This Week in Google 704, 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.

Leo Laporte (00:00:00):
It's time for TWiG This Week in Google. Jeff's here, Ants here. Stacey has the week off. But we found a great replacement: Attorney Cathy Gellis was actually in the courtroom yesterday during oral arguments. The Supreme Court case, Google versus Gonzalez, the future of the internet hangs in the balance. We'll get her analysis and a lot more next on This Week in Google.

This is TWiG This Week in Google. Episode 704 recorded Wednesday, February 22nd, 2023. Ensconced in Felt. This Week in Google is brought to you by HPE GreenLake, orchestrated by the experts at CDW. Who can help you consolidate and manage all your data in one flexible edge to cloud platform to scale and innovate. Learn more at Thanks for listening to this show. As an ad supported network, we are always looking for new partners with products and services that will benefit our qualified audience. Are you ready to grow your business? Reach out to and launch your campaign now!

It's time for TWiG, This Week in Google! The show where we cover the latest news from Google. This time it's actually gonna have some Google News in it. Stacey has the day off, but we are really fortunate to be able to get Katherine r Gilles Esquire in studio. Cathy Gellis. You've seen her write for Tech Dirt. She is an attorney that practices law in the digital age in Northern California. And it's so great to have you, Cathy, because yesterday she was in the Supreme Court in the chambers listening to the oral arguments in Gonzalez versus Google. Cathy, welcome. So glad we could get you on.

Cathy Gellis (00:02:05):
Thanks for having me.

Leo Laporte (00:02:06):
Yeah, Mike Masick said I'm gonna, I'm gonna write about this, but I'll wait until Cathy really waves in <laugh> Wait. With the, with the real deal. We're gonna ask you about those oral arguments. But first let's say hi to the rest of our panel. Of course, the fabulous Ant Pruitt from Hands-on Photography and our community manager at at, at Club TWiT. Hello Ant. And of course, the Leonard Tow, professor Journalistic, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, yada, yada, yada, yada, yada, yada. The card's way over there. I can't reach this Now. Where's the cue card? It's okay. It's there it is. It's all right. The Leonard Tow, professor for journalistic Innovation at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City of University of New York. Hello, Mr. Journal. No, no theme. No, no, no. Craig Song Please, please. Can I, no, just ask your indulgence. We're having a little bit of trouble here in the studio today would come in 40 decibels over your own feed. Let's just not push it. Definite. You <laugh>,

Cathy Gellis (00:03:05):
Jeff. We're doing the show Unplugged

Leo Laporte (00:03:08):
<Laugh>. Oh, I like it. It's time for TWiG Unplugged. So, Cathy, many think that yesterday was one of the most momentous days in the history of the internet. Of course, the Supreme Court, her had oral arguments on Gonzalez versus Google. This was the case sad story. The Gonzalez family filed against Google saying that Isis recruitment videos on YouTube oh, they don't even say it was the cause of their daughter's death in a 2015 terrorist sh mass killing in Paris. But they say it's bad anyway. And so it's a, it seemed to me it's a bad case in the face of it, because they're not, there's no connection between those videos and their daughter's death. And I'm very sorry for their daughter's death. But they went after Google. Anyway there is another case that was heard today, similar, but not the same. Yesterday's case really was about Section 230. Today's case included Twitter and I think Facebook as well as Google. But wasn't, I'm

Cathy Gellis (00:04:15):
Not sure if if they were official petitioners. Okay. But I, I may be wrong. I don't remember the caption, but it's definitely Twitter that was pulling the weight. I

Leo Laporte (00:04:25):
Believe you were into the oral arguments yesterday. Do you, did you not feel that today's were were as important or were you just exhausted?

Cathy Gellis (00:04:32):
It's <laugh>. It's <laugh>. It's the latter. It's an oddly arduous experience physically. It's I mean, there was a lot of anxiety heading into it. And me and all my colleagues were coping with great amounts of stress about existential stress of what was going to happen. And everything we work for and everything we care about was really hanging in the balance. So going into that, and then you have to wake up really, really early to get online because you also, you don't know how many people will be there and wanna get in. You don't know how many people they will let in. I got to be on the special line for members of the Supreme Court bar. But even so, it was still unknown of how, like the last one I went to the Andy Warhol case. They didn't let everybody in who was a Supreme Court bar member, and I didn't wanna be like the last person who got left out.

So I had to go early standing around. Then you get brought into a different spot and you stand around some more, and there's more standing and more sitting. So looking at it for this morning was sort of, maybe I'll give it a miss and I'll take care of some other stuff and and just listen in. But on the other hand, the trade off is, it is definitely different to be in that room and see the justices as human beings and see their body language and see the way that they sort of look at each other and react to each other physically. It is definitely, there's something that is lost when you just put it into the sound that goes through the, the, the radio or the live stream. So you just

Jeff Jarvis (00:06:00):
Don't see them flipping the bird at each other. As we hear the court is doing these days,

Cathy Gellis (00:06:05):
I don't think, actually that is something that has ever caught my eye on any of them that I've attended. But they actually,

Leo Laporte (00:06:11):
They quite, they were quite eyes, eyes.

Cathy Gellis (00:06:16):
They are very collegial. I mean, it, there's a certain cognitive dissonance, and there's gonna be one that I'll end up talking about a little bit more, which is to, to go little spoilery. One of my favorite justices as this, as either of these hearings unfolded is Justice Kavanaugh.

Leo Laporte (00:06:33):
Brett Kavanaugh actually seem to know something about the internet

Cathy Gellis (00:06:38):
In, in a very distinct way. He understood really important things where if I, you know, got to write a memo of bullet points of Dear Justices, this is what you need to know, which is essentially what I did in writing an amicka

Leo Laporte (00:06:50):
Brief. You, you wrote a brief for the first case for Gonzalez. Yeah,

Cathy Gellis (00:06:52):
I wrote one for the first case for Gonzalez, but I would've put a list of like, this is how you look at it. And his questions were articulating and understanding that was he

Leo Laporte (00:07:01):
Read it. I thought I was also absorbed it. I also appreciated justice Kagan saying, these are not the nine greatest experts on Yeah. On the internet. <Laugh>, yeah. Shee was at least humble. So but before we get into the details of the argument, yeah. So there were two cases the second was Twitter versus Taamneh. So Twitter was the plaintiff or no, I don't know. Twitter was the defendAnt in the, in this one defendAnt. 

Cathy Gellis (00:07:27):
They were both the defendAnts, but it was reversed in terms of the petition for the certiorari. 

Leo Laporte (00:07:32):
Okay, so Twitter asked first case for this one to go to the Supreme Court, is that

Cathy Gellis (00:07:36):
Right? Twitter asked for this one, and it was a contingent petition that basically said, if you're gonna take the other one, take this one too. Ah. and then but that's why Twitter was sort of the lead in this one where it's Twitter versus Taamneh, but for the other one, it's Gonzalez versus Google, because in that one it was Gonzalez Goz. It says, dear Court, please look at it. Okay.

Leo Laporte (00:07:55):
Yep. Yeah. and the Twitter case apparently, I've heard is not quite as directly an assault on Section 230. Taamneh is accusing Twitter of promoting Islamic terrorism by allowing tweets basically and retweets on, on its site. But, but the sec, but the, but the first case, yesterday's case well, I guess the first question I would ask is why did the court agree to review either of these cases? Yeah, they're not great cases.

Cathy Gellis (00:08:27):
I think the court is currently asking itself that very question <laugh>. It wa and, and I say that somewhat flippAntly, but I think what we think is that there had been an appetite to take a Section 230 case, because we were seeing these, and I'm forgetting, I think they were concurrences, not dissents, or they were dissents against denial of certiorari. So we had the malware bytes case, and then there was another case later where Justice Thomas wrote at least one of, I think Alito may have written another one, where these were things of like, we have never considered Section 230 and boy, what a big deal. We better make sure that this big monumental law is really doing things. Because there were complaints by people that they politically related to who had been complaining about, well, Section 230 is the ban of all the existence, and this is why all these people, these political views are getting censored, et cetera, et cetera. This isn't actually the case, but this was a why. This is a, a view that is held by people that they politically agree with. So I, they were expressing an appetite of we should take a case, and then all of a sudden this case comes and it looks kind of provocative. It's got terrible optics. It's like big bad Google outta nowhere they took it. I mean, I think, I think it really blindsided the community of lawyers that I'm operating within. We just didn't think this was a case that was going to go anywhere.

Leo Laporte (00:09:46):
Why, why was that? Is it because it's a weak case?

Cathy Gellis (00:09:49):
It was a weak case. I think it was weak facially, and it was just one. In the many cases, there's, there's these plaintiff's lawyers who keep trying to, terrible things happened. A terrorist has caused collateral damage, innocent people, and, well, I guess by their view, it's not collateral. But but then you, there's all these people who are like, well, somebody must be blamed. These terrorists were using the inter the internet, so let's blame the internet. So there's certain lawyers who kept bringing case after case and then losing for a variety of reasons. They kept losing some, I think lost on 230 grounds. Some were losing on ATA grounds, some were losing because just the complaints, like you have to have causation of the, the harm and the, and the consequence have some sort of link. But lawsuits are expensive. So, you know, one of the points of 230 is that like the lawsuit goes away very quickly, where it can't get to a point where you've really spent any real money to find out that you had no liability in the first place. But somehow this case got escape velocity, partly because the ninth Circuit, I think is getting very grumpy about 230 itself, and is starting to kind of try to snip at it a little bit and cut its corners in ways that I think are not a good idea. In this case, I think they looked and said, well, precedent binds us to get rid of the Gonzalez complaint because of Section 230. But they had like all this language about like, but we don't like that, that that doesn't seem

Leo Laporte (00:11:08):
Right, isn't Justice Kavanaugh said yesterday, this is really a matter for Congress, not us.

Cathy Gellis (00:11:14):
Well, so to to my long winded answer your question is, this came, they took the case. They ended up taking both cases, but then I think a couple things happened. One, the cases themselves were weak. I think they noticed once they started reading them more closely, I think once the briefing came in, they noticed it more closely because then Gonzalez case has a problem where certiorari is grAnted, which is the Supreme Court Review, to say, we're gonna look at this particular question of law. And they, when they grAnt the case, they grAnt it with the question of what they're gonna look at when they, when they do this review, and when the petitioners filed their brief, they changed the question, and you're not supposed to do that. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> mean that's enough grounds to kick the case unto itself. But then the other thing that happened is a gazillion, and I'm rounding slightly, a gazillion amicus briefs came in including

Leo Laporte (00:12:03):
Yours sides,

Cathy Gellis (00:12:04):
But including mine. Yeah. But particularly on the side of Google where that the bulk of people talking about the parade of horrors that was going to happen if Section 230 got cut in some way, I think really impressed the court where they started to realize there was a, there, there, and maybe, and I, they did seem very, with one possible exception, they seem generally much better educated on the issues than I think we had expected. And I think that education may have shaped their views where they realized that more was at stake. And especially with a weak case that was weekly pled and weekly briefed and weekly argued. I think now they're like, wait, big things are at stake and we're going to topple a lot. We see what's at risk over this. So I think they're having second thoughts about having grAnted for Gonzalez and also peripherally. So, so Cathy, time the case

Leo Laporte (00:12:54):
If they, if they get together in their, in their club room and say, oh, we shouldn't have taken this. There's really no issues here. There's really nothing. Can they just issue like a, a one pager that says nevermind, or do they now have to deal with much of what was argued?

Cathy Gellis (00:13:09):
I think they have choices. I don't know entirely technically what all the choices are, but on the other hand, they also have been making an awful lot as they up the awful lot as they go on these days. So I think it'll be whatever they wanna be. There's something that is referred to as a dig. I've seen people refer to it, and I don't know the full acronym, but it's basically I confidently grAnted is the problem where they're just gonna like set it aside.

Leo Laporte (00:13:34):
So we,

Cathy Gellis (00:13:34):
We blew it. So that is a thing. Yeah. So they could do that. I mean, I think they have options. I think they could do that just blankly. I don't know what that looks like, but maybe it's a, maybe it is a one line order. They could just find in favor. They could find in favor or as a per curium and not write any language. I suppose they could write language. I don't, I don't know if it's even worth guessing or even looking up past Supreme Court process because they're going to do what they're going to do. But I think they do have options. And the idea that they could say, oops, and not render a decision in the case they is think, I think is something that they could do not

Leo Laporte (00:14:08):
Have. So how did Google do in the arguments?

Cathy Gellis (00:14:11):
How did they do in the arguments? Yeah. there were a couple things. I think they conceded that the compu that the community will not like. I point people to Eric Altman's blog and his objections to the Henderson case because Google said that they kind of liked the Henderson test, and even the justices were a little bit like, I think what I'm actually said, are you sure? So I'm not entirely sure that was the best way to zig and zag. I think the Google lawyer also had trouble connecting with Justice Jackson. Justice Jackson, I think did, does not quite see the situation the way it needs to be seen yet. She said

Leo Laporte (00:14:51):
Times after confused, she was by the whole thing, <laugh>,

Cathy Gellis (00:14:54):
Which, well, and I'm concerned also. She said, Section 230 is a narrow statute. And I'm sort of like, look, I really wish you read my Amicus brief. I have a whole section titled how it's a broad statute on on purpose. So let me read, lemme read my brief. I think it, it'll educate you. But let me

Leo Laporte (00:15:12):
Read, let me read Section 230 just so that it's very quick. It's as, as you've pointed out a bunch of times Jeff, it's 26 words that that changed the internet key, the key section of it. Yes, no provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider. So the, the point of this, and Ron Widen wrote it, it, it kind of as an Antidote some of the features of the Communications Decency Act. But the point of it was twofold. One, you're not responsible, whether you're Twitter, Google, or Leo LaPorte running an I Rrc for something somebody puts in that I rrc they're responsible, not you, you're not the publisher. And two, if I decide to moderate any of these, or Google or Facebook or Twitter does, I am not liable for taking it down.

 And in fact I think Ms. Blatt, the attorney for Google said, you, you know, you're, if you throw overturn this, you've got two choices. Either the Internet's gonna become this anodyne happy place where nobody says anything controversial or it's a hellscape because nobody can moderate, and there's nothing in between. So this was quite a, quite a, I think, brilliAnt, prudent and I think very broad part of the code that really did make the internet a safer place for people like me. And that was, this is always a thing that irritated me, is that everybody treated it like we're going after Google or Twitter or Facebook. Those guys actually could weather the loss of 230 much better than I could. Yes. But I have a, a, a forums, I have chat, I have a discord, I have comments, all of which I would suddenly be liable for. And it would make me, you have,

Cathy Gellis (00:17:08):
Go ahead. Relevant to the brief, you have a Mastodon server, right? And so one of the key things about my Ocus brief is one of the signatories is an admin of a Mastodon server. Because one of the things that's happened as this whole case was unfolding as cert was grAnted, then Musk took over Twitter, and all of a sudden you had the Exodus. So Mastodon was becoming more and more prominent, used by more and more people. And the importance of having this alternative was getting more and more important over time. And it seemed to me that we should have that voice brought to bear to explain to the court that it isn't about Google, it is about individual people who are trying, either as a small business or just for the benevolence of trying to serve their community, offering a vehicle so that other people can speak to each other online. Yeah. And

Leo Laporte (00:17:53):

Cathy Gellis (00:17:54):

Leo Laporte (00:17:54):
That matters make I make no money on Mastodon discourse. Our forums on on our I R C, those are all outbound. I pay for all those without any monetization. And as a result, if I were suddenly liable, so with the nice thing about 230, if somebody comes after me, I don't even, I I think this is right, Cathy, I don't even have to defend it. The judge is gonna say, no, no, they're protected by 230. That's dismissed. Right? There's

Cathy Gellis (00:18:20):
No, I mean, you have to do a little bit of lawyering to that. It's not quite as automatic. You have to plead it. But it should basically be that the judge says there's nothing to go forward here. This is not a question, this is an easy thing. It's

Leo Laporte (00:18:31):
Pretty automatic. And I could, I could bear that burden. But if I have to suddenly have to defend everything, and believe me, there are plenty of people on the internet who would file frivolous lawsuits as in an attempt to bring us down. If I had to defend every one of those, every decision, whether to moderate or not I'd be out of business. So I, I think we would preemptively shut everything down. It would, it would chill discourse on the internet.

Cathy Gellis (00:18:57):
It would chill discourse. It also chills your expressive discourse. Yes, you are very similar to Mike Masnick, who has a business and his businesses to contribute to discourse to get his own expression out there and to make sure that other expression that he agrees with and support with can, can get out there. But he's

Leo Laporte (00:19:13):
A publisher, right? So he's liable as a publisher. 230 doesn't protect his opinion.

Cathy Gellis (00:19:19):
No, not his directly. However, the point being is that some of these ancillary things where you're providing the form for other people to speak is in line with furthering your own expressive interests too. That you as a person whose business is expressing yourself, needs the ability to have these ancillary avenues for both to use your own speech to make sure that, you know, your shows can be tweeted and, and shared around. But also that you can nurture the community of your audience because you will make your business succeed by connecting with the audience and having the ability to host these forums is also helping you build your audience as an expressive entity, which the First Amendment protects and encourages. And democracy needs people like you to tell people things and keep the discourse going. So there's First Amendment stuff everywhere you look with it. And Section 230 is all about making that meaningful and redeeming and vindicating those values. And it's such a shame that people keep missing it and interpreting it as something exactly opposite to that.

Leo Laporte (00:20:19):
I was gonna ask you if there was some type of middle ground with Section 230 versus the people that are like, we need to just, I think Mike Masnick put it best. If you split the baby, the baby still dies. <Laugh> <laugh>

Cathy Gellis (00:20:34):
Actually did, did he say, I'm looking at my brief right now. I I think I was that

Leo Laporte (00:20:38):

Cathy Gellis (00:20:39):
Your brief? Some, I had some line like that in, in the he

Leo Laporte (00:20:43):
Stole in his post today. Mike

Cathy Gellis (00:20:45):
Is stealing my best material. I'll have to take this up

Leo Laporte (00:20:48):
With them. So, but that's what Ant, that's a great question because in fact, I even said, well, because they hadn't modified the complaint to say, well, it's the algorithm, it's the problem. And I was saying, oh, maybe they could just say no algorithmic recommendations in 230. We protected. Of course, Jeff spanked me hard on that. I'm still feeling it a little bit. And you, and you opened and you open-minded wise man that you are changed your mind about that. Oh, completely. I'm proud Ilio. So, so Ant, is that what you're thinking is like there's, at the time, is it possible to kind of slice this a little bit so that you, you have some more protection, but that 230 is still intact? Yeah, but at the same time, our, our, our leaders are also saying, Hey, these big tech companies can't censor, quote, censor us either. So where's the line that we're gonna draw?

Cathy Gellis (00:21:36):
Not there. Not there. Because <laugh>, I mean, one of the things is that the way the ecosystem works, and let's look at Twitter and Mastodon as as an example of that. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. So Musk owns Twitter and okay, previously Musk didn't own Twitter. So Twitter was making decisions about who to allow to use Twitter and who not to. And these de decisions, especially the ones that said, go away were not liked by the people who had to go away. You gonna, I can understand the, you know, the hurt feelings from that, so I don't wanna poo poo that, but Twitter could make those decisions. Now, Twitter's owned by somebody else and he can make different decisions based on, he wAnts, who he wAnts to be associated with. Just as Leo can make decisions with his mastodon a instance of who do you wAnt and

Leo Laporte (00:22:23):
Do associated with every day when I approve and or disapprove, right? Noom users

Cathy Gellis (00:22:28):
And and individual people can do this too. So for instance, if you've got a Facebook page and you make a Facebook post that people can comment on and somebody like you, you've posted a picture of your kid. If somebody comes over and says, your kid's ugly, you certainly wanna be able to get rid of that comment and potentially block that user from coming back and commenting, cuz that's not comfortable to you. And you can sort of understand the editorial freedom you have to be able to make that decision. Just similarly, the opposite is true. If somebody comes and praises your kid, you wouldn't wAnt any law to be able to compel you to have to take that comment down. Cause that's your favorite thing.

Leo Laporte (00:23:02):
Oh, this is interesting. Just a little a side note, the ability to block somebody, which is integral to both Mastodon and Twitter, would that also be is that protected by 230? And would that also be at risk, my personal ability to block somebody on that site?

Cathy Gellis (00:23:19):
If 230 get 230 should operate, if 230 starts to get clipped, then it's unclear exactly how much devastation could follow. Cuz in theory could be all of it. There's a lot of thought about, oh we'll just make it a narrow snip here and there and no, that's why the, the baby anal Mike and I are using the baby analogy because the whole point of that, of the Solomon story is that there are certain things where the compromise is impossible.

Leo Laporte (00:23:45):
Neither party was willing to split the baby. That was brilliAnt. Solomon's decision was brilliAnt. Right?

Cathy Gellis (00:23:50):
So Leo can ask, the only thing is that you can't have that split because I think of what the way I phrased it in the brief was it would be fatal to the purpose of what you're trying to do. Yes. Right. The problem with, if you're a platform who's going to potentially be sued for all of the gazillions of bits of user provided information you have even one of those lawsuits, even if it's a non meritorious lawsuit, where you would win, can wipe you out. And certainly if you've got more than one, then you don't stand a chance. So you wanna avoid the lawsuit because you can't afford the lawyers. The problem with clipping away at Section 230 is that if all of a sudden you're having to spend your money deciding whether Section 230 applies to you, then it doesn't really matter whether it applies or not because you're still going to drown in the litigation. Cuz it was never about whether the litigation was valid in the first place. The problem was the litigation is going to lead you dry and we need to make sure you don't get blood dry. Cuz if you are, you're not gonna be able to be in the business of helping people speak to each other online.

Leo Laporte (00:24:52):
So Eric Goldman writing about certi in his technology and marketing law blog that you referred to said, I left this. I remain unclear why the court grAnted cert in this case. The plaintiff's arguments were so weak, the justices really didn't know what to do with them. A tipoff came with Justice. Thomas's very first question asking if the ISIS recommendations were the product of a quote neutral algorithm. This is a Google favorable question. Justice Thomas had begged plaintiffs to bring him to 30 cases. Now that he has one, apparently he's like, wtf, <laugh>, <laugh>. I imagine the other justices who voted for cert felt similar qualms. I was really heartened by people like Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Thomas people and Alito, even people. I thought, oh, these are the guys who really wAnt to kill 230. Really asking pretty astute questions in, in mostly in Google's favor. I think Now, Cathy, before we go too much farther mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, I've said this before, I know others have said this, you can't judge too much based on the oral arguments, right?

Cathy Gellis (00:25:59):
Absolutely true. However, I think the same thing that Eric was commenting on is probably something that is probably true. We were expecting a very hostile audience that was holding onto a lot of the myths that are so pervasive in public discourse about 230 what it does and why and or why it, why are we not, why it's important or not. We didn't get that. We ended up getting a bench that was surprisingly informed and seem to get it and seem to understand what was at stake. And we're kind of grappling with that because we're not used if you practice in their area, in this area, you're not used to having good days. And it actually seemed like something like, wait, this is must too good to be true. So how could it be true? I think though the problem is, is we might still get a little complacent because I think Google will win.

I don't really think that the, the number of votes is in question. I mean, they might just get rid of the whole case, but if, if they decided, I think it's not an issue where the petitioners are going to win. I didn't sense any appetite by the justices. They didn't seem impressed by that or Gonzalez argument at all. But it's not enough. The problem is, is if they kind of start to speculate about potential limits to Section 230, even though that language is probably going to be dicta and so not particularly binding, it's just gonna make an absolute mess of things and start to essentially become binding precedent as other courts interpret it. And it's gonna be a roadmap for all the future litigation to challenge Section 230.

Leo Laporte (00:27:28):
So yeah, let's not forget that in the this

Cathy Gellis (00:27:30):
Until we get the

Leo Laporte (00:27:31):
Decision in the Henderson test, the judge quoted Thomas's dissent three times, right? So

Cathy Gellis (00:27:38):
I think that might be why the justices were like, are you sure you like this? Because wasn't like something you absolutely hate at the root of this, but

Leo Laporte (00:27:45):
<Laugh> it was kind of shocking. I, I So sometimes the justices will, will play devil's advocate. They will attempt to, you know, they'll sound like they're in favor of an argument because they're attempting to find the holes in it, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Which is why you don't know what's gonna happen. This will be what they'll announce in if they do continue with the case in roughly in June. Right?

Cathy Gellis (00:28:08):
It's hard to say. I mean, last time I think I was here, I was talking about the Warhol case, so that was October and I, there's no decision there. So it's Oh, okay. They're starting to render decisions, but on a schedule that is,

Leo Laporte (00:28:19):
It's months out

Cathy Gellis (00:28:20):
Only known to them. Right. So

Leo Laporte (00:28:21):
Yeah. But it's at least months out. Yeah. so we'll have you back here likely, but either to celebrate, we'll either have a cake or we'll all be dressed in black. Is it that dangerous? Is it that risky? Am I overselling the risks to myself if 230 falls?

Cathy Gellis (00:28:38):
No, you're not. No. I mean I I I think I've been asked before with what will happen and I think I said that we'll muddle through and the language of the decision will be the map by which we figure out how to muddle. But, so it might be that like, you know, if I say the sky is going to fall and then, you know, we wake up the next day still breathing, then it sounds like I lose my credibility. But but just because we may not fall into the sea that day does not mean that seriously horrific and shifting tectonics won't have happened to the ecosystem that won't be felt rather dramatically, fairly soon.

Leo Laporte (00:29:16):
Can I ask you a question, Leo? Me? Okay. Just you. Yes, sir. Because I'm curious because, because you were open-minded and, and change your views on the algorithm from what you, I mean, Kavanaugh said, Hey, algorithms are useful. Tell me what kind of pizza get, so did Thomas. So did Thomas. I was amazed Thomas, right? Yeah. So I was curious, since you did change your mind and I'm grateful you did what you thought of argument and, and because the, the, the case then spun around the algorithm and promotion. What did you think about it from that perspective? The, I'll tell you what, and I bet you, Cathy, you were doing the same thing when they got to thumbnails. I was screaming <laugh>. I was saying, no, you idiots. That's content. That's not Google. So they somehow, I don't know how Ms. Black got sucked into this or Eric Snapper, but they somehow got in a debate over whether thumbnails were considered a recommendation and, and, and a hazard and algorithmic when everybody knows the thumbnails just more from the content provider.

Cathy Gellis (00:30:20):
Well, well, so I don't know where to begin on that. There's so many problems with that whole thumbnail thing. One of the problems

Leo Laporte (00:30:27):
That was the only thing that worried me is they did some and a and a number of times got sidetracked by really in, in inappropriate or insignificAnt issues. Right?

Cathy Gellis (00:30:37):
Well, okay, the number of problems with this, one of the problems is their brief didn't talk about thumbnails, particularly their brief talked about URLs. So the thumbnails was kind of new. They kept

Leo Laporte (00:30:48):
Saying, thumbnails are our URLs. And I was like, what are you talking about? Oh

Cathy Gellis (00:30:52):
Gosh. Secondly, then they were making a distinction to say that thumbnails were somehow different than screenshots. Cuz if the their lawyer said at one point a screenshot would be totally fine, but not a thumbnail. And then Lisa Blatt ended up pointing out that a thumbnail was a screenshot. And also, why aren't we talking about these things? So

Leo Laporte (00:31:11):
Report Lisa, I'm eating breakfast listening to this and I'm screaming <laugh> like, no, you idiot.

Cathy Gellis (00:31:18):
I was sitting next to reporters at the, the way I was seated, like the press pen was next to me. And I'm kind of listening to one of the lawyers who was sort of new to this space, kind of listening to this and being like, are you kidding? Like, and you're losing and you're sitting down like this poor lawyer was really not getting traction. And like were even lay people were understanding that like, I think there's something wrong with your argument here. Yeah, yeah. But they did have an argument that was in the brief as applied to a URL where what they were trying to say, and it was a bad idea, it would've eviscerated 230. But the core of the argument they were trying to bring forward is that, so 230 works on the pivots on the question of who created the content at issue.

If it is the platform who created it, it's their own stuff. And you're always responsible for your own stuff. But if it was a third party who created it, then the platform is not liable because that would be a problem if a platform could be liable for all the stuff that they helped intermediate other people to say, because then they could be available to help anybody say anything online. So the question that they had was they were sort of trying to argue, and I say sort of trying to argue because this was shifting that when you recommended something, the way you produced the content of do you wAnt this next somehow amounted to creating content that was now your content? Yes. And they had this theory with like a u l that like, if you spit back a U url, well that u l wasn't created by the user. You created that u l platform <laugh>, and therefore that is new information that you now own and you could be potentially liable for. This was not a distinction that ended up making sense because it would blow up everything. And again, and

Leo Laporte (00:33:04):
The justices were smart, they got it. They said, well, how do you have a search engine if you don't have URLs? <Laugh>?

Cathy Gellis (00:33:10):
Right. And like again, it's like, how can you be responsible for creating content by virtue of displaying content that already exists because somebody else created it. Yeah. So yeah, it, it was a, it was even at the best, it was argued, it was a weak argument where it had huge logical problems of the statute would absolutely fall apart if this was the rule and an oral argument. The lawyer was trying to sort of say, no, this is something more narrow in situational. It wouldn't apply here, it would apply there. But all of a sudden it was it was just such an esoteric situation they were trying to describe where it kind of actually, if they managed to carve out all the ways it wouldn't apply, it also kind of carved out their whole complaint where it wouldn't apply to their complaint either. It was, it would be a problem. And what was really fortunate is I think the justices got it. They saw the number of flaws with this. I

Leo Laporte (00:33:59):
Think that's what Alito otherwise they alito spell u r url. E Alito actually said, this is what these, this is the, this is what you do. <Laugh> the algorithm is, is integral to it. I don't understand why they'd be liable for this. I mean, even Alito, who is I think arguably the most conservative of the judges Steve Gibson asked me something interesting yesterday. He said, wouldn't you be happy with that a conservative court was hearing this, you know, that originalists were hearing this because wouldn't they protect Section 230? Cathy,

Cathy Gellis (00:34:35):
What made everybody nervous going into this was all those concurrences and dissents that we're not getting 230 and expressing suspicions about it. And we thought that that was sort of an ideological declaration and they were looking for the right vehicle to tear it up. And I mean, we thought it was a bad idea to tear it up. We were reading those dissents and concurrences and thinking they're wrong. They're, they're missing it and they're gonna cause real damage. So we were afraid that we were gonna get something ideological where they wAnted to blow it up and they were going to find a way to blow it up,

Leo Laporte (00:35:09):
Whether Right then you're stuck with it, whatever they wAnted, whatever they, they would find a way. So

Cathy Gellis (00:35:14):
To find reason and understanding of what's actually at stake, which in theory is an appropriate conservative value was confusing. But good <laugh>. So so all of a sudden I'm answering questions in a world I didn't know existed 48 hours ago. Yeah.

Leo Laporte (00:35:30):
So Cathy, before, besides being able to read your document, which I I bet really did have impact, it must have felt, you know, good to kind of see that they got things right. Before oral arguments. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, how, besides reading all, all the filings, is there a process of education within the Supreme Court where, where they say, Hey clerk I need a lesson. Go find me somebody who can explain, who would answer my questions before we get in there or, or, or something like that. Is there, is there an educational process that they could go through in addition to the filing?

Cathy Gellis (00:36:06):
I don't think there's anything formal mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. but one of the problems with the institution and its perceived credibility these days is the, the barrier between their jurisprudence and their own modern lives are seeming incredibly porous <laugh>

Leo Laporte (00:36:23):
And well said counselor.

Cathy Gellis (00:36:24):
And I think there's a lot of concern about the throughput of what information is reaching them. Yes, yes. However, the up, there's some upsides to it where probably some good information is, is getting through based on the nature of their, their lives and who they interact

Leo Laporte (00:36:40):
With. That was my answer to Steve, is these guys are only originalists when this serves their agenda. And you know, when it doesn't serve their agenda, they can, they can create new ideas and laws as they, as they wish. Well,

Cathy Gellis (00:36:54):
They also understood, there was one other thing that I thought was important, and it did show up in my brief and it showed up in some other briefs, which was, even if you hate 230 and can make a better argument than I'm making in its defense for why it should go away, this is Congress's job. And there was also a hu a humility that the justices were expressing, which was, this may be wrong, but it's not for us to fix. Right. And it belongs to Congress. And I like to cite, and I cite it into my brief, the Basta case, which was I think a civil rights case where justice Roberts I think wrote it. And he basically looked at it and said like, look, we may think that what Congress did makes no sense, is not good policy, but it's what Congress did.

And that's what the statute says. And if that's the wrong policy, it's for Congress to fix. Because also if the court ended up helping itself to fix the policy and they get it wrong, how do you, you can vote out a member of Congress. I mean, this is idealistic, but in theory you can vote out a member of Congress who screws up the internet, but you can't really, we can't vote out the justices or the judges who screw up the internet. We're sort of stuck with that. And if it turns out that Congress wrote the best policy, or at least the policy that the public animating it wAnted, and they already wrote it, and the justices don't let it mean what it says on its face, how does Congress write one that would, because they already did and it didn't matter. So the humility that they were sort of like this, I hate it as as much as you wAnt, but it's not for us to change what the statute actually says. They were really trying to do a statutory interpretation and not break it. And I don't think I expected prior to Tuesday morning that the, it seemed like the majority of justices did not wanna break it because they recognized exactly what would break with it.

Leo Laporte (00:38:39):
Well, it's the last thing I thought I'd hear from Justice Kavanaugh, but that was his whole point was this is for Congress to do. And I don't remember who it was, it was it Justice Kagan who said this could have a huge impact on the economy and businesses. I mean

Cathy Gellis (00:38:53):
They, Kavanaugh and Kagan. Yeah. Kagan used like this will open up a world of lawsuits. And then Kavanaugh echoed it and talked about the e He was, I think, more touched by the economic impact of it. But basically I think it is very fair to say that the amicus brief saved the day because even in this voluminous thing, which normally is like, well, great, you know, I know that some justices didn't read mine because it was lost in the flood, but the effect of the flood was, I think it really woke the court up to the, the fact of what was at stake. And I think we did, I, I accidentally got quoted in C N B C today patting myself on the back for having ridden an amicus brief. But I think actually, like I knew I didn't wanna be on the sideline if the internet was gonna break. I wAnted to roll up my sleeves and knew I did everything I could. And I think, you know, I think I can sleep easy in that sense. You did it. I had the right skill at the right time and I'm glad I could do that.

Leo Laporte (00:39:44):
You did it for us, Cathy, and we are eternally grateful that you contributed for that flood. Yeah. although as Mike Masnick says I still am right reading from his post today, I still very much fear the outcome of this case. It seems very, very unlikely that Gonzalez wins overall, but there was still an awful lot of nonsense spouted by the justices, some of which might make it into a final ruling where even some minor tiny little misunderstanding could have a massive impact on the future of the internet. Do you share that concern?

Cathy Gellis (00:40:21):
Yes. Generally how tuned I am to thinking how likely they'll break it. I don't know. I'm partly, I need to still get through the week, so I don't really, I'd rather take a more optimistic view. But yeah, the language is going to matter because any little dalliance into that dicta of this is all fine, this is all fine, this is all fine, but this might not be, is not great. I mean a lot of their hypos were kind of scary, but the hypos were not the facts in questions. So it's really important not to start adjudicating hypo hypothetical situations that are not before the court. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> where they can't see any of the other ambient facts and interpret them. So I really, really hope they resist that temptation. If they can write a clean decision that focuses only on this to say, given what was pled there is no way this can go forward given Section 230 and like, stop there, then I think we're good. There might be a way where maybe they can even amplify that 230, ooh. I mean, I wouldn't mind maybe positive dicta, but basically dicta is dangerous. I would rather have them be simple.

Leo Laporte (00:41:30):
Congress' intent was clear, and this is clearly in Congress's intent and no, your, your case is denied. So I'll give you the pessimistic view. By the way, the reason, hold on just a sec. The reason Mike is less than confident is today the Supreme Court decided not to grAnt cert to the Onion case and essentially

Cathy Gellis (00:41:49):
Oh no.

Leo Laporte (00:41:50):
Essentially allowed law enforcement to arrest people for parody.

Cathy Gellis (00:41:55):
And also they turned down the Wikimedia of Yes. 

Leo Laporte (00:41:58):
Some one. Yeah. That was a long shot, I thought. That's the one that was saying the NSA's you know, grab of data was, should have been illegal.

Cathy Gellis (00:42:07):
There's great concerns about the productivity of the court and it's also a big deal. Why if they deny this case isn't prominently grAnted, it's also an extra bit of egg on their face, which might be why they don't Mm. Yeah. They've already, they they're not taking a lot of cases. They're already taking many fewer than normal. They're not hearing as many cases as they used to. And then the ones that they're taking, if it turns out to be mistakes, that's really not great because they're not doing much then. And a court that is very deeply focused on a couple issues, like okay, maybe they really are very invested in internet free speech issues and maybe if they're invested in a way that protects a great, but that can't possibly be the only thing that they're doing. And recognizing some of the other First Amendment issues before them, they really should have the capacity to be able to weigh in.

But they may have felt they have a, a big dance card already cuz they've got the Warhol case, which is fair use that touches on the first amendment. They've got the 3 0 3 creative, which AB is a first Amendment case about what webmasters can do. And now they've got this and then you've also got the net choice cases waiting in the wings for a grAnt of Cici. And that's not gonna happen this term. So I don't know, like they could be useful. I almost felt like they're heroes to the internet. Like if Kavanaugh writes these decisions, I think we might be in good shape, but if that's the only thing they're doing in a sea of other things going horribly wrong, we still have a problem.

Leo Laporte (00:43:36):
All right. Now can I give you my, my Yes. Sorry, I didn't to interrupt but I just wAnted to, I

Cathy Gellis (00:43:40):
Wanna say no,

Leo Laporte (00:43:41):
<Laugh>. So here's a disastrous scenario in which the Supreme Court says 230 Dandy Law, fine shape, keep it. We think it's great. And then that only gives more ammunition to Congress and the executive who are ganging up in a pier movement right now left and right against tech companies and against 230 to say one, well then we've gotta do something and repeal 230 and nobody likes the Supreme Court anyway, so fine, we'll just go against them. Yeah. And we end up in worse shape legislatively than even the court was gonna put us at.

Cathy Gellis (00:44:15):
Look, I, I'm sitting here treating Kavanaugh just as Kavanaugh is my hero here. <Laugh> cause he

Leo Laporte (00:44:21):
Understood it the best. That's

Cathy Gellis (00:44:22):
How bad. And I'm like rooting for him to write these decisions cuz I think he'll actually write some,

Leo Laporte (00:44:26):
Let's all buy him a beer. Cathy

Cathy Gellis (00:44:31):
<Laugh>. I mean, well how do I make the argument that this guy actually got something right and we should pay attention to it and that he's right and serious, incredible. You're not wrong. But I'm not conceding that <laugh> like

Leo Laporte (00:44:45):
I also think

Cathy Gellis (00:44:46):
That we with the merits and what they say exactly and how they lay that out and depending on also how what they do say there's a possibility, then it can get a robust enough defense that it could shift the politics. And the politics are so screwy because they're screwy on the left and they're screwy on the right. Yep, yep. If Kevin writes the decision, they make the politics on the left worse, but they might actually help it on the right. So I don't know, you know, I'll, I'll play out that hand when, when it's dealt

Leo Laporte (00:45:11):
Well, the very fact that the Ninth Circuit allowed this to continue is bad sign. I mean we, the fact that the Supreme Court's hearing this case at all is, is really kind of

Cathy Gellis (00:45:20):
Not well we thought so and now I think everybody's sort of regretting it and saying that, you know? Yeah, yeah. Maybe they, I think they're aware that they may have gotten it wrong. But I don't know, maybe they really wanna set it. I don't know. It's possible that we could really have a happy ever after af out out of this. But it's, who am I kidding? This, this is the 21st century.

Leo Laporte (00:45:38):
We, whatever you do, don't write a parody post on Facebook about the local law officials cuz they can arrest you for that <laugh> <laugh>.

Cathy Gellis (00:45:47):
So, I mean, there's gonna be another arrest and then there'll be another legal challenge. Yeah. And at some point these things do eventually percolate up where they get the review that they need.

Leo Laporte (00:45:56):
You are an optimist.

Cathy Gellis (00:45:58):
I'm being very optimistic, but I got, I'm, I need a nap and I'm, if I start thinking more realistically about this, I'll just pull apart right now. Yeah.

Leo Laporte (00:46:07):
Well, you know, we gotta take the little victories that we can get too. And and you know what, I am completely willing to say somebody's been rehabilitated by their time on the court and their exposure to other ideas and you know, and pat 'em on the back. Don't back go overboard here. Leo. Yeah. <Laugh>. I mean, well we always hope that right? We always hope they'll rise. Yeah, you can. The occasion. They so rarely do, don't don't forget what we know. No, I know. I know, I know. It's, it's, I know. Please don't remind me, me and Cathy we're living in our little world right now. Okay. <laugh>

Cathy Gellis (00:46:41):
Only happy thoughts, only happy thoughts,

Leo Laporte (00:46:44):
Happy thoughts. Lemme take a little break. And Cathy, if you wanna get a get a beer go. Right. Great.

Cathy Gellis (00:46:52):
I gotta get through the rest of the show.

Leo Laporte (00:46:54):
Okay. Possibly not yet. <Laugh>. I am. I am so thrilled that you're here, Cathy. Oh yes, yes. This is what Cathy does for a living. She wrote an amicus brief that I'm sure some of the justices read, if not all rights at Tech Dirt. Her law offices, C O u n s e And the fact that she was in the room where it happens yesterday is such a boon for us. We're really grateful to you. I'm listening. I didn't know you were there when I'm listening, but I'm listening. You know, because they don't do video, they just do audio and I'm and you're trying to read the tea leaves and really listen. And I wAnt, I wAnt, I said we gotta get Cathy on cuz I gotta understand what I just heard. So thank you for being here.

We really appreciate it. Glad to be here. Yeah, it's good you're here too, Jeff. So our <laugh> and you know, I love you. I mean, it's nice that Ant is there. Love you too, sir. Love you too. I'm just teasing Jeff. Jeff and I we're like brothers. Okay. We just we have a little thing, we have a little thing. Our show <laugh> I show today is brought to you by like the Howard Stern Show. I'm sorry. It's like, it's like, you know where you bust the goads of the, of the people. I know The people show you'll love the most part of the show. People get airtime bus that way. Yeah, that's right. And I, and I just interrupted the commercial, which is gonna make me Are you, are you my Baba Bowie? Who are you? I think I am. I think I am.

Well Jason could be. Well I don't know. Well, I'm different. Robin Quivers <laugh>. I'm not, yeah, actually Jeff is my Robin Quivers actually. That's exactly who Jeff is. Yeah. Well, I don't laugh at you enough for that. No, you, you need to laugh more if you don't mind. Sorry. Now you can go to your work. I'm sorry, <laugh>. Our show today brought to you by H P e GreenLake, orchestrated by the experts at C D W. Oh. GreenLake is an amazing technology. The helpful people at C CDW understand, look your business, you need simple management over your big data, right? We all got big data. But with some needing to keep their workloads on prem, whether it's for organizational or compliance requirements, it could really be challenging to organize and optimize your data. That's where C D W can help your organization. By consolidating and managing all your data in one flexible, unified experience with the HPE GreenLake Edge to cloud platform, the experience you'll get with HPE GreenLake is unique cuz no matter where your data or applications live, you can free up energy and resources with automated processes.

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Cathy Gellis (00:50:46):
De concerned, but also a little confused because they wrote in support of Twitter in the MNA case and that was a good brief, but they, today an oral argument, they were taking I thought a much more profound position in favor of Twitter, which was a, a straightforward interpretation of the A t a, which for a government that wAnts to go after terrorists, who I thought was correct, but interesting politics. It, so today's dis today's argument was a good one by the government where as a citizen, I am happy that the government took this position. I think it was tempered and appropriate and doesn't in any way compromise our ability to fight terrorists and, and was the brave and intellectually correct decision to take. But between the Gonzalez decision and also the, the brief that the United States did in the Warhol case, there is a really frightening lack of respect for the free speech principles at stake in these cases.

And that is not something where me sitting here as a citizen is happy to hear the President of the United States support. Yeah. I don't think actually as his administration, he necessarily gets it. I don't think he's ever really gotten what the interests are. Well, the First Amendment interests are bound up in, in IP issues. He may be missing them in terms of internet issues cuz he's echoed the politics of oh 230 s bad and needs reform. And I don't think he gets it. So I'm really distressed that the government is spending resources to do things that will hurt the expressive interests and rights of the of Americans, especially if we're also trying to stave off, you know, fascists who would like to you know, rewrite America in their own particular image. If we're gonna be able to defend against that, we're gonna need to be able to talk about it.

So, compromising our ability to speak against terrible, unconstitutional things is really important and it should be priority one to defend. And if they're not doing it, then the answer to what I think about it is it's bad and a huge problem. And I'm deeply concerned about the brief that they're gonna produce for the net choice cases, either in support or against the the recommendation that the Supreme Court grAnt cert on it. On the other hand, the tam de argument was actually pretty good. So I'm not quite sure what's going on with the government, but I have concerns

Leo Laporte (00:53:11):
The MNA case. They, the plaintiffs wanna hold Twitter liable for posting content, radical Islamic content from ISIS and others. And as a result, the you, it's, it was brought by a family of another victim of a nightclub shooting in I Temple. And of course, just like the, the Gonzalez case, they didn't draw a direct line between Twitter and the killing, but they did wanna hold Twitter responsible for aiding and abetting terrorism. And that apparently the judges saw two possible arguments. One that Twitter couldn't possibly know <laugh>, that what was going on on its services. And the other would be that Twitter didn't, what Twitter did was not considered substAntial assistance along the lines of the, the, the law would require like a bank say, giving money to a terrorist group. Sotomayor said that you can't really give Twitter a win based on not knowing <laugh> what was going on, quote, because willful blindness is something we have said can constitute knowledge. But on the other hand I think it seemed like, and I didn't listen to this one yet I'll listen tonight. The justices did not think that Twitter Twitter's actions rose to the standard of actually aiding and abetting terrorism.

Cathy Gellis (00:54:37):
The problem was they were not getting what they needed, which was, I don't think they had any appetite to give the win or Twitter the loss. But they have to write a decision that explains why Twitter would not be liable under the a t a and in theory, to do it in a way that does not blow up the precedent that applied to banks, which may be a mistake that the, the cases that decided that the banks could be on the hook might actually have been decided wrong. And the Twitter lawyer suggested that some analytical mistakes may have been made in those precedents, but that, that somehow they have to thread this needle. And they were trying to get an, a coherent, simple test out of the Twitter lawyer and then the government lawyer, and they weren't getting what they wAnted. And the only thing that, where I heard the thing that I think makes sense, which is that speech is involved because of the speech rates of the platforms and the speech that they're facilitating, and that this is not a bank, this is not something else. Speech matters. So even if you can't otherwise get a test that would truly differentiate the speech becomes the escape valve. But the only time I heard anything along those lines was from Justice Kavanaugh who understood and brought up

Leo Laporte (00:55:51):
You're your new hero <laugh>. My knew <laugh> Cathy. Were these Trump, I mean, well, sorry, were these Musk Twitter lawyers or Premus Twitter lawyers?

Cathy Gellis (00:56:04):
I believe pre

Leo Laporte (00:56:05):
It was Eric Snapper. It was the same guy who argued the day before in Gonzalez. Poor guy. Well,

Cathy Gellis (00:56:10):
He wasn't the Twitter's lawyer, but Seth Waxman was arguing for Twitter. And I think Seth

Leo Laporte (00:56:14):
Wax, I'm sorry, snapper was, you're right. I'm sorry. Snapper was for Tim though. I'm sorry. Yeah.

Cathy Gellis (00:56:18):
And Seth Waxman I think was, I mean, somebody filed a petition for Siri that happened. Premus we're not hearing that Musk is necessarily even paying all the lawyers that he owes for, for things that Twitter was

Leo Laporte (00:56:31):
Using for Yeah. Not paying rent.

Cathy Gellis (00:56:33):
I dunno what's going on. And we were deeply worried What happens with Siri grAnted on this? Is Twitter even gonna litigate it? Oh, wow. Like, does Twitter even have a client contact at, at does Waxman have a client contact? Like, okay, he showed up and he argued it. I'm not entirely happy with how he argued, but he showed up and he did his professional duty. But I, I've gotta think that this is a very strange situation. Well,

Leo Laporte (00:56:55):
You're very in that. Yeah,

Cathy Gellis (00:56:56):
Yeah. Lawyering on behalf of Twitter right now is something that makes me deeply nervous. And I think all the friends that I knew who were lawyers at Twitter are probably not there anymore. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, I think it's an ethical morass of how do you, when you're a lawyer, you'll have a job to do, like that's responsive to the client, but you've also got ethical duties that define your job. And I think they may be frequently in conflict if Twitter is your client where how do you serve the client's interests where they have old liabilities that Twitter may or may not have accrued. They may have new liabilities that that Musk is busy accruing. How do you advise somebody who's not listening? How do you advise somebody who's not paying what a mess. So or

Leo Laporte (00:57:36):
What if Musk said, I'm gonna right there, <laugh>. Yeah, you don't listening, you don't pay.

Cathy Gellis (00:57:42):
Right. And, and then the lawyer may not necessarily care about them in that order. You know, you,

Leo Laporte (00:57:47):
Well, let's, let's, let's point out Waxman used to be a solicitor general. I mean, I'm sure he has deep respect for the court. Is it possible he's just doing this pro bono and, and saying, well, this needs to be argued?

Cathy Gellis (00:57:57):
I mean, this was, we were gonna have, I don't know what would've happened if nobody pursued the case. I mean, I'm not particularly happy with how we argued it, but I think we would have a separate and unique and rather scary problem if nobody showed up today. So I guess I'm glad somebody showed up. Yeah.

Leo Laporte (00:58:12):
Or, or couldn't Musk have also said his contrarian self. No, I'm gonna take the other side. Screw Twitter.

Cathy Gellis (00:58:18):
Well then it's also one of the things, Twitter's been taking positions in all sorts of cases. And then Muska has been shooting his mouth off, which is inconsistent with the defenses that he has inherited and really needs to have prevail or else he will be on the hook for the liability that people have have accused Twitter of. He took on the liabilities. So if Twitter loses some of the cases that are pending, he's going to be the one writing the checks. So he, his mouthing off is not doing him and himself any favor. How

Leo Laporte (00:58:46):
Does this work? So, so, so <laugh>, so Waxman, does Waxman have to have, does he, you have to have consultation with Twitter under the new regime, even though he was presumably hired by, and the suit was certainly filed by the old Twitter, but he can't continue to represent Twitter without Elon Musk Twitter consent. Yeah, right. I

Cathy Gellis (00:59:15):
Haven't full, well, I'm speculating, which isn't useful because also I haven't done the full research of all the ethical things, but it's not really supposed to work this way. And I don't know what's happened, but in theory, maybe the right conversations were happening. So it, it's probably not helpful to speculate and presume that the right conversations didn't happen. It's just we're a little more on a razor's edge. This is not business as usual. This is not the way things that unfold

Leo Laporte (00:59:38):
Where it's very weird, isn't it? Yeah,

Cathy Gellis (00:59:40):
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, we didn't know what would happen with the change of ownership. Normally the change of ownership is a lot more rational anyway, where, you know, you don't really expect that changing horse midstream means that all of a sudden you're crossing the stream in a different direction. Musk has created that issue. But normally it's sort of like you take on the liabilities. If you had lawyers in play trying to minimize those liabilities, you don't usually mess up their job. You're like, keep going, keep going. Please, please do your job and minimize these liabilities. So in theory, that's probably essentially what happened with this case where you had a lawyer trying to minimize Twitter's liability and somehow was able to manage to show up today to continue that exercise. But that hasn't necessarily been true for all the other cases. He's fired lawyers, he's not paid lawyers and he's shot off his mouth in certain ways that otherwise undermine defenses that might have been pending. It's a mess.

Leo Laporte (01:00:31):
I've been searching for any connection between Waxman and Musk. I don't, I can't find any. So <laugh> there's good thing. There's well, but there's, yeah, well it is or it isn't, I don't know. I mean, there's no, there's here's a, here's from cnn. Will Musk weigh in on today's SCOTUS case involving Twitter? There is no sign that Musk has been personally involved <laugh> in the case. Even though the outcome obviously could have implications, I mean, for Twitter's business and and its bottom line I'm sure Elon has an opinion. He hasn't tweeted about it. Very weird. Shh. Don't tell Elon. He may not know <laugh>.

Cathy Gellis (01:01:12):

Leo Laporte (01:01:13):
<Laugh>, he may not know what's going on, but, but I don't think Waxman could ethically argue the case without approval from the owners. Could he?

Cathy Gellis (01:01:21):
I mean, it's some, I don't know quite what I, I'd have to think about it. The, the brief associa had already been filed, right. So if it wasn't gonna be abandoned, and it may have take required something affirmative to abandon it, but I don't, I don't quite know. I have to, I think I'm assuming there was enough buy-in that he could ethically show up and Yeah. Say he was truly representing the interest of his client, but it may have been the barest of minimum of things to tie him to it. Yeah. but I don't know what the options would be. It is really weird for all of a sudden, you know, you don't get certi very much. So it's really not something you

Leo Laporte (01:01:57):
Nah, nevermind.

Cathy Gellis (01:01:59):
Right? Yeah, no, that's weird. And it would've broke it. Like what would've happened to the ecosystem if all of a sudden that wasn't pursued? So anyway, it got pursued. Somebody showed up, somebody argued it. I think we'll survive. I don't know how cleanly we'll survive. Would

Leo Laporte (01:02:13):
You knock some wood please, Cathy? Knock some

Cathy Gellis (01:02:15):
Wood from I only think I have four Micah. I don't,

Leo Laporte (01:02:17):
Right behind right behind you. You got that frame. Go ahead, mcc. I can't, I can't read. How well do you think my are no the what of three inches Theater <laugh>? It's, yeah. You know, I hadn't really thought about all of that until you brought it up. It's an interesting question. We live in interesting times, don't we? And you're right. I mean, Elon, I mean, I don't think Elon loves terrorists. He might think that you know, maybe Matt, maybe Matt Tibi is putting together, he he likes Russia's just fine. Yeah. Maybe

Cathy Gellis (01:02:48):
There's, I'm not where he draws his lines. May not be the place where you and I would draw our

Leo Laporte (01:02:51):
Lines. Yeah, that's right. That's right. Have we, have we done this to death? Is there anything more to say about this? We're just gonna have to wait till the decisions appear. Sometime

Cathy Gellis (01:03:03):
During this year. I think we, we may stumble on something, but yeah, I mean there's lots to talk about, but it's sort of like Yeah. At a certain point, like the more we're speculating the least, the less useful it is.

Leo Laporte (01:03:15):
Yeah. Yeah. I don't wanna

Cathy Gellis (01:03:16):
Specul we need more data. Yeah, yeah.

Leo Laporte (01:03:18):
But fascinating. If you, and if you haven't ever listened to Supreme Court oral arguments, they're always interesting. These in particular, I guess maybe cuz we had a dog in that hunt, but and I, I don't know nowadays where you listen to 'em. I used to go to Oea. Oye, I don't know.

Cathy Gellis (01:03:33):
I think they're actually on the Supreme Court site as it is. Oh, nice. Nice. and then other sites may like SCOTUS Block may refer to them. CNN was the, the streamer. So they may have them.

Leo Laporte (01:03:44):
Yeah. I listen to CPA's stream and

Cathy Gellis (01:03:47):
See cpa, not cnn.

Leo Laporte (01:03:48):
Yeah, yeah. So huh, interesting. All right, so you can go to the Supreme Court website and listen for yourself. Tell us what you think.

Cathy Gellis (01:03:59):
It takes a lot of time. As a caution, each of these ran nearly three hours.

Leo Laporte (01:04:03):
Three hours. Yeah.

Cathy Gellis (01:04:04):
Yeah. It was long. And I think today's was a lot longer than anybody, including the justices expected.

Leo Laporte (01:04:09):
So you showed up at what time and got out at what time Cathy?

Cathy Gellis (01:04:13):
Well, didn't today, yesterday I showed up at about 5 35 in the morning and I got spat out at about 1245, I think. Okay. So if you're asking why I didn't necessarily go today, that's why.

Leo Laporte (01:04:28):
Yeah. It's exhausting. Plus you, you have a, you have a, yeah, right. Let me play, lemme just play. If you've never heard this I could play a little bit of it for you. It won't take a Mr. Snapper.

Speaker 4 (01:04:38):
Mr. Chief Justice in May, please. The court Section 230 [inaudible] distinguishes between claims that seek to hold.

Leo Laporte (01:04:45):
And this is the attorney for Gonzalez

Speaker 4 (01:04:47):
Internet Company liable for content created by someone else and claims based on the company's own conduct. That distinction is drawn in each of the three sections of the statute. First Section 230 [inaudible]. So I'll

Leo Laporte (01:05:00):
Give you a little bit, I'll jump ahead a little bit and you can hear the justice's question

Speaker 5 (01:05:05):
About the thumbnails and going to other,

Leo Laporte (01:05:08):
Here's Helena Kagan

Speaker 5 (01:05:09):
An active collusion. Cause there has to be a line somewhere in between. It can't be merely because you are a com computer person that you can create an algorithm that discriminates against people. You have no problem with that. Right? if a, if a,

Speaker 4 (01:05:30):
The, the writing of the algorithm would probably constitute aiding an abetting.

Speaker 5 (01:05:34):
Exactly. If you write one that discriminated against people for a

Leo Laporte (01:05:39):
Music, how does it work, Cathy? They have a certain amount of time. Or how does that work? Is there a light? It's

Cathy Gellis (01:05:46):
Ch it's changed and I, I think we're all figuring it out. It used to be like, kind of the way an oral argument works at the circuit courts where you're allocated like 15 minutes or 20 minutes or something like that and you have some lights in front of you and they kind of, it's green when you got lots of time. Then it's like yellow at a two minute warning and then red when it's like you finish your sentence and sit down unless the judge tells you to keep going. Just like

Leo Laporte (01:06:12):
All the other comedians in the country, <laugh> get the hawk. But how about the justices? They take turns. In fact, it looked like they rotated through.

Cathy Gellis (01:06:21):
So they changed things up when we went to remote because they kind of had to. Right. And the way they started changing it and handling their own questions internally shifted things. I mean, one of the things that has shifted is now Justice Thomas opens his mouth. He never

Leo Laporte (01:06:39):
Asked. Yeah, I know. He was very before active. Yeah,

Cathy Gellis (01:06:42):
Yeah. In this new format. He asks questions and it's, it's a very significAnt transformation cuz he really didn't believe in them. But now he does, I guess. And he seems to like asking some interesting and hypos, or they're very colorful hypos. I think he actually likes to hear himself tell these hypos. But but he, I, he may also care about the answers as well, but that sort of changed it. But I don't fully understand the new system like it. So I think the new system is every lawyer when they start gets I think two minutes of silence where they get to make their pitch and nobody's gonna interrupt them. And then it turns into a hot bench. But I don't know if it's an unfettered hot bench where everybody asks their questions or if they go through in series. Or actually it may be some combination of both. Cuz you can kind of hear at the end, justice Roberts go through the order of seniority. Like anything else, justice Thomas, anything else? Mr. Know

Leo Laporte (01:07:35):
Anything else? I heard that, heard that. Yeah. Yeah. But

Cathy Gellis (01:07:38):
I think that's towards the end. And eventually when a peter's out that there's no more questions, then they're done. But you're

Leo Laporte (01:07:43):
A hot bench. I like that This show is a hot bench.

Cathy Gellis (01:07:46):
Hot bench is a, is a term that I've learned in law school. It describes if you're doing oral argument and you actually get peppered questions from the, just from the judges or justices. That's a hot bench. And it can be, some people don't like it because it, you know, the argument is gonna go the way they take it as opposed to the way you planned it. But a lot of judge some lawyers like it a lot because like otherwise you just sort of like are sitting there talking into a void and you have absolutely no sign of whether your arguments are landing or not. So it's kind of, it gives you feedback at least.

Leo Laporte (01:08:18):
I did wanna, and I don't know if I can find it, but I did wanna find the part where Justice Kagan says we're not the nine greatest experts on the internet. <Laugh>

Cathy Gellis (01:08:28):
<Laugh>. And the shame of it is the, the sound in the room was not great. So I'm, I never heard it like of some of it as I didn't know some,

Leo Laporte (01:08:34):
Some better chance. There was a lot laughter

Cathy Gellis (01:08:36):
Heard the laugh.

Leo Laporte (01:08:36):

Speaker 6 (01:08:37):
Was distress by, lemme see circulating the video there would

Speaker 7 (01:08:40):
Say this. You could organize it on the basis of what's more trustworthy than, than something

Leo Laporte (01:08:47):
Else. And Justice Gorsich was on the phone. I

Speaker 6 (01:08:49):
Think that might matter.

Leo Laporte (01:08:51):
Justice. So are anything further? So this is where Roberts is, is going around horny.

Speaker 5 (01:08:56):
Let's assume we're looking for a line

Speaker 8 (01:08:59):
Presented with similar videos.

Leo Laporte (01:09:02):
So we're hearing it better than you could hear it.

Cathy Gellis (01:09:06):
Yeah, cuz I don't think I had any amplification. I think I was just hearing the sound organically as it passed through the yikes room. So it was hard to hear the That's right. The people arguing because their voice is projected away from me. Right. And I, I it didn't, I mean, maybe I'm wrong, maybe it was amplified, but it didn't sound like it, it really just sort of sounded like

Leo Laporte (01:09:25):
What were they have hearing aid stuff if they have, you could have said you were hard of hearing and gotten a, an aid.

Cathy Gellis (01:09:31):
Well, I suppose, but I, that didn't occur to me. But I mean I could hear most of it, but like small talk or things that went like more under, especially if they were talking over each other. I was not in a position to parse that out. Plus I was also blocked. I was sitting behind people. So Right. I'm sitting behind taller people and they're just absorbing all the sound.

Leo Laporte (01:09:51):
Is it scary to to be an attorney? Have you've done this right? You've, have you stood up at the bar?

Cathy Gellis (01:09:59):
Not in this court. Oh. And not at a court of appeal. I've argued motions and yeah, it is sort of, it's

Leo Laporte (01:10:06):
Gotta be terrifying because you also have to think I feet, I, I mean I'm listening to the, you know Tom Thomas proposed some hypothetical and then Eric Snapper's got a well <laugh>. But they're very good, I have to say. They obviously know what they're talking about. And they're very good at I think playing the game of saying, well I don't wAnt to go down that road. Or, you know, I thought it was very interesting.

Cathy Gellis (01:10:30):
I like, there are certain things where I mean I'm critical of the lawyers and maybe unfairly cuz it is a hard job. You have to know your case backwards and forward and know all sorts of things and also have your talking points and also know what you're going to steer around. Where I've been critical of both of the Twitter lawyer and also the Google lawyer, was you also have to listen and really understand what you're getting back so you can adjust. And I, I was disappointed by the lack of adjustment for Justice Jackson, who I think you could reach her and explain it in a way that made sense. But that was what was being said was not wrong, but it was not getting packaged in a way that this was going to be an accessible idea. 

Leo Laporte (01:11:13):
She's brand new on, so you have to open the court and perhaps not yet fully acclimated. You think?

Cathy Gellis (01:11:20):
I think she's very wary of some of these, like she commented an open court in the Warhol case that this was an area that she didn't have a lot of expertise and she was new to it. So I think for these technical areas, she, you know, if they're not something where she's been imbued for her right legal career, she is gonna be new at it. And I think, you know, if you're new to it, you're gonna be circumspect. Right. The problem is, is we need her to come up to speed immediately. Yeah. Because the issues are that critical and are taking adjudication right now. And I was, I was concerned by some of her comments. I mean things like, she kept saying it's a narrow statute and please, please, please read my brief where I have a whole section on, it's a broad statute, but also to listen to her colleagues.

And I hope she does because like she's sitting I think next to Justice Kavanaugh and he's talking about, it's a broad statute. I think he used that word. And then for him to say it's broad and for her to say it's narrow. Wait, hang on a second. Like, if you are disagreeing amongst yourselves, can you hopefully hash this out under yourselves so you can figure out is it broad or narrow? And, you know, to the extent that that's gonna matter to their adjudication. I don't think both views are correct, but you know, so something like that. Where can you, but sometimes they ask the questions because, you know, a lot of the questions were framed as essentially, if we're going to, if you are going to win and we're gonna write this decision, how do we write it? And so a lot of the questions were, I think they were very much telegraphing of Help us out. You don't wAnt the other side to win. Yeah, we wAnt this, but you've gotta you've gotta give us the answers. Yeah. And some of that I think got punted. I think it got more punted today than yesterday. But even yesterday, like agreeing to the Henderson test I think was, was potentially a mistake.

Leo Laporte (01:13:06):
Can you show us your filing again? I have it here. Oh no, I just wanna see if, oh, that's cute. So you got it in the little pamphlet there. It's so cool.

Cathy Gellis (01:13:15):
It's, oh, they have to be, this is the format that it, it becomes a big problem because it's very prescriptive in how you filed cost and how you file briefs at the court, which makes them very expensive. So it affects, it's becomes an access to justice issue because it's not enough to just get the lawyer who might do a pro bono. You've gotta get somebody who's gonna be able to pay easily a thousand dollars, potentially $3,000 and more if you've got a big record to get these things in the door. And it's, it's a problem. Oh. But it was weird because I've written another room and I think where, go

Leo Laporte (01:13:46):
Ahead. Oh, I

Cathy Gellis (01:13:47):
It was, go ahead there

Leo Laporte (01:13:50):
For that line. I

Cathy Gellis (01:13:51):
Found it. There was a, we, okay, there was some, there was a when we had the thing for the Texas case where there was an emergency petition to the US Supreme Court and we were writing, it was a shadow docket request for relief from the Supreme Court. I wrote an amicus brief in support of the relief. And because that's not an official type of action before the court, there were no rules. So we sent it on eight and a half by 11 white paper. So it was, it's weird. It's like the things with the rules become barriers, but the things with no rules, it's, it's open to

Leo Laporte (01:14:24):
How many copies do you send? You send nine copies.

Cathy Gellis (01:14:27):
I hire a printer to do this, so I forget. No, they send like 40 some odd, I think

Leo Laporte (01:14:32):
So all the clerks have to get a copy here. Here is the one of the highlights anyway,

Speaker 9 (01:14:37):
But that's my concern is I could imagine the world where you're right that none of this stuff gets protection and, you know, every other industry has to internalize the costs of misconduct. Why is it that the tech industry gets to pass a little bit unclear? On the other hand, I mean, we're a court, we really don't know about these things. You know, these are not like the nine greatest experts on the internet. <Laugh>

Leo Laporte (01:15:04):
<Laugh>. I like what she said though. Every other business has to internalize the cost of these things. So there, you know, just because it's costly doesn't mean you shouldn't do it. Of course it's costly to Google. It means a different thing than it's costly to Leo.

Cathy Gellis (01:15:22):
Yeah, existentially costly is different than just expensive. Yeah.

Leo Laporte (01:15:25):
Yeah. Anyway, I love that moment and I quite enjoyed listening to the arguments. Encourage you all to do that. Well they've they've decided not to get the balloon. <Laugh> another balloon was shut down today, by the way. This was probably, probably, yeah, this is a bad idea. So Noad for the longest time, ignored these slow moving floating Shout SAnta SAnta's due. Yeah, they they, after the Chinese balloon was shot down in North Carolina, I said, you know, maybe we should be paying attention to these slow moving objects. Now they've shot down four <laugh> and it's not at all clear that what they're shooting down are anything from China. In fact, they don't think it is. But the problem is this, this little balloon that was shot down over the Yukon, they can't get it cuz it's in the, you know, snowy and it's cold. And so they dispatched two F 22 raptors. These are $300 million plus airplanes. Oh my gosh. Cost $70,000 an hour to fly to chase down this balloon. Did they got it. We got 'em with a $40,000 Sidewinder missile. Now they're thinking this balloon might have actually been a a Mylar little Mylar thing from the North Illinois bottle cap balloon brigade <laugh>.

They are hobbyists who launch little balloons just to like go, go around the world. This balloon had been around for 123 days had, had circled the earth six times was last seen <laugh> flying towards Alaska. And then on Feb, February 11th disappeared. They haven't heard from it since after which was exactly the same time. The F 22 used a name nine x side wire near missile to shoot it down. <Laugh> shoot something down. One balloon expert talked to by N P R said, I am 98% certain it was that, it was that balloon. The little Mylar balloons that are fairly fragile. So they, they talk to the club and the club, you know, let's, let's them go <laugh>. And they go up, they go pretty high, you know, but they're not a hazard to aviation because as they go up in the air, the, you know, the air pressure goes down.

And so it, these Mylar gets stretched pretty thin. He said, you know, just the debt wash, you probably just <laugh> pop it just right. You just fly by it and it's gonna go, oh it carries a <laugh>. Whoa <laugh>, it carries a tiny little payload of just a few ounces, about 16 point, not even an ounce, 16.4 grams, half an ounce, which include includes a G P S module, a transmitter. Cause that's how they track it. A little computer and a tiny solar panel to, to give it power. Weighs about half an ounce, costs less than a hundred dollars for this balloon. So we just wanna say, you know, I think really, you know a salute to K nine y o stroke 15. I feel safer, don't you, <laugh>? So, okay, so this, you said it's a hobbyist group, sir?

Yeah, well, I think so. Their name, their name kind of implies the northern Illinois BO bottle cap balloon brigade. <Laugh>. I don't think it's an official ation. I don't think they're an official organization doing stuff like this. Don't you normally have to get some type of clearance from No, they're so small and, and so fragile. The F FAA does not have to approve it. They of course, have FCC approval for the little radio transmitter, but the F FAA doesn't track these. They're just little hollies balloons. And they're not harmful because I'm just thinking about the tiny little drones that people still have to register to this day. But if they're under, what is it? Under 250 grams and don't have to register. So this thing, this thing weighs eight grams. I don't Yeah, I think it's <laugh>. I'm sorry. 16 grams. I don't think it's gonna, wow. No. And they said they, the f fa does not federal law requires most large flying objects to be registered. But amateur PECO balloons are so small in light, they're not subject to these requirements. They're doomed now <laugh>. But there's, but they shot another one down today. And again, they're not, they're not getting them because they're so tiny and they, and it's kind of cold and remote. And can you just imagine the pilot up there? You wAnt me to shoot what? <Laugh>?

Cathy Gellis (01:19:57):
I just wanna imagine like what they paint on their planes to honor the kills that they got.

Leo Laporte (01:20:02):
Like a little balloon. Little balloon on the plane. Little balloon. The the onion. Here's the onion story. Us successfully shoots sound kid jumping too high on trampoline <laugh>. Okay. Okay. Come on man. That's a joke. Obviously, obviously, although pretty big explosion coming outta that. Nicely done anyway. I mean, yeah. Let's see. Oh, I thought this was interesting. Speaking of Google, A post from an ex Googler Pravin says Shadi Audrey who is, was joined Google because his startup app sheet was acquired. He says, the acquiring team and executives welcomed us and treated us well. We joined with great enthusiasm and commitment. Yet now at the expiry of my three year mandatory retention period, I have left Google understanding how a once great company has slowly ceased to function. Google has a hu this is, by the way, is this kind of a, almost a tradition now. <Laugh>

From people leaving Google, going back to the founder of ways nom Bardine who left a similar note on his way out the door. Pravin writes this on medium. He says Google has 175,000 plus capable and well compensated employees who get very little done quarter over quarter, year over year, like mice. They are trapped in a maze of approvals, launch processes, legal reviews, performance reviews, exec reviews, documents, meetings, bugger reports, triage, OKRs, H one plans followed by H two plans, all hands summits, inevitable reorgs, the mice are regularly fed their cheese promotions, bonuses, fan foods, fancier perks. And despite many wAnting to experience personal satisfaction and impact from their work, the system trains them to quell these inappropriate desires and learn what it actually means to be googly. Just don't rock the boat. His contention is essentially that Google makes so much money with so little effort on search ads that they have gotten highly conservative about everything else that don't rock the boat really means, you know, don't jeopardize the business. And they don't have to because they make so much money.

He worked at Microsoft for a long time and kind of the dark days at Microsoft. He said Microsoft managed to turn, turn things around, but it required exceptional leadership and good fortune. Google has a chance, I'll be rooting for it. The world will benefit immensely. He also says Google's in better shape. Read that part cuz he says that Google has has a mission Yeah. And is self-reflective and there's a chance here. But yeah, I've heard from people inside Google that it's like the marines, the, the, the hierarchy is killer. The approvals, they don't, they stole as I understand and don't have a budget for this year yet. And the year is two months in. Oh my gosh. Ooh. Ooh. Because they're not used to cut. One, one person I know said we've never been told to cut. Right. They got that secondhand, right? Yeah.

And now, and now they are. Eric Schmidt always said that Google's biggest problem will be size. It will grow too big. Yeah. And it's big. It's, it's more than doubled in the last two or three years. So it's really grown a a huge leaps and bounds. When you wrote, what would Google do? Obviously it was a leaner, meaner, smarter Google at the time. I still think they're just as smart. I mean, it's, it's a discussion we had about it is the smartest people, isn't it? Right. I think it makes sense for some, a company as largest as to have all of the different checks and balances in place far as approvals and whatnot. But yet at the same time, there's no excuse for some of the crap that's been thrown out into the public from Google that you, when you know, you've had this stuff had to get approved at some point, but yet it's not working. That that's, that's leadership stuff still to me that's he does. He says it's gotta start at the top. Yeah, and I think that, well, here's the question. Is it, is it, is Sunar the right c e o for Google at this time? Good guy, but I don't think he's getting it done. Mike. Y'all getting, I

Cathy Gellis (01:24:30):
Have to wonder was

Leo Laporte (01:24:31):
Go ahead.

Cathy Gellis (01:24:32):
Oh, so I wonder was some of this where before I became a lawyer, I worked in tech and I worked at I worked at a large company that grew and grew and grew and then all of a sudden had to cut. And one of the things that you sort of realized when you're in a big company is it is a really difficult thing to manage. Yeah. Because essentially when, when the times are good, you have the cash, you have the department, they have the budgets, and you hire people. And the people's careers are depending on providing returns that get measured in ways that at least their department and in immediate reporting structure can validate and verify. They may or may not plug in well with the mission of the rest of the company. So you can end up with very empowered people who do things that may actually not be consistent with the country company's interests because it's very difficult to plug into the mothership.

And it's a huge organizational problem where you can look at companies and sort of say they're making mistakes and there might be really stupid ways of growing and less stupid ways of growing. But I don't think it's a precise science. I think it's, there's a lot of challenges. And if you're gonna look at it, I mean, maybe Sundar could be doing a better job or being more aware of this dynamic and managing through it. But I think there's a lot of things to look at. Like there's some crappy things that come out of tech in particular things that like make a mess in the privacy space. But I used to work in marketing for these big tech companies in the, like in the 1.0 days. And you get a marketing person who's like, well, how do I get a promising lead? How do I get like a return on this?

How do I get context that we can continue to market to where they were being incentivized? And success was described in terms that actually it turns out that if you did it, you were succeeding at your job, but you were doing a terrible thing for the company and ultimately messing up the public policy. And doing th does that work? Creepy for the customer. But you ended up with a disconnect because what they were being told to do and trained to do and encouraged to do, were bad ideas. And so what do you do when you're, you're at cross purposes like that. How does that happen and how do you fix it? And what do you do with all your talented people who are like, but I just wAnt my job and my career. Yep. how do you tell me now that the things that I used to specialize in are bad?

Leo Laporte (01:26:44):
You know, I also think Cathy, you, you, you're right. They specialized in things like engineering, engineering, engineering. And you know, I think what they're missing right now, you may laugh at me for this, is Marissa Meyer because she was a product person who Yeah. Talked about the customer. Good point. And that's the piece you read from Leo talks about this too. Cory doctor certification piece. Is that the one you're talking about? Or No, you're talking about this one I just read. I think

Cathy Gellis (01:27:11):
It might be be mispronouncing some of his consonAnts in the term that he

Leo Laporte (01:27:14):
Used. <Laugh>. I have to say it that way. That's the good place version Ms. K <laugh>. But but that's what he, that's what Corey says, which is that any company including Google, Amazon, everybody else starts with a customer first focus then becomes a business first focus and finally becomes profit first. Focus. 

Cathy Gellis (01:27:35):
You have weird incentives that are operating on it. I mean, especially as the companies go public, especially as all of a sudden they need to return certain values to the shareholders or the shareholders will sue. I mean, you did see a lot of tech companies try to establish themselves with structures that gave them more flexibility to continue to sort of do what they really believed in without having to necessarily worry about shareholder value, et cetera. But it may not be a panacea there either cuz then you get like a Facebook where corporate control ends up not necessarily being diversified in ways that maybe the company will suffer from. It's hard. Like these are hard problems. And I think we also have to look more broadly, especially, I mean this annoys me in the tech in the Section 230 discussion because everyone's like everything bad about the tech policy spaces because of Section 230.

And it's not, we have an awful lot of other law that is operating on the space that is potentially creating incentives for companies to act in ways that in the broad picture, we really wouldn't like. So how do we change the regulatory terrain in all areas that law touches on it so that the companies do act in a way that does more of what we wAnt and less of what we don't wAnt. It's not just 230. And 230 is sort of an example of actually what it looks like when you can align the incentives better to get the most of what you wAnt and the least of what you don't. But so far, 230 is crumbling under, under the weight of having to completely explain and manage perfectly every single externality produced by tech. And that's not what the law was designed for. And that's why it's creaking and that's why it's getting unfairly criticized because it can't possibly fix everything that we go wrong with innovation.

Leo Laporte (01:29:11):
Yeah. So it's really, how can we screw big tech? Oh, let's do this. And that's not the problem, obviously. Soddy says, the way I see it, Google has four core cultural problems. They are all the nat. See, it's not just size. They're all the natural consequences of having a money printing machine called ads that has kept growing relentlessly every year, hiding all other sins. The sins he talks about. No mission, no urgency, delusions of exceptionalism like we're Google you know, we're the greatest. And I was when I was at Time Inc. That was, that was a big disease. Oh wow. Yeah. If we do it, if we spend the most money on it, it must be the best one. Yeah. I remember I had friends in the eighties who were at Atari, which at the time was King of the hill in video games and they just thought they were the bees knees.

And theirs shirts did not smell badly, but in fact, <laugh> shortly thereafter they were all outta work. Finally. He says it's mismanagement. I, you know, we, we told this story a couple of weeks ago that Google called a code red after chat. G p t came out and brought in Larry and Sergei <laugh> to, to kind of, I don't know what but Cinar Pacha called him Goose Yeah. To give him a little goose. And then of course they rushed out and we tied this story last week. They rushed out a, a flawed announcement, by the way. And maybe Google's gone. Yeah. We dodged that bullet. Microsoft's taken all the heat in the world for chat. G P T Google never did turn on Bard. Right, right. And now they're saying, yeah, maybe we, oh, they're, we can delay them. Yeah. Let's delay that a little longer.

Little bit. Really careful ones. Yeah. All that, all that, all the things that guy writes about on that piece about being careful and slow, that's a big advAntage. No risk. No risk. Yep. I, I can't imagine sin, I don't know what the board's thinking. I think the board needs to kick the kick sendar out as nice a guy as he is. Or maybe not out, just down. Oh yeah. He's a wonderful fellow. Or, or they need, they need, my view is that what they miss, oddly as marketing thing, product and marketing thing, product is king at Google, but product there means engineering product should mean customer. Well. And he's, and, and he also sauri also says you know, yeah, you could say customers first, product first, but, but really it's risk first. You know, let's <laugh> let's respect the risk with two of core Google's core values are respect the user and respect the opportunity and practice.

The systems and processes are intentionally designed to respect risk. Risk mitigation trumps everything else. This makes sense if everything's going wonderfully. And the most important thing is to avoid rocking the boat and keep sailing on the rising tides of ad revenue and such a world potential risk lies everywhere you look. And so they're very careful. I, you know, we all look, we all see it. We all know what something's going on. And this makes as much sense as anything I've read. Speaking of which there is a big transition at YouTube. We found this out right after the show last week. Susan Eski mm-hmm. <Affirmative> stepping down from YouTube after nine years and 25 years of the company. Yeah. She was employee 16, 16. Got to know Larry Garage. She got to know Larry and Sergei by renting them the garage that they built Google in after they left Stanford <laugh> do it on her.

Yeah. She's gonna spend more time with her money <laugh> and I think that's wonderful. I bet she becomes a VC or something like that. Right. But you know, if you spend that much time at a company 25 years, she's certainly invested hundreds of millions of dollars in stock. Yeah. no, no reason for her not to not to take off her off, she wrote High YouTubers 20 What? Wonder what she's sold over the years. Oh yeah, I know. I mean, well you talk about Mesa Meyers, you know, she was, she was sitting pretty when she left Google. She didn't, she didn't need to make money 25 years ago. Susan Wosk writes, I made the decision to join a couple of Stanford graduate students who were building a new search engine. Their names were Larry and Sergey. I saw the potential of what they were building, which was incredibly exciting.

And although the company only had a few users and no revenue, I decided to join the team. It would be one of the best decisions of my life. One of <laugh>, one of today. After nearly 25 years, I've decided to step back for my role as the head of YouTube and start a new chapter focused on my family health and personal projects I'm passionate about. Kern snares me a little bit to hear the word health in there, but I hope she has not. No, that's not unusual, right? If you're you're CEO of a company, you are gonna have stress True leads to some that's not good for you. Is it health

Cathy Gellis (01:34:08):
Stuff? It could cut both ways, but I think Leo's point is like, if it's getting called out, what is modifying motivating that specific call out? Yeah. Like, is this something that, that sentence would've been complete without it, except it happens to be something at forefront of her mind. Yeah.

Leo Laporte (01:34:22):
Mm, mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. Well, I hope also she's on the board of Salesforce, which is an interesting board these days. What's going on at Salesforce? Well they messed up with the acquisition of slack. There's co c o left. There's pressure from outside investors against Betty off. It's interesting times. They were, you know, there was an part of their layoffs. Yeah. Back in Carolina. Oh really? I'm sorry. They were on top of the world. I mean, they built that beautiful building in downtown San Francisco. Actually. They

Cathy Gellis (01:35:04):
Didn't build it. They built this building. I don't know if I'm gonna completely ratify the adjective you used.

Leo Laporte (01:35:10):
<Laugh>. <laugh>. It's beautiful. My, my wife shares your opinion by the way, Cathy and see it from whenever we're down there and you see they, for some reason, they, they, from time time we'll have a dancer dancing and proj and then her silhouette projected on the, at the tip of this building. <Laugh> I don't know. I probably can't say what my wife says in the polite company, but you can use your imagination.

Cathy Gellis (01:35:42):
Just mispronounce all the consonAnts again. It'll be fine.

Leo Laporte (01:35:45):
<Laugh>, I live in the good place. There it is. There's the picture of the they call it the Salesforce building. Salesforce does not own it, but it is one of the, is the kind of the key tenAnt there. Yeah. You know what, it's tough these days to be a big tech giAnt, right? You're either in the Supreme Court, you're testifying in front of Congress, you're getting me tood. You're, you know, I mean, it's just a, it's a tough time or you're laying off tens of thousands of employees better to be a like us in, you know, in falling <laugh> fall between the cracks. Basically. Nobody cares. <Laugh> nobody's paying any attention at all. Even even NPR is laying off people because of defining ad revenue and podcasting. Yeah, yeah. Podcasting has really really sucks these <laugh>,

Cathy Gellis (01:36:37):
I'm I'm going to say sub well just switching subjects. I've been deeply alarmed and I'll have to just leave it here cuz it's been a while since I've read this. But some of the positions that N P R has taken in the copyright space have been deeply concerning. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> for a form of media that decided that we are gonna serve the public by being publicly supported, has taken positions that I think are hostile to the public because they're so fixated on the monetization, ugh. That obviously they have to have money somehow, but they're so focused on general commercial models of monetization that they are advocating for copyright issues that I think are detrimental to the overall public interest.

Leo Laporte (01:37:19):
Are they doing that the court or are they just I mean are they suing people or what's going on?

Cathy Gellis (01:37:23):
Well, I've seen some stuff in terms of comments at the copyright in front of the copyright office, I believe, but also in the aerial cases. One of the lead plaintiffs was W N E T I believe, which was Channel 13 in in what the New York City Public

Leo Laporte (01:37:38):
Broadcasting in the, in New York was being sent by N NPR

Cathy Gellis (01:37:41):
<Laugh>. I remember growing up and, and what, well not npr, but and let me also say we, the general public and including me, doesn't necessarily get the distinctions between the various forms of public entities. And so this doesn't apply to all of them, but I have seen NPR in particular, I think in some of the Commons, but also other forms of public broadcasting. The W N E T thing, suing Ariel made absolutely no sense to me. Oh yeah. I remember growing up and watching. Right. I mean, Sesame Street would be preempted while they did their pledge drives while they talked about how important was that the public supported it so kids could watch Sesame Street and all of a sudden they're trying to sue an Antenna service that was delivering se Sesame Street. Yeah. How is that consistent? How do you go to the public and say, support us? So we produce this programming, which now we're going to make sure that nobody can watch cuz we sued the technology that was facilitating the watching. It makes no sense. And it's, it's as Chanda and I, it's terrible. And I think there needs to be a reckoning of if, I mean I do believe in supporting public broadcasting in his various forums, but not if it's gonna take hostile positions to the public interest. Cuz then what's the point?

Leo Laporte (01:38:47):
Was that the dime size little Antenna? Yeah, that was the ones were on the roof and yeah, the little tiny, yeah. Everybody gets their own. I put out a business by the Supreme Court and I guess by W N E T

Cathy Gellis (01:38:58):
And then low as well. I mean we've got, I I I'm, I'm too busy surfing my Section 230 temporary high to go into that. But

Leo Laporte (01:39:07):
Money ruins everything. Cathy, money, greed. Maybe not money, but greed. The problem is greed. Let me have some money. I'm gonna

Cathy Gellis (01:39:14):
Say copyright law also ruins everything. Copyright law should not have allowed low to shut down and the public is being locked away from the airwaves we own. And I can't watch things that are being broadcast on public TV cuz I don't have my own Antenna and I don't have cable and for various reasons I can't get it. How am I not supposed to be able to watch the Super Bowl B broadcasters? Cause I was somewhere where I could, but

Leo Laporte (01:39:36):
It is a little bit greed because broadcasters got used to not only getting ad revenue from their free on the air broadcast, but getting revenue from cable companies cuz of must carry laws and they, and they dump basically are double dipping. And they Yeah. And they were reluctAnt to give up the ladder even though they were still making money on advertising. Anyway, NPR trans, go ahead.

Cathy Gellis (01:39:59):
Yeah, well, transmission fees, I think have been an extremely destructive economic force. Yeah. they, they've they've been for the greed. Yes. And I I think it's tenuous enough in the cable space and I think it's absolutely abhorrent for any licensee of public spectrum to basically demand that the public pay for them getting to broadcast on public spectrum. That makes no sense whatsoever.

Leo Laporte (01:40:24):
Amen. System. Amen. Councilor System NPR r reducing 10% of its workforce due to dropping add sales. They operate on a 300 million budget revenue expected drop by 30 million. That's 10%. They did not say where the cuts would come, but they <laugh> this is good. They plan to eliminate already vacAnt positions. Well, that'd be the first ones I'd get rid, <laugh> I'd get rid of. That's that's sad. I don't Oh yeah. NPR plans to stay focused on podcasts, which have been the company's strong suit because they get a lot of subscriber revenue. Yeah. Staff cuts will not fall disproportionately on employees of color. He threw that in. Yeah, I don't, but they like did

Cathy Gellis (01:41:10):
That just remember, go ahead. They canceled their intern program, I believe. Oh. And that was like a critical pipeline, especially for underrepresented people. Ross.

Leo Laporte (01:41:19):
Yeah. My school. Oh, okay. Wow. Interesting. Yeah. Yeah.

 All right, well yeah, you noticed we only had one ad on our show today. It's, it's endemic and I don't understand it frankly cuz I don't think, maybe I'm wrong, but is the economy really tanking? It feels like it's actually no. Starting to warm up a little bit and feel, I mean, unemployment's record low. It, I think it's excuses. You know, I think, I think, well, I mean fact there's a, there's a nervousness cut. There is a nervousness in the air. People are worried about recession maybe. And so I think a lot of our advertise the b to B2B business to business advertising has disappeared. I don't know why. Business to consumer is still strong. That's why you hear the Casper ads and stuff. Although the ad, the one ad we had today was b2b. I don't, I just don't get it.

I I sat at a dinner, dunno what's going on. Before the pandemic with five advertisers brought together by a big PR company and there were like three or four of us flatters there. And at some point I said, do you care about the Vader newspapers and after enough really good chardonnay, they said no. Nah, no. Wow. I don't care. Because the internet allows us to have our own direct relationships. Now we care about our stock price, so we care about the Wall Street Journal, but that's pretty much it. Yeah. Nah, mark Zuckerberg's decided he's got a new way to make money. Yeah. <laugh> 12 bucks a month and you two can have a blue check on meta or should I say at least 12 with a different color phone call go between he and Mr. Elon Musk. Looks.

Cathy Gellis (01:42:56):
Well, that's exactly it. If you are making, modeling your business decisions on anything Musk has just done. Yeah. What is wrong with you? <Laugh>

Leo Laporte (01:43:04):
Hey is not hurting Musk. I really, I for a long time thought

Cathy Gellis (01:43:08):
Would've totally hurting Musk.

Leo Laporte (01:43:10):
Oh yeah. Musk connect laughing. He's laughing to the ba He, he's, he's not making any,

Cathy Gellis (01:43:14):
Money's not gonna be laughing very shortly. He's gonna pay the interest. He's, I

Leo Laporte (01:43:18):
Should take that back. He's laughing at the bank. He's laughing at the bank. I'll grAnt you <laugh>. 

Cathy Gellis (01:43:25):
But the bank I think is going to be laughing last and I I think it's just a matter of time before we see that.

Leo Laporte (01:43:30):
I hope so. I think the, the worst thing with Ellan is that he seems to think that his terrible dad jokes are funny and is now inflicting them on us kind of incessAntly. This is one that most recent post people always ask, where is Illuminati? But they never ask, how is Illuminati? What the hell are you talking

Cathy Gellis (01:43:56):
About? Well, thank you for inflicting that on me. I hadn't seen it before. That

Leo Laporte (01:43:59):
Was, I don't, I don't understand.

Cathy Gellis (01:44:02):
You're amplifying

Leo Laporte (01:44:03):
Him as an AI language model. I have been trained to generate responses that are intended to be helpful and objective and informative. Elon is basically, these are dad jokes. They're not even dad jokes. I'm a dad. My jokes are funnier. <Laugh> oh, here's a good one. High time. I confessed. I let the doge out. It was me. I let don't that. Yeah. Yeah. Boy, that's not, I don't know what to spike in crypto that day. Somebody told me it's cuz he's using a lot of drugs. Is that, I don't know what that is. No, it's, no. There are gonna be plenty of people to say, Hey, don't put drugs on this. This is just <laugh>.

Cathy Gellis (01:44:43):

Leo Laporte (01:44:44):
Don't Drugs aren't that bad with a long musk behavior. <Laugh>. Okay. I don't know what it is. He'll

Cathy Gellis (01:44:49):
Send the wrong message.

Leo Laporte (01:44:50):
Here's another dad joke from Mr. Musk. Say what you wAnt him mount me. But I acquired the world's largest nonprofit for 44 billion. L o l. Okay, that's a good one. You like that? He

Cathy Gellis (01:45:02):

Leo Laporte (01:45:02):
Understand why that's a, did that make you, did that make you laugh out loud? They didn't make any money. I ain't laugh out loud, but, Hey, good one who let the doge, hopefully he doesn't say pull my finger necks. That's the, oh, I'm sure he is. <Laugh>. Just let that sink in. <Laugh>. So, mark Zuckerberg, I guess I'm starting to feel like <laugh> is this possible, mark realizes that the metaverse is not gonna happen and now maybe we need to figure out how to make more money at Facebook. So we're gonna charge you 12 bucks for a verified, by the way, is this, people have talked, is this way to further the development of the Metaverse by getting more money or No, no, no. I think he's, I think he, he's lost so much. He's lost 12 billion last year on the Metaverse. I think, I think what people have talked about in the past was what if, what would, what would you pay for an ad free algorithm? Free Facebook, you know, five bucks a year. 10 bucks a year might be that, that might be interesting. Yeah. That'll be interesting. This doesn't do that. This is literally just a blue chat. This something that's good for Well it's the same problem that with Twitter, your verification is good for the users. It's not for the verified. Well, and you have to give them government id. So the laughs on you cuz you're paying 12 bucks a month for Facebook to even do more advertising. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>,

Cathy Gellis (01:46:26):
I mean, this looks, the Twitter, the Facebook one I thought was a joke. Like, I thought it was an onion headline this April 1st. I cannot not believe that this was actually something that, like, if you're gonna do what they're proposing to do, which I don't think is a good idea, but it's a serious proposal. And I think it's kind of hitting on the federated Amer federated identity management issues that have kind of been lurking for a while. But if you're gonna roll out something, you roll it out with care and thinking about this, and it's got a months long, if not years long trajectory before you release it. This looks like it was on the back of a cocktail napkin and implemented in two weeks. <Laugh>. It does. Which now we're starting to,

Leo Laporte (01:47:02):
It's the Twitter from Yes. The Musk model.

Cathy Gellis (01:47:03):
Exactly. It's the Twitter model. I am absolutely shocked that Zuckerberg a like, it's obviously like ripping off of Twitter's homework. Like looking over must shoulder and we're gonna be blue. I mean, Facebook was already blue, but like, we're gonna be blue if we're gonna be verified and we're gonna be doing this because Twitter is, and we're gonna do it in the same haphazard unthought out way that Twitter rolls out product. Do you remember innovations

Leo Laporte (01:47:27):
About a a couple of years ago we showed, was it Google's plan to like have this giAnt balloon envelop you so you could have a silent conversation? I think that was Google. Oh yeah, yeah. That was Google. Yeah. So now that maybe this is what the 12 bucks a month's going to Meta has created <laugh>. Yeah. A new way. This is not The Onion. A new way to <laugh> have a quieter cubicle. They invented the cubicle. They invented the cubicle with an, it's already invented reject. It's got, it's got it's called the Cube. So it's not a cubicle, Jeff. It's a cube. It's an, it's got noise canceling materials all around it. That is, oh my gosh.

Cathy Gellis (01:48:11):
If you can't tell an onion headline from your press release, go back and try this again.

Leo Laporte (01:48:17):
<Laugh> <laugh>. It's, well, what it really is an acknowledgement that the open office plan was a terrible mistake. Employees hate it. They never cared for that. They nothing done.

Cathy Gellis (01:48:28):
People hated cubicles. And they went and said, well, the thing that will make a cube from better is no walls

Leo Laporte (01:48:34):
<Laugh>. So now we've got the wall. Bring the, who brought the walls back? Ooh. Ooh, ooh. There it is. Now it's basically you're enveloped and felt. I just best voiceover office ever. Oh yeah, yeah. Maybe I could get some, actually, you know what? When they changed their mind, this guy looks happy. But is he <laugh>? He looks really maybe too happy. There's something going on. He's confused. Prisoner <laugh>. It's like a self cocoon. Says John tens Vice President of global real Estate and facilities at Meta. Oh yeah. Now what it reminds me of Leo what? Les NE's. Cubic <laugh>. Yes. He taped off, he taped off his space so that no one would enter his space. He had to walk around. Yeah. Yeah. Be K rrp. Thank goodness the Wall Street Journal decided to put this closeup image of the material

Cathy Gellis (01:49:28):
<Laugh>. Was it the Felt Wall Street Journal?

Leo Laporte (01:49:31):
<Laugh>, the Onion Street Journal? I don't know. Oh God. The cube is made of a, felt like recycled pet plastic. The soft material absorbs the sound rather than pushes it back. Wait a minute. I'm sorry. I should say that properly. Cause this guy's got a doctorate. This soft material absorbs the sound than pushing it back says Dr. Nagi. Dr. Nagi has invented this very special material on the early benefit of the cube. Dr. Nagi says is that it has reduced strain of the company's existing meeting rooms. The last thing we wAnt is for people to camp out in meeting rooms alone. The cube is solid for that need to do meaningful focused work. Ah, you know, that's interesting people doing that. Yeah. Anytime I have talked to anybody at Google or Facebook, it's always about the meeting room. You can't, you, you, at, at five minutes to the hour. Oh. People were staring at us out there. We gotta leave. Right. We can't have a meeting. Right. Because there's this book for the next person books. It's booked. Meeting room is the precious space there. Yeah. Yeah.

Cathy Gellis (01:50:46):
But you wouldn't actually, I don't think it was ever that bad when I worked at big tech company in Cube Farms. Like this wasn't a problem cuz you didn't need to escape to the meeting room to get like the solitude you needed to concentrate.

Leo Laporte (01:50:59):
I didn't have a conversation by the way that either this article in the Wall Street Journal was written by somebody named Chip Cutter. I think it's an ai, honestly. Oh, I'll be honest. Come on. Yes. Not this is an ai. No, this is, this is an AI meta is already to work on future iterations of Z Cube testing new colors and patterns such as a wood grain look. Yeah. <laugh> and <laugh>. Yeah. And working with multiple manufacturers to roll out the, the cube globally, they've already ordered 7,000 of them and are distributing 'em to 22 locations worldwide. About 10% of meta spaces will feature the cube and employees. Oh no. Employees can reserve them when needed. <Laugh>, you have to reserve the cube.

When I work at the Chicago Tribune low many years ago, they redesigned the newsroom and they put up cubicle walls and the journalists hated it cuz they wAnted to be, they, they're the original open, open office. Right. They, one day they came in with screwdrivers and tore them all down. <Laugh>. Oh, oh Lord. Right. What else? What? Oh, I should go look at your section. That's not, let's look at Jeff's, Jeff's section. Google reassessing timeline for massive San Jose campus. Like we don't need all that space now. Yeah, no kidding. Yep. Everybody's gotta be doing that now, right? I mean Oh yeah. Oh yeah. Yeah. New York. There's tons of space at Hudson Yards that was going to Facebook and company. They, they don't need it now. Oh, wow. Though Amazon is trying to get people back to the office and, and, and staff.

There's like 15,000 people joined us Slack to protest <laugh> and say, no, not coming back. Andy. The German government has been banned from having a Facebook page. The Data Protection Authority says in fact this may go to court. Yeah. Keber demanded on Wednesday that the federal government stop operating its Facebook page Bec, because Facebook is an in is a spy thing or what? Well, no, cuz Facebook does privacy. No-Nos. Ah, okay. And that's, but there is no, is there a German Facebook? Remember there used to be like, there would be a, every country would have, you know the That's right. Spain, Spain's Facebook or Russia's. Well, Germany especially. They had, they had Stu Fset study VW of, of Vz. Stu Fset. No, I like VW better <laugh>. I know. And so it was, it was owned by Holt Springing big publisher owns St. Site and owned Hons Blot and all this other stuff. And there came, I dunno if I I'll tell the story now. There came a time when he had an offer from Zuckerberg to buy it. Ah. And his board stopped him. Oh.

Pavel DAVS the founder of Facebook for Russia. Right. Got an offer he couldn't refuse <laugh>. Yeah. Yeah. Vladimir Putin and now lives in Dubai. But has, you know, rebounded with Telegram. He's the founder of Telegram as well. There is a sci-fi magazine called Clark's World named after Arthur C. Clark. this week they stopped accepting submissions for new work. Why? Because they have been re receiving hundreds of AI written submissions. Clark's World, which is considered one of the top sci-fi and fAntasy literary publications, has won several Hugo Awards regularly bans a small number of people from submitting works each week, each month, mostly for alleged plagiarism. But as of Monday, it had banned more than 500 accounts. <Laugh> people keep submitting AI written stuff. Now they pay pretty well 10 to 12 cents a word. And, you know, you get your work published. That's a gr that's how many sci-fi authors started is getting in the, the Pulp magazines. But what's wrong with this, sir? Because you have to be a pretty good prompt master, if you will, to be able to tell this thing to spit out something, you know, coherent. So what's wrong with that? Neil Clark wrote in a tweet thread submissions are currently closed. It shouldn't be hard to guess why. <Laugh>,

He wrote a blog post, A concerning trend. Oh, it's not named after Arthur C. Clark. Neil Clark is the editor of Clark's World. So it's his Oh, well it's his mad. Just assumed it was AC Clark, but no. So in, well, so here's a question for our, for our counselor here. Because the court has also said, I think more than once now, that, that, that AI images cannot be copyrighted, which I presume will come over to text. Is there an issue there around, around copyright and, and generative ai, the court decided that copyright required a human at some point in the chain. Right. A machine writer copyright stuff. Is that right, Cathy?

Cathy Gellis (01:56:11):
Well, you're, I think you're referring to the monkey selfie case, which said this per Yes. A human has to be involved. It can't, and, but that was one that looked at animals. This is a thing that a lot of people are kicking around because I think there's also a question, if there's a copyright, who would own it? The creator of the, of the ai, the, or the person who deployed the ai or both, or neither. There's some interesting analysis to do on it, but then there's also the question of does anybody actually need to own it? Because one thing we learned from the Neruda case is it's actually okay if work is created and immediately in the public domain, we do not need to make everything ownable. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. And we tend to lose sight of that fact. I agree. Every time we try to ask these questions. Right. so,

Leo Laporte (01:56:56):
But NFTs, NFTs, Cathy, everything can be owned.

Cathy Gellis (01:57:00):
Yeah. But ask me this. On a day when, on a week when I'm not like exhausted from the 230, I can only hold up so much of the universe at once,

Leo Laporte (01:57:07):
Inner 230 bubble, according to the US copyright office's, copyright compendium, quote, the office will refuse to register a claim if it determines that a human being did not create the work. So you can't register it if it, if it was the copyright office just rejected a mid journey image. Ah for, for a I think that I agree with you, Cathy. That actually is not a hazard. Right. That's good. That's fine.

Cathy Gellis (01:57:36):
I mean, the point was with copyright was copyright was supposed to be the exception. Yes. You were. You just wAnted to make sure that the public had stuff. So how much do you need to provide a limited monopoly for a limited amount of time just to make sure you've got enough incentives so people keep creating stuff. Right. Because why do we wanna recruit people to create stuff? So we have stuff and now all of a sudden it's the rule and it's the rule. That means that the public doesn't get stuff anymore. That's all backwards.

Leo Laporte (01:58:00):
Yeah. We turn it upside down, didn't we? We

Cathy Gellis (01:58:02):
Turn it upside down and we're completely defeating why we would have the monopoly in the first place.

Leo Laporte (01:58:06):
By the way, newspapers and magazines in the earliest copyright were not included.

Cathy Gellis (01:58:11):
I mean, a lot wasn't included. Yeah. Like, and the problem was, as soon as they had like the first statute of Ann, then like everybody else showed up with like, well, what about en must engravers? We engrave stuff, we should have protection for our engravings. So then they had protection for their engravings, and then sort of every media claimed it for themselves. So I mean, it's weird. If it looks like a privilege, everyone's gonna wAnt it. And it's really hard to sort of argue that some forms of media don't get it. But then media also changed dramatically under the, the weight of technology changes. It's, it, we kind of need to go back and rethink this. We've,

Leo Laporte (01:58:47):
I've got a, I've got a book about that coming out. Cathy's No, it's a good chapter in it. It's a Gutenberg PASIs. This is BT ly slash buy Gutenberg. Right. Did I get that right? Yes. I did that from memory. Memory, yes. You did. Wow. Impression. Yeah, it is, well, you said it enough. I probably should have it by now. <Laugh>.

Cathy Gellis (01:59:10):
That was all part of his plan. You know,

Leo Laporte (01:59:12):
Just, just teasing. Actually, there is an interesting, I'm thinking about, by the way, I'm thinking about going to Michigan when it's on press, figuring kind of, kind of Oh, to watch it come off the press. Yeah, that would be so fun. Why don't you why don't you call in from there and show us. Yeah, yeah, exactly. I'm standing, standing next to line. That's the stapler going through. Now what happens if, okay, so the copyright office says we won't copyright if a machine made it. Does that in any way affect an artist who's suing? Because the AI that's interesting was trained on, its on the, on the artist's copyright material.

Cathy Gellis (01:59:57):
That's a different copyright question. Different given the caliber of people who are defending the AI from the claims, I think those claims are not going to proceed. And I think they're probably tenuous because one of the other things is you also have, I mean, there's also the interaction of the first amendment, including the right to read can. And if you have the right to read, can you send your bot to read it? I think the ability to stay a cognizable claim, and certainly at the scale of a class is gonna be a challenging thing. But it's not frivolous necessarily. Yeah. I think it's a bad claim, but it's

Leo Laporte (02:00:32):
It's transformative. It, I mean, right. I mean, transforms the original work beyond, almost beyond recognition.

Cathy Gellis (02:00:41):
Well, and there's also issues with eph femoral copies of like what you've ephemerally copied in order to train up your, your chat. So the, the problem with a lot of digital technology as applied to copyright is the digital technology ends up having to essentially make a copy in order to use it in any, in any sort of

Leo Laporte (02:00:59):
Way. No, that was the issue. That was the issue with cable and, and on-demand movies.

Cathy Gellis (02:01:03):
I mean, it's an issue all the time. That shows up in weird things. Again, copyright was questionable enough at, before we added digital technology. And it's really not getting applied in ways that, that scale without weird byproducts. But

Leo Laporte (02:01:16):
So it's so easy and ephemerally quick to digitally copy something. Does, did, will Warhol have an impact do you think on the ai image lawsuits?

Cathy Gellis (02:01:27):
I think it entirely depends, but potentially, but it really depends on what that decision is gonna end up speaking probably very loudly about what the rules of the road are for fair use. And depending on how they get articulated, it's gonna have an effect. But what the effect is will depend on how it's articulated.

Leo Laporte (02:01:46):
It w it wasn't hugely transformed. It looks like the original photograph. But the defense is that the intent, the use was transformative, not the look,

Cathy Gellis (02:01:59):
Well it, that it ex for Warhol, that it expressed something different than the first work had. If it's expressing something different, it's not, it doesn't violate the derivative work. It's essentially, now the transformative works of fair use would end up covering it because it said something different that the original one did not. And fair use is supposed to enable that. So

Leo Laporte (02:02:19):
It could be transformative, not merely in the way it looks, but in its in the, in its intent, in its use, in its message.

Cathy Gellis (02:02:26):
That is the question before the court. I mean, whether the court recognizes that that's the question before it is it also currently an open question? But I think that's ultimately what the arguments pivoted on where the photographers were arguing that basically we had a picture of Warhol. You used a, the picture to like, you usurped our market for a picture of Warhol. You got used by the magazine instead of ours, even though yours wouldn't have existed, but for ours, because you copied it and the process of making yours, and they're like, we had ours. You made a copy and then you got the business. How can that possibly be? That violates our exclusive rights and the original copyright into controlled derivative works. The other argument on the other side was, yeah, we started with your picture, but we ended up changing it to a point where ultimately, yeah, we were left with a picture, but we were left with a picture that said something very different about the subject matter than your picture did.

And the reason why we got the business by the magazine was because what we said about, about Prince was different than what you said about Prince. And the magazine editor thought that what we said matched his article much better. So we weren't even competing in the same market for it. But depending on how you frame, you know, what was going on and what happened and why depends on maybe, you know, how you apply the fair use argument. But also on the table is how we even concoct the fair use test. And it, it, it's a little I think the second circuit got things very wrong, but it's it's not quite clear what the Supreme Court is going to do to fix that.

Leo Laporte (02:03:56):
And then Bernie Sanders walks into a TikTok fuck <laugh>. Very confused too, I might add. Yeah. He seemed quite confused. Like, why is the doorman and this young woman, why are they dancing in front of my hotel <laugh>? It's too bad he wasn't wearing mittens. Exactly. He's kind of embraced that whole thing, hasn't he? Oh yeah. The Bernie mittens. Yeah, I saw a story about that. Yeah. Yeah. It's a, it's time. Cathy, you probably don't know about this. <Laugh>, it's time for our tic. I know everything. Our TikTok segment. How dare you say that. It's our TikTok segment. New. The Mercedes 24 20 24 E-class will not only have Angry Birds, no Mercedes, you'll be able to take Zoom cars calls and you'll be able to watch TikTok. Oh, come on. Make TikTok. I think. No. Is it fake TikTok? Make no, make TikTok. I think I can record it. Software in the car enables the installation of apps like Zoom, WebEx, and TikTok. Oh yeah. I presume, I guess you could film TikTok videos, but only when the car is stopped according to Mercedes-Benz.

Oh. And that's our TikTok segment. Disgusting. Jeff says, if only this, my dad's over with. If only this, were a Taco Bell subway plans, electric car charging Oasis with a little park, a little plate deck. A lot. Haven't we seen more of this already? I mean, the fact that Starbucks hasn't decided to be the place where you buy the coffee and charge your car, charge your car at the same time. Yeah. Makes perfect sense. Instead they're putting charging stations the farthest reach of a parking lot where you're not gonna go buy something in the store. Yeah. It just makes perfect sense. Yeah, I agree. That's pretty smart. All right, let's do the Google change log and get the hell out of Dodge here. The Google change log. Cathy wAnts waffles.

Cathy Gellis (02:05:53):
<Laugh> I what?

Leo Laporte (02:05:54):
No, does she doesn't, she doesn't know it. She doesn't know it, but she wAnts waffles. Cathy deserves a beer with her new, a beer with a new buddy Brett on the court. Yeah. Yeah. <Laugh>. You know, I, oh, there you go. Or something like an 18 year old Macallan maybe. Huh? I

Cathy Gellis (02:06:13):
I think I prefer the waffles. Quite

Leo Laporte (02:06:14):
Frankly. The waffles are better, honestly, than any possible alcoholic beverage,

Cathy Gellis (02:06:18):
But it has to be a good recipe for waffles. I don't like a bad recipe. It,

Leo Laporte (02:06:22):
I make my waffles the night before so they can rise. Is that a good recipe? Smart.

Cathy Gellis (02:06:27):
Wow. I don't know. I use a recipe that my mom had that like, it was very buttery. And it could be pancake pancakes or it could be a waffles, but it doesn't have that graininess. It's got a very buttery taste. And it's not about the fluff, it's about the, the buttery goodness to it. It's

Leo Laporte (02:06:42):
About the fluffs, not about the fluff. It's about the buttery goodness. Yeah. Yes. I think it's about the crunch butter, but I have to say, every time I make waffles, yes. Part of one of the ingredients is melted butter. So I think that's probably a part of it. Yeah. Okay. Hey everybody. Leo LaPorte here. I'm the founder and one of the hosts at the TWIT Podcast Network. I wanna talk to you a little bit about what we do here at twit because I think it's unique, and I think for anybody who is bringing a product or a service to a tech audience, you need to know about what we do Here at twit, we've built an amazing audience of engaged, intelligent listeners who listen to us and trust us when we recommend a product. Our mission statement is twit, is to build a highly engaged community of tech enthusiasts.

Well already you should be, your ears should be perking up at that because highly engaged is good for you. Tech enthusiasts, if that's who you're looking for, this is the place we do it by offering 'em the knowledge they need to understand and use technology in today's world. And I hear from our audience all the time, part of that knowledge comes from our advertisers. We are very careful. We pick advertisers with great products, great services with integrity, and introduce them to our audience with authenticity and genuine enthusiasm. And that makes our host Red Ads different from anything else you can buy. We are literally bringing you to the attention of our audience and giving you a big fat endorsement. We like to create partnerships with trusted brands, brands who are in it for the long run, long-term partners that wAnt to grow with us.

And we have so many great success stories. Tim Broom, who founded it Pro TV in 2013, started advertising with us on day one, has been with us ever since. He said, quote, we would not be where we are today without the Twit network. I think the proof is in the pudding. Advertisers like it Pro TV and Audible that have been with us for more than 10 years, they stick around because they're ads work. And honestly, isn't that why you're buying advertising? You get a lot with Twit. We have a very full service attitude. We almost think of it as kind of artisanal advertising, boutique advertising. You'll get a full service continuity team, people who are on the phone with you, who are in touch with you, who support you from, with everything from copywriting to graphic design. So you are not alone in this.

We embed our ads into the shows. They're not, they're not added later. They're part of the shows. In fact, often they're such a part of our shows that our other hosts will chime in on the ads saying, yeah, I love that. Or just the other day, <laugh>, one of our hosts said, man, I really gotta buy that <laugh>. That's an additional benefit to you because you're hearing people, our audience trusts saying, yeah, that sounds great. We deliver always overdeliver on impressions. So you know, you're gonna get the impressions you expect. The ads are unique every time. We don't pre-record them and roll them in. We are genuinely doing those ads in the middle of the show. We'll give you great onboarding services, ad tech with pod sites that's free for direct clients. Gives you a lot of reporting, gives you a great idea of how well your ads are working.

You'll get courtesy commercials. You actually can take our ads and share them across social media and landing pages. That really extends the reach. There are other free goodies too, including mentions in our weekly newsletter that sent the thousands of fans, engaged fans who really wanna see this stuff. We give you bonus ads and social media promotion too. So if you wAnt to be a long-term partner, introduce your product to a savvy engaged tech audience, visit twit tv slash advertise. Check out those testimonials. Mark McCreary is the c e o of authentic. You probably know him one of the biggest original podcast advertising companies. We've been with him for 16 years. Mark said the feedback from many advertisers over 16 years across a range of product categories, everything from razors to computers, is that if ads and podcasts are gonna work for a brand, they're gonna work on Twitch shows.

I'm very proud of what we do because it's honest. It's got integrity, it's authentic, and it really is a great introduction to our audience of your brand. Our listeners are smart, they're engaged, they're tech savvy. They're dedicated to our network. And that's one of the reasons we only work with high integrity partners that we've personally and thoroughly vetted. I have absolute approval on everybody. If you've got a great product, I wAnt to hear from you. Elevate your brand by reaching out Break out of the advertising norm. Grow your brand with host Red ads on Visit for more details. Or you can email us, if you're ready to launch your campaign. Now, I can't wait to see your product, so give us a ring. Google Messages is finally acknowledging its heritage and just saying, look, it's an R RRCs message. <Laugh>, they used to be me every product every six months.

Cathy Gellis (02:12:07):
So, yeah, no, I I I I wAnt to, I wAnt to spur this. This was terrible. This was an auto update that like, oh, update your text message. I like to keep my apps updated cuz they're gonna be more secure. And all of a sudden without me knowing or realizing the notification icon for text messages has changed. Yes. It's no longer the one I recognize. No, it is now something else. And the something else looks exactly like what it looks like When I get a Twitter message, I no longer can tell when I have a Aex or I have an Elon Musk notification that got rammed down my throat. This is a terrible state of affairs. Everything is terrible. What are the tech companies doing?

Leo Laporte (02:12:43):
You got her outta her bubble. You blew it. Waffle. Oh, Leo screwed it up. They now call it rcs chat instead of just Google Chat. So you'll know that you're getting rich text messages. Okay.

Cathy Gellis (02:13:00):
That's not the icon to use. I changing the icon on the app is a terrible idea from a usability perspective anyway. Right. And to change it to something that looks awfully close to the notification icon of another major messaging service is a really dumb idea. And it's not that I think that trademark lawsuits should be let loose and to fly, whatever. But I don't know if I completely feel like if Ilan wAnts to pick a fight that I would necessarily disagree with this one.

Leo Laporte (02:13:25):
Wow. This is the most exciting change log we've ever had. Yeah. Geez, <laugh>. Yes. You

Cathy Gellis (02:13:30):
Showed me the icon and I just saw Red

Leo Laporte (02:13:33):
<Laugh> Cathy fired up. Let's see how she feels about this. Google has finally decided to unite tasks and reminders. They'll automatically migrate reminders created in the Google AssistAnt and calendar apps all into Google Tasks. One task. Who uses either of those to rule them all? I know. I know. Yeah. I actually used to. Yeah.

Cathy Gellis (02:13:56):
I mean, as long as this remains irrelevAnt to my interest, I don't care. Oh, good. It's, if it gets rammed down my throat and becomes relevAnt to my interest, then I'm going to care. Here's when and it's not gonna be a happy

Leo Laporte (02:14:06):
Carry. Here's when you will not care about cro. But my but Jeff might Chromo S one 10 is rolling out with Super resolution audio select to speak channel label labels and more [inaudible] I actually have the new Acer Chromebook, which is ironically designed for gaming. Jeff and I will be reviewing it and giving it a demo on Sunday. On, I'll ask the tech guys. The one I wonder about. It's nice. Is the, is the HP blah chrome? Pro. Okay. There's a new HP high level dragonfly Pro Chromebook. Ooh, dragon flies. Those are nice. Yeah. I like the dragon. My, my Google Pixel book go. Cause only the one that they replaced it with broke once is only a year old. The microphone just died. Ugh. Ugh. Which makes the perfect machine you'd like me to do for this podcast. So you can't ever hear me <laugh>.

This is nice. It's light. 13 and a half inch screen. Oh, 1200. This is five. This is the dragonfly. It's ridiculous. There's a new one coming out that's the Dragonfly Pro that's gonna cost more than $1,255. Gonna cost less, bro. Grimy is too much. That's too much. No, don't pay that much for a Chromebook. No, I know, I know. I'd say the Acer, which is about 600 bucks, is all even then feels a little tinny and cheesy. And what, what's the model? What, what is it? You're, I don't remember the exact model, but it's their gaming Chromebook. Which is funny. Yeah. Which is hysterical. But the idea is it has a, it can get up to an I five in it, but mo mostly, I mean, really the whole point these days is to stream games through services like Xbox game Pass. And see, Google should start a service to do that. Gee. Yeah. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, you can, you can get a 2020 M one MacBook Pro for 1200 and it runs Windows. Yes, it does. Oh, that's right. The two things I don't wAnt. Yeah. <laugh>. It's the Chromebook five 16 ge. And it has, you know, it's for gaming because the a s df keys are specially highlighted. It's really silly. Oh, of course. It's really wild.

Cathy Gellis (02:16:22):
And I feel like they should just finish spelling my name. They shouldn't just start and then two letters. They should keep going.

Leo Laporte (02:16:27):
G E L L i s The Chromebook five 16 galles. Now we're talking. No, now we're talking. It's like g4. I actually have a GForce now subscription. So I will, I will up it to the 120 Hertz version. That's the big thing, right? 120 hertz screen. You know what, if you could play great games on it, why the heck not? Have you played ment? I have. People are really excited about that. Mostly cuz it looks like a medieval book. <Laugh>. Yeah. Which is not what normally people are looking for in a video game. But yeah, I mean, it's kind of cool. It's kind of my period. Guttenberg. It's guttenberg. You wanna see a little bit of it? Sure. Here is a Sure. Here's a, a YouTube video. Watch out Blood Gore sexual theme in sex. Okay. In strong language and fonts too. In smoking from obsidian <laugh>.

This is all off your alley, Jeff. Oh, it sure is. We the monks in this scriptorium Look. Go run. Go find people. Have an expensive gaming ring. Johan has invented printing pie. <Laugh>. Look at that. He's hitting it with a round mallet. Oh. Oh no. Poaches said Glu gore. Holy. Didn't say watch. I will begin by inspecting his hummus. Good Lord. They're burning witches. Where is Miss Brianna? Woo. On this one. There's make out sessions in the, with nuns library with nuns. What are you doing? They're relate. Really? They really sexing it up, aren't they? <Laugh> Kaba. So it's the name of the Rose as a video game, basically. Okay. Got it. All right. Thank you. This is a horrible show pen. Yeah. Back to the Google change law. Finally, I found a game that that attracts me. And that's a horrible game. I'm gonna spend thousands of dollars for a rig to, to, to play beautiful games. It's no cuphead. I'll tell you that right now. Goo Google weather. You'll be thrilled about this. Jeff gets an accidental dark theme, but it's an accident via Android system. Webview update. It's always an accident. <Laugh> Dark is always an accident. <Laugh>. Well,

Cathy Gellis (02:19:02):
That's a dark pattern.

Leo Laporte (02:19:03):
Yeah. Dark pattern. Look at that. That looks great. I have, my weather is dark. I like dark weather. I don't wAnt, I don't wAnt my eyes to be hurt by a bright W light in my eyes. I don't understand why you do Jeff Sunlight. No. <laugh> Deep.

Cathy Gellis (02:19:23):
The vampire demographic of the

Leo Laporte (02:19:25):
Show is, yeah, I like it. Dark man. Google Chrome's latest version includes tools to address its memory, hog problem, memory saver and energy saver Modes now available on Chrome. Chrome one 10. It's always been the case on the Mac that the Chrome has just been a pig. I guess it's true elsewhere. It just sleeps the tabs mainly. Okay. That's the biggest it now. Snoozes Chrome tabs that aren't currently in use. Energy Saver. Similar limits. Any unnecessary background website activity such as visual effects, like smooth scrolling on animations or videos. In other words, it looks like crap, but hey, your battery's gonna survive. And that's the cool change lock.

What, what are you looking to be for <laugh>? All right. Kids. <laugh>, real quickly before the picks of the week, I just wanna plug, I, we mentioned times are unlike s sunglasses. Look at that. You got the Tom Cruise. You get stand daylight. Yeah. Look at that. He's, he's always dark mode going on here, so I gotta protect my eyes. Is it your Joe Biden in imitation? Dan <laugh>? No Sir. <Laugh>. He doesn't have an ice cream cone <laugh>? No. our club is helmed by this good looking fellow over here. Mr. Ann Pruit. He is our community manager. Does a great job of making it fun. It is, it is fun in so many ways. First of all, it originally was designed for ad-free versions of all of our shows. And you still get that. And, and you also get shows that we, you don't put out anywhere else, like Hands on Macintosh with Micah and Paul Thots hands-on Windows.

You get the Untitled Lennox Show. So there's a lot of extra content. If we do launch new shows, they're gonna launch in the club first. In fact, we're talking about this week in AI or something like that. That would be in the club first. Ooh, ooh, Ooh. You like that idea? Ooh. Yeah. Oh, you wanna be on that one with B Jess? Yeah. Can I play? Sure. Can I play? Yeah. Yeah. I, you know, I wanna find somebody who's a, like a great AI expert in there. Well, you know, I sent somebody to you and Jason. Oh, okay. A young woman. Oh yes. Really, really interesting. She'd be great. I saw that. That's right. Thank you for reminding me. Isn't she? She's really good at explaining. She's very straightforward. That's what I need. She's young. You know, balance us out. Us old guys. Yeah. We need another show where it's too old guys and a young woman. Do we really need that in the world? <Laugh>? Aren't there enough shows like that?

Anyway, if you join the club, you might get to hear that show. You certainly get to hear stuff you don't hear anywhere else. You also get the Twit plus feed, which is all sorts of stuff that we don't put out as a regular podcast. But the best part, I think is the Discord. I love the Twit Plot plus Discord because it's, it's actually the bestest social community ever. Of course. And it's meme, meme. But of course you know, the original part was just kind of like our chat room. It's all the shows have their own chat going on. This is the, This Week in Google Chat, but <laugh>, but we also have events. Sam Abels Sam coming up in a couple of weeks. Stacey's book Club. Victor Bach. Not, and you've just added Oh wow. Alex Wilhelm is gonna do a chat May 11th. Good.

Get, I love Alex. He's been a little busy. If you all, he had a new baby. I'm excited. Get, get his get Liz on as well with him. That'd be great. I'll look forward to that. May 11th. So we do events. We have discussions, not just about the shows, but I mean, there are sections in the Discord for every possible geek topic under the sun, beer, wine, cocktails, autos coating and comics and gaming and hacking and ham radio and pets and sci-fi. And so <laugh>, you get to <laugh>, you get to do that. And, and all of this, all of this. Goodness. For less than seven bucks a month. Well, not a, not less actually. Exactly. Seven, seven bucks a month. We, you know what? I, I admire inflation. It'll actually be less, less, less than a blue chip. I admire Lisa cuz she, you know, I said, well, should we make a 6 99?

She says, come on, seven bucks a month. Seven bucks, not 6 99. So yeah. But with inflation, it's, it's, it's less <laugh>. Anyway, please join the club. It helps us out. Is the best way going forward. And I promise, unlike npr, we're not gonna come down on your copyrights or anything like that. We are, we are, we are here to support open r s s supported podcasting. And and unfortunately, the world is not exactly beating a path to our door. You can help if you listen to the shows, if you like the shows or you wanna keep 'em on the air twit tv slash Club TWiT. Thank you very much. Cathy. You don't normally have to do anything on this show. You've already done more than enough. Yes. But I do like your picks. Every time you give us a pick, it's wacky.

Cathy Gellis (02:24:32):
Did I do this one before? No. I like, this is new. I must have been a dream because I thought I did, but I was discussing it before and we couldn't find any record of it, so, no. Yeah, it's okay. It'll happen. Now.

Leo Laporte (02:24:46):
This is an Italian <laugh> what detectives show.

Cathy Gellis (02:24:51):
Yeah. so the only streaming network that I've happily subscribed to is a network called M H Z. And what they did and there's some history about it, is they find TV shows that are popular around the world. Oh. And they dubbed them. And then I found them originally because they used to be broadcast on K C S M, locally, one of the local public broadcasting stations. Yeah. And they used to have Monday morning, Monday evening mystery night, and they were showing some of these programs that they picked up from around the world that they had dubbed. And one of them that was really popular is the Inspector Mon Bono Mysteries. And it's about a Sicilian police detective. And it's based on books that, there's a guy who I think started writing his mysteries series in his eighties, and he's just churned them out like one a year. And so for 20 years they've been making a television production of the Inspector Monto Bono Mysteries. Against it is, oh, the woman in Live way, they portray woman. It's, it ist all that great, but it's, it's Italian.

Leo Laporte (02:25:58):
What do

Cathy Gellis (02:25:58):
You wAnt? It's Italian, whatever. But the male characters are extremely well cast, extremely well acted. The, the plots are interesting enough, but the characters are so personable that you just really warm to them. So I started watching it years and years ago, like 15 years ago. And the show's been made since the late nineties and still with making them up through 2020 at least. And I binged it recently. And it was a good binge. And it was just, it's a, there's a, it's actually novels. So some people are fans of the novels, but the television production is is really interesting. And it's it's Italian and it's just nice to sort of like, watch the foreign television and just get some insight into the way, you know, if people in those countries are turning on their TV and settling in and watching something, it's nice to kind of see what they're settling into.

Leo Laporte (02:26:46):
Do you prefer it with subtitles or dubbed

Cathy Gellis (02:26:49):
Subtitles? Yeah. 

Leo Laporte (02:26:50):
Dubbing is always terrible. Terribly. Yeah. So it's always terrible. You don't get

Cathy Gellis (02:26:54):
Good. I mean, sometimes it can be good. Like, I remember seeing some documentaries about how some of the major motion pictures when I was living in France and the way they dug them for France, like it was as much part of the production Yeah. To get the casting right. Right. The dialogue. Right. There's w synchronization Right. To do it. Yeah. Right. So you can do it well, but, and you can do it well where the, the voice acting has as much authority for the character acting as the original person. But in general, like that takes a lot of money. It doesn't normally happen. I'd rather read it. And also sort of, especially if I slightly know the language, it kind of gives me some clues about what changed in the translation and what might have been lost or what might have been gained. Especially like there, the M H Z networks also does stuff in French, and my French is better than I think. And it's kind of interesting to sort of hear what they're saying and read what the translation is and figure out what the disconnects are. And also it help my French to talk me some

Leo Laporte (02:27:53):
Stuff. Yeah. Good way to learn a language, really. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, there's 37 episodes of [inaudible] so there's plenty to watch. I'm gonna, I've never heard of M hc. I'm gonna check it out. That's cool. Yep. That's cool. M MHz

Cathy Gellis (02:28:11):
Like M MHz seems to be sort of apparent initiative of which a variety of sub initiatives happened. But I think M MHz networks is the the streaming channel. But it's unique content, whereas for something else where, you know, everybody's competing for which back catalog of American programming. Right. Everybody's got, but this is stuff that like you wouldn't normally see somebody went out and did it, and their translations are excellent. Like actually for Monto bono, there's points where there's one character who's, who has actually, I don't know the word I'm a, which is very ironic right now, malapropisms Malaprops where you, okay. And he gets things very wrong all the time. And the translations are brilliAnt <laugh> because he's getting it wrong in Italian. But the way it's getting translated, he's now getting it wrong in English in a way that actually makes sense connected to the error he made. It's not a word for word matchup, but it gets like the gist of it. And that's, that's how you do translations, where you really capture the gist and and you make it, you make it work. So yes, quality production.

Leo Laporte (02:29:14):
And I think Jeff will appreciate this. There's Italian food. Yeah. Oh, yes.

Cathy Gellis (02:29:19):
And, and so Monto Bono's favorite food is what do you call it? A the

Leo Laporte (02:29:25):
Fried rice bowl. I love those. Yeah. But this looks even better. This looks so good. Yeah. Oh my God. Oh my God.

Cathy Gellis (02:29:35):
And he has a housekeeper who Adelina who who cooks for him and leaves him behind that. So

Leo Laporte (02:29:41):
It's totally sexist. But the food's good.

Cathy Gellis (02:29:44):
The totally sexist, the food's good. It's charming. And I don't know. It's, it's a good entertainment and it's something you're not gonna bump into. Normally

Leo Laporte (02:29:52):
Alina makes the pasta that they're, they're eating. And now I I I wAnt both. Oh, here's a recipe. Love this. Look at that. You can look it yourself. That's cool. I'm, I might make this and we're gonna have a a a a wa a viewing session. We'll invite some people over, actually subscribe to Brit Box for the same reason. Cause I, it gives you at least a little variety. This looks even better. I can't wait. I'm gonna do this right now. Thank you Mr. Jeff Jarvis, do you have a number? Well, we can do little, little u r l moment since the, the Supreme Court knew how to spell it. If you go to now guess where it redirects? Where One guess Apple Google. Nope. Let me go there. Don't say it. Well not quite. Ai.Com and please stand by.

Oh no. Welcome to chat. G P t. Oh boy. A reported possible 10 million purchase for that url, but it was 10 million buckoo. But they got url, they've had got Elon Musk money and now Microsoft. Dang. Yeah. Wow. So that's one url. The other url interesting. I ran across an angry post this week. Yeah. That said never use URL shortening. Oh. And you see why, because Guardian used to be the original brand for Guardian was Guardian Unlimited and they used as their shortening. Right. Well now, cuz those two letter URLs can sell for a lot of money. Guardian is reportedly looking to sell for two and a half million dollars Oh, don't, well all of those links that existed in the past has shortened Bye-bye. Yeah, that is a problem. There's a, also the problem of it can hide malware cause you don't see the actual url. And so URL shorten, I stupidly with, with what Google do. I said for the footnotes, do we have to have these long URLs? Why don't we just shorten 'em? And somebody said, no, no, no, no. Cause they can change. Good. So good. Yeah.

Cathy Gellis (02:31:53):
So the one time I like the shortened ones is when I'm, especially for the ones that are kind of long garbage, because I use U URLs and briefs mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, it's kind of nice to have a cleaner version where the court can get to it without me taking up all the characters for something that's kind of illegible. But I mean, if you're selling the thing, couldn't you sell it with an encumbered transfer where you have to keep a database of the, of the url?

Leo Laporte (02:32:19):
What, you know, honestly, since The Guardian is digital. Right. Is there a print version? No. Of The Guardian? Yeah. Oh yes. But did they use the shortened URLs in the print version? You can't fix those. I don't know. Well, it's not, yeah, I don't know. You could if certainly on every page on the internet that the Guardian uses gu, you could fix that permanently. Okay. That wouldn't be a big deal. That's a simple thing to do. Hmm. But the print version, yeah. You're stuck if you use them in the print version. Yeah. Yep. Mr. Ant Pruitt, what's your pick this week? My pick I've spoken about these folks before, but Boris Effects and Particle Illusion has just recently, recently, like maybe two weeks ago, updated their particle illusion. Is this how you did the Oral Panic? Yeah, yeah, sure is.

Oh, you can use this app to make particles like what they just showed there on the screen. Yeah. you can use it in conjunction with video editors such as Premier and Resolve and Final Cut and so forth. But the standalone version, like what was here is free the plugins. You have to pay for that. But the standalone works really good by itself. Oh, that's cool. And they also have a tutorial service to get you started for free on YouTube. So I'll link to that cuz I think it's a pretty good deal for the stuff that you can create with it for free. Well this used to be a very expensive flame box that TV stations would use and have to hire a very expensive artist and all of that stuff. And it's gotten much, it's amazing. You put on the desktop and do it yourself now for free.

That's for free. That's incredible. You know, Boris fx, you tried to make it a little bit more efficient and stuff for, you know, for people that don't have superpower for computers, it's just should run better. Nice. With the latest updates. E O R I s particle illusion. And they have a free tutorial too. Yep. That's on I think it's through their YouTube channel. And it's, it's pretty nice. It's pretty straightforward and, and start out very basic because if you, if you're brand new to it, you don't know what the heck you're looking at on the screen and they slow it down. I, I dig it. Are you gonna buy this Habu for your New Mac Mini? Are you getting a Mac Mini <laugh>? Well, I'm not getting a Mac mini. I now have a Mac Mini. Yay. I have Congratulations. I have the M two M two Pro.

 That's what I'm using right now. Oh yeah. In the show actually. Oh, nice. And you do look extra good. <Laugh>. So really the Mac made the difference coming. No, I'm tea. Nice try. You look exactly the same. It's the camera. It's the camera. Nice try. Yeah. But no, I I was, remember we've spoken off offline last week or week before about Heaven Docs and so forth because Apple just don't put any DAG on ports on that right thing. So I was looking at the MAC studio to begin with, but it's expensive and just, I, I just couldn't afford it. And I ended up with the MT. Pro because a efficiency standpoint, it seemed like it was neck and neck with the studio. So I said I'd tried and just find a dock and this little dock here that some China branded dock, it's, it's pretty legit because I can add a S S D on the, on the inside of it.

I was wondering what the inside was for. Oh, you put an SSD in there. Yeah. Oh. And you get an extra bit of storage, plus you get your card reader that the Mac Mini does not have because you need an SD card reader most of the time and you get the additional ports. They also have a, another version out there that supports M two drives as well. Ooh, nice. So there, there are some options out there and I was able to save a little bit of money going this route versus going out to get the studio. Yeah, no kidding. And then I also found this other doc from my c e s days. This was in a swag box and it's, I think it's from Tarus or what have you. Yeah, it's a tarus dock that gives, gives me a couple more USB ports, but also gives me display port and stuff like that.

I'm just like, huh, well I can just use this for the USB stuff. Nice. So I'm gonna show a dock. You got me thinking about docs. I ordered a, a dock that doubles as a monitor stand for my Mac mini here and I'm gonna show that I saw something like that and it looked legit too. Yeah. I'll show that on as the tech guys next week. But this is the Habu, which is obviously a made up Chinese name. H it sounds a little bit too much like a got a Sheep guts dinner. <Laugh> Habas. There's that and there's a Eshi. There's another one's pretty much. Oh tech's. Real tech's legit. I they've been around for a long time. Yeah. Okay. So this is Hovis <laugh> Hauss always takes user experience as the main theme follows the humanized design concept adheres to the concept of quality first and improves the quality of life for global consumers.

So, you know, it's gotta be good. It is only 74 bucks. I think that's a good price price. USB 3.2, gen two. So that's it's not Thunderbolt, but that's why it's not thunder. Five bucks, but it's fast enough. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Absolutely. Very cool. Thank you. Yeah, I wanna do a segment with you all on ACETech guys, cuz I, I definitely have some thoughts on this transition from when to, I think that's a great idea. When do you wanna do that? Wanna do it next week or the week after? <Laugh>. Give yourself some time. Yeah. Oh, I have thoughts. <Laugh>. I have thoughts. <Laugh>. He's already full of 'em. All right. Oh boy. Good. <laugh>. Well, I'm gonna let you settle in a little bit before, you know, let let the steam come off a little bit before I before we make you talk about it.

But yeah, you could do it this week or next week. Yeah. Every Sunday Mike and I answer tech questions and it's a, it's really our podcast version of the old radio show called Ask the Tech Guys, Sundays from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM Pacific, which is 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM Eastern right before this weekend Tech. And coming soon, Ant Pruitt <laugh> <laugh> switching from Windows to Mac. That's a big deal, Ant. That's a big deal. Yeah. I'd love to hear your experience in your face. Boy. I know Now <laugh> Oh, you regret it. You regret it. No, I don't regret it. You'll get used to it. I, I, I wAnted a machine that's just gonna be peppy enough, you know? Is it peppy enough? It's definitely peppy enough. All right. That's good. Ant Pruit o and Ant for his wonderful prince, a n t p r u i t t. Thank you Ant. Thank you. Jeff Jarvis, town Night professor of journalism at the Craig Newmark Woohoo graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York. Buzz Bitly, b i t That's a U URL shortener. I'm sorry, but I don't think it's gonna change for a while. Yeah, no, it's bt ly slash by Gutenberg for his new book, which comes out soon. Couple months, right? June. June, yeah. Awesome. Anybody else is coming out in June? Supreme Court decision on <laugh>, it's Gonzalez for his Google. I am so glad they presumably,

Cathy Gellis (02:39:37):

Leo Laporte (02:39:37):
Never know. Who knows? I would, it would be hysterical if they in a couple of days go, you know, nevermind <laugh>. That would be very funny.

Cathy Gellis (02:39:45):
You never know.

Leo Laporte (02:39:46):
You never know. But thank God we had Cathy Gellis here to explain it all. You are exactly who I was hoping we could get today, and you did not disappoint. Fantastic. Ah, yes. She writes a Tec dirt. She's living in a temporary wonderful rainbow bubble of delight after yesterday's oral arguments. We don't wanna pop that one

Cathy Gellis (02:40:08):
<Laugh>. That might be slightly overstating the, the, the little bit of like sleep deprived afterglow. But

Leo Laporte (02:40:16):
She can't believe who she likes now.

Cathy Gellis (02:40:19):
Oh my God, she's, she understood the things that matter to me. I'm really Gerald. I love you Brett.

Leo Laporte (02:40:26):
I love you. My Abaco cg, he's a friend of my friend CG C O U N S E L. Don't worry, she's not gonna talk up. Brett Kavanaugh, you call you'll also find her. She's, she's deprecating. I'm ha proud, proud of her, deprecating her Twitter as one does and is now on the Mastodon at Cathy Gellis. And I'm gonna show you exactly what you do. If you're on twit social, you just type in at Cathy g e l l i s. Hit return. There she is. You can tell it's her and your mom already following you. Look at that.

Cathy Gellis (02:41:05):
No. Oh, that's very

Leo Laporte (02:41:07):
Nice. Yeah, there she is. So make sure you follow on Mastin on because we wanna make sure Cathy sticks around cuz she's a big boom to the community. Really appreciate you coming on the show. Thank you so much.

Cathy Gellis (02:41:20):
Thanks for having me. Yeah.

Leo Laporte (02:41:21):
Thank you all for being here. We do TWiG every Wednesday afternoon round about two Pacific, 5:00 PM Eastern 2200 U T C. You can watch us do it live if you wAnt the freshest If you're watching Live Chat Live, the IRC is open to all We also have a lovely discord for our Club TWiT members. We thank our Club TWiT members for their support. You can join that and get on in there and see all the fun. You will not be disappointed. You can also get copies of the show on the website, TWI tv slash TWiG. As soon as we're done editing it takes us a little while, a couple hours or subscribe in your favorite podcast player and you'll get it that way automatically. You won't have to even think about it. You'll just have it ready to listen to whenever you're in the mood for This Week in Google.

It also works, by the way, I don't mention this enough, but if you have an Amazon Echo or a Google Voice assistAnt, you know, you can ask them. In most cases it's sufficient to say play This Week in Google. You might have to qualify it by saying on YouTube or something like that, or tune in. But generally you could just say for all of our shows play This Week in Google, you can even say, in some cases play Twit Live and you can actually listen to the live stream which goes 24 7 on your device. We have a YouTube channel dedicated to TWiG Or actually I think it's slash This Week in Google. So that's another way to watch. There's plenty of ways to get us. I hope you will. And I hope you'll get us next week cuz we'll have more. Will Stacy be back next week? I don't know. That's my note. Okay, we'll see Stacy back next week. We'll see you too, I hope on this weekend. Google. Bye-bye. Bye bye. If you love all things Android, well I've got a show for you to check out. It's called All About Android, and I'll give you three guesses. What we talk about, we talk about Android, the latest news, hardware, apps, we answer feedback. It's me, Jason Howell, Ron Richards win to Dow, and a whole cast of awesome characters talking about the operating system that we love. You can find all about Android at

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