Tech News Weekly episode 298 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. I take the time to talk to Jennifer Patterson, Tuy of the Verge about the very confusing state of matter and thread and smart home automation in general.

Jason Howell (00:00:12):
Super confusing. Can't they just get along? Also, I speak with Sean Hollister also from The Verge. It's a verge kind of day. What can I say? It's a cautionary tale about a very specific brand and type of, of solid state drive that you definitely do not want to buy. Hmm,

Mikah Sargent (00:00:30):
I will not be touching that one. Then we talk about a conversation that is, once again, rearing its head. Would a Disney be open to being acquired by Apple? Would Apple be open to acquiring Disney? And what would regulatory bodies have to say about

Jason Howell (00:00:46):
That? I feel like that conversation comes up like once every other year. <Laugh> has for like the past 15 years, but we're back time

Mikah Sargent (00:00:51):
Again. It's, we're Back

Jason Howell (00:00:52):
Baby. And finally Android launching its Find My Device Network. A couple of months ago now we have the Unknown Tracker alerts appearing on Android. What's that all about? We're gonna tell you all about that and so much more. Next on Tech News Weekly podcasts you love

Mikah Sargent (00:01:11):
From people you trust.

TWIT intro (00:01:14):
This is Tweet.

Jason Howell (00:01:18):
This is Tech News Weekly episode 298, recorded Thursday, August 10th, 2023. Would Apple acquire Disney? This episode of Tech News Weekly is brought to you by discourse. The online home for your community discourse makes it easy to have meaningful conversations and collaborate anytime, anywhere. Visit to get one month free on all self-serve plans

Mikah Sargent (00:01:46):
And by ACI learning. Acis newest product Insights assists. In closing, lucrative skill gaps. Visit go dot ACI Twit listeners will receive at least 20% off or as much as 65% off an IT Pro enterprise solution plan. The discount is based on the size of your team, and when you fill out their form, you'll receive a proper quote tailored to your needs. Hello and welcome to Tech News Weekly, the show where every week we talk to and about the people making and breaking the tech news. I am one of your hosts, Micah Sargent,

Jason Howell (00:02:19):
And I'm the other guy, Jason Howell, all the way over here for people watching on the video stream. Well, now you're a little bit closer. This feels, this feels better. That last shot just felt like so far away. <Laugh> like, come back.

Mikah Sargent (00:02:32):
It's okay. We're here

Jason Howell (00:02:33):

Mikah Sargent (00:02:33):
You. There were, there were there was a, a nice Foley, a nice sound of, of, of dogs in the background of another <laugh>. So I'm also hearing maybe things have been corrected now, but the Discord is asking where the show is. So if we could make that possible for them, that would be great. But

Jason Howell (00:02:51):
If you are, but if you are listening, listening in, in, in in your podcast catcher of Choice, then it doesn't matter. You have found us and we've got some news to talk to you about today. 'cause That's what we do here on Tech News Weekly. We're doing things a little bit outta order this week. Whoa. I'm gonna start with my story of the week. Don't, don't worry though. I do have an interview coming up later and we've got another interview as well. Micah is coming up after this. But why don't we start with my story of the week. I know that this is something that we can both I imagine get behind the trackers that well, I think you're probably a lot more familiar with Trackers than I am because on Android, like there are Tracker, you know, there is Tracker technology. Mm-Hmm. And I'll talk a little bit about it, but air tags have become pretty, pretty big thing. Do you use them? Yeah.

Mikah Sargent (00:03:35):
So I, I have several. I would say I use them, but I don't really use them. <Laugh>, I have You rely on them? Yeah, I have them. They are in operation. But A, because I don't go to too many places and B because when I am going to places it tends to be that the stuff that I need, I bring with me, I guess. Right. I, I don't find myself using them all too often. However you know, on, in the rare occasion or on the occasion that I do go places that has been great to, to have. And one place that I have used them is in my home because I have one that is in a special case that my Apple TV remote sits in.

Jason Howell (00:04:21):
I was gonna say attaching it to a remote. Yes. That's like, that's

Mikah Sargent (00:04:24):
One of the, and so that is nice because then you can not only make it make a sound, but you can also move your phone around and try to find the exact location of it. So,

Jason Howell (00:04:33):
Although I would think Apple's a forward-looking company, they would just build it into the remote <laugh> in, in

Mikah Sargent (00:04:37):
Theory. They will do that eventually. I'm

Jason Howell (00:04:39):
Sure that they will. Yeah, because that's a pretty common thing. Well, why are we even talking about this? Google, not Apple made an announcement at the end of last month and it was about trackers and how they're gonna interact with Android. Introducing a new system called Unknown Tracker Alerts. And the idea here is that Android devices, you know, MYP Pixel seven, if it's running the right version of Android, of which, I mean actually this feature is gonna date back all the way to marshmallow Android six and above. So pretty much most Android devices out there are gonna be tapping into this. But the idea is that Android devices will let users know if an unknown Bluetooth tracker is following them around or is separated from its owner and determined to be traveling with said person. So if I'm an Android user and my phone is able to pick up on the fact that there is a tracker that is near me that seems to be traveling with me, because wherever the phone goes, the tracker that it detects comes with.

Yeah. And then it will alert you. So this actually follows on Google's announcement in May at Google IO of Android's Find My Device Network for Trackers. Google's been working hard on, on integrating this. Google's actually been working with Apple also. They announced a partnership on making Tracker Safety a priority. And now like I said, when a tracker's nearby and not registered with an Android user, but seen to be traveling with them, that user's gonna get a notification. It'll say something like, tracker traveling with you, unknown Tracker detected, the owner of the tracker can see its location. So it's really a warning. It's saying this thing's with you. Someone on the other side, you know, can potentially technically they can see your location and give you that warning. It'll also offer the ability to play a sound on the tracker if the tracker supports that.

So you can actually locate it. So if there's a tracker stuck underneath your car as sometimes happens with these things, is my understanding then you can, you know, find it. And if if that happens, the owner of the tracker will not be notified. Mm. So it'll be kind of kicked off, you know, the, the, the siren will be kicked off and the owner of the tracker won't go, oh, they know that I've been discovered. You know, they know that I've been tracking them now. And then the finder can actually choose to get you know, they get, you end up getting this kind of list of things that you can do from there. You know if you think you need to contact law enforcement you can get and save the tracker information that's useful. If the owner of the tracker actually marks that tracker as lost.

So if I have a tracker, I put it somewhere and then it's lost. I can report it as lost. And then when another person say, this person with this phone, you know, ends up discovering it, you can report it and realize that the registered lost tracker, like it's already been registered as lost by the owner. Yeah. So therefore it can say, okay, well here's the details I can give you about who the owner is. And that's all, you know, determined, I believe by the owner of the tracker also has the ability to completely disable the tracker. So if you find that tracker and you're like, you know, I don't want this following me anymore, sure you could throw it in the trash and really throw them off your scent <laugh> or you could just disable it entirely and and go from there. So, and there are step in, step in step-by-step instructions on how to remove the air tag cover mm-hmm. <Affirmative> to remove the battery because after all right now, at least at this point, this feature works with air tags. It doesn't really work beyond that, which is a little strange, but I guess that's the majority of the really popular trackers out there. Well,

Mikah Sargent (00:08:14):
And not only that, but this is essentially in the background. This is a partnership between Apple and Google. Yeah. This is the two companies who, because they have the majority of devices to make a device network, they came together and said, let's work on this so that when you launch your own trackers and we have our trackers that each one can talk to the other. And so I'm not surprised that you know that. And I wouldn't be surprised too if we come to find out that the other options, those third party options. Yeah. Were a little bit hostile about getting set up with this because one of the main things about this is you have the big, the two biggest companies in terms of like device saturation or I guess I should say operating system saturation. 'cause Google was more on that side of things.

You have these two companies who suddenly have this huge network who are saying, we are drawing the line and we have decided that these trackers are not for law, are for not for stolen goods. Right. They, they and the reason tracking people. Yes. And then that's the reason why it, it's essentially we're giving up the benefit that people could, that many people could potentially see and having something to find something that is stolen. Yeah. Because we don't want them to be used to track people. And so that leaves the third party folks out there in that space where they could be used to track stolen items. Unfortunately, also be used to track people. And so I would not be surprised if many of them are kind of like, Hey, the eyes aren't on us right now. Right. We don't wanna be part of this. 'cause People still buy our thing so they can find their stolen items. And it's

Jason Howell (00:09:58):
Not like, you know, I don't think either of us is implying that they necessarily want their product to be used for stolen goods.

Mikah Sargent (00:10:05):
Yeah. But

Jason Howell (00:10:06):
It is a convenient byproduct of the fact that they're, you know what I mean? Yeah. That, that the major one in the room that, you know, the majority of people are actually using for this sort of thing, aren't doing this. That I, I, you know, whether they want to admit it or not, that gives them at least a, a certain part of the market <laugh>.

Mikah Sargent (00:10:22):
Yeah. Because if, if I was out and my bag was stolen and it had an air tag in it, and then the person who stole my bag was notified and then they could disable it and then I can't find my bag, then that's maybe a reason that air tags are not an option for me. Yeah. And actually this is a very anecdotally, a very real thing where I had a family friend who was going to Disney and they wanted to put an air tag into their kid's like shoe underneath the, the, you know, the insole mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. And so I explained everything and I said, but after a period of time, if you, you know, God forbid the child was taken, that person would be notified that there is a device and maybe they wouldn't be able to find it 'cause it's in the shoe or whatever.

But still that notification is there. Mm-Hmm. And so because of that, the person chose not to go with the air tag, but instead went with some third party. Because that's the thing that, that's sort of the argument that some people are making is like, we're setting up all of these protections so that people aren't stocked. But the fact is, I can go on Amazon right now, spend $20 and $5 a month for a cellular based g p s tracker and do the same thing you know, and it, and it works nearly as well. So it's not like that technology hasn't been here for a very long time. Right. So the idea that it's just now a problem that people are going to be stalked with this. And so that's why it's a, it's a, I know it's a huge back and forth that there's, you know, all of these, but Google and Apple are basically saying, look, we are giving up the convenience of being able to find your stolen bag in order to make sure that people aren't stalked, essentially.

Jason Howell (00:12:04):
Right. Right. And I do believe, my understanding is that this system will open up to, you know, the other third party trackers over time. That is Google's goal, at least as far as this system is concerned, is to broaden that out. 'cause There are, like we've talked about, there are other trackers out there. They can do some of these things and I think Google, you know, and Apple both have plans to make sure that it's, it's safely done. Yep. So anyways if you have an Android device, like I said, marshmallow and up, that's Android six and up you can actually also scan manually. So you know, it's done automatically on an ongoing basis. But if you wanted to, you could fire that off manually. Go to your settings app safety and emergency menu, unknown tracker alerts and you just tap scan now and that will do a scan that'll generate a list of trackers found around you.

Takes around 10 seconds to do that. And so there you go. I think that's really great news. So it's very, very interesting. Alright, coming up. Can't matter and thread, just get along seriously. But first, this episode of Tech News Weekly is brought to you by Discourse, the online home for your community. We have a community, twit has a community with discourse. We love it for over a decade. Discourse has made it their mission to make the internet a better place for online communities by harnessing the power of discussion. Also, realtime chat and AI discourse makes it easy to have meaningful conversations and collaborate with your community anytime, anywhere. And if you want to actually create a community, you can do that. And we're giving you the information to do that. You go to discourse If you go there, you're gonna get one month free on all self-serve plans and you can really check it out for yourself and kind of start creating the community that you have in mind.

We certainly did with with twit community it's trusted by some of the largest companies in the world. Discourse is Open Source powers more than 20,000 online communities. So whether you're just starting out or you wanna take your existing community to the next level, there is a plan for you. You've got the basic plan for a private invite only community, got a standard plan if you want unlimited members and a public presence. And then of course, a business plan for active customer support communities as well. Jonathan bva, developer advocacy at Twitch says, discourse is the most amazing thing we have ever used. We have never experienced software so reliable ever. So take it from Jonathan. One of the biggest advantages to creating your own community with discourse is that you own your own data. So that's your data. You're always gonna have access to all of your conversation, history,

Mikah Sargent (00:14:50):
Discourse, never sell your data to advertisers, which is a huge bonus. Discourse, gives you everything you need in one place. Make discourse your online home and the online home for your community. Visit to get one month free on all self-serve plans. That's And we thank them for their support of Tech News Weekly. Over to mic? Yes. Yes, yes. So, okay, <laugh>, here's the thing I have covered for quite some time. Smart Home, home Automation. And as many of you know, I did once have a show on this very network smart Tech today where we talked a lot about the Smart Home. And one of the most exciting things to happen during the time that I was covering Smart Home Tech was the introduction of matter and the sort of launch of thread as part of what matter would eventually be.

And over the course of doing that show, it was like, matter is coming, matter is coming <laugh> the show ended up going away before Matter ever did arrive, but it is here now. And yet there are lots of issues. And part of that has to do with something that is near and dear to my heart, which is thread a protocol that I think is fantastic on its own, but when it has to play ball as part of matter things aren't so great. Joining us to talk about this is one of my favorite writers over at the Verge Smart Home reviewer, Jennifer Patterson. Tuy, welcome to the show. Jennifer.

Jennifer Pattison Tuohy (00:16:33):
Hi Micah. Hi Jason. I'm very happy to be here. I really miss your smart Home show. It was great. Oh,

Mikah Sargent (00:16:40):
Thank you so much. Thank you. Well before we kind of get into things, 'cause it has been a

Jennifer Pattison Tuohy (00:16:44):
While, do you ever wanna bring it back? I'm happy to help <laugh>.

Mikah Sargent (00:16:47):
Oh, good to know. Good to know. Noted. before we get into things, I do wanna start by asking you 'cause we gotta get everybody kind of on the same page. So can you explain what thread and matter are and why they were introduced into the smart home ecosystem in the first place? Like, what problems were they put out to solve?

Jennifer Pattison Tuohy (00:17:06):
Right. We've got like two or three hours. Yeah.

Mikah Sargent (00:17:09):
<Laugh>, you know, us so well, <laugh>

Jennifer Pattison Tuohy (00:17:12):
Because it's such a simple, such a simple problem. This and easy solution. You know, of course everything works just as you expect it to when it comes to protocols and multiple companies working together, you know, so <laugh> in Short <laugh> so the point of matter was to fix the smart home in the shortest summary possible. Because the smart home had been confusing, complicated. You would buy a device maybe a smart plug, you'd bring it home and you'd say, Hey, I wanna use this with my smart speaker, but hey, it turns out your smart speaker doesn't work with this smart plug. Ah, the point of matter is that any connected device would work with any other connected device and with any smart home platform that also worked with Matter. And what made this a really viable solution was that all the big companies were on board.

So Apple, Google, Amazon, Samsung, many of the i OT industry companies, chip makers, device manufacturers, they were all on board. They are all on board. I shouldn't talk about this in the past tense <laugh>. So this was all really promising <laugh>. And as you mentioned one of the protocols that matter, which is actually a standard matter itself, is a standard for the smart home. And it works over three main protocols, wifi, ethernet, and thread. And Bluetooth to some extent for Provisioning Thread was the newbie in the gang, although it's actually been around for a while. But it was specifically designed to work for smart home devices, whereas everything else was designed and originally for something else. So they've kind of been, there've been protocols that have been sort of shoehorned into working in the smart home. And the, the beauty of Thread, and I agree with you Mike, is an exciting protocol is that it was designed to help the smart home to help things like low power, long range, low bandwidth devices that, that make the smart home work well.

Like sensors, lights, locks, thermostats. It was designed for those devices in particular to work in our home and work locally. So you don't have to rely on the cloud because that was, that's a key part of the smart home that has always been frustrating for people. You know, when the internet doesn't work or you have to sign in with your password and account, or you have to create an account matter and Thread was supposed to kind of get rid of all those pain points. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> and it launched about eight or nine months ago last November, and it's been slow going.

Mikah Sargent (00:19:47):
You mentioned that the implementation of Thread has been complicated by politics, but also technical issues. Kind of talk about these challenges that manufacturers and platforms are having in implementing Thread and like, what is the political ramification here? Where, where is that coming into play?

Jennifer Pattison Tuohy (00:20:05):
Well, so it's so thread as, as I mentioned has been around for a while, but it actually originally was developed by Nest for its learning thermostat and the smoke alarms, the smart nest protect smoke alarms and many companies have been interested in using it, but there hadn't been an infrastructure in people's homes that really worked. You know, with wifi, everyone has a wifi router. With ZigBee and Z-Wave, when you bought the devices, you would then also buy a hub to go with it. The beauty of thread is it doesn't rely on a proprietary hub. It can work with anything that has a thread chip in it, and that's what a thread border router is. And so one of the complications have been that thread border outer rollout has been somewhat delayed by, and it's, I put, you know, I put the emphasis on politics.

I think when you talk to the manufacturers, they say, no, no, no, we're all getting along fine. It's just a difficult problem to solve <laugh>. And I think the the ultimate answer is somewhere in between the two problems there. But, you know, you've got a lot of competing companies that have come together to try and solve a big problem. And they, there are many people in those companies that do want to work together to figure it out. But you end up having problems that are deep rooted in because these companies have never really worked together in this way. So the technical issues are, and I don't wanna know how deep you wanna get into this, but the thread itself is developed and managed by the thread group. And it came out with a great update about six months ago, maybe longer, called 1.3 0.0.

And that was the next specification of thread. And it said, okay, this is how you can get your thread device, your thread border routers to talk to thread border routers from other manufacturers. So your Samsung TV could be a thread border router, your Apple Home Pod and your arrow wifi router. They can all be thread border routers and they can all talk to each other and make one big happy mesh thread network in your home. And the bigger your network is, if anyone's familiar with, with mesh networking in a home, the, you know, the more nodes you have, the more stable, the more, the better things are going to communicate. Mm-Hmm. You'll get less latency. So your light switch will turn on when, immediately when you use your voice command rather than waiting five seconds. So, you know, it's as quick as flipping a light switch <laugh>, which is ultimately what we want from the smart home.

And the problem has been that as of today, that thread 1.3 0.0 specification did not tell these companies how to make their devices talk to each other. It own how their thread border routers talk to each other. It only said, you know, you can <laugh>, so now you guys have to go work it out. And, you know, everyone has been implementing things in different ways. And what we've ended up with is a situation where you, if you buy more than one thread border router from a different manufacturer, which is entirely plausible, like in that scenario I just described, it's not unlikely you'd have a Samsung TV and Apple Home Pod and an Eero wifi Right. Router, you end up with three separate thread networks in your house. Wow. And that on the face of it might not cause a problem, but it shouldn't be that way. <Laugh>, you are kind of, you know, we're causing begin, you know, the foundation of the, of your smart home starts out wonky and then it's not gonna get better from there. <Laugh>.

Mikah Sargent (00:23:34):
Yeah. And is, is it not part of the problem that, as you mentioned, you know, thread has been out for some time thread was with the, the Nest Learning thermostat and everything, and over time you started to see devices that worked with Thread. Some were HomeKit or Yeah. Homekit over Thread others were you know, thread direct and you had all of these different devices that were using Thread and then Matter came along as the the sort of standard above everything. Did that also have an impact on how these thread networks were set up? Because I look back and I think about how my Arrow router has, you know, its own ability to basically create a thread network, but then I've got these other devices in the home that were able to later, I added an Apple TV later, I added some HomePod minis. They all can technically create their own thread networks, right. As thread border routers. And so was it, was it part of the problem that matter came afterward or did that not have an impact?

Jennifer Pattison Tuohy (00:24:35):
I think for, for people that use Apple Home yeah. Home Kit Over Thread is different from Matter overread, the two don't work together currently unless you're using Apple Home. So you, you know, you could use Apple Home as like the route to bring both together. But Homecare Overread is separate from Matter overread. And yes, I think that has created some confusion. But ultimately the big problem is for people like you and I, Micah <laugh> who already have Smart Homes, <laugh>, because one other thing that Thread Group has not specified is how to merge existing thread networks. So if you end up with multiple thread networks, there is not an easy way right now to bring them all together. And that can end up meaning that like you add a new smart plug with your Apple HomePod and it adds fine to your network, and then you're like, oh, I got this new smart bulb and you add it using your unknowingly using your Google Nest thread border router, and it's added onto a separate network.

And those, then those two things don't communicate. And this is the type of thing we as consumers shouldn't have to worry about. But the problem is gonna come when what you thought you'd be able to do, which is say use the smart plug to turn the light on at the same time as whatever you have the plug plugged into doesn't work. Yeah. Because the devices aren't communicating. So, and the problem has come down to Apple and Google have said, Hey, here's our APIs, use these and your thread board routers can join our thread networks. Now, when I specify Apple and Google, I'm talking about Android and iOS mm-hmm. <Affirmative> not Apple Home and Google Home. So obviously they're, this is where it gets more complicated. And you know, you any manufacturer can choose to add and use those APIs to add their thread border router to the existing network.

But who gets to own that network? So is it Apple that is it Apple's Thread network? You join, but Samsung says, Hey, when I come into your house, I want it to be my thread network, so I'm just gonna set up my own thread network and I'm not gonna use apples. Oh, so <laugh>. So, so this is where we've got into complications and basically what should have happened, thread had the thread group had the situation in hand. They said, we've made this, now you guys have it all work together. The C SS A is what is the Group Connectivity Standards Alliance in Charge of Matter. They should have mandated how this was then implemented by the individual platforms so that we don't end up with competing networks that consumers have to deal with. If you wanna make it simple and easy, you have to make it simple and easy. <Laugh>, you can't leave us a mess to deal with.

Mikah Sargent (00:27:16):
Right. And it does seem to be an end user mess. I mean, you had in, you have in your article and folks should go and check it out a couple of screenshots where you're showing different apps that you're using to be able to look at your network and see what's going on. And I did a little bit of research and saw some Reddit posts where people were trying to figure out what was going wrong in their thread network. And they had to use this sort of, what is it like a, a bonjour sniffing app to determine what needed to be reset and restarted. And the whole point of all of this was supposed to be that none of this needed to happen, that it was all just going to work. But often that seems to be the case, <laugh> that it just works.

Doesn't end up happening. Now. I think you've done a great job of answering the couple of other questions that I had there. I guess I would ask for you if you could sort of crystal ball this situation, and you're looking into a world that is a perfect world, how does the group go about solving this problem? And what does it look like in terms of implementation in your perfect world? Is it that I say I want Apple to be my thread network of choice, and you, Samsung and you Google need to join that? Like, what does it look like in the end for you? And maybe how do you think they're going to handle it going forward? Or are they just going to let it continue to be a mess

Jennifer Pattison Tuohy (00:28:38):
<Laugh>? Oh, you know, it's, it's a tricky one. I think ultimately the idea of matter, the more we kind of, the further we move into it, matter really is designed for the new smart home adoptees. People who have never really found the smart home interesting or compelled to buy smart devices, but they're beginning to come and realize, you know, actually having smart lights or smart security systems is gonna have a benefit for me once you start setting up matter devices from that point using Thread or any of the protocols, I don't think it's gonna be, I think it's gonna be resolved relatively soon in order for us to, you know, that not to get confusing and difficult for regular consumers, for techie people, like probably a lot of people that listen to your show mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. it is gonna be complicated. It's gonna be a long time until we can easily mesh all of our networks together.

I think what the problem has been exactly, you know, what I had just said is, you know, it's designed to be simple, but just like this beautiful swan gliding along the top of the pond, there's all this action going on underneath <laugh>, and that's complicated and <laugh>. And so they're trying to make it as simple as possible. And I think one of the reasons that they didn't give these tools to us to be able to create and manage our own thread networks is because they didn't want us to have to do that. I mean, it's hard enough dealing with your wifi network as the lag I am experiencing on this <laugh> interview indicates you don't wanna have to deal with another IOT network. People don't want to be network admins in their own homes. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. So, you know, the idea was good.

Like, let's make this really simple. It just works. It's the implementation that has failed because, and I don't, again, I don't necessarily believe the companies are like necessarily saying, we know we wanna keep our ward gardens, but I just don't think that there, there's the design for them to easily communicate with each other. They each wanna do it their own way, <laugh>. And that is where we've caused, we've run into problems. I mean, apple makes it very clear, you know, it's easy, you can join this network, no problem. Any thread, boarder router can join this network as long as you use an iPhone. You know, and so the, the, the, this is where we run into the, the problems. And I think going forward, I do believe all the companies are working on this to sort it out. One of the big issues to begin with was Amazon.

They don't have a way to share these credentials. So right now, if you have any Amazon thread devices, so that's an Echo Smart speaker, the fourth gen and era routers who are owned by Amazon, they will only join their own networks. They will not let anyone else join that networks and they can't join other people's networks. Okay. But they've told me we've come up with a an A P I to solve this and it's coming out soon. So I think within about four to six months we should have a stable thread network solution. But we should have had this a year ago. In fact, this should have been here before Matter rolled out. I think everyone kind of jumped the gun a little bit. And it's just made it more confusing and more complicated and means I get to write articles like Thread is matter as big as problem. <Laugh>, which, you know, is not great for the smart home because we want this to be simple, but it's not. And it, it's a bit of a failure out of the gates, unfortunately. Long term though, I still have hope.

Mikah Sargent (00:32:04):
Oh, that's good. That's good. The hope is still there. Jennifer Patterson Tui, also, you have written a great guide for folks who are kind of purchasing smart home products and getting them set up to get things set up correctly. So everyone should head over to the Verge to check that out. If folks wanna follow you online and check out all the great work you're doing, where should they go to do so?

Jennifer Pattison Tuohy (00:32:26):
Well the best place is the I'm also on the X <laugh> Twitter thing, <laugh>, whatever they call it. JP two E and the threads, which is not thread, just in case anyone was confused at this point, we probably should have done the disclaimer right at the beginning. This is not Threads ma Meta it's thread and matter <laugh>.

Mikah Sargent (00:32:48):
That's good. That's good. Well, thank you so, so, so much for your time today. We appreciate it and I look forward to talking to you more in the future.

Jennifer Pattison Tuohy (00:32:57):
Thanks so much for having me. I hope I helped explain it a little bit,

Mikah Sargent (00:33:01):
<Laugh>. Absolutely. Absolutely. Have a good day. All righty, folks. Up next. Could Disney be looking for a buyer? Hmm. More on that in a moment. But first, this episode of Tech News Weekly is brought to you by a c i Learning. As you know, 94% of CIOs and CISOs agree that attracting and retaining talent is increasingly critical to their roles. With today's IT talent shortages, it's more important than ever for your team's skills to be up to date. 87% of companies say they have skill gaps in their employees. And the challenge of assessing your IT staff skills is it's frankly overwhelming. But it doesn't have to be. A c i Learning has partnered with the best in the industry by adding insights, the new skills gap analysis tool to assure you that the training you're providing is working in a quick one hour assessment By Insights a c I learning will provide your whole team with key diagnostics.

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Future proof, your team and your company with insights from ACI Learning visit go dot aci Twit listeners will receive at least 20% off or as much as 65% off an IT Pro enterprise solution plan. The discount is based on the size of your team, and when you fill out their form, you'll receive a proper quote that's tailored specifically to your needs. Thank you. A c i learning for sponsoring this week's episode of Tech News Weekly. We are back from the break and it's time for my story of the week which is about Disney, maybe possibly who knows considering a sale. So c e o Bob Iger has kind of been rumbling and mumbling in some interviews about not exactly saying that there's a sale on the horizon, but maybe hinting that they have at least considered that they would do a sale and if they, that the regulatory concerns would be a big hurdle for them.

But what people on the outside look at when they're looking at whether a company might be doing an acquisition or like might be wanting to be acquired, is they look at the company slimming itself down. And we have seen more direct suggestions that the company is considering slimming itself down. The c e o said that, let's see, where was it? It is, who did they mention? They mentioned a specific, oh TV networks like a, B, C and FX quote may not be core to the company's business, meaning that if they're not core to the company's business, they may look at offloading those TV networks. And in doing so you know, that's slimming down is what triggers people to go, okay, I'm looking at you. Who are you thinking about selling to? And there's lots of talk as there has always been about Apple being the company to acquire Disney.

First and foremost, apple is one of the most valuable companies in the world. And a company that has a whole bunch of money on hand which is not the case with a lot of other companies. So no, they could actually, there are many companies that I, that I could think of that would be like, oh yeah, we'll just buy Disney. No big deal. Yeah. You know? Yeah, exactly. Apple. Yes, I believe it. Yeah. Because even other companies that have or that are, you know, incredibly valuable may not have that much cash on hand. Right. So it's it's, you know, there's no like Elon Musk method of having to do loans and set up stocks and all this other stuff to even make the purchase in the first place. Yeah. now Bob Iger did not again was kind of asked about this and did not just straight up explicitly say that the sale was going to happen, but we have seen, of course Bob Iger was once on Apple's board left Apple's board because Apple TV Plus came around.

And so there was a conflict of interest there. But Bob Iger was recently quote unquote on stage at Apple's ww d c event, I say on stage in quotes because it was a prerecorded thing, but talking about how Disney Plus could be in the Vision Pro headset. And ultimately the idea is that of anything the company is considering selling off some of the stuff that it has. So it could sell off again, what was it, a, B, C and FX and could, and those could end up going to different companies. It may not be that the same, go to the same companies mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. And then they also have the issue that some of Disney's brands are only valuable as they, they're basically parasites, I guess is the best way to put it. They get value from being part of Disney, but Disney is not, it's not valuable to Disney to have them.

It's unclear, you know, what this would involve what this could look like and what regulatory hurdles there would be, because some would point out that apple exists in the tech space and Disney is not in the tech space. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, but because there's Apple TV plus, that could be a potential in for regulatory concerns that would not at one time have been there. Long time industry analysts have said that they foresee the sort of s the the size and scope of, of, of content in terms of, of video that's out there in terms of entertainment content that's out there. Essentially going from this wide swath that exists right now where you've got A, B, C and c b s and Disney and Hulu that has, you know, this and that and the other, and Paramount and this blah blah, all these different, essentially shrinking to kind of a few big companies.

And that those big companies would be the companies producing content. That, let's see. It says some Hollywood executives have been anticipating a future in which the studio heard will continue to thin dramatically. There will end up being three or four platforms and everybody else gets hollowed out and acquired. There will be Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and one other. If you could put N B C Universal, Warner and Paramount together, you probably have enough to survive. So yeah, they foresee a future where there are just kind of four big platforms that have all of the content on them, and that, that makes sense to me. I mean, it is so splintered right now. It's super splintered and you end up spending so much money. Well, yeah. Nobody's subscribing to all those things. Exactly. You can't Absolutely. You can't break out into all of those. No.

But you know, with this comes the question of what it would look like if Disney acquired the, if Disney acquired of Apple acquired Disney what parts of the company would stay, what parts would go what would be changed? I saw someone joking how if Apple acquired Disney, suddenly the trash cans at Disney Parks would go from being invisible as they are right now. They try to hide the, the trash cans so that they don't look like trash cans to just not being there at all. <Laugh>. that every they would try to build a rollercoaster out of glass. That, of course, these are all just, you know, silly, goofy jokes. But you, they did have a point though that if you go to any of Apple's properties, you do sometimes see and idealistic stylist stylistic choice being made in place of a more humanistic choice, you know, a a human centered choice.

So they certainly choose style over like the, the impact it has on the human. And that kind of runs contrary in, in theory to what you know, Disney Parks would provide. Mm. So it's, it would be quite a mess. But a good mess or a bad mess, hard to say, and whether the regulatory Bo bodies would see that as a good mess or a bad mess is perhaps not as hard to say. I imagine that there would be some antitrust concerns there. Yeah. And at, at the end of all of this, there's no hard set in stone thing saying that Apple is even looking at the possibility of acquiring Disney. It's just, it has come up again. And people would not be surprised if that ended up

Jason Howell (00:43:12):
Happening. Yeah. Well, I mean, apple would have a, what would Apple's immediate like reason be to buy it is, is kind of my question. I see the, the article points out a little bit about, I mean, this would just be one aspect, but it is kind of an intriguing, intriguing aspect is the Vision Pro headset. Yep. And that's what it's, and if you can lock in some sort of like major, like, like the, the, the VR space mm-hmm. <Affirmative> is looking for that kind of, that that breakthrough thing mm-hmm. <Affirmative> that proves that it really has a reason to exist in the way that so many people have talked it up, ourselves included. We've certainly talked about it a lot as far as the potential of this stuff. What is the breakthrough? What is the smartphone tip over point? Yeah. For VR headsets, could it be an Apple that owns Disney, Disney and figures out some really amazing way the Disney IP to capitalize on that IP inside of the Vision Pro? And I don't know what that is, is that Pixar movies are in the theater, but if you've got the Vision Pro, you are in the Pixar movie. Exactly. You

Mikah Sargent (00:44:19):
Know what I mean? And, and just having, I dunno, it's

Jason Howell (00:44:20):
One of the

Mikah Sargent (00:44:21):
Idea Apple has a close partnership with Pixar in the first place. They and Pixar are going hand in hand on the U s D file type virtual reality, augmented reality models. And so the idea that the, you know, just thinking about the IP that exists there, and yes, you suddenly are in the, I don't know what it, I, I never watched the one that has all the emotions, but I'm trying to think of, oh

Jason Howell (00:44:47):
You like, why am I suddenly blanking inside out? Right. Such an inside out. Yeah. It's

Mikah Sargent (00:44:50):
So good. Good. You're in the inside out area and you are like looking around being right next to these characters, you know, enough of those compelling ideas and people are going, oh man, I've gotta be a part of that. And just Disney owns so much culture.

Jason Howell (00:45:06):

Mikah Sargent (00:45:07):
Right. So much culture and Disney has, I think where Disney and Apple do also align is they're both very good at getting people to spend stupid amounts of money. Yeah.

Jason Howell (00:45:20):
They're very, yeah. They're very

Mikah Sargent (00:45:21):
Good at that. I've not been to a Disney Park since I was six years old, but I know about plenty of people who've gone to Disney Park since then. And all you do is just spend a bunch of money, like more money than anyone should ever <laugh>.

Jason Howell (00:45:34):
I, I know a good number of adults who have who, who just

Mikah Sargent (00:45:37):
By the

Jason Howell (00:45:37):
Go. Yeah, exactly. Who don't even have kids, but they love, like, they make regular pilgrimages too. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> to the Disney Resorts. It's just part of, part of their life.

Mikah Sargent (00:45:47):
Yeah. So two companies coming together who are very good at getting people to spend money means more money, more money, more money, <laugh>. And I don't think either of them are bothered by that idea. Plus just making Apple TV plus more valuable, I think is would be a good thing, would be a happiness for Apple. But again, that is the part where you do wonder what the regulatory bodies would have to say about it. So who knows? But a part

Jason Howell (00:46:14):
Of me just doesn't see that, just doesn't understand though, like with the amount of money you're talking about with Disney mm-hmm. <Affirmative> and, and yeah. Granted Apple has cash on hand. Like they could totally afford it. I'm just having, I'm still, and like even with the app, the Vision Pro, like, I think that's just a component of what would need to be a greater, a bigger picture reason for Apple to own Disney. And you know Sure. Apple, you know, apple plus, you know, Apple's video service, that's another aspect, but like, I feel like it needs to be even bigger. Yeah. Like there needs to be an even bigger reason than just those two things. And I'm not entirely certain that I'm sold on what that would be, that Apple would be like, we've gotta have Disney. I agree. I'm, I'm not entirely sold on it

Mikah Sargent (00:46:56):
Because right now it's doing just fine with Disney as a third par as like as a partner. Yes. Right. Right. They're still getting, they, there is a huge vision pro experience coming from Disney. The, the that's what was announced on stage at ww d c, that's why Bob Iger was quote unquote on stage. Yeah. And so even without Apple owning Disney. So I don't know if it would almost just be because the acquisition acquisition of talent from Disney's Studios particularly again in Pixar and in some of the other partnerships, who knows. But it's all speculation in any case. Yep. Totally. But there's stuff to get excited about there Yeah. And stuff to, to kind of wonder about in any case. Yeah. but yeah, that's, that's that story. I feel like we should wrap up 'cause I know we've got another interview around the

Jason Howell (00:47:42):
Corner. Yes, we do. We got an interview coming right up. Alright. There is not much in this tech world that is instantly disheartening like losing data on a hard drive. It sucks. I can speak firsthand, we'll talk about that later. But catastrophic hard drive failure is a bitter pill to swallow. Getting that data back if it's even possible is super expensive. Sean Hollister wrote a piece for The Verge talking about a particularly pesky SS s d that is causing his coworker to undergo the seven stages of grief. I have to imagine at this point. Oh no. Sean is here to talk all about it. Welcome back Sean.

Sean Hollister (00:48:19):
Hi. Thanks for having me.

Jason Howell (00:48:20):
Seven stages of grief. You're, you're talking him down a little bit at this point, right? Because this is, this has not happened to him once, it's happened to him a couple of times at this point.

Sean Hollister (00:48:29):
Yeah. So these Sandis Extreme Pro portable SSDs were very popular among photographers and videographers especially 'cause they can go up to four terabytes and transfer that tremendous quantity of data at tremendous speeds. Wow. 'cause it's all solid state storage, very fast, very portable. And Verin bought into this like my colleague Verin bought into this like many others and like some others, he discovered one day that his files had started to go missing. Oh. He actually watched them vanish, some of them right before his eyes. He tried adding them back when some of them vanished. He tried adding some of the files from his computer back to the drive and he saw them disappear one by one. Something very strange was going on with these drives file systems. An editor at ARS Technica discovered who was also having this issue. And after getting a replacement drive eventually from Western Digital, which owns SanDisk, this has just happened to Verin again.

He is, this drive can no longer connect properly to his computer. We have no idea what's happened to the three terabytes of Verge video that's on it. Thankfully trying to walk 'em through the stages of grief here. Thankfully this is not content that had not already gone into our videos. The footage is live on the Verge as YouTube and social media channels. We just wanted to back up another copy of it to the cloud where we can store it safely. And Veen when this happened was on vacation bringing his drives along, shooting some more footage from us as he's a workaholic and does this even on his va his vacations. And he hadn't quite backed up that chunk to our archive yet.

Jason Howell (00:50:16):
Ooh. Gut punch. We've been there. Again, we'll talk about it in a moment. I wanna, oh, at the, at the end of this interview, I wanna, I want us to have a little powwow on data, data loss. 'cause I'm sure we've all been there. But let's go back to the original article. 'cause You wrote an article a couple of months ago when he had lo first lost the first Drive. And I guess that was a four terabyte drive back then. What, what Western Digital, what are they saying along the way? Like, are they acknowledging this issue? How are they responding to this? Because I, as you point out, it's not just your colleague, it's also, you know, ours, Technica and forums and other people are experiencing this. What is, what is Western Digital doing?

Sean Hollister (00:50:58):
I think this is the reason why this is such a big story and so controversial and, and generating so much anger is because Western Digital hasn't meaningfully responded to this in a way that would satisfy anybody who's lost anything on any of these drives. So I actually feel a little bit guilty. I talked Verin out of writing the original version of the story. We could have written back in, I don't know, February, March of, of this past year. He, I, I told him there's not quite enough evidence here that this is a big deal. Check and see what Western Digital Sandis will do for you. You know, we need to get their responses. All, all the due diligence that goes into a good piece of journalism. And well, the, the first thing that happened was they didn't respond to him very well for a while at all, because this was around the same time that Western Digital was undergoing a giant data breach where some hacking group may, may have installed some ransomware or something like that, I can't remember the details.

And stole customer data from Western Digital, got into their, their internal systems and knocked down a bunch of their customer support systems for a while. Some of their cloud services I think we're down for like a couple of months even. Hmm. it was a huge deal for Western Digital. Not everybody connects at Western Digital is the owner of SanDisk has been for a while now. But yeah, so the, anybody who needed their SanDisk support was going through that. They said, I guess we could send you two terabyte replacement driver, or a couple of two terabyte replacement drives for your four terabyte. There was something going on. Hmm. Verin had heard from from a customer support rep, which by the way, in journalism we know you can't take anything. A random customer support rep says is, is, is gospel because you don't know what they actually know.

They, they, they've, it's been thing built in. Things have been filtered down several levels by the time it reaches the customer's for sure. Yeah. Yeah. So he heard that they were gonna stop selling these drives, that they were no longer going to be in stock anywhere. And, and I also wanted to make sure we waited and found out whether that was true. Because if they were going to recall the drives or pull them off the market with or without saying anything about it, that would be a huge deal. But they didn't do that. What they did instead, while not responding to customers or promising them big timelines or some replacement drive, what they did instead was they put these drives on deep, deep discount.

Jason Howell (00:53:36):

Sean Hollister (00:53:38):
The Forbes terabyte drive originally retailed for about $700. The real street price a bit lower than that. But all of a sudden you can have these things for $300.

Jason Howell (00:53:48):
Yeah. And that's super appealing to someone looking for a portable Ss s d like this of that, of that size. They're not gonna bat an eye. They're gonna be like Oh yeah. This is a reputable brand. This is an amazing screaming deal. Why wouldn't I? Yeah, absolutely.

Sean Hollister (00:54:01):
Great reviews, great speeds. Yeah. Huge storage, killer price. Why wouldn't you buy this? And the reason that you wouldn't buy this is because people started finding out that they would fail in a catastrophic way. That may mean your data is gone, may it's possible to recover the data. Some people have had luck with very simple techniques to recover the data. One person came up to veen on, on Twitter and said X came up to Veon and X and said, Hey try plugging it into your iPad. The final system might be compatible with that. I had some luck with that. They came down with all kinds of name things like try different U S B C cables. Right? Right. But the reality was he's tried a bunch of this stuff and he's not getting it back unless he sends it to probably a data recovery service.

There are pieces of software online that he might be able to try. Some of them have reached out, some of the companies behind the software have reached out to us in the, in the, in the weeks since the original story. And again since the new story and said, Hey, here's a free code for our software. We'd love for you to try our product and, you know, talk us up and all this. We might try one of those and see if that works. If we have to go to drive recovery service drive Savers is another company. Yep. Well known Data Recovery Services. They reached out to us and say, Hey, we'll do it for free for you as well. Well, I I I, I emailed them back, how much do you normally charge? And they said there's a price range of $900 to $3,900. It almost thousand dollars,

Jason Howell (00:55:32):
Especially on that size. It, it probably costs more when you're recovering from a larger hard drive size. And four terabytes is not a small amount of data. I imagine.

Sean Hollister (00:55:42):
Absolutely. He told me the first time Ave, first time Veran went looking, he told me he got a quote of something like $1,800 was a decent price that he heard mm-hmm. <Affirmative> for recovering the sale. And what we'll have to think about it. I mean, we do want this verge footage to be in our archive so we could potentially use it for future stories down the road. It's not the end of the world. We, again, we, we use the footage that we needed. We do normally back up everything several places. Hmm. we have gotten so many comments on this story from people, well-meaning people who are, who are like, Hey, you know, you should, you should try backing things up this way. Don't, you know, the 3, 2, 1 rule. Right, right. Right. And we've also gotten lots of comments from angrier people who's like, what the hell are you doing? Verge? Don't you know about backups, <laugh>? We do those things.

Jason Howell (00:56:31):
Yeah. Yeah. Well, I guess one of the questions that I have is when when you have a drive and that drive fails, and then you're offered a replacement drive by set company, is there a l a lesser amount of faith that you have in that replacement drive? You know what I mean? Like it, and especially like, essentially they're replacing the same kind of drive for another of the same kind of drive. Did that give your colleague any pause like that would, that would be, that would, I'd at least, I'd at least take a moment. I, I think if I put myself into his position,

Sean Hollister (00:57:05):
Be like, there's a spectrum.

Jason Howell (00:57:06):
Hmm. Like, I'm getting a replacement drive, but how certain am I, am, am I that I want to use this drive?

Sean Hollister (00:57:13):
There's a spectrum of trust Yeah. With something like this. And it depends on how much the company assures you and how much it does to make the drive better. Yeah. And and, and, and, and also how much you have tested the drive to see. Now, he started out, when, when he, when he got this replacement drive back, it came a week after Western Digital issued an update to these drives that was theoretically going to address the issue. Mind you, the way Mr. Digital advertised this update was that it would, we have identified a firmware issue that can cause yada yada drives too unexpectedly disconnect from a computer because they don't wanna say anything about data <laugh>. They don't wanna scare people away with Yeah. Catastrophic data loss. Oh, God. So they just say your portable SS s d may require a firmware update.

And hopefully people took them up on that now. But we got this drive again. They, they originally, they told us they could not ship us this four terabyte drive back. They were saying, Hey, well, maybe we can give you a couple two terabytes. In this case, we got the drive back a week and a half after that firmware update was issued, and they sent us the four terabytes. So we're like, okay. They fixed it. Right. Yeah. Right. And then he went on and tested it for a while with his personal files. He didn't, you know, immediately start putting important work files on the replacement for the drive. That original failed after he convinced himself, okay, this seems to be working. Files aren't disappearing yet, and I, this is my best drive in my entire collection that I use for work. It's the one that's big and fast.

Let's, let's do it. And and so he did, and he took this along with him to I think he went back to, to Croatia and, and, and he's using starlink out there as his internet service. You his upload speeds or, and, and all of a sudden it's not working. Pix also this is Pix the popular photography blog. You know, yeah. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> Verin reads it religiously. I used to they were still using their drives for a long time. Two days ago. They wrote that they can no longer recommend Sandis Portable SSDs. They themselves have also had these failures. And they're, they're done with them. Hmm. They, they will not trust them with their own footage anymore. And you know, what's the company gonna do about that? You can't just say, I'm, I'm gonna, I'm gonna extend you a replacement drive anymore. Tried that already. Right. even if it did, we wouldn't trust it again. Yeah. Are, are they gonna pay for data recovery for affected customers? I'm waiting to hear back,

Jason Howell (00:59:52):
God, I'd be surprised about that. <Laugh> at the cost of data recovery. But yeah, you do also point out in your article that you know, Amazon, Google, they're not making it very easy for people to find, you know, this truth about it, you know, a lot of the reviews that are shown on there are glowing reviews as far as that's concerned. Tech sites apparently not doing much better. Right.

Sean Hollister (01:00:17):
Yeah. I was oh my gosh. I was swapping links with Veen a few days ago. Oh my God, look at this. CNET is writing about this amazing deal on the, on the sand disco stream, portable Ss s d without mentioning once that these things have had big failures mm-hmm. Cult to Mac, same thing. You know, I, these Sandis has a great reputation. Here's a great price on its drive from this company with a great reputation. I was, I was ready to be very angry at them, ashamed them a little bit. We don't do that too much in journalism, but I, I do like to point out when there's something blatantly wrong. Mm-Hmm. and, and I, and I, I, I had to pull the punch though because I, I said, okay, well what, what are these folks reading? And I looked into Google and they're the issues.

They were not surfacing anywhere near the top of the first, first page of search results. And how many of you, you know, using Google click through to pages 2, 3, 4? Oh yeah. When you're looking for a drive, it's gotta on on the first page. Yeah. The way Google search search engine results pages work is they determine whether your search belongs to a particular category of searches before they issue the results. So if I put a query into Google, that's likely to return news stories. You know, they, the Google thinks people want news stories, it'll do that. But for the kinds of searches around SanDisk, you know, for terabyte, SS s d even if you've mentioned the full name of the product, what you're going to get is you're going to get their product search results, which are gonna point you first and foremost to the product page.

Right. Marketing videos, retailers where you can buy it, because Google thinks that's what you want. To the extent where it does not meaningfully surface bad reports about the drive anymore. And if you go to Amazon, for instance, and you wanna look at this drive, it has 4.7 stars out of 5.0. And the two top rated reviews when I looked last were absolutely 100% Astro turfed. One of them looked like it plagiarized directly from the other. And both of them were suspect, even though Amazon marks these down as verified purchase. So somebody had to either purchase the drives and, and, and then write the review or somehow tricked Amazon's system so that they could write this fake review of the drive to help boost its rating. Now, I'm not gonna go out on a limb and say that WD or Sand Disk, you know, is, is paying, you know, for Astroturfing. I don't know that, I don't know that they've doing any reputation services here, but that kind of thing has come up in the past. If there are any whistleblowers of Sure. Adobe d SanDisk that have heard of something like this, help me. I'm a

Jason Howell (01:03:08):
Yeah. Wow. Okay. So this is Sandis SanDisk, extreme Pro, extreme Portable, extreme Pro Portable, wd my passport. S s d at least those are the four that you listed out at the top of the article, just so that people know of like what to avoid. Did I get those those all correctly, or

Sean Hollister (01:03:28):
Yeah, that's correct. The, my, the WD My Passport. Now, we didn't actually know for a fact that this affected the two terabyte model. The one terabyte model, the Sandis for any drives labeled as wd. In this case, the WD My Passport, four terabytes Western Digital listed those as products that were impacted by the firmware issue, which, again, Western Digital claimed was simply a possibility of disconnect. Mm-Hmm. So we had heard from our Technica that one of the smaller extreme pros was, was affected in their case. I can't tell you for certain, which drives we're susceptible, are susceptible to this issue. But those are the ones listed under the firmware update.

Jason Howell (01:04:13):
Yeah. Okay. We gotta wrap this up, but before we do, I do want a show of hands of the three of us here who has ever lost catastrophic data a catastrophic amount of data to a hard drive failure,

Sean Hollister (01:04:29):
An amount, but not stuff I cared about. So

Jason Howell (01:04:31):
I'm, I'm lucky. I'm lucky. Well, you are lucky. No,

Sean Hollister (01:04:34):
No. Is in there. Nothing

Jason Howell (01:04:35):
Like that. That's good. I, I lost some stuff. I really cared about

Mikah Sargent (01:04:38):
My, I, mine wasn't, I would say I quickly got over it.

Jason Howell (01:04:42):
I did quickly get over it too. Yeah.

Mikah Sargent (01:04:43):
It's kind of strange. It was in college and it was stuff that I had to redo, you know, so that I could turn it in. Yeah. but I didn't lose any photos or anything like that. Thank goodness all my memories were there. 'cause They were elsewhere, but Yeah. Yeah. I remember losing a number of, it was like all these different things that needed to come together, <laugh>. I was like, well, great. Now I get to redo everything. All

Jason Howell (01:05:07):
Right. At least you could redo it. Yeah. The hard drive that I lost, I accidentally knocked it off the table onto the ground and you know, a portable hard drive. And it had a bunch of old project files, like music project files from like 20 years ago. Oh. And I, you know, I went through the seven stages of grief on that one and, you know, contacted Drive Savers and got the, the bill. And at a certain point I was like, you know, like, how much of this is worth it versus me just kind of like practicing letting go. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> just let go and I let go, and then I got over it quickly. It was all good, but that's good. Would I prefer to have it? Yes. Yes, I would. <Laugh> Anyways. Well Sean, thank you so much for hopping on and telling us a little bit about this.

When I read this story, I was like, you know, this, this sounds like something that needs as much attention as possible so we can save other people from falling for what feels kind of like a little sneaky trap. You know, it's like, buy these really cheap hard drives, but don't know the, the details of why they're cheap. So thank you for hopping on with us today and telling us all about it. Appreciate it. Thanks for having me. Absolutely. Sean Hollister writes for The Verge, and you should definitely follow his work over there. Take care of yourself, Sean. We'll talk to you soon. Bye-Bye. Bye-bye. Alright, with that, we've reached the end of this episode of Tech News Weekly. We do the show every Thursday, so if you want to get the show without having to like hunt it down or anything like that, beautiful. That's what podcasting is all about. Go to twit tv slash tnw, subscribe to the podcast in your pod catcher of choice, and you will get it. It's like magic. It's a magic trick that we perform for you every Thursday.

Mikah Sargent (01:06:41):
Woo. Magic, magic, magic

Jason Howell (01:06:43):

Mikah Sargent (01:06:43):
You can perform a bit of magic too by joining Club Twit at twit tv slash club twit. When you join the club, you gain access to some pretty awesome stuff. First and foremost, you get every single twit show with no ads, just the content, because you, in effect, are supporting the shows. And so we just provide the content to you. We also give you access to the twit plus bonus feed that has extra content you won't find anywhere else behind the scenes before the show, after the show. And Special Club TWIT events that are only available via the club and access to the members only Discord server. A fun place to go to chat with your fellow club TWIT members, and also those of us here at twit. I think by now you've probably heard about Discord, but if you haven't, it's a lot like Slack or Microsoft Teams.

It's just a, a place where you can chat with other people, share photos, videos, links, all sorts of stuff. And we have a very busy and active club Twit Discord. You can join at twit tv slash club twit starting at $7 a month, $84 a year. I say starting at, not because it's a tiered system where you get more, the more you pay, but because some folks said, Hey, I'd like to give you some more money than just $7. And so we made that a possibility. When you join the club on top of those great benefits, you also get to see some Club twit exclusive shows. That's right. Shows that nobody else outside of the club is able to watch, but you can watch and listen to them. There's the Untitled Linux Show, which is, as you probably guessed, a show all about Linux.

There's also hands on Windows that's Paul RA's program that covers Windows, tips and tricks. There's Hands on Mac, which is my show that covers Apple tips and tricks, and to prove it to you that it's not just about Mac. I do have an episode coming out later today that is about the new version, oft v OSS for the Apple TV and some of the cool new features coming there. You can also watch Home Theater Geeks, which recently relaunched in the club. Super exciting stuff. And soon there will be a you know what I mean? It's packed. You, you're, you're there regularly and you are sharing lots of great stuff. <Laugh>. So there is slash will be. Yeah. a

Jason Howell (01:08:59):
It's, it's kind of confusing right now.

Mikah Sargent (01:09:01):
There's an a, there's an AI experience in the club featuring Jason Howell. I mean,

Jason Howell (01:09:06):
By all accounts, there is an AI show at the club. There is, you have an

Mikah Sargent (01:09:09):
Interview, it

Jason Howell (01:09:10):
Just doesn't have an official name. Yeah. And and we're still kind of playing around with things, so it hasn't officially launched, but every week I'm doing it inside of the club, including today at 1:00 PM Pacific. And we're gonna have a guest, Mike Wolfson. So yeah yes, there is an AI show, but it hasn't officially air quotes launched yet.

Mikah Sargent (01:09:27):
There you go, <laugh>. So if you wanna get all of that great stuff, you've gotta head to twit tv slash club twi to check it out. We'd appreciate it. If you'd like to follow me online, you can find me at Micah Sargent on many a social media network or head to Chihuahua Coffee, that's c h i h u a h u, where I've got links to many of the places I'm most active online. Check out again, hands on Mac later today. If you are a Club Twit member check out on Sundays. Ask the tech guys with Leo LaPorte and yours truly, where we cover your, or we take your questions live on air and do our best to answer them. We prefer tech questions over sort of life questions, but we'll answer those too if we can. And also on Tuesdays, you can watch iOS today with Rosemary Orchard. It is a great show where Rosemary and I do everything we can to make sure that you out there are making the most of your Apple devices. Jason Howell, what about you?

Jason Howell (01:10:24):
Jason Howell on X or Twitter, I just can't say X without having to correct myself. It's just not there yet. That Jason Howell on Threads TWI social slash at Jason Howell, that Jason Howell on TikTok, I don't know, just search for me. And then the social media platform of choice in one of the Jason Howells that come back will look like me. Just subscribe to it. <Laugh>. There you go. That's all I can tell you. <Laugh>. thanks to everybody here in the studio for helping us do the show. John, John Burke was in here, ant was in here. So many people help us do the show each and every week. We could not do it without them. So thank you and you should thank them too. And thanks to you at home for watching and listening. We will see you next time on Tech News Weekly. Bye everybody.

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