This Week in Tech Episode 906 Transcript
Please be advised this transcript is AI-generated and may not be word for word.
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Leo Laporte (00:00:00):
It's time for Twitter this week in tech. Great panel for you. Larry Maggot is here from connect safely.org. Mike Elgan from Oaxaca, Mexico, and Jason Heiner, editor-in-chief of zd net. Of course, we're gonna have to talk a little bit about Elon. We'll also talk about Tesla self-driving, how safe it is. Apple's backing out of the Sunday ticket negotiations. Who is John Mastodon? And should TikTok be banned that and a whole lot more, including John Carmack quitting meta? It's up next on Twitter. Podcasts you love
TWiT Intro (00:00:37):
From people you trust.
Leo Laporte (00:00:39):
This is Twit.
This is twit this week in Tech. Episode 906 recorded Sunday, December 18th, 2022. A bad year for billionaires. This week in Tech is brought to you by stamps.com. This holiday season. Trade late nights for silent nights and get started with stamps.com today. Sign email@example.com. Click the microphone at the top of the page. Enter the code twit for a special offer that includes a four week trial, plus free postage and a digital scale. And by noon, stay focused on what's important to you with Noom weight's, psychology based approach. And check out noom s first ever book available for pre-order the Noom mindset. A deep dive into the psychology of behavior change. Sign up for your trial at noom.com/twits and by Audible. Audible lets you enjoy all of your audio entertainment in one app. Let Audible help you discover new ways to laugh, be inspired, or be entertained. New members can try it free for 30 days. Visit audible.com/twit or text TWIT to 500 500. And by Worldwide Technology and Intel with an innovative culture, thousands of IT engineers, application developers, unmatched labs and integration centers for testing and deploying technology at scale. WWT helps customers bridge the gap between strategy and execution. To learn more about wwt, visit wwt.com/twit.
It's time for twit, this weekend Tech, the show. We cover the latest tech news, our last live show of 2022. Next week, Christmas Day. We have a very special and a very fun episode. We recorded a couple of days ago with some of the old timers, Steve Gibson, Jeff Jarvis, doc Surles and Paul Throt. Kind of a look back at the year. So that'll be your Sunday. Next Sunday new Year's Day will be the best of. And then we will be back on January 8th with a new twist. So the last tweet of 2022. Well, if it's the last tweet of 2022, you know, I'm gonna bring in my favorite people, starting with Mike Elgan, who's joining us from Oaxaca as he's That's right. A nomad. A gastro nomad.
Mike Elgan (00:03:18):
Yep. And it's beautiful here. I'm up on a rooftop. I can see the whole city from up here. It's fantastic.
Leo Laporte (00:03:23):
Oh, we were with Mike and Amira Halloween last year. David the Dead in, in Oaxaca, and it was incredible. And the food was so good, and we had such a good time.
Mike Elgan (00:03:33):
So, and we just finished one. And, and chef Alex says hi to you and chef, some of the other
Leo Laporte (00:03:38):
I wanna send him. I wanna send my son Hank down there to apprentice with Chef because Hank, as you know, is a Twitter chef, which is not quite the same as a real world chef. And I thought it'd be great if he could go down and sit by. He wants to do that sometimes. So
Mike Elgan (00:03:53):
I would love to arrange that because it would be not just Chef Alex, but several other chefs and, and others here that could, he could apprentice with. That'd be amazing. That,
Leo Laporte (00:04:02):
That is wonderful. I appreciate that. Thank you. Also with us, Larry Maggot, who has quite the tale to tell this week, president CEO of connect safely.org, another radio refugee. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. Hi Larry. Good to see you. Good
Mike Elgan (00:04:17):
To see you, Leo, everybody.
Leo Laporte (00:04:19):
And the man who elected me, president of the internet. My good friend Jason Heiner, formerly of Tech Republic. He's now editor-in-chief of all of Zd net. Hi, Jason.
Mike Elgan (00:04:29):
Hey, great to be
Leo Laporte (00:04:30):
Here, Leo. Oh, so always a pleasure. So now, always nice to see you. This is, this is a great time to have kind of I like to do it the end of the year. Kind of bring together people I'd known and love and have known for years, and we get to talk about the tech news. And God, I was hoping we wouldn't have to talk about Elon Musk <laugh>. I was praying, this'll be quick
Mike Elgan (00:04:52):
Leo Laporte (00:04:53):
By the way, Elon has inadvertently created a new hero in the world. John Mastodon
Mike Elgan (00:05:01):
Leo Laporte (00:05:02):
So Elon yesterday banned any mention of Mastodon, you can't link to it. In fact, when you try to link to it, you'll get on Twitter, you'll get, oh, this site is malicious and dangerous. Which it's not. Mastodon is his thou 5,000 social networks. Many Twitter refugees have fled the Mastodon we've been running a MAs on since 2019. Where're one of the mastons that is blocked. But there was an ar somebody wrote an article the Misunderstood cuz one of the si one of the Twitter, Twitter handles blocked was John Mastodon. And somehow some editorial writer thought it was John Mastodon and even said, the founder of a competing social network has been banned <laugh>. And ever since, everybody on Mastodon has taken up the charge for John Mastodon there, John Mastodon accounts, there's a whole legend of John Mastodon.
Now, it's, it's exactly how the internet should respond to an infection. Like what's happening over on Twitter. I just saw that he, now Elon has banned Paul Graham for mentioning his master on account. Paul, ironically, a venture capitalist founder of Y Combinator very well known in the community, beloved in the community. And somebody who had been supporting Elon all this time. Now he's banned Taylor Lawrence Band. Not much of a surprise along with many, many other journalists. I'll be honest with you, my and, and maybe Mike, cuz you're a journalist, you can tell me I'm wrong, but who the hell cares if Twitter bans journalists? Elon has now firmly shown, this is his play thing. This is his, his crib. He has the right and legal right to do whatever he wants for the EU to weigh in his complete nonsense for, for journalists to whine is complete nonsense. The writing is on the wall. This is his Twitter,
Mike Elgan (00:07:03):
Leo Laporte (00:07:04):
Move on. Right? Or no
Mike Elgan (00:07:08):
N well move on. Yes. But but
Leo Laporte (00:07:10):
To beg to get reinstated is ridiculous. I
Mike Elgan (00:07:13):
See. Well, I mean, jour journalists, whether they have been banned or not or reinstated or not, should care because many of us have been cultivating audiences and readership on Twitter, in my case, since 2007. Yeah. Almost every day. Almost all day. And now of a sudden, he's explicitly said that, that people have to start building credibility on the platform. I mean, it's, it's really, it's, you know, yes, it's his, legally he owns it. But, but, but our relationships are not his, our our, the connections we have with our readership are not his. And so it's really a bummer to, to start over on another platform when so many of of us have invested so much in this platform. Well,
Leo Laporte (00:07:58):
I mean, I'm not completely immune to that. I have a half million, more than a half million followers on Twitter, but I have no problem leaving it. I mean, that was the mistake, perhaps, is to say, this is our Twitter's ours, it's our relationships. Guess what? It never was. Maybe it looked like it was. Yeah. Jason, how, how do you feel about this? You're also a journalist, obviously all three of you are.
Jason Hiner (00:08:17):
Yeah. You know, I I will say that I, Twitter was by far the platform that I was most engaged in for the longest time. And really in 2018, I, I kind of pulled back from all social media when it became pretty clear that it was toxic. There wasn't as much value. It was a lot, it was very toxic. And, and so I to be upfront, I have spent less and less time there. And it has been clear that Twitter itself was was a little bit lost in the wilderness trying to find its way. And, and now it, it really is sad to see what's happening. Cause I, I I think one of the things that is easy to forget about Twitter is that when face what, however you felt about Facebook, Facebook became a much more valuable company. Instagram became, you know, a rocket ship. Tiktok, the new rocket ship. Twitter always still had some, a very strong brand value among journalists, among celebrities.
Leo Laporte (00:09:18):
Chiefly among those though, right? I mean, normal people didn't, didn't it had no, it had no brand at all. Right?
Jason Hiner (00:09:25):
Yeah, for sure. But I'd say among people who were doing, like Mike said, cultivating audiences, it had a very high brand value. And it, it's in a matter of, you know, 12 months almost all of that brand value's been destroyed. Yeah. and that, that's a significant, significant destruction of value. That is gonna be very difficult to, to reestablish. Because, you know, the old saying goes, that trust comes in on foot and it goes out on horseback. Yeah. it takes so long to build and it's takes so short of a amount of time to, to get rid of an and, and my feeling is that, you know, Twitter, for me and most of other people, it's really lost a lot of trust. It's gonna be very difficult to
Larry Magid (00:10:08):
Reestablish, you know, Elon, Elon owns it. But I think your point, Jason, it is, is it's fair, Mike. I mean, it, it, it's not exactly a public utility, I, I admit, but it has, it has that flavor in the sense that we all use it or have used it. We all have depended on it. I mean, it's the first thing I think about. I've got something to say. I wanna get it out there right away. You know, what other platform do any of us have? You know, we can get right out may, maybe you guys do voodoo net, perhaps, but where you can, you know, three in the morning you get an idea, you wanna say something and you can say it. He is taking something away from all of us. Does he have the legal right to do it? Yes. Does he have the moral right to do it? Maybe not. And should he have the legal right to do it? That's actually, I, I guess the answer is still yes, but I think it's worth debating about.
Leo Laporte (00:10:56):
I think it, yeah. I mean, I guess it's, I think we've should, this is a lesson we should have learned a long time ago, that these giant corporate owned public forums are not ours. Right. And they never have been ours. Mark's Zuckerberg's, completely in control of Facebook, Instagram, completely in control of it. And, and things happen all the time there. And it has been in their interest all this time to cultivate you content creators to say, yeah, come on, create your content. Youtube is gonna be the same way, but at the, ultimately they control it. And it's a mistake to believe you do. And what an opportunity, I think we have to learn here to stay away from these centralized platforms. I see so many people, so many journalists making the same mistake, migrating to post, which is owned by Mark Andreesen, which has, in its policies, you may not badmouth billionaires. It's clearly the wrong place to go. It's the same lesson. Yeah. And, and, and some people have not learned it. There is, I mean, this is one of the reasons why you think Ellan is so threatened by Mastodon. Mastodon is completely decentralized. No one controls it. You
Larry Magid (00:12:08):
Know, it's funny, a lot of companies no longer give out their web address. They give out their Facebook page or their Twitter Yeah. Handle. I mean, sure. I I mean, technically my website is hosted by somebody, but I do own it. And I, yeah, I have
Jason Hiner (00:12:20):
Leo Laporte (00:12:21):
Control of it. So maybe we go a little bit back to the, you know, there was a reason why for years, people like Kevin Markson, the indie web folks have been saying you need to own, I've been saying this, I've been saying this to teenagers, you need to own your presence on the web. You cannot let Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, Twitter, Snapchat, tell people who you are. You need to do that. You need to have your own website. Is that asking too much of people?
Mike Elgan (00:12:47):
I don't think it's asking too much, but I would, I would encourage everyone who does own their own website to do what I did this afternoon, which is to remove Twitter from almost every website has a Twitter. Like, go see us on Twitter. Yeah. we should all remove that because, because Twitter has basically decided that they're not going to provide free publicity to other social networks. So why should we provide free publicity for Twitter?
Leo Laporte (00:13:10):
Absolutely. I have, I took Twitter off ages ago. If you go to my website, you'll see two links, a masin on link and an email link. And that's it. Used to be. And, and this software allows for Facebook, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter. But yeah that's a lesson we should learn, we should take with us. If, if you don't own it in the sense that you control what's on that platform, you're always at risk. And I think we're gonna learn that about YouTube as well in the long run. Yeah.
Jason Hiner (00:13:40):
And I think the future is the reason that these platforms, web 2.0 centralized a lot of control, right? And what happens with Central, this is go in all of human history. What happens is when resources get centralized, then a very small number of people extract all the value. Right? It makes billionaires out of people a very few number, and then everybody else is left sort of fighting for the scraps. And so we've seen this time and it time again, I do feel like, and I, it is somewhat of a utopian vision, but I think we are on the direction toward this future of federated identity. This is what Web three is trying to solve, which is trying to create this federated identity using the using the blockchain for each of us to be a node and have a node that is not controlled.
We control what information and private information we give to anyone we interact with. It, it is putting more of an onus on users. But I think that the users who are, you know, call it 35 and under, they have this innate comfort with these platforms and with technology in the ways that they aren't. They aren't scared away from this kind of idea. And so I, I do think it's not an easy road and it's not gonna happen in 2022 or 2023, but I think we are on the road to a, a place where we have federated identity and web three, whatever you want to call it, you know, blockchain based internet. That will fundamentally change the way that these things are built. And we're not gonna fall for the sort of the, the promises that we did in web two that is essentially centralized a lot of value in a few hands, and they extracted all of the value. And then we are, are left with what not much.
Leo Laporte (00:15:36):
I only thing I disagree with you on is the blockchain web three thing. Cuz that's really,
Mike Elgan (00:15:40):
Leo Laporte (00:15:40):
Too. That's a, that's owned by Andreessen Horowitz. That's not, that's just as bad as anything else. But the idea, the notion of decentralized Tim Burner's Lee, the promises is so geeky at this point. So it is. But Tim Ben Lee's been promoting this with his solid project solid project.org. The idea of using web standards. He's the guy who invented the worldwide web. He's at the web worldwide web consortium using web standards to allow people to control their data, control their privacy control who they are on the internet. This is, to me, this is a huge opportunity. If fencer capitalists weren't so goddamn greedy, and if it weren't dominated by billionaires who hate the idea of people controlling their destiny, this would already have happened. Somebody needs to step forward and make this possible. Garron has done that with maam, but that's just one tiny bit of a much larger ecosystem that could be created where you own your identity and you control it. And I think that we need to make this easy for everybody, because otherwise they'll just keep falling into the Twitter trap.
Mike Elgan (00:16:42):
And the Fed averse seems to me to be perfectly unstoppable. I mean, th this is something
Leo Laporte (00:16:48):
That's the irony. Elon can't buy it. No one can buy it.
Mike Elgan (00:16:51):
No one can buy it. And you, you just, you can see how it's already sort of subsuming old brands like Tumblr and, and, and and what's up photo flicker and so on.
Leo Laporte (00:17:01):
Tumblr has joined the activity pub, which means Tumblr will be a peer on on the Fedi verse, which means you could have your presence on Tumblr, for instance, and
Mike Elgan (00:17:11):
Leo Laporte (00:17:12):
Mike Elgan (00:17:13):
I mean, you could even imagine a future, cuz obviously Elon Musk is destroying Twitter and it's gonna be a shell of its former self in pretty short order. You can imagine it changing hands and then itself becoming part of the Fed averse post Elon Musk. Yeah.
Leo Laporte (00:17:28):
Larry Magid (00:17:28):
Well, it's interesting. They talk about the Town Square, right? The analogy, Twitter's like the town square, but the town square is truly public property. I mean, it's, that means the idea. That's the problem. That's why Twitter, Boston, Twitter, right,
Leo Laporte (00:17:39):
Twitter, which was by kind of the de facto town square isn't truly the town square.
Larry Magid (00:17:43):
No, no, it isn't. It, and North Facebook, for that matter, any, any privately, any privately owned property, property is not a town square, by definition, almost. It's, it's, it's public property. The municipal place that every citizen of that community owns. And which could you imagine if in order for Leo, you and I to decide we wanted to hang out together, we somehow had to get permission from some billionaires if we could talk to each other.
Leo Laporte (00:18:08):
One of the things perhaps that's slowing the Fed averse down is it's kind of built in antipathy toward brands and businesses. <Laugh>, it is a little bit of a socialist empire. <Laugh> I think brands are starting to show up on Mastodon change. News brands should be on Mastodon a lot have ProPublica there. A lot of, lot of there's journal host where a lot of journalists who are refugees from Twitter are going, this all began we sh we probably should say, although I imagine you all know when Elon claims, and by the way, there's no support for this claim, but claims that his car containing his child ex was jumped in Los Angeles. Right. and that the reason it was jumped is because Jack Sweeney, who's a college student in Florida, has been posting the Jets location, Elon's jet location along with le many others by creating a bot that republishes the a d a, what is it?
A D S B database, right? This is, these are, this database is created by airline enthusiasts who have little raspberry pies. I thought it was a official database. It's not, your tail number is public. And you have a transponder on the plane that is necessary so that people know who you are as you fly around. But these enthusiasts to be using raspberry pies on the ground to gather information about what's flying overhead and post it to this A D S B database. So there isn't a central you know, public database for airplane location. But a DSB exchange exists so that people can upload. And that information is, is really there. It's kind of kind of like open, open stream map. I didn't,
Mike Elgan (00:19:53):
It's, it's yeah. It's, so this is one of the, this is the biggest of the exchange, but there are many others. This is open source intelligence. They're public information, the, you know, planes are required by law to broadcast their exact location every three seconds. And it's, it's, it's not there. There's, it's illegal to keep the location of an airplane secret. And so, you know, what, what's funny to me is that, you know, Elon Musk is until recently the world's richest person. He's obviously a public figure. He's, he is somebody who would be the target of maybe foreign spies or stalkers and paparazzi and so on. Somebody like that has to, has to, has to hire security, do whatever they have to do to prote protect themselves. He also has the option if, if hi the location of his airplane is, is a security risk to not f not own an airplane, fly in another kind of airplane. The airplane or air airlines even for executives exist all the time. And nobody knows where, where, you know, which individual executive is in what plane. He's got a bunch of things that he can do to protect his family. And I of course think he absolutely should protect his family, including,
Leo Laporte (00:21:07):
By the way, not owning his private jet, but leasing it from a company so that no one would know he was on that plane. Exactly. There are things he can do, but he doesn't, he never liked Jack Sweeney's, Elon Tracker account. Jack's tracks everybody else too, including Jeff Bezos. He never liked it. Always complained about it. At one point it was said, offered $5,000 to the kids to take it down. Right. The kid said he never received that offer. <Laugh>. and by the time he asked for it, Elon said no. Once Elon owned Twitter was a, you know, he said, I'll never take it down. But that was just a matter of time before he took it down. But what he did, which was a little shocking, I think, to journalists who thought somehow they had a right to be on Twitter, he took down any journalist who mentioned the existence of this Elon's jet account or that it had moved to Mastadon, including,
Mike Elgan (00:21:59):
And who mentioned it, not even on Twitter. Like they mentioned it in an
Leo Laporte (00:22:02):
Article, in the news article and the New York Times, and
Mike Elgan (00:22:04):
Then banned on Twitter,
Leo Laporte (00:22:04):
America and everywhere else, and cnn. And so he banned them. Now, some of them, I think, I think are coming back. He had a poll. He loves these polls poll, which apparently is as far as I could tell, the stupidest thing ever, because anybody, anybody can vote in these polls, including the Russian G R U and the internet troll factories. Anyway he had a poll and said, should I bring him back at seven days or, I don't remember what the answer was. Right. But I think he's reinstated some, but who cares? This to me is all you need to hear. Goodbye Twitter. I don't understand why brands are still on Twitter. I really don't. It
Larry Magid (00:22:42):
Just, well, Leo, you, you, you, you know the story about what happened to me on Monday night. I don't what
Leo Laporte (00:22:46):
Happened to you? Oh, okay. Actually, let's get into this. So you, through connect safely.org, which you run, right? Are a member, we're a member of the Twitter safety Advisory Council, right?
Larry Magid (00:22:58):
That's correct. Since 2016, I was actually a charter member. And we, you know, used to have meetings and we would give them advice and we would test out some of their safety related products and product changes, and had productive conversations. They didn't listen to everything we had to say. We were not a decision making body, which is very clear. And the other thing that's very important is we were divided into committees. So, for example, some of my colleagues on the board have been trolled, allegedly for participating in child pornography because they didn't proactively do anything to take down alleged child porn on Twitter. But the fact is that none of these people were actually, even on that committee, the people who were on the committee that dealt with child pornography were the National Center for Michigan Exploited Children, thorn Foundation and other world renowned experts in that particular field. I am not a world renowned expert when it comes to child pornography, but we are somebody who advises on things like harassment, cyber bullying, stalking, and all the other things. And
Leo Laporte (00:23:56):
You were volunteers, right?
Larry Magid (00:23:57):
Yeah, we weren't paid. And, and Twitter, actually, even though we put them down as a contributor, the only money they gave Connect Safely was they gave us some advertising revenue, which is significant advertising inventory. So, you know, we, we could do ad free advertising on Twitter. So that was significant. But other than that, they weren't one of our more generous sponsors. And we're very public, by the way. We get money from Meta and Google and all these other companies. So we're, we don't, we don't hide that. Did, did
Leo Laporte (00:24:20):
When Elon bought Twitter end of November did anything change in that relationship?
Larry Magid (00:24:26):
No, we never heard from, well, the only thing changed is we stopped hearing from them. And I, I had just about decided I Did
Leo Laporte (00:24:32):
You still get the ad inventory?
Larry Magid (00:24:34):
Well, they didn't take it away. As far as I know, it's still there. They'd already given it to us. So, okay. I suppose it's in our account. Should
Leo Laporte (00:24:40):
Advertise Macon. Yeah. Taken that immediately. Yeah. Yeah.
Larry Magid (00:24:45):
Oh, really? Yeah. So anyway, so I happened to be in Washington DC on Monday at, at a meta safety, a meta safety summit that I was speaking at. And eight o'clock comes along and we're having dinner with the meta folks, and I say, I have to excuse myself. I've gotta go do this Twitter thing. And everybody sort of chuckles.
Leo Laporte (00:25:00):
And I walked, it was a zoom, a zoom call that yeah.
Larry Magid (00:25:03):
Zoom or something like that
Leo Laporte (00:25:04):
Advisory group was gonna be on,
Larry Magid (00:25:05):
Right? So I'm walking down the streets of Washington, DC on, with my phone. I dial in, you know, through Zoom and nobody's there. And I think maybe I got the wrong link. So I go search my email and there's an email saying, thank you very much for your service. We no longer need you, and there's no more safety advisory board. So this board that, and what's interesting about it is that this meeting that was supposed to happen Monday was hastily called after some of my colleagues had resigned. A couple people resigned last week or the week before. They hastily called the meeting and they escalated it to bring in some of their more senior people. They, they were, I don't know if Elon was supposed to be on the call, but some of their more senior people were gonna be on much more senior than we usually get on our calls. But then they just abruptly ended. So clearly they don't wanna hear from us. They don't want our advice. I was probably gonna resign anyway after the meeting. I wanted to hear what they had to say. But now Elon can say, you can't quit. I fired you. So, you know. Hmm. I'm, I'm no longer on the board. There is no more board
Leo Laporte (00:26:03):
Elon and also promised to create a moderation board. Yes. to determine who should be brought back to the site and who should be.
Larry Magid (00:26:10):
I'm not volunteered
Leo Laporte (00:26:11):
For that. And that board never happened. There was nothing, nothing to do. And he's making all choices at this, at this time. Yeah, that's right. So okay. I mean, I don't, there's, you know, I guess my attitude, it was easy for me cuz I abandoned Twitter in my mind months ago.
Larry Magid (00:26:30):
No, I mean, there, there was essentially no point in having a board to advise a company that's run by a guy that doesn't wanna listen to anybody's advice.
Leo Laporte (00:26:38):
Right. That's what Eul Roth, who was head of trust and
Larry Magid (00:26:40):
Leo Laporte (00:26:41):
El Yeah. When he left. And then of course, Elon some weeks later started to slime him with false accusations. And
Larry Magid (00:26:48):
A couple of my colleagues got slammed. I don't know, remember this guy? Some alt-right guy with a million followers slammed a couple of my colleagues on the board, and then Elon retweeted it. Yeah. And again, blaming them for child pornography. I mean, come on, that's like qan on crap. I mean, that's about as low as you could get to, to, to accuse somebody of, of, of having anything to do with child pornography who's completely innocent of that charge. I mean, it's horrible thing to say about
Leo Laporte (00:27:12):
Chris, but it's one of Elon's favorite tactics.
Larry Magid (00:27:15):
Mike Elgan (00:27:16):
Remember. Exactly. Remember, remember Pete O Guy. The, the right, the, the, the, the claim, the false claim that against the, the person rescuing the kids and all that stuff. Yeah.
Larry Magid (00:27:25):
Terrible. Yeah. It makes McCarthyism look benign. I mean, it's just a horrible thing to do to somebody.
Leo Laporte (00:27:29):
Yeah. it strikes me that Elon, I mean, again, it's his company. He spent a lot of money. He can burn it to the ground if he wants. If somebody wants to buy, you know, something and, and burn it, that's their prerogative. It strikes me that he right now likes the power that it gives him. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> to wield these troll armies against whoever he feels like it. He's always, he's always felt that way. I think, you know, he did that with Dogecoin, remember? He, it was, it was a magician's trick. He waved his hand and Doge went up and he waved his hand and Doge went down. And, you know, you experience that once and you go, ah, that's pretty cool and you wanna do it more. And I feel like that's what Elon's doing now. I feel like anybody who continues on Twitter is merely sharpening that sword for Mr. Musk.
Larry Magid (00:28:17):
But you seem what's gonna
Leo Laporte (00:28:18):
Larry Magid (00:28:19):
Well, he's gonna
Leo Laporte (00:28:20):
Pay the price, but he can afford it. Look Elon,
Larry Magid (00:28:23):
Millions of stockholders.
Leo Laporte (00:28:24):
Larry Magid (00:28:25):
Leo Laporte (00:28:26):
Unfortunate, maybe thought twice about buying stock in Tesla. <Laugh>
Larry Magid (00:28:29):
Leo Laporte (00:28:30):
<Laugh> you know, I think it's pretty clear that Tesla is not being run at all right now. And I think Tesla's shareholders are suing over that as well. Well,
Larry Magid (00:28:39):
You know, it actually bothers me. I, I, as you know, Leo, I have a model three, and it occurs to me because of the fact that this, this car can be controlled remotely. That a mad man is capable of, you know, driving me into a cliff. I mean, you think kick getting, I'm not suggesting he would do that, but I, I, I, it does concern me that have somebody like, like, hi, like Elon Musk technically can control the car that I drive. Yeah. Twice about whether I wanna keep that car.
Leo Laporte (00:29:06):
I, the larger story to me, and it's more of a political story than a tech story, although tech really becomes weaponized in this story, is that authoritarians and the very rich have formed an alliance. And maybe some cases the very rich are becoming authoritarian. And we, as the people have really gotta be careful now because these tools are extremely powerful. And authorit an authoritarian wielding Twitter. We know this can have immense power, but that's only if we give it to them. And so I think as as normal people, we gotta, we gotta remember you. You're just helping an authoritarian. It's time to stop helping authoritarians. They're not in acting in our interest. That's more political, probably than technical, but it is the case. Right? Yep. All right. Anything else that you wanna say about this sad person and what's happening to what's sadly happening to Twitter, which was, you know, was a pretty cool thing at one point? I guess it's over. No,
Larry Magid (00:30:14):
It just, it's just upsetting to think that somebody was a big checkbook can take over an organization, which we all, I didn't love Twitter, but I liked Twitter. I I used it. We all used it. And he can just, you know, arbitrarily one man can do that just cuz he's got the money to do it. Well,
Leo Laporte (00:30:29):
I have to capitalism my friend. I know. That's the way of the world. You, you know, it's time to open your eyes.
Larry Magid (00:30:34):
<Laugh>. Well, well, you know, I go back, I, I've never tell you I went to Berkeley, so I know about that, all about this.
Leo Laporte (00:30:40):
I'm this account. I'm sympathetic. I I wish the world were a better place. But it's pretty clear that the guy who writes the checks <laugh>.
Larry Magid (00:30:48):
Well, the other question is the Twitter board, I mean, the Twitter board forced him to make the purchase when they could have backed out. Yeah. They had a nice
Leo Laporte (00:30:55):
Payday. They got 54, 20 a share. By the way, Elon is now going around to friends and other investors saying, Hey, you can buy more for 54, 20 a share. Yeah. Right.
Jason Hiner (00:31:04):
Anybody and there, anybody, there are, there are people who will sign up who still have said like, look, you know, Elon's created more value in these organizations. Now I did one of, one of even his biggest fans who now I'm forgetting the name of did say he, he'd like to see the vision for where it's going. From here, one
Leo Laporte (00:31:24):
Of his big investors, a guy who is heavily invested
Jason Hiner (00:31:26):
Yeah. Ross Gerber, that's who
Leo Laporte (00:31:28):
It was. Yeah. He said, I'm not putting more money until I see the ve vision.
Jason Hiner (00:31:31):
What's the, what's the vision? What's the vision? Which I, I think it's clear that, you know, I, well, what is clear is that the, there isn't necessarily one. But you know, the, the thing that is interesting is, I, I believe it was at least in the last six months, maybe 18 months, I do remember Jack Dorsey saying having a bit of a re retrospective, knowing the direction that Twitter had gone and saying, you know, the mistake we made was going public. That, and we, and also losing, cuz once we went public, and then we had to create revenue to create, you know, to get the advertising dollars to, to be a growth company and to get investors. You know, and that's when remember, and, and I'm sure you, you all remember this, you know, when they they, they banned all of the pla the the, the a p i, they closed down the a p i cuz it, Twitter was originally a bit more decentralized like we were talking about.
And it was it, it was really evolving quite powerfully. And the beginning of the end was, from my perspective, was when they shut off the A A P I, they went public. They put all of their focus on advertising. And I, I, I said that I, I believe I've said that in columns in the past. And it, it was about, like I said, somewhere between like 6, 12, 18 months ago. Then Jack Dorsey, you know, essentially said, you know, that's where we made the mistake and we sort of, we, we lost control of this thing. And e even at that, at that time, when he said that to me, that was him saying, you know, that you know, kind of, he was on his way out and he didn't really see a, a great path forward for Twitter. And, you know, it's, it's played out. Now no one could have imagined it accelerating the demise of what we've seen in the last, you know, few months. But but that was, you know, that was the the exclamation point or the period on the sentence. I
Leo Laporte (00:33:26):
Think the thing I found really chilling is I think it was Kevin Russ's article in the New York Times saying they won't admit it, but Silicon Valley's watching what Elon does, wondering if they can do it with their company too. That is chilling. I think that's specifically talking about the layoffs. But what, what it really, what it really is, I think is a lot of the, the tech CEOs are, are, are nervous. We know this, Amazon and Apples especially are nervous about the employees standing up to them. And they're watching with great interest to see if you can beat him down with a stick and, and survive. So that was, that was a story in the New York Times this week. I was kind of like, well, I hope that's not wide, a widespread point of view, <laugh>. We'll see, we'll see. I think Elon is not doing good news for himself. This is the story. Elon Musk, management guru <laugh>, why the Twitter owner's ruthless Unsparing style has made him a hero to many bosses in Silicon Valley. I hope Kevin is wrong on that.
Jason Hiner (00:34:36):
I hope that's not what he and Tim Cook talked about where they walked around Apple Park a couple weeks
Leo Laporte (00:34:40):
Ago. Yeah. Hey Elon, how's that working out for you? We'd like to try that here at the campus. And actually, you know, one of the stories we talked about LA on our Christmas episode, which is coming up a Sunday, is, is the, is the f is the shift in power, I think, in tech companies where engineers at Google told Google, we don't want to do u you know, military contracts. Microsoft's had the same problem. Employees at Apple Starbucks Amazon attempting to unionize. Employees are realizing they have a little bit more power than they thought, and that's gotta scare the C-suites at these companies. So
Mike Elgan (00:35:14):
Well, I think hopefully these tech CEOs who are watching this will sort of revise their opinion once Elon Musk totally destroys Twitter and loses billions and billions of dollars, which is almost certainly gonna happen. I mean, he, he's just failing in, in almost every way. And it's hard to imagine. He's kind of turning it the whole thing into parlor and, you know, how's a site like Parler gonna, you know, ha have advertisers and, and revenue and so on. So it's, it's really gonna be a, a good lesson for, for all the tech CEOs in some ways. Right. So the other thing is that I hope they, the
Leo Laporte (00:35:53):
Thing lesson from it, not the wrong lesson that's
Mike Elgan (00:35:55):
Yeah. I I spent almost all my energy on Twitter criticizing El El Musk now. So I sort of use that as a, a great place to do that. And, and I'm, I'm a lot of comments on his tweets and I've, he's got this, he's got this army of trolls. It's exactly like Donald Trump's trolls. Yes. So you, there, there's certain types of people lying, narcissists always make false claims about all the great things they're doing. And there are certain types of, per I, I think it's a personality trait or something, there's just some people who believe them when they do that. Like they get their information about a lying narcissist from the lying narcissist. And so people are like, oh, he is fixing everything. Well, he's, what he is doing is he's destroying a feature that Twitter had already, and then he is replacing it with a worse one.
And this is true. And almost everything from verification to everything else. And so it's just like, it, it has that sort of, like, that 2016 kind of feeling, these arguments I'm having with these Twitter accounts that are one month old have zero followers, no profile picture and a fake name. Right. Millions of these accounts are on there, all supporting Elon Musk. So it's, it's just a, it's, it is just become a weird place. And it's still fun to, to, to, to poke fun at, at, at, at Elon Musk on his own threads though. Yeah.
Leo Laporte (00:37:12):
Yeah. I I prefer to just leave him alone to his own devices. And
Larry Magid (00:37:18):
Cl by the way, have to announce as of this minute, I just, I just refreshed my, my supporter page of Connect Safely. And Twitter's logo was no longer on it. My, my associate must have taken it down. You heard, while we were on the air,
Leo Laporte (00:37:28):
You heard you talking. I said, oh, let, let's get that off of this.
Larry Magid (00:37:32):
I took it off of my sites actually while
Leo Laporte (00:37:34):
We were here. There's some, there's some serious concerns. There, the, the trust and safety people are gone. So are the csam people there's some concern about Twitter's ability to block CS Sam, let alone it's right. Desire to do so. So I think that's probably appropriate to
Larry Magid (00:37:51):
For Oh, yeah, no, the, the, the problem, I mean, there are reports of increased hate speech. I mean, there's all sorts of reports of things happening on Twitter that are negative and, and he, you know, and he's banning journalists. Yeah. Yet leaving alone the trolls and the, the, and as we pointed out earlier, the box are still there as well, so Yeah. Yeah. He's going after the wrong people.
Leo Laporte (00:38:10):
All right. Enough of that. We're gonna move on. But you know, as little as I want to talk about this, and I know as much as you guys want us to not talk about it, it's kind of important stuff going on. And I, I don't think we can
Larry Magid (00:38:24):
Look like Trump. You know, it's, should we, a lot of media people are, are, are accepting some blame for putting Trump on the front page day after day after day. Right. Yet, how do you ignore it? I mean, how do you not cover a train
Leo Laporte (00:38:35):
Wreck, which, you know, daily train? Well, and I guess this is what I'm trying to say is, okay, it's over <laugh>. Twitter's dead. Elon's dead to me. Let's move on. The problem is nobody wants to move on. Everybody wants to have their Twitter account. I still have people in this company. I would love to tell my, my marketing team to stop using Twitter. But you know, it's impossible to get people to move on. So as long as people continue to try to, I don't know what, save Twitter, participate in the dumpster fire. I don't know what it is. I guess we'll have to cover it. I would love to. I mean, that's where the say it's irrelevant. Just, I mean, I don't, we don't talk about four chan. It's irrelevant.
Mike Elgan (00:39:16):
I, I, I, but, but, but all all my, you know, the people I know are not on four chan. That's the difference. And with Facebook we went through this. I left Facebook a few years ago, but what I left was all my family and friends who don't use anything but Facebook. That's what I left. Same. And so, and so, in the case of Twitter, it's easier because a lot of the, the, my readership and, and, and, and followers and so on have moved to Macedon, which is great with Facebook. That way, you know, it's harder to get, you know, your, your, your, your grandma or somebody like that to move to another social network, just cuz you did. So when I, I I was like, come on everybody, let's all leave Facebook. And then nobody did. Just me. I know
Leo Laporte (00:39:57):
<Laugh>. So <laugh>, fortunately,
Mike Elgan (00:40:00):
Leo Laporte (00:40:00):
It Grandma does not use Twitter.
Mike Elgan (00:40:03):
No, she does not.
Leo Laporte (00:40:05):
Really? The, the, I think the real problem is people are addicted. I mean, like almost physically addicted to the churn of Twitter and Mat
Mike Elgan (00:40:15):
On is, is just as addictive
Leo Laporte (00:40:17):
Mike Elgan (00:40:17):
It's, it's the same
Leo Laporte (00:40:19):
Mike Elgan (00:40:20):
There dynamic. It's little. It's, yeah, exactly. It's a little less. No, I'm not, I'm
Leo Laporte (00:40:23):
Not criticize offensive <laugh>.
Mike Elgan (00:40:25):
That's my point. Go to, if, if you're addicted to Twitter, go go be addicted to Macedon. Yeah. Instead you,
Leo Laporte (00:40:29):
You need that endorphin hit. You won't get the big out outrage ar arguments though. It's not kinda like
Larry Magid (00:40:35):
Leo Laporte (00:40:35):
It's like Yeah, it's methadone. Exactly. There, it's Twitter without the high. Yeah, that's exactly it. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Our show <laugh>, let's take a little break. We'll come back with more in just a bit. No more Elon or Twitter. And well, one more thing. There are people at, there are people at Chatman said, Twitter's not dead. Is Twitter not dead?
Larry Magid (00:40:57):
It's, I dunno. Lemme look. Lemme go to Twitter and find
Leo Laporte (00:41:02):
Out. I think it's going
Mike Elgan (00:41:03):
Leo Laporte (00:41:04):
Yeah, it's, I guess it could come back. Elon's now acting all contrite saying he just posted this a couple of minutes ago. Going forward, there'll be a vote for major policy changes. My apologies. Won't happen again. A vote. You mean like a poll on Twitter? Oh, that's good. <Laugh>. That's good. I appreciate it. Oh,
Mike Elgan (00:41:24):
I mean, MySpace is still
Leo Laporte (00:41:25):
Alive. Yeah, that's right. It'll be alive. It'll be alive. Like MySpace is alive.
Mike Elgan (00:41:29):
Put it on the Fedi verse.
Leo Laporte (00:41:31):
Yeah, you should. It, they would be, oh, I
Larry Magid (00:41:33):
Don't know. I think somebody's gonna buy it. I, if I had a 10, if I had a couple of billion dollars, I might, I might put a bid on
Leo Laporte (00:41:39):
It and Elon would be so glad to get out of, the problem is there's debt and you can't buy it for two, two bucks because there's $13 billion in debt. What are you gonna do about that? Yeah,
Larry Magid (00:41:48):
Right. That's the problem.
Leo Laporte (00:41:49):
That's not going away. And and some of that, even if
Larry Magid (00:41:52):
I could scrap together two billionaire,
Leo Laporte (00:41:53):
The number one debtor is the Saudi Sovereign Fund, and you don't wanna cross mbs. I hear he can be very angry.
Larry Magid (00:42:00):
<Laugh>, nor do you wanna write him a check either?
Leo Laporte (00:42:02):
Larry Magid (00:42:03):
You know, either one. Yeah, yeah. Right.
Leo Laporte (00:42:05):
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Now, another story that makes me mad. The Senate by acclimation unanimously has voted to ban TikTok on government devices. The no TikTok on Government Devices Act introduced by Senator Josh Hawley, of course, passed by a unanimous consent late Wednesday. No one objected. The proposal prohibits certain individuals from downloading or using TikTok on any device issued by the United States or a government corporation. Now, obviously they can't ban 13 states have done the same. They can't ban TikTok from my phone cuz you know, my personal phone or your personal phone or even a government employee's personal phone. But they sure would like to. Holly said, TikTok is a Trojan horse for the Chinese Communist Party, a major security risk of the United States. And until it is forced to sever ties with China completely, it is no place on government devices. Mike, you agree?
Mike Elgan (00:48:15):
No, I think I think that the, there is a case for certain types of military personnel. So for example, if you recall years ago, the you could tell where there were secret bases for special forces in Afghanistan because the Fitbit data sort of showed everybody running around in the af you know, all these Americans running around in the, in the Afghan desert or something like that. But that's a rare case. I mean, most of us are not special forces deployed in on secret basis. So I think there's a, there's a case to be made not just for TikTok, but for any sort of device that harvests information. What I think I I think the, the states who are banning TikTok for government employees and now the Senate, it still has to be passed by the house and signed by the President.
I think what the government, if, if, if the US was serious about it, they'd really understand the risk. The risk isn't so much data. We've talked about this on this show before. The risk is their ability during a conflict to have a lot of propaganda. It's a powerful propaganda tool. I think that the US government should figure out how to sort of monitor TikTok to a certain extent to have a, a way to pull the plug if there was a conflict with China that sort of thing that would be rational. This is just like irrational it's, it's, it's just a lot of posturing and, and and pandering to, to the ignorant essentially making it seem like, oh, the Chinese government's watching everything we do, et cetera. Yeah, I think, I think it's bs.
Leo Laporte (00:49:51):
I have to say, if I were the Chinese government trying to sway the American electorate, I might rush to Twitter faster than I'd rush to TikTok or
Mike Elgan (00:50:01):
Facebook. It's costing $8 a month. Yeah.
Leo Laporte (00:50:04):
Tiktok it's a little harder to sway public opinion. I mean, I guess there's two potential threats to TikTok. One is that it's gathering more information on you than you think or know. For that, I will refer you to a Kaspersky study. Tiktok Privacy and Security is TikTok safe to use? They, Steve Gibson talked about this on security Now this week. Essentially their conclusion is, is no different than any other app on your phone. It does not. It does this, according to the New York Times, cia a reportedly investigated, TikTok found no concrete evidence. The Chinese intelligence authorities are spying on users. It does not exfiltrate an abnormal amount of information from your phone. If you're using it an iPhone. It adheres to the same limits that Apple imposes on other social networks. So it, the two possibilities are it's spying on you or that it's gonna be used to propagandize you. Yeah. If it's not spying on you, propaganda is a lot easier over on Twitter and Facebook.
Larry Magid (00:51:11):
Yeah. Well, I Go ahead.
Leo Laporte (00:51:13):
I'm sorry. I
Larry Magid (00:51:14):
Go ahead. Well, I'm saying they're, they're, I, I wanna disclose that they are one of our supporters when I connect, we supporters we do in our parents Guide to TikTok raised a China issue. We did this like two years ago. We raised a China issue and simply reported what they claimed at the time is that they have no servers in China. Although it doesn't matter because you can be sitting in China and access a server that's anywhere in the c in the world. I
Leo Laporte (00:51:36):
Do think TikTok has moved their US data to Oracle. I think that happens, right?
Larry Magid (00:51:40):
But, but the, it's theoretically possible for somebody to be sitting in Beijing and login to a server that's located anywhere. But, but the point is, I think that ma much of the information that's on TikTok is quasi-public to begin with. I mean, I can go to TikTok and I can watch people do what they do now. Now, admittedly, I don't know what they're watching. Only TikTok knows that kind of data. But I, I, I, I'm with Mike and this, I mean, do I worry at all about, about China and TikTok? I yes, but I also worry about the fact that Apple has a relationship with China. Everybody has a relationship with China. I mean, except there's Chinese chip, except Google chips in the phone that I have except
Leo Laporte (00:52:17):
Larry Magid (00:52:17):
Wait, you saying there's no Chinese chips and a Pixel phone?
Leo Laporte (00:52:20):
Well that's them phone. Yeah. We are all using, unless using Samsung most phones, that's certainly our phones. And Google, our Google phone phones made in China,
Larry Magid (00:52:30):
Or, well, even if they're not made in China, I can't believe
Leo Laporte (00:52:32):
Something they, they used to be made by htc, but I don't know. They might be made in China.
Larry Magid (00:52:35):
Anyway, my point is that, I mean, you know, China is everywhere. You can't shop at Walmart without doing business in China. With China. And, and the, and I I'm not saying that China is benign. I'm not saying that there isn't the possibility of extracting data, but I'm saying if there's so much of that, and it is a fundamental, almost an existential question that Americans have to ask themselves. If we are worried about China, if we really think China is the evil empire of, of this, of this century, then our entire economy has to be un intertwined with it. Because we are so in bed with China. I mean, you again. Yeah. You know, when I was a kid, if you wanted to buy a pair of jeans, and I looked a hundred, it was something like $12 in the 1950s to buy a pair of jeans that's like $200 or something. Today, you can buy jeans at Walmart or, or, or Amazon for 10, $12 made in China or maybe Vietnam or somewhere else. But the point is that, that if, if we wanna break tides with China, we'd better get it ready to pay a lot more for our goods. Not
Mike Elgan (00:53:36):
To mention you actually. Yeah, yeah. The, the biggest ri the the biggest risk from TikTok is just how compelling the content is. I mean, I, here's a perspective I can give that, that that somebody who lives in all kinds of different countries all the time, almost everywhere you go, there are a lot in a lot of countries, like, like Morocco, we can spend a lot of time in Morocco, for example, police are sort of posted in public places, and they stand there and their job is to watch what's going on. And, and almost to a person, the police are watching TikTok on their phones. Security guards. It's the same thing here in, in, in, in Oaxaca. You see, if, if a police person isn't driving or something like that, they're watching TikTok Great. If
Larry Magid (00:54:15):
They're watching TikTok and not you, that's good. <Laugh>.
Mike Elgan (00:54:17):
Yeah, exactly. Well, <laugh> TikTok is, look,
Leo Laporte (00:54:20):
If there's anything wrong with TikTok, it's that it's extremely addictive and entertaining.
Mike Elgan (00:54:24):
Yeah. Yes. Yeah. Exactly. And there, and there are reasons for that, because there it is pure algorithmic. It's not about social cues or anything like that. And it's a, you know, it's, it's kind of a, it's kind of an amazing thing that that's the sort of thing that others social
Leo Laporte (00:54:37):
Network do, that they are the best at gathering algorithm, algorithmically gathering what you're interested in. They're very, very good at that. Nobody does that better.
Mike Elgan (00:54:46):
That's right. Is that hazard so good? None of us. I dunno. But it's so good that none of us should admit what we see when we go to TikTok <laugh>. That's
Leo Laporte (00:54:54):
Cause it's very telling.
Larry Magid (00:54:56):
Oh, that, very
Leo Laporte (00:54:57):
Jason Hiner (00:54:58):
A couple, a couple of thoughts on TikTok is, you know, one of the things that TikTok has done, and, and there were signals that this was gonna happen, that somebody was gonna get this right for a while, which was the idea of mapping from the social graph, meaning that it's all about who you follow and you have to follow the right people, and then you'll, you get the content that is, is aimed at you. What TikTok did and has done and is doing, and that others haven't been able to replicate yet, but are, are working on, is they've mapped the interest graph, right? So they understand your interests. They've been better essentially at machine learning and, and data. And they map your interests better. And so when you go there, you see I see a higher number of things that I actually want to see on TikTok than I do on Instagram.
Far more than Twitter, Facebook, I don't really go to any longer. Youtube even. So they have done this so well because that's what they were all about. Right? Right. They, they focused everything on that, and they're doing it better. I think the others will catch up. And I think we do have to keep in mind that TikTok is doing, I think, as much as they can to sort of put themselves at arm distant you know, arm's length from China, from the Chinese government. Yet there are signs that there's still you know, some close ties there. I'll, I'll just share one. It's a little bit exceptional, but but it is data based. And Valuetainment last week, and Patrick bet David who runs that had this very inflammatory headline in this YouTube video that says how TikTok is destroying America and why it needs to be banned, which I think is, is over the top.
However, he did run this experiment where he showed you know, here's what all of my views were. And the number of videos that I had that had zero to 20,000 views, 20 to a hundred thousand views, a hundred thousand to a million and, and over a million. And he ran this experiment where he says he a, after he did that, and he collected that data, he published a video very and I think it was in August of this year he published a video that was inflammatory and critical of the Chinese government. And then he tracked what the data was the, the popularity of his videos afterwards up until last week. And you see that they massively dropped off. Yeah. Right. And were now no longer promoted. Right.
Leo Laporte (00:57:36):
But is that a hazard to us that anything we say negative about the Chinese government will not appear on TikTok? Is that is that what we're worried about?
Jason Hiner (00:57:44):
Well, I think
Leo Laporte (00:57:46):
<Laugh>, yeah. By the way, you can't say anything about Masin on, on Twitter either. I mean, is that what we're worried about? Really? I mean, is that we're worried about Well, I think I'm more worried about, to be honest, Valuetainment using, I mean, YouTube is much more of a problem in terms of radicalization. If TikTok wants personal information, they can buy it like anybody else can from a data broker. Sure. if TikTok wants to sway our opinions, maybe that's possible. But the fact that TikTok downgrades negative comments about China, if that's the hazard we're worried about, that doesn't, that seems kind of, you know, diminish.
Mike Elgan (00:58:22):
I've dipped my toe in, in the tip TikTok waters here and there, and, and people talk about things like, you know, views of the Chinese political system and all this stuff. I never saw anything like that. When I go to TikTok, it's all more frivolous things. And people like, you know, doing things with Phish and
Leo Laporte (00:58:38):
Whatever, I think they want their, it's their interest, their commercial interest to promote stuff you're gonna watch more of, period. Sure.
Mike Elgan (00:58:44):
But again, I think there's a potential, and I don't, I think the Chinese government, I mean, Chinese government by the way, bans, TikTok, like, you can't, like TikTok is banned in China. Right? oddly enough. But, but I think, I think that the Chinese government views TikTok as one lever of many that they have. If they, if they were to invade Taiwan, for example, and there's a global conflict or, or whatever, I think they would go there. I, I think
Leo Laporte (00:59:09):
I would worry more if you were the only source of information people were getting. And maybe it is with young people, I don't know, but Right.
Mike Elgan (00:59:16):
Yeah. But I, but I, you know, my, that's why my view is that, you know, we should sort of like, be aware of, of that, of the potential propaganda element should, should that ever occur. And at that point, it, the, the plug could be pulled. I just hope it never comes with that. I hope there's no conflict over Taiwan. And, and, and you know, it's, but in the meantime it, it seems like a lot of the, a lot of the political rhetoric around TikTok is, is, is kind of bs it
Leo Laporte (00:59:46):
Also's a little bit xenophobic to me because there are plenty of American companies that are invading our privacy farm far more, and they're not doing anything about that.
Larry Magid (00:59:56):
Yeah. And I will say, I'm sorry. And,
Leo Laporte (00:59:58):
And again, TikTok rather the Chinese Communist Party, if they want to influence, Americans have much more direct avenues to do so.
Larry Magid (01:00:07):
And I, you know, TikTok is pretty good. I mean, as, as, again, they're, they are one of the groups that companies we work with that connect safely and their parental controls and their child protection systems, while none of them are perfect, are on par with what you would expect from a a, a decent company. I mean, they, they do a, a good job trying to protect kids from bullying and, and other, other harms. So, you know, from where I fit, I, I don't have any huge complaints about that after,
Leo Laporte (01:00:35):
There was a story this week, which I didn't read because it seemed like link bait to me that TikTok pushes harmful content every two minutes.
Larry Magid (01:00:43):
No. Depend how you define harmful content.
Leo Laporte (01:00:45):
Yeah. If it's bikini maybe, I don't know. This
Jason Hiner (01:00:49):
So you're saying that if you are a teenager and you sign up that every few minutes, you're immediately pushed, you know toward content, they know nothing about you, you're immediately pushed toward con content that is pushing you toward eating disorder kind of things. And
Mike Elgan (01:01:07):
Jason Hiner (01:01:08):
Leo Laporte (01:01:08):
Exactly. So this is from the Center for Countering digital hate report. They published this week, found it can take less than three minutes after signing up for a TikTok account to see content related to suicide, but, which I have never seen on TikTok. I must be doing something wrong. Yeah. Or about five more minutes to find a community promoting eater eating disorder content. Again, I must be doing something wrong. Cause I haven't seen that.
Jason Hiner (01:01:30):
Yeah. I think the thing to think about, I I think here, just to, to sort of put it in perspective, is that if we felt like if we put one of the other platforms on the table, if it was Instagram or Facebook or Twitter we'll, we'll sort of put all the rest of our Twitter conversation aside. And we felt like as soon as you started you know, discriminating again or, or posting, you know, hate speech, or we'll not even call it hate speech criticism of, because to be fair, the value chain example, it was just criticism of the policies of the Chinese government. If you, if any of us started publishing policies on any of these US-based Twitter platforms and all of criticism of the US government, and all of a sudden our you know content started having lower thresholds of, of followers and those kinds of things, I think we would have a problem with that.
I think we would feel like that's not something we want to support. And that's not something that we want to think of as a platform that you know, is creating the, the sort of atmosphere that, that we want. And so I'm, it's not, I'm not saying that everyone shouldn't stop using TikTok. I still use TikTok myself. I'm just saying we should have, we should go into all these things with awareness. We talked about earlier the fact that we, there was this false narrative that we were having a public town square, and come to find out it's not really public. And and now we need to think about sort of a different path forward. And, and certainly this is just another example of the fact that these platforms are owned by companies. But now these companies are influenced by by governments in ways that really we should, we should have some transparency around the facts of what's really happening and what's really driving especially these interest graph you know, driven phenomenon, which is like, which is in TikTok today, but is likely to be in all of these platforms in the years ahead.
Mike Elgan (01:03:42):
Yeah. I think if we're gonna have a, what Jeff Jarvis would call a moral panic over TikTok, what the real thing we should be panicking about or freaking out about or thinking about is the fact that algorithms and artificial intelligence that can custom tailor things just the way we want them this is going to be ubiquitous. It's not, this is not about TikTok. It's about everything. Right. Exactly. You have, you we're entering in a world, we're entering in a world of, of where the vast majority, almost all of content that will be posted online will be synthetic media, right? Yeah. AI is going to write the words. We, it's going to create the pictures that we see. It's gonna create videos we see. And this will be highly tweakable and customizable. And this is something that I think nobody's really talking about. Tiktok is, is kind of doing us a favor cuz they're saying, here's the little tiny glimpse of how everything is gonna work in the future. And that's what we should be talking about. And it's
Larry Magid (01:04:38):
Gonna get worth with the metaverse and AR and VR and whatever evolves from this. We are going, we are, because we're voluntarily putting ourselves into a virtual environment anyway. Right. How do I know who that avatar really is? How do I know who's behind that avatar, that car that drag is by? How do I know whether that's just some cool car somebody created, or whether it's something that Ford is trying to get me to buy? I mean, there's so much that we are gonna have to, you know, put our critical thinking caps on if, if we wanna survive the metaverse, and it's gonna just be overwhelming.
Jason Hiner (01:05:09):
I, I think the metaverse is going nowhere. Honestly. I think it's, I
Larry Magid (01:05:12):
Leo Laporte (01:05:13):
I feel like there's a homeostatic mechanism in humans that we are, you know, we'll eat too much sugar or we'll watch too many TikTok videos, and then we start to go, oh, yeah. And we, and we, we protect ourselves. There's some people who are gonna fall down the rabbit hole mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. But most humans when they're faced with addictive behavior eventually go, oh, yeah, this isn't working for me. And back off. Or maybe that's not the case.
Mike Elgan (01:05:38):
No, no. I, I think that is the case. And I think we've already seen it with the election. So the midterm elections the, the sway of disinformation de deliberate political disinformation, it was less persuasive this time around. Yeah. Even though there's a lot more of it. And so we basically, there's a self correcting mechanism off
Leo Laporte (01:05:56):
Of it, sort
Mike Elgan (01:05:57):
Of enough, enough to the point where the, you know, election denier types mostly lost. And so, you know, in, in, it was just a couple of years ago when disinformation was way more effective. So I think, I think we are capable of learning, of adapting and of protecting ourselves and finding out what's healthy, what's unhealthy and so on. And again, like you say, Leo, some people are just Guinea McDonald's every day. But most of us don't. Yeah.
Leo Laporte (01:06:23):
And I don't, I, I would hope it's not the government's role to protect ourselves.
Larry Magid (01:06:27):
I hate to for cold water in you, but I was, I was a little rock Arkansas about a year ago, and I couldn't help notice it. Almost everybody I ran into with obese, I mean, I was
Leo Laporte (01:06:36):
Shock. Well, it's, it's a national problem. Yeah.
Larry Magid (01:06:38):
It's a, well, it's, especially when you get away from the coasts, especially when you get into the red states, it is, there, there is a very large segment of our population that is not stepping away from the excessive sugar. And I'm, I'm almost using that as a metaphor. I mean, it whe you know, whether it's overeating or voting in a, in a, in a, in a, a way that's against your self-interest or whatever. There are people in this country who, for whatever reason, are not thinking about what is truly in their best interest, at least not acting on it. And
Mike Elgan (01:07:04):
It's a perfect metaphor actually, because, because the, the companies that create the, the, the most compelling junk food have done that by by, by sort of reverse engineering our desires for salt and fat and sugar, same thing and so on.
Leo Laporte (01:07:16):
Tiktok is doing, except instead of with our eyeballs, with our taste buds. Yeah, yeah,
Larry Magid (01:07:21):
Yeah. That's true. Yeah.
Leo Laporte (01:07:22):
And, but I do think we're learning, I honestly, the, the news is kind of, it's slow, but the news is going forth. We've got an obesity of the epidemic. People are getting sick. What we were telling, partly it was because the US government was saying, don't eat fat. And and so people, yeah. People were cheerio were choosing Cheerios. And and I think that's, that's kind of churned a little bit. I don't know, you know maybe it's the arc of justice is is long and bends towards Les Cheerios. I don't know. But I feel like <laugh>, to paraphrase Martin Luther King, I feel like you can
Mike Elgan (01:07:59):
Leo Laporte (01:08:00):
You can have some hope. All I know is when I go to TikTok, all I really ever wanna see is more and more cheesy garita crunches because talk
Larry Magid (01:08:09):
About junk food.
Leo Laporte (01:08:10):
That's junk food, but it's my son. That's delicious. So, and yeah, you might, might, oh, your son makes it. People might say, oh, here, you'll like this one. This is four and a half million views. People might say, oh, Leo, you like TikTok because your son makes his living on TikTok. But even he, he understands that this isn't gonna look at
Mike Elgan (01:08:30):
That sandwich. How
Larry Magid (01:08:31):
Does he stay so thin? Yeah, he
Leo Laporte (01:08:32):
Doesn't, he looks stuff. Are you kidding? <Laugh>? He's a pusher. <Laugh>. I don't know. Cuz he's never brought it over to my house. He makes it, but he never makes, I
Larry Magid (01:08:44):
Hate to admit it, but he could help over take it over to my house anytime.
Leo Laporte (01:08:46):
Great looking. Oh my God. God, right. A little to me that's TikTok. That's all I need is just food, food porn. Let's take a little break and come, come back with more. I do, I do think I, I just make it clear, it's perfectly legitimate for government to say government employees can't have TikTok on their government owned phone. That's fine. If an employer wants to say that, that's fine. The department events bans Strava, the running app, because it turned out you could tell where stuff was at the Pentagon. Yeah. Because <laugh>, everybody was using it. That's appropriate ban. I'm not saying you shouldn't ban it from government phones. I'm just saying I feel like there is a move in Congress to the ffc. There's an FCC commissioner is saying, we should ban TikTok nationally. There's a move to banning it. And I think that that's one of those things where you go, okay, good. We took care of social, what's next? Where there's really a much larger problem. Yeah.
Larry Magid (01:09:43):
It's almost virtual fig signaling in
Leo Laporte (01:09:44):
A way. It's virtual signaling. Exactly.
Mike Elgan (01:09:46):
Yeah. Yeah. It's, it kills two birds with one stone among mostly on the, on the right. Politically, because TikTok is a new thing. It's a very powerful cultural force
Leo Laporte (01:09:56):
Mike Elgan (01:09:56):
Right. And it, and then China, China's involved. So it's like, you can, you can rack up votes by, by, by opposing those two things all at once. Yep. And, and really how many government employees have government phones? Right.
Leo Laporte (01:10:07):
Mike Elgan (01:10:09):
It is like, is that, I, I have no idea, but I, I would guess that most don't mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, I don't think postal workers have government phones. I don't think. I don't know. I I think we're talking about, you know, a a few phones, phones. Well,
Leo Laporte (01:10:20):
I can, I guarantee one thing, if they have a government phone, they also have a personal phone where they can put TikTok on it. Right. Right, right. Exactly. I'm sure they do <laugh>. And you can't
Jason Hiner (01:10:27):
Find that they shouldn't have any social apps on their government phones unless you work. They shouldn't in social media. They should be social media apps.
Leo Laporte (01:10:33):
Exactly. And if I provide a phone to an employee, it's my right to say, you can't be using the, you know, and, and or at work. They can't be sitting watching TikTok at work all the time. I don't stop it. And
Larry Magid (01:10:45):
They have no expectation of privacy either.
Leo Laporte (01:10:46):
I mean, you can. That's right. Buy on your employees. Of course, if upheld that time and time again, you're using my gear, my internet, I can tell you what the rules are. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, but it's okay, John, you can watch all the TikTok you want. I don't mind <laugh>. As long as it's Salt Hanks
Jason Hiner (01:10:59):
Leo Laporte (01:11:00):
Salt, salt Hanks, gordita Crunch. He's on Mastodon right now. Good job, <laugh>. I do not own a steak in Mastodon, by the way. No one does. In fact, Mastodon just costs us money. It doesn't make us any money. <Laugh> our show today speaking of America's obesity crisis, brought to you by noom. Now I am, this is, this is a, this is an app you absolutely should put on your phone. I don't go anywhere without my Noom app. What is Noom? It's not a diet. So that's really important because diets, I think we've learned, diets don't work. If I tell you, you may not eat something, what are you gonna crave more than anything else? That thing. Right. And eventually you're going to eat it. You really are. Noom is different. Noom is different. It is a psychology first approach that lets you stay focused on what's important to you when you decide to lose weight.
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It works for Lisa. It works for so many people. I know one of our chat, regular chatters lost 60 pounds. In fact, he was on yesterday. We were, we were practicing for a new show. And he called in and I was watching the chat room, people saying, what is that Rec Con five? What he Yeah, I didn't recognize him either. Noom, it works. All right. Let's see what else to talk about. Samuel Bankman fried, arrested in The Bahamas charges from the US District, US Attorney for the Southern District of New York. His he will be presumably extradited from The Bahamas to face criminal charges in the us. This is of course, the founder of ftx. In fact, the funny thing is, they arrested him the day before he was supposed to testify in Congress. This guy was acting as if I, you know, these things happen. It didn't do anything wrong. And I was, it was puzzling me that he was not. That was, what was it? Is it true he did nothing illegal? Well, maybe he did. It's
Jason Hiner (01:17:13):
A bad year for billionaires, you know? Good. I they deserve
Leo Laporte (01:17:16):
Jason Hiner (01:17:16):
A it. I hope that I, I I hope that we stop worshiping billionaires. Yes. Freaking billionaires in America.
Leo Laporte (01:17:24):
To some degree. He got away with what he did. Just like Bernie Madoff, because we do worship
Larry Magid (01:17:29):
Wealth. We do, yeah. Yep. I remember when the industry standard, which was this Silicon Valley magazine came out, and they used to put all these people on their cover. And the only thing these people had ever accomplished was that they raised money. They didn't make money. They didn't, they didn't have a product that was profitable. They just got other people to give them money. And that got them on the cover of a magazine. And, and I don't know what it is that, that bankman, you know, accomplished other than convincing people to turn money over to him. But you know, why don't we reserve those covers where people actually accomplish something.
Leo Laporte (01:18:02):
Here's the question, by the way. People who did ads for F D X including Tom Brady, his wife, Giselle Buchen, Larry David, a famous ad on the Super Bowl, Larry David saying, ah, <laugh> he sha listening all did endorsements. Shaq's saying, Hey, his defense is, he's being sued. They all are. Hey just a paid endorser.
Mike Elgan (01:18:26):
Leo Laporte (01:18:27):
I don't, I don't know anything about crypto. Just a paid endorser.
Mike Elgan (01:18:30):
Yeah. His defense is, he was lying
Leo Laporte (01:18:33):
That by the way, that defense works, you know? Yeah. Isn't that what who was it? Tucker Carlson's defense was everybody knows me. Seriously. Nobody should take me seriously. It's, I'm an, an entertainer. Right.
Mike Elgan (01:18:45):
<Laugh>. Well, you know, the, the thing, the thing that's so interesting about this is that, you know, he was flying so high. He's like, he's like the guy from WeWork or Elizabeth Holmes or any of these other narcissistic money razors and just had all the answers. Right. It's right outta school practically. And just had, had all the answers about how to, how to do his business. But he was just ba doing shady businesses, pumping the, the, the people's money into Alameda research doing all these, you know shady things. And by the way, I bet he can't wait to get extradited because the jail he's been in, in The Bahamas is supposed to be a horrible
Leo Laporte (01:19:22):
Jail. Oh, really? <Laugh>.
Mike Elgan (01:19:23):
Yeah. Like the inmates supposedly have to remove the feces of the bucket and all this kind of, I mean, it's like, it is really kind of a, not a happy place to be. But he, you know, he could get a slap on the wrist. He could get a few years in jail at the end of this, or he could get a life sentence. Nobody knows. I fear they may choose to make an example out of them. And and then, you know he could get a couple of life sentences like Bernie Madoff did. Well,
Leo Laporte (01:19:52):
We know that in this country, the worst crime you can commit is to steal from rich people. That's why Elizabeth Holmes will be doing more than 12 years sunny Balani more than 14 years, because, not because they hurt people's health by proposing a way to test blood by the droplet, but because they hurt, because rich people lost money. <Laugh> mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. so that's the worst thing you can do. So I wouldn't be surprised if they throwed the book at him. He has been indicted on charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit commodities fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud, money laundering conspiracy to defraud the Federal Election Commission cuz he was giving a lot of money to candidates both left and right. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> and to commit campaign finance violations. So I guess the larger question is, I saw a member of Congress on, on the floor, say, you know, we shouldn't, this guy was a, was a fraud, but we shouldn't extend this to doubting Bitcoin. Is that fair? Is this, this isn't a crime of of crypto. This is something separate.
Mike Elgan (01:21:04):
Yeah, no, I think it is. I think that is fair on his face. Yeah. I I I don't recommend, I feel
Leo Laporte (01:21:09):
Like this congressman must have been sponsored by crypto.com. Yeah. But, okay. Or Binance.
Mike Elgan (01:21:15):
No, but, but, but hilarious point. You know, we, we should, we should be investing our money and things that employ people, that things that feed people, things that provide goods and services people need and use instead of crypto, where it's just like, yeah, just make me rich. I don't care if I'm contributing anything to society. I just want money and therefore I'm gonna invest in Bitcoin. I think that's the best reason to avoid Bitcoin. But I don't think, you know, the, the, the crimes of this particular case are specific to how he ran his businesses. And I don't think they necessarily reflect on Bitcoin generally, even though other exchanges that are also doing shady things. In addition to him,
Jason Hiner (01:21:52):
He, yeah, it, it go, sorry, go ahead.
Leo Laporte (01:21:55):
He a little bit, I think greenwashed his activities by talking about effective altruism by donating the fraudulently <laugh> earned money. Cuz there was money in some form or fashion. He deliver delivered 40 million in political campaign contributions, mostly to the D N C and other left-wing. The biggest one was to protect our future pack, which was the effective al Altruism pack, 27 million to that, to the house majority pack of super Pac supporting House Democrats, $6 million. But he also had other, you know, other donations to Republican candidates as well. I mean, if you're making political donations, a smart thing to do is to spread it around so that everybody owes you. But also, I think he was using that as a way of, cuz remember all those glowing articles about S B F and, and what a Oh yeah. Benefactor society. He was, and, and
Jason Hiner (01:22:57):
Yeah, he was an amazing PR person. Like you, you also can't, you know get around the fact that he talked a big game. People wanted to believe we, we just still have this obsession. The media has a obsession with creating heroes and they love to make billionaire heroes. And so, you know, that whole you know, that, that, that whole theme is sort of under all, also under scrutiny, right? Because he was one Elon Musk was one for many years right now. We're seeing that those things create these just terrible terrible outcomes almost you know, one after another. I think the, the thing that I, I would like to say though, in, in terms of crypto is, you know, crypto is the best performing asset of the past decade. Is that true? Because of that, even
Leo Laporte (01:23:50):
After the crash? Wow. I didn't realize that.
Jason Hiner (01:23:53):
Yeah. It, it, it is over a period of time, right? If you bought
Leo Laporte (01:23:56):
It early enough, if you bought Nick Bitcoin when it was a nickel, you're doing fine. Right?
Jason Hiner (01:24:00):
Yeah. Yeah. Right. So <laugh>, so the thing is, is that makes it a platform for corruption too, right? But the,
Leo Laporte (01:24:07):
That's the, to me, that's the real problem. It's not that there's something wrong with Bitcoin, but it's very easy because it's new, it's technology. It's very easy to scam people. It was a lot easier for SPF to scam people than, than Bernie Madoff because he, cause he wasn't doing dollars.
Jason Hiner (01:24:23):
The, the, the core, remember what, what blockchain and Bitcoin came out of though was the, the, you know, oh nine financial crisis where there was this lack of accountability, this lack of transparency in the financial system. And it was essentially trying to find a way to get beyond that. And I think the core of that, and then it, it has since then advanced into this idea of also helping the unbanked throughout the world who get taken advantage of through greedy forces that that sometimes victimize them and put them in positions where they you know, end up working jobs or other things for others who, again, centralized resources extract the value, leave the average worker, the average person without much power and without much opportunity. And so cryptocurrency, blockchain at its core does have some answers to some of those problems.
And I think we shouldn't lose sight of that, you know, with the fact that there are charlatans going into this that are using it as a platform to, to steal from people to you know, do their, get rich quick schemes and all of that. Just as you know, cash is used just as other platforms are used, the markets themselves are used. It does need regulation and it needs it fast. And the hard thing is regulation is gonna be ver it is gonna continue to have a very difficult time catching up with and staying up with as fast as cryptocurrency and sort of blockchain in the crypto economy are evolving and, and moving right now. So yeah. I I just think we, we should keep in mind that the core of this is not well, I, I don't think we should call into question the value of Bitcoin or cryptocurrency with what happened with F D X, but
Mike Elgan (01:26:18):
Isn't isn't part of the value proposition, the lack of regulation. I mean, isn't that what they're they're they're after.
Larry Magid (01:26:24):
Yeah. And also,
Jason Hiner (01:26:25):
Well, go ahead,
Larry Magid (01:26:26):
Larry. No, I mean, all the lack of regulation and also the lack of, of any connection to real world value. I mean, if you, if you, I bought a CD the other day, four and a half percent. Well, I know what's gonna happen with my cd. Somebody else gonna borrow the money. The bank's gonna make a spread. Maybe somebody gets to buy a house. I mean, something potentially positive will happen to the revolt of that CD I invest in a stock market. Well, it's a little bit of a casino, but at least there's some correlation between the performance of the company and the value of my stock. I don't see when, if, if I had afor Bitcoin portfolio and I, I have a very tiny one, like I I a couple hundred dollars just to play with it, just to figure it out. I don't see any relationship between my portfolio and any value in the world other than what somebody can make from Bitcoin. It's
Leo Laporte (01:27:11):
Jason Hiner (01:27:11):
Little more value just as the US dollar is though, right? So the, the US dollar only has as much value as the people who believe in it. Yeah. Think it is, right? Like, so I think that's, that's a, that is a more app.
Leo Laporte (01:27:24):
I'll tell you the difference, Jason. People don't buy a dollar to speculate because the dollar is so stable. Nobody buys, I'm gonna buy a hundred thousand dollars figuring some that next month it'll be worth $200,000, right? So that's the biggest difference and that's why people buy cryptocurrency. And NFTs is this is, and so the volatility kind of gives you this casino like effect, like I could make, make it big. So you're right, Jason, to say over the total lifespan of crypto, it's been a great investment, but you as a currency, as you narrow that down, it becomes less and less good. For instance, here's from a tweet from somebody in the chow room, put up total returns over the past five years. Bitcoin's five and a half percent T-bills, much like your CDs, 5.4% <laugh> really? But Ben says mm-hmm. The Bitcoin is a little more volatile than the other. This is actually a more interesting analysis. This is from chain analysis. This is the FTX investor impact. It was not the biggest impact on cryptocurrency of the year. Far worse, the ftx collapses here. Far worse. The Celsius collapse, the Tara u s t token collapse, the three arrows, capital collapse. And here, so here's Tara. Here's Celsius, yes. Threes capital that cost investors billions and billions of dollars Celsius. And that,
Jason Hiner (01:28:54):
That is the fundamental, fundamental analysis you can do on blockchain too. And, and to be, to be clear, my that's
Leo Laporte (01:29:01):
A good point. Bitcoin is, those would be hidden very similar. These losses and gains would be hidden in many other investments because it's on blockchain, it's public. So somebody can go through that blockchain and say, well, here's what people gained and what people lost. That's a very
Jason Hiner (01:29:12):
Good point. So that is the fundamental analysis like you would do with a stock. Right? That's a similar, and, and I was, I was saying my, my connection with Bitcoin is very similar to Larry's. I, I own a very small amount, mostly out of curiosity and to follow it as a tech journalist, right. To have to understand it, but not it's, it's not a fundamental part of my portfolio or anything like that. But I, but I think that we should it, it's a very difficult thing to understand and to also to try to understand what the future of it is and where it's going and what the possibilities are. And there is a lot of froth and there's a lot of get rich quick people that are chasing it, as you mentioned, Leo. And that is one of the things that we have to understand about it, right there, there are essentially Ponzi ke schemes that are parading as cryptocurrencies.
And that is one of the most dangerous parts about it. And that's why there is the need for regulation. Like I, I do believe what the folks like the, the Coinbase and a few others are saying that we just need some rules and guidelines. We think everyone will be better off because they know that there are some really negative things happening. And those are, have the potential to destroy or take away from the fundamental value of what people who want to build some things to bring resources to the unbanked, to create a store of value that's not just tied to, to a government and a gover and government spending and those kinds of things. And, and those are values that I think are still potentially valuable with cryptocurrency. But the, the story is still unwritten and and, and an interesting word. How
Leo Laporte (01:30:57):
Mike Elgan (01:30:58):
Leo Laporte (01:30:59):
I really like what you're saying about the unbanked people who are not participants in the overall financial operation of the world. They are really left out. Yeah. And so perhaps a cryptocurrency, although I have to say El Salvador does not do itself any favors by sh changing its currency to Bitcoin for sure.
Mike Elgan (01:31:16):
You know, not at all. Yeah. And, and Bitcoin is a, as you mentioned to, it's a, it's a, a way to get rich quick. And it's also a currency. As a currency, it seems to me that it's used mostly by cyber criminals for things like ransomware, DDoS extortion, crypto jacking and crypto theft itself. There's a lot of theft of, of, of cryptocurrencies. And then that's when people, that's when the, you know, enthusiasts get, feel really burned about the lack of the kinds of protections that exist in the conventional financial markets where, you know, you, you're protected to a certain extent. If you, if somebody steals, you know, somebody hacks and robs the, the, the place where you're keeping your cryptocurrencies and
Leo Laporte (01:31:58):
Steals 'em all. Well, too bad, you're outta luck. That's the end of the story. And so,
Jason Hiner (01:32:03):
To be fair, more fraud is committed with the US dollar, with dollars than are committed with cryptocurrency. But we have protection. But, but that you still have the blockchain to track things too.
Leo Laporte (01:32:12):
That's been a global currency for centuries. You can't compare this new thing that mo most people don't even know what it is to, to the US dollar, which by the way, it's for, for counterfeiters, for North Korea, for all drug traffickers, the $100 bill is the currency of crime globally. Yes, that's true. But it's, it's not really, let me ask
Jason Hiner (01:32:31):
About it. FBI loves your, your bank account. You have
Leo Laporte (01:32:34):
Protection. Yeah. You're not really anonymous. There's
Jason Hiner (01:32:36):
Leo Laporte (01:32:36):
Larry Magid (01:32:36):
Yeah. You have, you have protection. If somebody hacks into your bank account, federal law require if that the bank make you whole. So it's not
Jason Hiner (01:32:43):
Regulation, right? Pardon me? I'm sorry. I was, I was confirming
Leo Laporte (01:32:48):
Maybe that's the biggest mistake that we regulat we've made, is that we haven't regulated crypto as a, as a security. Maybe it should be regulated as a security. There not, and
Larry Magid (01:32:57):
May be insured like the F D I C insured.
Leo Laporte (01:32:59):
Yeah. Yeah. How about n you
Larry Magid (01:33:00):
Mentioned nrp. Yeah. How about, how
Leo Laporte (01:33:01):
About NFTs? <Laugh>, how
Jason Hiner (01:33:02):
About you? Did you buy your Donald Trump trading card, though?
Leo Laporte (01:33:05):
So, yes. You know what? We're gonna make fun of it, right? 99 bucks. Here it is. They were the cheesiest the worst bad Photoshops. Apparently. They took, they took a clothing from catalogs and public domain sources and, and put his face on them. And but I gotta point out something, not only did it sell out at 99 bucks each, but it is currently the floor price is $230.
Larry Magid (01:33:35):
You mean it was a good investment.
Leo Laporte (01:33:36):
It was a very good investment, <laugh>. And if you sell it, if you sell it, the Trump organization gets 10%, 10%, that, that's the way of your profit. Fts often work. The, the one of one NFTs, which are only 2.4% of the 45,000 unit collection, about a thousand cards. They're selling as much as six eth at the time of writing. This, this one, here's the one that really could cost you a lot of money there. It's 3,600 $7,667. It was $99 if you got it. There's Mr. Trump looking young and fit. And his hair is marvelous, holding the torch from the Statue of Liberty in front of the Statue of Liberty, holding the same torch. This would be way funnier if the Statue of Liberty didn't have a torch <laugh> like he stole it. But hey, if you bought it, you're, you're, it's $3,667. Now,
Larry Magid (01:34:39):
I wonder if somebody's manipulating that, though. I wonder if that's really a natural market or
Leo Laporte (01:34:43):
Somebody's putting it is possible to manipulate it. You can buy it and sell it to yourself and get the price to go up. Perhaps, perhaps. I mean, we, we mocked it this week on twig when it came out. I thought this is, I did too. This is just, if
Mike Elgan (01:34:57):
You, if you apply Trump's razor, that is the explanation Trump's razor is that the, when it comes to Donald Trump, the stupidest explanation is the one that's likely to be true. So yeah, somebody's
Leo Laporte (01:35:07):
Was this one with him writing a red, white, and blue elephant? Eh, I wish I got that one.
Larry Magid (01:35:12):
I actually expected by now, he was gonna tell us all it with a joke, but, but I, I thought it would be an absolute disaster for
Mike Elgan (01:35:18):
Him. Even Steve Bannon thought this was dumb.
Leo Laporte (01:35:20):
He mocked it. He said, it's a terrible, you know, this is a scam.
Larry Magid (01:35:23):
I ever agreed
Leo Laporte (01:35:24):
On anything. But I gotta tell you, it may be a scam, but by the way, here he is signing a tablet in a, with a, with a a
Larry Magid (01:35:33):
Leo Laporte (01:35:35):
Doing, because that's an Apple pencil. Is this an iPad? I don't, I'm very confused about. It is a digital sharpie, but it, but these are digital. You don't have a physical N F T. So, but I just have to point out, if you were cagey enough to pick up one of these cards, you, you're making a,
Mike Elgan (01:35:54):
A lot of his fans are like, where's my card? I thought I was buying a physical card. Where is it? I they probably, yeah, they probably didn't. And
Leo Laporte (01:35:59):
Yeah, they probably didn't know. Yeah. Yeah.
Larry Magid (01:36:02):
I don't know. I, I still think there's something going on. I I just can't believe that there are that many people that, that actually would've bought. I, I wanna see stupid. But on the other hand, maybe they're not so stupid if they've doubled or tripled their money. Let
Leo Laporte (01:36:14):
Me sort this by price hide a low. Well, the
Larry Magid (01:36:16):
Other question is, what's they gonna be worth the lunch from now?
Leo Laporte (01:36:19):
Well, that's why Got it. Sell it. Wait a minute. Now, some of these are, think this is a one of one. Somebody says current price is 118 quadrillion dollars. <Laugh>, <laugh>. I don't think that's, that's definitely suspicious. That's not actually what it's been trading for.
Larry Magid (01:36:38):
Well, you said you can sell it for any price you want.
Leo Laporte (01:36:40):
I, I guess Yeah. Yeah.
Larry Magid (01:36:42):
Didn't make a
Leo Laporte (01:36:43):
Point. Here's a, here's a, they're
Larry Magid (01:36:45):
Remember be babies. They were worth a lot for a little while.
Leo Laporte (01:36:47):
They're just, the funny thing is, it's worst Photoshop job I've ever seen. <Laugh>. Yeah. They could have spent some money on just get, I mean, it's the same, they use the same face in all of 'em,
Larry Magid (01:36:58):
But Well, they needed 45,000 of 'em. They probably didn't even,
Leo Laporte (01:37:00):
Oh, maybe that's it. They didn't trump much time. Yeah. All right. You know, so I've, I will no longer mock anybody buying an NF t
Jason Hiner (01:37:09):
<Laugh> NFTs. They do have some potentially, you know, good uses longer term. Like they're, there's the idea that they could be used for you know, a number of authentication and cybersecurity uses. So, so there, the technology there is, is something that has the opportunity to have some positive impacts as well. Yeah. I know I keep getting into these kinds of things, but I think looking at the larger ecosystem of these things, it is interesting. And there's also the, one of the more interesting thoughts I've seen about NFTs is that if we have this idea that we create value around digital goods, and we, we sort of spend more time purchasing, or more resources, I should say purchasing digital goods, because then you sort of have it and we're creating less or buying fewer physical goods, which is sort of having this negative impact on the environment with all the things that are shipped and all of that. But if I own it essentially digitally and we have sort of different an a more evolved sense of digital ownership that you can call it up and look at it and it's a bit of a, one of a kind, that there are some potential good uses of that. Right. Especially if they're less expensive. And over time you're collecting things and creating you know, less
Leo Laporte (01:38:35):
I'd be more interested in the, in the use of the Providence blockchain on physical goods. Like if I had a hottest Wagner card and you could prove the providence, the card still is the item. These dig, although I can't knock it. They sold 45,000 of these at a hundred bucks. That's 4.5 million, and they get 10% of every secondary sale. This is potentially hundreds of millions of dollars for sure. And all they got is it paid some by some kid 17 bucks an hour to make crappy.
Larry Magid (01:39:08):
I mean, the reason I wouldn't buy an N F T, even if it was a piece of art that I really appreciated, is because you want the thing, unlike even a print, I mean, you kind of, the point you made, I mean, I, if, if, if I had any interest in enjoying one of these Donald Trump things, ID just download an image of it and you know, you got it. Put it on my wall. That's all you need. Yeah. I wouldn't own it, but I, but I get to enjoy it. Who
Leo Laporte (01:39:27):
Larry Magid (01:39:27):
You know well, if there's an ego and there, there are some aspects of, I mean, I've got some art that's numbered and you know, but I, frankly, I don't care about it. The num the fact that I may only one own one 20, I'm
Leo Laporte (01:39:38):
Gonna bought it. I'm gonna confession. Last Christmas maybe it was two Christmases ago. Remember when Trump got covid, they made a, the White House there's a White House gift shop. This is not affiliated. Yeah, but it's the right, they made a challenge coin with a Trump's likeness on it and, you know, conquers covid on it. And I, and I bought two, I bought one for my father-in-law who's a Trump fan, and I bought one cuz I thought this is history in some perverse <laugh> weird way. <Laugh>. And and now I own it. I don't know what I'm gonna do with it. But I also, anything since you all were,
Jason Hiner (01:40:11):
Take a picture and make an N F T,
Leo Laporte (01:40:12):
I'll make an N F T in since you all were good and, and revealed your stake in Bitcoin. Not like, you know, it's having a stock in the company we cover, but I, I somewhere have a wallet with 7.85 Bitcoin in it. I can't unlock it cuz I forgot the password. It's well known. Yeah. but if it, some, there are people who say Bitcoin's gonna come back. It's very much like the same people said, save your Confederate dollars, boys, the South will rise again. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. But I, if it goes up to somebody, some analyst said, don't worry, it's going a quarter of a million dollars per coin. I got my retirement, man. I'm good. Yeah. I'll spend the rest of, yeah. Rest of my, my day is trying to find the password.
Larry Magid (01:40:54):
<Laugh>, I think you'll ever unlock me. Unlock station, then I
Leo Laporte (01:40:58):
Could buy my own radio station. <Laugh>. All right, let's, let's <laugh>, let's take a, by the way Jason, I don't know if you've noticed in effect, I have, this is what TWIT is. That's all right. It's like a little radio TV station. When I was in, starting out on radio every, was every DJ's goal to own
Larry Magid (01:41:13):
A radio station on your own?
Leo Laporte (01:41:14):
Like mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, right? Larry, Larry used to work radio. Oh
Larry Magid (01:41:17):
Yeah. Of course.
Leo Laporte (01:41:17):
Someday I'll own a i I, without even done it, attempting it, I've done it.
Larry Magid (01:41:21):
Yeah, you have. Yeah. You know, I, I don't have anything as significant as twit, but I remember when I first registered my web, my webpage Larry's a good, I said, I'm a publisher. Yeah. Nobody would ever make me a publisher. Now, you know, I don't get millions of readers, but I, you know, there's something nice about owning your own piece of meat. That's what saying owning your credit
Leo Laporte (01:41:39):
Press. That's why everybody should have their own presence on the web. That they control that they own. Yeah. that's the best way to assure that your reputation is is, is owned by you. Exactly. actually my reaction, I don't know, you all blog, my first reaction was this is so self-centered. I can't believe I'm <laugh>, I'm posting on my site an article about me. I thought I was kind of embarrassed by the whole thing. I got over
Larry Magid (01:42:03):
It. That's because you're not a narcissist. <Laugh>. Maybe That's right. Not right. You're not an narcissist.
Leo Laporte (01:42:07):
Doesn't everybody want to read about me?
Larry Magid (01:42:09):
If you had gone to Trump University, you would've learned I
Leo Laporte (01:42:11):
Should have. Right. How to be a narcissist.
Larry Magid (01:42:13):
Leo Laporte (01:42:15):
All right, let's take a break. I do wanna talk about something that is near and dear to my heart. I have been a audible customer since the year 2000. Audible has been, I think is our longest running advertiser of all we love Audible since even before they were bought by Amazon. We, for 15 years, we've been talking about audiobooks from Audible. I have in my library more than 500 audiobooks from Audible in every possible arena. Lately I've been doing a lot of sci-fi and I thought, you know I didn't realize this, but apparently Mr. Musk is heavily influenced by Ian Banks, the Scottish, the late Scottish sci-fi author. And by his culture series. In fact, the barges that those those space boosters land on, you know, that very cool thing. Those are all named after things in the novel.
You know honey, I Love You, or whatever it's called. So I've, I've decided to go through the culture series. They're all on audible. It just comes to life in your brain. And I think your brain is so much better than Hollywood at making the sets, at making the, the people. And it's just, you imagine it, your imagination takes off. It's one of the reasons I love audiobooks from audible.com. I want to encourage you, if you've been hearing our ads and you've been holding off, this would be a great time. And by the way, a great time to give the gift of Audible as well for the Holidays. When it comes to audio entertainment, there's no better place than Audible. It's the home for stories told by the biggest, biggest stars in Hollywood. Ethan Hawk, Kerry Washington, Kevin Hart, Audible's home to Epic Adventures, chilling Mysteries.
Can't miss comedies. I've done all, almost all of the Agatha Christi audiobooks. I just love them. Let your imagination soar with audiobooks, podcasts, audible Originals. One of the things Audible does that I really love is they're, is they're doing recordings of classic sci-fi that never got recorded, because back in the day, you know, to didn't have the budget to, to record those. So Audible's doing it in their own studios. You can get the Dune series done beautifully by Audible. You can get Asimov's Foundation series done beautifully by Audible. Never Recorded originally. Audible made them. I love that. Audible is the home of storytelling. All your audio and entertainment in one app. Get the app on your phone, text TWIT to 500, 500 right now. They'll give you a link. You can download it and then start listening. It says a member of Audible.
You also get access to a huge and growing library of included audiobooks. So stuff that Audible. Just for instance, I was I was listening to the Fletcher after I saw the movie with John Ham Fletcher, confessed Fletcher turned out, they were all kind of part of my subscription. I didn't it was great. They're just part, part of the deal. You can download and stream all the included titles as much as you want. You get to choose a title a month from their catalog to keep. So that's how I've accumulated 500 plus audiobooks over the last 20, 22 years. Wow. the latest bestsellers are there, new releases. Classics also an incredible selection of audiobooks. Every genre bestsellers, new releases, celebrity memoirs. Audible is a place your imagination can run wild. Listen about the lives of celebrities journey to your best self.
Check out the spiderweb of True Crimes. Discover new world's, old Worlds. How to make a better world. New members can try it free for 30 days. Let Audible help you discover new ways to laugh, be inspired, or be entertained. I love Audible. I know you will too. If you're not yet a member, I know most of you are, but if you are not yet a member, join the join the club audible.com/twit. Or again, text Twitch 2 500 500 audible.com/twit. Or text twit, t w i t to 500 500. That'll give you a chance to try Audible for free for 30 days. You get the title, but you also get this huge selection of audible content available to you. Audible, a u d i b l e.com/twit. I'm a huge fan, and I think we're going on a little vacation after the holidays. And I think I'm gonna bring up a bunch of audio books to listen to. I love those audio books. They're so great.
Jason Hiner (01:46:50):
The recommendation, Leo. Yeah,
Leo Laporte (01:46:52):
That's you, Jason. You've been around long enough. You know, we like to hear your your audible recommendations. Yeah,
Jason Hiner (01:46:57):
Just, I'll just throw a quick one. Atomic Habits. I've been re-listening to this with,
Leo Laporte (01:47:01):
Oh, that's a classic.
Jason Hiner (01:47:02):
Clear. Yeah. I, I love it. There's one line in there and I, I think it kind of connects to some things we've been talking about today that I love, which is we think we, we tend to think that we rise to the level of our goals when the truth is we often fall to the level of our systems.
Leo Laporte (01:47:20):
Jason Hiner (01:47:21):
And that, that happens for human beings. That's where the habits part come in. But it also happens for organizations as well. Right. And so I think that that is just a, maybe a little bit of a taste That's my biggest takeaway from, from this book.
Leo Laporte (01:47:35):
That's really profound, though. I love that. And I think that that's really true. I know that's true in my life. And for our company. It's very easy to settle and and instead of rising to your, your highest hopes and aspirations. I like that. You know, I've never read this. I will, I will. I'm putting on my list right now. It's going into my wishlist cuz I don't have any credits yet. But I will have a couple on the 22nd.
Larry Magid (01:48:00):
It's funny, you know, you were talking earlier, when you're doing that, that thing for Zoom, I, I've lost some weight also. And one of the ways I've lost weight. I doing a lot of walking. Well,
Leo Laporte (01:48:07):
Larry Magid (01:48:08):
Listening to books while I walk is fantastic. I mean, I've almost encouraging me to walk to listen to books. It's
Leo Laporte (01:48:14):
Right. Same. Yes. Apple has that thing, you know, where you have Walk with Dolly partner, whatever, <laugh>. But it's, and it's kind of funny because I think these people are in a studio and they're putting walking sounds behind them. I don't think they're actually walking. You're right. You're right. But they make it out. Like they're walking. They sometimes they get a little bit out of breath. It's hysterical. Yeah. These, these Fitness plus Walk walking.
Larry Magid (01:48:37):
I wouldn't have picked Dolly Parton as my walking partner,
Leo Laporte (01:48:39):
But that was my favorite one of all things. I really enjoyed it walking with Dolly, but she only walked for about 20 minutes than I had to keep going. And she turned around. So, yeah. That's why it's better to listen to an audio audiobook. It'll take you the whole way. Actually, I'm trying to walk more. I
Larry Magid (01:48:53):
Never, I never understand, you know, celebrities and what they endorse. Like why would you buy a fragrance from a basketball player? Oof. I don't imagine basketball player fresh sweats. Not all that good. Right. <laugh>
Leo Laporte (01:49:03):
Fresh sweat. Yeah. <laugh>. Hmm. No, I, one of the things I learned from Noom is if you walk after a meal, it brings your blood sugar down. It, you're, there's something about walking that is really not even a long walk or a fast walk, just a stroll for 20 minutes after, or 10 minutes after a meal. It makes a huge
Larry Magid (01:49:24):
Difference. It also has digestion too.
Leo Laporte (01:49:27):
Well, yeah. It's all your body expects this, you know.
Mike Elgan (01:49:30):
Yeah. And, and Leo Helen Putnam Regional Park, love it is the most beautiful walking space Yes. On the planet.
Leo Laporte (01:49:38):
Love it. It
Mike Elgan (01:49:39):
Leo Laporte (01:49:40):
For walking. Yeah. There's only one bad thing about it. There's a very steep hill <laugh>.
Mike Elgan (01:49:45):
Yes. We, we call it the widow
Leo Laporte (01:49:46):
Maker <laugh>. So I'm huffing and puffing and Lisa's going up the hill and I'm going, wait for me. I'm getting there. <Laugh>. It's pretty steep. But then when you come back, you go down the hill. So it's okay. Right. It works out with all, even
Jason Hiner (01:50:00):
I hate walking down hills. I, I'm better off walking uphill. Yeah,
Leo Laporte (01:50:03):
Me too. I'm the same way. I'm trudging up a hill. I agree with you. Yeah. When I lived in San Francisco on the hills of San Francisco, for some reason, women would, they'd take off their heels and walk backwards up the hills. There must have, there must have been some book somewhere that said it's good for your butt if you walk backwards up the hill. I never did that. I thought, that doesn't look like fun. I'd rather walk forward up the hill. All right. <Laugh>. That's our fitness segment for the day. Thank God that's over. Yeah.
Jason Hiner (01:50:31):
By the way, while we had our Elon conversation, sorry to bring this back. He posted it in the middle of our conversation. Coincidence, maybe. He posted, should I step down as head of Twitter? I will abide by the results of this poll. And ooh, I'll vote an hour later. It's 58% say Yes. And after it got it jumped up to 58%, he posted, be careful what you wish for <laugh>. Yeah. Whatcha gonna hire
Leo Laporte (01:50:57):
Nazi to take He's such a master of attention. He's an attention whore. <Laugh>. Yeah. Such a, he's attention whore. He's
Jason Hiner (01:51:03):
A troll. He only could be worth if he hired Kanye to take over. I mean, what could be worse?
Leo Laporte (01:51:08):
Well, first of all, I have to presume that because he posted this, he's got somebody and it's probably Jason Callis. Yeah. Or who's the other guy who's in the room. Apparently there's a small number of people in the room. One of his investor vc, well I can't remember his name. He's always tweeting to defend Elon. So I think he already has a candidate besides, he's under a lot of pressure. Oh gosh. From his shareholders and his other companies. He's gonna lose his Tesla job. Yeah, exactly. Right. So I think there's a, a lot of pressure on him to to maybe step down. Yeah. Maybe he's sending a little bit of contrite. Maybe he didn't expect it. Maybe the booze at the Chappelle concert.
Jason Hiner (01:51:48):
Yeah. Oh, the big deal. Yeah.
Leo Laporte (01:51:50):
I don't know. I don't know. Anyway, we'll see. But you know, it's interesting. I think he might have thought, he might have also thought, oh, I don't have to worry about this cuz all of the bots from the G R U and et cetera were gonna vote. No. it's interesting. So I didn't vote. So you, what you can see the result right now, Jason, is it?
Jason Hiner (01:52:11):
Yeah. when the both close, it says 10 hours less in 10 hours. Yeah. It says
Leo Laporte (01:52:16):
4.1 million votes. Wow.
Jason Hiner (01:52:19):
Yeah. 57.9% say yes. Whoa.
Leo Laporte (01:52:24):
Okay. That's very interesting. I, I am so tempted to the people have spoken, spoken, but I'm not gonna <laugh>. He will says, I will abide by the results of this poll. Well see. See of course he's a liar. So we said we weren't gonna talk about him and he said, I'll fix that.
Jason Hiner (01:52:43):
Yeah. I sure am enjoying
Larry Magid (01:52:44):
My, my robax that I bought for him.
Leo Laporte (01:52:46):
Oh yeah. Did you pay for did you pay the extra $5,000 to,
Larry Magid (01:52:51):
In my case, it wound up being 7,000. And I did it as a tech journalist, frankly, cuz he wasn't gonna gimme an eval copy. Right. to loan me. I, I did, as a tech journalist, I wanted to understand what self-driving was all about. And so I think I benefited from it professionally, but as a driver, it's, it's nonsense. I Did
Leo Laporte (01:53:07):
You get fsd? You finally got it?
Larry Magid (01:53:09):
Oh yeah. I got the full, well, the full boat.
Leo Laporte (01:53:10):
And how is it work for you?
Larry Magid (01:53:13):
Sometimes <laugh>. I mean, it works, but you have to watch, put it this way, every driver has to be aware of their own potential mistakes and the mistakes of other drivers. Now I have to worry about that. Plus the mistakes of my car. And if you don't, you know, it can do some very outrageous things like, you know, zip into the wrong lane. Yeah. Or make a left turn from the right lane. Or light. Right Turn from the left lane. I mean, alsos of weird stuff.
Leo Laporte (01:53:38):
I paid $5,000 when I got my Tesla. Yeah. Model X which was six years ago and he never released it. So it was $5,000 out the window. I know those who have spent $15,000. Right. everybody has it now. Although this is an article. No,
Larry Magid (01:53:54):
You still have to buy it. You still have to buy. Everybody who bought it has access to it. But I think you still have to pay the, the 15 K or whatever it costs.
Leo Laporte (01:54:00):
Larry Magid (01:54:02):
I think so. Oh. If not, I got kind ripped off. I mean Yeah. If I did buy it, you still, you got really, the thing is you got really ripped off cuz you lease did. And so you had to return the car and got no value
Leo Laporte (01:54:12):
At all from it. Got nothing. And, and by the way, anybody who bought that car would not get
Larry Magid (01:54:16):
Right. You couldn't
Leo Laporte (01:54:17):
Even the value that I spent for $5,000, whoever got that car, or if I'd sold it myself, wouldn't get the it's per person. And
Larry Magid (01:54:25):
Here, the other thing that, that's crazy. It used to stay with the vehicle.
Leo Laporte (01:54:29):
It doesn't now though.
Larry Magid (01:54:30):
No. Yeah. And here's the other thing. It doesn't anymore if you buy a new te now at this point, I'm never gonna buy a Tesla. But I, I used to want to think, I used to think I was gonna buy a new Tesla at some point. If I did, I'd have to reinvest that all over again. I can't take my software with me like I can on my computer. Right. If I get a new pc, I can take Microsoft office with me to the new pc. Not, not full, not any Tesla software.
Leo Laporte (01:54:51):
So this article that is an
Larry Magid (01:54:53):
Leo Laporte (01:54:54):
Go ahead. This article from electric Fred Lambert writing says, I think what we would like to know is, and every self-driving vehicle, Waymo Cruise releases this information, but Tesla refuses to is the disengagement. Right. Re release data. Right. And the driver intervention data. In other words, how often do drivers have to take over? How often is
Larry Magid (01:55:18):
This? Every time In my case? Oh no. Literally almost every time I use it. Within about 15 minutes. Maybe I didn't have to take over. Maybe I could've just sat there and I would've survived. But something happens to scare me and, and, and to hit my, put my foot on the brake and to take over just cuz you know this, I'm not saying it would've crashed, but it certainly got, got close enough to scare me.
Leo Laporte (01:55:39):
The there is a group of Tesla F s d beta testers who have been self-reporting the data, according to this article the miles driven per disengagement have gone down by 54% since March. So it's getting smarter. Well wait a minute, but it currently sits around the same level. It was around this time last year, <laugh> not good. So it got dumber and then it got smarter. It's, it's actually the mi the overall miles per disengagement is actually getting worse. Oh, I'm sorry. Down. Yeah. Miles driven is down by 54%.
Larry Magid (01:56:13):
Say how many miles?
Leo Laporte (01:56:16):
I don't know what it's, again,
Jason Hiner (01:56:17):
It's essentially saying there are more disengagement per
Leo Laporte (01:56:20):
Mile I thinking
Jason Hiner (01:56:20):
Yeah. Which per mile. Which I think is not to, to put this in perspective. And I also, I have a Tesla model Y I did not buy F S D, but I did get the subscription where you paid $200 for it. So to, for the same reason Larry did is to test it as a tech journalist. I I think this isn't surprising in the sense that more and more people are are using it. Right. And so I, I think that that's not surprising. I think Oh right. You, you also have to take into account that you know, Twitter. So Twitter Tesla <laugh> is posting. See,
Leo Laporte (01:56:56):
There's the problem right there.
Jason Hiner (01:56:57):
I know it's confusing. I know. Yeah. It is confusing. Too many ts the, the, you know, Tesla is pushing this out way in front. I I wouldn't even call it beta. I'd call it more like Alpha software, right? Yeah, yeah. That, that they're pushing this out. So more people have access with lots of disclaimers and you also have to pass the, well, for most of the year you had to pass the test of being, you know, generally
Larry Magid (01:57:24):
Now it's easier. You don't have to be a safe driver
Jason Hiner (01:57:25):
Anymore. It is easier now, which is worse. Especially they've let, which makes it worse. Yeah. They've let less and less safe drivers into it throughout the year. And
Leo Laporte (01:57:34):
That's my problem. Cause I, I mean, it's fine with me if you guys wanna spend money on it, but I'm the beta tester. I'm the guy walking across the street in front of a Tesla or driving my car in a lane in the opposite direction. And I don't know, you know, you're using public highways and the rest of the world as your test and Yes, of course it's gonna get better. This stuff is neural network. It's gonna learn sure. The the, the self-reporting metric is a mere 72,000 miles compared to 60 million miles driven total by F s D Beta. So it is a small fraction. Yeah, that's my only complaint is it's fine. I just don't want to be the Guinea pig.
Larry Magid (01:58:15):
But on the highway it works great. I mean, I, I really love it on the freeway and I like the fact that it will stop at stop lights and stop signs. It is pretty good about that. It's pretty reliable. I use start again
Leo Laporte (01:58:25):
With like, I used their adaptive cruise control Right. And lane change capability. And that was, I, I stopped using the lane change. That one. You just, you you signal lane change, the car would do it. Right. It, it would cut off cars all the time. So I stopped doing that. And I always, you know, with this one you have to, the old one, you had to, to keep your hands on the wheel. You still do. You still do. You can't take your hands off the wheel. Well that's interesting. Cause both GM and Ford have a h free solution. Highways only though mapped highways only. Right. I think it's easier, easier in a highway. Stop signs red lights, green lights, pedestrians. But you
Larry Magid (01:58:57):
On succeeded in getting me, I'm, I, I don't know when I'm gonna buy a new car, but I doubt very much whether it's gonna be from him,
Leo Laporte (01:59:03):
You know? Well, if nothing else is bad for your reputation, <laugh>,
Larry Magid (01:59:07):
I'm thinking about putting that bumper sticker. You know, I bought it before I knew
Leo Laporte (01:59:10):
E mi Milano tweeted, I remember this. She tweeted, I'm getting rid of my Tesla and buying a vw. To which, to which somebody said, you mean you're gonna buy a car literally designed by Nazis <laugh>. Right, right. VW is no longer a Nazi owned. I, which I think it's safe to say, but
Larry Magid (01:59:31):
No, I think it's the opposite. The, the VWs designed the, not the Nazis designed the vw but they no longer worked there. When Elon designed the Tesla, I'm not sure he was a Nazi yet, but
Leo Laporte (01:59:40):
No. Yeah. But now, yeah.
Larry Magid (01:59:41):
And he's not truly a Nazi. He just, I don't know what he's, I the
Jason Hiner (01:59:44):
Thing to keep in mind with Tesla too is Elon lost interest in Tesla over two years ago. Right? Yeah. Like once they got the model three, and that was Elon, Elon is good at some things, let's be honest. Like he loves trying to put a lot of energy into big problems. Right. And he's very good at that. But when he lost interest in Tesla after they got the model three delivered, and since then it's really become an opera. They need the authorization operation, the lies, excuse me, this is kind of a level as a systems thing, right? They need to build systems that make cars for less money that put them in, you know local areas. That's why they built the the plant in Shanghai, the sha the plant in Berlin. They need to do all the things to become a great car company.
That's what they're working on now. And that's not a big problem that Elon needs to solve. So really, other people have been running Tesla for the past two to three years, and Elon has barely been involved. Right. He, he pulled back from the earnings calls. It was clear on the earnings calls at times. The, the C F O would kind of interrupt him and say, well actually here's sort of, you know, he would do it in the most polite politic way possible. But it was clear that Elon barely had been briefed on what Tesla was doing when you listened to him on earnings calls to be able to speak to it. And then other people picked up and really has done, have been doing the real work for, for years over at Tesla. And frankly, they've done some magnificent work. I I, I mean, I don't really, I'm not really a car person.
I've had the car for two years. It's the best car I've ever owned by far. Yeah, me too. And, and I really looked at I, I, it was really hard decision for me cuz I'd owned a Ford for like 20 years and loved Ford. And I had to choose between the Machi and the Tesla model Y and then the vw th their you know now I'm forgetting the name of it all of a sudden. Yeah. The and it took me about six months to kind of decide. And and now I, I would not I don't regret it at all. Like it was by far the one of the better decisions that
Larry Magid (02:01:49):
For that simple, when, when I bought mine, it'll be four, actually it's been four years. The decision was literally, I was debating between that and I, I can't remember what else. Some, I think a Honda had had a pretty interesting car out there. I, and I saw a newspaper article, which so totally what I already knew, which is that Tesla has software updates. And I thought to myself, I have never owned a car that isn't worse than it was the day I bought it. And the idea that my Tesla and your Tesla are better than they were when we bought them. Yeah. That's cool. My case four years ago is kind of cool. Yeah. Now that, that's probably gonna be true with all modern cars, I assume.
Leo Laporte (02:02:19):
I think because of over the year updates that almost all modern cars use. That's probably true.
Larry Magid (02:02:24):
But Tesla, were the first to make that happen.
Leo Laporte (02:02:25):
Larry Magid (02:02:26):
Agree. And I have a 2016 Prius, which still has the same G P s coordinate that it had when I bought it. Probably designed in 2014.
Leo Laporte (02:02:34):
You know, I loved my model X, my wife did not. I like my Ford Mae, which is electric and has many of the same features. It's kind of like a forg
Larry Magid (02:02:44):
Are they update it pretty often.
Leo Laporte (02:02:45):
Yeah. It gets over the air updates every few weeks. Yeah. Yeah. Good. so I think there's a lot to be said for, by the way, the name of the guy I was trying to remember is David Sachs, who was a vice VC at Craft Ventures. He's one of the so-called guys in the room with Jason Callis. And ba oh, I can't remember the other name. Chamath pta. These various people who are kind of advisors. One of them will al almost certainly become the ceo. Are
Larry Magid (02:03:15):
Any of them adult supervision?
Leo Laporte (02:03:16):
No, they're the worst. Just read David sex tweets. He's the worst. <Laugh>.
Larry Magid (02:03:21):
No, no, no. El
Leo Laporte (02:03:22):
I think he's egging. I think he's egging Elon on, to be honest with you. Shit.
Larry Magid (02:03:26):
I mean, at least Zuckerberg had cheryll Sandberg for a while. Yeah. I mean,
Leo Laporte (02:03:30):
Somebody there, my my guess is one of those guys will become CEO o of Twitter, and of course they're pawns of Elon in the long run, so it doesn't really much matter. He gets to do what he wants no matter what. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. Alright, I wanna take one more break and then I have like 40 stories, <laugh>, but they're all short that we haven't gotten to fire. Yeah. We'll just, we'll just do the rapid fire drill in just a bit with a wonderful panel. Jason Heiner founder of the Tech Republic. He's now editor-in-chief of zeti net. Just proof positive. Nice guys. Finish first. Sometimes con. Yeah. Sometimes very rarely, but are you a, are you a, are you a, a football, a soccer fan? Jason, you feel like you are?
Jason Hiner (02:04:09):
Leo Laporte (02:04:10):
Maybe it's cause of the hat. It's the
Jason Hiner (02:04:12):
Hat. Maybe. Maybe. Yeah. It is sort of European looking
Larry Magid (02:04:15):
Leo Laporte (02:04:15):
You look like a hooligan, a soccer hooligan. I just thought
Jason Hiner (02:04:18):
<Laugh>, I played baseball and basketball growing up and, and runner, you
Larry Magid (02:04:23):
Know, be careful. He might beat you up if you
Leo Laporte (02:04:25):
Larry Magid (02:04:25):
Excuse me, of being a soccer hooligan.
Leo Laporte (02:04:27):
It was a, it was it was of course a very exciting, I won't no spoilers World Fi World Cup final this morning. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. Well, at least the people who were fans tell me it was exciting. I'm not, wasn't that <laugh> To me it was like, it's a bunch of guys running around in their shorts and eventually something happened, but you know, I feel like I like Gridiron American football. We had two more, more exciting games yesterday in American football than we had in the World Cup final this morning. I don't know. So that's just my thought. Anyway, I'm waiting
Larry Magid (02:05:01):
Leo Laporte (02:05:02):
I'm with you. Yeah. Were you, were, were they all, like, all jumping up and down in Oaxaca? Were they shouting gold? Anything like that? No, nothing.
Larry Magid (02:05:11):
Leo Laporte (02:05:11):
No. Okay. I was thinking I should've watched it on un vik instead of on Fox. It might have been more, yeah. Might've been more exciting, even if I couldn't understand what they were saying.
Mike Elgan (02:05:20):
And I mean, the French must have been owned crazy right up till the end. I mean, it's, I've, I've seen big soccer matches while in in, in France and, and you can hear it across the town, all the screaming and yelling.
Leo Laporte (02:05:31):
Oh, I'm sure. I mean, it couldn't have been a better final between Argentina and France, two major soccer powers and fans. And I mean, it was very exciting watching Messy and a mbae. And that was,
Larry Magid (02:05:42):
Whenever I'm in Europe, I worry about what color shirt I'm wearing. Yes. Fear that somehow it's gonna offend the local fans. Are you in the
Leo Laporte (02:05:48):
Crypt of the bloods? That's what they
Larry Magid (02:05:49):
Yeah, I know. Yeah. It's dangerous.
Leo Laporte (02:05:51):
Anyway, I thought I'd mention that. Apparently no soccer fans here, so it's okay. I just was gonna give you some time to talk and, and, and jump up and down.
Larry Magid (02:06:00):
I, my, I I have too short of attention fan
Leo Laporte (02:06:03):
For soccer. Yeah. I mean, I can't watch baseball anymore, frankly.
Larry Magid (02:06:06):
Exactly. Same thing. Yeah.
Leo Laporte (02:06:07):
I need ex I need excitement every three seconds. <Laugh>. Right? It's not gonna happen. I need
Larry Magid (02:06:11):
Tiktok has ruined it all for us.
Leo Laporte (02:06:13):
Tiktok has ruined us for soccer. Our show today brought to you by Worldwide Technology and Intel Worldwide Technology, we talk about a lot. WWT is at the forefront of innovation, working with clients all over the world to transform their businesses. One of the reasons businesses love WW t is cuz yes, they're technologies. Yes, they understand this stuff, but they also understand business. And they they are very serious about business strategy. And they know that no technology makes any sense unless it fits your business strategy. Right? They, at the heart of WWT is this amazing advanced technology center. That's what Lisa and I went out to visit in March of 2020. The last trip we took when before Covid struck, we saw the a t and it is a mind boggling. It started in one small building with just a few racks. Now it's several buildings, mile after mile of racks, more than half a billion dollars in the top of the line.
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There were often a cage. They were air gaped from the rest of 'em. I said, what's over there? They said, that's where we do antivirus testing and virus testing. That's where we keep some of the most, the biggest threats to enterprise, because we've gotta understand them so we can protect you against them. That's, that's commitment. That's awesome. Wwts engineers and partners like you use the ATC to quickly spin up proofs of concept and pilots so the customers can confidently select the best solutions. And that means evaluation time can be cut from months to weeks. It means there's no mystery. You're not going in with your eyes closed, you know, eyes wide open. Exactly what these technologies are gonna do with the atc. You can test out products and solutions just like the engineers at ww t. You can access technical articles, you can a access in expert insights, demonstration videos, white papers, those hands on labs, and all the tools you need to help you stay up to date with the latest technology.
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Leo Laporte (02:11:34):
This is exciting. This is awesome. <Laugh> Manu Cornett was great. He, he, his claim to fame, he was the first engineer to be fired at Twitter. Shortly after. He was actually thrilled when Elon showed up with the sink. He said, oh, this is a guy with a sense of humor. He's a cartoonist. Of course he likes all that stuff. He says he, his thrill changed to dismay when he even gave Elon on one of those cartoons. It's pretty cool. Pretty,
Larry Magid (02:12:04):
The shame had happened during the tech downturn that there aren't a gazillion jobs for all these people because if didn't happened a couple years ago, they would all would've been rehired right away, hired right away by family.
Leo Laporte (02:12:12):
Well, I suspect still will. Yeah. Hopefully. Yeah. It is this, right now, there's such a shortage of engineers that I feel like they will You're right though. I mean, it's not the, it's not the four or 5,000 people from Twitter. It's the 11,000 from Facebook and
Larry Magid (02:12:27):
Leo Laporte (02:12:27):
Jason Hiner (02:12:28):
You know, Leo, can we take one second for reflection? I, I thought this was really interesting that you know, your, if I remember right, twit started spring of 2005, and one of the first big things was ww d c yeah. In, in that year. And at that ww d c in June, I think it was they announced the Intel transition. The, that was like the big news, right? Was the intel transition
Leo Laporte (02:12:59):
For Apple and
Jason Hiner (02:13:00):
Yeah. For Apple. And now we've come full circle. Who could have imagined that the, you know, this many years later now, Intel is actually advertising on Twitch <laugh>. Like, that's, that's, that's, that's pretty cool.
Leo Laporte (02:13:13):
I have to say. The best thing about this beat, and I'm sure you all agree, is that it's never boring. Oh no. You know if you're covering politics, it's kind of the same story over and over. If you're covering, you know, local politics is worse. But technology, it's kind of this best, best. Nobody dies. Nobody bleeds. So you don't have to go to a helicopter crash and, and, and call the family and ask for their reaction, which is the worst thing in local news. Mm. But, so it's not, but at the same time, it is important. It's changing the world. It's, it's, it's shaping our world. Yeah. So it's great. It's like the toy store, but it's still important. It's not like
Larry Magid (02:13:50):
It's metaphorical train wrecks
Leo Laporte (02:13:52):
Larry Magid (02:13:53):
When I got the LA Times gig in 1983, I called up a friend of mine and said, oh, good news and bad news. What's the good news? Good news that I'm now writing for the second biggest paper in America. That's the bad news. Oh, I've gotta write about computers. <Laugh>. And at the time, I really felt like, you know, I was a second class journalist. Oh. Cause I wasn't writing, and now everybody wants to be on the check. That's right. Mossberg, you know, came around from the state department's. That's what made me feel that Wal Mossberg went from the State Department to tack. I said, how, you know, maybe I, maybe I got somewhere, you know, I might be onto something here.
Leo Laporte (02:14:22):
<Laugh>, maybe <laugh> boy, big stories, quick ones. We'll get through these fast. Apple has apparently, according to puck News backed out of the negotiations for the N F NFL Sunday ticket. You remember that This was given up by DirecTV. They own it right now, a billion and a half a year according to Dylan Byers writing in Puck. Which I pay for, but I'm currently not logged into. So I can't show you the article. Apple has pulled out, but Amazon and Google still in the bidding. This is the, the NFL Sunday ticket is the right to show all the games on a Sunday. Direct TV used it to build subscription new subscribers. Bars especially wanted this access to this so they could show all the games, but it's very expensive. Billion and a half a year. Directv never made any money on, lost money on it.
But a company like Apple, Google, Amazon, it's not their business. It's a way of adding to their annual revenue per user, their arpu so they can build bid a lot more than a networks or a satellite company could ever build. So watch, now we'll see if Google or Amazon get it, Google would put it on their YouTube tv. Amazon would put it on Amazon Prime, presumably, where Thursday night football already lives, according to buyers stole Amazon. One of the problems was that the nf the Apple wanted to give it away. They wanted Apple TV plus subscribers to get it for free. And the NFL says, over our dead bodies, you're not giving away the crown jewel. All right, fine. Virtual pie reality, pioneer, John Carmack has had it with meta and has quit. He's joined Meta as Chief Technology Officer of Oculus when they acquired Oculus.
He quit in a huff, or at least a mi a minute and a huff. He old grouch of Marks joke. He said Meta, which is in the midst of transitioning from a social networking company to one focused on the immersive world of the Metaverse, was operating at half the effectiveness and has, quote, a ridiculous amount of people and resources. But we constantly self-sabotage and squander effort. He, he wrote in the Post which by the way, he says the Times is, is missing the context. And so he's posted the entire post publicly now. But he wrote, it's been a struggle for me. I have a voice at the highest levels here, so it feels like I should be able to move things, but I'm evidently not persuasive enough.
Mike Elgan (02:17:05):
And, and for the record, he's wasn't an employee. He was a consultant. I, I'm pretty sure. And so you know, I think, I think it's a combination of him changing, you know, his own personal career and also nobody, nobody's happy with the whole metaverse direction of Facebook, it seems. Yeah.
Leo Laporte (02:17:29):
Yeah. Nobody, I think that's probably, we were talking about my wife and I were talking about why Sheryl Sandberg left, and I said, well, ostensibly it's cuz she was getting married and had a new family and she wanted to spend more time with her money. But I think it must have also something to do with this new direction, which is really being promoted by Mark, but maybe not as well supported by the rest of the company. Yeah. He was an executive consultant for virtual reality. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. Yeah.
Mike Elgan (02:17:57):
Yeah. It's, it's, it's a weird thing because I mean, the, the, the Metaverse nomenclature is, I mean, it was always a dystopian concept. He, he turned it into the name, the branding of the company Meta and, and has been talking nonstop about it. But we're talking about virtual reality and augmented reality and things like that. All of that was always going to be inevitable. And Facebook, the, the biggest problem is just Facebook is not very good at it. So they can talk all they want. They can, they can squander billions, but they're, at the end of the day, they're just not very good at doing what Mark Zuckerberg calls a metaverse.
Larry Magid (02:18:34):
Yeah. It depends on whether they, it depends on what you look at. I mean, it's, it's not clear to me whether, whether Meta is a application developer or a platform. So, and they're only both, right? So Horizon Worlds, for example, doesn't, isn't doing very well. But VR Chat and other, there are products on the, on the Quest platform that do reasonably well, I mean, are actually very well done. So it, it may turn out that as a platform, they actually aren't that bad. But they've got some problems with a, with their own apps. I have to admit. And, and again, full disclosure, I actually wrote some of their safety guides. So we work with them as well. Get a great safety team. I'll tell you, I'll say that much about them. But, but I think it's a platform. I I, I I think it's too early to judge. Yeah. And of course they, they, they may acquire or somehow make some, you know, horizon rules may get better. Let's hope it does
Leo Laporte (02:19:27):
His final words in his post, enough complaining, I'm worried of the fight and have my own startup to run. But the fight is still winnable. VR can bring value to most of the people in the world. And no company is better positioned to do it than meta. Maybe it is actually possible to get there by just plowing ahead with current practices. But there's plenty of room for improvement. Make better decisions and fill your products with give a damn
Mike Elgan (02:19:53):
Notice, he said vr, right? Yeah. So the, you know, the problem is that ar is gonna be ba vastly bigger than vr and Apple is gonna completely cross own that market. I think vr I mean, ar
Larry Magid (02:20:06):
Ar is gonna be huge. Yeah. It makes a lot more sense. And, and of course Matt is gonna go there too. The question is whether they go there fast enough
Leo Laporte (02:20:12):
In a way they have, I have the Oculus Pro or the Quest Pro, they do made the $1,600 one. Yeah, call me crazy. But because it has good color cameras in the front, you can, you know, you can see stuff. In fact, they have some good games you ar games involving.
Larry Magid (02:20:28):
It's a shame that the, I have the Quest Pro too, and it is eons better than the, than the Quest two. And it's a shame that the only way to get the really, really good one is they have to pay $1,500. Well,
Leo Laporte (02:20:37):
Maybe it's just that expensive to make. I
Larry Magid (02:20:39):
Mean, yeah, no, hopefully it'll come down. I think it will. But
Leo Laporte (02:20:42):
Apple, it's rumored when they do release their augmented reality headset. And the rumor is they'll do it next year, late in the year. But, but that it'll cost around $3,000. It's not gonna be
Larry Magid (02:20:55):
Cheap. Yeah. That's nonstarter.
Leo Laporte (02:20:57):
Well it's a developer tool at that point, right? Nobody It
Mike Elgan (02:21:00):
Is. And so
Larry Magid (02:21:00):
With Holo, so, so with Google, they all are. Yeah. Really. Yeah. You know
Leo Laporte (02:21:07):
Let's see what else here? Instagram, which has long had a problem with hacked accounts, but never admitted it, I think has finally launched a new tool to help hack users. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> regain account access. So, okay, you go to instagram.com/hacked. This happens a lot. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> far too often. And maybe it's the fault of the users who aren't turning on two factor or whatever, but I'm, I'm, you know, this is the problem with these giant free services. They don't ha you know, because they make no money on you, they don't really have the incentive to give you any support at all. So when your Google account is hacked or your Facebook account is hacked, or your Insta account is hacked, good luck. You know, you're, you're dealing with a giant robot bureaucracy. So I'm, I hope that this makes a difference. That's great.
I hear from a lot of people who get hacked. Net Netflix is giving money back to advertisers. Remember they launched an ad supported tier. Well, so they have a lower cost to people. Well, apparently it's not taken off like crazy. Netflix is only delivered roughly 80% of the expected audience according to some agencies, five agency executives talking to Digiday. And so they're given some of that money back. That's the normal practice. We do it too. In, in media, if you don't reach the numbers, you have to give the money back. I don't know if it's a long-term problem with an ad supported version of Netflix. It's still pretty new. I, I pay the ridiculous, what is it, $15 a month now? It's, yeah. It's outrageous. I
Larry Magid (02:22:48):
Just can't, yeah. I mean, I, I have ad support and I have, you know, ad free versions of just about everything I get because I've just gotten conditioned to not have to watch ads and on television, on broadcast television. I could skip the ads. I know ads that support you, Leo. I understand that. But you know, on broadcast, I've got a, I've got a dvr. You
Leo Laporte (02:23:05):
Can skip the ads on our show, Larry. It's okay.
Larry Magid (02:23:08):
Oh no, I love your ad. I
Leo Laporte (02:23:10):
Allow you <laugh> it called
Larry Magid (02:23:12):
Club's relatively interesting to listen to. So
Leo Laporte (02:23:14):
<Laugh>, it's called Club TWITLarry. Yeah. But that's honestly, that's why we started Club Twit cuz I thought there are people who don't want to hear ads and so I want to give them a chance to, to hear our shows without ads and, but we need to monetize somehow. Right. The club twiz stuff pretty well, I think.
Larry Magid (02:23:29):
Well that's exactly what Netflix, I mean that's exactly what, what a lot
Leo Laporte (02:23:31):
I guess it is, is the ad-free version
Larry Magid (02:23:33):
Only with the other way.
Leo Laporte (02:23:34):
Right. They started with the ad-free version. We're starting, we started with the ad version. Yeah. Maybe it's a little easier to get people to pay for something first. It's said to be very difficult to get people to pay for something they're getting for free. I would say, I don't know what the exact percentage is, but it's something like 2% or less of our audience pays for it. I'd love to get that to a, a higher number frankly. You say,
Larry Magid (02:23:57):
You say nobody ever pay for television or water.
Leo Laporte (02:23:59):
Right. And we do both. We do both. Yeah. Yeah. So maybe that's good. That's encouraging. If we could get to 5%, we wouldn't need advertisers. That's all. It would take 5% of the people who listen to pay for it. I'm sure it's going up all the time though. It is, it's a con. Probably never stops going up. It consistent build. And what I do is I make people feel really guilty and <laugh> it works. I've decided if it works for public broadcasting, I I oughta do pledge nights and you know, have a phone bank of operators or taking your, all you gotta do is go to club TWIT<laugh> Twitter tv slash club twit. I'm terrible at this. $7 <laugh>. It's a buck less than a blue check on, on Twitter. And you get ad free versions for all of our shows. You get the Discord, which is actually a wonderful place to hang out. I know, I know. Some of you are in there and it's, I see you once in
Larry Magid (02:24:49):
A while. I'll pay you $8. Will you gimme a, will you gimme a check mark?
Leo Laporte (02:24:51):
At least I will give you anything you want. In fact, if you want I'll give all three of you. It's a standing offered any of our contributors to have a free access to the Discord, which is a great place. Great. A great place to talk. And we do have for Yeah, you if you wanna pay for it. A couple. Jeff pays for it. I think a couple people pay for it. Yeah, I do too. Yeah. Thank you. I appreciate it. It really does help us out. And we have some shows that we don't put out in public, like hands on Windows and hands on Macintosh and the Untitled Linux show that it's club only. We've got some, actually some Space. Space. No, that's, that's a good example of a show this vacant space that started in the club. That's right. Sell advertising. We put it out in public and now it's doing so well. We're gonna do give 'em video. So we it's like a farm program. Yeah. We've decided it's better to start that way. Start small and work its way up, then launch it and then have to cancel it because it's too expensive to do. I don't have venture capital. I have to <laugh>, I don't have anybody putting money in the pocket. So we gotta figure that out.
Larry Magid (02:25:47):
You actually have reality to deal with here. Like it's good VC power.
Leo Laporte (02:25:51):
You know, I, I have friends at Revision three and they got, I don't know, not a small amount of money, like $7 million in vc. Yeah. And they spent it very quickly. And I'm just, I've always felt grateful that I didn't have that. Cuz it's hard to know. What if you got 7 million burning a hole in your pocket, you don't know what you need right now. I'd much rather bootstrap it. So that's what we,
Larry Magid (02:26:09):
You don't have 44 billion to buy official media company. No. I wish. Oh, would a shame.
Leo Laporte (02:26:13):
I wish it's cost about three and a half million dollars a year to run twit with staff, electricity, rent, all of that stuff. So that's gonna be amazing. We only, Lisa and I only take a salary if we make more than three and a half million a year. And frankly this year it's <laugh>. I think it's right at 3.4 million. It's a little bit low. That's why we're
Larry Magid (02:26:32):
Push We'll do a GoFundMe page for you later.
Leo Laporte (02:26:34):
I just, we need the club that's all coming up. Thursday, January 12th project Hail Mary and the book club with Stacy. There's gonna be an inside twit. Lisa and I will talk about those numbers and more with our club members on January 19th. Wintu Dao is doing a fireside chat on the ninth. We just had one with Glen Fleischman, which went really, really well. And I think we're gonna try to get Manu in there and a few other people to join us in our club events. So this is, we're trying to make it more of a fun place to hang out thanks to Aunt Pru at our community manager. So we're just, we're doing what we can. We're doing what we can. And and I want Netflix to succeed. I absolutely absolutely do. And I, I mean, I don't mind paying 15 point 99 a month. They have good stuff. What did I just watch? Oh, bullet trainers free on it. I would've paid more renting it on Apple if I had known. So it's a good thing I I saw it on Netflix. Have
Larry Magid (02:27:25):
You ever paid for a movie and then found out you could have streamed it for free
Leo Laporte (02:27:28):
Every time? I, it's completely chance that I saw that was on Netflix. I was about to buy it. <Laugh>. Yeah. Every time. Yeah. I think, I think we're done. I think I, I think there's other things, but I think we've talked about everything.
Larry Magid (02:27:45):
Well, I have something to say if I can. I have a
Leo Laporte (02:27:47):
Shit. Oh, you've got some, you've got some stuff to give away.
Larry Magid (02:27:50):
I'm giving away money. So, you know, as you know, I, I, I'm c o Connect Safely and we are the official US host of Safer Internet Day. And maybe I'll come back in February and talk about that.
Leo Laporte (02:27:59):
Please do. You you have a, an invitation to do that. But
Larry Magid (02:28:01):
Normally what we would do back before the pandemic, we'd have these really big events where we'd spend tens of thousands of dollars and we'd bring in people like Kabbala Harris and Cheryl Sandberg. And, you know, a hundred, 300 kids from a community would all come in. Well, we're not doing that this year. Instead we're giving out a thousand dollars grants to teachers around the country to educate. Nice.
Leo Laporte (02:28:20):
Larry Magid (02:28:20):
They can put on a local event and we will give them everything they need. Powerpoints, videos, lesson planned discussion points, everything they need.
Leo Laporte (02:28:27):
I love that idea.
Larry Magid (02:28:28):
To deliver the event and a thousand bucks to incentivize them or print material or buy pizza or whatever they need. All they need to go is go to connect safely.org. Get on the front page, you'll see a blog post. You click on that, it takes you to an application. 10 minutes on Google. Now we're not gonna, we're not gonna give everybody, it's, it's a competitive program, but there are still some slots open there. So if people wanna apply we'd be happy to look at your application. And we're really trying to get a diverse group. I mean, from around the country, we're hoping to get maybe some tribal schools to sign up. We really want to get a lot of schools around the country doing these programs and we've raised some money to be able to to, to subsidize
Leo Laporte (02:29:07):
It. I like that. I think that's a great way to use that money is to go directly to the, the schools and help them do that education
Larry Magid (02:29:15):
And the money comes from all those companies we've been talking about.
Leo Laporte (02:29:17):
Yeah, I see it right here at the bottom. You got Meta, Google, Amazon Kids, Twitch, TikTok, Snapchat, discord. Thank you. Discord, Roblox Trend Micro the N Ct A, the internet and and Television Association Meet Group and Z Petto. So De
Larry Magid (02:29:34):
Petto, which is a Korean company.
Leo Laporte (02:29:35):
Oh, nice. Yeah. Very good. Wonderful. You know what, they should put money into that. They do. That's fantastic. Connect safely.org. Larry is the president and c e o and does a great job there. Spending I think more time there now, now that you don't do as much radio and stuff. That's right. I think that's fantastic.
Larry Magid (02:29:53):
But we actually do have two, we have the Connect Safely report on CBS b s News Radio. So we still have a Oh, good. Silver radio show. Yeah, it's not, not as much. Do
Leo Laporte (02:30:00):
Larry Magid (02:30:01):
That? I do. It's one minute long, Phil. Perfect.
Leo Laporte (02:30:04):
Length. If I could do a one minute show, I would never have <laugh>. Thank
Larry Magid (02:30:10):
You for the works we call it.
Leo Laporte (02:30:11):
Yeah. Thank you for the work you do, Larry. I really I think it's important. It's great. Thank you.
Larry Magid (02:30:16):
Leo Laporte (02:30:16):
Mike Elgan. The wind has been kicking up in Oaxaca. The sun has gone down.
Mike Elgan (02:30:21):
Leo Laporte (02:30:22):
It's a beautiful night. What are you gonna do with the rest of your evening?
Mike Elgan (02:30:26):
I have no idea. We're actually flying back to California tomorrow. Not to docs myself, but
Leo Laporte (02:30:31):
<Laugh>, what's what's the
Larry Magid (02:30:32):
Tail? The tail number? Yeah.
Mike Elgan (02:30:33):
Yeah. <Laugh>. Yeah. I'll, I'll be getting my tail number back to California tomorrow. No, but it's we're gonna probably go out and just do Oaxaca. It's a nonstop party as you know, in this Good Night To is such a cool place. I love went to a, went to a big big event last night that was really fantastic. And we just finished the Oaxaca experience a few days ago. So that was really, really fun.
Leo Laporte (02:30:55):
Gastro no man net. I I've done the Oaxaca experience and I will never have a better time eating better food than hanging out with Mike and Amira. You probably sold out on some of these. What, what's the next opening you've got here?
Mike Elgan (02:31:11):
Well, let's see. Mexico City sold out in April. And then I think Provence is the first one in, in June, late June. That one still, I believe has a few rooms available if you wanna sign up. And I highly recommend that one. Oh boy. And then Prosecco after that. And it's just, we're, it's just become, I mean, it's, it's really, really pos popular nowadays. We, we have people repeating, not only doing multiple events, but now people are repeating the same event they already did. So we had some people on this one that did Oaxaca last year.
Leo Laporte (02:31:45):
It's so funny. I know, I know. Every one of these people. It's hysterical. Yeah. yeah, you get a lot of repeats, but they're great people that you want to hang out with. A lot of them Twit listeners. Yeah. So much fun. So much fun. And
Mike Elgan (02:31:59):
It's a small group. And yeah, it's a pretty small group. This, this hockey experience was 14 people, which is the biggest one we've ever done. But normally they range from, you know, six to 10 or something like that. And it's a, it is a really nice, tight knit group. And and I thank you for letting me talk about it, Leo, but can I tell you one other exciting piece of news? Yes. Over in Chatterbox territory, which Oh yes. Ke Kevin's innovating like crazy over there. And he's doing this thing at he, you know, you can check it out at home. Oh,
Leo Laporte (02:32:26):
Wait a minute. Chatter box. He's doing AI art with Cheddar
Mike Elgan (02:32:28):
Leo Laporte (02:32:29):
Yes. Oh wow.
Mike Elgan (02:32:31):
Rolling, rolling out in the first quarter, even though he's essentially built it already. But basically the kids will build the skill and the skill builder, and then they do it with voice. So they top the button and they give the text prompts by voice. Oh, cool. And then the pictures, the pictures show up in the skill builder. Oh, is
Leo Laporte (02:32:50):
So cool. Gee. Oh, that's one way to engage kids. Holy cow. They're gonna have so much fun.
Mike Elgan (02:32:55):
Yeah. And he's making it safe so they can't do objectionable content or anything like that. He's got a really good engine for doing that already. And so this is a way for kids, because whole, the ultimate purpose of chatterbox is to teach AI literacy, which is very, very important. And this is, this is what's happening in ai, AI right now is AI art. So it's really cool stuff. I have
Larry Magid (02:33:17):
You reach out to me cuz we love to promote, you know, especially smaller companies.
Leo Laporte (02:33:21):
Yeah. Oh, this is a good one for you.
Larry Magid (02:33:22):
We won't hit 'em up for money. We just like to
Leo Laporte (02:33:24):
Promote 'em. No, this is a really good one for you. Hello chatterbox.com. Yeah. Yeah. I wish that op the chat G p t could be, you know. Yeah. That is a great tool. It's so much smarter than Echo or Amazon echo or Google Voice or hell of a lot smarter than Siri. Yeah. I know it's expensive to run, but boy, it'd be really cool if you could, I think it's just a matter of time Yeah. Before the voice assistants start being as smart as Jet g
Mike Elgan (02:33:50):
P t. Right. The big, the big thing chat g p t lacks is realtime information. Yes. It's old. And so everything, everything is already in the database. And, and so people might think that Chatterbox, for example, is you know, kind of a, a a, a much lesser version of and has less capabilities than Alexa or whatever, but it doesn't, you could, kids can build skills and get the weather to get all this real time information using APIs and teaches 'em how APIs work, work, which is really important. And you can, you can actually do more things with chatterbox theoretically than you can with Siri or Google Voice or any of these. Yeah.
Leo Laporte (02:34:26):
Yeah. It uses its own Chatter blocks language, which is a customized version of Google Blockly there. Yep. Yep. Really, really, really neat stuff.
Mike Elgan (02:34:34):
Leo Laporte (02:34:35):
Ugh, I love it, man. I, yeah. You know, sometimes I think if I retire I should, I should become a school teacher cuz there's so many great things now you can do with your kids.
Jason Hiner (02:34:44):
It's called Working that.
Leo Laporte (02:34:45):
Mike Elgan (02:34:45):
Yeah, it's called Working. God,
Jason Hiner (02:34:46):
That's not working. You teach every day. What you,
Leo Laporte (02:34:49):
What am I saying? Yeah, I guess
Mike Elgan (02:34:51):
Kevin is looking for, I'm sorry, Kevin is looking for beta testers, so who are teachers? Nice. and so if you're a teacher reach out hello chatterbox.com s and he'd love to hear from
Leo Laporte (02:35:01):
You. Oh, that's great. Oh, that's really great. Yeah. Right. Jason Heiner, editor-in-chief zd net. You got a big job, but you're doing a great one. I think ZD Net has gotten better over the years. Thank you so much. Thank you for, for doing such an excellent job there. Thank you. What do anything you wanna plug?
Jason Hiner (02:35:17):
So I will plug something for the audience. One of the things that we've did, we've done over the last few days at the end of last week was you know, there's this myth that the biggest shopping of the day of the year is is Black Friday, but it's actually the Saturday before Christmas. Oh. Of tho days last minute leading up to it. Yeah.
Leo Laporte (02:35:39):
Yeah, because Saturday's is Christmas Eve, so that's when I shop Christmas Eve. Yes.
Jason Hiner (02:35:44):
Leo Laporte (02:35:44):
Around eight, 8:00 PM Christmas Eve <laugh>.
Jason Hiner (02:35:46):
Right. So we did last Best LA you had it up on the screen. Best last Minute Tech gifts. I need these. There. So we had all of our editors on, we did a live stream and we had them come on and talk about Oh cool. Our, our picks. So our team's been scouring the best deals for the past month and and also lining that up with some of the products that were our favorite ones that we got our hands on this year. So not all of these are ones we got our hands on, but most of them are ones that we tested. So we found the best deals on our favorite products of the year. And put this list together of like, nice, here's some really good options for you if you're looking for those last minute yeah. Gifts for, for somebody to find, get them some useful stuff that's gonna really be good and that they're gonna be
Leo Laporte (02:36:33):
Happy with. There's only six shopping days left kids zdnet.com. It's right there on the front page. And yes sir. Thank you so much, Jason, Mike, Larry, I consider you three of my best friends, my best buddies, and it's a great way to end our year with thank you with this shit. What
Jason Hiner (02:36:53):
A pleasure for being here. It was a lot of fun today.
Leo Laporte (02:36:55):
Yeah. It's always a good conversation when you get smart people on talking about Elon Musk. What can go wrong? <Laugh>. <laugh>. Let's
Jason Hiner (02:37:03):
Not do that too much next.
Leo Laporte (02:37:04):
No, no, no. I don't wanna do anymore. I'm done. I'm so done. If only, if only we do twit of course, on Sundays. Now I gotta tell you normally we do a Sunday, Sunday two to 5:00 PM Eastern or rather Pacific Time, five to 8:00 PM Eastern Time. That's 2200 UTC next week it's Christmas. We are not gonna make anybody do a show with us on Christmas. We've already recorded our Christmas episode. Lot of fun with the old, the old Coots Doc Surles, Steve Gibson, Paul Throt, Jeff Jarvis and I get together and kind of yell at the clouds, talk about the year in in history. And then the following week is the best of some of the best clips from the year 2022. We will though be back January 8th for our first return to the live format.
So I hope you'll come back. Then two to 5:00 PM Eastern, I mean Pacific here on Sunday. So you can watch live at live twit tv. There's a live video stream. There's also a live audio stream there. Chat with us email@example.com and I imagine the IRCs not gonna go away during the holidays. So if you get a little lonely, go on into the irc or if you're a member of Club Twit, the Discord, I'll be hanging out in both from time to time, waving hello and so forth. You can, you can don't, don't feel alone. There's geeks ready and willing to talk to you. <Laugh> in the chats <laugh> join us. We also of course have all of our shows available after the fact on the website, twit tv. There's YouTube Channel four this week in Tech and many of our other shows.
Best thing to do, subscribe in your favorite podcast player. You'll get it automatically the minute it's available. So I guess I will be here this week. We're gonna have our usual shows. We don't go into best of mode until after twit next Sunday. And then we'll be in best of mode all that week. So I will see you on Tuesday. I'll be back Tuesday with Mac Break Weekly and according of course, in, in three weeks for this Weekend Tech. Thanks everybody. If I don't see you between now and the holidays, have a happy Hanukkah tonight. Happy Christmas, right. Happy New Year and we'll see you in the new year on twi. Take care, everybody. Another Twit is in the can!