a solace hype around wireless.

Tom Merritt Not technically 4G.

John C. Dvorak It’s not technically 4G and I resent the fact that…

Tom Merritt I more – I think…

John C. Dvorak It’s 4G-ish.

Molly Wood Okay, let’s be fair, the technical specification for 4G actually came out after the marketing term had been in widespread use…

Tom Merritt Sure, sure.

Molly Wood …so they can still get to call it that way.

John C. Dvorak They could call it whatever they want.

Tom Merritt Oh yeah, no, they could call it whatever they want, right.

John C. Dvorak It’s not a trademark thing. You can call it 5G for all you know.

Tom Merritt That’s how T-Mobile gets away with calling their HSDPA Plus or HSPA Plus 4G.

Molly Wood 4G, yes.

John C. Dvorak But LTE is like you know, I’m on the other side of the…

Christopher Mitchell LTE is 4G-er.

John C. Dvorak I’m on the other side of this debate which is that by the way WiMAX in Japan has up to 300 megabits per second called WiMAX 2.

Tom Merritt That’s 4G.

John C. Dvorak It’s called – yes.

Christopher Mitchell For how many people on the tower?

John C. Dvorak But the point is is that I’m not convinced that the cell phone technologies that run LTE and all the rest of that came before it, you know they always run out of bandwidth, they crap out, they have all these issues, it’s not really – the cell phone network, the mobile network has never been equipped for data, doesn’t like it, I don’t know, I’m not taking that side of the equation any time soon.

Christopher Mitchell Well, that’s exactly right, I mean wireless and wired networks aren’t substitutes, they are complements, and wireless is terrific for a lot of things but it’s not a substitute and the idea that we are going to solve our rural broadband problems with 4G just go off on a tangent because I can, is absurd for the reasons that you just mentioned, wireless is just not going to – our future is wired and wireless.

Tom Merritt All right, couple of stories to finish this off here, a Texas man Aaron Embry told a local FOX News affiliate he heard a popping noise while using his DROID 2 and then looked down to find blood dripping from his ear, the glass…

John C. Dvorak That happens to me a lot.

Tom Merritt The glass had broken, the battery I guess maybe exploded and cut him, now he says, I felt something dripping, I realize that it was probably blood, I went into the house and as I got into the bathroom and once I got to the mirror I saw it, I was only then I kind of looked at my phone and noticed the screen had appeared to burst outward. So he took some pictures of it in case he had a legal case and then went to the hospital.

John C. Dvorak Well, that’s a new version of Two to the Head.

Molly Wood The thing that I like about it actually is that he says it still works perfectly.

Tom Merritt Well, he finished the call, he heard the popping noise, wondered what was that, finished the call and it wasn’t until he was done with the call that he noticed the blood.

John C. Dvorak Yes, this is the problem with cell phones. The guy’s bleeding to death and he can’t get off the phone. Give me a break.

Tom Merritt Wouldn’t happen with Windows Phone. I’ve seen the commercials. [multiple speakers] (90:00).

John C. Dvorak Yes, they should do, you know.

Tom Merritt They should do that. They should have…

John C. Dvorak And you got one of those phones by the way?

Tom Merritt No, I haven’t. But they should have a commercial where even if your ear starts bleeding, you’ll get back into life quicker. Actually, we, baby, just – we don’t explode inside your ear.

Molly Wood That’s perfect.

John C. Dvorak Exploding phone. You know by the way, years and years ago, that some Detroit Metropolitan Police had this idea of distributing Motorola phones. They tried to do this at Motorola. It just never happened by the way. To put a small bomb in the phone that went to drug dealers and they can track this guy down just blow their heads off.

Christopher Mitchell No, they did that with Hamas leader, Israel did that with a phone a number of years ago successfully.

Molly Wood Yes, exactly. I think that happened.

John C. Dvorak Well, okay. Well, I guess it was the one time it happened but it can happen – I don’t trust…

Tom Merritt You thought it was just a conspiracy theory, here it was true.

John C. Dvorak Well, that’s why I only buy disposable phones.

Christopher Mitchell Yeah, if you get a phone in the mail junk, don’t answer it.

Tom Merritt That’s why they call them burners.

John C. Dvorak Yes.

Tom Merritt Finally, the food tubes group wants to put goods mostly food but some other goods in metal capsules two meters long which would then be shifted through underground polyethylene tubes at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour directed by linear induction motors in a way to cut cost for delivering goods especially food to government buildings and supermarkets.

John C. Dvorak What?

Molly Wood That’s freaking awesome.

Tom Merritt And they want to use Internet packets switching technology to help them guide the metal capsules.

John C. Dvorak Now, what are you reading, it’s just like popular science from the ‘30s?

Molly Wood Just let the packets...

Tom Merritt You have to name and after Ted Stevens. You have to name it after him. He came up with the tubes. It was his idea and he deserves a credit.

John C. Dvorak Oh, well there it go. He was ahead of his time. It’s a series of tubes.

Molly Wood You know what this is – I mean who has not – well, okay, if you didn’t never – grow up in like a cold state you haven’t seen this but if you go, they have drive-through banks and the nomadic tubes.

Tom Merritt Yes, right.

John C. Dvorak Yes, they still have. They still have them.

Molly Wood That is a genius idea for a transporting, I don’t know, wheat bundles.

John C. Dvorak Yes.

Molly Wood Okay, it’s crazy but I like it.

Christopher Mitchell I think it is crazy. Molly is right but at the same time, I’ve been – you read further in the article and something that I occasionally think about which is the energy you put into a vehicle, the energy that vehicle uses to move you like 98% of that energy is wasted, right? Because you weigh 100 pounds. The vehicle weighs – I’m sorry you weigh 200 pounds if you are me. The vehicle weighs 2,000 pounds, a lot more probably – there’s just so much energy that’s wasted and so the idea of installing these tubes once and then not having to run trucks everywhere…

John C. Dvorak No, brother.

Christopher Mitchell Actually you imagine it’s a long-term investment. It could seriously pay off, I can imagine.

Tom Merritt They say it would cost £400 million to build it in Croydon, a Borough of London and they estimate it would make £80 million a year.

John C. Dvorak Yes, the first thing you would have someone stuffed their in the thing and off it goes.

Christopher Mitchell You use it as a people mover.

John C. Dvorak Yes, people mover.

Molly Wood Dude, you have issues, really, your brother. What do you want to talk about? How do you feel about your mom?

John C. Dvorak In she goes. She ends up in Croydon.

Tom Merritt Light-weight capsules which are roughly the same size as the cages that are carried by supermarket lorries, those are trucks in the U.K., would be moved by an electromagnetic kick from linear induction motors and connects supermarkets schools and other major buildings.

Christopher Mitchell Let’s just hope it’s standardized so we don’t have different size tubes…

Molly Wood How is that different from things like maglev trains or something? I mean if we’re going to move to energy efficient transportation, why does it have to be underground? That seems like actually more inefficient like you could just – if we all got to mach lever, we all got to natural gas vehicles, we all got totally electric or even using maybe the same exact power like, what is it have to be a barrier grid.

John C. Dvorak See the movie Brazil…

Tom Merritt Just keeps it out of the way, doesn’t take up the road space so you can drive your inefficient Tesla Motors car.

Christopher Mitchell Maybe good in areas with less seismic activity.

Tom Merritt Yes, I don’t know if we’re going to be doing this in San Francisco area any time soon.

Molly Wood Probably no.

Tom Merritt I love the idea of a fooder net.

John C. Dvorak Yes, okay.

Molly Wood The feeder net. Awwww that’s awesome. You know [multiple speakers] (94:28) for a good sci-fi novel.

Tom Merritt Fooder.

Christopher Mitchell I hope broadband is considered a utility before these tubes of food and packages.

Tom Merritt The only thing that gets me…

John C. Dvorak You have to measure the size of these containers in megabytes.

John C. Dvorak Thank you, slacker.

Tom Merritt John, I don’t know, packet switch technology works because you can error correct for lost packets, doesn’t work so well with this.

John C. Dvorak Hey, I’m missing a loaf of bread.

Christopher Mitchell [multiple speakers] (94:56) that could be expensive.

Molly Wood Seriously the packets switch just alone they are…

John C. Dvorak [multiple speakers] (95:01) bread.

Tom Merritt All right. RadioShack is offering an Apple iPhone 4 as little as $25 that’s if you trade in your iPhone 3GS, nice discounts. Best Buy by the way is giving a free phone mostly Android phones everyday with contract, a bunch of deals going on all this month. In fact, a good way to find out deals would be to watch Molly Wood on CNET, would it not?

John C. Dvorak You got deals, Molly? You know Kmart --

Molly Wood That’s great. This Holiday Help Desk season actually which we’re doing every Monday --

Tom Merritt I do so miss it.

Molly Wood At 1 PM Pacific. I am sure you do.

John C. Dvorak You know Kmart has got a deal this weekend which I just want to mention, I didn’t go buy one but I was tempted to for 450 bucks only because of the nature of this thing. 450 bucks a 42-inch plasma from Panasonic. 450 bucks I’m think – because I am looking at that thing and the first plasma --

Tom Merritt Panasonic too?

John C. Dvorak [ph] Well, they are the only one (95:55) still doing as far as I can tell but anyway I remember seeing the first plasma at a CommDeck show or at CES, one of two and the first – and there was 42-inches that was the original 10 grand ……

Tom Merritt So the prices has come down a bit.

John C. Dvorak A little bit. Yeah, 450 bucks, 10 grand. Do you know I’m thinking? Yeah you know.

Tom Merritt That’s the way it goes.

Molly Wood Anyways we’ll have all those deals just like that at the Holiday Help Desk and shopper.cnet.com.

John C. Dvorak Hello. By the way, somebody mentions 720p for this thing. I want to say something. Panasonic study this to death and they determined that that anything below 50 inches and 50 inches too, you could not tell from any – from a distance of more than three feet, whether it was 720p or 1080p, you could not visually tell the difference at that size.

Tom Merritt Most people can. There are those with 20/10 vision.

John C. Dvorak Well, I don’t know. Maybe but Panasonic studied to death. Of course, it could be [ph] BS2 [indiscernible] (96:48).

Tom Merritt All right. Well, thank you guys for helping out today filling in Leo. It was a great show. Molly Wood, you’ve got your one plug-in but I’ll give you a second one since you got interrupted by Panasonic deals.

Molly Wood I’d tell you that was a pretty good plug. You did all the other plug-in at the beginning of the show.

John C. Dvorak You guys are plugging each other too much.

Tom Merritt Fine, [ph] Bob (1:97:07) don’t say it like that. Find Molly Wood at cnet.com, Buzz Out Loud everyday ….

Molly Wood See, now it’s weird.

Tom Merritt Chris Mitchell, thank you for being with us as well and let folks know where they can find what you’re doing?

Christopher Mitchell Sure. I’m actually, I think setting a record. I came in with about 160 Twitter followers at communitynets and I’ll see how that goes. I’m guessing it will be far higher than I would have gotten on my own …….

Tom Merritt And then your organization works on municipal Internet, right?

Christopher Mitchell Right. So, we’re the Institute for Local Self-Reliance for profit. I work on community broadband. So, anything that’s co-ops, non-profit, municipal ownership. The point is that the network should be focused on community needs rather than profits. And so, there’s also other focuses of the institute which you can find at ilsr.org for the Institute for Local Self-Reliance but all their telecom work really happens at muninetworks.org where I write about networks like the 1-Gigabit per second Chattanooga Network and other community networks that are doing fascinating things to push forward in ways that private carriers are a little bit slow to do sometimes.

Tom Merritt Well, Chris, thank you so much. I really appreciate taking the time to be on the show and of course, John C. Dvorak, a pleasure as always.

John C. Dvorak It’s a pleasure to be here especially with the great Tom Merritt. Ladies and gent – oh, you were not in front of an audience, never mind.

Tom Merritt Yeah, we do have …..

John C. Dvorak We have one [indiscernible] (98:29) club. But anyway, channeldvorak.com to see what I am up to and you can check out my list of [indiscernible] (98:35) there.

Tom Merritt And don’t forget, we’re trying to put together the best moments of TWiT all year long, go to twit.tv/bestof. Look out the video and give us the time code and name the moment for us, we are going to put that together as a special at the end of the year. So appreciate your help with that. Another TWiT is now inside of a can.





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