This Week in Tech 967 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 Twint this week in tech. We got a great panel for you. I'm so excited about this. Amanda Silverling is back. She covers media and culture for TechCrunchcom From CNET, their technology reporter. She's really great Abraar Alhidi and she lives in a pineapple under DC. My favorite lobbyist, shoshana Weisman from rstreetorg. Lots to talk about, including why Mark Zuckerberg thinks the Quest 3 is better than the Vision Pro. We'll also talk about the 500 million euro. Fine, apple is facing A French village that's banning scrolling in public, and why Sarah Silverman is just mediocre. It's all coming up next on Twint. This is Twint this week in tech, episode 967. Recorded Sunday, february 18th 2024. I'll be your Shabascoi. This week in tech is brought to you by Zip Recruiter.

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Ziprecruitercom slash twit Again. That's ziprecruitercom slash t-w-i-t. Zip Recruiter the smartest way to hire. It's time for twit this week in tech. This show. We cover the weeks tech news and I sense a little excitement in the panel today. It's great to have everybody here. Shoshana Weisman is here. She's president of the Sloth Committee. She lives in a pineapple under DC, head of digital media at rstreetorg and always a welcome member of our panels. Hi, shoshana.

02:57 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
Thank you for having me.

02:59 - Leo Laporte (Host)
SpongeBob is in a little bit better focus than you are. I don't know if that's intentional. Maybe that's just how you're feeling today.

03:05 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
Yeah, I don't know, my camera doesn't seem to like me, but it loves SpongeBob.

03:11 - Leo Laporte (Host)
It's drawn. It's drawn to the yellow sponge. Great to have you, Shoshana, Also with us. Let's see. I'll go from left to right here. Abrahar Alhidi is here from CNET. She's been on many times before. In fact, Abrahar is a regular on tech news weekly every month, so it's nice to have you here Back writing, back typing.

03:31 - Abrar Al-Heeti (Guest)
Back to focusing on words and less on images. But yeah, just doing more of the stuff that I love to do.

03:39 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Well, we love having you on. So thank you for being here. And last but not least, another regular from tech news weekly, amanda Silverling, is here. She writes for TechCrunch all about culture. Hello, amanda, good to see you again.

03:55 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
Good to see you and sorry I'm not in a more interesting SpongeBob locale.

04:00 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Actually, is this really your backdrop or is this a fake backdrop?

04:05 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
No, this is my backdrop.

04:06 - Leo Laporte (Host)
You have a very nice apartment.

04:09 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
Thank you. I moved recently, and before this I had a tapestry that I had gotten in college and that was behind my webcam screen, so I kept feeling like I was in college. So yeah for a long time.

04:25 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I had the Farrah Fawcett poster and the Pink Floyd poster, but I decided to build a massive million dollar studio because that just didn't really didn't really give you credibility, does it? No, you have. The apartment looks great. I love this Beautiful stairs. Yeah, it's the kind of thing if you wanted zoom to come by and photo shoot it so they could use as a backdrop, that they might. I mean, it really looks that good.

04:46 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
I also did clean yesterday, so there you go.

04:49 - Leo Laporte (Host)
All right, and a nice positioning of the electric guitar and the bass. That's nice. I like it.

04:56 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
Yeah, so it wasn't intentional, but hey we were talking before the show began.

05:00 - Leo Laporte (Host)
We were talking about the MetaQuest to the Vision Pro and Sword Fourth. We've been talking a lot about the Vision Pro. You said you have a quest to sitting on your shelf somewhere there. Did you see Mark Zuckerberg's video this week in which he says I didn't see it, but I know about it? Oh, I saw it. I watched the whole damn thing, in which he it's kind of like remember when maybe you probably don't remember when the IBM PC came out in 1981? Was it? Was that when it was?

And Steve Jobs, who had headed Apple to and been making Apple to computers for some time, took out a full page ad in the New York Times and said welcome IBM. Seriously, it's kind of like that. Like, maybe you ought to think there might be some competition there. Others compared this to a Steve Ballmer's famous rant against the iPhone, saying oh no, no, never buy that, it's too expensive. Zuck was shot with a quest three, although it's a little deceptive because it's using their pass through, which gives you a higher quality picture than you actually get on the on the pass through and his. The gist of it is oh, you know, vision Pro is nice, but we're just the better headset period for a seventh of the cost. Agree, disagree. What do you think, amanda?

06:28 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
I don't know. I mean I haven't used the Quest Pro or the Apple Vision Pro.

06:33 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Well, he's mentioned the quest three. You have a quest to the quest.

06:36 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
Yeah, the quest three is cheap. Yeah, I mean, I definitely think there's like it's just a different consumer base where there are people that will spend $3,000 on a headset and there are people that don't want to spend that amount of money. So I feel like it's kind of a self-selecting situation where it's hard to imagine someone like deciding between the two, because it's either in your budget or it's not.

07:01 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Good point. I think when Metta said it was probably Mark who said it that we're going to be the Android to Apple's Vision Pro iOS.

07:09 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
That makes.

07:10 - Leo Laporte (Host)
That makes sense. And he did at the end of his video slamming the Vision Pro. He said he didn't slam it exactly, but kind of dissing it. He said, hey, we're the open platform and Apple's the closed platform, so you know we like what we're doing.

07:29 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
He doesn't like Apple? Yeah Well, why don't blame him?

07:32 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Would you yeah?

07:34 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
No In when, a couple weeks ago, he and four other social media CEOs were testifying in Congress and he somehow managed to be able to throw shade at Apple while being like completely just destroyed by the senators. And good for him, I guess.

07:57 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Didn't that feel humiliating, though? When was it? Josh Hawley made him stand up and turn around and apologize to the fake well, they're not fake, but the real parents but who were sadly being abused by Hawley and others as a photo op of kids who were damaged by social media. I felt so bad. I mean, I'm not a fan of Mark's, but I felt so that was awful. It was humiliating.

08:23 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
No, yeah, it's so weird how I feel like when I watch those Senate hearings, it actually makes me be on the side of the taxi. Yeah.

08:31 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I'm in favor of the evil geniuses. I'm on their side because there's only one thing worse, and that's a congressman.

08:42 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
Yeah, and the way that they were treating the CEO of TikTok was just like blatantly racist.

08:49 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Oh, yeah, you're Chinese, right? No, I'm from Singapore. Yeah, but you know a lot of Chinese communists, right? No, I'm from Singapore.

08:59 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
I was dying at the meme of the king of the hill meme. So are you Chinese or are?

09:06 - Leo Laporte (Host)

09:06 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
Japanese. I was sad I wasn't the one to think of it, but like I don't know. I've seen a lot of unprofessional hearings, but like that one was like another level from any I've ever seen, which isn't great. It's not great, but the memes, the memes were pretty good out of the hearing.

09:21 - Leo Laporte (Host)
It's easy to take potshots at Congress. They just kind of it's hard. It would be hard pressed to pick a not embarrassing public hearing. They anyway. Vision Pro has been very good for YouTubers. Marquez Brownlee 23 million views. Oh no, this is Max Tech. Marquez had I don't know how many millions of views. There's one, the most annoying part of using the Vision Pro eight days ago 2.6 million views. It's almost. The Vision Pro is a YouTuber welfare program, I think, to boost hits. There's a lot of content on there. 61 million views on the introducing Vision Pro. Here it is AI. This is Marquez. Anyway, very good for them. Did you Abraar? Did you? Or CNET must have a Vision Pro lying around somewhere.

10:16 - Abrar Al-Heeti (Guest)
CNET does have one. I haven't had the chance to sneak over to the person who has it right now to kind of steal it. I know they're like actually doing work and like shooting with it. So I'm like, once you guys are done, like I'll play around with it a little bit.

But I think you know the thing about this moment is this is really when we put the Apple effect to test, in the sense that there's this belief that when Apple does something, even if somebody else did it before, when Apple does it, adoption, you know, expands, right. And so we see that, with Marc Zuckerberg now being like, well, you know, yes, okay, apple Vision Pro everyone's talking about that but like we have this too, and trying to kind of capitalize on the fact that everyone's now talking about mixed reality, virtual reality, and trying to kind of, you know, draw attention back to these products that they had before. So, you know, meta could benefit from this. Apple's going to benefit more, of course, but it is really interesting to see how adoption will change now that Apple is in the game. Yeah.

11:10 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Or maybe it'll just fade away, like everything else in this category has.

11:16 - Abrar Al-Heeti (Guest)
Yeah, this is the test for virtual and mixed reality, right? This is. I mean, meta is betting on this, clearly considering the change of the company's title, but this is the moment when we find out. Is it going to stick around?

11:30 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Apple's facing a half billion euro fine in the EU for trust violations. This is an older case, not a digital markets act case. This is an older case of, I think Spotify brought up Spotify saying this is not a competitive platform. On the iPhone, apple has its own app preinstalled. We have to get people to install it and then if we want people to buy music in our app, we'd have to give Apple 30%. So we don't do that. Apple, of course, doesn't have to pay Apple anything for buying music on its platform. I actually think this seems like a fairly reasonable antitrust fine. You agree, shoshana?

12:21 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
But I haven't had a chance to dig into this one yet.

12:23 - Leo Laporte (Host)
But just half of the day. Yeah, yeah.

12:26 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
Yeah, yeah, I knew that this one's like crazy recent because there's been so much stuff happening in the EU. I just worry sometimes when they go after app stores, because I know app stores are also legitimately trying to protect people from cyber harm. I think that that's something that's real and kind of reasonable, because everyone's stuff is getting leaked constantly, which isn't great On the technological side. I'm always just a little bit torn because I kind of want companies to be able to do what they're doing, especially when it is in pursuit of protecting users. But I also get that they're not fond of app store fees, but I'm also not fond of a lot of the stuff that EU has been doing. So I kind of get it.

13:06 - Leo Laporte (Host)
That's why I asked you, because, of course, you're free R Street. The company you work for is a free market, forward think tank, right, that's probably the best way to characterize it. And this is, I mean, a free market. But yet free markets don't work unless there's some sort of regulation on monopoly. Isn't that the case too, that that's required?

13:28 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
Well, there's already competition. Like you can have an Apple, you can have Android, there are other.

13:33 - Leo Laporte (Host)
That's what Apple says. That's what Apple says We'll just get an Android device.

13:37 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
Yeah, I mean that's why I do, because I feel like Apple gate keeps stuff too much and some people like it and like other features. But like I feel like sometimes Apple devices are just too closed for me so I'm not always a big fan of them. So I don't know, Like for me I'm just kind of like I live what I preach, but I know that that's that's a lot to ask of normal people just trying to go out about their day and stuff.

13:57 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I should mention this is a Financial Times scoop from Javier Espinosa. The fine will is expected to be announced early next month, but he says, according to five people with direct knowledge of the long running investigation, half a billion euros is a lot of money. It did get a $1.1 billion fine in France for something similar, which was later revised down to a third that on appeal, and of course there'll always be appeals and they can drag this out for a while. But this is this is a lot stronger than anything the US has done about the app store. The? U seems to be the kind of the knife edge of this kind of thing, but I don't know if that's good or bad. You don't like the idea, or do you?

14:46 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
No, I don't know. I just kind of worry, like even in the US, like I feel like politicians have really enjoyed going after the app stores and after tech in general Meanwhile, like I had a rental car company take like a couple of thousand on my credit card for saying I was stole. I'd stolen a car even though I hadn't sold it.

15:05 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Oh God, oh my God, that's happened to you. I've seen stories about that.

15:09 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
They didn't throw me in jail because it wasn't hurts. Hurts will throw you in jail and I'm like maybe there's something we do about this, Like I like you return the car.

Yeah, I returned it. I actually had to ask like an airport to get me video of me returning the car. Oh my God, or they returned it. They're like whoops, someone returned it in Minnesota by and I'm like cool, so do I get my money back? And I'm not saying, you know, there's not legitimate qualms against certain tech companies, but I kind of feel like taking thousands of dollars out of random people's accounts and lying and saying they stole a car and it hurts it's case. Throwing them in jail might be a bigger concern. Maybe that's just me.

15:49 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Did you not get your money back?

15:52 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
I took a little bit, but I did. No apology, no apology. They're like, of course, bye. So now I just record me, I like selfie and then turn the camera out of like here's me, here's the car.

16:02 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Returning the car, we can have it or get a receipt. If you had a paper receipt that says I hear a C, I how could?

16:10 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
if you return after hours, you don't get?

16:12 - Leo Laporte (Host)
a receipt, you just leave it there and I had an early flight because I'm just an evil person who loves to vex car companies. You want that old beat up Saturn. You want it, I want it badly.

16:25 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
It was a nice car. It's like if I was going to steal a card, probably would have been like something in that range.

16:30 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Don't admit that. Don't admit that. All right, abra, what do you think? This is a reasonable fine? Will it change apples? Certainly not going to change how Apple does business.

16:42 - Abrar Al-Heeti (Guest)
Yeah, I was kind of reflecting on the fact that Apple's kind of been, you know, companies like Google and Meta kind of get these things all the time and I'm like, okay, it's interesting to see Apple now in this position. It's interesting just given the history with Spotify and how Spotify has kind of had to push back on a lot of things, like you know, if I recall correctly, not initially not being able to play Spotify on a home pod or an Apple watch, and then that's kind of slowly rolled back. But I mean, I guess it's, it's assuring, I think in the sense to have a company as big as Apple still be scrutinized as much as others. But but I do agree with Shoshan in the sense that it feels like a lot of government bodies are just relentlessly coming after tech companies and I mean it would make sense if they knew what they were talking about. At least US, you know, congress people, and I feel like a lot of times they just don't.

But I do think, to the EU's credit, there have been things that have benefited us just kind of globally. I do think I mean small things like you know universal charging, usbc, that kind of stuff, like small conveniences that are like, okay, this is good. So there can be good that comes from these kinds of things. But sometimes it's like you're really leaning into this, huh.

17:52 - Leo Laporte (Host)
It really brings out different points of view from different people. I mean, everybody here and everybody who watches our shows loves tech. I mean, that's, that's kind of what we're into. So I think the natural tendency would be say well, how, how dare they, you know, tell us how to run our tech companies? I mean, they're doing a pretty good job. Obviously, people are buying their products. What? What are they doing telling us what to do? And I understand that point of view. But I also understand the point of view that but these companies have got pretty large, pretty powerful and don't really seem to care much about, you know, any of this stuff and they just, they just want more money and more power. And if government doesn't step in, I don't know who will. It's not like I'm going to go to court against Apple.

18:40 - Abrar Al-Heeti (Guest)
Yeah, and I think a prime example of when I do want the government to step in more is with things like AI, where I'm like, if we don't act now, we're going to, you know, have another Facebook slash meta situation on our hands, where there is, you know, all these, all these privacy concerns, and and so you know, I think there is a responsibility upon the government to kind of act, but also do your research and know what you're talking about.

19:03 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah yeah, ai is an interesting topic.

I think nobody has enough effect, or not few have enough affection for AI to defend it, whereas a lot of people will defend their iPhones to the death, right, oh yeah, so AI is probably more at risk than Apple is. Oh yeah, there is a French village I love this that has voted to ban scrolling in public. Now, that's the kind of government intervention I can get behind. I know this is a small town called Sainte-Port, that it's a small village, but they had a referendum fewer than 2,000 people. They had a referendum last weekend and it's a it's kind of a suburb of Paris and they voted yes to restrict smartphone use in public, banning adults and children from scrolling on their devices while walking down the street I think a lot of us agree with that one or while sitting with others on a park bench, while in shops, cafes, eating in restaurants parents can't do it while waiting for children in front of the school gates. This is great. Those who might check their phones map when lost instead are being encouraged to ask for directions.

20:21 - Abrar Al-Heeti (Guest)
Oh my gosh, it's so funny.

20:23 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
Yeah, I've heard that French people are just really nice to tourists, so I think that that's a great idea.

20:29 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I'll never forget leaving Notre Dame and started snowing in Paris and fortunately there was a taxi line there and it was so great that we ran over to the taxi line and the drivers got his galois and a paper and he looks at us and he rolls up the window, says no, and we had to walk home in the snow, but that you know, more of that is what we want.

The village has also approved a charter for families on children's use of screens. No screens of any kind in the morning, no screens in bedrooms, no screens before bed or during meals. If parents of teenagers sign a written agreement not to give their child a smartphone before the age of 15, the town hall will provide the child with an old fashioned handset for calls only.

21:18 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
That's fascinating that this is real, but I mean, I wouldn't want to be like sanctioned in that way. But I think it would be interesting to see, like, if they do this for a few years. Like, is the overall mental health of the town better? But I also think it's a little ridiculous in certain cases where I think we all can agree that, like if we're scrolling on Twitter while we're like eating dinner with friends, that's maybe bad and we should be like spending time with our friends and not looking at our phones. But I think we know there's a lot of legitimate reasons why people use their phones, like looking at directions, and I also love the language of scrolling, specifically Like, is it only scrolling? That's not allowed. Like, are you allowed to text in public? You just can't scroll.

22:10 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Here's the. Here's a couple of posters that are in the town. They have a picture of a cell phone with a line across it, you know, the universal stop sign. On the right there's a guy and a girl on a park bench. He's looking at his Twitter they got lots of bluebirds and she's looking at an actual bluebird.

22:27 - Abrar Al-Heeti (Guest)
Oh, how symbolic it's a book in years resolution made into law. You know, it's like that's what it is.

22:35 - Leo Laporte (Host)
It's a new year's resolution made into a law, you're exactly right and in fact, it's not enforceable. They can't police, cannot arrest anybody or find anybody because there's no national law against smartphones, and so it really is more like a suggestion. Maybe that's why they passed it. It's like, well, yeah, there isn't really any fine. We just feel like this is be a good thing.

23:04 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
I feel like this is an intervention by the tourism board of this random French town. I'm calling it.

23:09 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Do you want to go there? Do you want to go there now or you don't want to go?

23:13 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
I don't know, I'm just taking a, I'm just taking a strong stance for fun.

23:18 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Is this over regulating? Is this the government over regulating? Shoshana?

23:22 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
I mean, it's just like I've been reading a lot of bills today and they're all really bad and this one it's like I like that it's not enforceable because, as you know, there's no fury like a non binding resolution.

23:35 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah yeah, exactly, it's not going to do anything bad to you. This is from Angelique Crissafie in Saint Port, and she's illustrated it in the garden with many, many pictures. This is one of my favorites. Jean-luc Rodier Wright supports the ban, but his son Gabriel sees no point in it. But, like any good father and son, they can agree to sit down to a good croissant, a cup of cappuccino at breakfast and talk. So that's only in France. That's an only in France story. I love it All. Right, let's see. Let's take a little break and continue with our fabulous team. You wanted to talk a little bit about blue sky. I know, amanda, this was a. This was a tough week for people who write about social media, as you do, amanda Silverling, because there wasn't just one, but there are two books that came out this week about Twitter under Elon Musk. We could talk about those as well.

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So there were two Twitter books this week, competing Twitter books, one by Kurt Wagner oh, the names. I want to get the names right, because they're both. I mean, you kind of can tell what they're, what they're about, just by the the name of the books. Zoe uh, is it? Shiffer wrote oh shoot, now I don't have the names in front of me. I'm doing this off of my memory, which is always a risky proposition. Kurt Wagner Twitter book is called battle for the bird, with a subtitle. Jack Dorsey, elon Musk and the $44 billion fight for Twitter's soul. And then Zoe's shifters book. So there is a called. Tell me if you know cause. Oh yeah, extremely hardcore coming from Elon's memo saying you have to be extremely hardcore inside Elon Musk's Twitter. We were talking before the show, uh, amanda, and you said I don't know if I want to read one book about Twitter under Elon, let alone two.

28:12 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
Yeah, well, that's coming from the perspective of someone who has written a lot about Twitter under Elon oh God, I've talked about him incessantly for a year.

Yeah. So I think, for people that are not tech journalists, who have not been, um, extremely tired of you on for the last like year and a half, I'm sure that these are great books and I think these are both great reporters. Um, I guess, judging by the titles alone, it seems like maybe extremely hardcore inside. Elon Musk's Twitter feels more like about the culture, whereas, um, maybe Kurt Wagner's is more about, like, the business aspects. But I'm just guessing, but I don't know. Good for both of them, I just don't have the energy to read them right now.

29:02 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I subscribed to a Zoey's uh uh platformer uh Zoey Schiffer and um Casey Newton right at from the beginning, from the, from the day that Elon came in with his sink and took over a Twitter, because they had the absolute best inside coverage. So I'm sure this will have a lot of great inside details. But Kurt Wagner writes for Bloomberg. He's come, he's been covering in the same story, so it's got to be an interesting battle. There's excerpts from both uh and I suspect a lot of the same anecdotes Somebody should do. Somebody should take them and do a diff and just figure out what the differences are between the two and make that a book.

29:43 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
That'll be my book.

29:44 - Leo Laporte (Host)
And you can read one book that gives you the unique perspectives in both and eliminate the stuff we already know about this. Uh. Past week also was the week that blue sky uh, became public. You had to have an invite. Up to now, I'm still stuck with six invites if anybody wants one, but you don't need it. You don't need it anymore.

Blue sky was Jack Dorsey's idea, I think you know some of it came from when Jack was CEO of Twitter and realized that he was under pressure from uh, you know, politicians, from the government, um, hate groups, and just decided you know, it'd be so much better if it weren't one company and one person running that company, but if it were somehow distributed so that no one person would be responsible for it. He funded, I think with $15 million, the blue sky initiative to come up with a protocol. You know, unfortunately, there was already a you know, a protocol called activity pub that did much the same thing, but he wanted a new one. So there's a new one, um, and blue sky is is, is has been around for more than a year, but is now officially public. Do you, any of you, use blue sky and like it? I know you're a big Twitter user. Actually still just Shana yeah.

30:55 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
Yeah, I'm on there a lot. I always like Jack's idea, because I do like the idea I'm. I'm the level of dork where I'm not sure how to make protocols like that, but I think it's a cool thing that he was doing it. Yeah. But, my, my concern was just always. I think he wanted to make normies feel safer online, which is a good goal, but you don't do that through. Oh, hey guys, here's a protocol like that.

31:20 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Oh, thank God, it's safe, we're safe. Now there's a protocol. Uh, he did, I mean, they did create blue sky. In fact, it's only, it's only now that even the idea of Federation just started to be, uh, breached, broached, but, um, but, so you don't, you don't spend any time on it for Shana.

31:41 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
I need to get back on it more. I was all that for a bit and I really liked it.

31:43 - Leo Laporte (Host)
There were actually some yeah, me too the same thing. I think we all do the same thing. Right, that's cool.

31:49 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
Yeah, Different people, different people interacting to like there were like I couldn't reach on Twitter, but when I blue skyed them they would respond and I'm like, oh, that's cool, Like that's, that's worthwhile, I need to do it, I'm just that's a terrible proposition, though they say that, well, I've got a post.

32:06 - Leo Laporte (Host)
In fact, jeff Jarvis on this weekend Google does this He'll make a post on Twitter and then copy it to blue sky, to threads, to whatever else weird stuff he's on. That doesn't seem like a good solution either abroad. Do you use either blue sky or Twitter? I?

32:23 - Abrar Al-Heeti (Guest)
think use is a strong word for blue sky. I do so. Twitter for me. Honestly, I've started to pick up on it a little bit more lately, just because my entire four you pages memes and that's all. I go on.

32:34 - Leo Laporte (Host)
It's good for memes. It is good for me.

32:36 - Abrar Al-Heeti (Guest)
And so threads doesn't really have the memes that speak to me, and threads is very like. All people do is talk about Twitter, slash X and I'm like, okay, this is not what I hear.

32:47 - Leo Laporte (Host)
That's really, that's really sad.

32:50 - Abrar Al-Heeti (Guest)
It's kind of annoying after a while. I think I haven't logged into blue sky in probably six months. I do have it. It was, you know, it was the thing that a lot of us flock to when when Twitter went to hell. But but yeah, I started to kind of. I do feel like Twitter still has the people right, that that will follow and the engagement, which still isn't great compared to what it used to be, but it's better than threads or I see so many people complaining that they're seeing horrific videos and stuff on the for you tab and I don't.

33:19 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I don't see any of that yet Some some people clearly do Right.

33:24 - Abrar Al-Heeti (Guest)
Yeah, that is it. I've heard that a lot actually.

33:26 - Leo Laporte (Host)
And you, but you haven't seen it either.

33:28 - Abrar Al-Heeti (Guest)
I haven't, but but I do hear that from friends and family, because there are a lot of horrific things going on in the world, but mine is literally just the stupidest tweets, just like just the most useless but hilarious garbage. It's great.

33:39 - Leo Laporte (Host)
It must be. It must be tied to what your account has posted in the past and who you follow. Yes, and maybe it's newer accounts that are seeing the horrific stuff Like look what's on my for you page, shoshana Weissman, when you're an adult looking for a specific court, I finally found it. Also 40 other courts in two first. That's good, I like it.

34:01 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
I was looking for was for this. It was like ethernet to do the show. It was under my thing, but I was like going to feel so bad if I'm like hey guys, I know I told you it was fine, but I don't have the right.

34:13 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I do have two fire sticks, though, if you need it. Well, you did find it Right, good, good, how about? How about you? Who am I missing Me? Amanda, you have to do this for your business. So you, I mean you write about social media. You probably are on all of them, right?

34:35 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
Yeah, I've been on Blue Sky a good deal in the last two weeks. I've been writing about Blue Sky like constantly because I don't know a lot of interesting stuff is happening on there in my opinion. I think I'm really interested in like the cultural differences between Blue Sky and Mastodon because I think that a lot of the things that some people don't like about Mastodon, blue Sky solves. But I also think that neither platform really has like enough adoption to break through to the mainstream yet. But I don't know. I would love to see like a future for decentralized social media. I think there are risks in terms of I'm particularly worried about content moderation on decentralized social media and the sense of like someone can start a Nazi server and you can't really take it down if it's a decentralized platform. But then I think centralized platforms have lost our trust a thousand times over. But I don't know. I've been enjoying Blue Sky. I think it's it's nerdy, but in a different way than mastodon is nerdy, it's funny how these each get their own Personality.

35:55 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I run Twit has its own mastodon instance, twit Social, which I am the sole moderator of. So I understand what you're talking about moderation. But on the other hand, as an individual I can make this be exactly how I want it to be and and I know what our audience is, I know who who's on our, you know, mastodon, so I kind of make sure that that's exactly what they would want. But it has a very nerdy Even, you know, just generally has a very nerdy kind of appeal. Blue sky, I'm trying to figure out. It seems much Lighter and and happier, but not quite as light and happy as threads, which seems the Silliest of them all. Is that? Is that what you? Is that what you see?

36:37 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
Yeah, I mean, I feel like Kaviott, that like obviously there are multiple communities, that exist on all these platforms and it's not a monolith, but Threads is very like brand driven. It feels like to me, like it feels very Uncool, like they're trying to be cool. It's like making mean girls jokes where it's like it's not 2004. The movie came out in 2004. I know there's a new one, but these jokes have all been made. That's a weird way to say it, but I don't know.

37:09 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I you know what that means to me. What I what I get from that is that people are trying too hard to be funny. They feel like, well, how much threads I gotta make it? It's got to be light and funny, right Is that?

37:20 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
maybe I think I'm also skeptical of threads saying that they're not going to promote political content, which I Mean. On one hand, I think there's a way that promoting political content be could Promote misinformation, but also like I think people need to be able to talk about politics freely and openly.

37:49 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, well, that's part of that's part of what these At least Twitter was certainly big political say it's what, and that's why you're there sometimes. Shoshana, right, and it is part of the conversation. It feels artificial to say, well, you could talk about anything but religion, sex and politics. Don't talk about that. What are you gonna Talk about? And it's almost like saying, well, we don't want to moderate. So, incidentally, I don't know if this is true, but I saw some claim that Climate change is also considered political and so no conversation about climate change is allowed on threads. I don't know if that's true or not, but that that's an example of why that kind of Blanket decision is problematic, right.

38:32 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
Political. Like when you say something's political, it's like then okay, everything is political, because at a certain level it kind of is that way, and I feel like that's something that's often lost in these debates, even from, like an ads perspective. Like when I'm doing Google ads, I just had some stuff flagged for our street as gambling. I can promise you we don't like do gambling stuff, like we don't have Gambling at our think tank, but like, at a certain level everything's political and then the filters become hyper sensitive and if you limit conversation like that, you end up limiting it really really broadly.

39:06 - Leo Laporte (Host)
And you also eliminate a lot of the good jokes. You end up getting mean girl jokes.

39:14 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
I also. I found it fascinating how I think because mastodon has been around for like five years longer there's this very established culture of how you interact, how individual servers interact like when do you use a content warning, things like that and I think mastodon also has a culture of the people that are on it, like they know what a decentralized social media they get what they're doing.

Yeah, they, yeah they're very tech savvy, which is good, but I think blue sky, like the CEO, j Graber, has been saying that she wants for Blue sky to be somewhere where, if you're into the background tech stuff cool, but you can also just make an account and like post how you would post on any other social network and you don't need to do any like complicated tech things. And I think that's a really smart move because I Think that most people that are using social media aren't thinking about the underlying protocol.

40:22 - Leo Laporte (Host)
But I also find only really nerdy. People even know that there is such a thing as a protocol right.

40:27 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
Yeah, and Something I also wrote about this week was there is a developer who's a third-party developer, who's trying to make a bridge between a mastodon and blue sky.

Yeah and there was a lot of like it. This is like super, super niche internet drama, but I thought it was super interesting because it's like it represents a more ideological debate in social media, where so the mastodon people were upset that this developer was trying to bridge blue sky and mastodon, because A lot of people on mastodon are there because they were treated so horribly on Twitter and other platforms and so they're very sensitive, and rightfully so, about like, who is Seeing their content. What does it mean if people on blue sky are seeing their posts that they're not expecting to see them? So then this issue of consent came up in terms of like, when you're bridging these two networks even though you can do that because the it's open source like People were mad because the bridge was supposed to be opt out only, but then they want people to be able to opt in. Remember how?

41:51 - Leo Laporte (Host)
angry so many mastodon admins when threads said, well, we were gonna federate, we're activity pub. And I was really shocked. I mean, as an admin I thought that's great because then a news organization that doesn't even know what mastodon is but is on threads, I could follow it on on mastodon and that adds to the value of mastodon. I really understand the the objections of that effect. If I were threads I'd be much more worried about Mastodon intruding on threads and I am as a mastodon admin. But so many admins didn't like that. I'm sure they don't like a bridge to blue sky, they just want to kind of say so. A certain number of people in any social network they just say we just, you know, we don't only want our, our kind. In fact I really I remember I was at 93 when AOL opened up to the use groups in the internet and and it was the they call it the endless summer, because all these real people joined From AOL, joined the internet and all the internet old-timers are going oh, it's gonna ruin the internet real people run away.

I think that happens every time. Right, you want to kind of keep your but, but in a way, that's what's so great About a centralized place like Twitter is everybody's there. I think we really lost something, frankly, with with the demise of Twitter. It there is a reason why centralized is so important. It there is a reason why centralized is better. Right, there's a central, there's a town square.

43:20 - Abrar Al-Heeti (Guest)
Yeah, I agree, I think you know I I haven't seen anything that replicates the experience of something breaking. And then you go to Twitter to find out about it, right, and that's where you would find all the articles, all the people weighing in. And now you can, you have this very fragmented experience where You'll go on threads you won't really see anything that timely. And then you know you can go to the other platforms not everybody's on them and then you know you go to Twitter, you can kind of dig and find it, but it's not really at the top. So we really did kind of lose something critical there.

43:48 - Leo Laporte (Host)
It's sad. I don't think there's any. Well, I don't know. Is there any hope, shoshana, of getting Twitter back?

43:55 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
I don't know it's weird, because my experience has been very strange. Weirdly, the algorithm kind of favors me. Now which?

44:02 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I keep seeing you in my for you feed, by the way.

44:06 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
And I don't know why these. I criticize Elon Plenty like I. It's not my thing, but when, when I have, when it's like, when it is a thing I want to say, I'll like say it and stuff, but it's so strange. So I think I don't know if he sold it to someone who didn't suck as much. I feel like it could really bounce back. But I don't know what his. I don't think anyone understands what his plans are, so I'm not really sure. But it's kind of still there, it's hanging on and I feel like you just got to get some a normal in charge.

44:34 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I think we thought it would be gone long, but long before now. Right, we thought this is. I thought so, yeah, he's driving into the ground and it survived quite well. Remember, we thought that technically it would just he fired everybody who knew how to run the place, and it is no way this can continue. It's fine, by the way. I just have a question for you, because this is one of your more recent post. Just Shanna Me reading bills and then it's an Indian chief and he's got a tear. Now I know the source of that image, but I'm wondering if you do yeah, yeah, he's an Italian guy.

45:05 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
I learned about that a couple years ago.

45:07 - Leo Laporte (Host)
That's why I'm okay using the gift it was an anti littering campaign and it's supposed to be this great Indian chief looking at what you've done to my land, but he's Italian.

When you see it, you kind of see him in the sopranos. Really, if just a little change, a little bit of the hairdo. And I I say it's so funny when I see something like that, because I'm old enough to remember that ad campaign. I know you're not for sure, you were bored till 30 years later, but you do, I'm glad to know you know the genesis of the memes.

45:43 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
Yes, I, you gotta know the meme Genesis.

45:46 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
You know, I didn't know the meme Genesis, and now I do now you do, I just I just wasn't familiar with that meme, so I Mean it, oh, okay, well, let me see your meme.

46:02 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Calm isn't? Do people still go there to find?

46:04 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
out. Yeah, no, no, your meme is like really good and really quick, like I don't know who works there, but I Made good work like a detailed record, like the.

46:15 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah it's the history.

46:16 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
Yeah, let me see if I can know a guy who, like he replied to he was being weird to me and then he was telling other people like how high his IQ was, and oh my god, that's the worst meme, but I don't know how they found it like. I was so impressed that they had it and I was honored to be a part of meme history. I know your meme and that was like a really big moment for me. I think he's very nuts, but it was still fun.

46:41 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
Oh yeah, it was that like it's some kind of like Elon Musk adjacent for lack of a better word guy whose Twitter says that he's six one and his IQ is a hundred eighty two. And then I'm like my joke was should I change my Twitter username to Amanda Silverling Five one and a half?

47:08 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I want you to do that, please. I.

47:10 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
Had like a moment when I was in middle school where I was like I want to know my IQ because I was IQ tested as a child.

47:17 - Leo Laporte (Host)
But your mom wouldn't tell you yes.

47:19 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
Yeah, she wouldn't tell me, but for some reason she told me that my brothers is higher.

47:23 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Oh, that's terrible. Why would you tell me that? Oh, that's the worst. My mom wouldn't tell me either, but it's probably better, not that you don't know.

47:33 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
Yeah, I mean, as as an adult, unlike this person on Twitter, I can understand that IQ is a Flawed, a metric of intelligence that there's a lot of things that go into your intelligence as a human.

47:46 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Is he a reply guy? Is that a reply? What's a reply guy? Because I see that a lot too.

47:51 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
Oh, oh, a reply guy is like just like, if you have a follower who just replies to like all of your tweets, it's also necessarily mean that they're like mean, like it could just be someone being like Good to thought Amanda and I'm like cool, like I don't know.

48:12 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, it's constant and kind of excessive Replying right more than more than necessary. Are they hitting on you or they just? Or they want your friendship, or um, there's something going on right.

48:27 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
I think it varies. It like Sometimes you get a bunch of people replying, like my former colleague Morgan song, her like header on Twitter is someone replying to her saying I follow you because you're hot, but I have no idea what you're talking about. I think I kind of represents yeah here from 2018.

48:54 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Emlyn Crenshaw's reply guy Constitution. This was in McSweeney's. We, the reply guys of Twitter, in order to form a more perfect Internet, established dominance, ensure our sense of superiority, provide our every two cents, promote our general welfare and secure the blessings of our mental agility to ourselves our posterity to ordain and establish this Constitution for the guild of reply guys. If you want to be your reply guy, you got to read this. All duties here in secure it shall be primarily exercise on Twitter posts of those who need reply guy expertise, most women, both those we know personally and those we have never met. With respect to other men on Twitter, or for those whose gender identity falls outside the binary, we shall largely ignore them, unless we find ourselves sexually attracted.

49:54 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
Like I don't mind a reply guy who's just like Saying like normal things but just doing it a lot because like I don't know, like it's social media you can say things. But like I've had reply guys that explain the joke to me that I'm making and I'm like, yeah, I know, I made the joke.

50:13 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, that's mansplaining, that one I know. Yeah, my wife tells me I do it all the time.

50:19 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
It's one thing to mansplain, but it's one thing to mansplain to me the joke that I do you may, but oh, inevitably.

50:27 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Mansplainers are explaining to somebody who is an expert right that there it's inevitable, inevitable. Now I bet, because you're on camera. Anybody who is in public or on camera does radio. You get an inordinate number of People. With opinions.

50:49 - Abrar Al-Heeti (Guest)
Very amusing sometimes. My DMs are a constant source of entertainment and me and my friends will constantly joke about these. Sometimes I forget, but I'm glad I shared these like screenshots with my friends because they'll like bring it up. You know, a year down the road and so it's. It's a mixture of things. Some of them are. You know. Honestly, I get fewer racist replies than I'd expect, so that's good.

51:10 - Leo Laporte (Host)
That's really good, yeah, because you wear. You wear a jeep, exactly you. I would expect you to get a lot of any Muslim rhetoric. Absolutely so, yeah.

51:20 - Abrar Al-Heeti (Guest)
Thankfully that is a bit toned down and you know we do a good job of deleting anything that pops up in Any videos that I'm in, but they're also. They're also like, really sweet. Like I got one last week where somebody just said Thank you for like being a trendy Muslim woman and making wearing hijab look cool and I was like that's so sweet and it. You know. Comments like that of like you know, proud of you for singing up, for you know what you believe in and I don't preach anything On my content. I'm here to be a journalist but but obviously the way I look is is an obvious declaration of my faith. But but then I get you know. But then there's I. There are some, if you reply, guys who I think are really sweet Just because they always hype me up and like, like my content and like I have, like you know, anything. As tech journalists, we, our audiences, are largely male. So, yes, very nice people. So I'm grateful for that.

52:10 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yes, they're all reply, guys, that's for sure. Yes, exactly, this is go ahead.

52:16 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
I've noticed a similar thing where, so in my Twitter bio, I have my pronouns she, her and then a Jewish star, because I'm Jewish, and that's just like a way of being like yep, I'm here, I'm Jewish, whatever. And Sometimes I get like emails from people being like nice pronouns in your bio, loser, but like they, they make fun of the pronouns, but they don't say anything about me being Jewish and I'm like whoa, this is progress.

52:55 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Either that or they're not, too, they're not too bright and they're not paying attention. Yeah, yeah, well, I think a lot of what you do on any of these social media is identity based. Right. That's kind of what you do on these. As you express your identity, which is right, it's real a little risky, especially if you're a woman or Muslim or Jewish, that's. That would be More risky, because there are people out there who hate those kinds of people.

53:25 - Abrar Al-Heeti (Guest)
I guess I think, yeah, and I think the most beautiful thing about it is the most important thing about having diverse newsrooms is that you have diverse viewpoints, and that doesn't mean that anyone is preaching and you shouldn't we shouldn't be preaching as journalists but it's you bring a viewpoint that someone didn't have before and you're able to just kind of discuss things with a variety of people who think in different ways, and you know, of course, there there are going to be people who push against that. But you'd be surprised how many people like I've had people from other faith groups reach out to me with stories about, you know, covering something that they're concerned about, because they've seen how I cover things that I'm, and so that's just the beauty of it, is this kind of like inner faith, you know, relationship you have with readers, and and it's it's a really beautiful, it's a privilege at first and foremost. Honestly is what it is it cuts both ways.

54:11 - Leo Laporte (Host)
When you express yourself and who you are and what your identity is, it cuts both ways. It can both be a way to begin a converse. See, I'm safe because it's a. I'm a cis, white male, old Baby boomer. Pretty much that's okay. But but it but expressing your identity, I, you know, I can't I can't compare my, my experience to any of yours, obviously, but what back when we were started doing a tech TV and nobody had really come out as a nerd, there was a great. There was a moment there, early, you know, in the mid 90s or late 90s, where All the nerds went oh, you know, we're all here and we're actually pretty Powerful, and there are other people like me, and that was a great feeling. So I have a little bit of that, but I don't obviously have anything near your.

55:02 - Abrar Al-Heeti (Guest)
It's community. Right, it's community and that.

55:05 - Leo Laporte (Host)
So it's a double-edged sword. You're gonna be attacked because of who you are, but also, and I think maybe it outweighs I'm not, I don't want to put words in your mouth, but I would I'm guessing maybe it outweighs the community outweighs the negative aspects. Is that true?

55:18 - Abrar Al-Heeti (Guest)
Yeah, I think that's absolutely true. I think it's this idea that we can all be unified with this common interest in tech, and You'll see my byline and you'll be like, oh, that's a weird sounding name, but it doesn't affect the fact that I wrote about something that you read and cared about or that you watched a video that you were interested in, right.

55:36 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Ted couple who was a newsman long before any of you were alive, but he was an ABC newsman. He called it the Vanna white effect. He's and I think he's maybe was wrong on this. He said everybody likes Vanna white because nobody knows what she was, who she is or what she represents. She we don't know her politics, so people project on her who she is. But how much less rich of an experience do you have when you keep your head down and don't say who you are. Then, compared with the risky but but rewarding standing up and saying who you are, yeah, and in a way social networks were a very easy place to not such a risky place to do that. The worst thing you're gonna get is rude DMs and nasty replies, but for the most part that was it right.

56:29 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
Yeah, on my end it's really funny. About ten years ago I started realizing that the more honest I was about who I am and not that I wasn't that that I was dishonest, I just didn't bother to say a bunch of stuff. But then I realized people liked hearing about my sewing and my hiking and my 11 autoimmune diseases. Yeah, I know you are now like yeah, yeah, isn't that cool like that, that you can gain stuff by just being yourself?

56:53 - Leo Laporte (Host)
It's parasocial right. That's the Paris relationship. Yeah, it's amazing.

56:57 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
It's just incredible that like we have this. It's also why I defend social media so much, because I'm so afraid of government cracking down on the stuff that allowed me to grow Into who I am.

57:07 - Leo Laporte (Host)

57:08 - Abrar Al-Heeti (Guest)
Yeah, and I think we're seeing that a lot with just personalities. So, when it comes to YouTube personalities, tiktok personalities, personalities on Instagram, you don't just follow a news. I mean, every news organization is filling us right now. Okay, how do we get people like, interested and engaged? They don't really care that much about your brand name as much as people used to. They care about the people that you have and the personalities that you have, and so that's why a lot of journalists were encouraged to bring that personality you know to the table. So, like, people are watching you because you are a persona, or people are reading about you because they follow you on your socials and that's how they found you, and then they will follow you as an individual who works for this organization and it benefits the organization. But, like you know, we are encouraged to kind of bring our personalities kind of to the forefront, which is really cool.

57:50 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I think it's much better. I mean, I know that Vanna whites had a great career and everything, but nobody loves Vanna white. You know everybody's okay about Vanna white and it kind of knows who she is, but nobody loves her, nobody hates her either. They go together, I guess, and I I would say it's far better to say I've always been kind of stupidly Open about and I think it's always. I think it's better in the long run. By the way, amanda, I love it that you have pinned a reply. Guys, tweet to your Twitter.

58:25 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
Oh, that's not a reply, guy, that's a co-worker. Oh, okay, all right, but it could be that's like this is such an Amanda story.

58:33 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I have new idea what she's talking about and it sounds fascinating. I love it. Oh, it's a colleague. Oh well, never mind.

58:40 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
No, it's like internally in tech crunch. We have a place where, when we are working on a story or have a story idea, then you just post like that's hysterical, I'm writing about this thing and so sometimes I'll post things and I'll be like I know, nobody knows what this means, but here's this weird thing that's happening. And then you have Ron Miller in the tweet, who is like An older enterprise reporter. He's great, but like different demographic than me and he's like I don't know what you're talking about. But I love it.

59:14 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, ron's great. I should have recognized his name. Darn it that was. By the way, I don't think I know you says I'm not following you. Amanda, that's true, I'm not, but I don't want to send a signal to Twitter that I am in any way engaged. I mean, they know that I'm, I guess they know that I'm reading it, but if I follow something so I don't follow. I haven't pressed any buttons on Twitter For a year and a half, so don't don't take it personally. I just want to say that.

59:43 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
Unchabot. My friends scroll in front of me and I'm like I won't, don't press any buttons, I don't want to do anything, I just want to see what's going on.

59:48 - Leo Laporte (Host)
So Well, I mean, now wait a minute. Let me get this straight You're allowed to look over somebody's shoulder. You just can't. Yeah, you can't do anything.

59:57 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
According to the pure text of the law. Yeah, yeah how interesting.

01:00:01 - Leo Laporte (Host)
So you could watch somebody cook dinner, but you couldn't cook dinner.

01:00:04 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
Right I, there is some fear. You can cook like if the Sun's heat is enough. My dad and I like finding loopholes. We'll just like dig into random possible loopholes for Shabbat and stuff.

01:00:15 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Well, I'm gonna put a wire around my computer that will allow me to click on buttons on Twitter without getting any attention from either Yahweh or Elon, and sometimes I get confused about who is whom. I Probably following you, shoshana. I probably followed you before I got off Twitter. This is the, by the way, this from threads. This is the epigram at the beginning of Zoe shifers book about Elon Musk. She quotes drill. If this, if this, I know, isn't that that's so great? If the zoo bans me for hollering at the animals, I will face God and walk backwards into hell. That's at drill in a nutshell, and that's probably what's missing from threads is drill.

01:01:06 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
Yeah, well, drill is on blue sky and I Put this in an article I wrote because I genuinely think it was important enough. But I genuinely think we think a good, a good signal for blue sky is on the day that they Open to the public and we're no longer invite only drill tweeted something like I Don't recall letting the elders open the gates, like if you have drill on your platform you're kind of halfway there, yeah, not tweeting.

01:01:40 - Leo Laporte (Host)
But yeah, what's his handle? It's not drill, I Don't know I can find it. Oh well he's there.

01:01:47 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
Oh, it might also just be that blue sky search is not always yeah, oh, oh yeah, it's just drill dot B sky dot social, oh well, that's easy.

Yeah, but he's posting. He most recently posted 15 hours ago. Oh, I guess that is a interesting point that the people that are on platforms Can really boost the platform, and it reminds me of be real. Recently started letting celebrities and brands have be real that, like normal people can follow, and I find that super Simultaneously weird and fascinating, because the whole premise of be real is that you're connecting with close friends that you already know.

01:02:31 - Leo Laporte (Host)
What brands are on. Be real and understand what. Isn't that, completely contrary to what be real is all about. I don't get it.

01:02:38 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
Yeah, I think that they're gonna have sort of a crisis of the oh no, we actually need to monetize now because our venture capital is running out. And yeah, I also think their viral moment has really passed. Like I was using be real pretty heavily when, like in last year, when everybody was using it, and now they still claim that they have like 20 million daily active users. I believe I'm just Remembering that off the top of my head, but like I don't think that's true. I mean not to call them out. I I'm sure that's just that's what they've said, but, anecdotally, I feel like a lot of my friends that used to use be real all the time. Now None of us are using it.

01:03:25 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I'm even surprised to hear you say the term be real, I didn't even know they were still around.

01:03:29 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
Oh, yeah, no they, they had their 15 minutes, like last year. Yeah, and my silly inside baseball on the whole situation is that they refused to do press While they were going viral.

I remember that which turned down also oh, yeah and Um cuz they were really invited them to speak at disrupt when I like met with the founders one time when they were in the States and my like goal going to this meeting was I was gonna invite them to come to disrupt. And then I invited them and they were like, oh no, we're not really doing press right now, and then their publicist was sitting there and I felt like smoke was coming out.

01:04:13 - Leo Laporte (Host)
For years, yeah you know it's funny, there should be a term for this. I was just checking. I still have be real on my phone. There's some sort of arc. There's gonna be term for the archaeology of your phone. Absolutely, you haven't used in ever, but they're still there. They still kind of haunt you.

01:04:33 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
Do you have, you do is that?

01:04:34 - Leo Laporte (Host)
do you have that experience?

01:04:37 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
Yeah, I have that experience when an app offloads right and then it'll be an app like Something like the CVS app, and then suddenly I need a log in to like get a coupon.

01:04:51 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Thank God, I have a log in to CVS, you know. I have a CVS account because I was trying to buy a PlayStation 5. I think many, many homes ago and I I created Walmart said I created every company in the world's Accounts just so I could try to get the PlayStation 5.

01:05:09 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
Wow, imagine buying a PlayStation 5 CVS.

01:05:12 - Leo Laporte (Host)
They have everything whatever you need, they got it All right, I'm gonna get your description. I'm gonna do something I don't usually do, but I'm going to delete. Be real, I'm sorry.

01:05:22 - Abrar Al-Heeti (Guest)
I have it on my phone right now too. I just realized I haven't opened it in like a year.

01:05:25 - Leo Laporte (Host)
That was the one where you take a picture of yourself and then it takes both cameras of where you are. Yeah, and then the thing that was weird is it would then every day, some random point in the day, say, time to take a picture and You're supposed to do it, right? No matter what you're, you could be on the toilet, it doesn't matter, you're supposed to do it then, right?

01:05:45 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
Yes, but you don't have to. So well, I felt like I had doing.

01:05:49 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I think there was peer pressure to do it.

01:05:51 - Abrar Al-Heeti (Guest)
Otherwise you look fake. I feel like I had too many friends who stage who were like, let me wait till I hang out tonight, and that's why I got. I was like I'm not doing this anymore, you're all fake, I'm hanging with a brewer, a brewer, a brewer.

01:06:03 - Leo Laporte (Host)
A heady, look who I'm with guys, we balloons, yay, oh, I just triggered the reaction for you. Oh, that's so funny, oh my God.

01:06:13 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
It would be funny, though, if, like Apple joins, be Real and all they post are like pictures of warms and mouths about to eat an apple, like I feel like that would.

01:06:23 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I would laugh See this is why you're a meme machine, shoshana, you're thinking memes.

01:06:29 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
I totally think in memes, which makes scholarship really fun. Like you know how like Scalia used to like cite fun things. I like I've cited some weird stuff. I like I can't even remember I've cited King of the Hill in like official documents. It's so much fun.

01:06:47 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
Oh yeah, that's the joy of writing is being able to cite like really absurd things in a formal document. I like when lawyers have fun writing bills. Like Mr Beast, who is like the most famous YouTuber, sued a ghost kitchen because the ghost kitchen that he was working with for Mr Beast Burger, which was his burger chain, was apparently just doing a really bad job.

01:07:18 - Leo Laporte (Host)
They were awful. There were articles about how bad the Mr Beast burgers were.

01:07:23 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
Yeah, and the lawsuit opened with like when Joda Maggio was asked how come every day he puts in 100%. It's because he knows that somewhere in the crowd is a kid watching him for the first time. And that's how Mr Beast feels about YouTube.

01:07:41 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
Oh, my God, I love that. I love that so much. It's different, but I will say, when I work on social media, legislation and problems, every single time I'm like here's how this would destroy all trails. Every single time, and all trails never responds. If I ask them stuff like, hey, do you guys have data on this I'd love to share, they ignore me. But then they're like oh, we like your taking photos. And then they will never talk to me if I'm like talking about a bill. It's so funny.

01:08:10 - Leo Laporte (Host)
You love all trails, though, right.

01:08:12 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
Love all trails. I love them. They're spectacular and I don't want social media regulation to destroy all trails. It's magical and we should be defending all trails at all costs.

01:08:21 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
How would? That's a good slogan All trails at all costs.

01:08:26 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I'll get a bumper sticker for that. But how would regulation hurt? I guess probably all trails. If Section 230 disappeared would not be able to have comments on there.

01:08:37 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
Age verification one, two would have all trails and I don't want them dragged into court because the kid's on there for five hours. It's like I'll spend like six hours a day on all trails, sometimes mapping out stuff. Kids should map out stuff on all trails and I will stand by that forever. Yes, but it is after all just about hiking.

01:08:55 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Right, you want to talk about COSA. Let's pause a bra, because I could tell I think you want to talk about COSA. We probably should talk about COSA.

Yes, I could tell we're going to take a little break and when we come back, lots more with. What a great panel, so fun. This is kind of my idea of a great Sunday evening to just hang out with Shoshana Shoshana Weissman, head of digital media at rstreetorg, abraar Alhiti, who is a tech reporter at Asinit, and Amanda Silverling from TechCrunch Like three people you just would like to hang with and talk about memes with.

But I'm afraid we're going to have to talk about some news too, so we'll do that when we come back. You're watching this Week in Tech. This episode is brought to you by Panoptica. Panoptica, cisco's cloud application security solution, provides end-to-end lifecycle protection for cloud-native application environments. It empowers organizations to safeguard their APIs, serverless functions, containers and Kubernetes environments.

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01:11:14 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
Have you approached for ads all trails? No, I'm kidding.

01:11:18 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Oh, I love all trails. Oh, love them, love them. We've got hymns. Is that close?

01:11:25 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
No, I don't know. I can try it and see how it works on me, would you?

01:11:30 - Leo Laporte (Host)
like get back to me, would you?

01:11:32 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
I will.

01:11:34 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I don't think you need the hair growth product. So I gotta say I think you're probably okay on that. Thank, you?

01:11:38 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
Yes, I actually like legitimately have too much hair and it's an actual problem. Same.

01:11:44 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
I think this is a Jewish thing, too much hair.

01:11:47 - Leo Laporte (Host)
My wife has too much hair, but I like it and she straightens it and I wanna. I keep saying no, no, just let it go, cause it would it's like out to here.

01:11:55 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)

01:11:58 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Let it go. It's a Ufro exactly. I did not say, I did not say yeah, when I was in middle school.

01:12:02 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
My hair was like out to there cause I didn't know how to deal with it. Yeah. But also, I grew up in Florida so the humidity was like crazy. And then, now that I am not living in a super humid place, my hair my hair used to be curly. Now it's not. I like it, it's like a soft breeze.

01:12:19 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
Thank you, it's perfect, thank you.

01:12:21 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Thank you. Incidentally, I wanna issue a correction or a clarification. Berserk in our club twit discord says for a second I thought Shoshana was saying defend chemtrails at all costs.

01:12:35 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
Defend chemtrail, no kidding.

01:12:37 - Leo Laporte (Host)
No, you were talking about all trails, which is an app for hiking, right? Okay, let's make that abundantly clear.

01:12:46 - Abrar Al-Heeti (Guest)
It saved your entire reputation. That was a crisis averted.

01:12:52 - Leo Laporte (Host)
All right, cosa, the kids online safety act, which now has 60 supporters in the Senate. It now has enough votes to pass in the Senate, supported by two odd bedfellows, that's Marsha Blackburn, republican, tennessee, on the left, and Dick Blumensal, democratic, connecticut, on the right. You couldn't get farther left and right on those two, but they both wanna protect kids online. Except it doesn't look like COSA would actually do that. Abraha did you wanna kick this off?

01:13:33 - Abrar Al-Heeti (Guest)
I can tell that Amanda and Shoshana are very.

01:13:35 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I was watching Shoshana say we're reading together Everybody has something to say on this one.

01:13:40 - Abrar Al-Heeti (Guest)
Yeah, you know, it's interesting given the fact that, again, as we touched on earlier, Congress has tried very, very hard to figure out how to really in social media, and we've heard a lot about COSA over the past several months and it's just, it's hard to figure out the right balance here because there's a lot of blame that's tossed back and forth in both directions and it seems like there's not really a middle ground that is realistic here. So the thing that this would do is it would essentially make these privacy settings for children the strongest privacy settings on by default and give parents the ability to kind of monitor what their kids are doing, and I think those are all great things. I just don't know if everyone's gonna stop pointing fingers, right, because we've just seen this back and forth constantly and I don't know. I don't know if this is the answer, I don't know if it's gonna make it far, but I just feel like it's this ongoing saga that we just have to just witness till the end of time.

01:14:43 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Let me just so that we can clarify this. First of all, even if it passes the Senate, it has to get through the House. That is not a given. Nothing can pass through the House. It's a giant blockage.

But here is what COSA, as the Senate version of COSA is written, would do. It would require tech companies to exercise reasonable care when designing features to avoid causing or exacerbating problems like depression, bullying and harassment. I'm not gonna comment, although I'm so tempted to comment as we read these, but I'm just gonna read them straight and let you comment. Secondly, it would limit who can talk to youths or, as I like to call them, youths through their online accounts. It would limit design features such as infinite scrolling or notifications that keep younger users online. This is from the Washington Post. They made a slideshow. Makes it easy for me. It would also make it easy for youths to delete their accounts and data. Make younger users accounts default to the most protective privacy and safety settings. When they say younger, I think they mean under 16, right, it's not like COPPA 13. I think I can't remember. We'll have to clarify that.

01:15:53 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
I think they changed it to under 18. 18, there you go.

01:15:58 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Well, all you 17-year-old youths provides easy to use parental controls, including the ability to see and change their children's privacy settings. Now put yourself in the shoes of a gay 17-year-old and consider how that might affect you. Allows parents to see the total time their children are spending on a platform and set restrictions. And allows parents and educators to easily report harm to the companies. Now that seems okay, shoshana.

01:16:28 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
Ooh, so this is unconstitutional. Many times over I actually wrote like a 20,000 word series, not because I'm long-winded, but because I had to cover so much of all the problems with a different reason.

01:16:38 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I have actually referred to your excellent article on that. Thank you, yes, yeah, it's so.

01:16:43 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
The core problem here is, in order to know who a kid is, you have to know who a kid is, and to do that you need age verification, and that means your social security number, your government ID, your face scans. Every time a government entity is like, hey, what's the best way to do this, they get there and kids' data is hacked a lot, I mean like In England, they propose you go to a pub and verify your age.

01:17:11 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Age verification is very problematic, obviously right, they really haven't solved the issue.

01:17:16 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
And I like the idea of protecting kids' privacy. The problem is, if you're doing that by violating their privacy many times over, plus everyone else's privacy, then great. You've created lots of opportunity for hackers and for leaks and accidental breaches. It's just a huge mess for cybersecurity. And also the courts have ruled so many times you cannot do age verification like this. They ruled this in the 90s and the 2000s. The precedent is so clear. I have so much documentation and no one cares. Lawmakers do not care, Does that?

01:17:48 - Leo Laporte (Host)
mean we shouldn't worry about COSA because it will immediately be challenged and overturned in court.

01:17:55 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
It would be cool if law makers didn't pass things that they had reasonably for unconstitutional. We're not there. I live in reality. That said, it's just you don't want to create this entire antagonistic regulatory environment, not to say that regulations aren't needed sometimes, but you want it to be about evidence, about actually fixing problems.

01:18:15 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Oh you silly, silly person.

01:18:17 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
Sorry, I love.

01:18:18 - Leo Laporte (Host)
You are so sorry.

01:18:19 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
Infinite scroll. They're banning infinite scroll for kids. Oh my gosh, an autoplay. Like it's okay for Netflix but bad for TikTok. What the hell it makes me so mad. I'm like okay, apply it universally. Oh, you don't want to apply the license platforms? Maybe that's not the problem.

01:18:35 - Leo Laporte (Host)
So Shana wrote this analysis last July. Actually, you can read it on our streetorg, along with your colleagues Canyon Brim Hall and Josh Withrow, and you've got the points really, I think, very clearly and coherently laid out. This is more than six months ago. Obviously, I don't know what's wrong with Marsha Blackburn and Dick Blomenthal. Can't they read Unenforceable mandates?

01:19:02 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
Oh, like these.

01:19:03 - Leo Laporte (Host)
You like these bills, you know Well they're politically good right, because it's easy to say look what I'm doing to protect children.

01:19:11 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)

01:19:13 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Go ahead, amanda sorry.

01:19:14 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
Blomenthal is the senator who, a few years ago, asked the head of safety at Facebook if he would delete Finsta, and then she had to be like that's not a feature.

01:19:26 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I remember the Finsta conversation by the way I heard the other day that Instagram is gonna make it possible to have Finstas. Like, take your Finstas and legitimize them. So maybe Blomenthal knew what he was talking about.

01:19:40 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
I don't think so. Yeah, maybe he had insider information, but yeah, I mean.

01:19:44 - Leo Laporte (Host)
It's pretty clear he doesn't, when he's talking about things like that.

01:19:48 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
Yeah, it's just very obvious with these bills that the people that are writing them don't know how technology works. And with COSA, I mean, it's been like I think maybe like two years since it was introduced and I feel like this thing keeps happening, where at first it's like, hey, age verification actually very dangerous and bad. And then they're like, okay, we're gonna like try to fix that. And then it's like, hey, individual state attorney generals being able to decide what content is quote unquote unsafe for children, that's a problem. And then they're like, okay, cool, we're just gonna turn it over to the FTC. That's where we're at now, where, in the most recent draft, the FTC can unilaterally decide like what content isn't good for children, which is, I guess, in some ways better than individual state attorney generals to have. Like you know, individual states have agendas.

01:20:55 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Texas, Florida.

01:20:56 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
yes, yeah, I mean there's been a lot of activity among LGBTQ human rights organizations where it's like imagine, as you said before, like you're a 17 year old gay kid and you don't know if that's normal because it's not being talked about in your school. And then, if you want to like, look up resources, just like the Trevor Project or something where it's like mental health for queer teens, you wouldn't be able to do that if Terrible Someone decides that kids shouldn't know about queer people existing, which is what's happening already.

01:21:33 - Leo Laporte (Host)
It's already happening in libraries all in Florida and Texas. So yeah, blumenthaler, thall and Blackburn this is from the Washington Post this week said the overwhelming bipartisan support for the Kids Online Safety Act reflects the powerful voices of young people and parents who want Congress to act. President Biden, in July, when you wrote your nice piece, had six words to say about COSA Pass it, pass it, pass it.

01:22:08 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
I mean, I don't know if Joe Biden knows much about how social media works either. Is that the problem?

01:22:12 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Is it people who just don't understand how this works? I feel like it's more cynical. I honestly feel like this is politics. This is. It's always a good thing to do, to look like you're strong in favor of kids, and that's really what this is all about.

01:22:27 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
This is a really big thing for me and it's actually a really big part of my work, not just in tech regulation but also occupational licensing. There's a lot of different reasons regulations happen. Sometimes it just there's a need and something's not being solved and you need new regulation. But it's really not uncommon that one company is like regulatory capture because then it kills their competitors because they can't comply.

They do something, or think of the children thing, and just doing it irrationally, without actual, actual means and fit, is a really big thing. And then you just still have the other cynical like oh, it looks like I'm doing something and that's all people really want, and I kind of like the means and fit. You know what's the problem? Can regulation solve it? Or is this something that just regulation, for whatever reason, might not be able to solve? Test it, see if it works and then revise it if needed? Like I like good regulation but it's really hard for me to just go through so many bills every year that make me wanna just stress out and just stop, like that Italian American Indian, just a little tear coming down your face.

01:23:31 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Here's another paragraph from the Washington Post. Parental groups played a key role in securing additional Senate backers. According to a person with knowledge of the negotiations who spoke on the condition of anonymity, they're pleased for action at last month's hearing where Mark Zuckerberg apologized for the suffering their families have endured. Help make support snowball. That little bit of theater where Josh Holly said stand up, turn around and apologize Actually, is why this is now on the Senate floor.

01:24:02 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
Yeah, I mean that hearing also just truly nothing happened. It was four hours of nothing and it all is political theater, like they don't actually let the CEOs talk. And this came up in particular when I do I think it was Blumenfall was asking one by one the CEOs of Snap, tiktok, facebook, twitter, discord, discord was an odd one out on that panel he was asking them one by one if they would support COSA. And the only one that would is Snap, which I mean sure, fine, they're trying to get points with Congress, but like the CEOs would start explaining like, oh, we think that the concept behind protecting children is good, but, and then they would start trying to have an actual conversation and then Blumenfall would be like so you don't support it, okay.

01:25:00 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Next, but wait a minute.

watch this. This is Snapchats, a portion of Snapchats. 2024 Super Bowl commercial from last week. This is their new, I think their new positioning. One like this is a picture of a selfie Two more two likes. Another selfie, more, three, 10, a thousand, more, more, more, more likes, less love, more perfect pictures, less imagination. I actually I thought this was gonna be the God commercial, to be honest. More yoga pants, less style, more trolls, less compassion, more seductive, less appealing. Snapchats decided oh wait a minute, we're the anti-social media. Except they're not. They're not more consuming, less so, they're saying they're offering themselves as an alternative to I guess what they're saying is the rest of the social media world.

01:26:03 - Abrar Al-Heeti (Guest)
I think they're really trying to capitalize on that shift, that meta we had a couple years ago where they were actually hiding likes.

01:26:11 - Leo Laporte (Host)
But is Snapchat somehow magically? I mean, obviously they're suffering. They're not doing great Tick Tocks eating their lunch, is it not? Is it like what you want your teens to be using instead of Instagram?

01:26:27 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
Oh, there's a lot of problems. No cause, they both present individually problems.

01:26:31 - Abrar Al-Heeti (Guest)
It's the same.

01:26:33 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
Yeah, I mean people like self fentanyl on Snapchat. I'm sure they do on any platform, just because this is the reality of social media.

Yeah, but it's not like. Yes, on one hand, there are less social pressures on Snapchat in the sense of you're not posting a picture and then going oh no, I only got X amount of likes and this girl in my class got this much likes on her Instagram, but you're still communicating with people in a way that disappearing messages sometimes can be helpful and sometimes the fact of not having accountability or a record of what you said can lead to harm. I don't think like either product is better. They just are different and have different risks.

01:27:29 - Leo Laporte (Host)
All right, so I guess we're all against COSA. I guess the good news is it's really just more positioning to get reelected than it is something that's likely to pass the house. There isn't even a house bill at this point.

01:27:47 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
Yeah, not yet, cause it hasn't been voted on in the Senate yet, but there's 62 senators that have said that they would support it. I don't know. I like Shashana, I'd wonder what do you think the answer is? Instead of? There's all of these social media bills that seem to just have so many issues with. How would you enforce it without creating loads of privacy issues Like is there something that you think Congress should be doing not to put you on the spot?

01:28:21 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
Yeah, no, we've always supported a national privacy law because we worry about if you segment out kids then it creates more privacy problems and we're not for that.

But like and also even more education from the cybersecurity side cause I think a lot of times kids don't really understand just some functional risks around stuff.

But any of the proposals around age verification or limiting social media run hard up against first amendment problems and also just create more issues than they're solving. And also they just don't allow kids to be unique because, especially when they put on time limits, some kid might be doing something productive, like helping out a local business, or like I networked on Facebook as a kid, like when I was a teenager, and that's how I got to where I am and I even found out I had five room I held on some like random forum which would have been covered by these laws. But like I don't think laws can solve these, it has to be parenting, maybe stronger parental filters and options that cover a little bit more. But I just don't think that there's a role for government to tell parents how to have their kids use social media. It has to be up to the parents. But then the privacy legislation too there is a.

01:29:28 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I mean there's some. There's a grain of truth in this right. My daughter's a millennial and thinks that social media is the worst thing that ever happened. She deletes her Instagram account regularly, but she says, yeah, you know what? There's definitely mental health issues and attention issues. There are problems. You think parents are the only solution to that.

01:29:53 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
I think it's parents, but also I wouldn't be opposed to like schools helping kids understand how stuff affects them. I think like it has to be community kind of stuff. I don't think government can solve it with it a lot so easily as they like to think. I also wonder, just I don't know. We all said the same stuff about video games, about TV, about chess A hundred years ago.

01:30:13 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Chess was the big moral panic.

01:30:15 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
Yeah, chess was one of the moral panics that there's, like all these articles about how dangerous chess is for you and stuff.

01:30:21 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Jeff Jarvis is the king of moral panics tells me that when popular books became popular you know holding a book back I think that people were so concerned that people would read on trains instead of talking to one other. That would be anti-social. The books were gonna be a big social problem. Obviously, we'd rather our kids read books now than participate in social media. So we've always been concerned about new technologies. Is the point right?

01:30:48 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
Yeah, and I think stuff just finds its own place, like all trails, I know, but all trails really is a great community platform to alert you of. Bears are in the area before a hike and, like Reddit, has all these subgroups. I'm learning a lot about my latest autoimmune disease diagnosis through Reddit, which is really cool.

01:31:06 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I love Reddit. Reddit is like the best place ever. I'm glad it kind of survived. It's the mismanagement I think that Reddit went through, you know, with Steve Huffman kind of shutting down moderation and making a mess of it, but it somehow seems to have survived it. It's still one of the best social networks ever. But there's a lot of you would agree horrible stuff on Reddit. You just don't go there. That's a bad neighborhood.

01:31:33 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
Yeah, I'm all up in stalking R histamine intolerance, yolo, ha ha ha ha, ha ha.

01:31:41 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Okay, I'm probably not gonna follow R slash histamine intolerance, but it's good that it's there, is all I'm saying. Is there a R slash? All trails? Probably R slash hiking for sure.

01:31:53 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
Yeah, I actually use it. But here's the thing like you can use all different stuff in such cool ways Like I use Instagram to find new hikes and I'm friends with a lot of people who do 14ers on Colorado and then like we track each other's progress and we like encourage each other. Some of these people I've never met, we just love each other loves like marmots and 14ers, like there's good stuff online.

01:32:15 - Abrar Al-Heeti (Guest)
Yeah, I guess for me has become the platform where, when I have a really random question at 3 am, I know somebody on Reddit has asked it, and then it's the most validating experience and I'm like, okay, this is good, I'm not actually losing it, yeah.

01:32:30 - Leo Laporte (Host)
There was some concern during the Reddit strikes or whatever the bad period, that we would lose this because, frankly, a lot of people, instead of using Google, well, google site, colon Redditcom and then do the search Cause the answers are better. Reddit, by the way, has and actually I was really pleased to see this has signed a deal with an unnamed AI. We don't know which AI group to license their content. So this is exactly the kind of content an AI should train on, right.

01:33:03 - Abrar Al-Heeti (Guest)
Really understand us.

01:33:04 - Leo Laporte (Host)
They, yeah, they really yeah.

01:33:07 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
It is time to be real currently Time to do it you gotta do it. So I just took my B-real and it wants me to follow Adidas on B-real.

01:33:18 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Oh the brands, the brands.

01:33:20 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
What is Adidas on?

01:33:21 - Leo Laporte (Host)
B-real gonna be Like a shoe factory and then I don't know, like, who's taking it?

01:33:27 - Abrar Al-Heeti (Guest)

01:33:28 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
Maybe it's just the road.

01:33:29 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, it's like, this is what your shoe sees when you're on a run, it's a close up, close up picture of the road. Well, I'm glad you have you're being real right now. That's good.

01:33:42 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
Did you? I haven't, I did just post, but like I get the notification still. But I feel like in the last three months I've maybe posted like five times and usually it's been like if I'm with friends and then someone's like, oh, I'm doing my B-real, and I'm like, oh yeah, I guess I'll do mine, I don't know, I just stopped using it. We also we have a TechCrunch B-real group because you can have a group now. So sometimes I'll be real in the TechCrunch B-real and then it's just all of us looking at our computers because that's what we're all doing, which is very interesting.

01:34:22 - Leo Laporte (Host)
So you need close life. They should have COSA for TechCrunch authors. That's what they need.

01:34:28 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
That's what we need yeah.

01:34:30 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I just got a welcome back bonus for coming back to B-real. It says try posting two B-reals today. What a bonus.

01:34:40 - WoT promo (Announcement)
Wow, I thought that the other day too. Thank you, b-real.

01:34:45 - Abrar Al-Heeti (Guest)
I realized that the moment I decided to stop using B-real was when I realized it was actually affecting the way I went about my day, where it was like God, I really hope my B-real goes off right now, and I was like this isn't normal, like this is not how I should be living, this is not okay. And it's the same reason I don't check Instagram stories, because it induces a level of FOMO that I can't deal with, so I just had to separate myself.

01:35:07 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
I was really disappointed in the aforementioned meeting I had with the B-real founders a few years ago. I was like I need the B-real to go off while I'm meeting with the founders of B-real. I think it went off like shortly after. Oh damn it.

01:35:24 - Abrar Al-Heeti (Guest)
I thought I would have let you post it. I think you should feel okay, they would have been on my mind, oh yeah, I mean it was like off the record or not.

01:35:30 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
I think it was like an on background meeting, technically, yeah, so I can talk about the fact that it happened. I don't know. We had a meeting, we talked, we were real, yeah.

01:35:41 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I hope my B-real goes off now. I hope it goes off now.

01:35:43 - Abrar Al-Heeti (Guest)
It was just ridiculous. I was like this is not normal. I brought it, get it together.

01:35:47 - Leo Laporte (Host)
It just shows you that there's no way that social media doesn't kind of, in some ways, become, oh, absolutely, look at my perfect life. Oh yeah.

01:35:55 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
Aren't I wonderful. Disagree. I post on Twitter all my bad dating stories and I post the full story on my friends Instagram.

01:36:03 - Leo Laporte (Host)
You have some of the worst dates I've ever seen. You are the worst.

01:36:07 - Abrar Al-Heeti (Guest)
Oh my God, it's so bad, oh my God, wait, now I have to, and it actually makes me like you better.

01:36:14 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I don't know why, right.

01:36:17 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
I don't know why, but I know it makes people like me better when I just post these insane stories. I think it's that same thing.

01:36:22 - Leo Laporte (Host)
You're being honest. Well, first of all, you're very funny, so you don't do it in any kind of you know kind of sappy, self-pitying way. It's a story.

01:36:30 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
Oh no, it's just like here's this crazy crap yeah.

01:36:34 - Leo Laporte (Host)
So it's nicely done, but I think also that's what we were talking about. But being authentic is almost always bad. See, if all you do is you post how great your life is, people will hate you.

01:36:44 - Abrar Al-Heeti (Guest)
Oh yeah, people will pray for your downfall, yeah.

01:36:47 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I just hate you. Look, it happens to everybody.

01:36:51 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
That's why I post about my colonoscopies too. I'm like hey guys.

01:36:53 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Well, that's going a little farsher, Shana. Now I'm going to say I'm about to unfollow you, so I'm beating up.

01:37:01 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
Yeah, I just followed you today because we are virtually meeting and now I'm like very excited for this new social media experience.

01:37:09 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
It's going to be weird, Like sometimes it's all memes and then the other days it's like all COSA and then I'm like out hiking and it's all marmots. It's like it's a weird mix.

01:37:18 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
Honestly, I'm interested in all three of the things I'm COSA hiking and memes. It's perfect, isn't it?

01:37:24 - Leo Laporte (Host)
It's the perfect Twitter account. Yes, by the way, what do we call it now? I keep hearing on the TV news like they say X, formerly known as Twitter, or the former Twitter X. What is it? What is that? What you have to say every time?

01:37:40 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
So we don't have a specific rule at TechCrunch, which we probably should. We've had some editorial changes, so maybe we'll have a Twitter decree soon, but I've been referring to the current company that is owned by Elon Musk as X, and then if you're referring to something that happened before, then it's Twitter.

01:38:04 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, I like that, especially since we're Twitter and we predate Twitter and they stole our name. So I like X. Keep calling it X. That's what he wants. You can call himself Chief X if he wants. By the way, shoshana, how do you like that? Dolly clock? Is it good?

01:38:24 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
Oh no, I just ordered it. I don't know I got rid of my. So I kept cable longer than I should have, because on Shabbat I can't press the clicker and I wanted the TV to keep going. But then I'm like this is too expensive.

01:38:38 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Wait a minute, I don't know. You can watch it, but you can't operate the remote.

01:38:43 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
Many rabbis would disagree. But I have a strong case to be made from strict Torah, strong case it's rabbinic law. Where stuff goes wrong, the rabbis are wrong and that's what it is.

01:38:53 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Torah predates the rabbis. Let's get this straight, exactly.

01:38:56 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
No scholastic interpretation here Some people have what they refer to as Shabo scoys, which is I love that.

01:39:06 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Somebody to push your remote button.

01:39:08 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
Yeah, yeah, I'll be your.

01:39:09 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Shabbat scoy, any time you watch it.

01:39:12 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
I would never live with another Orthodox Jew unless I'm married, because then they can't press the stopper. Then you would be stuck.

01:39:18 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Whatever's on, you got to keep watching it for the 24 hours Wow.

01:39:25 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
So that's why I need a clock.

01:39:29 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
I do have a similar clock. I don't know if you can see it in my next video. Oh, you have a melting Adali clock.

01:39:35 - Leo Laporte (Host)
No you have a regular clock, I see.

01:39:38 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
Well, I have this regular clock, oh I see it, it's melting.

01:39:42 - Leo Laporte (Host)
She has it already.

01:39:44 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
I hope that you already have it. That's so funny.

01:39:46 - Leo Laporte (Host)
There's a melting clock behind the pink base. Everybody.

01:39:49 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
Yeah, my mom got it for me when I was in college and I've kept it all this time.

01:39:54 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
I love that. That's so funny. I never thought I would buy a clock, so it's just really funny timing.

01:40:00 - Leo Laporte (Host)
So now I'm really stuck on the Shabbos Goi thing. Ok, could you use a voice assistant and change the channel?

01:40:14 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
I would argue no, because you're actively doing a thing that causes an electronic thing to do a thing. That's why I won't go bowling on Shabbat, but I will do other stuff like ride a bus, because the stuff he's doing is independent on me.

01:40:29 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Actually, I know all about bowling on Shabbat because of the Big Lebowski actually, so I know all about that. I don't roll on Shabbat, right, right, exactly. Ok, I knew that one. Wow, I'm going through your dating tweets. I'm sorry if I'm a little distracted.

01:40:48 - Abrar Al-Heeti (Guest)
I'm going to stop.

01:40:49 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
I love this.

01:40:50 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I'm going to move on.

01:40:51 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
They're bad. Aren't they really bad? It's ridiculous, oh my gosh.

01:40:55 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I don't make a habit of reading them, but when I see them, I love them. I always go oh there goes Shoshana again, and the pictures in the mountains and I mean I love all of it, all trails, I love all that stuff you do. It's great.

01:41:10 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
Thank you, I had fun, I liked my life Sorry.

01:41:14 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
I can tie it together with one time I stopped dating someone and the last text he sent me was Sorry for man Splaining Publishing to you on Twitter. That's really funny.

01:41:29 - Abrar Al-Heeti (Guest)
It's a full circle moment right there.

01:41:30 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
Yeah, because I was already like he was just kind of being a little mean and I was like you know what? Like I'm not doing this Good. And then, like I had tweeted a joke about publishing this is not what I was talking about earlier, about people sending my jokes to me but he just didn't get the joke and started explaining publishing to me and I was like, yeah, I know, I'm a writer, I know how publishing works. And then he texted me sorry for man Splaining Publishing to you on Twitter and I never responded and haven't chocolate him since.

01:41:58 - Leo Laporte (Host)
So much for that guy loser.

01:42:00 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
The last thing that I went on didn't get my jokes either, and that was a big deal breaker because I was very funny, my jokes are so good and I'm like, if you can't get my jokes, yeah, that's it.

01:42:10 - Leo Laporte (Host)
That's it. Deal breaker for sure. Now I want you to wear this t-shirt on your next date, so that you'll really be. It says I don't rule on Shabbos.

01:42:21 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
I love that. I love it.

01:42:24 - Leo Laporte (Host)
All right, on that note time for a little break. I do do commercials on Shabbos. I just want to say I'm glad to do that, glad to have you guys here too. It's wonderful Our show today brought to you by Thinkst Canary.

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I do want to before we get back to the news, and I have another one that's gonna make steam come out of Shoshana's ears, so so stay tuned for that. But before we get back to the news, I do want to mention club twit. If you're not yet a member, this is a great opportunity to join more and more. It's how we want to go forward here. I always thought this would be when I, when I started twit 18 years ago, I At the time I thought it'd be great if we just have audience supported network, right, didn't have to sell ads. It turned out to grow. We really did have to sell ads. But podcasting is going through a bit of a crisis. Advertisers no longer want to be on podcasts for some. Some advertisers obviously ours don't, but we're we're so we could charge less. We don't. We don't get as many ads as we. It's made me and Lisa really think what we ought to do is go to our audience, you, and Say if you like what we do, if you want to hear more of what we do, if you want us to grow and do more shows, join the club seven bucks a month to get ad-free versions of all the shows. We've done something new, by the way, which I'm very excited about. We had a lot of shows that were inside the club. Only what we've done is we're gonna put the audio versions of all those shows out in public. You don't have to be a member of the club for the audio versions, video versions you want to join the club, and I'm hoping that that's enough of an incentive for you to join the club.

If there's one other thing I really recommend, and that's our club twit discord, which is such a great place, not just during the shows to chat but to talk about all kinds of things geeks are into. We have events Coming up. For instance, we're gonna do a Stacy's book club. We're still voting on the book for that. We have other events to show recordings. It is a really great place to hang and if you look at all the in the discord, all the other things we talk about, every kind of topic that geeks would be interested in. So it's a great way to kind of get involved, meet some great people and Support a network. Very simple Just go to twittv slash club twit seven bucks a month, eighty four dollars a year. There's family plans, there's corporate plans, but I, honestly, I Think this you don't do it for all the benefits, do it just if you think you want to keep hearing what we're doing, if you want it to keep going. This is how we're gonna go forward. I think. Twittv slash club twit. Thank you, sorry to sorry to bother you, starting to take your time.

Now here is the story that I I think somebody will get upset about. I'm not sure who this was. This broke a couple of days ago from wire del Cameron writing. Remember, last week, the chair of the house intelligence committee Said oh, we've just got a briefing from the federal government, from the intelligence agencies. I can't tell you what it is, but I think they've got to release this to the American public. This is such a dire threat from the Russians. Everybody needs to know. We think, by the way, it's since leaked out that it's probably this Russian plan to put nukes in space, to nuclear Didn't bomb other satellites or something like that.

Well, the wired says that wasn't the point of that announcement. This was really To get a Bill passed to get section 702 past. Now I don't know if this, this makes any sense, but it apparently there's been a civil war Between the house, judiciary and intelligence committees. It's kept the reauthorization of 702 of the FISA act from happening, and the whole point of this was to get these guys off their duffs and Reactivating 702. Why?

Well, there has been a move of foot in Congress to force intelligence agencies To get subpoenas or warrants before they buy information about American citizens. Four senior aides tell wire that, despite speculation that a foreign age package to Ukraine had been the impetus behind the effort to center the threat, turner and Heim's are motivated to instill paranoia in members. This is wired again. That would never lay raised out as to whether popular private reforms are simply too great a risk, namely those requiring the government to obtain warrants before accessing private calls, texts and emails of US persons, as well as commercially available data data brokers Used to monitor their whereabouts. The campaign appeared to backfire in a matter of hours. Now, shoshana, does this ring any bells? Do you? Are you up on what this? Because it's very Byzantine.

01:50:59 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
Yeah, well, so you're talking about the Ron Wyden bill, right? Yeah, that would I love that bill. I love we should have warrants for things and not just pretend like the Fourth Amendment doesn't exist, like I think that's a, that's a fun idea when, when Wyden proposed this, the intelligence agencies were kind of Compelled to come forward, say no.

01:51:17 - Leo Laporte (Host)
No, we buy that stuff when we needed. Never admitted that they were buying data about you and me from data brokers.

01:51:25 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
I love it. Ron Wyden is awesome. I disagree with him on lots of stuff, but when I agree with him, I agree with him. Like Ron Wyden is so good he's up on technology to credit to him.

01:51:36 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Among all the members of Congress, he seems to be the most you know. He's got a very good. He's got a very good Advisor on his staff, chris Saguayan, who really knows his stuff, and so, as a result, his staff is really good too.

01:51:49 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
Like in general, like his staff are very open-minded I even once pinged them about like a licensing thing. I'm like I think you guys are wrong, just hear me out. And they were super nice about it, which I always appreciate. But like it also bothers me when people are like, oh, younger members will be more tech Savvy and like, no, ron Wyden is the best and if we lose him it's not gonna go great for like anyone.

01:52:08 - Leo Laporte (Host)
So section 702, which is already controversial this is kind of part of the whole Patriot Act Bill. The FISA courts and all of this stuff Is at risk. Basically, which law enforcement does not like the intelligence agencies do not like One of the most put this is again from the wired story one of the most popular amendments suggested the 702 bills suggest, discussed openly by Lawmakers for months, is one that would prevent the government from purchasing data that normally requires a warrant. That's Ron Wyden's bill. So there's a little bit of skull duggery going on and and this whole and I was wondering when this came out like what is he talking about? This secret thing I can't tell you about, but you should be very scared, you should be very afraid. Turns out that really wasn't the point of it. The point of it was to get 702 authorized. I'd make sense to me. I mean, I you know.

Credit again to Dell Cameron writing in a wired magazine Leak of Russian threat part of a bid to kill US surveillance reform, and I think he has some pretty good sources in this. You know they're gonna, they're gonna keep doing this. It's also I keep pointing this out when this happens. This is why data brokers will never be put out of business. They'll never be a law To protect our privacy, because law enforcement and intelligence agencies need it and want it. They're the ones buying this, a lot of this data.

01:53:36 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
What drives me nuts with with the privacy debate and also the tech debate in general, is that Government doesn't want the rules they're gonna set for industry to apply to them Right. Anyone it should be applying to it's them because, like not, that government has a super terrible record Sometimes on violating our civil rights or anything like me. Maybe that's who we should be thinking about first. And I'm not just saying that's a lean free market and federalism and such, but really like, if the government can use our own stuff against us without a warrant, that's great. It's just not how that should work.

01:54:07 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, well, one more bill that you know what are we gonna do won't pass or won't, won't even be considered. And yeah, maybe Ron will keep keep writing those letters. Let's hope anyway, let's see. Oh, this is kind of further for our PC users in the world. There's a group that publishes a benchmarks called spec, the standard performance evaluation Corporation. Spec marks have been widely used in magazine articles and reviews for years. They announced this week that they've invalidated 2600 of their own results testing Zia Intel's a Zeon processors last year and in 2022 the spec CPU 2017 test turns out. After investigation, spec found Intel had used Compilers that were quote performing a compilation that specifically improves the performance on benchmarks. It could tell if their spec code was running and if it did, it would narrow its usage and speed up to produce better benchmarks. Intel and Q this is basically diesel gate for chips. Pc world. Michael Crider reporting.

When I go back to talk about your dating, I know nobody cares. Seons are widely used in servers, so there is yeah, there you go, but but honestly, I think this has been going on for years, not just with Intel, with other companies as soon as they see you. That's why I we generally don't talk about benchmarks. They're just not not reliable. Amazon says the NLRB is unconstitutional. You want to. You want to address that, amanda. You got a. You got a thought on that.

01:56:11 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
I'm. Oh yeah, this is so. Spacex and Trader Joseph also Made similar complaints, where they're trying to say that the, the NLRB is unconstitutional, which is National Labor Relations Board.

01:56:29 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Spent around for 88 years enforcing labor law right, protecting the rights of workers to unionize. Are you unionized at TechCrunch? No, are you unionized a bra at CNET? We are, yeah it's very recent. Yeah, I'm sure that people write policy papers for Washington DC.

01:56:51 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
Think tanks do not have a union, I'm guessing yeah, we, yeah, we don't I, but I I have. I love my job, it's, it's fun. They give me lots of time in the mountains.

01:57:00 - Leo Laporte (Host)
You don't need a. You don't need a no.

01:57:02 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
I have marmots, I don't need a union.

01:57:04 - Leo Laporte (Host)
So this is the latest news is that Amazon is arguing that the labor board is unconstitutional. I'm not sure what the grounds are that they're unconstitutional.

01:57:14 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
Go ahead basically they're trying to say that because If there's a hearing with the NLRB over whether or not a tech company did something that violates labor law, this can happen as a hearing and it doesn't need to go to a jury trial. So they're saying that it's unconstitutional because you can find a company without doing a jury trial, which is kind of a ridiculous claim, it's. It's just kind of a stretch. There's also Complaints about how it's difficult to remove judges, which, okay, what are the Supreme Court Like? It's difficult to remove judges, like in all cases, but the reason why that is the case is because it allows them to be more independent, which I am no constitutional scholar, but it is a very thinly veiled attempt to quash the union organizing. That's been happening at Amazon, spacex and Trader Joe's. It's very convenient?

01:58:23 - Leo Laporte (Host)
We don't. We would, because the NLRB has been complaining about this effect. Spacex got involved after the labor board issued a complaint accusing the company of illegally firing eight employees for criticizing Elon Musk, you know. So the Amazon is arguing that the NLRB proceedings violate articles one and three of the Constitution, the fifth and seventh amendments, your honor. So I don't know how far that'll go, but it's funny how Amazon seems like Amazon.

01:58:58 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
Maybe, instead of spending all this money on lawyers and fighting this, if you just, you know, allowed a union would be okay you would think that, and I don't know the exact numbers off the top of my head, but I Believe they're spending more money on lawyers than they would to Actually give the raises that people want that are working at these fulfillment centers, which they're very difficult jobs, like you're on your feet for like 12 hours overnight, like Doing like very repetitive motions, I don't know.

I think like if you hear from someone who works in one of these places about what their day-to-day is like it, you need more protections for a job like that.

01:59:50 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Brar, what, what, what, why did see? Were you involved in the unionization and seen it?

01:59:57 - Abrar Al-Heeti (Guest)
We have a team of people who have been leading the charge there, who've been incredible and working very hard, and so I'm you know I'm in it, but I'm not one of one of the people who are kind of making everything happen.

02:00:10 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, I mean I am not currently in a union, but I was after American Federation of radio and television artists for most of my career and I think unions are a very important part of Workers standing up to big corporations that would try to exploit them, and this is just shows how willing to To go to the mat companies like Amazon, and and the SpaceX are on stuff like this. Has the union been a? Good thing. Do you think about you? Just try too early to tell.

02:00:42 - Abrar Al-Heeti (Guest)
Yeah, well, you know, the best thing about it is just kind of being able to communicate with people and figure out kind of what everybody wants. And you know it's an interesting time in media right now, so it's been really helpful to have that, just to kind of communicate with people, bring up any concerns, but it's it, I think, gives a lot of people hope, no matter what company you work for, if you're part of the union, it's just it really just kind of it's it's a nice place to kind of convene with people and and Share any ideas about how we can make the workplace better is this red ventures, your?

02:01:15 - Leo Laporte (Host)
you're on by red ventures, yeah that's right. Yes, and then I heard that they were selling off some of their properties. I don't know if seen us.

02:01:22 - Abrar Al-Heeti (Guest)
You probably know as much as I do. I read the reports the same way that you do, so the last people know when that kind of stuff Happens.

02:01:29 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Oh yeah our is the people who work there. I remember that one tech TV. You don't, you're not, they can't even talk to you. They're not allowed to talk to you.

02:01:37 - Abrar Al-Heeti (Guest)
Yeah, exactly it was the case when we were sold by CBS. We kind of found out whenever else.

02:01:41 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, you've been through this a couple of times, I think I when I was at ZD from Ziff Davis from 92 through 2004 and I think we were sold three or four times. Oh, quite a few different owners. It was quite something.

02:01:58 - Abrar Al-Heeti (Guest)
That's media, baby, that's media.

02:02:01 - Leo Laporte (Host)
That's right. That's when I said I'm gonna start my own company that I could sell myself.

02:02:06 - Abrar Al-Heeti (Guest)
Be easier. You call the shots, I call the shots.

02:02:11 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Let's see what else. Good news we talked about. You use a 500 euro, 500 million euro fine of Apple. They. Apple and Microsoft have dodged a bullet with the Digital Markets Act, the. The EU has announced that neither one is big enough in the EU to merit regulation under the DMA. Apple's big enough with the App Store, yes, but not with messages. Microsoft's big enough, probably with Windows, but not with Bing and Edge. So you know, it's kind of you win some, you lose some, yeah. Yeah, probably good for Apple, because the idea of opening messages seems to be an etymot to Apple, but apparently it's so little used in the EU. They, they didn't reach the the threshold for a regulation.

02:03:04 - Abrar Al-Heeti (Guest)
That's what I think is so funny here, because obviously I message is huge in the US and if you're like me and you once had an Android or you currently have an Android, you know how much you get bullied for it, for having green text and not having I message. And then every time we ever create any content about this, there's always anyone outside the US who watches or reads our content is like this is the most American problem. This is really stupid. Just use WhatsApp and I absolutely. It's really stupid. I get it, but we play such importance on I message in the US and to see the the EU be like not a big deal, you know, no one, no one cares, but but yeah, the juxtaposition there is is really interesting.

02:03:42 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, I Would love. I would love to see interoperability. I think interoperability is good for users. It's just bad for business, right? And so if you wonder which way a company like Apple's gonna go, it's gonna always be towards business and not towards customers.

02:04:00 - Abrar Al-Heeti (Guest)
Of course they're gonna say well, we opened up. We're gonna open up RCS, right, I mess? What more could you ask for? Stop being so greedy right.

02:04:07 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Actually, that's interesting because I'd always assumed that that was Apple Worried about a regulation in the EU. But now that we know that the MA does not in fact impact messages, I guess it can't be because of that during fireballs. John Gruber says no, it never did have anything to do with that, it had to do with China, which is interesting. He says we've had Pretty obvious hints that September that I message would be exempt. In fact we now know they are. But in November, when Apple changed course and announced it would support RCS, everybody assumed it was the EU. Yeah, but in fact Apple said for years they didn't want to support RCS. The DMA is imposed.

Oh yeah, he's quoting somebody. Let's see. Where did he? Where does he say China? I'm scrolling through this. So why did Apple do a 180 degree turn on RCS? I can't say for certain, but after spending the last few months poking around the trees inhabited by little birdies, I do have good news for fans of coercive government regulation. Apple's hand was effectively forced, but by China. Chinese carriers have been proponents of RCS. Rcs, the rich communication services, is encrypted. It it's basically it's the, the capabilities of iMessage, but it's cross-platform. Google's already put a lot of effort into supporting RCS, and Most carriers who carry Android phones now support RCS as well. The Chinese government will require new 5g devices to support RCS.

Of course China a very important part of Apple's market. Seemingly shockingly, the Chinese government seemingly isn't concerned that the RCS standard has no provisions for encryption. So iOS for iOS, support for RCS, is all about keeping iPhone Successful in China. That makes sense very interesting.

02:06:08 - Abrar Al-Heeti (Guest)
I think it was so widely reported that it was because of the EU size.

02:06:12 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I was also. I am one of the people Rubbers making fun of because I just said well, must? They were preparing for that, but they knew all along, probably, that they were not gonna have to do anything because of the DMA. They're too small. But China, on the other hand, now that's a that's a big market.

02:06:29 - Abrar Al-Heeti (Guest)
I'm gonna miss out on that market.

02:06:30 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
Don't want to miss out on that another interesting happening this week with the blue message, green message, divide was Beep.

02:06:41 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I love that.

02:06:42 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
Yeah, the great cultural divide of. America, the. Yeah, there is this app, beeper mini, that in December, I believe, released a like reverse engineer sort of bridge situations so that Android users could send blue messages to their iMessage friends, and then Apple got super mad about it and I don't think it's available anymore. I think they like actually took it down. It kind of went back and forth, but this week the commissioner of the FCC announced that they are going to investigate whether Apple's decision to shut down or to block Beeper Mini was okay.

02:07:25 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Now I have to say it's Brendan Carr who is kind of a notorious nutcase, but he is an FCC commissioner, you're right, so perhaps this will go somewhere. He's calling on the FCC to investigate. They haven't actually launched an investigation. Yeah, the Beeper Mini story is sad, but I think it's going to be hard to say Apple was acting anti-competitively because Beeper Mini, they wanted two dollars a month. You know they were basically a reverse engineer, the login to Apple's accounts system that I could see. Apple might say well, that's a security problem. So I think you might have a hard time.

02:08:10 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
Yeah, it's surprising that they were even able to figure that out. I don't know. I think it's an interesting ongoing issue where, on one hand, it makes Apple look bad, but also I don't know I mean back to the original issue of incredible that there is technology that exists because of the social pressure to have an iPhone.

02:08:37 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, it really is. There is a divide, a blue-bubble-green-bubble divide. It is. Carr is arguing that Apple may be violating an FCC rule that says providers quote shall not install network features, functions or capabilities that impede accessibility or usability. And he says the low contrast on green bubbles makes it difficult for people with low vision or difficulty with seeing from picking up those messages. That's his argument.

02:09:09 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
I know that I like small government and small effective government and there can be a bias against me, but I kind of think the FCC might have bigger fish to fry. Maybe that's just me.

02:09:20 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Maybe Not Brendan Carr, but maybe yeah. All right, let's take a little break before we wrap things up. We're hitting the two-minute, two-hour mark, but I hate to break things up. I love talking to you guys. So nice to have Amanda Silverling here. She writes about culture, culture, senior culture writer at TechCrunch Great to have you. Abraah Alhidi from CNET, where she is now reporting on tech and telecom full-time. Love to see that. That's great, yeah. And my favorite senator, senator Shoshana from rstreetorg, where she's also chairman of the sloth committee. I don't know what any of these jokes mean, but I support your right to make them. That's just so you know. Are you a green bubble or a blue bubble?

02:10:10 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
I'm a green bubble. Everyone gives me crap for it, but I don't care, because I'm not spending more money on stuff. I'm very cheap. I'm very cheap, I'm strong.

02:10:18 - Abrar Al-Heeti (Guest)
I believe in you. Stay strong, hold down the fort. I'm a trader, but you can be stronger than me.

02:10:24 - Leo Laporte (Host)
At what point did you give up on Android?

02:10:28 - Abrar Al-Heeti (Guest)
When I realized that, like it would actually did make you know, talking to people easier because they were just getting on my nerves.

02:10:35 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, I know, I know my daughter for some reason in the whole family everybody's Apple except for her and she hates Apple and she insists on Android. But then she's saying I wish I could FaceTime with you guys.

02:10:47 - Abrar Al-Heeti (Guest)
Yeah, see, that's the thing right. Yeah, we zoom, it's okay.

02:10:52 - Leo Laporte (Host)
It's okay, we zoom man, that's good. My favorite green bubble actually doesn't come from Apple or Android. It comes from Mint Mobile. I love that Minty green, this episode of this Week in Tech brought to you by Mint Mobile. We like to highlight businesses that are doing things better, especially when it's focused on customer satisfaction, so that you can live a better life, and that's Mint Mobile. In a nutshell, Mint Mobile ditched the retail stores and all the overhead costs and then passes the savings on to you. And when I say savings, I think people don't believe me when I tell them how affordable Mint Mobile is.

Mint Mobile's wireless plans started $15 a month and that's unlimited talk and text for $15 a month. I love it so much I bought a year. I just bought a year at a time. It's incredible, but you know what you should do. Look at your phone bill and, after your gasp for the amount of money you pay every month for your wireless service, look at the data you use. Is it less than five gigabytes a month? 15, 20.

There's a plan for you at Mint Mobile. Every plan comes with unlimited talk and text and high speed data delivered on the nation's largest 5G network. You can bring your own phone. They support eSims or they'll send you a SIM no charge If you can bring your phone number along to put it right over along with your existing contacts. They also have great deals on phones. I bought an iPhone from them and I love it. It ended up being the phone and the plan less than I was paying just for data on one of the big guys.

Choose from three, six or 12 month plans. You'll say goodbye to a monthly phone bill. I love the one-year plan Guessing the most savings. I just know I don't have to worry about it. To get your new wireless plan starting at $15 a month, get the plan shipped to your door for free. Go to mintmobilecom slash twit, mintmobilecom slash twit. Cut your wireless bill to $15 a month at mintmobilecom slash twit. Additional taxes, fees and restrictions apply. See Mint Mobile for details. We had a fun week this week on the shows, all the shows. We have a little mini movie we've prepared for your enjoyment watch. Today we're going to be joined by NASA Deputy Administrator, Pam Melroy. We're just quivering in our captain's chairs. Colonel US Air Force Colonel, retired Pam Melroy, Space shuttle commander. Very exciting stuff.

02:13:24 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
Previously on TWIT this week in space.

02:13:28 - WoT promo (Announcement)
This is not about the moon, it's not about Mars. It's actually about a sustained human presence and responsible exploration throughout the solar system. This is what, I believe, the American people want from us iOS.

02:13:44 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
Today, we are going to talk about third party apps for the Apple Vision Pro.

02:13:49 - Abrar Al-Heeti (Guest)
As a big Beats Saber fan, this is another thing that is just selling me on the Apple Vision Pro.

02:13:55 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Coming up. Next, on a very special dark mode edition of Hands on Windows, we're going to take a look at a new feature in Windows 11, 23h2 called Dynamic Lighting. It is time to get geeky about some Linux news and tips. It's the untitled Linux show. Let's talk about why you should be using KDE instead of GNOME, what and why you should be using Fedora instead of Ubuntu this week in Google, how about the unsettling scourge of obituary spam?

02:14:23 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
Well, I just went to Gemini and I said, right by obituary it comes back and says unfortunately I don't have enough information to write a comprehensive and respectful obituary for you.

02:14:31 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Jeff GVT did not have such scruples. Leo Laporte, a pioneering broadcaster and tech journalist widely celebrated for his instrumental role in demystifying technology for millions, passed away at the age of insert age, on insert date. If you missed Twit this week, you missed a lot. Laporte's legacy is not just the content he created, but in the community he built. Let me copy this this is fantastic. We missed him already. I got like 10 paragraphs. Baby. This is good. It is the best obituary ever. I have to say, almost makes me want to die.

02:15:07 - Abrar Al-Heeti (Guest)
I'm about to go make my own Like wow, that was yeah, Chat.

02:15:10 - Leo Laporte (Host)
GPT. It knew who I was and it was great. I'm saving it for future reference. Let's hope it's distant future reference Should know that.

By the way, this first time we've mentioned the Untitled Linux show, which for a long time was exclusive to the club Twit Discord. We didn't even make a show about it, but it is a show now and we're putting it out in the public eye. We we've changed the whole way we do things for the club. Lisa and I talked and we really thought it would be better if we take all the shows that we have behind the paywall and put them out audio only for everybody, so you can subscribe to the Untitled Linux show, home Theater, geeks, ios Today all of the shows that we've been doing in the club only you can subscribe to. Now Go to the website twittv. You'll see the links. But we thought we got okay.

So what's the benefit for club members? We're just video only, so if you want video you have to be in the club, but if you're happy to listen and we're happy to have you listen please. And there's also, we've also put it on YouTube. You know how YouTube does podcasts, with a static image but audio. They want that for some reason, so we put them there too. So all of those shows, including the Untitled Linux show, you can now subscribe and listen to for free. Thank you, Anybody here make money on NFTs? She's laughing. Shashana just laughed, yeah.

02:16:40 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
It's just such an insane question. I love it.

02:16:43 - Leo Laporte (Host)
How many of you show hands have made money on NFTs? Nobody, I'll tell you he's made money on NFTs. The people who make NFTs my friend, kevin Rose, who created, with a bunch of other well-known NFT creators like Beeple, the Proof Collective and released their own NFTs called Moonbirds, which are just you know exactly as they sound drawings of birds. Digital. Only, you buy them, you trade them, you sell them, you have fun with them. You make no money on them. The initial release of Moonbirds, they sold $50 million worth, at which point Kevin had to put out a video saying hey look, I'm not getting rich on this. We're going to invest it. Yeah, we're going to invest it in something I don't know if they ever did. But now Proof has been sold to the board Apes creator, ugo Labs, so Ugo won't say how much money they paid Kevin and company for the Moonbirds rights. I can't imagine there's a lot of money in that, you know. Anyway, I hope Kevin made a packet. Moonbirds hit nearly $500 million in trading volume in April 2022. $500 million Incredible.

You had a question what?

02:18:13 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
is Ugo Labs up to these days.

02:18:14 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Well, that's a good question.

02:18:15 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
I didn't you know their name in a while.

02:18:18 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I'm feeling. You know they. Maybe they gave them a buck, I don't know. Kevin Rose, ceo and founder of Proof, will undergo a brief. Undergo is the right word. Undergo sounds like surgery. That's that colonoscopy. That's what you do. You undergo it, right? Well, undergo a brief handover period before becoming an advisor to the company. Ugo Labs said in its statement. Other proof brands Ugo Labs will assume control of include the very popular Moonbirds spin off collections, oddities, mythics and grails. You remember those? One of my favorite law firms, oddities, mythics and grails Rose said in the statement that proof is quote both excited to bring Moonbirds into the other side and that the two companies combined resources will allow us to innovate faster and reach more people.

02:19:04 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
Innovate and, what I like, going understand, synergy.

02:19:10 - Leo Laporte (Host)
It's just synergy, let's innovate, and synergy, Wow. But you know, good, good for Kevin I. I hope he made a lot of money on that. It's just bizarre. I feel bad for people invested but you know, at the same time I don't feel that bad because what did you think was gonna happen?

02:19:27 - Abrar Al-Heeti (Guest)
You had a choice, yeah you had a choice.

02:19:30 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Good and bad news for Sarah Silverman. She and other authors have been suing open AI because it's AI apparently ingested her book. The court threw out all of her claims, except probably the most important one, alleging that open AI infringed on copyrighted material by training its LLMs on millions of books without permission. They threw out the negligence on Justin Richmond, the MCA violations and accusations of vicarious infringement. What do you ever write papers on? What vicarious infringement is Cause?

02:20:06 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
No, all the time, no, no, I say out of IP. Ip is a whole nother land, but also like crazy land. Who was reading Sarah Silverman's book. Anyway, it's not like this was like some really amazing, brilliant person who, like wait a minute.

02:20:22 - Leo Laporte (Host)
No, I'm going to defend them because bed wetter was a good book. It was funny.

02:20:27 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
Everything she does is so mediocre. It's so mediocre.

02:20:31 - Leo Laporte (Host)
A Sarah Silverman hater.

02:20:32 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
Ladies and gentlemen, don't care for her. I don't, I just don't. I'm like if it was someone respectable I might like be like oh well, there's.

02:20:40 - Leo Laporte (Host)
George RR Martin. He's, I think, was in on this quite a few people. Uh, jody Picot, I don't know. No, she Sarah Silverman is good, though I'm going to defend her. Have you seen, maestro, yet?

02:20:53 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
No, I haven't.

02:20:54 - Leo Laporte (Host)
She's very good as Leonard Bernstein's sister. It's a small role. She didn't get a nomination or anything.

02:21:02 - Abrar Al-Heeti (Guest)
I don't think she's going to watch that. I think you can try but she does not seem sold.

02:21:09 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
I just. I just saw the remake of a nightmare, allian. It was horrible. I hate new movies. Everything made, or almost everything made, after 1955 is crap.

02:21:19 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Did you like the original nightmare? Allie, the one from the fifties, loved it.

02:21:23 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
So good. That one was so good and this remake it's like just full of cliches. So whatever they do in Maestro, it's just going to be lots of cliches. And then now Sarah Silverman like it sounds terrible.

02:21:33 - Leo Laporte (Host)
You know what I did like about the 2021 remake of nightmare Allie was her office was the coolest office. Yeah that was great, I want that office.

02:21:44 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
The problem is new movies just like they. They overdo the the sheetness and the vibe and the setting and they crap on the acting, they crap on the plot, they crap on, like all the individual scenes. I hate it.

02:21:56 - Leo Laporte (Host)
You're. You're an old woman in a young woman's body. That's interesting.

02:22:00 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
I watched TCM while I'm on the. I think I knew it.

02:22:03 - Leo Laporte (Host)
You like them in black and white. You were like Maestro. I want you to watch Maestro and get back to me on this.

02:22:09 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
You're not selling it good.

02:22:12 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Sarah Silverman. But you know what's cool about it. So first of all, it's weird because Bradley Cooper plays Leonard Bernstein Bernstein and he has a big prosthetic nose but they made him look like Leonard Bernstein. But you can kind of see there's Bradley Cooper under there but he looks and he talks like Leonard Bernstein and Kerry Mulligan's in it too, and they age her and I think the. I think it's quite well done. But here's what you will like about it. I think I predict Shoshana.

It starts off widescreen color Leonard Bernstein later in life, but then it goes back in time when he meets his wife and it goes back to a four by three beautiful black and white 1940s style cinematography. So it's like an old movie. And they're also doing the back and forth pattern like a front page. You know how they talk over each other and they back and forth thing. That was big in the 40s, they do that, and then it advances slowly and then it goes to the 60s and it gets more, gets 60s color and then it gets. It's really interestingly shot. I think it's going to be the sleeper hit of the Academy Awards. That's just my prediction. I don't know.

02:23:20 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
I'll give it a shot. I'm also cool with the nose thing, like if it makes him look more like. He looks just like Leonard Bernstein, we know it yeah.

02:23:27 - Leo Laporte (Host)
There there is a point in which he and his wife are being interviewed by Edward R Murrow. You know the old, you old TV show where Murrow would sit in the studio and then they bring in the interviewees via TV. Well, that really happened and I went back and I watched the YouTube. It is a letter, perfect recreation of the actual Edward R Murrow interview. So it's kind of wild. Oh, that's cool, down to the accents and the voices and even the words. So there's, I don't know you should, I'd be just curious. It's free, it's on Netflix. Watch it.

02:24:00 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
Oh yeah, how much is Sarah Silverman? I'm kidding Quite a bit.

02:24:06 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Actually, you might, you might. I'm just saying it because you might revise your opinion of her. She's pretty good in it.

02:24:13 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
She's good at wise crack.

02:24:14 - Leo Laporte (Host)
She's like a wisecrack and broad in it. No, all right, I'm trying, I'm doing my best, we are. We are done for the evening. I want to thank you everybody. What a great show. So great to see you. Amanda Silverling appears on Tech News Weekly from time to time, like once a month, right.

02:24:33 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
Yes. With Micah Sargent, I think it's the second Thursday of every month.

02:24:36 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Well, there you go, and of course you can read her all the time at techcrunchcom. She's their senior culture writer. She has a beautiful melting clock in her brand new, gorgeous apartment.

02:24:48 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)
Thank you, thank you.

02:24:49 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Fantastic. Thank you so much for being here, amanda, I appreciate it.

02:24:52 - Amanda Silberling (Guest)

02:24:53 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Thanks for having me. A bra Alhidi is also a regular. On which which day of the week do you have?

02:24:59 - Abrar Al-Heeti (Guest)
I'm the first Thursday.

02:25:00 - Leo Laporte (Host)
First Thursday Awesome Love having you on. I've been, honestly, I've been singing all both of your praises for a long time. I was really glad when Micah suggested this. We'd like to get you on all our shows. We think you guys both are fantastic. Abra writes for CNET. Does less on camera work, which is good for us because now you can be on our cameras.

02:25:22 - Abrar Al-Heeti (Guest)
Exactly Just for you, just for us, just for us.

02:25:26 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Thank you, so great to have you Abra.

02:25:28 - Abrar Al-Heeti (Guest)
Thank you for having me Always a joy.

02:25:30 - Leo Laporte (Host)
And from our streetorg. She lives in a pineapple under DC with her Shabbos goi SpongeBob. I think he I think he's a goi, I think. Does he push your buttons? Is the question.

02:25:45 - Shoshana Weissmann (Guest)
Yeah, but he also like pushes the remote button, so it's really helpful.

02:25:49 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Shoshana is head of digital media. Our streetorg Senator Shoshana on Twitter. Follow her dating adventures. Thank you. Dating and hiking it's good, it's a great combo. Thank you all for being here, for joining us.

We do Twitter every Sunday right after Ask the Tech Guys. So that's about 2pm Pacific, 5pm Eastern, 2200 UTC. I say that because you can watch it happen live. Whenever our shows go live, we put it on YouTube. Youtubecom slash, Twitter. In fact, if you sit I don't know what is that thing you do you smash the bell, ring the button, do the thing. If you do that, you'll get a notification when we go live and you can watch us live. If you're watching live, you should chat with us live in our club Twitter Discord. Actually, if you're in the club Twitter Discord, you can also watch everything we do live on the stage. That's also a lot of fun. So join the club, join us in the Discord or watch on YouTube After the fact, on demand versions of the show available on our website, Twittertv.

There's a YouTube channel dedicated to the video version of this week in tech, every week, and, of course, the best thing to do is subscribe. Once a podcast, always a podcast. We got an RSS feed and we're not afraid to use it. Just find your favorite podcast client and search for TWIT and subscribe. Thank you so much for being here. I've been saying the same thing since 2005. So what is that? Almost 19 years. I'm going to say it again Thanks for being here. We'll see you next time. Another TWIT is in the can. Bye-bye.


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