Re/code on TV: SXSW, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Backup Plans
Liz Gannes / Re/code
The editors of Re/code managed to ditch their sweatsuits and find some business-casual wear quite a few times this week for their TV appearances.
Liz Gannes went on CNBC’s Tech Yeah to discuss Edward Snowden’s talk at tech festival SXSW.
“Perhaps in the future, we’ll start paying for services because privacy is their core selling point … I think Edward Snowden was trying to push that forward and encourage that work.”
Meanwhile, I went on Tech Yeah and nearly fainted. Do not watch. Avert your eyes at all cost (my tactic). Kara Swisher made me include it.
In Texas too, Swisher discussed the more serious side of SXSW.
“[Snowden] made a very persuasive case, as he often does and, as did Julian Assange, that the government is conducting war on its citizens.”
Lauren Goode did a snazzy one-topic, one-expert, 30-second segment on how our home appliances are going to be connected to the Internet soon.
“The Internet of Things: You’re going to be hearing about it more and more,” she said.
Walt Mossberg laid out his tech backup plans, highlighting the cloud system Backblaze.
“This is kind of like, you know, ‘floss your teeth,’ do all the things you’re supposed to do, and it’s kind of a pain,” Mossberg said. “It’s just really, really easy.”
Arik Hesseldahl admitted he was just fine renting music, much to the shock of his hosts.
“We’re probably seeing some level of maturing, but we’re also seeing Apple being forced to challenge itself,” he said. “We might see Apple try to consider doing some kind of subscription service itself. When’s the last time you bought an album on iTunes?”
Jason Del Rey said the Amazon Prime price spike doesn’t really faze him — and probably won’t hurt the online retailer giant’s growth.
“Psychologically, I just don’t see a big difference in the $20.”
Swisher also appeared to talk about Bill Gates, noting that no one is quite sure where the famous founder fits into Microsoft now.
“Gates has not been deeply involved in the Internet space in several years … so the question is whether he is up to speed on what needs to happen at Microsoft,” she said. “Because he is Bill Gates, even doing this media tour, a ‘Bill Is Back’ sort of thing, he sucks up all the oxygen in the room away from the real leader of Microsoft, which is — presumably — Satya Nadella.”
Swisher also talked about how overt U.S. government surveillance may hurt tech companies’ efforts at expansion overseas.
“The problem is now a lot of European companies, a lot of Asian companies, are thinking, ‘Do we want to use US technologies, given the level of government spying?'”