Tech News Weekly Episode 231 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. 

Mikah Sargent (00:00:00):
Coming up on Tech News Weekly, Jason Howell and I start off the show by talking to Kate Kaye of Protocol about Emotion AI. It's that technology that looks at you and sees if you're happy about the content that's coming your way, then Alyssa Rosenberg of the Washington Post talks all about Netflix, how it may be looking at adding ads. It may be looking at finding ways to make sure subscriptions aren't shared. Basically, it's got a lot on its plate and it's trying to make itself more valuable in the process. Then we head into our stories of the week. First I talk about CNN plus coming to a mirror weeks after it just got off the ground. And, Jason Howell talks about a new social media platform called Be Real. And I reveal that I am already being real and Jason will soon be joining me. Stay tuned for all of that on Tech News Weekly.

... (00:01:00):
Podcasts you love from people you trust. This is TWiT.

Jason Howell (00:01:20):
This is Tech News Weekly episode 231 recorded Thursday, April 21st, 2022. This episode of Tech News Weekly is brought to you by Modern businesses need flexible payment systems that can help them adapt to change, grow and scale fast. Discover how can help your business thrive at

Mikah Sargent (00:01:41):
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Jason Howell (00:02:03):
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Mikah Sargent (00:02:24):
Hello and welcome to Tech News Weekly. The show where every week we talk to and about the people making and beaking the tech news. I am one of your hosts, Micah Sergeant,

Jason Howell (00:02:34):
And I'm the other guy, Jason, how, and for a full hour, we're gonna be talking about Elon Musk, right? <Laugh> no, not at all.

Mikah Sargent (00:02:40):
Thank God.

Jason Howell (00:02:40):
This episode out at all. I think

Mikah Sargent (00:02:43):
In fact, oh no, no. Jason, I, I'm looking at the emotional sentiment of the audience and it looks like they're unhappy.

Jason Howell (00:02:52):
They're tuning out because they heard the word Elon,

Mikah Sargent (00:02:54):
Elon Musk, Elon

Jason Howell (00:02:55):

Mikah Sargent (00:02:55):
Okay. I think we can do something about this. All right. In fact, to talk about emotional AI and sentiment analysis, we are joined today by protocols, Kate Kaye, welcome back to the show, Kate,

Kate Kaye (00:03:08):
Thank you so much, grant, glad to be here.

Mikah Sargent (00:03:10):
Glad to have you. So I think a lot of people may have heard in, in passing about at the very least sentiment analysis. That's something that's been around for a long time, but there's this new kind of buzzword that's floating around called Emotion AI. And one of the places that it was was talked about potentially is with zoom. So I'm hoping that you could start by kind of giving us the, the low down on the sales software that kind of kicked this off. There's a company called afor, for example, that makes Q for sales. Could you tell us about Q for sales and what it is?

Kate Kaye (00:03:49):
Yeah, I think if it would make sense, maybe just a really general overview of what Emotion AI is. Yeah, that'd great. Just as a table setting. So like think of this and, and in a sale in a, if you're using a sales software, you're a sales rep, or maybe you are having an interview with somebody you might hire there's different types of software that are kind of integrating this emotion. AI, it's also called, called affect AI with an a and the idea is that it's using your computer camera to, and, and incorporating computer vision to and facial recognition to capture facial expressions, capture data about the facial expression of the people you're talking to, or who might be in your audience or whatever it is. And what it's trying to do is assess the the attitudes or the actual, the moods, the emotions of the people you want to assess based on their facial expressions.

Kate Kaye (00:05:03):
So what this company uniform is doing, and, you know, there's a number of other companies that are incorporating this stuff also for sales and zoom might do it. We're not sure, but really what they're trying to do is it's literally real time where you're, let's say you're a sales rep and the idea is you want to have a better gauge of how your potential customers are responding to, you know, what you're trying to pitch what you're trying to sell to them. So the idea is you literally have this like little gauge that's in the, that you are using when you're doing a zoom meeting or whatever, with a potential customer. And it's giving you these little, you know, notes about you know, the engagement level is down. When you, when you mentioned the price, the engagement level went down, or, you know, it seems like the sentiment is high when you mention this particular thing or so, so some technologies are doing this in real time. Like I said, some are incorporating this stuff more after the fact where they might give use some information about here's what we read about your audience or about your potential customer. Yeah. So, so I don't know D does that yeah. Give you an idea of how it's used. Okay.

Mikah Sargent (00:06:30):
Yeah, absolutely. So in this way, this, this technology is kind of a feedback mechanism for the person who is, is giving the sale or who is talking to a group of people. And that was one of the clarification points that I was curious about in hearing in hearing about this technology is the difference between real time and recorded. So is it the case, as far as the, the companies that you have, have actually written about are these real time technologies where a person could quite literally be like, we are right now having a conversation and just off screen, I've got a screen that says, oh yeah, we've got 10 ha unhappy faces, or is this something where you put it through the process of the recording, the video, and that's, whenever it can spit out kind of, this is how you did on this call.

Kate Kaye (00:07:18):
Right? Well so the technologies I've written about the, the, the couple sales kind of scenarios, and then there's a virtual school product that BA the idea is to have it be in real time. Mm. And it has to, and it, it, it needs the record process to be enabled to actually capture the data okay. In order to ingest that information and capture it. So that's where the record part comes in. I think that we might see companies for example, what zoom is doing today is that they just to be clear is not integrating Emotion AI yet. They told me that they're thinking about doing it. And that has raised a lot of alarm bells among people who don't like this stuff. But what Zoom's doing today is after the fact, after your call with a customer it's going to give you a report that looks at the things that were said during the meeting, the the actual text of the content of the conversation. And, and then it will give you sort of, of a report on, you know, what the sentiment was a, of your potential customers during the call, but after the fact mm-hmm, <affirmative>, so there's different ways to implement this.

Mikah Sargent (00:08:47):
So I do a whole lot of calls and, and video conference things each week because of the nature of my job. And one thing that I've noticed in myself, and it's something that you briefly talk about in the piece and hope you hope, hope you will share a little bit more about is the way that that recording pop up or that recording button can kind of affect things. Do you think that do you, or do P people who've talked about this, feel like the fact that it does require at least that recording alert, because it's ingesting it, does that skew the results in any way? And are the companies addressing that at all the companies that are working on this technology, are they addressing the fact that the results may be skewed based on the fact that you see the recording button and anything okay. It's time to perform? I gotta, you know, whether it's a smile or frown?

Kate Kaye (00:09:39):
Well, I'll say, I don't know whether the companies that I've reported on are trying to, you know, sort of adjust their algorithms to kind of compensate for that. But I'll say that, you know, always spoke to a sales a long time sales director business development person about this kind of technology and whether or not she and her team would use it. And she said, you know, it's really off putting to ask a customer when you're, you know, getting into a sales meeting to have the record button on at all. And, and to, to ask them to do that. So that's, and, and, you know, not only is it offputting, but it might, like you said, it might affect how people, how comfortable people feel in terms of being honest or just about how they really feel about something.

Kate Kaye (00:10:34):
So that's, that's definitely one side of it from sort of the business E standpoint. Mm-Hmm, <affirmative>, there's another really interesting point to make in the, the virtual school setting. So I wrote about how Intel has a similar kind of technology that they're gonna be testing in, with a company that does a virtual school software and that, you know, just having the camera on is almost a social justice issue. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> for students because it takes up a lot of power. And you know, they might be in a parking lot trying to get on a Mo you know, trying to access wifi or something, or using a mobile spot, or maybe they don't want their home to be visible mm-hmm <affirmative> to, so, so that's like another whole side of it where just having to have the camera on, not even just the recording part, but the camera itself is, is like a big obstacle.

Mikah Sargent (00:11:33):
And with this software, the Intel's class software, obviously we are not in, in this case, looking at the impact of sales, because this is a, you know, teaching environment. What is that software aimed at doing? Is it seeing if the students are paying attention? Is it looking for, is it, is this specific for testing to see if they're cheating? What is the reason that a, a teacher would enable this technology for its students?

Kate Kaye (00:12:00):
Right. So right now, what this is, is a really early relationship that Intel has with a company called classroom technologies, which makes software called class. Ah, and, and so the idea, you know, Intel developed this thing as a teaching tool, they believe that it will help teachers provide more kind of a one a tutoring one-on-one type approach that they just can't enable if they're even if, if they're in physically in a, a classroom environment or in a virtual environment it's tough because there's just so many kids. And so basically what they're saying is, Hey, wouldn't it be great if the teacher had an idea that you know, somebody in, in the back of the class is, is, is expressing that he or she is confused or bored or, you know whatever it might be. And so that's what they're trying to do with that one. They're, they're definitely trying to use it as a, as a teaching tool. There's absolutely other types of monitoring technologies out there that are all about just monitoring for potential cheating. And so this company class already has something like that, that they call Proctor view where the, it looks at the, the desktop of the student and, and actually can determine what they're doing. Got it that way, but, but that's, you know, that's a separate thing that's already happening. Yeah.

Mikah Sargent (00:13:38):
Right. Yeah. Now the, the big question that I have is a more recent piece that you put out about sentiment analysis and Emotion AI, because these two can be conflated in the conversation about them, but you've a job of kind of explaining the difference. If people were hearing about these different technologies being used, it would be helpful to have kind of a, a quick guide on, on the difference. And they should all go to to check out your piece, but could you give us kind of a basic difference between those two technologies and, and have a are being used?

Kate Kaye (00:14:16):
Yeah, there's definitely controversy about whether or not there are distinctions. I, I, I, and I think other people do see them and, and the key distinctions are the type of data that are being employed to you know, determine in a sentiment analysis standpoint or that kind of an approach usually sentiment analysis is looking at text, is looking at social media posts, for example, that tends to be what you know, advertisers or political campaigns or whatever they might be restaurants look at. They use these sentiment analysis tools to, in, in a, with the hope of assessing how people feel about a product or a brand or whatever it might be. And they're looking at the text, the distinction is with Emotion AI, it's really centered on this facial express Russian data, which is, you know, our face. And it's very, very questionable. There's a lot of questions and critiques about the validity of this, these, the Emotion AI technology to even detect, or, you know, be able to label or categorize someone's mood or you know, attitude or emotion based on what a facial expression. So it's just in general, there's a lot more heightened concern around Emotion AI than there tends to be around sentiment analysis.

Mikah Sargent (00:15:51):
Got it. And then lastly I really thought it was great that you linked to an a study in the journal nature and this study kind of calls into question the validity of using emotional AI as guidance, if you would briefly share kind of the, the skeptics approach in this way from this study in nature, that would be awesome.

Kate Kaye (00:16:15):
Yeah. you know, I don't recall the details of the particular study, but there's several you know, research papers and studies out there over the years that really, again, seriously question the validity of Emotion AI, there are concerns regarding cultural distinctions. So people from different cultures might express something on their face, in a, in a different way. And if the AI is trained based on data, that's maybe just associated with people from a certain place, it might not, not interpret the expression properly. There's absolutely just from a foundational level beyond that, just a lot of questions and concerns about the ability to even detect whether or not someone's feeling something or has expressing a certain emotion based on what's on their face, or be on their tone of voice, which is another type of data that's used in this stuff.

Kate Kaye (00:17:18):
I mean, think about it, you know, how often do we maybe make a face and somebody might say what's wrong, or, oh, you know, you look like something, right. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> and you might say, I'm fine. I don't know what look, what look I gave you, you, but it's not what I was thinking. Right. It's just so it's, it's I think universal that we have expressions on our face that we don't always control. There's a lot of concern also about people who are neuro divergent mm-hmm <affirmative>, who might be autistic, or maybe they even have a facial tick or something. And, you know the, the technology might pick up on something inappropriately. So that's, that's another whole side of the concern around it.

Jason Howell (00:18:04):

Mikah Sargent (00:18:05):
Well, Kate, I wanna thank you so much for joining us today of fo of, of course, folks can head to to check out your work, but if they wanna follow you online, is there somewhere they can go to do that?

Kate Kaye (00:18:15):
Yeah. go to TWiTter. I'm Kate K reports.

Mikah Sargent (00:18:19):
Awesome. Thanks so much. We appreciate it.

Kate Kaye (00:18:20):
Thanks a lot.

Jason Howell (00:18:22):
Thank you, Kate. All right, coming up. We're gonna talk I'm I'm gonna just reiterate not about Eli <laugh>. I promise it's Netflix. Actually, Netflix has been big this week, so we're gonna talk all about the crazy news around that and offer some different perspectives on it. But first we to thank the sponsor of this episode and that's Tech should be groundbreaking. It should promote innovation. We talk about it. This innovation in technology all the time, traditional payment systems are also innovating, but they can be heavily layered. They can be disconnected, perceived as a cost center to a business. Modern businesses actually need flexible payment systems that can help them adapt to change grow scale fast, along with everybody else who recently came across a company with technology that approaches payments through a radical new lens. We think you're gonna love it.

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Jason Howell (00:21:21):
And we thank checkout for their support of this show and the twit network. All right. I promise Netflix, you're getting net Netflix, Netflix took a big hit this week. You probably heard all about it the last couple of days, especially their first loss in net subscribers in 10 years, perhaps ever. I mean, they they've constantly been on this upward trajectory. They are now facing a lot of competition. Of course, they've got issues they're, they're battling their with their subscribe about password sharing, which at one point Reid Hastings talked I wouldn't say favorably, but he kind of accepted at one point like, oh yeah, that's gonna happen now. Suddenly they're realizing the heat is on. And so those rules are changing joining us to talk about these muddy waters that are really surrounding Netflix right now. And as well it's con tent strategy is Alyssa Rosenberg who wrote an opinion piece for the Washington post saying that this Netflix come down is a relief. Welcome, Alyssa,

Alyssa Rosenberg (00:22:17):
Thank you so much for having me.

Jason Howell (00:22:18):
Yeah. It's great to get you on. Thank you so much for hopping on today. So let's start with a headline cause that's the easy thing to start with and it's certainly what, what grabbed my attention. You said that this is a relief who might this Netflix downturn actually benefit what I, I guess, explain that thesis around that.

Alyssa Rosenberg (00:22:37):
Sure. I confess to being a little puckish there, obviously. The huge content spree that Netflix has fueled has been fantastic for anyone who creates pop culture. And I, I don't diminish the experience of writers and show runners and directors who are looking at this and thinking, Hey, maybe the gravy train is, you know, sort of closing up shop for the decade. Yeah. But I think that the content boom that Netflix has inspired has been exhausting and to a certain extent, culturally atomizing. And I say, this is someone who used to think that a huge proliferation of content might actually end the culture wars. If everyone got a little bit of what they wanted, maybe they wouldn't be so stressed about what everyone else was getting. You know, if everyone was represented, maybe you didn't need to be as stressed out, but it's become clear that we're all, you know, binging away in our own little silos.

Alyssa Rosenberg (00:23:28):
And, you know, we don't have anyone to talk about the culture we love with anymore. I mean, if you look at the Google search trends for Netflix shows, they have incredibly sharp peaks and they just disappear from the cultural conversation. You know, if you look at something like game of Thrones or, you know mad men, you know, any of the shows that aired weekly during so-called golden age of television, you would get sort of extended conversations and, you know, more sort of plateaus than, you know, the Alps in terms of <laugh> search interest. And so there was a real vibrant conversation in community out culture that Netflix has really sort of helped to dissipate in a way that I think has been, you know, if not, I don't wanna blame it for the culture wars, but certainly I think it's made television much less of a collective experience in a way that I really miss and that I think a lot of people find more lonely than they used to.

Jason Howell (00:24:20):
Yeah, I would, I would agree with that. I mean, Netflix really, you know, leaned in heavily to the we're giving you, you know, these top notch shows, but we're giving it all to you at once. So you can binge on it, which ultimately at the end of the day, like that gives the viewer the instant gratification, but does nothing to really kind of build up the hype on a, on a elongated scale. I mean, squid games saw a lot of, of hype and attention for a while, but maybe part of that was because it was kind of obscure to begin with for the, for the mainstream us audience. And then once that kind of roll ball started rolling, you know, that extended for, I feel like a couple of months, but you, you look at what HBO has done forever and what they're still doing. Absolutely. Their digital offerings, you know, euphoria, you're still getting out on a weekly basis. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> and that keeps people talking about it for months and months.

Alyssa Rosenberg (00:25:11):
Yeah. And I also think it has an impact on how the people who are making serialized storytelling in particular structure, those stories, right? Yeah. I mean, if you need to it's a very different thing to make, you know, people joke about TV series being 10 hour movies, but it's very different in terms of how you pace the story. If you're making something that you think people are gonna watch in one or two sittings versus something that, you know, they're gonna chew over for a week before watching the next installment. I mean, you know, cliff hangers are good. Suspense is good. Having people feel anxious and excited for the next installment of your story is actually a good thing. You know, in terms of engaging with it in terms of forcing you to pace it and sort of parcel out your story in a way that is actually sort of structurally narratively sustaining.

Alyssa Rosenberg (00:25:56):
So I, I don't love the binge watch as a social phenomenon. Because look, we live in a culture where people are incredibly spoiler verse. I'm not personally, but that's just me. And if you no idea where anyone else is in a piece of serialized television, you can't talk to them about it. Right. And by the time that, you know, the person you love to talk to TV about has caught up with your latest obsession, you may be onto something else. You mentioned squid game, but also when was the last time you heard someone talking about a plot point from the squid game? Yeah, yeah. Or looking forward to, yeah. It's, I mean, it's here and it's gone. And Netflix, you know, in turning the fire hose on viewers, it's, you know, it's sort of evaporated our common cultural moments.

Jason Howell (00:26:38):
Yeah. Yeah. Indeed. Is there such a thing as having too much content available? Like, because I, I feel like that's where we're at right now. It really seems like, you know, everybody has a streaming service and every streaming service has to be fueled by yes. Content that you're used to seeing say on the network, but also original content, which is, as you said earlier, great for creators people in the industry have, I mean, they're busier than they probably ever been right now it, as a viewer, it makes it really hard to attach to anything because there's always another thing.

Alyssa Rosenberg (00:27:08):
Absolutely. I mean, you know, it's not just that there aren't sustained conversations, but it's there, we all have only so many, many hours in the day, right? I mean, there are a limited number of people in the world that have a limited number of hours, a limited number of those hours, or for leisure time, you know, at a certain point you're gonna produce more television than can actually be watched by large groups of people, John Landgraf, who runs the FX network and is, you know, sort of a public intellectual of television has coined this term that he called peak TV. To describe just the sheer number of scripted shows that were being produced. And, you know, when you have north of 500 scripted shows being produced each year, the vast majority of those, I mean, look, TV shows always fail, right? I mean, that's the reason there was a pilot season in traditional network televis, and you put stuff out there, some of it doesn't work, but now you're creating all of this stuff, which is wonderful.

Alyssa Rosenberg (00:27:59):
But a lot of it is just never gonna get a chance to find its audience because there is so much of it. We're all living in a constant state of FOMO about TV and there, you know, there's the sense that there's always something better out there. And I think it's hard for people to even know where to start. It's overwhelming and, you know, I think, look, it's great for creators from sort of a monetary perspective. It's important to be able to get to work. It's nice to have a job, but at the end of the day, people tell stories because they want other people to listen to them. Yeah, that's true. And if people can't find your show, if people can't find your movie, if people can't concentrate on your show or movie, because the next shiny thing is always around the corner, you know, it's not just all about the money. That's something that's, I think really crucial it's missing from the experience.

Jason Howell (00:28:43):
Yeah, indeed. And I mean, there, there is some news today that really in, in my mind, and actually Micah, you're gonna talk about this in, in detail a little bit later, so I don't wanna spoil too much, but that CNNs plus the streaming service, you know, ended is, is ending at the end of the month. I mean, I think that's slightly more than a month that it's, that it's lasted for. Do you, would you agree, like, is, is that casualty to kind of what you're talking about in any way here or is that different?

Alyssa Rosenberg (00:29:09):
I think that's a little bit different. I mean, CNN is trying to create a bridge to a new generation of viewers who aren't necessarily tuning into linear cable. They're trying to sort of reach them where they, they were at, but, you know, while there is obviously an existing demand for good scripted television, not sure what the existing audience was for CNN, but not really breaking news, but streamed mm-hmm <affirmative>. And so I, I think to a certain extent that is a different, it's a different product offering. It's an attempt to solve a different problem. And to a certain extent you have to give CNN credit for deciding, you know, it didn't work, they weren't gonna stick around with it forever. Sure. and sort of moving on to the next thing. So I think it's, it's a complicated landscape, but I think that's slightly different.

Jason Howell (00:29:53):
Yeah. But I, I think the, the correlation that I might draw between them is just the overabundance of these services where we're at right now. Right? Like every, every single network every single studio feels like at this point in order to stay relevant and stay current, they have to have their own streaming service. But you know, again, we, as, as subscribers, we end up feeling overwhelmed by the amount of subscriptions that we can do. And I mean, it's just, there's too much, it's so much to, to manage that. Of course there's gonna be casualties along the way. There's also the fact that, you know, I think a lot of people, because there's so much opportunity or so many options, people don't necessarily feel like they have to subscribe to a Netflix for an entire year. Let's say it might be something where they can subscribe for a month. And because Netflix does the binge approach, everything they need is there immediately. There's no reason for them to stretch it out for a couple of, of months in order to get

Alyssa Rosenberg (00:30:51):
It exactly, you know, watch Bridgeton one month then hop over to apple TV for Ted lasso. I mean, I think the point that you're making about CNN plus that that I do think is interesting is there was this sense early in the streaming era that people were gonna be able to cut the cord pay just for the services that they wanted. And that it was gonna be really easy to assemble your own streamline bundle. Well guess what the cable bundle was actually a pretty good deal. You got, you know, original stuff on the networks, you could pay up for a premium network like HBO or Showtime, but you were getting all of your words and your news thrown in there and resembling that bundle is not just expensive, but it's sort of emotionally tedious picking through all of the different services and trying to come up with the perfect budget conscious package, you know, unbundling with the dream. But I'm not sure that it's proved to be a vibrant reality.

Jason Howell (00:31:40):
Yeah. Yeah. And I guess a law along these lines, you know, Netflix has, has done so well for so long now we're starting to kind of see a few cracks in the foundation as far as competition is concerned. What does, in your mind kind of Netflix Netflix's current position? What does that say for other streaming services like the, you know, the HBOS or, and Disney plus or, or is this completely separate? This is just Netflix finally realizing, Hey, we're not the only ones in town doing doing this sort of thing.

Alyssa Rosenberg (00:32:12):
Well, look, I mean, I think, you know, HBO reported some subscriber gains today. So, you know, what Netflix has kind of doing is defining the ceiling for everyone in the business, right? The question has always been, you know, how many people, how many potential subscribers are there to any group of services? You know, Jason killer, who was at HBO was saying, it could be as high as a billion. Netflix, I think is Pega, number more, 500 million. And that's, you know, that's international. But that those numbers are challenging to reach, you know, and Netflix hasn't really crack the code in India. No streaming services are licensed to operate in China. So right now Netflix is kind of defining the ceiling for the streaming business and, you know, places like Disney plus, which has, and H and HBO, which have fantastic content libraries, you know, perhaps haven't reached their personal ceilings yet.

Alyssa Rosenberg (00:33:02):
But I, I think that, you know, there are just a lot of questions about what the value proposition is here and what, you know, what content spending the pool of subscribers can support. Right? I mean, Netflix has spent an insane amount of money on content. I saw someone, I think it was maybe Lucas shot, Bloomberg are saying that Netflix's market cap is starting to sort of even out around the amount of money that they've spent on programming. And, you know, you, you can't have a system where, you know, your subscriber growth and the content spending that drive it both increas forever. They're gonna level off at some point. And so what we're seeing is that this size of the market is getting defined and that will shake out to suggest the amount of content that can be produced. You know, if you're, if you're Disney plus or HBO, you know, you're seeing strong subscriber numbers with a less frenetic pace of content, but stuff that's a little bit more carefully chosen.

Alyssa Rosenberg (00:33:55):
I don't love all of the original series that Disney plus is putting out. I'm a little burned out on Marvel and it's, you know, a huge star wars nerd. I am deeply disappointed by the Disney era of Lucasville, but, you know, they are able to pull in those subscriber numbers with, you know, a more selective selection of content and that, you know, maybe it's encouraging for them to see, okay, you know, beyond the amount of stuff that you need to keep a service of is in, you know, it's a question of quality, not quantity. And I think, you know, Netflix was trying to replace a licensed library from someplace else. But those, those back library items do really matter. I mean, the Disney catalog is unbeatable. If you're a parent you know, the HBO back catalog is pretty UNAT if you love classic television and, you know, the Warner brothers movie library. And so, you know, Netflix has not created a lot of stone called classics to fill up its own library with. But at least you can see bright two starring will Smith as a cop with a or partner

Jason Howell (00:34:58):
<Laugh>. Well, I love how you put it in your piece too. I, I felt very seen when you, when you had the part about laundry, folding accompaniment, you know, the, the, about the content on Netflix, you know, often being an accompaniment to the chores that we do, which just basically made me, you know, made me realize, Hey, our family is not alone. Like, oh, Hey, we're not the only ones doing that, but also like how the platform about, you know, its content being essentially something that user that viewers are don't mind distracting themselves with while they do menial tasks. You know what I mean? And what does that say about your content strategy? I don't know. Probably every platform has some content like that, but Netflix seems to have a lot of content like that.

Alyssa Rosenberg (00:35:41):
Well, and I think, you know, our historical memories are a little bit short, like television used to be the the point of network television used to be to sell soap. Right. <laugh> it was sort of meant to be a distraction, which is not to say that it wasn't high quality, but you know, it wasn't necessarily meant, you know, high art gem. That's a, that's a relatively newer idea in the history of television. And I also wanna be fair to Netflix, like Bridgeton is my jam. Even if I'm a little frustrated by the second season, someone who read Julia Quinn's novels back in the day, there is stuff on Netflix that I really like. They put out, you know, they distribute movies that I think, you know, would have a hard time of finding distributed ship elsewhere. They've kind of kept romantic comedy as a genre of float. But when you have that much stuff in the pipeline, some of it's gonna be misses. It's actually really hard to make good content and to make it at scale. And it's not necessarily a Netflix's fault that they haven't, you know, created an imortal back catalog in 10 years of making original content.

Jason Howell (00:36:37):
Yeah. Yeah, indeed. Well, this is great stuff. Thank you so much for hopping on today to talk with us about Netflix, Alyssa Rosenberg really appreciate your time. Of course, you write for the Washington post Washington If people wanna find and follow you online working, they do so

Alyssa Rosenberg (00:36:55):
It's pretty easy. It's just Alyssa Rosenberg on TWiTter. Thanks much for having me.

Jason Howell (00:36:58):
Thank you. That makes too much sense. All right. Take care. We'll talk to you soon. <Laugh> bye. Bye.

Mikah Sargent (00:37:05):
Alrighty, folks, up next, a follow up rather to my story of the week last week regarding CN plus, but first let's take a quick break so I can tell you about zip Rooter. Yes, they are bringing this episode of Tech News Weekly, according to the latest research, 90% of employers plan to make enhancing the employee experience a top priority in 2022, after all a happy workplace is key to attracting and keeping great employees a few ways to make your employees happier, could be making your employees feel more valued, such as asking them questions, focusing on company culture, offering more learning opportunities, allowing for more flexibility and work schedules and showing more empathy, like making time to connect. And if you need to add more employees to your team while there's zip recruiter, right now, you can try zip recruiter for slash T N w.

Mikah Sargent (00:38:06):
Zip recruiters. Technology finds the right candidates for your job and proactively presents them to you. You can easily review these candidates and invite your top choices to apply, which of course encourages them to apply faster. You know, if somebody gets that like, oh, they want me to come work for the company. Awesome. I'm gonna hop on. I'm gonna apply and make that happen. No wonder zip recruiter is the number one rated hiring site in the us based on G two ratings. So hire the right employees with zip recruiter, try it for free at this exclusive web address, zip that's zip N w. And of course, our thanks to zip recruiter for sponsoring this week's episode of Tech News Weekly. All right. So I was talking last week of about CNN plus and how folks were a little bit kind of concerned that CNN plus was not doing so well that the subscribers were, were not doing well, et cetera.

Mikah Sargent (00:39:07):
But it looks like things are a little bit more interesting than we thought because so CNN plus us, it launched just a few weeks ago, right? And there was reportedly about 300 million put into this service. And I heard actually after the show from some folks who had CNN plus and who had used it and were saying like, yeah, I just don't get it. I don't know what the point of it is. Why do we have, why do I have this? What does it provide me? I, I can get these things through other means. And it seems like discovery, well, I should call, I should call it Warner bros discovery because that is the company overhead of CNN feels the same way because shortly after that acquisition or that, that finally combined acquisition that took place it appears that CNN plus is going to be shut down.

Mikah Sargent (00:40:00):
This is according to an Axios report. Wow. This is according to an Axios report who of course quoted sources familiar with the matter. They apparently got an internal memo as well. The subscription streaming service will cease operations on April 30th. The memo says that basically the streaming market's super complex and we just, the CNN plus thing is not providing what we need it to. And apparently there are several leads, several different executive that work at CNN who are going to be leaving the company. The first one to go was Andrew Morris, who is the head of CNN plus. And the head of digital at CNN, Andrew Morse will be leaving the company. Alex McCollum will be replacing Morse as the head of digital, but of course not the head of CNN plus given that that's gonna be closed down mm-hmm <affirmative> you know, on the face of it, it just sounds like, okay, this, this thing, this streaming surface is being shut down, but there were people who worked for CNN plus in particular and their jobs are obviously in question here what the Axios report says is that a employees of CNN plus will continue to paid and received benefits for 90 days after the service shuts down.

Mikah Sargent (00:41:21):
During that time, they can try to find a job internally with Warner Bro's discovery. And if they don't, they'll have six months of severance. So that is pretty generous. I'm, I'm happy to hear that, you know, despite CNN plus being taken

Jason Howell (00:41:34):

Mikah Sargent (00:41:35):
Of. Yeah. I mean, it only opened 3, 2, 3 weeks ago. Yeah. the fact that, you know, you have this job and then suddenly, oh, we're shuttering, this is kind of terrifying. So I'm glad that they're, they're doing something about that. What's interesting. The Aus report kind of suggests that as this acquisition or merger was underway CNN was thinking about launching CNN plus, and the new executives were saying, we don't want this. And the internal people were going, but, but we want this and no, we don't want this. Oh, but we want this. And instead of waiting for the merger to go through, they just went ahead and launched CNN plus way, hoping that it would just get pushed through and work. And the new people came in and said, we told you, we didn't want this. Why did you launch this? You did it.

Mikah Sargent (00:42:22):
And now we're closing it down. It appears too, the, the, there's an argument that if CNN had waited to launch CNN, plus after the merger, like if was a way for it to actually have happened, then it could have been sort of moved to align better with the goals of the new company versus having it start beforehand with the ways that they wanted it to go. It made more sense for the new people to just shut it down and say, no, we're not doing that. And it seems like CNN plus the, the, you know, hired some new folks for content in particular Warner Bro's discovery is considering putting that programming into just the existing CNN app. So essentially it will not be, you know, this, this extra thing, but will be kind of part of the app that already exists. That to me makes sense.

Mikah Sargent (00:43:13):
Mm-Hmm <affirmative> if you want those few things that CNN plus provided why make a new thing when you don't have to, so yeah. All very interesting. And I guess at, at the, the other thing I forgot to mention now, that's just coming to mind is the executives, the, all the people that were like, oh yeah, we feel really good about this. You know the launch has been great, da da, da, da, da. It was, I, I think it was a hundred thousand was the last number that was quoted now. I'm not seeing it, but I

Jason Howell (00:43:48):
Remember reading, I thought I saw 150,000.

Mikah Sargent (00:43:50):
You saw that too. Now I can't even find it in the piece.

Jason Howell (00:43:53):
I'm pretty sure it was 150, but do they take it out? Yeah. So inside CNN executives saw the launch as a success as of Tuesday, CNN plus had roughly 150,000. There we go, subscribers. And I mean, their, their goal, their original plan from what the Saxo report says is becoming profitable in four years, investing 1 billion into the service at this point, they've invested 300 million in. And so this is, you know, to a certain degree, this is, this is cutting, you know, not bleeding entirely

Mikah Sargent (00:44:28):

Jason Howell (00:44:29):
Right. Bleeding, bleeding a little bit is better than bleeding entirely, I suppose. So but wow. You know, they as I, as I said on TWiTter earlier, they out quibi, quibi <laugh>, you know, and quibi actually seems like it was around for a really long time by comparison. Quibi was like around six months, this thing lasted a month. And I, I mean, I wasn't, I wasn't surprised at all to see it, even though what you, the story that, that Axios is reporting here and what you were just saying seems seems to have more meat to it than just, oh, they only have 150,000 subscribers let's kill it. Yeah. It seems like there's, there's some real politics around this. Yes. That are driving the kind of erratic nature of, of the start and the stop.

Mikah Sargent (00:45:11):
Yeah. From, I mean, this could be an HBO now series or,

Jason Howell (00:45:15):
You know, one off besides CNN plus yeah. The downfall <laugh>

Mikah Sargent (00:45:19):
Because it does seem like there were people kind of playing chicken with each other.

Jason Howell (00:45:24):
Yeah. Yeah. That's interesting. Yeah. And I mean, you know, touching on what you said, and it really know makes me double down on what I said last week, which is, I don't, I'm not saying that this kind of content isn't valuable, someone would find this content valuable, but I'm just not certain that someone is willing to spend $6 a month on this content alone. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> if, like you said, it's, it's rolled into something else as an also, you know, component than great. That makes more sense to me for, for this sort of content. I mean, we, we all can get news on our phones time of day at night. It's, it's not, you know, it's not something that's really hard to find Mo you know, original movies and, and original music and different those things maybe have a little bit more value because we aren't drowning in it. Exactly. you know, from all directions, but news, like, I feel like news comes easy.

Mikah Sargent (00:46:21):
Yeah. If I'm up to my shoulders and water and someone's selling a subscription to water, I'm going,

Jason Howell (00:46:26):
I don't really need that. Yeah. Yeah. Water plus water plus it's water, but better <laugh> it's water, but yeah. Never ending streams of it. So. All right. Well, we hardly knew you literally, we hardly knew Y CNN plus <laugh>.

Mikah Sargent (00:46:42):
We did hardly knew

Jason Howell (00:46:43):
You. In fact, I didn't really know you. I didn't subscribe to you, but anyways maybe next time it'll work. I don't know. All right. Up next. It's well, it's time to get real. We're gonna talk all about that social network that really leans into the getting real part. But first this episode of T weekly is brought to you by Neva complicated and costly. That is the scenario. When it comes to meeting room and conference room audio, these days, it's not easy choosing its traditional system has a lot of complicated components to it. You know, difficult design software. You have to select from a wide dizzying array of separate microphones, different speakers, DSPs, and a whole lot more. So that gets really complicated installation usually requires outside technicians. So that's even more complication. That's more coordination. You know, and that not, not to mention that's expensive and super invasive, it could take your room offline for days.

Jason Howell (00:47:42):
You can't afford that. The industry in this case was primed for some type of a major forward in technology and innovation that had transformed and simplified other sectors. And Neva is that technology made that leap when they created the revolutionary microphone missed technology. This is actually a patented technology. It's just one or two integrated microphone and speaker bars. That's a, all this needed. It fills a room with thousands of virtual microphones really cool stuff. So as a result, you get no dead zones. Everyone can be heard anywhere. They happen to be in the room meeting in class participants. Don't have to have a special way or a special place that they have to be in order to be heard by the people on the other end of the call. They can simply talk and move naturally throughout the space and still be heard by remote participants.

Jason Howell (00:48:35):
It's just, it's wicked smart at knowing what the right audio is to pass through and to make it sound as good as it possibly can. Thanks to continuous audio calibration. Your rooms are instantly and always ready with optimized audio. It also, isn't gonna require an outside technician to come in and install this. If you've installed a speaker bar, you have what it takes to install. <Laugh> the Neva audio system. They've simplified management as well. Neva console actually gives it the power to monitor, manage and adjust their system from anywhere you happen to be no need for it to go from room to room physic, it can all be done virtually. So ask yourself if you want to go with a costly and complicated traditional system that you're used to using that you're used to being disappointed with, or you can make the leap to simple and economical Neva learn

Jason Howell (00:49:25):
That's N U R E V a Check it for yourself. We know you're gonna be impressed by it. And we thank Nova for their support of Tech News Weekly. All right. So my story of the week, actually, the story that I've linked to is an older story it's from last month, but the reason I'm talking about it today is because this week, it seems like the rest of the, the tech writing has caught on. So I suppose I should give credit to the author of the original protocol, a article Lizzy Lawrence for being a, a full month ahead of everybody else on this story. This is a service called be real. Have you heard about be real? I had never heard of it. Yeah. I've got an account. Oh, excellent. I'm I'm actually considering signing a first account. You should. Because when I, when I read about this, I was like, okay, this I can get behind.

Jason Howell (00:50:16):
So before we talk about what be real is, if you haven't heard about it already, it's important to talk about what we have already, right? We've got Instagram, we've got Facebook, we've got Visco, we've got all these social platforms that really in essence, promote a person's ability to offer up their best self. And that's not entirely a bad thing in and of itself. It's not a bad thing for me to wanna, you know, make, make sure that I look good in the, in this photo or whatever the, the complications come in, when people who are using these platforms are surrounded by nothing but best selves. And it, it makes it difficult to kind of compare my life, right. As I'm seeing all these people basking on the, the Florida beaches and looking, you know, dress to the, and full on makeup. And I mean, looking perfect and beautiful and all these things, it's almost impossible for a lot of people.

Jason Howell (00:51:14):
And I've certainly fallen victim to this, to look at these, this constant stream of those kinds of representations and think, man, my life is really boring or, you know, start to kind of like do some self-judgment around what I'm seeing. Right? Absolutely. And maybe that, it's my problem. Maybe that's our problem and not a, a platform problem. But I appreciate when a platform is saying, Hey, let's do think about this a little bit differently. If we can offer up a service that has that is important in its own, right. That people care to contribute to and helps people feel a lot better about themselves. Like I'm all for it. Right. So that's what be real is kind of about. It does things a lot differently. Users are allowed to post a single photo one time per day and correct me if I'm wrong. Cause I haven't used it.

Jason Howell (00:51:57):
You obviously have so on any of this, if I get it wrong, correct me, but one photo, one time per day, mm-hmm <affirmative> they don't get to choose the time of the day that that photo happens. A notification comes through for everyone on the platform at the same time, random time throughout the day mm-hmm <affirmative>. So it's like you get that notification. It says time to be real. And then you have, I think, two minutes to shoot a photo, right? Yes. That is correct. And it's not just one photo, it's two photos. It's like the, the photo of your front facing

Mikah Sargent (00:52:23):
Photo and a and a back facing

Jason Howell (00:52:24):
Photo. Okay. So you got two minutes to do this. And the idea here is, is that you can't, you don't have the time to like get all spruce up or you don't have the time to set up your perfect shot mm-hmm and make sure that everything in the background looks neat and, and beautiful and, and whatever. The idea being that if you snap that picture in two minutes, this is a more real representation of who you are, where you are, what you're doing and end. This is a social platform. So you get to see other people's photos, but only if you share, so this is not a lurking platform. You can't just go on and see what people are sharing, whatever, unless you've also shared. And that opens up for my understanding, the photos for any, for, for that day, these photos only last for 24 hours. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> at the end of that. They drawn opt off. So this is really like when I think of social media as a way to like share with people our real lives, like, yes, there there's aspects of these things that we share to Instagram that are representations of our real life. Like, yes, I'm at that beach, but there's a lot of planning and prep and kind of like spruce up that goes into that too. Absolutely. Whether we realize it consciously or

Mikah Sargent (00:53:30):
Subconsciously. Yeah, we're doing it. SUBC exactly.

Jason Howell (00:53:33):
And this is just really an opportunity to, to share the mundane of our life too. And not just that, but recognize that everybody has mundane to share in their life mm-hmm <affirmative> and Hey, that's a part or to life. I dunno. I like it a lot. I think it's a really great idea.

Mikah Sargent (00:53:48):
Yeah. So a couple of things to add to that you, so you get the notification and you are meant to do it at that time. However, in a 24 hour period, you can still post your, be real you, once you tap to do it, you only have two minutes to take the photo and they will shame you so to speak. They'll tell you that you if you like your friends, who've posted, it'll say they posted this late. Okay. and so for example well, I don't have an example of this cuz Megan and I both posted our former co-hosted the show Megan RO she and I posted ours within timeframe. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> and so mine, I happened to be sitting in my computer, setting up time machine on it. And so it's just a, a photo of the time machine window.

Mikah Sargent (00:54:32):
And then me kind of looking in the background. But what's interesting is so when I first got this, cuz Megan Moroni was actually the one the reason why I ended up getting it, cuz I saw her talking about it. And I was like, okay, fine. I'll get this stinking thing that was kind of fun. But what ended up happening was I didn't realize that it took two photos. I thought it just took a photo. And so my first photo of me, I just look ridiculous and I'm like, well, I gotta post it. I'm supposed to be real. And she thought that was hilarious. And just the other day we happened to be in target at the same time.

Jason Howell (00:55:09):
Oh, no

Mikah Sargent (00:55:10):
Way. And I got the notification to be real. And so <laugh> ended up taking a photo of me

Jason Howell (00:55:16):
Getting me in the background. That's great. Oh, that's so cool. I love

Mikah Sargent (00:55:19):
It. Yeah. So that can be kind of fun on occasion. And I like that they do this, the, the ability to post late, because there was one time when I, I was asleep cuz I'd gone to bed super early, cuz sometimes I'm an old man and I happened to wake up in, you know, the middle of the night for whatever reason and I saw it and so I posted one completely in the dark that was like, oh, I had fallen asleep earlier. And so it's nice that you can post later if you want to. And then you have the ability to just keep your be reels shared between you and your friends or you can post them to what's called the discovery which is a kind of a public access feed of the be reels that have, have taken place. So you can scroll through and see the different be reels that people have posted and then potentially become their friends. And as you can see, it shows like they posted three hours late. They're at the top text shows three hours, late three hours, late three hours late.

Jason Howell (00:56:15):
And when you post late mm-hmm <affirmative> like, I realize you get this little ding. It tells everybody, ah, yeah, you, you weren't with everybody else. Does that still open up your ability to see everybody else's? Yes it does.

Mikah Sargent (00:56:26):
Okay. As long as everyone is posted and everything like that, then you can still see everyone else's okay. But again, in once you tap to do your, be real, a timer starts at the top two minutes, 1 59, 1 51 57, 1 50,

Jason Howell (00:56:42):
Missy, you miss it.

Mikah Sargent (00:56:42):
And if you miss it, you miss it. So it still has that sense of urgency even if you post late. But yeah, I like this idea and what I like too is so far I've seen everyone is pretty much the friends that I follow everyone is holding to that. No one I don't ever see anybody super like print and you know yeah. Prim and whatever the words are. <Laugh> I kind of appreciate that. It is everyone's being real. Yeah. and is holding to that. So yeah, it's a lot of fun. I think everybody should join. Be real.

Jason Howell (00:57:16):
Yeah. There's no likes on the platform. That's also another aspect

Mikah Sargent (00:57:19):
Of it. Right. But there are there's a fantastic thing. I'm trying to remember what they call them. Oh, a real emoji. So a real emoji is there's it's kind of a reaction. There's a thumbs up, there's a smiley face. There's a surprise face. There's a like straight lined face there's upset face and a crying, laughing face. And you take photos of yourself like those different emoji and then you can post those on people's photos. Oh,

Jason Howell (00:57:49):
That's cool. I like

Mikah Sargent (00:57:50):
That. And then there's a, a final category down at the bottom, which is sort of a real emoji that you can create just at all. Basically it's just a little snapshot of yourself. So if you see something, you know, I think the other day Megan had posted a photo of like a piece of writing basically. And so I did kind of the, that emoji where you're, you're scratching your chin kind of thinking about a thing. So you can do a fun one just in that spot. So I really like the real emoji. Those are that's cool.

Jason Howell (00:58:17):

Mikah Sargent (00:58:18):
So anyway, it's it's a pretty fun little app to use right

Jason Howell (00:58:21):
On. Yeah. And apparently it's, it's taken off like crazy and college camp and, and everything right now. There are

Mikah Sargent (00:58:27):
Lots of Ts on it for sure.

Jason Howell (00:58:28):
A lot of Ts, but anyways, I just, I really like the idea behind this, so I think we're gonna install it. And especially now that I know that you and Megan are on I yeah, no idea what other friends might be hiding on this service. But but yeah, I'm, I'm curious about that. Anything, I think any social platform like this, I think that what really resonates for me on it is just the re reducing the kind of, I don't know, the, the, the kind of, I don't wanna say shame, maybe shame is the hard is a hard word for it, but we, I think over time with social networks have really kind of built up this kind of need or feel this need to only share the good mm-hmm <affirmative>. And, you know, like if, if that be real comes through and you're having a hard day, like

Mikah Sargent (00:59:15):
You can be real about it.

Jason Howell (00:59:16):
This, this is, this is a great way to just share exactly how you are and who you are. And in aggregate that helps everyone be better, be, feel more comfortable being themselves. You know what

Mikah Sargent (00:59:28):
I mean? Yeah, absolutely. I, I agree. I, and that, that was kind of a, a refreshing part of it because one of the people that I follow and, you know, I won't get into it, but tends to be a pretty kind of, of everything needs to be just as I just, just, just right. And, you know, the photos that they typically post elsewhere are that way. And so seeing them kind of be vulnerable, I think can be encouraging to other people to be vulnerable. Yeah. Which is nice.

Jason Howell (00:59:54):
Cool. Well, I'm gonna hop on. Yes, I will. Friend you. Or is it, do I reel you <laugh> do

Mikah Sargent (01:00:00):
You be

Jason Howell (01:00:01):
Me? I don't know. Do I be you <laugh>?

Mikah Sargent (01:00:02):
Yeah. I'm not sure what they call it.

Jason Howell (01:00:04):
Yeah, I dunno. But I'll look for it. Anyways, it's called be real one word and check it out for yourselves and yeah, I hope you enjoy it. So we've reached the end of this episode, Tech News Weekly, always a good time. Thank you so much for watching and listening. We do this show every slash TNW. That's our show page on the web. All of our episodes get posted there, but you also have links to subscribe to the show and audio video formats in any podcast, catcher of your choosing. Also jumping out to YouTube and subscribing there as well,

Mikah Sargent (01:00:40):
Also, if you'd like to get all of our shows ad free, while we've got a great way to do that, you can check out club twit at twit for seven bucks a month, you get quite a few goodies. You get every single one of twit shows ad free. That includes this week in space and the untitled Linux show, as well as access to the members only twit bonus feed. That is an RSS feed that has extra content. You won't find elsewhere, including some of the club twit events like a recent AMA, or I think it might be an upcoming AMA with Jeff Jarvis. In any case, that'll be on there as soon as it's posts and access to the members only cord server. That's a place you can go to chat with your fellow club, twit members, but also those of us here at twit Rosemary orchard, my co-host on Iowa today is one of the most active folks from twit on the platform.

Mikah Sargent (01:01:35):
And it's a great place to go to check all of that out., twit seven bucks a month. I've also heard more and more people of feedback from more and more people who are subscribing using apple podcasts. Yes, you too can do that in apple podcasts, you look up Tech News Weekly. You find the audio version of this show, and there'll be a button you can tap for 2 99 a month to subscribe and you'll get the ad free version of the audio feed right there in your apple podcast application. If you wanna tweeted me your follow me online, I'm at my Sergeant on many of social media network. You can head to, C, where all of those links are. I should add my be real link <laugh> now. And you can check me out on Saturdays with Leo. Leport where we do the tech guy radio show, taking your questions from around the us and the rest of the world, as well as on Tuesdays with Rosemary orchard for iOS today, Jason Howell, where do folks go to find you

Jason Howell (01:02:33):
Right now? Just TWiTter at Jason Howell, but I'm gonna sign up for be real. And I don't know how they do their whole naming

Mikah Sargent (01:02:40):
It's B let's see, I've got the link. B, B R E dot AAL. So B real. Yeah, B E R E dot AAL slash. And then mine's Mica Sergeant, cuz that's what I am everywhere. Of course,

Jason Howell (01:02:52):
Of course. Lucky you it's so easy to find that name on all the that's true networks. <Laugh> but anyways yeah, so find me on TWiTter maybe someday on be real and big thanks to John Ashley, to Burke for helping us do this show here in the studio each and every week. And thanks to you for watching and listening and being real. We'll see you next time on Tech News Weekly. Bye everybody.

Ant Pruitt (01:03:19):
Did you spend a lot of money on your brand new smartphone and then you look at the pictures on Facebook and Instagram and you're like, what in the world happened to that photo? Yes you have. I know it happens to all of us. Well, you need to check out my show Hands-On Photography, where I'm going to walk you through simple tips and tricks that are help make you get the most out of your smartphone camera or your DSLR or mirrorless, whatever you have. And those shots are gonna look so much better. I promise you so make sure you're tuning into for hands-on photography to find out more.

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