Reporter's Roundtable Ep. 128: Rafe's Outie AwardsThis is the last Reporters' Roundtable, so Rafe Needleman does some navel-gazing and gives out awards to the products, companies, and ideas he liked best. And worst. With guest Brian Cooley.
-- one welcome to reporters' roundtable -- -- in San Francisco and this. Is the last reporters' roundtable least by -- -- -- -- -- Is that it has been -- really great run guys. -- however and I'm leaving CNET so this is my last show. And going to you'll never guess -- going unless you're ever watched anything I've ever done -- X I'm going to Evernote. I'm gonna work -- build out their platform and a lot of other cool new projects I'm really psyched about that. But. What I wanted to do. Before they -- -- -- here at CNET. If his. I've created. Where everybody a innately -- need -- I'm out here awards or. The saudis because really this -- a show about navel gazing these are. A bunch of companies products and ideas. That have really stuck with me all based on stories I've written over -- -- -- really stuck with me over the years. I want to talk about that I think they're fun and and give some credit to people in the industry were doing really amazing things and some not so missing thanks. The only way I could do that without -- droning on and on myself. Is to bring in one of the other great commentators. The great commentator. Here at CNET. And it's Brian equally. And I pumped raw onion into the studio and it's getting to -- -- During the next top shipping -- -- and your thought is there anyway Brian thanks for joining us -- a right of course does car tech videos and we've been partners in crime for a long time. Yet that the truth is this I wanna get into the awards because -- -- born farewells. I care about them but I know -- you guys out there don't really wanna hear me kennel teary but. Brian and I started. Pretty close to each other at CNET. It was located in its original building which show -- lot of folks don't know was a sound stage that was the original set for the Streets of San Francisco. That's for the show was originally shot and that's where original TV shows came from and we were part of that growing complex there now and you were he -- -- -- early on in in the middle finger as you walk by my radio Booth it was great. I was -- not -- -- -- -- yet I ever that I miss those days that was 1996 the -- currently threatened. And anyway anyway I left like an idiot and did some other seven and came back many years ago so I've I've had two stints as incidents yet. Anyway thanks -- for joining Muslim and would -- mean girls today helping them up poke holes in my email -- it would not be roasted and economic calendar. Well it's nice that you can -- us in to your. Otherwise solitaire program -- that also doesn't play solitaire and cute little sound effects box all day but instead. -- -- -- And of course the beach and -- Everything yes thank you -- it's been a pleasure since like the first week it worked -- -- while this reporters on tables show. In their their previous producer -- unit on policies admin. Like that reporters until she added eleven that it's really -- it. It was a pleasure working on the show and -- you thank you gonna be fun anyway you can follow me on and on Twitter -- a fine and FaceBook and Google+. And done. -- -- Twitter handle its can you have Mike -- That's not my name but it's so cool I'll make it my name. Why can't I just fine app right where was I when though that was available I'm gonna select an -- go to blog and Evernote dot com for more women to rate would. Myself I'm -- cooling as the son when he's got the right then we finally get the -- gonna we get mistaken retailers and that you're -- -- one has here. -- could do but -- what if we swap glasses -- I would -- people I despray. It's great -- we could change the lower thirds of people saying now that's correct -- -- I I I don't occasionally get them would peak. Email that Gmail to -- to say -- I saw you covered the Newport closeness while last month. -- people -- for this from -- -- still feel a day. Ago Google bully. That's okay now I don't see a thing. Okay elusive Rafe you're an idiot and gradually leaving -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- to look at. Night we finally accomplish some in the -- my bucket list for a long. On there we go okay feeling good who all right so these are we got further -- The Audi a lower capacity of war. -- You think you're thinking that involvement and then there's -- there. Pay -- -- here they are I I have ten I'm gonna give you a couple here you can find the rest on the reporters' roundtable blog. And they start with the best customer experience. That's a good one to start with. Bayside bar vary based on a story I wrote about dealing with Dell and Apple and one of those two companies won the best customer experience -- and it was not -- -- my god anyway com and so I gave the award to Apple because although I keep buying Apple products that break. Literally real -- for a six Apple products have bought my last two years have broken and in need of repair. Com I keep paying more because I -- -- And they just beat Apple just makes every there's -- -- good about taking care the breakage or other fantastic taking a broken product and -- here's a new wanna leave. Yet they're really good about replacing stuff that they know and they don't tell you they know which I find fairy nice about a couple friends -- going there with phones that work. Very clearly user errors matched and -- replace him and say oh yeah we've heard there's a number of that are doing this. Now you're being nights so very Smart -- that that's a little idea of Apple -- It depends now sometimes even without as Amazon to get Apple care mine mine -- here where there's not gonna copy machine anymore and now this is -- on it. In the -- without Apple -- -- folks have gone in there with a clearly camino real and iPad with a -- corner and a broken screen. In this Alia we heard some of these screens are mounted -- -- at the factory -- -- you don't. Q looking at the corner and ignoring old couple stories like that one -- -- -- -- it's very variable -- store and who you talk to of course. And if you're -- young female personal but what. Plus so there's an Apple tax. But the other side of the Apple tax is the Apple welfare. -- if the -- -- -- -- -- I'm gonna come along with a follow up and I would -- runner up to him. I've had this -- -- -- is on his sending you have that would Apple I have some Apple products I haven't broken one yet I haven't gone back to them looking for their -- But Amazon gets on this list -- of your personal story. They sent me a thank -- card once that was personally handwritten personally addressed. Personally stay at staples on their -- was in space next to it in and actually the database -- me obviously as a as an -- Amazon customer but they took the time to write me -- note that on top of the fact that I have never. Had a bad experience Amazon or even one of their sellers. Is just -- I I have had Amazon send the wrong present somebody as a gift. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Or. Christmas yeah I sent her a dvd. Of some movies she wanted to watching. What she received -- It was how to fix your marriage. -- and that she calls -- any Intel here as many of merit is on the rocks that -- -- Everybody's marriages you know take to work obviously instinct I think it is its sister. She -- it what is it like what are -- talking about. And I called Amazon and I always -- to tell you just keep that dvd right -- you know the right yeah right I'm gonna keep a the keep it evident one of those -- pregnant that -- -- -- but I will say this about Amazon. And they do Netflix better than Netflix. In the sense of streaming or disks in this and streaming and -- its anymore. They have to comply that you -- the -- and Amazon that's the Netflix loan to its RAZR with -- it's like they get here I just I just wiggle the mouse button. How can that be -- already. I -- -- and I'm using Amazon -- -- Amazon -- is now more than -- using Netflix I'm considering -- -- trending that way and you may have -- the consumer reports research yesterday -- that's a lot of people are using Netflix but not happy with as much as they -- with lower usage services like him. -- so speaking of which I want to give an Audi award to the best online retailer. Which is. Everybody's referred store anytime you can buy a -- absolutely and -- I'm totally with you there's there's -- I got to -- I have bought referred Thinkpads in the past save a lot of money and it is just the heck of a deal. I buy -- photo gear -- problem. I had them in the Nikon 7000 came -- a couple months ago when you couldn't get -- water -- -- it was absolutely not an issue and cameras delicate. Lot of things can go wrong that you can't always tell me hate the picture's not shifted in terms of color aberrations such as the lenders to defective body but I mean I had no doubts about it never know from a camera whatsoever. You know I like refers in addition to affect -- -- same few percentage points com. Is that every referred the company stands behind its of their their direct company sells gently with -- factory -- now I'll totally. Right which many different yes -- returns that are checked and re sealed. The difference in the Fries -- you know those of those are returns. -- fried via its. Not refurbished -- the thing I love about refers is that these are products that in addition to rolling off the assembly line. Have something either one wrong -- they were just returned to go back to factory in in the technicians. Have to hand verify each one and really in detail and the rigorous checklist factory again has put in a place. They've been checked twice and why wouldn't you want double quality. You're your by double quality for less money you can get less checking for more money. What it putting it in -- at the -- for every again factory is the key. Not some other program that retailers that the -- and have new technology check out. Via Apple has a pretty good factors herbs or org that rated. Here is my -- -- award for the worst. Growing pervasive can't get away from it technology you know and I'm gonna say in 3-D TVO. Three. Most any treaty because I don't see 3-D this is very personal one of the 10% and -- up to 10% -- of the runoff flat -- Interest media arts and -- it's your -- Totally I -- 3-D fine. And I still vote for 3-D -- oh really what I like it because I just -- to meet -- -- and because let me tell you -- you because I have a six year old son and all the kids movies coming -- in 3-D. He asked what's with the -- them that way I'd go take we're gonna go see you know a movie and you're gonna have the time I'm gonna have -- -- thank you so you see the what do you see when you see a 32 images. That -- your kidding. Your life is a hell yet. All known and that's not good no wonder view masters never worked for me right Nimitz also has American jobs and a -- as -- and the angry and bitter event. I with the untreated TV -- -- not let us count the ways the glasses in of the possible headaches and nausea the lack of 3-D viewing among a large a significant minority population. Our decision to watched last I checked on Amazon there are I think may be 303 Blu-ray that's nothing. We we complain about there being what 25000. Titles on Netflix streaming that's considered small. -- that what's 280. It says there's nothing to watch optics and then there's the exactly and then there's the whole idea that. This technology has a weird battle between passive and active than they are different enough in their quality to make the decision easy. It's real frustrating and that of course proprietary technology on the glass -- This does this is the thing is -- in the aisles -- as any retailer will tell. Yet -- and you get 3-D technology for free and -- and -- You know low -- units by this is not really in charge anymore and there are barely topped with a perceptible but it's -- path so 3-D T through the book -- the upside treaty is. -- you get brighter and faster refresh TVs as it will continue to -- they -- to -- -- the right but it would've gone their right okay so that's -- A freebie the other freebie is if you don't like 3-D and you can go see a non 3-D version of a 3-D movie -- our community in the theater. I thought I saw avatar -- from ethernet into. And it was also because that's the losers the asked the losers and nobody wants to go there -- liberate. There's racism there -- Like you know solo some of the old guy or something over there all right we have some downtime and the iPad something got into that it's you all the -- all right. And there are right. The best. New idea for email. Because I'm making up my own awards here the Audi for the best new idea for email goes to. Self deleting messages is something you imagined -- does it exist. It's something that this guy who works in the email industry imagined. Look at that the CEO of this company's other inbox which I really -- has proposed this idea of commercial emails like you get a coupon from godaddy. Or something like that yeah and that coupons good for a week. And it you probably -- file somewhere in your email box and then so long passes -- a year later you go back and your coupons folder in your email has. 80000 messages in a better pick -- space interest why did they stick around so all you have to do is put a header in the the -- the email pattern as he calls the X expires and expired for the -- on it. When you compose the message you will as the sender if you're doing the right thing right you'll dated out in this -- before bulk -- for PR pitches in our business. It has argument of those like random chance look at -- -- over. Or anything that has AM. Quantity that only a certain people can attend or can download -- what have you white paper downloads and at once they've all been done. Speaking go -- -- -- and all that's different that's pupils who writes a quota based as well as time and date -- And economical way of obviously nothing has deleted -- more to go into the self delete box like the spam box -- visit lobbies will go away in ninety days if you don't so that's cool idea. That's a very cool idea and it could help manage a lot of frustration that we feel with spam that is kind of -- I spent. Things that I want I don't want them to live for a yes. I had no idea I hope ya pick it up it was in an earlier Tuesday that wrote the story and I haven't seen much happier with life and -- like. Now. -- I wanna give an Audi to around the simplest product out there now this is what's happening right now and as I cover start ups and and all technology. Things. Are getting easier to use the good ones and that most interest -- products that are out there. Things like -- to Graham. And interest. -- email app that is that -- bought YouTube and developed by a -- -- simple. They look simple but really they're not and there's a lot of thought that goes into these new -- make them clear. And easily grasp mobile and they look like what. This startup walks are calling the MV the least viable -- the most. With the -- -- am the least viable price most viable product okay -- I'm getting it wrong and I'm getting around asthma asthma rate. It is the candidates yes it is. Minimum MVP minimum viable product. -- the least it has to be to be a viable partner politically product minimum -- brought got so what are you what whatever you do -- -- lowest common denominator yet a look at whatever you're doing. Strip it down to its essence. And give users that and chances are not only can you get product out faster mr. -- craft -- but chances -- users will like -- more because it's focused and they don't have to deal with the intellectual overhead and this is a key part of launching a product in particular you can always layering in more stuff once you get early. Digestible by right. From a large base -- -- -- evangelize but if you don't get that initial base of Angeles which is the typical misfire. It's typically because you have too much going on this is the story of what I call transparency. And an intuition I I did it can be enough for me to understand how to use it but I have to first understand why the use. And stripping it down often makes the message simple. When this does that -- it. The worst example of living up to the idea of the MVP is Microsoft. The out there they -- just feature after feature after feature -- feature and thinking that people buy products because of features when I saw Microsoft ads. For using PowerPoint for a home schooling mom. And the kids were saying I love the transitions. -- that is. Just such a gigantic misfire yet I love the effects options Reich and delay the start of the transition before on click start of a -- video. -- that's great. Right this is what this is -- our users love that but you -- feather in with a minimum viable product too great for it -- -- Apple -- -- -- -- -- to the iPod did less with a black and white screen for longer than anyone else did more with -- And -- on the world. My award for the simplicity. Simplicity Audi goes to this neat little app that nobody's heard of -- LO TR EO -- And it's a passport it's like interest for things to do we just type something in real and it goes up on the I gotta do this this is in process this is done -- drag things around had a -- -- Web based yes and it's a web -- It -- it mobile based yet. I don't know. That'll chicken to -- this is I've yet to -- -- good to do list I use my calendar which is clunky and I'm always moving things ahead to the next day when they don't get done in real -- -- use the Google calendar at the best I've I've got -- his wanderlust right now you know. -- -- one I've tried -- I've tried Google tasks and -- I don't know for some reason it doesn't work from Apple just had one but trail is good for groups as well and it just. It's not simple like -- to Graham is simple. But it takes an incredibly complex and painful task which is organizing a -- -- doing a multi organizing lists and makes it so unbelievably intuitive it just its. I'm gob smacked. At the -- and it is. -- -- My next -- and there are bunch here that I'm gonna leave in the blog post if you can find on news.com government overreached last thing governments don't start ups find that the blog the most anticipated product by -- is a great when he got to read that. Most anticipated by -- oh yeah -- David -- total up the got to the got to see the -- -- And best bargaining. Who doesn't wanna see yes it's not keeping up to thank. And you're good -- dialing -- in. As saying finally I love number ten boy I go on to the boy was he wrong. -- that -- buttons that silently. Goes to but it does look like were both this. More on -- -- Newman the right for the iPad came out it's I wrote this post on so Smart. And why consumers won't buy tablets. As an elementary -- thank you very that's very -- very good owner of multiple -- the lake retreat tablet here's by the way -- -- -- side note here here's my tip for what happens to you when you write a post like this actually -- tablets changer like me a hundred times better which they do -- -- -- on my got a lot of traffic machine -- -- Go to dot. -- Those vertical file folders and files and that's the best places to oral tablets you accumulate I literally got that bad yet I do these little wire wrap gifts for tablets. Were beautifully minute yet you know don't open Marlins -- the ones that are -- and -- -- complete a given like metal panels yet. Interest integrated media. -- Stewart's Martha as long loss on. Our I have one of these hula II and a -- they get up although it would mortified me too much -- Probably five or six years ago I remember a lengthy explanation I gave on Squawk Box about how the iPod has crested. -- Salem were adamant that. Because because the windows. Was the windows based zoom. Out of presumably -- -- -- Anyway the windows media center tied creative and others. -- scientists and decisions -- were does come on fire and it looks so good. And so affordable and some which freedom to -- it was they and non locked media -- Apple's locked me. -- I mean the iPod never looked back it never looked back. And I was sure -- -- within the -- the eighteen months Apple's hegemony over media players is overwhelmed. Even -- go to our credit. Even Steve Jobs and -- because it's intentionally and Apple's current leadership in cook yeah I get things wrong I mean Steve said member to a phone. He -- never do a color screen on the iPod needs he said. A ten inch tablet is a small you can go in mean we think is gonna I'm not gonna say that now because I can't come back on the -- saying the last about it later it's. You your gap will be locked in liquid amber forever -- CNET museum anyway this is one of the hazards of doing this job is -- you know I only hope that in writing things that end up being completely. -- in retrospect that. I provide a little bit of -- -- people think about maybe some entertainment reasons not to go to the career tech journalism all those things provide real -- breaking -- your tech journalism -- is the you can be completely wrong and still have a job the next day I know it's amazing as long as you turn the page that's why we're still here yes that's it supports -- if it was it was -- a sudden death game we would be out here. Which had a few off anyway. That's of -- see the rest that on news.com or reporters' roundtable that CNET dock now put the full list up. Ryan anything you wanna add to my list of wanna thank you for good work replacements and a yet. Our paths will cross as they always do -- this is sure they will. -- -- And the yes you -- yes I prepared a little video for you I don't know retrospective audio I hate those words he has every week made a video for you and your bowel turns to water. Hello I hate it's okay so -- several as video and -- -- These are the voyages of the starship. Enterprise. -- -- -- -- -- And you civilization. -- long and prosper. That is fantastic. -- thank you so much had -- -- -- little sexiness in there yeah you Capcom ports they say that -- the end yeah there's a good out of ice and life. Anyway thanks every one floor of being with me for all these reporters round tables and for the entire team at CNET -- -- the less than eight or nine years I've lost track. Just freaking awesome. It has been a great ride thanks Brian thank Stephen thanks everybody again love -- guys. And I will be around -- -- a blog that Evernote account to find out more and follow me on Twitter I'm Rafe. Thank you and -- --