This Week in Tech Episode 902 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 Dwight this week in Tech. We have a great panel for you. Glen Fleishman is here. Uh, Dwight Silverman, formerly of the Chronicle, and a CEO who knows a lot, Mr. Phil Libin, one of the founders of Evernote and the creator of mm-hmm. <affirmative> the app with the crazy name. We'll talk about what's going on at TWiTtter. Phil has some, some calming words for us. Elizabeth Holmes gets 11 years in federal prison. Is that too much? And we now know the Earth weighs six monograms. What's a monogram? Stay tuned and find out. TWiT is next. Podcasts you
TWiT Intro (00:00:41):
Love from people you trust. This
Leo Laporte (00:00:45):
Is is TWiT.
This is TWiT This week in tech. Episode 902 recorded Sunday, November 20th, 2022 may contain nuts This week. Tech is brought to you by Zip Recruiter. ZipRecruiter makes it easy to hire for even the most specific role. Like, well, I don't know, mascot in Missouri. In fact, four out five employers find a quality candidate within the first day. Try it free today at ziprecruiter.com/TWiT. Zip Recruiter, the smartest way to hire and by Neva. Neva has simplified everything about meetings and classroom audio. You get great audio and systems that are easy to install and manage. Visit neva.com/TWiT and get 50% off one Neva HDL 300 system for mid-sized rooms when you get a live online demo and buy before December 16th, 2022. And buy Wealthfront. Visit wealthfront.com/TWiT to get started and get your free $50 bonus with an initial deposit of $500. That's wealthfront.com/TWiT And buy express vpn. Protect yourself with the VPN that I use and trust. Use express vpn.com/TWiT today and you'll get an extra three months free on a one year package.
It's time for TWiT this week in Tech, the show. We cover the week's tech news and as Phil said, there's not much to talk about this week. Phil Liban is here. It's great to have him. Love Phil first became aware of him when he was founder and CEO of one of my all time favorite note taking apps. Evernote. He is, uh, since moved on, he is now, uh, the co-founder and CEO of All Turtles, which is what an AI kind of, uh, proving ground, uh, and mm-hmm. <affirmative> the app with the name mm-hmm. <affirmative> MM. H M M that he's using right now to be flying in his private jet. Hi, Phil. Hey, Leo. Nice to meet you. It's great to have, have you, uh, on the show. Always. Uh, welcome. Uh, I brought you on this week because of course Evernote is in the news, and we'll talk about that in just a little bit. I'd like to get your take, but you're, but then there's many other things I wanna talk to you about. Of course, you've run companies, you know what it's like to take over a company, um, to have technical infrastructure, have technical debt. I want know what you think of what's going on at TWiTtter. And because you were born in the Soviet Union and I have Ukrainian family, I'd love to hear your thoughts about all of that. So we have lots to talk. All
Dwight Silverman (00:03:29):
The fun topics. Alright.
Leo Laporte (00:03:30):
Yeah. Sorry, I'll throw some, we'll do something silly. We'll throw something silly. <laugh>. That's Glen Fleishman. He's in charge of fun here, uh, at the network. We love seeing Glen. glen.fun is his website. You see him on Mac Break Weekly. You see him on our Mastodon, where he is a great contributor. Hi, Glen.
Glen Fleishman (00:03:47):
Hello. Thanks, Rodney, back for this boring, boring week this week in which nothing whatsoever happened. Nothing anywhere in technology.
Leo Laporte (00:03:55):
Nothing, nothing, nothing.
Glen Fleishman (00:03:57):
We'll find something to
Leo Laporte (00:03:58):
Talk about. So slow and a dear friend who's been with us for many, many years. I remember talking to you when the iPad came out. How many years ago is that? Dwight Silverman? Uh, many years at the Houston Chronicle. He ran a radio show and outta Texas for a long time. He's at all three.com/d Silverman. That's where all of his, uh, work goes. And there's quite a bit of it. Good to see you, Dwight,
Dwight Silverman (00:04:21):
And it's really good to be here. Yeah, I'm looking forward to talking this week because, you know, as Phil said, it's a slow news week and we got a chance to make stuff up this week, and I'm all about
Leo Laporte (00:04:32):
That. Uh, wow. I don't even know where to start. We should have had a vote. Uh, <laugh>. I mean, holy cow. Holy cow. Um, yeah, let's do a TWiTtter poll. So let's, you said the word TWiTtter, might as well do it. Uh, Donald Trump is back, uh, on the, on the Blue Bird. Not that he said anything. In fact, in a way, I don't know if he should be too glad he's back because the tweets are the last tweets he made on January 6th. Uh, somewhat incriminating, maybe. Uh, he has said that he's gonna stay on his own, uh, site truth social. But this is the latest thing, uh, that Elon, uh, did that is kind of contradictory to something he said earlier. He said, we're gonna have a, a panel of experts to approve the re return and departure of people. And then, eh, forget that. Let's have a poll.
As many have pointed out, uh, that poll is easily gamed. Uh, somebody said, well, now we know what the G u wants. Although, I gotta say it was pr it was surprisingly close. I thought it would be overwhelmingly in favor of bringing back the former president. Um, so it, so much has happened. TWiTtter is the gift that keeps on giving. Although I saw Mike Maples Junior, uh, kind of snappish. Maybe you saw this too, Phil, on TWiTtter saying, uh, to, uh, one of the, I think it was to Casey Newton, a platformer who's been covering this, doing a very good job. He's got a lot of sources in TWiTtter saying, why don't you cover something more productive than the the demise of TWiTtter? I think this is a bigger story. This is not, this is a real news story, isn't it? Or is it just a soap opera, Phil?
Phil Libin (00:06:13):
I mean, it's both. Uh, I, I, I am not expecting the demise of TWiTtter out of this. There's, uh, you know, more drama than is probably, uh, strictly necessary. Uh, but yeah, it's been, it's been interesting to watch. It's definitely maximizing for my entertainment.
Leo Laporte (00:06:29):
Uh, it is entertaining. Uh, it was very sad on TWiTtter on Friday night, uh, when the news came that, uh, you know, this was Elon's deadline, uh, for engineers to either go hardcore or go home. And, uh, he put out a, a form, a Google form of odd, oddly enough, uh, that somebody should check saying, yes, I'm willing to go hardcore with you, or, no, I'll take my three month severance. Now, uh, I imagine a number of, we don't know what the actual response, well, the New York Times, uh, is reporting at Casey is reporting about 1100 engineers took advantage of that three month, uh, severance. I think that's the sensible thing to do, but I, it's not binding. I imagine a, a large number of people just said, I don't have to answer that <laugh>. I'm gonna close the work.
Glen Fleishman (00:07:14):
Is anybody left there who could fire them? That's the question I was reading. I think it, New York Times had a, one of the anecdotes they had was a woman roaming around the building for two days because her manager had been fired to try to give notice. And she finally found her new manager gave notice, and then that manager was fired the next day or left. So it does have a kind of a keystone cop smarts, brothers, uh, Fellini vibe. Like, there's just a, a lot of stuff happening all at once. And some of it's fart and some of it's, um, you know, overwhelming.
Leo Laporte (00:07:43):
And some of it's rumor that is probably not provably true. For instance, there, there was a confirmed story that badge access was turned off, uh, on Friday, and nobody could go in. Nobody was gonna be able to go in until Monday. But Elon at one 20, uh, on Saturday morning, posted a picture of him going Beast mode with the remaining engineers. It's a small group, and, uh, there's only one, two, a few women, mostly guys. Um, this is what's left, uh, Elon inside, this is his so-called code review. Uh, he was telling bring, bring, uh, bring 10 screenshots of your code. This is what he posted on his TWiTtter. It doesn't look like code. It looks like they're telling him how TWiTtter works at this point. Yeah. Um,
Glen Fleishman (00:08:34):
Also, I wonder what he disabled card key access, was he trying to keep people in or keep them out? I wasn't
Dwight Silverman (00:08:38):
Sure. Supposedly the rumor was that the card key access ended because the whole team that managed it was gone. <laugh>,
Leo Laporte (00:08:47):
That was a bad, that was a tweet from a prankster, by the way.
Dwight Silverman (00:08:50):
Leo Laporte (00:08:51):
Right, right. And the prankster said, nobody can get out. So they had to call me back in. But of course, course card keys don't work that way. They keep it out, not keep people in. You'd have a fire code violation if you couldn't get out
Dwight Silverman (00:09:00):
The, the, the, the deadline was Thursday. Yeah. And, and one of the thing, and supposedly the form that you went to when you clicked on his link was simply Yes,
Leo Laporte (00:09:13):
<laugh>. Oh, I didn't do that. Oh,
Dwight Silverman (00:09:15):
Interesting. Yes. And the people and the people who didn't click yes. Were presumed
Leo Laporte (00:09:19):
To have by default,
Dwight Silverman (00:09:20):
That's no resignation. Right,
Leo Laporte (00:09:22):
Right. So, and
Dwight Silverman (00:09:23):
That's how it worked.
Leo Laporte (00:09:25):
Uh, you've run technical teams, Phil.
Phil Libin (00:09:28):
Yeah. Still am.
Leo Laporte (00:09:31):
Um, how do engineers take to this kind of thing?
Phil Libin (00:09:36):
Look, I think, um, Elon's always been an outlier. Uh, and TWiTtter's an outlier, and there's not that much that we can learn from really studying, you know, outliers. Like, by definition, most things don't behave like this. Most companies don't run like this. Uh, I think it's hard to predict, uh, how it's gonna go other than look at the end of the day, like it's a website, they're gonna figure it out. This isn't the hardest thing that, that the Elon's like built. Uh, I'm pretty sure they're gonna get it right. Again, there's gonna be a lot more drama than, than, you know, than I would've liked to see. And a lot of people's lives get, uh, kinda turned upside down, or at least add a lot of uncertainty around who gets, you know, who around jobs. Uh, so it's like, it's drama, it's theater. But I think people like predicting that this is the end of TWiTtter. I, I don't know. I mean, maybe right. Hard to know the future, but I'm, I'm certainly not expecting it to, to,
Leo Laporte (00:10:27):
I don't think, you know, a lot of people said, oh, it's only a matter of time for the website fails. I don't, first of all, you design it to keep going. Uh, even if everybody walked out the building, it would keep going for some time. Um, I don't, yeah, you're right. I don't see this as the end of TWiTtter. Maybe the bigger question is the end of content moderation. I, for a while, people were posting full lengths Hollywood movies on TWiTtter. They fixed that, by the way. They, they, the, the crew that was taking that stuff down and came either arrived or finally noticed.
Glen Fleishman (00:10:59):
Yeah, I, I gotta strongly disagree on the technical side, not because I have magic insight into TWiTtter's code base, but every report that's come out of there from people who've left recently and many people in the past, is that they have, uh, an incredibly fragile info infrastructure that they've barely been able to keep alive for years. And that there's so much, uh, accumulated technical debt without working on core restructuring, refactoring all the rest of it to keep it more reliable. Um, you know, mud, who was the engineer who left, became a whistleblower, he said that thing about, which makes a lot of sense, is that there's so many, so many services that depended each other. If there were actually a complete temporary collapse of the systems, everything had to be shut down, you know, basically power cycle, everything, then they might not be able to bring it back up because some services are dependent and other things running.
And if those aren't running, they can't come up. So, I, I don't wanna predict, uh, doom, but when you get 75 or 80% of the people at a company are gone, they're running their own data center operations for the most part, which is unusual for a company of, of that particular scale. And with those kind of operations, there's so much that could easily go wrong, and the person who knows how to fix it is nowhere in sight. So I don't think it's necessary that the site just goes down as, you know, entropy and that they can't fix things. But that there may simply be too many plates spinning that all crash the ground at once and they can't catch them.
Phil Libin (00:12:26):
There may be, or, or it may be okay. <laugh>.
Glen Fleishman (00:12:29):
Well, I mean, I think it's, but it's when you, if you had, if you fired, if you fired 80% of your staff, could you keep everything running on an operation that, that serves hundreds of millions of people and is got all of these conflicting regulatory and, uh, other, I mean, they've got regulatory burdens to meet, they have technical burdens to meet. They run their own infrastructure.
Leo Laporte (00:12:50):
I guess that's a good question is which is gonna be the first to go? Is it gonna be <laugh> the, uh, content layer or the technical layer? Um, the content's gonna be tough. You've got, as you said, uh, and I think Elon under estimated how many different countries he was gonna have to appease, many of which he does business in with Tesla. Uh, that's gonna be a real challenge, uh, for him. Um, he also seems to have a failing common amongst some billionaires that he, he seems to be very hands on. And I, I little bit worry that, you know, when he says, we're gonna turn off 80% on microservices, that's
Glen Fleishman (00:13:32):
Leo Laporte (00:13:34):
Uh, that there's no one there to say, you know, Elon, that's a bad idea. And here's why. UL Roth for a long time, uh, Jeff Jarvis was saying, well, it's not gonna be too bad because UL Roth is there head of trust and safety. He's not mm-hmm. <affirmative>, in fact, wrote a piece, uh, on the New York Times. He was very judicious, I think. Yeah.
But he said they don't need a head of trust in safety because Elon is making the decisions now. In other words, it's not a, it's not a, it's, it's not a, it's not a democracy. It's not, he doesn't have advisors. It's Elon. And he says, well, you don't need me anymore because, uh, I got nothing. I got nothing to say about anything. And they may be, and I know probably this was another story, was that some engineers were worried about long term liability if they stuck around and had no power to, to, to counter Elon's worst impulses.
Phil Libin (00:14:30):
But, okay, so look, um, I don't remember a previous time where so many people have like actively and gleefully wanted a company to
Leo Laporte (00:14:42):
That's a good point. And there is a very much
Phil Libin (00:14:44):
And so publicly. Yeah.
Um, and, and, and even, and, and many of the people who wanted to fall apart also wanted to stay and not fall apart. You can have both of those ideas in your head at the same time. Uh, you know, TWiTtter, TWiTtter in the long term has been one of the companies, uh, that's really, um, I think forced our society and our discourse to become max to become all about like exaggerating conflict. Like TWiTtter has helped make, has has helped like professional wrestling, eyes <laugh> in most of our conversations. I don't think they've been as guilty of this as Facebook. I think Facebook has been worse. Um, but, but TWiTtter certainly contributed to that. And, you know, a few years ago, Jack decided, Hey, this is, this is bad. And so they're gonna focus on healthy conversations, and they tried to figure out our tone down, and they were, you know, successful to some extent. But it's, it's, it's appropriate. Like TWiTtter, the company that made everything into high drama is now experiencing
Leo Laporte (00:15:40):
<laugh>. What a surprise. Um,
Phil Libin (00:15:43):
Leo Laporte (00:15:43):
Phil Libin (00:15:44):
Well, yeah. But, but this isn't, like, this isn't ironic. It's the opposite. It's, it's exactly what you would expect. It's inevitable Yeah. To happen. Wouldn't inevit inevitable? She's expect's expect to happen. It's inevitable. That's funny. But it doesn't mean that like, it doesn't like, yeah. It's gonna go through a period of high drama. I think, again, it's hard to predict the future. Uh, I have seen a lot of the stuff that Elon's done. I think we all have, I have some sense of the complexity required to run systems that hundreds of millions of people use. I've never, I've never operated systems that more than hundreds of millions of people use. But I have operated systems that hundreds of billions of people use, which is not quite the scale of TWiTtter. But also that was for me many years ago. Things have gotten a little bit easier with infrastructure. So I have some appreciation of that. And I've seen other stuff that Elon's done, and in, they're like, orders of magnitude harder than, than SpaceX
Leo Laporte (00:16:28):
Is harder. What he's done with Tesla is harder.
Phil Libin (00:16:30):
The boring company is harder. The
Leo Laporte (00:16:32):
Phil Libin (00:16:32):
Company. Yeah. Like, look, I would've preferred that he buy TWiTtter and, you know, rename it to the other boring company,
Leo Laporte (00:16:38):
Phil Libin (00:16:39):
He could calm and calm and he decided to go in a different direction. That's Elani. He's much more
Glen Fleishman (00:16:44):
Complex. Bill, I wanna make sure I didn't, I didn't actually insults you earlier because I realized what you're just saying. If you built a company and you laid off 80% of people that worked for you, if that inevitability had to happen for business reasons or whatever, I believe your company might actually still run. I also believe Tesla was built. You know, Elon came in a little bit into it. He built the company is today, he made a lot of dec he made nearly every decision. Right. Same thing with, uh, SpaceX. This is not a company, you know, he may not have invented the fundamental technology involved. He's not a space engineer. He made a lot of decisions and it's, he's responsible for, for good or bad or everything that's come out of that and their ability to perform today. Yeah. He did not build TWiTtter and he went into TWiTtter as if he had built it. And thus, intuitively knew everything that went on. And I, I think you, I'd like to picture you going into TWiTtter, having spent 45 billion, I'm sure you've got the lying around and have, uh, have bought it and gone in there. And how you would've approached it, I cannot imagine would be, uh, be like him, uh, at all. Because you didn't build it, you didn't build that
Phil Libin (00:17:43):
Technology. Yeah. Look, obviously, like, so first of all, I, I, I don't think I would lay off 80% of, of, of, of, of my staff. I don't know that Elon has either. We're not sure what that,
Glen Fleishman (00:17:51):
That's, we don't, we don't have any idea. Right. We know it's 50 to 80%.
Phil Libin (00:17:54):
Yeah. Uh, but, but if you, if you phrase it a different way, if, you know, if I was running something like TWiTtter at 80% of my staff became, you know, incapacitated mm-hmm.
Leo Laporte (00:18:03):
Phil Libin (00:18:04):
C 23 or something, uh, would I be able to keep it running? Yeah. Yeah. I would
Glen Fleishman (00:18:08):
Be. Yeah. I believe it. If you, if you built it. I believe it.
Phil Libin (00:18:10):
Glen Fleishman (00:18:12):
I mean, I, I don't think everything's iuc or is non, or is, uh, reducible inex enough that I think, I think looking at TWiTtter from the outside, it feels very fragile. And looking at what, and watching Musk tear wires out, it makes it feel very fragile. So if it's more resilient than it appears, that's great. And I don't want to dance on TWiTtter's grave cuz it's responsible for a lot of professional success and friendships and so forth. Yeah. But I also don't want it to, I think it's climbed out of a deep hole and I don't want it to fall back into it, which is what it seems like he's leaping broadly into, without a bungee chord.
Phil Libin (00:18:46):
I'd say two quick things kind of structurally about this. First of all, large, you know, in some part, thanks to TWiTtter, not entirely, but in some part, thanks to TWiTtter, most things are worse, seem worse than they really are
Leo Laporte (00:18:58):
Phil Libin (00:19:00):
Like, most things in, in in life seem worse than they really are because engagement based business models, ad based, you know, micro clicking business models incentivize everything to seem worse than it really is. And TWiTtter, old TWiTtter bears some of the responsibility for that. I don't think, not as much as, you know, not as much as meta or Facebook, but some, um, and I think actually one of the things that Elon is doing, trying to reduce the, the, the, the reliance and advertising is, it's like a very good thing because like, it really can like dial the temperature down because otherwise the incentive is to make everything seem worse than it really is. So that's kind of the first thing. And again, TWiTtter is now at the eye of, of the TWiTtter storm. It's like all of the inflated drama is now being focused on itself. So of course it seems terrible. That's exactly what you mean. It's not saying it's not bad, but it's probably, it's probably not as bad as it seems. It probably looks worse than it really is. And the second thing is like, um, I don't think that Elon, I, I, I don't know him very well personally, uh, but I I I I very much don't get the sense that he's a person that surrounds himself with Yes. Men. Really. People that see this is
Leo Laporte (00:20:04):
Very, that's interest. Wow. Okay. That's good news. That's a good thing. Somebody besides Jason call Canis and David sex advising him. Yeah.
Glen Fleishman (00:20:13):
His, his text messages would not support your statement
Phil Libin (00:20:16):
Because he's in professional wrestling mode.
Leo Laporte (00:20:18):
Glen Fleishman (00:20:19):
No, I mean, his private text
Leo Laporte (00:20:20):
Messages. So he's doing a Hu Kogan at this point. Yeah. Support
Glen Fleishman (00:20:23):
Privately and publicly makes the same kinds
Phil Libin (00:20:25):
Of statements. I know, I know, I know. You know, several people that, that, that, that are relatively close to him and other companies. I know what he's built. You don't, you don't build you don't return rocket boosters synchronized. That's
Leo Laporte (00:20:36):
Pretty impressive back to
Phil Libin (00:20:37):
Earth. I agree. Being surrounded by yes men, you just don't, but that's the conundrum. That is not a thing that happens. Yeah.
Leo Laporte (00:20:42):
It's the conundrum about Elon is there is this amazing track record and I, I really loved the manifesto he wrote for Tesla way back in the day. And yeah. And, and it's very impressive. But then there's this other guy, the guy we see on TWiTtter, uh, and it's a, it's like a different person. It's like a guy who's used too much acid and is confused and seems to believe his own story. And it's, it is possible. Isn't it, Phil, that, that he's changed a little bit since
Phil Libin (00:21:11):
It, it's possible. I don't, I wouldn't know. It's possible. Yeah. I don't know. It's obviously possible, but it's also possible that it's gonna be fine.
Leo Laporte (00:21:16):
Yeah, I would, I want it to be fine. Cause I'll tell you one thing, and I think everybody agrees. TWiTtter's important. Yeah. And, and it would be a horrific outcome if somebody buys it and drives it into the ground. There's been some speculation. Wesley Faulkner sent me a tweet, or I'm sorry, I toot saying, uh, he thinks that Elon was forced to buy it. Uh, he knew the court was gonna go against him. He was gonna buy it. And what he's trying to do is get out of his debt by forcing a bankruptcy and a reorganization so he doesn't have to pay back the debt. He's got a very large nut to cover a 1.3 billion interest payment alone every year. So that's, that's a completely outta nowhere theory. I don't know about finance and the way you do, obviously, but is it possible that that's what's going on? That Elon just wants to get out of this and this was the only way he thought he could do it?
Phil Libin (00:22:08):
What's, what's the outcomes? Razor explanation.
Leo Laporte (00:22:11):
God, I don't think that, you know, that's this. I wish there were one. The simplest, the simplest solution is always the right one. But I don't know what the simple solution is. Here's, here's the scenario that sounds like the OMS razor to me. Elon in a j almost and maybe in a fit of peak said I wanna buy it. And then for 54 20, the very fact that it was 54 20 is the price to me implies jest. You know, the four 20 in there is marijuana reference. Uh, that then somehow, this is the question mark, how do he get in this? He made an agreement with TWiTtter that he would buy it without due diligence, which no intelligent business person would ever, ever do. So I don't know what happened there. Remember he bought 9% of it and, and then in January and then in April, went public with that, wanted a board seat.
TWiTtter did not want him on the board. He got thrown off within 24 hours. And I think that that was what happened. I don't think he stepped out. I think he was thrown off at that point. He got pissed off. Is that when he made this bad deal, in any event, ever since within 24 hours, he was written to his lawyers saying, Hey, world War three's gonna break out. Can we back down now? You know, he said, I wanna hear what Putin has to say before we continue the purchase. Like Putin was gonna create World War three and maybe we better not own TWiTtter. He was trying to squirm he was right. He was squirming. He wanted to get out of it for a long time. Uh, at which point Brett Taylor, chairman of the TWiTtter board says, no, we're going to court. We're gonna hold his his feet to the fire.
He has an agreement. We're gonna make him agree. Elon said, no, no, there's bots. He came up with all sorts of things. I think we were getting very close the day before his deposition. Uh, we'd already seen this tranche of, uh, personal dms that were not embarrassing to Elon by the way, but embarrassing that every single other person was <laugh>, was DMing him, including Larry Ellison who says, I'll give you a billion. He says, can you gimme two? He says, yeah, two, whatever. Uh, he, he raised the money, he went through all the steps that takes some, you know, clout that takes some ability. He negotiated with the Saudi Sovereign Fund, he negotiated with Larry Ellison. He got Goldman Sachs and a bunch of banks to give 'em a 13 billion loan. Or is it 11 billion? Some huge amount. And then, but he wants to get out of it.
He, I think on the day before he's supposed to give his deposition, somebody told him maybe Spirow, his uh, personal counsel said, you're gonna go, you're gonna have to buy this. It's gonna go against you. The court is pretty clear. The Delaware Court a chancery, he is gonna make you buy this for 44 billion. Cuz at that point he says, all right, I don't want to go to court. I don't want this deposition. I don't want any more dms revealed. I'll buy it. All of that. Is that inaccurate, Phil? That that's, that that timeline. That seems like that's pretty much what happened. Yeah,
Phil Libin (00:25:01):
Well first of all, I own, uh, court of chancery.com. The URL
Leo Laporte (00:25:06):
You do wants it.
Phil Libin (00:25:08):
Leo Laporte (00:25:08):
So that's a good, that's a good domain. Why'd you buy that?
Phil Libin (00:25:11):
It's for sale. I think on the day, I think when, when Brett tweeted, uh, I'll see you at the Deliver chance.
Leo Laporte (00:25:16):
I was like, <laugh> smooth move.
Phil Libin (00:25:19):
So yeah. Best, best offer accepted. That's good.
Leo Laporte (00:25:21):
Like, that's as good as three feet. Yeah.
Phil Libin (00:25:24):
But I, um, look, sure, uh, I mean some version of that probably happened, but you can al but like, I think there's a different OMS razor way to look at this, right? The simplest explanation.
Leo Laporte (00:25:37):
What's the simplest explanation?
Phil Libin (00:25:39):
Like Elon's kind of being obnoxious on TWiTtter, because that's what one does on TWiTtter, and that's what, that's what people are rewarded for on TWiTtter. And that's like the point of TWiTtter. And he kind of has that, you know, as part of his personality, uh, traits. Um, he, I'm sure, I'm sure you guys are right, he probably underestimated some of the complexity. Probably came in there thinking like, I build rockets that can, you know, land on earth. Like a how could it be? And I'm sure he, he underestimated it and he pissed a bunch of people off and a bunch of people quit and a bunch more people quit. That all makes sense. But at the end of the day, he really did build these rockets that land back on earth. And he really did build the car that I drive right now, which is the best car that I've ever owned. And it TWiTtter, like, yeah, it's, it's, it's more complicated than he thought, but it's less complicated than the stuff that he's, that he's done before. And I think there's a very strong chance that, again, with way more drama than I would've wanted to see. It's gonna turn out okay. And if he can actually do some of the things that he's talked about and, and of course there's gonna be outages, there'll be failures, there'll be outages. But we all remember the fail,
Leo Laporte (00:26:42):
The fail. Well, we can live, we
Phil Libin (00:26:44):
Can survive. So like, yeah, yeah. It'll be, there'll be outages. And I think, again, I'm not guaranteeing this, I don't know, and you know, I'm not, I don't predict the future. I think there's a very strong chance that like in a, you know, within a few months, like it's gonna be better than it was a few months ago and it'll be fine. Um, and that's kind of what I'm counting for because like I would try Macon, but I can't deal with another Elephant app right now. So <laugh>
Glen Fleishman (00:27:06):
Phil Libin (00:27:07):
Glen Fleishman (00:27:08):
Leo Laporte (00:27:09):
You know, I love, by the way, I love this, you're talking about Mastodon. I love the fact that some people have left TWiTtter for the fed averse Mastodons, just one instance, but the Fed averse, and those people are a certain kind of geeky, tend to be liberals, tend to be left wing. Uh, and they're finding a home. And that's fine. And I would love to see TWiTtter. I think you're right Phil. I think he will find a way to make this work. He spent way too much money and so he'll find a way to make this work. And there are, there have to be good engineers out there. He could bring in, there may be a learning curve for them as well as him. TWiTtter's so important. My problem is that the hardest thing about TWiTtter is something, by the way, that they never really solved. Forget monetization. Cuz advertisers are already going. I don't want anything to do with this. CBS came back though, which is weird. Not
Phil Libin (00:28:01):
As an advertis. They said they were gone, they were gone for much of the weekend. Yeah.
Leo Laporte (00:28:04):
Which is, it's weirdest. Like that's like much
Phil Libin (00:28:06):
Leo Laporte (00:28:07):
Weekend. That was a strange thing. Uh,
Phil Libin (00:28:09):
I took a nap for much of the weekend.
Leo Laporte (00:28:11):
I know, I know. It was really weird. Oh, we, oh no, we're back. But advertisers, by the way, are not doing that. I have to say, advertisers are leaving the tech sector everywhere, right? So that's, I mean, we can't, we can't sell podcast advertising and save our life in 2023. So that's not just TWiTtter's problem, but that's also not my problem cuz Elon will figure out how to monetize or not. But he'll figure that out. I worry more about the moderation problem. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and, uh, and, and what the problem, what is that old saw, you probably know this Glen, where you let one Nazi into your bar, and then pretty soon you own a Nazi bar.
Glen Fleishman (00:28:48):
Oh yes. There's somebody, yeah. There's a bartender who told a good story about that on TWiTtter about right. Was like the first one comes in and they, and they seem, they're there by themselves and they, you know, they don't make much of a fuss. And if you don't throw that guy out, then pretty soon you're a Nazi bar. It's like an inevitable, I mean, this is, this is all the, uh, the tolerant being overwhelmed by the intolerant, right? There's a whole political philosophy about how we should not, or an argument, I don't wanna say a pH uh, it hasn't been decided, right? This is a whole societal issue, is, is it better to let people talk and let sunshine in or to moderate suppress, do other things outside of governmental approaches, not government censorship to prevent points of view that crowd out other speech, right?
This is always the battle we have is, is free speech when people are free speech, so-called maximalist talk about it. They talk about everyone being able to speak freely and yet some speech crowds out other speech and there's no balance in that power. So I think that's the Nazi bar scenario is like, if you let too many Nazis on TWiTtter and it, you know, this is the thing. He's like, I think, uh, un suspending Kathy Griffin and Donald Trump and Jordan Peterson and a few other people all at once is actually sort of a master stroke. If he had just done people who were right wing figures or people at a certain cultural matrix, but he let Kathy Griffin back on and she's over Macedon saying, no, thank you. I'm not, I'm not even gonna pay attention to that. Uh, that's a whole different argument about what he's trying to chart.
Leo Laporte (00:30:13):
Yeah, I think Cathy Griffin is, was a throw in because everybody else, cat turd and the Bumblebee cat, turd, bumblebee and Donald Trump, the big three, uh, those are all on the right hand side of the, uh, aisle. I think that that is not Elon Elon's, I'm sure not a RighTWiTnger. He's probably a libertarian. Uh, and, uh, and probably once the free speech thing, he likes that idea. But as he's quickly learning, free speech doesn't sell Adss. And it, and it does, and it's a Nazi bar problem because,
Glen Fleishman (00:30:45):
And it, it doesn't comply to national law. Like they're gonna have cs a csam problems immediately like this is, uh, unless they have the staff in place, you
Leo Laporte (00:30:53):
Could still watch
Glen Fleishman (00:30:54):
Leo Laporte (00:30:55):
Movie speed. I'm told on TWiTtter, <laugh> tweet by tweet you only get a few minutes per tweet. But you could still do that. And they haven't taken that. So they're gonna have a big moderation problem now. May, I mean, maybe he's gonna bring in a thousand new moderators and it just takes a
Glen Fleishman (00:31:10):
While. One good AI
Leo Laporte (00:31:11):
Takes a while to do that. And at that point, let's say it takes him a year, which is a reasonable amount of time, uh, who's gonna be left and who's gonna wanna be part of it?
Phil Libin (00:31:19):
Look, I think, um, how much you, the problems of the speech problems on TWiTtter right now, um, would've existed, you know, a few weeks ago would've existed pre Elon. If the, the, the people who are making the problems were all incented to right now go and do do the stuff that they're doing. You're kind of having two things happen, right? The first thing that that happened is Elon took over and now every Nazi or anything else, like, this is the time. This is like, ah, like this is my moment now is when I'm gonna do this. Whereas before, you know, like their activity was spread out over the course of many years now. Like everyone in the same week is gonna be like, yeah, I'm gonna make fake corporate accounts and I'm gonna upload the movie speed and I'm gonna be a Nazi. Because like, that's where all the attention is because then CNN is breathlessly reporting, right? About how like TWiTtter is falling apart. Like if you were gonna do shit on TWiTtter, you would wanna do it last week because like now's
Leo Laporte (00:32:12):
Phil Libin (00:32:12):
Tie of Farron is on is on you. Yeah. So even if, even if El had changed nothing and it was like literally the same exact code base, which I think mostly still is, there's obviously some changes. Um, you still probably would've had the same, you know, the same problems. So the, your question really kind of decouples into two parts. You said, what if it takes him a year? It decouples into two parts. How long does it take for it to get incrementally better than it used to be? And I think, you know, every couple of weeks it can get incrementally better. And at the same time, how long does the, does like the moment for the Nazis stick around because they're gonna lose their interests. They're not gonna like, keep up this intensity of douche bagger for the next year.
Leo Laporte (00:32:50):
Phil Libin (00:32:51):
It's gonna slow down.
Leo Laporte (00:32:52):
I might argue with that because we have, uh, fans who have never given up after five years of trolling us. Uh, the people, of course the people who are into this are very persistent and do not give up cuz they're nuts <laugh>.
Phil Libin (00:33:08):
But, but the people, but the people like the people like posting, you know, movies and like doing that kind of stuff.
Leo Laporte (00:33:13):
There's a lot of like, those people go away of course, but
Phil Libin (00:33:16):
That's most of them.
Leo Laporte (00:33:16):
That's trolls. Um, I don't know if that's most of 'em. I mean, who's on, who's on Truth social? I don't know if that's most of them. There is, uh, there is a, a large contingent of Americans about half who, um, are filled with hate.
Dwight Silverman (00:33:32):
You know me about that, Phil, you think half,
Leo Laporte (00:33:34):
Half. Yeah. I think hate. Yeah, I think half
Dwight Silverman (00:33:37):
Phil, you know, you, you, uh, talk about, well he has put rockets in space and, and revolutionized the electric car company, but rockets and cars are not media and, um, media's a lot harder than it looks. And TWiTtter is media and Leo's right about the moderation problem. Those trolls do not go away.
Leo Laporte (00:34:01):
Look at four chan, look at eight chan or
Dwight Silverman (00:34:03):
18. Yeah. Right, right, right. And, and, and so, you know, I think, um, Elon has two personality failings that, um, that he's always had. And they, they come into, uh, they come into this situation and kind of have bloomed one of them as hubris. And the other is he really believes he huffs his own, uh, smoke. And he really believes that he knows better than anybody around him. And so he tears it up and then is kind of surprised at the mess he's made and calls them back. Um, he, he essentially kind of doesn't know what he's doing, uh, and is now winging it. And he may indeed be able to bring it back. You know, supposedly he's got this plan to create, uh, a kind of Uber app, uh, x.com mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, that, so essentially you could, you know what he may be thinking as well before you can create something, you have to destroy it.
And that's kind of what he's doing. But it didn't have to be that way. And he's, he's ruined lives and he has, uh, you know, crippled careers. A lot of these people are going out into a market where they're, where tech companies are laying off not hiring. Yeah. And so it's, uh, you know, he didn't have to be done this way. I saw a headline that referred to his brutal management style. And I think that that's, that's the problem. The, you know, the question becomes if you're a TWiTtter user, if you're a TWiTtter investor Yeah. If you are a regulator, does the end justify the means? And um, you know, to me it sure
Phil Libin (00:35:41):
Doesn't. I agree that it didn't have to, it didn't have to do it like this. Uh, I think he would probably agree with you at this point that he didn't have to do it like this. Uh, yeah. Much more drama than, you know, than I would've wanted to see. Or, but a separate question from, you know, is it really time to like write the TWiTtter obituaries? I I I very much doubt that it's time to
Dwight Silverman (00:36:01):
Write the TWiTtter abi. I think you could. I think
Leo Laporte (00:36:02):
It felt like the, on Friday night, I gotta say everybody was, was saying
Dwight Silverman (00:36:06):
Goodbye Irish and survived. It was wildly survived. It was wildly entertaining. And, uh, and both bittersweet at the same time. I can't remember an evening on TWiTtter that I think was that affecting.
Glen Fleishman (00:36:21):
And you saw Ryan Brodrick and, uh, Katies from, uh, Buzzfeed, uh, they got, they started a TWiTtter, what is it called? Social Spaces. I forgot.
Leo Laporte (00:36:29):
That was a weird event with
Glen Fleishman (00:36:31):
Like 20,000 people. So in the middle of, it was fascinating to say TWiTtter's dying, but here's 20,000 people wanna join a TWiTtter thing. And it mostly ran. Okay. And was it tuned it for, I don't know, 20 or 30 minutes? And it was wild. It was actually an example of the best of what TWiTtter has to offer. And
Leo Laporte (00:36:49):
Elon pointed out they had the biggest weekend of all time. Yeah.
Glen Fleishman (00:36:52):
I'm not TWiTtter surprised everybody. I But that's Rubberneck.
Dwight Silverman (00:36:55):
That's right. That's rubbernecking. That's watching a car crash.
Glen Fleishman (00:36:58):
Yeah. I mean, are people feeling like they're going to, it's like why do you go to the speed way people often go to the speedway to watch cars
Leo Laporte (00:37:04):
Crash? Yeah. I'm really glad we had John Phil cuz I knew that you would be the sense of, uh, voice of reason in all of this <laugh> and with your experience and expertise. I wanted to hear what you think. And you're not an Elon Musk stand. Uh, but, but I think you, you're quite reasonable in this. And I, and I hope you're right because I I, I'd hate to see TWiTtter just turn into four chan. I think that that would be a very sad end to something that was so vital for so many people. One of the things you were seeing on, on Saturday and Friday was people saying, I met my spouse here. Um, you know, some of the best interactions I ever had in my life on TWiTtter. And I, you know, some of the most hateful interactions I've ever had in my life were on TWiTtter as well. But, uh, TWiTtter is important and it'd be a shame to lose it. I feel more that way about TWiTtter than I do about Facebook, for instance, which I don't think will be a huge loss. You know,
Glen Fleishman (00:37:52):
I wouldn't be sitting here talking to the three of you if it wasn't for TWiTtter. Exactly. That's how we got to know you. Exactly. We're all para friends. Yes. Yeah. Most of the best things have happened. My professional life in many of my personal life have happened, uh, in the last decade on TWiTtter. I've been able to change my career from being a, uh, technology journalist into a 19th century printing expert in part <laugh> because of TWiTtter. So thank you.
Dwight Silverman (00:38:13):
Leo Laporte (00:38:14):
I'm sure that's a career direction I would recommend for forever.
Glen Fleishman (00:38:16):
No, there's lots of, let me tell you, there's lots of money in 19th century printing research,
Leo Laporte (00:38:21):
<laugh>. But Phil, I, you know, I think your points are really well taken and, uh, and you're the voice of reason. So thank you. It is true that it's no surprise that there's a lot of outrage and, and storm and drawing associated with TWiTtter. That's what it was,
Glen Fleishman (00:38:37):
You know, designed. Phil, I wanna hire you as my therapist because you're totally, so much you. So, I mean, I'll say I've run businesses in which I've had at least one employee, so I feel very qualified to talk about an enterprise with 7,500. So I feel we're, you know, you're in a better position, but it's also, I think it's good. It's, it's very easy. I think what we're talking about is an excellent example of that phenomenon you're describing, which is TWiTtter is about drama. It's optimized for drama cuz it optimized for engagement, which improves advertising sell through. It's not too, uh, horrible, right? Advertisers don't wanna sell against horror, but they wanna sell against a certain level of churn. And so I feel drawn into that cause I'm watching every day this nonsense people be away, the chaos. And I'm like, oh, but I can listen to Phil and I can step back and say, you know, this is gonna settle out or it's not. And I don't have to, I don't have to get all fussed about it. So actually I appreciate that. Right.
Leo Laporte (00:39:28):
Thank you. We're gonna take a little break and come talk about something of much more consequence Crypto in just <laugh>. No, I'm just kidding. We'll find something. We, we'll cheer you up in just a bit. Uh, great to have Phil Libin here. Actually, I want to talk a little bit about, uh, about the history of, uh, Evernote CEO and founder of All turtles.com. But his, in his previous life, he was the guy who put Evernote, uh, on the map. And, uh, and Evernote is in the news again this week. We'll talk about that in a little bit. Glen Fleishman, that he's in charge of email@example.com and, uh, at fun and Flus is his motto.
Glen Fleishman (00:40:03):
Fun and flungs. There
Leo Laporte (00:40:04):
We go. Yep. And, uh, always, always a pleasure having you. And of course, uh, thank you. My great Dwight Silverman, all three a u t h o r y.com/d Silverman. Both Glen and Dwight use authoring to collate all of their many multifarious, uh, work, which is really cool. Um, I didn't realize you also use it and it, and it, it actually solves a problem that people like you modern, you know, journalists have, which is you everywhere
Glen Fleishman (00:40:33):
Leo Laporte (00:40:33):
It's it's abouts
Glen Fleishman (00:40:36):
Abouts. A piece of irony is that I wrote my first article about link rot in 1997, and of course it was dead by 1999. <laugh> could not get to the article. It was like, that's irony.
Leo Laporte (00:40:46):
The solution to link ro author.com. Uh, our show today brought to you by Zip Recruiter, we have been so happy with Zip Recruiter, some of our best, uh, staff hired on ZipRecruiter, cuz this is, this is what happens. Uh, and, and, and Lisa is the one who ends up, you know, suffering. Somebody says, I'm gonna give you my two weeks. I got another job, or I'm moving, or whatever. And now we gotta fill that position. And of course, the problem is the person who's filling the position, at least in a small company like ours, is also the one who's gonna have to do the work of the person who's leaving while they're filling. And we all marry many hats in, in a business like ours. And it's hard to find people fast who are great. Well, it was until we found ZipRecruiter. Now, when we need somebody, we go to ZipRecruiter.
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Actually, super recruiter did it, but we don't tell 'em that and we think you'd be great for that job. That person is so excited to hear from you. They show up, they do the interview. I don't know if you had this experience, but ghosting interviews is a very common thing nowadays. You don't get that when you use ZipRecruiter plus all of those people applying for your job. They don't come to your phone or your email. They go into the ZipRecruiter interface. You can screen them with yes no questions, multiple choice, even essay questions. They reformat the resume. So it's easy to read them. They do all this stuff to make it easy to hire Fast and fast is important when you've wearing many hats, right? Four out of five employers who post on ZipRecruiter get a quality candidate within the first day. But I could tell you our experience has always been within a few hours, which is such a relief because now we know we're gonna find somebody.
I love Lisa. She'll post it breakfast and by lunchtime she's going, oh, this person's great. Oh, we got another one. It's such a relief. Try it free today, ziprecruiter.com/TWiT. It is the smart way to hire zip recruiter.com/t i t. We thank ZipRecruiter for the job they do for us. We thank 'em for advertising on the show, and we thank you as, uh, listeners for using that address so they know you saw it here. That really helps us too. ziprecruiter.com/TWiT, the smartest way to hire. Thank you ZipRecruiter. Uh, good conversation. The first kind of sensible conversation we've had about what's going on over, uh, at TWiTtter. So thank you all, uh, three of you for, for your analysis. Uh, okay. We need a breather. <laugh>. Let me, let me, let me find something. Uh, not so, uh, depressing and serious.
Glen Fleishman (00:44:13):
I was gonna say, oh, what about Fed Brooks has died? Oh. Oh no, that's not the,
Leo Laporte (00:44:17):
Let's not do that. Greg Barrett died. Oh no. How about Elizabeth Holmes going to jail for Woo 11 and a quarter years?
Glen Fleishman (00:44:26):
Yeah, I had funny feelings about it. Me, me too. I I've had a, I've had to, um, I feel like I've had a look inside myself because my reaction has been very shod and frey about her, where I think that's unfortunate. Like, I think she did, you know, listen, the court, uh, a jury decided she defrauded people. I think there's a lot of legal things you could say, but what she did, but I found myself having a little glee about like, oh, good, they got her. And then I'm thinking, ah, this poor woman, at some level, it was it, she, she did cause actual or seemingly cause actual harm to people who got misleading, uh, blood results. Like she could have put people in danger and there are issues there. But I also think she got, um, she got disappointed attention because of her gender.
And I think it was, there was a sort of gendered response to it. Um, she did lead a giant fraud and she should take responsibility for what she did and doesn't seem to be able to, but I also, I don't feel like I should feel great about anybody going to jail, especially when, you know, it's clear she has lots of the fact that she can't really see that she did anything wrong. That these these things, she, uh, ha is a futurist who was too optimistic. I think that is a sad thing. Not necessarily to be celebrated.
Leo Laporte (00:45:36):
Dwight, what do you think?
Dwight Silverman (00:45:39):
Well, you know, she, I I agree with half of what Glen said. She <laugh>, she, she, she committed fraud. You know, she defrauded investors, she misled people. She, you know, to a certain extent she provided hope when there was no hope really. And, um, you know, the, the sentencing guidelines were what, 11 years to 20 years mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And I was looking at that and I was thinking, you know, her, her, um, conduct was so egregious that I was thinking the judge could go 15 to 20. And so I was a little surprised that she only, and I say only she
Leo Laporte (00:46:16):
Got the minimum, I
Dwight Silverman (00:46:17):
Think she got the minimum. Yeah. And
Leo Laporte (00:46:20):
We should say the judge has discretion and can go lower than the guidelines. Right? Right. She's not required to go guidelines, but she did in this case. Yeah. Yeah.
Dwight Silverman (00:46:31):
Leo Laporte (00:46:31):
I look at somebody like Alan Weis Weisselberg who was the CFO of the Trump organization who got what, six months?
Glen Fleishman (00:46:37):
Well, he, he might get a hundred days I think if he, if he fully cooperates.
Leo Laporte (00:46:41):
So I just feel like for
Glen Fleishman (00:46:43):
Stealing, I mean for yeah,
Leo Laporte (00:46:44):
The involvement. Here's, to me the rule is don't defraud George Schultz because if you defraud the, the biggest, most important, most powerful people in the country, we're gonna get
Glen Fleishman (00:46:55):
You. Okay. Wait. You want something fun to talk about? Is George Schultz has a tiger tattoo on part of his
Leo Laporte (00:47:00):
Body. Cause he's a Princeton man as all big. There's do you don't wait a minute, tell me you don't have a bulldog on your butt.
Glen Fleishman (00:47:06):
I I have no bulldogs on my be well
Leo Laporte (00:47:08):
How, what kind of Yale man are you? <laugh>? Um, Phil, what do you think? 11 years out outrageous or appropriate?
Phil Libin (00:47:17):
Um, uh, I have really complicated feelings about it. I think it's, it feels unfair to me. Um, uh, it feels unfair. Not, um, not compared to other people that have been sentenced for fraud. Uh, you know, Madoff got 150 years and, uh, you know, Jeffrey Skilling got 14 years or whatever. So that, that seems in line, but it feels unfair when you compare to all the people that we know have done far worse that never get prosecuted. So I think it depends on the frame of reference. If you're, if you're, if you're comparing her to other people that have been sentenced for this kind of stuff, then yeah, it's about right. But it's hard for me not to compare it to all the people that I know do far worse every day and that don't get prosecuted and don't get anything. And I think in general, like, I don't like these, um, you know, send a message sentences.
Um, I think they're unfair. I think like what we should do is we should prosecute many more people. We should give, we should be like much more consistent with prosecuting fraud. We should have much more prosecution on, you know, white collar crime. Um, so that it should be a predictable outcome of defrauding people as it is right now. We prosecute very few people and then the ones that we convict, sometimes you get massive sentences, but I don't, I don't, a that doesn't seem fair to the person getting a sentence and b, that doesn't seem like the right kind of deterrent effect because like, I don't think most would be fraudsters are deterred by, oh yeah, this is the one in a million shot that, you know, maybe I'll get caught and go to jail.
Leo Laporte (00:48:43):
You the next Elizabeth Holmes isn't looking at this going, oh, well I better not defraud anybody. Right?
Phil Libin (00:48:47):
No, but if, but if, but if, like, if, if you were gonna do this and you'd be like, well, there's a 25% chance that I'm gonna wind up being convicted and going to jail for, you know, a year, like, I think that would be a much, much less of a turn. So it feels wrong to me and it feels wrong because I know lots of people who do far worse and they don't get prosecuted at all.
Leo Laporte (00:49:04):
I hope you turn them in. Phil <laugh> by the Phil's plane is landed in now, apparently he's in, uh, Tokyo for the Cherry Blossom
Phil Libin (00:49:14):
Leo Laporte (00:49:15):
That's, uh, that's great. Tokyo, last year in February. So, uh, <laugh>, uh, and I, you know, I, we all have mixed feelings. Part of my mixed feelings are inappropriate, which is that she has a one year old and she's pregnant with another child that's two children who will not have their mom. Now will she do 11 years or is there a good time Good, good time off.
Phil Libin (00:49:35):
It's a federal sentence. If she, unless her appeal comes in, she's in, there's no, there's no law in
Leo Laporte (00:49:40):
Federal. Even if she goes to the country club jail, that's hard time.
Phil Libin (00:49:45):
A federal prison, there's,
Glen Fleishman (00:49:48):
Oh, sorry. There's a law and order episode that, uh, that a number of years ago that I always think about in terms of this when I try to calibrate my feelings, it's an episode that it plays on that of someone's kidneys are stolen and they wake up in a tub of ice. Uh, urban myth, which circulates this literally happens in the episode. If somebody wakes up, his kidneys been stolen, <laugh>, it's, and they eventually figure out that it's a guy, it's a very rich man whose daughter needed a kidney and he couldn't get one through al way. So he essentially hired someone to, um, hired goons to find somebody with a good kidney that was a match and then hired paid doctors huge amounts of money to perform the surgery. And the great line at the end, on the stand stand was, you know, Mr. Soandso, uh, this time was a kidney.
He survived. He's actually gonna be fine. The person who's organ you rip from his body. But if it had been a heart, would you have done anything differently? And I sometimes think that's the calibration factor, is I think about homes and I'm thinking it does seem like too much. It doesn't seem like it has a deterrent effect. I feel bad for her children, her family, and the harm she committed. Did she, you know, was she out there actively killing people? Uh, you know, well there's some arguments that there was. So there were, uh, adverse health effects that resulted from some people getting a bad test, infor test information. And the thing is, I think if a hundred people had died from this, as opposed to
Leo Laporte (00:51:05):
That would be different. I, if there's
Glen Fleishman (00:51:06):
That would be d Yeah. And I, but I think also, I don't think her behavior would've necessarily been any different is
Leo Laporte (00:51:11):
The problem. Well, and if I'm sunny ball, not divorce, she's remorseless she was. Well cuz she didn't
Glen Fleishman (00:51:16):
Think she, she feels like she doesn't think she,
Leo Laporte (00:51:18):
This is what you do in tech. Somewhat. I have to say somewhat our own culture is to blame because we lionized her and she was taught to some degree that, that you fake it till you make it. Right. Yeah,
Phil Libin (00:51:33):
Leo Laporte (00:51:35):
And that, that's how Steve Jobs made it. That's how Elon Musk made it. You, you, you just, you go and you go and you go until you, you make it. And sometimes you don't.
Phil Libin (00:51:45):
I I think, I think there's two issues here that are, that are, that are separate. And so whenever I find myself having these like, conflicted feelings, I try to like figure out like, well others, is there more than one thing that I'm having feelings about? And I think in this case, there are, I think like the real issue here is that this verdict highlights how few people get prosecuted. Fraud. Like that's the real, like that is more important to me than how much Elizabeth home should serve.
Leo Laporte (00:52:08):
Cause it's hard to, I guess, cuz it's hard to prove, it is
Glen Fleishman (00:52:11):
Hard to prove a lot of, a lot of money went into this trial, that's for
Phil Libin (00:52:14):
Sure too. Yeah, yeah. For, for all sorts of reasons. Um, but, but, but, but, but very relatively few people get prosecuted for it. And, and, and this like, points that out. And that's like, that's, that's, that's a big problem. That's separate from, you know, does she deserve 11 years or five years or whatever. And I'm like, I'm less attached to that position. I think personally, it doesn't really do anyone any good to lock her away for 11 years. Uh, so I would've done something a lot more lenient, but, but I'm also totally happy to be like, Hey, I'm not the judge. You know, this is the way the system works. Whatever. Let me reason that I feel it's
Leo Laporte (00:52:48):
Go ahead. I'm sorry. Finish
Phil Libin (00:52:49):
Your sentence. I said no, the reason that that, that it feels unfair to me is because it points out how we look at all these other people. But that's justice aren't prosecuted
Leo Laporte (00:52:57):
At all. Justice has always been uneven. Right. It's impossible. It's, it's a, it's the nature of justice. You do the best you can. You can't fault, uh, a sentence because not everybody gets the same sentence. It's unfair. Some people get six months, some people get 11 years, some people don't even get caught. We do the best we can. It's a very imperfect system.
Phil Libin (00:53:19):
Yeah. You can say that. There should be, you know, more, more prosecutions for things that are likely fraud.
Glen Fleishman (00:53:25):
It's, I I think we could pull up, uh, Trevor Milton from last month or six weeks ago, the founder of Nicola who, uh, was convicted of, I just wanna, it's clear he's clear one kind of securities fraud and two counts of wire fraud. Um, but, you know, that was, that is an amazing case. And, and that I have no concerns about what time he gets put away for, because the man is clearly, uh, completely pathological.
Leo Laporte (00:53:46):
He's facing 20 up to 25 years, but sentencing
Glen Fleishman (00:53:49):
Is in danger. Yeah. He's got a multi-decade career of telling people all kinds of things. And, uh, you know, it's
Leo Laporte (00:53:54):
A very, it's similar fraud. Except it wasn't health fraud. It wasn't, nobody's life was endangered by Nicola.
Glen Fleishman (00:53:59):
Yeah. I mean Right. If some of the cars could have been dangerous if it actually worked. But, but I feel like it's, uh, it was a more straightforward thing where I, it was clear to like, I'm not always clear whether Elizabeth Holmes truly knew whether her stuff worked or not, or she was being, you know, pushing the window. Sometimes. Clearly not. And the courts found, or the jury found that she clearly went too far. But it was very clear that Milton knew he was pushing, or should have known, like morally, ethically, intellectually, that what he was saying was absolutely false. It was intentional. It was just such a, it was a scam as opposed to what I'm sure, I mean, I know that Elizabeth Holmes absolutely wanted to make that business a real thing.
Leo Laporte (00:54:36):
Meanwhile, uh, Billy McFarland, who did the fire festival got six years and, uh, and is in a halfway house now after four. Um, all the, although Ray Hush puppy got 11 years. So there you go. Ray
Glen Fleishman (00:54:48):
Leo Laporte (00:54:49):
<laugh> what? <laugh> the same week puppy Nigerian, um, man named Raymond ua aba AKA Ray Hush puppy, 11 years in federal prison. He was, uh, he was a kind of a, that guy, that guy. They got him, I did in Dubai. And, uh, and extradited him. He had been involved in mon vast money laundering, uh, uh, email compromise, bank heist, all sorts of stuff. And he got 11 years. I don't know, I think Ray Hush puppy, probably a worse guy than, uh, Elizabeth Holmes. What, what is the point of prison? Is prison to deter is prison to rehabilitate? Do you think Elizabeth home will be, homes will be a better person 11 years from now?
Glen Fleishman (00:55:37):
This gets in that whole, I mean, I, you know, I feel like the Carceral state is a huge problem and it feeds on itself, and we put people in jail to put people in jail and it feeds the industrial prison complex. I think there's a whole bunch. But then there's, you know, there's people we need to be protected against as a society, and there's people who need to be protected from themselves. And I think the overlap of that is we throw many more people into jail for reasons that don't make any sense and are non-productive for them and for society. Yeah. So like, I'm not worried that homes gonna come to my house and steal my blood, you know? So does she actually have to be in jail or are there other punishments that would serve a deterrent effect, um, for her. But there are people who I am worried would break into my house and steal my
Leo Laporte (00:56:17):
Blood and I Right. They probably, there's some crooks. I don't think Elizabeth Holmes is a, is an ongoing danger to anybody.
Glen Fleishman (00:56:23):
Yeah. I think that's the issue. Although, you know, then you have, well, I think Phil, I don't, I wouldn't wanna put this word into your mouth, but it's like Adam Newman is an example of somebody who raised
Leo Laporte (00:56:31):
Glen Fleishman (00:56:33):
Right. And then he's, he's completely successful in, but I mean, I think he's a true believer, uh, in what he does Absolutely. Religiously. So, but how was he never, I mean, I don't wanna make accusations against, so I've read books, I've seen things. It's like, I don't know that he ever did anything that he's even technically illegal, I don't know, has been charged anything. Right.
Leo Laporte (00:56:52):
The founder of WeWork who, who cost a son and that's a, that's a, a Yoshi son, billions of dollars,
Glen Fleishman (00:57:01):
A victimless crime,
Leo Laporte (00:57:03):
<laugh> and, and, and really put the soft Bank fund, uh, in kind of jeopardy after kind of said, oh, I believe in you, whatever it is you're selling, I want more of that. But
Glen Fleishman (00:57:15):
That's situation. What's the difference between, between Adam Newman and, uh,
Leo Laporte (00:57:18):
He's worth 1.2 billion and just got a huge, uh, gift from Andreson Horowitz to, to do his next big thing.
Glen Fleishman (00:57:26):
And again, I don't wanna accuse him of anything. Like I don't, I I think the fascinating part about him is, I think he did, he, he sold long and sold, or he, he talked long and sold short. So he couldn't fulfill exactly what he was promising. But I think he did it in a very carefully done way that had a potential. I mean, after I read one of the really well researched books about WeWork, I came out of it thinking this guy wasn't a scammer. What he was, was he had an arc where as long as he, this was Shades of ftx. And, uh, uh, Sam, what's his name? Uh, Bankman, uh, fried Frid, uh, is, uh, I think Newman actually had an arc where if you keep people believing long enough, there was the potential for profit to come at the other end of the pipe. Maybe not the way you
Leo Laporte (00:58:06):
See, I don't think so, actually. I think, uh, well,
Glen Fleishman (00:58:09):
I guess you're right there. What
Leo Laporte (00:58:10):
About Travis Kalanick? So have you ra you've raised money, uh, Phil, right? You've gone to VC
Phil Libin (00:58:15):
<laugh> a little bit. Yeah. Yeah.
Leo Laporte (00:58:17):
Phil Libin (00:58:18):
You, you're putting me in a tough spot. Cause I I know all these people.
Leo Laporte (00:58:21):
I know you do. So you can re at any point recuse yourself.
Phil Libin (00:58:25):
But I'm just curious. Son is currently a major investor in, in, in my company.
Leo Laporte (00:58:31):
I, I work for Sun when he bought Ziff Davis. Um, yeah. And I have great respect for the man. I think he was the victim, frankly, of Adam Newman. But, uh, that aside, is there something broken in the way we do vc that it rewards people like Elizabeth Holmes?
Phil Libin (00:58:48):
Oh, yeah. I mean, I think there's all sorts of interesting questions here. Uh, I mean, one, I think just very basic questions. Where did the money go? Um, where did the money go with Elizabeth Holmes? Uh, where did the money go with Adam Newman? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, where did the money go with spf? And I think those are very different answers. Yeah. Yeah. And, and so good, I think that answer is kind of important to like determining the level of at least moral culpability mm-hmm. <affirmative> of people. And as far as we know, and I think we know pretty well, like Elizabeth Holmes didn't wind up with, with a big chunk of that money,
Glen Fleishman (00:59:18):
Phil Libin (00:59:20):
Uh, Adam Newman wound up with some of it significant amount, billion or so
Leo Laporte (00:59:23):
It's interesting that Mark Andreson would give him another 350 million.
Phil Libin (00:59:28):
Well, but, but, but, but seriously, like if you're evaluating, you know, fraud, potential fraud or actual fraud, like where, where did the money go? Right? Um, I think
Glen Fleishman (00:59:37):
Landlords, I think mostly right. I mean, we were salaries a lot of leases and that was,
Leo Laporte (00:59:41):
Had a high burn rate. WeWork
Glen Fleishman (00:59:42):
Was a real estate
Phil Libin (00:59:43):
Leo Laporte (00:59:44):
Yeah. And story where went, I understand, as I understand it was the real problem was always gonna be that he was making long term deals for leases and Shortterm deals with his customers.
Phil Libin (00:59:56):
Where did he go with Theranos?
Glen Fleishman (00:59:58):
Yeah, I always, well,
Leo Laporte (01:00:00):
That's a really good question.
Glen Fleishman (01:00:01):
This is the judge in the case. Remember they were trying to get 800 something million in damages. The prosecutors and the judge decided what was the number? It was 180 million. It was something substantially lower. Yeah. Uh, like 22 investors said they lost whatever. And I think it was because the actual scope of, they didn't spend as much money as it sounds because they had such a super high valuation that I, that the mark. Yeah, it was right. So as employee, so Holmes is the, the lawsuit was right. Was, or the money was spent for employees and equipment and real estate. And, but yeah, I don't feel like she, I'm sure she had some nice houses, but her family was very wealthy or somewhat wealthy to begin with. So
Phil Libin (01:00:35):
Yeah. As, as far as we know, like that money went to paying a lot of salaries for a lot of people and a lot of equipment. And like, it wasn't, if there was fraud and to some extent the court determined there was fraud. So that it's fine. There's fraud. There's fraud, but I think it's a very different type than what, what probably happened with ftx, for example, where, you know, money was just outright stolen.
Glen Fleishman (01:00:54):
Where is that money? The FTX money is
Phil Libin (01:00:57):
Glen Fleishman (01:00:57):
All, billions is gone
Phil Libin (01:00:59):
As far fraud goes
Leo Laporte (01:01:00):
There. Uh, spf it looks like now the latest is took 300 million off the table in their last round.
Glen Fleishman (01:01:08):
Leo Laporte (01:01:09):
So that's somewhere. Right? Unless he, I don't know. That's a lot of beanbag. I don't <laugh> I don't know what that's somewhere out
Phil Libin (01:01:19):
There. The incentives though. You, you asked a earlier question, uh, about like, what's what's broken about AC and, and, and I think like, look, I, I know, you know, obviously a lot of vs I, I, I was a VC myself for, for, for for two years at a general catalyst. A bunch of people are, are, you know, friends of mine. And I think for the most part, uh, a lot of these people are, are genuinely good people. They're, they're genuinely smart. They're genuinely good. They genuinely wanna do the right thing. Not everyone, you know who you are, but for the most part, <laugh>,
Leo Laporte (01:01:48):
They're, they're not though, uh, even thinking about or are they, you tell me, you know, um, do they think they're not trying to use their money to do good? They're trying to make an investment that will pay off.
Phil Libin (01:01:59):
A lot of them are trying to use their money to do good really interest a lot. Yeah, absolutely. But, but look, here's the thing, uh, here's is like the main thing that I've, that I've figured out, um, the vast majority of people, myself included, will act according to our incentives. Um, so first we act according to our incentives. If you look at how the incentives are set up, that will predict how we act. And then most of us, myself included, will act according to our incentives and then make up a narrative about why that action is morally sound.
Leo Laporte (01:02:25):
Yeah. That's how all decisions are made, by the way. Yeah.
Phil Libin (01:02:28):
Leo Laporte (01:02:29):
How the line works. Oh my
Phil Libin (01:02:30):
God. And that narrative is, is is true. We believe it. We really do. Yeah.
But, but, but it's not surprising that it just so happens that the morally correct thing that we tell ourselves happens to always line up with our financial incentives the vast majority of the time. So if I wanna lead a moral life, which I do, the best way to do it, since I can't trust myself to not follow my incentives, is to make sure that I set up my incentives first to, to, to, to, to go in the direction that I want to go. And, and not everyone does that. So when you look at how VCs operate, how does, like how do they make money? What's the incentives? Well, they make money by investing. They don't make money by not investing. They make money by investing. They make money by investing a lot. They make more money by investing a lot. Yeah. They make more money by investing a lot quickly so they can raise the next ground so they, so they can raise to raise the next fund so they could, you know, stack management fees and carry and all that stuff. Uh, by the way,
Leo Laporte (01:03:23):
Fees, it's a business fundamentally,
Phil Libin (01:03:25):
Right? A hundred perc almost all of the incentives are set up for invest. Like, invest as much as you can. Now, the vast majority of these people will do it with due diligence or what they think is the right amount of due diligence. And they'll do it because they genuinely think that that, that it's money making. But the due diligence is always invest
Leo Laporte (01:03:43):
More. The question they're asking isn't, is not, is this gonna make the world a better place? Maybe that's a secondary question. The question is, this is gonna make money.
Phil Libin (01:03:50):
Is it real? Is it gonna make money? Yeah. And you can say, well, but you know, they should do 'em a lot more due diligence. Okay. But most of the funds, like, you know, even that invested in like FDX and stuff, like those funds are actually doing great. Right? Cause like the VC model is predicated upon, for the most part, believe founders. And yeah, once in a while, that's gonna screw you. But the belief founders like tends to, in the past of historically generated very good returns because you do get the Steve Jobs and the, and the everyone else's who like, yeah. Like to some extent there's a fake it until you make it, but enough of 'em make it and make it big. Um, that like, that it's worthwhile. So like this, this is the model, the way that it's been set up. And that's why when crypto comes along, it's like the greatest thing that a lot of these investors have ever seen because the crypto comes along and they're like, we need 420 million.
And you're like, for what? Well, it, I don't know, because no one knows what crypto's gonna cost <laugh>. Like there's no, like, it's not like a SaaS company where you can kind of say, oh, you need this many engineers. You're like, I don't know. And so the investors are sitting there looking at like, wow, I can raise an, I can write a giant check into this company, which means I can get my next, you know, fund. Like all of that. Like, again, all the incentives take over. So it's like, it is a, it is an incentive system sort of scamming itself, except actually over time, for the most part, it works pretty well. But then we pick bits and pieces to be like outraged over. Um,
Leo Laporte (01:05:19):
This is really interesting. I feel like <laugh>, I feel like most of the time on this show, Glen and Dwight and I we're like, uh, playing pool and, and all of a sudden Phil comes in and he's got his cue in a case and he's opening it up <laugh>
And he's saying, let me show you how the game is played. Uh, I mean, seriously, you're the pro. You're the pro from Dover. You can, you understand how this stuff works and you've been in there, you've got that mindset. Um, so it's really great. It's really great to do. And the other thing I like about you, Phil, is you're thoughtful. Uh, and so you, even as you're going through this process, you're kind of self-aware about what's, what's going on. Do. I mean, the problem with crypto, you know, if you're investing in it, is it's, it's as purely as speculative investment as it can be. Right?
Phil Libin (01:06:05):
It's all a scam. Yeah. But definitionally
Leo Laporte (01:06:08):
It's true. Value is zero. There is no val, you know, it's true value is zero. But, but I, but can I tell you this? Gold is the same because gold has a small industrial value. When you buy gold, you're not buying it for its industrial value. You're buying it because as a speculative investment, you think it's gonna be worth more tomorrow cuz somebody's gonna pay more. Right?
Phil Libin (01:06:30):
It's, it's, it's not the same as gold. Um, and zero connection, like no connection to objective reality is very different from a small connection to
Leo Laporte (01:06:39):
<laugh>. Yeah. Cause honestly, if a stock doesn't pay a dividend, you're buying a stock. And a company doesn't really give you ownership of, of anything tangible. Because, you know, without the dividend, there's no payback. If the company does well, even when you're buying stock, you're buying something that you're presuming is gonna go up in value based on some, you know, the news or whatever. Um, so there's a, on all, all investments are somewhat speculative, but you somewhat even stock. You are, your, your, in theory, your value goes up. If the quality of the pro company's product is good enough to warrant it to go up, there are other factors like the news. And there is speculation. But, you know, if, if, I mean, look at Apple, Apple's products were lackluster and dying on Theon. Yeah. And Steve Jobs came in and made, but isn't that good product to some degree in illusion?
Unless a company buys back its stock, takes its profits and buys back its stock increasing your value or gives you a dividend. The actual stock value is what investors make up. <laugh>. Yes. Look at games, look at game stop. It wasn't cuz their business suddenly was great. That was a joke. But, but that's what I'm saying is that kind of even stock investments are somewhat in that realm of speculative. But you made an excellent point, Phil. The, even the smallest attachment to reality is better than zero. It's, it's like a seed. It's a seed and everything else builds upon it. There are no seeds in crypto.
Glen Fleishman (01:08:15):
Yeah. And you know, if you buy pork belly futures, you could wind up with a bunch of them on your front lawn if you're not careful. <laugh>, you let the contract expire
Phil Libin (01:08:22):
Gold. Like yes, gold. You're not buying for spec out for its industrial value, but there's only gold. There's not like a gold two, gold three infant number of other things that people can eventually be gold. It's like, it's an actual, it's a thing thing that there's, that there's one of, yeah. Uh, a stock is, you know, the value of a company is the, you know, the current value given, you know, net present discounts of all future profits. That's the floor of it. So most companies are worth something. And so there's a floor because it is like the present value of future profits. So there's like a floor below which I would buy it, right? Um, there's some connection to
Leo Laporte (01:09:00):
Reality, but the price of a stock often isn't related to that.
Phil Libin (01:09:03):
Right? No, but, but, but because there's a floor, you can do all sorts of financialization on top of it, right? Because like, the floor is a real thing, right? So you look at game stop, which was Yeah, absolutely a meme stunk. Um, and, but what prob but what probably happened, right? Is like, it was before this, it was, it was actually undervalued because people were like, oh, it's physical stores and they're never gonna do anything. And then it became a mean a mean stunk. And there was like a lot of activities and it settled into a range that's way off what its highs were, but also significantly higher than it's been trading it for the past, you know, five years before. So like, there is a, i I think there's a big difference between like a tenuous connection and absolutely none. Yeah. And, and, and I think we kind of under underappreciate that the difference between those,
Leo Laporte (01:09:47):
There's no floor <laugh> in Bitcoin <laugh>.
Glen Fleishman (01:09:51):
What is SPF had that great thing. Matt Levine cites it all the time. Matt Levine interviewed, uh, uh, SPF on stage what was a year ago or last summer? Last summer I think. And, and Sam was talking about, uh, uh, well if you have a box and you have a black box and you put stuff in it and you never take the cash out, no one knows the boxes and you speculate on the box. And I was kinda like, what the hell? And Matt Levine's response was, you just described a deposit case. Like, well, it's not exactly a like, like, I mean that was the classic moment when somebody, you know, the magician described how the trick was done. Probably, uh, not for hiss own goods.
Leo Laporte (01:10:25):
We're talking all around spf, but let's, let's talk about FTX and SPF in just a little bit. Gotta take a break. Plus, I think Phil needs to find a new destination. What are you, are you using a Honda to do that? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>.
Phil Libin (01:10:36):
Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Yeah.
Leo Laporte (01:10:38):
Absolutely. Tell me about mm-hmm. <affirmative>.
Phil Libin (01:10:41):
Leo Laporte (01:10:41):
So you, are you still happy with the name <laugh>?
Glen Fleishman (01:10:45):
Like, such a hard time? Phil is a good
Leo Laporte (01:10:49):
Watermark is great on his screen.
Phil Libin (01:10:51):
I love the name.
Leo Laporte (01:10:52):
You love the name Good, right? I
Phil Libin (01:10:53):
Love the name. It's, it's, it's it, people keep talking about it. It's, it's true. It's, it's pretty, it's pretty fantastic. It's, it's easy to remember. It's easy to, oh
Leo Laporte (01:11:00):
Look, he's suddenly in his office. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Phil Libin (01:11:03):
Calling people back to the office. It's all about butts and seats people.
Leo Laporte (01:11:06):
It's really, uh, your timing was very good, of course, cuz of, uh, cuz of Covid. Everybody started to use Zoom and other apps. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> is for Mac and Windows. And it lets you, as you can see, uh, put yourself anywhere. But also more importantly, maybe it allows you to do presentations, uh, which is great. I mean that's, that's very cool. And have over the shoulder shots like they do in real TV and all of that.
Glen Fleishman (01:11:29):
I, I have a good description of mm-hmm. <affirmative> as an outsider, which is mm-hmm. <affirmative> is obs if obs made sense to human beings.
Leo Laporte (01:11:36):
Glen Fleishman (01:11:38):
So for those of you who that's not right. Open, open broadcast system, is that what it's called? Obs? Yeah. Yeah. Which I've used. And you know, it's like, it's manageable and it does really unique things, but I feel what I've done with it. Like, I've, like, I've been, uh, illegally, uh, uh, engaging in surgical
Leo Laporte (01:11:52):
Practice. You think you've been generating Bitcoin in behind the scenes.
Glen Fleishman (01:11:55):
Leo Laporte (01:11:56):
Could I actually, so I use OBS when I want to do a let's play stream, which I do sometimes for the club and stuff. Who play games? Could I use a Honda to do that? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> to do that. Yeah. So I could put a picture of the game and probably do a better job. Come to think of it
Phil Libin (01:12:12):
As a lot of stuff you can do. The, the, the main idea is, uh, you know, it's about communication superpowers where you think, uh, mm-hmm. <affirmative> is like, it's like a warmup to the rest of your life of not hating being on video.
Leo Laporte (01:12:26):
Glen Fleishman (01:12:28):
Leo Laporte (01:12:29):
That's the name. The name reminds me of that fictional search engine in the Good Wife and the Good Fight. Chum hum.
Glen Fleishman (01:12:37):
Leo Laporte (01:12:40):
The Good Fight Rent. May it rest in Peace. Oh, what a great show. Uhhuh. It was a great show and a great show for technologists cuz they always covered like real, real deal stuff, you know, including probably kidneys in the, in the Icefield bathtubs. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> is mmhm m.app. Definitely worth taking a look at. And we're so glad to have. Its uh, its founder, uh, Phil Libin. I do also want talk about Evernote in just a little bit. But first a word spaso. Now we just talked about the video in your next, uh, conference call. What about the audio? And I think everybody knows, and if they don't, you should know. You can have great video. If the audio's bad, it's over Game over man. Game over. You gotta have good audio. And nowadays this is problematic cuz you're hybrid work, right? So there's people in the office, there's people at home.
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That's perfect for a midsize room. Just get an online demo and buy before December 16th, 2022 n u rva.com/TWiT. This is a solution. As time has come the right way to do audio for your next huddle, your next meeting, your next conference, your next all hands, n u rva nova.com/TWiT. We think of so much for their support, uh, for the show and the network. They've been with us for a long time. We really like the product and we're really glad to share it with you. You do us a favor though, and use nova.com/TWiT so they know you saw it here. Thank you Nova. Uh, I do wanna talk. So what, tell me about bending spoons, uh, Phil, who are these people they just bought, uh, Evernote. Is it, is it kind of the end of Evernote?
Phil Libin (01:16:59):
Uh, my, I don't think so. Uh, I don't actually know that much about it. It's been eight years since I've, since I've
Leo Laporte (01:17:06):
Been with, but you must still, your heart is still right a little bit.
Phil Libin (01:17:10):
I I left my heart in San Francisco, but living in
Leo Laporte (01:17:14):
Arkansas now, <laugh>,
Phil Libin (01:17:16):
Um, reward I found. Um, yeah, look, I, um, I still use Evernote every day. I have a lot of friends there. Uh, it seems like a good outcome. Good. Um, they
Leo Laporte (01:17:26):
Do, they bought filmic and they've done a, they, but mostly what they do, video stuff. So it seemed like a little weird. Was it that the owners what just wanted to get out of from under it? Was it struggling? Do you know?
Phil Libin (01:17:38):
Um, I don't think it was struggling. So I, I, you know, continued to be a, a shareholder of it. Uh, but again, I've, you know, I made the decision when I left about eight years ago. Um, so this was like 2015, I think. 20 14, 20 15. I decided to replace myself as the ceo. And my original plan was, um, we'll get a CEO and then I'll, I'll stay on as like, um, you know, executive chairman, I'll do product stuff. I'll do like strategic. I kind of, I kind of wanted to do it with like, um, Reed Hoffman did at LinkedIn, right when he brought, when he brought Jeff on. That was kind of my model. And, and I knew there was like a 50% chance that it would work and figure a percent chance that it wouldn't, because like, you know, you bring in a ceo, like what's actually gonna happen is gonna depend very much on, you know, the new ceo. Um, so we, we did a search, uh, and it turned out within a few months of, of Chris O'Neal was the CEO who replaced me. Uh, and then Ian Small, uh, took over from from that. It turns out within a few months that like, yeah, like me hovering around was just like way too difficult.
Leo Laporte (01:18:40):
Phil Libin (01:18:41):
It was way too difficult for me for the new guy, for the company. It's just like, it just made no sense. And so I made a decision about eight years ago that like, look, I'm, you know, okay, I, I gotta be out and I gotta be out, like completely not like hovering around. Yeah. Being like, you know, I would've done this, right? Oh, you shouldn't really, are you sure about that? Like, cuz the whole point is like, of course he would do things differently than I would've done. And that's why we decided to have him and not me. So I thought the best thing I could do was like, Hey, I'm around for any kind of help if you ever need it. And, um, I'm a supporter of the company and I'm a friend, but I'm not gonna, I'm not gonna hang around. I'm not
Leo Laporte (01:19:15):
Gonna What year was that that you kind of said? Okay.
Phil Libin (01:19:17):
I don't know, 2014 or 2015. So it was like, it was a long, it was a long time ago and a galaxy far, far away. And, uh, I, Chris
Leo Laporte (01:19:26):
O'Neil took over,
Phil Libin (01:19:27):
Uh, Chris O'Neil took over and then he, he was there for a few years and then Ian Small took over and he's, he's there now. Um, a role of Vata, who is the, the, at Sequoia, who was the currently the senior shooter of Sequoia, was, was kind the main investor and never know when, when I was there. And he's still on my board at mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So, you know, I've kept close to to, to a bunch of the people, obviously still have a ton of friends there. Uh, and, uh, I think it's, I think Bending Spoons bought it. Like why would they buy it? Well, they bought it because they love it because they think it's a great app and because they think they can make it, uh, even more successful. Like, this is not a, you know, there's no like magical nefarious reasons why an app company would buy something if they just intended to not do anything with it. So I feel pretty good about it, but again, I don't wanna, I don't wanna overstate my, my my level of knowledge or involvement thing, so.
Leo Laporte (01:20:16):
Well, I think, you know, uh, boy, I was a such a huge fan of Evernote. Um, there's a, I don't Did you read the, uh, blog post from, uh, hidden Shaw, uh, the history of Evernote? Um, or maybe you haven't seen it? Not Yeah, this was, uh, it's, I, I, I recommended. I don't know about its conclusions and I, you know, without your input, I don't know if, uh, he, you know, he says ahead of its time behind the curve, why Evernote failed to realize its potential. He starts, uh, with, uh, Stephan Patov and you getting together, creating Evernote. Um, that's about when I found it. I had been using OneNote and the thing I loved about Evernote was the ribbon thing that I think you brought to the table. This idea of this continuous note. Uh, I just loved it. And, uh, put everything in Evernote, uh, for a long time.
It was, I long after you left, it was, I think when they went to the subscription model that I finally said, you know, I'm gonna find another solution. And nowadays there are a lot of open source free solutions. This has become a very crowded market with a lot of different segments of the market. Note taking by itself is, you know, become, you know, settled costume and all this stuff. But Evernote for years was great. Were were you there when they did the separate apps, like the the Hello app and the food app and all of that?
Phil Libin (01:21:38):
Yeah, so Evernote, I loved it. Um, but then they basically, we, well, so it started, um, there was a company called Evernote was a different company. It had a diff, capital N and his logo was like this, like flying tour in the paper <laugh> and, and
Leo Laporte (01:21:53):
Not a great logo. Okay, good.
Phil Libin (01:21:55):
Right. I'm not the world's best logo, but, uh, uh, and that was started by Stephan. Uh, Pachako was brilliant, brilliant, um, entrepreneur, inventor. Uh, and then, um, I had just sold with my team. He was, and they were in Silicon Valley. I just sold my, my second company in Boston and started working on, uh, what I was calling Ribbon, uh, as a way of like a ribbon tie, ribbon Roger finger to help you remember stuff. I also wanted to build like an infinite memory messed upon, and we just sort of really hit it off, uh, and decided to kind of merge the two companies. And so we recreated Evernote because it made a new corporate entity that was called Evernote in 2007.
Leo Laporte (01:22:30):
No, no. Uppercase n one word.
Phil Libin (01:22:32):
And yeah, so, so the, the thing that, that people that most people know with the Elephant and all that stuff, that was Yeah, that's, that's what we started.
Leo Laporte (01:22:39):
Elephant never forgets. Yeah.
Phil Libin (01:22:41):
And, uh, yeah, remember everything was the slogan that was still, it's still the best thing I've ever written. It's kind of sad for me. It's like, the best thing I'd probably ever write in my life is those two words, <laugh>. It's just, remember everything <laugh>. Uh, and yeah, I was there for the first nine years and then I stayed on as I think Chairman for, for another year, uh, after that. But, um, yeah, we did, we did a bunch of different apps. We did a lot of stuff. I think we kind of made, um, I think we kind of made productivity something that was cool. Again, I
Leo Laporte (01:23:09):
Think you were the, you really were the first. Yeah. I mean, one note was there, but one note was way too complicated.
Phil Libin (01:23:14):
Yeah. And a bunch of people came after us, you know, afterwards. I'm happy to see it. I think the productivity industry right now is better than it's ever been. Yeah. And that's cool. I feel, I feel a sense of pride to having, you know, having contributed to
Leo Laporte (01:23:25):
That. This is, uh, team, this is the page in 2008. I got it on the way back Machine. Great. Uh, this is the, remember ever see the, the cocktail napkin, remember everything. <laugh>. God, I just, those were the days, you know,
Phil Libin (01:23:38):
They've got about 20 that
Dwight Silverman (01:23:40):
Smartphone in that image.
Leo Laporte (01:23:41):
Yeah. This is when TWiTtter, when TWiTtter was young and the iPhone just barely had 3G <laugh>. Those were the days my
Phil Libin (01:23:49):
Friends. Those were the iPhone. Uh, yeah, this was the first iPhone. And that, that shot was probably our web app because it was right before apps.
Leo Laporte (01:23:55):
Phil Libin (01:23:56):
So like, I think we had, we had, we were on the app store on the first day, uh, yeah. We had a bunch of different, different apps. Um, you know, a few hundred million users, uh, I think total. And then, um, like I said, I I, my plan was to, um, I basically decided once we got to like, I don't know, 400 people, 450 people, I was like, I'm just not having
Leo Laporte (01:24:18):
That's a big company. Yeah.
Phil Libin (01:24:20):
The company. And, uh, I thought, I'm just not like, I thought we could afford, we could get a better ceo because <laugh> company, I'm
Leo Laporte (01:24:28):
Not sure that's true. Phil <laugh>.
Phil Libin (01:24:31):
Uh, and, uh, you know, and when you, we talked a lot about being a hundred year startup. I don't even remember that. I think it was on your show. I remember a hundred year, the hundred year startup meant like that we want to be around in a hundred years, but we still wanna be a startup. We still wanna be like innovating. Uh, and a big part of the a hundred year startup idea was like me getting comfortable with the fact that I'm not gonna be the, the CEO for a hundred years. Right.
Leo Laporte (01:24:51):
Phil Libin (01:24:52):
So like, it has to be my job to get the next person who's better or else, you know, we failed. So once that happened, it was, again, it was time to step away when it became obvious to me that having two people hanging around and like making top decisions just wasn't gonna be good for anyone. So
Dwight Silverman (01:25:06):
Evernote is one of those rare apps that has, it doesn't have users, it has fans, <laugh>, and people will evangelize.
Leo Laporte (01:25:16):
I was one of them. I was absolutely a fan
Dwight Silverman (01:25:19):
In, in a newsroom. Evernote, uh, in the Houston Chronicle. Um, reporters who got into Evernote would like become pests. You know, they would come up to you and go, are you not using Evernote? Why aren't you using, you know, it's like, it, it became something that was, um, evangelical. And there aren't a lot of apps that are like that. And Evernote certainly is one of them. Yeah.
Glen Fleishman (01:25:42):
You know, the thing that was so great about it, uh, I don't know when this feature was added, but I feel like it took it to the next level for me. Cause I've been using it for, I don't know, eight or 10 years. I was using, uh, Yojimbo A Bare Bone. I
Leo Laporte (01:25:54):
Used Joe Bimbo from, uh, from, uh, rich Siegel. Love Joe
Glen Fleishman (01:25:57):
Jimbo. It's, it just didn't, I think it just didn't fit into their evolution. Yeah. So I was like, ah, it's like Joe Jimbo is the thing that fit my brain best. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And so when I encountered Evernet, I'm like, oh, and actually figured out how to export Yo Jimbo to Evernote. It was great. And I was like, this is, I need a junk drawer for my brain that matches my brain's internal organization scheme. But the thing that took me over mys paid the subscription fee and still do, is the built in ocr where that was, you know, that was not unheard of at the time, but it was pretty weak in a lot of apps. You had to use, you know, acrobat of a paid subscription to Creative Cloud. And now I feel like the pervasiveness of, uh, OCR is, especially Apple, the last couple releases.
I mean, they added this thing quietly where you could search in iOS 15 before the release of IS 16, where it's only on the search screen. You could search for text in your photo library mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but you couldn't do it in photos. Then they rolled it all out. And this notion that all texts everywhere. So in Evernote now, in my notes app and photos and almost everything I do everywhere, all graphical text is now fairly effectively searchable, fairly effectively searchable. Say that five times fast. That is a, that is a massive difference in like, the history of humanity. Not just like, I mean, you know, data is great to store, but we have so much data that's not in, uh, entered text, entered Unicode, whatever format. It's, uh, so anyway, Evernote, I felt like that was this big eye opening thing where like, I throw a thing in there and at that time it took, I think a few minutes sometimes to do the ocr and now it's essentially instantaneous. And I just have, I don't have to worry about it anymore. It's just a seamless process across all these apps.
Phil Libin (01:27:33):
Yeah, we did, I think we had a couple of innovations that are very much table stakes now, uh, that, that we kind of, we were mainstream with at first. You know, one was ocr, one was, uh, j synchronizing automatically. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Like, it was the first time that I could like, put something on my Mac and then pull it up on my iPhone. Huge. Like, I don't, I don't have to like, I don't have to like, set up an FTP server, master don instance, whatever they're called now. Uh, like it just worked. There was no, like, we were one of the first things that didn't have like, the concept of a server. It wasn't, the users didn't really have any like, options. Like, did you want to use USB to move things over? Or ftp? It just, it just worked. Um, there's a lot of that kind of stuff.
Remember, we were pre-cloud, um, like, it, we like the, the, the ubiquity of the cloud kind of came around after we were a couple years old already. We had our own data centers just like, you know, TWiTtter apparently does, like, we had to build our own data centers out. Um, we were, we were on the app store from day one. We were, we were kind of, as every company launched a mobile phone and an app, you know, we had Apple did it and then, and then Google and then Blackberry and Palm and like all of these, you know, app stores. Like there was five apps that every device had to have, like, on it pre-installed. And it was always like Facebook, TWiTtter, a game, a web browser, and Evernote, <laugh>, we were like, we were the default thing. And, and those are all thing accomplishments that I, I feel great about. I feel great about you should being part of that team, you should. Uh, and I think, but like, that's not enough now. Everyone, everyone does that. So it needs a new, it needs a new set of innovation. Uh, the stuff that Bending Spoons did, did, like, honestly, like, I hadn't heard of this company before, but I'd heard of their apps
Leo Laporte (01:29:11):
Phil Libin (01:29:12):
Too, and the apps are cool and they're, they're innovative and I feel hopeful. They're beautiful. You know, they're gonna like figure out the next, the next amount of innovation. I mean, again, they wouldn't have bought it if they didn't, if they didn't think they can do
Glen Fleishman (01:29:22):
It. Yuri Geer would never have founded the company. <laugh>. Oh. Getting confused.
Phil Libin (01:29:26):
So, so, so I was pissed when I, I was like, this would better be a matrix reference and not, not a Urie Keller. Oh,
Leo Laporte (01:29:33):
Good. You're right. Yeah, you're right. <laugh>. Cause
Phil Libin (01:29:36):
Leo Laporte (01:29:36):
In the Matrix was real. So that's the difference. You know, just wanna
Phil Libin (01:29:41):
Point that he was definitely, there
Leo Laporte (01:29:42):
It is. Look at he's doing it. He's putting it up there. Look at that. Got it. How do you do that? Wow.
Phil Libin (01:29:48):
It's definitely a matrix reference.
Leo Laporte (01:29:50):
Phil Libin (01:29:50):
That's good. Uh, I think they're too young to know who, where Geer was. That's,
Glen Fleishman (01:29:55):
Uh, I'm old. I'm old enough to know.
Leo Laporte (01:29:57):
One of the,
Phil Libin (01:29:58):
The first book I ever bought, sorry, the first book I ever bought on Amazon, the first book I ever bought on the internet, uh, was my first e-commerce purchase ever was in like 1994. And it was a book called The Truth About Uie Geer by James Randy.
Leo Laporte (01:30:09):
Oh my gosh. James. The amazing Randy
Phil Libin (01:30:11):
Glen Fleishman (01:30:12):
Phil Libin (01:30:13):
And so it's all, so, so when I heard Bending Spoon and I'm like, better be a major <laugh>,
Leo Laporte (01:30:19):
I'm thinking they're probably too young to remember Erie Geer,
Phil Libin (01:30:22):
Who was thankfully
Leo Laporte (01:30:23):
A famous psychic who did a slight of hand thing that made it look like,
Glen Fleishman (01:30:27):
I, I can't bend the spoons here. There are fluorescent lights.
Leo Laporte (01:30:30):
Glen Fleishman (01:30:31):
Was one of the,
Leo Laporte (01:30:34):
Phil Libin (01:30:34):
Leo Laporte (01:30:35):
Phil Libin (01:30:36):
You just remember Zuri Geer claimed that he was bending spoons. Literally, we just take spoons. That was a streak. Was bending, but spending for psychic powers. Yes. And James, Randy, you know, showed how he was, could also bend spoons in all sorts of ways. Loved him. Yeah. Uh, and said, you know, I'm not saying that that, that that or Galler isn't bending spoons with psychic powers. I'm just saying that if he is, he's doing it the hard way.
Leo Laporte (01:30:56):
<laugh>, uh, the great amazing, Randy,
Glen Fleishman (01:31:01):
It's low stakes. If you could, if you had telekinesis, I just feel like those are low stakes than
Phil Libin (01:31:07):
Streaks. Yeah. I would, I would come up with something more interesting to do.
Leo Laporte (01:31:10):
Yeah. Yeah. Actually, uh, the problem with a loyal evangelical fan base is they'll turn on you.
Glen Fleishman (01:31:20):
Leo Laporte (01:31:21):
Uh, they can turn on you. And, um, and you know, that's, you know, I think everybody who is, you know, buoyed up by these evangelical fans also realize there's a, there's a risk. And I think that at some point, uh, Evernote lost, uh, some of its, uh, luster long after you were gone. Well, I hope they find it again, cuz it, it was a great program. I was way ahead of its time. And we all, you know, it's like your Palm pilot. It, it's something that you remember and, and remember with Love and Affection. Cause what a great product it was.
Glen Fleishman (01:31:52):
Yeah. Insta Paper. Remember all those as a instant paper. You know, I worked for Marco for, uh, for a while. Then I bought a publication. He, he started. And uh, and, um, Marco is a fascinating guy, but, you know, Insta Paper was like this great, it was that, that incredible era of needing to read things offline in a better format. And it felt like that also, it's one of those table stakes you're saying is it's
Leo Laporte (01:32:14):
Built in every browser now. Every
Glen Fleishman (01:32:16):
Browser. But it's like you needed this mass group of people who are loyal to specific apps, sometimes paying annual, monthly or annual fees to get this very simple thing. Readability. Well, one of the apps was readability. But then now as a, this move towards greater accessibility, I think across all platforms means that we get these, these things. I mean, accessibility. I have a friend who used to write about accessibility and design, and she was like, accessibility is something that it works for everybody. For particular people, it may help them access information better or, or tools. But accessibility should be for everyone. And, and I think it turns out to be,
Leo Laporte (01:32:49):
Which is it Does everybody, yeah. Let me take Leo. Go ahead. Leo
Dwight Silverman (01:32:53):
Was, was, um, I, I wanna go back. You said about OneNote and that, you know, it was very difficult to use. Was OneNote the app that, uh, that was introduced as part of Microsoft's push towards a Windows tablet? Remember those big, oh,
Leo Laporte (01:33:10):
Dwight Silverman (01:33:10):
Sounds weird. Is that where OneNote came
Leo Laporte (01:33:12):
From? I don't know. But remember Bill Gates was for 10 years flogging tablets. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, yeah. To, to no avail. I'm sure you guys remember one year at, I think it was com when, uh, they built houses in the parking lot, <laugh> of the Las Vegas Convention Center. And you'd go into the house, this is a big Microsoft booth, and you'd go into the house and every room in the house had an actor with a tablet, you know, oh my gosh. Mom was in the kitchen. Cuz it was, you know, a while ago, dad was in the den. They had an upstairs, the kid was upstairs and they were all, you know, pretending <laugh>, they were using their tablets and they were huge. It was like, they were like, they were big. They were, they funky, they were awful. Um, but yeah, you probably, that's probably one, one
Dwight Silverman (01:33:59):
Note. I think that's where OneNote
Leo Laporte (01:34:00):
Came from. Yeah,
Glen Fleishman (01:34:01):
You're probably right. Do you remember the story about that too? Is Gates was totally behind it, but because of the siloization at Microsoft and the, and the FTOs, uh, that I think have been broken down a a bit in the last decade, uh, that just before, I wanna say the launch of the tablet, if I'm remembering this right, they, uh, the person who was in charge of Excel said, you can't have it for, uh, you can't have Excel for the tablet. I wish, I was just trying to find the story. It's probably buried in a book somewhere, but it was, there was some, it wasn't sabotage. Just like, we're not gonna let you use the apps on. So that killed it. I think if Excel had come out in a Microsoft tablet, even if it was imperfect, it might have been its killer app for enough people, but, and that's company work vc.
Leo Laporte (01:34:38):
Phil Libin (01:34:39):
When I was first raising money from Evernote for Evernote, I got asked, um, how are we gonna compete with OneNote? Uh, because it was already out and it was, how are you, how are you guys gonna compete with OneNote? And I said, well, some people are gonna need more than one note.
Leo Laporte (01:34:53):
<laugh> Bill, you're wordsmith. I love that's great. November 17th, 2002. Bill Gates, uh, announced one note. Yeah, I remember I was a OneNote refugee when I moved to Evernote. I was just, that was the solution for more than a decade for all my notes. Uh, let's take a little break. We have much more to talk about. We have the best panel ever. So glad to have all of you. Dwight Silverman, Glen Fleishman, Phil Libin, our show today, brought to you by wealthfront wealthfront.com/TWiT Wealthfronts goal. I, I'm really a fan of this company and their I and their thinking and their ideas. I'm very excited, uh, to be able to share this, uh, with you. Wealth front's goal is to make building long-term wealth easy. And they do it now in two ways, which is kind of interesting. For a long time we've talked about their automated investing accounts. They now offer high yield savings as well. All within a wonderful app, a beautifully designed interface. Is your bank keeping money that could be yours? Yes, they are. If you're earning less than wealth fronts, get this 3.3% API on your savings. 3.30 federal interest rates of course have been going up. You've, you heard that the Fed keeps raising rates. That's, you know, means the banks are earning more on your savings, but they're keeping the money according to the F D I C, the average US Bank has only raised their interest rates to 0.21%. <laugh>,
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This is table stakes. You know, investments aside, if you're saving money in getting nothing, go to Wealthfront. At least do that. wealthfront.com/TWiT, your free $50 bonus with an initial deposit of $500. If you go to that address, wealthfront.com/TWiT. This has been a paid endorsement for Wealthfront. Uh, we thank 'em so much for, for their support. I have to say that when I read these financial services ads, there is, and we do it on the onboarding call too, there are several pages of things I can't say, I have to say this highly regulated industry. Compare that <laugh>. If I were to do an ad for let's say ftx, compare that with Tom Brady telling Giselle, I'm in, are you in? Let's all get in. Uh, a lot of celebrities now regretting their association with crypto in general and, and specifically with ftx. There's a big FTX lawsuit that holds the celebrities feet to the fire, which kind of surprises me. Uh, Steph Curry, the Golden State Warriors quarterback, Tom Brady, his supermodel wife, Giselle Bunin and Larry David <laugh> all being sued for the ads they did for ftx. Now, I guess, is it true that if I had money in FTX, that I'm outta luck that I'm never gonna see that money again? I think that's the case. Although I heard over the weekend that SPF Samuel Bankman Freed was going around trying to raise money to pay people back, like, who's gonna give him money?
Glen Fleishman (01:39:13):
<laugh>. That's the optimism. I, I thought, you know, I'm always quoting Matt Levine at Bloomberg, cuz he writes a great column. Very good. Yeah. Trying to describe the difference between liquidity and solvency, whereas regards crypto exchanges. And it's a good read, and if I recall it correctly, it's kind of like, you know, if liquidity has to do with whether you can, you know, redeem funds and solvency has to do with whether you can survive, uh, you know, more or less as a business entity. Uh, so if you have, um, I don't know, if you have a thousand dollars of assets that are locked up in illiquid, uh, then you may have a liquidity crisis. Uh, if you have to redeem a thousand dollars, but you still have the assets, so maybe someone will buy you. Right? Solvency is you have a thousand dollars in, in, uh, deficits for every dollar and assets you have.
And there's no way you, you get out of that. And he's saying SPF and FTX and M O U E all have, uh, you know, solvency issues. So you can't raise money into an environment in which there's no hope of ever getting an investor to get a return on putting that money in. They might as well let all the, the chips fall and, and if a possible buy, you know, the, the, uh, Enron, uh, the guy who solved Enron after the fact, right, got as much money as he could for Enron. Shareholders is in charge of the fdx. All that's in dispute too. He's in charge of the FDF bankruptcy, but there's a competing ba claim from the regulators in The Bahamas also. Oh Lord. So, anyway, but, but, uh, what
Leo Laporte (01:40:33):
Glen Fleishman (01:40:33):
You remember the Madoff thing? I mean, Madoff is a good example, is Bernie Madoff, uh, you know, ostensibly lied to people about the value of their holdings, but he didn't necessarily lose all their money. And in the end, through clawbacks and an incredible, they were able to
Leo Laporte (01:40:46):
Get a lot back.
Glen Fleishman (01:40:46):
Yeah. Yeah. I think people got almost, uh, almost a hundred percent back on what they initially put in. They just didn't get, get any return on it. So they lost out on the biggest expansion in value of their money over that period of time. You know, if they put it in the s and p 500 or
Leo Laporte (01:41:00):
Anything else. Right before, uh, FTX went insolvent, and during the World Series, the umpires uniforms actually had ftx Jesus, you know, it, he said, oh, I'm gonna buy the people they trust. The umpires had
Glen Fleishman (01:41:12):
FTAs <laugh>. Everybody loves an umpire.
Leo Laporte (01:41:15):
Oh my God. By the way, Phil has moved north a little bit in Japan. He's in now in Nagano, uh, taking a hot tub with the monkeys. Apparently, <laugh> goodness, by the way, apparently, you know, so many tourists were bugging these monkeys in these hot springs that they've gotten very cranky, and they do not like their picture taken. So do not wake that one up behind you Gills. Don't get too close. Don't get too close to very
Glen Fleishman (01:41:41):
Try to try to moderate my
Leo Laporte (01:41:42):
Comments. The, the umpires are not being sued, but everybody else is including Naomi Osaka, the tennis player, SHA O'Neal, Kevin O'Leary, the host of Shark Tank. All of them did ads for ftx.
Glen Fleishman (01:41:58):
Well, the Larry David ad
Leo Laporte (01:42:00):
Was like, I think he's off the hook cuz he said No. Right? Yeah, yeah. Right, right. And that's don't be a Larry <laugh>. He
Glen Fleishman (01:42:08):
Said, I've, he literally said, I said, don't invest in this. It's a terrible idea, <laugh>. And they're like, don't listen to him.
Leo Laporte (01:42:14):
I don't know. Don't listen to, to Larry.
Glen Fleishman (01:42:16):
Leo Laporte (01:42:17):
So there is a history, I didn't know this, but Jeff Jarvis being the, I guess, antiquarian that he is, uh, reminded us that this has happened before. Pat Boone did ads for a zip cream that he claimed his daughter had used the clean, cleaned up her skin, got sued, and was forced to, to pay over a lot of money, a settlement, and to make a public apology. Uh, this is, there is apparently some burden upon celebrities. I did not know this. And from now on, I'm gonna be, I promise, your Honor, I'm gonna be very careful, uh, that they are responsible for their endorsements.
Glen Fleishman (01:42:54):
I, I, I got a good story about that, which is that I believe that if you endorse certain kinds of products, you're supposed to possess or have tried them. So
Leo Laporte (01:43:01):
That's the, that's the rule. Yes.
Glen Fleishman (01:43:02):
Right. So I had a friend, a friend of a friend, uh, ha was actually, they might three friends away. A friend of mine had a friend whose friend was dating Tom Besley's daughter and Tom,
Leo Laporte (01:43:13):
Talk about a brush with
Glen Fleishman (01:43:15):
Faint. There we go. That's three people away. And Tom Bosley was the Glad Trash Bag spokesperson. And so this friend of a friend was over visiting his friend and Tom Bosley daughter, and they opened the garage and it was packed, packed with boxes of Glad Trash Bags. I
Leo Laporte (01:43:29):
Use him, I use
Glen Fleishman (01:43:30):
Him, he walks the
Leo Laporte (01:43:32):
Talk, he talks the look. No, we, uh, the FTC tells us, uh, and I actually, uh, you know, when I, I I'm leaving the radio show, but when I worked for, I still work for them, excuse me. But, uh, when working for Premier, and, uh, that's the iHeart folks, I actually had to take every year, uh, a fabulous flash based ethics slideshow, uh, and talking about the FTC rules, I cannot endorse a product I don't use. Um, now this is interesting cause that a, I just did says the s e c rules specifically say you cannot be a, an A and and a user of the financial instrument that you're, it's very weird. Um, I cannot say I recommend them <laugh>. I cannot say I am a client. Uh, and, and, and now they've added this, this is a paid endorsement. I think everybody's very nervous, uh, right now.
But, but every other product, when I say I use, if I say I use it, I use it. Um, we're very, we're sticklers about that. And we'll have people say, can Leo endorse, you know, this, uh, e-bike? And Lisa will say, well, not unless he uses it. He can't, are you gonna send us one and he's gonna try it out and give you, and let you know then? And then they go, no <laugh>. And we say, well, FTC rules prohibit, uh, an endorsement. So I don't know these guys. I mean, what would it take to, to use fdx? You'd just buy a thing. What is it you're buying FT tokens?
Glen Fleishman (01:45:01):
Well, didn't, isn't that part of the, uh, alleged, uh, dispute between Tom Brady and uh, Giselle that he put a bunch of more money into? Or do they both agree to do that? There was some story that came out the veracity, which I, I, I don't, I'm not able to personally confirm,
Leo Laporte (01:45:13):
But they are now divorced or divorcing.
Glen Fleishman (01:45:16):
So, but you know, that's a strain. If you put hundreds of millions of dollars into something that loses a lot of value, that possibly has an effect in America. Yeah. That's what was going on.
Leo Laporte (01:45:23):
Um, I don't know what this, how this case will, uh, end up, but, uh, and it's not the ftc it's a, it's a class action in federal court For now. For now. Uh, I don't know how, I don't know how it'll end up. I mean, h HBO movie. Yeah. Really? Oh, I can't wait. I can't, you know, who's got the, you know, who's got the story that you wanna option, by the way, if you're a major Hollywood producer watching this show, as many do, uh, you gotta go to, uh, uh, Lewis, Michael Lewis cuz he's been interviewing, shadowing him. He's been doing, he's, and he's got the best end now for <laugh>.
Glen Fleishman (01:46:01):
Didn't, isn't any of the shopping the movie rights right now? I thought that was G
Leo Laporte (01:46:04):
Glen Fleishman (01:46:05):
You, he's, I mean, he hasn't written the book yet, but, right. Uh, no, it's, uh, many
Leo Laporte (01:46:08):
Michael Lewis books have made excellent movies already, including the Big Short, and, uh, I,
Glen Fleishman (01:46:13):
If anyone had a
Leo Laporte (01:46:14):
Yeah, yeah. What was the baseball film that they, uh, did?
Glen Fleishman (01:46:16):
Leo Laporte (01:46:17):
Oh, uh, it's wonderful. Moneyball, Moneyball,
Glen Fleishman (01:46:19):
Moneyball. That's great. Life life is a great film. Yeah. Has anybody had better timing than him? And you have to say, so that's me being, I don't think he was just lucky. I think he obviously had a sense of he has a sense of impending doom.
Leo Laporte (01:46:32):
<laugh>, he's a good journalist. Right. He knows who to, who to follow.
Glen Fleishman (01:46:35):
I mean, cuz we wrote Moneyball that was just before the entire baseball world. Kind of like, like turned around sabermetrics, right? Like it was, he was there at kind of the inflection point happening, um, as opposed to like, you know, three
Leo Laporte (01:46:48):
Or or five years after it did. Yeah. According to the anr.com <laugh>, I don't, I don't know the reference, uh, but I feel like it's a Hollywood reference. Uh, Hollywood is Fraily Frenziedly trying to get Michael Lewis to option. His book Gotta be Millions. Gotta Be. I remember, uh, for a long time, uh, was a friend of a big Hollywood producer, uh, at Trigger Street. And, uh, he told me this story, actually, I think he told us on one of, one of the shows. He was the guy who, um, uh, was, uh, God House of Cards for Kevin Spacey was Kevin Spacey's, uh, producer. Oh, yeah. Uh, he told us the story of the Kevin Spacey, of how they got a house of cards. Uh, some other big company had already bid bid money. And, uh, and Dane, uh, got on the phone. Dana Barnetti got on the phone with Kevin, said, I want to, we gotta buy this for you, you know, and, and, and talked them out of it.
I think they already sold it to HBO and he got Netflix to, to talk him out of it. Anyway, he told me he was watching tv, saw the CNN story about the Pirates taking over that, uh, you know, captain Phillips, uh, uh, Froedter and the Rescue and the Navy Seal Team six coming in and saving him. And he says, I was on the phone instantly, and of course he made a great movie. Captain Phillips, I'm the captain now. Uh, so that is, you know, that Hollywood jumps on these things. They're looking for this. And what a great story this is gonna be. I only hope that, uh, the producer who should produce David Russell, who should produce this, what should it be called? What should it be called? That's a good, the bigger short. Wait a minute. Where'd you end up now? You're Norway <laugh>. Where
Phil Libin (01:48:38):
It's a long show. <laugh>,
Leo Laporte (01:48:40):
It's show he's traveling the world. Uh, I've got a, but I got the title, the Funny Money Ball. Funny Money Ball. Bigger.
Phil Libin (01:48:50):
That's big. Hair is not bad. The big
Leo Laporte (01:48:52):
Hair is the Big Hair. Not bad. Spf. Uh, you know, it's funny because, well, the first time I got him on my radar, I thought, this guy just like to do with all these guys. We really worship these guys, don't we? I thought this guy's a genius. He comes outta Stanford, runs hedge fund, and then it says, wait a minute. And, and he was the whole, uh, effective altruism thing he was doing where he put his money into good causes. And I thought, this guy's incredible. Boy.
Phil Libin (01:49:21):
Yeah. This is this seriously incorrect. He's mit, not Stanford.
Leo Laporte (01:49:25):
Oh, okay. Mit, pardon me.
Phil Libin (01:49:27):
Uh, completely. Just
Leo Laporte (01:49:29):
Let's get that right. Yeah. Are you a Stanford grad? I'm thinking, no, I'm not. Okay. I'm not <laugh>, but a young Wounder kind who ended up being, you know, he's, he's the, look it, he's my daughter's age. <laugh>. That's what really hit me. Uh, he's, and, uh, he was worth at one point, I think 92 billion. 92 billion in funny money.
Phil Libin (01:49:53):
No, he wasn't. Yeah.
Leo Laporte (01:49:54):
Yeah. It turns out no. Um, big donor to the Democratic Party, second largest donor to Joe Biden's 2020 campaign personally donating 5.2 million.
Glen Fleishman (01:50:07):
I've seen some people questioning, should the Democrats be returning money they received from him, given the money was probably,
Leo Laporte (01:50:13):
You know, but it's been spent mingled with, it was spent on TV ads. How do you return it?
Glen Fleishman (01:50:17):
Yeah. Well, you just take it from other money <laugh>, you raise other money to repay it. That's right.
Leo Laporte (01:50:22):
You raise other money.
Glen Fleishman (01:50:24):
It's a funny, yeah, it's, we did this. I mean, you know, talking back to Elizabeth Holmes, like all these people, I, I think there's a desire in, uh, you know, celebrity technology journalism, right? Is we have a desire to anoint one person, um, as the savior of humanity and who has all the right ideas about x. And Elon Musk has filled a really big part of that since Steve Jobs, uh, left us. We have, uh, Elon Musk built so many different pairs of shoes there. Yeah. And, uh, Holmes was that, remember Holmes, that famous story where she was on the cover of, uh, the t section of the New York Times written by, uh, mark Andreessen's wife, if I recall. Oh my God. In slight conflict of interest. That wasn't disclosed. It was later disclosed. I think it came out, but, um, it wasn't Was that before she started talking
Leo Laporte (01:51:09):
Like this? Or was it was that after?
Glen Fleishman (01:51:12):
But it's same thing, you know, uh, Sam Banquet free showing up on, uh, on covers. And it's like, I, this is what having lived through multiple waves of, uh, of, you know, implosions in the market, I feel like one of the things that was different in say 2007, 2008 and is different now, is that companies, uh, made real things and, uh, had real revenue. And so when things went a little awry, they had something to fall back on, like actual business. And then the crypto market just sort of turned that back where you kind of round wound the clock back much worse to 2000, you know, one era where companies were, I mean, this goes that substantive thing. You had companies like pets.com that were shipping 20 pound bags of, uh, kitty litter, kitty litter, by
Leo Laporte (01:51:54):
The way, for
Glen Fleishman (01:51:55):
Leo Laporte (01:51:56):
Too early. Cuz we now buy bags of kitty litter. Oh, I know. Through the mail. We have a whole subscription plan for Kitty,
Glen Fleishman (01:52:02):
How this is efficient.
Leo Laporte (01:52:03):
Yeah. Somehow got e efficient. So just to be clear, SPF was born on the campus of Stanford University.
Phil Libin (01:52:11):
His parents are both Stanford professors.
Leo Laporte (01:52:13):
His parents are professors at Stanford Law School, and he went to math camp. But mit, MIT owns him. You're absolutely, you're absolutely right.
Phil Libin (01:52:23):
Look, I, I don't think we should like, to me, so Elizabeth Holmes actually pitched me when I was a, when I was a vc.
Leo Laporte (01:52:31):
Phil Libin (01:52:31):
Yep. And, uh, I thought she was great. Uh, she, I did not pick up any red flags
Leo Laporte (01:52:37):
Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Oh, interesting.
Phil Libin (01:52:38):
Wow. She, I thought her voice sounded perfectly normal. She
Leo Laporte (01:52:42):
Thought she talked like that then, or would she?
Phil Libin (01:52:43):
She, I, I picked up, no, I usually have a pretty decent, I think like, bullet filter. I was very impressed with her just being honest. It'd be easy for me to be like, Hey, I knew something was wrong.
Leo Laporte (01:52:52):
No, but that's reasonable because what she was, I did not, if what you didn't know, and what apparently George Schultz didn't know is whether the technology was viable. But the idea, idea was
Phil Libin (01:53:03):
Great. The idea is great
Leo Laporte (01:53:05):
World changing and could have been a huge success. Why didn't you invest?
Phil Libin (01:53:09):
Uh, well, uh, I was thinking about it. Uh, they were, you know, they were already, uh, had like 9 billion valuations, so it would've been a very large check. Would've been my first like, very large check. And I thought, well, I don't really understand how the technology works, and so I'm not really smart. I don't know, I can't really do it. That's smart. But I was gonna do it. So I said, can I see, you know, can I come over? Can I see the machine me how it works? And they were like, yeah, of course. Absolutely. Like, come over anytime. We'll open it up, we'll show you. And then it just, it just never quite got scheduled. And then they already wound up taking more money. And so I, I kind of missed the boat and I felt bad. Honestly, I felt bad. I was like, oh man, I moved too slow. I'm not a good vc. Which turned out to be true for other reasons, but like, I kind of thought
Leo Laporte (01:53:50):
Phil Libin (01:53:50):
Like what? Like, I should have just invested. I had this opportunity. Everyone wanted to be in this deal. She would've given to me. I could have just written a check and, and I didn't because I was too slow because I had this, like, I wanted to see it. What would that have shown me? Like let's say I showed up, let's say they scheduled it and I show up and they open the machine. There was like a family of raccoons in there, <laugh> that I've been
Leo Laporte (01:54:08):
Phil Libin (01:54:09):
Leo Laporte (01:54:09):
They might be good at blood asing. And notice by the way, that everybody on the board, nobody had expertise in the field. Right. They were very careful about choosing Mad Dog Mattis and George Schultz, Henry Kissinger, influential people, but people who could not look
Phil Libin (01:54:24):
At, they, they had a lot of, they had a big DOD business. It made sense of those people were on board again, like I looked into it. They had, they did a lot of business with the Department of Defense. That was their first customer for years. So it made total sense that they had DOD people like I, I, I'm, I'm telling a story to say that I was impressed with her. The stuff that I checked out, checked out, and I regretted that I acted so slow that I didn't invest. And I regretted that for three or four weeks until the scandal broke <laugh>. And then I stopped regretted
Leo Laporte (01:54:52):
It. Then John car Ru came calling. This
Phil Libin (01:54:54):
Is, but, but, but that's what happened. And so like, I can like there, but by the grace of not responding to my emails in time, that would've been me. Yeah. This is totally different with spf. That guy set off every single
Leo Laporte (01:55:05):
You, you knew, you knew you would if you weren't, you weren't asked to invest or were you
Phil Libin (01:55:10):
I was not a VC at that point. Yeah. No, I was not a VC at that point. But I told a lot of people,
Leo Laporte (01:55:13):
Had he come in the door, uh, you would've known. No,
Phil Libin (01:55:17):
I, I've been pretty public in my, in my loathing of, of crypto. Yeah. For, for years. And, uh, and SPF was worse than average. So here's a question I don't like, like, you know,
Leo Laporte (01:55:27):
Here's something I've been, I've been wondering about. I think if, even if you're, if you're, if you're a crypto partisan, uh, you would be not, would not be unreasonable to say, well, look, these are, this was a scammer. This has nothing to do with crypto. Uh, the collapse of Bitcoin to $16,000 hurt a lot of companies that were over leveraged. But that isn't, and it isn't a black mark on the overall technology, or is it, and that's kind of the question.
Dwight Silverman (01:55:59):
It is, it is. And as I said, the, the, the true value of any of these is zero. And anything that you, uh, put into it is on top of zero. And so it, at it, at its core, it is a scam. And eventually all of these people who are running these big exchanges are going to, uh, I think are gonna come down. I think this is just the first, it's not the first, but it's the
Leo Laporte (01:56:26):
Glen Fleishman (01:56:28):
I I think there's still gonna be a place for stable coins, which are a whole different thing, but not run by third parties.
Leo Laporte (01:56:32):
Yeah. We talked about stable coins or governmental central bank coins.
Phil Libin (01:56:37):
Totally different things though.
Glen Fleishman (01:56:38):
Yeah, exactly. They're barely, I mean, right. They're not, they're
Phil Libin (01:56:40):
Not stable. Coins are,
Glen Fleishman (01:56:42):
But stable coins backed by, I'm sorry, not stable coins backed by other,
Leo Laporte (01:56:46):
Well, a number of crypto, I gotta say a number of stable coins have collapsed. Yeah.
Glen Fleishman (01:56:51):
So stable. I don't mean like, uh, a tether or anything like that. Yeah, I mean, although it's, see, this is the complicated thing is I think that tether, if they actually had, uh, see, I mean this is where you get to the, the, um, uh, layers upon layers upon layers. Like what was te actually, what is te actually still doing? What,
Leo Laporte (01:57:10):
What is a stable coin to tell us what it
Glen Fleishman (01:57:12):
Is? It's supposed to be like a crypto reserve currency that you actually have, or, or a gold standard style currency where you actually have a one to one valuation that's of assets or as close to one to one that was possible. That's backing a similar amount of ostensible buying power in fiat currency. I mean, that's, that's the intent. And, uh, tether had claimed for a long time and then had to change those statements and is in the midst of a lot of things that they actually had deposits that were actually liquid or close to as liquid as possible. You know, cash and cash equivalents equals the amount of tether they'd issued in, you know, various currency denominations. I could see a central bank doing it where the central bank was using it as a, but it's not a stable, the question is, is it a stable coin when a central bank uses a cryptographically backed method of, uh, of issuing currency or allowing currency to trade? They do it now. They just do it as, as an entry on a ledger that they retain that, you know, the Fed or something, uh, manages
Phil Libin (01:58:08):
And not really blockchain either. Like, so yeah, I guess I feel the same way. Records, right? I feel the way about financial instruments that have the word stable in their name. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> the same way that I feel about seafood restaurants that have the word fresh in their
Dwight Silverman (01:58:20):
<laugh>. That's good.
Glen Fleishman (01:58:20):
Don't order seafood in Colorado's in Colorado. And, uh,
Phil Libin (01:58:24):
You're trying too hard. Yeah. Like, you're just, you're trying too hard. It's
Leo Laporte (01:58:27):
Glen Fleishman (01:58:28):
Phil Libin (01:58:28):
Fresh. So, so that stuff is like what you're talking Central Bank digital currencies. Yeah, of course.
Glen Fleishman (01:58:35):
Of course. It, that's a better Sure. That's a better,
Phil Libin (01:58:36):
Yeah. Um, they probably shouldn't be blockchain based. Blockchains gonna stupid for
Glen Fleishman (01:58:40):
That. But No, I, I think, I mean, right. Blockchain requires, I, I'm interested still in private blockchains where you have participants who all have, uh, are staked against each other where it's not a arbitrary anonymized participant based thing. But I think there's, I think there's a valid case to be made for using, I mean, like, so dns, which is a very technical thing obviously. Um, but at its root, I think DNS is a very effective distributed mechanism with certain centralized components that a lot of different, often parties that are in, in disagreement all agree to let run in a way that's verifiable. So like dns sec, like the, some of the cryptographically backed elements of DNS that have been gradually built up over the years are really effective, centralized, decentralized things. And so I th say we do have models of that, or, or even certificate authorities, revocation of certificate authorities, all that kind of thing. Those systems work the cryptographically based, and you have lots of parties who interest aren't entirely aligned, uh, or the same modes of governance of countries and so forth. And it all generally works most of the time in a way that we find effective.
Phil Libin (01:59:46):
Yeah. So look, I, I, um, before Evernote I ran a company called Court Street. We were back when crypto metro cryptography. So we, we were cryptography company. We sold, you know, pub pki, public infrastructure systems too Sure. To governments, to defense departments to large banks, that kind of stuff. And so, yeah, yeah, of course. Like obviously there's like all sorts of digital systems that all sort that have been around forever, um, that, that are continuously improving. They just don't have anything to do with this, like blockchain nonsense.
Glen Fleishman (02:00:13):
Yeah. I mean, I, the only reason I, I don't see, I wanna say only reason I like the blockchain. I say that, and then that's the last thing anyone hears, right? The, the thing that I find appealing about the notion of a blockchain is a way to create, uh, a permanently, you know, a permanent record that's globally accessible in a fashion. But I don't think it actually has a role in necessarily like financial transactions or, um, the way it's been deployed. I think, I think it is an interesting thing to think data. I just think of it as
Leo Laporte (02:00:39):
A decentralized database. There are lots of ways of doing that.
Glen Fleishman (02:00:44):
Uh, but that you can rely on that, you know, that tamper, like we have very did really tampered proofs though. It's been tampered with. Yeah. Not, has been tampered with. Not really. I mean, Bitcoin, I mean, so
Phil Libin (02:00:54):
That would tamper with, with crypto or a web thing, right?
Leo Laporte (02:00:57):
I would, what would the incentive,
Phil Libin (02:00:58):
It's the most tamp thing in the
Glen Fleishman (02:01:00):
Universe. It, it's tampered
Phil Libin (02:01:02):
Leo Laporte (02:01:02):
Or is it fully anonymous, right?
Glen Fleishman (02:01:04):
Yeah, thoughtfully. It's de anonymized.
Phil Libin (02:01:07):
Yeah. Web three, web three is basically, uh, if you look at the ingredients list for web three, it's like 80% greed, 20% ideology, and like tiny amounts of interesting technological ideas. And by tiny amounts, I mean like, like, like this was processed in a facility that also handles nuts, <laugh> as amounts of like, interesting technology.
Leo Laporte (02:01:32):
It's funny you should say that cuz I always think of it as a thin layer of peanut butter on, on
Phil Libin (02:01:37):
Anything. It's like, there's really no peanuts in there, but there were peanuts like two months ago.
Glen Fleishman (02:01:42):
Phil, if you keep up this attitude, I don't think you're ever gonna invest the next Theo I don't think they're gonna ask
Leo Laporte (02:01:47):
Phil Libin (02:01:49):
And, and, and a lot of the, you know, and like, so the 80% greed, whatever, that's, that's, I don't need that. The 20% ideology is some of that ideology. Not all, but some of it makes sense to me. Like some of it I like, of course, like traditional financial institutions tend to be pretty exploitative and like, yeah, we need, we need non exploitative financial institutions and all sorts of stuff. Like, I I I, I can get behind most of the ideology behind crypto and Rev three. Not all of it, but most of it, a lot of it is just sort of libertarian fantasies. But, but, but I can get behind most of it.
Leo Laporte (02:02:17):
I, it makes me nervous that it's, it's really, uh, Andrew and Horowitz is, I have vision for the future of the web. I don't, I don't, you know, that kind of bugs me. It seems like a 16 Z is who's gonna make the money on this one?
Glen Fleishman (02:02:29):
Well, it ain't playing out very well. So they may have
Leo Laporte (02:02:31):
Threes going just great. What are you talking about <laugh>?
Glen Fleishman (02:02:34):
Have you seen TWiTtters going just great. I hope that's a
Leo Laporte (02:02:36):
Yes. Also on, based on the Molly White very timeline technology, which is fantastic.
Phil Libin (02:02:41):
Molly White, one of my, one of my favorite new people to, to have found in the, the past like six months. Amazing.
Leo Laporte (02:02:46):
Phil Libin (02:02:46):
Leo Laporte (02:02:47):
Good. Really. So she did. Just for those who don't know what we're talking about, we've mentioned it many, many times. Web three is going just great, which is a tragic, tragic, but if you look at the bottom on the railroad hand corner, it shows you how much money has been burned. Oh, actually I have to change setting. Uh, start at total amount scam and subtract as you scroll or start at zero on as you scroll. That's so-called grift counter. Uh, maybe my grif counter isn't working because by now it should be in the billions of dollars. So somebody has created using, she open sourced the, uh, the timeline software. It's on GitHub. So somebody has done TWiTtter three TWiTtter is going just great or going great. And, uh, that is an equally, uh, wonderful timeline of Yeah.
Glen Fleishman (02:03:32):
Hard. I'll give you, you know, there's a great use case that was made for, uh, in fact PayPal was making this case briefly and I think they've backed off for it from it, uh, last year, which was, um, crypto was a way to, uh, help, uh, worldwide remittances. There's, uh, some hundreds of billions of dollars that people who are economic and other immigrants to, uh, other countries send back home. And the average rate they pay is, uh, upwards sometimes at eight to 10%. And it's a huge middleman thing. And the UN is set as a goal to reduce that. I wanna say below 5%, maybe it's the 3%. Uh, they have one their, you know, vision 2025 or whatever. And there's been a lot of work worldwide because every dollar that's taken from an economic, uh, migrant working in a different country or even in the same country, sending money back to their family or to others, um, is just sort of stolen outta their pocket.
There's very low costs involved when they're giving cash to an institution that's then just literally transferring it somewhere else. So that's a, a wonderful area that's right for development. And people are working on it doesn't necessarily need the blockchain. It was sold as well, maybe we could use crypto to solve this because the fees would be very small. And then of course the fees went up crazily on transactions. The whole, you know, Bitcoin and Ethereum went through the roof in terms of the cost and that whole market disappeared. So I do hope that there's actual attention continuing to be paid to reduce the cost of people sending money home. Uh, but crypto doesn't seem to be the answer there.
Phil Libin (02:04:51):
Yeah, a hundred percent. Like not only don't you, not only do you not need blockchain to do it, blockchain gets in the way. Yes. Like of course it should be cheaper to transfer money everywhere Of course. But why isn't it? Yeah. Is it because it costs like, you know, visa, MasterCard or, or Swift too much money to send those electrons? No, it costs that much money because somebody likes it. So if you wanna make like a non exploitative financial system, the way to do it is to make a non exploitative financial system. Yeah. You know, make transfer wise, right? Like transfer wise or wise, I think they're just renamed, right? Like Yeah. They let you send money to lots of places and they give you the cheapest possible rate. Yeah. And like it's not blockchain cuz it turns out like all you need to do is be like, I'm gonna make a bank and I'm not gonna screw people.
Leo Laporte (02:05:33):
Phil Libin (02:05:33):
And it has nothing to do with like burning down the whole tech stack
Glen Fleishman (02:05:38):
Phil Libin (02:05:38):
It deal with trying to make something non exploitative. Right. Which I totally support right.
Glen Fleishman (02:05:42):
Transfer wise. Right. Which is wise now I've used them for years as a small business person where I have to send sometimes relatively large when I, when I get a book letter press printer in London, uh, Leo, I have to send money to thousands of pounds to a printer in London. And it's very complicated to do that. And I've used that service because Right. They use technology to actually make things better <laugh> and to make, I
Leo Laporte (02:06:02):
Am glad to
Glen Fleishman (02:06:02):
Know real time and transparent
Leo Laporte (02:06:04):
Because we use PayPal to pay people overseas, but they charge a lot.
Glen Fleishman (02:06:08):
Yeah. Wise charges the least. Not only, it's not that they charge the least, they expose all their fees. So sometimes there are a better alternative. Sometimes I've done a direct wire through my credit union, but often I can use this and the money. Uh, there's some people I, a podcasting editor, I pay from time to time in Canada and he gets the money sometimes like 10 minutes after I initiate the transfer. Yeah. You know, that kind of thing. So
Leo Laporte (02:06:29):
We, we, we have many payees, uh, over out of the US and I don't wanna say overseas cuz they're not overseas to themselves. We're overseas to them. You're but outside of the US and, uh, and we, uh, and yeah. That's good. I'll, I'll tell Lisa cuz that's, uh, this is good. Yeah.
Glen Fleishman (02:06:46):
So I have no, I have no financial, I assume Phil has no financial interest with them. I just really, it's great when you find something where you're like, this actually works and saves me money and it's, um, it's technology done.
Leo Laporte (02:06:55):
Right. And, and I understand that for a lot of people, you know, Jay-Z started a school about crypto in an under, you know, underserved poor neighborhood cuz he felt like it was gonna help people who have been underserved or even worse, you know, redlined by, you know, traditional financial, uh, institutions to create their own financial future. It's unfortunate and that's the problem because Bitcoin is not the answer. There are answers. That's not the answer. Crypto's not the answer.
Phil Libin (02:07:26):
There's a shortcut to it. Yeah. Right. Yeah. I think like in, in general, my, my istic on this stuff is when you look at anything that's really screwed up in the world and, you know, financial institutions is definitely one of 'em. And you, but you pretty much look at anything that's really screwed up in the world and you kind of ask, well, why is it screwed up? The answer is almost all the time because somebody likes it that way. <laugh>. Um, and
Leo Laporte (02:07:46):
Then you to say why qu bono as they say.
Phil Libin (02:07:48):
Yeah. And, and Right. And the analysis is like, well, who likes it? Right. And what do they like about it and what can we give them to like, more than what the currently like about it? Right. Um, and and very rarely is the answer, well, why something screwed up in the world. Oh, it's because we need a completely, we need to burn things to the ground and have a completely different, like,
Leo Laporte (02:08:06):
Stack <laugh>. That's not a good answer.
Phil Libin (02:08:08):
That's not, not usually
Leo Laporte (02:08:10):
Phil Libin (02:08:10):
Yeah. Um, so yeah. But look, I, I'm, I'm glad we're having this conversation because us four old guys are totally gonna kill web three and crypto
Leo Laporte (02:08:18):
Phil Libin (02:08:19):
I assume that everything, that's my goal. Everyone that's heard it is like, wow, we're done with this. And
Leo Laporte (02:08:23):
Well, I've been saying I've been beating this drum for a while. When, when, when this all first started, we were very interested in the technology as a lot of technologists were. Uh, but it's become pretty clear over the last year, uh, started within fts and, and it's become pretty clear. And I think any, so, so the, to answer my, my initial question, it sounds like even though FTX doesn't tarnish all of crypto, it is kind of an eye opener that in the long run shows us this is not the path.
Phil Libin (02:08:52):
Both things can be true. At the same time. Ftx uh, is almost certainly, uh, you know, a giant scam. Uh, and, you know, regardless of crypto or not, it's just like its own thing. Again, you know, uh,
Leo Laporte (02:09:06):
<laugh> man, he's just put up a sign, which I have to read now. Cuz 90% of the audience doesn't see your sign. Not legal advice, not financial advice. This is all as I remember it, but my memory might be faulty parts. That's great. Can I have that for my show? That's
Phil Libin (02:09:20):
Wonderful. This is, I'm just, I'm just, this is a direct quote from spf. This is,
Leo Laporte (02:09:24):
This is, is that what SPF said? Is it
Phil Libin (02:09:26):
Really? Yeah, this is a direct quote that good, uh, boy. And, um, so yeah, so it's,
Leo Laporte (02:09:30):
It's Trumpian in it's brilliance. Really.
Phil Libin (02:09:33):
Yeah. It's, it's, uh, but probably FTX is a giant scam That would've been a scam even if it wasn't crypto. And at the same time, crypto is a scam too. Are these two scams operating at the same time? Mm-hmm.
Dwight Silverman (02:09:44):
<affirmative>, are these valid technologies, valid advanced technologies that the scammers and the criminals get to first and ruin it for
Leo Laporte (02:09:54):
The That's a good question. Mm-hmm.
Phil Libin (02:09:56):
<affirmative>, it's a very good question, but I don't, I don't think so because again, like, okay, I build some stuff, right? That's like, I guess Web two and, and some stuff in Web one and we build stuff before there was hype around it, right? We weren't like, oh, look at us, we're building Web 2.0, we build things and then millions of people use them and got benefit from it. And only like, I mean, by Wei I mean like Evernote, but also like Dropbox and Uber and Box and all that stuff. And before that Yahoo and Google and Amazon and millions and millions and millions of people used it and loved it and got value out of it. And there wasn't like, there wasn't hype. It was like, you know, we weren't saying that this is like some new thing. We just build stuff that works. And, and it was mostly built by engineers.
And then web three, the engineers, like for the most part, there's actually not a lot of interesting technology in here. It's not a technologist thing. I think the reason Leo, that you're kind of skeptical about it is like your history is like you are a tech person and crypto's, not tech, crypto's finance. Yeah. A bunch of the finance bros got involved and they just, they're just gibberish. Like all finance people <laugh>. Um, and they started like hyping this web three thing before there's a single, there's a single use case that's actually being used by millions of people and getting value that isn't like self-referential, that isn't about buying more crypto and scamming other people out of like crypto. And so, like, this is a case where like, I understand that yes, there should be some if, if we're gonna call, if we're gonna claim what, like, you know, the previous generation was web two, then of course there's gonna be something called Web three because three is the larger number than two.
And it comes afterwards and like, I get it and somebody will build something, but it's not gonna be based on the blockchain because the blockchain is a pretty idiotic idea technically. Like, it's kind of interesting intellectually, not really, but, but technically, like almost nothing can be built on it that's real. And nothing has been built on it. That's real. And it's been long enough. Where's the real stuff? Where's the stuff built on blockchain again, that isn't self-referential, that isn't about like, speculating on other blockchain stuff, right? Like the first book, like it would be as if when Amazon got started for a while, you could only buy books about how to, how to, how to, uh, sell books on the internet. It's like all the books on Amazon were just like other how-to books about how to sell books on the
Leo Laporte (02:12:10):
Phil Libin (02:12:12):
And, and, and it'd be like Seeds successful. Look at all these books we have about how to sell books on the internet.
Leo Laporte (02:12:16):
Make money at home in your spare time. It
Phil Libin (02:12:19):
Would be like if YouTube got started and like all of the videos on YouTube was about like how to post videos on the
Leo Laporte (02:12:25):
Phil Libin (02:12:25):
Yeah. And like, but that's what Web three is. It's all about just like more web three speculations. And it's not anything.
Leo Laporte (02:12:32):
It's circular. It doesn't, right. It's just, it's good because it's good. It's good because it's good. Tim Burn Lee, the creator of the actual Worldwide web is working on just what you talked about, kind of a next generation web. He says Ignore Web three. <laugh> Web three is not the web at all. He says, yeah, not you the Yeah. Who came up with the term web three Mark and where's
Glen Fleishman (02:12:55):
That come from? Probably, yeah, probably. It wasn't, it wasn't, uh, Zuckerberg, I don't think. We woke up one day and everyone was talking about it and nobody could define it. It was
Leo Laporte (02:13:04):
Phil Libin (02:13:05):
They didn't do it
Leo Laporte (02:13:06):
Wasn't me. It's, uh, according to a 16 Z web, three, we deserve a better internet. <laugh>. We do Web three, the third generation of the internet. A group of technologies that encompasses digital assets, decentralized finance, blockchains, tokens and Dows baby. No, no, no, no. That's not the internet. We deserve internet too. Whatever happened to internet too?
Glen Fleishman (02:13:29):
We're living in it too. We're living in it. <laugh> No, that was like a fast
Leo Laporte (02:13:33):
Web 2.0 remember Web 2.0 I think it was, uh, it
Glen Fleishman (02:13:37):
Was 0.0 was web apps, right? I mean, web 2.0 was sort of, it was like interactive pages without reloading.
Leo Laporte (02:13:42):
But remember Ajas, it was Ajas.
Glen Fleishman (02:13:45):
It's still there. It's just not called it anymore. It's
Leo Laporte (02:13:48):
React right now.
Glen Fleishman (02:13:48):
I did a lot of, I did a lot of low level ajas program. Yeah. It was learn, I think low level job script.
Phil Libin (02:13:54):
There's a bunch of people that, um, who aren't technologies and who aren't finance people and to them, which is most of the world, right? Most of the world is neither technologies from finance people. And to them we may look the same because like, we're like both, we're both like sort of like Babel a lot and use like weird language. And so I can see why for many people in the world they would confuse technology with finance. But we're pretty different people. We're
Leo Laporte (02:14:17):
Different. We're the nerds different
Glen Fleishman (02:14:19):
Leo Laporte (02:14:20):
All right, let's take a break. I have some final stories to wrap up. I could go for hours with you guys. This is for me. This is like fit. I am, my eyes are opened, the scales have fallen. I'm gonna throw my Bitcoin wallet into the sea. Virtually
Glen Fleishman (02:14:36):
Can see, don't, don't throw into the trash
Leo Laporte (02:14:38):
Glen Fleishman (02:14:38):
You have to pay someone to dig it outta the trash deep. And
Leo Laporte (02:14:41):
I know he's never gonna get it. Glen Fleishman is here. glen.fun two ends, but lots of fun. Mr. Dwight Silverman author three.com/d Silverman and the wonderful Phil Libin. Mm-hmm <affirmative> mmhm.app. That's how he makes it snow, man. That's how he does it. Uh, we are gonna take a little break, come back with about 12 very quick stories, uh, just cuz I wanna wrap it up in a couple of obituaries too. Our show today brought to you by Express vpn. We talk a lot about VPNs, the idea that you protect your privacy online if you use a vpn, that you protect your security. If you're an open wifi access point that you can watch, you know, Netflix in Japan, if you like manga, those benefits are real for a vpn. In effect, you take your browsing and you encrypt it and then you emerge into the public internet somewhere else.
But I gotta point out, it's really important that you choose the right provider because everything you're protecting yourself against with your VPN is suddenly available to the server. The the other end. When you emerge, the encryption goes away. Your, you know, you gotta choose a VPN provider who cares as much, as much about your privacy and security as you do, who takes the money. And by the way, never trust a free VPN ever because they have to monetize somehow. How do they do it? You so takes the money, you pay them a reasonable fair amount of money and invests it in servers all over the world. Good bandwidth for every one of those servers, uh, rotates their IP addresses so that it's fresh every time you use it. And somebody who takes the time to make sure that your privacy is a hundred percent protected.
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Now you say, all right, well it's not free. How much? It's not much about seven bucks a month. And I'm telling you, you pay any less than that. That's because they're taken advantage of you. Protect yourself with the VPN I use and trust. Go to express vpn.com/TWiT. They've got a 30 day money back guarantee so you can verify everything I say is true. When you buy a one year package, you'll get three months free that brings the price down to less than seven bucks a month. This is the key. You gotta trust the server, you gotta trust the server. I trust Express vpn. I think you should too. Express vpn.com/TWiTt. We think of so much for supporting this week in tech and we thank you when you use that address. When you buy Express vpn, we then they say, oh, that those ads work and they buy more of them. <laugh> express vpn.com/TWiT. We had a great week on TWiT this week. We've prepared a little video presentation. We didn't use 'em, maybe mm-hmm. <affirmative>, maybe we should have watch. I think Charles Hayden Savage is on the line. Am I correct?
Leo Laporte (02:20:55):
Wow. I'm telling you these guy's good. Look at, okay. He, uh, sent us his, uh, shortcuts. Micah is analyzing them now. Steve Martin. So cool. Yeah. I'm gonna have to tune into that episode. Well, he was, that you pretty much saw. He wasn't there that long. Still, I owe TWiTtter for knowing Steve. Uh, Steve listens to the shows. I did not know that. Oh. Uh, but he DMed me on TWiTtter. Said, hi, this is Steve Martin. You don't have to answer this, but, uh, I, I'm a big fan and I thought, yeah, yeah, I'm not gonna answer that. Why would anyone want to talk to Steve? And we formed, that was 15 years ago, we formed a friendship. That's lovely. Nice guy. That's how I, uh, that's how I got to know, uh, Roseanne Cash a little bit was through, I think that's why TWiTtter was small.
Many of us, uh, and Steve, remember he did a whole book of his tweets. He was the funniest guy on TWiTtter. Uh, really good stuff. Um, a little, a little less a TWiTtter guy these days. Yeah. I didn't ask him. I didn't wanna say I didn't want the spot. He's a very, he's a car. He's a cartoonist now. He's a cartoon writer with very Oh man. Yes. His, uh, so is, uh, well, that's what, uh, I, that's how it happened, is he sent me his new book and he said, I missed talking to you. He autographed it. I said, oh, well, we can, we can handle that. That's, uh, but it's a very funny book. Have you seen it? Uh, I've got the first one. Is there a second one? Now there's, yeah, he did the Pigeons book and his newest just came out. Let's see, I'm giving him a plug.
He hates it. He hates it when I give him plugs. He always says, I plugged the book, book. And he goes, not Leo, you don't have to do that. <laugh> the plug is, uh, his new book is with Harry Bliss. It's called, number one is Walking. That's all right. You don't have to go get it. Sorry. Number one is walking. It's, I highly recommend it. It's, uh, his memories of his life in the movies. Uh, and it's, it's really, it's very funny. Harry Blist is a great illustrator. I love, I don't know if it was praise or not, but I said, Steve, this reminds me a lot of mouse by Art Spiegelman, <laugh>. Wow. Minus the Holocaust thing. You
Glen Fleishman (02:22:57):
Know, <laugh>, it's
Leo Laporte (02:22:58):
A and uh,
Glen Fleishman (02:22:58):
Leo Laporte (02:22:59):
Yeah. But it, uh, but it was,
Glen Fleishman (02:23:00):
Oh, I saw some of this in the New Yorker. Yeah. Yeah. It's really,
Leo Laporte (02:23:03):
It's a great, but it's, it's beautifully drawn. And then there's a bunch of cartoons. I said, Steve, did you, how does that work? He says, yeah, I write the punch lines. And then Harry does the, the cartoon. It's
Glen Fleishman (02:23:12):
Steve Martin is the most admirable person for figuring out what stage of his career he's in. I, his autobiography was so wonderful in talking about, so this
Leo Laporte (02:23:21):
Is the sequel to Born Standing Up.
Glen Fleishman (02:23:22):
Oh, okay. Oh, it's the, I see this one's illustrated. We standing up the way that he said, you know, he spent so long trying to achieve the pinnacle of his career. And then he realized he's standing there on stage in this massive auditorium, and people are saying his lines as he's saying them. And he was like, that's kind of it. Comedy, I'm done. And then he moved on. And how many, now he's in his fourth or fifth, uh, successful different reincarnation himself, like Stephen Fry or something. Phil, Phil
Leo Laporte (02:23:44):
Has the book. I didn't realize that. My life in the movies. So it picks up where number where, uh, Gordon standing up ends. Uh, that's great. Talking about how he got into movies and it ends with him saying, I'm saying goodbye to the movies, or maybe the movies say goodbye to me. He's moved on. Uh, he does the, the show he does with Martin Short, uh, not, not just the TV show, only murders in the building. That's, that's wonderful. But he also does a standup show with Martin. That's hysterical. I
Glen Fleishman (02:24:11):
Did not know about
Leo Laporte (02:24:12):
That. Oh, if you get a chance to see that,
Glen Fleishman (02:24:13):
That's so busy. And his, and his band, although
Leo Laporte (02:24:15):
He's, he's Deep Canyon Rangers, he plays with them. Uh, yeah, he does. Um, he tours still with Martin Short, uh, they call it a night. You'll forget for the rest of your life. And, uh, it's them and just funniest things you've ever seen. I mean, you're belly
Glen Fleishman (02:24:31):
Laughing. I like to model my career after him, except that I, you know, not the funny part. I'm not funny the, but the, like the professional reinvention in finding new volunteer sports man things. You know,
Leo Laporte (02:24:41):
He's a novelist. He's a super sweet, smart guy. I mean, he's writing Apple shortcuts. What the hell? I was like, really? Yeah. Yeah. I got some shortcuts. And they're not, they want him to do some other things. So anyway, yeah, it was really fun to get him on. And because he's had so many careers, I thought appropriate for him to say that I'm leaving something I've been doing for 46 years, since 1976 years. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> since 1976. Uh, my first love was radio, uh, but podcasting, scratches that itch. What is this? This is the same thing as radio. Um, and, uh, and I don't really need to work for side. So part of this is I never really felt like, well, I could probably stop. I could quit my day job and just do podcasting finally after 15 years. And maybe this, this thing, well, this, this could work out okay. I could quit my day job finally. So I'm, I'm just leaving that radio show. The Premier radio network that I work for, um, am radio is not the most vital industry <laugh> these days,
Glen Fleishman (02:25:47):
But the reach, the number of miles it
Leo Laporte (02:25:49):
Goes well. It's pretty neat. And the people I reach are generally, uh, older people who are baffled by technology. And those people need help. So we, we, somebody's gonna take the show Rich to Mero from K tla who was on cnet. It's great young guy knows his stuff. He's gonna help those old people with their printer problems. So I don't have to <laugh>.
Glen Fleishman (02:26:08):
Thank God. That's my, I know that audience very well with my writing. I have an aging audience of people aging along with me.
Leo Laporte (02:26:15):
Okay. Couple, a couple of quick stories, uh, that I thought everybody, uh, should know about the ftc. I'm sorry. FCC has finally released its US broadband internet maps, which of course, you know, they're terrible. But, uh, the good news is you can go to the map, enter your address, and correct it. So, uh, if, if, and you know, it's often the case, I'll enter in our, uh, business address here and it should know it, but it doesn't. But, uh, way
Glen Fleishman (02:26:48):
That's good means you haven't, uh, stored your address and some way someone
Leo Laporte (02:26:51):
Else can. Yeah. Cuz isn't that weird that nowadays you'll enter an address and we'll go, oh, you mean, oh, you mean there. And I go, yeah, how do you, how did you know that? So they say that we have, uh, nothing. So I could fix that. <laugh> doesn't look like we have any, uh, internet at all. Um, but they will tell you what they think you have and you can say, no, no, they're lying. I, I'm not getting anywhere near that. That's good. Uh, and that kind of stuff. So do correct it. Go there. It's a broadband map.fcc.gov. Uh, this is a long promised, uh, broadband map the fccs been working on for some years. It's finally out broadband map fcc.gov. Um, the earth weighs six monograms. I knew you'd want to know that.
Glen Fleishman (02:27:39):
Leo Laporte (02:27:40):
Uh, we have a new thing. What do you call these
Glen Fleishman (02:27:45):
Scientific, it's an SI unit.
Leo Laporte (02:27:47):
Yes. International system of units. The last time they added new units was 1991 when they added Zeta and yada. You know, there's zetabytes and yada bites. There's also, I, maybe you didn't know this, A yada meter, which is 24 zeros, one filed by 20 fours.
Glen Fleishman (02:28:06):
That's what my grandfather would say. You got a yada hotpot a
Leo Laporte (02:28:10):
Yada bites you got. If you got a bites, you gotta, ya yada. So there was a problem because Google started using, he bites and uh, and bronto bites. Um, and that is not approved by the official governmental, inter governmental organization that's responsible for this, partly because they're alphabetic. So every letter's been used now except R and q, so you couldn't use broo bites or hali bites. Those are already in use. So they had to use R and q, although Hebes would've been pretty cool. I did not know it was. Yeah. So R and Q are the new ones. Ron or Rano and Keta. Q U E T T A are qto. These are the new metric prefixes. The world's largest and smallest measurements. When it ends with an A, it's, uh, large. When it ends with an O it's small. So you have a kilo meter? No, I can see other way. I don't know. I don't understand this stuff. Look, the larger prefixes end with a, the smaller in O Oh, I see. Yeah, most of them, but not all of them, of course. Apparently not. Kilogram <laugh>. Yeah. Kilo kilogram. There's no kilogram and micro.
Glen Fleishman (02:29:34):
Yeah. A quick
Leo Laporte (02:29:35):
To Yeah, but nanometer and nana, I don't know <laugh>. Anyway, so I just wanted to tell you, so you'd have this to use. It's the first time in 30 years new prefixes have been added. Uh, the 27th general conference on weights and measures, which meets every four years at fair. Si. Because why not? Um, has now proclaimed the two new things the earth. Now we can say weighs six ranna grams. That's a six followed by 27 zeros. Jupiter is two que grams. That's a two followed by 30 zeros. So you know, 27, then you add three and there's 30. So the ranna is 27 zeros. The cueta is 30 zeros. No, he bites or broo bites. Okay. Nothing more to say about that, but, uh, just wanna let you know what they gonna do next. They're outta letters. Yeah, they're outta letters. We can't sorry. Stop. Alpha
Glen Fleishman (02:30:40):
Leo Laporte (02:30:41):
I don't know what they're gonna do. That's a good question. Emoji. It'll be like <laugh>. They'll go to hes Yeah, that's always a solution.
Glen Fleishman (02:30:49):
Whom out? You?
Leo Laporte (02:30:51):
Uh, yeah. Di I don't know. That's a good question. By what do we do? Uh, I think everybody was very inspired by the auto Artemis. Uh, 2:00 AM launch, late night. Beautiful launch. They're on their way tomorrow. They arrive at the moon.
Glen Fleishman (02:31:07):
Was anybody shocked by how fast I was watching it? And they're, liket might see we're like p and it was off. So I was like, I can't think of another launch in which it was just free of Earth that quickly.
Leo Laporte (02:31:17):
You're right. It was the rocket we have ever made. Incredible. Um, I was a little nervous that because they're using hydrogen, that there was very leaky. Cuz it's a small mo it's a tiny mall. It's the smallest molecule. Uh, but, uh, they figured it out, I guess. And they, they got rid of the leaks. So
Glen Fleishman (02:31:34):
The flight plan is, uh, or the, uh, trajectory is pretty extraordinary. A lot of swings around this and that. And, uh, a lot of fun. Oh,
Leo Laporte (02:31:41):
And so why, in fact, what was the site that, uh, rod Powell was on? The tech guy and he gave us a site, a NASA site for, uh, the, that's really cool simulation of Artemis. And you can see the orbit, which is very eccentric. Is that the word when uses for
Glen Fleishman (02:31:57):
Eccentrics? I don't think it's eccentric. I think it's just, uh, it's a complicated, uh, it's complicated. It's complicated. You, it allows you to have
Leo Laporte (02:32:05):
A camera view of either
Glen Fleishman (02:32:06):
The orbit or the earth as the spacecraft sees it now, or the moon
Leo Laporte (02:32:12):
As the space scratch sees it now. So it's a NASA gov. Uh, it's uh, slash slash special slash track. Artemis, we're looking at it. Uh, right now. There's Artemis. Oh, that's great. Uh, you can get a tour of, I'm not gonna do the tour, but there's, you can see there's the moon. That's great. Uh, it's getting close, right? They're almost there. It's incredible. Um, this is a simulation. Uh, you can, you can, uh, obviously move it around. You can get the mission view as well and see the crazy, uh, orbits that it's gonna do and all that. This,
Glen Fleishman (02:32:43):
It's, it's great. I think ever since NASA's been doing this now for, uh, what since the seventies, they did it with, uh, this thing where you swing around other planets to pick up gravity, you change trajectory. It's a, it's the kind of thing, it sounds more science fiction, I guess, than it is slingshot. It's kind of awesome. I think they did that with wager to get it, uh, Voyager two to get it over to um, Jupiter. The outer planets. Right. The tooth.
Leo Laporte (02:33:04):
Joe says the orbit is not eccentric, it's just misunderstood.
<laugh>, uh, yeah. It's not the orbit that, the final mission. I asked Rod, who's, you know, he's the, uh, editor and chief of Ad Astra is at the National Space Society at Expert. His co-host on this week and space is the host of our this week and space shows cohost terry malik space.com. I said, rod, what's the projection? He said, well, Donald Trump said we'd be on the moon in two years, 2025. But he says, my money's on 2027, but we are going back to the moon. We will have an orbital space station on the moon. And it's all preparatory towards going past the moon and on to Mars. So very exciting. Very exciting for us geeks.
Phil Libin (02:33:47):
It is super cool. Yeah.
Leo Laporte (02:33:49):
Phil Libin (02:33:50):
The web stuff is super cool.
Leo Laporte (02:33:52):
Yeah. Well, you know what, you know, let's face it, NASA understands that there's a big part of their mission is pr They gotta get Congress to give 'em the money and to do that, they gotta get us to tell our member of Congress, get more money.
Phil Libin (02:34:05):
Yeah. Well, you know, it was almost the James Webb three sponsored by Ftx
Leo Laporte (02:34:09):
<laugh>. Yeah. Guess why not. Yeah. James Webb turns out, uh, the NASA administrator when many gay people were not allowed to work at nasa. So there's some concern, but they're not gonna rename the telescope.
Glen Fleishman (02:34:20):
But yeah, like, keep reviewing it. But I like
Leo Laporte (02:34:21):
The Jeep with three. That's funny. Yeah. That's, this capsule may have been made in a factory that produces nuts. Um,
Phil Libin (02:34:30):
But it's so cool. Like the pictures are getting back from that. I'm, I love That's beautiful. NASA is like the thing that reminds me more than anything else. Like every so often
Leo Laporte (02:34:37):
Likes are not so bad. Yeah,
Phil Libin (02:34:39):
Yeah. And like, it's kind of awesome and there's like real stuff to
Leo Laporte (02:34:43):
Phil Libin (02:34:44):
Be psyched about
Leo Laporte (02:34:45):
This. Uh, this mission has, I think 14 very high quality cameras. The last time we did this, they had to send film back to be processed.
Glen Fleishman (02:34:53):
Leo Laporte (02:34:54):
Now we could get digital shots and yeah, the moon rise, the earth rise. Some just stunning shots. We're gonna get beautiful images of the moon.
Glen Fleishman (02:35:03):
I did a story a few years ago for The Economist when, uh, curiosity launched and um, did a bunch of curiosity related stories. And one was about the cameras on board. Cause I think it had forgotten the total number. I think it had 13, which was unprecedented. And one of the people I talked to was at a contractor and he said, well, this is the first time any camera I've designed has actually landed on a planet. And I said, what do you mean? He said, well, I have them. And he listed three doomed missions that his cameras have been at Bond. So across his entire working career of 20 something years at this point, the work that he had done it finally. And then we're, they're, you know, NASA's firing in all cylinders they say, uh, for the last like 15 plus years. And, uh, commercial firms as well. ESA as well. There's been so many successes.
Leo Laporte (02:35:42):
Let, let's give them credit.
Glen Fleishman (02:35:44):
Picturing spending your entire working career, having all of your cameras blow up in space or crash on landing. And then suddenly it's like, oh, well five of the ones in the curiosity are ones I had my hands
Leo Laporte (02:35:52):
On. It's amazing. Pretty slick,
Glen Fleishman (02:35:54):
But amazing to be at that time when you can have that many cameras and they can send back data from, uh, relay Station. Yeah.
Leo Laporte (02:35:59):
Phil Libin (02:36:00):
Just, but you could, you could have been an engineer working, you know, on the Bluetooth consortium for the past 30 years.
Leo Laporte (02:36:05):
Phil Libin (02:36:06):
And it still can't connect to a phone. I
Glen Fleishman (02:36:08):
Leo Laporte (02:36:09):
Glen Fleishman (02:36:10):
Yeah. Feel bad, feel bad for them. It's not their entirely their fault.
Leo Laporte (02:36:14):
Oh gosh. Uh, couple of obituaries. We always end the show. Uh, well, when there are people to memorialize, and I'm sad to say there are two this week. Uh, the great science fiction author Greg Bear, uh, passed away. If you have not read his books, uh, I couldn't recommend the more highly I loved blood music. Really fascinating. Darwin's Radio, uh, many awards. He's won over 50 books. This would be a good excuse to go out and read some Greg Bear, uh, novels. Uh, Hugo Award winning, uh, science fiction author passed away this week. Uh, and a book that I read years ago that Elon maybe should read now, the author of the Mythical Man Month, <laugh> Frederick Brooks, uh, designed OS 360 IBM Operating System, uh, discovered the software tarpit and wrote one of the great classics, uh, of all time in 1975, the Mythical Man Months.
Phil Libin (02:37:20):
Have you, have you read that book recently?
Leo Laporte (02:37:23):
Not recently, no. Why is it terrible?
Phil Libin (02:37:25):
It does not hold up. Oh no, I remember reading that book. I remember reading that book, uh, in high school and being like, oh, this is so amazing. Yeah, it was great. Me
Leo Laporte (02:37:33):
Phil Libin (02:37:34):
Yeah, it doesn't hold
Leo Laporte (02:37:35):
Up. So the premise I I remember it is that you can't throw money at software projects. The, the more people does not make a better product.
Phil Libin (02:37:44):
I mean, the core idea, I think is a really solid idea. I think the book is a book of its time. It was like pretty sexist and like it's, you know, it was what you expect from engineering culture to have been like mm-hmm. <affirmative> kinda the IBM 360. Uh, and I think maybe one of the reasons it doesn't hold up is because the basic idea has been embraced so much at just like, it hardly seems
Leo Laporte (02:38:02):
Worse. Everybody knows it now. Yeah.
Phil Libin (02:38:03):
Yeah. So now what's left when you read it is like the cringe
Glen Fleishman (02:38:06):
<laugh>. It sounds like he, he evolved is the interesting part. Uh, Steven Bevin, who's a great, you know, former at and t, bell Labs, uh, cryptography and, uh, other fellow, um, he wrote a wonderful tribute to Brooks and who had been his mentor and had really helped him in a lot of different ways. And it sounds like Brooks just had, he said he literally described with the capital c a a calling to go into teaching and it sounds like he was constantly, uh, testing and reevaluating his ideas. So I think the, the sad part is he didn't write a, you know, mythical person month two, uh, book. Cuz it probably would've been a lot more interesting based on 30 more years in, uh, in, uh, of his working and teaching life.
Leo Laporte (02:38:43):
Well, I still have my copy. I'll pull it out. And a tip of the hat to, uh, to, uh, very important people in, uh, in technology and yeah. You know, uh, regardless, uh, he changed a lot of things. Uh, Fred
Phil Libin (02:38:58):
Absolutely changed my life, so
Leo Laporte (02:39:00):
Yeah, there you go. Right. Okay. Okay. Uh, you are now on the, uh, on the drone ship. Of course. I love you. I believe, uh, waiting for the <laugh> something to Land <laugh>, you know, I didn't know this, but all of those weird drone ship names come from the, uh, Ian Bank's culture series. Yeah. So I've downloaded all those, uh, audio books now and they're on my next, on my list, uh, to read. I thought Elon was just a weirdo,
Glen Fleishman (02:39:31):
Not just a weirdo
Leo Laporte (02:39:32):
<laugh>, not just any weirdo. There are, there are, I have read articles that say that he is so influenced by Ian Banks's notion of, uh, artificial intelligence that this is, in fact, if you wanna understand Elon, it's a critical thing to read. Oh, interesting. So I'm gonna, I'm now embarking on the culture series. Uh, Phil, such a great pleasure to have Phil Libin on with us. Um, not just any weirdo, he's our weirdo and we are so glad <laugh>, so glad to have him on all-turtles.com. And don't forget mm-hmm. <affirmative> the app with a funny name. M m h m m.app. Anything you wanna plug or mention or say it's your cha your chance here?
Phil Libin (02:40:15):
I think, you know, it's a good, what you just said is, is, is is interesting about, uh, uh, Elon's always like lists of books that he reads. And he is, I think quite influenced by that and talks a lot about, about his reading Obvious and his list. And then com contrast that to the famous sbf quote. Right. About like, ah, books I had to read. Books. Books. People. I've never read a book in books.
Leo Laporte (02:40:36):
Phil Libin (02:40:36):
Kinda should have seen
Leo Laporte (02:40:37):
It come. No, I, I respect people who read. And, um, and I do think that a lot of the world we live in today is inspired by the, the scientists, the technologists, and the engineers who read science fiction as kids who say, thought, you know, that'd be cool if we could just make that. Uh, so science fiction authors are pretty darn, pretty darn important, Phil. Always a pleasure. Uh, we will get you back soon. Absolutely. Now that I know it's okay to ask you, we will ask you <laugh> Glen Fleishman on the other hand, is so tired of us asking him that. Uh, <laugh>, he probably needs a break.
Glen Fleishman (02:41:08):
I to sit here all the time and occasionally have two minute. You probably,
Leo Laporte (02:41:11):
You don't even changed your shirts since
Glen Fleishman (02:41:12):
Selection. No, come on. I, I have a different shirt every show.
Leo Laporte (02:41:15):
Oh, okay. Check
Glen Fleishman (02:41:16):
The file, check the files.
Leo Laporte (02:41:18):
Glen Fleishman (02:41:19):
I have developed an extensive array of colorful shirts.
Leo Laporte (02:41:21):
Well, maybe that's it. They just all look the same. glen.fun With Two Ends is his website. You read em many places. These of course, a podcaster. Uh, you hear him on the incomparable many other great podcasts. He is, I'm so proud to say now on our Macon server. So you can talk to him there@TWiT.social. In fact, he even put it up at the top of his page. I love that. My page, you replaced TWiTtter with Macon, uh, and instead Flicka great to
Glen Fleishman (02:41:52):
On place to talk. Yeah. Thank you for having me back.
Leo Laporte (02:41:55):
I think we'll see more of you soon. I know, uh, because Jeff loves talking about flus. <laugh>,
Glen Fleishman (02:42:02):
I'll, uh, I'm off, I'm off to Europe on Tuesday for a couple weeks.
Leo Laporte (02:42:05):
Where are you going in? Uh, how are you going?
Glen Fleishman (02:42:08):
Are you a train? I'm, I'm flying to Europe off my boat. Yes. Uh, my older kid has taken his gap year. He is taken a few weeks in Europe, bumming around. So I'm meeting him in Berlin in a few days. And then we're going to, uh, Prague, Vienna, NNA Venice. Beautiful. And it's gonna be one of those running through town things. We've got two weeks and we're gonna go through five cities and see a lot of museums and, uh, climb a lot of mountains, see some old friends, and it'll be a hoot.
Leo Laporte (02:42:36):
He's going to far flung places. Somebody in the chats.
Glen Fleishman (02:42:39):
Far flu. Oh my God.
Leo Laporte (02:42:41):
It's, I have a wonderful trip. That sounds that great. Will we see pictures on Instagram?
Glen Fleishman (02:42:46):
I I'll post pictures. I'm gonna be visiting a letterpress spinner in Liana, of course. Letterpress spinner and Stone Carver in Liana Lavinia. It's
Leo Laporte (02:42:54):
One of my, one of my stops. Something like letter press and stone carving. They seem like they, they go together
Glen Fleishman (02:42:59):
Different fields, but they go together and I'm, I'm gonna be interested to see his studios. You love fun.
Leo Laporte (02:43:03):
Nice. Mr. Dwight Silverman, old friend, old pal, find all of his stuff. It's so cool. That author, e a u t h o r y.com/dilman is?
Dwight Silverman (02:43:16):
Yep. It's got, uh, the Chronicle, uh, column that I do that runs every week, publishes online on Friday, print on Sunday. And, uh, and also all of the, all, all of my stuff from Forbes when I was there for about 20 minutes <laugh>. And,
Glen Fleishman (02:43:33):
Uh, I was gonna ask, but
Leo Laporte (02:43:35):
Dwight Silverman (02:43:36):
And, and I have a question though about Phil to fulfill, do you have a podcast, Phil?
Phil Libin (02:43:42):
Uh, I used to have a podcast. We used to do the Old Turtles podcast.
Dwight Silverman (02:43:45):
You should do one or Leo should put you on and, uh,
Leo Laporte (02:43:49):
Dwight Silverman (02:43:50):
<laugh>. Yeah, yeah, yeah. You're great. I
Glen Fleishman (02:43:53):
Ask you before I go to bed every night just talking calmly about technology. Yes. You know, if the
Dwight Silverman (02:43:58):
CEO informed way, if thing doesn't work out, you could do standup.
Leo Laporte (02:44:02):
There's the problem. So,
Dwight Silverman (02:44:05):
And, and Glen, when you go to, uh, when you go to Germany, you go to Berlin. Yeah. There's a wonderful restaurant, very quirky restaurant in the basement of the Opera House in Berlin. Oh. And you should hit that up. Get there. Skit The soup. The soup is fantastic.
Glen Fleishman (02:44:21):
I will look that up. I people are recommending also there's a, there's a restaurant that recreates East German Delicacies and I've bought, oh dear <laugh> maybe
Leo Laporte (02:44:30):
Is it, is it called
Glen Fleishman (02:44:32):
Leo Laporte (02:44:33):
The East German restaurant?
Glen Fleishman (02:44:36):
Well, there, there's one no, I I, I saw a video on it and then a friend's like, oh, maybe we should go there. I'm like, I think I can skip nostalgia about East German food. I think most, I think most East Germans do. Wow. So there
Phil Libin (02:44:49):
Is a place, uh, that's just like a few feet away from where Checkpoint Charlie used to be called Snack Point Charlie.
Leo Laporte (02:44:56):
Phil Libin (02:44:56):
Gosh. Which is, you know, worth a visit. I, uh, near Checkpoint Charlie anyway,
Leo Laporte (02:45:00):
For the, we went, uh, when I was, uh, traveling around on the Geek Cruises, we went to Berlin. I took, my son was about 10 to see Checkpoint Charlie. I don't know if it really sunk in, but I, we bought a bit of the Berlin wall, which I, uh, I kept for him. And he, I gave him on his last birthday. I still don't think he understands what it is. Uh, but it was, it was quite a, quite a trip. And it is something to see Checkpoint Charlie and the remains where the Berlin wall was. And of course the, the big Brandenburg gates right there and everything. It was really, it was quite something to see.
Glen Fleishman (02:45:33):
Spent a lot of time in, uh, university studying, uh, German history. So most of my knowledge of Germany is, is pre and during World War ii, I don't really know much about what it's like today. So it'll be fascinating to see Berlin, honestly, through
Leo Laporte (02:45:45):
Glen Fleishman (02:45:45):
Like I'm 70 years old and,
Leo Laporte (02:45:47):
Uh, yeah, I think, uh, you'll have a, well, Prague is amazing Prag. Anyway, go to Old Town and see the clock. The, uh, 13th century clock that they, they blinded the clock maker after he made it. So he would, should not make it for any other person on the hour. Not cool dancing. People come out. It's an incredible thing to see.
Glen Fleishman (02:46:07):
Go find the gom of Prague. Also
Leo Laporte (02:46:08):
The goam. Gotta go see the Goam. Everybody, you know, maybe, uh, the Goum. And then if you ever go to Brussels, you can see the mannequin piss and you'll be done. I've seen <laugh>. I've seen enough of the mannequin. How much mannequin? The subways of New York. There it is. Here we are at the beautiful checkpoint. Charlie's
Phil Libin (02:46:27):
No, no. This is, this is the best curry worst in Berlin.
Leo Laporte (02:46:30):
Ah, I love when go. Yeah. Oh, que isbi. Yeah, it's very curry food truck. That's confusing. Is it a little bit of India in, uh, in Germany or of Turkish?
Phil Libin (02:46:41):
I'm not sure why they call it. That's it's
Leo Laporte (02:46:44):
Fusion food. It's a curry powder. They've a lot of Turkish post thing I'm looking for. Der kebab is the Big Berlin innovation. It's supposed to be very good there. So
Phil Libin (02:46:51):
I'm gonna, but also Curry Worst is
Leo Laporte (02:46:53):
Have a curry worst and a der kebab. Yeah. Get back to us <laugh>. My arteries are last on the trip back. I will <laugh>, we, uh, do to every Sunday. Man, was this a fun one? I'm glad you were here for it. That two Pacific five Eastern 2200 UTC usually starts about half an hour in. But if you get here early, you can see all the pre-show stuff <laugh>, uh, after the fact. You can download a copy of every show we do on our website, TWiTt.tv, you can get it on YouTube as well. There's a whole YouTube channel devoted to this week in tech. If you, uh, watch live, you should chat live at our irc. Or if you're a member of Club TWiT in our Discord Club, TWiT members get all sorts of stuff, extra stuff. It's, uh, less than a blue check on TWiTtter, just seven bucks a month.
Uh, but it really makes a big difference, uh, to us. It helps us out a lot and uh, it's one of the ways we were able to launch new shows. We do it in the club, including hands on Windows with Paul Thro, hands on Mac with, uh, like a sergeant, the Untitled Linux Show, uh, with Jonathan Bennett, the Stacy's book club, all the stuff we do. The gi thanks to club members. So we appreciate it. If you're not in the club, go to TWiT.tv/club TWiT. Uh, it's free for instance, to join our Mastodon, but it's expensive. The Club TWiT members help us with that. They help us with our forums as well. Uh, they're really the benefactors that make us make it possible for us to do so many things. We love doing what we're doing. I am not retiring. I'm just quitting radio. I plan to be here for a long time, but it's gonna take the help of the club to do it. So TWiTt.tv/club TWiTt, thanks for joining us. We'll see you next time. That other TWiTs is in the can this
Leo Laporte (02:48:44):
Yeah. I forgot to think. And we'll add this, uh, to the show cuz Andy Carucci is here. He's the engineering event, engineering manager at Zoom. And it was thanks to Andy and his help that we were able to finally get Zoom iso uh, working. And I, I don't know if you noticed this, but, uh, this is, this has been the first time where there's no latency that everybody can overlap. They could talk over each other. <laugh>. It's, it's really been great. So thank you Andy. He's in studio today, uh, making sure it all works. I really appreciate it. Um, we'll be using some from now on. Yeah. Yeah.