Reporters' Roundtable 71: Dining 2.0OpenTable, Yelp, Foursquare, Groupon... the dining business now has more Web 2.0 helpers than ever. For a restaurant owner, navigating these services can help -- or hinder -- success. Today, we explore how.
Hi everyone loved reporters' roundtable -- Newman San Francisco this is our weekly tech show we dive into a single tech topical week. And this week we -- indulging fascination of mine which is food. Or dining to be more precise. -- covered. And food. Start -- and dining starts for awhile and in December -- number twenty and I wrote a story about how -- least one San Francisco restaurant owner mark the store of in comp so. Have problems with open table which I have been covering since 1999. He I -- was uninteresting story about how what the web has done over and over again which is. Upset well established business models in traditional businesses. Something that -- -- open table does great things but has unexpected and in some cases negative side effects which mark was very vocal about. But there's another truth here which is that I just like covering food businesses. So I'm indulging his fascination today we've got. Web one point oh companies like open table which are radically changing -- restaurants fill seats. Yelp is changing the way people get information about restaurants they may or may not want to go to. Group upon at is changing how much people pay for their food. Grow up with changing the take -- business in the foursquare for local chickens in the whole idea of having a may Europe or restaurant. Everything in the restaurant business is being up and it and that's were talking about today with two great guests the first -- Is -- historical erotica mark thanks for -- -- next year. Mark runs the -- -- restaurant with a co owner. And also vocal on it which is the least the salted pig parts -- stand down at the local ferry building there which is a great place to get. What I consider salami that they call it while. It's the -- which means cured meat that the Italian crooner usher couturier cold cuts OK but the army just one type of -- I've already learned something. And also joining us is John Lee. Co-founder of menu -- dot com which is a local web startup were reviewing restaurants and -- it to be here. Thanks for joining us many -- -- -- I really encourage you to check out it is a growing site in a very very crowded space but seemed to be doing quite well. So again thanks for coming in gentlemen really appreciated. Let's get started mark I have to start with you cause your in the restaurant business here this is mostly a web start up technology show you -- your food. Although you have a a tech background had my foot in both world. Right on so. What has the web just in a nutshell before we dive -- what do you think the web has done to. Your food business -- restaurant. -- the web I think has created. A plethora of new opportunities. And pitfalls for any small local business and there are credible new opportunities for how you market -- -- your your -- -- local business. But there is a lot of attention on local businesses right now and there are a lot of opportunities out there that -- Can potentially. Have. Negative consequences for your business -- well and I think. -- -- -- As -- -- many other local business people. Our -- often times at a loss for drinking and fire hose. While these offers come into -- literally on a daily and weekly basis. Trying to figure out which ones are gonna help your business and which ones might might hurt your business. Now John -- from menus and you are in the space with. Dozens if not hundreds of other food service web 20 companies. You're trying to serve the diner -- what do you think diners expect now -- they did before based on everything that's happening online. I think nowadays diners expect -- more information used to -- -- You know with the rise review sites thing to help menus and and so on would deal sites I think diners expect a lot more context. And information about. What to expect at a restaurant they -- -- they wanna see all that information. Before that you know they wanna see information when I read about other -- diners opinions they wanna see what's on the menu. You wanna see what kind of deals that restaurants offering anyone -- know all of this before they even make a decision about. Which restaurant to go to with. What happened just popping in and having -- -- and getting the hell out. Nothing wrong with that I -- that all the time aren't so -- before before we dive into some of the issues here which -- really fascinating. Just so the audience understands the restaurant does that mean you go to restaurant -- -- and Tonto. Which is -- -- the light by the way. And you have is to give me an example of a of a main course. Our most popular entrees or handkerchief -- to report Greg okay and that's gonna be how much I seventeen are. That seems like a lot of money for much of pasta and some pork parts break it down for so we understand what we're dealing with here what how much money -- you -- economic -- -- that what is that what what goes into it for the average the average restaurant United States this is going to me. Roughly the. -- 1560 cents. On a seventeen dollars and maybe 8089 cents -- -- -- acknowledges that ended the day it went they've paid all their bills that before tax. That's -- markets the average restaurant -- turn somewhere and between 35%. Pretax margin. And why is that it it's. Well first -- restaurants have really high a costs that come along. With basically every every dash. The two principal costs of operating -- restaurant -- -- labor in the cost of the underlying food eaten or beverage serving. Prime costs an average restaurant United States are tend to be -- between sixty and 70%. Of the overall -- so first thing it happens is you spend ten dollars a restaurant. Seven -- that dollars are -- going to. Paying all the people -- restaurant. And paying for the food from the played -- last thirty has to be split up among rent utilities. How come everything else that's going so the key then to making this work. Is getting a customer base and keeps coming back is that it or or are you and try to get in with concierge is I mean how do you make this work there's no single formula for success for financial success in a restaurant. I would say the first thing he said I think is one of most appropriate things for most restaurants. Eating is something that as humans we all do at least hopefully. 123 times a day. As a local business it is one of the most reputable. Kind of business is -- so what we focus on. Is customer loyalty we'd like to have lots of people coming back frequently. What a lot of the the new. Phase of of web businesses out there many of them seem to be exposed explicitly focused. On customer acquisition. As a marketing. Typically it costs more in any business require brand new customer than it does to get repeat business from existing -- And that's where your. Your criticism of open table comes in and you did a very interesting post on that on on your own blog which and we we -- the story on. Which -- not actually fascinating because this seems to me at open table is a brilliant web two -- -- a web business in that they are aggregating customers. Locking them in with loyalty points. And then the restaurant I thought. Love them because they get easy reservations and -- get to you know give points and entice people at all at that -- you had a somewhat content. Come alive first thought agree -- open table is a brilliant web web business and I think there there are literally hundreds of businesses. Following. Similar related model which is as you say they're aggregating and they're aggregating customers they're aggregating businesses and potentially defining placements you parties to meet the middle and and when you partner group -- -- order open table or whomever that's. Seems to be a fairly common model these days. Mare cautionary. Comments about open table and businesses like it -- I really think that in many respects. The deal that a local business thinks they're getting when they sign up with one of these businesses. And the deal that the web business think -- -- I really think that there are two different things. I also think that what's really happening out with local business these days is that were opening up and you -- many new sales channels. Restaurants are one example a business that has. For decades only -- one way of selling themselves. Which is directly to consumer you establish a relationship might have your own marketing programs. To reach your customer base and now what's happening -- -- two or three times a week. You get a phone call from some -- says. I have a quicker better faster way to find customers for your business all you have to do is open up this sales channel whether somebody handing out -- daily dealer who aren't. When their token table saying hand from your -- in your restaurant I will turn around and sell those seats or sell that coupon for you know bring customers to you. Now they're -- may be lots of good instances where that's really helpful but it's it's an it's an area that's fraught with peril and I think many of us small business owners. Don't quite have all the tools that we need in order to analyze and the impact. Haven't been knocked on you deal with restaurants all the time in your it is business as well as of trying to help direct diners to two places where they they might wanna go. That's -- what's your take on this I mean you're trying to. And you you actually work with chuck Templeton founder of open -- rate it what's your take on on this is this the serving diners as it's serving open table and and you itself is a serving restaurants I mean -- who wins who loses. Well I don't think it's as -- -- and came here I mean open table does have a great business and did you serve diners and making any easy online reservation system available did you bring benefit to restaurants in. You know being able to provide an electronic. -- reservation book or restaurants. I think I do agree with a lot of what market said that. With the proliferation of technology and how its advanced its provides a lot more leverage in an. Provides a lot more opportunities. In terms different sales channels in different marketing channels and I think that. There it is fraught with peril that it's a lot of opportunity but at same time it's. You can -- year if you're not -- -- restaurant -- and you could trip up depending on which sales channel which marketing -- you choose to use. Now the reason I -- I think the reason I ask early on marketing and how this cost structure restaurant works is because part of your pleading in your story was like. Look if if you really -- to support to restaurants bypass this expensive. Channel and go direct. -- -- will diners do that or are we all be how we all become still lazy now life. I think that's incredibly naive of anybody's guess that including myself. And and I also think you know I I completely agree with something -- -- which is at open table. Does provide a great deal valued. To the consumer. As well it's it's it's -- button. This distinction that I would make here. Is that I think. -- what restaurants don't recognize when they're signing up with something like open table group on is that this isn't a typical. Vendor relationship that you might normally have this is a partnership. And the reason it's a partnership is because you're putting. Some tools into the hands of another business. And they can completely control. The degree to which they compensated. Over cable -- paid four times as much if a reservation originates. Through open table dot com. As they -- it originates through the restaurants own website. The outcome of the restaurant is the same which is they have a diner and Seton. But open cable -- incentive. To bring as many of your customers as they possibly can. To open cable dot com as opposed to as opposed to your website which in your faces and count code right there in content -- -- and an over over the course of years and decades and the clear financial incentive -- that partnership is for open table. To own the loyalty of those customers to greater degree than you do yourself during days. So true story. The way sometimes that I Boca restaurant I mean I live in San Francisco and and grew up in San Francisco it's like restaurants and just. This is restaurant deal. And I love open table. And one of the things I love about open table I'll be honest with you is a loyalty program and sometimes when I'm on -- and and her arrest or reservations like okay where the bonuses. Instead of having 100 open table points or -- -- log -- to open table -- they know my habits and -- I see here's a thousand point restaurant -- the hundred point restaurant. It has become my portal to where -- -- How does that affect not just open table but and John Mark -- to -- -- how does this concept of aggregating customers affect all small businesses. I'm -- more and it's easier forming. Do you think you're eating -- more. -- -- -- an -- but it is easier for it I actually think it is zero sum game. I I think that. Reducing the amount of friction -- in finding a restaurant certainly helps restaurants. And helps consumers and I don't think ultimately means people gonna Dinah Moore and spend more frequently well here's the thing is as to what we've done is we've got another party into the transaction -- to -- transaction -- -- the three way transact with somebody taking. Slice it. Okay but in the -- if I wanted to eat at they have their. I wanted have a nice dinner I think I can't think about content notepad rich. But city call one full -- the other full colorful screw it ordering pizza on that doesn't happen -- true -- -- -- the but I think. That. That sort of thing nor is the point that ultimately. These services like open table DR attach point to the consumer before at the consumer gets -- for the -- gets to the restaurant that. I think ultimately -- -- touch point between the restaurant in the diner is dining at the restaurant and that. You know build table can have a relationship with d.'s customers and these diners but when the diner comes in two seeing -- or any other restaurant. That's the biggest opportunity for that restaurant and that -- owner to provide a great product -- -- service and really turn that person into a loyal regular. Yes. But now we have to get into the other big gorilla in this argument which is group policy -- -- which is another business which is. Again aggregating customers onto their site their service group on and sending them deals here's the deal to this place here's a deal to the spot this restaurant this. Flight training school and -- on this incredible bargain in the go to that business. Are they then. A customer of that business or could they become a customer of that business. -- on an ongoing basis. They could be 222. -- last point. There's actually an opportunity for local business to turn that -- -- into an ongoing customer in the open cable model provided they keep continue. But -- be a loyal customer of mine -- continue booking through open table. The price of signing -- that customers is -- for from that point forward. 3% and every dollar -- customer spends in my restaurant we'll go into his pocket for ever. That's that's a fairly significant price that's if they book through a -- -- Europe and -- So. Yet when it comes to the daily deal folks like group on. These are companies have you know they really don't have a product in -- sense of a traditional tech company you know -- inventory. What they're doing is -- they're -- and it's -- they have inventory. I'm the -- to -- we are inventory. -- well that's one way to look -- other ways that their inventories to stack of coupons and businesses handed them a patent that they're selling tiers tonight if they've been torn in both directions. I you know daily coupons have been around forever I think it makes sense for marking a lot of businesses and does it makes sense for marketing every business and everything. Probably not the extent that group -- and believes. It should in the world. From what I've heard talking to other restaurant owners I mean there's there's been. These horror stories. If you read about group and -- the early days and then putting. Putting small businesses being cafes and restaurants out of business because being the restaurant -- themselves couldn't. They didn't figure out exactly how many new customers and they could support it can it be like what they say the college in government but it's like drinking from the fire had something I think. I think that's detrimental to the -- on and local businesses coupon is not in the business of letting other people out of business -- your fund group -- if -- and -- have local businesses to provide does deals to market to their -- to market to their users -- -- to distance themselves. I think it's. I think group -- is another. Tool in the marketing toolkit for local businesses it's a big tool to -- hammer and I think it's really up to. You know it's really up to the local business and whether or not they choose to use. Now whether or not they choose to use -- hammer when -- when they choose to use some other tool it it if the restaurant business runs and such slim margins as as you're saying mark. When -- coupons ever make sense. Especially the kind group on -- -- -- -- you know twenty to 50% off. For my business they don't. You know I think you can make an argument that if you're bring you business you wanna bring a thousand people in your restaurant in a week and do -- offering write -- -- -- -- marketing expenses. But the calculation there. -- I think makes sense in the individual perspective that to me doesn't make sense systemically. Is once you look at what you look at it from industry wide prospective. And -- every restaurant should offer. Group -- coupons has has has group aren't increased the aggregate amount of dining dollars spent in the country. The -- amount of money spent on anything or is it merely -- -- value often balance sheet of a local business on its own balance sheet. I think that when you look at group on as an individual merchants you can make a case to yourself this makes sense. But awfully what -- -- -- your fragmenting the brand loyalty to your consumers of your customers. You're putting some of that brand loyalty under group -- group parties essentially monetizing a huge group of consumers. That exists only because of the cumulative. -- presence of all its underlying merchants group -- -- financial derivative. The same way that commercialize debt obligations. We're derivatives group on -- aggregating. Something of value that it itself does not own. And you know who knows how that's gonna come out. So those two points to that. Turns your point of whether we've -- where the group ponder those services that actually increased the united dining dollars spent. And in aggregate for restaurants. That I don't know but I know personally it -- -- -- amount of nine dollars that I've spent. You know going finding these daily deals and finding interesting restaurants to try at a discount. That's -- -- need dining out a lot more than they normally would have so I mean that's one day there's no question that bet. What percentage of that went to the restaurants -- agreed almost error and -- -- agree with you that when it comes to daily dining deals. Almost very little that many turns into -- -- profit but at the same time I don't think it's a battle. Group time taking -- -- away from you because that lets say you to a group on where a thousand -- customers are -- -- restaurant. You didn't have those thousand customers they were those thousand. Diners were not. Loyal. Diners at your restaurant to -- -- -- End. But it's an opportunity it's opportunity for you to present your food service to turn them into oil. Which brings up the other question which is how do you turn a customer of open -- a customer of group on who happens to come into your restaurant. Your business how -- -- turn them into -- repeat customer of your -- as opposed to -- this of -- other service. And that brings up the question of reviews but the first -- -- that's getting to that mean how he do that means you treat. You -- your customers you're diners differently knowing that -- come from open table or group on or coupon that from some aggregators. From a organic. Customer. So great generally really talking about web mean. Web tools out there and Internet that are that I potentially Wi fi is destructive or threatening to my brilliant -- business. There are at least as many out there this -- a golden era of marketing opportunities for small businesses. How you turn them into a customer's you know you don't FaceBook page -- from Twitter following there are scores and scores of tools out there right now. For for any small business that wants to extend its own marking programs do so in direct marketing and trying to have its own loyalty. In owned following in what -- what what my approach is that I think my small businesses are focused on using those tools. Have its director of a relationship as we possibly can. With as many of our customers we possibly can as a working community absolutely we've got 55000 followers on -- and my business partners Twitter feed. You know we've got a great direct email list that when we send out to -- it -- there's never been a time in history when they're in as many. Low cost marking tools for small businesses to -- themselves and. Now one of things were talking about earlier on. Was the idea of the -- card so you know some -- into your restaurant they have an issue. Whether. Their right or wrong they're getting your faith. And -- say I'm gonna put this up on Yelp. Whether or not they say that now you have this this amplifying effect and he used to be if somebody had a bad experience they tell their friends and it would -- -- not department now can be huge at that Yelp -- FaceBook review or whatever. How does that -- mean obviously you always want to have good customer service. But does this change the dynamic the calculation of how you deal with your customers I think on hold. Is a wonderful thing I really really sincerely do I think that more transparency if you operate your business well. More transparency even for the occasions. In which somebody may be misguided. Or incorrect. And in -- criticism. I think that more transparency. Benefits to businesses that are doing it right. So I really I. I I I AMR -- there restaurant towards that -- say that they don't have an issue with Yelp and its of that and love you that we see the bad reviews on on Yelp but I really. Look at it politically and I really think that on the aggregate. Yelp is helping my business and I really don't have any issue with that whatsoever I've ever been -- to -- competitor or anything like that absolutely when we started we are gained by competitors and city search back this is nine years ago. And I'm sure that that there's some of that going on Yelp but I I think that that that consumer population out there has -- sophisticated enough. To understand the context of any review site and gather and maybe -- people at -- at the wrong idea but the benefits greatly -- that the dimples and one. The difference in the same thing and -- -- -- as well where we have. I mean any any restaurant -- -- it's gonna have there. On my review trolls but we'll just come in completely Diana the restaurant but it's pretty easy to tell -- The dining public is savvy enough to realize you know which which reviews are. You reasonable and budget and which ones which ones are kind of pretty biased and what we've seen. Is that when they -- when we have the restaurant owner should come back. And have a communication on you know on our -- on -- and actually have a conversation with the -- it's pretty obvious. You know who's in the -- and if that transparency is really appreciate it that's. An interest in -- -- let's begin have produced the second here to police its post you've got this you know. Somebody who it is the right -- -- review on and one of the service's -- How much -- get -- and they're really they're just that I mean there's you you know you know if you engage here it's gonna become nuclear. What do you do you ever ever. Never ever engage them just let the -- any -- out there. Any any about any. Well if it's something as blatantly. Libelous. Then yes you contact review site and -- the vaccine most of them have a -- a protocol for taking it down if it's truly in. Libelous but beyond that our our approach -- my businesses any criticism that his lobby directly at us. We will engage that person 150%. From write them letters. Talk to them. Try to do our very best to make up for any errors that -- made him but anonymous criticisms lobbied on third party sites and never ever engaged in the interest them. If they wanted to they would have contacted us directly benefits they -- -- spout out and negativity in the in this on the Internet and that's their god given right to do it. Do you have mayors. Of your business you -- do you believe imports are coming how does that work for small business -- how much time is taken to work that to engage those we -- and we don't engage in -- TVs adding that they have mayors that. We have I don't know we have and engage them. John Lilly how valuable do you think that is -- that the people the topic I think that. I think the concept of mayors and interesting thing but it's. I find that you know when using foursquare there's probably a hand a small handful of people who are 82 to three -- -- actually. Actively competing to be in the -- and saying cancer. Those are already gonna be your loyal. You know you're regulars anyways so it's fine if you engage them but whether an -- engage and I suspect that you know your efforts are far better spent marketing you know. Creating more anymore regulars instead of engaging -- your name to your -- Now one of -- of the last things on talkback here we're talking about transparency and this is where manual ism comes into play of it. One of things aren't seeing now as we have this incredible. -- Consumer reviews whether people are are are -- where they are on non FaceBook foursquare putting -- -- Yelp. Or or or what have you and we're seeing the rise of services like -- them. -- -- -- -- Where you can now -- review not just restaurants but you people are beginning to create databases of issues. Come in a related space in the hotel industry there is room 77 -- -- can get reviews now instead of up hotels of particular rooms with who will view created -- out the windows. Very cool stuff. What is this I mean personal how do you create in a database of dishes and keep it up to date and secondly. What does this do this kind of this super granular -- nation. Over views due to a business that it John them. Okay so in terms of creating a database of dishes we actually work with a lot of other menu. Many companies to live and delivery companies to. Partner with them and get their data so that we can present the most up to date and most comprehensive. List of many stitches that we have that we can possibly find for -- -- restaurant and and then we also allow users. It's a community duration aspect as well -- Reviewers can review the -- people can add dishes. And you know. And talk about him and take pictures and so so and so forth. I think -- a broader point. Getting really granular I think that's just the nature of the few culture I mean you everyone's becoming a bigger and bigger -- You see you look at you know the rights of the Food Network you look at the for the rights of all these food related TV shows like top chef and in 19. And everyone. Either is becoming more but he wants to be -- but it thinks they're never went there and everyone thinks they're critic and -- -- -- everything there -- sitting here in this room with these guys. And talking before the show about. How much I -- food makes you realize I know nothing about food. I thought I did I know nothing -- -- got -- done and so. And I mean I think that's just that's just the course that's just. Where where the two -- -- it ends kind of that's. That's where we believe it's it's a great thing ray because chefs and restaurant -- they -- this great passion for creating their product and you know and they love. You know they care a lot about the details of where -- given you know where your ingredients come from where this distance and and the fact that. The dining public is actually carrying a lot more about that's -- that's great because the dining public now gets to really appreciate sort of the passion and the energy that. That chefs and restaurants but behind the craft that marked the start of valuable information to use these -- -- it to tweak your your your offerings. Well I think I think he talks of our critics. One think they would say yeah fair criticism that I think -- would. -- -- is that we're fairly internally focused on equipment company that. I mean we how we we like to think that we have very high standards. We yes we see it could we see reviews and maybe even -- -- might affect us but. What we have a vision for the way every dish on the menu ought to be done and we're doing our darnedest trying to excuse to that vision. Every time that plate -- -- the window and I I might might general comment about this increasing regularity. It's happening around this is it's probably during the time to be -- -- have had a database company ready yet. Indeed. One last thing I wrote cut a story a little while ago about this this operation -- Paris based topical store effect and what they -- what they do. If they allow you to when you're sitting in a restaurant. Without your your smart phone and say I need salt. -- your phones we don't have to flag down a waiter. What do you think about people using their devices kind of as as an alternate interface into. A business. Personally I think that's commuted the next great wave to hit. Not just restaurants from retail in general and I think at retail and restaurants in his country by and large are running on 35 year old. -- infrastructure. And what I mean by daddy's you know typical when it failed system restaurant. First -- people living in -- here two years Europe when it fails. Steve got -- -- information that we diners aren't but you don't know -- darned thing about what they've eaten every time in your rest. Completely separate systems. And went with what -- likely happening now with the confluence. In all these different technologies. Wi-Fi mobile computing tablet that all of that. Is that we're gonna see some revolutionary products. In the next. You know in the next -- it. One -- five years that are changing the customer -- -- To to any business whether -- or restaurant or some other. And self service. That might change your service model hmm. It certainly gonna change -- back office computing models running. Thank you -- basically running on DOS. Hey how are you more or less and it ended the day that's kinda what we have better if that's what it that's what all the standard restaurant when it -- -- Effectively our DOS -- system sort are you gonna stand restaurant business are you gonna go to an idea the -- -- but I'd rather try and I am who I love them. -- And gentlemen thanks so much final words oh if you really like a business. Non what's the best way to support it and yet still take advantage of everything that the web has offered -- at the diner what do you think. I think that. Technology is becoming more and more of an amplifier much like what -- thing about -- media you know. Being able to set up it's it's a golden opportunity to be able to. Market on the cheap basically and I think if you really love and support -- local business make your voice heard. You know rotary tweet about it not -- on the -- page to tell your friends about it I think I think both. Diners and restaurant goers have this huge opportunity to really make their voice heard you know. Both for and against whatever they believe in and markets a small business owner again talking to your customers your fans and other fans of other small businesses. What's the best way to keep this relationship tied in in in an -- what they're so much. Other things competing for -- right I mean I'd echo a lot -- would just jump what John just said. Be present supporting that business on the Internet in the way you go to their home page and figure out how they -- What what web -- they put out there but can be a physical space as well I mean I think one of the things that. All this advance in technology hopefully will never replace. Is. The value of human human contact and I think. Fundamentally when you run a local business. Very very few people do it purely for the money you do it because you like people and you do it because you wanna be part of your community. And so. Most small businesses think of themselves as their own little community within a community and and -- to -- part of their community. I you know I can't make -- -- the exact same restaurant every Friday night. And we've gotten to know the owners and it's now we feel like -- part of the family and it's great to it to have that kind of connection. With the business in your in your local neighborhood now. Mark mark a -- thanks very much from your -- to businesses here in town. And Toronto. And vocal learning and vocal learning content as -- only -- opponents aren't very building -- They're both great -- by epic actually have I've -- a vocal and have had your products there have not tried and country and look forward to thanks for coming in and John -- you run a site called menu -- -- at anything else we should know about. There -- a couple of is that though. But menus and the menu doesn't have the one we're talking about it and going well it's going great great architect our -- isn't the leader in content -- -- money gentlemen thank you very much for coming in. Thanks everyone for watching reporters' roundtable will be back next week with a great show I'd we're we're gonna be talking -- another fascination of mine which is. Traffic. In San Francisco it is -- nightmare we're going to be having Diane -- number of ways which is a crowd -- City traffic company and Craig Chapman whose defeat healed in -- and other navigation and traffic pumping they'll be here in the report roundtable studio. Don't miss that show that's a week from today on Friday at noon Pacific time. Remember if you want to know what's going on reporters' roundtable you can send a comment to me at roundtable at cnet.com with ideas for your shows and as always. 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