This Week in Tech 983 transcript

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

00:00 - Leo Laporte (Host)
It's time for Twit this Week in Tech. Stacey Higginbotham's back, so is Lou Maresca it's the battle of the former show hosts and, sitting in between, brian McCullough from the Tech Meme Ride Home, who is really an honorary Twit show host. We're going to talk about the Spotify car thing and how that represents a whole trend in technology of obsoleting things we love. We'll also talk about the NVIDIA Drive Thor, a chip with 2,000 tops that uses more power than 10 light bulbs. We'll also talk about why TSMC says we can't leave Taiwan and the CoPilot Plus PCs. Recall has been recalled. It's all coming up next on Twit Podcasts you love.

00:50 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
From people you trust. This is Twit.

01:00 - Leo Laporte (Host)
This is Twit this Week in Tech, episode 983. Recorded June 9th 2024, digital Snack Wells. It's time for TWIT this Week in Tech, the show. We cover the week's tech news. We got some real newsies here. Gonna be fun. Lumaresca's back. We miss him from this week in enterprise tech. He still works at Microsoft, though, where he's a principal engineering manager for is it Office.

01:32 - Lou Maresca (Guest)
Yes for the Excel group, the Office platform group, and it's my 20th year.

01:37 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Holy cow.

01:38 - Lou Maresca (Guest)
When does that stock vest?

01:40 - Leo Laporte (Host)
When is the stock vest? That's the question. That's right, I wanted to keep going up. You work for a three trillion dollar company, my friend, uh, very nice to have you. Lou, miss you and love you and I'm so glad you're here. Thanks for joining us. Also, from the tech meme ride home, brian mccullough, internet historian. Look at those baby blues, brian. I tell you what you look like a one true Scotsman, with a Robert Caro Foster right behind you there, and all of that.

02:09 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
Well, and the monolith and Alf.

02:12 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Alf and everything. It's all there in some sort of video game. Is that a Pac-Man?

02:17 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
Jr. It's an original Pac-Man. From what? 1982?

02:23 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I recognized it right away, which I'm ashamed to admit. And let us say hello to our dear friend Stacey Higginbotham, who left us to go to work as a policy fellow at Consumer Reports. It's former host day on this week in tech. Ta-da Hi, stacey, good to see you. Hello everyone.

02:44 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
I am reading.

02:45 - Leo Laporte (Host)
High Voltage right now for Stacey's Book Club, june 27th. In the Discord in the Club Discord Wait, is it June 27th or June 20th? We moved it. Did you not get the memo?

02:56 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
I never have the memo.

02:58 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I think there was a conflict, so we moved it to the 27th. Does that work for you Well?

you know what. We don't have to do that on the air. We'll talk about that another time. But Stacey wrote a very good piece in Consumer Reports about the Spotify bricolage of their car thing. How to kill I love it. How to kill a smart device post-mortem on the car thing I thought we gotta get, we gotta get. I miss Stacey on this week in Google. We got to get her on. There's some good news, I think. I think the car, I think there's a movement to hack the car thing Not official and at least Spotify turned around and said okay, we'll give you a refund.

03:44 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
At least goodness, I mean, that is the very least they could do. They're not even giving you an actual refund. They're just like hey, we'll refund the payments you've already made to us for your monthly Spotify subscription.

04:00 - Leo Laporte (Host)
But you have to have a receipt and you have to request it. It's not automatic, yeah, but at the very least have to request it. It's not automatic, yeah, at the very least they could do it. At the very least At Lilliputingcom, the Spotify hacking community could keep the gadget useful after Spotify and support. So there is apparently an active hacker community has figured out a flash custom firmware on the car thing. Hacker community has figured out a flash custom firmware on the car thing. Uh, spotify apparently released source code for the bootloader, linux kernel, bluetooth stack and software updater, which is fantastic. Uh, it isn't the most powerful device in the world, so it may be. You're not gonna be.

04:39 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
Maybe you could play doom on it, I don't know, play doom on everything well, and I would love to get some smart people's opinions on this, and yours too, leo. No, all right.

04:56 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I counted that from you, stacey, count on it.

04:59 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
When we talk about this, I have some questions for people, because I'm still on the fence on how companies should handle this in a way that's responsible for everyone, so I don't know if we're talking about it now.

05:11 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I think we are.

05:12 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
I think we're talking about it. Okay, yeah, so here's my deal. Like two minds. I'm like, yes, open source, it bring it out to the world, but then for this device it's fine, but for some devices I'm like I don't know if I would want to open source, like a baby camera or something that has a microphone in it, because I feel like then people could sideload, like you could upload source code that could rat people out, right, so like give people remote access to things on the device.

And so then I'm like maybe it's not the best thing. And then the secondary part of that is I know the people who listen to the show are like hell yeah, let's load this on my device, let's maintain it. But for many, many normal consumers I don't know if that's really a viable option.

06:00 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, and it's not like you can do a whole lot of wonderful stuff with it, but this keeps happening. Remember the Chumby, Remember Sonos. And you ask a good question in your piece. You say is it a device or it's a service? Consumers think they bought hardware, but really what they were buying is a service. I think yeah.

06:22 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
Yeah, Because these things cost money to maintain over time and like, even if a company does it right. So you look at something like Amazon who was like oh God, these halo wearables and brand the fitness brand that we're launching.

06:35 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I have a halo wearable which just made it to the Leo garage sale last week. I think somebody took it. They're going to get a rude surprise when they can't do anything.

06:43 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
Yeah, see, that's not right man, but Amazon actually did a good job. They told people, they refunded everybody's money and they said, hey, you can send this device into us for recycling, and so I think that's like one of the better ones. You can hit Bora, not Bora, not O. Oh gosh, it's a German company that made the d-link vacuum cleaners. They actually killed that and they actually even put parts on like made parts available for five years, accessible to people who bought that.

07:16 - Leo Laporte (Host)
But that is a cost to the company. You can understand why a company might be saying you know, we never made any money on this. Here's something that we advertised for years. I don't. I don't think anything would happen if you plug this in. God knows. We haven't tried in a while. This is a sling box. Remember these? Oh yeah.

07:33 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
Okay, that was like from like 2005. 20 years ago, I mean come on, man.

07:40 - Leo Laporte (Host)
But I mean well, I don't know when it was from, but I mean so you're saying so. That's the question. What's the statute of limitations? How many years should one of these things run for before?

07:50 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
Well, so do we want to set a number of years for each individual device, Like some things that make sense, like your car, like how long should like. My car is a 2013 Tesla. It's 11 years old now. When are they going to stop supporting that car?

08:07 - Lou Maresca (Guest)
For somebody who has a Zune still and still uses it. I can tell you that this happens to devices all the time.

08:12 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Does the Zune still work?

08:13 - Lou Maresca (Guest)
though, in every respect. Oh yeah, I love it. I love it. I wish it open sourced, right. I mean, that's the thing that I still use it all the time. But I would say that these are the types of things. I think that Spotify I think they did a really good thing for people, obviously, to make it available and give them money back and all that stuff. They did more than most organizations would do from a, from a device Only after consumer pressure.

08:31 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
They did it because people yeah, right, yeah. We like the whole world was like hello, no.

08:44 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
Brian, you said that there was a day at the Tech Meme ride home when it was all about consumer pressure. It was all about backlashes. I mean a lot of it. That was one of them. Um, it's, it's a lot of microsoft, recall. There's a lot of. There's a lot of companies that right now adobe have been treating their customers for years and it's kind of biting them in the butt as they especially move to this AI stuff or like um in the like. Take the Microsoft case where it's like, uh, yes, uh, you can search everything you've ever done. And then people are like, well, yes, but then a five years down the road you're going to sell that to um an advertiser or something, cause we don't trust you because you've been throwing ads in the start menu and all that stuff.

09:27 - Leo Laporte (Host)
There's two levels. Let's talk about recall, because the story did change over the last couple of days. Microsoft, when it announced its Copilot Plus PCs including its new Surface, but from a number of manufacturers they come out June 18th said that one of the features that will be turned on by default is recall, which will take screenshots every few seconds of what you're doing, apply AI to understand the screenshot, do OCR, understand images and regions and then save all that information into a my I think it was actually a SQLite database on your hard drive. Microsoft said but don't worry, because it's encrypted with BitLocker and, by the way, there's no cloud access. We don't upload it to the cloud, there's no access for us or anybody else, and if you get a new machine, you start over, so don't worry.

To which a number of people, including Kevin Beaumont in his Medium piece in Double Pulsar, said stealing everything you've ever typed or viewed on your own Windows PC is now possible with two lines of code inside the Copilot Plus recall disaster. Steve Gibson on Tuesday rehashed a lot of this, pointing out that BitLocker is not going to protect anybody because as soon as they log in, it's decrypted. So if you had malware on your machine, you logged into your machine. It's pretty easy to exfiltrate out of that database and because it's so nicely compact it should be fairly easy to offload it to some other site. And then I saw a number of people who don't trust like, as you said, brian, don't trust Microsoft.

11:07 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
So yeah, and like the point that people were making which take this with a grain of salt and obviously with the divide of of nerds, lots of people take it with a grain of salt. But they were like, if Apple announced this, apple has spent many, many years saying we believe in privacy, this is all your stuff. But they were saying I think it was Windows Central that said Microsoft does not have that half a decade of user trust.

11:40 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Now, lou works for Microsoft, but it does not speak for Microsoft on this show. That's right. Before we get to your thoughts on this, I should absolutely follow up immediately with the fact that, after a considerable amount of pressure and a lot of bad press, microsoft said oh yeah. By the way, paul Theriot was at great pains to say this on Wednesday. I think he might have known Microsoft was going to do what they did. He said wait, it's not out yet, just be patient. You know, anybody who's used it to date has used a hacked version of it. This is not the release version, just wait. Well, as it turns out, microsoft now says it will be opt-in not opt-out, which I think is a big deal, a very big deal. You have to say yes, I want it as part of the installation on your Copilot Plus PC.

12:33 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
Is it a big deal, or is that like the bare minimum? If you're going to do something, well, you've got to do that because it was opt-out right.

12:39 - Leo Laporte (Host)
It was on by default. That's clearly not a good idea For preview builds, but yes, it was opt-out Right. I think they wanted it to be opt-out, but anyway, they've made it opt-in. They also said and I think this is a very important change that you can't actually access it until you're verified with Windows Hello, not just logging into your computer, but actually as soon as you open recall, it'll say are you you? It's also going to have proof of presence required. That's, I think, a big deal. I haven't yet seen what Kevin Beaumont and others have to say in response to this, but it looks like Microsoft listened to the uproar and acted appropriately. Now that you've heard that story, go ahead Lou.

13:30 - Lou Maresca (Guest)
Yeah, yeah, I mean I'll add a little color. I won't soapbox it here, but I'll kind of give it from a perspective of an engineer who's been doing this for 20 years. Any type of feature like this. I think there's a ton of excitement around this type of stuff. Right, let's put about all these new features out we. We have new compute power, we have new technology. Let's throw some new stuff out there that could really take a hit and help consumers and help organizations. Like, in fact, you know I was thinking about this from an organization perspective like how can it really help an organization? Well, you know, there's some technology out there that we're hoping to figure out how the configuration of the policies of the machines are changing over time. Or somebody put malware on my machine. How can I look back and what happened and audit that? So these are the types of things they're thinking about.

But I think the specific thing that I like to call out is obviously, obviously is a preview feature right, right up front. I think it kind of worked by design, like, personally is that, you know, I actually appreciate all the the feedback people are giving on it and then and obviously, people are poking holes in it and, as an engineer, like poking holes in it is really what we want to have people do, right? I mean, I guess there is some bad press around the fact oh well, this is a security problem or this is a trust problem, and obviously people have trust problems with any type of AI or edge technology, and I think that is the thing that we, that Microsoft, was really hoping. I mean, you know, having this type of good or end or bad press actually helps evolve these things moving forward. And is it going to be a great feature? Could be. I think it definitely could be a great feature. Could it be in the current state that it was in? Could it be a privacy nightmare? It could have been, but I think that they're actually adjusting Now.

Again, I'm not a Microsoft fanboy by any means. I have MacBooks. I use all technology, know I use all technology. Well, I turn this on? Probably not, but that's just because I don't need this feature. You know I don't need this type of thing on my machines, but I think that it could be something good, right? So I would say there's. I think, by design, this happened. I think that they now have their feedback. They now know what people want or don't want, and now they're going to adjust. Now they now know what people want or don't want, and now they're going to adjust. Now the question is how will the public respond to that?

15:26 - Leo Laporte (Host)
This is an interesting conundrum that all AI has a problem that Apple has.

15:34 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
I was going to bring up Apple because they're they're going to, they're claiming or German is claiming that the whatever they're going to announce tomorrow is going to be opt-in as well. Like that's what I was going to say is like, is the problem here that these are? It's not just hey, we have a new feature for our OS. This is a base level feature of our OS which could change everything that you do with our OS, and so, like we're talking about a different level of risk, or like just base level engagement, you know but welcome to the world of AI.

16:05 - Leo Laporte (Host)
And the thing that's interesting to me about recall is Microsoft was listening to the its constituency, maybe in business, but in general. That said, hey, it would be really cool if AI knew everything about me and could answer questions about my day, what I have agreed to, what I'd like to do, and didn't pay as much attention perhaps to the paranoid, privacy focused contingent. Apple, which pays a lot of attention to the privacy and the paranoid contingent, has, as a result, not had an AI strategy. It's going to be very difficult. Be interested to see what Apple does tomorrow, because it's going to be a challenge. I you know Apple already has a backup program that records everything you do and versions of every document. It's document focused, not screenshot focused, but nobody ever said that about Time Machine, even though it's doing that all the time. I am going to subscribe. I actually ordered the limitless pin. This is from a company called Rewindai. Look at what Rewind does, your AI assistant. That has all the context. Rewind is a personal AI powered by everything you've seen, said or heard.

17:12 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
I've been using it for two years on my Mac, you see.

17:16 - Leo Laporte (Host)
You see? So this is very similar. So I can see how Microsoft would say well see, people want this. Maybe they should have paid a little more attention to the security side of it. How do you like Rewind, by the way?

17:32 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
It is. I use it less than I. I should not be paying monthly for it is what.

17:40 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I would say it's $20 a month, isn't it? Every AI thing is $20 a month. I did order the Limitless Pin with the thinking being this thing records all the audio around me at all times, right, and it's just a little clip-on thing. It has some interesting features to protect people from being recorded, especially required and legally in some States to be two party States that they have to agree to be recorded. So it does voice printing and won't record a voice unless you explicitly say to that person hey, stacy, is it okay if I record this conversation and then the voice print that says Stacy agrees, then it will start recording. I think this is cool.

18:22 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
Then it will start recording, I think this is cool, what I think it is cool. But like, let's say, you and I have recorded our conversations on this show, like obviously I've agreed to record this, right, but then later we're having a discussion over drinks, like as a reporter, I'm super sensitive to something like that because, I talk to people publicly and not publicly often, and so you probably should get dodgy.

18:51 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, but I would never. This is the conundrum. This is exactly what I'm talking about. In every respect. These are we, we, I mean you also could agree. As a reporter. It'd be nice to have everything you've done, every note, every interview you've done, available to you for an ai to query would be useful well, except it wouldn't be because if people I mean people go on and off the record all the time, so well maybe I have to manually color it red.

19:16 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
Maybe they'll color it red when they say, off the record but then, but it's not off the record if it's on, if it's on a computer server I'm sure there's a button you can stop it a record. If it's on a computer server, I'm sure there's a button.

19:28 - Leo Laporte (Host)
You can stop it. All right, this thing is a bad idea, but the point is, I think people like the idea of having this data. Look, I want her. I want an assistant that knows everything about me, right?

19:40 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
Until they experience it, or they experience like in it's awesome. You're like offloading all the crap tasks from your life to like an ai, right. Except that's not how the world works and, unfortunately, what people are selling us is like you know what they're selling us. They're selling us digital snack wells this idea that you can eat all the crap you want and it's not going to have any effect on you and then later we find out it's probably not good crap you want and it's not going to have any effect on you, and then later we find out it's probably not good for you. So like that's what this is. This is in snack wells. We're not a great cookie, right. Ai experience right now is not awesome, so you're basically that's, that's what's.

20:19 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
But we want snack wells that are really good and good for you, but okay, so again, leo, I just said that, uh, I shouldn't be paying for it every month because I don't use it enough. And uh, to stacy's point, and like that, it's not there yet and whatever, like so, um, you know, I use superhuman for the email, and so there's. There's ai summarization of my email threads, which is good. When I get an email from a thread that I haven't looked at in six months and there's 15 emails on it, and I'm like summarize this. What were we talking about? Great, do you know? What's not great Is here we'll write the email response for you. If I'm going to respond in two sentences to an email, it's faster to just do that. And, and what I'm saying?

21:08 - Leo Laporte (Host)
is like use it that way, then just can't you just use it to the summaries? Isn't that enough? Isn't that useful I?

21:14 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
guess, but I don't use it enough, and what I just said with rewind is I don't have to. What was that thing that I said to Leo two and a half years ago? I don't do that sort of search enough. Maybe if I was a reporter I would. What I'm saying is is that if, if AI is all about getting rid of the rote, dumb work and here's your, here's your perfect assistant that you always dreamed of on steroids I don't use an assistant for that enough, at at least at this point, and maybe I'm not doing it right okay, you know.

21:47 - Leo Laporte (Host)
So we've identified a third problem. So number one uh ai, sounds like on the face of it it might be useful. Number two in order to do that, there are privacy and security risks. Number three maybe it ain't all that useful after all. We kind of have to face that, can I?

22:06 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
add a fourth item. Yes, perfect AI. Context-aware AI is going to require as much data as humanly possible, including your private data. The company's gathering this right now. Sure, it doesn't work perfectly right now, but even if it does, they're not going to be able to make enough money based on the cost of actually doing this, and they're going to have to sell your data, even if they could make enough money. The way the stock market rewards companies is for continual growth, and the only way to do that is to sell your data. So if you're building it because good AI is basically surveillance what we are doing is selling people some entity that will surveil them and then, under the guise of helping them out, I'm okay if I'm surveilled by myself.

Yeah, and if I trusted the company to not eventually need to be beholden to stockholders and sell something better you know, or sell, I'm sorry. Boost their profit margins, which?

23:05 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
was the Microsoft conund, sorry. Boost their profit margins, which was the.

23:08 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Microsoft conundrum, as we were saying. Well, it's also, ironically, the Spotify car thing conundrum, which is, if it can't make money, so number four. And, by the way, let's, it's not that it can't make money.

23:19 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
It's that it can't.

23:20 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Without surveilling you Continual growth of money.

23:23 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
No, it's that it can't without surveilling your growth of money? No, it's that I build you something amazing because of the way the market rewards continued growth.

23:37 - Lou Maresca (Guest)
My amazingness has to generate more money over time, or revenue over time. How does that make sense? And how does that apply, though, to AI, edging technology, technology where they don't take your data other places and they use the compute power of your own machine in your own home to do that Like? How does that apply to the theory that you're actually saying there?

23:53 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
See, and that's ideally. If you do everything on the edge, a company can't they can make money selling you the hardware once there you go.

But I don't see like. I was actually just at this kitchen smart kitchen summit last, earlier this week, and the big thing was like, hey, we're going to build a fridge and it's going to have, you know, image recognition for what's in it and it's going to be all in device because people hate, like, the idea of people knowing what you have in your fridge, all those Ben and Jerry's right. But that person said something and then the next person who got up was like we're going to take that data and we're going to use the data from your wearable and then we're going to nudge you into behaving properly and I'm like guys.

24:33 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Oh, you blew it and you said the quiet part out loud the biggest issue with that.

24:40 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
I was like we're taking like technology to solve what is a systemic issue. It's not going to solve it, but we're going to say it solves the systemic issue, which is that we're feeding people junk. But anyway, snack wells. I have a lot of snack wells, I think you're right, I'm going to add a.

24:55 - Leo Laporte (Host)
How many are we up? Now four. I'm going to add a fifth problem, which is it's adding fuel to a world that is already on fire. Yeah, that this is still horrifically energy dependent. It wouldn't be on the edge, I guess, unless we all have these massive PCs that are using hundreds of watts.

25:14 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
You don't need massive PCs.

25:16 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah Well, I'll give you an example. We talked about this earlier today with Samuel Boussamed, our car guy on Ask the Tech Guys. He brought up the new NVIDIA Thor. This is an AI chip for cars. Now remember, the iPad is 38 trillion operations a second 38 tops. These AI co-pilot plus AI PCs are. According to Qualcomm, the Snapdragon Elite X can get to 45 tops. The Thor is 2,000 trillion operations per second. This thing is massively overpowered because apparently you need it if you're going to drive a car without a human involved, and NVIDIA is making this. They're power hungry too.

Yeah, oh yeah, power hungry, over 100 watts of power as they run, uh, in your, in your car. So I feel like this really feels like move fast and break things all over again. To me, sam altman is clearly a move fast and break things kind of guy, right and and there are these guys are? There's some? These true believers are so excited, you know, sometimes I'm in that camp, by the way, about agi and the potential of ai, even if it isn't agi to change the world, to make the world a better place, that they're willing to damn the torpedoes full speed ahead. Recall feels a little bit like that. Um, and I guess you could make the case. Unless you are 100% committed to this, it isn't going to happen. Do you want this to happen?

26:52 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
Well, here's the other thing. It is still so early enough that we actually don't know if throwing AI into Excel and throwing AI into your email and throwing AI into your OS and throwing AI into your car is what people actually want. Like I don't own any NVIDIA stock, but like there's been some articles out there about, like you know, nvidia, three trillion dollar company or whatever. But what if all of these companies that are throwing all their money at NVIDIA chips are, like you know, no one's actually using these copilots to do Excel spreadsheets Because, again, like I said about email, it's easier to just write the two sentence thing than get the summary, and so we actually don't know it would. It's probably like a year out before we'll know if the actual usage of this, of these copiles, beyond like coding, beyond like I've heard a lot about stuff in the medical space, in the, in the legal space of okay, yeah, this, this is obviating a lot of rote work, but, um, is that enough for, uh, everybody?

28:00 - Lou Maresca (Guest)
yeah, I think another. Another interesting perspective here is, I think, one thing that, especially having worked on one of the co-pilots, I can say that obviously there's going to be the power users, the ones that can do things faster just by doing it themselves, and then there's the other users we call them everyday Excel users, ones that people are not necessarily experts, or the fact that Microsoft has, you know, basically stuffed as many features as they possibly can in their, in their applications, and people sometimes can't find them or even how to configure them, and so that's where these assistants come in especially.

28:28 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
They've helped me over the years, actually or why do you need ai in instagram? Uh, in theory, that's a great place to teach my mom that maybe she needs ai. But uh, what would you?

28:40 - Leo Laporte (Host)
do with that. Well, why do you need? Need Amazon Echo in an electric toothbrush and we don't. But Oral-B sold a $230 Alexa toothbrush and then pulled the plug, so it's not even an Echo toothbrush anymore. By the way, I'm looking at a kitchen with Echo-enabled appliances Refrigerator, stove, microwave and dishwasher. How long before the plug's pulled on that? I guess it'll still work as a dishwasher.

29:14 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
Yes. So I will say just for everybody, looking ahead, if I were still doing my newsletter I'd be looking at this, but Amazon in April said they were going to stop giving credits to companies developing on Alexa. So that stops at the end of June. Oh did you think there'll be far fewer things that use Echo.

Yes, and I mean Amazon is obviously still trying to figure out what the heck they should be doing on a moneymaking side. I mean they're talking about doing now adding AI, and this is I mean all of this is marketing, like I've been doing this for 20 something years and bless everybody's heart. You know we've had, I mean, ai on Instagram. That's what filters are? It's just computer vision, right? That's AI, no-transcript point of view from a, also from a cost, like a server cost point of view, and so amazon's talking about actually charging people for access to more features.

30:35 - Leo Laporte (Host)
They told us last year they lost 10 billion dollars in one year on echo did they tell us that, or did somebody? See some documents or extrapolate it somehow okay, no, I'm just'm like where are we on that? I think it was in their quarterly report, wasn't it? Let me see if I can find it. It's in an R story yeah, let me see.

30:53 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
I mean it's still probably.

30:54 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I don't I just I'm like Amazon echoes a colossal failure on pace to lose $10 billion this year. This is a ron amadio writing in ars technica yeah, but that was estimates this is a report from business insider, so this is probably guesses. Yes, um no, but I don't think it's. It's probably not far off. Let's put it that way.

31:21 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
Yeah, it's totally plausible.

31:21 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Sorry, it's a plausible guess no, I'm glad you clarified that.

31:25 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
Yeah, uh, and they did lay off a whole bunch of people, so including the uh alexa division, I think so uh, do you find that interesting that again the the what I was saying before of uh, we don't know that this will pay off for the Microsoft's and the Google's and even the Apple's of the world, but all of the like I titled a show this week that was like why are we still doing layoffs? And it is because everybody is increasing CapEx spending to to make sure that they can service all of these needs, and so God forbid that your margins go down when you do that.

32:07 - Leo Laporte (Host)
So you're firing people so that you can enhance AI?

32:10 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
which is exactly what people were terrified about. So you can buy server instances or actual NVIDIA chips.

32:16 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Even before it takes your job, it's taking your job. Yeah, okay, okay, yeah, um, okay, okay, um. So, by the way, if you were gonna do home automation stacy, this used to be your beat home assistant, home assistant and home assistant.

32:38 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
It's complicated to set up, but if you can get it set up and working, I think I've got it running on my sonology actually, so that is the nerdiest sentence ever.

32:47 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I love it well, it's actually okay. It's not that nerdy, because it's very easy to get it running. Getting it to do things is another matter. Yep, entirely.

32:57 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
I have cassettes selling that to my sister-in-law. I have cassettes switches everywhere.

33:02 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Uh, I have a Amazon Echo-enabled fireplace.

33:09 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
I have an Echo-enabled faucet. We're good yeah that's true.

33:12 - Leo Laporte (Host)
That's true. Do you still use that?

33:18 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
I think I may have unplugged that. Actually, yeah, because I took Amazon out of my house, so if I haven't unplugged it, I should.

33:23 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Oh, you completely, you disabled it entirely.

33:27 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
I have Google. Amazon was so annoying Like I would be like at night going to bed. I'd be like Madam A set an alarm for seven in the morning and it'd be like, okay, and by the way, can I interest you in like a podcast and I'm like no, I'm going to bed man a podcast and I'm like no, I hate that. I hate that. It's driving me nuts, so is home assistant open source. It is Okay, Um, and there's a company also that supports instances of it? Um called Nabucasa, and it's awesome.

33:58 - Lou Maresca (Guest)
Yeah, they are awesome. A lot more turnkey. Those, those examples are giving Cause. I think that my uh, that my dad I had tried to set up for my dad. It took me probably hours even just to set it up myself, but these other turnkey solutions actually help out. For a couple of minutes you can set it up so you pay for yeah, when did?

34:15 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
you set it up.

34:17 - Lou Maresca (Guest)
What was?

34:18 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
that? How long ago did you set it up?

34:21 - Lou Maresca (Guest)
Not that long ago actually, Okay.

34:27 - Leo Laporte (Host)
So does Nababo casa sell a? It sells. It looks like a hardware device. Is that right or no?

34:29 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
it's just software here they sell a hardware device, but you can also access. You can do a raspberry pi.

34:36 - Lou Maresca (Guest)
It looks like you can have your own gateway, but yeah yeah, all right.

34:40 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Well, I've got home assistant running on myology, so we'll see what goes after that.

34:45 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
Oh yeah, you can buy like they've got a blue and like an amber and so it's already running on the device and it has Zigbee radios and Wi-Fi. Nice, because you know, if you've got a Pi then you're like do I need Wi-Fi? Oh, you need Zigbee.

34:59 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Okay, yeah, yeah yeah, yeah, right, and apparently it turns out. Apple has secretly been building thread into everything, including the new MacBooks, the new MacBook Airs.

35:15 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
So is thread the. Oh, I don't even this is such a bad. Okay, a thread. Radio is what Matter is built on Right. It's also the same underlying protocol as Zigbee. So it's you know how you got your IEEE protocols and those are like the base layers, and then you got your like software layers on top. So it's 80, shoot 15.4, I think 8, 8, 15? No 15.4? Anyway, Is it?

35:38 - Leo Laporte (Host)
good if I have a thread, radio and all my stuff. Does that make Home Assistant easier?

35:42 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
Yes, it could. Well, it doesn't make Home Assistant easier. It makes Matter easier. But Home Assistant does have a Matter compatible version. So they will support Matter, I think.

35:56 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Is it getting better or is it getting worse? Can you just tell me that?

36:01 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
It's always going to be worse. It's always going to be more complicated. I'm so sorry.

36:08 - Leo Laporte (Host)
How does your dad like his new setup Lou?

36:13 - Lou Maresca (Guest)
Oh, lou's muted. He actually loves it. Well, I can control it from here. That's the big thing is I can help kind of configure it and do it from here. But I think he loves it for what it does. I mean it sets it up for you know. You know configuring lights and shutting things off and making sure that their alarm is on when it needs to be, that kind of thing. So I think there's lots of things that it can do, I think, and it can all be set up as profiles and as you use Nabucasa or just home assistant, home assistant, just plain old vanilla home system.

36:41 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I want to be able to say hey.

36:45 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
Nabuc plain old vanilla home system. I want to be able to say, hey, nabu Casa, can I do that? Last year was their year of voice. Okay, it wasn't going to be Nabu Casa.

36:50 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
It was going to be, but they were building they were building a on-device local voice assistant.

36:54 - Leo Laporte (Host)
How about Nabu Nabu? Can I say that let's take a little break? I mean you can, certainly I can say anything. I want Stacey Ingbeth great to see you. See, again, I put you on the spot First home assistant and next we're going to talk about chips. She is a policy fellow at Consumer Reports From the tech meme ride home, the daily news podcast. You've got to listen to Brian McCullough, the host Great to see you. And look, there's his copy of the Power Broker, right above his picture of Robert Caro. Are you in the fan club?

37:26 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
Is that it? No, uh, as I was saying, off air, uh, just, I know a photographer that took this picture. If you're watching, yeah, uh, and it's, it's him. You're thinking there's two people there, it's him, but yeah, um, and then there's elf, as we said, and then there's elf.

37:41 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Because? Is that? Because you're a blue sky guy? No, my kids.

37:46 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
I have Goonies over here and Pac-Man over there, I don't know.

37:55 - Leo Laporte (Host)
My kids have filled things with a bunch of Blame. The kids, of course. It's all their fault. And Lou Maresca, who has surprisingly little evidence of children around him, even though he has an infinite number of them.

38:06 - Lou Maresca (Guest)
That's right. They know to stay away from my office at this point.

38:10 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Principal engineering manager at Microsoft and I'll welcome guests. Former host of this week in Enterprise Tech. Great to have all three of you. Our show today brought to you by NetSuite. The less your business spends on operations multiple systems delivering your product or service the more margin you have. The more margin you have, the more money you keep In order to reduce costs and headaches. Smart businesses are graduating to NetSuite by Oracle.

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Let's talk about adobe another uh pain point for you, brian. Another issue that, another issue that the users were upset about, Adobe sprung a new EULA on. Actually, it's been a while since I've seen so much outrage from photographers and artists, people who use the Adobe Creative Cloud. This story from Mike Worthley and Malcolm Owen at Apple Insider Mike Worthley and Malcolm Owen at Apple Insider Adobe's new terms of service unacceptably gives them access to all your projects for free. Adobe says it's made some alterations to four sections and then a pop-up appears and you cannot continue on to Photoshop or InDesign or Lightroom or any of your Adobe Premiere, any of your Adobe products, without agreeing. It's kind of they got you by the wrist.

40:54 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
I haven't actually opened Creative Cloud since I saw this story. Oh, go ahead, let's see. Oh yeah, right, but actually I will do that as I'm saying this.

Yeah, I'm curious, All right, but actually I will do that as I'm saying this. Yeah, I'm curious, All right, that's what people were complaining about. Is that like? Let's say, you get hit by this and the language says the way that it was originally worded? It sounded like oh, by the way, anything you create in Adobe Cloud, we can own it in perpetuity and you can't continue to use it unless you agree to it. So lot of people are like well, I can't follow this step. By the way, keep talking while I try to bring yeah, uh.

41:32 - Leo Laporte (Host)
So there the four sections are. Include uh, adobe has quote clarified that we may access your content through both automated and manual methods, such as for content review. By the way, these kinds of things pop up from time to time Instagram and elsewhere, where it really is a consequence of being able to run a service that they have to be able to do some of these things. So sometimes people overreact to that kind of language.

41:56 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
So what Adobe essentially said is think about what cloud is. It's managed by them, it's a cloud service. And what they were saying was, in order to find CSAM stuff or if you're doing, you know, non-consensual pornography or whatever, we need to be able to manually go in there and search for that stuff. And what their response essentially in the end was is like that's what the terms of service meant. It was worded poorly. I did not get the pop-up.

42:32 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I wonder why. Okay, so the pop-up people have reported and it's reported, as Apple Insider says. Further, tells users that by closing the window, they cannot continue to use Adobe apps and services, and offers a single blue button to accept and continue Agreeing to the conditions. Maybe you already agreed to it, you forgot. But the worst one according to AI, section 2.2, our access to your content Already there's a problem Includes verbiage that Adobe may quote, access, view or listen to your content through both automated and manual methods, but only in limited ways and only as permitted by law. Maybe that's CSAM? I think there's some concern because we know Firefly, which is Adobe's AI. You know generative AI solution did in fact use content from the Adobe Cloud to train on it. I think right.

43:22 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
Well, so that's. The other thing is that, in this current AI environment, a lot of people were like oh right, are you saying that you're? That means, if I say yes to this, you can train on my content. And uh, at that point, no, you know, um, and and again the pop-up that people saw that.

43:39 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I don't know why you didn't see it, brian.

43:41 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
Yeah, I don't. I I didn't see it, brian. Yeah, I don't. I've opened Premiere everything it didn't show up.

43:45 - Leo Laporte (Host)
You subscribe to the Creative Cloud.

43:47 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
Yes, I do, I do.

43:48 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Okay. Benino did you see it, because we use Creative Cloud, we use Premiere for editing. I don't remember seeing it. Yeah, okay, maybe Adobe's. I don't know what's going on. Maybe this is a tempest in a teapot. There were certainly a lot of people. I saw people on all over social saying well, I guess this means I'm moving to affinity photo or one of a variety.

44:10 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
There was even an article uh, all the, all the replacements for your adobe apps out there so in the, in the end, their their comment was adobe does not train firefly gen ai models on customer content. Firefly generative ai models are trained on a data set of license content which, by the way, I would argue, leo, as far as I know, they've never trained on. Non Adobe was always very careful to say that it was either public domain or license content.

44:39 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, that was one of the things creators really approved of from Adobe. Creators really approved of from Adobe. So the first statement that Adobe issued was Adobe accesses user content for a number of reasons, including the ability to deliver some of our most innovative cloud-based features, such as Photoshop, neural filters and remove background in Adobe Express, as well as to take action against prohibited content. Adobe does not access, view or listen to content that is stored locally on any user's device. Note, however, there's nothing about training AI. So Thursday night, adobe clarified Access is needed for Adobe applications and services to perform the functions they are designed and used for. This is the cloud right Opening and editing files for the user, creating thumbnails or preview for sharing. Access is needed to deliver some of our most innovative cloud-based features, such as Photoshop, neural filters, liquid mode or remove background.

I hate it when they put promotional copy in explanations. That's a mistake. Adobe, stop it. It's not innovative. It's just a service For content processed or stored on Adobe servers. Adobe may use technologies and other processes, including escalation, for manual human review to screen for certain types of illegal content like CSAM or other abusive content or behavior. And then they specifically say quote Adobe does not train Firefly Gen AI models. On customer content, and this is probably the most important, adobe will never assume ownership of a customer's work, so is this just another case of people getting all upset about nothing?

46:19 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
I say that because I think that people are right to be very defensive in this. Everyone's selling our stuff to train AI models, but again, what this was about was the Adobe Cloud portion of it, so that if you are making bad images and you're uploading it to their cloud, they're saying the government might come to us, and in the same way that they would come to Google or whomever, to say there might be some CSAM or terrorist stuff in there. I think that's what the terms of service was. The problem is is that it's completely tied to a creative product which is like so you're saying that my content, you're going to scan it every time. Well, they're saying if you're uploading it to our cloud, we have to, and that's why the terms of service would change. Isn't this why?

47:13 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Apple got a lot of heat for proposing something similar. I guess it was because it was on your device that Apple got the heat. I mean, every cloud provider does this. I believe they scan for CSAM mostly using the nickmick database. They're looking for hashes, matching hashes, as opposed to actually looking at your images. That's why they say we escalate to human intervention sometimes.

47:37 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
And that's if it matches, if the hash matches if our algorithm says it, then we'll send it to a human and and, by the way, if you think about it, adobe is like literally the front line of that. Right? Like, if you're creating bad content like that, where are you going to do it? Right?

47:53 - Leo Laporte (Host)
So are we all okay, and everybody should stand down.

47:59 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
No, I would say, in this AI moment, always be wary of the terms of service in terms of where it be it, be it Reddit, be it Adobe, be it Apple, eventually, be it comments on the New York Times, they're going to sell your stuff to train AI, probably tomorrow, yeah.

48:19 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
I feel like consumers are going to take. There's two ways this can go. Consumers are there. There will be the backlash right, not just against like these terms of service, but also like they're going to start placing a prior or a higher priority on things that aren't connected to the cloud, because they've recognized, and the companies have shown them, that they you can't trust them, you can't trust it to work the way you want it to, you can't trust that your data is going to be safe.

Basically, tech firms have really screwed up in the last like 20 years and they've been chasing the next new thing and the next hotness instead of actually establishing trust and reliability. And I know I sound like a million years old, but like as they're putting tech in more. It was fine when it's like a phone or a computer, but now it's everything and we're becoming very leery of it. The Wall Street Journal just had a story like earlier I think it was this week and it was like people don't want to buy new cars because they're worried about the technology and touchscreens in the new cars. Like that's not an unusual thing.

49:25 - Leo Laporte (Host)
That is really the story of this whole first half of the show is I thought you were going to say first half of this decade Of life.

Well, that too, but a growing distrust of the tech sector, and you're seeing problems in government because of it, but you're also seeing problems with consumers because of it, and some of this is that we kind of were sold a bill of goods that the Internet could be free, and what we weren't told is it's free, but it will require a massive invasion of your privacy to make it free.

50:01 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
You know what? Also, I think it is and actually Stacey can speak to this way more than I can but don't you feel like, as a consumer, it's the lack of control, like if you liked how Instagram was five years ago or Twitter was five years ago or your car was five years ago and it's like I'm going to buy a new car and it's not the way I wanted. Why don't I have a choice in that? And I don't like it's still a marketplace. It's. It's still there are options in theory, but I feel like a lot of what the backlash is is like wait, I don't want this, but you're going to cram it down my throat.

50:40 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
Because there's so much value add. There's a perception of a value add and again I hate to do this. I'm going to go back into the idea that you can sell hardware or a car once right and you can like, without good right, to repair laws. You can like lock people into your dealership network for repairs, but if you add technology to things, you can charge people license, annual licensing fees or subscription fees. Or you can charge people to like for a subscription to heat their car, like their car seats. I mean like that's why it's happening. There's a clear economic incentive and it's not necessarily wrong. It's just that consumers are saying they don't see the value in it yet and I truly don't know what they're going to do.

51:26 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
And the lack of control is, as Leo was saying, if you want to upgrade your five-year-old car, you don't have a choice, because if the new car has the seat warming subscription and you don't want it, then you don't get the seat warming if you don't want to pay.

51:41 - Leo Laporte (Host)
It does feel like companies discovered subscriptions and then everything has moved. I mean, microsoft's clearly one of those companies. Oh, lou's dropped out briefly, so obviously he didn't pay his subscription for his internet, but we'll get him back. But companies found out that, oh you know, instead of getting people to buy Microsoft Word for $400, we could charge them $12 a year in perpetuity, and everybody's wanting to move in that direction. Mercedes has announced that if you want your Mercedes to go faster, it's going to cost you $1,200 a year, $100 a month. Forget seat warmers. They've actually built in the capability in their electric vehicles to go faster. Instead of zero to 60, uh, in, uh, four seconds, it's three seconds or something like that well, and also like to bring it back to the adobe thing.

52:36 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
Um like what if I make my living on adobe and I don't click yes, you can't use it?

52:43 - Leo Laporte (Host)
it Right oh and by the way here's another insult to injury They'll continue to charge you until you cancel your subscription. It doesn't automatically cancel your subscription. So just to point, if you have clicked that box and you can no longer use Photoshop, you might want to cancel that subscription as well, because they'll keep charging you.

53:01 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
Well, and if you think about the inevitable way this goes, is companies charging a subscription or per use thing, even if we are like, okay, at least they're disclosing it to people, right? Then you lose the ability to own an asset and build value off of it. So here comes like Stacy, communist, you know, proletariat person you can no longer. If it's a pay for use or a monthly subscription for your business, you have to price accordingly and you can no longer amortize that asset and build off of it once you've paid it off, because you will never pay it off and that that hurts wealth generation.

53:40 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
Right, if you, if you buy a, if you buy a physical computer for your company, you can write that off. You can amortize that over time. If you buy a car for your company, you can. But if you're subscribing to a car, if you're subscribing to a software like right, it's an inability to even control right, the value that you have for the thing that you paid for.

54:07 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
It turns everything into OPEX. It's kind of and we did that with cloud and it was really good for startups, right, because you could actually build a business. But once you built it to a certain point, it became that OPEX became prohibitively expensive to keep and maintain. So then you saw companies try to either build their own infrastructure or really right-size and do deals with the big companies. Again, I feel like such a yeah, yeah.

54:43 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Karl Marx or something. Well, that's what 37 Signals did. Remember David Hennemeyer Hansen's series of articles about how expensive the cloud was for them now that they're established and big and they moved everything back in on-prem and saved themselves millions a year. But that ignores the fact that maybe 37 Sign signals wouldn't exist if they hadn't had the ability to do cheap cloud up front. So it's just part of the evolution of a business.

55:13 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
Well, or is it the evolution of a whole entire economy? And again Stacy putting on her like crazy brain, but we have built an economy and even the industrial revolution like there was there was. That was a revolution for a reason. We might be in another shift where we have to figure out the give and take between consumers and producers in an economy that works for both parties, obviously.

55:41 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
And I'm going to bring it back to microsoft, since lou isn't here. But what? What the microsoft backlash is essentially to the whole uh, it's not rewind recall, um, is that everyone's saying, okay, they're probably not going to sell ads against us right now, but we don't have any faith that they won't.

56:02 - Leo Laporte (Host)
five years, that's right, that's right, and there's nothing to stop them from changing that is there.

56:09 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
Well, once you have the subscription, again, this is what we're saying. What are you going to do? Stop using Windows? Are you going to brick your laptop?

56:15 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, that's exactly what Adobe did. Whether what Adobe did was okay or not, they demonstrated the ability to do it.

56:24 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
This is what I'm working on. This is why I'm at CR, because I'm thinking about policy mechanisms to to help consumers out. I mean, so we all can agree that Microsoft really is the reason.

56:36 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Oh, I'm going to lose back, nevermind. What did you go to work? Where did you go?

56:45 - Lou Maresca (Guest)
You went to your office, actually lost uh power, unfortunately.

56:47 - Leo Laporte (Host)
oh golly okay, so switch your mics, because you're not on the right mic yet, but we'll. There we go. How's that?

56:52 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
yeah, beautiful so did you go somewhere else? Did you drive to a coffee shop? What?

56:58 - Lou Maresca (Guest)
no, I'm on, I'm on a generator now. So this is a machine machine, a different generator massive power outage in the Pacific Northwest.

57:06 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Details at 11 where are you?

57:09 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
is it a windstorm?

57:11 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I forgot. He's in the east coast. He's on the east coast.

57:16 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
You moved, yeah, in fact you're right by my mom. The weather's lovely in Brooklyn.

57:21 - Lou Maresca (Guest)
It is lovely it's summertime, let's take a break.

57:22 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I want to take another break and we will go on. I actually like. Weather's lovely in Brooklyn. It is lovely. It is nice here. Actually, it's summertime. All right, let's take a break. I want to take another break and we will go on. I actually like this. We're going to have more for Stacy in just a little bit.

I want to talk about Samsung suing Aura preemptively Preemptive lawsuit. It's a whole new thing, very exciting. But first a word from our sponsors Z. But first a word from our sponsors Zscaler, the leader in cloud security. The Z stands for zero trust, zero knowledge.

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01:00:13 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
I did. My husband just bought another one. He just bought one for himself. After years of not being aware of it, it does sleep monitoring.

01:00:20 - Leo Laporte (Host)
You put it on your ring finger, not your ring finger, your forefinger usually. What do you call that?

01:00:26 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
The pointer your index finger Index. Thank you, that thing.

01:00:30 - Leo Laporte (Host)
The one in the front. And then, because it's on your finger, it's actually very good at heart rate. It can measure your temperature very easily. It's good for a sleep monitor. Well, you may have seen that Samsung expects to ship a Galaxy Ring sometime in August and they're so worried that Aura is going to sue them. They sued first. Interesting approach. I guess Aura has been somewhat aggressive in filing patent lawsuits.

01:01:01 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
Yes, when I did this story. Apparently they've done this to other smaller players right in the past. Um, but uh, so you know, samsung, samsung, they've got more resources.

01:01:12 - Leo Laporte (Host)
They're like we'll get ahead of this one they, uh, according to the verge, preemptively filed their own suit against aura, seeking a declaratory judgment stating the galaxy ring does not infringe on five aura patents. Uh, okay, there were rings. There was the motive. Ring came before aura samsung.

01:01:29 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
I had one of the first. It was called ringley ringley.

01:01:33 - Leo Laporte (Host)
It was pretty samsung said, or samsung says, aura has a pattern of filing suits against competitors based on quote, features common to virtually all smart rings. They all kind of do the same thing.

01:01:44 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
I was going to say they might have a patent on the circle.

01:01:50 - Lou Maresca (Guest)
Maybe they're branding them. What a patent, trolls. Basically.

01:01:53 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Not really, cause I have to say I had aura. We've had, actually, I think aura changed hands. It's under new leadership. Anyway, we had the original founder on and was very smart guy, very interesting guy. It came out of university research, so they quite legitimately had this technology and I have to say it was better than the other rings I had tried, but you know anyway, well, yeah, the technology wasn't the ring, it was the sensors and the algorithms.

01:02:19 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
Well, I guess you can't patent an algorithm. Can you patent it off?

01:02:22 - Leo Laporte (Host)
No, Can you? Yeah, wait, wait, wait. Didn't this go to court?

01:02:27 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
Isn't that?

01:02:27 - Leo Laporte (Host)
copyright. Yeah, didn't this go to court? I can't remember Something about.

01:02:31 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
JavaScript and Google.

01:02:33 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, I can't remember the outcome of that. I think Google won that one. I think Oracle lost.

01:02:44 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
So I'm going to say no, you can't patent an algorithm, but I might be. I might well be wrong. I'm like I don't know if I'd say that so definitively, but yeah, okay, anyway. So we don't know what we're talking about.

01:02:50 - Leo Laporte (Host)
That's right, and why should that?

01:02:51 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
be anything else.

01:02:53 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yes, okay, moving right along. Here's some other things. I don't know what I'm talking about. Uh, tech radar. I watched NVIDIA's Computex keynote and it made my blood run cold.

John leffler this is an opinion piece, but I thought it was an interesting point. He's now everybody has been praising nvidia. In fact, this is the week that it actually uh, eclipsed the market worth of apple. Right, it's a three trillion dollar company when it comes to market cap. Um, john leffler writes I don't think nvidia ceo jensen huang is a bad guy, nor that he has nefarious plans for nvidia, but the most consequential villains in history are rarely evil. So, uh, he's saying and this is kind of what we were talking about earlier that NVIDIA is full speed ahead with things like Blackwell processors, a huge, huge amount of energy and he's saying this is not the time for us to be melting any more glaciers. Interesting, he calls NVIDIA's Blackwell nothing short of a doomsday device. It even looks like a damn skull. He says it's not wrong, uh, and he said there's something that huang said that shocked me. Nvidia's blackwell cluster, which will come with eight GPUs, pulls down 15 kilowatts of power. 15,000 watts that's 1,875 watts per GPU. Wow.

01:04:32 - Lou Maresca (Guest)
Put it into perspective cloud services, in order to run these AIs, are tens of thousands of GPUs, so 15,000 watts.

01:04:40 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
Well, and the current hopper generation chips are 1,000 watts. You're going from 1,000 to 15,000?. Well, and the current Hopper generation chips are a thousand watts, thousand watts. So you're going from a thousand to 15,000? 15,000.

01:04:49 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
No, you're actually going to 1875. So I'm doubling it. You're one to one. You're apples to apples.

01:04:54 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah right, right, okay, all right. Wong says in the future, he expects to see millions of these AI processors in use in data centers around the world. Can we afford this?

01:05:05 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
So let's talk about that Because, like I think, meredith Whitaker actually did a talk recently somewhere oh, it was Axios' AI Plus Summit earlier this week and talked about how it costs hundreds of millions to train these models and they're going to need an investment on this technology and part of the training. So there's the cost training, right. There's also the environmental cost training, which I don't think we've accurately like portioned into the cost of things, and we are basically spending a lot of money and we see this a lot. This is what we have when we have a lot of capital going into something, but we had a lot of money and we see this a lot. This is what we have when we have a lot of capital going into something, but we have a lot of money going into, like stuff that people haven't been willing to pay for, like you know, brian was saying earlier, so it's a little bit like like going all in when you've got 18 showing.

01:06:04 - Leo Laporte (Host)
If AI could, for instance, create cold fusion, then maybe we'd be okay. Yeah, maybe they could solve the world's problems, but we don't know yet.

01:06:15 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
Here's the. I've been furiously looking for this story that I did a couple weeks ago. So if you think of the US utility grid, it's generally stable and has been, and actually has been, going down in terms of like, if you're con Edison or whatever, and you're planning out 15 years, because it takes a decade to spin up new plants, Um and so, since I'm not able to find the story, I can't give you the exact number, but, um, if for the last 20 years they've been, the US utility industry has been projecting either flat or declining usage. Apparently they're like oh no, in the next decade it's going to go up a quarter from where it is now, or double from where it is now, and so one of the problems that the utility industry is having is wait, are we going to have to, from a standing stop, create whole new power plants just to cover what is essentially the energy demands of this AI moment? If it continues to be, not a fan continues?

01:07:20 - Leo Laporte (Host)
of a speculative technology, right? I mean, can we agree that that is? We don't know yet whether ai all pay off or if it's just another parlor trick I mean yes, and well, we don't know if it's going to.

01:07:41 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
It's like we don't know if it's going to. It's like we don't know if it's going to pay off.

But like all good technology, the benefits will happen when it becomes basic infrastructure and we can build things on it and these companies are in a fight to the death to make sure that doesn't happen. And I get it, but we've we've basically spent all of our R and D like we stopped investing in that kind of basic infrastructure technology and we've handed over to these companies and they're doing it and they're bidding up for the scientist. I mean, it's not very efficient.

01:08:17 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
That was a good yes, and is the improviser's prayer right, the improviser's prayer right? So, by the way, it's the Odd Lots podcast that did a recent episode on this and how they're struggling to figure out because, again, if you are a con, edison or what's out there in California.

01:08:40 - Leo Laporte (Host)
PG&E is California yeah.

01:08:41 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
So if you need to spin, let's say that your energy, if you're projecting that, your energy needs will go up even 30% over the next decade. That will require however many plants. You have to plan for that years ahead of time. Yes, yes, yes to plan for that years ahead of time. Yes. Yeah.

Yes, that's also the problem in terms of like this is ironic and we're saying is AI a fad? But there is an argument out there that, even if AI is not a fad, there is a gating mechanism that could happen, because we already know that it's hard to get a hold of the chips to do the compute. But also, what if you can't get access to the compute because forget now getting your hands on H100s? What if you can't actually get access to a cloud data center because there's not enough of them and or the energy cost of them is too exorbitant? So again, some of the people speculating that, like, if you're an NVIDIA investor, you should be concerned about the fact that there could be a ceiling to this that is beyond your control control.

01:10:09 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Well, I think the companies that are driving this have already made their bet, haven't they? And they don't want to be the ones that can't build the power plants to do what they want to do. Of course, jensen huang doesn't have to worry about it. He doesn't have to use the chips, just make them. He just sells them as fast as he can. He's selling the picks and shovels, yeah.

01:10:24 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
Yeah, but also coming back to the idea of tech platforms laying people off. Why are your CapEx going up? It's not just buying chips, it is building out these data centers, and so that's why you're laying off people to make sure that you have the margin space.

01:10:42 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
And climate change is totally threatening a lot of these data centers, like. One of the biggest innovations, probably of 10 years ago, was everybody was like, oh, let's use hydropower to power these data centers Whether in Oregon, they're weird places. So air cooling and hydropower Air cooling actually did not turn out super well, but hydropower cheap hydropower is amazing, but we are losing our snowmelt and thus we are losing, oh boy, the, the rivers that flow through the dams that generate the hydropower. That's super cheap.

01:11:14 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
Have you noticed that all of those chip plants not all of them, but a lot of them that get announced are always in Arizona?

01:11:20 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, why the worst?

01:11:22 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
place. I know why, it's an accidental thing. I did a story on this. There's uh, the uh arizona state university. I believe that's the one, unless it's the university of arizona. Um, for weird accidents of history reasons, have the best engineers the best engineering infrastructure. So like, if you want to build a plant to manufacture chips, to re-onshore chip development, it's like, well, if you want to do AI, you've got to go to Silicon Valley. No, you need to go to Arizona, because they're the only people that have the talent, that know how to re-onshore.

01:11:59 - Leo Laporte (Host)
You know, we have airplanes, you could fly them north.

01:12:03 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
I'm just saying Well, actually that's, austin built their entire semiconductor manufacturing industry off of an investment in the 1980s and in Semtech and it brought the equipment manufacturers and it brought engineering talent and everything like that. And then IBM stole it in like 2008 in hopes of rec recreating the thing, and they haven't yet I have to think that it also has something to do with tax breaks.

01:12:29 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I don't know what they are, but uh, I'm sure arizona's just doing something to get people there some arizona's pretty hot.

01:12:40 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
Uh, the colorado river only has so much drying up yeah, yeah, intel's been there for 40 years.

01:12:49 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Uh yeah, and as a result, asu and other arizona universities have built big engineering um programs, programs to feed them.

01:12:57 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
I mean, it's hard to build a level.

01:12:59 - Leo Laporte (Host)
It's a level five clean room yeah, I mean, that's why, honestly, that's why shenzhen makes all your, all your electronics, because that's where the people are who can do it. Speaking of which, uh, tsmc says we ain't moving anytime soon. Tsmc, of course, is in taiwan. Things are getting pretty hot in taiwan. China just did a little exercise, just practicing the invasion of Taiwan.

Of course, companies like Apple, which uses pretty much all of the capacity of TSMC, the big Taiwan semiconductor manufacturing company, would love TSMC to start building. They did break ground on an Arizona plant, as a matter of fact. Nevertheless, it looks like they're going to be in Taiwan for the long haul. Tsmc Chairman CC Wei said instability across the Taiwan Straits is indeed a consideration for the supply chain, and I certainly don't want wars to happen, but given that 80 to 90 percent of our production capacity is now in Taiwan, it's going to be impossible to move factories out of the island. It's kind of the same story. Uh, it's a supply chain, if, if not, of brains, of materials, and you got to have, you got to have it all in one place it's also strategic because we will fight to maintain our access to semiconductors that's a good point.

If you wanted to guarantee the united states getting involved in defending taiwan, you might make sure that its biggest companies depended on chips from taiwan. Very interesting point. Uh, nobody is worried, it says here. Frank wong, chairman of the power chip semiconductor manufacturing, told reporters nobody's worried about this yet I think of course always there is military activity or showdowns, but again, oh, you got it, you nailed it. Stacy tai, taiwan is so important to AI. Even the Chinese know that. We are okay, no problem. Lisa Su, ceo of AMD, says we do a lot of our manufacturing here with key suppliers like TSMC.

01:15:35 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
And then we also have a number of partners that help us build out the ecosystem here in Taiwan. I think I saw a story recently too, that all of the fabs in Taiwan or at least they and just do a clean invasion, no, like it's booby trapped or something, I don't know.

01:15:57 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, well, it's those EUV machines we keep out of China that allow the three nanometer and two nanometer processes. And they said, yeah, we've booby trapped the EUV machines.

01:16:03 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
So on our way out, which wouldn't be hard, because apparently if you, because apparently if you blink at them the wrong way, they go wonky.

01:16:08 - Leo Laporte (Host)
We're going to give them a mean look as we go out the door. That should be sufficient. Nvidia is, of course, in the eye of investors. It's an incredible run-up on the stock. It was 1,800% or something. But also, pat Gelsinger paying attention, intel ceo again this is a computex in taiwan takes aim at nvidia in a fight for ai chip dominance, says bloomberg.

Gelsinger says jensen wong is wrong about the end of moore's law, and we're gonna prove it. Intel showed its new Xeon 6 data center processors with more efficient cores. Good for them, good for them. Competition, that's what we want, right? That's true. Actually, unlike what Jensen would have you believe, gelsinger said Moore's Law is alive and well. Intel will have a major role to play in the proliferation of AI. As the leading provider of AI, as the leading provider of PC chips. I think of it like the internet 25 years ago. He said it's that big. We see this as the fuel that's driving the semiconductor industry to reach $1 trillion by the end of the decade, to which Bloomberg adds casting a little shade, to which Bloomberg adds casting a little shade shares of Intel were little changed.

01:17:28 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
Well, also, if this is the same piece that I'm reading from, they say well, intel's sales have stopped shrinking. Yeah, that's good news. Analysts aren't projecting a rapid rebound. Meanwhile, nvidia's sales are set to double and AMD will grow more than 10%, according to estimates.

01:17:43 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, that's the same article that's yeah, intel.

01:17:47 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
I mean so ancient history intel, like had their? Do you remember larrabee and all their gpu efforts? Yeah, I mean, this was way back in, like oh wait yeah forever ago, um, and it just intel's and they they tried ARM and they didn't fail. They've just been like a one trick pony the whole time. But I also feel like when you say chips to like normal people and this is, I mean the stock market's kind of normal people they're just like they're all the same thing but like they're not. Graphics chip versus CPU.

I mean, there's always going to be a role for cpus right.

01:18:28 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Like I don't know, I get a little frustrated so microsoft's uh, copilot plus pcs are all based on arm, they're all based on snapdragging I know, I predicted this, I was just so late but intel says we're not out of the game.

In fact, they've shipped the Core Ultra Meteor Lake processors, which is interesting because in some respects they've adopted the same kind of architecture that's made ARM so successful with efficiency cores, performance cores. They're now putting NPUs in their processors and at Computex they talked about Meteor Lake's successor, lunar Lake, its next laptop chip, which will come this fall. They are ditching their TikTok cadence, this article in the Verge says, for a whole new system on a chip design that triples the size and more than quadruples the performance of its AI accelerator. They're claiming 40 tops and they say that's just the beginning. So, just as you say the end of TikTok.

01:19:37 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
Well, at least for this at least for this round.

01:19:40 - Leo Laporte (Host)
But just as you're saying, competition is good. It's good to have companies trying to, trying to beat each other at this game.

01:19:46 - Lou Maresca (Guest)
They're taking a playbook out of AMD, if you think about it. They're trying to bring the price performance model down so that you know NVIDIA looks expensive, but then also try to match the performance in some cases, especially at the edge that NVIDIA can do at the consumer and the prosumer levels and then make sure that their costs are lower.

01:20:08 - Leo Laporte (Host)
So that's how they will gain market share. I think it's a good model. They're also throwing out hyper-threading, which was, for a long time, their secret sauce the ability to run a single chip to run multiple threads. I mean, apple doesn't have hyper-threading.

01:20:22 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
Is that a memory bandwidth thing? Was hyper-threading memory bandwidth?

01:20:25 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I don't know why they're getting rid of it.

They're doing low power cores efficiency cores, performance cores, but no hyper-threading. They're also following Apple's playbook and, I guess, qualcomm's playbook by putting memory on the die no separate memory chips, which is, I guess, uh, good because you've got a hyper fast ldd, lpdtp, dr5x memory, but bad if you want to upgrade. I think they're probably making the calculation, as as our other manufacturers, that people aren't going to upgrade anymore. They're just going to buy what they get. Live with it until they buy the next thing. Right, the idea of putting so mad about that.

Really, you want to put ram in your, in your computer I do.

01:21:09 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
Well, I just bought my kid because they're going to college in the fall, so I bought them a new macbook and I got the m3, only to find out this week. Oh, I'm so sorry, I know I'm so pissed off and I'm a chip reporter, I should have known.

01:21:25 - Leo Laporte (Host)
It's fine, don't worry about it at the end. I have an m3, m2 and an m1 and I can't tell the difference.

01:21:33 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
I can't tell, they're all the same they do video editing type stuff, and I mean they'll be fine, anyway, they'll be fine, trust me I'm sure they'll be fine. But will they be fine for four years? And yeah, we did.

01:21:45 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I know you feel I spent five thousand dollars on an m3 max laptop, macbook air, thinking, oh, this is future-proofing I got. And then basically apple has said, yeah, you know that m3, that was an interim product that we really didn't have our hearts and souls in. We're going to the m4 kids and in fact this will be interesting, we're going to talk about in a little bit. But apple tomorrow will uh, make some announcements at the worldwide developers conference. We'll be covering that at 10 am. Pacific. Micah sargent and I, uh we'll talk about the keynote and the rumor from mark german is no hardware, but I do notice big price drops on all of the apple laptops this week, so I'm wondering if Mark might have missed that one. We'll talk a little bit more about that in just a little bit Before we leave Intel anything else to say. Has Intel finally found their secret sauce? Have they got their mojo back?

01:22:37 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
No, they deserve to like limp along. I mean, I like Pat Gelsinger, but gee, intel is such a. I hate that.

01:22:52 - Leo Laporte (Host)
It sounds like it's a little personal for you, stacey, yeah.

01:22:55 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
No, they just, they just so. They're like a big hammer and when you come at, like after them, they're just like they hammer you and they could be like a little herding dog. That's cute and like heard you in the right like after them. They're just like they hammer you and they could be like a little herding dog. That's cute and like heard you in the right direction, but they're like bam and yeah I I don't.

01:23:12 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Their rationale, uh, according uh to intel, for dropping hyper threading is that it eats more power and real estate than it's worth. They said. Adding more cores is slightly more die area than the doubled portions of circuitry need to make hyperthreading work. But the E cores are so compact and capable now the efficiency cores, that hyperthreading simply no longer makes sense.

01:23:40 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
I could buy that yeah.

01:23:42 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I have a performance per watt is key, right I? And that's where intel really has kind of been in a laggard. It's.

01:23:49 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
It's had the performance, but it's the per watt that it's problematic because, yeah, that's how arm ate their lunch and how nvidia at their lunch. Or graphics, even if you're like graphics processors, but hyper threadreading was their parallelization.

01:24:03 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Lunar Lake triples the NPU hardware on the die, offering up to 48 tops and better performance as well. It does draw a little more power, but Intel says it's substantially faster. That's kind of the story of Intel, right there. Wi-fi 7, bluetooth 5.4 baked into the chip, 55% less time to wake up wireless. When waking up the machine I mean, look, this is good. They're trying hard, they're trying to play this game and they're making changes faster than they probably have ever wanted to in the past.

01:24:43 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
They've got Part of the issue is most computers are fast enough.

01:24:48 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah that's now for all. I mean, that's what I'm saying about your kid's computer, is it's fine, it's fine well, okay, they're the individual processors are fast enough, but accessing, accessing memory is still a big slump.

01:25:06 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
I beefed it up to the max, which is not a lot on Apple Did you get an Air or the Pro. I got the Air yeah so that's 24 gigs.

01:25:14 - Leo Laporte (Host)
They don't need a Pro. 24 gigs is fine. They're going to have so much fun making those Insta videos and I don't mind that Instagram is going to make me watch a commercial before I see it. Yes, I do. I do mind that. I don't want Instagram. Apparently, testing cannot skip commercials unskippable ads, according to TechCrunch. I hope this test fails miserably. On the other hand, if Instagram really blows it, that'd be good for me, cause I spend way too much money on Instagram ads.

01:25:51 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
Really Like you buy things, you know what happens.

01:25:53 - Leo Laporte (Host)
It's you, I'm sorry. I wake up. Yeah, it's me, you forgot, right, you stop. You stop working with me for a couple of months, you forget? No, I wake up. It's about three, four in the morning, I think, you know. I'll just scroll a little and still kind of calm down, go back to sleep and then at my weakest they hit me and I end up buying knives and underpants and funny hats and Knives and underpants.

01:26:17 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
Can you just like save it for a day, like I really.

01:26:22 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
No, because I look at it and I go, hey, this would be great I want to know what the venn diagram of leo's ad profile is knives, underpants and funny hats yeah, they all go together in my mind.

01:26:37 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Just imagine me in my underpants, wielding a giant knife and a funny hat with a sombrero in the sombrero.

01:26:43 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
That's it. Uh, any artists out there let's uh. No, I'm sure we'll.

01:26:48 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I'm sure the uh, we'll get that in the club I'm sure the discord server is already already they're doing it. Yeah, you know how that is. I think I can see which ads I've looked at. Can I in instagram, I think? I think you guys taught me that on this Week in Google at one point. Well, anyway, it's bad. It's just bad. So if they do put unskippable ads, the question is whether I'll buy more stuff or less stuff.

01:27:15 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
The ads. What will happen is, since this is obviously copying YouTube, unskippable ads is eventually they'll offer you a uh, ten dollar a month subscription to go ad free.

01:27:27 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, premium mattis says we're always testing formats that can drive value for advertisers, because that's what we care about uh, with the tiktok generation, people are not going to, we're not going to stick around they want to. They want to flick. You can flick ads on tiktok.

01:27:44 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
You just keep going but they're, will they offer a paid version? I mean because they have to do it in europe, right because? Yeah, that's right so maybe this is a way to push more people to subscribe right, and haven't you heard that YouTube premium is reasonably successful?

01:28:04 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
I'm not saying that it's you know.

01:28:06 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I pay for half of what I have to because I can't watch those damn ads.

01:28:11 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
Yeah, I mean like once you, like my child, grew up not really seeing ads and now that they're encountering them places, at first it was amusing to them and now they're just like Of course. I'm going to pay for this. This is terrible.

01:28:25 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
My kids are the same. They're like what is this? What ads? They've literally grown ads, ad, ad. I was like, yeah, I know, imagine what my child is like.

01:28:34 - Leo Laporte (Host)
But this is the problem, by the way, is that the state of Texas made out of tongue depressors on your wall over there.

01:28:41 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
No, that's one of my kids things, things yeah no, I know, but I love you, papa, yeah oh, I don't know what it is actually. It's not the state of texas because it looks kind of just says I love you, I love you papa looks like the the west half.

01:28:55 - Leo Laporte (Host)
All right, let's. Let's take a little break. Uh, papa, papa mccullough is here, the host of uh, the tech meme ride home podcast. Great to have you, b Brian. I always love having you on Same with you. Lou Maresca, miss you so much on this week in Enterprise Tech, but that means you just work all the harder for Microsoft. Your principal engineering manager in the Excel group there and, of course, the wonderful Stacey Higginbotham Stacey's book club coming up in our club twit. If you're not a member of club twit Stacey. And I want you to read High Voltage. You know what I'm liking this one. It's cozy but I don't mind.

01:29:32 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
Okay, well, it's not about families and ladies, maybe.

01:29:36 - Leo Laporte (Host)
You know, I had some misgivings when I heard that it was podcasters that wrote it. I thought, oh, I'm not reading a novel. Podcasters that wrote it. I thought, oh, I'm not reading a novel. Podcasters wrote. That's a terrible idea. Stick to your knitting, but it's not bad it's fun and it is the 27th so you were right.

Okay, the 27th. If you're not yet a member of club twit, consider the seven bucks a month well spent, because not only do you get great benefits like access to the club twit, discord and the special events that we put on there, ad free versions of all of our shows. Here's Stacy's book, club High voltage, will be the book on the 27th. It's not just that, it's the. It's that by donating seven bucks a month to our lovely operation, you're keeping us alive. I don't know about you, brian, but ad sales have really tanked. Don't get me started. Yeah, the podcast industry is suffering. It's all going to Marques Brownlee, as far as I can tell, and Joe Rogan, anyway, because ad dollars are down significantly. We are trying to make up the difference by inviting you to join the club. Your support keeps us going, keeps us flowing, keeps the lights on the staff employed, keeps the shows going. If you like what you hear, please consider seven bucks a month. Twittv slash, club twit. That's all I'm going to say. That's all I'm going to say, but we sure would like to have you in the club. Thank all of the club members who are listening and watching right now for making this show possible. Our show today, brought to you this week by Collide. Oh, I've talked about Collide a lot K-O-L-I-D-E.

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Collide, k-o-l-l-i-d-e, dot com slash twit. To learn more, watch the demo today. K-o-l-l-i-d-e. We love them. Collide, dot com slash twit. It's a team made in heaven. Collide in one password. Very, very good news for collide fans everywhere. Uh, uh. Let's see here chocolate milk mini sip in our discord saying ads never worked. I don't know how they're figuring it out just now. No, I know that's not true. That's not true. Our ads work very well. That's not the problem. I think the problem is advertisers. I don't, I don't know.

01:33:30 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
I don't quite understand what it is, but they just well, the problem is there's just ads in more places and more places are selling us like united. I just saw costco united airlines yeah and they're all like oh, let me start Walmart. They're starting ad networks based on your data, so we're competing with all of them.

01:33:48 - Leo Laporte (Host)
There's a million new podcasts every week. We're competing with all of them. We're competing with influencers, you know, and I shouldn't complain about that, because my kid's an influencer doing quite well, thank you. At least I don't have to support him anymore. But all the ad dollars are going from twit to to salt hank. I'm not crazy about that. It's also, uh, you know, it's just also the time, as you know, there's people don't have as much time as they did. There's lots to do and lots to listen to, much more than there used to be. Anyway, that's life. That's fine. I'm not, I'm not complaining. All right, let's talk a little bit. You brought this up and I thought this was an interesting story. Uh, brian, um, it starts with, uh, our friend at daring fireball, mark john gruber. I don't know why I have a block. John gruber, gruber, gruber, gruber, gruber, youber Gruber.

01:34:42 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
You want to say Guber.

01:34:45 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I want to say Guber, but I don't. No, I like I love John Interesting. He's talking about Mark Gurman's epic. He says leak before WWDC Gurman. In his Friday report at Bloomberg he said it sounds as though he's gotten notes from somebody who's already watched Monday's keynote. Gruber says I sort of think that's what's happened, given how much of this no one had reported today. The Bloomberg headline says here's everything Apple plans to show at its AI focused event.

01:35:20 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
It's literally a bullet point list of like every feature which, again, you and I and people that do this for a living are used to getting like that level of detail from like what Google's about to announce or what Samsung's about to announce, but never from Apple like that.

01:35:36 - Leo Laporte (Host)
And if it is from Apple, it's. It's always before hardware comes out, because the supply chain leaks, but Apple does not leak. Apple has very good opsec, so interesting, um apple, uh german. This is german now. Apple isn't typically the first to embrace new product categories, but uh, apple found a way to make its mark in the iphone, the smartwatch, the vision pro, even though they weren't the first. Now it looks to do something similar with artificial intelligence. Well, sure, not the first. Apple's probably the last to the ai table right nearly.

01:36:11 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
What is what?

01:36:11 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
I'm sorry, go stacy no, you go, go, she just went they're.

01:36:18 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
They're definitely not the first, which makes me wonder. So what john says in his piece is Apple unusually desperate right now? Because one of the things that I've said a couple of times now is this WWDC is super important to them. Not, I mean, it is. They want people to upgrade their phones and devices and cycles, but they're really playing to Wall Street tomorrow.

01:36:48 - Leo Laporte (Host)
So, but their stock is is fine, right, I mean, what do you mean there?

01:36:52 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
Yeah, but what if it could? Always they worried, it could always be better.

01:36:55 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
It could always be better. And also what John and other people are whispering is what if this is just like oh, a smarter Siri. Eh. What would?

01:37:06 - Leo Laporte (Host)
that do to this thing Right. Eh. Right, that's a good point. Apple stock has been pretty steadily climbing. I'm just looking at their chart here. They had a bad spring last year but they've come back from that and they are close to a peak almost as high as they were Actually it was the spring of this year almost as high as they were at the beginning of this year.

01:37:30 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
So what I'm suggesting? John does not believe that Apple would intentionally leak this, and John's more plugged into Apple than I am, of course. But let's say you were more conspiratorial. You're laying the groundwork for after WWDC ends at 3 pm Eastern tomorrow, Wall Street being like, eh, Like, are they sort of like laying the groundwork for it not being you know like? It's almost like Wall Street would want an iPhone moment where it's like oh, not only are we doing AI, we're doing AI that no one else can do, and I don't think there's any way that's possible, because obviously they're just adding open AI's chat bots and integrating it a little bit into the OS.

01:38:12 - Leo Laporte (Host)
They're doing exactly what everybody else is doing because they're using OpenAI and Google Gemini. You know it's a good point. The stock market buys in the rumor and sells in the news, so you would expect a sell-off after a WWDC keynote. You usually do get a little bit of a sell-off, but this could be a big sell-off, is what you're saying.

01:38:33 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
Well, what I'm saying is is what if you seeded it ahead of time, to like prepare, make it not be such a yeah pave the way they're

01:38:40 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
managing it. I would say apple is actually this idea that apple is behind on ai so weird to me because it speaks to like how, how muddled the conversation around AI has gotten, because Apple has historically done an excellent job of taking really hardcore deep technology and communicating it in ways that consumers can understand and get excited about. And the fact that they're behind on AI I don't think is a problem, for I mean it is a problem from a stock market perspective for Apple, but it also kind of is a big indictment about the technological challenge of what AI is and how much marketing hype there is around it that Apple's basically been doing this and now Apple's like God, we got to talk about freaking AI now. No normal person does this. Thanks, sam Altman. So I don't know if, like, are they behind on LLMs? Maybe?

01:39:39 - Leo Laporte (Host)
We don't know because we don't hear from what's Apple doesn't leak like everybody else does.

01:39:44 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
So there's no way.

01:39:46 - Leo Laporte (Host)
They hired John Gianandrea away from Google, right yeah.

01:39:49 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
But there's no way they'd be doing a deal with other people if their LLMs were ready enough, like because again, they would want to do it on device. The fact that they're already sort of going against what they've been branding for a decade, which is we're all about privacy, we're not going to send anything to anyone else's cloud. Well, by the way, whatever the OpenAI thing is, it's going to be going to a cloud. There's certain things that will be done on device, but certain things will be sent to the cloud, so they're already going to have to yada, yada a huge sort of about face on their whole privacy.

01:40:22 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, they're going to say here's the yada yada. They're going to say we figured out a way to send it to the cloud privately. You'll be running on a private cloud that is black boxed We've heard that phrase already from Mark Gurman that is black boxed away from us and everybody else. So, yes, you're using the cloud, but you're using your own private space in the cloud and that's better than what Google and open AI are offering. You know the problem. I, if, if gruber is right and everything in here is accurate that somehow mark german has some magic, uh, and ability to see and I think that that's not a given that we could very well have surprises. There have been surprises, considerable surprises, in the most recent apple updates, apple keynotes, unexpected things, but if this is what Apple is going to offer, it's all catch up. There is nothing here that is innovative or new or different, but maybe Apple didn't see any value in it.

Well, that's what I'm wondering is, maybe Apple, would Apple get killed in the market if they said exactly that, stacey? They said yes, you know, what this is a privacy invasion. It's just a bunch of smoke and mirrors and we're not gonna play this game.

01:41:42 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
They would because wall street is their lemmings. They're gonna be killed if they don't have something. And I think they're like well, let's just put a band-aid on this. We've already killed our car thing that everybody wanted us to do and we were kind of like not. And it also speaks, I think, to a lack of vision.

01:41:57 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I'll be honest by the way, that was the rumor, also from german, that when they killed the car division a lot of those people went over to the ai side, that they threw a lot of people over there capex spending like we've got.

01:42:08 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
We've heard apple has to do their own. Uh, they're spinning up their own data centers so that they can do their own. Uh, this black box private stuff. Um, leo I uh I was speaking to uh gruber about this on threads um in a similar vein, like let's say uh, it is just a hey, better siri tomorrow. Um, I've been saying for a while now why don't they kill the siri brand?

01:42:35 - Leo Laporte (Host)
because that's what microsoft did with cortana?

01:42:39 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
they just pulled the plug. Let's say that siri is better as a chatbot, a gpt 4.0 style chatbot right, but all of us and my mom and my dad and you know normal folks are like series's useless to me. So how are they going to convince people that Siri is actually better if it's just hey, no, siri's better they should. They should name it son of Siri or something, but like, this is the time for them to cut bait on that brand is what I'm arguing.

01:43:09 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
Wow, I know people hate Siri, but I mean my husband talks to Siri more than me Like they don't like it, but he's constantly like hey, siri do this, hey, siri do that. So I'm like I just Okay, so maybe Do you not ever use it.

01:43:23 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
Never, and no one I know does. But also, what I'm saying is is because people have that level of expectation, in the same way we were talking about Alexa, or what did you call her, madam A? Madam A, yes, like because people have this limited sort of experience with it. Well, it can only set timers for me, right? If you really are going to try to convince people. No, ios, whatever has AI, and this is the future. They should have a son or daughter of Siri maybe. I think here's the problem.

01:43:54 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
They should do the deal with Scarlett Johansson. You know that would make a difference to me.

01:44:01 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I have my action button on my iPhone 14 set to chat GPT. It was 4.0. It was originally ScarJo, now it's some other lame voice, but it isn't that useful. It's a chatty little. I don't think AI chatbots are any better than Siri. Honestly, they can't do anymore.

01:44:26 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
Okay, then that comes back to what is Wall Street going to think when tomorrow afternoon it's like hey, slightly better Siri I think apple's in a crisis.

01:44:37 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I really do.

01:44:37 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
I think this is gonna be a very difficult uh needle for them in a crisis maybe I think 20 years from now, we're gonna look back at this time and it's gonna be I don't know what a historical precedent for it would be, but, like all of these companies are flailing because they've all hit some kind of wall in terms of delivering functionality for consumers and delivering like the growth that people expect from tech companies. Right, it's basically like I don't know, like you know how you work really hard in high school and college in your early 20s, but you don't maintain that. You get to a place and then you like I feel like that's where we are.

01:45:14 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Tech industry is having a middle-aged crisis. Is that what you're saying?

01:45:18 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
I just think we're expecting them to like. I mean, like if you look back, we're going to be like wait, this company made computers and then they made like the iPhone and that was huge and that was like seven a moment, and then they were like yeah, we're on it. We're going to do a car and we all just went. Yeah, that's amazing. Why haven't they?

01:45:35 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I think even the Vision Pro is a dead end. Personally, I think this yeah, and you're right, it's not just Apple. Apple's going to be in the spotlight tomorrow.

No, it's Amazon, it's Google, I mean they're all like this is maybe why they've thrown so much hope into AI because it's the last chance, it's the first technology to come down the pike. That looked like it maybe could get them out of the doldrums. I was very hopeful, but I am increasingly starting to think they might be stalled. I don't think 4.0 wasn't chat GPT-5. Sam Altman says, oh no, we're going to have that next year. Spring of next year, we're going to have chat GPT-5. Sam Altman says, oh no, we're going to have that next year. Spring of next year, we're going to have chat GPT-5. Is it going to be qualitatively better? We saw this kind of huge growth. Remember when stable diffusion came out? Wow, ai did those images and then music. We've seen some really interesting stuff and it just seems to be stalling out. I don't know, lou, what do you think?

01:46:37 - Lou Maresca (Guest)
I, you know, I think it's one of those things. It's a gate, definitely gateway technology to the next level. I think that's what most of these companies are worried about, they're hoping for they're hoping for and I think that's where most of them.

I think that's where it's right, Like I think it might not be in the current stage that it's in or the current state that it's in, but I definitely think that it will help with research or help with the next generation of what's to come next, but it's not going to be changing the world.

01:47:03 - Leo Laporte (Host)
And now they've kind of set that expectation, have they not?

01:47:08 - Lou Maresca (Guest)
That it will change the world. Yeah, you know, you know they're setting that expectation. Will it change the world? I think eventually it will, like I think it's. You know right now, like you said, a lot of parlor tricks, but I think that there are things that show good promise, um, you know, around medical or yeah, so I think, that's where it's headed.

Like, I think it's, they're going to put more chips in that bucket and that basket, basket and in hopes that those industries build those things out and make a big difference. And then that's when they say hey see, this is what we've done, this is where we put our money.

01:47:42 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
You know what I would love to see them do? I would love to see a complete re-architecture of our computing infrastructure, and I mean that with an eye towards security and an eye towards consumption of power, because we did not think about that and I think we need to do it pretty much from the ground up, and that's like to me that feels like something we have all these freaking geniuses that have been wrapped up in these companies and that that could actually fundamentally change the game. But we're very I mean, it's kind of like. It's kind of like the EV moment, right, like we're going to fundamentally re-architect the combustion engine. And I know I'm I sound like a crazy person and I am, but like I feel like we're like where mobile was remember, like 5G and everyone's like trying to make 5G happen, and that was partially because we hit a wall in mobile. We've done a lot of what?

01:48:38 - Leo Laporte (Host)
needed to be done, and AI has gone through multiple AI winners. Ai has been the next big thing more than once and flopped, so is this going to be different here from the futurism Victor Tangerman writing in the Bite? Ai appears to be rapidly approaching a brick wall where it can't get smarter. Now, this is an opinion piece. There are researchers, though, in fact. One of them is Tomei Bessaroglu, who wrote a new paper to be presented at a conference this summer. There's a serious bottleneck here, tomei says. If you start hitting those constraints about how much data you have, in other words, if you've sucked up all the data in the biosphere you can't really scale up your models efficiently anymore. And scaling up models have probably been the most important way of expanding their capabilities and improving the quality of their output. There is a sense, perhaps, that AI has now eaten everything it could. In fact, some AI researchers are proposing that AI start snacking on AI-generated data Outfits include OpenAI Synthetic, like synthetic, data. Yeah oh, openai.

01:49:52 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
Google and Anthropic already working on ways to generate synthetic data for this purpose there is an argument out there that there's an asymptote for what this generation is like. Everything is based on this transformer model that's created this generation of large language models. There are a lot of people that are looking for alternatives to the transformer model, and so maybe we're waiting on that step change. But one of the things that a lot of people if you looked at the cadence of when if we assume OpenAI is still the best funded and the cutting edge in terms of the technology a lot of folks thought that this summer was going to be when GPT-5 came, and the fact that it hasn't come is not calming those whispers of people wondering if there might be an asymptote for this current generation of technology.

01:50:48 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Wow, you heard it here first. Folks, I have been criticized roundly by the folks on twig for being such an ai optimist and so bullish on ai. But I'm wondering if we've kind of reached the stall, the stall, and we are about to head, uh, in the other direction and I have to say go ahead full disclosure.

01:51:10 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
I run an ai fund, do you? That's right. I'm an investor in ai, so I'm saying this while I'm cutting checks to AI startups, do you?

01:51:21 - Leo Laporte (Host)
are. Is there credible? Are there credible alternatives to the transformers, the LLMs we're using today?

01:51:29 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
Nothing that has gotten the traction that's necessary. But also that's why I'm speaking from a position of like there is a sort of freeze and investing right now, because everyone was waiting for GPT-5 to come out, and so that puts a freeze on like right, which also obviated a bunch of chatbot startups.

So, like, if you're, if you're an investor in the space, you're waiting to see what the cutting edge is, because you're afraid that what the cutting edge would be would be 100x improvement and would obviate a company we're going to invest in. Now what do you do if what you thought was the next generation is still a year away? That's a weird situation that the AI space is in right now and I know this is weird inside baseball stuff, but um, like so there's kind of like uh, there's kind of like a pause going on right now that's actually really interesting yeah, stacy, you were the first person to explain what a gan was to me a generative adversarial network.

01:52:33 - Leo Laporte (Host)
That was a pre-llm technology. There's neural networks, there are other modes, uh out there and uh, and a lot of the most interesting stuff happening in ai is not happening in llms right now, um, but I don't see evidence that we are. I think you might be right, we might be at an asymptote.

01:52:57 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
Or at least for this generation. And, by the way, tomorrow a paper could come out that could again blow away this current generation.

01:53:05 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Tomorrow we could have cold fusion and we could have invented time machines. You never know. Tomorrow always is exciting.

01:53:13 - Lou Maresca (Guest)
I think, historically, though, if you think about it, though obviously ai has been big for a while and it hasn't been succeeded, but I think the amount of capital being put in now, uh in it from these big tech companies is so great that if that little thing does come out, and that new paper does come out, how fast does it get to market? And I think that's the key, that that what I'm hoping for is that these, you know, the, the next generation of GPT, you know, maybe it's compute that they're waiting on, and once that happens, then it's going to be out and that's when we see the next shift forward.

01:53:41 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
Oh, and I should say uh to what Stacy was talking about, like, like with power. What we were all talking about in terms of power, like everything that is trying to be, the next generation beyond the transformer model is oh, the inference will be 100x cheaper, the energy usage will be 100x cheaper. So what everyone's trying to go for is to take what the current generation is and just make it again generationally easier. Run it on your phone, not have to burn the planet down to do it. That sort of thing.

01:54:15 - Leo Laporte (Host)
It is interesting. If you got every tech company in the world and all the money in the world behind this effort, you'd think something would come out of it, have we? I mean, short of the moonshot. You know the Apollo program. You know the Apollo program, maybe World War II? It's not that often that you see all of these resources being dedicated to a single goal. Seems like you should be able to accomplish something. Go ahead, stacey.

01:54:54 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
Well, I was going to ask if anyone has been doing reading possibly.

01:54:56 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
Brian on subquadratic scaling and sub quadratic uh computing. Is it? Is that uh that that would be different than quantum computing?

01:55:01 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
Uh yeah, this is a. This is kind of like a. It's like one of the alternative architectures for types of building, like the alternative for building a transformer model.

01:55:12 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
Well, there's several, there's several out there. So again, listen, this would be an argument about OpenAI and NVIDIA. If tomorrow someone came out with an alternative to the transformer model that was 100x cheaper on inference, 100x cheaper on compute, 100x cheaper on energy, then especially if on compute 100x cheaper on energy, then especially if it was open source, everyone would jump to it. Like open AI would be in trouble, like literally overnight. Although, if it was open source, then why wouldn't they just fork it and do it themselves?

01:55:46 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
Yeah, and that's I mean when I you know, because I wrote about computing architectures for years and those were the exact sorts of things I look for. I'm like, hey, does your new networking technology give you this, this or this? And that's again, I'll just do this. I think that's why we need to think about, like rethinking how we architect computers because we're basically building on a model that was built what in the 50s around the transistor and we've had some incremental changes.

01:56:14 - Leo Laporte (Host)
but I feel like quadratic scaling, still Von Neumann. Or is it a new way, a new architecture?

01:56:23 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
It is. It is a different way of building a model. It's not it's probably still built on a Von Neumann thing, it's not like a quantum computing thing, but I don't know. I don't know. I just I feel like. I feel like the marketing has overtaken the actual innovation that we had here and everybody so quick to chase after these things and I feel like who was it who said, like, if I asked people what they wanted, ford, they would have said faster horses. I feel like we're in a faster horses moment and we need somebody to be thinking about cars.

01:57:01 - Leo Laporte (Host)
We're all making buggy whips. And then there's China. I mean, there are we can't really see behind the silk curtain, but I would imagine that China is working as hard as they can on this as well, and certainly they've been using AI and social credit, social scoring scenarios, things like that face recognition for some time. Is some of this a defense against what China might come up with?

01:57:32 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
I mean, everybody thinks they're in like a prisoner's dilemma of, if we don't invest and forget about china, why is everybody spending all this money? Is google thinks, if we don't invest in this, we'll be dead in two years? Yeah, microsoft. Microsoft has been rewarded by at least until nvidia passes them this week or something the the most valuable company in the world, because they seem to be further ahead in all of the incentives. I agree with you, by the way, stacey, to, to, to. To date, ai is essentially a marketing thing. Again, I don't mean to focus on Microsoft, but all of these. What do they call the new pcs, leo? Um, that are ai, copilot plus, pc plus yes okay, what is that it's?

it's getting me to uh, upgrade my pc. What is what is apple hoping to do tomorrow? Hey, I need to get the new iphone, because the new iphones will have the, the ai goodness on them. So it is all marketing right now, but at the same point, like nobody feels like that they can do otherwise because if, if, if, if they feel like a year from now, their pants are down and they haven't invested enough, then they're going to get killed.

01:58:49 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I think tomorrow is going to be very interesting. I think Apple has a real conundrum, and I don't know if they'll be able to say anything that is going to make people feel better about their plans going forward. They're either going to annoy people who expect Apple to be in the forefront of privacy and security or annoy the people who say Apple, you know you've got to be an AI leader and instead all you're doing is adding better, smarter editing to photos. You know? Oh good, you can erase backgrounds and photos.

01:59:22 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
We've been able to do that on Android for years, and this is where doing a lot of this research in like a public company place is really a problem, because they're all chasing the same idea before it's fully fleshed out necessarily, or before we've like. If it were in a university setting, there would be much less pressure to everyone.

01:59:40 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Well, also, the incentives are driven by the stock market, which I mean. You might believe in the wisdom of crowds, but I'm not convinced that the stock market is the best arbiter of what's the right way to do it yeah, it's a bunch of dudes on Wall Street who I used to cover traders.

01:59:56 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
They're not that smart.

01:59:57 - Leo Laporte (Host)
It's a bunch of dudes buying GameStop for crying out loud. Okay, it's not those guys.

02:00:03 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
That's a different class of dudes.

02:00:05 - Leo Laporte (Host)
But also Only slightly different.

02:00:09 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
They have fancier clothes, nicer shoes. You know, it's funny, they have fancier clothes, nicer shoes?

02:00:15 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, I don't know. You know it's funny. I really don't know where the stock market is these days. It's all programmatic trading, right, it's all done instantly. Nobody's, there's nobody on the trading floor anymore. Institutional investors are very, very powerful, which, incidentally, the nor was it. The Norwegian sovereign fund, with around one percent of tesla stock, says elon should not get that pay raise and elon's going to them saying come on, I need the money. Uh, those guys have a, you know, calpers, big and big institutional investors. But are they smarter? Is the guy who runs calpers investments smarter than you or me, or warren buffett? I don't know. And should they be? Just, should they be deciding on what our priorities are?

02:01:03 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
they're not deciding. They're I mean, they're following the same hype that people like myself used to generate, based on having these cool conversations and being future Like there's a huge lack of skepticism and a lot of tech reporting. Yeah, I'm so sorry y'all, because we're big nerds, we get excited about this stuff and then we're like, yeah, this will happen. And because we're young, I'm not anymore. That's why I'm such a young revolutionary.

02:01:30 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Somebody in the chat room, martin's reminding me that Jeff and I are too old to see what's going to happen. You're young enough to see what's going to happen. Good luck. Unless AI comes up with a pill that prolongs life, then maybe maybe that's what I'm rooting for We'll take a little break and wrap things up soon with a wonderful panel. Lou Maresca, whose power is back At least I think it is because your backdrop has changed.

02:02:02 - Lou Maresca (Guest)
It is back. Thank you, it's an AI.

02:02:06 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Do you have one of those Generac gas generators?

02:02:10 - Lou Maresca (Guest)
I do, but it takes a while to kick in, unfortunately.

02:02:14 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, we have power walls and solar panels and I thought, oh you know, the power goes out, it'll just switch over and there'll never be a blip, and then we could just run indefinitely, because the sun will charge us in the day, we'll power down at night. But it didn't work quite that way. There is the switchover.

02:02:39 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
You got to get. I don't know how we fix that. It's gonna be a, it's a, it's a safeguard, so it's not to overwhelm the system, so it has to be that way. So you you're gonna need like well, no, because the software wouldn't help.

02:02:45 - Lou Maresca (Guest)
We're gonna need a bigger battery experience a minor bit of huge capacitors in your house if you didn't want to have that yeah, or you could be like a laptop and run through the battery.

02:02:54 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Why don't we run through the battery? I don't know. Anyway, it's good to have you, lou brian mccullough, the true scotsman, brian mccullough from the tech meme, ride home I'm gonna keep saying irish no, true irish scotsman would wear a kilt. Uh is here, he's tech meme ride home podcast. I just say you just look more scott.

02:03:19 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
All the time you don't look, remember scott's irish are basically the same folks, yes, same it's my people too.

02:03:28 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I'm a dunlap on my mother's side, so there you go. My middle name is garden and, uh, stacy kingenbotham policy fellow at consumer reports. Great to have you and your glasses today and your blue hair, uh, and I love the cr behind you that gives, that adds class to the whole thing oh they, they gave it to me because I was doing all these talks for them and I was like, can I have something to represent?

And they were like that's really good, I love it. Yeah, it's subtle, but it's there and I really like it. Uh, it's so nice to see you again. Uh, we miss you on this week in Google. I have to say, our show today brought to you by express VPN.

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We will hear from the Supreme Court sometime in the next week, I suspect, on the net choice cases against Texas and Florida and their social media laws. Now New York has passed another bill. I don't know if this one is going to end up in the Supreme Court. Netchoice says yeah, we think it is. They are banning addictive social media algorithms for kids. They passed the bill on Friday. The governor has yet to sign it, although she tweeted, tweeted, put a post on x celebrating the bill's passage. So I think kathy huckle, governor in new york, will sign it.

The stop addictive feeds, exploitation for kids. Act safe oh, isn't that nice will prohibit social media platforms like tiktok and Instagram from serving content to users under the age of 18 based on recommendation algorithms. Instead, they'll have to provide reverse chronological feeds for children well, or people under 18. The legislation says algorithmic feeds are addictive, negatively affect mental health. You know, I think there are a few adults who would like a chronological feed on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram. But I think these companies will say yeah, but you know what we? We used to offer those and we find that these recommendations are much better. We can tune it to what people are interested in?

02:08:52 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
Yeah, because I could give people heroin as opposed to vegetables and they would enjoy that more.

02:08:59 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Well, it's not heroin, it's just much more compelling content. I mean it's not. Is it addictive? It depends on the kids. Is it addictive, you think, like heroin?

02:09:10 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
Oh my gosh, I have to like. I'm constantly pulling TikTok off my phone because and putting it back apparently, and it constantly putting it back apparently. But it is incredibly addictive and I'm a 46-year-old, yeah, but I mean, for some people Spongebob Squarepants is compelling.

02:09:31 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Is it evil?

02:09:34 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
Well, I don't think anyone's saying it's evil. I mean politicians are saying things are.

02:09:38 - Leo Laporte (Host)
They're just they're just things, I mean you could say addictive or or appealing or really great. I mean, uh, if I like holidays on my broccoli, should you stop me from doing that, Because?

02:09:50 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
so the question is is it harmful? And at what point do we declare the harm so much that we should regulate it, and that's so. That's a question we should have. But like, that is the actual debate to have here, not is it evil or you know. So what are the harms to kids to make? We acknowledge that it is probably a more compelling feed than reverse chronological order, right.

02:10:12 - Leo Laporte (Host)
So that's my question and I don't actually have an answer. I wouldn't mind, I like. In fact, for years, I turned my Facebook and Twitter feeds into chronological feeds because I wanted to see what my friends were saying, not what the algorithms thought I should see.

02:10:27 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
So I'm all in favor of that choice. So when we have that debate, the data says it's bad for kids. They say it's bad for young people to to have a tailored social media feed for a couple of reasons not just that they spend more time on it, but they tend to get tailored to content that is actively harmful for them. So it might be radicalizing in the case of people on YouTube. In the case of, like teenage girls, it might promote like gender dysphoria, dysmorphia or if they feel bad about themselves and then take action based on that.

I mean like so when you look at that level of harm, then you might say, hey, and these are kids and their brains aren't fully formed. Let's, let's.

02:11:12 - Leo Laporte (Host)
It raises another issue, though, which is how do you know if somebody's under 18? And one of the big problems with this is that age verification is now required for both adults and children on these platforms, and that is, I think, very. I don't think there's any successful way to check your age. It doesn't invade your price.

02:11:36 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
It's another area for innovation, that's a policy and tech innovation area. I'm serious. If you really want to build a business based on this and you know your product is doing harm, why would you not spend millions of your research dollars and saying, okay, what is a reasonable?

02:11:52 - Leo Laporte (Host)
way to do it. What do you think, lou, you've got young kids, are they safer in New York?

02:11:59 - Lou Maresca (Guest)
They safer in New York than anywhere else. No, I mean, the funny part is the funny part is, you know, the age verification thing is actually a big deal in my world because you know, the kids get ahold of other people's devices or they get ahold of their brothers or whatever. But even in when they have their age, in there the content is still very addictive or or does sway them in particular ways, or so like I do get where they're coming from with all of this. But the key I think that I'm really interested in is how they're going to regulate it. Like how are they going to know that these companies are not doing this Right?

02:12:37 - Leo Laporte (Host)
It's an easy thing to say, as we have for years, that, uh, children, television programming aimed at children, should not advertise sugary cereals or or whatever, and we've done that for years. We've really limited the amount of advertising that can be done. But but there's no age verification. You're just saying, because this programming is aimed at kids, we're going to make sure it doesn't have inappropriate advertisements. That's not what this is, though.

02:12:56 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
Well, and also YouTube was brought up briefly. It sounds like Stacy has older children than maybe we do, but so I don't have teens yet, so I can't speak to like Instagram and TikTok, but if I feel like everything's performative if people aren't talking about YouTube first, if you have kids under 10, youtube is everything. And, by the way, youtube kids exist and you would not believe the things that still get through on the algorithm on YouTube.

02:13:28 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Do you let your kids watch YouTube? Kids?

02:13:32 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
YouTube kids, yes YouTube but Lou does not.

02:13:34 - Lou Maresca (Guest)
Yes, yes, but also, but Lou does not. I stopped because of what he just said.

02:13:39 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
I'm getting close to stopping, and we stop and then we go back and yeah.

02:13:44 - Leo Laporte (Host)
So what happens? You give them an iPad and they start watching what is ostensibly safe.

02:13:49 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
I will give you a tangible example. So let's say it starts with Bluey and you walk through the room and it's not Bluey anymore, but it still is a cartoon. This is the God's Honest Truth and this happened I don't know six months ago and it is the Winnie the Pooh crew in a weirdly drawn sort of AI looking thing. They're in a car going through a McDonald's drive-thru. The McDonald's is on fire and I'm walking through the room and I'm like is that Winnie the Pooh driving a car through a McDonald's drive-thru? How did we get here? And that's still in theory. Youtube. Kids should be protected. Now, I didn't see violence, I didn't see nudity, but it also was not what I was wanting my kids to be watching.

02:14:39 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, so that's an interesting problem all by itself.

02:14:48 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
And, as I said, I don't even have teens yet, so I have no idea.

02:14:53 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I mean, that is, I guess, a recommendation engine. They have autoplay turned on, so the engine is choosing the next thing. So I guess in that sense. But what is a reverse chronological feed on YouTube? There's no such thing. It doesn't make any sense.

02:15:07 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
Or maybe there's just no infinite feed.

02:15:09 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Maybe there's no autoplay, but you could turn it off.

02:15:14 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
You could turn it off. You could turn off autoplay, can't you? And there's tons of great kids' content on there. Who's the science guy? Mark Rober. So again you can start them on Mark Rober and then you come in later. And what was my daughter watching? It was something that was like it was still historic, but it was about like, let's call it the, the, the Spanish inquisition.

02:15:35 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Oh great, and I'm like that's nightmare, it's still history.

02:15:40 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
but, like the, the algorithm led her to something that I would be like hey, yeah, yeah Right.

02:15:45 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Well, there's no. I mean look. I mean, for years I've said there's no substitute for parental supervision. Parents are the only arbiters of what's appropriate for their children or not. Uh, so letting youtube decide it's not a good idea but this, but I guess technology's changed everything, isn't it? I didn't have to well.

02:16:02 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
Yeah, I mean, a tv is no longer in your living room right I mean right, my kid actually prefers tv on the ipad because it's portable and they can just yeah, they can go in the bathroom.

02:16:13 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, right, hi, this is benito, it's also, and they can just bring it with them wherever they go.

02:16:15 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
Yeah right, Hi, this is Benito. It's also algorithmic generation, Because on TV those were all programmed by people.

02:16:22 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah, but they were programmed by people in response to what they thought would generate more eyeballs and longer viewing. It just wasn't as efficient it was still a channel.

02:16:33 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
It was nickelodeon, it was disney uh kids, it was like it was. It was, as opposed to the algorithm saying do you like mark rober? Well, you must like science. Do you like science, then you must like history. Do you like history, then you might like the. The spanish inquisition, right?

02:16:51 - Leo Laporte (Host)
um, there's no human curation involved there but, but maybe this is uh, okay, forgive me because I don't have young kids anymore, but it feels like this is parents saying to government we can't be held responsible for what our kids are up to.

02:17:07 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
You need to intervene I don't think that's true. I think that is it's a commonly argued thing, but that's kind of like okay, government can't take the place of parents, and shouldn't true and they're not.

but the government can say, hey, there's a whole class of people who need to be protected from what's happening now and there's a huge profit motive that goes towards showing this stuff to them. So how do we walk a middle line? And smartphones parents don't always have access to their kids when they're on these devices. Two, there are plenty of parents who are working and do use the TV as a babysitter, because it's less, it's more compelling and safer for them to be inside. Like. There's a whole bunch of reasons why? Yeah, and this is why it makes sense to make laws.

02:18:02 - Leo Laporte (Host)
It's. I hesitate to say it because I don't have to make these decisions anymore, and I'm sure it is a lot harder today than it was 30 years ago to make these decisions today, than it was 30 years ago to make these decisions, um, and there's no like the FCC mandated, like parents have to be responsible for what their kids are seeing and I'm responsible for what my kid is seeing?

02:18:22 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
they are responsible, but look, their kids are still seeing stuff that they would rather their kids not see and let me stipulate that I didn't say I was in favor of this bill.

02:18:31 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
What I did say was any bill that does not mention youtube and roblox first right in my mind, is performative, because that is where the youngest kids are, and so if you're just talking about instagram and again don't have teens yet, so maybe whatever if you're just going against meta and whatever like, then that to me is like you're going for headlines it's just like tick tock.

02:18:54 - Leo Laporte (Host)
It's really right not addressing the issue.

02:18:56 - Lou Maresca (Guest)
It's just a band-aid on the problem or worse, it's just politics and just like an accident happens at a millisecond, these types of things come up so quickly that even if I'm hovering over them like a hover helicopter parent, like I still can't stop them from watching it or seeing it, or you know, and so taking it away entirely is the only option, which is what I've done.

02:19:20 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Yeah Well, and that feels like a good option. Lock the kid in a room with a couple of books and a box of Cheerios and you're done. I mean, come on, let's not go. Let's stop using these devices to babysit our children. That seems risky.

02:19:33 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
Stop using these devices to babysit our children. That seems risky. My son had an argument with me just this past weekend or yesterday. I was reading my Kindle and we had we had. They had gotten in trouble, so they were off their screens. And he said, well, why are you on a screen? And I tried to argue that the Kindle was on the screen.

Well, and I also was like well, this is a book and it's not really a screen because it's not a pixel, it's e-ink or whatever. And then, good, that worked like like a young wait, wait, I'm trying to give him credit like a young lawyer. His retort to me was if it's not a screen, why do you have to recharge it? Oh he got you dad, he did. I was like you know what you win and I am.

02:20:11 - Leo Laporte (Host)
I really don't want to be this, this the guy that says well, parents, you just got to do your job. But it's clear the government is not going to do a good job of this, whether it's because they leave out Roblox and YouTube, or because age verification can't be done in a safe and private way, or because parents ought to be keeping an eye on this thing. This is not the right way to do it. I don't know what the answer is, though I don't. I am not in your position, so I've never judged parents, for you know, back when, I was raising kids.

Parents would put these nanny programs on their computer to keep kids off the internet and stuff.

02:20:50 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
That didn't work very well I first hacked something to get access to mtv after my parents should. Yeah, it taught you how to be a hacker it didn't protect you.

02:21:01 - Leo Laporte (Host)
It taught you how to be a hacker. Uh, we, I was very laissez-faire with our kids and I've kind of I feel fortunate that they didn't turn into axe murderers. But my kid, my son, is an influencer, so that's almost as bad.

02:21:14 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
I, uh, I don't know he's not a podcaster. Yeah, at least he's not a podcaster.

02:21:20 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Oh man, both my kids dabbled and realized this is a dead end. Uh, I know it's really an interesting problem. It is really an interesting problem, and I feel, for any parent who has to raise their kid in today's times. I think I would become a Quaker and just, or you know, I would just Amish. I would go Amish. Yeah, you can have a buggy and a black mare and just go go right around town. That's it. That's all you get to do. I don't know. I don't know what the answer is it is challenging.

Hey, stacey, so great to see you again. Thank you so much for the work you're doing at Consumer Reports. I will see you on the 27th for our book club. High Voltage is the book. If you're not a club member, join so you can join the conversation. We had a lot of fun last time with the the Baba verse.

02:22:14 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
With an objectively terrible book, no.

02:22:17 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Well, hey, you know what? You picked the book, I hate it. I picked the book, you hate it, it's just the way it is. So, but a high voltage, I'm happy to say, is quite entertaining. I'm really enjoying it, so I look forward to talking about it with you. Uh, thank you so much. Stacey Higginbotham, you'll find her work at Consumer Reports and you're writing, for I see you're writing elsewhere, right? You're doing some freelance stuff, is that right?

02:22:42 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
Every not so much I mean every now and again.

02:22:46 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Well, at least you're I can't keep quiet At least you're not a greeter at Walmart or something.

02:22:56 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
You're staying busy and that's what I like. Okay, that was not. That did not go over.

02:23:00 - Leo Laporte (Host)
That did not go over. I'm sorry. I was thinking about Kevin Toffol. I'm sorry, don't do that.

02:23:05 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
I feel bad for.

02:23:06 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Kevin. Why is he doing that?

02:23:09 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
He likes it at Wawa, I'm training to become a Pilates instructor.

02:23:14 - Leo Laporte (Host)
That's a good thing but you've been doing that for as long as I've known you, so that's not exactly a change.

02:23:20 - Stacey Higginbotham (Guest)
It just started.

02:23:21 - Leo Laporte (Host)
You know what I'm getting. My Pilates instructor told me to get a rebounder, a little personal trampoline. That's my next big thing. Going to be bouncing in my stocking feet, whatever rocks your boat. That's my next big thing. Going to be bouncing in my stocking feet, whatever rocks your boat. That's all I'm saying. Nice to see you, stacey. Thank you for being here and I apologize in advance for anything I said. Brian McCullough Tech Meme Ride Home Podcast. How's that seven-day-a-week podcasting thing?

02:23:52 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
It's not seven, it's five, although six I did six this week. But yeah, every weekday 15 minutes summarizes the news, sort of like tech meme dot com does, with a little bit of commentary, a little bit of the tweets and whatever. So it'll be late tomorrow because, like everyone else, I'm going to have to watch WWDC before I can actually put the show out.

02:24:17 - Leo Laporte (Host)
The tech meme ride home. Yep, it's a great quick way to find out what's going on in the world, so that when you listen to Twit you'll know ahead of time what we're going to talk about.

02:24:26 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
Yes, it's entirely complimentary, Like in 15 minutes. Here are the five or seven things that happened today, and then Leo dives deep, deep I confess, I listen.

02:24:37 - Leo Laporte (Host)
In that way, I know what to talk about on Sundays.

02:24:39 - Brian McCullough (Guest)
Thank you, by the way, you're saying that now, in addition to your funny hats, your Instagram ads are going to show you trampolines. Now.

02:24:47 - Leo Laporte (Host)
What was the other thing? That you were a little rebounder trampolines, that's a okay yeah boy, your, youra ads are different than mine. I'll tell you that I you know, uh, I think to me this is uh, this is gonna be good exercise. I don't know, I'm just, I'm just thinking, that's all uh they're super fun.

Actually it looks like a lot of fun. I'm gonna have a professional instruction. My pilates instructor is a certified whatever it is trainer, and so she's going to show me how to do it right, and I did get a handle, so I won't fall off. Thank you, lou Maresca, you rock. So nice to see you and I hope you will come back soon. He's the principal engineering manager at Microsoft, where he works on Excel in the office group, and he's Lou MM on all the socials. Anything you want to plug. Are you doing a podcast or anything?

02:25:38 - Lou Maresca (Guest)
No, I'm not, but definitely go check out devmicrosoftcom and check out Office Scripts, because that's what we've been working on. It's a new automation engine for Excel. Oh, how fun.

02:25:50 - Leo Laporte (Host)
We used to have Mr Excel on the TV show and he would do stuff and I'd go. It was like magic. It was so amazing. Where should I go?

02:25:59 - Lou Maresca (Guest)
Products, debmicrosoftcom, and then just look for Office Scripts Office Scripts I could do a search here Office Scripts, office, yep, and then of course there's also Python integration too. Those are both on this group.

02:26:10 - Leo Laporte (Host)
Oh, nice, very, this group. Oh nice, very nice. Oh, look at this, it's at microsoft. There it is lou. I love it. That's great. Thank you very much for being here. Thanks to all three of you, thanks also to our wonderful uh listeners special club to members. We appreciate your ongoing support.

We do twit every sunday afternoon, two to five Pacific, five to eight Eastern. You can tune in at 2100 UTC to the live stream on YouTube. We start up the minute the show begins youtubecom slash twit, slash live. If you subscribe and smash the bell I hear, wonderful things will happen. No, you'll get an automatic notification when we do go live.

After the fact, you can get copies of this show from our website, twittv. There's also a YouTube channel dedicated to the video of this Week in Tech, and the best thing to do is subscribe to this Week in Tech. We've been around, for we're in our 20th year now, so if a podcast app doesn't know about us, be surprised. They're not paying attention or they're brand new. So find twit, subscribe. That way you'll get it every week right in time for your Monday morning commute. We will be back here 10 am Tomorrow, 10 am Pacific, for the WWDC stream, micah Sargent and I hope you'll join us then Meantime. Have a great evening. And as I have said for 20 years, I'll say again another twit is in the can, bye-bye.


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