This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.

The 404: The 404 1,516: Where we save a buck or two

About Video Transcript

The 404: The 404 1,516: Where we save a buck or two

35:56 /

Facebook's psychological "experiment" on 70k users is the last straw, the expensive epilogue for 1-800-COLLECT, and Google's Project Ara phone makes modular life worth living.

It's Monday June 30th 2014 I'm Ariel Nunez and from our CBS study in New York City welcome to the 404. [MUSIC] What's going on everyone. Welcome, to the 404 Show thank you very much for tuning I'm Jeff Bacalar. I'm Justin Yew, We've got a nice cute little toy package for todays show. I'm excited about that. Mm-hm. Summer's officially hot. Yeah. And happening. And I'm excited about that. As excited. It was so hot this weekend. As I can be. Yeah. You know? People don't realize like I tell them I'm like, yeah I'm not like a summer dude. And they, they're like okay, you know you just. I'm like no, it, it like hurts. You know the best time to be out in the summer time in New York is from like 6 to 9 p.m. Yeah, I agree with that. That's the best. Or until the sun comes up basically. [LAUGH] Even at night you gonna have to wear a t-shirt. Yeah, that's it. That's all I need, you know, wherever there's shade that's where I'm at. I was out at the Do the Right Thing party in [INAUDIBLE] over the weekend. Yeah, how was that? It was really cool, it was thrown by Spike Lee. Did you see him. Yeah, yeah, he was there in person. Did you go up to him? I didn't go up to him cuz he was on top of a stage. And I didn't want to get attacked by security. Oh, so he wasn't like man on the grill, like cooking burgers? No, no, he was MC'ing the whole thing. Oh, that's cool. Signing t-shirts and stuff. It was really cool. Made it sound like it was like his own little like block party that he was like cooking for everybody. He officially made a Do the Right Thing Day, which I can only think that it means that you're supposed to throw a trash can through the window. [LAUGH] The window of your local Pizza Parlor. They have a little booth set up where you can do that. Yeah it was cool though, Dave Chappell showed up about half way through which was awesome. But, over all people were really really annoyed with everyone else because when you get a show like that where everyone is super. Oh. Compacted, you know? Humid. Oh, it sucks. [CROSSTALK]. Every time I go to something like that, I always feel the worst for the really short girls, or I guess guys too. Anyone that's really short. You mean just like butts? No, because, you know, Penny for example. We went together, and when we were watching the show, she was pretty much armpit length for every single guy there. Mm-hm. Like armpit height. Yeah. She was constantly. About to get whipped. Yeah. It was bad. I feel really bad for her and I'm sure even worse in the subway too. She's not that short. I guess but you know, depending on how tall the guy is. Yeah. It could be a bad experience. You know, that's why I just maintain, you got to stay indoors for four months. Nah, nah cuz. Until it's safe to come out. Cuz New York summer's the best. I mean, you may be hot and sweaty. And, and you may be annoyed at people rubbing up against you. But the weather's just too good to be inside. Well that's just like, your opinion man. Maybe you just walk by a bunch of retail shops and, and get the air conditioner that blasts out from there. You ever get that when you're walking down. Yeah. The street and you're like ooh a bank. Yeah, right. Ooh a bank. Banks are the coldest. [LAUGH] Yeah, it's the best. Why, and, and electronics stores too. Yeah. Why are their doors open? That seems to be like, whenever you're in a car, and the second the A/C goes on, you roll up the windows. That's like, what you do. Yeah, yeah. But these guys, they open their doors. They don't care. They're not paying for it. It's corporate. Let it ride. Yeah but it, I, it seems like it's super un-environmentally friendly. Probably. But Trying to reel you in. Right? Yeah, yeah. They're just like blasting. Come here and give us money. Yeah. I guess. I never understood that. Yeah. It's good for walking by. You just sort of stand there. Just hang out in the bank for 20 minutes. Do that scare crow stance [LAUGH] and you can get all the air in the holes in your, in your in clothing. Yeah, yeah it's bad. God, I hate that. It's the only reason I look forward to entering the subway train these days. Oh, I mean. Because that cool down is just. Naw, you gotta suffer first before you get to the actual train. Yeah, but that's the best part. They make you suffer. You sit, you're standing on the platform, and you've sweated more than you ever thought possible. No. And then you get on there, it's like, it's like dipping the toe into an icicle chamber. Treasure, [LAUGH]. It's like treasure. It's like you deserved it. Yeah. You earned it by waiting so. Hell, yeah. Long for that train. Treasure. [LAUGH] Maybe you ride all the way around in a complete circle. Why not? Just to extend it a little bit. Yeah this is it, you know? I feel like I've spent to much more money on drinks and fruit in the summertime. You gotta hydrate man. Yeah. It's all that hydrating. I always spend so much money on that stuff. It's crazy, like, you know how I, that's how you know- Oh, Davis must make so much more money. Off water. Think about how much money is made off water, off bottled water. That's how you know you sweat a lot. Cuz like, I was in the park on Saturday and I'm just drinking water constantly. Mm-hm. And I didn't have to pee once. Yeah- Because everything comes out of you. Everything has to do that. That's it. That's a great picture you just painted for everyone. No it's not. Urine seeping through, [LAUGH] [CROSSTALK] It's not how it's, it's not how it's rel, is released from my body. It's released in sweat. Yeah, I totally know what you mean. That's good for vegetables and stuff cuz you don't wanna be inside. Yeah. Of a porta-potty, in 100 degree heat. No. Man. Those are like portable, little stink ovens. Aren't they? Disgusting. All right. Summer's great. It's only a week old. Yeah. I can't wait for all the other weeks that follow. Hey. I got some good news. What's that? You know what I did over the weekend? Aside from going to the Best Guy Do the Right Thing block party. Signed a lease on the new apartment. Oh. Congrats man. [CROSSTALK] Yeah. Yeah. We're actually close enough to high five. Yeah, but let's just not touch each other. All right. Too hot this way. Yeah. yeah, I signed a lease on a new apartment over the weekend. Good job, man. The hunt is over. Nice. Actually we lucked out big time cuz, you know, you were about your brother who saw what, 70 apartments? He saw, if not more. Yeah. Literally, 70 apartments before he signed a lease. But we got off really lucky. Yeah. We looked at five. So did you use anyone's help? A lot of people reached out. We, yeah, you know, like just some services on, on what you can look up and, and things like that. Some listings people sent over. Yeah. Are really helpful just to get a feel for the market. But there's also website that, I forget what the URL is, but you can enter in any address in New York. You guys should all do this, and you can see the history of, not only the apartment itself but the block too. Year over year. Like? And it shows you things like, crime history. Oh. And, how many vermin reports there've been. Oh. Things like that, yeah. How many pharmacies are around you and whatnot. I'm not sure I want to get that report. Yeah, ignorance is bliss sometimes, when you think about it, so. Yeah, absolutely. But I'm moving to Park Slope now so, I guess I'm neighbors with your brother too? Yeah, you finally did it. You finally moved to Brooklyn. Yeah, bro brothers with Ariel! Whoo-hoo! What's up, man. Welcome. [LAUGH] That wasn't a very friendly one. Yeah, yeah. Well, Brooklyn's not very friendly. Strange way to enter Brooklyn. Kind of like a haunted-house one. Welcome. To Brooklyn. [LAUGH] Man yeah I'm really psyched I'm very happy about that. All right. Well you know you are already half way there so. Yeah now the hard part begins which is learning to live with a significant other. Yeah. Oh wow, wow. You know you, you jump out of the plane by yourself on that one I think. Yeah we'll discuss tips after the show I think. Yeah I got tips. Get a comfy couch. Yeah an ear plug. Tip number one. Yeah, we're also going to be moving in August for on August 1st. Okay. Which is gonna be miserable. Yeah it not hard. [CROSSTALK] Like the hottest month of the entire frigging year. Just, can I give you some advice? Theres like certain things you should spend money on. Yeah, hire movers. And certain things you shouldn't. Pay for people to move your place. Yeah, oh yeah, absolutely. Not even, don't even think twice about it. Ever since I got a salary I've been doing that. I know people who are oh, oh well you wanna help me move? Nobody wants to help you move. Yeah, yeah, they. I don't care what time of year it is. I don't care how much. Nobody wants it. Dinner you buy them afterwards. Yeah, yeah. No dinner is worth that. Right. And, and I get it. Like I've done it before for friends and I've said yes reluctantly. Yeah. But nobody, nobody's like can't wait to see you Saturday when we move your whole place. It's gonna be great. Right. No. It just, just. No. If you're gonna spend some money, spend some money on that. Yeah. I will. Definitely. And if anyone has any moving references, let me know. You got a good mover? You or Ariel? You got a guy? [CROSSTALK] Just, just you know, find some people on the street and pay them appropriately. Yeah, yeah. Man, man Brooklyn, I don't know if you've noticed this Ariel, but just from walking around after signing the lease on Saturday, everybody in Brooklyn is so much friendlier. Is that the case? I don't know about that. Maybe the areas that you walked around or maybe because there was a fair going on. Yeah. But there's a whole lot of areas that are not so friendly. Yeah that true. [INAUDIBLE] man. I'm also in Park Slope which is. Yeah Park Slope is kinda like a beautiful area. Yeah. It's like fantasy land. Disney land yeah exactly. Yeah. [CROSSTALK] So don't leave Park Slope. [LAUGH] I'm just saying don't leave Park Slope. Yeah, it great. I'm very happy for you. Yeah I'm not gonna be homeless I'll have a few more rooms. Rooms, wow, I you you have, I know you have not thought of that before. You know you, you, you take for granted though. How we, how great it is that you can do the dishes from your bathroom. Yeah, I can't touch all four walls when I'm standing in the center of room. [LAUGH] [CROSSTALK] Yeah, right. So, you know, enjoy it while you can. It will be great to use a stove as it's intended purpose instead of putting t-shirts in there. [LAUGH] Which is what I do right now. Yeah, bad idea or plates. Peep, people who. So bad. Live around the world and in places where, you know, it's not like this. Which is like the majority of the world. They, they really must think we're crazy. Yeah. There's just like, what is wrong with these people? Yeah [CROSSTALK]. I had 43 acres, and then my mortgage is $300 a, a month. Yeah, half of that's just dirt too. Yeah. It's not even paved. Yeah, so. Dude, I had a work, two working fireplaces. [CROSSTALK]. Great, man. We're going to meet at my place, man. You wanna, you wanna roast some marshmallows? Look what a partyer you are. I love it. I've never seen him this happy, so this is a rare sort of thing. Talk to me again in three months. Yeah. Or, or August 2nd. Yeah. [LAUGH] I made a huge mistake. Oh, regret man. That's what it's all about. Well, that's what life's all about. It's regret and sadness. Yeah. [LAUGH] All right, let's jump in. What have we got going on today? Not too many stories and this week's a little weird. I'm only here today and tomorrow. Yeah, I'm not sure we're gonna have shows on Wednesday and Thursday, but you'll be back on Friday, right? Nope, that's July 4th. Oh, that's right. Okay so, then maybe a short week there. I'll be back a week from today. But here today and tomorrow. All right, well we got a short show for you today let's start with the first story. Facebook's finally done it. Finally shot themselves in the foot. I feel like the sentiment about Facebook has already been going down and the attitude. People have been jumping ship already, but over the weekend a bit of news came out that people are very upset about. And it might be that last straw for people thinking about leaving the site. So, over the weekend a story broke that Facebook, they've been messing around with the feeds of almost 700 thousand users. And it's all part of this psychological experiment that was conducted by data scientists back in 2012 to see how re, users would react to good and bad news. And we're just finding out about it now. Because a journal published the findings. But, two years later we're just now realizing Facebook, they've had a hand in what news you've seen on your feed. So, you mean news like mainstream news or like my friend's news? Both. Yeah. How are they, how are they altering friend, how'd they know if, if a friend's news is positive or negative? Well okay so that's the thing. They took a sample size of 689,003 people. Weird random number, but they only grabbed English language feed, so probably everyone in, in the country. And, and they split the group in half, so they randomly removed emotionally negative posts from half of that group, and then the other half they removed the emotionally positive posts. Right? And the whole idea of the study was that they wanted to find out whether or not emotions are contagious online. Kind of, I don't know if you need to actually do a study for that right. I mean if you're around Debbie Downer then you're reading stuff that's a bummer than you are probably going to get bummed yourself. Logic, logic. You probably don't need to mess with 700 thousand Facebook profiles to learn that. Okay. But, they did and they didn't tell anybody about it cuz they don't have to. If you read the terms of service when you signed up for Facebook. Yeah, they can do whatever they want. Which nobody did. Yeah. They say this explicitly. They can manipulate your feeds in order to do whatever they want in the name of data science. So, that, that's the story and people are getting really upset about it because they like it's an invasion of their privacy and, and Facebook's not autonomous anymore. What do you think about it? Did you read the story? Yeah, I'm, I, I just caught the last sort of quote that sorta defends, like, the reasoning why they did this. Mm-hm. But I don't think, I don't think it matters. Yeah, the findings, I don't think are that. It's just irrelevant. The, they're basically saying that people were more likely to use positive words in posts if they had been exposed to fewer negative posts, right? And then vice versa if they had they're more likely to use negative words for positive. Yeah. Stuff. And that's it. It just proves that people are emotionally suggestible online and you know, guess who they're gonna give that information too. Right and. Probably advertisers. And, and I guess. It just seems like such a worthless sort of thing. Plus I think it's a, it's a, an over-exaggeration of like, what they actually did. Yeah, 700 thousand people, it sounds like a lot. No, it is a lot. Not a lot for the overall amount of users. No, it. Chances are your news feed wasn't messed with. Sure, it's, it's a sizeable chunk, but I just don't think it really would affect you either way. Yeah, yeah. Right? And, and the first rule of Facebook is to not become emotionally involved in Facebook. [LAUGH] Right. Or the internet. Yeah. It's like rule number one. Right. So, you know if you're someone who's like really super affected by stuff like this well, you shouldn't be allowed to roam around online by yourself anyway. Yeah, and I think people are getting upset, maybe, and it's a little unfounded because it's free. You know, Facebook is a free service. You don't have to pay for it. They can do whatever they want. Man it's not really surprising they pulled something like this. They, what are they gonna do? Like what is the first positive thing that they are gonna do where people are like, oh right I have a Facebook account I should log back in. Yeah. It's gonna be tough. I mean people were already before this broke. They were concerned about privacy. They're making money, man. Their stock price is up. Oh, really? Yeah. Hm. I don't know what they hell. I just can't, I can't figure it out anymore with Facebook. Don't you think that all websites censor information from pe, for people. Don't you think? I mean, or they'll add information. Like on your Twitter feed for example. Sponsored ads are the same thing, you know? Yeah, its not removing it. You mean like nothing is your's or something? Yeah, they are adding things you didn't request to see. Sure. Even though with Facebook sponsored posts and stuff. Sure, its like the blogs you read, the newspapers you read, they are all curated. Yeah. I, I nev, I actually never really got down to how the Facebook news feed works. Because it doesn't show you every single friend's post that. Right. There's,- I sort of cherry picks somehow. [CROSSTALK] This hidden sort of algorithm that, Yeah. You just sorta like you know, close your eyes and the machine spits out stories. Yeah, yeah it's not like Instagram where you can go literally back to where's the last time you left off. Right. [CROSSTALK] Yeah I wonder, I wonder like there is definitely some logic to it though. I guess I, I guess every now and then I'll randomly see someone who I don't know and I'll go, oh Justin commented on this guys post so you should read it. Mm-hm. God I hate Facebook. I mean if you have more than, I don't know, 50 friends. Your Facebook feed is way too long for you to read everything anyway. There's so many babies now. You just think about all the discarded posts that you didn't get to see. Baby book. I mean, you're really missing that much? That's what, that's what people are upset about here, is the idea of missing out on something they could have seen online. Come on. I can't believe this but I'm actually saying don't get too pissed off at Facebook. It's not really their fault, they're. [INAUDIBLE] I don't know man, I'm just waiting for them to be relevant again. The only time we talk about Facebook is when they do something wacky like this. Yeah. They never, do, they never, or when they buy someone, which is like four times a year. We, we, we talk a lot of crap on Facebook and I think. Yeah cause it's not fun to be on. Yeah, a lot, a lot of people our age probably agree with that. I want to know if younger people are still using Facebook. Justin, you're young people. You're a young people. [INAUDIBLE]. You're a young people. Yes. Do you still use Facebook? Or do you find that your friends still use Facebook to chat and stuff? Yeah. Or are you on to something else? Yeah, no we're, we're still, we're still using it unfortunately. What, see he hates it? I feel like such an old man. Are you kids still using the face book? You still poking people? Yeah. You're still using it then? Yeah, still using it. Okay. Still using it. I feel like for my generation it's not going anywhere. Yeah. You know I guess once we hit like 25. [CROSSTALK] Yeah, so he's, he's past the point. You know, like he's, I would almost lump him in with us in that category. Yeah. You gotta pump for like a 13 year old Oh, right. Or like a 15 year old. Yeah, yeah. See what that the hell they're, they're thinking about. Maybe. You know? [CROSSTALK] My brother's 17, he still uses. Well, yeah he uses it a lot more than [CROSSTALK] That's his go to? Oh, yeah. He's in. Hm. I don't even think there's a go to now, though. You know what I mean? It's just like a smattering of crap. Whatever your crew wants to use. Yeah. I mean, I use Vibra first and foremost, Yeah. To talk to people. At least that way you can get everyone's phone on it. That' s it. Probably a good way to do it. So yeah, just check [CROSSTALK] him on Facebook. You know, you know what I use Facebook for? Untagging myself in photos people post. Yeah. That's all I do on Facebook. Delete that thing you know? Maybe I should, maybe I should. Speaking of stuff that no one uses. This is something I thought we would never talk about on the show, cuz it just doesn't happen anymore. Collect calls, when was the last time you made a collect call? Summer camp. Yeah that was like 15 20 years ago? My last year in summer camp was 97. Jesus. So, you know, 17 years ago. Holy sh. Justin, do you know what a collect call is? Yeah, do you. I've made collect calls. You have? What? You haven't made a collect call. I swear to God I have. When? When you were four? [LAUGH]. Because what. Last time I made a collect call, 1999. All right. So that's pretty long ago. What were the circumstances? [INAUDIBLE]. Oh I was eight? [LAUGH]. He just says he was eight I had my license in 99 I had a car. You were about to graduate high school in 99. Yeah why not? I graduate in 2000 but yeah. Eight years old now [CROSSTALK] they have cell phones I had to make a collect call. Where were you that you didn't have your parents? You're just out at the mall by yourself at eight? No I'm like [UNKNOWN]. Okay, all right. Yeah man 1-800-COLLECT. That was a big deal. Yeah in the 90s. That was a big frigging deal. Really big. They had a lot of advertisements too, they had all kinds of celebrities and stuff. And then there was like ten, all the ten tens. 10 10 321. And then ten. Carl Winslow did a commercial for that, I remember. I'm sure, I feel like everyone did Freaking George Carlin was doing one of them I feel like. But 10 10 321 wasn't a collect call service right? It was like a group chat discount phone rate? No, I think it was like dial that before the number you dial. Really? And it was like a long distance Yeah. Wait. What the hell are they for? Look that up. I remember there was 1-800-COLLECT, that's definitely a collect call. There's 1-800-CALLATT which was also collect. But I think 10-10-321 was something else. It was like a party line or No, it was a long distance phone service best known for it's prolific television and direct mail advertising. Yeah, yeah, with original [UNKNOWN]. 10-10-220 and 10-10-900. Oh, remember that. Who told us that story that all the 10-10 numbers were owned all by Telecom? Oh, I don't know. So like they all had them competing. Mm-hm. But they were all owned by the same people. Oh. Right. Wow. Sneaky bastards. Mm-hm, conspiracy theories. Yeah, they were they were services that debuted in the, in the mid to late 90s. Mm-hm. Dude, listen to this freaking roster of celebrities. This is for 10 10 321. And 10 10 220 and you had Alf. Yeah. Alf. So 90s. Call [UNKNOWN]. Yeah. Original [UNKNOWN] Johnson like you said. John [UNKNOWN], John [UNKNOWN], Tony [UNKNOWN], Doug [UNKNOWN], James Garner, Christopher [UNKNOWN], Dennis Miller and George [UNKNOWN]. Man. That's a crew right there. Yeah, that's great. [UNKNOWN] beats Carlin by the way. Yeah for real. 1-800-COLLECT had [UNKNOWN] Milano. yeah. The main spokesperson, I think. Then like Mr. T and Phil Harman, I think, was the voice of the commercials. Like when [CROSSTALK] Save a buck or two. That [CROSSTALK] Yeah, exactly. [CROSSTALK] Was the motto. That's gonna be the show title. Hell yeah. Yeah so, I don't know. Do you want to explain what collect calls are to people? Do we have to do that? 10-10s are, are unrelated. Yeah, collect call. A collect call, you would dial 1-800 -COLLECT. Only to be used in the most desperate of situations. Or. If you were, like, stranded, or you're in jail. You're taken hostage, and you don't have any money. No-one had a cell phone back then. Yeah, but the beauty of it was like, it was the perfect way out. Like you just. It was a way to get a free phone call from a pay phone. Right, but it wasn't free. Like somebody had to pay for it. Yeah. Unless you, gamed it a little bit, but the idea was you would call 1-800-COLLECT and I feel like 75% of our audience is learning about this as we speak. You would make, you'd call it up and then they'd be, like, what number are you trying to reach and you would dial another number. Right, and it would forward that. And they would call those people, ask if they wanted to accept the charges of the call you were making. If they said yes, you got connected, you'd talk as long as you want. You said no, they would, they would just disconnect you. Disconnect you. And nothing would happen. But the caveat is that the, the receiver would be charged. Which is why you'd have to, when you pick up the phone to receive it. Right. You have to approve. The person receiving the call, yes. Yeah, yeah. So it's sort of a really cheap way to make a phone call if you're dialing and it's free. Right, if, if you wanted to like what was that commercial where they? Weottababyeetsaboy. [LAUGH] Weottababyeetsaboy, right that guy. So he would call up and he would say who's the, who's the caller? You would get like five seconds to state your name. Less way less. Less? Maybe like two seconds to identify yourself. Yeah, true. That way the person picking up the line would know who wants, who's calling. Right. There's a little window of recording time. Yeah. He'd be like, hey Pete, Jeff. But people would game the system. Yeah. By either trying to fit as much information as they can. So they'd be like, Mom pick me up I'm at school. Yeah. Stuff like that. Or like, I'm ready. Practice over. Stuff like that. Yeah. Right. What I would always do is call from the payphone to if I needed to talk to somebody, and then just read off the phone number on the payphone real quick. Oh and just have them call you back. They just call you back. Oh that's brilliant. And it was all automated. So it wasn't like there was a 1-800-COLLECT operator, right? No. Or was there? You just entered the number and it said beep, say your name. Yeah but I'm saying like, there wasn't someone on other other end who was like. No. No. Yeah. Call from Jeff. Do you accept? No, no, no, no. You have a call from. And then, yeah. Weottababyeetsaboy. And, and, and, at that point, it was live. Yeah. That's what it was. It was a live thing for a second. Mm-hm. You know you, you, it was like this little window. And they patch you in. Holy crap. Oh man, good times. So, oh man that just talking about that really makes me feel old. Well because no one has any of the stuff necessary to make a collect call anymore. You just don't. And it's. No, there's no pay phones. No, there are payphones. Everyone has cell phones. But you don't need this today. Yeah. It'd be a completely antiquated service. Yeah. But it is still around, and Ars Technica, because apparently it's a really slow news day got the scoop on it. Because basically, I guess they received a letter from a reader telling a story. About a recent time he tried to make a collect call, from California back to Las Vegas where he'd lived. He was calling his house line. And he called collect cuz he didn't have a cell phone on him. So, he hit up a payphone and used the COLLECT Service. He talked for about six minutes and then at the end of the month when he received the bill, at home. Yeah. Came up to $42.55. Oh man. I, I don't remember what the rates were back in the day, but it was obviously a lot cheaper than that. You pay like maybe ten bucks for a five minute phone call. Yeah, it was, it was, it was [INAUDIBLE] It wasn't, it wasn't cheap at the time. Yeah. But comparatively it wasn't 42 bucks. So Harmon's claiming you would save up to 44%. Yeah, yeah. You know. They were trying to. Another RIP, Jesus. It was never an emergency thing for the collect services. They were always trying to frame it as like a way to save money. Right, they were just saying like use it all the time. Yeah, yeah. [LAUGH] No one ever did. [LAUGH] So basically this Tecnica article is talking about how much more expensive it is now because nobody uses it so they have to make more money. So who owns it? Do we know who owns it? I don't know I think it's Or is it a private [CROSSTALK]. Service, yeah. The thing that's funny is I tried to look up how much it costs now, the rates, but because this story made it to Newfoundlands with me. Yeah. It flooded the site and now the bandwidth is exceeded on the site. Probably the first time more than ten people have visited. It the best [INAUDIBLE] one can ever ask for. Yeah. From what I read you could apparently see all the commercials on the web site if I could go to it. I bet there's a way I bet drug dealers are using this somehow. Yeah. You know like somebody is using this. Right. For nefarious purposes. Did you ever accidentally dial the wrong number when you were trying to make a COLLECT call? No. I remember if you dial 1-800-CALL with an extra l or one less t you know, or misspelled it somehow? Yeah. You would get connected to another collect call service but it would sound like the other one. Oh yeah. And they would charge you. [CROSSTALK]. Exactly. It's was a scam. It's basically people that were astroturfing. It's domain squatting, yeah, yeah. Yeah. It's like people that like, register foogle, or whatever. Yeah, exactly. And put a shitload of badges in there. Yeah. Same deal. But through the phone system. It's been going on forever. Oldest profession. That's been going on forever. [LAUGH] How long has, what is that called? I don't know. Squatting, like some sort of like error squatting or something like that? Yeah, yeah. Something like that. I bet that's been going on since, like, the 1800s. Yeah. Like, if you wrote in from the back of, like, a newspaper. Right. To get a one cent can of snake oil. Yeah, yeah. And you wrote the wrong address. Yeah, yeah, yeah. [CROSSTALK] Anything you'll build for $300. [LAUGH] In 1893. Yeah. Yeah. Exactly it. Now, it's like a sort of a victimless crime cuz you typed in, like, eBay or something like that, and no one gets charged or you'll get the hit. For sure. Yeah, man. That's not bad. God. Speaking of scams, man, I got something in the mail over the weekend. I just, it makes me so mad and I wanted to somehow like exploit them. Mm-hm. Or like just really have fun with it. So we, we, in the mail we got this blank letter that just said, to Stacey, and our address. Uh-huh. No return address, no nothing. Just like printed out by a computer. You open it up and it says US Airlines at the top. Of course, there's no thing such thing as U.S. Airlines, number one. It's U.S. Airways. Oh. Right, and it just says, congrats Stacy. You've won four free round trips to anywhere in the world. And it's like the English is really bad. Yeah. And there's a phone number and I'm just, and I like, I got home at 11o'clock and I wanted to call so bad, just because I feel like wasting 20 minutes yelling at somebody. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And it was, like, it wound up being, like, a disconnected thing, but, like, how many people do you think, like, obviously, they do this because someone follows through. Yeah. So it's amazing that it's cost beneficial to them. Yeah. To send out that many fake emails. Yeah. Or snail mails. Yeah. The same way it is for people to send, you know, the spam. Right, you're saying [CROSSTALK] the cost, the cost of the. [CROSSTALK] You think would be more than how much they get yeah. And, there's that, whether or not it's 1 or 2% of a return on it. Yeah. It's lucrative enough for them to keep doing this. It's like Publisher's Clearinghouse man, I think they prey on, you know, people that are at home or, older people that. Don't know about this kind of thing. That's it. It's gotta be people who are just- Retirement homes and things. Yeah. Kind of sad actually. [LAUGH] That is sad. Or like, you'll hear about the you know, the, the people who go to like, retirement homes. And they, they convince senior citizens to write checks. Yeah. And the abbreviation of the company works out to be C-A-S-H. Oh, no way. Yeah. I've never even heard of that. Yeah, and they'll, so they have like a senior citizen handing over like- A blank check. A $400 made out to cash. Oh, my God. That's crazy. Yeah. That's whacked. Basically, the rule is, if you don't remember entering the contest don't, don't take the prize. No, the rule is never enter a contest, never leave your house, never do anything. [CROSSTALK] Never talk to anyone, everyone's out to get you. Ever. Yeah. All right, the paranoia hour. I like it. [LAUGH]. Finally. All right this is story that we've like, it's come back and forth a lot the, the theme of it. Yeah, we, we've sort of covered it along each each sort of mile marker along its way, but Google Project Ara. So it's, this is sort of an extension of last week's Google IO conference, but even though they didn't talk about Project Ara during the actual livestream. There was apparently a breakout session afterward where the head of the team doing the project for Google showed off first ever prototype and demoed it. Unfortunately it got to the Android screen then shut off afterward. But regardless they are definitely making steps and, and the head of the team Paul Aremenkpo talked a lot about it. So bring up some of the photos that I put in the rundown. There you go. This is sort of what it looks like if you remember Project Ara is basic that Google Initiative to make a modular smart phone based on a concept that we saw back in 2013 called phone blocks. Phone blocks that [INAUDIBLE]. Phone blocks yeah. So the idea was that you know you would get a base that would have your cellular phone in it. And then you add what extra features you want. Say like a digital camera, or a keyboard, faster processor, more storage et cetera. You add a la carte based on what you need. And it was like this, the, the, this inventory system. Yeah. This gridded inventory system where you would quote unquote. Spend more on more real estate. Mm-hm. For things you favored. You wanted it to read faster, all right, then you devoted ten blocks to memory. Right, like a Lego board. Exactly. And at the time, I think we talked about it, I never thought that we would see it this soon. A year later, the prototype is kinda working but more important than that, we have more details on how it's gonna look eventually. So there's some concept photos here and some live shots of what it's gonna look like. It's really cool. So the phone comes with what they're calling an Endo, to basically a skeleton that has sort of networking circuitry and backup battery. That's not what it's gonna look like, that's really bulky. That is just so rad though. That's basically everything you can fit into. Yeah, I want that. It looks really cool. The modules are a lot smaller than I thought. See if you can go back to the run down in that story box, in the sheet there's a few extra photos. There you go. Looks cool. The modules are a lot smaller than I thought. There about the size of a one of those Andes Mints, you can get get from Olive Garden after your meal. Oh, I thought you were gonna say your grandma. Yeah, or that. Yeah. [CROSSTALK] That's where I got all my Andes Mints. Yeah, my Chinese grandma had different [CROSSTALK] What did she have? She had like dried prunes and figs. Oh. And stuff like that. Yeah, you know? God you had a terrible childhood. [UNKNOWN] flakes and whatnot. Chinese snacks are gross. But they look sort of like the size of an Andes mint. Yeah. You know, really small. Little Chiclets. Yeah, yeah. And then they have everything from a display, to a hard drive that you can swap out. That's just sick, man. What's really cool, I didn't even think about this, I don't, I don't remember it being mentioned before but you can even swap out an identity module. So say someone else has a phone that you wanna borrow, I could become you? [LAUGH] Yeah, you can put your modal,. In my slot [LAUGH] You can do that. [CROSSTALK] Yeah, that's fine. You could swap it out as much as you want, back and forth forever. So, okay, so what I don't really like follow along with all of this. Yeah. It sounds awesome on paper, all the prototype stuff is super rad. Yeah, I'm into it. [CROSSTALK] But cell phones are basically disposable, right? Like they, like how long do you have a cell phone, two years? Two years, yeah. Three years. Mm-hm. Four if you just don't care. So why am I getting something like this and not just buying a new awesome cell phone every two years. Or am I just replacing the guts every two years. Yeah, I think that's the point. Yeah, right. Like But what if I want like a bigger form factor? You can't do that cuz the scale that's in. The base board is basically the same. Yeah. But you, the display is all modular too, they say. So I'm assuming if you wanna get the bigger one. So you could swap out the display. Why? You can probably get that or better resolution display if say 4K screens come out, something like that. Yeah. They make the analogy that's really clever. I didn't even think about this, but they talk about how, you know, if you're. Tire pops or your tube pops on your bicycle, you're not gonna buy a whole new bike, you just replace the tube. And that's the idea here too. Like, not just with upgrades but if stuff fails you shouldn't have to shell out you know. Yeah. $700 for an unsubsidized phone. Which kind of makes sense. All right. I'll, I'll, I'll play along with that. Yeah, and, and they're also even envisioning a future where you could take a 3D printer that you have at home and print your own modules. That developers can just, you know, make apps for hardware too, you know. I'm into it. [INAUDIBLE] at home. I'm into it. Some day, I don't know though, cuz I was thinking about this and I was also looking at the iFixit, for the iPhone 5? There are so many little parts in there. And I gotta think that, like, 50% of the research and design going into an iPhone 5 is just making all those parts fit Right. So. In a way that's like, very creative and mashing them together. What I'm thinking is this. This is a way cheaper way to do it. Yeah. Like I don't think this is the high end. I don't think you'll get everything that you can. Solution. In a modern. [INAUDIBLE] To me this is like 99 bucks or cheaper. Right, their saying it's gonna be 50 for the piece. Yeah exactly. And then you add everything on top. Because, if you want the, the perfectly engineered, you know, state of the art piece of equipment, you that's go to be something that someone designed over like years and years. Yeah. I mean like just popping things back and forth. I mean maybe this is like perfect for like a student or like a younger person. Mm-hm. But I don't know if it's gonna replace the high end stuff. You're going to have to add like ten modules to get anywhere close to the features. Yeah. You have on a, on a nice phone right now. Very cool, ne, nevertheless. Yeah. I mean, I can, I never thought that we would see it so soon. It's happening. But I remember this cuz I was working in the lab just now. Yeah. Writing stories for the, for the show. I remembered that handspring, this is a PDA for anyone listening. It's like a palm pilot type thing. Mm-hm. It came out in the 90s but it had these like ,modules. And in a similar way, you could add like, a modem or something like that. Oh, right. Like the little Gameboy slot. Yeah, yeah. And then it plugs directly into the, the processor. Mm-hm. Right here. Which is kind of cool. So I feel like this was maybe the first time we saw like, the possibility of it? In a portable form at least. Yeah. And that was, it, I guess it. You can blame Apple for wanting to take everything and make their own hardware. Can blame a lot of people. So it's kind of. You know? Kinda axed that idea when they did that. Pretty neat. Yeah. Pretty neat. One day, there's, they're projecting 2015. Oh, wow. For the first model to come out on sale. Sick. I love it. All right, we're gonna follow that along because we're really into it. Yep. That's it for us, everyone. Thanks so much for tuning in. Shoot us an email at the404@cnet.com. And follow us on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram. I'm giving away a video game for Playstation four tomorrow on Twitter, so check that out. And that's gonna do it for us. Goodbye June. Nice knowing you. Yeah. See you later. You believe that? You believe that? Yeah. Cuz the heat is coming. You think it's bad now. Stop it. Don't get me going like that buddy. We're back tomorrow with a brand new show. Until then, I'm Jeff Bakalar. I'm Justin Yu. It's. I'm Ariel Nunez. I'm, I'm sorry Ariel. Hey, I'm here. **** you. You are out there in Brooklyn now, you don't count. Two against one over here. It's been a 404 Show High Tech Low Brow. Have an awesome Monday. We'll be back here tomorrow. [MUSIC]

New releases

XCAR Awards 2014: Best-Looking
1:31 December 24, 2014
The XCAR team has played with some amazing cars in 2014, but which will be crowned the best-looking?
Play video
LG's bare bones oven needs a little more meat
2:02 December 24, 2014
The LG LRE3021 gives reliable mid-range performance, but lacks the features you can find from other brands for the same price.
Play video
Tomorrow Daily 106: Our 'Best of 2014' Extravaganza
27:44 December 24, 2014
On today's show, we celebrate another year gone by naming our (and your) favorite tech stories, pop culture news and video games of...
Play video
The big trends to watch at CES 2015
2:55 December 24, 2014
With CES around the corner, Bridget Carey tells you what to look out for at this year's tech expo. Expect buzz around the smart home,...
Play video
Google Lunar Xprize: Astrobotic completes rover tests for $750,000 prize
3:56 December 24, 2014
Team Astrobotic takes to an active quarry just outside of Pittsburgh to put its lunar rover through its paces. Tests complete, the...
Play video
Send digital holiday greetings
1:01 December 23, 2014
No time to send a traditional holiday greeting card? Don't let that stop you from expressing your cheer this season. In this Tech Minute,...
Play video
Tomorrow Daily 105: Scary snake-bots, 'The Interview' release, animated ancient art and more
25:24 December 23, 2014
On today's show, we take a look at a terrifying new robot with snake-bots for legs, cheer Sony's plans to actually release "The Interview,"...
Play video
Function over finesse with this bland GE range
1:35 December 23, 2014
This stainless steel non-convection electric range from GE is perfectly ordinary.
Play video