TWiT 235/Transcript

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Episode 235


This transcript is provided by our friends at Pods in Print

Leo Laporte Audio bandwidth for this WEEK in TECH is provided by AOL Music and, where you can get free MP3s, exclusive interviews and more. Video bandwidth for TWiT is provided by CacheFly at

This is TWiT, this WEEK in TECH, episode 235 for February 15, 2010, Light The Dark Fiber!

This WEEK in TECH is brought to you by GoToMeeting, the affordable way to meet with clients and colleagues. For your free 30-day trial, visit; and by, the fast and easy way to publish a high-quality website or blog. For a free trial and 10% off your new account, go to; and by To download two free audio books of your choice, go to and don’t forget to follow Audible on Twitter at audible_com.

It’s time for TWiT, this WEEK in TECH, the show that covers all the tech news every week with some of the best minds in the business and then there’s me. Joining us today, Mr. John C. Dvorak.

John C. Dvorak Hello.

Leo Laporte …..from, star of Cranky Geeks, No Agenda and many other fine internet podcasts.

John C. Dvorak We do our best. We do our part.

Leo Laporte Used to be the world’s most prolific computer columnist.

John C. Dvorak Now I have to do new media to make a living.

Leo Laporte So sad.

John C. Dvorak Yeah, it is.

Leo Laporte So speaking of new media, look who is here? Sam Whitmore is here. I haven’t seen Sam in an age.

Sam Whitmore Hello, Leo. How are you?

Leo Laporte Sam and I worked at TechTV, right? Oh, no. It was ZD we worked at, you were never at – were you at TechTV?

Sam Whitmore No. This was the site, this was 1997.

Leo Laporte Oh god! MSNBC is the site!

Sam Whitmore That’s right. I have lots of reminiscence but we won’t bog the show down with them, but yes…

Leo Laporte I’m sure people would enjoy that.

Sam Whitmore Soledad O'Brien, Dev Null all that stuff.

Leo Laporte Oh my god! So you’re a ZD guy. I remember very well Sam, sitting in an airplane with Sam. He said I’m so bored with this tech stuff, I’m going to go fly a plane.

Sam Whitmore I no longer fly but I did get an instrument rating. I had 700 hours when I finally quit.

Leo Laporte You burned out, and I can understand. This stuff, you have to be obsessive, it’s night and day and endless cycle. And if you’re not just like crazy about it, I can see how it’s easy to burned out.

Sam Whitmore What I learned was I loved media.

Leo Laporte Right.

Sam Whitmore And I still do and in fact I had to go start my own business in order to build exactly what where my passion was. But I still love tech and you couldn’t avoid tech today even if you wanted to, Leo. It’s everywhere.

Leo Laporte Especially in media.

Sam Whitmore Yeah, exactly. In fact I was interviewing the publisher of The Economist on Friday and he was saying that he is a big fan of agile software development and in fact his previous job was at IBM, doing social media. So, here’s The Economist, probably the stodgiest title of all times and the guy that publishes it is this agile software development freak who is trying all these new European rapid deployment app dev jobs, it’s fascinating.

Leo Laporte It’s really quite amazing. And I’d tell you, you couldn’t have picked a better time to say, I’m going to focus on media, because, boy has this stuff exploded.

Sam Whitmore One super quick anecdote before we get going. When I was doing on-air for the site in ’97 I didn’t have an idea and I said, Leo, I’ve got to do – with Soledad I’ve got to do a segment, what should I do. And you said, “Well, there is this audio format called MP3 and I think it’s going to be big.” And so what I did was a Pepsi Challenge sort of thing. I took a CD of B-52’s and I said to Soledad, “Okay, I’m going to play 15 seconds of Love Shack, and I’m going to play another 15 seconds of Love Shack and you have to determine which one is the digital copy and which one is the original CD.” And I took a chance that she couldn’t tell and of course on-camera she couldn’t tell. So it was perfect. So, I give you this public thank you, Leo, for that.

Leo Laporte I invented that. MP3s, that was my idea. No, I remember the way I found it about was a kid, 15-year old kid named, maybe 16, Glenn Rubenstein who I had known for years, he was one of those little kid bloggers who did a gaming blog, who went to college and he told me, he said, “Leo, everybody is doing – taking their CDS, they are making MP3s out of them. They are putting them on central hard drives available on the college network, and that’s what we listen to for music nowadays.” And I thought, well, that’s an interesting transformation of the business. Isn’t it?

Sam Whitmore Yeah, sure.

Leo Laporte And it was, it completely changed how music was performed and bought and sold. Also here with us – thank you, it’s good to have you, Sam. Thank you for joining us today. We really appreciate.

Sam Whitmore Thank you, Leo.

Leo Laporte Also with us here today is Nicole Lee from CNET. She does the Dialed In podcast for CNET. She’s their expert on cellphones. It’s good to see you, Nicole.

Nicole Lee See you.

Leo Laporte She came up just for Valentine’s Day with her hubby and I listened to her.

Nicole Lee Yeah. I brought you some Chinese New Year…

Leo Laporte Yeah. That’s right. Gung Hei Fat Choi.

Nicole Lee Yeah.

John C. Dvorak Hey.

Leo Laporte Yeah, you’re the tiger, Johnny.

Sam Whitmore Say it right.

Leo Laporte Wait a minute. How do you say it? Gung Ho Fat Choi, says Johnny.

John C. Dvorak Gung Ho.

Leo Laporte They did No Agenda this morning. Tell me why you butchered it.

John C. Dvorak Well because I believe we were working on the title for the show and I – and Adam had the right spelling, which is unpronounceable to me. I say – no, everybody says Gung Ho Fat Choi. And because I changed it, so now it’s Gung Ho Fat Choi.

Leo Laporte Gung Ho, oh yeah. So it’s almost an epithet.

John C. Dvorak Gung Ho Fat Choi. But [indiscernible] (6:23), just specifically for software engine optimization purposes. It’s the only reason you do things nowadays.

Leo Laporte Nowadays it’s all linked to pay to everybody, isn’t that true?

So the big story of the week. Apple, Macworld Expo, all the big announcements, huge. What are you laughing at, Nicole?

John C. Dvorak That was one big announcement.

Leo Laporte It took me half an hour, half an hour to see everything at Macworld Expo.

Nicole Lee That long?

Leo Laporte Apple leaves – last year was Apple’s last year at Macworld – did you go, John? You were there, I saw you there.

John C. Dvorak He bumped into me.

Leo Laporte I bumped in you there. What did you think?

John C. Dvorak In fact you gave me two shots at the ribs.

Leo Laporte Did I?

John C. Dvorak You almost broke a rib, yeah.

Leo Laporte I elbowed you, like I checked you?

John C. Dvorak You were just roaming around the place like you own the place and you gave me a rib shot because you were trying to get move me aside.

Leo Laporte Out of the way! Who, oh, it’s John.

John C. Dvorak And then I just said, hey, Leo.

Leo Laporte I thought you were just one of the little people.

Nicole Lee Yeah, it was pretty small.

John C. Dvorak It wasn’t that small.

Leo Laporte It was hurt by – well, it was very small, half the size…

Nicole Lee In comparison. Yeah.

Leo Laporte And – I mean the whole south hall was closed off. It was just in the north hall. That’s where the Apple booth would have been.

Nicole Lee But there were a lot of people though.

Leo Laporte There were a lot of people. In fact that talked to Paul Kent and said attendance on the first day was just a few hundred below the first day last year. So that’s good.

Nicole Lee That’s good.

Leo Laporte However, I think part of it was in the shadow of the iPad because you can’t say anything because we don’t know anything about it. But that’s clear, I mean Apple had nothing to talk about.

John C. Dvorak There was a whole – like a whole segment where they were doing a big speech in room 132 where...

Leo Laporte Macworld did the thing.

John C. Dvorak And it was like they just had a styrofoam mock-up.

Leo Laporte They don’t even have – there’s nothing to talk about. It’s pathetic.

John C. Dvorak It’s like a joke.

Nicole Lee Styrofoam iPad.

Leo Laporte In fact I even had – so the point where I heard some people saying, “Does Apple hate IDG? Does Apple hate Macworld Expo? Are they actually...

John C. Dvorak Yeah. It must have cost them some millions and millions of dollars [Indiscernible] (08:21).

Leo Laporte I don’t think Apple cares about Macworld Expo. I think they’re a consumer company now. They don’t need the enthusiasts.

John C. Dvorak My point was that they were – they’ve got an expo 24/7 at all these stores.

Leo Laporte Right.

John C. Dvorak The New York place is obviously…

Nicole Lee All the stores, it’s – yeah.

John C. Dvorak …is essentially a Macworld Expo. So this is – I don’t see the point of this. And by the way this will be the last one, I am sure of it because when they stopped going to the Boston show, boom –Boston was dead after one Expo show.

Leo Laporte It took one extra show. A friend went to – I don’t know, I hope not. A friend went to Apple – the Apple Store in San Francisco, just a few blocks away, and there was no signage, there was no welcome, there was no nothing. And there weren’t a lot of people even from Macworld Expo. The manager – the general manager of the store said, no, we’ve seen zero bump in traffic this week. It’s not – but it doesn’t mean it’s bad for Apple, does it? Isn’t Apple – hasn’t’ Apple transcended this?

John C. Dvorak No, I think the Apple is fine. I don’t think it’s got anything to do that. But it’s bad for the show, and some of these shows were dead anyway and if we we’re all going to get the H1N1, drop dead in the streets, you don’t want to get in crowds.

Leo Laporte Is that what it is? Sam, is it over for trade shows?

Sam Whitmore Yes, it is. Well especially for Apple being so vertically integrated. Normally a vendor would want application development to be done for their platform. That’s why CA has its show, Oracle and also they have big distribution networks, these big vendor specific shows. But Apple is its own distribution, it goes direct-to-customers, doesn’t really have middlemen and also it now controls app development directly. So there’s really no need. It is a consumer company, it’s really no – there’s no need to cultivate relationships, it’s just not an ecosystem like it was under – what’s his name there – Amelio…

Leo Laporte Gill Amelio.

Sam Whitmore When he had clones – when he had clones and they had three or four different kinds of word processors, three or four different kinds of spread sheets, it’s all a closed shop now.

Leo Laporte The Apple has a developers conference. They can get people to WWDC in June, it’s the only conference Apple does. I think my position is Apple has become a consumer electronics – just as you said, a consumer electronics company. So the geeks who go to Macworld, the 30,000 of them are really the enthusiasts, the Cult of Mac people; and Apple no longer needs those people.

John C. Dvorak Also the other thing is when Mac was there, I mean this was about…

Leo Laporte There was nothing.

John C. Dvorak All iPhones, iPhones, iPhones…

Leo Laporte There has been for a long time the iPod, iPhone accessories show.

Nicole Lee There was a – oh sorry.

Sam Whitmore Last year…

Leo Laporte Go ahead, Nicole.

Sam Whitmore I was going to say last year was MacBook Air.

Leo Laporte Right.

John C. Dvorak Last year was MacBook Air, that was the showcase, but we’ve moved on from that.

Leo Laporte And because there was no Apple and no iPad there, the vendors are kind of hung high and dry.

Nicole Lee Yeah. There was a whole little section called, it was the tiny, tiny town, the mobile app town.

Leo Laporte Right.

Nicole Lee And that was probably – that was very busy actually, all the little mobile applications.

Leo Laporte The problem is you make so little – most of you make so little money on the iPhone app that you really can’t justify a booth.

Nicole Lee Yeah, I know.

Leo Laporte In fact I can tell you how many people…

John C. Dvorak The [ph] flashlight guys were there, [indiscernible] (11:21).

Leo Laporte We should have a fart booth, just all the fart apps could have their own booth and may be we could put that somewhere else, like outside.

John C. Dvorak A different country.

Leo Laporte Yeah.

Sam Whitmore Leo, I saw you, you had a session at a Macworld. You were doing some presentations I think, not may be this year but…

Leo Laporte We have done in the past.

Sam Whitmore … maybe it was in the past.

Leo Laporte We have done many, many presentations. This year I did one event which was the Macworld Live and it was really like a talk show. We had Roger McGuinn of The Byrds, your friend John. I was hoping you would be there actually.

John C. Dvorak I was there.

Leo Laporte Oh, did you come by? I wanted to introduce you, like do that, to the Ed Sullivan thing, “and our audience today” and you stand up...

John C. Dvorak No, the place was packed. I couldn’t get in.

Leo Laporte Actually it was a sellout. Roger McGuinn, Adam Savage of the MythBusters, Heather Gold, my friend who is a comic and the rock band Warp 11. It was just like a talk show. It was fun.

John C. Dvorak Yeah.

Leo Laporte But, it had nothing to do Apple or Mac. In fact I wore a black tie that had Tux the Penguin at the bottom of it and I said, I’m sorry wardrobe malfunction. And then I said it could have been worse, and I pulled out a T-shirt that said ‘I’m a PC’, that was my model.

John C. Dvorak That was your bit.

Leo Laporte That was my bit.

Nicole Lee That was my bit.

Leo Laporte No there was another…

John C. Dvorak And now I’m glad I didn’t get in.

Leo Laporte Yeah, you didn’t miss a whole lot. I also, I said I feel uncomfortable up here, wait a minute, something’s missing and the [indiscernible] (12:37) stage hands because it’s a union shop, brought my little rubber ball that I sit on, they brought that out. That got a good laugh. And then I rolled it down thinking the guy took it and he – because I said, I was joking and so I will give it away and then he came up to me and said, would you sign your ball? He had deflated it.

John C. Dvorak He said, oh…

Leo Laporte And I said…

Nicole Lee He actually thought…

Leo Laporte I felt so bad, I felt so bad, I said can I have it back? Because I don’t have another one and I kind of need it tomorrow. And the guy, his face fell. I felt so terrible. He said okay. But I DMed him on Twitter and I said, as soon as I get another ball, I’m deflating this, I am going to sign it and I am going to send it to you, so just give me your address so you can have this ball. I just needed it for the day.

John C. Dvorak So you took the guy’s balls away.

Leo Laporte No just one, he only had one. It was blue.

Nicole Lee Oh god!

Leo Laporte When the last ball burst, right…

John C. Dvorak Everyone saw that, you were famous on the internet for about a week.

Leo Laporte It was my meme.

Nicole Lee It was viral video.

Leo Laporte I was, I got to be a Keyboard Cat for a bit.

John C. Dvorak It almost looked as though you hurt yourself.

Leo Laporte No, but it could, you could because when they burst they, it’s kind of scary. I’ve had it happen twice.

John C. Dvorak Yeah.

Leo Laporte It’s like something nothing’s there. It’s like when somebody pulls the chair out you are literally just in the air and you are on the ground. There is no like slow deflated foomp! And you are on the ground.

John C. Dvorak Well it kind of went down for a little bit for about one second and then…

Leo Laporte It did.

Nicole Lee And then you went.

Leo Laporte And then I went. So you know what we did. In fact we have in the other room, we cut the ball up into about a 100 pieces and I could send anybody who wants a autographed piece of my ball. What are you guys laughing at?


Sam Whitmore Hey, listen, I will tell, go to the chatroom right now, it’s full of LOLs. There must be about 100 LOLs there…

Leo Laporte They all love the ball.

Sam Whitmore Yeah, they do.

Leo Laporte It is the…

Nicole Lee They took my ball away.

Leo Laporte I can’t tell you how much mileage I get out of that. It’s ridiculous.

All right let’s face it, this big story of the week was not Macworld Expo.

Nicole Lee No.

Leo Laporte It wasn’t even close. We are going to talk about – actually it was all Google all week. I mean this was the week of Google and we are going to talk about some of those big stories in just a bit, but let’s take a little break here and say hello to our friends from Citrix. Hello, say hello to my little friend. GoToMeeting, folks if you have ever had a conference call drag on and on, kind of like this show, you are playing Tetris, you are playing solitaire, you can’t – you’re losing the audience, let me tell you what GoToMeeting can do for you. It makes those boring old conference call something visual, something that works, you could show the PowerPoint, you can collaborate on documents together, you could do the training. You don’t have to – I will give you example for training. You set up a meeting, you go – in fact you could do it right now for free for 30 days, unlimited meetings, You set it up; it takes about a minute. Before I am done talking you will have it installed, it’s very quick.

Now the next time you want to work with somebody, let’s say you want to do some training, you’ve got the program on your system, they don’t. They don’t need it on their system, you just say go to Go to this website, click Join the Meeting, you give them the meeting ID. Now suddenly they are seeing your computer. They can – you say okay, now you’re in – I will show how to use it. Now you try it, you give them control as if they are using your computer. It’s so easy. They can take control and show you their computer; you can collaborate on documents together. This is remote access done right specifically for meetings, unlimited meetings.

You never watch the clock; you never count the meetings for $49 a month that includes phone and Voice over IP conferencing. It is such a deal and more and more businesses are using it. We use it all the time not just for meetings but for shows. It’s a great way to show screens for instance some of our video podcasts. Give it a try for free. 30 days unlimited use, I think you are going to like it, show the boss I think he will like it, she will like it as well,

Before we talk about Google, somebody in the FriendFeed room was saying and I think it is a good point that we should talk about Kevin Smith, you know what happened with Kevin Smith.

Nicole Lee What happened?

Sam Whitmore The fat guy.

Leo Laporte The fat guy.

John C. Dvorak Yeah, he was refused a seat on a Southwest Airlines. He doesn’t look that fat to me.

Nicole Lee Because he was fat?

John C. Dvorak Yeah.

Leo Laporte So here is the weird thing. So Kevin Smith who is the Director, he of course did Clerks, Silent Bob and Jay and…

John C. Dvorak What’s he doing in Oakland is the bigger question.

Leo Laporte No, he came up for Macworld.

Nicole Lee He was for Macworld.

Leo Laporte He gave a presentation at Macworld. And I saw him on the Macworld and he’s a big guy.

Nicole Lee He is not like that fat.

John C. Dvorak I’ve seen bigger.

Leo Laporte Oh, yeah.

Nicole Lee Yeah.

Leo Laporte On planes.

John C. Dvorak Yeah.

Nicole Lee Yeah.

Leo Laporte So he flew up on Southwest, done with this thing yesterday, must fly back on Southwest, gets on the plane and he tweeted the whole thing by the way. If you go to…

John C. Dvorak Yeah, they are embarrassed; they gave him a hundred bucks.

Leo Laporte Yeah, they gave him a hundred bucks, that Kevin – I think they are going to give him more than that.

Nicole Lee Because he tweeted about it.

Leo Laporte Oh my God, did he Twittered about it. So, I like 100 tweets about it. He said, “I just got thrown off the airplane because the pilot said I am a hazard because I am so fat”.

Nicole Lee Oh my god, really?

John C. Dvorak But the plane wasn’t even full, that’s the worst part.

Nicole Lee What?

Leo Laporte He’d already put down the arm rest, so he wasn’t overflowing.

John C. Dvorak Maybe the pilot just didn’t like his movies

Nicole Lee Yeah, may be.

Leo Laporte Well that’s what – Kevin’s point is look I flew up they didn’t throw me off. They threw me off this plane and I got on the next flight, Southwest and went home. So we don’t know what really happened and it could be that he was acting badly in other ways. It could be that they said…

Nicole Lee Could be.

Leo Laporte …we don’t know, but we do know now from the tweets and the point is not so much whether what they did was wrong or not but the point is that he tweeted, why did he tweet and he…

Sam Whitmore He should tweet.

Leo Laporte Yeah.

Sam Whitmore Now listen, as a former pilot there is this thing called weight and balance and you do want to balance the loads. So for example if he was sitting in the front where a lot of the luggage is located may be they could have…

John C. Dvorak It’s 737 for God’s sake.

Leo Laporte I mean how much heavy – he could be 100 pounds more than a normal person, right.

Nicole Lee The plane wasn’t full, like it’s not…

Leo Laporte But couldn’t they have – I have had that, I have gotten on a small commuter jet where they said, okay we got to rebalance, could you move back…

John C. Dvorak They move you around.

Nicole Lee Move you around.

Leo Laporte And they looked at me and then go, you sir, could you sit on the way back. So I am used to this.

Sam Whitmore Yeah.

Leo Laporte He is pretty heavy. He said I did not need a seatbelt extension, so he can’t be that heavy.

Nicole Lee Yeah, can’t be that big.

Leo Laporte They offered him a $100 credit but I think really what it was they didn’t realize he was that Kevin Smith. And look at the power of Twitter. In fact ABC news called him and said we would like to do a story on this. He…

Nicole Lee He was like one…

Leo Laporte He declined. He said, “You know what? I have done it on my podcast”. He does a podcast called SModcast and he said I am going to do a SWadcast for Southwest tonight. It will go up tonight, Sunday night, and in fact it should be up right about now. And he said, “That’s all I have to say about it”. But, boy, let me tell you Southwest is jumping around trying to make this guy happy.

Sam Whitmore Yeah, they should be and by the way anybody in the chat rooms, the official Southwest blog is called Nuts About Southwest, and that’s a good place to express your concern, because they do invest a lot in that resource Southwest does.

Leo Laporte Well, it is interesting, this shows you how – by the way it’s down, Nuts About Southwest. It had so much server traffic, I don’t know if it’s being DDoSed but it’s been down all afternoon. But they did do an apology apparently and nobody could tell because I can’t see it, but apparently they did do an apology on the blog.

John C. Dvorak A nightmare.

Leo Laporte It’s a PR nightmare and I guess the point I’m making is not that Kevin Smith was right or Southwest was wrong but the power of social media to really cause a problem for a company. He’s got 1.6 million followers.

Nicole Lee Yeah.

Leo Laporte He’s carrying a big stick.

Nicole Lee Yeah. That’s a pity. It’s a lot.

Leo Laporte But in a way doesn’t that – couldn’t that turn somebody into a bully. It could be a huge problem for companies because…

John C. Dvorak Imagine Calacanis getting hold of that many people.

Leo Laporte I think he has almost that many people, doesn’t he?

John C. Dvorak No, not that many.

Leo Laporte Not that many.

Sam Whitmore No, no way.

John C. Dvorak He was never listed as a – just signed up…

Leo Laporte Oh, you have to be the SUL.

Nicole Lee Suggested user list.

Leo Laporte So, but I mean it’s very interesting how much power that gives – that confers on somebody. And if somebody wanted to be a bully and just, you know, and you can even blackmail companies, you could say I want a better seat or I am going to tweet it.

Sam Whitmore But you still needed injustice done to you and it also has to be an experience that many people themselves have gone through like everybody flies, so you can relate to that like how would you feel if you are kicked off the plane; here take your bags and get the hell out.

Leo Laporte I got an e-mail from an airline pilot. He is a 767, 757 and 727 pilot. I’ll just call him Captain Paul.

He said, “I am very disappointed in your encouraging tone concerning that Kevin Smith’s Southwest Airlines incident. By law the captain is responsible for the safety of his or her passengers, crew and airline. If he or she feels for a millisecond that safety is compromised, he or she must action. Leo, it’s the law. My sources inside Southwest and this is maybe the story here, tell me that Mr. Smith was acting irrationally and he was possibly impaired by alcohol which would explain why he was allowed to take a later flight. I wasn’t there, so wouldn’t speculate that this was the primary reason he was asked to leave. The bottom line is that this captain was acting well within his authority to remove Mr. Smith. The fact that Mr. Smith decided to out the captain’s name in his tweet which he did – he mentioned the name, we won’t – further degrades the safety of not just his flight but all flights. The captain was doing his job and now his name has been added to millions via Twitter and the mainstream media and maybe he’s going to be another captain-be-a-little-less-likely. I am adding this part to this editorial here to call people on safety violations, especially if they have 1.6 million Twitter followers.”

John C. Dvorak First they should – when you check in they have to ask you how many tweeters you have…

Leo Laporte How many followers?

John C. Dvorak …followers…

Nicole Lee Yes, that's right.

John C. Dvorak If you are over one million, then it’s okay, we put him in the front.

Leo Laporte He says, “I can’t say I disagree, the sad fact is our society places such a high value on celebrities which in turn gives them untold wealth and power as this incident illustrates when power is abused as it clearly was in this case everybody loses”.

John C. Dvorak I think they should have water boarded him.

Leo Laporte But it does raise the issue of how much power and can a celebrity become a bully, especially with his go-directly to the audience but you make a good point, Sam, there has to be something that resonates.

Sam Whitmore Yeah, I think that was the element here that people could relate to being humiliated. It’s humiliating enough to fly Southwest many times.

Leo Laporte That’s true.

Nicole Lee That’s the real story.

Leo Laporte It’s the cattle car airline, I don’t fly it anymore.

Sam Whitmore I happen to like it but I live in Oakland and it’s a good hub for…

John C. Dvorak It’s a great airport to fly out of.

Leo Laporte Yeah.

Nicole Lee Yeah.

Sam Whitmore Yeah, it is but…

Leo Laporte It’s easy…

Sam Whitmore There’s no leg room in those planes and they– it’s not hub-and-spoke, it’s point-to-point. So it’s a bus line.

Leo Laporte It gives a whole new meaning to the phrase, do you know who I am.

John C, Dvorak Do you who know I am?

Leo Laporte People often say you could get better treatment, Leo, with tech companies if you would say that but I don’t, I don’t – I hate doing that. Do you ever do that, John?

John C. Dvorak No.

Leo Laporte No, only people – I don’t know…

John C. Dvorak It’s embarrassing and if I sit there and you rather let the situation get out of control anyway because it gives them something to talk about.

Leo Laporte My point exactly. I want them to mistreat me. Please mistreat me, so I can tweet about it.

Sam Whitmore It is unbelievable.

Leo Laporte We’re morons.

John C. Dvorak Yeah, you can’t get any material if you push yourself…

Leo Laporte So the big story, really big story of the weekend, I apologize for pausing moments with some other stories but this is really a huge story. Google on Thursday without warning, without any notice did something that could really rock the social media world. They announced and released at the same time something called Google Buzz.

If you went to your Gmail account, you may still want to go to your Gmail account if you haven’t seen it yet, you will get a big screen that says, hey, we got something new called Buzz, you want to participate and if you say, yes – well, it’s actually interesting, Google’s already changed what happens if you say yes and the first few days if you said yes, Google would set it up and they would look in your Gmail, they would look at your Google profile if you had one, they would build a social graph, a list of all the people you knew and follow and so forth, pick the ones you are most likely you want to follow on a Twitter like service and automatically subscribe, and even worse automatically subscribe you but then so I was subscribed immediately, I think, 41 people from my – which is by the way, a small part of my big social graph.

So I don’t know how they ranked it but this is the worst part, at that point anybody can go to your Buzz profile and see who you are following, so they and they get the full e-mail address, they get the Gmail address.

John C. Dvorak Rather than a good time to score some interesting networks.

Leo Laporte So yeah, it immediately publishes, in fact people’s e-mail addresses without their permission.

John C. Dvorak All right.

Nicole Lee And that was the big – that was the big faux pas. That was the big privacy…

John C. Dvorak I like it.

Leo Laporte There were blog posts. There was a blog post from a woman who had been stalked, victimized, I believed raped.

Nicole Lee Yeah, I read about that.

Leo Laporte And she said I don’t – this is – look out I am at risk here. Google put my life in danger.

Sam Whitmore They did fix it, Leo.

Leo Laporte They – well that's what – yeah, that's the second half of the story is they responded very quickly. Well they – you know what I – we talked to – we had Jyri Engeström and Kevin Marks both former Googlers. Yuri had worked on – he invented Jaiku and so he worked kind of on a credit.

Nicole Lee So Google bought Jaiku and…

Leo Laporte So Google bought Jaiku and he says it wasn’t the Jaiku code but it is very similar to Jaiku which is a Twitter with readied conversations and locations, so he had been using it for a year. He said you know the problem is we have been using it for a year within Google. Nobody at Google had this problem. You know everybody knows everybody’s address, so nobody even thought of it.

Sam Whitmore Interesting.

John C. Dvorak And they are a happy family over there at Google.

Leo Laporte And so we just put it out and immediately it was obvious there was a problem and to their credit within a day Google fixed it. Now when you join Buzz, it’s safe to do so because you will see an umpteen list of the people and there are checkboxes and there are very clear instructions of how to hide that information…

John C. Dvorak Does anybody think this is going to go anywhere?

Leo Laporte Buzz?

John C. Dvorak Yeah.

Leo Laporte What do you think?

John C. Dvorak I don’t know. I haven’t even looked at it.

Leo Laporte Jas, your favorite Jason Calacanis said immediately on this day Facebook lost one half of its book value. He thinks it’s that important.

Nicole Lee No.

Leo Laporte No?

Sam Whitmore That’s Jason being P. T. Barnum, that’s what he does and he got a lot of traffic but I think he looks really foolish right now. There is no way that they could ever do that much damage to Facebook. Have you been on there, Leo, I mean have you…?

Leo Laporte I use it. By the way, this is just in. Kevin Smith is watching. I am sorry Kevin because he has twitted, let me pull this up, ha, ha, ha, ha some pilot on TWiT Live wrote in with insider info and throwing I might have been drunk. That’s really, really funny.

Nicole Lee Yeah, apparently someone in the chat room said that he doesn’t drink.

Leo Laporte Ah! Well, there you go. So that is BS, that is bogus.

John C. Dvorak So, the pilot is a stooge for Southwest.

Leo Laporte Well, I don’t about that either.

John C. Dvorak That’s what it sounds like.

Leo Laporte Let’s just say that I apologize, Kevin. I just read that e-mail and I didn’t know what the situation was and I take it back and we don’t – as I said at the very beginning…

John C. Dvorak So he has a…

Leo Laporte …we don’t know what happened.

John C. Dvorak He has a crawler out there looking for anyone mentioning his name.

Leo Laporte Probably he’s not…

Nicole Lee Maybe…

Sam Whitmore Hey, what’s going on?

Leo Laporte Kevin, if you are listening, I am following you. You can DM me with your Skype handle and we’ll get you on the show but I know that SmartCast has already covered it.

John C. Dvorak That will be good. That will be good…

Leo Laporte Kevin – I love Silent Bob, I love Kevin. And geeks love Kevin and I think they’re very well disposed towards him and I think that’s one of the reasons the Twittersphere picked this sucker up.

John C. Dvorak Well, I think that he is not that fat.

Leo Laporte And he’s not that fat. So, it’s…

Nicole Lee That’s the main thing.

John C. Dvorak You know one time I was at the Alaskan Airlines counter, I swore to God it was the weirdest thing because the – this woman was actually to trying to get a special seating for herself. Actually I shouldn’t even tell the sorry because it’s…

Leo Laporte No, we are all, you know, all of us geeks are a little chunky.

John C. Dvorak No, we are talking about like somebody who, I swore to God from the shoulders up at the counter looked absolutely like – maybe almost like a model, thin and then she had such a weird body and she was below the waist, it was unbelievable.

Leo Laporte [Indiscernible] (28:48)? I worked with that woman actually. I know exactly who you are talking about.

All right, so let’s move on real quickly because it’s only getting worse. Kevin if you would like to call, we would love to have you on. I know you are going to talk about on SmartCast so people can get the real story there from at least from Kevin. And Southwest did apologize but apparently the site is down.

Nicole Lee I wonder why?

Leo Laporte I think they made some enemies in the geekosphere. I like Buzz. I think Buzz – I am not going to maybe go as far as Jason did to say that Buzz is a Facebook killer or a Twitter killer but I do think really it’s true and this is especially true if you look at the APIs and what is apparently Google’s intent is that this solves the problem I have had all along with Twitter and Facebook which is at there information silos. You go to Twitter. We are all pumping huge amounts of value into Twitter but that information Twitter holds on to it. In fact you have to apply to them to get what we call the fire hose, the twits and they only awarded to some people. They are very careful about who can get it. Through the API, you are limited to only certain numbers of calls an hour, so you can’t see all of the contents. They are really holding on it.

John C. Dvorak Why?

Leo Laporte Because that’s the value in Twitter, right?

John C. Dvorak I don’t know.

Leo Laporte Yeah, that’s the value. So there…

John C. Dvorak I thought the access was the value.

Leo Laporte Well, how do you monetize Twitter? Somehow it has to do with the content that were pouring into it is some how in there, in that equation in any event. I don’t know why. They – we’ve – I’ve asked them that question directly and have been told a variety of different things, including; no we are going to open it up. And that was over a year ago. So, what Google has done essentially is, said; no, look, there’re open standards here, we are going to create an open platform, we are going to encourage Facebook and Twitter and others to play to pump their data into us and to let our data pump into them and then it won’t matter, you can go anywhere you want as a user, you can participate in any social network you want.

John C. Dvorak Is there anybody but me think that Google may be seriously considering buying Twitter and then Twitter wanted too much money and they, so it’s like – Google originally wanted to buy Friendster and they wouldn’t sell it and so started Orkut.

Leo Laporte Well they have Orkut. Yeah.

John C. Dvorak No, they started it because they couldn’t get Friendster so they did a make/buy decision and said, well how about we just do it ourselves. They created their own system and now I think they are doing the same thing here to try to screw Twitter. Is that possible? Am I wrong?

Sam Whitmore I don’t know that they are that worried about Twitter. Twitter hasn’t made a dime yet.

John C. Dvorak No, but they wanted it – it’s something that Google could monetize because they can see the direction of tweets, they can do large analysis of huge numbers of people for marketing purposes. There’re a lot of possibilities there.

Nicole Lee I don’t know. I just feel like Google Buzz as it stands right now is so – is so new, is so nascent, there are so many problems with it personally. The comments, for one thing, they are not collapsible. So you keep on seeing this like really long comment and threaded you can’t collapse. It’s ridiculous.

Leo Laporte If you follow somebody like me or Jason or Robert Scoble, we take over your inbox because every time a comment is posted on one of our posts and of course ours get hundreds of comments, they float back to the top…

Nicole Lee To the top. And you just keep on seeing the same Buzz post over and over again.

Leo Laporte Yeah. I mean, I’m looking at this stream and I’m dominating it [indiscernible] (32:02)

John C. Dvorak Somebody in the chartroom says that Buzz will be big in Brazil.

Leo Laporte As Orkut is, right? As Orkut is.

Sam Whitmore I read somewhere that if you press the M key, M as in Mike, you can mute a particular dialogue, so for Scoble is…

Leo Laporte Right.

Nicole Lee. Sure.

Sam Whitmore So that’s a relief felt.

Leo Laporte It’s hard to un-mute it though. That’s one issue which is – you can mute, in fact there is even a drop-down that says ‘mute this post during press M’

Nicole Lee I would just prefer having like a little plus/minus thing to collapse comments.

John C. Dvorak Just avoiding the whole pop program.

Leo Laporte I think they are going to have all of that. And I think this is the key. If Google does commit to it and put as much energy into it, see it could be – it could be a Jaiku or a code or we can think a Dodgeball, we can think of hundreds of Google projects where they created it or bought it and just let it go die.

Nicole Lee Well, doesn’t that…

Leo Laporte But if they don’t do that, if they put money – if they put resources behind it…

Nicole Lee Sure.

Leo Laporte They’ve already responded immediately in this privacy thing – if they respond that quickly to users…

Nicole Lee Right.

Leo Laporte …and let’s see if in the next week they put collapsible threats because I think it is the number one thing…

Nicole Lee What if they release it as a gold product? Google released something as a gold product?

Leo Laporte I know. They shouldn’t have done that. It’s a beta.

Nicole Lee I mean Gmail was beta for years, Google was beta for years. And why was this not a beta? Why was this like just gold?

Sam Whitmore Good point.

Leo Laporte There are some nice features though. I mean, for instance, on your iPhone or My Nexus One Google phone, it does automatically – it’s got Foursquare style locationing, it’s threaded comments, I love so much more than Twitter’s broadcast model, there is real conversation going on here. I just – on the other hand…

John C. Dvorak How much conversation does a person need in their life on a day to day basis?

Sam Whitmore And to amplify that point, John, do we really need another place to check out, you know…

Nicole Lee Yet another social…

Sam Whitmore I don’t – I don’t…

Leo Laporte That was the first reaction a friend of mine I – I told her about, she said, one more spot to do? I don’t have room for that.

Nicole Lee There is Facebook, there sis Twitter, there is – I don’t know, MySpace.

Leo Laporte Yeah.

Sam Whitmore Now the thing is that they are bolting this – I don’t think they’ve made this clear yet – is they’re bolting it on to Gmail. It’s not a destination on onto itself. And yes, Gmail has 30 million users. But let’s face it, we all know people that don’t even use email, they text, especially younger people. And so I think they’re making a big mistake to tether it too tightly to Gmail because they may be missing a large swathe of people that might enjoy what they do.

Leo Laporte You can – if you are a Gmail user and you hate Buzz, of course you can say no upfront or go down to the very bottom of the page and there is a little tiny ‘turn off BUZZ’ thing.

John C. Dvorak Turn off Buzz.

Leo Laporte You can control privacy a little bit. It does encourage you very strongly to create a Google profile because that’s where it gets their social graph from.

Nicole Lee Here is the thing, if you don’t create a Google profile, people can’t – you can’t block – you can block people.

Leo Laporte Right. You have to really create a profile.

Nicole Lee You have to create a profile to block people, which is like counterintuitive.

Leo Laporte So I guess in some – I guess some of the pushback on this is that Google is pushing us to do it their way.

John C. Dvorak I’m not joining.

Leo Laporte I like it.

Nicole Lee Yeah.

John C. Dvorak You know you like everything. I mean let’s face reality.

Leo Laporte I like it, I love it. I love the conversation.

Sam Whitmore Leo, doesn’t it – it looks like Unix, it’s alphanumeric, I mean part of the elegance of Facebook is how it looks; the fonts, the shadings, and it’s much more visual and it’s prettier. And also it’s a huge application platform, right? It’s all those cool applications and –

Leo Laporte Well that’s a – that could be a problem as well as a plus. I mean, you know, the applications could take over Facebook as well; I mean it becomes the FarmVille game.

Sam Whitmore Well, it hasn’t – it hasn’t slowed them down. And then the other thing that Facebook hasn’t really played out yet is the FriendFeed guys, right, that they bought, they haven’t really delivered the value yet. They are still on the labs unless I’m mistaken. Have they really in your view? I mean they were bought in last summer, I think July or August. And they’ve had six to eight months and they haven’t really iterated Facebook with all that maybe too many capabilities the FriendFeed has.

Leo Laporte No, no. I love – deeply love FriendFeed. And one of the reasons I’m attracted to Buzz is it looks like they were very influenced by FriendFeed. And so, while I’m afraid that FriendFeed, I mean it’s the kind of red-headed stepchild now at Facebook is not going be long for this world. At least there is this Buzz thing which clearly is influenced by it. I don’t – I’ll be honest, I don’t want – I think Facebook is as bad as AOL. Facebook is the AOL of this decade. It’s a silo; it’s got huge privacy issues. Every time you play a game or answer a quiz, marketer is collecting not only information about you, but your entire social graph.

John C. Dvorak I have no problem with Facebook; I’m not a member.

Leo Laporte Well that’s –

Nicole Lee That’s why you don’t have a problem.

John C. Dvorak The – you know there is somebody that has a Dvorak page on Facebook, maybe two. That actually looks like it’s something I might have done because it’s pretty accurate.

Leo Laporte Well there is another problem.

John C. Dvorak Yah, well, that’s another thing. But it’s not bothering me because it’s seems to be a fan or something.

Sam Whitmore You know what Leo? Go ahead Nicole.

Nicole Lee Well I have to say that the only – the only way Facebook was actually usable for me was I went into my privacy settings and I just like tweaked it and I just micro-managed it until like I could separate my friends from my co-workers, like I had to like go in there and micro-manage my privacy settings. That was the only was it was like palatable for me.

Leo Laporte I’m in Facebook big time, I have many Facebook pages and I use it and it’s a promotional vehicle as well as a personnel vehicle, it’s how I stay in touch with old girlfriends, but I don’t think that – you know, that’s where the 5,000 limit really becomes a problem.

Nicole Lee No, you have 5,000 girlfriends – ex-girlfriends?

Leo Laporte No, I’m just kidding.

John C. Dvorak No, it’s more like 6,500.

Nicole Lee 6,500.

Leo Laporte And I tell you, those last 1,500 are just bitter. Just bitter about it, it’s like…

Sam Whitmore What else are people saying in chat about Buzz, certainly other people have…

Leo Laporte There is a – it’ a very polarizing technology. There are people who love it, and mostly it’s the social media mavens like Calacanis and Scoble who see another platform or me. And then there is a lot of people who say exactly what we’ve all been saying which is we don’t need another one, it’s not very attractive. We talked about it on this WEEK in GOOGLE and Kevin Marks, one of the things he said it needs, and I agree with him, is faces. You get it…

Sam Whitmore Yeah.

Nicole Lee Yeah.

Leo Laporte …on the post you get the faces of the person who made the post but not of the commenter’s and that’s a huge –

John C. Dvorak I don’t know, well that’s one of the things that the reason Orkut I think took off in Brazil, which is the most social of all cultures that I’ve ever visited, and because it’s all photos.

Leo Laporte Right. You want to see the person who’s talking.

John C. Dvorak There are lots and lots of photos and so it’s like…

Nicole Lee Yeah, very visual.

John C. Dvorak …you go through and see somebody else’s friend and you go wow, who is that? It’s actually quite entertaining.

Leo Laporte Right. I think we like so – humans like this kind of thing, don’t we?

Nicole Lee Yeah, we do.

John C. Dvorak We like photos.

Nicole Lee We like photos.

Leo Laporte Photos are easy; our monkey minds can grasp it, we can – we can sort them.

Nicole Lee Speaking of Facebook, did you read this ReadWriteWeb story about the Facebook blogging?

Leo Laporte Let’s talk about that in a second. I think that was huge story and very, very interesting. And I want you to explain it to me because I’ve – I’ve been watching – by the way this is why I like stuff like Buzz. I like Twitter too, but I think Buzz is going be more useful this way is it surfaces what's going on. I feel like I stay connected by virtue of watching twitter or watching Buzz and watching the conversation I can see what people – I found out about Kevin Smith that way. I find out what is the topic of discussion. It’s the Internet’s water cooler and I like these kinds of platforms.

However, we are going to talking a little about the Facebook ReadWriteWeb story, I think a very interesting story.

Before we do that though, I want to mention our friends at This is a great engine, I would say, is probably the best word. It’s not – it’s webhosting, yes, it’s hosting but it’s also software, and that’s the key on Squarespace, it does both. Very affordable, starts at $8 a month. But what do you get? You get an amazing platform behind what you are doing. With things like an iPhone app, it’s just to die for; it’s beautiful, best way to blog. The ability to import and export content from WordPress, TypePad, Blogger, so you’re not trapped but it’s easy to get your blog moved in and moved out if you want. Some amazing statistics. People love the templates that comes with, I don’t know, something like 15, 20 templates to start. But then they are so customizable that really every page looks unique. In fact you can find that out by going to and clicking the examples like you’ll see these squares. You know when you have got a WordPress blog you know it’s a WordPress blog. When you go to Dribble you know it’s Dribble. It just look like Dribble, the WordPress. I guarantee that you would not know if you go to say and take a look at. Let me just load it up here. This is a Squarespace blog. Great directories, great – photographers love Squarespace. And because Squarespace is using a very sophisticated form of virtual server technology based on Java, you never run out of bandwidth. Every Squarespace site pops up, it’s instantly usable, you could be dug and slashed out and twitted all at the same time and you still can handle the traffic. They just turn on more bandwidth automatically.

Beautiful, beautiful websites, easy to run. You could focus on the content and let Squarespace do the engineering. Try it right now. You can go to and try it for free. You don’t even need a credit card. Just play with it. Just play with it. And if you decide to sign up, 10% off if you use the coupon code TWiT social integration, forum building and data collection, the best way to post, web or phone, We thank them so much for their support. We are actually talking to them. They have moved into beautiful new offices in Manhattan, and I am thinking we might want to use their old offices for a TWiT east coast studio.

Nicole Lee Oh, you are expanding to…

Sam Whitmore Oh, east coast.

Nicole Lee …east coast.

Leo Laporte You know why?

John C. Dvorak You got a bedroom in there? Someplace you can crash?

Leo Laporte Yeah, well no I can afford a hotel now.

John C. Dvorak No, no, for guests.

Leo Laporte Oh, you want to go. Well, here’s the deal – okay you tell me, you tell me, so we are thinking, I was thinking –

John C. Dvorak I’m in New York, hey, is anybody using the suite?

Leo Laporte It’d be like – we can call it the TWiT club.

John C. Dvorak Yeah you can do that.

Nicole Lee Yeah.

Leo Laporte Like the yellow club, harbor club, the TWiT club…

Nicole Lee Sure.

Leo Laporte …for TWiT alumni only.

John C. Dvorak Yeah, you can go and stay or spend the night or a couple of days there instead of having to spend the night in an expensive hotel.

Leo Laporte Okay.

John C. Dvorak And boom, you are done.

Leo Laporte Okay. That’s kind of ways here – we have a shower and a [indiscernible] (42:45), we have a whole suite upstairs.

John C. Dvorak I think that’s a good idea.

Leo Laporte Yeah.

John C. Dvorak As long as somebody doesn’t hog it. Just make a rule, you can only spend two nights.

Leo Laporte I can’t imagine who would hog it. Who would that be that might hog it? So the idea is – so the idea is – John’s been living there for six months. Can we get him out?

The idea is we want to do a morning show. There’s no geek –

Nicole Lee The Zoo?

Leo Laporte Yeah, but a new –

John C. Dvorak Hey, I got to tell you.

Leo Laporte You want to be on? You could be on it.

John C. Dvorak Yeah. [Indiscernible] (43:19).

Leo Laporte Yeah, but it’s a zoo for new media – it’s a zoo for social media types and geeks and stuff like that because we are now on all these mobile platforms. You can now go to – on your iPhone go to on Safari and you can start watching live.

Nicole Lee Sure.

Leo Laporte It looks great, it works beautifully.

John C. Dvorak On the iPhone?

Leo Laporte On the iPhone. We’re working on the other phones – iPhone handles it right for some reason.

Nicole Lee Does the Android work?

Leo Laporte Android doesn’t do. But we are going to get that work.

John C. Dvorak So we are talking about –

Leo Laporte So the idea is you wake up, okay, you are in bed, you are geek. Instead of the radio –

John C. Dvorak You get up at what, noon?

Nicole Lee Get up at noon.

Leo Laporte Well, I will explain why we are on the east coast. So you set the alarm, you wake up, you’re listening or watching because we do both, you get in the shower, you get out the shower, you have breakfast, you’re still watching, you get in the subway, you get in the car, you still can listen and watch because we’re portable, you get to the office, you turn it on, you can watch your morning show, and the idea would be it’s going to be the stuff that you care about, it’s going to be the stuff you are into. But the reason we have to do on the east coast is because if we want to start at 6 a.m. and we want to air it nationally, we’d have to start at 3 a.m. here. So we thought we’d have to be in the east coast to do that. What do you think?

Sam Whitmore Track down David Lawrence.

John Dvorak I think that’s a fantastic idea.

Leo Laporte David Lawrence would be good.

Nicole Lee Do it.

Sam Whitmore Track down David Lawrence [Indiscernible] (44:23) CNET Radio.

Leo Laporte Yeah I remember. Didn’t go so well. But that’s another matter.


Sam Whitmore That’s why you should track him down.

Leo Laporte Maybe I should ask him what he did wrong.

John C. Dvorak I’m watching you on the iPhone as we speak.

Leo Laporte Yeah, isn’t that cool? That streaming – HDTV streaming. That’s not Flash. Now I think it was so good we should hear it twice, don’t you? Such a good bit. Turn it sideways, you get the full experience.

Sam Whitmore There you are.

Leo Laporte Yeah, that’s pretty cool.

Sam Whitmore Let’s talk about Read/WriteWebs.

Leo Laporte Okay, thank you. Thank you. Now Sam Whitmore has become the John C. Dvorak of TWiT. John has finally gone off the deep end. So what happened to the call with Read/WriteWeb?

Nicole Lee Okay, well, what apparently happened is that Facebook users are Googling for Facebook login, the phrase Facebook login, because how else to log into Facebook. Clicking the first result which is...

Leo Laporte First of all, this is the problem with people that they log, they Google Facebook login.

Nicole Lee They Google Facebook login.

Leo Laporte But what the hell? You go to Facebook dude, what are you talking about? Okay?

Sam Whitmore It’s not – go ahead.

Nicole Lee Anyway. So well, a little pre-story was that apparently Facebook redesigned their login page.

Leo Laporte They couldn’t find the login!

Nicole Lee They couldn’t find the login. Anyway so they Googled Facebook login.

Leo Laporte Oh, this is from the – this is because of the redesign. I get it.

Nicole Lee Anyway, they clicked the first result which was a story on Read/WriteWeb about Facebook login assuming that the site itself is Facebook. Scrolling to the bottom to get the comments form still thinking they’re Facebook and then using the comment from the complaint about how this Facebook looked how awful, it looks horrible.

Leo Laporte So Read/WriteWeb had to put up an announcement on their page that what they said, ‘dear visitors from Google, this site is not Facebook, this is a website called Read/WriteWeb that reports on news about Facebook, you moron.’

John C. Dvorak That’s your Facebook users.

Leo Laporte And you can however click here. I should – I should call my mom to say, ‘hey mom do you know the difference between Read/WriteWeb and Facebook.

John C. Dvorak Hey, Leo that John’s a good guy.

Leo Laporte She loves you. She would love it if I would…

John C. Dvorak Please say hi to him.

Leo Laporte She didn’t – never get to say hi. I talked to her this morning. I wish her Happy Valentine’s Day. She said how is John?

John C. Dvorak You’ve got a great mom.

Leo Laporte I love my mom. She is fantastic. So is it just stupidity? Is this just an example of…?

Nicole Lee Is this stupidity?

Leo Laporte It says for future reference, type into your browser address card or enter Facebook into Google and…

John C. Dvorak Sounds like the zoo already.

Leo Laporte Yeah, this is – John, do you think, a morning show. I am telling you.

John C. Dvorak But we just need some sound effects and here I am.

Sam Whitmore Leo, these underlines, this big pitched battle right now that’s going on in the publishing business about let’s optimize everything and let’s get us high up in the engines. For example, people in the chat can do this now. Go to Google and type in the word cheapskate.

Leo Laporte Okay.

Sam Whitmore The number one hit ought to be the CNET blog…

Leo Laporte The Cheapskate.

Sam Whitmore …called The Cheapskate now. Now the editor in chief of senate showed me that late last week and said this is amazing to us. Cheapskate is a word that is…

Leo Laporte It’s an English language word. There’re six million hits for cheapskate.

Sam Whitmore And it’s a techblog…

Leo Laporte Yeah.

Sam Whitmore …that’s number one. So there’re very smart people all over the word that are just trying to optimize publishing results and get them up and you are going to see more…

John C. Dvorak SEO baby, SEO.

Leo Laporte So if I type TWiT into Google, the first result is oh, me.

Nicole Lee Right and TWiT is a…

Leo Laporte Now that was a good choice though because it’s not really a common English word. Chief’s gate is pretty impressive. So what are you really saying, Sam, that this – is that good?

Sam Whitmore I am saying that we will be like three or four times a year, you are always going to be able to talk about an example of a search result being skewed because a publisher had that number one spot.

Leo Laporte Right.

Sam Whitmore This is going to happen all the time because the professionals now are gaining the system and they are so good at it that the – that confusion is just going to be part of the web experience, not for people that are tuned into the show but for the bottom of the iceberg. There will be some confusion.

Leo Laporte So that – right, that’s what happened for the Read/WriteWeb. Read/WriteWeb came in very much higher than it ought to have for the search Facebook login because they are apparently good at it. Is it possible to be that good as SEO?

Sam Whitmore Yes.

Nicole Lee Yes.

John C. Dvorak There are some amazing things.

Sam Whitmore Yes, those guys are still protecting…

Leo Laporte Like what? What do you do?

John C. Dvorak Don’t tell, don’t tell him. He is already too big.

Leo Laporte Because I haven’t done diddly and I’m still number one.

Sam Whitmore I know Leo, but you could probably…

Leo Laporte You know what I did? You know what I did? I had a lot of people linked to me. That’s all you do.

Sam Whitmore Yeah.

Nicole Lee Yeah.

Leo Laporte Right? Isn’t that what matters?

Nicole Lee Yeah.

Sam Whitmore Yeah. But also part of…

John C. Dvorak You’re a natural SEO.

Sam Whitmore …you also have to link out to popular people on a regular basis too. That’s something if you are not doing it and that will advance yourself.

John C. Dvorak …by the way he doesn’t answer his emails.

Leo Laporte Now wait a minute. Every single show we do – we have show notes that are rife with links to other media outlets.

Sam Whitmore And that’s why you’re so high. That’s one of the basic things that…

John C. Dvorak That’s why your SEO ratings has been high.

Leo Laporte But let me just say – and this actually is a great segue, because on the radio show today, somebody called me and said, ‘I want my site to do better.’ And I said, whatever you do, don’t hire an SEO guru. Is that wrong? I thought this was snake oil.

Sam Whitmore Well, there is some oil at the bottom of the tank, but there are some basic things that...

Leo Laporte So what are the basic things?

Sam Whitmore All the publish – short headlines and also the scene that editors said, always take the name of the company and the product name, right next to each other. Juxtapose them, because that will give you a better result. And shorter headlines are better, never write a nine-word headline when a six-word headline will do. He didn’t give me everything, but I’ll give you – New York Times, Wall Street Journal, all have training, not only at the copy desk and the headline writing desk, but also the reporters use words in their leads that are known to be attractive in a search result.

Leo Laporte Now, but…

Sam Whitmore By the way, these things are movable. These are not these rules…

Leo Laporte It’s a moving target?

Sam Whitmore It’s a moving target. Google is constantly fighting off anything they see as…

Leo Laporte Well, that’s what I was going to say, is that Google’s job is to not let you game the system.

Sam Whitmore Right.

Nicole Lee The most important thing is good content.

Sam Whitmore I think is a free utility to – that allows you, you type in a word, and it will give you the ten most common searches on that term. Anybody can do this, if you’re a blogger, you get a website of your own, you should look into that.

Leo Laporte So I just search for – okay, that was a search on a site. So – enter a keyword and try it now. So I’m going to enter in tech news, right? Because I would like to show up high in tech news, right? That would be my SEO.

John C. Dvorak That’s not going to happen.

Leo Laporte That’s not going to happen, says John. So – and then this shows…

John C. Dvorak ‘Turn keywords into profits!’

Leo Laporte What am I getting here with this graph? What is this telling me? So enter one key – oh, these are related phrases.

Sam Whitmore Yes.

Leo Laporte So then the related phrases should be phrases that I should use in story?

Sam Whitmore In your writing, yeah, in your writing or in your marketing copy.

Nicole Lee This is bullcrap.

John C. Dvorak It just looks like bullcrap to me too.

Nicole Lee This is bullcrap.

Leo Laporte So, in other words, when I write about tech news, I should make sure that Jobs Group Company…

Sam Whitmore Yeah, those keywords are John C. Dvorak. Extractor. Molar.


Leo Laporte John, you think – you would be getting so much more traction if you put the word ‘tractor’ in every podcast.

John C. Dvorak I know, but it’s got it in plural, too. Tractors. Molars. Sorry. Backhoe.

Leo Laporte Here’s a good one. If you just enter Dvorak, you get qwerty, nvotny, antony, orloff and smittena.

John C. Dvorak Yeah, this is nonsense.

Nicole Lee I know.

Leo Laporte No, you should be happy. Because after Dvorak and Dvorak keyboard and Antony Dvorak or [indiscernible] (53:02), you come in number 4.

John C. Dvorak I’m also Ubuntu John Dvorak. And PC Magazine John Dvorak. And No Agenda Adam Curry John Dvorak.

Nicole Lee Oh, wow.

Leo Laporte So, you make an interesting point, Sam. So is this good for – it’s good for media that can spend the energy to figure this out, but it’s really kind of bad for users, isn’t it? Because their results are skewed.

Sam Whitmore It is. In general, people in the publishing business are being accused of polluting the search results collectively. Like, I don’t know if you guys have ever talked about demand media or what Saul Hansell is doing now at….

Leo Laporte Saul left The New York Times, in fact we’ve interviewed Saul many times, I thought he was a very good reporter. So what does – what is he doing?

Sam Whitmore Well, he’s doing content farming. In fact, for next month…

Leo Laporte Oh, this is creepy what he’s doing.

Sam Whitmore Yes! This is content farming.

Leo Laporte I was just talking to somebody that’s working for him, and it’s reprehensible. It’s not real content.

Sam Whitmore Common let’s – I got…

Leo Laporte Well, let Sam tell us what content farming is.

Nicole Lee Okay, Sam will tell us.

Sam Whitmore Content farming is the practice of paying people peanuts to write about service journalism, how to change a tire in the rain, how to…

Leo Laporte Yeah, I have a friend who is – for instance – an auto journalist. She is a car reporter, does freelance. She’s been hired to edit the car section. But they pay people like bloggers five bucks to write an inane article which just has a lot of keywords in it.

Nicole Lee Oh.

John C. Dvorak And links.

Leo Laporte And links, and then she does this curation thing where she puts these all together, and – now what are they selling, what’s the – what is the – are they putting ads on this? What happens?

Nicole Lee Yeah, they put – I think, their ads on them.

Sam Whitmore Yeah, well the bottom line is that when people go to a search engine, they want to be able to get valuable content. Not just one or two links, but three or four pages of valuable editorial content. And a lot of this quasi-advertorial slap-chop sort of stuff is getting optimized so high up in the search results that it’s hard to be able to pull down high-quality content – not today, but tomorrow. There’s a lot of concern that there will be so much dreck in the search results, like advertorial essentially, that it will be a very unsatisfying process to search for content.

John C. Dvorak By the way, Jason should talk about this, because his – actually his Mahallo practices…

Leo Laporte It’s all about SEO.

John C. Dvorak It’s all about that, about this stuff.

Leo Laporte Although he provides good content, he’s not –

John C. Dvorak Well, if you really want to back – go back to the originals, I mean is the originator of this entire idea.

Nicole Lee Yeah.

John C. Dvorak And then if you really – if you want to take the idea further, Wikipedia, which is always ranked very high – although they don’t do it for the purposes of advertising – essentially does the same thing. These are all just things that are…

Leo Laporte But that’s – that’s what Google says. They say if you want to get hits, do good content, which is what you’re saying. But the problem with these content farms, this business, I’m kind of disappointed at Saul for doing this. I guess he decided to go for the gold. Is that they’re polluting content with the purpose of generating hits for advertising reasons.

Now I have to point out, this isn’t the first time this happened. I mean Google had a big problem just a few years ago where you’d search for something, you’d get all these link farms, right? They fixed it.

Nicole Lee Yeah. Yeah.

John C. Dvorak Yeah, they fixed all that. I hated parker sites.

Leo Laporte Yeah.

John C. Dvorak Yeah.

Sam Whitmore But this is a middle ground, though, it’s not quite that is reprehensible. But to Saul’s credit, next month at south by southwest, he has an objective to have every single session covered by one of his twenty buck reporters. So he’s trying to mix sort of swarm reporting along with this dreck. So…

Leo Laporte Well, now that’s interesting. Is he really looking to put good content up, or is he looking to deflect criticism by having something.

Sam Whitmore I don’t know, you’d have to ask him. But the point is that I think what he’s going to try to do is elevate the editorial quality within the content farm, which is to say he wants to be the tallest dwarf or the least smelly skunk or whatever metaphor you want. The fact is that we really have to collectively watch that the search experience could become much less satisfying than it was in the past decade.

Leo Laporte Well, you know what, it’s bad for me. Because if somebody’s searching for a legitimate tech coverage and they find these sites are bubbling up above me, it’s very bad for anybody…

John C. Dvorak But it’s not happening.

Leo Laporte Not yet, but I think that if…

Sam Whitmore Yeah, but the battle ground will not be on editorial reputation, it will be on how…

Leo Laporte SEO.

Sam Whitmore How deftly you can push your results to the top.

John C. Dvorak I believe that this is just something that’s just another one of these – the SEO business is a moving target, and that’s why you don’t see big websites that reveal all the secrets, because once the secrets are revealed that are trial and error secrets, then the Google just says let’s fix that, and that’s the end of it.

Leo Laporte Isn’t it interesting that how – the position that Google is now in that we’ve kind of given them, which is – it’s up to them to save us. That’s a little scary, isn’t it?

Sam Whitmore You know the number one provider of video to YouTube? Take a guess what it is. Number one provider.

Leo Laporte CBS? NBC? I don’t know.

Sam Whitmore See, you’re thinking like a media guy. And I am too. But the number one provider of video to YouTube is Demand Media.

Leo Laporte What is Demand Media?

Sam Whitmore Demand Media is the number one provider of this advertorially, cheap, factory-produced content. But they do have branded sites. They have eHow. Have you ever been to eHow?

Nicole Lee Yeah.

Leo Laporte Yeah, eHow’s okay.

Sam Whitmore They have eHow. They have Livestrong. They have Livestrong. They’re also going to come out with a branded site for gardening. These are – like John remembers the Bill Ziff Passion Verticals Days, right? You’d come out with magazines that served photography and…

Leo Laporte But these are phony, right? They’re not – this is the thing. I’m Passion Media…

John C. Dvorak You’re Passion Media?

Sam Whitmore They’re not really phony, but they’re just really insipid, there’s like common sense – there’s no editorial horsepower behind it. It’s service journalism. Like John said, go to That sort of thing, that’s the model, only at scale.

Leo Laporte Well, then maybe I’m just being a snob saying that’s not real journalism…

John C. Dvorak Absolutely.

Leo Laporte …that’s just a twenty buck blogger.

John C. Dvorak Yeah, twenty buck reporter.

Nicole Lee Twenty buck reporter.

Leo Laporte Twenty buck reporter. And so that’s just the people’s medium. But it seems cynical to me. It seems like some wise guy said, ‘yeah the peoples’ media, that’s the ticket, there’s some money in there.’

Sam Whitmore You know what, Leo, there’s one point – and we probably shouldn’t spend a million hours on this – but there’s one point I left out. And that is, that before they assign these articles, these bots that search – that Demand Media has, for example, and AOL has – these bots go out and search the entirety of content on the internet and they look at what is under cover. I’ll give you an example. Harley Davidson belt buckles.

Nicole Lee What?

Sam Whitmore …is a topic that very few people write about, but there’s a lot of passion about it.

Leo Laporte Sure there is.

Sam Whitmore and so the bot goes out and it tells Saul Hansell hey, there’s a supply and demand opportunity, there’s not enough supply to meet the demand for Harley Davidson belt buckles, let’s create content about Harley Davidson belt buckles, and then we’ll sell AdWords off of it and AdSense.

Leo Laporte I guess I have no problem with that if the content is good, real, content generated by enthusiasts.

John Dvorak [Indiscernible] (61:04) stuff for the – for MiVeo.

Leo Laporte If it’s generated by – well, MiVeo does this too.

John Dvorak No, my son was right.

Leo Laporte MiVeo invented this, let’s face it.

John Dvorak well…

Leo Laporte I know you’re Vice President of MiVeo, but…

John Dvorak They could have done a – if they invented it, they could have gotten a little more credit.

Leo Laporte They should have done a better job. No, but I think that’s – it’s okay if they do it and they bring in enthusiasts, if you find some real Harley belt buckle wizards and they really write about Harley belt buckles…

John Dvorak Well that’s what kind of does.

Leo Laporte Yeah, those are people who care. I have no problem with that.

John Dvorak I think over time, that Google will take care of this issue and it will be something else.

Leo Laporte Help us, Obi-Wan Ken-oogle.

Nicole Lee So I’m on right now and the top story is how to cope with Valentine’s Day when you’re single.

Leo Laporte Yeah.

Nicole Lee And there are four other stories called, how to have a great Valentine’s Day?

John Dvorak Sounds like People magazine to me.

Nicole Lee If you are single, how they cope on Valentine’s Day, how they cope with being single on Valentine’s Day, and they’re all separate articles.

Leo Laporte Apparently there’s a lot of demand for that.

Nicole Lee [Laughter].

Sam Whitmore Yes, there is.

Leo Laporte You know it’s funny, because I actually have on my iGoogle, I have an e-how box.

Sam Whitmore You’ve been duped.

Leo Laporte I’ve been duped, I didn’t realize that they – well maybe not, maybe it goes to wikiHow. But I like that, because it – let’s see what’s on my How to of the day. Five ways to enjoy being single.


Nicole Lee I know, what is this?

Leo Laporte Can a few extra curtain hooks make a bracelet, and how to make a biscuit joint.

Sam Whitmore Okay, now Leo, that’s not editorial, right? That’s content, but it’s a service journalism play. People care about these things…

Leo Laporte Sure.

Sam Whitmore …and they’re getting great traffic. And the search results for that stuff are going all the way up to page one.

Leo Laporte Well in that case, if it’s genuine content, I don’t care if it’s a professional journalist – but if it’s genuine content, I think this is the democratization of media and it’s good thing. If it’s a cynical attempt to get advertising dollars by putting bogus content up there, then I’m not crazy about it, but – so which is it, do we know?

John Dvorak It’s real content.

Leo Laporte It’s real content.

John Dvorak My son, when he was writing this stuff, he would tell me all these crazy things he researched and found out about.

Leo Laporte He cared about it and he wrote it well.

John Dvorak He says, yeah, did you know that deodorants made with a combinations of things, you will have a – you do a thing like deodorant and how – the chemical analysis.

Leo Laporte Well, in fact, this sounds like there’s going to be jobs for young people.

John Dvorak Not at these prices, it’s like…

Leo Laporte So how much was he getting?

John Dvorak He was getting the same thing, 20 bucks or whatever.

Nicole Lee 20 bucks.

Leo Laporte That’s kind of sad.

Nicole Lee It is kind of sad.

Leo Laporte But wait a minute, let me ask the question. Because when you started out in the newspaper…

John Dvorak But by the way, you’ve never seen my son type.

Leo Laporte He’s fast?

John Dvorak His speed is about 100.

Leo Laporte When you started out and you were a copy boy in the early days of the newspapers…

John Dvorak Yes boss.

Leo Laporte That’s how you started out, you didn’t go to J school. You started out, some guy, some curmudgeon invites you over and says ‘kid, I think you’re ready. Write a headline.’ Right?

John Dvorak Well maybe it wasn’t my – wasn’t the road to riches that I took.


Leo Laporte Copy!

All right, we’re going to take a break and come back. There is an – another Google story. Google really – I love how – I don’t know if I love Google. But I love how they’re thinking. We’ll talk about this in just a second. You know passed away just today? The great Dick Francis. Did you ever ready any Dick Francis’ novels?

John Dvorak Oh yeah. Oh he’s a fast read. You know, he never believed in using adjectives, so he just – you just blew through the stories.

Leo Laporte You’re the one who taught me not to use adverbs, but he went even a little farther. Nothing was hot or cold, it was just.

Dick Francis passed away but you can get some many great Dick Francis novels at, and maybe in honor of Dick, we should mention a few of these great racing stories, high stakes, even money, second win, dead heat, fast reads, this is kind of – sometimes people say I’m a little afraid of getting into the audiobook thing because it’s going to be dull, it’s going to be boring, it’s going to – I’m going to fall asleep.

No. It could be anything you want it to be. I mean there’s non-fiction, there’s history, I listen to a lot of great history, a lot of science and technology. But also, great thrillers and novels of all kinds. And boy, something like Dick Francis is a great way to listen. And just – these things come alive, you’ll be sorry when your commute’s over.

If you’re not yet an Audible subscriber, I can get you one free, go to – in fact, I can get you two free, go to that’s the Audible Platinum account. It’s two books a month. It’s a subscription. And you can even like candy. I just – I love, I love it when I go to my Audible page and I see the two credits, because that means two more books I can add to my library. You know by the way, when you buy an Audible book in the – you get to keep it for life. Your library is always available to you. It’s like a real book store, a real book shelf.

These books download in just a matter of minutes. They play on most devices, including iPods, iPhones, Zindle and Kune – I mean Zune and Kindle. Go to and sign up today. And then when you got your two free books, go to the Free For Members page and you will a lot more that you can download absolutely free.

Audible, a world of great listening awaits you at We thank them so much for their support and we invite you to give them a try.

Sam Whitmore I know you already did the GoToWebinar spot, just 10 seconds, I run Media Survey on GoToWebinar, it’s fantastic.

Leo Laporte Say to GoToMeeting, because if you…

Sam Whitmore well, GoToMeeting too, because we – those are sort of like the ad hoc things and you can have…

Leo Laporte Oh they their own web – it’s Citrix?

Sam Whitmore Yeah.

Leo Laporte Oh, I didn’t know they have GoToWebinar, oh that’s nice.

Sam Whitmore Well, there is a lot of webinars…

Leo Laporte How many people can you have in there?

Sam Whitmore Up to a thousand for GoToWebinar.

Leo Laporte Wow!

Sam Whitmore Yeah. So anyways, that’s all they paid for but I’m a very happy customer of theirs.

Leo Laporte If people wanted to do – if they’re interested in your media stuff, they go to, is that the place?

Sam Whitmore Yeah I do have that aliased over to Media Survey. Our business is called Sam Whitmore’s Media Survey.

Leo Laporte And it’s – who are your customers?

Sam Whitmore There it is, about two-thirds are tech-PR agencies. But we have CA, we have Teradata and Novell, we have some tech vendors too. And we analyze tech editorial and in fact in – as we were saying off-camera, I did the iPad coverage analysis last month and I just…

Leo Laporte I liked your conclusion.

Leo Laporte Yeah, I had to conclude that that’s what TV just kicked everybody’s ass and I said so. And…

Leo Laporte Thank you for the link. Yeah, it’s really awesome.

Sam Whitmore You guys did a great job, you guys did – Engadget did a really good job of liveblogging.

Leo Laporte Yeah, well they were smart because they didn’t use COVERITLIVE, I came this close to using COVERITLIVE.

Sam Whitmore They crashed.

Leo Laporte And everybody else including Engadget used COVERITLIVE and it died. Did CNET – Was CNET using COVERITLIVE?

Sam Whitmore No.

Nicole Lee No, we didn’t.

Leo Laporte Okay, but GD and GDGT did not.

Nicole Lee No.

Leo Laporte And I know I saw Ryan in there, Ryan Block was typing away like crazy and everybody else was just stymied.

Nicole Lee Yeah. I think, it wasn’t Dwight from…

Leo Laporte Dwight Silverman was using it from The Houston Chronicle?

Nicole Lee Yeah, yeah he couldn’t do it.

Leo Laporte Yeah, I felt bad.

John Dvorak Yeah that’s too bad. By the way, we didn’t talk too much – enough about Mac Show, but I will mention that if you go to the Dvorak Uncensored YouTube videos, I just posted my random walk video, walking through the show, so…

Leo Laporte What would be the URL for that?

John Dvorak YouTube.

Leo Laporte No, no,…

John Dvorak Well, I didn’t put it on the blog yet.

Leo Laporte Oh it’s only on YouTube?

John Dvorak Yeah.

Leo Laporte So it’s…

John Dvorak [Indiscernible] (68:22) blog was what you’re...

Leo Laporte Yeah, but it’s

John Dvorak Yeah.

Leo Laporte Oh, I didn’t even know. So you could – you don’t necessarily always put it on the blog?

John Dvorak No. I’ll put it there.

Leo Laporte There’s more there on YouTube all the time.

John Dvorak There’s lot of stuff.

Leo Laporte There is stuff – content…

John Dvorak I got the TechGuy hippie there on that. But yeah, here’s the…

Leo Laporte A random walk through the last – so what do you do? You just take pictures?

John Dvorak I just take this little camera and walk around with it on video.

Leo Laporte And we spent thousands and thousands of dollars and brought many, many…

John Dvorak Yeah, it’s $1.50.

Leo Laporte This is really the truth though, is that this all these tools really allow you to cover stuff. I mean do we learn anything from this? Is there audio on it?

John Dvorak Yeah there is audio.

Leo Laporte Are you put – this is – it’s not you narrating it?

John Dvorak No, I was just walking through – I tried to catch people when they are having conversations, I’ll stop at an eavesdrop.

Leo Laporte So it’s as if you were there?

John Dvorak Yeah, this keeps people from having to go to the show. You can see what a miserable experience it is.


Leo Laporte And the truth is – how many minutes is this? Seven minutes?

John Dvorak Seven minutes, yeah.

Leo Laporte You really saw everything.

John Dvorak Pretty much, yeah.

Leo Laporte You didn’t miss a thing.

John Dvorak [indiscernible] (69:31) five, but I think seven is...

Leo Laporte It took me half an hour. I couldn’t believe it, I went upstairs to the [indiscernible] (69:35) tea room and had a cup of tea, it was like a…

This is great, this is exactly going there.

John Dvorak Yeah.

Nicole Lee It has Merlyn.

Leo Laporte It’s Merlyn doing his Omni Group thing.

Nicole Lee This is riveting television.

John Dvorak Yeah, what’s like the show, the show is not that riveting. You have to produce some.

Nicole Lee [Laughter] I know.

Leo Laporte You can only be as good as the show you are covering, right?

John Dvorak The way it is – the only reason people think these things are interesting because the show – the crew goes and they shoot it, and then the guys goes and edits it, so it’s exciting, when in fact, mine’s more believable.

Leo Laporte CES was very vital, though. I thought CES was a happening thing.

John Dvorak You really liked it going there. Because you’re a bigshot.

Leo Laporte I was. I was feted.

John Dvorak You had a whole crew of people down there.

Leo Laporte When I say feted, I don’t mean F-E-T-I-D.

John Dvorak That’s what it sounded like to me.


Leo Laporte That’s a homonym if I ever heard one and not a felicitous one, either.

So Google made an interesting announcement and I think in a way, this is kind of – they’re throwing down the gauntlet. They said they are going to pick several municipalities in the U.S., towns ranging in size from 50 to 500,000; and they are going to become an internet service provider in those towns, offering – get ready for this, gigabit internet access using fibre. The best you can get right now may be 50 megabits. So we’re talking 20 times better than the best you can get at any price. And Google’s point is, this can be done, the fibre exists.

John Dvorak Yeah, oh no, there’s a bunch of dead fibre out there.

Leo Laporte You know, my new rallying cry is ‘light the dark fibre.’

John Dvorak I like the fist in the air. I think that’s really what makes it work.


Leo Laporte Light the dark fibre, baby!

Nicole Lee Rallying cry.

Leo Laporte You think maybe we could like make it a...

Nicole Lee War cry.

John Dvorak Light the dark fibre.

Nicole Lee It could be a t-shirt.

John Dvorak Yeah, it would make a good t-shirt.

Leo Laporte But in the dotcom boom, a lot of fibre was laid – even before – it was laid under the ground and never used. We overbuilt the infrastructure. It often happens in these tech booms or booms of any kind. Remember the Tulip boom, you remember that?

John Dvorak Oh yeah, back when I was a kid.

Leo Laporte Yeah.

John Dvorak Yeah.

Leo Laporte Laid the infrastructure for the bulb network.

John Dvorak Yeah, the bulb.


Leo Laporte No I think that I was read somewhere – maybe I shouldn’t read, but I read somewhere that –

John Dvorak Or listened.

Leo Laporte Maybe you tell me – that economic boom bust cycles did have a value, because the boom created overbuilding – overoptimistic overbuilding – that later after bust – the railroad is the classic example, the railroads – joined the country. All the railroad companies after that went bust, but we had the railroad and we had the telegram.

John Dvorak Well, that’s what we’re seeing today. After the dotcom – if it wasn’t for the dotcom bust, we wouldn’t have all this great stuff that we use now that’s...

Leo Laporte Exactly.

John Dvorak ...there’s a lot of really good dotcom companies out there now that make usable products.

Leo Laporte Right. And –

John Dvorak I’m actually stunned.

Leo Laporte And there’s all this gigabit or faster fibre under the ground.

John Dvorak Yeah, sitting there waiting.

Leo Laporte So Google says, they are going to offer fibre-to-the-home, I love this – I just love the phrase, fibre-to-the-home trials at the astounding data speed of a gigabit a second. They’ll sell this service they say at a competitive price. Well, here’s the deal.

John Dvorak And this is going to be Ethernet?

Leo Laporte They’ll have to, I think that’s – isn’t that how Verizon does, they do fibre-to-the-curb and then Ethernet in.

John Dvorak Yes, something like that.

Leo Laporte But you have gigabit Ethernet, I use gigabit – we use gigabit Ethernet here, I tell you – let me tell you about gigabit, it’s almost hard drive speed. You feel like you can copy files very, very quickly.

Nicole Lee Yeah, it’s fast.

John Dvorak That’s nice.

Leo Laporte It will empower things like High Def video. It will be huge for what we do, it will be huge for anybody who is using internet to deliver rich media. It’s –

John Dvorak But where?

Nicole Lee Where? And how much?

Leo Laporte Okay.

John Dvorak I mean this is just all talk.

Leo Laporte No, it’s not talk!

Sam Whitmore No, it’s not talk.

John Dvorak It is talk. I’ll give you an example. I want it now, I want in my house. It’s talk.

Leo Laporte Sam, would you talk him down right now?

Sam Whitmore I read a story –

Leo Laporte This is – the company – I’ll tell you. The company is looking for communities to work with across the country and is taking online nominations from citizens and government officials until March 26, right? We are lobbying at Petaluma, I am lobbering my friends – lobbering?

John Dvorak Lobbrring?

Leo Laporte Slobbering!

Sam Whitmore Slobbering?

Leo Laporte I am slobbering on my friends –

John Dvorak I’m just practicing for the zoo.

Leo Laporte You need – can I give you a cowbell? This is little zooey. It is a little zooey. If you go to

Nicole Lee Fiberrfi? Oh god.

Leo Laporte Yeah. Google fibre for the community. Here he is, here’s Mr. Google talking and says, think big with gig.

[Audio clip]

He doesn’t sound like’s from around here.

[Audio clip]

Nicole Lee Oh my god!

John Dvorak We saw that, Leo. Embarrassing.

Nicole Lee Oh my God.

Leo Laporte I just fell off my [indiscernible] (74:42) I was so excited about this.

John Dvorak I just couldn’t get to the camera fast enough.


John Dvorak It was like watching us train wreck in slow motion. I thought like you just – you’re lucky you didn’t hit the glass, you probably would have broke it. Yeah this is zoo.

Leo Laporte So I – I think I am going to lobby our local –

Sam Whitmore This fall will be the death of Leo, says Eureka on the chat room.

Leo Laporte That’s the first time I actually rolled off the ball.

John Dvorak It was quite funny.

Leo Laporte Really, I went down.

Nicole Lee Are you okay?

John Dvorak Because it was in slow motion. You didn’t hit it that hard.

Leo Laporte No, no, no, I was in control the whole time. So I personally would like to lobby our City Council, I know a couple of members who are at City Council and say, look you guys got to apply for this, what better way to get re-elected John than to be the City Council, many of the mayor who got Google to bring gigabit Internet to your community.

John C. Dvorak In Petaluma?

Leo Laporte Yeah.

John C. Dvorak Oh they are all going to be go what the heck is gigabit here in Petaluma.

Leo Laporte Oh come on. No, no, this is telecom valley.

John C. Dvorak Oh yeah.

Leo Laporte So you go there, there is a button to push, easy for government officials, it’s a big button. And then – and then you get involved, request for information for residence and community groups or for government response, I am going to nominate my community and I can imagine that Google’s received a few million people saying, yeah I like gigabit. Why is Google doing this?

John C. Dvorak Publicity, [ph] just what I know (76:18).

Nicole Lee They want to own everything.

Leo Laporte No. Wrong. Sam?

Sam Whitmore Wrong. It’s huge asset in YouTube.

John C. Dvorak Who has a huge, what?

Sam Whitmore Asset in YouTube and they can’t – they see Netflix succeeding, they want to be in the video world what Google is to search results.

Leo Laporte So you are saying they are doing it for YouTube?

Sam Whitmore Yeah, absolutely. They paid 1.6 billion and they see what’s going on in Korea, they see what’s going on in Europe and they can’t wait for the United States’ telcos to provide a level of bandwidth that Google itself needs to monetize the YouTube asset plus whatever else they are cooking. 3D, I mean people go see Avatar but eventually we are going to be seeing that sort of thing in our homes, eventually.

Leo Laporte Yeah, but you’ll see it on…

John C. Dvorak Yeah [indiscernible] (77:07) in 2050.

Leo Laporte You’ll see it on Blu-ray but the point is let’s see it on the Internet.

John C. Dvorak What’s its URL

Leo Laporte Oh it’s really lousy URL. You know somebody got to tell Google about this thing called SEO for Crying Out Loud.

Nicole Lee It’s –

Nicole Lee No there’s two Rs in there.

Leo Laporte Fiberrfi.

Nicole Lee Yes.

John C. Dvorak That’s dumb.

Leo Laporte Yeah, I am telling you.

John C. Dvorak Did you said,

Leo Laporte How about just like or –

Nicole Lee That will be –

Leo Laporte …gigabit or –

John C. Dvorak Get involved learn more about the fibre optic trial.

Leo Laporte Yeah I think this is – I’ll tell you, there’s also the –

John C. Dvorak Nominate your community.

Leo Laporte – merely the interpretation that Google’s altruistic and Google’s already said and I think this is true, we make money, the more you use the Internet more we make money, that’s all simple. So we want you to use Internet more. How do we get use the Internet more, more bandwidth. Make it more appealing. And I think it’s very simple, they want to put the screws to Internet service providers in the United States they are artificially maintaining scarcity, I’ve said this before – John and I have had this argument for a long time, they are overcharging, they are underperforming and Google is saying basically, we got the fibre, light it up. That’s my rallying cry, light the dark frickin fibre.

Nicole Lee This is like –

John C. Dvorak It’s costs money Leo.

Nicole Lee Is this related to the Google’s efforts to like put Wi-Fi in some cities?

Leo Laporte Yeah.

Nicole Lee Is it related at all to that effort?

Leo Laporte Google – I can’t – I’ll have to go back and look at the Google blog, but one Google executive said and he wrote a very good piece, he said, really our business model is simple, the more uses the Internet the more money we make. It’s really simple. So – and if you look at Google through those eyes, everything they did make sense. They just want you to use the Internet more, right? Doesn’t that make sense, Sam, yeah it’s YouTube but it’s everything else?

Sam Whitmore Yeah, that’s true. That’s true. I think that they have a political issue against the telcos, I mean they...

Leo Laporte Yes.

Sam Whitmore ...decided to end-run them with the phone and I don’t think they – I think they are political enemies, and I don’t think they want to tether their business trajectory, their multi-year revenue plan and beholden to telcos.

Leo Laporte Yes, that’s true as well.

Nicole Lee It’s also – it could also be a pre-emptive strike against the whole net neutrality debate situation.

Leo Laporte Very good point. Good point. I mean nobody likes the telcos, nobody likes the cable companies, even Comcast in an effort –

John C. Dvorak Yeah you have to fill out this form to get your city nominated, it’s ridiculous.

Leo Laporte Well if it were easy, everyone would do it.

Sam Whitmore Web link to supporting material.

John C. Dvorak But this is crap.

Leo Laporte John wants it…

John C. Dvorak Of course it is, I don’t want to do the work.

Leo Laporte Because he doesn’t want to do anything for it.

John C. Dvorak No, but I don’t have any web link to supporting material.

Leo Laporte John, you know, forget that just tweet.

John C. Dvorak What do you mean tweet?

Leo Laporte Hey work for Kevin Smith, just go online and tweet. Give me gigabit. Go, go.

John C. Dvorak I’m going to take a chance so that I can look at anything, I’m going to send him to the FBI site.

Leo Laporte That will work. You just screwed it for Oakland let me tell you right now, this is it. If Oakland doesn’t get gigabit, you’ll know why John. Actually I think Petaluma has a good shot at it, because this is the – it was the second area that Comcast did there at home site. Did you notice Comcast renamed themselves, by the way?

Nicole Lee What? They did?

Leo Laporte Yeah.

Nicole Lee To what?

John C. Dvorak To what, Leo?

Leo Laporte What would you – no, this isn’t a joke. You think I am going to get the joke. It should be a joke. Comcast is no longer Comcast, it’s XFINITY.

Nicole Lee What? Oh, I thought it.

John C. Dvorak That means they are no longer Comcastic.

Leo Laporte They XFINITastic. Comcast admitted they are so hated.

Nicole Lee Oh, look at Sam’s on video.

Leo Laporte Oh, there it is. Sam’s got it. Speed, security, convenience. It’s a new era of entertainment is about to begin, get ready boys and girls for XFINITY. Please.

Nicole Lee Oh, my gosh!

Leo Laporte They are re-branding. Is that the worst and then here’s, right in the web page what is XFINITY?

John C. Dvorak Comcast.

Nicole Lee Yes, tell me what’s – tell me more.

Leo Laporte It’s Comcast, remember Comcast. We’re better than Comcast. We’re the new Comcast.

Nicole Lee No, why, why? Why did they change it?

Leo Laporte I don’t know if they are abandoning Comcast completely, or if XFINITY is some sort of bizarre brand.

John C. Dvorak Oh, it’s a brand. They got too many ads out there all of a sudden.

Leo Laporte It’s very confusing. But I think this is the new – XFINITY is the new, I don’t know. See there is Fancast, that’s the Comcast’s web, you know…

Nicole Lee What – I’m confused.

Leo Laporte What’s XFINITY? Well, let me click link.

Nicole Lee What is it?

Leo Laporte What is XFINITY? When you click that link, XFINITY is a massive selection of TV and movies you can watch…

John C. Dvorak This is a Hulu.

Leo Laporte …on TV, online and on demand.

Nicole Lee This is – yeah, this is Hulu.

Leo Laporte It’s – wait a minute, there is more. It’s also lightening fast Internet access. But there’s more.

Sam Whitmore It’s Hulu.

Leo Laporte It’s Hulu for Comcast.

Sam Whitmore It’s Hulu – exactly, in fact I am a member of this.

Nicole Lee Already a Comcast customer.

John C. Dvorak If you have a Comcast email address you can watch some percent of the shows that come in over your coax over the….

Leo Laporte Yes.

John C. Dvorak …web…

Leo Laporte I love that.

John C. Dvorak And that – this is the portal for that.

Leo Laporte But they are also selling it for 80 bucks a month, even if you are not a customer.

Nicole Lee So what’s Fancast? I’m confused now.

Leo Laporte They’re replacing to Fancast with XFINITY.

Nicole Lee Oh, okay.

Leo Laporte But Fancast was a limited on-demand system, this is basically, you get I love Lucy and everything else.

Nicole Lee Yeah.

Leo Laporte This is like your TV…

John C. Dvorak So if you have a Comcast account, you get this free?

Leo Laporte It’s free if you have a Comcast account.

John C. Dvorak Great. I like it.

Leo Laporte So you are no going to get hear that often folks. Just enjoy what you got it. All right, this has been so much fun, this is the morning zoo, I’m really enjoying and Sam Whitmore is at Sam Whitmore on twitter, he is also at and The Whitmore Media Surveys is something that everybody who subscribes or consumes tech content for business should know about.

Sam Whitmore That’s right and we give a 30-day free trial too.

Leo Laporte There you go. John C. Dvorak is at, he does a lot of stuff, but you can see it all there at…

John C. Dvorak It’s all consolidated.

Leo Laporte Here by the way is an apology from Southwest Airlines. Should I do a dramatic reading?

John C. Dvorak Yes, please. Can you do it in German?

Leo Laporte Yeah, it starts Not So Silent Bob, well this is a little weird.

John C. Dvorak What’s weird about it?

Leo Laporte Oh, I thought it was a – okay, it’s says Christi Day, I thought maybe that was some religious holiday, but I guess that’s her name. Many of you reached out to us via Twitter last night and today regarding a situation, a Customer – Customer Twitted about that occurred on a Southwest flight, this is not our customary relation – method of customer relations to be so public and how we work.

First and foremost, Mr. Smith we would like to echo our tweets I think and offer our heart-filled apologies, we’re sincerely sorry. As soon as we saw the first tweet from Mr. Smith, we contacted him personally to apologize for his experience and addresses concerns on both Twitter and with a personal phone call and so they explained what happened. He originally purchased two Southwest seats on a flight from Oakland to Burbank, as he’s been known to do when travelling on Southwest. But he wanted to get on an earlier flight, he flew stand-by and when he got on there was only one seat. Apparently Smith normally buys two seats. Our pilots are responsible for the safety and comfort of all customers in the aircraft, therefore made the determination that Mr. Smith needed more than one seat to complete his flight. Our employees explained why the decision was made, accommodated Mr. Smith in a later flight, and issued him a travel voucher for $100, that sounds reasonable.

John C. Dvorak Well, I don’t know, let’s find out from Mr. Smith.

Leo Laporte You’ve read about these situations before Southwest instituted our Customer of Size policy more than 25 years ago requires customers that can’t fit safely and comfortable in one seat to purchase – that’s reasonable. You don’t want to be next to somebody that takes more than one seat…

John C. Dvorak You know…

Leo Laporte …if he’s only got one seat.

John C. Dvorak Yeah, no, it’s true but I’ve seen it. But the – what I’ve been convinced over the last few years that we should be charging people on any airline by the pound.

Leo Laporte By the pound.

John C. Dvorak I think a person that is 100 pound should not pay as much as a person as 250 pounds.

Nicole Lee What if they are just tall?

John C. Dvorak Tall is – no it’s weight, because the planes always – there’s Japanese airlines that want to gave me this idea, because they said they’re going to make people take a crap before the flight. It’s a fact.

Leo Laporte It would save us a million dollars a year.

John C. Dvorak They figured it out.

Leo Laporte And so…

Nicole Lee This is the morning zoo.

John C. Dvorak So as a matter of fact…

Leo Laporte I think – I’m sorry they can’t do that. What are they going to say, you go there, you have to – you can’t do that. What do, they are going to monitor it?

John C. Dvorak No crappy.

Leo Laporte Actually – wait a minute. They could do that because isn’t it true in Japan that they have toilets that they say thank you when you…

John C. Dvorak Maybe they are trying to give you a ticket or a seat, I don’t know.

Leo Laporte I think they weigh it.

John C. Dvorak Whatever the case is, they could – they should charge you by the pound, they would have to make you take a crap because then you just pay more.

Leo Laporte John C. Dvorak is available at Nicole Lee cover cell phones for CNet, you can find her on Is that right?

Nicole Lee You can also go to just and this work.

Leo Laporte Well, that’s probably better.

Nicole Lee Yes.

Leo Laporte So nice to see you. Happy Valentine’s Day.

Nicole Lee Good to see you.

Leo Laporte Thanks for being here and Gung Hay Fat Choy.

Nicole Lee Yes.

Leo Laporte Thanks to everybody who joined us today. You can watch live at We do the show at 6:00 P.M. Eastern, 3:00 P.M. Pacific Time every Sunday. So you can watch the live – because really we do really about eight hours and then we edit it down to whatever, I mean a hour and a half. So you’re really missing a lot of the best stuff.

Nicole Lee There’s a lot of jokes in between.

Leo Laporte There is a lot of jokes.

Nicole Lee Lot of good jokes.

Leo Laporte People are falling off falls, crap jokes.

John C. Dvorak Yeah, it would have been a classic if you had the camera on yourself like you usually do.

Nicole Lee That would be great.

Leo Laporte I carefully – I was reaching – I was reaching for the switchers and I went back and I couldn’t quite…

John C. Dvorak You better to do it again, if you are not careful.

Leo Laporte Couldn’t quite…

Nicole Lee Careful. Careful.

Leo Laporte You can also watch us now on the iPhone using Safari, we’ve got live streaming on the iPhone, go to, actually at on the iPhone and it just works. I know Android folks and BlackBerry and Palm people are saying why not us, it has to do with, they have the technical capability, but for some reason the browsers don’t know how to handle it, they just go I don’t – like what am I supposed to do with this link. So it’s something that they’re going to have to help us with, but thanks to USTREAM for making that possible. Anything else I want to say, yes. Go to for all our shows, we’ve got a lot of good ones.

John C. Dvorak Is there anything else I need to say?

Leo Laporte I guess, I will just say thanks for joining us. Another TWiT is in the can.


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