-What's up everyone?
It's Tuesday, November 26th, 2013.
This is the 404 Show on CNET.
I'm Jeff Bakalar.
-I'm Justin Yu.
-I'm Ariel NuÃ±ez.
-Has everyone doing today?
-Feeling good, feeling nice, getting ready to stuff it with some turkey.
-Do you-- your big Thanksgiving fan you like turkey?
-Yeah, I do really like
This year though, we're kinda making it easier on ourselves.
It's just gonna be the four of us couple of friends and we're doing the whole foods thing.
So you can pre-order a Thanksgiving dinner for a designated amount of people from whole foods.
-And the food already comes pretty much cooked.
You just have to finish, you know, for a half an hour.
Heat it up and you're done.
But this year, we wanted to make it a lot easier on ourselves so we're doing that and we also got a bunch of crayfish and crab too so we're gonna do a little surf and turf.
-I could have sworn yesterday you were upset with people
like going out of their way to convenience themselves.
I was talking about how all the personality in giving gifts is over.
But what about slaving over a kitchen for a good home cook Thanksgiving--
-I don't care about that.
I was just talking about gifts that you were supposed to actually put thought into.
-This is totally different than that.
This is just preparing a dinner.
-And if everybody agrees to do it, then it's less dishes for people to have for sure.
-The other thing that's crazy is we were thinking about doing some volunteering during the daytime since we won't be spending that time cooking.
-Well, that's pretty selfish of you.
Well, we went online to sort of check out some of the local shelters in the area just within the city and they were all booked up.
You actually have to make your reservation to volunteer to help people on Thanksgiving--
-That's when you give up on that.
-which is probably why it's a better idea if you're feeling philanthropic to just volunteer any other day of the year and they could probably use that help.
Well, people wanna feel good about themselves at the holiday so they book it all up and, you know, that's, you know, how it works.
What are you doing for Thanksgiving?
-I'm going back to New Jersey, our friend's house.
We usually do like a big like Thanksgiving buffet sort of deal--
-where like everyone bring something.
-Yeah, a little potluck thing.
-It sort of like a potluck.
-So what's your specialty?
-My specialty is just my charming self that I bring.
Stacie brings his meatballs that she rocks, some Swedish meatballs.
-So that'll be our contribution-- plus Marty.
-Yeah, oh you're gonna bring the dog?
-Yeah, he's like part of the-- you know, it's part of the fun, right?
-Does Marty get to eat?
-Yeah, he eats.
You know, you throw him like a little turkey leg every now and then.
You throw him a little meatball.
There's nothing he won't at least take a lick of.
-I mean he's a dog.
-What about you Ariel?
You got Thanksgiving plans?
-Yeah, I'm gonna have some friends over.
My dad's gonna come over so, it would be cool.
-That's really nice.
Do you guys get drunk at Thanksgiving?
-I don't 'cause I don't drink but I do consume a lot of Martinelli's.
-Oh, that's right.
We talked about this before.
-Oh, that's right, yeah.
-You didn't know what that was.
-It's just like, it's just carbonated apple juice.
-It's carbonated apple juice.
-That's what it is.
What about you Ariel?
-Any chance I get I usually have some sort of beverage.
So this Thursday I definitely will be.
-I mean it's what you do.
-Like no one's got anywhere to be.
-You sit, you eat and you drink.
-And you do other things if you're still inclined.
-Like watch Football.
-Oh, yeah, you know, whatever makes you happy without hurting anyone.
-I feel like we always watching Love Actually.
That's kind of like become the New Year/Thanksgiving tradition for people that don't like sports.
-That sounds terrible.
-Have you seen that movie?
-It's a great movie.
-Why is Love Actually is like ridiculously popular movie that is so bad?
-I don't know.
Yeah, and you start watching it earlier, earlier, and earlier the calendar year, every year.
I feel like next year, we're gonna be start watching it after Halloween.
-That's the worst Thanksgiving tradition I've ever heard of.
-It's a great movie man.
Have you seen that movie?
I don't even know what that is.
-It's with Hugh Grant, who else is in it?
I mean, that's all
that matters, right?
It's just another Rom-Com featuring Hugh Grant.
-And his teeth.
-Yeah, I guess.
-I don't-- I just don't get it.
-That's what we do.
-This guy's got some freaking holiday weekend plan.
-Little Love Actually, home-- what is it, home foods?
-No, no, no, whole foods.
-I know what it is.
I mixed up at home goods.
-Yeah, whole foods, home goods.
-Dinner-- and then--
-Costco the day after wards.
-Kill me now.
-Although if I can't track down one of these stupid
cards and I won't be able to go or I'll just have to hack up $50 to buy a membership.
Actually looks up--
-And then you wanna ping the retail price for the Vitamix anyway.
I mean I'm saving, I would be actually spending money to get the membership 'cause I think the discounted like $30 on the actual Vitamix.
Does someone else has some advice for you on how you should acquire this Vitamix and really man, maybe we'll have a break through today.
You can't go to Costco Friday into this.
-I can go.
You think I would send off my girlfriend
to go alone?
She shouldn't go either.
Neither of you need to go.
-You're risking safety and being taken advantage of monetarily.
-So promise me you won't go.
-Actually in my hunt for a membership card, I went on Craigslist the other day and looked up Costco membership card, which is probably the lowest point ever in my life.
-Yeah, you've hit rock bottom.
-Yeah, you know when you're looking tough like membership cards up on Craigslist all my life.
-Yet you continue to wake up
You smile and you come in.
-You know, we all have things that we don't wanna do in this life and you have to do them, you know.
-It's kinda sounds like a married dude, doesn't he?
-And really keeps writing in saying like, you read that e-mail--
-But you should read that e-mail up later in the show.
-You wanna see an Asian guy blushed.
-I wanna see that.
I wanna see you blush man.
Is it hot in here or is it
just your life?
-Let's just jump into the stories before I started sweating more.
-Let's dive right in.
-So last time Emily was here, she is one of our favorite co-host and she works at CNET.
-And she was telling us about something called 23andMe.
-And that's basically this personalized DNA test that you spit into this.
They sent you this kit.
You spit into it and then send it back.
And then a few weeks later, they send you a sheet of results on your genes.
she told us about the specificity of this test and all the crazy things you can learn about yourself like your genetic predisposition to certain diseases.
You can learn about your ethnic background by percentage and even tells you if you have a percentage of Neanderthal in your history.
-Did you hear about the, there was like some bigot, some dude who was like very racist and I think they did something like this and it turns out he was like 18 percent African-American?
And there was a video.
There was like a talk show
-and they produce those film.
-And his face was just like a gape.
-It was a lot like that white supremacist kit from Chapelle's Show.
-How could this have happened?
-Yeah, so I don't know if 23andMe that they used that for.
-Yeah, I don't know.
-But DNA testing at home has gotten really popular and remembered Emily was telling us that the test showed that she was genetically predisposed to not being able to detect body odor.
-Or, you know that she--
-She lacks the gene that allows her to smell body odor.
-Not that she wouldn't.
We'll know, she could smell it but she just wasn't turned off by the way most people are.
Yeah, which is so specific.
-It's very specific.
-Now you could test for stuff like that.
-But apparently, geneticists, geneticists?
-Geneticists have been able to like narrow down what that, you know, gene is.
-And if you don't got it, you don't got it.
-You don't have it.
They can test for things like whether or not your pee will smell after you eat a bunch of asparagus.
Apparently, that doesn't happen to everybody.
-You have to have that gene.
But anyways, in all seriousness though, they can't detect
a lot of serious medical conditions that you can check out early.
-Well they can say that you have a predisposition first.
-And it's important that you make that caveat because that's gonna come in to play in the story.
It doesn't mean you're definitely gonna have this illness or ailment.
So it's contextual totally.
-And since that time 23andMe has gotten really popular.
A lot of people have given it to others as presents--
-for birthdays and things like that.
They actually have a TV commercial that I saw aired on at least local New York Television--
-in the past week.
So it's getting-- gotten so popular that it's obviously attracted the attention of the FDA.
-And this past week the FDA actually sent them a letter demanding that the company stops selling the kits because they're not FDA-approved.
So it's-- they're basically saying we haven't taken a look at these medical, sort of apparatuses that you guys or, you know, shipping out to people all over the world.
-Do us a favor.
Why don't you halt this for a second?
Let us get our little myths on it.
They're saying that it's not
They're saying the results are not backed by science that's why they don't need the FDA regulations.
And the big worry here, and it's something that I wish we had a longer chance to talk to Emily about was that, there's also a big worry about misdiagnoses.
-And we've seen that through stuff like Web.
MD for example.
-And, you know, the whole premise of that website is basically a joke.
-So, the big hold up is not necessarily the unregulated,
you know, devices.
It's more that the FDA saying, hey.
This is really coming from nothing so what's happening?
-There were that people will get misdiagnosed by the site and then get inappropriate medical care or spend more money on medical care that they might not need because of what the results showed.
-I get that but what-- do they have like evidence that supports that these results are unscientific?
Well, there's been a lot of stories even personal anecdotes that have come out.
I've read one
this morning about someone who did 23andMe.
The report show that they had something-- they had two mutations in their genetic makeup that pointed to something called Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy, which is something that this person had never heard it before.
I never heard of that before either.
But the page of the results said that some people who have Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy will lose the ability to walk and then suffer a series disability.
-So he sort of read more about it.
He read things on Wikipedia, Web.Md.
-He's freaking out of that.
Of course, you're right, like after you read something like this, you're gonna worry about it.
-So we did more research and actually did some co-digging through the programming because he is a web programmer himself.
He found out that a bug in the algorithm actually made a mistake and link those 2 genes to this issue of muscular dystrophy.
And if he had-- if the website corrected this bug then it wouldn't show up those results wouldn't show up.
So it's actually a problem with the website and not who's
personal genetic makeup and it's something that it can happen to anybody anytime you're relying on coders to build algorithms that match the results.
There's gotta be some human error in there.
-I'm surprised that this because it was backed by Google seems so unprepared--
-for, you know, a real-life rollout.
Why like where was the vetting of all this?
Like what the hell is going on?
Well, anyone can start up a new medical device.
You know, you see stuff
that advertises penile enlargement all the time, stuffs like that isn't obviously promoted by the FDA.
-But they still have TV commercials.
This is kind of no different from that.
But it is scary though.
-And I'm sure there's language in whatever you click to agree that says, these results should not be taken as gospel--
-and maybe if you are concern about what they show, go see a real doctor.
-And not just some cup you spit in and send it in the mail.
And it's also what
you were saying earlier, there's no direct causality there just because you're lacking these specific genes.
It's not a 100 percent of, you know, indication that you're gonna come up with these diseases later on.
I wanna talk to Emily and see what she things about this.
I think the other thing is, there's also a room for air even if the diagnosis that you get from 23andMe is accurate.
You may interpret those results incorrectly especially
if you don't have the contacts by medical professional to explain those results to you.
-You know what I mean, there's that bedside manner that you get from doctors when they come into the room and tell you, "Oh, these are the results of your test.
You have something, you know--
-They need to be translated.
-that may indicated an early sign of breast cancer.
But, you know, this is what you can do.
These are your options afterward, not here's the problem, go research the internet for what you can do."
It's basically like, you know, taking your own chart, right?
-And just being like, "All right, I'm gonna decide for all this, you know, medical lingo and see what it is."
-Yeah, that's kind of upset we didn't bring that up the first time around but--
-I think it's just like the possibility of opening up stuff that you don't have to pay medical professionals to perform for you.
It was so alluring.
-I mean this is gotta be huge for people that don't have health insurance maybe or--
-if they're leaning on stuff like this for information.
I mean, I guess the bottom line is never trust the internet.
-No, I don't think that's the bottom line.
I think the bottom line is like, you know, you can trust the internet but you still gotta use your freaking head when it comes down to it.
[unk] for yourself.
-You know, like you are still responsible for you.
-And you can't, you know, put that responsibility in someone else's hand especially a website.
-So that's what the takeaway is.
-Ariel, I mean you were complaining about headaches earlier in the week.
-Did you go online and just type in "headaches, what could be the cause of that?"
-No, I pretty much saw a doctor and I went to sleep all day.
-That's how you should do it.
-That's how it supposed to be done.
-'Cause if you were to look up headaches, you'd be pointed
to a million different things.
-It could be anything from dehydration to maybe your posture while you're working through the day--
-There's so many different variables with your health.
-There are certain things that you can diagnose on the internet though.
-Like there certain things that just aren't serious.
You think you could tell the difference between a cold and a virus just based on stuff--
-No, no, no.
Not talking about stuff like that.
I'm talking about like I've bruised my knee, how should I take care of it.
Oh, right yeah.
-I'm telling you about like, is this a--
I mean, maybe not even like, is this a spider bite?
-Like maybe that's crossing the line also.
But like things were like, you're clearly not in a situation of life and death--
-I mean I would imagine most seen people can distinguished the difference between being in a really critical situation.
-Or just being like, "Oh, man.
I should maybe, you know, just get the-- you know, internet's opinion on something like that.
-I think you should ask the internet if you should go and see a doctor not what should I do about this.
-I don't know man.
-Is this looked bad enough to go and see a doctor?
-Like is this infected.
-If you're not sure if something's infected, go see a doctor.
-Yeah, that's true.
-But if you sneeze, you know, infrequently or something or too frequently, that's probably not serious, right?
I guess so.
-I don't know.
-I just think that 23andMe-- personally, it's enticing to me because of the early detection that you could get out of it.
And I think it's probably what they're basing their entire marketing off of-- oh, if you do this, you may be able to tax something that would save years off of your life later down the road.
-So the thing is like, the way I look at that service, I look at like ancestory.com, right?
-Ancestory.com is providing this like, really just a knowledgeable service, right, where you're just, you get to learn about where your family came from and what they did.
With 23andMe, they're selling that element but they're also,
you know, maybe too close to equating it to-- it's gonna save your life, that sort of thing.
-So I understand why it's attractive and why people are doing it.
But if they are not qualified to be making these medical claims then just gotta go down and they gotta be held responsible.
-I haven't even looked into ancestory.com.
the only exposure I've had too is watching those television commercials that they have from time to time.
Where are they getting the information about your background?
Are they just looking at databases?
-No they have a team of writers that just
practice really compelling narrative about your family history.
Where are they grabbing from?
Is it public records?
-I don't know.
-There some like they clearly have access to some database.
-Do you know anybody that's done that before?
It's a waste of money it seems like, right?
-I guess so.
Yeah, I mean-- I just, I like I wouldn't.
I mean the only reason that I would do ancestory.com is if I woke in the alley somewhere with amnesia.
-Like I come from if I had no living relatives, no ancestors or whatsoever.
-Like everyone and everyone
is out of the picture.
-All right, then I go to ancestory.com.
-And find out.
It's a very specific need.
-'Cause it's still doesn't matter.
It's still like its information you do not absolutely need to know.
-I also wonder if recent immigrants or families or offspring of recent immigrants would have a very, very short history.
-Oh, my God like--
-I mean, my parents came here when they were in high school.
-I don't know if it's international.
-So I know it would just be one line like, "Oh, your parents came here in high school."
-You would just have a--
-It would be like, pick up the phone and call them.
That's what I would say for your--
-Yeah, yeah-- could tell
you way more information about yourself.
-Then we can.
-Yeah, I imagine it would just go all the way back to Ellis Island or Angel Island, depending on where your family came in.
-And that's it?
-Where would they detect it before then?
-Maybe it's international.
Maybe they have access to international databases.
I don't know.
-But then things get lost in translation.
-I don't know.
Like my family has been in-- been in this country for a couple of generation so mine probably a little more--
But I can't really see it telling me
stuff, more stuffs than-- although I know there's like a weird Bakalar like Air Force base somewhere that I don't-- that we don't know like who's it, like who in the family that is.
-Maybe there's just more than one Bakalar family.
-But that's not a very common name.
-Have you ever seen a movie Hitch before?
-Is that with Kevin James and Will Smith?
-They're both-- and Kevin, yeah, exactly.
-He goes and gets his girlfriend a background check and they go to Ellis Island and
they find out that her grandpa was called the Butcher of wherever he was from.
-And he ended up being a mass murderer.
There is something that you just don't wanna know about your ancestors.
Some things are better left, you know, buried.
That was a takeaway from Hitch that I got when I watched it.
-You watched a lot of good stuff.
Yeah, kind of a cinema guy.
-You are a film smith.
-I do feel like a lot of people have made a good living off of just accessing public records--
-By the very name can access by anybody.
-You know, remember we had those guys and BeenVerified on the show and they were our friends so I'm not gonna talk shit on their company but all they did was access stuff that everybody could see with the right tools and time.
-Right but you're--
-BeenVerified was a service that basically had online background checks.
But like you're essentially deconstructing every service ever like I could paint my own freaking room if I wanted to--
-That's true, yeah.
-But I'm just gonna pay this guy to do it for me.
-You're paying for the convenience of things being presented to you in an easy to digest fashion.
-Yeah, it's basically go and wait in line at city hall--
-and talk to the--
-Yes, you want it like you want to deal with a government-run entity.
-Do you get like, would you, if there was a service that charge twice with the DMV charge for everything, I'd freaking pay in a heartbeat.
-That you wouldn't have to stay in line.
-Oh, my God.
Even entering one of those building is unfit for regular humans.
I've put off getting a passport for the past 25 years just because of that.
-Like why deal with that?
-Yeah, I agree.
-The incompetency is not mind-numbing.
You'll really lose years off your life.
There the true life savers, the ones that coming in and deflect all the freaking nonsense you'll have to deal with.
I guess this is a plug for BeenVerified.
-I think it is.
-There you have it.
All right, well speaking of medical information and whether or not it's a good idea to have it as accessible as it is on the internet, always Bitcoin, it's all cyclical, it always comes back.
Someone's doing something wacky with Bitcoin.
It's cloud sourcing.
-Tell us about this.
-So another pite--
another pite-- another site popped up last week called CoinMD.
And CoinMD lets you trade your bitcoins.
Have we've talked about a lot of stories where you could trade your bitcoins for something terrible.
-Yeah, it's real.
It's never good.
-Like a murder of a politician.
You could buy that with bitcoins.
I've never seen the words bitcoin and charity in the same sense.
-Yeah, yeah, never phrasing good.
-And it's the unanimity of it too.
If you do something good with your money, you wanna pluck or you want that thing to be named after you, you know what, like Jeff Bakalar part.
-But if you're
murdering a politician, you gotta be anonymous and that's why you have to use bitcoins.
-But CoinMD, back to the story, it lets you trade bitcoins for some healthcare advice.
-But like all things that has to do with bitcoins, that advice is gonna come from doctors who want to remain anonymous because they're not allowed to distribute medical advice on the internet.
-Well, you are.
-You are but you probably lose your medical license very quickly.
I still think it's okay for like-- 'cause you seal these columns of doctors who are answering, you know, people who
write in and send in questions.
-But I think where this is coming into play is like they're offering maybe a little more, you know, they're basically having a visit over the internet, whereas, they're supposed--
-Yeah, I think a doctor would lose their license really quickly if they're doling out medical advice to specific people just based on what this website does.
-And this is how it works.
You basically take a picture of your latest bowel movement.
-A picture is--
-And for everyone following at home--
-a thousand words.
-A lot of words.
Well, in case, not that many words because the advice isn't that in depth.
-But that's how you start.
You take a picture of your poop and for everyone following alone in this article that will post from the blog--
-Oh, following on with the article.
-there are photos.
You can click and see examples of this.
-I just pictured like half of our listeners finding a bag.
Look under your seats.
Everyone has a bag of poops.
So you take a picture of your latest bowel movement and you upload it to CoinMD.com along with the list
of the symptoms that you feel at least it's one step above Web.
MD, which is just descriptions.
-Here you have a picture.
-So you describe what you're going through the health issues that you're experiencing and after that a group of anonymous doctors, you know, it's crowd source information here.
They go online, look at that information and then type in the advice they would give to you medically.
-You can choose to either-- after that, after reading the response, give them bitcoins as a donation for their help or
you can just walk away and not paying anything.
It's technically a free service but a donation is sort of recommended.
-This is weird.
-Yeah, weird right?
So what do you think about that?
Would you ever do this?
Would you want a picture of your bowel movement on the internet with your name right next to it.
-Like that's-- well I don't care 'cause I know people who do that recreationally.
-Yeah, there are whole Instagram accounts just for that.
-I mean, let's be honest.
I think what's really strange is just like what do you,
you know, what situation do you find yourself in where you need to go this route?
I'd imagined a lot of STDs.
-That's what I want to understand like, okay, if you have no healthcare--
-Bitcoin, the whole bitcoin thing is not a cheap way out.
Well, depending on how much the bitcoins worth.
-What I'm just saying like, if you don't have healthcare, well you recently figured a way, for everyone down the healthcare, whether or not you can log on to the sites and other story but, sort of like
-in some capacity so what else is going-- maybe if you're not here legally.
-That's the only scenario.
-Or you just need an answer right away and you can't get an appointment with your doctor for a few weeks.
-And every other doctor on earth is unavailable as well.
-I don't get it.
-I mean, you'd be better off to stopping people on the street and asking them.
Does this look weird to you?
-Well, to me, where this works is like the mob doctor scenario,
where you would need to exchange monetary services or you would exchange, you know, I got shot and I don't wanna go to the hospital because they're gonna ask questions why I got shot so you go and see this bitcoin mob doctor, who is everything's anonymous.
He just takes bitcoins, pulls the slug out of your shoulder.
-And you're straight.
You can go on living your life of crimes.
-So that's the only scenario in my twisted little head that I could
imagine this would be appropriate.
The mob doctor isn't necessarily a real doctor either that much.
Just this someone how [unk].
-No I think they're real doctors.
Every mob doctor I've heard of--
-Not mob doctors.
I'm talking about this, the coin has the doctors.
-There's no way that you can know the person on the other side of the computer isn't just a failing medical student.
-Yeah, you don't get like a PDF of their diploma beforehand.
-No, definitely not and a lot of them collaborate and you could see disagreements on the side between doctors too so you have to choose which you're gonna have to believe.
-Oh, that's comforting.
-Yeah, so they're arguing amongst
themselves and you sort of like, so got this rush guys.
The other weird thing about it is, you know, what I was saying earlier, a lot of them-- a lot of people using this site are using it because they're too embarrassed to go to see their doctor about, you know, things on their genitals.
-So it's a lot of STDs and things like that that they're wondering about.
Why would like you should never be embarrassed to ask a doctor anything?
Also don't take a picture of your disease junk and put that on the internet.
-Because that's on there too.
And then it has their name next to it so I could read this name off but I mean, I don't really wanna take it any further.
-Why wouldn't you use synonymous name though?
-Yeah, yeah, exactly.
-So that's okay.
-This is bad.
So one guy posted a photo of his junk and said that it was really irritated and I could confirm by looking at the photo certainly irritated.
-Why did you look at it?
-'Cause I do in depth research for the show.
-No, 'cause you somehow enjoy this stuff.
-For the love of the show.
-But one of the doctors recommended that he was it in a non-aggressive detergent.
-Like laundry detergent?
-That's all it said.
"Non-aggressive detergent." And that was it.
So that's-- I mean, I think that's a good example of how vague a lot of these recommendations are.
But then, you know some guy just poured bleach on the stick after that.
That's the sad part.
-There's picture of that too.
Just don't solicit medical advice from anybody on the internet or if you do, at least cross-reference it with a real doctor.
-This is upsetting me.
-Do you guys have many friends that are right at the medical school or actually have a practice?
-Not my friends.
-I know I have a friend who is in medical school but that's about it.
-That's the best.
I just had a friend graduated from medical school and he's gonna be an Emergency Room physician.
Had him up for free medical advice all the time.
-My brother-in-laws a psychiatrist.
He's not like the exact same thing but it's close enough.
I wouldn't use someone that I know is a psychiatrist though, right?
You kinda want that in and--
Like I don't go to him and be like, "Dude, I have this problem with--
It's all like, you know, cosmetic stuff.
-Free medical advice is the best.
-I guess that's the American dream.
You put on like a weird grammar and punctuation and, you know, vocabulary kick lately.
-And I think that's fine.
-You think it's boring?
-No, I don't think it's boring.
I find it interesting.
My big thing that I've-- I'm sort of blown away by and I find intriguing is how the
internet has changed all of that.
-Like, you know, the way we learn to speak and write and construct sentences has basically been turned on its head since we were very young.
-And I feel like now in high school it's like, or elementary school is that even worth it having classes anymore because language is now this completely gigantic rib of crap?
-For better or worse, it's just not-- there's no like standardization
-That's my fascination with it is that, you know, English as spoken is completely different than English as it was written before the internet was around.
-And then after the internet, it sort of evolved into this separate Lexicon?
-And how we have, you know, the same words but using different ways like how we discuss with because--
-you know, as a proposition last week.
But also, you know, punctuation has really changed the way that we interact with one another and people create meaning out of it
just based on, you know, how we use it in the context of technology.
And I love hearing about that kind of stuff because it's a fluid language.
You know, it's a lot like Cantonese.
That's why I really like it because it's sort of in this always evolving language, there's slang that you have to learn and if you're not completely up to date on it, you can sound like a dinosaur really quickly.
-Like if you leave the internet for, I don't know, two to three months.
You'll come back and if you use the same phrases, you're gonna be yellowing all over the place and you'll sound like
an old man.
-That's what I love about linguistics on the internet.
It's always evolving.
-Its rapid evolution.
But something that's kind of always been in the background is the sort of changing use of periods within technology.
And there's an article, A New Republic talking about how nobody really uses periods at the end of sentences when they use technology to write then, you know, on text message and in e-mail or--
-Or G Chat, whatever.
They don't use periods at the end of sentences anymore because they're
afraid that the statement is going to be interpreted as angry--
-There is some--
-if they put a period.
-There is a negative connotation associated with period use sometimes.
-But it's-- okay so imagined if we were talking to some-- like a kid or somebody who has never used the internet before.
Why would you maybe tell them not to use a period?
You just sort of figure it out for yourself.
-Well, on Twitter, you're, you know, you're spending a character, so--
Okay so that's--
-that make sense.
-yeah, that make sense.
-And I think that same philosophy goes with texting 'cause you only have a
160 to deal with there too.
But when-- what's that?
-Even there though, I mean people don't.
I feel like people don't use it as for the--
-Well, no because like if you're just sending like, "Hey, where are you?"
-Well, that's probably a question mark.
But like if you just say, "No, not right now." You know, do--
-But the subtext is there too sometimes.
-A little bit.
Like I think the word "nope" right?
When you write "nope" with no period, it sort of comes off as casual.
When you write "nope" with the period, it comes off as like a little more declarative and aggressive perhaps.
I think it's, you know, it's something that this article talks about too.
You should read it if you guys have a little bit time because it's a longer article.
But basically, it talks about how, when you put a period at the end of something, it makes the previous statements sound more court.
-Like you're just declaring this thing.
There's no room for any other discussion about that subject.
-You're declaring and that's it and then you don't want any more correspondence afterwards.
It's just like--
-And kinda have the subtext that this is the end of the conversation.
-Last thing that's gonna be said.
-You mean that's but, that's what happens and for whatever reason, I don't know why it evolve like that but that's--
-But think about it.
It's the same-- we use the same sort of tactic in headlines, we're at headlines.
-For the PlayStation 4 review, there's like two periods in the headline.
-And it's mean to be declarative and important and, you know, this sort of the last statement.
-It's funny though 'cause a lot of times when you interpret it.
You have to really take into consideration the
person that's sending that text message.
-Or who you're conversing with period.
-And if you know them personally, you can tell that period means they're just frowning a little bit.
-Right, 'cause they never use periods.
-'Cause they never use this--
-He put period at the end but he must be so mad.
-Oh, my God.
He must be [unk] right now.
It's so bizarre 'cause a lot of people just don't get it like I have this little cousin.
He's 10 years old.
-And I've been texting him a lot because he got his own iPhone.
-Why 10-year-old needs an iPhone?
That's a separate discussion.
-I think so.
-But, you know, we talk a lot and, you know, I write him a lot of stuff, you know like, I'll say like,
"Hey, how's it going?
I did this and this today.
I went to this museum.
It was so cool.
Have you watched this movie?" a lot of stuff 'cause you have to keep kids engaged, you know--
-you have to constantly ask questions.
And I'll type out maybe like a paragraph of staff in the text message and he'll reply, "Okay." And it was like, "Dude--
-You know, not everybody knows--
-Reciprocate a little bit.
-Not everybody knows virtual etiquette and that's something that, it's so important when you're-- when there's a lot of room for misinterpretation.
-Do you use periods?
-Because there's a lot of people that use them but
they don't necessarily are mad.
-No I don't.
But I understand what you guys are saying because my brother uses periods all the time and I always think that he's just like annoyed or something, you know.
-It's weird, like he spells everything correctly like capital letters and everything even in text.
-And it's just too much man.
-Sounds so gross.
-It's just not casual, you know.
-Right, it sounds like a cover letter or something.
-Yeah, totally, like why are you being so formal with me?
I'm not, this isn't a job interview, you know.
-I know that when I'm trying to make a point with someone like if I'm texting with someone
and I'm not happy with them.
-I like use correct grammar and like punctuation.
-Right, 'cause it kinda takes an authoritative tone.
-It's just like, "Look, you can't do that.--
-I think I've gotten a few of those texts from you before.
-understand?" It's mad.
Don't go search while we talk about this next story.
But, you know, another thing that punctuation mark that's been used in texting is ellipsis.
I think you guys know what ellipsis is in use for.
It's kind of like this passive-aggressive.
-Dot, dot, dot.
-Dot, dot, dot.
But when you write it and when it's alone in the text message.
What is does mean?
That's not-- see that's, this is the misinterpretation.
-No, like when you do.
-To me it's like a--
-Wait, you could mean that.
It can mean-- it could mean--
-It's like a "What the F?"
-It can mean like--
-Like I have no response.
-I'm waiting to hear what you think about this.
It's like --
-That's-- you gotta put a question mark at the end of the ellipsis to mean that.
-Yeah, that's what I'm, you know.
-It's just a passive, aggressive way to just be like--
I don't think it's--
-I think it's just means.
I think it's like this universal understanding like it means like you're, you know, you're sort of like waiting or--
It's got a little like nudge.
-Are we just-- are we gonna keep talking about this?
-You know, I hate it is when people, they separate their texts into different text messages to separate their ideas and also, have you gotten
like five texts from somebody in a row?
-They could have just combine that into one but now--
-And now we're now nitpicking.
Your phone's going off like every 30 seconds 'cause this guy can't collectively think of one thing just--
You know when-- I also use my computer to send text a lot too so, you know, that's like I usually-- there's Viber on, you know, Mac and PC now.
So I'm joining like a chat room and I'm having like the desktop experience as opposed to people on their cellphones, you know.
-We're all over the place man.
-I think that's what
it's become though like instant message like text is instant messenger now.
-You know-- 'cause people are typing that, in that same sort of way now.
-Before like you would collect all your text into one text and it sent it out because, you know, you're in charge per text.
But now you got iMessage and stuff like that.
-It's just like instant messenger, you know.
-Yeah, but I don't like that because I always felt like there was a different expectation of response time in text messenger versus G chatting.
-You're right, you're right.
-And that is also fluid from person to person depending on your relationship within two.
like I have friends, certain friends where I could leave a conversation like a G Chat or even a text.
I can let that sit and marinate it for like two hours before I send them.
-And they never kinda like ping me back.
-Well, I think like--
-But then other times, you know, whether it's like a significant other or an important conversation, you leave and then they get pissed.
-You know, like there's that expectation that you have to respond in five minutes or less like it's a live conversation.
-Other times it's like an archive thing.
I don't know what-- where is that punctuation.
-It's contextual, right,
-You gotta learn the rules and it's from person to person too.
-There's no universal set.
-No, you're right.
-I think we've all gotten to arguments because, you know, your significant others been like, "how can't you send that text back?"
-See that's why I don't rely really on texting anymore like with Stacie, you know, like I wanna make sure we're seeing what we wanted, what we have to send to each other and have just been using Viber now like it's better, to me it's better than SMS because it's not-- it doesn't travel through cellular sort of, it's a data thing.
-And to me that's more-- you know, it's faster too like without a doubt, it's faster
-Yeah, and it's easier.
It's a lot easier to type down.
-So much easier and it's so-- I mean it's instant.
You see when it's delivered.
You see when it's red, done.
-It's kinda messed up but I think a lot of people when they see that their text isn't getting responded to immediately, they're picturing the other person reading their text and being like, "Oh, no.
This can wait--
And then putting it--
-or throwing your phone.
-yeah, and like putting it down and actively ignoring.
And that's the thought that you get in your head and you're like, "Oh,
-Why is he doing that?
-if this guy is not gonna respond to my text message, wait 'til he sends me something later.
-I'm gonna wait five hours.
[unk] like psychological mind game like--
-you're dating somebody.
You know, you have to play these things.
-But it's ridiculous because half the time, it's not like they would deliberately be like, "Oh, no.
Screw Jeff, I'm not gonna respond this idiot."
-You know, it's just that they didn't see the message.
-Or they're busy--
-Or their phones like un-vibrate.
They didn't feel it.
-Or maybe they're purposely ignoring you because you don't--
-I mean, there is still a chance that you're just unliked--
-like that is of possibility.
-Man, we live in a stupid time, right?
-Certainly so my friend.
All right, before we hit up these e-mails we have 'cause we do have a boatload of those.
I wanna talk about this consumer's post that went up a while ago.
-But it's certainly fun to, you know, resurface it right now.
-Talking about do coat hangers sound as good as Monster cables?
-What is that mean?
monster obviously has the biggest fallacy when it comes to marketing and their cables, right?
So before Monster start to producing this crappy headphones, they were advertising these crappy wire or cables.
You know, HDMI cables and audio/video--
They're trying to do the Bose thing, where like Bose had convinced an entire generation of consumers that the brand was so good and elite and on a different level that therefore the quality of the said products were at a different level as well--
-when it really wasn't the case for the
-They have good headphones from what Steve tells us.
-Yeah, Bose headphones are good for noise-cancelling but--
-you know, with Monster, they were trying to advertising that their HDMI cables because it had copper plating or something like that, that would make your picture quality from like a blu-ray player better or--
-I remember the virus-protecting HDMI cables we've seen from them before.
Has anyone ever detected a virus through HDMI?
-Of course not.
-I don't believe that's the thing.
-I wanna go back and read that again.
It's so ridiculous.
Obviously, that's never gonna happen but a lot of people buy it and it's expensive.
I think the HDMI cables were like $50, $60?
-I remember their 12-foot HDMI used to go for well over $60.
-You can get those for $10.
-Not even, yeah.
So they were able to convinced a lot of people of this and a lot of audio files also fall for this too if you look at their Monster headphones, they advertise the copper plating that makes the conduction better in your ears and, you know, supposedly that makes the sound better.
-Science is science man and you can't get around just running current state electricity.
There's only one way to do that.
-There's only one way.
-And so one audiophile had enough of this marketing jargon and he took to the audioholics home theater forum to sort of post these Pepsi challenge.
And it was all based on this hypothesis which is, can you tell the difference between music pass through a pricey Monster stereo cable and a coat hanger.
So this is what they did.
started a coat hanger to a hi-fi set and had five audios blindfolded.
They had those guys listened to seven different songs twice.
Once with just this coat hangers [unk] to a receiver and the same pair of headphones, then the separate time they just played it through these monster cables.
And what do you think happen?
Take a wild guess.
I'll give you two guesses.
-I'm pretty sure, most of them couldn't tell the difference.
-None of them could tell the difference.
-None of them could tell the difference,
so most of what these manufacturers specifically Monster has to say about their products, total hype.
And in fact, the more that they charge, the more hyped up these products are.
-Well, there's also like the psychology of, I'm paying more money, I'm getting a better product.
-It doesn't always hold true.
-Like you pay for what you get is the old sort of clichÃ© but sometimes, you know, what you need is not necessarily worth such an expensive price.
-It's like what we are talking about yesterday about how a lot of cable providers will
try to ream you out of a little bit more money every month with a speed booster or--
-that does seem to be true though like it does seem to unlock [unk] your download.
-At least you're getting something.
-At least you-- there's numbers there to support it.
-The way you got there isn't the most genuine but, yeah.
Yeah, so the other day I saw these ping pong balls but it said they were advertised basically as beer pong balls.
I'm pretty sure those are just ping pong balls.
They'd worked on a table too.
-You don't have to have
-Yeah, but that's like they sell those like the, you know, the liquor stores and stuff like that.
-Because you don't wanna go into a liquor store and just see ping pong balls and you go like, "oh, this doesn't make sense."
-It would be weird.
-It would be weird.
-All right, so there you have it.
-Just don't buy Monster or anything.
-Well, that's our-- been our mantra for decades and we've only been on air for half of one.
All right, time for some voice-- not voicemails, e-mails rather.
We got a lot in the hopper.
Let's get to as many as we can.
First up is one about Black Friday shopping in New York City.
I just"-- this is-- who is this here?
This is Mr., I can't tell your name.
What your name is sir?
All right, we'll get--oh this is from Michael.
"I just wanna show you some Black Friday advice for Justin."
-"This is my fourth year doing Black Friday shopping coming from Toronto." He's coming from Toronto to New York.
"And I would highly recommend that
you reach the stores at 6PM the night before.
-They've been moving the sales sooner and sooner each year.
And then if you want, go and running gun right for the item you want.
Don't, you know, like mess around.
Get right to it.
-They he say gun in that sentence somewhere, what was that used?
-He would only-- he would gun only for the item.
That doesn't mean you should bring a firearms in the store, that means--
-And shoot the product you want to buy.
-The second you see that blender just blast it
-So no, that's ridiculous.
-Just lick the box that you wanna buy.
Just say, you know, it's mine now.
I lick it.
And he also asks, hey, he's actually gonna be here for Black Friday to make it a 100 times more enjoyable.
I'm pretty sure it's a 100 times worst coming to New York for Black Friday?
You are a sadist sir.
-Planning on parking at [unk] and taken
the patent to the city for the day.
Do you have any good spots you recommend I check out?
Dude, you're coming in New York on Black Friday, just good luck is all I can say to you.
-Like every spot you wanna go to is gonna be mobbed.
You're gonna wanna go to like see the tree in Rockefeller Center and you'll only be able to see it from like, you know, the reflection of a mirror through four avenues away because you will never make it there.
If it's not too late, I highly recommend you rethink the entire trip altogether.
-You know what I'm starting to suspect is that you're
going Black Friday shopping and you're telling everybody not to go so that there will be less people for you to push either way.
-Think all you want.
-This is a reverse psychology going on right now.
-You're right, you're right.
It couldn't be any further--
-I think you're going for that Vitamix man and I'm gonna get it.
I don't care what happens.
-Look, believe me.
Go get it.
Go spend the retail price because you're gonna have to be a member.
Go and do it, okay?
And bring in the receipt on Monday so I can just laugh at you.
-I'm gonna get it.
I'm gonna bring some home cook soup.
-Can't wait to not eat
Nate wants to talk about Blockbuster.
Can you guys talk about the process of actually choosing a video in that horrible place?
Have so many memories of me wandering through the aisles trying to find something that my friends and I could agree on.
It was the worst.
Think about it.
You'd like go to a Blockbuster, spend the time it takes to get there and then you finally get there, you gotta spend God knows how long looking for the movie you want.
And guess what?
There's no one left to that movie.
-So you're freaking stuck renting Hot
Part Deux for the 40th times.
-That's a good one there.
-You know, it's just like, come on.
-Where they fry the egg on their stomach?
-That was good.
-That was good.
-I always defaulted on the wizard.
I must have rented the Wizard from Blockbuster so many times at least 20 times.
-Why does a guy who doesn't play video games wanna watch the wizard?
I don't understand anything you do.
-It's not like I hated video games as a kid.
I desperately want a video games but I couldn't get them so I do watch movies.
-Why can't you get them?
'Cause your parents wouldn't get it for you?
-My parents didn't
love me enough man.
-Is that what it is?
Is it like a lack of love?
They were like, your video games is piano.
And that's what I did.
-I mean piano is definitely equally as cool.
All right, here's Ralph on ditching cable.
I gave up cable TV primarily due to the cost.
I was paying over $100 a month to just watch two channels.
You know what?
That sounds crazy but I guarantee that's the case for nicer people.
It doesn't make sense especially since I was paying for the internet separately.
I got rid of the
cable and put an antenna in the attic.
It cost me to totally give up on my network TV was that I was becoming a slave to the shows, meaning I had to be there on the sofa to watch whatever I was following.
I gave up.
So before new season began, I stopped watching.
Now I watch your show because I found it on my Roku box.
It's a great show and I would never found it if I continue to watch Network TV.
We're killing cable TV one day at a time.
-I get my content now from Roku and Apple TV and online.
Yes, do I have
business cable for internet-only.
-What is business cable?
-I guess that's like a, you know, maybe like a higher-grade internet service.
-Who wants to pay over this?
Who wants to pay them?-- And a Happy Thanksgiving to you as well Ralph.
Yeah, that's, yeah man, I hear you.
I'm paying for cable for Bravo and hockey.
-And maybe like I don't know, FX--
-Comedy Central is pretty cool.
Definitely Comedy Central.
-Food Network, do you watch Food Network?
I don't really like Food Network.
-FX is fantastic.
-Discovery, history channel.
-But like that's the thing like I feel the amount of money that I've freaking pay.
-I should-- I'm getting way more than I need.
-Like where else would that be the case?
Like what other pricing model do you just pay like a crazy amount of money for only like 14 percent of stuff you need, you know.
It's basically like
-So your problem isn't that you're spending too much in the cable.
It's that you're not watching enough TV.
You need to go home and watch more TV and make it worth it.
-No, in fact, I don't.
I just wish ultimately just like everyone else wishes that you can do this like a la carte thing--
-Yeah, of course.
-which will never be able to do because we just don't live in a cool enough world.
-And that's that.
Here's an interesting story that maybe Justin can shed some light on.
Wilhelm wants to know, crap you not, friends of the 404.
Does the Xbox One kinect have a hard time detecting black people?
-What is your immediate response to that?
-My immediate response is, no Xbox One is a racist.
-That's my immediate response
-And it doesn't even matter like I understand the color of your skin has a lot to do with photography, you know, like there's interesting changes like-- and it works both ways.
-Me, for example.
I photographed terribly 'cause I'm so pale.
It doesn't make sense.
The contrast is
overwhelming and technology hasn't caught up with that yet.
-But for Xbox One, there's Infrared stuff, so it's not seeing color.
It's seeing like shape and what happens when infrared bounces off your skeleton.
-So I would say, my knee-jerk reaction is that, it doesn't know if you're black or what because it just sees your shape.
I saw a photo yesterday online of someone who had taken a screenshot
of a kinect that thought a cat in the room was a human so it's not even a huge shape.
It could be anything moving and I'm sure it would think it's something.
-It's just needs to see a face.
-And I think the infrared, I mean I'm sure it's not only relying on infrared but that's a big part of the equation.
-You wanna hear messed up story though?
-So every day I work in the lab with Joseph Kaminski, right?
And he's our lab technician in there.
He is half black.
And we were testing out the
kinect, setting a whole thing up with Dan Ackerman, the other Dan, and Joey.
So there are four of us in there.
It had no problem recognizing Dan, Dan and myself but when Joey got in to the shot, it couldn't see him.
-That's totally crazy.
-It was like he was invisible and I'm not saying that Mike, I'm making no claims or accusing Microsoft of anything.
-Of course not.
-I'm just stating the fact.
I'm telling a story.
-It's a technology thing.
-This is what happened and, you know, we would walk out of the shot.
would walk out of the shot, walk back in, I would walk back in and it would do the same thing.
It would recognize me and that's it.
There's only one person.
-Which is so weird, right?
-Did he have like--
-He didn't have a hat on, he didn't have like a turtle neck or face mask or anything.
-He wasn't covering his face with his hand?
He wasn't doing that although he does walk around the office a lot like that.
-I don't know man.
That's really strange.
-It is weird.
-Like I said, when you see like the debug display of these things, they're just showing you this like
3D infrared model.
-Machines aren't racist.
People are racist.
Stop looking forward in machines.
-Stop thinking they're racist.
-Although, do you remember when Nokia came out with that blink-sense technology?
-It wasn't Nokia, it was Nikon, the camera company.
So they had digital camera that could sense when people were blinking and there was one shot that was kind of infamous on the internet of a bunch of people like maybe five people.
One of the people was Asian, was like, you know, something.
pointed to this guy out and it was like, "Oops, did somebody blinked?"
-That would happen to me too.
-And he clearly wasn't blinking.
He just had smaller eyes, if you know, and that's just, that's a human characteristic with Asian people.
It's also funny though.
-It's funny but it's not because some guy programmed it in to be like, hey--
-It's like, oh, yeah.
-all Asian people has sleepy eyes.
-They really just nail every Asian.
-It's just, you know, this stuff happens, they'll just laugh at them and then move on.
-I think so.
Yeah, it's not racist.
-But Joey smashed that Xbox.
And now we're out of Xbox One it sucks.
We talked a few weeks ago about Amazon Prime Sharing and thank you to Juan and Rob for chiming in and saying you can do it.
This is from Juan, he says, "Just wanted to clear up the Amazon Prime thing.
There's a link that he presents us telling us how we can do it.
It's 100 percent legit and you can have a shared Amazon
account with household members even if the addresses don't match.
Now, how was a household member having in a different address?
I'm not sure.
-To voice families.
-Yeah, but that's not a household member.
-It should be called, it should just say family member.
-When you log in to your Amazon account, you access your prime settings from there.
You sent an e-mail to the friend's e-mail.
-Once they get your e-mail, you log in to your account.
There's no sharing of passwords.
All you're sharing is
the instant connection.
-They don't get instant video.
-Which is fine.
But they get the free shipping.
So you can only do that with up to four members including yourself.
I gotta start doing this.
I love the show.
I've been listening for at least 1,100 episodes.
Holy shit, that's over 29 full days worth of time.
-Get a job.
-Don't know-- no, he's got a job.
It was Anthony who sent this and the other Amazon Prime thing.
to you gentlemen.
You are-- been a help save me and my brother a lot of money this year.
-'Cause that's what we're gonna do.
-Yeah, yeah, yeah.
-Rob writes in from New Jersey.
What game should I play?
I need your help.
I'm a casual gamer with a 360 and I've got a little extra time on my hands.
I wanna find a game that I will really get in to and he wants to find a game that's gonna get him back into gaming.
-Let me handling this one Jeff.
-You got it, hold on.
-All I've played with any enthusiasm is Call of Duty, Madden and Forza.
I've tried Dishonored
and I lost interest.
That's upsetting man, freaking-- Dishonored is really good.
I lost interest in Metro 2033.
That I understand.
I think that game is a little overrated.
-He wants to find something that's addictive yet not overly difficult so I might have hope of actually completing it.
He's getting a little specific here.
I don't have the cash to shall out to keep trying games until I find one that suits me.
I've heard you and several others praised BioShock.
You know what?
If money is
an issue, go get the original BioShock.
That's probably like 5 bucks right now.
Play through that, immerse yourself into that story in that atmosphere and that setting, and if you don't like that, get back to us and we'll have another suggestion for you.
I would also really look at review scores for the downloadable games 'cause those were a lot cheaper as well if money is a big concern.
There's a lot of games there, you know, I would try the first
BioShock, when GTA V goes done in price, I would maybe take that for a spin just because of how much replay value.
-No one could be bored by that game.
That game is too good to get bored with and I think the same way with BioShock, so we'll wait to hear from you Rob from Jersey.
Thanks for writing in.
All right, if you have a recommendation for Rob, let us know.
You can e-mail us to firstname.lastname@example.org.
That's gonna do it for us this week guys.
Thanks so much for tuning in
these few days.
We're gonna have a nice Thanksgiving and we hope you do too.
All right, we will be here Monday or you won't be here Monday.
-You will be here Monday.
I'll be here Tuesday through Friday.
So I'll be here Monday and then I leave for San Francisco on Tuesday.
So my only show is Monday of next week but I will be back a week from Monday for good or at least through up to CES.
So that's gonna do it for us.
Have a great little holiday weekend.
Until Monday, I'm Jeff Bakalar.
-I'm Justin Yu.
-I'm Ariel NuÃ±ez.
-This has been The 404
Show, high tech, low brow.
Have a kick-ass Thanksgiving, all right?
We'll see you guys soon.