TWiT 231/Transcript

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Episode 231


This transcript is provided by our friends at Pods in Print

Leo Laporte Bandwidth for this edition of this WEEK in TECH is provided by Cachefly at This is TWiT. This WEEK in TECH, episode 231 for January 18, 2010: Be Kind, Rewind.

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It’s time for TWiT, this WEEK in TECH. The stories are true but the names have been changed to protect the ignorant. Ladies and gentlemen, Patrick Beja is here from France.

Patrick Beja Patrick Beja is not my real name as you just said.

Leo Laporte Well, to protect you. It’s okay.

Patrick Beja [ph] Yeah (01:44). Absolutely.

Leo Laporte You can use a pseudonym here. Patrick is – does the incredible Phileas podcast which is an English language podcast out of Paris that is kind of like TWiT Euro style, right?

Patrick Beja Yep. It’s like the TWiT of political and international news, kind of.

Leo Laporte And actually you do other shows too. There’s a movie show, what’s the site for all of that?

Patrick Beja You can go to to see all of that but maybe I’ll tell you a little bit more about a new project that we’re developing at the end of the show.

Leo Laporte Sure. Sure, I’d love to hear about it. Also here to regale us with great stories from the good old days, John C. Dvorak.

John C. Dvorak Yeah, the good old days. Last week.

Leo Laporte Neither John nor Patrick went to CES and that’s why you both are here, because…

John C. Dvorak Right. Well, we don’t need to go, Leo, you were there.

Leo Laporte Oh! Man, I think I killed my staff. I think they actually were this close to rebelling and leaving me there.

John C. Dvorak As long as they didn’t poison you.

Leo Laporte They may have. I came home and I was sick as a dog.

John C. Dvorak Really?

Leo Laporte Yeah. They may have. I always get sick.

John C. Dvorak From what?

Leo Laporte Well, I had a meatball sandwich at the Vegas, McCarran Field. That might have been a mistake.

John C. Dvorak [ph] Cheese (03:02).

Leo Laporte Those meatballs had been there since Wayne Newton was a headliner. I mean, they…

John C. Dvorak They could have been Wayne Newton, for all you know.

Leo Laporte [ph] They may (03:11) you know, what’s left? It was either Siegfried or Roy. I’m not sure, but it was somebody’s and [ph] who (03:17). They were not good. But I’m back.

John C. Dvorak [ph] Oh! (03:21). John C. Dvorak, tell Leo about the mouse clarification.

Leo Laporte Oh, is this have to do with the fact that 25 years ago you said the mouse would never go anywhere, what is this?

John C. Dvorak No, it just has to do with Philip Elmer-DeWitt wrote that piece that got passed around and I finally found the original column and then I [ph] called him that (03:43)…

Leo Laporte This is something we talked about a couple of weeks ago?

John C. Dvorak Yeah. But no…

Leo Laporte What was the piece, what did he say?

John C. Dvorak This is a little more interesting because he went back and changed his column in CNN and blanked out all the stuff – that nobody knows where this phony quote came from.

Leo Laporte Oh, well fill us in ’cause not everybody listens to every show. What was the initial…

John C. Dvorak Let me get the link and then, so I can look at it…

Leo Laporte Yeah.

John C. Dvorak …or so I can give it to [ph] the chaps (04:05).

Leo Laporte I remember talking about this but I’ll be honest, I don’t really – I would fill you in myself but I don’t really remember myself.

John C. Dvorak I just happened like last night.

Leo Laporte So, Philip Elmer-DeWitt is a writer. He was TIME – he worked at TIME magazine, covers the Macintosh. I don’t know if he’s still at TIME magazine.

John C. Dvorak I think he maybe still works for – he must still work for Fortune CNN because he went back and changed the column last night.

Leo Laporte So is this Microsoft upstages Apple’s tablet. Is Fortune’s Philip Elmer-DeWitt nuts, that story?

John C. Dvorak No, I think Philip…

Leo Laporte Today’s proof that there is always someone who doesn’t get it – comes in the form of Fortune’s usually much more reliable, Philip Elmer-DeWitt under a laugh inducing headline video, Microsoft upstages Apple’s tablet. Elmer-DeWitt writes, “Steve Ballmer’s keynote at the CES show in Vegas ran for more than an hour and a quarter. But what got the most attention from the press gathered to watch it were the three minutes Microsoft’s CEO spent talking about his answer to the tablet computer Apple is expected to release in less than three weeks.”

If that was Microsoft’s answer, we don’t want to know the question, virtually everyone on the planet who saw Ballmer’s presentation saw it the same way except for Phil. Elmer-DeWitt writes, “In a subtle dig at his competitors in Cupertino, he demoed the HP Slate with an Amazon Kindle version of Stephenie Miller’s (sic) Meyer's (05:30) "Twilight". The book's cover shows a pair of hands cradling an apple.”

John C. Dvorak That’s…

Leo Laporte Is that what you’re talking about, John? Or is this another thing you got wrong?

John C. Dvorak No, this – here. Google – We just had it the other day.

Leo Laporte Steve Ballmer’s keynote, the consumer electronic show in Vegas, Wednesday ran for more than an hour and a quarter but the press went…

John C. Dvorak Here it is, here it is. Google DeWitt, Dvorak. D-e-w-i-t-t, Dvorak and it’s about this, eighth story down. January 1984. How critics reviewed the Mac.

Leo Laporte Oh, this is when he’s talking about you?

John C. Dvorak Yeah. Now if you see he’s changed the column and I thank him for doing this by the way.

Leo Laporte So this is another column. It is the 25th anniversary of the Apple ad in the Super Bowl which was 1984 – January 22, 1984. So he wrote a column in Fortune in which he says anticipating the anniversary, I have some choice quotes from the first wave of critical reviews of the Macintosh. And I’ve scrolled down, Byte says, “The Mac brings us one step closer to the ideal of computer as appliance.”

“Creative Computing,” John Anderson said, “it won’t multitask, you can’t use a Mac away from a desk, it’s slow, not have enough RAM.”

Bill Gates says, "Anyone who could write a good application on a 128K Mac deserves a medal." But he quoted you, see that’s gone.

John C. Dvorak No, San Francisco examiner, John C. Dvorak – keep going, it’s in there.

Leo Laporte There it is! Now, he’s got some stuff struck out.

John C. Dvorak Yeah. This is all bogus. Somebody made up.

Leo Laporte This is not a quote from you?

John C. Dvorak No, that’s why it’s all x-ed out. The only thing I ever said was, “The Macintosh uses an experimental pointing device called a ‘mouse’. There is no evidence that people want to use these things.” That’s all I said.

Leo Laporte Quite famous.

John C. Dvorak I didn’t say, “I don’t want one of these new fangled devices.”

Leo Laporte This is what they said you said.

John C. Dvorak Yeah.

Leo Laporte I’ll say it, the voice they want you to be saying it in, “The nature of the personal computer is simply not fully understood by companies like Apple or anyone else for that matter. Apple makes the arrogant assumption of thinking that it knows what you want and need. Unfortunately, leaves the ‘why’ out of the equation — as in ‘why would I want this?’ I don’t want one of these,” this is the Tech Grouch, “I don’t want one of these new-fangled devices.”

John C. Dvorak I think the Tech Grouch might say that.

Patrick Beja I also think it’s completely accurate. Apple does make the assumption that it knows what you want and need. That’s completely [ph] not true (08:09).

Leo Laporte Yeah, that part’s accurate – now, John did you get a Mac early on?

John C. Dvorak I had one right from the beginning. Yeah, in fact I still have one of the 128s that have all the signatures inside the box.

Leo Laporte Oh! That’s worth something now. They had everybody who was on the Mac team sign the mold.

John C. Dvorak Right.

Leo Laporte And then they made the mold. I bought a 128K Mac, March of 1984, a little after this review came, about a month after this review came out. I remember going to Macy’s, is where I got it, ’cause I had a Macy’s charge card, and it was $2500.

John C. Dvorak Wow!

Leo Laporte And I plunked down the plastic and I probably paid for that thing for 10 years and, you know what, in hindsight it was the beginning of the Kool-Aid, right because you couldn’t copy a floppy without 50 swaps. You couldn’t save because you had the MacWrite disk in there, you’d have to create a document then eject the program disk, save it then put the program disk back in. There was no button to eject, you had to eject in software, something Apple still does. Well, actually I guess there’s an eject button now on them.

So what do you think now? Here we are 25 years later, will the Mac make it, John?

John C. Dvorak It has a good shot at it.

John C. Dvorak How about the mouse, any future there?

John C. Dvorak The mouse, by the way, I just wrote a column, I think it was in PC Magazine, and I think the mouse may eventually with [ph] this (09:30) touch screen machines coming out, at some point, the mouse may be dead and this whole point moot.

Leo Laporte Wow!

John C. Dvorak Now by the way…

Leo Laporte You could retroactively declare yourself [ph] threat (09:41).

John C. Dvorak I probably got more mileage from that column in terms of bogus PR…

Leo Laporte That’s true. That’s true.

John C. Dvorak …than anything I’ve ever done including my dinner with IBM which had a lot of legs.

Leo Laporte That’s a very good point or your singing Barney which apparently has…

John C. Dvorak The Barney thing is – well, that’s in a different league.

Leo Laporte 1.2 million views on YouTube from John’s three years ago recording a Barney doll singing ‘I Love You’ in his bathtub and that’s it. That’s it. No editing, no lighting.

John C. Dvorak Why bother?

Leo Laporte Why bother? I don’t even know why we do this show. I’m just going to record my stuffed animals singing and I’m done. So let’s talk about the big story of the week. And I’m not talking about the Conan O'Brien [ph] fracas (10:24). I’m talking about Google and China. Now, one of the reasons I wanted to get you on Patrick Beja is to get a world point of view on this because in some ways people are saying Google is acting almost as an extra-national with – that Google has a foreign policy. And I’m just wondering if – how that plays to the rest of the world. We’re going to talk about it in just a second – before we do though I want to thank one of our sponsors, the folks at Citrix who do GoToMeeting, a great product for saving time, saving travel with GoToMeeting you could do more and travel less; it is, these guys do also GoToMyPC and GoToAssist, they’re very good at remote access, so the idea of GoToMeeting is – it’s like you go there right now,, you can install GoToMeeting on your computer, Mac or PC, it’ll take about well, three minutes – just blowing his nose – I think – to be honest I think John’s doing a costume change right now because his screen has gone dark. Patrick I should have warned you.

Patrick Beja I’m warned and worried.

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John is still not there. [ph] Well (12:13) I wonder what’s going on. Oh, he’s removed the modesty panel.

John C. Dvorak It’s the cone of silence. So, I did a column in MarketWatch that ran on Friday. If you go to right now for people in the chat room you can see there’s a big ugly picture of me there on the front page [ph] under (12:37) commentary and that – I wrote about this Google situation with a kind of a different take.

Leo Laporte I think it’s fascinating. So just to re-cap, I’m sure everybody’s heard this…

John C. Dvorak Down a little more.

Leo Laporte Down a little more. Down, down, there it is.

John C. Dvorak There it is.

Leo Laporte That’s a good picture of you. Looks just like [ph] this (12:52) – Google’s at risk by not leaving China. So here’s the deal, on Tuesday, this has been going on for some time, Google in fact now we know had meetings Christmas Eve. Eric Schmidt who the story goes has been the strongest advocate of Google cooperating with the Chinese authorities, with being in China, they’ve been there for four years, filtering search results at the behest of the Chinese government, following the Chinese government’s law we should say, but never gave any information about dissidents to China, in fact was smart, they kept their servers out of China, they had [ph] those (13:27) search servers there but the Gmail servers, the Docs servers were all overseas so they weren’t required to give any information to the Chinese government, and they – unlike Yahoo! they managed not to, but starting at some point and it depends who you read, could be anywhere from 2001 to July, hackers started breaking into Google’s servers in the U.S. trying to steal information about dissidents, trying to steal source code; Google roundabout December discovered these intrusions, tracked them down, they clearly believed according to a blog post that came out on Tuesday it was the Chinese government doing it; they say furthermore that as many as 30 U.S. countries or have been similarly hacked that human rights advocates outside of China’s Gmail accounts have been compromised through [ph] usage (14:21) of phising, spear-phising, malware, other scams like that, not breaking into Google’s severs but actually hacking these people with targeted attacks, and essentially Google said enough is enough, if China does this – since China has done this we have been given no choice, we are going to give them two choices, we’re going to say change your laws and let us operate unfettered in China or we will exit. Is that accurate, John as to what happened?

John C. Dvorak That’s what is reported. I’m not absolutely sure that any of this actually happened…

Leo Laporte Why not?

John C. Dvorak In terms of the China hack.

Leo Laporte What do you think happened?

John C. Dvorak Well, I don’t say – I don’t know what happened because of – Google’s not very forthcoming; they don’t even have a press release out on this but I do know this much; they had to get out of China because if they were going to be forced to give China special treatment for its search engine just so it could be there…

Leo Laporte Which they’ve been doing for four years.

John C. Dvorak Yes, I know, somebody finally figured out that if they keep doing it this way and ’cause they were starting to gain market share on Baidu over the past 6 months to the point where they were almost getting up to 50%, they were up to 40 I think, they realized that they would be – put themselves in a tremendous bind in the future if the majority of their income started to come from China because at some point the Chinese could say, hey, wait a minute, you know, now that you’re getting most of your money from us, we want to make – mention something to you, maybe you should stop – take those anti-Chinese websites that you show to people every place else, maybe you should stop doing that, and…

Leo Laporte Around the world, not just in China but around the world.

John C. Dvorak Yes, and they could lord it over them or pull the plug late in the game which would sink the Google stock and almost ruin – it could ruin the company, Google has to go about it to some other way so it has to get out of China under these rules.

Leo Laporte Very interesting. That’s makes sense. Patrick, does that make sense to you?

Patrick Beja I’m not certain it does. I mean, well, maybe they could exit more gracefully in the future but it seems like a pretty drastic response to be saying goodbye to all that income just now with 40% of the market now in China and maybe more in the future, they are saying goodbye now to all that money just because in the future it might become a problem with censorship, especially since everyone else is still doing it, it doesn’t seem to bother everyone else, there must be some other component to this.

Leo Laporte You know, I think that there were internal divisions at Google, I mean, [ph] Ken Letta (16:55) and others are saying that Eric Schmidt always wanted to be in China, continued to want to be in China even at that Christmas Eve meeting, that Sergey Brin, one of the founders of Google, has never been comfortable with being in China and that this gave Sergey the ammunition he needed to finally say look guys we cannot do business with a partner that spies on us, that attacks us, that’s attempting to break into our servers, I think you’re right John, I mean I think they probably did look down the road, and said, and it’s only going to get worse but I think that they, this gave Sergey the ammunition he needed to finally win this battle with Eric Schmidt, and maybe even the Board, who knows.

John C. Dvorak [ph] It probably (17:34) gave him the excuse they needed is what it was. But whatever the case is…

Leo Laporte Well, and one of the things we raised in the This Week in Google Show yesterday, one of the things I raised is its very convenient for Google, for a number of reasons; first of all they’ve managed to deflect kind of an important point which is that they were hacked. You know, all the attention is on Google taking a stand, people applauding Google for standing up to China which completely distracts from the bigger issue which is data was compromised.

Patrick Beja The cloud.

Leo Laporte The cloud, it was compromised.

Patrick Beja There was a number of attacks but were they actually – were the attacks successful? Did they manage to…

Leo Laporte Yes, Google admits they were successful.

Patrick Beja Get the information that they wanted?

Leo Laporte Yes, well, Google says no information about dissidents was released; the hackers never got into Gmail accounts but they did manage to get some account information and they apparently got some intellectual property including source code, so no, there [ph] was a (18:32) successful attack; the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton released a statement that evening, Tuesday evening, saying effectively, “You’ve got to explain, some explaining to do.” She asked the Chinese government to explain itself saying that Google’s allegations “raise very serious concerns and questions, the ability to cooperate with confidence in cyberspace is critical in a modern society and economy,” and Thursday she’s going to have an address specifically on this. Google also says, this is according to the blog posting by Google Chief Legal Officer, David Drummond, I think it’s telling that it was the legal beagle that announced this. First, “First this attack was not just on Google, as part of our investigation, we’ve discovered that at least 20 other large companies,” by the way that number is now I think 30, from a wide range of businesses and includes Adobe, by the way, “including the Internet, finance, technology, media and chemical sectors have been similarly targeted; second we have evidence to suggest that a primary goal of the attackers was accessing the Gmail accounts of Chinese human right activists.”

Patrick Beja It does, you know, you were asking what it – the way we approached it here in France, and the first thing that came up, I think maybe it was early in the game when we weren’t sure of the scope of the attack and the origin of the attack; everyone thought it was China but we weren’t sure as much as we are now, the first question that came up was is Google doing this for moral reasons? Are they upholding their “Don’t be evil”…

Leo Laporte Yes, you know, that’s a good question because they put up with Chinese regulation for four years and now all of a sudden they get a spine?

Patrick Beja Well, it does – certainly there is an ulterior motive and it might very well be what John is talking about that, you know, but I do think that there is also something else which is somewhere in the company, possibly, you know, Sergey, there is a moral compass in a way that there isn’t in any other company because I don’t think given China’s market that it would even be a question at Microsoft, I mean maybe I’m wrong but can you even imagine Microsoft thinking well, you know what, the Chinese government isn’t super – playing super nice with us, so we’re going to leave and leave all that pile of money on the ground.

Leo Laporte Somebody in the chat room’s asking a good question. Isn’t this almost tantamount to an act of war? You know what’s funny is that – well here’s the funny thing…

John C. Dvorak How’s it an act of war? I go to China, visit, I don’t like the place, I leave.

Leo Laporte No, the act of war from China attacking our infrastructure and, I’ll tell you, here’s what the funny thing is that we discovered, I remember this in September that the federal government announced that American infrastructure, the electrical grid, independent electrical companies had been attacked that they found Trojan horses on many of those computers. It was at that time, I think, was widely suspected it was China – of course China has that – had that operation hacking the Dalai Lama and there was not nearly the furor that there is now. It’s as if, you know, hey you can attack our electrical grid which really is an act of war. Go ahead but attack Google, hey, don’t mess with the Google. I think it’s a little easy…

John C. Dvorak Well, you know the fact [ph] that (21:51).

Leo Laporte …for Google at this point because they did – they deflect from the fact they were hacked, it also if Google’s – there is a lot of attention lately with people, and I don’t know how it is in France but I suspect that it’s the same there with people saying I’m not sure if we trust Google and I think Google needed something like this to – to kind of reassert their moral authority, “Oh you can trust us.” So it’s very convenient.

John C. Dvorak Yeah, yeah, [ph] the whole (22:15) makes me think the whole thing is a charade but that said – by the way we also do this. Americans do this kind of stuff too – we’re always nosing around other people’s systems…

Leo Laporte That may be why we didn’t say anything, huh?

John C. Dvorak But you know the fact that the Chinese – I mean is the Chinese – what you’re telling – what their endpoint message is is the cloud is not safe and the Chinese can’t seem to do this without getting caught.

Leo Laporte Well or they were doing it a long time and Google finally sussed to it.

John C. Dvorak Yeah, that's actually what I also suggest in the column that this has been going on.

Leo Laporte A lot of experts say it’s been going on since 2001.

Patrick Beja Too that – in that – to that extent, in that scale.

Leo Laporte I don’t know, I don’t know. You know…

Patrick Beja There are a lot – lots of unknown, right?

Leo Laporte Now, in France and I think this is true of the EU in general, this mistrust of Google is not new, in fact the EU has been going after Google. In fact the French government said it’s going to – on Thursday that it was thinking of taxing Google.

Patrick Beja Yes, that's a hilarious story but yes…

Leo Laporte Now this is, this is, this is okay. Now I’m not one of those guys that says France socialist, bad, but this is a little bit of a stereotype. The French government is considering a Google tax that would help level the playing field between Internet portals that offer free content and the music, film and publishing industries that lost revenue because of it.

Patrick Beja It’s not exactly a – the government proposing this. It’s a – sort of a…

Leo Laporte Sarkozy said it, didn’t he?

Patrick Beja Well, not exactly. There’s basically a study that was conducted by a guy who works for the music industry…

Leo Laporte Oh.

Patrick Beja …[ph] about (23:51) the ways that we can improve the cultural offerings on the Internet and one thing that he suggested amongst many others was this idea that, you know, someone is making lots of money on the Internet, let’s tax them to do something else, to, you know, to promote music and other things and it is, I mean, it might get somewhat proposed in a law somewhere in the government but it’s so completely asinine that the EU is never going to let that fly. It’s ridiculous. It has no grounds whatsoever without any…

Leo Laporte He also said the possibly dominant position Google has acquired in the online ad market should be officially investigated for any unfair practices. There’s definitely an anti-Google and [ph] I was (24:41) suppose it’s anti-US sentiment…

John C. Dvorak Oh, they hate us.

Patrick Beja No, I think it is – it’s this guy who is a music industry guy who is entirely…

Leo Laporte That was Sarkozy, that was your President talking.

Patrick Beja But – okay he is not the super biggest fan of the Internet either. Let’s just, you know, he’s the guy who pushed for the three strikes law but…

Leo Laporte Which went into effect this week as well.

Patrick Beja Yes, it did, yeah. It’s a catastrophe, it’s a disaster but it’s never going to be actually enforceable. Did you see that story about the three strikes law thing? They actually [ph] for the logo (25:18) through a series of missteps ended up using illegally a font that didn’t belong to them.

Leo Laporte So, do you mean the poster for the law broke copyright law?

Patrick Beja The logo for the government body called [ph] ado-p (25:36) was designed by [ph] a firm (25:38) who used a font that belongs to Orange, you know, the…

Leo Laporte The phone company, right.

Patrick Beja [ph] Telephone company (25:45) and they designed the logo with that font and when the logo came out it was like well, wait a second. Did [ph] you (25:52) pay for that?

John C. Dvorak Strike one…

Patrick Beja No, so this is a disaster. The Google tax thing is never – it’s most probably not even constitutional in the concept, why would you tax Google on the Internet and not people, you know, the ad companies in the street who display ads on posters and banners and stuff like that. It’s never going to go – well, I think it’s never going to go through but it pretty much shows you how ridiculous we are when we go about thinking of these things and more than France and socialism I think it shows how people in this country and probably others don’t understand the way it works. They don’t know what this Internet thing is and they still don’t know how they can make money out of it. So they’re thinking let’s take the money from the guy who actually makes money.

Leo Laporte Tax it, tax it, why not?

Patrick Beja Yes.

John C. Dvorak I’d like to see a per click tax.

Leo Laporte It’s not much, just a $0.25 per click, one [ph] centime, un centime (26:48) per click.

Patrick Beja Yeah.

John C. Dvorak Do the rest of the show with that accent.

Leo Laporte No, Patrick was [ph] stunned (26:57).

Patrick Beja Oh! I’m used to it.

Leo Laporte Yeah, yeah.

Patrick Beja But going back to the Google thing, I have a question, do you guys – does this Google getting out of China for whatever reason if it’s an excuse, if it’s a good, you know, point at this point to get out for various reasons? Does it make you like Google more or does it not change your opinion?

Leo Laporte Oh no it makes me like Google more, I think in fact I would say if I – you polled the blogosphere on Tuesday, it was a resounding applause for Google. “Right on Google! You’re doing the right thing. Go for it Google.” Right.

John C. Dvorak I can’t get behind that kind of thinking personally. I like Google just the way I like Google. I don’t like it more.

Leo Laporte But don’t you think though this is good, I have to say…

John C. Dvorak And, and, and if a better search engine came along, I’d bail out in a minute.

Leo Laporte But now first of all, let me underscore, this is more than search. When Google pulls out of China, it’s Google docs., it’s Google mail, it’s Google voice. It’s all of the – it’s all of the Google tools. Now you may say yeah Google’s only a – less than half of the search market but let me tell you the intelligentsia, the university students, they in the cities of China, they use these Google tools heavily. That's why China’s breaking into Gmail. They’re trying to get the dissidents' e-mail accounts. So that's a big deal. These people, you know, that’s a – what if Google pulled out of the US? What if you couldn’t use Google maps anymore? Would it be a problem, John?

John C. Dvorak No, it wouldn’t a problem. Well, [ph] why would be a problem if I use (28:26)…

Leo Laporte You’d use MapQuest.

John C. Dvorak …Microsoft maps.

Patrick Beja Okay, in that case, John, let me ask you this. What does Google, at this point, with this getting out of China, [ph] with (28:37) China was basically the only thorn in their side that people could point at and saying they’re not doing that right, they’re not holding their ‘don’t be evil’ motto. Everything else they’re doing is either, you know, open source, state of liberation front. Everything they’re doing is trying to be open and, you know, the way they should be doing things. Is there anything that you could tell Google except, you know, the big spooky thing we don’t trust Google because they have all our info which I agree with but what else could they be doing to earn your trust and love?

John C. Dvorak They’re doing fine, they’ve got my trust and love. I don’t like to – I don’t do the doc stuff and I don’t do – I use the Google search engine. It works great. [ph] But does it (29:19) mean is there anything more they could do to impress me, you might want to ask that question? I don’t know, I think that Nexus phone is kind of neat except it’s so slippery.

Leo Laporte Ah! It’s not that slippery. I heard you talking about it being slippery. It’s no more slippery than the iPhone. The iPhone was slippery too.

John C. Dvorak I’ve dropped it a couple of times already.

Leo Laporte I have too but I dropped the iPhone the first day I got it. You just have to hold on tight.

John C. Dvorak [ph] You can (29:39) see that's problem with the Nexus when you hold on tight, it – you touch the screen and because it doesn’t have dual touch or whatever it shorts it out, and you can’t do anything.

Leo Laporte It does by the way.

John C. Dvorak You’d have to hold it weird like this.

Leo Laporte No, no, no, the operating system does have multi-touch. The phone hardware has multi-touch. Hey I heard an interesting rumor and this was from a correspondent who does not wish to be named [ph] he (29:58) works with Google, who said, “I’ll tell you what really happened, Apple,” with whom Google still has a very good relationship, “said, ‘can you guys not put multi-touch in the phone for a little while, our patents for multi-touch are very weak, we don’t want them challenged at this point. We’d like’” – and I don’t know why Google…

John C. Dvorak That’s a good story.

Leo Laporte It’s a good story. I don’t know why Google would [ph] accede (30:18) accept that maybe they still like Apple. But, it’s – I can prove that it has multi-touch because you can use multi-touch on the keyboard, there are applications that support multi-touch, there’s even a browser that supports multi-touch that you can put on the Nexus One and the Droid by the way, which also has multi-touch. I love this phone John. I’ve gave – I have officially replaced my iPhone with a Nexus One.

Patrick Beja Really?

John C. Dvorak You’ve actually moved over, you dropped the iPhone for this thing?

Leo Laporte Yeah, and I love it.

Patrick Beja So why did they only sell 20,000?

Leo Laporte Well, I mean, you know, it’s – because they don’t have…

John C. Dvorak [ph] They (30:51) nobody knows yet that Leo loves it.

Leo Laporte They don’t have Apple’s marketing clout, I mean the iPhone – I think probably for most users the iPhone probably is still – we kind of debated this yesterday. Jeff Jarvis who’s kind of – he’s not a hacker type, he’s uncomfortable with the Google phone but Gina and I loved it. I think it’s – for people who don’t want to mess with their phone, the iPhone’s very straightforward, very simple, but if you want to have a – if you want to have folders on your desktop, or you want to have any kind of configuration capabilities, if you want to have an open store, if you want to have multi-tasking, this phone, it’s so fast. It’s a gigahertz processor.

John C. Dvorak I like – no, I’m not saying I don’t like the phone, I just don’t like the fact that it’s slippery, A, and…

Leo Laporte Get a case!

John C. Dvorak [ph] Well (31:34) when I get a case I’ll be a happy camper. Now, the other thing about the…

Leo Laporte I ordered a case right away. I ordered a silicone case. But the iPhone is just as slippery, it really is.

John C. Dvorak So the thing about it is the – is that what I do like is that when you’re doing SMS you can just push the little microphone and then say [ph] some bad (31:50).

Leo Laporte Isn’t that the coolest?

Patrick Beja It works?

John C. Dvorak And then you don’t have to deal with the typing.

Leo Laporte It works great.

John C. Dvorak And the other thing – and it’s amazingly accurate. And the other thing I do like about it – I like the turn-by-turn, it’s very good.

Leo Laporte Yes, it’s got built-in turn-by-turn GPS free, that when you arrive it gives you [ph] a extreme view (32:08).

John C. Dvorak It shows you a picture [ph] where you arrive (32:10)…

Leo Laporte I know.

John C. Dvorak …it uses the Google map, that little [ph] yoke (32:12) that takes the photos.

Leo Laporte The integration into Google is significant, I mean it’s huge. All right. I’m going to compose a text to you John. Here we go. So instead of using the typing, I’m just going speak into it.

“Hey, John, how are you today? I am fine.”

See [ph] if that’s right (32:41). What are you laughing at?

Patrick Beja I’m sorry, [ph] it sounded funny (32:42).

Leo Laporte You could probably do it in French actually. Hey, John how – oh, look it did [ph] are you too (32:48). It did like in – like I’m a kid, like texting. And I don’t know why.

John C. Dvorak At least it figured out your personality, Leo.

Leo Laporte Yeah. No, I’ve been using it for all week – well not all week, I got back from CES on Sunday, so, yeah, I guess all week for – and I started doing the texting in the last couple of days using the dictation, I love it. Now it’s not good for driving because you [ph] some you know (33:10) have to fiddle with it sometimes. But, you know, do a little editing. But I just – I think this phone is spectacular in so many ways, I’m just really happy with it. Great camera, great video.

Patrick Beja So will you be – still be happy with it when the fourth iPhone come out?

Leo Laporte Talk to me then.

Patrick Beja What do you figure?

John C. Dvorak No, Leo’s fickle.

Leo Laporte Talk to me then. Well, look, no, my job is not to be loyal. That’s not my job to be loyal to a platform or a device.

John C. Dvorak He’s fickle. He just jumps on whatever bandwagon is [ph] right (33:39) driving by.

Leo Laporte [ph] I’m not (33:40) fickle. I try it all and if something – I kept trying iPhone replacements, I did the Palm Pre, the Storm, the Instinct, even the Droid and I never replaced the iPhone until this came along. I’m not fickle, I go with the best, I don’t have loyalty to a device because my job is to tell you what the best is. And I don’t even think it’s the best…

John C. Dvorak I don’t want to hear anymore. So – God – laying it on thick.

Leo Laporte That’s not – that’s what it is. Isn’t that your job?

John C. Dvorak So I went back – I still – I like the Nexus phone, but here’s another problem I have with it. So I did – I did kind of a stress test with it and I cranked it way up. Somebody in the chat room just said be careful Dvorak, he’ll pull a [ph] Mike Arrington (34:24) on you.

Leo Laporte Screw you Dvorak!

John C. Dvorak So I did a stress test…

Leo Laporte By the way, that video still has one [ph] one thousandth (34:33) the number of views of Barney singing in your bathtub.

John C. Dvorak So I have – so here’s the deal.

Patrick Beja Maybe [ph] you should make Barney do it (34:40)

Leo Laporte Yeah.

John C. Dvorak [ph] For weeks (34:39) this Barney thing. But anyway, the – I loaded [ph] that (34:43) I put the Wi-Fi on, I put the GPS on, I loaded it up to the gills with everything, it lasted 3.5 hours under full load, which I thought was kind of nice. But just under – just average use it still drops dead after a day. The old Nokia N70 or E71, N71 which one it is that I normal – my normal regular phone, that thing goes on for a week without having to recharge and I’m always forgetting to charge it.

Leo Laporte Give it up John. No smartphone’s going to do that. I mean [ph] it’s got an old (35:13) screen which is a little bit more economical but it’s not – no smartphone is going to go a week anymore, no phone’s going to go a week anymore. That’s just old school man. You charge it every night. What’s wrong with that?

Patrick Beja I agree.

John C. Dvorak I forget.

Leo Laporte You forget. So, here’s John, what I do is – okay, I have a dresser, when I take off my clothes I put my wallet and my keys on the dresser and I plug in my phone and then the next morning it’s all ready to go for me.

Patrick Beja What we need is wireless recharging like the [ph] Prius (35:44).

Leo Laporte There is such a thing – there is such a thing. You can [Ph] buy (35:50) third party.

John C. Dvorak I’m old and I’m grumpy and I forget.

Leo Laporte I don’t really have a problem with the – with that. I kind of expect that, you know, any smartphone is going to have to be recharged. It’s got to get through a day, that’s kind of the minimum. In this [ph] this is about (36:00).

Patrick Beja [ph] But it (36:02) doesn’t get through the day.

Leo Laporte You know, it’s about the same as the Pre and iPhone, they’re all kind of like that depending on how you use it. When – you know, when you get a new phone you turn on all the buttons. You do what Dvorak did. But under normal use I find it’s exactly a day. But again I plug it in when I get to work. I don’t – it’s not an issue for me. And it has an interchangeable battery. You don’t like that, get a new – get a second battery.

John C. Dvorak Well at least you can do that.

Leo Laporte Yeah. Yeah, I mean I just – I really think this is finally the Android operating system coming of age. I guess that’s my point. With 2.1 it has come of age. I liked the Droid a lot, I thought it was this close and Nexus One gets – gets it right there. I was very impressed. And I think that – I would like to see this do well. I mean do have some advocacy – a little bit of juice for it because if this phone does well, there’ll be more applications for it. It is an open…

John C. Dvorak Oh, wait. I know what it is.

Leo Laporte What?

John C. Dvorak This Week in Nexus.

Leo Laporte No, no, no, [ph] we already did this week in Google (37:05).

John C. Dvorak Another podcast like you’re not doing enough.

Leo Laporte No, no. If I were going to do a podcast, I would do a cellphone podcast, you’re right. I think that that’s something that we could probably do. But you know. And you’re absolutely right, I’m going to see what happens in March. Hey, you know what, January 26, a week from Tuesday, if Apple announces something spectacular that it’s better than this, then I’ll replace this. I go with whatever’s the best today. That’s not fickle.

Patrick Beja Is it 26 or 27 [ph] in then (37:27).

Leo Laporte No one knows exactly. It’s all rumor. Apple hasn’t said anything. But we will be there whatever day it is.

Patrick Beja Well I hope Google brings the Nexus phone in France so that we can tax it.

Leo Laporte Another opportunity for revenue. I don’t think – I don’t think fickle’s the right word. I try them all, I buy them all, I don’t get free versions, I try them all, and if something’s better, I tell you it’s better. That’s all. And if it’s not, I set it aside and I have been using the iPhone for three years which is a measure of its success. But finally I found something that is I would say as good as – for it depends on who you are. As I said – do you use an iPhone yet, John? No, you’re still a Nokia guy.

John C. Dvorak I use the Nokia and then I also use the Nexus and I have to decide – I mean, I would use an iPhone but I hate AT&T to such an extreme that I refuse to and I have principles.

Patrick Beja Okay, this is – this is what worries me about the rise of the Google phone. You can install an application from anywhere…

Leo Laporte Well…

Patrick Beja …which everyone has been saying, yes this is the way we should do it, it’s like, you know, a computer, you can do that, you don’t need to go through the App store and we don’t need to – we have how many tens of millions of zombie computers working for whatever ghost network, whoever thought that was a good idea, who wants to replicate this on phones, on everyone – this is going to happen, you know it’s going to happen if you know [ph] what Android (38:54) is…

Leo Laporte Guess what, it already happened.

Patrick Beja Well there you go.

Leo Laporte The Android marketplace – to be a developer for Android you merely need to sign up and that’s it. And there’s no approval process – unlike Apple, there’s no approval process at all, it’s open. And I think that that’s a strength. However, it’s also a security risk. A person with the handle ‘Droid 09’ uploaded into the Android market and was there for a day or two, a program called First Tech Credit Union. If you were a customer of the First Tech Credit Union, you might have downloaded it, saying oh great my bank has put up an Android application. According to a warning on the Credit Union site, the app was malware. We recently learned that a fraudster developed a rogue Android smartphone app, it creates a shell of mobile banking apps, it tries to gain access to a customer’s financial information, said the bank, please note this attack didn’t target First Tech accounts, accessing your account from your phone’s browser is still completely secure. The app is down. But this is exactly what you were saying Patrick, this is the risk of having an open marketplace.

Patrick Beja And this is bad enough but you can also operate outside of the Android market, right. If you put a link on a website you can go there through the phone and it’s all they ask, right.

Leo Laporte Yes, now to do that you have to go in the settings in the phone and say I am willing and it gives you a risk security warning, and everything. I am willing….

Patrick Beja Okay.

Leo Laporte …to get applications from third parties, but that’s ironic because it doesn’t take much to put one on the marketplace, so obviously. So, yeah you’re given openness, I think probably I would expect and I would – I think it needs to be that Google or somebody makes kind of a vetted marketplace where these are secure, but I like the choice and I think that’s the key, you don’t have a choice really unless you jailbreak the iPhone which is not only an onerous process, it reduces its reliability and causes all sorts of other issues.

Patrick Beja That’s true, but you do – I think you do need a sort of label approved, proven safe whatever reviewed for the apps…

Leo Laporte I think you’re probably right.

Patrick Beja …so that people know that you can – it may be even only let people download approved apps if they don’t change that setting in the menu, because if you don’t pretty much you’re going to start needing an antivirus and a firewall on your phone and stuff like that. It’s going to be horrible.

Leo Laporte There has been a – there have been a lot of complaints about customer service – there are people who got the Google phone, the Nexus One, and discovered that T-Mobile sucked, shock, which it does apparently in some areas. It works quite well here. I’m actually getting 3G reliably. I haven’t dropped a single call, which I can’t say is the case for the iPhone here. If you buy, I have to say if you buy a T-Mobile version of the Nexus One not only will you face potential early termination fees from T-Mobile but Google has its own equipment recovery fee, $350 if you cancel within the first 120 days. [ph] That’s (42:10) not so good.

John C. Dvorak [ph] What (42:11) was this, can you back this up, I mean if you do what with T-Mobile?

Leo Laporte According to Engadget, okay I’m going to read the story Ross Miller posted on Engadget January 12, “Here’s another reason to consider going the unlocked route with the Nexus One,” which is what I did by the way ’cause I want to be able to take it to Europe and so forth. “In addition to having the AT&T non-3G and international GSM option, as a number of people have noticed, Google has its own early termination fee equivalent here called the equipment recovery fee. In the terms of sale they say they will charge you,” and I don’t know if they actually are doing it, “$350 if you cancel within the first 120 days. This is in addition to any fees imposed by the carrier.”

John C. Dvorak Why would anybody not just buy an unlocked phone then?

Leo Laporte Yeah because T-Mobile’s got its $200 ETF, so…

Patrick Beja So where is this coming from? Why – do other carriers [ph] do this (43:08) as well?

Leo Laporte No, we do – in the States there – all carriers have an ETF which is usually $175 or more, that is because they’re subsidizing the phone. So this is for people who buy the subsidized.

John C. Dvorak And by the way once you terminate you should be able to get an unlocked code for any phone you have.

Leo Laporte That’s the law, but very rarely in practice.

John C. Dvorak Well, nobody ever asked to do it because they don’t get the fact that the phone’s locked in the first place.

Leo Laporte Right.

John C. Dvorak But I have a number of phones that I’ve…

Leo Laporte But we do have – Oh, I’m sorry…

John C. Dvorak …I’ve usually given to the kids eventually but that, that are past their due date and you just call them up and they give you the unlock code and you unlock the phone, you can do anything with it after that.

Leo Laporte Yeah, this one’s unlocked. It was $529 but it’s unlocked and they you can get a month to month T-Mobile account, so you don’t even have an ETF from T-Mobile. So that I thought was a good attractive, that’s kind of like how it is in Europe.

Patrick Beja Yeah, exactly, that’s exactly the way it is in Europe and you do have an ETF for the carrier, but you don’t have an ETF from the manufacturer.

Leo Laporte Right. That’s unheard of, I’ve never heard of that before.

Patrick Beja Yeah. [ph] It’s very strange (44:09).

Leo Laporte That’s just bizarre and I don’t know if Google’s enforcing it. Lots of complaints though on the boards about Google’s lack of customer support, people are having trouble with T-Mobile. [ph] They (44:19) have no one to talk to.

Patrick Beja Apparently you can’t call anyone at Google, you have to send an e-mail right?

Leo Laporte Right. They don’t have phones.

John C. Dvorak They don’t use phones, they use Google Voice.

Leo Laporte Yeah, that’s one thing I love about this…

John C. Dvorak Which by the way is one of those things I do like from Google quite a bit.

Leo Laporte I wish they would open this up because this is one of the most, the strongest selling points for the Nexus One, maybe this is why they haven’t sold that many, but because you still can’t – you can get an invite maybe if somebody you know has Google Voice but there’s no way, other way that I know of to get a Google Voice account, I happen to have one ’cause I was a GrandCentral customer and this works with the Google Voice to the point that you replace the voice mail with Google Voice. You can even replace all the calling with Google Voice if you want. I have it set so the international calls go through Google Voice which is a lot cheaper than T-Mobile and then I don’t use T-Mobile’s voice mail. I use Google Voice so that all the messages come to my phone just like visual voice mail plus text which is something Apple doesn’t do. So I – I think that’s another selling point, unfortunately you have to have somebody – somebody e-mailed me and said, “Well that’s nice but who has Google Voice?” And not everybody does, alas.

Patrick Beja I have Google Voice [ph] and it’s a US convert (45:24).

John C. Dvorak [ph] That’s not (45:24) ask around most people you can get it, there’s invites all over the place.

Leo Laporte Are there? I bought a few on eBay actually, like 350, $3.50.

John C. Dvorak That’s a good deal.

Patrick Beja I got an invite and got a U.S. number and now there’s talk of Google Voice may be coming to Europe and I’m afraid I’m going to be stuck with my U.S. numbers stuck to my account and I just opened it to [ph] test it (45:47).

John C. Dvorak No, no, no. They have a $10 fee, you can change it to anything you want.

Patrick Beja Oh, thank you, John. You just saved my Google Voice life.

Leo Laporte When you use your Google Voice is it as if you are calling from the U.S.?

Patrick Beja I’m actually never using it. I did it twice to test it, but…

Leo Laporte That’s cool.

Patrick Beja Yeah, it’s – I’m really hoping they bring it to Europe but apparently it’s not in the books for right now. They’ve been talking about it recently a little bit, but – yeah that’s definitely one of the things that would put a phone over the iPhone [ph] if you did the service (46:21).

Leo Laporte Oh it’s spectacular. Apparently they’re telling me in the chat room that somebody said, oh I just went to, requested an invitation, I got one within a week. So I guess they are a little bit more liberal with these now.

John C. Dvorak Yeah, they just needed to get their capacity up, it’s amazing product, I mean we don’t even have any long distance service anymore, we just use Google Voice, the whole family does…

Leo Laporte Right.

John C. Dvorak And because Google Voice is a long distance service of sorts that’s free and there goes my AT&T, I don’t have to deal with them anymore.

Leo Laporte The only negative I’ve noticed – have you noticed this? There’s some lag in the phone calls. There’s a lot of latency.

John C. Dvorak No.

Leo Laporte Okay, maybe it’s just me.

John C. Dvorak I’ve never noticed that ever. Seriously. No.

Leo Laporte It’s like a half second to a second, okay. The quality’s good.

Patrick Beja Okay, this is what I’m talking about. What other company has improved our lives as much as – it seems like I’m in love with Google which admittedly I’m little bit, but they have really changed our lives a lot more then most companies in the past five, maybe even to 10 years.

Leo Laporte Oh, I’d say so. In fact you could make a case in the States that both AT&T and Verizon recently, this week, announced a drop in the cost of their all-in-one programs, all you can eat programs and I think that you could trace it directly to the fact that T-Mobile introduced this plan, this all you can eat plan – very inexpensive plans that are month to month and I think that you can say that they did that because they knew they were getting the Google phone and this is basically a plan for the Google phone. So, in a way you can indirectly say that Google is absolutely making a strong impact on the wireless industry in the U.S. Prices are going down because of them.

John C. Dvorak Good.

Leo Laporte Article in Mobile Beat about the chip in the Nexus One, it’s the audience a1026 voice processor chip. This is an additional chip that apparently makes a huge difference in the quality to DSP in the quality of the phone calls. The real time processing brings up the human voice, brings down the background noise, brings down digital echoes. So they actually built in a voice processing chip in this and by the way…

John C. Dvorak It’s got a microphone in the back of the phone.

Leo Laporte Yeah, it’s got two microphones.

Patrick Beja Yeah, that’s basically like a noise reduction system that works like it does for these high-end headphones right.

Leo Laporte Right, right there’s a microphone hole there and I don’t know if that’s a microphone.

John C. Dvorak That’s a speaker.

Leo Laporte This is the speaker here and then there’s a microphone on the bottom. So I guess this is picking up background noise. That’s kind of, that’s a clever design. I haven’t noticed the sound quality one way or the other because I very rarely make phone calls. For me I do much more texting and e-mailing and all that, than I do phone calls. Let’s see other stories; we’re going to get to in just a bit. There is quite a bit of news, in fact I’d love to get a kind of a CES from the outside point of view from Patrick and John. But before we do that I want to mention our friends at [ph] It’s (49:25) a backup solution, a great backup solution that I’ve been using since the bad, dim dark day about three years ago when I lost 10 Giz Wiz shows by accidental deletion and had to call Dick deBartolo and say, “You know those great shows we just recorded? Can we do those again?” And then right about the same time it was the same mistake I made. I installed – I turned on Windows Media Player and it said ‘do you want to look for songs on the hard drive’, I said yes. It catalogued them all and then I thought it was like iTunes where if I deleted the names of the songs it wouldn’t delete the songs, except that it did. So not only did I lose 10 Giz Wiz’s but I also lost – it happened twice. An interview for FLOOS Weekly I lost it once, I called the guy back. We did it again, I lost it again. I had to send him a fruit basket I felt so bad, and we did it a third time. I’m not going to say names but it was after that that I said, look I got to have a solution so that I don’t lose podcasts anymore and I discovered I’ve been using it ever since. So what happens, you can go there right now and install it; you go to You don’t need a credit card, just use the coupon code ‘TWiT’ and you can install it. You’ll be able to try it free for 15 days, immediately it starts backing up your data. It uses AES 256 bit encryption; you choose the key so no one can into it; scrambles it up, then uses 128 SSL for extra security to upload it to their servers.

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So by the way just one more Nexus One story, did you see that Wozniak was doing an interview on NBC and he said, when they asked him what’s your favorite gadget, he said, oh I like the Google phone. Steve Wozniak.

John C. Dvorak He did?

Leo Laporte Yeah, he said it’s the latest one and it’s a non-Apple product. It just came out yesterday. I love Woz because he is just like – you know what, he’s guileless.

John C. Dvorak He’s fickle.

Leo Laporte He’s not fickle, he just says it like he sees it, and by the way later he said, but I own, I still have two iPhones, because he got a little bit of I am sure heat. I am sure Steve said, ‘Woz, dude…’ He says…

John C. Dvorak This is what we need up at the cottage, by the way, what I’m showing you.

Leo Laporte What’s that?

John C. Dvorak A case of this.

Leo Laporte Is that a Bordeaux?

John C. Dvorak Of course.

Leo Laporte ‘Chateau Lynch Bagel’?

John C. Dvorak Lunch Bags.

Leo Laporte Lunch Bags. Is that a good Bordeaux?

John C. Dvorak Oh yeah.

Leo Laporte Oh yeah. Well don’t drink it. Whatever you do keep a cork in it Dvorak, because I want to try it. You keep telling me how great Bordeaux are, and I don’t know if I’ve ever had a great Bordeaux. Patrick…

John C. Dvorak You’ve had a couple of them, all of those Leoville wines are great Bordeaux.

Leo Laporte The Leoville’s are [ph] good? (53:23) Okay, okay. They were very good.

John C. Dvorak And they’re your wine, I mean they’ve got your name on them.

Leo Laporte I know I should drink more Leoville. It’s the name of my blog. Patrick do you drink Bordeaux, do you drink wine at all?

Patrick Beja I am the worst French person you will ever fine: I don’t drink wine. Well I drink like everyone else but…

Leo Laporte You hate baguettes too?

John C. Dvorak Hate the baguettes!

Patrick Beja Come on, the baguettes, I mean that’s unavoidable.

Leo Laporte ‘I hate ze baguette; eet ees disgusting bread.’ No you love it – but yeah, who could not love a baguette?

Patrick Beja Yes, when it’s just warm it comes out of the oven in the morning when you go get it at the bakery.

Leo Laporte That little Chèvre chaud and you’re set. That’s it, I’m ready. Saucisson…

John C. Dvorak And by the way meatloaf and Bordeaux go together great.

Leo Laporte Do they?

John C. Dvorak Somebody asked.

Leo Laporte We did a meatloaf, our Munchcast show was about meatloaf right before TWiT. Now I’m hungry.

John C. Dvorak So what other news items do we have here?

Leo Laporte Well there was this thing in Haiti. Did you see – now Twitter went a-crazy with the Haiti thing. In fact it’s funny because two days before Twitter – Ev Williams announced that Twitter had had its busiest day ever, just for no apparent reason; there was no big news story or anything, just growth. And then – and he said ‘and tomorrow will be even bigge’r and then the earthquake happens and of course Twitter goes crazy. There’s emergency messages on Twitter. I don’t think there’s lot of Twittering coming out of Haiti; maybe some of the NGOs, but…

John C. Dvorak There’s a couple.

Leo Laporte Some of it. And then what I thought was great was the immediate re-tweeting of ‘text the word Haiti to 90999 and donate 10 bucks to the American Red Cross.’ There was some misinformation that also got twittered like the phone companies are going to take a lot; they – none of the cellular companies were taking any cut out of that, it all went straight to the Red Cross. And this is…

Patrick Beja They were at the beginning.

Leo Laporte Were they?

Patrick Beja Charging – well they were just taking the charge for the message.

Leo Laporte Oh all right.

Patrick Beja Which some people said was cynical and then I think there was a comment on [ph] BOL (55:27) this week, someone said, well, when you send a check to a charitable organization…

Leo Laporte Yeah, the bank takes a few cents, right. Patrick Beja No, but I mean the post office is not going to write off the price of the stamp.

Leo Laporte That’s a good point. Yes. In any case I think that they wised up and they’re not taking any fee for that. And here’s the great thing: so this is not the first time the Red Cross did this. In, what was it, 2000 – when was Katrina, 2004, 2005, they did it and raised $200,000. After the Asian tsunami, they did it again; raised $400,000. To-date in four or five days since the terrible earthquake in Haiti; $11 million.

Patrick Beja Went to 11 now?

Leo Laporte Eleven.

Patrick Beja I thought it was six like two days ago.

Leo Laporte $11 million as of this morning.

John C. Dvorak That’s interesting.

Leo Laporte Well, I think it says something, first of all that people are texting more, right? More people are comfortable with that. I think Twitter has a lot to do with it. I have to think that the word spread on Twitter. And I did it, I immediately did it; It’s just so easy to do. So I think that that’s kind of encouraging.

John C. Dvorak Yeah, it’s a good gimmick. So…

Patrick Beja It’s quite amazing. The other amazing thing is that Twitter didn’t go down at all.

Leo Laporte No! Yeah; something’s going on there.

John C. Dvorak Yeah, that’s more amazing than anything.

Leo Laporte We haven’t had a ‘Twitter is down’ story in a while. I think Twitter might be – maybe they’ve solved this, maybe they’re reliable.

Patrick Beja Looks like it anyway.

Leo Laporte Could it be? Could it possibly be? Microsoft says – this can’t be right, that ‘it’s legal to rent Windows’?

John C. Dvorak Yeah, this is the big story that broke last week.

Patrick Beja Yes, they are going to start a new SKU, a rental SKU? That comes out nowhere, it’s weird.

Leo Laporte Why would they even – well, first of all I don’t even understand renting.

John C. Dvorak Well, it’s like, rent, you remember the olden days when they used to have vinyl albums and nowadays with the DVD store, you go in and you rent a DVD?

Leo Laporte Oh, like. Wait, wait, but, what you rent, what like, okay, I’m going to go to the software store and rent Microsoft Word for the night?

John C. Dvorak Yeah.

Leo Laporte What do you mean “Yeah”?

John C. Dvorak Make sure you bring it back after a couple of days.

Leo Laporte Don’t forget to rewind. Who’s going to rent Microsoft Word for a night?

John C. Dvorak Forget to rewind the disc!

Leo Laporte Oh, yes, I borrowed Windows 7 for the weekend; we had a great time.

Patrick Beja No, you know what it’s going to be? It’s going to be for companies that have projects that are going to take like a couple of months that they need to set up an office or a department for and they need to rent the thing for a couple of months and then they – I don’t know, give it up or the serial number deactivates or you can’t use it in two locations at the same time? Actually this doesn’t make sense, I’m sorry.

Leo Laporte It makes no sense at all!

John C. Dvorak It was a nice try!

Leo Laporte I have to think that what this really is is Microsoft’s always kind of wanted to charge a monthly fee. That’s what it’s really all about. Right? They don’t want to sell you software. They want you to really think of your software as a subscription. And is this kind of, John you think this is a way of getting that through?

John C. Dvorak Well, yes, you know they may, I think that’s part of it; I think they want to get people into a different frame of mind…

Leo Laporte Yes, exactly.

John C. Dvorak And then turn it into the, whatever the…

Leo Laporte Software is ephemeral.

John C. Dvorak Software as a service.

Leo Laporte Right.

John C. Dvorak I think it’s a huge blunder by the way. You know, if Microsoft had its act together, every time something like this China attack on Google came around, Microsoft could make hay by saying ‘hey, if you were using shrink-wrap you wouldn’t have a problem like this’. They never say anything.

Patrick Beja I don’t think Microsoft wants to point attention out to its security issues, especially since I think one of the major exploits was Internet Explorer based, right?

Leo Laporte Oh yeah; this is how they cracked into all of these computers, was through Aurora, the well known Microsoft flaw in Internet Explorer, and then another one is Adobe.

Patrick Beja That is also present in 7 and 8; it’s not just the 6 thing, right?

Leo Laporte Yes, oh in IE 7 and 8, yeah, oh yeah. It’s in all of them. Hey John, what happened, your picture went away. Are you cut?

John C. Dvorak Yeah, people were complaining that it got too dark and I think it’s because of a setting I did and I’m trying to go back and unset it.

Leo Laporte It’s like the lights went out in your room. I thought it was just the sun went down and it was getting dark.

John C. Dvorak I’m going blind, I can’t see.

Leo Laporte I can’t see!

John C. Dvorak Of course it now turns out I’m not getting anywhere with this trick of mine to fix it.

Leo Laporte No, let me call you back. Because once you do what you did, I don’t think you can restart the video, I don’t know, can you?

John C. Dvorak Ok, well give me one second to get to the tools.

Leo Laporte Put some clothes on, then turn on the lights, okay. Wait a minute, here he comes. He’s coming back.

John C. Dvorak Yeah but see I didn’t get to go and do the fix.

Leo Laporte Yeah, you’re still – well you know, you could turn on a light.

John C. Dvorak It’s – look, watch I’m going to turn a really bright light on right now, ready?


John C. Dvorak Nothing.

Leo Laporte Just to people understand, it looks like the warm glow of a fireplace across the room.

John C. Dvorak I can leave this bright light on, I guess, but I know what the setting is. I know what I did wrong.

Leo Laporte All right, well go ahead. I’ll you what, we could take a break. Everybody – you can go get a baguette and a glass of wine Patrick, John can fiddle with his settings.

John C. Dvorak And then go baste my meat.

Leo Laporte And you making dinner tonight, John?

John C. Dvorak No, I am just going to eat. I’m going to – no.

Leo Laporte We did – we just did a podcast about meatloaf as I mentioned and I am famished. I just – it got my mouth. Do they eat meatloaf in France? Probably not, they probably turn their nose up at meatloaf.

John C. Dvorak It’s called terrine.

Leo Laporte Oh terrine. It’s like pâté.

Patrick Beja Kind of, a little bit. We have Subway meatballs though; that’s delicious.

Leo Laporte Do not eat – that is so sad. I am so bummed out. Do you have Quiznos? Is there a Quiznos in France?

Patrick Beja I’m sorry? I don’t think so, no. I don’t know that one.

Leo Laporte At least there is hope yet. Wendy's, Taco Bell?

Patrick Beja No, not in France.

Leo Laporte I know McDonald’s is everywhere. But it’s so funny, because the McDonald’s – I went to have a ‘Beeg Mac’ and your secret sauce is different.

John C. Dvorak That can’t be!

Leo Laporte Oh, it can be. It’s very – the taste of a French Big Mac is nothing like a – I had one in Beijing. It’s exactly like an American Big Mac, exactly. In fact, you know what; the big fast food in China is Kentucky Fried Chicken. They love their KFC.

John C. Dvorak KFC?

Patrick Beja We have plenty of those, but the big thing in France in McDonald’s is the Royal Deluxe which is especially done for French tastes.

Leo Laporte Yeah, we don’t even have that. ‘Eet’s a ‘amburger fit for Louis Quatorze.’ The Royal Deluxe. That looks good, John; that’s a big improvement.

John C. Dvorak I got the bright light on me because I – yeah, it’s fine, we almost done anyway.

Leo Laporte Well it’s better than the old bright light. He’s dancing. [Sings] He’s a disco, disco Dvorak. I want to be a disco Dvorak.

John C. Dvorak New version of the Tech Grouch is online by the way, someone you check it out,

Leo Laporte What is that clown up to it now? He is just so grouchy.

Patrick Beja Hey, I had a question about the rental SKU.

Leo Laporte Yes.

Patrick Beja I’m sorry, maybe we are on to something else.

Leo Laporte No, you’re bringing us right back to where we ought to be.

Patrick Beja I thought that was John’s job. What’s happening?

Leo Laporte Yeah, no; John’s – he’s turned into the distracter in chief.

Patrick Beja No, I just wanted to know if any of you guys – either of you guys knew how much it was going to be…

Leo Laporte Wait a minute, I am sorry, hold on, hold on. Mevio seems to have snuck into our feed. Wait a minute, stop. How do I stop that? There’s no stop button!

John C. Dvorak You can turn it off. There you go. There’s the Tech Grouch.

Leo Laporte There’s the Tech Grouch – ‘brought to you by Crest’. Now that’s weird. Wait a minute – a tooth – does the toothpaste company know they spent – they’re sponsoring a guy with no teeth?

John C. Dvorak Of course not.

Leo Laporte The guy has no teeth!

The Tech Grouch So it has been reported that some teacher back in Arizona has hooked his computers in the school district up to look for aliens. Now they’re claiming it costs the school district $1 million for him to do this; they fired him. But who billed for the million, the aliens? Hey…

Leo Laporte Wait a minute, what is that hanging in his beard? That is not…

John C. Dvorak That’s the mike.

Leo Laporte That is not – that is not appetizing…

John C. Dvorak How do you mike a guy like that?

Leo Laporte It is not appetizing. It looks like there’s a chunk of food in your beard.

The Tech Grouch Hey, the sill’s going to blow up if you keep the heat that high!

Leo Laporte John, John, don’t put the mike in the beard. You put the mike on the shirt, not in the beard. Just, you know, a little technical tip.

The Tech Grouch Get off the set! Truth be told I was listening to that trance music on the iPhone, and wow – I had a trip. Got any suggestions for the show? Send a self-addressed stamped beaver to

[Growling sounds]

Leo Laporte See that sound, that's the microphone in your beard. ‘Brought to you by Crest.’ How does – that’s pretty amazing; Mevio gets like Procter and Gamble to do ads. That’s pretty good.

John C. Dvorak It’s a good thing.

Leo Laporte Oh, it’s really good. I’m thrilled for you…

John C. Dvorak They don’t have Ford, hello.

Leo Laporte Happy for you. We don’t have Ford anymore either. I had – I don’t know if I had anything to do with this, but you know we had a Ford guy on the show last week at CES, to be – I wanted him to be on TWiT, but I probably should have been more clear that if you’re on TWiT, you can’t talk about Ford, you have to be like a geek. And it just ended up being a big ad, so and the chatroom was going crazy saying this is like a program like that. So I said all right and I let them go and we cut it out. And that – ever since we don’t have any Ford ads.

John C. Dvorak Oh , I’m sorry.

Leo Laporte No, I think it was the schedule that ran out. I do have an Audible ad. They love us. They love us;, your chance to get two, not one but two free books from I listen to Audible books all the time. Just started – I’m really enjoying it, Marion Bradley Zimmer’s The Mists of Avalon. And you do need two books for that one because it’s divided up into two parts it’s so long.

If you go to right now, browse around, take a look at all the fantastic books on, 70,000 titles, all the best sellers. They record a lot of older books that have never been released as audio, especially some sci-fi which is fantastic. Stuff that just was never – classics that were just never recorded. You can pick two of them, any two, and make them yours for free. Go to, sign up for the Gold account. You download these, they download in just a minute or two; that’s another nice thing, you get a hankering for a book or maybe you’re going on a trip soon and you’re ready to – you go ‘oh boy, I can’t get on that plane without something to listen to,’ you know. Within a minute or two you can load up your iPod, your iPhone, your Zune, your Kindle, your Sansa, iRiver, they have a whole device center where you can look and see what devices they support; pretty much everything. Except for the, sorry to say, except for my Droid – my Android phone. But that’s coming soon, I’m told. The Audible folks said, this year.

One of the books I just downloaded, thanks to Tom Merritt, Daemon and Freedom, Daniel Suarez’s books. Tom says they’re really great. Daemon is the story of a computer daemon that solves a murder; pretty wild stuff. Great choices here., give them a try, you are going to love it. And we thank them so much for their support of our show.

Patrick Beja You know who loves Audible?

Leo Laporte Who loves Audible?

Patrick Beja Mothers.

Leo Laporte Really?

Patrick Beja Mothers love Audible. I got my mom an iPod a few years ago and then I got her an Audible account, she – and it’s the kind of thing that mothers say, “I don’t need it, you know, it’s – I don’t really get it, I don’t know what it’s for, I don’t need it, and I’m fine” and then a couple of months after that they come back to you and go like “I can’t live without it”.

Leo Laporte Yeah, my mom loves audio books. She really does. That’s actually a very good idea. I get – I get mom a couple of things; a Netlix account, she loves that, audio books, and she – and I got her an internet radio and she’s loving that. So you know Rob Glaser probably pretty well, John C. Dvorak, former CEO, founder of RealNetworks…

John C. Dvorak And also the guy who bought the Professional Bowling Association.

Leo Laporte Did he really?

John C. Dvorak Yup.

Leo Laporte You’re kidding!

John C. Dvorak Lock, stock and barrel.

Leo Laporte He made his money at Microsoft, right? He was a Microsoft guy for a long time.

John C. Dvorak Yeah he was, but I think he really made most of his money with RealNetworks and – because I think they – I don’t know, they got a lot of money.

Leo Laporte In 2000 – well, he’s been at Real for 16 years, created the RealPlayer, which was kind of the bane of the internet, everybody – some say the most hated program on the internet.

John C. Dvorak I would be in that camp.

Patrick Beja I would agree too, yeah.

Leo Laporte It would have to be close to that, right? Because it just downloaded so much crap on your computer and it was – it wasn’t a great audio format, I’m so glad we’ve gotten away from it and gone to MP3, and every once in a while I’ll browse to an old website like [ph] Old Time Radio or [ph] Audio Error Checks (01:09:05) and the guys did everything in RealAudio and it’s like you just go oh, please no, no, please.

John C. Dvorak Well luckily if you have that VideoLAN program it will play the RealAudio stuff and then it will also convert it.

Leo Laporte It just sounds so bad though. So bad. Remember BonziBUDDY, yeah, which is terrible. But it was, you know to be fair, from an earlier era where people didn’t have the bandwidth: you needed something that could stream audio in very low quality bandwidth, and video too. In 2005…

Patrick Beja That’s true. But it wasn’t the problem, right? Sorry.

Leo Laporte Well the problem was what, that it was a lot of crapola that you got when you got RealPlayer.

Patrick Beja Yeah, the program when you downloaded it and installed it, you pretty much said goodbye to half your hard drive and computer, you know, CPU cycle.

Leo Laporte Right. And it really was – started to go downhill for Real when MP3s became popular, and then in 2006 when YouTube emerged, that’s it. That put the nail in the coffin. Fortunately, Real had sued Microsoft for $1 billion. They settled when Microsoft agreed to pay Real $761 million in cash and services and promote Rhapsody on the MSN network. Real owns Rhapsody.

So that kind of set Real up for life. I mean, that’s it. Real got in kind of trouble last year when they released something call RealDVD which I thought was a really great second act for Real. It was DVD copyright copying software but it had some stuff to protect the studios; like you couldn’t copy a movie, you had to keep the copy, you could only make one copy – it was kind of the thing that would have thought the studios would have said ‘yeah!’ And I’m sure that’s what Rob thought. They sued.

Patrick Beja It was the example of fair use, respecting fair use.

Leo Laporte Right, right.

Patrick Beja In the software.

Leo Laporte And of course the movie industry has no leeway for this. So Rob has resigned, he’s leaving – we don’t know why he’s leaving.

John C. Dvorak I think he got his bowling average up.

Leo Laporte Does he still own the PBA?

John C. Dvorak Yes, as far as I know he does.

Leo Laporte Wow! That’s interesting.

John C. Dvorak He met a few partners, they got together; they bought it for next to nothing.

Leo Laporte Well, sure. How much could the PBA be worth?

John C. Dvorak Well, you know one point some time ago…

Leo Laporte In the 50s.

John C. Dvorak Back during the year when Grant's Tomb was the number one tourist attraction, the PBA bowling was the most popular sport on television.

Leo Laporte I don’t see you as a bowler. I see you as a Candlepin kind of guy.

John C. Dvorak You know, I’ve done Candlepins. Man, that is one hard game.

Leo Laporte Yeah. That’s the challenging. That’s the bowling for people who are serious. Those little candlepins they are hard to knock down.

John C. Dvorak If you get to strike ever it’s a miracle.

Leo Laporte Yeah.

John C. Dvorak The best one, by the way, if you want to put these crazy rolling a bowl game…

Leo Laporte Yeah.

John C. Dvorak Rubberband ducks.

Leo Laporte I never heard of it. Where do they play that, is that Wisconsin?

John C. Dvorak They played back east and so a couple – of I think in Massachusetts you can find some rubberband ducks or duckpins. Yeah, they’re called rubberband ducks, they’re duckpins but they got a rubber band around the middle, big thick thing, so they bounce all over like crazy and it’s actually kind of a fun game. And then there’s a game up in Canada called five-pin bowling which is actually quite difficult and of course then there’s the regular duckpins. I think there’s a couple of other ones and most people who were ever bowlers they’ve always tried and gone out of their way to play these other crazy games.

Leo Laporte ‘Duckpins are shorter and squatter than the regular pins used in 10-pin bowling’ according to Wikipedia. Oh! They are; they’re little. And then you use a little ball…

John C. Dvorak But the rubberband ducks, you got – I don’t know if they mention them in there. But rubberband ducks is very obscure, there’s only a few places left that have them.

Leo Laporte Oh, yeah. Here it is: rubberband duck pins introduced in the Baltimore, I’m sorry, Baltimore-Washington area. The pins are circled with hard rubber bands to increase action and scoring. Rubberband duckpin is the only version of duckpin played in the province of Quebec.

John C. Dvorak Ah! Right.

Leo Laporte There you go.

John C. Dvorak That’s where I played it.

Leo Laporte Quebec.

John C. Dvorak Obscurities for everybody!

Leo Laporte It’s not France but it sounds like it. I think we’ve – have we covered all the stories? Can’t be. Google so dominated…

John C. Dvorak How about Kodak suing Apple?

Leo Laporte This is – Apple’s suing Nokia, Nokia’s suing Apple. In fact the latest is that Apple is suing Nokia to keep them from shipping any products in the U.S. at all.

John C. Dvorak Yeah, good luck with that.

Leo Laporte At all, it’s like ‘no, sorry. You’re no longer allowed.’ And now Kodak sues Apple and RIM saying ‘the technologies that you use to display images on your digital cameras and computers violates our patent.’

Patrick Beja That’s ridicu – well, I don’t’ want to say it’s ridiculous, I don’t know enough, but...

Leo Laporte Wait a minute though, wait a minute. Listen, who’s paying royalties.

Patrick Beja Yeah. That’s what I was going to say. Yeah.

Leo Laporte LG, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson all pay Kodak royalties.

Patrick Beja And for what? For technology for previewing different images of different resolutions and another as ridiculous? I mean, okay; the patent thing is completely out of control. Although I don’t know, maybe there is some logic.

Leo Laporte It is. This is a U.S. issue though isn’t it? I mean, you don’t have these problems in France.

Patrick Beja It doesn’t feel like it, no.

Leo Laporte We sue at the drop of the hat.

John C. Dvorak You’ve got to remember that Kodak, an imaging company, really essentially invented the digital camera and a lot of other stuff, so they’ve got tons of patents.

Leo Laporte I just love how in America, if you – you have in trouble competing, well just sue them. You can just – it’s the second choice, you know?

John C. Dvorak It works.

Patrick Beja The origin of it is the patents that are being awarded so…

Leo Laporte Right.

Patrick Beja …with no basis.

Leo Laporte Right. I mean this is – this goes back to that Google Phone story about Apple asking Google, ‘please don’t put multi-touch in, we don’t want to have to defend this patent.’ Because the multi-touch patent that Apple has is absurd. I mean there’s, you know, people have been looking at multi-touch for years, long before Apple even considered it.

John C. Dvorak Yep.

Leo Laporte Airlines are rolling out Wi-Fi. I used Wi-Fi on Virgin America when we flew to Vegas and back; very slow, not all that usable, certainly not – you couldn’t use Skype but you could check your email. Normally be about 12.95, but in this case Google paid for it, and I have to say the first thing you see is an ad for the Nexus One Phone before you get to use your Wi-Fi, it’s pretty smart. Company that does this is Gogo which is a product of Aircell; Aircell is the leading Internet airline provider. American Airlines started it, Gogo will be offered soon on American, Delta, AirTran, Virgin America already, United, AirCanada, US Airways, Continental, Southwest Airlines is working with another provider Row 44 to put Wi-Fi. So basically you’re not going to be able to get on an airplane and say ‘I’m out of touch.’

John C. Dvorak Yeah, if they’re going to let you use the laptop with all these new TSA regulations.

Leo Laporte They backed down a little bit on that, I hope.

John C. Dvorak Yeah, so far, yeah. It’s not going to take much to get em back on.

Leo Laporte No. So Continental is experimenting with – they have a live inflight television system which is something – it’s been around for a while on JetBlue. And then also on the same planes they’re going to put Gogo, the Wi-Fi.

Patrick Beja How does it work? Is it – does it have like a satellite relay or –?

Leo Laporte That’s a good question, I don’t know.

John C. Dvorak They go through a satellite relay, yes. They shoot up.

Leo Laporte Okay. Yeah, you’d have to because otherwise the hand-offs from ground – on ground to ground at 600 miles an hour would be crazy. So they’re going up, not down. But I’ll tell you, satellite Internet’s terribly slow, awful.

John C. Dvorak Yeah, there’s a big latency, it’s miserable.

Leo Laporte Yeah.

Patrick Beja I used it on a flight from Los Angeles to San Francisco, it worked okay. I didn’t expect it to be ADSL quality, but allows you to do email. I even sent a video, an iPhone video.

Leo Laporte Really? Oh that’s cool.

John C. Dvorak I’ve got a Skype call from – I’m sorry I got a Skype call from someone from the Lufthansa flight that was all online in the plane and it sounded fine.

Leo Laporte Well yeah, Lufthansa had faster Internet and I used it on a SAS flight some years ago, it was very fast.

Patrick Beja Maybe yours was slow because Google was offering it free so everyone –

Leo Laporte Everyone was using it. I think – well of course it was. Wait a minute.

Patrick Beja Especially from CES.

Leo Laporte Yeah, this is a plane trip to CES from San Francisco; every single seat they’re opening up a laptop getting online. What am I thinking, of course it was slow. I’m surprised it worked at all. So, Gawker, I love Gawker’ balls. These guys…

Patrick Beja Oh that was beautiful.

Leo Laporte .. these guys, so they – Valleywag which is their Silicon Valley gossip site offered $100,000 to be granted to – it was a scavenger hunt, to anybody who provides an Apple tablet to the Gawker’s and lets them play with it for an hour. $50,000 for a picture of Steve Jobs holding an Apple tablet. But ironically the best proof they got was from Apple’s legal team which sent him a cease and desist email saying, “You should not solicit for photos, videos or a sample of an unannounced and highly confidential Apple product.” In effect, confirming the existence of the tablet.

John C. Dvorak I think Apple really made a huge mistake here and I’ll tell you why. I don’t understand why Apple didn’t give them a picture and then have a picture of Steve and then collect $150,000 and put it in the coffers.

Leo Laporte What’s wrong with that?

John C. Dvorak You know, and they’d get a lot of free publicity.

Leo Laporte So they kind of gave the lawyers that Apple as a second prize; they’re sending them a DVD of Legally Blonde 2, a $25 Zune Marketplace giftcard and a fabulous set of steak knives. Nick knows how to work it; you’ve got to say that for him.

John C. Dvorak Yeah, you get a lot of PR for that.

Leo Laporte Oh it’s great. Now can they get in trouble for soliciting that?

John C. Dvorak I don’t thing so. I think that’s a grey area, I think it’s sketchy, I think it’s just a –

Leo Laporte It’s bad journalistic practice but I don’t think it’s illegal to say, ‘I’ll give you $100,000 to break you NDA.’ Is it?

Patrick Beja I don’t see how it could be.

John C. Dvorak I think NDAs should be illegal, why – how does anybody sign away their constitutional rights with a contract?

Leo Laporte Right.

John C. Dvorak I mean if an NDA is legal why can’t I just go to Africa and find some, let’s say, black people and have them sign away their constitutional rights in a contract and then they’re slaves?

Leo Laporte Come work for me. Come work for me, I won’t pay you. You signed the deal; it’s in the shrink wrap.

John C. Dvorak When is this going to end? It’s bogus.

Leo Laporte McDonald’s is now offering free Wi-Fi in its restaurants. They did this before but I guess it’s back. So now…

Patrick Beja We’ve have this in France forever.

Leo Laporte Now with your – what is it, your Grande Royale?

Patrick Beja Royal Deluxe.

Leo Laporte Royal Deluxe. It sounds much better when you say it that way.

John C. Dvorak And so it’s such a nice place to do your computing because of the beautiful aromas.

Leo Laporte All the grease. Even a hard plastic computer – even an aluminum body unibody computer can absorb hamburger odor in half an hour. We’ll have people – and nobody in this room, but I have people come in here after they go down the road and have breakfast, we have a little place that has hash browns and they just reek of hash browns. And I just go ‘you were in [ph] Halley’s (1:21:22) weren’t you?’ And they go ‘yeah.’ Yeah I could smell it. But McDonald’s is so much worse.

Patrick Beja You’re making me hungry now.

Leo Laporte You want a Deluxe Royale. It sounds so good. Doesn’t that sound good?

Patrick Beja That’s why we like it because in our language, it sounds really good.

Leo Laporte Everything sounds better in French. It just all sounds – even a French fry sounds better in French.

John C. Dvorak Frite.

Leo Laporte Frite. Pomme frite. So…

Patrick Beja Yes, absolutely.

Leo Laporte …Patrick, tell us do, what is your super secret new project?

Patrick Beja Well it’s not really super secret, but a few friends, podcasters and myself we have been in sort of getting together for a while. I tried to rally the podcasting energies in France for a little while and a few of them actually are making it better and faster than I am and we’re sort of getting together and putting a portal for video podcasts and another one for audio podcasts.

Leo Laporte Is it called VotreTube?

Patrick Beja It’s called NoWatch, for videos and for audios, so it’s just a slash page for the audio now but the first version, very preliminary version of the website is up for the video thing. And is the place to go if you want any French podcast from now on.

Leo Laporte Oh dear, I think you’ve got some Americaning French in here, Fringlish. It says – ‘Incredible Web Shows. Attention : superproduction!’

Patrick Beja You read it exactly right.

Leo Laporte Superproduction! And I see it says, “Geeks à têtes chercheuses” what is that?

Patrick Beja I’m not sure what you mean.

Leo Laporte Well here, under SCUDS. “Geeks à têtes chercheuses.”

Patrick Beja “Geeks à têtes chercheuses,” it’s basically a homing –

Leo Laporte Homing pigeon, homing head…

Patrick Beja [indiscernible] device (1:23:34) …geeks…

Leo Laporte Searching head. Geek search for head.

Patrick Beja Something like that. Yes, that’s exactly what it is.

Leo Laporte SCUDS.TV.

John C. Dvorak SCUDS?

Leo Laporte This is good.

Patrick Beja There’s a few shows over there that are pretty good quality shows and we’re going to go forward from there and together with –

Leo Laporte Is it – it’s all in French, though, right?

Patrick Beja Yes, absolutely. It’s a hub for French web shows and –

John C. Dvorak Absolument!

Leo Laporte So does Geek Inc Podcast mean the same thing in French as it means in English?

Patrick Beja It does. Geek Inc is podcast about geek culture and it’s a super fun and super cool.

Leo Laporte Cool. Well I think that’s great. Is there a large podcasting community or is this kind of nascent?

Patrick Beja Well it really was just me until a year ago, honestly.

John C. Dvorak I guess that would be the definition of nascent.

Patrick Beja I’m exaggerating a little bit, but until a year ago was basically just me and they started doing stuff a year ago and these guys, the SCUDS guys, have been taking it to the next level and have been organizing all this pretty well, so now we’re all together in this…

John C. Dvorak It’s Kevin Rose!

Leo Laporte It looks just like Diggnation, only Alex got really old.

Patrick Beja This is like – they’re bunch of kind of famous people in France and they’re just doing a spoof intro for the other ones.

Leo Laporte It is a spoof of Diggnation, though.

Patrick Beja Well you know the seminal formula of a podcast is two guys in a couch now, right?

Leo Laporte I guess it is. Why, Kevin would be honored by that. That’s great.

Patrick Beja So there’s a little bit of this on some shows, some have a different formula, but yeah it’s basically the beginning of a wonderful adventure of podcasting.

Leo Laporte That’s great. Congratulations. That’s wonderful.

Patrick Beja Thanks. Yeah, the aim is really to get and to be the two central hubs for podcasting, so hopefully it will go well.

Leo Laporte Congratulations. Well done Patrick. And of course still for Patrick’s podcast in English [indiscernible] (1:25:46) and in French – in both.

Patrick Beja There are a couple – in English, a couple in French.

Leo Laporte How would you say, the Tech Grouch in French?

Patrick Beja I am afraid I would anger him, so I wouldn’t translate it.

Leo Laporte ‘Le jongleur du technology.’

Patrick Beja Something like that.

Leo Laporte Le Fou.

Patrick Beja ‘Le…’ huh. Grouch is difficult to translate.

Leo Laporte Yeah, because nobody is grouchy in France.

Patrick Beja We’re all happy.

John C. Dvorak No, there’s no such thing as a – rude, you can use the word rude, there’s some few rude people in France, I’ve understood.

Leo Laporte No I love France, I love the French.

Patrick Beja It would be “the Tech Rude”. Le Technophile Grancheuse” or something like that.

Leo Laporte I like that.

John C. Dvorak Sounds great.

Leo Laporte Yeah, that’s what you should be John. I think you should change the name. I didn’t say you, I mean, whoever the Grouch might be.

John C. Dvorak No the grouch – he’s a cousin, distinct cousin.

Leo Laporte Distinct cousin, with – looks like a squirrel in his beard. John C. Dvorak is at He’s also the host of numerous shows, including Cranky Geeks at, No Agenda and Tech5. Somebody said I should ask you what Adam Curry thought about this whole China / Google thing.

John C. Dvorak You know, we didn’t talk the China, Google thing.

Leo Laporte Yeah.

John C. Dvorak We talk mostly about Haiti today, and he’ll be posting later today on the…

Leo Laporte Oh, he does have a theory on the Haiti thing.

John C. Dvorak Oh yeah.

Leo Laporte So do you think Pat Robertson caused it?

John C. Dvorak No, the Pat Robertson thing was quite funny, we did go over that quite a bit.

Leo Laporte Oh man.

John C. Dvorak And somebody mentioned to me that the problem with the Pat Robertson thing is that somebody said Hades…

Leo Laporte Oh he got confused. He thought Haiti was Hades.

John C. Dvorak It’s a joke. It’s a joke. So –

Leo Laporte But is there a conspiracy theory?

John C. Dvorak No Adam believes that there is an earthquake machine and they aimed it at Haiti specifically. And then I doubled up on the theory saying that we are actually going to take over the country.

Leo Laporte Oh it’s about time.

John C. Dvorak That’s what my argument was.

Leo Laporte Haiti has been a thorn in our site for generations.

John C. Dvorak It’s just been a nuisance, now we can go in there and take the place over.

Leo Laporte Ever since ‘Papa Doc’ Duvalier.

John C. Dvorak Papa Doc, Baby Doc.

Leo Laporte Baby Doc. Mama Doc.

Patrick Beja You know that there’s been a few issues with the Americans taking responsibility…

Leo Laporte I know.

Patrick Beja …taking the responsibility of the earthquake.

Leo Laporte We took over the runway. Yeah.

Patrick Beja Yeah.

Leo Laporte And they –

Patrick Beja All the people are saying that the US is going to stay.

Leo Laporte I have to think…

John C. Dvorak Oh yeah.

Leo Laporte …well it was at the “invitation” of the Haitian government, such as it as. But I have to think that when Secretary Hillary Clinton flies into a country in such turmoil that she causes far more problems than she solves. Imagine – I mean that runway must have been closed for hours to secure it, to make sure she had a quick getaway; that’s not a good idea.

John C. Dvorak She has to check-in on the property she has in northern Haiti; they’re going to build a bunch of hotels up there and she’s going to be – she’s in part of the deal.

Leo Laporte It’s the next Cuba.

John C. Dvorak Yeah, exactly. You should listen to the show, Leo, you and I would agree on this one.

Leo Laporte All, except the earthquake machine, I don’t think we’ve perfected that technology. But other than that it was – I wouldn’t be surprised, we might look back on this and say, yeah that was the beginning.

John C. Dvorak Yeah.

Leo Laporte John, thank you. Patrick, thank you. Thank you all for watching. You can watch this show, we do it live every Sunday at 3 PM Pacific, 6 PM Eastern. That’s around, I think 20 – it’s midnight UTC, something like that. And of course you can catch it at iTunes or on Zune or just go to and download the latest version. We now are on YouTube as well, as videos starts to come out of our factory. We do have video version of this show as well at or on And I think we are going to have the iTunes feeds any day now. Thank you all for being here, we’ll see you next time. Another TWiT is in the can.

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