This Week in Tech Episode 884 Transcript
Please be advised this transcript is AI-generated and may not be word for word.
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Devindra Hardawar (00:00:01):
I'm Devindra Hardwar senior editor in gadget coming up on TWiT. This week is a panel with Brianna woo. Patrick Norton and norm Chan. We'll be chatting about the James Webb's face telescope Apple's MacBook air M two, and the Uber files coming up next on the show
Leo Laporte (00:00:17):
Podcasts you love
Leo Laporte (00:00:19):
From people you trust. This
Leo Laporte (00:00:22):
Leo Laporte (00:00:34):
Devindra Hardawar (00:00:34):
Is TWiTt. This weekend tech episode 884 recorded Sunday, July 17th, 2022. Not tested with normal people.
Leo Laporte (00:00:42):
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Devindra Hardawar (00:01:54):
It's time for TWiT this week in tech I'm senior editor of in gadget venture hardware. I'm not Leo Laport. He is off on a boat this week on the TWiTt crew. So hopefully he's having fun and avoiding foodborne illnesses. I feel like crews are really, really tough these days, but we have a great panel to chat about this week's tech news, including Brianna woo executive director of rebellion pack a progressive pack. Hey, Brianna, what's crack lackin. Happy to be back. I love the word crack lackin, and we've got Patrick Norton host of AV Excel. Hello Patrick. Hey, pleasure to be here. And we've got norm Chan co-founder of tested.com norm. You're one of the hardest working people I know in tech, so happy. I'm happy you could join us. Oh, thank you so much for having me. We've got a ton of news this week.
Devindra Hardawar (00:02:40):
I don't, I don't know what was going on in the tech world, but things like things just started piling up and apple had a bunch of news. But I wanted to start with the the biggest thing and the, probably the biggest news for all of humanity, which is the first round of pictures from the James web space telescope. And I assume you guys have seen these things and by this point, by the time you're listening to TWiT, you've probably heard it explored all over the place. But I did wanna take a chance to or take some time to hear like what you guys thought about this first set of images. I'm a space nerd. I grew up when I was a kid, I would go to the library and just check out every single, like massive space, you know, photography book. And there were pretty much all Hubble images. So I guess I'm a Hubble kit. But it, it just kind of got me back in that place of thinking of my place in the universe while watching these things. What did you guys think of what we've seen from James web so far?
Brianna Wu (00:03:34):
I, so I, I don't wanna start with like skepticism, but so I always feel so kind skepticism
Devindra Hardawar (00:03:41):
Of space, Brianna.
Brianna Wu (00:03:42):
I dunno if it exists trust NASA because you see what they release to the public and it's always so photoshopped and they do post processing on it to like enhance the saturation in all of that and don't get me wrong. Everything they released is beautiful. It's awesome. We're talking star Trek, motion, picture vibes of like the whole universe out there, but there's always like a small part of my brain. That's going okay. But what degree of this is like artist interpretation? Is that too cynical? Am I, am I being tested? No,
Devindra Hardawar (00:04:14):
I think, I think this is probably a good thing worth noting too, because when I was a kid, I did not realize like how much processing even went into some of those Hubble images as well. Right. But that, that is worth noting. There is a lot of data we've gotten here as well. There was what some spectrum data from an exo planet. I don't have the specifics in front of me, but we, we learned that it has first of all, we kind of knew it already had water, but it has clouds. And that was kind of an interesting thing for astronomers to hear. So, yeah, clouds on exoplanet. So we are gonna learn so many things. Patrick norm, what, what did, did this space did this, these space images blow your minds?
Patrick Norton (00:04:54):
Oh my goodness. If you keep, if you scroll down on New York times article that this links is linked off of and just
Devindra Hardawar (00:05:02):
Keep going, just search NASA James Webb, because all, all the images are super easy
Patrick Norton (00:05:07):
To find. Yeah. And that's the one where they kind of show like, I, I, I get, I get where Brianna's coming from, but part of me is like, there's two places. I have any functional, like remaining ability to have any sort of sense of suspension of disbelief. And one of 'em is watching movies. And the other one is like looking at at space imagery. <Laugh> so, you know this was kind of like, wait, is this the difference between the data that's coming in, that they're enhancing? And just the idea that it's that much better to use highly sophisticated technical terminology. You know, I'm just gonna be delighted and be charmed and we'll see what rolls out of it.
Devindra Hardawar (00:05:48):
For sure out of, I think what's really yeah. Norm norm thoughts. I, I just, I want like pure geek. Awe. I wanna know like how you guys felt seeing these things. I dunno if you watched the NASA live stream because those are always fun too.
Norman Chan (00:06:00):
That was much more fun than the, the press conference mm-hmm <affirmative> and I think a little bit of that anticipation following it, you know, having one window with the TV, one window with the science, TWiTtter and everyone freaking out that was brought as much joy <laugh> I almost had that vibe of like, you know, of rocket launch, right? The anticipation we knew things were gonna turn all right. It wasn't like in the very first Hubble blurry images that they had to correct. Cuz there's no shuttle that's gonna go up there. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> but the, to see the, they were so savvy with releasing those direct comparisons and now people have now done, you know, animated gifts to show transitional it's it's enhanced it's star Trek, right? They're in astrophysics lab and Picard saying enhanced, and we're actually getting these, you know, much sharper, much higher resolution images. And that's not even taking into account how fast that they, they can actually capture this. So just the mm-hmm <affirmative> order of magnitude in terms of efficiency that's super exciting. And the, the fact that this is gonna be rolling around for 20 years, that we're gonna get images like this. That's super
Devindra Hardawar (00:06:58):
Cool. I, so, and yeah, it is the, I, I think it is the amount of work and data that this thing can spit out cuz this, these images, which are some of the most astounding things we've seen, including the deepest look into, into deep space. We've had looking at the galaxy cluster smacks 0 7, 2, 3 looking at light from over 13 billion years ago close to the formation of the universe. This information, this is one week's worth of data. This is one week's worth of work. So just imagine what we're gonna learn as this thing is is gonna be trucking for hopefully 10 years, hopefully longer. There was already a meteoroid strike, I believe on one of the mirrors and they were still able to to, you know, get some really usable data in dealing with that. There was no way to fix this thing. If anything goes wrong, it isn't like Hubble, like you mentioned, norm. So we're all just like hoping and praying now that James Webb kinda kinda keeps going and produces more interesting data. What are you guys looking forward to seeing from this? Because this is like, you know, this is humanity changing science we're getting from this machine.
Brianna Wu (00:08:04):
Well, I think all of this, like the thing we're most interested in is are, you know, nearby planets, habitable you know, are there signs of extra trust your life? I mean like insights into gravity. I mean, all the things we do this, this big, bold science for that you really need, you know, government funding to, to you know, basically advance advance humanity. I mean, I think that's what we all wanna see. I have to admit like when I'm, when I'm reading some of the coverage of this and you hear like, according to astronomers, this is like, this indicates water is in this NEB. I'm like, how on earth? Can you tell that from so far away, but I will take their word for it cuz I don't have a PhD in astrophysics.
Devindra Hardawar (00:08:47):
Yep. We, we are getting a lot of spectrum readings, which tells us a lot that that's, from what I know you all so I also cohost the gadget podcast and we had a great guest on to break that down for us Lisa Grossman. So she covers a lot of space news, so you can hear more details there. But in terms of broader things, like I think we are expecting more information about exoplanets and to me that's really exciting, right? Because conceivably these are things we could visit once we get some faster space travel and it, it could tell us a lot more and it is wild that we only, we've only known that exoplanets have existed or at least have proof of them since like the mid nineties. Right. So it is just astounding, like how far we've come in terms of that data. It's all just beautiful stuff. Yeah.
Norman Chan (00:09:31):
Yeah. I'm really looking forward to just kind of the, the, the most maybe second level effect, you know, you're talking about the Hubble photos that we all maybe growing up saw in, in textbooks. And I don't know if textbooks are what kids these days have, but you know, there is gonna be enough iPads page. Exactly. Right. So it's not like there's no page with the PPI, it's gonna be dense enough to cover these images, but the kids today, they can, they can enhance as much as they want because of how they're gonna be learning about space and same with like, you know writers and, and, and storytellers and how there's this wonderful virtuous feedback loop of like the stuff that comes out of research and, and what NASA provides can help better inform and, and change the ways we consume astronom me through maybe pop culture and science fiction. Right. You know, like like how black holes represented, for example, in, in science fiction today all changed in the past 10 years based on new information. And I can't wait for the writers of, of star Trek to take all this data into account and come up the creative stories.
Devindra Hardawar (00:10:36):
Brianna Wu (00:10:36):
If it makes it worse though? Like in Jurassic park, when we found out that the dinosaurs have feathers, it looks so much worse. I, I think
Devindra Hardawar (00:10:44):
They look, I think they look pretty cool. It like a giant terrifying bird, you know, have you ever been chased by an ostrich?
Brianna Wu (00:10:52):
You know, I've never had big bird come after me. I'm just saying it could, we could have this paradigm in our mind of how some, this stuff works and we could get feathers again. So we'll see,
Devindra Hardawar (00:11:03):
We could get feathers, we could get all sorts of things. You know, there's you were talking about like will we ever, I think extraterrestrial life is the thing. And that a lot of people are excited about Brianna and you know, like that, that is something I I've talked to a lot of scientists and people working in space news as well. Like journalists, people are still excited about that. Like it is like the kid in them is coming back out because of this. We, we will hopefully be able to detect, detect all sorts of ways to see if we can find the life on any of these exo plans. We can't tell if they're intelligent or not, but potentially signs it's potentially methane, potentially something. Let's hear some alien farts let's, you know, detect some alien farts and that'll tell us a lot. We've got a lot of news to let me just see here, let me see. I'm just laughing to move on from alien
Patrick Norton (00:11:53):
I'm reconciling, I'm reconciling like unprecedented levels of interstellar, you know gas between the stars and, you know, the alien fart humor that you just dropped and I'm just sitting there and I'm like, well, if any
Devindra Hardawar (00:12:06):
Tells that's we were looking for,
Patrick Norton (00:12:08):
Web's gonna do see the pictures here.
Devindra Hardawar (00:12:11):
And speaking of alien farts, let's let's talk about what's happening with Elon Musk, because that was a big thing. That was a big topic during last week's switch. And you know, I feel like the, if the aliens are watching anybody on earth or they're seeing what Elon Musk is doing we've learned more about his crumbling you know, TWiTtter deal or the deal that he's, he's slowly trying to back out of. So listen to the last episode of this week in tech for more on that. But this week we learned that TWiTtter is suing Yole Musk for saying that he's gonna be backing outta the deal. There's a lot of coverage about TWiTtter workers saying really nobody's in charge right now. And last I saw the last news bid I saw is that ELAM Musk's lawyers are now saying, they're trying to block the warp speed, TWiTtter trial over his $44 billion deal. I am frankly, tired of talking about this man and what he will or won't do, but you know what we have this is news. This is news. And maybe we can like put a pin in this for a while. What do you guys think about these latest developments about the TWiTtter deal in Elon Musk?
Brianna Wu (00:13:15):
Oh boy, I, I have so many thoughts about this. You know, I, first of all, I really think that I'll respect my friends that work in media, but I think the analysis of this mm-hmm <affirmative> has gotten way too complicated in many ways. Like, look, Tesla stock is in the toilet, it's down by many measures his you know, his, his net worth is worth 30% less than it was when he initiated this deal. And I think it's straightforward at this point for him to complete this deal. You know, 54 billion is an astronomical sum of money in the amount of Tesla stock that he would have to sell to do that would, would just be more than he wants to pay. You know, he tried to get Silicon valley to fund it by going to them and making some really wild promises about, you know, how the, the number of users was going to increase with his plan things that just even VCs they're looking at it and go, this doesn't seem tethered to reality here.
Brianna Wu (00:14:13):
You know, this is a man that respectfully, I think has played very fast and loose with the rules. If you read the lawsuit you can read like it's the most human readable lawsuit I've ever seen in my, in my life. It talks about Elon Musk, just being cavalier and destructive and how he's conducted himself, which is part of why you know, TWiTtter shares have really been damaged, but this whole fiasco. So I think this is very straightforward. You have a billionaire that no one has ever really said no to. And you have him running head first into the situation with the Chancery court in Delaware, which I'm sorry, they move fast. They don't have trials. You have judges looking at this thing, they don't have opening statements in that court. And Elon Musk is I believe gonna find out the hard way that these contracts actually mean things.
Brianna Wu (00:15:08):
Now, I do think at the end of the day they're gonna reach some settlement. I don't think it'll be 1 billion. I think it'll be closer to five or $10 billion, but you know, this is a man. Like if you look through the history of how he's run Tesla and how he's made promises on everything under the sun, from Tesla's supercharge networks to full self-driving cars, to even funding Tesla at earlier periods where they were in a cash crunch, he's just had smoke and mirrors there. And I think he's finally gonna get a reality check that is, is, is eminently called
Devindra Hardawar (00:15:42):
For Brianna. I think, I think you have a really good point. It does seem like he, this is the way he's kind of lived his life. It seems like he's a board billionaire and, you know everybody has toilet thoughts, everybody tweets on the toilet, right. But when it's Elon Musk, it's like, it, it is business cat. I think I should buy a TWiTtter. You know,
Norman Chan (00:16:04):
It makes me wonder what his chambers are. Mm-Hmm, <affirmative> like, like you know, there were reports of when he first made that offer of you know, other billionaires egging him on feeling like, like, you know, it was in their political interest to do so. Mm-Hmm <affirmative>. And so he has the voices in his head, the voices on, on TWiTtter that he finds pleasure in interacting with. Certainly sounds like the, the bots were something he, like, it affects him because, you know, that's, that's what the, that's what pop propagates, whenever he tweets. And I don't think buying TWiTtter is gonna,
Devindra Hardawar (00:16:36):
It's probably a large part of his following on TWiTtter too, you know? So the thing he's complained about is the thing kind of helping him to seem like a thought leader. Yeah,
Norman Chan (00:16:43):
Yeah, yeah. I mean, I don't think they're gonna throw him in jail, right. It's gonna be a settlement of some kind, maybe more he wants to pay, but it's about how he's gonna spin it to make it a grievance or make it, you know, make himself the victim enlist. And that kind of reinforces his acolytes and his followers and the people who back him. So I think in some way he's gonna come out on top, you know, kind of reinforcing the messaging he wants to put out there, but I'm happy that he's gonna be parted with at least probably a billion dollars at some point. I don't think he had much, he wanted either.
Devindra Hardawar (00:17:13):
Yeah. I mean, there, there was a breakup deal. The breakup fine that I think was in the initial deals right. Around a billion. Right. So yeah, we, we don't know what this is gonna end up being, but for me, the main takeaway is man TWiTtter's TWiTtter's board and TWiTtter's leadership just really kind were jumping on this deal immediately. Right. Because it did, it did seem a little too good to be true. But the speed with which they just kind of gave up on it and you know what's his face TWiTtter CEO Dorsey was just like, yeah, oh, I'm, I'm out, I'm done. You know, or at least like, it seemed like everybody was quick to pay out rather than like stand for whatever TWiTtter is supposed to be.
Patrick Norton (00:17:52):
I, I mean, when you look at like Tesla stock price, right. Beginning of 2020, I think it's $86 a share. And, you know, at its peak, it was like 1200, you know, in 1200, 20 1220 $2 a share, you know, now it's dropped at $923 a share, you know, the market capitalization of this company is like 750 billion, which is kind of insane. It is a huge astronomical number. And you know, this is a guy who already got smacked down by the C for his tweets, I think in 2018 you know, where he literally has to have security lawyers run certain posts he's supposed to put on TWiTtter. Right. You know what I mean? The SEC's already kinda like, no. And, you know, remember the sec, I feel like the sec could say no, a lot more in a lot of different areas, but this was so egregious that they actually were like, you know, we're gonna, we're gonna put down a find that would be really, really skull crushing.
Patrick Norton (00:18:51):
If this guy wasn't worth billions already, but it's gonna be a big number that people are gonna notice. And, you know, then he turns around and it, it basically felt like, I can't say that word on a family podcast, but I will say blank posting on TWiTtter. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> and then it kind of went from blank posting on TWiTtter to, you know, you know what you were saying, like where, where, like, you know, a whole bunch of people, dog pile along like, yeah, yeah. Do it, do it, do it, hit him, hit him, hit him, hit him, buy it.
Devindra Hardawar (00:19:20):
Some are more everybody. Yeah.
Patrick Norton (00:19:22):
Brianna Wu (00:19:23):
I, I hope you don't mind me saying, you know, my engineer, friends who have worked for Tesla and, and some of his other companies, there's a very consistent story that you hear with Elon Musk that basically he will wander into your department and he'll be like, guys, I've got this great idea. Let's do a, B and C and the engineers are just like, <laugh>. Okay. Sounds great, man. And then they just kinda wait for him to go away and then go back to doing the product that they're actually developing. This is a story I've heard repeatedly. I, I did wanna fact check just one thing very briefly. I think there's a really common misconception that Elon Musk can just pay $1 billion and walk away. Yeah. That is not the case. So he waived his due diligence on this particular lawsuit, as far as going through and looking at all the financials making sure it sound no problem.
Brianna Wu (00:20:21):
He actually wad, he was moving so fast. He waved his right to do that. So that $1 billion fee is only if both parties agree to it at this point. Okay. Twittter's stock, what is it now? It's $34. I believe it's somewhere around there. From a high of, you know, it is gone down a lot. There's a lot of material damage to this company. So there's really no reason for TWiTtter to insist on that $1 billion fee when they are entitled to so much more. Mm-Hmm, <affirmative> just one more, really, really important point that I wanna make. And I hope you don't mind me sharing a, a personal story on this, please. So what I find so interesting is if you read the lawsuit, here they go into great detail about why Elon Musk is like, he's immature, he's handled this badly.
Brianna Wu (00:21:16):
He's conducted himself in ways that have hurt TWiTtter publicly. He has not acted in bad faith. Let's sell him this thing that we've built, spent decades building mm-hmm <affirmative>, I it's really ironic that I think of TWiTtter as a social media network that is really essential for the public interest, right? So much of the conversation, especially around journalism is set on TWiTtter. And, you know, you have the board that is trying to sell it for ultimately a lot of money here. This is the personal story. A lot of my money is invested with Vanguard, which happens to be one of the top investors in TWiTtter. They held a ton of stock. And, you know, when this news was announced, I called them up on the phone and, you know, like we've got enough invested that they'll take our call. And I'm like, guys, you know, and I told them the story of gamer gate mm-hmm <affirmative> and all the work that I had done with TWiTtter, trying to improve like trusted safety issues and harassment on the, on the platform. And I'm like, you guys are really gonna destroy all of this work that I did if you sell it to this person and, you know, their answer was ultimately, we're gonna do whatever we need to do to make money in this, in this case, you know, just think that's so sad that, you know, I'm not a, I'm not an anticapitalist kind of gal. I'm not socialist, but I think all the incentives here are not really aligned with us having competent management of TWiTtter. I mean, how do you all feel about that?
Norman Chan (00:22:50):
Absolutely. Take that point. I, I think that mm-hmm <affirmative> and I think Dorse has said as much, right? There's he, he kind of his views of TWiTtter, which is it's kind of blown beyond what he, they originally like created for, but it's become this, it's woven into the fabric of how we communicate. Right. And as a social network, along with all the other ones, like have become these essential essential services for communication, but they're all at odds with how, how they make money and that they're all private companies. And I don't know if that can ever be reconciled. And it feels like regardless of how this lawsuit ends up like TWiTtter as an entity and as a service, like is gonna be worse off for it. As it kind of is losing its relevancy it, it kind of, you know, and it's, I think fundamentally more important than like, like TikTok, which is increase its relevancy, right, because of text versus video and, and the benefits of that. But you can see the audience shifting away from, from TWiTtter. And, but as it becomes more important for the people who, who make the laws and who enact policy and, and who kind of run the world these days.
Patrick Norton (00:24:03):
Devindra Hardawar (00:24:04):
It does. It does seem like just existing as a public company is incompatible with doing the right thing at times. Like, what is, what is right, right. Is just <laugh> making money, I guess go, go
Patrick Norton (00:24:13):
Ahead. Okay. If, if you're re publicly held company, right. Is what maximizes shareholder value on a quarterly basis period, end discussion. Right. I, I, I don't think there's anybody in this panel that's gonna look and, you know, come up with a long list of companies that made strategic long-term decisions to benefit, you know, their customers and the product over not getting sued by a minority shareholder, right. That's that's life in the 21st century with a publicly held build business. When the, it was funny, cuz when Brianna, when, when Vanguard came out and started talking about TWiTtter, I remember being like, oh my gosh, there's an adult in the room and they're pissed. <Laugh> right. Because I mean, literally I, I, they, TWiTtter started speaking about this and I, or excuse me, Vanguard started speaking about this and like, wow, Vanguard's got a huge amount of money tied up here.
Patrick Norton (00:24:59):
And they're really irritated because you know, the stock values go in berserk and on one hand they can make a whole bunch of money. And on the other hand, you know, this could end up damaging TWiTtter and to, to kinda look at, you know, it's, it's, you know, anybody who's worked for a venture capital funded company or any of a number of companies, you know, in the Silicon valley, OI mm-hmm, <affirmative> where there's moments where you're like, we have a product, we have a plan and or if you've watched from the outside, you can be like, oh wow. So that was gonna be this really cool standalone thing. And now it's a subset of an add on, you know, an app on some corner of Google or it gets purchased and disintegrated by mega company X, or they had a chance to sell out and management runs and then something else happens.
Patrick Norton (00:25:45):
And I, I think for a lot of people, they were like, you know, they were in the TWiTtter minds, they're managing, they're grinding through, they're dealing with all the issues. And then all of a sudden, the possibility of maybe all of those shares, you know, vesting and being worth way more than they expected any time in the, in the near future. <Laugh> like just sounded great. And you know, I can also totally see if there's, you know, any kind of, you know, acrimony internally in TWiTtter and direction that as soon as people are like, Elon's gonna come in and he's gonna do all this stuff and that I can totally see internally all sorts of splits, just starting to happen. And you know, as, as somebody who worked at a company that went through like multiple rounds of layoffs, you know, mm-hmm, <affirmative>, you know, aligning, spending with a possible acquisition I'm thinking of, of tech TV at the particular moment, it is really hard to deal with morale where people are like, are we getting bought or are we not getting bought?
Patrick Norton (00:26:43):
Did the stock value just tank is the stock value gonna be okay, what is going on here? Who's gonna have this, did everything I do. Like, you know, brand input has everything we've done to try to make this a less toxic place about to get flushed. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> and it's it's it's, it's messy and I don't blame TWiTtter at this point. I can totally see them being like, we're gonna maximize shareholder value Elon, get your lawyers ready. Woo. Yeah, this is, this is ugly and annoying and it's draw, it's just gone on way too long and it's gonna be really interesting to see how, you know, what, how this happens. I always love it when people are like, you know, we picked a fight, let's move the fight to February next year. Can we move to a couple years from now? Let's just lay this in. It's like, you know, you know, Brianna Collins, like yeah, the courts have no time for your agenda. Good luck. <Laugh> maybe I think
Brianna Wu (00:27:36):
It's really interesting if you actually look at the legal team that TWiTtter hired here, I mean, they are not messing around. And this is why, like, if you read all the expert legal analysis of this, if you're betting woman or betting, man, I mean, you know, TWiTtter absolutely has the stronger hand here and I understand Elon must need to save face and to say, you know, this is about bots. This is about blah, blah, blah. And he can ask post to his heart's content here. But the bottom line is that contract is, is, you know, it is what it is. He decided to forego due diligence. And I think he's gonna face some consequences here. Unfortunately if it's, I hope it's a settlement and, and can we, can we have a discussion about this? Like sure. You know, when Jack stepped down like a, as CEO of TWiTtter to go focus on web three, which is a whole nother discussion,
Patrick Norton (00:28:34):
Brianna Wu (00:28:35):
Can we just admit that TWiTtter's new leadership is not the best I mm-hmm <affirmative> I, I don't have, I do not have any confidence in the way the ship is being steered right now that people, I know that work there don't have good things to say. And frankly, I think it's time for a new CEO and maybe even a new board after this whole saga is over. Cuz I think they've, they've had a hard hand dealt to them, but I don't think they've played it well.
Devindra Hardawar (00:29:04):
Yeah, it, it seems like we are, we are gonna see like a fundamental reshaping of whatever TWiTtter is. It is sad because I think we've talked about this before on TWiTtter. Like it is among the social networks out there right now. I think it's the one closest to like, I don't know, showing us the full, the full depth of humanity in a certain sense. Like I've always thought of TWiTtter as like the way they talk about in the matrix. Right. Just sitting down and watching the code fall and sometimes looking at TWiTtter is like, oh, this is just everything on earth at once. It's probably too much. And it's super toxic at times, but oh man, have I made friends there? Have I learned a lot from TWiTtter? Like it, it is the thing that keeps me tapped into the world. So you know what, hopefully hopefully what you're saying is true Brianna and I, I hope it gets to reshape Prague. AAL is the new CEO and yeah, I don't, I've not heard good things. I know some people who work there as well and things just seem really, really rough over in TWiTtterland. So we're, you know, we're hoping things work out for the people there and the people who are staying there. Anything else you guys wanna add to this to this whole mess, cuz I just didn't wanna talk about yo Musk anymore. <Laugh> well,
Norman Chan (00:30:05):
Let's put out there, you know, are we prepared for a post TWiTtter world? Like nothing lasts forever. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> how, how do you guys feel if if TWiTtter went away, you know, in next couple years, what do you think would fill that void? Is, would that be a good thing, a bad thing? You know,
Devindra Hardawar (00:30:23):
Patrick Norton (00:30:24):
Possible than that. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> I mean, cuz norm you called out TikTok and, and, and you know, on one hand there's there's certain things where I can be like, you know, contractor videos, showing wiring tree toppers, you know, technique for, you know, mm-hmm, <affirmative> tuck pointing brick, man. I am all over TikTok, but there's a lot of people whose information who give me information or gimme leads to articles to read that I get on TWiTtter that I just don't really see. You know what I mean? Like do do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do you know what I mean? Like yeah. It's not
Devindra Hardawar (00:30:59):
A, it doesn't have to be a show. Yeah.
Patrick Norton (00:31:02):
Micro, you know what I mean? Like it's, and it's it's I don't, I don't necessarily want to consume video about this even super clever short videos. I just wanna read, you know, this and decide whether or not I'm gonna get deeper into it. And that's been a challenge. I think overall media, right. Is so many platforms like, you know, it was like about 18 months, two years ago. I remember reading things like our audience has demanded more video content and in response we've created, you know, and they, they fire a whole bunch of the writers and they start producing video and yeah, I get it. They're responding. You know, the, the money in video looks better than the money in banner ads and they have to move and they have to keep people, you know, paid. But on the other hand, you're sitting there like, oh gosh, now I have to wait for a video to queue and launch and get through the opening and oh goodness. You know, they're using the microphone on their laptop and they don't have any treatment in their room and they don't have anything on the walls. And now I'm hearing the giant echo and I just want to hear about what's going on with this thing. And mm-hmm,
Devindra Hardawar (00:31:57):
Patrick Norton (00:31:57):
<Affirmative> so I, I think it's all gonna be messy. I think TWiTtter, I mean, people have remember shaking. The death of Facebook, tweens are not on Facebook. Teens are leaving Facebook because their parents are there and it's like, man, the Facebook just lurks there in the corner, like a gigantic supermarket chain, like yeah. Yeah. We're, we're dying. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> but they just, I think if I feel like it's just gonna go on for a while. And if I'm completely wrong on this, feel free to mock me in the future. <Laugh> I don't know. Like,
Brianna Wu (00:32:26):
I mean, I'm telling you right now, if, if I have to go to TikTok, I will pinball, you know, feminism get out there and vote. I will do that. If I have to <laugh> I'll find a way to adjust that to my brand. I would prefer not to do that. And you know, I just wanna say, look, I'm an engineer, I'm a techie. I'm one of you. I know many of us want Masteron to happen. Masteron is not gonna happen. Y'all
Devindra Hardawar (00:32:51):
Yeah. Stop trying to make Fe happen. Yeah. It's just not
Brianna Wu (00:32:54):
Happen for mass people. I'm sorry. I wish I wish we lived in a world where normal people would put up with bad UI decisions. Like I saw on majority report this week, like someone came in and God help him. He's an engineer and I love him. Like he's doing Linux stuff back in the nineties and he's like, we're gonna start these federated communities. And we can link mastodons together and overcome Facebook. And I'm like, that's like,
Devindra Hardawar (00:33:23):
Like that's not how network affects work. Bless your heart.
Brianna Wu (00:33:27):
It's it's, it's like, it's like, it's like free and open source people. And you know where I ran for office, I, I believe in free and open source. It's those free and open source people that believe all software is gonna be free and open source. And you're just, you're praying for a future. That's never gonna happen. And I just urge you to come back to reality.
Devindra Hardawar (00:33:47):
Well, you know what, guys, I wanna keep talking more about this, but I believe we have Leo here with a word from our sponsor.
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Devindra Hardawar (00:36:54):
Rihanna. You know, I, I wanted to keep talking about your your idea, right? Or just you guys in general, right? What, what will a post to TWiTtter world look like? And I, I honestly don't know. I, I wish it were mastered on, but it feels like the, the RSS revolution failed right. With Google reader dying and with kind of, kind of like having a way to sift through all of our media. I feel like TWiTtter became the thing that was both information, you know, dumping on you. Plus you can actually chat with people and you know, make connections with people. I don't, I don't know what it looks like, but I will certainly miss it. If it, if it leaves, I don't know about you guys,
Leo Laporte (00:37:31):
I would miss it.
Devindra Hardawar (00:37:33):
Brianna Wu (00:37:36):
I I've made so many real life friends there. I mean, here God you know, like, I mean, we met each other on, on TWiTtter, I think primarily mm-hmm <affirmative> and you know, like I'm always delighted when you're in my feed. There's a woman that works at Harvard. I'm gonna invite her as soon as I get off here to come by my house for dinner later this week have dinner with my husband and I just I've made so many friends like professional acquaintances there. Just as far as, you know, getting to know journalists, I've, I've made so many important connections there, so my heart would break if it went away.
Norman Chan (00:38:12):
Yeah, mm-hmm <affirmative> but part of me me is curious about every social network, you know, for it to kind of succeed, needs to find a way to have that reach to be shareable. Right. I think one of the reasons TikTok is so successful is because it's so shareable, they made it easy to a link to people were just kinda swipe, swipe, swipe, consuming, consuming, consuming, and I'm less interested about, you know, what percent of TWiTtter users are bots, as opposed to what percentage of TWiTtter users are using in a way to find connections and meet new people and actually engage or just want to click links and see links and consume contact, which I know we all wanna do, but I think that's kind of, that's that's feels like, you know, the the thing, the push and pull of the future of TWiTtter.
Devindra Hardawar (00:38:53):
Yeah. The specific niche that TWiTtter offers right now too, is like, yeah. Patrick, I, I hear you about the tick docs as well. I feel that about YouTube as well when there are so many great YouTube explainers and I'm like great. I love you made a 30 minute video about this one really niche topic. Is there a link to text for me to just scan? I have five minutes, you know? Yeah.
Norman Chan (00:39:13):
Pro tip for you. If you turn on close captioning can just search the close captioning. Mm-Hmm <affirmative>, that's that's the, the trick to get through, or just skip the first, you know, the first, what is it, 20%? Is that the, the Reddit rule for every YouTube video?
Patrick Norton (00:39:26):
Well, for sure funny, because YouTube, I was gonna say what YouTube is today. It's not what YouTube was three years ago. It's not what YouTube was five or eight years ago. Right? The, the way the algorithm pushes things mm-hmm <affirmative> is radically changed into the duration of videos, the type of videos they do, you know, TikTok has already started to add longer videos. So it's gonna be interesting to see how that impacts and how their algorithm changes, what you see and what you expect from it. Yeah, I think it happens with every platform, you know, I would mm-hmm <affirmative> I would, I would probably pay a monthly fee to TWiTtter if they would just let me see everything in the order. It was posted. Right. <laugh> <laugh>, you know, well,
Devindra Hardawar (00:40:02):
You can, they just keep they keep trying to change it on you, you know, without your permission,
Patrick Norton (00:40:07):
That's a weird thing, you know, mean wouldn't mm-hmm <affirmative> I, yeah, maybe if they, you know, I, I would pay money, which would probably provide them more income off of any amount of ads I could possibly be fed on that feed. You know, if they, you know, I would be true. Give me an edit button in case I made a spell, you know, you can note, you can keep a link to the previous version and the, and the post for it. Mm-Hmm <affirmative>, I don't care, but it would be nice if they were maybe more responsib to thing people keep asking for over and over again and have for years and years and years, I don't know. We'll see what happens.
Devindra Hardawar (00:40:36):
Mm-Hmm <affirmative> I would
Brianna Wu (00:40:37):
Literally a thousand dollars that when I get like a rape threat or a death threat, if someone would actually respond to it and show, you should
Patrick Norton (00:40:46):
Not have to,
Brianna Wu (00:40:48):
You know, I would pay any amount of money for that TWiTtter blue, I thought was you, it debuted before Elon like announced it or tried to get TWiTtter, right? I was one of the people that, the subscribed to it, cuz I love TWiTtter. I wanna give them money, but what are the things that they offered you for that they like some, some ad free versions of, of articles from box. I love box media. I would love to pay box, but that's not worth the money. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> and the, basically a fake edit button where you can take back a tweet. <Laugh> like 30 seconds.
Devindra Hardawar (00:41:25):
Yeah. Which I contend is the only way an edit button will actually work, but okay. You know, like I I'm paying for TWiTtter plea just for that. Let let's, let's move on to another platform. That's having its own issues folks. And that is specifically medium Evan Williams, the CEO of medium announced that he is stepping down from his role. He's he's going to be replaced with the new CEO. Medium felt like the company that should have been like the logical extension of TWiTtter. Right? Like if short thoughts are good, long thoughts should be better. Right. Except I think I still don't think medium has any clue what it is. It seems like when EV William started
Patrick Norton (00:42:02):
Thing well had several clues.
Devindra Hardawar (00:42:04):
Yeah. Yeah. Well, go ahead,
Patrick Norton (00:42:06):
Pat changing. Well, no, keep changing. This is a guy who, yeah, this is a guy who, you know, basically made blogging practical and then blogging was too long. So TWiTtter happened and then I think it was just like, well, maybe this is out of control. And I can't actually handle following a hundred people and getting 273,000 tweets a day. So I'm gonna have long thoughtful, engaging content. And then I'm gonna change the plan every couple of years, every 18 months, every six months. I mean, you read some of these articles and it's brutal. Cause it was like, and then we did this, then we did this and then we did this. And mostly it's like, as somebody, you know, who's, you know, written or created video for, you know, it's just like, and then we did this to the content creators and they did this to the content creators. Then we did that. We're gonna pay you by, you know, and it's kind of crazy when you look at some of the, the models they were, you know, oh, if you get a clap, you'll get paid. If you get more claps, you'll get paid more. And it's like, does anybody know about the claps? I even, I don't think it, are we tinker
Devindra Hardawar (00:43:03):
Bell fairies over here? Yeah.
Patrick Norton (00:43:05):
You know, if it gets me paid, make me a tinker bell fairy, I'm happy, but you know, I don't think anybody ever got paid or it ever scaled in the way they wanted to.
Devindra Hardawar (00:43:14):
Norman Chan (00:43:15):
Kind of had a, between by subs stack. Right. I mean, and, and the whole direct to audience subscription model, which reminds me of lot, like of like internet radio, where you had Pandora, which is free to use and they struggled to, to make money because kind of difficult to go from free listening, to asking people to pay, which is only the only really sustainable model at that scale to Spotify, which started as a paid model and did direct negotiations with, with with the rights holders. I think it's the same thing with, you know, medium starting free. You get the big audience, right. But it's kind of at long term, not necessarily sustainable where subst stack, you start off with the paid model and you can start small and, and grow from there.
Devindra Hardawar (00:44:00):
Mm-Hmm, <affirmative>, mm-hmm <affirmative> it is it is just funny. Like I reporter friends of mine, multiple ones of them actually have run into EV Williams especially back when he started medium and they would talk to him about it and he'd be like they'd be like, how's it going? And he's like, I don't know. You know, like, I, I, I don't know what this company is. And that was what is it? 2022. That was a decade ago. Mm-Hmm and it seems like, yeah, they, they are still kind of having the same problems. It is weird. That medium is essentially let's let's let's make it easy for people to write on the internet as if yeah. Blogger or WordPress or literally any other tool didn't exist. So that's, I, I don't know. Do you guys have any love for medium at all?
Brianna Wu (00:44:41):
I, oh, I do. Mm-Hmm <affirmative>, you know, maybe y'all haven't well, you wouldn't like come across this, but medium. I have a soft spot in my heart for them just because every time there's a, like a big tech event in San Francisco, there's always like a secret meeting for the women in tech, like over at medium that they'll hold, which I've, I've always appreciated. I mean, that's very valuable space during something like WDC where you you'd be able to get contacts. So I've always been deeply appreciative of that. Again, Norma, I do agree with you, there's the difference between starting with the paid model and starting with basically a blogging model, which everyone out there will let you do. I think if you wanna get to the really core thing going on, I think this is something, you know, like y'all should be upset about, which is how hard it is for writers to make money with the, the basically add duopoly that's going on, you know, Google and Facebook.
Brianna Wu (00:45:45):
You know, we have people like the human race overall is reading more than we have ever read before. Mm-Hmm <affirmative>, you know, just as a matter of time and hours and material, we're spending more time doing it, but the amount like content creators are being paid for a CPM case going down and down and down and down. And I see medium as, as trying to be a good steward of, of that saying, look, we're gonna try to like make a page, make it readable, make it easy to use, make it easy to link. And just running into that reality that, you know, Google is gonna keep and drain every last dime that they can and keep it from themselves. So I really see it as like a, a victim of these larger market forces that I think is, is bad for, you know, journalists and writers, in my opinion.
Devindra Hardawar (00:46:36):
Absolutely. Mm-hmm <affirmative>, it's not like, it's not like I have issues with medium as a company. I wish it was more focused, but it does speak to, yeah. Writing is hard being a journalist is hard it's and media right now is is incredibly incredibly difficult. Anything else you, you guys wanna add to the medium thoughts here?
Norman Chan (00:46:55):
I, I love how readable and how well presented that stuff, and there's certainly incredible value to that user experience, but I, I think, and it maybe kind of ties to thoughts on like TikTok is, you know, of course, first glance, my reaction as an, as an internet old is, you know, this is scary. This is new, this is different. <Laugh>, it's too noisy, but there's a lot of credit to be given for how those creators are taking advantage of those platforms and understanding the nuances of how to create content for those platforms that I don't wanna dismiss. And they put just as much effort into finessing their content for those platforms. And I think the same way works for text. And I love texts, you know, love reading the index ability of text. I think isn't something that video is gonna be, is gonna be able to approach anytime soon. And it's been a problem for video, but, you know, one, one thing I think about in terms of like SEO and, and poor CPMs is how, for example, like recipe writers, right? How they have kind of leveraged their format and, and Finese their format to work with, you know, and kind of the, the unfortunate realities of poor CPM and, and, and, and, and Google dominated landscape to, to survive and make money. And it's kind of a, a form of its own.
Devindra Hardawar (00:48:08):
Absolutely. I mean, I spend a lot of time on TikTok these days mainly because my daughter is really into it and is, it is really interesting to see like a whole new, medium, a whole new medium kind of form in real time too, because people are just learning about it. So there's something exciting about TikTok, but it's also like if you guys remember so many of the, like some of the early black mirror episodes, I think like was it 10 million merits? Like one of those really early ones, that idea of a super poppy super like a platform where you always kind of have to perform in a sense TikTok is also like the distillation of all that. So it is, it is both like really compelling and kind of scary too, to me. Yeah.
Brianna Wu (00:48:50):
I just don't know how you get the olds on there. I really don't like, it's a, it is a format made. Not
Devindra Hardawar (00:48:56):
Everybody has to be on it,
Brianna Wu (00:48:58):
Something, yeah, it really,
Patrick Norton (00:49:01):
But I, I also laugh because a, a, a friend of mine has a couple of nieces and he was like, I went on TikTok and I was horrified, you know, and it's, it literally sounds, I hear Al Guinness's voice in my head ability of, of, you know, of high of a Villa and scum, scum and Villa. And I was laughing cuz I was like, I was like, I watched like an hour of, you know, construction DIY and some diesel stuff on there earlier and a whole bunch of nature stuff. So it's all keyword based. What exactly did you start searching on at TikTok blade you into
Devindra Hardawar (00:49:33):
This? You're feeding it right? You were feeding it. Yeah.
Patrick Norton (00:49:36):
Yeah. You're feeding the wrong Wolf here, man. You know, and that's what, so, you know, TikTok is a really surreal place in that. It really feeds you what you want. And and he was just, he was just kind of, yeah. I could actually feel him sort of like leaning back on the phone kind of horrified that he was actually responsible for generating the, the, you know, I mean, if you clicked on this, you get this, you get more of this and it's just the way it works. They don't really care, which creators are out there unless you subscribe to them, it's all about keywords and stuff. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> and you know, it, and it was, but it's like, and it's, it's interesting to watch, right? Because at some point I think the rule of thumb at this stage is like, if the olds are on there, then it's dead or, or you just happen to be a, a bleeding edge old.
Patrick Norton (00:50:21):
And it's, you know, I, I enjoy a lot of the videos seeing there cuz it's, it's fun to watch electricians show off what they do and how they do it. And it also allows me to look around my house and go, oh, thinking even more so than I was, you know, before watching, you know, 150 TikTok electrician videos. But it's, it's, I mean, it's curious, right? It's also painful because you know, Brianna, you mentioned like, you know, the CPMs dropping through the floor and last time I saw it, I think TikTok is playing like what, two to 4 cents, you know, every thousand views, like a 2 cent CPM, a 4 cent CPN, if you're part of the TikTok creator fund. And so geez, you know? Yeah. And so a lot of people are like, okay, I I'm gonna cross this very broad net using YouTube TikTok, anything else I can use? Right. And then I will try to feed them towards some platform where I can actually generate revenue, whether it's t-shirt sales, Patreon, you know, Mike crafts, whatever it is. And it's been really curious to watch how this has evolved over the last few years or the last couple years. So mm-hmm,
Brianna Wu (00:51:23):
<Affirmative>, mm-hmm, <affirmative>, I'm liking this idea. I'm gonna start my Porsche TikTok with my Porsche collection. We'll go out
Devindra Hardawar (00:51:29):
There. I mean, that's all you need is stuff like stuff to shoot. And you've got a lot of cool stuff, Brianna, like just looking at your TWiTtter feed, like you've got so many toys and so many cool things going on in your house that I'm sure people would be into it. You know what, while we're talking about TikTok, like there, there were a couple of stories that we saw come across the feeds this week. There, there was a report that nearly half of gen Z is using TikTok and Instagram for search instead of Google, they're just searching for video, instead of,
Norman Chan (00:51:57):
I'm not surprised
Devindra Hardawar (00:51:58):
All that going to Google's own data. Yeah.
Norman Chan (00:52:00):
Mm-Hmm <affirmative> this, this is just like, you know, how Facebook was the internet or is the internet for certain parts of the world? Like they don't see beyond, you know the, the confines of what people are posting and linking, and this not, I'm not surprised about that at all. And I think it speaks to when you say we, we talk about established publications or internet olds like us, like, you know, afraid to move into the platform. There was just VidCon last month. And you know, it was all TikTok sponsored and TikTok focus. And you had outlets like Washington post talking about how they curate and create their content specifically for the platform. It's all very, very familiar about feels like 10 years ago when, when everyone was afraid to get on a site like TWiTtter, and now it's just normal.
Devindra Hardawar (00:52:44):
Amazing. I mean, so
Patrick Norton (00:52:46):
Mm-Hmm, <affirmative>, this was a business insider article, right? They say 40% of gen Z. Yeah. Prefer searching on TikTok and Instagram and part of that's because if you know, 90% of your time online is spent in TikTok or Instagram, you just search inside of Instagram or TikTok. Right. Right. You know, and I will be honest with you. If you're searching in certain subjects, it feels like the results you get on Google have gotten worse and worse and worse over the last couple of years, especially right. Cuz the wire cutter laid out this model where, you know, right. I search a lot for stuff in technology around technology mm-hmm <affirmative> and there's some third parties that have come up for tools to sort of, they, they seem to sort of scrape Amazon and, and create this word salad that becomes, you know, the top 10 projectors you wanna buy this summer.
Patrick Norton (00:53:32):
And you know, and so places that have SEO and revenue challenges are suddenly becoming, you know, our experts have pick the top 10 projectors, you wanna buy this summer. And it's like rolling stone and are like, I got nothing against rolling stone, but I'm really not looking at them to tell me that I need a, you know, like their, their third result was like a $200, seven 20 P you know, double a battery powered projector that could light up a 200 inch screen. Right. And it's like, all of this is, this is, this is false all the way down. Right. Yeah. And it's, you know, and I'm looking at I'm like they literally are scraping all these different, like, you know, the lies from the vendor, the questionable reviews that are showing up that may or may not be, you know, advertorial and creating a guide and you are getting so much of this in your Google results.
Patrick Norton (00:54:20):
I can also see people, like, I just wanna see really pretty pictures of, of whatever. And they go to Instagram mm-hmm <affirmative> and they just search straight. It's like the people, you know, who, who don't really have the internet, they have Pinterest. And I have nothing against Pinterest except that I don't wanna log in there. I don't wanna spend a lot of time there and I don't wanna deal with their interface, but boy, you know, if you're searching for certain kind of home goods or, or paint colors for your house, man, Pinterest is gonna be filling your Google results. So I can totally see why there's probably a whole category of gen, whatever that, you know, does 40% of those searching mm-hmm <affirmative> in Pinterest. Right. You know, it's,
Devindra Hardawar (00:54:54):
It gets even the, it gets even Wilder cuz there's another report from tech run. Kids and teens are now spending more time watching TikTok than YouTube. Why, which has been true since 2020, June, 2020. Oh no, apparently. So according to data compiled by the parental control software con maker custodial let's see here by the end of 2021 kids and teens were watching an average of 91 minutes of TikTok per day, compared with just 56 minutes watching YouTube. So that's just according to custodian platform, but still that is wow. That's something mm-hmm
Brianna Wu (00:55:27):
<Affirmative> that is crazy. I I'm just, I'm trying to think through like getting through my professional day and having to Google stuff on TikTok, like imagine like stack overflow, but it's TikTok. Right? <laugh> like having memory flow issues need to get the garbage collection to come. You know, there's some unreal engineer doing a dance there to explain it. I, I like this. Everything should be to from here on out,
Devindra Hardawar (00:55:53):
Everything, everything should be TikTok. So maybe that is the future of media. I don't know. According to my daughter, it is because that's, it's the app she demands like right before bedtime. So right before bathtime and actual story time with physical books, she, she eats a little snack and we watch just like, you know, 10 minutes of TikTok is one of her favorite things to do every night and just to see her being raised on it. And my complicity in that, I, I, you know, I'm still working through that guys. <Laugh> there was too big TikTok actually rolled out some features. Go ahead.
Brianna Wu (00:56:22):
No, no, I was just gonna say don't you think though? I mean, I I'm thinking like my habit as an adult of like, you know, today is Sunday, Sunday is the day you sit down, read the New York times Sunday edition, right? Mm-Hmm <affirmative> like, as you get older, your desire for more sophisticated like experiences. I mean, I'm not saying this to be mean, I'm saying like, mm-hmm, <affirmative>, I'm thinking when I was your daughter's age. Like I read a lot of Calvin Hobbs books. Let's not say I don't enjoy those today, but you know, your brain grows and you, you urine for more sophisticated content. So mm-hmm <affirmative>
Devindra Hardawar (00:56:57):
I don't know. Calvin Hobbs
Brianna Wu (00:56:58):
The idea. Yeah.
Devindra Hardawar (00:56:59):
Yeah. A lot of the problems of our world right now could probably be solved with Calvin and Hobbs philosophies.
Brianna Wu (00:57:05):
Oh, you're right there. You're right
Devindra Hardawar (00:57:06):
There. <Laugh> I mean, talking about what's sophisticated and what's not I want to call it a quick feature. That is that is also gonna start rolling out on TikTok, a content filters, a maturity ratings in a pledge to make the app safer. And that is one thing I notice is that it is you can go into like a restricted mode which I try to do when I'm like going through feeds with my daughter and she's three and a half years old, you know? So there is, there is like really excessive stuff on tick TikTok. There's scary things there, like scary little short videos. There's a lot of swearing and violence at times too. And it's really hard to control against that. So even with the restricted mode, we still get swearing. We still get some like creepy videos that I don't want her to see before bedtime.
Devindra Hardawar (00:57:50):
So Hey, more controls for all this content. I think I think that's something everybody will want. So yeah, maybe your talks are gonna get a little, your TikTok experience is gonna get a little cleaner. Maybe we'll get more ways to watch them on bigger screens too. I think. What is it? Samsung TVs or LG? Well, like one of the companies has rolled out a TikTok app. Maybe that is something we'll start to see more of too, cuz it's gonna look awful on a wide screen TV, but at the same time, I it's really hard to share tos. If it's not just me and my daughter, you know, if my wife wants to join in, then we all have, have to like crowd around the phone. So after a certain point, I don't know that's gonna start hurting that platform, but yeah somebody on the chat, by the way, I lost your name.
Devindra Hardawar (00:58:33):
But somebody pointed out that, you know, TWiTtter, TWiTtter killed vine and vine was basically proto TikTok. So it also kind of shows you that the bad decision making has been going on for so long over at TWiTtter. Imagine if vine was allowed to flourish and grow into, you know, an, an actual forest of content. It, it could have, it could have like, yeah, been a bigger thing before TikTok ever, ever actually succeeded. So yeah. Any other thoughts on TikTok and what you guys are enjoying on the TikTok? Like Patrick, I'm glad you're liking the the DIY stuff and the, the really technical stuff. My daughter loves watching people build things. There's a guy who builds fountains in China and every TikTok is just like two minutes of him just like laying out the brick, put, putting down everything, putting down the cement and like she, she loves it. She just watches them over and over again.
Patrick Norton (00:59:23):
Devindra Hardawar (00:59:23):
Would you, yeah. What are you watching to Patrick? It sounds like you have a lot of fun things
Patrick Norton (00:59:29):
Are for me. No, it's, it's funny, right? Because for you, for you, my boys. Yeah, for me, it's I it's been interesting because on one hand, right. You know, Brianna, I have a, I have a, I majored in literature. I love to read books. I read a lot of novels, but in certain areas, part of me really enjoys sophisticated television. And part of me just wants to tune out. It's been fascinating. It doesn't show up so much on TikTok, but on YouTube, there's amazing maker videos. And watching people do the technique at close range and figuring out how they're using tools, especially for sculpting and modeling with TikTok. The quality varies immensely and with, well, not so much in the quality of the, of the video, but, but the actual, like sometimes you get like I'm Bob and I'm building a retaining wall and you're like, oh, Bob, didn't put down any gravel and he didn't tamp it.
Patrick Norton (01:00:19):
There's no drainage. And that retaining, wall's gonna tip over and collapse on his really cool car. And in other cases, you actually have professionals that, that are seasoned or it's like I said, a lot of stuff is fascinating for me. He is watching people who are trained professionals showing off what they do and how they do it. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> and mm-hmm <affirmative> in other cases, you know it's really fascinating watching Keball exercises. And then I hear from a friend of mine who is a certified fitness instructor, like, yeah, you gotta be really careful who you follow, cuz some of those people have no idea what they're doing and you're gonna rip your hamstrings at loose from your body. And I was just like, whoa,
Leo Laporte (01:00:52):
Okay. This just
Patrick Norton (01:00:52):
Went for being, you know, in a music entertainment to, I'm gonna end up in, you know, occupational therapy. And I don't know if I like that concept. So it's hard. Right. I, you know, mostly right. I'm just happy. My kids aren't on TikTok and I don't have to figure out the whole safety resources for teens cuz apparently no one under it's hard age years, it's hard looks at TikTok. Right?
Devindra Hardawar (01:01:12):
It's it's hard. Hopefully these safety tools will, will be a big help Patrick, but yeah. Thank you for sharing what you're digging there. We've got some other news. We, I wanna talk about the Uber file soon, but you know what, it's time for another word from Leo and it with a word from our sponsors.
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Devindra Hardawar (01:05:40):
Thanks Leo. Hope you're having fun on the cruise. Be careful with that buffet bar. This week we learned about the Uber files, which is a trove of 124,000 documents company files delivered to the guardian and you know it was shared to a lot of media organizations around the world and it was also revealed that mark McGahn, a career lobbyist who led Uber's efforts to win over governments in Europe, the middle east and Africa has come forward to identify himself as the source of that. I'm reading from the guardian here. The Uber paper is basically show that the especially early on for the past decade, basically Uber was a relentless company when it came to growing and expanding to different territories they would basically ignore local laws and do all sorts of tricks to really just get themselves up and running in these in these countries.
Devindra Hardawar (01:06:31):
I, I was kind of heads down on reviews and stuff this week. So I didn't really see this news blow up, but also I kind of felt like we, we probably knew a lot of this stuff too. Right? Like as Uber was growing, I was there reporting on Uber and other companies. Like a lot of people were talking about like how this company was just flaunting local laws and really just kind of B its way into the marketplace. You know Brianna I'm sure like you're somebody who's looking at this, like from the, you know, political side of things, like what was, did you have a response to the Uber, you know, to the, to the Uber files? Or was it just like the stuff you assumed they were doing all along?
Brianna Wu (01:07:05):
No, it is certainly not what I was assuming they were doing. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> all along. I mean, there's a pattern in the tech industry, right? We saw this with Facebook, we see it with TWiTtter. We see it with, with all these large companies. And I don't wanna upsetting anyone here, but I'm gonna tell you what I really think is when you build institutions and you have sexist hiring practices and women are not involved from the beginning, you have products that are dangerous to everyone that is not a very specific kind of person. And you know what I'm talking about there mm-hmm, <affirmative>, it is not a surprise to me at all that, you know, I read I read super pump to me and I saw the, the mini series. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> that the same guy that promotes this like frat boy atmosphere to this company did not take safety.
Brianna Wu (01:08:01):
Seriously. Look at the bottom line here. We're talking about not really doing background checks on drivers. Yeah. We're talking about trying to wipe this you know, sweep this under the rug when women are sexually assaulted or raped or kidnapped in an Uber. And it's exactly like the succession plot line where they're just trying to hide it here. And this is a pattern in the tech industry of building these tools that are just flat out dangerous. And I've really, I, I have to say this, this is my honest opinion. I have spoken up, I have run for office. I have back channelled with these companies trying to get them to do make better policy. And I've really almost come to the conclusion that until it is more expensive to do the wrong thing than the right thing, we're gonna have this kind of destroying machine just continue to exist, hurting people. So I am cheerleading the women involved in this lawsuit. I hope they make it yes. So expensive for Uber to behave this way, that they will do the right thing and will do real background checks. And we'll put cameras in cars, which by the way, would help drivers too. There are plenty of drivers to get abused by bad passengers and do the hard work that they clearly don't want to do.
Devindra Hardawar (01:09:24):
Mm-Hmm <affirmative> you were referencing a separate story too. Brianna. So there, there is a story about Uber facing a lawsuit by women for sexual further sexual assault claims and it's a group of over 500 women. So yeah, we're waiting to kind of see what happens with all that stuff too, to what you're saying. It does the thing that kind of kept ringing true to me is that I I've been covering startups since I don't know, 2009, like since I, I officially started working, you know, for tech tech journalism sites and the thing I kept seeing over and over again, it is, it is growth at all costs, but it's also like these, these huge VCs, it's the VC firms pushing these personalities to basically grow as much as possible. A lot of them were really into the bad boy entrepreneur kind of idea. And that's what Travis, Callick a Uber founder, you know represented. But at the end of the day, it is the VCs kind of pushing these guys to scale and do whatever it takes right. To, to kind of get there. So this is like the, the Silicon valley problem, like in a nutshell, everything that's happened here, we're seeing from the Uber files
Norman Chan (01:10:36):
And also specifically in this type of business, right? And this is business model where it's ride sharing where, you know, the, the, their workforce are not their employee employees. Like they're relying on a system that of, of people who are kind of like, they have no interest in like helping the company, right. They are both their, their, their customers and their, their drivers are like, there's, there's no, there's no loyalty. There there's no incentives except for money. And and that doesn't, that's not a good business, like they're struggling right now
Patrick Norton (01:11:12):
Because of that. It's not very sustainable. Yeah. I mean, it was, you know, Uber seems to be so messy in so many different levels. You know, the, the thing that kind of was fascinating was watching all the money that was being spent on prop 22 in California. It was like Uber 52 million Lyft, 49 million. You know, and I was just remember thinking like, this is not a very nice law, and this is, you know, this incredibly Astro trophy situation. And I don't, I've known several people who have sort of cycled in and out of Uber. And I don't think I've run into any of 'em that were like, gosh, this is a great company trying to do good things. And you know this is just, you know, I, I, you know, I, you know, there there's some people making a living on Uber you know there's some people that cover Uber where they're describing of, you know, what I can only, you know, euphemized is financial shenanigans.
Patrick Norton (01:12:12):
They do, and the report things and how it, you know, the, the continuing sort of saga of, of Uber. I don't know. It's just, it's part of it, you know, is, is part of the culture of, of VC is like, okay, we wanna, you know, a hundred to one return on our investment and you have to be, everybody has to be a unicorn and no business can be reasonably sized. It has to be huge because apparently so much of the venture capital world is run like, you know, a 1970s record label where it's like, we're gonna, you know, throw 11 things against the wall. And one of 'em is gonna give us that hit. We need to pay for the other 10 bad decisions we made. And, you know, this is, I don't know, it's, I don't see any, I, I don't know how Uber ends up going anywhere positive mm-hmm <affirmative> you know, and maybe that's just you know, you know, it's, it's, it's nice to be able to get an Uber in places where you used to not be able to get a cab, but even that's become kind of a failing thing in terms of, you know, the availability of rides or the functioning of the system.
Patrick Norton (01:13:16):
You know, and, you know, Brianna, I'm a five foot, 10, 240 pound guy who played rugby with a 17 and a half inch neck. I generally don't get threatened. In Ubers, I did have a cab driver once when I tapped on his window in New York city in the bad old days pull out of 30 eights. Cuz I didn't realize he been sleeping <laugh>, which was, you know, memorable, highly unusual, but it's, you know, I don't think they've taken anybody's safety seriously. It took a, you know what I mean? It's always one of the things where it takes all of this horrible press and then they give an inch and all of this horrible press and then they give another quarter of an inch and it's frustrating. Right? Mm-hmm <affirmative> and it's frustrating what they're doing to the drivers. It's frustrating, the gamification of the system, you know, it's, if you've ever sat, you know, in an Uber where somebody has Uber going and Lyft going simultaneously and they're kind of flipping back and forth between the two, trying to figure out how to make a living, I don't think anybody wins. Yeah. Mm-hmm <affirmative> yeah, it would be nice. It would be nice to see places being punished for making bad decisions that hurt everyone. And I think, you know, gosh, think about how all the changes that were made in the financial community after the financial markets crashed in 2008 and then I get really sad and I stopped thinking <laugh>
Devindra Hardawar (01:14:30):
They really paid a price there. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Patrick Norton (01:14:33):
And it's frustrating.
Norman Chan (01:14:37):
Well it's even more frustrating that, you know, even if there are consequences and we're all talking about wanting consequences, whether it's for Elon, you know, is his whims board billionaires or poorly run companies to get to that point, people suffer right. To get to a point to push to the, to the brink where there are either economic or political consequences. People, real people suffer in the real world and that's not a workable system either. Mm-Hmm <affirmative>
Brianna Wu (01:15:02):
I, I just think my message here is, is it's more limited than like a, a boil the ocean, like let's make it. So VCs are nicer, kinder people that build better companies. I, I have a very specific action item here, which is the, the congenital sexism problem in, in tech where I would remind you women leave tech careers at a rate of four times that of men. Right? Mm-hmm <affirmative> it, it, it is, it's brutal. Y'all it's really bad. Yeah. You know, that has consequences. You're not just talking about a woman. That's not going to get her shot to be CEO of a company or, or, or make it up the career ladder. You're talking about the outcome of that, of a company like Uber, which is serving as public transportation all across the world in a lot of ways, leading to these outcomes of kidnappings rape, sexual assault.
Brianna Wu (01:15:55):
And I can tell you, it's a very, there's a very specific kind of fear that I think a lot of guys just are fortunate to not have to think about when you're in an Uber and like the guy starts flirting with you or something, right. Like you're, you're instantly on guard. You're instantly worried. Is he driving me where I think I want to go, like, am I, it's just a whole set of things that that's very, very important. So my message here is, you know, tech, if you have women involved in the decision loop on these things, I think you would have problems like safety and cameras and things like that taken far more seriously. And that's why I would continue to advocate in the tech industry.
Devindra Hardawar (01:16:40):
Mm-Hmm <affirmative> thank you. Thank you for that Brianna and I agree. The safety thing is something they need to work on. But the other thing we haven't really mentioned here is just like their strategies for kind of a flourishing and you know, spreading across the world. I don't know. It was like a thousand years ago, but if you remember the early 2010s, when we had these, the war of the cab apps in New York, there were several going on including like one of the first ones. Uber did not discover this technology of like, you know, GPS assisted cab location. There was a company called halo, which I believe was an Israeli company that was also trying to launch in New York at the same time. There were a bunch of these companies and from my reporting back then, and just from what I can remember, it, it really came down to Uber, just bullying these companies you know, out, out of every single city.
Devindra Hardawar (01:17:29):
I remember one day I think halo was celebrating it and that was spelled H I L O H a I L O they were celebrating like, you know, their launch in New York. And they were popping champagne. I walked into their offices cuz they were next door to our coworking space. So that was convenient. But there was also news that came down immediately that a judge had halted their service. So I don't know, I don't even recall why that was happening, but a lot of companies had trouble starting, especially in a city like New York, New York was also special for Uber because it wasn't anybody that could just arrive it. Right. You had to have a, I believe a cab license. So New York, very, a little better than others. Yeah. I'm medallion. That was, it was just seeing these companies and like we're seeing the, the long term effects of these companies just kind of taking over the world and nobody really stopping them.
Devindra Hardawar (01:18:21):
And a lot of people criticizing them along the way, but I, I don't know, like every time I'm here on TWiT, like I talk about like, we need better reg regulations for companies like Facebook and the way they're like intersecting with our lives. When a company like Uber is just doing the stuff, you know, broadly across the entire world. I don't, I, I don't know what are the actions other than entire comp you know, several countries getting together to to kind of, you know, act together and fix that with their own regulation. But it's tough to get countries to do anything together. I don't know. Have you guys, what, think the
Brianna Wu (01:18:51):
Answer here is Sue them in civil court? I mean, that's, you know, at least what the women are talking about, make it very expensive to make these decisions. So that's what I would advocate mm-hmm
Devindra Hardawar (01:19:01):
<Affirmative> for sure. For sure. It's just like the competing companies, the other, like there, there were a lot of stories about the dirty tricks they would do like basically call I think was it call lift rides and cancel them. Like there, there were all sorts of weird, dirty tracks that they were doing. And I don't know how much of it just comes down to like, is anybody like, is any of the blame on the VCs who are pumping these companies up and basically giving them the money to, you know, go bribe or lean on political allies across the world. Do the VCs have any responsibility for this? I dunno if we've ever really asked those questions. I don't, I don't do enough business reporting to kind of tell there, but I don't. Do you think VCs deserve to be kind of have the fire under them a little more when they're pushing companies to grow and scale like Uber is?
Brianna Wu (01:19:51):
I think certainly the board positions. I mean, I can tell you, I run a nonprofit, right? Mm-Hmm <affirmative> like I spend an ordinate amount of time talking to FEC regulation and things like that. And if you're on the board, you do have certain fiduciary duties right. For oversight and things like that. I think with these dirty tricks, like my first thought is where are the regulators? Where are the people that, that see these things coming to light that then aren't, you know, knocking on the door of the board and saying, look, you have a legal, responsible responsibility to do due diligence here. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> how did you not know about this? And I think bringing civil and maybe even criminal charges in certain positions, I, I think that's the way to go. You know, I, I think overall in this country not to be American centric, but we've gotten far too lax at prosecuting white collar crime mm-hmm <affirmative> and I think that's something all across the board, Republicans and Democrats would love to see more of that. So I would love to see our local prosecutors to, you know, worry a little less about marijuana convictions and, and prosecuting those cases, let's go after fraud. Right. Let's go out to corporate America some more like we're, we're all on board with that baby. Let's do it. Mm-Hmm <affirmative>
Devindra Hardawar (01:21:09):
Mm-Hmm <affirmative> I feel like that that is what a lot of citizens want. And I don't, I don't know if this country is able to hear that sometimes. So I know how, I mean, brown you're working in a progressive pack right now. Right. So it is, you're, you're advocating for a lot of what people want, but I, I keep looking back and thinking like, oh man, these companies you brought up the financial crisis, Patrick. Yeah. They really paid the price, you know, the, the airlines. Yeah,
Patrick Norton (01:21:35):
No, there's a lot of,
Devindra Hardawar (01:21:36):
It's funny, right? Mm-Hmm
Patrick Norton (01:21:38):
<Affirmative> yeah, no, I mean, it's not funny at all, but I'm, I'm looking at this, this list of Uber funding rounds, you know, and, and several years in, it was obvious that this was a company that was, that was, you know, really aggressive. I'll put it that way. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> you know, and, and you look, it's like, well, you know what I mean? Like I it's, you know, you know, 2.8 billion, 3.5 billion in 2016 and you know, like 1.8 billion you know, obviously 7.7 billion, I think in one secondary round in 2017, and this is staggering amounts of money. Right. For, especially when you kind of think, like going back to the, to the, to the days of, of you know, well, brick and mortar is dead and we're gonna take over and we lose money on every bag of dog food we ship, but we're gonna make it up in volume.
Patrick Norton (01:22:32):
And just being like, you know, you look at the logic, you look at the money and there is no gateway and mm-hmm <affirmative>, you know, the, it, it would be nice if the people that are hurling money at these companies would actually be like, yes, we would like you to have some women in senior management positions. More importantly, we would like you to listen to what they are asking for in the process of creating this project or this product. And we would like you to behave because the other thing that you run into so often all over the business spectrum is yay. Do it, we'll ask forgiveness later, do it, we'll throw the lawyers at it. Yeah. Yeah. Because, you know, no, nobody really pays the price for a lot of this stuff. Mm-Hmm, <affirmative>, it's, you know, messy and it doesn't seem to be getting a lot better.
Devindra Hardawar (01:23:20):
Mm-Hmm <affirmative>, mm-hmm, <affirmative>, it is for, for me, like this is another story of like the, the grow at all costs. Doesn't really matter what the consequences of your actions are. So I'm glad the Uber files are out there. Hopefully we'll start to see more reporting out of them. And Uber has not, they have basically kept saying I believe like when the, the new Uber CEO came on and Callick was ousted they're saying their behavior was better, but that doesn't really yeah. Explain how they were in the past, but you know what, let's move on to a happier story and a story. I think a lot of people are looking forward to hearing about the MacBook air M too is officially out the MacBook air, M two, it's sitting right next to me right now. And you could check out my review over in gadget.
Devindra Hardawar (01:24:03):
I gave it a, one of the highest scores I've ever given anything. I gave it a 96 out of 100. Wow. So I really like this computer. It, it is astounding. It is everything. The 13 inch MacBook pro was not, or at least what really disappointed me about that one was that they, it was just the old case. This thing's great. I just wanna confirm it here on TWiT. If you're looking for a new Mac computer, you want the new M two chip, you want new hardware, you want a new design, you want a slightly larger screen and a thinner case. And this computer feels like magic every time I hold it. So I I wholeheartedly recommend this thing. Are you guys excited for the MacBook air? M two?
Brianna Wu (01:24:41):
Well, I mean, I bought, I bought a 13 inch M one last year, which is by far the best computer I've ever had. So I'm not in the market for this particular machine, but I was actually worried that you weren't gonna promote your own story on the show this week. Cuz I was so excited by your review. <Laugh> I'm going to ask you, like you've had the chance to, to play with this. I think many of us looked at the specs of the M two pro, which is, you know, it's really, really
Devindra Hardawar (01:25:08):
Pro yeah, yeah,
Brianna Wu (01:25:09):
Right, right. The, the updated one you know, the touch bar and all of that. Is there any reason to your mind for someone to buy that, that, that M two pro with touch with the touch bar over the air, because your review makes it seem like there's just no reason whatsoever to do that.
Devindra Hardawar (01:25:28):
So yeah, I, I reviewed the MacroPro thirteens as well with the M two. And my conclusion is that I don't know who that computer is for. It is so baffling. It is such a weird computer because okay. The big difference from the M two air is that it has fans. It has an active, cooling, cooling system. The air is entirely passively. Cool. So that, that means thermal throttling. That means, you know, processor throtling if you push that computer too hard. But so the MacBook pro can deal with heat, better, can do longer term work. But it's the old case. It is the case that they've been evolving since 2016. It has only two USBC ports. It doesn't have an SD card slot if you're charging that thing, you're using one USBC port. It has the old screen. It has, you know, kind of all the other old stuff.
Devindra Hardawar (01:26:13):
Meanwhile I reviewed the, the 14 inch and 16 inch MacBook pros last year. And those things are incredible. Those things are like exactly what pro users have been asking for for so long. And what I discovered is that basically if you spec up the MacBook pro 13 inch and just like align it with the 14 inch, which I, I think is like a better computer overall this, the price difference for like a computer with six and gigs of Ram, a terabyte of storage, you know, like the good hard rate you'd recommend for everybody, it's only like a $300 price difference. So at that point, just get the 14 inch MacBook pro just spend a little more <laugh> and get the computer with a promotion screen and actual ports and so many things. So yeah, I I railed against the MacBook pro through two inch quite a bit in my view of that one that I gave that a much lower score. I hope I wasn't too unfair, but I certainly felt like apple was being super lazy with that computer. I don't know if you guys had the same thoughts on that. Yeah. Like it is just a baffling distance from them.
Norman Chan (01:27:12):
And I think was it John Gruber wrote about this, that it's, it could be a they're victim of the perception of, of pro versus air and, and the, the bad experience a lot of people had with how, you know, in their mind the association of light and thin is underperforming and which was certainly the case with the, the straight up 11 inch MacBook that they did. Right. That they discontinued when they were back on Intel. And now they're in their second year of their M line chips. And it's a hard thing for people to, to understand how responsive it it is and what a big sea change it is from those Intel space systems. So for a lot of people, maybe when they're shopping, they just see the word pro and it's a piece of mind thing that they're like, okay, even though it's fundamentally the same performance, yes, it has the active cooling. But they're willing to pay that for, you know, for whatever reason it's a marketing thing, or it's a cognitive dissonance thing where they feel like they're getting the better value out of paying the probe, which is why reviews exist, which is why, you know, we're having the discussion and people should know that there is no reason not to get that air version of the M two at 13 inches which is that same spec. And both of those have the, the, the slower 2 56 gig SD base models. So it's not even like,
Devindra Hardawar (01:28:24):
Don't, don't buy the bay storage. Never, don't never buy the bay storage people come on. Yeah. You can't replace those things. Get buy as much as you can, please, please. But yeah. To what you're saying, norm yeah, yeah, absolutely. Absolutely true. I don't the real question is, do you if you're doing any sort of work, if you're doing a lot of video editing or video or 3d coding or something 3d rendering the error is still a good computer. Like it'll be fast. It just won't be as fast as the pro M two. And if you're doing a lot of that, then don't get the error at all, get the, get the 14th macro pro. Yeah.
Patrick Norton (01:28:58):
I was gonna say, that was my question. Did you run into any throttling? Cuz part of me is like if you're editing video, you need the fans. Cause I, I, a friend of mine bought a surface pro and he is like, do me a favor, run a benchmark on this because it's driving me insane. And I had like, and this is a couple years ago. And it was, he was like, I'm delighted with fan list. And I'm like, here's what's happening. It's throttling down. And when it throttles down, it's actually considerably slower. You know, he had the, you know, the, the, the, the core I 7 32 gigs of Ram a brand new processor, this beautiful machine. And it was running vastly slower than my core. I five, three years older, half the memory system because my laptop had a fan and his didn't and the thermal overall just crushed it.
Patrick Norton (01:29:39):
And it's, it's funny cuz I've been circling around MacBooks again for the first time and forever because a friend of mine who does a lot of processor reviews, it's like, yes I have, I have a $3,000 desktop video editing system and my wife's do $1,500 laptop crushes it you know, one's, you know, an Intel windows platform and the other one's you know, the MacBook and, but I was curious, did you run into anything other than like super challenging video enter, ignore 3d? Did you run into any of the throttling or any heat issues or, or was it mostly unnoticeable
Devindra Hardawar (01:30:10):
There, there are some things like it because it's passively cool. If you're doing a lot of work, like there was a point where I was downloading like the handful of sea games that actually run on max, like shout the tune reader <laugh>. So I had like five games downloading. It was like 500 gigabytes of, of data just coming into my computer and that started to feel warm. So it was feeling warm on my lap. It felt warm at the keyboard, but that's fine. I'm totally used to that on laptops. And it wasn't like warm enough to burn me in the Sy be multi-threaded benchmark. I did notice that it was dipping lower than the M two MacBook pro and then that's what I expected, you know, that is, that is a harder core video it trying to like, you know, mimic video rendering or video processing.
Devindra Hardawar (01:30:51):
So right. The that's the heavier one, it's a little slower, but it's still really fast. It's still faster than most of the Intel systems I've seen. So if you're doing a handful, like if you're doing like a home movie once in a while, like every month or so I, I don't think it's it's probably that big of a deal if you're doing it as a daily work type of thing, then yeah. You shouldn't be getting the air mm-hmm <affirmative>, you know, if it's, if your job is video editing, then get the pro, but get the right pro get the 14 or 16 inch. And I know they're ungodly expensive, but at least the 14 inch is a new design and a much better overall computer than the 13 inch. Yeah.
Brianna Wu (01:31:25):
It really makes me wish I'd gone up to that. The 16 inch MacBook when I bought my M one last year mm-hmm <affirmative> because I have to tell you like an, an air for like throwing in your purse and just going around town and then a pro to really do your work on that is a good combination. I've done that a lot. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> I I'm curious, like the actual M two itself, do you think, I mean, can you look into the future and just guess that when apple eventually puts out those M two pros for the 14, 16 inch, I mean, do you think that mm-hmm, <affirmative> like a full real version of it? Do you think that's gonna be enough that people like me that, you know, dropped like bought that new MacBook last year that we, we would have enough there to make it worth upgrading?
Devindra Hardawar (01:32:11):
I mean, just from what I've seen on the M two so far, this, the M two over the M one is a pretty like minimal bump, right? Overall it was like an 18% performance improvement, maybe the pro and max chips and the ultra chips. Like whenever those arrive like those, those, those will probably be faster. But if you look at my benchmark numbers on on our gadget review, the, the M one pro the M one max are still much, much faster than the base, like M two as it is. So if you bought a 14 inch or 16 inch MacBook pro now, like it would still be much faster. You could wait, like maybe we'll see it by the end of the year. It's really hard to predict anything with apple. But those things are so fast right now that I wouldn't be surprised if they waited till spring or something.
Devindra Hardawar (01:32:52):
Right. There, there is. There's just like a lot of like delays happening across the industry. And I, I don't know if Apple's gonna push for that. Or if they're gonna focus more on like there's rumors of like an iMac pro or something coming back, and that was like a disaster, you know, that was an ill advise, upgrade back around 2017 when that came out. But yeah, it is a tough place to be if you don't know. I guess, I guess if you're trying to upgrade and you don't know if you should wait or not and you need a computer right now, I say, just buy what's out there right now. If it gets closer to the fall, then just sit tight. Yeah.
Norman Chan (01:33:27):
Devindra Hardawar (01:33:29):
Norman Chan (01:33:29):
Were a bunch of phones. Go ahead. I was gonna say, you know, it's, they're a target user. The most people from understand who buying this are looking at, these are students, right. And they're buying a system for mm-hmm <affirmative> every four years or something, right. The system you're gonna spend 1500 or $2,000 on should last you four years. Yes. And it's, it's very interesting to think about how we think about phones and how people are, and I'm on an upgrade plan for a phone. So I'm excited for a new phone every year, but I don't certainly don't think of a computer that way. So the, the thing with MacBooks and, and, and computer systems in general is I'm kinda look about sweet spot of when, when is it like gonna be the, the best, not only value for it I'm paying for now, but I'm not gonna feel like I was shorted two or three years later because of something, a big C change in, in design or efficiency. And that's where it feels like this M two system is a, is a nice sweet spot because it is a mm-hmm <affirmative> a chassis change there's maturity in their, their arm base OS and native support for it. And like you said, like, you know, 20% improvement feels like the, the natural year over year. It's not gonna be the massive jump. Yeah. But the M one was over the Intel systems.
Devindra Hardawar (01:34:37):
Yep, absolutely. Absolutely. And, you know, I, I come from an it background guys, so, and also a background of watching you Patrick and Leo early back in the days, like late nineties tech TV, and ZDT so all the lessons you guys gave us back then, like aim forward, aim forward when you're, when you're specing up. So the thing I used to tell students and you know, honestly, professors at the college I was working at is like aim for a four year lifespan with your machine. And I looking at the MacroPro 13, it seems like it's already four years out of eight. It just like physically compared to all the other where apple has like, yeah, it was basically the design from four years ago. So you, you don't wanna get that computer folks. But you know what, we're gonna be talking more about some other apple news. They released their public betas this week. But let's go back to Leo for one more word from our sponsors.
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Devindra Hardawar (01:38:17):
Thanks Leo. In other apple news this week we also got our first public previews of their next upcoming operating systems. I 16 macwas Ventura, the new iPad OS and S nine. I've been testing macwas Ventura and I wrote up a preview over it in gadget as well and have to say I'm glad I have a time. I have a platform to finally say I hate the OSX doc. I have hated it since 2001. It is awful. And it is really nice to see apple explore new ways to manage your windows on Mac and for Macco as Ventura that is stage manager, which is this like left hand side screen that lets you cycle between your four most recently used apps. You can group apps together. It is, it is a very nice way to jump back into different windows and different apps and so much better than the doc. I hate the doc. I'm glad the doc is gone. Have you guys seen this thing? Cuz stage manager is also gonna be an iPad. So it's also gonna kind change the way yeah, multitasking works on iPads too. Are you excited about what's coming?
Brianna Wu (01:39:20):
I I'm, I'm not completely sold on it cuz I've not personally used it yet, but I completely agree with the the sentiments in your piece. You know, doc, I think that, I think that some Mac users like myself are so used to the bad paradigm there that we don't even see it anymore. <Laugh> and I, I think people don't understand just how much better window management is overall, overall windows these days. So I think it's by far the weakest part of this I have to tell you my basically I guess you, my mother-in-law we bought her a Mac, she's a librarian and you know, I'm trying to teach like a 80 year old woman to use at NA OS and she just flat out could not figure out the doc and how to, to click around on things. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> this is not someone uneducated, like this is someone who worked as a librarian through most of her career. So I'm psyched to try this, but I'm not completely sold on it yet. Cuz I think the paradigm that they've made just seems like it would make more sense on iPad. But I'm excited to try
Devindra Hardawar (01:40:31):
For sure, for sure. And I do wanna point out, like I think even apple realized that doc was was kind of a problem because in 2003 they they unveiled expose, which is that feature that lets you like blow up all the windows and see everything running or windows for a specific app. And since that came out it's now part of mission control that's I need that in every back. Like I cannot use a Mac without being able to blow up the windows cause I never wanna touch the dock, but norm Patrick, any, any thoughts? Do you wanna get anything off your chest about the dock
Norman Chan (01:40:59):
<Laugh> <laugh> I'm windows user? So it's all tab windows tab. I mean that's that's yeah, sure, sure. That's what I've been using. I like expos use and you know, the, the kind of multi gesture way of getting it. BEC I'm really curious about state manager for iPad. I know there's been that controversy about, you know, limiting it to the only the newest iPads and whether that's an actual necessity and how performance hungry it is. But from a design standpoint, is this from your perspective places where Mac OS and iOS start to merge and you see a future where that's kind of how they're gonna design these features going forward. Mm-Hmm
Devindra Hardawar (01:41:33):
<Affirmative> it does. It does kind of feel like that. I mean, I I'm the weirdo who you keeps saying, why, why does Mac west still look like it did in 2001? Like fundamentally like the overall shape of it. And the BA the basic thing is what it looked like when windows XP came out and then the Mac users start throwing things at me. So I just shut up. But it, it does feel like that that idea of being able to share features between iPad OS and iOS is, is kind of one way for them to kind of change the way Mac are going. It is funny though, because just talking about the MacBook error, right? That thing weighs 2.6, 2.7 pounds. It is really, really light. And then I remember that the iPad pro 12.9 inch with the the new keyboard, the smart fol weighs more than the MacBook air.
Devindra Hardawar (01:42:19):
And that just made me think, like, I don't, I don't, I don't understand. Apple's like portability push or argument here for the iPad probe, because now the air is actually kind of outdoing the iPad probe. They, it has been for the past two years, but it's even more so with the new M two MacBook air sure. They're sharing features. I think that at least it's one way for Mac west to evolve. Like now you can auto hide the dock just for reli on stage manager for moving between apps. You could still use expose. You could basically pick and choose whatever you want. I just feel like the doc is, is kind of the worst possible entry. But Patrick, any
Norman Chan (01:42:52):
Patrick Norton (01:42:54):
Not a single one that's useful. I don't spend enough time.
Norman Chan (01:42:57):
<Laugh> I think they're kind of reaping this whole, the, the line they've drawn between not, you know, a touchscreen and not touchscreen, right. And they want, they want to have their cake and eat it too, where they want people to buy multiple devices or you can't have, they're not gonna put touchscreens on, on MacBook because they want you to have an iPad as well. But for a lot of people and they have the whole ad campaign of like children, you know, saying, you know, what's a computer because their computer is, is, is an iPad, right. They just know their computering device is an iPad, but as complexity increases on those, you're run into limits of what touchscreen only in input can do as great as touchscreen is. And that's why, you know, the, there, people have to buy these, you know, the, the keyboards and the FOLs as expensive as they are. And eventually they gotta, they gotta choose, like, are they gonna make the Mac more accessible or are they gonna make the, the iPad more feature full or expect people to keep on buying both cuz iPad users are gonna always want to ask for more features and Mac S users are gonna wanna ask for just easier ways to get through the complexity of it.
Devindra Hardawar (01:44:03):
Mm-Hmm <affirmative> mm-hmm <affirmative> is there anything, I don't
Brianna Wu (01:44:06):
Know. I think I, I, I, I don't think there's like any like, like evil, like Tim cook rubbing his hands together. Like we will never bring the touch screen to the Mac so we could sell our iPads. I, I think you know, there, there has traditionally been a lot of fear you know, in the Mac community that this kind of crossover between you know, I basically iOS and Mac OS was going to make Mac OS less of a professional tool. I think that is a, it's a, it's a fair worry to have just because you, one is, as you say, it is more for, it's just straightforward. It's something children can use the others, like a, a professional environment that many of us have been using for our whole careers. I just, I think, especially with the unified stack, as you know, both of them being on the same architecture now with with apple Silicon I, I think that ship is sailed.
Brianna Wu (01:45:09):
And what I think is so ironic now is, you know, apple spends so much of their time like, oh, we're gonna make this so elegant. We're gonna hopefully get rid of USB type ports on your machine to make it more beautiful and easier to use. But if you actually look at the window management of any real Mac user, it's a mess you've got like over in your notification tray, it's gonna give you five updates. You need to install, you have random windows all around the screen. Some dock thing is gonna be jumping up and down. It's it's an absolute disaster. So I do think for professional users, it's time to come in there and try something like stage manager mm-hmm <affirmative>, but you're really dealing with a very different kind of user there. I mean, you, John Syracuse, I'll never forget reading some of his Macko S reviews back. When was you know, OS 10 talking about his anger that he couldn't get it to snap over to the same pixel on his MacBook every single time, no matter what he did. <Laugh> like, like you're really dealing with the kind of OCD kind of, of person here. So we don't like change. That's just how we are.
Devindra Hardawar (01:46:21):
You know what? I link to a Syracuse review also in, in my preview piece because his original review for us 10 OSX, I don't know, you know, the name has changed all over the place but he points out the same doc issue. Why it's hard. You, you know, what's tough, like say you had multiple safari windows open, right? And you had other windows on top of your safari and you need to go back to that one specific one that has your Gmail tab or something, the way you do it with the doc before expose a and everything is you have to click on the doc or con command, click on the doc and then look at the dropdown, try to figure out which window among the dropdown it is. And then click that. And windows XP was far UGLi in 2001. I think it was XP by that point.
Devindra Hardawar (01:47:02):
<Laugh> it was super ugly, but it's just click one button on the task bar. That's it. I just look at the task bar and click down. I know keyboard shortcuts are thing, but I also don't wanna like tap, tap, tap, tap, tap. I wanna like just move and click cuz my hands is on the mouse more so, you know, I'm, I'm glad, I'm glad I had support back then from John Syracuse. <Laugh> there was, there was one other apple story this week that I think a lot of people are reading a lot into apple announced that they're ending their consulting agreement with Johnny ive their former, his design leader, cuz he went off and started his own thing and everybody's like, don't worry, he's still gonna work with apple. And now they've agreed to stop working together according to two people with not to the agreement. End of an era, I guess. I don't know if you guys have deep thoughts about this, but I have I have my frustrations with Ives designs too. Like I blame him for losing a lot of the ports and <laugh> and things like that. Yes.
Brianna Wu (01:47:57):
Well, I, I have, I have a lot thoughts on this. Like I think in some ways apple design has gotten much better since ive is left and I think the, you know, the 14 inch M one notebook is a really good example of this. I think clearly I've pushed many apple designs like for minimalism over PR Pragma, you know, pragmatism a really good example, being that infamous scissor keyboard design, which the scissor
Devindra Hardawar (01:48:25):
Keyboard, the charging cable underneath the mouse, I will never forgive anybody for that <laugh> oh my God.
Brianna Wu (01:48:31):
Mistakes were made. Mistakes were made. Yeah, I think in some, I think there's a really good argument that that Des it's gotten better in many respects since he left. And you know, the reporting goes on to say a lot of apple people were a very curious what he was being paid a hundred million dollars to design. Exactly mm-hmm <affirmative> and B very frustrated that he seemed to, there were allegations that he kept poaching key people from Apple's design team, which just seems like not good. On the other hand, I, I do have to look at like what Apple's been putting out in the last few years and let's, let's be honest here. There's a lot of lack of whimsy with what Apple's been putting out. Like it's all really good industrial design, but if you're looking at the, you know, the new iPads or the MacBooks, there's nothing out there that's really groundbreaking the way that, you know, the trash cam Mac pro, which, you know, not of successful pro computer, but certainly a stunning design. I mean, we are thinking about this over on rocket, that the most interesting thing apple has really put out in the last three or four years was that the, the AirPod AirPod max what's the over headphone things, you
Norman Chan (01:49:52):
Know, the case. Exactly. Airpod max. Yeah.
Brianna Wu (01:49:54):
Yeah. It looks like a bra. That's the most interesting thing that they've put out in a long time. So
Patrick Norton (01:50:02):
It wasn't interesting because
Brianna Wu (01:50:03):
It wasm. Yeah,
Patrick Norton (01:50:05):
Yeah. I was gonna say it wasn't interesting because it was positive. It was interesting because it seemed to have the worst of an extra accessory without doing any of the things you expected the accessory for. Right. I mean, I, you know, there's, there's part of me, like, you know, there, there was Johnny Ivan, Steve jobs, and then there's Johnny, I, after Steve jobs mm-hmm <affirmative> and there was things like, you know, I just, I don't see there's a lot of things I can see happening that maybe they would've been exactly the same if, if Steve jobs hadn't design hadn't hadn't passed. But I look at like the apple watch and, you know, the, the, the watching the interface on that and how it came out and there was buttons and there was a, you know, there was the knob on the side. And I remember being like, this just seems to be the worst of every possible world on an interface <laugh> and, you know, and, and I will, I will also be like, I am so over the obsession with thinness and the removal of ports. And I feel like a lot of, you know, what's happened is that, you know, as Johnny Ives, maybe hasn't been like, we must
Patrick Norton (01:51:04):
Make everything thinner to the point where it collapses. If you pick it up and if you need a port, you're obviously doing everything
Patrick Norton (01:51:10):
Wrong. And, and, you know, I, I I'm with you that Mac pro was gorgeous, you know, fundamentally useless for the way people actually used Mac pros in the real world.
Devindra Hardawar (01:51:20):
Norman Chan (01:51:21):
The other thing I'm, I'm over with Patrick? Sorry to interrupt. Other thing I'm over with is also just singular designers being credited with, with everything. Yes. Cause even, you know, under Johnny Ives, it's a whole design team, but when you have the idealization of whether it's one designer, an engineer or a founder, you know, being the person the consumers are associated with and put on pedestal, when it's yes, they, they provide the guidance and it's their direction. And ultimately they might make the decisions. I, I, I like not knowing necessarily who, who are the design leads at apple and just evaluating the products as they are. And, and, and not having that hype of the Johnny Ives, you know, carefully scripted commercial that plays at every keynote.
Patrick Norton (01:52:06):
Devindra Hardawar (01:52:07):
Absolutely. And, you know, a friend of mine was saying was asking me like, you know, who would who would Steve jobs be without Johnny ive? I kind of think the more interesting question is who would Johnny I be without Steve jobs, you know, like who, who would let him just like go wild buck wild with these designs and give him full reign, full power to do that. It was a fortuitous meeting between two two very specific, you know, aesthetic designers cuz jobs was kind of a design mind too. So just like a weird thing, hard, hard to, hard to tell. And I don't know what Johnny ive is gonna be doing next, but I will say I'm really excited about what Apple's doing next. Because at least they're gonna look a little more interesting, be a little more different.
Devindra Hardawar (01:52:48):
This MacBook era, M two just really gives me hope that that they're leaning back into functionality. Although this thing has a headphones Jack, and I'm looking at those like those little middle meters, you know, above and below the headphones, Jack and I'm sure some designer at apples, like if we just take that out, this'll be this be even thinner. Guys could have the finished MacBook ever, ever made. And that's something they did with the iPad pro the iPad pro does not have a doesn't have a headphone Jack, so it could, they could easily end up doing that. Who knows? Yeah, I guess we'll see, I guess we'll see, I guess, exciting times for apple, honestly, I'm interested to see what Johnny ive does next as well. Yeah. Any deeper thoughts about the, the I era, I guess this is truly the end of the I era, right?
Brianna Wu (01:53:33):
I mean, I think the, there was a headlines that said it best, like he made the entire tech industry care about industrial design and mm-hmm, <affirmative>, you know, Norman, just to bounce off of your point. I completely agree. He is over credited. You can read books on him. And it was a team of people working with him, structural engineers, material engineers, a lot of what, you know, made apple so successful is really new composite metals that they made. You know, Johnny, I was not a metal gist, you know, so you know, it's but his legacy was making the whole industry care more about design. I would actually, I would go the opposite way though. I would challenge apple to start highlighting some of their other talent in the design world at this, this keynote. It's something we don't talk about as much today, cuz apple has gotten so much better at it.
Brianna Wu (01:54:26):
But you know, it was it's recently as 20 11, 20 12 apple would never have women speaking at WWDC Uhhuh or at these keynotes. It would be one dude after another all generally white dudes. And you know, they've gotten a lot better at letting other people kind of represent the company. I would love to meet and know some of the people working on the design team, doing this really interesting work. Who's the person that, that fixed the keyboard, bring them forward. I will trace them. I mean find out the, I wanna hear some of these stories like, like promote them and let, let someone else like be a fable for the next generation of apple, the way that they kind of built up Johnny. I, I would really like to see that mm-hmm
Devindra Hardawar (01:55:12):
<Affirmative> mm-hmm <affirmative> I would totally like to say that too. And certainly we are seeing in these new betas, like we're seeing all sorts of new design ideas too, right? There is continuity camera, which is, I think the single wildest thing I've seen from apple in the past decade, right? Like of here is a thing you put on your MacBook and you put your phone on the thing and your phone is your webcam, which seems like both in admission that your, their webcams are terrible, which they, they're not that great. Even the one in the new in the new MacBook air, but also that, you know, this is a really confusing thing. I still haven't gotten into work in the beta OSS. I have I have to do some reinstalling probably. But is that a thing you're interested in doing or is that just like a weird idea idea? Somebody had, Apple's just like, Hey, go for it. Which I feel like was never a thing that could have happened before.
Patrick Norton (01:55:59):
Well, I mean, I'm sure that's, it's fun. Oh, I was gonna say, cuz everybody's webcams in their, in their laptops are atrocious. There's incredible physical limitations. You know, I, I'm still just grateful that Dell finally went, you know, we can give ourselves three millimeter at the top and bury a camera up there. Yeah. Because really please, you know, please it's it was like how much nostril cam can anyone take in one lifetime? Right. And it was just, you know, people are also realizing a lot of people realize like, oh my webcam looks like crap, but my iPhone looks great. Why can't I use these together? And I think that's the kind of aesthetic decision that would've been like, no, no, no, no, no, no, by the way, you also hold your iPhone like this. And if you hold it with four fingers, you're using it wrong.
Patrick Norton (01:56:40):
<Laugh> anybody remember that? Like, you know, we didn't test this with normal people. And if we did, we told them the way they held their phone was wrong because really who holds their phone with their entire hand, when you can hold a, you know, thousand dollars device with two fingers and have it work, apparently I'm still a little bitter about that face <laugh>. But you know, I think it's a smart decision because, you know, yes, I have a, you know, I have a four micro fours camera in here. I have a decent lens on it. I have lighting in here. And the reality is, is there's a lot more people who running Mac hardware that have an iPhone than there are people who want to deal with doing an HD M I interface, you know, to a camera with a semi-professional lens and you know, everybody's got their phone with them. So it seems smart to me, it seems thoughtful to me, it seems like they're very acknowledging the needs of the community because a lot of people would like their video to look better. And it just so happens. Your camera's got a pretty bitching or your phone I should say. Yeah. As a pretty pitching camera inside of it. Oh, it's a phone too, by the way. Yeah.
Norman Chan (01:57:38):
Yeah. It reinforces the fact that the phones have become more and more imaging devices. First, the killer app is the phone and they've put so much R and D into and, and even gone to thicker phones because of it. So they can facilitate the better cameras. The feature I'm most curious about related to that is how they're making use of the wide angle camera to warp a downward angle view. Kind of like how you know, like cars with their wide angle cameras can create almost a drone, like view around you. And then what the, the imagery we saw from the keynote of that was I think two crisp. I, I, I was not, I was very skeptical of how, how that would look, cuz if you look at a, the edge of even their ultra wide camera, if you start warping that, like there's only, there's only so much clarity you can get.
Devindra Hardawar (01:58:23):
Yep. I, I haven't gotten to work yet, but some YouTubers have, I believe Dave Lee, Dave 2d on YouTube has been doing some testing with that. And it does look like his fingers get super long and stretched. But if something is flat on the table in front of you, you do get like really nice, like very pretty clear like overhead camera view, which again, who thought of that? Like, I, I need that story. I need that background of like, where did this idea come from? Why did it like get all the way up the chain of command to being shown and being a shipping feature in the us? Just kind of a wild thing for apple to do. And I, I had the opportunity to ask apple like several times, and they're never gonna give you specifics, but they're like, you know, we thought this would be a cool feature.
Devindra Hardawar (01:59:01):
The one thing I will say other than being like kind of annoying to set up, I wonder how many people are gonna miss having a phone to fiddle with when you should be paying attention to video chat. So that's one thing that could be working against this feature. Not that you guys are doing that at all during this show. But you know, that, that, that is the thing we've, we've grown used to having a second screen in our hands or nearby letting go of your phone a little bit, just for better video quality. I don't, I dunno if that's gonna end up making it like less useful for a lot of people. But yeah, we will, we will see and actually something related to what Apple's gonna be doing soon. I wanna talk about next, but let's let's head over to Leo from one
Brianna Wu (01:59:37):
More word. Could I just say something about this? Cause yeah, go ahead. Go ahead. To weigh in on this. No, it just seems to me like, you know, Dr. Dre like sold beats because he was able to think about a segment of the market that everyone else was not thinking about at that time, which was headphones. And he was right about that. There were people that wanted to have colorful headphones, like they were sneakers that just the tech market completely missed. There are two separate companies out there right now that are understanding. We're all doing video chats all the time. Now people want better cameras here. I would note that, you know, Norman, you and Patrick both have some really nice setups with up the field there which I'm very envious of. I, I need it.
Devindra Hardawar (02:00:24):
I need it. Yeah.
Brianna Wu (02:00:25):
Yeah. There, there are people out there that want better solutions for this. I am certainly one of them, you, my setup is I end up just using a cheap razor Keo, you know, like this, this a hundred dollars camera and some good lights. I think that there's a lot of innovation that's possible here. I think long term you know, people are not gonna like attach their, their camera to their MacBook in a you know, it's just not an apple solution long term, but I think that there is a growing market for, for better, you know, video broadcasting equipment out there. I hope apple is gonna fill that. But some someone certainly should. I
Devindra Hardawar (02:01:04):
Think, yeah, it's, it's surprising. They haven't like done an action camera. It seems like they, they always are very closely aligned to GoPro and everything, but, well, who knows, who knows? Yeah.
Patrick Norton (02:01:13):
I mean, GoPro's crashed and burned so hard in the last few years. I don't think anybody really wants to make an expensive action camera right now. That's not to just GoPro, but
Devindra Hardawar (02:01:21):
Your phone should be your action camera. Yeah, basically, basically. But you know what? Let's let's hop over to Leo for one more word from our sponsors.
Leo Laporte (02:01:31):
Hello everybody. One more time. I wanna interrupt one more time then I'm gonna go get back on the boat. Thank you. Davindra for doing a great job for me, filling in. It's nice to know the TWiTtter is in great hands. I wanna tell you a little bit kind of a story. When I talk to people, especially young people about savings. Look, I'm close to retirement age and I've got a nice little nest egg. And I learned early on that the key to saving for your financial future and that doesn't just have to be retirement, could be buying that first house or putting the kids through college or even just getting a car. The key is long term wealth building designed to weather. Any market condition, look, stocks go up and down. That's part of the deal. That's how it works. But if you're smart about it, if you know what you're doing, you don't let that bother you.
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Leo Laporte (02:03:17):
But with wealth front, you get a pre-built diversified portfolio that spreads your investing eggs. I should <laugh> spreads your investments across more baskets. Okay. You know, you know what I'm saying? Maybe not the most felicitous way to put it, but it spreads your spreads, your investments across it D diversifies it, right? It's a time tested way to build long term wealth and whether whatever volatility happens at the market at any given time, the in fact really now is a great time to get started in wealth front, probably a best, the best time ever to get started in wealth front, the trick to wealth. Isn't timing, not when you get in, but time how long you're in. So if you're young, especially I want you to pay attention to this by automating your investments. It makes it, it easier to do the thing you must do, which is every paycheck you invest regularly, regardless of the ups and downs, they call it dollar cost averaging, and it's, it's a discipline.
Leo Laporte (02:04:14):
That's so important. That makes such a huge difference. If you wanna invest for the long term while the market is basically having a clearance sale, this is the time. This is the time, but keep putting it in, right? Don't just go, oh, ho and then stop welfare makes it really easy. Every paycheck to invest a little bit, invest a little bit, answer a few questions about your risk level and your future plans. So they kind of get to know what it is you're looking for. They will personalize a portfolio built for the long term and really that's it you'll except for you're gonna get a $50 bonus to start your nest egg right now, if you sign up today, wealth front voted the best overall robo advisor by Investipedia half a million people have been building their wealth with Wealthfront 27 billion in managed assets. Start right now, get a bonus $50. When you start investing with Wealthfront today, go to wealthfront.com/TWiTt. Don't put it off that's wealthfront.com/TWiTt. Needless to say, <laugh> this bit of investing wisdom is a paid wealthfront.com/TWiT. All right. Enough of that, I got an appall spritzer waiting for me. I will see you next week now back to Davindra.
Devindra Hardawar (02:05:29):
Thanks Leo. Now let's take a look at what else was going on on the TWiTt network this week.
Leo Laporte (02:05:36):
Also here, wait a minute. I've got a card now that lists all his fine attributes ladies in general. Oh boy. They've even laminated the your introduction card so that, I guess you're gonna be around for a while. Someday.
I hope to have a card
Leo Laporte (02:05:48):
<Laugh> oh, that can be arranged previously on TWiT TWiT news.
Rod Pyle (02:05:55):
Leo LePort here joining me, rod pile host of this weekend space editor in chief of the ad Astro magazine and a little boy who was so excited. He had to get up at 4:00 AM today because we are going to see images from the James web telescope. There's your
Leo Laporte (02:06:13):
Desktop wall paper. Wow. Wow.
Rod Pyle (02:06:14):
That's a gas cloud around a dying star, half a light urine diameter. Wow. 2000 light years away.
Leo Laporte (02:06:21):
Matt break weekly Wayne ma interviewed, I guess, has a lot of sources wrote a very interesting piece inside Apple's eight year struggle to build a self-driving car interviews with 20 people who have worked on Apple's self-driving car project, shed new light on its troubled effort to build a car that could drive itself. This weekend, Google TWiTtter is suing Musk saying, you said, you're gonna give us 44 billion. And by God we want the 44 billion.
This is an unusual and very specific type of breach of contract claim.
Leo Laporte (02:06:53):
Their emojis are involved
To it. Don't know if they've ever adjudicated a poop emoji before, but now they will.
Leo Laporte (02:06:59):
So be the first I've just been handed some laminated cards. Oh,
Devindra Hardawar (02:07:06):
Didn't I tell you to be before interview,
Leo Laporte (02:07:08):
Katherine R Gilles Squire and Anne, we got one for you too. Good enough. Simple. <laugh> it just says an, but I love it. You know, it's good. It's good. I love it. So now everybody's got laminated.
Devindra Hardawar (02:07:23):
Oh, that's so much fun. And you know, what folks another thing Apple's working on that we haven't even mentioned yet is is AR glasses. There have been a lot of rumors around that and you know, who's a great expert on that stuff is norm Chan. And I know norm you've looked at a couple things lately that could kind of hint at like what apple is thinking about and what, where this entire market is going. You looked at the mojo or is it MOHO augmented reality glasses and the hands on you did a hands on with the tilt five production AR glasses. I remember you talking about that a while back. Can you give us a preview of your coverage with that stuff?
Norman Chan (02:07:55):
Yeah. Those are interesting devices. I think neither of those are exactly what apples be doing. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> they're first generation AR glasses probably akin to what you know, meta is doing with their, their project cam or glasses and pass through AR for productivity. Get those in the hands. Developers. We don't know when that is, but the two devices you mentioned that I got to check out recently at the augmented world expo are novel uses of AR one out in the world now in tilt five and one far out into the future probably tilt five's company created by Jerry Ellsworth. She was previously at valve. She's an amazing engineer done a lot of awesome hacking with video game stuff in the past. And this company, a technology she really has been working on for a decade is AR glasses for tabletop gaming.
Norman Chan (02:08:41):
So the idea is you wear these tilt five glasses. They have Pico projectors built in two of them, and they essentially represent imagery for your eye. But as opposed to blasting images into your eye, they blast out into the world and hit a retro reflective surface. So this game board, they have, they have tracking markers on around the edge of it. But the material, this square material, essentially, it's it's kind of the same material that maybe your stop sign that you see on the street is made out of. So when you shine light at it, it comes exactly back 180 degrees back into the light source. And so if you have the projector where your eyes are they do a little bit of bouncing around in the glasses. They go out toward the game board, then they come back at you, then you get stereo images that are augmented reality images. And they've worked with a bunch of developers over the past couple years video to great video games, you know, essentially your, your tabletop D N D your, your, your your bomber man, marble madness, all sorts of those type of games. But you can play them asymetrically around the table remotely, and the effect is really stunning. It's really fun.
Devindra Hardawar (02:09:52):
That's great. And does tilt five work? Well, even if you're wearing glasses, like that's always the issue with me. I don't know if you wear contacts to test these things norm
Norman Chan (02:10:00):
Yeah, yeah. For the video I took off my glasses, but they're prototypes it's because there's not perfect alignment needed with the headset in your head. You can very easily just put 'em on like big sunglasses and they do work over even, even big classes. And yeah, they've created some technology to to generate like a third person view. So you can do like TWiTtch streaming while having some type of mixed reality view so people can see, you know, the, the dungeon you're crawling through. And that controller is really neat, cuz it's a hybrid almost like a we remote style, you know one but on its site works as your standard game pad really clever ideas and their discords is full of amazing developers, creating fun things using their S STK to use as they're shipping to Kickstarter backers.
Brianna Wu (02:10:46):
You know, I okay. So Brianna
Norman Chan (02:10:48):
You a game developer. Yeah, go ahead. I've worked quite a bit. You sound amazed by this <laugh>
Brianna Wu (02:10:53):
Well, I I'm interested in this. I I've long thought that VR, the AR had a better chance to catch on than, than VR because from a game development point of view, you have to get so specialized when you're developing things for VR, like things like optimizing your draw calls from the center of the screen. So you don't have nauseousness thinking about different movement. Paradigms is one of the reasons why it's so incredibly expensive to develop VR experiences, which is sad because there's very little of a marketplace to actually sell games. For everything I'm seeing here in this video. Norman, tell me if I'm I'm wrong here. This looks like it's being made with, with the unity. Is that correct? Yep.
Norman Chan (02:11:36):
I, I believe so. So and yeah. Oh, a
Brianna Wu (02:11:40):
Lower cost overall.
Norman Chan (02:11:41):
Yeah. Yes. So lower cost and lower performance overhead needed. They're doing projection basically doubling up the frame, sort of tripling them up in the headset itself. So the projectors are running out 180 Hertz, but she, Jerry says that there a lot of the developers don't even need to optimize as their first pass. They can run it at, you know, 30 or 60 on until integrated graphics and it'll run smooth and I can, the production units actually prove that out.
Brianna Wu (02:12:09):
Yeah. That's really interesting to me. You know, you were talking at the beginning of this about how the, the signs are there, that apple is bringing a VR product to market AR product to market rather. And I just tell you as someone that works with their, you know, their SDK mm-hmm, <affirmative> it's the writing is so on the wall because you don't look at apple leaks, you ask yourself like you follow the state of the union and see the direction that apple has been going with. Basically their developer tools. It was not that long ago. The only thing you had was price kit for, for building games and you today you've got scene kit and the 3d tools are, are far more sophisticated. I think most of us would agree the pipeline of Apple's vision of plugging powerful you know, graphics cards into your Mac and connecting a monitor to it that time it ended up being a technological dead end, but, you know, I, I see this and I just see, I see a more tenable development pipeline to get it out there. And I think that's the really core problem I magically I think failed, not because the idea is bad, but that despite all the money they spent on it, they didn't bother to develop something that like you could, that, that did something better than what you would get on a screen. Right. Mm-hmm <affirmative>, mm-hmm <affirmative> and I think if you're looking to sell hardware, you've gotta be able to get developers to be able to work with it in a cost efficient way. And this just, it looks like a flat out better solution today.
Norman Chan (02:13:50):
Devindra Hardawar (02:13:51):
Can you tell us anything about the contact lenses too?
Norman Chan (02:13:53):
Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. And then what they'll I'll lead off, cuz I know magically announced there magical leap two, for least that this month and it's one of their big failures, September
Devindra Hardawar (02:14:01):
30 magical leap, two that's does exist. It'll be September 30 is for 32 99. If you really have that money, you wanna spend it, but go, go ahead.
Norman Chan (02:14:08):
Norm, when they were smarter, I think magically now move shifting over to not consumers cuz they may had such a big push probably again, the VC problem, you had so much money put into it that the expectation was right. That they would be a mass market consumer product. And you had all these wired covered stories and, and they put all their money, not necessarily into SDK or developed relations. And they did have that, but into solving a fundamentally hard optical problem in, in trying to promise optics that would solve this conversion accommodation conflict. And from what I understand or what I, what the assumption is going into, whatever Apple's gonna do is I don't think they're gonna necessarily try to solve the optical problem. They might do a pass through solution, a pass through video solution, which which is what Meta's doing with their headset that they're hopefully announcing later this year.
Norman Chan (02:14:53):
But those contact lenses. So this company called mojo vision and what they've done is they have a prototype. They say feature complete contact lens that has a 0.5 millimeter micro L E D at the center of it mm-hmm <affirmative> so it's a 280 pixels wide monochro right now, green color. But in that the contact lens, they have this display as well as radio and most of it's actually battery on that PCB, which will then relay to essentially a so somebody you wearing your neck, like a relay for compute. So no heavy processing that's all happens on this wearable, but wirelessly, they would transfer imagery with a user interface they design and the field of view it's 15 degrees field of view. So they describe it as like a spotlight. And what I was able to try is a handheld version of it, not plugged into my eye, but <laugh> a thing I could hold on a stick and then move it around. And as I moved it around, yeah, you could, I could read text clearly in this, huh. You know 280 pixel wide circle and kind of move it like a flashlight around to hover over icons and it's not head look, it is really eye looking because it's on a contact lens. So as I move my eye around as the person who would be wearing this would move their eye around, it would be tracking them with an IU in the contact lens itself.
Devindra Hardawar (02:16:13):
That's pretty wild.
Brianna Wu (02:16:14):
I don't know. It's a contact lens where
Norman Chan (02:16:17):
Brianna Wu (02:16:19):
No, you, you get, you get so attached to certain brands cuz they're softer or cleaner or even disposable lenses that, something like that. And you think about things going wrong and having electoral components near your eye. I'm
Devindra Hardawar (02:16:33):
Just, you don't want, you don't want your contact lense us to overheat or explode
Norman Chan (02:16:37):
Brianna Wu (02:16:39):
I, I just, I'm not doing it. I'm sorry.
Norman Chan (02:16:42):
That is absolutely. That's how I feel about it too. Exactly. I don't. I wear glasses. I, I don't like putting things in my eye. I've heard horror stories, you know, my wife's had contact lenses roll to the back of her eye. So presumably these are yeah. Oh it just sounds like I don't, I don't want that to happen. It's wireless here. So like how would you fish that out? And there's the whole cleanliness of it, right? Like this is gonna be disposable. Presumably whenever they get this gets to market, it'll be expensive custom fit for your eyeball. So it's, you know, it's gonna, I know glass consequences in the past have had irritability, so yeah. I, I'm not sure exactly.
Patrick Norton (02:17:16):
I have to ask norm. I, I saw this when they, they first went public back in like 2020 at CES or CES 2020. And one of the things they were talking about a lot was the idea that, that folks with low vision or vision impairment, they were working on solutions to help people to sort of augment or create the, the, you know, the ability to see better or at least to be able to, to certain objects and rooms and stuff. Are they talking about that at all or is it almost kind of entirely a heads up display conversation from them now?
Norman Chan (02:17:45):
I think for, I think it's a heads up display because it's fundamentally, they're using the same types of contact lenses on their outer and inner shell. They can do corrective mm-hmm <affirmative> lens. So you can, people could wear it as a contact lens, but from I think their business purpose, they want this to be for medical fields, probably military, wherever people would have their hands busy, but need to have some type of heads up information. Yeah. And the user interface aspect of it is really interesting because even though even as fast as our eye tracking might be and has a responsive as it might be like, imagine if you had a full UI, but you could only see a circle of it at once. Like you would need some type of indicator of when mm-hmm <affirmative> information was being updated in the periphery or be extremely familiar with that UI to not, you know, I, I don't want to, you know, have to mouse over or look over to notice that there's a icon in this right corner left corner which is kind of how they're designing it right now.
Devindra Hardawar (02:18:46):
Oof. I will say the the smart contact lenses and the new Batman movie is like the one thing that really irked me about that movie. It's like you, you have contact lenses recording video, how's this working Batman where's, where's it being stored, what's charging it. I, I ki I'm kind of right there with you too norm like the, the itchiness of it. I I've never gotten contacts just because I think early on, I, I think I have astigmatism and it was hard to to get contacts to work with that now they work and I'm just like too grossed at, by the idea. But I also tested enough VR headsets where I'm like, I am I gonna get contacts just to better test VR headsets? Cuz I guess I have to because it's the world we're living in. I don't know.
Devindra Hardawar (02:19:26):
Thankfully some glasses insert, so I I've been able to use those. Yeah, I, I think there's one more story I wanted to dive into real quick because we are rounding the end here, but FCC chair Jessica Rosen weel announced she, she is aiming to increase a broadband standard in the us from 25 megabits per second, download to 100 and upload from three megabits per second to 20 megabits. And I just wanna hear your quick thoughts guys and Brian, especially too, cuz you're, you're actually working in the political sphere to, to kinda see like how this thing would work or would it even ever pass? I don't know.
Brianna Wu (02:20:03):
I, I mean, this is why I, lot of why I wanted to run for Congress is, you know, the, the science based and technology committee in the house is just criminal. Like, look, who's serving on there and look at their qualifications, the people making your tech policy in the United States. It's a joke. You read this, it's like, yes, of course we've gotta do this. The, the question is if like, you know, our, our broadband duopoly is actually going to, are they gonna fight it in court? Are they gonna fudge it? You know, we've seen so many false promises about this. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> just up and down the line, like I could get in here and talk about, you know, at and T and Verizon, their false promises when they get dragged before Senate subcommittee about not screwing over consumers so hard. I, I, I wanna see this obviously, do it make it happen? There's no reason for us to have this level of terrible internet with what we pay for it in the United States, which is remarkably more expensive than other countries. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> mandate is the only way it's gonna get better.
Devindra Hardawar (02:21:08):
Absolutely. Is that enough speed for you guys, Patrick and norm?
Patrick Norton (02:21:12):
It's a bare minimum, man.
Devindra Hardawar (02:21:13):
You know, the bare minimum you're producing like a full video every every day. I think so. Yeah. You need a lot, but yeah, go ahead, Patrick.
Patrick Norton (02:21:23):
No, I was, I was gonna say cuz one of the interesting things about traveling around RVing before we settled in St. Louis was seeing, you know, we would look at towns and be like, oh, they have DSL within, you know, a finite distance of a particular switch. And it was amazing to see there were some wireless you know, over the air wireless plans. Like the one I had when I left California and it was funny cuz there was a startup, they, they did, their first group was in my town. I lived in an Alameda and I was like, gosh, I don't know. Should I trust this? And I was like, okay. I promise myself as soon as anybody had a better deal than Comcast <laugh> was gone. And I was thinking like I was trying to think of, I was single reason to stay with Comcast.
Patrick Norton (02:22:00):
And the only reason I could come up with was was this company could not deliver any internet. And it was amazing because I went from like 70 ish up on the promise to 103 to eight or it be three to eight up and like 70 to a hundred down and a cap and complaints to unlimited data, symmetrical speeds, considerably better speeds. And I think a 40%, you know, cut the cost that company went out of business, but other things have come up and it's been amazing for me to see, like I can totally see they're gonna fight this tooth and nail 20 megabits up. That's ridiculous. You know, we only give people a fraction of that now and they're miserable, but they're still paying us. So why should we change? Like Uhhuh know or maybe Comcast? I just remember like Comcast, you know, going to do a merger and the, the, the, the call for response on that, they just got their asses kicked. So hard. People were calling people who never get political are like basically calling their local Congress critters to, to just talk smack on Comcast. And so yeah, should they do that? They absolutely should. You know, but they should also figure out ways of making this actually happen in the real world. For
Devindra Hardawar (02:23:11):
Sure, for sure. And also kill the bandwidth caps, which is something criminal. Like I, I personally think it's criminal that Comcast is doing and it's affected my parents. And a lot of people, I know I, I, 2022, I don't know how a home ISB could be. You know, basically installing caps on people when we know how the internet works. Everybody's streaming video. None of this makes any sense, folks norm any, any thoughts about this before we wrap
Norman Chan (02:23:35):
It's a bipartisan issue, right? That's, it's, it's there's need to be better messaging. And I know momentum is tough and people are fixing their ways and the bundles make it tougher. And there's a lot of lobbying, but no one likes the big broadband providers and, and we're, we're lucky to yeah. Nobody loves them and yeah. And
Devindra Hardawar (02:23:53):
Brianna Wu (02:23:54):
Feel like saving one quick thing onto that real quick? Yeah. We're just saying Norman, look up how much money Comcast spends on, on lobbying Congress to get the regulation they want. No, it's not amazing. It's not amazing. It is so little money. It may be. So
Patrick Norton (02:24:12):
That's why it's amazing
Brianna Wu (02:24:13):
Looking into this. Yes. I, I always want all techies to get together because we can match. Like I feel if you got every techie in the universe together, we can give some of these people, their $10,000 that they want to pass terrible regulation on this pack.
Devindra Hardawar (02:24:31):
Let's go, let's go with the TWiTt pack.
Patrick Norton (02:24:33):
Devindra Hardawar (02:24:34):
Nerd pack. I like nerd pack. Okay, well we have to wrap for this weekend, but folks, thank you all for joining me, Brianna. Woo. Where can people find you on the internet these days?
Brianna Wu (02:24:43):
You can see me on my exciting and fun TWiTtter account, which is always full of adventure at Brianna. Woo. You'll see. Porsches, you'll see pinballs, you'll see fights at the libertarian party. It is a beautiful place to be
Devindra Hardawar (02:24:56):
<Laugh> I think I also saw some bad Terminator takes there too, but we'll take, we'll take that to TWiTtter, Brian. Hey, Hey, it's
Brianna Wu (02:25:03):
Terminator to is underrated. It is Chris. Logan is great.
Devindra Hardawar (02:25:07):
Come on. She is good. She is good, but not better than Terminator too. Patrick Norton. Where can we find you on the internet these days?
Patrick Norton (02:25:13):
Oh my goodness. Twittter.Com/Patrick. Norton's always good. Or if you're into home theater, audio headphones, all that good stuff. Go to AV Excel. V E X, C E L on your favorite podcast or it's a weekly podcast. I host with Robert Haron talking about home theater and audio and speakers and music and all that good stuff.
Devindra Hardawar (02:25:32):
I always appreciate hearing you guys nerd out Patrick, and your voice is so soothing to me. Like it is a thing I just like, I'm just listening to Patrick talks specs now, and it is it's fun. It's very relaxing. Norm Chan. I am honored. Where can people find you <laugh>
Norman Chan (02:25:44):
Twittter as well at N Chan. And we do videos basically once a day at youtube.com/tested.
Devindra Hardawar (02:25:51):
All right, folks you can watch and listen to TWiT every sunday@twofifteenpmpacifictimeatTWiT.tv slash TWiT. That's our show page. Another TWiT is in the can