Guests: Ryan Block, Veronica Belmont, Roger Chang, Patrick Norton, Robert Llewellyn
Recorded: July 12, 2009
TWiT 203 •Previous episode – Next episode
This transcript is provided by our friends at Pods in Print
Leo Laporte Bandwidth for this WEEK in TECH is provided by AOL Radio at aol.com/podcasting.
This is TWiT, this WEEK in TECH, Episode 203 for July 13, 2009; “I've Got Quadraphonics In My Van.”
This WEEK in TECH is brought to you by Audible.com. Sign up for the platinum plan and get two free books, go to Audible.com/twit2. And follow Audible on Twitter; user ID audible_com. And by GoToMeeting, picture yourself on a phone call sharing and explaining something visual with GoToMeeting. For your free 30 day trial visit gotomeeting.com/twit.
Tom Merritt Welcome to this WEEK in TECH. I am Tom Merritt sitting in for Leo Laporte who is vacationing in China. Thank you, Leo, for letting me do this; it’s really fun. We’ve got an all star panel for today’s Revenge Of The Screensavers, I mean, this WEEK in TECH.
On my right Ryan Block, editor of gdget, spelled gdgt. Welcome, Ryan.
Ryan Block Thank you.
Tom Merritt Thank you for being here.
Ryan Block Thank you, honorary, Leo.
Tom Merritt Yes, you can insert plug here, that’s what Dvorak did last time.
Ryan Block No, I’m cool. I’m good. That’s all I needed.
Tom Merritt All right, cool. On my left, Veronica Belmont, host of Sword and Laser at swordandlaser.com. Do you do anything else?
Veronica Belmont Yes, yes, Tekzilla on Revision3 with Patrick Norton.
Tom Merritt All right.
Veronica Belmont And also Qore.
Tom Merritt And also Qore.
Veronica Belmont Yes.
Tom Merritt Up in the belfry, Roger Chang, who was just on the live stream doing East Meets West with me, hey Roger.
Roger Chang Hello.
Tom Merritt Welcome to the show. Roger, Senior Producer at Revision3.
Veronica Belmont He’s my boss.
Tom Merritt That means he is old.
Veronica Belmont He’s my boss.
Tom Merritt Yes.
Roger Chang Yes, I sign her checks. Actually, no, I okay her checks.
Tom Merritt And saving the best for the last, very happy to have Robert Llewellyn, you might know him as Kryten from Red Dwarf, but he is the host of a fantastic podcast called Carpool. Welcome, Robert.
Robert Llewellyn Thank you very much for having me, it’s great to be here.
Tom Merritt And where can people find Carpool?
Robert Llewellyn They can find Carpool in iTunes, it’s the, at the moment it’s the pick of the week in the U.K., it’s doing very well on iTunes, or you can find it on LLEWTUBE, which is the same as YouTube, only with my name at the beginning llewtube.com.
Tom Merritt Fantastic. We are going to try talk about some tech news on this WEEK in TECH.
Veronica Belmont I’m okay with that idea.
Tom Merritt Everybody good with that?
Ryan Block Gee, I don’t know, I think tech news is kind of overrated. But I guess…
Veronica Belmont Personally.
Tom Merritt Big news of the week was the Chrome operating system coming out, this is an operating system that is targeted at small laptops, so netbook type situation, and it’s not even out yet, it’s only been announced.
Veronica Belmont It’s a twinkle in Google’s eye.
Tom Merritt Yes, it is. They say they’ve got some versions running in house but they haven’t really showed much off. There have been some leaked pictures out there.
Roger Chang Yeah, the leaked pictures turn out to be fake. So what are you going to do about that?
Tom Merritt Or are they?
Veronica Belmont But it’s going to look a lot like…
Ryan Block No, they are pretty fake.
Tom Merritt Yes, they are pretty fake.
Veronica Belmont It’s going to be based off the design of the Chrome browser.
Ryan Block Yes, I mean it’s going to look like Chrome.
Tom Merritt So it will look…
Veronica Belmont Mostly, it’s going to look very like Chrome.
Ryan Block And it’s going to be basically boot into a browser. That’s kind of the assumption.
Tom Merritt The idea for this is that you are living on the web, probably through Google services like Google Docs and Gmail. Is that something that we want Robert? Is that going to help your life out?
Robert Llewellyn I mean I can’t see – I don’t – I’m a bit stuck with not being that bothered about operating systems and I know should be. I mean, I use a Mac and I’ve used a Mac for 20-something years. I really want to see it. And what I know is you’ve all been talking about it for years in the United States before I even see it, unless I come over and actually have a look.
So, I know it’s going to be a long time before I get to see something like that. I’m very interested in it because I would love, it’s certainly a thing I want is a little foldy little laptop that’s small. Because I use my iPhone instead of a laptop now and it would be great to have a laptop that was small and ran on something that wasn’t Windows. That would be a huge advantage to me. I would be very interested in seeing it.
Ryan Block There is no shortage of machines out there right now that are non-Windows and that are netbork based. There is a lot of Ubuntu, a lot of Linux based netbooks out there…
Veronica Belmont Very lightweight builds, yes.
Ryan Block Yes, and so this isn’t anything groundbreaking in that regard. I think the unusual thing here is that Google’s throwing out the X Windowing System which is what Linux has run on for years and years, it’s I think by most people kind of considered to be a little bit of antiquated at this point. And they are doing their own new windowing system which, at least in my opinion, that’s kind of been the one thing that Linux has needed to kind of make itself really viable for mass end-user consumption.
Tom Merritt Yes, they are building it around the Linux kernel but they are building everything else from the ground up as far as we know it.
Ryan Block Yes, so most of your Linux apps that you normally think of like, I don’t know, Pidgin or Firefox, probably will not work. They would have to be re-written for this because it’s a different visual, different Windowing system, and that’s assuming that Google even opens it up to native apps. They are right now just kind of talking about the web app aspect which – this is really smacking of Apple back in 2007 with the original iPhone, how that was originally, they said no native apps, all of your apps are going to be web apps, and of course nobody bought that. Right now, I don’t think that’s going to work for Google here either.
Tom Merritt You know the difference is though they haven’t have a good offline strategy for your web apps on the iPhone whereas Google does have Google Gears and there’s Adobe AIR.
Veronica Belmont Right, they’ve got Gears, yeah.
Tom Merritt So there is a way to get those apps.
Ryan Block But it’s not so much about offline, it’s about hardware access. It’s about actually being able to take advantage of the fact that this is a computer. I mean if you are going to buy a computer, if you are going to sped the money and you are going to have audio outputs and you are going to have 3G, potentially things like that, it needs to be able to support that. You can’t do everything in a browser. You just can’t.
Tom Merritt Linux for a long time has needed somebody big to come in and popularize it, standardize it, make it easier to use, everyone has been thinking Ubuntu is that and now some of the Ubuntu crowd is little upset. Roger, do you think Google is actually going to make things worse or better?
Roger Chang It kind of depends on what path they take. If they go into a vertically integrated kind of Applesque where we control the end-user experience by either strictly controlling the STK or not making it open source, it could just be another kind of Apple like product where it’s in the minority but it’s not going to necessarily take over everything, where people – “hey, that’s kind of cool, but I’m going to stick with Windows because Windows lets me do A, B and C so much better,” or “I’m going to stick with some Linux distro because it let’s me do A, B, C or roll my own application.”
Ryan Block So, Google’s already said though, this is going to be open source. They have been really upfront about that.
Tom Merritt Well, it has to be, right, Because they are using the Kernel. So, they have –
Ryan Block Well, no…
Tom Merritt They have to open source a lot of it anyway.
Ryan Block The low level has to be open-source by GPL but everything they build on top of the kernel can be closed source, but they’ve already said everything that they are doing with this project is going to be open-source, they’ve put out a call to action to the open-source community to help them out and help make Chrome OS great. Chrome itself is already open source. I don’t think there’s anything really that’s closed source about Chrome. So, it seems like they want to do this thing, they want to build the operating system but they don’t want to take it the Apple or the Microsoft route; closed sourcing it.
Tom Merritt Now, a rumored announcement for tomorrow is Microsoft’s Gazelle browser. I think Scoble has been leading the charge on thinking well, maybe this is why Google announced the Chrome OS is to upstage Gazelle…
Veronica Belmont So early.
Tom Merritt But – From, what do we know about Gazelle, Veronica? I mean, it seems like it’s a browser project from everything I’ve read.
Veronica Belmont Yes, I mean, it’s just kind of – there is too much information out there from what I’ve read so far, but it seems as though it’s going to be something that maybe will be integrated into IE in the future. I don’t know if it’s – is it going to be a whole separate browser, or is it going to be something – a technology that they build into IE later on.
Tom Merritt It’s interesting because it’s confusing for people that they have a kernel; they talk about building on a kernel within the browser Gazelle. The way – you know Chrome actually has a process for every tab, they are extending that to processes for element.
Veronica Belmont Right, so like downloading images, perhaps or…
Ryan Block Yes, or running ads.
Veronica Belmont Yes.
Tom Merritt And you think FRAME or IFRAME to…
Veronica Belmont And also that would make it more secure also.
Ryan Block Yes, if you think about way the pages get assembled. Yes, I mean it’s a good concept. I think it’s something that Microsoft certainly is going to benefit by doing but I mean, I don’t know…
Veronica Belmont Lord knows IE could use the help.
Ryan Block Yes, but I mean, there also is – the word right now is that it’s going to be based still on Windows and I think we all kind of know that at this point Windows needs a pretty bold reboot and that it’s not going to come from the browser. So I’m not sure that this is really kind of the answer to it, I think this is a) an answer to a next-generation browser, but I don’t know if this is how Microsoft is going to fend off Google OS.
Veronica Belmont Yes, have you seen the ads for the new IE, for IE8, the ones where Dean Cain is the host?
Tom Merritt No, I haven’t seen those yet.
Veronica Belmont They are pretty funny…
Tom Merritt Creepy?
Veronica Belmont But they actually had one that was pulled because it was so disgusting.
Tom Merritt I saw that one. I saw the vomit one. Robert did you see that one?
Robert Llewellyn I haven’t seen this, no. I’ve heard a lot about it but no, I haven’t seen it.
Veronica Belmont Well, to give you a brief rundown, it starts with a guy leaving his laptop on the kitchen table and his wife asking if she can use it and then she goes and clicks on the browser, and he must have something horrible like two girls one cup style up there…
Tom Merritt That’s what everyone thinks.
Veronica Belmont Right, so she starts projectile vomiting.
Tom Merritt Don’t go search for that everyone.
Veronica Belmont No, don’t, sorry. Well, that’s not a swear word. So she starts projectile vomiting on him like repeatedly over and over and over and that’s just kind of the commercial. That’s all that happens, it’s like keep this from happening. Use secure browsing.
Tom Merritt Roger’s just smirking away over there.
Veronica Belmont He is into it.
Robert Llewellyn I haven’t seen it but I’m seeing it now. It’s very funny.
Veronica Belmont I thought it was pretty cool. I like it that they are at least trying something new, innovative, with their advertising.
Tom Merritt It’s certainly attention getting but then they went and pulled it down.
Veronica Belmont Yes, too much complaints against it.
Tom Merritt Once it goes viral they yank it?
Veronica Belmont Yes, right.
Ryan Block Yes, but that’s an even better way to get attention.
Veronica Belmont I know.
Tom Merritt That’s good strategy.
Ryan Block I mean that’s probably actually how they really got it to…
Veronica Belmont I’m talking about it now.
Ryan Block …stay viral, was by yanking it.
Veronica Belmont They left it up for just enough time.
Tom Merritt That might have actually been the entire plan. That was probably on the plan like step five, after it’s out, you know, yank it a day later.
Veronica Belmont And come on, Dean Cain? So awesome.
Ryan Block Really?
Veronica Belmont I love him.
Ryan Block Oh come on.
Veronica Belmont I love him! Scott Johnson loves him too.
Ryan Block That’s fine.
Veronica Belmont See. I’m not alone in this.
Ryan Block There’s no accounting for taste.
Tom Merritt Dean Cain.
Veronica Belmont He is a good looking guy! Back me up here someone.
Robert Llewellyn Is that the guy who presented at the end, who came in to camera?
Roger Chang He was the guy from Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.
Robert Llewellyn Yes, I’ve seen him, yes, all right, yes he is gorgeous, I love him. I love him.
Tom Merritt I’m the only the one ambivalent, Ryan is the only one who doesn’t like him.
Ryan Block I don’t know, I don’t not like him, I just…
Tom Merritt You are ambivalent?
Ryan Block I mean, you know. I feel threatened.
Veronica Belmont Sorry, I’ve derailed us slightly.
Tom Merritt Yes, we need the – do we have Dvorak on a soundboard or something? Let’s talk about some tech news.
An interesting posting on TechBlog at blogs.chron.com, says that you’ll be able to upgrade your Windows 7 release candidate. That you won’t actually – as long as it is activated you won’t actually have to re-install Vista or XP, you can go straight from the release candidate to your legally purchased version of Windows 7.
Ryan Block Which is fantastic except for the fact that – I mean, wasn’t – I don’t know, isn’t this kind of the expectation already? You’d be able to install the upgrade on top of it?
Tom Merritt You couldn’t do it with the Beta and there were lot of people saying oh, they are not going to allow it from the release candidate; if you’ve downloaded the release candidate you are going to have to show your Vista or XP license by putting it in and what this is saying is you don’t even have to do that. You can just upgrade right off the release candidate.
Veronica Belmont That’s good.
Tom Merritt So you could buy the upgrade version.
Veronica Belmont But is – isn’t it typically better to do a clean install anyway or does it not really matter because –
Tom Merritt Well it does make you – it does make you do a clean install, yeah.
Veronica Belmont It does? Okay.
Ryan Block So then what's the difference?
Tom Merritt It just means you don’t – you could conceivably…
Ryan Block At the end of the day it’s just activation.
Tom Merritt Yeah.
Ryan Block And activation takes 20 seconds anyway.
Tom Merritt You could conceivably not have Vista or XP and be able to upgrade of the free release candidate.
Ryan Block I mean, this is like – this kind of getting to the point of – it’s so pedantic to worry about some of these details with Windows. I mean, I think the larger problem here is the way that Widows upgrading and installation works in general. And – I mean one of the things I really like about Snow Leopard is that when it does get released this year and when you install it, it’s not only going to just go ahead and install over what you’ve got now, Leopard or Tiger or what have you. It’s actually going to take some of that other junk off there and free up some space during the installation process.
Tom Merritt I did that couple of days ago with the developers version and I think I gained back like six gigabytes.
Ryan Block I mean that’s like a crazy concept coming from the Windows world.
Tom Merritt Exactly because you are – we are used to, with all operating systems, when you upgrade, it takes away space.
Roger Chang So…
Tom Merritt Yep, that’s not controversial.
Veronica Belmont Yes, we agree with you, yes.
Roger Chang My question is; it then conceivable for someone to upgrade from the release candidate without necessarily having owned either Vista or XP?
Tom Merritt Correct. If you need to reinstall the finished version of Windows 7 later, you are going to have to have XP or Vista. But as long as you never reinstall, you can actually take your release candidate from what this guy is saying and upgrade it directly. So it’s a money saver for people.
Veronica Belmont And that’s a good thing.
Roger Chang I wonder if that’s – I wonder if that’s just pushing people to get the release candidate…
Veronica Belmont As Patrick would have said right now, I like that thought.
Tom Merritt Yes. He will be joining us later to say that, one would hope.
Roger Chang We need the Patrick soundboard.
Tom Merritt Yeah, we are hoping to get Patrick Norton on the show. His car may have fallen on him or he may have a baby emergency. I don’t want him to have to…
Roger Chang Wait, I just saw him pop up.
Tom Merritt Oh, yeah, see it’s like Beetlejuice, you say his name three times…
Veronica Belmont He heard me talking about him.
Tom Merritt …he shows up. Well, he would appreciate this using electrically outlets and cheap lasers to steal data story. We will see if we can entice him in with this. Did you guys take a look at this?
Veronica Belmont Yeah.
Ryan Block Yeah, Veronica and I were joking about this on the web. You know this actually reminds of that theoretical hack – I can’t remember the name of it, but it was that hack where if you stand or if you get near enough with like a truck sized Gaussian scanner, that…
Tom Merritt Yes. You could read the monitor, right?
Ryan Block …you could theoretically pick up a monitor signal from outside of a building, which I have always though it like a really hilarious concept.
Tom Merritt Absolutely. And I remember when we did that story on The Screen Savers, there was a story along with it, and I can’t remember if it was the same people, about just this thing. This story is saying you can plug into an electrical outlet and be able to read the electrical feedback from a keyboard and tell what the different keystrokes are and find out what people are typing.
Ryan Block And then there is this laser thing where the lasers can pick up vibrations and blah blah blah. Here is what it basically assumes, at the end of the day, because the electrical one was I think like 15 meters is as far as you are going to able to get to get a clean signal or a clean enough signal to use it. And then you have got the lasers where it’s got to be line of sight and it can’t be obviously too powerful and you have to get the reflector set up in the room so you can start collecting signals. I mean basically it assumes…
Veronica Belmont At the point…
Ryan Block …it assumes you have access to the machine. If you have access to the machine, all bets are off anyway.
Veronica Belmont Yeah, there’s probably so many other ways to get into the computer in the first place if you are in the general area, like why couldn’t you just…
Tom Merritt Well, it posits a hotel room, right. So like you are in the next hotel room and you plug into the outlet, you are close enough to be able to read those keyboards.
Veronica Belmont So then you are probably on the hotel’s network anyway.
Tom Merritt But you don’t have physical access to the machine. And what if they are off the network and typing their secret emails?
Veronica Belmont I guess. I guess if they are offline…
Ryan Block Yeah, you are in a hotel and there is a person who is next door to you off the network and what are going to do with any of that data anyway if they are off the network?
Veronica Belmont Well, this wouldn’t work with a laptop anyway either, so if someone is in a hotel they probably…
Tom Merritt The laser one will work with in a laptop, but you have to be around that one, you have to have that line of sight.
Veronica Belmont That laser one will work a laptop, but the keyboard one is not –
Ryan Block It assumes that you need some level of connectivity to actually do something with this anyway, right? I mean if they are just typing into a box and they are not connected to anything, I don’t know it’s just like, it’s fine, I mean it’s really clever but I just – it’s so impractical and at that point it’s like a lot easier, I think, for most people to just either break in or wait till they have physical access or wait till that person connects to the Wi-Fi network and sniff their packets.
Veronica Belmont I just like the idea of lasers. Laser beams. Lasers.
Tom Merritt Oh, of course. Exactly, it’s – you have a podcast. This is sort of…
Veronica Belmont I know, I do like lasers, yeah.
Tom Merritt You’re more, but you’re the sword side of things.
Veronica Belmont I’m typically on the sword end of things.
Tom Merritt Yeah. This story is fun for that reason, for the laser and the weirdness aspect. But Robert does this scare you at all, like are you at all worried about this?
Robert Llewellyn Not in the slightest bit worried in anyway whatever. For a start my office is in a very remote rural location, if someone can shine a laser beam through my window they are welcome to read whatever they can. I mean it is – I can’t – it just seems daft because all the intrusion that you may get on your computer is coming through the little wire that’s plugged in the back, not – you know, as in the internet, as in people who are hacking into it, as in all that. You know, recording keystrokes, you know there’s so much software that does exactly this already that’s much more worrying than somebody coming in my room when I am not here and putting a laser beam that’s pointing at something.
Veronica Belmont That’s true. There are so many other ways to be worried already – exactly.
Robert Llewellyn Exactly, exactly, there’s plenty of other ways to be absolutely freaked out with paranoia, that I don’t really need this one.
Tom Merritt Yeah, it’s just an extra. We can throw it on the stack but it doesn’t change much.
Ryan Block And this actually reminds me and is probably a good segue to that other story that we have from this week which is about insecure Wi-Fi networks that are cropping up all over at airports. I mean that to me seems like a much more likely scenario for you to get –
Robert Llewellyn Yeah, absolutely.
Ryan Block …to get passwords sniffed, you know, packets sniffed.
Veronica Belmont I mean how many times have you been in an airport and seen those peer-to-peer networks come up?
Tom Merritt Free airport wireless!
Veronica Belmont Right, it’s like, oh, I don’t think so.
Tom Merritt Has anyone ever connected to one of those here, no?
Robert Llewellyn Yes.
Ryan Block No because…
Robert Llewellyn Yeah I have.
Tom Merritt Really?
Veronica Belmont Do you know where?
Robert Llewellyn No but a long time ago, yes, it did. I got a signal, and I got emails and then I switched it off. But it certainly worked. This is probably five or six years ago.
Ryan Block And promptly changed your passwords I hope.
Robert Llewellyn Promptly change my passwords. It was in LAX, it was in your neck of the woods, yeah. I suddenly got – I wasn’t even looking for a signal, suddenly I saw oh I got a signal, I’ll got me email, and then I went oh where did that come from.
Veronica Belmont Like, wait a second, not good.
Tom Merritt It used to be really easier to identify, at least in Windows you could see that it was a laptop card but now a lot of times they look like they are actual access points. I don’t know what these guys are doing.
Veronica Belmont Well, you can see that it’s a peer-to-peer network on the drop down for – on Macs it’s pretty apparent.
Tom Merritt Yeah. Well, I have seen some that appear as peer-to-peer networks.
Veronica Belmont Really?
Tom Merritt Where they show up as if it’s a router.
Veronica Belmont I have never seen that personally, but I can see why that would be…
Tom Merritt I saw that in your neck of the woods at LHR actually.
Robert Llewellyn Oh, LHR, because I keep forgetting what that…
Veronica Belmont That was his setup actually, that was his…
Robert Llewellyn Heathrow. Yeah, that was me, I was there with my laser beam and my laptop and my special…
Tom Merritt I thought I kept seeing a little red thing.
Veronica Belmont He has got a nice little setup over there, yeah.
Roger Chang No, actually no I think I did use the one at LAX. But I only did it so I was just surfing news stories, I wasn’t like –
Veronica Belmont Roger!
Roger Chang I’m sorry. What?
Tom Merritt I only locked into my email. I am going to setup a Wi-Fi honeypot here – so all of you guys…
Veronica Belmont See how many people we could sucker into using it.
Tom Merritt Exactly.
Veronica Belmont That’d make a great story.
Tom Merritt We actually have Leo here to do his commercials. It’s a smaller version of him but take it away Leo.
Leo Laporte Hello guys, hope you are having a good time doing TWiT without me, I am in China right now, but I had to just stop by and say GoToMeeting. I am using it more and more, in fact we just asked for a few accounts for some of our hosts who are using it actually during the show to show screens, which is very cool. It’s – everybody is moving to GoToMeeting. GoToMeeting from Citrix, they are the company that does GoToMyPC as well. They really know the ins and outs of Windows and how to do remote access in Windows. I don’t think there is anybody better frankly at remote access than the Citrix folks. GoToMeeting, basically here is the problem.
You know you are on a conference call, you are talking to somebody and you are showing him something visual or you are talking about something visual; a PowerPoint or a Keynote presentation or a drawing or a slide, and you are describing it and it’s just frustrating as heck. What you can do, if you’ve got GoToMeeting installed is say hey, well let me show you. This is kind of wild. And you go to – you just – you say go to gotomeeting.com and it takes you about a click of a mouse to get it started and then you tell them go to gotomeeting.com, here is the meeting ID and it’s kind of cool because they go “wow!” and they are looking at your computer on their screen no matter where they are. They see the presentation, it’s great for sales, great for product demos, for training, for collaboration too, they – you can both work on a document together. Very affordable, and right now free for 30 days when you use this special URL; gotomeeting.com/twit. These guys, I have known these guys going back to Ed Yakabuchi, who founded Citrix many moons ago, and I have always thought the world of them and their technology. It’s secure, it’s affordable, it’s effective. gotomeeting.com/twit I invite you to give it a try.
We now return you to this WEEK in TECH already in progress.
Tom Merritt Thank you, Leo Laporte, and you can safely assume that Dvorak was out basting his meat during that commercial and will the next time. Let’s…
Roger Chang Woah!
Ryan Block Excuse me?
Veronica Belmont What?
Tom Merritt It’s TWiT joke.
Veronica Belmont Oh.
Robert Llewellyn He is always basting his meat, I have heard him baste his meat. Yeah, he goes off and bastes…
Tom Merritt Thanks for backing me up on that, Robert. Let’s talk about the success of Blu-ray. Has it finally arrived? Gizmodo reporting that Wal-Mart is selling the Blu-ray player only at its brick and mortar stores, the Magnavox NB530MGX for $98, we finally have a Blu-ray player with 1080p support below a hundred bucks. Everybody has been saying that, myself included, that once we get Blu-ray for under a hundred bucks then that’s when people will start to flock to it. So is the flocking about to commence?
Veronica Belmont I am kind of worried that maybe the price is dropping so low because no one is buying them. And that’s why…
Ryan Block That’s probably it, and it’s also Magnavox, so it’s not exactly a high –
Tom Merritt Top of the line.
Veronica Belmont Yeah, it’s not exactly a high-end brand.
Ryan Block And then it’s Wal-Mart; known for its loss leaders, trying to get people into the store. So that’s part of it as well. I don’t know; we’ll see how long it lasts.
Veronica Belmont And also it’s kind of getting to be that time, you know the technology has been out for a few years now, so eventually it has to drop.
Tom Merritt It does seem like a – took a little long to get down to $100. Are you a Blu-ray fan at all Robert?
Robert Llewellyn No. It’s really interesting, I have talked about this a lot because I work in the television industry in this country and so all the people I know who are successful have huge high-definition televisions, you know, just the size of a pool table stuck on their walls. And then one – only one person I know who’s house I’ve been to has a Blu-ray player and they play – we watched a movie on it and I went yeah, that’s really good. But it isn’t really good, I mean yes it was very clear and it was very crisp and the sound was fantastic and they had a very expensive setup, but it isn’t like – you know difference between a VHS, I mean I’ve heard this before, it’s not new, but the difference between a VHS tape and a DVD was phenomenal. It was game-changing, it was extraordinary.
The difference between a DVD which I have just been watching with my daughter, we have got a little home cinema here next door watching a movie on a DVD, sort of medium quality you know medium definition, it wasn’t that good. But it was perfectly good enough, the sound is very important, we’ve got a really good sound system. The jump from a DVD to a Blu-ray is just – it’s doesn’t make me excited. What makes me excited is the chance to download films in high-definition that I can then play through a projector; that is much better, because then I don’t have to get a piece of plastic.
Ryan Block Well, I think what you just mentioned is exactly the reason why Blu-ray needs to come down in price so much.
Robert Llewellyn Yes.
Ryan Block Because I think for most people it’s not as big of a jump as they would feel necessary to be, like, kind of a prerequisite for switching.
Tom Merritt A kind of all-caps “JUMP”, when you say really good, it’s just lower case.
Ryan Block Yeah, it’s not the kind of thing where people need to go rush out to the store to buy, it’s certainly not the kind of thing that I ever really felt the need to go out and get. I mean I would up having a Blu-ray player because I had a PS3, but it’s not like I would have bought a standalone if the PS3 hadn’t existed. And I think the case—that is the case for most people, especially those who don’t already own a PS3. So having it at a sub-hundred dollar level is definitely going to make it a lot more viable but I mean look, you can get a Roku/Netflix Box or if you have an Xbox 360 you can stream Netflix, and Netflix is available on a lot other devices, and there is a lot of other streaming solutions. You have TiVo, you can do Amazon Unbox on TiVo. There is just so many ways to get content into your home now that don’t require a piece of plastic shaped like a circle that you put into a drive.
Roger Chang I think the key, though, really if Blu-ray is going to take off, it that the cost per movie needs to come down. I mean if you can get a DVD movie say of a first-run movie for like $8 and then the Blu-ray equivalent’s like $25, people are going opt for the $8. They are not going to – for what you pay you can get three normal movies instead of just getting one Blu-ray movie. And as has already been said, the quality is there but it’s not so different that people are going to spend the extra money. I think it’s one of those things when it becomes a commodity-priced item where you can get movies for like 8, $10 and your players are around like $100, I think that’s where you’ll start to see movement. But you know, for right now it still seems kind of one of those things where it’s like “yeah that’s kind of cool, if I ever get one” but it’s not…
Tom Merritt It’s not – yeah, it’s not just the price of the hardware, it’s the price of the individual movies and those aren’t necessarily coming down. Do you think that it would be smart for them to come out with an exclusive Blu-ray to kind of force people that direction now that the players are getting more affordable?
Roger Chang I mean, studios can’t afford to. I think part of the issue was that Blu-ray wasn’t – was still a growing or a changing spec when it first came out. So unlike HDVD where you had all this functionality straight out of the gate, it took Blu-ray until like what’s it at now, 2.0, to do a lot of the things that HDVD could do where I get picture in picture, you could have a lot of the extras superimposed on top of the movie while both were still running. And that was – I thought that was pretty compelling but it wasn’t something that all the Blu-ray publishers did out of the gate because they knew the players out there didn’t support it. So they aimed for the lowest common denominator. So basically what you had were really nice-looking movies that were really no different than your standard DVD.
Ryan Block To be fair, Sony has attempted to respond, I think, to the demand for online video by building in a decent movie download store into the PS3 but then Microsoft just one-upped them and then at E3 they announced that they were going to do 1080p downloads which nobody has ever done that before. Nobody has ever done 1080p in any way shape of form over the Internet on any kind of a large scale. So, I mean, clearly at this point, Microsoft is doing a really good job at chipping away at the viability of Blu-ray, I mean it’s just hard to see Blu-ray as being that necessary. If you can get a large amount of content on an Xbox downloadable in 1080p which is the same as you are going to get on Blu-ray.
Veronica Belmont Yeah, we have talked about this time and time again. Go ahead.
Patrick Norton That’s assuming you can afford it though.
Tom Merritt Patrick Norton is that your voice coming in?
Veronica Belmont Oh hey.
Patrick Norton In theory, I was trying to talk before but nothing was happening, so…
Tom Merritt Patrick is joining us, host of Tekzilla and the new HD Nation show on Revision3 which makes it appropriate for you to jump in on this one.
Patrick Norton Well I have one thing; I don’t think anybody other than Microsoft can afford to distribute 1080p video online right now. And I think saying that the Roku and the Netflix solutions, I mean there are certainly near HD quality but they are not quite there, especially if you are watching on a 1080p screen. I think it’s still – I think HD for the most part is still on the early adopter side of things. I think this Christmas is going to be interesting to watch but the whole Magnavox thing, it’s – you know, Ryan nailed it; it’s a loss leader, it’s a bogus brand, it’s not a viable player; most of them are going to dead inside of two years, and the $100 players aren’t going to be around probably till next spring. Maybe – sorry.
Ryan Block When you look at the market, I mean what it really comes down to I think, most people would prefer the convenience over that bump in quality. Most people would rather have a super convenient way to get something that is DVD quality, not really anything that’s worse but that is at least DVD quality, than they would really care about going out of their way and paying an extra amount of money on top of that to get something that’s 1080p.
Roger Chang Most people don’t buy DVDs though, most people rent DVDs.
Patrick Norton Yeah exactly, exactly. So for all these downloading and streaming and various Netflix like solutions that are way more convenient, I mean that seems to be like where things are going.
Veronica Belmont I mean but don’t you think there is still…
Roger Chang Yeah, but if you could just upload to a –
Veronica Belmont I think there is still a population of people out there that don’t have access to high quality broadband connections and who probably don’t play video games, I mean there is still half the population that isn’t online all the time and doesn’t want to have to – doesn’t even know what Roku is, doesn’t even know that there is Netflix on the Xbox and still want to go to Blockbuster and get a DVD.
Tom Merritt Yeah, and if you remember those $85 DVDs that came out in like ’99 or – those were horrible but the perception of being able to get one for cheaper drove people into the marketplace more, even if they didn’t buy that one.
Ryan Block And I mean the kind of people that you’re describing, while they certainly do exist they are not the kind of people who have a $20,000 HD rig that is really going to do justice to a nicely mastered Blu-ray.
Roger Chang But you don’t need a $20,000 HD rig; a $2,000 television right now is phenomenal. The 240 Hz televisions coming out from Sony and Samsung, like you can get them for under 2,000 delivered from Amazon, no shipping, $250 Blu-ray player and they look amazing if you have the right content, if the content is not encoded. And also, I have a question for Bob, what were you watching the DVD on when you say that you don’t need Blu-ray and you can’t see the quality difference?
Robert Llewellyn No, I can – yes, I knew that I would get called out on that. I could see the quality difference; there is no question of that, but for me the experience of the jump-in technological manipulation, the change from a VHS which is what I grew up with, VHSs were really cool and you could watch a film at home on a VHS tape; that was a major breakthrough. And then everybody got them. When they first came out, because I am very old, I can remember when VHSs first came out, and it was very exciting.
Patrick Norton I can remember when there were no VHSs!
Robert Llewellyn But then the jump from that to a disc that you put in, that you could jump forward, you could jump to any point, you didn’t have to rewind tape. It was basically the disadvantage of tape and that jump was phenomenal. It was extraordinary and really made it different, made the whole experience different and when they got cheaper then they – that’s what I am saying, is that if there was something that was like a bit of gel that you threw at a screen and it became the picture, that’s game changing. That would make me go “I want that!”
Ryan Block No, I’m, with you there; it’s an improvement in quality, it’s not a shift in paradigm and the shift from VHS to DVD, that was a change, that was a paradigm shift.
Tom Merritt Should they have made Blu-ray smaller?
Ryan Block Like physically smaller?
Tom Merritt Yeah exactly. I mean with that, that’s the kind of thing we are talking about. I mean that was one of the things with DVD, it’s like oh it takes up less room on my shelf.
Ryan Block I don’t think it’s the size of the disc that matters, the alternative is no disc at all.
Roger Chang It’s always the size! Well, no. I think Ryan and Bob both hit it, it’s that – I mean I don’t remember if any of you used audio cassettes, but I remember back in when we all had walkmans, to rewind it to save battery you’d stick it on a pencil and you’d kind of run it backwards on your pencil to rewind it. Being able to jump from track to track on a CD in any order that you wanted without actually having to wait for something to rewind 10 minutes, 9 minutes or whatever to get to where you were was amazing and that’s what DVD did for video. I mean hey now I can pause it and the picture doesn’t look like it’s shaking or jittering in the middle. I can move backwards, I can move forwards and I don’t hear my tape get chewed up in my VCR. It’s amazing.
Patrick Norton The tape doesn’t wear out.
Roger Chang The thing with Blu-ray is that it doesn’t bring anything currently that I find compelling enough to migrate to even though I did buy a Blu-ray player this weekend but that’s just because of work.
Tom Merritt How much did you pay?
Roger Chang I paid 240 at Costco.
Veronica Belmont Are you totally mad now that there is a $100 version?
Roger Chang No, because I actually like the one I got. But I mean just all the feature sets that are on it don’t really seem compelling. It’s like oh cool I can download clips from the web, how amazing is that versus being able to see…
Patrick Norton So, nobody here other than me really enjoys the quality improvement?
Ryan Block I enjoy the quality –
Patrick Norton [indiscernible]
Ryan Block I pay extra Netflix for Blu-ray. I watch if I can get it on Blu-ray I will watch it but that’s if I can. I am not going to pay a lot of extra money to buy something on Blu-ray.
Patrick Norton But you don’t buy DVDs anyway.
Ryan Block I think most people won’t, I think that’s the problem with Blu-ray.
Patrick Norton I have seen your house, you own like two DVDs and like 400 games!
Ryan Block Yeah, no but I’m talking about – I’m talking about when I rent; I will pay that premium to Netflix to get the Blu-ray.
Tom Merritt Does anybody remember quadraphonic?
Roger Chang Yes.
Ryan Block Yes.
Tom Merritt Quadraphonic records.
Roger Chang My friend had it in his van.
Tom Merritt Is Blu-ray the – that is exactly right. That is where quadraphonic would be found in its heyday in the 70s. It was supposed to be the next best thing above stereo, right, is we’d have four channels of sound. They actually mastered whole albums specifically for quadraphonic, sold them on high-quality LPs. It was similar to Blu-ray in that you didn’t have to – you had the same form factor although was different because you could play them on a regular LP player, although you didn’t get the quadraphonics unless you bought the new one. Is Blu-ray going to be like that, where it’s like – it only appeals to the people who are really into video the way quadraphonic only really appealed to the people who are really into audio.
Patrick Norton I would be more worried if it was the new SACD. Where it’s taken like 15 years for SACD to come up to speed and it’s finally to the point where even the audiophile community – that’s really freaking me out when you guys do that. SACD is like, it’s phenomenal, it’s phenomenal audio quality, but the adoption curve has been minor at best.
Tom Merritt I think Blu-ray is already more successful than SACD, wouldn’t you say?
Patrick Norton Absolutely.
Roger Chang I think the thing with – Pat, though, is that it’s not that I don’t enjoy the quality improvements, it’s only with certain movies that I actually care to see the improvement. If it’s like a Will Ferrell comedy, I could care less if it was on UHF at like 12 a.m. in the morning because I am not going to be nitpicky about the image quality. But if it’s something like Spartacus or some really grand movie that I [indiscernible].
Patrick Norton Spartacus.
Ryan Block That sentence is just so full of good stuff. Roger you watch UHF at 2:30 in the morning? How do you even do that?
Patrick Norton And Spartacus.
Ryan Block They scrapped those bands.
Roger Chang Well, okay I used to, right but I mean the thing is there are certain movies that I am willing to fork out the extra money to see that quality, like for example Watchmen. When Watchmen comes out with the special edition Blu-ray, I am going to buy that because I want to see it that way. I bought the Dark Knight the same way. I didn’t opt for the DVD because it was a movie that I was interested enough in to get the high quality version. But if it’s something that it’s, again if it’s like a throwaway movie that I just want to kill like an hour or two on a plane, I could care less what format it’s on, as long as –
Patrick Norton If it’s a throwaway movie you are going to watch on the plane, you are going to steal it online anyway Roger. You are not going to pay any money, for it, and you’re not going to care what format it’s in.
Roger Chang Well, that’s – yeah. But that said, when I run by an aisle that has $3 DVDs, you know, what’s $3? I bought like five $3 movies. If I didn’t like it, big deal $3. I can’t say the same thing for a $25 Blu-ray movie.
Patrick Norton No, but you couldn’t say the same thing about a $15 DVD five years ago either or $25 DVD.
Roger Chang And I didn’t buy a lot of those either. I bought like…
Patrick Norton You rented first. You rented at the same rate everything else costs and then if you really liked it you bought the DVD.
Roger Chang Yeah and that’s the same –
Patrick Norton Everybody is so hyped about “Blu-rays cost more than DVDs” and it’s yeah, well HD cable or HD satellite service costs more than standard def.
Roger Chang Someone made a comment that “Roger is cheap”. It is; it’s true.
Tom Merritt Roger is cheap. We got to reign it in here guys.
Veronica Belmont These are trying times.
Roger Chang The thing is like now I have so many more options to watch stuff. I can watch it on Hulu. I can watch it – somewhere else I can watch it on my Xbox. I am no longer limited to just VHS, TV, cable TV, and my DVD player. I have so many other sources, so...
Tom Merritt Robert you made the point earlier that you like to download and stream things, was that right?
Robert Llewellyn I mean I would do, yes I do do that and I mean – and I also do it legally, but I mean, so I get quite a few – I actually rent movies off iTunes, because that seems to make the most sense to me, because then – I don’t want to keep it – if I do want to keep it, if it’s the most brilliant film ever then I would buy the DVD. I don’t have a Blu-Ray player, I have no way of playing it.
Veronica Belmont I’m like the perfect customer. I just spent like 20 bucks this weekend buying a movie that I watched once and then deleted.
Robert Llewellyn Yes, that’s what –
Veronica Belmont Like that’s – I know I am crazy right, but I was –
Roger Chang Why did you buy it? Why didn’t you rent it?
Veronica Belmont Because it wasn’t available for renting yet.
Roger Chang You have Netflix.
Veronica Belmont No, but I wanted to watch on the plane now. You don’t understand, I had like a 10-hour plane ride. I had to fill that puppy up so I rented Confessions Of A Shopaholic.
Roger Chang I shake my head at you.
Veronica Belmont I mean buy. I bought it. Still have it, I’ll make you watch it, it’s great.
Tom Merritt Okay, so we have a few things going on here. One is we don’t need to own things as much anymore. Unless it’s like collectors edition or something you’re really a fan of. There’s also what you just said Veronica, which is the immediacy of it matters. I can’t rent a Blu-Ray DVD or even a regular DVD immediately. I at least – at the fastest I can run down the street and get it, but I can press down a button on my computer and get it right away, sometimes streaming instantly before it’s even finished downloading. It’s just a matter of access and we haven’t caught the model of access up to what people want yet.
Patrick Norton What is that? Since we seem to have multiple models of access Tom. I mean basically you’re saying – Roger wants it on any format available. Veronica wants instant availability. Ryan’s got enough, excuse me Ryan’s got enough patience to wait for Netflix to throw it up in his box. None of us go to video stores anymore if we can avoid it. Do any of us actually own more than a hundred DVDs other than me? Most people – that would make sense.
Roger Chang But that - again I waited for everything to drop in price before I bought it.
Patrick Norton Does everyone talking right now own – actually I know everybody. Bob’s the only one I don’t know. Bob, do you own an HD TV?
Robert Llewellyn No I don’t. No, I’ve got a very run-of-the-mill flat panel TV. I don’t watch that much TV. I’ve got a 24 inch iMac, which is what I watch a lot of movies on and we’ve got a projector. So we watch some stuff on that. We watch DVDs on the projector.
Veronica Belmont Projector is probably HD, no?
Robert Llewellyn What sorry?
Veronica Belmont Your projector is probably HD.
Robert Llewellyn The projector is HD. The DVD player going into it, which cost I think 19 pounds from Amazon – it was cheaper than the DVD I bought –
Tom Merritt That’s like US$180.
Robert Llewellyn No that’s about $19 at the current rate. No it’s about; it would be about $25, very, very cheap. And it was cheaper than the DVD I bought. So I thought ‘well I may as well have that too.’ So it’s not a flashy DVD player, it’s really bad. But it works. It’s never failed, it just – you put a DVD in and then it plays it. So I am working on very low tech. It was really for the kids, for my children to watch films on so the Mac –
Tom Merritt So you’re just not that interested in having the upgrade it sounds like?
Robert Llewellyn Yes, I can’t imagine that I would ever buy a Blu-Ray player. I mean the X-Box route is the most likely I think I’d probably do but you know I’ve got a 15-year old son, but then he is a classic example of the next generation. That he doesn’t even bother to illegally download films because his friends give him little thumb drives, little USB thumb drives with them on.
Tom Merritt Sneak around that piracy.
Robert Llewellyn And that’s how they swap them round. Yeah. There’s no, I mean someone in the local area is illegally downloading movies, but I don’t know who, we don’t know who it is. But I mean I have seen pre-released Hollywood films at DVD quality on my son’s computer from a thumb drive and I mean –
Ryan Block I am not sure you want to admit those kinds of thing on the air.
Robert Llewellyn No I know. Well it’s not me; it’s him, he can get arrested.
Ryan Block ‘Arrest my son’!
Roger Chang ‘Ah it’s just my son take him’
Veronica Belmont Nice.
Tom Merritt You represent the new norm though. According to NPD group, they forecast that flat panel display cells are only going to rise 1% annually from 2008 until 2016. This is over an eight-year period. They think it’s only going to rise 1%. People –
Roger Chang Is that flat panel TVs or is that flat panels, the glass itself?
Ryan Block Flat panel displays in general. And so in that they lump together phones and notebooks, at least according to some of this report. But the thing that I think that these reports tend to get a lot of attention for is ‘oh, what does this mean for the industry?’ and ‘oh, the industry is failing’. It just means growth is slowing because saturation has gotten so great at this point.
Tom Merritt Have we reached saturation with this?
Tom Merritt It doesn’t mean that people are not buying TVs. It just means that the rate at which the industry is growing – I mean look you can have a humungous, you know a $20 billion a year industry. If it’s only growing 1% year, it’s still a $20 billion a year industry.
Veronica Belmont Well yeah, there’s nothing too new about any of the technology that’s forcing people to have to upgrade. So if they have a flat panel that’s obviously HD and working perfectly they don’t really need to buy a new TV. So until the next step in major technological upgrades happens, I don’t think we’re going to see much growth.
Tom Merritt So HD – unlike what we talked about earlier when DVD people threw out perfectly good working VHS to get a DVD. They’re not doing that with their television, they are waiting until their television breaks down or gets old or just doesn’t work anymore.
Patrick Norton But television has changed so much in the last 20 years. I mean I can remember when having one television was a norm in a house when I was in grade school. And then people started adding bigger televisions and then all of a sudden cable came out and suddenly there was a television in three or four rooms in the house.
Veronica Belmont Right but then I mean within the past five years there haven’t been too many significant changes.
Ryan Block Yeah, but again this is growth. This is not negative growth. This doesn’t mean that people aren’t buying these things. This just means it’s people who are either not buying second units or people who have not bought yet are starting to buy now. Or then there’s also of course the turnover rate of people who have bought in the past and are buying a new one and getting rid of their old ones. So, I mean again this is not a bad thing. This is actually, if anything else, this is a good thing. It means that the industry is doing reall well.
Roger Chang Not declining.
Patrick Norton Despite the fact that the – home sales have collapsed, durable goods have collapsed, the availability of credit has collapsed, people are paranoid about loading up credit cards.
Ryan Block Did he say herbal goods?
Tom Merritt Durable goods.
Roger Chang Durable goods.
Ryan Block Okay.
Tom Merritt Although herbal goods probably are doing pretty well in this market.
Veronica Belmont No yeah.
Tom Merritt LDC TVs which make up the largest chunk of the flat panel market are expected to see almost no revenue growth over the next eight years. Doesn’t that make business people panic though? They want to see growth all the time…
Ryan Block Yeah but this is an analyst report Tom.
Tom Merritt …because everything we’re talking about is sensible. But what are businesses going to do?
Ryan Block Tom, this is like clicking on a Digg headline. These guys are basically trying to get people to pay a lot of money for their reports. They don’t do that by going ‘everything’s the same as last year.’ They do that by –
Veronica Belmont He’s saying you’re picking a bad story, that’s what he said.
Tom Merritt It’s a bad story?
Ryan Block No, it’s not a bad story.
Veronica Belmont It think that’s what he’s insinuating, yeah.
Ryan Block I think a lot of the economic analysis that comes out of – that are like – you mean you read these things and it’s like, I have read ones where it was obvious the person writing the analysis never owned or worked with any of the products or you look at it and they’re – it’s a classic case of the headline being better than the report, or they ignore things like major changes in the market. I mean, it will be fun to see what this report looks like five years from now if anyone of us can even remember it.
Tom Merritt Let’s move on shall we?
Veronica Belmont The chatroom apparently really wants you to move on.
Tom Merritt Yeah the chatroom is done with this, which I am assuming everyone else is. So actually we probably want to take another break because we have another sponsor that Leo needs to take care of so he can continue to have his show after we’ve ruined it. So bear with us a little bit and we’ll be back in just a few.
Leo Laporte Meanwhile back at the TWiT cottage Leo Laporte sneaks in and takes over TWiT. I know I’m in China right now, I’ll be back soon but I had to mention audible.com/twit2. You know how much I love Audible. It’s not just Jason, oh no, I love Audible too. Let me tell you something, I have been in Audible remember longer then he has, since 2001, 323 books, something like that, no it must be more than that now. Let me look at my library, curious, see how many books I have purchased on audible.com. I have the Platinum account which gives me two books a month. Actually I have had it since – for so long I have the old name, it’s called Light Listener. No, no I am heavy listener, twice – let me see how books, let’s see…program types, past…all time books, total number of all time books that I have listened to – I download new books all the time – in fact I just bought some extras, because I wanted books on China but Audible’s such a wonderful research – whether you’re at work, at the gym, commuting, flying in the plane, I just use Audible like, to prevent boredom.
Audible.com/twit2 for the Platinum account, two books a month and the first two books are free, first two credits are free. So a lot of wonderful choices on Audible. An amazing array of books. Go right now and browse. By the way the new Audible enhanced audio file format is amazing. Full quality, CD quality, it’s as good as it gets. But they have smaller file formats depending on the player, plays on hundreds of different devices, most of the MP3 players, your Zune, your iPod, your iPhone, your Kindle. Audible.com/twit2. If you go there right now sign up for the Platinum account your first two books are free. You’re going to love Audible. I have been a member – now, it says since 1997 and they celebrated their 10th anniversary last year, but I don’t think that they really were on the map until around 2000, 2001, that’s when I joined. I was a long time audio book listener and when I found Audible I just flipped my lid.
Yeah 400 books now I have listened to. 400. That’s pretty good. Start right now, start your collection. You’ll get to 400 in no time. Audible.com/twit2.
Tom Merritt That’s the Leo-bot that Colleen’s been working very hard on. I have to say it’s very convincing.
Veronica Belmont The likeness is uncanny.
Tom Merritt Now Patrick, MPD Group came out with a story saying that the world is round. I think this is probably over-hyped – no I am just kidding.
Patrick Norton Usually you’re better at mocking me, Tom.
Tom Merritt I stole that one from the chatroom. UK’s National Portrait Gallery is threatening to sue Wikipedia. Now this is interesting because there are 3,000 images of paintings all from the 19th century or earlier and firmly in the public domain.
Veronica Belmont Oh, okay. That’s the big caveat here.
Tom Merritt “The photos are a product of painstaking exercise on the part of the photographer” says the National Portrait Gallery of London. So their suit isn’t against the images, it’s against those particular images. It is not – in other words it’s not against the paintings, it’s against the photos.
Patrick Norton So the publicly paid for photos that were made available on a public website shouldn’t be made available that are in the public…
Veronica Belmont …that are in the public domain.
Patrick Norton Even though the public – even though the National Portrait Gallery have been mandated to make its paintings more available to the public…
Tom Merritt They call downloading them “an unlawful circumvention of technical measures” although as Patrick sort of hinted at, the taxpayer funded mission of the MPEGs to promote the appreciation and understanding of portraiture.
Veronica Belmont That’s baloney.
Ryan Block I am looking at Robert over here.
Roger Chang I don’t know I’m just catching up on the story on the Londonist.
Robert Llewellyn I wish I could talk about it with enormous artistic merit, the wonderful National Portrait Gallery, which is extraordinary. There is no doubt about it, it does – it is really confusing. I think the whole – I mean it brings up the whole question of ownership, on who owns what and how you own it and what is – because that whole thing has been thrown out. I mean, it used to be very obvious, you go into an art gallery and you took a picture of a painting and they’d tell you off, that was wrong, you’re not allowed to do it. But now you don’t need to go into – you don’t need to do that, you can just –
Ryan Block Yeah but that was for the flash usually, not for the actual copyright at the port – I mean in a lot cases –
Tom Merritt Well it may have started that way but I think it’s become –
Robert Llewellyn Yeah but you wouldn’t – even if you did use – I’ll tell you if you went in the National Portrait Gallery with camera with no flash, even today they’d get a bit sniffy, those men in the uniforms wouldn’t like it.
Tom Merritt Oh! Yeah. Pretty much any gallery will do that to you I was in a – the Picasso Museum in Barcelona with the iPhone out and they’re like ‘no you cannot take a picture’.
Veronica Belmont Oh I get yelled at so many times trying to walk around the Louvre and take pictures. They don’t like that. They don’t like that.
Robert Llewellyn They don’t like it, no. But I mean then who does – you know that is – it certainly affected – the thing I was mentioning earlier on with my son, I mean those things have affected directly my income. So many people illegally or, whatever you like to call it, download Red Dwarf for instance whereas five years ago they used to buy the DVDs, well that is you know I’ve felt that personally. You know, we’ve all seen a very large drop in sales, which is, I think is fair enough, it’s part of the way the world’s changing but it is – how can I possibly say that, it’s ridiculous, it’s – if we can see the pictures anywhere then okay, they’re on Wikipedia as well, it’s crazy.
Tom Merritt Well that’s what’s really unusual about this is that it’s not even a fair use argument, fair use being…
Robert Llewellyn Yeah.
Tom Merritt …it’s copyrighted but this is an exception to that copyright that is defensible. These are public domain paintings, so that we get into this culture where the copyright it’s become such a bugaboo and we’re so afraid of losing the rights that you’re talking about with Red Dwarf and losing the money that they – I feel like there’s a lot of over compensation that’s happening and this is – this is a definite example of that.
Ryan Block Well, it’s maybe they’re worried about losing traffic at thenationalportraitgallery.com.uk and they need the banner ads to pay for things or something.
Robert Llewellyn Yeah, maybe, yeah.
Ryan Block Because they’re, they’re very – the legal letter – the legal threats vary like ‘these images are taken on behalf of our client, the client holds the copyright on the images. Even though their public domain images, you took them. They’re watermarked, you took them from our database and…’ it’s kind of sad though when you get right down to it.
Tom Merritt Yes.
Ryan Block Isn’t the whole point of public – isn’t the whole point of this museum to spread the work, I’m wondering like what the internal argument was about this?
Tom Merritt It’s you know, it smacks of lawyers to me, which is someone saying ‘well if we let them do this then that could set a precedent for this and to cover everything we should make a complaint and get these things taken down so we have total control.’
Now I’m interesting – interested with something Robert said about how you felt the effect of piracy on Red Dwarf. Do you think though that people are exaggerating how much damage has been done. Because a lot of times the industry comes out with these billions and billions of dollars, or do you think that that’s dead on?
Robert Llewellyn I mean I think it has had an effect, there’s no doubt about. I mean, I know the people who for instance. particularly with Red Dwarf, I know the people very well who distribute that DVD, a big company in the UK. And their overall sales across the board are down 20%. Now that isn’t, in some ways isn’t as much as I would have expected, I would have thought it was more. And one of the interesting things that we’ve found out recently and it’ll be – it’ll take time before we know for sure, but, so for instance we did this new, a new series of Red Dwarf this year, which was shown on UKTV.
Now I was getting messages, I was getting Twitter messages within 20 minutes of it being broadcasted in the UK from the US, people who has seen in the US and were making comments on it, because they – someone had, you know copied it, put it on to a bit torrent and someone opened it in America and had seen it. I mean, it was – it was within – it was breathtaking how quickly it happened. And there were something like 2.5 million bit torrent, it was being tracked. But what’s interesting is, from what I’ve heard, it hasn’t affected DVD sales, i.e., people who downloaded it and watched it went ‘oh that’s really good I want to see it and have now bought the DVD.’ So it’s really – it’s a really difficult thing – the producer of Red Dwarf was thrilled when he heard about how many bit torrents there were. Because he thought it was a very good sign, you know, so it’s a very mixed –
Tom Merritt That’s very enlightened.
Robert Llewellyn Well he is very enlightened. The people who – the people from the TV company were less thrilled strangely.
Tom Merritt I think we are moving towards a situation where you have to accept – and I have said this a million times, so anybody who has listened to anything I’ve done on Buzz Out Loud or anything will roll their eyes, but we have to accept that the Internet is infinitely copyable, that digital content is infinitely copyable and we have to adjust our business models to that. And it’s going to be painful while we do that, but that’s a great example of how you can turn it to your advantage, which is even though you didn’t do on purpose necessarily, having Red Dwarf out there was a publicity…
Robert Llewellyn Yeah.
Tom Merritt …a publicity stunt, if you will, which helped out.
Robert Llewellyn And which cost the producers nothing. They didn’t – you know, you imagine, to get your product to 2.5 million eyeballs would be incredibly expensive in the old media format and it didn’t cost them anything, they didn’t have to do anything. They just had to broadcast it and a few people recorded it and off it went!
Tom Merritt All right the Apple iPhone MMS has been delayed here in the United States – are you an iPhone user Robert?
Robert Llewellyn I am – yes I am and I think it works here already.
Tom Merritt Yeah, I was going to say, we all hate you now, because you have it. We have to wait until September.
Robert Llewellyn Yeah.
Tom Merritt Also according to appmodo.com it’s going to be 55 bucks for the tethering.
Roger Chang I don’t know about that.
Tom Merritt You know – yeah? You think it’s..?
Roger Chang I mean, you basically have to take their word on it right now.
Tom Merritt Yeah, this is not an official announcement, so…
Patrick Norton So 55 –
Roger Chang No, no it’s not and I don’t know about you guys, but I have never really heard of appmoto before this story, so. I mean if you look at how that price kind of plays to the rest of the market, I mean it’s in the $40 range tethering on other networks, wouldn’t surprise me if AT&T went that high. It also doesn’t surprise you know that AT&T is not going to be doing the MMS on the iPhone for a little while. But I mean again, you know, even if that was the case it’s almost not news. You almost expect to be abused by AT&T.
Tom Merritt Yeah, exactly. In fact there it’s almost news that it’s not $65.
Roger Chang Right, exactly.
Veronica Belmont What do – I’m unfamiliar with pricing on other tethering plans, is that around typical…
Ryan Block It’s around 40 –
Veronica Belmont …or is that higher?
Ryan Block Yeah, I mean, if you just get 3G service, flat 3G service, it’s usually between 55 and $65.
Roger Chang Correct.
Ryan Block So, the tethering, they kind of knock off a little bit on that to kind of make it a little value for users of the service already, especially because you’re already paying for data technically, which is why I think, a lot of people just use the tethering anyway unauthorized.
Patrick Norton Yeah appmoto is claiming it’s going to be 55 on top of your $35 data plan, which is…
Tom Merritt Right.
Tom Merritt It’s – I mean 55 is – that’s what I’m paying per month for my Sprint modem and it’s like mmm…
Tom Merritt You only pay 55 for your Sprint modem?
Patrick Norton Yeah but I’ve had it for a couple of - I’ve had it –
Tom Merritt Oh so you’re grandfathered in, yeah.
Patrick Norton Yeah. I mean I’ve had it for a couple of years plus it’s – I mean, I’m also frustrated because Sprint finally gave up the 5 gigabyte cap that they – they basically have – were unlimited up until last November, then they finally stepped in line with Verizon and AT&T.
Roger Chang Oh come on Patrick, like you ever hit that 5 gig cap.
Veronica Belmont You don’t know Patrick very well, obviously.
Patrick Norton Download – hey Mr. I-download-all-my-movies-online, download three movies, you’ve blown through a 5 gigabyte cap.
Ryan Block Do you download your movies over EVDO? You really expect me to believe that?
Patrick Norton I’ve downloaded movies –
Ryan Block You really expect me to believe that?
Patrick Norton I’ve downloaded movies over EVDO, I didn’t say do it all the time, but I’ve also driven 900 miles in 36 hours just so I can attend the race on the other side of Nevada, I don’t cocoon as well as –
Veronica Belmont You’ve got to download movies for that trip. That’s a long trip.
Ryan Block You have to be reasonable Patrick I mean, these are – this is not typical, right. Most people don’t do that.
Patrick Norton I didn’t sign with Sprint because I wanted to be reasonable, I signed with Sprint because at the time they had the best speed and they had no data cap and now they’ve removed one of my two motivations. I mean, I am not surprised AT&T’s pushing MMS because their network’s a mess. I’ve got a couple of friends of mine who are like ‘dude, I haven’t been able to call you in like a month’ and it’s like ‘yeah, the phone – my phone is basically stopped working in my neighborhood while they’re messing around in the neighborhood, my wife’s got connectivity problems.’ AT&T is sucking even worse than it did last year.
Tom Merritt I feel like AT&T’s network at least here in the Bay area, which is all I can speak to, has gotten worse over the past month.
Veronica Belmont Oh it gets progressively worse.
Ryan Block The more iPhones get out there the worse it gets.
Roger Chang Yeah, they’re desperate.
Ryan Block It’s getting really – it’s beyond pathetic.
Veronica Belmont Is there a reason why they aren’t doing anything to up the bandwidth or to make it better?
Ryan Block Yeah.
Roger Chang They are, they’re –
Tom Merritt Well who says they’re not doing anything?
Veronica Belmont Does it hate me personally? Is that it? Oh man. Crap.
Patrick Norton No, they’re moving to 850 megahertz both in New York and San Francisco and elsewhere. They’ve purchased bandwidth, they’ve purchased bandwidth at a better frequency, but it’s just going to take them – I think they’re desperately trying to get it rolled out before Christmas.
Tom Merritt Is it like the Bay Bridge where they’ve refused to fix the pot holes on the East Bay side because they’re building the new bridge, so they’re just letting the old network go to crap while they build the new one?
Patrick Norton I think based on the conversations I’ve had with people like Sascha Segan from PCMag and some people I’ve met over the years ‘in the industry’ as they say, is that they’re just – their networks are just absolutely hammered in San Francisco and…
Veronica Belmont Yeah, it figures, but then you got the whole echo chamber, I mean that we are a significant part of sometimes. You know whining about it to the rest of the country, you think that maybe they’d help it out a little bit.
Ryan Block The bottom – no, but the bottom line for the Bay area is actually that they just don’t have enough spectrum here.
Veronica Belmont Mmhmm.
Roger Chang Yeah.
Ryan Block They just simply do not have enough wireless spectrum in this area. I’m sure that, you know, they’re doing their best.
Tom Merritt There was a good PC world article that tested it out on a lot of places and AT&T wasn’t really great in a whole lot of places.
Ryan Block No, AT&T does not have a great reputation. But I’m saying, specifically we’re talking about the Bay area. Specifically this area they have a great dearth of spectrum in and they need to take care of that.
Tom Merritt Let’s stop talking about the bay area and the iPhone and talk about the Palm Pre actually, which according to Engadget, Cleanser from the PreCentral Forum has managed to unlock the CDMA radio so that you can use the Palm Pre to get voice and SMS on Verizon.
Veronica Belmont And they’re working on data. Looks like –
Tom Merritt Data’s still a no go right now but they are working on it, yeah. Does that change the game for anybody, if you could – I know Robert’s going to have to just, you know, fall asleep on this because no CDMA where you are. But does that change anyone’s mind do you think out there?
Ryan Block Well, Verizon already announced that they’re doing the Pre next year.
Tom Merritt They did and then AT&T said they weren’t and then they said ‘oh maybe we said too much’ but they didn’t deny it and it’s kind of unclear.
Ryan Block No, no. Well the Pre is coming, or a Palm device is coming, likely the Pre, to Verizon earlyish next year. So I don’t know.
Tom Merritt So don’t worry about it, just wait.
Ryan Block But I mean, the other thing is you’re not going to be able to get a Pre at a reasonable price, just unlock it, use it on Verizon and it’s hacked so maybe it’s going to get that from – I mean this is kind of like back in the day, you know, buying an iPhone at full price to unlock it to use it on T-Mobile.
Veronica Belmont T-Mobile is awesome. I love T-Mobile.
Ryan Block Yeah, it’s not the kind of thing I think that a lot of people would do.
Veronica Belmont True.
Ryan Block And especially knowing and unlike the iPhone at the time, the Pre is coming to Verizon and nobody is disputing that. It’s just a matter of when.
Tom Merritt All right, so Roger any disagreement there?
Roger Chang It’s a CDMA phone, don’t care.
Tom Merritt Yeah, that’s it. I think we’re all where Robert already is by geography, which is, get off of CDMA.
Roger Chang If it were a GSM phone I’d show a lot more interest but it’s not so it’s kind of…
Ryan Block Oh, CDMA does work great in rural Nevada.
Roger Chang All the places where I don’t spend a lot of my time.
Veronica Belmont Do you download movies over it?
Roger Chang No, but I’ve downloaded audio over it in the past when I – with my short stint as a Verizon customer.
Tom Merritt Got you. Few other stories to get to hear, I’d like to mention the Mario Marathon that’s been going on.
Veronica Belmont Yay.
Tom Merritt It’ll probably be done by the time a lot of people listen to this show but ustream.tv/channel/mario-marathon, these folks have been at it all weekend long playing Mario to raise money for kids toys for hospitals.
Veronica Belmont Yeah for Child’s Play.
Roger Chang Cool.
Veronica Belmont Which is a great charity; I’ve actually done some fund-raising for them as well in the past.
Ryan Block So I tuned in right before we left to drive up here. Those guys look so cracked out.
Veronica Belmont Do they?
Ryan Block They look – they were like in a rough shape.
Veronica Belmont Oh man.
Ryan Block They were not…
Veronica Belmont How long did they play for? The full weekend or..?
Tom Merritt Yeah, I’m trying to check and see if – I’m trying to load it right now to see if they’re still going buy yeah they –
Ryan Block When I got in there it was at like 50 hours or something like that.
Roger Chang Oh.
Veronica Belmont Wow.
Tom Merritt 60 something hours.
Ryan Block And they were all like incoherent, it was great. It was actually really entertaining.
Veronica Belmont I can imagine they’re going to be seeing some Mario jumping around behind their eyelids for a few days after this. You know how when you play video games for a long time and you close your eyes and then suddenly –
Tom Merritt Oh and the music. The music is still going through them. So where are they at right now, money-wise at least?
Roger Chang 18 – I heard 18,034?
Tom Merritt Yeah, yeah, that’s what it looks like. Wow, that is some dedication. So anyway, shout out to them.
Veronica Belmont Yeah, good on you.
Tom Merritt Good on you for just being able to be awake.
Veronica Belmont I know.
Tom Merritt And do that.
Veronica Belmont I could have done it this weekend after being so jet lagged.
Tom Merritt You could have?
Veronica Belmont I actually probably could have pulled that off. Yeah.
Tom Merritt Yeah.
Veronica Belmont I stayed up until like 4 reading that book last night.
Tom Merritt Maybe the next time you go on a long distance trip that should be your way of recovering, is to do a marathon.
Veronica Belmont Yeah.
Roger Chang For charity.
Veronica Belmont I will maybe do that.
Tom Merritt And also – and finally the memristors story. This is on newscientist.com. Who had a chance to read this?
Veronica Belmont I did not get this far.
Tom Merritt All the way through to the end and understand every last bit of it.
Veronica Belmont I started reading it.
Tom Merritt No, lots of shaking of heads. Memristors are a – it’s the missing piece of, what? Resistors, capacitors and transistors?
Ryan Block You’re asking me, what do I look like I have a degree in electrical engineering or something Tom?
Tom Merritt You kind of do.
Ryan Block Is it my UniX hippy beard, right yeah?
Tom Merritt It’s, yeah, the beard is getting to electrical engineering status there.
Memristors – if you want to know the effect, if you’re like ‘you know I don’t want to care about all this, what are they are going to do for me?’ Well, first of all, they’ll make faster RAM possible, they’ll make faster hard drives possible, ala flash memory, but also they think they work the way our neurons work so it could be a way to make artificial brains.
Veronica Belmont Oooh…we were just watching Caprica this weekend and I don’t want to give anything away.
Tom Merritt But they use memristors to make miss silos.
Veronica Belmont Sure. Maybe. But you should watch it.
Ryan Block Look if it’s going to enable the pending robot apocalypse, I am both excited and terrified.
Tom Merritt Right.
Veronica Belmont Agreed. Agreed.
Tom Merritt What if they – what if it could actually be able to accept a brain image from you into a new brain?
Ryan Block Yeah, I don’t really buy that, I mean I – not the concept, the concept seems I guess crazy but feasible, but I don’t really buy that that’s actually a valid transfer of consciousness, you know. Just because it’s a copy of you doesn’t mean that it’s you.
Roger Chang So what your – so it’s a philosophical question for you, Ryan.
Ryan Block Yeah, but I think we’re also kind of getting off the topic I mean this is crazy technology, Roger.
Roger Chang It could be…
Tom Merritt ‘Ryan!’
Roger Chang So is, you know, Hyperdrive, but don’t have one of those anytime soon.
Veronica Belmont I want a replica here.
Tom Merritt But this is real Roger, we haven’t discovered HyperDrive. This is something where we actually –
Roger Chang Oh we’ve discovered HyperDrive, Tom, that’s what Area 51 is for.
Tom Merritt Now we are in the no agenda territory. I love – Robert do you have – you’ve played robots, do you have any extra insight on this?
Robert Llewellyn Yes. I’m very – I’ve been playing robots for years, I mean I’m very excited by it – it’s not – I didn’t see it on the list, if it was on my list I missed it, the story. So I want to read it now. I mean I’m fascinated by it. I wrote a play 25 years ago about a – which is how I ended up in Red Dwarf, which is, you know about a machine – a thinking machine and that whole concept of – I mean there’s a lot of, well all those –
Ryan Block A robot.
Robert Llewellyn Yes. But all those theories about the number of computers on the internet replicating the number of neurons in the brain, fascinating. And there is some other new step. I mean I’m equally terrified and fascinated by it, so it’s a real – I’m conflicted about the whole area you know, because I think it is – something along those lines is inevitably going to be happen if we don’t run out of water and air.
Tom Merritt Yeah, no kidding. We do have to survive to get so far to use this as a survival mechanism as well.
Ryan Block Okay, don’t worry, if we don’t run out of water and air and we do make this happen, I’m sure that the robots will cut off our water and air.
Veronica Belmont Terraforming. No, terraforming is the next step.
Robert Llewellyn Yes, they will. They will do.
Tom Merritt Terraforming Mars?
Veronica Belmont Yeah. Or the Moon.
Tom Merritt Or the Moon.
Veronica Belmont Most likely Mars.
Ryan Block Well we can just give the robots the Moon. They can have it. We don’t need it.
Veronica Belmont No, I would like – I guess.
Tom Merritt Then they’ll get mad and come back and wipe us out for exiling them to the moon. You don’t want to anger them, Ryan.
Ryan Block It’s true.
Veronica Belmont To end on a high note.
Tom Merritt No I think the most fascinating part of this article for me and it is a pretty thick article, is the fact that memristors they think may actually work the way neurons work, meaning that instead of having to have an analog of, this many computers, this many processors working would emulate, that they could actually build the memristors system to work the way the neurons work.
Robert Llewellyn So we’ll have Alzheimer’s and questionably memory and weird sociological…
Roger Chang Robots with Alzheimer’s. Great.
Tom Merritt That could be our salvation right there.
Veronica Belmont Hey, I did – that makes me think of the 23andMe stuff which I did, which I’m really excited about. That’s another topic I’ve been talking about all weekend.
Tom Merritt Oh right, yeah. Do you think that’s irresponsible?
Veronica Belmont What?
Tom Merritt To have a web company tell you what’s your genetic profile is?
Veronica Belmont No, I don’t know. I don’t know it is –
Roger Chang Wait, they’re a web company, they’re not a genetics company?
Veronica Belmont They’re a genetics company, yeah.
Roger Chang They happen to be on the web.
Tom Merritt Right, okay.
Veronica Belmont Right. But yeah, I mean you have to answer a lot of questions and you feel a little bit like ‘ooh, do I really want this information out there in the world, you know, just floating around?’ And your name is tied to it so it’s out there. But I am more curious about my ancestory more than the genetic issues I guess. You know because they look for a lot of genetic disorders. But I also think that it’s important that we can study all this data and kind of learn more from it and put it out there on the web and have people contribute to the study of genetics.
Tom Merritt So you fill out a survey, swab your cheek, send it in to them and they do a genetics profile?
Roger Chang They take a blood sample don’t they?
Veronica Belmont Essentially yeah. What Roger?
Roger Chang I thought they took a blood sample.
Veronica Belmont No, no, you – there’s a test tube that you have spit into for like five minutes.
Ryan Block For five minutes?
Veronica Belmont You have to get – a lot of spit, yeah.
Ryan Block Wow.
Veronica Belmont It’s really gross.
Tom Merritt All right, well we’ve descended into all of us dying…
Veronica Belmont I’m sorry.
Tom Merritt …and spitting into test tubes, so let’s – any final thoughts before we wrap it up here? With a very fine and longstanding show that we’ve now been able to wreck in Leo’s absence.
Veronica Belmont We’re sorry Leo. We tried. We really, really tried.
Tom Merritt No I think it’s been fantastic, I have really enjoyed talking to you all and thanks to Leo for giving me the opportunity to sit in and thanks to Colleen and Dane for doing such a great job co-operating and making it happen. Robert, thank you for staying up late and…
Robert Llewellyn Thanks, no problem.
Tom Merritt …chatting with us crazy people about all this stuff.
Robert Llewellyn No it’s been great, I’ve been 90% of the time completely out of my depth, but the 10% I was with you I really enjoyed.
Tom Merritt Well you couldn’t tell by looking, it was fantastic to hear your insights and talk with you. And if people want to find out more about you, where should they go?
Robert Llewellyn Well, I think I would love to – I would love them to go to watch Carpool, which is my weekly podcast where I talk to interesting people, including interestingly coming up soon Leo Laporte. He drove me – I drove him around Petaluma, we saw the wonderful sights of Petaluma, it’s a great show.
Tom Merritt Well, that’s the cool thing about Carpool you actually get people to jump in the car with you, it’s – there was a show called Drivetime, have you ever heard of it, out of Connecticut – or out of Boston? It’s a similar –
Robert Llewellyn Ah, no I haven’t. I’ve been looking around for other similar shows, yeah, yeah.
Tom Merritt Yeah, yeah. But I’ve watched a couple of episodes and I’m sorry to hear about your Prius by the way.
Robert Llewellyn Yes it did get rather bent, it’s in sort of two pieces. But luckily I am in one piece so I was very lucky, I was – I think the official term is called t-boning, I was driven into the sides – a guy drove into the side of my car at 50 miles an hour, he didn’t see the very large stop sign. So it wasn’t my fault, so you know I don’t have a lot of guilt and I was knocked out when it happened so I don’t remember anything about it, so it – strangely, strangely even though I was knocked at and taken to hospital in an ambulance, I feel very lucky to be here.
Ryan Block Well, we’re just glad that you’re okay.
Tom Merritt Yeah, we’re absolutely glad…
Veronica Belmont Yeah.
Robert Llewellyn Absolutely.
Tom Merritt …you made it through and can keep making more Carpools. There’s a few more with the Prius in them, correct? They were pre-taped.
Robert Llewellyn There’s a few pre-taped ones and I was actually in the new model Prius with Leo when I came up to TWiT Cottage in May. So it was great fun, we had a great day there and I know for fact that all the people who work there are lovely.
Tom Merritt That’s absolutely true.
Robert Llewellyn That’s a fantastic image, fantastic image. A very mashed Prius. Mine is worse – much worse than that. It was seriously smashed to bits.
Tom Merritt And once again what’s that URL where people can go for Carpool?
Robert Llewellyn It’s Llewtube – llewtube.com. And it’s on iTunes.
Tom Merritt The ghostly voice of Patrick Norton, thanks for getting in with us. We’re so glad to have you on.
Patrick Norton Yeah my apologies for running late, I tried to do something new and exciting on an old XP system, actually it’s XP on a new Mini and the netbook was just evil – oh no, it’s finally logged in, that’s really insane. No I just tried re-launching into Skype one more time and after eight and a half minutes this time it actually was able to log-in. Skype hates me. Thanks for letting me come out guys, it was fun.
Tom Merritt No, it was good and you hopped in right at the right time, it was great having you on as usual, my friend. Roger Chang, it’s good to have you on too.
Roger Chang It is? Tom’s enthusiastic.
Tom Merritt I didn’t give Patrick a chance to plug, but you’re plug in the same thing; Roger produces Tekzilla, which Patrick co-hosts with Veronica and where can folks find that?
Roger Chang You can find it at Revision3.com/tekzilla or tekzilla.com.
Patrick Norton With a K.
Veronica Belmont Or iTunes.
Tom Merritt Patrick, do you have anything else you want to plug too?
Patrick Norton Tekzilla with a K, actually HDNation.TV; HDNation starts with Robert Heron and I on Tuesday of this week, which is all high-def content, including quite a bit of Blu-ray, which apparently no one watches or will watch, but we also talk about things like over-the-air and online delivery of high-def video.
Tom Merritt Fantastic, Ryan Block of gdgt, gdgt.com, pleasure as always.
Ryan Block Thank you. And you know actually I forgot to plug at the top of this show that Veronica has done a little bit for us as well; she did our intro video. She’ll appear again on the site again in another video, probably in a couple of weeks.
Tom Merritt Good move.
Ryan Block I know I hear she’s kind of popular on the interwebs.
Tom Merritt I’ve heard that too. And of course Veronica, my friend, thank you for being here as well.
Veronica Belmont Thank you for having me. I’m so glad I got to come to the cottage. I’m sad Leo wasn’t here, but it was fun hanging with you guys too.
Tom Merritt We will be having a new sword and laser within the next…
Veronica Belmont Very soon.
Tom Merritt …couples of months. We’re reading a Game of Thrones right now, if you’re into that sort of thing. Swordandlaser.com, but of course they can watch you on Tekzilla and Qore.
Veronica Belmont Yup, tekzilla.com and Qore on the PlayStation Network.
Tom Merritt And veronicabelmont.com to keep up with you.
Veronica Belmont Correct.
Tom Merritt All right. I’m Tom Merritt, I haven’t done nearly enough plugging, CNET’s going to be mad at me, Buzz Out Loud is the show that I do every day at CNET, bol.cnet.com, I do The Sword and Laser, I do East meets West, I do a lot of other things, you can keep up with me at tommerritt.com and you could follow me on Twitter but it’s really a pain in the ass sort of user name, so just go to add Tom Merritt and you can find my actual user name there.
Thanks again Leo, thanks again Colleen and Dane and thanks everybody for being on the show. Another TWiT is in the can.
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