This Week in Tech Episode 923 Transcript
Please be advised this transcript is AI-generated and may not be word for word. Time codes refer to the approximate times in the ad-supported version of the show.
Jason Howell (00:00:00):
Coming up next on this week in tech. It's me, Jason Howell, filling in for Leo one last time. I promise Leo's gonna be back next week. We've got Aunt Pruitt, we've got Dan Patterson and Jason Heiner, and we have a fantastic episode. Lots of news to talk about subs notes. How does it compare to Twitter? Does it even compare to Twitter at all? We talk about that. Also, the rules around AI and how many different go governments and countries around the world are quickly approaching this point where they feel they need to put some guardrails around the direction of the development of ai. Is it warranted? We talk about that morale at meta, not doing so hot. WW d c and Apple's reality headset. Are we actually gonna see it in a couple of months? Mark Erman seems to think that we will. And computer magazines, we shed a single tier. They are no more. This week in Tech is next
TWIT intro (00:00:58):
Podcasts you love from people you trust. This is twit twit twi.
Jason Howell (00:01:09):
This is twit this week in Tech. Episode 923 Recorded Sunday, April 16th, 2023. Intelligence explosion. This episode of this Week in Tech is brought to you by Collide. Collide is a device trust solution that ensures that if a device isn't secure, it can't access your apps, it's zero trust For Okta, visit collide.com/twit and book at demo today. And by Cisco Meraki with employees working in different locations, providing a unified work experience seems as easy as herding cats. How do you reign in so many moving parts? Well, the Meraki Cloud Managed Network. Learn how your organization can make hybrid work work. Visit meraki.cisco.com/twit And by decisions, don't let complexity block your company's growth decisions. No code rules driven process automation software provides every tool needed to build custom workflows, empowering you to modernize legacy systems, ensure regulatory compliance, and renew the customer experience. Visit decisions.com/twit to learn how automating anything can change everything. And by express vpn, if you don't like big tech tracking you and selling your personal data for profit, it's time to fight back. Get three extra months free with a one year package by going to express vpn.com/twi.
It's time for twit this week in tech week three of Leo's absence this week. It is I Jason Howell sitting in for Leo. So if you are waiting for Leo to suddenly return in his Doctor Evil chair, don't worry. Don't have to wait much longer. Next week's episode, Leah will be back and we've got a great episode next week in store for you guys. But I'm not gonna talk about that. I'm gonna talk about our awesome episode that we have today because this is kind of one of the benefits that we have here. When, when I or Micah or any other, you know, person sits down in the host chair for this week in tech, we get to decide who do we wanna do the show with. And I gotta say, today's panel kind of fell together. I think initially maybe I had already booked you Dan Patterson possibly on this episode. And thanks. So, and that was the beginnings of this. But first of all, welcome to the show, Dan Patterson. It's great to have you back,
Dan Patterson (00:03:43):
<Laugh>. It's great to be here.
Jason Howell (00:03:44):
Yeah, it's good. And also kind of on the heels of some some, some changes in your professional life. If you wanna talk about that for a second, tell us what's going on.
Dan Patterson (00:03:55):
Yeah, so I was in fact, I, I started my CBS career with Jason Heiner also on this panel years ago. And I left CBS to work for a cybersecurity company last summer. And then was like so many tech people was laid off a couple weeks ago. And, and then I'm, I'm like a reprise now writing about AI and conducting interviews with AI thought leaders for Jason Heiner and doing some work for Fortune Magazine for Twit and a few other outlets. So, yeah. It's, yeah, I mean, it's, it's so many I think it's, it's a huge story, this change in our economy, not just with tech but the tech economy has, has the New York Times had a great story written today by Aaron Griffith about the changes in the tech economy and in Silicon Valley. And it's, look, it's not something personal to me. It, it's impacted so many people that it's it's existential but it's also, you know, there are practical problems to solve. And great podcasts to come on, like twit.
Jason Howell (00:05:00):
Yeah, there you go. Well, I'm sorry about the the changes in force of transition. No one likes change, but really happy we can get you on today and that's great
Dan Patterson (00:05:11):
To be here.
Jason Howell (00:05:12):
Yeah. Bring you back. So anyways, my story, Dan, you were booked for this, then suddenly I'm hosting this episode and then it's great. Jason Heiner, you come along and I'm like, okay, well you've gotta be on this panel. So Jason Heiner zd net editor in chief, great to see you, Jason. Just to make things a little bit more complicated, cuz now there's two Jason's on today's panel.
Jason Hiner (00:05:33):
Yeah, yeah. A pleasure. And when you told me, Hey Dan and aunt are gonna be on, I'm like, absolutely, if would hang out with all, all of you, y'all. But I did say, but I have to let you know, Dan's gonna be starting season, you know, <laugh>
Jason Howell (00:05:47):
Didn't know that
Jason Hiner (00:05:49):
Contributing to zdi net for me. And so, you know, thank you for letting us, you know, have half the panel here. Yeah. Man. From, from from zdi net. But yeah, al always a pleasure. And and Dan's always been amazing. I followed Dan for many years before we even became friends. And then ha was lucky enough to hire him when I worked at CBS Interactive and tech Republic. Yes. and then and, and now, you know, here we are again. And also just great to get to hang out with with Dan, with, with you Jason, and of course with our good buddy Aunt Pruit too. That's right. I also hired at one point.
Jason Howell (00:06:27):
I know that's true. That's true. And this is, this is why I spell out the story, because as the pieces started to fall into place, then I was like, well, t's gotta be on this episode because he's worked with both of these guys and knows them very well. So Aunt Pruitt is here put that TV slash hands-on photography or hop but, you know club Twit manager this week in Google, I mean, doer of so many things here at twit, and also good friend. And it's great to see you
Ant Pruitt (00:06:54):
And also known as the non-professional here on this week's panel.
Jason Howell (00:06:58):
<Laugh>. <laugh>. Wait a minute, why do you call yourself a non-professional? You're, you're a professional podcaster. That's all I am.
Ant Pruitt (00:07:05):
Just the regular, just the regular guy. Here's gonna sit here and rant every now and then and, and have a few jaded moments, but I enjoy talk tech with these guys and it on. I'll be brief, but just, just want to get it out there. These two gentlemen, man, they mean so much to me. Mr. Patterson has been a mentor, whether he wants to accept that or not. Yeah. He's been a mentor to me for several years now. And then I always have much love for Mr. Heiner because he took a shot on me and, and, and said, you know what? Yeah. Come over here and give us, give us some, some stuff to write. And, and I was just, oh, I love you guys.
Dan Patterson (00:07:42):
Jason Hiner (00:07:44):
<Laugh> you, you, you paid that back more, you know, in spades and like what you're, you know, with the great work you do, like you, you came and when when we hired you to, to write some, some stuff for Tech Republic and to work for us, like, you know, you hustled so much and did so much. Yeah. you know, great work communicating and so glad that, you know, it opened more doors for you. Well deserved. And obviously the work that you're doing at TWIT now you know, awesome as well. Just right in your wheelhouse too.
Ant Pruitt (00:08:11):
Thank you so much. Well,
Jason Howell (00:08:13):
You're all awesome. Each and every one of you is awesome. This is why, this is why this panel needed to happen.
Jason Hiner (00:08:22):
Also, Jason Howell and I worked together at cnet.
Jason Howell (00:08:25):
Yeah, I know. Before
Jason Hiner (00:08:26):
That as well.
Jason Howell (00:08:26):
True. This is, that's true. True. Well, and well, Dan, I guess you were at CBS here. I'm trying to think. I was at CED until like 2010, I think they think September, 2010 is when I left. Were you at CBS b? When I was at cnn,
Dan Patterson (00:08:40):
I went to, I went to Tech Republican in 2015 CNET in 2018. And CBS a little bit later. I was air quotes embedded at CBS b S News a couple months later. And so I worked outta the broadcast center, but I was at I split my time with CNET and then full CBS in 2020.
Jason Howell (00:08:59):
Okay. So you were a little bit later than my time there, but I kind of, I, I consider you and I <laugh> coworkers to a certain degree. Remember?
Dan Patterson (00:09:07):
That's cnet. Like if you, if you work for cnet, like you always worked for cnet.
Jason Howell (00:09:11):
Yeah, very true. Very, very true. Well, it's great to get y'all on here. We're gonna have a lot of fun talking about some of the stories from the past week thought we'd start with ck as, as just, I mean, we could have started with AI and honestly, I almost started with ai, but then I was like, I feel like every show starts with AI these days. So let's start with something else. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> and then end up in ai. Cuz that's just where everything's headed here. But ck of course everybody on this panel very familiar with it. Dan, I know that you have a CK now kind of as part of your, your new thing. This is the newsletter platform that everybody's pretty familiar with now. Has a new feature called notes, which in I don't know, in many ways from what I've read, what I've seen of the interface and everything strikes some similarity with a little social network.
We're familiar with Twitter, it rolled out to users on Tuesday. Let's just start with that. Cause there are other directions that this goes that get a little bit more complicated. But prior to all that, how, well, Dan, let's start with you cuz you're the one that's, that's kind of writing content for ck for your own ck what do you think of notes? Have you checked it out? Do you feel like it's any sort of threat to anything that Twitter or other social networks have going on? My guess is no, but I'll start
Dan Patterson (00:10:30):
Jason Howell (00:11:23):
Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> either you aunt or Jason have, have either of you used notes or, I
Ant Pruitt (00:11:31):
Don't know. I'm not the, I'm not the prime candidate because I don't follow a lot of newsletters. Yeah. but when I logged into it and, and took a look at it, I was like, wow, this is a really pretty Twitter. It it, it looked just like a Twitter clone, except it was orange and black instead of blue and Black <laugh>. It, it, and I wondered about that far as would there be some type of, I don't know any, is there anything infringing far as how Twitter has their, their app, their service and platform put together versus what CK did here? Because you, you really couldn't tell the two apart unless you look at logos or, or color scheme or what have you. And far as it replacing Twitter no, I don't, I don't know if anything's gonna do that. We, we've been talking about the Twitter alternative, the Instagram alternative, the Facebook alternative for a decade now. All those cats are still here for a reason. <Laugh>, it's, it can't be done. It's
Jason Howell (00:12:29):
Easy to jump to the question, will this replace Twitter in this day and age, you know, year 2023, primarily because we've got all the, the Elon Musk drama to kind of fuel that question, right. <Laugh>? Yeah. It's like, well, Twitter has, you know, doesn't seem like it's been doing itself any favors or favors. Surely there's someone that's gonna swoop in and take the you know, take, take what's left and and divert people over there,
Ant Pruitt (00:12:54):
You know. But even with the exodus of people or so-called exodus of people leaving Twitter there's still just as many active users going on day in and day out. Oh, sure. And some of those are, some of those are still high profile accounts or celebrities or what have you because it's, it's fine for broadcasting, if you will. So they didn't go anywhere. All the ads left were not all the ads, all of the, some of the top brands left because they didn't want to be associated with it. But Twitter's still just ticking along because it's just a useful platform for people.
Dan Patterson (00:13:29):
Yeah, I have some challenges with that. I, I mean, like, I don't, I feel like, I mean, Musk is a controversial figure for a lot of reasons, but I do feel like using it is a, a little like you're giving Tast permission to some of his behavior and Uhhuh <affirmative> I, I, you know, I, I don't know that I come down on this as like a, like a binary, like, it, it is absolute one way or the other. But I, I certainly can empathize with that point of view. I deleted all of my tweets just because I, I, I auto delete everything and I haven't posted in several months. But I, I continue to log in and, and check it. Although I think the, this new algorithm on the for You section at least is, is kind of made a lot of the, the news features of Twitter fairly worthless. So it's very hard for me to see the, the mm-hmm. <Affirmative> news updates that I was pretty accustomed to.
Ant Pruitt (00:14:23):
Jason Hiner (00:14:25):
Yeah. I, you know, Twitter, boy, it's a, it's a tough one right now cuz I, I do think Twitter in one sense is a, is a, is a caterpillar that's trying to become a butterfly. And nobody knows exactly what that butterfly is or what it looks like or where they're going. I, I'm not sure becoming mom knows, I think <laugh> it might be becoming a mo <laugh>. That's fair. I think that the, the interesting thing that developing kind of some sharp elbows, which, which, you know, Musk is renowned for in his other companies too. You know, he, he has some sharp elbows, like if people criticize and he feels like it's unfair, like he w he like, you know, hits back twice as hard. And I think that, that, that served some of the businesses that he's in. Well cuz people have done a lot of misrepresenting of SpaceX and Tesla and the way that he has essentially been their PR person.
You know, I I I'd say it's been one of his main jobs has actually worked well because it, it it's allowed not other companies to pile a lot of fun on those companies that are accomplishing a lot of things, but are disrupting a lot of industries. And so, you know, how you all in the working in the tech industry know how this work, if you're a big company and you're about to be disrupted, you just make up a lot of, you know, really sort of, kind of shady things about the, your competitors and try to pile it on and, and you be the one to frame who they are. And I, I think that worked pretty well for Musk. He didn't allow that to happen successfully on SpaceX and, and Tesla in many ways it's not working out as well on Twitter, cuz Twitter, if you're trying to build and they say they are, we, we don't know a whole lot about what they're trying to build other than maybe this like super app or perhaps a digital town square.
In the digital town square, which is what we can see the most now and where the subs example comes in, subs is a great platform. Having a sharp elbow and trying to elbow them out doesn't help Twitter. Ultimately if you're trying to create a digital town square, you, you wanna create a platform where as many people, as many platforms, as many others can come and build on top of you and be invested in you, and then have a place on that and how to have some ownership of it. And that was
Dan Patterson (00:16:39):
The early strategy. Sorry to interrupt. Yeah, but there was go ahead. Early strategy to your point, Jason was, was to be an I mean, long before Twitter had an official app, they were just an api. So you could, in fact, the, the first interface was 4 0 4 0 4 send a text message and you would get That's right. Repli, <laugh>. Then they built a web interface and then they built an API and you could build these apps on top of it. Sorry to interrupt you Jason, but I think your point was perfect.
Jason Hiner (00:17:05):
No, th thanks z I I, I think that when I read, and it could be me reading what I wanted to hear when, when Musk's early rhetoric around Twitter was a little bit of like, I'm gonna buy it and take it private. And we're gonna go back to a little bit of that reality that you, you just talked about Dan. And so, cuz I think the thing was, if we go private, we don't have to respond every quarter to, to shareholders. And so we can build something for the long term. And that whole digital town square narrative, for me, that's what that meant. Clearly that's not quite what Musk meant, or maybe we're just not there yet. But I think like this thing with CK and some of these other like sharp elbow moments, they're really not helping Twitter or Musk in where they're going. I, I don't think picking fights within New York Times and other places, I, I think those things are working against them in ways that I think it helped, has helped him and helped Twitter sorry, Tesla and SpaceX, but don't work very well in, in sort of the environment that Twitter's in.
Jason Howell (00:18:05):
Well, it often, it feels very reactive and un unthought through you know, like this, like this banning of ck links and mentioning of CK on Twitter. Of course, you know, the story there which I'm not sure if it was discussed on last week's tweet, but was that there was this rumor that CK was going to release this product called notes. And then, you know, sure enough, soon after that any mention of subs, any links out tock from Twitter were being blocked. And now that's all been undone. But, you know, again, this, and this just being one example, but there's a reactivity that seems that seems to be a part of the perception around the current Twitter and the owner of Twitter, Elon Musk and that reactivity can, can damage a brand. But then we've also been saying for, you know, ever since Musk took ownership of Twitter that he is damaging the service, the service still works, it's still chugging along.
So, you know what I mean. It's maybe it's a little bit different now than it was before in a, in a number of ways. But it's still here. There's people obviously still using it. I'm the same as you, Dan. I I have my account, I log in to kind of monitor it from time to time. But my once daily habit of checking it and actually posting to it, especially as like the extension, like I hardly do that anymore. I really don't post to any of it anymore. And I'm definitely not checking it on a daily basis. Does that make something like a sub notes, you know, up ripe for the picking? I mean, I'm not Ari author on sub I, I'm also not a regular user of Sub, so maybe I'm just the wrong audience for it. But I would agree with what you said, aunt, I I don't know that it necessarily has any sort of threat attached to it of being the next Twitter if there could be such a thing. Well,
Ant Pruitt (00:19:59):
And that's not to diminish it, it, it's just not necessarily for me because I I
Jason Howell (00:20:05):
Ant Pruitt (00:20:05):
A ton of newsletters, you
Dan Patterson (00:20:07):
Know. Yeah. And the real glue of CK is the, this ancient technology would be called email. I, I mean, it, it is really a platform that is designed for more passive consumption, less engagement. I, I know that notes ups that engagement for particular writers, but, but it's really designed to be an email platform and something that is slow consumption as opposed to Twitter, which is rapid. One, one point I do wanna make about Musk and, and his controversial decisions, Jason, I, I agree with the earned media strategy of be controversial and as you said, throw some sharp elbows, but he has also elevated a lot of hate speech and a lot of white supremacists are back on that platform and there's some challenging stuff that's happening there that mm-hmm. <Affirmative> gives me a feeling in my stomach that like, this is not okay. This stuff that, like strategy aside, you know, we could, we can look at that and kind of pick it a apart in kind of a fun way, but, but the way that pretty terrible stuff has been amplified is, is distasteful.
Jason Hiner (00:21:17):
I think that's fair.
Jason Howell (00:21:19):
Ant Pruitt (00:21:19):
Do you think the whole issue with hate speech and, and all of the horrible content bubbling to the top is because of the lack of resources that he fired <laugh> once he got in there and things are slipping through the cracks a lot easier because the team that's right there now they're busy with the whole bunch of things beyond content moderation.
Jason Hiner (00:21:43):
Yeah. I mean, put in context, they had 7,000 employees, now they're down to 1300, 500 of those are engineers. It is, it is a skeleton crew over there. And we had some problems with the ZD net account and tried to get ahold of people there. And it took a month, it took over a month actually.
Ant Pruitt (00:22:00):
Wow. A month
Jason Hiner (00:22:01):
To get in con contact with somebody who, who could it help, you know, everybody had had left that, that were, they were, there were contacts. Wow.
Jason Howell (00:22:10):
And even prior to what you're talking about, I mean, I, I remember here at twi, we've had a, you know, our, our run-ins here, and there was something that we felt we needed to escalate to the powers that be at Twitter and even prior to the massification of the, of the service. And when they had all of that stuff, it still took a while to get there, not nearly a month. Mm-Hmm. But it still took a while. I mean, any, any of this stuff I is, is incredibly complicated. And I think this actually ties in with a link that you added an that a does have to do with ck and this is on the side of content moderation. Right. And we're talking a little bit about, you know, how Twitter has approached content mo moderation. They're, they're down on staff. So what is, what are the impacts of that?
Well, the, the other side of this is that the CK C E o Chris Best you know, it, it's hard to understand what the values of CK are when it comes to moderation. And the, the, the point behind this is that he had an interview with NI Eli Patel from the Verge. And ni Eli really tried to nail him down on, on hi, on the terms of service with CK primarily because ck the service itself taking notes to the side my understanding is the C E O says you Knowck has been a delivery mechanism. It's a, it's a delivery network. It's not, you know, it's not like a Twitter, it's not like a social network that needs content moderation. We, we, we give you the platform and it's a little bit more agnostic from there. Well, now Eli is saying, okay, well now you're getting into this other thing, this notes thing, which is very similar to a Twitter. It's very similar to a social network. How do you approach content moderation now versus what you were doing then? And nei, you know, pointed to a very specific part of the terms of service to say, you know, to, to use the example, I can't remember the example that he used to, to frame around this. But essentially, here's a really bad thing that's said on your network a
Ant Pruitt (00:24:11):
Post that says that there need to be less brown people in America, or
Jason Howell (00:24:16):
That, or that brown Yes. Something along those lines. Exactly. And NEI wanted him to say, yes, that is, that is something that we would remove from the network. And you know, ceo, I mean, <laugh>, it's really kind of impressive to kind of like listen and, and, you know, read through the transcript that's here on Tech Dirt about it. And no matter what Eli did, the CEO would not confirm that even though like any CEO of any other social network would very quickly probably step forward unless, you know, there are certain social networks that maybe they wouldn't step forward and, and, you know mm-hmm. <Affirmative> and say, heck no, not on my network. But I'd say that most of them on Twitter included, probably would. And here not getting so much from ck. So, I dunno, what were you an, you were the one that, that made sure that this, you know, made it into the rundown today mm-hmm. <Affirmative> what what are your thoughts on this? Like,
Ant Pruitt (00:25:09):
Well, I wanted to bring it to the attention of our other hosts because when I saw this, this, this message shared, I knew it was going to have a whole lot of people up in arms and enraged, I get it. But instead of just watching the TikTok that was shared, I went and listened to the actual episode mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, because I found this is the jaded side coming out again. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, a lot of things that are published in social media that are set to just in induce outrage tend to be chopped up a certain way to do that. And the context gets all thrown all over the place. Oh, for sure. I went back and listened to the whole episode and prior to that segment, ne Eli Patel says, look, I, I wanted him to answer this question, but I went about it the wrong way.
I should have framed it a little bit differently because the example I gave wasn't a fair example to him, something like that. But the problem was he still didn't answer the question. That's the thing, because ne Eli brought up an example in the terms of service and everything and after listening to it, I, I sort of see where the CEO was coming from, because sometimes they don't want to answer things because it, they should just keep their mouth shut because things get worse the more they speak. And I think that was part of it. Maybe had PR there whispering in his ear, but he didn't, so he got quiet. I get that. But at the same time, it black and white hate speech and, and, and racism and stuff. Yeah. I, I would love to have answered, no, that's not going to be allowed. But again, I'm not the CEO of, of some tech company out there, but I wanted to bring it to Mr. Patterson and Mr. Heiner as, as people in journalism. What are your thoughts on how ne Eli went about it? NEA Patel went about it as well as your thoughts on the response from the ceo, because you folks deal with people in those higher positions, and a lot of times it's tough to get answers out of them to simple Yes. No questions.
Jason Howell (00:27:12):
Dan Patterson (00:27:17):
I had, I'm waiting for Jason, but I, I heard that,
That same answer from every spokesperson at every major tech company for a very long time. I, I can't speak to how Patel conducted the interview because I haven't watched the interview. But it, I, I do think that you need to have an answer for that question because mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, every journalist is going to a ask you about content moderation, and especially algorithmic content moderation. And we certainly see that there are harms. Maria Resa, the Nobel Prize winner, who is attacked and jailed because of attacks from the president. Duterte on her as a journalist, can tell you that there are real harms that come from algorithmic amplification of hate speech. Yeah. Now, w we are not saying that necessarily that's what CK is doing, but if I were advising him, I would say that you need to have a good answer to this question, because every spokesperson, I mean, let's go back to Cambridge Analytica and Facebook.
Let's extend this to Twitter and other social networks. This is not a new problem. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. And so if you're going to launch a social network, you need to have an answer to this. Even Tumblr going back years ago, Tumblr allowed, had had a lax policies on on what they, on, on porn, an nudity, and they changed those not out of pressure from users, but out of pressure from Apple and the iOS rules. Yeah. So you at least need to have an understanding of what your platform allows and what your answer is going to be to those questions. Because simply not answering it is, is, I mean,
Ant Pruitt (00:29:02):
Jason Howell (00:29:03):
Yes. And again, you're exactly right. And I think that is a huge part of Mil Eli's point, and he even says it in the interview, is like, you know, these kinds of things, they, they broadcast the values of the network that you're using mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. And as a user, you want to know that those values align with your values. And if your terms of service say, this is not okay, then why can't the CEO say this is not okay? And flat out that CEO was refusing to say, this is not okay. Meanwhile, you know, I, I look up the quote, and I don't wanna say the quote because it's actually worse than what you, what you even said there, aunt. But you know, you, you read a quote like that and you go, yeah, that should not be on a network. At least it does. At least I as a user have the value system that says that I don't want to use your network if that is allowed. And I think that's the point.
Dan Patterson (00:29:56):
There's also a challenge. I, I, look, I understand. Look, it's not new to say that you're just a platform and a content delivery network. I, I mean, that's also a pretty poor answer because every social network has said the same thing going back a very long time. <Laugh>, but mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, these are, these are not email protocols, right. These are not open protocols that are used for delivery. These are for profit venture backed companies. And so if you are going to put money in your pocket and you amplify hate speech, then I would ask that perhaps you have a better answer, or I'm gonna publish your non-answer. I it's not, and it's not picking on you, it's not being a jerk. It's just, and, and it's not just fundamentals of journalism. It's what a lot of people want to know. A lot of your users want to know. Yeah. If you are making money on something, why are you also amplifying hate speech?
Jason Howell (00:30:48):
Jason Hiner (00:30:48):
<Affirmative>. And I think Eli is maybe even a little hard on himself. I I, I think Eli did it, did an excellent job in this, like, totally great. He, he picked, he, he picked this quote to ask this very difficult and challenging question because it's the fundamental social issue in America, racism, and has been since before America was founded mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. And it's, we, we've struggled with it over the last three years. It's, it's you know, risen to the top of the the attention of people and for all of those reasons in America, and this is American company, to ask that question is very fair. And not only that, he pushed him on it. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, he didn't let him squirrel out of it. Yeah. Once Yep. He kept pushing them on it. And it was fair. He gave him every opportunity to say, this is the kind of thing e even just to say, we, we find it offensive.
We don't want things like this here. And maybe explain, you know, their, their you know, platform in that light. I have heard to, to Dan's point, and others I've heard, I remember at the founding of Twitter, early days of Twitter, I remember the founders there saying, we don't wanna censor anything. Like they started from there. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, like, we just wanna be the, the platform that didn't last very long. Right. It was not a tenable way to be, because like Dan said, this is not just a matter of bits of zeros and ones that your platform is the on top of, like, it is a content platform. And when you're a content platform, you are responsible for what goes on in that platform. And it doesn't mean it's easy in trying to moderate anything is extremely challenging and complex, but that's what you sign up for when you create a platform. And so I think they them sort of squi trying to squirrel out of this one, you know, doesn't generate a whole lot of confidence that they understand that fundamental fact.
Ant Pruitt (00:32:39):
Now, I appreciate y'all bringing up his approach, Nelia Patel's approach to it and, and, and just saying, Hey, he actually did a good job. But again, as I continued to listen to the whole segment, what it seemed like was the c e o was struggling with the differentiation between content moderation and everyone's right to free speech the first minute. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, and, excuse me, he actually goes in a little bit more detail about that because it, it, it, and it sort of sounded like some of the stuff I've heard from the leadership at Facebook as well as on Twitter saying, you know what, we want our users to be able to speak freely. But they also hate trying to figure out where that fine line is between overt racism and hate, or things that could come off as hate or ignorance or, or, or racism or what have you mm-hmm. <Affirmative>.
Dan Patterson (00:33:39):
There are a lot of experts. Yeah. Sorry to interrupt you and I, I mean, like, Elon fired a great expert in this. Yeah. Look, and he could work with the Atlantic Council. He could, I mean, there's, there's so many experts on it. Like Yes. And you're right, this is a nuanced challenge, especially when we come, we talk about algorithms. Yeah. Right. Because algorithms will search surface different things for certain people, but this is not a problem that doesn't have a solution. Yeah. There are experts who can help guide them towards a good solution here. Yeah. and again, to not have an answer to that, just it, it kind of rocks confidence.
Ant Pruitt (00:34:13):
I wish he had an answer cuz when I was listening to it. Yeah. I, I saw where he was coming from and let me just have y'all step into my shoes for a minute. I can go outside here in my neighborhood and, you know, I'm the only black family in this neighborhood. Totally fine with that. And something can be said to me totally out of the way. And I can look at it as a, a couple ways. They're racist or they're jack asses, and most of the time it's option two <laugh>, you know, but depending on context and, and depending on, you know, who generally, depending on the context, it is gonna define whether something was flat out hate and racism versus someone much just a jerk. And I think that's what some people in leadership are struggling with when it comes to these platforms, because sometimes people are just jerks online, not necessarily racist.
Jason Hiner (00:35:07):
Mm-Hmm. And, and free speech, the thing that they didn't, they didn't, it, it really does come down to free speech a little bit cuz that's essentially what the CEO was bringing it back to. But free speech has, its, its guardrails and it has its limits. And, and so, you know, the interview could have it since he kept going back to that, the interview could have unpacked that a little bit. Yeah. You know, more as well. And say the, you know, free speech absolutists only exist in soundbites. They don't exist in reality. Right.
Dan Patterson (00:35:36):
That is a great sound bite. Jason <laugh>. It's true.
Jason Howell (00:35:40):
<Laugh>. Yeah. We'll clip it out and put it put it as a sound bite in our, our network. Sure.
Dan Patterson (00:35:46):
Sweet Flynn. I mean, it should go without saying, but we should also say it to say it all the time, tech companies love to wrap themselves around free speech. It has nothing to do with free speech. This is nothing to do with free speech. Free speech is, is right. And you said it, the government, the first amendment, the government is not coming in and dictating policy here. No. So wrapping yourself in free speech and saying free speech over and over is, in some ways, I'm not saying that this CEO did it. Right. It is a cop, but it's also a diversion. And I know that other tech companies have used it as a specific PR strategy to kind of get you off of the talking point that you're on or get you off of your line of questioning and start talking about something that everybody goes, oh, I I don't, I I'm, I'm for free speech. You know, I I'm just asking you a hard question. Right. But it's like,
Jason Howell (00:36:35):
Think of the children. Yeah, right. Exactly. As a tool. Yes. Right,
Dan Patterson (00:36:39):
Right. And, and so I think it's just, it, it feels like a specious argument at this point, at this juncture in history. Like, come on man, let's look at the last decade. There have been CEOs ahead of you who have said the same things, repeated the same talking points. This is not a free speech issue. This is a for-profit issue. The bigger you scale, the more money you make. And so if you're gonna scale, then you have to have a better answer about how you deal with hate speech.
Jason Howell (00:37:03):
Yes. 100%. Excellent summary. Totally agree and sounds a fantastic first story to dive into. We are gonna take a break and then we're gonna have many more fantastic stories to dive into when we're done. So everybody hang tight for the moment. Let's take a moment and thank the sponsor of this episode of this Week in Tech. And that is Collide. So Collide has some big news. So first of all, Clyde, if you don't know, it's a device trust solution. It ensures unsecured devices can't access your app. So there's that. Well, they got some big news. If you're an Okta user, collide can get your entire fleet to 100%. Compliance can do that. Collide Patch is one of the major holes in zero trust architecture, and that's device compliance. So when you really think about it, your identity provider only lets known devices log into apps, right?
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You can actually book a demo there as well. That's K O L I D E, that's collide.com/twit. And we thank Collyde for their support of this week in tech. What about, I'm gonna get off Twitter for Twitter. I know it, it was CK but everything seems to come back to Twitter these days. So I'm gonna venture away from Twitter a little bit, give ourselves a little Twitter break and talk a little bit about ai because before we kind of get into some of this AI news, Dan, you're doing a lot of thinking and writing about this stuff, right?
Dan Patterson (00:40:35):
Yeah. For Jason, in fact for the last month and, and ongoing, I've been interviewing thought leaders in ai. Someone's recently Ben Gerel, he developed Sophia the Robot, which is this anthropomorphized ai. And Pascal Kaufman, who's a neuroscientist in Switzerland Phillip Rosedale, who mm-hmm. <Affirmative> was the founder of Second Life. Really fascinating personalities. And everything from like, the path from these large language models and chat G p t all the way up to a g i, artificial general intelligence, which it's kind of a moving goalpost, but it, it's the in theory AI that is as smarter, smarter than humans, but also, I mean, definitely keeping with a lot of what is on ZD net, the practical stuff, right? The kitchen table. What does this for business, what does this mean for you at home? And so a lot of these people are talking to me about like, well, there's gonna be some big changes coming to search. There are gonna be some big changes coming to, you know, consumers for sure, but business is going to be enterprise, business is going to be changed fundamentally by a lot of these more practical AI models.
Jason Howell (00:41:59):
Interesting. I mean, fascinating place where we are at with AI and you know, get a little confusing because it's going in all, all sorts of different directions. I labeled this taming the AI race because, you know, this is just kind of a little, a little chance to see how everybody is approaching AI when it comes to, particularly when it comes to government. Because, you know, there increasingly it looks like across the, the world, there's a lot more attention, a lot more understanding, maybe not of the technology itself, but of this thought that AI could someday be so good that what the, what the heck does that mean about the people who are in power, the countries who are in power, how, you know, how the lives for the people living within those countries. How are they impacted? There's just a number of things happening right now.
The US Commerce Department, this was last Tuesday requested public comment on creating accountability measures for ai. So they're seeking people, and we talked about this a little bit and on this week in Google, but they're seeking the input of people who understand and know the potential kind of you know, <laugh> the potential path that AI is on and what it could lead to. What are the right questions to be asking so that on a governmental level, they can create, potentially create guardrails around the development of ai. And this is just one example, you know, in Europe they're creating a task force Europe's national the European Data Protection Board, the E D P B is looking to kind of get a, get a better understanding of creating this, like this group to really understand the development of ai.
China's doing the same thing. They're mandating security reviews for ai. So I, I don't know if that means that they're one step ahead, you know, they're out of the analysis phase and they're more in the reactive phase. But everybody seems to be understanding that this looming development of AI where we are right now, and, and the explosive growth that it's seen, especially in the last six months, is leading to something. And we don't know what it is, but we want to understand what it is and possibly control where that is headed. So Dan, let's start with you cuz you're, you're writing about this stuff a lot. Like where, where is your mind when it when it comes to this movement, this kind of like all, you know, <laugh> all encompassing worldwide movement towards respecting the power of AI and wanting to put guardrails there. What are your thoughts?
Dan Patterson (00:44:43):
Well, I hope we can regulate it better than we did social media and have a little more nuanced and sophisticated take by our elected representatives than we have had in the past. And you just you've got a take.
Ant Pruitt (00:44:57):
Yeah. I wanted to ask you, Dan, because government is wanting to try to figure this stuff out and you've been speaking with experts, actually it's two things. From a government standpoint, experts that are out there that you've been speaking to, are they willing to go to government and try to help, you know, figure out a way to, to do some type of regulation or set up better guardrails? Or are they just saying, no, we don't want to get the government involved? Cause when the government gets involved, things get weird and sometimes really, really screwed up. And secondly, you mentioned from an enterprise perspective with ai, you know, we've been speaking about AI for, she's three months now, I swear it seems like three months. And the stories are either really, really big, rah rah, rah, we're we're, AI is awesome or gloom and doom on the, on the other side of things, never really much of a middle ground. But what on the enterprise side of things is, is making this something that could be really, really practical. Cuz speaking as a creative, I could see where AI can hop in and make things better for me. And I've have used it recently for things to make things make it better in a workflow standpoint, but enterprise I I can't really wrap my head around it probably cuz I've been away from it for quite a while now. But what, what is AI gonna do on the enterprise side of things?
Dan Patterson (00:46:22):
Well, you know, and actually I'm, I'm very curious when it comes to regulation. I, I don't know, but I, to your point about being a creative, in fact, I sent Jason Heiner a text message maybe a week and a half, two weeks ago about how I'm using chat G P T to write stories. Now they're not writing stories for me, right. It's poor quality if you try to do that. But a a lot of my reporting is interviews with primary subjects and any reporter can tell you like, okay, you, you conduct an interview, but then you have to often transcribe the interview and then you have to pull out quotes and then you have to pull out the salient points and then you have to create an outline. Yeah. And you know, that's the first thing I do is create my outline. Yep.
But, you know, that whole process can take several hours. I, and for some people I'm a slow writer, so for some people it can take longer than that. What I have used chat g p T for is, Hey, please summarize this transcript, pull out the five most interesting quotes. And of course you go back and you check it and you, you know, change it. It's not always the best mm-hmm. <Affirmative> mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. But it does a pretty good job of finding those quotes and, and then pull out the main points of what this person talked about. And I'm telling you, I've used it for every single story I've written for Jason in that same way mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. And it's great. It saves a ton of time. It compresses the amount of time I would spend doing those kind of routine maintenance tasks and allows me to think about beautiful story and I think write better stories because I'm spending more time writing and less time doing the all of the, the mechanics. Yep.
Ant Pruitt (00:48:00):
Dan Patterson (00:48:01):
But I'm curious what Jason has to say, Heiner has to say about the enterprise because that's I mean, that's gonna be a whole huge shift.
Jason Hiner (00:48:12):
Yeah. So it really comes down to one thing primarily, which is automation. Okay. and they've been working on this for a long time. Right. And part of I think what the new level of generative AI could do is we we've been able to automate like one little thing here. One little thing here. Yeah. One little thing here. And I think that this is like, what we're seeing is like the ability to create a string of these automations that then all of a sudden is like you, you've taken a big chunk of the, the really repetitive mind numbing mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, you know, work out of it. And when we, we really thought this was gonna happen and it really has been happening with manufacturing for you know, a long time Uhhuh <affirmative>. But now it's happening with a lot of the a lot of the knowledge work, right?
Because we're realizing chat, t p t is helping us to realize to just the point that Dan did that there's a lot of repetitive things that are somewhat easy to, to, to automate. And Dan's latest interview, <laugh> Gerel says, he says, what we've discovered is you don't have to be particularly innovative to automate a lot of knowledge worker work. Shockingly, you know, I I'm summing it up, that's like my, you know, summing it. But watch the interview. It's an, it's an awesome interview. It's only 20 minutes. It, you will be thankful that you did. But I think his point is that there's a lot of opportunities for automation that really we're kind of not on our radar. And now we're realizing, you know, like that I would be interested to hear the ones that you're using. And you, you alluded to the fact that it's, it's enabled you to streamline a couple things with your creative workflows.
Ant Pruitt (00:50:03):
There, there's some things in inside of Photoshop or, or inside of like da Vinci resolve that utilizes AI in the, the GPU on the, on your computer. And inside of Photoshop, if you're trying to cut someone out of a background, that used to be a tedious process of going through and making the selection properly. Especially if they had hair unlike myself. And pulling them out cleanly to put them on a different type of background. And now it is literally one click and it's done in about three seconds of analysis. And Adobe Sensei, it's AI will, will fix it and pull it, pull it out for you, and it's done. And on DaVinci resolve doing that inside a video, it's even more task intensive there. But with the ai, it's literally just click and drag and it does the selection and pulls it right out within a couple of seconds.
It's, it's really fascinating. And you're talking about automation and enterprise, it sort of reminds me of the recent episode of this week in enterprise tech here on twit tv. There was a story, a security story where some employees were terminated, but yet their credentials were still available to them down the road months later because there was a checklist that got missed. You know, and maybe they couldn't log into this box or server or what have you, but they could log into this one and things like that. And I'm, I was thinking about, cuz I haven't seen Microsoft Active Directory in probably 10 years now, and I remember we had processes and procedures and going through and making sure everybody got ticked off. There, the boxes got ticked off when people were terminated because there was all types of group policies and, and security measures for, you know, they could access this folder and that folder and so forth. And I was like, I thought you could script a lot of that stuff, but apparently you can't script everything. But if AI can come in and help do, I guess a bunch of scripts
Jason Howell (00:52:02):
Ant Pruitt (00:52:03):
And put put it into one, maybe that's, that's a game changer.
Jason Howell (00:52:08):
My mind is swirling right now as I think about this because I'm like, I'm thinking about the example that you just gave and where, you know, removing people in the background, which by the way, I can do on my phone, right? Like <laugh> and of course Google is quick to tout, you know, that's the power of machine
Ant Pruitt (00:52:22):
And it's ai,
Jason Howell (00:52:24):
Ant Pruitt (00:52:25):
Both it tensor flow <laugh>.
Jason Howell (00:52:26):
Yeah. And, and the, the fear, the, well, the, the fear that a lot of people have about AI eliminating jobs or, you know, taking
Ant Pruitt (00:52:36):
Jason Howell (00:52:36):
Crap and that, that whole aspect of things. But when I hear what you're talking about, I hear a, I hear it as a tool that helps someone who knows what they're doing, do better at their job, do more with their job in other ways. Right. But I can see the flip side of this. We, we also have a story a little bit further down the rundown line 63 that is about, that kind of focuses on illustrators video game illustrators in China. It's a, it's an article on rest of World, which is a fantastic site and it just kind of focuses on a handful of examples of where, you know, one of, one of the examples is a, a freelance illustrator you know, used to make 430 to a thousand dollars ish for every video game poster she drew. Since February, those opportunities have, have dried up because I mean, as you can imagine, as we've seen from generative AI doing illustrations like that kind of come a lot easier to a system like that. And so now we have the work that she's
Ant Pruitt (00:53:42):
With our thumbnails, you know, we do it for, yeah. Several of our shows have used some AI generated art for thumbnails and they look great. Sure. and I get where this, where the, the people are coming from here in this story. And my suggestion to folks that are in that situation is, all right, well, the next move would be to pivot into figuring out prompts. Because there is, how do you use it? It's, it's an art to write in those prompts. Yeah. It's, you know, I can put in mid journey or stable diffusion, give me two dogs playing in the field and it'll give me two dogs running, playing in the field. But someone else can come in and say, Hey, how about make it half professional lighting with vibrant green grass? And it's at, at at golden hour. You know, they knew the nuance of crafting that prompt to make that image look even better.
Jason Howell (00:54:30):
There's an imaginative quality to it. This is actually, and I realize I don't have that, or I'm not practicing.
Ant Pruitt (00:54:36):
You might don't either.
Jason Howell (00:54:37):
<Laugh>. Yeah. Like when I'm putting together prompts, you know, like I, I haven't done many of them. And granted, I'd probably get better if I really spent the time understanding these prompts and everything, but man, when I do it,
Jason Hiner (00:54:50):
There's stories on ZD net that can help you
Jason Howell (00:54:51):
With that. By the way, I'm, I'm sure there are. I've, and I've read some of the stories, right. And I've been like, okay, I'm gonna get good at this because I should really know how to do this, otherwise, this whole thing's gonna pass me by. And every time I sit down to do it, I'm super underwhelmed with what I come up with. And I just realize, like, I, I think what I respect about the people who can write these prompts is it takes in a certain, like a certain quality of imagination to be able to visualize, at least when we're talking image generative ai. You have to visualize in your mind exactly what you wanna see, the details that are important, the style that's important. Yeah. There's some modifiers in the syntax that if you know how to do those, you're gonna get a higher quality output and that sort of thing. Yep. But you really kind of have to create the image in your mind before you ever put it into a prompt. And I am very unskilled in that. That is a very apparent to me,
Ant Pruitt (00:55:46):
Jason Howell (00:55:46):
That's so bad respect for those who could, it
Ant Pruitt (00:55:48):
Is really skilled at doing the video game art as if the way these illustrators are describing, they're visualizing that stuff as they put in stylists to illustrator. Yeah. Or what have you. So, and, and I know it's easier for me to say it than done, but take that same imagination and put it into text, you know, just,
Jason Hiner (00:56:09):
Ant Pruitt (00:56:10):
And we don't, don't get yourself knocked out of this game. Don't hate on the game. Just, just go get better at the game, you know?
Jason Hiner (00:56:17):
Yeah. And I mean, the, the example you gave is a good one. An of like, we used to pay somebody probably 35 to $75 an hour. Yeah. That would take them an hour to maybe four hours to, to do what the AI does in three seconds now. Yeah. Right? Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. And so most of those people, they are who got paid to do that, you know? Now that has been a kind of a slow burn. Like some of that work has been, you know, been slowly automated over by the software over a number of years here. But what we, what we know is people, those people have a lot of really important and valuable things to do. Like most of them are still employed. They're just doing either more work, getting more done faster, or they're also taking on other work and doing additional work. Yep. And we, we've seen this throughout human history too. Like, if we zoom out just one level further, you know, every time there's been a new level of automation it kind of does two things. One, everybody says there's not gonna be any jobs. Like, from the time Industrial Revolution came around, right? It was like the, when cars came around, when the plane came around, you know, all
Ant Pruitt (00:57:24):
It disrupts the status quo. It disrupts what was normal prior to. And that's scary cuz it's because it's changed. You know?
Jason Hiner (00:57:31):
It does. We see it with layoffs too, right? When there's a bunch of layoffs, like there have been recently, what we learn often through that process is one of the greatest resources in human history has been boredom. Because when people are laid off or don't have work, what do they do? They typically have time. Yeah. And they often have ideas, and now they have time to go work on those ideas. And now those, those ideas are often what germinates like this next wave of whatever invention, innovation even efficiency, all of those things. And so we've seen that, you know, hu human beings do sort of do that work. Like you're talking about Jason Howell, of like, they have ideas in their heads and all, a lot of times their, their limitation is resources or time and time and resources are often s very closely connected.
Yeah. Yeah. And so what we, what we see is the, that it, there's always a new burst of, of energy and creativity, you know, from you know, very disruptive moments like this. And so I think from that sense, it doesn't mean it's not difficult or challenging or uncomfortable, cuz it is. But I think we should draw some hope from that, that we're, that's likely this, this and what's happening now is likely to power a new wave of creativity and innovation invention. And it probably will mean people working less, right? It'll probably mean people can get more done in less time. Mm-Hmm. It may mean four, a four day work week. Right. It might mean, you know, not people not having to put as much time in but can still get the same amount of productivity, perhaps more productivity out of less time. Those would all be excellent, you know, long-term benefits.
Ant Pruitt (00:59:10):
There's a former c e o in my past company I worked at umpteen years ago, and it was data entry and we moved into doing the client would do their own data entry online and just upload it to us. And I remember all of my coworkers were up in arms like, oh my goodness, we're gonna get laid off because they're doing their own work and yada, yada, yada yada. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. And I remember our CEO at the time, that man is so dak awesome. His track record, just unbelievable. But he came out to us and he says, you know what, yes, they're gonna do that upload and send it to us and we can check it. But what that's gonna do is free you up to do some things with more brain power and go in and be able to be more analytical and branch out into other things and help us with these other processes and maybe even build something else and put your name on it because it's just gonna make mm-hmm. <Affirmative> better and just free you up to expand on this extra time that you're going to have to make something bigger and better. You know? And he nailed it, you knows, cuz things did get better after
Dan Patterson (01:00:11):
That. I'll give you one very recent example because pe like in the, these conversations, everyone's like, well, can you gimme an example of how things are gonna change? Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, but be Okay. And to Jason Heiner point now, it wasn't as, as hyperbolic with, or, or it hyped with consumers, but in the business in B2B tech, when the cloud came, I, I mean Oh yeah. When the cloud was introduced, there was so much angst and worry about this is gonna just take every job. Yeah. And instead what it did is allowed companies to scale and add new jobs. Yep.
Ant Pruitt (01:00:49):
Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative> got more engineers, <laugh>
Dan Patterson (01:00:51):
Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>. So more engineers. You
Ant Pruitt (01:00:53):
Got more engineers.
Jason Howell (01:00:54):
<Laugh>. Okay. So then go back to now considering all that as, as extra kind of context behind the initial story here with all, you know, all governments around the world, f feeling like this is a, this is a, a moment in time where something needs to be done. We don't know. We know that AI is important. We know that it has the potential to change things drastically, but we, we need to understand the technology. We need to figure out how we put in these guardrails. Like is that an appropriate response to, to what you're, what you're saying now? Because if we've gone through this with cloud as one example, like, I mean, I don't know, you tell me. Did the government get freaked out about the potential of, of the cloud to destroy, you know, jobs and, and change lives to the point to where they felt they needed to put in serious guardrails to protect, in some cases, in some people's view, view, not just jobs, but humanity as a whole, which personally I feel is pretty far overblown, but <laugh>, hey you know, may, maybe it's not, but I don't know.
Is, is that an appropriate response? What do you think it
Jason Hiner (01:01:58):
It is, it's a good place. Look, this is a good place for government to, to step in and, and how, and play referee, right? Yeah. That's often the best place for the government to be not to not to play you know, a centralized source for all of the answers, but a place that helps to set the rules of the game and make sure people playing by those rules in ways that are fair and that are not gonna have very negative effects on you know, people or create levels of yeah. Danger, inequality, violence, all, all of those kinds of things. And there are real dangers with a lot of these generative AI models, right? You can use them to say, what's the best way to create a bomb and let then what's the most effective place to put it in this building so that I can collapse the whole thing, right?
These generative AI models that have all of this data, these large language models that can process all this data. It could give you a very good answer to that. Now, to, to their, to be fair chat, g p t is actively working on putting their own guardrails in place, which is good. But I, I think we don't want to just leave it to the goodwill of companies to do the right thing. That they're, that's a place where I think the public, us as the public, the whole public I think we, we want to have a say in that. And that's where the government comes in, right? And like, being the referee, setting the rules and making sure people are playing by those rules. And for there to be stiff penalties if they aren't, because it can have very negative effects you know, socially and affect lives and incomes and all, all of these things. It, it's not easy or it is very also very complex. But I, but I think these are the things that we want. These is a good place for government to put its energies to rather than some other things that sometimes are not very fruitful or efficient.
Dan Patterson (01:04:04):
It'll be interesting. Go, go ahead. Oh, it'll be interesting to watch how different regions adapt. I mean, here in the states for sure. And we have an interesting approach to our government and their sophistication and tech regulation. People have very strong opinions about that. But a joking aside, look, Ben Gerel is based, or was recently based in Hong Kong and Pascal Kaufman is based in Switzerland. Some of the best AI thinkers are in totally disparate regions. And those regions, just like with social media, will have different approaches to AI regulat regulation. But we know with technology, it, it's diffuse it, it will propagate no matter what. And so the technology that powers this will fundamentally make changes whether we regulate it or not.
Jason Howell (01:05:01):
Yeah. There's only so much that we can do to, to a certain degree about, about how it's going to develop for sure. That is true. Yeah. And Jason, I believe you had mentioned, you know open AI kind of throttling. There's actually a story. Sam Altman, who is open AI's, c e o and co-founder had had confirmed that they are not training G P T five at this point, as we know. G P T three came out while the socks out of ev, off of everybody. And then G P T four came out. And I don't know how how they did it with that, but people were absolutely blown away. That's, that's I feel when the conversation of, oh my go, oh my God. Like what have we got ourselves into? Started to really ramp up? Cuz people saw how damn good G P T four was.
And of course, you know, these are for-profit companies, so, you know, we kind of assume they're working on their latest and greatest, and they might very well be, but Sam is saying that they're not currently training G p T five you know, and for, so maybe that will calm, calm your nerves a little bit. <Laugh>, I dunno, you know, anyone who's really worried about this stuff, I don't know how far that would go to calm your nerves. But there, he also said that the size of large language models won't matter. I thought this was kind of interesting because you know, we we're so used to in technology talking about, you know, specs and, and you know, bigger, better, faster, that sort of stuff. And so, of course, you know, a larger lar larger dataset for large language models would be better than a smaller one.
But Sam Altman had said he did an interview for the imagination inaction event at M I t just a couple of days ago. And kind of kind of likened it to where we are with, with smartphones, how for the longest time these things were all about, you know, bigger, better, faster, what's the speed, what's the memory, blah, blah, blah. And that now we're at a point to where thi that kind of stuff doesn't matter nearly as much. It's just they, you know, they're much more efficient. They're able to do more with less. And so he sees that being a case with a, with these large language models going forward. He's a smart guy, so he might be onto th onto something, but yeah. All right. Well, we've got more to discuss here coming up. But first, let's, let's take a break.
And then when we come back, I don't know, what do y'all want to talk about? I mean, I guess we could stick on the on the AI beat, actually, we can, we can kind of do an a little bit of an Oreo cookie because we can take AI and Twitter and sandwich them together because AI apparently wants to get in, or Twitter apparently wants to get in on the AI game. So that's coming up here in a moment. But first this episode of this Week in Tech is brought to you by Cisco Meraki, the experts in cloud-based networking for hybrid work. Whether your employees are working at home, maybe they're working at a cabin in the mountains, or they're sitting in a lounge chair at the beach working, that's, that's my favorite. I would love to be working at a beach in a lounge chair.
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So, in essence, you can turn any space into a place of productivity. You can empower your organization with the same exceptional experience no matter where they work. When you're using Meraki and the Cisco suite of technology, it's really great. Learn how your organization can make hybrid work, work. Visit meraki.cisco.com/twit. That's M E R A k I do cisco.com/twit. And we thank them for their support of this week in tech. All right, so let's see here. So earlier this week, Twitter it was, it was noticed, it was discovered that in, in a court filing that Twitter is no longer Twitter. I mean, the services Twitter, but the company that owns Twitter is no longer Twitter. It's now a company called X Corp. So basically Twitter ceased to exist as an independent company, merged with this new shell company called X Corp course. Elon Musk is behind this.
And I don't know, it's kind of interesting, like when I first was reading this and thinking about it, I was thinking of it as like, oh, so, you know, Facebook did this and they become me. They became meta Google did this, Google, they became Alphabet. So this is the same thing, right? And I think, I think that yes, it probably is very similar to that. But it all seems to hinge on this idea. Well, it, it goes in a couple of different directions. The first direction that we knew prior to the AI stuff is that we knew that Elon Musk has been talking for a while about this super app, like a WeChat style app that manages all sorts of things. It's not just a social network, it's also a payments platform. Does all these things is meant to do everything. That's why they call it an Everything app.
And that this move into this structure would enable that to be you know, would enable that to, to happen essentially. But we also heard just a couple of days ago that Elon Musk created a new artificial intelligence company called x.ai. So apparently Elon Musk loves the letter X, so many things in his life have X involved. This is just yet another thing. He, of course, Elon Musk is gonna want to get into the the AI game. And this seems to be a part of that. So, <laugh>, I guess we could start there. How do we feel about Elon Musk making yet another big change to Twitter? But this one, I don't know. I guess from a business sense, it kind of makes sense, but what do you guys think? Didn't he have some beef with with open ai, like, well, yeah.
So he of it, and didn't he, he was a co-founder, if I'm not mistaken, of Open AI back in 2018. Is it? He kind of had a f he, he, I don't know if you call it a falling out, but essentially mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, he stepped away from open ai. He, he was concerned about the direction of artificial intelligence. So yeah, it is, it's an interesting point to bring up an, because he has been the one, one of the people in recent years sounding alarm bells about the potential of AI and the, the development of it and being, you know, sometimes going to that extra level, that extra like ai sentience level. And you know, it would be easy to kind of write him off as, as silly as a result of that. But it, you know, there's that. And then now what's happening? Well, he wants to get in on AI once again. So I wonder, are his intentions different? Does he want to do AI in his mind responsibly? Put that in air quotes? I don't know. Do we have any thoughts as far as like, what, what his plan might be? His master plan?
Jason Hiner (01:14:33):
I think to be clear with open ai as I understand it, and Sam Altman's take on it, you know, e Elon's thing is like we, I didn't create open AI so that it could become, you know, controlled by Microsoft, right? Is is, or, or, or another it's
Dan Patterson (01:14:51):
Jason Hiner (01:14:51):
Yeah. That it was meant to be open. Yeah. Now, Sam Altman's take is that when they got to a point in open ai, they realized in order to get to the level of magnitude and scale they wanted, it was gonna take a lot of servers and a lot of server power, and they weren't getting the donations for it to, to, to really scale it. They weren't getting the rocket fuel they needed. And so that's why they had to go to find some corporate partners. But what he says is they still, the way their board is set up, that the nonprofit board for Open AI still controls the you know, the, the ultimate destiny of it. And so there, there is some, and, and e Elon wasn't happy with that. Still isn't happy with it. That said, you know, Elon's trying to do this as a, in a, in a private company setting with open with yeah, Twitter.
So with 1300 employees, it's hard to see a very good trajectory where, you know, they could make a, a dent in the universe with w with it from a, a Twitter standpoint. And I think they, they have enough things on their plate mm-hmm. <Affirmative> that it doesn't seem very likely to have a large impact anytime soon. That said, I'd be surprised if not just, so I, I kind of think of it as a non-story other than the fact that they wanna get into it. Anybody that's starting a company or transforming their company right now wants into, if they don't have AI as part of their, you know, mandate, then they're probably, you know, not thinking of it. Right. Whether you make toilet paper or whether you make, you know, open platforms to to grow the inner, to, to be a, a platform for the internet or a super app
Dan Patterson (01:16:34):
Abi, that's unlike a lot of, yeah,
Jason Howell (01:16:35):
Dan Patterson (01:16:36):
A lot of, a lot of tech stories, the, the dynamics, the interpersonal dynamics are far more interesting than the tech dynamics. And that relationship that he is had with open AI and Microsoft has, has been pretty interesting what he's referring to with this. He's talked for a long time about ai, what, what he's referring to is the paperclip maximizer, which was a phrase coined by Nick Bostrom in his book Super Intelligence, which was published in 2013, and has kind of defined the macro AI environment for a long time. Not the, the smaller and more practical business sense, but there is, and there's kind of a, a cult of people. I, maybe I shouldn't use the word cult, but there is there adherence <laugh>, well, I misspoke, but there are adherence to this idea of ai, super intelligence. And that is not just agi, but, but the rapid le there is an intelligence explosion beyond just these really useful models.
And Agi I, and that artificial super intelligence will be, will happen rapidly. And that super intelligence, the values of a machine, super intelligence aren't aligned with human values. And so the paperclip maximizer comes in with this idea that, well, if we train an AI to create paperclips, and we say, make paperclips at the expense of everything else, make paperclips very efficiently, then that AI will have a very narrow value set. And it will say, okay, no problem. Doesn't matter if people use the paperclips, I am going to atomize everything in the universe and create paperclips. Yeah. It, it's kind of a ridiculous thought experiment. But there are many people in the valley now talking about this as an existential threat. They often don't talk about climate change, but do talk about this <laugh>. Yeah.
Jason Howell (01:18:37):
Yeah. It's interesting. Interesting, isn't it? All right.
Ant Pruitt (01:18:41):
So then you mentioned the, yeah, the, the super app thing in, I can remember this was brought up way before the actual purchase happen, and it seemed to be a bit controversial amongst some of the other pundits here at twit. And I didn't, I didn't think it was a, a, a bad idea considering we have the likes of the, the, the WeChat and so forth that's going on in Asian, it seems to be working, but I'm not sitting here saying, I want a Twitter is super happy, would put my financial information into it. But I, I don't see anything wrong with this premise of saying, let's have a super app where we can have messages here, social here share our, you know, send beer money to our buddy, you know, whatever. I, I, I
Dan Patterson (01:19:27):
Don't, we already have it though. Let's see, how got, like,
Jason Howell (01:19:30):
Twitter was like an extra payment layer. Is that a super app? You know what I
Dan Patterson (01:19:33):
Mean? <Laugh> Yeah. I mean, it's like Android or iOS, like Yeah, I have an app that does it. It's called Venmo. I have an app that orders cars. It's called Uber. It doesn't, like if I do it in one app, does that change my experience? Not really. I, I mean, that story kind of misses all of the, the subsid, no, like the way China has subsidized the growth of WeChat. I, I mean, sure. I would love to see him try mm-hmm. <Affirmative> and I'm not anti Musk. I like, okay, great. Please try. Yeah, I'm just skeptical. And there's our, the, it's an operating system. The super app is an operating system. It Yeah. Lets you do all of these things.
Jason Hiner (01:20:06):
Yeah. The super rapid needs network effects too. Yeah. Right. Like, it, it it operates on network effects of like, people are in your ecosystem. And so you just make it easier to do other things in your ecosystem. And yeah. And then it just grows naturally. I think Twitter's gonna have a really hard time creating that kind of level of network effect. If somebody was gonna make the Super app, I think it's somebody who already has some of those network effects, or that's gonna create something so much better than something we have now, whether it be a social network, whether it be a way to, to, to send something or start a business and spin up you know, my own thing that, and, and take payments from other people, something like that. That's, that's who's gonna have the next super app. I think Facebook, Twitter's be more suited. Facebook could be more suited, and frankly, apple probably would too, right? Yeah. Because now Apple is on a billion devices. If Apple makes a, but what Apple would have to do, which maybe they do, maybe they don't, but they might, considering how fast and how far they've gone into services, is that they might make a hundred dollars phone if they make a hundred dollars phone that's in, oh, man, a lot of people's hands. That's,
Jason Howell (01:21:25):
That is so smart. Yes. Yeah. They would break, they rush rushed as if they made a hundred dollars phone.
Jason Hiner (01:21:30):
Jason Howell (01:21:31):
That actually yeah, that, that actually draws a, a line to a story that's further down on the rundown. But that I thought was really interesting. I, I've, you know, for those who don't know, I host a show on this network called all about Android. So it's very focused on Android. I've been doing an Android for as long as I've had a smartphone. I've had an Android phone, and I've always thought of Android devices as the kind of prime device for not much money. I mean, which is not to say all, all Android phones are like that, but if you don't have a lot of, a lot of money to spend on a smartphone, chances are you're probably gonna be getting an Android phone. But there is a story in here from the Wall Street Journal that is just pointing to how Apple is, is gradually over time becoming the low cost smartphone pick primarily because, you know, for a number of reasons.
But they, they hold their value. They're built to the point to where an older iPhone is still has an excellent chip. You know, that's comparable to a current chip. And all of these things, and just how we're, how the, the time that we're in now is more ripe for people being open to having these devices longer and, and being open to using older devices versus where we were five, seven years ago where we were worshiping the premium, and it was all premium worship, you know, <laugh> mm-hmm. <Affirmative> mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. And now we're, now it's like, like, I can only use my myself. I can use myself as a, as an example, my older daughter, she's 13, we finally, you know, said, okay, you really want a smartphone? We'll let you get a smartphone. But we got rules, you know, arou around this.
If you want one for free. I, you know, <laugh> father, who is a host of an Android show, I have a drawer full of phones. You can use one if you, if you like, and you can have it for free. And she's, here's a G one for you, here's a nexus. Thankfully I have, I have more modern phones than that. She would only be like one generation out, let's say <laugh>. And and she said, no, I want an iPhone. You know, because all of her friends have an iPhone. And so what did we do? We went onto, what service did we use? I think actually we ended up buying it through Amazon, but we looked on Swapa, we looked on all these other, like third party, or, you know, secondhand refurbished Apple refurbished. And we ended up getting her an s an se an iPhone SE from 2020.
So it's two years old, but it has an excellent, you know, rocking shit in it. Fun. It's gonna be great for her. She loves it. It's perfect for her. And it was like 150 bucks, you know. So we're talking this like low end cost, like what would she have gotten for $150 in the world of Android? Probably not. I hate to say it. Probably not something as, as strong and powerful as what she did. Get a remote control. <Laugh>. Yeah. Right. You're right, <laugh>. So anyways, this kind of correlates with that. Another strength that Apple has going for it is it's becoming a pick for that low, mid-tier. You know, it's, it's finally they're getting those phones particularly in the refurb or in the secondhand market. You know, those, those powerful enough phones are not that expensive at all. So I think you're right.
If Apple, I think it's a stretch to think that Apple would release a hundred dollars phone, but my gosh, if they did, they'd be honest. 2 99 maybe. I don't know. Yeah, totally. Yeah. <laugh>, yeah. Couldn't see it happen at a hundred, but I suppose you never know. Let's see here. Speaking of Apple, I like rumor stories. Some people are like anti rumor stories because they're not real and blah, blah, blah. But I find them fun. So I thought, maybe give us the goods. Let's hear it. Yeah. Well, I mean, I, I just thought this was interesting. So I got back a week, a week ago from a vacation. I was gone for two and a half weeks. And so that whole time I was like completely oblivious to anything technology, news. Like I, I made it a true like, vacation from Tech News, and it was, it was wonderful.
But as you all know, the flip side of this is when you get back to work, you got a lot of catch up to do. So I wasn't aware that apparently it's at least according to mark Erman at Bloomberg, it's pretty much a lock that, that we're actually gonna finally hear about Apple's virtual reality or whatever they're calling it, the reality headset at ww d this year. So, I don't know. I feel like we've heard this many times before and it keeps not happening, but Garmin seems pretty solid on the fact that this is going to be the WW d c where you see it, period. He's got a great track record.
Jason Hiner (01:26:17):
The timing could not be worse.
Jason Howell (01:26:19):
<Laugh>, I totally agree. That's why I wanted to talk about it <laugh>, if,
Jason Hiner (01:26:23):
If Apple does release this headset, and I'm starting to doubt if they will actually release it. Oh, okay. And also not beyond them to just say, you know what, let's pull this back,
Jason Howell (01:26:31):
Jason Hiner (01:26:32):
And not do it. Wait, because Disney just canceled their whole division that's making content for, for Metaverse. They
Dan Patterson (01:26:41):
Don't meta huge layoffs. And yes, the Metaverse,
Jason Hiner (01:26:44):
Even, even Mark Zuckerberg is quitting the Metaverse. And if Mark Zuckerberg is quitting the Metaverse, then it probably is over.
Jason Howell (01:26:51):
I mean, he went all in. He did, he did it. Not the biggest thing you could do with the Metaverse. He changed his name to the Metaverse.
Jason Hiner (01:26:58):
I know. I mean, he burned, he might as well have burned 10 million. 10 billion. Oh my goodness.
Jason Howell (01:27:03):
Excuse me. Yeah. So Zuckerberg is pretty much done with that whole world. I didn't, I didn't know this.
Jason Hiner (01:27:07):
He's shifting to ai, like they got burned so badly on it, and it tanked their stock price. And I think he's under a lot of pressure, you know, from the company. I mean, he, he's under as much pressure as he can be under. He's has this controlling, oh,
Dan Patterson (01:27:20):
Everyone I talk to at Facebook is like, it's layoff, watch. Nobody's getting worked on. They're all just sitting around waiting to get laid
Jason Howell (01:27:27):
Off. Oh my gosh. That's horrible. Wow. That's no fun at
Jason Hiner (01:27:31):
All. Yeah. So I just can't, I, I just don't know that I see Now Apple could be really take a position where they're gonna say, we're gonna, we're gonna zig when everybody else zags. They love to do that. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> as everybody knows. But you know, this was already sort of, they had been ratcheting back. They've had leaks, they've leaked stuff to the press. You know, I, I think these are pretty clearly leaks in some sense. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> of that that they're only gonna have 500,000 units, that it's gonna charge $3,000. It's really gonna be more of a developer device to get people excited about the Metaverse. So
Jason Howell (01:28:07):
It's Google Glass all over again.
Jason Hiner (01:28:09):
It does, right. It starts to look like Google Glass. And I, I think Apple, I would be more, I would be more I don't know, enthusiastic about, or, or maybe optimistic about the fact that they're going to actually release something if they had gone in the direction of ar where this is a device that needs an iPhone and gives you a little bit of a heads up display that can, that's powered by the iPhone wirelessly or something, and is a third accessory. Right? Cuz they've had huge success with AirPods as accessory. They've had huge success with the Apple Watch. Those are both essentially iPhone accessories mm-hmm. <Affirmative> and another iPhone accessory. That would seem to be a slam dunk. But I, I just think the technology's not ready yet for, for that. And I think that's what they wanted to do. And they'd spent a lot of money on it.
And it seems like then they went into the reality thing because it looked like there was a, there, there, and all of a sudden it looks like, you know, everybody has left the party and if, if other than H T C and, and a few like die hards but there's not good content. Even Apple, most of their developer content that they've been focusing on the past, like three to five years has all been ar not vr. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> you know, they've been developing mm-hmm. <Affirmative> really great developer kits and working closely with developers. They have a nice ecosystem that's growing in ar VR is like a complete unknown, so they might release something. Clearly they have something ready to be released and have been demoing it to, to some people, some insiders. But it just seems like this is a, a, a really a train wreck rating to happen if if they do it. And this is not something, they are such a conservative company. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, they are very, very conservative about releasing new things. We see that everything is so incremental that Apple does now that this would be, I I would be shocked, almost surprised. And I know that's not the popular opinion or the consensus but if they actually release this at WW D c I I don't think it's gonna happen.
Jason Howell (01:30:09):
Release or show
Jason Hiner (01:30:11):
Oh, sorry. Show. Show. Okay. Maybe they will show it. That's true. That's a good asterisk. They might show it and say released at the end of the year and then that still gives 'em the out to, at the end of the year say, you know what, this still needs some time. Yeah. And they, they might, they might, you know, charging pad this device and just, you know, put it back under the shelf and nobody ever hears from it again. In that case,
Jason Howell (01:30:32):
<Laugh>, it ends up, I a, a developer version of the device ends up on eBay in 10 years for some astronomical amount. Yeah. Could, could happen. You
Dan Patterson (01:30:39):
Can very, very simple, like what Jason just described, cost benefit. Like what is there to gain, like what market share is there for, for them to take, how many users are there, there for the Apple to acquire versus what are the risks? And the risks are tremendous. So if they just, I mean they could show it like Jason said, and say, Hey, it's a developer preview, you know, there's only going to be certain amount and, and we'll iterate on this product over time. But why, why not just wait? Why not just wait and release? Just like Jason said, something that's ar it's not called VR kit, it is called AR kit release. Something that's ar in a few years. And look, look, your, your Apple Watch and your air parts already are fantastic peripherals for ar. Right. The, the AirPods do great listening and peripheral listening.
One of the problems that you have with everybody has with VR is that you shut out the rest of the world. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. Yeah. I have, I have an infant toddler. I can't shut out the rest of my world to like get on a VR call when I could just zoom. But ar especially if I have AirPods that listen and have haptics and I have a watch that does haptics and can notify me of, of events, then suddenly I'm in an environment that's a lot more conducive to having a pair of glasses on my face in a couple years.
Jason Howell (01:31:55):
Is it safe to say the only like real
Ant Pruitt (01:32:00):
Market for VR with the headsets or what have you, is going to be on the industrial, industrial side of things more so than in the consumer entertainment
Dan Patterson (01:32:10):
Side of it. And not even that Microsoft canned HoloLens over a year ago. So, and, and they're really, I mean, I covered that. I had a hollow lens and there was just like every use case was just stretching it. Like there were really cool b b things that could happen potentially and looked really neat, but just weren't practical and weren't actually happening.
Jason Howell (01:32:34):
Yeah. I mean same, same could be said for a Google Glass and the enterprise edition, you know, cuz Google, that was their pivot was, okay, well this isn't really for consumers anymore, but, you know, the enterprise is gonna come in really handy. And yes, there were, you know, occasional stories where they would highlight how it is being used in the enterprise, but I, I highly suspect that was not the norm. You know, that was definitely, you know, the exception to the rule. Yeah. And of course, yeah.
Jason Hiner (01:33:03):
Idea still is running so far ahead of the reality on this. I, it's probably terrible pun, but, you know, it's just not there yet. Right. The, the, the ideas are, are farther, much further advanced than the capabilities ces I tried the new H T c vibe headset, which really has the latest capabilities. This is all they do, you know, primarily this is the main thing that they do. They're so focused on it. They've got the latest technology in this device. I tried it. I thought at the time there were some really interesting pieces of it. It, it's as far as it could get, but within 48 hours, I completely forgot about it was moved on to anything else mm-hmm. <Affirmative> and really haven't hardly thought about it since. Right. There's just not enough in it for, for it to be that interesting right now. And I, I just have to believe that Apple sees that, that they have a, there's not an echo chamber there and they gotta imagine,
Jason Howell (01:33:58):
Jason Hiner (01:33:58):
This is not, this is not good and there's not enough of it there there, and we aren't gonna release it. I and I trust Mark Germond sources. I think that, you know, mark Germond has been, you know, spot on many, many times about these kinds of things, but I I, you know, we're, we're still two months away from Yeah. Or almost a month and a half away, a little over a month and a half away from ww d c there's still plenty of time for Apple to pull the plug and say like, we're, it's just not enough
Jason Howell (01:34:24):
For sure. And would not be surprised in any way if that happened. Yeah. He, he wrote that Apple is you know, looking at this device as the future beyond iPhone and iPad. We've heard that before. But which is just, it's really hard for me to envision that, you know? No, no. Both of those things are way more palatable for the everyday person. And if this, if for sure if you're looking for a device category that is, that begins with those as the example, we want the next one of these, it's gotta be as consumer palatable as those things. And the, the reality is those things, you know, though iPhone a smartphone fits very easily into your pocket. It really does not take much other than cost expense, you know, is is the primary thing to, to use one of those. And the success of the smartphone industry has, has beared that to be true.
Obviously cuz everybody has these things now. I just don't see it when it comes to anything that you're putting on your head. And maybe I'm shortsighted, you know mark Zuckerberg sure thought we were shortsighted and that's why he named the company Meta and look where we're at right now. Like, it really does seem like he's wearing an egg on his face, you know? So his lawyers are working hard to roll that back. Oh boy. Yeah. Now, right? <Laugh>. Yeah. So I don't know. We'll see. But anyways, yeah, and I mean, according to his report also the initial plan according to Mark Gorman was that the headset was going to be introduced in March and sold publicly by September. Well, that obviously did not happen. Now it's to be introduced to ww d c sold by the end of the year. Even that I just feel like is just, God, if Apple's actually releasing this thing, they better know something.
We don't, as far as all this stuff is concerned. Cause right now it really looks like a very misguided direction in my opinion. And, and this is coming from somebody. I have the meta quests. I have the meta quests too, and I've spent a lot of time in them, but I've also spent a lot of time in the last 6, 8, 10 months I'd say no in them. You know, it's like, yeah, I had this big moment, this big, I can, I can, you know, narrow down to like a solid year, I'd say year and a half, where I was all about it. And then at some point it just became too much for me. Like when I go into that world, you know, I, I didn't used to, but now I don't necessarily feel 100%, like, it's not like I need to throw up or something, but I don't feel good, you know, I don't feel perfect like I did before I put the headset on. And that's enough of a attraction to be like, eh, I don't have the energy for it tonight. And so it doesn't happen. Yeah. So what does Apple got that's different than that? I don't know. I don't know what they could have. We
Dan Patterson (01:37:10):
Did a, a story at CBS s News and we shot the entire story in Horizon Worlds. Like every, everything we shot it just like you would a regular standup or a package, but everything was in Horizon Worlds in vr. Nice. And we even recreated the CBS b s News broadcast center and you know, there were functioning Canberra Angles and all that. And like Jason Howell, it came down to exactly that point. Like, we would get on meetings and go, Ugh, still a Zoom. Yeah. Like, oh, like, oh man, I like, do I have to get that thing? And I wear glasses, like, do I gotta fit this to my face and then scratch my glasses and then go,
Jason Howell (01:37:47):
And to what benefit? I mean there there is this idea of like extra presence and I, I would agree that when I'm standing in a room with someone talking to them, that feels better than sitting in front of a screen talking to them on a screen. But I don't know that the standing in a room talking to someone experience is the same as standing in a virtual room talking to that same person in a virtual way, but realistic kind of, you know what I mean? They don't translate. I don't get the same benefit out of one that I do out of the other. So then why am I <laugh>? I don't know. I don't
Jason Hiner (01:38:21):
Even know one, we've seen all these, we've seen all these Star Trek and, and Star Wars holograms and we're like, we're almost there with this. Like we're no, we're not, we're not even close. And, and, and the, the the path there is rough. And, and so people are not gonna be ready to spend money on it when they have that as their vision of what it is and could be, you know, when you get to the reality of what it is today, it just doesn't feel like it's really worth the, the time or effort.
Jason Howell (01:38:46):
Yeah. What is the, there, there <laugh>?
Dan Patterson (01:38:49):
We were, you know, this does, we were in a very similar spot with a, the Apple car maybe a half dozen years ago. Yeah,
Jason Howell (01:38:55):
That's a good point. You know,
Dan Patterson (01:38:56):
Right. It was just the next quarter they were going to announce it kept half by the end of the year. Right? Yeah. There seemed to be parallels.
Jason Howell (01:39:03):
Yeah, I think you're absolutely right. So all
Jason Hiner (01:39:05):
Of the, the headsets they've made already are right now they're getting packed into the trunk of the Apple car, you know, to be shipped to an unknown location.
Jason Howell (01:39:14):
Look, let's hard times for tech companies right now. You gotta do what you gotta do to save on cost. So <laugh>, I understand. Let's take a break and we'll get back and, you know, talk more awesome news stories with an awesome panel. Dan Patterson. So great to get the chance to podcast with you, man, I'm usually booking you for this show, so it's nice to be able to, to be on the same show with you. Same for Jason Heiner zd net. Same for my friend and coworker here at twit. Aunt Pruitt. This is just a heck of a lot of fun. So I appreciate you guys being here. Mommy <laugh>, this show, this episode of this Week in Tech is brought to you by Decisions, decisions Gives It and Business Experts, the tools to automate anything in your company. Automation. We've already talked about it a lot on this show, right?
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Okay, what else do we have here? We've done the fun Apple roomy thing. <Laugh>, I know you're gonna like this one. Ants the TikTok ban. Yeah, I'm sorry. I'm sorry I had to do this to you, but hey, it's in the news. So we should talk about it a little bit. So on this week in Google, we talked briefly about this story that was in here about progressive lawmakers starting to kind of change, or there's a, you know, a group of progressive lawmakers that are really pushing back on this idea of a TikTok ban. There's news though, that came this week that in the state of Montana, this was actually just on Friday actually, so just a couple of days ago. They, they approved a first of its kind bill. The the, you know, the goal or the, the target is to ban TikTok across the state.
So is this, I guess this would be the first state in the US to actually put this forward in a bill and to try and tamp down on TikTok use in the state. I don't know what that means for someone if they're VPNing because I have a really hard time picturing the Utes of today not using their TikTok. It's so embedded right now. But what are, what are your thoughts about this? Like, is this so, so far overblown? Is there some something there? Is Montana, like, do they know something that we don't know? What do you guys think?
Dan Patterson (01:45:30):
It feels like politics and not so much tech. I mean yeah, like China does similar things, right? They, they ban or put contingencies on the use of, of apps not built in China. And I, I mean this, this push to, I, I don't know, I don't have any sources on this, but this push to ban TikTok feels more like a diplomatic tete as opposed to a attack issue. Having said that, I don't put TikTok on my phone. I don't put WhatsApp on my phone. But I try to not put social media on my phone in general.
Jason Howell (01:46:02):
Yeah, that was my next question. Like, how does that line up with other social media? Are you not putting TikTok on your phone because of tru of the trust issue? Or is it just social media in general? Controlling the, the data that flows out of your phone in any way possible. And this is just one of, another, one of the many apps,
Dan Patterson (01:46:21):
More about the data flowing in. Look it Oh,
Jason Howell (01:46:25):
Dan Patterson (01:46:25):
I I mean, I, I just don't need more bit brain bending social media. Okay.
Jason Howell (01:46:30):
So it has nothing to do with like, what are they doing with my, with my zeros and ones, and it's more just like, I wanna simplify my life. I, I
Dan Patterson (01:46:39):
Do have those concerns. I think, I think that there are concerns, especially about key logging and other like, what they can see. Like, there are definitely concerns, but my concerns are personal. And that's that, like, I think that exposure to social media is something that personally, like I want to increase my exposure to books and decrease my exposure to social media, and that's what I try to do.
Ant Pruitt (01:46:59):
Hmm. You know, I, I'm glad Mr. Patterson's on here. You know, I, I know he has gone to different tech events and whatnot all around the world, including going into, you know, across the pond, if you will, for an event. And I know as his friend, he has taken certain security measures. I'm not gonna say what they are, but he has taken certain security measures when he is gone to Dee's events because he's wanting to make sure things are squared away with his privacy and so forth. And I've always applauded his efforts for that stuff. But then when stories like this come out, and just as he said, this is sounds more political mm-hmm. <Affirmative> than tech here, it pisses me off because TikTok can scrape and be a so-called threat to us from a privacy standpoint or, or security standpoint, what have you, just as much as any of these homegrown apps here in the US can, you know, we, we've had, I don't know, maybe 20 minutes ago where everybody in the country was talking about just how bad social media was for, for children and, and making the children depressed and, and, and wanting to commit suicide or lead into violence because of something they saw on Instagram or because of something they saw on Facebook or what have you.
But there was never any mentions then of, we need to ban Facebook and Instagram. You know? So it seems really, really political to just sort of single out TikTok when we could say the same stuff about our very own homegrown apps here.
Dan Patterson (01:48:31):
Unlikely those apps have them.
Ant Pruitt (01:48:33):
I, I, granted, I don't want them popping in and saying, you know what Mr. Per your son is, is under 18. He cannot use Instagram, and I'm gonna tell the government where to stick it because he's my child. Let me manage that. And when I hear these different policies, I'm always thinking, okay, I know there are bad parents out there, but <laugh> parents could step in and help manage these issues with social media, in my opinion. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>,
Dan Patterson (01:49:04):
I, Jason, you know, I worked for Jason. I've reported from, from Darford, from Cairo, the u a e Kenya. But Jason, you, I worked for you when I went to Kyiv in 2017. And I, I mean, I was, in retrospect, I'm like, I sh I should have just like breathe. But I like, that was terrifying. We, I mean we, the group, I'm not important, I'm just a schmuck journalist, but the Secretary of State was with us and there were other high level diplomats, and we were followed by, I followed, like, literally followed by people who were, I mean, just thugs. There we were staying right next to F S B and, and we were live streaming. This was the Global Cybersecurity Summit, and they were speaking on cyber policy, high level diplomats. And so, again, I'm a schmuck, but everybody coming out of there, like all of all of our phones were, were being monitored.
And Jason, you know, I used Signal, I talked to the team back home. But I took every app off of my phone that wasn't signal. I, and when I, I spent a couple of weeks in Cairo training, Sudanese migrants, how to use encryption on mobile devices. I did the same thing. I took every app off my phone because your data is in that case, was being monitored by the state. But look, the, the app, the data that streams out of your app apps on your phone is the no joke. It's no joke. Like, we should be concerned about data privacy. But to your point, aunt, we should probably be concerned about those homegrown apps as much as TikTok, <laugh>. And look, this, I, it just feels with
Ant Pruitt (01:50:40):
Grand stain and all of 'em are amiss
Dan Patterson (01:50:43):
<Laugh>, right? Like, it just feels like like maybe this is a little more about diplomacy than it is the app, but I, I don't know. Yeah.
Jason Hiner (01:50:52):
You know, one of the, there are not a lot of smart things that have come out of the, the debate about this to be, to be clear <laugh>. But, but I did see one not here, but just in the larger, like, you know, TikTok band conversation. I'm I'm sorry to say that, but but, but one of the smart things, the smartest things, I did see one senator whose name I'm now forgetting apologies who said, you know, the thing is some of this is just all visuals. Like we could say, okay, TikTok, you have to hold, you put your data in Texas, right? They have this, this movement where they're gonna like, no, no, we'll, we'll store all of the data in Texas. And so, and we'll, we'll, we'll somehow make ourselves feel better that the Chinese government can't, you know, get at it as easy In Texas, he says, look, the Chinese government has shown no restraint.
Whether it's in China, whether it's in Texas, whether it's in Europe, that they will seriously, they'll break in. Yeah. The Senator says it. They will, they will try to break in and I'm not confident that they're not in any of it, you know, at any time that they want. Yeah. And they've shown no compunction to sh to have any restraint. So why would we, you know, we we're fooling ourselves that we think that we're gonna be safer by making them store their data in Texas. I thought that was actually probably the smartest thing anybody has said in this, this whole debate of like, a lot of this is optics, right? It, it we're, we're trying to make ourselves feel better that the Chinese, about the Chinese government not having access to American data by not allowing TikTok to operate in the United States.
We're, we're fooling ourselves. It's not gonna solve anything. I'll add one other thing about social media, cuz I'm also gonna admit that when it comes to social media I also have done I, I've pulled it back on a lot of it. I used to do a ton of it. Dan and I met on media originally like 2008, 2009. And then Dan and I did a podcast in 2018 that I think you can still find out there. But in 2018, we both had, we both said we were deleting Facebook and Instagram off of our phones. We were gonna stop using a lot of Twitter. And the funny thing is, Dan and I both said, we, we had this goal because we were using it all the time, every day. It was part of our job. We're using it hours and hours.
And when you started, I think we had had this conversation before the podcast episode that when you start adding that up, you realize how much of your life you're, you're dedicating to it. Yeah. And it, it got, it got to the point where it was like, this is a lot of time. That's just not, there's not a good r o ROI on our time. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. So I remember saying on that podcast, I was gonna do one thing for a year. I was gonna pretty much go semi-retired on, on social media, and I was gonna do two things. I was gonna read more books. Cause I also realized I hadn't read a book in a year at the time. We had done, I hadn't com read a complete book in one year. Wow. and then I also was, I was using Facebook as a way to keep up with people.
And I was not actually having phone calls with people. I was not having coffee or lunch. So I said, in this one year, I'm gonna read books and I'm gonna have real life. I'm gonna call people and I'm gonna go out and have coffee and lunch with just, you know, the people that I, I have the access to do that when I travel. And at home, my life was so much better in that one year that I said it was gonna be a year. And then I sort of forgot about it, you know, when I, whatever the date was that I was supposed to like, go off of this sabbatical, this social media sabbatical. Cause I was like, I, my life, I'm never going back to, you know, spending hours and hours a day on social media. It's just the ROI for that. Yeah. For my mental health and the quality of life is just not good enough. So
Jason Howell (01:54:28):
Is that still a constant now at this point? It is the same thing. Yeah. Because that was, as you were explaining it, I was like, and then after a year, I'm going right back, but no <laugh>, I'm happy that was, I
Dan Patterson (01:54:38):
Deleted, I deleted Facebook, not just the app for my phone, but I deleted my Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp accounts. I had to make WhatsApp to talk to some sources a couple months ago. But I, I've since deleted it. I don't, I, yeah, yeah.
Jason Hiner (01:54:53):
Dan went a step further than I did. I didn't delete them, but, but kudos to Dan for all
Dan Patterson (01:54:59):
That that was, yeah. It just felt like Facebook was a net negative and my slash plate on it was, was pretty high. Twitter was a, a net positive for a long time, and it could be again. But Right. I mean, anytime I'm a gamer, so I like, if you do a, in, in most major video games, if you pull up your console and you do slash played like a slash and type played, it'll tell you like, world of Warcraft, 14 days. Right. But what is your slash plate on social media? Like,
Jason Howell (01:55:30):
Oh God, do do we actually want to know the answer to that question? It would probably, yeah. Probably make it really
Dan Patterson (01:55:37):
Bad's bad. What's ROI to Jason's point? Like, like in Twitter, you know, the ROI was pretty, pretty big, pretty substantial. Like it was absolutely a benefit, but all the other social was like e and even even those apps like it pulling 'em off my phone. It's, it sounds silly. I know people have strong opinions about Amazon and I'm not r raising an Amazon debate, but like, I bought a Kindle late last year and I mean, it changed my life. I read, I, like, I don't touch my phone in bed. I read mm-hmm. <Affirmative> every single night for hours. It's, it is the best device. I I would get rid of all of my other devices if I could keep my Kindle. Mm-Hmm.
Jason Hiner (01:56:16):
No, no. Flip phone is all you need.
Dan Patterson (01:56:18):
<Laugh>. Yeah. <Laugh>.
Jason Hiner (01:56:19):
I, I, I'm the same way though. Kindle flip
Dan Patterson (01:56:21):
Jason Hiner (01:56:22):
Dan Patterson (01:56:23):
Jason Howell (01:56:23):
There's a big movement bag into flip phones right now. The,
Jason Hiner (01:56:26):
I was talking about the Motorola Razor. Okay, sorry. Yeah.
Jason Howell (01:56:31):
Jason Hiner (01:56:31):
Man. The the, the Kindle though, it really is true because it's because of not having that backlight and, and also not having any other apps on it. I, when I, when I did say I was gonna go off of you know, social and spend more time reading, I did that. I bought a Kindle. It was a Kindle Oasis. This is still the one, five years later that I'm reading on today. And I, I do, I I would do a slash plate on that and I, there kind of is a version where you can see here are the books you read so far this year. Yeah. Here's your goal. And it, it's kind of, it's kind of nice cuz that then I sort of see, I feel like there's an r o i right there of like, I'm, or at least I'm fooling myself to say, like I, I, I deal, I like the r o i there in terms of reading.
And I also listen to some things. There's some good other apps. One of the things that I really like a great trend is the apps like Blink and some others that do summaries of books. Mm. cuz then you can, you can get the you can get the summaries of a lot of things. And then if you're really into them, cuz most books have one, two, maybe three good ideas in them, and the rest is all evidence. But if you can get that 15 to 20 minute summary of books, then you can decide, oh, I, I'd like to go and either read that or listen to the audio book or, or whatever. So I've found that to be another thing where I, the r ROI on that feels really, really high. There's like three or four of these apps now that, that do that, that summarize books into like 15 to 20 minute little snippets. And I find that another life hack, sorry, I know we're not talking life hacks here. So back to you Jason Hall.
Jason Howell (01:58:07):
I, I, I think we are, because <laugh> apparently we've moved on from, from TikTok because I, I mean it sounds like we're kind of all in somewhat agreement that maybe this is a little silly and, and definitely more political than it is actual technology. But I appreciate where the conversation has headed because I think, I think the, the wellness aspect around how we're using technology there, there was this movement, you know, four or five years ago where, you know, Google and Apple were putting all these wellness features into their phone and there was, you know, a little bit, there were the people that that appreciated having those controls. And then there are people that were like, don't tell me how to use my technology. Oh, blah blah, blah. I have noticed for myself that probably about five or six, I can't remember when it was exactly, I wanna say it was like five or six years ago, I left Facebook entirely deleted my account.
It was just, I was, I realized that when I used Facebook, I came out the other end having, you know, spent all that time there and I didn't feel better. I felt worse. You know, it was this, this idea that like, I'm subjecting myself to this experience that on the other side of it, you know, part of it was just, I, it was a very politically heated moment in time and you know, it was just like, I don't, why am I spending my time feeling bad? What would happen if I just removed it? And, you know, a lot of things improved in my life. But, but I'm also conflicted because about a year ago I signed up for a new Facebook account and came back, not because I wanted to be exposed to political anything. I haven't, you know, engaged with anything like that.
And honestly I don't see it, so I'm obviously doing something right. But just because I, I did feel Jason, like I can appreciate and respect that you were able to ta remove yourself and maintain all of those relationships in on a phone call or a sit down or whatever. I do way more of that now than I did you know, five or six years ago, no question. But there's still like a lot of life that I don't see out of the people that I care about. And that seems to be the only way that I can actually get that connection and, and just, you know, to understand what's going on in people's lives. So my approach to it now after having that distance is very different. I probably only opened the app a couple of times a week, maybe two times a week. And when I do, it's very specific. Like, what are my friends up to right now? It's just the good stuff and I'm okay with that. But, but are you word of mouth for that, you know, transitioning?
Jason Hiner (02:00:38):
My wife is still on Facebook, so my wife tells me when something interesting that I would like you. Yeah. Oh, you log in. Or she'll just screenshot it and text it to me. Like, there you go. Go such and such. Here's their life event. And so so,
Ant Pruitt (02:00:51):
So yeah, group, I'm probably I use Twitter, but I don't, I, I'm not gonna necessarily say I'm on Twitter because I don't respond as much as I used to. Yeah. neither. Even back before the acquisition, I noticed a change in, in Twitter, in my Twitter experience cuz I'd opened it up where this in the browser on my phone. And the, the fuss for most people was the stuff that was being fed to 'em was really, you know, people that are not following and what have you. You know, there's like, this is, none of this is matters to me. My feed wasn't necessarily like that. It was a lot of the people that I follow, but what was being served was the, the, the anger and, and hate Yes. Frustration from the people that I follow. And I got tired of seeing that cuz it was just depressing, you know?
I didn't get to see all of the, the viral videos of people having these weird fights in the street and stuff like that. Fortunately I didn't see much most of that stuff, but what I did see was still a bit of a downer and I was like, you know what, I'm just gonna go into broadcast mode. And so for me, if you look at my feed, a lot of my stuff is automated. It's just going out all day long because I'm a broadcaster. And if it's, if Twitter's gonna get me one more listener to hands on photography, if it's gonna get me one more person to order a print and p.com/prince, I'm, I'm fine with that. But for the most part it's just straight up broadcast mode. And every now and then I go and answer a reply, but not often. Mm-Hmm.
Jason Howell (02:02:29):
<Affirmative>. Yep. I totally agree. My participation has gone down and I think I'm okay with it. <Laugh>. Yeah.
Ant Pruitt (02:02:39):
And I'm fine. And even with Instagram yeah, Instagram has changed for me too, now that I think about it. Twitter and Instagram have changed, changed again since about November of last year. I went into full broadcast campaign mode for my son. So now if you look at Instagram or look at Twitter, yeah, you'll see some things about TWiT in there and hands on photography, but most of the time you're gonna see my son in there because I'm just trying to push him and promote him because I think he's getting screwed when it comes to these dagum colleges out there. But that's another rant for another day. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. But yeah, either way I'm, I use the platforms, but I'm not on the platforms. Yeah,
Jason Howell (02:03:21):
Jason Hiner (02:03:22):
Instagram and TikTok. And do you, do you, do you put your stuff out for your son on Instagram
Ant Pruitt (02:03:26):
And TikTok? Yeah, my, oh yeah. And my TikTok has my son on it. That's <laugh>. It's not me on there. It's, it's it's him.
Jason Howell (02:03:33):
Yeah. That does see your son have a TikTok account?
Ant Pruitt (02:03:36):
No, he does not. No, he does not.
Jason Howell (02:03:38):
Is he is totally curious. You don't have the answer, but are, is your son interested in social the way you
Ant Pruitt (02:03:44):
Yes. He actually has two Instagram accounts because he's a, he's a creator himself. He has a private Instagram account that I don't, I don't have access to, but I don't care because I trust him. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, you know, yes, he's a turd sometimes, but I trust him. I, I know he's not gonna be doing crazy stuff. But he has another, his public account where, you know, he does his photography and cuz he likes to shoot and he also likes to model and he likes to sew because he's in a fashion and stuff. So he, he, he, he does put stuff out
Jason Howell (02:04:15):
There. Oh, right on. Yeah. Okay, cool. There are ways to use these things that aren't soul crushing. Things, you know, experiences <laugh> it's important to remember that. Let's take quick break and then when we come back from the break, got a couple of like little bits of stories here and there to round things out with. But let's take a moment and thank the sponsor of this episode of this Week in Tech, and that is Express vpn. I'm a huge fan of Express vpn. Had him on my phone, had him on my computer for years. Profiling, surveillance data, harvesting, some of this stuff probably sounds pretty familiar based on what we've been talking about today. These are a lot of things not to like about the tech giants, right? But what can you actually do about it when you rely on so many their products?
We don't all have 44 billion to go buying Twitter, but the good news is you don't have to be a billionaire to take a stand. I use Express VPN on all my devices, like I said, for less than $7 a month. You can join me and fight back against all of this data harvesting big tech by using Express V P N. And yeah, I mean, you know, of course the easy example here is you go to a public space, public wifi coffee shop, you know, you're logging onto the wifi there. Prime example of, of where you can use V P N. And if you've ever used VPN before in any public space, you may have noticed like a slowdown in what you're getting. It's like, oh, well I turn on the VPN n and things just don't seem as snappy. I mean, that's one of the things that I think I love most about Express V P N is I turn on that V P N and I don't notice a difference like <laugh>, I just don't notice a difference.
It's awesome. They've got, you know, different, different points of presence across the, the, the world across the map. So you probably have one very close to you, and that's gonna keep things going fast. It's a pretty impressive experience. How do you think big tech companies make all their money? They do it by tracking your searches, your video history, everything you click on, and then selling your personal data. Express VPN helps you anonymize much of your online presence by hiding your IP address. Which if, if you are to where you probably are, but it's a unique identifier for every device. This allows big tech to match your activity back to you, right? It's a very specific target targeted just to you. And the best part here is how easy it is to use the Express VPN app. Like I said, I pushed the button.
It's, it's literally a simple tap. I just tap one button on my phone one button on my computer and I turn it on. And that's all it takes to keep people out of my business. If you don't like big tech tracking you and selling your data, your personal data for profit, it's time to fight back. Visit express vpn.com/twitter right now. You'll get three months of express VPN for free. That's express vpn.com/twi. One more time for the people in the back row express vpn.com/twi, you'll be happy you did it. I'm telling you, it's the VPN to use. It's the VPN that I trust and I IUs and we thank Express VPM for their support of this week in tech. We had a great week this week on TWiT sans Leo, but he's coming back so you aren't gonna have to wait too much longer. Let's see what's so great about the last week on twi?
Jason Howell (02:08:09):
Jason Howell (02:09:21):
Speaker 9 (02:09:22):
Tweet, no membership needed. You are a charter member without question.
Jason Howell (02:09:29):
I can't hear the, the letters T H X and not think of the the the big sound effect from the beginning. The movies. Yes. That was
Ant Pruitt (02:09:37):
Deep, deep sound. Wasn't that the phrase for
Jason Howell (02:09:40):
It? Was that, yeah, I don't, I don't know. Is did it have a title other than T HX Sound? Yeah,
Ant Pruitt (02:09:46):
It had, it had an actual title. It, I think it's like Deep Sound or Deep Noise or something like that will confirm
Jason Howell (02:09:52):
Sound. Let's see here. T H oh, T hx Deep Note.
Ant Pruitt (02:09:57):
Jason Howell (02:09:58):
Yes. Composed by Lucas Film Sound Engineered Dr. James Andy Moore. First screened 1983 Premier of star Wars. What is that? Is that six? No, yeah. Return of the Jedi Return. Return of the Jedi. Yeah. Interesting. I didn't know that that played in the theaters that early. I thought it was like a mid to late eighties thing anyways. Certainly didn't play before any football games. And it's a horrible segue, but we all know that YouTube TV is getting the Sunday ticket N F L Sunday ticket, which had stayed, you know, which had called DirecTV It's home for decades. It was possible that it was gonna go to Apple. Now it's certainly going to YouTube tv and now we have a pricing for it. For any of the football fans out there, I don't know, maybe there are not that many, but $349 a year if you want the Sunday ticket package through YouTube tv, that's a pretty penny for some, for some N F L football. If I do say so myself, I dunno if I'll be paying for it. Well, actually I do know I won't be paying for it. <Laugh>, but what
Ant Pruitt (02:11:10):
About you? I'm right there with you, bro. No, I'm, no, no, it, it's, it's, it's no different from when DirecTV had it from a pricing standpoint. You getting the football season and you're paying well over $300 or what have you. Yeah, but the football season isn't a full year and, and you sometimes the game experience isn't necessarily what it's, what you would hope it would be because if you're watching your team play in the other market or what have you, because they wasn't able to, you know, cuz you're not able to see 'em in any other regular time, you get the broadcast team that isn't necessarily the, a broadcast team. So sometimes that screws with the experience and I I, it's just not worth it. You know, you get five months out of the year mm-hmm. <Affirmative> for this package, you don't even get the full 12 months. It's, they gotta, they gotta bring something else to the table. And
Dan Patterson (02:12:05):
I know it's not comparable, but the price of an mlb.com subscription is 1 49. But they have the same, the same challenges aunt is that, you know, and the same when baseball streams on Apple or on Amazon or elsewhere. That Right. I, I, I want my local announcers, I want to know, I have a parasocial relationship with them. I wanna feel like Michael K is saying horrible things in my ears. Like, yes. When Aaron Judge was pursuing the home Home run record last year, there was a possibility that it wouldn't be as hometown anchors calling the game. Now it's great for Apple and Amazon to help diversify the space, but like, and Google, but
Ant Pruitt (02:12:46):
Hey, sports, sports care about this stuff, man. <Laugh>.
Dan Patterson (02:12:49):
Jason Howell (02:12:49):
Yeah. When you say 1 49, is that 1 49 a year or a month or
Dan Patterson (02:12:54):
What? A year. A year. But there's still big blackout restrictions. Like you can't watch outta market games and teams at least like the Yankees, I don't know other teams, but like the Yankees through Yes. Have their own television network and they have their own radio network, so they have their own app and, you know, you can listen to Yankee games on M L b, but you like, if you wanna watch your un Yes. Mm.
Jason Howell (02:13:17):
Jason Hiner (02:13:18):
And the unwinding of all these rights, these old antiquated rights around different kinds of broadcasting is, is certainly happening right in front of us. And, and I think then, then at the same time we have the streaming wars, which so while the old television system is still unwinding, we have the streaming wars, which are, are are I think about to get apocalyptic because people are so overstretched on their streaming service subscriptions and you hear it again and again, right. Consumers talking about it and I think are are ready to start, you know, dumping some subscriptions and then consumers getting hit pretty hard. Inflation, it's been a couple years now. And that the drag on that is, is really strong. And you see that and, you know, the levels of debt rising. You know, I think that the, certainly the golden age of, of streaming and or at least paying for stream subscriptions is over.
And it's tough to see who's gonna survive that. I think it's gonna surprise a lot of people. But I think that, that the, the companies that are best set up to win the streaming wars are not necessarily the ones you'd think of. I think they are Apple, Amazon, and Google, because the Apple and Amazon have subscriptions that people already pay for and get other stuff and they're like, fine. You know, it's, it's in there. I'm not gonna I'll keep paying for Apple One or prime my Amazon Prime subscription. And that the fact that the video is in there, oh, oh, oh. Well, you know, that just gives them so much more leverage operating leverage over all these other subs screen subscriptions. And then you have Google with YouTube where they're still sucking up so many of the eyeballs. That's not really a good analogy, but you get that here <laugh>.
They, they're still capturing a lot of the attention. And so you know, the, the, the fact that they are doing it all the way from now YouTube shorts, which is rapidly drawing some audience from TikTok. And then on the complete other end, I, I, you know, to bring it back to, to this story on the complete other end, you have them now being the host of probably the most valuable subscription in the world, which is tv, you know, this five month, $350 subscription for the N F L that people will actually pay for enough people will actually pay for that. It is insanely profitable. I think that puts YouTube in a really, really strong position from a, a viewing standpoint. And ultimately all these platforms go where the eyeballs go and the Yeah. The, the winners consolidate around where the eyeballs are.
Jason Howell (02:15:58):
Yeah. How so? Okay. So definitely along these lines, how do we feel about H B O Max becoming just Max? It's no long HBO o the legacy name no longer part of the, the name at all. You just gotta know
Jason Hiner (02:16:13):
It sounds like the name of an AI
Jason Howell (02:16:16):
<Laugh>. I figured that was coming. <Laugh>.
Jason Hiner (02:16:18):
It, it feels like the name of an ai, you know, like it's now not HBO O Max, it's the name Max. Yeah, exactly. You just tell Max what Max I'm interested in watching, you know, an action adventure movie that has you know, this star in it that you know, has rated this and just show me all the options.
Ant Pruitt (02:16:38):
I I, I saw the story in via Tech News Weekly, Mr. Sergeant and Mr. Yes. How we were talking about it. Cause I didn't, I didn't see it any prior to that. And I get their point HBO, O max, whomever they are, I get their point by dropping the name because if there's gonna be a lot more children friendly content there I guess some parents could be concerned when they put that tag H B O on there knowing that eh, H B O wasn't necessarily kid friendly for several decades. And it just makes more sense marketing wise. It's nothing's gonna change. You're still gonna have the, the content that you're used to getting. It's just a branding. It's thing. It
Jason Howell (02:17:24):
It's kind of a silly it Yeah. Story.
Jason Hiner (02:17:25):
HBO has so much brand equity though. Yes. Like to do this. It'd almost be like Ford saying, we're not gonna call ourselves Ford anyway. We're gonna call ourselves Blue Oval and like, nobody's gonna know what Blue Oval is. Right. Where when you, when you
Ant Pruitt (02:17:39):
Say that. But at the same time, federal Express has been doing just fine the last couple of decades as FedEx
Jason Hiner (02:17:45):
On FedEx, but everybody calls FedEx.
Jason Howell (02:17:48):
Totally. That's a little different. It's close enough. Yeah. We all know what that's
Ant Pruitt (02:17:53):
Other people out there that rebrand it and some of 'em are still,
Dan Patterson (02:17:56):
It does feel like a a z love thing. I mean, it feels like a, you have to know the inside baseball on, on, no pun intended on what's happening at Warner and those media changes to really understand why this rename and rebrand happened.
Ant Pruitt (02:18:14):
Jason Hiner (02:18:16):
It remind And in big trouble, like, like the rest of those streaming ones we just talked about, like they're in big trouble like,
Dan Patterson (02:18:22):
Like every major media company.
Jason Hiner (02:18:23):
Yes. Yes. And so they've got to do something. So to aunt's point, maybe rebranding is what they need because they need to not be pigeonholed into what they are, what they have been. And they need to be seen as something larger in order to, to
Dan Patterson (02:18:36):
Supply. Yeah. It could be, is it like maybe HBO's a Boomer brand?
Ant Pruitt (02:18:39):
If I wanna watch reruns of, of Big Bang Theory? I'm not gonna look on H B O Max. I'll probably look on Max before I look on H B O Max.
Dan Patterson (02:18:50):
You might look on Paramount.
Ant Pruitt (02:18:53):
No, no, but it's on actually it's on H B O Max now. Oh, is it? I
Dan Patterson (02:18:57):
Believe mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, I thought it was a, a Paramount show.
Ant Pruitt (02:19:02):
CBS B or something, one of those things. But it's on H B O max right now. If I go and pull it up, <laugh>, but again, most people Yeah. Is it on Max? Okay. Yes, it's on Max. Boom. It's there. Same way we were doing things with Netflix before it got muddied.
Jason Howell (02:19:18):
Yeah. this, this story reminded me of the Netflix name change, which I brought up on T N w <laugh> on Max. Oh, right. Yeah. Remember when it was Right. Quickster was the name Yes. Of the DVD one was gonna be the DVD V and the other was, and then the Netflix was streaming and Quickster was the dvd. And then they, boy, those were the good old days. Oh. Remember when that's what everybody was panicking about? What, we can't call it Netflix anymore. <Laugh>. Yeah. Did anyone hear Play Wordle? Or, sorry? Well, Wordle, yes. We probably all played World. Did you ever play Hurdle? It was the game that Spotify acquired The music Wordle game? I did not, sir, but I did run hurdles. Oh, okay. Different. This is, this is not herd h u r, but Herd, h e a r b Heard.
Cause it's a Spotify thing. I do remember when the Wordle thing, the Wordle like obsession was happening and it seemed to captivate everybody. There was like this there was this gold rush on Wordle inspired games and everybody was buying 'em up. And Spotify's play was to buy this game called Hurdle, which would basically, it would play the beginning part of a song five times. And you'd have to guess the song. And big Surprise that's done that that whole <laugh> that whole, you know, gold Rush has fizzled out and Spotify is gonna be closing it down. So if you're a big fan of Wordle inspired games, you're gonna have one less to play. I don't even know. Podcast.
Jason Hiner (02:20:47):
Jason Howell (02:20:47):
Still never play, play. I just was never one of the people that shared my score Yeah. Day. Oh yeah. I didn't play it ever.
Jason Hiner (02:20:55):
No, I, I didn't, not
Jason Howell (02:20:57):
Jason Hiner (02:20:58):
I never played it. I
Jason Howell (02:20:59):
Played it. I already words, man. I don't want that to be a game.
Jason Hiner (02:21:04):
<Laugh> words want you in your sleep already.
Jason Howell (02:21:07):
Yeah, that's true. <Laugh>, I've spent enough of my time with words. I don't need it to, to be how I passed the time and enjoyment. And then I think maybe finally, I thought this was an article that could round out the show. Friend of the show, Harry McCracken, the techno Jackson <laugh> wrote on technology.com about the end of computer magazines in America, because maximum PC and Mac Life are both shipping their last print edition, moving to download, moving to digital. And he says I'm not, I'm not writing this article because the Dead Tree versions of Maximum PC and Mac Life are no more. I'm writing it because they were the last two x extent US computer magazines that had managed to clinging to life until now. The Compu he says with their abandonment of print, the computer magazine era has officially ended. And that just kind of makes me kind of sad. Hmm. Computer shopper, you know,
Jason Hiner (02:22:15):
I didn't, I didn't realize they were still around.
Jason Howell (02:22:17):
Yeah, it's <laugh>. I mean, I'm not reading 'em, but
Jason Hiner (02:22:23):
I thought, whoa, there, I, I was the interest in the story. I was like, wow. They, they were actually still printing. I had, I had no idea that was,
Jason Howell (02:22:30):
Yeah. I just, many people to care are is our age group. No, totally. Oh, no question. This is purely a nostalgia story that I put in there because it reminds me of being a kid and looking at that fat, like honking, you know, issue of computer shopper.
Jason Hiner (02:22:46):
It's just like
Jason Howell (02:22:47):
Hundreds of pages of storefronts with different, you know, like speckt, you know, machines and Oh yes. It was the whole thing.
Dan Patterson (02:22:56):
I worked at the ancient history years ago, two decades ago I worked at Copperfield's Books in Sebastopol and Petaluma <laugh>. Oh. I would drive between those two stores on the corner at the time. Yeah. I was in charge of magazines and with magazine with all magazines at the time. That was the early two thousands. And magazines were still kicking, so you'd always overorder because they would make up. And at the end of the week you have extras and you have to prove to the publisher that you did not sell those. And I would sit in the back and strip those, especially those computer magazines. I would sit in the back of Copper Fields and read the Stripped magazine cover to cover all of, and I felt like, wait, I'm reading a computer, why don't I just use the internet <laugh>? Anyway, that's a non sequiter. But I started my computer magazine reading at copper Fields very close to you.
Jason Howell (02:23:57):
It was all your fault, Dan. Why
Dan Patterson (02:23:59):
Jason Howell (02:23:59):
Just read it on the internet?
Dan Patterson (02:24:01):
<Laugh>, you know? Well, if you weren't in a bookstore or a, or close, I mean, bookstores, I'm, I'm sure people are, are listening who've worked in bookstores and there's the, I mean, it's, it's a travesty, but stripping books was pretty common. You know, you'd have way too many mass markets of some sci-fi book you totally wanted to read. So gotta strip that cover. Hmm Hmm.
Jason Hiner (02:24:22):
This reminds me of a story too. This magazine, the Death of the Mag, the Computer magazine reminds me of a story that I've maybe you've even told on Twitter before of like, when I was in the nineties, I was in college right when the internet was hitting, you know, and I was studying journalism and I have these arguments with journalism instructors. I was like, this, this internet thing, like this is the future. Like, it's, and they're like, no, they tried this experiment down in Florida, you know, with like HyperCard and, and, and the thing is, look, people just don't wanna read on screens. And I was like, it's instantaneous and it's so much cheaper. Like, you don't have any, you know, trucks going into delivering papers and paper, you know, carriers and, and all of that. And, and they're like, you know, it's just not gonna happen.
You think of it, you just don't have the serendipity of flipping through things and being able to see, and and they said, you know, you should just go into, you should get a job in magazines. I'm like, no, I want it work on the internet. Like, this is where the future this is. And they're like, just get it. Take the magazine class and get a job in, in magazines, cuz you have a future there. So now to be great, to be fair, they're right. Like if I would've studied magazines, I could have had a job all the way up until 2023 Yes. Or something, you know maybe actually probably not. Maybe up at Tilt 2010 or
Jason Howell (02:25:41):
Something. Yeah. I'd say, yeah, a few years off that for sure.
Jason Hiner (02:25:44):
I'm, I'm glad I, I'm, I'm glad I, I'm glad I didn't, I'm glad I sort of walked out and was like, yeah, they don't know what they're talking about. My, you know, teenage mind. I don't know what the heck they're talking about. They can't teach me anything when in fact they could, 90% of what they were saying was really excellent. They just had this 10% wrong. It just happened to be like a really important 10% at that moment.
Jason Howell (02:26:02):
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. No kidding. No kidding. Yeah. Well, I yes, computer shopper of course was a, was a magazine that I've, like, I have fond memories of just because of the sheer, like, I mean, it was just gigantic. But my history with computer magazines goes back into the eighties when I had added Commerce 64 and it was, you know, all the, all the magazines that you could get then like compute where you get it. And it would have like, you know, it would have some sort of machine language code that you could enter in manually into your computer and you'd end up with a game on the other side, or you wouldn't, and then you'd have to go through line by line and and troubleshoot it and everything. And so, yeah, I've got a fondness in my heart for the computer magazine. So when I saw this article, I was like, oh, okay.
I need to take a couple of minutes to, to mourn the loss of the computer magazine. Like one warm tear roll down your cheek. <Laugh>. Yeah, I'll say that. One did, but one didn't. But it should have <laugh>, if I was more of a computer nerd, a a tear would've sh would've rolled down my cheek <laugh>. Anyways, thanks to Harry McCracken for writing a really great article as he does all the time. I know. And thanks to you three for being my guests on this episode of this Week in Tech and for I know making this job easy. Sometimes I can, I can admit filling Leo's shoes can be a little daunting cuz he's been doing this stuff for so long. So I was like, I gotta have, I gotta have some people that I know I can roll with on this panel and you guys are great. So thank you for coming home with me today. Appreciate it.
Dan Patterson (02:27:40):
Ah, thank you Aunt Jason and Jason this great to see you
Jason Howell (02:27:44):
Again. Good to see you.
Jason Hiner (02:27:46):
This was fun. You did, you did great. It was a, it was a pleasure.
Dan Patterson (02:27:49):
Yeah. Jason, you did a f fantastic job.
Jason Howell (02:27:51):
Thank you. Dan, what do y'all wanna leave people with? Blog dot dan patterson.com. Where should, where do you wanna direct people if they're if they wanna support you?
Dan Patterson (02:28:01):
Yeah, that's great. Blog dot dan patterson.com is where I have the most recent ZD net interviews with AI thought leaders. It's n not, this is nothing to do with me. It's fascinating people talking about this emerging technology that is reshaping lives. Mm-Hmm.
Jason Howell (02:28:22):
Excellent. Well, everybody should follow your awesome work there. Blog dot Dan Patterson, we're just crew to zd net. Zd net and and you'll find find Dan there as well. It's great talking with you, Dan. Thank you. You too. And Jason Heiner, editor in chief azid net. So even if Jason isn't writing the articles that you're seeing, he's certainly, he's certainly very, very ingrained in the <laugh> the presentation of the articles. Tell us a little bit about what people can do to find you online and what do you wanna leave people with?
Jason Hiner (02:28:56):
Yeah. you know, really it's, it's the work of folks like Dan, all of our writers and editors who are following and on ZDNet are following the most important developments. Our focus is on disruptive innovation and there is so much of it happening. AI of course leading the charge, but since the beginning of the year AI has taken off in such a, an amazing way and from a curiosity standpoint of the audience, people are trying to get their heads around what does this mean what's happening. One of the things that I really love about what our, our team has done is, is really surrounded it with a 360 perspective. We're trying to look at it from every angle, not just repeat the the hype and the echo chamber about what it's doing, but really pulling back and pulling apart the pieces of it and looking at it and observing it and the work that Dan has done interviewing really smart people and bringing those unique perspectives.
All three of the interviews that are already up that Dan has done all bring a very different perspective to the argument. And that's a, a symbol of kind of the work we're doing more broadly on AI and chat. G P T, you can come and you get, you can learn how to use chat G P t how to make really good prompts. You can understand how chat g p t works. We we're doing all of those things and understanding AI in the broader spectrum. And then we're also looking at, of course, all what are all the technologies that are happening in the products and what are the most advanced and cutting edge ones and latest things happening, and how can you take advantage of them? Which ones are worth sort of taking advantage of and bringing in and trying out in your life from robot vacuums to smartphones to you know, software that you can use to, to help with your work and with your yeah, with your life. So that's what we do. Zd net.com. We're also YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, all of the socials. You can find lots of great stuff there. And, and that's the that's the best thing that, that I have to offer.
Jason Howell (02:31:02):
Right on <laugh>. Well, thank you Jason. Always a pleasure to get the chance to talk with you and yeah, thank you at Jason Heiner, by the way, on Twitter. But it sounds like you don't True. You're not doing too much there. None of us are. No Twitter's dead, <laugh>
<laugh> also Anne Pruit also not doing very much on Twitter, it seems. And thanks so much for carving out yet another Sunday I realized after I asked you to do this, that you were already covering for me on two of the Sundays while I was out. And then I felt really bad because I was like, oh man, you're, you're working so hard to enable me to take a vacation. So thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your help while I was gone. And thank you for being on this episode of This Weekend Tech, cuz I love podcasting with you, man.
Ant Pruitt (02:31:51):
My pleasure, brother. My pleasure. I appreciate you. Yeah. Oops. Make sure y'all watch my show Hands On Photography, Twitter tv slash h o p and learn how to be a better photographer and post-process regardless of the phone or camera you have. I'm not going to get into all of the weeds about what you need an I ain't iPhone 18 plus Pro. No, just grab a camera. Let's get out there and shoot
Jason Howell (02:32:17):
<Laugh> Artist Working Man in podcast. That's right. Yeah, that's right. That's true. Keep it up and you're always
Ant Pruitt (02:32:24):
Put it on my lower third, Mr. Jammer b
Jason Howell (02:32:26):
<Laugh>, you're always such a positive person. I love it. So thank you Amp. As for, well, first of all, club Twit, you need to know about Club Twit because it's become really important for us here at TWIT over the last couple years actually. And Pruitt makes a lot of the club twit things happen behind the scenes. As you saw on the promo if you saw the promo, you sat down with Victor, one of the one of the editors here. And so doing lots of really cool stuff on Club Twit. But what is Club Twit? It's basically, if you want all of our shows without any ads, if you want want bonus content like that interview, there's, you know, hands on Windows, hands on Mac Scott Wilkinson has the Home Theater Geek Show. Now there's a bunch of content exclusive to Club TWiT members. If you want access to our Discord, which is for members only, then Club Twits, where it's at twit tv slash club twit, $7 a month gets you all that stuff. But not only that, it helps us because as y'all know, you know, podcast advertising, there's, there's been some shaky ground in recent months not just for us but in general across the podcast market. And so you being a member actually helps support us directly and we can't thank you enough for that cuz it really does help. So it keeps
Ant Pruitt (02:33:51):
Installed. Mr. Yes, can I jump in here for a second course? Go for it. All right. We, regarding Club twit yes, we have our, our seven bucks a month and we have our annual plan, but we also have corporate group plans. So if you folks want to have your IT department join Club twit, sign up at at TV slash club twit, but we also have family plans. So you can get a family plan has two seats for 12 bucks and you can also increase those seats and you can even get a family annual plan just again, just due to math, 12 bucks times 12, whatever that math is, <laugh> and increase the seats. And also folks that are members of Club tw, we just had our book club and we're gonna have a a another book club meeting on June 29th. So if you're remember right now, please go in and vote on the next book that we're going to read. And we'll have our meeting on June 29th with Mrs. Stacy Higginbotham. The book club's been a lot of fun and has spin exposing me to a bunch of sci-fi stuff that I would never read in my own, you know it's been a lot of fun. So make sure you folks check us out and thank you for all of the support of Club Twit.
Jason Howell (02:35:07):
Yes indeed. Twit.Tv/Club twit. Thank you. A, as for this show, twit.tv/twit, if you go there, you're gonna find all the ways to subscribe. We do this show every Sunday starting at 2:00 PM Pacific, 5:00 PM Eastern, 2100 utc. So if you wanna watch live, you certainly can. Twit.Tv/Live is our live feed with our chats and everything happening in real time. But really you need to subscribe and you can do that at twit tv slash twit. We hope that you will. And that's all there is to it. I'm Jason Howell catch me on all about Android. Actually, I'm filling in for Leo on security now and this week in Google this next upcoming week as well as Tech News Weekly and all about Android. So I'll be really busy, so I'll be looking for you all there as well. Thank you for allowing me to crash this party for one week. Had a lot of fun. And with that, another twit is in the can. Thanks everybody.