This Week in Tech Episode 930 Transcript
Please be advised this transcript is AI-generated and may not be word for word. Time codes refer to the approximate times in the ad-supported version of the show.
Leo Laporte (00:00:00):
It's time for Trek this week in Tech. What a great panel we have for you. Christina Warren's here, film Girl from GitHub. We also have Dan Gilmore from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at asu. And from Connect Safely, Larry Maggot. Larry Maggot is gonna tell the terrifying story of how he very nearly got scammed by a virtual kidnapping scheme. We'll also show you what to do to avoid that. Then we're gonna talk about Apple's big reveal tomorrow. Are you ready for a VR nerd helmet? Maybe, maybe not. Also, ai, of course, in the news. And we talk about that press release this week from AI scientists and leaders saying it's an extinction event. Watch out. Why would they do that? It's all coming up next on TWI podcasts you love
TWIT Intro (00:00:49):
From people you trust.
Leo Laporte (00:01:01):
This is twit this week in Tech. Episode 930 recorded Sunday, June 4th, 2023. Can you smell what Tim is cooking? This week in tech is brought to you by Express V p n, you using the internet without express VPNs like forgetting to mute yourself on Zoom and then everyone hearing you trash talking. Your boss, protect your online privacy by visiting express vpn.com/twi. You can get three extra months free with a one year package. And by Collide, collide is a device trust solution that ensures if a device isn't secure, it can't access your apps, it's zero trust for Okta. Visit collide.com/twi and book a demo today and buy AG one by Athletic Greens. If you're looking for a simpler and cost effective supplement routine, ag one is giving away a free one year supply of vitamin D and five free travel packs with your first purchase of a subscription. Go to athletic greens.com/twit 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? The Meraki Cloud Managed Network. That's how Learn how your organization can make hybrid work, work. Visit meraki.cisco.com/twit.
It's time for tw this week at Tech, the show. We get together with the best journalists in the world to talk about the weeks tech news so that you'll know what's next. Larry Maggot joins us from connect safely.org. You had a tale to tell. We'll talk about it. Boy, that was a scary story about your wife getting kidnapped. Except she wasn't. She wasn't. She wasn't. Anyway, we'll, we'll talk about that when we come back. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> or later in the show, I guess we're not away. <Laugh> also with us. Legend Dan Gilmore, founder of the a s u news CoLab at the Arizona State's. Wa Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. It's great to see you, Dan. Cheer you, you're my journalistic conscience. I always, always think of you and would Dan approve that kind of thing. <Laugh>, what would Dan say? Anne, that's, yeah, you can, you can say something now if you wish. You can. No, I was just say,
Dan Gillmor (00:03:31):
I was gonna say that's a sometimes
Leo Laporte (00:03:33):
Questionable method. <Laugh>. And then that's Christina Warren, who has had a very busy couple of weeks. She is of course developer advocate at GitHub. We love seeing you. And you were all over Microsoft's build broadcast. Yeah, yeah, sure
Christina Warren (00:03:51):
Was. Yeah. It was a good time. It was, it's good to be back with people again. And it was they definitely, they had me on my feet a lot for sure. <Laugh>, that goes without saying. Yes. You
Leo Laporte (00:03:59):
Were working hard. I did wanna ask you though, I saw Panos pane come out dressed traditionally in black, wearing his zebra Chuck 70 <laugh> sneakers. They really stood out with the black outfit. Yeah. I, I imagine you noticed that. Is he a sneakerhead?
Christina Warren (00:04:23):
He is. He is. He's a massive sneakerhead. That was actually the first time I've ever met him in person. I think that I got cool points because I commented on his shoes. He was wearing like a very specific, like, kind of like, like rare type of shoe. And I was like, oh, I like your shoes.
Leo Laporte (00:04:37):
They were fleecy. They were like fleece wool sheeps zebras or Z sheeps or something.
Christina Warren (00:04:45):
Yeah, no, he's a shoe person. And I think that, that his brother, someone works, I don't know if it's at Nike or if it's a one of the other big shoe manufacturers, but he is a fantastic shoe collection. So people at home should always watch what Pan's shoes are, no matter what event he's at, because they're always very, very good.
Leo Laporte (00:05:02):
This was a Rick Owens collaboration with converse the Zebra print faux shearing <laugh> with the signature exaggerated tongues. I didn't see the tongue. They were tucked into his pants. But I did note the weird toes, the square toes with vents. And that's how we were able to track it down. And I have to give credit to a tie in our marketing department who said, oh, it was easy. I just looked for vented toe zebra print, converse <laugh>. And they came right up
Christina Warren (00:05:33):
And they came right up.
Leo Laporte (00:05:34):
They're wild looking. They honestly, they, they were more interesting than Panos was. Panos got robbed. It turns out you may not, you don't, you can, you don't have to say anything if you don't want to talk about the gossip at Microsoft.
Christina Warren (00:05:49):
No, we can talk about it. I mean, we'll, but, but I, I'm assuming the context here. I guess
Leo Laporte (00:05:53):
So I think it was Paul Throt who did the legwork and got it confirmed by a couple of sources that the material panels was gonna give on day two. He did the day two keynote. We covered them both live. So that was fun. Was essentially stolen by, on day one, <laugh>. And so he was left with a keynote with nothing Oh, no. Much to talk about. And it kind of felt that way, I'll be honest. He waited into the audience and was really pumped about, you know, how exciting things were. But there wasn't a whole lot to talk about. And I think it turned out that he kind of, it was, it was unfortunate cuz he, you know, he, he's a, he's got his in, he's very enthusiastic. He's a good speaker.
Christina Warren (00:06:35):
And so he's a great speaker. Yeah, he's a great speaker. Yeah. yeah, th this is, this is the weird part when you're hosting the show, like, there are so many different moving parts of the live production that I didn't know anything about. What, who and what was supposed to say anything during the keynotes. I'm sure that the, the, the people in the control room did, but I did not. So that was, I completely missed all of that, but,
Leo Laporte (00:06:55):
Well, I, I have my notes from the keynote and recently only a couple of lines, Panos Pane Revival meeting time Pumped. And what does it mean for us as people? <Laugh>?
Christina Warren (00:07:07):
That was, that
Leo Laporte (00:07:08):
Was the entire, the, but, but I do have to give a lot of credit to Stevie Batis, who is a technical fellow at Microsoft Applied Sciences Group, who really gave, I, you tell me if you agree or disagree, I think the best rundown of what Microsoft's plans are with AI and how AI's gonna integrate into Microsoft's products in the future.
Christina Warren (00:07:32):
Yeah. How much of that
Leo Laporte (00:07:33):
Did you get to see? I don't know if you got to see it.
Christina Warren (00:07:36):
No, I, well, I, I, I, I have to catch up on, on all the stuff afterwards because, because
Leo Laporte (00:07:39):
Yeah, you're backstage video, you're behind the scenes, and this was the very end of the day two keynote. So you're pro, they're already probably going let's, you know, powder Christina's nose. Okay. Get ready. You know, da da. Yeah,
Christina Warren (00:07:51):
Yeah, yeah. I was like watching as much as I could and then I watched after the event. But No, you're, you're exactly right. Like, during those things when we're trying to go backstage and get places set up, like, I literally like had my phone no time, like up and was like, you know, watching stuff. But but what I could see in real time was, was more limited. Like, there were some instances when I was be backstage and interviewing people right after their, you know, talks. And I could see like the last, you know, five or 10 minutes or so, but would miss the, the earlier parts. And so I had to go back and, and watch a lot of stuff.
Leo Laporte (00:08:19):
AI has been the nonstop subject of this show for the last probably eight weeks. I mean, it is mm-hmm. <Affirmative> it is all we talk about. And it was of course for Microsoft, the big, really the big reveal Microsoft is investor an open ai mm-hmm. <Affirmative> to the tune of 10 billion. Although that seems like a good deal of that is in kind donation of Azure time. Cuz of course, ai, these models take big cloud
Christina Warren (00:08:51):
Leo Laporte (00:08:51):
Clusters to like, to Yep. To create
Christina Warren (00:08:54):
Cluster. Yeah. No, it needs No, exactly. No. And, and the G P U like usage is insane. Especially when you're training the models. Yeah. When you're running them. I mean, they're working on ways to make that better. But, but what, but even when you're running certain ones, like G P T four as example is very G P U intensive, which is one of the reasons why it is constrained right now, both for people who wanna pay for access to the API, and also why it's more expensive. And so even if you pay for like, chat Wiki plus you're limited to the number of queries you can use 20,
Leo Laporte (00:09:24):
I paid 20 bucks a month, I can only do 25 queries a day.
Christina Warren (00:09:27):
Right, right, right. And is it's
Leo Laporte (00:09:29):
In the last three weeks, I've not done, I've done none. <Laugh> one of those things where they wear off quickly. Dan, it's also been a big part of your world, I imagine because a number of journalistic s including cnet, have turned to a AI to write their articles. And I think there's probably some concern among journalism students that they may not have a job when they graduate. Do you, do you talk about that at all, Dan, with your, with your
Dan Gillmor (00:09:59):
Your students? I, I, I've been bringing it in. I I'm not teaching journalism these days. It's more media literacy. But
Leo Laporte (00:10:08):
Well, it's even more important there because the first thing Yeah. But I mean, if you want to talk about mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, the imminent hazards of ai, it's, it's the disinformation pile Yeah. That AI is gonna create up to the 2024 elections.
Dan Gillmor (00:10:22):
The, the, yeah. The authenticity is kind of important. And I, I guess I, I have so many thoughts about this, and I'm also trying really hard not to get caught up in the hype, because I think a whole lot of what's going on now is a what amounts to a transference of the cryptocurrency hype to and, and investments, boy put that in quotes to ai. And we're gonna see a whole bunch of new sleazy stuff and victims. It's, I mean, it's, it's, it's like a repeat, but that, you know, wash, rinse, repeat is the way it goes in tech. What, what do
Larry Magid (00:11:11):
You, what do you make of, of Sam Altman being one of the many people who have a lot invested in AI going around calling it an existential threat?
Dan Gillmor (00:11:19):
Yeah. You know, I'm we're, we're, we're on a family show here. So <laugh>,
Leo Laporte (00:11:27):
You can use initials if you want, say BS for instance. You can say that.
Dan Gillmor (00:11:31):
Well, look, was it worse? This is, there's some, there's so many things I would say about the guy, but, you know, first of all, calling it open AI is one that ought to go in quotes.
Leo Laporte (00:11:43):
Well, it was intended to be, wasn't it? When Elon Musk and Sam and others founded it, the whole, the whole premise was, we can't let Google and Microsoft and Facebook own this space and do in a closed fashion. We've gotta create an an AI open development this. But that didn't happen, did it?
Dan Gillmor (00:12:01):
Well, it, this is either one of the great bait and switches of all time, or that, you know, amazingly they changed their minds when a whole bunch of money shows up. <Laugh> and I gotta go with both. I, I think this is, it really bothered me. And the idea of this guy running around the world the listening to her give me a break and goes to Washington and says, regulate us before it's too late. What he means is regulate us before we have competition. So we are locked into place as the winner. That's what they're really doing with all this. Please regulate us though.
Leo Laporte (00:12:42):
A few days ago there was a for the Center for AI Safety, <laugh> released a statement on AI risk signed by Sam Altman. And a lot of people I highly respect the statement was short and sweet mitigate this is it mitigating the risk of extinction ex by the way, extinction. They don't say of whom, but I'm presuming they mean our extinction from AI should be a global priority alongside other societal scale risks like pandemics and nuclear war. That's it. Signed by Jeffrey Hinton, the Google's retired Google scientist who was one of the fathers of large language models, Sam Altman's on this list. Bill Gates signs this pretty much a who's who of scientist, bill McKibbon, who is certainly up to date on extinction events. He was one of the first to talk about climate change as an extinction event. Lauren's tribe from Harvard, Kevin Scott, the CTO at Microsoft, Peter Norwig from Stanford, I mean, some really rust, rusty schweiker, the Apollo nine astronaut are all worried about the extinction. I have to say, when it comes to Sam Altman, maybe I'm very cynical. It feels like maybe this is, look that's not about regulatory capture. Maybe it is, but I think more it's about like, see, this stuff really works <laugh>. Like,
Christina Warren (00:14:17):
I, I mean, I mean, I, I think you're might be right, but I I I'm gonna take a cynical approach to even that statement. I think that that has been, I think it's been misconstrued. I mean, I think that really, that is just saying that the same way that the nuclear and many other technologies can be used for bad. This is a very sanguine statement, basically saying that that ai, especially as it evolves, could be used for, for bad purposes. Well,
Leo Laporte (00:14:42):
But there also be a global priority. Like we should get a, we should create a commission <laugh> or something, or, I
Christina Warren (00:14:50):
Mean, we probably should. I mean, we probably should.
Leo Laporte (00:14:52):
I mean, I don't think so. I think I am so underwhelmed by what ai, it is not ai. This is, this is Eliza steroids. This is just a, a chatty Bs. And I, well,
Christina Warren (00:15:04):
The, the chat components are, I mean, some of the other stuff, some of the general bar co pilots
Leo Laporte (00:15:07):
Christina Warren (00:15:07):
Cool, are generally interesting. Your G
Leo Laporte (00:15:09):
Github co-pilot people have, it's been out for a couple years now. People use it. You would never run code un unchecked that
Christina Warren (00:15:17):
No, obviously not you.
Leo Laporte (00:15:19):
Christina Warren (00:15:19):
No. No. But is that
Leo Laporte (00:15:20):
Obvious? I mean, I don't know. No,
Christina Warren (00:15:22):
I mean, I, well, I, I think right now it is obvious. I mean, I think that in a couple of years when the models evolve, it might not be as obvious and that you might actually be running certain types of code that would be auto-generated the same way you have. I mean, for instance for several years now market Watch has done, you know, just like auto-generated articles about the, the stock market that are Sure. Very, very inconsequential. So I think that for some boiler plate things where if you're generally running the same block of code every day, but a, a different, you know, function is plugged in, why people are already automating things that way already. Right. So I, I don't think that it's that much of a stretch to say that you could be running something that was AI generated. But I, I think that whether it needs to be seen as this way, whereas this is like this existential threat right now.
I would agree with you probably not, but I, I do feel like, I don't know, I personally think that a lot of the framing around that simple letter, which was in response to a, a very hysterical petition that people put out, which to me read as being like, Hey, we missed out on this wave and now we wanna stop other people from profiting off of it because we can't profit off of it. So let's pause everything for six months. I, I just read this as, this should be treated the same way that we treat other types of technology that have had incredibly consequential, both positive and negative. Sure. Impacts on the world.
Larry Magid (00:16:45):
I can't think of any technology beginning with the wheel and the fire that doesn't have positive and negative implications. Right. And, and it, it's really the question of how you use it. I, I am not particularly worried about the dystopian notion that these machines are gonna take over the world and kill their masters. I worry a lot about misinformation, disinformation, and I think going into the 2024 election it may be, I wouldn't call it an extinction level event, but it could be very consequential if people are led to believe things that aren't true, including the ability to create photographic or, or recorded evidence of things that politicians may or may not have done. That could be basically, you know, totally fabricated. So how do we know whether to believe our eyes? When do we know when something's real or not real?
Leo Laporte (00:17:31):
You know, it's really clearly hyperbole to say it's an extinction level of any kind extension level event. But I think there is a danger. I agree with you. I I completely agree with you with from disinformation, but, but I, to me, the real danger is not that it'll be persuasive, that people will change their vote because they saw a tweet of the Pentagon on fire. That's not what the risk is. The risk is that people won't trust anything. This is the right old Soviet Union technique of flooding the zone with bs. I was thinking bud, to undermine trust in our institutions and our media, because I can't believe anything. So I'm not gonna, I'm just gonna stop looking.
Larry Magid (00:18:09):
I, I was thinking about this though. As you know, in the news this week, there were this recording that apparently was unearth of Trump, essentially admitting that he had classified documents. If I were Trump's attorney, I would probably claim
Leo Laporte (00:18:20):
Fake. It's a fake.
Larry Magid (00:18:21):
This is fake. How do we know this is really Donald Trump? It sounds like Donald Trump, but it could be fake and of course it could be fake. But, and
Leo Laporte (00:18:28):
That's the only
Dan Gillmor (00:18:29):
Way Elon <laugh>. Yeah. Elon Musk has already done that in, has he?
Leo Laporte (00:18:33):
Yeah, of course he has. And
Dan Gillmor (00:18:35):
Yeah, they've, they've already played the maybe it's fake, so don't, you can't trust it. Okay.
Leo Laporte (00:18:40):
It's a little more trusty cuz it came from Trump's own people, but okay. <Laugh>. Well,
Dan Gillmor (00:18:45):
The, and, and the judge, the judge in in the Musk case said, you know, give me a break, <laugh> this. No. And I think, but, but yeah, this is going to be a really big deal. The whole deep fake phenomenon that people have been talking about now gets more real and more confusing. It's the confusion factor, as you said. That's really the big one. And we have to work harder on helping people be appropriately skeptical and think about context, think about all sorts of things. And we're gonna have to come up with better ways to, to detect and to characterize what we're seeing. And yeah, I, I'm part of a project that is in full disclosure, it's a DARPA funded project that's working on some of these issues. And it, it's, it's really difficult, but people are looking at ways to counter somebody you ought to bring onto this program someday is from witness that wonderful group that puts technology in the hands of people to record and care and, and save human rights abuses. Sam Gregory is who I'm talking about. And they and others, a bunch of folks in this area have been looking at ways, well, how do we how can we maybe start thinking about provenance of information? How can we think, think about something that has a watermark from the second it was created?
Leo Laporte (00:20:33):
Yeah, that's interesting. That might finally be for NFTs. Hmm.
Dan Gillmor (00:20:37):
Tremendous. Well, it is, it's, it's kind of, sort of the NFT thing, but done more correctly and with without attached. And we're not, it, it's really difficult because it creates a whole set of other problems, including kind of perpetual copyright and control if by the person who created it. Does you want that? No. how, how do you deal with the fact that every single bit of media created today is at some level being changed as it's not the original? What is the original, what does that even mean when, and this is real AI stuff, when AI has changed it from the, from, from the microsecond of creation into something that it wasn't, you take a photo with your any modern camera and it's not what you saw with your eyes. It's already been manipulated.
Leo Laporte (00:21:42):
It's kind a Heisenberg Heisenberg's media uncertainty principle that the power that,
Dan Gillmor (00:21:48):
So we're, we're, yeah, always. But AI is, it's gonna be bad and we have to help people.
Leo Laporte (00:21:54):
But I think you make a point though that it's, we've always had a certain amount of this. I mean, the only thing that's really changes the quantity that AI can generate at speed, cuz we've always had a certain amount of disinformation. Russia, you know, has famously had a troll farm building, you know, disinformation using social media to do dis disseminate it back in 2016. I mean, it's not new. It's, it is just the quantity and the speed of it that's new. Yes.
Dan Gillmor (00:22:24):
Well, when you talk about quantity, more people get misinformation watching Fox News than probably
Leo Laporte (00:22:29):
All That's my point. <Laugh> Twitter
Dan Gillmor (00:22:31):
Bots put together. Yeah.
Leo Laporte (00:22:33):
So I think it's a mistake to say, oh, this existential threat from AI when you got Fox News,
Larry Magid (00:22:41):
Leo Laporte (00:22:42):
I mean, it's gonna be some people watching who say, what are you talking about Fox News? <Laugh>? This is fair and balanced. And maybe, maybe you feel it is, I think that Dan's larger point is absolutely well taken, which is all media is essentially a creation you know, storytelling around what actually happened. Sure. That's, that's the nature of it.
Larry Magid (00:23:01):
And, and no media tells the entire story. I mean, it's just if, if, if there's not enough space in any publication or broadcast to tell the entire story of anything. So even honest journalists have to pick and choose what it is they decide to emphasize around a story or what stories to cover. And, you know, it creates this that, you know, we can create a sense of urgency about something that exists, but essentially doesn't, isn't really an issue. So Fox, for example, will take a case where maybe an illegal immigrant created, committed a crime and make it look as if immigrants are under, are major threat to American law and order when in fact, yes, there are cases where immigrants commit a crime, but why was that crime featured on national news when there were thousands crimes that took place that day that weren't featured on national news?
Leo Laporte (00:23:48):
And that is the process of journalism is picking and choosing. Right. Right. And you can say, well, journal, journal, go ahead. You're the, you're the journalists. I'm sorry, go ahead. Explain,
Dan Gillmor (00:23:56):
I'm sorry. I I the idea that journalists do context is amusing to me cuz journalists don't do context as a rule,
Leo Laporte (00:24:04):
Dan Gillmor (00:24:06):
Of course. Yeah. But it's never been part of the exceptance just the facts of special cases. Just the facts never been part of what people do. Yeah.
Larry Magid (00:24:13):
Well, a journalists pick and choose. So for example, if there was a random murder in Cincinnati, chances are it would make the national news if some famous person were murdered, it would make the national news. It's still just a murder. I mean, it's not just a murder, but my point is, it's the same crime. Right. But because it's a famous person, it's now national news. Or because a person, whoever committed the crime maybe elevates the national news. So that's the case where journalists do take some kind of, in one of many examples where journalists make some kind of contextual decision about what to emphasize.
Leo Laporte (00:24:43):
Well, let me ask this, Dan, you're at the Cronkite School clearly Walter Cronkite, who had 30 minutes a day to tell us what happened was making decisions about what to report, what not to report. We trusted him but perhaps we were deaf to the notion that he was in fact editorializing. I mean, that's the process, right? Was it just our naivete that we thought, well, we can trust the New York Times and Walter k Cronkite and Huntley and Brinkley, and we used to wa we were a Huntley Brinkley family, but but that maybe was arm naivete at the time even. I mean, the Vietnam War didn't suddenly become a terrible war because Walter Cronkite No. Suddenly noticed. I,
Christina Warren (00:25:29):
No, I mean, if anything you could argue that the government, which they did, I mean, they did this repeatedly with editor arm Morro. Sorry, sorry to interrupt Dan. But like that, you know, where they would intervene and, and try to, you know, take shift and take control over what the networks would allow the, the newsmen to say. And, and I'm, I'm sure that that conkey faced some of those same challenges, but maybe
Leo Laporte (00:25:50):
Easier in fact to spread disinformation when there's only a handful of sources of information. And they're all trusted.
Larry Magid (00:25:59):
Ed Merle wore an army uniform while reporting. I mean, he was literally, you know, in bed with the military. I'm not saying he wasn't a great journalist, but clearly that that had to have some influence on him. Yeah.
Leo Laporte (00:26:11):
What do you think those were
Dan Gillmor (00:26:12):
More naive. We were, yeah, I think the fifties and sixties were more naive times until the Vietnam War got to the point where it couldn't be hidden how bad it was. Right. And, but can a lot of what in, in the sort of golden era of the three network model, they did try hard to do a, a, a good job on what they did. But a lot of the problems were in what they didn't cover. For example, they did not cover civil rights until they were forced. No. so the, the, but there was that, there was a famous turning point with Cronkite where he basically said, this is, this is nuts about Vietnam. This is crazy. We can't win this thing. We're we're, we're being lied to. And kind of sort of said that on the air. Yeah. Yeah. And mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, that, that really there's a famous story of Lyndon Johnson turning to somebody in the White House and saying, well, if we've lost Cronkite, we're done. And it, a lot of the rise of right wing media stems from the substantial part of the population, certainly not a majority, but a significant part that never trusted the three networks. Right. right. New York liberals and wanted and, and were advocating something different. And from their perspective, better leavening of the what they believed was this entirely liberal driven agenda.
Leo Laporte (00:27:57):
Was it York liberal? He was 1974. So it'd be 50 almost 60 years ago, 50 years ago. Here's Walter Cronkite. And his, this was what changed the fate of the war, I think. Well,
Virtual Kidnapping video (00:28:12):
It seems now more certain than ever that the bloody experience of Vietnam is to end in a stle maker. But it is increasingly clear to this reporter that the only rational way out then will be to negotiate not as victims, but as an honorable people who lived up to their pledge to defend democracy and did the best they could.
Leo Laporte (00:28:36):
He's basically saying, let's get out of the war. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. And, and that was a watershed moment because he was so trusted. Yes. But I again, asked the question, which is worse for disinformation when you have a hundred thousand news sources, all of which are untrusted or three news sources of which are highly trusted, but may be just as prone to disinformation. I mean, I know they're trying, but they're, but they're human. It seems to me that that's actually more risky.
Dan Gillmor (00:29:11):
I, I agree with that. And if they're, if they're controlled by other influences in a in a more direct way, we ended up, there were other media and there always have been media smaller and people who got at news that the big ones didn't. And it eventually would filter up into the public consciousness. But we, and and you know me, you know, that I think that a hundred thousand outlets is at some level better, but we aren't doing a very good job of sorting it out and helping other people's. Is that
Leo Laporte (00:30:00):
Dan Gillmor (00:30:00):
Leo Laporte (00:30:01):
The problem as consumers. That's our job. And that's what you're teaching basically.
Dan Gillmor (00:30:06):
It's we all have, we all have to take some responsibility Yeah. For knowing what we're talking about. And we're not generally doing that very well. It's, it's difficult and it's, it's going to be a process that's gonna take a long time, but we don't really have an alternative unless you prefer censorship. Right. And then you're in a worse position than you were.
Leo Laporte (00:30:30):
So disinformation is one way that AI could, I think extinction is such a strong word, but We'll, we'll stipulate That's okay. Extension. Maybe that's one way. How Well, it's what, what are they? I, it seems to me they've read too much science fiction. They've watched too many movies of people getting locked out of the pod bay and, and whopper, you know, declaring nuclear war. And I mean, I, you know, I don't know if AI poses a risk of extinction. That's, that's, and I, and if, and if so, how?
Larry Magid (00:31:05):
On, on the front cover of Connect Safely, I reprinted my Mercury news column called AI makes a Mistakes, but Could It Destroy us? And, and, and my conclusion is it's not gonna destroy us. No. And I, I, I also think that we really do have to look at the possibilities. I mean, maybe it's the eternal optimist in me, but we have to, like any other technology, weigh the benefits against the risk. And I think the benefits are enormous, and I think the risk is substantial. But at the end of the day, I mean, I think we can, I think we can manage this one. I, I'm, I'm not losing sleep over it. I lose a lot more sleep over climate change than I do over the eye.
Leo Laporte (00:31:41):
Well, yeah. If you want an extinction event, guess what's barreling down the pipe at us <laugh> Exactly. At a increasingly rapid speed. And I don't care how much you trust your favorite news source, no one's doing enough to, to stop it. I mean, that's an extinction event. Right, exactly. And I think that's headed right our way with no evidence that we're doing anything to stop it. I mean, that doesn't, doesn't mean you can't have more than one. You can have more than one extinction in vets. I'm not, I'm not saying that there's a lot of other bad stuff happening, but AI does not seem to rise to that level of
Larry Magid (00:32:17):
Danger. And we have decades of evidence that that climate change is coming and that it's extremely dangerous. Do, don't know, ignored it, what day it's gonna Yeah. You know, and we continue to ignore it. Exactly. Yeah.
Leo Laporte (00:32:28):
All right. Let's take a break. Enough ai, although there's a lot more AI stories, <laugh>, I guess I might have to throw them in. There was a chatbot designed to help eating disorders. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> they fired the entire team that was on this hotline. The the n e d, the National Eating Disorders Association had a website where people would go to get information about eating disorders and what to do to fight them. They decided, eh, we don't need people. Let's just get a bot named Tessa. Tessa started giving people dieting advice, <laugh>, which is exactly what you don't give somebody who's suffering from an eating disorder. That's just an example of he, to me, over promoting the, the, the potential of ai. I don't think AI is all that. I really don't. Well,
Larry Magid (00:33:29):
Leo, it may have potential, but it may, potential something may happen in the future was
Leo Laporte (00:33:35):
Fooled by these stories. And I think as a media organization, it's our responsibility to tell people, no, a chat bot should not be giving advice on eating disorders. Why would you even think that?
Larry Magid (00:33:50):
Well, if it's the reason why I don't rely on autopilot on my kela, although I do believe we will reach a day someday when cars can safely drive themselves. We just aren't there yet. But we need to be experimenting and building it to get to that point. So, you know, the, the question is, you know, should we be drinking the Kool-Aid this quickly as opposed to simply supporting the fact that research and experimentation needs to happen with the appropriate warnings and, and safeguards?
Leo Laporte (00:34:18):
Okay. We can all do that. We have to
Dan Gillmor (00:34:19):
Think about the whole, the the whole, I mean, the, the employment angle to it is really gonna be key. Big business wants AI in substantial part to get rid of human right labor. That is the fundamental driving force behind a lot of corporate and expensive adoption of ai. And that, that, that this is this is nirvana. You, you can get a re higher return on capital by getting rid of these annoying humans who need healthcare, who need money. It's, it's like, and we, we, if we don't really focus on a lot on that as part of this, and, and put that not just in sort of by the way, they got, the reason this idiot chatbot was giving bad advice is that they wanted to get rid of people. Right.
Leo Laporte (00:35:16):
Dan Gillmor (00:35:17):
Right. And, and, and, but make that really clearer and louder. And the other thing about we've been using AI in making decisions for now a number of years in other, it's now just starting to affect the white middle class. Right. in a profound way when people have been having decisions made about them. And for them ba with ai, augmented tools for years, including redlining of mortgages healthcare decisions, who gets a job, all sorts of stuff. Oh. And we didn't give a damn about any of them, or we didn't give enough of a dam. And suddenly it's hitting us, oh gosh, this is really dangerous. Yeah,
Leo Laporte (00:36:05):
That's a really good point. All the job hunting sites have offered AI help in screening out candidates, which ended up, of course, to disproportionately affect people of color and other minorities. Yeah. I mean, this has been going on for years. Michael,
Christina Warren (00:36:22):
I mean, totally. I mean, I mean, if, if you, if you substitute AI for automation, which I know they're not exactly interchangeable, but in many ways that's how these things are being used. Yeah. I, I think Dan, I think you're exactly right. These, these things, and these algorithms have been used in very negative ways, both for, for screening people, for, for loans as a, as a great example. For, for job stuff. It could potentially be bad. That's why it's important that there are ethics boards. And, and you know, hopefully non, you know, biased parties looking at these things.
Leo Laporte (00:36:54):
I'm sure you have the best healthcare in the world cuz you work at Microsoft. But honestly, I know that our healthcare is very much influenced by, I wouldn't call it ai oh, no. But, but the actuarial algorithms, actuarial tables totally are extinction level threat to mankind because they're just looking at statistics. It's the same thing. We can't get earthquake insurance in, in California.
Christina Warren (00:37:18):
No. I mean, and look, I, I, look, I my parents who are, you know in their seventies, you know, are healthy, I see the way that they're treated by doctors based on certain things, didn't need
Leo Laporte (00:37:28):
AI to do that accounts.
Christina Warren (00:37:29):
Yeah. No, not at all. But, but they are using, but, but AI will be used in some diagnostics criteria, and in some cases that might actually be useful. Right. Like in some cases I could see that that might actually be useful in the current model, which is that you have people who, if you are over a certain age, will immediately look at you or a certain gender or a certain race, will immediately dismiss any of your concerns and will just make a diagnostic based on, you know what whatever they, they, they plugged into something. Whereas if something's more complex, potentially some of these systems could help. But no, you're not wrong. I mean, like, even when you have good healthcare, getting, you know, doctors to actually listen to you is very difficult. Yeah.
Leo Laporte (00:38:09):
Well, we have to do that. We have to ration healthcare. We don't have enough. It's expensive. Right. And wow, we can't all get good healthcare. You know, only the rich, I guess.
Dan Gillmor (00:38:19):
Well, if we took away that massive portion of the spending that's going to insurance companies mm-hmm. <Affirmative> for the sole purpose of not giving us healthcare maybe we'd be able to afford more. I don't call me crazy.
Leo Laporte (00:38:36):
Larry Magid (00:38:37):
Well, the other thing about healthcare is, I mean, the, the more I've experimented with various, you know, tools to do diagnostics, the more skeptical I get about the accuracy of diagnostic testing. I mean, certain things are obvious. Like you could take an x-ray and see a cancer maybe, but other things like sleep apnea, they, it, it's a lot of, I don't know, I don't wouldn't call it pseudoscience, but approximation of determining what, what constitutes a, an illness and what doesn't. There's just a lot we don't know, obviously the covid situation with one where we went through three years of kind of guessing, we were talking earlier off camera about, you know, washing our hands and washing our vegetables and things that we were led to believe by very credible, knowledgeable well-meaning scientists were the right thing to do, not because they were trying to fool us or manipulate us because they just didn't know. And, and there's still a lot we don't know. Yeah.
Leo Laporte (00:39:27):
30, it's estimated that's, but 30% of our healthcare spending goes to administrative costs. Yeah. That's a significant portion. Yeah.
Dan Gillmor (00:39:37):
Larry, the scientific process is something to celebrate. Yeah, of course. And yeah, we made a lot of mistakes early on, and so did people we should have who should have done a better job, world health organization being one of the top ones, but different than sort of willful
Larry Magid (00:39:58):
Oh, of course.
Dan Gillmor (00:40:00):
Misinformation along the way. There was,
Leo Laporte (00:40:02):
I think though, and I don't know for a fact, but I've seen it said that there was some bias also because the medical establishment had for so many centuries fought off the Myas theory of illness that you got sick because of bad air. They were very, very reluctant to say that this disease was caused by aerosolized particles. And, and it was, that's a bias, right? That's a, that's not scientific method. That's like, oh no, we don't want to go there. And that's a good example of where the scientific method can be overruled by, well,
Larry Magid (00:40:43):
I think it's part of the scientific method. If is studying and res studying and reinvestigating it, I mean, why are drugs pulled off the market besides the political ones like you know, the ab the abortion pill. But most drugs that are pulled off the market are because subsequent research has proven that they're less helpful than they're more harmful than helpful. And, and that's part of the scientific process. And it didn't mean it was, it was foolish for us to have taken those drugs when we believed they were helpful. Right. But it just means that we had incomplete, we were basing those decisions on what later turned out to be incomplete information. Yeah. And, and that's what's sort of scary to me when I think about all of the decisions that I make as a healthcare consumer based on what is clearly incomplete information. So
Leo Laporte (00:41:23):
Do you think this is a place AI could help?
Larry Magid (00:41:26):
I do eventually.
Dan Gillmor (00:41:28):
I'm, I, I think AI can make, is gonna be great at making connections that otherwise Right. Might not
Leo Laporte (00:41:35):
Spot's. That's what it seems the best at. Yeah.
Dan Gillmor (00:41:37):
And, and totally. And it has been, we've seen things being used that way. The, the issue as in that test that you were just getting results from is drawing definitive conclusions, right. From connections where you know, the classic correlation is not causation. Right. And, and we sorting out the difference. I mean, I think AI could give us all kinds of wonderful things to investigate further.
Leo Laporte (00:42:11):
Well, we know one area that's huge is protein folding where AI is so much faster and so much more effective and has really been solving a problem that is gonna have a significant impact on health care. This is from Science magazine. The game has changed. AI triumphs of protein folding, remember folding at home where Yep. You could, you could devote a portion of your computer, idle computer time Oh, right. To solving these folding problems. AI has already done more than all folding at home over the years. Put together. I th
Christina Warren (00:42:50):
I, yeah, I think the seti, which was one of the things that get shut down last year, actually. But yeah, it, that, that, that's a great example of Yeah. Of where AI is very, very useful. Yeah.
Leo Laporte (00:43:02):
So I'm not, I'm not saying AI is useless. I'm seeing the ch the ch the large language models are <laugh> for the most part seem to be bullshit generators. But I, I
Larry Magid (00:43:14):
Think the large LA language model though, if they have the right database underlying them, can be useful. And I think they can, in, in healthcare, they can be useful also in doing the things that a lot of doctors do today, which is to take a bunch of information and make a conclusion as to what the best course of action is. Yeah. And that's based essentially on actual intelligence. The doctor knows this and that, and has this data and makes this conclusion. But with an AI system that has access to a huge amount of data, offending the data is accurate, it might be able to make a better recommendation than, than a typical human doctor could. Especially once you get outta the big cities. We know you got the big universities, you know, you get into places where you can't get the world's greatest doctors. If you can get AI that can simulate that kind of intelligent diagnosis, it could benefit humankind.
Leo Laporte (00:44:01):
All right. I want to take a
Dan Gillmor (00:44:02):
Break. We're assuming it's accurate.
Larry Magid (00:44:04):
Assuming it's accurate,
Leo Laporte (00:44:05):
Assuming it's accurate. Yep.
Larry Magid (00:44:06):
Leo Laporte (00:44:07):
Course. And that's a, that's maybe one of the biggest challenges is figuring out,
Larry Magid (00:44:12):
But that's true with even current medical information.
Leo Laporte (00:44:14):
It's true with everything,
Larry Magid (00:44:15):
But humans are making the decision, the machine, right. You've gotta ba look, look at, look at misinformation. I voted for X, Y, Z because I believe this. And if this turns out to be false, you just made a human decision that was based on bad data. And frankly, that's how we could wind up with another
Leo Laporte (00:44:30):
Trump term. We let ai fill out the medical forms, but not decide who gets a liver. How about, how about that? I would agree with that. Yeah. How about that? Our show today brought to you by a great panel, really good to have Dan Gilmore here from asu where he, I love it that you're now working with people on media literacy. This is a very important area. I think that's fantastic. At Dan Gilmore on Mastodon, d a n g i double l m o r. Great to have you, Larry Mago, who is going to tell a horrific story in a little bit, president and CEO of connect safely.org, something that happened to you. I wanted to get you on as soon as I read that, but I, I knew we were having you as soon, so thank you for being here. And Christina Warren, who has by every right to f be completely exhausted from a week at Build <laugh>. And then a week last week you were in Atlanta for, for what?
Christina Warren (00:45:21):
For for Render a tl, which is like a, a, a big kind of tech and a music conference that is kind of focused on the Southeast. And a lot of the black tech community is there, which is really great. And just lots of different people from lots of different backgrounds. It was a really, really good time.
Leo Laporte (00:45:35):
Were you there in an official capacity or?
Christina Warren (00:45:38):
Yeah, we had a booth for, for GitHub. We, we actually had a nail booth, which was really fun. So we were doing people's nails. We had like nail wraps basically that had like little like Octa cats on them. And then we had Oh
Leo Laporte (00:45:49):
Christina Warren (00:45:50):
Other, other colors too, which was really fun. But honestly, like we, I, I went last year just like in a, in a personal capacity and so did a number of my colleagues. Then we just had a really good time and we just wanted to support the community. So
Leo Laporte (00:46:01):
What was the AI conversation there? Like? I imagine it was fast and furious.
Christina Warren (00:46:07):
Yeah, I mean, so what was interesting was that last year at render there was a lot of web three, right? And, and, and blockchain talk and, and this year there, interestingly, there wasn't as much AI as I was expecting. We were showing off GitHub co-pilot. One of my colleagues, Razel Scarlet, who's amazing, she gave a talk on, on GitHub co-pilot and kind of showing, you know, what it can do in terms of helping you, you know you know, improve your productivity and, and get some, some coding things done faster. But I think that there is still kind of a question for a lot of peoples, not similar to the conversation we've been having here about what are the benefits, what are the challenges going to be? But I have to be honest, I mean, there is also and some of this is going to be negative, but there is a massive opportunity right now because of the, the hype and the excitement and, and the fire around ai. You know, you see some really interesting things being built up, even if you don't believe that large language models are the, you know, future. There are still some really, even if it's not going to save humanity, there are still going to be interesting things you can do and can benefit from because of tools that people are building right now. And I, I, I personally find that exciting.
Leo Laporte (00:47:21):
Yeah. Render a tl. How fun. Well, I'm, yeah, I know you'd probably run asleep right now, but thank you for staying up.
Christina Warren (00:47:29):
I'm glad to be here. <Laugh>. Oh, obviously. Well, hey, look, it's not, I'm not the one who was super early for, so like <laugh>
Leo Laporte (00:47:34):
It, it's fine, it's fine. No, I know. It's, this is normal time for you. Are, are you gonna be home for the next couple of weeks?
Christina Warren (00:47:41):
I think so. I might be going out of town, but if I do it's not for work, it'll be for like a concert. So
Leo Laporte (00:47:47):
I wonder who, huh? Hmm.
Christina Warren (00:47:49):
No, no, actually that, that, that's, that's in a little while that this would be at Ben Folds actually. So
Leo Laporte (00:47:54):
Very different music. I just got the new Ben Folds album. That is, he is so good. He's so good. Muff. Yeah. What happened to the five is just the Ben Folds one. Now what is the well,
Christina Warren (00:48:04):
He goes back and forth. And, and so like, I think sometimes she does solo things. Sometimes she does it with the band, but yeah,
Leo Laporte (00:48:10):
I'm listening to it and I'm thinking this is like old people music, so I'm glad, glad to know a young person like Ben Folds. Micah likes Ben Folds too, but I thought this is kinda kind of nice and sweet and, you know.
Christina Warren (00:48:24):
Yeah. Okay. I'm gonna say this. I think the best album, one of my favorite albums of the, the two thousands was the album he did with William Shatner. I'm not even joking, I'm being completely serious. It's called, has been, it came out in 2005 and William Shatner produced by Ben Folds. It's a really, really good record. So that, that's my free, that's my free, that's my free advice to people out there. That's your
Leo Laporte (00:48:45):
Pick. I got something to listen to tonight. Wow. Which is good cuz succession's over and I'm really clumped.
Christina Warren (00:48:51):
Oh my God. I, we need to talk about that.
Leo Laporte (00:48:54):
We'll save, save that.
Christina Warren (00:48:55):
I'll save it. I'll save. I gotta
Leo Laporte (00:48:56):
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Express vpn.com/twit. We thank 'em so much for their support of this week in tech. Our colleague, Micah, Sergeant Jason Snell and others headed to Cupertino tomorrow morning and early because it's one of those nerd holidays. Apple does every once in a while. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, ww d c, the Worldwide Developers Conference. And this one might be more important than a lot of Apple events in years past. It's expected they will announce, we don't know what the call the name of it will be. Joanna Stern at the Wall Street Journal might call it their Apple Nerd helmet, their <laugh>, their, I'm calling 'em Nerd Helmets from now on the vr. We don't, or ar or mixed reality. We don't really know anything cuz Apple says nothing, but rumors have been pretty strong that Apple will announce this tomorrow. Are you excited, Christina? You're the youngest person here. This, I, there's no, no.
Christina Warren (00:53:44):
Yeah, no, I am excited. Sorry, sorry, sorry. No, I'm, I'm excited. I'm I'm okay. I'm like cautiously optimistic because the rumors we've been hearing about this for so long, I'm, I'm trying to wrap my mind around this because on the one hand,
Leo Laporte (00:53:57):
On the one hand we know this
Christina Warren (00:53:58):
Leo Laporte (00:53:58):
A stupid category that nobody wants.
Christina Warren (00:54:02):
Exactly. On the other hand, it's Apple. And if anybody can make me spend $3,000 on something I don't want, it's them <laugh>. So that's where I'm at. The mass is, that's where I'm at. Yeah, exactly. That, that's where I'm at. I'm, I'm, I'm at like this seam on every level to be absolutely dumb and a complete waste of time. And on the other hand, I'm like, okay, but it's Apple. So I
Leo Laporte (00:54:22):
That's Mark Grumman said, he said, I'm
Christina Warren (00:54:24):
Obligated to get it. Yeah.
Leo Laporte (00:54:24):
He says, if anyone can make this product category a success, it's Apple. That's fair. But I don't even know if Apple has the horsepower to make, make something that makes about 10% of its users nauseated. That seems a strike against It has no killer app. No, no real utility is very sexy the first time you use it, but has a very steep curve of lack, loss of interest, shall we say. I just don't see this taken off. I I really don't. And that would be a big deal if Apple were to put so, and they've clearly put so much time mon money blood and treasure into this. If it were a flop, I think people would blame Tim Cook, to be honest. I think, I
Christina Warren (00:55:15):
Mean, as, as they should. It, it, well, yeah, apple tv, it's on his shoulders. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I mean, look, we don't know, right? But I think you're right. I mean, I think that if this is not a success, I think this has to be at his, at his feet, right? There, there have been products they've put out before. I I think Apple TV is, is a good example where they've had to pivot. Apple Watch I think was more successful, right? Like it started out as a fashion object. And then they had to pivot the fitness and, and I would argue that it owns basically the entire smartwatch category. There are very few exceptions. I mean, it is, they basically have the whole thing sewn up. So
Leo Laporte (00:55:54):
Larry, you said you brought up Apple TV as an example of something. Well,
Larry Magid (00:55:58):
I mean, Roku, Roku was an example of a company that nobody had ever heard of, cuz it didn't exist mm-hmm. Until it hit the market way after Apple hit with a, with a household name and mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, it did much better in the tv mm-hmm. <Affirmative> Market coming out with a product that was superior to what Apple came up. And Apple is still trying to catch up in, in that regard. Totally. So it's not inevitable. Now, I have to admit, even though I've worked, I've written a number of guides for reality labs, which is the division of Meta that does the virtual reality headsets, that there is a huge gap, an opportunity for someone to do this. Right. Christina, you work for a company that's had a device in the market for years. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> a pretty good device actually called HoloLens. Yeah. Which I'm not sure because of price or whatever even it, it's just never become a big deal in, in the consumer market. But it it's pretty,
Christina Warren (00:56:47):
Yeah. I mean, well, they tried, right? They tried with the mixed reality headsets and, and it wasn't it didn't work. I mean, I think this has been the, the ongoing problem. There are very useful ways in industry to use, you know, ar VR types of devices, even Google Glass, which I mean, they finally retired, but they found success in the industry that way. Epson was doing interesting things. Hololens is a good example, but we, I still haven't seen the killer app for vr. I think for a lot of us, we thought it was gaining if anybody was going to do that. I, I, I still think that that meta with the meta quests devices have probably come the closest at breaking through on that. You know, H G C and, and Steam have had the five you know, headsets.
But it's remained a niche thing. And so how do you, how do you define kind of a, a, you know, a killer app and, and not only a killer app, but a killer app where people are going to be willing to spend the reported $3,000. Right. I, I don't know. Like, those, those are my two big questions. It, it's, it's, it's the, the price is the real thing that, that has me going. Nah, you know, I, I, I don't know, I don't know about this because if that price is to be believed that just, that feels like that's an instant loss. I just dunno how to do
Larry Magid (00:58:02):
That. One advantage of that price is you don't have to have a big installed base to justify the fact that you're doing it. In fact, I remember very early in the, the days of the Macintosh, Steve Jobs would compare the Mac to the Mercedes-Benz and say, sure. Mercedes the most popular car in the road. No, it's just, you know, a great car. And, you know, they, they built a reputation based on small market share, but high value to those who were able to afford to buy the product. So it's conceivable that Apple could, you know, sell a small number of these, but still gain some kind of traction.
Leo Laporte (00:58:33):
Apple has you know, a small less than half of the phone market globally globally. Yeah. But, but easily the lions share of profits.
Christina Warren (00:58:43):
Right. And easily the lions share of profits for developers. That would be my question, right? Would be, cuz you're not wrong. You can absolutely make a profit having, and have a very good business for a small niche device. My my question would be, in the era we're at, where we pay what we pay for applications for your phone, for your tablet, even for your game console, are you going to be able to have enough volume where the people who could create these applications could dedicate the resources that you put into them? And that I'm not sure about. Right? Because even, you know, big aaa you know, game makers who have these massive budgets really struggle with that. What platform should we support? The Mac is actually a great example. There, there are not real games on the Mac. The Mac is not a gaming platform, and it never has been.
And it probably never will be. Why? Because there's just not the market for it, and it's not worth the investment. The companies that have put the money into it have not gotten that investment back. Where you do see it as for casual, you know, types of games and, and things that tend to be laden with a lot of Vinet purchases and, and recurring subscriptions and things that Apple likes a whole lot. But not necessarily that the, you know, hardcore, you know, gamers want, but when, when you look at like, the multi-trillion dollar kind of gaming business, like the, the big Triple A titles aren't on Mac products. So I I, they they could be a success even with a very small clientele. I just, I worry in that part. Like, okay, well what about the people building on that platform? Right? Because Mercedes can be profitable, but like the, you know, app, apple can make money out of it. What about anybody else?
Dan Gillmor (01:00:17):
Right? Yeah. LA Larry's, when he brought up the early Mac, that was a really good point. And you think about the, but think about the single application that carried the Mac into the, the high popularity where it was profitable for everybody in this desktop publishing mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. And that required a number of things to come together, including a, a laser printer that was affordable. And so maybe there's some, if, if these rumors are true, and I find the $3,000 thing, I, I just don't believe it. I don't, I just, I think that's absurd. But I think the, there any seriously interesting application if the headset is appro, you know, wonderfully better than anything that's come so far is will sell enough to get the next generation going. But, you know, the killer app for VR is better headsets, smaller, lighter, and that don't give you nausea. Right. You know, vertigo. And once all that's settled, I'll buy one. I want, I want something that I can wear on an airplane and watch IMAX movies on an airplane. Totally. That's that. You know, like, like you guys, that's for me, that's the killer app.
Larry Magid (01:01:37):
I have a lot of gadgets including two VR headsets. I got both the Quest and the Quest Pro. Many of my gads have sit in drawers because I just don't get around to using them or I don't wanna use them. Particularly in the case of the VR headset. I avoid using it. I actually don't enjoy it. I mean, it's, it's a negative. I can't wait to get it off. And, and that's not a very good sign for, for loving it. It's not even that I've even loved the product. I just, I really don't like it at all. I mean, it's, it's a negative. I,
Leo Laporte (01:02:05):
I play Beat Saber to Liz's songs and I think that's kind of fun. But for how long?
Christina Warren (01:02:09):
Youtube was great. <Laugh> for
Leo Laporte (01:02:10):
Larry Magid (01:02:11):
<Laugh>? Not, not for hours, half
Leo Laporte (01:02:13):
Hour in sessions? No, no, no, no, no, no. And I haven't picked it up lately. I got the Quest Pro. Cause I want to say, well, what's the best in the market today? That was 1600 bucks. It's now down to a thousand. Which tells you a little bit about its sales figures. Meta just announced the Quest three for 4 99 99 timing it, of course the announcement perfectly to make sure that Apple didn't steal its thunder. But Meta has put a lot of money billions, tens of billions of dollars into vr and yet to find a market for it. I just, I feel like Apple is sailing up to the new world in their boat. And then they look and they say, oh look, there's, there's Google on the rocks. Oh, oh dear. There's Microsoft on the Rocks. Oh my <laugh>, here's Meta on the Rocks.
I don't know, is there anywhere safe to land in this territory? Now I will be watching we're gonna stream it, of course tomorrow morning, 10:00 AM Pacific, 1:00 PM Eastern Live TWI tv. I will be watching very carefully the verbiage, cuz I think what we really wanna know is what apples, how apples positioning this, it's likely that it's a developer kit. Yeah. Not even a consumer product, but, and it won't be out according to the rumors until this fall. It's likely, it's the, the position I expect their positioning will be, we are aiming at a product down the road. Like, I don't know, this is the question is when can they do this? That is lightweight spectacles like, yes, won't nauseate you, is more of an AR product. And I'm sure Apple's doing this because they wanna say, well, what's next after the iPhone? I've seen some pundits say, this is the next iPhone. But that, but the technologies aren't there yet for long battery life, for a lightweight heads up display that you can wear 'em much like you would wear your spectacles. I think that's five years away, four years away. And
Larry Magid (01:04:19):
Netta, by the way, has said the same thing. <Laugh>, they are also going for developing a lightweight ar glasses, which I think is what most people think is the holy grail of this whole extended reality. You know, and that's
Leo Laporte (01:04:31):
The, well, let's put it this way. It's the only thing we <laugh> Dan aside watching his IMAX movie on an airplane. It's the only thing I can really see as a mass market for this is something you could wear in lieu of spectacles. You know, they could even be corrective that have a heads up display that could, that could, that could you. You're not gonna get nauset cuz you're still seeing the world. So that's gonna solve the nausea problem. But you're getting additional information. It replaces your phone. You've got temple pieces that can, you know, give you audio. You have some way, I don't know how of signaling, of choosing of controlling it. I don't know if it's by blinking or where you look, or maybe you have something in your pocket that you're clicking.
Larry Magid (01:05:12):
You touch the temple.
Leo Laporte (01:05:13):
It's a, you touch there. We, it's, you can imagine something like that. But the technologies are not there yet.
Larry Magid (01:05:19):
Leo Laporte (01:05:20):
And that's a, it's like ai, it's like you're, you're, you're, you're throwing your dart into the distance and hoping you can hit that target and, and get
Larry Magid (01:05:28):
There. You know, the thing about what you're saying, Leo, is actually very profound in a sense. You know, you give Steve Jobs a lot of credit for inventing the iPod or for being the c e O of Apple when the iPod was invented. But really the credit goes to storage batteries there, there's a lot of technologies that made it possible to build the iPod. It wasn't that, you know, if, if he had had an idea for an iPod 20 years before that he could've conceived of it, but he couldn't have built it affordable. The,
Leo Laporte (01:05:55):
You know, the Newton was John Scully's vision for Right. And it, it wasn't it yet,
Larry Magid (01:06:00):
Wasn't it? Right.
Leo Laporte (01:06:00):
This could be Apple's Newton for VR or ar or mixed reality. This could be that prototype, very clunky product. But you're kind of counting on a lot of technologies to develop. Now. We should you're right on that, on the iPhone. But I, apple also facilitated that. They basically Yeah. Built a ch the Chinese ability to create those things with massive investment. So it's That's
Larry Magid (01:06:27):
True. But they but they didn't invent better, better none of it. I mean,
Leo Laporte (01:06:30):
None of it facilitated
Larry Magid (01:06:31):
It. Yeah. Right. Yeah. That technology had had to get here.
Dan Gillmor (01:06:35):
So all of this is back to Moore's law and its equivalence continuing with things getting smaller and lighter and more powerful in exponential ways. So it isn't that hard to look a few, few few years out and, and think about how quickly micro l e d has come along. True. Which was, which was a fantasy Yeah. Just a several years ago. Yeah. And these, the people who do the hardware are constantly doing stuff that blows my mind. And it's really gonna be the hardware people who make possible. Right. The software piece to be overlaid on it. And as Larry had said about the iPod originally, and I, I get it may be closer than we think, but positioning this thing tomorrow is really gonna be interesting to watch. Because the, if they position it properly, which is to say, Hey, we're taking a long term view here and make that the central point, as opposed to all of the right hoorah about what, you know, what you can do to today, which isn't much if, if they can get the public to understand.
And I gotta say, Facebook meta didn't do a great job of that. Right. They, they sort of presented it as a here and now when in fact they were looking long term and, and misplayed that. But if Apple and others in this market can really help the public understand that this is, this is a play that's feels long term, but it genuinely is coming. And, and here's the, here's the, here are the building blocks and you can, we can, we can easily predict based on hardware improvements in the past that transfer into the future at the same kind of Moore's law, et cetera, rate the case can really be made for this product tomorrow as the, the beachhead that the public needs to understand where it's gonna go. You have to remind, there's really,
Leo Laporte (01:09:01):
There's really two audiences though. This is a developer conference. And so yes, they have to, they have to convince the public. I think they have to, they have to, you're right. Downplay expectations for the public because they don't want people to say, well, that I don't want that. They, they want people to think or to understand. This is not what we're gonna sell you. This is not for you. We are aiming down the road. And then they also have to convince developers, this is something for you. Because down the road, this is gonna be a world beater. Christina, you talk to developers all the time. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, how do you position that message to developers? Well, if you were in Apples shoes,
Christina Warren (01:09:44):
I mean, I, yeah. I think you have to have some really good first party examples as I, as I think how, how you would have to position that. I think you have to have some really good you know, kind of first party examples of some things that why the, why this is worth investing in and why this is worth building on. Even though the future that we are at right now might not be where we need to be. Right. I think that's what you have to do. I think you have to kind of parlay that this is, this is the step and show some of the exciting things that you can do now. Right now there is,
Leo Laporte (01:10:20):
Right now there is literally, right now there is speculation that No Man's Sky, which is a PC game that has been adapted for Meta's quest will be there demonstrating their Mac version of it on this. So that would be gaming, but you'd have to do productivity. That would be gaming. You'd have to do,
Christina Warren (01:10:37):
So you have new productivity. Yep. I mean, look, I I can say like in my own mind, when I'm trying to justify like how I would spend $3,000 and, and, and like Dan, I, I can't believe that price is real. Maybe if it's a developer kit, then that would actually make sense. But, but I can't think that that is what they would bring a, an actual consumer product out for. But in my mind, I have to think, okay, what if I could have like the colvin of four high resolution, you know, displays in my, my field division and I could control my Mac that way. That could be a productivity thing, right? Oh, interesting. That could be something that I could really enjoy where I go, okay, instead of having to have my 2 27 inch 5K monitors, I have, you know, this headset and I can have a really good job of, of you know, kind of working in that space. And that means that even when I'm on the run on the go, like when I'm working remotely, which is not uncommon, I have access to all of that. So maybe that would be, you know a productivity thing. But yeah, I mean, like gaming is obviously the very easy thing to kind of go out with this space.
This is why I'm excited to watch tomorrow because one way or another, this is going to be interesting. Either we're all going to become convinced even if it's only for the 90 minutes or however long the keynote is or we're, we're going to walk away and go still don't quite see it. And so either way, those, those two outcomes are really interesting.
Leo Laporte (01:11:58):
This will be a masterclass in expectation setting. Yes. for two different audiences, consumer and developer. I r you know, I don't know if it'll be Tim Cook, probably won't be Tim Cook, my bi Avi. They have some very good technical people there. I'm not sure who it will be. But I will be watching, you know, I will be deconstructing on the fly cuz I think there's gonna be a lot between the lines as we listen to Apple positions. Yeah,
Christina Warren (01:12:26):
No, I agree with you. I mean, what's interesting to me to, to look at as a comparison. You, we were talking about, you know, the, the, the Newton and we were talking about the TV and some other things, the iPad, which obviously Steve Jobs introduced, so that, you know, goes a lot further. What was interesting about that device was that it did have this massive expectation behind it. We had all wanted a tablet Mac for a long time. A lot of us still do. I still, I I I went from being a long time de tractor and saying, we don't need touchscreen Max to now I'm, I've come all over. I'm like, we, we need touchscreen Mac. Even if that's not the, the primary interface. It's, it's getting silly at this point. But what they did with the iPad, which, you know, that original hardware was not that great.
It was actually fairly limited. It only had, I think, 256 megabytes of Ram and you know the iPad too was a much better product and was, was really killer. But what they did show off and what you could do with it was so impressive that no one else has even really been able to meaningfully enter the tablet space. I mean, you have low end Android tablets, but that's it. Everyone who tries to come in at a higher point can't do it. And, and the iPad, you know, here we are, what, 13 years later is it, it's fallen off. It's maybe not as, it's, it's not the iPhone. But it still makes a substantial amount of money. And so I I, the way that they were able to kind of show off and get you to see how it could be useful and fit into your life and, and opened up possibilities for developers to, to, you know, build things off of it was really interesting.
And so my, my hope would be that they could, they could kind of capture what they did with, with the iPad even though that initial device, like even the one generation later was better. And, and two generations later when they, not, not the third one, which is the one that I bought, and then they changed the connector immediately and, and made the battery not as terrible. But the retina model, you know, they, they made these iterative changes on that device very quickly. And that led up to the promise that they showed off, you know, in, in 2010. But, but we all saw what it was when it came out. And that would be my, my, my my, I think the best case scenario for them.
Larry Magid (01:14:36):
You know, I think about, about full self-driving. So you've got Tesla, which is out there basically every other week claiming that only tomorrow we're gonna have it, it's gonna be perfectly, you'll be able to fit in the backseat, smoke a joint, and drive <laugh>. And then you have every other car company with their head down working on towards full self-driving driver assisted. And, you know, Cadillac's doing a pretty good job. Ford's doing a pretty good job. Some of the European companies are doing a good job. None of them are making the kinds of claims that Elon Musk makes. And none of them are saying that we're gonna deliver this tomorrow. But you know, that eventually every car or every, everybody will be able to spend money and get a self-driving car. Because every in these companies are invested in it. And I think that there's, there's a lesson to be learned in this. Now, Musk has done well, but actually not that many people are suckers like me, that have paid, in my case, I only paid seven grand for full self-driving. Now it's
Leo Laporte (01:15:29):
15 grand. Did you ever get it?
Larry Magid (01:15:31):
Well, no. I mean, I've got the data. I
Leo Laporte (01:15:32):
Paid 5,000 and never got it <laugh>.
Larry Magid (01:15:36):
Well, I've got the data, but my car will be in the junkyard by the time the full, the true full self-driving is
Leo Laporte (01:15:42):
Available. So we're suckers.
Dan Gillmor (01:15:43):
Yeah, of course. What, so what puzzles me here is that maybe the difference between Tesla and these other companies is that their CEOs take seriously securities laws. Yeah. And, and, and actually think that they might get punished for bullshitting the public about things that are material to their results. And, but
Leo Laporte (01:16:08):
Dan Gillmor (01:16:08):
Demonstrated, obviously not enforced against Elon Musk.
Leo Laporte (01:16:11):
Yeah. Elon has demonstrated. You don't have to. It's real. We live in a really interesting time when it comes to normative values. Donald Trump showed that you really can exceed the norm drastically and suffer no consequences. At least up to this point. Elon's done the same, I think somewhat taking a page from the Donald Trump playbook, I, I fear for a society where the norms are no longer enforced. <Laugh>, I think that that's it.
Larry Magid (01:16:37):
Society say I got an over the air updated just a couple of days ago and it's gotten a lot better. I mean, the, the fsd, would you
Leo Laporte (01:16:45):
Trust it though? Would you trust it? Oh,
Larry Magid (01:16:47):
Depend. No, not completely. I always have my foot one inch over the brake. Yeah, me too. Its able it, but I trust doesn't not
Dan Gillmor (01:16:53):
Make it more stressful and not Yes. Oh, absolutely. I gotta worry
Larry Magid (01:16:57):
About my driving. The other guy's driving in the car is driving. Sure. I'm now third, third person that could screw up.
Dan Gillmor (01:17:03):
And you're paying, you're paying thousands of dollars to have more stress when
Larry Magid (01:17:08):
You're in your car.
Leo Laporte (01:17:09):
Of course. Can you
Larry Magid (01:17:10):
Leo Laporte (01:17:11):
Larry Magid (01:17:12):
Explain that thinking there?
Leo Laporte (01:17:14):
I, I have Ford Maee, which has their blue cruise. It is hands free, but it is very limited. It's only on highways they've mapped. It is not on local street. This is where Elon, I think really overestimated the capabilities Right. Of the system. You should not be doing that on city streets. Right?
Larry Magid (01:17:32):
Well, I do, but I'm, again, my foot's one inch over the brake.
Leo Laporte (01:17:35):
Yeah. That would terrify me. Yeah. blue crew, I still have to pay attention, but I feel a lot more sanguine and it turns off and beeps at you and says, you need to take control When it gets to a situation, there is a curve going down to Marin that the Tesla almost always would steer toward the divider. I would always have to say, no, no, no, no, no, no. And the Blue Cruise turns off at that point, says, take control. So there's something about that curve that cameras and
Larry Magid (01:18:01):
Well, that's, that's why I gave you that example, because that's an example of a mature company taking a position that this will eventually be usable technology. But we're gonna roll it out gradually, as opposed to Elon who basically likes to blow things up.
Leo Laporte (01:18:13):
So my next car, I think is gonna be a B m W I five with full self-driving. And they say you're gonna be able to change lanes by looking in the side mirror.
Larry Magid (01:18:27):
How do you know that's the reason you're looking? That's
Leo Laporte (01:18:28):
Gonna be a little scary. Yeah, I might turn that feature off.
Christina Warren (01:18:33):
Yeah. That, that doesn't seem like anybody has thought that through super. Well, but I'm looking in the side mirror and I wanna change lanes. Okay. I'm not looking for any other reason. No.
Larry Magid (01:18:43):
De if you leave the default on de he will change lanes just on its own. You're not be driving along having a great day and all of a sudden I, I'm finding myself changing lanes for, for reasons that I can't quite understand. So in some ways it may be better than at least what I've got.
Leo Laporte (01:18:57):
Oh, Lord. Anyway tomorrow's gonna be a big day. We're gonna smell what Tim's cooking and <laugh> and
Christina Warren (01:19:04):
Ooh. Oh, that's bad. That's
Leo Laporte (01:19:06):
Good. Yeah. We'll find out. I hope you will tune in for our live streaming coverage. Well, I was gonna do it with Micah Sergeant who got a last minute invite. So he's going down there. So just be
Christina Warren (01:19:15):
Me. Oh, good job. Good job. Mark Micah.
Leo Laporte (01:19:17):
Yeah, no kidding. He called his contact, said, Hey, hey, what about me? I call my contacts. They go, who are you? So it's a different, it's a different experience for Micah. We will be here and we're gonna open up the club twit stage. So if you're a member of Club Twit, get into the stage. So, cuz I don't have a co-host, you're the co-host I'd love to get the Club TWI members and your thoughts as we listen together to what Tim's cooking. That's tomorrow 10:00 AM Pacific, 1:00 PM Eastern for our live coverage. I think, Christina, you've covered Apple for years. I think I might stick around for the State of the Union. I think that second keynote in the afternoon might be awesome. That's
Christina Warren (01:19:58):
Always my favorite. Yeah, that's so to be, to be honest with you, that's always my favorite. Like the, the big keynote is always, you know, the big pomp and circumstance, and you get the, the product announcements and you get to see the features. And then the, the state of the Union is when like, you really get to nerd out and you really get to see, okay, what can I take advantage of? What are the things that were glossed over that, that are really going to be interesting? That's, that's the one I think especially with this rumor, you know, X R O s or whatever it's going to be called that I think will really, really be important to see. Especially for, for anybody who has a, whether you you code or not for those of us who do obviously think of a greater interest, but even if you don't, just to kind of get an idea of this is what people will be able to build on going forward and, and these are some of the new things. And so that's exciting.
Leo Laporte (01:20:48):
Yeah. It's fun to kind of for me it's always been fun to take the next step and to kind of try to understand what the, what the strategy is. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, you know, I'm a chess player. I like to kind of think about totally strategy and this is one where Apple's gonna really have to step up, I think. Yes.
Larry Magid (01:21:05):
A lot different though. It was when Steve Jobs was doing it, I remember I would always go to these events and I'd always go in person and I'd walk away say, oh my God, I'm gonna buy that the moment it comes out, this is so amazing. And then the next day I'll think about it. Say, well, maybe it wasn't as revolutionary.
Leo Laporte (01:21:19):
Its famous reality distortion field. Field. Right. It
Christina Warren (01:21:22):
Works. Yep. Works on work.
Leo Laporte (01:21:23):
Yeah. Yeah. I still get that. I even got it during the the Microsoft keynote. I, I get excited by new technology and I always have to kind of pinch myself and say, but how realistic is this, you know, I worked for years with John c De Vak, who was famous for being the, the, in fact, he even had a column in the back of Mac User Magazine called The Anti Editor. He was famous for whatever it is. I'm, again, it <laugh>. And the funny thing is that technology, you know, you do that a hundred percent of the time, and you're right about 80% of the time, most stuff isn't gonna change the world. Right.
Christina Warren (01:22:00):
It's true. It's true. Yeah. But, you know, but, but there are those times when it does. Right. Like the iPhone, I think being like the most, you know, kind of recent example that I can kind of think of where it literally did, you know, change everything. And I, I don't know, even if it doesn't, it's still fun. I mean, we're enthusiasts like, I, I think it's fun even to be like, brought into kind of the, the bubble of, of believing that this is gonna be this revolutionary thing and then it's not. And then you have a whole bunch of like, like all of us do a bunch of I have a, a very, like, just like you have a bunch of gadgets that are in boxes and all over my, my office, but don't work. And it's okay. It's, it's a, it's a reminder. It's like, okay, remember when we thought that was gonna be the next big thing every six months. It's just kinda fun. Sometimes I have
Leo Laporte (01:22:45):
For the staff at twi Leo's Garage sale, <laugh> I don't put prices on it, it's all free. But I pile up the conference room table with exactly that stuff. Christina stuff that I, Alexis Ohanian during Covid founded a company that was gonna be live music performances in your house since you can't go out. And he sold these wooden, they were made of wood, wooden speakers. Wooden, they were wooden <laugh>, and they didn't, they connected them to this box that was connected the internet. And then at four 15, every evening you would sit in front of these wooden speakers and there would be a, a live concert. And the speakers were supposedly designed for the live concert. John, just a little heads up, that's gonna be on the table in Leo's next yard sale. <Laugh>. Yeah. So many times I've fallen for these.
Actually, maybe I should put the Quest Pro on there too. Come to think of it. That didn't really. Nah, I Quest Pro is better than the Quest too. Yeah, no, I, you know, I, that's why I spent that much money on it. I am not buying the Apple device, so I don't care. <Laugh>, I don't care how, I don't, I just can't bring myself to do that. I'm gonna, I'm gonna wait. Jason Howells raising his hand. Jason, you want those wooden speakers? He's a, he can have those. Let's take a little bit of a break. I'm kind of interested, I'm really interested in what's gonna happen tomorrow. It's, it's always fun to watch a company with a trillion dollar, $2 trillion valuation and hundreds of billions of dollars in cash. Tell us what's next. It's notoriously hard for tech companies to, to figure out what's next.
They more often fail than not, especially the incumbents. But on the other hand, apple apple something special out there. Oh. Oh, sorry Jason. You don't want the wooden speakers. You want the Quest Pro. Okay. Well, you can borrow the Quest Pro. You don't have to <laugh>, you don't have to take it home. Our show today brought to you by Coli, K O L I D e, A device trust solution that ensures unsecured devices can't access your apps. This is actually a really very, very good point. If you're an Okta user, you feel good, right? You're secure because with Okta only known users can get into your network, into your cloud, into your apps. Okta really assures that the authentication is happening. But that zero trust architecture has a bit of a hole because your identity provider, lets known devices, log into apps.
But just because a device is known, a user is known, doesn't mean that device is in a secure state. Device. Compliance is kind of the unsung problem in all of this. Many of the devices in your fleet probably shouldn't be trusted. They could be running out of date versions of the operating system on encrypted credentials, could be in their download folder. They could have browsers. They're out date and on and on and on there. <Laugh> remember the big password manager company that got hacked because one of their DevOps guys was working at home on a laptop, on a network that was also running an old version of Plex, an unpatched version of Plex with a known flaw. The hacker used that flaw to get into the network and then get into the DevOps guy's laptop and steal his credentials and then log into the password store, right?
So with DevOps credentials, and of course they were authenticated when they were logging in, but here's the problem again, a device that isn't secure is the problem. So here's how it works with Collide, you put the collide agent on all the endpoints, right? If a device isn't compliant and you set the rules, what compliant means, you get to say, and it's, or it's not running the agent, it just can't access the organization's SaaS apps, the device user cannot log into your company's cloud apps until they fixed the problem on their end. It's that simple. And by the way, they fixed the problem. That's the other thing I love about Collide. It offloads your IT team. It makes your users part of your security plan. Here, here's an example. Employee doesn't have an UpToDate browser, right? I just, I forgot to get the last version of Chrome, but that's a problem.
So Collide says, dude, fix your Chrome. Or you can't get in end user remediates. It doesn't say, dude, it says, here's the problem. Here's what's going on. Here's why you need to fix it. Here's how you fix it. The user fixes it. Your IT department doesn't get loaded up and you get your fleet to a hundred percent compliance. That's great. Without collide IT teams just don't have a good way to solve these compliance issues or stop insecure devices from logging in with Collide. Huh? You set, you enforce compliance across your entire fleet. And this is another thing I love about collyde. Completely cross-platform Windows Mac Lennox absolutely collide is unique because it makes device compliance part of the authentication process. So a user logs in with Okta collide alerts them to compliance issues, prevents unsecured devices from logging in and gets the users to help you fix it. It's security you feel good about because Collide puts transparency and respect for users at the center of their product. Everybody's happy to sum it up. Collide method means fewer support tickets, less frustration, most importantly, a hundred percent fleet compliance, K o l I d e collide.com/twit. You can learn more, you can book a demo, k o l i d e collide.com/twit. These guys have been a sponsor for a long time. I really love this product. Collide.Com/Twit. We thank them for their support. I wish that password company had been using them.
Speaking of security, oh, this is bad for gigabyte, millions of PC motherboards sold with a firmware back door. Andy Greenberg writing wired.com. These are gigabyte motherboards. They've been selling them for years. A company called Eclipse, which is a firmware focused cybersecurity company Hmm. Said they've discovered a mechanism in the firmware of the motherboards sold by gigabyte. These are by the way, great Mother <laugh>. I mean, they're really good. They're often used in gaming PCs and high-end computing. Whenever a computer with the affected gi gigabyte motherboard restarts code within the motherboards firmware and visibly initiates an updater program that runs on the computer and then, and then, and then downloads and executes another piece of software from the internet. Now, I think this was a firmware update strategy, right? You know, good idea. But researchers found it's insecure because the updater program is triggered from the computer's firmware outside the operating system.
Very difficult to discover, right? Your operating system isn't even running very difficult for you to remove it. And it is hijack John Luca, who works at Eclipse and leads strategy and research that if you have one of these gigabyte machines, you have to worry about the fact that it's basically grabbing something from the internet and running it without you being involved. And it hasn't done this securely. Of course, it would have to be a supply side hack. That'd have to get into the, the data, the gigabyte database, 271 models of gigabyte motherboards affected. So just something to be aware of, you know, I guess there's no commentary on that, except maybe you want to go check. Oh,
Christina Warren (01:30:41):
It's frustrating. Well, it, it's, it's frustrating that these things happen. And on the one hand, you understand that they wanna have these auto updating abilities within the
Leo Laporte (01:30:49):
That's a good idea.
Christina Warren (01:30:50):
Biased, right? That, that's a good idea. On the other hand, this is, this is sort of the trade off. And so I, I don't know. There has to be a better solution to be able to do this because ironically, I think that the reason that they have this backdoor is because and, and it's just because their server, I, I assume is not secure enough. But the reason they have this backdoor is to try to prevent people from having unpatched motherboards and, and having other, you know, exploits that that can potentially be even worse. So it, it's it's a challenge for sure. But the, the number of devices that are impacted my, I have a gigabyte motherboard. It is not on a list. Yeah. But many others are. And so I kind of had this question, so I had to, I made a point to turn off. That is the thing you can do, you can turn off the auto update feature. I made a point to turn that off so that, you know, this, this is not going to hopefully affect me.
Leo Laporte (01:31:46):
And if you haven't gigabyte unless it's already been modified. Yeah. Unless it's already right,
Christina Warren (01:31:51):
Yeah. Then you're outta lot, there's no evidence, right? Yeah. But then there's no evidence that this has actually been modified in a while. Like this is, this is, at least right now, this is theoretical, so, yeah. And, and I, I haven't had the, the computer hasn't been on in quite some time, so I'm, I'm not concerned personally, but yeah,
Dan Gillmor (01:32:06):
That's a good point. I, I don't know what it's gonna take for for, for, for companies to be held accountable for this kind of thing. But
Leo Laporte (01:32:17):
The good news is gigabyte has released a firmware update that they, it's a beta, but they think it will fix this. So if you have a, a gigabyte motherboard you want, might want to check to see if there's a firmware update. It is hard for comp. This is, this is like that Bloomberg story, which by the way, has never been confirmed,
Christina Warren (01:32:36):
Never figured out what exactly we That's still a big asterisk on that. Yeah.
Leo Laporte (01:32:40):
Dan Gillmor (01:32:43):
You know, we still, we have this situation where technology companies uniquely in our world get away with putting out crap products that are insecure that, that break and have no liability. I don't understand how, how they have evaded what would be standard liability questions in any other business.
Leo Laporte (01:33:13):
Yeah. it raises an interesting point. And and I've, we talked about this on twig. There's a new book just came out, which by the way, I highly recommend by Scott Shapiro, who is a, both a computer scientist and a philosopher <laugh>. But his new book is called Fancy Bear Goes Fishing, the Dark History of the Information Age in Five Extraordinary Hacks. It starts with Robert Tappin, Morris's very famous internet worm. The first time we saw Worm take the internet down way back in, I think it was 1983. Highly recommend the book, the very interesting description of the, the Mariah Worm and the story behind it. And the kid who created it, he was a Rutgers student who was pissed off because only upper class computer science majors could get into the computer science classes.
So he d tossed the entire system and brought it to its knees. He was kind of a wild child, and eventually came up with the Mariah Botnet, which was a the very first I think DS as a service system where script kits didn't know anything about DDoSing, could rent the hardware to DDoS their favorite target. He eventually got caught. The FBI caught him. They didn't, they decided not to send him to jail, but instead to enlist his help as often happens in fighting other hackers. And he's now, he says, reformed and is very grateful to the FBI agent who caught him for teaching him the right way. It's a, it's a highly great story, but that's not why I'm bringing it up, because Scott and I may not, this may be beyond my pay grade. Maybe yours too. Maybe I don't know, maybe somebody will know. But Scott says, because these are essentially, our computers are essentially touring machines, which means they're designed in a way that they can solve any problem, arbitrary problem. They have the general purpose hardware to do that. They cannot be secured. Jennifer will, let's article in a Technica. Is cybersecurity an unsolvable problem? Scott Sapiro Shapiro says, yes.
Any thoughts, Christina?
Christina Warren (01:35:39):
I mean, yeah, I think, I think that, I don't think that it's one of those things. It, it is one of those problems that I don't think that you can ever permanently solve. Right? Like, I think that it's one of those that is always a moving target. And so possibly when we reach the age of quantum, yes, you could maybe have you know, the, these systems that, that are, they're not going to be hackable or, or you know, whatnot. I, I don't really believe that. Yeah, I think that it is kind of a, it's always kind of a moving target, and this is why good security funds you know, firms rather can make so much money because this is an ongoing thing. The, the targets and the things that are easy exploits today are not necessarily going to be the same exploits tomorrow.
And so you can't just rest on your laurels. So, yeah, I mean, I think, yeah, I, I don't, I don't know if this ever goes away. I think this is why we have to be vigilant, but we have to kind of expect or not expect, but we have to have the awareness that there is the potential with any of the things that we use, that it could be compromised. And that's why it's important to run updates and to, you know, stay aware of things and to, you know, pay attention and to audit code and, and have third parties auditing, you know, your code as as much as possible when, when it make sense to try to prevent the follow up from this stuff.
Leo Laporte (01:36:59):
Larry Magid (01:37:00):
I think part of the problem is social engineering. I mean, even if we Oh, yeah. Could make perfect hardware and perfect software wish we can't. No. Right. But even if we could, we can't make perfect people
Christina Warren (01:37:08):
Larry Magid (01:37:09):
And do the sucker born every minute. Yeah. And it's hard. We're gonna talk about later when, when we get into the, the situation, what happened to me, even very tech savvy people mm-hmm. <Affirmative> and be at risk of social engineering, because the social engineers are very, very smart.
Christina Warren (01:37:24):
Yeah. And absolutely, and the thing is, is that the thing with social engineering is that a, you're right, very tech savvy people can still be taken in. That happens all the time. But b, many times the people who are socially engineered are not us. It is customer service representatives for companies that control mm-hmm. <Affirmative> access to our devices. And so, you know, that that's how most people have, you know, get sim shipped it, it has nothing to do with whatever policies or security they have in place on their devices. It's just getting the customer service person from, you know, one of those companies to, to saying enough things to, to getting them to pass things over sometimes without even having information from the user themselves. So, you're right, it, there is the people problem that I don't think we can ever solve, even if we were able to build, you know, fully secure hardware devices.
Larry Magid (01:38:10):
And to expand on what you're saying is computer security is one area where you can be completely innocent. So for example mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, if your only crime were to have shopped at Target right before, right. Their systems were hacked, your information with, with a bridge, yes. You didn't do anything wrong. There was nothing you could have possibly done to protect yourself except live under a rock. Right? yet you were vulnerable. And that's not true with most things. I mean, it would be like an airplane falling outta the sky and hitting you. At least if you die in a plane crash, probably you bought the ticket on the plane. And maybe, I'm not saying you did anything wrong, but, but
Christina Warren (01:38:42):
You were, you were at least involved. You, you, you at least had some agency in the decision to get on the plane and begin with, and you understood that there was a risk. No, you're exactly right. I mean, I, I, with a target hack, I, it's so funny. It was like Target, it was Chipotle. There were like three of them in a row that I was victim of, and I had to change my, you know credit card like three times in like a 14 month period of time, which is very frustrating to then have to update all of your recurring charges. But you're right. You know, just by, and you could say, okay, we'll use cash. In most circumstances, that is not a reasonable expectation for most people, right? That that is not a reasonable thing that goes on. Its impossible in many places. You're
Larry Magid (01:39:19):
Buying a drink at an airplane with cash <laugh>,
Christina Warren (01:39:21):
Right? Absolutely. Yeah.
Dan Gillmor (01:39:23):
Yeah. And the other difference is that Target suffers essentially no liability, no accountability. Whereas if there's a plane crash, right? There's a lot of money changes hands and there's a lot of damage to the air, to the carriers. We, we've, we, again, we've given people who do software basically a complete pass on liability. And that doesn't seem right.
Christina Warren (01:39:57):
You're right. I
Dan Gillmor (01:39:58):
Understand it's complicated and I understand all these things about how software is, is different, but and, and it's the, the supply chain of software is insane. The whole mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. But, but the, somehow the technology industry has persuaded I don't, it's pretty amazing that they've done it. They've persuaded legislators that doesn't matter how badly they behave, they have no liability for what they do wrong. It's, it's, something's gotta change there.
Leo Laporte (01:40:36):
Actually, you boy, you guys, you don't have to read the book now because you came the exact conclusion. Shapiro said, I actually wrote this book three times the first time I just wrote about the code and the hackers. And then I realized, well, there's a human element to all of this. So he rewrote it. And then he said, realized there's a third element. There's a philosophical element to this. This is an interview from ours, Technica the interviewer talks about the sci. And this goes back to our AI conversation. The scientific community and various disciplines has struggled with this in the past. There's an attitude of we're just doing the research. It's just a tool that's morally neutral. Scott says that, in fact, you cannot talk about hacking in a neutral way. He says, I'm a philosopher, so my day job is teaching that.
But it's a problem throughout all of stem, the idea that tools are morally neutral. You're just making them, and it's up to the end user to use it in the right way. He says, that's a reasonable attitude to have if you live in a culture that's doing the work of explaining why these tools ought to be used in one way rather than another. But when we have a culture that doesn't do that, and this kind of is also what you teach Dan, then it becomes a very morally problematic activity. We're now seeing a lot of hand ringing about ai. We always see hand ringing about every single new technology. There's the techno utopians and there's the techno dystopians. But a couple of years later, usually the cooler heads prevail. So he said it's important when you're talking about hacking to, to, to include the fact that it's morally reprehensible, that it's wrong and it's bad. He says, you're not gonna get rid of it. Cuz as long as, cuz humans, as long as you got humans, you're cybersecurity is not primarily a technological problem. That requires primarily an engineering solution. It's a human problem that requires an understanding of human behavior. Hacking is about humans, and he's calling for the death of solutionism. Cuz we do kind of come from that point of view that, oh, we can fix this. Yes, we can solve this. So, and
Larry Magid (01:42:48):
Leo Laporte (01:42:48):
Larry Magid (01:42:49):
To Dan's point, I mean, I agree that legislators need to wake up and be more aware of what's going on. But there's also, Dan, if you know, well-intentioned legislation that that's bad communications decency act, with one example, going back to 1998 or 1986 this Arkansas law that is going to essentially ban minors using social media without parental consent. Also a Utah law. There's, there's so much tech, there's so much dystopian, or I mean dystopian, but overregulation because the regulators don't understand what's effective and what isn't. Right. And so that's what Bo that's what worries me whenever Washington or or now increasingly state legislators are getting their myths on technology, is they really don't understand what they're regulating and what the real dangers are. And one of the reasons why I started to con safe kids.com and later connect safely was, and again, we're very imperfect ourselves, but at least to try to create sort of a conversation around yeah. The relationship between industry, government and consumers as to how we can use this technology in a more safe manner. We will never claim that we'll ever reach absolute safety, but, you know, make it safer. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> and, and it, and it's, it requires a lot of, you know, I hate to say it takes the village cause that's become trite, but it really does take a village.
Dan Gillmor (01:44:07):
There's no question that, that the problems that we can create by misguided regulation are, are serious. And, and that we have to be careful as we do this stuff. But my only point in this context was that we have given a single collection of people in our economy an exemption from liability for egregious misconduct. And that doesn't seem right to me. Yeah, I think we could, we could start there and
Christina Warren (01:44:54):
No, I I think you're right. I think you're right. I would point out and, but, and I, I completely agree with you is that the government itself is often the one who leaks information. There have been nu numerous government hacks of, of, of, you know, databases and whatnot. And, and they also should not be exempt from those things. It it, it is an interesting thing, you know, I think about Equifax and the fact that most people who were impacted by that, again, I was, we weren't even compensated like $20. We didn't get anything. You know, they
Dan Gillmor (01:45:24):
Basically we're invited to spend more money with Equifax. Exactly,
Christina Warren (01:45:27):
Yes. Exactly. Exactly. And I was like, why would I give you any money? You know, why, why, why would I trust anything that you've done? And in that case, and, and, and I think what's interesting too, if you didn't wanna, you know, to, to Larry's point, it, it's a difficult problem to solve, but I feel like there are some instances where it is flat out from any other circumstance. It would be pure negligence. Equifax being a great example. There's some supply chain types of attacks and other attacks where it can truly say, you know, this, this was not something that we could conceive of happening because we didn't have control over what ultimately impacted our systems. But there are other instances where, you know, you're running outdated systems and you're not holding things up the the way that you should, you're not doing the, the basic due diligence in those companies or, or, you know, still get government contracts or the government themselves are, are still able to force us to use their systems. And, and we have no recourse. And it's, it's very
Dan Gillmor (01:46:20):
Frustrating with airline. There, there ought to be a corporate extinction, I mean, corporate extinction level event. So ought to be more common for, for this kind of stuff. And, and the fact that the credit agencies do what they do and are are notoriously incompetent. Willfully incompetent. Yes. because they're, they don't see the point in spending the money to do it. Right. And no, they're, they have a point no one does about it when they do it wrong. I, I guess they're, if if you're looking at their shareholder value hey, screw the public, it's worth, you know, we make more money doing it that way and nobody holds us accountable. It's, it's what, what a grift, it's amazing.
Larry Magid (01:47:06):
The thing about it, you're, you're absolutely right. I don't think I know anybody who doesn't have a credit reporting story to tell about an inaccurate report. Maybe not getting a loan because of some, because of some inaccurate, but in aggregate, it serves lenders well, because, you know, they're gonna make a lot of mistakes. But over the course of the millions of loans they give, they're still gonna make money on those loans. And so, you know, again, it, it's not about you and me and the rest of the public. It's about the industry. And, and that's who these credit bureaus are serving. They're not serving the public at all.
Leo Laporte (01:47:38):
No. In fact, if you want a credit card, you have to give them permission. You have to,
Christina Warren (01:47:42):
Leo Laporte (01:47:43):
Yeah. If you want to rent an apartment these days, you have to give them permission over and over. All of this stuff is you don't have a choice. This is, and
Larry Magid (01:47:52):
By the way, in the Equifax with another example where innocent people, yes. I never, I don't know anybody said, gee, I'm gonna become an Equifax customer.
Christina Warren (01:47:59):
No. Again, you don't have any, you don't have any choice of the matter. I've never, it's just by existing society. Yeah.
Leo Laporte (01:48:04):
I have fraud alerts on all actually it's, there's more than three. I think it's on, on five different credit reporting. Its, you hit the free
Dan Gillmor (01:48:12):
Leo Laporte (01:48:13):
Yeah. I'm, yeah. They now it's free. Used to be they charge you just turn it off. Yeah,
Christina Warren (01:48:18):
I know exactly.
Leo Laporte (01:48:19):
The thank goodness federal legislation has stopped that scam
Dan Gillmor (01:48:25):
To hey, anyone who's listening to this, please go freeze your credit right now. Yep, yep. As soon as we're done. No, wait, wait until the show is over. Then go and freeze your credit so that at least you have partial protection. And it's, I, it's easier to unfreeze when you need to have someone look at your credit report on, on a specific thing. It's easier than you might think.
Leo Laporte (01:48:54):
Yeah, this was, consumer
Dan Gillmor (01:48:55):
Reports has good guides on this. It was
Leo Laporte (01:48:57):
Easy for me to do because I'm old and I'm not buying a new house, and I'm not, you know, taking out loans. Right. And I'm not buying new credit cards. If you're young and you're, you know, you're getting started in, in the world freezing your credit is an inconvenience, but is, but I think it's a worthy inconvenience. And so
Larry Magid (01:49:14):
My daughter bought a car, and the car salesman tried to convince her that she should take out a loan in order to build her credit. Now, first of all, she already had good credit, right. But they, they actually made this Kate, and apparently there's some truth to that, which surprised me when I actually did a little research. It seems absurd that your credit score would go up because you're in debt.
Christina Warren (01:49:33):
It does. Yeah. It does. It is nice. It does. Yes. Yeah. I, I've, I've had the same thing where when I've tried to look at my credit for various things, like the thing I'll be dinged with is that I don't have enough, you know outstanding. I don't have any outstanding loans, or I don't have enough, you know, kind, kind of open lines of credit, you know, you pay it off and whatnot. And, and it does seem counterintuitive, but yet that's, that's,
Larry Magid (01:49:53):
You're guilty of paying your bills on time.
Christina Warren (01:49:55):
Exactly. Guilty of paying your bills on time. And they're like, oh, no, you know, this isn't that. We, well, we don't know if you're trustworthy. Okay. You know
Leo Laporte (01:50:04):
Larry Magid (01:50:04):
Know, like, Leo, I'm old and I just pay my bills on time, and I don't really worry about
Leo Laporte (01:50:07):
My, I don't need credit anymore. Find anything. I've already, I've already withdrawn from the economic life of this country. But if you wanna freeze your credit yes. Consumer Reports has a number of articles. The FTC actually has a whole page devoted. Do not get fooled by credit locks, do the credit freeze. That really will protect you. And the ftc consumer ftc.gov has the details on how to do that. It's actually quite easy. And nowadays they can't charge you to unfreeze it. So you know, you can freeze and unfreeze at will. They don't make it easy. <Laugh>, they're doing every, they have crappy websites with complicated logins and all sorts of stuff, but once you get it down, you can log in, turn it on and off fairly quickly.
Larry Magid (01:50:53):
It can't be any harder than unsubscribing from a paid fair
Leo Laporte (01:50:56):
Fee. No, you're right. That's the harder, you're right, it's close, but no. And by
Larry Magid (01:51:00):
The way, why is it that when you get an email that you wanna unsubscribe, that the word unsubscribe is in the tiniest possible print imaginable at the bottom of the the page.
Leo Laporte (01:51:09):
Oh, yeah. Well, cuz they don't want you to unsubscribe. What did you think? It is really
Larry Magid (01:51:12):
Hard to find that, that that link
Dan Gillmor (01:51:14):
Web design to steer you to bad decisions is Yes. It's
Leo Laporte (01:51:18):
Dan Gillmor (01:51:19):
I have a whole part of my media literacy teaching is in there, there's one section where I talk about how and, and there's lots of good articles about this of web designers trying to trick you mm-hmm. <Affirmative> into do making decisions favoring the company. You know, it's, you know, the, the, the language. Like, you know yes, I yes, I want to be a miserable human being for the rest of my life. Bec by not getting your emails every morning, <laugh>, you know, that that's, that that's the choices they give you. And that, and that's in you know, one kind of bold thing. And then the, or no, that's the, I forget how the, the, the one that they don't want you to
Leo Laporte (01:52:10):
Quit. It's hidden. It's usually in gray on white. Yeah. Light
Dan Gillmor (01:52:13):
Gray, gray on white. Dark
Leo Laporte (01:52:14):
Patterns. Dark patterns, dark called. Yep. There's a great website called Deceptive Design. Deceptive Design, which talks about dark patterns and has a whole hall of shame. So if you're looking <laugh>, if you're looking for dark patterns, there are literally 448 examples in here. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> of misleading buttons that don't work, all sorts of stuff. Microsoft does that a little bit too, not to, to slam your company, but
Christina Warren (01:52:47):
Okay. Also a I work for GitHub. I mean, we're
Leo Laporte (01:52:49):
Home not the same. Yeah. Okay.
Christina Warren (01:52:51):
B I I'm not here to defend anybody. And you're right, they, the, the, the systems, I, I, I call that out too. It's not, it's not.
Leo Laporte (01:52:58):
Oh, it's notorious. We talk about on Windows Weekly, when Microsoft
Larry Magid (01:53:00):
Cookie policies cookie
Leo Laporte (01:53:03):
Larry Magid (01:53:03):
To master's degree to figure out in cookie management to figure, figure out how to set your cookies. Why can't they make it really easy? Some sites need to say only necessary cookies. And then of course, they don't define what really are necessary cookie.
Christina Warren (01:53:15):
Leo Laporte (01:53:15):
Well, you have to set a cookie to say, don't show this gum cookie. Exactly.
Christina Warren (01:53:21):
I was gonna say, I have, it's a mess in a, I was gonna say, in you block pro, I have some sort of like cookie banner me mes set. Yep, yep. Exactly. I have, I have that set.
Dan Gillmor (01:53:32):
Yeah. There's a Firefox thing they do now that basically it's there. You watch it happen in real time. You go to a new place and it, it automatically brings up the dialogues. Mm-Hmm. Watches them and says, it selects everything to say no.
Leo Laporte (01:53:50):
Oh, that's nice.
Dan Gillmor (01:53:50):
And, and that, and you watch it go through your screen, does it in front of you. It's wonderful.
Leo Laporte (01:53:56):
That, is that an extension or is it built into Firefox?
Dan Gillmor (01:54:01):
I think they built it in the most That's nice. In one of the recent versions. It, it's sort of exciting to watch <laugh>.
Leo Laporte (01:54:07):
I am a very happy Firefox user. Yeah. I really like Firefox. I really do. I wanna take a break and we come back. Larry, you mentioned your horrific story. We actually had you on about a month ago on Tech News Weekly to describe this. Yeah. But we've never had you on twit to describe it. And I wanna show the video that you've also made you call it Virtual Kidnapping Scams, and it happened to you. So we'll talk about that when we come back in just a little bit. Great to have Larry Maggot here from connect safely.org. From the wonderful Cronkite School of Journalism. I just love that name. At Arizona State he now teaches Dan Gilmore media literacy, which is even more important at the ASU News. Colab, thank you for being here, Dan. I appreciate it. It's great to have your intelligence. And of course, it's the wonderful film girl. They still call her that, I guess, around the office. Thank you. Senior Dev advocate for GitHub, Christina Warren, who I've known since she was Kneehigh to a Grasshopper <laugh>. I was thinking the other day about when I first saw you, and I think it was at a Mac World Expo.
Christina Warren (01:55:21):
Leo Laporte (01:55:22):
Yeah, sure was. You were there for Mashable, maybe or another?
Christina Warren (01:55:25):
No, it, no, the unofficial Apple Wek
Leo Laporte (01:55:27):
<Laugh>. Oh, yeah. Tah Tua
Christina Warren (01:55:30):
Leo Laporte (01:55:31):
And you were sitting on the floor with your colleagues covering McWell and you were eating your lunch. I think I probably came up to you and said, ah, film Girl, <laugh>
Christina Warren (01:55:40):
<Laugh>, something like that.
Leo Laporte (01:55:41):
I've been a fanboy ever since. Great. To have you and your sneakers on the show. Our show today brought to you by, well, I think I need it right now. Athletic Greens. We're gonna take a little vitamin break, everybody get together. Like many of you, I wanted to support my health. I have been taking literally my son. I, the, the other day. I this was, I was visiting him at, at school this actually a few years ago. And I took a handful of vitamins and swallowed it. And he was aghast. He said, what are you doing? I said, well, I want to, you know, I have to make sure I've got the proper nutrition. Well, it's a lot easier now, thanks to AG one. It gives my body what it craves in one daily nutritional drink. You do it before you eat in the morning.
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It dissolves very easily. You don't have to use hot water. This is cold water. You shake it up, and it's a seamless daily habit. One scoop of ag one in the morning is everything you need. And oh, by the way, I've tried other ones of these other, you know, drinks that you c you can't, you have to choke down. This is delicious. It's refreshing. I love it. Mm. If you're looking for a simpler cost effective supplement routine, look no farther Ag one by Athletic Greens. If you order right now, if you get a subscription, you'll get a free one year supply of Vitamin D. And these travel packs that I was just using, these are super convenient. You get five free travel packs with your first purchase of a subscription, athletic greens.com/twit, athletic greens.com/twit. Thank them so much for their support, and thank you Athletic Greens for supporting my, my, my dietary needs. Mm. Hey, drink. I drink that. Just to prove that it tastes delicious. I mean, it really does. It's really, really good. Much better than that cup of coffee. I just had AG one Athletic greens.com/twit. All right. I needed the fortification. Oh, Larry's gone for a moment. We'll just give him a, there he is. I I needed the fortification, Larry, because I knew you were gonna tell a horrific story. Tell us what happened in your own words, Mr. Megan.
Larry Magid (01:58:50):
So, one day, oh, I know, about a month ago, my cell phone rings and I pick it up and there is a screaming or crying woman on the phone. And it, oh, I forgot to tell you, the caller Id. Looks like it's from my wife's phone. It's, it's actually, it turned out later. I found out it was one digit off, but it looks like her phone number. And I hear this person screaming and crying. It's a female voice. And I say, Patty, what's the matter? And she continues to scream and scream and crime say, and this is very unlike her. She's not a hysterical person, but, you know, I, I was worried. And then all of a sudden, she gets off the phone and up comes officer. So-And-So, a quote, a police officer. The officer tells me that I'm with your wife, and before I can provide you with information, I need some information from you.
And I say, come on, G, get to it. And I'm, I'm really sucked into, at this point, call her. Id look like hers. I heard a voice in my head. I thought it was her. Anyway, so he asked me my name and her name, which I would never ordinarily give him a fairly savvy guy, but I do. And the next thing he knows, actually, I'm not a police officer. I'm with a Mexican drug cartel, and we have your wife. And you know, and at that point, I put my cell phone on, on speaker, and I still have a landline, believe it or not, it's an internet phone phone. And I called nine one one. And so they could hear the entire call. I didn't talk to the nine one operator. I just called. And they could over here. And we, the call went on with, with this person for 11 minutes. And at one point he said, you need to get in the car right now and start driving to a Walmart in San Jose, but first you need to go to the bank and get $5,000 in cash. I kept, and I kind of played, played along with them. I mean, I was, I wasn't sure it was a real situation. I didn't know what it was, but I was, I was emotionally really upset. Very, that's how they get you
Leo Laporte (02:00:43):
By way screaming gets you like all,
Larry Magid (02:00:45):
And my wife was in San Fran. She was in San Francisco that day, which is unusual normally, especially since Covid. She, you know, shes at ho I at home, so it's unusual for her not to be with me. And he said something about her being in San Francisco. I'm not sure he started with that, or he got it from me. I mean, there's a lot. I don't know about my own reaction. Anyway, long story short, the call goes on for 11 minutes. Finally, I think he came to the realization I was not gonna comply. I didn't say I wouldn't comply, but I kept asking for questions and things like that. And he hung up. I later talked to the 9 1 1 operator who heard the entire thing. Who said that they took it seriously so seriously that they sent the S F P D to check on my wife.
And by the way, I knew where she was. Wow. That I have, I track her with her permission. She and I track each other on Google Maps. So I knew she was at the Embarcadero Center, but that's a big place. Anyway, pointed with a virtual kidnapping. I didn't pay the ransom, but I have to tell you, it, it, it was very painful. It was, it was terrifying. I was so shaken that I actually got in, got on the train and vi visited her in San Francisco. I needed to be with her because I was just so wooed by this negative thing. Ah, at one point, one of my colleagues called me up and I said, I have to hang up right now. My wife's been kidnapped. It kidnapped. Oh, jeez. I didn't say she might have been kidnapped. Oh, geez. I actually believed it enough. Oh. And
Leo Laporte (02:02:04):
Larry Magid (02:02:05):
Based on this experience as you saw, I wrote about it on for the Mercury News, and also on Connect Safely, and then Connect Safely just recently put together a a guide to virtual kidnapping and a video. I think he said, you might wanna show the video. Yeah. If people need to be aware of that. And, and again, it's embarrassing for me to say this. And as I said, at the end of my column, knowledge, it's power. But emotions can be stronger than knowledge. And despite everything I know about computer technology and security, I've written literally hundreds and hundreds of articles on various aspects of human engineering and computer security. I still, I wouldn't say I fell for it, but I was still heavily impacted by it.
Leo Laporte (02:02:44):
And I, you know, I think it's important to say that we're all vulnerable. You know, that it isn't on your part ig I mean, of all people. You're not ignorant of all this stuff. You're very techn, technologically literate. But they use emotion to the point where you stop thinking. Yeah. They cut off your frontal lobe. And and, and you're just acting on emotion. And w you know, we do dumb things. You didn't really fall for it. You didn't send 'em 5,000. I didn't, didn't,
Larry Magid (02:03:11):
I didn't take the five. I didn't give him the five grand. But believe me, it, it, you know, it hurts still. And, you know, and as I said in a follow up column, it's gonna get worse because now we've got the ability to recreate our loved one's voice. Or they have the way to recreate your little your loved one's voice. And I think it's
Leo Laporte (02:03:28):
Gonna get worse. It's, yeah. Cause this was just a screaming woman, obviously a scam, probably completely at random. Yeah. It sounds like he knew a few things, but maybe that was just luck or, or
Larry Magid (02:03:40):
It wasn't clear what he knew and what he didn't know.
Leo Laporte (02:03:41):
Yeah, yeah. Yeah.
Larry Magid (02:03:43):
One of the things I did is I changed all our passwords because, right. Yeah. Maybe they hack into our Google account. Yeah.
Leo Laporte (02:03:50):
Should I play the vi I'll play the vi I'd
Larry Magid (02:03:51):
Like you to, if you don't mind. Yeah. Give me a few seconds.
Leo Laporte (02:03:53):
We'll play it into the, we'll play it into the record as they say. This is just a couple of minutes.
Larry Magid (02:03:58):
Speaker 7 (02:04:00):
Virtual kidnapping scams are an insidious form of fraud prey on our deepest fears. Let's talk through how this scam works in simple terms. A virtual kidnapping scam is a social engineering scam aimed at extorting money from unsuspecting people, by convincing them that a loved one has been kidnapped. These scammers employ techniques such as cloning phone numbers, or even using artificial intelligence to mimic the voice of your loved one, making their calls incredibly convincing. Detecting a virtual kidnapping scam can be challenging, especially when emotions are running high. Here are some key steps to keep in mind if you suspect you're being targeted. The F b I says that the best course of action, in most cases, is simply to hang up the phone. But if you do get reeled in, into conversation with a scammer, here are some tips on what to do. One, stay calm.
Remember, scammers rely on fear and panic to manipulate their victims. Try to slow the situation down. Two, guard personal information, regardless of who the caller claims to be. Avoid sharing any personally identifying details such as names, locations, or information about your loved one. Three, seek help if possible. Have someone nearby. Call 9 1 1. If you're alone discreetly, call nine one one from another phone if possible. And put the call on speaker, the operator right here, Larry. Four. Verify independently, reach out to your loved one directly, or have someone else call their phone or check their location if it's been shared, you want to confirm their safety. Five, ask to speak to your loved one. If the scammer insists on speaking for them. Ask a question that only they would know the answer to. Consider establishing a code word or phrase with your family members as an additional security measure.
Prevention is always the best defense. So let's explore proactive steps to protect ourselves from virtual kidnapping scams. Discuss virtual kidnapping scams with your family members and loved ones, ensuring they're aware of the threat and how to respond. Avoid sharing realtime location or travel plans on social media as this information can be exploited by scammers. Refrain from sharing your phone number or recordings of your voice online. Scammers can use this information to make their claims more convincing. Oh, I am so in trouble. Utilize location sharing services with their permission and reciprocal. Share your cell phone location with loved ones using legitimate tracking services like Google Maps or Apples. Find my friends. Note physical details. Make a mental note or written note of what your loved ones are wearing when they leave the house, and where they're going for more information, visit connect safely.org.
Leo Laporte (02:06:31):
Nice. That's good. That's what Connect Safely does. That's very well done. I like it. Very simple.
Larry Magid (02:06:36):
Environ Media director, Chris Lee, and you. And, and I think if you wanna share this, and I'd recommend you share this, especially if you or people in your family are older because, you know, older people like me, the ones that are targeted off into this you can find this now in the upper right corner on Connect safely,
Leo Laporte (02:06:53):
Connect safely.org or go directly there with Connect safely.org/virtual kidnapping. How widespread is this?
Larry Magid (02:07:01):
It's very widespread, and it's growing. And as I said, it's gonna get a lot worse with ai. We talked about the existential threat. This is the threat that I worry about. This kind of, yeah. The use of AI to exploit people to commit crimes, I think is gonna get a lot worse. And in, in a sense, this was artificial emotional intelligence. But it's gonna get a lot's gonna get a lot worse as they're able to, to clone people's voices. I, and I agree, Leo, you and I are screwed when it comes to, you know, having our voices on the internet. I mean, every, some are a lot of
Leo Laporte (02:07:30):
People. Everything he said in there, I'm like, oh, yeah, okay. Don't post where you are social, don't all that. I'm dead meat, you know. But what we did do, I know this is a, a, a possibility, and what I did do with my family members is set up a co a keyword, you know yeah. That I can use, that they all know.
Larry Magid (02:07:47):
One, by the way, quick pro script. So yesterday I get a WhatsApp message, which comes from the Congo, and I said, ah, and, and he is talking about a kidnapping. And I said, ah, this is a scam. I'm, I'm not gonna worry about. Then a minute later, I get the same. I get a message, and, and he, the person identifies himself. And it's a name that I know. I actually have a colleague that lives in the Congo that's very active in African internet safety. So I said, oh dear, can you prompt to me, you are who you say you are. And he sends me a photograph of him and me and my wife and his wife together when we last saw each other. And it turned out it was a real kidnapping.
Leo Laporte (02:08:20):
Larry Magid (02:08:20):
And I was almost gonna write it off, but he needed my help to get ahold of people at Meta to make sure that this person's account, and luckily th this person was rescued. I don't have all the details, but the point is that that was a rare case of a real kidnapping. And that's one of the problems. You don't wanna be immune to the actual danger <laugh> when, when you're convinced that it's all gonna be a scam. I
Leo Laporte (02:08:41):
Do have, and Lisa and I both share our location, apple let's you build that in. And so I can see on the front page of my phone well, you don't have to show it, but I, well, I guess <laugh>, yeah. Don't show it cuz it's our home. But <laugh>, I can see the leases at home and that, you know, that's pretty valuable. It's just like you have with yours. There was actually just an article, I think in the New York Times about people sharing their location and the pros and cons of doing that mm-hmm. <Affirmative> with the family members.
Larry Magid (02:09:10):
The nice thing about Google Maps is that it doesn't matter what operating, you know, you can use, you can have a, a relative that's on iPhone and you're on Android or whatever, and so it goes across platforms, but yes, it is, we do do that. And it's very reassuring. And again, obviously with permission and nobody's, nobody's, you know.
Leo Laporte (02:09:27):
Yeah. That's the problem is it looks a lot like spousal stalking as well. <Laugh>. Well,
Larry Magid (02:09:31):
It has to agree on it.
Leo Laporte (02:09:33):
It has to be between, you have to agree on it, trust one another and agree that this, we're gonna do this. Yeah. But I, I'm really actually glad that Lisa allows me to track her <laugh>, so to speak. And I
Larry Magid (02:09:44):
Tracker, by the way.
Dan Gillmor (02:09:45):
Yeah. There, there's an app called Tice, T I C e that comes out of Europe where data protection is, privacy is better than the us. That's that they actively try not to do anything beyond the location sharing between two people. That's it. No collection of cloud data. No. None of the stuff that the big companies here do. So in, in this category that's worth taking a look. I have not fully taken a look, but PE people I know in the security area have said that, that this looks really good to them.
Leo Laporte (02:10:32):
Yeah, this looks great. And I trust Apple because Lisa and I are both on iPhones. I can mm-hmm. <Affirmative> use that system and I trust them not to, well, I don't know what they're doing with it, but I don't think they're selling it to data brokers. Do you do this with your husband Christina, or no,
Christina Warren (02:10:47):
I don't, but for various reasons. I, I don't. But that, that might change. I have I have thought about using, like find my friends with my mom before if, if we're places, and honestly, like my concern is because at, at my age, like I, I'm not concerned about like me being taken in by somebody, like confused, you know, calling me about my husband being kidnapped or, or him being called about me. We would text one another, like the, our method of communication is different, but I am concerned about people potentially targeting my parents. Right. and, and like, like, like everybody else, I'm here, there's hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of hours of my voice on the internet. So the AI can be trained to mimic my voice extremely well. And I am concerned with, with that being used to potentially, you know bait people in, into beating my parents into thinking that there was some sort of scenario happening.
And especially since I travel as much as I do, like, that would be a not inconsequential thing for them to be like, well, I didn't even know that she was here. Well, okay. But she, she might have been. Right. Like they're, they're just a, a lot of things that make me, I've been concerned about this for a while. I've heard of these scams before. I, I didn't know exactly how it worked, but they definitely play on, you know, your emotions as, as you were saying. And there are things that I've just done in my life, and that if you're in any way sort of public, I think it makes you especially risky because there are things that we can't opt out of that, you know, could be used to target the people that we love. And, and that's what I worry about. Like, I'm, I'm not as concerned with sharing my like, location with my husband right now. That doesn't make it a ton of sense for us. But, but I understand respect to other people who do it, but I have in certain ways. Like I, even ironically, I post about my location when I'm at airports or things like that to let my mom know where I am because she, she would always, you know, worry. So there's, there's like a catch 22 with all of it.
Larry Magid (02:12:46):
I, I think it's important to point out that people your age are, I don't know if anybody is targeted right. But people your age are victimized. Yes. And people your age have paid the ransom. Yes. In fact, they, CNN did a story about virtual kidnapping re recently, and I think the person they gave is an example was not too much older than you are. So I don't think anybody should be sanguine just because they're not.
Christina Warren (02:13:05):
No, I agree with that. No, I agree with that. I'm just saying, like, I tend to be, like, as a person, I tend to have like much like you, you know, I have my blinders up and you weren't taken in. And, and like, the same thing with fishing things. I've certainly been the victim of a fishing thing before and then immediately, almost instantly recognized what it is. Yeah. But, but my, my, my fear is more not to say that I, I couldn't be taken in by something, but my fear is more, okay, how, how could my voice, or how could my information be weaponized to go after people who are less tech-heavy than me using emotions and all? And, and, and actually using the tech as well.
Larry Magid (02:13:36):
I have to say the 20 minutes of sheer terror was probably worse than having paid a 5,000 ran.
Leo Laporte (02:13:42):
Larry Magid (02:13:42):
Yeah. It was, it was, it was horrible.
Dan Gillmor (02:13:44):
I think what you're, and what you're describing is gonna be used in a more in, in a lesser dire context, but more convincing mm-hmm. <Affirmative> because you, we all have gotten emails and texts from supposed friends overseas who had their wallet stolen and need this to wire them some money. Yeah. Well, their friend is gonna call you. Right? And it's gonna sound exactly like your friend. Right. And this is gonna be, have, have been well pre-programmed with lots of branching for whatever your response is to say the right thing. And AI is gonna make that even more convincing. That's gonna be interesting in a lot of ways to see how, how well the, the bad guys game it out for our responses to see if it's a real thing that, I mean, it's gonna get, this is a real arms race. And,
Larry Magid (02:14:41):
And that's why it's important to either have a code where at least say things, and I don't know, maybe they'll get a deal to scam this as well, but where did we meet? Where did you go to school? I mean, question that they'd have to be very, very sophisticated to be able to answer if they're scammers. I'm not saying, I
Leo Laporte (02:14:55):
Always ask what what, what does Wikipedias say my birthday is? And if they <laugh>, I'm, I'm screwed. I'm in deep troubling, I have to go. That
Larry Magid (02:15:05):
Leo Laporte (02:15:05):
Work for you. I have to go to BSides deep tracks before I can get something people don't know about me.
Larry Magid (02:15:11):
Well, no. I mean, every public figure takes that risk. And, you know, and the fact is it as public figures, you know, our
Leo Laporte (02:15:17):
Family members know, I think Yeah. That we, you know, not to believe anything. Ali g in our discord is saying thanks to leaks of WhatsApp data, people are looking through WhatsApp data for people named Mom and, and using that information to scam moms. You know? Wow. Because yeah, I mean, that makes a lot of sense. And I, I just, I worry that I've always worried about this. It was one of the things I used the radio show for as a way to kind of warn people against these scams. But it's just, it's nonstop nowadays. And maybe I'm, I'm amazed how many more sensitive to that.
Larry Magid (02:15:56):
I'm amazed how many attractive women text me and send me WhatsApp.
Leo Laporte (02:16:00):
You know, I just think it's show looking. Yeah. I mean, I just, is that how they, I figured they just they, you know, I'm irresistible, what can I say?
Larry Magid (02:16:08):
Apparently it's amazing how many young women are interested in older men. <Laugh>.
Christina Warren (02:16:12):
I and I try to have these conversations with them cuz you know that they're, they're scammers and like I, for whatever reason, do you really,
Leo Laporte (02:16:19):
You engage them?
Christina Warren (02:16:20):
I do. I try to because it, it's fascinating me. I know what they're doing. And weirdly, I have, I've been, I guess I'm, I'm not saying right things because I, weirdly, they, they disengaged the conversation relatively quickly, which
Leo Laporte (02:16:35):
Christina Warren (02:16:35):
Which is a
Leo Laporte (02:16:35):
Shame. It's hard, it's hard to keep 'em online
Dan Gillmor (02:16:37):
Pretty. So this, this'll be a, this'll be a really good thing to turn over to AI bots pretending to be you and engaging. Of course, it'll be, it'll be a scammer bot. Right. And they can, you know, they can talk forever.
Christina Warren (02:16:54):
Oh, yeah. Which is great. I love that.
Leo Laporte (02:16:55):
Just never give you the AI bot access to your checking account. Otherwise
Dan Gillmor (02:16:59):
They might be
Leo Laporte (02:16:59):
Dan Gillmor (02:17:01):
Well, how else are you gonna get the Nigerian money? Why are you your account?
Christina Warren (02:17:03):
Leo Laporte (02:17:06):
What a world. What a world, what a world we live in. Let's take a little break. Finish this thing up. Great panel. Love you guys. It's so good to see you. I've, I've asked both Christina and and Larry to plug something, you, you, your chance to plug something, Dan Gilmore, anything you want to promote? Anything you're up to, you want to tell the world about?
Dan Gillmor (02:17:31):
Not quite ready. I've got a project in the works that I have not I'm still trying to raise the research funding for it. Nice. So I can't really talk
Leo Laporte (02:17:45):
About it yet. Nice. But I bet if you go to dan gilmore.com, d a n g i double l m o r, you'll keep up on what Dan has been up to and I'm sure he'll post it there.
Dan Gillmor (02:17:56):
Yes. Yeah. I'm shamefully LAX in my blog. <Laugh>, who isn't?
Leo Laporte (02:18:01):
Dan Gillmor (02:18:02):
Is this? My ma My, my Mastodon feed is more likely to Okay. Relevant. Fair enough. I only, I only use, I have a Twitter account still, but that's just to prevent somebody from taking my username. If I,
Leo Laporte (02:18:17):
Me too. I actually deleted everything on there. I keep it so I can still see stuff. So nobody will be Leo LaPorte. And occasionally I'll DM people because they're still people. The only way I can reach them is DMing them. Let me show you, if you're on Mastodon, I'm on the, on the advanced web interface right here. You just type in at Dan Gilmore and there he shows up right there. There's a lot of other ones. These are all retweet sites and you could tell cuz they don't have a icon, but email@example.com, I think that's the real, you, I'm already following you. Maybe this would be a good thing for you to add to your MAs. I like to follow people like Dan who actually post, post interesting stuff. I follow you too, Larry. And you too, Christina. You've been on, you've been on Masine quite a bit.
Christina Warren (02:19:04):
Yeah, I like it. Yeah. I'm, thank you. Yeah, I like MAs on, I'm a ma on, I'm I'm Blue Sky. Are
Leo Laporte (02:19:09):
You on Blue Sky too? I think I just, I am on Blue
Christina Warren (02:19:11):
Sky. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm on, there's no underscore on Blue Sky, so I'm just film girl dot b sky.social. But I yeah, I I'm probably never gonna be able to leave Twitter to be honest. But I mean until, you know, it literally falls apart, which might be just a matter of months. We'll see. But yeah, I've been spending a lot more time on the other platforms, which is really great.
Leo Laporte (02:19:31):
Why is that? What's
Dan Gillmor (02:19:32):
Your Mastodon handle
Christina Warren (02:19:35):
Dan Gillmor (02:19:38):
Leo Laporte (02:19:39):
So again, just go to your Mastodon instance and at Film Underscore Girl, and it should be able to find that pretty quickly. That's there you are. Yeah. I've found that's the easiest way to follow, to follow people. Yeah. Awesome. Yes. And I'm following you on Blue Sky too. I, I, the, the, the, the, it's still out. The jury's still out on Blue Sky. It's gotten a lot like Twitter. My fear, here's my fear, you know, the whole idea of Blue Skies has gonna be federated, just like masin on is, which is a good thing. I think we've learned from the fact that Twitter could be bought by a crazed evil genius billionaire, that it's probably good not to be centralized into a single company's social. But the problem I have at this point is because they haven't yet set up Federation and there's more than a hundred thousand people at the main Blue Sky instance, Federation may be just, you know, dead on arrival with Blue Sky.
Christina Warren (02:20:34):
I think it depends because I mean, like, I, I think that that I think we have a good default instance than it can be good. I think that the void that search works, if Search can work around, I mean, they're still trying to figure out the federation aspects, but like if search can work across federations that you're part of, then that would be a big improvement. That's one of my biggest I understand. Is there, for ideological reasons, I disagree with those reasons. A Macon but that has been one of my, my biggest kind of problems with Macon is the fact that search isn't there. Yeah. And, and so, you know, like that there are some clients that will cash things and do it, but that's a hack. And so I, I don't know. I think we'll see, I like the idea of being able to kind of exist in, in two different spaces. Because if that's the case, like if I'm not gonna lose out on the benefits of being on the main instance, I wouldn't mind having my own server. Right. which I, I thought about doing with Macedon Macon. I can't do that because I can't bring you to my post over. So you, you can migrate your username, but you can't take your post over. And the, the team seems very not interested in doing that Right. At all. Which is frustrating. Right.
Dan Gillmor (02:21:36):
But I think there are clients already being developed that will bring the posts over for Masin on. So
Christina Warren (02:21:43):
Yeah, KKI Kki will do it. So there's some forks that do it, but, but other but in terms of like the, the core Maan project, at least last time I checked, which was like two weeks ago, because people keep yelling at me about it. Cause I keep yelling about it. They're like, no, you're wrong. And I'm like, I've read all the prs and I've read the Discord stuff. They don't care. So
Dan Gillmor (02:22:03):
They should I agree. They
Christina Warren (02:22:04):
Should I agree. Agree. They really should. I agree. Has
Larry Magid (02:22:06):
Anybody written a really friendly user's guide domestic on for people who, you know, need to learn the basics of it?
Dan Gillmor (02:22:12):
There are a couple. I'll have to dig them out. But
Christina Warren (02:22:16):
Dan Gillmor (02:22:17):
It, it's, and it's a really rapidly the, it, the, the, it's a moving target in a lot of ways. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, I, I think I'll ha I'll have to go find it, but then I
Leo Laporte (02:22:28):
Would, I would go to mas.help to start. This has been around since the beginning of Mastadon. It's, it's, look, it's not completely user friendly cuz there's a lot of information, but it does describe everything. Great. And there have been a number of attempts to make videos that explain it. Honestly, don't tell anybody, but I don't wanna make it that easy. I <laugh> I kinda like it that there's a barrier to entry. In fact, we, our own Mastodon instance, which is twit.social, is you have to apply, you know, you, you don't get in automatically. You have to say, I wanna, you know, and you have to know something about twit or I'm not gonna let you in. And I think by doing that, we get a higher quality of people in there. Now I admit that's
Dan Gillmor (02:23:17):
A, that's a perfect use case. Yeah. But you're, you're describing it really ideal, the way it ought to work.
Leo Laporte (02:23:23):
Yeah. But I also understand that you know, there are movements, the Arab Spring black Twitter and so forth, where ease of entry is very important to getting to building critical mass in a community. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. And I understand that. And I hope solutions come along for that, you know, Masin, I can be a little prickly, but remember Mastodon is just a part of the fe averse, the activity pub based fe averse. Kki is another fe averse clone. Miske was khaki's based on Miske. And there are a lot of them. There's Pixel Fed, there's I can, I'm chloroma. I can go on and on. So I think that these underlying protocols are what's key. I think at proto the underlying protocol for Blue Sky is, in fact, I note that you maintain a yes. A GitHub Stars collection.
Christina Warren (02:24:13):
Yes. For for for both. Yeah. Yeah. For both. For both that I have Blue Sky Goodness and I've masked on goodness. Oh, that's awesome. Both those. So I'm trying to basically have collections of, of repos that I find on GitHub of interesting things related to both projects and Mask On should probably rename activity Pub goodness. But honestly, like masked on this for better or
Leo Laporte (02:24:32):
Worse, everybody knows the name Mask On, but I kind of, I re I, I'm, I resent that a little bit because Macedon is just one example of what you could do with Activity Pub. I agree completely. And the beauty of Activity Pub and the fe averse is, it can be a lot of different things. So,
Christina Warren (02:24:46):
No, I fully agree. I fully agree. I mean, I am too. I mean, look, I, I, and I really think that, that at proto the app protocol is very interesting. Absolutely. And again, they're, they're still working on things. Yeah. But I think a lot of the decisions that they've made, again the most primary one for, for me being just the way that account portability works, I think is superior to how it works in activity plan.
Leo Laporte (02:25:07):
It absolutely is.
Christina Warren (02:25:08):
100%. And, and, and they would be very thoughtful about That's
Leo Laporte (02:25:12):
Huge difference, frankly.
Christina Warren (02:25:14):
It, it is. And, and, and people are working on Bridges to make the two work better together, which I think is really, really good. Micro blog my, my friend man's project that he's been working on for, God, I don't remember how long ago the, the Kickstarter was, but I backed it on Kickstart. Me too. Me too. Yep. and me Too. And, and you know, because I wanted to support what it was doing. I don't even have an act at the county anymore. It's averse client again, you could
Leo Laporte (02:25:37):
Post on a Macedon via Mike
Christina Warren (02:25:39):
And Blue Sky. And Blue Sky and Blue Sky, actually.
Leo Laporte (02:25:42):
Oh, I didn't know he had at Proto.
Christina Warren (02:25:43):
Yeah. Yeah. He added that several weeks ago, like very early on, which I thought was really interesting. And so that, I, I, to me that's kind of like the perfect sort of thing. You can cross post a ma on Tumblr, blue Sky, medium LinkedIn, and Flicker, which is great. And, and I I love what, you know, what he and, and that team is, is building. Because I think to your point, you know, it's, it's easy to kind of do the, the Twitter clone, but if you can build these different types of experiences Yeah. And stuff, then you really have something. And for me, having that control over my user data is really important.
Larry Magid (02:26:20):
Well, I'm gonna say something that hopefully doesn't get me kicked off of a future guest on Twitter, but based on the conversation that I just heard, this is clearly not ready for primetime. And I, I say that was no, you're not great love and respect. Yeah. The three of you, the reality, the people who I write for wouldn't have a clue. And if they're listening to this aspect, part of, you know, they're gonna need a translation and Sure. That, that somehow, if, if Mastodon is to catch on or Blue Sky or anything else, it has to be made much more simple. It's not hard to sign up, I admit, but Well,
Christina Warren (02:26:52):
That's what Blue Sky is right now. Blue Sky right now, to be honest with, it's just like, Twitter is just like Twitter and, and the is, and that team's goal is a little bit different than Macedon. I'm not gonna try to say one is better than the other cuz they're different. But they really don't want you to have to think about the federation properties about it at all.
Larry Magid (02:27:08):
And that was confusing for me when I found which, which federation, which do I join? Would you annoy? I joined.
Christina Warren (02:27:14):
It's, it's a very, and and, and unfortunately, a lot of people say it doesn't matter, but it does matter. Yeah. And so I think that that is the biggest barrier to entry for Macedon. But I do think that that is, I think that blue sky, which is still in, in private beta has going forward. It is that I was, I would venture to say that prob that Amadon a vast majority of users know and care about the federation aspects that's important to them. I would say that I'm blue sky because I'm gonna act up on both. The vast majority do not care. And let's let,
Dan Gillmor (02:27:45):
Sorry, can we keep in I, I apologize. Sorry to I No,
Christina Warren (02:27:48):
No, you're fine.
Dan Gillmor (02:27:51):
Keep in mind that it's really since November mm-hmm. <Affirmative> that anyone beyond a very small community has cared at all about this. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> the progress in just a few months has been astonishing. And we're gonna see more. The fact that Mozilla has set up an instance and they clearly plan for it to be, or are working on it being something that will be usable in a fairly easy way by people. They've, they're, they're carefully managing that process is is quite a development. But you're not wrong, Larry. The thing is that this is the moment, this is really the moment when some leverage applied wisely could produce incredible downstream effects. And I'm, I've been begging my philanthropist friends to jump in Yes. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> and to, to basically think about the de the re decentralized internet as a mission and to look for ways to help that happen. So if you're a, if you have a lot of money listening to this <laugh> and or, and at a foundation or a charity, please think about this. This is, this is the moment when you could put in what's a relatively small donation and, and, and investment.
Leo Laporte (02:29:27):
And somebody like Craig Newmark amazing
Dan Gillmor (02:29:29):
Leo Laporte (02:29:29):
There are some really good people out there who care a lot about these things who could really make a big big, big difference. So you see another thing, Elon Musk has really changed the world, hasn't he? Yeah. And we're, we're so grateful to Elon for having let us know that a centralized social network is a bad idea. I'm hopeful you, I know as you've stayed on Twitter, Christina and I Yeah. And I'm hopeful that Twitter will get through this, because really it is, it has been a since 2006, a very valuable part of the conversation. And, and I grieve it's loss. And I don't think it's necessarily over. I think Elon, it seems highly likely you know was it Fidelity just downgraded? Yep. Yeah. They declared their investment in Twitter. Not a total loss, but they basically said it's only really worth about 15 billion, which is a third. Right. What Elon did th
Christina Warren (02:30:28):
Third. Yeah. And, and he, he, which is, you know, half, which is like, I guess 50% less than what he claimed, or
Leo Laporte (02:30:35):
Yeah. Even he thought it was only worth half. He he, he,
Christina Warren (02:30:38):
He thinks it's worth half. Yeah. And then it's, it's really worth half of half of that <laugh>. So, you know, but, but it's also worth what snap is worth and what Pinterest are worth. Which honestly, that's something is probably fair. That's about right. No, but that's also probably, that's also probably fair. Yeah. but I mean, you know, like, my, my expectation at this point, and, and I don't wanna make predictions cause I've been wrong on all of them, would be the Well, he will, he will sell at some point. Either
Leo Laporte (02:31:03):
Sell or the banks will take it.
Christina Warren (02:31:05):
Yes. I just don't know who buys it at this point, is the real thing. Yeah, yeah. I just dunno who buys it. So
Dan Gillmor (02:31:09):
Elon will make a small fortune when he velvet because he bought it with a big fortune.
Leo Laporte (02:31:14):
Yes, that's right. <Laugh> actually, he, he borrowed 13 billion from the banks. I think that's what's gonna end up being the value of Twitter and that the banks will just take it over when it goes bankrupt. Cuz I think that's what's gonna happen. It's clearly not headed in positive direction as long as we're talking about Go ahead.
Larry Magid (02:31:32):
If it matter what instance, I mean, I know you want us to join Twitter, but, but from a standpoint of the user, does it matter that much? Which instance or community they join on Ma on Mastadon?
Leo Laporte (02:31:42):
You can follow anybody on any other Mastodon instance unless the instance you're on has for some reason blocked it or as we call it, Def federated. It. I have Def Federated a number of, in fact, you can even see when you sign up or go to an instance. What other instances are blocked? I def Federated, for instance, <laugh> Russia just created its own Masin on instance called Pravda Dou. I instantly def federated it because it's clear that that was gonna be a massive source of disinformation pumping into the network. This is, by the way, one of the strengths of Federation is I as a, as a person who runs my own Mastodon server can say, no, no, nothing from Proda Dou yet on my server. But mastodon.social, all of the normal big servers, if just as I did, I entered in your name, Dan and I found you and I added you, it was no trouble at all.
So I will see you in my home feed of people I follow. But what's cool about having an instance there's a local timeline. The people on our twit social local timeline are all TWIT listeners. They're all, you know, which makes it a, it has a community of its very own. So this is the home, which is people I follow, this is the local timeline I'm running the advanced interface. Not everybody runs that. A lot of people like it to look like Twitter. And this is the, what they call the Federated timeline. That's interesting because that's everybody followed by anybody on the local server. So that also has a Friends of Friends local con context to it. So yes, the server that you follow definitely impacts what the locals look like, what the federated timeline looks like. But you're in
Larry Magid (02:33:30):
Charge. Can you more than one, could I be at Larry Maggot on, on your server as well as
Christina Warren (02:33:35):
No. Right now, not unless we wanna to maintain two different accounts. Cause they're, they're,
Leo Laporte (02:33:39):
You could, and there's nothing to stop you from doing that. I have multiple accounts, but you wanna have switch, you
Larry Magid (02:33:44):
Could switch at Larry.
Leo Laporte (02:33:45):
I want, you want to have one primary account for discoverability, but also because you, it's non portable, the content you post. So you really kind of, if you can light at the right place and stay there you know, micro blog's. Interesting. I don't, I, I'm been paying three bucks a month forever <laugh> to mat on. So I really should take a look at using Micro blog to post <laugh>. I'm at Leo, at Leo Do social is my Masin on, or rather my FEI verse name at micro Blog and I'm at Leo at Twit social. So I those two, but I only post on the twit social one. I don't know. I, I think let a thousand flowers bloom has happened. Does there have to be one that we all follow? Well, there's an advantage to that, but there's also a disadvantage to it.
Larry Magid (02:34:35):
Well, I like the idea that, you know, you can decide, you know, you don't want Dou on your, on your server, and that's your right to do that. You're not really censoring them. You're, you're simply saying that they're, I'm, you're not saying they can't exist. Right. But you are, you're not saying that they can't exist. You're saying they can't exist on my server. Right. So if, if you want Don are you, you can go somewhere else and get them
Dan Gillmor (02:34:56):
His, your, his server is his living room. He's not gonna invite thugs in. Right. For
Leo Laporte (02:35:02):
Yeah. And I block percent Nazis and I block, you know, you know, if there are griefing servers, which there are in the FE averse, those, those are block, I block about 20 servers, and whenever there's a problem, I'll consider it and so forth. But so far because, and by the way, I'm one person, I might spend 15, 20 minutes a day at most moderating, I don't have to spend a lot of time because we have a tight-knit group mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, there is a, there are very good tools for an individual to block a feed or block a server themselves. So if I didn't block Proa, but you wanted to, you could do that for yourself on your Yeah. On your feed. I mean, I think there's pretty good tools. There's no quote tweet <laugh>. There's no global search that,
Dan Gillmor (02:35:46):
That's I think the, the lack of quote tweets, which is less crucial, but the lack of search is a big deal
Leo Laporte (02:35:54):
To me. Yeah. Yeah.
Dan Gillmor (02:35:55):
That, that's gotta be fixed and Yep. It's, and it's really improving quickly though, and the people are doing forks that are still in completely interoperable that do everything I want. I may, I may end up on Kki or something like that, but this is really a wonderful fervent going on, and isn't
Leo Laporte (02:36:17):
It great? Yeah, yeah.
Dan Gillmor (02:36:19):
I, I think something important's happening, Larry, if you want some, some personal advice on it. I've been doing mastered on now for six months, and it's pretty great. Then I have a third, the number of followers I had at Twitter and 10 times the engagement. That's great. I have same genuine, serious engagement. It's, it's, it's astonishing.
Larry Magid (02:36:42):
Yeah. I'm on new fee. I'm, I just picked out kind of at random, but that's fine. I haven't done much yet.
Leo Laporte (02:36:48):
Yeah, just stick, stay there. That's your community. Yeah. And it's a bunch of news people, so I think that's fine. Yeah. how about Reddit? <Laugh>, as long as we're talking social Reddit, which is owned by the massive magazine publisher, Conde Nas, the people who published the New Yorker, vanity Fair. A bunch of other magazines has a, has announced that they're gonna start charging just Twitter does for their API access. And just as Twitter had Reddit has a number, quite a few of third party clients that don't show the ads <laugh> and allow people to change their experience on Reddit. This is one of them. Apollo, this is for iOS. This is what I use on iOS. Yep. Really, really nice. And the developer is very engaged. He encourages donations, but it's free. Very powerful.
Christina Warren (02:37:47):
There's a paid version too. So it it, yes, there, there's a subscription, but he is, but it has like, I think a million and a half users and many of them are free. And then the people who do pay what he's charging the new changes that Reddit is going to introduce will basically make him make it not sustainable. Even charging. It's,
Leo Laporte (02:38:07):
So his name, Christian Seig, he was on a call now, unlike Elon, who just cut off third party access and, and first denied it. <Laugh> then said they broke the rules, then said, all right, yeah, we're cutting it off. Which is his, by the way, it's his privilege. He didn't do it very nicely. But it's his privilege cuz it does undermine, you know, the, the, the financial structure of Twitter cuz ads are what pays for Twitter. So I, it's certainly within Call Conde Nests power. And, and it's appropriate for them to, to say this. He talked to them. They have been, unlike Elon calling everybody talking to everybody, he talked to them and they explained, well, I think it's $12,000 for 500,000 accesses. I can't remember what it was. He did some math and based on the number of people that use Apollo, he said, it's gonna cost me 20 million a year to continue my app. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> huge mistake. It's not sustainable. So if Twitter does this, it will put Apollo out of business. Joey Outta business, a lot of third party apps.
Christina Warren (02:39:12):
There's, there's already a Mac app that I was using called stellar, that I paid for. Actually, that has already announced that they are sunsetting it because they had kind of a freemium model and they basically have said that they, they're not making enough money to be profitable to change the upcoming changes because I, like, I personally don't have a problem with them charging for the a p i, I think the pricing is insane. Especially given the fact that so many of their power users who do a lot of free labor for them. Like this is unlike Twitter in the sense that most of the things that make Reddit work are the, the admin or the, the mods rather, that are not paid. And many of them rely almost entirely on third party tools because the regular Reddit tools are not equipped for their needs. And and so
Leo Laporte (02:40:01):
It raises an interesting question because yes, they own Reddit, Conde Nast does, they can monetize it any way they choose. Yet the content of Reddit, just like the content of Twitter, is created by its users for free. We, we post on Reddit to, and that's what makes Reddit exist. And if users can't use third party apps, many users are distraught. There is a boycott or not a boycott exactly. A protest that's gonna happen I think next month where a lot of subreddits, the, the, the groups on Reddit will go
Christina Warren (02:40:34):
Dark. It's next week, I think. Is it next
Leo Laporte (02:40:35):
Week? Yeah. Okay. Sorry. Yeah. We'll go dark for several days. And that will be interesting. That might, that might show how important this is to people.
Dan Gillmor (02:40:44):
Well, I, I, I am the one benefit of all of these things is that we are getting schooled Yeah. In the <laugh> kind of nas nastiest possible way about the dangers of centralized social media media. Sure. Yeah. Corporate owned and in, in, you know bad guy owned in one case social media making capricious and, and, and wildly counterproductive moves. And I, I think maybe Conde Nas is expecting that this was a ploy, that they could then lower the price that, and, and get people to do it. I, I, I think they've made a kind of drastic error in this case. Yeah,
Christina Warren (02:41:37):
No, I, I, I agree. Again, like, and, and Christian has even said, like, he Quinn Nelson SASI Q on YouTube did a great interview with him that went up on YouTube, I think it was yesterday. It's like 45 minutes long. And, you know, he even said that he does think that it's fair that he pays, you know, some of his profits, essentially, to Reddit. But the, the split that they're wanting is, is just not sustainable. And, you know, to me, it would be much more honest if Reddit would just say, we don't want any third party apps to exist. I mean, at least Ilan did that. Like, I'm not gonna give the guy credit for anything, but at least he was honest at the end. And Twitter as a company hadn't wanted third party clients for a long time, even before, you know, he took it over.
But, but I think in Reddit's case, that the problem is, is that, you know, this really is a big part of how Mods used their tools, and they'd gone from actively, you know, encouraging and using and, and helping out the devs to this change. And I, I think that there are some devs who might not wanna pay anything, and that's okay. Some would, but what's also was so odd to me is that they don't let the ad aspect into their a p i like, and Twitter did the same thing. I get that you're saying, okay, we're, we're losing out on impressions and this and that. Okay. So make that part of the API and make a requirement that clients use it.
Leo Laporte (02:42:54):
I, I don't think advertisers would support that for the same reason. You don't see ads when you're watching YouTube or some other re-broadcast of local channels. They don't carry the ads because the advertisers say, no, no, no. That's not part of what we're paying for. So I think that's why they don't do that. I think that's an advert. Fair enough. Advertiser mandated fair. I agree. It would be nice to be able to do that, but that's not gonna happen. Advertisers don't. They wanna know exactly where their ad's gonna be, and, and they wanna know how to count that.
Dan Gillmor (02:43:21):
Yeah. The, but the, again, the basic, the, the basic thing going on is that the centralized sites rely they count on these third party developers Yes. To, to may help make them popular. And then the minute they have sufficient leverage, they cut them off. Yeah. Remember,
Leo Laporte (02:43:44):
Even before Elon Twitter did this once before. Yes.
Christina Warren (02:43:48):
Dan Gillmor (02:43:48):
Leo Laporte (02:43:48):
Dan Gillmor (02:43:49):
<Laugh> as, as, as an investor in one of the companies Twitter killed way back then. Oh, I was, I was, you know, I got, I've been schooled in this a number of times. Yeah. But the, it, as a user, the hell with it, I'll just go over and do stuff somewhere else. I don't, I don't need the Twitter fame
Leo Laporte (02:44:07):
Anymore. That's the, that's the beauty of this is there are many choices now. June 12th through 15th, here's the r slash r slash Samsung. As an example this subreddit will be going private June 12th through 15th in protest. Many, many subreddits will and I think Conde will sit up and take notice. Maybe this is a negotiating ploy, and they'll come back. In fact, they've already said, oh, no, no, no, we weren't gonna charge him. We would never charge 'em 20 million. We, there'd be a way to do this. So maybe they'll come back with something.
Christina Warren (02:44:41):
But I hope so. It was, it was interesting. There, something else spurred me to look into this, and I was just trying to think of like, who has the most expensive APIs? And I was shocked to look and find and discover that I, MDB does now finally have an A p I, but their pricing is like the most obscene a p i pricing. I, I can, I can recall seeing, so this is like a relatively new thing, I think that they've had and their pricing on their a p I starts at like $450,000 a month. And that's before usage.
Leo Laporte (02:45:14):
Christina Warren (02:45:15):
Which, which is insane because I, I think, I think the reason I've looked into this was that somebody, people were complaining about the New Max app, which is awful, and it didn't have a lot of the credits listed. And someone said, well, why aren't they just using the imdb a api? And then I, I, I was like, I had the same question, and then I looked into it and I was like, oh, because David's dasla is very cheap. That's why. Well,
Dan Gillmor (02:45:35):
That they're, they're, that's, that's just saying, don't use this. That's
Christina Warren (02:45:38):
Absolutely. Oh, 100%. Yeah. Yeah. So, so the, the essential metadata and this is for movies, tv, and over the top is $150,000 plus metered costs. And then the complete data set is or excuse me the I D B in box office mojo for movies, TV over the top is $400,000 a month, plus we year costs.
Leo Laporte (02:46:02):
Wow. Pretty dumb. Insane. IMDB is owned by Amazon, right?
Christina Warren (02:46:06):
Yeah. They've owned them for I think, 20 years now. Yeah. At this point.
Leo Laporte (02:46:09):
Yeah. Used to be, this is a perfect example of, there were a number of sites like this. C D D B was another one where mm-hmm. <Affirmative> users created it to put all they knew in there, like a wiki or whatever. Yeah. And as soon as it grained critical mass, a company came in and bought them <laugh>, and all the users said, wait, what heck what <laugh>. So again, a lesson learned these, you know, yep. We're in late stage capitalism, folks, if somebody calls you screaming <laugh>, they want your money. Yes. Okay. That's just the way it works. Yep. Let me take your, unfortunately,
Christina Warren (02:46:44):
The, I was just gonna, the TV db exists as an alternative. That's great.
Leo Laporte (02:46:48):
Oh, good. Yeah. That's the way to solve this. Just create a, and in fact, there's already a number of people creating Reddit. Reddit clones, hoping that they can take advantage of this. We'll see quick break, and then we're gonna wrap things up with a panel that's been very patient, but Awesome. Alright. Awesome. Our show today, brought to you by Cisco Maki, the experts in cloud-based networking for hybrid work. Whether your employers are working at home at a cabin in the mountains, or a lounge chair at the beach, I choose the beach. By the way, a cloud managed network provides the same exceptional work experience no matter where they are. And that's what you want. You may as well roll out. The welcome at hybrid work is here to stay <laugh>. We, we tried to get people to come back. No hybrid work works best in the cloud.
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You did you, Dan, or, or do you need to go? I heard you squeal when I said we're almost done. <Laugh> <laugh>. I, I, I had, I I postponed it another call, so I'm fine. Okay. We'll do it real quickly. We'll, we'll wrap, we'll wrap this up. Now you, we have still tomorrow. I'm fine. <Laugh>. Oh, okay. Well, that case, here's what you missed this week on tw <laugh>. Oh, you know, the problem is I changed where I part is that, that's, is that Show me, show a single, I can't tell this. I
TWiG crew (02:50:48):
Think the new one doesn't work.
Leo Laporte (02:50:49):
Oh, really? Yeah. That,
TWiG crew (02:50:50):
That's, that looks better. Yeah. It's really unflattering for that side of your head. <Laugh>. Well, I wonder where he's going now. <Laugh>,
Leo Laporte (02:50:58):
Previously on TWI iOS, today, Rosemary
Mikah Sargent (02:51:02):
Orchard and I, Micah Sergeant, are going to be covering Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro, which are now on iPad
Leo Laporte (02:51:11):
All about Android.
Jason Howell (02:51:12):
Today, I give my review of the one plus pad. I've got the st that snaps to the top, and right away I get the little notification that tells me that it's connected just like
Leo Laporte (02:51:22):
An iPad. I think the overall
Jason Howell (02:51:22):
Package, like, I really was surprised at how much I like this keyboard
Leo Laporte (02:51:27):
Case. Mac Break Weekly. By the way, Alex, I think your l s d adult nephew did in fact design the homepage for ww d c. It's trippy. Cool man. To say the least. The melting apple. I think if you look at it on an iPhone there's a vr. Oh, what's this? <Laugh>? Oh, he's found the apple. It's floating over my head. Ah, ah, twit. Does
TWiG crew (02:51:56):
Indigestion keep you up at night? <Laugh> new strawberry football,
Leo Laporte (02:52:02):
Soothing your tech indigestion one show at a time. By the way, I don't know when this happened, but we seem to have replaced our professionally trained human announcer, Jim Cutler, with an AI voice of mine. So I guess there's one more person outta work. Thanks to ai. Sorry about that, Jim. Holy cow. He was doing it for free. Maybe <laugh>, maybe we just didn't, we don't save money. We just let's see what else. Amazon's gonna pay 30 million to settle FTC privacy complaints over their Ring doorbell and Amazon Echo. There's been a number of judgments lately. Meta lost a big one. Was it 1.3 billion euros in the Hmm. In the Ireland? Because it was spying on people and selling that information on. Good. I hope regulators crack down. Notice though, here in the United States, <laugh>, it's very, it's very, it's very quiet.
<Laugh>. No, don't, don't mess with that. Intel is gonna put an AI engine in its new Meteor Lake systems on a chip. I learned that actually at Build. Everybody's processors now have a, a AI engine in there. And this made me very sad. The Amazon Echo is losing Samuel Jackson and Melissa McCarthy. I paid for those celebrity voices and I want 'em, but no Amazon will refund you. But you have to contact customer service. It was really nice cuz Samuel L. Jackson, you'd, you'd say, Samuel, what's, he was fun. Yeah. You'd What's the weather? And he would swear up a blue streak if you asked him. Why did he have you done this, Christina? Ask Samuel. Yes. Why does he swear so much
Christina Warren (02:53:44):
<Laugh>? Oh, I haven't asked him that. Okay, I will. Good. I
Leo Laporte (02:53:46):
Don't ever swear I'm gonna <laugh>. It's very good. It's very good. Melissa. Mcc, I would always, I would ask Samuel what the weather's gonna be, and they'd say, Melissa, what's the weather gonna be? And she would always say something cute. It was fun. 99 cents at launch. They were then $4 and 99 cents. I think we always knew it was time limited. They're not gonna have an unlimited license to use celebrity voices. But Amazon says, after three years, we're gonna wind down the celebrity voices. You'll be able to continue using 'em for a limited time. If you want your money back, you can I just use AI to create their own celebrity voices. Yeah.
Christina Warren (02:54:22):
Oh, yeah. Velocity.
Leo Laporte (02:54:23):
Well, it was AI actually, because Samuel L. Jackson went in. He would record some stuff. Some of it would be act you could tell would actually be him. And then when he was saying the weather, it would kind of be a little less lively <laugh>. That was the only difference through June 7th for well, that's Gully. That's three days from now. For Samuel L. Jackson. Melissa McCarthy and Shaquille O'Neal will continue through September 30th. I'm gonna miss that. Part of this is Andy Chasy saying we, I we're losing money like crazy <laugh>.
Christina Warren (02:54:59):
Yeah. And I can't imagine that the usage, honestly, was great. Cause they were fun. It was a fun party trick. Right. But I can't imagine that most people used it. Right. So if you have to pay, like, and, and also I also imagine that the celebrities, when they're maybe being asked to renegotiate the contracts, given all the stuff that is you know, happening with the, the Writer's Guild. And I know that the Screen Actor's Guild was looking at things too. They wouldn't be wrong if they were wanting to maybe ask for more money. This is just my interpretation. I have no idea. But you know, I I I could imagine that they would, would be possibly be wanting to negotiate for more or similar terms and Amazon might not want to given usage being lower. So, yeah. But Andy, it's cost cutting time, and I'm sure he is looking at this like very few, only Christina and Leo are using this. Yeah.
Leo Laporte (02:55:42):
Basically it's us,
Christina Warren (02:55:43):
Basically. So we're not
Leo Laporte (02:55:45):
A personal note from Andy <laugh>.
Christina Warren (02:55:48):
Leo Laporte (02:55:48):
We know you like to I
Christina Warren (02:55:49):
Leo Laporte (02:55:50):
<Laugh>, you. Honestly, I'm not in a hurry to go home. We, this show would've been over an hour ago if succession we're on tonight, but
Christina Warren (02:55:57):
I know, very sad. I love
Leo Laporte (02:56:01):
That. What a great show. Four Seasons something like 40 episodes, which is, if you think about it, I mean, a movie's, what, two hours? This is 40 hours or more of content. And yet the, the standards were very high. I'm sure many Emmy awards, they, they've already won 13. I'm sure they'll win many more this year. It was
Larry Magid (02:56:20):
Ted Lasso, Mrs. Maisel and Succession Over. I don't have anything to watch anymore.
Christina Warren (02:56:23):
I know. There's nothing on tv. I was gonna say, I was gonna say Barry as well. Like just I, I watched Succession in a bar actually that is co-owned by cousin Greg. Oh, you're kidding. It was, no, it was packed. It was, I was, it was on the Lori side. It, it's called Rays. It was amazing.
Leo Laporte (02:56:43):
Did Greg show up?
Christina Warren (02:56:43):
Couldn't see the screen. He did not. Nicholas his own his own thing. Yeah. Yeah. Nicholas Ron. No, he had his own thing, but, but the, the place was packed and what we, what we did, because they were planted over a sound system we couldn't see the screen. So I pulled up my phone, <laugh>, and we streamed it on my phone and put captions on, and like, a bunch of people were crowded around my phone watching it <laugh>. But I have to say, like watching the finale with like, oh,
Leo Laporte (02:57:07):
Christina Warren (02:57:08):
All a hundred other people literally crammed into this bar. It was great. And then, because to just make it literally my perfect night, the bar then turned into a Taylor Swift Dance Party, <laugh>. So it was genuinely, this was like design
Leo Laporte (02:57:20):
Christina Warren (02:57:21):
It really was like the Venn diagram of people who care about those two things is larger than I thought it would be. Although a lot of the succession people left, and a lot of the Taylor Swift people came in. But it's a different a little bit. But no, but it was
Leo Laporte (02:57:36):
I bet saw Willa Willow would've stayed for both. I'm sure
Christina Warren (02:57:38):
Willow would've stayed for both. No, I, some somebody, people were wearing jerseys. I was like, where my con headss at <laugh>.
Larry Magid (02:57:46):
I'm sure Greg would've kissed up to both sides as well. Oh,
Christina Warren (02:57:48):
He would've absolutely kissed up North sides.
Leo Laporte (02:57:50):
What's interesting is this so this is not as big a TV show as network television was in its heyday. This, right. The show averaged 8.4 million viewers per episode, which is pretty much nothing compared to 13, 14, 15 million that would watch a primetime TV show, you know, every week Mad Men
Christina Warren (02:58:13):
Thir 30 million. I mean, yeah, we are used to get 40 million. Yeah. yeah. Even the, the, the Sopranos you know, much Higher Game of Thrones, much higher. But the, I think that, but the cultural
Leo Laporte (02:58:25):
Impact to succession Yes. Was outsized compared to the people who actually watched it. Yes. In other words, you and I, <laugh> really influenced people for, sorry,
Larry Magid (02:58:38):
Good PR for our friend Kara Swisher. I'd actually never listened to her podcast, but I always saw that on every episode
Leo Laporte (02:58:43):
That No kidding. She had a podcast. No
Christina Warren (02:58:45):
Kidding. She and she hosted, which was great. And she, yeah. She got good interviews and asked good questions. Yeah. You know? Yeah. So I,
Dan Gillmor (02:58:53):
It's very strange. I ended up watching the show and only because people keep reminding me it was on <laugh>. Do I ever think about it in the weeks since it ended? I just, I've never seen anything where there was not a single character with redeem any redeeming features except for the brother of the, the
Leo Laporte (02:59:23):
Uncle you, uncle you and Logan brother. Yeah. I dunno if he had redeeming features either. I was
Christina Warren (02:59:29):
Gonna say, I don't think he, he was,
Leo Laporte (02:59:30):
They were all <laugh>. That
Christina Warren (02:59:32):
Was, yeah, that's kinda,
Dan Gillmor (02:59:33):
Leo Laporte (02:59:34):
Was no hero as all anti-hero wasn't
Dan Gillmor (02:59:36):
It? But, but, but they were, these are, they were all loathsome. Yes. Not, just, not just not just sort of bad. And I, yeah, I don't want, that's not something I want to carry around in my warm memories. Sorry. I just wanna, I wanted, I just wanted to have it go into the past and not even think
Larry Magid (02:59:58):
About it. You, you know it with a documentary, right? <Laugh>,
Leo Laporte (03:00:01):
It was about the Murdoch family. Yeah, that's exactly
Christina Warren (03:00:03):
The Murdochs and the Red Stones. Red Stones. Yeah.
Leo Laporte (03:00:06):
It was about, it was about a few things. It was about late stage capitalism. It was about control of mainstream media by a handful of, as you say, evil people. It was also though, about family and about how damaged these children were by a father, by all
Christina Warren (03:00:24):
Leo Laporte (03:00:24):
Cruel, and by all the excess they had growing up. So that made it more personal. I You're right though. And I think in, in some ways, the fact that there was no hero made it exceptional. I, I can't imagine if there was a good guy in this show, I would've wanted to watch it, to be honest.
Larry Magid (03:00:42):
There's no decent, I mean, Dan made a good point. Were there even anybody who's halfway decent?
Leo Laporte (03:00:46):
Well, Jerry was all right. Jerry was pretty decent. Jerry,
Larry Magid (03:00:48):
Christina Warren (03:00:49):
Willa. Willa. I, I, I think Willa was okay. Honestly,
Leo Laporte (03:00:53):
Like the prostitute who ended up marrying the Yeah. She would've court,
Christina Warren (03:00:56):
Leo Laporte (03:00:57):
So that he's presidential campaign <laugh> would do better because he was married.
Christina Warren (03:01:04):
But also, you know, his dad dies and he's, and she still goes through the, with the wedding, like Yeah. Could have called it off. And she gave her that option, you know,
Leo Laporte (03:01:12):
But she liked the money. Like everybody else in this show, she did. It was all about the money. Absolutely.
Christina Warren (03:01:16):
100%. I mean, you know, no, you're right. Like, for a lot of people, this is not a show that they would enjoy. And I totally understand that. I personally loving the antihero. I really, really did.
Leo Laporte (03:01:27):
I think it was timely. I really
Dan Gillmor (03:01:28):
Did. I watched it. I, I watched it in total fascination. That's not that I Well, this
Leo Laporte (03:01:33):
Is your business
Dan Gillmor (03:01:34):
Too. So in that sense, I enjoyed it. Yeah. But I, it, it I don't,
Leo Laporte (03:01:40):
I I miss them all. I, I don't know what I'm gonna do tonight. I'm so sad. I know <laugh>, which is hysterical. There was a good article in Vanity Fair, I'm not sure I, I actually agree with the premise. Joy Press writing. Will there be any successors to succession? Is it the end of an era for Hollywood or inspiration for a new beginning? It's a reasonable question to ask. No, we don't all watch the same things anymore. Right,
Christina Warren (03:02:06):
Leo Laporte (03:02:06):
And even, you know, with succession, 8.4 million viewers is a tiny fraction of the total audience.
Christina Warren (03:02:13):
Well, I mean, but also to be clear, that's like the live audience that they kind of, or week of audience they capture. Right? We don't know how many people watched, you know, in binging and other things or consumed this. Well, it
Leo Laporte (03:02:22):
Probably has a long tail. I don't know if that's what I'm saying, if David Zla Will, will cancel it and move it to, you know, Roku channeler free, I mean that or something. But
Christina Warren (03:02:32):
Honestly, that, that's, that's the big question, right. Which is why I buy every season of it when it comes outs, because I, it's idea. Even before he was installed, I had my own concerns about that. I was like, oh, I don't know if this whole like era of let's just keep all the content here in our libraries to, you know, boost the things where people like me is going to last. I bet they're going to take this back out again and try to sell it and they can make more money. So,
Leo Laporte (03:02:57):
And let's not forget the writer's strike. I mean this was very much a writer's show.
Christina Warren (03:03:02):
Leo Laporte (03:03:03):
Absolutely. And without those writers, I mean, it's just gonna be Beverly Hills Housewives all the way down.
Christina Warren (03:03:10):
Okay. In fairness, in fairness, this season the, the season finale and then the three part, we've only seen two of the parts of the Vanderpump Rules reunion is incredible television. So I'm not, that's
Leo Laporte (03:03:22):
What I was afraid of. <Laugh> <laugh>. That's exactly what I'm thinking. There apparently is, is a Venn diagram of people who love succession and Vander Pump rules, and there's more than one person in that intersection. In fact, I've seen a lot of people say, oh, you should start watching Vander Pump rules. I can't. I can't. I don't. I can't. I can't. I am sorry. I apologize to Dan. I hope your phone call wasn't important. I am thrilled that you spent some time with us. Thank you Dan Kenmore. Your students are very lucky. Co-Founder of the Arizona State News CoLab professor at the Walter Cronk Height School of Journalism at Arizona State. He's at Dan Gilmore on the Mastadon, and I can't wait to hear what you're up to with this new project.
Dan Gillmor (03:04:14):
I will let you know as soon as I Great. Have something to great reel.
Leo Laporte (03:04:21):
Nice. Actually, I realize we have two people on the show have written for the Mercury News. Of course. That's where I first met Dan. And I guess Larry, you just published that article about the screaming woman on the Mercury News. So,
Larry Magid (03:04:35):
Yeah, in fact, Dan, I was dance was sandwich in between me writing for the Mercury, and then they hired Dan and I stopped writing for the Mercury cuz he took over the main column. And then somehow I got it back. I'm not sure why. So
Leo Laporte (03:04:46):
You guys, oh, you even wrote the same column,
Larry Magid (03:04:49):
Sort of the main, the main column in the business section on Oh, one day of the week. Yeah. I think
Leo Laporte (03:04:53):
I did not know.
Dan Gillmor (03:04:54):
I'd like to think of, I'd like to think of it as feeding LLMs
Christina Warren (03:04:59):
Leo Laporte (03:05:00):
Yes. All your columns have now been de digested.
Larry Magid (03:05:02):
Well, that's why there's so inac now I get it.
Dan Gillmor (03:05:05):
I, I'm, I'm, I am. My, my, my service as training data is over temporarily
Leo Laporte (03:05:13):
<Laugh>. No more training data. I guess this is training data too, though, right? Some LLMs might use audio as well. I don't know.
Larry Magid (03:05:21):
I don't know. Oh yeah.
Leo Laporte (03:05:23):
Anybody who creates content
Larry Magid (03:05:24):
Leo Laporte (03:05:24):
While they're edit should be worried. All right, we're gonna stop feeding the LLMs now. Thank you Larry. Maggot connect safely.org. That's where he is. C e o and President. And where you'll find that that victim what is it? What do you call that? The
Larry Magid (03:05:41):
Leo Laporte (03:05:43):
Virtual kidnapping. Holy cow. Yeah, yeah, yeah. That's right there in the upper right. At Larry Magid on the Twitter. Thank you, Larry.
Larry Magid (03:05:52):
My pleasure. Always, always enjoyed being Oh, it was great.
Leo Laporte (03:05:54):
See you. Yeah. When you've been you and Dan, and I guess Christina too, have all been with us for more than a decade.
Larry Magid (03:06:01):
Yeah. Isn't that amazing?
Leo Laporte (03:06:02):
I'm crazy. I am so grateful. I I'm not, I'm not kidding. I hear, I'm just so grateful to the people who participate in our shows with us. You,
Larry Magid (03:06:11):
I've actually known you Leo, for probably 25 years. It's amazing. We were both young, young upstarts in the media. This pop,
Leo Laporte (03:06:17):
Young pop, yep.
Larry Magid (03:06:19):
<Laugh>. And eventually we'll figure out this craft, won't we?
Leo Laporte (03:06:21):
<Laugh>, thank you, Larry. Christina, always great to see you. Christina Warren, senior dev advocate at GitHub film underscore girl. Almost everywhere.
Christina Warren (03:06:32):
Almost everywhere. If I'm not film underscore girl someplace, then it's Film Girl. One word. Because the site doesn't support underscores <laugh>. It, it, again, if I've been smarter about this, I would've been consistent and, but I wasn't. So here we
Leo Laporte (03:06:45):
Are. I wanna learn how to turn my micro blog into my ac my a at proto site. I'll have to see if I can figure that out. That's pretty, yeah, definitely. I've got it. Definitely I've got it with the Masto awning. All right. I'll have to do some searching. That's a, that's a nice plug for micro.blog in Manton Reese's. He's been, he's been open web since the web was open.
Christina Warren (03:07:09):
Basically, I mean, I was gonna say like one of the OG kind of things. I, yeah. When I think of the Metaverse, I really honestly think of Micro Blog. I agree. Before anything else. Yeah. Because it predated a lot of this other stuff. And, and I I, I'm glad for him for, for doing the, the work that he's done and, and I'm glad to see so many other projects, you know, come around. I mean, actually, if we really wanted to be honest, we could also give a shout out to Dalton Caldwell for the o original app.net, which, you know, had many of these same ideas, but obviously didn't work. So yeah, no, we
Leo Laporte (03:07:39):
Ran, we ran Ina server back in the day. The twin, yeah.
Christina Warren (03:07:45):
Leo Laporte (03:07:45):
Yeah. Based on app.net, the earliest version of Activity Pub when there was status net and there was a status net new social. Yeah. there were
Christina Warren (03:07:55):
Frienda or something like that.
Leo Laporte (03:07:57):
Yep, yep. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. Yep. Yep. And so we've been part of this, you know, kind of alternative Yeah. Social media for a long time. I'm glad to see it's getting the attention. It's a long deserved. Thank you, Christina. Thank you Dan. Thank you Larry. Thank you all for being here. Especially thanks to our club members who make this show in everything we do possible. I wanna invite you to join, if you're not yet a member, $7 a month, you get ad free versions. That means tracker free versions as well of everything we do plus shows we don't put out anywhere else, including the brand new Scott Wilkinson's Home Theater Geeks, HandsOn Mac with Micah, Sergeant Hands on Windows with Paul Thro, the Untitled Lennox Show. The giz, fizz Stacy's book Club. All of these are club only. We also have access to the Discord.
We have a club Discord that is, honestly, I think this is Discord, is in many ways the future of social. And our discord is all made up of people who are in the club. And we talk about not just what's going on in the shows, but all sorts of topics that any geek would be interested in. Plus we have special events. Aunt Prutz are community manager there. And you get the Twit plus feed, which includes conversations like the weird one we had before the show <laugh> that no one else hears all that. For seven bucks a month, I think it's the best deal possible. Just go to twit tv slash club twit. There's annual memberships, there's family memberships, corporate memberships as well. But your membership your members, you members really make a big difference. And we thank you very much. Your membership dollars really help keep us on the air.
It's a tough time for podcasting, I'll be honest. And if we're gonna survive, it's gonna have to be with your help. Please join twit tv slash club twit. We do this show every Sunday. It's 2:00 PM Pacific, 5:00 PM Eastern, 2100 utc. Right after. Ask the Tech Guys you can watch us do it live as with all our shows, almost all our shows at Live Twit tv. If you're watching Live Chat, live at IRC dot twit, do TV or in the Club Twit Discord after the fact. You can get the firstname.lastname@example.org, the website while you're there. I think it's, what is it? Twit.Tv/This weekend. It's long. Just, you know, click the button that says This week in tech, you'll see a YouTube channel that has the video from every show. You'll also see links to various podcast players. Honestly, subscribing for any of our shows is probably the best way to get 'em that way you don't have to even think about it. There's audio or video feeds. You choose, subscribe, then you'll get it automatically. And you'll have it for tomorrow. Don't forget, we will be here tomorrow, 10:00 AM Pacific, 1:00 PM Eastern for WW d c, the Keynote, and all our club TWI members. Don't forget to go into the stage, and you're gonna be my co-hosts for that live stream. We'll see you in there. Thanks for joining us, everybody. We'll see you next time. Another twit is in the can. Bye-Bye. He's
TWIT Intro (03:10:47):
Amazing. The doing the TWI all, doing the TWI baby, doing the TWI all.