This Week in Google 735, Transcript

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

Jason Howell (00:00:00):
Coming up on this week in Google. It's me, Jason Howell filling in for Leo LaPorte. We've got Jeff Jarvis, aunt Pruitt and our guest, Mike Elgin joining from Marrakesh. We have a lot of fun on this episode, so many great stories. It's Google's 25th birthday, so we've got the good stuff that Google's remembered for, and then we talk a little bit about the bad stuff that Google's been remembered for, namely killing products. Speaking of products, we've got the Pixel event next week, in fact, before next week's episode, it happens in the morning, so you've got that [00:00:30] to look forward to. We've got a little bit of a preview on what you can expect there. Meta had some announcements around VR and ar and specifically Mike Elgin is really excited about the new Ray bands. It's like an augmented reality kind of glasses thing, product. I dunno, maybe they can do it better than what Snap did with its spectacles. Antitrust trials of plenty. Of course, Google, which we've talked about, but also Amazon now in the crosshairs and Tinder's best matches now [00:01:00] behind a $500 pay. Wow, a paywall per month, by the way. All that and so much more. Coming up next on this week in Google

Speaker 2 (00:01:10):
Podcasts you love from people you trust this, this is TWiT.

Jason Howell (00:01:21):
This is Twig this week in Google, episode 735 recorded Wednesday, September 27th, 2023 outside [00:01:30] of the Nerdery. This episode of this week in Google is brought to you by discourse. The online home for your community discourse makes it easy to have meaningful conversations and collaborate anytime anywhere. Visit to get one month free on all self-serve plans and by bit Warden, get the open source password manager that can help you stay safe online, get started with a free teams or enterprise [00:02:00] plan trial, or get started for free across all devices as an individual user at bit

It's time for this week in Google. I'm Jason Howell. I almost said this week in tech because who the heck knows why? Sometimes it's easy to get confused around here, at least it is for me. I'm filling in for Leo LaPorte. Maybe that's part of the reason for my confusion. Maybe I feel like I'm not myself and I'm Leo today. We'll see how that plays out [00:02:30] throughout the course of this episode. Always good to be here and good to welcome back. Jeff Jarvis. How you doing, Jeff?

Jeff Jarvis (00:02:36):
Hey, I just did a search on social media looking for some cheese porn from Leo and Lisa, and I'm disappointed to find none because they are in Green Bay. Is tonight the game? No, tomorrow night is the big game. Don't ask me. Ask Ant. Yeah, he knows better. That's right. Ant Pruitt would know the answer to this and yes, I mean I already kind of know this, but you can go ahead and confirm. Ant Tomorrow is the big game.

Ant Pruitt (00:03:00):
[00:03:00] Yes, yes. Tomorrow is the game. It's a Thursday night football, the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions. It's Detroit

Jason Howell (00:03:09):

Ant Pruitt (00:03:10):
Big day.

Jason Howell (00:03:11):
Is that a big That's a big division.

Ant Pruitt (00:03:14):
Divisional rival. Yeah. Yes, divisional rival. So it's, we call it a good old fashioned hate fest, even though I know we're not supposed to say that, but

Jason Howell (00:03:26):
Oh, but they are there. Lisa, Leo [00:03:30] and Michael, who is the big time Green Bay fan. Apparently

Ant Pruitt (00:03:38):
He ran into Aaron Jones. Right. That's awesome. Ran into

Jeff Jarvis (00:03:43):

Jason Howell (00:03:44):
Oh no. Big deal.

Ant Pruitt (00:03:45):
Ran into one of the players. That's awesome. Michael,

Jason Howell (00:03:49):
That's, sorry. So he's having a great time. Michael's having a great time in Green Bay right now and the main event hasn't even started yet. The game is tomorrow, so he's got a lot to look forward to. [00:04:00] Very cool trip. So we've all been kind of filling in for Leo while they've been gone and you were on security now yesterday I'm filling in, of course here on this weekend, Google and Micah on Windows Weekly.

Ant Pruitt (00:04:13):
I played the much richer tone voice and better looking version of Leo La Porto security now.

Jason Howell (00:04:18):
There you go. You did a fantastic job. I have to say,

Jeff Jarvis (00:04:21):
Speaking of cool trips, cool places to go. Oh my Lord.

Jason Howell (00:04:25):
Indeed, indeed. Welcoming back. Mike Elgin. Good to have you back, sir.

Mike Elgan (00:04:30):
[00:04:30] Yes, great to be back. Thank you very much. You have Ant there as the expert in football. Me, an expert in cheese porn, so I know it when I see it. Let's just say that I know cheese porn.

Jason Howell (00:04:44):
So Mike,

Jeff Jarvis (00:04:45):
I was just thinking when you get back from these incredible gastro nomad trips and a month in Marrakesh and you're eating amazing things because your wife knows everything about food and it's just phenomenal. What is your guilty secret junk food [00:05:00] back in the States?

Mike Elgan (00:05:02):
Super Duper Burger. Okay. And it's a Burger Bay area, burger Fest, but I also, when we're in the us, we're at one of my son's house, so I have two sons. They both live on the west coast. One is in Silicon Valley. He also has a daughter, my granddaughter, and so we tend to gravitate there. We want to see granddaughter and the granddaughter and I tend to make pizza, we make bread, we do all this stuff together. So that's the other thing is carb loading [00:05:30] with homemade bread.

Jason Howell (00:05:31):
There you go.

Jeff Jarvis (00:05:34):
You make the pizza. No, no. If you'd said that, you go out

Jason Howell (00:05:37):
To pizza box. I caught that too, Jeff, by the way. It was like, well, that's an answer. I'd have more

Jeff Jarvis (00:05:42):
Respect for you, Mike. I would. No, no.

Mike Elgan (00:05:46):
All I got is the super duper. That's all I got.

Jason Howell (00:05:49):
That's a good one to have. I mean if you want to pick one. Yeah, super Duper doesn't get much better than their burgers. They do a pretty darn good cheeseburger.

Mike Elgan (00:05:57):
It's extremely greasy. They have [00:06:00] good beer as well.

Jason Howell (00:06:01):
It's full tilts, like greasy hamburger cheeseburger. If you're really in the mood for something like that, you will not be disappointed. And you can get a container of pickles, which is really nice as well. Like a side thick pickles.

Mike Elgan (00:06:13):
Bottoms pickles

Jason Howell (00:06:14):
If you like those things. I love pickles personally. Should we start with the good news? Happy 25th Birthday, Google, 25 years ago. It's actually today, I think today is the

Jeff Jarvis (00:06:27):
Day today they're celebrating.

Jason Howell (00:06:29):
Yeah, they're Celebr [00:06:30] is the day big big time day. So

Jeff Jarvis (00:06:33):
They have a special logo up there and Easter eggs, which I haven't bothered to go look hunting for, but yes, this is a big day. It's a really big day. 25 years of Google is a big deal. It's had an incredible impact on the world and I salute them for that.

Mike Elgan (00:06:54):
And with it, the invention of page rank, which Larry Page invented, which [00:07:00] heck, I remember when Ulta Vista was the hot search engine and they blew everybody away and they also did a lot of innovation in the data center realm when they were first launching. Really interestingly, instead of having big powerful, expensive servers, they instead got a large number of flawed underpowered, old PCs, whatever, and then they had software that could sort of route around all the hardware, [00:07:30] the hard drive defects and all the other problems to have a cohesive, redundant data set that was very fast and low cost. So the innovation wasn't just in finding stuff, it was in running a low cost high performance data center. So

Jeff Jarvis (00:07:47):
Mike, to your first point, as I wrote in, what would Google do I have all my books handy to hold up

Mike Elgan (00:07:53):
That book right there, Jeff. Is that the book? What will Google Do by Jeff Travis? That was the

Jeff Jarvis (00:07:57):
Book way back. Okay. [00:08:00] Page rank also meant that they were respecting the actions and judgments of the public, right? Yes. The more people linked to this, they must have linked to it for a reason. More people linked to this person who linked to it. Well, they must have linked to that person for a reason and it all got changed obviously as people manipulated this and they had to hire people like Matt Cutz to stop the manipulation. But that essential assumption of [00:08:30] the value of citation, which comes from an academic world, I think was a kind of wonderfully democratic view of the early internet. Rather than thinking like Yahoo did, we're going to hire a bunch of librarians to catalog the entire web and make judgment about it, which is

Mike Elgan (00:08:48):

Jason Howell (00:08:48):
It's kind of old school versus new school. Thinking back then, the idea that Yahoo would stick with the tried and tested, at least in the current paradigm of [00:09:00] we'll just hire a bunch of people to make their assessments and Google was like, well, why do you need to do that? We've got technology that can make those assessments for us and do it at a scale that we've never seen before.

Jeff Jarvis (00:09:12):
Remember when people used to think the website was broken, go to and they're like, where is it? Where is everything? I just watched a Today show report on the 25th and it was kind of, I didn't put it up, it was fluffy and dumb, but there was one [00:09:30] person who worked for Google very early on in the first year who said, people got scared by the empty box. What do I do? Which is very reminiscent of where they are today with chat G p T's. True. That's really good.

Jason Howell (00:09:42):
Yeah. Kind of correlation there. You know what, I remember

Jeff Jarvis (00:09:45):
A friend of mine had a little baby and I was scared of babies and I'd hold the baby and I'd say, well, what do you want me to do?

Jason Howell (00:09:50):
What do I do now thing? Don't drop it. First rule of holding a baby, don't drop it. I didn't know this, of course you guys all [00:10:00] knew this, but I didn't realize this. Or maybe I've heard it at some point and it just didn't stick. I didn't know that it was originally called Back Rub. Google was originally called Back Rub. That's an factoid

Jeff Jarvis (00:10:10):
For me. The business originally on the start was a pizza delivery business.

Jason Howell (00:10:17):

Jeff Jarvis (00:10:17):

Jason Howell (00:10:19):

Jeff Jarvis (00:10:19):
Come way, wasn't it? Page rank was originally called Back Rub, or was it Google itself?

Jason Howell (00:10:25):
95 96 at least according to this Reuters kind of breakdown of notable moments, [00:10:30] the very first one they list there is 95, 96 page and Bryn meet at Stanford University and create a search engine called or named Back Rub, I dunno, maybe they named that later. Back Rub became like a, it

Jeff Jarvis (00:10:42):
Kind of makes sense. Terrible name back rub would be a metaphor though for page rank early on before they came up with a proper Larry Page joke.

Jason Howell (00:10:51):

Jeff Jarvis (00:10:51):
Right. Wow. Yeah, it sounds like a metaphor for swapping links. Yes, totally. Right, totally. [00:11:00] I'll rub your back if you rub mine, but that also gets, yeah,

Jason Howell (00:11:03):
That just kind of reminds me back then you had the, not the Link Farms, but were the, they were like networks, they were like

Jeff Jarvis (00:11:11):

Jason Howell (00:11:12):
Networks or whatever where you'd go to a site and it would have the little badge down there as like member of blah blah blah and they were all kind of linking to each other.

Jeff Jarvis (00:11:21):
Chatroom. Chatroom. I don't remember that. Oh God. Because you're too young. You're too young. Yeah. I'm sure you saw what they call them. Yeah, what were called. [00:11:30] That was the early sense of a network in blogging. We did blog rolls. Yeah,

Jason Howell (00:11:35):
Right. Blog

Jeff Jarvis (00:11:36):
Rolls. These were Link, no, not Link Spiders. Not Link

Jason Howell (00:11:40):
Spiders. God link. Somethings

Jeff Jarvis (00:11:42):
Something. You're all

Jason Howell (00:11:43):
Too young. Yeah, it's going to I'm too

Jeff Jarvis (00:11:45):

Jason Howell (00:11:46):
Up at some point.

Jeff Jarvis (00:11:48):
Remembering we go, the winner is

Jason Howell (00:11:51):
We Rings Ring out of Sync. Got it.

Jeff Jarvis (00:11:54):
Out of sync.

Jason Howell (00:11:54):
Got it. Yes, we rings. That's right. I remember that. Which I mean when you think [00:12:00] about it, this very similar kind of, well, I guess maybe not exactly, it's like a

Jeff Jarvis (00:12:04):
Crime ring,

Jason Howell (00:12:05):
But Yes. Right. It's like we're all part of the same game

Jeff Jarvis (00:12:09):
Game. It says they were popular in the 1990s and early two thousands they were. Yeah,

Jason Howell (00:12:14):

Jeff Jarvis (00:12:15):
I mean that was how you discovered amateur

Jason Howell (00:12:16):
Websites. That was how I discovered a lot of things that I didn't know about. You could go to Yahoo and things were indexed and everything, but that was kind of a way to kind of get lost in the search or browsing experience and kind of [00:12:30] just follow it where it goes instead of going to a destination and finding the place. It was more about exploration and stuff. Maybe that's off topic for what we're

Jeff Jarvis (00:12:38):
Talking about. The

Mike Elgan (00:12:38):
Dumbest thing about the early web was that everyone bragged about the

Jeff Jarvis (00:12:41):
Number of hits they got. I have a live ticker

Mike Elgan (00:12:45):
On their page. I got 10,400.

Jeff Jarvis (00:12:47):
Oh, I bragged about that when I started. That's

Jason Howell (00:12:50):
Geo CDs right there.

Jeff Jarvis (00:12:51):
Geo C. We even did a newspaper company. We would tell the boss what company hits we got today and it wasn't too long before we got set straight. That's stupid. Exactly. [00:13:00] That's right. I did a lot of bad tricks back then. I created a news fee right off the AP wire, which the a p hated that I did and it refreshed every 30 seconds, which made sense because it would be new news, but we also, that's another hit, that's a way to get more hits and then the advanced page views. Yeah, I think Drudge

Mike Elgan (00:13:22):
Reports still does that kind of thing, right?

Jeff Jarvis (00:13:26):
Yeah. The Washington, I can post it for a while still might still it for a while. Wow. [00:13:30] Those were the days my friend. Those

Jason Howell (00:13:33):
Were the things that are a lot simpler and a lot uglier on the web, on websites

Jeff Jarvis (00:13:39):
I put up. I dunno if you the things they killed.

Jason Howell (00:13:44):
Oh yeah. Well, I mean I think that's so many.

Jeff Jarvis (00:13:48):

Jason Howell (00:13:48):
Wonderful way to bring us down, Mrs. Wonderful segue. Okay. Yeah, so the point we're at right now is, hey, 25 years of Google, here's all the great things Google says it did, and then here's all the other side [00:14:00] of it is that Google kills a lot of things. Android police published kind of a look at 10 of at least their favorite products killed.

Jeff Jarvis (00:14:08):
I don't think they even included reader.

Jason Howell (00:14:10):
Oh, are you serious? Did they? Let me see 'em. I'm flipping through real

Jeff Jarvis (00:14:15):
Quick. 10 is 10 now.

Jason Howell (00:14:18):
Yeah, 10 is, yes,

Jeff Jarvis (00:14:19):
You're right, Mike,

Jason Howell (00:14:20):
Go to kill by You'll see 10 is but a sliver of the page, but Google now I saw

Mike Elgan (00:14:26):
The article, I just scroll down to see that Google Plus was there and I'm like, okay, Google Plus [00:14:30] is there. I like the list.

Jason Howell (00:14:31):
Yeah, but I mean reader should really be here. Reader should

Jeff Jarvis (00:14:35):
Be on here. Absolute inbox. I miss inbox,

Jason Howell (00:14:38):
I miss Inbox. Still no

Jeff Jarvis (00:14:39):
Reason to kill it

Jason Howell (00:14:40):
To this day. I never

Jeff Jarvis (00:14:42):
Did get down with Inbox.

Jason Howell (00:14:44):
Oh man,

Jeff Jarvis (00:14:46):
I loved Inbox Love. It took me a while. An understand took me while to wisdom, but when you just give yourself over to the Google, it's a nice place.

Ant Pruitt (00:14:56):
The thing with Inbox was it all about basically [00:15:00] helping you better sort and file your email,

Jeff Jarvis (00:15:03):
Plus the UI was really nice. Yeah, they've incorporated a lot of that in the present Gmail, but why? It was a wonderful product. I don't understand them.

Jason Howell (00:15:13):
Yeah, they've incorporated it, but it still just didn't quite, it doesn't quite replace and I'm trying to think about how I can put my finger on exactly what's different. It just is, and believe me, I've tried many years since inbox. I've tried to get back to the point with Inbox. I didn't [00:15:30] feel like I got buried by email and with Gmail, no matter what I do, I feel like I get buried by it.

Jeff Jarvis (00:15:37):
It's a real shame. And Leo over time has complained about Google losing some mojo. The company is now better known for killing things than for starting things.

Jason Howell (00:15:45):
Yeah, indeed. Which

Jeff Jarvis (00:15:46):
Is really a

Ant Pruitt (00:15:47):
Well right now, give them another couple of years, especially with this AI run that Google is on with everything going on with Tensor and then the stuff that we're putting into the phones to try to springboard their phones back into [00:16:00] popularity. So give them a couple of years.

Jeff Jarvis (00:16:03):
Yeah, I just think they're not as much. They're newer companies. They used to be, right? They used to start these popular consumer things and Tensor is really important. You're absolutely right. And the transformer models that have led to so much of the AI work going on right now than generated AI work going on is Google. And so as a corporation, far more profound than inbox. No problem. I get that. But as a consumer I get disappointed.

Mike Elgan (00:16:30):
[00:16:30] Speaking of which,

Jeff Jarvis (00:16:32):
Google, I'm sorry. Yeah.

Mike Elgan (00:16:35):
The problem is so much that they killed things is that they got everybody. They got their most active users really excited about certain things and then killed them. So great example of that is Google Plus or Google Reader, any of these things, these things had real fans and so it's just like Lucy with the football, just again and again, those of us who want to be super fans of some of these products, we get all excited. [00:17:00] We'd invest our time and energy into it. Remember Gina Trapani, who used to be on the show, wrote a book

Jeff Jarvis (00:17:07):

Mike Elgan (00:17:08):
And killed it before the book was published, if I recall. I mean that kind of thing where people invested a lot of themselves into these products and then they pulled the rug out. Meanwhile, the other biggest criticism of Google is that they didn't kill a lot of things. So for example, their messaging strategy, they have what, 12, 13 ways to message people and nobody knows what's going on and they're all mutually quasi incompatible. [00:17:30] And if they had just done with the messaging that they did with email, in other words, pick one and throw everything at it. I think that's a messaging platform is where you want to do that. You

Jeff Jarvis (00:17:43):
Alright? Can I do my rant now?

Mike Elgan (00:17:45):

Ant Pruitt (00:17:46):
Please do. Google,

Jeff Jarvis (00:17:47):
You're pissing me off one more time. So last week we talked about extensions with Bard, so you can have it look at your email and do maps and do all these wonderful things and Leo [00:18:00] demonstrated and I thought, oh, I can't wait. And while we're on the show, I'm texting, I wasn't tweeting, but I was texting with a customer support at Workspace or whatever they call it, bpo whatever. It's G Suite. Well that used to be what they call it now. Is it Workspace? Workspace. Workspace. Okay. Right. So that's the other thing. Google you or your damn brands. So I went around and round and round and they keep on sending me just standard script stuff. Well look [00:18:30] at this video about how Bard works. I know that I said it's embarrassing. I'm on a podcast about artificial intelligence and on a podcast about Google.

I want to demonstrate this and I'm not getting the icon on my bard that would let me sign up for this. Well, you could also do the Google Bard elsewhere, which I did. And now when I look at webpage and I write stuff, it comes up with the stupidest stuff. For a while today it was giving me Persian and I said, why are you doing that Bard? Well, you're using a Persian keyboard. No [00:19:00] I'm not. I mean you no better than this. So I went around and around with three people at workspace support, three people with message after message. I said, you're not listening to me. I know more about Google Bar than you do. There's an icon on the top of Bard that would let you do this stuff and you're not giving it to me. And they never really admitted. Finally what it came out in the end, and they didn't even say it out loud is guess what? It doesn't work [00:19:30] with my workspace account. Big surprise. I'm a paying customer Google. I wrote a suck a book about you Google. I'm on a podcast about you Google. I'm trying to look at your damn products and you won't let me. And that pisses me off. Yeah, thank you very much. Why don't you

Ant Pruitt (00:19:53):
Set up a burner account, Mr. Jarvis,

Jeff Jarvis (00:19:55):
I have that. Here's the problem, man. So gee, I can look what [00:20:00] email is in that burner account? Pure spam. Gee, Google, why don't you search for prostate fixes? How am I going to use it? Right? Oh gosh, it doesn't have my mapping history. It doesn't nothing. It has nothing. It's just a burner account. I can look. Oh yeah, there's Bard. Okay, useless. Useless. And the people who are paying them, and I went into all the admin things and I've turned on early features and I turned on and that meant I turned [00:20:30] on Bard and I can get to Bard in workspace. They did turn that on. But then otherwise F you says Google. Well thank you for that. I just needed to get that out of my system.

Ant Pruitt (00:20:40):
They didn't let Bard work for you because you have some weird stains on your fingertips. What the heck is that Mr. Jarvis?

Jeff Jarvis (00:20:47):
I voted

Jason Howell (00:20:48):
He's an ink stained wretch. What do you mean?

Jeff Jarvis (00:20:53):
I got to the bottom of my paperclip thing and not me, but I put [00:21:00] Oh, you had

Jason Howell (00:21:00):
Pins in

Jeff Jarvis (00:21:00):
There leaked? Yeah.

Jason Howell (00:21:02):

Jeff Jarvis (00:21:03):
So I looked and said, oh, done that

Jason Howell (00:21:07):
And now for the next couple of days you're going to have to tell people why you have blue ink on your fingertips. Well I

Jeff Jarvis (00:21:12):
Also, I actually turned on the phone and did the reverse so I could look and make sure I hadn't done this with my face and put it on my face. Oh

Jason Howell (00:21:19):
Yeah, yeah. I would've told you at the end of the show if you'd done that, we'll let you know if ends up on your face at the end of the show. [00:21:30] Yeah, you don't have to Hitler mustache. Right? Definitely. We'll make sure that doesn't happen. So Jeff, here's the question that I have for you. I'm curious to know if you have the answer or if anyone here has the answer. Has Google given a reason as far as why they keep doing this with their products, keep releasing these feature?

Jeff Jarvis (00:21:50):
No, they never have. My big reason is because I'm the weird person. I'm just me and I've got two old friends who are still on my account that I haven't seen in 15 years. [00:22:00] That's it. Right? Most of the accounts on workspace are big corporate accounts that require management and so they've got to think through the implications. If you're a company, so imagine the implications here, and I get this much, but this is why you have admins who can control what users can do in workspace. So imagine you are an accounting firm and an admin turns on, I should use my other hands, this is not blue turns on [00:22:30] Bard for every user and people start going into their confidential financial email talking with Bard about it. That would be a problem. I get that. But if you're Google and you're planning to this product anyway, you should be thinking that much through because these are the customers who are paying you and who care about it and it's becoming less and less and less a B two C company and more and more and more a B two B company and when it comes out with cool features, it should make them ready for primetime with [00:23:00] the B two B customers.

Jason Howell (00:23:01):
Yeah. Yeah. One would think, but it doesn't. Yeah, I'm sorry Jeff, it keeps happening. What about transferring? Can you transfer 10 in I R C said Jeff needs to Google how to transfer data from one Google account to another. Would that even work? Is that even something that you would be interested in? I don't

Jeff Jarvis (00:23:22):
Even know. It's not, doesn't

Jason Howell (00:23:24):
Do any good to have the enterprise version of this anymore or was that at one time that made sense and now

Jeff Jarvis (00:23:29):
Well, it's because [00:23:30] my domain.

Jason Howell (00:23:32):
Okay. Yeah. That's

Jeff Jarvis (00:23:33):
Why and I do want to use Google products and I want to be on our AI show AI inside thank you and be able to talk knowledgeably about the products because I'm using

Jason Howell (00:23:44):
Them. Yes, of course.

Jeff Jarvis (00:23:45):

Jason Howell (00:23:46):
Of course.

Jeff Jarvis (00:23:48):
That's enough. I'll stop now. I'll

Jason Howell (00:23:49):
Stop. No, it's okay. It's a rant that deserves to happen when it happens because it continues to be

Jeff Jarvis (00:23:56):
An issue nonetheless. Nonetheless, happy birthday, Google

Jason Howell (00:23:59):
Happy birthday. [00:24:00] You're still killing things. We didn't even mention the fact they killed, they're killing another thing. Google did what it does best aside from ads, it's basically going to kill another product. Google Podcasts is on the chopping block, so if you are a user of Google Podcasts, I mean which I am, this is kind of the argument that, are you okay? They rolled it out and I used it a handful of times and then I just continued using what I've always used, which is Pocket casts probably because I'm just used to it, but is Google really getting rid [00:24:30] of things that people aren't using? They're probably not just throwing a dart on the wall, even though sometimes it feels like they are and saying, oh, we'll just kill that thing then there's probably good news.

Jeff Jarvis (00:24:38):
They promote it enough to give it a fair chance If you're in that product team, I can just imagine, I've been in magazines and newspapers that get killed because there's no promotion. I just had a degree program of mine paused. It's about marketing and if you're not going to give the fair shake to it to get enough people to try it, but then people are, [00:25:00] my son Jake is now, I'm not using anything from Google Uhuh because they keep killing stuff. It's what Mike was saying, you get burned and don't want to.

Jason Howell (00:25:08):
Oh yeah. That trust is eroded for so many people who are really clued into this stuff. I know. It's the joke that automatically pops in my head. Anytime Google announces a new thing and I know I'm not alone, I wonder how much that joke is for people who are kind of outside of the following the day-to-day doings [00:25:30] of a company like Google. Probably not very much. And so that's probably, it doesn't matter as much to Google, at least

Jeff Jarvis (00:25:35):
In my experience. No one outside of the Nerdery tech geekery even don't care. I like that.

Mike Elgan (00:25:42):
Not Nerdery. It's a place where you keep all the nerds like a nunnery, but

Jeff Jarvis (00:25:46):
Nunnery. Yeah, I like that a lot.

Mike Elgan (00:25:49):
There's no sex

Jeff Jarvis (00:25:50):
There either. Another group of virgins.

Mike Elgan (00:25:52):
Exactly. So actually podcast apps is one of the rare areas where the big companies like Apple [00:26:00] and Google just can't compete with the little independent apps. I mean, you mentioned PocketCasts Overcast another one. There's a bunch of really great apps that are all the good independent apps are better than Apples and Google's podcast apps. You know

Jeff Jarvis (00:26:16):
What, Mike, you're right. That shames me because the reason it could be like that is because of r s s because of an open standard salute Dave Writers, right? Yes. And that's the basis of podcasting and so I shouldn't even be using Google Podcasts. I should be using one of those.

Mike Elgan (00:26:29):
Yeah, [00:26:30] I recommend Overcast. It's fantastic.

Jeff Jarvis (00:26:33):
There's also YouTube podcasts, so

Jason Howell (00:26:35):
That's a competing. Totally, and from my understanding, that's a big reason why this is even happening. Google has YouTube launched kind of a podcast functionality last year, but it didn't include anything around syndication in R s s. It was just like if you're uploading your podcasts to YouTube now we've got a place where you can find podcasts uploaded to YouTube. And then earlier this year they kind of announced that [00:27:00] they're going to accept, I don't know if they are yet, but going to accept syndicated r s s for YouTube. And then Google found itself probably in the place that it's found itself so many times because of all the competing different areas of Google where they're all working on similar things but not the same thing that's unified where they said, okay, wait a minute. We've got two different products that basically want to do the same thing. They probably, and I think you're exactly right, Jeff, it comes down to marketing, right? YouTube increasingly becomes Google's kind of [00:27:30] media destination. It's kind of surprising that they didn't do this from the beginning, but there you go. It kind makes sense.

Jeff Jarvis (00:27:39):
Google's a big, big, big company. Eric Schmidt always said back in the day that that would be its biggest challenge is size. Oh yeah. It's the biggest benefit, but also its biggest challenge, and I can imagine somebody in YouTube sitting there, an executive in YouTube, and I'm making this up out of thin air, but you can just imagine the scenario where somebody comes and says, we should have a podcast thing. Oh no, we're doing podcast. [00:28:00] We're not doing that. And so somebody gets off and they do a product and they say, okay, we'll do a separate product and prove that it works. And then YouTube says, okay, oh,

Jason Howell (00:28:08):
Well wait a minute. Spotify brought podcasts into their network that seems to be going okay for them. We should do that too.

Jeff Jarvis (00:28:15):
So God knows what the politics are.

Ant Pruitt (00:28:17):
Nailed it. Mindshare, it's on the Spotify Mindshare podcast. Sort of makes sense for them. Most people don't think podcasts when they think Google. I think they would think podcasts [00:28:30] more so when they hear YouTube. You know what I'm saying? That makes,

Jason Howell (00:28:35):
Yeah, and you got

Ant Pruitt (00:28:36):
To give Google credit for as much as it pains us that they kill off things that we enjoy, but at least they're trimming the fat and trying to look somewhat like a properly managed company.

Jeff Jarvis (00:28:48):
I still think they need an executive like Marissa Meyer who cared about consumer products. And again, that's not what [00:29:00] the company wants to be now it appears, but it's got a lot of consumers and they're giving up opportunities there. I think that especially in this time when they're in an antitrust case and people are going after them to be more popular with the users would not be a bad thing.

Jason Howell (00:29:18):
Yeah. Well, and meanwhile we're saying this about consumer products essentially on the eve, not quite the eve, but as far as this show is concerned, the eve [00:29:30] of their next made by Google event, which happens next Wednesday, so a week from today in the morning, so definitely next week, this week in Google, you guys are going to be talking about the hardware announcements and everything coming from there. Even

Jeff Jarvis (00:29:45):
Though we probably will know everything beforehand, we already

Jason Howell (00:29:47):
Know what they're going to talk about. We know. But before we get into that stuff, does either of you, are we confident that Google is all in on hardware at this point? You know what I mean? We're talking about this lack of trust [00:30:00] from Google. We just had a discussion about killing Google stuff. This is exactly why I ask it because here we are eight years into the Pixel experience or whatever experience you want to call it. You shouldn't have set it up that way. I'm just saying, okay, great. They've got another series of hardware that they're going to announce, but there's a part of me that wouldn't be surprised if in a year or two they're like, okay, yeah, we want to leave it to the people who know hardware best, the people who use our products. Well, [00:30:30] they did with

Jeff Jarvis (00:30:30):
The Chromebooks. You have my other rant. I miss my Chromebooks for

Jason Howell (00:30:35):

Mike Elgan (00:30:35):

Jason Howell (00:30:37):
Chromebooks are still tick too. They're still kicking. What do you think, Mike? I'm curious to hear your perspective on this.

Mike Elgan (00:30:44):
Well, like Jeff, I had a Chromebook, a Pixel book for a long time and loved it. And one of the reasons I got it and enjoyed it was that using the internet, using lots of extensions and so on through Chrome was very fast on the Pixel book. It was the fastest [00:31:00] experience I was aware of until Apple silicone came out on MacBook Pros, which just blew them out of the water. Way more expensive, but a MacBook. The MacBook Pro I have now is an amazing Chromebook and Chromebook extension platform, and so I'm much happier with that, but I just kept, it was such a durable machine, so light and thin, elegant. I actually thought the industrial [00:31:30] design was more elegant than Apple's products by far. I just thought are beautiful and I tend to use things for two or three years and then I break them, especially if it has a keyboard, I will destroy it because I'm just pounding on those keys all day long, every day. And this fricking thing never had the slightest problem. I kept waiting for it to have a problem, so I'd have an excuse to upgrade to something else. Keyboard was flawless. The screen was perfect. Everything was perfect [00:32:00] and it never sort of aged. The battery declined a bit, but what a fantastic device that was. Yeah, you're right.

Jeff Jarvis (00:32:07):
My pixel will go on the other hand, which is the last Google product here.

Jason Howell (00:32:13):
Not as magical.

Jeff Jarvis (00:32:15):
The touch screen no longer touches and the microphone doesn't work. Yeah. So I'm waiting for the new, what's that, Jason? What's the new high end category of Pixel Books? They announced [00:32:30] book, not X, but something like that.

Jason Howell (00:32:33):
Oh, that's right. I forgot about that out. I'm waiting for Come out the premium. Exactly. Chromebook experience

Jeff Jarvis (00:32:42):
That call. Yeah, premium specifications.

Jason Howell (00:32:44):
Yeah. Yeah, I forgot about

Ant Pruitt (00:32:46):
That. I can't remember that. I always think of Samsung when I think of premium ones. Premium

Jason Howell (00:32:52):
Chromebook. I think that's framework. The framework one you're thinking about. No, no,

Jeff Jarvis (00:32:56):
No. It was a Google

Jason Howell (00:32:57):
Specifications. Yeah, it was a Google effort [00:33:00] to harness higher end higher performance Chromebooks probably a handful of months ago they mentioned it. Chromebook X,

Jeff Jarvis (00:33:08):

Jason Howell (00:33:09):
It. Chromebook X, was that it? Chromebook X. Okay. Yeah. And who knows where that's at now? Can't even search for it. We could even remember it. I mean, that is a big problem. Google's got so many different, it's gigantic. So any of these things, it's really, really hard. Kind of a

Mike Elgan (00:33:28):
Turd of a name after [00:33:30] developments on Twitter.

Jason Howell (00:33:31):
Well, yeah, no kidding. Right. That's a really good point. I wonder if that deters anybody

Jeff Jarvis (00:33:37):
Because of Russia. So let's start over again. Chromebook

Jason Howell (00:33:40):
A. Yeah,

Ant Pruitt (00:33:41):
I would say that I give them, I would trust them more. So on the phone side of things, it seems like the Chromebook side of things, they could just sort of let Samsung jump in and do what they're doing because Samsung is so big and do a really good job with their Chromebooks. [00:34:00] But I could see Google making a serious effort with the phones now, especially again, like I mentioned earlier, with the chip sets and owning that stack themselves

Jeff Jarvis (00:34:11):
Doing tensor in the phone so you can do AI locally. I think that the need to demonstrate is still there and let's go back. And

Ant Pruitt (00:34:20):
Granted, they need to market it the way Apple markets the crap out of their stuff that nobody talks about the Pixel stuff because they never see it, [00:34:30] in my opinion.

Jason Howell (00:34:31):
Well, I mean, I feel like I've heard over the years, over the last handful of years, some real awareness from non Android users that pixels have great cameras. Yes. Oh, okay. I've definitely heard from people who are iPhone users who are like, well, but the pixels got an excellent camera. The camera quality is up there. More awareness around that than I'm used to hearing from non Android users.

Mike Elgan (00:34:59):
There used to be [00:35:00] a reason why Google came out with phones and tablets back in the day. Their first lines of phones were reference models to sort of lead the way and show they were open the nexus, they were open, you could tinker with them, you could mess around with 'em. And it was basically this sort of nerd tool so that everybody could understand and embrace the platform better than whatever came out of Asia [00:35:30] from South Korea and China. And then when they came out with the Pixel book, well, all the Chromebooks were kind of low end, kind, crappy, and they came out with a premium high-end Chromebook that was the reason for that. And now there are premium high-end Chromebooks, and you have to assume that the new X specification is a way to go to other manufacturers into doing the high-end laptops so that Google doesn't have to anymore, but where's the vision? What's the reason for hardware? [00:36:00] Google should have a good reason, and one of the things they should be doing, and I think we're going to be talking about the Meta RayBan specs pretty soon. That's an innovative category that Google's letting Facebook or Meta runaway with another category that I'd love to see. There's smart to do

Jeff Jarvis (00:36:16):
That, Mike.

Mike Elgan (00:36:19):
The Android watches category is in kind of an endless trouble because the Apple Watch is so dominant, but I'd love to see Google come out with something really visionary with, [00:36:30] for the wrist platform, for example, something that's just pure voice AI on the wrist or something like that. I'd love to see them lead the way in some way. If they're just going to be another O E M for hardware that's in the same ballpark, has a pretty good camera in their phones, for example, it's not worth doing for a company like Google, I wouldn't think. Yeah.

Jason Howell (00:36:53):

Jeff Jarvis (00:36:54):
We will see next week what Google does and whether an approves, yeah, [00:37:00] let's also, I think Google was very smart with the phones. Apple was ahead, obviously they invented the whole field. Google purchased Android, made it open, and that was the strategy that they were going to be open and generally were, and it was a really, really smart strategy, an international

Jason Howell (00:37:17):
Strategy. Oh, for sure. The scale, unbelievable scale, the way that they did it. And I should also go, just take a step back and just affirm, I don't [00:37:30] actually believe that Google's going to kill the pixel lineup. I just think the more that I see Google be uncertain about the steps it takes in so many different facets of its business, the less I'd be surprised if it happened. And I think that's saying something about a company like Google,

Jeff Jarvis (00:37:49):
We can't count on Google. Yeah,

Jason Howell (00:37:51):
Yeah, totally.

Ant Pruitt (00:37:53):
Totally. To Google's credit, they haven't done any less than the Nexus line. We got up to what? The Nexus [00:38:00] six P or what was it? Yeah, I don't

Jason Howell (00:38:03):
Think there. No. Was there a Nex? No, the seven was a tablet. The seven

Ant Pruitt (00:38:07):
Was a tablet. Yeah, you're right. I think it was like a six

Jason Howell (00:38:09):
Six P and they probably, yeah, the six P was the Huawei, it was next seven,

Ant Pruitt (00:38:13):
And then it sort of went away, and now we're on this one Google Pixel line and we're up to eight as of next week. So at least it's seeded the previous models and yeah,

Jason Howell (00:38:27):
No, you're absolutely right. You're absolutely right. I think Pixel has [00:38:30] been a pretty interesting story to follow for Google throughout the years, and the camera's been a big success. The design changes in the last couple of years were very polarizing, I think in the beginning and now I think we've just, I think it was smart. That phone looks nothing like any other phone from the back, that weird bar on the back and people have gotten used to it. The eight and the Eight Pro are going to look very similar in many ways. I [00:39:00] think some of the design changes not even really worth mentioning, more rounded corners throughout and stuff like that. But I think what's interesting about what the rumors are around the eight and the eight Pro is that the rumors say that Google is updating or changing the update cycle, or rather the update promise for these devices to give them the best that Android has seven years of updates.

So that would be a promise [00:39:30] of three quarters of a decade, which is a lot for Android devices. That's awesome. That's awesome. I don't know how the rumors don't mention how that breaks down, how many major OSS updates, how many security, how many feature drops, what is the breakdown of that? But when we're talking about iOS devices, iPhone devices, they're updated for as long. I mean, that seems to take this phone almost to where Apple has been with its phones, which that's an impressive feat. [00:40:00] I am not sure that I expected that, and especially not with the upcoming eight. So I think that's a good deal. And then of course we'll see the Pixel watch to Google. This is basically we're a week out from the event, which means leaks of Plenty and who knows how many of them are a courtesy of Google itself and how many of them actually

Ant Pruitt (00:40:23):
Hardly, I saw one of their articles in the rundown pretty much mentioned in there. Yeah, [00:40:30] these are links, but then some are straight out from Google too.

Jason Howell (00:40:33):
Oh yeah. You have to imagine it's part of their strategy. So what

Jeff Jarvis (00:40:37):
Was the last iPhone for which people lined up overnight?

Jason Howell (00:40:42):
I don't know, like

Ant Pruitt (00:40:44):
Six or so, maybe

Mike Elgan (00:40:45):
Four. I dunno. I dunno. Was he getting that

Jeff Jarvis (00:40:50):
Excited about, so to play Toy

Mike Elgan (00:40:53):
Is when Steve, I remember the last time I waited outside for an iPhone was right after [00:41:00] Steve's jobs had died. What was that, 2010? Something like that?

Jason Howell (00:41:04):
Yeah, around there.

Mike Elgan (00:41:05):
And I think that was the iPhone four. Maybe it was 2011. Okay. So yeah, that makes sense. The iPhone four launch and we're out there all night. I was sitting next to Steve Wozniak and Los Gatos was very cool. Wow. That event was combined with flowers and little portraits of the Outflowing [00:41:30] of tributes to Steve Jobs. Since then, I don't think there's been a major people lining up, has there?

Jason Howell (00:41:37):
Yeah, I was. Maybe I just haven't. Yeah, there are some articles for the iPhone 15 global debut marked by long lines, but it's not like it was, I don't know that people are camping out for 24, 36 hours. Yeah, what do you classify exactly?

Mike Elgan (00:41:55):
Yeah. It's also marked by people smashing the window and running in and grabbing up all the iPhones and [00:42:00] running.

Ant Pruitt (00:42:00):
Yeah, that.

Jason Howell (00:42:03):
Did that happen with the staff? Even

Ant Pruitt (00:42:05):
Now? I think most of your, usually for appointments, not necessarily. We're hoping we can get in to get a phone. Aren't people going out there now because they already have an appointment and a guaranteed piece of hardware when they get there?

Mike Elgan (00:42:20):
Yes, for the 15 people ordered it early, and the people who did order it on the first day could pick it up on the 22nd of September [00:42:30] and at a certain time, and so they arrived a couple hours before that time and lined up. So yeah, it's a line, but it wasn't, in the old days, people were lining up because they didn't want to not get one. Right. They figured there was limited. Now they're guaranteed one, they'd just have to do a store pickup. So it's a very

Ant Pruitt (00:42:46):
Different That's what I thought.

Jason Howell (00:42:47):
Yeah, it was kind of a party line too. Everybody that was in that line was super excited to be in that line because they were all there, because they were all equally as passionate about this.

Mike Elgan (00:42:59):
Well, [00:43:00] the impressive thing about iPhones, of course, is that people buy them sight unseen without a single review, without a single hands-on review. They'll order one, and it cost a fortune. I got an iPhone. It's the lowest end model, and it was a thousand bucks at the end of the day. So it's amazing that they can do that still.

Jason Howell (00:43:19):
Yeah, indeed. Indeed. Pixel lineup. Not quite there yet. I don't know if it ever will be, but

Ant Pruitt (00:43:27):
It's still a thousand bucks.

Jason Howell (00:43:29):
Yeah. [00:43:30] Insert an's rant. Yeah, I didn't see

Ant Pruitt (00:43:35):
The, again, I'm rooting for 'em. I just wish Google would be honest and stop overpricing these things, but I root for to be successful, but you don't have to charge $1,200 for a phone.

Mike Elgan (00:43:48):
Well, actually, I think Google should have the most expensive phone because again, back in the day, [00:44:00] they were pushing the envelope. They had the most expensive Chromebook, for example, in the beginning of the Pixel book. There was a good reason for that because other manufacturers were not doing high-end powerful Chromebooks. So they said, here's a super high-end, elegant, powerful Chromebook. Yeah, it costs 1200 bucks or whatever it was, and it was too expensive. I'd love to see them do a leapfrog of some kind, like a leapfrog in the photography, not just have one of the good cameras, not just have one of the good phones in [00:44:30] Android space, but they should say, where should phones be in five years and make that phone now and charge $2,000 for it.

Jeff Jarvis (00:44:37):
Well, they're doing that with the foldables, which very few people are going to buy, but they're showing what's possible. But

Mike Elgan (00:44:44):
Are they ahead of Samsung? I don't think so. I think they're

Jeff Jarvis (00:44:47):
One of the foldables.

Jason Howell (00:44:50):
Yeah. I mean, they did just release their very first foldable, which yeah, absolutely. They're not ahead of Samsung. Samsung's two has grown so [00:45:00] much through its last five years of foldable experimentation. They're at point

Jeff Jarvis (00:45:04):
All the criticism from all of us, and they've learned from that criticism. It just got better. Jason, since you're still the king of Android to me.

Jason Howell (00:45:12):
Oh, thank you.

Jeff Jarvis (00:45:13):
If you were going to project five years ahead, what market share do you think Foldables would have versus

Jason Howell (00:45:21):
That's a's a really good question. I don't know that I necessarily think that foldables are the thing that five [00:45:30] years from now everybody's going to have in their pocket. I think it's still kind of a niche market in my opinion. I just don't think it's necessary. I think right now, based on what we've seen, I'm not convinced that it is. Everybody must have it in the future, and that market share increases exponentially as a result. I just don't see it. It's neat. And

Mike Elgan (00:45:53):
What we don't know about, yeah, what we don't know about foldables is how long do they last?

Jeff Jarvis (00:45:58):
Well, that's true. They're too new. [00:46:00] The wear could be awful. I put in the rundown at the bottom of the rundown, a foldable laptop,

Jason Howell (00:46:07):
Which the displays, they already

Jeff Jarvis (00:46:09):

Jason Howell (00:46:11):
Don't they

Jeff Jarvis (00:46:11):
Already fold screen folds? The screen folds? No, no, no. That's the thing. It's screen on screen,

Jason Howell (00:46:17):
Right. So the screen kind of folds in on itself. So then you've got a seamless here. I'm about to pull up the article. I need to see this. Where is this? Yeah, okay, so it's like one seamless display. Yes, exactly. That [00:46:30] folds on itself similar to foldables, foldable phones, 17 inch LG foldable, O L E D. Okay. So 4.9 9,000,001. That's around roughly 3,726 US dollars. Just conversion

Jeff Jarvis (00:46:51):
For which you get a giant screen, which you can carry around, but you need a keyboard.

Jason Howell (00:46:56):
Yeah. I mean, the thing about this though is [00:47:00] if it's all display and there's no keyboard on the inside, then I'm using a virtual tap screen keyboard. And I'm sorry, just not for

Jeff Jarvis (00:47:11):
Me. Lost

Jason Howell (00:47:12):
Me there. I don't want that. I want the tactile. Maybe I'm old school and in that regard, but

Jeff Jarvis (00:47:22):
Don't, you're an old fart now, Jason, you just playing fart. I've done

Jason Howell (00:47:25):
The thing with the tablet where it's like a full screen and I pull up the keyboard that's [00:47:30] almost the same size as a real keyboard and tried to use it. It's just not the same. It's just not. That would be miserable to me. But neat.

Mike Elgan (00:47:42):
I think the future of laptops is, if not a foldable screen, a two screen thing with a virtual keyboard simply because younger people, not us old journalists who just can't not type on a keyboard, but younger people who are going to be using [00:48:00] combination of voice gestures, ai, all these other things where the actual typing part is not as important as the tons and tons of screen real estate part. So I think it may be a generational shift there. At some point, they're not going to change our minds, but I think people who are in their twenties right now may prefer a smaller device with a bigger screen and opt to give up the keyboard just like everybody did with phones, right? Yeah, right. There was a time [00:48:30] in 2006, 2007 where people were like, I can't even imagine not having my Blackberry keyboard. Right, that's true.

Of course, they want us all over. And now we all use happily, I guess, onscreen keyboards, and we never think about physical keyboards on a phone. It's a ridiculous concept. So we'll see where that goes. But I also think we're going to see a big shift in the importance of, if not phones, at least with laptops, when we have augmented reality [00:49:00] laptops. And so a lot of people are not thinking along those lines. They don't think of it as a replacement for laptop. But I do think that in 3, 4, 5 years, we definitely will be thinking about AR as a replacement for a laptop. We just have a little flat thing with a keyboard on it, and then the screen is this gigantic thing. Well, again, I think it'll be a generational thing. I mean, look at that big beautiful office. You have [00:49:30] tons of room for a big display, whereas I'd like to have a big display as a traveler and a virtual display. This is really appealing to me. And again, I'm not saying it's going to replace laptops. I think that it'll replace a two digit percentage of laptops for a lot of people. Alright,

Jeff Jarvis (00:49:48):
So let me pull, I know what you're going to say. So as you said, Google is leaving behind pretty much VR r Zuck is betting the company [00:50:00] on it still. What do the other two think? Who's the smarter one?

Mike Elgan (00:50:06):
There's that Israeli company. I'm calling it up now. Lemme see. It's called the, well, they call it the augmented Reality pc. Let's see. Where is it?

Jeff Jarvis (00:50:17):
Why you look

Mike Elgan (00:50:18):
Insightful. Insightful is a company that is basically doing what I think Google should have done with the Chromebook line or with the Pixel book line, which is that they have a base, [00:50:30] the siteful space top device is what they call an AR laptop. So basically what it is, is it's the bottom half of a laptop, and then there are goggles you put on and you see a hundred inch screen in augmented reality. Yeah. Zuckerberg

Jeff Jarvis (00:50:46):
Showed how he was fast typing without the keyboard just on a virtual keyboard.

Mike Elgan (00:50:50):
Right? Yeah. I don't know about that.

Jeff Jarvis (00:50:52):
I still think,

Mike Elgan (00:50:54):
But the still

Jeff Jarvis (00:50:55):
Part me, but I don't think it's going to take,

Mike Elgan (00:50:56):
But the Siteful has a physical keyboard and a virtual [00:51:00] screen, and the thing about the Cipher is like the Chromebook, it's a cloud device, so it's very inexpensive, actually. It's much cheaper than your average laptop and it has a hundred inch display. And so I don't think that siteful necessarily will be the winner there, but I think that companies like Google could really make a big dent with this kind of thing. And I think that this is where the whole thing with anything mobile or portable is you want to maximize [00:51:30] screen real estate and minimize the size of the hardware. So this is just a brilliant way to just shatter that whole conundrum by just having a tiny, little lightweight low cost device with a hundred inch display that's virtual. I just think there's something to it.

Jeff Jarvis (00:51:48):
I still want to hear Ant Jason do

Ant Pruitt (00:51:52):
I think, what

Jeff Jarvis (00:51:53):
Do you think? That's the future that we're going to be, that's how we're going to do it.

Ant Pruitt (00:51:57):
I still say no because [00:52:00] of cost, and we still have this weird mixed world of hybrid work that being a concern. So people are not going to necessarily want to invest into stuff like this into big workspace because people still fighting to be at home. I don't see it yet.

Mike Elgan (00:52:21):
Jason, do you have the Siteful video? I saw that That

Ant Pruitt (00:52:24):
Siteful looked pretty cool though. I dig that they saw division stuff that I just saw [00:52:30] from Apple.

Jason Howell (00:52:31):
I don't have my laptop streaming into the TriCaster, but I believe Benito has the site or was showing the site.

Ant Pruitt (00:52:38):
I was showing the site. Can you show

Jason Howell (00:52:39):
It? If so, I guess that video would be on the site. Do I think that this is coming at some point? Maybe yes. I mean, I do think that there will be a small percentage of people that will love and enjoy working in this direction. I don't know that I'm sold that that's going to be the majority of people, but maybe I'm not looking. Here's the video far enough down into the future as far [00:53:00] as that's concerned.

Mike Elgan (00:53:02):
The glasses are unsightly.

Jason Howell (00:53:04):
Yeah, the glasses are a little bug.

Ant Pruitt (00:53:06):
I take glasses more than those goggles.

Jason Howell (00:53:08):

Mike Elgan (00:53:09):
Yeah. I think the wild card is the Apple Vision Pro. Yes. Apple is a way of mainstreaming things. It does. And again, I don't think they're going to mainstream it next year. It's going to be for developers, but give it two years with Apple hammering away at this thing. I think the concept of a virtual display [00:53:30] is going to seem a lot more appealing to a lot more people than it does now.

Jason Howell (00:53:34):
Yeah. Yeah, you're right. Apple just has that way with them when it comes to a new product category. And I mean, I'm super curious to see the Apple Vision Pro and to see what sets it apart and to get a better understanding of the pixie dust that Apple is able to sprinkle onto it, how it integrates with the other devices that you're already using. [00:54:00] But I think right now, based on what we've seen, it's still cumbersome, at least compared to what we already accept as a laptop is not cumbersome, but it's something that we accept because that's the way it's been. So there's a little bit of a hurdle there. There's the sick kind of detached from reality thing that a lot of people

Mike Elgan (00:54:25):
Experience. Yeah, the creepy eyes. It's not perfect.

Jason Howell (00:54:27):
Yeah, the creepy

Mike Elgan (00:54:28):
Eyes. The creepy eyes on the outside [00:54:30] of the display, the uncanny valley of the avatars and so on, they get a lot to work

Jason Howell (00:54:36):
Through. There's a lot to work.

Mike Elgan (00:54:37):
I just think there's something to it, and I don't know where it's really going to go, but I think that that's going to have more legs than the folding screen idea for maximizing.

Jason Howell (00:54:52):
Is it going to come down to a killer app, though? It always comes down to a killer app.

Mike Elgan (00:54:56):

Jason Howell (00:54:58):
That's a good question. Like

Mike Elgan (00:54:59):
Steve Jobs [00:55:00] there.

Jason Howell (00:55:00):
What is the killer app for VR as it exists right now? I wasn't going to wait until it's a video game, but it's not like,

Mike Elgan (00:55:08):
Personally, I've been predicting that the killer app for augmented reality is virtual meetings to replace Zoom. So instead of looking at a Brady Bunch screen of people where there's 20 people looking at you throughout the entire meeting, no matter who's talking, you'll have virtual avatars scattered around the room and you'll be able to make eye contact with their avatar. They're going to make eye contact with your avatar, and you're going to have [00:55:30] conversation like that. I think that's going to be, and again, lots of people push back on that and say, no way. I don't like that. But I think avatar based holographic, avatar based meetings is one of the killer apps for augmented reality. What's the pushback on that, Mr. Elgin? Well, people just don't, yeah, people just don't like the idea of avatars because we've never seen a good avatar. So you have an emoji which are goofy, cartoony things that look [00:56:00] ridiculous and not really acceptable for business meetings.

And then you see the thing that Apple demonstrated in their rollout of the Vision Pro, which is this creepy, uncanny valley too close to real, but not quite real kind of thing. That's unacceptable. So we haven't seen a good avatar, but if somebody can figure out how to have an avatar that it's the right balance of without being too real and without being too cartoonish, I think it'll be much more appealing for people to [00:56:30] use. We just haven't seen it. Nobody has done it. Facebook a lot tried Facebook avatars are not terrible. Some of the ones that they've rolled out, but a lot of tried. Nobody's succeeded. But I got to think that somebody at some point is going to come out with a good way to do avatars.

Jason Howell (00:56:46):
Yeah. Yeah.

Ant Pruitt (00:56:48):
I lag in our discord with the great analogy here. The airplane isn't an improved bird. VR meetings aren't improved for meetings, [00:57:00] for virtual meetings.

Mike Elgan (00:57:01):
Yeah. I mean, I don't like the idea of VR meetings, but AR meetings, I think people will like, because they showed two versions at the Apple event. One was you had these boxes where the talking head avatar was inside the box. Then when they got together later in the week to talk to developers, they said, okay, the version right after that is just a holograph floating in space without the box. So you're talking about life-size people that are vaguely photorealistic [00:57:30] that you can make eye contact with. The sound comes from their hologram, all that kind of stuff. That's the kind of thing that the public hasn't been shown yet. And again, I don't think it's ready for prime time because of the uncanny Valley problem. But doing it in ar where you see your whole room, you see your whole office, you see your actual surroundings with hologram, it's like the haunted mansion, right? You have these semi-transparent holograms floating in space. I [00:58:00] think that's way more appealing than vr.

Jason Howell (00:58:03):
Well, let's take a break. I just realized we are now an hour into this show because these topics are fascinating and we got some amazing people talking about this stuff. I'm having a great time, and when that happens, time flies by quick. When we come back from the break, we can maybe touch in a little bit on the meta news because there's meta news tying into exactly some of the topics that we're talking about right now. Got a little bit about antitrust on [00:58:30] Google's side. On Amazon's side. We've got a whole lot more to talk about coming up. Mike Elgin, so great to have you here. Thank you for joining me again today, Leo. Great. And of course, and Pruitt from his home studio looking so sharp. We can count the number of hairs on his chin. That's right. The camera always looks good. And then Jeff Jarvis, always great to get to do a show with you, Jeff.

Thank you. We want to take a break though, and thank the sponsor this week in Google. This is brought to you by [00:59:00] discourse. The online home for your community more than a decade is how long Discourse has really made it their mission to make the internet a better place to connect people through the use of online communities by harnessing the power of discussion, real time chat. And yes, you guessed. AI Discourse makes it easy to have meaningful conversations and collaborate with your community anytime, anywhere. [00:59:30] We actually have a discourse community, twit community, and yeah, it's fantastic. It's another avenue, another way for people to connect with each other and with fans of the Twit Network, also with the people creating the shows, it's just awesome. If you'd like to create a community, you can visit Make sure and go there. That of course lets 'em know that you heard about it through us, but you'll also get one month [01:00:00] free on all self-serve plans trusted by some of the largest companies in the world.

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History, discourse will never sell your data to advertisers. So that's some peace of mind for you as well. Discourse gives you everything you need, all in one place so you can make discourse the online home for your community. Visit Again, go there to that url, You'll get one month free on all self-serve plans. That's [01:01:30] and we thank discourse for their support of this week in Google. So we were talking a little bit about ar, about VR and kind of talking a little bit about Meta because I think when I think of modern VR, and it looks like AR is becoming a bigger part of Meta's business with this new announcement, but when I think of modern vr, they're the big shining example of it [01:02:00] in the room. Notably, mark Zuckerberg has focused the company that was once known as Facebook. We named it onto the Metaverse by naming it Meta and I dunno, is the jury still out or have we decided that that was a poor move, poorly timed move on Mark's part? I dunno. It feels like the Metaverse is a couple of years hype ago and not now hype, but maybe we aren't to the point at which he envisioned.

Mike Elgan (01:02:28):
Well, so my [01:02:30] beef with the whole thing was that the metaverse was, it was a word from fiction and it always was a dystopian nightmare, always a bad thing. He dusted it off. I looked at the Engram viewer over the decades since the eighties or nineties, whenever it peaked out, and it had declined in usage in the English language to less than half of where it was. It was a dying word. And then he resurrected it and [01:03:00] the press, the tech press bought it hook, line and sinker. Clearly the use of Metaverse was designed to go hand in hand with the renaming of the company to meta, right, so that it appeared that they were like the future of VR slash ar and then he rolled out this vision of saying, okay, it's going to be the ar vr version of the internet, one space for everything and everyone open, nobody's going to own it. Meta is not going to own [01:03:30] it. And then as soon as he said that, everybody forgot that he said that, and now every little two bit third rate VR thing is a metaverse play, right? Yeah. I don't understand why everybody followed his lead into the use of the word, but everybody did, or most commentators did in fact follow him and he got away with it. So I guess it's kind of a brilliant move on his part. Yeah,

Jason Howell (01:03:57):

Ant Pruitt (01:03:57):
He's the same way Apple made everybody say [01:04:00] a tablet is not a tablet is an iPad,

Mike Elgan (01:04:04):
Right? Or a podcast is named after the iPod.

Jason Howell (01:04:08):
Yeah, so today I guess there has been the, what is it, the Meta Connect event where a lot of their next initiatives for the company are announced and were often presented or given some insight into the next hardware, and [01:04:30] this announcement was no different. We got the Met Quest three being announced, a new headset, 4 99 October 10th improvements include a higher res display, so it features a dual 2064 by 2208 pixel display that compares to 1832 by 1920. So a notable last at Google

Mike Elgan (01:04:54):

Jason Howell (01:04:54):
Improvement. What's that, Jeff? I missed that. They laughed at Google Glass. [01:05:00] This is a highly different product from what? Google Glass?

Ant Pruitt (01:05:06):
Yeah. The difference there, Mr. Jarvis, is people are staying at home with these, not Google

Mike Elgan (01:05:11):

Jason Howell (01:05:12):
Google Glass. They're not embarrassing themselves in public. Well, maybe they will because this is a mixed reality headset. This includes two outward facing color cameras on the Quest Pro, so they call it the first mainstream headset built for mixed reality. I don't know that that necessarily [01:05:30] means you're going to see people walking out and about on the streets with a MedQuest three, but

Mike Elgan (01:05:37):
I don't know. And of course that is Addie Robinson. I recognize the lower half of her face.

Jason Howell (01:05:41):
Yes, indeed. She's talented with this stuff. I always love talking to her about the new VR hardware that she's

Mike Elgan (01:05:48):
Testing, and I have no problem with the fact that of course, VR headsets are going to be as bulky. The weight is a bigger problem than the auto cleanliness of them and the size, [01:06:00] but that's no problem. The problem is that people don't want to live in VR for hours and hours and hours, and that was part of the original vision of the Metaverse. It was just like, you'll get up, it'd be like, ready Player one, get up in the morning, put'em on you, go to school, go to work, you'd all this. It's like, yeah, nobody wants that. And so

Jason Howell (01:06:16):
That kind of sounds like a nightmare to me. Yes.

Mike Elgan (01:06:22):
But they did come out with their camera glasses, which is to me a much more interesting, so

Jason Howell (01:06:29):
You, you're talking [01:06:30] about the meta RayBan, are these the camera glasses? Yep. Yeah. Okay. So you mentioned this earlier. You probably know a little bit more about these smart glasses than I do. I haven't had a chance to read up on these other than RayBan. What

Mike Elgan (01:06:42):
Are they? Well, okay, so they already have a version of these, I forgot what they're called, but they retired. The branding on that, and like you say, these are called the RayBan Meta Smart Glasses. These are a vast improvement. So what they have is they have two cameras in them. They cost [01:07:00] 300 bucks, and the idea is that you can talk on the phone. They have supposedly have really good sound. They have, you can live stream to Facebook or Instagram through the glasses, which is going to be really a big deal. I think a lot of people are going to be live streaming through these things. Then when people comment during the live stream, their comments will be spoken to you audibly while you're wearing the glasses, so you can be interacting [01:07:30] with your audience as you're live streaming. So that's a really interesting development to me.

Their microphones are way better than the other ones. The other ones had one mic. These have five mics including one in the Nose Bridge, and so hopefully they have gotten to the point where the audio quality in both directions going out and coming in are going to be much better. The cameras are 12 megapixel cameras and they take 10 80 p videos, and I just think this is a great product. I'm totally getting [01:08:00] it. I think I wrote a piece about this a couple months ago based on the rumors of this product, and one of the things that I miss about Google Glass is the ability to take pictures from my face because I think I always felt like that's an actual distinct medium that gives you the actual view of what you see better than anything else, better than smartphone camera stuff. So [01:08:30] I'm looking forward buying and using these actually.

Jason Howell (01:08:33):
Yeah, I completely agree. I mean, that was my absolute favorite quality of Google Glass was that you could record video from your perspective or take a photo from your perspective. That was nice. But recording video, I mean, I recorded my second daughter's first steps wearing Google Glass, and I can go back to that video and watch her walking towards me, and it gives me chills thinking about it. It takes me [01:09:00] back to that memory exactly how I remembered seeing it, and

Mike Elgan (01:09:04):
I remember your video of that event. So this is a great medium, this is a great medium, and I'm glad that I think these glasses will be a lot more socially acceptable. And I don't know, I didn't see the announcement, but I know that the leaks indicated that it has a light on it that shows when it's recording and if you put tape [01:09:30] over the light or you disable the light in any way, it won't record again. Don't quote me on that. That information comes to speak, but I think that's an interesting attempt by meta to make them more socially acceptable so that people know when you are and are not recording,

Jason Howell (01:09:49):
When you're recording according to the Verge article, a white light around the lens pulses to indicate you're recording. So yeah, I think that's important. I mean, I think you have to have that on [01:10:00] something like this. Otherwise, you're begging for trouble. You're begging for pushback at this point. For sure. But this

Benito Gonzalez (01:10:07):
Does open a can of worms though, right? Because even if Meta does this, some other whatever Chinese company or something's just going to make the same thing that doesn't tell you when it's recording,

Jason Howell (01:10:16):
If they're not already or if they have it already.

Benito Gonzalez (01:10:19):
If this becomes

Mike Elgan (01:10:20):

Benito Gonzalez (01:10:20):
Consumer product. Yeah, exactly. But if it becomes a regular product that everybody has, then that becomes a problem.

Jason Howell (01:10:27):
No, those are going to exist too.

Mike Elgan (01:10:29):
You could buy [01:10:30] a lapel pin camera now, right?

Benito Gonzalez (01:10:33):
Yeah, but I'm saying, but if this becomes a regular consumer object that everybody actually has, then everybody is going to be doing that. And that's a problem. Isn't

Mike Elgan (01:10:46):
What they said about Google Glass

Jason Howell (01:10:47):
Too though,

Benito Gonzalez (01:10:48):
Where Google, Google Glass now

Mike Elgan (01:10:49):
New York Times columnist, it's a technical difference from the reality that we all live in, which is that people are recording video and pictures with their cell phone cameras everywhere all the time, and [01:11:00] we are in them. You go to a restaurant, somebody's going to take your picture, they're going to take a picture of the food and the restaurant and the room and all that stuff, and you're going to be in it. And then something like Facebook or Google Photos is going to recognize your face. And it's like we already live in that world, and to put the camera from here on my phone to here on my glasses, really not that much of a difference. It

Jason Howell (01:11:24):
Makes a difference when you're talking about stuff like the bathroom.

Jeff Jarvis (01:11:29):
Wait, wait, wait, [01:11:30] wait, wait. I had this argument with a New York Times columnist who complained about Scobel going to the bathroom. I said, nobody wants a picture of your junk.

Jason Howell (01:11:39):
There are people,

Jeff Jarvis (01:11:40):
We deal with that with society and we'll deal with it here. I just don't think that's going to happen.

Mike Elgan (01:11:48):
I do think it's a reasonable prediction to predict that people, if this gets popular, the Facebook specific product becomes as popular as they hope it will, that they will be blamed for this [01:12:00] problem of invasion of privacy, even though as we suggested, they're trying to be the more responsible party and have the blinking light. It reminds me of the Apple Air tags where people are notified that there's an air tag with them, and then they discovered that somebody planted an air tag in their car and then people are like, oh, apple, you're evil because you are doing, no, actually Apple's the one that's telling people that there's a million different cheap third rate, two bit trackers that [01:12:30] you can buy on the internet for very low price, and they've existed for decades, but Apple's the one that came along and starts notifying people when they're tracking you. So I think all company like Meta can do is have the blinking light and try to be responsible about notifying others in the room that you're recording. Yeah,

Jeff Jarvis (01:12:49):
Renegotiate our normals around these new things. We'll,

Jason Howell (01:12:53):
Yeah, cover their tracks.

Jeff Jarvis (01:12:55):
And if you have a friend who comes into the bathroom and does this, they're not your friend anymore.

Mike Elgan (01:12:58):
If they come into the bathroom and [01:13:00] their glasses are blinking and need to cover more than your tracks.

Jason Howell (01:13:03):
That's true. That's true. But I don't think anyone, I guess I push back a little bit, Jeff on the, everybody will get used to it. It's not going to be a big deal because if I was to go into a bathroom with a full camera set up like a blatant full camera set up and go into the bathroom and there's somebody else in there, I think people would get pretty pissed.

Jeff Jarvis (01:13:25):
Yeah, they're telling you not to do it. It's just like in gyms, people [01:13:30] said, don't take your camera, your phone into the bathroom, into the changing room. That became the norm. That became what we renegotiated around this because cameras, I mean, phones suddenly had cameras, and so things changed and we'll do the same thing and we'll figure it out. We're okay, we've gotten through wars and pests. We'll figure

Jason Howell (01:13:49):
Out, we'll figure it out. I think the other side of that though is that these glasses, these we're finally getting to the point where smart glasses actually don't look like pieces of [01:14:00] technology as much as they used to. They used to look blatantly like technology on your face, and now they're starting to get to the point to where these things, you got to look really close to actually know that there's technology there. So yay for progress because we've been wanting that out of smart glasses. But that is one of the downsides is that there might be glasses that do have the technology that are capable of recording and that you can walk into a bathroom and someone doesn't automatically know that that's a camera the way they would if I was walking into a bathroom like this and the social rules [01:14:30] would bust me on that and tell me not to do that, and I would respond. If the glasses don't clue anyone into anything like that, bad things will happen. Inevitably,

Mike Elgan (01:14:41):
There are billions of smartphones with cameras. There are new cameras popping up everywhere. If you're Lauren and you go to the musical theater, there's going to be a camera on you. There's cameras everywhere, not the bathroom one hopes, but to Jeff's point, people could bring their cameras into [01:15:00] the bathrooms and they don't, I've never seen it like anybody taking pictures of them, but public restroom, it's just not acceptable socially. So I think we'll figure it out. But one way or the other, there's no escaping the reality that the number of cameras will keep growing. The places that they'll be installed will keep growing. They'll be on people's persons. There'll bell be lapel cams, there'll be hat cameras exist, the glasses, [01:15:30] there're going to be cameras everywhere all the time. And so we're going to have to learn to deal with it. In the meantime, I think it's really interesting that we basically have a new medium in the form of the RayBan Metas Smart Glasses, which is glasses that livestream and have two-way communication between the livestream and the audience of a livestream. I think that's really interesting. Culturally. I could be wrong about that and I could be wrong. I think these would be pretty popular, and I could be wrong about that, but I think they're [01:16:00] going to be Instagram influencers who can be all over this. And it also doesn't

Ant Pruitt (01:16:04):
Sound like this's anything new though.

Mike Elgan (01:16:09):
What I like about it is that it's a form of live streaming that isn't, Hey, look at me. It's like, it's like, Hey, look what I see. Look what I'm experiencing. It's kind old fashioned idea. You used to take pictures of what saw tv, and now we take pictures of Justin tv ourselves, Justin tv.

Ant Pruitt (01:16:26):
That's the first thing I thought of. And like I said, I don't [01:16:30] see that being a bit of a culture shock. I think people would still do that today if the equipment was easy for them to do it.

Mike Elgan (01:16:39):
Yeah, yeah.

Jason Howell (01:16:39):
I mean, there's a whole

Benito Gonzalez (01:16:40):
Genre of this on Twitch of people with a backpack camera. You

Jason Howell (01:16:44):
Know what? Yeah, there you go. That's a whole

Benito Gonzalez (01:16:45):
Genre already. It'll just make it a lot easier.

Mike Elgan (01:16:47):
Yeah. Yep.

Jason Howell (01:16:49):
Justin tv, I remember that era. Hey,

Benito Gonzalez (01:16:53):
I think we were working together

Jason Howell (01:16:54):
At the time when that, yeah, we were working together at C that at the time. That's right. I think he even came in for an interview and I remember him [01:17:00] walking to the studio and of course he was live streaming the whole thing, and he had his whole side work rig on time

Benito Gonzalez (01:17:04):
And everyone was like, what's anyone want this for?

Jason Howell (01:17:07):
Totally. And now everybody, apparently everybody's an influencer. We've all got reason to use this. We know the story pretty well of Google Glass and Google. I think I would say Google kind of was a little too far ahead of the curve. They had to make the mistakes [01:17:30] so that others could succeed is my take on the Google last thing. What about spectacles by Snap? Because that was kind of like the Yeah, that

Jeff Jarvis (01:17:38):
Didn't just work so well.

Jason Howell (01:17:39):
Yeah. Mean Well, they've had multiple generations. Extremely weird looking. Yeah, they are weird looking. They kind of leaned into the weird looking thing, and then maybe that worked for a while and then stopped working, but yeah, I dunno. I'd be curious to see if this works for meta, I guess is my point. I remember when the spectacles happened and it was like, well, maybe snap's [01:18:00] onto something. Maybe Google took the lumps so that Snap could succeed, and now it seems like it's more a toy than anything. I'm curious to see if that's the direction that it goes for meta or if meta is actually able to turn into something more. Yeah, so interesting stuff there. We haven't even talked about antitrust. Do we want to talk about antitrust litigation? Well,

Jeff Jarvis (01:18:28):
Yeah, because I'm going to be my usual [01:18:30] contrarian self here. It's all right. This is going to really hurt us as customers. I think it's going to hurt the marketplace. Amazon, once again, I'm sorry. I know I get in trouble with the show when I criticize Lena Khan, but this is a prime example where she's not looking at things that have hurt consumers, number one. Number two, in the marketplace, all kinds of stores were able to start because of what Amazon does. It shares its [01:19:00] marketing, it shares its technology, it shares its backend, it shares its delivery more and more, and it makes all kinds of businesses possible with more choice than we've ever had at lower prices because there's more competition. And this is just big bad tech company and full disclosures. I have some Amazon stock, I've had it for a long time. God knows how low it is today because of this. I

Jason Howell (01:19:24):
Only dropped like 5%. I don't think you're heard too bad.

Jeff Jarvis (01:19:30):
[01:19:30] I put up something called Five Arguments against the FTCs Amazon case, which came from the C I A, which is the one of those trade associations for the tech industry. So you know what they're going to say, but breaking Amazon Prime is really going to hurt customers who love it. They're protecting competitors against protecting consumers.

Jason Howell (01:19:56):
Yeah, I think that's an important point.

Jeff Jarvis (01:19:57):
Break Amazon's logistics and fulfillment [01:20:00] services, which breaks the marketplace for all these third party sellers, which creates more competition. And then other part of this too is okay, monopoly in what? This is what Benedict Evans is so great about. He constantly looks at the numbers and says, okay, in retail, Amazon is in no way Monopoly has a tiny share of overall retail in online retail, not even there because you've got tons of players. Now, Shopify, Walmart targets [01:20:30] others, so they made this on Superstore online. Well, that's a stupid category to claim a monopoly on Amazon's part. What does, does that even mean a store that sells all

Ant Pruitt (01:20:42):
Things, which I mean, I guess Amazon

Jeff Jarvis (01:20:43):
Does. They made it as narrow as like, well, Amazon's a monopoly because it's only Amazon. It was tautological. And so I think Lena Kahn's done it again, and I hope and don't think this is going to succeed in court for the protection [01:21:00] of consumers, which is what her job should be. End of ramp. See if you guys,

Mike Elgan (01:21:04):
Yeah, the real issue is monopsony, not monopoly. And that means when Amazon has a stranglehold on sellers and can basically tell them what to do, and basically they do really push the sellers around. They drive all kinds of weird practices among sellers, and that's another issue. But all these antitrust things, they're usually like a decade too late. So I think if you were to do this 10 years [01:21:30] ago, I think it would've been a different thing altogether, but nobody did anything 10 years ago. And now Amazon is, they're losing their sort of special status as everybody else gets their act together and people start to diversify where they buy things and all that kind of stuff. And I dunno, I agree with you, Jeff. I think that despite some of the objectionable news we get about Amazon now and then, I think just [01:22:00] going in there with a sledgehammer and smashing it up into little pieces isn't going to help people improve anything.

Jeff Jarvis (01:22:05):
What do you think?

Ant Pruitt (01:22:06):
I used to hate hearing people talk about how Amazon is ruined in small businesses and so forth, and I totally disagreed with that. If you were going to say something along those lines, maybe Walmart, as Walmart comes in physically to a location and opens up doors with cash registers and point of sales or what have you, and tell people, what do they call it, low prices every day or whatever their slogan [01:22:30] was, just something generic like that and literally got people from mom and pop store right next door to it to go to Walmart, where Amazon, if you want to put your stuff in their space, they'll allow you to put your stuff in their space for a small fee. Heck, I shop for camera gear on Amazon. I also shop for camera gear on as I'm an affiliate with both of these places now that I think about it. But I can pull up something on Amazon that ends up coming [01:23:00],

Jeff Jarvis (01:23:04):
And here's the other r a right now. So of the other big antitrust cases we've talked about in the last couple of weeks is Google and advertising, which is a legitimate issue to investigate. I will say, however, the interesting thing Google and advertising mean, but the interesting thing here is that Amazon is cutting into Google's advertising business seriously. And so to claim that Google has an impenetrable [01:23:30] monopoly when Amazon is coming in, cutting into Google's ad business at the same time, they're claiming that Amazon has an impenetrable monopoly. When you've got Shopify out there and lots of other companies enabling online commerce, it's show off

Mike Elgan (01:23:48):
Time. But one of the things that they're addressing is Amazon's activities against sellers who do things off of Amazon. So for example, [01:24:00] one of the allegations is that if a seller tries to sell a product lower outside of Amazon, they do on Amazon, then they tweak them in the listings. And when you go searching for a product category, the person who's selling cheaper outside of Amazon comes way at the end of the listing, stuff like that.

Jeff Jarvis (01:24:18):
But Mike, isn't that for the benefit of the consumer, so we get the lowest prices up high?

Mike Elgan (01:24:23):
Well, it prevents lower prices from existing outside of Amazon, is the idea where it's actually, [01:24:30] so the Amazon's basic relationship with shoppers, according to allegation is that if you're going to sell with different prices, Amazon has to be the lower price because if it isn't, we're going to crush you on Amazon, you're not going to sell anything on Amazon. So it is kind of like, again, this is an allegation and it's the kind of thing they do. They also have this thing where we've all seen the, I guess Amazon recommendation, the products you've searched for, you're looking for U S B C cable buy box and it's like, oh, this is Amazon recommended, and that [01:25:00] recommendation is based on the company having exclusivity on Amazon, doing all this other stuff. Those

Jeff Jarvis (01:25:06):
Are issues to look into.

Mike Elgan (01:25:08):
Yes. And so I think that they should look into those issues. They should expose what's real and what's just an allegation. It seems like breaking up the company, I mean, you're just going to have more Amazons, right? I don't see what that would do to improve things. Yeah.

Jason Howell (01:25:27):
I think the point also that you made earlier, Jeff, about [01:25:30] you've got all these people, an insane amount of people buying into Amazon for their prime experience and removing that as an option is actually going to upset an insane amount of people. It's not like you're saving them from something. It actually makes things a heck of a lot more complicated for them.

Jeff Jarvis (01:25:52):
I started a community of practice around commerce for media companies before the pandemic, and [01:26:00] one data point that they all found is that if you had available for Prime on anything that the newspaper company was selling, huge difference in uptake. Huge difference. People love Prime,

Jason Howell (01:26:16):

Jeff Jarvis (01:26:16):
Invested in Prime, they want Prime and why the hell not. The other issue thing about this though is how long has it been since you got an Amazon package delivered? And this is Mike. I don't know what happens internationally, but in the us how long has it been since you've had an Amazon package [01:26:30] delivered by anybody other than Amazon? Say it come

Jason Howell (01:26:33):

Jeff Jarvis (01:26:33):
S p s anymore or u p s anymore?

Ant Pruitt (01:26:37):
They come

Jeff Jarvis (01:26:37):
From the blue

Ant Pruitt (01:26:38):
Amazon truck. I can't say it's probably been a week. I still get a mix of it actually.

Jeff Jarvis (01:26:42):
You do, you do. Oh, that's interesting. I almost

Ant Pruitt (01:26:44):
Get still get a mix.

Jeff Jarvis (01:26:46):
Always Amazon delivery here.

Jason Howell (01:26:48):

Ant Pruitt (01:26:49):
Even U S P S with the last, they get the last mile with U S P S on a lot of stuff too. So yeah, I still get a good mix.

Jason Howell (01:26:58):
Yeah, I would agree. My experience [01:27:00] is I get a mix, but boy, I continue to get probably no less than one package a week delivered by Amazon. So it's no question. Our household, we buy a lot through Amazon, and I think at the heart of a lot of this is, again, it goes back to fear. It's like, oh, well wait a minute. If everyone's just getting everything through Amazon, then what are they not getting their things through? We've got to save those other places, save

Ant Pruitt (01:27:29):
Those other

Jason Howell (01:27:29):
Ones [01:27:30] from Amazon being smart at how they do business and how they've done business. Which kind of ties in with the Google case that you were talking about where just was it today or yesterday that Eddie Q from Apple gave key witness testimony about the Google's deal with Apple to ensure that Google search is on the iPhone and Q basically defended the deal just saying, Hey, look, Google search, [01:28:00] there was no valid alternative to the good quality product that Google offered. We wanted that on our phone. Yet that's being, that example is being pointed to as like see Google's strong arming and charging Apple to ensure large amounts of money to ensure that their search is there. Well, hey, at the end of the day, if people enjoy and find the best success using a Google search, then that's not a reason to tell Google to stop doing [01:28:30] its business. People want. I always

Mike Elgan (01:28:31):
Thought that that deal between Google and Apple was a case of Apple fleecing Google,

Jason Howell (01:28:40):
Right? We'd love to have your search, but if you want it on there, you're going to have to pay for it.

Mike Elgan (01:28:46):
Most apps don't have to pay billions to be in the app

Jason Howell (01:28:48):
Store. Yeah, it's fair, very

Jeff Jarvis (01:28:50):
True. It's also, Mike, you're absolutely right, but it's also a way when Google pays Wikipedia and Google pays Firefox, [01:29:00] it's also a to forest all this exact kind of criticism. Okay, going to share. We're benefiting from this and we're going to share some back with you. I don't want to seem like I'm defending the companies. I don't want to see, like I'm against regulation. We need regulation in a lot of ways, but I hate stupid regulation and this strikes me that way. To some extent, you want to regulate stuff, regulate the phone company, regulate my cable [01:29:30] company, regulate lots of things to regulate, but I'm not seeing and fine look into Google and advertising, they own too much of that market. I agree with all that, but in these cases they're just not looking out for the consumers. Right.

Jason Howell (01:29:46):
Interesting. Alright, let's take a break and thank the sponsor of this episode of Twig and then when we get back, I mean we've got, man, we've got so much more this week in AI [01:30:00] Block is enormous and I doubt we're going to talk about all that stuff, but we've got time to do so. So we'll certainly do our best to get through it and talk about all that stuff. But before we get there, let's take a break. Thank the sponsor of this episode and that is Bit Warden, love bit warden. I have it installed on all my devices. I've got my whole family moved over to Bit Warden. Bit warden's great. It's the only open source cross platform password manager anywhere, anytime, even [01:30:30] here at Twit Security now is Steve Gibson. He's switched over and he's a fan with Bit Warden. All of the data in your vault is end to end encrypted, and that's not just your passwords, everything end to end encrypted in the summer 2023 G two Enterprise Grid report.

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What was old is new again. It's basically the end of the object pie, anti net neutrality era. Good news. I mean obviously it's good news, right? How important is this, I guess is the big question. What do y'all think?

Jeff Jarvis (01:34:28):
I a shot across the bow of the phone companies [01:34:30] now that there's a full F c C, they can do this and so it's kind of, we're going to keep doing this and so stop trying.

Jason Howell (01:34:38):

Jeff Jarvis (01:34:39):
Yeah, it's fine. It's not earth shattering, but I think it's fine. Yeah,

Jason Howell (01:34:43):
Nice. I mean if things felt kind of earth shattering when suddenly Egypt pie was making all these declarations and cuts and everything, it felt like a really big deal back then. So it's nice to know that maybe we've, at least for now, maybe we've seen [01:35:00] the end of that. I

Mike Elgan (01:35:02):
Hope it's settled. I hope we don't go back and forth every time. Another administration, that's kind

Jason Howell (01:35:08):
Of what I'm alluding to a little bit there. How long does this stick around, cross our fingers and C and then do we want to talk about X at all disabling a feature the users can no longer report election misinformation.

Mike Elgan (01:35:30):
[01:35:30] Well, there's also, I mean we might talk about that. We also might talk about the fact that Elon Musk has floated the idea of charging every user a small amount to combat bots, which I think is the dumbest thing I've ever heard. Because what percentage of Twitter users are going to give their credit card information to Elon Musk?

Jason Howell (01:35:51):

Ant Pruitt (01:35:52):
That's fine. If he wants to down that sword, have at it, dude, just watch your product just burn if you want to, [01:36:00] you paid for it, you can do what you want. And someone mentioned to me in one of these social platforms that yes, he paid for this product and he can do whatever he wants to do or he can do the right thing. And sometimes, yeah, it's nice to be able to do the right thing, but again, at the end of the day, this is his product and he's got the rules on it.

Jason Howell (01:36:30):
[01:36:30] Let's see where that leads. I'm guessing not good places.

Mike Elgan (01:36:36):
I mean Twitter's still X is dying and it seems to me that one of its important roles was a place where all the journalists went and I think that that's the main thing that made Twitter indispensable. So where are the journalists all going?

Jason Howell (01:36:53):
Are they now? Yeah,

Mike Elgan (01:36:54):
My own take is that at least, especially in the tech journalists sphere to a lesser extent, the [01:37:00] political journalist sphere, it's threads. Threads has been being hammered recently for having a lackluster user uptake, but it's basically nearly half of what Twitter is after just a few weeks. So I think it's not doing bad, but I think if you were to measure the percentage of journalists who are on threads, I think we'd all be a little bit more impressed with threads.

Ant Pruitt (01:37:25):
You're more so because it comes off as a little less geekery [01:37:30] and nerdy than the Mastodon offerings or blue sky.

Mike Elgan (01:37:35):
Blue Sky's not geeky. I think you got to get

Ant Pruitt (01:37:39):
An invite once you, well, I remember just once you got the invite, even the sign up was a bit confusing for some people because you have the option of connecting your own public domain and so forth. And then there was some other server, I can't remember, but I remember laughing thinking, yeah, this is dead.

Jason Howell (01:37:58):

Ant Pruitt (01:37:58):
Should just be a click. [01:38:00] Here's my account name that I wanted. Here's the password.

Jeff Jarvis (01:38:03):
I'm seeing lots and lots and lots more journalists there. Blue Sky's my place now. I love MAs on understand I'm Mastodon, but it is threads I've stopped. In fact, I just trying to go back to right now and I can't get it. To not pull up the damned app and the Android.

Ant Pruitt (01:38:20):
Oh really?

Jason Howell (01:38:22):
It's been so long. It doesn't even know how to launch

Ant Pruitt (01:38:26):
When I go to it. It is what Twitter used to be with [01:38:30] me and my personal experiences, the people that I actually follow now because there's that tab, I'm going right there and it's people that I care to hear from and I'm seeing the content they're sharing. Now, if I go to that other tab, the algorithmic base or what have you, yeah, that can be a bit sketchy at times because of course the field, we'll find its way into your clean space at some point.

Jason Howell (01:38:55):
Yeah, I never used Blue Sky. I have never [01:39:00] used, what's the one that got renamed recently?

Mike Elgan (01:39:04):
It's called Pebble, I

Jason Howell (01:39:05):
Think T two now. Pebble

Mike Elgan (01:39:06):
Two is now called Pebble.

Jason Howell (01:39:07):
Never used that one. And

Mike Elgan (01:39:08):
I like there's a slight redesign, which is really nice and I like the name better. I just don't think it has a prayer to compete with the VE verse or with Blue Sky or with Threads.

Jeff Jarvis (01:39:24):
What I argue, Mike, is that I think we're going to shift our sense of scale and [01:39:30] we think that Twitter was big. Well, it was never that big in total. And B, you've never talk to all of Twitter, you only talk to a certain number of people and you can talk to that same certain number of people on threads, on Blue Sky, on Mastodon, and I think people will find those homes and it's probably a healthier thing for the internet and that we don't have one place anymore.

Jason Howell (01:39:51):
Yeah, I think you're right. And I think as a user of these different platforms and [01:40:00] I've got a whole folder filled with all the different icons and the different places I can go, it just makes for a more kind of splintered, confusing experience. It's like where do I want this thought to go? Which one do I want to kill the next five minutes of my life browsing through? There were some benefits to having one place that I ever did anything through, even though I totally agree with you, Jeff.

Jeff Jarvis (01:40:24):
And you know what I do, which is awful, I'm surprised people don't yell at me for it is I'll take a given [01:40:30] if I want to share something in the Washington Post, it has the Twitter button and it's always going to be Twitter and I then it brings up the link and it brings up what I want to say. I copy that. I do it in Blue Sky, bring the card in, I put it in Mastermind certain cases if it's appropriate. I put it in LinkedIn once at a rare while I put it in Facebook. So

Ant Pruitt (01:40:53):
I'm cross posting. Sounds like the rest of us creators and marketeers out. There's all we do.

Mike Elgan (01:40:57):
And I've seen criticism of that practice [01:41:00] and I wonder why, what's the point of the criticism? And I think if somebody does that a lot and you follow somebody on multiple things, then pick one and you'll get it. Just pick

Ant Pruitt (01:41:11):
One. Exactly.

Mike Elgan (01:41:13):
And so I think it's fine. I mean I do the same thing. I'm thinking, well, it's kind of snarky, so it's got to go on Blue Sky or it's kind a high-minded highfalutin concept. So it's going to go on Stack Notes and [01:41:30] also Macon. It's always like Blue Sky Macon or Threads in Macedon, right? So I dunno if it is more of a personal thing, maybe it goes on Facebook if it's a beautiful picture, maybe it goes on Instagram. But I have no rhyme or reason for where I post. It's all just a bunch of hip shots. And I just wish there was just some way I miss Google Plus and I miss [01:42:00] Twitter after Google Plus where you just go to that place, you post it, all your colleagues in the media would see it and interact. More importantly, they would interact with it and comment and stuff like that. But it's more frustrating. It's more time consuming and I don't see it changing. I don't see anybody dominating anytime soon. There's

Benito Gonzalez (01:42:24):
A time when it was all like this though. Remember when Twitter used to have the post this, the Facebook button or the Facebook used to have post this, [01:42:30] the Twitter button. You used to do this all the time. You used to post your it's

Ant Pruitt (01:42:33):
Cross everywhere post. Yeah, it's

Benito Gonzalez (01:42:34):
True. And it feels like we're back to that.

Ant Pruitt (01:42:38):
Yeah, yeah. It's just sometimes it's hard to go back. It's hard to go backwards. Thank goodness for I just do it all in one spot. Buffer. What is that? lets you post to multiple platforms at one time and you schedule them out.

Mike Elgan (01:42:59):
Oh, okay. That's a paid [01:43:00] service though, right?

Ant Pruitt (01:43:02):
They have a free version too.

Mike Elgan (01:43:03):

Ant Pruitt (01:43:04):
And with the free version, you can set up, I think 10 posts in a given hour, 10 at time. Oh geez, that's nothing. And you're scheduling it to go out to the social media platforms throughout the day. Works for me. Does it do Blue Sky? Does it do Mastodon? No Blue Sky. It does have Mastodon. LinkedIn. [01:43:30] Does

Mike Elgan (01:43:30):
It still work with Twitter

Ant Pruitt (01:43:32):
Since the still guys still works with that? It's Twitter and it's Twitter. And the place formally done is Twitter.

Mike Elgan (01:43:42):
I've heard people call it Twitter. Spelled like Twitter, but with an X instead of the T. And the X is an s h

Jason Howell (01:43:50):
Sound. So right. So you sound it out for yourself at home. Is Masnick doing X

Ant Pruitt (01:43:57):
Twitter, ex Twitter?

Jason Howell (01:43:59):
Ah, yeah.

Ant Pruitt (01:44:00):
[01:44:00] I'm looking at Buffer now. You can post a YouTube Mastodon start page, TikTok, Google Business Profile, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter. Meanwhile, I can't get into LinkedIn, Pinterest and Shopify. So if you want to post to those different platforms altogether, you can. I like it because it lets me knock out my promotional stuff early in the day and I don't have to think about it the rest of the day. I really don't have time to keep posting. [01:44:30] I just don't. I got other stuff to do. Sorry.

Jason Howell (01:44:32):
Yeah, neither do I. That's why I hardly post on anything. It's too overwhelming to think about throughout the day. So a tool like that might actually be really, but you're doing a lot of TOS these days. Well, not really. I mean, I said I'm going to go and do some TikTok, use TikTok the way I use Twitter. But even that, I got to remember, my brain just doesn't remind me that, oh, I need to post this thing. Something will happen and maybe it's worth sharing [01:45:00] or I don't know how you determine what's worth sharing. But instead I will move on to the next thing because life is crazy and busy and all of it takes time. And I'm like, well then why am I doing that? I don't have the time for it. So when I have time, I do it. But yeah, but it is fun. I will say I've had fun playing around with TikTok. It is nice to just go on there and just belt out something and not have to craft the words and [01:45:30] phrase check it 10 million times until I'm perfectly happy with sending it out. I dunno, it's just a time suck. It's all a time suck for me and sometimes I just don't have the time for it. So don't do it.

Why don't we dive into the wonderful world of artificial intelligence, some really interesting stuff in here. I will just let you know in advance, we don't really have [01:46:00] a Google change log today. I did some searching hats away. I'm sure that Scooter X has some links set aside. But when I looked at the amount of stuff in this week in ai, and we're kind of in the middle of the vortex of the Made by Google events, so there's not a whole lot of news announcements coming from Google. Some of them are in this AI section. So we're going to take, and we need to promote a certain club podcast called AI Inside. Well, that's true. [01:46:30] Jeff Jarvis and I do a podcast every week for a club TWI called Tomorrow, AI Inside where we talk about these things. Jeff won't be there tomorrow. So this is kind of like AI inside meets this week in Google.

There we go. Sure. AI outside ai outside of AI inside. Yeah, that's it. But top of this block here, it looks like the rider's strike is reaching an end. So yay. I don't know. When we see the fruits of the upcoming work that's [01:47:00] about to hit everybody who's been off for the last however many months is probably going to be quite a ways down the line. But the reason we're talking about it in the AI segment is because there's a lot of changes here I think that have to do with ai. So AI is not going to be able to write or rewrite certain material, AI generated material, not able to be used as source material. [01:47:30] The Writer's Guild reserves the right to assert that exploitation of writer's material to train AI is prohibited. So a lot of changes, we knew kind of throughout this that AI has been a big contentious point for writers and everybody's trying to figure out how big of a threat is this to what we do for a living and the living that we're able to make around [01:48:00] writing for Hollywood. So some changes, is it, I dunno, what are your thoughts on kind where this got over all this time?

Ant Pruitt (01:48:12):
I'm glad they got to some type of middle ground on this because again, I've said before that AI is not all evil, but AI is not all good either. So there's definitely a middle ground and both parties should be able to utilize it in the creative process, in my opinion. [01:48:30] And I still think the artists, be it the writers or actors, whenever they get to their agreement, hopefully they get to their agreement soon. They all need to be paid accordingly and paid based on their body of work and their skillset that they bring to the table and not get screwed out of a job.

Mike Elgan (01:48:51):
Everything about it is very complex and I agree with that. I mean, writers in Hollywood have always been, if you [01:49:00] compare the success of a movie and the financial success of a movie with the amount that writers get paid for writing this script, it's always been out of whack. Writers always gotten screwed compared to other players in the process. Actors get paid way too much. Writers get paid way too little. This has been going on since the beginning of time. However, this is just the latest chapter in an ongoing saga of how [01:49:30] technology is changing. The movies, for example, they've been using C G I for many, many years. This has replaced all kinds of professions like set design, costume design, all these kinds of things have just been replaced with digital tools and digital creators. It's cut a lot of jobs. It goes on and on.

The technology's always affecting the movies and we don't really know where that's going. [01:50:00] We've all settled on the idea that you want to make a big superhero movie V, it's all green screen and all the sets and all the machinery and all the vehicles and all the spaceships and everything is computer generated and we all accept that. But that cost a lot of lives, a lot of livelihoods over the years of people who used to build all that stuff in a Hollywood studio. And nobody can say that it should [01:50:30] have been prevented or banned or that there should have been a contractual prohibition on using C G I in movies. We wouldn't be where we are today. Having said that, and there are also aspects of the writer's strike that are pretty objectionable. For example, there were some language, I dunno, where they're landing on the final outcome, but the part of the proposal was you have to have at least this many writers, you have to have at least, I forgot what it was, you need at least [01:51:00] eight writers for every movie. Well, that's just baloney. That's baloney. Some movies should have one writer, Aaron Sorkin or two writers or whatever. You shouldn't be prescribing the creative process like that. And so that bothers me a lot. So we'll see where they actually landed and get into the details of this thing. But I just hope that they haven't done anything too stupid. And I hope that the writers get paid and can't be [01:51:30] robbed the way writers and even actors have been robbed in the past. So

Jeff Jarvis (01:51:36):
I just think that the mass blockbuster economy is, if not over a hundred times harder, streaming is not where it's going to end up because it's still not a good business for people. People are going to entertain themselves and make their own stuff. The culture is bottom up now. So the change that we saw [01:52:00] through this contract is one stage in a huge amount of change yet to come in the entertainment industry. And I don't know where this is going to end. I can't possibly predict where this is going to end up. I think I'm glad there's a contract now. It'll last for a little while, but all of these issues are going to hit again. And the pie of money to pass around isn't going to be big studios. It's going to be still YouTube and such.

Benito Gonzalez (01:52:25):
Sorry, I want to reply real quick to something that Mike said about the, because speaking [01:52:30] of disclaimer, I was formerly a part of the W G A. So when it comes to the writer minimums, that's more for television shows because there is a number of people you need, you absolutely need to have to be able to write a television through the series through a season. And so I think that those protections are more about that. I just wanted to say that.

Jason Howell (01:52:51):
Okay. Okay. That's important.

Benito Gonzalez (01:52:56):
And films and yeah, films. I don't think it's touched by that. I think that's more about television.

Jason Howell (01:53:00):
[01:53:00] Okay. Makes sense. Yeah, it makes sense. Four seasons. Yeah. Another thing that it looks like they're noting as kind of a win for writers is that wage increase, of course, but around high budget subscription video on demand. So platforms like Netflix and streaming films, and it says studios are going to have to provide the W G A with actual data. So the total number of hours streamed [01:53:30] domestically and internationally of a self-produced high budget streaming program. So Netflix, Disney plus Amazon, other streamers won't be able to invent weird metrics or meaningless self-referential ratings to give to the Writer's Guild. So more clarity, because so much of this stuff was shrouded behind the business models of these particular streaming platforms. And I think how that trickled down to how these writers still, our analytics, [01:54:00] we owe you a monthly check of 2 cents per month. This is

Benito Gonzalez (01:54:04):
Called Hollywood Accounting. This has been going on for a very long time.

Mike Elgan (01:54:08):
We lost money on the movie and so sorry, you don't get

Jason Howell (01:54:11):
Paid. Yeah, right, right, right. So interesting stuff there. You talked about this, you alluded to this earlier, Jeff, about Bard. I can't remember in the context of what I think it was in our very first story about Bard. Did you say Bard? That's right. About Bard. You not being able to use it, [01:54:30] but maybe you don't want to, because some of your conversations with Bard apparently have been shared to Google for its search results pages. They did

Jeff Jarvis (01:54:44):
Say they weren't going to do that,

Jason Howell (01:54:45):
Right? Yeah. They did say like, oh, we're working to make that so that that's not happening anymore. But just want to say, keep that in mind. It's neat that bar integrate

Jeff Jarvis (01:54:56):
Well at some point, how does Bard learn itself?

Jason Howell (01:54:59):
Don't do

Jeff Jarvis (01:54:59):
That. [01:55:00] You've got to be able to use the questions to understand what the users want without feeding it back to the

Jason Howell (01:55:06):
Users. It had something to do with a share feature. So if you got your results, I think I probably don't understand this entirely, but you as a user, you get your results through Bard based on your own personal data, and you had the ability to share that somewhere. And in the process of sharing it, that data ended up getting fed into the search kind of soup [01:55:30] so that your results would be based on that. And Google says, well, wait a minute, that shouldn't be the case. You should be able to share it where you wanted to share without that. Then feeding that data into the search soup as I'm calling it, that's my understanding anyway. But yes, Google has said they're going to kind of tighten that up and make that not be a thing. So there's that. Let's see here. Meta putting AI chatbots everywhere. Didn't this already happen [01:56:00] however many years ago where suddenly chatbots was the big thing? And I realized we're in the realm of AI chatbots now, not chatbots of the days of old, but this story just kind of gave me flashbacks. Like, oh, I remember when everybody was putting chatbots into their products. And yet here we are again, apparently,

Mike Elgan (01:56:18):
And the messaging products, but I think this is really kind of the story of the year, which is that we're getting chatbots literally everywhere. The number of third party [01:56:30] products that use open AI's APIs, and there's some like 15,000 LLMs out there now, and lots of companies are using them to create chatbots for everything. Started off with tools where you could throw in A P D F and then you could have a conversation with the P D F. Now you can with the Google tools that they announced and now the meta tools, the number one buyer of AI companies is Apple. [01:57:00] Turns out, surprisingly, we started the year where almost nobody was having regular, ongoing conversations with a large language model. And when we end the year at, on December 31st. This is going to be something almost everybody in professional setting will be doing almost every day all the time, right? So this year is being transformational in the sense that [01:57:30] AI chatbots are being put everywhere into our browsers, into our software, into our office tools, and this is really a sea change in human culture, and this is the year it's happening. I mean, it's just really a big, big deal.

Jeff Jarvis (01:57:47):
Jason, to your point about history here, do you remember Smarter Child?

Jason Howell (01:57:52):

Jeff Jarvis (01:57:53):
Active Buddy?

Mike Elgan (01:57:54):
That sounds familiar. Back

Jeff Jarvis (01:57:56):
In 2000 friends of mine, three friends of mine started this company [01:58:00] called Active Buddy and the Smarter Child was a first, and it was very crude and it really wasn't that smart, but it was that user interface. It was that. It was that motif of I'm going to talk to a machine and get answers to things. Yeah,

Jason Howell (01:58:13):
For a second I thought you said, Jason, do you remember your Smarter child? No, I don't at all. They're both smart. No, not that one. The other one, don't answer that in the mic, Mr. Howell. I'm muted. Suddenly [01:58:30] know what happened to my microphone. I'm going to go take a break. Well, you mentioned that

Mike Elgan (01:58:37):
We've been mess around with that kind of stuff for many, many years, but the new large language models is an entirely new Oh yeah.

Jeff Jarvis (01:58:44):
Totally different. It's a user interface. What interests me, Mike, is that I think that a conversational UI is going to just become much more common in all kinds of things. One of the things I put on the rundown, which is I maybe put it there so that Jason [01:59:00] and I can talk about it next week on the AI show, is now an AI that instead of you quizzing it, it quizzes you.

Jason Howell (01:59:07):

Jeff Jarvis (01:59:09):
That dialogic motif is going to become more common sometimes to an irritating extent. I just want to put in a word and get a response. I don't want to have to put it in a sentence, I don't want to sentence back, but I think we're going to see how that lands out.

Mike Elgan (01:59:25):
I've said it before on this show, and I'll say it again. I think that the biggest impact with augmented [01:59:30] reality glasses that we wear around town is going to be the ai. So when you are headed for a world where the glasses we're wearing have sensors and cameras and they look at the world and they interpret what they see and they have knowledge about what's happening, and then they take agency to tell you what you might like to know based on what you wanted to know in the past. And so yes, we're going to have holographic data floating in space, but I think at [02:00:00] the end of the day, that's going to be the less important aspect of it. The more important aspect are the sensors that will perceive the world and then the AI that's going to decide what to chat with us about, what to ask us about, what to inform us about. And that's really, I think, going to be the transformational quality of augmented reality.

Jason Howell (02:00:20):
Yeah. I know that Leo has talked a lot about AI being kind of like a parlor trick. We're in the middle of the bubble. I don't [02:00:30] see how is this any different from the passion that bubbled up around NFTs and the Metaverse and everything like that. But there are some directions in which ai, it could fall on its face in a million different directions, but there's a few ways in which it shines and I don't see it going anywhere. It's actually quite a few that I would put in that category one that I definitely think is really compelling. I think this is awesome for allowing communication to reach as many [02:01:00] people as possible is this thing that Jeff, last week on AI inside, you mentioned a service called, what was it called

Jeff Jarvis (02:01:09):

Jason Howell (02:01:10):
What was it? It was Hagen that essentially in real time takes someone speaking, I'm here on a podcast speaking English. The entire show is us speaking in English. You could run potentially feasibly, you could run this podcast through a service like Hagen and it [02:01:30] would translate the entire podcast into another language, which in and of itself we've seen in translation before, but then it would mimic each of our voices and our kind of inflections and all that so that it's my voice speaking Spanish. And technically according to Hagen, it also changes

Mike Elgan (02:01:53):
The video. Its the mouth,

Jason Howell (02:01:54):
So it syncs your mouth and it doesn't look perfect, but it looks close enough, and I'm sure that's just

Jeff Jarvis (02:01:59):
Plausible. [02:02:00] It looks and sounds plausible, which is

Jason Howell (02:02:03):
Pretty amazing. Absolutely.

Mike Elgan (02:02:05):
Yeah. The other thing that's happen related to that with augmented reality is that we're going to get, so there's a big trend nowadays when people watch Netflix or some other TV show, they put on the subtitles, even if it's in the language that they already speak. Unfortunately, people, English language subtitles when they're watching the English language show for a variety of reasons. But we're going to get to a world where we're going to have subtitles all the time. We're having a conversation [02:02:30] with somebody, we're going to see subtitles. If they happen to be speaking in a different language, we'll get the subtitles in English and we'll understand what they say and then when we talk to them, their glasses will say into their language what we're saying. And so this idea of at some point the idea of foreign languages will become kind of irrelevant. And also people get older, they have hearing aids and stuff like that. If you're in a crowded, noisy place and trying to have a conversation, you can't quite make out what people are saying. The ability to have subtitles [02:03:00] all the time is going to be kind of a very powerful thing for people who have trouble hearing what other people are saying. So it's kind of cool thing, I think.

Jason Howell (02:03:11):
Yeah, it really is. Mr. Howell, can you spell that service? You said Hagen, H E Y G E N. I think it might be I'm guessing. Yeah, So actually we can kind of show a little sample of this Benito, [02:03:30] if you have the last week we had a video from last week's episode on line 67, there is a video, it's a TikTok video, and this will give you a sense of what it's able to do, and then I'll give you the reason why I'm actually talking about it. There is news that totally ties into this, but it's worth watching. If you're not watching the video version, you're just going to hear someone talking a bunch of different languages. But if you're watching the video version, understand that the video was recorded in English and then it was turned into all of these other things, all of these other languages, and as you

Jeff Jarvis (02:03:58):
Watch this, it's going to go language to language to [02:04:00] language.

Jason Howell (02:04:00):
Yeah. It's really impressive

Jeff Jarvis (02:04:04):
If we could hear it at all

Speaker 7 (02:04:07):
While making my voice sound the same and making sure my lips are moving the right way. Italian,

Jason Howell (02:04:26):
That's good.

[02:04:30] So I mean, if you're watching the video, his mouth is moving to whatever language it's being translated, you're hearing his voice, but translated into these languages. I mean, he recorded this video fully in English speaking to the camera, and this AI system is able to kind of do that translation. I dunno how much time it takes to process that made happen, but that's really impressive. And now the news that this ties into is that both YouTube [02:05:00] and Spotify are adding features like these into their products. YouTube made an announcement of some new features, but one of those new features is AI dubbing. It's a dubbing tool called Allowed. It'll be integrated into the YouTube studio environment and allows users to basically have a single click to get an AI generated dub into another language. And I'm not certain if that's going to take their voice [02:05:30] or if it's going to be a preset voice that I don't know, but the ability to do that kind of live in real time. We've had the caption translations and that's been really nice. If it's in a language you don't understand or you can't follow to have the caption translated for you, that's nice. But Spotify is going that extra step. They are rolling out a feature that will clone the podcaster's voice for language translation [02:06:00] and they're testing this out with some podcast, Dax Shepherd, Lex Friedman. There's actually an example. Oh no,

Jeff Jarvis (02:06:07):
Not, no, no, not

Jason Howell (02:06:08):
Lex Friedman. Sorry. I honestly, I don't even know who he is, but I know that that's a sample that they put into their article.

Jeff Jarvis (02:06:15):
He's a long-termism AI fan book. Okay. The other thing that's interesting, I think we talked about this in the show last week. Jason was, by the way, the show called ai,

Jason Howell (02:06:27):
AI Inside. Yes, yes. That is the

Jeff Jarvis (02:06:30):
[02:06:30] Title is It's W to movies and TV shows. Where this is most interesting to me is that rather than having this strange voice is now Hoer Simpson in a different language, right? Yes. Right now it becomes the voice that you're expecting at the timber, in the language, with the lips moving and think, was it you who said this or somebody I'm not. It was cooler to have [02:07:00] the subtitle version and not the dub version. Dub versions may become more acceptable.

Jason Howell (02:07:04):
Yeah, well, I mean I never wanted to do the dub version because it always felt artificial to me. I want to hear the original actors and actresses inflection, I want to hear their voice. I might not understand the words, but there's more of a passion there than there is some hired hand that comes in. And two,

Jeff Jarvis (02:07:21):
To give you the English

Jason Howell (02:07:22):
Representation of what that person that was paid millions of dollars to play that part was actually doing. So I'd rather read it and get [02:07:30] as close to the original as possible. This could be a good replacement, but I know I think it comes down to the quality of it, but I think with motion picture budgets, if this exists on a consumer level for a YouTube or a Spotify account, I imagine motion picture budgets would do this and I have to expect that they would do it exceptionally well.

Benito Gonzalez (02:07:54):
But isn't this the equivalent of copy pasting a book and putting it in Google Translate, which isn't like the best?

Jason Howell (02:08:00):
[02:08:00] No, it isn't the best, but I mean that video that we just played, yes, I totally agree,

Jeff Jarvis (02:08:07):
But it does take the tone and timber of the original speaker different. I was

Jason Howell (02:08:11):
Impressed and I mean what we just saw

Jeff Jarvis (02:08:13):
Purely for the machine,

Jason Howell (02:08:14):
Granted, I don't speak any of those languages, so I don't know if I understood those languages. Would I have listened to that and been like, that still sounds pretty synthetic to me. It sounded pretty spot on, but I don't

Benito Gonzalez (02:08:26):
Speak those. I see only two problems with this one. The lost in translation problem. Yes. [02:08:30] By that. And then too, I think more about other English stuff, turning into other languages is what I'm afraid of because when you translate English into other languages, you have to take liberties with how those things are translated.

Jason Howell (02:08:43):
Totally. That's

Benito Gonzalez (02:08:44):
An art in itself, that itself.

Jason Howell (02:08:45):
You're right, you're

Benito Gonzalez (02:08:46):
Right. I don't know.

Jason Howell (02:08:48):
Yeah, good point. Could go into bad directions, but still the technology is pretty,

Jeff Jarvis (02:08:55):
But also the other thing is for you to

Benito Gonzalez (02:08:56):
Video, that's great. Yeah. Yeah.

Jason Howell (02:08:58):

Jeff Jarvis (02:08:59):
If you [02:09:00] did have control of the script. You didn't just use the machine translation.

Jason Howell (02:09:05):
That's a good point.

Jeff Jarvis (02:09:06):
That's a good point. Use this with a voice, the tone and the lips. That alone is an improvement.

Jason Howell (02:09:13):
Wow. What is the native language for this movie? I don't even know anymore watching. I don't even know anymore.

Jeff Jarvis (02:09:22):
I do want to see, you know what I really want? I want to do just five minutes of this podcast in Portuguese,

Jason Howell (02:09:30):
[02:09:30] Run it through Hagen, see what happens.

Jeff Jarvis (02:09:32):
Right. I would love to hear our voices, the language that we don't speak.

Jason Howell (02:09:36):
That would be great.

Jeff Jarvis (02:09:37):
Or do it in German and I'll try to help see if it gets it right or wrong. I'm not very good at it, but I'll try.

Jason Howell (02:09:43):
What would it do when you say Chen

Jeff Jarvis (02:09:46):

Jason Howell (02:09:48):
Say it'll say it.

Jeff Jarvis (02:09:51):
What does it do when you come up with something that's UNT translatable that you presume is necessary in its English version? I see that all the time in publications. [02:10:00] I just wrote a piece for Stern in Germany about AI and journalism, and I had some kind of to feed the insatiable maw of the internet, and I thought, well, somebody's going to have to translate that. Yes.

Jason Howell (02:10:17):
What does that translate into? That's a good point.

Jeff Jarvis (02:10:19):
So I went on to Twitter and I asked people and they come up with a whole kind of funny and good suggestions, and then the editor came in and said, oh yeah, was some good suggestions there, so they would take care of

Jason Howell (02:10:29):
It. Wow. Yeah. [02:10:30] Yeah. Interesting. I got

Ant Pruitt (02:10:33):
Like five notifications over here regarding something called Otter Bott that Mr. Elgin may know.

Mike Elgan (02:10:41):
Yeah. So Burke was telling me about that. I know what Otter Bott is. I don't believe I ever installed it. Basically, it's a thing that goes to meetings for you and takes notes for you in meetings and it thinks this is a meeting, and so is that still showing up as a user?

Jason Howell (02:11:00):
[02:11:00] Oh, Otter AI

Mike Elgan (02:11:01):
Killed. So where are you seeing that? An

Ant Pruitt (02:11:05):
In my slack, there's a messages to me.

Jason Howell (02:11:10):
Ai. Well, yeah, people

Jeff Jarvis (02:11:12):
Do it that I would be in the Zoom and there's another user, I put another user in there as auto, so people say it's there and it will transcribe the entire conversation and summarize it for me and do other things.

Mike Elgan (02:11:27):
Yeah, I tried to hunt it down and kill it [02:11:30] before the show, but I couldn't find it and I've never installed it, so it wasn't an application, so I got to figure out where that thing is and I need to kill it, but I dunno what's going on there, but it's actually an interesting product. I just happened to never have installed it as far as I know.

Jason Howell (02:11:47):
So wait, you've never installed Otter, but it's running on your machine? Am I misunderstanding? Yeah,

Mike Elgan (02:11:52):
I don't think I did. I install Chrome extensions for various

Jason Howell (02:11:57):
Things. Oh, sometimes, yeah. A [02:12:00] drive

Mike Elgan (02:12:00):
By their a p I or something. Yeah. Yeah. So I really don't have any idea what's going on with this thing, but I was informed about it from Burke before the show and I couldn't find it.

Jason Howell (02:12:11):
Yeah, yeah. Monitors, I mean, Google's doing some of this too with meet, right? Meet now has AI in it that will analyze the meeting and take minutes, go

Mike Elgan (02:12:22):
To the meeting for you. Yep.

Jason Howell (02:12:24):
There you go. Meetings maybe one day a thing of the past.

Mike Elgan (02:12:28):
This is how we make, [02:12:30] we think AI is going to make us irrelevant. We're going to make ourselves irrelevant. We not going to go to the meetings. We'll send our ai, all the ais to make all the decisions

Jason Howell (02:12:40):
And it'll free us up to go to the beach, sit by the beach earning. You

Ant Pruitt (02:12:47):
Missed that meeting, you missed that promotion.

Jason Howell (02:12:52):
Okay. There's some other stuff in here. I don't know that we need to talk about

Jeff Jarvis (02:12:56):
The one if I may, Jason? Yeah,

Jason Howell (02:12:57):
Just real quick. Absolutely. Does I have another

Jeff Jarvis (02:12:58):
Contrarian opinion? Yes. [02:13:00] So the Atlantic Line 75 put up a story about, it's basically all the books that are in the collection of books that's been used to train lots of large language models and this collection books three or whatever it was called, has been around for some time. It's not terribly newsy in that case, but they put up a search engine to say, is your book in there?

Jason Howell (02:13:25):
Yeah. Well, this is a question that I had for you. Is your book in there, Jeff?

Jeff Jarvis (02:13:29):
So lots [02:13:30] of authors have come along and Oh my God, I'm in there. This is horrible. I hate this. And I went in there. My first two books are in there because the new ones are too new and I contrarian opinion, I'm fine with it. I write things to get ideas out into public discourse. I would rather have an informed AI than an ignorant ai. I want my books to be in libraries, and I know that's a different model, but people don't. It's paid for once and more than anything [02:14:00] else. I would've been really miffed if they weren't in there. I feel so unimportant.

Mike Elgan (02:14:05):
Jeff was not

Jason Howell (02:14:06):
Good enough for ai.

Mike Elgan (02:14:08):
Jeff, do they pay for it once? I don't think they're paying for these books.

Jeff Jarvis (02:14:12):
I don't know.

Mike Elgan (02:14:12):
They're ping them, which

Jeff Jarvis (02:14:13):
That's going to be the main issue, Mike, is whether the first copy was obtained legally defined legally, but once one is obtained, can they borrow it from the library and use it? I don't see why they shouldn't [02:14:30] and so that'll be interesting to see where that goes.

Mike Elgan (02:14:33):

Jason Howell (02:14:34):
That is interesting.

Mike Elgan (02:14:36):
Again, information is not copyrightable and shouldn't be. Amen. The expression is, but the knowledge and the information is not

Jeff Jarvis (02:14:45):
In an enlight society That would be abhor. You could own information so that others aren't allowed to use it unless it's men in black.

Mike Elgan (02:14:52):

Jason Howell (02:14:54):
Alex Reisner is the author of that article and I will be talking to him tomorrow on Tech News [02:15:00] Weekly. Nice.

Jeff Jarvis (02:15:01):
We'll a

Mike Elgan (02:15:01):

Jeff Jarvis (02:15:01):

Mike Elgan (02:15:02):
You go

Jason Howell (02:15:02):
About this. Alright, well

Jeff Jarvis (02:15:05):
I have my contrarian opinion tweeted. You can,

Jason Howell (02:15:09):
There we go. I love it. I think

Jeff Jarvis (02:15:10):
I'm the only one. People are yelling at me about it.

Mike Elgan (02:15:13):
It's a very jian opinion.

Jeff Jarvis (02:15:17):
It is that I

Jason Howell (02:15:18):
Bet mean at the end of the day, Jeff, you are an author, you're a legitimate author of books. Your books are in there and you legitimately do not care for very valid reasons. So your [02:15:30] contrarian opinion deserves to be out there. A lot

Jeff Jarvis (02:15:33):
Of people are, what Google do is

Jason Howell (02:15:34):
On print, they don't understand it,

Jeff Jarvis (02:15:36):
So it keeps it somewhat alive because now you want to buy, of course the latest book, the Gutenberg parenthesis. Sorry, understand we

Jason Howell (02:15:45):
Yes. Not in this database as far as we

Jeff Jarvis (02:15:47):

Mike Elgan (02:15:49):
To me the biggest problem is the way that it's, instead of just saying, well, here's some knowledge and draw some of that knowledge from two of Jeff's books, it'd be [02:16:00] better if it was like a real writer who said, well, according to Jeff Jarvis in the book blah blah quote, and that's how it should deal with that. That would be ideal. I think you'd still get the information, but you'd also see where it's coming from. The problem with that is if 30 people expressed the same idea in 30 different books, you wouldn't want them all cited, but pick one and cite the one. I'd love to see AI do what academics and that they [02:16:30] cite their sources.

Jason Howell (02:16:32):
Yeah, well we're seeing some of that now. What was the Google's feature a couple of weeks ago with Bard where you hit the G and it will go through your generated response and it will, instead of you having to kind of search out the proof around some of the facts, I'll put those in air quotes, the facts that it gives you. It kind of does that for you and it color codes the results to say these are backed up by true [02:17:00] results. These are not. So the systems are getting tweaked to do that more at least,

Mike Elgan (02:17:07):
And I'll recommend the site, P H I N for the third time on the show because what they do is they do a Google search, they take the top results, they run it through open AI, and they give you the story with a link to the source and then at the bottom they show you all basically the Google results with the links to the source. And [02:17:30] so this is a great, to me, this is better than and it's better than OpenAI because it combines them and it's up to the second, up to the minute news results sources as well. It's not the end of 2022 or whatever open n i is, so I highly recommend it as an alternative search engine for people.

Jason Howell (02:17:52):
Interesting. I wasn't aware of this one. I'll to play around with this. Yes, cool stuff. Before we get into picks [02:18:00] and stuff, is there any final story, any story that we have missed that you want to champion? Well free married guys, you guys, thoughts on Getty?

Ant Pruitt (02:18:09):

Mike Elgan (02:18:09):
Ahead. You go ahead.

Ant Pruitt (02:18:10):
You guys have thoughts on Getty images in their now interest into generative AI space?

Mike Elgan (02:18:17):
I'm surprised by the story. The story is that Getty is going to be doing generative AI using images in its vast database of photographs. I doubt that that permission [02:18:30] was in the contracts of the stock photographers, so it seems like kind of an end run around that issue. A service like Getty of all companies you'd think would be on the up and up about using permissions and rights and so on of its own database photographs.

Ant Pruitt (02:18:54):
The stuff that I had when Getty umpteen years ago, I pulled it umpteen years ago because I just wasn't [02:19:00] happy with them. Something never felt right with me and them far as how they were paying. So I just pulled my stuff and I don't ever recall a terms of service mentioning the ai, but again, that was many, many years ago. But I do recall in the terms of service of Adobe saying, Hey, can we use your stuff for training our ai? It's a simple yes or no. I don't know if that's been the case [02:19:30] with people using Getty at this time, but Getty does mention in this TechCrunch article that they had, they are putting some safeguards in place because of the whole copyright issues and so forth. But I thought it was funny because back when AI started to get hot again in the tech news space, that was always a story was, okay, people are putting these images up of so-and-so celebrity and [02:20:00] the watermark clearly says,

Jason Howell (02:20:02):

Ant Pruitt (02:20:06):
Getty says, I'm reading right here, Getty says that it's imposed safeguards to prevent its generative tool from being used for disinformation or misinformation or from replicating the style of living artists. For example, the tool won't let a customer create a photo of Joe Biden in front of the White House or a cat in the style of Andy Warhol.

Jason Howell (02:20:27):
Okay. I mean that makes sense. Yeah. [02:20:30] I think the question that I have is anybody who has their photography on the getting images site, there was a certain contract that they agreed to as far as the rights of that. Are those rights entirely Getty's in order to do this with, to feel like legally they can do

Ant Pruitt (02:20:52):
That with No, and who knows, they may have sent out a warning to contributors to Getty, [02:21:00] they may have sent out a new updated terms of services. Could be. Yeah. Most tech companies do that. We've updated our privacy policy, we've updated our terms of service. You get that random email that nobody reads, I'm sure.

Jason Howell (02:21:16):
Yeah. Yeah. Right. Yes. Okay. Any last ones?

Jeff Jarvis (02:21:26):
Let's end on a tacky note.

Jason Howell (02:21:28):
Okay. [02:21:30] I'm always a fan of that

Jeff Jarvis (02:21:31):
Four married men here and I grew up in a time when we didn't have online dating and online dating is very, very common now and a lot of people I know that's how they find their mates. God bless you, they're happy and it's wonderful. Tinder is going to do a $500 a month I think it is version to get to the best people. It just really sounds tacky and offensive in a way.

Jason Howell (02:21:59):
What [02:22:00] at the

Jeff Jarvis (02:22:01):
Good dates,

Jason Howell (02:22:03):
What do they qualify? What does the best people

Jeff Jarvis (02:22:06):
Mean? Well, that's the thing. That's $500 a month.

Ant Pruitt (02:22:10):
V i p match. Guess

Jeff Jarvis (02:22:13):
I read

Benito Gonzalez (02:22:13):
Bit about this. I've read a little bit about this and one of the perks for this, one of the things you get for paying $500 is that you can message people who you don't match with and that's just a recipe for driving

Jason Howell (02:22:24):
All the way using that.

Mike Elgan (02:22:25):

Jason Howell (02:22:27):
Goodbye all the women. Bye. Oh yeah, yeah. [02:22:30] That's not good. Oh, pit bull vision.

Mike Elgan (02:22:31):
One thing that is a similar, so I imagine that Tinder has the same problem that Airbnb has, which is that you think that when you're using Airbnb to plan a trip that they're trying to find you the best place to stay, but actually that's easy to do. The hard thing is that you have a given neighborhood, you have one great place to stay and you have 10 horrible places to stay, and how do you get people into those [02:23:00] horrible places? That's the challenge of Airbnb. And I imagine that Tinder has a similar problem. So probably the good people are the people for whom 300 people swipe right on. And then you have the vast majority where nobody ever swipes right on them. So you have this great disparity in popularity, I guess, for lack of a better term, based on the profiles and so on. And so what they're trying to do is, Hey, we have way [02:23:30] too much demand and not of supply of certain users and so let's charge to get a CRAs way to look supply the limited supply, something like that. It's kind of what I

Jason Howell (02:23:42):
Went through during my entire youth. It was All you need is $500 to get to the A month. A month month. Wow. Oh, Mike, there's a cat just came down.

Mike Elgan (02:24:00):
[02:24:00] Yeah. Where is he? Oh no, he disappeared. Yes, there.

Jason Howell (02:24:04):
There he goes. Right behind you. Yeah. Just so you know Mike, the table's rattling a little bit.

Mike Elgan (02:24:09):
Okay. Sorry about

Jason Howell (02:24:10):
That. No, it's all good. It's all good. Cat problems. All. Alright, so let's take a break and then we'll get into the picks of the week. Just real quick, want to let you know about Club Twit because we just closed up an entire section, a [02:24:30] huge segment of this week in Google devoted to ai, and if you didn't hear us mention it earlier, we do have a club twit exclusive called AI Inside me, Jeff Jarvis. And we're kind of rotating through guests interviews, explainers on certain topics around AI picks news. It's a lot of fun. We're having a blast and you can only get it inside the club as twit TV slash club twits $7 a month for the club that gets you access to [02:25:00] all of the shows that you're used to getting with no ads. So even this week in Google, if you were a member of the Club Twit, you'd get this episode, you wouldn't even be hearing this ad, this would be removed for you.

You get access to our amazing Discord, which is just filled with other Club twit members. Of course, so many of the hosts and the guests that we have on our shows are active in the Discord, so you can actually chat directly with them during the live [02:25:30] show, different topics and everything that we cover, just you name it, we've got it in there, it's a ton of fun. And then you get access to members only shows. So we have particular feeds exclusive to club twit members for shows that you can't get outside of the club like AI inside like HandsOn Mac, hands on Windows, we've got home theater geeks, so many shows, not to mention one-offs like AMAs [02:26:00] of course manages so much of the awesome stuff happening inside the club. So we got Lou Mariska doing an a m A coming up this week, fire tomorrow as a matter of fact tomorrow.

So is that tomorrow morning? That would be Thursday, September tomorrow morning, right on fireside chat with Get your questions in. That's right. Get some questions in and we'll pull from those. We've got an escape room coming up. An escape room experience. Anyone who's been watching the network for a long time knows the last time we did an escape [02:26:30] room, there was a very amazing moment where Leo was wearing a VR headset and he was on the ground and he was finished with it and he went to put his hand on the table in front of him to help himself get up off the ground, but he didn't realize that the table was virtual and took a header right into the ground. Oh

Mike Elgan (02:26:50):
Yeah, I remember that. Yeah.

Jason Howell (02:26:52):
Amazing things happen when Twit does a escape room. So you might see something fun when we do it again here [02:27:00] at the club. So it's twit tv slash club twit, $7 a month gets you access to all of those things. Not to mention you're helping us directly when you do that and this is a time where we could really use your help. So twit tv slash club twit, be a Club twit member and yeah, we appreciate you and we thank you for Thank you considering that. Absolutely. Alright, so we are at the picks portion of this week in Google [02:27:30] and I don't know, Mike, let's start with you, what you got?

Mike Elgan (02:27:36):
Alright, well I've got a couple of pics, one of which is called Summary Cat. Summary Cat is a very simple tool. You basically copy the U r L of a YouTube video and you paste it into the summary CATT page. It's summary cat dot what is it com and it will give you a text summary of the video summary [02:28:00] That's all it does. So it could be like a two hour video or in the case of this show, a three and a half hour video and it will just give you a paragraph about what was discussed and so on. And so it's kind of a useful tool that's very simple. Yeah. My other pick is a bit more fun. It's called grape G P T and it's for wine lovers. So what you basically do is it learns through interrogating you what your preferences are for wine. You like certain types [02:28:30] of reds, you don't like Tempranillo, you're a cheapskate, you don't want to spend a lot of money at blah, blah, blah, blah. And so you go into a restaurant and you literally take a picture of the wine menu and it tells you what to order.

How cool is that really? Yeah,

Jason Howell (02:28:46):
Based on what it knows about your taste and what you're

Mike Elgan (02:28:50):
Yes. Based on what it knows about all wines in existence. So it basically knows, it grabs the information from the wine menu [02:29:00] and literally uses deep knowledge about every single individual wine.

Jeff Jarvis (02:29:04):
I want to do that in the wine store.

Mike Elgan (02:29:07):
I imagine you could do it. I haven't tried it there, but I was thinking about this and this appealed to me. We went to a restaurant here in Marrakesh last night and we were very familiar with Moroccan wines and we want to order Moroccan wine. There were several that were in areas, not in the general wine country [02:29:30] of Mech Nest here in Morocco. And I had to go through each and every one of them on Vivino to type in the name of it and to get information, to get a rating, to get information about what the wines were all about. It was arduous. I would've loved to have just taken a picture of the wine page of Moroccan wines and just have it tell me which ones to order. So this is kind of a fun thing. Unfortunately it's iOS only for now and hopefully it'll [02:30:00] be on Android at some point, but it is an app and I think it's a good use of ai.

Jason Howell (02:30:05):
Yeah, no kidding. No kidding. That's really cool. Grape G G P T. Cool. Yeah, very neat.

Mike Elgan (02:30:14):
And the URL is grape gpt wine.

Jason Howell (02:30:18):
There we go. Excellent. Everybody check that out then. That it was that and summary, Jeff stuff number, what do you think? I

Jeff Jarvis (02:30:29):
Hope [02:30:30] that back in the day you sold a lot of NFTs,

Jason Howell (02:30:34):
Pocketed all

Jeff Jarvis (02:30:36):
The money.

Jason Howell (02:30:37):
No, didn't sell a lot.

Jeff Jarvis (02:30:40):
DAP was dap gm. I don't know, something say here said that the peak of NFTs, the bull run was running 2.8 billion in monthly trading volume in August, 2021 right now, 80 million in July, 2023, 3% [02:31:00] of the peak. Good. Gary V probably pocketed a lot of money. A lot of people are holding onto something right? Right now it ain't worth penny stock.

Jason Howell (02:31:15):
Is that,

Mike Elgan (02:31:18):
I hate to say I you so, but I told you so people

Jason Howell (02:31:22):
Okay. I don't want to get myself into trouble when I hear that though. I think do the influencers [02:31:30] who really went whole hog on this and leaned right into this, did they know? Well obviously they didn't have any sort of knowledge to know what direction it was going to go, but I'm sure they're smart enough to see what a lot of other people saw, which was like, I don't know that this is going anywhere yet. They were whole hogging and they gained a lot of money. There's just something icky that I feel about that and I don't know whether I

Jeff Jarvis (02:31:57):
Think so too. I think they cashed [02:32:00] out. Speaking of cashing out, so people will buy my book. I'm having a book event at the school on October 10. Jay Rosen from New York University and I will be in conversation about the Gutenberg parenthesis. If you look at my Twitter feed, you'll see it come by with Eventbrite. You need to sign up, but if you're in New York or the area, please do sign up. There you go. Mike, I expect you to fly in for Marrakesh. I will do

Mike Elgan (02:32:27):
That. I will do that actually. I'm just going to use Bard. [02:32:30] It's all in there.

Jeff Jarvis (02:32:31):

Jason Howell (02:32:35):
Great. And what do you got

Ant Pruitt (02:32:40):
Again? I was struggling trying to find a pick of a week that would work for this week in Google audience, but I figured, you know what, just go with some stuff. Some stuff that I like.

Jason Howell (02:32:50):

Ant Pruitt (02:32:51):
Which is usually cameras, photography stuff or what have you. Black Magic recently announced a new Pocket cinema camera. Well, it's [02:33:00] not really pocket anymore, it's just Black Magic Cinema camera, which is the same shape and fair size of the Pocket cinema camera, but it's now a full frame six K sensor that gives you six K resolution as well as some other features. It does not have the ND filters integrated into it the way the pocket Cinema six K Pro does, which leads us to think that there's probably another model coming down the road. And this is a going to give you a great image quality dual gain, I s [02:33:30] o all for about 20, I think it's about $2,200 for it. So it's a really good deal for the image quality that comes out of this thing. The camera that I'm using now is a Pocket six K. This is a Gen one Pocket six K. And this thing is fricking beautiful considering you've commented on seeing the gray hairs in my beard quite easily, but it's not a full frame sensor. It's a super 35 sensor, so quite the upgrade that they've announced. And I'd like [02:34:00] to get one day, I don't need it, but of course I'd like to have one.

And then lastly, I say check out Starter Villain. That is a book that I'm currently reading right now as part of my preparation for interviewing Mr. John Scalzi, the Arthur of Starter Villain. This is his latest book just came out I think last week. I think it was last week, but I'm enjoying it so far. So check it out, [02:34:30] start a villain. And if you want to check out the interview that I'm going to do with him, you need to be a member of Club Twit so you know how that is.

Jason Howell (02:34:38):
So you know what to do.

Ant Pruitt (02:34:40):
Twit TV slash club twit. There you go.

Jason Howell (02:34:42):
I love the cover of that book, by the way. You know what it reminds me of? What's that? There is a service called Crown and Paw. This is, oh yeah, a little off topic.

Ant Pruitt (02:34:52):
I know that service.

Jason Howell (02:34:54):
I've used

Ant Pruitt (02:34:55):
It. You've mentioned it on the show

Jason Howell (02:34:57):
You a really good quality, a certain kind [02:35:00] of shot of your pet, and then they have all of these different kind of scenarios. Some of them are like Star Wars influenced or some of them might be Renaissance or whatever. And then they have artists that will take your photo and put your pet into these roles and frame it big canvas or whatever. And I did it and I was really happy with it. And so that book just reminds me of that. It makes me realize we got a new puppy, so probably [02:35:30] for Christmas, I'm going to have to get that

Ant Pruitt (02:35:31):
For the family. It's time.

Jason Howell (02:35:32):
It's time. Yeah. Anyways, a little off topic, but Starter villain by John Scalzi. Get that ahead of the interview here. Coming up in the club real quick. I think my pick is just also like you and something that I like because the other day I was perusing the internet and came across a screaming deal on a used Corg MS 20 mini synthesizer. Dude, [02:36:00] I wondered, Benito, if you were going to be Ting, because I knew you'd have thoughts on this, but essentially for people who don't even have a clue what they're looking at right now, it's an analog synthesizer. It's a monophonic synthesizer, which basically means it can make one note at a time, essentially. It would be polyphonic would be multiple notes at once, but it's designed to do one note at a time. It was originally created back in 1978. It's just one of those synths that is just really kind [02:36:30] of heralded as a classic.

It's also, as you can see, it has on the right side, it has a whole kind of patch bay. It's a semi modular design, which allows you to connect cables between those points and basically create a synth within a synth and get really creative as far as the sounds that you're able to make it sound put out when you control it on the keyboard that you see there. And I've never had a synth like this before. I've definitely never had a modular synth of any [02:37:00] kind. And it doesn't allow you to store any patches, which patches are essentially like presets. So I couldn't hit a button and it would load up this sound. You have to create everything from scratch. But I think the reason that I wanted to get it is because it's going to really kind of encourage me to go further down the exploration and experimentation route as opposed to just pulling up things that I know already. Sound good. It's

Mike Elgan (02:37:25):
Called a rabbit hole, not a route.

Jason Howell (02:37:28):
Yeah, that's true. It probably is a rabbit [02:37:30] hole. Actually, Benito has a whole wall full of modular synthesis at his house. Got so much so he could tell us probably better than I could about the rabbit hole, but

Benito Gonzalez (02:37:40):
It is very much a deep rabbit hole. Yeah.

Jason Howell (02:37:43):
Now do you have this, the MS 20? I don't

Benito Gonzalez (02:37:45):
Have the MS 20. I have friends who have the MS 20 and it's a classic syn. You can't really can't go wrong with that

Jason Howell (02:37:51):
One. Yeah, and I mean this is a miniature version, so this is like a reissue. It's a little bit smaller. I think it's like 86% the size of [02:38:00] the original, but the circuitry is the same, the form factor is the same. And you got

Benito Gonzalez (02:38:05):
Some modern stuff. You got U Ss B now and stuff

Jason Howell (02:38:06):
Like that. Yep. Yeah. So anyways, so I just ordered that yesterday. It was one of those things that I came across it online. I was like, I don't know if I have the money for it, but I'm going to go ahead and click buy now and it's going to appear and I'm not going to be able to undo that. Jason, this is the problem with sitting in Leo's chair. You just

Benito Gonzalez (02:38:28):

Jason Howell (02:38:28):
Things. Yes, [02:38:30] yes. I try not to do it very often, but every once in a while something like this happens. And you know what? I guarantee you in two weeks I'm going to be happy I made that split for forgiveness.

Benito Gonzalez (02:38:39):
No, you're going to be sad because you're going to be spending another five, $6,000 the week after

Jason Howell (02:38:42):
That. Oh geez. No. That I definitely can't afford to do, but baby steps Benito. But when I am ready to do that, I will be knocking so that you can point me in the right direction. I am very jealous of your setup. You've got a lot of really cool stuff in your studio. [02:39:00] So that is the corg MS 20 mini synthesizer. And that is the end of this episode of this week in Google. I have to say, today's show was so much fun. I'm so happy that I got to fill in for Leo and to hang out with 3, 4, 5. John's in here as well. Five amazing people to do this episode of this week in Google. Mike Elgan, thank you so much for Thank you. Zooming in from Marrakesh.

Mike Elgan (02:39:26):
It's my pleasure. And can I do a quick plug for gas experiences? People [02:39:30] may wonder why I'm always in places like this. And the reason is that we have these gastro experiences. My wife really runs it and we do it in Morocco. Here in Morocco. We do three in Europe and we do three in Latin America. And so I'd invite anybody who loves food and loves travel and hates tourism because we don't do tourism at all to go to gastro And what we do is we do a deep immersion into each culture. Usually for a week from Morocco, we do two weeks [02:40:00] and we do a deep immersion. My wife knows the most brilliant chefs, the most brilliant cheese makers, the most brilliant wine makers, all these brilliant people are good friends of ours. And so we go into their homes. We have these very intimate, wonderful, authentic experiences in all these places. And the next three are in Latin America. So Mexico City in November, Oaxaca in December, El Salvador, our first ever El Salvador experience in January. And so if you really want to do [02:40:30] a travel experience that is life-changing and unlike tourism, anything you've ever experienced, check it out. You can sign up for a newsletter and we'll keep you posted on upcoming experiences. But for traveling foodies, I highly recommend it. So

Jeff Jarvis (02:40:47):
Mike, I do await the California Burger experience.

Jason Howell (02:40:52):

Mike Elgan (02:40:53):
We've actually thought about, we've actually been thinking one of the places that we could potentially do an experience in Sonoma County [02:41:00] where Petaluma is, for those of you who know. And because it's food and wine wonderland. And so that could happen and there could be burgers involved. There could be,

Jeff Jarvis (02:41:09):
There's a very good Taco Bell there too. Yeah,

Jason Howell (02:41:11):
Really. That's Jeff's own gastro nomad experiences, taco Bell and Chipotle. And

Jeff Jarvis (02:41:25):
When I left the San Francisco examiner back in the day when it was a real newspaper [02:41:30] in those days, we tended to have our own farewell parties. So I rented out a Burger King in San Francisco, the financial district to buy farewell party.

Jason Howell (02:41:41):
Wow. Doing it up.

Mike Elgan (02:41:44):
And if I may, Jason, the trespass on your patients also, if I can plug chatterbox,

Jason Howell (02:41:51):
Please. No, yeah,

Mike Elgan (02:41:53):
We talked about ai.

Jason Howell (02:41:54):
Go for it.

Mike Elgan (02:41:55):
Yes. Yeah, so chatterbox, hello is my son's company. [02:42:00] And it's a smart speaker, like an Amazon Echo that unlike the Echo is totally private and you build the smart speaker, then you program it to do anything. It can do everything that an Amazon Echo can do and much more. But you have to program each and every skill yourself through the simple skill builder called Chatter blocks. And so this is a great way to learn ai. This is a great way for kids to learn AI eight years and older, but it's also, [02:42:30] adults can do it. It's great for schools. Kevin mostly my son Kevin mostly sells it into schools. Schools love it because it's the only smart speaker that's legal to be sold in a school because of the privacy. And so more and more schools are thinking about voice-based AI education, and this is the only smart speaker that's allowed because it's the only one that's totally private. So check it and thank you for letting me

Jason Howell (02:43:00):
[02:43:00] Plug. Of course. I love that project. And yeah, I love everything you've got going on, Mike. I have to say, I was telling you in the pre-show, but you've crafted a really wonderful for yourself and your family and every time you come on like, man, that's like life goals right there. To have that be your ongoing experience is just really commendable and yeah, thank you. Yeah, absolutely. Thank you for being on today. Really appreciate doing this show. Thanks. Thanks for inviting me. Jeff, what [02:43:30] do you want to leave people with? Oh, well of course. What's your thing? Your final thing? The Gutenberg parenthesis out now. Oh, out now. Book. Yeah. Magazine. When did that?

Jeff Jarvis (02:43:42):
It comes out next week, I think next

Jason Howell (02:43:44):
Month. Oh, okay. So that's magazine. Good. Two

Jeff Jarvis (02:43:48):

Jason Howell (02:43:48):
Right on. If people want to find magazine, is there a site or should they just go to Amazon? If you just go

Jeff Jarvis (02:43:54):
To gutenberg, you'll find links to both.

Jason Howell (02:43:57):
Okay. There you go. [02:44:00] Jeff Jarvis. Thank you sir. Thank you. I will miss you on the show on AI inside tomorrow. I'm sorry, I have to go to a funders event. Yes, absolutely. You got other things and that is quite all right. But I'll see you I think the next week, so look forward to that. Yep. And Pruitt, what do you want to leave people with? Is it dan

Ant Pruitt (02:44:20):
Of course. Of course. And I also want to give one quick shout out. I get a lot of feedback every Thursday, coincidentally, and it's always [02:44:30] a mix of bull crap and people yelling at me and angry with me for whatever reason. And then there's always some supportive stuff in there too. And I got an email, believe it or not, from Ryan Kendall. And sir, I just want to say thank you for that email. It was quite awesome right up there with Mr. Joe Esposito and some snail mail that I got from him at the studio. So thank y'all for the continued support that I do see it, and I really do appreciate [02:45:00] it.

Jason Howell (02:45:00):

Jeff Jarvis (02:45:01):
Fans make it worthwhile.

Jason Howell (02:45:02):
Yes, indeed. Thank you and always a pleasure to get to do this show with you, sir, and occasionally to look behind me while I'm working and see you at your desk, which is very close to mine. As for me while I'm here at twit tomorrow, twit tv slash tnw, I'm doing tech News weekly for everyone, and Michael won't be on. So I've got three interviews lined up and I'll be doing a review of the Samsung Galaxy tab nine plus [02:45:30] I think is the order of those words. So I'll be reviewing that on the show. It's hard to keep 'em straight. There's so many of them. And then after that, I'll be doing an episode of AI Inside for the Club. But if you're not a club member, you can still watch because we stream the recording of that show on the live stream. So twit TV slash live, go there at 1:00 PM Pacific and you'll get a sneak peek at the show as it's being recorded.

You just won't be able to get [02:46:00] to it after the fact unless you're a member of Club Tuit. So there you go. This show is recorded live every Wednesday, 5:00 PM Eastern, 2:00 PM Pacific, 2100 U T C. Usually Leo Deport is sitting here in his Dr. Evil chair doing the show, as I believe he'll be doing next Wednesday when he returns from Green Bay. So you can look forward to that though. There'll be a lot of Google to talk about then because it's the day of the Made by Google [02:46:30] Pixel event. So I'm sure y'all will talk about new hardware and so much more. But thank you to everybody here in the studio. John, thank you Benito, for making this show possible. Thanks to you for watching and listening each and every week and supporting us when you do that. And we will see you next time on this week in Google. Bye everybody.

Mikah Sargent (02:46:54):
Hey, I know you're super busy, so I won't keep you long, but I wanted to tell you about a show here on the Twit [02:47:00] Network called Tech News Weekly. You are a busy person and during your week you may want to learn about all the tech news that's fit to well say, not print here on twit. It's Tech News Weekly. Me, Mikah Sergeant, my co-host Jason Howell. We talk to and about the people making and breaking the tech news, and we love the opportunity to get to share those stories with you and let the people who wrote them or broke them share them as well. So I hope you check it out [02:47:30] every Thursday right here on Twit.

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