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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 us back on course even though I was the one that pulled us off course. I think a big part of this is the 4G network like they – it’s all about the data. It’s not even necessarily about the subscribers because…
Leo Laporte They don’t even mention telephony in the press release.
Dwight Silverman Right.
Nick Bilton It’s all – the first thing in the Q&A is about 4G. It’s – I mean that’s the – they’re trying to be ready for a Verizon and the 4G network and this is one way to do it.
Leo Laporte But I don’t think they’re wrong, I don’t think people care that much about telephony.
Nilay Patel Well, you know [indiscernible] (15:09) services on both networks run over the same bands, right? I mean if you – this is like if you unlock an iPhone and you put a T-Mobile SIM in it, the telephone works and Edge data works because those are the same bands. I think the big piece for AT&T and T-Mobile is that, they’re going to roll out 4G across far more spectrum and T-Mobile does actually own AWS spectrum across the entire country which is I think where that rural America piece comes in.
Because AT&T kind of – they don’t – a huge chunk of spectrum for 4G but it doesn’t have quite the footprint that T-Mobile does in that AWS band and I think that’s really the acquisition for AT&T. I think they don’t care about the technology; they don’t care about T-Mobile’s version of HSPA+ which they brand as 4G. I think this is almost a spectrum acquisition for AT&T and they get all the other stuff for free. And that’s good.
Leo Laporte Well, that’s my question. T-Mobile has not been able to go to 4G. They’ve only been able to do HSPA+, it looked like they were at the end of the line with – they couldn’t get to LTE. So, how in anyway does acquiring these T-Mobile towers help roll out LTE to AT&T customers? Is there a benefit or I guess they got rights of way, they could build new…
Dwight Silverman Rights of way, that’s basically…
Leo Laporte It’s all about rights of way.
Dwight Silverman In places where they have been restrictive in terms of putting up cell towers, you know T-Mobile may have some in places where AT&T doesn’t and vice versa, which gives the ability to put that LTE up there. The other thing is, is if AT&T wants to do LTE so bad, why haven’t they gotten on the stick, why do they have to acquire T-Mobile before they get after it. And anybody who’s tried the HSPA+ that AT&T is starting to offer as 4G knows that it’s a joke. T-Mobiles can get up to – I’ve got up to about 15 to 16 meg down on…
Leo Laporte On T-Mobile.
Dwight Silverman On T-Mobile phone, yeah.
Leo Laporte But that’s because nobody uses T-Mobile, because you’re the only one on that cell tower.
Nilay Patel Yeah, but even that 15 or 16 is half of what you get on Verizon LTE, right?
Leo Laporte Again because nobody is using it.
Nilay Patel Well, sure, but I mean…
Leo Laporte Well, sure, but as soon as it’s what – as everybody…
Nilay Patel [indiscernible] (17:19) nobody is using T-Mobile and [indiscernible] (17:21) 15 and nobody is using it, Verizon, it’s 30. I mean, I’m going to take the one where when people are using it, there’s more headroom.
Leo Laporte You think it’ll be faster, okay.
Nilay Patel I think in the end it will be faster.
Leo Laporte I think it’s not constrained by the technology, I think it’s constrained by the amount of bandwidth brought to each cell tower.
Nilay Patel I think – no, that’s a big piece and I think T-Mobile has been traditionally ahead of doing the backhaul for their towers.
Leo Laporte But the back haul is the whole thing, right?
Nilay Patel Right, AT&T has a huge network. So putting backhaul to every tower AT&T has, has been a challenge for them. It’s especially been a challenge for them in places like New York and San Francisco where the towers are hidden within infrastructure and merely getting the backhaul to the building or whatever, the towers and it’s hard.
Leo Laporte I’m going to miss my free tethering, my – I mean T-Mobile has a lot of nice because of the [indiscernible] (18:08) they’re more competitive. I think they’re cheaper.
Nilay Patel They’re definitely cheaper, right? But you know, for the longest time, I think, everyone assumed that Sprint and T-Mobile would find each other. They’ve been dancing around each other for a long time. I’m curious how this AT&T and T-Mobile coming together, how that’s actually going to affect Sprint?
Leo Laporte Well, don’t you think Verizon now buys or attempts to buy Sprint?
Nilay Patel May be. I think Sprint has a big opportunity to become that low cost, highly competitive, highly differentiated carrier that offers more services faster and that’s how I would go if I was Sprint. I don’t know that I would want to just merge my way into Verizon. Sprint found its way in sort of recent years [indiscernible] (18:51) Evo, they’re leading with 4G.
Nick Bolton But I think what Sprint has done is and where it would make sense for Verizon is that Sprint has really kind of pushed the little [indiscernible] (19:01) you know they were the leader in that for a long time. But the other thing they’ve done that a lot of people don’t know about is they’ve developed partnerships with people for essentially what the web of things will become, right?
And so that they’re creating SIM, chips and things like that that go into devices that are not even cell phones or tablets and things like that. And I think that’s going – that’s a big part of what their business is going to be in the future. So it wouldn’t make sense for Verizon to go down that road.
Leo Laporte Maybe though, that’s a tough regulatory decision, maybe that’s one of the reasons that AT&T and T- Mobile wanted to get this consummated because if you’re first and you get – now there’s three carriers, it’s a lot harder to go from three to two than four to three, right, from a regulatory point of view.
Dwight Silverman They take the first step right.
Leo Laporte Right.
Dwight Silverman They essentially get the easy path.
Leo Laporte They pre-empt.
Dwight Silverman It’s going to be a lot harder going the other way. And the other thing to keep in mind about Sprint is that they’re right now using WiMAX as their 4G and there are lots of rumblings about them…
Leo Laporte It’s terrible.
Dwight Silverman About them moving to LTE.
Leo Laporte It’s got to all be LTE, yeah.
Dwight Silverman Right. In the long term, LTE will carry voice as well as data. So eventually you are going to lose the current way of doing voice and it’ll all be voice-over-IP and it will be LTE and everybody will have that. So it will be a single standard regardless of the mergers.
Leo Laporte Now the chat room is going crazy at me because I said T-Mobile doesn’t have 4G. T-Mobile says it has 4G. They advertise 4G. But there’s some debate over whether there are HSPA+ implementation it quantifies.
Nilay Patel Yeah. No, no, T-Mobile began lying.
Leo Laporte It’s a lie.
Nilay Patel This is – I mean, very simply they began lying, and they prompted AT&T to start lying as well. And they prompted carriers in Europe to start lying as well. I mean…
Leo Laporte 4G doesn’t have a meaning in other words. Is that true?
Nilay Patel Right. And the [ph] ICU (21:02) let them kind of get away with it, right. You have to say 4G is a set of technologies that enables the speed. You can’t say HSD speeds. And there is some amount of interplay between, well, the consumer just sees the speed so he can call it 4G. But I think it’s a lot to do with the headroom with how the data is being transferred. It’s not just we made HSPA faster.
Leo Laporte Faster.
Nilay Patel And, you know Dwight to your point, I think you are right, and Leo to you as well, it has to be LTE. And there is sort of – there are a lot rumblings about how this might be anti-consumer, especially if Verizon buys Sprint there is going to be a lot of talk about whether or not removing two players to market, two major players to market is bad for the consumer. I think there is a flip side and I’m not totally convinced with this, but I see the argument that if you have two huge players that are using the same standard and you think about access as a utility, and now we are competing on the same utility and phones, LTE phones can go from carrier to carrier if they support the right bands, that might actually be good for the consumer.
Leo Laporte It’s been an advantage in Europe where they do have GSM, it’s kind of a standard, and you can buy a GSM, unlocked phone and you can move around from carrier to carrier.
Nilay Patel Assuming that you --
&&& Dwight Silverman They have a lot more carriers in Europe.
Leo Laporte There is more competition there.
Nilay Patel But the assumption there is that the important innovation is happening at the handset level, it’s happening at the software level, the apps level, and it’s not happening in the service level. And that’s a big assumption but I think you could argue that that’s the reality that the access is a service. That layer is pretty standardized. We want it to stay standardized, we don’t want to rate – the real innovation, the real effects of the competition should happen at the handset, the device, the apps levels. You could make the argument. I’m not 100% convinced with it, but I see it pretty clear.
Leo Laporte No, I think that makes sense. And I think it also – when you have a single standard, it makes – you do see more innovation. Look at – I was talking earlier today about the PC marketplace took off because you had a Wintel standard that everybody could write to and that that was very powerful, that’s very strong. And I think that that’s not a bad idea. It simplifies it for consumers, they have one choice technology-wise and now they can look at service support innovation and coverage.
Nick Bilton I just have a question. How many magnets do they have?
Leo Laporte You, it’s your – it’s your fault Nick Bilton. We are going to – this is a fascinating story. One more question for you all and then we want to move to another story. Kevin Rose, will they get regularity approval? I don’t hear you. Kevin is sitting on the mute button.
Nick Bilton We can’t hear you.
Leo Laporte Kevin, I don’t hear you. Are you mute in, well there is no mute button on that thing. Is it me?
Kevin Rose Here we go.
Leo Laporte There we go. Thanks.
Kevin Rose Sorry about that.
Leo Laporte That’s okay.
Kevin Rose I didn’t even know Skype had mute. It’s first.
Leo Laporte Amazing!
Kevin Rose So, yeah, I think they will. I mean, for me, I don’t really care about all this. I’m going to jump to Verizon, I’m going to sit back, I’m going to watch it all unfold, I’m going to enjoy actually making phone calls…
Leo Laporte Oh wow!
Kevin Rose And, you know, just, I’m happy. I happy I don’t drop calls anymore, and that’s all I care about. And I’ll jump around and buy whatever little My-Fi device is the fastest, could be Sprint, could be whoever comes out with the latest one, and that’s all I’m doing.
Leo Laporte Dwight, will they get regularity approval?
Dwight Silverman I think they will, and I say that sadly and cynically. I’d like to see the FCC and the Feds man up and say, no, this is not good for consumers and we’re not going to let you do it.
Leo Laporte Right. You agree, Nilay?
Nilay Patel I think they will. But I think the way the FCC is going to man up here – this is a huge opportunity for the FCC. There – I think I’m going to say…
Leo Laporte Wait a minute. You used the phrase man up, the words man up and FCC in the same sentence?
Nilay Patel I do.
Leo Laporte Wow!
Nilay Patel Because I think the FCC is – they were shell-shocked by what happened in their reactions to net neutrality, but I think they are committed to it. And this is their opportunity to say you can do this but here are the conditions for wireless access that we are going to let happen. And this is an opportunity to do it. I hope they seize it. May be I’m just being an optimist. But I hope they seize that opportunity to say, yeah, we’ll give you regulatory approval but the conditions for that approval involve really strict net neutrality conditions.
Leo Laporte That’s interesting. You agree, Nick?
Nick Bilton Yeah, absolutely. I think – I mean I think it maybe – it’s going to be a little tough and there’ll be some drama in the press about and whether they’ll get approval but I think that they eventually will. But the FCC really has an opportunity here, you know, they’ve been really trying to get accessibility for people that can’t afford these high prices for data and phone calls and cell devices and things like that. And with this, if they approve it they have the opportunity to say, hey, look we’ll let this go through as long as you do X, Y and Z.
Leo Laporte There is another strong argument, I think it reminds me of Sirius XM which really was a crazy merger because then there was only one but they would – they had to do it because they would have both gone under and I think you’re going to have the same problem with Sprint, I think T-Mobile is just not viable by itself, you’ve got two big strong companies, AT&T and Verizon and the [indiscernible] (25:40).
Dwight Silverman Nick made an interesting point about extending services to lower income folks. There is actually an FCC related success story with that with AT&T and DSL where AT&T required as the – I forgot which merger it was but where AT&T required as the result for merger that – the FCC required that AT&T use – offer $10 DSL and they did so for a long, long time. It got a lot of people on to broadband who had not previously been on broadband. And then of course once that period was over they started jacking the price up again, but it brought people online and made the network more valuable. And so I think that the FCC does have an opportunity here and if they end up approving and I like what Nick says.
Leo Laporte So opportunity --
Nilay Patel And not for me, it’s weird for me to bring up AOL but when AOL and Time Warner merged, the same thing happened, they put all these restrictions over how both companies could offer access and specially broadband. There is a lot of precedent here for the FCC to say here are the conditions of the merger.
Leo Laporte Right. Let’s hope so, let’s hope they man up. We’re going to take a break. We are talking with a – what a prestigious panel, I don’t think you could get more prestigious. Kevin Rose, Dwight Silverman, Nilay Patel, formerly of Engadget, and Nick Bilton of The New York Times. I got to ask Nilay and Kevin, what’s next for them? And we’ve got some questions for you guys. So prepare your answers. Before we do that, though, I would very much like to talk about our friends at Citrix folks who do a product – they’re the kind of the kings of remote access, but they do a product for support folks, that is just stellar and I want you to try it for free for the next 30 days. It’s called GoToAssist Express. Kevin I think we use this on The screen Savers many moons ago, we were trying, we were hoping we could fix people computers on the show remotely. It just never really took off but that’s again we were a little early, we were the first to use Netcams too on the show.
Kevin Rose Yeah, people were still on dial-up back then.
Leo Laporte Yeah, wasn’t really easy to do, was it? Now you can do amazing things, thanks to high-speed Internet. GoToAssist Express means even if your client or your customer doesn’t – or your mom or dad, doesn’t have it installed you just send them a link; it’s a very quick install for them, easy too, they don’t have to know anything and boom, you’re in, NAT traversal and things make it, so it’s very trivial for this to work. It is on 128-bit SSL, completely secure. It has a lot of features designed for the support professionals such as, the ability to do eight sessions as once. You might say why do I need to do that? Well you start it install on one machine and scan on another machine and you could see why you might want to move around. It also will tell you exactly what software is running on the machine including operating system and security software. You can drag and drop fixes from your computer to the other. You can even show – I am not sure how useful this is but I think there is times when you might want to use this, you can show your client what your machine looks like and say, it is supposed to look like this, what – you can – so it’s really very flexible; cross-platform too, Mac or PC.
GoToAssist was just named the worldwide market leader in remote support by Frost & Sullivan; they are an analyst group that specializes in this and now you could try it free for 30 days. gotoassist.com/twit, GoToAssist.com/twit. Try it for 30 days, they have day passes, a very affordable monthly fee but you’ve got it for free for 30 days, I think you could probably find some uses for it. And we thank Citrix, they’re great people for their support. They just announced their iPad app for GoToMyPC which is just awesome. GoToAssist.com/twit. Wow.
Nick Bilton Real quick, Leo, my colleagues at The Times [indiscernible] (29:30) just posted a story that I just saw about the AT&T deal and they were saying that Dutch Telekom which owns T-Mobile is so worried that the deal won’t be approved that they required that AT&T pay a $3 billion break-up fee if the thing doesn’t go through or something like that, so --
Leo Laporte Wow! That’s a scoop.
Kevin Rose So it’s – we’re all speculating whether it’ll happen and it looks like it is going to be a bit of a struggle but they wouldn’t have gone through with it if they didn’t think it was going to, so.
Leo Laporte Well, I would think some times you might have somebody to say, well, we don’t know but let’s try.
Nick Bilton Yeah, I mean that’s happened before behind the scenes and things have stopped right before they went through the gate. So it’s possible.
Leo Laporte Right. Kevin knows a little bit about that. So Kevin, what happened? Did you actually resign?
Kevin Rose Resign is a strong word. Basically, what happened is I’ve – when the new CEO joined Digg about six months ago –
Leo Laporte Matt Williams
Kevin Rose …he took over duties and the day-to-day operations of everything going on at the HQ and basically my role was more of a kind of board member advisor to him, we’d get together for weekly lunches, things like that. So really what the news is more just me starting something new and not really leaving Digg because I’ve kind of been out for a while.
Leo Laporte You haven’t been that part of day-to-day anyway.
Kevin Rose Yeah, it’s been a while since I’ve been really [indiscernible] (31:17) involved.
Leo Laporte So the TechCrunch story that announced this also says you closed or are closing a $1 million plus financing around for a new startup. Care to confirm or deny?
Kevin Rose I will have something to announce in a few weeks.
Leo Laporte You’ve always been so cagey. Can you give us an idea of what category you are going to stay with news?
Kevin Rose No, no.
Leo Laporte Social?
Kevin Rose It will be nothing even close to – it’s going to be consumer-based off – I am –
Leo Laporte Just tell me you’re not starting a Netcast Network.
Kevin Rose I am not starting a Netcast Network.
Leo Laporte That’s all I ask, Kevin.
Kevin Rose I’m not doing [indiscernible] (31:36) podcast.
Leo Laporte Thank you.
Kevin Rose So kind of I’m staying doing Diggnation and the sort of one foundation that I do and then yeah, I mean I’ve got some ideas that I want to try in the mobile space. So we’re going to do some mobile stuff.
Nick Bilton Kevin, I have a question. You are the founder of Digg, it’s been how long now, how many years?
Kevin Rose Six and a half years.
Leo Laporte Six and a half years.
Nick Bilton Six and a half years. How do you – I mean you founded it and I know you’ve wanted to sell several times and things haven’t happened. How do you feel personally about what happened and where and having to leave of your own accord of course but like how do you feel about on a personal level, not a business level about what the end product is and so on?
Kevin Rose Yeah, I think that a few months ago, I’d have felt really bad just kind of backing out because there was a lot of really bad stuff going on the site with the user revolts and the server crashing –
Leo Laporte The Digg4 transition.
Kevin Rose Yeah, after Digg4 came out and it was clear that we – everything from all the issues we had, technically to some of the bad product decisions that were made, it was a bad time to leave. So you know traffic has been actually not bad, it’s been up over the last couple months in almost – I don’t know, they’re going to actually I think we’ll be talking about that soon, Digg will be talking about that soon. So it’s – Digg is making double digits of millions of dollars per year in revenue. We still do about 20 million monthly unique visitors. It’s the tales of being dead are greatly exaggerated. I mean it does insane amount of traffic, it’s still a top 100 or so web property on the net and traffic has actually started to increase. So I don’t feel bad about the timing, it sucks, it’s my baby you know, so I’m always going to feel tied to the product and as Matt wants to get together and talk about product ideas and everything that he wants to do with the site, I’m more than happy to take those meetings and sit down and figure that stuff out with him. But you know for me, six and a half years. I’m just like burnt a little bit --
Leo Laporte It’s a long time, yeah.
Kevin Rose So it’s going to be nice to have this little break away from that we’ll do something else and then hopefully creatively get back in the mode of thinking about social news and being on the help out from an advisory role.
Nick Bilton So Kevin --
Nilay Patel I’d recommend the break. The break is pretty good. I’m enjoying myself.
Nick Bilton Another quick question, what – when you start these new startups that you’re about to get funding for, what do you – what lessons will you take from Digg that things went wrong or right that you can apply to these new products?
Kevin Rose Yeah, absolutely. The first and foremost is that in the early days of Digg when we started bringing on employees, we were growing so fast from a traffic standpoint that our solution to problems was throwing warm bodies at the problem. So we needed more coders, so we’re just bringing coders as fast as possible, hiring, hiring, hiring. And all of a sudden, I woke up one day and I looked around and there is 20, 30, 40 people around you. I don’t know these people, I didn’t interview this people. We got in a lot of some B and C grade talents. You get some B and C grade developers and they bring their C and D grade friends in and then all of a sudden you have a big challenge when it comes to getting rid of those people and bringing in new talent and I think map have been done a really good job our new CEO at hiring. We probably added, I don’t know, maybe 10 or so people in the last six months. And so it just kind of making sure that I’m involved in every aspect of hiring. You live or die by the quality of your talent that you bring in. So I’m handpicking every single person that I’m working on this project. It’s going to be extremely small. I don’t want to raise these – the insane amounts of capital for this business. It’s going be a team of five, maybe six people. And, we want to stay nimble and just build some really cool staff.
Nick Bilton And will you – will you be cautious who you decide to take funding from based on things that happen with Digg as far as sales that didn’t go through and things like that?
Kevin Rose No, no, it’s funny, it’s like the Board – everyone that we worked with at Digg from an investor standpoint has been phenomenal. I have had no problems with our investors. In fact, I would gladly take money from them again in the future if I ever need it. They are a little bit bigger kind of tier investors than more venture capitalist style.
You know, the round of financing that I’m raising now is going to be very simple, just a bridge/convertible notes, really easy terms just like [ph] three pieces of paper if you need to sign (35:58). Mostly all from friends and angels, so a big chunks of it from friends and angels and then a couple bigger super-angel, kind of small tier VCs. So, you know it’s – if I need bigger – more capital in the future, which I don’t know that I necessarily will, I might need a little smaller chunk, but if I do then I’m going to go after – I’ll probably be working with the same people I worked at the Digg. They’ve been great – great partners.
Leo Laporte Greylock was one, right?
Kevin Rose Greylock was awesome. [ph] Highland Capital (36:27) another awesome one. Those guys at Greylock, David Sze, who is on the Facebook Board and he’s been in our Board for six years, he’s been a great partner and just a sage just in the corner helping us – helping us out. So, yeah.
Leo Laporte Well, you’re still doing Diggnation, we know that. You’re going to continue with that show?
Kevin Rose Yes.
Leo Laporte Thanks for forcing me to crowd-surf this week by the way.
Kevin Rose That was awesome. I was watching you crowd surf because it’s always kind of scary. Pardon me, it’s like, [beep] (37:00) they’re going to kill, Leo, and [ph] the other part of me is like… (37:02)
Leo Laporte They came really close to dropping me, [ph] dude (37:03). You know, my mistake was – when I – first of all, there were six of us, it was you, me, Alex, Lisa Bettany joined us, Brian Brushwood, Prager…
Kevin Rose [ph] That was a bad talk, we shouldn’t have done it. (37:14).
Leo Laporte And they were distracted.
Kevin Rose Right.
Leo Laporte They all – they came real close to dropping me because they were all going, I don’t want to be holding Leo, so…
Kevin Rose [ph] Well – and part of (27:23) is that, you know, you have two types of geeks that are out there. You got geeks that have some weight behind them.
Leo Laporte Yeah, some few weak links, yeah.
Kevin Rose And then there is a lot of keyboard geeks [indiscernible] (37:32) so you get a little worried they might drop you.
Leo Laporte If you’re going to crowd-surf, don’t crowd-surf geeks [indiscernible] (37:38). No, that was fun. You’ve done that before, right?
Kevin Rose I mean, the only two times are with you [indiscernible] (37:44).
Leo Laporte Oh man. And you are going to stay on the Board or you’ll be an advisor? What will your role be?
Kevin Rose Yes, advisor/Board member. So just really get in there and help them out with product stuff and then just coming in for those monthly Board meetings and helping out there. But, again, the good news is there is a lot of TechCrunch, Digg of that post, Digg has a ton of cash in the bank like millions and millions of dollars and a ton of traffic. And actually traffic is finally ticking back up and seeing some growth again. So I’m optimistic about their future. I think they’ve got – finally got a really good team that can steal and iterate fast. So we’ll see. We’ll see what happens.
Leo Laporte I think you – actually this is a pretty good time. It’s on a good – look, there was trouble with Digg 4, but it’s a solid company and I think you did what you – you did what you like to do, which is you created it, you started it, you got it going, you got it through some rough times, which I’m sure were difficult personally for you, but you got a company that’s a – far from dead as you point out. That’s alive, and working, and succeeding and it’s a good time to leave, I think.
Nilay Patel Let me ask you one question.
Kevin Rose Yeah, definitely.
Nilay Patel And this is something [ph] I think I read a lot (38:51). With Digg, there was a lot of – a lot of – the big strength for Digg was the users directed so much of it, right. And I think that a lot of from Digg 4 was that you took away some of that control from users, you gave it to more site managers, even to third-party publications with RSS and stuff like that. Your new project, which way are you going to go? You mean totally users or are you going to be curated? What's kind of your –?
Leo Laporte Screw the users. Boy – I’m sorry. Just teasing.
Kevin Rose It’s funny – because I don’t really think that this new project really works like that. So – but it’s all consumers using it. There is no – it’s not – nothing that has to do with curation. Well it’s not – it’s hard to explain.
Leo Laporte It’s different.
Kevin Rose But I don’t need any editors or anything like that. It’s something completely different than Digg.
Nilay Patel Well, I guess the question is, is it top-down or is it bottom up, you know?
Kevin Rose It’s bottom up.
Leo Laporte Okay, it’s bottom up.
Kevin Rose I think that the tricky thing with Digg, and this is the biggest mistake, one of the big mistakes that I made with Digg v4, I think, one of the things that when we look at Digg as – this is the hard thing about taking venture capital as well. When you take a look at how big Digg eventually grew to become – at our peak, we’re doing about 38 million monthly uniques per month, so right now, we’re about 20. When you look at the peer group of who we are in and all the other like similar sites at [ph] Robnet (40:14) that scale, that’s – the CNNs of the world, the MSNBCs, everybody else, we’re a big news site. I don’t know what The New York Times does. You – Nick, do you know what you guys doing uniques wise?
Nick Bolton I don’t know what the latest numbers are, 20, 30 maybe.
Leo Laporte It’s the same ballpark, in other words.
Kevin Rose Yeah, same ballpark. So one of the things that was – that was discussed a lot within the company was how can we get out of this kind of cats jumping off of the diving boards news and more into mainstream news. And the belief was that if you get into more mainstream news, we can actually get people boarding on – on things that are just more serious topics; one, it looks better for the company and valuation of the company and all that. And the other thing is that, we could be a hard-hitting news site and we could eventually continue to grow and get to that 50, 60, 75 million uniques and be this breakout successful social news site.
So, the lot of the features that were designed in v4 were with the publishers in mind. Like how can we get their content in the system easier? Well that’s automatically imported via RSS and put one Digg on it. How can we get more mainstream news on the front page? Well, let’s suggest users that are mainstream media. We’re really trying to like play to mainstream media, no one paid us to be on that list. We’re just trying like, could we create a homepage that was more like that – the users don’t want them. When they look at Digg, they said, this is where just I go to kill 10 or 15 minutes of my day when I’m done reading CNN, or I’m done reading those traditional news sites, and I want to just go see the fun stuff. And we never embraced that, I don’t think, we never embraced how really we were about that, that was our culture. And I think that was kind of a mistake that we made in there is pressure from all different types of people at the company to kind of go on that direction and I bought into it and said yes to a lot of things that probably shouldn’t have. And it’s cool to see Digg now going back to that original thing, I’m saying like screw ourselves, we’re getting rid of it. The design, everything, the functionality is more aligned with what it once was, which I think is a good direction for them.
Nick Bilton I think the other thing that is fascinating with Digg – and I still use it on a regular basis, but one of the things I found fascinating covering it and also knowing Kevin early on, is that it’s an interesting sociological look at when the users controlled this system and whey they don’t and you can see that there is times that Facebook has had to relent, right, as you know with some of the privacy things and things like that and this times that they haven’t, this times that Twitter has had to say, okay, we’re going to change it in this times, right now it’s specially whether like now way we’re doing what we want. And I think it was really fascinating to watch how the users revolted in some respects and sometimes accepted things; I think that that’s been a really interesting part of the whole social aspect of what Digg is.
Leo Laporte There is also a huge amount of snobbery of people who don’t like it when they use it – people – what’s wrong with cats and toilets, that’s what – if that’s what people want?
Nilay Patel Well, even from a publication standpoint, we always race to get Engadget stories on the Digg first and sort of get the day.
Leo Laporte It’s very powerful. Yeah.
Nilay Patel And – where tech news, so there is a sort of the new iPhone [ph] cats in the toilet (43:25) in a lot of people’s mind...
Leo Laporte Pretty much equal.
Nilay Patel ...they live right next to each other on the Internet.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Nilay Patel And so, when they rolled out the RSS tools when you guys did all that, we’re like, oh this makes so much easier for us, people will just find it. But what actually happen was that everybody is iPhone story hit Digg and we’re now sort of the user [ph] curated (43:44) aspect of, this is the one I like, here is why, here is a note about it. And that sort of – we saw our Digg traffic kind of like nosedive after...
Kevin Rose And they heard us also because – couple of things: one, they heard us with Google SEOs, we lost a lot of traffic from the SEOs to use of those original titles, because those users will often times going in there and typing in their original title versus what you guys have put in there, right, so if Google looks at two pages that are identical, sees the Engadget post, and sees the Digg post, they both of the exact same title, it doesn’t care about the Digg post, it’s going to go straight to the source, right. So when Digg had a lot of this original content and the titles and descriptions, that was actually really good for Digg and drove us a lot of traffic from natural SEO. So we missed out there as well and that was kind of an uninteresting thing.
Dwight Silverman I am not trying to sound pressured under anything but when Digg made a shift, there was a lot of excitement in places like the Houston Chronicle because you’ve got only to be easier to get our stuff into the stream...
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Dwight Silverman ...and I went and started to kind of build the Houston Chronicle area and as I kind of watch what was happening, I thought – that there’s just going to be a flood of this publisher content and we’re going to get even more lost, and so I like I didn’t continue it, I didn’t put RSS feed in there because I thought that’s not going to – that’s not the way to do it. The way to do it, Kevin, as you mentioned is to do it with something that’s unique and speaks to the Digg audience as opposed to some thing it’s automated. So we did not do that.
Kevin Rose Right.
Dwight Silverman I don’t know that necessarily that helped us in the long run with stories but what I saw early on is what happened to Digg and I’m kind of glad I stepped back.
Leo Laporte Just it shows what a challenge it is to do this.
Dwight Silverman It’s hard, yeah, it’s very hard.
Leo Laporte New stuff and then [indiscernible] (45:28) understood. I want to ask you Nilay about you leaving – it’s only fair with [indiscernible] (45:35).
Nilay Patel Alright, alright.
Leo Laporte So what happened?
Nilay Patel Look, it’s [indiscernible] (45:44) level is AOL paid me really well for four years to do whatever I wanted with almost zero interruptions, so I am not going to – it’s great working there, Engadget is great. I still have a lot of friends in Engadget and I trained a bunch of those guys, really great guys who are going to work really hard. Engadget will be successful. But AOL is a company that’s going through a really big project right now, you know, to be perfectly honest.
Leo Laporte You hit the AOL way that bothers you?
Nilay Patel Oh, no, none of that. None of that. Look, none of that. Absolutely not, none of that stuff are going to touch Engadget, none of that has ever touched it. That’s what – when I say they never told me what to do, they never ever told me what to do.
Leo Laporte Right, right. That was smart. That was smart.
Nilay Patel Oh, yeah, I’m smart and all my decisions are perfect.
Leo Laporte Tim Armstrong do that.
Nilay Patel Oh, yeah, if we have an Engadget team and you know Josh is my boss and all the stuff, but I think [indiscernible] (46:34) is great for AOL. She’s brought in more energy and ideas and people respect her, she is inspiring people there, she’s cleaning house, she’s got a lot of ideas, she’s in-charge, she’s doing it. It’s kind of like what’s the next step for me and do I want to be aligned with AOL in their project and in their goals. And it’s not that I think they are bad goals or a bad project, it’s just kind of like I got – I want to be here [indiscernible] (47:04), okay? [indiscernible] (47:08)
Leo Laporte Right, right.
Nilay Patel I want to run stuff and remain in control and –
Leo Laporte But now you and Joshua resigned at the same time, was it a joint effort or was just coincidence?
Nilay Patel No, it was – the deal was I would be the next editor-in-chief. So Josh resigned before me and then, you know, it was – when I moved to New York, actually managing editor that was part of the agreement and so then it was on me to be the editor-in-chief and I took a weekend, it was really hard weekend turning now the job of editor-in-chief is not easy. It’s a dream job for the geek, I think. And I said, no, and I – Josh is great. He’s been a friend and mentor for a long time before that Ryan, Peter, really great guys, really smart guys. And I never thought I’m going to – I would do that. My ideas are better about how to run Engadget site, I was – well, I can probably do that. I can probably get to where they were, but some of the – yeah, these goals, these big huge bucket goals in AOL’s huge strategy shifts and I talked to myself, well, my personal goals do not perfectly aligned and I need to figure out where to do that that is real. So, you know, I said, look, I don’t want to be the lame duck editor-in-chief, who’s looking for an [indiscernible] (48:19), I want you guys to grow without me. So I am going to say no. And that was really hard decision. That’s what happened. And it’s not – I wasn’t like – I picked up – printed a copy of [indiscernible] (48:27) and set that on fire and throw it [indiscernible] (48:28) and none of that happened. It was very clean, it’s very easy, I’m still friends with all of them, they still asking me questions and so I’m helping them do what they’ve needed to do. And the next thing, we’ll get there.
Leo Laporte It’s interesting. It really strikes me AOL is old media.
Nilay Patel They really are. They are the oldest of the new media in a lot of ways.
Leo Laporte And it’s – so they become old media and that doesn’t fit the new – you as a new media type.
Nilay Patel Yeah, they’ve got to – they run a bunch of properties and they do a lot of things and they have a lot of relationships with their other partners and – yeah, maybe it’s about being super-agile and being really fast and I want to embrace new ways of doing things and they want you to, but – I wanted to go and write about what I want to write about and think about what I want to think about and I don’t want to be worried about what’s happening, it’s a huge company that I worked for. Some people are really happy with the stability of a large company and they are going to be happy with the stability of AOL and that’s great and they should be. Me, I’d like to – I’m interested in seeing with something a little bit be [indiscernible] (49:33).
Leo Laporte Great.
Nilay Patel You may think I’m cagey enough.
Leo Laporte No, that’s perfect. You’re good. And one last question. Do you have a plan of place to go or it’s just somewhere you’re casting around, are you looking for some?
Nilay Patel Yeah, right now, I’m talking to you everyone, gotten a lot of very flattering job offers. I think if you’re down on in yourself the best thing you can do is quit your job because apparently it [indiscernible] (49:53) where you go.
Leo Laporte Well, that’s not true for everyone.
Nilay Patel Well, that’s as its the first time I ever quit my job like this and its worked wonders, so I’m getting a lot of very interesting offers, listening to a lot of people. You know it’s weird in the industries when you’re competitive with your peers you can’t have real conversations about tools and workflows and directions for the industry, right. You have very cagy; two journalists talking to each other is like two attack dogs just sizing each other up in a lot of ways. And now I’m getting to have very honest conversations with people about how do you think the industry is going, how tech news should work. Tech news, I think is a very strange breed just because the relationships we need to have in the industry, things like you we talked about the Apple smart cover for 10 minutes at the top of the of the show, before we talked about AT&T and T-Mobile and you’ve got problems like –for instructions problems of how do [indiscernible] (51:02) readers, things other then Apple are interesting.
Leo Laporte Right.
Nilay Patel It’s kind of a big deal. And you get to have really – I’ve had some really awesome conversations around that stuff and around what we are going to do and how it’s going to work. After that, I think that’s going to take a few weeks, after that I’ll think I’ll have something more interesting to say.
Leo Laporte Good. Well thank you for sharing that with us.
Nilay Patel I hope it was not boring.
Leo Laporte Even if it was, thank you for sharing that. We’re talking with Kevin Rose, Nilay Patel the new media, the old media. So I’m going to have to say Nick Bilton, you are a little skunkworks within the New York Times in the sense that you’re absolutely are cutting edge within the New York Times so I don’t …
Nick Bilton But outside I’m just a – I’m a total loser.
Leo Laporte I wouldn’t say that but don’t quit your job ok. So…
Nick Bilton It’ll take a minute
Leo Laporte We’re going to take a break come back with more. Dwight Silverman is also here who is always a good friend from the Houston Chronicle’s TechBlog. We are talking about the tech new. I want to talk a little bit about Twitter’s decision to – we talked a little bit last week, but I think that this is a very interesting change of direction for Twitter to kind of tell the third-party app developers “maybe you don’t want to do a client” This is an interesting question for Twitter strategic, we’re going to give them some strategic advice in a moment. But before we do, I think I’d like to talk a little bit about Squarespace.com a secret behind exceptional websites we use it for our Inside TWiT Blog. I know Kevin you’re a Squarespace user.
Kevin Rose I’m indeed.
Leo Laporte Squarespace.com/…
Kevin Rose I saw the new one – new version by the way, its..
Leo Laporte Have you. Okay they we’re going to show it to me and I didn’t get a chance to see it. Can you say anything about it?
Kevin Rose So Anthony the CEO, I met up with him, he honestly I think Squarespace is one of those things it’s like Anthony is such a brilliant product guy.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Kevin Rose From a UI and UX like experience its insane and I’m not saying that they pay Dignation, I don’t have say that now. It is really is cool.
Leo Laporte Right.
Kevin Rose You’ll see it in a few months. But it’s a yeah...
Leo Laporte They’ve been talking about this for two and half years you think its pretty close?
Kevin Rose Yeah I mean it’s looked like it was ready to launch and he said “oh I got to..” he is a perfectionist.
Leo Laporte Right.
Kevin Rose He looks everything perfect. He is like “oh I need like two or three more months I just want to get everything just right”. I’m like launch that now dude it looks awesome.
Leo Laporte Well here is the beauty if you are a Squarespace customer you get it automatically this is the nice thing about Squarespace. You know once again – I use WordPress in my personal blog, I don’t know why I should really move over to Squarespace. We use it for other business but somebody sent me an e-mail, said you know dude you’re running 3.0 of WordPress, there is major security flaws you got to update this. Oh crap. The nice thing about Squarespace its hosting plus the software and the updates just come along for the rides. You don’t even have to think about it. By the way really simple to set up an incredible site, you can try it for free right now at squarespace.com/twit, click that green Try It For Free button. You don’t need to give them credit card, just the site name, password, e-mail address and this little captcha and then for two weeks you’ve got full access to all the Squarespace tools including the Api Importer from movable type WordPress, TypePad, and Blogger that means all your comments, to your links everything your images they’re all work, you can export them to.
Kevin Rose [indiscernible] (53:54)
Leo Laporte Oh it’s so – it’s fantastic
Kevin Rose You get to import your WordPress over and you get a convert.
Kevin Rose You got to check it out.
Leo Laporte They came up to me and said you want to see it, I said – then I didn’t get to see it. So...
Kevin Rose I go to bounce Leo.
Leo Laporte Alright. Hey Kevin Rose it’s been great. Thank you for joining us. Congratulations on your next chapter, can’t wait to find out more about it.
Kevin Rose Thank you sir. Dwight, Nick, Nilay it’s good to see you guys.
[Multiple speakers] (55:49)
Leo Laporte ….kevinrose.com or @kevinrose on twitter.
Kevin Rose Either way that works. Thank you.
Leo Laporte Thank you Kevin. Take care. So let’s talk about a little bit about the Twitter. What – Nick is it a slap in the face to third-party developers for Twitter to say hey use – we’re not going to support you guys anymore. You got to start using the...
Nick Bilton You know I’m going to [indiscernible] (56:14) this with I – I’m friend’s with Ryan Sarver who runs all of this stuff at Twitter and I’m not sure if Ryan makes a decisions or if its other people I’m sure that you know it’s a big group but I do feel like – he is an amazing guy and they do amazing work but I do feel like it’s a bit of a slap in the face because it wasn’t for – you know when I think back to when I first started using Twitter in early 2007, if it wasn’t for those third-party apps I never would have had the opportunity to use it, right. If it wasn’t for all these third-party experiences I could never have used it and...
Leo Laporte Exactly, it’s like Dance With Who Brung You.
Nick Bilton And I understand that they want to control the experience and control the ecosystem and all these things.
Leo Laporte They want you to see the ads.
Nick Bilton But at the same time and they need to fine a solution that works for both the goal that they have and the people that brought them to where they are because it’s like getting a ride from a hitch hiker and not saying thank you. It’s like…
Leo Laporte I like that.
Nick Bilton You know you just walk away get out the car and it’s like excuse me…
Leo Laporte Hello.
Nick Bilton So I understand both sides of it but I don’t think Twitter is going about the right way right now by just ignoring everyone and saying “if you step on our turf, you’re going to have trouble”.
Leo Laporte Right.
Dwight Silverman Oh you know, in addition Nick, you know the Twitter apps aren’t all that.
Leo Laporte No they’re terrible.
Dwight Silverman Yeah there’s a lot of things that they don’t do if Twitter had the definitive top apps that had all the features that you needed then it wouldn’t. I was really upset that Twitter removed support for third-party URL shorteners because it allows – it gives you analytics.
Leo Laporte Right.
Dwight Silverman If you have to use their t.co you don’t have any way to know what’s happening to your clicks and that’s just really irritating. I mean that’s – they’re making their money on the backs of the data but they’re not sharing that data with the people who are creating the data and …
Leo Laporte Is anybody surprised that that’s the – I mean that come on are you surprised this is how they’ve been all along I think.
Dwight Silverman Well I’m not surprised necessarily but I agree – it goes back to Dance With Who Brung You – the community has brought them where they are and the developers have brought them where they are and by taking this stance they’re cutting both off. I think that’s – I think they’re just wrong.
Nick Bilton And I just, you know just to reiterate, I really don’t think that they should say oh you developers you can do whatever they want and we’re going to do whatever we want and you know there is a balance in there and I think that you know to your point that the user interface I was a user interface designer for years and one of the things that drives me bonkers about Twitter is – you pick up that – you download their apps on any device and it’s a different UI and it’s a different look and feeling, it’s utterly confusing when you bounce between them and because of that for example I use EcoPhone on my phone and on my iPad right?
Nilay Patel EcoPhone is great. EcoPhone is awesome.
Nick Bilton But I do because there is consistency between the two. I don’t do it because I prefer EcoPhone over Twitter. But when I pull up Twitter on my iPad and Twitter on my phone I’m like in this world I don’t understand and I think that that’s one of the big downsides to them saying if you built apps we’re not going to support you.
Leo Laporte Well they don’t have an app for the…
Leo Laporte That’s not what this is – it’s pretty obvious because of that, they want is really is they want everybody to see the DiggBar.
Nilay Patel Yeah, pretty much, right. You know what’s funny though Nick is I thought first stage of Twitter when – I’m just like – I only used to because of the great apps and I use to because of tweetie on the Mac and eventually because of tweetie on the iPhone and most of the apps they own. And it’s kind of like well that – is that sort of fine, I mean, I use the apps to use Twitter because Twitter didn’t make any apps. If they had it I might have just been fine then, I might have just used to the apps.
Leo Laporte But that’s the point is that when they launch they didn’t have the resources to make the apps they allowed, that was the success, the secret of the success of Twitter was this third-party, the very good third-party API and encouraging third parties to piggyback on them.
Nick Bilton If didn’t have a third-party API, first of all I really not think it would be what it is today.
Leo Laporte I agree.
Nick Bilton And second, I don’t think – I don’t think APIs would be what they are today. I think they were at the forefront of – and it was by chance, it was a happy accident that their system didn’t work but the APIs kind of did and people build things on that and I – I think they need technology but the other thing that you just said about may be they need to create a better terminology and things like that, I’ve been talking about for a long time. I don’t understand why there aren’t essentially designed guideline APIs, if I’m going to build something on Twitter may be it’s like if you want that app in there may be you have to be a little Apple and you say, “Hey it has to be green and this button has to look like this and…”
Nilay Patel Right. Exactly, right? And Apple does it across; its funny Apple does it in orders of magnitude, more apps than Twitter would have to deal with right? I mean they’ll figure that out. May be it doesn’t work and obviously everybody has issues with the App Store but you can’t deny that Apple has a system in place for enforcing the apps that are coming in their store.
Leo Laporte Right and ironically even before the Apps Store, Apple did that, I mean, the Apple is from day one the Macintosh head, very strict user interface guidelines and people follow them and if you didn’t you weren’t Macish.
Nilay Patel But – you know what’s interesting about this conversation is not that Apple does it, Apple does do it. What’s interesting is that it’s such an obvious rebuttal to what Twitter said when they said we’re not going to do a third – we’re not going to allow third-party apps anymore. It’s such an obvious rebuttal to that argument that we’re seeing too much differentiation, we’re seeing too much chaos in eco-system of third-party apps, You can just say, well look at the Apps Store like, if they’re doing it in there and that works why don’t you just – why don’t you have a Twitter App Store and why aren’t you taking 30% of a revenue for $1 Twitter Apps because you’ve have this process of approval and I don’t see why that isn’t happening, and they really haven’t addressed – this must obvious counter arguments to what they’re saying.
Leo Laporte Alright. Enough Twitter.
Dwight Silverman The one thing about Twitter is they still don’t even have an app for the biggest computing platform Windows. There is no official app, in fact most of the apps for windows are awful and if Twitter were to do what Nilay is saying, you would end up with probably a better Windows app.
Leo Laporte That’s a good point.
Dwight Silverman I think there are – there is your case for it.
Nilay Patel Yeah but on Windows all the apps are AIR right. I mean they – they’re bad because there is a ton of AIR apps. And there’s TweetDeck on Windows what I use in Windows. I mean there are apps in Windows; it’s just that there isn’t an official Twitter app.
Dwight Silverman And there is no native; there are no native apps that are any good. There’s one called MetroTwit, it’s being developed by [indiscernible] (63:42) and a few of his collaborators, and that has a lot of potential and there has been some discussion on Twitter about well may be that’s the one that Twitter ought to buy. And that’s kind of, seems to be that’s how Twitter will handle it as rather than build one on their own, they’ll buy something like MetroTwit.
Nilay Patel Well – always use the website which I think a lot of people do it.
Leo Laporte I think that’s really, probably what Twitter would like. I’m sure most of their monetizing is going to happen on the website and not on apps. Let’s talk about Microsoft. Did you know there are more Google – more Google, they’re more ethical? More ethical than Google, Apple or Facebook according to the, I’ve never heard of them Ethisphere Institue.
Nilay Patel I love these organizations. I love getting involved.
Leo Laporte Where the hell is Ethispshere? You can’t even say it – The Ethissphere.
Nilay Patel I mean, it’s like you know how iSuppli just appeared, out of the blue. Like how [indiscernible] (64:17) many years ago?
Leo Laporte They’re awesome.
Nilay Patel They are awesome. They pretty much just appear by putting [indiscernible] (64:42) about how much the gas things costs?
Leo Laporte Right, [indiscernible] (64:43).
Nilay Patel Well [indiscernible] (64:45) actually does something.
Leo Laporte It do something, right.
Nilay Patel But I supplies that we guess this screen costs $18.37 and it’s like everybody [indiscernible] (64:32) it. This is like the same thing, it’s like this random.
Leo Laporte We guess Microsoft is more ethical.
Nilay Patel I think it’s a great name the Ethisphere Institute, definitely sounds like it should be in the next biosphere game.
Leo Laporte They have 3000 companies on the list. Google not even on the list, Apple – maybe they just didn’t test them. Apple and Facebook not on the list. It’s based they say on factors like history of regulatory infractions.
Nilay Patel Wait, wait, wait, hold on, more than 3,000 companies applied to be on the list.
Leo Laporte Oh.
Nilay Patel May be Google just never applied.
Leo Laporte Oh, you have to apply?
Nilay Patel Did Apple apply? Apple investment price has never – do you think Steve Jobs is like guys, we got to get on the Ethisphere list.
Leo Laporte And you know the Ethisphere, people ask for 10 grand to be rated, right? So who’s who?
Nilay Patel Maybe just – maybe well, that would not be ethical.
Leo Laporte I don’t think so. May be the Ethisphere folks…
Nilay Patel I think that’s a major question.
Leo Laporte Yeah, they shouldn’t be on their list. Adobe, Cisco, eBay, Salesforce and Symantec and Zappos are on the list, up Amazon which own Zappos is not on the list. In fact, why am I even reporting the story? I apologize, I retract, I just like the headline. I just liked the headline.
Nick Bilton That’s it, yeah, I know it’s a great headline, I mean that’s why they put out the PR now.
Leo Laporte That’s called SEO, baby. IE9 is out. Dwight, you reviewed it and mentioned by the way but it’s not for Windows XP.
Dwight Silverman Yeah, what’s interesting with IE9 is that according to the net market, the net applications survey from last month, 55% of people are still using Windows XP.
Leo Laporte Right.
Dwight Silverman That means – and IE9 will not run on it that means that Microsoft is basically saying we’re giving up for IE9, 55% of current users.
Leo Laporte Do you think – is there a technical reason why it couldn’t run on XP?
Dwight Silverman Microsoft has said that it’s because of certain technologies that are in Vista and in Windows 7 particularly involving a hardware acceleration the way it works those. But at the same time, Firefox runs on Windows XP and it has its own hardware acceleration and so does Chrome although Chrome is a little bit further behind than those two. But – so Microsoft could do it and simply disable it but they’re – I think what they are trying to do is, this is part of Microsoft’s push just one more thing to make Windows XP users feel a little bit less than they should.
Leo Laporte I’m sorry. Just one more thing is the registered trademark of Apple computer and –
Nilay Patel No, I mean look, it is like the best decision Microsoft has ever made.
Dwight Silverman I agree. I think it’s the right decision. It’s the right decision.
Nilay Patel It’s got to get away from XP, it can’t..
Leo Laporte You’ve seen the IE6 countdown page, haven’t you?
Nilay Patel Right, yeah, right.
Leo Laporte From Microsoft.
Nilay Patel I just think if Microsoft being trapped, they’ve been so trapped by XP for so long and that everything that they’ve done, they’ve been – they’ve been carrying the burden of Windows XP with them and you know hardware makers too knew that you can buy new computers that run Windows XP, that is insanity.
Leo Laporte Right.
Nilay Patel You really shouldn’t be able to.
Leo Laporte Really, can you? Today, you could buy a computer with Windows XP on it.
Nilay Patel I’m pretty sure you can call Dell or Lenovo, and be like I’m a enterprise customer and I really need a few laptop and they’ll send you one, right? That’s bonkers. I mean if Microsoft wants to push itself forward and stop being the company that sells Windows XP, they have to just stop being the company that sells Windows XP. And you know, Dwight, to say Firefox runs on anything at this point, I think this is [indiscernible] (68:13) concept of in the broad sense. I mean, I dread every single time I click on the Firefox I cannot even watch.
Leo Laporte Really?
Nilay Patel Yeah, I can’t.
Leo Laporte Have you tried 4?
Dwight Silverman It’s very slow, it’s really is, it grinds.
Nilay Patel I’ve tried, it just it’s – Firefox is the new IE. I think that’s what we have come to. I think there is a browser, there’s a browser circle of life and everything slow and becomes Internet Explorer and we’ve seen the rebirth of IE and now Firefox is taking its place, I mean, I hope they take some radical stuffs at Mozilla to improver what’s happening to Firefox.
Leo Laporte I think 4 is supposed to be a lot faster, everybody likes 4, I love 4.
Nick Bilton I think some – I saw some early demos of it a couple of weeks ago and some of the HTML5 live stuff is pretty mind-boggling that they can do, they showed me some games where it, I mean I thought it was a flash game or something like that, that was actually working properly and that really done some impressive stuff in the HTML5 stuff. So, I think it’s going to be helpful because it’s going to help drive people to build more web-based HTML5 apps which is a good thing for the ecosystems that have evolved over the past couple of years for the iPad and so on. So – and it may be a little bit slow but I do – I do see a lot of positives with it too.
Leo Laporte This is the HTML5 planetarium which I’m by the way rendering in Chrome but that’s the point of HTML5, is it not that it’s a standard. So –
Nick Bilton Yeah.
Dwight Silverman Although as I understand that if you run some of the IE9 demos that are HTML5 demos and you try to run them in something other than IE9, it don’t necessarily run as well from what…
Leo Laporte Oh, interesting.
Dwight Silverman I have not – I don’t have any [indiscernible] (69:53)
Leo Laporte Well, and then each company has its own benchmarks, you know Opera created the asset benchmark making sure that Opera is the only one that could get a 100% on that. There is Firefox created then and they all do best in their own benchmarks. So it’s very confusing for consumers, it’s confusing but I don’t think consumers are really looking at benchmarks or anything else.
Nilay Patel I think consumers are doing big browsers switch every like three years, right? They get tired of IE, they switch to Firefox. I’ve been trying to get my fiancée to switch to Chrome but she knows Firefox, and one day I’ll get her switched to Chrome and then there’ll be enough inertia that I’ve get her to switch to IE like three years from then. You know, I think that’s how consumers –
Leo Laporte Do all smart people use Chrome?
Nilay Patel That seems to be the case or on a Mac, I think there’s a lot of natural inclination to use Safari.
Leo Laporte Not after Pwn2Own, you saw that, right, five seconds to hack Safari.
Nilay Patel Yes, but every year, Safari is hacked.
Leo Laporte It’s like a regular thing. That’s the thing – but Apple put out patches right before Pwn2Own 2, big sets of Safari patches, big, one of them they labeled on iTunes patch. But if you look at it, it was all Safari, right? And the WebKit patches and still they got hacked. Meanwhile, Google puts up $20,000 additional bucks in addition to the $15,000 price for somebody to hack Chrome and nobody even tries. I think that’s pretty good.
Nilay Patel I didn’t see that nobody tried. I’m not [ph] in the news today (71:14), I’m not reading news like I used to.
Leo Laporte Nobody tried – yeah, you don’t to. I apologize, Nilay, for bringing you out of your coma.
Nilay Patel Oh, yes, I’ve been here nothing to be getting extremely drunk and passing out in places. I drank something last night I called Loose, J-o-o-s-e, it was competitive for Loco it wasn’t good.
Leo Laporte Oh, no, no, no. Don’t drink anything spelled J-o-o-s-e. That’s a bad sign.
Nilay Patel Joose and [indiscernible] (71:37) confused and I tweeted a picture of it and someone immediately replied, I see unemployment has been good to you. So –
Leo Laporte Where do you get Joose?
Nilay Patel Somebody who’s had it, I wasn’t out there looking for it, I assure you I was not seeking Joose, Joose was provided to me.
Leo Laporte Joose found you?
Nilay Patel Given my lack of current responsibility as I took the plunge.
Leo Laporte I think J-o-o-s-e is actually pronounced Joose.
Nilay Patel Oh, god, why do you have this picture. You just brought it out –
Leo Laporte It’s made of people.
Nilay Patel Yes, that’s me drinking joose.
Dwight Silverman It’s for [indiscernible] (72:07)
And an extra [indiscernible] (72:09) Joose for [indiscernible] (72:10) You were drinking a special [indiscernible] (72:12) drink and makes you want to put a hat on dance around.
Dwight Silverman One more Firefox thing, I think one of the reasons why Firefox remain so popular despite, yeah, it has some performance issues, is the plug-in and extensibility of it I know people –
Leo Laporte But that’s why it’s slow because you got it all running 800 extensions.
Dwight Silverman Right, it’s a double-edged sword, people kind of load it up, I need all these extensions, I need all these extensions, why is it so slow?
Leo Laporte What a surprise.
Dwight Silverman One of the cool things about IE9 is it will, when you first launch it, it tells you you’re running all these things and it’s slowing you down if you turn them off, the browser will run faster, that’s a great idea. That’s a great idea.
Leo Laporte To tell people to stop, to stop the net.
Nilay Patel I had a bunch of extensions in Chrome and they all seem to be taking nearly the toll [indiscernible] (73:04)
Leo Laporte No, I do too although I know it’s funny because just before the show and the people were watching the live stream on the show, saw me do this. I went to my website and there was a little bird next to my name, a little tweet and I hovered over it and you know how I hate these ads where they open up when you accidentally move your mouse, and a whole Twitter thing opened up and what the hell is this. And apparently, I don’t even remember doing it, I had installed some Chrome extension who was doing that. So I had to go through all my extensions. By the way, if anybody ever doubts that Nilay is a bad ass, just look at his Twitter pictures.
Dwight Silverman I love that picture, that is such a great picture.
Leo Laporte I’m scared.
Nilay Patel Man that goatee was a victim of being engaged.
Leo Laporte This man is an attorney, ladies and gentlemen.
Dwight Silverman He’s hired.
Leo Laporte I want him to work from – I want him to work for me.
Nilay Patel Every time I shave, I shaved that goatee and I walked out of the bathroom and I’d look at Becky and I’m like, huh, and she’s like ah-ah and then I go back to the bathroom –
Leo Laporte Grow it back, grow it back. So IE9 2.3 million downloads in the first 24 hours. It is now being pushed, this is people who opened IE8 and said, saw the banner that says, want 9 and clicked it. That’s – Microsoft is like Digg, people say it’s dead but they still have huge amounts of power in the marketplace,
Nick Bilton Look at the Xbox news this last week.
Nilay Patel Yeah, 10 million connections, 10 million games, that’s crazy talk.
Nick Bilton Perhaps more than the iPhone, iPad, it’s like –
Nilay Patel I love that too because the Apple is [indiscernible] (74:38) the fastest consumer selling device.
Leo Laporte No.
Nilay Patel Fastest selling consumer device and Microsoft like a week later, it’s like yes, check it, [indiscernible] (74:43) video games.
Leo Laporte Although it could be a semantics issue because people in the chat room said, Kinect is not a consumer electronic device, it’s an accessory.
Nilay Patel Wow, that is – you are some [indiscernible] (74:56).
Leo Laporte Literalness.
Nilay Patel You are really living outside [indiscernible] (74:59) stereotype.
Leo Laporte Literalness. Will Microsoft kill the Zune?
Nick Bilton Absolutely.
Leo Laporte Why not?
Nick Bilton They have to.
Leo Laporte And will anyone notice?
Nick Bilton I think it’s got a – they’re going to have to – I mean they’ve integrated that software into Windows Phone 7 and if they wanted to do follow the line that Apple went which was a successful one, they have to – you know, where Apple really pushed the iPhone software about the iPod, it was the one of the three things they mentioned when they first showed the iPhone, they have to do the same thing, they have to say, don’t buy Zune, buy Windows Phone 7.
Nilay Patel But why not make a Zune 3, I guess it would be – that is an iPod Touch competitor, why not [indiscernible] (75:42).
Leo Laporte That’s true. The Zune is so close. If they put apps outs and all that – it was so close.
Nick Bilton Yes, I mean it’s a great point. I think they – they need to do that or hurry up and get the Windows Phone 7 user interface into the tablet market because I think that could be a really amazing competitor to the iPad.
Nilay Patel Yeah, I completely agree with you. You know the thing with the Zune, I keep on saying this. I feel like everybody in the world has signed up for RDIO in the past month, everybody I know and a lot of people I don’t know who are now following some stuff on me, and it’s like Microsoft had this opportunity and I find it just fascinating that they squandered it, I mean that’s what Zune and Zune pass in the real way, they were really great and I remember so many people are new with Macs or iPods or whatever who couldn’t get Zune pass saying Mac, that’s so great and now they can get it, they can get it through RDIO, they can get it through MOG, mostly with RDIO. I’ve noticed, I think people really responded to the social component of RDIO.
Leo Laporte Do you like RDIO?
Nilay Patel I do, I love it. I’ve been – but my next gig is apparently RDIO evangelist because that’s all I’m doing with my time right now. But –
Leo Laporte Well, you really are out of work, are you?
Nilay Patel Yeah, I’m chilling my ass, I’m tap dancing, give me the job – it’s bad news. No, everybody I show it, they really respond to it and I hope you know it’s easy, it’s so much easier to use.
Leo Laporte $5 a month, it runs on BlackBerry iOS, Windows Phone 7 and Android?
Nilay Patel Right, and you know the thing for me, Nick may be on the same place. I have so many devices, I have Android devices and iOS devices and like 30 laptops. I can just make it all work using this one uniform service, this device diagnostic and I feel like that’s what Microsoft needs to be doing. They need to be saying, Zune is our unifying music service and we’re a software company and we’re going to make software that puts this all together and that a huge opportunity for them and they just blew it completely and RDIO is just stepping that space and I don’t know if you can compete that really well with those many players in that space right now.
Nick Bilton No, I think that you – you know, I’d say the same thing with like the same, I’ve god knows how many laptops and I’ve computers at work, at home and in my car and under the bed and I have my iPads and Kindles and everything but you know just for software, for example, Iike Dropbox has become the thing for me but I [indiscernible] (78:02) and it’s done and that’s it and I know not to worry about that and all these companies could have built those things but they just – they flicked on it.
Nilay Patel I think Microsoft, they wanted to do – they wanted to Zune builder platform.
Leo Laporte It’s actually pronounced Zeus. Sorry for that.
Nilay Patel It’s always been a terrible name but then you know, they sacrificed the Zune’s potential at the altar of their platform and the promise to platform was never good enough to pull it off.
Dwight Silverman Well, they also – they also were obsessed with Apple and they wanted, they did it because they wanted to kind of bump off Apple and do one of their slow creeps into somebody else’s market like they are trying to do with Bing and they didn’t have – they started off stupidly with ugly hardware and really bad decisions in terms of the way [indiscernible] (78:57).
Leo Laporte [indiscernible] (78:59) yeah, that was good,
Dwight Silverman But the Zune HD was a really nice device and the software was really good.
Leo Laporte It was. [indiscernible] (79:08) who’s that in the background? You got – Nilay, is there a party going at your house?
Nilay Patel I’m at my sister’s house, there were two six-year-old twins running.
Leo Laporte Oh, what fun, alright.
Nilay Patel So they’re charging into the rooms and screaming.
Leo Laporte The Zune makes them crazy.
Nilay Patel It’s actually really funny, we’re here and we always pick up saying from the kids as they say really crazy, things and they’ve say no, thank you, whenever they don’t like anything. So it’s like the Zune. No, thank you.
Leo Laporte No, thank you.
Nick Bilton Let me ask you guys a question?
Dwight Silverman Zune HD came out. Just after it was released I had a conversation with one of the people who was involved in the marketing of it. I mean this – it’s just been out for a week or two and this person told me that this was going to be the last Zune that the decision [indiscernible] (79:52)
Leo Laporte Even then?
Dwight Silverman Even then Microsoft knew what they were going to do with it. And what I heard that, you finally got it right. Why are you doing this? And they just said well, there’s other things coming and that was the Windows Phone 7. And so this – they may have decided to cut their losses and do this as a software development platform, basically that took them to Windows Phone 7 and you all are right, they have got to take this down and continue further do tablets and so forth…
Nilay Patel Well, you know they’ve got to take Windows Phone 7 and tablets, but Zune itself I think there is still a huge opportunity for Microsoft and this is [indiscernible] (80:29) bonkers to put it on Android and say this is a preferred Android music experience because Android music experience across that whole range of devices sucks, right?
Dwight Silverman That is a great idea.
Nilay Patel And this is your opportunity to say we’re here and if you like Zune from Microsoft…
Leo Laporte Now, that’s interesting.
Nilay Patel …maybe you should Windows Phone 7, which is this whole UI is here, the whole system looks dismal.
Leo Laporte That is a great idea.
Nilay Patel Then that – I mean, that is like Steve Ballmer is like high on drugs and he’s like that’s what we’re going to do. But that is my dream. I think that would really…
Leo Laporte That’s wild.
Nilay Patel Yeah.
Leo Laporte I hope they’re listening. Nick you want to want to say...
Dwight Silverman That’s Kevin start up.
Leo Laporte Maybe that’s it. Yeah.
Nilay Patel Yeah. Kevin start, Kevin Rose is running Zune now.
Nick Bilton Just wondered what you guys thought about when do you think Microsoft, I mean I spoke to a pretty high-up developer there who worked on the Windows Phone 7 and I said when are you guys are going to release Windows Phone 7 UI tablet and he smiled and walked away which I can only imagine means that they’re working on something. But when, what do you...
Leo Laporte Or he was running off to Steve to say, hey I have an idea.
Nick Bilton When do you think it’s going to come I mean, when are we going to see a Windows Phone 7, or when hopefully they’ll rename it Windows 7 or whatever. But a tablet that uses that UI, because I have to say…
Leo Laporte The UI I like it.
Nick Bilton Really refreshing, and wonderful…
Dwight Silverman Next year, next year. It will be next year.
Leo Laporte 2012?
Dwight Silverman That’s when Windows 8 is. That’s Windows 8 and that Windows 8 will have that dual interface where they will have desktop interface, when it’s senses is own an ARM processor or a lighter software, it’ll switch to that other interface and as a result it’ll have twice as much code as it should.
Leo Laporte This was – this is what HP is going to do with webOS.
Dwight Silverman Right
Nilay Patel You know, I have heard this exact thing about Windows 8 and I’ve heard it from some pretty good sources that the reason they did all this ARM stuff was so they can take Windows but people keep saying switch and you just said switched. What is it switching from? I mean either you have a – you’re not ripping the screen off your laptop and walking away, I mean, you’ve distinct device and I – that’s the strength of I think every devices are…
Dwight Silverman In other words when the installation happens when you’re putting Windows 8 on and they’ll have that Windows 8 kernel but when you installing it you’ll know which way it’s going.
Nilay Patel But what are you and how are you installing Windows 8 on a tablet. I mean, that’s a completely – you don’t do that right now. You don’t buy a tablet with no software on it and stick in a disk, I mean that’s not how that works.
Dwight Silverman I’m speaking in the global way not necessarily consumers, I mean, right, consumers would do that, but that’s what…
Leo Laporte Come on everybody is going to buy an iPad and then we’ll never have anything else, it’s all iPad all the time.
Nilay Patel I’ve heard this exact story that Dwight is telling and I believe it, I think that’s Microsoft’s plan. I just don’t get it, like – I don’t – so Lenovo is going to buy a Windows disk and put it into a laptop and then they’re going to take the same disk and put into factory into the tablet…
Dwight Silverman Well no, it’s like the iOS has the Mac OS kernel in it. That’s kind of what’s at its heart, and essentially Microsoft is going to try to do the same thing. I was being sarcastic and starkey about double the language of code. But the question is, is will that graft take all that work given Microsoft’s technology, I guess it’s the way I should have put it.
Leo Laporte What about – so is HP’s webOS, they’ve announced webOS everywhere similar idea. All PCs will come with Windows and webOS.
Nilay Patel You know there is a big – I think what HP is trying to do with webOS is, they’re taking their first baby steps away from Windows on the desktop, it’s a Microsoft, and they’ve already taken a huge step away from them on the phone and on the tablet. You know that, I have seen scrapped HP designs for Windows Phone 7 devices and they threw away and for Android devices they threw away.
Leo Laporte Interesting.
Nilay Patel And there are some lingering remnants of Android they have a printer that runs Android I think and all that’s going to webOS in the future. And on the desktop and on the tablet, I think this is going to be really hard, you know HP and Microsoft have been huge partners for so long. This is going to be a really hard conversation for them to have, when the HP is saying, we’re not going to run Windows 8 on our tablets, we’re going to run webOS, and we’re already in the market, we’re way ahead of you.,
And that’s going to be for Microsoft, you know, that’s one of the big challenges for them is to lose one of their big partners in the space especially the enterprise space to – they’re like we don’t trust you anymore, we’re going to buy Palm and do this on our own. And that’s a huge challenge for Microsoft. And Windows 8 sharing the same – you know the same kernel and code base I don’t know what the point of that is. I don’t think you’re going to run apps on desktop windows and copy the app to your ARM tablet turning some version of Windows 8 that’s made for ARM.
You know, Dwight, you’re right, you know there’s twice the code, twice the bloat, I feel like what they need to do is focus on this tablet and get away from this idea that everything has to be Windows. And I feel like that’s a very Ballmer idea. I don’t know that’s baked into Microsoft, I think it’s baked into Steve Ballmer and he’s really passionate about the Windows brand what they created with Windows and I – this is Microsoft’s chance to be like not everything is Windows, Windows is our desktop operating system.
Dwight Silverman They won’t ever do that. They will – it’s will – I mean that’s a Bill Gates thing. Bill Gates was okay with aligning Windows everywhere…
Leo Laporte Right.
Dwight Silverman …and I think that that’s kind of the way they see the world and the way they’re going to do it, I agree with you that what you’re describing is what they should do, but, Microsoft doesn’t – they just don’t do that.
For years ago they should’ve thrown out the Windows’ legacy code and started over with something new, and they keep continuing to build on top of this legacy code and they’ve got a pretty stable product right now with Windows 7 but it’s taken them a long time to get there.
Nilay Patel Well that’s XP and that’s the same thing we’re talking about XP held back IE for so long.
Dwight Silverman Right.
Nilay Patel I mean, eventually they got to make the break, you know imagine what it’s like to be Bill Gates? I think about this all time. I mean, he is the pioneer…
Leo Laporte I do too, I know how you feel.
Nilay Patel …of natural interface – he’s been been, well, not like that, I mean [Indiscernible] (86:22) money and…
Leo Laporte That’s what I thought you meant, naked.
Nilay Patel Yeah. Always, oh, come on, that’s table stakes.
Leo Laporte It’s given. Yeah.
Nilay Patel No, but he is the pioneer of natural interface, he is the – for so long the thought leader of what’s the next generation of interface is going to be. It’s going to be touch and voice and movement all the stuff. And you know the pioneer with Kinect I think that’s great but I think Google is way out in the market place with voice and Apple is clearly leading with touch in a lot of ways. And Microsoft is kind of like, oh, we should be making the operating system for tablets. And I can imagine how Bill Gates feels about that. I – if I were him I would have to spend an extraordinary amount of money to get over that.
Leo Laporte Well, he can. That’s the point.
Nick Bilton Can we jump to – I saw on the list of really interesting question…
Leo Laporte Thank God, yes please.
Nick Bilton Larry Page wants to return Google to its start-up roots.
Leo Laporte Oh, let’s talk about that in just a moment. Yes indeed, Nick Bolton is with us, he is from the New York Times, Nilay Patel, he is alone and…
Nilay Patel Hey man, I got Josh with me.
Dwight Silverman So alone.
Leo Laporte It’s him and josh and Dwight Silverman, I’m so sorry, so Ballmer. That’s Dwight Silverman up there in the upper right hand corner, he’s with the Houston Chronicle, I’m talking right now about our friends at audible.com, audible the great bookstore of audio, entertainments, 75,000, I think maybe 80,000 titles right now in the Audible bookstores, it’s just amazing how they’ve grown. We want to give you two of them for free. If you go to audible.com/twit2, audible.com/twit2. You – now, here’s the challenge with Audible. You got to browse through these and – I mean, there’s so many books, it’s hard to pick just one. I see a new one from Michio Kaku we love him, physicist who is an expert on string theory, a great visionary. Moonwalking with Einstein, huh.
Nick Bilton That’s an amazing book.
Leo Laporte Have you read that?
Nick Bilton Joshua Foer, I got an advance copy of it, he’s a fantastic writer and it’s a really, really fantastic book.
Leo Laporte It’s about brains?
Nick Bilton Well he was working on a story about, I forget what it was, but he ended up in New Jersey and I’ll keep this quick. But he ended up in New Jersey and he had a little time to kill and he ended up at this old museum for like the really strong guys that do all this weightlifting and he was wondering around and Josh was like a small guy, and he said I wonder if there is such a thing as a museum for smart people. And what he ended up finding was people that can memorize things, and he went through this quest of learning how to memorize and he ended up winning the Unites States World Champions memory contest. And it shows how you can actually do it and how it works. It’s fascinating.
Leo Laporte Have you done this Nick? Is your memory perfect now?
Nick Bilton I have ADD so I can remember like a sentence and then I’m bored and I’m like on with something else.
Leo Laporte Me too, yeah. I think we all, that’s kind of that’s given in this business.
Nick Bilton But it’s a great read, I definitely recommend it.
Leo Laporte You just picked my Audible book. I can’t wait to read this next. So this is what happens with Audible. You go to audible.com and you say and you find an incredible book like this, Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer, is that how you say Foer..
Nick Bilton I think Joshua Foer, yeah.
Leo Laporte And you download it and you listen to it, you get two books so that’s one, there is plenty of things to choose from bestsellers, classics, romance, mysteries and thrillers, I always go to sci-fi section. Audible’s got this program called Audible Frontiers where they record classic sci-fi that was never turned into audio books.
Of course there is a lot of new sci-fi in here too, but I am going back and looking at the [indiscernible] (90:10) Isaac Asimov, Philip K. Dick and its so much fun to read – oh look the Difference Engine is out, William Gibson and Bruce Sterling. That was an amazing book, Audible just release. That is an audio book on their Audible Frontiers program. So I think this is what’s cool about Audible.
Pick two books, they are yours to keep. Just go to audible.com/twit2, that’s the platinum account, two books a month, a good way really to get a lot of reading done. See the thing about reading is who has time anymore. But on the other hand don’t we all spend a lot of time in the car, at the gym, or cleaning the house where you could be reading if you could only hold a book, well that’s what Audible does for you. It gives you chance to get some reading done and I love it.
Are you going to see that new movie, The Lincoln Lawyer? I can’t wait to see that Matt McConaughey movie. Here is the original novel. Read the novel – I’d like to read the novel or listen to the novel before I see the movie.
Nick Bilton Yeah.
Leo Laporte That’s just my habit. And when you listen to Audible, it’s like a movie unfolds in your brain. I really love that. Audible.com/twit2. It plays back on all your portable devices and of course on your computer too. You can even burn CDs. Audible.com/twit2. Get your first two free, right now. You’ll going to love it.
So, Nick, take over here, what – remind me again, what was the question that you –?
Nick Bilton The Larry Page story this week that he saying, he wants to bring Google back to its start-ups roots and I really don’t think it’s possible.
Leo Laporte I don’t – well I don’t even know what it means. Is you want to go back to the old days when you could still have dinner with Larry and Sergey and….
Nick Bilton Maybe. I mean I think that he thinks that it’s becomes too much of a corporation and it’s become too much of a – there is too much of a process...
Leo Laporte It’s too big. There is – how many – 50,000 employees, how do you go back to a start-up? Although I have to give credit to the Googles because in one way they have done that by making sure that these teams are fairly autonomous, so it’s like a big company with a lot of little start-ups within.
Nick Bilton Well they’re not completely autonomous. I think it’s kind of a bit of a fallacy that they are friends there – have worked there. And although you are autonomous within this group, once you – and you build this product – once it’s done, it’s still has to be approved by someone higher up and it can sometimes get knocked back down...
Leo Laporte Right.
Nick Bilton ...and so there is autonomy in the fact that you get to build things when you have ideas, and I think that it’s an amazing company for that. But I – but it’s still has the bureaucracy that every other company...
Leo Laporte One has to.
Nick Bilton ...or any corporation in America does.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Nilay Patel I think Google is the most fascinating company in American business. I think I am obsessed with Google. [Indiscernible] (92:50) about how much I think about Google. They don’t sell anything to the consumer at all, right?
Leo Laporte Right.
Nilay Patel And people will have this incredible trust of Google – and people talk about like those are geniuses from Google, that’s like what they have. One product that’s awesome, then you search really well. And Gmail is really good. And Android is great. But then they have all these other products that kind of don’t make any sense and sometimes don’t work like Wave or whatever. And it’s – there is so much goodwill placed upon Google and they – the natural tension between what they give people and what they take from people is so great that I think they need to always have a bureaucracy in process.
And I think what Larry is going to – when I started Google, nobody knew we were doing and there were no rules and there were no – there was no market for what we were giving people and I want to get back – to that feeling, that we should build anything we wanted and we were inventing the rules for marketplace as we went and I think that’s admirable. I think you want that from a CEO. But I think when you’ve become Google and you are messing with people’s privacy on a large, enormous, cataclysmic way in some ways, you can’t get away from having an army of lawyers to tell you what can and can’t do.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Nilay Patel And I don’t know that you can walk away from that.
Nick Bilton Look at what – look at Mark Zuckerberg with Facebook when he said – I forget where he said it [indiscernible] (94:10), but he said, we don’t think about privacy as much, we just build things and put them out there like we were a company of like with 100 users or whatever. And he got shredded for that. And I think that when these companies get this big they really have to be careful what they are doing especially with the privacy stuff that’s going on right now.
Leo Laporte This article is by Steven Levy, I presume this is an extract from his new book, he is publishing a book about Google.
Nick Bilton Yes.
Leo Laporte The best quote in here, I love this, Marissa Mayer, Vice President of Google, says, ‘You can’t understand Google unless you know that both Larry and Sergey were Montessori kids.’
Nilay Patel Were you a Montessori kid, Leo?
Leo Laporte No. But my kids are Montessori kids. Montessori –
Nilay Patel I was a Montessori kid.
Leo Laporte Were you? So describe that what is that – what does she mean by that?
Nick Bilton What is a Montessori kid?
Nilay Patel Well Montessori is the pre-school I went to and actually...
Leo Laporte It’s an educational philosophy by a woman named Maria Montessori and this is 100 years old but there are a lot of Montessori schools around. Now the idea in a Montessori school is you have works which are little projects and you can move around – the idea was that kid will teach his or her – him or herself by moving around from work to work and the works are age appropriate, so Montessori is go from pre-school to 8th grade and probably even beyond.
Nilay Patel My parents – when it was like time to learn math and reading and suffer for “real”, they definitely took me on and put me in a more traditional school.
Leo Laporte But I like it because it honors the student’s interest. It encourages kind of – and that’s what she says, it’s – she says, Montessori is baked into their approach to problems, they were always asking why should it be like that? She said it’s a way their brains were programmed early on. You agree with that?
Nilay Patel No. It’s a school.
Leo Laporte It’s a nice spin
Nilay Patel I went there. I don’t think of myself as being a Montessori kid, that’s why I asked you, like, I went to a pre-school, it had a style on education. I haven’t –I went to a university and a graduate school too. It’s not like you would say, what – to understand Nilay you have to know that he went to the University of Wisconsin...
Leo Laporte You can’t study law at a Montessori school.
Nilay Patel Right. Exactly. Because you would never be interesting in that.
Leo Laporte You have to be forced to do it.
Nilay Patel Right. No, I think it’s an interesting point when – I think it speaks to their personality. I think it’s a great quote. It’s – I find it a little more humorous than...
Leo Laporte Well it may have been spin or maybe Marissa is trying to tell a story around.
Dwight Silverman It also describes the way Google works, I mean you – at the start of this conversation we talked about them having autonomous little groups...
Leo Laporte That’s exactly...
Dwight Silverman ...as your works.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Dwight Silverman I mean it describes kind of the structure of Google itself. And actually university is a Montessori...
Nilay Patel Two stories to that – well go ahead finish and I’ll talk my quick little bits.
Dwight Silverman A university is a Montessori school because you go – yeah, you have to learn certain things but then you go and find the things you’re interested in and focus on that. So the university is Montessori as well.
Nilay Patel I definitely tried to find as many girls as possible when I was at University...
Leo Laporte Well that’s a kind of works – works of a kind.
Nilay Patel Yeah. No – so that, you’re right about Google in that sense. So that you know Google TV was a 20% project right and then it’s – maybe it shouldn’t have been elevated.
Dwight Silverman It still is.
Leo Laporte Actually it should be a 10% project now, yeah.
Nilay Patel I think there is – I’ve heard some rumblings – they are in the market; they are in the planning phase of big relaunch. But that was like a 20% project that grew into a real project for the company and that’s like pretty great, normal companies don’t have a pathway for that. In an Android, you know the Android team is in a tiny little building and they probably need more space and from what I’ve heard Andy Rubin doesn’t want to give people more space. He wants it to feel like a cloistered start-up that has to scrap for success and that’s one of the ways that he preserves that atmosphere. I think that’s cool. I think that’s the sort of stuff Larry should focus on...
Leo Laporte Steve Jobs did with the Mac team, right. With the outlaws.
Nilay Patel He put them away on their own and he said, you guys are in charge of your destiny and you’ve got to succeed and if you fail, it will – everything about this goes away not – you work at this huge office building and if you fail you still…
Leo Laporte Wear the safety net. Yeah, yeah.
Nilay Patel Right. So I think that stuff is maybe what Larry should focus on not more, not these we can just do whatever we want because we are a new company.
Nick Bilton The other thing that I think that they should focus on – they’re really going for social and I have a little anecdotal story. I – few – couple of years ago I was a little fed up at that times and I was looking other places to work and I spoke to some execs at Google and you know there was a job that I was really interested in and – we’re about to start this like application process and one of them say, well do you have a degree and I said “no” and they said “well I don’t think you’d be able to get a job here”
Leo Laporte Wow.
Nick Bilton And I said “well would Mark Zuckerberg be able to get a job here” and they were like “umm” and I said would Bill Gates be able to, like I went through a list of people that I know that don’t have degrees and they said we have a system here, an algorithm that we follow and a degree and these other things are a big part of that. And what I – I could have pushed them and try to like go for this job but I sat down and I talked to myself how can these people figure out social if all they have within this organization are the people that are the top tier of the educational base and don’t necessarily have social experiences in the same way that people that are using these services do. And I think that that’s a big reason why this company really is having such a hard time figuring out that the social aspect of the web.
Leo Laporte Very interesting. Well it’s good; I can’t wait to read the book.
Dwight Silverman Of course [indiscernible] (99:46) it’s built for geeks.
Leo Laporte The geeks with the degrees.
Dwight Silverman That’s the – that’s the bottom line, right.
Leo Laporte I mean I don’t have a degree either. I guess like I’m going to have to throw out my dream of working at Google.
Dwight Silverman Someday we’ll all work for Google.
Leo Laporte Oh, we do already Dwight. That’s the beauty of their business model. We are all working for Google. Facebook is going to start putting Major League Baseball on its site now, first movies, now Major League Baseball according to Peter Kafka writing for AllThingsD. Major League Baseball’s page has streaming games, very interesting. What’s Facebook up to here? Is this a global strategy or just –.
Nick Bilton They’re going for…
Nilay Patel I think the real question is what is – what is baseball up to.
Leo Laporte Well baseball just going to go anywhere they can, right.
Nick Bilton Well I think what everyone can go where they can, right. I mean and that I think what Facebook is up to is I teach a course at NYU, it’s called 1’, 2’, 10’, right, and it’s about designing interfaces for the one-foot mobile phone, two-foot computer and 10-foot television experience. And Facebook is not in the 10-foot experience yet and I think that they know that’s the next frontier for the web, people are cutting their cable and all these things and they want to be available on that spot and that’s why they’re going for streaming and Netflix and all these things.
Nilay Patel Right, because they – they’re doing – they did movies a few weeks ago, right. Do you think that The Dark Knight streaming at Facebook?
Dwight Silverman Right. Right.
Nilay Patel But the flipside of this is if you look at baseball has suddenly started putting its content every where it can.
Leo Laporte I like they’re quite smart, yeah.
Nilay Patel It’s made it extremely accessible and extremely, like friendly and I think that – what they’re really trying to do is they had theirs perception, the baseball is the old stuffy sport…
Leo Laporte Right.
Nilay Patel …and most of the people I know, they like baseball because they can drink at bunch at baseball games and they don’t really watch baseball.
Leo Laporte It’s a bunch of farm boys which shovel handles and big [ph] crack at… (101:36).
Nilay Patel Exactly, right.
Leo Laporte It’s a pastoral game; it is not 21st century by any means.
Nilay Patel Yeah, it’s not – like the NFLs, like a high tech.
Leo Laporte Right. NBA.
Nilay Patel [indiscernible] (101:46) right. And I think it’s cool that baseball is like; we have to be out there, we have to put our product in front of people to make them like it. We can’t just be – stock…
Leo Laporte I like this because the clip that’s…
Nilay Patel …[indiscernible] (101:57) distribution.
Leo Laporte The clip that’s on the Facebook page was apparently Test Clip 3 we just watched so.
Dwight Silverman They’re – what they’re doing at MLB is essentially this is a come on to get you to go and use their premium service. I think they put a game a day on their and [indiscernible] (102:15).
Leo Laporte Yeah, that’s smart. Because I bought the – I buy the – they have an iPad, Android, and iPhone app and of course I have the iPad app because I can watch games on it.
Dwight Silverman And if you noticed that each year that app gets more and more expensive.
Leo Laporte Sure, why not.
Dwight Silverman It’s gone up like – I think its like doubled almost every year. It’s gotten – it’s quite…
Leo Laporte Hey, there’s going to be a football strike, we got to watch something.
Dwight Silverman Right.
Nick Bilton There’s going to be a football strike?
Leo Laporte Oh yeah, didn’t you know they liked other players.
Nick Bilton I’m not of a sports guy sorry.
Leo Laporte Really? You look like you might have played football in Montessori school.
Nilay Patel No, football in Montessori school is you get to run around the field doing works that you enjoy.
Leo Laporte I don’t care for the football I’d like to go kick that flower.
Nick Bilton So I think we should end on a sad note and maybe talk about Japan and the – and how it’s going to affect the business of electronics.
Leo Laporte Yeah, let’s wrap it up because I think, of course, and I talked about this last week. It’s pretty hard to talk about technology news, it really isn’t that important when it comes to things like an earthquake, tsunami and thousands dead in Japan. However, Japan does produce quite a bit of the electronics that we use, not so much the devices, this device, the iPad’s made in China but the NAND flash inside of it is made in Japan.
Nick Bilton Yeah.
Leo Laporte And many of those factories were in the Sendai area.
Nick Bilton You know it’s funny as a technology reporter who works next, I work right next to guys that are reporting on what’s going on in Japan and the environmental desk and so on and I was writing about you know the line at the Apple Store the other day, and I said – then I was like, what am I doing?
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Nick Bilton Same time I realized that it’s important for me – for us to talk about this stuff because you know those NAND flash drives are going to pay for some kids’ health insurance in Japan and they’re going to put food on the table for somebody else that – you know and I think that that’s why it is still important to talk about this stuff as a global economic discussion.
Dwight Silverman I think it’s also important to note that how fragile the technology we…
Leo Laporte Oh boy.
Dwight Silverman …rely on is. We have hurricanes down here at the Gulf Coast all the time, our power goes out, we have – we lose all of our creature comforts. And every time that happens, I think, this is just like egg-shell thin and you’re seeing same thing happen in Japan is that – it’s – this is kind of a little taste of just how easy it would be for us to go back to a very much more basic way of living.
Nilay Patel Yeah, Nick, I think, that New York Times photo with – it was a slide show with the slider that showed you before and after satellite photos of Sendai.
Leo Laporte Oh that’s an amazing, amazing thing.
Nilay Patel And I think that actually in its way was the most successful piece of reporting out of Japan. Because you don’t – the facts and figures are one thing but people actually seeing how easily things can just be literally wiped off the map, more people I know have like donated and tried to help in their own little ways, because it’s so bad than any story – that’s actually you talk all the times pretty well, like that’s sort of the stuff I would always be…
Nick Bilton [indiscernible] (105:26) – that’s what Bill Keller is arguing that the paywall is there to make sure these things exist, and without it they won’t. And there was two other things I tweeted this week on Nickelodeon on Twitter and one was the graphic that they did, the Times did about explaining how a reactor explodes and what happens and how you fall was was fascinating. And then there was another one that was in Week in Review this week, which was a story about Lessons from Chernobyl that Japan can learn and it explaining just how the sarcophagus has been built around the Chernobyl atomic disaster and how it’s still just as bad as it was when it happened decades ago and I think they’ve been some – done some amazing reporting. It really has been fantastic.
Leo Laporte Well, I have to commend them and I’m sure you’re involved in this, they’ve really made the interactive, the online site, amazing. I mean, it is – and that is what you need to do if you’re going to survive, I think. It’s just clinical.
Nilay Patel Yeah, and I think people will pay for that.
Leo Laporte Yeah, I think you’re right. No, I don’t think anybody’s going to pay for the Daily on the iPad.
Nilay Patel Has anybody seen a link to the Daily? I mean, I haven’t. Nobody sent me one, nobody [indiscernible] (106:35) I got this news in the Daily.
Leo Laporte No, they don’t link out. You can’t.
Dwight Silverman But there’s a way to share and I don’t see anybody sharing their links.
Leo Laporte What is it? I mean I’ve tried the Daily Brief link, and it’s like, I’m sorry I’m not going to pay for this. So what is – can you send e-mail a link, is that what you do?
Nick Bilton You can post it to Twitter, you can email it.
Dwight Silverman And fax it.
Leo Laporte Fax it. You can print it out and give it to your neighbor but if you – if I click that link in Twitter, what do I get?
Nilay Patel You get – you twit it out, you put it in your Twitter credentials, you use the API.
Leo Laporte Yeah but what – but I can’t get back in right [indiscernible] (107:10)
Nilay Patel It doesn’t open the app, but there’s an HTML page for every story.
Nick Bilton And it doesn’t link to any other stories though.
Nilay Patel Right.
Nick Bilton Yeah.
Nilay Patel It’s a very [indiscernible] (107:20)
Dwight Silverman But you also can’t share every story. Some of them we can go to share them, it says, this story can’t be shared.
Nilay Patel It’s very strange.
Nick Bilton You know what I [indiscernible] (107:30). So I think to the Daily’s credit, I do really like the voice, they have a lot of young reporters and they have fun and like and they crack jokes and actually that in the end they explain things in a really unique way that it’s not stuffy like the Times or the Journal and it’s – I think it reaches an audience that wants news that is news but it’s not too stuffy. But I think that you’re going to see the same thing that’s happened with, for example, the iPhone on AT&T. Eventually, it’s going to be everywhere. The Daily will only be on the iPad for a certain amount of time and then you’re going to start to see on every other device.
Leo Laporte Really?
Nick Bilton Including – yeah, absolutely.
Nilay Patel But the hook for that is the news has to be good enough to drive you to the device. And I haven’t seen that yet and I think that’s – I don’t know if that that relationship, that incentive structure will ever actually work, because it’s the news and the news is this happened and you can find out that this happened anywhere.
Dwight Silverman Almost all of it is commodity. It’s very little of it in there is compelling and some, Nick, you know some of the stuff I’ve seen in there has just been embarrassing. They did some thing on a dating service that puts a hard monitor on you and it tests how – when you’re meeting somebody at your date, whether – how you react to the things I say, and it was just embarrassingly bad and that’s the kind of thing I see in there all the time. I am not sure that there is – they’re young and fresh and there’s kind of young and inexperienced and embarrassing and that’s most of what I’ve seen.
Nick Bilton Did you see the video a couple of weeks ago that they did where it was about a psychotherapist in New York City who undresses while she’s doing psychotherapy to make their – her customers feel more comfortable until she gets fully naked?
Leo Laporte I’m comfortable right now.
Nilay Patel That makes you more comfortable?
Leo Laporte Actually, that’s making me uncomfortable.
Nick Bilton To make more comfortable you should watch the video, it’s actually quite funny. But I thought it was a [indiscernible] (109:20)…
Leo Laporte Is that an Onion – is that an Onion story?
Nick Bilton I thought Baratunde did it.
Leo Laporte Really? Alright, well, this has been so much fun, I hate to wrap it up but it’s great to have you guys. Of course, we thank Kevin Rose for joining us at kevinrose.com. Dwight Silverman at the Houston Chronicle, thank you for being here, it’s always a pleasure.
Dwight Silverman And this has been a great TWiT, I think, of all the TWiT I’ve done this one has just been the best. Thank you, guys.
Leo Laporte When you get class acts like you guys on it really does make a difference.
Nilay Patel I’m going to take out my clothes the next time to make you all feel more comfortable. That’s my big plan here.
Leo Laporte Oh, my god, everybody.
Nilay Patel Wow!
Leo Laporte Oh, my god, I think I saw a little hairy navel there.
Nilay Patel [indiscernible] (110:04) weird.
Nick Bilton We can get one of those XXX TWiT domains.
Leo Laporte Oh, good idea.
Nilay Patel Leo, do you have twit.xxx?
Leo Laporte I’m going to get it right now because that’s legal now.
Nilay Patel squarespace.com, you can do it – you can build our website in two seconds.
Leo Laporte Houston Chronicle blogs.chron.com/techblog, thank you, Dwight. Nilay Patel, he’s @reckless on Twitter, that’s pretty much it.
Nilay Patel Free Agent for a while.
Leo Laporte Free Agent, I like it and Montessori Kid.
Nilay Patel Yes, Montessori, they got some works to do.
Leo Laporte Nick Bilton, what’s your excuse? Did you – what was your educational background?
Nick Bilton I grew up in England, I went to a private school called Barnard Castle and then I got expelled.
Leo Laporte Isn’t that the one that’s like – looks like Hogwarts?
Nick Bilton Exactly like Hogwarts.
Leo Laporte It’s like 800 years old.
Nick Bilton And these four houses and it’s like there’s the Gryffindors and I learned spells.
Leo Laporte Yeah, you went to Hogwarts!
Nick Bilton I went to Hogwarts. But I was bad with my potions class and they kicked me out of school.
Leo Laporte That’s snappy, such a son of a –
Nick Bilton And then I moved to America and then it all went down [indiscernible] (111:09) from there.
Leo Laporte So you actually effectively went to the opposite of a Montessori school?
Nick Bilton Yeah, pretty much.
Leo Laporte You went to a school where they still canes the children?
Nick Bilton I got caned, I got caned, I got the wooden spoon, I got the slipper.
Nilay Patel It sounds to me you played a really old game of monopoly…
Leo Laporte Well, I got caned, I got caned.
Nick Bilton I once drew a picture of a robot with breasts and I got – in front of the entire school, for my pornography that I created, I got caned in front of everyone. It wasn’t fun.
Leo Laporte Wow!
Nilay Patel [ph] Right (111:42) looking robot too.
Leo Laporte Yeah, makes me uncomfortable. Thank you, Nick, for being here, really a pleasure.
Nick Bilton Appreciate it.
Leo Laporte And thanks to you all for joining us. Don’t forget we are doing a photowalk – when is that, next week? Next Saturday. So that’s for our Mostly Photo show with Lisa Bettany. If you go to mostlyphotoadventures.com, you could find out more. It’s really going to be a lot of fun. I’m not going to be able to be there but Lisa is going to bring an actual frame photographer, so that should be fun, at the Ferry Building and Marketplace, 2:00 p.m., Saturday, March 26th. Please do RSVP at the website mostlyphotoadventures.com. You can learn more about the 2011 Ford Explorer, our photowalk brought to you by the 100% invented – I’m sorry, reinvented – there’s a big distinction. 100% reinvented 2011 Ford Explorer, mostlyphotoadventures.com and thanks to Ford and the new Explorer for our Mostly Photo show.
We do this show live every Sunday round about 3:00 p.m. Pacific, 6:00 p.m. Eastern, you’re invited to watch live at live.twit.tv. We had a great studio audience today, seven people jammed in this itty-bitty room and they were all nice and quiet, I think most of them were sleeping actually. So it’s very comfortable.
Dwight Silverman I doubt it, I doubt it.
Nilay Patel I like how the sun is literally set on me.
Leo Laporte Yeah, basically…
Nilay Patel [ph] I’m into the (112:59) pitch black now.
Leo Laporte That’s how long the show was. It was high noon when we began. Thank you everybody for joining us. So see you next week. Another TWiT is in the can. Thanks, guys.
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