This Week in Tech Episode 881 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.

Leo Laporte (00:00:00):
It's time for TWiT this week in tech, Ian Thompson's here from the register. Brianna Wolf from rebellion back Florence ion from Gizmoto will talk about the latest Supreme court decision and what that means for big tech and privacy. Florence ion says the nothing phone lives up to its name. We'll find out what she means by that. And Google coming back to Spain. What a thought it's all coming up next on TWiT podcasts.

Florence Ion (00:00:30):
You love from people you trust. This is, this

Leo Laporte (00:00:44):
Is TWiT this week in tech episode, 881 recorded Sunday, June 26th, 2022, a cowboy hat for your dog. This episode of this week in tech is brought to you by audible audible, lets you enjoy all of your audio entertainment in one app. Let audible help you discover new ways to laugh. Be inspired or be entertained. New members can try it free for 30 days. Visit or text TWiT to 500, 500 and buy Wealthfront to start building your wealth and get your first $5,000 managed free for life. Go to and buy express VPN. Make sure your online activity and data is protected with the best VPN money can buy, visit express right now, and get three extra months free through our special link. And by user user way is the world's number one accessibility solution. And it's committed to enabling the fundamental human right of digital accessibility for everyone. When you're ready to make your site compliant. Deciding which solution to use is an easy choice to make, go to user for 30% off user way's AI powered accessibility solution.

Leo Laporte (00:02:13):
It's time for TWiT this week in tech to show we cover the latest tech news with people. I really like that's really the only criterion for being on TWiTtter. I think we used to have this, you know, oh, they gotta be tech journalists. Well, in this case two outta three ain't bad. They all good friends. That's the most important thing. In fact, wonderful. Have Florence ion on a long time host on all about Android. She's now at Gizmoto and and is in the, it looks like in the nursery, which is good. Cuz if you're needed.

Florence Ion (00:02:43):
No, this is my, this is the flow lab. Oh this is the flow lap.

Leo Laporte (00:02:48):
All righty. I put my foot in my mouth and the show is

Florence Ion (00:02:50):
Just begun.

Leo Laporte (00:02:53):
Hello. Welcome to this. It's my candy room. It is. It's a candy room. That's you know,

Florence Ion (00:02:57):
It's sailor moon, it's sailor moon sail

Florence Ion (00:03:00):
An original Al original 1990s poster. I have my Microsoft bag over here. I

Leo Laporte (00:03:05):
See that

Florence Ion (00:03:05):
From a show that I went to awesome over here. I have my desk mats.

Leo Laporte (00:03:09):

Florence Ion (00:03:10):
Nice. This is where I take a nap sometimes on my pick chew pillow. <Laugh>

Leo Laporte (00:03:13):
She's in the flow lab. I tell

Florence Ion (00:03:16):
You, I have, I have rare sailor moon art books from the nineties. Like the originals that came out is how I learned to draw. So I, you come to Boston, you can party I'll I'll show you. Absolutely

Leo Laporte (00:03:27):
That's Brianna. Whoa, of course is if you didn't know executive director of rebellion pack, former candidate for Congress and a good friend. Of course. Thank you for joining us. Brianna, somebody stepped on our ethernet cable and

Florence Ion (00:03:41):
I know I delayed the whole show. Sorry. Y'all

Leo Laporte (00:03:43):
<Laugh> no, not at all. Also with us, the us editor of the good friend, Ian Thompson. Wow. This is like old home week for all three of you. I'm really thrilled to have all three of you on on a week that has been a little bit tough, a little bit difficult for those of us in blue states, you know and of course we're not, you know, we don't wanna be particularly political on this show, but it does. It's very much part of the tech industry in a number of interesting ways. A number of tech companies, including apple and Google have told their employees, the we a, if you wanna relocate, you can, and B we will pay for your trip to a, to a state where you can get an abortion states where the abortions are legal, a are illegal. I think a lot of the tech community is saying that, is that illegal? Brianna? Is it, is it okay to say that it seems like that might be, you know, committing a crime? I certainly,

Florence Ion (00:04:45):
I certainly think it's, excuse me, it's opening them up to liability. Certainly. you know, because many of these states have laws, in fact, saying if you help someone with an abortion, you are also liable, right? Yeah. So I think the difference in

Leo Laporte (00:05:00):
Many of these chiefly. Yeah.

Florence Ion (00:05:01):
Yep. Correct. So I think the difference is many of these many of these large companies have more resources to fight this in court, then say maybe the average person in Texas living under the poverty line. Right. I might have. So I, I do just have to say while I appreciate this gesture for it it is, it, it can't help, but feel a little bit empty to me. I, I cannot imagine a woman in the tech industry wanting to go to her male boss and talking about like her abortion and like asking for reimbursement for a trip out of town and time off, like it's, it's appreciated, but it's entirely insufficient, especially when you consider many of these tech companies, their packs literally donate to the politicians, right. That now are talking about a federal ban

Leo Laporte (00:05:52):
On it's kinda the least you could do <laugh> in that category. Yes. Me done even almost a little bit less 

Iain Thomson (00:06:00):
Well they've banned this haven't they they've banned discussion about the issue.

Leo Laporte (00:06:03):
Yeah. So first they said we intend to offer and by the way, listen carefully, the verbiage travel expense reimbursements to the extent permitted by law for employees who will need them to access out-of-state healthcare and reproductive services. We're in the process of assessing how best to do that, given the legal complexities involved. So that's really only a half promise and yes, you're right. They abandon any discussion of the Roe V Wade Supreme court decision, which came down this week from their internal discussion. Although I, I kind of understand it's such a heated topic. They're afraid of, I don't know, Ian fights breaking out on their slack. I don't know. Well,

Iain Thomson (00:06:43):
You see, I mean, I dunno, we, we talked about this in the office cause I, I don't often comment on TWiTtter on American politics because I'm a guest here and I feel it's kind of rude,

Leo Laporte (00:06:53):
Although soon to be

Iain Thomson (00:06:54):
This citizen, this, this just, well, maybe <laugh> maybe, maybe soon to maybe soon to be going back to

Leo Laporte (00:07:01):
UK. Maybe change your mind. Yeah. Yeah.

Iain Thomson (00:07:03):
Honestly that a lot of people who do have exit route are taking them with the moment we're seeing, wow, I'm already seeing people moving out or at least getting into the first stages of moving out. Look, I don't feel this is my, my position to, to comment, but I talked to my editor and said, look, I'm going to be talking about this. Is that a problem? And he's like, no, we're not the Washington post go for it. You know? But it is shameful how some media outlets have said to journalists, you can't talk about this online, except in, in the context of your paper, otherwise you'll be seen as biased when the hell did personal opinion come, you know, become just not, not allowed. So yeah, I, I applaud tech companies for doing this. There are some as has been pointed out some massive holes in their strategy, particularly as they're funding, the very political candidates that're pushing this forward. But you know, there is more that can be done by the tech industry and it's about time. It stepped up to the plate and did it.

Leo Laporte (00:08:03):
Yeah. Yeah.

Florence Ion (00:08:05):
It's also very exclusive and privileged to be able to, if you have this job to work at a tech company that will offer you this sort of thing a lot of people don't have an exit strategy at all. A lot of people have to stay where they are and buckle in. I, you know, I used to have sort of like this mindset of, well, if things just get bad, I guess I'll just leave. But then I really rooted. It's

Leo Laporte (00:08:32):
Super privileged. It's super privileged. Right? Yeah. And the people, frankly, the people who will, the women who will have the hardest time with this are people who can't relocate. Right? Yeah. It's a privileges

Florence Ion (00:08:46):
Who's already working her off to.

Leo Laporte (00:08:48):
Yeah. You know those are the people that, that this is gonna harm. Most of all you know, we can, we can say from a point of privilege, well, I'm just leaving, but <laugh>, that's not, that's not an option

Iain Thomson (00:09:01):
For, well, I mean, it's not even that, I mean, what we would, we did a piece on looking at sort of pregnancy and, and menstrual tracking apps. And somebody was just said, well, look, what you need to do is get a burner phone and just use those, these, these apps on here. And if you're

Leo Laporte (00:09:17):
Getting out

Iain Thomson (00:09:18):
Uhhuh, so really you're living paycheck to paycheck. You're having to go five, 600 miles from an abortion. And now you've gotta get a burner phone as well. It's just not gonna happen. You

Leo Laporte (00:09:29):
Shouldn't need sick to get reproductive healthcare. Excuse me. <Laugh> I'm sorry. Google has told its employees. You can relocate without justification, following the decision you can move.

Iain Thomson (00:09:43):
Yeah. They'll, they'll still sell the data to identify these women to other people. However, <laugh>, you know, it's like, yeah, we'll look after our own, but everyone else. Yeah. We've got a business to run. Thanks very much.

Leo Laporte (00:09:54):
Well, that's the second tech angle on this and actually a very, very big tech angle on this is the issue of privacy. And mm-hmm, <affirmative>, you know, I've I have, and I've said this last few shows. I I've been kind of blase about privacy. Look, if they wanna do targeted ads, I understand the ad business wants targeting. I'm not crazy about it, but I don't, I don't see much of the harm. But when you are in a living in a state where the government is actively searching your social media post, or your search posts, trying to find out if you're doing something they don't like that's problematic. And that's exactly, it seems what's gonna happen in many states.

Florence Ion (00:10:37):
Yeah. I mean, the difference between now and the last time abortion was illegal is today we live in a, a surveillance state, right? Where all this information is very quantifiable and prosecutors can far more easily build a case against you. You know, it's, it is fairly infuriating.

Florence Ion (00:10:56):
Yeah. And it's worth mentioning also that not every, this is something I actually learned yesterday. Cause I was trying to be helpful. Cause I had friends who were like, well, what are we supposed to do now? You know, we live in California, we have like this privilege, we should do something. And I was like, oh, we should probably get people to move to encrypted messaging. Then I had a friend of mine who is an engineer and he reached out to me and he's like by the way, look up what happened to signal late last year and how their data got used by law enforcement to sort of implicate people

Leo Laporte (00:11:32):
Because how did that happen?

Florence Ion (00:11:33):

Leo Laporte (00:11:33):
Signal says we don't know anything.

Iain Thomson (00:11:35):
Yeah. Was because people sent their phones up badly.

Leo Laporte (00:11:39):
Yeah. You, you, so they would, if you backing up messages to iCloud. Yeah. They're no longer encrypted.

Iain Thomson (00:11:46):
Well, but also, I mean, signal by default will keep your messages as long as you have them. And the case that you, that you men that you mentioned was just like people had just kept these messages on their phones and yeah. Which I do my phones

Leo Laporte (00:12:00):
<Laugh> so it's unencrypted. Do

Iain Thomson (00:12:01):
I, unfortunately,

Leo Laporte (00:12:03):
So Flo is, it is the issue that it's unencrypted on the phone. I mean, and also if I, if I have co-opted your phone, everything's in the clear it's, it's only it's it's in transit that it's safe, but on your phone,

Florence Ion (00:12:18):
Well signal. So signal still had to give up the timestamps they did of okay. Yeah. Of the, ah, okay. Forgot exactly what had happened, but they don't

Leo Laporte (00:12:26):
Know me. They don't know metadata. They don't. Or do they, do they know who you sent messages to? I guess they do.

Florence Ion (00:12:32):
So PC mag was where I read this yesterday. Cause I just was like Googling it real quick. And I had completely forgot. They had talked about this is what law enforcement asks from us when they, you know, give us a search warrant. And they were saying, one of the things is like timestamps could be used to implicate you and just, you know, it's like a freaking serial case.

Leo Laporte (00:12:53):
It's, it's one more bit of information that law enforcement can use. And, and, and then, you know,

Florence Ion (00:12:59):
Try that a lawyer could use to, you know, come after you.

Florence Ion (00:13:04):
I, I, I do just wanna say here and look the, the, the techno angle like this, a tech show, obviously it's important to hit. I literally used to live right next to the abortion clinic that this Mississippi case is, is based on, right. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> you know, this is, I didn't grow up in Silicon valley or Massachusetts. I grew up in Harrisburg, Mississippi, and I, I really, I say this with respect, cuz I know engineers and tech people, we see this problem and we're like, how can we address this? We naturally wanna use the skills that we have and the things that we're thinking about. But I have to share with you, like think about the people in Mississippi that this court case is about, right? They live in the Delta, which has the poorest literacy in the entire United States. Many of them are never gonna leave the town that they were born in.

Florence Ion (00:14:00):
I mean, access to electricity is an issue in the Delta let alone school. And then you're talking about like your encrypted message app. It just, yeah, it, it feels so respectfully tone deaf, in my opinion, I mean, what we need is, you know, this is going to be solved through an electoral process. And frankly, it's going to be solved through politicians that are more willing to use their power than unfortunately the, the people that we have right now, their executive orders that we could do, there are things at a state level we can do. You know, there are things that we can do with having abortion clinics built on federal lands. Like there are any number of actions we can be taking encrypted, like signal apps are not the solution here. In fact, I would argue, it gives you the appearance of having power while not really being addressing the central problem. Respectful.

Florence Ion (00:14:56):
That's a good point, Brianna. Yeah. That's a good point. Thank you for, thank you for that. And you're right, Brianna. It really is like it was an, for me it was an emotional reaction because I'm living in a state where it didn't just turn immediately. So I was trying to look for something tangible that I could contribute, but at the core of it, it's not really addressing the, the people who are really, you know, going to need this help.

Leo Laporte (00:15:22):
So given that, and I accept that. I do still think this is an opportunity for us to look at privacy and how much big tech knows about us. And now say, as you know, contrary to what my position has been for years, this is actually a big issue. Our, our, as our privacy disappeared and, and what's criminalized next and is government willing to weaponize big tech and I think they are and is big. What is big tech gonna do about it?

Iain Thomson (00:15:59):
Well, I think individuals are gonna start weaponizing big tech as we've seen in the Texas and Mississippi laws. I believe they're now offering a $10,000 bounty on someone who can, if you can Sue someone who has helped in an abortion and location, data firms are happy to sell you the, the information that a particular person has been to a particular area. I think there is gonna be a very nasty trend in these kind of things. And okay, Scott, Mcneley said a long time ago, privacy is dead. When the Edward Soden revelations came out, he tweeted out. I didn't realize quite how right I was. Now. We're about to see the real world applications of that. It's not gonna be pretty,

Leo Laporte (00:16:38):
We're also sitting in a situation you're it happened in the UK. It's happened in Australia where the government is, is really weighing whether encryption should be even allowed, whether privacy should be even allowed. Oh, and that, and this is becoming a scary issue here.

Florence Ion (00:16:58):
I mean, think about it in a wider sense. You know, Clarence Thomas and his dissent very clearly indicated that, you know, gay marriage is on is up for debate. You know, there are a lot of these civil rights going beyond reproductive access that are, are very much in the air. Can you imagine like a future in this country where people that like everyone that's queer now came out online, right? Or there there's an electronic trail. It's just, I mean, you know, for my generation, I went to the, the library to read books on it. That's just completely different today. Right? It's so quantified that, you know, if there is this, this indication that, you know the federal protection, which is based on the same law, which is based on Roe that allows, you know, private sex act between the individuals that's out of, you know, it's a sexual privacy issue. There are cases that can be brought now with that, right. Or gay marriage or forcibly outing people, transgender people, or increasingly in the, the, the, the sites of the, the religious, right. So I think that this, this talk about privacy is gonna become increasingly important as these tools are weaponized against these individuals. If the Supreme court stays on this

Leo Laporte (00:18:16):
Court, you remember last year a Catholic priest was outed because a publication Catholic subst publication got his movements from grinder. Yeah. Grinder historically had terrible privacy protections. It's widely used by gay men to hook up what kind of chill does this send over the use of technology in general? I would submit technology. He's gotta pay attention to this because there's a real worry that people will stop using it, or they will start fuzzing their information. Or, you know, this is gonna work re rebound badly on big tech that doesn't take privacy seriously, isn't it? Or do they not care? I,

Iain Thomson (00:19:01):
I honestly think they don't care. They think at this point you are so bought into the system. There is no way for you to get out of it. We'll do some nice PR moves. You know, we'll, we'll make it seem like we care, but we're still gonna sell that data. We're still gonna invade your privacy because you are the product and that's the way it's going. Now. I think it it's. There seems to have been a shift in the last five years. Maybe particularly notice this with Google, where they've moved from innovation to just pure rent seeking. And it's now just like, yeah, you've bought into the ecosystem. We've got 10 years of your data. Now we're gonna take our money. Thank you.

Leo Laporte (00:19:41):
You have an article in the register, Jessica Lyons, Hardcastle. She she's great. She did a she requested Amazon, Microsoft, Google, meta, and TWiTtter, and said on Friday morning, what will your company do to ensure the data you collect? Isn't going to be used to build a case against women seeking abortions and people, organizations providing abortion support a whole day went by. None of them responded,

Iain Thomson (00:20:05):
Not a sausage, absolutely nothing. And it was shameful.

Florence Ion (00:20:09):
They haven't figured it out yet. That's why their PR is still writing up the press

Leo Laporte (00:20:13):
Release. And I can guarantee you that PR will come up with a press release that merely mouths it to the degree that it gives them quite. It's

Iain Thomson (00:20:20):
Not like they didn't have notice on this though. Yeah. You know, this, this thing was leaked. We've been talking about it for weeks. We knew it was coming. Yeah. Yeah. So they, they should have had their ducks in a row and, and been like

Florence Ion (00:20:32):
Writing in a big,

Iain Thomson (00:20:34):
Well, yeah, unfortunately you right on that one. No.

Leo Laporte (00:20:38):
We told people a month ago after the leak of the Alioto decision stop using any period tracker apps that you're using because that will announce to the world in law enforcement that you're pregnant.

Iain Thomson (00:20:52):
Yeah. I mean, although having said, we talked to a lot of the period tracker people, and they're kind of absolutely. We will not share this data with anyone. Yeah. Because

Leo Laporte (00:21:02):
That's the end of their, that's the end of their business, if that yeah. But

Iain Thomson (00:21:05):
The, the bigger risk is that this data is being sold by any everyone else. And also, I mean, there was a marvelous idea that maybe men should download these period apps and start really screwing with their data sets. Which is kind of cute, but I don't think it's gonna help that much. No. no,

Florence Ion (00:21:23):
No, because if someone's pursuing a case against you, they're gonna go get your, they're gonna subpoena that, that app directly a corrupted data set is not gonna help that in any way. I also just do wanna add to this conversation and yeah, this is uncomfortable. And I say this respectfully, but this is, this is an important show today. I have been raising the alarm on structural sexism in the technology industry for a long time

Leo Laporte (00:21:52):
Gamer. Kate of course, was a huge issue for you

Florence Ion (00:21:56):
A hundred percent. So if you're talking about the same men that literally can't treat women fairly at work, like asking them to come to the, the rescue on yeah. Like period apps. I mean, I'm sorry, even right before this show, I had a thoroughly unpleasant TWiTtter row with someone that's the head of AR at Google. Right. And Elizabeth Warren was like posting a a really lovely she's mad, posted a video about it. And he's like, wow, she wants to regulate big tech. You know, like that's the beginning and end of where a lot of people care about this it's at their own door. Yeah. So I, I really think that these structural problems, when it comes to how tech treats women, how tech treats, trans people, how tr tech treats, gay people and black people when you're coming to those things force really being weaponized by prosecutors because of this Supreme court. I, I really, I I'm, I'm ultra worried about that.

Leo Laporte (00:23:01):
Yeah. And you have a dog in this son. I mean, you are at risk as much, you know, as, as anybody. Sure. and, and that's the problem this, with this enumerated rights doc doc doctrine that this originalism doctrine, which is really being used as a cover, I don't think it's actually a genuine belief on the part of these justices, but they say, well, it's not the constitution, then it's not a right.

Iain Thomson (00:23:26):
Well, I mean, but correct me if I'm wrong because you're all Americans, but my understanding in the constitution, black people are three fifths of the citizen. Is that

Leo Laporte (00:23:34):
Correct? Yes, that's right

Iain Thomson (00:23:36):
Now, if, if we're gonna go full constitutional institutional enumeration, I suspect a lot of people would have a problem with that. Not at least one Supreme court justice, although

Leo Laporte (00:23:47):
He's well, ironically Clarence Thomas, who is black and is married to a white woman did, in fact, in his DEC, his minority is a majority opinion, his additional opinion bring up birth control, gay marriage. He didn't mention loving,

Iain Thomson (00:24:05):
But strangely not the loving.

Leo Laporte (00:24:07):
He didn't mention the iteration words.

Iain Thomson (00:24:08):
Oh, that isn't it.

Leo Laporte (00:24:10):
You know, but because this decision that's what this decision leads to. If it's not an enumerated, right. Well, that puts a lot of things that we take for granted in the 21st century off the table. And frankly, I don't think the morays and, and, and beliefs of the, of the founders in the mid 18th century, many of them slaveholders really should be informing how we operate in the 21st century. Mm-Hmm <affirmative>. And then, you know, well, I don't, I don't like I don't wanna get political. I think that it really is obviously too late a

Florence Ion (00:24:47):
Ship said,

Leo Laporte (00:24:47):

Iain Thomson (00:24:48):
I mean, look with, with technology, we upgrade stuff. You know, we, we, we move on the very idea that a document written in the 17 hundreds should be applied to the 21st century. Seems I admit, okay, I'm a foreigner, but it seems bonkers to me, you know, it's just, you cannot apply 17th century 18th century rules to 21st century society and expect to th everything to be perfect.

Florence Ion (00:25:16):
I think that's, what's so disturbing about this particular court. You know, there, there may lawyers have commented this, that, you know, but before this Supreme court, like you had conservative justices and you, you could disagree with what they said, because obviously they have a point of view, but they were committed to, you know, starting decisis. They were committed to let the president stand before, right. They were committed to the rule of law and, and not upending things. And having the Supreme court be respected, you know, with this ruling the Supreme court has truly gone to a radical place where, where they are upending, all of that. And, and there's not that continuity that I think even I, I'm seeing a real crisis of conscience with many lawyers. I know because it's gone from a process that while imperfect, they have faith in to, to really feeling like extremists or running the show

Leo Laporte (00:26:19):
It's become politicized as opposed to yeah. Some sort of attempt to at least follow precedent and things like that. I agree with that. Although I have to say, I mean the court has often in the past ignored stare decisis you know and sometimes for very good reason, the, the John Cornin brought up the Senator from Texas brought up brown versus the board of education, which overturned the idea of separate but equal effectively overturned set law saying, no, that's not enough. You've you've got to, you've got to do more so there and there

Iain Thomson (00:27:02):
Let's call, sorry, let's call it what it was Leo. This was a apartheid. Yeah. You know, it's, it's, it's not a pleasant word to use in the United States, but it was exactly the same with what was going on in South Africa. Yeah. So let's call it what it is, and let's not go back to it.

Leo Laporte (00:27:18):
He compared reversing Roe versus Wade in a tweet, he says now do Plessy versus Ferguson and brown versus board of education. That

Iain Thomson (00:27:28):
Was shameful.

Leo Laporte (00:27:29):
<Laugh> I know. And unfortunately that can really be interpreted to, let's go back to segregation coming from a Senator from Texas. It's not hard. It's not a stretch. I think his real intent was, well, I don't know. I'm not gonna, I'm not gonna explain his real intent.

Iain Thomson (00:27:46):
I do wonder what all those tech people who are moving to Texas are now thinking, you know, it's just like, yeah, let's go to Austin and, and build a new tech community. Yeah. Oh right. My daughter might have to, you know, might be sued for actually exercising her own bodily autonomy. Yeah.

Leo Laporte (00:28:03):
About that.

Iain Thomson (00:28:04):

Leo Laporte (00:28:08):
Of course Alan Butler, executive director, president of electronic privacy information center said, you know, law enforcement has a lot of data credit card records, cell phone towers that can get you in a lot of trouble. I mean, we, we, right now we send off a lot of data smog in our everyday transactions that could be used against us particularly women. Although, as I said, I suspect it's going to extend past just women. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> and it's so clearly when you have a government that is willing and ready to use that information it's seems like we gotta do something <laugh> about privacy. Yeah. I, but this has been an intractable problem from for years. What do we do?

Iain Thomson (00:29:04):
Well, I mean,

Leo Laporte (00:29:06):
Your internet searches are public. You're, you're traveling. You're you're you go to abortion clinic, it's public you know, your messages, your emails, it's all public,

Iain Thomson (00:29:18):

Leo Laporte (00:29:19):
GPS, your GPS, it's all public. You can do everything

Iain Thomson (00:29:22):
A quick straw poll. Actually go ahead. I mean, a quick straw poll, how many of you keep your location data, your location tab switch on, on the phones

Leo Laporte (00:29:31):
At all times. I, but I'm a old white man. I'm the only one <laugh> not at risk on this panel. <Laugh> so it save. I do, because you should,

Florence Ion (00:29:41):
I'm tracking, I'm tracking a lot of people. I track my mom, I track my cousin that's right.

Leo Laporte (00:29:47):

Florence Ion (00:29:48):
I track my husband. I track my daughter.

Leo Laporte (00:29:49):
I tell my daughter, you gotta leave that on. And she says, I'm not leaving that on. Yes,

Iain Thomson (00:30:00):
Just pound may just paranoid and childless, but yes, it's.

Leo Laporte (00:30:02):
Yeah. <Laugh>,

Florence Ion (00:30:03):
I mean, I have it turned on like a, a per app basis. Right. As for the apps I trust, but you know, like everyone else, there's, there's plenty of dirt. You can find on me as to what can be done. Leo. I really think this is we're looking for historical parallels. If you look at the democratic party after Jimmy Carter's loss, right. You know, the Democrats had controlled the, the house for a long time before that he really took the party 15, you know, 20 years to really find its footing again and move forward. I really think that what we're seeing right now is kind of the last cries of, of this last democratic party. And I think that, I think that moving forward, I, I think it's gonna look more like, you know, these, you know, I'm not even talking politics like progressive versus more centrist Democrats.

Florence Ion (00:30:55):
I'm talking about communication styles. If you look at an Elizabeth Warren or an AOC, they're just much better communicators. Like they use these tools more natively that all of us use, they're able to tap into the emotion. And they really come from you know, this more activist grassroots background. I think that what we're gonna see is rather than this kind of more, more, you know, centrist you know, let's respect civility I think the, the party is gonna change to something much more focused on the state house and kind of more activist power. And, you know, hopefully that's

Leo Laporte (00:31:35):
Stacey Abrams type.

Florence Ion (00:31:37):
Yeah. Stacey Abrams is the feature hundred percent and she's much more of a centrist Democrat. I

Leo Laporte (00:31:41):
Have to say, I've lost, I've somewhat lost a long time Democrat, but I've somewhat lost faith in both parties. And unfortunately what that leads to often is just a kind of nihilism about government in general, like government ain't gonna do it. They have failed us. And so, and you know, for a long time, I fought against that. A lot of people in the tech community have that feeling about government ass, screw it. Government has nothing to do with me. And there's nothing you can do. They're corrupt, and I'm starting to feel that way, but I know that that's, that there's no way forward with that. That's just nihilism. That's just let it all burn. And I don't think that's a solution either. Zap two 50 had an excellent opinion piece back when the original decision was leaked, we need to take back our privacy. This is in the New York times, and she actually talks about an interesting point in time, 130 years ago when the first portable cameras were invented Louis Brandis, who was to become a Supreme court justice later wrote recent inventions and business methods called attention to the next step, which must be taken for the protection of the person. He warned that laws were needed to keep up with technology 130 years ago, or Americans would lose their right to be let alone <laugh>

Iain Thomson (00:33:09):
It's coming. I mean, it's, it's, I mean, in terms of involvement though, check out Katie, Missouri who, you know, classic security specialist, but she's now a delegate in her local state

Leo Laporte (00:33:24):

Iain Thomson (00:33:25):

Leo Laporte (00:33:26):
Things. People with technology.

Iain Thomson (00:33:27):
Yeah. You get in there at the ground roots

Leo Laporte (00:33:29):
Need to start getting involved. And of course, it's, it has to happen. And that's what you were doing. Brianna, it starts locally hundred percent. It starts hundred percent. Yeah. It starts local.

Florence Ion (00:33:37):
And, and I didn't win, but, you know, I took my skills to go on to build a very successful pack that donates tons of money to races that otherwise would be forfeit. You know, like, I mean, even if you lose, you're still building up valuable skills. So we need more people like me to basically get involved and stay involved because the, the country is literally on the line right now. And you know, the, the, the thing that's so important is I, I feel so strongly. We've got to, you know, my perspective on growing up in Mississippi is, is this a lot of the people that are supporting this movement, that's going increasingly fascist it's. It is because we failed them. Ordinarily ordinary solutions have failed them. They don't see their lives getting better. They don't see their income, like going up and just like growing up in Mississippi, you have really you, the worst politicians, basically taking advantage of that. If we are really interested in averting a civil war in this country, we've gotta reach out to them and make the case to those voters about the difference that we can make in their lives. And we need to do it in real ways because Leo, this, this that's

Leo Laporte (00:34:52):
Where Democrats have failed. We have, that's where Democrats have have failed

Florence Ion (00:34:56):
Hundred percent. And this Staal mate that we have with this culture war, it's not good for women being thrown out to be the, the, the ball in a game of kickball. It's not good for trans people. It's not good for gay people. It's not good for black people. Like we've got to go out there and make the case to ordinary Americans or else the entire country's just gonna end up like Mississippi and this cultural, political quagmire forever where nothing gets better.

Iain Thomson (00:35:22):
Well, I mean, I remember when you ran for office and they ran those photos of here are the candidates. And it was like, yeah, two white guys in suits, and then you, and yeah, it was just like, they picked the, you know, they picked a, a shot, which okay. As a journalist, you look at it and you are just kinda like, yeah, they did that deliberately. You know, it was just, you gotta get in there though, and all credit you for doing it and actually making it work. But it, it, it just

Leo Laporte (00:35:50):
It's D do you know

Florence Ion (00:35:50):
Why they used that picture? Ian? They told me after the fact when I had it out with the most,

Iain Thomson (00:35:55):
Oh, really what they

Florence Ion (00:35:55):
Said, because they said, because that was a picture they found online where I was smiling because of my standard shot. I was looking very seriously at the camera. Jesus,

Iain Thomson (00:36:06):
That dog ain't my homework school.

Leo Laporte (00:36:09):
So worst thing you could tell any woman is you ought smile more. That is trying to so horrific. So horrific by the way, no one has ever told me I should smile more. <Laugh> what a surprise. Right? Leo, you should smile more.

Iain Thomson (00:36:24):

Leo Laporte (00:36:24):
Thanks. Flow.

Iain Thomson (00:36:25):

Leo Laporte (00:36:28):
All right. Let's that, okay. We, you know, look, we, we, we have to talk about it. It's it's challenging. You are listening to a podcast that is mostly blue in a country that is very much divided between blue and red. I don't, I don't know what else to say. You, many of you may not agree maybe celebrating what's happened and maybe looking forward to a world where contraception is no longer available and gay people are thrown in jail and black people are kept from drinking in the same fountain as white people. That may be something you think is a good thing. It's just not, we don't agree on that. And unfortunately, technology has a lot to do with how this is gonna happen. And so it is part of our mandate to talk about it. 

Iain Thomson (00:37:18):
Well, I think the point that was made earlier was, was very clear. It's like back in the anti, you know, back when abortion and gay people and trans people were, were illegal, there was no technology. And now there is, and it's gonna be a massive problem. We have to deal with it.

Leo Laporte (00:37:34):
Let's take a little break. We were gonna come back. We have much more to talk about, including Florence will explain this grandma, your late grandma appearing in your Amazon echo. That's a creepy idea. <Laugh> <laugh> but first word from our <laugh> our sponsor audible. Now I tell you what audible is a great way to stay up on what's going on in the world around us. There are some fantastic audio programs you can on these very subjects, say reproductive history, the story of Jane, the legendary underground feminist, the Jane in RO Jane Rowe, Roe V. Wade bodies on the line, Jane against the world. Some really great stuff. If you wanna become educated, if you wanna learn about the world around you, if you want to be entertained, audible is the place to go. I listen to audible all the time. In fact actually would like to recommend it's it's all about the man who made modern computing possible. John Von Norman, a brilliant Hungarian, a Jewish Hungarian mathematician who came to the United States. And an interesting figure was very involved in the creation of the Adam bomb, but also worked with touring to create the foundation for modern computing. Fascinating. This is by a N bar Acharya and the audio book, which is really, I gotta play a little bit of this narrated by Nicholas cam is just, this is why I listen to audible. Yeah.

Audiobook Narrator (00:39:19):
More eerily prescient with every passing year to fully understand the intellectual currents running through our century from politics to economics, technology to psychology. One has to understand Von Neiman's life and work in the last

Leo Laporte (00:39:37):
My recommendation. But let me tell you, audible has so many audio wonderful audio programs. Of course, they've got best sellers, celebrity, memoirs, mysteries. We're listening to a doth. Lisa and I are listening together to a Dorothy SARS mystery. That is so good. We're listening to Dorothy SARS classic strong poison. It's a Lord Peter whimsy mystery. And it's just part of our audible subscription, which makes it so much fun. It as part of the plus catalog hundreds and hundreds of audiobooks performances and more so when you're in the mood for something, I always go through the audible plus catalog. Audible has the most amazing collection of performances podcasts, advertising, free podcasts, audible originals they record some of the best science fiction science fiction that would otherwise not be recorded. Like the Bob averse. Those are O audible originals. They're wonderful, beautifully produced.

Leo Laporte (00:40:39):
Ray. Porter's one of the best readers in the world. He does such a good job with a Bob averse, highly recommended audible originals for top celebrities, renowned experts, new voices and audio. As an audible member, you get a title a month from their entire catalog. That's yours to keep forever. I have a, a library of 500, including the best sellers, the newest releases. You also get access to the audible plus catalog. So you can always supplement those. You can listen to all you want and get more every month more get added every month. So that's fantastic. The audible app on your phone is great, but you can put it on your watch. I listen on I Amazon. I listen on my Sonos now, too, which is great. Audible, let audible help you discover the ways new ways to laugh, to be inspired, to be entertained, to learn new members can try audible free for 30 days. All you gotta do is go to a U D I B L E. Audible.Com/Twit or text TWiT to 500, 500. They'll send you a link. You can download the app, audible, a U D I B L text TWiTt to 500, 500 to try audible free for 30 days. Audible. We love you. I got an email from somebody who says haven't listened much to the podcast in the last five years because you told me about audible and now I just listened to audio books. Okay? Okay. I understand. I understand. That's okay.

Iain Thomson (00:42:06):
Play your own.

Leo Laporte (00:42:07):
Oh, hoisted by our own Batard but you know what? I, it's fine. It's fine. We love audible, Thank you, audible for your support and for stealing all our audience. <Laugh>, it's kind of nice. There's so much you can listen to nowadays. I almost wish I had a long commute again. That was, you know, I would get two or three hours every day in the car. Now. I like I'm like you, I don't have a flow. I don't have a commute anymore. And just have to find ways to listen to audible. But I bet with the baby, you maybe there's times when you're, you know, you're playing with the kid and she doesn't know you've got an audible in your ear listening to a book.

Florence Ion (00:42:45):
Oh yeah. That I did that today. Yeah. Went to go play with her at the park I was listening

Leo Laporte (00:42:48):
To. Oh yeah, honey. That's nice. Have fun on the

Florence Ion (00:42:51):

Leo Laporte (00:42:52):
Yay. What are you listening to?

Florence Ion (00:42:56):
Well, I, I, I am listening to a lot of cult

Leo Laporte (00:43:02):
<Laugh> you don't have to tell us if you cult stuff. Huh? That's why I

Florence Ion (00:43:04):
Don't. Yes. Yes.

Leo Laporte (00:43:05):
I oh, interesting.

Florence Ion (00:43:07):
I actually forgot the name of the book. I'm listening

Leo Laporte (00:43:08):
To all about cults.

Florence Ion (00:43:10):
I, I have a book I can share, please. I just, so Tokyo vice this show, the the book, the HBS shows based on yes is excellent. And the day Roe versus Wade came out, I just could not think about it.

Leo Laporte (00:43:24):
Sometimes you need a break. Yeah.

Florence Ion (00:43:27):
A hundred percent. So I mainlined a book by Craig Allen. There's about a talking beer can space that goes on space battles with all these, what? People's the trashiest science fiction. What? I love him. He's a good friend of mine. He's written 15 books of these on audible. It was called match game. It's such a silly novel Bo

Leo Laporte (00:43:47):
Book. 14 of expeditionary force series

Florence Ion (00:43:50):
Expeditionary force.

Leo Laporte (00:43:51):
Oh, and RC bra. Narrat narrat it. He's one of my favorite narrator. God, it's one of the things that happens with audibles. You start to find these narrators, you just love, and you just, you search for the, not the author of the book you search for the narrators

Iain Thomson (00:44:05):
<Laugh> oh yeah. But unfortunately that can backfire because for example, I love bill Bryson's books. Yes. You he's done some really good

Leo Laporte (00:44:12):

Iain Thomson (00:44:13):
Yes. But his accent as a Brit is so annoying.

Leo Laporte (00:44:17):
I love it. When bill Bryson narrates his own books, you don't like

Iain Thomson (00:44:21):
That. Oh God. No, because he sounds like the worst kind of transatlantic Winker on the planet is just like, he gets words wrong. He gets Americanization in there and it's just a dull voice.

Leo Laporte (00:44:32):
Yeah. He lived in the UK for a long time. Right? I think he

Iain Thomson (00:44:35):
Did. Yeah. He moved. Well, he moved there, moved back to the us and then moved back to the UK again. And yeah, he lived there for a long time and it kind of, he's got that transatlantic thing going, let

Leo Laporte (00:44:48):
Me, let me play a little bit. This is a book my trainer actually is relating right now or listening to right now. And he rec strongly recommended the body a guide for occupants. Let me just, this is bill Bryson talking. Lets just want to hear his voice. Oh,

Audiobook Narrator (00:45:00):
Go. When I was a junior high school student in America.

Leo Laporte (00:45:02):
Oh, I see what you're

Audiobook Narrator (00:45:03):
Talking about. I remember being taught by a biology teacher, but all the chemicals that make up a human body. See,

Leo Laporte (00:45:08):
I don't doesn't bother me, but I can see you're saying he's got a little mixed up his accents, a little mixed up

Iain Thomson (00:45:14):
It's it's it's kind of like, it's a, it's a bit try hard. You know, I can't do an American accent. I don't try to do it. Cause you all really take the piss out of me if I do, but

Leo Laporte (00:45:26):
Just like the Brits do when I do my British accents.

Iain Thomson (00:45:29):
Oh God. Yeah. Dick van Dyke will never live that down. Hello? Mary Love Mary Poppins film.

Leo Laporte (00:45:37):
Oh Mary. All right. Well <laugh> I

Iain Thomson (00:45:40):
Like we get

Leo Laporte (00:45:41):
Beat. Listen to bill Bryson's books cuz they're really, really good. He's got a whole bunch of good books. Alright. Let's talk about Amazon echo this. Oh wow. The re Mars conference was this week. Amazon does this. I

Iain Thomson (00:45:54):
See dead people

Leo Laporte (00:45:55):
Every yeah, I hear 'em anyway,

Florence Ion (00:45:57):
I hear them. I hear

Leo Laporte (00:45:58):
Them every year they had Adam Savage was one of the speakers at re Mars from of course the myth busters and I guess his new site the tested but one of the things Amazon announced did not sit well with me, but you know, more than I do. What is Amazon proposing?

Florence Ion (00:46:20):
Well, unfortunately I was not in attendance for this conference for me to get the full picture. But from what, from what I read in research Amazon is, we're just putting that caveat. Amazon is proposing that you feed it, your dead relatives voice. Let's just say it's your relative. It could be anybody. And then it's a it's it's AI will repeat it back to you

Leo Laporte (00:46:45):
In just a few minutes of recording. You don't need, like you could, if you want. I it'd probably be easy for Amazon to simulate me. I've got a hundred of thousand hours of recording available online, but you don't need that much of grandma, couple of minutes and then

Florence Ion (00:47:00):
Voicemail a

Leo Laporte (00:47:01):
Voicemail, just a voicemail and echo could talk like her. Yeah. I don't know. Which is worse if it sounds exactly like her and she's passed is that creepier than if it sounds sort of like her, but it's a robot which is worse.

Florence Ion (00:47:15):
Right, right. I had the same thought and actually, so, so my thought was, oh God, is this something that would inter interfere with the grieving process? Because, because if you are like,

Leo Laporte (00:47:30):
Daddy, grandma's not dead. She's in the echo. You,

Florence Ion (00:47:37):
I mean, there's a reason you give a goldfish to a kid as their first

Leo Laporte (00:47:40):
That's. Oh boy. Is that true? People do that.

Florence Ion (00:47:44):
I mean, you know, time

Leo Laporte (00:47:45):
To learn about death, have a fish.

Florence Ion (00:47:47):
Yeah. Wow.

Florence Ion (00:47:49):
But this, the thing is this isn't a new idea. So actually in Mike's Moto article, I brought up there's this toy from Taka to me, which is a big toy manufacturer in Japan. And they have a smart speaker that actually can imitate a parent's voice. So like a parent who is traveling a lot, a parent who maybe isn't at home for bedtime could like theoretically, you know, read a story to their kid, which is nice. But the idea of somebody deceased, first of all, it removes the consent from that deceased person to exist in your life, beyond the dead. And it also, again, my question was how does this interfere with the actual grief process, which I am told by professionals in my life is a multi-step process. Sometimes it takes many, many, many years. Sometimes you never get over the death of somebody. So how will this affect that? But then there is this school of thought, and this is completely valid and fair from those who have lost loved ones. Like a parent, let's say that this is actually something that could be quite comforting. So there's a lot of,

Leo Laporte (00:48:59):
It's just unknown around this. Yeah. Yeah. And there, and there could be a lot of psychiatric work that you might need. That's my later, that's my fear later in life.

Florence Ion (00:49:07):
It's the first thing I thought about when I read about this, I'm like, okay, how is this going to interfere with the psychology of a person? And especially cuz we just got off the heels of that is AI human debate. Yeah. Which is kind of still happening. And so to kind of hear this, it's like, I don't know if I wanna, imortalize a dead one's voice, but there are people out there who do, so what do you do then?

Leo Laporte (00:49:32):
<Laugh>, wasn't there a black mirror episode where there was a robot or an Android that was a somebody's ex-wife or something had died. I generally remember this it's very black mirror. Right.

Florence Ion (00:49:50):
See, and then that scares me. What if somebody takes, like you said, Leo, what if somebody takes your voice from the internet and wants to just, well

Leo Laporte (00:49:57):
I'm hoping me

Florence Ion (00:49:58):
Continue that para of social relationship.

Leo Laporte (00:49:59):
I think it's a good possibility it's already happened. And then I, I don't even know it that I'm just a SIM simulation <laugh> I dunno that it's only being used if I could go ahead. Go ahead. No,

Florence Ion (00:50:09):
I was just gonna say my my really good friend, Amanda win leash. She's a famous voice actress. Right? She did a even Evangelian she did persona she's. She's like if there's classic anime from the, yeah. The eighties and nineties she's in it. I have no doubt. She did a sailor moon episode probably at some point. And you know, she was talking about how her fear with this was it was gonna commodify what she does and let people use her instantly recognizable voice right off the bat without, you know, paying any rights. I

Leo Laporte (00:50:44):
Think that for her she's a professional. They would have to license her voice wouldn't they? Yeah.

Florence Ion (00:50:51):
Well couldn't you just go in and, and, and like, like tech, usually when they're bringing out new technology, they try to like put their best foot forward. They don't put forward the dystopian stuff it's gonna do mm-hmm <affirmative> they put forward their best case for it. And you know, we start thinking like, how can you use this technology that can basically take us someone's speech patterns and, and recreate it like, okay, maybe having a loved one narrate to you. But I think a lot of the use cases are deep fakes, you know, it's revenge porn. That may be false. It's

Leo Laporte (00:51:28):
Yeah. That's another

Florence Ion (00:51:28):
Thing it's making it harder for people to make a living their voice acting professionals. I mean, well,

Leo Laporte (00:51:33):
And there

Florence Ion (00:51:34):
Are a lot of these fake yeah.

Leo Laporte (00:51:35):
On, I could call up and say, Hey, it's Frank. Could you wire me some money because I'm stuck here in Memphis with the mobile blues again and well, I mean, you wouldn't, I,

Iain Thomson (00:51:46):
This is, is being used already in business, email compromise, you know, that's

Leo Laporte (00:51:50):
Right where it was seeing.

Iain Thomson (00:51:51):
Yeah. Yeah. We're already seeing this coming through where deep fakes are being used. It's very early days yet, but that, you know, it's getting worse, but you know, these kind of deep, fake voices are being used in business business, email compromise, which cost. And I need to check the figures, but about 5 billion over the last five years. So, you know, people are making a, a shed load of money about the out, out of this, and it's gonna get worse because the money's there

Leo Laporte (00:52:22):
As usual black mirror was there first Jason Howell tells me it was the first episode of season two called be right back after learning about a new service that lets people stay in touch with the deceased, a lonely grieving Martha reconnects with her late lover and see me and MEIT and Sue it's. 

Iain Thomson (00:52:42):
Well, there's a short story by Rogers. Alame famous science. Yeah. where yes, there, you had gravestones with your dead put, you know, with the dead, his voice and brain installed in them. And he was trying to do share options to get his son, a dead person was trying to get his son to connect him with another dead widow. It was a deeply TWiTsted and very, very funny story. I highly recommend it.

Leo Laporte (00:53:13):
I, you know what? I might downloads all these old black mirrors and watch 'em again, cuz it's what a great series that was here's another episode from the same season, a failed comedian who voices, a popular cartoon bear named Waldo finds himself mixing in politics when TV executives want Waldo to run for office. <Laugh> just like you said, Brian <laugh>. Yeah.

Iain Thomson (00:53:37):
Well wasn't of the Simpsons that, I mean a, a, the Simpsons actually predicted president Trump. Yeah. And also didn't they have Ralph as running for president

Leo Laporte (00:53:46):
<Laugh> maybe. So I don't think we're very far off from this. I mean I have Samuel L. Jackson in my Amazon echo. I have Melissa McCarthy, my God in my Amazon echo. I, I love asking Samuel for the weather cuz he swears up a blue streak <laugh> and then you ask him, why do you swear so much? And his response is even more blue. It's hysterical.

Iain Thomson (00:54:11):
But you see with, with the old GPS, Tom, Tom things, John CLEs, there was a John CLEs, Easter egg in there. Yeah. Where, if you, if you went against it's it's navigation things enough times John cleats voice would go saying, well, if you're not going to pay attention, I'm not going talk.

Leo Laporte (00:54:28):

Iain Thomson (00:54:28):

Leo Laporte (00:54:30):
I've said this before, but I had a Tom Tom voice that was GLaDOS from portal. And she'd always tell you the wrong direction. She'd say turn left when he was supposed to turn. Right. She, it was complete chaos <laugh> it was terrible. Yeah, that Tom, Tom really was the first to do all of that stuff. It's very, I guess the technique at this point is they have the robotic voice and they can apply what they call prosy, which is the intonation, the inflection, the sound of a human's voice up on top of it. And they've gotten, I think pretty good at that to to the point that one company approached me saying, you know, you never have to read any more commercials we can synthesize 'em all. And I said,

Iain Thomson (00:55:13):
That's some ethically, very vet tissues, thin area

Leo Laporte (00:55:18):
<Laugh> they're trying to, they're literally trying to sell this to radio and TV that, you know, you just write the copy and then it'll read it in somebody else's

Iain Thomson (00:55:28):
Voice. And you're gonna bet that some people with fewer issues on ethics are gonna do that as

Leo Laporte (00:55:33):
Well. Yeah.

Florence Ion (00:55:35):
Isn't this what Google's doing though with the yeah. The service duplex like calls the restaurant for you. Yeah. Duplex. Thank you. Yeah.

Leo Laporte (00:55:42):
I forgot the name, although it's not trying to sound like you, but it's, it is sounding pretty realistic even to the point where

Florence Ion (00:55:47):
It's synthetic, right.

Leo Laporte (00:55:49):
It's synthetic at the same time when it's thinking, cuz sometimes computer isn't thinking as fast as a human, when it's thinking it will add a just like a human would. Yeah,

Iain Thomson (00:55:58):
They did that when they demoed it down. So creepy. I remember IO down shore side creepy. Yeah. You know, they, they demoed it's like, and they presented it as a feature. It's kinda like, yeah. Okay. It'll sound like a human because it'll ask it'll or it'll ah, this is a feature. Apparently not something that is deeply,

Leo Laporte (00:56:20):
Deeply, deeply something to be proud of. Here's this is I said earlier, Google IO in 2018

Sundar Pichai (00:56:25):
Is to help you get things done,

Leo Laporte (00:56:27):
Send over

Sundar Pichai (00:56:27):
Cha it turns out a big part of getting things done is making a phone call. You may want get an oil change schedule. So

Leo Laporte (00:56:35):
This is five, four years

Sundar Pichai (00:56:36):
In the middle of the week, or even schedule a hybrid

Iain Thomson (00:56:39):
Appoint sitting in that auditorium, baking in the sun.

Leo Laporte (00:56:42):
I remember that. It's very hot.

Sundar Pichai (00:56:45):
We want connect. Let

Leo Laporte (00:56:46):
Me see if I can this skip ahead to the call.

Sundar Pichai (00:56:49):
What happens is the Google assistant makes the call seamlessly in the background for you. So what you're going to hear is the Google assistant actually calling a real salon to schedule the appointment for you. Let's listen.

Leo Laporte (00:57:05):
Oh, the crowd goes wild.

Iain Thomson (00:57:08):
Okay. It not as bad as apple, but it was pretty bad

Caller (00:57:10):
Out here. Hi I'm calling to book a woman's haircut for our client. I'm looking for something on May 3rd. There are gimme one second.

Sundar Pichai (00:57:20):

Florence Ion (00:57:21):
<Affirmative> those are still in use by the way, are they, if you go to Google maps, if you go to Google maps, you will see if you're looking at like the information for a restaurant or, or whatever, it'll show you like hours confirmed two weeks ago, which

Leo Laporte (00:57:34):
Was cause they were calling

Florence Ion (00:57:35):
That's. Yeah. That's when

Leo Laporte (00:57:37):
Somebody called me after this demo, I remember there was a fewer and the biggest issue was are you, we felt like you're, you're messing with that human by pretending to be a human. Are you gonna let people, and, and after that Google did start putting an announcement. Hello? I, it didn't say I'm a, I'm a robot. <Laugh>

Florence Ion (00:57:58):
This is a Google messaging or whatever.

Leo Laporte (00:58:00):
So, yeah, but it kind of, you know, thing, you know, you may not be talking to a human at this point. It's a little creepy. There's a season in Westworld from the last season Westworld's coming back tonight. So I'm trying to figure out what set tonight. Tonight. Yeah. But season three was such a model. I had no idea what happened. So I'm trying to rewatch it. And in the very first episode of last season Aaron, Paul, who's a character in it. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> is talking, is been turned, being turned down for a job. Hi, I'm sorry. We just don't have anything right for you. And he, they have a conversation and at some point, Aaron says, are you a robot? Cuz it's, he's becoming, he's like, I don't think this is a human I'm talking to. He said, because he starts begging can you know, I got you. Is there anything I can do? I really need this job. And, and the thing is pretty non-responsive so finally he says, are you a robot? And instead of saying yes or no, it, it says, I can help you with many things. I am your representative for this corporation. Just like Google saying. Yeah, not gonna say I'm a robot, but I'm not gonna, but

Iain Thomson (00:59:04):
Don't you do that with spam calls anyway, because I get a lot of spam calls and I'm a journalist. I have to answer calls and you get a recorded message from someone who's like, hi, I'm Joe from the American military, whatever association. And your first question used to be, are you a robot? And they've got whys to that now. It's like, no, I'm not a robot. But if you say, do you love me? Or you know what is two plus three? Yeah. Then that foxes them completely.

Leo Laporte (00:59:36):
You should make that you identify trains, cars and light sta you know, traffic lights. <Laugh> and then maybe we'd know if they were robots or not.

Florence Ion (00:59:45):
Did you guys,

Iain Thomson (00:59:47):
Sorry, go on. Sorry.

Leo Laporte (00:59:48):
Go ahead. Flow.

Florence Ion (00:59:49):
Okay. This is an its gonna be an absolute digression. Ian's gonna be like, you interrupted me for this. Did you guys see the Paris Hilton deep fake that she made with her in Tom cruise dancing? No.

Leo Laporte (00:59:58):
No. Okay. Is it the real Tom cruise or is it fake Tom cruise?

Florence Ion (01:00:03):
It's fake Tom cruise because,

Leo Laporte (01:00:04):
But real Paris Hilton.

Iain Thomson (01:00:06):
I was gonna say yes.

Florence Ion (01:00:07):

Iain Thomson (01:00:07):
I love dancing with a woman, but no, sorry. Yes

Leo Laporte (01:00:10):

Florence Ion (01:00:10):
But the Tom cruise, no, now you knew it wasn't him because, and I love short men, so I'm married to one, but this person was Paris. Hilton's height. And we know that she's very tall. So you, you can tell, but it's such a good, deep fake that I was.

Leo Laporte (01:00:25):
I will play it fool. I'll probably get in trouble for it because every time I you find it. Yeah. Every time I play video, I get taken down. We're still, we have an episode for three or four weeks ago where I played the video of the queen, having tea with Patton and the bear and pat the patting and the bear people <laugh> took, took the show down. It's still,

Iain Thomson (01:00:46):
But I mean, dang Leo that's okay. Leo, because under the current British immigration rules, Patton is being deported as an legal chillion immigrant, sorry, Peruvian immigrant. And he will be sent to Rwanda for processing and then back to his home country. So you should

Leo Laporte (01:01:03):

Iain Thomson (01:01:03):
On that because our government are busted.

Leo Laporte (01:01:06):
I just figured that since every news organization in the world, wait a minute, this is her having cereal with Tom cruise. Is that another one?

Florence Ion (01:01:18):
There's there's that's another one. Oh my God. That's another one.

Leo Laporte (01:01:20):
Let's see. This is Paris. Wow. Having cereal with Tom cruise. He's sitting down. So we can't tell if he's short,

Impersonator (01:01:28):
Just after a long day at this serial hits the spot. Totally does.

Florence Ion (01:01:33):
Totally not him.

Impersonator (01:01:34):
That's hot.

Iain Thomson (01:01:35):

Leo Laporte (01:01:35):
God. It looks just like, it looks just like him. Cereal.

Impersonator (01:01:39):
I know oatmeal. This is just,

Iain Thomson (01:01:41):
But this is gonna be a problem over the next 5, 10, 20 years, this was hot in the, this stuff will get spread around.

Leo Laporte (01:01:50):
So, so this is, if you look at a guy named miles guy who is a kind of a Tom cruise lookalike, but they put his Tom cruise face on top of him. So he does the smile. He does a lot of the gestures. Is that, but is that the real Marial and I'm sorry. I'm still not.

Florence Ion (01:02:06):
Yeah. That's that? I believe that's her. I believe she signed up for this Grif.

Leo Laporte (01:02:12):

Iain Thomson (01:02:13):

Leo Laporte (01:02:14):
This guy is actually quite good. His TikTok is oh,

Florence Ion (01:02:17):
There it is. There's there's the dancing

Leo Laporte (01:02:18):
One. Which one? This one.

Florence Ion (01:02:20):
The first one where he, yeah, that one. I don't wanna be late to this premiere. We gotta go.

Leo Laporte (01:02:24):
He doesn't sound exactly like Tom cruise.

Florence Ion (01:02:26):
You should always run ally late. It's your name? You were so absolutely see he's right.

Leo Laporte (01:02:32):
He's too tall. He should be shorter.

Florence Ion (01:02:35):
I love a short band in very short. Not Tom cruise. I think we're really gonna wind the world. Yeah. This really creeped me up. I think most people

Iain Thomson (01:02:47):
That's really nasty.

Florence Ion (01:02:50):
<Laugh> wasn't it? Yeah. All right. Now when this guy died,

Iain Thomson (01:02:54):
It reminds me of the, the second Iraq war. <Laugh> where Saddam Mae had all these look like.

Leo Laporte (01:03:01):

Iain Thomson (01:03:01):
Yeah, that's right. Protect him from assassination. Yeah. And there's a famous joke that they, he, they were called into one room and said, Saddam Mae has had survived in assassination attempt and they all applauded bad news is he's lost an arm. So, you know, you've all gotta go into the surgery room now. This is really deeply.

Leo Laporte (01:03:23):
Here's a, here's another one. This has 13 million views on TikTok of deep, fake Tom cruise, jumping over Jordan peel. Who's I believe real, but what, how do you know anymore?

Fake Tom Cruise (01:03:36):
Just want to jump into what you left, but that's on the, a

Florence Ion (01:03:40):

Leo Laporte (01:03:40):
Doesn't that doesn't that? I mean, it looks so much like to cruise

Florence Ion (01:03:43):
A little bit. I am so glad for this though, because let me tell you, I, I am just mourning the I'm

Leo Laporte (01:03:48):
Lost her. That's not Jordan peel

Florence Ion (01:03:49):

Leo Laporte (01:03:50):
That's Kegan. Michael Key. Sorry. I confused the two. Yes, go ahead.

Florence Ion (01:03:54):
I'm I'm just so sad that we lost Tom cruise to Scientology that I feel like there should be a,

Leo Laporte (01:04:00):
A non Scientology Tom cruise cruise, like yeah, yeah,

Florence Ion (01:04:03):
Yeah. Like the actual Hollywood, you know, chum. Let's just cause that's the Tom cruise we wish we had, but he's not allowed to do that. <Laugh>

Leo Laporte (01:04:12):

Florence Ion (01:04:13):
For, for the production of this one though. Yeah. I mean, I, I hear a lot of the worry that this is going to like end up. I, I think if you looked at the actual production that these videos take, it's not like five minutes with a phone. Like these have extremely elaborate set up times, you know, additionally, you you've got someone that's really, really, really darn good at doing a Tom cruise, like impression. Of course, of course. So

Leo Laporte (01:04:40):
They gave 'em a head start, but it's only few years before you could have deep, fake grandma in your TikTok.

Florence Ion (01:04:48):
Right? Well, I think more specifically, I mean, disinformation targeted at, you know, women imagine how easy

Leo Laporte (01:04:55):
Oh yeah, that's

Florence Ion (01:04:55):
Right. One of the things I uncovered during game was there was actually an operation set up that you could actually buy destroying your ex's Google results. Oh, right. Gosh. And flood it with like, you know, allegations of porn or whatever. I imagine this technology being used for that, because in that case, it

Iain Thomson (01:05:16):
Wouldn't even have to be that, that, that convincing,

Leo Laporte (01:05:19):
You know, my initial thought was, oh, then nobody will ever run for office again, because you know, immediately deep fakes, you know, of you doing something reprehensible will show up. And then I just thought about it a little bit longer. And I realized, oh no, that's just gonna open the floodgates because now you can do anything you want and say, oh, it's a deep fake, right. Or maybe the only people who run for officer people don't care.

Iain Thomson (01:05:42):
I was also in old documentary and the CIA came up with an idea to create a porn film with Saddam saying and a, a young boy and that this would apparently demoralize the

Leo Laporte (01:05:59):

Iain Thomson (01:05:59):
And the rest of it. And it's like, well, first off that's showing a, a deep lack of knowledge of human psychology, but also really when it comes to deep fakes that this is what's gonna come through the line, you're gonna get politicians saying things they haven't said, or, you know, people would like them to say it won matter. We already have a trust problem on social, you know, on internet media. Yeah. And this is only gonna make it catastrophically worse.

Leo Laporte (01:06:28):
There's is a turning point.

Iain Thomson (01:06:30):
Fake news is bad. Fake video is gonna be

Leo Laporte (01:06:32):
Fake, fake, fake. There's a turning point in Neil Stevenson's latest book, which we did a book club of called termination shock.

Iain Thomson (01:06:39):
Oh, it's

Leo Laporte (01:06:39):
So good. Isn't it good. And the queen of 

Iain Thomson (01:06:42):
Has he done endings right yet? Because no, no

Leo Laporte (01:06:44):
Something Stevens, you know, what's good about this book is there's no attempt even to do <laugh>. It's just, he's not trying to wrap it up. It's a slice of life, right? It, it has no beginning, middle or end. It's just like life it's just normal. But the queen of the Netherlands at one point, who has been very careful not to influence this, the, the it's the constitutional monarchy. So she doesn't wanna in influence in any way national politics. So she's like any good queen. She, you know, she doesn't make political statements, but a deep fake comes out in which she says, you know, look, it, I, I, I don't wanna say this. And I, I know we have a longstanding history of not getting involved in politics, but we've really gotta do some geoengineering and I'm, and I'm all in favor. And the government falls as a result and she goes, so she immediately runs us to the palace to make a denial video saying, look, that wasn't me.

Leo Laporte (01:07:40):
It was a deep fake before sh so she tapes it before she could be released a second deep fake comes out, completely disarming, any real denial possibility. In other words, gaming it in such a way that there's literally no denying it. She has to abdicate as a result. Yeah. Because you fill the zone with BS. You don't know what's real and now it doesn't matter anymore. And that's where we're headed. I think absolutely. Amazon has announced its first, fully autonomous mobile warehouse robot. You want a unionize? I got your union right here. It, but, but unfortunately right now, all I can do is pick things up, put them down and move them around.

Iain Thomson (01:08:27):
<Laugh> well, have you seen the video of it in action? Because basically it looks like

Leo Laporte (01:08:30):
A Aruba palette

Iain Thomson (01:08:32):
Yeah. And lift it up. Yeah. And I looked at that and I was like, if you are moving at more than a mile an hour, then that thing's gonna topple over because

Leo Laporte (01:08:43):
It's a robot. Well, you, so it's not gonna screw up. Knows what it's doing

Iain Thomson (01:08:46):
And I get it. It's Amazon. They don't want to actually pay workers the, a decent

Leo Laporte (01:08:51):
Wage, anything not to pay workers. Oh geez. You're

Florence Ion (01:08:54):
Right. I, I have to say, you know, my friend's

Iain Thomson (01:08:57):
So unstable. <Laugh>

Florence Ion (01:08:58):
Sorry. My friend Christopher Mims. He's a, he's a history journal reporter.

Iain Thomson (01:09:03):

Florence Ion (01:09:03):
Fantastic. Yeah. Fantastic guy. You know, and he writes about supply chains and I, I used to have this opinion as well that, you know, Amazon's work robots were gonna like destroy their warehouses or, or destroy jobs at their warehouses. He's really changed my mind on that. And you know, he has actually gone to these warehouses, you know, he he'd literally in his last book tracked a USB key as it was sent around the world. It's, it's fascinating journalism. But the, the conclusion he came to is that these robots are really built for very, very, very specialized tasks. And that we are so far away from a point where humans are completely taken out of the loop. It's just almost theoretical at this point that it's really, these robots are built to basically aid human labor, rather replace it in,

Leo Laporte (01:09:57):
In an ideal world. These robots should do. I mean, no humans should have to do a lot of these jobs, right? These are mindless soulless jobs that people do just because they have to pay the rent in a perfect world. Humans wouldn't have to do these jobs. Robots would do them, but here's, this is where the imperfection happens. And instead of just merely enriching Jeff Bezos that there would be such a surplus created by these highly productive machines that people wouldn't have to work or could, they could work less. Or in other words, get rid of the soul crushing jobs. As long as people can eat, that's fine. But all of really

Iain Thomson (01:10:40):
Does sweet, old fashioned

Leo Laporte (01:10:41):
Things. I know it just rich oligarchs and they don't care that great don't have to wear. Don't have to have unions anymore. Thank goodness. We can just have romance robot

Iain Thomson (01:10:53):
To it mean be Beatles has done this before he, he got a, an award from a German magazine, which he just happens for a mistaken in for being the best Adam entrepreneur in the

Leo Laporte (01:11:02):
World. That's hysterical.

Iain Thomson (01:11:04):

Leo Laporte (01:11:05):
He owns part of the magazine that's hysterical.

Iain Thomson (01:11:08):
Oh yeah, no, no. He owned it and they, they gave me this and he was like, well, if you look at German, Amazon workers, they earn above national, you know, national levels. Yeah. And even neglected to point out that it took three strikes and good union laws to do that. That's right in America. However, Amazon warehouses cut the standard wage for compared to competitors. And they, as we saw this week are burning through workers faster than they can actually recruit them. So this kind of robot is definitely needed for Amazon because they treat people like that. I mean, I've never yet met someone who worked for Amazon who was kind of like, yeah, it's a great culture. Everyone cares for each other. Yeah. It just, this is purely let's economize costs,

Florence Ion (01:12:01):
But the commercials they, they pay, they pay 20 weeks of of leave. They pay $15 an hour, but people are, seem so happy. You know, the

Leo Laporte (01:12:11):
Worst commercials almost as bad as those actually maybe a little worse than those are the meta commercials. Oh, this is the new thing for big tech, Google and Microsoft and apple have so far avoided doing this where they're really these self-serving political pieces essentially. Where

Florence Ion (01:12:26):
Have you Google does it too. Does Google

Leo Laporte (01:12:28):
Do it? Okay.

Florence Ion (01:12:29):
Yeah. Yes they do. Cuz they know the search engine is their big money maker. And so they're always like the search engine is what gets your

Leo Laporte (01:12:36):
Life going so good. Which is mm-hmm <affirmative> it really makes everything better Destin

Florence Ion (01:12:40):
Unfortunately. True for me. Yeah.

Iain Thomson (01:12:43):
Yeah. I mean, we dug into the Amazon when the, and Amazon announced yeah. We're sponsoring, you know, education for our workers and we dug into it and it's going, yeah. They're willing to pay five grand per year to educate people that might get you two or three textbooks. Forget tuition fees. Forget. Yeah, exactly. Last semester, you know, it was just kinda like, yeah. We're, we're sponsoring, you know, education for our workers. Yeah. Right. And in the meantime they cripple themselves working for you.

Florence Ion (01:13:14):
Maybe they're building a time machine. So you can go back to the nineties where, you know, the tuition was $5,000.

Leo Laporte (01:13:22):
When I went to Yale, it was $7,000 a year. It was nothing.

Iain Thomson (01:13:26):
It was Americans don't believe me on this. Back in the last I was actually paid to go to university. The UK government paid my, because I was, I was raised in a single parent family. My, the UK government paid my tuition. They gave me 2000 a year to live on it is subsidized education. And yeah, Americans don't believe that actually happened. And trust me in Europe, it happens. Yeah. You know, this is not the best way to do this stuff.

Leo Laporte (01:13:56):
Now I have. Thanks.

Florence Ion (01:13:57):
Thanks for rubbing in our face. I really appreciate this. It's a great week for that. How are your, how are your BI how's your bodily autonomy where you come

Leo Laporte (01:14:06):
<Laugh> yeah. How how's that going? How's that

Iain Thomson (01:14:08):
Going? But this is a stupid thing because you know, Steve jobs was able to go to, you know, UC Berkeley courses for pits. My brother-in-law was able to fund his New York university education by being a taxi driver. Part-Time yeah. You can't do that anymore anymore. No, that has been shut out because you know, prices have gone up. It's not even ages have education. It's ridiculous. It's the whole point point of education.

Leo Laporte (01:14:36):
It's the rent. You cannot live on minimum wage in any, any part of this country.

Iain Thomson (01:14:44):
But if we're going to progress as a society, we need to educate people cheaply. And at the moment, this is education is the privilege of the rich.

Leo Laporte (01:14:54):
The cynic in me says that people like Jeff Bezos don't want educated people. They want all you women to have more babies. And they want those people to go to work in those warehouses. By the way, asthmatic in our chat room has friends who work at Amazon warehouses. They say they love the robots probably cuz they're doing heavy labor that, that they don't wanna do. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. But I have to say in the long run, I, I don't care what Christopher Mim says in the long run. The plan is to replace you with those robots, right?

Florence Ion (01:15:24):
Yeah. I mean, they're literally running out of people that can do this job at this.

Leo Laporte (01:15:28):
That was the most wild story of the week. I'm gonna take a break, but that was the most wild story of the week. I couldn't believe it, but we'll tell you in just a second. Great. So nice to have Ian Thompson here. Register.Com. He's the news editor there. Last minute we asked Brianna woo to join us is wonderful to have you thank Frank for, you know, getting using that <laugh> 

Iain Thomson (01:15:53):
And super Porsche poster in the background.

Florence Ion (01:15:55):
Yes. Thank you. Thank you. I actually

Leo Laporte (01:15:57):
Own that. Is that your boxer? Wow.

Florence Ion (01:15:59):
No, that's that's my nine 11. That's an air called nine 11 for 1986.

Leo Laporte (01:16:04):
Ooh. Does it sound like a Volkswagen?

Florence Ion (01:16:07):
<Laugh> no.

Iain Thomson (01:16:11):

Leo Laporte (01:16:12):
Well Eric cool me.

Florence Ion (01:16:15):
Oh Leo that's but Leo, do you wanna race Brianna?

Leo Laporte (01:16:21):

Florence Ion (01:16:22):
Then <laugh> well, he's got a watch the

Leo Laporte (01:16:25):
Vehicle. I have some good torque. I have some very good torque right from the,

Iain Thomson (01:16:29):
Honestly I do want to race Brianna, but just on a race track where we both, you know, wouldn't that be fun. Kill ourselves. That's fine.

Leo Laporte (01:16:35):
That would be really fun.

Florence Ion (01:16:36):
Tell I'll bring my motorcycle and I will be able to be even in an event Leo.

Leo Laporte (01:16:40):
Oh really nice.

Florence Ion (01:16:42):
Yeah. I wonder if we could rent out Sonoma Raceway and do

Leo Laporte (01:16:44):
A, we sure could TWiT race. Lisa, Lisa, I'm gonna let Lisa race I'll buy tires for that though. Cuz I she's. She is a speed demon and I drive like an old make. I am an old man also with this from Gizmoto Florence ion. So nice to see you and some I'm happy to be here. Yeah. We love having you here. Thank you also a last minute call because I thought, you know, we really probably should have some women on the show. Cause you know, maybe just maybe our show today brought to you by wealth, front stock trading can be a wild ride. I have this conversation with my kids cuz they're young and they love the idea of memes, stocks and cryptocurrency. And you know, they see people around them seemingly getting very rich cuz nobody mentions the fact that their crypto investments just dropped 40%.

Leo Laporte (01:17:36):
They just talk about when it's a good thing. It's a, it's a stock trading. Crypto investing could be a wild ride. I would submit. And I tell my kids this, the thrill of risking at all is best enjoyed in moderation. Like it's like casino, gambling or eating questionable street, food fun. But careful if you're playing the market, I hope for your sake, you're stashing some safer money in a place like wealth front. It's talk. We're talking about building your wealth over time here. Building it up for buying that first house or first car, putting your kids through school, preparing for your retirement. You might say day trading stock is gonna be the secret to my success. But wealth front has a lot of data to show that time in market almost always beats time. The market, their globally diversified portfolios automatically optimized to hit the goals you set the risk level.

Leo Laporte (01:18:29):
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Leo Laporte (01:19:25):
You could say thank you Leo. To start building your wealth and get your first $5,000 managed for free for life. Go to, w E a L T H wealth front F R O Start building your wealth, Especially if you're younger, this is the time to do it. I know it. It's tough, but just a little bit. Each paycheck, you'll be amazed. You'll be amazed. Yeah. Amazon said, maybe this is why they're so big on robots. As we continue to grow, we're we're gonna get to the point where there won't be enough people to staff our warehouses anymore. The company is re because partly because they chew through people with their automated hiring and firing, they actually chew through people, a leaked internal research report from mid 2021 Recode. Got it said that Amazon could run out of people to hire in us warehouses by 2024. That's not far off. Nope. Not far off. Increasing wages could help, certainly would expand the labor pool. But I think Amazon isn't too interested in that. Oh, increasing warehouse automation. Yeah. Robots work cheap 24 7. Anyway, nothing more to say except <laugh> although I do, you know, and I've told this story before the phone company at the turn of the last century in the early 19 hundreds, some executive said, you know, if, if if we keep growing at this rate, we're gonna run. There won't be enough women in the us to be operators. We're gonna run outta women. I guess men couldn't do that job. They figured out a way to do it. Automating actually mm-hmm <affirmative> and you didn't need operators anymore.

Iain Thomson (01:21:25):
Am I muted still?

Leo Laporte (01:21:27):
Ah, you're back.

Iain Thomson (01:21:28):
Oh, okay. No. originally they hired men to do telephone operator jobs and they found they were really bad at it. So they got women in to do it. You kidding it? Who were much more? No, no. They, when the, when telephony came in, they took message. Boys who had been carrying photograms around car

Leo Laporte (01:21:48):
Four Philip Martin

Iain Thomson (01:21:50):
Put them into cool thing. Yeah. And then as heard a great hack of crackdown recounted, you know, the boys were playing around with the system and were basically causing havoc. They got women in who were far more responsible and got the job done properly. <Laugh> and yeah. So this was how the thing developed.

Leo Laporte (01:22:11):
Oh, I had no idea. We couldn't be trusted with the phones.

Iain Thomson (01:22:17):
Well, you don't trust teenage boys with a telephone connection that I think's true. If anything, over the last hundred years has taught us. That's one of the big ones.

Leo Laporte (01:22:26):
Wow. Elon Musk still trying to buy TWiTtter. That's it just that I'd tell you, is that the update? Yeah. That's the update we got. Yeah. Seems to have fallen. Dormant still wants to buy it. He needs more data says Gizmoto TWiTtter. Twittter gives it to him. He says, it's still not enough. Twittter gave him the fire hose. His concern. He says, is there too many bots on TWiTtter, please?

Iain Thomson (01:22:54):
This is a pump and dump scheme.

Leo Laporte (01:22:56):

Iain Thomson (01:22:57):
You know, it's basically I bought a such, I bought a, a share holding in TWiTtter. Now I'm gonna pipe that up. I would like to see what shares he's sold since then. So I dunno, but the guys are fraudster.

Leo Laporte (01:23:12):
Well he's, I mean, I have to think if, if you're on the board of Tesla, you might not be happy with your CEO saying he's worried about keeping Tesla out of bankruptcy. That's the latest

Iain Thomson (01:23:27):

Florence Ion (01:23:28):
Blind, you know, I read 

Iain Thomson (01:23:29):
Amount of Bitcoins. Sorry. Brianna, sorry.

Florence Ion (01:23:32):
I was just gonna say, I read a book recently. It was called ludicrous and it was basically the history of Tesla. Great book. Excellent, excellent, excellent. 10 out 10 book. And you know, I had not really tuned into the Elon thing before TWiTtter because you know, like I support EVs, but I don't own a Tesla. I'm not really a huge stakeholder in, in, you know, their success or failure and really going through the entire history of the company. And you know, like some of it is some of it, admittedly I think is just the, the slight of hand that allows you to, you know, start a successful company, right? Like telling people you're gonna have investors and then securing all the investors later, that's kind of low level stuff. But some of it like there, there's very clearly a, a pattern with Elon of, beyond over promising and then just never, ever, ever delivered a really good example.

Florence Ion (01:24:32):
The Tesla supercharge network, when it came out, they promised that not only was it going to be neutral, it was going to because of the solar panels are added to it. That was gonna add back into the electrical grid, never happened. And then it was battery swaps in Tesla. You know, it comes out on stage and he has the Saudi filling it up with gas. And he is like, the time it takes to do that, we're place the battery pack in this Tesla. Let's do two of them. Right. And it's this pattern over and over and over and over with the guy like full self-driving. It never comes to fruition. And I think you have to come to the, the, at least I've come to the conclusion. This is so with so much money that people can't say no to. There's just fundamentally not an honest actor at this point. And it's, it's very troubling to me to have so many people. I know that work in TWiTtter and have him just destroying the company's stock

Leo Laporte (01:25:27):
Price. I do feel bad for them. Yeah, yeah, yeah. 

Iain Thomson (01:25:31):
We, we refer to Elon deadlines in the industry. I mean, according to the Elon deadline from 2018, <laugh> we're supposed to be on Mars right now. Yeah. <Laugh>, you know, there are supposed to be equipment based on SpaceX technology on Mars. He, he goes through deadlines that in a way that makes Douglas Adams look like a complete, sorry,

Leo Laporte (01:25:54):
A complete

Iain Thomson (01:25:54):

Leo Laporte (01:25:56):
He, he brings out the best in people. I must say,

Iain Thomson (01:26:00):
Well, no. I mean, just

Leo Laporte (01:26:01):

Iain Thomson (01:26:02):
Ever anyone can promise anything, but Musk seems to make a habit of over promising overstresing and it's just so infuriation,

Leo Laporte (01:26:13):
There's another deadline looming Tesla's AI day is September 30th. And Elon has promised that their humanoid robot will appear. Now he announced this robot a year ago. Oh, publish with a human in a suit, a robot suit.

Iain Thomson (01:26:31):
Mm-Hmm <affirmative>

Leo Laporte (01:26:33):
He says the Tesla bot will be designed to handle dangerous and boring tests in a factory. He also sees the humanoid as a companion down the road. I think Elon reads a little too much science fiction,

Iain Thomson (01:26:48):
But I mean, DARPA has been working on this for 10 years. It's not easy this program. Yeah. Yeah. And it's really, what

Florence Ion (01:26:54):
About Boston dynamic? That's right. Exactly. For me, you know, because, well, look at the Tesla Roadster, you know, if you, if you have this Tesla has this pattern, well, they will you know, with the, a card that they're trying to bring to market, like the Tesla Roadster you know, they, they hand build a model, right. And then they start trying to put all the pieces together to actually ship it and get it to market. You know, and you can cheat it in, in that way, but like, where's the Roadster. They promised that in what, what year was that? Was that 2018? Yeah. Like it's a really long time ago that people that put down, what was it, a $10,000 deposit or something like, imagine if they'd actually put that money in the stock market. I don't believe Tesla is gonna make headway on something Boston dynamics, which is a huge factory here in Boston, like where they haven't been able to do that in like longer with the best people in the world doing it. I just, I flat out don't believe it.

Leo Laporte (01:27:55):
Meanwhile, TWiTtter does continue to innovate. Surprisingly if I were a TWiTtter employee, I would be a little nervous. Maybe they've been working on this for a while. They've added something new called notes. Remember TWiTtter bought a newsletter service called review. And I suspect this is their kind of version of review. You can write a long piece, kind of a medium length piece and then tweet about it. It's not open to all yet, but it will be soon. It's called TWiTtter notes. We're testing a way to write longer on TWiTtter. Is that a good thing?

Florence Ion (01:28:35):
Yeah. Yeah. I'm really excited about this feature. You know, I've activated, I have permission to do it, like the thing where you can let people pay you for, for, for content on TWiTtter,

Leo Laporte (01:28:46):
Like yeah.

Florence Ion (01:28:48):
Right, exactly. And I think if you're marrying that with you know, with the ability to write long form pieces, this is something I'm a thousand percent gonna participate in. Because you know, TWiTtter, that's, that's where my helmet is. That's where I know most, that's my biggest professional network.

Leo Laporte (01:29:05):
And if you are writing a blog post, of course, the first thing you do is you tweet it. Right. So why shouldn't the blog post live on TWiTtter then

Florence Ion (01:29:13):
A hundred percent. Yeah. They've actually shown that on subs, all the sub stacks that are large happen because of basically TWiTtter controversies on your subs stacks. Why not just cut out the middle person and just have all the outrage on TWiTtter.

Leo Laporte (01:29:29):
Is there a risk though for TWiTtter of adding too many features, making it more and more complicated? I mean, what really got TWiTtter started was it was very simple, right? Yeah.

Iain Thomson (01:29:41):
I do miss the old TWiTtter newsfeed, but you know, it, it used to be that this was a fire hose of information that was coming down and then they did the Facebook thing and, you know, carved out certain areas. It's annoying as hell

Leo Laporte (01:29:58):
Here is let me pick there's some, if you follow TWiTtter right on TWiTtter, you'll see some articles now. Here I'll click one. This is, this is a published note, a new way to write beyond 280 characters on TWiTtter and it looks pretty nice. It still has the TWiTtter. It's wrapped on the left and the right with the TWiTtter menu and the trending and all that. You could put pictures in it. I think it's pretty cool. Yeah. Yeah. So will you write on this of Brianna? You think

Florence Ion (01:30:30):
A hundred percent? Yeah. I mean, you know, it it's, it's, I I've noticed with the TWiTtter algorithm, it, it rewards you when you do fewer tweets and they all get more engagement. So I think with something like this, you could really game the algorithm rather than doing, you know, 10, 10 tweet threats. So 

Leo Laporte (01:30:49):
I'm not a fan of the tweet threat. We argued about this. We always argue about this on this week in Google because Jeff Jarvis loves the idea of having 20 tweets. <Laugh> one of 22 of 23 of 20. And I just say, I why just, just write a medium post and link to it. I don't understand, but he says, but then you can respond to different parts of the thing. So I guess that makes sense. It's a, it becomes a tree of conversation

Iain Thomson (01:31:14):
As a journalist. I I'm, I'm willing for I'd welcome your, your view on this, but as a journal, if you're in a keynote and you're live

Leo Laporte (01:31:24):
Well, that's different. That's life blogging. Okay. And that is chunk by chunk cuz you're, you're tweeting each thing that's announced, but so many people write like thought, think pieces as a 20 tweet tweet storm. And I just, maybe it's just me. I'm an old fashioned guy.

Florence Ion (01:31:39):
It can be hard. It can't be hard to follow along. Not to mention that. Like I, so I pay for TWiTtter blue, which I find to be worth a $3 a month, frankly. Just,

Iain Thomson (01:31:48):
I just canceled my subscription

Leo Laporte (01:31:50):
Really? Oh. Interest. Yeah, really. So it's half and half Florence and I both are TWiTtter, blue happy TWiTtter, blue users. And you guys just can't.

Florence Ion (01:32:00):
I did it cuz I needed the countdown. I just, my <laugh>

Leo Laporte (01:32:04):
Thewe UN unsweet is UN tweeter. I need the untree is yeah, you might want

Iain Thomson (01:32:08):
No, no that, that ID really good, but I I've gotta say I, I, I did it for a few months and then when Elon announced you can pay for a blue tick, I was just kind of like I'm getting out of it because I don't want people to think that I actually paid for this.

Leo Laporte (01:32:26):
No, but it's not that way yet. Right. This is just something Elon wants to do.

Florence Ion (01:32:30):
Earned my verified badge. Yeah.

Iain Thomson (01:32:32):

Leo Laporte (01:32:33):
We had to get it the old fashioned way. Bribing some yeah. You

Florence Ion (01:32:36):
Had to have a legitimate job

Leo Laporte (01:32:37):
That oh, oh, that's right. Yeah. You would verify I didn't bribe anything.

Florence Ion (01:32:41):
You're part of an organization and

Florence Ion (01:32:43):
Yeah, I particip in a 

Iain Thomson (01:32:46):
Sorry, sorry.

Florence Ion (01:32:48):
Sorry. Gonna say I was just gonna say I participated in a TWiTtter UI user group when were trying to refine the TWiTtter blue product feature in the early days. Cuz they were trying to figure out what people liked about it. And the, I I'm not allowed cuz I signed an NDA to talk about it, but I can say the questions that they asked me did not give me a lot of confidence that the product is gonna be moving in a better direction. So, you know, when Elon announced to was gonna buy TWiTtter, I was like, I'm not giving this jerk store $5. He doesn't

Leo Laporte (01:33:22):
Own it though. He doesn't own it. I know now's the time to support it. Yes. Right? It is.

Iain Thomson (01:33:28):
I dunno. I just, when, when that came up it was just kind of like, are we,

Leo Laporte (01:33:35):
I don't even remember what I get for TWiTtter blue. I just wanna support TWiTtter no longer getting I'm get to paywall.

Iain Thomson (01:33:42):
<Laugh> you know, I, I pay for certain publications, you know, because journalism costs money and I'm quite happy to do that. But when TWiTtter started just like, okay, well you can pay for certain things and pay for certain privilege. Hell with that. I'll pay to read. I won't pay to get, you know, to be like aristocracy. Britain has done that. Look how well it worked in the us.

Leo Laporte (01:34:10):
<Laugh> I wouldn't mind being Sirola port or your, your duke ship. I wouldn't mind. I wouldn't mind that.

Iain Thomson (01:34:18):
Yeah. Prince Andrew, how was that worked? Oh

Leo Laporte (01:34:20):
Yeah. Well that's, you know that's because that's hereditary. No, that's a hereditary problem. That's not see that's the hereditary titles that aren't good. I wanna buy my title.

Iain Thomson (01:34:31):
No, you got exactly the same problem in the us at the moment. I mean, everyone's just like, oh, well Britain is so hereditary. Really? You had George Bush's second.

Leo Laporte (01:34:41):

Iain Thomson (01:34:41):
Idiot son of the president.

Leo Laporte (01:34:43):
Oh yeah. We have our own. You've got the

Iain Thomson (01:34:44):
Clinton administration. Yeah. It's you've got agars all the way through the route. Yeah.

Leo Laporte (01:34:50):

Iain Thomson (01:34:50):
Aristocracy is the death of society. We've learned this over, at

Leo Laporte (01:34:54):
Least with the queen. You get Paddington the guarantee. Oh

Florence Ion (01:34:59):
Honestly. Well I have to tell you, I, I saw you know, along with sailor moon, which I saw every episode I read the princess diaries. It seems to me the the being a Royal figure has a lot more problems than I thought.

Leo Laporte (01:35:12):
Do you wanna be a princess? Bri? No.

Florence Ion (01:35:15):
Yeah, no. I'm

Florence Ion (01:35:16):
Saying no. Sailor food was sailor. Food was rough. It was rough. That last season Salem moon season. Oh my God. We never saw here. Oh my God.

Leo Laporte (01:35:24):
Wait a minute. There's a season that didn't come to the us.

Florence Ion (01:35:28):
Yeah. Sailor moon starts.

Leo Laporte (01:35:29):
Oh, I don't know what they're talking

Florence Ion (01:35:31):
About. Yeah, you can, you can watch it now on Netflix, because vis redid it as Salem moon, crystal, but the original series. It's not, we all got

Leo Laporte (01:35:41):
Cow. Was it grim?

Florence Ion (01:35:43):
Cow Salem. Moon's dark dude.

Leo Laporte (01:35:45):
<Laugh> very

Florence Ion (01:35:46):
Dark, very dark, very

Leo Laporte (01:35:47):
Dark. This episode brought to you by express VPN. You never run outta anything to watch when you have express VPN. And let me tell you nowadays, we're talking about it. Privacy is very important. This is one way to really improve your privacy. You've heard we were talking about data brokers, the middlemen collecting and selling all the digital smog. You're leaving behind you. They can easily collate all that information. Stitch together, detailed profiles, all about you, your browsing history, your online searches, your location data. And then they sell it to anybody who will want it for a surprisingly low amount of money. I might add. You might be surprised to learn the same data. Brokers also sell your information to the department of Homeland security, the IRS who wants the tax man showing up at the door because there's some search that did on their phone.

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And well, it could be a lot worse than that. So mask your digital footprints, protect yourself like I do with express VPN. One of the nice thing is about express. VPN is you don't appear on the net as yourself. You have an IP address that is express VPNs. So when you do that, Google search Google, doesn't say hi, Leo, Google thinks it's express VPN and hundreds of other people using that same IP address. I love it. The express VPN also invests in their infrastructure. So they rotate IP addresses. So that's one of the reasons you can use express VPN with things like the B, B, C I player, which really try to stop you from doing that. It works. It still works. So get a unique IP address. Watch content anywhere you want. Stop big tech from tracking. You protect yourself with an encrypted tunnel, no matter where you are, I'm gonna be traveling tomorrow, staying in a hotel all week.

Leo Laporte (01:37:37):
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Leo Laporte (01:39:00):
Prime day, July 12th.

Florence Ion (01:39:03):
Oh boy. Oh yeah. I

Leo Laporte (01:39:05):
Forgot. Don't worry. You won't get to forget. You'll get plenty of reminds

Florence Ion (01:39:10):
National holidays.

Leo Laporte (01:39:11):
It's a national holiday. I don't know. I have never bought anything. Actually.

Florence Ion (01:39:15):
I've never participated either.

Leo Laporte (01:39:16):
Yeah. I feel like me either. It's not gonna be a deal. You know, who I feel bad for is all those writers at Gizmoto who are gonna be working on the 12th and the 13th. Right? Looking for deals on prime day.

Florence Ion (01:39:30):
Actually that's not quite true. Leo prime day had the wire cutter does a special guide for prime day where they

Leo Laporte (01:39:37):
Remember they were gonna boycot they boycotted last year, they went on strike.

Florence Ion (01:39:41):
Remember? Yeah. And they won last power of unions.

Leo Laporte (01:39:43):
Did they win?

Florence Ion (01:39:45):
They did win. They did win. I was gonna say

Leo Laporte (01:39:47):
They got a union.

Florence Ion (01:39:48):
They did, they did their union a hundred percent, but they, they brought out something and they're like wire cutter would like to announce we do not recommend this thing that happens to be on sale right now, which is a cowboy hat for your dog. <Laugh>

Leo Laporte (01:40:07):
Oh, they're so wrong. They're so wrong.

Florence Ion (01:40:11):
Rocket needs us. She needs a cowboy

Leo Laporte (01:40:13):
Cowboy hat for your dog. I don't care how much it costs. It's worth it

Florence Ion (01:40:18):
Though. I did fault me in that one 10.

Leo Laporte (01:40:20):
So you have bought something on prime day and

Florence Ion (01:40:22):
I, I did. Mm-Hmm <affirmative>

Leo Laporte (01:40:24):
Mm-Hmm <affirmative> a cowboy hat for your dog. Is your dog's name? Rocket?

Florence Ion (01:40:28):
My dog's name is rocket.

Leo Laporte (01:40:29):
Did rocket the podcast come before rocket? The dog or vice versa.

Florence Ion (01:40:33):
Yeah. I was gonna name my, I was gonna name my dog optimist. And then we decide on the name. Rocket

Leo Laporte (01:40:38):
Like optimist prime.

Florence Ion (01:40:40):
Yeah. Yeah.

Leo Laporte (01:40:41):

Florence Ion (01:40:42):
Up to us. And then we made the podcast rocket and I was like, rocket's a good name for a dog. That's rocket's name? Rocky

Leo Laporte (01:40:52):
Railroad. Yeah. Rocket is a very good name for a dog actually. Yeah. Now that you mention it, so I should,

Florence Ion (01:40:59):
You might steal my idea.

Leo Laporte (01:41:01):
I should give you a plug for your podcast at this point, which is named the same as her dog, Christina Warren. Who's gonna be on next week on TWiTt, Brianna. Woo. Simon Roche for rocket accelerated geek conversation.

Florence Ion (01:41:15):
Look at this. We're nearly at episode 400 Leo.

Leo Laporte (01:41:17):
Look at you, look at it's

Florence Ion (01:41:19):
A great show. 400

Leo Laporte (01:41:20):
Deserve it. You're a great show. We also,

Florence Ion (01:41:24):
I, I usually it's so rare. Like women get to like have a voice in, you know, everything goes on. Yeah. We're one of the oldest shows on relay and like 400 quality episodes. Like Simone is awesome. That's amazing. Christina's great. It's

Leo Laporte (01:41:39):
An interesting, all three of you, you gotta put in a word with Simone. She doesn't return my calls anymore. I don't know if I said so. I,

Florence Ion (01:41:45):

Leo Laporte (01:41:46):
Cause we have you on, we have Christina on. I want Simone on as well. I love Simone. I

Florence Ion (01:41:51):
Simone is she's. I joke that she's from another planet. Like I've, I've done 400 shows with her. I don't really understand her.

Leo Laporte (01:41:58):
So I just want her to do my ad. She does such a good job. Oh, she's

Florence Ion (01:42:02):

Leo Laporte (01:42:03):
I just want her Simone read this ad. I used to go and I go on a radio show in San Francisco, KGO hosted by a guy named Ron Owens. Every time I'd go in, you know, do my little 15 minutes tech segment he'd make me read the ads, pissed me off <laugh> it was a scam as it turned out. Google news has one in Spain. You may remember that the Spanish government oh, that's right. Wa you know, wanted Google to pay for the snippets. This goes back to that whole snippet thing. After eight years, Google shut saying, we are not gonna pay publishers to put their name and our search results. That's nuts. And when the government said you have to, yeah, they're gonna steal a copy. Anyway, <laugh> spoken as a, as a guy. Who's, copy's probably getting stolen once in a while by

Iain Thomson (01:43:00):
No, I'm sorry. We, our copy gets ripped off all the time. Yeah. And it's just like, yeah. Okay. Well, we are just gonna take this stuff and you're gonna have to deal with it,

Leo Laporte (01:43:09):
But doesn't Google send you traffic. I mean, honestly, doesn't most of your traffic come from Google.

Iain Thomson (01:43:16):
Actually in this is really interesting because when we looked at our traffic a couple of years ago, and then today, okay. Facebook, we're trying to get us to pivot, to video. And we told them to basically bug her off. And boy, hasn't that worked returns because everyone that pivoted video got screwed so badly. Google is, we've had our problems with Google when we changed our to, from a go UK But I'm sorry, these people are absolutely bastard. So they go, you must do what we, what you are told. And it's like, no, thanks. We'll carry on as we are. It's worked out in the end, but I'm sorry. This is a really big issue for independent journalism.

Leo Laporte (01:44:03):
So in 2014, Spanish copyright law said, publishers can charge Google news to use their links and headlines. Google's response, very famously was to leave Spain. It's not that Spain relented. It's just that a European copyright directive adopted in Spain in November allows online aggregators and platforms to use news snippets without permission from publishers, if it's quote a very short extract or just individual words is your concern that, that people will read the snippet and then not go to your article.

Iain Thomson (01:44:43):
No, it's not that at all. It's the fact that they are basically driving advertising information, traffic, using our copy and not paying for it. You know, it's like it costs money to get good journalism out there. And France will, I I'm hop will agree with me on this. You know, it's we have to pay for journalism and Google saying, well, we just took the headlines and a couple of lines and we're not actually gonna pay for it. But it, it just, it's, it's pretty shameful, to be honest.

Leo Laporte (01:45:16):
Yeah. By the way it is, go

Florence Ion (01:45:19):
Ahead. Sorry. Go ahead.

Leo Laporte (01:45:20):
No, no, I'd love to know what, what you think

Florence Ion (01:45:23):
I was gonna say. It's very difficult to be a journalist in this climate right now. Yeah. Because I'm constantly finding myself having to justify why somebody should be paying money to read stuff that I effectively post for free. But the big thing that sucks is the SEO game of it all. When you have these copycat sites that just reaggregate your reporting and like that is where goo, that is what Google's surfacing before, you know, the actual article and, and it can, it can get really frustrating. They've

Iain Thomson (01:45:54):
Made, they've made a, a business plan out of this. Yeah. You know, it's basically screw the people that actually make the, make the news. We're just gonna scrape it and run it. And Gizmoto has done some fantastic reporting and all monastery required. The red has done some pretty good stuff as well, but I mean, this stuff costs money. You know, we have journalists to pay and Google just scrapings scraping and yeah. Scraping and showing. I'm sorry. It's just like, you're a parasite. That's that's the way I see it.

Leo Laporte (01:46:28):
I'm looking at the, and by the way, this is just recently revamped the Google news site for technology. I see articles. I <affirmative>, I mean, honestly, I think this drives traffic. I look at this and I say, oh yeah, I wanna read that. No, I don't wanna read that. I mean, I'm, it's not enough that I'm, it doesn't give you enough information that I wouldn't read the article. It's sending traffic.

Iain Thomson (01:46:53):
If you actually look at the titles that are there and then you wonder who's paying for it.

Leo Laporte (01:46:58):
Oh, these aren't your, these, aren't your headlines?

Iain Thomson (01:47:02):
Well, we don't pay for headlines. Other C companies do.

Leo Laporte (01:47:06):
Ah, <affirmative> okay. 

Iain Thomson (01:47:09):
I can't name names, but companies pay too.

Leo Laporte (01:47:12):
Please do. Please do. So you're saying somebody like, I don't know let's say some fruit company in Southern Southern bay area might pay the verge to say nice things in the headline or did just even mention them in headline or

Iain Thomson (01:47:27):
No. Well that the, sorry.

Florence Ion (01:47:31):
Oh, I, well, I was gonna try and help in out by just saying deals are made

Iain Thomson (01:47:36):
<Laugh> yeah.

Leo Laporte (01:47:37):
I had never heard of it made for a minute for, for

Florence Ion (01:47:40):
Placement. You know how, remember how in the entire 10 seasons of 9 0 2 1 oh, there's OS a Dr. Pepper or diet Dr. Pepper in the scene and okay. Other beverage

Leo Laporte (01:47:50):
Could be, but that's a little different. You're not going to that show to find out what beverage to drink,

Florence Ion (01:47:56):
If no, but it's,

Leo Laporte (01:47:57):
There's a, if I'm going to a site that for technology reviews in news, and they're getting paid to show that content that's, that's, that's putting your thumb on the scale.

Iain Thomson (01:48:08):
Well, no, I mean, I mean, okay. The, I I'm dealing under British libel law. So this is

Leo Laporte (01:48:16):
Don be careful. I don't want you saying anything. You don't have to name any names. This is a blind item. So do it as a blind item.

Iain Thomson (01:48:24):
<Laugh> okay. Ted Casa, there are at least three publications. I know of that when they do their top five, whatever it is, that's led by the advertising department, not by the editorial department.

Leo Laporte (01:48:38):
See, from my background at Ziff Davis, for years,

Iain Thomson (01:48:42):
I didn't mention Z David.

Leo Laporte (01:48:43):
No, no, no. I'm just saying that was verboten. You did not do that. And we, of course, we continue to follow those editorial standards at TWiTt. There is a, there is a very clear, bright line between advertising and editorial. And by the way, advertisers, all the time will constantly say, when are you gonna interview our CEO and stuff? And we say, we're not. So that's, I mean, but you just have to draw that line. You certainly don't have the sales department going and saying, Hey, how'd you like to be on our list of the top 10 gizmos for 1999? And then you pay me and I put you on that list. That's, that's an ad. And by the way, the FTC by law, you have to say sponsored or ad, and they're not doing that.

Iain Thomson (01:49:29):
Absolutely not. No. I mean, look, when I was on PC mag, we spent two days going through our best of, at the end of the year's series. And there were arguments and in one case fist quite over

Leo Laporte (01:49:42):
There, it's editorial.

Iain Thomson (01:49:44):
My, yeah, but at the moment it's who pays.

Leo Laporte (01:49:48):
I miss the days when journalists would get into fist fights over <laugh>

Iain Thomson (01:49:53):
I've, I've had, I've had more than a few and they're great fun, but no,

Leo Laporte (01:49:57):
Really all right.

Iain Thomson (01:49:58):

Leo Laporte (01:49:58):
God. Yeah. But we're not gonna NA we're not saying which companies and we're not saying which publications, I'm not this day and age, look at you go to YouTube. It's pretty clear if you watch any YouTube tech channel that there's, there's a, there's something going on there. There, I, I know it's

Florence Ion (01:50:21):
Just, who is playing the game the right way. Yeah. Who is playing the game? Exactly. Who has the money for the resources who has the money for an SEO team who has the money for a team that will like jump in and all the, you know,

Leo Laporte (01:50:33):
I'm disappointed. I intent things

Florence Ion (01:50:34):
That Google wants to add. It's like, all of this stuff adds up to your overall ranking as an entity on the internet. And so I think, I feel like you need correct me where I'm wrong, but I feel like that's what kind of we're alluding to

Leo Laporte (01:50:48):
No, but that's not a ti for te that's not, here's a dollar. You put me there. No, you're saying they're, they're actually paying for it.

Iain Thomson (01:50:55):
Oh, they're absolutely paying for it. That's, that's spent by the way. And I, I agree with you Florence. Totally. It's it's not all publications, but publications with a good name, with a good editorial history are basically selling themselves out on the street.

Leo Laporte (01:51:15):
I'm so disappointed for

Iain Thomson (01:51:16):
Cheap reviews.

Leo Laporte (01:51:16):
It's also very bad for our industry because as oh was hugely bad. As soon as people stop trusting that we're saying what we truly believe as opposed to what we're being paid to say the whole thing collapses.

Iain Thomson (01:51:31):
But, but you've gotta understand that these magazine, the, these publications are paid being run by private equity companies. Yeah. Who don't give a hell about

Leo Laporte (01:51:40):
The laws. They don't care anymore about integrity. Yeah.

Iain Thomson (01:51:41):
They want three to five years good returns. And then they can dump it after creating huge management fees for themselves. So it's a win-win for them. I'm I'm

Florence Ion (01:51:56):
Sorry. I'm really I'm.

Iain Thomson (01:51:58):
I'm sorry to be Debbie downer

Leo Laporte (01:51:59):
On this. Are you, are you Brianna? Does this shock you?

Florence Ion (01:52:04):
What shocks me is I, I'm not a journalist, like I write occasional pieces but I I'm not, and

Iain Thomson (01:52:12):
You're damn good writer as well.

Florence Ion (01:52:14):
Yeah. I, I appreciate that. Yeah, but I went to journalism school and I did investigative work. The biggest story I ever found was that the coaches at my school were being paid millions of dollars for classes that did not exist. I did it through like hardcore, like investigating the budget, going through, interviewing people, following the money. I'm, I'm a hard, like this was something I could do. But I quickly came to the conclusion that it was not going to be an industry where I could have a Porsche collection if I kept on pursuing that field. And it just, the workplace is so abusive to every one of y'all and you're being screwed over by, by everything involved like the, the companies you work for, Google, the, the people that, that mistreat you and yell disproportionately at women nowadays, it it's just a mystery to me. Why any of you stay in this field, but it's so clearly underpaid and abusive. So I just, I, I feel sorry for you. Thank you for your service, but it, Hey, we

Iain Thomson (01:53:17):
Love it. You know, it's a tough job, but we love it. Yeah. And there's the thing is democracy dies without information and tech democracy dies without information and yeah. I've, you know, and I'm sure Florence has got the same PR companies are all, you know, oh, come enjoy us. And the rest of it, there's an important job to be done. You know, it's

Leo Laporte (01:53:42):
It. I have some standards. I would never work in PR I have some standards

Iain Thomson (01:53:47):
<Laugh> I did three years that I launched active X in the UK

Leo Laporte (01:53:51):
In 19 0 19 96,

Iain Thomson (01:53:54):

Florence Ion (01:53:55):

Iain Thomson (01:53:55):
And I know I still feel guilty about that one. Do

Florence Ion (01:53:59):
You know how many neat times you were the, somebody uttered a curse word toward you because of active X <laugh>

Iain Thomson (01:54:06):
God, I, it was SHA installs. No, no. I mean, seriously, I worked

Leo Laporte (01:54:12):
Microsoft active X.

Iain Thomson (01:54:14):
Yeah, no, I mean, I worked, I did three years in PR in the midnights.

Leo Laporte (01:54:18):
They promoted the use of Microsoft's ActiveX technology.

Iain Thomson (01:54:21):
Okay. This is a shameful of issue.

Leo Laporte (01:54:23):
This is a shameful

Iain Thomson (01:54:25):
<Laugh> at the same time, they gave me a non-disclosure agreement, which I didn't sign. They've forgot about it. Yeah. So here's the rubdown. Okay. This was the I E three years. Yeah. Where they were really going against Netflix. And can you get the bleep button ready? Because a M senior Microsoft executive said our job was to Netflix. So hard. Never come back to

Leo Laporte (01:54:54):
USCAP Netscape, Netscape, Netscape. Sorry. Netflix didn't

Iain Thomson (01:54:57):
Exist. Netflix, sorry, net. 

Leo Laporte (01:54:59):
No, but you know what? I remember when I E three came out and Microsoft was giving it away, Netscape was charging. It was very clear that it was all over for Netscape. In fact, it wasn't much longer before Netscape did have to go on. Well,

Iain Thomson (01:55:09):
I mean, they paid us to send out screenshots with IE gaming screenshots with IE rather than Netscape. Yeah. basically the idea was to bombard everyone kill Netscape completely. IE is free. Active X is great. It's a really good security solution. I tried to explain to him,

Leo Laporte (01:55:33):
Oh my God, it was it. Wasn't a security nightmare. Are you kidding?

Iain Thomson (01:55:36):
Oh, no, exactly.

Leo Laporte (01:55:37):
Random code the internet running on your machine with full privilege. No, that was a

Florence Ion (01:55:44):
Understand. Right now

Iain Thomson (01:55:45):
You've gotta understand Microsoft was running scared because they'd completely missed internet. And then they were trying to come back and that's right. Use their position to dominate that's right. And this was, they were using every

Leo Laporte (01:55:59):
Particular, the bad old days of Microsoft when it was, they were blood thirsty, you know, they were doth Vader, Darth Vader. Absolutely.

Iain Thomson (01:56:07):
Honestly, that's still a bit blood thirsty, but you know

Leo Laporte (01:56:10):
You guys are making me feel like I've had my eyes closed to all this stuff and it, it sounds pretty corrupt. And wow. I just wanna reassure anybody who listens to any of our shows that we do do not engage in any of those practices for years, I've refused even to talk to PR people. We try to, we've always tried to be objective about everything we talk about. This is how depressing 

Florence Ion (01:56:40):
Tell Leo, you should start a game show. You should start a video game show where you were doing that and see how the video game is

Leo Laporte (01:56:47):
Gonna handle that's pre

Florence Ion (01:56:49):
Cause if you think the tech industry is bad is they will freeze you out from copies of the game. They will. Oh, it is. It is the absolute

Leo Laporte (01:56:58):
Worst. Well, and I always assumed that car magazines, for instance, probably were in the pockets. This is the problem. When you're covering an industry, you have to have a relationship. It's it's the old beltway politics problem is you have to have a relationship with the people you're covering. And it pretty soon becomes difficult to be completely objective. Yeah. At all, because you just, you know, you're friends with these people and eventually maybe, you know, you're getting paid by 'em or sleeping with 'em or, you know, they're taking you out to dinner or whatever. It gets pretty. It gets pretty incestuous.

Iain Thomson (01:57:32):
But I mean, this is the problem with apple for, so for so many years in that there were the 12 disciples of apple who were well people who got apple kit ahead of

Leo Laporte (01:57:43):
It, wasn't 12. It was four. The iPhone went to Walt Mosberg ed be at USA today. David PO at the New York times. And who else?

Florence Ion (01:57:54):
Four men?

Leo Laporte (01:57:54):
Four men. Of course men. Yeah. We wouldn't give it to women, but that's changed by the way. Joanna stern now gets yes. Plenty of

Florence Ion (01:58:02):
He has Lauren. Good. Yes.

Leo Laporte (01:58:03):
Lauren, plenty of love from

Florence Ion (01:58:06):

Leo Laporte (01:58:06):
Companies. You Flo that, that Florence eye over GI Moto. I heard, I heard she'd just get a free home pod. So <laugh>

Florence Ion (01:58:15):

Leo Laporte (01:58:16):
People for tasting temporary and you're gonna send it back.

Florence Ion (01:58:19):
It doesn't belong to me. You're gonna send it back. I had to sign a contract.

Leo Laporte (01:58:23):
That's a fine, in fact, that's appropriate.

Florence Ion (01:58:24):
When I say I get something in, I had to sign a contract, I have to have a, a story plan. You cannot just

Leo Laporte (01:58:31):
Get this. No, but that was always, in fact, I'm glad that you're covering apple, cuz that was always my problem with apple coverage. There are these people who are on the inside who gets, you know, basically groomed by apple, Wal Mosberg was a good word for, it was groomed by Steve jobs. And as a result was very friendly to apple and Apple's very good at doing that. And I, you know, I, that always, and I never was on the inside in this apple crowd, you know, when you gonna a Mac world expo, they, you know, I wasn't part of the party crowd. 

Iain Thomson (01:59:03):
They got so much hate for calling Walt Berg and apple hall. That was just the Ima. I mean, I'd literally got a death threat from that one. Yeah,

Leo Laporte (01:59:13):
Of course.

Florence Ion (01:59:14):
I like I fight with him too.

Leo Laporte (01:59:17):
No, I have a lot of respect for Wal. I think he's a great guy. He probably knew he was being groomed, but he got access and this is the problem. It's a tit for TA. Now he's got access. He's talking with Steve jobs, he's sitting down with him and this is, you know, unfortunately you're not gonna see CEOs on our shows. You're not gonna see people from companies on a, on my shows anyway. Because I don't wanna do that. I won't do that, but this is why I love, but you don't get access.

Iain Thomson (01:59:45):
But I mean, this is why I love this show. You actually allow people to speak, honestly. Yeah. Whereas, you know, for so much of this stuff is couch. I don't want to lose my access. Access. Journalism is a losing game. All you're giving them is the ability to put their particular opinion out there. And Gizmodo has done this better than, than many of course, son reg. So, you know, we argue, but you know, access journalism is just, it gives you nothing. Yeah. You just basically repeat it.

Leo Laporte (02:00:17):
Right. Well, and, and, and it's all happening all over again. I, in my opinion on YouTube and it's become very difficult to tell who's

Florence Ion (02:00:24):
Oh, it's very, yes. It's it's happening there. It's also happening on, on TikTok because I know like a lot of people wanna dismiss TikTok is just another social media, but it is essentially a YouTube. A lot of people go there to get information, right? Mm-Hmm <affirmative>, you know, the,

Leo Laporte (02:00:40):
In some defense, your generation most of the journalists of your generation didn't come from Jay school. They weren't schooled in this this whole notion of separation of church and state and stuff. They literally don't know any better. They're just which,

Florence Ion (02:00:54):
Which is hard for me. Cuz I did go to school. You did

Leo Laporte (02:00:56):
School. You did.

Florence Ion (02:00:58):
I did. I graduated from San Francisco state university journal.

Leo Laporte (02:01:01):
Good department. Very. Yep. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> no, and that's the problem you most YouTubers, they're just some guy or gal who, you know, started a turn on a camera. And so if their pro if products are proffered to them or free trips or any of that, they say, yes, they don't know any different. So I don't, I don't blame them.

Florence Ion (02:01:19):
Yeah. But also, you know, somebody actually brought this up last night because on TikTok, it was like, it's very hard being an influencer. And it's true because it is a lot of work. And I'm thinking about all the work I had to do to become a journalist, all the jobs I had to have to be able to like pay rent and go to school and get the internships. But I, you know, it there's privilege behind it and sometimes like getting this stuff, having access to this stuff, if it gets you in front of people, you know, it's it's hard. I get it. It's, it's a balance. Yeah.

Leo Laporte (02:01:55):
I, I gotta do. Yeah. To

Florence Ion (02:01:57):
Kind of bring this back around to the beginning of the show, something I think about a lot and something I, I would love to get Ys like opinions on this as journalists. It really seems to me that in the last really, since the Bush administration in the Iraq war, we've seen a dilution in the power of journalism to create outrage and, and change with the public. You know, it's, there's a, there's a lot out there for like entertainment, journalism, think tech journalism has done well because you're ultimately like buying a product based on that or keeping, you know up to date on culture. But I, I really can't figure out why journalism is an institution has so much less power than it had when, I mean, I remember an age where it was different and I don't know if it's, I don't know if it's just the, the changing of America where shame doesn't have the same function that it used to. I don't know if it's a problem with the institution itself, where there was so much horse race that, you know, like really holding people accountable is less of what you do, but like why is journalism not able to solve the many problems that we have in America the way it used

Leo Laporte (02:03:18):
To? And we D and we so desperately need, right? Yeah. and there are a lot of reasons for economic reasons, absolutely newspapers have failed all over the country. There is also the problem of this flooding the zone with BS. There are many people who know that if, if they can spread enough misinformation that you can't tell what's right or wrong, if you can undermine the trust people have in their journalism, if you tell them all it's fake news then there's no one to tell the truth anymore. There's no one to, to, to speak truth, to power. And then you can get away with whatever you want. And that's clearly people,

Florence Ion (02:04:04):
I'm sorry. I didn't mean to interrupt before you're finished, but there are people who don't trust. Listen, there's a lot of things I don't like about sometimes the New York times, like the opinion column

Iain Thomson (02:04:16):
<Laugh> oh yeah, you're

Leo Laporte (02:04:17):

Florence Ion (02:04:17):
I'm hot or cold. There

Leo Laporte (02:04:18):
It's a mixed bag. It definitely is.

Florence Ion (02:04:20):
It's, it's a mixed bag, but like, there are people who just don't trust it's that there's a paper of record anymore. No,

Leo Laporte (02:04:26):

Florence Ion (02:04:27):
That people hate

Leo Laporte (02:04:28):

Florence Ion (02:04:28):
The record

Leo Laporte (02:04:28):
People have been.

Iain Thomson (02:04:29):
I mean, I, I, I generally think we are in the middle of information shock at the moment.

Leo Laporte (02:04:34):
That's exactly right. If you,

Iain Thomson (02:04:35):
If you think for 60 years ago, the amount of data that you got from outside sources was your, a couple of newspapers, a radio station, maybe a couple of TV stations right now, anyone can put a plausibly looking website on their spread spam and get, and get it out. Journals of record are very, very hard to find. And I think honestly, humans aren't quite designed to deal with that yet. So we naturally go for things which, you know, Cod our particular opinion. That's right. 

Leo Laporte (02:05:15):
That's right. But this

Florence Ion (02:05:16):
Isn't the first time historically we've had that phenomenon. Like if you look at the like Samuel Adams, it wasn't a beer, it was a radical propaganda, right? At the beginning of this country, you had the muck records. I mean, this is not the first time in American history. You've had disinformation is a, a large force even by like independent people that are deeply invested in telling people what they wanna hear. I would point you towards the, the, the anti abolition papers during slavery in this country. And something has changed though, where none of it seems to be having a real effect. Like the things that we argue about are all kind of talked about in the same spheres, by people that generally speaking, hold the same opinions about things.

Iain Thomson (02:06:02):
Yeah, no. Yeah. I, I, I, I agree. I mean, this, an extreme Corolla in 1847, where, you know, the Telegraph and newspapers had started to spread, the trains had allowed people to move. And in 1848, we lost three monarchies in Europe, just in three days, because information was spreading and people were, were getting out there. Now the amount of disinformation out there, I've gotta say, I'm seriously worried. You know, this is not good for a society. And we need to sort out how to, I mean, we had, when I was growing up, we had media education, which is looking at how the news is spread and how it's done. We need social media education. I mean, it, it's just, you need quality and, you know, analysis of what is coming on and that's not coming.

Leo Laporte (02:07:08):
Let me take a little break cuz we are running outta time. I hate to, because I love this conversation and I have so many questions for you, especially you, I wanna know what you're talking about there about pay to play. We're gonna have to have a conversation over a

Iain Thomson (02:07:23):
I'm happy to talk. Yeah.

Leo Laporte (02:07:25):
Yeah. But we do need to take a break because we have sponsors. That's how we pay the bills. And this is a sponsor I'm proud to be representing actually user You may not know this, but every website, every single website is a public entity, which means in the United States, you are bound by the Americans with disabilities acts, the ADA, your website has to be accessible. That's not just a good idea, although it is a darn good idea. It's the law that not easy. And in fact, if you have a website, you might be a little challenged by the idea of, well, how do I make my website comport with the hundreds? And there are literally hundreds of Wang guidelines, w C a G that's the web content accessibility guidelines. That's your job. That's what you gotta do. But I get an easy way to do it user way.

Leo Laporte (02:08:19):
In a matter of seconds, user way can do more than an entire team of developer can, can do in months, user way. A simple line of JavaScript can make your site accessible. In fact, start right now, use their free scanning slash TWiT. Just to see what the issues are on your website, how compliant with the ADA, your website is then take a look at what user way can do for you. Not, not just for big enterprise sites, with thousands of pages. And for those sites, they do have a great managed solution where their team can do it all for you. But even for little sites like ours, we recently added user way to our website. In fact, you could go to, you'll see in the low right hand corner that the trun man button, you just click on that and you'll see what you can do to our website to make it accessible.

Leo Laporte (02:09:08):
We think that's great because we want everybody to be able to use our website user way powers accessibility for over a million websites. Coca-Cola Disney, eBay, FedEx, TWiT, and now they're making their best in class enterprise level accessibility tools available to small and medium businesses. And let me tell you, it was very affordable. It costs less than the web font we pay for <laugh> to put on our page. So you can see a nice font it's that affordable. And it scales with you. If it can handle Coca-Cola and Disney, it can handle any site, right? User weighs the leading accessibility solution on the market today with 61% market share. It's the biggest in the world. As an example, the Motley full big, you know, investment advisor site, they had 1,911 pages on their website, 20 million page views a month. They had designed for accessibility. They knew that was part of the deal, but the development team was spending a lot of time keeping it up to current standards.

Leo Laporte (02:10:07):
Those standards have really been changing a lot. And of course, every time you add a page, you have to make sure it's compliant. So they used user way as an extra layer of accessibility and make sure the browsing experience is accessible to everyone. It uses AI machine learning, computer vision. For instance, you know, you have to have alt tags on all the images, right? The computer vision looks at an image and says what it is and writes the description for you. You can add to that if you want. In fact, with user where you'll get a detailed report of all the things fixed on your website. So you know what was changed and you know what you can do if you wanna enhance it, it remediates complex. Nav menus ensures that all popups are accessible, fixes, vague link violations, fixes broken links, even makes sure your website makes use of accessible colors, still true to your brand, but accessible. And that's what it's all about. There are 60 million people with disabilities. You don't wanna leave them out. And here's the good news user ways. Easy to use a single line of JavaScript. They have plugins for WordPress Shopify Ws site or share. I WIC site core SharePoint. Every site, every site user way can help your business meet its compliance goals and improve the experience for your users. The voice of Siri, Susan Bennett has this to say about user w

Susan Bennett (02:11:23):
Hi, I'm Susan Bennett, the original voice of Siri. You won't hear me say something like this too often. I'm sorry. I don't understand what you're looking for. But every day, that's what the internet is like for millions of people with disabilities, user way fixes all of that with just one line of code.

Leo Laporte (02:11:44):
I love the idea and I think you will, too user way can make any website fully accessible and ADA compliant for a lot less than you think with user way. Everyone who visits your site could brow seamlessly, customize it to fit your needs. It's how it should be. Right? Just showcase your brand's commitment to the millions of people with disabilities. Go to user you right now get 30% off user ways. AI powered accessibility solution, user way, making the internet accessible for everyone. This is one I can really get behind user Thank you. User way, user All right, we're talking about oh, before we get to the next subject, I should mention, we have a little movie we made about the week that was on TWiTtter.

Jeff (02:12:35):
How often in a day each of you use your smart speaker every

Leo Laporte (02:12:38):

Jeff (02:12:39):
It's the most expensive clock.

Leo Laporte (02:12:40):
Oh, I use it. I get in the bathroom. I play music or I do my vocal warmups. I say,

Jeff (02:12:45):
Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, no, we gotta hear you do vocal warmups. I need to hear this

Leo Laporte (02:12:49):

Susan Bennett (02:12:50):
Via starting with the hump. <Laugh>

Jeff (02:12:56):
Mommy made me match my M and Ms.

Susan Bennett (02:13:00):

Leo Laporte (02:13:01):

Susan Bennett (02:13:01):
Twittter. It

Mikah (02:13:03):
Is time to take a look at the steam deck from Val. I got this and wanted to give it a real, try to see if this could serve as my gaming PC. I've only got my Mac and I wanted to see if this would work as that replacement

Leo Laporte (02:13:21):
Security. Now

Jeff (02:13:22):
Last Tuesday, Mozilla's headline read Firefox rolls out total cookie protection by default

Leo Laporte (02:13:31):
To all users worldwide. Woo. I know what's most shocking is that to me, is that it took us this long to get here. Mac break weekly. Those of us have been using max since 1984 are very familiar with Claris the cow dog, dog. Claris cow, please. Dog cow. Pardon me? Oh God. Oh, Claris is back baby in the new Mac OS Ventura printer dialogue. I think it's kind of like someone got a facelift and you're like, Ooh, you shouldn't have done that. You know, like it was you, like, it looks, it looks smoother, but it's like, you know, you lost the character who you are TWiT. You shouldn't have done that technology. Isn't always pretty, but we are <laugh>. Hmm. Maybe you shouldn't have done that. Hmm. It was a fun week on TWiT by the way, club TWiT members know that because club TWiT is where you go to have a good time ad free versions of all of our shows, the fabulous club TWiT discord, where you can not only chat about shows, but see shows that we don't put out things like our untitled Linux show, the GI FIS Stacey's book club, our sci-fi book club.

Leo Laporte (02:14:39):
Ooh, I gotta see what book, what book are we gonna read next? I can't wait. I'm so excited. Plus events like members, fireside chat coming up, Alex Lindsay and asked me anything, July 14th, it's just great fun. And a TWiT plus feed makes it even better. And all of that, all of that seven bucks a month, couple of cups of coffee, and you're in please. It helps us <laugh> it helps us. It's also show. And this thing is really weird. The home of animated, gys, it all helps us launch new shows. We're gonna launch a new show with one of our favorite hosts soon. That will be great. And because it, new shows don't have advertisers it's out of pocket, but with the help of club to it, we can do a lot more. So please go to TWiT, do TV slash club TWiT and and join the fun.

Leo Laporte (02:15:32):
I don't see where I maybe it's under the book book club. I wanna see what the the, they had a pole. Oh, looks like it's gonna be Clara in the sun. It was close though. That was a close vote. Hmm. Have you read that? Do you know? No, I haven't read any of that. It's the guy who did remains of the day. Hmm. Which was one of my favorite books. I really loved that Isha Shawa I think is his name and sorry, Leo. I only read books about talking beer cans and stuff. That's right. Stick with the talking beer cans. This is probably yeah, this is sci-fi though. Book club sci-fi Clara and the sun by Kazuo Isha. Guro that's right. Oh, wow. Oh, they're it's about AI others. Yes. Wow. And it's about how artificial intelligence might play a role in our futures. A point poignant meditation on love and loneliness. And we're we picked last time it was Neil Stevenson's termination, shotgun. It was so long that aunt gave up <laugh> so this time, this time we're we get a little bit shorter, shorter books, only 320 pages. Wait a minute. I was promised a short book.

Iain Thomson (02:16:45):
I love Neil Stevenson's so much, but

Leo Laporte (02:16:47):
I do too.

Iain Thomson (02:16:48):
He just a, he can't nail endings. No. And B he just goes too far.

Leo Laporte (02:16:56):
This is the termination shock is, is a perfect example of that. Yeah, but I love his research. I love, like I learned stuff from him. I learned about meth alligators. I learned about the, the line of actual control between China and India up in the Himalayas. I learned about a using sulfur dioxide and climate change. I mean, there's, there's a character in there. A cowboy who's built a giant six shooter that's shooting, sulfur dioxide, sulfur into the sky, into the stratosphere to increase the albido. So climate change is ending.

Iain Thomson (02:17:36):
I'm still wasting. I,

Florence Ion (02:17:37):
I have

Iain Thomson (02:17:38):
A lot of sorry.

Florence Ion (02:17:39):
No, no, no. It's okay. Go ahead.

Iain Thomson (02:17:42):
Oh, I was gonna say I'm still waiting for his sword fighting game because he was, I, I,

Leo Laporte (02:17:46):
He has a cryptocurrency now.

Iain Thomson (02:17:48):
Well, I mean, I saw him in blackout a couple of years ago and he is like, I'm working on a proper physical sword fighting game. Wow. And that hasn't happened. And cryptocurrency I've read about. Yeah. I mean, he's a great author in so many ways. He makes lousy endings to his books, but yeah,

Leo Laporte (02:18:06):
But he cares. I don't care how ends,

Iain Thomson (02:18:09):
Hey, come on. Arthur. C Clark screwed up so many times.

Leo Laporte (02:18:12):
Yes. There

Iain Thomson (02:18:12):
You go. I mean, he

Leo Laporte (02:18:13):
Actually thought

Iain Thomson (02:18:14):
What's the ending

Leo Laporte (02:18:15):
Telephone gonna

Iain Thomson (02:18:16):

Florence Ion (02:18:18):
I, I have to, I just wanna push back on that a little bit. I, I I've come to appreciate his endings. They are unconventional like, like I think his ending for snow crash is one of the greatest endings of any novel ever. It certainly, it is just

Leo Laporte (02:18:35):
Like, I don't remember the ending, but the beginning it's the best beginning of it really.

Florence Ion (02:18:39):
Oh, it's wonderful. But why the final line of it is like home, take home. Sounds good. You know, and she's gonna this huge adventure and she's like reading with her mom or diamond age, like where Nell princess Nell is under the ocean and she kisses the drummers and Miranda. And then she's the new queen of this new Republic that came. That was awesome. That took me a while to like accept. But yeah, I think termination shock it's the same way. I mean, I don't miss foil it cause it's a newer book, but it's like, you have this character. That's like, what do we do now? It was so in her character that I, I kind of liked that. So yeah. I don't know.

Iain Thomson (02:19:17):
You see, I mean, I thought snow crash was it, it, it kind of obvi all the badass stuff that she'd done and I, I kind of get it that, you know, she, she went home and the rest of it diamond age. Yep. Very good. But

Leo Laporte (02:19:41):
Seven Eves. I dunno. People don't likes the ending of that. I loved it. I didn't mind, but see, part of the problem is you want more

Iain Thomson (02:19:50):
<Laugh> oh, of course. He's great writer.

Leo Laporte (02:19:53):
You, he don't want it to end. Yeah. So that's part of the problem, right?

Iain Thomson (02:19:56):
No. And the same, same, same with you sort agree in with grin in the rest of it. I want more. Yeah. But you know, there was that kind of feeling that Stevenson couldn't do endings. Well 

Florence Ion (02:20:11):
I, I don't have a problem with those endings. I think his problem is his best books were earlier in his career where he was not successful enough, that he could not tell his editor were gonna do it my way. And because of that, all of his books have become books by the pound <laugh>, which is why like seven Eves is so too long. And the bar cycle is way, way, way too long. Yes.

Iain Thomson (02:20:35):
I agree with you. Yeah. I agree. You totally. I have I'm I'm not gonna get up, but I have the first, first editions of the bar cycle down in that bookcase and he need, he's got Dickens syndrome. No editor is gonna say to him, look, just cut this down and yeah. You know, you know, just get it together. Dickens

Leo Laporte (02:21:00):
Got paid by the words. So Dickens had a good excuse for it. <Laugh>

Iain Thomson (02:21:03):
Well, no, exactly. But you know, I mean, I literally camped out, outside a bookshop in London just to get the first position of the Brock cycle. I, who was so disappointed. Yeah.

Leo Laporte (02:21:16):
I had high hopes for that too. And it was a dis, but you know what, it's one of like a lot of his books, the journey is you have to really appreciate the journey. So the broke cycle, if you just don't, you're not, you don't feel like you're trying to get to the end or there's, you're trying to be a story or anything. You just you're just there. It's it's just happening all around you. Oh,

Iain Thomson (02:21:35):
He screwed it in the second book. You know, the whole recovering from syphilis thing was I don't sorry. No spoilers

Leo Laporte (02:21:43):
Know it's, it's hard when you're recovering from syphilis. It's hard to make that <laugh> an exciting part of any novel, I think, but who knows the

Florence Ion (02:21:52):
Show is now this week in Neil Stevenson.

Leo Laporte (02:21:54):
Yeah. Sorry. Sorry. No. Hi. Hey, what do you think of the nothing phone Florence ion. This is the phone in, I, I think

Florence Ion (02:22:02):
Nothing about it. It doesn't exist. It's nothing.

Leo Laporte (02:22:05):

Iain Thomson (02:22:07):

Leo Laporte (02:22:07):
But mark has Brownley has one.

Florence Ion (02:22:10):
Okay. I mean, mark has Brownley has a lot of things

Leo Laporte (02:22:14):
That no one else has. Including

Florence Ion (02:22:16):
Do you plan on going full force? I feel like this is a good time for me to bring up that I'll be on all about Android this coming week.

Leo Laporte (02:22:25):
So are you gonna show it off on all about Android?

Florence Ion (02:22:27):
No, I don't. I don't have the phone, but I have a lot of opinions. Yes.

Leo Laporte (02:22:31):
<Laugh> this, this, for some reason they put lights on the back, even though who doesn't put a case on this phone. Right. Mm-hmm <affirmative> 900 LEDs. Wow. Mm-hmm <affirmative> I mean, that's kind of cool. I guess I won't put a so there nothing phone Carl pay created nothing <laugh> out of nothing. No, not out of nothing. Didn't he buy Andy Rubin's essential. And

Florence Ion (02:22:56):
Yeah, which let's also not forget what Andy Rubin disgraced Andy Ruben,

Leo Laporte (02:23:01):
The disgraced and Ruben. Yes. And by the way, the essential phone was a disgrace as well because I bought it and it never did anything. Never came out with any of those

Florence Ion (02:23:11):
Modules. I, I remember when you let, when you let us play with it for all about Android. And I remember just like, what's the, I wanna get excited about these phone releases, but it really is like a Samsung Google world in the Android realm. And a lot of what I'm saying with the marketing around the nothing phone reminds me, it's just feels like dejavu because I was there when one plus originally announced,

Leo Laporte (02:23:35):
And he was, he was the founder of one plus, which has now been sucked back into the the body cavity of APO

Florence Ion (02:23:43):
APO parent company BK. But but at the same time, one plus is in carriers here in the United States and the nothing phone is not, will not be. And

Leo Laporte (02:23:54):
In fact, they're not gonna sell it here at all. Are they,

Florence Ion (02:23:56):
They're not gonna sell it here at all? No, I mean, you could technically buy it. I'm sure. And use it in the,

Leo Laporte (02:24:02):
Well, they say it's not fully supported in north America means you might. Correct. You might be unhappy,

Florence Ion (02:24:07):
Which they have to say. Right. So, yeah.

Leo Laporte (02:24:11):
<Laugh> all right. So I,

Florence Ion (02:24:13):
I'm not impressed with that. It just it's, it's good luck taking on the apple you know Android duopoly, I mean, best of luck, but it, it just 

Leo Laporte (02:24:23):
Well, do we need another phone? I mean, we've got some good choices. We've got Google, we've got Samsung, we've got apple. Do we need, I,

Florence Ion (02:24:30):
I mean, we all want competition in this face. We just talked about like at the beginning of the show privacy policy and why that's important. And you know, like, I think competition would be good. I just don't know how this face expands to really have competition at

Florence Ion (02:24:45):
This point. Resources. Yeah. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> which they don't have, which is why a lot of what we see that's new is just a reprised Android phone with a different skin on top of it. Right. Even if it is like, this is our version of Android, it's like, well, it's still built on top of Google's Android and it still has Google play services, which means it's an another Android phone.

Leo Laporte (02:25:06):
Yeah. Do I mean, obviously as tech reporters, we want excitement and wizzy new things. Do people care? I mean, frankly, if you're looking to Android it all they care about as prices. No, that hu people care hugely. Oh, and I've

Iain Thomson (02:25:22):
Gotta say one of the things that really pissed me off about the move from nexus to pixel was they went from a stripped down operating system to, we're gonna tart this up, like a, you know, in 1998 MySpace page, you know, they're gonna stick all this

Leo Laporte (02:25:39):

Iain Thomson (02:25:40):
Stuff up there <laugh> up. But to

Florence Ion (02:25:45):
Ian, the pixel is a much better device than the nexus were in terms of what it can actually do the

Leo Laporte (02:25:52):
Cameras. Oh

Iain Thomson (02:25:53):
No, no, no, absolutely devices. I mean, the nexus was a Bo standard phone. It was,

Leo Laporte (02:25:58):
It was developers

Iain Thomson (02:25:59):
At the end of the day. Do you, what do you want from a phone? Do you want something that makes calls and allows you to access the internet? Or do you want all the hoopy features that are, are out there? I'm sorry, I just want a phone which is secure and which does the basic job. And I understand that's not entirely popular view, but at the same time, you know, nexus was a great developer platform. Pixel once they started tarting it up, I, I have no choice because

Florence Ion (02:26:34):
It's about the assistant. It's not about Androids. It's about the

Leo Laporte (02:26:37):
Assistant. Have you seen the system, the hot new phone in for all mankind?

Florence Ion (02:26:43):
What it,

Leo Laporte (02:26:44):
Oh, <laugh> oh God. So this is apple

Iain Thomson (02:26:47):
Tvs. I burn it with five

Leo Laporte (02:26:49):
<Laugh>. This is apple TV's revisionist show. That's hilarious where the Soviets won the space race. It got to the moon first. It's actually kind of fun for that reason. It's I think it's in its third season now. And at one point so it takes place in that era, in the sixties and 70, and at one point there's they're making a video call and it was actually kind of clever. They took a Newton message pad, put a fake camera, which it never had on top of it. Although that's what it would've looked like if they'd made it, but it's boy camera embodied in there is that there's actually an iPhone inside so that it can actually make it, ah, make a a video call. Isn't that Hyster. Right? I like like

Florence Ion (02:27:28):
Products play between apple shows.

Leo Laporte (02:27:29):
Yeah. What a surprise it's half Newton, half, half iPhone, 12

Florence Ion (02:27:36):
Palm hamstring with

Leo Laporte (02:27:37):

Florence Ion (02:27:37):
Hams freeing expansion slot.

Iain Thomson (02:27:39):
Yeah. I miss hams springing so much, you know, I mean it, I, I, I loved my Palm three X, cuz it a had, you could plug it into a keyboard and B you had double a batter triple a batteries that you could put into the back of it. And it was great as a journalist. Yeah,

Florence Ion (02:27:59):
But have you gone back and actually tried to use one <laugh> because I made the mistake of, okay, so just full disclosure, if you ever read my physical handwriting, it is destroyed because of Palm graffiti. Cause I write in Palm, graffiti you

Leo Laporte (02:28:13):
To this, you write Palm graffiti. Wow.

Florence Ion (02:28:15):
I, I just used it for so many years when I was coming of age. Yeah. That it is. That's how I write my tees. Yeah. That's how I write my E all of it. So I was very curious to go back and, and retry this because you know, when I was in college like that Palm ston sea, I took all my notes on it was absolutely amazing. Don't do this. Leave those memories. I'm does happy movie fit does, does not hold up. Y'all

Leo Laporte (02:28:42):
She writes in graffiti that's

Iain Thomson (02:28:44):
I do seriously. I, I would sit I was doing a lot of work with Nokia and, and Ericson in Scandinavia. So I was sitting on a plane writing, using my keyboard with the Palm three X plugged in, and everyone was just like, what the hell is that? It's just like, no, this is the way this is the future. Hardware keyboards. Yeah. They're not the way the future, but

Leo Laporte (02:29:11):
<Laugh>, if you wanna see Brianna's handwriting here is the Palm pilot graffiti reference's card. That's what

Florence Ion (02:29:17):
It looks like.

Iain Thomson (02:29:18):

Leo Laporte (02:29:19):

Florence Ion (02:29:19):
That's how they teach you to do shorthand in Jason.

Leo Laporte (02:29:21):
It's kinda like, yeah. The K is just that loopy thing because they realized that computer handwriting recognition, which was first attempted in 1993 by the Newton famously of famous fail, wasn't gonna work. So when they created the Palm, they said, you know, we should really have a modified, less ambiguous English alphabet that the computer can read. So you see the T is just that left bend, but you actually, if you use graffiti, you can get very fast at it. It was, it was actually, oh yeah. It was actually quite well designed. Oh

Iain Thomson (02:29:54):
Yeah, no, definitely.

Leo Laporte (02:29:54):
Yeah. Yeah. The four was a little weird, but 

Iain Thomson (02:29:58):
<Laugh> there is a certain eat up Martin element to this, but yeah, it just, it was good. They added keyboards to it, but yeah, technology overcame it. Yeah.

Leo Laporte (02:30:14):
Oh, I, you know, speaking of overcoming, I think it's time to go to dinner. I want to thank all three of you. You are marvelous especially Florence and Brianna who showed up on short notice so that we could have the conversation we did on the show. And I really appreciate your input. You guys are wonderful Florence, ion long time stalwart at all about Android now at Gizmoto you do show up on AA all the time. In fact, I do. You said you're gonna be on this week to talk about the nothing mm-hmm <affirmative> she'll be talking about nothing

Florence Ion (02:30:45):
Once a month and this

Leo Laporte (02:30:47):

Florence Ion (02:30:47):
This next, this week is my nothing much

Leo Laporte (02:30:50):
Time. So glad to have you Florence. Thank you very much. Yeah. And I'm your B your baby didn't wake up. So I guess we're okay.

Florence Ion (02:30:57):
Oh no, she, she was whistling earlier. Oh, I actually apologize to the IRC chat if they can hear her whistling. No.

Leo Laporte (02:31:04):

Florence Ion (02:31:05):

Leo Laporte (02:31:06):
Well, I'm sorry. She didn't tole in and sit in your lap, like the BBC, but next time we could look forward to that. Brianna were, you are marvelous. Please apologize to Frank. Once again, for the kerfuffle I caused

Florence Ion (02:31:21):
<Laugh> you didn't cause it, I caused

Leo Laporte (02:31:24):
It. Oh, whatever. You know, we caused it together. Let's put it that way. We,

Florence Ion (02:31:27):
We got it done.

Leo Laporte (02:31:29):
<Laugh> we, we made Rihanna go out and get a hard wire for her. And you know what? It worked, you sounded great rebellion What is rebellion pack

Florence Ion (02:31:39):
Rebellion pack. If you are interested in doing something about basically the state of this country

Leo Laporte (02:31:46):

Florence Ion (02:31:47):
We, we use large data to basically target voters that other people don't we, you know, campaigns are, are set up to target what we call triple primes. People that vote in, you know, national elections, local elections and state elections. We don't, we figure those people are gonna be contacted. This is the reason why, if you vote, you get people coming to canvas you five times, cuz that data is so easily available. We actually do analysis to figure out the people who are registered to vote, but aren't really that activated. Ooh, that's good. Yeah. Yeah. And we

Leo Laporte (02:32:27):
Take them out.

Florence Ion (02:32:28):
We create ads that are based on issues that will make a very measurable difference in their life. Things like unionization minimum wage. I'm sure this time around, we will do a ton of ads on choice. So one of the things I learned when I ran for Congress is that democratic operatives are not very good on technology. They just, they, they suck and our tools are based in the nineties. So that's why we started the pack. There's a huge need for people there, technologically literate to kind of do the data segmentation

Leo Laporte (02:33:01):
And you have something that more tech journals should have an ethics page.

Florence Ion (02:33:06):
Yes we do.

Leo Laporte (02:33:07):
If you wanna read more about the ethics of a rebellion pack the only do, do I have to donate through act blue? Can I give it to you directly? Just give you a check.

Florence Ion (02:33:19):
I, yes, you can.

Leo Laporte (02:33:20):
I'll I'll mail you a check. It's kind of old fashioned, but I, I way you get all

Florence Ion (02:33:26):
Act blues problems, I've had discussions with them about that. So

Leo Laporte (02:33:30):
Yeah, no, I mean, I I've, I've used act blue and that was how I donated in the last few cycles. But mm-hmm <affirmative> I, I feel like they take a big cut and I don't, I'm not sure. I really like the way the dark patterns they use on their site and things like that. So they,

Florence Ion (02:33:44):
They have, they they're Massachusetts company and I'm always thankful for the help they've given us over the years. Yes. But they have some issues they need,

Leo Laporte (02:33:51):
They make it easy. That's the good news they do.

Florence Ion (02:33:54):
Yeah. Their API's good. It's it's a cure, but there are other problems.

Leo Laporte (02:33:58):
All right. Well then I'll go. I'll give, I'll give to you through act blue. That's good. Why not? It makes it ease of access is a big part of this. I'm sure. Rebellion Thanks for the work you're doing. We really appreciate it. Brianna, Ian, someday, you're gonna come up here. You and I will have a scotch egg and a pint of Guinness's best. And we'll talk about the good old

Iain Thomson (02:34:22):
Things. Sausage role. We're all there. <Laugh> <laugh>

Leo Laporte (02:34:26):
Don't leave our fine country. Stay here and help us make it better. How about that?

Iain Thomson (02:34:31):
Honestly? I mean, I've, I'm going for citizenship, but at the same time, I

Leo Laporte (02:34:37):

Iain Thomson (02:34:38):
Yeah, no, it's kind of like, although let's face it. Boris's Britain. Isn't

Leo Laporte (02:34:43):
Great. No, I think what we should do is we should all move to Vancouver, Canada, beautiful area.

Iain Thomson (02:34:50):
Oh, are you kidding? No, no. We all need to move Sans. Basian oh, Sebastian. Oh, I mean Spain is

Leo Laporte (02:34:56):
Spain. All right.

Iain Thomson (02:34:57):
Yeah. It is marvelous

Leo Laporte (02:34:59):
That Marco guy is long gone. We don't have to worry about the fascist anymore. Right. It's okay.

Iain Thomson (02:35:04):
Ah, yeah, but I mean, honestly, no I'm staying in the us. Yes. Cause we need to sort this stuff out. You gotta sort it out. Yeah. I'm not gonna run away. No. Good. We we're gonna sort this stuff

Leo Laporte (02:35:17):
Out. Yes. And we need the British <laugh>

Iain Thomson (02:35:22):
To help. That's a phrase which

Leo Laporte (02:35:23):

Iain Thomson (02:35:25):
For 300 years,

Leo Laporte (02:35:28):
You'll be back. Wait and see. Just remember you belong to me.

Iain Thomson (02:35:33):
As long as you spell Anin correctly, then you know, I'm spelling.

Leo Laporte (02:35:37):
I can't even say it. All right.

Iain Thomson (02:35:39):

Leo Laporte (02:35:40):
We do TWiTtter every Sunday afternoon, about two Pacific 5:00 PM. Eastern 2100 UTC. You can watch us do it live. Get all the swear words. UN UN after

Iain Thomson (02:35:56):
The fact that am I supposed to you Winker at this point too,

Leo Laporte (02:35:58):
You didn't say Winker. You didn't say any cos swallow. You didn't say any of those funny, funny, British words that you, you people say <laugh> try not to say anything bad. 

Iain Thomson (02:36:13):

Leo Laporte (02:36:15):
If you want an on-demand version, it's all, all the shows are also on YouTube there's video. And each show has its own dedicated channel. So just search for this week at tech. And then of course you can subscribe audio or video available in your favorite podcaster. We like to call it the first podcast of the week and your last word in tech this week in tech now. And it's 18th year making people hop and mad. Thank you for being here. We'll see you next time. Another TWiT is in the can.


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