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Inside Scoop: 'Chromebook' details emergeIt's become a story of lies, mysteries, and many unanswered questions. CNET's Kara Tsuboi and Casey Newton try to unravel the complicated web a Russian developer has spun around a video of the alleged Chromebook Pixel.
-Hey everyone. I'm Kara Tsuboi. Welcome to the Inside Scoop. Today, I'm talking to KC Newton, senior writer here. And KC, we are doing a follow up of a fascinating story that broke a week ago and this was the alleged Chromebook that came out through a video-- through very suspicious sources. Tell us about, I guess, the man behind the video, first of all. -So, the video was linked to a man named Victor Koch who is a Russian developer and various profiles on social media says that he used to work at Google before he founded this company, Slinky. Slinky is believed to have created this video which we thought might be an ad for the Chromebook Pixel, the first ever touch-screen-enabled Chromebook laptop. But, what I decided to do was try to find a little bit more about who is Victor Koch as a way of determining whether this video actually might be for real. -Right. And it's almost like the Chromebook Pixel is almost like the secondary story at this point and Google has not confirmed whether or not it is. -Right. I mean, there were just so many strange questions about who this man is, what the startup is. It was-- I write about my story, on one hand, they say that they're trying to create a visual guide for the world. On another hand, they say that they've been creating videos for Google. Another hand, they say they've been working on mobile apps. So, I kinda try to piece all that together. Frankly, it never adds up but one of the things I found out was Google told me, "Hey, we looked it up. We have no record of this guy ever having worked for us." Which I attempted to put to Victor Koch and he sort of backed off and said, "Well, no, I never really said I worked for them. I only said that, you know, I developed Chrome extensions." In fact, he had told me in an earlier interview that he had worked at Google. -And it sounds like the nature of your phone conversations were all so pretty unusual. The fact that he was supposedly overseas in China at that time. -That's right. He says that the video leaked in the first place was that his servers were hacked and that he had travelled to China in order to investigate the source of the leak. He also told me that he would have more to say in the next four to seven weeks, depending on what he found out. So, we may not have heard the last from Victor Koch on that subject. -And besides, Google claims he also has some other claims that you have since verified to be inaccurate. They're just flat-out false. -That's right. Although, you know, he says that some of the accounts that have been created for him online are fake. He says the LinkedIn for him is fake, for example. CrunchBase, which is a database of startups, has information that I have found to not be true. For example, it says that his company, Slinky, has signed a five million dollar deal with AOL. I've asked AOL about that, they said, "We'd never sign a deal with this guy." So, it's kind of-- every place I tried to poke a hole on this story, it gives. There's just not a lot that I've been able to verify about this man or this company. -Fascinating. And that brings us back to the original video from a week ago. It's a beautiful sleek video and still no idea where it came from and if it's real. -That's right. I mean, one of the reason I'm so fascinated by this story is, on the one hand, It's hard to believe anything that Victor Koch says. On the other hand, it seems like this laptop might really be real-- -Yeah. -because the truth is, if you look through the source code that's in development for the Chrome operating system, you'll find a lot of little references of the things that can be seen in the video. For example, there's a light bar with all the Google colors that will change color depending on remaining battery life. Well, a reference to that is actually in the Chrome source code and you can see it in that video. So, if somebody was creating a fake video, it seems like they had some kind of insight into where Chrome OS was going. It kind of adds to the intrigue. -Yeah. Great reporting, great story and I look forward to following this. See how it unfolds over the next several days, weeks. -Absolutely. -KC Newton, I'm Kara Tsuboi, thanks for watching the Inside Scoop.