Tech News Weekly 313 Transcript

Please be advised this transcript is AI-generated and may not be word for word. Time codes refer to the approximate times in the ad-supported version of the show.

0:00:00 - Jason Howell
Coming up next on Tech News Weekly. I'm Jason Howell and I start things off talking with Emily Drybelbis from PCMag.

0:00:07 - Mikah Sargent
She talks all about Amazon's new AI offering for business with a single letter Q and I'm Mikah Sargent and I am joined by Dan Moran of SixColorscom to talk about NameDrop, that feature that has local police a little concerned. But don't worry, it's not something you need to worry about.

0:00:28 - Jason Howell
Yeah, should it be worrisome? I don't think so. Also, there's a study that caught my eye. That's all about technology trends in the UK. Specifically, it focuses at least a part of it on AI trends and the youth of the UK, and apparently Gen Z is all in on generative AI.

0:00:44 - Mikah Sargent
And I round up the show with a PSA. If you've got a Google account, you might want to log in if you haven't used it in a while. It's all of that coming up on Tech News Weekly.

0:00:56 - Jason Howell
This is Tech News Weekly Episode 313, recorded Thursday, november 30th 2023. Bustin the NameDrop FUD.

0:01:15 - Mikah Sargent
This episode of Tech News Weekly is brought to you by our friends ITProTV, now ACI Learning. It skills are outdated in about 18 months. Launch or advance your career today with quality, affordable, entertaining training. Individuals. Use code TWIT30 for 30% off a standard or premium individual ITPro membership at

0:01:37 - Jason Howell
And by discourse, the online home for your community. Discourse makes it easy to have meaningful conversations and collaborate anytime, anywhere. Visit to get one month free on all self-serve plans.

0:01:53 - Mikah Sargent
Hello and welcome to Tech News Weekly, the show where every week, we talk to and about the people making and breaking the tech news. I am one of your ho-ho hosts, Mikah Sargent.

0:02:03 - Jason Howell
Dang, I wasn't prepared for that. I'm the other guy, Jason Howell. Yeah, we walked into the studio today and it's like covered in Christmas cheer. Yes, but it's not December yet. Like what's going on? The holidays are here.

0:02:15 - Mikah Sargent
Regardless of we're post Thanksgiving yeah, we're post Thanksgiving. The holidays are here. Whatever end of year holidays you celebrate, they often involve pine trees and pine cones and glitter and cranberries and glittery and it's everywhere.

0:02:28 - Jason Howell
Yes, it looks really good. So big props to the folks who were here last night decorating the studio, getting me ready for Christmas and getting us ready for this show, Because we've got some really great stuff to talk about. Starting, let's start with when do we always spend our time these days? Could it be artifical intelligence?

0:02:45 - Jason Howell
It's artificial, and it involves intelligence. This time, though, we're talking a little bit about Amazon, and maybe Amazon's a little late to the party I don't know. That's one way you could look at this, I suppose, but Amazon officially announced its own AI assistant. It's really designed, though, not for general consumer. It's really designed for the workplace. They call it Amazon Q. The Q, in my opinion, stands for questionable choice of letters in the year 2023. But Emily Dry-Belvis wrote about this new chatbot for businesses for PCMag and is here to talk about it. Welcome back, emily.

0:03:21 - Emily Dreibelbis
Hi, thank you for having me.

0:03:23 - Jason Howell
Absolutely Great to get you here. This is Okay. We got to start with the letter of this thing, which I mean some people might look at this and be like, okay, wow, that's a waste of time even considering this, but I feel like it's a little strange to name your product the simple letter Q in this day and age, and Amazon's not alone in this. Openai also had KEDQ Star. What is the deal with the whole Q naming thing? What is the explanation or story around this?

0:03:53 - Emily Dreibelbis
if you happen to know, I can't explain it beyond that. It stands for question, which is a very utilitarian name, which is very Amazon in its own way. So the point of the product is to answer questions. When I first heard it, I thought of QAnon. I don't know what you first. What did you first think of? I mean that's.

0:04:10 - Jason Howell
Yeah, you put the finger on the buzzer right there. That's the whatever the example that resides in the last couple of years around the letter Q. That makes me really just surprised that not one, but multiple tech companies are actually choosing this as a letter to represent their major AI product. But I guess, if they're marketing it as a spin on questionable, I don't know.

0:04:36 - Emily Dreibelbis
I think so. Yeah, I mean other people have thought of there's a Star Trek character named Q. There's a James Bond character named Q. So, it's a big week for the letter Q which. I guess X has been usurping its letter spotlight. Yeah, that's true. So I guess it's Q's turn.

0:04:52 - Jason Howell
Okay, all right, so those are two letters that we should not name any products anymore, going forward in perpetuity. So let's talk about what it actually is then. Amazon Q like I said, designed more for business, right? Who is the target market for this within businesses? Is just anyone using Amazon's cloud products, and it kind of ropes into that. Or how did Amazon explain who their target audience is for this?

0:05:19 - Emily Dreibelbis
Yes, exactly, I think it's a very of this moment product for AI. The industry seems to be kind of going towards more private, secure chatbots that are customized to a use case. So if you think about a business, they're really concerned about their data. They're really concerned about how their employees are going to use it and how they're regulating that. So what this does is it allows businesses to pump in all of their data and then different people in different job functions can use it to assist with their job.

And the two examples Amazon gave are related to AWS cloud products. One is their customer service product, which is called Amazon Connect. So let's say you work at a hotel chain and customer service and you're answering questions about privacy policy, room policies, cancellation policies. Theoretically, somebody could just go to their Amazon. The agent could go to their Amazon Q instance. They could look up information related to that question and then hopefully more quickly answer the person on the line's question or an email One.

There are businesses that are using it. So they said Accenture, bmw and a couple other companies I had not heard of are using Amazon Q. One of them reported that its customer service agents are able to answer questions 10 to 15 times 10 to 15% faster. So that's the goal there, but really the goal is more for the developers and on the AWS side. So this claims to be an expert in AWS, answering questions about it at all phases of the product cycle. So Amazon is really leaning into its competitive advantage there, and a lot of its press release and a lot of what we know about it is related to developers.

0:06:58 - Jason Howell
Okay Now, how, then, does this compare to what we've seen? Because, like you said, this feels like the very now, actually totally unrelated, but kind of an eye-opening moment for me. This morning I realized that chat GPT's one year birthday is today. So within a year, we've gone from oh, what is this chat GPT thing that people can start to use? Oh, that's so curious To all of the different kind of maturations and developments that have happened in AI, and right now, the last I'd say a couple of months maybe even less kind of moment for AI has been these very specific yet sophisticated chat bots that you can train on specific tasks, instead of them being all expert or air quotes expert on everything. We can focus it Based on what Amazon has talked about these chat bots and how learnable they are for very specific use cases. How does that compare to some of the others that we've seen from the like the GPT's and the others out there?

0:08:04 - Emily Dreibelbis
Yeah, I mean, you're spot on. That's how I'm interpreting the evolution of the industry, especially the last year. I just published an article today like five things you need to know about GPT and where the industry is going, and the last one is exactly the point you just made. So Amazon, it's definitely the release. I found it to be very practical. I liked how they gave a portrait of how companies could use this. They said there's, you know, 40 different ways to upload data, whether it's through Dropbox, or you have a database in Redshift, or even Google Drive, microsoft 365. So they made it very clear how to use it, which is something I haven't necessarily found with Microsoft's co-pilot or chat GPT's enterprise, which are kind of the competitors. Presumably they all work similarly, but I liked Amazon's announcement in that sense. It felt like a step forward in terms of educating people on this, and they all have very similar pricing. So chat GPT they have their plus plan, which is $20 a month, which is where you would get those GPT's, those custom AIs that they announced right before all the drama with Sam Altman. And then Amazon's version of their queue is also $20, but it's $25 for all the developer features and that's really who they want to be buying the product, and that's per person. So if you're at a company that has 50 engineers, you're going to spend 25 times 50 per month.

So I guess for bigger corporations, let's say like a bigger tech company, you'd have to kind of weigh like, oh, I could build a chat bot myself. And that's probably what all these companies are asking themselves, like how much would it be for us to fine tune an open source model? There's really good ones out there. We could do that, maybe like $10, $20,000, or we could just use what Amazon is offering, and how much would that cost? Who would need the licenses in our organization? And so that's kind of the choice they're being presented, and personally I think Amazon, if it works, is offering a very timely product, at least as far as where AI is now, and I think it's about as good of a shot as they have. And just the question is does it work?

0:10:15 - Jason Howell
Yeah, and they certainly have the resources to put behind to continue to iterate that. When you're kind of spelling out, do we make our own or do we kind of go with Amazon's solution? Like, I have a feeling, the way things are progressing so quickly with AI and chat bot technology and everything right now, that Amazon has the resources to really put behind this and create kind of a compelling roadmap going forward that keeps people feeling like that's a worthy investment. What about the security and privacy of this data? Did that always seems to be at least a part of the question when you're talking about businesses in a situation where they have to share largely potentially company secrets and things that they don't want anyone else to have even a finger on the surface of. Yet this is a service that, in order to be truly effective for certain applications within your business, you do need to share that information. So what is Amazon's assurances around that?

0:11:12 - Emily Dreibelbis
The big thing is that the model will not train on the data that it's fed. So that was what pretty standard. So you don't want companies to be sharing their trade secrets. Have all their employees asking questions about some new big project or initiative and giving it data about it, and then the model trains on that and either regurgitates it verbatim to someone else at another company or kind of subconsciously learns from it and starts steering people in that direction. I mean, you don't know what it's going to do with the information and products like the free chat GPT explicitly state in their privacy policy. We cannot guarantee that won't happen. So that's the product, the problem with that, and a lot of organizations have banned use of chat GPT the free version for that reason. So Amazon is saying it won't do that. That's also what chat GPT is enterprise product promises and Microsoft's co-pilot. So that seems to be the big thing.

Amazon also spelled out different permissions for different users. So again, let's say you're the hotel chain. You want your customer service agents to only be referring to customer service policies. You don't want them to be answering questions about, like, annual sales data and you don't even want that to come up at all for them because that's not useful and it's could be odd to communicate that publicly as part of an answer to a customer. So they're saying you can go in and set all these settings and these roles and fine tune the model to be perfect for everybody and, of course, solve all the problems in every use case. People are saying AI can do, and I don't know how much work it would take for a company to set this up and it maybe depends on how big the company is. If you know Hilton hotels, they have a million departments. I don't know how they would use it. So it's all very preliminary and it's only available in preview now. So I think it's more to common. The big question is does it work and is it easy to use?

0:13:04 - Jason Howell
Yeah, yeah, indeed, indeed, but we'll look at it. We'll certainly be following that to kind of see how it does. I mean, it's a company like Amazon with this insane cloud infrastructure and an AI offering that seems to at least on its surface, based on what we know now seems to keep pace with what the others in this industry are doing, so that, right, there is going to be a winning combination for a lot of people. Before we let you go, what is the deal with Bedrock? Because Bedrock is kind of a part of the underlying architecture. Here. It's more like it's not tied to any specific AI model. It's really like a I don't know a potpourri of sorts. But how does that integrate with this and what kind of advantage does that carry with it?

0:13:49 - Emily Dreibelbis
Yeah, so just really quickly. One last privacy thing. Sure, Amazon has a long tradition of handling private data. So if you think of the sophistication of the organizations that are using AWS, like they're already giving Amazon a lot of data. So in a sense, this should follow as a natural extension, and I don't know if they don't trust Amazon. They wouldn't be using Amazon AWS anyway. And like one just personal anecdote, like my fiance is a software engineer who builds on AWS and he spends a lot of his time asking chat to summarize AWS documentation. So this is very much a need and Amazon is just kind of like bringing it in house for their customers, and so I just wanted to add that because that helped me understand it a little bit and that'll win a lot of people over Absolutely.

They're already in the ecosystem, so yeah.

Exactly. And so for Bedrock sorry about that. For Bedrock it seems to be some kind of like quilt of AI models and the user, of course, should never be expected to know what all of them do. But the user, just you know, they just want good answers. So it appears on the back end, amazon will somehow call or incorporate the right model, and that could be like Metas Lama 2, which is a top rated AI model that's open source, that anyone can theoretically download and start fine tuning. So, yeah, amazon's going to use it. And then there's Anthropic they have a model. So that is kind of part of Bedrock's quilt, and I don't know if you have more information on this, but just all that has been communicated that I've seen is that they have a bunch of different ones in there and they will find the right one for you.

0:15:26 - Jason Howell
Yeah, I mean then that right there sounds compelling, as opposed to, you know, some other services that are really just. I mean I can see benefits and disadvantages, I suppose, to both sides, either the broad strokes approach or the very narrow. This is just, you know our stuff, Right.

0:15:44 - Emily Dreibelbis
Well, amazon is master of scale. Yeah, for sure. Yeah, so I used to work for Amazon. I was a product manager there, so this all makes I'm reading them like a book, like I get it. This is classic and it's making sense and, like I said, we'll just see and I guess my summary of the situation is that it's just emblematic of the trend towards secure, safe, private, customizable, workplace-focused chatbots. That will cost you $20 to $30 a month. Yeah, could be the best money you've ever spent. I don't know.

0:16:15 - Jason Howell
Yeah, love the summary and, emily, love having you on the show. Thank you for joining us today. I'm Emily Dry-Dubbis at PC Mag, so everybody should follow your work over there. Thank you so much, emily, appreciate it. Thank you, thanks. We will talk to you soon. All right, and coming up next, ios 17's name drop A controversy. Would you call it a controversy?

0:16:37 - Mikah Sargent
Is it a controversy? Is it a gate?

0:16:39 - Jason Howell
Who knows, is the question of it being a controversy, controversial, controversial, perhaps? Perhaps We'll find out in a moment. So Tech News Weekly is brought to you by Wix web agencies. If you're out there watching, you're going to like this one. Let me tell you about Wix Studio. This is the platform that gives agencies total creative freedom to deliver complex client sites while still smashing those deadlines, and I can tell you a little bit about how they do that.

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0:18:22 - Mikah Sargent
Yes, it is time to talk about the controversy. We shall see. I think what ends up being controversial here is how sometimes news gets spread and is spread in a way that it doesn't include the full context. Panic, panic, what is it? Fud Fear, uncertainty and doubt, and what we aim to do here is bust the FUD. We want to stop folks from panicking, from worrying about what ends up being a feature that is not something to worry about. So joining us here to talk about that and help us bust the FUD is six colors. What is it? East Coast Bureau Chief, dan Moran. Welcome to the show, dan.

0:19:05 - Dan Moren
Hi, Mikah FUD Busters is my favorite casual restaurant.

0:19:11 - Mikah Sargent
FUD Busters FUD, so let's bust that FUD. Let's start by talking about what we're talking about. It's name drop, and it's not that annoying thing that your friend does because they've seen lots of celebrities and want to tell you about them. It is a feature that is added in iOS 17. So tell us a little bit about the feature before we even get into what the panic is about.

0:19:33 - Dan Moren
Yeah, name drop is a feature that Apple put out there that it's supposed to do away with that awkward dance that we've all done. Where it's like all right, I'll send you my phone number and then you'll call me and then I'll have your contact and you'll have my contact. That's annoying, right. We all get frustrated with that. So the idea is essentially you take two iPhones running iOS 17, you bring them close together, a little animation happens and it's like hey, do you want to share your contact details with this person? It is very secure. It is used like. It requires proximity you have to be really close to someone to do it and it requires you to actually say yes, I want to do this, but it is a great way to exchange contact details. This isn't the feature that's wholly new to Apple. Obviously, I think Samsung had something that was very similar at one point, and there was even an iOS app many years ago that did something very similar.

But yes, that's that's it in a nutshell. You don't have to go and figure out how to send somebody your information, you just go. Hey, here's my phone, there's your phone, we're done.

0:20:25 - Mikah Sargent
Very cool to see this feature added.

Finally, as you, as you, pointed out, you know, this kind of system has worked in the past and in this case it's kind of an extension of airdrop, which is why they do call this feature named drop.

And what ended up happening was there was a post Seems to happen.

There was a post going around on Facebook At least this is one way that it was kind of spreading and it suggested that Name drop was something you should disable on phones and Apple watches, because if you had this feature turned on, then someone could essentially come up to your phone, put their phone near yours and Then get your contact information, so to kind of like skim your details.

And they talked about how this was, you know, a privacy concern, a security concern, and it went from being on Facebook to having, like, sheriff's offices and police officer, police Places, departments, places, police places, all talking about hey, you know, issuing alerts, this is what you need to be worried about, etc. Etc. And then from there, as always happens, it made its way into local news, which then makes its way into the homes of people who aren't as versed in this stuff as we are, who don't know as much as we do about how this stuff actually works and doesn't. So let's talk about that. Can someone walk up to your phone or your Apple watch, hold their phone near it and Then get? Get your phone number.

0:22:09 - Dan Moren
No short answer, no Longer answer is. I mean, as we just discussed, this is something that requires Positive action on the part of the person sharing their details. So in order for that to happen, they need to have your phone, and I believe they also need to unlock Yep, so they would need to have your passcode as well. So all of those things put together suggest to me it's basically, if not impossible. I mean by this point, they have your phone, if they're doing that, and your passcode. You have many bigger problems at that point.

So this is not a thing that is being done by, as like a drive by people are not like bumping up against you in the subway and all of a sudden they have all your contact details. So I think Apple has taken reasonable precautions here in terms of making sure this is something that is not inherently Insicure in any way, and then it does require users to know about it and you know, actually do things. I will say I was on Mac break weekly this week and Jason Snell tried to demo this in person and guess what? It's also a little wonky at times, so it took some work to actually get it to show up, so it is not as easy as just sort of like I'm just gonna walk down the street and steal everybody's contact information as I go by.

0:23:16 - Mikah Sargent
Yeah, both phones have to be unlocked. You then bring them together. If contact information already exists between the two devices, it won't go through the process, because it's not for adding new information, it's for or it's not for Updating contacts.

0:23:30 - Dan Moren
Yeah, I tried this with my wife the other night, actually, because I was testing it for an unrelated, totally unrelated thing, and we could not get it to work until we removed our contact information Each other's phones and then did it, so yeah, yeah, good that he finally got it working.

0:23:44 - Mikah Sargent
And then the other Aspect of this is if you do it with an Apple watch, you actually have to go in as far as opening up the contacts app on the Apple watch, so you can't just do it from the contact or from the the main home screen of the Apple watch. You got to go into the app itself. So it is far more involved. Now let's talk about this sort of thing in general. I want this little section of the show to be something that people can share, to do Multiple instances of fud busting, but I also think that it's an opportunity to talk about how this stuff gets spread in the first place and maybe what could have been done differently. Is there something that one of these, one of the people at one of these police places or those are right next to the pizza places?

One of the journalists could have done to learn a little bit more about name drop like it. Does Apple have any support documentation or Anything like that?

0:24:47 - Dan Moren
Yeah, I mean absolutely. I think you pointed out you kind of hit the nail on the head before when you said People who don't know as much about technology aren't as well versed in this kind of thing. I, you know. I would include amongst that the police departments, because I think oftentimes they are, as anybody who's ever tried to maybe track down a stolen item with an air tag or something like that, or deal with instances of cyber crime. A lot of local police departments are not well versed in technology overall.

So you can check out, there is a sort of you know, the iOS 17 manual on Apple site and it has the use name drop on your iPhone to share your contact info Section and it basically explains all the things you need to do In order for this to happen.

So this is something I feel like anybody could have looked up. Even you know, googled around a little bit and found this information. I am sure there are a lot of other resources at other sites. Since I was 17 just came out a lot of sites you know cover all these new features many of our favorite Apple related sites Mac world, mac rumors, 9, 5, mac. A lot of these places had written up little tutorials on using all the new features in iOS 17, but I think, unfortunately, a lot of times the sort of bad news virality takes hold much before a logic does, and so it's one of those challenges with people who are like so breathlessly Reporting this story before they actually take the time to look into how much of a reality is. And I mean this is not unusual or limited even to technology. I mean, we have all seen things spread around in recent years that involve dubious claims, the classic you know things there we've been putting the candy bars and Halloween and like that right.

Like. None of that ever pans out. So a lot of times it's just people want to get up in arms and make people, make people Bud is that a verb user, right?

0:26:36 - Mikah Sargent
No, I don't think I did. Look, we've got police places and fun is a verb, it's all. It works All right. So then Did you, upon learning about this and now that you know everything that's involved and the True state of things, are you going to go in and turn off name drop in your settings and do you recommend that other people do that?

0:27:00 - Dan Moren
I'm definitely not. I would have no reason to recommend to anybody else that they turn it off again. This is a feature I think has a lot of utility. I don't think it's actually a significant security concern. I would say, if nothing else, this is an opportunity for Apple to think about how it introduces features like this, because I think and this is Something they've worked on a bit in their most recent operating systems they know the system called tip kit, which basically, you know, surfaces feature information as you discover it more organically, and that way you might have a situation where Apple could you know the first time, you, you know, try to share a contact, or somebody could say, hey, did you know? There's an easier way to do this and it's secure, etc. It's something that's sort of in context to the action itself, rather than just leaving people discovered on their own and not really understanding the full impact of it all right, let's.

0:27:51 - Mikah Sargent
I have two more kind of things that get shared around, that have and that they need to be busted. The first one is a very common, but again I want to make this, this little section, to show like a resource that people can share. So I'm sitting at home and I just got done talking with my mom about an upcoming trip we plan to take to I don't know.

I see where this is going, Mikah, and so I've got, I talked to her about Alaska and she's visiting. Okay, so she's quite literally there in person. We're talking about Alaska and later on we're watching a show, which means that we're actually just scrolling on our phone while show is playing in the background and Instagram starts serving me ads that have to do with visiting Alaska. Visit Alaska, see a bear, that's what they say. So straight from the Alaska tourism board. I do like bears.

0:28:54 - Dan Moren
I would like to see a bear. I guess sure I gotta do gotta go to Alaska.

0:28:58 - Mikah Sargent
Um, was my phone listening to me, dan? And if it wasn't listening to me, then how the heck does it?

0:29:06 - Dan Moren
Should be caring about your feelings, because your phone, should your phone not care that? You want to go to a left, okay? So, yes, this comes up a lot and I have personally engaged in arguments with friends about this very topic. Same no, your phone is not listening to you. There are things in place, logical things in place in terms of the frameworks that Apple uses in iOS that prevent this kind of thing. If your phone, we're listening to you. If your phone had the microphone on with you not knowing about it, a Apple would be very upset at any app that did that, especially one as big as Instagram and B. There would be a significant security hole involved and Apple would move to patch that. So Suroptish is listening, not a thing.

The truth of this matter is actually it's actually kind of scarier in some ways, yes which is that these advertising companies build gigantic models and they know a lot about you.

So the fact that you maybe had, during your conversation, been like oh, let me Google Trips to Alaska, let me look up plane flight information, or let me Google something to see, let me, I'm googling bears, you know it's like, oh, he's interested in bears, he must be in Alaska.

All of this information is taking a huge amount of information, because we all leave a ton of information behind on the net just by virtue of Laces, that we go sites, that we look at things, that we search for on Amazon or Google or what have you, and it compiles all that they have the gigantic profiles about you, so that Instagram can serve ads very targeted, knowing exactly what the kind of things you are interested in. And and that is honestly, again a little bit scarier than even the idea that your phone just heard Alaska and was like what's your bad? It's about Alaska. That's very simple. By comparison, the truth is somewhat more nefarious. So, yeah, yeah, this is the thing. It's certainly a thing to be concerned about, but it's not like you have to have. You know, it's not like a spy movie where you're turning on running water in the background and you know much conversation Alaska.

0:30:59 - Mikah Sargent
Yeah, I, I have my stuff pretty locked up. I use a lot of different content blockers and and, and you know, have my IP address rerouted and all this other stuff. My partner, however, does not, and so what has been really Wild to see as of late is when an example is a Like meal delivery service. Right, he was researching a meal delivery service and we use, of course, the same Wi-Fi network, and so he had gone to the website for the meal delivery service and, within minutes, as I was scrolling through Instagram, I started seeing ads for that meal delivery service, and so you also have to be mindful of how, yeah, everyone else's behavior in one IP, that's. You know, your, your ISPs connection to the web plays a role in that, that's easy.

0:31:49 - Dan Moren
I don't really want to call them Like, yeah, yeah, the weakest link, but you got to worry about, like, everybody else in your household who is engaged in this kind of stuff. Yeah, all of that is totally used to build a profile that can be sure they know we are, you know who else is in your household, what those people are doing, and they can sort of cross-reference all that information. I mean, advertising is big business, right, it's a lot of money. It's backed by big companies like Facebook and meta and Google all of these Organizations. They want to be able to sell the ads because that's how they make money and they're very, very good at it.

0:32:18 - Mikah Sargent
They are indeed. And then one more Before we let you go. This is something that Really ground my gears. I had a family member who purchased an iPhone for the first time in a while, and while she was there, the person at the desk Told her that she should not charge her phone overnight and, in fact, should not leave her phone plugged in, because leaving your phone plugged in will ruin the battery. And so I want to get the opinion of a an iPhone, an iPhone knowledgeable individual, and Talk about Charging our devices and if it's okay to charge them overnight.

0:33:06 - Dan Moren
Yeah, I phone knowledgeable individual Iki, a classic. Yeah, that's me. So the short answer is this is grounded in a kernel of truth, or I should say a past kernel of truth. There are definitely historical problems with charge charging batteries that have things like oh you might remember, oh, the battery has a memory or something. Yeah, the thing is, a lot of this applies to batteries that were around two decades ago. This is not a problem with the currents, like lithium ion batteries that most of these devices are using.

There are potential reasons why you may not want to charge things too much. Specifically, I think in a lot of cases, going through cycles can wear out a battery faster and there is some degree of Well, I mean, you know energy usage and stuff like that. It also plays a part. Most of these devices now have sort of smart charging features. Iphones, for example, we'll charge up to a certain percentage, usually overnight, kind of like a slower charge, and then we'll charge. Like is based on learning when you use it, we'll charge to full capacity by the time, say, you get up in the morning.

There is no real concern about wearing out the battery or using too many battery charging cycles in a modern iPhone. This, this sort of power management stuff, is very, very smart. Apple has taken a lot of time and energy to make sure that smart. In fact They've gotten in trouble and passed by trying to sort of manage battery life versus performance. So I would not have any concerns about leaving your phone charging overnight and I say that as somebody who leaves his phone charge overnight all the time. So, yeah, better you have the phone charge that you need when you need it than worrying too much about Future. Dan, he's someday gonna have a have to replace his iPhone. Guess what? You're also probably gonna replace your iPhone before it's a real problem.

0:34:49 - Mikah Sargent
Yeah absolutely Well, dan Moran, thank you for helping us. Bust that. Bust that fun. Oh, we appreciate you, and of course, folks can head to six colors calm to check out your work, but where else should they go to keep up with what you're doing? I?

0:35:05 - Dan Moren
Post pretty regularly on mastodon. I'm D Moran at zeppelin dot flights can also find me on blue sky at D Moran calm, and all of my writings novels, podcasts are available at D Moran calm awesome.

0:35:20 - Mikah Sargent
Thanks so much, dan. Thanks guys. Alrighty, up next we've got Jason Howell's story of the week. Can you guess what it's about? Is it maybe about AI? It might be. No, it's about Gen Z.

Oh. Before we do get to that story, though, let me take a moment to tell you about our next sponsor. It's ITProTV now ACI Learning. ACI Learning covers all your audit, cyber security and information Information technology training needs. They are the trainers you want to go to our listeners. They know the name. It pro TV is one of our trusted sponsors for the last decade as part of ACI Learning. ITProTV now ACI Learning has elevated its highly entertaining, bingeable short format content, with new episodes added daily. Aci learnings personal account managers will be with you every step of the way.

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0:38:04 - Jason Howell
So this show is usually made up of four major things, okay, which makes it really easy to break down into chunks and understand kind of the the amount of Certain topics. This week I occupy 50% of the AI content of today's show. Do you didn't choose a I stories? And I commend you for that, because sometimes it's really hard to do.

Anyways, I also occupy 100% of the stories that involve Gen Z. Artificial intelligence. Duh, it's a big deal and we all know that, but who is adopting a generative AI the most right now? I think I'm already spoiled the ending here. Gen Z could possibly be that, but what am I even talking about here? Offcom did a study called the offcom Online nation 2023 report. It's focused on the UK that really looked at the nation's online lives and you know there are a whole bunch of facets of this report, but the the area of the report that I found really interesting is kind of the the generational breakdown of who's really not just using Generative AI right now, one year after the birth of chat GVT, but who's. You know who's who's. At what age are they being exposed to it and like, yeah, are they using it, but are they?

like adopting it? Are they like really investing their time and integrating it into their lives? And who is that? Well, the study found out that four out of five online teens ages 13 to 17 in the UK Use generative AI tools and services. It's four out of five. 80% of teens between the age of 13 and 17 Are using these tools, at least based on those that they review that they you know that they're doing with it.

0:39:46 - Mikah Sargent
Well, I could, I could tell you yes, I've got that information.

0:39:50 - Jason Howell
40% of the 7 to 12 year old users of internet which this is really crazy 40%.

Those are little kids are using generative AI. Yeah, 7 to 12 year olds. I mean, I have to imagine that if it's a, if it's a age range 7 to 12 that you know it's probably the later I'm guessing yeah, more that most of that 40% is is from the later you know, 12 years old. Okay, that makes a little more sense. But still, yeah, generative AI is not, it's not perfect and I would not say that there's much that I've seen in generative Generative AI that is appropriate for children, especially when we're trying to figure out, like, what it's capable of and yeah, yeah, that's actually a little concerning little concerning there.

So my generation is generation X. That's the official generation of Jason. Apparently, we are really are more reluctant to use generative AI. 16 and up see 31% use. So if you're over the age of 16 and you know, generation X is, of course, part of that sick 31% of the people that responded to this report actually use it in some way, shape or form, and these users so that would be users like me, users like you, I guess, because you're in that, you're in that age bracket as well, obviously using chat, gpt, using mid-journey Bing chat, dolly and Snapchat, my AI, which is an AI that I have not used, but apparently it's interesting that you say it's the worst one, because Snapchat, my AI, is the most popular service Used by kids and teens in the UK. Why do you say it's the worst one? I've not used it.

0:41:29 - Mikah Sargent
It's the worst one from, I think we I did a story of the week on it. Yeah, it is most likely to like teach kids about Use, like talk to kids about you using drugs and alcohol, and it had all of these other concerns that made it.

0:41:48 - Jason Howell
It just didn't have Good protections in place guard rails, thank you, yeah, didn't have the guard rails in place to protect, especially if the kids are using it, and yeah, and I'm sure that the technology companies thing, yeah, but our service, you know, we've got age limits you have to be 13 or older or whatever that age is. So many of Of the kids are, you know, are falsifying what their age is in order to use these things. 51% of seven to 17 year olds use Snapchat, my AI, predominantly Online girls using it more than boys 75%, when compared to 25% of boys using that, so that's interesting.

Well cause, so I'm assuming is it is the Snapchat, my AI, it's more like image, image related stuff.

0:42:39 - Mikah Sargent
Honestly, I thought it was just the thing you talk to. I didn't even think it did images, I thought you just chatted with it. Interesting, but that's fascinating. I don't know that for sure. I'm realizing.

0:42:49 - Jason Howell
Now I apparently need to fire up my Snapchat app and use this, because my my 13 year old daughter has been really pushing hard to get onto Snapchat Cause, you know, all the friends in my swim team are on Snapchat and I'm left out of the conversation and we're like you know what? We got away a little bit longer, so I think we're waiting until she turns 14. But even then, like I want to know about this. You know, this is a little, a little bit concerning. She keeps saying it's just like I messaged. I'm like no, it's not.

0:43:16 - Mikah Sargent
I know it's not for older, for people who are what I guess you would now call old Gen Zs. They're like on the millennial cusp, Cause I'm a young millennial and then right below me are the old Gen Zs that are on the millennial cusp, but these people all ignore that AI thing. Sorry, anecdotally, from everyone that I've talked to they don't. They're like why is this even here? Get rid of it. They don't want it in Snapchat, to be clear.

0:43:43 - Jason Howell
In Snapchat. Okay, yeah.

0:43:45 - Mikah Sargent
Wow, that goes counter to this. Yeah, in Snapchat they don't want anything to do with it. Interesting, it's the younger Gen Z that are not on the millennial cusp that I guess are making more use of that.

0:43:54 - Jason Howell
Well, yeah, and this you know saying seven to 17 year olds, which I mean that's not even Gen Z.

0:44:00 - Mikah Sargent
What is the? What is the Seven to 17 would be Gen Z. That is Gen Z, yeah.

0:44:03 - Jason Howell
Okay, so Gen Z is okay, all right. All right, I'm understanding more. Let's see here those 16 year olds that are using it are 23% of the group are predominantly using chat GPT. That's interesting to me because 16 year olds, you're probably writing a lot of papers, yeah, probably doing a lot of homework. That one feels, you can get some assistance on yeah. I'm less of like what are they.

0:44:28 - Mikah Sargent
Yeah. In that case, I'm like I know exactly what they're doing. Yes, Exactly.

0:44:32 - Jason Howell
But that's so interesting, how potent that tool is. Yeah, For that time and for education and the capabilities of that. And you know, here we are again. We're one year into the GPT experiment and we have yet to really see what education means truly in a longer form with tools like these in place. You know, it's easy to go like well, then they can't use the tools. Well, that's not gonna happen.

0:45:01 - Mikah Sargent
The tools are gonna be there.

0:45:02 - Jason Howell
They're gonna be there, they're gonna be used. How does that impact education? I'm not even saying these tools mean education is less effective. No, I just think it has new ways to morph and we have new ways to learn.

0:45:15 - Mikah Sargent
And this has been something that's actually gone on even before GPT came along.

Basically, since we've had the generation that has grown up with devices, there's been a look at how education needs to be changed and shaped in such a way that it is because if I have access to most information, then it's not necessarily as important to have all those stats and facts in the brain and instead it becomes about sourcing understanding, like what's good information, what's not breaking down, how to research, and that those skills become much more important Along with you know. Of course you've gotta have the basics and you learn those at a younger age. But as you get into high school and you're learning some history report for or a section of history, but if I have something that could always give me that information, is it necessarily necessary to have that here, and that's the question right. So there's been kind of already some shaping, even before GPT. The whole generative AI craze came along, and I think this is just going to almost make them have to put pedal to the metal in terms of how education gets reshaped.

0:46:30 - Jason Howell
Yeah, how do we modernize it to keep up with the actual, like core technology skills that when we are adults and we enter the workforce and everything, we have to pull from that skill base. That's just the way it is. But at the same time, in order for us to get a foundational understanding and knowledge of how we feel about our place in the world and the atrocities that have happened and to do better and everything, yeah, there is a level of knowledge that we have to experience and undergo that isn't just give me the answer. That is more. I need to know it on a deeper level so I can really kind of have that conversation with myself on how I feel about it and how I can do differently if I'm in a situation that pulls from that bucket. And then the report.

Of course it doesn't just focus on kids, but I think that's what's really important here. Little surprise that almost two thirds of them use it for fun and experimentation more than anything else. So there is a little bit of that work, but a lot of it is about recognizing that this is a very current new type of tool. It can do seemingly magical things using words to create an image, and if you're not an artist like that feels like magic to a degree that gives you the ability to do something you feel like you couldn't have done before. Yeah, I think what that takes me to is thinking about a reality where seven to 17 year olds are using and playing around with these tools, and probably the really kind of technology minded ones aren't just using the chat GPT interface, they're installing the open source models on their machine, they're figuring out, and then with that comes the good and the bad.

And that just reminds me of the story of the school kids who've used generative AI to create deep fake porn of their classmates. And that's when I start to kind of close up a little bit and be like, oh God, like there's not a whole lot that can be done about that, because it is open source and I don't know that I necessarily believe that we need to drop the hammer and like, kill these tools, like, because that can happen, but it just makes me so uncomfortable to think about that.

0:48:46 - Mikah Sargent
It needs to have more light shown, yeah more understanding about that, I suppose. Yeah, rather than you know, you relegate it to some dark corner and say it's banned and it's done in hiding. Yeah, it's done in hiding. I think more education about the tools is actually better and you start to see how it can be used in ways that are helpful and that, yeah, and I think tucking it away or saying no, no, no, don't pay any attention to that, that just doesn't help.

0:49:17 - Jason Howell
Causes an allure. Right, yeah, totally yeah. If anything, it makes it worse. One final point, kind of along this line, though. You might think that kids don't care much about the negative impacts of this because they're so entranced by the kind of the magic of it all and the potential of what you can do with it. But apparently, according to the report, that's not true. 67% at least aged 16 to 24 worry about the societal implications of all these tools.

So interesting kind of thought fodder for you know, take a look at some reports like this I have no idea Enjoy where it takes me and kind of you know, analyzing and understanding where we are with the data right now and what that actually means about the world around us.

0:49:56 - Mikah Sargent
Yeah, I mean, I thought that it was the whole thing was gonna be. You grew up with a screen in your hand, but for kids being born right now, it might be. You grew up from day one with some sort of generative AI system that you know, I mean, and it's only going to keep growing and whatever that turns into.

0:50:16 - Jason Howell
If we've seen one year of really hardcore, intense, you know development, where GPT became went from zero knowledge to household name, then just think about what you know what a time to be alive.

Yeah well, and to a certain degree it really does. I don't think it's hyperbole to say that it does, at least to me anyways. I'm sure many people would argue this. It does feel to a certain degree, kind of like when the internet was opened up in the 90s and everybody finally got access to this thing and we started to use and we were like man, what is capable now did not used to be capable Like what is the world going to look like in 10 years? And that's what I find my mind going. With AI developing right now, it's very exciting and a little scary but I think we'll figure that stuff out.

0:51:04 - Mikah Sargent
There was always still with, you know, virtual reality, which I guess has been tried throughout a bunch of different times in mixed reality, has always still felt. I've never gotten the level of how is this going to truly change everything, as I have with this? So I think this does feel different. It does.

0:51:24 - Jason Howell
All right coming up next, if you have any unused Gmail accounts, you are definitely going to want to hear what Mikah has to say. Important information. Don't miss it. But first, this episode of Tech News Weekly is brought to you by Discourse, the online home for your community. It's the online home, one of the online homes for our community. Actually, we have a Discourse here at TWIT. We love it.

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0:53:32 - Mikah Sargent
Yeah. So, as we record this show on Thursday November 30th, those of you tuning in, hopefully listening to this today on Thursday November 30th, are getting an alert in time, because tomorrow, which would be Friday, december 1st, marks the time at which Google will begin to delete Google accounts that have remained inactive for at least two years. If you have a Google account and you have not used it in some way in two years, it will be deleted and, what's more, google will continue to remove accounts that reach two years of inactivity. This isn't a simple you lose your email kind of thing either. This is, once it's deleted, it will be deleted Any items that were stored in this Google account Google photos, google drive, Google anything all of that's going to be gone and cannot be recovered. So if you have accounts out there that are Google accounts and you haven't logged in, then you're going to want to log in and make that account active again, because you, or if you just want to migrate data out of there, then you can do that as well. This was something that Google has essentially tried to correct some of its, some of the prevalence, I guess, of spam and other types of issues where maybe you had a Google account that you hadn't used in a long time, but it was tied to an account that you use and so then the password gets reset and the bad actor gets access to that Google account. I mean, there are any number of ways that these old accounts might get used in some way. That's not great, and so that is why Google enacted this.

Now, this was back in May that the company announced this, so there has been, you know, long, a long line of notification hey, this is upcoming, this is going to happen. It says old, unused email accounts probably don't have or actually this was, I thought this was the quote from Google, but it talks about why these accounts are maybe not great to have around. This is from the Wall Street Journal reports. This old, unused email accounts probably don't have multi-factor, they probably don't have the most secure passwords and are off too often wide open to bad actors. So again, you know, if you set this account up a long time ago, you haven't used it since you ever thought about it, since there's every chance that you did your you know monkey, one, two, three password there and that you, you know you, you didn't set up multi-factor authentication. So those accounts if you had an, a Gmail account attached to them, you would get an email. Or if you had any account that's kind of like a backup email attached to it you would get an email there saying, hey, we're planning on closing this account down. Be aware of this.

And this, I think, is interesting. Google says that after the account is deleted, the Gmail address tied to that account cannot be used again. So, yes, it's not going to get re, you know, introduced into the pool of possible email addresses. No, it won't be able to be used. You won't be able to go in and create an account and say, hey, this was mine before, so I want to have this back. So you won't get that email address back yourself, but also, no one else will get that Gmail account. It's not like a domain name Correct yes, yes.

0:57:17 - Jason Howell
And suddenly you get the email address and you start receiving all the bank statements from the previous you know recipient. I'm so happy that that's the case, and I couldn't imagine Google not doing that.

0:57:27 - Mikah Sargent
Right, that's how it should be, absolutely yeah.

And it's. You know it's not like a ex, formerly known as Twitter handle, where those can sometimes get recycled and reused In. In that case, you know, it's not as much of a concern as you said is having an email account that can be tied to so many things. That's awful If you set up an account through your work, your school or some other, basically Google kind of I can't think of what Google calls that now the Google suite accounts or whatever the business accounts, those.

This policy doesn't apply to those, so you don't have to worry about that. I mean most likely because you're still paying for it. In theory, right, it doesn't just get to exist without someone paying for it. So ultimately, this is just a little warning, a little bit of a public service announcement, that if you have old Gmail accounts, or if you think you might have old Gmail accounts, it's time to climb through your password manager or your password memo book or whatever, to see, go in, log in and use something like Google takeout to pull everything out of there. If you're okay with getting rid of the account, or if you do want to keep it, then maybe you should you know, send an email to someone else from it. I think at the time the recommendation was to upload a video to your to the YouTube attached to the Google account.

That's right, I forgot about that.

0:58:57 - Jason Howell
And then just leave it unlisted. Yeah, because Google will had said not too long ago, probably in the last year, that they would not delete a YouTube account that has videos listed on it.

0:59:07 - Mikah Sargent
Yeah, because I guess the idea there is that maybe at one point you did make a YouTube and you have this like history of what this actually does apply to me now that I quite literally had not thought about this. But there's when I was in high school I did a web show that I'm not naming, so you can all go and watch it and laugh. And I'll ask you after the show yeah, maybe I'll tell you. So this web show.

0:59:32 - Jason Howell
I have a look at Marcus Brown. They could do it. So could you, like I, all of his first videos?

0:59:37 - Mikah Sargent
are up, I and I think they're. I don't think I even have them unlisted, I think they're just available. But what? What I'm realizing is that I have not logged into that account for a long time, but I would hate for those videos to go away. Of course, like a part of it's, it's some played some role in being where I am today. So, yeah, those are still out there and I haven't logged in. So it's good that you know. Google said okay when it comes to YouTube stuff. So if, for some reason, you feel like you need to hold on to it although I am encouraging you, if you don't need it, let it go let it go.

1:00:08 - Jason Howell
Let it go. Yeah, all it's doing is clogging up your, your password manager. I speak from experience. I have some in there that I need to just let go, and I'm going to just let them go. But I not only do I need to let them go, I need to remove them from my password manager, Cause sometimes when I go to like log in yeah, and you're like all seven of them. I use five of these maybe, maybe you know.

1:00:31 - Mikah Sargent
So, yes, let it go if you can, but if it is something you need to keep or want to keep, then you may consider posting an unlisted video. I don't think you can post a private video on have. I think it needs to be unlisted. Yeah, I don't quite recall what the specific rule is on that in particular, but yeah, I would just hate it if somebody you know had some Google drive documents or something that got removed, because once it's gone, it's gone. Yeah, so get out there, get your account saved. If you need to, otherwise, let it go.

1:01:03 - Jason Howell
Yeah, I mean, that's, that's the better approach. We talked about this yesterday on this week in Google, and I completely forgot about the YouTube video thing. So my suggestion there was you know, set yourself a calendar reminder, log in every year, or I think it might even be every two years. But just do yourself a favor, just keep it safe. Just keep it safe, log in every year. And you know, I, even I would even log in and like send myself an email.

1:01:26 - Mikah Sargent
That's just like.

1:01:27 - Jason Howell
here's an action Like logging in is great, but the action I know is going to be a signal, Even though they say it would be. But this is even better. Like you post a video, have it unlisted. I would still probably end up logging in, though just to be sure.

Yeah, yeah. I would hate to lose any of that information, any of that data that I really need. So good reminder. We are at the end of this episode. We have no more tips and tricks for you this week. I am sorry, but we do have more for you next time. Tech news weekly records. Every Thursday twittv slash TNW. You can actually go there and subscribe to our podcast through the magic of podcasting RSS, and all of our new episodes will just appear like magic for you, as if you had to do nothing at all. But you did, you subscribed and that was important. So thank you for doing that.

1:02:16 - Mikah Sargent
All right, and if you would like to get all of our shows ad free, we've got a way for you to do that. It's called club twit. If you join club twit at twittv, slash club twit $7 a month, $84 a year you will get some great goodies. Get some great goodies. You get every single Twitch show with no ads it's just the content because you, in effect, are supporting the show, so you get to see it all in its full glory. You also gain access to the twit plus bonus feed that has extra content you won't find anywhere else behind the scenes before the show. After the show, special club twit events get published there, so new people who join get this huge back catalog of great stuff all in that twit plus bonus feed and stuff that we've, let you know, talked about on air that you're going oh, I would really like to you finally make that purchase. Now you can see all that stuff and you gain access to the club twit discord. It's a fun place to go to chat with your fellow club twit members and also those of us here at twit. It has a live stream that includes more than the public live stream, so you can see kind of as the show is getting set up a little bit after the show is over. That kind of stuff is all available in the discord and you know just special events when we are recording them. They also are there live in the discord. Along with all of that yes, it doesn't stop there you also gain access to some club twit exclusive shows, including the untitled Linux show, which is, as you probably guessed, a show all about Linux. Hands on windows, which is a short format show from Paul Therot that covers windows tips and tricks. Hands on Mac, which is a short format show from me, my guess sergeant, that covers Apple tips and tricks. And home theater geeks, which is a show from Scott Wilkinson that has all things to do with the home theater interviews, reviews, questions answered, all sorts of great stuff. And we have Jason Howell's AI Inside, which is about artificial intelligence Big surprise. And so again, that's ittvclub twit. $7 a month, $84 a year. If you'd like, you can pay more than $7. That's. Some folks were like, hey, this seems like a really good deal. Love to give you more, you can, but the price is $7. And it's a great way to support the stuff we do here on the network. We keep seeing new people joining every day. That's been fantastic. Thank you for your support Again.

If you'd like to follow me online, I am at Mikah Sargent at many social media network where you can head to chiwawacoffee that's C-H-I-H-U-A-H-U-Acoffee, where I've got links to the places I'm most active online. Check out I-O-S today, the show I record on Tuesdays with Rosemary Orchard where we cover Apple stuff. It's all sorts of stuff questions answered, everything. You can also watch Hands on Mac, which publishes on Thursdays after Tech News Weekly if you're a club twit member, and on Sundays you can watch Ask the Tech Guys, the show where Leo Laporte and I take your tech questions, live on air and do our best to answer them. This Sunday will be my last solo host of the show for a while, so be sure to tune in on Sunday and hang out and watch that if you'd like to. Jason Howell what about you?

1:05:29 - Jason Howell
Well, I'm here every Thursday. I do AI inside every Thursday as well with Jeff Jarvis. Actually, I have one here coming up in about an hour. We have Reed Albergotti as our guest from Santa Forrest to talk all about the open AI stuff, because, man, that story just keeps getting more and more interesting. But you can get that through the club, of course.

And then actually this Sunday I am filling in for Leo as lead host of twit this week in Tech. So it'll be me, Abrar Al-Heeti, rich DeMiro and why am I suddenly blanking on the last? To CNER. It ended up being a total CNET alumni episode, Tim Stevens, that's right, Tim Stevens. So I'm really looking forward to that. We're all at one point in our career from CNET or currently at CNET, so that should be a lot of fun. That's this Sunday, and then you'll see Leo back on the network next week, all shiny and new. Really looking forward to seeing Leo again.

But as for me, if you want to find all the things that I'm up to, just go to raygunfun. That's your place, your one place to remember the rhyme and go there and subscribe to all the different social places that I am in, the shows and all that stuff. Big thanks to everyone who always helps us do this show each and every week John Slenina, John Ashley we've got Burke behind the scenes testing people. Sometimes Anthony fills in. It takes a village and we appreciate it and we appreciate you for watching and listening and subscribing. We'll see you next time on Tech News Weekly. Have a great weekend, everybody. Bye, bye, snowflakes.

1:07:04 - Mikah Sargent
Yes, snowflake white.

1:07:07 - Louis Maresca
Come join us on this week in Enterprise Tech. Expert Coase and I talk about the enterprise world and we're joined by industry professionals and trailblazers like CEOs, cios, ctos, cisos every acronym role plus IT pros and marketeers. We talk about technology, software plus services, security you name it. Everything under the sun. You know what. I learned something each and every week and I bet you you will too. So definitely join us and, of course, check out the website and click on This Week Enterprise Tech to subscribe today.

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