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This is TWiT, This WEEK in TECH, Episode 293, recorded March 20, 2011; “Undressed For Your Comfort.”
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It’s time for TWiT this WEEK in TECH; the show the covers the week’s tech news and boy, some of the biggest tech news just happened. Let’s get our panel on it. What a great panel it is, starting in the upper left hand corner, Mr. Kevin Rose.
Kevin Rose Hello sir. Thank you for having me.
Leo Laporte Is it safe to say formerly of Digg?
Kevin Rose We can talk about that. Yeah, I think it’s safe – it’s to say that in some way.
Leo Laporte Alright, alright. Founder. I’ll say founder – Digg founder, host of Diggnation on Revision3, founder of Revision3 and blogger at – let’s say he’s a blogger now at kevinrose.com.
Kevin Rose You can say that for now.
Leo Laporte I want to find out what you’re up to. We’re excited to have you on, thanks for joining us. A regular panelist we love having him on from the Houston Chronicle and TechBlog there, Dwight Silverman is also the host of a great radio show on Pacifica in Houston called, I can never remember…
Dwight Silverman Technology Bytes.
Leo Laporte How could I forget?
Dwight Silverman That’s right. You’ve been on it a couple of times, Leo. Great show having you on, it was wonderful.
Leo Laporte Also with us, as long as we’re talking about people who have lost their jobs or given them up…
Nilay Patel I didn’t lose anything, I gave it away.
Leo Laporte He gained – he lost a job and gained, I don’t know. Nilay Patel, so good to have you.
Nilay Patel Hey it’s great to be here.
Leo Laporte You were the big story last week; your resignation along with Joshua Topolsky from Engadget.
Nilay Patel We were a minor story. There was a much bigger story in the world last week.
Leo Laporte It was – well there was, of course it was, but in the tech world we led with you.
Nilay Patel I guess, you know…
Leo Laporte I had – we had Ryan Block and Peter Rojas on and I said, what’s the story? And they said, well, he’s probably just got tired of blogging.
Nilay Patel Yeah, I hate the Internet and this is the last thing I’m ever going to do on it.
Leo Laporte That’s good. I think it’s about time frankly somebody gave up this thing. And speaking of ink-stained wretches, Nick Bilton, who is the most hip-witted guy in the world and still writes for a dead tree journal soon to be hidden behind a paywall, the New York Times. Hey, Nick.
Nick Bilton Thanks for having me.
Leo Laporte Bravo and the crowd is going crazy. So – yeah, we have to pay for the Times now,
Nick Bilton Well, soon, soon enough.
Leo Laporte Interesting. Nick Bilton But you’ll be able to get it for free if you’re smart about it, not that I’m condoning that.
Leo Laporte No.
Nilay Patel It sounds like you’re condoning it.
Nick Bilton [indiscernible] (3:53)
Leo Laporte Isn’t that the problem with the paywall, is that – it really doesn’t stop anybody?
Nick Bilton Well, I think it stops the people that don’t know how to navigate the web in certain ways but I think that – I really don’t think it’s going to affect people as much as they anticipate. I think that paywall is going to be pretty far back and there’s going to be so many ways to get things that you won’t really see it, unless you’re a really hardcore New York Times reader and in that case you’re probably willing to pay for it.
Leo Laporte Sure, sure. Well, I subscribe, so I presume as a subscriber I’ll get a break of some kind.
Nick Bilton So do you get that print, the old paper?
Leo Laporte Yeah, I got – I do, I get that thick heavy thing on my doorstep every Sunday and I love it.
Nick Bilton [inaudible] (4:30)
Leo Laporte I bet Sunday wouldn’t be Sunday without the New York Times.
Nick Bilton I subscribe but I get it on this little guy right here.
Leo Laporte Yeah, oh, you got a white one, huh?
Nick Bilton I got a white one.
Leo Laporte You did so that everyone know you had an iPad too. Am I right?
Nick Bilton I know – you know you got to try to…
Leo Laporte I got the black one, you know it’s funny because the black frame makes it look like a bigger – it’s optical illusion, it looks like your screen is bigger, that extra optical inch.
Nick Bilton What color did all you guys get?
Leo Laporte Kevin, what you get?
Kevin Rose I got black but I haven’t got mine yet because I ordered mine of the Internet.
Leo Laporte Oh.
Kevin Rose So it’s backed up for a few weeks.
Leo Laporte Yeah, at least, at least. Dwight, Dwight, what did you get? Did you get white, Dwight?
Dwight Silverman I have – I still have the original iPad 1, so I have black by default.
Leo Laporte A one – he’s got a one.
Dwight Silverman I don’t feel the need to get one, I think it’s enough of – I don’t think it’s enough of an improvement for me to go out and shell $400, $500 and the chronicle doesn’t [ph] feels enough improvement too extensive (5:28) for me. So I’ll just watch for everybody else.
Leo Laporte I’m kind of with you. I don’t think there should be any stress for people who have iPad 1s that they didn’t get the iPad 2.
Dwight Silverman No, it’s great. In fact, I did a…
Leo Laporte Thank you, Apple. Thank you.
Dwight Silverman Alright, I did…
Nick Bilton I got it. Carry on [indiscernible] (5:41).
Dwight Silverman I did a review of – for this Tuesday’s dead tree edition, which by the way we now hold our columnist out for a day off the web before they go on.
Leo Laporte So that’s kind of like the beginning of a paywall.
Dwight Silverman Yeah. And – and I did review of GarageBand for iPad which is an incredible piece of software. And I went to the Apple store and played around with it on there to see if there is any difference and when I was done playing with the iPad 2, I’d – I wanted one even less because I just felt like it did – it really didn’t do that much for we have – I have an iPhone 4, so if I want to do FaceTime, I can do that.
Leo Laporte Right. Nick, what, what were you saying there?
Nick Bilton I think it’s a game-changer. I really do like it and I’m – and there’s a lot of Apple things I don’t like, I despise Apple TV. I have some problems with the MacBooks and things like that but I really do think that it’s a game-changer and I think the game-changer is sure, it’s thinner and it’s lighter and it’s got the cameras and it’s much faster which is one of my big complaints but I think that – that the Smart Cover changes the way I entirely use this phone.
Nilay Patel I’m too – I’m not – I’m totally with you, man. I was – I was to try, I was going to get one and I’ve been playing with my brother-in-laws here and his Smart Cover and I’m like, I want this. This is, for whatever stupid reason, everything about the Smart Cover makes this more usable in a lot of ways.
Leo Laporte You know what? Tom Merritt who does our Tech News Today show has been posting pictures of the Smart Cover like on his refrigerator, on his water heater.
Nilay Patel Yeah, just wait until – I mean third – we always get these leaks of third-party cases and they’ve got dimensions [indiscernible] (7:21) or whatever and they make these cases early. They didn’t know about the magnets, right. So this first wave of cases, it doesn’t have anything to do with this technology. The second wave of cases first thing is going to be bonkers. I can – I can tell you, I’ve been hearing – I’ve been reading their case manufacturers are super crazy excited about going after these magnets.
Leo Laporte Really?
Nilay Patel Yeah, there’s so much they can do. They can – the way they can build cases, the way they can make cases go on and off the thing. They have a lot of ideas and Apple – but the Smart Cover is just that’s like the first thing you do with magnets. So you stick on and then you close it. Case makers are going to be creative. The keyboard cases first thing I think they’re going to be great.
Leo Laporte It’s like in our chat room, I – [ph] Me Claudia (8:01) says, it’s like Apple invented the magnet.
Nick Bilton [indiscernible] (8:06) refrigerator door, right? It’s like the – used to have the clip and lock them and you never knew if the light was on and now you just open it and now – I wrote a piece last week about how I timed myself using the iPad 1 and you open the screen and you press a little button on the right hand corner and you swipe your finger and it’s about five seconds to do that. And sure five seconds is nothing but in the age that we live in today where we’re utterly impatient about everything, it adds up to about six, seven minutes a week and the whole thing with the Smart Case is it just – it takes that pressure away from like, do I really want to open it and go through that little process?
Leo Laporte Right.
Nick Bilton It’s a whole different ballgame.
Leo Laporte So you’re saying I should take the – I should the pass code off because they’re just slowing down.
Nick Bilton Yeah, absolutely.
Leo Laporte I’m not getting the full benefit by [indiscernible] (8:51).
Nick Bilton You’re not getting the full 5.1 second effect, you know?
Leo Laporte Damn, I guess I’ll take this off [indiscernible] (8:55) great tip right there. That makes it worth listening to the whole show. Thank you so much.
Nilay Patel Of course, now I’m going to be trying to steal your iPad everywhere you go.
Leo Laporte Yeah, right.
Nilay Patel Now I know I can get into it.
Leo Laporte Actually the big story of the week has nothing to do with Apple. Wow, when did that happen? Sunday, you don’t usually hear Sunday announcements from tech companies. I guess it’s not uncommon in Europe, that’s why AT&T announced that it was purchasing Deutsche telecom’s T-Mobile USA for $39 billion, billion with a B, and the press release immediately started spitting for the benefit of the FTC and the FCC so that they could get this by a regulation by saying, oh, oh, by the way 45 million Americans will now get 4G networks, 95% coverage, this is the Obama plan in action. Is it?
Dwight Silverman No.
Nilay Patel That’s like – that’s pandering to the Obama plan to get regulatory approval in action, I’ll give you that.
Leo Laporte Absolutely. He’s saying, we’re bringing – we’re bringing broadband to rural America by buying T-Mobile.
Nilay Patel We just thought [indiscernible] (10:02) at all.
Dwight Silverman You just have to hope there’s a lot of eye rolling at the FCC.
Leo Laporte It was so obvious, it was like yeah, I mean immediately they say, this is good, this is good. No, no don’t worry. Now, here is the question.
Dwight Silverman I’m getting so tired. I’m getting so tired, I’m going to do my Dvorak imitation early. I’m getting so tired of these companies merging and saying, this is good for the consumer. This is non-sense, you don’t take away choice and end up making it good for the consumer. That’s just absolute bias and it makes me madder every time I see it.
Leo Laporte Will…
Kevin Rose It’s like when AT&T and what was it, Cingular merged.
Leo Laporte Right.
Kevin Rose They promised like more bars. I never saw an additional bar on my phone because [indiscernible] (10:44).
Leo Laporte It will make you want to go to a bar.
Kevin Rose Yeah and I did.
Leo Laporte Nilay, I never asked you, white or black iPad 2?
Nilay Patel I’m going to get white. I have a black one, I think the white one is pretty stylish. I have a feeling my fiancée is going to get black so we’ll have two, so there you go.
Leo Laporte Wow. Actually if you did – if you are a 2 – iPad 2 household, it’s good to get different colors.
Nilay Patel Yeah. Although [indiscernible] (11:09) cases make it – it doesn’t matter but I haven’t decided what color case I’m going to get. I’m leaning red, I think white with a red case. It’s amazing…
Leo Laporte It’s got to be a direct…
Nilay Patel This is like a real conversation that we’re having, it doesn’t matter, right? It’s like a bunch of maggots and a piece of [ph] leather (11:20).
Kevin Rose It seems like the iMacs like 15 years ago or whatever. You know when all the colors came out, the whole spectrum, everyone’s like what color should I get and there’s this big decision. Same thing.
Nilay Patel Which color, you had like a bright red iMac, right, Kevin?
Leo Laporte Yes, of course, he did.
Kevin Rose I’m going all black with the iPad 2, black on black.
Leo Laporte Oh, great, very stylish. I’m just – I think the profit margin built into this is stunning.
Nick Bilton I actually have different color cases for different outfits that I switch off on it.
Nilay Patel Oh, my god.
Leo Laporte You’re so fashion forward, Nick. This is leather, it’s identical to vinyl. Tell me, can you tell?
Nick Bilton No.
Leo Laporte No.
Nilay Patel No. It looks [indiscernible] (12:02).
Leo Laporte You know what the difference is? The difference, $40. That’s the difference.
Kevin Rose Yeah, clear in mind.
Leo Laporte Clear, well, some are unclear.
Kevin Rose It’s a good idea.
Leo Laporte Clear would take even less time off of the magic because then you just wouldn’t even have to take the cover off at all.
Dwight Silverman The plastic looks cheap, it looks like the plastic you used to see on Chaise Lounges in the ‘60s, you know. It’s a – I think [indiscernible] (12:25) right that what you’re going to see this is a proof of concept in the other cases that you’ll get from folks who can protect both the back and the front, will be much better.
Leo Laporte Right.
Nilay Patel Yeah. Well, absolutely, I mean you know everybody I know who has a Smart Cover loves it and they also complain about how the back of this thing is already scratched. , Leo Laporte Mine is too. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Nilay Patel Yeah, it’s such an obvious place for a case manufacturer to go. I mean, I can’t – we’re going to – I think just the sheer number of crazy ideas around magnets that we’re going to see. You know, it’s one of the things, it’s like Apple invented the magnet. They didn’t but they are the only company that like really goes crazy with magnets in this way. The MagSafe connector on the MacBook continues to like view the industry in terms of how do I plug this thing in. And it’s just crazy that no other company [indiscernible] (13:09) easier.
Kevin Rose I want to make a prediction, MacBook Pros, MacBook Airs are going to have the same kind of thing happen [indiscernible] (13:13).
Leo Laporte Yeah, screw Thunderbolt, we’ve got magnets. You know, I just want to point out that the –- probably the biggest story in technology, the AT&T buys T-Mobile story has once again been buried, flooded by the tsunami of the iPad cover.
Nilay Patel Wow. You went with tsunami.
Leo Laporte I know, that’s too soon?
Nilay Patel Too soon.
Leo Laporte Yeah, sorry. 20 magnets, did you see the iFixit tear down to that?
Nilay Patel Yeah, it’s 31.
Leo Laporte 31, I’m sorry.
Nilay Patel 31.
Leo Laporte I didn’t mean to short shrift the magnets.
Nilay Patel It’s just – it’s a lot of magnets. It’s crazy, I think we should probably talk about AT&T, I think it’s probably bigger news [ph] and the smart car (13:50)
Leo Laporte No, it’s a lot of magnets.
Dwight Silverman I think we’re going to see an Insane Clown Posse song to go with one of the Apple, if you get the reference.
Nilay Patel Oh, yeah, [indiscernible] (14:03) the Smart Cover blew ICP’s mind, you have to imagine they’re like, man. [indiscernible] (14:09) don’t know what to do.
Leo Laporte There’s 31 total, there is 20 in the cover and 11 in the iPad, the literal net has corrected you.
Nilay Patel Well, 31 in [indiscernible] (14:25)
Leo Laporte I’m sorry, there’s 31 total but we – don’t imply that there is 31 in the cover itself.
Nilay Patel This is why I quit the blogging game so I can make assumptions [indiscernible] (14:28).
Leo Laporte Yeah, apparently...
Nilay Patel There’s 700 magnets.
Leo Laporte You’re apparently have been smoking crack again.
Nick Bilton So with the AT&T thing.
Leo Laporte Yes, thank you, Nick Bilton, jeez.
Nick Bilton I’m going to steer u