TWiT 244/Transcript

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Episode 244


This transcript is provided by our friends at Pods in Print

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This is TWiT. This WEEK in TECH: episode 244 for April 19, 2010: Pork Chops And Apple Sauce.

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This is TWiT: This WEEK in TECH, the show that covers all the tech news! Ladies and gentlemen, joining us in the studio today, John C. Dvorak:

John C. Dvorak Hello.

Leo Laporte The Tech Hippy. That’s his new show, I like that. I mean somebody’s new show. Some guy, looks like your brother.

John C. Dvorak Yeah.

Leo Laporte I know you went to Berkeley and so he probably, he’s kind of like that.

John C. Dvorak Yeah, very typical of a Berkeley student back in the day.

Leo Laporte Back in the day.

John C. Dvorak Nowadays, it’s all kids from China.

Leo Laporte Also, here in the studio – and I am really thrilled to welcome into the studio today because he is our newest TWiT, actually he will be, because you don’t start yet – Mr. Tom Merritt:

Tom Merritt Hello, Leo.

Leo Laporte Hey Tom, we are trying to find a name for – a title for Tom.

Tom Merritt I like Viceroy.

Leo Laporte Viceroy?

Tom Merritt Yeah.

Leo Laporte I’m Chief TWiT, he’s Viceroy. No? You don’t like it, John?

John C. Dvorak I think [indiscernible] (2:14) it should be alliterative and it should have the word Tom in it.

Tom Merritt Governor General.

Leo Laporte Major Tom Twit would be good.

Tom Merritt Tom Twit.

John C. Dvorak Because he’s got a…

Leo Laporte We could all be – I could be Leo Twit, you could be John Twit, he could be Tom Twit, we could just all have the last name Twit, it'd be like Ken Norton.

Tom Merritt It'd be like The Ramones.

John C. Dvorak No, you're thinking of…

Leo Laporte The other guy.

John C. Dvorak Yeah.

Leo Laporte Joe Foreman.

John C. Dvorak Foreman. George Foreman.

Tom Merritt All right, with all this...

Leo Laporte So Tom, has – you told CNET right?

Tom Merritt No, not yet.

Leo Laporte The press release goes out tomorrow.

Tom Merritt I was so busy Friday.

Leo Laporte I am really thrilled that we can get you as part of the TWiT family…

John C. Dvorak What’s he going to do here?

Tom Merritt Four hours of daily programming.

John C. Dvorak Yep?

Tom Merritt Monday through Friday.

Leo Laporte He’s a next anchor basically, eventually we want to go 24/7.

John C. Dvorak You expect to move him – not that I am not noticing you sitting right here but you expect to move him to New York, are you going to do the New York thing?

Leo Laporte Yeah, but you don't want to go to New York. You could if you wanted to.

Tom Merritt I’ll stay here for now.

John C. Dvorak Well, you should –

Leo Laporte Eileen, his lovely wife is in the studio with us, as well.

Tom Merritt I’ve already consulted –

John C. Dvorak About the New York thing?

Tom Merritt She would love to go to New York but not yet.

Leo Laporte Maybe you know.

Tom Merritt Yeah, she’s given the – hmm.

John C. Dvorak A lot of museums in New York.

Leo Laporte The New York thing…

John C. Dvorak They've got restaurants there.

Tom Merritt They do.

Leo Laporte London, however; when we start our London office, you're number one on the runway.

John C. Dvorak That'll be the end.

Leo Laporte So Tom, of course, everybody knows from Buzz Out Loud, he’s been on the show many times. He does shows on the TWiT network already, he’s been doing East Meets West here. Your new one Current Geek Weekly.

Tom Merritt Yeah, that’s great.

Leo Laporte I love that.

Tom Merritt Having a lot of fun. We had Jonathan Coulton on this week.

Leo Laporte I saw that.

Tom Merritt Yeah.

Leo Laporte I walked in, I said wait a minute, that’s JoCo.

Tom Merritt Yeah.

Leo Laporte Awesome.

Tom Merritt And not as a musical guest but as a geek guest.

Leo Laporte I’m going to have to get you to really –

Tom Merritt Just kind of –

Leo Laporte Now that you’re in TWiT you got to talk into the mic not across it.

Tom Merritt The mic keeps running around.

John C. Dvorak That mic is –

Leo Laporte Point it down, point it down at your...I'll help you. Now you see – now you have that rich, refulgent sound. We don’t want to see you, we want to hear you. It’s actually the heritage of TWiT as a audio network which is really kind of not true anymore is it? So I guess we ought to get smaller mics or something.

John C. Dvorak You can get us to talk across mics.

Leo Laporte You know Bob Heil –

John C. Dvorak This mic is such a great sounding mic.

Leo Laporte I just love the sound.

Tom Merritt It is such a good sound.

Leo Laporte Bob Heil, the guy who makes these mics, is really a great guy. He made us a smaller one. He said, “I can make a small one for you”. Colleen has it up in her studio. The same mic.

John C. Dvorak And with the same diaphragm?

Leo Laporte Yeah all the same parts, yeah.

John C. Dvorak With the same diaphragm?

Leo Laporte Hey Dane would you – or Jammerb would you run upstairs and get that mic in Colleen’s office? I can show everybody. And he also says, “You don’t need the spider mount.” So maybe we could make these smaller but I kind of like, it’s part of the…

Tom Merritt It is kind of cool.

Leo Laporte John’s choosing a wine.

John C. Dvorak I mean this – you got to something to check out.

Leo Laporte Dane Golden [indiscernible] (5:00).

Tom Merritt Ink grade? What does that mean?

John C. Dvorak That means nothing.

Tom Merritt We should – I should make clear that I am still at CNET until May 14, right, and then after that I am off for couple weeks and then I start here full-time June 1.

Leo Laporte Right. So June 1 your first day.

Tom Merritt So don’t expect me tomorrow.

Leo Laporte And I think one of the first things we are going to do is a daily news show.

Tom Merritt Yeah, Today in Tech. Oh wait, unfortunate acronym. Yeah, I don’t know about that. We’ll have to work on the name. But we’ll do a daily news show, some agenda. Tech 9.

Leo Laporte A partial agenda.

Tom Merritt A partial agenda.

John C. Dvorak Yeah. Tech 9.5.

Leo Laporte Tech 9.5. No, and I’ll help you with that but we’re also looking for a co-host for you. We did – I'll admit we did try to get Molly to join us well but she didn’t want to. That’s okay, she got a good offer. That’s my little mic, what do you think? That’s the Bob Heil mini.

Tom Merritt Micalito

Leo Laporte Show the camera. Micalito.

John C. Dvorak This is the same basic mic…

Leo Laporte It’s just much more compact.

John C. Dvorak And it is light.

Leo Laporte Yeah.

John C. Dvorak This is a good mic to sell.

Leo Laporte I know.

John C. Dvorak Except I don’t know how you mount it but…

Leo Laporte You mount the same way, you just…

Tom Merritt What he said you don’t need the spider mount.

Leo Laporte You don’t need the spider.

John C. Dvorak No, you wouldn’t. [Indiscernible] (6:13) mic.

Leo Laporte Yeah, don’t you like that?

John C. Dvorak Yeah.

Leo Laporte Bob Heil is so incredible. You know he was a rock and roll sound guy. He did the quadraphonic sound for Quadrophenia for The Who. He invented for Peter Frampton – Peter Frampton’s wife Penny said, I want to buy Peter something for Christmas. And Bob invented the thing that goes [sound effect].

John C. Dvorak He invented that?

Leo Laporte Yeah, you know what it is? I thought it was some elaborate thing. It’s a tube; it comes into your mouth and the sound goes into your mouth, and then you put it in front of a microphone and it comes out of your mouth. So the sound from the guitar is pumped into a hollow plastic tube.

John C. Dvorak Then you just – you mean…

Leo Laporte So you're essentially just blowing the sound out.

John C. Dvorak Oh that’s interesting.

Leo Laporte It’s not fancy. Bob said to me Peter loved it, he fell in love with it, used it of course to make Frampton Comes Alive which is a huge hit. He said – but nobody used it better than Joe Walsh. Joe Walsh is the guy.

John C. Dvorak Oh that’s too bad.

Tom Merritt In Fairview Heights, Illinois.

Leo Laporte Right.

Tom Merritt Near where I grew up.

Leo Laporte Your home area.

Tom Merritt Yeah. St Clair Square, the mall in Fairview Heights, where we always shopped.

Leo Laporte There you go.

Tom Merritt They didn’t sell Heil mics then.

Leo Laporte So Bob then is a ham and he bemoaned the lack – after being a sound guy for years, there was no good ham microphones and these PR40s that we use were made as ham microphones first.

John C. Dvorak It’s the big balls.

Leo Laporte Yeah.

John C. Dvorak That’s what they call them.

Leo Laporte QSL. QSL.

John C. Dvorak I never heard of hams carrying.

Leo Laporte I don’t know. There you go, so that’s nothing to do with tech.

John C. Dvorak No. well actually it does, this does have something to do with tech, but it’s pretty vague, obscure.

Leo Laporte You are going to – are you going to Europe soon, when are you going to Europe?

Tom Merritt Yeah, I am going for the IFA Press Event this weekend.

Leo Laporte What’s IFA? IFA.

Tom Merritt IFA is the German CES. And they have it every September, and then they do a press event in the Spring.

Leo Laporte So Tom’s going –

Tom Merritt I’m sitting on a panel, talking about blogs and podcasts.

Leo Laporte IFA panel. How can you get there?

Tom Merritt If the ash cloud doesn’t stop. Spain right now is below the ash cloud, because Spain…

Leo Laporte Barcelona.

Tom Merritt Did Barcelona get covered today?

Leo Laporte Yeah I was looking at the map.

Tom Merritt Right. Well we’re screwed then because we’re flying into Barcelona.

Leo Laporte Oh no, you can’t get to Barcelona.

Tom Merritt Because I looked at a map on BBC and it didn’t cover Barcelona yet. But maybe it’ll dissipate by Wednesday, if not we’ll just go to Hawaii.

Leo Laporte That’s what I'd do. They are flying planes under the cloud, but they are not putting passengers in them.

Tom Merritt Right. Well the airlines are losing so much money that they are testing out planes to prove that it’s safe to carry passengers, so that the European agencies will allow them to fly.

Leo Laporte 200 million a day.

Tom Merritt 200 million dollars a day.

Leo Laporte A day.

Tom Merritt The equivalent of – I don’t know how many euros but…

Leo Laporte That’s by five euros.

John C. Dvorak Five, six euros. But no, it’s the other way round.

Tom Merritt Yeah, yeah.

Leo Laporte More euros.

John C. Dvorak No you’re right, it’s five euros.

Leo Laporte Yeah, I am not a fool. I am not the fool you take me for. Here’s the interesting thing: would it be a good time to invest in transatlantic ocean service? I am thinking it might be.

John C. Dvorak The answer is no.

Tom Merritt Depends on how long that cloud is going to be around.

Leo Laporte We don’t know. You know last time this is – this is the little volcano, the last time the little one went…

John C. Dvorak The big one goes.

Tom Merritt Yeah.

John C. Dvorak And apparently the only thing keeping the big one from blowing is the fact that there is a huge glacier sitting on top of it, and the little one melts the glacier…

Leo Laporte Oh boy.

John C. Dvorak …then the big one goes and it’s like five times bigger than this thing.

Leo Laporte Oh dear.

John C. Dvorak That would cause a problem.

Tom Merritt Yeah. That’s what’s going to happen after I get to Spain.

John C. Dvorak You’ll be stuck there.

Tom Merritt We have a French kid staying with us, an exchange student; she was the last plane out of France. And she is never going home. She is moving in with us I think. She’s supposed to go home next week; I don’t think so.

John C. Dvorak No, no, no.

Tom Merritt How long is this going to last? They keep saying, it’s going to dissipate in another 48 hours but… 48 hours, yeah exactly. It doesn’t seem to stop, it seems to get worse, it seems to expand. And more ash is coming out.

Leo Laporte You know the hash tag for the ash cloud is?

Tom Merritt No.

Leo Laporte Ash tag.

Tom Merritt Well of course it is. Well what am I thinking? – I knew that. I knew that without knowing that.

Leo Laporte You knew it? You know, the Royal Navy is getting in on it as well. They are planning to go rescue British citizens stranded, by having them go to the coast and the Royal Navy will come and pick them up.

Tom Merritt It’s like Dunkerque all over.

Leo Laporte Well, it’s reverse Dunkerque. Well, not reverse; it’s Dunkerque without a war. Blueberg – Bloomberg, what?

John C. Dvorak You said Blueberg.

Leo Laporte Bloomberg says that the loss from the ash to the airlines is 200 million a day but there’s also a big loss to the tech industry; revenue losses could be – reach $1 billion, because you can’t fly stuff in. You’re going to have to ship it.

Tom Merritt Perishables are already suffering right now because you can’t bring in fruit and other stuff as well.

Leo Laporte What a terrible time for this to happen to the airlines?

John C. Dvorak How much fruit is flown in?

Tom Merritt There’s probably [indiscernible] (11:00) but there is a lot of food that is.

John C. Dvorak But the kicker of the whole thing is that the French train workers were on strike.

Tom Merritt They are still on strike, aren’t they?

John C. Dvorak I don’t know.

Tom Merritt I read today somebody – kind of a personal story about getting to France and the trains were on strike.

John C. Dvorak Yeah. So I told – a friend of mine was stranded in Paris and we told her just take the train to the Dunkerque ferry, take the ferry back to England (she had to go back to England) and then we said, they can’t, because the trains are on strike, everyone’s stuck. And I said, well, stuck in Paris. That’s terrible.

Tom Merritt Yeah.

Leo Laporte That’s not so bad.

Tom Merritt The railway strikers were like; this is the best thing ever. Look at all the leverage we have now.

Leo Laporte Did you see the President of Norway running the country from JFK with an iPad?

John C. Dvorak Why doesn’t he go to ……….

Tom Merritt I could see that. Yeah. We talked about it on Friday.

John C. Dvorak Why doesn’t he go to his – the embassy? There’s a consulate in New York for Norway. Why doesn’t he just go there?

Leo Laporte I don’t think he really is running Norway from an iPad.

John C. Dvorak I think it’s bullcrap.

Leo Laporte Well, it’s just a great – it’s just a great story. I don’t know.

Tom Merritt I mean, how often do you get in the headlines if you’re running Norway?

Leo Laporte Right.

Tom Merritt You’ve got to do what you can to get some press.

John C. Dvorak I didn’t know anyone was running Norway.

Leo Laporte Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg like thousands of other stranded by the volcanic cloud hanging over Europe governing Norway from his iPad. There’s an app for that. That would be good. I have an – I am actually, I have an iPad app.

Tom Merritt You’ve been governing from your iPad?

Leo Laporte I have. It’s called God Finger.

Tom Merritt Oh yeah. I heard I am in there.

Leo Laporte You are? Is that not you?

Tom Merritt Yeah, yeah. No, it’s me.

Leo Laporte You’re playing God Finger, right?

Tom Merritt You named one of your people after me, right. Yeah.

Leo Laporte Yeah. You can do that in God Finger.

Tom Merritt Right.

Leo Laporte But you have a God Finger game, right?

John C. Dvorak What are you talking about?

Leo Laporte It’s a little app, little gamey app.

John C. Dvorak A gamey app?

Tom Merritt God Finger. I’ll let you play.

Tom Merritt It’s just a little app, little gamey app.

Leo Laporte I’ve got my people and I run them with my finger. That’s what I like.

Tom Merritt It’s like Katamari Damacy meets We Rule.

Leo Laporte I don’t even know what those things are.

John C. Dvorak I don’t even see anything.

Leo Laporte Okay. See, play. Okay. So, here’s my planet. This is really good for the folks listening at home. I’ll describe what you’re about to see.

Tom Merritt Oh, boy!

Leo Laporte Look at all that gold! I've got to harvest some gold. So all my people that have been working without me, they need some rain. So let me get a cloud over here.

Tom Merritt What’s the black cloud?

Leo Laporte That’s the thunder cloud.

John C. Dvorak No, that’s the Iceland cloud.

Tom Merritt That’s the volcanic ash.

Leo Laporte So I’m raining on him. So he can go back to work on his farm.

Tom Merritt I like that you rain on people to make them work.

Leo Laporte Yeah. Well, oh watch this. This black cloud. That’s lightning – this little barn needs lightning. So I am going to hold it and pssh! And it goes [sound effect].

Tom Merritt You can strike a bunch of lightning.

Leo Laporte There he goes… [sound effect].

John C. Dvorak All right. That’s enough.

Leo Laporte Look. I am going to pick him up. See, he’s tired. He’s tired, so I am going to drag him over to the tavern. Oh, here’s a well.

John C. Dvorak This is by the way, ladies and gentlemen, this is the prelude to the nervous breakdown.

Tom Merritt One of the things that iTunes doesn’t publicly release is the DSM-IV Classification for most players and I think narcissists lead in this game.

Leo Laporte Do you think it’s narcissistic just because I’m called a god?

Tom Merritt Well, it could be a god complex. I don’t know if – there’s a little difference.

Leo Laporte It could be. Oh look, I just leveled up to – I am level 20 now.

Tom Merritt That’s what keeps you going, right? You want to keep leveling.

Leo Laporte There’s a great article; I am going to read you this article, because it’s talking about Farmville, and really the pernicious nature of games like Farmville. And you’ll like this because it’s for intellectuals. Let me find this, it’s in our del.i.cious –

Tom Merritt Are you talking to me or John?

John C. Dvorak He is talking to himself, actually.

Leo Laporte No. I am talking to the audience. We have a brilliant –

John C. Dvorak People like this. I will – I will like it.

Tom Merritt Leo, you will like this because you are so smart.

Leo Laporte Cultivated Play; it’s from MediaCommons. “The secret to Farmville’s success.” This is a speech actually that A. J. Patrick Liszkiewicz gave at SUNY Buffalo, Amherst. I don’t know what that means. On March 9.

John C. Dvorak It means he gave a speech at SUNY Buffalo, Amherst.

Leo Laporte But Amherst is different from Buffalo I thought, anyway.

John C. Dvorak I think it’s one of those schools that has little campuses everywhere.

Leo Laporte He says, “Why is it that we like Farmville?” He talks – you probably – you’re such an intellectual, John. You've probably heard of Roger Caillois’ book, Man, Play and Games.

John C. Dvorak No, but I’m sure my son has read it because he read every book on games in the world.

Leo Laporte This is an interesting book. He says, “Play is an occasion of pure waste – waste of time, energy, ingenuity, skill and often of money. However, games are source of joy as well as a healthy means of escape from responsibility and routine.” And he kind of codified what makes a game a good game. Farmville is not a good game.

He says, “Games that offer us a break from responsibility and routine are good games. Farmville is defined by responsibility and routine. Users advance through the game by harvesting crops at scheduled intervals. If you plant a field of pumpkins at noon, you have to return at 8 o’clock or risk losing the crop. Each pumpkin costs 30 coins, occupies one square of your farm. So if you own a 14 by 14 farm, a field of pumpkin costs 6,000 coins to plant. You have to click on each square three times: once, to harvest the previous crop; once to re-plough the square of land; once to plant the new seeds. That means 600 mouse clicks to farm and an obligation to return in a few hours to do it again. That doesn’t sound like much fun. Why would anyone do this?”

And they say the reason is social obligation, and the key that Zynga – the company’s making hundreds of millions of dollars a year on this – figured out is: Farmville is popular because it “entangles users in a web of social obligations. When users log in to Facebook, they are reminded that their neighbors have sent them gifts, posted bonuses on their walls and help with each other farms. In turn they are obligated to return the courtesies. We play Farmville because we are trying to be good to one another. We are polite, cultivated people.”

John C. Dvorak Being suckered –

Leo Laporte Suckered. It’s troubling and –

John C. Dvorak – by social engineers.

Leo Laporte I think that’s exactly the point. We are being social engineered into this.

Tom Merritt You know, we talked on Thursday on Buzz Out Loud about the guy, Geoffrey Miller, whose hypothesis is that the reason we haven’t heard from aliens is that they are all playing games. And he is serious like – he says, “As the evolved mind pays attention to indirect cues of biological fitness, the result is we don’t seek reproductive success directly anymore. We seek tasty foods that have tended to promote survival and luscious mates who have tended to produce bright, healthy babies. The modern result: fast food and pornography. Once they turn inwards to chase their – quote – shiny pennies of pleasure, they lose the cosmic plot”.

Leo Laporte Wow.

Tom Merritt And so they just – they turn inward and play games and never bother trying to contact anybody.

Leo Laporte That is hysterical.

Tom Merritt They don’t have SETI@home. That’s the problem.

John C. Dvorak This show is officially over.

Leo Laporte What?

John C. Dvorak No, nothing.

Leo Laporte Why do you say that?

John C. Dvorak You guys are talking about aliens now.

Leo Laporte Did you see the Facebook on South Park?


Tom Merritt But that’s what those guys are talking about, right? It’s the social responsibility. You’ve got to satisfy your friends.

Leo Laporte So he ends up, Kyle ends up joining Facebook, getting sucked into Facebook, and feeling so sorry for this third grader who has zero friends, he becomes friend with Kip Drordy. And Kip tells his parents, I’ve met a friend; they are so excited. He says, I am going to visit my friend’s farm. He has a farm. And he takes him to the movies – I mean, it is – I have to say it’s a – I am not a big South Park fan because it’s kind of lewd. It’s a little lewd, but this is the best. It’s very funny.

John C. Dvorak When they focus on a social issue like this, they kill.

Leo Laporte They nailed this one. And this is – the page we are looking at is actually the Kip Drordy fan page.

Tom Merritt A real one, on Facebook?

Leo Laporte Yeah, And Kip has 143,000 fans. But the updates –

Tom Merritt He’s not alone anymore.

Leo Laporte – are all from the show and I have to admit when I was watching the show I immediately updated my Facebook status to, ate a pork chop for dinner and had nice apple sauce too, which is straight out of the show. If you haven’t seen it, it was not this week – I think it was last week’s South Park.

John C. Dvorak Available online everywhere, everywhere.

Tom Merritt You know I’ve never played Farmville, not once.

Leo Laporte Well, you are playing We Rule…

Tom Merritt Yes.

Leo Laporte Which is pretty much the same thing.

Tom Merritt I know it’s really similar. But it seems like there is less social obligation.

Leo Laporte We Rule is more fun.

Tom Merritt You don’t get that push to, you know, like hey dude, so and so left you a gift.

John C. Dvorak Once upon a time we used to talk about computers.

Tom Merritt These are all running on computers.

Leo Laporte This is technology, John. You know what, this is what’s happening.

Tom Merritt Yes.

Leo Laporte And I think this is actually relevant, is that when we started, John and I started, we’d talk about processors, you know, how much RAM, how to turn a Telnet account into a SLIP account, so you could use Mosaic to surf the net, and what’s happened is, it’s no longer important; what’s important is what you do with it, we don’t care about what process, nobody cares anymore, right?

John C. Dvorak Well, I said.

Leo Laporte It’s become about content.

Tom Merritt Well, the iPad is the emblem of that.

Leo Laporte It is all about content.

Tom Merritt Because all the criticisms of it are that it is not open and it can’t do all those things that you want to do to modify it, and I think David Pogue pretty much nailed it when he said, look there is two groups, there is the group that’s going to hate this because they are geeks and they can’t open it up and do what they want it and there is the other group that aren’t geeks and they don’t care and it’s a toy for them, and they can deal with it.

Leo Laporte Hey, Tom, by the way I meant to say about your We Rule farm, you really got to work on and it’s kind of getting a little disordered and disheveled –

Tom Merritt You mean the organization of it?

Leo Laporte Yes, you know, it’s not as nice as – you need to put maybe some little bodies in the water.

John C. Dvorak Needs more work.

Leo Laporte A little more work on that.

Tom Merritt You guys keep talking, I’ll start –

Leo Laporte Let’s take a break; there is tech news, believe it or not. By the way I just got a, out of memory on my iPad, which I have never seen.

Tom Merritt You get that on the We Rule. It’s a We Rule bug.

Leo Laporte It’s a We Rule bug, okay, so it’s not the iPad.

John C. Dvorak You dodged a bullet my friend.

Leo Laporte John you know, you haven’t touched it, right? This is your – you are new to the iPad, right?

John C. Dvorak I’ve touched hers.

Leo Laporte That just is your first iPad.

Tom Merritt Thank you for clarifying.

Leo Laporte You touched Eileen’s, first time right?

John C. Dvorak Yes.

Leo Laporte What do you think?

John C. Dvorak It’s fine as a giant iPod Touch.

Leo Laporte It is but…

John C. Dvorak Although I have the Nano version of this, which is indeed the iPod touch.

Leo Laporte The iPod Touch. The iPad Nano. I have not used my laptop in a long time and it’s interesting because Apple just this week announced new laptops which normally I would have jumped to buy.

John C. Dvorak That’s you.

Leo Laporte And I didn’t, because it’s like I haven’t used my laptop, I can’t really justify it.

Tom Merritt They also didn’t do a lot to, you know, they didn’t change the look of it, they didn’t – they added the better graphics processor and the I5 and I7 processors which are nice, and it’s a good performance update, but they, they didn’t change how it works.

Leo Laporte Nevertheless knowing me I would have bought one had I not found that the iPad was enough. It’s – I don’t use a laptop anymore.

John C. Dvorak But you know with me I only use a laptop when I travel and I’m in a hotel.

Leo Laporte Right.

John C. Dvorak Or here when I borrow a laptop.

Leo Laporte So you use a desktop most of the time.

John C. Dvorak I’m a desktop user.

Leo Laporte Yes.

John C. Dvorak I like a bunch of big screens; I like to be in mission control.

Leo Laporte I think that’s what’s going to happen is that those people who use something for a portability will go with something that’s like – that’s much more portable.

John C. Dvorak That’s true.

Leo Laporte And then if you really need power –

John C. Dvorak Curry is a good example.

Leo Laporte Is that what he would do?

John C. Dvorak He is crazy about this thing.

Leo Laporte I’m too, I have to say. There is Tom fixing his We Rule.

Tom Merritt Yes, I just had to harvest some beans, that’s all.

John Dvorak Oh brother.

Tom Merritt You know what, this is to me, and I've got to take some flak from this from folks who work in medicine who are like, no, this is not a toy, but for me this is a toy.

Leo Laporte It’s a toy.

Tom Merritt I read comics on it.

Leo Laporte It’s totally a toy.

Tom Merritt I play games on it. I watch videos on it.

Leo Laporte And then you know what? There are going to be people doing work in vertical markets like medicine, but it’s a toy. We are going to take a break, come back and talk more about the tech stories of the week. John Dvorak is here, from, well, he’s got a new show we got to talk about, or his brother has a new show we got to talk about, the Tech Hippy. In just a little bit.

Also our newest Twit Tom Merritt will be joining the TWiT family on June 1 doing new shows; he is already doing quite a few shows on; what’s with Sword and Laser, can we get Sword and Laser or is that – Revision3’s going to have one?

Tom Merritt It’s possible – we’ll have to figure that out.

Leo Laporte I want that.

Tom Merritt Yes.

Leo Laporte I want that. I love that show. Anyway, it’s great to have you aboard.

Tom Merritt Thank you.

Leo Laporte We are going to be back in just a second, but I got to tell you about a brand new product from an old friend: Citrix is back with something called GoToTraining. I know you know about Citrix’s product, they invented remote access, they were really the guys who pioneered it, Citrix is still widely used in enterprise, their GoToMyPC makes remote access simple, GoToMeeting makes meetings simple and now GoToTraining, improve learning, participation and access to training programs and save a bunch with GoToTraining.

It’s a web based tool which enables up to 200 people to connect to a training session right from their desktops. This is the latest in e-learning and it’s real-time, or on-demand, you can record a session, and they can go and visit.

This is really, mostly for companies or consultants who need to train employees or customers, the GoToTraining, the Citrix folks said, you know I bet you, maybe not a lot of them are listening to a TWiT but I bet you there is quite a few people who have been in really crappy corporate training who might say can we please use GoToTraining? It really is a great way to bring training sessions online easily, affordably, eliminate travel, save money on materials, you can upload any document type or link to any website to create your own content library so you have your own curriculum, you can create and customize tests, you can send out e-mail invites, there’s scoring, I mean, it’s just really a remarkable tool.

We played with it a little bit and I was very, very impressed. Screen sharing, you can pass presenter control from one PC to another, built in Voice over IP, by the way, we did a GoToMeeting with the folks to learn about this. On my iPad, it has the VoIP built in the iPad, I just went in there and there’s a microphone in the iPad, I’m talking, I’ve got the whole meeting on here; it’s amazing what they are doing.

You can present the session yourself or include experts from anywhere in the world through screen sharing, get feedback from your attendees while you present, there is an integrated chat window, there is a polling feature, I can go on and on; look, just try it for free, or get your corporate trainer to try it for free.

30 days, And if you have attended a training session in person recently and has not been up to snuff, send a quick note to the trainer and say, you might want to try GoToTraining. If you are an IT manager, mention GoToTraining in your next staff meeting., free for 30 days, we thank Citrix so much for their support of all of our shows and really want you to try GoToTraining. I was very impressed. Brand new from Citrix.

Back to the show we go with John Dvorak, and Tom Merritt; so you think the Apple laptops are less than inspiring, Tom?

Tom Merritt Yes, I mean, I think I’d be excited if I was definitely in the market to buy a new laptop, got good graphics card and good processor but they are not – the thing that’s going to make me say, oh, I’m looking at my laptop now and I’ve got to dump it.

Leo Laporte It’s true.

Tom Merritt Because this is working fine.

Leo Laporte It’s actually true, although 10 hour battery life on a 13 inch, this is the new thing.

John C. Dvorak Wasn’t the previous 13…

Leo Laporte Not 10.

Tom Merritt It was 9 I think.

John C. Dvorak Close though, wasn’t like a 2 and half or anything.

Leo Laporte But was it really nine? I don’t think people are really –

John C. Dvorak My son has one of those and it lasts forever.

Tom Merritt One thing about Apple that I found is that their claimed battery life usually – that’s one of the few things they don’t lie about. Their claimed battery life usually ends up to be around the actual battery life instead of –

Leo Laporte I have to say I’m extraordinarily tempted by a 10-hour, 13-inch; that’s just, and I think the iPad has changed my expectations.

John C. Dvorak Why, you are never going to use it anymore, why don’t you just keep the iPad and stop using a laptop?

Leo Laporte Okay, thank you.

Tom Merritt Because the iPad battery life is crazy.

Leo Laporte I just got an e-mail from Apple. I got the – effectively the email is like, intervention from Apple.

Tom Merritt Will you stop talking about us?

Leo Laporte No, no, no. That too, but I don’t think Apple cares about that. Let’s see...

John C. Dvorak Come on tell us.

Leo Laporte I’m going to read it to you. Here it is. “Thank you for your recent Apple order. To ensure that all customers are given equal opportunity to acquire this product we have limited the amount available per customer therefore this order has been canceled.”

Tom Merritt What?

John C. Dvorak You got what canceled?

Leo Laporte I bought another iPad; they said I couldn't –

Tom Merritt You couldn't have it?

Leo Laporte They said you can't.

Tom Merritt But you can walk down to the store and buy it.

Leo Laporte They won’t let me buy anymore!

John C. Dvorak You walk, you wouldn’t fall over, you could have one in each hand.

Leo Laporte I was trying to make an iPad vest.

John C. Dvorak So they bumped you. They –

Leo Laporte They canceled my order.

John C. Dvorak For no good reason?

Leo Laporte Yes, that’s the reason.

Tom Merritt I mean there’s the idea that you don’t need another one possibly, but why do they care?

Leo Laporte Well, apparently there is a shortage –

Tom Merritt I mean if you drive down to Emeryville and buy one they are not going to deny it, they’ll take your money.

Leo Laporte Well, that’s what I’m going to have to do. I think there is a limit of four per account because I have already four –

John C. Dvorak This is unbelievable.

Leo Laporte Well, maybe there is a real shortage.

John C. Dvorak What are you going to bite on one while you are doing, working on the other, I mean why do you need more than one?

Leo Laporte I only need one; I’m giving them to people.

Tom Merritt If there were that much of a shortage, you could walk into a store and buy one which I did on Friday.

Leo Laporte Did you?

Tom Merritt Yes.

Leo Laporte You could, you were able to walk in.

Tom Merritt Yes.

Leo Laporte All right. Well that’s what I’ll do. I wanted a 3G.

Tom Merritt Well, the 3G’s aren’t in yet.

Leo Laporte Right. That’s what I ordered and they said no, we canceled your order.

Tom Merritt You can’t have the 3G.

Leo Laporte They canceled my order. They have also announced that the European deliveries are going to be much delayed, and I think this is again shortages. I think these things are selling better than Apple – well, let’s put it this way, Apple can’t keep up.

John C. Dvorak Well, that’s the myth they want you to believe.

Leo Laporte No, but you know the same thing happened remember with the Nintendo Wii, and that I had this argument many times with people, no company wants to create artificial shortages, there is no advantage to that. If you got people saying we want to buy it they want to sell it. Don’t they, John? Isn’t it to their advantage to sell it rather than to create this –

John C. Dvorak Nintendo was the last people to play with this, then they gave everybody a run for their money and there became a huge demand, a pent up demand…

Leo Laporte So you think they faked it?

John C. Dvorak Apple?

Leo Laporte No, no, Nintendo?

John C. Dvorak Oh, yes, absolutely.

Leo Laporte Artificially –

John C. Dvorak Oh, please

Leo Laporte You think they artificially limited Wii availability?

John C. Dvorak Absolutely.

Leo Laporte Really?

John C. Dvorak Yes. I know the Japanese can like flip a switch and have 10 million products made overnight, I mean it’s not like you know, yeah, this had – it had to be, and then there are people in marketing, they have a marketing department with probably 50 people in it, they project, they know exactly how many they are going to sell. So they created a scam.

Tom Merritt I’d only partially agree. I think they were taken by surprise with how many people wanted to buy them, but I think you are right that they sat on it. Instead of turning up the production, they squeezed it a little bit.

John C. Dvorak Doesn’t take much.

Leo Laporte But don’t you, I mean, look…

John C. Dvorak More social engineering like that crazy game [ph] with them (30:39).

Leo Laporte Wouldn't you prefer to sell every one you could?

John C. Dvorak Yeah, me. But I am not a social engineer, I don’t have the – I don’t have –

Leo Laporte So you think you’d sell more in the long run, if you create –

John C. Dvorak Yeah.

Leo Laporte …this false impression that there's scarcity.

John C. Dvorak That’s I think, the theory and I think it works because Nintendo just went crazy with their – it can work if it’s done properly.

Leo Laporte You know why it probably works because the – I’m going to get the email when I say this, and I’ve said it before. The truth is the Nintendo Wii isn’t that compelling of a product. You buy it, you play with it and after – I mean, come on, it's on the shelves, right?

Tom Merritt That seems to be the common…

John C. Dvorak No, that’s not true because their machine's being used all the time.

Tom Merritt It's actually in the same class as the iPad which is – a lot of geeks –

Leo Laporte Well’s that’s what I’m wondering.

Tom Merritt – continue to play with it.

Leo Laporte That’s what I’m wondering.

Tom Merritt But the folks who are used to an Xbox or a PS3, they get bored with it really quick.

John C. Dvorak Although I have to say the kids tend to use the DS more than they do the Wii.

Leo Laporte I’m thinking they love that. The DS – now the DS is real – as real. And the new DS is nice and it’s real.

Tom Merritt 3DS.

Leo Laporte But I think – yeah, the 3DS, I think the Wii isn’t that compelling and so maybe –

Tom Merritt Now, you get let Netflix through the Wii.

Leo Laporte Yeah, I think maybe this is – this theory that –

John C. Dvorak By the way the whole thing is a fiasco. I got the press kit. So they send me the disc. So I tried it out, and it says, oh no, you can’t, nothing happens till April 14, or something like that. So I wait, and it gives me a code, it says go to and there is no place to put the code and it doesn’t work, the whole thing is – somebody dropped the ball on the promotion.

Leo Laporte I have it on the PS3, does – it works fine, you register it, it’s just like the Roku, except you have to leave the disc in the PS3.

Tom Merritt Right. Yeah.

Leo Laporte Which is so annoying.

John C. Dvorak You have to leave the disc in the Wii.

Tom Merritt It gives you that experience of playing a DVD.

Leo Laporte Yeah. It’s so stupid. Darth Emma, Terri, in our chat room says she was able to activate her Wii yesterday and it works fine, John. Once again John, admit it, you have trouble with technology.

John C. Dvorak No, no this was the – this was the specific program for the press, it wasn’t the normal Wii, yeah, you can go on there right now and type in that with Wii and there’ll be – you can do a sign up and you can go through a rigmarole and it will be working fine. But I’m saying the press kit which had the special program didn’t work.

Tom Merritt Didn’t work. Didn’t allow you to preview it.

John C. Dvorak Unless you went through that, I don’t think the criticism's valid.

Leo Laporte Currently, the Wii will turn you into a nympho, did you know that? This is a story from The Register. A Manchester woman who took a tumble from her Wii Fit board –

Tom Merritt Oh! I heard of this.

Leo Laporte – is suffering an earth-moving side effect of the Nintendo related mishap: she is now a nymphomaniac. Randy Amanda Flowers, aged 24, was diagnosed with “persistent sexual arousal syndrome due to a damaged nerve.”

Tom Merritt [ph] Not [indiscernible] (33:14).

John C. Dvorak [indiscernible] (33:14) I wonder.

Tom Merritt She has persistent arousal syndrome.

Leo Laporte She is susceptible to the slightest of –

Tom Merritt This is – this is one of those great tech stories.

Tom Merritt Yeah.

Leo Laporte Sorry I started this.

John C. Dvorak You have to read it now.

Leo Laporte She is susceptible – I should do it in the Viennese accent. She is susceptible to the [indiscernible] (33:33).

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

Leo Laporte Dr. Freud says, she’s susceptible to the “slightest of vibrations”, with anything from mobile phones to a food processor guaranteed to give her a buzz.

John C. Dvorak Dr. [indiscernible] (33:49).

Leo Laporte She says, “It began as a twinge down below before surging through my body. Sometimes it built up into a trembling orgasm.”

Tom Merritt Oh! Please.

Leo Laporte She is a catering worker who now requires 10 sessions a day.

John C. Dvorak 10 men?

Leo Laporte 10 men a day.

Tom Merritt I would venture to say that this is not widely applicable. And I don’t think most users of the Wii will like – “I'd like that to happen to me!”

Leo Laporte This issue is bizarre. I don’t know. I am sorry I brought that up, can we edit that out?

John C. Dvorak No. It’s the best – so far this is the best thing in the show.

Leo Laporte Well, let’s get to your column then. John C. Dvorak, what are you up to? Is this MarketWatch, what are you up to now?

John C. Dvorak The MarketWatch column.

Leo Laporte What are you up to now Dvorak?

John C. Dvorak Did you read it?

Leo Laporte No, let me read it right now, shall I read it in a Viennese accent?

John C. Dvorak I think a German accent.

Leo Laporte German accent.

John C. Dvorak Your German accent is the same [indiscernible] (34:44) German.

Leo Laporte You know, Jeff Jarvis speaks German [indiscernible] (34.46) this week in Google show which is moving to Wednesdays by the way.

John C. Dvorak Wednesdays.

Leo Laporte Wednesdays on –

John C. Dvorak On the Internet everywhere.

Leo Laporte – the TWiT network. He pointed out that the word for a-hole in German is Arschloch.

John C. Dvorak Arschloch

Leo Laporte Arschloch.

John C. Dvorak Okay.

Leo Laporte So he is calling it the Ashloch. Get it? So a little German pun. You won’t hear those very often on the show.

John C. Dvorak No. For good reasons.

Leo Laporte So what is your marketplace – because I’m going to find…

John C. Dvorak MarketWatch.

Leo Laporte Market – Oh! that’s why [indiscernible] (35:15) marketplace, MarketWatch.

Tom Merritt Well essentially you say that net neutrality…

Leo Laporte [ph] Time to short Apple – (35:19)

John C. Dvorak No, I didn’t say what you’re going to say.

Tom Merritt But how do you know what I am going to say?

John C. Dvorak What I say, because you started off with the sentence structure that is going to lead in one direction.

Leo Laporte Wait a minute, I got to read this one because I got it by accident.

Tom Merritt [ph] [indiscernible] free speech, isn’t that right?(35:29).

Leo Laporte This is writing June 7, 2007 when Apple computers – oh well, you might be right – was at 247, time to short Apple.

John C. Dvorak No, that’s an old one that’s when they were [ph] shortable (35:42).

Leo Laporte There was – because it went down quite a bit.

John C. Dvorak Yeah.

Leo Laporte But it’s now back up, so.

John C. Dvorak Well, you don’t stay on your short forever?

Leo Laporte That was a good move.

Tom Merritt It’s in the Google Doc, if you want to link to it.

Leo Laporte Net neutrality threatens free speech, says John C. Dvorak.

Tom Merritt That’s your headline.

Leo Laporte Berkeley, California.

Tom Merritt That was the sentence structure.

Leo Laporte I love it that they dateline it, Berkeley, California.

John C. Dvorak So that everyone knows I am nuts.

Leo Laporte There is a proposal afoot developed by Senator John Kerry that could undermine free speech on the Internet.

John C. Dvorak That’s the voice we need [indiscernible] (36:11).

Leo Laporte Yeah, it’s a new…

John C. Dvorak [indiscernible] (36:12).

Leo Laporte [ph] news real (36:13).

John C. Dvorak [ph] Winchell (36:15).

Leo Laporte [ph] Winchell (36:16). It's tricky, so let me explain: if you’ve not been following the net neutrality debate then you are missing out on the most contentious argument concerning online services out there. Most recently the courts ruled that the Federal Communications Commission has no real jurisdiction over the major – this is the Comcast thing.

John C. Dvorak Yeah.

Leo Laporte And the District of Columbia Court of Appeals ruled that – see, I had a big long email exchange with a telecommunications expert, and he said: you know you got it wrong last week, it wasn’t that the Court said that the FCC couldn’t do it, they just did it wrong in that case. So the FCC, this is by the way, the DC Court of Appeals is apparently famous for being anti-regulatory.

John C. Dvorak Yes.

Leo Laporte So it’s not unusual for them to overturn government regulation. So they said, not that you can’t do it, but just not in this case. You say that this decision is meant to –

John C. Dvorak No, no, no.

Leo Laporte – taken to mean a rebuke of the ill-defined concept of net neutrality.

John C. Dvorak Yes, that’s what it taken to mean and, and so then Kerry – you finish reading –

Leo Laporte You say not so –

John C. Dvorak …[indiscernible] (37:17) this is quite good.

Leo Laporte Yeah. A group of online mavens believe that, if allowed complete freedom, the ISPs like Comcast, Time Warner and AT&T will manipulate the online experience by allowing sites and services they control to get better access and throughput than the competition, right?

John C. Dvorak Yeah.

Leo Laporte So far so good.

John C. Dvorak This is what it means.

Leo Laporte Or they may ask Google for money –

John C. Dvorak Whatever.

Leo Laporte – for access, which you say in the next paragraph – I am just summarizing, I am paraphrasing because I can’t read that voice very long.

John C. Dvorak It’s only 600 words.

Leo Laporte This is really – what – it really is only 600 words?

John C. Dvorak Yeah.

Leo Laporte It just seems longer.

Tom Merritt Makes 600 feel like 1500. Feels like a couple of weeks.

Leo Laporte This is really what net neutrality is all about. You get net neutrality by making these hypothetical practices illegal. The practices to limit –

John C. Dvorak Right.

Leo Laporte [ph] Their height (38:04), and you make a good point –

Tom Merritt [ph] That’s here on the (38:06) Internet.

Leo Laporte

– which is, it’s hypothetical because nobody has done it in the U.S. here, although they do it in Canada all the time.

Tom Merritt AT&T said, we want to do it, and we want to do it to Google.

John C. Dvorak That’s right.

Tom Merritt Now that’s still hypothetical, but...

John C. Dvorak Yeah.

Leo Laporte The service providers all say they would never do this and net neutrality to them, means they cannot do tiered pricing schemes if there are restrictions developed to promote net neutrality. So it eliminates something they do want to do, which is tiered.

John C. Dvorak Yeah. Well, they kind of do that anyway...

Leo Laporte They do it anyway. So here comes the great idea from John Kerry. The idea, which bloggers and various activist groups are all heated and promotional about will, if implemented, destroy – this is good John, I like it when you say this – destroy the Internet as we know it.

Kerry wrote an op-ed in the Daily Kos this week in – which was then picked up by the Post – the Huffpo, and then by bloggers; “Net Neutrality Needs Your Help Today,” he says we need to reclassify broadband as a – and I agree with this. I agree with this.

John C. Dvorak I think, you mistake it, if you read the…

Leo Laporte All right, okay, he says he wants to basically classify it as infrastructure, “telecommunications services” rather than “information services.” It’s infrastructure, it’s like utility –

John C. Dvorak Well if you read my –

Leo Laporte – not a publisher, not –

Tom Merritt In other words return it to what it used to be classified as –

Leo Laporte Right.

Tom Merritt Before Michael Powell opened it up and – at the request of the industry – and said, okay, you’re an information service –

John C. Dvorak And they go on.

Leo Laporte All right we go on, all right. This will supposedly give the FCC supreme power rather than vague power over the Internet. Okay, so far I agree.

This is the worst possible outcome as the FCC will eventually regulate the Internet like it does all the other entities under its jurisdiction. By the way, a lot of controversy in even – on – I remember John Perry Barlow (39:49) saying even on the EFF Board, over – well do you want government regulation or do you want free market? Is there a free market? do we really want the government to start telling us what to do with the Internet? That’s what you are saying, right?

John C. Dvorak Yeah.

Leo Laporte As we've recently witnessed with the FCC attacks on free speech in the various Howard Stern actions – that was an old FCC. It was a different FCC.

John C. Dvorak Yeah, well, [indiscernible] (40:10) goes back and forth and back and forth – you can’t trust them.

Leo Laporte As well as the heavy fines for showing a nipple on the Superbowl – a nipple on the Superbowl! We can only imagine what will happen to free speech on the net. I think I’m agreeing with you here.

Tom Merritt See, I found it a little fatuous because television is not classified as a telecommunications service. So it’s not a fair comparison of an example. And the Internet used to be classified as a telecommunications service. And we didn’t have any of these problems.

Leo Laporte But what about John’s point that we don’t want government – we don’t want the FCC to regulate the Internet really even if it’s a telecommunications service?

Tom Merritt Yeah, I agree with that. I just don’t agree with it necessarily for these reasons. I think we want to regulate it as little as possible.

Leo Laporte You don’t think it’s a power grab?

Tom Merritt I think what we need is more competition. And what the telecommunications industry wants is whatever regulation benefits them most of the time. So when being a telecommunications industry benefited them, they wanted to do that so they could collect the universal service fee.

Leo Laporte Right.

Tom Merritt And bring in that money. Then they said, hey, you know what? That’s not working for us anymore because we’re starting to fall under these other jurisdictions. So let’s change it to an information service.

Leo Laporte Right.

Tom Merritt They got Michael Powell to do that. But now they are looking at it and they’re saying…

Leo Laporte Mistake. That was a mistake.

Tom Merritt We want that USF. We want that service fee. But we don’t want to be reclassified as telecommunications. So allow us to collect the fee, just change that part.


Tom Merritt We don’t want to be classified as telecommunications because then we’d have to open up our lines again to competition. And we don’t want to do that.

Leo Laporte We had this argument last week on TWiT. It was a really good argument between Brian Brushwood who is a libertarian and Baratunde Thurston who is a socialist. And it really is – that’s the fundamental question, is who do you – do you trust the market or do you trust the government? And I don’t trust either.

John C. Dvorak See, here’s the problem that people have had with this column. They assume that I’m against net neutrality. I’m not against – in fact…

Leo Laporte You’re against government regulation.

Tom Merritt So you make it clear now.

John C. Dvorak Here is the point is that this whole thing that Kerry brings up and the discussion of net neutrality is totally besides the point. Changing the definition of information to telecommunication doesn’t – it has zero to do with net neutrality. All it is – is just – it seems to me to be – and I point this out in the column that I know for a fact that the Democrats and the FCC and all these people have been irked about talk radio. And they moan about it incessantly. And they don’t like all these Right Wing nutcases that are all over the internet. And they would love to get a hold of some regulations to shut people down and get rid of the porn.

Leo Laporte I certainly hope that’s not what’s happening, what’s happening in Australia as we speak, it’s happening all over the world.

Tom Merritt Ireland is looking to doing that as well.

Leo Laporte Ireland. You got this awful act of three strikes laws getting in –

John C. Dvorak Yeah, and that’s where it’s headed if we go in this direction.

Leo Laporte I agree. But, John, what’s your answer to – we really don’t have a free market in terms of telecommunications.

John C. Dvorak I think that –

Leo Laporte There’s no competition.

John C. Dvorak I think we’re far enough down the line if Sprint’s WiMAX starts to blossom here.

Leo Laporte You’re right.

John C. Dvorak And then we get some really --

Leo Laporte Foster competition is the answer.

John C. Dvorak Yeah, obviously. That’s always the answer.

Leo Laporte Very good. Foster competition.

Tom Merritt The way they’ve fostered competition in Europe and I’m not sure what I think about this is to say, you folks who make the pipes have to open it up to other ISPs. And so there’s competition on the lines.

Leo Laporte It’s funny because the FCC did that with telcos and didn’t do that with cable.

Tom Merritt Right.

Leo Laporte And I agree. That’s what you need to do.

Tom Merritt And now they’ve taken telcos out of it and telcos don’t have to open the lines. And a lot of ISPs are going out of business.

John C. Dvorak I’m not a complete – not in complete agreement with this. That’s why I’d like to see some wireless stuff happen because when the telcos were told to like, open up your lines and we had people like NorthPoint Communications which I was working with to have high speed back in the 90s, there would be nothing but horror stories about guys going into the local switch and whoops! I tripped over your server. Oh, I fell upon.

Leo Laporte Eh, that’s kind of --

Tom Merritt And I had It was the same thing. They got it right.

John C. Dvorak The other guys are --

Leo Laporte I’ll get Dane Jasper back in here again who runs who is former Chairman of The California Independent Internet Service Providers Association. They’re being squeezed. They really are because the telcos want to keep them out of their COs.

John C. Dvorak Which they do.

Leo Laporte And they want a monopoly. I think you’re right though. WiMAX, which doesn’t use copper – Dane by the way, is pushing Sonic towards fiber. Google is pushing towards fiber. I mean the problem is that these trenching solutions whether it’s copper or fiber cost a heck of a lot of money.

Tom Merritt I used to think that wireless was our best way to go. But the more I think about it, the more I realize, wireless always has its own problems and wired is always more reliable.

Leo Laporte Right.

Tom Merritt It just always ends up being that way. Maybe that will change with WiMAX, but I don’t know.

John C. Dvorak I would love to see wire – wireless, especially WiMAX, actually take off. I mean Intel’s been doing nothing but dropping billions into it. And the reason is because at some point – and you should say, ‘wow, you’re right!’

Leo Laporte ‘Wow, you’re right!’

John C. Dvorak Because at some point, we will be streaming Internet content into our cars as we’re driving and you can listen to TWiT while driving.

Leo Laporte We’re doing it now. If you have the iPad app, you can do it right now.

John C. Dvorak Same thing, only that’s a little fancier than WiMAX.

Leo Laporte You can do it on the iPhone.

Tom Merritt But I don’t think if they reclassify it as telecommunications, it makes one iota of difference.

Leo Laporte It ain’t going to be WiMAX, by the way.

Tom Merritt If you talk on the telephone right now, they don’t stop you from saying dirty words. They don’t limit your free speech.

Leo Laporte Right.

Tom Merritt There’s no fairness doctrine on telephone conversations.

Leo Laporte It’s infrastructure.

John C. Dvorak Yeah, but that’s not broadcast. If you – anything on the Internet –

Tom Merritt But they’re not saying reclassify as broadcast.

John C. Dvorak I know, but at some point, I guarantee it, because if you think about the logic, a phone call is me talking to you. But when you’re on the Internet, you’re talking to potentially millions of people. And some – it’s not going to take much but one crazy court case, and the next thing you know – ‘well, this is a form of broadcasting.’ And it is a form of broadcasting.

Tom Merritt I think being classified as an information service as they are now is closer to that broadcasting than classifying them as telecommunications.

John C. Dvorak Well, apparently, the courts didn’t agree with that. And that’s why I think the FCC only has vague powers.

Leo Laporte 25 years from now this [indiscernible] (45:49) solved and this is what I am going to look like just so you know.

Tom Merritt Where’d you get that?

Leo Laporte It’s apparently an iPhone app.

Tom Merritt Really? It’s not bad!

Leo Laporte That will age you.

Tom Merritt It looks pretty --

Leo Laporte I think I look like that now.

John C. Dvorak Well, if you – the moustache – when you grow that moustache out.

Leo Laporte If I grew that moustache I think that’s exactly what I’d look like. What is the name of that app? It’s called Age Me. Age Me.

Tom Merritt Free or paid?

Leo Laporte You know, Jason Cartwright is here. He does a podcast out of Australia called techAU, And he actually has a lot to say about this. Should we bring him in?

Tom Merritt Yeah, absolutely.

Leo Laporte And have him just talk a little bit about the three strikes issue in Australia? Let’s do that in just a second. We’re going to get Jason mic’ed up here.

And while we’re talking, let me mention Squarespace – while we’re working, let me mention Squarespace is a great place to go for your next website, the fast and easy way to publish a high quality website or blog. We use it for our Inside TWiT blog. And we’re now working with them to redo The Tech Guy site and a lot more because I just love it.

You got – in fact I know you – Tom, they support Buzz Out Loud, great company. Easy to use UI for managing and creating a website or blog, optimized for both beginners and CSS experts.

Jason, you can use my – share my mic, just come around back here, Jason.

There is a blog module that includes import, support, and export too for WordPress, Blogger, Movable Type and TypePad so you’re never stuck, forms, photo galleries, form builders, Google Maps and more.

I want you to try it free for a couple of weeks. Just go to You don’t even need a credit card. Just set up a – don’t even make it your site. Just play with it just to get an idea of the great templating, the statistics, the iPhone app, incredible. I can’t wait till they do an iPad app. That’s going to be the ultimate blogging platform then,

And if you use the coupon code, TWiT, Tom, you were the one who explained this to me, it’s 10% off not just for the first month or the second month, but for the life of your account.

Tom Merritt Yeah, for good.

Leo Laporte I didn’t even know that.

Tom Merritt Good in all.

Leo Laporte Just use the coupon code TWiT.

Tom Merritt Wish I had done that when I had started my Forecast blog.

Leo Laporte Think of all the money you could have saved.

Tom Merritt Yeah. 10%.

Leo Laporte Of course, at eight bucks a month, which is the starting cost, it’s – I mean that’s $0.80. But multiply it times of years and it could be some dough.

Tom Merritt Amortize that.

Leo Laporte Amortize that;, we thank them so much for their support of this WEEK in TECH.

Jason Cartwright does a podcast out of Australia. Actually it’s really a network very much like TWiT, And he’s here on a kind of tech tour of the U.S. Hey, Jason. Come sit over here and share this mic with me.

Jason Cartwright Hi, Leo. Thanks.

Leo Laporte So what’s the status – I mean – I know it’s gone back and forth in Australia both with the Internet filtering provision and now the three strikes law. What’s the current status?

Jason Cartwright Well, the Internet filter is basically going to be presented to Parliament. And it’s all about the detail of what’s in that. So we’ve had a lot of rumor and speculation as to what’s going to be included. It’s really down to the finer details as to what we can oppose and what the opposition can oppose and that sort of stuff. There’s been obviously a lot of campaign and uproar against it to --

Leo Laporte Yeah.

Jason Cartwright Yeah, yeah, like public protests and things like that. But they haven’t really seemed to make much of a difference. It’s going to take this legislation to be in the courts and in the Parliament debate about it and then hopefully mass opposal of the filter will occur.

So at the moment I think a lot of Australians just don’t even know it’s occurring.

Leo Laporte Really?

Jason Cartwright Yeah.

Leo Laporte Because around the rest of the world we are all very aware of this.

Jason Cartwright Yeah. People in the tech industry obviously who pay attention, they know about it and they feel very strongly about it. But people who just go about their day-to-day lives, it’s just going to be imposed on them. And so, yeah, we’d prefer that not to happen, so.

Tom Merritt And it’s really being railroaded, too, right? Because the ISPs did a test. One of them refused, right? And then the others –

Leo Laporte The ISPs don’t want to do it.

Tom Merritt The others failed. And they still say, great, great test. Everything failed. Let’s keep going.

Jason Cartwright So they’ll try and – basically, the tests involved specifying a list of websites they provide a blacklist too. And of course, if you provide that to a router or switch or whatever, that’s going to not let those through. So they claim that it’s 100% successful. The issue is where you get into new sites popping up every single day and that sort of content needs to be basically [ph] and it's used per (50:11) inspection to take the content and block it and so obviously very conscious of the fact of over blocking and blocking material that’s not unsavory if you like. And that’s where the real problem is.

Leo Laporte What’s the status of this, of the act, the three strikes thing?

Jason Cartwright On the three strikes thing I am not 100% up to speed. I have been on vacation for a couple of weeks.

Leo Laporte This has been – right, I don’t know if it’s currently an issue in Australia. It was in New Zealand, I know. That’s where we did [ph] that black (50:36)

Jason Cartwright I believe we're a party – like there is multiple countries involved in this.

Leo Laporte Oh, yeah.

Jason Cartwright Yeah – but there is not a lot of data that I am aware of.

Tom Merritt They put out the draft finally for public…

Jason Cartwright Right, okay.

Tom Merritt …viewing after the New Zealand round. The next round is in June in I believe Switzerland, if I – somewhere in Europe.

Leo Laporte But it’s all secret.

Jason Cartwright That’s the sad thing.

Tom Merritt Well, it’s not secret anymore.

Leo Laporte Oh, it’s not? Oh, good.

Tom Merritt They finally put out a draft but what is still secret is the positions of the countries. The U.S. pretty much blocked anyone from admitting who is in support of what parts of it because the U.S. is the one being pushed by the industry to put in provisions like a three strikes rule, which is not actually in act. It’s in a footnote. There is a part of act that that says you should make every effort to deter copyright infringement. And then in a footnote it says, a great way to do this is the three strikes law.

Jason Cartwright So will there be an opportunity now the draft’s out? Is that now an opportunity to have I guess a place at the table to debate it or…

Tom Merritt Now officials can actually publicly comment on it which they couldn’t before because it was all confidential.

Leo Laporte Hey, it’s really nice to meet you, Jason. Jason’s blog is He is kind of doing a tech tour of the U.S.

Jason Cartwright Yeah.

Leo Laporte And he picked up an iPad while he was…

Tom Merritt That was – you know it’s great that he was right there at –

Leo Laporte And it just happens that he’s been standing around. I think we’re going to use Jason as one of our Australian correspondents because he does a great podcast and it’s great to – yeah, it was very convenient that he happened to be around.

Web2600 – apparently he’s the author of Age Me, so if you go to you can – oh! dear, it’s fun with the kids. Make your relatives and friends look old.

Tom Merritt All I say, when you get old you start looking like a baby again.

John C. Dvorak Looks like Dickie’s mother there.

Leo Laporte Yeah, I like that. I like that. Moving along to other stories in the tech world, the tech news world, Apple bans a Pulitzer Prize winning satirist for satire. Editorial cartoonist Mark Fiore won this year’s Pulitzer Prize.

John C. Dvorak He is a local boy, you know.

Leo Laporte Local boy, San Francisco Chronicle, right?

Tom Merritt Yes, SFGate?

Leo Laporte SFGate I guess.

John C. Dvorak Yeah.

Leo Laporte He has his own syndication business. And he applied to Apple for an app called New Toons. It features his work. Apple rejected the app because it contains content that “ridicules public figures.”

John C. Dvorak That’s what he does for a living.

Tom Merritt Which is yeah – which is protected speech.

Leo Laporte You mean like an editorial cartoon you mean?

John C. Dvorak Yeah, like anything.

Tom Merritt You can’t go after public figures. But that’s the way…

Leo Laporte Yeah.

John C. Dvorak You can go after private figures.

Tom Merritt Thank you, Justice Rehnquist for the protection of editorial cartoons. But now Apple has flip-flopped on this. Apple has – as soon as this hit the press, it was denied back in January and as soon as the stories came out this week, Apple said, oh, no, no, we made a mistake. Your app can…

Leo Laporte Oh, interesting.

John C. Dvorak Yeah, well, that was obviously going to happen because it was embarrassing.

Leo Laporte Call from Steve Jobs on line 2.

Tom Merritt Mr. Fiore, could you please resubmit your app?

John C. Dvorak What are you doing?

Leo Laporte Hey, this is bad, terrible press. Credit to Wired’s Epicenter blog for publishing it and for getting Apple to back down.

Tom Merritt But I mean is that the way you want to run – have a store run?

Leo Laporte No.

Tom Merritt The platform you want to develop for where if you get enough press, you’ll get accepted. But otherwise you can be kicked out for just irritating the approvers.

Leo Laporte Amazing that Opera Mini got approved by Apple. The Opera browser got approved.

John C. Dvorak Yeah, that is kind of odd. Isn’t it?

Leo Laporte I did not accept it.

Tom Merritt Anybody got a theory as to how that happened?

Leo Laporte Well, you know, in the past they’ve turned down anything that “duplicated functionality inside the iPhone” and the Opera Mini clearly duplicates the Safari browser. I think this is an EU thing.

John C. Dvorak Ah, that’s not right.

Leo Laporte I think Apple – Opera has been very active in the EU. They are the ones that got the EU to…

John C. Dvorak Yet they are all over.

Leo Laporte Microsoft had to have a browser ballot giving Opera a huge market share. It’s worked again. They are the number one free download in all 22 app stores worldwide.

John C. Dvorak What?

Leo Laporte Opera Mini.

John C. Dvorak Really?

Tom Merritt Opera says that Apple contacted them and asks them to submit the Opera Mini browser to the App Store.

Leo Laporte Oh, really?

John C. Dvorak This has to be totally EU related.

Leo Laporte I don’t know if I believe that because there was a countdown on the Opera site like how long before Apple accepts us.

Tom Merritt Yeah.

Leo Laporte I wonder.

Tom Merritt And Opera’s explanation is that it doesn’t duplicate the functionality of Safari because it sends the request to Opera where it goes to a proxy and that compresses the pages and supposedly gives you a faster browsing experience.

Leo Laporte Right.

Tom Merritt So that’s different than Safari which gives you slower browser experience.

Leo Laporte Right, yeah, and by the way, I should mention this, a much less secure browser experience on Opera because they break all SSL certificates. And if you go to your bank through Opera Mini, Opera can see everything that you’re doing in your banking because they have to do them in the middle. So…

Tom Merritt But they won’t do anything with it.

Leo Laporte Yeah, do not use Opera Mini for anything secure.

John C. Dvorak They won’t do anything with it but maybe the CIA will.

Leo Laporte Maybe, these are Norwegians. You know they can run the country via iPad now.

John C. Dvorak Apparently, from an airport.

Leo Laporte Yeah.

John C. Dvorak So it’s not that complicated if they only run a country.

Leo Laporte All right, we’re going to take a break. When you come back, John, you may want to just have another glass of wine because it’s all Twitter. The Twitter Chirp Conference was this week.

Tom Merritt All right.

Leo Laporte It’s a big announcement.

John C. Dvorak I have some thoughts on Twitter.

Leo Laporte Really?

John C. Dvorak Yeah.

Leo Laporte I’ll find that in The Tech Hippie. I believe you mentioned to somebody.

John C. Dvorak The Tech one-of-them, but I guess I have new thoughts.

Leo Laporte It was a brief thought which will…

Tom Merritt You mean his brother.

Leo Laporte His brother in The Tech Hippie had a brief thought, but before we do that I do want to mention,, great place to go to get two, not one, but two free books from Audible. Audible is a great book store that we love so much of audio books, 70,000 titles. I know, Tom, you are a big Audible listener.

Tom Merritt It’s my favorite way to consume John Hodgman books.

Leo Laporte Yeah, cause John reads them.

Tom Merritt Yeah, and he puts in extra stuff.

Leo Laporte Yeah, so that’s cool. What should we pick? There are so many choices. I am just finishing – by the way, I really want to thank you for the Daniel Suarez recommendations.

Tom Merritt Aren’t they great?

Leo Laporte Just coming to the end of Freedom.

Tom Merritt Yeah.

Leo Laporte So good, political. That’s what I liked about it. It seems like at first it’s just murder mystery, Sci-Fi. It actually is really about open Internet, freedom and corporate control and all that stuff. John, you’d probably have a heart attack if you read it.

John C. Dvorak Definitely.

Leo Laporte They are doing a great job with Sci-Fi. Maybe we’ll point this at the Audible Frontiers. Audible is basically bringing Sci-Fi to your iPod or your iPhone or your Zune or your iPad because for many years, I think the Sci-Fi publishers, these guys were tabloid, Pulitzer publishers. They didn’t have the wherewithal to record audio books. So a lot of the greatest audio books were never recorded, greatest Sci-Fi books were never recorded in audio. Now Audible has – thanks to their own initiative, 3,000 plus Sci-Fi titles. When I joined Audible many moons ago, like eight years ago, they had like one or two. So they’ve really improved it.

Tom Merritt It’s good for certain leisure actually.

Leo Laporte Yeah.

Tom Merritt Because The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi is…

Leo Laporte Is that what you are reading right now?

Tom Merritt Current one. And it is available on Audible.

Leo Laporte I find – and I think one of the reasons I like that with certain leisure is because I like the idea of participating in a book group. But I just don’t have time to read. I am always so tired when I get in bed. I fall asleep.

John C. Dvorak I wonder why.

Leo Laporte Because I have to hold this heavy iPad up.

Tom Merritt Yeah, you can’t. It’s hard to read on it.

Leo Laporte Actually I put it on a pillow.

Tom Merritt Yeah.

Leo Laporte I read on it all the time.

Tom Merritt I stick it on my knees.

Leo Laporte See, I can just put the audio book on there and I can listen which I like. You know what I want to recommend is Terry Pratchett. I think almost all the Discworld books are on, certainly a huge selection of them. And it’s really – Stephen Briggs does some of them, most of them I think and there are a few others. But I just – they just come alive if you have not read any Terry Pratchett novels. What a – you must have done some of the Discworld stuff?

Tom Merritt Not yet. Not for certain leisure.

Leo Laporte You got to do the – I guess you have to start at the beginning.

Tom Merritt Well, that’s the problem. Series are always an issue when you are doing a book club.

Leo Laporte And is this a series? It’s like 50 of them.

Tom Merritt Yeah, well, it’s not exactly a series of the world I guess.

Leo Laporte It’s a world.

Tom Merritt It depends how you look at it.

Leo Laporte I am trying to remember what the first one was. I know they have it. It’s where you first meet Rincewind the Magician. I just love this…

Tom Merritt Terry Pratchett is really different. If you’ve never read him, it’s the kind of Sci-Fi that you are not going to expect. It’s a little bit – you think it’s going to be more like Douglas Adams but then it takes a turn where it’s a lot more serious. And Douglas Adams is still funny.

Leo Laporte Serious but – yes, kind of same kind of wry humor. Let me – this is the first one. It’s The Colour of Magic, Discworld number one, great way, Nigel Planer, I’ll play a little bit of this so you can hear it, but Nigel Planer does a great job in narrating this one.

[Advertisement] (59:55)

Leo Laporte I can’t read these now. I have to listen to them. Because I’ve listened to so many now I don’t even want to read the words, and I just – they just – they are alive in your head – that’s one of the things that’s great about audio books. Now that clip is low quality, but they do have this available in two, three or four audio formats so you can get a much higher quality version. And it’s just the first of, I don’t know, 50 of them, and there is The Light Fantastic and Equal Rights; get the first two, Color of Magic and Light Fantastic, Terry Pratchett, Sir Terry Pratchett, great world he has created and I think you will love these books. They just come alive., signup for the Platinum account, that’s two books a month, your first two books are free and yours to keep. You can cancel at anytime and you still have those books. We thank so much for their support. And the way – as long as we are talking, what was the name of the book that you were doing in

Tom Merritt The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi, and what’s interesting about it on Audible is that it is narrated by a narrator and the author together.

Leo Laporte I think Veronica mentioned this last week when she was on the show.

Tom Merritt Yes, yes, I think she did.

Leo Laporte Yes, so there is another good choice., if you want to join that book club, and the good way, I mean I love it. Do you actively say let’s find books that are on Audible?

Tom Merritt We tried to find – we try to pick books for a lot of different reasons. We try to find them in ways that are as available as many different formats as possible and they tend to be available on Audible more often than on a Kindle actually, so it’s easier.

Leo Laporte Right. I love it. We thank you for their support. So Twitter had its first conference. There have been a lot of twitter conferences, but twitters Chirp Conference was the first thrown by Twitter. They have talked – Gina Trapani was there from our TWiT show, and I’ve talked to other people there. Gina kind of said it’s kind of funny to see Evan and Biz acting like the startup boys, ah, yay, Gee, shucks, we just have this little startup called Twitter and, you know, we are just kind of all the young guy, and she said dudes, face upto it. You are getting 50 million posts a day. You are getting huge traffic and it’s a very important service and stop pretending you are the odd shucks, hippies. They have announced finally a plan to monetize. They’re going to make some money by putting ads on Twitter.

John C. Dvorak Yes, within the interstitial.

Leo Laporte Search.

John C. Dvorak Oh no, search.

Leo Laporte Search.

Tom Merritt Starting with search, and then eventually kind of very cautiously putting it into your stream, interstitial.

Leo Laporte They call it promoted tweets, and you can – if you are on Twitter you can try it. I think this is about as benign as you can get, try by doing a search for Starbucks for instance on Twitter.

Tom Merritt Is that working now?

Leo Laporte And there you go right at the top under real time results for Starbucks. You know, when I first heard about this I did and they didn’t have the promoted tweet and so the first, like three tweets were Starbuck sucks, I hate Starbucks. So this is a way for a company to kind of control the message a little bit better, but you know what’s interesting, they said these are real tweets, right. So you can see it’s as promoted by Starbucks, coffee but it was a tweet from April 9, it was a tweet from nine days ago, it’s not the most recent Starbucks tweet and it’s a very clear ad, right?

Tom Merritt Yes, it’s got a different coloring behind it and it says promoted by Starbucks.

Leo Laporte Well, the only one I have it, look at that. The only one I have.

Tom Merritt The different color you have...

Leo Laporte Yes, but you can kind of tell. It’s very much like Google where they have kind of a search result at the top. Now they say they are going to insert these into the tweet stream and that I am a little more nervous about.

Tom Merritt Well, they are nervous about it too, because they are not doing it right away. And they say they want to make sure they do it in a way that takes into account the kind of stuff you like, so that when you see it, it sort of blends in a way a retweet does, it’s like okay that’s the kind of stuff I’d be interested in, but it’s tough to pull off.

Leo Laporte Will it be - well if I don’t follow Starbucks will it show up in my timeline or is it…?

Tom Merritt If you are the kind of person who tweets about coffee a lot or…

Leo Laporte It would still show up…

John C. Dvorak Who’d follow Starbucks?

Tom Merritt It’s a good question. I know there are people out there who would do but...

Leo Laporte I can’t imagine anybody ever following, wait a minute, I guess I’m following Starbucks, are you?

Tom Merritt Are you really?

Leo Laporte Yes.

Tom Merritt You are following.

John C. Dvorak Why would you do that?

Leo Laporte It’s a really good question. I don’t know why I’m following Starbucks.

Tom Merritt And that’s why they need promoter tweets, because nobody is following companies…

Leo Laporte Nobody is following them. Well, wait a minute let me see…

Tom Merritt Unless they are big fans of it.

Leo Laporte Hey 845,000 people are following Starbucks.

Tom Merritt I said no one would ever do that.

John C. Dvorak Are you sure that you didn’t – that they just made you follow.

Leo Laporte Maybe they just follow them automatically.

John C. Dvorak Maybe the next thing you know, you, boom, you are following them and you don’t know it.

Leo Laporte That would be bad. If Twitter did that they would be in a lot of trouble.

John C. Dvorak But they – how are they going to get caught, first they take a look and they see, how many people you are following, it’s over like 5,000 or a 1,000 or something like that you say well, who is going to know?

Leo Laporte Who’ll know, they’ll never know.

John C. Dvorak They just throw it in, and you’ll just – you’ll never remember, can’t remember that many. And why is Starbucks following 82,000.

Tom Merritt And how do they pick?

John C. Dvorak And how do they pick?

Leo Laporte Yes, they could be following 20 million; I mean that’s how many people use Twitter.

Tom Merritt That sounds like they used to follow everybody who followed them and then at some point it stopped, yes.

Leo Laporte And they turned it off, yes.

John C. Dvorak Nobody, there is no way that 845,000 people actually are following Starbucks.

Tom Merritt Sure there is.

Leo Laporte Why not?

John C. Dvorak Why, why would you follow them?

Leo Laporte This is the stupidest thing you’ve heard humanity do, you’ve heard of Farmville, right?

Tom Merritt Yes, I don’t know.

Leo Laporte I’ll tell you why. They put coupons up there, of course.

Tom Merritt I know people who are big Starbucks fans who they live and die by Starbucks. They can’t wait to find another Starbucks. When they see a Starbucks they get excited. I don’t pretend to understand it, but I know they exist. So, I mean that number seems pretty big to me, but…

Leo Laporte Look they actually ask you to follow them. Here is one, hey Bernard Falk, can you follow us, I have a question. I’d like to DM you?

John C. Dvorak Right.

Leo Laporte That’s from Starbucks.

John C. Dvorak Yes.

Leo Laporte I think April 15th, they gave away free coffees so if you’d follow them you knew that.

Tom Merritt You want to know about specials and yes, all right.

John C. Dvorak And the next day they gave away two free cups.

Leo Laporte Really.

John C. Dvorak Yes, when it wasn’t a special.

Leo Laporte First prize is a cup of coffee.

John C. Dvorak Second prize is two cups.

Leo Laporte I get it, I get it. And if you bring in a reusable mug on April 15th…

John C. Dvorak Okay, well we have given them enough publicity although there could be a sponsor the way you are going.

Leo Laporte Actually it was Starbucks, I believe it was Starbucks who suggested a morning show.

Tom Merritt Well, coffee that makes sense really.

Leo Laporte Well, coffee morning?

John C. Dvorak I would go for it. I do it out in New York City. Now, when you get to that place make sure that there is a bedroom attached.

Leo Laporte It’s not going to matter, John, the entire world is going to be covered with ash and you won’t be able to fly anywhere.

Tom Merritt The promoted tweets got a lot of coverage because it’s their business plan.

Leo Laporte But there is a lot of other stuff.

Tom Merritt But then there is this API Developer controversy because Twitter has officially anointed a few apps as their official clients. They bought Tweety, they’ve created one for the BlackBerry and they say they are creating one for the Android as well.

Leo Laporte And I would imagine and I said Gina this as well, the developers might be up in arms and yet there are people doing new Twitter clients and in fact she mentioned one that was kind of clever that would had some filtration in it, so you could say I’d like to control a little bit more ways of controlling what I see or, I think there is opportunity.

John C. Dvorak What’s this thing on Twitter, it showed up it’s a little icon that shows up in your generalized stream.

Leo Laporte It’s a retweet.

John C. Dvorak The retweet but…

Leo Laporte It’s like a recycle.

John C. Dvorak But half the people that - I just looked on my regular say I’m not following these people…

Tom Merritt That’s just the new way to do retweet is to show who it came, who it came from originally and then it also say retweeted by x and that’s a person you are following.

Leo Laporte It’s a little confusing, I mean, I was baffled by it when I first saw it. I don’t like it. I don’t like it one bit.

John C. Dvorak I don’t like it at all, I don’t follow…

Leo Laporte I don’t.

John C. Dvorak I have a limited number of people I follow for good reason.

Tom Merritt Well in the old days you would have just seen the person who retweeted it, so it is somebody you’re following retweeting and it’s just they are showing – they are giving attribution to the original author, if you will.

Leo Laporte I bet you that if there were someone out there who are kind of a hippie he might have something to say about it.

Tom Merritt Someone’s brother?

Leo Laporte Someone’s brother

Tom Merritt Or other?

Leo Laporte Or other, might have something to say about Twitter. Well, as soon as I get through the ad, what am I complaining about, we’ve got ads too. This is an ad for, what is that an ad for, do not miss this film, oh this is Kick Ass. Yes.

John C. Dvorak Apparently is dying at the box office.

Leo Laporte Is it really? [Ph] I thought they were really at South Bay (68:23) they were really interesting seeing Kick Ass. Long lines.

Tom Merritt That comic is actually on the iPad on comiXology if you want to…

Leo Laporte Is it?

Tom Merritt If you want to catch-up.

Leo Laporte So what’s the best comic app on the iPad?

Tom Merritt I like comiXology the best.

Leo Laporte Better than Marvel, Marvel gets all the attention.

Tom Merritt Yes, well the Marvel app is made by comiXology.

Leo Laporte Oh interesting.

Tom Merritt And it’s just Marvel, whereas comiXology has Marvel and other publishers.

Leo Laporte Got it, got it. So here is – let’s see what the Tech Hippy has to say?

[Audio Presentation] (68:48)

Leo Laporte That’s it.

John C. Dvorak That was it.

Tom Merritt That’s all, that’s all he had to say.

Leo Laporte Who is this guy?

[Audio Presentation] (69:03)

Leo Laporte What does – what does his shirt say?

John C. Dvorak That is.

Leo Laporte Are you checking me out? Is that what it is…?

John C. Dvorak Checking me out – it’s from, it was a Nintendo shirt.

Tom Merritt Mii.

John C. Dvorak Yes. And then Chris is wearing a Sheriff’s Department thing over his shirt, over that is the layers and then of course the piece thing which isn’t…

Leo Laporte Yes. Please bling with me colors.

Tom Merritt It’s kind of like Woody Harrelson’s character from 2012.

John C. Dvorak Hey man, what’s the story about virtual money?

Leo Laporte John you are a fertile, a fertile, fertile mind.

John C. Dvorak I can’t get a job as an actor.

Leo Laporte I can’t understand, why? Twitter also has added something new to the API called annotation which I think is could be potentially very interesting where you can annotate tweets with, I think its 500 bytes of pairs like weather equals but they don’t specify it could be nice, it could be sunny, it could be rainy, it could be anything.

Tom Merritt So it's like geo-tagging except for other stuff.

Leo Laporte Yes.

Tom Merritt Because you can geo tag you can and that’s the only annotation you can do right now.

Leo Laporte Right, but that’s a standard, you know that’s a longitude and latitude or it’s a city name, this could be anything weather equals hippy.

Tom Merritt Yes.

Leo Laporte And they don’t specify that.

Tom Merritt But the developer decides where it’s going to pull out, you don’t put that.

Leo Laporte Yes, the client I guess could use it somehow. No, you don’t – well you could maybe have a client that would let you put it in, I don’t know.

Tom Merritt Yes, I guess you could. You can program the client to say add your weather right now and you could make it say fnord or whatever you want.

Leo Laporte Fnord. Twitter has 105 million registered users, 22.3 million unique visitors in March. They’re adding 300,000 a day.

John C. Dvorak I wonder what they – how they monetize each user. It would be a minimum of 10 bucks.

Leo Laporte Actually according to Twitter, I said 22.3 million that’s the probably like a comScore number. Yeah, that’s comScore number. Twitter’s own number? 180 million.

John C. Dvorak Yeah. So that would be, it puts the company at about two billion minimum.

Tom Merritt Where was that, reported – valued your followers at $3.60 on average.

John C. Dvorak I don’t think that would be the same for monetizing it as a company.

Leo Laporte And here’s the deal on why you want to have a third-party client. 75% of the traffic at doesn’t come to, it’s from a client.

Tom Merritt Now do you think the developers have a beef here whether like, hey wait a minute, we made all these clients for you and you fostered that and got us to start businesses around this. And now you’ve anointed one and we’re left out in the cold.

Leo Laporte You know, if you develop on top of somebody’s platform whether it’s Twitter or Facebook or Google, you just – I think as a developer you know this is life.

John C. Dvorak We’ve dealt with Microsoft, haven’t you?

Leo Laporte Yeah. Or Apple.

John C. Dvorak Right this at the stage.

Leo Laporte They seem to be shocked these developers…

John C. Dvorak ‘I can’t believe this.’

Leo Laporte I wonder if the people were shocked are actually third-party client developers or just people.

John C. Dvorak Troublemakers.

Leo Laporte Hacker Dot – Hacker News or Slashdot readers.

Tom Merritt I could see the developers being upset that they didn’t get picked. Like wait, you bought…

Leo Laporte Well they still haven’t picked an Android application. So there’s still – there’s some competition going on.

Tom Merritt And I think you’re right, you can have an official Twitter client, just like you have an official Facebook client and still have other apps that do other things.

Leo Laporte Right. I think that’s the key, is that as always with the developer, you’ve got to find a unique niche.

Did you – you must have heard the 8-bit – this has nothing to do with anything.

Tom Merritt We talked about this on current geek weekly.

Leo Laporte I thought you might.

Tom Merritt Yeah.

Leo Laporte 8-bit “Dark Side of the Moon”. This is hysterical.

Tom Merritt Yeah. Somebody has taken….

Leo Laporte Brad Smith.

Tom Merritt Brad Smith, well done Brad Smith.

Leo Laporte Let me just play you – just – I don’t why I just have to play this. This is you recognize this, this little ditty from Pink Floyd’s “Dark side of the Moon.”

What are you, squeaking your chair there?

John C. Dvorak We loaded with bunching here back here.

Leo Laporte Yeah I’m sorry is it in your way?

Tom Merritt What are you going to do with all that junk?

[Music track]

Leo Laporte You recognize this song?

Tom Merritt Not bad actually.

Leo Laporte That’s very good. And then did you see the Nintendo version of Dr. Horrible’s?

Tom Merritt Yes.

Leo Laporte That was great too.

Tom Merritt I love this, I will take that stuff. No, of course with this somebody has to take obvious. You have to come up with an 8-bit version Wizard of Oz.

Leo Laporte Oh, because you’ve got to play it next to.

Tom Merritt Right. That’s probably what the Tech Hippy listens to when he’s hanging out at home.

Leo Laporte Isn’t it funny that the nostalgia for this Nintendo era, it’s people like you, Tom, who grew up playing Nintendo right?

Tom Merritt Or Atari.

Leo Laporte Atari, yeah. I think I was in my 20s when this stuff came out. And John was in his 50s, but.

John C. Dvorak I was in my 60s my friend.

Leo Laporte John C. Dvorak is at

John C. Dvorak So I’ve got a story I think we should be just…

Leo Laporte We’re not done.

John C. Dvorak All right.

Leo Laporte I was wrapping it early, but tell me, tell me.

John C. Dvorak Did anyone read this? Health alert? Samsung releases a safety disclaimer regarding the health risk of 3D viewing?

Leo Laporte We actually talked about this on the radio show. First of all, you buy a Samsung 3D TV. It comes with the one Blu-ray 3D disk. There is only one. So nothing else is in 3D. It comes with two pairs of glasses. If you want a third family member to watch, 150 bucks.

John C. Dvorak Yeah, and a lot of people will have may be husband and wife, couple of kids. How would you watch a Super Bowl game with the boys?

Leo Laporte You can’t have a party.

John C. Dvorak You go broke.

Leo Laporte And it gives you a headache!

John C. Dvorak Minimally. Some people…

Leo Laporte Maybe epilepsy.

Tom Merritt May cause nausea, epilepsy…

Leo Laporte May cause nausea.

John C. Dvorak My favorite one.

Leo Laporte So excuse me.

John C. Dvorak Samsung [indiscernible] (75:05) your warning and other health risks.

Leo Laporte That I understand they have to do. Because in fact we had trouble on The Screen Savers, remember we played some sort of flashing thing, we got...

John C. Dvorak It tells you not to watch while you’re drinking.

Tom Merritt Yes. Drunks should not watch 3DTV.

Leo Laporte I am confused. It looks – oh, I put my hand through it.

Tom Merritt There are a lot of people who can’t see 3DTV. There is a lot of people who does give headaches too. So they’re just being ultra cautious. But pregnant women, didn’t it say? Shouldn’t watch it. And drunks.

John C. Dvorak And drunks. Should be careful…

Leo Laporte And one thing I do also want to mention, I forgot – is, what do you think of the new space policy? Because I think a lot of us geeks were a little bit perturbed that the Obama budget kind of backed off space exploration, Obviously he heard…

John C. Dvorak Neil Armstrong thinks so.

Leo Laporte Well, Neil and Buzz disagree, right? Neil’s pissed off, Buzz thinks it’s a great program.

John C. Dvorak Buzz is being invited to The White House for a dinner, he’s – kind of likes the guy…

Tom Merritt He’s been on Dancing With The Stars.

John C. Dvorak Neil is like antisocial, he never does anything…

Leo Laporte But wait, because they revised it. This week, President Obama gave a speech at The Kennedy Space Center. And said we are going to do some stuff. We’re not – look, I think this is the right thing to do, which is to say, we’re in tough economic times, we can’t afford a Mars program and a Moon program. But we understand that it’s important to do space exploration. So we’re going to do what we can.

Tom Merritt And privatize. Make more …

Leo Laporte Jerry Pournelle is going to love that.

Tom Merritt Companies to take stuff…

Leo Laporte You know what, we’ll will get Jerry on next week, I should have gotten him on this next week to talk about it. Because that – he has been pushing private space exploration for some time. I hate that idea. Do you want corporations to put ads upon the moon?

John C. Dvorak That’s what they do too. That’s the first thing I do to get up there [indiscernible] (76:50).

Tom Merritt You don’t need to do get up there to do that.

Leo Laporte How much would Pepsico pay to say, ‘the taste of the new generation’ on the moon.

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

Leo Laporte It’s not?

Tom Merritt Because I think it’s a good idea. I think you have to. I mean to get to that 2001 Space Odyssey where Pan Am is flying into the space hotel, you’ve got to have private companies involved.

John C. Dvorak Pan Am went bunk already.

Tom Merritt Yeah, I know, so it’s just a bad prediction.

Leo Laporte So the new plan is, NASA’s budget will go up 6 billion over the next five years, most of it going into research.

John C. Dvorak Whatever that means.

Leo Laporte They are going to develop – they’re going to replace the Constellation which they’ve canceled with a new heavy lifting rocket, that’s good. The Orion capsule based on the Apollo Capsule will still be built, initially for the space station as a lifeboat escape module. But it could be adopted for crew space machines. And NASA will plan missions to near-earth asteroids, I think something that’s a very good idea if you read any science fiction.

Tom Merritt Yeah, sure.

Leo Laporte By 2020 to Mars in the 30s. But we aren’t going to go to the moon. And that’s where Neil says “we’re going to the moon”.

Tom Merritt Well, the idea – I had thought it was a good idea to go back to the moon as a way to train for going to Mars, to build a way station to kind of try things out and make sure that the Constellation program worked. So I feel like this is gutting that a little, to say why don’t we spend all this money on Orion and Constellation, and we still want to go to Mars, but we’re just going to go there direct without that. It seems a little bit, like he threw that in, the President threw that in to mollify people.

Leo Laporte Well, he mollified me.

Tom Merritt Yeah.

Leo Laporte Maybe he didn’t mollify Neil, but he mollified me. By the way, this just in, Coke-Sponsored Rover finds evidence of Dasani on Mars, the real.

John C. Dvorak Probably a bunch of empty bottles.

Leo Laporte It’s called the Real Rover. And it found signs that cool refreshing Dasani water once drenched the surface of the Red Planet. This discovery is so exciting says Dr. Marvin Chen, NASA space-science administrator and temporary liaison to Coca-Cola, that it indicates the red planet may have once hosted a healthy active fun-filled microscopic life.

Tom Merritt The Onion?

Leo Laporte The Onion. It’s the Real Rover.

Tom Merritt We talked about this on Current Geek Weekly, finally they allowed the Rover to make decisions for itself now.

Leo Laporte Like what?

Tom Merritt Rover program, it said go.

Leo Laporte The autonomous Rover?

Tom Merritt It’s going to build an army and come back here, that’s what’s going to happen.

John C. Dvorak That would be good.

Leo Laporte Yeah.

Tom Merritt Clean things up.

Leo Laporte John C. Dvorak, can I now wrap this sucker?

John C. Dvorak I think so.

Leo Laporte This fish, put it to bed? John C. Dvorak is at Has something to do with the Tech Hippy, that new one. And the old one, the Tech Grouch. Although the Hippy was older than the Grouch.

John C. Dvorak I think the Grouch is making a comeback.

Leo Laporte It was gone for a while?

John C. Dvorak No, I mean the Tech Hippy tried – so it’s a ratings battle between…

Leo Laporte Oh. Create a little bit of…

[Sound effect]

Leo Laporte Oh, dear, oh my gosh. Oh the battle. Oh no, that’s Kick-Ass never mind. I thought that was Tech Hippy and Tech Grouch fighting out.

John C. Dvorak That would be good.

Leo Laporte And Tom Merritt, who is still for the [indiscernible] (80:05) at, he is the host of Buzz Out Loud. What’s going to happen to Buzz Out Loud without you?

Tom Merritt I don’t know. That is yet to be announced. So stay tuned to to find out.

Leo Laporte But through May 14 and then a couple of weeks off and then he joins the TWiT network on June 1. We’ve got to have lots to talk about at that time.

Tom Merritt I’m very excited.

Leo Laporte Working on all sorts of stuff. So glad to have you as part of the team, Tom.

Tom Merritt Thank you.

Leo Laporte It’s been a long time I’ve been doing this all by myself, I need some help.

And John, I don’t know if Adam is listening, but if you ever get tired of that dude, you give me a call.

John C. Dvorak Well, the No Agenda Show at

Leo Laporte Okay.

John C. Dvorak It’s pretty hard to…

Leo Laporte He’s done a great job of that. Yeah, he’s really done a good job. You do that live Sunday morning?

John C. Dvorak And Thursdays, come on twice a week.

Leo Laporte Twice a week now?

John C. Dvorak It’s always been twice a week.

Leo Laporte I guess I just missed it.

John C. Dvorak No, no, you know it.

Tom Merritt No agenda on either show?

John C. Dvorak It supposedly a no agenda,

Tom Merritt Both agenda-less?

John C. Dvorak It’s agenda-less.

Leo Laporte And there’s a live feed of that. But no video?

John C. Dvorak And you notice, we didn’t have anyone harass your KFI show recently.

Leo Laporte Yeah, Baba-Booey to you all.

John C. Dvorak It’s in the morning, that’s when it is.

Leo Laporte All right everybody. Thanks for joining us. Don’t forget, TWiT is now a video show. You can watch live. You have been able to watch live for over a year at Sunday afternoon 6:00 p.m. Eastern 3:00 p.m. Pacific, 2200 UTC for those of you under the cloud. You’ve got nothing to do. Can’t get on a plane, stuck there in Norway. Listen to TWiT.

We also put it on the YouTube, Look in the twit channel. We have all our shows up there now. And of course on iTunes. We have a whole TWiT like, they gave us like a thing, a TWiT thing. How do I get there? We made a short URL for that? Let me make a short URL for that.

It’s not there yet if you watch them live. But before the show will air, And it’ll just take you there. That’s good. Bitly’s better than nothing. And that will launch iTunes for you and take you to our brand new iTunes artist page, which we control.

John C. Dvorak In the vertical and the horizontal.

Leo Laporte We do. We look after [indiscernible] (82:27).

Ladies and gentleman, thank you for joining us. Come on now iTunes.

Tom Merritt Trying to pull up the page?

Leo Laporte Yeah, because I got to say yes, I got to do this, I got to do that. It’s a new version of iTunes. By the time I get it all done.

Tom Merritt One moment, please.

Leo Laporte One moment. Loading, loading.

Tom Merritt Syntax error.

Leo Laporte Syntax error. Loading. Working. There it is. Wait a minute, what happened? There it is. TWiT. See that? The nice new artist page?

John C. Dvorak It’s nice.

Leo Laporte Yeah we’ve got all shows, we’ve got video, we got audio, video large, we’ve got a – like – I don’t know how this works, top podcasts, somehow this is automatic from iTunes, like a business subscription…

John C. Dvorak Control of the tech.

Leo Laporte Live audios, oh yeah, this is cool.

Tom Merritt Don’t do it now, you’ll break the internet.

Leo Laporte You can listen now, TWiT live listen now. If you click that, I think – will it break the internet? They think they broke the internet. Oh my God, we’ve broken the internet.

John C. Dvorak I’ve heard this before. We’re experiencing déjà vu.

Leo Laporte Déjà vu. Thank you everybody. Another TWiT is in the can! Oh my God, we’ve broken the internet. Déjà vu. Thank you everybody. Another TWiT is in the can!

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