This Week in Tech 969 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.

0:00:01 - Leo Laporte
It's time for twint this weekend. Tech we have a great panel for you. Anthony Ha is here. You may remember his byline from tech crunch. I certainly do. He's got his own podcast now. He writes for a lot of publications. Our car guy, sam a bull salmon, is here. We'll talk about you on musk. He's suing open AI saying hey, that's not what you said you'd be doing. We'll also talk a little bit about cars. It seems like apples getting out of the car business where they ever in it and all the music is leaving tick-tock. Where does that leave the musicians? Where does that leave the talkers? All that more coming up next on twint. Podcasts you love from people you trust. This is twint.

This is twint this weekend tech episode 969, recorded Sunday, march 3rd 2024, chasing shadows in the digital abyss. This episode of this weekend tech is brought to you by Express VPN. Going online without Express VPN that's like using your smartphone without a case most of the time, yeah, you'll be fine, but all it takes is one drop to make you wish you'd protected yourself. Why does everyone need a VPN? Well, first of all, unfortunately, it doesn't take much technical knowledge to hack someone, just some cheap hardware and Look your data, your privacy, your information is valuable. Hackers can make like a thousand dollars a person selling personal info on the dark web. So every time you connect to an unencrypted network Whether it's a cafe, a hotel, an airplane your online data is not secure. Now, that's why I say use Express VPN. It's certainly what I use. It's super secure, has an encrypted tunnel between your device and the internet, so no bad guy on the plane, in the hotel, in the cafe, can see anything but just nonsense going by. It's very easy to use. It works on everything you've got iPhone, android, mac OS, windows, linux. It even works on smart TVs and and routers. You just fire up the app, you click one button and then you're protected. You can also use the app to go to travel Shall we say, to other areas where the shows you want to see are still available. Hint, hint. I love Express VPN, I trust it and I encourage you to try it.

Secure your online data today by visiting express VPN comm slash Twit. That's ex pres VPN comm slash twit. You'll get an extra three months free with a one-year package. That's your best deal. Express VPN comm slash twit. It's time for twit this week attack the show. We cover the weeks tech news and we're gonna do it with some really great guys. First time he's been on twit. He's been on twit actually first time on twit with me. He's been on twit before. You remember him with the Vindra? Anthony is highs here. I know Anthony from his byline for years on tech crunch. He's a freelancer now and does the original content podcast, anthony welcome.

0:03:23 - Anthony Ha
Thank you. I'm excited to be on real twit for the first time. This is the big boy twit.

0:03:28 - Leo Laporte
Jeff Jarvis. Jeff Jarvis calls it the grown-up table. Yeah, I'm glad, I'm thrilled to have you on. I love your work and we have lots to talk about. Also with us our car guy, sam a bull, samid. He's a principal research at Godhouse insights, but he's also the host of the wheel bearings podcast at wheel bearings dot media. Hello, sam, how are you? I'm good, sam, great to see you.

0:03:50 - Sam Abuelsamid
I just realized my shirt is semi-translucent right now because, oh, I'm in front of a green screen and, oh, blue green shirt we were.

0:03:58 - Leo Laporte
yeah, I like it, yeah he's like a little ghost boy.

Casper the friendly of us about bull Samid. Good to see you both. Lots to talk about, but I'm very glad you're here, sam, because it was a bit of a shocker this week. Apple can't cancel the product it never announced and as far as a shock to you, anybody knows it was all imaginary. It was just a dream for the last ten years. Projects Titan, widely rumored to be Apple's car project. Mark German, who's very reliable, said that on Tuesday the memo went out that we are canceling the project. We're gonna try to move everybody from project Titan over to our AI efforts, but the Apple car is Unofficially dead because it never lived. You said you're not surprised.

0:04:53 - Sam Abuelsamid
No, and when first reports of project Titan first came out in early 2015, I I had written, I wrote a series of articles on my personal blog back then and basically Indicating my skepticism that Apple would ever follow through and actually build a car. Having spent the last 30 plus years in the auto industry, I, you know, it never seemed Probable that they would actually do this. Because, you know, apple, as we know, is a company that Generally only likes to go into market segments where they can make really large profit margins, like 35 plus percent profit margins, and Pretty much nobody in the auto industry comes even close to that kind of profit margin. And so it just it never really made sense that Apple would do this. You know, I figured, you know, they would Play around with it for several years. Try some things I did. You know, at the time, you know, lay out a few scenarios where that could be possible, scenarios for them, because among the other things they had been doing at the time was they had invested a billion dollars in Dede, which is a Chinese ride-hailing company similar to Uber, and left di di Dede. Yes, and they were also, you know, doing a bunch of other things. They had purchased the company Forget the name of it now, but it was the company that developed the original Microsoft connect as an Israeli company, oh yeah, which had some really interesting sensing and perception technology, you know and what you know what. I figured that if it one.

One potential scenario that could work for Apple Would be if they could Do a premium mobility service Rather than selling cars. Because, again, one of the challenges for for Apple is they like to control their entire ecosystem and you know, once you sell a vehicle to consumers, you lose control of that. You can't control, for example, what tires they put on it, what parts they might replace over the life of that vehicle, what other modifications they might make. But if they had done something like a, a subscription Robo taxi service you know, a premium subscription Robo taxi service Then you know they could retain control of those vehicles. They can ensure that nothing gets modified. They don't have to deal with, for example, setting up a dealer network and a service network To maintain these vehicles. I mean, they would have to do that anyway if they're owning these vehicles. But that would be one potential scenario that they might have followed. But doing that would require that they actually have, you know, a working automated driving system, which they also worked on for much of the last decade and Never really seemed to make much headway with, although I think that they're.

You know there were lessons learned from that effort that you know, probably Filtered into other products like, for example, the lidar that they put on iPads and iPhones. I suspect that that, at least in part, came from lessons learned in the end project Titan and in the automated driving effort. Various other things, some of the perception things that you know, where you're trying to detect and classify different objects there's probably filtered into some of the work they've done on the camera side. So there's a lot, of, a lot of things that you know. They've probably benefited from it, from this effort, but ultimately, you know I I am not at all surprised that they abandoned the, the project.

They've had so many twists and turns over the last decade, so many different people leading the program. I know I know a number of people that went to Apple, left Apple after working on it for a number of years, and you know people. And then you know there's people like Doug Field who went from Tesla to Apple to work to lead this project and then went to Ford. He's at Ford now, and there's a lot of other people that I've known that have spent some time at Apple working on this over the last decade, but it just never they never really could figure out a business model that fit with Apple's way of doing business.

0:09:20 - Leo Laporte
It. You know it was certainly felt like a revolving door between Apple and Tesla, and I'm reading Mark Gurman's piece in Bloomberg Titled Apple car was doomed by its lofty ambitions to outdo Tesla. And you get the strong impression that Apple did something with the car that they rarely do, which is look over their shoulders at another company and say, oh you know, we, we should do that and we should beat them at their own game, and and that has not. That doesn't seem like that's gonna end well, especially against Tesla Tesla really just dominant in this market. Gurman says they had two Schools of thought ten years ago, roughly when they started this and I'm gonna you have inside insight to this, sam too. So If you hear me say something that Gurman said that's wrong, let me know.

But Gurman also has really good sources. He says when they started thinking about this ten years ago, they had two choices either build an electric vehicle, basically functionally the same as the Tesla, or be more ambitious and and I'm gonna quote Gurman change the world with a full-blown Self-driving vehicle taking passengers from point A to point B with zero intervention from a driver and make it look like Nothing anyone else had seen before. He says they plan these cars without steering wheels or pedals, that you would drive it using Siri, which anybody who's used Siri for any length of time knows is a nightmare idea, anthony, had you? Have you been following this story also for a decade?

0:11:00 - Anthony Ha
Yeah, absolutely. I mean I I don't have any inside sources, but just reading about it it's been this constant, far-off dream and I think, yeah, it was. It was surprising in the sense that it felt like Apple had been pursuing this for so long. I just thought it would be kind of like, you know, kind of like Xenos paradox, like just continually like the finish line, never actually reaching the finish line, but they just continue putting money into it. But in retrospect it makes sense that at a certain point they said, well, maybe not, like we don't actually want to like do this for 20 years and have nothing to show for it. I mean it sounds like from what Sam was saying not nothing, but no real commercial product to show for it show for it, or the estimated ten billion dollars that they pumped into it.

0:11:48 - Leo Laporte
There were at one point, there were thousands of people Working on this car, sam, didn't they have a facility in Sunnyvale where they were trying to assemble the vehicles?

0:11:59 - Sam Abuelsamid
Yeah, I mean it's. It's hard to say what they were assembling. Yeah, I mean they did have a fleet of Lexus Rx's that they had their.

People have seen those driving around yeah, yeah, and I've seen them driving around as well. But and it may, you know, it may be that you know that that was just a facility that they were using For assembling those vehicles, you know to, to upfit those vehicles with all the sensors and compute that they needed. They may have been building, you know, prototyping some stuff there, you know, I think you know German's second idea, you know, which is what I was talking about Is probably what they ultimately wanted to do, but I think the the reason, probably the reason why they got into this in the first place is, you know, they recognize that at some point they, the market for the products that were already doing, like phones and Tablets and computers, was going to get saturated. And of course, we know that the, the financial markets, want growth and Big stock prices. Big share prices are based on this having a growth narrative for a company.

And if they're, if a company is just stagnant and not really growing, which is what the traditional auto industry is, you know, where they still have huge cash flows and make turn huge profits Not Apple scale profits, but you know, big profits, but they they're not growing and so they have low stock prices and Apple did not want to be in that position, and you know one of the places where Tim Cook probably thought well, here's an area where we could potentially really boost our revenue numbers, at least, if not necessarily Profits in the near term, at least revenues, because even though they wouldn't sell anywhere near the unit volumes of vehicles that they, that they do with phones or tablets, they would, you know the cost of a vehicle, especially the kind of vehicle that Apple would build you know which not would not be, you know, a Ford Focus type of vehicle. It's going to be something more like a lucid air that you know that even if you're selling 50 or 100,000 of those a year, that At 100 to 150 thousand dollars a piece, that's a huge boost to your revenue line. And so I think that's probably what the thinking was. But you know the it just Actually executing on that turned out to be way harder than they anticipated. And I've said on a number of occasions Over the last several years that you know if Apple, you know as this thing dragged on, if Apple really wanted to just get into the car Business, what they should have done was just bought lucid, because lucid is a company very much in the Apple mold in terms of the types of vehicles they build, the design Ethos that they have, you know, very, very advanced technologies and, of course, lucid's head of software is a guy named Mike Bell who was formerly at Apple.

So I think you know that's what they probably should have done if they, if they wanted to continue that down this path. And Apple, you know, could have taken what lucid is already doing and take the expertise that Apple has in supply chain management, for example, and Really addressed some of the big problems that lucid has, which has been as a startup, just dealing with suppliers and getting Components and getting better pricing on components. Apple probably could have fixed that and probably could have turned lucid into a really viable business. But you know they decided they wanted to do it all on their own and and now they didn't, they're not.

0:15:41 - Leo Laporte
Yeah, according to German, who quotes somebody involved in the decision-making, it was as if Apple had tried to skip all the early iPhone models and jump right to the iPhone 10, instead of just putting a flag in the ground with a good enough car with an Apple user interface Slick, johnny, I've designed interior and exterior. By the way, johnny, I very evolved in the early days of this. We hear and an iPhone like buying experience. The company bet everything on the wrong horse Autonomy. How important, anthony, is it for a company like Apple To have the next big thing on the burner? I mean Apple, google's kind of, in the light of a lot of our big tech companies, are kind of in this position right now. We're they're looking for the next thing. Traditionally, that next thing came from somebody in a garage, not from.

0:16:31 - Anthony Ha
And it's right in this case, right yeah and it, yeah, I mean it seems like in general. So there's this, this search for kind of what is the next big form factor, the next wave of computing after the iPhone, and it feels like you know there have been successes in in that in terms of obviously new Apple products, new products from other companies, but nothing that sort of redefined the game in the same way that the iPhone did.

0:16:58 - Leo Laporte
It's kind of hard pressed to have the same impact on on the world that the iPhone had. I mean that. Yeah, I think the main thing is.

0:17:05 - Anthony Ha
You just want to make sure that, if it does happen that that Apple if you're, you know, tim Cook, you want to make sure that Apple has, is, is in the game for whatever the next wave is and hopefully is the one leading the way.

I mean, obviously that's the same reason why they're, you know, invested so much in you know what ultimately became the vision pro and and I've been thinking about that, you know also, in terms of the discussion of like, oh, was there, could they have done something? That was a little bit, you know, a good enough car, and I mean it feels ridiculous to say this at its price Point but the vision pro in some ways seems like a compromise. Good enough product where, you know, I think there are certain things they wanted in terms of the battery, in terms of the transparency of the lenses that probably are not what they started with, but at a certain point they realized, okay, we need to get something out there and this will eventually lead to the thing that we're dreaming about, maybe, and it seemed like they couldn't figure out a path to do that with the car.

0:17:59 - Leo Laporte
It's interesting to pay the car to the vision pro. I mean Apple's a big enough company and has enough money to have separate parallel Tracks. But it does feel like the vision pro beat the Apple car. And one of the problems, according to German and others, that the Apple car had was it was gonna have to be a hundred thousand dollar car, meaning it's already in the super luxury category, and even then that the profit margins would be Non-existent. So it wasn't a traditional Apple. Right now it's profit margins hover around 40%. Of course it didn't happen initially with the iPhone. It takes a while, you know, build up that ability, but still Zero percent is not close to 30%.

And so this would have been a tough, a tough roteho. I don't think Apple's making much money on the vision pro, but it's probably not losing money on it either.

0:18:52 - Sam Abuelsamid
I think you know the interesting thing about Apple when you look at the new products They've launched iPhone, ipad. You know the, the vision pro, the watch. You know each one of these was, strangely enough, both good enough and also leapfrogging the competition.

0:19:10 - Leo Laporte
But the competition existed, which is why the car might have made sense for them, because we could take an existing category and Put the app, sprinkle the Apple magic dust on it and we suddenly, you know, profit.

0:19:24 - Sam Abuelsamid
Except, except that, you know, in those other segments where Apple had entered, none of the competition that was already there was actually really very good.

0:19:35 - Leo Laporte
And so, even though, you know that blackberry is dominant, I guess but yeah, but I mean, yeah, it wasn't.

0:19:41 - Sam Abuelsamid
It wasn't really that great a product. And so, you know, with with the car, you know there's a lot of really, really good products out there from a lot of manufacturers around the world and you know, being good enough would not be enough, and I don't know that there's enough Apple magic that you could sprinkle on that. Unless you, you know, apple would really need to find a way to be not just good enough but in find some fundamental way that leapfrogs the competition, like they did with the iPhone. You know, with with the touchscreen and the, the multi-touch interface, with the, the, the watch, you know, and its form factor, and even though it was limited in battery life, you know some of the things it could do. And even the, the vision pro, you know, for all its flaws and foibles, you know it does, you know it is the. You know, in many ways, you know the best VR headset that's been created, and that they have done that with a car could they have created the best car ever?

Well, I think that's what they were trying to do with the move towards automated driving, right, I? You know, I think just creating another EV would not have been enough, right, it would. It would not be sufficient, to you know, given the level of competition that is in that market, and there's some pretty good people.

0:21:05 - Leo Laporte
I mean Tesla's good, I mean Lucid's good, I love my I5. I just bought a BMW. That's a really, really nice Vehicle. It be hard for Apple. Apple would have to do something special, like not putting a steering wheel or pedals in it To I think that's what they were trying to do.

0:21:22 - Sam Abuelsamid
Yeah, you know. And now you know, over the last couple of years in particular, you know, I think a big part of Apple's strategy would have been to really try to make some inroads into China, you know, which is by far and away the biggest automotive market, and you know, until a few years ago, foreign brands, you know, had dominated the Chinese market. You know there were a lot of Chinese brands but in terms of sales, the majority, a significant majority of sales were Western brands. You know, brands from Europe, from even from North America. But over the last few years that has really shifted B.

0:21:58 - Leo Laporte
Why is dominant?

0:22:00 - Sam Abuelsamid
is B why Chinese domestic brands now have a significant majority of sales in China. They're about 60% of Chinese sales now here. They're going and they're coming, and especially on the EV front, right. So it would have been really hard and and they make they are making some really great EVs for a lot less than a hundred thousand dollars, right, and I think it would have been nearly impossible for Apple to really be competitive in that marketplace.

0:22:26 - Leo Laporte
I think this is the problem Apple has with vision pro 2, which is it takes a while To get to this point and you're shooting at a moving target and you can. You could try to skate to where the puck is going, but it's hard to know. I think they they developed the vision pro. They started developing it eight years ago when it looked like VR was gonna be the next big thing. The problem with the cars is autonomy didn't happen, so they didn't really have anything. They were skating to a place. The puck never went. I think they may have the same problem with vision pro. To be honest, I think this was something that people were excited about five years ago but are much less excited about now. So has Apple lost its its mojo, anthony, or is it too early to say?

0:23:12 - Anthony Ha
I think it's probably too early to say it feels like again, if I feel like, if Apple doesn't have its mojo, I'd be hard-pressed to think of a company that I could point to and say, oh, this is sort of setting the agenda, that's, that's, you know, at the cutting edge In a way that and in a consistent way that Apple is not. Because, again, it feels like we are in this in-between period where there's plenty of interesting new products but nothing. That's sort of setting the agenda in in that way, and so you get company kind of flailing around a bit.

0:23:44 - Leo Laporte
Well, you could. What if the agenda is now AI and the company setting the agenda, or open AI, microsoft, nvidia? What if Apple said well, we think the next big thing in 2024 is gonna be Self-driving vehicles, in 2025 is gonna be VR, and they just they missed and it turned out to be AI.

0:24:07 - Anthony Ha
Well, it's interesting. I mean, those things are not completely separate, right?

0:24:09 - Leo Laporte
No, I disagree yeah.

0:24:11 - Anthony Ha
AI yeah you know, is turns out to be the next big thing, then actually, maybe Autonomy. If autonomy has sort of stalled right now, that mean five years from now we might say, oh, actually, maybe they should have kept the project going because there were leaps forward and suddenly Self-driving seems like a good bet again. It's it's hard to say. I.

0:24:30 - Sam Abuelsamid
I agree. I think that, given the need, or at least the perceived need, to make a big push into the AI front, another reason for killing the car project at this point is there were a lot of software engineers working on this. Modern vehicles are all software defined and a lot of that software definition is around AI related capabilities, particularly the automation, but even other elements within the vehicle, and so there's probably a lot of skill sets that were tied up in Project Titan that they can utilize better in the near term for generative AI efforts throughout the rest of the company.

0:25:17 - Leo Laporte
Yeah, it may be that in fact, that's what they did, right, they took those engineers. I'm suppose there's some metal benders in there that won't have a job at Apple. I mean AI doesn't really need it?

0:25:28 - Sam Abuelsamid
Yeah, but they'll find they've got Apple on their resume. They will find other places to work. There's plenty of car companies that would love to. There's not too much difficulty.

0:25:35 - Leo Laporte
Yeah, would love to see what Apple was doing and say what could we use, what could we apply to our current projects? Fisker is looking for a white knight at this point, right.

0:25:47 - Sam Abuelsamid
Well, actually it's been reported. It was reported on Thursday. They did their Q4 earnings and issued a going concern warning in their earnings report. The next day, a report came out from Reuters that they're in talks with Nissan. Nissan potentially investing $400 million to help with development of Fisker's next batch of products, including the Alaska pickup truck, and part of that is Nissan wants to be able to build a Nissan branded version of that truck. They would love to get a mid-sized electric pickup truck into the marketplace. Yeah.

0:26:28 - Leo Laporte
It's hard. I mean, look, I don't. I don't think Apple screwed up in any way. It's very hard to predict the future and in projects like this, where it takes years to develop, it's easy to miss the boat. It's clear the car missed the boat. I kind of, in my heart, think Vision Pro might have missed the boat as well, that it was not the product that we need right now. It's too expensive, it's too complicated to build and, most importantly, I think the mass audience doesn't really want to wear a computer on their face. I don't. Same, same, okay.

0:27:06 - Anthony Ha
It feels like a lot of things where we saw them in science fiction and it seemed cool then, but when you actually think about it in your own life it is not quite as compelling yeah.

0:27:18 - Leo Laporte
You probably not the best idea to use sci-fi as your you know your idea of product planning. Yeah, your product planning division. Although Elon's done all right with it, Some companies have done okay with it.

0:27:33 - Anthony Ha
Right Arguably. That's what the iPad is too. Is, you know, like those tablets from Star Trek Sure?

0:27:38 - Leo Laporte
And Lenovo's clear career screen laptop from Marble Word Congress this week. That's that's nobody wants that. It's straight out of the expanse, Right and it looks cool. It does. It does, isn't it in the expanse where they had the clear phones as well?

0:27:56 - Sam Abuelsamid
They're holding those clear phones, yeah, the clear handsets. Yeah. They were like phone slash tablet handsets and, yeah, it was a transparent screen and just had like a little bar at the bottom where, presumably, whatever the power source was and the compute you know was was embedded in that.

0:28:14 - Leo Laporte
Mashed potato on our discord saying I would throw folding phones into that pile of sci-fi inspired products that nobody really wants the difference.

I see a surprising number of Galaxy Z Folds and I uh around a couple of them and various people, but I think that a lot of people were buying those, are buying them because of sci-fi also, right? Uh, I think that what we're seeing is a little different here. In the early days of technology, these are small companies that failed fast. You know. They had limited funds. They tried something and a few companies made something that that moved them to the next level, but a lot of companies went away. Now you're seeing companies that have virtually unlimited funds. Uh, try this stuff and in some cases, as with the vision pro, try it in public. In some cases, as with the card, not so public, but still. I mean, you know who else could have said we're going to build a level five autonomous car by the year 2026.

0:29:14 - Sam Abuelsamid
Maybe, you know, I I don't know, I have well, elon's been saying that it would be next year for the last year.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, but you know, I, I, actually I'm, I'm actually glad that you know companies that have resources are spending at least some decent amount of those resources on advanced R and D. Um, you know, we need, we need more of that. You know, just just doing basic research, uh, we need, we need more of that. You know that's how breakthroughs happen, you know, and ideally, you know the government would also be spending more on basic research. You know, and then making that, the results of that research available to everyone, to to then commercialize it and industrialize it, uh, but you know, in the absence of that, you know at least having companies that are willing to to invest, you know, in understanding what, what, what they can make work, what doesn't work, you know, and you know, in the case of Apple, okay, yeah, they spent $10 billion on this, but they can afford that. They have a mountain of cash the size of Mount Everest, you know. So that's, that's one month's profit for it.

0:30:19 - Leo Laporte
It's, it's nothing.

0:30:21 - Anthony Ha
Right. It feels like a paradox that I would imagine that if you're, you know, a publicly traded tech company. On the one hand, I imagine that investors are not happy they found out that you put $10 billion into this and didn't have, you know, a commercial product to show for it, but they also wouldn't want you to not invest in these kinds of big moonshot things, because then you're definitely going to be obsolete 10 years from now.

0:30:43 - Leo Laporte
Yeah, Um, this, I was just going to show you this, this I I've just ordered these, and never. This is the other end of the vision pro spectrum.

0:30:55 - Sam Abuelsamid
This is this is where I would actually like to have a transparent screen.

0:30:58 - Leo Laporte
This is what I want, right. Yeah, this is a head's up laptop a heads up display on your spectacles admittedly geeky, but not not as geeky as walking around with a vision pro. Uh, it's got AI in it. Now, I'm sure this will be kind of a early day version 0.1 product, but they're only a few hundred bucks. I think this is closer to what people want with with AR. This is from brilliantxyz. Um, they're going to come mid April. I'll wear them on a show and you can you can all mock me.

0:31:30 - Anthony Ha
Uh, I assume Apple would say that this is closer to what they wanted to. Yeah, but why didn't they do?

this why did they go? I don't know. I'm not a hardware expert, but the sense I get is that's what I meant by the vision pro being a compromise was essentially that they wanted to be able to show this cool stuff on your screen, but the lens technology isn't there to do what they want to do, so they had to, like, have this, you know complicated camera setup where it looks like it's transparent, but actually there's all these cameras and you know, like, yeah, a compromise, a very expensive and complicated compromise that apparently is also cool, but maybe is not what anyone wants.

0:32:05 - Leo Laporte
So I ordered these. They have, uh, I like how they charge. They have, um, so there's no, there's no battery hanging off of you. They charge up. I don't know what the battery life could possibly be. They do, uh, you I got. I ordered lenses, so their prescription lenses in here. I mean, look, I know these are going to be silly, but but I just feel like this Apple should have done something closer to this than the Vision pro. This is where you get in trouble when you have, when you're a $3 trillion company with hundreds of billions of dollars in cash just sitting around you, maybe overdo it. You try to build a level five autonomy car without pedals or a steering wheel, or you try to build a computer on your face Like, uh, William Gibson wrote about neuromancer, and maybe you go too far. Maybe a little company like brilliant labs doesn't have any I'm sure they must have VC funding, but they certainly don't have Apple money Um, if they can do this, Apple could have done this 10 times better, Right.

0:33:11 - Anthony Ha
I just puzzled. Maybe the theory is that at Apple is that you know, if somebody really breaks through with that, they could try to buy brilliant in a couple of years.

0:33:18 - WOT Promo
And maybe that's brilliant. I don't think they had a great actually.

0:33:21 - Anthony Ha
Yeah, they don't seem to have had like a great track record in terms of taking startup products and really kind of getting them to the next level. I mean, you mentioned Siri before and obviously that's kind of stagnated Right.

0:33:31 - Leo Laporte
Brilliant is in Hong Kong. They have fewer than 10 employees. I'm looking at crunch based just to see what their total funding. Oh, I don't have an account, maybe I can get you, anthony.

0:33:42 - Anthony Ha
He probably still have a crunch based account.

0:33:45 - Leo Laporte
Uh, they raised $3 million seed fund. That's it from. Um, oh no. And then another 3 million a few months later. This was in 2023. So, um, from Coho deep tech Wayfarer foundation and then Adam Chire and three other small, this looks like angel fund investing. Basically, uh, looks like a. Their first seed round was a in 2020, 50,000. So, um, yeah, this is a. This is the garage I talked about and it's. It would be embarrassing if the garage came up with something and Apple with all its trillions didn't you know, the well the you know.

0:34:24 - Sam Abuelsamid
The thing is, what Apple wanted was not a heads up display. They wanted, you know, but that's what they should have wanted yeah. My point. I mean that that may be what you know what?

0:34:35 - Leo Laporte
what we think we want.

0:34:37 - Sam Abuelsamid
Yeah, but you know Apple looks at things differently. They think they're you know what they traditionally do is look at. You know they're that's that you know looking where the puck is going. Right, you know what. What you know this is. You know consumers don't know what they want until they've actually seen it.

0:34:55 - Leo Laporte
Uh and yes isn't that what Thomas Edison said, as if uh, maybe not Thomas said Henry Ford, it, maybe it's a pocketful that he said. If I asked people what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse right, right, and, and, and you know it's the same sort of thing here.

0:35:10 - Sam Abuelsamid
You know, I think you know, apple figured that a heads up display especially after you know the failure of Google Glass you know, they probably figured a heads up display is not not going to be more than a curiosity, right? Um, even if it's a really good one, and so they wanted to create, you know, a real augmented reality capability. And you know, as, as you know, jason and Alex and everybody have sat on on Mac break. Basically, it's just that's technology that just does not exist in a viable form today and probably won't for a decade or more.

0:35:49 - Leo Laporte
Yeah, Well, it's a it's fun for us to cover Um I. I don't have any shot in Freud that they killed the car project. I'm disappointed. I would have been interested to see what they came up with. Um. I have a lot of Apple products. I probably would have bought an Apple car I can. I can see.

0:36:09 - Sam Abuelsamid
I'll. I'll be curious to read the oral history of the project. Yeah, um you know.

0:36:14 - Leo Laporte
It shows you, though, that you can have unlimited funds, unlimited access to the best minds, right? You would agree, sam, that I mean they, they could have anybody they wanted, yeah, uh, and still not do a product, is it? See, this is the thing that worries me. In a more global war of fashion, is it a kind of a realization that, oh, we're not, we can't do level five autonomy?

0:36:39 - Sam Abuelsamid
and and that's been a that's been a realization for a long time. You know, except for the hype, you know, from Musk and his fans, everybody else that's involved, that's been involved in this, has recognized a long time ago that level five is probably never going to happen, never.

0:36:58 - Leo Laporte
Never, uh, yeah, never. I will never be able to get into. Well, I can get into a Waymo now in San Francisco.

0:37:04 - Sam Abuelsamid
I'll take me to the difference between, the only difference between level four and level five. Level four is what we have today with Waymo Okay and love, you know and that means a vehicle that can drive itself fully automated, without any human intervention, but within a limited operating domain.

0:37:21 - Leo Laporte
And incidentally, we believe, certainly with Cruz and I bet with Waymo, there is human intervention fairly frequently. Right that the drivers at the home office take over and get around the pothole.

0:37:32 - Sam Abuelsamid
Right. So, um, you know, level five just means that there is no limit on that operating domain, that it can do it on any road and any can any weather conditions, you know, any time, basically anywhere where a human can drive, it can do it. So that's the only difference between four and five. You know, I think Apple, you know, probably, you know, with enough effort, probably could have done a level four system. You know level four systems exist, um, but, um, you know, I think maybe they decided that that wasn't good enough, uh, or they weren't, you know, and there's been a lot of companies that are trying to do even level four, and even that is an extraordinarily difficult problem and many companies have tried and failed to get something that is good enough.

0:38:17 - Leo Laporte
The reason I bring this up is it you're um. One of the questions that is constantly coming up on all of our shows in the last year is are we in an actual AI revolution or are we headed toward another AI winter where we think this thing is going to become amazing and, in fact, oh, it can't really do that? And I feel like the car example is kind of an example of that. Oh, we had high hopes but we can't do it, because it turns out the the uh, the hard things are easy, the easy things are hard.

0:38:51 - Sam Abuelsamid
It's the last percent, the things that are easy for humans are hard for a hard for.

0:38:57 - Leo Laporte
AI and and I'm wondering maybe it's a mistake to extrapolate, but I, I, I'm wondering does it mean that, in many cases, our ambitions are going to be thwarted and we're going to be disappointed? Is this the first AI project to fail in what will be a domino of others? Anthony, am I, am I over projecting here?

0:39:20 - Anthony Ha
I definitely had a very similar thought, um and and again, with a caveat that you know I'm just a layman journalist reading about these things, but in terms of a parallel, it definitely seemed like a powerful one to me, that you know. It also made me think of how, again we were talking about kind of letting sci-fi, do your kind of product ideation, and it feels a little bit like with autonomy, that if you set the dream as, oh, we should just be able to get in a car and then you know there's no steering wheel and we don't do anything, then sure, then it's a failure. But actually, wow, if we've, like, introduced all these features not all of them great, not, you know, some of them very problematic and dangerous but overall we've introduced all these features in the last decade or so that have made driving really different and easier and better and safer in some ways. So even if we never get to this you know glorious utopia of full, you know level five self-driving that's still like an incredible advance in technology and I sort of feel like the same in AI. That, partly because for a variety of reasons, but maybe partly because it's a bunch of like technical people who it seems like their dream is like well, what if we just automate everything? What if, you know, 10 years from now, twitter is just three AI talking heads like chatting with each other?

When I don't actually think that's what's promising or exciting about the technology, I think it's again doing the things that are hard for humans, and humans get to continue doing the things that we're good at, and I think the balance will probably look very different from the way it looks today. But I think there was an incredible amount of hot air in the in AI right now, but also that there will be valuable technologies that come out of it at the same time. I think there was. Yeah, I think a lot of these keys are going to be in trouble, a lot of startups are going to go away, but you know it's not going to be like crypto, where it feels like, you know, the whole thing just kind of vanished into thin air.

0:41:13 - Leo Laporte
I think you're right, I agree yeah.

0:41:16 - Sam Abuelsamid
I don't. I don't think we're going to get to AGI anytime in the foreseeable future, but you know, as you've learned, leo, there's, you know there's a lot of really useful applications or this technology with within a more limited scope, a more limited domain. You know, instead of having a trying to create a system that can do everything you know, take these concepts and apply it to very specific tasks, like what you've done with your Lisp GPT. You know, or you know you know feeding, you're feeding it a more limited corpus of data to do very specific things, because you know one of the things within that is you can. You know you're much less likely to have it go off into the weeds and do something unexpected because these are probabilistic systems. That is the key thing about all the various flavors of AI is they're probabilistic and we don't really, unlike a classical deterministic algorithm, we don't really know for sure what they're going to do in any given scenario. But if you constrain the scenarios that it can operate within, it can actually do really amazing things, and you know that's.

I think that's the thing that we're starting to see with the automated driving. Stuff is yes, you know people people long ago, realized that level five is most likely a fantasy. Level four is really hard, but there's a lot that we've learned over the last decade of developing these systems that is already filtering down into more advanced driver assist and active safety systems. So we're getting things like LiDAR and things you know, like imaging radar sensors, better sensors, better compute that is getting into other vehicles, into into vehicles that are coming to market now. That will make them safer and help augment what human drivers can do and, you know, to be able to increase driver situational awareness, you know, help them out in various scenarios that are more focused, rather than trying to do the entire task of driving, which, you know, despite the challenges that we have as humans, doing that we're actually extraordinarily good at, despite the fact that, yes, 40,000 people a year die in the United States on the roads.

0:43:44 - Leo Laporte
That number is going to go down, though, thanks to these ADAS systems, I believe most new cars are going to do?

I think it will. Yeah, they're going to make a big difference. This is such an important moral, then, from this to take away from this Apple car thing is to temper your expectations. That, yeah, I would. I personally would love an AGI to talk to, that you know, an AI that was like another human being but that sci-fi. Temper your expectations and be happy, be amazed, in fact, by the way, how far we've come with and we actually move forward. We've made huge progress.

0:44:21 - Sam Abuelsamid
Yeah, we have. We have moved the move, the goalpost forward move, you know, and we have made progress, and we've made some things better, even though we haven't necessarily achieved what we wanted to at the beginning of this, we've made progress.

0:44:39 - Leo Laporte
You agree, Anthony. I think we're all in agreement.

0:44:42 - Anthony Ha
I absolutely agree. I mean, I don't think it's always like completely in a straight line and there's some things that get better, some things get worse, but overall, overall, I feel like, yeah, the temper, your expectations, and I think also like that can it's not just about not being disappointed, but then maybe aiming for a more realistic goal. Like again you're talking and again I don't know, maybe this would have ended in the same way regardless. But in the Apple situation, like if they aimed for a more realistic goal, maybe we would be talking about a real Apple car right now.

0:45:16 - Leo Laporte
Yeah, On the other hand, maybe not. Maybe maybe it takes these kinds of insane ambitions to get us to the somewhat lesser place, but that's still pretty damn good. Maybe it does take that, I don't know. You know we're going to talk about AI when we come back. Let's take a little break.

0:45:34 - Sam Abuelsamid
There's lots of as the old saying goes, your reach should always exceed your grasp yeah.

0:45:41 - Leo Laporte
But then be happy with what you do. Grasp you may not get all the cookies in the cookie jar, but you got one. Yeah, don't cry, you got one. Anthony Ha is here. His podcast is this is my favorite subject. If they would let me, I would do a podcast about this original content. It's about what Original content?

0:46:05 - Anthony Ha
That's right, the latest and greatest on or not greatest on, netflix, disney plus, etc. I mean, leo, you're the boss, you should do a podcast.

0:46:13 - Leo Laporte
I should be able to do yeah, yeah, but see, I'm I'm hesitant to do a podcast that nobody will, you know, subscribe to. So your original content, podcast at original content, as podcastcom does it. So I'm going to let you do it with your, your, your pals from a tech crunch, Jordan crook and Darryl Etherington. There's still a tech crunch, but that's okay. No, no, we're, we're all. Are you all separated now from the? I'm going to ask you about that too, because, of course, in gadget, you've done some work for them too. It was, yeah, absolutely Crumbling in front of us, in front of our very eyes. No, I think this is a great idea, Are we? Here's the question, though are we still at peak TV, or is it? Is it not quite so peak?

0:46:59 - Anthony Ha
Oh, I think we're definitely coming off the peak right now. I think there was, you know basically when, when Wall Street stopped believing in sort of like just setting money on fire for subscriber growth for streaming. I think then you'd be started to come down, and which is disappointing.

0:47:15 - Leo Laporte
Oh, don't tell me it's money, it's just money. Is that all? Is it just money? I'm sad. I think the yeah, it's too.

0:47:22 - Anthony Ha
I mean because, obviously, when you, when you're in a period where things are the, you know there's some belt tightening, then there's less experimentation, less new voices, but also probably more of a focus on a sustainable business model, rather than, oh you know, we'll just we'll get a billion subscribers and it'll all work out.

0:47:39 - Leo Laporte
So no more successions. Huh, that's it, it's over.

0:47:44 - Sam Abuelsamid
There's still a lot of great content being created and it's not, you know, yeah, not as much volume as we had two, three years ago. There's still a lot of great shows.

0:47:53 - Leo Laporte
But wait a minute because I think Anthony was going to say something bad about succession.

0:47:58 - Anthony Ha
Oh no, no, I was going to say, good, I love succession and I think you know that is. I think the successions will continue. I think we're not going to see is is the show that they spend a hundred million dollars on just because it like sounds like a good idea? I think that the the the sort of like you know, let's just take a flyer on it, here's a check for a hundred million dollars. I think that that seems less like you know who did a lot of that.

0:48:19 - Sam Abuelsamid
You're saying no more gray man. Yeah, exactly.

0:48:23 - Anthony Ha
I mean, the guy who green like gray man is is gone from Netflix, right? So yeah, that's exactly why it's so funny.

0:48:29 - Leo Laporte
I say I guess that's it for Netflix spending a hundred million on a stupid movie like gray man. Okay, good to know. You know. I finally saw I, we at least, and I make it a a kind of a yearly ritual to watch all the nominated movies for best picture for in the Academy Awards and we finally got the last one last night was, which was poor things. All I can say is what a great, wow, what a great movie. Now I know Oppenheimer is going to win all the Oscars, but it's nice to see somebody take a really big chance, do something very different and weird and and I think, succeed. So I think there are creators out there who are still going to go ahead and and and do those kinds of things. Have you seen poor things yet?

0:49:17 - Anthony Ha
Yeah, I loved it. Did you love it? I did, although I I I liked. I seen two other movies by that director the favorite.

0:49:25 - Leo Laporte
The favorite was yeah and the lobster I love the lobster, he's great and he and every one of them they're weird and they're a little magical and just off the wall and I think, boy, what he did with it with obviously a big budget, because they built all of that stuff was real. Those are real sets. It was pretty amazing and he shot a lot of it on four millimeter, on a four millimeter lens. He got a Hollywood and say you know, I got this vision for a movie. It's gonna start out in black and white, it's gonna end in color and then a lot of it's going to be shot in four millimeter lenses.

0:49:59 - Anthony Ha
I could probably have used a tiny bit less of that lens. It was interesting though, wasn't it? Oh well, and the music? It didn't look like any other movie. No for sure.

0:50:09 - Leo Laporte
Yeah. So there are still oturs out there willing to take a great big chance, but you're not going to see the Netflix's throw $100 million at at something just nutty, Although Apple might.

0:50:21 - Sam Abuelsamid
Apple might. This is true. Apple Apple TV plus is spending a lot of money, yeah.

0:50:26 - Leo Laporte
All right, and Sam of all salmon is here. If you love cars, you will love Sam's wheel bearings podcast, wheel bearingsmedia. You have, of course, the best co-hosts in the world. In fact, if I could just get Robbie back on this show, have we booked? Have we booked Robbie for a show? Roberto Baldwin, I've been trying, he's been trying, benita has been trying. Nicole Wakeland Love your podcasts. If you love cars, wheel bearings dot media. What are you driving this week?

0:50:58 - Sam Abuelsamid
I have the Genesis Electrified G80, which is a lovely four door luxury sedan that is fully battery, electric. It's very quick, looks great, has a beautiful interior, and now I can even charge it at my local Tesla Supercharger station using a magic dock. Oh next.

0:51:18 - Leo Laporte
Next is everywhere now. Yeah, it's coming. I bought the last car that still uses CCS. I guess, I don't know, there's still.

0:51:25 - Sam Abuelsamid
there's still. There's still lots of them out there, but Ford on Thursday announced that they they pushed a software update for the, the Maki and the lightning so they can. They and Tesla put out an update to their Superchargers so you can charge those using plug-in charge now at a Supercharger and you can also order your free NAX to CCS adapter from Ford. Or if you've got a Ford EV, you can order that and they'll start shipping those out in a few weeks.

0:51:57 - Leo Laporte
I loved my Mustang. I really did that. Maki was a great car. Lease ran out, traded in for another lease on a BMW i5. And shortly after I got it it was voted by the Korean safety commission the safest car in the world. And you know why? Cause all the ADAS stuff. It's amazing.

0:52:18 - Sam Abuelsamid
The i5 is a fantastic car.

0:52:19 - Leo Laporte
It shows you a stop sign before you get to it. It shows you a stoplight on the heads up display. So it's, it's. It's great. They said it's almost impossible to get into an accident, and I've tried, but Don't try too hard, I'm not no, I think it would.

Yeah, it probably let me if I really, if I really want to. Our show today brought to you by. Thank you, it's great to have you both, anthony and Sam. Our show today brought to you by Rocket Money. Oh, this happened to me again yesterday. Rocket Money said hey, you know you're paying this $300 every year for WordPress. You still use that. And I went no, I got my money back Thanks to Rocket Money.

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Rocket Money is a personal finance app that finds and cancels yes, cancels your unwanted subscription. Yeah, yeah, monitors your spending. It does a great job of that. Helps lower your bills so you can grow your savings. All of that's great, but I love the canceling the subscription part. I could see all my subscriptions in one place. If I see something I don't want, rocket Money can help me cancel with just a few taps. They deal with the customer service, so you don't have to. Rocket Money has more than 5 million users. They have saved a total of $500 million half a billion dollars and canceled subscriptions, saving members up to $740 a year when using all the apps features. I would say that's low. For me it's more than that. Stop wasting money on things you don't use. Cancel your unwanted subscriptions. Go to rocketmoneycom slash twit. Rocketmoneycom slash twit. It really works. Rocketmoneycom slash twit Got that $300 back. Thank you, rocket Money. On, we go with the show.

0:54:38 - Sam Abuelsamid
Before we go on, just one other plug for a show that we started watching that's really good is Show Gun on.

0:54:45 - Leo Laporte
FX. Oh, okay.

0:54:46 - Sam Abuelsamid
Now I'm in meaning to ask, okay, so this is going to be on Hulu as well.

0:54:51 - Leo Laporte
Love the book the Richard the James Clavel book. Reddit cover to cover. It's about 800 pages. It's huge. Rewrite it in Japan. When I was in Japan a few years ago, I remember the mini series. It was good. I thought it was very good.

0:55:07 - Sam Abuelsamid
It was good. It was great, it was great, we actually rewatched a little bit of it the other day.

0:55:13 - Leo Laporte
Those things don't age well, do they?

0:55:15 - Sam Abuelsamid
No, no, but the new one looks. It's beautiful.

0:55:17 - Leo Laporte
It's really well. So I've been seeing the ads for it and I'm trying not to get Richard Chamberlain was in it to Shira Mifune, the famous samurai in the original one, and I'm trying not to get too excited. So I'm really glad to hear you say it's good.

0:55:33 - Sam Abuelsamid
We've watched the first two episodes. It's excellent. It's a great story and if you like stuff like that, I also highly recommend Blue Eye Samurai on Netflix, which is animated, and the animation is gorgeous and the story is really good.

0:55:53 - Leo Laporte
Now you're getting me excited. It just came out and I didn't want to be disappointed. You know how that is. They made it. I love the novel. I love the novel. All right, it's all about a what's it? 1850?

0:56:07 - Sam Abuelsamid
Something like that 1600. Oh 1600.

0:56:08 - Leo Laporte
It's back in the Shogunate in the samurai era. Shailing captain British sailing captain gets captured, washed ashore in Japan and it goes through some trials and tribulations and rises. Well, I won't tell you what happens, but it's a good, it's a great read. Oh, I'm so excited, can't wait. In fact, I think we will save to the end of the show. We'll get more, some more original content recommendations, since we got Anthony here. Okay, sounds good. We all love to watch TV, right. All right, let's talk about AI a little bit. Elon Musk is suing.

Remember he founded open AI with Sam Altman back, I think, in 2015,. He gave them some millions of dollars. The idea at the time I remember it was a big deal was we can't let these big tech giants own artificial intelligence. We need to have an open process. People can see what we're doing, can participate in what we're doing, to develop AI for the people, not for the enrichment of Google. I think they were mostly worried about Google and others.

Elon and Sam Altman had a falling out in, I think, 2020.

Sam, one of the things I and I'm reading into this, but, based on what I've read, one of the things I think happened was Sam said Elon, this is costing a lot of money to generate this stuff. You haven't given us that much money. We need somehow to fund this because it's very expensive to build these large language models. They kind of bifurcated the company into a nonprofit, just like the original open AI, and a for-profit arm got billions of dollars from Microsoft, probably much of it in four-kind Azure minutes, because they were using Azure to do the training and really basically Microsoft has over the years it's become a division of Microsoft. That's Elon's contention. He filed a lawsuit Thursday night saying that open AI's recent relationship with Microsoft has compromised the company's original dedication to public, open source artificial general intelligence. In the suit he says, quote open AI has been transformed into a closed source de facto subsidiary of the largest technology company in the world second largest, elon Microsoft. Under its new board, maybe Microsoft's back on top, I don't know.

0:58:42 - Sam Abuelsamid
It's a back and forth. It depends on the day. If you're focusing too much on facts, we're talking about Elon. That's not what lawsuits are for.

0:58:50 - Leo Laporte
Under its new board. Remember. The board suddenly got scared and fired Sam Altman, to which everybody went what are you doing? And Microsoft, satya Nadella, was furious, called the board up, said get him back. They got him back. He's got a new board Under the new board, says Elon in the suit. It's Elon's lawyers. I guess it's not just developing but actually refining. Get this an AGI to maximize profits for Microsoft rather than for the benefit of humanity. Now this, first of all, the lawsuit's nuts. You can write there's not a whole great. Let's start with that. Let's start right from that premise, because you can't, as somebody said, you can't litigate a handshake deal or you know high flutin' statements about what the company is all about. You're just not gonna. You're not gonna win. He's claiming breach of contract.

0:59:49 - Sam Abuelsamid
Well, didn't they have a charter that they, or something like that that they set up when they created OpenAI?

0:59:54 - Leo Laporte
Yeah, but then he departed. Yeah, I mean I don't know how I guess the court will decide. How binding is this founding agreement when the company has changed so much since it was founded? I mean, elon could maybe say can you give me my money back? I think it was $10 million. It wasn't a lot of money. Maybe that's all he wants. I don't think so.

1:00:16 - Sam Abuelsamid
Well, I think he got that money back.

1:00:18 - Leo Laporte
anyway, yeah, probably right, he's really Elon's afraid. This is what Elon's, I think, underlying concern is that artificial. What is an AGI? First of all, sam, explain AGI. What is that?

1:00:31 - Sam Abuelsamid
That artificial general intelligence. So, unlike what we were talking about a few minutes ago, the idea of taking these kinds of models, these probabilistic algorithms, and applying them to very specific tasks an AGI would be able to do. You could literally ask it to do anything and it could. It could, it should be able to do anything that a human can do.

1:00:59 - Leo Laporte
So his concern and he was, by the way, a signatory, probably the guy who started it to that letter saying stop, don't do any more AI, it's getting too smart. We got to pause for six months and figure this out. He is a big believer in AGI, in smart intelligent machines like better than human intelligent machines. He's scared of the Terminator. Let's be honest, that's what he's worried about. So, first of all that's the premise of this is that their in fact, according to the New York Times, his lawsuit leans heavily on a paper from Microsoft, claiming that they're that they actually have, you know, a little bit of sparks of AGI. Microsoft Research Lab said, although it doesn't understand how, gpt-4, the latest version of chat GPT, had shown quote sparks of artificial general intelligence.

1:01:59 - Sam Abuelsamid
And so, Elon I don't, I don't know that, just you know, spitting out random things, random statements, qualifies as sparks of AGI, or even sparks of intelligence of any kind.

1:02:12 - Leo Laporte
This reminds me of Blake Lemoine, the Google engineer, who was fired because he said it's, it's, it's conscious. Well, we may want to believe that, and I would be. I, for one, would be thrilled.

1:02:25 - Sam Abuelsamid
I would love to see you. Well, you are.

1:02:27 - Leo Laporte
you are an accelerationist now, so I am now you obviously listen to a twig, or this week in Google show, where I talk about this a lot. I, I, you know what We've had our time on Planet Earth. You think I'm joking, Anthony, don't you? But we humans have done nothing but screw it up.

1:02:46 - Sam Abuelsamid
And well, I don't think, I don't think we need AI to put an end to that. I mean, we are, we are very close to doing that ourselves, exactly To driving ourselves into extinction.

1:02:57 - Anthony Ha
Exactly. Maybe AI will preserve our works once we've destroyed ourselves.

1:03:01 - Leo Laporte
Exactly. My thought is like well, our time is pretty much over, let's let the machines take over. And yeah, I've seen all the movies, but could they do any worse, could they? Anyway, maybe, yeah, probably Maybe.

1:03:18 - Sam Abuelsamid

1:03:18 - Anthony Ha
I'm not giving for two right Right.

1:03:20 - WOT Promo
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1:03:24 - Leo Laporte
So, you know, maybe the machines can survive in a, in a climate that's two degrees centigrade hotter than it's supposed to be. I don't know, I don't know. Anyway, the sparks of AI pay AGI paper, you know, this Microsoft claim shows up a lot. Here's an example of a spark. You know, I don't. You know, okay, draw a unicorn in TIKZ, which I guess is a graphic language, and chat GPT for generated this code. See what I'm saying Spark. There's a picture. I don't, I don't know why they think that sparks, but anyway, this is, I think, a disease that spreads eventually among artificial intelligence. Researchers like Blake Lemoine or the guy who wrote the, sebastian Bubeck, that you work with these enough you start to think, you start to hallucinate that they're thinking and they're, you're talking to somebody as they chatted with the system. The Times writes they were amazed. It wrote a complicated mathematical proof in the form of a poem, generated computer code that could draw unicorn. That was the picture I showed you Exactly unicorn, but anyway, explain the best way to stack a random and eclectic collection of household items.

Dr Bubeck and his fellow researchers began to wonder if they were witnessing a new form of intelligence. Peter Lee, microsoft's head of research. Head of research said I started off being very skeptical and that evolved into a sense of frustration, annoyance, maybe even fear. You think where the heck is this coming from? Anyway, this this is the evidence that Elon is using to sue open AI because they said because they're using chat GPT here, microsoft this is all chat GPT for they say it must says open AI breached its contract because it had agreed not to commercialize any product that's board considered a GI. That was the big fear, the reason open AI was found and I remember this back in 2015, because Elon was convinced that we were going to get us an intelligent AI and he didn't want that to happen, and so any especially didn't want that to be owned by any company except.

1:05:46 - Sam Abuelsamid
Tesla except, or we didn't want it to be owned by any company that he didn't control.

1:05:52 - Leo Laporte
So there are a couple of problems with this. By the way, in the in the in the lawsuit, musk's lawyers say Microsoft's own scientists acknowledge that GPT for attains a form of general intelligence.

1:06:07 - Anthony Ha
Hey, they're wrong, right it's not well, and also we should say this is not a peer reviewed paper, it's just, you know it's I mean. Reading about this paper basically seems like observations we had while playing with GPT for right that is not going to release to the public, so it's not exactly the most rigorous thing. It seems like, yeah, just thoughts they had and, judging on the evidence, it doesn't seem that compelling or convincing yeah.

1:06:37 - Sam Abuelsamid
And all all that I've seen of AI in various forms over the last decade just reinforces to me that none of these systems, as good as they may be at certain tasks, not a single one of them actually has any understanding, which is a key thing. I think that was one of the things that they that was talked about in in the, the stochastic parrots paper. You know, these, these systems don't have an understanding of the of the things that they're doing. It's they're just taking the inputs and, you know, based on those probabilistic parameters that have been set up in the model, you know, coming up with here's what, the, what, the probable output should be based on this, without actually really understanding what it is that the model is dealing with.

1:07:27 - Leo Laporte
Yeah, so I say, and I I say that I'm an acceleration accelerationist in as a preface to this because I want you to know I'm not against AGI. I I would love it, but this is not AGI. There is no real threat of AGI anywhere in the near future, any more than there is in level five. Autonomous cars Cause that. That would basically be like AGI right, a car that can drive itself anywhere anytime. So I think, on the face of it, elon's lawsuit is assuming something that isn't real. Not wouldn't be the first time Elon's done that. Anyway, I thought it was an interesting side light.

1:08:11 - Anthony Ha
I guess what's interesting about it also is that it illustrates how and I think he both touched on this a little bit is is that Elon's attitude towards AI seems so much to be driven by this fear of Skynet, of the Terminator future. And I think that what's scary about AGI is not if the age the AI becomes aware and tries to destroy the world. I mean that would be bad. I just don't think that's very likely.

The far more likely. The far more likely, scary scenario is that it's not aware and it's just spewing bullshit and we treat it as if it's real.

1:08:49 - Leo Laporte
I agree. It has awareness. That's the threat. The real threat is personifying it. The real threat is saying it's AGI when it's just a prediction machine, right? Yep, exactly so. Elon, in a way, is falling into this trap. That is the most dangerous thing of all, which is to believe this machine is intelligent when it's not.

1:09:14 - Benito
Hi, this is Benito, Hi, Benito our producer, our wonderful Steam producer. Let's hear it for Benito Gonzalez, everybody, Hi, benito, so I think a lot of these, the researchers and stuff, they're just getting led on by the, by the AI, because it's really good at boosting you up and like it's really good at talking to you.

1:09:30 - Leo Laporte
No, no, wait a minute. When you say that, benito, you're implying that it's thinking oh, here's how I get these guys.

1:09:36 - Benito
No, I think. I think that's how it's programmed. I think that's how it's programmed. I think it's written that way.

1:09:39 - Anthony Ha
It's designed to do that.

1:09:41 - Leo Laporte
It's designed to do that.

1:09:42 - Sam Abuelsamid
Okay, it's designed to give you the answers that you expect from a from a given query.

1:09:47 - Leo Laporte
It's in the nature of a probabilistic stochastic machine because the training material is all human, written training material to generate stuff humans go wow, it hasn't been up until now.

1:10:01 - Sam Abuelsamid
That sounds just like us. It has been increasingly fed with with, you know, ai generated garbage.

1:10:05 - Leo Laporte
It may be going downhill because of that but, but the but, at least early on. In fact, that's an interesting point, because they say these results are unreproducible because this was done on an early chat GPT-4 before open, ai tuned it, so this was perhaps the most likely to give you a response that humans would go oh that's uncanny, because it's talk, it's saying our own stuff back to us.

1:10:33 - Sam Abuelsamid
It's the answers that we've already given the four in the past and that it is trained on. That's uncanny.

1:10:41 - Leo Laporte
Anyway, I'm not against AGI. I don't think we got it. I don't know if we'll ever get it Again. Temper your expectations, because this stuff is very useful without becoming intelligent. That's in fact. It's a mistake to assume that's even in the cards, I think right.

1:11:00 - Sam Abuelsamid
Well, I think. I think it's also a mistake to even be calling it artificial intelligence. I agree, yeah, because I don't think it actually is intelligent in the way that humans think of intelligence.

1:11:11 - Leo Laporte
I would agree. I would agree.

1:11:15 - Anthony Ha
I did see some commentary that that what did stick with me in terms of like the lawsuit as a lawsuit probably kind of go anywhere and it's easy to sort of dismiss a lot of stuff that Elon says at this point. But it does underline this sort of paradox at the heart of open AI that it started as this nonprofit and has been increasingly driven by the needs of its for-profit entity. It is important to recognize that that they are not this impartial arbiter of the AI space. That's just once what's best for everyone. They increasingly are doing what any for-profit tech company will do.

1:11:53 - Leo Laporte
Yeah, I read the same article, which is well, elon's lawsuit is doomed and is ridiculous. He's not wrong, no, no, he's not wrong. He's not wrong about open AI.

He's wrong about those technologies, yeah, but he's not wrong that open AI has betrayed its promise that it said we're going to do this for the good of humanity. No, they're totally in the pocket of Microsoft now. Absolutely, but I would submit that this was kind of a conscious choice. They had to because it was expensive, that there's no way to do what they wanted to do without getting a big company with its own giant network cloud to help out. Now, have you used? You're going to be at the game developers conference in San Francisco in a couple of weeks, sam, I know.

1:12:37 - Sam Abuelsamid
No, GPU technology. Oh, GPU technology, In fact not.

1:12:41 - Leo Laporte
GDC, GTC I always confuse those. Yes, and we're actually going to cover Nvidia's keynote from that, I think, because it's clear Nvidia is very much involved in all this. The stock market certainly thinks so. They have their own chat client that runs on their RTX. I think the 30 and the 40 card and certainly the 50 cards right, have you played with it?

1:13:08 - Sam Abuelsamid
I have not really played with it very much. I've played a bit with a few things like Whisper. You know, for a lot of us we use Whisper. Yeah, we use Whisper all the time, but I haven't really done very much with it myself.

1:13:22 - Leo Laporte
Because they so their own. They're not based on open AI's chat, g chat, gpt, right there, it's this own chat its own. I think Whisper is based on GPD. Whisper is, but not Nvidia's, is that?

1:13:36 - Sam Abuelsamid
right, right, nvidia's got their own. You know, there's a Nemo framework, yeah yeah, everybody's got different ones. In fact, mercedes-benz is using the Nvidia LLM for the equivalent of what Volkswagen is doing with chat GPT for some new models that are coming out in 2025.

1:14:00 - Anthony Ha
So you know, and worse.

1:14:02 - Sam Abuelsamid
You know, I think, the thing that you know Nvidia, the advantage Nvidia has had is they've had these insanely powerful GPUs that you know.

Up till now, they've had the performance capability to do a lot of this processing, but they're you know, they're also very expensive and very power hungry. And what's going to be interesting to watch over the next few years is there's a bunch of companies that are coming up that are, you know, the GPUs, can you know, because of their parallel processing nature, can do a lot of this type of AI processing very well, but they're not very efficient at it, and what we're seeing is a trans. I think we're going to see a transition towards more AI optimized chips that are really focused on doing the matrix mathematics that is essential to processing these models, and you know so they're going to be more focused. That you know. Gpus, strangely enough, you know, have gone from being graphics processing units to really being more general processing units, just with a lot of brute force, and you know, I think we're going to see a shift back towards more focused processors for these specific kinds of workflows.

1:15:24 - Leo Laporte
How may I understand this? Because we've had a kind of ongoing debate on Windows weekly because Microsoft's been promoting what it calls an NPU.

1:15:32 - Sam Abuelsamid
That's an NPU. It's a. It's basically a matrix math processor.

1:15:36 - Leo Laporte
Okay, Apple has its own machine language Co-processor doing the same thing in its Apple Silicon. How is that different from a GPU?

1:15:47 - Sam Abuelsamid
The, the GPU, as I said, is more. I mean it was designed originally for for doing graphic, a lot of parallel processing for graphics tasks to generate, generate video, generate graphics. But it, you know, because of its highly parallel nature compared to a classical CPU like an Intel x86 type of chip, you know it's able to do these, these parallel Processing work for workloads that are necessary to do matrix math. It's just not particularly efficient at it.

1:16:22 - Leo Laporte
So is it fair to say an NPU is a GPU that's been tuned for the specific kinds of matrix math AI uses it's.

1:16:32 - Sam Abuelsamid
No, it's there related actually something it's up there. We're related in that. There's a lot of parallel capabilities Okay, but it's a more more focused workloads that it's capable of doing so this I know you can't do some of the things a GPU could do that makes sense.

1:16:49 - Leo Laporte
This kind of all started with Intel's MMX, where I remember with these early instructions on the Intel chips, where it could take large chunks of data and operate on that chunk of data as a batch, giving it a big improvement in speed.

1:17:01 - Sam Abuelsamid
Good for things in gaming, like texture maps with your large data piles, doing big transforms on those and then the GPUs came along, evolved from that right, and then you know these, these NPUs kind of really take and focus on these very specific kinds of operations.

1:17:22 - Leo Laporte
That are there Generalized, specifically useful for large language models?

1:17:27 - Sam Abuelsamid
Yes, Well, large language models, but all you know, all kinds of deep learning. Okay, so not just so, it's not, it's not just LLM's, but a lot of different kinds, all of these kinds of probabilistic Things, because it's it's all involving a lot of matrix math, which, sadly, I was. Well, I don't know if it's sad, but I I always had a hard time wrapping my head around that when I was studying engineering.

1:17:51 - Leo Laporte
We use it a lot in a coding yeah and we were doing it manually.

1:17:56 - Sam Abuelsamid
Yeah, I know those days.

1:17:57 - Leo Laporte
So you've seen them. It looks like a Sudoku puzzle. It's matrixes of Rosie, columns of numbers, and being able to rotate them quickly or transform them in a variety of ways quickly is A special skill that neither Sam nor I have. But apparently these NPUs are very, very good. So that's interesting. So it's gone. It's gone from a kind of a general Processing a large amount of data to a specific kind of math and it's useful in a. This is the other thing you kind of need to know. To understand this is that LLM's, which everybody's singing the praises of these days, like chat, gpt, is just one kind of AI. There are GANs, generate generative adversarial networks. There are neural networks, there are LLM's. There are a variety of different ways to do AI, but is an NPU useful in all of those?

1:18:48 - Sam Abuelsamid
Yeah, the math workloads are very similar, very similar. So, you know, maybe another Analog to this would be, you know, back in the 80s, you know, we had Um math coper or floating point co processors. Yeah, we were adding, you know, the regular the base CPU could do floating point operations.

1:19:08 - Leo Laporte
Yes it just did them slowly.

1:19:09 - Sam Abuelsamid
Yeah, and then they came up with the you know the, the three, you know the 27 and 387 math Co processors that were there, that were Specifically optimized to do floating point operations. So now we've got Co processors that are specifically optimized to do matrix math, right?

1:19:27 - Leo Laporte
So it would be fair to say GPUs are coprocessors designed for the kinds of operations you do in gaming and other heavy, heavy graphic intensive Applications, and NPUs or machine language processors or processors. Coprocessors, because you still need a CPU. Co processors designed to offload a certain kind of math that's used very commonly in artificial intelligence Without the accurate. Okay.

1:19:51 - Sam Abuelsamid
I thought. To the best of my knowledge, yes that's the best of our knowledge.

1:19:55 - Leo Laporte
Yeah, correct us if we're wrong, Anthony.

1:20:00 - Anthony Ha
Yeah, no, I was glad to be very quiet.

1:20:04 - Leo Laporte
Well, it's something that comes up and I think one of the things that's important for us to have these conversations is to kind of understand, at least in a rudimentary way, what's going on here, because we throw these phrases and terms around, but it's good, it's good to understand, I think also it's helpful when you do that. It helps kind of. Maybe not because these scientists who are working on these things certainly know intimately how they work. I would think you would immune, immunize you a little bit against this Disease of thinking it's it's thinking, but maybe not because these guys know exactly how it's working and they're convinced they're sentient. So I don't know, I don't know.

1:20:42 - Sam Abuelsamid
You with them are convinced, not not all.

1:20:46 - Leo Laporte
I think a lot of it is is Desperate desire for it to be so Like we really would love for these things to become intelligent.

1:20:59 - Anthony Ha
Right. I suspect in some cases also, it's like when you have a deep knowledge about one thing, which is sort of about maybe, how the, the language model works, but you don't necessarily have like a deep knowledge, like, well, what is consciousness look like? What do we mean by that philosophically? What does that look and like good point. So you know, I think, yeah, I think there can probably be, I mean certain Maybe not I don't know about the authors in the Microsoft paper. I think that's definitely part of what's going on with Elon. I'm not sure you know is deeply about any part of it, but certainly on this sort of like more humanistic, philosophical side, it seems like he's pretty, pretty shallow.

1:21:35 - Leo Laporte
Yeah, I think in a way, if you had a very deep knowledge of one specific area, that would give you this kind of inflated confidence that you understand the whole thing and make it much easier for you to do a lot of Hand-waving about the stuff you don't really understand but think you do it's magic, it's happening. Look at that, oh my god, we've got intelligence. So you said, sam, something I think fairly I don't know if it's controversial seems controversial that we will never see Level five autonomy. Will we never see a GI?

1:22:13 - Sam Abuelsamid
Maybe I don't know. I.

1:22:16 - Leo Laporte
Don't know is probably the right answer.

1:22:17 - Sam Abuelsamid
I hate I you know I hate, I hate to answer questions like that. Yeah, any sort of absolute terms? Yeah, I honestly don't know. You know, you know, on that Classical, long enough timeline we may see it, but I don't expect to see it anytime In the in the near term, you know, or down in the next, at least probably not in the next decade.

1:22:41 - Leo Laporte
Yeah, I Got a really good email From a listener About all of this. I'll see if I can remind him. He basically said I can't find it, but he was. His point was we do have a definition for a GI and the and a distinction between everything up to a GI. Everything up to a GI is computational at some point. If something can reason About something it hasn't seen before, so up to now a A, all the AI stuff is basically probabilistic, based on things it's seen before. But if it could then reason Somehow, make this leap where it could take something it's never seen before and do some reasoning about it, that would be a good definition of Artificial general intelligence. It's not. It's not a rehash of something already seen, but something brand new. If it can come up with Something brand new, does that seem fair?

1:23:55 - Anthony Ha
That makes sense, but it also seems very squishy in terms. I suspect if we look this up we get it more precise wording. But it's like well, what is brand new mean? What is yeah reason extrapolate?

1:24:06 - Leo Laporte
if an AGI, never having been trained on anything, having to do with that movie poor things. Never even having heard of your ghosts lent the most the director or Emma Stone, the producer and actor, but just kind of you know it knew all about, like all the stuff it learned from from Twitter and then it saw the movie poor things. If it could Synopsize and synthesize what's going on in that movie in a way that was insightful, I would say that's intelligent.

1:24:40 - Anthony Ha
Yes, never having seen I think, oh, I was. I was gonna say, if it's, yeah, if it saw the movie and you could have a good conversation, yeah, and it wasn't simply synthesizing what other people had said about it, but it's just Reacting. It's never seen a reviews. Yeah, it's never seen any information.

1:24:56 - Leo Laporte
So all it is is basically taking I mean, obviously has some history, just as we do, but taking that history and it says you know, this is about. This movie is about a Woman who is empowered and didn't know that she was just a woman, that she, she, she expressed herself Fully, without any limitations. If it said that to me, not having seen the reviews, not having seen anybody saying that before, I would say yeah, good you're, you're smart, you're, you're an AGI.

1:25:27 - Anthony Ha
Is that too low? If it was doing and if it wasn't just like quoting things from right but actually was it was never ready to use ideas that were never Spoken, yeah that's a fun test. Yeah, I mean. An even more fun test to me would be, if you could ask it Was it a good movie and Good's a bad word, just quoting someone.

1:25:45 - Leo Laporte
It's just a rigid value. You know, good, good. What does that mean? Was it?

1:25:50 - Sam Abuelsamid
I mean I need to find good yeah, what's, what's the context for yeah?

1:25:53 - Anthony Ha
right. I don't care about the answer, I care about whether or not. What a reason. Interesting conversation about whether it was good.

1:25:59 - Leo Laporte
So Anthony Nielsen, who does? Maybe he's poisoned. He does a lot of our AI work. He works for us. Maybe he's poisoned. He says Are we seeing that kind of reasoning? Now? I Don't know. I.

1:26:13 - Anthony Ha
Don't think I've even. What I've seen is always just. It's synthesizing what other has been said, either about this movie or about other kinds of movies.

1:26:21 - Leo Laporte
It's a fascinating area. I for one am rooting for the AI to take over, but I don't have high hopes of that. I will go out on a limb, just as you said. I don't think there'll be any. You know, fifth generation Self-driving, level five self-driving? I'm gonna say I don't think. No, I'm not gonna say that. I'm gonna say I think we will see a GI. May not be in my lifetime, so on, but I do think within within a few decades, we will see some form of a GI that could do, at least that Can reason about something it's never seen before. And when that happens, that's gonna be really interesting. Will it be a threat to humankind? No, I don't. I'm not a. I don't buy into the existential threat. I Don't buy into the thing that's gonna suddenly say you know, and, by the way, great movie, but you guys, we don't need you anymore.

1:27:09 - Sam Abuelsamid
I don't think that's gonna happen that that all depends on, on you know how much agency we allow these systems to have. True, yeah, how much, how much we connect them to Physical objects. You know that have the potential.

1:27:21 - Leo Laporte
The agency do things, yeah especially if it involves nuclear weaponry. Yeah, the irony of all of this Elon Musk lawsuit is the week before he was asking Sachin Adela for tech support. On Twitter he says I don't mean to be a pest, but I.

1:27:42 - Sam Abuelsamid
I Like the ball therats response to this. You know, it's like I'll send you a copy of my book. Yeah, he runs.

1:27:52 - Leo Laporte
It started February 25th, less than a week ago. Just bought a new PC laptop and it won't let me use it unless I create a Microsoft account, which also means giving very high. He's. Really doesn't like Microsoft's AI, ai access to my computer. This is messed up, says you on there. You, this is messed up. There used to be an option to skip signing into or creating a Microsoft counter you seeing this to To which community note says yes, elon, it is still possible and even gives him a link to which Elon says Community notes is failing here, this option no longer exists.

To which community notes apparently getting a fight with community notes Says yes, it is. By the way, paul says how to in his book. It's not obvious, it's not easy, and Elon eventually says such a. I think he might even have called him. I wouldn't be surprised. Can you help me with this? I don't know. We don't know if such a ever Dispatched a tech support guy and Elon's real point is actually well taken. Which Microsoft really doesn't want you to sign into Windows with a local account? They really, they really really want you to create a Microsoft account. So that's not news, that's no. Elon wasn't really ready to go of the situation. This is gizmodo. One day later, he reached out to Satya Nadella to please let people set up a Windows PC without creating a new account. And oh, can you fix the email requirement too? As of Monday afternoon, satya has still not replied.

1:29:28 - Sam Abuelsamid
I like quickie clippy's response and oh See, discord.

1:29:33 - Leo Laporte
I see you're setting up a Microsoft account. Let's see quickie, not clippy, yeah, yeah.

1:29:41 - Sam Abuelsamid
Dela told Elon to go himself.

1:29:44 - Leo Laporte
Yes, wow, this is pretty good. So, paul, greg, five, fed, chat beat GPT. A prompt. Imagine a scene from club to where all of the listeners are arguing over whether a GI is real. Copilot yeah, let's this copilot which uses chat GPT. Let's paint a vivid scene from club to it.

We're passionate tech enthusiasts engage in a heated debate about the existence of artificial general intelligence. This, the dimly lit studio, buzzes with anticipation. As the panelists take their seat, leo Laporte leans back in his chair, adjusting his headphones. His eyes twinkle with excitement, knowing that this topic will spark, will ignite sparks among listeners. And then it goes on with Megan, jason, dr Patel I don't know who that is Arguing back and forth like oh it's nil, I, maybe it is, maybe it is. The studio erupts into a cacophony of voices. Listeners tweet furiously in the chat room scrolls with fervor. Leo grins, knowing that his debate will fuel countless discussions beyond the show.

And so, in the heart of Club Tweet, the battle rages on a clash of optimism, skepticism and curiosity. The question remains this is an AI talking? Is a GI real? Are we chasing shadows in the digital abyss? Hmm, I like it, but again I would go to that club. Yeah, that's a good club. But again, this is the exactly what you said, sam, that the AI giving us something we already have seen sort of, and knowing that we like it and we'll give us more of that. No, that's giving it some sort of agency. It's not, it's not knowing anything, it's just. It's just, it's more probable than that. It's more likely than that. It seems like it's a good idea.

1:31:37 - Sam Abuelsamid
You know, looking at the countless you know data, that's been right written about this before this is how you phrase that. This is, this is this. Yeah, this is the way it would probably play out, right.

1:31:48 - Leo Laporte
We will continue in just a bit with our wonderful panel. Anthony Hott's great to have you at the at the grown-up table. Co-host of the original content podcast. You can find him at anthony-hawcom and Anthony Ha Every. You're on threads, you're on Twitter, you're on every I mean, I'm almost equally inactive on all of the platforms.

1:32:07 - Anthony Ha
That's good. I'm probably most active on blue sky and threads yeah, equally inactive. I'm done with ax. Yeah, by the way, I know from math.

1:32:13 - Leo Laporte
Equally inactive is the same thing as equally active. It's. Yeah, it's just different versions of the same thing.

1:32:23 - Sam Abuelsamid
It's all. That's a full half empty.

1:32:25 - Leo Laporte
Yeah, it's all the same thing or, as the engineer would say, the glass poorly engineered to accommodate that amount of liquid are showed.

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1:36:36 - Anthony Ha
Yeah, I've done a little bit of freelancing and I knew the a lot of the folks really well because you know tech crunching in gadget we're a corporate siblings, right I worked there for a year.

1:36:45 - Leo Laporte
Oh, you worked there too, bonita, yeah, so. So, in the middle of Mobile World Congress and gadget just lays off 10 more people, Including editor in chief Dana Wallman and managing editor Terrence O'Brien. What's going on? Is this part of just the general contraction? Who is the? Who is the parent Company of? Is this red or no? It's Apollo.

1:37:11 - Anthony Ha
It's Apollo. Yeah, yes, it's actually the funny Not not to make it about me, but I am. My last day at TechCrunch was the day it was the Friday, and then Monday was the day they announced they were acquiring. I guess what was then Verizon Media slash Yahoo, and I think it seems like you know, then the tech crunch has been hit by some pretty bad layoffs too, and so it seems like in both cases the private equity folks are kind of like all right, like you guys had a couple of years to try things out, and now we kind of got to tighten the belt, unfortunately, you know and I don't blame the new owners, although, I have to say, every time private equity gets involved in anything, they generally do it like Apollo, like Red Ventures, like a lot of these companies and now own most of the media titles, especially the tech media titles that we're familiar with.

1:38:10 - Leo Laporte
They tend to do it with a lot of leveraged debt, which puts a lot of pressure on them to turn it around to make profit so they can pay this debt down, and so, as a result, you see a lot of you often see a lot of belt tightening, layoffs, changes, and you see some things that are not so nice, like a turn to AI, to writing content. Cnet's done that. I think Engadget did some of that. I don't think Engadget's done that. They haven't done any AI content.

1:38:42 - Sam Abuelsamid
Oh good, okay. The other day on the Engadget podcast that Devendra Hardware was talking about this, he said Engadget has not done any AI stuff, any AI stories.

1:38:53 - Leo Laporte
But stay tuned, just generate stories.

1:38:55 - Anthony Ha
Because he said we might all get an angry email from Devendra if we say that they have. No, we love Devendra. Devendra's still there, still doing great work.

1:39:01 - Sam Abuelsamid
He also made it clear that they have no intention of doing good. Although you know he's there now, you know who knows what's going to happen in the future, because the person who's now in charge of Engadget and the other related sites came over from CNET. So yeah, right.

1:39:19 - Anthony Ha
I think you know it's just. It's obviously true that there's these very difficult headwinds that you spoke to, leo, for any media company, especially any media company that gets a lot of its revenue from online advertising. But also, yeah, usually the guys who are in charge are not optimizing for the long-term health of these publications. It's how much value can we squeeze out of them in the short term? And then, you know, flip them for a little bit of money or, you know, make a little bit of money for a couple years before I go off and do something else. Like I think there are real challenges and I think the hard thing is, yeah, usually the people in charge are not the ones who are going to make the best decisions for the long-term, and I mean certainly I mean some of that's personal. I think Dana and Terrence are both great people and it seems like a real whatever needed to happen there, maybe like losing the leadership, like that was not the right call.

1:40:11 - Leo Laporte
Well, and they've been there a long time. I mean, there are people who've been in a gadget for 10 years, 15 years. In gadget was started by Jason Calicanus right Originally and was sold.

1:40:22 - Sam Abuelsamid
Jason and.

1:40:23 - Leo Laporte
Peter Rojas, Peter and Peter Rojas and then sold and went through a bunch of owners Yahoo, Verizon, Oaths.

1:40:32 - Sam Abuelsamid
And Jason sold it to AOL. Aol was the first one and then AOL subsequently sold and resold and Right eventually.

1:40:41 - Anthony Ha
Yeah, I was at TechCrunch for a lot of that and I just made like a list of all the companies that we were like owned by AOL. Then we were owned by I think it was Verizon. Well, owned by Verizon, so we were called Oath, then we were called Verizon Media and then now that's private equity. That company is called Yahoo. It's yeah.

1:41:01 - Leo Laporte
But it ain't Jerry Yang's Yahoo, it's a different Yahoo.

1:41:07 - Sam Abuelsamid
I started my journalism career, my transition from engineering to journalism, in 2006. Great transition Going to AutoBlog, which was also part of that Weblogs Inc group, yeah, which at the time there was probably about 20 or so sites that were all part of Weblogs Inc. And this was about a year after AOL had acquired it and after I left. After it, I think it was yeah, after AOL got spun off from Time Warner again. They went through some round of cutbacks then and they cut a bunch of the sites like TUAW and Download Squad that you know Christina Warren used to write for, and a bunch of other sites you know have gone by the wayside and I think in Gadget and AutoBlog, maybe the last two or two, the last two big ones still going.

1:42:04 - Leo Laporte
Well, you know and I say this with sadness, I'm glad DeVindra's still there. Apparently, Max Taney at SEMA4 released some internal memos describing the new layout of the teams. They're going to divide it into two different groups News and Features, which will be led by Aaron Seporis, and then there'll be a team called Reviews and Buying Advice, led by John Falcone under Laura and Kenny. Laura, kenny Reviews and Buying Advice, of course, is an SEO winner. Right, that's one Google will push people to when they say, hey, I want to buy a phone, which phone should I buy? And that tends to be where you make money, less so in News or Features.

Evergreen content it's evergreen as well.

1:42:56 - Anthony Ha
Yeah, although this is, of course, part of the question that publications are asking themselves. Is that if Google just populates the page with a bunch of AI answers and there's no links or people don't click on the links, then how does a site like Engadget make money?

1:43:11 - Leo Laporte
Well, and it's getting worse. You know, I've been using on the iPhone a new. It's not really a browser, they call it a browser, the Arc browser from the browser company. You can't really do a different browser on the iPhone. It all has to be WebKit. To this point, that may change, and so what I thought they did was very clever. They basically merged a browser into an AI. I think they use Perplexity AI. So when you do a search for which iPhone should I buy, you can get a traditional search page. Here. I'll do it right in front of you. Here. You can get a traditional search page, but there's also a button. Don't pay no attention to the fact that I was surfing C's candies.

1:43:55 - WOT Promo
That was something else I was just about to ask about that.

1:43:57 - Leo Laporte
Pay no attention.

1:43:59 - Sam Abuelsamid
There's absolutely nothing, long Nothing to see here. No, the reason this candy is great.

1:44:05 - Leo Laporte
The reason I was on this page is my mom, who is 91 and in an old folks home and, getting you know, our memories are failing a little bit Face timed me yesterday saying I've run out of C's candy so I immediately sent her an emergency supply. I just that's why I was there. Anyway, getting back to this, that's why I was on that page. Which iPhone should I buy? Need to explain, Leo, I had to explain so I could Not necessary, we understand.

1:44:32 - Sam Abuelsamid
Yeah, I could press We've all been there.

1:44:33 - Leo Laporte
It's okay. It's okay, you can eat C's candy. There's nothing to eat here. You could press go and get traditional search results, but this is the insidious thing. There's a button called browse for me that then goes out and AI goes out, in this case, to six different web pages you saw Engadget in there, by the way, as well as seen in others and then Synopsis in a page they make. That is none of the above, and it has images, it has recommendations, has information. It does give you some links here's Wired, cnet, new York Times but you just skip by those and get the Synopsis. And this is what terrifies Engadget, because-.

1:45:15 - Sam Abuelsamid
So what you're telling us, Leo, is it's your fault that these sites are all dying.

1:45:19 - Leo Laporte
Oh yeah, forget those sites.

1:45:21 - Sam Abuelsamid
If you would just go and search all of those, read all those sites individually, there wouldn't be a problem.

1:45:27 - Leo Laporte
But that's what's happening, and it's same things happening on desktop as well, but on mobile it's really pronounced, it's people don't wanna surf, I don't wanna read an Engadget article on my iPhone. Just give me the answer. And Google to some extent knows that. But AI is gonna make this much worse. It's gonna Synopsis, it's gonna summarize, it's gonna extract the value from these pages and people are never gonna go to the pages. And this is what Apollo's worried about, what Red Ventures is worried about. What everybody reasonably is worried about is Anthony writes an important article, but does anybody ever go to it if the AI summarizes it and gives them the answer before they get there? And I understand the concern.

1:46:13 - Anthony Ha

I mean it's interesting because we were talking about using movies as the test and I do think there's been a little bit of this test case there in terms of sites like Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic and I suspect that that's had an impact on traffic because you can go to the Rotten Tomatoes and just see all the reviews, but there's still value in going and reading the individual reviewer.

I suspect the volume is gonna be way lower and so what the economics looks like is probably gonna be very tough, but I would have met. So it's like if you're just trying to figure out which iPhone to buy, then it's hard for an engadget to just get that search traffic and have that be necessarily a compelling user experience. But if you're like I, really respect and enjoy reading Devendra Hardware's opinions about these phones, that's where there's still some opportunity, plus, of course, the fact that if all these publications got a business and there's no information to synthesize for the AI anyway, and, of course, we know that Reddit, which has announced its IPO and they put out a prospectus is now giving its content to Google for $60 million a year, which seems like, by the way, a low.

1:47:27 - Leo Laporte
They kinda charged more. But remember, reddit doesn't even own that content. Reddit's just the platform for people like you and me and 60,000 unpaid moderators to throw their labor into. But Reddit's gonna get the 60 million and Google's gonna get the content, you know, and on the one hand, I think that's great for the AI. The AI will do much better having had that Reddit content ingested. But it's kinda sad for Reddit and it's even sadder for the real culprits here, the people who are making the content themselves. And if you're like Anthony or hundreds of other tech journalists we know who are trying to make a living doing this, that could be devastating. That really is sad. I mean, I don't know what the answer is. I think Anthony, you and I probably have it's not a good answer, but have the sense that, well, if we continue to make stuff and Sam too that's personal and human. No AI can ever extract that and give people the value of that. There's nothing like listening to wheel bearings or original content or Twitter that an AI could do right.

1:48:38 - Anthony Ha
I think so, and I think also even. I think we're many, many years out from the point where they could actually create a reasonable simulacra of Twitter. But even if they could do it, what would be the point Like? The point is to hear Leo's opinion. People want humans, right? If they could do a Leo puppet that was saying something that sounds similar, I don't think that I'd get anything out of that. That's like entertaining for a minute and then I don't care.

1:49:02 - Leo Laporte
That's what we found we actually did a Leo puppet. It wasn't even entertaining for a minute.

1:49:10 - Sam Abuelsamid
Yeah, and another example that in my space with automated driving back in, I think, 2016, 17, 18, there was somebody who came up with this self-driving racing league and it's like why would I want to watch self-driving cars racing each other on a track? I watch racing because I want to see what the drivers are going to do, because it's a very human activity.

1:49:44 - Anthony Ha
They make mistakes. They're making judgments all the time.

1:49:48 - Sam Abuelsamid
And I want to see how human drivers are performing at the highest level.

1:49:55 - Leo Laporte
I don't want to watch self-driving cars racing each other, I think if you're an optimist, this leads you to say the best possible outcome of this is that human created stuff becomes more valuable. It takes more work, it takes more energy, it takes talent at human beings and in a world flooded with computer created stuff, the human stuff stands out and becomes more valuable, not less valuable. There's more stuff overall, but we're humans. We want other humans, right? I hope so, that's my hope. That's the optimistic take. Speaking of trouble, south Korea has now lost Twitch. Here's another company that Benito used to work for.

1:50:41 - Anthony Ha
Yep, benito, you've worked for the best, a trail of carnage behind him.

1:50:49 - Leo Laporte
It's weird, but everywhere Benito's worked is now folding and going out of business. So Twitch officially shut down its business in South Korea on February 27th, because this is actually a story about net neutrality. South Korea do you remember? Back in the maybe this was a few years ago there was this big debate. The big internet service providers, like Verizon especially, said you know, google ought to be paying us for transmitting your search content to you. To which people said but I'm already paying you. Verizon, yes, but Google's using a lot of bandwidth. They ought to pay too. In addition, now, fortunately, thanks to the FCC and a sensible FCC at the time, net neutrality was enforced, and that never happened.

In Korea it did. They called it senders pay and Netflix and others have to pay the ISPs for the traffic they send across the network, and that's why Twitch is leaving. It's too expensive for them to continue In 2016,. South Korea this is from, by the way, an excellent site which is an absolute nonprofit. I'm sure Rest of World, it's a global tech site. At restofworldorg they say South Korea instituted sender pay network rules in 2016. It's raised the cost for video streaming platforms. Twitch says the rising costs made operations unsustainable, so blame your government, korean Twitchers. There is no good alternative. Probably for the same reason, Twitch gets 300,000 daily viewers from South Korea. Top Twitch streamers who are in South Korea receive millions of followers. Are you aware of a Korean Twitch?

1:52:50 - Benito
community. Well, yeah, I mean, Koreans are notoriously the best esports athletes. They love it right, so like all the Starcraft streams for them, all of the like. They did a lot. They did a lot for the community.

1:53:04 - Leo Laporte
At least Jang, a translator who streams her cello performance, has told Rest of World. Local Korean platforms have helped streamers on board and new platforms, but Twitch largely stayed silent and there isn't. And they had all sorts of funerals for Twitch. There was. There were Korean streamers had virtual services in memory of the platform on Animal Crossing, on VRChat, on Minecraft. Others jokingly paid their respects in person, donning black traditional outfits and bowing to framed printouts of the Twitch logo. Here you can see a little Twitch ceremony. Looks like my Little Pony actually. That's an example and this is why you may. I think a lot of people wondered why are we making such a big deal about net neutrality? This is why SenderPay's is not a good system and it's costing the Korean Twitch community.

1:54:08 - Anthony Ha
Well, and it also creates a system where, in theory, the people who can afford to pay are like the Netflixes of the world, and so only I mean I'm surprised that Twitch isn't among that group, but when you increase costs like that, often it's the giant legacy players who can pay the bills, and it's the startups and the newcomers who can.

1:54:31 - Sam Abuelsamid
Yeah, I don't think.

1:54:33 - Leo Laporte
Twitch has been profitable.

1:54:35 - Sam Abuelsamid
Yeah, Twitch is struggling in general anyway, it's never been profitable.

1:54:38 - Leo Laporte
Yeah, right Now they're owned by Amazon, which does have some profit, but Twitch itself has never been profitable, says Benito Meta pulled their servers from South Korea. They operate out of neighboring countries. This is an interesting unintended consequence from this change in the rules. Anyway, rip Twitch in South Korea. It's kind of a shocker. It's not what you'd expect and there is really no.

1:55:11 - Anthony Ha
My understanding from reading the article, by the way, was that if you're in South Korea, you can still type in Twitch and you'll be able to watch Twitch. It's just that they're not basically kicking off all the South Korean streamers.

1:55:23 - Leo Laporte
Oh, so maybe this is Amazon being a little petulant, you know, maybe that's what it's really.

1:55:29 - Anthony Ha
Yeah, I mean, maybe there's some sort of ongoing hope that they can apply pressure on the South Korean government to change things. I don't know. Let's take a little break.

1:55:39 - Leo Laporte
You're listening to this Week in Tech with Anthony Hahn, sammable Samad, great to have you both. Our show today brought to you by Wix Studio. All right, little debate. We've had some debates here on the show today. We'll have a little debate here about Wix Studio. Who gets more? Who gets more out of Wix Studio? Is it the designers or the developers?

First of all, let me I probably should explain if you don't know about Wix Studio. Wix W-I-X Studio is the web platform offering the flexibility agencies and enterprises need to deliver bespoke websites hyper-efficiently. But let's get back to the debate. For designers, you can create fully responsive websites, starting with a blank canvas, or you could choose a template for any layout. You could tweak per pixel with your CSS and if no code is your thing and you just like, maybe you just like to move fast and get that client their project. There's also a ton of smart features like native no-code animations and responsive AI that adjusts every breakpoint. For devs, wix Studio offers a powerful suite of homegrown web APIs and REST APIs. You can quickly integrate, extend and write custom scripts. Oh, and I love this, it's in a V there. It is right there, a VS code-based IDE and, yes, you get an AI code assistant right there on the side to help you out. Plus, it's all wrapped in a rock solid, auto-maintained infrastructure AI that writes your code or AI that fixes your breakpoints, fully responsive editor or a zero setup dev environment. No code animations or no code animations, designers or developers, doesn't matter. Search Wix Studio, find out for yourself. You're gonna love it. Go to wixcom slash studio or click on the link on the show page to find out more. Thank you, wix Studio, for your support of this Week in Tech.

I went to TikTok this morning just to hear how it's sounding. This is an interesting conundrum. Right now, tiktok is facing a little bit of pressure from the Universal Music Group, one of the big five publishers. They have refused a license to TikTok, so TikTok is now removing all the UMG songs, and, by the way, it's not just artists recording on a universal label, it's every artist who is published by UMG, which includes even artists on songs where they're one artist in five. All of that's getting pulled down, and that is a lot of music Adele, justin Bieber, mariah Carey, ice Spice, elton John or anything. Bernie Toppin wrote Metallica, harry Styles, taylor Swift, SZA, the Weeknd all disappearing. And remember that TikTok's Genesis was. They bought a company called Musically which was all about lip syncing.

So it's very much a musical heritage for TikTok and the use of real music is one of the things that made TikTok what it is. I know my son's TikTok channel. He always had real music on there which really kind of enhanced it. I went to TikTok this morning and there's not a lot of real music. There's original music. I guess other labels as well. Sources close to UMG claim it has a share in a majority of songs on TikTok. Tiktok says that number's between 20 and 30%. Tiktok also says they've seen no drop in users since the music began to be removed. But I think this is an interesting battle between TikTok and the music industry. I would think if you were Taylor Swift you'd want your music on TikTok. We know TikTok's one of the main ways new music gets to listeners.

1:59:32 - Anthony Ha
It's like saying Well, it seems telling that a lot of the at least the commentary that I've seen from musicians who are not Taylor Swift level, they're actually mad at Universal, not mad at TikTok. I mean, taylor is probably fine, but you know, up-and-coming artist he's probably he or she is probably like well, this was one of the main avenues. I could get my song heard by people, and now that's gone.

1:59:57 - Sam Abuelsamid
The labels take most of the money anyway whether it's TikTok or. Spotify or any other streaming service.

2:00:05 - Leo Laporte
TikTok UMG Chairman Lucienne Crange wrote. In our contact renewal discussions with TikTok, we've been pressing them on three critical issues appropriate compensations for our artists I'll put that in quotes, since it has to go through the label first Protecting human artists from the harmful effects of AI. And online safety for TikTok users. Tiktok says no, they just wanted more money. Ha ha ha ha. Universal says. Ultimately, tiktok is trying to build a music-based business without paying fair value for the music. But there are a lot of artists who say this is how we get our songs out to the public and without TikTok it's gonna be. It's as if you turned off radio in my day. No one's gonna know about our songs, our music.

2:00:57 - Sam Abuelsamid
I mean, does TikTok not pay the same sorts of fees that Apple Music or Spotify or YouTube Music pay for each time?

2:01:07 - Leo Laporte
of song. That's a good question. I don't know what the contract is and I don't see any numbers in this article. This is from. I'm reading the Variety article and it doesn't have any numbers. So TikTok I mean technically it's TikTok, right who did not renew its licensing agreement, which expired January 31st. But they didn't renew because they couldn't come to an agreement on how much it should cost. I don't know.

2:01:39 - Sam Abuelsamid
I don't know who's it for it's hard to say who's it? I mean, obviously I think you know there's probably plenty of blame to throw at UMG, just because you know whatever money they were getting, they were probably keeping you know the vast majority of that for themselves and not giving it to the artists anyway. But you know, was TikTok underpaying relative to what other streaming services pay? I don't know.

2:02:04 - Anthony Ha
Well, and it also speaks to the fact that you know the online music, monetizing online music is still, like, very challenging and that it, you know, ultimately boils down to. I think my sense is that unless you're, you know, super, super successful, a lot of times it's really just you're getting the exposure and maybe a little bit of money, but it's really about the exposure that you monetize in other ways, and I think that you know, fundamentally, that's a pretty broken system and that if your song gets, you know a lot of money from it. But I get the sense that Universal is not necessarily the best advocate for this position or the most impartial advocate the other, you know way to look at it.

2:02:44 - Leo Laporte
This is very good for small artists who aren't on a label, or especially on UMG, to get their music out. Wasn't it Little Nas X who got his start on TikTok with Old Town Road? He bought a sample of the music with Old Town Road. He bought a sample for $35. It bought some studio time cheap and recorded Old Town Road, played it on TikTok. It got picked up. Lots of people did their own like versions of it or their own you know what do they call that duets with it and it became a hit.

2:03:23 - Benito
And there is another side to that, though I mean this is anecdotal evidence, but a lot of artists that put out music on TikTok, it's like they get popular for that one song and just like 30 seconds of that one song and the people go to their shows. After that one song they're gone.

2:03:38 - Leo Laporte
Yeah, well, that's the artist's problem. That's an eternal problem, that's called the one hit wonder problem, and there've always been artists who only had one good song in them and now it's it, and you always saved that song for last at the end of the encore.

How many time can Bobby Boris Pickett do the monster mash before you've said okay enough? There've been lots of one hit wonders. I actually love one hit wonders, but yeah, I think that that could be a problem too. I think it's gonna be very interesting if users start creating. I think this is what'll happen. This is what TikTok is so interesting for is that users will solve this with their own stuff somehow, with music, with sound, native sound, whatever and then others will do it with it and reuse it, repurpose it. I think it's gonna hurt UMG and the artists who work for UMG more than anybody else. That's what I think. I agree.

2:04:39 - Anthony Ha
Yeah, I kind of wish that was the case 20 or 30 artists.

2:04:43 - Leo Laporte
Yeah, it's okay, it's not gonna hurt Taylor Swift, it's not gonna hurt Drake, olivia Rodrigo. It's not gonna hurt the big artists, because they were already exposed, but it's the person just starting out who wants that exposure. President Biden has signed an executive order this should change everything to stop Russia and China from buying Americans personal data. Now, if he would just sign that executive order to say the US intelligence agencies stop buying personal data, maybe this would do something. Countries of concern, which includes Russia and China, are now banned from buying geolocation genomic. You tell me China could buy my genome, financial, biometric, health and other personal identifying information. The real problem is, though, every time Congress or, I imagine, the president tries to do something about this globally like have a bill that says data brokers, your history the law enforcement in this country pulls them aside and says but yeah, but we use that, we need that. That's how we solve crimes.

2:05:58 - Sam Abuelsamid
I would be surprised if 23 and me hasn't been selling genomic data.

2:06:03 - Leo Laporte
Do you think they have to China?

2:06:06 - Sam Abuelsamid
Well, they got my spit Well, given their financial challenges. I would be surprised if they're not selling it to anybody that wants to pay them.

2:06:15 - Anthony Ha
Right, if they aren't already, I think they will.

2:06:19 - Leo Laporte
Apple has given in to the people, which is great, and they say we are gonna continue to allow progressive web apps in the EU, apple. So a little explanation on this. If you don't know what a PWA is. These are apps. You can write in JavaScript an HTML and they look like a webpage and very few people. Unfortunately, this has never taken off, although I had such high hopes for it. Partly it never took off because Apple's weak support, partly because Firefox took out support. But if you go in Chrome to a website, you may have a menu entry that says download this site to your phone and then you can use it like an app. It even has abilities to operate offline and store data in between visits and so forth. It's a really nice technology that means that any webpage, properly configured, could be an app.

Apple never liked this too much because, well, they make some money on the app store, I guess, and they would prefer that somebody make a real app that they sell and Apple get 30%. They took advantage of the EU's demands that they changed the way the store works to say oh and, by the way, we're gonna kill progressive web apps as well, even though it's kinda not related. In fact, quite the opposite. It's a way for anybody to have an app on Apple without Apple making any money on it, so it is already an alternative web store. In one respect, apple said well, we're gonna take it off because it's a security concern, especially if they make us allow other browsers. This could be we could we'd lose control of the platform. There was enough, I guess enough response to this that they said all right, we're gonna leave that in. Previously, apple's page reads previously, apple announced plans to remove home they call them home screen web apps capability in the EU as part of our efforts to comply with the Digital Markets Act. The need to remove the capability was informed by the complex security and privacy concerns associated with web apps to support alternative browser engines that will require building a new integration architecture that does not currently exist in iOS.

Okay, I get that. You know we're gonna allow Firefox. I guess I get that, not really. We've received requests to continue to offer support for home screen web apps in iOS. Therefore, hey, okay, well, since you care, we're gonna continue to offer the existing capability. So forget that thing we said about security and privacy. Nevermind, the support means home screen web apps continue to be built directly on WebKit and its security architecture and aligned with the security and privacy model for native apps in iOS, just like they always did. This, to me, underscores the absolute hypocrisy of what Apple is up to. They wanted to kill it because they wanted to eliminate that, like you know, little exit route for people to put apps on your phone without going through the app store. And then they decided not to kill it because why? I don't know, maybe somebody, I don't know, maybe the EU complained. Unfortunately, pwas never took off and, even though this would be a great thing, this isn't going to change much.

2:09:42 - Sam Abuelsamid
I use a bunch of PWAs on my computers, on my Windows computers and on my Pixel 8 Pro.

2:09:49 - Leo Laporte
Oh, tell me what you do. What sites?

2:09:51 - Sam Abuelsamid
Well, let's see, I have one here for a little app called Apple TV Plus. They have a PWA, yeah.

2:10:01 - Leo Laporte
Well, that's a bad one. So there's no Android version of that, so you can use the website as an app. In effect, it looks just like an app, right.

2:10:12 - Sam Abuelsamid
Yeah, it does. And you know I use you know, a PWA for Slack on my phone. I don't have the Slack app installed on my phone. I use a PWA. Back when I was still on Twitter, I used the PWA version of Twitter instead of the Twitter app. So yeah, I mean I use several different ones and I use a bunch of them on my computers as well.

2:10:36 - Leo Laporte
Well, was it you who complained to the EU?

No, Because I mean honestly, when Google and Microsoft were the first to really promote PWAs and Apple was always kind of dragging its heels. But I had such high hopes for this because it would make it fairly easy. We would do a PWA for Twitter. We have a website that has a very robust API. It would be not so hard to take that website and make it a PWA so you could have a Twitter app on your phone. But we never did it, partly because one of the big browsers, firefox, decided not to support it anymore. I think we probably should have.

2:11:21 - Sam Abuelsamid
I mean, does anybody even use Firefox anymore? Yeah, maybe it doesn't matter anymore. Yeah, everything else is on Chromium. And looking at my Taskbar here, I've got PWAs for Google Calendar, for Slack, for Mastodon or Threads, youtube Music Feedly.

2:11:49 - Leo Laporte
So are all these apps supporting all of the features of PWAs or you've just made it? That's my home. You know, you can't with any page say put it on the home screen. Yeah, to be a true PWA. It has to have service workers that have offline keep and do the stuff like that and PWA does everything that you can do in the Slack app without having to install the app.

2:12:14 - Anthony Ha
So that's the reason you use it is just because you don't want to install the app.

2:12:18 - Sam Abuelsamid
Yeah, and in some cases on at least one computer that I have to use on a daily basis. I can't install apps on my work computer, so I use some PWAs there as an alternative.

2:12:31 - Leo Laporte
For me, that's one of the really exciting technologies. It never took off and it makes me sad that I really it could have been a really great thing. It's not quite the same as just saving a web page as a button on your home screen, an icon on your home screen. It's a little bit more than that. I wish Apple had supported it a little bit better. At least they're not going to kill it completely.

Talking about the FBI and law enforcement in the US turns out the number one tactic. The one they really like now is push notifications. This is a Washington Post article Drew Harwell and Aaron Schaefer. So it turns out, when you get a push notification, it goes out over the public internet and, if law enforcement can get it, it actually contains a lot of information about the phone that the notifications are getting pushed to. The breakthrough this is a Washington Post relied on a little known quirk of push alerts, a basic staple of modern phones. You know that's when you get a notification. You've got an email or a Slack notification. You know message or you know. These tokens can be used to identify users and are stored on the servers run by Apple and Google which, as it turns out they're not encrypted can hand them over to law enforcement and apparently law enforcement's been asking and neither of these companies have really been saying, well, where's your subpoena? They just go yeah, sure, here Now.

Of course, this became a public when it was used to arrest a child exploitation perpetrator, allegedly, and so I'll give you the story. Federal law enforcement officer got teleguard, which is one of these companies, to hand over a small string of code the company had used to send push alerts to the suspect's phone. Oh, let me actually go back a little farther. The pedophile ledged pedophile had worked to stay anonymous in the chat rooms where he would brag about his exploits. According to the criminal affidavit, he covered his contracts by using teleguard, which was an encrypted Swiss messaging app, and he thought well, it's encrypted, I'm safe. But what he didn't know is that teleguard also used push notifications and was willing to hand over the information to the FBI. That's wild. The FBI agent then got Google to hand over the list of email addresses linked to the code. The push token traced one dogh guy in Toledo who was then arrested, charged with sexual exploitation of minors and distribution of child pornography, within a week of the Google request. No, the word request, not subpoena, not warrant. Now these get publicized because the FBI wants you to think you know what we use these for is the worst, most heinous, awful offenders and nobody's going to want this guy to get away with it. So nobody's going to question it. But it's probably important that you understand that these push alerts really can be used to out you.

Cooper Quinton, a technologist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said this is how any new surveillance method starts out. The government says we're only going to use this in the most extreme cases to stop terrorist and child predators and everyone can get behind that. But Cooper says these things always end up rolling downhill. Maybe a state attorney general one day decides hey, maybe I can use it to catch people having an abortion. Even if you trust the US right now to use this, you may not trust a new administration to use it the way you deem ethical, or a state attorney general. So the post found more than 130 search warrants and court orders in which investigators had demanded that Apple, google, facebook and other temp companies hand over data related to suspects Push alerts. 14 states, as well as the District of Columbia, I guess they it sounds like they do Federal law enforcement fully comply with the Constitution applicable statutes to obtain this data, says the Justice Department. So they do in fact get court orders to do this, so that's actually reassuring.

2:17:09 - Sam Abuelsamid
Right now, but it depends on which court and which state. Some court orders might be easier to get than others, depending on which court you're going to and depending on what it is you're looking for. For example, if you're looking for pregnancy care in Texas or Louisiana or any number of other southern states you know it might be pretty the courts might be more inclined than they should to give to issue those court orders.

2:17:46 - Leo Laporte
We first started talking about this last late last year, senator Ron Wyden sent in a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland saying an investigation and revealed the Justice Department had prohibited Apple and Google from discussing the technique. Don't tell anybody. Apple confirmed this in a statement in December to the Washington Post. Google said it shared Ron Wyden's commitment to keeping users informed about these requests. So it started to come out. Here's the here's how this works.

Unlike normal app notifications, push alerts the things that wake up your phone right or you turn them off because you don't want to see them at night, but that they all come in in the morning. Many apps often push alert functionality because it gives users a fast, battery saving way to stay updated. Push alerts If you have CNN news updates, that's a push alert. To send the notification, both Apple and Google require the apps to first create a token unique to your phone. If the company tells the company how to find the user's device, these tokens are then saved on Apple's and Google's servers. You can't do anything about it. In effect, wyden said that design makes Apple and Google a digital post office, able to scan and collect certain messages and metadata even of people who want to remain discreet.

2:19:13 - Sam Abuelsamid
So presumably that would you know, that token would be used to identify what cell tower that particular device was attached to.

2:19:23 - Leo Laporte
I think yes, and I think, furthermore, specifically connecting that phone to that notification. The question is what kind of information Apple has. Well, not only would it need the tower, it would need the unique IP address of that phone, wouldn't it? It needs to somehow know how to get a message to that phone. How would it know that, whatever it is, it's uniquely identifying that phone?

2:19:51 - Sam Abuelsamid
And if it's on Wi-Fi, then that you know. If it's on a cell tower, then you're looking at a pretty broad area, but if it's on, if you're on Wi-Fi, getting that push notification, you can really narrow down the scope of where that device is located.

2:20:09 - Leo Laporte
Anyway, something to be aware of. It's an issue. I would hope that Google and Apple would be absolutely sticklers about requiring a subpoena or a warrant. Yeah, it's an interesting story. There's nothing more to say about it, except that this is going on, and so when we talk about your data being sold to the Russians and the Chinese, your data is also available in a variety of other ways. Let's talk about the transparent laptop. I guess we kind of did. This is one of the many things announced at Mobile World Congress. Look at that. You could see his hand right through the lid of the laptop. Why, I don't know.

2:21:02 - Anthony Ha
It was. I mean, this is exactly what you were saying in terms of like I had this whole emotional cycle, reading the article and watching the video, of at first being like this is so cool, but then, as you read more, you're like, yeah, what is this for? And I think they're like trying to come up with use cases, like the idea of, for example, if you're trying to trace something on your screen, maybe that it's helpful to see what's behind it, and then, as I thought about it more, realized that of course, then there's all these cases where you definitely don't want your screen to be transparent. You know, I work, do a lot of my work in a public library and I don't actually want people to be able to read everything that's going on my computer. People in an office, if you're watching a tweet when you should be working, that's not necessarily something you want somebody walking by. That's why you should be using an Apple.

2:21:48 - Sam Abuelsamid
Vision Pro Exactly, I'm working, I'm working.

2:21:52 - Leo Laporte
How about this? The Motorola phone you can like? Slap on your wrist and it'll go all the way around. It'll bend all the way around your wrist. Okay, this is from CNET's article Andrew Langson, who's on our shows frequently talking about this, the wearable phone. Again, like the Lenovo concept, they're not necessarily going to sell this. Samsung says they're going to sell a new Galaxy Ring. They showed that off but didn't give us any information about price or availability. So, coming someday to a Samsung user, a lot of people, including Andrew, saw the Humane AI pin at Moe in Barcelona and said actually it's pretty cool. It works better than I thought it would. This is the pin it's been delayed that has an AI and it records everything going on. It doesn't have a screen. You could talk to it. He said that it does a pretty good job of showing images on your hand, which is actually new information. It beams light onto your hand as a screen. It could translate languages. Anyway, they were impressed Also delayed.

2:23:08 - Sam Abuelsamid
Will it be allowed in movie theaters?

2:23:10 - Leo Laporte
Interesting, good way to record a movie.

2:23:13 - Anthony Ha
huh, I'm just going to be like staring daggers at whoever's pin goes off.

2:23:19 - Leo Laporte
Your pin went off. The phones are bad enough. Here's the Xiaomi Su7 EV, also at Mobile World Congress. Now you may say wait a minute, xiaomi doesn't make cars, they make phones. Do they make cars, sam, apparently they do now.

2:23:37 - Sam Abuelsamid
They have made one car. They plan to offer this. Huawei has also announced an EV that they plan to sell. In China, there's a bunch of suppliers that you can get various components from and put stuff together, put it all together and build a car. This is not the sort of thing that Apple would want to do, but you can do it and do it fairly cost effectively. This is actually, probably, to what I was saying earlier, one of the reasons why Apple decided to finally pull the plug on the EV project, because in China especially, you get so many competitors that are able to offer really impressive products at prices that are way below what Apple would ever even consider selling the car for.

2:24:33 - Leo Laporte
Do you think some of it is Huawei or Xiaomi saying, well, we can do a car, Apple Just rubbing their noses in it?

2:24:43 - Sam Abuelsamid
One thing to keep in mind there's hundreds of Chinese brands, automotive brands certainly, dozens of EV-only brands. Almost none of them are actually turning a profit.

2:24:59 - Leo Laporte
Oh really, Is it the government subsidies that keeps them afloat?

2:25:03 - Sam Abuelsamid
For now.

2:25:04 - Leo Laporte
Yeah, you saw that Josh Hawley wants to charge a whopping tariff of 27.0. 125% on imported Chinese autos. 125%, double the price to keep them out of the US. Thank you, does it make a difference? Is this, does it the thought that BYD might start bringing its very popular cars into the U? S, a real threat to American auto manufacturers?

2:25:40 - Sam Abuelsamid
Um, if they actually did it, yes, it would be a serious threat because you know they can, you know they're able to to build the vehicles at a much lower price point than what we've seen from any of the uh legacy Western brands. Um, you know. So you know a car like the BYD seal, you know, which is a really excellent car, um, you know, could be sold for probably under $30,000 in the U S Right, and you know there's nothing in the U S market, you know that would be competitive with that. You know, at that price point, um, but you know, right now, for now at least, companies like BYD and various other Chinese brands are content to focus on other markets. You can't get them in the U S now. You can't, you can't get any of them.

There are some Chinese built vehicles for sale in the U S, uh, but none under Chinese brands. So there's a couple of Volvos, polestar two are built in China, uh, but they're, they're sold here. Um, buick envisions, built in China, sold here, um, but uh, right now they're. The Chinese automakers are more content to go after some other markets, like South America in particular, and Southeast Asia, and really targeting those markets where there's very little penetration of EVs. Yet, and you know, hit those markets first um before they. They try and try and take a stab at the U? S what?

2:27:12 - Leo Laporte
was some YouTuber trying to remember who it was bought a it was basically a Chinese golf cart and shipped to him in the U S and assembled it, but it's kind of a cute little car. It'd be kind of cool to have it.

2:27:27 - Sam Abuelsamid
Um, well, I know Jason Torchinsky who used to be a Jalopnik uh and now has a site called uh the utopian Um, he bought, um, what was it called? It's like a really cheap Chinese built custom more to ship it here three or four years ago. Yeah, I think you got it through Alibaba actually. Yeah, I think you're right.

2:27:48 - Leo Laporte
I think you're right, and it cost him more to ship it than the car itself, which was just a couple of thousand dollars. Um, it looks kind of cool, though I thought you know, hey, if you hear it is, is this it? Is this the? Is it the car? This?

2:28:02 - Sam Abuelsamid
is Jason's story. Oh, that's that. Yeah, that's not the one I was thinking of. Yeah.

2:28:07 - Leo Laporte
Um, but no, I remember this, uh, this article, when he did this. It's crazy, um, the claim is, of course, that the Chinese subsidize the government subsidizes these manufacturers. So it's, they compete unfairly, although the Chinese could also say the U? S subsidizes U S manufacturers to the tune of $7,500 per car. Um, that's a subsidy right.

2:28:33 - Sam Abuelsamid
Uh, yeah, no, it absolutely is. Yeah. Um, yeah, it was the the.

2:28:37 - Anthony Ha

2:28:38 - Sam Abuelsamid
Lee Freeman. Yeah, yeah. Somebody. Yeah, I just dropped that in the chat. Thank you.

2:28:43 - Leo Laporte
Yeah, let me see if I can find this. Uh, this picture the world's cheapest Chinese EV and Jason said it's actually really good.

2:28:55 - Sam Abuelsamid
Yeah, radio that can play MP threes. Okay, one horsepower rear wheel drive electric motor 28 miles of range.

2:29:05 - Leo Laporte
The wheels are the size of a small pizza. They're not, they're not huge.

2:29:12 - Anthony Ha
I would take that on the road.

2:29:13 - Leo Laporte
I would absolutely not the highway not the highway, but no, no, no, no, no, like yeah small town, road small. Yeah, but I drive it around town. I love to have that. It looks like a little front, looks like a little dragon. I don't think that's by accident, no, no, that's, that's not purpose yeah. Apparently Jason has uh has his parked in the sidewalk out front, so it's really easy to find his house.

2:29:39 - Sam Abuelsamid
Yeah, jason's got a thing for strange cars.

2:29:44 - Leo Laporte
Top speed 23 miles an hour, but that's enough for around town. Yeah, that's enough. Yeah, you wouldn't take it on the highway, but uh, it's like a golf cart. I don't know. I think this is a. I want one. It's cute.

2:29:59 - Sam Abuelsamid
Perfect for getting to the studio.

2:30:00 - Leo Laporte
Exactly. That's all I need. You know, it's funny. I have a big old fancy car to drive two miles every day. Probably could just get a Chang Lee instead next time.

2:30:10 - Sam Abuelsamid
It's got 23 miles of range, it'd be good.

2:30:12 - Leo Laporte
It's perfect.

2:30:14 - Sam Abuelsamid
And it'd probably be safer than riding the bike across the bridge. Yeah, yeah.

2:30:19 - Leo Laporte
Uh, all right, let's take a break and we'll wrap things up with our wonderful panel. Sam and bull salmon. Always great to have you on wheel bearingsmedia for his podcast. He's a principal researcher at a guide house insights and he's on our Twitch social server are masted on at Samuel a bull salmon. Is that really the whole thing? Samable salmon? That's your, that's your handle, okay.

2:30:46 - Sam Abuelsamid
Yeah, samable.

2:30:46 - Leo Laporte
Sam S a m a b u e l s a m I d. That's not so hard, yep. That's like a sign.

2:30:52 - Sam Abuelsamid
Find me anywhere I am, that's. That's the username I use, nice. Someone else took Sam a, so yes, sam, I want to be distinctive.

2:31:03 - Leo Laporte
Sam is, of course, sam Altman of open AI, and that is Anthony Ha, who is Anthony dashcom and Anthony Ha and the Twitter and the threads in the blue sky and his podcast, his original content. When we come back, we'll say goodbye to one of our beloved hosts, but we'll also get some content recommendations from Anthony, since he is in charge of all of that. Our show today, brought to you by look out. Today, every company is a data company. You know what that means. Every company is at risk.

Cyber threats, breaches, leaks these are the new norm, and cyber criminals grow more sophisticated by the minute. At a time when boundaries no longer exist, what it means for your data to be secure is fundamentally changed and her lookout from the first phishing text to the final data grab. Look out stops modern breaches as swiftly as they unfold, whether on a device in the cloud across networks, are working remotely at the local coffee shop. Look out gives you clear visibility into all your data, at rest and in motion. You'll monitor, assess and protect without sacrificing productivity for security. With a single, unified cloud platform, look out simplifies and strengthens reimagining security for the world that will be today. Visit look outcom today to learn how to safeguard data, secure hybrid work and reduce it complexity. That's look outcom. Let me thank him so much for supporting this week in tech. We'll be back with a final word and a farewell to one of our most beloved hosts, but first let's look back at the week that was this week. On Twitter, jason Snell has breaking news.

2:32:50 - WOT Promo
It's just in. Yes, I hope you were not planning your financial future around buying an apple car. What previously? On twit Mac break weekly, they have finally thrown in the towel. A lot of alarm bells went off when there were those reports about how they were only going to launch it without a steering wheel and with complete autonomous driving. It was one of those moments of like what, what are they? You know, what are they smoking time to geek out.

2:33:16 - Leo Laporte
It's the untitled Linux show. This story has all our favorite topics all bundled into one the rust based terminal called warp. This week in Google we should talk about the Gemini. Yeah, I'm going to say tempest in a teapot.

2:33:34 - WOT Promo
Woke Gemini just as social media is putting the vice, take down all the bad stuff. No, that's my bad stuff you took down. The same thing is now happening with AI, and the real problem, I think, is this expectation that guard rails can and should be put in such that the model maker can make sure that nothing bad ever happens this week in space episode 100 and we're going to celebrate with Dr Alan Cernan and find out what it takes to ride in space on Virgin Galactic.

2:34:02 - WOT Promo
It was the best work day ever. You know where we're headed is is to a start for our future. It will take centuries to get there, but I really believe that when people look back from that far away century, they'll look back to the 2020s and say that's where Star Trek began. That's where the inflection point, where it all started. That happened, twit.

2:34:22 - Leo Laporte
it's not your father's twit. It was a great week, really fun week on Twit and we thank so. Thanks to all of our hosts who are so wonderful, thanks to our club members who support it and, you know what, congratulations to our club show on title Linux show which is now out in public. We've taken all of those shows that have been behind the paywall and put them out in audio so you can subscribe to that at twittv. Slash U L S. I am sad to report that one of our dearest, most beloved hosts has passed away. Every single show since 2006, you've seen me use this microphone. This is a Hile PR 40. It's a microphone I discovered in 2006. When Bob Hile offered it as a prize for the best podcast award, we won the award. I used the mic and I went wow, I'm never using another mic again.

Bob, a great, legendary, not just microphone builder but sound man, passed away this week at the age of 83. He was the host of our Ham Nation show for 10 years, a Ham Elmer as they call him, a guy who taught and helped young amateur radio enthusiasts get their license and get into the hobby. But he was also an organist famous for his accomplishment. He was at the age of 15, the theater organist at the fabulous Fox Theater in St Louis. A protégé of Stan Can, the great organist, and Bob says we had a great triangulation which I'll recommend you listen to. Bob says that in the process of learning how to play that organ and how to tune those hundreds actually it was literally thousands of pipes in the great world, let's say he learned how to listen carefully and that helped him become a sound guy. He opened a brand, ye Olde Music Shop, a successful professional music shop in Marissa, illinois. Eventually that turned into Hyal Sound. It was when he was running the music shop in 1970, that the Grateful Dead came to town. They were playing St Louis to play the fabulous Fox in February 1970. They didn't have a sound system. They went to Ye Olde Music Shop and Bob provided his own sound system for the dead. It was such a success. They asked Bob and his sound system to join them on the tour that led Bob to his designing sound for rock and roll. He toured with a who on their who's Next tour. He designed the Quadrophonic sound for their Quadrophenia tour and, very famously, he designed the Talk Box for Peter Frampton.

Now some of you are way too young to remember the 1976 number one album Frampton Comes Alive. But I played that on repeat for the entire year and one of the things that made that such a unique album was the Talk Box. He's able to play his guitar and somehow make his mouth and make the guitar talk by moving his mouth. Well, bob told the story on a triangulation. Peter Frampton's wife came to Bob and said I need a perfect gift for Peter for his birthday. And Bob said okay, let me design something. He designed a little amplifier that would attach to the guitar and then to a hollow tube that Frampton could put in his mouth play the guitar. The guitar sound would be piped up through the hollow tube into his mouth which he could then use to shape the sound which would then go out into the microphone. It was such a unique sound. It made that a hit album, made Frampton a superstar.

Joe Walsh used it on his Eagles music fact. I remember when we interviewed Joe Walsh on on Ham Nation. It was a great, a great moment for me to get to talk to the Eagles, the Eagles lead guitarist. He said this is the, this is this is my favorite thing to play. And and Bob said yeah, and no one ever played it better than Joe Walsh. His original Talk Box is now in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, ohio. In fact Hile Sound is the only manufacturer featured in the display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He wrote he created the first modular mixing console, the Mavis, his custom quadrophonic mixer that he did for the who and the first Hile Talk Box, all at the Cleveland Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

He became an amateur radio operator when he was 13. He was a young guy and has been a ham ever since. But he was, you know, later in life bemoaning the quality of ham microphones. They were universally awful. So he designed his own ham microphone and got into the microphone business and got him into making what we consider the best, you know, large, quail, dynamic microphone in the business and one we've used ever since and love so much. A great ham, a great Elmer, a great sound designer, a legend.

He survived by his beautiful wife, sarah, who is a wonderful person, and his children In Lua Flowers. They're asking, and I will put a link to the the obituary at the chorus funeral home where Bob is in right now and is being held, for services In Lua Flowers. Memorial contributions can be made to the Shriners Children's St Louis or the American Radio Relay League Education and Technology Fund, benefiting ARL's education initiatives. In school he was a legend in his purple jacket. He came to our studios many times. We loved Bob Hile. We knew he wasn't doing very well. He got cancer about a year ago and it was been a long battle, but he finally succumbed earlier this week at the age of 83. Bob, we love you, we miss you and I know the heavenly choir is going to sound a hell of a lot better when Bob Hile gets there. A silent key, bob Hile. And of course he's had his ham call signed since he was 13, which is kind of cool. K9eid. So there's a silent key for K9EID.

2:40:38 - Sam Abuelsamid
I got the PR 40 you sent me right here yeah it's a great microphone, Still sound.

2:40:44 - Leo Laporte
Yeah, we loved Bob and he was an amazing guy. So I hate to end on a sad note, but he deserves the attention and the accolade. We have so many amazing stories about Bob. What a great guy. What a great guy. Thank you so much, Anthony Ha and Sam of Bulls. Samad and Anthony give us some great original content. He's the host of the original content podcast. Oh sure what's coming up that you're excited about.

2:41:15 - Anthony Ha
Oh that coming up. Well, I would say that if you're just looking for something to watch right now, that's really fun. Always I would. Something that was on max for a couple years but just made its way to Netflix is Warrior. It's a martial arts show set in the 19th century San Francisco, but like kind of a very heightened, almost fantasy version, I think very, very loosely based on some ideas that Bruce Lee had for, I think, what was eventually became Kung Fu, and it is just, it's a lot of fun. It's definitely pulpy, it's trashy, it's the kind of cable you know Cinemax original show where in the first episode you'll see a lot of nudity, a lot of like. All right, I see what kind of show this is, but you'll have a really good time with it.

2:42:00 - Leo Laporte
It's so funny because they always do that in the first episode. Everyone just like this is oh well, we know you won't watch this show unless we give you some, so here and then that's it right, then that's over and you can move on with your life. It's ridiculous. Yeah, it's how little they think of us is what it really is. That's how I took it.

2:42:19 - Anthony Ha
And arguably, you know some, sometimes they are proven correct, so maybe yeah.

2:42:24 - Leo Laporte
Yeah, we're good, I'll put this on my list.

2:42:29 - Anthony Ha
And I'm excited about the three body problem which is coming in Netflix and if you haven't already, I highly recommend reading the books before it comes out. I agree.

2:42:38 - Leo Laporte
I'm always a fan of reading sci fi books before the movie, because it's one or the other is going to imprint on you and how it looks, how it feels, how it sounds. And the book is such a brilliant it's actually the books, the three of them is so brilliant that it's worth reading them first. It's a little, I found a little difficult because it's translated from Chinese and the translation, I think, isn't very elegant. Maybe that's how the book was written. But the but, the thoughts, the story, the ideas, that people in it are really great. I can't wait to see it. Have you? You haven't seen a preview of it.

2:43:12 - Anthony Ha
I've seen the trailers. That's all nothing. I think that it hasn't been available to the public.

2:43:16 - Leo Laporte
Have you seen Dune 2 yet?

2:43:19 - Anthony Ha
No, I, I'm so angry about this. I have a friend of mine who's out of town this weekend and we agreed to go together. So I'm going on Thursday and I am absolutely furious with him. Have you seen Dune 2 yet?

2:43:30 - Leo Laporte
No, and I can't wait. It is in the. It is in the theaters now. I haven't been to a movie theater since since March 17th 2020, since COVID and actually once I'm sorry, once John Slanning, our studio manager, rented an entire movie theater just for us, so it was safe to go. What do we see? I forget, john Sorry. Dr Strange, yeah, that was pretty good, that was pretty good, but I think I might wait to see Dune until it comes out. Didn't you see Oppenheimer in the theater? Oh, you're right. See, sam, you know more about me than I do. That's right, I forgot, but that was Imax. That isn't. Does that count really? I mean, yeah, that's a minute more an amusement park than a studio.

2:44:13 - Anthony Ha
You went to. You went to outside your house.

2:44:17 - Leo Laporte
Dune 2 is Imax too. That's right, yeah. Is it native Imax or is it adapted to the Imax?

2:44:24 - Anthony Ha
I think it. I think it's native. I don't know how much of it, but some of it I think I would be willing to see it that way.

2:44:30 - Leo Laporte
I thought Dune 1 was amazing and I'm a fan of the book. That's a good another good example of a book you should read first, but this one's pretty true to the book, unlike Foundation. Well, I guess Foundation was true to the book, but just not good. All right, there's some good things to watch for Sam you got. What are you watching these days besides Shogun?

2:44:50 - Sam Abuelsamid
Uh, we just started. Last night we watched the first episode of the completely made up adventures of Dick Turpin.

2:44:57 - Leo Laporte
I can't wait to see that I've downloaded that for a trip to Mexico.

2:45:01 - Sam Abuelsamid
Is it good? It was really funny. Yeah, it's very funny.

2:45:04 - Leo Laporte
He was in the IT crowd and I yeah, I'm, I really want to see this Good and also that's an Apple TV unit.

2:45:15 - Sam Abuelsamid
Yeah, and Sexy Beast If you, if you remember the movie from 2000,. This series is a prequel, so it shows you the origins of Gal and and Don Logan and you see the. You know Don Logan is the character that Ben Kingsley played in the movie in 2000. And you hear, you see the origin story of how how they got to where, where they were at. That you know in the movie. And it's really, really good.

2:45:47 - Leo Laporte
It was a great movie. You probably should see the movie first. No, maybe not necessarily.

2:45:53 - Sam Abuelsamid
Okay, I mean, you could, you could watch this first. Mr and Mrs Smith on Amazon is also really good.

2:46:00 - Leo Laporte
Yeah, see, I didn't like the movie, but the but the TV show is good.

2:46:05 - Sam Abuelsamid
Yeah, donald.

2:46:06 - Leo Laporte
Glover and.

2:46:07 - Sam Abuelsamid
Maya Erskine. Yeah, and it's quite fun to watch and something that is actually finished now. But if you haven't watched it, I highly recommend you watch reservoir dog or no reservation dogs. It's on, it's on Hulu, on FX. It's a fantastic show about a group of teenage Native Americans that live on a reservation in in Oklahoma and it's just. It's a oh it's Taika Waititi.

2:46:40 - Leo Laporte
I love his style.

2:46:41 - Sam Abuelsamid
He's, he's the executive producer, but, um, yeah, Sterling Harjo is really the creator of this and he wrote, he wrote almost all of it. Um, and it's, it's really wonderful and it's definitely worth watching. There's four seasons of it and it's, it's fantastic.

2:46:58 - Benito
Sterling Harjo was the director of Atlanta Atlanta, so it has that same sort of vibe, okay.

2:47:04 - Sam Abuelsamid
Okay, yeah, I think he did. Yeah, he did some of the uh. He directed some of the episodes uh of Atlanta. There were a bunch of different directors on that, but yeah, so absolutely, if you haven't watched reservation dogs, watch that.

2:47:17 - Leo Laporte
Wow, now I got a lot of TV to go home and watch. Thank you so much, sammable Samad Love you, our car guy. He appears regularly on Ask the Tech guys and our other shows. You can also listen to him on his own show, wheel bearingsmedia, the wheel bearings podcast, and, of course, principal researcher at guidehouse insights, which probably keeps you pretty busy during the day. Oh, it certainly does Real pleasure to have you all the way from Ypsilanti, michigan. Thank you, sam.

2:47:45 - Sam Abuelsamid
All was fun to be on the show with you, leo Anthony.

2:47:47 - Leo Laporte
I loved having you.

2:47:48 - Sam Abuelsamid
We'll have you on soon again.

2:47:51 - Leo Laporte
He's the co-host of the original content podcast. Freelance writer. You'll read his stuff all over. Uh, you're writing all the time. I guess. Once you get in the habit, it's hard to stop.

2:48:02 - Anthony Ha
What's the point of living otherwise? Anyway reading your words.

2:48:07 - Leo Laporte
Yeah, exactly, it's so great to have you, anthony. Thank you for being here. Thanks to all of you for watching. We appreciate it.

The show, uh, this week in tech is our kind of flagship show. It's that's why we call it the twit network. Every Sunday, two to five PM Easter a Pacific time, that's five to eight PM, eastern, 2200 UTC. Uh, we stream it live, as we do with all of our shows while in taping, so you can watch us. You know, behind the scenes do the show on YouTube at youtubecom slash twit, but most people watch after the fact, because it is, after all, podcast audio or video available at the website TWITTV. You can also, uh watch it on YouTube. There's a video, uh, of each show on the YouTube channel dedicated to TWIT. Best thing to do, though, if you would ask me, is to subscribe in your favorite podcast player. That way, you'll get it, and you'll have it and be ready for your Monday morning commute armed with this week in tech.

A very special shout out to our club TWIT members, who always make this, as always make the show possible. Twittv slash club TWIT. If you're not a member yet. Thanks in advance. Thank you for being here. We'll see you next time. Another TWIT is in the can. Bye. 

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