Tech News Weekly Episode 216 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. 

Jason Howell (00:00:00):
Coming up next on Tech News Weekly. Happy new year, first of all. It's me, Jason Howell. My co-host Mikah Sargent. And we've got a show for you all the trends from CES. Thanks to Ian Sherr from CNET bringing empathy to Silicon valley with Allison Levitsky from Protocol, talking about T-groups. Mikah gets us all hooked on a new word game called Wordle, so be prepared for that. And finally, I walk through Sony's details they had just shared about the new PlayStation VR 2, all that, and so much more. Coming up next on Tech News Weekly.

... (00:00:34):
Podcasts you love from people you trust. This is TWiT.

Jason Howell (00:00:53):
This is Tech News Weekly episode 216 recorded Thursday, January 6th, 2022.

Mikah Sargent (00:01:00):
This episode of Tech News Weekly is brought to you by it pro TV. Are you looking to break into the world of it? Well, get the introduction you need with it. Pro TV, visit it N w for an additional 30% off all consumer subscriptions for the lifetime of your active subscription. When you use co T N w 30 at checkout,

Jason Howell (00:01:23):
And by Neva traditional audio conferencing systems can entail lots of components. Installation can take days and you might not get the mic coverage you need. That's complex expensive, but Neva audio is easy to install and manage no technicians required and you get true full room coverage. That's easy, economical, learn more at nureva.Com

Mikah Sargent (00:01:47):
And by Progress. Progress has the technology you need to secure, analyze and integrate your applications, network and processes. Find out more and download a free trial at Hello, and welcome to Tech News Weekly. Welcome back to Tech News Weekly. We hope you enjoyed the Best OFS episode. We're back in the saddle and ready to talk every week with the people making and breaking the tech news. I am one of your hosts, Mikah Sargent,

Jason Howell (00:02:18):
And I'm the other guy, Jason Howell. And I'm still not used to saying 2022. I know it's gonna get easier in the next couple of weeks, but it still feels very weird,

Mikah Sargent (00:02:26):
Usually around May for me. I remember then. Yeah,

Jason Howell (00:02:29):
It's like right halfway through the year. Yeah.

Mikah Sargent (00:02:32):
Luckily, most of the stuff that I do with the date is automated or else I would forget. Yeah. now totally. One of the things that that tends to kick off the new year is a big old tech conference where people come together and they launch new products and, or in some cases it's vaporware products that aren't actually going to ship. And not last year, but the year before was the last time that people gathered in person for CES formerly the consumer electronic show now just known as CES. This year CES decided to do it in person again. But many groups kind of said, Hey, we actually, we're not gonna do that. And so CES is a strange beast this year, despite that this is still the time that companies go about announcing new stuff and showing off new stuff. And so joining us today to talk about new stuff is Ian Sherr of CNET. Welcome back to the show, Ian.

Ian Sherr (00:03:36):
How are you doing?

Mikah Sargent (00:03:38):
Oh peachy keen. How are you?

Ian Sherr (00:03:40):
I I'm doing okay. And I am in Maryland, not Las Vegas. So I am one of those people who, who watched CES from afar. It was quite an interesting experience. I

Mikah Sargent (00:03:50):
Am really glad to hear that you are watching CES from afar, that you're not there. I saw a video on Twitter of folks going into the, a main area of CES as the doors opened as the gate opened. And it was just like giving me all kinds of sweat and anxiety, looking at all of those people gathered together masked, but still quite terrifying in any case you and the, the CNET team have been keeping an eye on ES and I was hoping that we could start with kind of, for folks who aren't familiar with CES, can you talk about sort of the categories that get covered here? Because this is not a time when say Google is showing off its new hardware. It has an event for that. Apple is not showing off new hardware. It has its own event for that. So what are the kind of tech categories that can get announcements at this kind of event?

Ian Sherr (00:04:46):
Well, it depends on what year it is, but generally speaking, this is what it sounds like consumer electronics, and that is an extremely broad category. It can be cameras, typically it's a lot more TVs. You could see what washing machines stuff for your home. One of the things that we've seen a lot of is health technology lately, and that was even before the pandemic. But I think what's been really interesting is that the car industry has kind of started slowly making their way to Vegas every year. And you know, there's a joke that the, that the auto show is now actually in Vegas. So there's, it's all sorts of kind of all over the map, which is part of, what's fun about it is that it's not these specific things like the new iPhone or the new iPad or the new pixel device. Like those are cool events. We know what they're for. But this is just the, how is technology kind of seeping into our lives in all these different ways?

Mikah Sargent (00:05:46):
Absolutely. So then let's get, let's get into it a little bit because of course this is, this is an ongoing process but we did see some kind of big announcements from big companies. What are some of the the, the, what do we wanna go with the headline items that may have been announced this year or headline announcements that may have taken place?

Ian Sherr (00:06:08):
Well, the, probably the biggest headline item involves your head it's stuff to put on your glasses actually. And the whole idea is that we're seeing a lot of companies pushing out VR, AR Mr. Whatever you MX, there are all these different letters now, but these devices who are either designed to make you feel enveloped in a digital world, right? Like Oculus does or stuff that overlays computer stuff on the real world, like Pokemon go, but for your glasses. And it's real, really cool to see it. We're seeing so many companies trying to come up with ideas for this particularly TCL, for example, who, by the way, we had CNETgive one of the best bang for their buck reviews when it comes to their TVs they announced a pair of glasses that got quite a bit of intention and they are not like VR goggles, right?

Ian Sherr (00:06:57):
They're not meant to play video games with per se. They're really just designed to be 140 inch screen equivalent when you put them on. And you're able to like watch an IMAX movie and really enjoy it. So that's pretty cool. And they're not the only people doing that, but they got a lot of attention for it. The other one was Sony. They announced PSV too. So if you know about the PlayStation VR, that was pretty interesting device, right? Much more mainstream than all the other VR devices out there, a lot cheaper than all the other devices out there. And now they've announced some of the features of the new one, which has a lot of us scratching our heads, wondering if it's gonna be more expensive or if Sony has found a way to make it much more affordable for all these high-end features. So it's gonna be very interesting to one.

Mikah Sargent (00:07:39):
Absolutely. Now you mentioned health being kind of a big banner item. What, what do is, is there any new kind of health technology that's taking place? Are we just seeing kind of more wearables from different companies, is this, you know, a year of sleep, a year of body temperature track, what are kind of some of the trends in, in health and tech this year?

Ian Sherr (00:08:04):
I think I could use a year of sleep. You know, I, it's interesting. I, I think that what what's generally been going on is, as you point out to sensors are going everywhere, right? They're becoming really just a part of all sorts of parts of our lives. And so we are seeing all sorts of stuff. There are sensors in t-shirts for people who are athletic, right? So that they don't have to wear a watch or whatever else, or they have a special type of sensor. They're doing sensors that are built into headphones, sensors, built into eyeglasses all that type of stuff, and also yes, into a bed. And so it hasn't congealed anywhere. It seems to be all over the place. But part of it, I think honestly, is because what has kind of come together are the different companies that are creating software for it, right? Apple, Google, the people who actually make the software that allows you to interpret all of this data, that is where you're using it. And then what these people are doing is building all these sensors that plug into it, right? Apple, health, Google health, all that type of stuff. So that's really interesting in and of itself.

Mikah Sargent (00:09:07):
Nice now, wow. Excuse me. CES is, it tends to be a time for <laugh> you to walk in and see these gigantic televisions that none of us will ever be able to purchase. But aside from those gigantic TVs, it is also a time whenever we kind of hear about new methods of, I can remember learning about quantum dot technology at CES one and year. What are we looking at in terms of display technologies this year and will my TV be, you know, 4d instead of the standard 2d I have right now,

Ian Sherr (00:09:47):
You know, it's interesting, actually, the making a comeback <laugh> and a lot of it is because of this new technology called Q D O led. So the idea behind it essentially is to take the best of both worlds, right? The quantum dots and O led technology, which if you don't know all of the specifics of it, it takes more than a couple seconds to describe. So I just say, go to CNET and we have a great story breaking it all down, but what it comes down to is to, at the TVs that they've been able to create and specifically Samsung and Sony are apparently able to be much brighter and have much better color, much richer color in them because they're combining these two technologies. It's a really fascinating idea. Of course, as you point out, probably way more than any of us will ever spend on a TV, but it will wasn't that long ago that the technology that's in my TV right now was on the show floor at CES and very expensive. And now it's affordable for most people. So eventually this stuff, you know, three, four years is gonna become a normal thing. And that's really exciting if indeed it does come true. We haven't gotten to testy yet, but we did get to look at it and it looked really <affirmative>

Mikah Sargent (00:10:58):
Nice, nice. And some of these things kind of come together. You've got these televisions that, that are offering new technology. You've got AR VR. So all of that comes together in one place, which is gaming. Yeah. What, what are we looking at? What are we seeing regarding gaming at CES this year?

Ian Sherr (00:11:17):
A lot of conversation around gaming was around game streaming, which is something that I feel like I've been covering since the stone age. It's been something that has been publicly talked about since 2010. And it makes sense, right? The idea of essentially Netflix for gaming, right? Why do I buy an expensive, bulky, loud, hot computer or console and sit it next to my screen instead of just connecting to the internet and servers somewhere else, that's hot and bulky and does all that stuff. And I just pay for use of it. And what's happening now is that Samsung in particular is building in technology, called the gaming hub into their televisions. And that is going to be working with all the different streaming services. Invidia is one of them, which by the way, Invidia announced new chips for, for all the different desktops that they sell and laptops AMD as well. And Intel, those are pretty typical announcements for CES, but they did do that. And also I think what's going on is that they, there's kind of a conversation around how, you know, we're getting to a point where this technology, which is actually very hard to do in very expensive game streaming might actually become affordable and doable, which would be very interesting. Right. And part of the, the kind of future we've all been promised, but never came about. So I, I'm curious to see,

Mikah Sargent (00:12:31):
Yes, me too. There's a lot of of, of stuff happening at CES this year. Whether people are there in person or not, CNET has a bunch of coverage and continues to keep that updated. So of course, folks can head to to learn more, but if folks wanna follow you online and stay up on your work, where do they go to do so

Ian Sherr (00:12:55):
I try to keep it simple. I'm at Ian. Sure. Anywhere you look and it's just spelled my name I a N S H E R R.

Mikah Sargent (00:13:03):
Excellent. Thank you so much. We appreciate you.

Ian Sherr (00:13:05):
Absolutely take care.

Mikah Sargent (00:13:08):
Alrighty folks. Up next. How do CEOs work on their interpersonals skills? Well, through the use of T groups, what are T groups? Well, more on that in a moment, but first this episode of tech news weekly is brought to you by it pro TV. If you're tuning into our show, then you may have more than a passing interest in it, but it's new to you. And you're not sure where to get started. Now don't have to worry about where to start because you can go straight to it pro TV. It pro TV has the knowledge and certificates that you need to break into the it world while being desirable to future employers. January's theme at it. Pro TV is all about getting started in it. So you'll have a great start to the new year. They have a free weekend, January 15th through the 16th. So if you just want to dip your toes into it, the following courses will be available for free CompTIA ITF plus.

Mikah Sargent (00:14:05):
And compt a plus Linux essentials, Microsoft 365 fundamentals Ms. 900 hands on PC build from the bench. Cool. Cisco CCT routing and switching. That's a hundred through four 90 and apple certified support professional, a C S P for Mac OS 11. If you're worried that learning, it can be boring. Well, it pro TV is anything but their enthusiastic entertainers make learning it painting interesting. And of course fun. And if you prefer shorter formats courses are in 20 to 30 minute increments, just the right length for a short attention span. And if you have a tight schedule, they have seven studios and they film Monday through Friday. They have the most UpToDate content with every vendor and skill and their courses go from the studio to their course library in 24 hours. Plus they make sure you're prepared for your exams with their virtual labs and practice tests.

Mikah Sargent (00:15:06):
It pro TV also has wonderful monthly webinars on January 13th. They'll be discussing cloud computing, confidential secrets to leveraging the cloud in your organization. If you're looking to break into the it world, get the introduction you need with it, prot, visit it pro dot T V slash T N w for an additional 30% all consumer subscriptions. And that's for the lifetime of your active subscription. Just use code T N w 30, that's it w and use code T N w 30 for an additional 30% off for the lifetime of your active subscription I T pro TV build or expand your it career and enjoy the journey. Thanks so much to it. Pro TV for sponsoring this week's episode of tech news weekly,

Jason Howell (00:16:01):
All rightt groups also known as training groups. I, this is a, this is a terminology that's, that's new to me before I read this article anyways. But apparently it's not a new concept it's been around since the 1940s when it was first developed. And also, you know, Stanford's MBA program actually integrates tea groups in a very I guess, essential program inside of the MBA program. And many ways it focuses not on how to train something, someone about how to do something, but rather how to recognize how they feel about what they're doing, kind of their emotional experience. That's tied to what they do. And startup leaders in Silicon valley apparently are turning to tea groups to better improve how they show up in their roles, how, how they can be more effective leaders. In other words, and joining us to talk about this is Allison Levitsky, who wrote all about tea groups in Silicon valley for protocol.

Jason Howell (00:16:56):
Welcome to the show, Allison, thanks for having me. Yeah, you bet. This is a, I love this topic and I'm so happy that we could get you on to talk about it, cuz you did a really good thorough walkthrough on what these tea groups actually are. But but I think kind of part of your, did the headline of this article about around, you know, bringing empathy to Silicon valley really resonated for me, cuz we're so used to talking about technology and about the leaders like Mark Zuckerberg, not, not to name someone specifically, but Hey, he's the easy target, you know, as, as like these like robots that roam around and just make decisions without any sort of care or concern and about who it affects and how and the empathy behind it. So I think that's kind of what really resonates here. At least with me, let's start with the T-group at its core. What exactly is the T-group? What makes it essential or effective when it's compared to other methodologies?

Allison Levitsky (00:17:52):
Yeah. So as you said, tea groups have been around since the forties. And they kind of had their heyday in the 1960s, but they've been a, a really popular elective at Stanford business school for decades now. I think 85% of students participate in a tea group and what a tea group is, is can be eight participants, a dozen participants often it's around 12 who don't know each other. And there are a couple facilitators and they basically sit in a circle and they are told to you focus on the here and now. And what that means is only talk about things that are happening right here right now. And that's basically your emotional experience and how you are responding to other people in the room. So someone says something and everyone else is encouraged to share candidly how they feel about what that person just said. And this is sort of a level of feedback that most of us aren't used to in a typical business meeting or really any other social situation. And I think it's really resonating with entrepreneurs and tech because they, you know, they, they wanna know how other people are, are respond to them. They wanna know how they're showing up in meetings, how their colleagues see them, how to be more influential.

Jason Howell (00:19:17):
Yeah. And you, you illustrate that really well with some of the, kind of the, the examples that you use in your article, where a leader might say, you know, I really, I really thought that by being open and engaging with my employees, that I was inviting them in, but in essence I was not, I was cutting them off. I was giving them only one path forward into how they communicate with me. And because they don't necessarily like that's not their natural place to take within this relationship, this interpersonal relationship, it ends up shutting 'em down. It has the opposite effect. And this is kind of an opportunity for leaders to kinda lower their defenses. I, I, I think what come came to mind when I was reading through this you know, and, and I only have my own personal work to really compare it against is that it helps people get out of their way, get out of their own way. <Laugh> in other words.

Allison Levitsky (00:20:09):
Yeah. Because none of us really know how other people are reacting to the way we behave until they share it with us. And usually people are too afraid to tell us exactly how we're coming off. So I think that's what tea groups offer is this sort of intensive weekend where they just constantly hear how people are responding to them emotionally.

Jason Howell (00:20:34):
Yeah. I think what comes to mind for me right now is this is it's, it's one thing to be in a group like this, like a tea group, like I'm a, I'm a startup founder and I decide I'm gonna go to this tea group, this workshop, whatever you wanna call this retreat to focus on how, you know, my emotional response to how I lead this company and I'm gonna be with other leaders and we're all there for the same reason. There's there might be some like that that makes it easier potentially to know that they're not there with the people that they lead, that they lead actually lead in their company. How are some of these qualit then taken from that group itself, which in some ways feels kind of like a safe space, right. And take those qualities and then bring it into the leadership environment where, Hey, I, you know, I'm encouraging my employees to do the same. Like, is there a disconnect or that's the ultimate goal?

Allison Levitsky (00:21:27):
Don't think, I don't think that T group facilitators would say that the idea is to have, have employees give the level of feedback that you would give in a tea group, because I think that would be a little extreme. I, what I learned is that in tea group, there are different levels of vulnerability and, and, you know, you start with, you know, hi, my name is blank. I work at blank and, and you, you have to build up and, and, you know, I think most of us know this. So it's, it's all about knowing how to, how to toggle that level of vulnerability. You don't wanna, you know, come in and just be fully vulnerable. I talk with one I, I talked with one exec who said that after his first tea group years ago he, his first staff meeting after tea group, he was feeling so raw after the experience that he came in and he was like crying in a meeting and he made one of his employees cry and it was just this weird kumbaya thing. And he got feedback afterwards that it was a little much. And, and so he kind of learned after that, that he needed to, to slow down with the, with the level of vulnerability at work.

Jason Howell (00:22:36):
That makes a lot of sense. Yeah. It could potentially be very uncomfortable for someone, you know, to, to see their boss in this, like, and especially their boss who may not normally be, you know, a very vulnerable person. So suddenly be that. And how do I, as an employee, you know, how, what, what is my role in that, in that regard? Is that just a little bit too, too much for me at that point? What is it about startup culture that kind of is an enabler of, of leaders who, who aren't practicing empathy in, in what they do? I mean, because again, it kind of goes back to what I was, what I kind of set up with, you know, mark Zuckerberg, being the, the robot leader. Like that's kind of a, that's an, that's an image that I think we're very used to seeing in leaders of technology companies. Why, why is that?

Allison Levitsky (00:23:25):
I think that's a popular caricature. I don't know how accurate it is. True, true, very true. I think there are, you know, I, I think entrepreneurs can in tech maybe may have a technical background. And so they're not as used to talking about their feelings. I think in one thing I heard from tea group alumni was that, you know, in, in learning how to run a business, whether they went to business school or not they just hadn't really been exposed to this type of emotional education. They hadn't really it's. I mean, it's, it's not really something that we learn in school and it's not something that most business schools are teaching. So I, I think that's, it's, it's just not really a part of our, our business culture and, and probably, you know, less so in tech.

Jason Howell (00:24:17):
Yeah. Yeah, indeed. It's, you're right. It's not really taught that that frequently, you know except for apparently Stanford, for which makes at least to some degree a, a required course. Maybe we need to see a little bit more than that. There are other trends in Silicon valley, you know, I've heard a lot of people over the past, you know, number of years talking about, you know, microdosing and, and things like that to, to get, you know, more creative or get more effective and that sort of stuff. How does something like this compare to other kinds of, you know, other kinds of methods like microdosing, or like, you know, these retreats that, that that business leaders can go to? I mean, they're all a little bit different. Like, how does this compare if, if you had to summarize it

Allison Levitsky (00:25:04):
<Laugh>, I don't know if there's a comparison. I would, I would say that I think that tech entrepreneurs are, they have an innovator mindset. They have an optimizer mindset. They, they wanna find, you know, new and interesting ways to improve themselves and improve their companies. And so I, I don't know if there's a strong through line between microdosing and T group because other than they're, they're just both ways that ways that, you know, some, some people in Silicon valley have, have tried to kind of see the world differently, I guess, or, or behave differently at work.

Jason Howell (00:25:48):
Yeah. I think that, I think that's a fair, a fair way to compare the two, I suppose. They're always looking for a way to kind of catch an edge, see the world differently, like you said, and with, with different effects and it turns out exploring what's already inside of us, you know, could, could some in many ways be the most effective method. What are some of the realizations that some of the folks that you kind of tracked for your piece realized in the T group environment like, can you give like an example of, of like a, a realization of how, how someone thought they were one way, but were another,

Allison Levitsky (00:26:27):
Yeah. Yeah. I talked to one, one guy who actually is now involved in, he he's now helping to run an organization that posts two groups. He he'd been feeling burnt out at the nonprofit that he'd founded almost a decade before. And he but he felt so guilty about, about the idea of stepping down, even though I think on some level he, he knew he needed to, and it would be better for the organization if he did. And he said that participating in his first tea group kind of made, brought him to that realization that he the story he was telling him off about why he was still there was, was that he was a bad person. And that by doing that work, it was, it was making him a good person. And, and I think realizing that story helped him realize it was time to step down. I talked to another another startup founder who I, who said hist group experience showed him how conflict diverse he is and that his tendency in groups is to sort of calm people down. And he realized that for that reason, he needed to hire ahead of people for his company, because he needed someone who could balance him out in that way and be more you know, more, more decisive and a and less afraid of upsetting people.

Jason Howell (00:27:46):
Yeah, that actually makes a lot of sense, right? Like if you're conflict diverse, anytime disagreement comes up, your initial reaction is going to be to calm things down to smooth things out and make sure that everybody's okay. When in reality, sometimes when you're running a business, actually a little bit of conflict could be a healthy thing. It could get you to the next breakthrough. It doesn't necessarily mean bad. It just means that there's maybe a disagreement that can be worked through and, and find something that works for everyone. So that makes a whole lot of sense. How, how exactly can leaders get involved with something like a T group? Like, is it, is it one organization that's putting on the T groups or are there many, many D for organizations leading these tea groups now? And what and how much, how much are people looking at if they want to participate in something like this?

Allison Levitsky (00:28:34):
Mm-Hmm, <affirmative> there are a couple prominent ones in Silicon valley. There's leaders in tech which is a nonprofit. And they host T group against for a little over $6,200 for the weekend. And then they have an a year long fellowship program, which is more there's another popular facilitator named Anna Maria, you know, Marcia who I talked to for the, for the story. And she also posts post two groups throughout the year. So either there are a couple of couple ways to get involved

Jason Howell (00:29:10):
Right on, well, I love, I love the topic of your piece. I love that this is happening, cuz I think, you know, in general more empathy is good in this world. So <laugh> any, any way that, that we can facilitate that and, and grow that that thought and that feeling. That's, that's good news for me. So Allison Lisky really appreciate you taking time. Of course you write for protocol as If people wanna find you online where can they find you?

Allison Levitsky (00:29:38):
My Twitter is Lisky with three Ys at the end. And I, my emails a If you wanna talk about a story

Jason Howell (00:29:48):
Oh, right on. Nice. Thank you, Allison. Happy new year and thank you for joining us today. We appreciate it.

Allison Levitsky (00:29:54):
Thanks a lot.

Jason Howell (00:29:56):
We'll talk to you soon. All right. Up next new word game, apparently. And I had not heard of this word game, but it is taken charge right now. Mike is gonna talk about that in his story of the week. But first this episode techniques weekly is brought to you by new Reva. I'm an, I'm an audio nerd. I will fully admit, you know, I'm, I'm all about high quality audio when I can get it. And new Reva is all about high quality audio. Let me tell you, it's pretty awesome. What they're doing. It's complicated and costly has really been the state of audio conferencing, especially for larger spaces for a very long time. And if you are looking into this and you're choosing a traditional system, you know, there's difficult design software, you're selecting from a, just a array, almost dizzying array of, you know, different mics, speakers, DSPs, and so much more.

Jason Howell (00:30:49):
It can get really complicated. It can get confusing and you, your results might not be as good as they possibly could. Well installation also and ends up requiring outside technicians. So that can be complicated and potentially expensive. It's often highly invasive as well. It could take your room offline for days. In fact, and the industry, you know, as a result of all of this, this complexity is just primed for the same type of leap in technology that had transformed and simplified other sectors. Well, Neva came along, it made that leap when they created the revolutionary microphone missed technology with this patented technology one or two integrated microphone and speaker bars actually fill a room with thousands of virtual microphones, right? Just those one to two integrated microphones in those speaker bars can, can essentially simulate of virtual microphones throughout the room. So there's no dead zones.

Jason Howell (00:31:47):
Everyone can be heard no matter where they are in the room. It's really cool meeting end class participants. You know, you don't have to like know to be in a certain place in order to talk. They can, they can simply talk and move naturally in the space and still be heard by remote participants. And that's thanks to continue auto calibration so that your rooms are instantly and always ready with optimized audio. It's kind of following along with what's happening in the room. No outside technician is required as well. Neva also simplified installation. It's a 30 minute DIY job. So you can do this. You don't need to hire someone, you know, technician to do it. That means big savings on time, big savings on cost. When compared to traditional systems, they simplified management too. Neva console gives it the power to monitor, to manage, to adjust their systems from anywhere.

Jason Howell (00:32:38):
So there's no need for it to go from room to room. So complexity way down. So ask yourself if you wanna go with a costly and complicated traditional system, or if you're ready to make the leap to simple and economical, new Reva, you can learn That's N U R E V And we hope that you do Neva is awesome. Their technology is amazing. And for this audio nerd, I love what they're doing and they do it really well. Neva.Com, check it out for yourself. All right. Micah it's it's time for story of the week, what you got.

Mikah Sargent (00:33:17):
Yeah. So it, if you've been on Twitter, perhaps some other sites, but particularly Twitter and seen some squares coming by a group of, of squares maybe in white and green and orange, and you're going, what in the world is this about? It is probably someone posting their Wordle outcome, I guess you could say the, the, the score, how long it took for them to get to the answer for Wordle. And if you're wondering what the heck Wordle is Wordle is this really interesting word game that is incredibly simple. In fact, if we can go to the website the, the second link there, you'll see this basic screen and it shows how the game is played. So you have what is it, five letters that you are, or a word that has five letters in it, and you type in a word and you hit enter, and then it will show you green, yellow, or dark gray as, as the result underneath each letter, green means that you guess the letter correctly, and you have it in the right place.

Mikah Sargent (00:34:33):
Yellow means you guessed the letter correctly, but it's in the wrong place. And dark gray means you guess the letter incorrect and it is not in this word. So you have, I think it's, let's see 1, 2, 3, is it six? Yes. Six chances to properly. Guess the word that you are trying to, that you, you know, that you want to guess. So John just typed in ready, and then he'll hit enter. It will tell him that there is an a in the word, but it doesn't fit in that spot. I know what today's word is. I don't wanna spoil it for people who play this game, so I'm not going to but what I love about there are a few things that I think are really fun about this game. One, it's kind of this quietly creep B game, which I think is really fun where people are starting to see this pop up on Twitter, then they're asking about it.

Mikah Sargent (00:35:29):
Then people are sharing their link and we get more information. Then you get more information about it. That way I finally looked it up and decided to, so now we know there's an L in the word and that's in the right I place. I got an L legal, no, there is. No's not legal. There's no E no, there's no E can't use E that's the hard part. I think there's no, yeah. E is I always, my first word always has an E in it, because E is the most common commonly used letter in the English language is the, at the end of it, there's an a and an M and there's an L bagel. See, this is so fun. No bagel build the work though. Bagel, Berg building bad guess it's not bad girl. Like, I'm be, it's just that the G is, you know, that there's no G yeah, exactly.

Mikah Sargent (00:36:11):
Like Berg is not helping no G or E. So John is trying to work this out all, continue to explain the game. So what is fun is the, on the one hand, it's this kind of slowly creeping game, where more people are starting to learn about it, but also that it is such a simple game in comparison to all of these other games that are out there, all these other trends that are out there. This one is so simple. So the New York times put together a profile of about this. Basically, a developer wanted to create a game for his partner. She was looking for something fun to play and did not know you know, didn't really have anything that, that quite matched up with what she was after. And so he created this game for her and, and him to play.

Mikah Sargent (00:36:59):
They both ended up liking it. He decided to share it with some other people in his family and friends. They really liked it. So then he decided to make it public. And part of what makes this so fun is the sort of artificial scarcity that exists. There's a countdown timer on the website after you've solved the puzzle, there's a countdown timer on the it until the next one becomes available. And then there's also something fun that you and other people out there are guessing the same word. So whenever they get it, you get it. Then you kind of are all sharing in that same experience. It's a lot like crosswords and, and other similar games, like why those keep continuing to be popular. You're all working against the same kind of puzzle. So I've seen a few people, you know, on, on Twitter, share their scores and have, since, you know, started, I haven't, I didn't share mine today because I forgot to right afterward.

Mikah Sargent (00:37:54):
And so I had to solve it again in order to get it, but I solved it a lot quicker the next time, cuz I knew what the word was. So I didn't wanna share a fake score, but what's interesting too, is that the developer who made this when he originally made it, there was no ability to share. And so people came up with their own way using emoji squares because they mimicked the color and the look of the game. And so once he saw that, then he's like, oh, I can add this as a feature of the game to make it easy for you to share. And I love this sort of community that has come to this game that has, has started to exist over time. And people can look at these and see what they are and go, oh, interesting. I wanna try playing that game. It started out with like, you know, 20 people playing the 90 people and now there was like a hundred thousand people I imagine after today's show because this has now been published in the New York times and elsewhere the site's gonna get even more popular, but it's tech news

Jason Howell (00:38:52):
Weekly. I mean, we're gonna take

Mikah Sargent (00:38:55):
Our, the very next level. I, a billion people at the very least. Jason, I'm curious, do you like word games and does this one does this one make you at all interested? Would this be something that you could see yourself playing?

Jason Howell (00:39:09):
I had seen the headline for this either yesterday or today. I can't remember when I saw it first. I don't know if the article came out today or not, but I definitely saw this within last. Yeah. So it was a couple of days ago. And I was curious to check it out, but I was in a place where, you know, in a, in a moment where I couldn't, so I'm happy you brought it up because I actually do like word games. I tend to get into them really hard. And then I kind of, you know, they drop off the face of the earth. You yeah, Peter out. I, I remember the awards with friends craze and I was really into that back in the day. And that was cool because it's, it's kind of like that community thing, which there's a little bit of a communal aspect to this too. Right. Everybody's I really, I really like the fact that everybody's working on the same word, even though that could be spoiled pretty easily. But still it gives everyone kind of a common language. It's not just the game, but it's also the spec that specific game, but yeah, we're, we're games are fun. I enjoy them. And I'm, I'm looking at this puzzle right now and I've got the first and third letter in the right place. So by

Mikah Sargent (00:40:12):
Process of, I tried Howard just for the sake of it, just to process. So realistically, no letters, a a has to be in the second or fourth position because it can't be in the first or third. So now I'm trying to think of words has an a in the second and fourth spot, because I know there's an L so Uhhuh, that's a precedent. N is not in the second one. So it has to be in one, three or four. I ended up, I, I like to keep a little notepad with me for this can kinda slide it out, cuz like with the yellow just indicates, okay. It's it's there, but it's not in the right spot. So we know a has, I can't try to think of five letter words. The last two. No, it's not a L is it? It could be a L.

Mikah Sargent (00:40:49):
Okay. But like what's a five letter word that has a L and I'm trying to think, cause it's one of those things I'm realizing like, okay, how many, five letter words are there with the very, a specific, I will say this. This is I, I will give you one hint. It's it's a very, it's not, I promise it's not that much of a hint. This is not a word that you're going to be using every day. It's not common a little bit. Its not, it's not something it's not something in your common, in a common vocabulary. That one yesterday's word was tiger, which is a very familiar word. That's not a spoiler cuz now it whole word like it doesn't you can't go back and do yesterday's puzzle. So oh, okay. So this, this is like it's it's randomized every day. You can't go back and like what?

Mikah Sargent (00:41:25):
It's the, it's the puzzle right now? You cannot go back and try yesterday's puzzle. I would not be surprised if the developer ends up making that a feature mm-hmm <affirmative> but it's keeping it pretty simple right now, but yeah. So me saying that yesterday's puzzle was tiger and I thought, oh that's a pretty common word. This one is not as common. So it, it took me, I think, I think this the fourth row was whenever I got this one. <Laugh> yes. See it sucks. Tough. It's tough to figure this out, but it's so much it's fun. And then, you know, like the other people that have solved it, they know what the word is and then once you get the word, you're all like, yeah, we got the word. And so there's something very fun about that community does confetti does

Jason Howell (00:42:06):
Confetti fall from the top of the screen and you, I can't remember celebration <laugh>

Mikah Sargent (00:42:11):
I think it just, it it just up a little word at the top that says like magnificent or terrific or awesome. You did it. Good job. You, you did it what's you have succeeded. It's not tiger obviously. Cause that was yesterday's word. Yeah, that was yesterday's word. And also there's no E yeah. I know this word. Yeah, exactly. No bur we can't your hands. So the whole that's there was the whole point. Just try to solve it on your own. <Laugh> does talk. You're hard for me. Six letter combinations that don't work in a five work <laugh> okay. I'm this is the, I've seen this popup. This is actually I can see this becoming very addicting. Yeah. I,

Jason Howell (00:42:48):
I could see John not being able to switch

Mikah Sargent (00:42:50):
The rest of the show. I I'm not waiting know. Okay. We're gonna get you the show, like as I try we're we're gonna be talking about all of

Jason Howell (00:42:56):
The rest of our stuff and John's gonna be busy working on this world.

Mikah Sargent (00:43:00):
So everybody go play world, share your scores with us. I am curious how fast you solve today's world which was a little bit more difficult than yesterday's up next, we've got Jason's story of the week. Firstly, though this episode of tech news weekly is brought to you by progress. And that's not just me saying that that's actually the name of the company. Progress has been enabling enterprise experiences for decades and has assembled the technologies that will empower businesses to thrive and post COVID world. Most companies don't have, have the resources to invest in technology as digital Goliaths. They need to use technology to create differentiation with a smaller investment. They can achieve this by turning to progress as their trusted provider with progress. Any organization can achieve the level of differentiation that is critical in today's business environment, whether you're an it professional can earned about networking and infrastructure, security and compliance or enabling web and digital experiences.

Mikah Sargent (00:44:01):
Progress has a solution for you. Move it managed file transfer is one of those solutions. It provides control security and visibility over all file transfer activities, transferring confidential data through insecure channels, opens your organization up to liabilities with a managed file transfer solution. You gain insight into who has access to your files. If the file was accessed and when what's up gold network monitoring, it allows you to monitor networks, applications, and devices, both in the cloud and on premises Kemp load master load balancer is a next generation load balancing and application delivery solution for private public and hybrid cloud flow Mon network intelligence, which is a network performance monitoring and network detection and response solution. And Sitefinity digital experience platform build digital experiences across channels that improve business agility and foster personal relationships with visitors progress has the technology you need to secure, analyze and integrate your applications, network and processes. Find out more and download a free trial at don't miss out. Visit for your very own progress swag bag. What a swag bag I wanna swag bag. I might have to head there myself. Progress.Com/Twi to check it out. Thank you. Progress for sponsoring this week's episode of tech news weekly. It's time for Jason Howell's story

Jason Howell (00:45:35):
Of the week. I know how you could have got a swag bag, just go to CES. That's all you need to do. <Laugh> go to CES Micah, and you'll get a swag bag of some sort from someone guaranteed. Let's see here. Okay. So my story of the week is actually just kind of something that I've I been paying attention to or something feels like a drum beat. That's getting a little bit louder and no surprise. You know, Mike and I, we talk about VR on this show from time to time. And what I've noticed is, you know, we're only a couple of days into 2022 and it just seems to a certain degree, like this year is kind of the there that drum beat is getting a little bit louder. Right. And, and I feel like it kind of compares a little bit to however many years ago.

Jason Howell (00:46:19):
It was when the Oculus rift was first coming onto the scene and, and you know, it was still very much an enthusiast thing, but there was a lot of excitement and energy and like, oh, where's this going? I'm really excited as see what's happening here. And then it built up and then it kind of paired down for a while there. And now it's kinda like I see the Seine wave kind of going back up again. No question, you know, no small part of of thanks goes to the meta and metaverse and you know, the metaverse is just a terminology that I think I'm already a little sick of, but I mean, it feels like it's here to stay and people seem to be jumping onto it, whatever I'm a fan of VR. So whatever makes VR and, and augmented reality and these things become more viable and more interesting, I suppose I'm there for it.

Jason Howell (00:47:08):
So there's a couple of things that I've noticed first. I saw a report that the quest two that's Meta's latest VR headset system and both you and I have have the quest too, Mike and I have that during the holiday season and during, and especially during a time when the major players in gaming PlayStation five Xbox series X, these are the, these are the consoles that everybody wants, right. But they're in short supply. And so it was a perfect pouncing time for the quest two. It was basically in a position where it could really capitalize off of the shortages of the PS five and the shortages of the series X and get more of these in people's homes and apparently search volume on Google for the quest two surpassed, either console. And this is the first time that it's ever happened where the, the V that VR headset.

Jason Howell (00:48:00):
And I don't know if it's, you know, any VR headset, but definitely the quest two passed the major players. And especially during a peak season. And, you know, part of this could have been, you know, as people got closer to the holiday season, they're like, well, I, I need to get a game system under the tree for my kid or for me, or whatever, but these just aren't in stock yet. So I gotta get something. So I go the quest to whether it's that, or whether it's people are just way more excited about VR IM way more excited about what the quest offers. Regardless a lot of these headsets ended, ended up in, in homes and game developers actually noticed, have noticed a huge spike in interest in their games as well, which is standard post holiday. But they've, you know, they've done the analysis and said, it's actually larger than we expected, and we're not even running any sales.

Jason Howell (00:48:51):
This is just volume just true demand. So that's interesting. I think that, that points to the fact that there are a lot more quest headsets in people's houses now. And that just kind of further kind of facilitates the, the, the growth and development of, of VR in general. <Affirmative> and then, and which is also actually interesting because last year it was kind of the opposite. Everybody was freaking out about the, the Facebook ties and everything, and, and like the requirement of the account. And so that kind of diminished some of the demand at least to a certain degree. And now people are, I don't know if they're more over it or Facebook's made, you know, metas made some changes to that that maybe alleviated some of people's resistance anyways, interesting stuff there, but then also Sony and and Ian sure.

Jason Howell (00:49:40):
Earlier in your interview with Ian Micah mentioned that there were some updates on the PlayStation VR front and Sony actually released new details hails during CES about it. It's now officially known as PlayStation VR two. So that's what we're gonna be calling and going forward. Playstation VR two. Yes, it requires a PS five. But maybe that's, that's worth pointing out because if you have a current PS PlayStation VR, I actually have one of those. It will work to my understanding. It will work with the PS five, but you're not gonna get, you know, this, this next generation place VR kind of experience. If you have the P PlayStation VR two, you need the PS five to get the whole experience. It has similar resolution to the quest two. So each eye has 2000 by 2040 pixels. And it's similar, but it's actually a little bit more, it's like 15.7% more pixels per eye comparatively.

Jason Howell (00:50:39):
So it's not a huge increase, but I feel like the quest two has a pretty solid resolution. And, and I recognize that because I can compare it against the original quest, which I also have, and it's definitely a step up like things look a lot sharper. I certainly prefer playing with the quest two. So this is even just a little bit better. So things are gonna look pretty nice in this headset. The display is gonna be an HDR rated OED and that, because it's not gonna be a fast switching, L C D. So you're gonna get those really rich colors. Those really dark blacks and dark blacks I think is, is gonna become increasingly important when you're talking about VR headsets, cuz any of that additional light kind of, I don't know, I notice it. And if, if we can get true blacks, you know, where, where the blacks are in the view that's gonna be amazing. That's just gonna make things look a little bit more real, little bit richer 120 Hertz refresh of course, 110 degree field of view, which is very similar. We're getting inside, out tracking with a camera array on board. That's nothing new if you have the, the quest as one example, but if you have the original PlayStation VR, have you played with the original PlayStation VR, Micah? I'm curious. I

Mikah Sargent (00:51:51):
Have not. I have not. I, that that's one that I've always wanted to try, but have not, but I, I think I remember you saying that it's not as good as the quest

Jason Howell (00:52:00):
Too. I mean, it was, it was kind of earlier. I think it was good. It was good. And it's, it's fine. It does the trick, but I mean, it's not new really as good as of an experience as the quest too, right? Like you still have that tethered experience. The resolutions really low, the controllers are awful. Like I hate the controllers. They're just no fun to play with in our household though, I'm the one to play with it. If we're all three in a game, you know, so that the girls don't have to worry about the horrible controllers. But anyways with this, one of the things that, you know, kind of makes it not as good as well is the fact that it requires an external camera. It's a single camera. Like we have it, you know, perched up on our soundbar, but it's very easy to block.

Jason Howell (00:52:40):
It's very easy to like turn around and you kinda lose your tracking and everything gets all chunky. Now we're gonna have inside out tracking on the P the PlayStation VR. So that's good. It's gonna have haptic feedback, which apparently this is a first for consumer VR, which I find that kind of surprising, cuz I feel like haptics are not horribly complicated. We've, you know, we've had them in so many different devices, including our smartphones forever. But imagine, imagine you're in a VR environment and the character that you're playing at is it's like a really tense scene and you can feel the heartbeat kind of increasing, you know, through the haptic buzz and everything. And that can kind of increase your own kind of perception of, of, you know, intense feelings during the scene and everything. Also eye tracking and that's something that the quest two does not have, but some interesting things there, you know, particularly in control scenario.

Jason Howell (00:53:40):
So if I enter a room and there's a person over there, I'm once I make eye contact with that person, that person realizes I've looked at them and they say, oh hi, you know, and they can, they engage with me. That's the kind of thing that eye tracking could potentially lead to is, is using it as another control vector for when you look at something it triggers that thing or it makes that person go, oh, they saw me. Okay. <affirmative> so that's neat instead of just being kind of dumb about it and being like, oh, you walked into the room we're guessing that you probably saw this now they know, and then along those lines, foviated rendering. I feel like you, you and I have talked about this in previous shows, but like the human eye, you know, when you, when we use our eyes to look at something, everything that's in front given, we have really, you know, sharp eye vision, everything that's in front is the sharpest.

Jason Howell (00:54:31):
When I stare at that picture of an elephant on my wall, it's super sharp, but everything outside of it, you know, it's my peripheral view. We're used to the fact that everything outside of that main shot, you know, the main thing that we're looking at is blurry. Like, I, I couldn't give you specific detail about the picture that's that's to my right or to my left or, or whatever. It's just outside of that peripheral view. And foviated rendering essentially simulates that. It says everything that you're looking directly at is rendered sharply and everything outside of it can be blurrier because as aren't trained to know the difference, and so that, that can improve game performance a along the way. So I think these are pretty, these are pretty good improvements. I'd be really curious to, to check it out. What are your thoughts?

Mikah Sargent (00:55:20):
Oh, absolutely. Anything that furthers the ability of the VR experience to become more able to trick us, trick our brains into thinking that we're, there is exactly what I want because I do get a little nauseated after playing a period of time, especially. Yeah. Especially depending on the type of game, because there are some games and experiences that are a little bit easier for me to have longer time playing, but I can't even play some games where you have to like move your body along. Those ones end up making me, making me feel physically ill. So foviated rendering is incredibly important. And it's all based on, yeah, the literal physical makeup of our eye with Theo being the central part of our, our retina. That is it, it can see the clearest it's like in the eye. It is the best, best, best part of our eye.

Mikah Sargent (00:56:17):
And that's, what's central in your vision and everything from outside of that is so whenever we're talking about foviated, it's just trying to mimic how we see in real life, which is very important when it comes to helping our eye, not try to track everything in our vision, which is one of the things that makes us feel ill in virtual reality. The experiences of, of sort of having the, the physical experiences be it touch or, or even a little bit of haptic feedback more than you have already, obviously. Fantastic. And then I think what becomes very important is we keep seeing AR and VR many manufacturers or AR and VR headset manufacturers and companies working on any type of tracking that foregoes a controller. And that is because people are far more likely to feel comfortable using VR if they aren't bugged down with, with things that they have to hold in their hands, or mm-hmm, <affirmative> extra things.

Mikah Sargent (00:57:28):
You're already asking a lot of a person to strap something onto their face. And so then to also sort of quote, unquote, shackle their hands with controllers and then learn all of those different controls. It's a lot of friction a lot of, of, of, of what is that called a learning curve that shouldn't, that need to be there. And so as we see, you know, new ways, new methods of using control and as we see these companies try to find out, try to find ways to simplify and be better at tracking a hand in VR or AR or using something on the wrist. Like for example, the apple watch to be able to do gestural control in AR and VR, that is all good and all more likely to make these headsets and you know, the future where we have glasses or what have you all the more for those to truly catch on and be something that everyone is willing to use, or that many, many people are willing to use rather than what it is right now, which is among gamers and enthusiasts.

Jason Howell (00:58:38):
Yeah. Yeah. Agreed. and then, you know, we haven't even really discussed much, you know, the fact that apple has their own reality headset on the horizon. I don't know when this is gonna come out or when it's rumor to come out, but, you know, pricey device, I think the rumors have it at around a thousand bucks, 4k OED, micro displays, apples on chip inside. And you've got meta, they've got project Cambria, which is essentially a quest pro that might actually come out this year. It would have some of these details. Some of these functions too, face an eye tracking, a color pass through, which would be nice, a more compact design controllers that don't have the tracking rings. Yeah. So in interesting stuff, it feels like, it feels like we're about to enter into kind of the next major push of VR where, you know, the last few years it we've gotten like, it's, it's been kind of comfortable. It's like, okay, here's where the technology has gotten to. And it's all within this, this the same kind of degree of expectation, you know, from, from users of VR. And now we're starting to get into kind of like this next wave of, okay, and now we're now we're introducing this eye tracking and face tracking and foviated rendering that tracks, you know, follows along with your eyes and all these things, you know, make it more and more realistic and hopefully less vomit inducing for, for certain people.

Mikah Sargent (01:00:01):
Please, please, please,

Jason Howell (01:00:02):
Please. That's important too. But so anyways, I'm, I'm here for it. I enjoy I enjoy VR and I like, I like seeing that it's, that it hasn't been forgotten and that it isn't being shelved like, oh, that's just a passing fad. I do believe that there is a place for, for virtual reality and I'm getting excited to see where it leads, but that is it for this episode of tech news weekly, the first episode of 2022, we publish live. We, well, we, we do the show live every Thursday and then we publish it to podcast. You can also go to That is our show page on the web where you can subscribe to the audio feed or the video, or jump out to YouTube any way you like,

Mikah Sargent (01:00:45):
If you would like to get all of our shows, add free while there's a way to go about doing that. And we'd appreciate it. If you checked out club TWI here in the new year for seven bucks a month, you get every single one of TWI shows with no ads. They're all available in individual feed that you will have access to. You'll also get access to the TWI plus bonus feed that has content. You won't find anywhere else including AMAs with many of the hosts guests and panelists of TWI plus so much more fun stuff there and access to the members only discord server, where you can chat with us here at TWI, but also your fellow club, TWI members. If you're wondering what the heck discord is, well, if you ever use Microsoft teams or slack, you'll be familiar with how this works.

Mikah Sargent (01:01:35):
You just, you can go in there, you can chat. There are different channels where you can have conversations about different topics and just yes, or day on windows weekly. There was a a Q and a session where folks who were listening live got to ask questions of the hosts on the show and were planning on continuing to do that relatively regularly. So, TWI seven bucks a month gets you access to all that fun stuff. And we heard that some folks wanted to support their favorite shows directly, and weren't really into all that extra stuff that you can get. We hear ya. We've made a way to do that for 2 99 a month. You can go in apple podcasts to the audio version of the show and tap subscribe. And when you do for 2 99 a month, you'll get the ad free version of the audio version of tech news weekly.

Mikah Sargent (01:02:28):
So that's a great way to support directly. If you want to send me your word scores, you can do that at Mica Sergeant. I am at Mica Sergeant on any, a social network or head to, C, where I've got links to the places I'm most active online. You can check me out on Saturdays for the tech guy, not currently because we've still got a mask mandate in place, but I'll be returning to that soon. Joining Leo Lepo ort on two and on Tuesdays for iOS today, which I record with rose, Mary orchard, Jason Howell. What about you?

Jason Howell (01:03:10):
Well you can find me at Jason Howell on Twitter doing shows here on Twitter, primarily all about Android,, and then, you know, producing some a Leo's shows from behind the scenes. So if you're watching some a Leo's shows, you're seeing you're well, you're actually, you're seeing both my work and Micah's work, cuz we both produce for him as well. So that's where you can find me is just here. Big, thanks to everyone at the studio who helps us do the show every week. John, of course Burke is there, John Lenina the other John everyone there who helps us thank you so much and thanks to you for watching and listening every week. We appreciate you and we will see you next time on Tech News Weekly. Bye everybody.

Ant Pruitt (01:03:54):
So you got yourself, the brand new latest, and greatest iPhone or Samsung smartphone, because you heard about all of the beautiful photography those things can create, but for some reason, you're just not quite getting it done with when you try to make your photos or you got yourself, a brand new camera because you are interested in getting started in photography, but you're a little new inexpensive camera still. Isn't quite cutting it. Well, you need to check out my show hands on photography here on TWI. I'm gonna show you how to be a better photographer and a better post-processor. And quite frankly, just help you get the most outta that new camera. That's that's either on your phone or the brand new one that you just got for your, your birthday or gifts or what have you. And it's gonna be a lot of fun. So head on over to let's and subscribe today.

All Transcripts posts