This Week in Tech 966 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.

00:00 - Leo Laporte (Host)
It's time for twit. This week in tech, we've got a great panel. Harry Kraken, the technologizer, is here. Let's see, this would be Harry's. I got to do some quick math. 16th year on the show. Kathy Ellis is second year on the show. She's our attorney and we'll talk a little bit about some of the big cases coming up in front of the Supreme court and from consumer reports. Senior technology reporter, nicholas De Leon. We've got a lot to talk about. Ai is in the news. They've opened up blue sky. What's the future of social media and the passing of two legends in the technology industry. It's all coming up. Next on twit Podcasts you love from people you trust.

00:45 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
This is twit.

00:52 - Leo Laporte (Host)
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This week in tech show we cover the weeks tech news could not have a better panel for you today. We are doing it a little bit early if you're watching live, about an hour early, because there's some game or something going on. A little later on Maybe we have a dog and that particular hunt. And, by the way, I did put the football game up in my computer at home, I mean in the office, if you would like to put it over there. Also here, nicholas de Leon from Consumer Reports, now relocated to the beautiful Southwest. You look like you're there, boy. You're in Tucson, huh.

03:20 - Nicholas de Leon (Host)
Yeah, I mean suburban Tucson North, about 30 minutes. But yeah, move, move to Tucson about a year ago from New York and it's been pretty cool so far actually, yeah, good, always great to have you on Nicholas in studio with us.

03:34 - Leo Laporte (Host)
You're going to have to challenge Nicholas. You're going to have to pipe right in, because I got two people sitting next to me today. Kathy Gellis is here. She is a author at Tech Dirt. She's also an expert in the IP law CGCouncilcom as her website. Hi, kathy, great to see you. Same here. Welcome. She is here now for the second or third time, so you get your own personalized headphones. Yes, isn't that nice. Harry McCracken has been here more than almost anybody here. Mccracken, the technologizer, currently global technology editor at Fast Company, where you've been doing a lot of writing. You've been writing about the Vision Pro. I have a Vision Pro on hand. I'm surprised. I thought you, of all people, would be skeptical.

04:16 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
Well, me of all people.

04:19 - Leo Laporte (Host)
The reason I say that is because I'm skeptical and I feel like people who have a history with this stuff aren't going to get over excited about it because we've been there.

04:29 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
It's an interesting mix of excitement and skepticism, because it's both amazing and, in some ways, impractical at the same time.

04:36 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, there's a great clip that I found on Reddit of Steve Jobs at the All Things D conference in 2003 or five, talking about well, let me play it for you because I think it's kind of an interesting insight into what Apple's up to, and I guess Steve Jobs must have kind of known that they were going to be working on this.

05:02 - Steve Jobs (Announcement)
This is from All Things D you know, the fundamental problem here is that headphones are a miraculous thing. You put a pair of headphones and you get the same experience you get with a great pair of speakers right? There's no such thing as headphones for video, right? There's not something I can carry with me, that I can put on and it gives me the same experience I get when I'm watching my, you know, 50 inch plasma display at home. And you know, until somebody events, that you're going to have these opposing constraints.

05:31 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Well, somebody had invented it shortly thereafter.

05:34 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
Yes, with all due respect to Steve, a lot has happened since then and the Vision Pro is not the equivalent of a giant screen, but it's certainly way closer than I would have expected.

05:45 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I like his analogy, though, of its headphones for the eyes, because it is in a way, but for some reason for me I don't mind wearing headphones, maybe because I've grown up with headphones on, but I'm at a little bit. I do not like the experience of putting those on my eyes. I just don't like it.

06:02 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
It gets old after a while, although I have to say that I've been using it for maybe a couple of hours and kind of being amazed enough that I forget I have that on my head. Well, you bought it or did fast company buy it. This is a review unit from Apple. Okay, Would you buy it? I wouldn't rush out right now, and I mean if it was like a thousand bucks it would be a no brainer.

06:21 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Well, I'm sure it will be in a few years.

06:23 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
It's not going to be anytime soon 3,500 is enough that I can theoretically get it, but it would be a pretty large decision and I'm still thinking it over. I have to send these back to Apple at some point. So at some point I will have to make that decision we have to make the same decision because we got one from Micah so he could try it.

06:40 - Leo Laporte (Host)
but you only get two weeks and we're going to have to return it on Friday.

06:44 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
So you just start to figure out how not to walk into walls, and then you have to put it back.

06:49 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, you've just got it. How about you, Nicholas? Have you tried the Vision Pros yet?

06:53 - Nicholas de Leon (Host)
No, we didn't get one. We usually get Apple stuff, but we didn't get the Vision Pro and we didn't buy it. We were debating it internally. Should we buy this thing? I think, like Harry you know, 3,500 for something that I don't know that our audience is super interested in. I mean, even I'm kind of like you know, because I've used the Oculus, I've used a lot of these things, and I usually use them for, like you know, a week, let's say, and then never use them again. So I don't know, yeah.

07:22 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
I think I would use that. I would not put it in the back of a drawer, probably, but the question is, would I use it enough to feel like I was getting my $3,500 worth?

07:29 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I'm not sure it would fit in the back of the drawer you need a big drawer Especially in the case.

07:34 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
The $200 case is like yay big.

07:38 - Leo Laporte (Host)
So I have, and I feel kind of like before I could talk about this, I have to establish my credentials or people will go oh Leo, you're just old and in the way. But I first tried a VR headset in 1992 at SIGGRAPH. I don't know if you were did that one, but you were riding a pterodactyl. There was a like bicycle handlebar and a saddle and then, of course, a giant headset in those days attached to a Silicon Graphics computer via a big tether. But it was that same experience. When you first put these things on, you go oh it's, I think I'm flying. It's very vivid.

And I was a kick starter on the Oculus Rift when it first came out. I got the second one, got the third one. I bought the MediPro, the Quest Pro for $1,400. That's my most recent purchase. We've had the. We had the HTC Vive at home Mostly my kid wears them to play games, it's. I always have the same experience, exactly the same experience which I put it on. It's breathtaking. There's a plank walk, the plank game on the Quest, where you know you're standing on a solid floor but you can't bring yourself to go out the door 300 feet up and walk out on this plank because your body goes no, no, no, you're going to fall. That's amazing, and so I've had those experiences where you go wow, groundbreaking.

08:59 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
It looked like it broke the ground.

09:01 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Literally. But, inevitably they gathered like. My Quest Pro is sitting on my shelf in my office and there's a layer of dust on it, just just as you said, nicholas, it's like you know it's not something you end up using.

09:14 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
It's interesting to hear, harry say I mean the one thing I wrote about on Fast Company is the fact that Apple calls the Vision Pro a spatial computer and I think the computer part of that is meaningful. It's not purely an entertainment device. It runs a lot of apps because it will run most iPad apps I've been writing in it. It runs our Fast Company VPN, that's interesting.

There's almost no. There's almost nothing I can't theoretically accomplish on the Vision Pro. So the big question is is there any actual value to doing that? And in some cases the answer to that is yes and in others no. It's just more practical to use a laptop or an iPad.

09:53 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I feel like Apple's calling it spatial computing is pure marketing.

09:58 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
They just don't want you to think it's a VR, that's certainly partially wanting to avoid everybody else's buzzwords, but I do think they think of it more as like a well rounded computing device than the, than the Quest headsets, which are clearly entertainment. They're for gaming, yeah, first and foremost, and they're VR, although the Vision Pro is not exactly augmented reality.

10:19 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I mean, yes, you can see the background, but in all the stupid Tesla people driving their cyber trucks notwithstanding, it's not a device that you are working the real world with.

10:31 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
No, I mean all of these things you're going to use at home with any less virtual reality, Unless you're crazy.

10:36 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, I mean just because you could see your desk, but doesn't mean that that 15 inch max screen that's blown up to 80 inches in front of you isn't virtual. You're not interacting with the outside world and the you're gonna do a little more.

10:50 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
In fact, I was using it while watching my TV TV the other day, yeah.

10:56 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I appreciate the gift that somebody just posted. The guy got out of a cyber truck and is glendering around the parking lot.

11:01 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, I mean a lot of that is stimulated by the incessant need for clicks on YouTube. I don't think it has a lot to do with a real use case, although Casey Neistat, a YouTuber, was skateboarding, he wrote the subway this is. These are all silly applications. Nobody it's not Apple, doesn't intend for this, and I don't think anybody is expected or will do this.

11:26 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Well, I go back to this. What we started with with. Oh, we're used to wearing headphones. If you wear headphones on both ears as you're out in reality, that's dangerous. It's dangerous and you're not participating in reality in the same way, and that's going to not only be dangerous for you, but earth, the society around you that you are not interacting with in the same way.

11:46 - Leo Laporte (Host)
That's my biggest problem with it actually is that. Do we need another device to isolate us from the people around us?

11:51 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I mean it sounds like Steve Chobb's was like yes, let's have the other device that isolates us. We've done it for our ears, let's do it for our eyes.

11:58 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, but interestingly, your phones have evolved, in fact, especially from Apple, to be transparent, so you can hear what's going on around you, to make to not isolate you and I have a bone conduction pair, which are great I can hear, so I go after shocks you put them on your temple, I've

12:15 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
not tested it, but I've just been. I'm reluctant to like. I don't even have the earphones in both ears right now. There's something about clogging up my senses that makes me very disoriented.

12:26 - Leo Laporte (Host)
That's a good point. Yeah, nicholas, I think it's telling that Apple decided not to send a review unit to consumer reports. They probably agree with you it's not a consumer product, particularly.

12:36 - Nicholas de Leon (Host)
This is one of the hardest Apple products I guess ever you know in my 15ish years of doing this to figure out like what, what it is, type of thing. It obviously the tech is very impressive. I've watched all the reviews. I've read all the reviews. It's super neat. But, like especially my audience, consumer reports. These are very mainstream. You know, these are just the moms and dads of America, basically, where would this device fit into their life? I haven't really. The closest that I saw was the Joanna Stern review where she was using it and cooking and she had bits of timers, different timers which is like that's cool, but like who's you know, are you going to cook with? You know, with the headset on? I don't know. So, yeah, this is a tricky thing for me to figure out and I'm not even really sure where I've landed. Yet, to be fair, I haven't used it, so I can't really speak to too much in depth, but it's a tricky one. Yeah, I don't know.

13:29 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I've used it very briefly, you know, use my because so it wasn't tuned for me, it wasn't designed for me.

13:35 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
You better be cooking something that takes less than two hours, because that's the limit. That's about how much battery life will go.

13:41 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Oh yeah, it'll die. Yeah, you can plug it in, though, or just add an extra battery Sitting in a chair.

you can just plug it in and this is the very famous Garner hype cycle where you get a technology trigger, something like you know, the release of the Vision Pro, the peak of inflated expectations that's kind of maybe where we are, then the trough of disillusionment, but then it's followed by a shallower slope of enlightenment and a plateau productivity where something isn't as big as the hype might have thought but it's going to be as useful. And where would you, where would you say this is going to end up on the Garner graph?

14:20 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
I mean, I think it's dependent on what comes after this a visual vision pro. If it stays $3,500 forever, it's going to have a pretty limited market.

14:27 - Leo Laporte (Host)
But I thought that they might this year have a less expensive one, and I've been told by all the Apple experts no, expect nothing for a couple of years before it might take a while.

14:36 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
Yeah, the other thing is like one of the things people thought would be potentially game changing although also weird is the eyesight feature, where it mimics your eyes on the outside, doesn't even do anything, it turns out people can barely see them. So it's, it seems, somewhat useless. It kind of reminds me of the Touch Bar on the MacBook Pro. It's worse than that.

14:55 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
It's something that will probably go away, because it just is neither here nor there, I think some of this is a solution looking for a problem as opposed to a problem looking for a solution, which I think is a much better way to have an ultimately successful product. You may get a solution that has other uses, that gets adopted in other ways, but I think that's a much more sustainable way of really driving innovation forward. The one difference here is I think you know in that chart, a startup will go bankrupt as it just starts to come out of that dip. Apple can capitalize this as long on the line as they want, and I think one of the questions is what is Apple ultimately shooting for? Because right now, I don't think it's got anything compelling which would justify dumping the resources indefinitely on this, but this may just be stepping stones to them, and they just may not be talking about what the stepping stones are in the direction of.

15:43 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Also, haven't we already learned from previous experience that this is not? That's a lot of hubris on Apple's part to say, well, no, but we can make it a hit when nothing I mean Meta is, I think, basically turned their back on it. Microsoft absolutely has turned their back on HoloLens. Other companies have tried and failed at this. Just because Apple has trillions of dollars doesn't mean they.

16:08 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Well, I think they have an idea of this as an opening volley and in some place they want to go. Oh, I know that for sure.

The question I have in terms of what this, what would be a good use that this could be driving and technology to integrate with, is adaptive technologies, and I'm thinking and I dumped a URL in the rundown, for I don't know if this is vaporware or something that's really coming but there were some people coming out of Stanford who wanted to put live transcription that would project on your glasses so that oh, I think things like this absolutely are coming, but that's true, ar.

16:46 - Leo Laporte (Host)
We're not close to this yet, aren't we?

16:48 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I mean, I don't know, they think they are. I've heard this is maybe overhyped, but I thought it was really, really interesting.

16:53 - Leo Laporte (Host)
By the way, Okay, so the picture on the front page looks like a normal pair of glasses. Then you get to the actual ones and they look a lot more like Google Glass.

17:00 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
They do, but the price is also pretty reasonable and they're compatible with the glasses you already have.

17:06 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Oh, you snap them onto the glasses.

17:08 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
These are the ones that are being upgraded.

17:09 - Leo Laporte (Host)
That's smart, they are. So if this technology works.

17:12 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
A, it's got a compelling use and we've got, and then you're marrying two technologies that exist One, live captioning, which is a technology that's existing separately, and two, whether you can do the projection in a way that works. But that's actually something where you may have a real problem. This technology would improve people's lives and it may not be such a leap where maybe this is accessible, assuming that the projection part works right.

17:36 - Leo Laporte (Host)
This might also do very well with the latest generation who keeps the subtitles on all the time. I thought it was just me as an old guy, but people your age, Nicholas, watch TV with subtitles on all the time.

17:50 - Nicholas de Leon (Host)
I've done that Actually, I guess most of my life. I guess it caught on recently. But yeah, anything I'm watching, whether it's like Food Network or the big game. Later today I'll have captions on. Yeah.

18:01 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Yeah, I have it on one of my TVs and not my other TV and the one that it's not there. I really miss it.

18:06 - Leo Laporte (Host)
So this isn't really just for translation. This could just be to caption what's going on. This is I agree with you. This is a product I could see people using. What if your AIs tie to this? And not only is it captions, but it's also telling you information about the things you're looking at. That's kind of what Metas Rayban is aiming at as well.

18:25 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
Eye tracking, which actually has been around for a long time as an assistive technology and has worked really well. Toby is this company that's done that for people who really need to have eye tracking to interact with computers and it's worked well for a long time. But it's certainly one of the key things that makes Vision Pro interesting is that the eye tracking works really well and does not require a lot of training on your part.

18:49 - Leo Laporte (Host)
This is transcribeglasscom. I don't know if they're actually offering it yet. It's a sign up for a wait list. Did they say what the price?

18:58 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
If this is the one I'm thinking of, that's I think. I don't remember exactly, but like under 200, I think Wow.

19:05 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, this is Google Glass. Basically, this is what I thought Google was going to do with Google Glass.

19:09 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Well, I think it's less about input. This is really just focusing on the projection and because it's focused on that, it's more likely to get it right, because it's trying to be that nobody's going to use it if it's intrusive. So the question is whether, for people who are using it, is it giving them something, that is giving them the captioning in a way that's effective, and is it doing it in a way that's not deteriorating their overall vision, experience and in their own promos? And their users seem to say yes, but I guess that's the question.

19:40 - Leo Laporte (Host)
It's interesting. I think often in technology this is what you want Companies coming at the similar problem from two different ends. One, the low tech, less expensive end. One, the sparen-hook expense Make the most elaborate technology you can, and then let's see what happens, right. So I'm glad that there's something like this transcribeglass.

20:01 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I would rather bet on this, and I'd rather support this and I'm worried that when you go for it doesn't count, unless it's full VR and flashy and, you know, hot off the press from Apple or Met or whatever. I think that tends to starve. The better incremental things that, if this works, I mean this would make people who have hearing deficiencies a much more livable experience. Like that's worth focusing on. And then, yeah, if you can do screen projection on glasses, there's other things you can do with it, but having that as the driving purpose means you'll probably innovate the technology more effectively and make it therefore more usable to be applied to other problems.

20:41 - Leo Laporte (Host)
This is a fraction of the cost of hearing aids and I think in many cases this would be preferable to a set of it uses a smartphone, so there's not a.

20:49 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
You know, the Vision Pro is a computer on your head Right. This is not a computer in your glasses. The computer is in your pocket.

20:55 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
This is just one application. The Vision Pro is trying to do all the things.

Do it all this is just one of the things, and then you run into a problem, though, obviously, if some technologies is one of the things and then you need another technology to do the other things. One of the innovations of the smartphone is we kind of got them all in one thing. But you know, let that convergence happen. Naturally, you can start by we've got discrete things that are solving discrete problems well, and then, based on how well they've solved them, then better to take a well done solution and apply it to a new problem than a crappy solution and apply it to everything else.

21:29 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, Well, we, I guess we won't know. For what do you think we'll have an idea of whether the Vision Pro is a hit? I mean, they're going to sell everyone they can make all this year, which is a maximum, I think, of its estimated 800,000, because of Sony's limitations.

21:46 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
It seems like maybe for the first year or so it will glide on that critical mass of people who are excited about it because it's cool. And what comes after that is interesting whether Apple can do something that's nearly as good for a lot less money. This seems to be something of an unsolved question.

22:03 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I noticed, by the way, you've always brought the iPad. You use the iPad as your main work machine. Some have said that the Vision Pro is almost an iPad killer, but it's the next iPad.

22:12 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
Well, the apps are very similar and in fact they are iPad, ipados you can run iPad apps and even the Vision Pro apps feel a lot. They feel much more like an iPad app than an iPhone app or a Mac app.

22:24 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, and they've done. From my experience and what I've heard, that eye tracking and the little gestures are very good.

22:31 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
It works really well. You can pick it up in a few minutes for the most part.

22:36 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Did Mark Zuckerberg abandon Meta Quest too early?

22:42 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
I guess he hasn't really abandoned it Abandon seems a little extreme, but he has sort of rushed on to AI.

22:46 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, he's intentionally shifted, but they go together. In a way they hand in hand, didn't he?

22:51 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
just say something the other day about his personal goal is to keep dumping resources into the VR and the questions whether any of the other board of directors are going to be cool with that.

23:00 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Well, that's always the problem, and I think Apple has that same problem as how long, how much runway do you have? It's not just how much money do you have, but how long will the board let you do this in the stakeholders You're still talking about the Metaverse.

23:10 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
He's like he may be the only person left who is, but he hasn't lost his business, in a way.

23:14 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Apple has given their seal of approval. He says we want to be the Android of the Metaverse. Let Apple be. Apple will be the Android of the Metaverse. That kind of proves the category.

23:24 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I mean I'm looking at him like a news and like somebody else has done large goggles you can stick on your head and I thought we were like over that because everybody walking around looking silly. But no, apparently more people want to walk around. You cannot underestimate the interest in walking around and looking silly.

23:41 - Leo Laporte (Host)
The drag that that puts on a product. I mean the segue, which I thought was a great product. We had them and I love them and I miss my segues, but because you looked like an idiot riding them around, I think that that you can't underestimate the drag that puts on a technology product and there's no way to get around the fact that people in VR look dopey and I mean we got used to that. I thought dopey was the AirPods dripping out of your ear. We got used to that. Maybe we can get used to this.

24:07 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
There was a time when I felt very uncomfortable using a laptop in a meeting at work.

24:10 - Leo Laporte (Host)
It was considered anti-social. It's quite the opposite. Now, If you don't have a laptop, I wonder are you paying attention? What are you doing?

24:18 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
exactly. Why are you here without your laptop?

24:20 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
He's paying too much attention.

24:23 - Leo Laporte (Host)
You're listening. Stop staring, knock it off.

24:25 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Find something else to look at.

24:27 - Leo Laporte (Host)
So, Nicholas, you actually represent an interesting point of view which I haven't heard, which is that this is not a product for average, for normal people. This is for early adopters, enthusiasts, people with excess income. It's not for mainstream America.

24:44 - Nicholas de Leon (Host)
I mean, that's what it feels like and I guess that's cool too. I'm usually an early adopter. I'm a nerd. I usually buy all the stuff immediately. But here the $3,500 price point was like, especially given my history with other headsets and I know that I use them for a little bit and then I don't use them ever again. As a Vision Pro Is it the one that changes my mind? Perhaps, but at $3,500, I was not going to try it out per se, but yeah, I haven't seen any. No one has sent me questions about the Vision Pro Consumer Report. Oh, what do you got? Where's the review, you guys? No one's suggesting me.

25:18 - Leo Laporte (Host)
No one says that.

25:20 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Yeah, I mean, you know maybe I'm just wondering about the Consumer Reports rating system for these types of products. I'm thinking about, like the little dot system that's used for car safety.

25:29 - Nicholas de Leon (Host)
And like what would the dot system be for these?

25:32 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)

25:34 - Nicholas de Leon (Host)
But we didn't even buy it.

25:35 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
So yeah, no dot system for me, we'll never know Even I am struggling with the kind of the question of to what to read. Do you factor in the price? When I used to work at PC World, we'd have these heated arguments about whether the review should simply judge how good something is and let the reader decide how much they want to pay, or whether you factor in the price. And I'm not sure if we ever quite settled on that. And with this it's very hard to figure out whether you should just say, okay, this is $3,500 and then judge it based purely on how worthwhile it is.

26:05 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Back in the day with PC Mag and PC World, there was a star system, a rating system, a numeric system. Nowadays I see much more on the wire cutter and other sites, a pros and cons column, and the con is always pricey. This would be definitely a con pricey.

26:21 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
Yeah, we had, like I think we had a score from one to 100 at one point and we'd argue like is a point is a cost. You and like is a 50, a perfectly mediocre product. Right Like if a product is terrible, is it a one? A lot of products tended to bunch up around 70, 75, 80.

26:41 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I mean 3,500 for this type of computing may not actually be disproportionately expensive, given what it is oh no, absolutely not it may actually be like a fair price for what it is, but do you need it? Like if you've got $3,500 coming out of your ears and you're looking for a place to spend it. It may not be the most stupid thing you could spend it on, but most people need the 3,500.

27:05 - Leo Laporte (Host)
My last Mac laptop was more. It was $4,000 or $5,000, because I got an M3. And I didn't have a. I mean it's a lot of money, but I understood the utility. I understood how much, how many years I was going to get out of it. So I could have paid $3,500 for this thing. In fact, I got right. I went through the whole purchase price process on day one, hovered my finger over the buy button and thought you know, it's just going to sit on my shelf in a week or two weeks or three, and it's not. It's not, it's not sensible, and I think that was ultimately what stopped me. It's just I don't have a use case for it and I can't justify spending that kind of money for something that's just for fun, cool for a few weeks. That's just not enough. That's just not enough.

Maybe Apple someday down the road? How? What is our responsibility, harry? And I guess I'll ask you too, Nicholas, cause you both write for the public. What is our responsibility to say? This is this is not for you. This is not a. This is Apple's almost a beta test, a first release of something that they think down the road will be useful, maybe in generation two, three, four. What then? What is your responsibility to your public? You have to say this is not for you. I think right, nicholas.

28:16 - Nicholas de Leon (Host)
I mean, you have to say yeah no, I, I, and I think that's fair to say too. Like you know, we're evaluating this device on its own merits. You know it executes the what it wanted to do. It does it very well, great hooray. But does that really fit into your life? If you're, you know a family in Danbury, connecticut. I don't know, like, I don't know, that's, that's a different, that's almost a different, that's almost a different review. Frankly, you know, I a lot of the Apple. Oh, you could watch Apple TV, you could watch Napoleon on the John. It's like okay, but like wouldn't. I want to watch a movie with my family and the cats, like so I don't, I don't really know how it fits socially, like as just as a device, cool, awesome, it's, it's a 10 out of 10 is what it seems like but how does this actually fit into your life as as a person? That's a different, that's a different set of considerations, I think.

29:05 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Is there a pressured heritage to kind of say well, but I want to give them credit and I want to encourage them to innovate and I want to give them credit for innovating. So I don't want to dismiss it.

29:16 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
Well, I think it's possible to capture both what it is now and where it might go, and I mean every publication looks at it from a different perspective. I mean FES company we're not going to beat the verge or consumer reports of doing straight out buying advice, so so my goals are a little different. I'm interested in it as a platform.

29:36 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Here for you. It's appropriate to write about it, because you're writing about something that's a continuity.

29:40 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
Personally I've been. I've been sitting in it kind of using it for everyday work, and that's I'm going to write about that.

29:45 - Leo Laporte (Host)
When does the day come though where you go? God, I don't want to put it on again, but I got to write about it. You're going to have that. You're going to have that moment.

29:51 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
I'm not there yet. I also at first I thought maybe I would use it 100% for a while, just to see what happened which you did with the iPad and I kind of realized that, I mean, it's pointless to wear it if it becomes a burden. And so after a couple of hours or so I would take it off and use something else for a while and recharge and come back to it.

30:10 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
One of the trick things I'm hearing and I'm observing with other people but I don't share is upending my. I'm a creature of habit. I want technology that's set up and it works for me and we're done, and I don't want to touch it.

30:24 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I don't want to fire it Because you're not an early adopter, you're a user.

30:28 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I'm not entirely well.

30:29 - Leo Laporte (Host)
You want to. You're productivity focused.

30:32 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I'm productivity focused. I wouldn't say I'm not a complete, I'll beta.

30:37 - Leo Laporte (Host)
You're open to new stuff, for sure.

30:39 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I'm less an alpha, more a beta person. I'm thinking of my grandfather, though, who was definitely an early adopter. Like we had a, he had a VCR in 1979. So I guess it didn't completely inherit that.

30:52 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Probably most of our audience is early adopters.

30:54 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I can think things are cool, but you know, not for the. There's a time and place for when I want ooh, cool, shiny object, but that's not what I would want to rely on to be a productive person, and I need these tools to keep me as a productive person. So there's a limit to how much chance I'm going to take, and it also means that I don't want to like have to swap out my machine. I don't want to try this. I don't want to develop new routines. I don't want to. I don't want the change.

31:18 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
I don't want to, but I Most people are like that, and for most people that's the sensible way to go about it.

31:23 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, yeah, and to be open to new ideas is a great thing, you know. I mean that's why we talk. We're talking about it kind of incessantly, even though personally I don't see a future for it. But we but, but you have to talk about it because it's interesting, not because of the hype. You know there will be. I'm waiting I'm kind of had that a car in my eye looking at the Super Bowl broadcast because there will be a two minute Apple. It's $7 million per 30 seconds. Apple is sponsoring the halftime. I think there will be, or will there maybe? This is the question. I mean, apple doesn't need to advertise this. Nobody can buy it at this point. You know you have to pre-order way ahead.

32:01 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
They're going to sell it out, they're going to have something to write off on their taxes.

32:04 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I guess maybe it's a tax reduction, but the thing is, if they don't so, what they aren't going to do and they are not doing is buying ads for the iPhone, the iPad, the Mac. They've got a whole product line that's actually their bread and butter that they ignore by promoting the vision process strongly. And there's no, there's no, at least not in the next couple of years.

32:26 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
upside to the vision pro, it's a very much, a long, long but I think they're definitely playing a long game, because this wouldn't necessarily. I mean they're probably subsidizing it even to get a $3,500 price. Seems like there's a huge subsidy going into it somewhere.

32:40 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
I've wondered about that. You think they make? You don't make money on it. I saw I fixed it at tear down but I didn't see if they attempted to guess how much they could make money on it If you're only producing 800,000 units.

32:49 - Leo Laporte (Host)
even if they make $1,000 a unit. That's less than a billion dollars. It's not a profit. It's not going to be profitable. And if you have, if you buy a four a two minute ad, that's $28 million for one ad on the Super.

33:00 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
World. I'm curious about the tear down Like where did they get the parts, where did they get the components?

33:04 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Is this reduce the components already. I don't think you could do a bill of materials on this.

33:07 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
I mean the two 4k screens is expensive stuff.

33:11 - Leo Laporte (Host)

33:12 - Harry McCracken (Guest)

33:13 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I don't know, I don't know. Anyway, look, we're talking about it, they got. They got the attention of the world. Is it good for the Apple brand as an innovator Like, okay, apple's cutting?

33:22 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
it. What's distinctively interesting about this which I kind of like? I want to be cynical. I will be cynical, but I'm less cynical about this than I am about Meta and their device, because this isn't just pure VR and the idea about bringing full capacity computing into just another physical space. That is an intriguing idea and I think the reason if they're going to run an ad is because they're going to be like we're here and they want to run the table on that and like really set the innovation agenda, and I think we'll. Actually, if they can drive other companies to react, I think we get something much better than, oh, we're just going to build VR devices. The idea of, like you're going to put a screen and a circuit together, look what you can do when you put a screen and a circuit together, that is exciting from an innovation standpoint and that's a more interesting story than the ones who are just we've put the screen and the circuit together and all you're going to get is our weird VR world.

34:18 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
And the iPhone did that for smartphones, because without the iPhone we would not have Android in the form that it could be.

34:24 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
They put a screen and a circuit together and look where it and it got really interesting because you could converge so many things just by having computing power in a convenient place.

34:35 - Leo Laporte (Host)
It isn't Apple's typical MO, though, to release something that isn't immediately useful. I mean even the original iPhone or the Newton. They thought these were tools that were productive.

34:50 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Today, those were all with Steve Jobs. This is a post-Style job.

34:55 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I mean the Vision Pro feels like more like a beta project, a research. It almost should be a developer edition.

35:01 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
Yeah, If you're into entertainment and can reasonably spend $3,500, I think it's a reasonably compelling product, right?

35:08 - Leo Laporte (Host)
now A watching movie user.

35:10 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
And also the other thing I learned is watch. If you're into watching video by yourself, it's compelling. If you want to watch it with somebody else in your house Poor.

35:21 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Marie doesn't ever get to watch this. How does that feel, Marie? Your wife is here. Do you like it when Harry's watching a movie and you're just sitting there?

35:30 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
No, she's been surprisingly patient. But I was watching. I was watching this Netflix thing on Studio 54 on the Vision Pro and enjoying that, and my immediate response was like hey, if you've seen this, let's watch it together.

35:45 - Leo Laporte (Host)
That's my biggest problem with it is Apple's already released one incredibly isolating product, the iPhone, and I don't think they want to be known 100 years from now as the company that destroyed the world by changing us biologically to not to be isolated. Humans are tribal. We're community driven, we do things together and I think we're best at our best when we do things together.

36:10 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Well, the accusations about Silicon Valley is nobody's really thinking that through? Everybody who's involved with these decisions is going to be long gone before we find out that we're running into humanity. The interesting thing is, given all of our pending apocalypses, we may actually get to see the end of the world in our lifetime.

36:26 - Leo Laporte (Host)
How exciting. Let's not talk about that. I'm depressed already. We're going to take a little break. Come back with more. That's it. That's the Vision Pro. We got to do it. We'll stop in a couple of weeks, probably stop talking about it completely, but we had to do it one more time, one more time, one more time. You know, honestly, I think six months from now, nobody will be talking about it at all. I really, I feel like it's just going to be.

36:48 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
See what the Christmas black, you know the black Friday specials will be.

36:52 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I'm actually. The next number I'm interested in, and we'll never know, is how many people return them, because you have two weeks, which means that the returns will start this week. I wonder if 10%, 20%, 30%, it could be a large number. I'm sure somebody will try to figure that out. I I suspect there'll be more return to that.

37:12 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Can they be sanitized successfully for reuse it?

37:14 - Leo Laporte (Host)
takes them back.

37:15 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
Oh yeah, you probably take it apart for parts You're going to replace the, the actual thing your, your face, rests on as removable.

37:24 - Leo Laporte (Host)
You. That's the problem right there in a nutshell. I don't want something to put on my face. My ears is one thing, eyes is another. Our show today, thank you, it's great to have you. Harry McCracken's here, the technologizer from Fast Company, kathy Gellis, attorney at law and from consumer reports I always want to call it consumers union, but the official name is consumer reports. Now there's senior electronics reporter, nicholas De Leon. It's great to have you, nicholas.

Our show today, brought to you by Miro Miro. I love Miro. It's hard for me to communicate how great Miro is. You got to try it. But the good news you can, for free. I'll tell you about that in a second.

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Mirocom slash podcast. M I R O dot com slash podcast. Mirocom slash podcast. We thank them so much for their support of this week in Tech. Let's move to social media. Blue sky just went public this week. Now I probably should explain what blue sky is. You all know Twitter, which has now become Elon Musk's personal health site, xcom, although who is it that's still on Twitter? You're still on Twitter.

40:31 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I haven't killed the account, but I don't participate. Nicholas, I'm not Twitter.

40:34 - Nicholas de Leon (Host)
I'm on basically every day. For me it was always like sports. It was always like silly to begin with.

40:39 - Leo Laporte (Host)
So so if you were gonna watch the Super Bowl with a social network open, you probably keep it open to Xcom, right?

40:46 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I wouldn't know, not since they killed tweet deck. One of the things that drove me off of Twitter was they made the site Unusable for me, and and then the anti-semitism on top of it.

40:54 - Leo Laporte (Host)
But they are bringing back a tweet deck, by the way I saw it. I'm not paying for it, yeah.

41:01 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
But blue sky is now Public enough that this will be an interesting test. Is it going to be able to do support sufficient Super Bowl Conversation and the way they do the algorithmic feeds?

41:13 - Leo Laporte (Host)
There's reason to think, maybe it's interesting because blue sky is, in a sense, the descendant of Twitter, right? Jack Dorsey funded it with 15 million dollars. Jack, you know, says because well, it's gonna be open and federated and all that. But I think, really, secretly, what he was saying and thinking was we are getting a lot of pressure from government, from Congress, from other parties to moderate what we're doing. It's, it's gotten so intense. Wouldn't it be better if we weren't responsible for the content?

41:42 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
It wasn't even all that secret about it.

41:44 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I mean, I think he was pretty, pretty blatant, really forthright about yeah actually this is really Mike Masnek who wrote the protocols, not platforms, love paper yes, and the point that he was basically making is that a lot of this functionality that we're enjoying in terms of Microblogging is something that is basically a protocol, that you've posed something and that Systems elsewhere on the internet know how to handle and interact with the message that you've just put out. And you've got the tools to be able to collect and interact with the messages other people put out. But you don't really need a private, a private garden In order to have that functionality. This is functionality that could be supported by general protocols. The way email is, it messages get put out and are handled by separate applications that Just recognize the protocol.

The way news groups used to work and this idea that we should really just get away from this kind of one company Rules the entire community. You don't need that to support the basic communication process, right? So Mike wrote that paper. Jack liked the paper. Jack kicked in some money, but I think Jack has lost interest because he's changed well.

42:47 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Well, jack also saw that there were problems with it, because a centralized site is how you make money with advertising and a decentralized site All of a sudden breaks that apart. But it does solve the problem of moderation and pressure from government. So he funded it with $15 million. Even after Elon bought Twitter, he wasn't able to stop the advance. The blue sky folks worked on a third, on a federated protocol. They called a T Proto, which is different from the activity pub protocol that masted on another Fediverse sites use. That's kind of sort of a issue for me, because I I'm a masted on supporter and it would be nice if it would, if there were a single protocol that everything would support.

43:28 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I think the issue is they may be able to interact at some point in the future some time.

43:33 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I mean, they're not incompatible, they're just yeah, I talked to Jay Graber, the CEO of blue sky, and she said she's at least contemplating the idea to it I have some sort of compatibility between it's come down to at this point, metas threads, which has a big user base because they just took everybody from Instagram, blue sky, and the X is still around. Those are. Those are kind of the the three. Then there's stuff like tick tock and snapchat and Instagram. There are other social sites, but for micro blogging, the three I think are at this point we can ignore the rest. Right, some have already gone out of business, but blue sky threads and Twitter, right.

44:11 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
Well, and you're calling masted on not.

44:15 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Sorry yeah, I love masted on.

44:17 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I forgot masted on, I mean, I think masted on's adoption was Stymied in part that blue sky came out so quickly on the heels of it and that there were certain design choices that had gone into the original deployment of masted on that May not have been conducive for all the adoption. Like I really don't like the lack of quote tweets and that keeps me from engaging with it as much, and I ended up on blue sky and spending more time on it.

44:41 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Wasn't a Twitter equivalent, never has been and really is also much more geeky, and I think the conversations are better. I prefer masted on, so I've been looking at blue sky, though I've been on blue sky for a long time. This is Deckblue, which is a third-party implementation that looks just like tweet deck and, in fact, there is a suit. They made a Super Bowl feed so, but what's funny is most of the people on blue sky are definitely not into sports, so the Super Bowl feed tends to be more like joking around about how silly the Super Bowl is so they're all posting superb owls.

Yeah, a lot of superb owl jokes, even though the game is just hours away. There's not a lot of real conversation. I bet you, if I go back to Twitter, that's the place to be if you still, if you want to Follow Super Bowl or the Academy Awards or any live event.

45:30 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I mean, I think it'll change. I mean, masted on might be good. If you just look for the hashtags, I think one of the things is that okay on on blue sky right now, you have people who are not inclined to talk about the Super Bowl hours before the Super Bowl, but you may have a lot of people inclined to talk about the Super Bowl while it's actually happen, I'm gonna watch.

45:48 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I actually set it up just so I could watch that. Oh interesting, pat McAfee. Oh, that's a bot, okay.

45:55 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I used. I started with Deck blue as of yesterday. Liked it a lot, except it doesn't. I like to be as thorough as possible, like if I miss tweets I want to go back and see as many as I can and it seems to cut off and I couldn't go that deep back in the Chronology you know what masted on, is a better place to follow the Super Bowl?

46:17 - Leo Laporte (Host)
There's actually there's a superb owl, but there's actually some some sports content as we get closer to the deadline. So, and maybe one dog that had a little bit too much to drink Is their room for, does it even make sense to have more than one of these? I mean, isn't, wasn't the advantage of Twitter, isn't the reason you're still there, nicholas, that it's one place, yeah.

46:41 - Nicholas de Leon (Host)
Well, I was. That's one of the annoying things of right now, right this moment, because I've got colleagues that are on threads. You know, people saw an X people on that mass. So if I want to get like a whole Days worth of commentary, I got to look across all these different platforms, which is exhausting and I really don't even want to do it half the time. You know, a few years ago everyone was on Twitter and that was great. So that's a, that's a real negative development From all of this stuff. So, yeah, I, you know, I honestly I find myself just losing interest in social media. I think is a the last time I was on here where it's just all this. There's a lot of nonsense on there, and I don't. I, you know, I'm getting older, I don't really I don't. I don't need to subject myself to some of the silly tweets and so forth.

47:23 - Leo Laporte (Host)
It's interesting. I'm looking at the Super Bowl hashtag on Twitter and one of the things that Twitter still has is the brands. There's the Kansas City Chiefs, there's the San Francisco 49ers. The networks are there. You know NFL on CBS. This is definitely the place that's what I'm looking at the brands on change.

47:44 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I really do not like it's a shame.

47:46 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I mean, this is an anti-semitic.

47:48 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Supporting people who want to hurt other people, and it's a lot of the sports reporters are still an X.

47:54 - Nicholas de Leon (Host)
You know, if you, if you need breaking news from place to go politics, it's still there.

47:59 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
Yeah, I mean thread says they don't want to even like encourage people to talk about politics at all.

48:04 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I'll just be well that's such a problem if you're the biggest issues on threads is they consider climate change to be political and so there's no climate change content on threads either. Yeah, that's.

48:17 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
That's a little bit heavy-handed from the point of view of a user to Nicholas's point, I think this is is a Blip with growing pains in it, and I think the fact that blue sky has just gone public, you know, give it two months and we may be starting to see more of a convergence, because one of the things of oh yeah, right now we're all split.

I don't think we're gonna have to remain split that much. I think some of the reason we have a split is that mastodon wasn't enough of a substitute for Twitter, so a lot of people didn't go over. And then blue sky might have been, but a people couldn't go over because the, the, the invites was really a bottleneck that is gone, and so I think some of this is blue sky is gonna swallow up more users. I mean, it grew by more than a million and over and under a week and I think ultimately, with the open protocols, you don't necessarily need the convergence, because the whole point of having the protocols is that the information is getting out there and you can have some tools that help the information get out there and other tools that help aggregate it.

49:20 - Leo Laporte (Host)
So they have an API. I mean, I could write a client if I wanted you could.

49:23 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
You could write a client that's looking at I Don't know if you can look at Twitter anymore, but you can look at mastodon and you can look at blue sky and you can unite them into one interactive experience and and then they can push back to their respective communities, as long as they're using the.

49:38 - Leo Laporte (Host)
The fact that a million people joined blue sky within a few days of it going. Public tells me there is a hunger. Still that's. That was almost that's. The real question is do people even want a, a site, a micro blog?

49:49 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
and then theory you may be able to use threads and mastodon from one place quite soon, right? Because?

49:56 - Leo Laporte (Host)
yeah, I can already follow. That seems to be working on a sari on my mastodon.

50:00 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
It's just like a couple of people who work at that meta right now you can follow. But if they open that up, then to me that's huge.

50:09 - Leo Laporte (Host)
There's some mastodon folks.

50:11 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
Administrators say I will block the threads it's kind of kind of like when aol opened up to the internet and the internet wasn't so thrilled about that, I know is better more people's better.

50:21 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I think so. And if you don't want to follow Adam, you don't have to right you can, the fact that you can.

50:25 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
You can be on a Mastodon instance that blocks some threads if you want to.

50:29 - Leo Laporte (Host)
You can even do that.

50:30 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Yeah, you can even let the administrator an old joke from the 90s, people who think aol is the internet are the same people who think Taco Bell is fine Mexican cuisine.

50:43 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Here's Adam musterri, the the formerly from Instagram, now at Threads of her meta, and his address is at most area at threads net. But it is a mastodon Compatible address and in his posts are here I would love to see this become more widespread. Then a brand might say you know, I know Elon's not gonna let CBS have Somehow share its Twitter feed. But a brand might say well, if I put it on the Fed averse, at least I'm getting to threads.

51:10 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
The brands need to think about why they went on Twitter in the first place. People were complaining about them and they realized they did not want the public complaints to go unanswered, so they built the infrastructure to respond. I'm going on blue sky and complaining about companies. I think they should come and make sure that, like they don't, they can answer that and that I don't just, I'm public.

51:28 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I mean started with Comcast. Cares right, frank, oh yeah, yeah he. He was started responding to people complaining about Comcast and it was Phenomenal success.

51:40 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I got much better customer service from just about every business I interact with on Twitter than any other the case.

51:47 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Do you think Twitter has that?

51:49 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
It might, because they're there, but I'm not there, so I'm not tweeting right at angry.

51:53 - Nicholas de Leon (Host)
I will say I I was tweeting about Amazon, like it was like oh great, you know, they deliver it very quickly and Amazon's like Amazon carelessly. How could we help the? Right on there, definitely yeah, immediately on, and I was like no, guys, I was giving you credit. And it was like okay.

52:08 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
The one issue which is gonna slow that down is that could be backed up with the direct message Apparatus, which does not exist for blue sky, although really it's kind of crap on Twitter anyway, because they're not particularly private.

52:22 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I prefer that you didn't have it, if you couldn't do it right, that you wouldn't have it at all.

52:26 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Yeah, I don't want a crappy program as a right that people think is private. I mean because now the problem is, is what I mean that they're not private is that Alon can read all of them, and this may not be a good thing, but you press so with open protocols, though in theory you can have a spin-off, like we can have what's up or signal or some sort of encrypted mechanism that in theory, the, you know the, the Micro-blogging platform, could interact with some other way of launching a secure channel between Identity to identity. Like there's ways of solving the problem, but right now it's painful because we happen solve the problem.

53:04 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Do we need so? But back to my fundamental question Do we need to have something? Yeah there was a lot of benefit to having Twitter as the kind of the nervous system of the Internet.

53:14 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Well, I don't think we need something as one thing to rule it all. I think we need to replicate a lot of what we lost, but let's replicate it in a way, and it's one thing to rule them all.

53:21 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I mean, I don't like the, I don't like the fact that one commercial entity controls it, but it is nice to know there's one place you can go to find out if you know at somebody's a celebrity has died, or what that shaking was, or who just Aggregating, like you, just need something that aggregates in a way, so Federation could solve that.

53:41 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I all. All the Functionality that Twitter offers is all replicable in some sort of open protocol. We just haven't. We're at the beginning stages of it, so we're missing it because right now, it's Twitter which had developed it to reasonably stable, plain and versus we don't.

53:57 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
We haven't replicated it yet, but there's no reason why we can't it'd be nice If it was more like email, which for many years, we've all assumed that you don't need to worry about what system somebody else is on. You know you can reach them from your email client. And yeah, that wasn't always true. There was a time where when, if you were on aol, you could only email other people on aol, and it would be nice if we got there with this stuff.

54:20 - Leo Laporte (Host)
That's right, 25 years after we're going the email. I'll do that. We're going into the silos. We got out of the silos.

54:26 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Now we're, but that's what protocols, not platforms, are supposed to do. To say the silos were a wrong turn. Let's go back to what we knew. It was better and more More functional for everybody, and something that we obviously works well enough that we can Depend on it to create. To create, yeah.

54:41 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, that was 2019, mike wrote that.

54:45 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
As usual, he was pretty present and pretty sensible, very smart.

54:49 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Well, blue sky anyway is open now, if you wanted to. I have six invites it.

54:54 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I have six invites.

54:57 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I have this is you know, you only get a few times of the year where you can really experiment and see. So I've got a mastodon set up with the Super Bowl in my second column here and, of course as absolutely I would expect a mastodon somebody has Tutored. So I found this Super Bowl on the sidewalk and I can't be so excited about a handmade Speckled stoneware my favorite colors. That is a very mastodon hashtag. Super Bowl Deck deck blue also has a second column devoted to the Super Bowl. It's getting a little more super bully, so I you know I'm gonna use this as an opportunity. I guess I'll have Twitter up too. I don't have a tweet deck anymore, which I agree with you that that makes me sad. That was the best way to use Twitter, but I can follow the Super Bowl hashtag and it's very super bully. They even have, like betting odds and you know this is where a centralized platform does have. There's something to be said for that right.

55:56 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
There needs to be a reason why we're using a centralized platform at the moment. It's because it doesn't.

56:02 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Twitter doesn't have competitors, but Twitter will have competitors and you think the opening up of blue sky, it's gonna be the beginning?

56:08 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Oh yeah, I mean because basically, that can be where all the data sits and you can have any other shell or API or other service, because one of the services that's gonna come out is you'll probably have extra layers of moderation and so, whoever you may, you may want to pay somebody to help you with the moderation problem. But okay, that's also where monetization can come in, where you can make these services more sustainable, that there's a lot of both Ones you can do to the basic functionality that Either can be ad supported or people will pay for super.

56:38 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
I mean, like Gmail came along 20 years ago and was radically better than any other email client and yes, yet it was also compatible with them. So I don't see why somebody can't build a radically better Client for the stuff, even if it's all based on protocols. It won't be Google, will it probably?

56:54 - Leo Laporte (Host)
not, it's kind of sad We've lost that yeah, I think they lost themselves. Well, yeah, great, but that's a loss to us.

57:02 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
You just can't look but it's an opportunity for somebody else which, quite frankly, is almost good for Google.

57:06 - Leo Laporte (Host)
It's better. Oh, no, it's.

57:07 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I mean it's all the antitrust problem for Google, if they actually do have competitors.

57:11 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, yeah, well, it's also better to have a More vibrant ecosystem and not a few giants controlling everything. What actually brings up the question that I keep asking? We've had once again the layoffs in the tech industry this year already Cross 25,000 in January, and yet it's pretty clear, at least if you look at the stock market, that they're doing all right. This is from layoffs that FYI 34,250 employees laid off in the tech sector this year.

57:48 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
What's going on? I think a lack of vision. Some of this is errors in vision and how they staffed up.

57:55 - Leo Laporte (Host)
So I think some of us staffing up in COVID, right?

57:58 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Well, that's what they said and, and there was more of a, there was a perceived lack of talent. So I think some companies were hoarding talent because no, I can hire a good person, so let's just hire them.

I mean we don't have anything for but I think in the, what concerns me more is the companies that have closed down certain departments and Switched their focus to other departments. Now some of that number means that there's jobs that are going, that are empty, that need filling. So some of the 34,000 may have been swallowed up internally, that technically they were laid off, but they may actually roll over into other jobs. But I worry with the lat, with the change of direction of some of these companies, because I'm afraid that they abandoned Technologies or services that may be more beneficial and sustainable in the long term and they're putting stuff that's more flash in the panning and maybe not good for them to be investing quite so much in.

I'm thinking in particular Of some of the AI bets that people are making of like. Could you please do what you were doing so well originally, before you can find the extra to do? You know, give me accurate data, google, before you start creating tools that will hallucinate data. That's a fundamental change in the company's direction and mission and if that's the way they want to make their resource bets, I think we're all in trouble as people who kind of depend on Google to give us good information.

59:18 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Harry, do you follow this story? I?

59:20 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
mean there? I think a lot of them are more or less boasting that they're doing this in order to Make bigger bets on AI. They don't like, they don't. They don't see the flip side, that maybe they're chasing after AI In a way that is a little bit fattish, do you?

59:37 - Leo Laporte (Host)
don't think AI is gonna produce the Results that they expect.

59:42 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
I think I will be will be transformative and will be very useful, but we're still in the process of figuring out exactly how and some of the specific things people are doing are a little bit fattish. I don't think that AI is going to go away in the way that the Metaverse or Web3 was exciting for six months.

59:57 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I think that's the right way. Investments in fattish things is not good corporate stewardship and it does make me concerned and it makes me worry that the stock market will catch up to that when the reality of those decisions catch up Of course it's the stock market that's making them do it in the first place. Making? I'm not quite sure.

01:00:13 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Well, the incentive is you want your price to go up. You better follow the latest trend. If they didn't do it, the stock would hurt. Microsoft stock has done actually look what Meta stock has done. The market rewards you for being following the fad. Well, I mean, that's only temporarily. You're right. At some point they'll punish you.

01:00:32 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Temporarily, and I think we're going through a very dark time of some issues that are coming to the fore about corporate governance and board independence. Twitter all the Musk stuff is a complete disaster in that regard, but I don't think it's completely.

01:00:47 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Elon's boards are always his cronies.

01:00:49 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I mean to a really almost pathological and degree. That is not really supposed to be what corporate law supports. You're supposed to have independence, but I think we're looking at a lot of other boards, even outside of the Musk examples, where they may be quite captured. They are either structured in a way where they can't do much and there's pluses and minuses for why companies got set up that way, but I think they're kind of captured or then you get pirates and stuff like that. Like I think we have to tune corporate law if we want to make sure that these companies are sustainable and producing sustainable, beneficial innovation. And right now we're really not set up with that and we're starting to see the tension show up in other areas of law that are a bit new for us.

01:01:30 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
Like 25 years ago, we had the dot bomb crash and which essentially the internet economy collapsed, and that did not mean the internet was going away. In fact, the internet boomed in a bigger way than ever. So I think it's possible for something both to be a bubble and to be really important, and my general sense is, just as the internet stopped being a separate thing 25 years ago, ai will essentially be something that's just everywhere and part of the oxygen we breathe, and we probably won't talk about AI as much at some point just because it is everywhere and you assume that anything that involves software probably has a dollop of AI to it.

01:02:08 - Leo Laporte (Host)
How are you on AI these days, Nicholas? We haven't talked since the AI boom.

01:02:13 - Nicholas de Leon (Host)
Yeah, no, I feel like I personally have cooled off a little bit in the past year. You know chat, gpt and Bard, I guess now Gemini, you know, I was using them for a little while self cooking but honestly, the hallucination stuff became annoying. I was doing some research for a home theater and I was asking Bard to compare receivers and it was just giving me just false information. So I was like, well, this is like what is the point of this? And I know someone who wants a small business and they use chat GPT to help draft blog posts. So that's a useful thing.

But again, for the average person, our readership, I don't know. You know, the great concern is, oh, they're going to use Bing and they're going to stop using Google because it'll give some, you know, summarizations. I know the ARC browser. They're starting to do some AI generated stuff there as well, which has proved to be controversial, I believe. So I don't know. I'm more wait and see. I feel like a year ago I was like, well, this is clearly the future, this is awesome. Here we go. Now I'm like I don't really know that I've seen anything too compelling. You know, not to write off the entire sector, obviously, that would be silly, but I'm more wait and see than I was a year ago.

01:03:22 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah it's funny because we were talking before the show. I've been more convinced of the value of AI when you give it a corpus that you control and say follow this. Like if you could give it every consumer reports issue and every wire cutter issue and every ratingscom issue and then ask it questions about consumer electronics. It would be and say stick to what you, stick to what I just gave you. It would be useful, it wouldn't be hallucinating.

01:03:50 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I really feel like it's.

01:03:52 - Leo Laporte (Host)
That's part of the process is we're going to understand what it's good for, what it's not good for. I, speaking of the ARC browser, become a big fan of the ARC browser. I use it. Exclude. I wish I could use it on my Linux machine here, but it's written as Swift, so it's really a Mac product and secondarily a window product. But they use a AI company called perplexity and the perplexity they actually actually been using this a lot. The perplexity add in will summarize pages for you.

And then what they've also done which is this is the controversy is on the iPhone. They have an ARC. It's iPhone. You know this is interesting because Apple sort of created this problem, which is that every browser has to be based on WebKit. That's going to change soon in the EU, but right now every browser has to be based on WebKit. So if ARC wants to do a browser on on iOS, it's hard to say what's the value at. So what they said is well, what if we did this? I mean, yeah, it's a browser, but really the front end is an AI where you say tell me what the best receiver would be to get in 2024.

And then and this is where it's controversial it makes a button that says create a page for that. I don't remember what it says, but browse for me, yeah, and then it creates a page for you. That is the the the summary of what all these other web pages are saying, but not the web pages. There is a link there, but honestly and this is where maybe my goals vary from consumer reports and other websites goals. I find that very useful. That's what I want on an iPhone. I don't want to browse on an iPhone. It's too small screen. I'll browse on the desktop. I don't go to websites. I don't want to go to websites in Safari. What I want to do is summarize information. Have you? It sounds like you've used it.

01:05:43 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
I've used it. Yes, I mean I. I. I've loved ARC in the past. I'm a little scared about this, partially because it is really well done it's it also does it way more quickly than I expected, it scratches my edge yeah. It works really fast, and I did occur to me that maybe at some point companies that are creating useful content should think about blocking these things, which and if, if all of them blocked ARC, then ARC would have a problem, rather than the companies that create the useful stuff at scraping and having the problem.

01:06:12 - Leo Laporte (Host)
But on the other hand and I'm very bullish on AI now, all of a sudden, I've got somehow converted. If companies start blocking AI, you're going to kill AI, because AI depends on this is true, I mean the corpus of knowledge that it can absorb, and so if people start saying, well, it's copyright, you can't have it. If AI is as as Sam Alman has said, if AI is only trained on public domain material, it's not going to be very useful or very good.

01:06:40 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
I mean, there are alternatives like like paying the people who create this useful information for putting it into your LLM.

01:06:48 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, I think that's what the New York Times is looking for, right, right.

01:06:51 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Yeah, no, I'm all. I think we discussed it on a twig I. There is no sustainable compulsory licensing system that would work, but I think this idea that why not?

01:07:04 - Leo Laporte (Host)
We have one for music.

01:07:07 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
That is incredibly dysfunctional and I would not call it anything that we should I mean compulsory licensing systems in general are nice.

01:07:14 - Leo Laporte (Host)
The way it works in music.

01:07:15 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
But they, but they're they. All they do is they move the transaction costs and they don't actually get rid of the transaction.

01:07:22 - Leo Laporte (Host)
So music, if I want to sample your song. You wrote a song. I want to sample it. You can't stop me, but I have to pay you a compulsory fee.

01:07:28 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I mean in some, because there's a, there's a number of layers here. Do I have the right to say no to you? If I have the right to say no to you, the compulsory licensing system will basically take away my right to say no.

It just takes away my right to say no and brokers the transaction. So I get something and that's an exchange for my yes. So we don't have to negotiate that. If you, if you want me to say yes, you don't have to have a separate transaction because the terms have already been decided. Those, academically, those are nice systems in some context, but the the details of setting them up just move the transaction costs.

But the other problem is is it presumes that the authors have the right to say no, and what we discussed on the other show was the right to read? Normally, an author does not have the right to say no to somebody reading their book, using a tool to read their book, so why should their software not?

01:08:19 - Leo Laporte (Host)
be able to read their book.

01:08:20 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
You taught me that that's a First Amendment protection, because the right to read is incorporated in the First Amendment and I I to use copyright law to stop that of changes copyright law and expands it beyond what what the statute says and what I think the statute could possibly say.

01:08:34 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I mean, I'm sympathetic to Harry and and and to Nicholas, who create content. They put it on the web. That's how they make their living. And then along comes somebody who has says I have the right to read. It turns out to be a machine that did choose it up, suggests it and then spits it out.

01:08:49 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
So people don't have to read your content.

01:08:52 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Well, they did it with snippets.

01:08:53 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
This is no, no, I mean, but they scan the web, they're reading the stuff.

01:08:56 - Leo Laporte (Host)
But you have to do a search engine.

01:08:58 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Yeah, but you have just as much copyright and what you put on on your blog post that you would in your book or your article.

01:09:04 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
I mean, I was thinking more specifically about ARC and more specifically about like technical solutions, like we have for web crawling, where it's possible to say web crawler Well they do that, don't crawl me.

01:09:15 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I mean the story that robotstxt, which can be used to block AI, is widely used by most media sites, except for right wing media sites who are happy to get that spread.

01:09:26 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
And that is a tiny, tiny part of whatever, whatever solution might exist, I mean I think I made the point to Paris on the other show that, like you, should be so lucky to be put train used to train, because you're contributing. Well, she nodded.

01:09:40 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
but you should feel so lucky. Harry.

01:09:44 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Because you're contributing to it's good for society. You're part of the lexicology of the public and you don't want to be excluded from that, because if you're building a technology that's going to try to learn language, to replicate language the way that human mind does, you kind of want to not be excluded from that because your language enriches I mean in theory, if it enriches any reader, it would enrich any reader, whether they're biological or artificial.

01:10:12 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
Personally I agree, and I mean the various things I've written on my own sites. I do not plan to block, but there are these media companies that need to have a business model that works. And if nobody has, if somebody else is taking that knowledge and there's no reason to visit the media sites, I mean the whole system breaks down and and ARC won't have anything to scrape at some point If there's no way for these companies to make money.

01:10:35 - Leo Laporte (Host)
And as a user, I love the browse for me button.

01:10:38 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I use it all the time. That's what I want, I want information.

01:10:42 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I don't, I'm not interested going to websites.

01:10:44 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
I also have some knowledge. I also have not seen it hallucinate, maybe because it's going to these specific sites.

01:10:49 - Leo Laporte (Host)
It's a really it's a better search engine is I think it's using I know it's using perplexityai. I actually ended up paying for perplexity because I was impressed.

01:10:57 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
Perplexity definitely hallucinates, oh yeah. They all do right, I've been using Gemini Advanced from Google, which hallucinates.

01:11:07 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I think some of the problem with this conversation though not this particular conversation, this is a very erudite conversation and everyone should envious but I think in general, with the overall discussion of AI is.

This is really a marketing term and this is and it getting applied in a whole bunch of technologies and a whole bunch of applications, and it tends to be used as a synonym for magic wand and I. That can't possibly be how we understand the innovation or how we understand the law around the innovation or how we really understand what is we're innovating and how we're going to use it. So a lot of this needs to be broken down into what are we talking about, and a lot of things caught under the whole AI mark buzzword marketing term are all bunch of discrete things. Some of this is just really sophisticated software that has a capability of processing data on a scale that we haven't seen before. Making some inferences based on the data that is processing and to the extent that it delivers us more control over how we want to apply our tools to our problems, that's great, but I'm not entirely sure that's necessarily full bore. You know commander data, artificial intelligence.

Now other people are really trying to work on building a commander data. I think we are a lot further from it than anybody is talking about, but that's also where you need the greatest training ability, because you're not going to get commander data if all you could do is read 20 books at a time, or only some books or some libraries you know? Imagine what he'd say if he only had Wikipedia to train him up. So in those sense, if we're going to shoot for a commander data, we do have to understand what needs to be available to make that system work.

But I think we're so far from it and a lot of the problems we're having technology problems, usability problems, policy problems are we are acting as if we have commander data to deploy to a whole bunch of problems. We don't have a commander data to deploy on any of our problems and we're nowhere near it, and it's about time we face that reality and then just take in hand what we do have and what problems we do have and what technologies we have to solve them. And what Leo was talking about with the corpus, I think, is really important, where I think one of the fundamental things we've lost sight about is that innovation should help us have control over our own lives, and I think a lot of the problems we're having is that innovation is causing us to abdicate and abandon control over our lives and put in the hands of people making inferences that may not be supportable. Good point Rant rant.

01:13:40 - Leo Laporte (Host)
No, I don't think you're wrong, but I still want my browse for me. But we're going to take a break. I'm going to take a break. This is the problem. People want what people want right, even if it's dumb and wrong. I mean, they want zero rating, they want a lot of things.

01:13:53 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
We want commander data. I'm not saying we should choose for you, but I think we need to recognize he's not available yet.

01:13:59 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, that's what you say. I got a browse for me button.

01:14:02 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
It worked All right. That's all you need we were.

01:14:05 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I was walking hiking in Point Rays yesterday and I wanted to know where to eat. Now normally I would have probably gone to Yelp or somewhere like that or search Google, but what I did is I actually did on Arc. I said lunch spots near Point Rays, rant Lighthouse browse for me, and it gave me a whole list with a description and stuff. Now I it did. It took this from eight different websites. It's not hallucinating. It does, in fact, give me below it links, but honestly, I got what I wanted in the first five paragraphs. I never went to those sites.

01:14:42 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
How confident were you. It wasn't hallucinating.

01:14:45 - Leo Laporte (Host)
They were. Well, I kind of know the area so I know they're all real Okay.

01:14:49 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
And did it actually seem like good advice rather than just a list of places that happened to be there?

01:14:53 - Leo Laporte (Host)
It was exactly what I. We went to a side street kitchen which offers a variety of American Mediterranean dishes with a high review rating, and it was good. You know, I don't even know if I went to the best place in Point Rays. I don't care this. This solved the problem right, and that's the problem. If it solves a problem, you can go on and on about the right thing or the best thing, but people aren't going to go for that.

01:15:14 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
My point is that it is not solving the problem, but it did no in this case.

01:15:18 - Leo Laporte (Host)
That was fine, but that was one technology application that isn't AI writ large For the last three weeks.

01:15:24 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
that's all I've that is a very I validate that particular technology as being something carefully tailored to a specific problem. But no, that's not AI, that is some specific implementation.

01:15:36 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Well, that's all humans get to experience is the is an implementation. You don't get to experience the behind the scenes.

01:15:43 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I validate that implementation, but to just kind of call oh, ai is wonderful. I mean, not every AI system would have solved your problem. They're not designed for that. And that isn't magic. That was basically information processing in a way that delivered you information you knew existed.

01:15:58 - Leo Laporte (Host)
It worked exactly right and I've never had anything like that before, so it must be AI. Let's take a break. We're going to have more. Kathy Gellis, that's good. I challenge, challenge, my, my, my thickheadedness. She's here. She's also joined by Nicholas De Leon from consumer reports and Harry McCracken from fast company. Great to have all of you Our show today brought to you by collide with a K.

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Collide is designed for companies with Okta. It works everywhere with Mac OS, Windows, Linux. Mobile devices doesn't require MDM, so you could put it on BYOD devices. You could put it on anything. If you have Okta and you're looking for a device trust solution that respects your team, you gotta visit collidecom slash twit. Watch the demo today, see how it works K-O-L-I-D-E-COLIDEcom slash twit. We thank them so much for their support of our show this week in tech. I love the AI conversation. It really gets it. Really. It's something so new that we just don't have the answers and it's appropriate. By the way, it's really appropriate to have that conversation and I'm playing a little bit of a devil's advocate, but I think users they're not gonna think about the ramifications of it. They're just gonna say does it work or doesn't it work?

01:18:28 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
That's why I worry about it being a marketing term, because it kind of is, isn't it yeah. I wouldn't mind having like, let's have a conversation about the particular piece of software you just used to get useful information.

01:18:37 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Well, it is controversial because that's. The people who made that information are not getting compensated in any way.

01:18:42 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Yeah, but neither Google was searching the web so they could aggregate it. I mean, Google could actually have been creating a service that does what you did. In theory, that's what they originally.

01:18:52 - Leo Laporte (Host)
That's what the knowledge graph was, the idea behind the knowledge graph.

01:18:54 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Yeah, I mean, I don't know why they're walking away from it at this point Instead of indexing the world's information. Now, they're like hallucinating.

01:19:02 - Leo Laporte (Host)
What is wrong with Google? What's going on at Google? Is it Sender Perchise fault?

01:19:08 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
Well, when you come to dominate something, it's a bad thing, in the same way that they do. It's very difficult to leap on the next thing, because you have this enormous business to protect, which in some ways might be kind of good, because at least Google seems somewhat concerned about protecting its reputation for providing useful information, although I'm working on this for my next newsletter. There's this conundrum that if you pay Google $20 a month for the best version of Gemini, you get something that hallucinates less, and if you use the free version, one of the big differences is it hallucinates like crazy. It's useless. Presumably more people are using the free version, and one reason why it's free is because that's not as good as actually giving you accurate information, which seems very anti-Google-y to me. In the past, google at its best both gave you stuff for free and it was pretty darn reliable, and that's not true with Gemini.

01:20:06 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I'm really concerned about. I mean, obviously a company needs to grow and can't just rest on its laurels, but I think the term you use, faddish. This seems like ooh shiny object is chasing that and at the potential. I mean they just closed down Google Cash and I'm worried about what other services they're either not going to support or not rebooting, like Reader or something like that, and I don't see a guiding principle for this is what the company is, this is what we're about, this is what we're good at. Start here and then, okay, we can experiment and build out and see what the next things are doing. Quite frankly, our earlier conversation about Vision Pro almost looks like Apple doing that, which is, we've got some core competencies, but now we're going to push the envelope a little later, a little further, to unite those core competencies. It seems a little less shiny object, but would seem very shiny object if it was just a pure VR machine.

01:20:56 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Burden is on you, Nicholas, to communicate to normal people what's going on and what the potential problems are. Are you able to do that effectively, you think?

01:21:06 - Nicholas de Leon (Host)
It's. I feel like a lot of this stuff is just not on average folks' radar.

01:21:10 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
I didn't even think about it.

01:21:12 - Nicholas de Leon (Host)
No to your point. I was saying using search for me and I got good restaurants. Okay, that's great and that's going to be useful. But just go down a couple notches down the line and it's like, okay, well, if all the local websites aren't making money off that content, then five years from now, when you search for me, there's not going to be anything there because all those sites are out of business. But that's not the concern of the consumer today. They're going to see shiny thing. That's cool.

01:21:35 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Let me throw in a monkey wrench, because the content on many of those sites was generated by us as users like Yelp. Yelp only is a platform for our reviews, so isn't it full circle? It's just, you know, we're disintermediating.

01:21:51 - Nicholas de Leon (Host)
Well obviously we have hundreds of employees. I don't know offhand how many, but tons of testers and peers.

01:21:56 - Leo Laporte (Host)
You create your own content.

01:21:57 - Nicholas de Leon (Host)
Folks who are literally looking at refrigerators and cars and laptops and routers, in my case and doing the work and creating the content and publishing that and hopefully some percentage of people will pay for that. That keeps the lights on.

01:22:11 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Long time member, more than three decades.

01:22:15 - Nicholas de Leon (Host)
If ARC is just going to summarize that, and then, like we, you know, I'm happy to contribute to the corpus of humanity, but that doesn't necessarily pay my rent or pay my mortgage or whatever the case may be.

01:22:25 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Consumer reports is mostly behind a paywall, so you can see some stuff for free. I presume that AI is not getting to the stuff behind the paywall, right.

01:22:34 - Nicholas de Leon (Host)
The way it works to my. I mean. I may even be wrong here, but the ratings, like the actual data, is behind the paywall.

01:22:40 - Leo Laporte (Host)
You have to be a member.

01:22:41 - Nicholas de Leon (Host)
What does Toyota Corolla get? You know that's behind the paywall, but the actual articles are the kind of stuff that we oh iPhone preview, any sort of that's ahead of the paywall and that's more or less just an ad to get you to subscribe to the magazine.

01:22:57 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Or the website. It gives you the general idea. I know because I'm a long time subscriber. Yeah, yeah, but if I'm not subscribed in on the browser which I'm often not because I only check it, you know, when I'm about to buy something, you see this summary and then I go, oh gosh, I kind of log in. I want to see the ratings. If the AI doesn't get the ratings, you're protected. Your content is somewhat protected.

01:23:15 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Yes, but if I can channel Jeff here, Jeff Jarvis of Tweed Jeff Jarvis of.

Tweed Moral panic man. Well, the economics of media are understrain, but they're understrain for reasons that have nothing to do with AI. They have. They're all, as I think you very correctly notes. They are understrain from a variety of reasons, and some of which are completely avoidable and involve incumbents making really bad bets and not responding to users and understanding how audiences shifted to digital, and leaving money on the table, not adopting innovation, being hostile to innovation that could have created markets and market opportunities, and sometimes you're seeing successes from upstart businesses that have not made those mistakes.

So the point of okay, we have to, you know, make sure that people can continue to fund the ability to create more works is valid. But the reflex to just blame the tech is not good, because it's a much more complex problem with that, including causes that have absolutely nothing to do with the tech, and if we hadn't stood in the way of the tech might have actually produced solutions that would have helped things be more sustainable. And we're kind of screwed at this point anyway, because I mean he makes the point that like just the capitalist interest well, I hate to sound quite that, he doesn't phrase it that way either but just sort of this idea that, like well what people have done to media, just by treating it as an investment asset as opposed to a sustainable media business, is seems to be the culprit for an awful lot of avoidable failures.

01:24:54 - Leo Laporte (Host)
There's also a risk. Here is Mark Zuckerberg being quoted by Bloomberg. It's an opinion piece, but on Thursday Mark Zuckerberg said the next key part of our playbook is learning from unique data and feedback loops in our products, the TALIS size in our products, facebook, instagram. He says there are hundreds of billions of publicly shared images, tens of billions of public videos. He says that's bigger than the common crawl database. So if you say, well, we're not gonna let AI look at these websites, suddenly Mark Zuckerberg has a huge advantage because he's created a site 20 years ago and, by the way, happy 20th anniversary Facebook. He created a site 20 years ago which somehow he got everyone to put everything they know in there. Now he's got a huge corpus of information.

01:25:45 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
And it's much closer to being a walled garden than most other parts of the internet? No one else is draining on it. Like I mean, there actually is a lot of great stuff in Facebook groups, but it's not crawled by Google, so you're not gonna find that unless you go to Facebook.

01:25:58 - Leo Laporte (Host)
So it I actually, I quit Facebook years ago and I had to recreate a craze book account. Because of that, you can't see what's going on inside of Facebook unless you're in Facebook.

01:26:10 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
Instagram seems a little bit more exposed to the internet, but it's still somewhat walled off.

01:26:16 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I never see anything on Instagram because I don't have an Instagram account, and so I'm constantly stopped at the front door and I have no idea what's behind it.

01:26:24 - Leo Laporte (Host)
You're not missing anything.

01:26:26 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
That's right. I mean, in order to read stuff on Facebook, you need to be logged into Facebook, right?

01:26:32 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Although it's interesting. Mark's very good at that. Mark has, and now he has a huge advantage.

01:26:36 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
But that was also sort of a byproduct of users and privacy arguments because in theory stuff in Facebook could be more public and people kind of freaked out because they didn't think that when they were posting they were posting in that sort of public context and Facebook's controversy has been people having the perception of private when it actually was very public.

01:26:54 - Leo Laporte (Host)
But this points back to the irony that I started with, which is, many companies Twitter, Yelp, Facebook are only valuable because of the content we, as users, put in there. So what are their rights to that, and why shouldn't AI be allowed to train on that? We already gave it away by posting on those sites.

01:27:15 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Well, we probably haven't given title, I don't think.

01:27:19 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I haven't read all the TOS. That's illegal.

01:27:21 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
But all the TOS, all the terms of service that nobody bothers to read, were probably written once they got to competent lawyers involved in a way that basically reserved the right to do this stuff.

01:27:30 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I understand they legally own it, but morally I don't see a problem with AI skimming it because after all it's our content that we put up there freely.

01:27:39 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Well, they don't legally own it. They have the license to use it for themselves, which is different than them owning it.

01:27:47 - Leo Laporte (Host)
And it's also different, and they have the right to block AI. I understand they're gonna be able to do that, but I do think there's a little bit of a moral irony there that it is our content. I mean, this is what has always bugged me about Twitter was they act as if they are the? This is their proprietary stuff.

01:28:04 - Nicholas de Leon (Host)
It isn't All they did is make a possible post, and I will jump in with Twitter regards to paying. To me, one of the nothing has really destroyed Twitter more than paying people, because then it just became a race to get popular tweets and you saw the I mean whatever the level of discourse on Twitter ever was but you saw it just decline dramatic because people are just trying to get today's winning home run or whatever, and, as someone who's kind of stuck around when a lot of my colleagues have left because, again, like I said, there's a slow lot of sports reporters and video game stuff on there that I still find useful the paying people perversely made the site worse.

01:28:42 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Well, I would argue that's what's happened at YouTube too, that the incentives, the perverse incentives on YouTube have created a whole cadre of quote journalists who's really only desires to get your clicks and your views.

01:28:57 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I don't understand as a policy advocate. A lot of YouTube's decisions have really just driven me crazy.

01:29:04 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Well, but it's good business.

01:29:05 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Well, I know I'm not sure it is because it changes my argument. I've made arguments. I remember making one at a copyright office, hearing first the DMCA, and I made a point that you know if I post, it was about a song that I had written and I talked about how, look, nobody's gonna give me a record contract here, but if I can put it on YouTube and make five you know, a nickel out of a play, that's five cents more than I would ever make before. We got these sort of intermediaries that help us do the self-expression. And then Google changed its model so like, if you're really small, you don't get your nickel, and I think that changes the policy argument and I think it's also changed the site because-.

01:29:46 - Leo Laporte (Host)
But that's the power that these guys have. Right, Little decisions, huge lever.

01:29:51 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
And I think just, I don't understand either the motivation. But even if I understood the motivation, I'm really dubious that they thought about this carefully enough yeah, probably. I mean in terms of where did it leave the policy advocacy? Because I think it hurt them. I think they'd have a much stronger position when regulators wanna do stupid things to YouTube if they could say look, we are helping people talk, we're helping people monetize. That goes a long way.

01:30:16 - Leo Laporte (Host)
You could almost, I think, predict the cycle, the hype cycle that you would see on YouTube on Vision Pro. You know, initially you'll get a lot of pro stuff and then look at this number one in the recommendations I was wrong guy wearing apparently wearing a Vision Pro in a shower, because that's always a good way to promote VR. I survive 50 hours in Apple Vision Pro. This changes everything and of course you've gotta have the weird expression.

01:30:45 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
How many do you have to scroll before there's a woman?

01:30:48 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Oh, there's a woman Reading in Apple Vision Pro for 24 hours. It's a woman, but it's another freak show, right? A lot of this is freak show.

01:30:58 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Okay, maybe I feel better that there weren't as many women. They're not the freaks.

01:31:01 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Beware of the Vision Brothers. Now we know that most of the videos we've seen this is Inception, this is Auroboros. This is YouTube eating its own tail. Cnet has posted a video about people who are trying to get clicks on YouTube by doing dumb things wearing Vision Pro many cases, faked situations so she's doing a story on how bad that is. So this is like I mean it's crazy, and I think the problem is this pollutes the conversation. This is where all the content's going, and that's a perfect example of how, because it's so huge, YouTube has this disproportionate they can make a little move and has this disproportionate effect on not just the people who published there, but the users and, ultimately, all of us.

01:31:49 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I think there were reasons of why they turned off the small users. I mean, there are obviously some costs involved. To pay out on the nickel is expensive, but I don't think they did it for that. I think they did it as a moderation solution to a problem that had started to emerge. But it doesn't seem to have solved the moderation problem. It seems to have exacerbated it because it's made it that all of the. There's an expression like the long tail of like the independent people.

01:32:17 - Leo Laporte (Host)
There is no long tail anymore.

01:32:19 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
It's not serving the long tail and it's created incentives where everybody is now bending over backwards and doing really crappy things, where it's not really the merits of their message that are. It's all the logarithmic exponential growth. As opposed to sort of a more marketplace of ideas, what is the correct renumeration for this particular idea or this particular piece of media that you've put in the public consciousness?

01:32:44 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Do you worry, Harry, that big tech is too powerful?

01:32:47 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
Sure, but that's been a big problem for a really long time, but they're not getting less powerful. They're not getting less powerful. They're still I mean open AI coming along and being a really small company that invented something the big guys couldn't, in some ways I find somewhat encouraging, but then they got immediately swallowed by Microsoft. Yeah, microsoft plays an incredibly important role in that.

01:33:13 - Leo Laporte (Host)
By the way, that's one of the kind of the problems of AI is that it's really really expensive to make the LLM models.

01:33:23 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
Yes, I mean the part of why Google and open AI went $20 for their really good models is because it costs a lot to run them. It's not entirely clear whether they're really great at businesses yet, or if anybody has figured out how to make them into great businesses.

01:33:37 - Leo Laporte (Host)
It's kind of almost a typical Silicon Valley scenario, which is you're gonna lose money but you're gonna make it up in volume.

01:33:43 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
I think presumably over time they will figure this out, but it is short-term a challenge, and it's part of why these kind of crummy LLMs are the ones you can get for free.

01:33:54 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Right, right, I wanna take a little break. Lots more to talk about Nicholas De Leon. Consumer Reports. You feel, I feel like you're a tree grows in Brooklyn, but now you've moved to the Pacific not the Pacific, but the Southwest and you're really, you've put down roots. I feel like you belong there now, nicholas.

01:34:15 - Nicholas de Leon (Host)
I like it a lot. I'm born and raised in New York. New York is fine, but this is all new and exciting to me. Like I'm right by the Santa Catalina Mountains and there's snow cap, I've never seen snow cap mountains certainly not growing up, I mean maybe here or there, but like that's my backyard now. That's incredible to me.

01:34:33 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
It's blazing hot down on the ground level and it's snow in the mountains, but he used that snow on his doorstep.

01:34:42 - Nicholas de Leon (Host)
Yeah, well, no more. So thank God no more of that. It's funny that all the AI discussion and I'm like I just wanna go for a hike, I don't know, let open AI sort of the stuff out and I'll come back tomorrow. Oh Nicholas, see how it all shakes out.

01:34:54 - Leo Laporte (Host)
That's where I am too.

01:34:56 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
It's like that's rude.

01:34:57 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Let's just, you know, we'll see what happens. But after all, don't we kind of gotta put our fingers in the gears here, because at some point it's gonna be unstoppable? I almost feel like that's the problem with big tech it is now too big to stop, like we're so dependent on it. There's nothing you could do about it.

01:35:15 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I don't know. I think I get more frustrated by how we are trying to stop it, because it tends to be.

01:35:20 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Well, that too.

01:35:21 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
It tends to be exactly what you don't wanna have happen. It emphasizes the worst and suppresses the best.

01:35:27 - Leo Laporte (Host)
That's great. What a great world we let's go for a hike. Nicholas, what do you say?

01:35:33 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Yeah, I think yeah, that sounds great. It'll be a lot less frustrating.

01:35:37 - Leo Laporte (Host)
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01:38:41 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
Yeah, I mean people always say 1969. And I guess there was a little bit being done back then involving figuring out how to make two computers talk to each other.

01:38:51 - Leo Laporte (Host)
That's when the imps got connected in Stanford and DC, but I guess that's the internet sort of, but not like we know of.

01:38:59 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
Well, there's a cool conversation going on here with somebody making the case that it's really 1971, so it's still really early and still… Because 1971 is when the Unix epoch began also, so maybe…. But still decades before, most people were on the internet.

01:39:14 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I think… so you got on the internet very early. You said 78.

01:39:18 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
Well, actually that wasn't the internet, that was like BBS. I was actually surprisingly late to the World Wide Web, by which I mean 1994.

01:39:29 - Leo Laporte (Host)
That's really when I became the internet, we know.

01:39:32 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
But I first dialed out to computers in either late 78 or maybe early 79.

01:39:37 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I'm 1982 or so.

01:39:40 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Really, what did you do to get on in 82? That's a long time.

01:39:43 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
There's an entry in Wikipedia that talks about… If you look at Prodigy, it talks about that there was a pilot service in northern New Jersey and we were a pilot household that they came, they installed an extra phone jack in our house and I think it had a coupler modem and they lent us a terminal.

01:40:03 - Leo Laporte (Host)
It was video techs.

01:40:05 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
It was video techs and I was using video techs. I don't know, I don't know what year, but something like….

01:40:10 - Leo Laporte (Host)
That's about right. So you really…. You were lucky this started….

01:40:14 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I think it's interesting that Prodigy led to section 230. Now I'm a section 230 advocate and I used a Prodigy's precursor, but my fate was written in the start.

01:40:21 - Leo Laporte (Host)
In 1980, in France… In fact, I had a mini-tel. Somebody brought me their mini-tel For some reason. The phone company well, it was actually the government-run PTT, the post-telegraphy telephone put one of these in every home in France. I think they thought they would save money on phone books. I don't know what they were thinking, but you could buy things, you could make train reservations, you could check stock prices. Of course there was a phone book on there and they even had primitive email and all of it was using something called video techs, which was a… it was graphical, but like Prodigy was graphics on top of the text.

01:41:02 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I think I remember video techs from the service we were using, but I think it technically was a Prodigy precursor. I did not realize that then became a basis for mini-tel.

01:41:10 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Mini-tel predates this. So mini-tel's 1980. Prodigy's much later.

01:41:15 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Prodigy's later, but the pilot program we were using was early.

01:41:20 - Leo Laporte (Host)
And it was using this technology. You probably knew about this video techs.

01:41:23 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
I knew of mini-tel. At the time my father joined both the source and CompuServe, which were both 1979. And Genie or Electric had one too.

01:41:32 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Genie was a little later I was on CompuServe. A lot of our old timers like me remember their CompuServe number, because you didn't have a name.

01:41:42 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
And CompuServe actually goes back to 1969, but originally it was like a business-oriented time-sharing service and they had all this extra computing power after business hours that was going unused. And so they said, well, maybe these people buying microcomputers would dial into our computers and we could make some money using these untapped systems. And that is how they got going.

01:42:03 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, it was H&R Block, right, and H&R Block bought them shortly thereafter. They had a lot of computer capacity, except during April, but it had come May 1, man, what are we going to do with all these computers? So they let you use them.

01:42:17 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
So one of the byproducts to mini-tel is France was an early adopter. The French people were an early adopter to computer-mediated communication in general, but thus very slow to adopt the internet because they didn't need it to the same degree. So I had a job. My first career before I went into law was I was a web developer and I had a job in France making websites and I had the job in 97 to 98, I think, or was it 98 to 99.

But they were running about three years behind America in terms of adoption and that Christmas was a real key time where adoption leapt forward because they had three telcos and each telco was offering some form of internet dans le bois, internet in the box.

You would get in this box a 14-formotum, a subscription to the dial-up for that carrier and either Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator and that meant that Christmas an awful lot of people all of a sudden were getting up and online. And it was interesting as a web developer because a lot of the browser wars that we were suffering from in America because all the browsers were inherently incompatible at least in this instance IE3 and Netscape3 were not compatible, but that was only two. At least everyone jumped in on version three, which made it much easier as a web developer because there were far fewer contingencies that you actually had to build for. But I was there at that moment of time and now it's interesting as a lawyer, when I go to France and I go to internet policy things and people are like the internet in France. I'm like let me tell you about the internet in France. I was building you your internet in France.

01:44:03 - Leo Laporte (Host)
The mini-tel continued in France until 2012, so it lasted a long time. This is a very French picture this is from IEEEorg, the IEEE spectrum of a guy on a mini-tel and look, he's got a little charcuterie, a little fromage, a little vandanaire, and I guess there's another mini-tel, so it must be a mini-tel café, but that is a very French.

01:44:27 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
But they had them in the post offices too.

01:44:29 - Leo Laporte (Host)
People's houses, they were, almost everybody had one. In fact, what I've read, somebody brought us one and it's a very primitive kind of chiclet keyboard stuff. But what I've read is it was so commonplace, it was no big deal, everybody had. It was just in your house.

01:44:43 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
But France Telecom had a monopoly. They also around the same time that I'm describing it the monopoly, they ended up with competition. So there were I think three telcos that were doing the dial-up. One of them was Sejetel. But Sejetel was brand new from that time period where it actually could compete with France Telecom and produce its own services Amazing.

01:45:06 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I don't know how we got onto that, but I guess you, guys, you were talking in the discord during the break.

01:45:12 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
Yes, we were waxing nostalgia.

01:45:14 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I remember the first time I got on I was using the well, the whole electronic language which is still around, still around. I don't remember as it was, but Stewart Brand's idea of a. It was a BBS and I had run BBS in the early 80s. I had a Macintosh BBS in 85. But the well was a very interesting place because there was very. The people in there were really smart, very interesting.

It was all text and I discovered at one point and this must have been the mid-to-late 80s that you could drop out of the interface and you'd be at a command prompt where you could run Gopher and Archie and the early internet tools. It wasn't a graphical internet, there weren't browsers and you could. And I was. My mind was blown that where all these Gopher and Archie servers out there there was you could go, for Gopher was a menu system and you could go to the Polytechnique Francaise or whatever and see what was there and download stuff. It was wild. I thought there's so many people here. This is such a universe. It was a very early internet, before graphical browsers. But I don't think that that counts even I have to say it starts with the browser, starts with Mosaic perhaps as a consumer medium for sure.

01:46:25 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Yeah, I mean there was an article, that's the 90s, so you weren't far behind.

01:46:29 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
At the time, I felt like I'd been around for like a couple of years and I was way behind, although I also felt the same way when I started using a TRS-80 in like 1978. I think I was like my god, these things have existed for three years.

01:46:41 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
You needed a 14-4 modem before the graphical elements of the internet became usable.

I was using the internet in 92 when I got to college, but you had the 14-4 modems. You had the invention of the World Wide Web, mosaic and Netscape. But you also had an article in the New York Times in somewhere along 1995 that I think was in my mind. That was a thing that opened the door which went from esoteric to now the public is sniffing around it and throw this thing is out there 95 was probably even more than 94, the year where it blew wide open.

01:47:16 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
Did you say email would be the start?

01:47:18 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Well, emails, really old, I mean, as Harry was saying, you had MCI mail, which you had a number, you had Gini, you had GE email. There were a variety of incompatible email systems way back when.

01:47:30 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Well, SMTP predates the World Wide Web. I don't know how far that goes back.

01:47:36 - Leo Laporte (Host)
But this was that was in academia. But if you were a normal person your email system was MCI mail or CompuServe mail and you could only at that time email somebody else on MCI mail.

01:47:47 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I mean your ISP tended to provide your email.

01:47:49 - Leo Laporte (Host)
We didn't have ISPs, I guess we must.

01:47:51 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Well, that was the thing that also.

01:47:52 - Nicholas de Leon (Host)
I mean it was no, it was the college in the 90s you got emails like I think my sister in 91 got an email address from Brown.

01:48:00 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Yeah, people, because people I knew in high school came back who had gone off a year before me came back winter break of like 91. And we're telling me the story about you know these computers where you can send messages to each other and it's free and I, what is this magical story they're talking about? But then when I got out to Berkeley in 92, I went and sought out one of these magical internet accounts and found one, but it was really difficult to find at that point because it wasn't something that the university was even providing to anybody. There were little esoteric systems of like UNIX boxes that some were running mainframes or something like that, and if you could get an account on then they were all internet connected.

01:48:41 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, that was the imp system in the early yeah.

01:48:44 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
My dad was on the internet before I was because he worked at Boston University and he was an academic.

01:48:50 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I think some would say that the real era of the internet began with what they call the eternal September, when AOL opened to the public. I already told my joke about this Did you?

01:49:02 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
They find Mexican cuisine.

01:49:06 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, that's right, that was Taco Bell. Yeah, so according to Wikipedia, the eternal September or September that never ended, is Usenet slang. Usenet is something that predates the worldwide web but is certainly part of the internet For a period beginning around 1993, when internet service providers began offering Usenet access to many new users. Aol opened with its Usenet gateway service in March 1994. But from the early Usenet point of view, the influx of new users in September 1993 never ended. That's when the unwashed masses and, by the way, they ruined Usenet. That was when it really became a public facility instead of a university facility.

01:49:54 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
The immigration lawyers in Arizona ruined Usenet by inventing spam because they decided I have the authority to write my ads here, so they're like you can't stop me, I'm going to do it and I don't care how it ends.

01:50:07 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Here's a t-shirt from the eternal September 1993. The internet is full. Go away.

01:50:12 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I would like that. I want that. I want that now.

01:50:15 - Nicholas de Leon (Host)
A limited edition run twits swag. We should make that.

01:50:17 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Oh, we should All right. All right, anthony, get on that. The internet is full Go away. You know, I think for a lot of people who were on the internet when it was really an academic network, like your dad, when it became public, when AOL finally flooded it with real people, that's when it took its real character.

01:50:38 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I mean, at some point, just like selling stuff over the internet was controversial and there were people who thought that it should not be part of the whole idea yeah, Of course, I did graduate from college with a marketable skill, because I'd learned how to make web pages while I was studying mass communications in the early 90s, and then, oh, I happen to live in the Bay Area with and know how to do this. This is not a bad thing.

01:51:01 - Leo Laporte (Host)
There are probably people who think the internet began 20 years ago when Facebook launched.

01:51:06 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
No, no, no no.

01:51:08 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Facebook. Yeah, last Sunday we didn't market, but we'll market now. It was the day in 2004 when Mark Zuckerberg put up the very first the Facebook for Harvard University students. Only you all know about it because you saw the movie, the semi-fictional movie, the social network.

01:51:28 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I didn't see the movie.

01:51:30 - Leo Laporte (Host)
It's actually a good movie, but Facebook wasn't public for another year or two, when it started to slowly branch out to other schools and eventually into the public. Facebook is now 20. I remember the Facebook.

01:51:42 - Nicholas de Leon (Host)
You do. I was on the Facebook, yes. I went to NYU and so we got it, maybe a few months after Harvard, if Harvard was, yeah, a few months after so I was on the Facebook.

01:51:52 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I remember that. Do you remember how you felt when you got on it?

01:51:57 - Nicholas de Leon (Host)
I had heard about it from a live journal.

01:52:01 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Someone was talking about it. Another name from the blast, from the blast.

01:52:06 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)

01:52:07 - Nicholas de Leon (Host)

01:52:07 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Gardens all the way down.

01:52:09 - Nicholas de Leon (Host)
Yeah, I mean, and it's sort of the initial use case in school. It was literally like trading notes for class stuff, like that. It was actually very college-oriented for a little while, maybe a year or two, before becoming. I feel like the first time it became like something else was when they launched the news feed. I feel like that was 2006, 2007, and everyone freaked out because before you had to go to individual, to people's profiles what is my friend, what's his favorite sports team? I would have to go to his profile page to see that before it was all just kind of organized in the news feed. I definitely remember the Facebook for sure. There was Pokes. It was weird.

01:52:53 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)

01:52:54 - Nicholas de Leon (Host)
It was a different, entirely different platform.

01:52:56 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I remember Pokes. I wasn't even a platform. After being off Facebook for eight or nine years and going back last year, late last year, it was very it's a weird experience. It's nothing like the old Facebook. It wasn't because when I was on Facebook and when you started on Facebook, it was about people you knew yes, very much. Not about people you knew Young people you knew. In most cases, Right Now it's old people you don't know. Well, people have already started to see, you couldn't even see.

01:53:22 - Nicholas de Leon (Host)
If I was on the NYU network, I don't think I could see people out of the colleges.

01:53:25 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Oh, that's it.

01:53:26 - Nicholas de Leon (Host)
It was only NYU.

01:53:28 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
It was a big deal. You used to have to be able to authenticate your school email in order to get on.

01:53:32 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yes, the EDU. Yes, here's some good news. The music industry. Actually, was it music or was it film makers? I think it was actually the Hollywood filed lawsuit against Reddit saying you got to give us the IP addresses of people who talk about piracy on Reddit. In fact, I probably should enlist our official attorney here on this one. The company attempted to block it. They said, well, no, we don't want to give you that, and courts have surprisingly ruled in favor of Reddit and they do not have to hand over these IP addresses. This is one of a number of piracy lawsuits against internet service providers on behalf of independent film companies.

01:54:25 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I suspect I haven't digested this decision yet, although I need to. I think these are DMCA subpoenas and I think the open question was although I'm not entirely positive it's possible that these shifted in some way, but the DMCA has a subpoena mechanism and one of the things that has been happening is that subpoena mechanism seems to have been unlimited by any. First Amendment concerns for the right to anonymous speech. It operates on its own orbit and isn't subject to the same type of review that other forms of subpoena authority would have, with huge damage to what happens to anonymous speech if a 512 subpoena can all of a sudden unmask people who are having discourse, like on Reddit, and so Reddit, to its credit, has been fighting back about these unlimited subpoenas and saying no. The First Amendment has to actually come into the picture somewhere.

01:55:23 - Leo Laporte (Host)
The lawyers are not going to stop. They say they're going to continue. This is the third time around. The film companies, including I'm reading from Torrent Freak, including voltage holdings and Scream Media Ventures, wanted to use the pro piracy comments made by six Redditors to show that they didn't take the ISP. Are they talking about Reddit or their ISPs? I guess their ISPs, because that's why they want the IP address, is not the names that their ISPs didn't take proper action against repeat infringers or that lax enforcement acted as a draw so they weren't asking. In fact, they thought they might get away with this one because they said we don't want the names, your honor, we're not looking to infringe on these people's privacy. We just want their IP address so that we can then contact their ISPs and say get these people.

The judge thank goodness the magistrate, judge Thomas Hixon of the California Federal Court denied the motion to compel. So that's now the third time. Three strikes. I wish they were out there. Not that these movie companies have been thwarted in their attempt to go after the ISPs by getting people who mention it on Reddit. And of course, the judge said no, no, no, you have a First Amendment right.

01:56:41 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Yeah, I hope that holds up in credit to Reddit for pursuing it. I mean, I'm working on a paper right now about the First Amendment problems with the DMCA because it basically, I think, has a large prior restraint problem where the accusations of piracy can cause speakers and speech to be disappeared even though there's never been any adjudication for whether that speech is truly wrongful or not. And hello, the First Amendment really shouldn't support that sort of thing. So if that's what an aspect of copyright law is allowing, then copyright law has a First Amendment problem and the two have to play together.

01:57:22 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Scotis is gonna be very you were mentioning this before the show busy. Their docket this year had a lot of not just First Amendment stories but social media cases.

01:57:34 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
A lot of internet things, interesting times.

01:57:40 - Leo Laporte (Host)
So we're gonna. They've already heard our arguments for all of these, have they no?

01:57:44 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
no, it's coming up the NetChoice CCIA cases which is that's the big one. Yes, Well, it's certainly a big one. Maybe it is the biggest one because it's also a double case.

01:57:58 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Florida and Texas.

01:57:58 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Florida and Texas. So Texas wanted to impose regulation that would force platforms to moderate in certain ways and Florida had regulation that would force platforms to moderate in certain ways. The platforms largely won at the appeals court. Well, everybody won at the district. The platforms all went in the district court. I believe. No, let me take that back. Everything's weird in Texas. But basically the 11th Circuit mostly gave a win to the platforms to say back off state, you don't get to do this, although it didn't enjoin all of the provisions. And then the fifth circuit, the Texas law. The fifth circuit is a very weird circuit that basically just makes up law however it wants to and without being pejorative, in a very maga acceptable way. And they basically they produced a decision that really sort of trashed a lot of First Amendment precedent and logic.

01:58:51 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Both these cases really come down to the fact that Twitter banned President Trump after on January 7th, and they right am I wrong that they really want to have. The state's attorneys general have the right to tell social media. You cannot or you must ban this person or this kind of concept.

01:59:10 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I don't know if Trump is necessarily the instigating point for all of it, but they they sure didn't like it.

Well, they sure didn't like it, but Trump wasn't the only person kicked off of social media. And the laws are framed a little differently like the ones in Florida is, I think, focused more on oh, you can't disqualify journalism and what it counts as a journalist, and they're each framed somewhat differently, but the effect is the same. The states basically want to be able to tell the platforms what they must or must not platform or deplatform, and that's got a big First Amendment problem.

01:59:42 - Leo Laporte (Host)
But you have the issue with the courses You're telling a private business who they can do business with. The question is whether the platform so there is a and doesn't even seem like a speech issue.

01:59:52 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
No, it is definitely a speech issue, because so there's an old case called Miami Herald versus Torneo and that case the Supreme Court said that the government could not force a newspaper to run and op-ed it did not want to run, like it could not have fairness doctrine type things, particularly with something like newspapers where government doesn't get to regulate at all. And the question is whether essentially boils down to whether that is the analogy that applies to a platform or not. And a lot of the states and some of the other people who want to be able to force the platforms to moderate the way they want to mostly because they've got a deep platform and they don't like that want to say no, no, no, they're, oh, I can't even remember because it's such a bad term but the idea no, you have to take all commerce, your common carriers, that's the term they want to use.

02:00:43 - Leo Laporte (Host)
We know they're not common carriers. They should not be. It's absurd and that's not the way-, the phone company is a common carrier. The phone company can't be told what who to has it. You can't have a phone. You're too liberal. You can't have a phone. You can't have a phone.

02:00:58 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
The indiquia that applies to an actual common carrier does not apply to a private platform.

02:01:04 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Are they publishers, though? That's the question. Are they like a newspaper? Are they publishers?

02:01:08 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Well, the idea is that they would they have the same sort of First Amendment rights and editorial discretion that as a publisher, yeah, I mean. I really hate the term publisher I don't use it in my advocacy because it tends to confuse people, but essentially they are. That exercise of their own editorial and associative discretion is something that the First Amendment should protect. If it doesn't protect it, then Texas and Florida can order anybody around, Although then there may be commerce clause in section two of the videos.

02:01:36 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Where do these laws stand right now? In both cases, they've been suspended temporarily at the lower post.

02:01:42 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
There are provisions in the Florida one that have not technically been enjoined, but I don't know if anyone's enforcing it, but it's largely enjoined. And in Texas it's technically enjoined but not via the same mechanism. I think it's basically a stay.

02:01:54 - Leo Laporte (Host)
But neither state has done anything to-.

02:01:56 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
They can't yet. Yet okay, but as soon as the Supreme Court rules, we'll be off to the races.

02:02:00 - Leo Laporte (Host)
And those hearings or arguments will be so that one is February 26th. Okay, soon, a couple of weeks.

02:02:07 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Yeah, imminently. And then a whole bunch of amicus briefs have come in recently.

02:02:11 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Have you filed one for-?

02:02:13 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I have. So my client in the cases for the NetChoice cases is the Copian Institute, which is Mike Maznik detector. It is Chris Riley who is an individual mastodont administrator, because we wanted to point out how expressive the editorial choices are because that is a single human being that in theory Texas and Florida and Utah and California could all boss around.

02:02:37 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I'm another one. I run my own mastodont. I moderated solely on my decisions. I do not want to be told what.

02:02:45 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I Exactly.

02:02:46 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Oh, you can't block that person.

02:02:47 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
So we bring an individual to bear to really illustrate what editorial discretion looks like and why it needs to be protected.

02:02:53 - Leo Laporte (Host)
This is one problem because a lot of the legislators act as if it's big tech only that's Section 230 and a separate kind of idea. But it affects me too, it does.

02:03:03 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
It affects small people too, and it's important that they understand that, arguably, these two laws from Texas and Florida attempt to only reach big, but it is not quite clear that they only reach big and the principal would essentially allow them to reach small. So we did that, and the third client on it actually for the Net Choice cases, is Blue Sky itself, because one of the things we're pointing out is that this fixation on everything is big tech and it's just Twitter, facebook, google et cetera is wrong and that there's an entire ecosystem that needs to be protected and that there's other avenues for getting speakers and speech online. So a lot of the policy thing that was sort of driving the sense of oh, we must do something is a myth and it shouldn't be suborn.

02:03:44 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Anything else we should be watching on the Supreme Court talk this year.

02:03:48 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
In March is the case Murthy versus Biden, and this is one where everybody got well let me not beat that to colloquial but many people got mad at revelations that the members of the Biden administration and a variety of executive branch agencies were having conversations with the platforms, and the results of those conversations seems to have affected moderation policy.

02:04:18 - Leo Laporte (Host)
So in this case, murthy is Governor, murthy of.

02:04:22 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
No, Murthy is the Surgeon General. Oh, the Surgeon, oh, okay, this was originally Missouri versus Biden, but now that it's at the Supreme Court, the caption has changed.

02:04:33 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Okay, and so it's the Missouri Surgeon General.

02:04:37 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
No, US Surgeon General.

02:04:39 - Leo Laporte (Host)
US Surgeon General. So basically, another we're trying to have conversations with about COVID.

02:04:45 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
So the plaintiffs in this case are a number of people, largely anti-vaxxers, who got deplatformed, plus the states of Louisiana and the states of Missouri, and they sued the Biden administration under the theory that the Biden administration was the state actor that caused the censorship of their deplatforming. And this was at the injunction stage. And the district court came out with an injunction that the Fifth Circuit narrowed slightly but still left largely intact, which basically enjoined federal agencies and made it impossible for them to talk to platforms. Under this theory that any deplatforming happened was not attenuated at all, it was all at their direction, which is not supported by the facts, not supported by the record. But the big problem is now you have an injunction where the federal agencies cannot talk to the platforms, which means that the platforms cannot talk to the federal agencies.

So I wrote an amicus brief in this case this was just the Cope Institute one, but pointing out that again the platforms have their own First Amendment rights. They have their First Amendment rights to moderate how they see fit. And if they wanna come up with a policy that deals with vaccine information, maybe it makes sense to talk to the administration agency tasked with coming up with expertise in vaccines. And the other thing is there's the First Amendment right to petition you. It's in the First Amendment. You have the right to petition the government, which basically means you have the right to talk to your government, and this injunction interferes with that. So we wrote a brief.

02:06:21 - Leo Laporte (Host)
It's interesting that it's going in that direction because, of course, the proponents of this are concerned more that the government's gonna tell social media what to do.

02:06:30 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Well, that's what they're very concerned about. And if it actually did happen where the federal government said you moderate it this way, or else if it's really pressing the platform's hands like that, then there actually is a constitutional problem. But that's not what the record supports. And even if it did, this is not the remedy for it, because this remedy cuts off all future conversations.

02:06:50 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Well, for instance, one of the conversations could be this is a known terrorist group that's posting content on Twitter and they're recruiting for terrorism. We're not telling you to take them down, but you should know this.

02:07:03 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
That would be appropriate right. You should know this. It hasn't just cut off Surgeon General, it's also cut off CISA. So they can't talk about cyber threats. They don't like anybody talking about election disinformation.

02:07:14 - Leo Laporte (Host)
It's reasonable, though, to say the government shouldn't be allowed to say, take this guy down, but there should be informational.

02:07:22 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
The government can't force it.

02:07:23 - Leo Laporte (Host)
They can't say but it's an informational conversation to say, look, this guy's disseminating a malware on your platform. You might want to do something about it.

02:07:33 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
What the plaintiffs are alleging is that the government did say things along those lines and they think that's too heavy handed.

02:07:40 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Well, it's true, if a federal government says we think it would be advisable for you to do something, that's got some weight behind it.

02:07:47 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
There is a question of how is there enough weight, because I think the record does not show that there's enough weight, that there was actually state action here.

02:07:55 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I think you want the platforms could say no. I think you want the platforms to have information you want them to have information you want this flow of information. You don't want the government to tell them what to do, but you do want this flow of information.

02:08:06 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Right, so the government. So there's an issue of fact, although I think the record really doesn't get far enough to say whether the government said you take this down, or else Does Scottus care about that.

I don't understand this court very well so it's a little unclear. But we ended up filing a brief in support of neither the government nor the plaintiffs basically pointing out but the platforms. The problem with this case right now is it isn't really a question of whether there was state action and whether the people who got the platform truly got the platform because the state forced the platforms to do that. It kind of is irrelevant because the injunction basically said going forward, all these federal agencies, you're enjoined, you don't get to talk to the platforms, and the functional effect of this non-narrow and incredibly broad injunction is a whole bunch of agencies can't talk to the platforms, which means that the platforms can't talk to the government agencies their own government, their own agencies, who have expertise in matters that would help them make.

02:09:01 - Leo Laporte (Host)
You should be able to ask.

02:09:02 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
You should be able to ask.

02:09:03 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Is this guy a terrorist? What do you know?

02:09:05 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
So we made an argument that basically, whatever you think happened probably didn't happen here. But this is not how you fix it.

02:09:11 - Leo Laporte (Host)
There should be some flow of information, but maybe there should be a bright line where you can't cross, where the government says yeah, take this case?

02:09:17 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
We probably have one. I'm not sure the plaintiffs have made out the case. There's another problem.

02:09:22 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I'm sure Twitter always has the right to say no, we're not gonna do that.

02:09:25 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
As long as Twitter has the right to say no, there's no constitutional injury. The other problem with this is what is Missouri and Louisiana doing, bringing this lawsuit?

02:09:33 - Leo Laporte (Host)
What's their standing?

02:09:34 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Yeah, and the fact that Fifth Circuit found that Louisiana and Missouri had their own First Amendment rights to that's a super one. This is not good, and I spent this week reading a lot of really depressing amicus briefs on the side of the plaintiffs here.

02:09:52 - Leo Laporte (Host)
We're gonna take a little break. We will come back with some final thoughts with our great panel, but first a word from Robin Hood, this episode brought to you by Robin Hood. Did you know that even if you have a 401K for retirement, you can still have an IRA? Robin Hood is the only IRA that gives you a 3% boost on every dollar you contribute when you subscribe to Robin Hood Gold. But get this now. Through April 30th, robin Hood is even boosting every single dollar you transfer in from other retirement accounts with a 3% match. That's right. No cap on the 3% match. Robin Hood Gold gets you the most for your retirement thanks to their IRA with a 3% match. This offer is good through April 30th. Get started at robinhoodcom. Slash boost Subscription fees apply. And now for some legal info Claim as of Q1 2024, validated by Radius Global Market Research.

Investing involves risk, including loss. Limitations apply to IRAs and 401Ks. A 3% match requires Robin Hood Gold for one year from the date of first 3% match. Must keep Robin Hood IRA for five years. The 3% matching on transfers is subject to specific terms and conditions. Robin Hood IRA available to US customers in good standing. Robin Hood Financial LLC. Member SIPC is a registered broker-dealer. Thank you, robin Hood, Thank you, leo. Hey, we had a great week this week on Twitter. We prepared a little movie for your enjoyment, something you don't know about this.

02:11:25 - Nicholas de Leon (Host)
The camera angle is based on where the window is, if I move the window, it's like there's a cream shot going on.

02:11:32 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Previously on Twitter, Matt Break Weekly.

02:11:36 - Nicholas de Leon (Host)
It's Vision Pro time A lot of the things I need to build are window management. I literally said last week oh, I left my settings app in the garage.

02:11:44 - Steve Jobs (Announcement)
Yes, and it is on one level. It's brilliant Hands on tech. It is time to answer all the questions you've asked about the Apple Vision Pro how it works, what the performance is like, whether it's worth purchasing, and so much more.

02:11:59 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Windows Weekly. I've made two GPTs which I use all the time. I give it all these classic lists of books. They're references for me, they're fantastic and I think the thing you just described is gonna be the moment it's coming. It's gonna come in like two days. It's when I go to my mechanic and he does what you just described, or you go to. You know I'm trying to think of examples. The thing is it can be in your phone so you can literally you're under the car and you're like what is this thing doing? What's the part for this thing?

Yeah, and this is not science fiction, this is not someday soon, it's here. This is if you can use it right now. If you missed Twit this week, you missed a lot. It's always sad, but I like to do this, and with you, harry, because I feel like you're our historian of technology. I would like to do a couple of obituaries. We wanna pay attention to this. The technology's been around long enough now that people are passing away. Have you ever read the Code Breakers?

02:12:53 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
And not only have I read it, I gave a copy of it to my nephew for Christmas. It's a great book, a really groundbreaking one, a free book on crypto, if you ask me.

02:13:01 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yes, I didn't realize it was so old it's 1967, written by David Kahn, who passed away at the age of 93 this week. But the book remains, even as old, as it is the kind of definitive work on cryptography.

02:13:17 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
It's definitive and it inspired a lot of people who then went on to work in cryptography, which, starting around that timeframe, turned out to be a really important thing on a number of fronts.

02:13:28 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, the cipher punks and people like that. Yeah, and you gave it to your nephew. I gave him a Last.

02:13:36 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
Christmas. Yes, I did. I gave him my own personal copy because I thought he would enjoy it and Wow.

02:13:43 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I'm thinking I'm gonna pull it off the shelf and reread it, because it's been a long time since I've read this.

02:13:48 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
And I mean the government tried to prevent it from being published. It was so good.

02:13:53 - Leo Laporte (Host)
A history of starting with the Egyptians of crypto, but also a great introduction to how this all works. And that still holds true. It's still appropriate. David Kahn, the code breakers. He passed at the age of 93, ripe old age of 93. Not the only loss this week we also lost John Walker, who was the founder of Autodesk. People will well remember Walker. He Did he write AutoCAD before founding Autodesk. Was it one of those situations or do you know?

02:14:31 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
I don't know the exact order that things happened in, but I mean, autodesk has gotta be one of the most important software companies that people don't talk about all that much just because so many of the things we touch every day. We're building AutoCAD. I mean it's sort of a little bit like Photoshop, except people do think about Photoshop touching a lot of our world. Autocad is exactly the same. There must be an innumerable number of the things in this room we're sitting in Absolutely we're designed in AutoCAD.

And you walk down the street and you pass them too. And it used a version of Lisp as well, as it's a coding language Auto Lisp so very sad news and one of the few pieces of software that has mattered as much as it has for as long as it has.

02:15:17 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, yeah, john Walker was a young man. In my mind, he was born in 1949, so he was at 75 at his passing. That's about all there is to say about it, but he will be very fondly remembered. Steven Sinovsky posted a very, I thought, very nice and thoughtful post on Twitter, talking about not only the passing of John Walker but the influence his work had on the early days of Microsoft, bill Gates and so forth. So that wraps it up for this edition of this Week in Tech. Always great to have our official counselor, kathy Gellis, on. It's great to have you in studio. She writes at TechDirt and obviously does briefs for the Copia Institute. Have you ever you're admitted before the Supreme Court? Does that mean that you could argue a case if it came up?

02:16:14 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
Yeah, in theory, that's how I get to file these amicus briefs.

02:16:16 - Leo Laporte (Host)
You've never had a chance to do that, though.

02:16:18 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
No, it hasn't happened yet.

02:16:19 - Leo Laporte (Host)
All right. Well, I'll hire you next time when you have a big Supreme Court case, You'll be the first person on my list.

02:16:24 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
I'm glad. Yes, I wanna be your favorite Supreme Court part member.

02:16:28 - Leo Laporte (Host)
You are cgcouncilcom cgconselcom. Thank you, kathy. Thank you, nicholas de Leon, who writes, of course, regularly in Consumer Reports. He's their senior electronics reporter. Are you working on anything for a future episode that we should think about?

02:16:45 - Nicholas de Leon (Host)
I think in the upcoming magazine I've got something on all the different email clients. Again, this is probably not stuff for your audience necessarily.

02:16:52 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Oh no, we're interested in that. No, that's good. What do you like? Just?

02:16:57 - Nicholas de Leon (Host)
a break. I mean, I actually kinda like the new outlook, for I'm on Windows 11 right now. It's kinda neat and it's looking at some of the things it can do Apple Mail, what that can do in the phone and, I guess, some Gmail tips that you may not know or our readers probably don't know. Nice, so that's coming out, I don't know when.

02:17:15 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Whenever that hits store shelves, I was briefly flirting with the idea of writing a weekly column for the AARP magazine. But I got a little tip for the editor. The person my media editor said make this more technical. And then the editor in chief said make it less technical. And since they couldn't seem to agree on how they wanted me to do this, I said you know, maybe we'll do this later, but the big pitch was you'll reach more people over 65 than anybody else. Great, just what I need. My peers, I guess they would be.

Anyway, nicholas, thank you for the work you do. It is very important and I'm always glad to have you on and I am a longtime member of Consumer what was Consumer Union and Subscriber to Consumer Reports. It's a must have journal. Thank you, nicholas, appreciate it. And Harry McCracken, my good friend, thank you for bringing Marie. I asked you to bring her and it's good thing. We had. What is this stuff? That's soda that you like Columns. It's a Filipino fruit, a lime-like fruit, and we had, for some reason, I think somebody in our continuity department likes it. And Marie said ah, I love it. We take all the cans with you. Take them all with you. It's all right, we can make more.

02:18:37 - Cathy Gellis (Guest)
No, you need to have them so you can lure her back.

02:18:40 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Well, she can, because we'll lure Harry back. What can we have to lure?

02:18:44 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
you back. The common seat may be more of a way to get her here than me.

02:18:49 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Harry McCracken is the global technology editor for Fast Company. Love the stuff you write. You're our internet historian or your technology historian, but also the stuff you're writing on Vision Pro right now is thoughtful, insightful and not link-baity, which.

02:19:05 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
I really appreciate. It's one of the more fun things I've done lately, just because it is so new.

02:19:09 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, I really appreciate it. You can also follow him on Amastodon. He's on Amastodon. That's social Harry McCracken.

02:19:15 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
And subscribe to my newsletter. Plugged in Very important. Plugged in you can find, if you go to Fast Company and scroll down, we'll probably urge you to subscribe.

02:19:22 - Leo Laporte (Host)
At the bottom of a lot of the pages I'm pretty sure I'm already a subscriber, so I'll make sure I make sure I am. The problem with newsletters is they keep ending up in my spam folders, so I've got to approve it and get it.

02:19:36 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
Actually, I read my newsletters in this app called Matter rather than reading them in my email, and it's quite handy for that Matter is great.

02:19:43 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, you know what I do now is there's one called. There's an open source app called Omnivore that does the same thing, but you have to give. I screwed up my subscription to the information by changing my email address to this bizarre long Omnivore address and now I have to remember it to log in. Matter, yeah, matter I don't have to do that with matter.

02:20:01 - Harry McCracken (Guest)
You allow matter to look into your Gmail, so it's a little more seamless.

02:20:05 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Very good. Thank you Harry, thank you Kathy, thank you Nicholas, thanks to all of you, and I appreciate it, especially our club TWIT members joining us today. We do TWIT every now. We were early because of this big game that's coming up, but we normally do the show every Sunday, 2 PM Pacific, 5 PM Eastern, 2200 UTC. You can watch us live as soon as the show starts at youtubecom, but of course, for most people, the best thing to do is subscribe. That way, you'll get it automatically the minute the show is available, which usually takes an hour or two after the show to put that out. You can also watch it on YouTube. There's a dedicated YouTube channel. We got audio and video, or go to the website twittv and download a copy. I thank you so much for watching.

We've been doing this for a few years. I know it feels like a long show, but imagine we've been doing it for 15 years now. That's pretty. More than that, more than that, what? 19 years? Oh gosh, how do you do? 15 years, 19 years, and for 19 years I've been saying the same thing at the end of every show Thanks for joining us. We'll see you next time on other twit. It's in the can. It's amazing. It's amazing, it's amazing. Do on the twit. Do on the twit. All right Do on the twit, baby, do on the twit. All right Do on the twit.


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