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This is TWiT, this WEEK in TECH, episode 303, recorded May 29, 2011, Duck, It's Zuck! This WEEK in TECH is brought to you by GoToMeeting, meet easily with colleagues even when traveling or working remotely. For you free 30-day trial, visit GoToMeeting.com, promo code, TWiT. And, by Audible.com, sign up for the Platinum plan and get two free books. Go to Audible.com/twit2. And, don’t forget to follow Audible on Twitter, user id, audible_com. And, by Ford and the 100% reinvented 2011 Ford Explorer, with room for seven passengers, best-in-class V6 highway fuel economy, and available SYNC with MyFord Touch. The 2011 Ford Explorer is perfect for your adventures with the family. For more information and to participate in the Mostly Photo Adventure Awards, visit mostlyphotoadventures.com.
Leo Laporte It is time for TWiT, this WEEK in TECH, the show that covers the tech news from the week gone by and there was a whole heck of a lot of it. Because it is the Memorial Day Weekend here in the U.S. of A, we have decided to put together a practically international panel. We almost got 100% international but that’s okay, we’ll start with Canada. Amber MacArthur is here; I don’t have to introduce, Amber MacArthur. Everybody knows Amber from The Social Hour, my host on Call For Help, many moons ago.
Amber MacArthur Hey, it’s good to be on the show; it’s been a while.
Leo Laporte Yeah, welcome back.
Amber MacArthur Thank you.
Leo Laporte And, she is calling from Toronto.
Amber MacArthur Yes, I am in Toronto, I am home. And, it has surpassed patio weather, you’ll be happy to hear, Leo.
Leo Laporte Nice and hot there, huh?
Amber MacArthur It’s getting there; yeah, it’s definitely heating up.
Leo Laporte You and Sarah are doing such a great job with The Social Hour, which is kind of just the rebranded version of the show Inside the Net, then it was net@night, and now it’s The Social Hour. The Internet keeps changing, damn it!
Amber MacArthur I know and we keep changing but it’s been – it’s been a great experience over the past 10 episodes, and she is so much fun to work with. She is...
Leo Laporte Sarah is great.
Amber MacArthur Yeah.
Leo Laporte And, I love the show. Sarah is – Sarah’s role at TWiT is to keep me informed on what the trends are, so I figure she really should be doing a show about Internet trends.
Amber MacArthur Oh yeah, she is perfect and we have lots of audience participation and so it’s been really fun just doing some episodes with her and lots to look for. And, she is great at production too, Leo.
Leo Laporte She is.
Amber MacArthur That’s the nice thing. She really understands how to package a show and kind of put it together with lots of different elements.
Leo Laporte It is my new favorite show actually on TWiT. If you have not seen it, The Social Hour, you do the show on Mondays and it’s available for download almost immediately at twit.tv/ – I think we still have it on night, though, right? Twit.tv, is it slash n-a-t-n, Jammer B?
Amber MacArthur I am not sure.
Leo Laporte Is it – is it s-h?
Amber MacArthur Yes.
Leo Laporte Yes, twit.tv/tsh. Thank you. Also with us today, Mr. Om Malik who’s got money in his pocket.
Om Malik Money in my pocket? I don’t even have a pocket.
Leo Laporte Om is the guy behind GigaOM which is a great site and also has his own new newsletter, which is – how many weeks old is this Om Says?
Om Malik It is about 8 weeks old.
Leo Laporte Okay, good. And, it’s a paid subscription?
Om Malik No, it’s – I write it when I have something important to say. I don’t write it if – just to fill up space so it is free and you sign up and sometimes I write four times a week, sometimes I write twice a week, and sometimes I don’t. It is only when I have something to say that’s when I go for it.
Leo Laporte I think that is a great idea.
Om Malik I think there is just too much noise on the Internet so....
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Om Malik .... what I am trying to do is not add to it.
Leo Laporte Doesn’t it – I am sure does it feel like, as a blogger, you have just got to post every day and even if you have nothing important to say.
Om Malik Well, like – we have a great team, so they post interesting things every day. I try and refrain myself from doing – just adding more noise to people’s life.
Leo Laporte Right, I like it. But why don’t you charge for it? I mean, you could probably charge $100 a month for this?
Om Malik No, but – this is, I would have written this as a blog post and I would have given it away as free so there is no difference in that. It just goes out as an email and then later in the day, like about 12 hours later, it goes up as a blog post. So, I don’t think you can charge for something you’ve been giving away for free for so long.
Leo Laporte It is interesting; I guess newsletters are kind of back. For a while, it seemed like nobody was doing it; now everybody is. And, everybody I know wants to write a newsletter.
Om Malik There you go.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Om Malik And, I am calling from People’s Republic of California....
Leo Laporte That’s international.
Om Malik That’s international Leo Laporte It’s good to have you. Now, from France, we’ve got Patrick Beja.
Patrick Beja Hey, it’s nice to be back.
Leo Laporte notpatrick on Twitter.
Patrick Beja That’s me.
Leo Laporte And, he hosts a bunch of podcasts.
Patrick Beja Yeah, that’s – I should really do what Om is doing, but actually when I have something to say, I just go on Twitter so it is not that smart; I should start a....
Leo Laporte You’re giving it away.
Patrick Beja .... newsletter too.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Patrick Beja Yeah.
Leo Laporte Although Twitter is only 140 characters, I find that actually a great relief because posting a long blog post, it takes a long time.
Patrick Beja Yeah, usually what I have to say is not that complicated....
Leo Laporte Right.
Patrick Beja .... 140 characters is way enough.
Leo Laporte Right. We actually – I am glad Patrick is here because one of our top stories is the eG8. The G8 Summit is coming to France next week, all the leaders of the major developed nations, the U.S., Canada, France, England, Germany, and so forth, the G8 Summit. The week before President Sarkozy, who is not known for being a champion of the free Internet, threw a little party for Internet bigwigs, including Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Eric Schmidt of Google, to create a whitepaper, a position paper, to present to the G8 leaders on how the Internet should be regulated. The fear was, and I know Cory Doctorow wrote, I’m not going to go because this is just an attempt to get us to kind of rubberstamp something that I can’t possibly agree with, Sarkozy is so notorious for his kind of pro-business, anti-free Internet stance. What did the eG8 end up being like Patrick?
Patrick Beja Well, I guess it’s difficult, difficult to explain because a lot of people were expecting it to be something that it wasn’t meant to be. I think – okay, what you’ve to remember is we in the tech world know what we should be doing and what works and what doesn’t work even from a technical standpoint, set aside the ethical and moral implications of regulating the Internet. But, you’ve to remember that the governments do not know what the hell even that Internet thing is, so I was one of the very few voices I think that thought this eG8 was actually a good idea because it was the government recognizing that maybe they didn’t have all the answers and trying to include everyone in the conversation and of course at first they are going to ask the people that they know and the people that they would go to anyway who have no clue either, you know the music lobby and….
Leo Laporte Right.
Patrick Beja …the movie lobby and intellectual property rights holders. But, it’s a willingness to open the conversation and I think we have to be part of that conversation and just look at how much voice Jeff got and J. P. Barlow got and few others and compare that to things like ACTA and the Protect IP Act, which are…
Leo Laporte Right.
Patrick Beja …complete horrors negotiated in secret. So, it’s starting the conversation, I think.
Leo Laporte I think you’re absolutely right. I was one of the people invited, thanks to [ph] Louis Clamer (08:55), and couldn’t go because of family emergency, but I was really glad to see Jeff Jarvis of our This Week in Google show go, and he wrote a blog post before he left saying, I’m going to trying to get Sarkozy and others to essentially sign a Hippocratic Oath for the Internet that first and foremost, government would do no harm. Jeff and I and many others I know, John Perry Barlow, believe that government should just keep its mitts off of the Internet, that the pendulum has swung too far in the direction of rights holders and you know I felt like, yeah, even if there is going to be some attempts to kind of whitewash what we say, if we don’t come to the table then we’ve kind of lost our right to complain, so I was….
Patrick Beja Yeah, there is definitely part of that and it’s – I mean, there is a lot of people who think there is bad intentions to begin with like, okay, we will say that they were included and will do what we want anyway.
Leo Laporte Right.
Patrick Beja But, that they could’ve done even without the eG8. And, remember this is related to the G8, which is – if you want to talk to governments there is no bigger venue and also I have to say as much as I appreciate the intent behind the Hippocratic Oath, I think there is a little bit of a disconnect between what we know and – you can’t tell the government, first, do no harm to the Internet. They won’t even understand what that is about.
Leo Laporte Well, I didn’t – it sets – actually what Sarkozy’s reaction was, well, what do you mean, of course I’m not going to do any harm to the Internet; because they don’t understand that – the kinds of restrictions like the Three Strikes law they are talking about. They don’t understand that that’s perceived by many as harmful.
Patrick Beja Right.
Leo Laporte They say, no, no, we are just protecting rights holders; you wouldn’t want an Internet where it was – piracy was rampant and widespread; that’s not good. Do no harm means preventing that.
Patrick Beja Yeah, exactly. And, Sarkozy was a little bit aghast. He ended up regaining his composure….
Leo Laporte I thought he was quite politic….
Patrick Beja …after five minutes of – yeah, he answered quite well in the end but at first he was like aah, bah… do you know – what do you mean, of course!
Leo Laporte Right, right, right. I don’t – Om, do you have thought about this? Have you been – did you follow the eG8 Summit.
Om Malik So, I was also invited; I refused to go for one basic reason which is that, I don’t – given a man has to prove his intent by his actions and not by empty words, so when a politician invites me for something, I am already on guard, because – and the French president has had a pretty bad track record….
Leo Laporte Yes.
Om Malik …. of being – I’m not – I think you made a comment earlier saying that anti-business and anti-Internet. I think those are two – I think you can be pro-business and pro-Internet at the same time and all you need is to think differently about what Internet represents so from that perspective I thought this was a bit of sham and frankly this is a group of people – group of countries which are trying to define the Internet when the Internet is going to be defined by 2.5 billion people who are not really represented in the G8.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Patrick Beja Right.
Om Malik So, it’s actually arrogant and annoying to see French people trying to define what the future of the Internet looks like. If I need to know that, I think the dialog has to be with people from – the representatives of China, representatives of India, people from Brazil, Russia….
Leo Laporte That’s a good point.
Om Malik …. and from people of the African continent.
Leo Laporte But, you’ve to start somewhere, Om. I mean….
Patrick Beja That’s incredibly disingenuous. You’re taking in theory – in theoretical. Yes, ideally that should be the case. But, you know that’s never going to be that way, at least not in the short term. The people who are going to decide how things are handled are the U.S. first and then France and the other countries in the G8.
Om Malik I disagree with you entirely on that because if you look at how China and Brazil and India and Russia are evolving as Internet economies, they are not taking their cue from the U.S. They are doing their – that’s an entirely different kind of an Internet forming. They have a whole different DNA when it comes to the Internet. I think what we are talking about is two different Internets. The Internet, as we’ve know so far, has been very western influenced. But, I think now it’s beginning to change. And I think….
Amber MacArthur One thing….
Om Malik Sorry, sorry Amber. Go ahead.
Amber MacArthur No, no, it’s okay. I just – one thing that just comes to mind when we’re talking about this is I wonder how a group of people who come together at a conference like this, which is kind of an international conference, can really talk about the fate of the Internet, when I view it as something that is really country specific and when I say that I think of Canada for instance where there are people in this country who are fighting and have been fighting a long time with the government to make sure that the major telcos don’t restrict bandwidth and then have home plans that are based on bandwidth. And, we’re really fighting towards eliminating those types of plans. So, even though a group of people I think internationally who get together and talk about the future of the Internet, I think that’s a great thing. I really see this as something where country-by-country, it’s treated so differently.
Leo Laporte I guess I understand what you are saying though, Om, on that is – that it’s like a recasting of the white man’s burden that these eight nations should decide something for the whole world is kind of foolish but – and I agree it wasn’t ideal but that’s why I wanted to go, at least you kind to have to – at some point you have to start the conversation. Would you prefer to see some other conference?
Om Malik Not a conference. I think the government actually has to keep its – keep it for a….
Leo Laporte Keep its heads off.
Om Malik Yeah, exactly. And, before they do that, they actually need to educate themselves and not have conferences. They need to know and I absolutely – I see it locally here in the U.S. We have lawmakers who have some of them have not even use email and they are trying to regulate the law. So, it’s just is you have to be – this is not a conversation which happens at a conference which is basically in my – it was more to showcase a certain, a person as like a future leader.
Leo Laporte Sarkozy.
Om Malik Yeah.
Patrick Beja So – well there is – there is some of this definitely and absolutely, I don’t want to be naïve and say that he wasn’t trying to make something political out of it but – what you were saying is some – people who don’t have email are writing laws about the Internet; that’s exactly the issue. And, I think this is their way of saying, okay, what we’ve been trying until now is not working so let’s talk and let’s have a conversation. And, I also think that we’re talking about two different things. When you’re saying we should include all the, China and Brazil and these other countries that are indeed huge and that will matter a lot, this is not exactly what we’re talking about here. We’re talking more about what Amber was mentioning, which is net neutrality and restricting bandwidth and how to protect IP and very immediate issues that are threatening to break the Internet from our rich country’s perspective.
Leo Laporte Yeah, I mean let’s not forget that ACTA which is probably the single most destructive treaty as, with regards to the Internet, is really a product of U.S. prop – intellectual property rights companies of the movie companies, the record industry, who influence the World Intellectual Property Organization, the United Nations WIPO, to create this. It was being sent from country to country, without discussion, in secret and had it not been uncovered by Michael Geist in Toronto or actually I guess he is up in Waterloo.
Amber MacArthur Ottawa.
Leo Laporte Ottawa. Had it not being uncovered by Michael Geist, we may never have known that this was going on. That’s coming from us. So, it seems not inappropriate for the G8 – for people like us to come and say, hey stop it but….
Patrick Beja And the thing is….
Leo Laporte Go ahead Patrick.
Patrick Beja The thing is to us these things seem monstrous and asinine as they relate to the Internet and the way it functions but these people who are deciding all of this don’t even – don’t see it – don’t understand it. It’s like you know trying to explain what sight is to blind person. It’s very difficult to make them understand what that is and why it is bad. So, that’s why we need to go there and explain to them and shout at them, partly in the way that did Jeff and tell them, stop, you are being insane in this. They don’t see it that way.
Leo Laporte Om, what would you have preferred to see?
Om Malik Well, I would have preferred to have a long discourse on this and a long conversation, which is not, not posturing in public at least or one-on-one conversations with people who actually can make a difference and not just a few people but a more wider group. See what is IP in one country is not IP in another country. Leo Laporte That’s right.
Om Malik What is bandwidth – free band – unlimited bandwidth in one country is not necessarily the economics in another country. So, the web and the Internet is changing itself and I think the bigger picture when you look at all this – I think the big picture which we – we frame things in aspect of just certain specific issues; whereas, one has to look at this big Internet as a bigger change, just like what does it really mean? So, the conversation should have been, if they wanted to talk about it, what is the reality of Internet economy? How does it impact job creation? How does it impact our education system? How does it impact our retail businesses?
So there is – those are the areas where government has a more tangible role to play. They need to come up with thought processes around what do taxes look like in the – in an Internet-enabled economy. Like we are not – this is not 1995; this is 2010, 2011 and our economy is now driven by the network not the other way around. Previously the network was driven by the overall economy, now the – it’s an entirely different way of thinking about it. So just to talk about like certain intellectual property issues and those are talking about certain specific problem. There is a much bigger, wider change which is going on and that’s where government and lawmakers have a role to play. And I think that’s one thing I didn’t hear from this conference. So that was, that’s one thing I would love to see.
Amber MacArthur I think --
Leo Laporte Go ahead Amber.
Amber MacArthur Oh, I was just going to say, just speaking as a Canadian I mean I think on the positive side, I think yeah I really applaud that this is actually happening because I think it opens up dialogue and that’s something we always fight for on the Internet is we want to be heard. And I know in Canada for example there is no way Stephen Harper who is our Prime Minister would even invite a group of people who were technical to a meeting with him and his government. It would never happen in an open forum or an open environment. So in some way I think France is ahead of the game with that.
Leo Laporte Whatever Sarkozy’s agenda was.
Amber MacArthur Yes exactly
Patrick Beja And you also have to – sorry I’m interrupting everyone; the delay is not kind to me. The way I saw that event is a little bit of a networking event and it’s – to get people to know each other. And maybe at this point the people who are writing the laws are asking the IP holders what they should do but maybe in six months or in a year they’ll ask Jeff Jarvis or J.P. Barlow, you know, they’ll get to know them and okay maybe I’m having my rose colored glasses on this bit. No, but how could they even have known that these issues were issues. They live in a different world.
Leo Laporte Well, that’s the question is and I think that what I’m saying is they didn’t care – it wasn’t – they weren’t even interested in that. This was a dog and pony show and I have to say, I have a feeling that no matter what you say to Nicolas Sarkozy about this, you’re not going to change his mind Patrick.
Patrick Beja Not his mind but it’s not like he is the one writing the laws --
Leo Laporte You can see because President Obama did not even want the Internet on the agenda at G8 and this was something that Sarkozy kind of bulldozed through. I think Obama quite reasonably thought this is probably not an – maybe, I don’t know, maybe he even agrees with Om that this is not an appropriate conversation for that particular group. Certainly he did not want to get in the business of regulating the Internet, that’s such a thorny subject and there are bigger issues.
Patrick Beja Well bigger issues maybe but first of all if we don’t talk about it we get ACTA. Second of all with that event if nothing else we got Jeff in front of many cameras around the world and --
Leo Laporte Yeah, he’ll never be invited back, I can guarantee you.
Patrick Beja Well, maybe, I don’t know, but at least the process [ph] now is interested in... (22:55)
Leo Laporte It was thrilled. Jeff really did exactly what I was hoping he would do he did a great job, and I kind of took the easy way out. I did have a family emergency but it made it convenient for me to kind of avoid the conversation entirely. I really was looking forward to going but I was shaken by people like Cory and Om’s criticism of the event. And I just don’t know. I feel on the one hand it’s good to have these conversations. Look at all the conversations that’s going on because of this, I don’t think you’re going to educate the world leaders at a forum like this but at least the conversation is going on. I guess what you’re saying Om is that it’s a false premise that this could even be discussed at this kind of event.
Om Malik Right. Leo you’ve been around long enough just like me when we had the last time technology was hip and cool all the politicians were all talking about Internet and new laws and new ways of thinking about it and the minute economy took a little nosedive when everybody just vanished into thin air. And I kind of – maybe I’m a little cynical and skeptical but I don’t see – this needs a lot more thoughtful engagement than just a quick --
Leo Laporte I agree.
Om Malik Media show.
Leo Laporte I agree. I agree.
Patrick Beja Oh I agree on that too but I guess my question is to both of you what’s the harm? Worse case scenario, things don’t change and we keep on the road to ACTA. Best case scenario we get a little bit more publicity.
Leo Laporte What’s the harm Om; what’s the harm of doing this?
Om Malik I didn’t say there was any harm in doing this so I personally opted out of it. I didn’t say you shouldn’t go or Patrick shouldn’t go.
Leo Laporte Right.
Om Malik I have a very – I don’t have rose colored glasses in my – so I don’t wear those.
Leo Laporte I believe I have hope. I hope we could change this.
Om Malik I have seen this movie before so that – how --
Leo Laporte And by the way I agree 100% with you that the Internet is good for business. The real issue is that the kind of existing stakeholders want an end to competition, want an end of free Internet because they got it and they want to hold on to it. And I include Google and Facebook and Apple and all the current stakeholders in this. But really the future and this is I guess the argument is that a free and open Internet is good for the future it’s good for businesses of the future. You don’t get another Google unless you have a free and open Internet and that’s how we make sure that we continue to progress and continue to innovate. But – and I think that that’s an important argument I think that the problem was that the people who were at this event were for the most part current stakeholders who had an interest in the status quo and that what really need – who need to be represented with my kids and our kids’ kids: the future, who have a – even bigger stake in the free and open Internet.
Sarkozy talked about a civilized Internet which is kind of curiously is exactly the phrase that the Chinese government uses. I don’t think you can civilize the Internet. I think that’s a mistake in even understanding what the Internet is.
Om Malik Clearly that’s my point. That just says everything about the whole event: civilized Internet. That’s presumptuous to say that Internet is not civilized just there is parts of Paris where you can go and they are not very civilized either.
Leo Laporte Yeah. That’s true.
Om Malik Right. I mean, come on it’s like – that just is – I think this is where – there are a lot of people in France I think I have a lot of admiration for people who have been championing broadband and wireless, Internet [ph] might be cranky (26:55) in France and yet Sarkozy and Orange are so close. And Orange has not been the friend of the Internet so to speak, right. Unless there was a company called free they would have not even offer to fiber and high-speed Internet access and VoIP services to their customers then they could have just kept on going charging more money. So if you are talking about a civilized Internet let’s just define what is Internet according to you.
Leo Laporte Right.
Om Malik I think I don’t want to go into like a political discussion here but this was a lot of – for me personally to other people it may seem like a great thing, to me it was nothing more than just a way to get cheap media points.
Leo Laporte And they did. Hey Om because your microphone is on your collar right there it’s rattling a little bit – I guess your mic --
Om Malik Oh I’m sorry.
Leo Laporte …collar I don’t know – exactly what we could do except encase it in rubber or something.
Amber MacArthur You guys realize that if my Internet service provider Rogers is listening right now I may start getting cut off because of this conversation.
Leo Laporte Yeah. They don’t like – every time we’re talking about this stuff Amber loses her bandwidth, I don’t know it’s --
Amber MacArthur If I lose my bandwidth right now I only have TWiT to blame.
Leo Laporte I have to say Rogers is notoriously bad when it comes to --
Amber MacArthur Yes. The situation in Canada is really bad talking about the government being embed with big business particularly with the telcos, we don’t necessarily have a very bright future here with the Internet and there is a couple of options as far as providers not a whole lot of conversation however we do have champions out there Leo mentioned Michael Geist and I recommend people check out his blog because he really is fighting for more open Internet and a real great person to follow on that front.
Leo Laporte I was reading GigaOM today the great article about the Chattanooga Internet the gigabit that the Chattanooga power company was providing was basically a civil Internet not a civilized Internet, and what a success it’s been for Chattanooga and more and more I really think that this is the future of the Internet is to have municipalities provide the kind of infrastructure and then have a lot of competing ISPs on top of it. And I think when I mention this, a lot of people think I’m nuts but there’s no way that that’s going to happen but it’s working in Chattanooga. That’s a great article Om and people should read that if they want to see what the potential is for an amazing success story. Gigabit – and good for business, really good for business.
Amber MacArthur Yes.
Leo Laporte We’re going to take a break Om Malik is here from GigaOM and his new news letter Om Says More Signal Less Noise. Amber MacArthur my old buddy from The Social Hour and CP24 and of course [ph] the great commandN.tv (29:43), Patrick Beja notpatrick on TWiTter who for some reason I don’t fully understand does a whole bunch of English language podcast. Are you nuts? What are you nuts? And is regular – makes a regular appearance on TNT but you got The Movielicious, The Phileas Club one day I’m going to be on that show.
Patrick Beja I hope so yeah.
Leo Laporte It’s kind of an international TWiT is the idea behind that.
Patrick Beja Yeah a TWiT for international news where we get people from different countries and cultures and just this weekend we had someone from Saudi Arabia, Australia, France and the U.S. discussing Bin Laden’s death and Dominique Strauss-Kahn scandal very interesting.
Leo Laporte Yeah that was interesting time. I think that there was more attention paid to that the scandal the IMF Chairman scandal then there was to the eG8 summit or even the G8. I misspoke because the G8’s over I didn’t even – there was hardly any – there were eG8 got more ink then the G8, there was hardly anything.
Patrick Beja That was my impression too.
Leo Laporte Yeah. Hardly enough.
Patrick Beja But you know its good – it’s --
Leo Laporte Mark Zuckerberg apparently presented to the G8 presented the results of eG8 to the G8 I didn’t see how that went. Mark likes to kill his own meat we’re going to talk about that in just a second.
Patrick Beja Can I just conclude on that eG8 thing?
Leo Laporte Yes.
Patrick Beja Just to get us all in agreement at least to try I guess the thing that we should try to get is to put the Internet issues and the technology issues on the – to have them become electoral issues and maybe that event makes enough noise that maybe people outside of the tech community are going to start paying attention and respond in case they get that issues put forth to them.
Leo Laporte Well I think you make a good point and I think that’s the real problem is that while we geeks know about these issues and care about them nobody else does and the mass of voters have no idea that there is an issue about – that there is a threat to a free and open Internet they have no idea.
Amber MacArthur It’s really hard to get them to care though. I know I have been involved in sort of net neutrality campaigns in Canada for a long time and it’s really hard to get the mainstream population to care.
Leo Laporte They can’t understand it.
Amber MacArthur They can’t understand it. Even net neutrality does a disservice to the whole reason, you know people care about net neutrality, the term is just awful and it’s hard to explain to the general media and the mainstream population as well. I feel that they just don’t care.
Leo Laporte That’s the thing that I worry about, is there’s just mass apathy about the whole thing and it’s very hard to get people excited about it. The only people who care are geeks.
Amber MacArthur Yeah there is apathy about people, you know in terms of voting for the leader of the country, so. I mean when you try to get them to care about the Internet, I don’t know where you’re at because in Canada --
Leo Laporte They don’t care about war in the Middle East, let alone the Internet.
Amber MacArthur We just had the federal election and again you know one of the all time – close to the all time low as far as voter turnout and you try to get push the Internet in there and I mean it’s a whole world of apathy.
Leo Laporte Right. We’re going to take a break, come back with more with our esteemed panel, our international panel for our Memorial Day show. But before we go any further, I’d like to talk a little bit about one of our esteem sponsors. The great folk at Citrix who do Go To Meeting. Go To Meeting is an online meeting system that just – you probably try these before. It is the best, it allows you to meet easily with colleagues, clients even if you’re traveling or moving around. Especially because they’ve got that great iPad app. Now you can go to meetings with your iPad and I love that. I want you to try right now. [ph] Macro PC (33:23), if you visit gotomeeting.com, click the try it free button and use the offer code TWiT, you get 30 days free. It allows you to set up a meeting on the fly or while you’re on the phone with somebody, saying “I want to show you this, here’s a link” or ahead of time it’s got a great invitation system, it includes built-in free telephony voice over – voice over the Internet or telephone so that the conference bridge and everything is automatically set up. In fact these days we use Go To Meeting even when we just want to do a teleconference because you never know, you might want to show the screen and it make it so easy to set it up and we’ve already paid for it. It’s built-in it’s absolutely free.
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We’ll go from a heavy subject to a light subject, but it will get us into the Facebook and there’s quite a bit to say about Facebook. I think this is just weird, according to fortune.cnn.com Mark Zuckerberg now no longer eats anything he doesn’t kill. Om you’re probably a vegetarian, so this would be easy for you. Oops let me turn you up. Say again, I’m sorry.
Om Malik I said I don’t kill by meat – simple reason you know there has been a reason we’ve evolved and just live in the cities and --
Leo Laporte Let them do it. But don’t you feel disconnected from the --
Om Malik I don’t.
Leo Laporte Mark Zuckerberg, he says “the only meat I’m eating is from animals I’ve killed myself. I’m eating a lot healthier foods and I’ve learnt a lot about sustainable farming”, you have to say that. I kind of admire the moral point of view that well I’m not going to eat it unless I look at it in the eyes before I – he says on his Facebook page. He says “I just killed a pig and a goat”. He says he – it’s just very strange, every year he fixates on a personal challenge, for instance, I didn’t know this, in 2009 he wore a necktie everyday.
Amber MacArthur He learnt Chinese last year too.
Leo Laporte Last year he learnt Chinese, this year he’s killing pigs.
Amber MacArthur It’s so strange, what I wonder about this whole story is, how does Mark Zuckerberg have time to go out and kill his own meat.
Leo Laporte Exactly.
Amber MacArthur I mean, when there are people out there especially with young people and there is all these privacy issues and there are issues with Facebook in general as far as people you know – I don’t know if it’s jeopardizing kids’ futures, but I know a lot of young people who are writing things on that they shouldn’t be writing and they don’t understand the settings that navigation is terrible and all I kept digging when he actually has time to go out and kill a goat and a pig. Shouldn’t he be focusing on privacy? Really.
Leo Laporte Very good point.
Patrick Beja Oh come on even presidents have time to relax and I don’t know, kill a goat if they want to, they have even more responsibilities.
Amber MacArthur To actually go out and – it takes a lot of time to go out and find a pig to kill and a suitable environment, kill the pig take it back, take it to the butcher. I mean that’s a long process.
Leo Laporte He started with a --
Amber MacArthur It’s not like he’s golfing.
Leo Laporte Well, it’s instead of golf. He started with a lobster. He started with sea creatures. He says “The lobster was a difficult kill; at least emotionally”, he cooked it live. He says “The most interesting thing was how special it felt to eat it”. I’m sorry, I can’t go on.
Patrick Beja It’s really easy to make fun of this. But honestly, why not? I mean trying to live from – it’s – you never see where what you eat comes from.
Leo Laporte No I do admire that. Yeah.
Patrick Beja It’s – and also it’s so fun to have the tech billionaire be eccentric. Maybe he can be some sort of Howard Hughes or something.
Leo Laporte That’s true
Amber MacArthur I don’t know though, I think I kind of liked it, and pardon the pun, before Zuckerberg came out of his shell. And the reason I say that is – seriously, The Social Network the movie before that movie came out, you never heard anything about his personal life and now he’s sharing pictures on Facebook talking about what he eats, his hobbies, his past times, I don’t know I think --
Leo Laporte Well that’s a good point. He has come out of his shell, now we know way too much about him.
Amber MacArthur We know too much. And he is very eccentric and I applaud the idea of killing your meat and everything. But I just think in his role and I just wonder personally just how he has time to do it, but also I just think – gosh why – what has prompted him to kind of – is he enjoying this celebrity a little bit.
Leo Laporte He’s just getting weirder and weirder. And now he said something to – a couple of days ago that actually got my dander up. He said “privacy anxiety” he said “You’ll get over it, no big deal, what are you so worried about”. He says every time we – this was – he was speaking at the eG8 by the way. He says “We’ll roll it out and pretty often there will be this backlash” and people will say “Okay we don’t like this new thing”. I think a real anxiety – people were really afraid of more people being able to be involved in The Social Network. This guy completely doesn’t understand what we’re upset about. People thought that you know it was just too much right? They wanted to share stuff on the site but they didn’t want to be so much in people’s face. You know now it’s just part of the site that I think people in a way would be like what’s going on? How can there be a Facebook without this? He says “It’s just anxiety, you’ll get over it. What are you so worried about”. That’s very self serving. Here is a guy who’s got a problem if you ask me.
Amber MacArthur Yeah. I would agree with you. I mean tell them to friend you – I have family members who are teens, some of the things that they’re sharing openly on Facebook, they don’t understand how to control any of the settings, they’re sharing their phone number, their home address and I’m sure it’s a parental issue as far as monitoring what their kids are doing, but the parents and the teachers don’t understand the privacy settings either within Facebook. So it’s an issue where I think Facebook hasn’t taken enough responsibility and when he says things like that just kind of in stride I mean it just down plays but I think is a really serious issue about the future of kids in using these sites.
Leo Laporte It really comes from, maybe you know better Om – because you know this guy but it really comes from to me a complete misunderstanding of how people feel about privacy. He’s essentially saying no, you really want – he said this before peoples’ lives are better when we’re connected. All of this stuff about privacy you should let go of that. It just happens it’s very self serving because his business relies – the more we allow him to share the more money he makes, but I think he genuinely believes that privacy is a dumb thing, except – I don’t know maybe when it comes to himself.
Om Malik I think the – there is a one issue and I’m not trying to defend Mark here, but I do feel that the next-generation of users think very differently about privacy and how they use the Internet. Whereas some of us who are a little older or even not as old as me for instance, who don’t – you’re uncomfortable with the lack of privacy, so to speak, on many of these social networks and I think that is we can’t ignore that fact. I think that is a legitimate issue out there.
And you know as far as the way I look at privacy is that you kind of have to make choices on like what you say and what you don’t say in public and I think that – all of that is going to come from education and education – that comes with using the Internet not some – our school’s teaching or our parents telling us what to do as kids.
So, I think that – there is a – the culture itself is lagging the technology in that sense.
Leo Laporte Danah Boyd had said that, she studies young people and has – says, that the young people treat privacy differently, that we believe that privacy is a default. So we’re upset when it fails us and that young people understand it, you have to – you actually have to say “I wanted to be private, otherwise it’s not”. But she also says that privacy is maybe not the right phrase for this. She says “We want control over the flow of information, understanding where what we say goes and controlling who gets to see it” I guess that’s how I understand privacy, but –
Patrick Beja That’s...
Amber MacArthur Well, I think you also – I am sorry, go ahead Patrick.
Patrick Beja No, please do.
Amber MacArthur Well, I was just going to say that term digital reputation management is being tossed around everywhere...
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Amber MacArthur ...and you know maybe that’s a better phrase to use and as much as I agree with Om in terms of people – younger generation caring less about privacy, the issue is they’re still coming into a work force where the people who are hiring them care about them sharing things online and they’re getting scholarships where they’re getting these scholarships or winning these scholarships in schools that are looking at all their online profiles and it’s going to be awhile before that really young generation who doesn’t care as much about privacy gets into positions where it’s going to equal things out.
Leo Laporte I confess I’m the wrong guy to talk about this, because I apparently have no sensors, no filter at all, I’ve no boundaries at all. So I don’t live very – I live very publicly. But I can see how people – this upsets people and I feel like that Facebook is a little disingenuous to you – use your word Patrick, about what they’re up to. They act as if well you want this, when in fact really who wants this is Facebook.
Patrick Beja Well yeah, that’s true of course and I think you owe me good points and the fact that we absolutely need to know more about what our privacy settings are. I think people like maybe us, just assume that anything we put out there on Facebook be it private or public...
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Patrick Beja ...is should be considered okay if in case it ever leaks.
Leo Laporte Right.
Patrick Beja So we’re sort of careful. I think I took a line from your book there, Leo. But just to be fair to poor Mark who we’re ganging up on today,
Leo Laporte Yeah, poor Mark, yeah.
Patrick Beja I think what – one thing he was mentioning with where he has a case, is the fact whenever he puts up a new feature and that’s true of everything on the Internet, whenever you – anything changes, people are going to be pissed off and everyone was threatening to quit Facebook, I’m looking at you, Leo.
Leo Laporte Yeah, I quit.
Patrick Beja Yeah, you did, but you came back.
Leo Laporte I had to.
Patrick Beja And all these issues are not – exactly. But, no, I mean...
Leo Laporte I’m not happy about it, but I just – you have to, you can’t be – in fact this is one of the things I hate about Facebook.
Patrick Beja Well if you really, if you really – okay, let’s put your case aside because it’s sort of a special case, but a lot of people were unhappy, were expressing their anger very vocally and in the end that anger sort of fell back and no one is incredibly upset about some of the features that Zuckerberg has, I mean, Facebook has introduced.
Leo Laporte I think that’s only because we just gave up.
Amber MacArthur Yeah.
Patrick Beja Nothing’s like the feed. He was mentioning in his speech when the feed just arrived, I think it was 2006 or ’07 very early in the life of Facebook, people were in uproar, you know it’s that thing of changing a feature or a piece of the interface or...
Leo Laporte No, I agree, I know what you’re saying and I agree with that in a sense that – but I think he’s conflating two different kinds of anger. There is – when anything changes – if I change the backdrop behind me, people are going to be upset – oh your changes ruin it, you’ve jump the shark. That’s one kind of upset and I understand that people don’t like change and they get upset but then they get use to it.
Patrick Beja I agree. But I think he’s doing that absolutely and it’s absolutely because that’s what Facebook wants.
Leo Laporte It’s convenient.
Patrick Beja Yeah, no – completely. But I also think that we are doing that a little bit too in saying that users are still completely upset about everyone of those new features that they were upset about when they were introduced things like, you know, tagging the – tagging someone else on the photo, people realized, okay it’s no big deal, if I don’t like it then I delete it or – these kinds of little things. The general privacy settings, it’s an understandability of the privacy settings, is a huge problem, I agree but not everything is to that level of DEFCON 5.
Amber MacArthur But it’s not just privacy on Facebook, I would argue just from someone who runs a business I make living by doing social media and then consulting clients, and the reality is they change so many other things on Facebook on a weekly basis. Like if you want to have a contest on Facebook, every week they change the rules and regulations and I just get this feeling, I don’t know Mark, I don’t who he works with at that top level, that these are a bunch of young people are just like, we’ll change it this week, see what happens.
Leo Laporte I think that’s the culture.
Amber MacArthur I feel like there’s a lack of respect. Yeah, it’s the culture and it’s an arrogance and it feels like it’s a lack of respect for users out there who depend on this service to connect with friends and family, to do business and they just start switching things up kind of haphazardly, that’s my opinion.
Leo Laporte Is this the generation gap you were talking about, Om? Is it a bunch of young people at Facebook who don’t get the concerns that us older people have?
Om Malik I don’t know, if it’s the people at Facebook who are like that, I think – but they have a culture of trying a lot of new things and what I have seen is that Facebook as a company pushes to the very extreme, to the very edge and sees how far it can push its customer base and then when there is a push back so they pull back a little bit.
Leo Laporte Pull it back down, yeah.
Om Malik And then they do it again and so they have – they run that movie any given Sunday, football is a game of inches; I think Facebook has adopted that philosophy when it comes to privacy in changes. I would say one thing about Facebook at least they don’t put do no evil in their [indiscernible] (48:05). They start with the assumption that they are going to do something [indiscernible] (48:11)
Leo Laporte Do you think Google is just bad as Facebook?
Om Malik I mean, these are big companies which have to make money and they have their own agenda. I mean we have to be naïve to believe that these companies don’t have their own agenda, right, like so whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Google, they’re in the business of making money and there is – this whole idea of them doing the right thing, well I don’t know. Like I don’t want to be, don’t want to sound too skeptical and too cynical about everything but that’s how life normally works out, and just companies make money and they’ll do anything in order to further their own interest and so that’s okay. We need to be just aware of that basic reality.
Leo Laporte Although I think you can look at, how all the companies make money to understand better what their agenda is? I mean Facebook makes money – both Facebook and Google make money through ads, but Facebook makes money by using the information you give it to allow advertisers to target those ads and sometimes very personal information.
Om Malik And Google makes money by taking money from people who sell fake pharmaceuticals and...
Leo Laporte They’re in a little trouble for that. Aren’t they?
Om Malik And run infanticide ads in countries like India. So I mean it’s like we start looking at everything, we all live in a glasshouse, that said.
Leo Laporte Yeah I guess that’s true. I guess that’s true. Dick Costolo is going to be working for the President; apparently the CEO of Twitter will be named to an advisory committee to President Obama according to The Wall Street Journal. Among others...
Patrick Beja See that’s something we don’t have in France, what you guys have a...
Leo Laporte We may have and I don’t know if it means anything.
Patrick Beja Oh it means that the government is paying attention to the technology world and you have CTO and you – we don’t have anything like that may be if we have, if we had a CEO of some tech company more involved in the government we wouldn’t have had the three strikes law or...
Leo Laporte It’s the President’s National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee, or NSTAC, and along with Dick Costolo will be Scott Charney from Microsoft; Jaime Dos Santos, who is the CEO of a company called Terremark Federal Group; David DeWalt, President of Intel – no, I’m sorry, President of Intel’s McAfee division, I forgot Intel bought MacAfee: and Lisa Hook, CEO of Neustar. I don’t know – I mean I don’t know I don’t have any experience with these committees. I don’t know how often they sit, how many recommendations they make and most importantly whether anybody pays any attention at all to what they say. Is it a sinecure, is it – or is it a real job? I don’t know.
Amber MacArthur I think there is no doubt, though, that Obama obviously recognizes that it’s important to have companies like Twitter and Google, and think about those companies and their leaders and have them involved in discussions about the future of the U.S. And so, I think I fall into Patrick’s camp here in the sense that it would be great to see, my government in Canada, at least something like this.
Leo Laporte What would Stephen Harper do?
Amber MacArthur Stephen Harper, honestly, I don’t want to say he’s one of the most evil leaders in the G8 but if you look up with Stephen Harper is open about sharing and how he does business, he has kind of lock down the information in this company – or in this country in a way that...
Leo Laporte Wow!
Amber MacArthur ...we’ve never experienced before and he’s – we’ve been kicked off the Security Council...
Leo Laporte Wow!
Amber MacArthur ...so need I say more. So he will not be involving anyone from an open technology platform in an advisory role. I hardly doubt it.
Leo Laporte Twitter is also in the news because they furnished information to the British government, British court. The name, email address and telephone number of a South Tyneside councilor accused of libeling the local authority via a series of anonymous twitter accounts. South Tyneside council took the legal fight to the Superior Court of California which ordered Twitter to handover the private details.
Amber MacArthur So is that the first time this had happened, Leo?
Leo Laporte It’s supposedly the first time Twitter has bowed to legal pressure to identify an anonymous user. Now I have to say, I have some experience with this. We had – I don’t know how much I want to say about this, there was a tweet that was problematic and we got a subpoena and we were able to track down the person who did the tweet, but it took court orders, several court orders to do it. It was a threatening tweet and we want to make sure that it wasn’t a real threat not to myself but to somebody else. And we had the local police and then had to subpoena, it was a number of processes we had to go through, it’s not an easy thing to do, but – and Twitter doesn’t give you that information, only it give you is an IP address then you have to go to the Internet service provider and from them you get the person’s name. But we were able to do that. Ryan Giggs, who is a soccer player for Manchester United, was named as the plaintiff in a gag order preventing the reporting of an alleged affair with a reality TV model, he is trying to get the names of Twitter users accused of revealing details against the injunction.
Patrick Beja And it was re-tweeted by like 33,000 users.
Amber MacArthur Wow.
Leo Laporte Well that’s the problem,
Patrick Beja And he wants to get the names of all of them, that’s…
Leo Laporte He does, not just the one.
Patrick Beja Apparently, yeah, that’s what I heard.
Leo Laporte Good luck. What’s he going to do?
Amber MacArthur Yeah, no kidding.
Leo Laporte But Twitter – no, I think Twitter says this that if provided with the court order we’ll give you the information we know.
Patrick Beja Yeah, and then in this case they actually informed – I’m sorry the case before apparently they informed the guy and he declined to contest the subpoena, which is why they ended up...
Leo Laporte Interesting.
Patrick Beja ...releasing his information. So it’s not as big as we all thought it was when the story first broke.
Leo Laporte Had he fought it? And then there is Weinergate.
Amber MacArthur This is hilarious. This is so funny.
Leo Laporte I don’t know what to believe on this one. But New York Democratic representative Anthony Weiner’s Twitter account Friday night featured a photo of a man in underwear with a quite a bulge apparently. The tweet was an @reply to a Washington State woman – of course, the tweet was re-tweeted quite a bit, he says he was hacked.
Patrick Beja Yeah. Right.
Amber MacArthur Yeah, sure. I do love his response, though, I have to say, it is classic.
Leo Laporte He deleted the lewd tweet and then tweeted Tivo shot – because I guess his Tivo didn’t – he had tweeted that his Tivo hadn’t recorded a hockey game, Tivo shot. Facebook hacked. Is my blender going to attack me next? And then he used the hash tag, TheToasterIsVeryLoyal. At least he has a sense of humor about this.
Amber MacArthur This – so similar situation happened with a really well-known TV personality here in Canada where he tweeted something that was obviously suppose to be a DM to someone he people think he was potentially having an affair with and it was very embarrassing and he said my Twitter account was hacked and I think the good news is people learn very quickly.
Leo Laporte I don’t think...
Amber MacArthur About difference between a DM and a reply.
Leo Laporte Yeah, I think that’s what happened, I think he didn’t understand the difference between a DM and a reply. The women deleted her account immediately. However, bogglers located her and identified her Twitter handle and found a second account. She is believed to be journalism student in Washington State and apparently in the original account she had tweeted, “I wonder what my boyfriend @RepWeiner is up to right now. Of course that’s why she got a picture of his crotch or somebody’s crotch, we don’t know.
Amber MacArthur Wow!
Patrick Beja I have to say, though, that picture is incredibly disappointing [indiscernible] (56:34).
Leo Laporte I didn’t see it, you actually sorted out Patrick?
Patrick Beja Well, it’s in the article that...
Leo Laporte Is it?
Patrick Beja I think so.
Leo Laporte Oh yeah, you’re right.
Patrick Beja [ph] Do you care if, the great thing about... (56:44)
Leo Laporte It’s not impressive.
Om Malik Yeah. I think the great thing about Twitter is that we can all be stupid and incredibly idiotic at a global scale in…
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Om Malik ...less then a second.
Leo Laporte Let the whole world see.
Om Malik Yeah.
Leo Laporte Oh dear.
Om Malik So...
Leo Laporte I think, Amber, you hit the nail on my head.
Patrick Beja At one point no one is going to care, are they?
Leo Laporte Well this will blow over.
Patrick Beja Well at some point you’re just going…
Amber MacArthur Well he – I have to say though his response and the fact that he was humorous if he just said nothing and close down his Twitter account this would have been a very different situation. So I think he kind of alleviated some of the drama by just responding being kind of funny and using a quirky hash tag. He kind of – in some ways even though obviously he doesn’t totally understand how to use Twitter if he did publicly do this he understands that it’s important to reply quickly and to use some humor as well and kind of cool things off.
Leo Laporte I believe this is the advice Amber gives in Power Friending as a matter of fact.
Amber MacArthur He must have read it.
Leo Laporte Yes, he must have read your book, use a clever hash tag when caught red handed.
Amber MacArthur That’s the next book I’ll write.
Leo Laporte Use the clever hash tag. I know you’re a big fan of Jakob Nielsen the user interface guy, the usability guy. He just did a study of iPad apps which we’re going to talk about in a bit and Samsungs lawyers get little uppity in their law suit with Apple. We’ll talk about that in just a second before we do though, I’d like to mention our friends at Ford sponsors of our photo show The Mostly Photo Show visit the website Mostly Photo Adventures, we’d love to have you participate. We have – the way this works is we have a little contest going on in Mostly Photo, where people submit photos to our flicker group, which is Mostlyphoto, one word on flicker and we pick – a three of our favorites in a particular subject I think light was the subject this week. And then you get to vote on them via Twitter.
You can go mostlyphotoadventures.com click the finalist tab and you’ll see what the three finalist are Jaime Martorano, Jared Ropelato and MontyM. These are incredible pictures demonstrating the use of light I think they’re really, really gorgeous but which is your favorite. One of them will win a $100 gift certificate form amazon.com thanks to Ford. So there you go mostlyphotoadventures.com. and while you’re there, take a look at the all new 100% redesign Ford Explorer just a spectacular automobile with room for seven passengers best in class, V-6, highway fuel economy, 25 miles per gallon and a gorgeous automobile.
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So there is a little lawsuit going on, Samsung and Apple. Apple says, Samsung stole everything from the iPhone and the iPad, Samsung countersuit and now I love this – I don’t know if this is going to success, Samsung’s lawyers have asked in discovery that Apple send them the iPhone 5 and the iPad 3. Just so, you know, they can take a look – and this is just like – this is – are they serious or this is just like...
Patrick Beja Well, Apple have got the right to see the Samsung prototypes...
Leo Laporte They asked for the Droid Charge, yes.
Patrick Beja Yeah.
Leo Laporte The Droid Charge, the Infuse 4G, the Galaxy S II and the new Galaxy Tab. So “Apple could determine if these products could be part of the lawsuit.” So Samsung, okay, okay, well we want to see the iPhone 5. I love it.” When you can’t compete, litigate.
Patrick Beja They’ll get it, but it will come attached to Steve Jobs’ arm.
Leo Laporte Yeah, with a bracelet. The court sighted with Apple, because review units have come out of most of those and photos and so forth. So it wasn’t giving up anything that people had not already seen. But I’d be very curious to see if they say to Apple, you better – if they do then they are clearly not paying attention. We’ll see. They say, by June 13th.
Om Malik It’s going to be good for the Apple rumor website.
Leo Laporte Yeah, Gizmodo is going to love this.
Om Malik Yeah. So it’ll be fun.
Leo Laporte They say, a final version aren’t available by June 13th, we’ll take the most current version.
Amber MacArthur I bet they will.
Leo Laporte This is great. This is great. I just – this is – this lawsuit is going to go on for years and give us lots of material.
Amber MacArthur It is like they are Winklevoss Twins.
Leo Laporte Yeah. Going to the Supreme Court now. Living right up to that – to those characters that were created for them in the movie, The Social Network.
Amber MacArthur Yeah, exactly.
Leo Laporte They are exactly like that, apparently.
Amber MacArthur Yes.
Patrick Beja So I have a question about all these lawsuits. Seemed from here, from France, it seems like every other day you have a new one, and they are all more ridiculous than the other and it is just a game of lawsuits.
Leo Laporte The problem is we have a very broken patenting system in this country.
Patrick Beja Right. But does it mean that they are all ludicrous or are some of them actually valid?
Leo Laporte I don’t know. Om what do you think?
Om Malik You know, there are so many of these, you can’t tell which ones are valid and which ones are not valid. I do think there is a – this one between Samsung and Apple might actually have some legs. And...
Leo Laporte Do you think Samsung stole Apple’s trade dress?
Om Malik No, but there is like, this one might actually end up in some kind of out of court settlement between the two companies. I mean there seems there is enough on both sides to kind of have to deal with it in a more effective way. Just like you had the lawsuit between Nokia and Qualcomm, and those resulted in settlement. So there maybe some stuff which might happen on this one. But otherwise, I just see like a lot of the – the other ones are lot – I can’t even tell. I’ve actually stop trying to figure out.
Leo Laporte Yeah. I guess my general feeling is even if there is merit, just stay out of court, just spend all our energy and money and time...
Amber MacArthur Yeah, exactly.
Leo Laporte ...to make better products.
Amber MacArthur I agree.
Leo Laporte That seems to me a better use of your time.
Amber MacArthur Yeah. Its just too much.
Patrick Beja [ph] I think (64:30) It’s the lawyers in the company
Leo Laporte Your friend, your friend Jakob.
Leo Laporte Well that’s promise that Apple has a building full of lawyers, they got to do something. Your friend Jakob Nielsen, Amber, the Nielsen Norman Group, just did a comprehensive study of apps on the iPad. They gave 16 study participants access to the NPR app, Flipboard, The Daily, and the Amazon app, among other, to see if they could figure out how to use it. They had two months with these apps and according to the Nielsen Group, people have no clue how to use iPad apps.
Amber MacArthur This guy kind of drives me crazy, I do – you’re right, I do love Jakob Nielsen, I followed him forever in his usability studies. But can you really call 16 people a comprehensive study group.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Amber MacArthur I mean when I read that I just had – somehow had doubts because I look at my own experience with my son, who just turned two years old...
Leo Laporte And he can figure it out?
Amber MacArthur He knows how – he plays Angry Birds, he is on like level 14...
Leo Laporte He is two.
Amber MacArthur He is two. And he knows how to use – he probably uses about six or seven apps right now...
Leo Laporte Wow!
Amber MacArthur ...he is not toilet-trained, he can...
Leo Laporte He can’t use the toilet, but he can use an iPad.
Amber MacArthur Yeah, and so I am wondering who are these people who they found because I understand that apps obviously – there are different apps, some are easier, some are more difficult. But the reality is, people choose apps based on their own preferences and hobbies and things that they like. And so, to just give people a bunch of random apps and say, okay, start using this and not knowing enough about the background of these people and their interests and their technological skill set, I just think 16 people on the study like this, it’s a great headline but it’s really a [ph] empty (66:07) story?
Leo Laporte Well, alright, let me – this is some of the things I suggest, yeah, I agree with them in one respect, every iPad app has a different UI.
Amber MacArthur Yeah, that’s true.
Leo Laporte I mean because there is no standard at all, there is not menu bar, so all of them you end up – and I think this is why little kids are good at it, trial and error. You end up just doing things swipe, push, poke. And when something happens, the kid loves it, they go oh. And that is why little kids are better than adults, the adults are saying, there is got to be some sense to this.
Om Malik I think, Leo, the thing with iPad and kids is exactly what I was talking about young people and privacy and Facebook is that they have a whole different way of thinking about things. Touch is a very natural interface and they can figure it out very easily, especially when it comes to games or educational software, which prompts them to do things, they would have done these things in real life...
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Om Malik ...I think those are the applications which are being successful, I think there is a reason why Angry Birds is so successful there is a proper touch physics behind it. You know, it just happen. So they thought this one through that how can anybody use it without having a learning curve. And I think when you look at something like NPR app, that is a brilliant app, and anybody can use it. I’d say the same thing about the Amazon app, is the same thing. I would not say the same thing about the other two you mentioned, right, The Daily and Flipboard, they are work in progress just yet. And so, I think – and first of all to say that 16 people are a comprehensive study, I don’t think so.
When you think of an iPad, you have to stop thinking of it from a predictable user experience that you are use to on a computer. And I think that is where all these apps are created and apps are reviewed with a PC mindset. I think that’s exactly what is going on right now.
Leo Laporte There is also a study that says, French consulting firm, Miratech – so this one is from France, Patrick, who just published a research report saying that people reading news on an iPad are skimming and can’t remember what they’ve read.
Patrick Beja I am sorry; I can’t remember what you just said.
Leo Laporte Readers are more like to skim over articles on an iPad than in a newspaper. 20% of users have better retention whey they read something on paper versus an iPad. There is no difference in the amount of time it takes a person to read an article on the iPad versus a newspaper. So they are not reading it faster, they just remembering less. And on average, eyes linger longer on paper, implying more focused reading. People’s gaze – they did eye tracking on this, people’s gaze patterns whey they look at a page are identical on an iPad versus a print newspaper, there is just something about it, people just aren’t remembering it.
Patrick Beja You know I have to say even without going to eye tracking, I don’t know if you guys are guilty of that too, but I’ve been using on the iPad, an RSS reader application, and I found that recently in the last few months when I come across a story if I don’t get everything I need to know from the headline and I jump into the story and it’s more than three paragraphs long, I sometimes don’t even want to read it.
Leo Laporte Headline.
Patrick Beja I just go...
Leo Laporte iPad users are easily bored. There you go.
Patrick Beja I would just get my information from either Twitter or podcasts or – but if – you need to condense it so much for – to grab my attention. Do you guys see that at all or do you still read long articles?
Leo Laporte I am bored, let’s move on.
Amber MacArthur Yeah.
Leo Laporte No, in fact, I think that’s why Readability and Instapaper are so great, because in fact most of the time when you are doing content consumption on something like an iPad, you are skimming. But the ability to say, save that, so that I can read that later I think is very valuable. I use those like crazy.
Amber MacArthur But do you ever go back to that, Leo? Because...
Leo Laporte No.
Amber MacArthur ...I mean with my experience – yeah, I never go back to because there is a sense of urgency online, we want information that’s new, that’s fresh, and so the idea of going back to news, I mean that’s how I hate to say this but that’s how I still want to get the newspaper on the doorstep in the morning, even though we still get the newspaper is like, uh, 80% of it I kind of already know, right.
Leo Laporte It is anxiety provoking.
Amber MacArthur Yeah, it is a little bit.
Leo Laporte I get the big New York Times, it is like I can’t get through that, when I get The New Yorker every week, it’s like...
Amber MacArthur Yeah, could you just tell me some headlines in a Twitter, a feed or something like that?
Leo Laporte TweetMe.
Amber MacArthur TweetMe. Yeah, this is terrible but my brother reads The Globe and Mail which is Canada’s national newspaper pretty much front to back every day and so he reads it online and I’ll wait until he kind of tweets the best articles before I even think of diving into this, so I know he’ll kind of pick up some of the best stuff. So you have all the human filters around here, right, going through that longer content for you.
Leo Laporte Yeah, that’s the excuse.
Amber MacArthur Yeah.
Patrick Beja Your brother is your Flipboard.
Amber MacArthur Yeah, pretty much. I am sure he’ll love...
Leo Laporte Do you ever do this to your brother?
Amber MacArthur Come ‘on, go faster, go faster. Leo Laporte Swipe, swipe.
Amber MacArthur I wish I could do that to some people actually that are little wordy because I find even just in general, people are taking too long to say something, you just wanted to move them on. Move them along.
Patrick Beja Yeah, okay, I got the message.
Amber MacArthur Taking to you too France.
Leo Laporte You have pinched Patrick. So we’ve seen Google’s cloud service, Amazon – okay, how many have you bought Gaga for $0.99?
Amber MacArthur I am Gaga’ed out.
Leo Laporte You Gaga’ed out.
Amber MacArthur Yeah.
Leo Laporte Om Malik, I know you are big Lady Gaga fan.
Om Malik I actually – I didn’t even wait for the $0.99 [ph] album (72:14), I bought it on iTunes, so.
Leo Laporte You pay $11.99.
Om Malik I paid retail.
Leo Laporte You’re a terrible consumer. Why did you do that?
Om Malik I couldn’t wait. I just wanted this – the album.
Leo Laporte He is a Lady Gaga fan, I was joking.
Om Malik I am, I am. Like, she is the perfect new media star.
Leo Laporte She is brilliant. I do have to say that she is using new media in such an impressive way. You know when I first saw that Chrome ad, right, and I watched the Chrome, the Lady Gaga Chrome ad and I thought, well, oh, well those are so superficial her tweets, claws up, little monsters, stuff like that. And then somebody say, no, read her tweets. And she actually engages with her audience, she replies people. She is totally in there. Amazing, I mean, Amber, I am sure she is next book; she is going to be a case study.
Amber MacArthur She is phenomenon. I know she has sent a tweet while ago, that was kind of inappropriate and she actually apologize for it right away and she is so connected to all of her fans, I totally agree with that. I mean I think that she has done a great job of using a bunch of different channels in the social media world. I just find it is one of things that like Gaga saturation from here sort of...
Leo Laporte Yeah, yeah.
Amber MacArthur ...and it’s too much, right.
Leo Laporte Let me ask you, do you think that’s really her tweeting?
Amber MacArthur I don’t know, I kind of think it is, and whoever – if it is not her, they are doing a great job of being authentic.
Leo Laporte If feels very authentic.
Amber MacArthur Exactly. So it feels like her. But then again as far as authenticity, I feel like she ripped off Madonna, so that’s whole other stuff.
Leo Laporte If Twitter had existed during Madonna’s reign, watch out.
Amber MacArthur Watch out.
Leo Laporte So...
Om Malik There is – on my personal blog, omis.me, there is a video of this person who talks about Gaga ripping off Madonna, Madonna ripping off somebody else etcetera, etcetera. The music as they say, the idea of original music is just going away. I think what Lady Gaga has done is established that media is a game of attention. It doesn’t matter what platform you use, what channel you use, what methods you use, the more attention you get, the more – the bigger star you are, and the bigger star you are, the more you can monetize it. I think she embodies that attention economics better than anybody else. Her and Justin Bieber are two perfect examples of people who use the Internet to their own advantage in a very effective.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Om Malik That’s why I like – will I remember a music six months from now? Probably not. And I also – and I also listen to Lady Gaga just to annoy one of my colleagues.
Leo Laporte You really want to annoy him, listen to Justin Bieber.
Om Malik No, no, this is like, I just play some of Lady Gaga’s songs which basically puts – makes me the devil in the company, so that’s great.
Leo Laporte So, I did, I bought the $0.99 just because I, just because it was cheap but apparently Gaga gets the same royalty whether you buy it from iTunes or Amazon. So, essentially Amazon is making up the difference. Billboard magazine estimated that it was about $7.40 per purchase. There were 440,000 copies of Born This Way sold on Amazon during that $0.99 promo on Monday and Thursday. 440,000.
Amber MacArthur Wow.
Leo Laporte Which means it costs Amazon about $21 million for this promotion, was it worth it?
Patrick Beja Well it comes down to the cost of acquisition of new user, right. It means that they paid seven and whatever dollars to get a new user.
Leo Laporte Worth it, worth it.
Patrick Beja Maybe they won’t stick around.
Leo Laporte Worth it, worth it.
Patrick Beja It seems like not too much for the, you know not too high of a price to get a new user.
Leo Laporte Yeah, yeah because those people now are buying music on Amazon. Some of them set up Amazon account they didn’t have before, they know how to do it, they’ve, they’ve – they can now come back and buy another album. And they are using the cloud service, right. Because as soon as you buy even one $0.99 album, you get 20 gig storage. The upside for Amazon is…
Patrick Beja Yeah, 400,000 new, 400,000 new users in you know, two days of promotion seems like a definite win.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Patrick Beja No matter how you put it.
Leo Laporte Yeah, and they get a lot of press. I think it’s just hysterical that Om spent $11.99.
Om Malik Right. Enough.
Leo Laporte You could have got it for $0.99 cents.
Om Malik I already have the cloud service and as I said I couldn’t wait, you know, come on it was my iTunes alerts.
Leo Laporte It was such a hurry. We are, we are all victims of this, of these new technologies that really the fact here.
Patrick Beja I wish I could be a victim the…
Leo Laporte Oh, you can’t get it in France.
Patrick Beja Yeah.
Leo Laporte Can you get it in Canada, Amber?
Amber MacArthur I think so, I didn’t actually buy it but I think we can yeah, I’m pretty sure we can.
Leo Laporte Okay, get ready for this – because, we don’t know yet, but its presumed by all in sundry that Apple is now going to announce iCloud, now that Amazon and Google have stepped forward with their music services. Everybody agrees, in fact you know, there is lot of evidence that they’ve already may have – unlike Amazon and Goggle, Apple is making deals with record companies. And here is what they are going to get because they’ve made a deal you – now right now with Google music you can put 20,000 songs up there which is amazing. But you’ve to upload each and everyone. So it took me several days to get my 6000 song collection up there. Now it’s up there it on my phone – I mean I can stream it to my phone, my tablet whatever. I like that. What you really want to do though is just kind of run some program that says oh, you got that, that and that and we’ll just put a copy up there. And apparently this is what, according to rumors, this is what Apple is going to do with iCloud. They will scan your iTunes library and then put a high quality copy of that same song on you iCloud without uploading and that’s why they’re licensing it from the music companies. They will even replace any low-bit track copies with a high quality version fully licensed. Now, unlike Google and Amazon, they’ll probably charge you.
Patrick Beja Well, we don’t know you know, Google is probably going to charge you – this is the free beta now.
Leo Laporte Right. It was estimated if Google had done a deal, Google apparently talked to the music companies about this and everybody, the music company said no to Google. They were doing things like saying well you got to charge $30.00 a year for it but ultimately they felt like Google was just a platform for piracy and they didn’t want to have anything to do with it.
Patrick Beja Ridiculous, but its probably you know that thing that Apple is probably going to do, which is scan your library and getting, making everything available to you is presumably what Amazon and Google wanted to do also but couldn’t so they had to do that weird work around where you’ve a locker in the sky, in the clouds. But Apple ironically is now the, the, the music labels’ best friends because Google and Amazon wouldn’t play ball. It’s quite an incredible turn of events and very lucky for Apple.
Amber MacArthur Yeah. I’m exited about this. I think, you know I’ll definitely use it. I think it’s a good thing. Just to be able to have access like that to all my music in the cloud, and I mean, I’m constantly…
Leo Laporte Absolutely.
Amber MacArthur …running around and I’m not near my computer and my iTunes library, and then they are different on every computer. I mean its kind of a mess to be honest with you right now. So the idea could just have it one place and be able to access it anywhere online, is a huge advantage and hopefully happens soon.
Leo Laporte I wouldn’t write off Amazon, I don’t know, I think Google as usual is kind fumbled this one. But I wouldn’t write off Amazon here. I think they that they are – they are doing so many interesting things, I think this Gaga promotion was huge. Do you know that they launched a Mac download store this week? It was – I don’t think it got a lot of attention, if you go to amazon.com, good luck finding it. But they launched a store that will allow you to download apps for Macintosh just like Apple’s own app store.
Patrick Beja Well, how is it a store though? It’s not a piece of software that you install on your Mac.
Leo Laporte No.
Patrick Beja It doesn’t automatically download and install the software. It’s just a page with lots Mac software.
Leo Laporte Yeah for download.
Patrick Beja Right but really that’s such a big deal. I guess you get the rights to it and then you can reinstall it but the software you bought. [indiscernible] (80:52)
Leo Laporte Yeah. it has a lot of the advantages of Apple Store without a separate app. Does it, is that that important to have an app.
Patrick Beja No, but, the, the big aspect of the app is also that it automatically installs and updates, I’m sorry of the app store, and updates your apps.
Leo Laporte Right.
Patrick Beja So I don’t how this is different from just a regular Amazon page.
Leo Laporte Don’t you think it’s interesting that Amazon has an Android app store and a Mac app store?
Patrick Beja Oh, yeah, I mean, no, this is regarding what you were saying earlier. Amazon is going to be, apparently it’s very likely that within six to 12 months we are going to see Amazon emerge as the one competitor no one expected to Apple in that whole mobile world. They are doing everything right. And they’ve been doing everything right for the past few months, with music services…
Leo Laporte How important is hardware to that? Is that, Amazon of course is rumored that they will have two Android tablets. One will be a quad core before the end of the year. Is that a key to the whole thing?
Patrick Beja Essential. Yeah they have to, in that world they have to control the experience which is what Google is also, I’m sure you guys would agree but they are also trying to get their house in order and racing to get things cleaner.
Leo Laporte Do you think Amazon is a good bet right now Om?
Om Malik Absolutely, I think we have to just take a little step back on this. This is a business or/this is an effort, which is going to put services like download.com which is owned by CBS on the defensive, number one. Number two, the Amazon’s business is to sell things whether they are physical thing or digital things. Whether it is video games, music, software. If apps are what people what people want to buy, they are essentially selling those. And what they are going to do when it comes to Tablets, they are thinking about Tablets or Kindle or whatever it is as a way to sell more digital goods. That’s – they are not selling hardware, they are selling digital goods. So they are coming at it from the exact opposite end of the spectrum versus Apple. I think they have, both these company have very clear strategy. And I think Amazon is taking the right approach, they are being very methodical and you know what they have is what Google still doesn’t have is access to peoples purchasing – you know information. They have one click and you can start buying whatever you need to buy on Amazon. That is an incredibly powerful asset they have and they are leveraging it across different verticals. Whether it is the Android Store, or the Mac Store, you know, why shouldn’t they be doing like a Window Store, Amazon Window Store.
Leo Laporte I’m sure they will.
Om Malik Yes.
Leo Laporte [ph] And that’s next (83:42).
Om Malik Yes, I mean its like, if people want to pay for software and they can make it easy to buy why not.
Leo Laporte Well, Microsoft Office, which is on sale on the Mac Store is a lot cheaper on the Mac Store and you can use it on three computers.
Om Malik Right.
Patrick Beja And exactly corresponding to what Om is saying, look at the mp3 service that they offer from Amazon to Google. You can’t even buy anything on Google. That’s a major flaw. This is why you know Amazon could afford to antagonize the music labels. I’m talking about that music service specifically but they could afford to antagonize them because they already have the deals to enable the selling of music. Google could not afford to antagonize them and they did it anyway because they are Google.
Amber MacArthur And there is such a comfort level, I think with Amazon I think if my mom for example, who is 67 and probably the only place she’s ever bought anything and felt really comfortable about the online purchase is on Amazon.
Leo Laporte Yeah, absolutely.
Amber MacArthur You know, just having know that site and that brand and trusted it for so long.
Leo Laporte Two things, one click Prime. Guarantee that I’ll always look at Amazon to buy something before I go anywhere else.
Om Malik Leo I wrote a post recently and in last five years the amount of money spent by us on Amazon per year has doubled. And that’s primarily because of since 2006 – and that’s primarily because of the availability of Amazon Prime and a lot more of these digital goods.
Leo Laporte When you say us you mean the Malik family or you mean us Americans?
Om Malik The average Amazon customer.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Om Malik And the reason for that is, I think when you make it that simple, when it’s one click purchasing decision…
Leo Laporte Huge.
Om Malik …and when it comes to digital goods, it is actually we don’t even think about it. It’s all…
Leo Laporte It’s not real money.
Om Malik Right. It’s almost like a game, you know, we click, it downloads. It’s only few couple of dollars, right, but impact of that over 12 months is massive.
Leo Laporte Oh yeah, I don’t like to look at my Amazon bill.
Patrick Beja Yeah, which part of culture and intellectual property are they not serving right now? They have video, music apps, books obviously with the Kindle, they have everything. They’ve – all the pieces are falling into place.
Leo Laporte Yeah, and the Kindle is selling very well. They say…
Patrick Beja More than physical books.
Leo Laporte That’s right and they say this new ad-supported Kindle, $114 Kindle, is the best selling Kindle they have ever made. It’s already outselling the previous Kindles.
Patrick Beja That one I don’t get, for $20 you’re going to…
Leo Laporte You get to save $25, I bought it. It’s…
Patrick Beja You don’t count, you buy everything.
Leo Laporte Oh I do. Yeah, I actually bought it by accident, I one clicked, I didn’t even know it arrived and I said did I buy that? And that’s exactly your point…
Amber MacArthur You have a problem Leo.
Leo Laporte No I have a – it’s almost point exactly, it’s too damn easy.
Amber MacArthur Yeah.
Leo Laporte I just pushed the button.
Amber MacArthur That’s how I feel about apps in general; I keep buying apps…
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Amber MacArthur …you know, they’re – some apps can get expensive I just bought an app recently for $13.99, and it just adds up and in the end of the month you just can’t believe you’d bought so many.
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Amber MacArthur It’s not good.
Leo Laporte Yeah. Hey, it’s time to talk about Amazon, I want to talk about our – one of our fine, sponsors which happens to be an Amazon company, we’re talking about Audible.com, the audio bookstore. This – I tell you the new Amazon Kindle, I was really surprised, I thought this was a very interesting use of integration when I – it’s your account so you open it up and it has all your books, it also had all the Amazon – the Audible books I’d ever purchased and they would automatically be downloaded to the Kindle. I don’t know if that’s on other Kindles or if it’s just the new Kindle, but it’s certainly where Amazon is going forward and I love it because you know now I’ve got my audio and my Kindle books all available on the same device; audible.com/twit2, here is how you get involved with Audible. If you’ve never listened to books before, we understand maybe that’s a little scary, maybe you want to try before you buy. Well go to audible.com/twit2 you get two books free. You sign up for the Platinum account, that’s two books a month, your first month is free, the books are free and they are yours to keep forever. Cancel it anytime.
I just – every time I – actually it’s bad because every time I go to the Audible page I go, ooh here is another interesting book, ooh, The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods about – How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them – see I can’t wait to read this, it’s like going to a great bookstore and the neat thing is about Audible is that you can listen to these in your car, at the gym, as you’re cleaning the house, so there is so many places that you can listen to Audible books that you really couldn’t get be reading any where.
This is the one – this is next on my Audible listen list, I love David McCullough, I love his voice, I love his writing. He is one of the great historians and I think you’d like this Patrick, it’s called the The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris, it’s about American artists, writers, doctors, politicians, architects who set off for Paris between the years of 1830 and 1900 and so many great American cultural icons like Ralph Waldo Emerson, Mark Twain, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Harriet Beecher Stowe lived in Paris as they created. So this has got my two favorite things, Paris and David McCullough, listen a little bit to The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris.
David McCullough is – you’ll recognize his – oh wait a minute, oh he doesn’t read it, Edward Herrmann reads it. He was also great, another great actor. I’m not getting any audio from it. That’s my fault, I’m doing something wrong – that is by the way one of the nice features on the Audible site audible.com/twit2 is you can listen to any book, preview it, and see how you like the reader and so forth. So there is one book. I see that another one of my all time favorites has been named as the Best Audio Book of the Year, won an Audie Award, Keith Richards’ fantastic Life.
Amber MacArthur So good.
Leo Laporte Did you read that Amber?
Amber MacArthur Yeah, actually that is so good and another one that was recommended – Sarah Lane recommended it on Audible to me is Bossypants by Tina Fey and she narrates it and it’s fantastic, she is phenomenal.
Leo Laporte So here is the problem, you get to audible, you can’t stop. It’s like candy for your brain. Audible.com/twit2, if you haven’t yet tried Audible, give it a try. Bossypants is the number book right now on Audible and then the David McCullough book is the number 2 in their top downloads. Oh wait a minute the Zombie Apocalypse is coming. Wait a minute, you see and I start reading the science fiction, these are all zombie books. Oh man, Audible, you see you can’t eat just one audible.com/twit2 get two books today absolutely free but watch out you’re going to get hooked. Amazon bought them it was about a year and I keep waiting for – you know what I really want, I want Whispersync on Audible. You know how, when you’re reading on the Kindle and then you read it on your iPad or your computer jumps to the last page you read on any device, I want that with audio. So like it, like listen to a book while I’m doing the dishes and then get in bed and then I have my Kindle and I would jump to that page, I want that.
But I know, I’m asking a lot, audible.com/twit2. I’ll tell you, the internet is great for consumers. Om put a link to this great song on his blog, omis.me, it’s a Bruno Mars song, you’ve seen it, The Lazy Song but this is Leonard Nimoy in it, doing kind of a tribute to the dude, The Big Lebowski, this is such a great video, you’re absolutely right Om, I just love this video.
For some reason I’m not getting audio out of this – oh, because I pushed the wrong button, there we go. [Song].
In his single strum Leonard Nimoy completely rejuvenates his career.
Patrick Beja So is this something that he did for commercial purposes
Leo Laporte You know this is not the official Bruno Mars video for this song but you got to figure – I mean, I don’t know. What’s this story Om, do you know?
Om Malik I think this is just a special video, I think he did or something.
Leo Laporte It’s so great.
Om Malik It sounds pretty awesome.
Leo Laporte It’s so funny. He wanders out of the house, he’s eating cereal out of the box, his neighbour waves at him, he goes [indiscernible] (92:42). He leaves, throws the empty cereal box in the lawn and then walks to the drug store in his slippers and bathrobe. Yeah, gives him the Vulcan Mind Meld. This is straight out of The Big Lebowski, this is a tribute to Jeff Bridges and The Big Lebowski. I’m sorry I just..
Patrick Beja It’s a great song too.
Leo Laporte It’s a great song. That’s marketing. Get Leonard Nimoy, we’re going to try to get Leonard on the show. He’s a geek, apparently he’s a photographer, [ph] he’s a lot of (93:25) great photography.
Amber MacArthur Your friend is Steve Martin now Leo, so it’s only.
Leo Laporte Yeah, Leonard Nimoy, Steve Martin, what the hell.
Amber MacArthur Good company.
Leo Laporte Superstars. Couple more of the stories and we’re going to wrap this thing up. Sony says; “We’re going to restore PSN by May 31st unless we don’t.” Okay, I got – you got to feel – for everything Amazon is doing right, it seem like Sony is doing something wrong. Congratulations to you Om Malik, you raised another $6 million, you are now – GigaOm is now worth $40 million buckaroos.
Om Malik Or so I have heard.
Leo Laporte Well I hope you put some of that in your pocket.
Om Malik No, it’s all into the company. We keep growing it and hopefully everything works out as we planned.
Leo Laporte It’s good. Are you looking to be acquired at some point? What is your strategy?
Om Malik We just raised capital, the idea is to grow this into a big business and it’s not just me, there is 40 people who work at the company, who work incredibly hard and we pushed into subscriptions and paid content and it’s going incredibly well for us so.
Leo Laporte I know, that great.
Om Malik Yeah.
Leo Laporte Well Huff Post how much did Huff Post sell the AOL for – what one, one...
Om Malik 315.
Leo Laporte $315 million?
Om Malik Yeah.
Amber MacArthur That’s why I still can’t get over that they don’t pay any of their bloggers or writers, I haven’t gotten pass that point yet.
Leo Laporte Oh, [indiscernible] (95:03) has – likes to wear nice clothing. Zynga is about to file for its IPO. Now, LinkedIn had a massive IPO couple of weeks ago, I think we’re – are we going to start seeing a little heating up of the public offerings in the tech world?
Om Malik I think the Zynga one will be – will change the game quite a bit.
Leo Laporte It’s huge, isn’t it?
Om Malik Yeah, I think they have such massive revenue numbers. So they have such massive growth that they will eventually be the catalyst for the – a lot of the companies to go public. I mean Zynga is the kind of company which can energize the IPO market.
Leo Laporte They claimed 250 million people actively playing their games every month.
Om Malik Yeah.
Leo Laporte CityVille, which I guess is the sequel to the very popular – FarmVille attracts 90 million monthly users. Even the original poker game still got 35 million users. Didn’t Lady Gaga do a GagaVille just like a part of FarmVille, $400 million in profit on $850 million in revenue? They’re valued at $10 billion right now but could probably go off even more than that. Wow!
Amber MacArthur It’s amazing.
Leo Laporte Do you think we’re in a bubble, Om?
Om Malik No, no, I don’t think, you know to call it a bubble is not right now – give it another 12 to 18 months and when you see more insanity, then we would be in a bubble. Right now, I think [indiscernible] (96:50) is an overheated investment environment and it’s investments in a certain kind of tech company. What you are seeing is, you are hearing about these companies and these funding so much more often than you used to in the past and it gets amplified on the Facebook and Twitter so quickly. So you start to believe that there is an actual bubble. There is a bubble at the lower end of the spectrum where new companies are getting funding. You know, if you look at LinkedIn, it’s a pretty solid company. It’s been around for almost 10 years, I mean just because it’s the first new exciting technology IPO in a long, long time, so people are overpaying for it right now and it’s – it will find its own median like what…
Leo Laporte It’s, is it – it’s pent-up demand?
Om Malik There is and I think bubble is when you start to see companies with absolutely no fundamentals start to go public and everybody around you starts to talk about them. That’s when you know things are incredibly crazy. Right now, market is extremely, extremely overheated, people are very excited, there’s a lot of excitement going on in the valley. That is still – doesn’t reconcile with the overall economy, right. The overall economy is still pretty slow. Things are not going that well but you also have to remember there is – because there is no other opportunity to invest in, a lot more people are interested in investing in technology now, right. So everybody is putting their attention on technology, that’s why JPMorgan has like a fund for Twitter and social stuff and Goldman Sachs is investing in companies like Facebook. It’s – most – most of that is because there aren’t that many growth opportunities elsewhere, the overall economy to put it mildly, still sucks.
Amber MacArthur I just wonder what’s going to happen to all these mobile companies though, especially some of the mobile companies that have – they’ve gotten a couple of million dollars and they have sort of a one hit wonders, you know like one game that has done really well and then there is this pressure to come out with something else but then there’s obviously someone right on there. It just seems in the mobile space particularly like Om said, with a lot of the – some of the smaller companies that are – you can get money just by having a decent idea on the mobile front and a game that you project will have some revenue and you see this all over the place right now.
Leo Laporte But you know, who is showing that you can do well with one hit is Rovio with Angry Birds; I mean that’s really a one-game company. They’ve just sliced it and diced it so many great ways that 200 million downloads of Angry Birds.
Amber MacArthur And also The Heist, the new game that just came out from the creators of Camera Plus, just I was reading in an article where I think they’re getting it download every second since they launched or something astronomical.
Leo Laporte Which is by the way why Lisa Bettany no longer hosts our photo show.
Amber MacArthur It makes sense.
Leo Laporte She makes a little too much money on the Internet there, that’s keep her pretty busy.
Om Malik Yeah, I think the thing Amber brought up a very good point. I think even Angry Birds is – has to prove that it’s like Zynga, it can take one head game and create a franchise
Leo Laporte Yeah.
Om Malik ...of multiple games and multiple revenue opportunities. So I think this is – we can’t – like the thing is if we could look into the future and predict it we’ll all be billionaires, right, so we can’t. So right now what we have is anecdotal information and we’re trying to project what’s going to happen. I just think it’s going to be a little bit more frothy over the next 12 months.
Amber MacArthur And there is very little loyalty I find – if all of a sudden a game developer have come out with one mobile game and it’s really cool, it’s not as though I’m following what that developer...
Leo Laporte Right.
Amber MacArthur ...is producing next time around. So there’s just not that loyalty there, like, there maybe where with some of the websites and 10 years ago, decade ago, people were buying from sites and really latched on to the whole experience on the site, people don’t really know who’s behind what games coming out. So I think that, that stuff is also a tougher style long term.
Leo Laporte Well, if I were going to invest, it’d be in Amazon, it’d be in Zynga. I mean there is definitely some companies that look strong but fortunately I do not invest in tech stocks and that’s why I’m not broke right now. Amber MacArthur is at ambermac.com. She’s on the Twitter, she’s on the Tube, she’s got the great commandn.tv show and she’ll be back on Monday for The Social Hour with Sarah Lane.
Amber MacArthur Actually we’ll start early this week, so it will be in – with a long weekend...
Leo Laporte Oh yes.
Amber MacArthur ...so we’ll – a week from Monday we’ll be back on live.
Leo Laporte What time do you do that show, 11 am?
Amber MacArthur Yeah, 11 am Pacific Time on Mondays.
Leo Laporte 2 pm Eastern, and 1800 UTC, live.twit.tv. Om Malik is at gigaom.com and don’t forget he’s got a great new newsletter which you should all subscribe to, gigaom.com/om-says. You all must get a copy because it’s free, so why the hell not. More Signal. Less Noise. Om thanks for being here today. I really appreciate it.
Om Malik Thank you, Leo, for having me.
Leo Laporte Always a pleasure. And Patrick Beja who is a star in his own right, you can find out more on patrickbeja.com. He’s notpatrick on Twitter and he’s got many great podcasts including The Phileas show available on the Internet. Thanks for being here Patrick.
Patrick Beja Thank you so much for having me.
Leo Laporte Thank you all.
Patrick Beja It was as always a great pleasure.
Leo Laporte Always fun, it’s always fun. Thank you all for being here. We have a new show about ham radio that has just started last week and it’s huge, Bob Heil, the guy who makes our mics and a ham on his on right, does it Tuesday 6 pm Pacific, 9 pm Eastern time. Let’s see, I have to do my math, that’s – 2300 UTC I think, no it’s at 0100, very early in the morning. And in a couple of weeks they’re going to start teaching me so I can get my ham license, it’s called Ham Nation, Tuesdays at live.twit.tv.
Don’t forget we’re selling the bricks; I want you to buy a Brick for the Brick TWiT House, let me see if I can find that lower third, bricks.twit.tv, you could be on our Wall of Honor on our new studio. For more information, I think it’s a $128 for the regular brick which is like this, you can get two lines, you can put your name, your Twitter handle, whatever your Facebook page or website and then if you want you can also get a commemorated brick for your own home, suitable for throwing through windows at the eG8 Forum. Bricks.twit.tv.
Thank you for being here everybody, we’ll see you next time. Another TWiT is in the can.
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