TWiT 229/Transcript

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Episode 229


This transcript is provided by our friends at Pods in Print

Leo Laporte Audio bandwidth for this WEEK in TECH is provided by AOL Music and where you can get free MP3s, exclusive interviews and more. Video bandwidth for TWiT is provided by CacheFly at This is TWiT, this WEEK in TECH, Episode 229 for January 04, 2010. Pooh Butter and Scented Candles.

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It’s time for TWiT; this WEEK in TECH, the show that covers the week’s news although this week I think we’re going to cover the future because we have a peerless panel of prognosticators here. I think I misread that last word. Mr. Prognosticator one, John C. Dvorak from Channel Dvorak.

John C. Dvorak In studio.

Leo Laporte In studio with us today, sir, and dressed like a – somebody from the renaissance fair.

John C. Dvorak Exactly.

Leo Laporte The renfair. Precisely, sir. Also here with us, really glad to have her back, we haven’t seen her in a while, Veronica Belmont from Tekzilla and Qore on the Sony platform. Hey Veronica.

Veronica Belmont Hello.

Leo Laporte Good to see you. And sitting down the hall from her in the dining room, no, no, you’re in the dining room, he’s in the podcast studio.

Veronica Belmont Correct.

Leo Laporte He’s got the good set up. Ryan Block. Hey Ryan how are you?

Ryan Block Hey how’s it going?

Leo Laporte From gdgt.

Ryan Block Or you can call it gadget, that’s fine too.

Leo Laporte Really, are we okay with gadget?

Ryan Block I’m all right with that if you’re all right with it.

Leo Laporte Oh, love it. It is what it is and you know...

Ryan Block It makes it a little bit easier.

Leo Laporte I always – I have my, still have my gdgt, my gadet incipio case.

Ryan Block Great.

Leo Laporte On my iPhone from the party and so.

Ryan Block Hot tip – I think we might be making some more of those soon.

Leo Laporte Good because people ask me all the time. They say where can I get one of those cases?

Ryan Block I’ve been seeing them around, actually one of our people went home to North Carolina in deep – somewhere deep in North Carolina he saw two of them on the street. I was like blown away. We only have like a couple of hundred of those things made.

Leo Laporte Wow that’s great.

Ryan Block Yeah.

Leo Laporte Welcoming somebody who has never been on TWiT before, in fact I don’t think he’s ever – I’ve ever met him actually. Robert X. Cringely from Bob it’s great to have you.

Robert X. Cringely Nice to be here Leo.

Leo Laporte I asked to have you on because you’re known for making predictions and here we are beginning not only a new year but at least to my way of thinking beginning a new decade although I’ve received much email telling me I’m wrong. So this is...

Veronica Belmont Oh people get really worked up over that.

Leo Laporte Silly people.

John C. Dvorak Over what?

Veronica Belmont Over the decade – when the decade officially starts.

John C. Dvorak Oh yeah they do, who cares?

Leo Laporte If I did a decade beginning show on December 31, 2010, people would really complain.

John C. Dvorak They complain that when – the year 2000 there was of course the...

Leo Laporte Yeah that was the whole big thing, yeah.

John C. Dvorak And oh God you know it’s not really the beginning of the decade, the decade starts with one.

Leo Laporte I know. Stupid. Tell the computer that.

John C. Dvorak So anyway, so if it started in the year 2000, which is when we partied, then the decade [ph] we did the decade (03:41).

Leo Laporte Righty. So there you go. We partied 10 years ago.

John C. Dvorak And by the way did you know that this was the first decade I think in – I think maybe perhaps in history, of course there was no Dow Jones in the 1700s but where generally speaking over any 10 year period decade wise if you would invest a $1000 in the Dow Jones Industrial Average over 10 years you will have a little more money. This is the first time you’ve actually would be down $50.

Leo Laporte 50, well 50’s not bad.

John C. Dvorak 950 or 950 or something like that, well, of course you would have been down a lot more during the day.

Leo Laporte Right.

John C. Dvorak But...

Ryan Block Well, yeah and that’s also on average too, right?

John C. Dvorak Well it’s just –

[Indiscernible] (04:15).

Leo Laporte [ph] Just if you (04:17) invested in the market as a whole, is it the Dow, is it the Dow or the market as a whole?

John C. Dvorak The Dow. I think it was the Dow.

Leo Laporte Yeah, no...

Robert X. Cringely I think it’s from the beginning of a decade to the beginning of the next decade. You could probably have measured it from 1925 to 1935 and had a bigger dip.

Leo Laporte Because of the depression and the crash. Yeah, remember that? The Great Depression?

John C. Dvorak Yeah I’m not so sure, I’m not so sure and I’ll tell you why. Because in 1925 the real run up that took place that caused the crash really took place from about middle of 1929 to just the beginning of 1930 and that thing really ran up 300 over 300% the Dow Jones went up in that one small period. So in 1925 I believe the market was pretty low. So maybe not, but...

Robert X. Cringely Except Black Wednesday was in October of ’29 John.

John C. Dvorak What about?

Veronica Belmont Are we on the Planet Money show here?

John C. Dvorak Here’s another one.

Leo Laporte I think so.

John C. Dvorak I think if you went from 1923 to 1933 I think you might be – it’s possible.

Ryan Block Look John is just looking back at his youth and these things he can remember as a young boy.

John C. Dvorak When I was a kid, when I was a kid.

Leo Laporte Money was worth something.

John C. Dvorak We used stones for money.

Robert X. Cringely Dinosaurs roamed the Earth.

Leo Laporte So is there something to be gained from this observation that the last 10 years have been crap.

John C. Dvorak No I’m just killing time, because you’re just fooling around with knobs and buttons.

Leo Laporte I am but this is the knob and button period of the show where I actually don’t do anything and John and I just kind of fool around.

John C. Dvorak [Ph] Kibitz (05:35).

Leo Laporte Bob what you been up to these days, is the blog. You doing any TV shows?

Robert X. Cringely Well I write it

Leo Laporte Yeah, yeah, I love to read it.

Robert X. Cringely Yeah, I write it, a few people read it. I was at PBS for 11 years. Left there about a year ago and tried to carry my audience with me and I managed to do that. I’ve got my numbers back where they were before and ..

Leo Laporte That’s great.

Robert X. Cringely And I…

John C. Dvorak How long did it take to get your numbers back?

Robert X. Cringely And I do that and I do a little writing for believe it or not the new AOL and ..

Leo Laporte I saw that.

Robert X. Cringely And also…

Leo Laporte I thought that was funny.

Robert X. Cringely Yeah that’s [ph] weird (6:08) but you know.

Leo Laporte Well we like AOL, they provide bandwidth for this show, so I’m not...

Robert X. Cringely Oh we love AOL, of course.

Leo Laporte I’m not going to complain. I am not...

Robert X. Cringely They provide revenue for my children.

Leo Laporte Well, and to be honest AOL, the new AOL is really stuff like in gadget which Ryan you are involved in starting and that’s a huge property.

Ryan Block Yeah it’s been a little over a year since I left AOL but I miss it from time to time. We’ll have to trade some war stories.

Leo Laporte I – and it really is the new AOL, it’s very different than it was.

Veronica Belmont Their new look is interesting.

Ryan Block It feels like a very different company.

Leo Laporte Yeah, I think it is.

Ryan Block Everybody who I know that’s still there is I think they’re having a very different experience nowadays. I mean when I was there it was still the [ph] Rondy (06:49) days and nobody liked [ph] Ron or Randy (06:50) and I really think that Tim Armstrong has kind of given the company a shot in the arm and maybe an opportunity to right a whole lot of wrongs that have happened AOL in the last 10 years. But we’ll see, you know, they’ve only been spun out of Time Warner for a little while. You know Tim has only been there less than a year, so. I think bringing on people like Robert and they got Saul Hansell from the New York Times too. These are some really, really great people.

Leo Laporte They got – Saul Hansell went there, he left the Times?

Ryan Block He did, he did. That was announced a couple of weeks ago I think.

Leo Laporte Huh. He’s good, I always thought he was a very good reporter. That’s interesting. So let’s talk about the year, shall we, and the decade ahead. We do know some things that are going to happen. Starting Tuesday, January 5 Google’s going to make some sort of announcement and Ryan I think it seems pretty clear this is going to be the Nexus One, the Google phone, yes?

Ryan Block Yep, yeah, I’m going to be there, we’re going to be covering it live but I’m – if it’s anything more than the Nexus One I think I’ll be surprised. It’s looking pretty much like it’s just going to be the Nexus One announcement. Really interesting timing being that everybody has kind of planned their CES for the last year and then all of a sudden two weeks before Google announces they’re going to have this little press conference and everybody has to rearrange their schedules in...

Leo Laporte Were you going to be going down Tuesday? I mean at least they didn’t make it Wednesday or Thursday.

Ryan Block Yeah I was actually, I’d planned on going down Wednesday, so it wasn’t a big deal for me but a lot of my friends in the industry have had a really difficult time reshuffling their schedules because everybody is you know – if they booked a flight to be in Vegas on Tuesday, then now they have to rebook everything and then go out to California and then ..

Leo Laporte How big a deal is the Google phone? Is this important I mean Google, they’re going to sell it themselves but they’re going to service it through T-Mobile. So it’s kind of not that different.

John C. Dvorak Just another phone.

Leo Laporte It’s just another phone.

John C. Dvorak [Indiscernible] (08:47) the other stuff.

Ryan Block They’ve done this before. They sold the Android – the first Android phone the G1 as the Android developer phone one,

Leo Laporte Right.

Ryan Block I think it was – what it was called and so they sold it themselves as their kind of developer platform phone, their kind of flagship device for building Android apps and if you needed some hardware and you didn’t live in the U.S. to get a T-Mobile device. So this is not impressive.

Leo Laporte Would it have been a bigger deal if they had sold this completely unlocked and compatible with not only T-Mobile but AT&T and other GSM carriers?

Veronica Belmont That would have been a great situation.

Leo Laporte Is that what you want Veronica, was that?

Veronica Belmont I would have loved to see that, definitely, because I’m on AT&T right now and, while I’m not in love with the service completely, I would like to be able to try the Nexus One at least beyond having just a review unit which hopefully we’ll get in the house.

Leo Laporte Well it would be a shock to Apple, I mean it would be a real shot across their bow to say hey if you’re an Apple iPhone user just take the SIM out and put it in the G1, whatever it is – the Nexus One.

Veronica Belmont Well unlocked it’s going to be what, probably around $600?

Leo Laporte 600, yeah.

Ryan Block Yeah, about that.

Veronica Belmont It’s a lot of money.

Leo Laporte 199 if ..

Ryan Block It is but that’s an unlocked smartphone. There I mean that’s pretty much how all –

Veronica Belmont Right, right.

Ryan Block How much all unlocked smartphones go for and they are going to sell it unlocked I guess through the website, very similar to the way they did with the G1. But, yeah, I think what would be really interesting is if this had the bands necessary to run on AT&T, it does not as far as we know right now. I mean, they could pull some rabbit out of their hat or...

Leo Laporte Yeah, we should say everything is speculation. You don’t have one, do you, Ryan? I mean...

Ryan Block I don’t have one but I played with it and I know people who have one and it does not have AT&T 3G. They could announce one.

Leo Laporte We’ve seen a lot of video – it looks like it’s super fast.

Veronica Belmont It’s very fast. Yeah.

Leo Laporte It’s very thin. You played with it too, Veronica?

Leo Laporte Yeah.

Veronica Belmont Yeah, it’s super fast and the screen is unbelievably gorgeous.

Leo Laporte Better than the Droid?

Veronica Belmont Yes.

Leo Laporte Wow, because the Droid is a better screen than the iPhone. The Droid’s a very nice screen.

John C. Dvorak Apple’s going to refresh their screens shortly.

Veronica Belmont Yeah, you can see like the tiny, tiniest little pixels on there. It’s very cool.

Leo Laporte What John?

John C. Dvorak Apple’s going to refresh their screen.

Leo Laporte Well, in fact Apple may do it sooner than later. They – the rumor of course and we talked about this last week is the June – or January 26, they’ve reserved the Yerba Buena Center for some announcement. Any speculation, Bob, do you know anything, any – what could they possibly be announcing on January 26? There could be a new iPhone.

Robert X. Cringely Well, the speculation is that this is the, you know, the long promised and ever delayed tablet and I don’t doubt that that’s part of it. I think there’ll be more than that. You know, one thing to remember is that Apple always does January events. So that’s not unusual and they’ll have several products and they’ll pull something out at the end and it’s probably this tablet. I don’t think we have a special reason to believe that these rumors are incorrect. It’s about time they – they haven’t – it hasn’t been like three or four times that they’ve almost introduced this thing.

Leo Laporte Somebody said that this will be Steve Jobs’ last ‘one more thing.’ That this – this is his kind of...

Robert X. Cringely How would someone know to say that?

Leo Laporte Right.

Ryan Block Yeah. That seems a little speculative. But I think the interesting thing to remember here is if this does turn out to be true and they do do an event in January, what makes this different is that traditionally their January product launches have happened at Macworld and...

Veronica Belmont Right.

Ryan Block They are no longer attending Macworld; they are no longer exhibiting at Macworld. Macworld is no longer a part of their product launch strategy.

Leo Laporte And it’s moved to February.

Robert X. Cringely Yeah, but it wasn’t last year either.

John C. Dvorak Which changes the...

Leo Laporte Yeah.

Ryan Block So, yeah, so this would be the first time that they would be launching a product in this timeframe, in the first quarter right around CES/Macworld timeframe that was not done at Mac...

Leo Laporte It’s kind of sad because I mean, one of the reasons they said they left Macworld is they didn’t want the pressure of announcing something in January. I’m sure Macworld would have gladly moved it two weeks.

Veronica Belmont Also, it’s very expensive for them to go to Macworld and to have to make their announcements right at that time as well and...

John C. Dvorak Yeah, right the most profitable...

Veronica Belmont I just feel kind of sad of Macworld at this point.

John C. Dvorak Hi-tech company in the whole country, the only guys making any money and it’s too expensive for ’em.

Leo Laporte To me, as an Apple fan, and part of the Apple community, it seems a real dis to the community to abandon Macworld, to be honest you. And if that’s why they did it, that’s pretty scrooge like.

Ryan Block Well, a little bit, I mean, it’s partly cost.

Veronica Belmont I was saying the same thing yesterday.

Leo Laporte Were you?

Veronica Belmont Yeah.

Ryan Block It does cost them tens of millions of dollars in some cases to go to Macworld to set up [ph] the piece (13:03).

Leo Laporte So what?

Veronica Belmont But I think you feel like they just don’t get the crap you know and I guess they don’t have to anymore.

Ryan Block More important than that though is control. We all know that Apple’s obsessed with control and they don’t control Macworld. At Macworld they are an exhibitor, now granted they are like ‘the’ exhibitor. But they are still an exhibitor. They don’t control Macworld. They love to control their events, they love to control everything.

John Dvorak They’re control freaks.

Ryan Block So I think for them it’s about [ph] the cost (13:27).

Veronica Belmont Well you don’t think they have some kind of control over the Macworld people?

Ryan Block It’s about when they want to do it, how they want to do it and...

Leo Laporte They had control over That Keynote, they had absolute control. It was no different.

Robert X. Cringely We know they didn’t. They don’t control who gets into The Keynote.

Ryan Block Macworld attendees get in. They don’t control the list on that. They control a list but anybody who is at Macworld and who can get in through Macworld gets into that Keynote. They don’t control...

Leo Laporte Got your invite to January 26 yet?

Ryan Block What’s that?

Leo Laporte You got the invite to January 26 yet?

Ryan Block I think we’ll know when they go out.

Leo Laporte Yeah. I think we’ll hear about...

John C. Dvorak In other words, no.

Veronica Belmont So, I’m trying to figure out who...

Ryan Block Nobody has one.

Veronica Belmont Who wants a tablet, does anyone here today?

Leo Laporte Now, I’m glad you say that Veronica because...

Veronica Belmont ...wants a tablet?

Leo Laporte I’m the one guy in MacBreak Weekly who keeps saying – meh, I don’t know about a tablet.

Veronica Belmont I’m kind of ‘eh’ about it. I’m not really sure what I would use it for.

Robert X. Cringely Well, that then – that leads us to a different question here and that is what do they mean by tablet. We – remember tablets?

Leo Laporte What would you like to see, Bob, what would you like to see?

Robert X. Cringely Tablet used to mean pen computing. Who talks about pen computing anymore? Nobody.

Leo Laporte I have a tablet right here. It’s called a Newton.

Robert X. Cringely There you go. But...

John C. Dvorak By the way they’re going to call the new Apple tablet, the Newton II.

Veronica Belmont Newton II? That would be great, wouldn’t it?

Leo Laporte I – you know, this was – the Newton was a great product. Of course it was way ahead of its time. And it never went anywhere. What are you looking at me like that?

Veronica Belmont Look at you with the Newton in your hand.

Leo Laporte John’s making fun of me and my Newton.

Ryan Block You know, there’s an incredibly rabid Newton fan base, still to this day. I guess...

Leo Laporte Oh, yeah.

Ryan Block Was it 2010 or 2009? The dates changed over, the Newton was...

Leo Laporte Right.

Ryan Block It was like 2012.

Leo Laporte There was a firmware fix, yeah.

Ryan Block The Newton could not compute dates past a certain year. And the Newton fan base is all freaked out about this because their Newtons would stop working. I think it was like last year or this year I don’t know. You would know better than I would.

Leo Laporte They shipped a firmware fixed.

Ryan Block Oh really!

Leo Laporte Yeah. And there are – a user written firmware base and there are Newtons running Apache, running web servers. I should fire this up.

John C. Dvorak Why?

Veronica Belmont It’s just a very – to get back to the tablet, though, it’s like a very niche audience and I’m just not sure – I’m sure technologically whatever they do is going to be awesome. I’m sure it’ll be great.

John C. Dvorak It’s going to be a giant iPod.

Veronica Belmont I’m sure we’ll all be very stunned by how it works. But day to day I’m just not seeing a need for it for myself. I mean, there’s a lot of people out there that will probably use it.

Robert X. Cringely What I think is going to happen is that they are – they always make an advance on the UI side and I think what we’re going to see is something surprising on the user interface that’s not a pen and it’s not a touch and it’s not a voice and it’s – or it’s all of those combined somehow, who knows. But we’ll see a pretty screen, a very thin box and a new UI twist and they won’t give a damn if the volumes are low because they’re going to have troubles. So, it’s...

Ryan Block It’s interesting that you said that though, Robert, because this kind of gets back to one of these conundrums that I think that the tablet device has and that is what platform does it run? Does it run OS X, or does it run the iPhone platform in...

Robert X. Cringely IPhone.

Ryan Block ...much higher resolution.

Robert X. Cringely IPhone.

John C. Dvorak Let’s say it looks this, right?

Leo Laporte Like – he’s holding up a Newton.

John C. Dvorak The Newton. Now here’s what I’m thinking. How do you get this thing open? You push this. Okay, so you got a little thing here and this is what you’re going to see people using it with, they’re going to be like this. Hello, mom, yeah no, I’m on my new iPod.

Leo Laporte What you’re saying is that a tablet can’t – it’s not going to be a phone.

John C. Dvorak It’s going to have a phone in it. Yeah, I know it’s got a phone in it. I’m talking to you now from the phone.

Leo Laporte It can’t be a phone; because it would be – you were right.

John C. Dvorak And it looks like of cool, don’t you think?

Leo Laporte It’d be dorky to have it. Here, I’m putting batteries in, you can turn it on and you can play with it.

Veronica Belmont When has dorky stopped us before?

Leo Laporte Not stopped me. I will buy whatever Apple puts out because I’m just that kind of guy.

Robert X. Cringely What if it comes with a Bluetooth.

John C. Dvorak Look! Batteries.

Leo Laporte It will come, what – okay, Bob...

John C. Dvorak Standard cells.

Leo Laporte What would you – design this for us. What would – if you wanted to make a successful product based on a tablet, what would you do?

Robert X. Cringely I think – just what I said. It runs the iPhone, it probably has a gigahertz processor. It has a prettier big screen, it – they have some way of running movies on it elegantly. It has a new UI thing where you use gestures or you spit on it or you something. And...

Leo Laporte That’s what The New York Times said. The New York Times quoted – an Apple insider said, the user interface is not like anything you’ve seen before and it’s going to blow your mind.

Ryan Block Blow your mind, they say.

Robert X. Cringely And they have content deals.

Ryan Block So this thing [indiscernible] (17:40).

Leo Laporte Well, do they? Now wait a minute, do they?

Veronica Belmont Content deals, that’s interesting.

Leo Laporte Do they? Do they have content deals?

Ryan Block Yeah, The New York Times for sure.

Leo Laporte We’ve heard a couple of rumors that they were talking to a publisher.

John C. Dvorak New York Times already said that they were going to do something.

Ryan Block Yeah.

Leo Laporte But if they were talking to Random House or some other publisher – I’ll show you how to use it, John. You just need a little hand working with it.

Ryan Block Okay, well, before we get into the content though, I mean, if we are assuming that it’s going to have this revolutionary new user interface then it’s not going to be running the iPhone OS. So that implies a third platform for people to develop the apps for Apple.

Leo Laporte Four. you have the server, you have OSX, you have iPhone and you have –

John C. Dvorak Wasn’t there a rumor that – floating around that said that Apple told people to start thinking big apps using iPhone?

Leo Laporte Yes, that’s true. That was another rumor.

John C. Dvorak Does that mean it’s going to be the same operating system. It makes more logical sense. They’re not going to do another operating system.

Ryan Block It’s hard for me see them doing another OS, especially another kind of mobile oriented OS. I mean, it seems it either needs to be a very mobile centric version of OS X, something that works better in a tablet form factor or it needs to be kind of enlarged version of iPhone OS.

Leo Laporte Will it be a reader? Is it going to be a Kindle killer?

Veronica Belmont That would be cool.

Ryan Block Oh yeah.

Leo Laporte That’s what...

Ryan Block I think that’s going to depend on the screen.

Leo Laporte That’s part of it.

Ryan Block I mean, the reason to buy a Kindle is the ink display and if you have a display that’s even better and more versatile like a Pixel Qi display which is...

John C. Dvorak It’s dead.

Ryan Block Incredibly low power but color and could actually serve as a substitute for E Ink in many cases. But yeah, it could be [indiscernible] (19:05).

John C. Dvorak The Newton by the way, ladies and gentlemen, is …..

Leo Laporte You broke it, you broke my Newton.

John C. Dvorak Is dead.

Leo Laporte No, it’s not dead.

John C. Dvorak The screen – the touch screen no longer works for unknown reasons.

Leo Laporte Yeah, it works. Yeah, it works fine. Activating packages.

Ryan Block I was at E Ink 18 months ago and they showed me a color E Ink display running full motion video.

Leo Laporte We need that. And that was 18 months ago which is about the lifetime for it to become a product.

Ryan Block I think Toshiba and Sharp have had – I think there are a few companies – Japanese companies that have had color electroforetic displays. And there are even some devices out in Japan that do that as well. But they’re incredibly expensive. The video refresh rate is still very slow.

Leo Laporte What’s wrong – the only reason you use E Ink is for the battery life. What’s wrong with having an OLED display and I have to charge it every night and it’s gorgeous, it’s color…

Ryan Block It’s not just for the battery life, I mean…

Veronica Belmont It’s not just for the, yes.

Ryan Block [ph] The way (19:56).

Leo Laporte It’s not? Why else do we want E Ink, because it’s thin?

Veronica Belmont Because it looks like paper…

Ryan Block It looks like paper.

[Indiscernible] (20:01).

John C. Dvorak It sounds like – and all these people are talking at once.

Leo Laporte It would – it would to me it would be better – I would rather read on a big iPhone or a laptop than I would on my Kindle. Would you not, Veronica?

Veronica Belmont Say it again?

Leo Laporte Would you not rather read on your laptop or a big iPhone than on your Kindle?

Veronica Belmont No.

Leo Laporte You like the Kindle? You like that black on grey?

Veronica Belmont Yes, I love the Kindle, I use my Kindle every day. Absolutely. It’s much easier on the eyes than staring at an iPhone or the screen for four hours at a time.

Leo Laporte You think that – really? I read everything on a laptop. I have a Kindle and I read on it at night but…

John C. Dvorak Put the camera on this, this is some of your old stuff on here Leo.

Leo Laporte You’re probably on there John.

John C. Dvorak This is the Newton. I like cheese, I like cheese, I like cheese, hey cheese is…

Leo Laporte Stop it.

Veronica Belmont You wrote that! I like cheese too.

Leo Laporte Cheese is good.

Veronica Belmont We’re soul mates.

Leo Laporte I’m just seeing if it recognized the word. So it’s an e-book reader but it doesn’t have E Ink, and you think that if Bob, you think if it were an E Ink display were to come along say from Amazon that had full motion and color that it would be better? That’s what we want.

Robert X. Cringely Yes, of course, it expands the data types that it can present. You’ll pay more for a movie than you’ll pay for something else.

Leo Laporte It’s costly though, right, Ryan, that’s the reason, that’s the objection you’re giving – is it’s just too expensive.

Ryan Block It’s costly and even regular E Ink is not quite there technologically yet, so I mean, we’re still years away from color E Ink that’s going to do something like full motion video. We may never get there, it may be advances…

Robert X. Cringely But I saw it…

Ryan Block In LCD based displays that get us to where we need to be.

Leo Laporte Yeah, but Bob says he saw it 15 months ago.

Ryan Block I’m sure you saw it and like I said there are displays and devices like this in Japan already but they are again are incredibly expensive; they’re very hard to manufacture, and they just don’t refresh fast enough in most cases.

Leo Laporte Veronica Belmont, I would like to ask you a question…

John C. Dvorak You have on this thing…

Veronica Belmont Go ahead.

Leo Laporte Do you really believe that E Ink is better and easier to read than a laptop screen, I find that hard to believe young lady?

Veronica Belmont Yes. Yes.

Leo Laporte Is it maybe that I’m old, John you’re old.

John C. Dvorak Huh!

Leo Laporte What do you think?

John C. Dvorak What?

Leo Laporte I don’t think that the Kindle is that easy to read. I know it’s more solid…

John C. Dvorak I think it’s very easy to read.

Leo Laporte It’s easy to read but I would prefer to read a laptop because I want color, I want motion…

Veronica Belmont Well, Leo, maybe you just need to make the text bigger. I know your eyes are probably not what they used to be.

John C. Dvorak Big giant texts.

Leo Laporte I made it all the way.

Veronica Belmont You can do that on the Kindle, you know, you can make the text bigger.

Leo Laporte As big as you could – I made it all the biggest it could be.

John C. Dvorak So, you’ve got it written on here “I love Obama”.

Leo Laporte Give me that.

John C. Dvorak You’re using this thing to this day.

Leo Laporte I wrote that in 2000. Isn’t that amazing? I love Obama.

Veronica Belmont Look at you.

Leo Laporte You are making that up. He’s making that up. There is no Obama on here…

John C. Dvorak You need this fancy pen.

Leo Laporte You do need a stylus on this thing. No, there’s a lot of reasons why this didn’t make it and chiefly because it’s black on grey.

John C. Dvorak Black on grey, it’s not even – it’s like black on black, you can’t see…

Leo Laporte It needs a backlight.

Veronica Belmont It’s like that funny like quasi-green color.

John C. Dvorak Yes, exactly, with kind of a horrible…

Veronica Belmont It’s really good for the eyes, yes, contrast.

John C. Dvorak Liquid crystal look to it.

Leo Laporte Well, they didn’t have active matrix at the time.

John C. Dvorak It was ahead of its time, you were right.

Leo Laporte This was a passive matrix. This is way ahead of its time, way ahead of the technology. So…

John C. Dvorak The idea was ahead of its time.

Leo Laporte So – it seems who is going to disagree with me and Veronica? Our position is that the world doesn’t want a tablet and Apple is chasing up the wrong tree. You agree? Am I misstating your point of view Veronica?

Veronica Belmont No, I thought we were – you were going to see who agreed with the E Ink over [ph] you taking (23:24) the laptop, that’s [ph] the original (23:25)?

Leo Laporte No, no, no, I’m done with that.

Veronica Belmont Okay.

John C. Dvorak He’s had it with that argument.

Leo Laporte I gave up on that. Do you agree John that a tablet is a bum idea?

John C. Dvorak No, I don’t. I think the possibility exists that this will be the decade of the tablet.

Leo Laporte Bob, you agree?

Veronica Belmont The decade of the tablet.

Leo Laporte Yes.

Robert X. Cringely I think they’re not going to pitch it as a tablet per se. I think that they’re going to find a different spin on it and find a way to make us like it. So, yeah, I think a lot of people are going to buy them.

Leo Laporte That’s interesting because if the world is expecting a tablet so there is a little risk in saying well it’s not a tablet.

John C. Dvorak It’s fine. So, the Kindle’s not a tablet either.

Leo Laporte Ryan, what do you think?

Ryan Block Yes, I’m with Robert. I think that it’s going to be a different spin on it. I mean, tablets are not – have not been successful to date; tablets are not something that people go out and shop for or desire in particular…

John C. Dvorak And I – by the way I wrote a column in PC Mag about this. I blame Microsoft for the whole fiasco aspect of this. They were the ones…

Ryan Block Yes, it’s entirely possible that they are responsible for tablets not having taken off the way that we all kind of hoped…

Leo Laporte Because they made the crappy tablet, the UMPC, they’ve made three or four iterations of this.

John C. Dvorak And Microsoft then – the fractal here is Microsoft was also the one who killed the smartphone business until Apple came along.

Leo Laporte Ah!

John C. Dvorak They were running that into the ground, nobody cared, because they did – their model, their ability to change kind of the way you look at these things is impossible…

Leo Laporte So, can Apple…

Veronica Belmont I want to know what kind of spin you think they’ll put on it.

Ryan Block Yes, that said, I think they just need to re-frame the conversation.

Leo Laporte Yes, what’s the spin that makes it better?

Veronica Belmont Because I can see a larger, multi-media device like a large touch for example, which I could use around the house but I wouldn’t want to take with me on a trip because it would be too hard to type out a bunch of e-mails on a touch screen interface, I can do that on my iPhone but I don’t love to. I just want to know what spin you think they could add to it that would make it more mass marketable?

Robert X. Cringely Well, one thing they could do is they could make it a different enough device that they can break the deal with AT&T and have it come out as a subsidized Verizon device.

Leo Laporte Has to be always on the Internet, right, has to have 3G. Can’t just be a Wi-Fi device.

Robert X. Cringely Yes.

Ryan Block Well, it could but I mean…

Leo Laporte There’s a problem, there’s a problem because I already have, I’m already paying for my iPhone, I’m already paying for…

John C. Dvorak What if you pull out your little card and put it into this thing and you still got the same account with AT&T. Would that bother you?

Leo Laporte It’s hard to pull that card out. Nobody’s going to do that.

Veronica Belmont Yes, that’s not the most easy.

Leo Laporte That’s a non-starter.

John C. Dvorak Maybe they could come up with a tool kit.

Leo Laporte I think you’re going to kill it; you make me pay for $60 a month for additional network access that I already have paid for at home and on my phone a third connection. That’s a problem.

Robert X. Cringely They finally have tethering.

Leo Laporte Oh, they’d have to allow tethering.

John C. Dvorak Ah, tethering.

Veronica Belmont That would be good.

John C. Dvorak Well, that’s – AT&T doesn’t like that idea.

Leo Laporte Yes, why would AT&T, unless Apple could say to AT&T we’re leaving you unless because it’s not in their interest to provide tethering.

John C. Dvorak Right.

Leo Laporte So how do you solve that?

Robert X. Cringely [ph] Well it’s (26:14) inevitably.

Leo Laporte Well, yes, this year apparently.

Veronica Belmont Yes, AT&T would probably implode at that point.

Robert X. Cringely They are not – they’re – Apple would be insane to extend that deal.

Leo Laporte So then you’re stuck with a tablet that either has an expensive 3G connection that nobody wants to pay for because they already have two others or has no 3G and is completely worthless. Now, what do you do?

Ryan Block There exists the possibility that it’s optional and that you can buy the tablet with the 3G module based on the service that you want, kind of like how you buy laptops that have 3G modules based on the service that you want.

Leo Laporte One word.

Ryan Block You might get one with AT&T, you might get one with Verizon.

Leo Laporte One word.

Ryan Block I don’t think it’s got – it doesn’t have to be either or…

Leo Laporte They do deal with Amazon and it’s Whispernet.

Ryan Block Which is Sprint.

Leo Laporte No, Whispernet’s AT&T. I thought it was Sprint too but it’s AT&T.

Veronica Belmont No.

Ryan Block No.

Robert X. Cringely No.

John C. Dvorak Are you sure?

Ryan Block Well, it is on the new device, on the original device.

Leo Laporte Oh the old one was Sprint, okay. So…

Robert X. Cringely So, you know, they could do if they have a lot of content deals, they could do a kindle like.

Leo Laporte Why don’t they do the ultimate content deal and partner with Amazon?

John C. Dvorak I don’t think Amazon wants to partner…

Robert X. Cringely Because I think Jobs and Bezos, both have such a need to control…

Leo Laporte Ego.

Robert X. Cringely That they would kill each other.

Leo Laporte Ego would stop them. But wouldn’t that be a good play? You say, look, you suddenly have access to 650,000 books, the Kindle, this is the Kindle 3 kind of…

John C. Dvorak Well, if they did a licensing deal I could see it working because Amazon would be selling books anyway.

Leo Laporte And you use Whispernet.

John C. Dvorak And you know, essentially…

Leo Laporte To sell books.

John C. Dvorak I mean the model should be for any of these devices [ph] such that (27:49) –

Veronica Belmont But why would Amazon want people to buy this device over whatever new version of the Kindle they come out with?

John C. Dvorak No, they wouldn’t but the fact…

Leo Laporte ’Cause they would because the device is not what Amazon’s interested in.

John C. Dvorak They want to sell books.

Leo Laporte Amazon’s interested in selling books.

John C. Dvorak This is a razor blade scheme.

Leo Laporte They have no interest it being in the Kindle business. I would submit.

John C. Dvorak It’s a razor blade scheme. You sell the prod – license to – you have your product and then or even a Nintendo scheme where you have this deal, this device and then you sell games into it.

Leo Laporte Exactly. So Amazon sells books.

Veronica Belmont But they are selling enough Kindles that I think they would want to continue at least making the margin off of those.

Leo Laporte No one knows.

Ryan Block We can also factor the conversation a little bit because Amazon has already done this. Kindle lives on the iPhone platform. It would not take much for them to be able to enable purchasing of e-books on the Kindle iPhone app, so assuming this device runs the iPhone platform then they’re already there. They don’t have to do a content partnership; Apple doesn’t have to do a content partnership, they’re already there. And Apple loves to play up apps side.

Leo Laporte I’m trying to cite the network, the wireless access issue.

John C. Dvorak He’s trying to decide whether he wants one.

Leo Laporte No, I want one, you know. You know me, I’m in line to buy it. I don’t care. If Steve says buy it, I’m buying it. I don’t care.

John C. Dvorak That’s true, you lock-step.

Ryan Block You fan boy.

Leo Laporte Of course. Of course. Come on, you’re buying one, and you’re buying one, and you and you and you’re buying one so.

John C. Dvorak Not me.

Robert X. Cringely Ha.

Leo Laporte Ha? You’re not going to buy one, Bob?

Veronica Belmont No.

Leo Laporte You’re not in line?

Robert X. Cringely Not right away, no.

Leo Laporte Not right away, what does that mean? Tues – you buy it Wednesday instead of…

John C. Dvorak You wait till the second iteration and lower price.

Leo Laporte Second iteration? I have a Kindle 1 and a Kindle 2…

John C. Dvorak Just go walking around to show off, yes, maybe you meet a stewardess, and that’s about all you’re going to get out of it.

Robert X. Cringely My first iPhone was a 3G.

Leo Laporte Really?

Robert X. Cringely Yes.

Leo Laporte I’m impressed. What did you have before that?

Robert X. Cringely A RAZR.

Leo Laporte Oh, now I’m underwhelmed.

John C. Dvorak Boy, that’s really old.

Robert X. Cringely Oh well, I am old too.

Leo Laporte Now, I’m really depressed.

John C. Dvorak A RAZR. There’s no reason to have to keep up with this stuff.

Leo Laporte We’re going to take a break. We’re going to come back. I still want to hear your predictions for 2000, I’m sorry, 2010. We’re not supposed to call it Two-thousand-ten.

John C. Dvorak No?

Leo Laporte Oh, no, I’ll talk about that too. And more with us John C.Dvorak from Channel Dvorak; from Tekzilla it’s Veronica Belmont, Ryan Block from Gadget, and Robert X. Cringely from, and of course we’re going down to CES in two days, three days, you going to CES this year?

John C. Dvorak God, no.

Leo Laporte Yeah, you always say that, but then you show up.

John C. Dvorak No, I’m not going…

Leo Laporte No? Really not?

John C. Dvorak [ph] I’m really going to make it (30:12).

Leo Laporte Really, really, really not?

John C. Dvorak Yeah.

Leo Laporte Ryan you’re going, you’re going to be down there.

Ryan Block Oh, I will be there.

Leo Laporte Yeah.

Ryan Block I’m going to corrupt you. We’re launching some new stuff on Gadget.

Leo Laporte Oh, good.

Ryan Block Specifically for CS.

Leo Laporte Well, please come by and Veronica you’ll be there with Tekzilla, I know.

Veronica Belmont I will, yes.

Leo Laporte Robert you going to CES this year?

Robert X. Cringely Absolutely not.

Leo Laporte Yeah, see the old guys say God willing.

John C. Dvorak I’ve been there…

Veronica Belmont I’m jealous.

John C. Dvorak The show has not changed for five years.

Leo Laporte Well, good, because I haven’t been there for six, so I’m excited, it will be new for me.

Veronica Belmont You haven’t been there for six years?

Robert X. Cringely I still have my COMDEX tattoo, you know.

Leo Laporte I have – if they brought back COMDEX I would be so in, PC expo. No, I’m just joking.

John C. Dvorak Boy, that’s an old reference.

Leo Laporte Just joking.

John C. Dvorak This is some Jack Benny material.

Leo Laporte I haven’t been at CES since 2004. It’s been six years...

John C. Dvorak Oh, really?

Leo Laporte And I thought it was time. One of the reasons was because the overlap between that and Macworld and I always said well I am here I’ll just do Macworld but we’re going to go down with 10 people, all our cameras, all our gear, all our equipment and…

John C. Dvorak And I can vouch for this, you’ve got some wild –

Leo Laporte Have you gone in the other room and…

John C. Dvorak This guy is unbelievable – this guy is taking the money he’s making on this show and putting it into gear. He’s got the greatest rig. This is going to be one of the – this is going to make network TV people look like small potatoes, what you’re setting up…

Leo Laporte I don’t know about that.

John C. Dvorak Amazing.

Leo Laporte It’s very interesting what [ph] Colleen’s (31:25) building right now in the other room. She got a – it’s a portable rig using like four different EVDO cards that go in there.

John C. Dvorak You can’t – you won’t believe it.

Leo Laporte But a lot of this is off the shelf technology. For instance we’re going to be using [ph] Slingbox and a Sling catcher (31:37) at this end to send the video back to our studios where it’ll be [ph] reeled on to it (31:40). Yeah we’re doing all sorts of interesting kind of stuff, because we have to do this on the cheap, I can’t spend a million dollars –

John C. Dvorak It looks like you’ve almost spent half of a million.

Leo Laporte I know. Anyway, part of this is because of the great folks at Sync who are making this possible. Sync is of course the in-car hands-free Bluetooth music turn by turn directions information, get traffic information. You can get, Veronica this is where you can go put the blonde wig on dear if you’d like. John just wandered out to put on his blonde wig. I think you could do it, it’s…

Veronica Belmont Next time.

Leo Laporte Next time, all right. I’ll give you – we got one more ad, I’ll give you another shot at it. Turn by turn and Bob anything you’d like to do right now this is a good time to do it, just be our guest.

Robert X. Cringely Okay.

Leo Laporte I’ll turn the camera off see? They can’t see you anymore. I can see you though. He’s just sitting back, look he’s just relaxing. He’s putting his feet up.

Veronica Belmont Take a nap, it’ll be awhile, don’t worry about it.

Leo Laporte It’s going to be awhile. It’s a long ad, no we’re almost through. Sync is supporting our CES coverage. We’ll be in Vegas the sixth to the tenth all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We’re doing the parties on Wednesday and Thursday. All the events [ph] Kiki with me, Dickty Bartolo, the giz (32:50) with Paul Thurrott from Windows Weekly, Ryan Shrout from This Week in Computer his computer hardware, the whole gang is going down. [ph] Scott Wilkinson (33:00) from our home theater geeks podcast. So we are going to cover this every which way but loose. It’s going to a lot of fun using weird creative wireless technology that probably won’t work, but please tune in and see the sixth to the tenth and if you catch me we’re driving the Lincoln down, the Lincoln MKT down with the Sync. If you could see, if you catch me say hello and I’ll give you a tour of the Sync. This thing is amazing or go to your Ford Lincoln and Mercury dealers and say I want to test drive Sync or visit the website. All Sync owners have a special website at but you can go there and watch the videos and find out more about it. There will be big announcements from Ford about Sync at CES, some really – they’ve already kind of leaked some of this Wi-Fi built in, there’s HD radio tagging. But there’s more coming from Ford and Sync and we’re going to interview the CEO of Ford I think on Wednesday and on Thursday or Friday we’ve got the chief engineer behind Sync. So tune in all for the rest of the week our coverage from CES. we thank them for their support. You probably know a few things Ryan about Sync and have you have ever used Sync?

Ryan Block Oh, yeah. I’ve used it many times.

Leo Laporte I love it. I love it. Yeah, you can rent cars now with it.

Ryan Block Yeah, they’ve actually done a really surprising job of getting it into so many vehicles. When they first announced it a few years back, I was like oh, we’ll see how this goes.

Leo Laporte It’s the Microsoft auto platform.

Ryan Block Yeah.

Leo Laporte Which I’m not that familiar with, although I understand they just made a deal with is it Kia or somebody to do – to put it in their cars.

Ryan Block Yeah.

Veronica Belmont Is cancer still around?

Leo Laporte I know.

Veronica Belmont I just don’t know anything about cars…

Leo Laporte Who knows who’s around anymore.

Veronica Belmont Cars are like my grey zone.

Leo Laporte Me too.

Ryan Block Well, yeah, Microsoft is doing a better job of getting it in what car companies remain these days, brands are shutting down left and right. Probably making them easier – making it easier for them to cut these deals.

Leo Laporte The thing that impressed me about Ford is they kind of have a vision for this thing that is much more open than you’d expect from a car company, much more of a platform. They want to do apps and apps store. I mean I think they’re really kind of paying attention to what’s going on and I really like – I kind of am very impressed by this, but enough about that.

Robert X. Cringely And there goes Dvorak from left to right.

Leo Laporte He’s back, you could tell he’s back, we’re all back now. John has this kind of internal timer. He knows when the commercial’s over.

John C. Dvorak So Veronica looks the same.

Leo Laporte No, no blonde wig. Nothing.

John C. Dvorak She’s just...

Veronica Belmont No wig.

John C. Dvorak She’s no fun.

Veronica Belmont I’ll go look.

John C. Dvorak She won’t come on Cranky Geeks. Veronica Belmont Fine, I’ll go look.

Leo Laporte No, no, no, no stop. It’s okay.

John C. Dvorak [Indiscernible] (35:33).

Leo Laporte Don’t let him bully you into that.

John C. Dvorak She won’t come on Cranky Geeks. She won’t – we got the costume ready for her.

Veronica Belmont I don’t work downtown, I have no way of getting downtown to do Cranky Geeks during the week.

Leo Laporte Don’t worry about it, Veronica.

Veronica Belmont I tell you these things.

Leo Laporte I – of course John if this makes you feel any better I asked her to be on the TWiT last week and she said she couldn’t, she was going to the craft fair with her girlfriends.

John C. Dvorak The craft fair?

Veronica Belmont I did.

Leo Laporte And how was that craft fair?

John C. Dvorak She does crafts?

Veronica Belmont No, I don’t do crafts. I bought some scented candles and I bought a picture and…

John C. Dvorak Oh, a picture.

Leo Laporte Now you know how bad I feel John.

Veronica Belmont A necklace.

John C. Dvorak She actually stiffed you to buy some scented candles.

Leo Laporte She stiffed me for scented candles.

Veronica Belmont I have to make, I have to make plans with my lady friends because we don’t have a lot of free time.

John C. Dvorak Oh, with your lady friends.

Veronica Belmont With lady friends.

Leo Laporte I’m not knocking it.

John C. Dvorak I wonder what they do with the candles.

Leo Laporte Oh, you are…

Veronica Belmont Oh, John!

Leo Laporte Okay that’s it. You’re fired.

John C. Dvorak No you don’t understand, you put them around the bathtub and…

Leo Laporte That’s it. That’s it.

John C. Dvorak And they take baths. That’s what I’m talking about.

Leo Laporte He’s a horrible, horrible man.

Veronica Belmont I’m going to buy some scented candles, John and you can have a nice relaxing dip in the tub…

Ryan Block Jeez, I can’t believe…

Veronica Belmont And all your cares will just wash away.

Ryan Block It’s always something like this.

Leo Laporte I love candles.


Ryan Block Sorry. I think we’ve got a show title.

Leo Laporte Oh, dear. Oh, dear.

John C. Dvorak Brother.

Robert X. Cringely I love cheese.

Leo Laporte Yeah.

Veronica Belmont I know what to give you for your birthday.

Leo Laporte I like cheese candles best.

John C. Dvorak That say Obama on them.

Leo Laporte Sprint is according to Engadget going to be introducing probably at CES a WiMAX EVDO mobile hotspot, now I really like the MyFi. I’ve been using the MyFi for some time. This is kind of like a MyFi only it’s got WiMAX as well as EVDO on it, 50 foot wide, oh sorry 100 foot Wi-Fi range. They say $50 according to Engadget.

Ryan Block Well with subsidy yeah.

Leo Laporte With subsidy. It’s not how much the modem is, it’s how much the monthly fees for the bandwidth.

Ryan Block Yeah.

Leo Laporte There is a company that is doing a EVDO modem that they claim is unlimited, unfortunately it’s got a very – what’s very limited is their coverage. Have you seen that, what is the name of that, somebody keeps telling me about this, is it Magic, it’s not Magic Jack. It’s something like that.

Ryan Block Yeah, like Data Jack.

Leo Laporte Data Jack, that’s exactly what it is, very good. Have you used it?

Ryan Block No, no I haven’t used it. I mean the unlimited argument is, I find it kind of funny because as annoying as it is that these guys do cap your data at 5 gigs when it’s supposed to kind of be unlimited – I’ve used EVDO for years and years. I’m a very, very heavy EVDO user.

Leo Laporte It’s hard to get past 5 gigs?

Ryan Block Yeah, I’ve never – I’ve never really gotten there. I mean if you’re like doing Torrents and stuff I guess maybe, but you wouldn’t really want to be doing that on EVDO anyway, it’s so slow.

Leo Laporte Yeah.

Ryan Block I mean you have to really kind of go out of your way to do, to do 5 gigs a month.

Leo Laporte It’s kind of very limited. I mean it’s great – if you’re in Minnesota, you’re going to be happy about these guys. I don’t know, are these an [ph] MVNO who are they (38:33) getting, look at the coverage map it’s just weird. I can’t think of who these people are. They’ve got like the central valley but not San Francisco.

Veronica Belmont Did you talk about that poor guy that spent – that was charged like $17,000 for...

Leo Laporte Oh no.

Veronica Belmont Downloading movies over EVDO.

Leo Laporte He exceeded the limit I take it.

Veronica Belmont He also did it from Mexico.

Leo Laporte Oh, what is – that’s nuts. That’s just crazy. You say you’re international roaming…

Veronica Belmont I think they worked it out but that’s what happens.

Leo Laporte Yeah.

Veronica Belmont You got to be careful with downloading stuff.

Leo Laporte Pay attention. So they’re using the T-mobile network. I don’t know if it’s HSDPA. It’s not EVDO if it’s T-mobile it would be – isn’t it HSDPA, yeah it doesn’t say EVDO. High speed internet service – you know we just got Docx 3 modems from Comcast.

John C. Dvorak You did?

Leo Laporte Yeah, 100 megabits down.

John C. Dvorak What?

Leo Laporte No, what is it – 50 megabits down and 12 up. I mean it’s for $100 a month it’s amazing.

John C. Dvorak Yeah, we have it too, it’s unbelievable.

Ryan Block Really?

Leo Laporte This is their response to ViOS.

John C. Dvorak Now what – now how, yeah, how many areas are being served by this?

Robert X. Cringely They’re rolling it out completely. I was in Charleston, South Carolina and nothing happens here and they have it here.

John C. Dvorak What did she do?

Veronica Belmont Making faces.

Leo Laporte So you have it North Carolina?

Robert X. Cringely South Carolina.

Leo Laporte South Carolina

Robert X. Cringely And my telephone line was, I think, installed in 1776 or 1876.

John C. Dvorak When did you move to South Carolina?

Robert X. Cringely My wife is from here and I like to sleep with her.

Leo Laporte Every night?

John C. Dvorak So why did – when did you move to South Carolina?

Robert X. Cringely Sometimes twice a night.

John C. Dvorak He’s not answering the question.

Leo Laporte She is – that’s where she is.

John C. Dvorak I didn’t say why…

Leo Laporte I’ve been to South Carolina.

John C. Dvorak It’s in nice state.

Leo Laporte It’s a lovely state.

Robert X. Cringely Yeah, I live in – I live in Charleston in a 158-year-old house.

John C. Dvorak Charleston is the greatest city in the country. What are you kidding me?

Leo Laporte Is it really?

Robert X. Cringely It’s beautiful.

Leo Laporte That’s not Savannah, Georgia you are talking about?

John C. Dvorak No, Savannah, Georgia is not as pretty as Charleston.

Leo Laporte Charleston, South Carolina is more lovely than Savannah?

John C. Dvorak They say they are about – they are the same.

Leo Laporte They are similar.

John C. Dvorak They are very similar…

Leo Laporte It’s antebellum kind of…

John C. Dvorak Right, untouched, in fact when Sherman was taken to the south, he got to Savannah and he was just obviously burning everything down, he burned Atlanta to the ground. He looked to – one look at Savannah and he said, we will leave this one here because I might want to retire here and he left.

Robert X. Cringely You know, the funny thing is that Sherman got to Savannah and he was going to go to Charleston and he went to Columbia instead because he was seasick.

Leo Laporte Yeah. I have been to Greenville and made me seasick …

Robert X. Cringely So, Columbia was burned and Charleston was saved.

Leo Laporte Best restaurant in Greenville. Everything was fried, everything – hush puppies even with dessert.

Veronica Belmont Pooh butter – hush puppies with pooh butter.

Leo Laporte That’s pooh butter.

Robert X. Cringely That’s what I call my wife.

Leo Laporte What is pooh butter? Is it peanut butter?

Veronica Belmont No, it’s sweet butter.

Leo Laporte Sweet, oh yeah with pooh butter, that’s what it was. Yeah, it was honey, like honey butter.

John C. Dvorak So it was a little too –

Robert X. Cringely Anyway, getting back to reality, we have DOCSIS 3 in Charleston, South Carolina.

Leo Laporte That’s amazing.

Robert X. Cringely Yes.

Leo Laporte And you love it and now here’s a question.

John C. Dvorak [Indiscernible] (41:31)?

Leo Laporte No, in Oakland, no. We have it in Petaluma.

John C. Dvorak I…

Leo Laporte You might have it. You know what, you should – you should check.

John C. Dvorak I am going to check with my guys…

Leo Laporte Because we didn’t know, yes they do because [ph] Colleen (41:42) has it there. She also lives in East Bay.

John C. Dvorak What town? I’m in Berkeley, so I don’t know.

Leo Laporte It’s very close. They are similar.

John C. Dvorak All right, I’ll check it out.

Leo Laporte Mostly you take a turn to the left and then you are in Berkley.

John C. Dvorak [Indiscernible] mode (41:52) which may not happen.

Leo Laporte No, you have to get a new modem. That’s the thing and you…

John C. Dvorak Oh, they’ll send me a modem.

Leo Laporte They send you DOCSIS 3 modem and you get on the DOCSIS 3 headend.

John C. Dvorak So, is it show – does – is it noticeably faster? Because the feeds are coming over slow.

Leo Laporte I know, you know a lot of the servers you are going to. What about you Bob, you notice a difference in speeds?

Robert X. Cringely Well, I didn’t – I didn’t get it. It’s here. It arrived last week and I haven’t got it yet but the funny thing is they rolled it out and my speeds went up.

Leo Laporte Yeah. They are kind of upgrading everything in a sense.

Robert X. Cringely So, I just did a measure, you know, before we came on this thing to see whether I could support it and I have a 12 Megs upstream.

Leo Laporte 12 Megs up? Wow!

John C. Dvorak This guy’s video looks so good.

Leo Laporte It looks fantastic, yeah.

Robert X. Cringely It might also partly be because some of the people who used to be on your headend had moved over the other one.

Leo Laporte I think they’ve moved …

Robert X. Cringely So you’ve gotten a little bit more bandwidth.

Leo Laporte I think here is what – my theory is that they are going to DOCSIS 3 everywhere and they don’t upgrade your modem unless you pay for the high-end, so you might have a DOCSIS 1 or 2 modem but it’s getting some of the benefits…

Robert X. Cringely Well, but DOCSIS 3 is only channel bonding. That’s all it is.

Leo Laporte Oh really, that’s the big difference?

Robert X. Cringely Yeah.

Ryan Block Yeah, we have it here and it is amazing.

Leo Laporte What about the cap? What about the cap? I mean you guys still have 250 meg – gigabit cap?

Ryan Block You know, I haven’t run into the cap.

John Dvorak I monitor the cap on my machine.

Ryan Block It’s annoying but unless you’re doing some like serious, serious file transfer…

John Dvorak I monitor my cap.

Ryan Block You’re not going to run into it. I have yet to run into it. We download oodles of stuff like that.

John C. Dvorak I can’t get over 50 gigabytes a month. And I’m using the thing full time.

Ryan Block Yeah, I mean I work, I work from home, you know, I work on the Internet, I do nothing but use the Internet like almost 18 hours a day. We have yet to – we have yet to hit it.

Leo Laporte Yeah.

Ryan Block It’s really, I think, if you are just like, if you are downloading tons and tons of…

Leo Laporte You have to work hard, yeah.

Veronica Belmont I can’t even…

Ryan Block You really, you really …

Veronica Belmont Yeah, I can’t even imagine.

Ryan Block It doesn’t sound like a lot when you think about it over a 30-day period but it actually is. 250 gigs is a lot.

Leo Laporte Eight gigs a day is a lot.

Ryan Block Yeah.

Leo Laporte Yeah. So but you are getting, you are getting what kinds of speeds are you getting?

Ryan Block So, we opted for like the lowest DOCSIS 3 plans. I think we are on 30 megs by 10, so we get 10 megs upstream, which is actually how Veronica and I are…

Leo Laporte You’re both on Skype looking great, yeah.

Ryan Block Yeah, exactly, we’re both on the same…

Leo Laporte No problem.

Ryan Block

[indiscernible] (44:06) right now, because we just have like bandwidth to spare, I could probably go start up a video game, play while we’re both playing – or – 

Leo Laporte This is to me, this is…

Veronica Belmont You should do that. I will start a raid –

Leo Laporte Download Avatar, see what happens.

Veronica Belmont See what happens.

John C. Dvorak Somebody in the chat-room is asking how do you monitor. So go on, just go to Google and put…

Leo Laporte Comcast bandwidth monitor.

John C. Dvorak Yeah, a Comcast – bandwidth monitor and you will get about five or six programs and some of them are pretty cool.

Leo Laporte Comcast is supposed to have one. Once they did the caps, they said okay, we’ll tell you what you’re using.

John C. Dvorak I haven’t seen it.

Leo Laporte I think you have to go to…

John C. Dvorak I use [indiscernible] (44:37) –

Leo Laporte You probably don’t go to very often. Do you even know about that?

John C. Dvorak No, I don’t.

Leo Laporte Yeah.

John C. Dvorak I just go through [indiscernible] (44:43) Comcast Cares guy and I just say, hey, can you take care of me?

Leo Laporte Hey Frank, tell me what am I using?

Veronica Belmont [Indiscernible] (44:47).

John C. Dvorak Frank calls me up. I mean what am I supposed to be doing?

Robert X. Cringely John, John, you have people, don’t you?

Leo Laporte Yes, yes people. It’s made of people. Bono, the rock star, you remember him, Bono, big investor in Elevation Partners, Roger McNamee. Yeah, oh yeah. He is – not only is Bono hip with it wearing sunglasses all the time but he also has an article in the New York Times for January 2nd on his top 10 new ideas for the new decade, would you like to – would you like to go through some of those [indiscernible] (45:17)?

Veronica Belmont I would love to know what Bono thinks is going to happen in the next decade.

Leo Laporte He says in the spirit of rock star excess, I offer yet another top 10 list…

John C. Dvorak Oh, top 10.

Leo Laporte The main difference if it matters is this list looks forward, not backward, which is I was trying to get all you guys to do.

John C. Dvorak Yeah, if you just would ask us.

Leo Laporte I think I did.

John C. Dvorak Where is this on here? I don’t see it in the…

Leo Laporte It’s – I made it up. It’s not in the list. You only put in the list – put it in the list right now, wait a minute, hold on, hold on, let me push a button, 229 there it goes…

Veronica Belmont You don’t do well with change, Leo.

Leo Laporte I know, apparently not.

Veronica Belmont You need to spell things out for us.

Leo Laporte, it will be right there. He says the main difference to my list if it matters this list looks forward, not backward. So here are 10 ideas that might make the next 10 years more interesting, healthy or civil. Some are trivial, some fundamental. They have little in common with one another except that I am seized by each.

John C. Dvorak Looks like a psychopath in this photo.

Leo Laporte That’s Bono.

Veronica Belmont Seized?

Leo Laporte He’s seized by each and moved by its potential to change our world.

John C. Dvorak He’s seized up?

Leo Laporte It’s funny, it’s like a big hand gripped him and moved him. Return of the – number one, return of the automobile as a sexual object.

Veronica Belmont Ow!

John C. Dvorak That’s – what – I think you nailed it with that one, Veronica. Geez.

Leo Laporte How is it that the country that made us fall in love with the automobile has failed with only a few exceptions to produce a single-family sedan with – oh, I could just see Bono in a single-family sedan with the style, humor and grace of the cars produced in the 40s, 50s and 60s.

John C. Dvorak Okay, they just – this is another crappy top 10 list.

Leo Laporte Do you want – no this is good. Look, he says, get Steve Jobs and Jonny Ive, Frank Gehry, Jeff Koons…

John C. Dvorak Frank Gehry? You’d have a blob car.

Veronica Belmont Bono, come on.

Leo Laporte All right, number two and this one I like, intellectual property developers. It’s like one of those guys who has the voice recorder note to self.

Veronica Belmont I think, I think he just puts words together.

Leo Laporte Intellectual property developers.

Veronica Belmont That he thinks sounds good.

Leo Laporte Exactly. Mint chocolate chip real estate. The only thing protecting the movie and TV industries from their faith that has befallen music and indeed the newspaper business is the size of the files. I would agree with him on that.

Robert X. Cringely Sure.

Leo Laporte The immutable laws of bandwidth tell us we're just a few years away from being able to download an entire season of '24' in 24 seconds. I think that’s happening now with DOCSIS 3. So…

John C. Dvorak If you can get feed it.

Leo Laporte If you can get it fed to you. Where at the post office they tells us, where at the post office who knows what’s in the brown paper packages?

John Dvorak Huh?

Leo Laporte I don’t know, I am sorry I must have left something out. A decade's worth of music file-sharing and swiping has made it clear the people it hurts are the creators – in this case, the young fledgling song writers who can’t live off ticket and T-shirt sales. You know, the last time I went to a U2 concert, it was $150 for a ticket, Bono. T-shirts sales like the least sympathetic among us and the people that’s reverse Robin Hooding benefits are rich service providers whose swollen profits perfectly mirror the lost receipts of the music business. Was he going to get to intellectual property developers?

John C. Dvorak I don’t know. He doesn’t get to it at all. This is bogus.

Leo Laporte Okay, next one. Equal Right to Pollute (and the Polluter-Pays Principle). I think this is carbon credits.

John C. Dvorak Carbon tax, carbon credit, carbon cap-and-trade.

Leo Laporte Carbon cap-and- trade. A person, Dr. William Li and a word angiogenesis, a process by which new blood vessels grow. So he’s…

Veronica Belmont This is good except when it’s very bad.

Leo Laporte I think Keith Richard used this, didn’t he? Blood vessels are the supply lines of cancerous tumors. Dr. William Li of the Angiogenesis Foundation has called research in this realm the “first medical revolution of the 21st century”. I think there are medical revolutions but I don’t think this is it, one of which is tailored anti-cancer drugs. Every cancer in every human is different. One of the reasons that chemo is so horrible is because it’s a scattershot but they are getting much better at doing individual genetic analysis and tailoring a drug to your specific cancer, and I think before this decade is out, I, Leo, not I, Bono, that are we are going to have this kind of tailored drugs that would be very accurate and very effective.

John C. Dvorak You need to write a column.

Leo Laporte I should write my top 10.

John C. Dvorak Let’s go to the next one. Matter doesn’t matter.

Leo Laporte It’s getting worse.

John C. Dvorak God, it appears, is a Trekkie.

Leo Laporte He is talking about Dr. Anton Zeilinger, an Austrian physicist who is a rock star of physics for his work in quantum teleportation. This, Veronica this could be for [indiscernible] (49:53).

John C. Dvorak By the way, in every one of these things he says that he has this following clause, ‘which I know very little about.’

Leo Laporte Okay.

Veronica Belmont I love how he says, it appears God is Trekkie and at the end of that paragraph he said could it be that God is a nerd?

Leo Laporte He’s come a long way in this essay. The Festival of Abraham.

Veronica Belmont Nice book ends there, Bono.

Leo Laporte Yes, he’s studied writing back in – back in rock and roll school. People Power and the Upside-Down Pyramid, I’d go for this.

John C. Dvorak This is the lamest thing…

Leo Laporte All right, all right.

Veronica Belmont You skipped The Festival of Abraham.

John C. Dvorak The Festival of Abraham.

Leo Laporte I skipped it because I don’t understand it. What is it?

John C. Dvorak It means that we are all coming together, all the religions and there were going to be one – we were going to be singing Kumbaya.

Leo Laporte He does. He says he wants an arts festival that celebrates the origins of the three Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Robert X. Cringely Yes, good luck. I’ll tell you something.

John C. Dvorak Yes, that’s going to work.

Leo Laporte Yes, Bob?

Robert X. Cringely I write about four Op-Ed pieces a year for the New York Times. And they wouldn’t publish this crap for me.

Leo Laporte I know. It’s because it’s Bono.

Robert X. Cringely Yes.

Leo Laporte I’d swear to God. It’s like he had…

Veronica Belmont I would like to see John Meyer’s take on the future.

Ryan Block Seriously.

Veronica Belmont Maybe Dave Mathews.

Leo Laporte In 2010 my …

Ryan Block No, no John Meyer.

Veronica Belmont John Meyer.

Leo Laporte John Meyer would be happy…

Ryan Block He’s a gadget fiend. That man knows his stuff.

Leo Laporte You’ve seen the video of him tech supporting his dad.

Ryan Block Oh that’s great; he is [indiscernible] (51:16).

Leo Laporte He’s so funny. Dad, dad, you can do this dad. It’s in the system preference pane. Dad, don’t give up on me. It’s so funny.

John C. Dvorak All right. Here we go. People Power and the Upside-Down Pyramid…

Leo Laporte You know what, I’m firing Bono from this panel. I don’t care if he’s a rock star.

John C. Dvorak He mentions Hillary Clinton. Okay, well, let’s skip the next taking the fight to rotavirus, Viva la (Nonviolent) Revolución.

Leo Laporte You are right, Bob, this is crap.

John C. Dvorak Kicks off the African Decade, the African Decade come…

Leo Laporte Now, here is an interesting thing. The New York Times just followed – fired one of its freelance columnists for writing a piece on 3M and not disclosing that in fact she had been flown to the 3M plant and feted and taken out to dinner before she wrote the piece, and they said that’s a violation of our – even our freelancers can’t do that. They fired her.

Ryan Block Yes, that’s kind of ridiculous. I’ve seen a way worse ethical violations occur at The New York Times over the last five years. I mean way, way worse.

John C. Dvorak Oh yes, out to get her, but the thing is they – she shouldn’t have – she didn’t have to disclose it in the piece. She should have just told the editor and the editors could have disclosed it as a little thing at the end in italics.

Leo Laporte Our friend David Pogue comes up again in the article that I read about this which is what is it, is it pinch The New York Times, what is the – there is a Twitter guy he’s got a strange handle like tweak The Times or something. So, I mean David takes money from Raytheon, he took money from Raytheon and go to Disneyland speak.

John C. Dvorak How does he get these gigs?

Leo Laporte If it’s a violation of their freelancer’s agreements

Robert X. Cringely Yes.

Leo Laporte How can I get on that?

Veronica Belmont You guys say he is never – he is not a journalist.

John C. Dvorak Oh, what the heck. What kind of a…

Veronica Belmont Right? But he’s never called himself a journalist.

Leo Laporte I asked him about this and he said, I’m not a journalist. But he’s a freelancer writing for The New York Times. So I don’t know.

John C. Dvorak And he’s perceived as such.

Leo Laporte He also makes them a lot of money. And so…

John C. Dvorak Yes, that’s the key.

Leo Laporte Unlike this other person. So John, what is the big story of the decade going to be?

John C. Dvorak The upcoming decade?

Leo Laporte Yes, well, could be last decade.

John C. Dvorak It’s going to be the decade of the tablet.

Leo Laporte You lie.

John C. Dvorak No, you’ll see. You’ll be stunned.

Leo Laporte So you think it’s not the netbook, not the smartbook, not the notebook, the tablet?

John C. Dvorak It’s the decade of the tablet.

Leo Laporte The decade of the tablet. You’ve brought those tablets down from the mount for us?

John C. Dvorak I was just saying. It’s a long shot.

Leo Laporte How about you, Veronica? What's the big story of the next ten years going to be?

Veronica Belmont Oh, the next big story for the next ten – I don’t know, I hate doing this prediction stuff.

Leo Laporte I hate it too. In fact, let’s just forget it.

Veronica Belmont Because no one is ever really right. And if you are wrong then they say you are wrong like five years from now. They quote you on.

Leo Laporte John you do this every year.

Ryan Block Yes, it’s kind of a zero-sum game.

Veronica Belmont If you are right, no one pays attention

John C. Dvorak No, it is a zero-sum game because the people who pick the stuff – she is actually – Veronica is absolutely correct. This is the thing with me and the mouse. I wrote about it in 1984…

Leo Laporte It will live for ever. That will live for ever.

John C. Dvorak I made this offhanded comment that this is a new device and nobody knows if it’s going to be successful, there is no proof that it is…

Leo Laporte You know why we do this?

John C. Dvorak And I’m still eating crap off that.

Leo Laporte Because the week between Christmas and New Years, nothing happens, everybody has gone home. So there is nothing to talk about. Avatar, the first film to cross the billion dollar mark. Today it’s expected that Avatar will cross the $1 billion mark at domestic and international receipts for Rupert Murdoch. News Corp owns this one…

John C. Dvorak Yes, he needs the money.

Leo Laporte Twentieth Century Fox. Wow! Everybody said this is the most expensive movie ever made. We never really found out how much, 350 million was the speculation.

John C. Dvorak Five.

Leo Laporte Five – even five. They’ve made a $1 billion.

John C. Dvorak Everyone thinks five.

Leo Laporte It was a good bet.

Robert X. Cringely Yes, Titanic all over again. The same – the same statements were made in ’97.

Ryan Block Well, you know the funny thing is Titanic did not feel like a huge step forward in cinema making. It felt like a – I mean it seemed like they really put that money to work, right, I mean...

Veronica Belmont But for the effects – no, I disagree…

Leo Laporte No, it was huge step forward in the manipulation of young girls.

Ryan Block They built like a scale – you know a three-quarter scale ship and stuff like that, but…

Veronica Belmont It was unbelievable, I mean it was an entire studio that was filled with water and it’s – I’m laughing now because all the…

Ryan Block Sure, but that was – it was kind of like Brewster's Millions in movie form, right. It’s like how can we blow a ton of money. It feels like Avatar they actually with this ungodly sum of money that they used to make the movie really did something that would set cinema forward.

John C. Dvorak Except give any writers some of the money apparently.

Robert X. Cringely Yes, yes, but you know they had to do that to replace the limpid pools of Leonardo DiCaprio’s eye.

Veronica Belmont Oh, it wasn’t that bad.

Leo Laporte They had limpid pools; they were just computer generated limpid pools.

Veronica Belmont I’ve been laughing lately because all of the geek guys have been going nuts over Avatar and seeing it three or four times.

Leo Laporte Those chicks are hot.

Veronica Belmont And I was like, now you know how – what it was like when were pre-teens seeing Titanic for the first time.

Leo Laporte Yes.

Veronica Belmont Pre-teen girls.

Leo Laporte Those blue eight-foot tall blue chicks, they were hot. Don’t look at me like that.

John C. Dvorak It’s a cartoon for god sake.

Leo Laporte It’s okay. Most of my love life is a cartoon, John. That’s it. It’s not…

John C. Dvorak I thought the movie was a disappointment. I thought it was spectacular watching it on the IMAX. For one thing I didn’t like the fake 3D. I mean they were – if they are doing depth-of-field shooting, this is not 3D by any means. I mean, the background is out of focus, how am I supposed to focus on it to get the 3D effect.

Leo Laporte That works in 2D actually, that’s how you do the 3D and 2D.

John C. Dvorak No, in 2D it’s fine, I’m sure that was shot for 2D and they just put the 3D stuff in there.

Leo Laporte No, I know it was shot explicitly for 3D.

John C. Dvorak Well then why would they do depth-of-field shots like that?

Leo Laporte I don’t know.

John C. Dvorak It was very annoying.

Veronica Belmont I kind of wish I had not seen it in 3D the first time at least because I found it very distracting.

Leo Laporte Me too, Veronica. That – and I’m the only – a lot of people saw that and it didn’t bother them, but it bugged me.

Veronica Belmont Yes, it bugged me a little bit.

John C. Dvorak Yes, but you got a visual…

Leo Laporte No, no, you know, I was able to see the 3D, I was very surprised. But I was wearing – first of all, my advice, don’t wear glasses to the movie because you’ll be wearing two pairs of glasses which is…

John C. Dvorak You what – did you see the 3D IMAX version.

Leo Laporte I saw a RealD which had a black Poindexter glasses that you wear over your regular glasses. It was effective. I would have – I would like to see it in IMAX. It’s hard to get in IMAX. Even in San Francisco right now it’s still sold out.

John C. Dvorak But you know the glasses for the IMAX are like huge…

Leo Laporte Yes, I’ve worn those before. Did you see in the IMAX, Veronica?

Veronica Belmont Yes, Ryan and I saw it last Friday – was it Friday?

Leo Laporte And you are saying it kind of bugged you? I wanted to see it in 2D too.

Ryan Block I saw – I would like to go and see it again in 2D.

Leo Laporte Yes, well, Bob?

Robert X. Cringely I saw Alvin and The Chipmunks.

Leo Laporte How is that?

Veronica Belmont The Squeakquel?

Robert X. Cringely The Squeakquel.

John C. Dvorak The Squeakquel

Robert X. Cringely It was good. The guy from Chuck is in it. He plays a loser.

Leo Laporte Really?

Robert X. Cringely Yes.

Leo Laporte That’s a stretch.

John C. Dvorak Okay. Where are we? Where are we on the list?

Leo Laporte Twitter. In ten years will there be a Twitter?

John C. Dvorak No.

Leo Laporte Veronica?

Veronica Belmont May be, I don’t know, I guess.

John C. Dvorak Well, this is why you are here on the show for; you are not supposed to [indiscernible] (58:09) and then whine.

Leo Laporte No, she is not – you are not supposed to be honest.

Veronica Belmont No, there will not be a Twitter.

Leo Laporte Thank you. That’s all you have to say. And you don’t have to justify.

Veronica Belmont Tell me what – call me back in ten years and let me know how that works out.

John C. Dvorak It will be called something else.

Leo Laporte Ryan?

Ryan Block What do you mean by Twitter? I mean like Twitter Twitter or something similar to Twitter…

Leo Laporte You can say no, you can say but the – that the idea will persist. But will still be the venue it is today or will it be like the

Ryan Block I think it is highly probable that with kind of broadcast publishing protocols like PubSubHubbub and WebFinger and stuff like that that you are going to see the kind of decentralization of status updates. And in effect that could really undermine Twitter, and to a certain degree Facebook. I think it’s entirely possible. I mean I think if Twitter was smart they would try to get in on that now and try to own as much of that as they could to maintain their dominant position because…

Leo Laporte They have an opportunity but they have to open, they really have to open.

Ryan Block Yes. If it does become decentralized and they are not in on that really early, it’s going to really sneak up on them and could potentially really damage them.

Leo Laporte Bob, have you heard of Twitter?

Robert X. Cringely Yes, and Alvin has as well. I think that Twitter won’t be a brand in ten years and that it will peak and they will sell out on the downside.

Veronica Belmont How about Twitter as just the API but not as a website anymore?

Leo Laporte It’s a good API.

Robert X. Cringely Well, that probably will continue but under someone else’s ownership.

Leo Laporte Well it’s already happened. Who was it, A couple of sites are now using the Twitter API so you can use Twitter third-party tools to post to WordPress.

John C. Dvorak Yes, it’s wild.

Leo Laporte I think that’s smart.

John C. Dvorak By the way, somebody in the chat-room is really giving Veronica a bad time saying that the only thing she is sure about is she is not going to wear the blonde wig.

Leo Laporte Don’t pay any attention to him…

Veronica Belmont I put my foot down on that.

Leo Laporte He’s baiting you…

Veronica Belmont I just don’t like – really, I just don’t like predictions because I think they’re – things change so quickly that it’s kind of hard to say for sure what’s going to happen in a decade.

John C. Dvorak Oh, I agree with you 100%. They’re all bogus.

Veronica Belmont I like replicators.

John C. Dvorak But they’re kind of fun.

Veronica Belmont In a decade.

Leo Laporte Well, what’s sci-fi – okay, let’s talk about sci-fi, because that’s – you do those sword and laser podcasts with Tom Merritt and you’re very into sci-fi. Is there a sci-fi thing that you’ve seen in the movies, you’ve read in a book that you think will become real?

John C. Dvorak Concept, that’s a good one.

Leo Laporte A concept that might become real in the next ten years?

Veronica Belmont Terraforming.

John C. Dvorak Terraforming?

Leo Laporte Oh, I like that, terraforming. What will we terraform?

Veronica Belmont Yeah, I’m going to go for terraforming Mars.

Leo Laporte Oh, I thought Dubai maybe.

Veronica Belmont That’s maybe more the 25-year range.

Leo Laporte That’s pretty far. I think ten years, I don’t think we’re going to start terraforming yet.

Veronica Belmont Who knows, things might get bad.

Leo Laporte You’ve read Red-Green-Blue Mars?

Veronica Belmont Might have to push it forward a little bit.

John C. Dvorak I’m going to predict a new programming language that will set the world on fire within the next ten years.

Leo Laporte You’re kidding. That’s a safe bet.

Robert X. Cringely Google’s working on that new language, what’s it called?

Leo Laporte Go. Go.

Robert X. Cringely Go, yeah, that’s the one.

Leo Laporte It’s got an exclamation mark. Go!

Robert X. Cringely Could work.

Leo Laporte Ryan, what do you think? A science fiction…

Veronica Belmont I’m surprised they didn’t name it Google Programming Language.

Leo Laporte Will we see a replicator? Will – you know what I think we might see? We might see the Holodeck.

Ryan Block I don’t know about that.

Veronica Belmont We’re getting close.

Ryan Block Those physicists are working on the transportation stuff, they all say uniformly – that I’ve seen – that it works on a very small atomic or subatomic level. But it doesn’t work on larger objects. They can’t move massive structures.

Leo Laporte I’d never put my thing in a wormhole, I’m sorry, that’s just not going to happen.

John C. Dvorak I think radar on cars.

Veronica Belmont [ph] That’s what he said? (61:41)

Ryan Block I would really like to see – I don’t think that we will have in the next ten years – I’d really like to see a kind of like an automatic transportation system, Minority Report. We were actually just talking about this last night at dinner. I’m not into jetpacks, I’m not into flying cars [Multiple Speakers] (62:00) …go back to drinking at night.

Leo Laporte I think – actually, of all the things you’ve just said, that autonomous vehicles is the most likely thing to happen in the next ten years, absolutely.

Veronica Belmont I hope so.

Ryan Block The reason why I think it’s going to happen is because of the massive amount of infrastructure that would need to change in order to really, really make it work correctly.

Leo Laporte No, Moore’s Law, no.

Veronica Belmont Well, how many years did it take to make the national highway system, like fifty years?

Leo Laporte You don’t have to put wires in the highway.

Ryan Block I don’t see it. I don’t see it.

Leo Laporte You don’t think so, Bob?

Robert X. Cringely I think between DOCSIS 3.0 and terrorism, we’re going to see the rise of residential telepresence.

Leo Laporte Ooh, I like that. Nobody’s going to want to travel because they don’t want to sit in their seat for the last hour, so they will have – well, we know 4K screens will be around, certainly in the next few years, they’re already out there, that’s so high, it’s quad-current high definition, enough so that it really feels real, you put it on a big screen, maybe one whole end of your room.

John C. Dvorak There’s a dichotomy here, because there’s a huge group of younger people, for example, they don’t even care about these big screen TVs, they watch everything on their laptops, they don’t have a TV set of any sort, they don’t want a flat now.

Leo Laporte And they don’t want to travel, they don’t want to meet people, they just want to stay home. So…

John C. Dvorak They don’t want to do anything.

Leo Laporte They don’t care, really. There’s no market.

Ryan Block Yeah. Although you do also have to remember that a lot of people who are younger are not necessarily spending their daytime on computers, if they’re in class, you know, they’re not sitting on laptops all day long doing laptop stuff. So that’s a more of a recreational thing for them. I think once a lot of these people join the workforce and they’re working on their computers all day, there’s actually a little bit more incentive to shut the laptop down, go into the living room, and just kind of relax a little bit in front of the TV.

Leo Laporte Maybe you’re right.

Ryan Block So that could change. I mean they could swing the other way a little bit as people get older.

John C. Dvorak Here’s a prediction. Vivek Kundra will become president and put John Dvorak in jail.

Leo Laporte I like it.

Ryan Block One you can only hope.

Leo Laporte I think that might well happen.

Ryan Block I’m just kidding, John.

Leo Laporte That might well happen. That could very well be in your future.

John C. Dvorak Yeah, the binary and the COBOLing.

Leo Laporte The binary-ing. All right, I like this. So Bob says we’re going to have telepresence, because nobody’s going to travel anymore. Ryan, you say autonomous vehicles.

Ryan Block I’m not predicting it’s going to happen, but I hope.

Leo Laporte You say it could happen. It could happen in a decade. I think you’re – I think we’re close to that, to be honest.

John C. Dvorak Well, we got the radar and all…

Leo Laporte Brad Templeton, yes, says that’s going to happen. Veronica, you predict terraforming?

Veronica Belmont Sure, why not.

John C. Dvorak We’d like to see her terraform her hair into blonde.

Veronica Belmont Oh, John. You are singularly focused.

Leo Laporte It’s because he’s dressed as a ren faire character. What do you predict will happen?

John C. Dvorak It’s going to be the decade of the tablet, of the iPad…

Leo Laporte Oh, stop it, no I’m asking you a sci-fi thing.

John C. Dvorak Oh, a sci-fi thing.

Leo Laporte A sci-fi thing that’s in movies now but might happen actually. How about Minority Report style gesturing and things like that?

John C. Dvorak No, I think there’ll be a pre-crime thing like Minority Report.

Leo Laporte Pre-crime, do you think there’ll be pre-crime?

John C. Dvorak And we’ll start arresting people for bad thinking.

Leo Laporte Hmm.

John C. Dvorak I think there’s going to be fascism in the form of the way it’s been shown on these sci-fi, thought sci-fi was going to have a fascist world government, it’s going to be a disaster.

Leo Laporte How many more economic collapses before that happens?

John C. Dvorak We’re going to have a big one in 2013.

Leo Laporte And will that be the…

John C. Dvorak That’s the trigger.

Leo Laporte The trigger?

John C. Dvorak Yeah. We’re doomed after that. Make your money, get your – find something – find a hole in the ground…

Leo Laporte Gold? Should I get gold? What should I get? Canned goods?

John C. Dvorak Gold?

Leo Laporte Canned goods?

John C. Dvorak That only lasts X number of years, though, the cans…

Leo Laporte Dried, freeze-dried…

Robert X. Cringely Lentils.

Leo Laporte Lentils.

John C. Dvorak Actually, lentils and rice.

Leo Laporte Bob, I – no, I know for a fact the reason Bob’s in South Carolina, he has cornered the lentil market.

John C. Dvorak Lentils and rice, I’m just going to have like bags and bags and bags of…

Leo Laporte Black Eyed Peas, baby. Well you might be right, so fascism – so what would we do to prepare for that?

John C. Dvorak Well, I think first of all, Bob –

Leo Laporte What would we do to prepare for that?

John C. Dvorak We’ve got to line up our clothing.

Leo Laporte I want a uniform.

Veronica Belmont So we all have to wear sweater vests?

John C. Dvorak Guns, by the way, could come in quite handy.

Leo Laporte Sweater vests.

Veronica Belmont Like you, John?

John C. Dvorak Yes, absolutely.

Leo Laporte The future is sweater vests. All right.

Veronica Belmont The future is now, and it’s sweater vests.

Robert X. Cringely Let’s stock in sweater vests.

Leo Laporte Let’s talk about technologies that have long been called for but haven’t emerged. Obviously, flying cars aren’t going to happen.

John C. Dvorak And the tablet.

Leo Laporte And the tablet. How about voice recognition? Will we have – will we see major improvement?

John C. Dvorak Oh yeah. No.

Veronica Belmont So we can keep screaming at our technology?

John C. Dvorak We’re doomed. Machine translation, that’s another one.

Leo Laporte I hear we’re very close to voice recognition.

John C. Dvorak Machine translation.

Leo Laporte What’s machine translation?

John C. Dvorak Where you translate French to German to English to –

Leo Laporte Google does a pretty good job.

John C. Dvorak Pretty good? Are you really ever do anything serious with this stuff? It’s horrible.

Leo Laporte I write to Abby’s family, they don’t speak English and I don’t speak French, so I write to them using Google translate. We’ve had some interesting comedy, mirth, merriment kind of mix ups, but –

John C. Dvorak I bet you do.

Veronica Belmont I was hoping for the live translation like they showed at the Intel press event at CES a couple of years ago, where you just point like a camera at a street sign in a foreign language and it automatically translates it within your viewfinder?

John C. Dvorak Yeah.

Leo Laporte Google Goggles.

Veronica Belmont Google Goggles.

Leo Laporte Love Google Goggles. I wish Google Goggles would do face recognition. I predict a heads-up display…

John C. Dvorak You like saying it.

Leo Laporte Google Goggles! I predict a heads-up display with a little earpiece and something that’s shining on my retina, as I walk down the street, you’ll say, that’s Veronica Belmont, you used to work with her in 2009. Or…

John C. Dvorak So no more of this ‘hi, how are you doing?’

Leo Laporte Exactly. Like, you look, oh Veronica – and so to say, yeah, she has 14 kids and now is…

John C. Dvorak Blonde.

Leo Laporte …is a blonde.

Veronica Belmont Isn’t that the Whuffie stuff from Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom…

Leo Laporte It’s like Whuffie, yeah.

Veronica Belmont …Cory Doctorow book?

Leo Laporte Yeah. Cory…

Veronica Belmont Our [ph] next Horton (67:36) laser pick, by the way.

Leo Laporte Is it? That’s a good one.

Veronica Belmont It is.

Leo Laporte Who’s making that sound?

Ryan Block Who do you think is making that sound?

Leo Laporte All right. How about – so anybody think that voice recognition will get good by 2020?

Robert X. Cringely No.

Leo Laporte No?

Ryan Block It will get better. I think –

Leo Laporte I think we’re real close. I think between now and 2020 –

John C. Dvorak They’ve been saying this forever.

Ryan Block I don’t think there’s going to be a breakthrough. But one of the things that’s actually really, really interesting that not a lot of people I think are considering is that Google is probably one of the companies most on the forefront of voice recognition technology right now.

Leo Laporte Absolutely, because –

Ryan Block And they have a lot –

Leo Laporte Because of their GOOG-411, it’s been brilliant.

Robert X. Cringely Yeah.

Ryan Block Yeah, 411 and Google Voice Search and –

John C. Dvorak If you call it up and they send the voice to India where somebody listens and then they type it out, it’s bogus.

Leo Laporte No, no, no, in fact I think that they’ve been using – they’ve been saying they’ve been using GOOG-411 as a way of perfecting their voice recognition. As a result, I think you’re right, Ryan. It’s very good.

Ryan Block And now they – so they have that built into Android on the home screen, so you click a button and then you do a search query with your voice, and then that’s also in the Google Mobile App. So voice recognition for them has actually become a really big thing, and that’s also something they’ve put into Google Voice, so your voicemails get the advantage of using that, that kind of advanced voice recognition. I mean granted, it’s still not great, they’ve got a long way to go –

Leo Laporte Ryan Block.

Ryan Block But I think they’re getting more stuff coming into their system and they have a lot more resources put into their voice recognition platform than most people realize. I mean if I was like, Nuance, you know, the Dragon people, I will be pretty freaked out right now.

Leo Laporte Absolutely. What do you think Google will be in 2020?

John C. Dvorak They will be our rulers, and I welcome them.

Leo Laporte Our overlords? Our Google overlords?

John C. Dvorak Our Google overlords.

Leo Laporte Bob, do you have an opinion on – well I’ve started two topics without calling on you, so.

Robert X. Cringely They’ll be Microsoft.

Leo Laporte They’ll be just Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom.

Robert X. Cringely No, no, they’ll be Microsoft. I mean they’ll be the dominant market share provider of data and information services, and – but they’ll be a big aging company and they’ll be – have lost their mojo.

Leo Laporte It’s kind of sad, they’ll be Microsoft.

John C. Dvorak I think they’ll be busted by some – by the EU at some point and split up, unlike Microsoft.

Leo Laporte Oh, that’s interesting. The EU does not like them.

John C. Dvorak The EU is getting meaner by the day, and once they start throwing their weight around –because one of the things they’re doing is they’re basically raping American companies because they can get these huge settlements, like, $1.5 billion from Intel for doing what, Intel already did settle with their main problem company, AMD.

Leo Laporte Now, Neelie Kroes is gone now and part of this was because of Neelie.

John C. Dvorak Well, she was a mean…

Leo Laporte She was a mean son of a gun.

John C. Dvorak Mean, mean, mean.

Leo Laporte She was the EU Commissioner of Competition.

John C. Dvorak Yeah, she may have been a lightweight compared to the new guys.

Leo Laporte Well, that’s true. It could be somebody meaner than Neelie Kroes.

John C. Dvorak Oh, you need some Frenchman in there and we’re screwed.

Leo Laporte What about – all right, what about Google? What do you think, Ryan? What’s Google going to look like in 2020?

Ryan Block You know, really hard to tell. They have gone into a lot of markets that I don’t think people would have seen them get into even just two or three years ago. They now have a mobile phone platform. They have a desktop operating system that’s about to come out. They have got a browser. I mean they have actually started to permeate the device side of things, which is really kind of crazy when you think about where Google has come from. So I don’t know.

I do know that for all of the trepidation people have about Google, every time I have let Google into my life any deeper than they were before, it has always been a good thing for me. It’s always worked out for me.

Leo Laporte Google makes life better.

John C. Dvorak How about this for a concept? Somebody comes along, a group of people and they come up with the most amazing algorithm we’ve ever seen for search and it destroys Google overnight.

Leo Laporte Google is not in search any more.

John C. Dvorak That’s where they still make their money though. They are making their money on --

Leo Laporte It’s very rapidly moving away from search.

John C. Dvorak Yeah, but there is so much – there is so much lock in with Google now, I mean between mail, calendar, apps…

Leo Laporte If Bing were better, let’s say --

Veronica Belmont Yeah, let’s end up living like a Google life.

John C. Dvorak Bing is out of the picture.

Leo Laporte Let’s say – well, now, let’s say Bing were better, just pretend.

John C. Dvorak Well, is it Bing were or Bing are?

Veronica Belmont Bing isn’t bad.

Leo Laporte Well, let’s say…

Veronica Belmont Bing is good.

Leo Laporte It’s adjunctive, isn’t it? Is Bing better? Is Bing better? What if Bing were better?

Robert X. Cringely Doesn’t matter.

Leo Laporte It doesn’t matter. That’s the right answer. Thank you Bob.

Robert X. Cringely Better is not good enough.

Leo Laporte That’s exactly right. You have to be…

John C. Dvorak Aha, you guys are all wrong.

Leo Laporte You think…

John C. Dvorak It’s about the Halo 2. Bing doesn’t have the Halo web apps that Google does that improve your life in a variety of different ways. I mean you guys have been – would you rather use Gmail or would you rather use Hotmail?

Leo Laporte Gmail.

John C. Dvorak I mean – you know I don’t think anybody would say Hotmail unless they still use Hotmail and they just don’t want to switch it.

Leo Laporte Yeah.

Veronica Belmont I don’t think that Google will ever end up being the “Microsoft in 2020”. I think they encourage innovative thinking in a way that maybe Microsoft hasn’t in the past and I think that will keep them fresh going into that next decade instead of kind of stagnating and just becoming one of those companies that we kind of laugh at in a way in that regard.

John C. Dvorak We shouldn’t be – when you talk about the Halo of apps and we talk about comparing it to Bing, we should be comparing Google to Yahoo! Yahoo! was a big leader until Google came along and Yahoo! has a million kinds of things going on, groups and mail and everything in between and lots of the stuff of course has failed, the Tubes thing and all the rest of the stuff that they have tried to do and they have Flickr and all the rest of it and they just – just going by the wayside I am telling you, the same thing can happen to Google. And I think Google knows this.

Ryan Block Well, I just think maybe part of the reason why Yahoo! went wayward is because they took focus away from their technology products and they’ve put it more towards their content product.

John C. Dvorak Well and it turns out that didn’t work.

Leo Laporte It’s not a bad move though. Look at – I mean they have got like top 10 content properties. They are doing great.

Ryan Block Oh, sure, but it’s slipping in the way that the web is moving now. It’s moving away from that kind of a content portal. It’s moving away from a lot of these destination sites like Yahoo! and that’s why you’ve seen AOL really kind of refresh its content strategy away from and more towards products like [ph] see-it (73:35) and Engadget and so on.

Leo Laporte To your point, Veronica, that this is why it’s so difficult to predict because right now Google is clearly master of the universe, but in technology, discontinuities happen where things just change unpredictably and to your point, John, somebody could come along and best Google by just a flip of an algorithm and it’s unpredictable. You don’t know when that’s going to happen.

John C. Dvorak Well, you know…

Leo Laporte I do know one thing. I know when an Audible commercial is about to happen.

John C. Dvorak Me too.

Leo Laporte Right now. Folks, if you are not listening to audio books from, you are missing out on a world of great entertainment. Look, everybody got up and left. It’s amazing.

John C. Dvorak She went to get the blonde wig.

Leo Laporte I hope she went to get the blonde wig. Come back in a moment. We will see if Veronica got the blonde wig. is the place to go for audio books, 65,000 titles and growing all the time, some of the best books in the world. And I always look at Audible first to see if it’s on there because that’s how I like to read.

Now I get email everyday saying, no, it’s not reading. Yes, it is reading. You are listening to every word that was on the written page but it’s being read to you by a very talented actor who has the style, the panache, the pacing to help you get into the book in a way that you just cannot get on paper.

I am a huge Audible fan, highly recommend, you check it out. And I am going to make it possible for you to do so absolutely free. In fact, your first two Audible books are free. If you go to right now, you’ll sign up for the Platinum account, that is a two-book-a-month account and as I said, your first two are free if you are looking for a good one to pick. There are so many great choices.

What was the sword and laser book this week?

Veronica Belmont Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom.

Leo Laporte That is not on Audible.

Veronica Belmont Oh.

Leo Laporte I am sorry to say because…

Veronica Belmont I am sure if you ask nicely, Cory will read it to you.

Leo Laporte Cory would actually call you up and read it to you if you want it. They do have some wonderful sci-fi. Audible has really made an effort to enhance the sci-fi category with their Audible Frontiers. They read books that never were recorded. So if you are going back and reading some classic sci-fi, Audible is a great way to do it. I know you’ve in the past with sword and laser used Audible and recommended Audible. I just got The Sword of Avalon because of you and Tom. Actually because of Tom, he said, you should read it. It’s really good.

Veronica Belmont Well, we have just finished Mists of Avalon.

Leo Laporte Mists of Avalon.

Veronica Belmont But they have a whole series.

Leo Laporte They have the whole series.

Veronica Belmont [Indiscernible] (76:03).

Leo Laporte Mists is the first one, right?

Veronica Belmont Mists is the first, yeah.

Leo Laporte Yeah, that’s the one I downloaded.

Veronica Belmont Then they go back into pre-close.

Leo Laporte I said, oh, that’s just going to be girly but then he said, no, it’s Arthurian legend and that’s when he had me. He had me at Arthurian legend.

Veronica Belmont Tom knows his Arthurian legend.

Leo Laporte I love Arthurian legend.

Veronica Belmont Tom is like an encyclopaedia of that stuff. It’s incredible like on our last show he just talked and talked and talked and I was like, wow, you really knew a lot more about this than I thought he can.

Leo Laporte He’s so cool.

Veronica Belmont I let him go.

Leo Laporte There is abridged and there is unabridged. Natasha Richardson reads the abridged version. She will be wonderful.

Veronica Belmont Oh, wow.

Leo Laporte But I have to say, I am sorry. I am a unabridged guy. And they have – Davina Porter reads – it’s a three volume set. But you get your first two for free. And Davina Porter is absolutely – I am just going to play a little bit of this – one of Audible’s best readers. She has such a great British accent.

[Recorded Voice] (77:10)

Oh, I love her voice.

Veronica Belmont My favourite reader is Jenny Sterlin.

Leo Laporte Oh, I have to look for her.

Veronica Belmont She has got a great voice.

Leo Laporte Oh, they have such – you know, people actually, when they become Audible fans start looking for the readers that they want to listen to, not just the books., here’s what you do. Go to, our recommendation this week, Mistress of Magic: The Mists of Avalon Book One and its sequel, gets you both of those absolutely free, right there, it’s just like 30 hours of great Audible listening but there are many, many choices. We thank them for their support. And we encourage you to give them a try. I love it and I know you will too:

Continuing on with our decade…

John C. Dvorak While you are still on Audible, I am asking when are you going to do some books? You have the greatest voice in the world.

Leo Laporte Oh, please. I – it’s a lot of work.

John C. Dvorak Oh.

Leo Laporte It’s a huge amount of work.

John C. Dvorak How long does it take to do a book?

Leo Laporte Well, I – Cory Doctorow asked me to read for fun. He put an album out of his short stories. He asked me to read one of his short stories. It was an hour long short story. It took me about 20 hours in recording and editing to get it right.

John C. Dvorak Oh, really? That stinks.

Leo Laporte Well, I didn’t – I know. Maybe I am slower – you know, I need a producer and all that but I did it all myself. But it was fun. It was really fun. But boy, it was a lot of work. He got some good people reading that.

Robert X. Cringely You guys remember Robin Williams had a show on Audible.

Leo Laporte Yes, loved that show.

Robert X. Cringely An interview show and I don’t how long it lasted, he talked to Walter Kronkite.

Leo Laporte Yeah, he did about a dozen of them I think.

Robert X. Cringely But he did a two part – if you ever listen to it, he did a two part with Buddy Hackett.

Leo Laporte I did listen to that.

Robert X. Cringely And Buddy Hackett destroyed him.

Leo Laporte It was so funny.

Robert X. Cringely And Buddy – Robin Williams did not have a chance against Buddy Hackett.

Leo Laporte Yup, that was a great series. I am just looking to see if Audible still offers those for download. They may not. Oh, that’s a bummer.

Robert X. Cringely Of course because he was embarrassed by Buddy Hackett.

Leo Laporte It was very funny. We it’s in my…

Veronica Belmont You too have a great voice, so you should be doing that.

Leo Laporte Oh, come on now, thank you.

Veronica Belmont I know you are a busy guy but --

John C. Dvorak You know this is what it is. He is too busy for this kind of stuff for the public.

Leo Laporte I like doing – I am doing what I am doing. I like what I am doing.

John C. Dvorak You work 24/7.

Leo Laporte I don’t have time to read. I did though. When I did the Cory thing, I did it on TWiT Live and people were listening and making fun of me and I did the editing and everything. So I’ll let you know when that comes out. But that – Cory does that stuff for free. Ooh, 'Repent, Harlequin!' Said the Ticktockman.

John C. Dvorak All right, so what else we have for predictions? We got to wrap up this year.

Leo Laporte Oh, cloud, what is going to happen to cloud computing in 2010 to 2020 timeframe? I – some have predicted and I think this is probably true that we will no longer have data on drives. Our data will live out there.

John C. Dvorak But they have been saying this forever.

Veronica Belmont Agreed.

John C. Dvorak I don’t think that’s true.

Leo Laporte You don’t like it.

Veronica Belmont I do.

John C. Dvorak [ph] Not that (79:55) I don’t like it, I don’t care but it’s too unreliable. You need to have backups that are solid.

Veronica Belmont I don’t care whatever.

Leo Laporte It’s reliable. You agree this is going to be the…

John Dvorak Once a terrorist gets a hold of the cloud, you’re doomed.

Leo Laporte Terrorists.

John Dvorak I’m telling you.

Leo Laporte You’ve been listening to No Agenda.

John Dvorak Terrorists and the cloud, that’s going to be a big theme for the next decade.

Leo Laporte [Laughter]. Hey, look. If the world’s going to be taken over by fascists and terrorists and we’re all living in our houses in fear, we’re going to need the cloud.

John Dvorak Really?

Leo Laporte What am I – what, I’m going to sit here and not connect to anything?

John Dvorak You’re going to get connected and pow, they’re going to use your – oh, it’s going to be bad.

Leo Laporte So you should say I should have like a data dome over my house?

John Dvorak You need a data dome.

Ryan Block That’s what we need, a dome of silence.

Leo Laporte So, Veronica, I’m with you. You use Google Docs now I’m sure for everything, right?

John Dvorak Don’t come crying to me when everything disappears, folks.

Veronica Belmont Most of my stuff is in the cloud. I mean I like to have local backups of everything, just to be on the safe side. And I think that’s just a good practice to have in general. But I definitely think within the next 10 years, we’re not going to have to worry about hard drives for our day-to-day computing needs at all.

Leo Laporte You know what I just started using and I just love it, it’s a service called Backupify, you know about Backupify?

Veronica Belmont No.

Leo Laporte It’s designed to back up your cloud.

Veronica Belmont Oh, interesting.

Leo Laporte So it’s from the cloud to the cloud. It uses Amazon web services. It’s free if you use your Amazon account. It backs up Twitter, WordPress, Facebook, Delicious, Basecamp, Google Docs, Zoho, Flickr, Photobucket.

Veronica Belmont That is pretty cool.

Leo Laporte Gmail is non-functioning currently, but it was working and I’m sure they’ll get it working again.

Veronica Belmont Okay, so here’s a question. What does it do if you have a service like a Twitter, for example, or something that can’t really be – say, a service goes out of business. What happens to that data? How is it being compressed or encrypted and how do you get it back if it’s a –

Leo Laporte Oh, you mean restoring it? I don’t know.

Veronica Belmont Yeah.


Leo Laporte Nobody knows.

Veronica Belmont How do you restore it if it doesn’t exist anymore in the cloud?

John Dvorak Just kiss it goodbye, it keeps all your data for you.

Leo Laporte No, no, no, look here. I’ve got – these are my archives in Backupify.

Veronica Belmont [indiscernible] (81:50) says XML.

Leo Laporte Yeah, it is, it’s all stored in a standard XML format. Somebody would have to write a XML reader to get it back. But these are all the pictures I’ve uploaded to Flickr, they’re all stored here. Here is my entire blog, not just the data, but also the design, everything stored here. And this happens automatically daily. My Facebook posts stored as metadata in XML, pictures – this is what you need if you’re going to live in the cloud, you need a backup. And now it’s backed up to Amazon.

John Dvorak Can you back up – somebody mentioned this in the chat room. Can you – do you have the opportunity to back up on this Backupify thing your GeoCities website that was wiped out overnight?

Leo Laporte No, it didn’t have a GeoCities button. [Laughter].

So what about you, Ryan? You live in the cloud? You think the cloud – 2020 it’s all going to be cloud maybe?

Ryan Block No, I think it’s going to be a very cloud-centric blend. I think there’s still going to be local data storage.

Leo Laporte Got to be. Got to be.

Ryan Block But I mean – look. I don’t think anybody is going to seriously argue the concept that we are moving towards the web as the medium in which we interact with applications and data. But there’s always the need to have data locally, and that’s not going to go away, just like there’s always going to be a need to have a desktop operating system, even if that desktop operating system –

Leo Laporte Really?

Ryan Block Well, I mean look, ChromeOS is a really interesting example. That is a desktop operating system. But it doesn’t really do a whole lot other than run a browser. But the thing that was interesting about that announcement was the fact that there are limitations. I mean you can’t just run a browser. You still have to have some kind of windowing system. You still have to be able to plug in a printer or plug in a digital camera or something in order to be able to interact with the stuff. So we’re not there yet. There needs to be certain things for you to be able to interact with your devices and with your data. And the web is not a solution for that. So there has to be an intermediary, and that is in most cases an operating system with a local storage solution.

Leo Laporte Mr. Cringely, what do you think of the cloud?

Robert Cringely I think that I’ll always have local copies of everything, you know –

Leo Laporte Well, we agree on that. But is the primary place –

John Dvorak We don’t agree on that at all. You think that everything –

Leo Laporte No, I don’t –

Robert Cringely I tried to run a company on Google Docs and I thought it was a disaster.

Leo Laporte Oh, interesting.

Robert Cringely And so it will get better. But the funny thing is that I – being as we are, I am – I get pretty good tech support. And so when I tell 300,000 readers that I’m trying to run a company on Google Docs and it’s not going very well, then someone from Google calls up. And they say, well, what’s the problem? And then I say well, well, you know, I’m trying to do this and it doesn’t work. And so they say well, all you have to do is this and this and this and it’s fine and everyone should get that. And I say wait a minute, you have to be an avatar to know what this and this and this are. At Google, you can maybe think that way.

Ryan Block That’s how engineers are.

Leo Laporte Well, that’s obvious!

Robert Cringely But regular people don’t do what you do. When I was working at Apple 30 years ago, honest to god, 30 years ago, we would do – we would test – a guy would bring a program in and we would run it up on an Apple II and the first thing I would do is pound on the keyboard. And the engineer would immediately say, don’t do that! No one would ever do that! And I said, do you have a three year old?

Veronica Belmont So what, so what you’re saying is that the problem with cloud adoption is that people don’t know how to use it right now?

Robert Cringely No, what I’m saying is that there is no problem with cloud adoption, except that right now, it doesn’t work as well as it should because the people who are rolling it out can’t relate very well to the users.

Leo Laporte That’s the history of technology.

Veronica Belmont Yeah, that’s how it always works. I mean things that we know how to do very well right now –

Robert Cringely Yes, well I’d like it to change please and right now.

John Dvorak Yeah, Louis, I am interested. This is a message to Louis. By the way, let me just say something that hasn’t been brought up here.

Leo Laporte Okay.

John Dvorak Here we go. We got the cloud. You’re on the cloud. You’re on the cloud system B. And you got everything. You got your mail, you got your this, you got your that. One day, somebody takes a dislike to you and says, you know, I think you’re a spammer. We’re cutting off your account.

Leo Laporte Hey you know what my friend Bill –

Veronica Belmont Well so you have local backups. We’ve already said that several times.

Leo Laporte That’s’ why it’s important. You got to have a local.

John Dvorak Well typically with your mail, you’re not going to have a –

Leo Laporte Well, I’ll give you a good example. My friend, Bill Jelen, MrExcel, has been for the last four years making videos on YouTube to help people use Excel. For reasons that Google will not tell him, no one knows, they deleted his account and all his videos. They’re gone. This guy is making a living helping people with Excel. He was giving these videos away. Google deleted them. They’re gone. And that’s a good example. I mean I –

John Dvorak That’s a great example.

Leo Laporte Even if he has local backups, that’s not the point. They’re no longer on YouTube. So what’s he going to do, he’s going to upload them all? No, they say, you can’t create another account, once we’ve deleted your account, you’re a persona non grata. I mean…

Robert Cringely You know, I mean – and this is not any kind of justification for that action on Google’s part at all –

Leo Laporte There must be a reason, but they won’t tell him.

Robert Cringely But you know, I mean to John’s point, you know they can shut you down and then all of a sudden, your email is gone or whatever. Well I mean if you’re concerned about that, then don’t use a service that you don’t control. I mean it seems fairly –

John Dvorak All those cloud services you don’t control.

[Indiscernible] (87:08)

Leo Laporte But isn’t that kind of the nature of cloud?

Robert Cringely Yeah, well exactly. So don’t use it if you don’t want to. Nobody’s forcing you to use Gmail or hosted Google or Google Apps or whatever, I mean…

Leo Laporte So – but that’s the question. Is – are people going to use – I mean is cloud going to become the predominant way of computing? In fact, it really leads to a second question, which is the desktop computer or desktop operating system, how long before – we just don’t have such a thing. Or we don’t even think about such a thing. With such infrastructure, it’s like middleware.

Robert Cringely But I think we’re already there. I think actually this last round of OS updates –

Leo Laporte This is the last Windows, yeah.

Robert Cringely Yeah, between 7 and Snow Leopard, I mean these were not feature releases anymore. These are actually just making the experience faster and more invisible to the user. And I think that says a lot about desktops. I mean Apple’s saying, yeah, the next major release of our operating system – we’re almost not even going to charge you anything. We’re going to charge you a token amount of money for it, even though we put almost two years of development into it, because it’s not about features at this point. It just makes it faster and more invisible so you can just do the things you want to do. And for most people, that’s getting on the web.

John Dvorak By the way, I want to mention to Louis that he can put his email back up so I can double check that I got it right.

Ryan Block Hey, this is a very [indiscernible] (88:26).

Leo Laporte Hey, it’s very loosey-goosey. Bob, you got any personal messages to family or friends you’d like to use the network to...?

Ryan Block Hello, mother.

Robert Cringely I got to tell you that I am three hours ahead of you and my children are waiting to take their baths.

Leo Laporte So I’ll let you go. We’re done, Bob, we’re done. I really thank you for being here and I hope that we haven’t scared you off with the trivial uncertain nature of the show. In fact it’s usually much better prepared and planned. But I hope you’ll come back and join us again, because the consensus is, you were great. We really appreciate your time.

Robert Cringely Next time, we bet.

Leo Laporte Next time – yeah, these guys have a tradition of making a bet. Come on, just before you go, Bob.

Robert Cringely No, a tradition of losing a bet.

Leo Laporte Well, make a bet you’re going to win, Bob. One bet. You get to choose it, make a bet with Dvorak. I’ll underwrite the bet.

Robert Cringely Ooh.

John Dvorak Ooh, make it a big one.

Leo Laporte Make it a – what can you guys disagree on? Is there anything that you guys can disagree on?

John Dvorak You know, over the years we’ve probably agreed more often than not.

Robert Cringely Yeah I think so. I’m a John Dvorak fan.

John Dvorak And I am a fantastic Robert, the real Robert X. Cringely.

Leo Laporte He is, by the way. There are others, but you are the Robert X. Cringely.

John Dvorak Well, he is the one who took it upon himself to become…

Leo Laporte Creator of accidental empires.

Robert Cringely You know, I’ve been 22 years, so.

John Dvorak That’s a standing…

Leo Laporte It’s like a common law wife. You know, you got to name, the common law name.

John Dvorak [Indiscernible] (89:51) I didn’t realize he moved to South Carolina, which is –

Leo Laporte How did that happen, yeah.

Robert Cringely [indiscernible] (89:54).

Leo Laporte Bob, you have a great evening. Thank you for being here.

John Dvorak By the way, Bob, I’m coming to South Carolina sometime. You have to take me to the –

Leo Laporte He’s in Charleston.

John Dvorak Yeah, that’s…

Robert Cringely I will. I’m right downtown in the historic section of town.

Leo Laporte I’m so jealous, that’s where I wanted to go.

Robert Cringely All right.

Leo Laporte Thank you Bob, take care.

Robert Cringely Thank you.

Leo Laporte Ryan Block is gadget,, a great gadget podcast he does with Peter Rojas at the website, go sign up and tell him all the different gadgets you own or want to own, and you learn about those gadgets. It’s a great place and I’m sure it will be the place to go, on Tuesday for coverage of the big – we don’t know what Nexus One announcement.

Ryan Block Yeah, the Nexus One launch. We just launched news, too.

Leo Laporte Oh, that’s great.

Ryan Block That was a big thing for us.

Leo Laporte So, is that just or is it right on the front page?

Ryan Block It’s, but the trick with the news is, so, one of the things that we do is you get this personalized stream of content about the products that you have or that you want. So now we personalize your news experience. So if you’re into the Nexus One, you’re going to get all the news about the Nexus One flowing into your home stream.

Leo Laporte That is awesome, awesome, awesome.

Ryan Block Yeah, so the more stuff, the more products you add to your list, the more content you’re going to get.

Leo Laporte Right. Right. And so I’ve done that and I keep adding stuff to the list as I get the gadgets, it’s really useful. So that’s good to know. That’s going to feed my newsfeed.

Ryan Block Yeah.

Leo Laporte And I see you have the Wi-things, the Wi-things, Wi-Fi body scale on there. I just bought that, I just bought that.

Ryan Block I have, I haven’t actually played with it yet.

Leo Laporte It’s Tweeting. You want to see my weight, all you have to do is go to

John Dvorak Oh brother.

Veronica Belmont Are you on a diet?

Leo Laporte Yeah, yeah I guess that’s the only reason you’d really do that, right?

John Dvorak To embarrass yourself?

Leo Laporte Yeah, so…

John Dvorak Just lie.

Leo Laporte No, no, you can’t lie. You’d get on the scale.

John Dvorak And it Tweeters.

Leo Laporte And there is, it tweets my weight. And so every time I get on the scale, it tweets it and tells you how much more you have to go.

John Dvorak 218.7?

Leo Laporte Yeah, that’s down 10 pounds.

Veronica Belmont Congratulations.

Leo Laporte Thank you.

John Dvorak You’re up to 230?

Leo Laporte I was up to 228. Yeah, I was getting fat there. Wouldn’t you sell like some sort of [indiscernible] (92:06) for weight loss at some point?

John Dvorak

Leo Laporte You’re still doing that?

John Dvorak No, I stopped doing that. It was a gimmick.

Leo Laporte Was it a gimmick?

John Dvorak No, it was a publicity stunt, let’s face it.

Leo Laporte It was? Did it work? Did you make any…

John Dvorak No, I don’t make money, I just do publicity stunts.


Leo Laporte This is [indiscernible] (92:21) you decoupled the money from the publicity.

John Dvorak Yeah, I don’t – somehow, I don’t know why, I missed the point.

Leo Laporte,, if you want to follow the news feed customized to your interests by your gadget list. Thank you Ryan, great to see you.

Ryan Block Thanks for having me.

Leo Laporte Good luck on Tuesday. Veronica Belmont is the host of Tekzilla with my good buddy Patrick Norton, And also of Qore, Q-O-R-E, which is on the PS3 Network.

Veronica Belmont Yes.

Leo Laporte And you travel all over the world.

Veronica Belmont And I’m really looking forward to being on CES and doing some good shoots, I’m very excited.

Leo Laporte Come by and say hi, we will be at –

Veronica Belmont Of course.

Leo Laporte We will be in hall S1 –

John Dvorak She says yes but she never shows up.

Leo Laporte She’ll show up, with the blonde wig, for me.

Veronica Belmont [Laughter]. I’m definitely doing Buzz Out Loud too, one of those days.

Leo Laporte Yeah. Come by, we’re there all day Friday, Saturday, Sunday doing the radio shows, Saturday and Sunday in S1 hall, broadcast platform one.

Veronica Belmont I will stop by for sure.

Leo Laporte It’s at the top of the stairs as you enter, it says so right there.

John Dvorak You’ll never find it.

Veronica Belmont Oh look at that, there you go.

Leo Laporte I have a card. Thank you VB. Thanks for being here, really appreciate it.

Veronica Belmont Thank you.

Leo Laporte John C. Dvorak is at and

John Dvorak Well those days are over. Somebody stole that web – that –

Leo Laporte Yeah, there’s nothing now. It’s like squatters there.

John Dvorak And I am and you won’t get me in Russia. Blocked.

Leo Laporte You’re blocked. He’s blocked in Russia and he’s very proud of this.

Veronica Belmont You are?

Leo Laporte We could not let him in Russia, he’s subversive. He’ll have fascist tendancies, we have noticed. You’ll say we are going to collapse in 2013. Twenty-ten, by the way, not two thousand and ten, I’m urging everybody.

John Dvorak Oh yeah, you said there’s a reason for this.

Leo Laporte It’s shorter – fewer syllables. We’ve been saying two thousand one, two thousand two, two thousand three. But we’ve gotten in a bad habit. And if you go to the National Association of Good Grammar,, you will learn, actually they have a site called Twenty, not two thousand. Because – what, one nine one one, how did you pronounce that?

John Dvorak Nineteen thousand and ninety-nine.

Leo Laporte The year World War II ended, how did you say that year?

John Dvorak The year that World War II ended.

Leo Laporte That’s right. So why is it we say two thousand and one, two, three? It should be twenty-ten.

John Dvorak Okay.

Leo Laporte Not two thousand ten.

John Dvorak That’s what I say anyway, twenty ten, it’s [indiscernible] (94:43) twenty one.

Leo Laporte Twenty one’s wrong. Twenty ought one. I can see why we didn’t do that. You can see why we didn’t do that. I understand why we slipped into this bad habit. But let’s not continue it. Otherwise it will be like twenty twenty four, and we’ll be saying two thousand twenty four. That’s ridiculous. You see what I’m saying?

John Dvorak Yeah, I think you’re on to something here, Leo.

Leo Laporte It’s just a little something I consider it kind of –

John Dvorak A public service.

Leo Laporte A public service. I’m just – I’m like Bono. He’s ending hemorrhagic fever in Africa. I just want people to say twenty-ten. It’s just my thing.

John Dvorak Uh huh. We all have our albatrosses.

Leo Laporte We’ll see. We’re going to be in Vegas starting Wednesday. But the road to Vegas begins Tuesday when we pack up all the gear and put it in the Lincoln MKT and start driving down, we’ll have live streams of that, live coverage on iTunes, there’s video and audio feed. But you can find out all about that at or just tune in starting Wednesday evening. We will be at The Digital Experience, and then we’re going to go to the Bellagio, we’re going to some parties, Dr. Kiki and I and all the gang will be down there. And John, we’re going to really miss you, we’re going to be sorry you’re not there.

John Dvorak I’m going to be covering the coverage, I’m going to metacover the thing.

Leo Laporte He’s metacoverage.

John Dvorak And I’ll probably get more information.

Leo Laporte No, we’re going to the trenches so you don’t have to.

John Dvorak That’s right, and I’m going to – and I’ll be covering your coverage and – plus everyone else’s.

Leo Laporte I’d like you to do that.

John Dvorak Yeah.

Leo Laporte All right, we will see in Vegas, January 6 through the 10th, TWiT Live at CES 2010. Thank you everybody for being here. Another TWiT is in the can.

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