This Week in Tech Episode 893 Transcript
Please be advised this transcript is AI-generated and may not be word for word.
Time codes refer to the approximate times in the ad-supported version of the show.
Leo Laporte (00:00:00):
It's time for TWI this week at tech great panel. Mike Elkins here, Alex Wilhelm, Carolina, Millie. We're gonna talk about the ethere merge. It seems to have gone off without a hitch. Why that's good for the environment, but bad for VGA. Adobe is spending a huge amount of money to acquire a contributor and late breaking news. It looks like another hack. This time, grand theft auto six. It's all coming up. Next podcasts you love
TWiT Intro (00:00:32):
From people you trust.
Leo Laporte (00:00:41):
This is TWI this week in tech episode, 893 recorded Sunday, September 18th, 2022. Choose a gogi.
Leo Laporte (00:00:52):
This weekend. Tech is brought to you by noon with their psychology first approach Noom wait, empowers you to build more sustainable habits and behavior. Sign up for your trial at noom.com/twi and buy mint. Mobile mint mobile's secret sauce is they're the first company to sell wireless service online only get your new wireless plan for just 15 bucks a month and get the plan shipped to your door for free. Go to mint mobile.com/twit and buy Blueland Blueland is on a mission to eliminate single use plastics by reinventing home essentials that are good for you and the planet. Right now, you can get 15% off your first order when you go to blueland.com/twit and by it pro TV, are you looking to break into the world of it? Get the introduction you need with it. Pro TV get 30% off when you sign up at it pro.tv/twi, and use the code TWI 30 at checkout. It's time for TWI this week in tech, the show we cover the week's tech news of which there is a stunning amount this week, so we will get right to it. Joining us Carolina mili. She is a founder of a I guess a, is it, are you an analyst? Are you an, is it face fair to call you an analyst?
Carolina Milanesi (00:02:25):
I am an analyst.
Leo Laporte (00:02:26):
Yes, yes, but also the founder of the heart of tech, which is more than analytical.
Carolina Milanesi (00:02:32):
I, I guess you could say that. Yes. You bring there's some social impact there. Yeah.
Leo Laporte (00:02:37):
Yeah. Heart back into tech and the principal at creative strategies and was at the apple event last week where it was 113 degrees. We'll talk, talk about in that in just a bit also with us editor in chief tech crunch, plus end good friend, Alex Wilhelm, who is on his 20, you said 27th episode.
Alex Wilhelm (00:03:00):
I, I think this is never 28, so we're getting up towards 30 at which point? I think I'll demand like some sort of like shirt or maybe a hat. That'd be fun.
Leo Laporte (00:03:08):
Did we not send you the FAS yet? I think 30. You get the FAS.
Alex Wilhelm (00:03:13):
Oh, okay. So just a couple more. So in two months time, everybody I'm gonna have a Fazz watch out.
Leo Laporte (00:03:17):
Mike ELGAN has the Fs <laugh>, which he has worn in Fs, which is fascinating. Hello,
Mike Elgan (00:03:23):
Mike and I was the only one wearing a Fs. They all wear baseball hats in, in
Alex Wilhelm (00:03:27):
Fess <laugh>, but
Leo Laporte (00:03:29):
Mike is today in Spain getting ready for his gastro Noma adventure in Barlo that's
Mike Elgan (00:03:38):
Leo Laporte (00:03:38):
Tomorrow, the seaside, which is beautiful town. Just out of Barcelona. Yes. Very nice. Great to have you. Yeah.
Mike Elgan (00:03:46):
And I will be in Fazz next week
Leo Laporte (00:03:48):
In Morocco. Yes. Are you gonna do the Morocco gastro index?
Mike Elgan (00:03:53):
The experience starts in about three weeks, but we'll be there. Oh, cow, next weekend. Yeah.
Leo Laporte (00:03:57):
This is like your busy season. I didn't, I didn't realize.
Mike Elgan (00:04:00):
Yeah, we're we're we're trying to catch up from the COVID doldrums.
Leo Laporte (00:04:04):
It's hysterical. Cuz I was looking at pictures from the Oaxaca experience, which we did and I realized that's almost a year ago now, so we gotta yeah. Have to get moving. That
Mike Elgan (00:04:15):
Leo Laporte (00:04:16):
Yeah, it was from that last year. Yeah. Was the day of the day. So it was ended up the end of the month. That was really fun.
Mike Elgan (00:04:23):
Boy. Was that fun? Oh my goodness. Yeah.
Alex Wilhelm (00:04:25):
Mike, how, how are you? So trim given that your job is going around the world and eating delicious things. <Laugh>
Mike Elgan (00:04:31):
The secret is that the camera only gets me from here up. I
Leo Laporte (00:04:35):
Hate him. Ah,
Mike Elgan (00:04:35):
That's the secret of staying trim.
Leo Laporte (00:04:37):
I hate him. I don't know how he does it. It drives me crazy. I gained weight in Oaxaca. Like we were eating chocolate and coffee and tortilla and oh my God. The best stuff ever. So good. Yeah. All right. I said there was news. We gotta do it. I guess the first story I thought we might be like doing wall to wall coverage of the ethere emerge like, oh my God, Ethereum is crash. It went so smoothly Thursday, Ethereum, which is the, I think now safe to say while Bitcoin gets a lot of the attention. Ethereum is probably the biggest I don't know what its market cap is, but the, but the most popular of the Bitcoins, it's what most NFTs use E E et thh. It moved from the very energy costly proof of work system on Thursday to the proof of steak system saving. They say 99% of the energy used. And, and I'm sure there's a big sigh from the, from the world at this putting a lot of Bitcoin mins. <Laugh> at a business. I, I, Alex, is this part of your portfolio to cover crypto?
Alex Wilhelm (00:05:51):
Yeah. Yeah. In fact, I have a dedicated crypto reporter on my team. And so I've been tracking this pretty carefully and, and what kind of shocked me the most was the smoothness of it. The ethere emerged the move from proof of work to proof of stake, which is a different way of kind of figuring out what transactions are legit and handing out newly issued tokens was pushed back and pushed back and delayed and delayed. It became almost a joke like when will this ever happen? And then it finally did. And seemingly, you know, fingers crossed for everyone else out there without a hiccup. I was very impressed actually.
Leo Laporte (00:06:24):
The bad news is all those guys who spent a lot of money on custom rigs with giant GPUs and Asics to do mining are now finding it unprofitable <laugh> so
Mike Elgan (00:06:36):
Here's the thing I think that's
Leo Laporte (00:06:38):
Not a bad thing. Yeah. <laugh>,
Mike Elgan (00:06:41):
It's, it's not a bad thing. Anybody who was doing that was simply ignoring the environmental costs, which was well documented. They knew what they were doing. They were basically just, I've heard statistics like the mining of Bitcoin generally was vastly more energy consuming than all the savings from solar energy combined in the world. So, so I, I'm not, I'm not too torn up about that. The fact that they, that they sort of lost it. Plus as you pointed out, they had plenty of warning that this was coming.
Leo Laporte (00:07:11):
You wanna hear a crazy stat? This is from St. Statista. The average energy consumption for, for trans a single Bitcoin transaction was 2,188 kilowatt hours, 2,188 kilowatt hours for one transaction, which me, which is this the, the little bar to the right 148 kilowatt hours. That's a hundred thousand visa transactions. So Bitcoin is basically unsustainable. Now Bitcoin is still on proof of work. It's still using all that energy, but right, according to PC magazine it's so expensive now to mine, Bitcoin, nobody's doing it. It's just hard to find a place where energy is so cheap that you can do it profitably.
Mike Elgan (00:08:00):
The Ethereum move is, is really a point of leadership by Ethereum where, you know, it's getting a ton of press and now that they they're doing this the rest of the Bitcoin and, and cryptocurrency communities will have to, they'll have to respond to this because it's the wor a world in which you can burn that kind of energy for, for Bitcoin mining transactions, et cetera, et cetera. I, I just think it's, it's untenable, it's, it's unacceptable, it's socially unacceptable. And, and they're gonna have to do something about the, about the massive energy consumption. And again, Ethereum here is pointing away. So it's, it's really a positive thing that they did, that
Leo Laporte (00:08:40):
It was a very risky thing. Of course, there's Ethereum minors who were making money with proof of work who were upset. There was talk of a fork that the, that the fork happened,
Alex Wilhelm (00:08:52):
Alex. So I, there have been forks of Ethereum before. But what's really interesting about the situation and what Mike's talking about, the pressure, essentially from this successful merge to take the remaining chains that are on proof of work and move them over to proof of stake is that it's not just a technology conversation. It's also almost a religious conflict, because if you talk to some of these Bitcoin maxes or people that really put Bitcoin above all, just because of how it functions proof of work is a very important component to why they think that. And so the argument, and I'm not saying that I endorse this, but the argument is that now that Ethereum has moved to proof of stake, it's effectively more centralized and you can argue that different ways, but the, the power of Bitcoin such as it is described by its fans, is that yes, it is hard to mind. Yes, it is very energy intensive, but it's so spread out around the world that it's essentially Bulletproof and there's some reasonableness to that. But I, I, I end up much closer to where mic is, which is saying that guys can, can we not, if it's a possibility burn all this energy for effectively, no reason
Leo Laporte (00:09:55):
There are <laugh> you could buy in a Bitcoin minor rig that would heat your house in in Scandinavia <laugh> it was a little lit. I mean, I'm not joking. It was a stove for your house. That incidentally would also my Bitcoin. It generates that much heat. And that's why it's not profitable. It's not economical because electricity is just, I mean, the, the people were really making money with Bitcoin mining were, you know, in China next to hydroelectric dams or the cost of energy was virtually zero. So this PC magazine says, you know, they've talked to a lot of minors, the merge kill it all off. All my stuff is idling now said one minor. They look at other coins, ergo, Raven coin that that still are on proof of work, but they have so little value that mining them is unprofitable almost all the profit. I didn't realize this had gone to a Ethereum. So this was a very important thing, very risky. And and, and it worked so amazing. Well done. Well
Alex Wilhelm (00:10:57):
Done. There's a tie though, between climate change and what you just said, because if you look at Chinese weather in the last couple of months, there's been a historic drought in China, which has led to a decrease in the flow through damnable rivers. And in essence, that's led to a power crunch in parts of the country over the last couple of weeks and months. So all that cheap power that used to be used for mining Bitcoin before the Chinese government banned that ended up kind of going away. And so it's, it's, there's, there's a full circle of of, of cause and effect here with humans, trying to do things that I, I appreciated the irony of, even if it was quite sad to see an entire country go through such a staggering drought. Yeah.
Leo Laporte (00:11:33):
Well, we're going through it here in the west as well. Yeah. so one of the side effects of this is a lot, there are a lot of GPUs on eBay right now. <Laugh> and, and the price, the price of GPUs is tumbling. It's is it's the world has changed. In fact, it's cost in Vidia substantially. Another story, I think, somewhat related, one of Invidia's biggest OEMs V G a I think more than half of the Invidia video cards was sold by VGA is, is ending its relationship with VGA, with the GForce with with Nvidia. So they're gonna sell 'em until they run on stock, but they're not gonna make anymore. They make power supplies and other things. Apparently there was a little, little battle. <Laugh> a little, a little bad blood between Nvidia and and VGA. They were upset that Nvidia was undercut their prices. They were upset that their suddenly the, the profit margin collapsed as the GPU market collapsed as Bitcoin mining collapsed. And so they're just getting out of the business. Here's here's the gross margin. The light blue is the people who make Invidia cards based on the Avidia platform and sell them. The blue one is Invidia <laugh> it's margin went up while there's went to almost nothing over the last 20 years.
Alex Wilhelm (00:13:04):
I'm an awe of this chart. Carlina. My presumption is that one doesn't have to be an analyst to be able to look at that chart and go I'm out of this business. <Laugh>
Carolina Milanesi (00:13:14):
Yeah, that was pretty straightforward.
Leo Laporte (00:13:16):
Yeah. Yeah. In video themselves hurting their stock prices have tumbled as well. They had an excess inventory of cards. They will next week have GTC their big conference. And they're expected to announce the 4,000 line of video cards. They've been using the RTX 3000 for the last couple of years. So, you know, but it's, it's now it's mostly just, you know, gaming Invidia. It does have a good business in self-driving vehicles. And AI,
Alex Wilhelm (00:13:48):
I'm curious about this. So I, I need to buy a new gaming PC, which I know is always dicey territory on TWI. Cause everyone here knows more about PCs than I do. But I, I didn't for a while because you know, all the Ethereum kiddos were buying up all the graphics cards. And I didn't want to get into that fight is now a good time to build a new PC or should I still wait? I, I'm not sure where we are on chip shortages.
Leo Laporte (00:14:08):
Well, there are a lot of GPS out there <laugh> but I think a lot of them have seen some heavy use. They've been rode hard and put away wet as, as the saying goes. So I don't, wouldn't go to eBay to get one, but it has certainly I think tanked the prices when the 4,000 is announced next week, probably won't come out for a month or two. You probably see 3000 prices go down and a good 30, 80 is gonna get you a very, it's gonna be good for a gaming break. You have. So you're in your little, see, I know more about you than now. You <laugh>, that's true. You're now in your little house, out in the backyard. Yes. Where I used to sun in my youth. And as I remember, there are quite a few little gaming things. Do you just sit out out there and play games until somebody notices and then you file copy <laugh>
Alex Wilhelm (00:14:54):
Oh man. I, I, if <laugh> that. Yeah, that would be great. <Laugh> I hear about, hear about research though.
Leo Laporte (00:15:03):
That's that's research
Alex Wilhelm (00:15:03):
Alex. See Carolina's honestly in there. No, but people always talk about how people have these jobs. They don't do anything. I have never managed to find one of those jobs. And so, no, I, the, the tricks out here, you have to, I have to, I mean, I'm, I'm leading a team, we're doing a big conference. Oh, alright. I'm in charge of SAS product. Like I just giving
Leo Laporte (00:15:23):
Busy a hard time. I
Alex Wilhelm (00:15:24):
Just, no, no. I'm, I'm dreaming now. Leah, like imagine waking up and like playing games and having fun and not stressing out about results and stuff. Sounds lovely.
Leo Laporte (00:15:31):
<Laugh> <laugh> what game are you playing or, or will, will you be playing on this brand new gaming rig?
Alex Wilhelm (00:15:38):
Oh, I mean, this is a bit nerdy, but if you were, if you're a gamer and you like city building simulations, there's a new game out called farthest frontier. Ooh. Just captured my, my heart and my soul, my eyes and my hands. I'm obsessed with it. It's a survival builder. So it's like, it's designed to make it hard on you. Oh,
Leo Laporte (00:15:56):
I'm playing it. Yeah. See, I'm a Val's belheim guy, big belheim guy. And I've been playing lately satisfactory, which is similar. It's like, it's a fun game. It's a no man's land. I just streamed a bunch on Twitch. It's a no man's land kind of in a planet and you have to start mining gathering and mining resources. This looks, this looks a little more like has kind of age of empire graphics.
Alex Wilhelm (00:16:20):
Yes, it does. And there's different difficulties there.
Leo Laporte (00:16:23):
Alex Wilhelm (00:16:24):
There is combat. You get attacked by large rating parties. You have to build walls and higher soldiers. And it's very complex. It's definitely still an early access though. Just as a warning point. Like the game is still being expanded, tweaked
Leo Laporte (00:16:36):
And so forth. Great. Yeah.
Alex Wilhelm (00:16:38):
Leo Laporte (00:16:38):
Leo look like this?
Alex Wilhelm (00:16:39):
Yes. It looks just like that. Satisfactory though. That's the first person builder for factories, right? Yeah. See that threw me because I played factorial, which is top down. This
Leo Laporte (00:16:49):
Is like Factoria, but, but it's first person. Yeah.
Alex Wilhelm (00:16:52):
That's like, it's like racing a car, but you're facing backwards. Like how does that work?
Leo Laporte (00:16:56):
<Laugh> no. All right. I'll just show you a little video from last night's stream there. All apologize for the audio I was trying to figure out. So see, I, I am wielding manufacturing things. I'm setting up power lines. I've gotta conveyor belt bringing in my mining, coming down from the hill there, building stuff, building more stuff. So, yeah. See, there's my that's my little I don't know what that is. It's it's a, it's a smelter, a smelter it's taking smelter. See the, the coppers coming down and they could convey belt and the smelter, but I gotta get power to the smelter. And then I have the, okay. <Laugh> it's a very fun game.
Alex Wilhelm (00:17:39):
I didn't know Leo that we were the exact same nerd, same nerd in two different bodies. The same. You're not <laugh> if this isn't your style of game, we're sorry. But we all,
Leo Laporte (00:17:47):
Instead of killing people we're oh, but watch out, cuz there's this little guy's gonna get at me and I have to, so there's a little bit of survival involved. I see. But but not, not a huge amount. I mean, you can handle this rodent pretty easily. <Laugh> seems
Alex Wilhelm (00:18:02):
Stuck. Is, is, is it, is it stuck?
Leo Laporte (00:18:03):
He can't get up the wall. I'm just taunting him. Okay. I'm just taunting him right now because I died. He killed me and, and there's a box with all my stuff in it and I gotta get around him and get the box with my stuff. Anyway, you know who, this is not the show for that. This is not <laugh>. This
Alex Wilhelm (00:18:18):
Is Leo, Alex, and Leo's
Leo Laporte (00:18:19):
Gaming show. I apologize to Carolina. And Mike, neither of whom have time to waste on this guy. I'm gonna play for this frontier. That looks that's really, really looks good. Just came out. I'll
Alex Wilhelm (00:18:32):
I'll refund you if you don't like it personally, because I'm I'm obsessed. But anyways the graphics cards, computers, I think we were somewhere around
Leo Laporte (00:18:38):
There. Oh yeah. You should be able to play that pretty easily. <Laugh> yeah. Get a 10 80. You'll be fine. No, I play on a AMD rise seven with a 30, 80 on a 55 inch, L E D. I don't need a real life. I've got a virtual life. I just go and I play and I play and that's it. You
Mike Elgan (00:18:59):
Know, you know, Leo, I, I, I'm not into video games at all. I've played him before, but I really don't play them these days. Don't
Leo Laporte (00:19:06):
You wanna build a little town in the farthest frontier?
Mike Elgan (00:19:11):
I heard about a genre of games that I didn't know existed, but I read about it in wine enthusiast, which is basically virtual winery games. Heard of these. You have to, you, you set up the teir and then you, you plant your vines and you'd go through all this stuff. All the struggles and tribulations of a winemaker sounds fascinating to me. But
Leo Laporte (00:19:32):
This to me reminds me of like railroad simulator where you drive a train, right?
Alex Wilhelm (00:19:38):
Railroad tycoon, railroad type there's farming simulators. Yeah. I'm not shocked that there's a wine simulator. There's all, there's a game that just came out in which you build your own university and deal with all the, the hygienes that come up with like hiring professors and so forth. So Mike gaming is now so broad. And so niche that no, one's not a gamer. They're just someone who hasn't found their game.
Leo Laporte (00:19:59):
Right? This is a game. However that I shall never play pen and teller. As a joke, some years ago meant a game called desert bus. And the home premise of the game is you'd get in the bus and you'd drive by the way your driver is Alex. Hey, Hey Alex
Alex Wilhelm (00:20:17):
Why haven't we crashed
Leo Laporte (00:20:18):
Yet? No, no, this is the game. <Laugh> this is the game game. This for hours. This is an eight hour video on YouTube. This is the game. Wow. Oh, it's nice. No, it's nice. No, it's nice. Okay. So we just, you know, it's a little change of scenery. I don't even know if you have to steer, to be honest with you. It's just, I, it was a parody, but it's kind of legendary now bus, desert bus. It was on Sega. <Laugh>. Now this is a play through, by the way, which means that it's an eight hour video of that. And then you, I guess you arrive, I guess you arrive. Let me see at the very end. Do, do you get to Los Los Angeles? I don't know. <Laugh>
Alex Wilhelm (00:21:07):
If you're on the audio stream, imagine the worst graphics you've seen in your entire life. No art and annoying sound effects. Yeah.
Leo Laporte (00:21:16):
That's it. Look at the, look at the mileage, the mileage meters ticking over though, they've gone 71,000, 179.3 miles. Wow. it's seven 17 at night. And the desert's pretty much an unchanging landscape, eight hours in
Alex Wilhelm (00:21:34):
<Laugh>. I don't think it's gonna be a best seller
Leo Laporte (00:21:37):
Pen and tellers, desert bus. It's kind of legendary, to be honest with you, but it's not farthest frontier. This looks good. I'm glad you mentioned this. All right. Where were we GPUs? The, yes, GTX 4,000 next week from Invidia GTC. We will probably not cover that stream, but I think it'll be something to watch and it might be I think you're gonna see a general drop in older video cards because of the 4,000 and because of this ethere theory merge.
Alex Wilhelm (00:22:08):
So is the loss of V G a a big deal? Yeah, because I was on some, some gaming subreddits and people were pretty cut up about this. And to me as a, as, as one level nerd above knowing that I was a little perplexed by, cause I thought they were all in video cards and turns out I was wrong and
Leo Laporte (00:22:22):
No in video, I don't know of in videos of Foundry. So they designed them and then they have a, a bunch of people who make the cards, VGA A's revenue is 80% GForce GPUs. Hmm. So it's huge because they're basically turning their back on their business, 80% of
Mike Elgan (00:22:41):
Their business. Well, I mean the, the, the, the press kind of played up the acrimony between the, these former partners. Mm-Hmm <affirmative>, but, but the reality is that the, that the business is changing in a, in a bad way. So the, the, the part, the part that that Nvidia is doing is great. As you can see from that chart, with that chart, doesn't show you, it shows you the declining gross margins for the manufacturer, but it doesn't show you the rapidly rising costs for design and manufacturing and all that stuff. So it's, it's, it's really the, the, the, the risk here is that the price in the future where there's a clot now, because of what we're talking about, but there's a, there's a risk in the future that the price of, of, of these of these cards is gonna go through the roof because they're so complex now and so difficult to, to, to design and manufacture that it's, it's hard to believe that any company's really gonna want to be in this business, right. Unless they're really getting you know, much higher gross margins than than, than we see here.
Leo Laporte (00:23:45):
It's, it's just a, it is just not a great business anymore. Invidia. the Avidia event is September 20th. They will announce the Loveless architecture, which is probably aptly named and you know, what they're trying, what they've been trying to do for the last two years is find a new market for their chips. So smart you know, cars self-driving vehicles use Invidia chips to a great degree. So does artificial intelligence machine learning. So I guess it's really about a transition to some degree and
Carolina Milanesi (00:24:19):
They're not alone in this, right. Q often is trying to do the same thing. You know, after dominating this smartphone market, and now this smartphone market kind of flattening, they need to look at something else and, and driveless car is where they're going next.
Leo Laporte (00:24:34):
Intel is in much the same boat, right? Yeah, they, they, they kind of hit rock bottom this week. And they're desperately trying to figure out what to do next. They've kind of split their business into Foundry and fab. They they're, they've decided, you know, for a long time, their pro their value proposition was we design and we build our own chips at that integration though, some say, Ben Thompson has been quite vocal about this, kept them from innovating at the speed that a company like TSMC, which only builds chips, was able to innovate. TSMC had all this revenue for companies like apple and they were able to take that revenue, invent new processes come up with some very sophisticated chip manufacturing stuff that Intel couldn't do. Didn't do. They didn't have the revenue to do that. And so they lapped Intel and Intel's, you know, pat under pat Gelsinger, they're, they're a new, relatively new CEO has decided, well, we're gonna try two businesses. We wanna be a Foundry. In fact, he said, we, we could make apples chips. We wanna make apples chips. They're, they're breaking ground on a, a giant fab. Now that the chips act passed the 52 deal billion dollar subsidy act from Washington passed a couple of weeks ago until now is going ahead on its $20 billion factory, because some of that will be federally subsidized in in Arizona. So it, we are in interesting times
Alex Wilhelm (00:26:01):
That that comment drives me nuts because if they could build Apple's chip, why haven't they? Yeah. They seem to consume less power and kick maximum butt.
Leo Laporte (00:26:09):
I, I have to point out apple, didn't say, oh yeah, you can build our chips. No, <laugh> they said, well, you know, we're gonna keep we're gonna, they pretty much buy up as much of the production this TSMC can come up with and it's to their credit, you know, apple just released and you were there. I know at the, at the event in Cupertino, a couple of weeks ago, Carolina, they just announced the new iPhone. As far it's hard to tell cuz apple doesn't give unit sales out or anything like that. And it is true if you didn't order on Friday of last week you may not have picked one up on the 16th as I did. It's you might be waiting until November at this point. I don't, I haven't looked at the lead times, but I think apple was able to make as many phones as they want you think.
Carolina Milanesi (00:26:53):
Well, even, even if you ordered on for on Friday as I did for the, the four scene arrived, but the pro is due on October 4th for me, so.
Leo Laporte (00:27:06):
Wow. Yeah. Yeah. Let me just, let me, let me pretend to buy another one and just here's a Promax I bought it in gold, cuz that was the most available. Sometimes you have to finagle
Carolina Milanesi (00:27:18):
Apparently black is the one that, that everybody wants black. I thought it would be purple. Yeah. But black is the Oneda is highest demand right now.
Leo Laporte (00:27:25):
Yeah. Let's see. I still have to check some boxes, no trade in blah, blah, blah. I'm gonna buy it outright. I'm gonna choose any care. You gotta click a lot of boxes to find out when you're gonna get this. No apple care finally. October 25th. Yeah. Wow. Wow. Is right. So maybe they aren't able to get as many chips as they'd like out of TSMC. It
Carolina Milanesi (00:27:47):
Also, I don't know if it is if a supply versus demand. I think that, although I'm sure that apple took this into account that the dynamic island, as much as I wish still that they gave it a different name <laugh> is really getting a broader appeal than not just the camera. I think the pro max has always been the device that was either for people that really wanted everything and more from the camera and the larger size. Now, now you have the 14 plus that would take care of people that just wanted, you know, at larger model, but not necessarily all the bells and whistle and the price point that comes with it. And the, the dynamic island just gives a different vibe to the, the whole phone. And I think is just broaden that appeal. So I'm not surprised that the pro is, you know, into November for delivery. Yeah. If you combine the fact early adopters tend to ask for higher devices and buy, you know, higher spec devices, that's what you have in preorders. Usually. you know, people don't usually kind of rush into preorder for the, the entry level models.
Leo Laporte (00:28:59):
I should also point out that it may not be the TSM C a 16 or a 15 for the a four, the apple 14 and 14 plus that are in short supply. But these legacy nodes, this is actually the bigger problem is these older, you know, chips nobody's making 'em or they're making 'em slowly or there's shortage. So it may just be the, like the accelerometer. We can't get the accelerometer chip. That may be the problem that may be the shortage. I, I like the dynamic island by the way, Carolina. Did you like, do
Carolina Milanesi (00:29:29):
You like it? I do too. Yeah. Yeah.
Leo Laporte (00:29:30):
I don't even mind the name, although it's a little Gilligans islandy but
Mike Elgan (00:29:34):
It sounds like a reality show. Yeah. I, I the other, the other thing that is a, is a sort of wild card for apple and for lots of other companies that are trying to, to sell electronic products at massive scale, like apple does is China, which has become a very kind of unreliable place because of their zero, zero COVID policy, which still exists. Right? So if somebody sneezes in a factory, they shut the whole thing down, they trap everybody inside and they, they stay that way for three weeks or whatever. It's really a bad deal. And that's it, it's largely driven at this point by ping and the upcoming communis party conference where he's gonna be installed as emperor for life or whatever. And he doesn't want any sort of COVID bad news. And so he's willing to jettison their economy to a certain extent to keep the COVID numbers down.
Mike Elgan (00:30:26):
The other place where that this affects manufacturing is that some of these lockdowns, some of these slowdowns are still happening in Chinese ports. So not only are electronics having to come out of Chinese ports, many of the components from elsewhere outside of China have to come into China. So they can be put together with Chinese components by Chinese workers and then shipped out. So if there's slowdowns in the ports that they lock down the ports because of COVID or whatever it's, it's not that it, it it's likely that it's not gonna be that bad, but there's no way for apple to know exactly how you know, what's gonna be shut down what, what what's gonna be going into lockdown. It's just unpredictable at this point, and that's
Leo Laporte (00:31:11):
Not good. And of course, apple is as a result, building plants in Vietnam and India, Brazil. They're, they're trying to expand out of China, but that's gonna take a while before
Mike Elgan (00:31:21):
They can do that. That's it? Yeah, that's right.
Leo Laporte (00:31:23):
I should point out that you can get the low end iPhone 14 Tuesday. So I guess it's, you know, and I think it's always the case that the early sales are two dummies, like me, the enthusiast who buy the higher end phones and the less expensive phones are pretty much available. In fact, you could get it tomorrow if you wanted to go down to the store. So,
Alex Wilhelm (00:31:45):
So I, I have a question Leo, because I was watching the apple event I always do and paid attention and I, I can buy a new phone if I want, and I have a purple 12, I think, I think it's purple 12. Yeah. I don't know. I like it fine.
Leo Laporte (00:31:57):
It's not a, it's not a pro it's not a max. It's
Alex Wilhelm (00:32:00):
Just, oh, no, it 12. I I'm cheap and take terrible photos. And I'm not the target demographic for this, but I'm just curious, like how much bang are
Leo Laporte (00:32:07):
You for you with only a small camera bump when you could have a massive camera bump on your phone?
Alex Wilhelm (00:32:14):
I mean, I put my, my phone, I took it outta my case for that dramatic point because I dropped my phone all the time. You don't see yeah, I'm just, I'm just do you like it because to me this feels more like
Leo Laporte (00:32:26):
For buying it.
Alex Wilhelm (00:32:27):
Ah, <laugh> it's okay. Then I'll,
Leo Laporte (00:32:32):
I'll, I'll speak and I'll let Carolina who is more expert on this, but I, I think this, you are fine with what you got. And I think this has, has been the case for about three or four years with apple that we're, you know, we're really at a plateau. Okay. They had the dynamic island, but that's kinda like putting fins on a Cadillac. You know, it's, it's, it's a, it's, it's, it's a aesthetic thing, but it doesn't add to the real functionality of the phone. It's got a faster process processor face. I noticed face ID is faster than on my, I went from a 12 as well. My iPhone 12. I notice maybe, you know, the camera in the hands of people really know what they're doing. You could take advantage of those 48 megapixel pro raw photos and do something interesting. I've seen some really interesting things on the Haylight site and stuff, but most people aren't gonna notice any difference. I think it is a thousand dollars expenditure. Most people won't need to make. And because of, you know, economic woes probably won't make, so I expect apple to have a, a little fewer sale. What do you think, Carolyn, do you think this will be a, a slow quarter for apple slower than usual?
Carolina Milanesi (00:33:38):
I, I don't think so for a couple of reasons. One I agree what you said as far as the enhancement, you know, for a lot of people, if you had the 13, you're fine. Right. It is not really that you need to upgrade.
Leo Laporte (00:33:51):
Oh, certainly the 13.
Carolina Milanesi (00:33:52):
Yeah. Less remember though that the phone is still a very emotional purchase for a lot of consumers, right? It is part of your status is a way to show that you have the latest and greatest. So there's that kind of visual, you know, part of you that has nothing to do with that, whether or not you need it, or if is any better than what you had before you just go through motions. Yeah, you're right. I mean, there is a lot of carrier support right now. Not just for the latest model, but even last year, if they can get everybody onto 5g networks, they will. So you see a lot of promotions and lastly, you know, very few people in the us still buy a phone you know, outright, they all have it on any installment plan. So upgrading your phone doesn't really see a, a huge, you know, payout as it used to, even when you have to buy and pay tax on it and then, you know, do your installment PA payments.
Carolina Milanesi (00:34:56):
So for a lot of consumer, you're talking about adding five, $6 maybe to what their payment for last year was right. Last year model. So I don't know that apple would necessarily feel the pain of, of, of the recession because they already have the higher chunk of the market from a, from a disposable income perspective type consumer. Right. So, you know, they never seem to suffer. And overall the mobile market has always been pretty resilient because we are so dependent on phones. And so, although you might see maybe a slow down in replacement, so a lengthening of the cycle of maybe two, three months I, I don't think that the market will, will suffer.
Leo Laporte (00:35:43):
It's an excellent point. There's a, it's not an economic decision. It's an emotional decision.
Mike Elgan (00:35:49):
I mean, apple is really good at shipping away at market share a couple weeks ago, they rose to about 50% for, for the first
Carolina Milanesi (00:35:57):
In the us. Yeah.
Mike Elgan (00:35:58):
Seven in the us. And so one of the things that I think is driving that is other apple devices become so compelling. The M one MacBook pros were super compelling to the kind of people who switch around between, you know, a Microsoft device or Chromebook or whatever. People like me, I switched from a Chromebook to, to a MacBook pro because I just had to have it. It was so good. And so, you know, back in the old days, I used to switch back and forth between an Android phone and an iPhone, no more the combination of the the degree to which I love my apple watch and the degree to which I need a, a MacBook now means I, and, and I I've always loved the iPad. I really, it, it doesn't make any sense for me to have anything other than an iPhone.
Mike Elgan (00:36:45):
And I think a lot of people are slowly making that decision. I was you know, we, we were in Provo with, with, with some folks a couple weeks ago, and I was just listening to the conversation. These are not super techy folks for the most part. And they were talking about their phones and, and about half had iPhones, about half had Android phones, but the Android phone users were all saying, yeah, my next phone, I'm just gonna get an iPhone. And so I think there's, there's, there's a lot of sort of trading over from, from Android to apple that is just kind of a constant, they just are always growing their market share. And again, I think it's the, I think it's the larger apple environment that, that drives that
Leo Laporte (00:37:24):
You said something interesting Carolina, I want to pursue you said there's a lot of support from the carriers because they wanna move people to 5g. Is that a marketing thing or is there a technical reason they, they want to get on the 5g networks? What is their incentive?
Carolina Milanesi (00:37:39):
Well, the 3g network is shutting down. So you still have some users that are, have phones that are so old.
Leo Laporte (00:37:46):
Yeah. They sent my mom on the phone because she's on TMO. She was on sprint and they were gonna turn off that network. So they just sent her a phone.
Carolina Milanesi (00:37:53):
Yeah. And then there's a, there's just an efficiency from a network perspective that for a carriers, they just want to move, you know, as many people as possible on the 5g network just for efficiency, re reasons. So you've seen even the, the trade in numbers this year 800 to a thousand dollars, although I'm not quite sure what you need to trade in to get that you probably need to trade in at 2014 pro max to get that number. Cuz I traded in 2002. So sorry, an iPhone 12 pro max and I got $320. So nowhere near, you know, the eight and a thousand bucks, but they're, they're the most generous that yeah, we've seen so far.
Leo Laporte (00:38:39):
And I have to say, I was skeptical about 5g. Apple was promoting it like crazy two or three events.
Carolina Milanesi (00:38:45):
Well now they are. Yeah.
Leo Laporte (00:38:46):
<Laugh> but I have to say I'm on T-Mobile I have family members in Verizon in both cases that mid band 5g is becoming more and more available and it really is fast. Yeah. It's a hundred megabits, 150 megabits. It's as fast as you'd ever want. It's certainly as fast as your home network for a lot of people faster. Mike, I, I want to follow on what you said though. Cuz you're traveling around the world. I, I believe it in the us that people, you know, we're affluent more affluent country, they're buying more iPhones, but that's not the case around the world. Right. Android's still dominant around the world.
Mike Elgan (00:39:22):
Absolutely. And, and there, there there's been a flurry of analysts sort of charts showing what percentage of your annual income you have to spend wow. To buy an iPhone. And in the us, it's like, you know, it's like 1.5% on average, something like that in some countries it's 50%. And even, even some wealthy European countries, it's three, four, 5%. And so you really don't see the kind of uptick for iPhones abroad here in Spain. You see them, but they're, it's not like in the us you, you, they're kind of a relative rarity. And so yeah, it's just, it's purely, it's purely a cost thing. They're pretty cheap in the us. I think the only other countries that are cheaper, like Luxenberg as a percentage of income, right. And countries like that. So if you go all the way, this
Leo Laporte (00:40:22):
Is, this is an eye open, you go statistic. Yeah. Lux, Switzerland, Switzer, Berg, and Switzerland us is 1.8, 4% of your annual income. But you go to Nigeria at the top 69 point 12%. Of course nobody's gonna buy an iPhone 14.
Mike Elgan (00:40:35):
There's no way you would do that unless you're a very wealthy Nigerian. So it's, it's really you know, the, the, the global market really belongs to Android.
Leo Laporte (00:40:44):
Carolina Milanesi (00:40:45):
There's also a big difference in markets outside the us of the percentage of people that have a prepay contract versus a, you know, a monthly contract. So, you know, once you go to prepay, you don't have all the advantages of paying installments and, you know, discounts because they can't lock you in. And that is obviously favoring, more aggressive pricely priced Android phones. So there's also more variety outside of the us. I always get depressed whenever I go over to NWC in Barcelona and see all the other manufacturers. And, and I remember when I lived in the UK, you know, there's much more variety of brands and and models and price points that there is in, in the us. And that's always been the case.
Leo Laporte (00:41:33):
And that's the carriers also because the carriers here really push certain brands. Absolutely. They push the, the biggie flagship phones they make more money on 'em and I think you walk into the door at any carrier store. You're probably gonna be offered an iPhone first.
Alex Wilhelm (00:41:49):
Yeah. So I, I was really curious by Mike's comment about Luxembourg. So I just did a little bit of research.
Leo Laporte (00:41:54):
Alex Wilhelm (00:41:55):
The, so, you know, Hey, Hey, I'm glad
Leo Laporte (00:41:58):
Doing the research. That's good.
Alex Wilhelm (00:41:59):
Yeah. I'm, I'm an American. Most of my knowledge of Europe comes from CEDO Kings three. So, you know, here we are Luxembourg's population is 630, 2000. And here in the United States, we mock several states for being essentially blips, Rhode Island, Wyoming, et cetera. But Rhode Island has way more population than the whole country of Luxemburg. So I'm gonna walk around with my, my, you know, great. Yeah, there you go. Thank
Leo Laporte (00:42:22):
Alex Wilhelm (00:42:24):
Carolina Milanesi (00:42:25):
80% of those are gov EU govern, you know, government people, ah,
Leo Laporte (00:42:29):
Is that really who lives in Luxemburg
Carolina Milanesi (00:42:31):
Interest? It, it is, yeah. Is a bigger
Mike Elgan (00:42:34):
Employee. It's it's and, and their economy is really skews toward big dollar financial type companies. But there, there are, it is true. There are neighborhoods in Los Angeles that are bigger than Luxembourg.
Leo Laporte (00:42:47):
Alex Wilhelm (00:42:49):
Shout out Luxembourg though. I mean like, you know, joining, can I get like six people on a goat and for my own country and join the EU because apparently the standards are low population wise. This should be a hack, oh, year,
Leo Laporte (00:42:59):
Own country. I am gonna get email from L and Bergan now who are gonna be pissed to you.
Alex Wilhelm (00:43:04):
That's fine. Yeah.
Leo Laporte (00:43:05):
What language is it? French?
Carolina Milanesi (00:43:06):
Is it lovely country though?
Leo Laporte (00:43:08):
I've never been the, where is it? French. Is it French language is
Carolina Milanesi (00:43:11):
Leo Laporte (00:43:12):
Language. Yeah. French language
Alex Wilhelm (00:43:13):
To, yeah. I'm sure it's gorgeous. It's
Leo Laporte (00:43:15):
Actually not a country. It's a Dutchy. So let's get that straight.
Mike Elgan (00:43:18):
<Laugh> it's very Dutchy.
Leo Laporte (00:43:21):
<Laugh> surrounded by Belgium, France and Germany. That's where the Arden forests, the Rocky gorges of the Mueller tall region and the Moll river valley. Oh, it's near Brussels. That's why, that's why it's EU. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. How did you shout
Mike Elgan (00:43:40):
Leo Laporte (00:43:40):
Your Google's offering me this this people also ask, how did Luxembourg get so rich <laugh> <laugh>
Alex Wilhelm (00:43:47):
Well, the European union apparently is pouring money in their view of bureaucrats.
Leo Laporte (00:43:51):
Yeah. And a favorable tax regime. I'm moving to Lur. Yeah.
Alex Wilhelm (00:43:55):
Leo Laporte (00:43:55):
This sounds nice. This sounds good.
Alex Wilhelm (00:43:58):
And cheap iPhones too.
Leo Laporte (00:43:59):
There you go. Well, no, the iPhones cost the same, but they've as a percentage of your income, they're cheap. All right. Let's take a little break. Wow. I have learned so much in this show. This is fantastic. Carolina. AC is here. She is analyst and clearly knows of which she speaks. I wanna ask you a little bit about the apple event when we come back and, and the, just the experience of being back in the Steve jobs, theater, Alex Wilhelm, also here he's editor in chief of the new tech crunch, plus which you launched, right?
Alex Wilhelm (00:44:30):
I joined six or eight months after it came out. Oh, okay. Okay. But I've been working on it since late 20, 19.
Leo Laporte (00:44:35):
Nice. Does the ghost of Mike Arrington ha the halls there,
Alex Wilhelm (00:44:39):
You know, it's, it's, we've been bought and sold by so many mega corpses tech crunch over the years that I, I, I think we've had to reinvent our soul several times and I think it's gotten better over time who
Leo Laporte (00:44:49):
Owns tech crunch.
Alex Wilhelm (00:44:50):
Currently, we are part of Yahoo, which is the former Verizon media group. Yeah. Which was formed out of the collision of Yahoo and AOL back when it was called OS under Verizon. And now we're owned by Apollo, which is a private equity group.
Leo Laporte (00:45:06):
Alex Wilhelm (00:45:08):
Leo Laporte (00:45:09):
Really, almost all the tech publications now are owned either by, at tech, by public equity, either red ventures or Apollo, right?
Alex Wilhelm (00:45:16):
Yes. Yes. This is why subst still will always, no matter how much they make me mad, we'll have a place in my heart for building an indie place. Yeah. For people to, to scribble. Yeah.
Leo Laporte (00:45:25):
Speaking of Indies, we have our favorite, scribblers our gastro nomad. Mr. Mike ELGAN is here in Barcelona, actually. CJ, just outside of Barcelona this week. Yep. On his way to Morocco. And you still write for the tech press, but, but you're a freelancer. Yes. So you don't have to worry about the equity.
Mike Elgan (00:45:45):
Right. I I've been I've been writing for some of the usual suspects. I've added a couple new folks. Oh. And I also love subst. So subs has been Betty, Betty. Good to me. And yeah. I have a lot of fun writing on that for the same reasons that Alex pointed out. So yeah. It's, it's great. It's great to be, it's great to be a freelancer and have a diversified income streams and all that stuff. Yeah. I really, really enjoy
Leo Laporte (00:46:10):
That. So you moved Mike's list has subs stack win
Mike Elgan (00:46:13):
Two years ago.
Leo Laporte (00:46:14):
Wow. Okay. Yeah. So, and that was a, it was a good move.
Mike Elgan (00:46:18):
Yes. Very good. Nice.
Mike Elgan (00:46:21):
I mean, Mike's list is a, is a bad idea. <Laugh> in general, but usually because it it's so hard and it end result. Most of it is so frivolous. I write a, I write a serious piece and then I have a bunch of like funny stuff. And the funny stuff is so hard to do. It is totally not worth it <laugh>, but I mean, it's worth it because I personally enjoy it. But as a you know as a, as a effort to impact ratio, it's, it's a little off the chart, but I love it. That's
Leo Laporte (00:46:52):
I'm glad you do it. I appreciate it. You, you still do Mike's nice list, right? Or Mike's nice photos. What is it called? The Mike's
Mike Elgan (00:46:59):
It's called the nice book. Nice book. Yes. And I occasionally dip in there and add some fresh things. It's a replacement for Facebook. It's a nice Facebook, what I, what I'm try to do using Google photos. And so yeah, it's, it's, it's good there. There's I've got a, a few hundred people who follow it regularly and yeah, it's, it's pretty great. This all, all my personal photos and stuff.
Leo Laporte (00:47:23):
This is the place to go to visit all the various places Mike visits now. Yes. So, and do you miss, do you miss Google photos at all? I mean Facebook at all?
Mike Elgan (00:47:35):
Not at all. Yeah. I, I, I, they, they actually, this is kind of an interesting thing. They, they actually locked me out. So I was gonna do the thing where once a year, you go in and reactivate your account, that deactivated, just to keep ownership out,
Leo Laporte (00:47:49):
They got tired of that
Mike Elgan (00:47:50):
And they just like locked me out.
Leo Laporte (00:47:51):
And so we we're onto your game, Mike <laugh>.
Mike Elgan (00:47:55):
So now I'm just like, eh, forget it.
Leo Laporte (00:47:57):
I don't miss it. I don't miss it. Although I was at a dinner last night where four people, I was the only one, not on Facebook. And they were all talking about how fun it is. And I felt a little left out. I have
Mike Elgan (00:48:09):
To say, yeah, well, one of my favorites to Reddit, you have a special Facebook.
Leo Laporte (00:48:13):
Mike Elgan (00:48:14):
Let's I have a special Facebook. That is
Leo Laporte (00:48:16):
Fun. No, I guess, yeah, that was my, I should have asked them, what do you mean fun? <Laugh> there's
Mike Elgan (00:48:22):
A's definition. Sub that's really funny. There's a subreddit that sort of mocks pseudoscience and, and, and like, you know, outrageous claims, flat authors, all this kind of stuff. And it's called Facebook science.
Leo Laporte (00:48:33):
Mike Elgan (00:48:34):
That's the name of the
Leo Laporte (00:48:35):
Suburb? I'm following it right now. It sounds like a good, a very good name. Let me do slash R slash Facebook science. Oh, I can't find it. Oh, I forgot the last I put the slash in the wrong spot. We're gonna take a little break, come back with more with our fabulous panel, but first a word from Noom. One of the people we were at dinner with last night, I didn't recognize, I hadn't seen him cuz of COVID. I saw him maybe two years ago. And and I, he went on our cruise and and I had messaged him. I said, I thought you were going on the cruise. I don't see ya. He said, I'm right here. He lost 60 pounds. He shaved his beard too, but he'd lost 60 pounds. And he said, how did you do that? He said, Noom to which Lisa, my wife said, I love Noom.
Leo Laporte (00:49:24):
And I said, oh, I love Noom too. Noom. Our sponsor for this segment of this week in tech is a great way not to diet, but to understand why you eat, how you eat and so that you can eat more healthily. When we decide to lose weight, it shouldn't just be about a number on the scale. It should be about learning to eat, right? And noms psychology. First approach focuses on that. They empower you to build a more sustainable habit, a relationship with food that, that has lasting results to date. And it really works. It worked for me. I lost 20 pounds. Lisa didn't have as much to lose, but she's kept it off. She's at the lowest weight she's been in 30 years, nom weight has helped more than 3.6 million people lose weight, but every one of us is different. And that's, what's so great about Noom.
Leo Laporte (00:50:17):
Your daily lessons are personalized to you and your goals. The program's based on scientific principles, things like C, B T cognitive behavioral therapy, which really is about helping you understand your relationship with food. Thanks to new. I realized that, you know, I ate pretty well when I was paying attention. It was the fog eating that was getting me. I wasn't almost wasn't even aware of it. I'd come home and I'd stuff, some food in my mouth, cuz I was hungry or tired or tense or stressed. And it was that extra Cal, those extra calories that were putting me over the top Noom does not say you can or can't eat any particular foods. And I really liked that too. In fact, early on in Noom, you know, you get with Noom, you get, you get the app, you track your food, you have your lessons in there, the little readings and you can set it to be as many minutes a day as you want just a few minutes or I think it's no more than 15 minutes a day of reading, but you also get a counselor and you also get a group that you can Cooper, you know, work towards goals with.
Leo Laporte (00:51:17):
And things like that. I told my counselor was just in the first maybe couple of weeks of Noom. I feel terrible. I eat a hot dog. She said, what's wrong with that? No, no bad foods. Just, you know, keep on, keep on doing it. What you're doing. It's a non-restrictive food program that focuses on progress. Not perfection. You choose what support you want from five minute daily check-ins to personal coaching off days are totally okay. In fact, as I progressed through Noom, they started bonusing me. It was so great. They'd say, okay, you could do anything you want today. It's a bonus day. But the funny thing is, even though I had the freedom of eat, all that junk I wanted because I'd been doing Noom, I kind of had this awareness of what I was eating and I didn't go wild. It was kind of nice to know.
Leo Laporte (00:52:01):
I could have, if I want Noom weight helps you get back on track. No matter what happens. 95% of customers say Noom weight is a good, long term solution. Lisa's been on maintenance for a year and it's really still working for her. She's she's still active. It's very interesting. She's, I'm kind of impressed. They publish more than 30 peer reviewed scientific articles to show users. PRRA other practitioners, scientists, the public about what they're doing and how it works and why it works. It is totally changed. My relationship with food. I'm much more conscious when I eat one of the things I learned from Noom, Lisa and I both do it. We put our phones away. We turn off the TV, we sit down, we chew and we enjoy our food. We taste it. We sometimes we close our eyes while we're eating it and makes a huge difference. Stay focused on what's important to you with Noom weights, psychology based approach. It worked for us. It worked for our friend. Sign up for your trial today. Noom.Com/Twi. Try it really trust me N om.com/twit. Sign up for your trial today. Thank you Noom for all you've done for us. We really appreciate it. And thanks for sporting this week in tech, I'm pressing the join button on Facebook science. <Laugh> if I can't be on Facebook, at least I can be on Facebook science. Right. <laugh> right. At least have the worst part on Facebook. <Laugh>
Alex Wilhelm (00:53:20):
You mean the best part? Because out of context, it's comedy in context, it's
Leo Laporte (00:53:24):
Terrifying. Right? Right. <Laugh> they have 50,000 subscribers. Here we go. Look at this quarantine reduces pollution and proves flat earth. <Laugh> well, there you go. There you go. This is, this is great. This is all the stuff I've always wanted. I should share this on Facebook. Oh, I don't have an account. Oh, well <laugh> oh, well, so other big news little guy his name is Dylan lived up the road a bit, grew up in Sonoma county. He's 30 years old. Now when he was about three, the family bought him a computer. He really took to it. He loved it. Wasn't a great student. It wasn't until he got in that, you know, first robotics program in high school that he kind of really thought about technology was kind of, this is really cool. He went, you know, he couldn't get into Cal. He didn't have great grades in school. He did get into brown university. I'm not sure how, but he got into brown university. So we went there. You may remember a few years ago a, a guy named Peter teal <laugh> who had a little bit of money because Peter teal was an early investor in Facebook. Do you remember this, Mike? You probably about 2012 teal put together a fund saying if you drop outta college, I'll give you a hundred thousand dollars.
Mike Elgan (00:54:45):
Yes. Remember that the HBO Silicon valley series mocked that as well. They had a, they had a, a character in here there who was a V VC, who was like, no, don't go to college. It's a terrible idea. Yeah, it was that was a ill advised.
Leo Laporte (00:55:00):
So Dylan took the money. He was in his junior year at brown and with a, a friend of his also at brown, they started a little company. Their first idea was drones to monitor traffic laws, flopped. So they thought, what should we, what else could we do? And they thought, well, you know, maybe there's not, maybe there's not a business here. I don't know. But you know, we got, we got a little money. Let's let's design, a web based graphics design program. They called it Figma a design platform for teams who build products together. Didn't make a lot of money at first. They were in a above a gas station, a small office, I'm sorry, above a bar, a small office. It got so, so noisy. After three o'clock on Fridays, they had all had to go home cuz a bar was just too loud to get any work done.
Leo Laporte (00:55:49):
Until a few years ago he was, you know, living in the mission district in San Francisco, buying $1 cup of coffees on his way to work, working really hard. But it, things started to turn about four years ago, they were able to raise money enough money in fact, to value the company, I think at about a hundred million, which good money. Right. then a few years after that it continued to, I think because of mostly because of COVID COVID yeah, they they had a valuation round that got them to wow. 10 billion still, you know, a lot of times founders raise this money, but doesn't mean they're gonna live a lavish lifestyle, but that was good. And that COVID really helped this little design company do very well. Adobe started a notice because this company started to take money out of Adobe's pockets.
Leo Laporte (00:56:43):
In fact, last year, $400 million in revenue. And you have to think that most of that money that went to Figma was money that Adobe didn't make on Photoshop and illustrator and InDesign. So Adobe started to think, well, we gotta do something about this guy this week. Adobe announced their buying Dylan Fields's company for 20 billion. One of the largest acquisitions, I think the largest acquisition of a, of a web company ever. He has 10%, he's got 2 billion, half of it in cash, half of it in Adobe stock. That's too bad about the Adobe stock park. But cuz Adobe took Adobe stock tanked as a result. But this is one of those stories where you know what this guy did. All right. And I, and I'm kind of happy now. It's not a done deal. They still have to get through regulator approval and all that. But
Mike Elgan (00:57:34):
It'll, it'll probably go through and, and timing is everything because basically the reason I'm certain I'm certain, the reason that Adobe really wants this company is that right now with remote work with digital nomads and many of whom are digital creators and designers and with the, the need to collaborate in the cloud like this, this offering enables that's where it's at and O Adobe is, is nowhere in that space. And so Adobe is, is is still living kind of living in the past of, of when everybody shows up to an office and those days are over essentially for many, many creators. And so this is a golden idea, just it's one of those ideas. That's exactly the right idea at exactly the right time. And they are really you know, it's really paying off for this
Leo Laporte (00:58:25):
Guy, certainly better than drones to man to monitor reckless driving. I think that was a,
Mike Elgan (00:58:30):
A good Absolut, so, well, it's, it's funny that remember bill Gates's first start
Leo Laporte (00:58:35):
Mike Elgan (00:58:35):
Data driving data. Yeah. But I think if he, if there had been drones, maybe it'd have been drone related.
Leo Laporte (00:58:42):
So the market really didn't like this, I think Adobe's stock went down something like 17%. Yeah. But in a way I, you know, look, I, I don't like the subscription model I've found other programs to use in Photoshop and Lightroom, but Adobe had to do that. They had to move from the boxed software, right. To subscription as much as people didn't like it. And I think as much as people don't like the idea of them buying Figma, they, they probably, it's probably an existential crisis for them. You think
Mike Elgan (00:59:13):
Caroline AC acquisitions is what Adobe does best. If you recall Photoshop was an acquisition.
Leo Laporte (00:59:18):
Carolina Milanesi (00:59:20):
I think, think what the market didn't like, is the evaluation not necessarily the purchase
Leo Laporte (00:59:27):
Carolina Milanesi (00:59:27):
Yeah. I think that, you know, as they waited, say six months, as people settle into a more hybrid versus remote workplace that evaluation could have been lower. I think that's what people are taking. You know, a negative kind of take on, on the deal versus whether or not Adobe's doing the right thing. Cuz aside from what Mike was saying about, you know, hybrid work is here to stay, it is also true that we all are more creators than we were before. Right. Content has become part of what you need to come up with, no matter what job you have as, as a knowledge worker. Right. and I think that's the other trend that we see that that I think Adobe's taking you know, is looking at taking a chunk out and not to have special skills. So you don't have to necessarily have people dedicated to, I don't know, coming up with social media designs or your ads or your post, or, you know, coming up with infographic for a new report that you've done, you know, all of that is now part of, you know, a writer's job or especially for, for smaller companies where you don't necessarily have dedicated people doing that.
Leo Laporte (01:00:54):
It really is perfect timing. You couldn't, you know, this is a company that benefited hugely from COVID. The, but do you think this, that Adobe had to do this Mike?
Mike Elgan (01:01:07):
Well, I, I do, I, I don't think Adobe has it in them to, to create something that would be just like this and do it quickly enough or I I'm not even sure they could ever do it exactly like this. It's pretty lean company and it's a pretty you know, it's got a lot, it gets a lot of praise for its usability and its user interface and so on. Now I, the, I, I suspect that the reason that the market isn't thrilled is that they don't trust Adobe to, to own this company in the right way. They they're saying all the right things. They're saying, we're gonna keep, keep it completely separate. We're gonna keep the team in place. We're not gonna change anything. We're not gonna change the pricing. We're not gonna do any of that stuff. But whenever a company acquires another company, they always say those sorts of things and they might stick to it for a year or two in two years.
Mike Elgan (01:02:01):
This guy is going to probably leave and start another company. His contract will be up and after a year or two or three years, the promises, the mindset that they had when they made the acquisition is all gone and they will use this the, the people, the technology, the customers, and all that stuff in whatever way, suits, Adobe's interests and their shareholders and so on. So, you know, the fact that they're saying they're gonna keep the pricing. Okay. They may or may not. They probably won't in a few years are probably Jack it up and make it expensive. Like every other Adobe product that they may move to Adobe like payment you know, subscription models and so on. But for the time being it's, it's, I think it's a, it's a good move for Adobe simply because this is where this is where the world is.
Mike Elgan (01:02:54):
And it very well could be that this product could become Adobe's flagship product in five years is possible. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> time will tell now the best case scenario is they, they do a lot of integration so that Adobe tools work seamlessly within this environment. And that would be great, but I think it's good for everyone involved. I think it's likely that the regulators will allow to go through and you know, I, I think it's kind of the only downside is a lot of the customers for Figma. One of the things they loved about it was that it was like a,
Leo Laporte (01:03:34):
That it was not Adobe Crapp
Mike Elgan (01:03:35):
Leo Laporte (01:03:36):
It was not Adobe. Yeah, exactly.
Mike Elgan (01:03:38):
Leo Laporte (01:03:39):
Almost certainly refugees from Adobe. Right.
Mike Elgan (01:03:42):
<Laugh> yes, exactly. So it's a bummer for those people. Well,
Leo Laporte (01:03:45):
Is that good for Canva and sketch and the other companies in the same arena? I mean,
Mike Elgan (01:03:51):
I guess, I mean prob who knows they, they, the number of alternatives is, is sort of narrowing. Yeah. So
Leo Laporte (01:04:00):
And let me ask you, Alex, is it a good cuz you cover business? It seems okay. So 20 billion. Yeah. That's a kind of a significant amount of money for a company that only has four and a half billion in revenue last quarter. That's more than their annual revenue. Furthermore it's a lot more than Figma makes it's it's ARR last year was 400 million, as I said it takes a lot of 400 millions to get to 20 billion.
Alex Wilhelm (01:04:36):
It absolutely does, but I don't think you should think about that in those terms. I don't think revenue is a number you want to use in this case. And I, I say that as someone who's a huge fan of using revenue multiples to value companies.
Leo Laporte (01:04:46):
Yeah. Don't you? Yeah. Multiple of ABIDA. But that's this is a multiple, I can't remember. I saw the number like 50 X. It's a huge,
Alex Wilhelm (01:04:53):
It's 50 X ARR for the end of Adobe's fiscal year, which ends November 30th. But what matters here more as Adobe bet, roughly 13, 14% of its market cap on Figma. Huge because it was worth like 170 it's being sold is buying for 20. To me, that is actually a pretty reasonable chunk of the company to bet on something that could become the sort of threat that Mike's describing. And the thing that I that's been stressed to me by folks in the space is that it isn't like Figma was out to, you know, immediately cannibalize all of Adobe's revenues. But instead, because it was designed to be worked on in a collaborative environment, it had a fundamentally different architecture than Adobe product, which are designed for single person use. And so Adobe needed something for the future and a defensive capacity and critically Figma is cash flow positive. So once you buy it, it doesn't continue to delete from your cash flow. And I think that is a pretty important distinction and it's growing at about a hundred percent per year. So a hundred percent per year growth. Sure. It's expensive, but you're only betting 1340 14% of the company. I think it's a great move. I think investors are being morons. I love it.
Carolina Milanesi (01:06:02):
Think your point, Alex,
Leo Laporte (01:06:03):
It's defensive, right? I mean, go ahead, Carolina.
Carolina Milanesi (01:06:05):
No, I was just gonna say the point that Alex just made about the back end and now that is organized for true collaboration, I think is critical, right? Because that might actually will be the, you know, one of the reasons for Adobe acquisition because they can take then their products as well, a use of the same backend, presumably or parts of it to deploy that for better collaboration, even on their products. Cause this is the, when we talk hybrid work, everybody gets fixed on the, you know, you're in the office, you're home. That's not really what it is. The, the hybrid work is how you work and how much more in the cloud our workflows are, and this is not going away. Right. So for Adobe to get to be part of that, to empower people, to truly collaborate in this new environment I think this seems like a very good shortcut.
Alex Wilhelm (01:07:00):
Yeah. The sad thing though, Carolina is that I think it's a smart deal from Adobe's perspective, right? Like to me, they had to pay a premium on the lost private evaluation. We all expected it to go for a relatively high amount, given the quality of the business itself, etcetera. Right. But I'm bummed that Figma didn't turn them down and try to kill them because the whole point of startups, like why I care about them, why I watch these little baby companies is because they potentially grew up to become incumbent killers. And in this case, Adobe used historically hoarded wealth, which is fines corporation to essentially buy out the competition. And so we're not gonna see Adobe get superseded. We're gonna see Adobe more entrenched. And that just makes me
Leo Laporte (01:07:42):
Concept. You did that one reason Lena con and the FTC may stop this you know, they're looking at Facebook's acquisition of Instagram same thing to kill arrival. And they're wishing they could roll that back. They're wishing they had looked at it a little bit more closely when it happened for a bill. It was a billion. I remember we were a gas blown away, a gas at 1 billion dollars. So do you think this new regulatory attitude in Washington might stop this for that reason alone? Because it is about to put a competitor out of business?
Alex Wilhelm (01:08:17):
Yeah. The only thing I'll I'll say is here, and I know Mike has a strong opinion and I wanna get his take on, on why he's so positive on, on the deal going through. But the, the reason why I would be in that direction is that no one talks about Adobe in, in Washington. If you, if you read you know, transcripts of congressional hearing and so forth, it's the big five American companies and TikTok. Yep. And it, I, I don't recall Adobe coin up once. It's kind of a side show, cause it's not a platform in the operating system sense. It doesn't have a social network that politicians can grandstand against. And so it kind of sits to the side and does its thing. So maybe, maybe Le Conn will keep her fire focused somewhere else. And if she does, then it goes through I, I never thought I'd be, you know, voting for an opinion here, but like I hope she does block it. Cuz then Figma would have to kind of go wait and make me happier. I'm sure Dylan
Leo Laporte (01:09:04):
Figma was poised to do an IPO and decline because of the, you know, the bad environment for tech IPOs. Get
Alex Wilhelm (01:09:12):
It, give it 12 months. It's fine. I, I, I only know Dylan at teeny a little bit. I had I had dinner sitting next to him at Sequoia once I think, or it was different venture capital for one of them. And he was, was ages ago and he was perfectly lovely. But I just wanna say one last thing before I hand off to, to Mike to talk about the deal. But like I live very much near brown university and Providence is claim Providence is claiming this one is ours. So rarely does my town come up in the news press. Here
Leo Laporte (01:09:37):
We are. And take that Cal, you turned him down Cal. He was, we should point out a brown university dropout, however, oh,
Alex Wilhelm (01:09:44):
Close enough, who he showed up here for a bit. He's had the coffee. It's fine. <Laugh>
Leo Laporte (01:09:48):
Just as I'm a Yale dropout. And I don't think the new Haven's welcoming me back and with open arms, but anyway the people who are really celebrating on sand hill road, index ventures, Greylock partners, and KP, those are the big VCs. I'm sure Peter te still has a pretty big stake. They will all have a giant payday. And of course still in himself now in the three comma club. So Mike, you have an opinion about this.
Mike Elgan (01:10:15):
I just, oh, I want to to, to support what Alex said, which is that basically anti big, big antitrust action, you know, big moves like blocking an acquisition. Like this has become political. And, and I don't think Washington has the understanding to, to basically is kind of arbitrary to a certain extent what they block. And they tend to go out for the big, the big name of social networks and, and the big tech giants. And, and they don't, they barely know who Adobe is. They, they, they don't care that much. There's no constituents demanding that they, you know, stop their steam rolling of the industry. Nobody really cares about this. And so I think it's just gonna go through simply because they want to pick their battles and the battles that they want to have yeah. Are with, you know, apple, Google, et cetera, Amazon
Leo Laporte (01:11:08):
And bigger, bigger fish to fry. It was only you know, nine months ago that Dylan field, the new newly minted billionaire tweeted our goal is to be Figma, not Adobe.
Mike Elgan (01:11:21):
You know, and, and that, that is such an, that is such a soft statement to to say against a competitor. He probably had in the back of his mind at all times that this could be a, a, a significant possibility. And so, you know, even, even after the acquisition, in, even during the announcement, both they and Adobe are saying, they're, we're gonna keep their in independent cultures. They're essentially saying exactly what that tweet said. Yeah. And so it, it was really, you know, the press is, is, is making that tweet sound like it's a, a, you know a, a shot over Adobe's bow in the past is nothing of the kind, no, it's a very, very Ady harmless thing to say.
Leo Laporte (01:12:03):
There's also, I've also heard it said that you don't want the government to block this one because I'm sure this is a venture capitalist who said this, you really want to have people have that opportunity for the big exit, because that gets more people to do startups. You think that's fair?
Alex Wilhelm (01:12:20):
I, I think that's baloney and annoying go public, make your own exit. Okay. And don't like it, I agree. You don't have to sell to an aging giant that barely pulled off a SA transition to have the Silicon valley model work. In fact, that's not how the majority of the wealth was made in Silicon values made via IPOs of companies that ended up becoming new giants, not selling out for a smaller dollar amount than you could in another two or four years. N not that I blame Dylan for collecting the bag to be clear, like shout out. If someone offered me $20 billion, I would sell my kids.
Leo Laporte (01:12:50):
It's pretty hard. Both of 'em. Yeah. It's pretty hard to turn that down, even if you think, well, I might make more next year. I don't, that's hard to say no to, and I work Greylock and KP are, <laugh> kind of Dylan <laugh> will be very happy. If you would accept that, right, but
Mike Elgan (01:13:10):
This is what, this is what Silicon valley has become much more short term. They all want the next thing. And they don't have a lot of patience for the current thing. And this is true of Dylan. He's gonna, you know, like I said, in a couple years, he is gonna two, three years, he is gonna have another startup that he wants to be a hot startup. And then, and of course all the venture money wants to just turn that around. This is a big, big payoff for them bigger than they probably expected. And they want to take that money and invest in the next, you know, such thing. And they want to accelerate, accelerate, accelerate. And so this is kind of, you know, the, the, the days in which, you know, a bunch of engineers lead Fairchild, semiconductor, and found Intel are, you know, that, that, that world is, has been transformed into a much faster much shorter term thinking kind of a culture at the same time because of that culture, because it's kind of toxic.
Mike Elgan (01:14:03):
There are lots of new entrepreneurs who are trying to avoid VC and are trying to bootstrap their operations, make revenue right away. This is, was almost one of 'em cuz they were they're actually not, you know, they're, they're not like a, you know, a Uber or something like that, just burning cash. They were actually making money. But a lot of companies trying to do that without the VC pressure. So the VCs are pushing for this sort of exit and somebody like Dylan is probably pushing for this kind of exit. It's a bummer for all the legions of fans of this, of this platform. And also the, the, the employees of this company who are kind of missionaries, you know, they're like, they're, they're, they're really, they've really been on a mission to, to, to, to change how, how digital collaborative work happens. And so it's kind of a bummer for them to a certain extent, but this is how Silicon valley works. I mean, this is the best case now scenario for Silicon valley, this is, this is Silicon valley working the way most people who were serious players in Silicon valley wanted to work
Leo Laporte (01:15:03):
Well. Figma was a huge success in terms of market share. They had 77% market penetration for product design tools. And that's gotta be what scared Adobe, Adobe had a competing product, Adobe XD, which really, yeah, hadn't, hadn't, you know, gained the same kind of traction that must have scared them that you know, they could get their lunch eating. I, you know, and I know a lot of designers who were very unsettled by this who love Figma hate Adobe, and mm-hmm <affirmative> are not happy about it.
Mike Elgan (01:15:35):
It was a very Facebook like acquisition where they had a, a, a, a really hot competitor upstart yeah. Who they tried to compete against failed. And so they just bought, and, and that's, this is what, this is what, you know, this is the Facebook playbook. They copy the rival. And then when that doesn't work, they buy
Leo Laporte (01:15:55):
Them hunter walk. Who's a smart seed capital capital of VC pointed out that when Cruz got snip snapped up by GM six years ago, people said a billion plus. Wow. But the answer was the same as with this acquisition. If autonomy is a potential future of your auto industry, you're not strong in that area. What percent of your market cap is it worth to, to acquire what could be the thing that's gonna put the nail in your coffin, right? Yeah. For, for GMOs 2.5% of their market cap it's even bigger for Adobe, but it it's, I, I think it is an existential crisis for Adobe. Yeah.
Alex Wilhelm (01:16:37):
Can I just weigh in here quickly? Hunter walk is a, a friend of mine and a really lovely human. So it's fun to see him kind of crop up on TWI rare, rare is the time in which that part of my work life kind of ends up on the show. But I, I wanna say one thing about the acquisition and how it's been structured. And I just double check this according to Adobe, Dylan's gonna say the CEO of Figma, but he's gonna report to David wa who is the president of Adobe's digital media business. He's not reporting to the CEO to his CEO. Is that what's up?
Carolina Milanesi (01:17:11):
Yeah. Yeah. I said the same. He's now reporting to his CEO.
Leo Laporte (01:17:14):
So what does that mean
Alex Wilhelm (01:17:16):
If you want means he's played for the JV team. I mean, like he's down an entire layer of management, which is no fricking joke at a big company. Carolina can back me up here or not. But like, when I read that I was just perplexed, like, why do you spend as much of your market cap and then put it underneath a Lieutenant? Why doesn't it report to the actual boss?
Leo Laporte (01:17:32):
I think it could
Carolina Milanesi (01:17:33):
Be, especially if you're saying that they're gonna stay independent and they're not basically you want to continue to operate the way that they have been. That's true. You can only do that. If you got the CEO backing, backing
Leo Laporte (01:17:44):
You. Yeah. That's a clear signal. They're not that they're gonna put Dylan up on the roof, having lunch with the other guys, and they're gonna suck Figma into the creative cloud. And that's that, you know, and Dylan, I hope you enjoy your three year handcuffs. And then the problem is, you know, I'm sure Dylan, he's 30 years old. He's a young guy thinks, oh, I could do it again. The, the case of people actually doing that is the numbers of those. I think it's pretty low. Right? It's it's their timing is so impeccable, you came up with the right idea at the exact right time. It was, it couldn't have worked better. The chance of that happening. That's like lightning in a bottle, right? Or no.
Mike Elgan (01:18:24):
Well, you're right. You're right. That it's, it's rare to have another mega hit, but he also has the leisure to pursue his passions. Yeah. And remain a
Leo Laporte (01:18:35):
Billionaire. Yeah. He might wanna seal, you know,
Mike Elgan (01:18:37):
Go back to the drone
Leo Laporte (01:18:38):
Thing. America's cup yachts or yeah. Build, build, build drones and yeah, exactly. Yeah.
Alex Wilhelm (01:18:44):
That's big in China. Why
Leo Laporte (01:18:45):
Carolina Milanesi (01:18:46):
If you look at the money that the WeWork CEO is getting, oh, look at
Leo Laporte (01:18:52):
Adam Newman. Yes. That's stunning. Yep. So here's a guy. I mean, all I know about WeWork, I learned from the HBO or the apple TV series crashed <laugh> so correct me if I'm wrong on this, but he, but here's a guy who was a very good talker who basically had a real estate, a commercial, you know, a rental business that he convinced people was a tech company got massive buy in from sun at SoftBank who very, really foolishly almost, I mean, trashed his company by buying, in giving Adam Newman so much money. Eventually the guy was such a train wreck. They had to fire him, but he negotiated a, I think a billion dollar walk away fee. Then a couple of years later after smoking a few more joints, he he started buying up a commercial real estate and no rental, not even commercial rental properties in Florida, he just raised $350 million for mark Andreson to do rental to do to the, do the WeWork of apartments. I guess.
Alex Wilhelm (01:19:57):
I, I, I just wanna say that that was fine. Leo, talk about
Leo Laporte (01:20:02):
Alex Wilhelm (01:20:03):
I, I take exception with the smoking more joints thing as a dismissive, we're talking about Silicon valley. Okay. Like I think if that's gonna be a preclusion for success, everyone's fired and
Leo Laporte (01:20:12):
At least he stayed married to Ann Hathaway. So you gotta admire that. Right. That, that takes some <laugh> that takes some work. I don't know. Oh,
Alex Wilhelm (01:20:21):
Because of the show.
Leo Laporte (01:20:22):
Yeah. You don't. Yeah. Rebecca as his real wife and Hathaway was, yeah.
Alex Wilhelm (01:20:26):
I was like, that's not the case. That's wrong. And,
Leo Laporte (01:20:29):
But I'm telling you when they do the story of Twitter, I want Jared Leto to play me. It might be a fat suit. That's okay. He's done that before. But Jared did a very nice job. Was, was we crashed anything like the actual, I felt like it was pretty accurate from what I remember.
Mike Elgan (01:20:45):
It was, it was a biopic version of, of reality. I mean, I think they, they, I think it was actually a fairly sympathetic portrayal and
Leo Laporte (01:20:53):
Oh really? You thought that was more sympathetic than you deserved?
Mike Elgan (01:20:58):
Well, yes I do. I think it was more sympathetic than than, than most people would, would, would give them only sense.
Leo Laporte (01:21:07):
Sons, MAs, Yoshi son wouldn't wouldn't have been so kind. Right. Sure. Right.
Mike Elgan (01:21:12):
Right. The, the worst part about the Andreessen deal to me is not that they're trusting this barefoot supernova as it were. They it's that the idea I think is, is it doesn't make any sense if you recall, from the, from the movie his first idea when he was an entrepreneur college or whatever that was was to have housing sort of, you know, sort of collective housing sort
Leo Laporte (01:21:35):
Mike Elgan (01:21:36):
Yeah, yeah. It's kind of a evolved version of that. And I think it's ki it's the ki the thing that makes me nervous, it's the kind of thing that Silicon valley people who live and breathe Silicon valley people like mark Andreessen would think is a great idea. You know, adults wanna live in this sort of the community scenario. And I don't think they do, right. I don't think adults do wanna live in a community. It's a, they used to have boarding houses, remember in the twenties and thirties and stuff like that. We're over that, you know, people want their own autonomy. They wanna choose if they have roommates that wanna choose them and not have a company choose them for, for them. I just think it's a terrible idea. And I don't think it scales now the, the, the, the, the, the problem is that he took all that WeWork money and he, he owns the property. So, so to a certain extent, he's going to this, like Ray crock, he has this huge advantage cuz he personally owns the real estate.
Leo Laporte (01:22:28):
Right? The problem
Mike Elgan (01:22:30):
Is and possible that
Leo Laporte (01:22:31):
The financial issue with WeWork is he had long term leases on these, on these commercial properties, these office properties. But he did not have long term commitments from his tenants. And as soon as you know, COVID hit all of a sudden, he's still gotta pay the lease and he's got no revenue. I mean, it was a terrible business model. Maybe he learned, oh, I should own it instead. I'm not convinced it's a, and I, you know, co-housing, which is what you were talking about was huge. For, I know people who did it in Silicon valley. Mm-Hmm, <affirmative> the idea that, you know, it's like kinda like a, a commune, but you have your own house and this is really what people want, because this is how we lived in tribal society and watch, well, I feel like I understand kind of the, but the thing is in practice, same problem with communes, Mike and I are been around long enough to remember communes. Yes. It was, it was a good idea in principle <laugh> but then, but
Alex Wilhelm (01:23:27):
They all fell apart.
Leo Laporte (01:23:28):
They all felt cuz they had other people.
Alex Wilhelm (01:23:31):
Leo Laporte (01:23:32):
So hell is other people
Alex Wilhelm (01:23:34):
Did, did, did Adam Newman reinvent the HOA a famously lovely system in which
Leo Laporte (01:23:39):
No one's a jerk. Oh God, the HOA, the ha this is
Alex Wilhelm (01:23:45):
The hard, hard pass.
Leo Laporte (01:23:45):
Yeah, this is, yeah. This is the condo association. And
Carolina Milanesi (01:23:50):
It was really hard when we were looking for a place here in Georgia actually to get away from, from that. Cuz there's so many communities that you know, where the grass has to be a certain high and
Leo Laporte (01:24:04):
That's very, you know, that's very bucks. That's very Atlanta. In fact, I remember, you know, driving through these suburbs of Atlanta and it's perfectly groomed. Yep. Right. It's just it, it, it's really interesting. Yeah. And I guess that makes sense. It's all, it's all HOA agreements. Yeah.
Alex Wilhelm (01:24:23):
People, people are famously jerkish in these HOA communities. Like you read these horror stories and people still move into them. I'm with Carolina. I, I refuse to let someone else tell me how tall my grass can be. I, I'm not allowed to swear on TWI, so I'm not going to, but like imagine a string of profanity about how I'd rather burn my house down than listen to Billy. Bob, tell me what color it can be like also, whose life is so freaking flipping fracking, small that they spend their time going around to other people's homes to tell them what to do with it. Like, do you literally have no personality, hobby, friends, family or connections please. Right. Do the human just go away.
Leo Laporte (01:25:02):
Carolina. Did you, did you end up in Buckhead or did you keep going at time?
Carolina Milanesi (01:25:06):
We're in Marietta.
Leo Laporte (01:25:07):
Ah, that's a little nicer. Little more real probably. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I always felt like Buckhead. I was a giant Nordstrom, like the whole, the whole
Alex Wilhelm (01:25:16):
Leo Laporte (01:25:16):
The whole town, which is Nordstrom was very, very Stepford wife. All right. Let's take a little break. We'll come back with more great panel. Mike Gans. So nice to see you. I wish I were in bar Lona with you or fays next week. I'm so jealous. Where are your fays and fays, you'll be the only one I will. Yeah.
Alex Wilhelm (01:25:35):
I, and they'll all look at me and go, what
Leo Laporte (01:25:38):
Are you doing? I remember those Carol, I mean Le who is our favorite Italian. Great to have you from the heart of tech and creative strategies. Do you, do you go back to Italy on, I think you do don't you on a regular basis?
Carolina Milanesi (01:25:52):
Not thanks to COVID but I was there in the summer. I took my kid to Paris and then we went to see my mom. Nice. Who I not seen since we're beginning of COVID and of course, as soon as I got to my mom's house, I tested positive. So I spent my week in Italy in my old kid bedroom. I'm I'm so sorry. Yes that's okay. <Laugh>
Leo Laporte (01:26:16):
We were talking last night about the place to run for climate change. My, my sister's been saying my, my sister's been trying apparently if you can prove Italian ancestry mm-hmm <affirmative> you can get a grandfathered into an Italian citizenship and my sister and, and the people we were with were thinking about, maybe we should do that, pursue our Italian ancestry and the place to go. My sister insists be for climate change is the lake district because you've got the Alps, you've got the lakes, the climate is perfect and you don't have to worry about sea change <laugh> so I think my sister's headed there. Okay. Yeah. It's very pretty, very pretty. We're Jen Vee. So you are you, are you Milanese?
Carolina Milanesi (01:27:00):
I am. Or at least parts of a family is, but yeah. You know what I say about VEI?
Leo Laporte (01:27:09):
Oh no. What did, should I ask? What
Carolina Milanesi (01:27:12):
You're you are like Italian version version of a Scottish who's very tight. Oh, it's very cheap money
Leo Laporte (01:27:19):
That with very tight with money. My grand, my great grandmother had a, had a Villa in general, which kept to herself. <Laugh> <laugh> we never got to see it. Alex Wilhelm is here. He's living in my old Villa, in the Providence Rhode Island, the EIC of tech crunch. Plus it was so nice Alex and Lizza hosted me. It gave me a tour of the old stomping grounds and it was just a amazing remembrance of lost things passed.
Alex Wilhelm (01:27:51):
I just, I just wanna add that if you, if you're not watching the Lord of the rings show on Amazon prime, whatever it's called rings of power, whatever. Yeah. The dwarves appear to be Scottish. The forms
Leo Laporte (01:28:00):
Are Scottish, right?
Alex Wilhelm (01:28:02):
Yes. And the, the little hobbits are Irish and it like, so they have these accents that like I'm trying to like, not place.
Leo Laporte (01:28:08):
It's very strange. It's
Alex Wilhelm (01:28:10):
Very, it's, it's hilarious if you like Scottish humor, which I'm a big fan, so but yeah. Languages are fun.
Leo Laporte (01:28:16):
Yeah. Do you like that show
Alex Wilhelm (01:28:21):
I'm I've decided just to enjoy it.
Leo Laporte (01:28:23):
Yeah. Maybe that's what I should do is sit back and not, I just, I I'm, I'm really liking the house of the dragon a lot better. The, the game of throne throne is prequel
Alex Wilhelm (01:28:33):
I'm behind on that. But I will say I was such awe for the first Lord of the rings movies that I was showing up at like midnight show ins. And I owned the DVDs with all the back. You know, how they made,
Leo Laporte (01:28:42):
I would, you know, no, it's fun. It's fun though. When when she, when he says my brother's name isle, doer, you go, Ooh, Ooh, Ooh. He's
Alex Wilhelm (01:28:53):
I know who I know what's coming. It's gonna be
Leo Laporte (01:28:56):
Alex Wilhelm (01:28:58):
Casted into the fire.
Leo Laporte (01:28:59):
Alex Wilhelm (01:29:00):
Like, I mean, yeah. So, so to me, it's, it's it's lightweight. It's fun. It was way too expensive. You can tell, they put a lot of money into the wrong things, but Hey, you know what? It's Amazon's money. It's not mine. I don't care. I just want to be entertained
Leo Laporte (01:29:13):
Half a billion dollars of Amazon's money. Yeah.
Alex Wilhelm (01:29:17):
Carolina is right. I think we've all actually funded the production of that show. <Laugh> with our purchases, but you know, it's kind of Amazon's money and I it's fun. You know, why not?
Leo Laporte (01:29:27):
I am. I have to quote Marcel per when I went back to visit the old house, the old man, he says, I felt myself reliving a pass, which was no longer anything more than the history of another person. Oh
Alex Wilhelm (01:29:40):
Dude. Oh, that's sad.
Leo Laporte (01:29:42):
But it was, you know, well, I thought I would get this, you know, free zone of flooding memories, flooding back. And and I, and I did, but it's your house now? It's your place. You're starting a new life there. And I think it's actually kind of cool and I'm
Alex Wilhelm (01:29:58):
Not big on nostalgia. So that makes sense to me. Yeah. Like, especially with physical things. Yeah. But I, for my San Francisco apartment, which was never much more than a couple of square feet and I was there for eight years and I, I still have an enormous amount of affection for it, even though it was kind of a piece of crap. So how's this seem a little bit different.
Leo Laporte (01:30:15):
I miss my, I miss my north beach apartment that had a bridge view. I and it was tiny. It was a studio, but yeah. Yeah. I do miss those days that there's something about living in the city. I don't think it's like that anymore. I don't know Mike ELGAN who is living in every city around the world, Alex, Wilhelm, Carolina men, an AC. We will be back with more in just a little bit. Our show today brought to you by mint mobile. I <laugh> have you seen the, the TV ads that he does for mint mobile. They're so good. I just love it. They do wireless, right? They save you money. And I mean, I have to say when I first heard about mint mobile, and that was $15 a month for premium wireless service. I said that, no, come on. There's, there's an upsell somewhere.
Leo Laporte (01:31:07):
There's there's secret fees. There's something I saw. What's the catch. But you know what? I've been using their service now for, I'm almost on my second year of mint mobile. And because they're secret sauces, the first company to sell wireless service online only they're cheap. They're like the SCTs and the GenZe, they it's they're cheap. They cut out the cost of retail stores. They pass along those sweet savings directly to you. And I am so happy. I was able to get an iPhone se from them for 15 bucks a month, wireless service for 15 bucks a month, 30 bucks a month. Unbelievable. And you get a phone. That's great. So you can bring your own phone if you want. They're gonna give you the best rate, whether you're buying for a single person or a family. In fact, mint family lines started two lines and it doesn't actually have to be.
Leo Laporte (01:31:55):
Your family could just be your friends, your roommates, your college sweetheart, all plants come with unlimited talk and text on the nation's largest 5g network. I'll tell you now. It's it's T-Mobile so if you get great T-Mobile service where you are and you probably do, cuz they're really doing a great job, get it for less unlimited talk and text high speed data delivered on the nation's largest 5g network. Look at your bill, find out how much data you use every month. Then don't pay extra, buy just the data you need. You get four gigs a month for 15 bucks. That's a lot. They do have unlimited plans. You can bring your own phone. You keep your phone number. If you want port it over premium wireless service starts at 15 bucks a month. And for most people that's all you'll ever pay. That's an amazing deal.
Leo Laporte (01:32:43):
And if you want more, you can get more. See there it is four gigs for 15, 10 gigs for 2015 gigs for 25. I think that's the one I got unlimited for 30 bucks to get your new wireless plan for just 15 bucks a month. Again, just look at your bill, figure out what you need. Don't pay for more wireless than you need. Get the plan shipped to your door for free mint, mobile.com/twit. Check out the family plan. That's a great deal. Mint, mobile.com/twi cut your wireless bill to 15 bucks a month at mint mobile.com/twit. They do support EIM that's that is important. You're right, absolutely right. They do support em. So if you've got yourself, one of the new iPhones that know has no SIM tray, no problem. In fact that was thank you, MIT mobile for your support, by the way. And everybody you support us by going to MIT mobile.com/twi that was Carolina. One of the things that apple kind of like the courage port taking the headphone port out of the iPhone, taking the SIM tray out. I think a few people went a yay. Yay. Yay. Yay.
Carolina Milanesi (01:33:48):
It it, well, the carriers I'm sure. I'm sure they went. No, no, no, no. For many, many years. Because they don't like it obviously. They prefer when people can switch easily from one carrier to another,
Leo Laporte (01:34:04):
Do they? Cause if I were T-Mobile I, you know, or, or Verizon, I wouldn't want them to, you know, oh yeah. I don't like you, I wanna switch to at and T with one push of the button, that would be scary.
Carolina Milanesi (01:34:14):
Right. They, they would prefer when,
Leo Laporte (01:34:17):
Oh, they want the SIM cards. I see.
Carolina Milanesi (01:34:18):
Yeah. They want the SIM yeah. From a security perspective, from a consumer point of view, obviously yeah. Is much better, but is also freeing up some space within the phone that is being used for a bigger battery or could be used for other things going forward. You know, I, I know that there are some people that are concerned about traveling. And so, you know, if you like, Mike is in Spain, what if you wanted to just go and get a SIM? Well, you can't just go and get a SIM, but you can activate up to eight EIMS on on your phone, I think is up to two at the same time. So there are, there are ways. And I think that ISIM is the, the way forward. Apple always has this strength of, you know, from a negotiation perspective to really twist the, the carrier's arms and, and let them do what others have been trying to do, cuz you know, have been around for a long time and especially in other markets and multiple Simms as well. But you know, for, for the us is, is one of the things that consumers don't necessarily think about too too much, but you can get like Europe,
Leo Laporte (01:35:31):
You can get eight different virtual Simms in the iPhone I'm told and any two can be active at once.
Carolina Milanesi (01:35:38):
Leo Laporte (01:35:39):
That, I mean, as long as
Mike Elgan (01:35:41):
The travel, that's amazing.
Leo Laporte (01:35:42):
Yeah. If the countries you're going to support ES IM what are you doing, Mike? Are you, is that gonna,
Mike Elgan (01:35:47):
Well, I'm still on Google five, but, but, but Amira is, is going to be embracing the ES IM thing. And you know, there's various services, I've got the name of the leading EIM SIM company, but you basically these EIM companies are about to have a really golden era, because now you just go to the website, you find the country, here are all the options, here's the prices. It can be prepaid, it can be whatever and you just download it. And it's fantastic. I mean, the, the, if you think about the user experience from fumbling around with a SIM card, you know, some of us who are technical enthusiasts and so on, you know, it's, it's, you know, we have the little pin thing, you push it in and then it slides out and then, you know, you have to know which is it, is it this way or that way?
Leo Laporte (01:36:31):
Normally we would be having our traditional iPhone party. Yes. This week. Yeah. Where I bring the poker and everybody brings their iPhone and I poke it outta mine and pass it down and pack it down and pass it down and pass it down. And we don't have to do that this time. I, but
Mike Elgan (01:36:47):
Look, look at the experience you had upgrading. It was
Leo Laporte (01:36:50):
So easy, easy. So the way I got this phone, the only way I could get a phone day in date was to go pick it up at the iPhone store down in Marin. So I went down to court of Madeira and I was a little nervous because you know, they give you a QR code for your appointment. You have to be there between three 30 and 3 45 in my case. So I show up, I show the guy, my QR code and he says, get in line. I thought, oh God, there's all these people ahead of me. I timed. It was eight minutes when I bought the first iPhone. It was more than eight hours in line. <Laugh> so eight minutes, not so bad, but here's the amazing thing. It, I, it said, okay see your old phone. Do you wanna transfer the T-Mobile account from your old phone? A new phone? Yep. I said, yeah, said, okay, you're good. Your phone calls will now start ringing on your iPhone 14. It was that easy at the apple stores. Impressive impress. Yeah. At the apple store, they said, would, would you like us to help you do this
Carolina Milanesi (01:37:43):
Today was very impressive.
Leo Laporte (01:37:44):
Yeah. It was so easy. And I hope it's that easy if I say, ah, I'm gonna move this over to T-Mobile or, or, I mean mint, mobile. I hope it's equally easy to do that. Yeah. You know,
Mike Elgan (01:37:58):
But that's clearly the future and that clearly makes way more sense than having you know end users you know, swapping out for, for, for one, for one thing you think about who is not really in a position to do that. People
Carolina Milanesi (01:38:12):
Yeah. From an AccessAbility
Mike Elgan (01:38:14):
Perspective, younger people. Yeah. Cetera. Yeah, exactly. It's just a big problem. That is that that's very difficult to deal with. This is a situation where in the future, you can just say, you know, you like, as, as with your case, would you like all this stuff? Yes, I would. And then now you have everything that your old phone used to do, including the carrier is now on your new phone. That's the way it's gonna be. Yeah. And that's the way it should be. Yeah.
Carolina Milanesi (01:38:39):
Let's remember the carriers ship you out sync cards every now and then, because they're not capable enough. Right, right. You don't have enough memory. And so every now and then you need to upgrade your SIM. They make you pay usually $10, right. For the pleasure of you continue to pay their bills. So it, you know, it wasn't really efficient.
Leo Laporte (01:38:58):
I both Verizon and T-Mobile said, you you're gonna need a new SIM. This was a year or two ago to use our 5g networks. I thought, really? So there's something in there that says, you know, you gotta be upgraded. So I had to go into a Verizon store and get a new Seminole. So that was a kind of a pain. Now I hate to tell you Mike, that Morocco is not an EIM, does not have an EIM carrier. Right. So that's gonna be the problem, Australia, Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, hungry, India, Japan, Poland. But by the way, not every carrier in these countries, Romania, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and in the us, most carriers support. EIMS but the quick transfer, eh, not quite so many. Right. So just because they support it doesn't mean it'll be as easy to do. And then there are activation Sy it's look how this is kind of complicated. So yeah.
Mike Elgan (01:40:01):
But, but, but it's going in the right direction. So I, I think I, you know, 3, 4, 5 years, this will be a, this will just be a, nothing burger of a, of a, of an issue. And everybody will catch up. Morocco will have them. I, I think, I think this is the way it's gonna go. And it's great. I mean, the, the, the way I, you know, I've been using Google five for a long time and they're, you know, they they're all on regular Sims. I don't know if an mvn O can use a an EIM or not probably can, but the great thing about Google five, especially now that they have unlimited is like, you, you just tell 'em, Hey, send me five of them and they send you five SIM cards. You want your tablet they're
Leo Laporte (01:40:37):
Free. Yeah. Yeah.
Mike Elgan (01:40:38):
Yeah. And it's, it's, it's been pretty great. So
Leo Laporte (01:40:40):
For traveling, I love fi in fact, that's why I keep a pixel six for traveling. Yeah.
Mike Elgan (01:40:45):
Yeah. We use, I have a pixel three of all things. Yeah. Which we use as a, a, a hotspot in places where, you know, we have all these devices and don't necessarily have any other connection that works great.
Leo Laporte (01:40:57):
Mint, mobile is an MVNO and they do support the ESI, our sponsor. I was just talking about, so I don't, I think MVNOs can.
Mike Elgan (01:41:06):
Leo Laporte (01:41:07):
I mean, it's OB obviously up to them. They
Mike Elgan (01:41:10):
Definitely can. Yeah.
Leo Laporte (01:41:11):
Alex Wilhelm (01:41:12):
I have a question about all of this because I I've just been a, a Verizon customer for a thousand years cause I'm lazy and I've never really switched. They just take more of my money every
Leo Laporte (01:41:20):
Year at five. Impressive. Thank you very much.
Alex Wilhelm (01:41:23):
I, I mean, I, I'm the idiot who had a Comcast router in my apartment for eight years that I didn't realize I was paying like 10 bucks mark for, so like, I'm, I'm not, I, I'm not the smart customer here. The, my question is about the move to EMS and listen to the conversation. It seems like it's easier to generally speaking swap. So does this mean that apple is setting a little bit of precedent to later on free us somewhat from our locked in carrier contracts? Or am I misreading or perhaps being too optimistic about what this change could mean
Leo Laporte (01:41:52):
Long? There was some speculation that apple might want to be there just like Google does have their own junk system,
Mike Elgan (01:41:59):
But, but I, to me, this, this move seemed to, to eliminate you know, the physical SIM, that's the bigger move than the EIM part, cuz they already had an EIM. They had both. But they moved to eliminate is kind of like how they eliminated, you know, floppy discs and stuff like that. Got everybody's like, whoa, wait, what are you doing? And you can't imagine a world without you know, a three and a half inch F floppies and apple said, Nope F floppiness is, is the future floppy lessness and so we're just gonna cut 'em out. And that's what, this is really all about. They're they're shocking the industry with this thing saying no more SIM cards we're
Leo Laporte (01:42:36):
Done it's over. Yeah. Yeah.
Carolina Milanesi (01:42:38):
Well, I, I think there's still though, because we are talking about the Simba, then we, we don't talk about the number. Right. And so yes, you can switch, but there's also number portability that come into play. And, and I, I don't know the carriers of sudden necessarily what they're willing to do going forward when it comes to EIM. So in other words, yes, I can switch. But whether or not, you know, where I'm going is gonna be able to give me the same number or if I have to pay something in order to take the number with me as is the case today with most carriers
Leo Laporte (01:43:12):
And floppy discs are not dead <laugh> I, I might add that swear taking this you know, I mean, sometimes technology take a long time to die. Didn't Japan just change from a floppy disk based document system,
Mike Elgan (01:43:28):
The government, I think. Yeah.
Leo Laporte (01:43:31):
And there was a great article, which I think we talked about on twig, we spoke with the last person standing in the floppy disk business. This is from ion design dot a iga.org. This guy, nobody makes floppy anymore. But thisGuy@floppydisc.com still sells them. He, you know, he buys him at auction. He buys him on eBay. He, he sells floppy disks. So if you need floppy, go to the floppy guy, floppy disk dot
Alex Wilhelm (01:44:03):
Mike Elgan (01:44:06):
In Japan. I people imagine that the government is using them to store data, to, I guess, to, to load programs or whatever people used to do with floppy. But the what's what's hilarious is that a lot of Japanese government agencies require people to submit documents on floppy discs.
Leo Laporte (01:44:24):
Yeah. Crazy. Right. So
Carolina Milanesi (01:44:27):
They like the Japanese equivalent of facts here
Leo Laporte (01:44:31):
In the us. Yeah. We we're still stuck. They invented the facts. Right? We're stuck with that too. <Laugh> yeah,
Alex Wilhelm (01:44:36):
That will never die. But I will say in 2019, the us nuclear arsenal stopped using floppy death. That's a point good point. If the Army's a good point. If the army can get off of technology, we all can. Let's kill floppy. Let's kill faxes. Like I, I mean, come on people, what, what decade is this? Or really what millennium?
Leo Laporte (01:44:55):
This guy, this floppy guy the AIG G a asked him what's the most in demand. He says the most in demand is the standard 1.4, four megabyte three and a half inch blank, floppy disc. I would say the most valuable or currently the seven 20 kilobyte double density discs. Of course there are specially eight inch discs for which there's a very small demand and of which we only have a small inventory, apparently 10 or 12 years ago, he says I bought a couple of million discs <laugh> and we've basically been living off that inventory ever since
Alex Wilhelm (01:45:29):
Didn't will Smith make a movie about this called the pursuit of happiness essentially. <Laugh>
Leo Laporte (01:45:35):
Hey, he's living, he's living large. He's living the life.
Alex Wilhelm (01:45:39):
Shout, shout dis.
Leo Laporte (01:45:40):
Yeah. Got it. I bless him.
Alex Wilhelm (01:45:41):
I had, I had a zip drive. My dad had a zip drive in his office. I thought those was coolest things. So it was like a hundred megabytes on a disc deposit. Yeah. Now I upload like gigabyte sun files for every podcast. Maybe
Leo Laporte (01:45:52):
That's what Japan's moving to from the floppy is the zip disk that would be appropriate. <Laugh>
Alex Wilhelm (01:45:58):
It would be an upgrade of a sort, but you know, Dropbox is public. Now. I think we've all figured out how to do this without physical media.
Leo Laporte (01:46:05):
So it was the digital minister of Japan who said, you know, it, they haven't stopped doing it. He said, we've got to stop doing it because this is crazy. There's still, according to time magazine, 1900 government procedures in Japan that require a floppy disk. The, the Japan's digital minister. Hey, at least they have a, I don't think we have a digital minister unless it's that guy with the super church down in LA taro, Kono said we will be reviewing these practices swiftly. Why does one even buy a floppy disc these days? Well, we know now where one gets a floppy disc. Crazy. All right. I wanna take a little break. Is it time? Yes, it is. We have much more to talk about with our fabulous panel, but I don't wanna keep them too late because Hey, it's game of Thrones night, you know, we gotta, we gotta have our priorities. So you, you, you haven't watched that yet. Alex,
Alex Wilhelm (01:47:13):
I have, I have watched an episode and a half. But the video games that already
Leo Laporte (01:47:17):
Mentioned, that's a better, that's the show to watch, not the Lord of the rings, the game, the, the house of the dragon. You
Alex Wilhelm (01:47:24):
Have to pay attention in house of the dragon and Lord of the rings' Lord
Leo Laporte (01:47:27):
Of the rings. You don't no little
Alex Wilhelm (01:47:28):
Hobbits. There's a thing.
Leo Laporte (01:47:29):
Okay. No. So you've watched all of the Lord of the rings.
Alex Wilhelm (01:47:34):
No, I'm, I've, I've watched four episodes, I think. Think there there's one. I haven't seen there.
Leo Laporte (01:47:37):
Okay. Okay. So the guy in the start, do you think that's Gandolph
Alex Wilhelm (01:47:42):
So that's my hypothesis that, or it's SAR, but I mean, it's, it's one of,
Leo Laporte (01:47:46):
No, it's not, we know cuz we're oh, so you haven't gotten into the most recent episode where we meet Sarah?
Alex Wilhelm (01:47:51):
No. Oh no, I haven't. That's when I, I, I had my COVID vaccine on Friday spoiler yesterday. I, I was on the couch.
Leo Laporte (01:47:56):
Spoiler alert. Yeah.
Alex Wilhelm (01:47:58):
Leo Laporte (01:47:58):
Spoiler, you know, that's gonna show up. Who's making all the ORs.
Alex Wilhelm (01:48:04):
Well, I mean someone who doesn't oh, no,
Leo Laporte (01:48:06):
Not SAR. So, oh, maybe sir. Oh yeah. So was a white wizard.
Alex Wilhelm (01:48:14):
He, he was the original white wizard named it was Gandolph the gray who came back as Gandolph the white, right?
Leo Laporte (01:48:20):
I think it's Gandolph because remember Gandolph has a soft spot in his heart for the hobbits and that's right. That might be why. Right? He, he,
Alex Wilhelm (01:48:27):
He also had a soft spot for the halflings leaf, which I believe means that he's the next Silicon valley CEO by your earlier latte. He
Leo Laporte (01:48:34):
Likes to SMU smoke the tobacco. As they say our show. <Laugh> our show that a little too much lore our show today brought to you by blue land. You wanna do the right thing. I know you wanna do the right thing. We do too. We're trying to eliminate single use plastics in our house. We don't use, you know, plastic bags anymore. We use paper bags, all that stuff, but there is an area of, of single use plastics that's really appalling. Did you know that it estimated 5 billion with a B plastic hand soap and cleaning bottles are thrown away every year in COVID. We moved, didn't move away from the bar soap to the hand soap, but you use it up. You throw it away, 5 billion thrown away every year. And if that's not bad enough, most of what's being transported in those bottles is water 90%, the active ingredients, only 10%.
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Leo Laporte (01:50:19):
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In fact, I did it for my daughter. When she moved into her new apartment, get the clean essentials kit. It's a great housewarming gift. We got it to start. And I said, oh, oh, this would be good for Abby. Everything you need, you get Blueland products in refreshing signature sense, like Iris agave, fresh lemon, eucalyptus mint and they have seasonal sense. This is for the fall. They've got apple butter. Wouldn't you like to wash your hands and apple butter, vanilla Chi. That's actually a nice one and maple pumpkin <laugh> right now you get 15% off. Your first order, you will feel good. It worked the only thing you have to get rid of. Now, the only thing you have to throw away now is your notion that this, these environmentally good products are not effective. They are very effective and they are not pricey.
Leo Laporte (01:51:54):
You're gonna save a lot of money cuz you just buy the tablets now, right. 15% off your first order, get the whole kit get started at blueland.com/twi. Get the, I would say get the clean essentials kit. So you have all of it. Blueland.Com/Twi. We thank him so much for saving the planet and for supporting TWI. And you can do the same for both by going to blueland.com/twi. Thank you. Blueland I really love this stuff. We use it everywhere. How was it by the way, Carolina at the Steve job, Cedar, because they hadn't had a indoor in-person event since before COVID was it a little weird?
Carolina Milanesi (01:52:38):
It wasn't everybody had to be vaccinated and prove a COVID test, a negative COVID test before being admitted. So it felt, I think it felt weird for a second, just because of the amount of people I was around and nobody, most people, I would say 90% of people were not wearing a mask, but it was so nice to see a lot of the people that I normally see. Okay. At events. Yeah. Especially I've been, been away from California for a year now. It was just it was a bit like a family reunion. Oh. So that was nice. And compared to, so I was there to, for Doug dub DC as well, and that was a bit different cuz it was mostly us press. Whereas this time they had a lot of international press. So it was nice to see, you know, reporters from the UK in Italy. But I had not seen for, for a while. So it, it was cool. It was a great, pretty cool environment. Yeah. Yeah.
Leo Laporte (01:53:39):
There will probably be another one. I don't know if you're gonna fly out again, but I, I, I think it's pretty good. Sources are saying that it's gonna be an October event. They will have the iPad, a new iPad pro new iPad, regular the iPad. 10, I guess it'll be, they'll have new M two computers. Yep. Unknown. If it'll be I'm sure there'll be laptops, but it's unknown. If they'll do an iMac pro maybe or a Mac pro we're waiting, they said they'd get a Mac pro out this year. So all that's probably not too far off. Woo. Are you gonna fly out again? That's <laugh> woo.
Carolina Milanesi (01:54:21):
We'll see. Probably I, I think what is interesting is that they are clearly not moving away from the video production part of good the event. So in essence, we were all sitting in the theater, watching TV,
Leo Laporte (01:54:35):
Watch TV. Yeah. <laugh>
Carolina Milanesi (01:54:36):
Yeah. <Laugh> but you know, there's such a high production value in, in what they put together. Especially if you looked at the part about the the apple watch ultra and you know, talking to the different, you know, the climbers and, and the divers and everything else. There was a lot there. The, the people that had been impacted by having a, a watch or an iPhone save their life in critical situations. You know, there, there was a lot there that they just cannot replicate just from being on stage.
Leo Laporte (01:55:15):
I, I, I confess, I bought an ultra, even though I haven't climbed a rock <laugh> in a while. I probably can't run more than a couple of mile blocks without losing money. <Laugh> my breath. And I certainly am not going underwater anytime soon, but it's a nice looking, well, I even got the band that stretches over your wetsuit <laugh> which like Leo, like I'm gonna be doing that. Is this just an aspirational purchase? But my point being, I bet you, 90% of the sales of this watcher to people like me. Right. You know
Carolina Milanesi (01:55:48):
Leo Laporte (01:55:49):
Mike Elgan (01:55:50):
Truth is what you're saying, Leo. So you don't need this watch. But my, my universal theory of all of this consumer electronic stuff is that we don't need any of it. We don't, we don't need smartphone. We
Leo Laporte (01:56:03):
Hu your mouth, us, your mouth.
Mike Elgan (01:56:05):
It makes us feel good.
Leo Laporte (01:56:07):
That's what Carolyn saying. It's that's an emotional purchase. Yes. Right.
Alex Wilhelm (01:56:11):
All right. I'll take apple side on this one. This is a rare one for me. My apple watch band broke. Yes. And I do not have it because I need to buy a new one. And I, I fidget with it too much. And so I, I break them every six months. It's just whatever. I've been moving a lot less because I do not have the
Leo Laporte (01:56:30):
Guilty point. Yeah. Yeah. Red bring
Alex Wilhelm (01:56:32):
And I'm definitely more so for me, I, I, I respect Mike's perspective here and I generally agree with them, but I, I will say the lower tier of many of these gadgets brings base. Functionality's very useful. Yeah. You wouldn't catch me. No, offensely dead in a new apple watch eight pro max, ultra HD, whatever. Cause I'm not into windows Vista branding, but I will say that the base stuff's pretty nice.
Leo Laporte (01:56:55):
Well, and you would like to know retroactively when you've ovulated and I think that's important.
Alex Wilhelm (01:57:01):
I mean, I've just for a couple years for photo stuff.
Leo Laporte (01:57:05):
Let pause. Yeah. Actually you, that's a good point. That's a very good point. You've been doing of that. It's
Alex Wilhelm (01:57:10):
No joke. It's super
Leo Laporte (01:57:10):
Useful. I thought it was really interesting and very attuned to the political mood that apple, when they started talking about the watch, talked about the watch for women, it was the, it was a big symptom.
Carolina Milanesi (01:57:25):
Well, actually, I, I think they did one better earlier because they said, this is not about women issue. This is a family issue. And ah, and I so want people to really yes. Talk about whether it is about having babies or talking about abortion as a family issue both ways. Right. It's not just about us. I, I, you know, I, and, and I, I, I appreciated that. I don't know how many people picked up on it, but they, they made the point in the presentation.
Leo Laporte (01:57:55):
Yeah. so unfortunately what they didn't tell us is in order to do the retroactive ovulation, the cycle tracking, you have to wa the watch to bed for five nights before it can measure your temperature relative temperature. And especially on the ultra, that is <laugh> is not a enticing prospect.
Carolina Milanesi (01:58:15):
It's actually super light. Okay. I don't know if you tried it.
Leo Laporte (01:58:18):
No, I, I haven't tried it. No, it,
Carolina Milanesi (01:58:20):
It is very, very light. I have a very small rest and I, I posted this, this video on Instagram and, and TikTok because it does look a little bit big on my wrist. But I was very Sur surprised how light it was. And I think that from a design perspective, you know, aside from the wannabe Ironman people or iron women, people, there, there is a broader market that is for women that even if is large. And there are a lot of women actually that like bigger watches because they have a small rest. And so that kind of compensates,
Leo Laporte (01:59:00):
It's a, it's a statement. It's a fashion statement. Yeah.
Mike Elgan (01:59:04):
It it's, and the risk, the watch is more comfortable to where, while you're sleeping than it is comfortable for the person you're sleeping with, when you roll over the wrist can clock them in the face with big pizza metal.
Leo Laporte (01:59:15):
Hey, but my Sapphire Crystal's fine. So that's all I care about. It is weird that you ha I mean, this is a limitation, and of course, Apple's very good at these events of promoting the excitement of it and all the things it's gonna do. But this is a limitation of measuring temperature on your wrist with a watch is it's relative. It's not your actual temperature, and it needs a base that's gonna require five nights. At least if sleeping, it doesn't measure your temperature while you're awake for a variety of technical reasons. It can't. So it has to do it while you're asleep.
Mike Elgan (01:59:47):
Well, what's interesting is that the quantified self movement and separately, the smart watch movement have been, have skewed very, very male historically. Right. but it, especially the qu quantified self movement, it's, it's a bunch of tend to be younger men who are into that sort of thing. But this is, this is a quantified self thing that is probably compelling for a lot of women who wanna start families, or just want to know what's happening with their, with their menstrual cycles. And so I thought it was really brilliant. It was a brilliant way to combine new hardware with artificial intelligence and something that has a real world benefit, but also has this really compelling, like I wanna know what's happening with my cycle like that. I think since the beginning of time women have wanted to know like when, when, when is one of my fertile, all that kind of stuff.
Mike Elgan (02:00:40):
So it's, I, I just think it's a stroke of absolute genius for them to open with that and really emphasize it. And also back it up with a product that, I mean, we'll see how it actually works in real life, but, you know, th this is, this is a major, major way to sort of broaden their market by you know, sort of like that's been dominated by men wanting to wear the smart watches more than women and men wanting to do quantified self more than women. Now, here you have a watch and a quantified self idea. That's, that's gonna be really appealing to a lot of women. I, I, I believe it's really, they're gonna sell a lot of these based on that.
Leo Laporte (02:01:19):
I love what you said, Carolina, that it's not about women, it's about families. And actually I would go even farther that apple is really positioning itself as a company that cares about its users and, and wants to protect its users with the crash detection, with the, with the cycle tracking. And let's not forget that all of the period tracking apps that you get on your iPhone and other devices, a whole lot of them leak information about you
Carolina Milanesi (02:01:46):
Leo Laporte (02:01:47):
Yep. That could be hugely problematic in this post row world. So apple, without saying it at all is really very strongly creating this impression that we care about you and you can trust us, and we are not gonna rat you out. So this is something you can use with us because it's safe. And and they're really pushing that. And I think that's smart of them. They they've doubled down on privacy over the last few years now. And, and Tim Cook's always said, health is gonna be a very big part of our business. It's, it's certainly a tent pole business for them. Now it's even more, it's like, this is the company that cares about you.
Carolina Milanesi (02:02:28):
I, I think I joked in the past about our, you know, apple is basically safe keeping his base as we all age <laugh>. Yes. You know, we started out when yes,
Leo Laporte (02:02:39):
But it's gonna get the youngsters too, the new youngsters.
Carolina Milanesi (02:02:41):
But, you know, if you have a, I was saying, if you have a teenager who is starting to, to drive and the iPhone is already the most popular phone in, you know, for gen Zers is a no brainer, but you want something that is not necessarily your insurance, you know, gizmo on your windshield, the, that measures whether or not you are a safe driver or not, and then they, you know, increase your premium or whatever it is that they do with the data that they collect.
Leo Laporte (02:03:13):
Well, the bad
Mike Elgan (02:03:14):
Cynical take is that they want to keep their customers alive and buying apple
Leo Laporte (02:03:18):
Carolina Milanesi (02:03:18):
<Laugh> that was my point. Yeah. You know, phone detection, they want to get to me before I, before I die,
Leo Laporte (02:03:25):
I, I won't weigh in on whether it's, I mean, it's clearly a marketing strategy, so I won't weigh in on whether it's, you know, legit. I don't know what their real intentions are. I mean, their only real job is to make money for their stakeholders, but it is certainly a good marketing position to say, Hey, here's a company that's gonna protect your privacy. Could it protect? You cares about you and your health. That is a nice position to be in for any company. And it's a position Google isn't in Samsung is, is not really effectively promoting this.
Alex Wilhelm (02:03:59):
The, the thing, the, the problem that I have with this apple approach is that they were really big on privacy for a long time. They changed the way consumer privacy works with applications and tracking and so forth. And then after they had whacked everyone else's business, we're like, and by the way, new ad products are apple.
Leo Laporte (02:04:13):
Alex Wilhelm (02:04:13):
And so here's the thing, an ad based business. If you were a platform company will lead to constant product compromises down the road. Yeah. Yeah. And so I'm very concerned that apple in a, in a search for growth, going back to the will, the new iPhone sell better than the last one, conversation will have to essentially compromise its own principles when it comes to generating revenues, which depend on data.
Leo Laporte (02:04:33):
Totally, totally legitimate. And that's why I'm saying, I know it's a good, good marketing strategy. And I don't know what their real intent is because you're exactly right. And look what it's done to Google, frankly Google went from, don't be evil to, let's be as evil as you possibly can. Block ad trackers in Chrome. I mean, do, do everything they can to own the browser ecosystem and then make it impossible for people to protect their privacy in it all pretending to be private.
Alex Wilhelm (02:05:02):
And they took Google search this like one of the best things humanity had ever made and turned it into a really low grade ad engine. Like if you use Google search on mobile, it's like add, add ad horrible people, a search for add, and then like 14 squirrels down. There's the Wikipedia page he wanted. How, how did they manage to become the thing that they were trying to kill? It's like ask JS in 2022. It's ridiculous.
Leo Laporte (02:05:26):
Well, in fact it was, wasn't it Larry Page who in the early days of Google said, well, you can't do ads because it'll corrupt you. And, and they did. And he was right.
Alex Wilhelm (02:05:38):
Yes. Ads used to be on the right rail and they had results in the thing. And then they were like, what do we put the ads on top? And then slowly made them look more like search results. It's just, it's a constant,
Mike Elgan (02:05:50):
They're doing something similar now, too, where they are basically, this is how I, this is how I frame their move to cut area one 20, their, their research arm basically in half. They're gonna start doing. Yeah.
Leo Laporte (02:06:06):
That's a weird story.
Mike Elgan (02:06:07):
Well, th this is basically if I, if I'm understanding what they're doing and why the whole point is, well, all these little unique, innovative things that we've come up with, aren't making any money. So let's just double down on the stuff that is making us money today and the AI stuff. That's gonna make us bank in the future and all this stuff about experimenting and like trying new things and throwing there's no use for it. Here's the thing that people don't realize. I think Google has 175,000 employees or something like that. They have a ton of employees. They're currently down to under a hundred in area one 20. Oh,
Leo Laporte (02:06:47):
Mike Elgan (02:06:48):
So, so we're talking about a hundred people out of that many employees out of all the billions that they make, and they want to cut that in half. That's how uncommitted they are now are to innovation. It's really kind of horrible. And it's, to me, it's, it's akin to this idea of transforming Google search into a, an ad delivery system and doing it for the money just going for the money. It seems to me that that's what their backing off of innovation is. We know these areas, these limited areas where we can make a ton of money. Let's just do that. Cuz that's what we do. We make money.
Leo Laporte (02:07:23):
The in the early days of Google, they were quite famously had the 20% time where you are expected 20% of your time, one day out of the five, a week to work on a passion project. That's what, that's what created Gmail. That's what created maps. I mean, a lot of the best Google products came out of that area. One 20 S model was we work on the 20% products, a hundred percent of the time. That's where one 20 came from and now it's what 60%, right? Because we're just gonna cut it in half this week, Google it's rumored. But I believe said, we're not gonna do a pixel book. They asked last month the Google hardware laptop division project loon got sped spun off. And now they're cutting one 20, their R and D arm in half. Is this what happens to late stage startups? I mean, is this kind of an inevitable part of the life cycle of a company helps? Ah,
Alex Wilhelm (02:08:20):
Ah, this is a really good, I've been thinking a lot about this lately because as companies reach kind of a maturity point of growth with their initial product that wins them, the market for Apple's backs for Google over search now, alphabet, et cetera. They tend to have to dilute the consumer value proposition in that core business as a way to keep juicing growth, which is why on Google search on mobile. There's more and more ads before you get to results because they need to drive more revenue to keep their investors happy. And I, I know that I'm a capitalist at heart and I cover the public markets and private markets for my job. But I wonder if a lot of companies wouldn't do better if they just stayed private, it didn't have to sacrifice consumer value for shareholder value. Long term
Leo Laporte (02:09:05):
Is apple going through the same thing?
Alex Wilhelm (02:09:09):
Yeah, bro, they just had a whole apple event when they launched a new camera on their phone. Right.
Leo Laporte (02:09:15):
It's hard. Is it the innovator's dilemma? What is, I mean, Google makes so much money in search.
Alex Wilhelm (02:09:21):
Leo Laporte (02:09:21):
That it stymies anything else, right? It, it funds initially it funded everything else, but then Sunar Pacha and their CFO Ruth PRA said, yeah, but we're not making much money on that other stuff. So let's just, you know,
Carolina Milanesi (02:09:37):
But they never, I think there's a big difference though, between Google and apple, that that makes it hard to save a going through the same thing is that, you know, apple has been a hardware company at heart all the way. And Google is always been a software company and, and yes, apple is doing more in services and the revenue is moving more and more towards services and very, you know, diversifying, they also are, you know, broadening their, their product portfolio. And I never actually believe that Google was serious about hardware. Right. You know, the way that the, the made by Google team operates, it just doesn't fill me with confidence that
Leo Laporte (02:10:21):
That's why Tony Fidel left an area. He, he said, sorry, that's why Tony Fidel left when they bought nest. He said
Carolina Milanesi (02:10:27):
This. Yeah. And, and heart's not in it. You know, if, if you're looking at how the, the pixel team has come together, you know, it, it is, you know, kind of Motorolas that where an HTC kind of jumped together. You know, I'm not surprised they, they they're getting out of, of a tablet and a PC cuz you know, the tablet market is pretty much apple and a little bit of Samsung and, and Amazon depending in the markets. Right. And and, and the PC market, although is going way better than it was before a COVID is still extremely competitive. And I just don't know that people are necessarily, you know, kind of creating lines, waiting for a Google PC.
Leo Laporte (02:11:12):
I love Rick Olo who came over for Motorola heads, their hardware division. But these days he feels like he's beaten down.
Mike Elgan (02:11:21):
Well, the problem, I think the problem is you can't underestimate the, the, the influence of charismatic founders and what they're in interested in Google's founders, Larry and Sergey were like, Elon Musk is big thinkers. Let's do something gigantic. Let's somebody come with an idea and they say, yeah, what the hell let's do that? And so sun Pacha is not that kind of guy. And he also is not the kind of guy who gives a rats. He about the consumer market, you see him slowly moving the ship of state toward enterprise government contracts, that sort of thing. And away from consumer plays. So you mentioned the you know, the, the cancellation of, of loon, they, what they did with loo. So loon was originally, we were told, was gonna bring the internet to remote villages around the world by, by reeling it from balloon to balloon and, and bring it to a place where they, they didn't wouldn't have the infrastructure on the ground.
Mike Elgan (02:12:18):
We could deliver it from the sky. This was the promise. It was a utopian. It was this utopian idea to, to expand, eliminate the digital divide and expand the internet by, by bringing it to people in far flung areas. Well, now what they're doing with that, they realize that the most valuable technology they have is the technology that used lasers to transmit data from balloon to balloon. So now they have a new startup, they spun it out as a startup called Aleia. And what this is gonna do is it's going to, they promise that they have this hardware technology called typing beam and, and they, and, and it's a, a software called space time. And basically what they're gonna do is they're gonna have this laser based data communications network for space, for, you know, underwater for all these places where you can't have physical infrastructure. And what that means though, is that they're really gonna go after mainly government and military contracts. They're gonna go after huge companies, interesting that are doing stuff in space. And so isn't
Leo Laporte (02:13:22):
Microsoft basically doing the same thing.
Mike Elgan (02:13:24):
Yes, exactly. Microsoft is, is as in, on the same long term trajectory where they just don't succeed with consumer market, they don't wanna play in that market. They love the, it
Leo Laporte (02:13:34):
Feels like they they've lost interest in windows. But boy, they sure love those military contracts.
Mike Elgan (02:13:40):
Yes, exactly. They, they salvaged their hollowlens contract with the army. We thought that was a lost cause, but that's, that's what they really love. They love to, you know get together with, with like-minded business people. And then when they sell something, they sell $3 billion worth. Instead of just trying to S slug it out with the whole world in the, in the world of consumer markets. Now, apple has a unique position in the sense that they, you know, the, the enterprise market and the consumer market is practically the same thing to apple human beings. Yeah. Using the devices. That's, that's what, the, the way they look at it. It's a really interesting perspective and it really works for apple, but Google and soon upper child leading Google is, is not they're, they're, they're losing interest in, in the consumer market. I'm pretty sure,
Leo Laporte (02:14:31):
Although I, admittedly apple was a hardware company, but I wanna say was because a lot of what Apple's doing now is focused on services is focused on, I mean, that's, they've understood. They've saturated, probably the market for hardware. And what they're trying to grow on is average revenue per user through services. Right. So I don't know if does that kind of software, I don't know what that counts as, but it, any hardware. Yeah. Well, services are essentially recurring revenue points. Those are you sell, you sell the watch once every couple of years you'll sell a phone every couple of years, but you get the monthly income every, every month from those owners. That's good money.
Carolina Milanesi (02:15:09):
Yeah. And I think that if you are thinking about apple, one from a subscription perspective, it is not gonna take long before in that apple one, you might have a hardware piece that you also, you know, whether it's the iPhone or something else, but you already subscribing to you see that with the apple cart. Right. If you, I, you know, bought all my hardware on apple card and I'm paying, I do too monthly installments. Yeah. And, you know, that's, that's it. And they know that they got me for,
Leo Laporte (02:15:41):
For the first time ever.
Carolina Milanesi (02:15:43):
Leo Laporte (02:15:43):
Off for the first time ever. I'm hearing apple card advertisements on podcasts. I don't know if's going sax buying those or apple. It's gotta be apple. Right. yeah. They, you know, they've been slowly moving into financial services, but that's very lucrative. And, and, and yeah, if, you know, I get 3% back on all my purchases, cuz I buy on the apple card in fact, but even though says stop it <laugh> cuz we want, these are purchases. We wanna deduct stop buying it on your personal apple card. I said, but Lisa, I get 3% <laugh> <laugh>.
Mike Elgan (02:16:20):
But, but I, I do think that apple sees the services, especially financial services is gravy on top of their core competency. Well it's where
Leo Laporte (02:16:27):
The growth is, but it's where the growth is going.
Mike Elgan (02:16:30):
Right? Yeah. Yeah. Well, yeah. But, but, but they, in order to make it really grow, they also have to grow the hardware and everything else. So they're basically in the content consumption device and software and service business and the content creation device business. And that's why they're two of their big things coming up in the future, you know is, is augmented reality, which is a content, the mother of all content consumption platforms, if you will, especially the ones that you're gonna wear all day that look like ordinary glasses that are coming in a few years. And then there, the, the apple car, the apple, a self-driving car is the ultimate content consumption device essentially. And they wanna wheels.
Leo Laporte (02:17:13):
Yeah. In fact, they've done a lot of tests to to show what, you know, the screens would be like in the living room that you're riding around in, in your apple car and
Mike Elgan (02:17:23):
There's nothing else to do forced
Leo Laporte (02:17:24):
Attention. Exactly. Yeah.
Mike Elgan (02:17:26):
And it's quite done as well. Gonna pay for it all with your apple card.
Alex Wilhelm (02:17:30):
Yeah, no, no. I refuse. We we just, we had finally had to get a new car recently and I know this is a non sequiter, but kind of off Mike's point, like cars have gotten so good. We went from a manual transmission, 2007 Volvo to like a relatively recent Outback. And this thing's like a spaceship. So I'm actually, they're bring me self-driving car. I'll take it. But like I'm what we got is
Leo Laporte (02:17:51):
Pretty good. What kind of dog is that? Everybody wants to know.
Alex Wilhelm (02:17:54):
Oh, I'm sorry. This is, this is Magnolia. Oh she's she's our, our, our nervous rescue. The dogs have learned that they can push the door, open to my office when I'm working and come play. And so they've been doing this throughout the show and I've been trying to sh we're recording sometimes to shoot them out, but Maggie just wanted some snuggles. So
Leo Laporte (02:18:11):
Hold play Magnolia up a little bit. So he can, is she a poodle mix, little Terri
Alex Wilhelm (02:18:16):
There S Shitzu, silk, cute terrier. Some hae. She's a rescue from Chicago. She's P and she's my, she's my light and joy my office my office mate. So
Leo Laporte (02:18:26):
Was she there when I visited or this
Alex Wilhelm (02:18:29):
Is, she was, she was no, she, we we've had her for about a year and a half now. She
Mike Elgan (02:18:33):
She's my, one of my French friends call gogi. She's a girl from an orgy.
Leo Laporte (02:18:38):
Alex Wilhelm (02:18:40):
I don't know how to respond to that one. I don't either
Mike Elgan (02:18:46):
I'm not in other words.
Alex Wilhelm (02:18:47):
Yes. Yeah. She, no, I, I got the subtext. She is she is a mix of, of many things and she's 100% purple.
Leo Laporte (02:18:54):
Although I do think we have a show title <laugh>
Alex Wilhelm (02:18:57):
But I don't think
Leo Laporte (02:18:58):
<Laugh>, she's a Courty. All right. I'm gonna take a break. I'm gonna take a break cuz I'm embarrassed. And when we come back final few stories of actually some of the biggest stories, one that's just breaking right now this week at tech is brought to you by it pro TV. I, so many of you who listen to our shows are love technology, right? I mean, why would you listen to a technology podcast unless you cared about technology? And I have spoken to so many people who said, you know, I listened to the shows and I thought, I don't like my job. I should get, I should be getting it. Cuz I love this stuff. Well, let me tell you where I send them. It pro TV. It's the best way to get the best possible it training, whether it's for your first job, getting those certs, you need to get that first job like the a plus cert or if you're in it to accelerate your it career new, learn a new language, learn a new networking system, learn a new operating system.
Leo Laporte (02:19:54):
It pro TV makes it fun. They hire experts in the field. That's really important. That's job. One. These people have to be working professionals in it, but then they also have to have a passion, a love for what they do. And that's what makes it pro TV's content. So engaging so fun. These are people who love what they do. And they communicate that passion to you in just the best possible way. They've got seven studios working all day, Monday through Friday to make new content cuz everything's constantly changing. So when I say they have a 5,800 hour library of it, training on demand, that's not always the same hours, right? There's new stuff. All the time, new operating systems, new new tests, new questions, search change. But it pro TV is always up to date, more up to date than any other place you can go.
Leo Laporte (02:20:42):
And that's that commitment with those seven studios running Monday through Friday, all the all the training episodes are in 20 to 30 minute chunks, cuz they've learned that's, that's pretty much your attention span. You could do it during lunch. During a break, you watch a, a, an episode and you're learning, but then it doesn't stop there because they've got virtual labs. You can set up for instance, a windows server in your browser on a Chromebook, set up a windows server and windows clients. And, and you know, if something goes wrong, you just close the tab and start over. They've got practice tests. So you can take the exam before you take the exam. They help you get job. They, they support you every step of the way and you can watch wherever you want on your computer tablet, apple TV, Roku. It's easy to watch whenever you've got a moment.
Leo Laporte (02:21:30):
One reviewer said, it's easy to understand what they're saying. It's well explained. The classes are very smooth along with the notes and transcriptions. I forgot to mention that you get complete transcriptions by wrapping their own experience in with the course, it makes it easier to comprehend the hardest topics. They also make. Make sure you feel confident enough to pass the exams. That's awesome. Another reviewer said best website to study it and cybersecurity related courses. I like the part where they make a few courses free for a weekend. In fact, they are doing that every month, every month. It pro TV offers free webinars. You can watch you'll find them. If you go to the website, there's in fact, we're looking right through the list of them right now. You can watch all the past webinars on demand. And if you're around in the right time of the month, you can, you can join them and ask questions too.
Leo Laporte (02:22:16):
It pro TV also has plans for teams. So if you have a business with an it team, you know how important it is to keep them up on security and networking and all the skills, the best place for them to learn is also it prot V we've known these guys, Tim and Don, since they started this company almost 10 years ago now. And they are so good. They're just the best in the business. Get 30% off when you sign up at it, pro.tv/twi and use the code TWI 30, 30% off. When you sign up at it pro.tv/twi. If you use the offer code TWI 30 it pro TV build or expand your it career and enjoy the journey. I think you're gonna love it pro TV. And you're gonna love your new job. I can. I hear from people all the time who say thank you for it pro TV. Hey, we we had a fun week this week on TWI. I think Victor has prepared a little movie for us. Watch.
Leo Laporte (02:24:42):
October 6th, actually the pixel six event, Jason Howell, Ron Richards. And I will be getting up early to watch that Google event coming out of Brooklyn on October 6th to see what the new pixel seven and the new pixel watch are like, you know, I keep rooting for Google. I, I really like their hardware. So maybe, maybe they'll they'll pull out something. Wow. This story just breaking a a PC gamers reporting that a user on the grand theft auto forums has posted a three gigabyte file full of 90 videos of grand theft auto six footage. The user is named teapot, Uber hacker. <Laugh> claims to be behind the Uber hack last week, which was a complete social engineering hack and just shows how vulnerable every company is. They, you know, they tricked a Uber employee into giving him access. It just keeps happening, right.
Leo Laporte (02:25:43):
It's almost impossible to stop. They had two factors didn't matter. They just they, I probably said, Hey, yeah, we're from the it department. We're just checking this login. Can you log in for us? Okay, good. That looks good. What's the code that they just sent you. Okay. All that looks alright. We're we're good. And now they've got full access, right? I don't know if that's the same technique they use to hack grand theft auto six, but this has been a long awaited game. And apparently according to a Bloomberg reporter, the leak is real. He, Jason Schreyer confirmed it through sources at rockstar. They're being posted to YouTube, Twitter, Reddit, online gaming forums. I I'm, I don't know. You look like you might be a GTA player, Alex. I don't know.
Alex Wilhelm (02:26:33):
No, I mean, I, I have historically played GTA games going back to the era, which they were actually top down 2d but not in a very long time. What's interesting is how this sort of league you might think would be always well received amongst gamers, but it's actually not. So there's a game coming out called Victoria three, which is a grand strategy political SIM essentially. And it comes out in a couple weeks and I've been looking forward to it. So I've been tracking the news and a build of it leaked a couple months back and the community behind the gaming company and also the game itself were a little pish about it because the developers were kind of bummed cause it was an older build and it didn't show off what they had built and they didn't want people to get the wrong impression of what the game's going to be. And so you would think these leagues are slam dunks for the communities, but they're a little bit more complex than that. But in the case of GTA six, a game that has been in underproduction for apparently 700 years, <laugh> there's a lot of pint up demand. So I'm not entirely shocked that something finally broke. I, if it is the same hacker from the Uber hack that's embarrassing for tech it's
Leo Laporte (02:27:36):
Embarrass embarrassing. It's actually rockstar gets hacked pretty routinely. <Laugh> the GTA six is reportedly at least two years away, according to the verge. I'm sure rockstar is BUMED because it's early unfinished development builds testing. Yeah, this is never good for a game company. And I have to say embarrassing. Yes, but also you guys, we gotta get this social engineering under control. You gotta train your employees to be more skeptical.
Alex Wilhelm (02:28:07):
I, I wonder if it's possible and I'm curious what Mike and Chris and, and ly think about this because it seems to be not an issue that we've solved as long as we're reasoning that is
Leo Laporte (02:28:16):
Alex Wilhelm (02:28:17):
Solving human nature.
Leo Laporte (02:28:18):
It's human nature. Yeah.
Alex Wilhelm (02:28:19):
Is human nature. What you need
Mike Elgan (02:28:20):
Is, is what, what you need is a wholesale embrace of zero trust architecture everywhere. And and this, this is, this is, this is, this will get us in the, in the ballpark of not having Chinese spies working at Twitter, not having everything being leaked, not having everything being compromised all the time through social engineering, because people will always be people they, you know, and, and we're, we're on the brink of totally believable deep, fake video that is affected in real time. There are people who are applying for jobs and doing interviews and they're, they're using somebody else's face to do the video interview. Deepak, audio's a big deal. So we, we really have to, we can't rely on training, as you said. I mean, we need a lot more training for sure, around cybersecurity, but we have to embrace zero trust as just a baseline. And even the federal government is finally being forced through exec a Biden executive order to embrace zero trust. So zero trust is, is, is got to be the new baseline at all these companies or this kind of stuff is just gonna
Leo Laporte (02:29:31):
A routine. I would also say physical keys as opposed to phone or authenticator based cuz two factor because even if somebody convinced me, they were from the, you know, security division, they wouldn't have this and there's no way I can give them this UBI key. Right. And so that would've stopped this cold. That's one way to do this. And it's a very,
Mike Elgan (02:29:53):
I mean, that, that, that's a, that's a form of authentication. That is, is very powerful. But we need all kinds of different. We need to authenticate the users every time that as a resource trust, absolutely
Leo Laporte (02:30:05):
Authentic and force that authentic. Yes, absolutely. And strong. So,
Mike Elgan (02:30:07):
So we didn't really have time to talk about it, but the, the, the whole all the congressional naing of teeth and ripping it of hair over TikTok is a bit of a, a, a red herring, because basically this idea that because TikTok is a, is a, a Chinese company that the Chinese communist party or whatever will have access to it, that's that mindset is perimeter security mindset. They think, well, because they're over there and the, and, and the communist party is over there they'll have access well that that's not how any of the stuff works anymore. There is no perimeter for any company anywhere, which is why you need zero trust. And, and, and
Leo Laporte (02:30:49):
So this grandstanding members of Congress drives me nuts. This pure xenophobia, when Josh Holly says, you're a company has a lot to hide, you're a walking security nightmare, and completely ignores the fact that, you know, Facebook is leaking information like a C I mean, I just, just because it's a Chinese own company is that's not the problem
Mike Elgan (02:31:13):
Chi Chinese get, will get, get access to every social network yes. That they can. And in other words, all of them and, oh, they already compromising those companies. And the other, the other worst bit of grandstanding is when they say, oh, how many communist party members do you have at your company? Well, there, there's like, I don't know, there's like a hundred million Chinese communist party members in China. That's what you do. If you want your kids to go to a good school and all that kind of stuff. So they know they're Chinese communist party members working at the, at, at, at TikTok. It's just, it's just a Paning to
Alex Wilhelm (02:31:48):
The ignorance. It's the own owning ownership. Yeah. So I'm, that's the distinction, that's the distinction that doesn't quite work for for American legislators. And, and to be clear, I'm not gonna sit here and defend Josh Holly in any capacity ever, but I, I will say that I, I don't think it's xenophobic to say that the government and economic rules that are set up in China are antithetical to the sort of transparency that we might want in terms of everything from auditing corporate financials, which has been a big sticking point between the us and China for a long time to data privacy and security, and given the sheer quantity of state sponsored, hacking, and so forth has seen from the Chinese government to me being skeptical at a very minimum of claims regarding data privacy matters and given the amount of us data in play, but it's yeah, go for it, Mike, there,
Mike Elgan (02:32:34):
There are three issues. One, one of them, one of them is, is gathering data, which is what they're obsessing about. Okay. They, they can gather data from any of the social networks. I, I don't think it's necessarily easier to do it from, by dance than it is from Twitter. It's probably easier to harvest that data from Twitter. Well, and what kind of data do you
Alex Wilhelm (02:32:50):
Get from somebody who's
Mike Elgan (02:32:51):
Posting videos, you know, movement of troops, maybe something like that. The other, the other thing is the, the, the oppression of prodemocracy people around the world which the Chinese government is definitely interested in, in suppressing those people. And, and the third thing is propaganda. That's the real risk with TikTok. That's the main risk with TikTok, if there was a conflict. So for example, if a China invades Taiwan or when they invade Taiwan, it seems like they really intend to do that at some point. And if the west gets into a conflict O over that issue, it's, it's an almost, it seems to me a no brainer that the Chinese government would reach their hands into, by dance and say, you know what? We don't want any of this kind of stuff. And we want lots more of that kind of stuff. And that, that is a real, that is a real reason to be concerned about bat. You can imagine if, if by dance was a Russian company, what, what Vladimir Putin would be making them do around propaganda. But, but, but all this stuff about, about data, the thing they're focusing on most is that is the data privacy, and that's the least of any, that should be the least of their concern
Alex Wilhelm (02:34:10):
Carolina Milanesi (02:34:11):
The point that I don't understand and maybe I'm thinking about it the wrong way is you're. I agree what you said, Mike, and, and in that case, you have a government that is asking you to do things. But when you're looking at Facebook and Twitter and, you know, Western social platforms, they might not have a government, but they have play years that paid them right. To put more of his and less of that on their network. So it seems like the government is using two different weights to assess, and then, you know, punish or discipline, or, you know I guess constraint this social media platforms. Yeah. And for TikTok is because they're owned by a Chinese company.
Leo Laporte (02:35:06):
Well, it doesn't help to be an American company in the EU. Google has lost an appeal over illegal Android app bundling 4.1 billion Euro fine was reduced from 4.3 billion because this goes back to 2018. The company imposed unlawful restrictions on Android phone manufacturers in order to promote its search engine on mobile devices, things like saying, if you are selling a a Google eyes version of Android, you can't sell the AOS P UN Googled version on others of your phones. You must pre-install Google search and Chrome apps and the play store, things like that that is enough to sting 4.1 billion euros, right? Yeah. Even for Google, I think Carly that's enough money that they're gonna sit up and go, dang. Dang, ouch. Well, again, we can't swear on TWI, so I'm, I'm trying to make this a little more family friendly dignity.
Leo Laporte (02:36:09):
Dang. They have tons of cash, but they, they use it for things like shareholder return. So to me, a 4.1 billion, you're a fine now roughly 4.1 billion is, is, is material even for our company without scale. Yeah. Google has to wait two months and 10 days before it can appeal. Cause this is on appeal. But there is one last appeal available in, in a couple of months and that's to the highest court in the EU, the court of justice. I see no reason to think that court of justice will overturn this. I'm not sure. I agree with it. Google says we're disappointed. The court did not enroll the decision in full. And, and I, I do agree with this next sentence. Android has created more choice for everyone, not less and supports thousands of successful businesses in Europe and around the world. I can't disagree with that. Isn't Google kind of being punished because they have an open source version of Android. Wouldn't I mean, this, they wouldn't have they'd avoid this if they didn't have AOSP if they just said, well, no, it's, I mean, apple doesn't get apple requires all sorts of stuff for people to, you know, to carriers, to have an iPhone in their lineup. That's not illegal. I think it's
Mike Elgan (02:37:17):
Because they and their justification, right. Their justifi Apple's justification is because we, we wanna make sure that you use your experience. Yes. A good experience that it's secure, all that kind of stuff. The, the, the, the thing that their parts of this that make more sense than other parts, the, the part that makes the least sense to me is that, you know, I, I do think it should be fine for Google to say, okay, if you're gonna use, if you're gonna sell devices with our free open source version, then we're not gonna license to you. The, the, the Google version. Right. And, and this is, this is a point of contention. I think that's a reasonable thing for them to do for the same reason. You, you went it out for your experience. Yes. They're offering this free version. They're, they're enriching all these companies and getting nothing in return. And so I think that's, that's fairly reasonable, but they're also saying, okay, if you, if you do use the Google version, you have to have our search engine. You have to have all these things installed. And that this gets back to Microsoft and internet Explorer and all that kinda stuff. There we go. If they're, if they're gonna punish Microsoft for bundling internet Explorer, maybe it's consistent to punish Google for bundling or forcing other companies to bundle their browser. But
Leo Laporte (02:38:27):
Isn't Google offering more opportunity and more choice than apple is well backwards.
Mike Elgan (02:38:34):
The apple is not opensourcing their
Leo Laporte (02:38:37):
Software, right? So Google's mistake was being good and open sourcing. No, no,
Alex Wilhelm (02:38:41):
No, no, no, no, no. I think you're doing this back. So you're saying Apple's not in trouble. Therefore, Google, shouldn't be, I'm saying Google is in trouble. Therefore apple should
Leo Laporte (02:38:47):
Be well, maybe, but, but Google's big mistake here. It seems to be is, is allowing Android open source. And the EU is saying, oh, you're requiring Android open source. If you keep keeping people from using the effect that it even exists is a good thing, isn't it? We, there's no open source iOS. And as a result, Apple's not in trouble
Mike Elgan (02:39:10):
The, the way. So, so the way so we, Americans tend to think of how American law deals with antitrust. We see it as a competitive issue that harms consumers, right? Whereas in Europe they see antitrust is an anticompetitive thing that harms other companies, competitors. And so the, so the, the, the existence of open source and the subsid subsidy of that product, if you will, by their non-open source version of Android is a bit anti-competitive from, from the, from the European mindset. Yes. Just the existing vocal app, because basically what they're doing is they're blocking other innovators from entering the market and having an inexpensive or free operating system you know, Mo most of the, most of the cheapest phones in the world use the open source version of Android. Sure. Right. And and, and Google's kind of, it's kind of a holding mechanism where you know, Google has this brand name, it has this, you know, Android has this brand awareness in, in the global market.
Mike Elgan (02:40:10):
And then, then they have this free version out there preventing new entrance in the market. So I can see that, but that that's not even what they're doing here. They're basically just, they just don't like the whole scenario apparently. And they think that Google, if Google's gonna have an open source thing, they, it should be available to all companies, including those that choose to use the non-open source version of Android. So I don't know, it's, it's, it's, it's a, it's an ugly ruling and it's not really about, it's not really about Europe coming up with these ideas and then finding Google it's Europe is like the us in that sense, it's other American companies are complaining to Europe and Europe's going, eh, okay, all right, we'll go with the Microsoft point of view, whatever it is, or, you know, Apple's point of view, whoever's lobbying them. Right. And so I don't know it is, I don't like, I don't like this ruling. I don't like this fine. I think there are other areas of like search advertising and stuff where they have a stronger case. This just seems fairly arbitrary to me.
Leo Laporte (02:41:09):
So the state of Texas <laugh> has a law that declared social media platforms with more than 50 million monthly average users. In other words, Twitter and Facebook are common carriers <laugh>. And as a result, they should not be allowed to decide who can post and who can't post. They shouldn't be allowed to de platform conservative voices that law of course violates the first amendment because government is supposedly not supposed to make any laws that abridge the freedom of speech, even of companies like Twitter. Nevertheless so you know, a number of companies sued in court, the fifth circuit court, by the way, they they in their, in the initial court ruling, the law was temporarily put on hold, right? Supreme court said, well, let this, you guys work this out. They, they said, okay, the law is blocked for now, but, but the lawsuit has to play out. Now the fifth circuit court of appeals in new Orleans has ruled in favor of the Texas law saying, oh, no, that's fine. Yeah. What first amendment SHM amendment. Now of course, it's gonna have to go to the Supreme court, no idea what the Supreme court is gonna do with this. This is very similar to the Florida law which allows, which
Alex Wilhelm (02:42:49):
Leo Laporte (02:42:49):
Unconstitutional, which was ruled unconstitutional by an appeal court. <Laugh>. So now you have two decisions by equal courts that are both gonna go I'm sure. Go to the Supreme court one, four, and one again,
Alex Wilhelm (02:43:03):
There there's an inversion here that I find interesting during the net neutrality debate conservatives, we're trying to argue that these provider, that internet providers were not common carriers, right? And now social media companies, which have much stronger protections written in the constitution are now being forced to platform speech. They don't want to, I, I like to view it that way versus their deep platform. That's
Leo Laporte (02:43:22):
Alex Wilhelm (02:43:22):
Way to put it, not amplify it, you can't. And
Leo Laporte (02:43:24):
Also this is you have to publish this content. Yeah. This
Alex Wilhelm (02:43:27):
Is also not about the sensory of conservatives. It's about the right of platforms to be able to police their own networks and what content is uploaded to it. Right. Which is a very important thing.
Leo Laporte (02:43:35):
Yeah. So they can't moderate. Right?
Alex Wilhelm (02:43:37):
Right. Let's not fall prey to the Fox news framing of this and talk this, talk about how we're trying to save conservative speech. Conservatives are doing fine on Twitter. I follow a bunch of them because keep my eyes open. But I'm, I'm, I, I, I mean, awe of, of the gumption of Texas and, and the, the sheer insanity of small government conservatives, trying to use the government to force private corporations that they fought to enshrine as individuals in other Supreme court rulings as being forced to platform speech, they don't want to, it, it, it, it's a bizarre world of, of right wing bolt. Oh,
Leo Laporte (02:44:10):
Sorry. The law it's like Humpty Dumpty. The law means what I want it to mean at any particular time.
Alex Wilhelm (02:44:17):
Right? These are just Neo fascists. These are, these are not people that care about anything other than power.
Leo Laporte (02:44:21):
It's, it's not internally consistent. It's not philosophically consistent. It's just, well, this is what I want make it, so
Alex Wilhelm (02:44:29):
It's the wrong DeSantis approach to governance, which is terrifying.
Leo Laporte (02:44:31):
Unfortunately, we have a Supreme court that is dominated by conservatives. So I'm not sure what's gonna happen. When this goes to the Supreme court.
Alex Wilhelm (02:44:39):
Yeah. You know, we have never had in the Supreme court, an atheist, you know, though, that'd be nice versus having to be two thirds Catholic. Yeah.
Leo Laporte (02:44:45):
Isn't that interesting? Yeah. Yeah. Finally, all show of hands. How many of you turn on closed captioning when you're watching TV? The young guy, the old guy and the two middle guys <laugh> everybody does very interesting article in the wall street journal. It turns out 20 somethings are turning on closed captioning. I thought I turned it on. Cause I couldn't hear, what did you say? What are they talking about? But in fact, at this point, recent survey suggests younger generations are, are using close captioning more than the old folks, not cuz of hearing problems, but they just, they can't otherwise they can't pay attention or something. They talk to a 23 year old who said, I can't think of a time in the past couple of months or years that I haven't had subtitles or captions on. He doesn't have any hearing problems, but he says it helps him focus on what's happening on screen. Even when I have the sound on.
Alex Wilhelm (02:45:45):
Yep. This is easy guys. We all, we all have phones. We're on Twitter. We're watching rings of power or the dragon show and I get distracted. So I look up, I can read much faster than people can talk. So I can just grab a block of text, send a tweet
Leo Laporte (02:45:59):
It's so you can multitask.
Alex Wilhelm (02:46:01):
It is. Yeah.
Leo Laporte (02:46:05):
And it that's from, yeah.
Carolina Milanesi (02:46:08):
I was gonna say that for, for gen Zers. It's also about the fact that, because we do so much on phones and a lot of times in, in places where they shouldn't be doing anything on a phone so the sound is off, right? So it is interesting that the 20 year old says even when the sound is on, because in most cases it isn't, I do it for every content I produce for accessibility reasons. So
Leo Laporte (02:46:36):
It started, I think I'm gonna guess with Facebook in the newsfeed, because companies like taste made and all the companies that we're doing, you know, these trying to make viral posts realize that people aren't don't have their sound on by default when they're going through the news feed. So in order to capture their attention, they would put captions yeah. On there. So you can see the video and they can see the caption. Maybe you'll turn the sound on, but it doesn't matter if you do. And then TikTok followed suit Instagram automatically generates captions on uploaded videos, unless you turn them off. Snapchat users can turn on auto-generated subtitles. And, and of course on their own snaps have auto generated titles. And now both the pixel phone, which was the first to do it couple of years ago. And now thanks to iOS 16. In fact, I just turned it on, on my iOS 16, have automatic captioning on all videos. I have to say Google does a lot better job on the auto captioning than the I iPhone six. No surprised. Yeah. nevertheless, it's I guess we're gonna start having put captions on all our podcasts too. People like,
Mike Elgan (02:47:43):
Well, there there's, there there's another reason for this, in addition to all the reasons stated already, which is that in recent years sound design has gotten way more aggressive and this has been pushed by Christopher Nolan primarily, and then others following suit where it's actually objectively dialogue is objectively less intelligible than it used to be. And there's, there's a lot more content that we watch where people have ACC strong accents. So the combination of lots of other noise going on in, in, in the content and people speaking in a way that's, you know a much broader range of accents means that there's, there's kind of like a, a, a sort of utilitarian reason to put on captioning. We just can't understand.
Leo Laporte (02:48:33):
I can't, it's not
Mike Elgan (02:48:34):
Just all folks,
Leo Laporte (02:48:34):
Nobody can understand what's going on. Right. And also access. It's
Carolina Milanesi (02:48:40):
Interesting though, that it doesn't seem that although this is becoming more prevalent, that people are not actually investing. I was complaining about this on Twitter just a few weeks ago, cuz my mom is visiting. And she's watching Netflix in Italian with subtitles in Italian. And although the Italian is, you know, is good, there's no correlation between what they say and what I can read and it's not because it's wrong. It's just a totally different sentence. Because I, I don't think that, you know, content creators are investing enough to actually have good you know, good, good subtitles. And, and and, and things done properly, especially for both markets like Italy, where everything is dubbed.
Leo Laporte (02:49:31):
There was a great piece on a slash film came out last year. I think they've just updated it. What here's, why movie dialogue has gotten more difficult to understand. And they blame a bunch of things. Some, some of it's cuz of people like Chris Nolan director of tenant, inter stellar and the dark night rises who wants to sound more natural. Robert Alman started. This wants to have, Hey, that's the way life is. Everybody's talking at the same time. It's also actors who, you know I think Marlon Brando started it who mumble a little bit because they want it to be more realistic. And then really this is the third one, which is that the sound recorders, the person who's on the set often isn't respected enough. The sound recorders should be able to say, Hey, no, one's gonna be able to understand that dialogue.
Leo Laporte (02:50:21):
Very often the sound guy doesn't say that they, or if he does, they say no, we're moving on. So it, it is a it is a, a big problem. And I think it is another reason why people are this is an interesting one. I asked the sound recordists who called the radio show? And he talked about familiarity. He said, everybody kind of has heard this dialogue so many times. We all know what the person's saying. So we director and sound guy may not even notice that you can't understand it cuz cuz we've heard it so many times. We know what he's saying. And then of course there's the problem of 5 1 7 0.1, a thousand 0.1 mixing, which means you have to have a center channel to hear anything. I think it's just very interesting. I think it's gonna be in years to come, everything will have a, a caption on it all the time and it's, and it's not cuz of us old folks, although I have to say, I leave the captions. There's some shows like succession where there's Soto, VOE dialogue. There's the main dialogue. And then people are saying something in the background and if you leave the captions on, they often transcribe the Soto VOE dialogue. So if there's something subtle behind the scenes, you can kind of catch it because you're reading it instead of listening to it. Well,
Alex Wilhelm (02:51:33):
I, the struggle, the struggle here is that if you have a partner who disagrees with you on the use of captions,
Leo Laporte (02:51:38):
Oh goodness gracious.
Alex Wilhelm (02:51:40):
It engenders a regular conversation about if they should be on or not. <Laugh> and I happen to have one of these spouses who does not appreciate them. And she says that if you want to understand what they're saying, stop looking at Twitter on your phone and watch. And I'm like, oh she's but honey,
Leo Laporte (02:51:55):
She's bold. I would not dare her. Say that out loud.
Alex Wilhelm (02:51:59):
I, I have a spouse that is a, a, a, a brilliant and, and non-techy person, if that makes sense, she's not as did you mean
Leo Laporte (02:52:06):
She actually watches movies when they're on, like
Alex Wilhelm (02:52:08):
She will sit down and watch a movie
Leo Laporte (02:52:10):
Alex Wilhelm (02:52:11):
That's it? How does somebody a
Leo Laporte (02:52:13):
Movie? How does somebody,
Alex Wilhelm (02:52:14):
My attention in Spanish is shot. I have
Leo Laporte (02:52:16):
No idea. No, I know we're ruined. We're ruined this.
Mike Elgan (02:52:18):
This is yet another interesting development in the world of augmented reality classes. So Google has translation glasses, but basically those are gonna be capable of providing closed caption for everything you, the cap conversation
Leo Laporte (02:52:32):
Be in the glasses.
Mike Elgan (02:52:33):
Alex Wilhelm (02:52:34):
That's. And so
Mike Elgan (02:52:35):
In, in Alex's case, he'll be able to, to, to have closed captioning and his wife won't have to see it cuz they'll be in his glasses. But I think a lot of people are gonna do this in real life. They're gonna have their at the time close captioning on everything all the time, who
Leo Laporte (02:52:47):
Would've thought that, but you're absolutely right. That's gonna drive more than anything. AR
Mike Elgan (02:52:52):
Alex Wilhelm (02:52:53):
So Google glass, which we all had, it had brief moment in, in the product world. I got to wear it once and I did get to use the software that would like look at a sign into different language and it would like change it to your language. And yeah, that is still one of the very few magical moments for me in tech. Yeah. And one of the other ones was actually hollow lens. The first time I used it at Microsoft's campus. And so like, Mike, I hope you're right, because AR has blown my socks off several times and few techs have managed to do that more than once. So I'm here for it.
Mike Elgan (02:53:22):
I wore, I wore Google glass when we were living in Florence. Back when global glass was happening, I wore all over the place. The Italians do, weren't mostly had never heard of it. Didn't know what it was thought. I had some sort of medical problem and they just would look away politely <laugh>. But, but I, I got a lot of photos and videos that I wouldn't have otherwise gotten. And I, I used that very same service called magic lens or something like that. I don't remember exactly what it's called, but yeah, you look at a sign and it would give you, it would give you the sign in, in English in the same typeface. Yeah. it was incredible. You can do that. Such a,
Leo Laporte (02:53:57):
You can do that with a phone now of course, with a phone. Yeah. It's obvious you're doing that with menus or with signs. Yeah. Yeah. I, I look forward to that. That'll be nice in the glasses. Yeah.
Alex Wilhelm (02:54:07):
The Italians were right though, because he was suffering from the same disease that we all suffer from here on the trail, which is acute nerdiness <laugh> and
Mike Elgan (02:54:15):
Leo Laporte (02:54:15):
Mike Elgan (02:54:15):
Cure case of glass wholeness. There's
Leo Laporte (02:54:18):
No cure <laugh>
Alex Wilhelm (02:54:19):
Well, no, the, the cur or the way to diminish the symptoms is to get 3% back on your apple card. Apparently
Leo Laporte (02:54:24):
There. Yes. That's solved it for me, Alex Wilhelm. Great to see you. You're good luck. We may not talk to you before. You are a father, but I'm so happy. Not for you too. And if we don't talk to you before then, congratulations, and we'll talk to you in six months.
Alex Wilhelm (02:54:44):
Thank you. I just wanna throw in one little thing about my, my comment earlier. Nothing against Catholics. Just think representation matters on the Supreme court. It's I was trying to say,
Leo Laporte (02:54:51):
Well, you know, it's really interesting America. I don't, you're gonna in other countries, but <laugh> if a candidate for, for office said, oh, I'm an atheist. They probably wouldn't get elected. Would they? I mean, no president is ever dared to say that they all at least pretend to be religious,
Mike Elgan (02:55:06):
Leo Laporte (02:55:08):
We know Donald Trump is not religious. I don't think he said the church in his life, but he sure. Pretended to be effectively too. Yeah. So I don't think you can, I don't think you can get away with it yet in this country, even though in theory, we're a secular nation, what's it like in Italy? Carolina. Can, could you, could you get elected the mayor of Milan? If you if you said I don't believe in that stuff.
Carolina Milanesi (02:55:33):
No. I think everybody assumes that and I understood Alex's comment as, as a Catholic. I interested <laugh> what you meant.
Leo Laporte (02:55:42):
Smart representation. I agree.
Carolina Milanesi (02:55:43):
Yes. No, I, I really don't think that that even is thought about in Italy. It's just such a, you know, the reasons why I, I still think that there's a crucifix in every classroom.
Leo Laporte (02:55:56):
Oh yes. See which of every, we can't do that. We don't do that. Yeah. Interesting. So we have a lot in common with Italy, ladies and gentlemen, Alex. Great to have you Carolina Millie is say so wonderful to have you I'm sorry for mispronouncing your name the entire time, but at least I said Soto Che correctly, right? Soto
Carolina Milanesi (02:56:17):
Leo Laporte (02:56:18):
<Laugh> she's a founder of the heart of tech. What is the heart of tech
Carolina Milanesi (02:56:23):
As a consultancy company that helps tech company in particular, in their ESG strategy?
Leo Laporte (02:56:30):
Carolina Milanesi (02:56:32):
Leo Laporte (02:56:34):
Carolina Milanesi (02:56:35):
Social, and governance
Leo Laporte (02:56:37):
Governance. We, well, I believe in ESG. So I believe in the heart of tech, I think that's great. And of course you're also an analyst and your writings can be seen at creative strategies and on Twitter carro underscore Milan, Milan. Thank you, Carolina. So good to
Carolina Milanesi (02:57:00):
See you. Congrats Emily.
Leo Laporte (02:57:01):
Oh yes. Mike ELGAN chow baby. He is <laugh>. He is Mike's Mike's firstname.lastname@example.org. He is a gastro email@example.com. He is about to embark on the Barcelona adventure and then onto Morocco. Wow. Are there, let me just look and see, are there any openings in the experiences coming up that we can we can get part become part of? I don't, I don't know.
Mike Elgan (02:57:36):
We haven't done Mexico city in a few years where our next one is in may. So if you really wanna see Mexico city, that's a great one May 1st. Yeah. And then we do the Prosecco Hills in Italy in late may. Pavon in June and then so and so on. So I recommend everybody join us, check it out. Shoot me email if you have any questions. Yeah. Yeah.
Leo Laporte (02:57:58):
So awesome. Thank you, Leo gastro. Kate Leo could
Mike Elgan (02:58:00):
Kevin, can I do a quick shout out plug
Leo Laporte (02:58:03):
Mike Elgan (02:58:05):
Chatter box is, is a education revolution go to hello, chatter box.com. And it's a smart speaker that kids build and teach, and it teaches them about AI and all kinds of great stem skills, great for schools. Great for individuals. And I recommend this very, very highly to everyone who, whether you're a child or not. Even if you're an adult, you wanna build your own smart speaker. That's a hundred percent private. Chatterbox is the way to go. And thank you for letting me letting me pitch that. Leo. I also wanna shout out to my Alex, my granddaughter's princess squishy face who watches this show. Did you know if you know that?
Leo Laporte (02:58:43):
Mike Elgan (02:58:44):
She knows it as uncle Leo's TV show <laugh> <laugh> and she gets to watch it when I'm on. So
Leo Laporte (02:58:51):
Hi, princess squishy face. Hi Alex. Hi, Kevin's dog. I swear. Yeah. Sorry. No, that's okay.
Mike Elgan (02:59:00):
That's all uncle Leo
Leo Laporte (02:59:01):
All the way show. That's a good name for this
Mike Elgan (02:59:03):
I's call Leo's TV show.
Leo Laporte (02:59:05):
Mike Elgan (02:59:05):
<Laugh> anyway, thank you for that Leo.
Leo Laporte (02:59:07):
And they have raspberry pies, which is good. So you can get your chat across do. Yeah.
Mike Elgan (02:59:12):
That's yeah. And he's, he's selling to a lot of schools now and it's just that's it's a revolution.
Leo Laporte (02:59:17):
That's fantastic. Great to see all three of you. Thank you for being here. We really appreciate it. We do TWI Sunday afternoons 2:00 PM, Pacific 5:00 PM. Eastern that's 2100 UTC. If you wanna watch us do it live, live.twi.tv. That's kind of the, the pre-show. We really get started more about two 30 in the afternoon by half an hour later, if you're watching live, why don't you chat with us? At our IRC channel, that's open to all IRC dot twit TV. There is a very exclusive channel. You could also join it's our discord channel, and it's a lot of fun. It's part of our club. TWI club. TWI is a way to get ad free versions of all the shows $7 a month is all it costs. You also get access to the discord, which is full of great conversations about all sorts of things.
Leo Laporte (03:00:14):
Plus shows we don't actually put out on the, on the public feeds. So Stacy's book club, which is coming up in a month. So the untitled Linux show, which we do every Saturday afternoon, right after the gizz fizz, which with Dick de Bartolo, which you do every Saturday afternoon, we also do the hands on max show with mic Sergeant hands on windows with Paul thro. These are all shows subsidized by the club available to club members either live or on the TWI plus feed. If you're interested to know more, it is a big help for us. We are coming into what I think might be a very difficult few months as a recession and inflation combined to hit our advertisers. So help us out twi.tv/club TWI I think seven bucks is pretty affordable. We do make it impossible to get any individual show for just $2 and 99 cents a month. And of course we'll always do the free shows because that's how we started. And we want everybody to listen. We don't want it to be a, a barrier to participation, but again, it helps us out a lot. And and I think it will be very important in the next few months, if you know what I mean. Twi.Tv/Club TWI. Thanks for joining us, everybody here we are episode 893 in an 18 year long quest to understand what the hell is going on. Another TWIT is in the can.