E395: Google wins everything, NSA hacks it, Bing Launch of the Week! TWiST News Roundtable

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It’s starting to seem like Google wins at everything. (For more on that, see Jason’s recent editorial). They’re jumping into the smart watch contest, with a model due to arrive in the next few months, and just revealed that mysterious barges off San Francisco Bay and Portland, Maine are not floating data centers. Instead, they’re showrooms for Google X projects. In other words, party barges. The NSA is still trying to spoil the party, however. The latest revelation from the Washington Post, drawing on documents leaked by Edward Snowden, shows the NSA attacked servers that link up data centers owned by Google and Yahoo. That’s on top of limited front-door access the agency has negotiated with internet giants. And the Launch of the Week, brought to you by Bing! Motorola teams up with Phonebloks on modular phones. An affordable desktop 3D printer raised $3m on Kickstarter. And aircraft manufacturer Aerion is planning a supersonic business jet. Liz Gannes of AllThingsD and Declan McCullagh of CNET join in on the fun.

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Highlights

4:27: Jason: Is there any company as ambitious as Google right now?

5:01  Which of their projects is most fascinating?

5:09: Liz: unclear whether moon shots will work. self-driving cars cool. Still, no one else is driving around the world taking photographs of every single street. They’ve achieved what seemed like moonshots a few years ago.

6:09 – Declan : Google is looking at big problems. Automobile accidents, etc. In terms of the barge, more interesting when we didn’t know what it was.

7:20: bizarre – floating barge showroom. what is the thinking there when we have Apple stores everywhere?

7:40: Liz: so fun to watch this. people are all over this. harassing barge.

10:00: Jason: Google and Yahoo servers “hacked” by the NSA – quotes on purpose

10:40: Declan: Companies should be outraged. We should be outraged. From the NSA’s perspective. 3 ways to do it: 1. front door. 2. snip the connections between users and Google. 3. Point a parabolic microphone at Google’s windows. That’s what this feels like.

12:25: – 14:05  Thank you http://Squarespace.com.

14:09 Jason: how is this going over, overseas? Will this negatively impact US companies?

15:50: Jason: Slide from NSA MUSCULAR deck looks like a big post-it note by Dilbert. Declan is this real?

16:29 – Declan: Everything leak attributed to Snowden has turned out to be real so far. no reason to assume this isn’t real. We don’t know what percentage of links were already encrypted. The overseas caveat is kind of silly.

18:36 – Bing! Launch of Week

Phonebloks – open hardware system

19:15 – Phonebloks video

20:55 – Aerion video

22:12 – 3D printing video

23:15 – start with first one. Motorola phonebloks. Is this practical or real?

23:28 – Liz: after all these years, rip-offs of iPhone, someone is turning it inside-out.

24:18 – Declan: love it. I remember the Apple 2 days when you could mix and match. Great to add what you need. Challenge for app developers.

25:39: Jason: what about the Concorde?

26:00 – Declan: I’m a pilot. We’re flying 500 or 600 mph in commercial jets. This isn’t going to change the world, but hopefully will trickle down. Thumbs up.

26:54  Jason: Will Walt swap out the All Things D jet for this?

27:09 – Liz: Sounds good.

27:19 – Jason hints at Elon Musk’s interest in an electric powered plane. Hybrid concept plane.

28:00 – Declan: Fuel in general is a compact way to store energy. Batteries aren’t there yet.

28:20 – Jason: What do you think about the 3D printer?

28:55 – Liz: everything I’ve printed was cheap materials. Maker Faire this year had rows of 3D printer startups. For me, not a big breakthrough.

39:24 – Jason: anything you want to 3d print in your life?

29:30 – Declan: I could see my kids doing this in a few years. Or a handgun, if I were somewhere handguns were banned. Nothing beyond those cases.

30:44 – Thanks to our partners Mandrill.com!

32:28 – Bing! Launch of the Week winner? LG phone blocks | DM phoneblocks. JC phoneblocks.

33:27 – Snapchat worth $4B.

35:12 – Instagram ads.

35:33 – What Zuck said website. What does that say about how people perceive Zuck?

36:09 – Declan:  Zuckerberg files.org. Apparently this isn’t a joke. useful for getting inside his brain.

36:55 – Liz: like a presidential library, but for young guy. Larry Page has so little recognition as Zuck

37:33 – JC: Larry Page doesn’t sit for interviews.

37:45 – Liz: Page is employing a different strategy

38:00 Declan: his strategy is to hire lieutenant delegates

38:25 – JC strategic move. to keep the ambition quiet. not available so there isn’t LP files.

39:00 – DM maybe how it’s run. different chiefs. and he’ll try to decide. that seems to be more likely than top-down.

39:34 – LG I disagree with you JC, world conquering mission is apparent, but LP talking about it might freak people out. LP maybe isn’t good at being on stage.  Zuck wasn’t either, improved with practice.

43:00 – CNET – 1st instagram ad – Michael Kors ad.  thoughts? Would you as a journalist do an advertorial ad if demanded by your editors?

44:00 – Liz: it wouldn’t happen. I wouldn’t do it. But Instagram is the least bad form of native advertising.

45:00 – Declan? Would you write the advertorial?

45:20 – Declan: Wouldn’t happen. Has to be delineation between editorial and non-editorial. But disclosure cures all ills

46:13 – Jason: I’m concerned about level of disclosure.  Superfans! Create a test!

46:45 – Amazon reviewers getting paid in products to write reviews

47:55 – Jason: Does anyone at Amazon have their brain turned on?

48:39 – Declan: the way we do reviews, is different than most of the rest of the world. It’s rather common in the editorial world.. part of why we don’t like this is that can tilt the reviewer.

50:22 – Liz: No problem if they have to return the items, but they do have stipulation of not selling.

53:54 – Era of star journalist. Greenwald?

54:30 – Declan: media trend is billionaires (like Bezos) funding WaPo. The star journalist thing has been around for long time.

55:12 – Liz: flux going on. It will be interesting to see how to bring a brand around a publication (vs. self). The Verge – 2nd anniversary. You can do a lot.

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