This Week in Tech Episode 938 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. Fort Tweet, this weekend Tech. We've got a great panel for you. Paris Martino is here from the information. She's so smart. Lou Mariska is here from this weekend, enterprise Tech and Microsoft. And from rre.org, it's our token conservative. She's just a little right of center. Shoshana Weissman lots to talk about. We're gonna talk about the N S A lobbying Congress to let the, let the N Ss a buy information about your location. Elon Musk's big lit up X YouTube and Facebook. Big quarters for both. Facebook crosses 3 billion users, or is it 3 billion grandparents. And then we're gonna talk about the app CEOs love to hate. It's all coming up next on T Twitter
TWIT INTRO (00:00:52):
Podcasts you love from people you trust. This is Twit Twit.
LEO LAPORTE (00:01:04):
This is twit this week at Tech episode 938 recorded Sunday, July 30th, 2023, shifting the Oval Teen Window. This episode of this week at Tech is brought to you by a c i Learning It. Skills are outdated in about 18 months. Launch or advance your career today with quality, affordable, entertaining training individuals. Use the code TWIT 30 for 30% off a standard or premium individual IT pro firstname.lastname@example.org slash twi. And by ZipRecruiter, if you're hiring, you are currently dealing with a slowing economy, which adds to your challenges. Thankfully, there's a hiring partner who's focused on you and your needs. Ziprecruiter, four out of five employers who post on ZipRecruiter get a quality candidate within the first day. Ziprecruiter. Try it free at ziprecruiter.com/twit. Ladies and gentlemen, it's time for twit this week at Tech, the show. We cover the week's tech news. We, I have to say, we've been having a little fun before the show. And if you are a Club Twit member, you'll wanna check out the Trip plus feed for ai. Johnny Cash, if nothing else. Joining us now from Avenue R or R Street in Washington, DC. She lives in a pineapple under dc Shoshana Weissman, head of Digital Media. Thank you for having me. Rre.Org. And of course, the sloth committee's still going, right? Yeah,
TWIT INTRO (00:02:40):
Yeah, yeah, yeah. We're doing well.
LEO LAPORTE (00:02:42):
<Laugh> slowly. Senator Shoshana. Now I don't know what to do. I guess I have to say on X, which doesn't come off
TWIT INTRO (00:02:50):
Right. You don't, you don't have to
LEO LAPORTE (00:02:51):
Say on X Shoshana's on X. Gosh. Paris Smart. No, you don't. You don't. You're not, you're not Paris Smart on X
Paris Martineau (00:03:00):
I'm not, I can't get behind it. No, it feels wrong, but
LEO LAPORTE (00:03:04):
What do we call it? It looks wrong.
Paris Martineau (00:03:05):
The app formerly known as Twitter,
LEO LAPORTE (00:03:07):
The app formerly
Paris Martineau (00:03:08):
Known as, call it Twitter call in the same way that we refer to Google as Google, even though it's technically part of Alphabet. Alphabet.
LEO LAPORTE (00:03:14):
And you call Facebook,
Paris Martineau (00:03:15):
I think we can do this.
LEO LAPORTE (00:03:16):
Paris Martineau (00:03:17):
I don't know why we've decided not to do that for Facebook. And we're calling it Meta, but I think we can do it for X. Just sounds so dumb.
LEO LAPORTE (00:03:24):
Paris writes about the company formerly known as Amazon on the information. Wonderful, true, wonderful publication. Also with us from our very own this weekend, enterprise Tech. He is a code, a self-described code monkey at Microsoft. Hello, Lou Mariska. Hey, Leo. Great to see you. It is wonderful to see you. And is at Lu on X as well? I think it is. We're all on X today. I'm not on X. I got off X years ago, actually. I of all your,
Paris Martineau (00:03:56):
Of all, you're an xx.
LEO LAPORTE (00:03:57):
I'm an exer ex Xer <laugh> of all people. I'm the happiest about the name change because I've been fighting with Twitter over the name. 'cause We're Twi and we predated Twitter. I remember asking El Ev Williams in the early days of, of Twitter. Why did you name a Twitter? You knew there was Twitter. He would, his first, his company before Twitter was oeo, which was a podcasting platform. And we were one of the biggest podcasts on it. So I knew he knew who Twitter is. He said, I didn't think either of us were going anywhere. <Laugh>, <laugh>. It didn't really matter. But it, Twitter obviously did. And you know, we've, we've,
Paris Martineau (00:04:33):
And the title of Chief Twit in particular,
LEO LAPORTE (00:04:35):
Oh, I was so mad when
Paris Martineau (00:04:36):
Elon, you know, come a full circle for each. I've
LEO LAPORTE (00:04:38):
Been Chief Twit for 15 years. Anyway, Elon is no longer Chief Twit. He's Chief X, which I'm honestly, I feel like we won. Like ev See, we outlasted Twitter, so there
Paris Martineau (00:04:50):
That's true. Yeah.
LEO LAPORTE (00:04:52):
So I'm actually very
Paris Martineau (00:04:53):
Happy you could launch a platform called Twitter. Now, <laugh>, I mean, <laugh>, I'm sure he'll be selling brand. Oh, actuallys interesting. At some point, I don't
LEO LAPORTE (00:04:59):
Need to buy it. I have the trademark for Twit. I wonder if I Could you do
Paris Martineau (00:05:04):
That though? Could be fun. Then you could turn it into a Microblogging platform. <Laugh>,
LEO LAPORTE (00:05:08):
We had an unofficial, you know, gentleman's agreement with Twitter back in the day that we wouldn't do micro blogging kind of like the Beatles and apple. We wouldn't do micro blogging, <laugh>, and they wouldn't do podcasts. But they, they, they launched spaces. They have a lot of podcasts on the network. They've got, you know, what's his name from Fox on there doing I what is effectively a, a podcast?
Paris Martineau (00:05:36):
I think it's technically a vodka. There's a whole video element. Well,
LEO LAPORTE (00:05:38):
What are we doing? We're vodka casting, right? And
Paris Martineau (00:05:41):
Yeah, this is definitely a vodka.
LEO LAPORTE (00:05:43):
Yeah. So anyway we kissed and made up. It's involved a small check, but other than that, everything is <laugh>. Everything was fine. And I'm just really pleased now that Elon has seen the Lighten rebranded have you seen, speaking of seeing the light, and I'm, I'm not, I think I can't play this without warning people. If you're sensitive to strobes and flashing lights you should, you should turn away. Elon has put a giant x sign above Twitter headquarters.
Paris Martineau (00:06:19):
See, Leo, that's the sort of disclosure that would be nice for any of the people living in the surrounding area, Twitter's offices and Market Street.
LEO LAPORTE (00:06:26):
That's the, that's the sad thing. So here it is being erected, and I'm sure Elon likes that word, 'cause <laugh> mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. And it really doesn't, it looks pretty janky. I don't know what those polls are, but the city's
Paris Martineau (00:06:39):
Permit, there's a lot of sandbags up there.
LEO LAPORTE (00:06:41):
Yeah. Don't you get that feeling? Yeah. the city of San Francisco's already said, that's against permit you, you gotta take it down.
Paris Martineau (00:06:49):
Yeah. But the city of San Francisco's been saying that everything Twitter or X has been doing his against permit since Elon Musk took over and started turning conference rooms into Hotel Suites. Company s installing yeah. Yeah. The company formally known as Twitter, installing, like fire safety code violation, locks. They've been breaking the rules since the beginning, and he just seems to keep getting away with it like he does with everything.
LEO LAPORTE (00:07:14):
I I his, it's clear that his attitude is do it and ask, you know, ask, it's better to ask for forgiveness than ask for permission. Right?
Paris Martineau (00:07:25):
I don't think he's even asking for forgiveness. <Laugh>. I think his just paying the money mode is just do it.
LEO LAPORTE (00:07:31):
Yeah. He had, the video that he posted did not flash. It's just blinking slowly. But I've seen many, many subsequent videos of it, strobing and the neighbor, and seeing buildings across the way just brightly lit. This thing is very, very bright. Very bright. It was turned off last night, apparently. So maybe he is listening <laugh> or forced to listen. Apple has, it just said that you can't make an app with one letter <laugh>. So
Paris Martineau (00:08:02):
<Laugh>, oh my gosh, I didn't know that. He
LEO LAPORTE (00:08:05):
Didn't really plan it all that well. You get the feeling <laugh>
Paris Martineau (00:08:11):
Well, I mean, this has been a kind of through line since the PayPal days where I'm, I might be remembering this incorrectly, but I think I'm right. He had bought x.com way back when, originally for a couple million dollars and really angled hard for them to rebrand PayPal as X. Despite all of the focus groups and testing being like, people don't like the name X, it reminds them of porn. We can't do X People are using PayPal as a verb. Why don't we just stick with what we've got? But since the beginning, he has been dead set on doing X for everything, no matter the cost, which is just baffling to me.
LEO LAPORTE (00:08:51):
He bought it in 1999. So he is owned x.com since then, Indonesia banned x.com because it, they thought it was a porn site. I don't know if they fixed that, but Twitter was blocked in Indonesia for a while, <laugh>. But you're right. Even when he was 28, in 1998 Musk wanted to do the everything thing, app that would do all your banking, all your investments, all your money would go through this. We, yeah. Like WeChat does in China. And he's, he's even said when he bought Twitter, he said that's what the future of Twitter was. So I guess it shouldn't be a surprise that we rebranded it x throwing away though. Do you think he's throwing away a valuable brand, Lou? I mean, Twitter's been around absolutely since 2006. It's pretty well known.
Lou Maresca (00:09:36):
You think about it, there's not been a lot, history wise, there's not been a lot of companies that have been able to rebrand themselves successfully without losing a bunch of things. I mean, there's some out there that have changed their, you know, their view
LEO LAPORTE (00:09:47):
Even points on things. Even Alphabet still calls the search Google,
Lou Maresca (00:09:52):
LEO LAPORTE (00:09:53):
They didn't call it the alphabet search.
Lou Maresca (00:09:56):
Right. I mean, there have been some, I would say that in history, like, I remember Google when it first started out, they were called something, something real strange, like Back Rub or something like that. I can't remember what it was, but it was, they changed themselves really fast. It was,
LEO LAPORTE (00:10:08):
Wasn't it? Yeah. Something like that. I can't remember it. Right? Yeah.
Lou Maresca (00:10:11):
Yeah. And so I think they, you know, they did it really quickly before they became popular. But I'd say after that, a lot of companies, they might change their images, like GoDaddy or something like that, but they never really changed their names. So I, I'm, I'm, I'm curious to see if this is gonna be successful or not.
LEO LAPORTE (00:10:24):
The Economic Times says Google was called Back Rub and Pepsi Cola was originally, oh, I can't, I just, it just blocked me. <Laugh>. Pepsi Cola was originally named Brad's drink.
Paris Martineau (00:10:36):
Okay. I think we should bring back Brad's drink <laugh>. That's great. That is the, that is, if I saw something called Brad's drink at the store, I would buy it. <Laugh>. No further questions. Well, if
LEO LAPORTE (00:10:45):
It's good enough for Brad it's good enough for me. Why Nike? Why not? Nike was originally Blue Ribbon Sports,
Paris Martineau (00:10:52):
Right? Amazon was early going to be Cadra something that bases had picked out from the dictionary. And then relentless, I believe if you still type in relentless.com at redirects Amazon to this day.
LEO LAPORTE (00:11:05):
And that was his kind of philosophy is to be relentless. Let's try it relentless. Yep. Dot com. Yep. Pulls right up.
Paris Martineau (00:11:11):
There we go. Wow. Pick up where you left off. You can get some dumbbells. Leo <laugh>. You could do some, you could do some little weightlifting while
LEO LAPORTE (00:11:18):
Paris Martineau (00:11:19):
LEO LAPORTE (00:11:20):
I am so ashamed. I was, I apologize. I was looking for some dumbbells because I want to Hey, pump.
Paris Martineau (00:11:29):
Hey. Those will match your outfits. So you can take them to Barbie when you go see them.
LEO LAPORTE (00:11:33):
<Laugh>. These, these dumbbells weigh 0.01 kilograms, <laugh>.
Paris Martineau (00:11:39):
It's like a ounce
LEO LAPORTE (00:11:40):
Ounce. They're not very, they're not very, but they're just right for me. And, hey, pink is my color. <Laugh>. These are, yeah. True. Yeah. I just thought, well, I believe
Paris Martineau (00:11:51):
In you to do a little more, just a little, little
LEO LAPORTE (00:11:53):
More. Lamar, you're gonna push me tiny. Are you gonna be my trainer? Shoshana a tiny Yes.
Shoshana Weissmann (00:11:57):
Say I'll be your trainer.
LEO LAPORTE (00:11:59):
One more rep. Oh,
Shoshana Weissmann (00:12:01):
LEO LAPORTE (00:12:01):
Can't, Ooh. So what is the, what are the odds that Elon will make Twitter into the everything company? Can he, you WeChat is a good example. I mean, it, it it is dominant in China.
Paris Martineau (00:12:18):
I'm sorry, what is the, are you asking that he's actually successful in making it into an everything company? Or that he tries? Because those are two very different questions
LEO LAPORTE (00:12:28):
With a straight face. I mean, clearly. Yes. Clearly there's some roadblocks. First of all, I mean, the most obvious one is, would you trust him with your money? <Laugh>,
Paris Martineau (00:12:39):
Not in a million years.
Shoshana Weissmann (00:12:40):
<Laugh>, he keeps, like stealing, like not letting people cancel their memberships, right? Like, yeah, imagine just like throwing all your data and bank information and investments at the guy who can't, like, be trusted to have you cancel an $8 a month subscription.
LEO LAPORTE (00:12:55):
<Laugh>. I was very nervous when I bought a Model X. And this is before all this, because Elon had famously canceled a model.
Paris Martineau (00:13:03):
Somebody's model a model. Elon model the Model
LEO LAPORTE (00:13:05):
X. I had a Model X Tesla. I did very famously there was a, some, a blogger I think who said something bad about Tesla. And Elon canceled his Model X reservation. So I'm, I have this reservation. I really wanted this car back in 2014 or 15. And and I realized that I was in <laugh>. I was in mercy of Elon Musk. If I said something bad about Tesla, he could cancel it.
Paris Martineau (00:13:32):
So, well, it's good 'cause you've never done that. You know, you
LEO LAPORTE (00:13:34):
Only speak, speak. I love Elon. I just lost
Paris Martineau (00:13:36):
You. Only talk about how much you love and revere him.
LEO LAPORTE (00:13:39):
So is so great. There are, you go to Twitter there, you say anything negative about Elon and, and there are lots of blue checks. Who will brigade you?
Shoshana Weissmann (00:13:49):
Oh yeah. Oh yeah. Mm-Hmm.
LEO LAPORTE (00:13:52):
<Affirmative>, why are you, it's really funny. You still on Twitter then? Shoshana, why or x why?
Shoshana Weissmann (00:13:57):
It's just for work, honestly. Just, and the people I wanna reach are still sort of there for now. So figure reporters and people who work in house and Senate those are a lot of my big audience. So while they're there, I'll be there, but I don't really, like, the platform is increasingly sucking and being a pain, and we're cutting back already a lot of our engagement there, just 'cause it's not worth the r o I anymore.
LEO LAPORTE (00:14:20):
Yeah. I do notice a lot of members of Congress, mostly the left, have moved to Meta's you know, platform. I always wanna say glances.
Paris Martineau (00:14:32):
LEO LAPORTE (00:14:33):
Why, what's it called? I forgot.
Paris Martineau (00:14:34):
LEO LAPORTE (00:14:36):
Threads. That's the name of it.
Paris Martineau (00:14:38):
Are you guys on threads or are you using threads?
LEO LAPORTE (00:14:41):
Well the story is a hundred million people join it in the first week and 50 million left the second week.
Paris Martineau (00:14:47):
<Laugh>, I mean, yeah, engagement is down 70%. I feel like that, like, like threads from my perspective, I think threads only exists for people who already have large Instagram followings to repost threads to their Instagram stories. Yeah, I, but I also don't really use threads because for me, at least, the the people, the, my social media profiles on Twitter and Instagram could not be more different. <Laugh>. My Instagram is private for a reason, and I like to use it to interact with people I actually know. And my Twitter is for shit posts and work-related stuff. And those two audiences should not mix. But I think that's, I'm curious, have you guys been enjoying threats?
LEO LAPORTE (00:15:29):
I have initially because it was, it was the, all the people I followed on Twitter had moved over. And so it was very much like my old Twitter was with, you know, without mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, the Elon, the dash of Elon that has been thrown in. But at the same time, I had misgivings, we talked about this a couple of weeks ago had Dan Patterson on, who's done a lot of work in countries where Facebook has been appalling in its willingness to support dictatorships. And its unwillingness to take down genocidal posts, things like that. With the Rohingya, with Myanmar. And so he w he practically bust a busted a gasket when he said, but you can't support Meta. And I've, I've had heard other people say that too. And I say, well, do you have Instagram? Well, yeah, but I don't have a Facebook account. Do you have WhatsApp? Well, yeah, but I don't have a Facebook account. It's all meta and it's all the same.
Paris Martineau (00:16:26):
And they're all connected and
LEO LAPORTE (00:16:27):
That's the thing. And they're all connect. And I do have an Instagram account only mostly 'cause on the show, if I wanna show somebody's Instagram I have to be logged in to see, you know, all the posts. So I keep it for that reason. I don't really post there. And I, and I use WhatsApp when I'm out of the country and I need to communicate with people who aren't in the us. Most of them use WhatsApp. So I guess it's kind of like you, I stay on, I'm, I don't use Twitter, but we do as a company because that's, you know, you still have to have some sort of presence there, I guess.
Shoshana Weissmann (00:16:57):
I think that's starting to go away though. I've been like, our engagement has just totally dropped. So we do a lot of just re-upping old posts that are relevant, just policy stuff that's still going on. But I stopped doing that, like, what's scheduled a schedule. But beyond that, I'm not doing anymore because our posts aren't getting much engagement. It's not the same level of like, oh, I saw your tweet, therefore I wanted to meet with you stuff. So now we're kind of moving strangely enough to LinkedIn, which I want LinkedIn to do a little bit more. 'cause I think there's a lot of potential that they're not tapping sometimes. And I email a lot of email.
LEO LAPORTE (00:17:30):
Yeah. LinkedIn for our street seems like a perfect place to be. Yeah. Now let me, I don't, lemme not pigeonhole you, but I get, I always get the sense when I email@example.com, it's a, it's a, a think tank. But I also notice it says free market. So I get the sense it is maybe somewhat right of center. It's not, it's not. Oh, yeah.
Shoshana Weissmann (00:17:51):
So we're right of center, but our staff are all over the spectrum, which I really like. Like, it's funny, a lot of our editorial team leans very left, which is super helpful because then if they're editing our stuff, they can be like, hold on, you don't know how this comes across. And then give us feedback and think like, okay, think through this again. This way. You upset nobody rather than upsetting some people on the left. 'cause I know you don't mean it to sound like that. So it's nice that we have people across the spectrum, but we definitely lean Right. We're like center. Right.
LEO LAPORTE (00:18:19):
I, you know, I always think of view as somewhat like the magazine Reason, which is a libertarian publication where it's not dogmatic, it's not an, it's not ideological, it's not a think tank. There are like the heritage society or whatever dogmatic, ideological think tanks. You're not one of those. So I was always, I read your stuff because I do feel like it's, it's kind of, it's good to see another point of view on it and it's fair. It's there, it's thought out. It's not like you know. Right. Makes might fascism <laugh>, thank you.
Shoshana Weissmann (00:18:53):
But I No, I really appreciate
LEO LAPORTE (00:18:54):
That. No, it's true. But at the same time, you might say, if you're right of center that Twitter, or pardon me, X I can't do it, Twitter might be, I know
Paris Martineau (00:19:04):
LEO LAPORTE (00:19:05):
It might be a good home. You'd be more likely to find people who agree with you on, on, on Twitter, which has definitely moved to the right.
Shoshana Weissmann (00:19:15):
I mean, the people thriving though. It's not just right of center, it's like nuts right. Of center. It's not like, oh, I think we should have mildly smaller government and think through this. It's like just maga like all these weird, bad stuff. It's, and we're not that, which is like, we'll work with people who are, if we can get good stuff done, but we're pretty, we're pretty like middle of the road, but we lean. Right? So we liked it when there was kind of everyone involved because then we could reach all different kinds of people, and that was good for us. But now it's like, if you are willing to pay for a blue check, you're probably very, very, very right of center in a way that probably doesn't align with us, which is okay, but it just, it's not as useful. And our engagement is just down.
LEO LAPORTE (00:19:55):
Yeah. Those are not the people you, you try or try to reach or need to reach. Although if members of Congress are there, as you say although, like I said, threads also has a lot of members of Congress. A lot of brands, the brands jumped on it very hard. And I think the brands are the most desperate to find a replacement for Twitter and have yet to find one. There's Blue Sky, there's, there's threads, there's a lot of wannabes. I guess you'd include Mastodon in that, but nobody has, has taken the Crown. Is the Crown gonna be taken? Is the question do, is there gonna be a next Twitter? I mean, or is Twitter gonna come back? Or do we not need this kind of micro blog platform to begin with?
Paris Martineau (00:20:41):
I don't think that there's going to be a next Twitter. I mean, maybe there might in I think the thing that made Twitter the platform that it is, that made it this huge platform for it made, the thing about Twitter that worked as a platform and made it different from say like Instagram or Facebook or Reddit, is that it was really good for live events, live cultural moments. If you're watching a football game or a episode of The Bachelor or you know, the Oscars or something, you could comment live with other people and sometimes total nobodys would blow up. Sometimes celebrities would blow up. Virality was kind of baked into it, but also this like real time cultural following aspect. And I think the thing that Threads is missing is sure you have a baked in audience already because you're easily able to follow the folks you're following on Instagram and vice versa.
But it doesn't have that real time feed. I haven't been on Threads kind of since it launched, but I don't believe it has hashtags or things like that. It seems more like Instagram than anything resembling Twitter. And I think that that is why Threads will never replace Twitter as kind of that cultural touch touchstone in the same way. I think that threads might continue to exist and thrive as kind of an offshoot of Instagram, but I doubt that it will replace it in that way. Yeah. And I'm not sure that another platform will emerge anytime soon that kind of has that same oomph factor.
Lou Maresca (00:22:17):
Yeah, thread threads is very limiting too. They require you to have a device to to use it. You can't access it on the web. Like they, you know, they mm-hmm. They have a lot of restrictions. I think they're limiting their, their base. I think at that point, you know, I can guarantee that I absolutely hate grandmother's are not gonna install another app. You know?
Paris Martineau (00:22:32):
I mean Yeah. I I hate that you can't like easily look at who you're following just posts from. Yeah. The folks that you follow in chronological order, it's very Instagram of them to do. They
LEO LAPORTE (00:22:44):
Have added that tab though, right? The latest edition of Threads has a, for you and a following tab. Although it reverts as Twitter has for a long time to the For You tab, it doesn't maintain your setting. I mean, they at least listened to people on that. I have to say, Tony, so Tony Bennett passed away very sad this week. He was 96, so it wasn't unexpected, but you know, it, a lot of people posted memories and so forth. And normally I would've gone to Twitter when, when Yeah. And to find out, you know, oh, oh. In fact, when you see On Trending, it used to be if you saw somebody's name on Trending, you'd go oh. I, I found out on Threads and Threads had a lot of great posts about it. Same with Shana O'Connor who passed also this week. I thought Threads really had a lot of beautiful stuff. Maybe that's the people I'm following on threads. I, I have noticed that it's a a lot less busy than it was when it started. There definitely is a drop in usage.
Paris Martineau (00:23:43):
I have been, I mean, this is probably just the circles that I'm in, but I have really been enjoying Blue Sky. Yeah. yeah, I know that it's still in kind of closed.
LEO LAPORTE (00:23:50):
It's a jolly Twitter,
Paris Martineau (00:23:51):
Right? Like it is a jolly Twitter <laugh>. But I think also, technically speaking, it fascinates me. It has a feature that I think, I don't know why Twitter or other microblogging services haven't adopted, which is much like Twitter, you know, you can see your following tab of real time updates from whoever you follow, but you can essentially create your own algorithms, right? Whether it is something that is like popular with Friends Post from Your Mutuals, and anybody can create their own algorithm. So they have like a feature where you could say, essentially, I want to see, you can type even in plain text, I wanna see mostly positive posts from people I follow. And nothing about dating or relationships with an emphasis on cat photos. And it will create a feed like that. You could also get technical about it and go in and kind of create your own custom algorithm by, you know, I guess like
LEO LAPORTE (00:24:50):
<Crosstalk>. How te how hard is that to do? Is it do you have to code?
Paris Martineau (00:24:55):
The one I described it first I believe is really easy. Let me see if I still have it. I thought it was, that's really cool. I didn't know that. Skyline Gay <laugh> is the thing. And essentially, so if you're looking at it, it will allow you to kind of create a timeline. The base feed could be something like the people you follow or your mutuals or kind of what's hot and you describe what you wanna see more of in plain text. So you could say like, I wanna see wholesome tweets, fun banter, ah, I wanna see less of like angry posts or posts with politics. And kind of the AI will assign a match perspect like percentage to each post. And you can kind of customize how aggressive you want the AI to be. And I just think that is so cool. Like I've been able to create. And so the thing is, you can both create your own timelines or you can follow other people's timelines. So I mean, I, on a, let's see, I'll pull it up
LEO LAPORTE (00:25:52):
Here. Yeah, I have, I have a variety of feeds and then there's one somebody created called Black Sky, an attempt to recreate black Twitter, for instance. And and so well, hmm, I have to be a little careful showing <laugh> porn showing Blue sky. It's not exactly porn. One of the ethoses of Blue Sky is that you can show your body, even if it's not pornographic or traditionally, you know, exhaust, it's not a thirst trap. And so there's a lot of people's butts, <laugh>,
Paris Martineau (00:26:26):
But you can, but there's also interestingly like features baked in blue sky of moderation where you can say, I want to, you cannot see that. Turn
LEO LAPORTE (00:26:32):
Off those things, right? Yeah, that's right. I, I think that Blue Sky's very interesting. There are a couple things that make me nervous. One Jack Dorsey funded it with $15 million. He was running Twitter and is still on the board, so I'm a little nervous. They created their own, the idea was to create a federated social network so that other people could host instances. And they created, instead of using Activity pub, which is what the Fedi verse uses, they created their own protocol at Proto, which is, is a fine protocol. It's a good protocol. It's just different. But they've yet to allow Federation, so there are no other servers yet. And and mm-hmm. <Affirmative> and the same, by the way, thread's Promise is the same thing. Fred's says, we're gonna be on the Fed verse we're gonna support Activity Pub. But I don't think there's a lot of incentive, really. I think the real, in the strong incentives are to create a centralized network like Twitter.
Shoshana Weissmann (00:27:27):
Yeah. Well on that note too, like I really like Blue Sky. I think that if it developed, well, it could be, it could be the next thing and it could be better. I love all the customization, but not allowing people in until they have invite codes or something still invite that's really holding it back. Yeah. Yeah. And also I think with the, with the, like, with having the instances, like I get the appeal of it, but I also think that some people overstate the appeal of it. Like I know a lot of my fellow tech nerd friends are really into it, but my normies are not, like, they kind of wanna see a little bit of everything. And if you're gonna limit them to, oh, you can only see tech nerd posts, or you can only see Barbie posts, or like, this is where you go to talk about each thing. I think it ends up being self-limiting in a way that constraints the platform and it's a little bit more old school. You know,
LEO LAPORTE (00:28:14):
There's another thing keeping any one of these from being the next Twitter is that they all are there, there are many, many more we haven't haven't mentioned. And so there's no consensus that Oh yeah, we're all, when my, when MySpace gave way to Facebook, there was just a broad consensus. Yeah, we're all moving to Facebook. I don't know how that happened, but there's so many choices.
Paris Martineau (00:28:34):
I think the thing is, that happens slowly over time. And I think that that's kind of part of the I remember someone asking me right when Elon Musk had bought Twitter during that week when everyone was like posting their tearful goodbyes, like the site was going to implode immediately they were like, oh, you know, what do you think is gonna happen? The downfall of Twitter? I'm like, downfalls of social media sites don't happen in a flash. It happens over a period of time. There'll be people stop using the site and like slowly and then eventually new sites are going to take off. And we don't really know what that new site is going to be and whether it's even going to be a Microblogging platform to begin with.
LEO LAPORTE (00:29:13):
Yeah. I guess that was my f the root of my question was do we even need, you know Linda, ya, Carino <laugh>, sort of vain, gloriously the new c e o of Twitter proclaimed that the New Town Square do <laugh>? No. Do we? I hope not. Anyway. Do we need a town square? Do we need one place? Everybody goes when somebody dies or when there's an event that we all can go and talk about? Is how important is that? I think, I feel like all of you, maybe not you, Lou, 'cause you've recused yourself as a, as a nerd, but I think people do want, we want, you know, you don't want a town square. Exactly. But we wanna play a community that we can go to. Yeah. And talk. Right? Does it have to be the same one for all of us?
Shoshana Weissmann (00:30:05):
I like the idea of having lots of different ones, like just, you know, maybe there's one where there's a bunch of people and then there's maybe another one where there's also a bunch of people and you also have those silos. But I think it's kind of in all of the above thing that different people like communicating in different ways in the same way that some people have more stuff they wanna put on discord, and some people have more stuff they wanna put on Instagram. I just kind of see it as very, all of the above kind of thing, and like, let a million flowers bloom. And I think they will if if, if the platforms for them are created,
LEO LAPORTE (00:30:35):
Spoken as a true free marketeer <laugh>. The only problem with that is it's a lot of work. I mean, I see George Decay on all of them, right? <Laugh> George has a whole team posting.
Paris Martineau (00:30:48):
George Decay and Ellen are gonna be posting no matter what platform, Ellen and George will come. Yeah.
LEO LAPORTE (00:30:54):
But if you're a normal person posting on six different <laugh> micro blogging sites becomes work. So I think most,
Paris Martineau (00:31:01):
Yeah, I'll say one side effect of all this is I have no idea what app I'm posting on when I open up. Yeah. Whatever dark screens, they all
LEO LAPORTE (00:31:08):
Look the same, don't they?
Paris Martineau (00:31:09):
I'm like, I could be tweeting, I could be skating, I could be threading who's to say <laugh>
LEO LAPORTE (00:31:14):
Tweeting, skiing and threading. Oh, my <laugh> Lou. Do you, I mean, you probably, I do think, I think Shoshana's suggestion that LinkedIn for a lot of kinda more businessy people is the place is is the incumbent in that regard. Do you use social media, Lou? I mean, you post for work
Lou Maresca (00:31:35):
Absolute. Yeah, I think it's, it's all, I think LinkedIn by a design is that way. You know, I think that I, I do agree with having lots of different places to go to be part of some kind of a community. I think these places have to have some kind of a critical mass. Like for instance, I use Reddit all the time. I use Reddit for me,
LEO LAPORTE (00:31:50):
The social all the
Lou Maresca (00:31:51):
Time I use. Yeah. Yeah. So these are places where people can kind of be themselves or be behind a screen name and, and still help and talk and chat and, you know, I think that threads might be a particular audience and, and so will some of these other ones and they will have their purpose, but there's not gonna be one town fault hall to rule them all. I don't. That will exist.
LEO LAPORTE (00:32:10):
Is that a loss? I mean, see, I grew up in an era where there were three networks, and if you were lucky, maybe you got four different TV channels. So the chances were very good that when you came to work in the morning, everybody had watched Johnny Carson and you could talk about what you saw. And there was a certain community and, and, and maybe more importantly, a national identity that we had that we've lost. Right? Right. Now everybody complains about how polarized the country is. I'm not proposing the fact that there are so many TV channels as being the cause of that. But there isn't this, there is a, a schism, a fragmentation of community that hurts us a little bit. We don't have a national identity anymore. You want,
Paris Martineau (00:32:59):
I mean, I think that this is something we're, I think that it was a fallacy that there was ever an actual national identity. Ah, just because there were these touchpoint where maybe a significant part of one's in-group, like we're all watching the same TV show where it seemed the same newspaper. I, I'm not certain, I mean, obviously I wasn't alive during, you know, I wasn't watching those three TV channels like you, so I might be wrong here, but I, I think that the world was always deeply splintered and that people had more of just were filling in the blanks with the thought of, oh, other people must be experiencing the world like me. And part of what we are now having to reckon with, with the torrent of content we see on social media platforms is that other people do not experience the world like you. Other people having wildly different reactions to a wildly different array of things. And that is very alienating and difficult to you know, face. But it's true. But I'm not sure that we can ever put that genie back in the body, but it's the reality. It's the truth. The reality. Yeah. <laugh>,
LEO LAPORTE (00:34:06):
I think that's, that's very astute. I think you're probably right. And because I'm an old guy, I have this nostalgia for, you know, there's a lot of nostalgia for the fifties, right? For this <laugh> this period of time where we were all unified and Eisenhower as president and the middle class was strong. And it, it was like that for some people. If you were black, maybe you don't have such a good feeling about that time. So you're Exactly, I think you're right. I think that maybe that's a, a form of amnesia, nostalgia and, and, and maybe wearing blinkers a little bit blinders because it maybe wasn't the same for everybody. We just pretended it was Louis, you said, we don't need a, a national idea. You,
Lou Maresca (00:34:47):
You have to wonder, do you really want a centralized location? Look at, I think we talk, go back to WeChat, right? I mean, they control a lot of the flow of the information and you know, and, and <crosstalk> Yeah.
LEO LAPORTE (00:34:56):
China's an example of a centralized national identity. It's top down. But that's a good point, right? <Laugh> and, and actually that's what I was getting to, is that WeChat could occur because the Chinese government strongly supported it here in the United States. It would be very difficult to do something like that because that's not how we're very much more bloody minded, independent minded in the us. And I think Elon's fantasy of a everything app is just not something that America as ever wanted or could even do.
Paris Martineau (00:35:29):
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, go back to your original question that kicked this all off. I don't think it's possible for anyone to create an Everything app in American culture today, because these are all already very fragmented things.
LEO LAPORTE (00:35:42):
Shoshana Weissmann (00:35:43):
It's worth noting too that Facebook's tried. I mean, if you look at their app store, I mean, I'm not sure if it's still like this, but not that long ago, they had like 40 million apps from Farmville to like, here's how you can pay people via Facebook. And like, they just way overdid it and e everything was possible on Facebook. And it was kind of incredible that they built that. But it was also like, who wants to do this? Who wants Facebook to be the place where they like, sort of bank a little and also take care of virtual animals and say hi to the grandma.
LEO LAPORTE (00:36:12):
We don't need it. And in fact, the Federal Reserve Bank this week announced Fed now a new instant payment system from the US government to compete with Venmo and PayPal and Apple Pay and Facebook Pay and Zelle and Zelle. I, I was trying to list all the payment methods for, for provider. I was gonna, I was saying, well, how do you want me to pay her? She was not a prostitute. I was paying <laugh>. I just realized how horrible that sounds. It was, it was actually for my wife who wanted to tip, she'd forgotten to tip her aesthetician. I said, well ask her which payment system she uses and we can pay her. And I started listing them and they, they go on and on and on. There's an infinite supply, which is good. You know, you could, I mean, you ask a kid, my son says Venmo my daughter says, cash me. That's fine. We can do that. Right? But I mean, I think
Paris Martineau (00:37:03):
This is a uniquely American phenomenon from what I've heard. Oh, it is. Friends in Europe, you just do a, you know, free instant bank transfer.
LEO LAPORTE (00:37:11):
Yeah. People were surprised everywhere in the world that we didn't have fed. Now until now, every other country, including Canada, has a government's free government provided clearinghouse. It's instantaneous.
Shoshana Weissmann (00:37:25):
Canada's also wild. When we went there, I was, I didn't like realize that their currency was like loonie and toonies <laugh>. I thought that was like a joke. Well, it's slang. So when I went to the bank, I'm like, <laugh>
LEO LAPORTE (00:37:37):
<Laugh>. It's widely adopted. Slang <laugh> still,
Shoshana Weissmann (00:37:40):
That's still kind of nuts for a whole country to like, it's literally have Looney Tunes, you know,
LEO LAPORTE (00:37:45):
<Laugh>. All right, I wanna take a little break. I promise we're not gonna talk about Eon the whole time. There are many much more important stories. The N ss a wants Congress to preserve a pH data broker's phone surveillance loophole. There's a re resolution in a longstanding self-driving vehicle death. NASA has launched its own channel, <laugh> lots to talk about, and Lindsey Graham and Elizabeth Warren sitting in a tree, k i s ss i n g, all that coming up in just a little bit. But first a think a good time to break. What a great panel we have. I have the perfect panel for today's news stories from our this weekend enterprise tech show. Lou Mariska is here from rre.org. Shoshana Weissman. She, I, I still think you should still use that tag. She lives in a pineapple under dc. Now you've just got a field of hotdog. What's with, what's the deal with the hotdogs?
Shoshana Weissmann (00:38:44):
Oh, I just love the Snapchat hotdog because they launched it to monetize. And I'm like, this is the dumbest thing ever. I just fell in love with it. <Laugh>
Paris Martineau (00:38:52):
<Laugh>. I'm a big fan of the Snapchat burger.
Paris Martineau (00:38:56):
Oh. I once back in my tech logging days, went and asked a bunch of different burger chefs about the structural integrity of the burger. And they had a lot of things to say about the pickle placement that I can go into. <Laugh>
LEO LAPORTE (00:39:08):
Didn't Apple, I love it. Didn't Apple when they released a hamburger emoji, put the cheese on the bottom and it was like a controversial thing. I think I remember that. Yes.
Paris Martineau (00:39:20):
Yeah, yeah, yeah. <Laugh>.
LEO LAPORTE (00:39:22):
See we do have a national identity. Don't screw It's true with our hamburgers. The one American meal that is Paris Martin. No. She writes about Amazon and other stuff at the information com. It's true. So great to have all three of you here, our studio sponsor and our show sponsor today. A c i learning. I know you've seen the signage all over. But you might say, well, who is a c i learning? Well, I know you know the name. It Pros. They've been one of our best sponsors and good friends for more than a decade since they opened their studios in 2013. In fact, Lisa and I flew out when the brand new studios opened in Gainesville. We love it Pro. Now you get all these additional resources as part of a c i learning IT Pro is elevated their highly entertaining bingeable short format IT training with over 7,200 hours now to choose from.
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That's 30% off a standard of premium individual IT pro membership. And as I said, big volume discounts for enterprises and groups. Visit go dot aci learning.com/twi. We thank 'em so much for their support for s underwriting this studio. They've been a great partner for many, many years and we're thrilled to have him go dot aci learning.com/twit. It's not an X story, but it is an Elon Musk's story. Big story in the New York Times this Sunday about concern over Elon Musk's power in the Stars. That's what the headline said. The tech billionaires become the dominant power in satellite internet technology. Starlink has 4,500 satellites up on its way, 42,000. It is already with 4,500 satellites. And this is a, this is an actual picture of the 4,500 satellites orbiting the earth. 50% of everything orbiting the earth is starlink. 50% of all Earth satellites starlink.
And one of the concerns is Elon seems a little unstable, shall we say. What really <laugh> Mark Millie, the chairman of the Joint Sea of Staff, was talking in March, according to the Times with general zany, who's the leader of the Ukraine Armed Forces. And Oui said, 'cause Ukraine uses starlink for communication in their military, right? So General Zany said <laugh>, I'm, I'm paraphrasing. What's the deal with Musk <laugh>? Some, some He says, do, does the US have an assessment of Mr. Musk who has sprawling business interests and murky politics? And the American officials basically said, no, we got no idea what's going on. The fear, for instance, Musk has on Twitter several times, said, you know, Ukraine should just surrender end this war give give p piece of Crimea to Russia and go on. What if he decides all of a sudden to turn off Starling for Ukraine? That would be the end of the war. He could literally unilaterally give Ukraine to Russia a legitimate concern.
Paris Martineau (00:46:11):
A lot of power for a man who's allegedly on Ketamine. Yeah, most of the day.
LEO LAPORTE (00:46:17):
He tweeted in April between Tesla, starlink and Twitter. I may have more real time global economic data in one head than anyone ever. Oh dear.
Paris Martineau (00:46:28):
That just sends a, a sharp pain to my heart. <Laugh>.
Shoshana Weissmann (00:46:34):
I just feel like a lot of leaders suck. Like just a lot of, like, business leaders and political leaders just really suck. And we're kind of okay. That's kind of how I like rationalize feeling. Okay. And it gets me through the day. I'm not sure if it's gonna work for everyone, but it works for me. <Laugh>,
LEO LAPORTE (00:46:49):
It's funny that here you are in DC and you think that, I often in my mind, I think, you know, people who lived under Stalin as an example in, in the Soviet Union or Stalin, who was, you know, arguably worse than Hitler. I mean, he killed more people than Hitler did. It was horrible. But if you're just living in, you know, a suburb of Lenn Grd and you know, just trying to get your life, you're not you, you can't think about that. You just live, live your local life and hope that it doesn't affect you. And I think that's what a lot of people do. They just survive by, you know, narrowing in. And yet here we are we're in a news organization, we've gotta cover this. This is a big tech story. You can't just say, well, <laugh>, we're just gonna muddle along. Shoshana, we're just gonna muddle along. It could, it could go bad, right? At least nine countries, including in this is New York Times, again, including in Europe and the Middle East, have brought up starlink with American officials over the last 18 months with some questioning Mr. Musk's power over the technology. According two US intelligence officials briefed on the discussion, few nations will speak publicly about their concerns for fear of alienating, alienating. Mr. Musk.
Oh boy. Maybe we've dug a hole for ourselves. That's gonna be pretty hard to get out of. I mean, I'm not advocating,
Paris Martineau (00:48:15):
Oh, no, no, that's boring companies.
LEO LAPORTE (00:48:17):
Oh, that's the, that's the boring company. Of course. That's,
Paris Martineau (00:48:19):
That's the other,
LEO LAPORTE (00:48:19):
That's the whole digger. Yeah. Not to mention Elon's plan to put little things in my chips
Paris Martineau (00:48:27):
LEO LAPORTE (00:48:27):
Chips in my brain. And isn't there,
Paris Martineau (00:48:29):
Didn't that just get approved for he, yeah. D a approval. There's someone one out there with a, with a musk chip in there.
LEO LAPORTE (00:48:35):
Not me. This is his Neur Lake company.
Paris Martineau (00:48:37):
He's just sending them tweets that just say like, Zuck is a cuck, whatever that one was. <Laugh>. Yeah. Literally. That was an actual tweet. An
LEO LAPORTE (00:48:44):
Paris Martineau (00:48:48):
Listen, all I have to say is I guess we're in moments like this, I guess we should be thankful that he has like four other companies that he's technically running. Yeah.
LEO LAPORTE (00:48:58):
'Cause then he can just finish, manage all four that
Paris Martineau (00:49:00):
Much and yeah, maybe he doesn't have that much attention on whether or not he should cut Ukraine's access off to web technology.
LEO LAPORTE (00:49:08):
No, but if he decided, if all of a sudden he woke up after a, you know, a long night of M D M A and he woke up and he said, you know, this war has been going on too long. I'm cutting off Ukraine, and let's
Paris Martineau (00:49:21):
Not put this out there into the world. For him to hear <laugh>, he could, there's a non-zero chance that he accidentally types, I mean, I guess it's lower now 'cause it's x.com, but he could have accidentally typed twit into the U R L browser instead of Twitter and then seen this. And the war could be absolutely done so and it all be on you. He
LEO LAPORTE (00:49:39):
Could do it though. Am am I wrong? Could he do
Paris Martineau (00:49:41):
That? I mean, yes, he absolutely could.
LEO LAPORTE (00:49:43):
He could call Gwen Bell. It's
Paris Martineau (00:49:44):
LEO LAPORTE (00:49:45):
At SpaceX and say, you know, let's just give the rockets to Russia. He could call whoever runs starlink and said, yeah, turn off. You know, the ones over Eastern Europe, just turn those off. There's nobody to stop him. So, okay, this is depressing. But this does lead us into the question of who, who, so I'm gonna ask Rashana, you're, you're our our token conservative <laugh>
Paris Martineau (00:50:17):
<Laugh>. I'm glad we have one on the show by the way,
LEO LAPORTE (00:50:18):
As close as we can get. Let's put it that way.
Paris Martineau (00:50:21):
LEO LAPORTE (00:50:23):
How do you regulate big tech? It's not just Elon. All of tech. Google. Basically Google controls the internet because if it's not in Google's search, it doesn't exist. Right? I'm sorry Lou, but nobody's going to Bing to find that site.
Shoshana Weissmann (00:50:38):
<Laugh>. <laugh>. So
LEO LAPORTE (00:50:40):
Be surprise Leo. No <laugh>. 15% of the world goes to Bing.
Shoshana Weissmann (00:50:46):
I feel like with, with space, it's a different thing. I don't know space regulation as much. We're starting to get into it a little bit. I'm not that's a tele homicide.
LEO LAPORTE (00:50:55):
Would you, would you please, because I've, I'm worried <laugh>
Shoshana Weissmann (00:50:58):
<Laugh>, we, we've talked, there's more people in the space field actually who have been coming to us being like, oh, can you do more on space policy? We wanna see what you're thinking, which is flattering and strange. Didn't think that's where I'd like end up in life. But kind of cool that I have with other tech stuff though. I kind of feel like, like things really have worked themselves out in addition to existing regulations, like frauds illegal. So when meta had it's fraud problem and was inflating video views, that was already unlawful. And the F T C was like, no, you can't do that. That's, that's fraud. So we, we know fraud's bad and like fraud's something you can't do and it's covered by existing law, but with other stuff, I mean, some of it's just anger and free speech from elected officials. And you see that a lot in hearings when they're like, oh, well this person criticized me.
Why do you still have them employed? Or you know, there, there's not enough of this on your platform, but it's all matters of free speech. So I think, I mean, it's not to say that there can't be other regulation, but I think most of the proposals just have not been tailored to fix problems, but have been tailored to limit speech, which really concerns me and makes me want government less in it. Because while, you know, tech companies are by no means perfect, I think they're a lot better than what a lot of the elected officials are proposing in a lot of cases.
LEO LAPORTE (00:52:11):
Yeah. I mean, so when I see Lindsey Graham and Elizabeth Warren, oh, together <laugh>, I, I a sign that something dark has happened. Now I really worry that we have dark energies coalescing. So they have written an opinion piece together. I guess for the New York Times, when it comes to big tech, enough is enough. They are promoting legislation to regulate big tech, I guess. And on the one hand it's clear big tech's not gonna self-regulate. And, and in there are absolutely instances where big tech has gotten too big and it's appropriate for somebody to, to do something. But I, I agree with you, Shoshana. I, you know, I, I know Lindsey Graham doesn't wanna regulate big tech because, you know, he feels like it's bad for the the people. It's, he wants to regulate it. 'cause He wants, he feels like it's conservative speech is being censored. And I know Elizabeth Warren doesn't care about conservative speech being censored. She, she was the creator of the, the C P F B. She wants consumers to be protected. So they have opposing points of view, and yet they have United
Shoshana Weissmann (00:53:33):
LEO LAPORTE (00:53:33):
Create legislation. They say, they say there needs, this is their proposal. There needs to be a regulatory agency. And I'm sure that sends chills down your spine. Shoshana, there needs to be a <laugh>, a regulatory agency to regulate big tech. They say in 1897, the Interstate Commerce Commission was formed to take on railroads. In 1914, the Federal Trade Commission was created to protect against deceptive acts and practices. In 1934, the Federal Communications Commission took on radio, then tv, the N R C in 75, the Federal Regulatory Energy Regulatory Commission in 77. We need a nimble, adaptable, new agency. They write with expertise, resources, and authority to do the same thing for big tech. And they've introduced the Digital Consumer Protection Commission Act. They want to create the Digital Consumer Protection Commission. I don't have high hopes
Shoshana Weissmann (00:54:31):
<Laugh> No, no. Also for, and
LEO LAPORTE (00:54:34):
By the way, I am a, I am a big government liberal, and I don't have high hopes <laugh>.
Shoshana Weissmann (00:54:40):
It makes me feel good when people who don't agree with me and all the fundamentals can also be like, oh, something's kind of off here. Like Senator Graham for years and Senate Judiciary has basically been proposing this and saying, we need an agency. But if you listen to his rationales, it's all First Amendment stuff, right? He's angry at the First Amendment and the way free speech works. And I wrote about this a couple of months ago, actually in National Review, basically to remind conservatives like, Hey guys, like this isn't gonna work out great for us. And if you don't like who's in charge, then maybe you won't like how they regulate free speech in that way. And you shouldn't, even if you did, like who's in charge? But Graham's been on this forever. Lauren just really likes agencies. It's fine if that's her thing, but she just really likes creating new agencies.
That's like her vibe. And I think the two of them together were like, oh, we're a new agency. We'll, you know, do stuff for tech. It's frustrating too, because they haven't really identified something that government cannot do now. Like Congress can, like still do stuff, and the F T C can like handle stuff. They haven't really identified any new capacity need or any new specific need that doesn't already exist. Which for me is always kind of a big thing. Like if the authority exists elsewhere and it's capable of handling it. And also your job is kind of to do this as Congress. Maybe go that route.
LEO LAPORTE (00:55:57):
Graham wants online platforms to have a license in order to operate. Oh, you, you say you write in the National Review, Senator Lindsey Graham's proposal is unworkable, unconstitutional and dangerous. <Laugh>. I agree. Yeah, I agree.
Shoshana Weissmann (00:56:12):
I mean, a license for speech. It's a license for speech. Like, that's literally what it is. And my other policy heart is occupational licensing reform. So I see, you know, left and right, how government tries to use licenses to stop people from doing stuff for no reason to, from arranging flowers to giving tours, actually giving tours pure free speech. And those get struck down a lot when they go to court because it's really unconstitutional. And they're like, Hey, why don't we nationalize this terrible idea and like, make it apply to way more things. And then I just kind of like die a little on the inside, you know?
LEO LAPORTE (00:56:45):
Yeah. That's actually a perfect example of overregulation because I mean talk, this is regulatory capture in a nutshell. Yeah. Which is, I'm a hairdresser and I don't want anybody else to become a hairdresser. So I'm gonna have in California higher requirements to become a hairdresser than to become a physician. As if somehow <laugh> I am with my shears and my comb, you know, deadly <laugh> and I have to be licensed and entirely trained.
Paris Martineau (00:57:11):
Hey, Edward, scissor hands would like a woman <laugh>. Well,
LEO LAPORTE (00:57:13):
That's true. That's a good point. If the hands are actually scissors, maybe there should be a regulation <laugh>. But no, I'm with, I'm with you Shoshana on that. In fact, that's really an interesting and kind of little known issue that I'm, I'm glad you've taken up. Thank you. Yeah. Graham says you have to have a license to drive. I'm gonna give him a bad southern accent. Forgive me. You have to have a license to drive a car. You have to have a license to sell real estate or practice law to sell insurance. To sell stock. But the largest companies in the world are not licensed. Right. <laugh>, there's a huge difference. <Laugh>, there's no regulatory agency with any meaningful power to hold them to account. You can't sue them in court. Of course. You could sue them in court, by the way. You could. Yeah. Yeah. <Laugh>, I don't know what you, what he's talking about. He is an attorney, isn't he? Does he not know the law?
Shoshana Weissmann (00:58:05):
No, that, I mean, it doesn't matter if you're a senator or congressman, you can just like, make stuff up and then say it's law. Yeah. And then people just kind of roll with it. Yeah. I've learned this. It's exhausting. <Laugh>.
LEO LAPORTE (00:58:14):
Yeah. This is the new, by the way. And I could, I think we can thank Donald Trump for that. Although it, it's got a long and tra tradition in politics, but it turns out you can lie like crazy. It doesn't matter. Like, you can make facts up. Nobody.
Paris Martineau (00:58:29):
I mean, the only thing that matters is whether or not you have shame <laugh>.
LEO LAPORTE (00:58:33):
Yeah. Lose shame. And you can run for president. It's amazing. I
Paris Martineau (00:58:38):
Mean, I think that's always been true. You don't need, I think it probably has an essential part of running for president is the absence of shame. I think
LEO LAPORTE (00:58:44):
That's like step two. I'm, I've mentioned this before, but I just, this book is sending me, I'm writing Robert Caro's 1300 page biography of a guy who was not very well known outside New York, but I'm sure you guys know his name. Robert Moses, who was at the turn of the century a crazy power hungry guy who built all the parks <laugh> on Long Island in New York, and all the parkways. You, Robert Moses has got to be kind of, that has to be the textbook for you, Shoshana. I mean, that is an amazing story.
Shoshana Weissmann (00:59:16):
Yeah. I I grew up with my dad telling me about like why the bridges were so low and that it was basically racism. Yes. And I like, didn't fully grasp it as a kid. Yes. You're like, what? But yeah, that's, no,
Paris Martineau (00:59:27):
It really is. Yeah. <laugh>.
LEO LAPORTE (00:59:28):
So the, so Robert Moses, who loved parks, God bless him, but his vision of parks was not conserving nature. His vision of parks was, we're gonna build tennis courts and swimming pools and beach facilities and we're gonna take over and
Paris Martineau (00:59:43):
6,000 parking spots.
LEO LAPORTE (00:59:44):
10,000. Yeah. The first that it had ten two parking with 10,000 parking spaces on these two bathhouse on Jones Beach in Long Island. And he did it. But, but one, but he didn't, he, it was really for white people because he <laugh> he didn't, he thought poor people, especially black people, were dirty and he didn't want them to use the facilities. So your dad was absolutely right. They made sure that the, all the overpasses were too low for buses. 'cause They didn't want people who couldn't afford personal autos to come to Jones Beach. And they made black people go to the farther ends of Long Island. They had their own beaches. Now admittedly, this was in the twenties and thirties. Forties and fifties. And so it was in a time where this wasn't so outrageous a point of view, but
Paris Martineau (01:00:33):
It's, he did also Yeah. Like raise a number of black communities basically to the ground. Oh yeah. So that he could
LEO LAPORTE (01:00:38):
Have clean Oh, cross Bronx. His
Paris Martineau (01:00:39):
Cross clean lines. Yeah.
LEO LAPORTE (01:00:40):
Paris Martineau (01:00:40):
Tore down on all of his
LEO LAPORTE (01:00:42):
Meanwhile preserving the big estates of the robber barons on North, of course on the north shore of Long Island. Protecting them. But but not worrying about farmers or, or, or city dwellers whose houses
Paris Martineau (01:00:55):
Fantastic book. How far are you in it? Isn't
LEO LAPORTE (01:00:57):
It, have you
Paris Martineau (01:00:58):
Read it? Yeah, I have listened to parts of it and read parts of it. But yeah, I mean, that's part of
LEO LAPORTE (01:01:04):
My, I'm, I'm 20 hours in. Well, it's, I got,
Paris Martineau (01:01:06):
I need to cut the book up. 'cause Physically it's very large. Yeah. I can't read the book. It's heavy. It's hard to carry
LEO LAPORTE (01:01:12):
<Laugh>. Yeah. Maybe it's a Kindle. No, I'm listening to it on, no,
Paris Martineau (01:01:14):
He doesn't allow it on Kindle. That was like, I think part of his, oh, like part of like, I believe Caro has like Bandit from being on. Oh,
LEO LAPORTE (01:01:21):
That's interesting. Well, goodness. He has an audio that he allows the audiobook. So I have 40 hours to go. <Laugh>.
Paris Martineau (01:01:28):
Is the narration good?
LEO LAPORTE (01:01:29):
It's, well, the guy has a very kind of deep pedantic voice, but it turns out it's a perfect voice to listen to one at 1.4 speed.
Paris Martineau (01:01:38):
LEO LAPORTE (01:01:40):
<Laugh>. So it's really not a 60 hour book. It's it's only like a 40 hour book. So, you know, it's not so bad. So you
Shoshana Weissmann (01:01:46):
Should listen to it while driving a large vehicle on Long Island. It's trying to figure out route to get to the other side of Long Island. <Laugh>, you
LEO LAPORTE (01:01:55):
Know, what I, after, after reading as much as I've written it, is a, it is a great history of the first half of the 20th century in New York City and politics and Tammany Hall. And I mean, it's, it's fantastic. It's widely considered one of the greatest biographies of all time. It's the only reason I'm reading it. I had no idea who Robert Moses was until I I picked
Paris Martineau (01:02:14):
It up. Have you seen the documentary turn Every Page? No,
LEO LAPORTE (01:02:18):
No. About Carol. It recently released, it was about Carol,
Paris Martineau (01:02:20):
About Caro and his relationship with his longtime editor also named Bob, Bob Gottlieb. And it was a documentary, oh, I'll watch, produced by Bob Gottlieb's daughter. And about the two men's relationship
LEO LAPORTE (01:02:36):
Did Gottlieb just pass
Paris Martineau (01:02:37):
Recently? Is he Yeah, he just, he just passed like within a month or
LEO LAPORTE (01:02:41):
So ago. Oh, I am absolutely gonna watch this any event. It's a, it's a, I think it, you know, it's, somebody told me it's on the bookshelves of every senator and member of Congress, even though most of them have not read it, but at least they have it on their bookshelves. It is a definitely a cautionary tale in in political, absolute political power. It's just, it's fascinating. I can't remember why I brought it up, but it had something to do with this. Maybe it had to do with It's just the regulation,
Shoshana Weissmann (01:03:11):
Regulatory capture. Yeah. Yeah. That it kind of, when you give all the power to one person, it's good. And I think about that stuff a lot. It's not
LEO LAPORTE (01:03:17):
Good. Yeah. Yeah. He, he was adept, the thing that's interesting, it's called the Power Broker. It's also called the Fall of New York City <laugh>. So you get an idea of where it's headed. But he was adept at pulling the levers of power in such a way the people loved him. 'cause He was building parks. So he had political power. He was like a modern day Caesar. Mm-Hmm. He had, he had political power and nobody could touch him. And so as a result, he became an absolute monarch in his field. And then he did horrible things, <laugh>. And so it's a really, it's a very co it's a cautionary tale about,
Paris Martineau (01:03:52):
I mean, spoilers. But part of his downfall was him trying to wipe Washington Square Park in Manhattan off the map to have a bunch of different kind of expressways and on-ramps and off-ramps. He loved his freeways. And that ended up being the thing that kind of did him in. 'cause People were like, you can't get rid of this beautiful park.
LEO LAPORTE (01:04:10):
Yeah, thank God. 'cause It is a beautiful park. Yeah. But he was also right when it either talking about before all these freeways, if you were going from New Jersey to you know, Rhode Island, you had to go through the streets of New York, every intersection one by one with these massive backups. It would take hours to get across Manhattan. So mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, he wasn't completely wrong. There was a problem to be solved. It's just, and I guess that's really the nut there, that often there is something that needs to be solved. And sometimes you give somebody so much power that they build a paperclip factory and consume the universe. Anyway let's hope that Lindsey Graham and Elizabeth Warren are shot down. <Laugh>.
Lou Maresca (01:05:00):
Listen, I think their act, though Leo does have some good components to it. I mean Oh, good.
LEO LAPORTE (01:05:04):
You've read it. Oh, good. I want somebody who can tell me what's, what's good about it. That's good.
Lou Maresca (01:05:09):
<Laugh>. Well, I mean, the thing about G D R in, in the, in the EU has done some good things for consumers data. Right? True. That's one of the big things. I, you know, I think I, some of the act has some good sentiment in it. However, there's two, there's things that are very broad. Like I, you know, there's like, prohibiting company companies is another one, right? I mean, how are they gonna do that? Like, how are they gonna, there's no information about how they're gonna prohibit companies from doing stuff and growing too big and <crosstalk>. Yeah.
LEO LAPORTE (01:05:32):
What's the pe what's the penalty? Yeah.
Lou Maresca (01:05:34):
Right. Yeah. And I think that that means that it's open to interpretation, which means leads to a lot of other problems in, in the future. So I think the G D P R part of it, the consumer protection part of it does make sense. I think they should break that out and do that separately. I think that would definitely help people.
LEO LAPORTE (01:05:48):
Warren's website has a one pager, which is probably all I'll ever be able to get through Chona. This is your job. You've gotta read these bills. I don't have to. It's time for a meaningful structural change. They write to reign in big tech. The Warren Graham Digital Consumer Protection Commission Act will create a new commission to regulate online platforms and data processors. So that's interesting. So Tesla, for instance, might not be regulated creating, right? Yeah, yeah. But it will all the social platforms word that's gotta be Lindsey Graham in there create an independent bipartisan regulator. Oh, that'll stay bipartisan for a while. Charged with policing the biggest tech platforms like Facebook, Google, and Amazon to promote competition. Okay. Protect Americans' privacy. Good. And to prevent harm online, I'm all for it. It would empower the commission to enforce violations of the law. Monopoly platforms don't get this would risk losing their license to operate if they, if they're repeatedly violate a law. So it's pro-regulation in a sense. You have to get a license to be a company. Yep. <laugh>.
Shoshana Weissmann (01:07:04):
And that's, that's like the prior restraints on speech. Like that's real dangerous stuff because they're, these are speech platforms and they want prior restraints on speech, which are usually unconstitutional except in very rare circumstances. I mean, like, this would not get through the Supreme Court. Everyone there would like, laugh them out of court and be like, why did you pass this? And why are you here? Like, every member of the court. Like, it's just wildly unconstitutional in addition to being just really, really stupid. Like, this is just gonna enshrine the incumbents because no one else is gonna be able to compete like
LEO LAPORTE (01:07:36):
Know to. That's exactly right.
Shoshana Weissmann (01:07:36):
LEO LAPORTE (01:07:37):
Licenses. That's, well, we have too many licenses. It'd be like taxi medallions. We got too many big tech companies. So you're gonna have to wait in line to start your new startup. I do like pri the privacy stuff guarantee users the right to access their personal data to know when their personal data is collected and processed. Establish. But see, the problem is, again, enforcement requires this licensing. That's the problem here. Establish duties of loyalty, care, loyalty,
Shoshana Weissmann (01:08:04):
<Laugh>. Yeah. I dunno what that is.
LEO LAPORTE (01:08:06):
<Laugh> what? Loyalty to whom? Established duties of loyalty care and mitigation of harms, including discrimination for all data processors. You what I can really see, I just imagine Lindsey Graham's, here he is, got a quilt pen and he's got a little pot he's writing. And I could see Elizabeth Warren going, no, no, no. Add discrimination in there. Oh, okay. Discrimination. Yeah. <Laugh>. But loyalty. Can I keep loyalty in? Yeah. Keeping loyalty. <Laugh> limited targeted appetite, limit targeted advertising based on user's Personal limit. How limit to what?
Shoshana Weissmann (01:08:37):
LEO LAPORTE (01:08:39):
Limit require. Oh, this is the this is, Lindsay wrote this one and like, gimme the quote pen again. I want to require dominant platforms to be owned by US citizens.
Shoshana Weissmann (01:08:51):
Oh my gosh. <Laugh>. That's so stupid. I hate this. This is, I have to do this for a living. Do you know how stressful it is to do this every single day and be like, why are you
LEO LAPORTE (01:09:02):
Doing this? Why? No. Alright. So rarely do I celebrate congressional gridlock <laugh>. But, but the good news is this pro. Tell me, Shoshana, does this have a chance?
Shoshana Weissmann (01:09:18):
I don't think so. I mean, in the house it would probably die anyway. But what's frustrating is like our street supports a national privacy law. We, we understand Yes. The need for like better privacy. Yes. But instead of doing that, they're like, how about we do privacy, but with other stuff and in a really terrible and unconstitutional way. And I'm like, can you just do the freaking privacy law? We're just asking
LEO LAPORTE (01:09:39):
For that one thing. But you also understand that, I'm sorry, but I don't trust the Supreme Court. I don't know that what their idea of constitutional really is. And I know, I, I mean, do you feel like they're consistent in how they interpret the Constitution? Sometimes they're originalist, sometimes they're, ah, that's not constitutional. Sometimes they're, oh, you can't, oh yeah, go ahead. And like, you don't have to bake a cake for a gay couple. That's not necessary. And so I feel like it's, that is like an unknown. We don't know what the Supreme Court's gonna do
Shoshana Weissmann (01:10:18):
For what it's worth here on. On the Reese's social media cases, they were very good. And Thomas, who I actually didn't have much hope for, especially, I was shocked. I
LEO LAPORTE (01:10:26):
Shoshana Weissmann (01:10:26):
Yeah. He did great. <Laugh>. So I was very happy. I'm like, okay, he gets this. I didn't realize how much of this he gets. Yes. That's great.
LEO LAPORTE (01:10:32):
You're talking about the, the Google and Twitter cases, right? The second two. Yeah. Yeah. Thomas was the smartest of them all.
Shoshana Weissmann (01:10:39):
Yeah. He nailed it. He absolutely nailed it. And I was surprised, but encouraged. And I think on the First Amendment, genuinely, I think the Supreme Court tends to be pretty good. Protect
LEO LAPORTE (01:10:47):
Overall. They're gonna protect. Okay. Yeah.
Shoshana Weissmann (01:10:48):
Yeah. Especially when it comes to situations like this that are just so, I mean, there's so much precedent here and there's so much agreement on all sides about it. It's not to say it'll always be the case, but you know, and I, I don't know, like I call myself an originalist, but like, I know that there's different flavors of it too, where people just have genuinely different interpretations of the Constitution. I tend to find myself a little more Gorsuch than anyone else. But
LEO LAPORTE (01:11:14):
I love Alito Alito saying the Congress can't enforce ethics with the Supreme Court. They don't have any that's not in the constitution. <Laugh> to which somebody said nor is the Air Force or space force. However, <laugh> Congress can make laws. Yeah. Okay. There's
Shoshana Weissmann (01:11:32):
Layers there too, to, I, I'll, I can dork on the court stuff forever, but I have, I do have faith that good. If this came before the court, they would just be like's the main question. No,
LEO LAPORTE (01:11:40):
Let's stop it. They would say, that's ridiculous. You cannot, I mean saying you have to have a license before you can start in the next Twitter is really problematic. Obvious for obvious reasons. Right.
Shoshana Weissmann (01:11:52):
They made this bill to anger me.
LEO LAPORTE (01:11:54):
<Laugh>. Alright, let's take a little break and when we come back I'm gonna anger Shoshana some more. It's good. It's fun. It's my new hobby. <Laugh>. Shoshana Weisman's here. Lou Mareska. Great. I love Lou. You're doing such a good job with this weekend. Enterprise tech. It is. Thank you. Thank you. 'cause Frankly, I find enterprise technology so boring. <Laugh>. I'm glad we have somebody who likes it and can talk about it. And you do a great job. You actually make it very interesting. So appreciate that. I, I do appreciate that. Lou's also a coder, and I like that about anybody can codes a Okay. In my book and from the wonderful information, Paris Smart. No. And her new frames. And I have to say very nice. Very nice. Thank
Paris Martineau (01:12:39):
You. Your new matching them to my wall colors.
LEO LAPORTE (01:12:41):
Yes. I noticed your new frames were featured on last week's show, by the way.
Paris Martineau (01:12:47):
You know, I'm always trying to find a way to sneak in here. <Laugh>.
LEO LAPORTE (01:12:51):
I was, I was showing off x.com and of course I follow you on Twitter. And your post was right on the front page. And so that, you know, that's as it should be prominent as it as it must be on all shows. And for some reason, there was just a giant image of you with your new gala. This is
Paris Martineau (01:13:10):
Strange. I think I changed my profile photo <laugh>. Yeah.
LEO LAPORTE (01:13:12):
I, you know, I don't, I don't know if you had tweeted a very big shot of your frames or what, but it was like, it was so big. It wasn't, it filled the page and it was, you were below the fold. It was like, <laugh>. You
Paris Martineau (01:13:23):
Always That's so funny. <Laugh>. It was just
LEO LAPORTE (01:13:25):
Giant shot. But I like them. And and I think you've done a good job. <Laugh>. So, back from her appearance last week on Twit it spurs my,
Paris Martineau (01:13:35):
I'm always here waiting in the wings.
LEO LAPORTE (01:13:37):
<Laugh>. It was like, it was so big. I went, whoa. <Laugh>.
Paris Martineau (01:13:42):
That's gonna be you at IMAX Oppenheimer. Oh,
LEO LAPORTE (01:13:44):
I can't wait. We're gonna see Oppenheimer a week from Friday on 70 millimeter imax. It is the, the, the film is, I think they said 13 miles. Is that right? 13 miles of film they had enlarged The IMAX practice is a three hour movie.
Paris Martineau (01:14:03):
It's like 600 pounds of film.
LEO LAPORTE (01:14:05):
Yeah. They use a forklift. There's only 20 theaters in the world that can show this. I'm going to one of them in San Francisco. They use a forklift to take the platter <laugh> lift, get it threaded in, and then they have Palm Pilot software to control it. And I guess they decided, rather than rewriting the software, they would just use a Palm pilot emulator on an Android tablet. <Laugh>,
Paris Martineau (01:14:30):
I saw this. Isn't that hysteric hysterical? It was honestly fantastic. <Laugh>.
LEO LAPORTE (01:14:33):
Paris Martineau (01:14:35):
This is the future is we're just gonna be emulating all of our old tech.
LEO LAPORTE (01:14:40):
Here's the story from this is from ours, Technica, I guess it was a TikTok of the Palm Pilot software running in a tablet for the 70 <laugh>. Look at the size of this thing. They had to extend the platter so it would hold the the whole roll. And see, it's going off the big roll onto the little roll. Amazing. Anyway, I will give you a review. You've seen it and you said you wanna see it again. So that's, that's a
Paris Martineau (01:15:08):
Good sign. I'm gonna see it again. Yeah. Yeah. I'm reading the book right now. I'm an Oppenheimer fan.
LEO LAPORTE (01:15:12):
Suddenly. Isn't that funny how we get on kicks? Like, oh, I gotta know everything there is to know about Oppenheimer. You liked it too Lou, or did you see it?
Lou Maresca (01:15:20):
I didn't get to see it yet. I gotta I'm going next weekend, so I'm looking
LEO LAPORTE (01:15:22):
Forward. Yeah, you're gonna see it in imax.
Lou Maresca (01:15:25):
I am. Yeah. There's one in Providence and I got the last two seats. <Laugh>
LEO LAPORTE (01:15:29):
Oh. <Laugh>. Where, where are the last two seats in the theater?
Lou Maresca (01:15:33):
The last two seats are actually in the, in the reverse that you did it. I actually have the very back. I'd
LEO LAPORTE (01:15:38):
Rather have a back row. <Laugh>. I was looking, I don't know why I thought that the, the seating chart had the screen on the bottom. Instead, it was at the top. I thought, oh, great. We're five seats from the back. Perfect. Instead, we're five seats from the front. And I, I haven't told my friends that yet. So,
Paris Martineau (01:15:55):
You know, when you come on the next, this week in tech, if you have kind of arick in your neck, <laugh> that the viewers will know why.
LEO LAPORTE (01:16:01):
Welcome to the show <laugh>
Paris Martineau (01:16:04):
Whoop, be, I can physically incapable looking down.
LEO LAPORTE (01:16:10):
I, I don't know what to expect. And, and you, and you have seen Barbie too, is that right? I
Paris Martineau (01:16:16):
Did the full Oppenheimer baby. You
LEO LAPORTE (01:16:17):
Did Barb Heimer? No, not in one day.
Paris Martineau (01:16:21):
Yeah. Oppenheimer in the morning, got dinner and drinks afterwards, and then went straight to Barbie. It was great.
Lou Maresca (01:16:29):
Oh. Could played into the, into the day though.
LEO LAPORTE (01:16:30):
Is that the right order? 'cause Baren Heimer, that is the place. Barbie first, then the nuclear explosion. But you're saying nuclear
Paris Martineau (01:16:37):
Bomb. Yeah, I know. It's c canonically. It's perhaps a bit out of order because we all know the nuclear explosion comes after Barbie <laugh> chronologically. But emotionally, I felt like it was the move.
LEO LAPORTE (01:16:50):
And it did fit.
Paris Martineau (01:16:50):
I would honestly, if I was gonna do it again, I would give myself a couple more hours to let Oppenheimer sit before Barbie. But it was
LEO LAPORTE (01:16:58):
Great. Now I am death destroyer of worlds. Does he say that in the movie?
Paris Martineau (01:17:05):
In Barbie? Yeah.
LEO LAPORTE (01:17:06):
Yeah. That's what I thought, Ken. It's very famous, Ken. Yeah. I mean, that's his famous quote. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. Barbara goes, what? Our show today brought to you by ZipRecruiter. Oh my goodness. If you are hiring, bless you. Right? You are dealing with crazy economic uncertainty. And, and I know this is a small business owner. The ups and downs you feel, it's like on a road, you feel it in your stomach, don't you? But now you gotta hire somebody, and the whole thing gets even worse if you're hiring more than ever. I think it's important that you hire the right person, that you do it fast. Does does that possible to do, do you hire somebody fast and get the perfect person? Yes. Thankfully, there's a hiring partner that's focused on you and your needs. And that ZipRecruiter from pricing to technology, everything ZipRecruiter does is for you.
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I think if we're talking privacy we've gotta talk about the N Ss A and they're lobbying. This is from a wired story. US spies are lobbying Congress to save a phone surveillance loophole. So I agree with you. I think all of you that our personal privacy's important. We live in a an ad supported economy where advertisers really wanna know about customers. And so a lot of platforms that have adv, all the platforms that have advertising except May with a, maybe with the exception of podcasting. 'cause We can't, we'll gather information about all the people who visit and use that. Facebook's a perfect example. Google too, with their AdSense. Use that information to sell those ads to advertisers. I think that's fine. That's kind of how it's working. You take that away, suddenly you, you know, you don't have a backbone.
You don't, the information has to be, well, it is subscriber only. Right? But there are very few publications, subscription only, no ads, David, there are very few publications that can do that, right? Most, most blocks like the Verge and, and and Gadget all have to have advertising. We have advertising. I would love to be all subscription. But on the other hand, I also like it that, that you don't have to have money to listen to our shows. You just have to listen to ads too. <Laugh>. Anyway, I think that, that, that economy makes sense. The problem is all this information that's being gathered is, and not just by AD services, but by your I S P and, and by your television set and on and on, on is being then sold onto data brokers. And the data brokers who have no connection with you, you're not their customer.
They take that and sell it onto the highest bidder. Which is why I think the, all of the upset about TikTok was misguided. Because China doesn't need TikTok to get information about me. They can buy it on the open market. They <laugh>, it's all available. So the Warren Davidson and Sarah Jacobs in the house have have introduced an amendment which would pr oh, by the way, I forgot to mention one other point. It's not just TikTok and advertisers that are buying this data. Law enforcement is buying this data. Law enforcement buys location data. And in fact, according to this amendment, military agencies like the N S A purchase data that would otherwise receipt require a warrant, a court order, or a subpoena to obtain. Why get a subpoena? Why get a warrant if you just go to the open market and buy it, right? Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. So this amendment which would ban more than half of the US intelligence community, the N S A, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Space Intelligence Center, among others it's was added to the National Defense Authorization Act. I think is a good thing. Yeah. We all agree. Shoshana's nodding vigorously. So
Shoshana Weissmann (01:23:33):
Is Paris. It makes me so happy. So is, I just love this, this concept like the government's getting around the Fourth Amendment by like buying data. Senator Wyden has been on this forever, and he's, he is a really big proponent here. But like, this is a really big loophole that government just uses to evade the Fourth Amendment. So it's one of my, one of my side favorite things that the government's trying to reform here.
LEO LAPORTE (01:23:55):
God bless Ron Wyden. He's reintroducing it in the Senate as the Fourth Amendment is not for Sale Act <laugh>, he writes, Americans of all political stripes know their constitutional rights should not disappear in the digital age. There is a deep well of support for enshrining protections against commercial data grabs by government into black letter law. So yeah, they're going around your, your right to, it's not a right to privacy. The Fourth Amendment says the right to against search and seizure. Right? Yeah. And, and it says it has to be warrant, and it has to be probable cause. Then the probable cause, you go to the judge, the judge says, okay, there's probable cause here. There's a warrant. You can go search that house or that car. This gets around it, the ex the wired rights, the extent to which the N S A in particular uses data brokers to obtain location and web browsing data is unclear.
Although the agency has previously acknowledged using data from quote commercial sources in connection with cyber defense. Regardless, the NSA's lawyers have authored extensive guidelines for acquiring commercially available data. Although we know that guidelines exist, but some of the rules are classified <laugh>. What we do know is the N S A is, according to wired, lobbying hard against these two bills. They say, we need to be able to buy this data. We don't want to get now, alright, look, the N S A is protecting us against the worst kind of terrorism and things like that, right? Yes. No, that's fair. <Laugh> <laugh>, but we'll never know, right? I mean, that's the point. It's so secret. We don't know what they're doing. That's right. But, but I, if it were the ccia a I might feel bad, but the C I A does international stuff, what is the NSA's charter? The N S A can do anything they want.
Paris Martineau (01:26:05):
Unwarranted spying on American phone calls, <laugh> and, and private matter, they have, they built, I mean, I think that's kind of the whole point, right? <Laugh>, they built
LEO LAPORTE (01:26:15):
The world's largest data center. Where, where was that? In, in the middle west somewhere to house all this data. They were snaring up from electronic transmissions and the internet. Well,
Paris Martineau (01:26:27):
I mean, they've gotta get they've had to build that because in Utah specifically, the, it was, there was too much. It was hard to find storage for all of the recordings from all of your different phones. Leo <laugh> specifically, once they started tapping you, they were like, we gotta get another data center. It,
LEO LAPORTE (01:26:44):
It, it, it was built in 20 14, 1 $0.5 billion. The Utah Data Center. This is the closest picture we can get. <Laugh>, <laugh> <laugh>,
Paris Martineau (01:26:54):
That photographer was shot immediately after
LEO LAPORTE (01:26:56):
Immediately, but at least he got the one picture. Critics believe the data center, this is from Wikipedia, have the capability process quote, all forms of communication and all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private email, cell phone calls and internet searches, as well as all types of personal data trails, parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital pocket litter. Oh, and let's add all the stuff they buy from data brokers. Some of this they're storing because it's encrypted, and they're expecting someday to be able to crack that encryption and find out what you were talking about back in 2019. So o be, I mean, if they are really lobbying and I, I have no reason not to trust this article, that kind of tells you that they are buying this data and they don't want to have to get a warrant. I could say, I can understand that. They may say, I'm trying to put myself in, in this, in the shoes of the spooks that if we, that's revealing our methods if we go to a court, but there are F I S A courts, there are secret courts you can go to.
Paris Martineau (01:28:06):
Shoshana Weissmann (01:28:06):
Yeah. We have like a lot of secret courts like that. That's kind of like, they, like if they, if they're like, oh man, we don't have to go to the Secret Courts. You know, that's so much extra work. We just wanna be like, that's really messed up. You know?
Paris Martineau (01:28:18):
I mean, that is, that's truly messed up. A, a primary argument I believe that they've had before the Supreme Court often. Yeah. Is they're like, oh, the secret courts are too much work. The courts where I think they, the denial rate is something like, it's definitely below 5%, if I'm recalling correctly. It is like once in a blue moon will their secret court requests ever get denied, and that is too much for them. It's so hard to be the N S A guys. I don't think
LEO LAPORTE (01:28:43):
We're, again, with a secret about that secret secret. Again, the N S A is in charge of signals intelligence. I think that's the short form of their mission, which means exactly what we just described is snaring up all the possible radio telecommunications, internet traffic they can, in order to try to figure out, I mean, if you interpret it positively in order to try to figure out what, you know, that's the terrorist chatter you hear about where the next attack on the US is, is gonna come from and prevent it. And as far as we know, they're doing a great job. There haven't been a lot of terrorist attacks in our soil since 9 1 1.
Paris Martineau (01:29:26):
I mean, you know, brief blip in 2021 early on in that year. But other than that,
LEO LAPORTE (01:29:32):
I think those are mostly domestic, weren't they?
Paris Martineau (01:29:34):
I mean, yeah, <laugh>,
LEO LAPORTE (01:29:36):
But, but that signal's intelligence would've found. Maybe you found that as well. I mean, I don't want us to be unsafe. It seems like they could go to the FSA courts, though. It seems like they could go to the Secret Courts and say, look you know, we need to buy this. We need to know where Leo LaPorte was for the last 40 days. Just in case the pro, you know, what the real issue is. I think it isn't Leo LaPorte. We know that we need to know where every citizen of Manhattan was, who they spoke to, because you're using AI and other technologies to cross reference and try to find patterns. That sounds right, Lou.
Lou Maresca (01:30:19):
Yeah. I mean, most people's data is just collateral damage to what they're looking for. And so I think, I think that's main point is just trying to connect the dots and a negative, sometimes it's gonna have to go through everyone's data to, to find that out, essentially.
LEO LAPORTE (01:30:30):
So I'm not sure I'm against it.
Paris Martineau (01:30:35):
I mean, I think we have, you know part of our constitution that does ostensibly protect us against unwarranted search and seizure and allowing an entire operation and part of the government to be constantly, essentially searching and seizing our data all the time and having real time access to where we are, what we're saying. And the things we are doing would technically be a breach of that. I mean, obviously, I guess if the courts decide to rule against it and weaken that aspect of the Constitution, that would be one thing. But I think that's probably where this is going. So
LEO LAPORTE (01:31:11):
You two are an originalist, aren't you? Paris Martin, though
Paris Martineau (01:31:15):
I am not an originalist <laugh>, but I will weaponize the Constitution for my
LEO LAPORTE (01:31:20):
Own personal interest,
Paris Martineau (01:31:21):
<Laugh> when asked,
LEO LAPORTE (01:31:23):
Paris Martineau (01:31:24):
That's what we seem to be doing these days.
LEO LAPORTE (01:31:26):
When the Fourth Amendment was written, we didn't have the internet. We didn't have telephones. We didn't have telegrams. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> we had, you know, parchment. So in fact, <laugh>, I know that because I have a picture of the Fourth Amendment on Parchment right here in France, <laugh> in front of me.
Paris Martineau (01:31:45):
Oh, yeah. That's, that's the original text. I believe <laugh>
LEO LAPORTE (01:31:49):
The right of the people to be secure in their person's houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches. And seizures shall not be violated and no warrants shall issue, but upon cause supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the person's or things to be seized. But how do you do what Lou and I were just talking about this broad, I a
Paris Martineau (01:32:14):
Dragnet search or whatever it's called?
LEO LAPORTE (01:32:16):
Yeah. Well, sometimes we call it a fishing expedition. And so there is examples. There was a, a recent case, I think it might be going to the Supreme Court where a, the F B I I think asked Google. They do, they do this from time to time. Give us the location of everybody near this seven 11 so we could figure out who the crooks were who robbed it. That's a fishing expedition, right? And it, it infringes everybody's rights. You can't give a warrant. Maybe, I guess you could. I mean, maybe a judge would say, yeah, you need that information.
Lou Maresca (01:32:59):
The interesting thing about the, this section Louis Leo is like, section 7 0 2 has been around since 2008. And so you kind of have to think about like, if people really had a big problem with it, why hasn't it been repealed since then?
LEO LAPORTE (01:33:15):
Well, the Patriot ACT's been around since 2001, and it keeps getting renewed because you don't want to be the member of Congress who enabled a terrorist attack on the Golden Gate Bridge. Right? that would look very bad. And the N ss a would be very happy to say, you know, see what Congressman LaPorte did. He blew up the bridge because he wouldn't let us collect data
Shoshana Weissmann (01:33:40):
Congress. And like the federal government also just love extensive national security authority, even if it doesn't have stuff to do with national security, if it's ever done under the guise of it. Like, that's thing forever. And it, it, you can start to narrow away at it, but it, it's just really hard to do. And I think a lot of this also just gets a third party doctrine, because like, data brokers are the third parties, you know, the first party is the, the guy whose data it was, and then the government trying to get that, it's like, oh, well, that's a third party. So they don't have any interest. But years ago, the Supreme Court had a case, and Gorsuch also there, had a really interesting opinion trying to figure out like the, the right way to see data, property rights, and the court was all split on it, but they basically said, yeah, people have an interest in their data, even if other people have it. Which was good because third party doctrine really sucks.
LEO LAPORTE (01:34:29):
I mean, I lost my <laugh>. I got so excited. I leapt to my feet to yell, and I unplugged my headphones. So, <laugh>, <laugh>, hold on just
Paris Martineau (01:34:39):
A second. So we could be saying anything about Leo right now, and he won't have an idea. <Laugh>
LEO LAPORTE (01:34:45):
I think we talked about this last week, but this is related. It's about cameras. They're everywhere. I remember the Petaluma I guess police, I don't know, city government put up cameras on all the stoplights in the town, right? And the theory is what they're gonna catch speeders, I don't know. But what's happening is, in fact they're, they're using software to collect every driver's license, every car make and model that goes by these cameras and then cross-referencing them. And so there is a case, and I don't know where it stands right now. I mentioned this before. The Westchester Police Department had a surveillance system. It was built by a company called Recor. There are other companies that do this but it takes all the cameras, the police cameras, but also cameras in police cars, the traffic cams and uses automatic license plate recognition to search for plates.
But, and usually when the password it would do is, oh, we know the plates of this bad guy. He drove away from the bank robbery. Where is he? But now what they're doing is they're, they're actually record getting all the plates. Westchester County has 480 cameras collected data over two years. And <laugh> noticed that there was a car that was stopping shortstops all over the county, the kind of activity that a drug dealer would engage in going to the places that they knew that drug dealers would go to sell drugs and so forth. Lemme see if I can, I can read you
Lou Maresca (01:36:30):
The, honestly, unless, unless there's explicit laws. Like for instance, Washington State has one that says you can't use red light cameras or speed light cameras for anything other than traffic enforcement. There you go. So you're, for somebody who's stolen something, you can't, you can't do it. But there's, I would say there's a majority of the states that don't have laws like that, which means they're probably doing it too.
LEO LAPORTE (01:36:50):
This guy was driving down the Hutchinson River Parkway in Scarsdale, in a gray Chevrolet. But according to this new AI tool that the Westchester County Police Department was using, it was suspicious because it was on a journey typical of a drug trafficker. It made nine trips from Massachusetts to different parts of New York following route, known to be used by narcotics pushers. And for conspicuously short stays, the Westchester Police pulled 'em over on those grounds. So they had this database of licenses. The AI said, this guy is suspicious. They pulled him over. Yes, they found 112 grams of crack in, in, in his possession, a semi-automatic pistol, and $34,000. So the AI was right, but at the same ti So this is the, this is similar, right? I'm sure that this is the kind of stuff the N S A does, except it's not looking for crack dealers, it's looking for terrorists. Or maybe it is. I don't know what they're looking for. No one does his attorney now appealing it saying, because this is the specter of modern surveillance. The Fourth Amendment must guard against the systematic development and deployment of a vast surveillance network, invades society's reasonable expectation of privacy. The Fourth Amendment I do, I think
Paris Martineau (01:38:14):
Agree with, with this. Yeah. I mean, I don't think that we should necessarily have cameras policing everyone's movements at all times and having some system, it's
LEO LAPORTE (01:38:22):
Paris Martineau (01:38:23):
You know, human or algorithmic deciding who or what could be possibly committing a crime. Yeah.
LEO LAPORTE (01:38:31):
Well, and the secondary concern is, I mean, no one's in favor of crack dealers, but it also Sacramento County and up here in Northern California, shared license plate reader data with states that have banned abortion.
Paris Martineau (01:38:46):
Yeah, I was about to say, I mean, it's a slippery slope. It's
LEO LAPORTE (01:38:48):
A slippery slope.
Paris Martineau (01:38:50):
One project that I think is kind of interesting is there's this company called Adversarial Fashion, that is, I think, I think just a program of one woman. But it specifically, they create merchandise like sweatshirts, t-shirts that look kind of like a jumble of patterns and texts. And essentially what they're supposed to do is they target these automatic license plate readers, and you can see on them, they kind of look like license plates. So if you're walking by one of these readers, it will read this and then insert junk data into the automatic license plate. Let's
LEO LAPORTE (01:39:28):
All get hoodies from these guys.
Paris Martineau (01:39:30):
<Laugh> this. So I often will wear it mine while I'm biking around. Oh, you have
LEO LAPORTE (01:39:33):
One? Oh, that's awesome.
Paris Martineau (01:39:35):
Resistance a little bit.
Shoshana Weissmann (01:39:37):
Oh, I love that.
LEO LAPORTE (01:39:38):
This is specifically to defeat A L P R, which you're just talking about. Yeah. Ah, and it's also pretty good looking.
Paris Martineau (01:39:48):
Yeah. And they have a bunch of different types depending on like the state or country that you're in. This
LEO LAPORTE (01:39:52):
Actually has the Fourth Amendment in license plates on it. That's, that's cool. Hysterical. good. I like it. Wouldn't that be funny if the police are going through their license State Place database, and the AI says, we have discovered the text of the Fourth Amendment, <laugh> <laugh>,
Paris Martineau (01:40:11):
Perhaps you should read, we discovered suspicious activity, and then they enhance a
LEO LAPORTE (01:40:15):
Constitutional right there on the bicycle down the street. But you see the, the, the, because the, the f founding fathers did not envision a connected society like we have. Does the Fourth Amendment still make sense? I guess it does, right? I mean, the principle of it is sensible. Yes. For
Shoshana Weissmann (01:40:43):
What, for what it's worth too. I also view stuff not just original, like I don't believe in original intent, originalism, like the vibes of the founders, but what they actually wrote. Oh, okay. As, you know, as it applies to modern. But that means that like, unreasonable search and seizures applies to digital methods and all other kinds of stuff. So, you know, if you, you know, the, the fourth Amendment applied to a lot of the stuff would be a very obvious, like, oh, you can't do that. You can just search people's stuff. Do that like constantly all the time. You
LEO LAPORTE (01:41:10):
Can't do that. What a world we live in. All right. Let's find something fun. Facebook just passed 3 billion users for the first time. Okay. That maybe is not so much.
Paris Martineau (01:41:26):
Is is that Facebook specifically? Or meta?
LEO LAPORTE (01:41:29):
No, it's Facebook. Yeah. They've been slowly inching up. It slowed down. Remember we, every year, you know, we'd say, oh, now it's a hundred million. Now it's 200 million. Here's a graph of monthly active users. And you can see it's flattened down a little bit, but it's finally crossed 3 billion. That's almost half the population of the world, right? And not bots. Whoa. Bot
Shoshana Weissmann (01:41:51):
Bots, all grandparents
LEO LAPORTE (01:41:53):
<Laugh>. There are, how many grandparents are there in the world? <Laugh>,
Paris Martineau (01:41:57):
Guess. 3 billion <laugh>.
LEO LAPORTE (01:42:02):
User growth is mostly plateaued for Facebook in recent years. It's monthly user grit base. And this is from Facebook's quarterly results growing by 3% since this time last year. That's half the growth rate of WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger, which is why, by the way, Facebook bought WhatsApp and Instagram. Instagram at a billion dollars was the deal of the century. It turns out your, your company, Microsoft's trying to buy Activision for $70 billion, 70 Instagrams. And it's gonna do it, by the way. Congratulations on victory. I hope it's worth it. <Laugh>. I hope it's worth it. <Laugh> it's a lot of money. It's more than they spend for LinkedIn. It's the largest acquisition in the history of Microsoft, and it's one of the largest acquisitions of all time. Yeah. Amazing. The FTC games are good. FTC has lowered the flag. They've, they've declared defeat. They're not gonna pursue
Paris Martineau (01:42:57):
Gearing up for a big Amazon battle. They've got a Oh, yeah. Their losses.
LEO LAPORTE (01:43:01):
Oh, yeah. I'm a, I'm a Lena Con fan. I thought Cory Doctor, you're a con head. I'm a con head <laugh> with a K, not a c I am, yeah. <Laugh>. I love it. Although now that Connor and Willa have been marching in the SAG strike, I'm kind of a con head for them again to you're,
Paris Martineau (01:43:26):
You're a con head in both
LEO LAPORTE (01:43:28):
Senses. I'm a NeoCon head. Oh my gosh.
Paris Martineau (01:43:32):
LEO LAPORTE (01:43:33):
We're for those who are puzzled, we are talking about a TV show called Succession. And and we can't get over the fact fans,
Paris Martineau (01:43:41):
One of the characters, Connor would call themselves con
LEO LAPORTE (01:43:44):
Heads. Con heads. He was running for president and didn't have a lot of support. But in his concession speech, he said, all right, all right, I lost, but I'm still a billionaire <laugh>, which is exactly the way to look at it. Let me see, where am I? Corey actually is gonna be on the show. I should mention Corey Dro and his co-author of his the newest book, choke Point Capitalism. We are gonna do a takeover on Twitter. I'm very excited about this in a couple of weeks. Is it
Paris Martineau (01:44:18):
A hostile takeover?
LEO LAPORTE (01:44:19):
No, it's a, we love them. Corey, Dr. And Rebecca Giblin will be on August 20th. So we will be talking about Corey's stuff, but he wrote, I thought, a very good piece. And of course, I'm trying to find it. He always writes very good pieces about, gosh, he is really completely on everything going on in the world. Private equity GULs have a new way to steal from their investors. Deification the truth of Germany's story podcasting. Let the platforms burn. No, none of this is I for I Oh, why there's s here. It is why they're smearing Lena Khan. My god. Cory writes, they sure hate Lena Kahn <laugh>. And of course, what he is talking about is the Wall Street Journal and others saying, Conn it. Why does she keep losing? She's a loser. She's oh and four in the courts. Why does she keep pursuing this stuff?
On the other hand, and this comes back to this government regulation, the this is the FTCs role, and I think, I think many of you listening may not agree with her trying to stop Microsoft from buying Activision. Frankly, I think that was a, probably a fool's errand. Although she had a, I mean, there's a point to be, I won't argue, but there's a point to be made there. But she is going after things like she, she wants it is easy to cancel a subscription it, as it is to make one. Who could be against that? The FTC is doing a lot of, I think, good work. Okay. Maybe they couldn't keep Facebook from buying within. Maybe they couldn't keep Microsoft from buying Activision. Perhaps because you know, the courts are a little bit more bullish on trusts than the F T C, but that doesn't mean she's not doing her job.
Paris Martineau (01:46:20):
I mean, I think the thing a lot of people don't understand is that Lena Kahn's goal ultimately is to kind of shift the window. There you go on how the courts and the FTC view kinda the consumer welfare standard, and just generally how the, the approach to American antitrust law in general, shifting it away from kind of the the legal standards professed by like Robert Bork
LEO LAPORTE (01:46:48):
Bork the creator of it, right? That he was the guy, I mean,
Paris Martineau (01:46:51):
Yeah. Yeah. He, he's the, you know, total father of modern antitrust law, right? And kind of centering it around this idea that should be all tied back to economic efficiency and consumer welfare. And Lena Kahn specifically, you know believes that there should be kind of a new approach to all of this. She famously wrote that paper called the Amazon, like Antitrust Paradox, right? And I think that when your goal is shifting an entire body's approach so dramatically, it's obviously going take a while. It's going to be kind of a long game that you're playing.
LEO LAPORTE (01:47:30):
Thank you. You said that so beautifully. I've been trying to say that in a much less eloquently for some time that this, this, this is important to at least get companies to start thinking about, well, maybe we don't want to get sued over this. Maybe this isn't the right thing to do. And I also want to thank you for not using the word Overton when you said window. So thank you for that as well. But I, I think you're right. I couldn't
Paris Martineau (01:47:53):
Remember whether it was Overton or I was gonna confuse it with Oval Teen <laugh>. So I decided out the
LEO LAPORTE (01:47:59):
Word, the Oval Teen Window. I agree.
Paris Martineau (01:48:02):
I think we should all shift the oval
LEO LAPORTE (01:48:04):
Window, I, you know,
Paris Martineau (01:48:04):
To oat milk. Yeah,
LEO LAPORTE (01:48:07):
I agree so heavily with that as well. You are so smart. Yeah, it's, I, I don't know, Shoshana, where do you, where do you stand on, on this. I mean, I think we all agree that there is some regulation necessary. We also agree that sometimes you can overregulate and maybe government isn't the best way to do this, but if not the ftc, if not Congress, then who, nobody's gonna regulate these guy. The, we can't let the EU do it all.
Shoshana Weissmann (01:48:36):
I just like the consumer welfare standard. I'm not a big fan of Con, but I get why people are, you know, it's just a difference of like fundamental views and stuff. But for me it's just if there's no harm being caused, and if the only issue is that something's really big, I just don't think that should be the role of the F T C. Like, I'd rather them step in actually for rental car companies, which steal money from people and put them in jail. Like that seems like when Hertz was doing that. That seems like a very clear role for the ftc. Yeah. Where, you know, local law enforcement isn't really doing anything about it, and there needs to be something to be done because Hertz is throwing people in jail, which isn't cool. I had my money stolen by Avis and it took like a lot of time for me to get it back.
And to me that's like a lot bigger deal than just having seven clicks to do Amazon, which is if she wants to go after companies harder, just strategically at, at this point, I feel like it would be more worth it for her to do things that everyone is like, oh yeah, no, this is ridiculous. Like, there's no way you can see the other side of like, Avis stealing money or Hertz throwing people in jail and then moving from there if she wanted to strategically like, change the conversation, just get some wins and then, you know, go a little bit more that way.
LEO LAPORTE (01:49:44):
I mean, it's, I mean, of course you could say, do you know, hit do the low hanging fruit? But I think Kahan has a larger, and I think Biden as well, bringing in Tim Wu and Jonathan Cantor has a larger vision for antitrust. You know Corey's position and I, and, and, and I think you probably agree, Paris, 'cause this is, this goes back to Robert Bork was the Reagan era shift in how we enforced antitrust. And in fact, basically didn't Bork you said, believed in the efficiency of markets and you wanna preserve the efficiency as opposed to consider consumer harm or the harm to, which I think is really important, the harm to innovation of these large companies. It makes it very difficult to to be you know, if you're an incumbent pulling up the ladder, because it's very difficult for the little guys to create the next big thing. And I think, and
Paris Martineau (01:50:36):
I think ultimately, like the important thing here is not even looking at it consumer welfare standard versus not. I think that my understanding of Kahn's kind of approach to this and this movement in general is that they're seeing that what the current state of antitrust regulation looks at consumer welfare in a very narrow manner in the sense of, is this company is this company's actions resulting in the cost of my, whatever I'm buying on Amazon being higher than it otherwise would be? Is this having a demonstrable monetary impact on the consumer in a negative way? And I think that the concept of consumer harm or consumer welfare is a lot more complicated than that. And I think that part of this legisl, like this regulatory movement that they're enacting is trying to unpack the second tier and third tier effects of a corporate action in a way that then you could perhaps, you know, take regulatory action on it or not.
LEO LAPORTE (01:51:37):
Yeah, it's, it's easy. I mean, Corey talks about this when he is talking about and ification, and he uses Amazon as an example, as did Lina Khan, that it's easy to see in the early days of Amazon. It was great for customers, right? But mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, that wasn't the end game at all. That stage two and stage three ultimately ended up in, you know, capturing more. Stage three was capturing more profit from both customers and businesses and ultimately raising prices once there's no more competition <laugh>. And you know, I think that that's, that is a more long-term, more nuanced look at consumer harm than just, well, what's the price today of a book? Books were cheap on Amazon for a long time until they cornered the market on books and all your bookstores closed, <laugh>.
Paris Martineau (01:52:25):
I mean, it's the same thing we're seeing now with Uber and Lyft, you know? Yeah. They were incredibly cheap rides in the time where they're just trying to capture market share and now that they actually have to try and make money, it's like $50 to get across town. Yeah.
LEO LAPORTE (01:52:37):
I wish we had an Oval teen ad right now. I really do. 'cause I think <laugh>,
Paris Martineau (01:52:42):
You could be the Oval Teen Window.
LEO LAPORTE (01:52:44):
Do remember Oval Teen? You're too young to remember Oval Teen.
Paris Martineau (01:52:49):
I think my understanding of Oval Teen is just from other people remembering
LEO LAPORTE (01:52:52):
You never had Oval
Paris Martineau (01:52:53):
Teen and seeing Yeah. Oval Teen Ads.
LEO LAPORTE (01:52:57):
You can't buy Oval Teen still. I think. Of course I
Paris Martineau (01:53:00):
Have it. I have it in the
LEO LAPORTE (01:53:00):
Cabinet. Do you? The kids love Ovaltine Great. Yeah, it's a malt. It's great. <Laugh>. I love Oval Teen. Yeah. You're
Paris Martineau (01:53:08):
Gonna walk back from the ad break just sipping some cold oval tea
LEO LAPORTE (01:53:12):
<Laugh>. I should go get
Paris Martineau (01:53:13):
It now. <Laugh>. Sure.
LEO LAPORTE (01:53:15):
Let me, let me just give you an idea of what Oval Teen means to people of my generation. This is an Oval Teen TV commercial. We're gonna take a break and come back with more after the commercial. Here we go. Hey,
Ovaltine ad (01:53:28):
Let's have Nestle Quick Dad quits out. We switched to its Chocolate Ovaltine. Why Oval Teen's better for you? It has vitamins and minerals. Quick doesn't, and it tastes great. Mm, it is great. More,
LEO LAPORTE (01:53:41):
Paris Martineau (01:53:42):
You've shifted the ine. I've absolutely seen a thousand ads that have said more Oval Team, please. That awakened some sort of sense memory deep in my brain.
LEO LAPORTE (01:53:51):
And I'm being told that during the ZipRecruiter ad, you shifted the positioning of your mannequin.
Paris Martineau (01:53:58):
Oh. I did. I don't know if you can see it now because I'm someone in the chat was like,
LEO LAPORTE (01:54:02):
Where's your mannequin butt? There's the mannequin butt
Paris Martineau (01:54:04):
<Laugh>. I'm sorry.
LEO LAPORTE (01:54:06):
Ladies and gentlemen, the arts and crafts projects of Paris Martino, careful people
Paris Martineau (01:54:13):
Continue to bring up <laugh>. They have to give the people what they want, clearly
LEO LAPORTE (01:54:18):
Give the people what they want. Martin know we're gonna take a little time <laugh> out. We'll have more. This is my favorite panel. I don't want this show to ever end. Lu Mareska, it's great to have you. Paris Martin know from the information Shoshana Weissman. She lives in a pineapple under dc Hey, I want to thank everybody in the club twit for your support. This is something we launched a couple of years ago, Lisa our c e o, who said, we should give our audience a chance to support what we're doing. Plus have ad free versions of all of our shows and the revenue from that can help us generate new content, new shows. And it has been a great success. So thank you to all our Club TWIT members. If you're not yet a member of Club Twit, seven bucks a month, not much.
$84 a year. We also have family plans and corporate plans. In fact, we just got a new corporate member. Thank you. What it, of course, you get the warm feeling in your heart that you're supporting what we're doing, but you also get a lot of great stuff. Access to the discord full of animated gif and in the Discord. Thanks to our community manager, aunt Pruitt assist us. Such a great job. Lots of special content shows like Scott Wilkinson's, home Theater Geeks, hands on Macintosh with Micah Sargent Hands on Windows with Paul Ott, and it's gonna be doing a photo critique August 4th. We've got a photo walk coming up at the end of the month. I'm gonna go on that with ant Stacey's book Club. Stacey Higginbotham does a monthly book club and Ant has just scheduled, I'm very excited about this.
A oh, wait a minute, I'm very excited about this. And an a m a with look who's there, Lou Mariska, September 28th. That'll be something to look forward to next month. Thank you Lou, for doing that. Find out the real truth behind Lou Mariska. We also have a fire sad check coming up an did a great interview a couple of weeks ago with Hugh Howie. He's the author of the Wool series of sci-fi novels that was turned into a great TV show called Silo on Apple TV Plus. And another of our favorite sci-fi authors, Daniel Su Suarez, will join Ant I'm gonna go to this one. This one I'm gonna be in because these are two of my favorite people. I'm looking forward to that. And I haven't met Hugh Howie, so I'm looking forward to that. So that's a special event. These are all things going on in the club that you get <laugh> and not to mention, animated gifts galore that you <laugh> that you get with your seven bucks a month. It is so much fun. There are there is a Malala as Barbie, which, which is great. This Barbie has a Nobel Prize. He's just can <laugh>. Okay, fine. Thank you for your support. If you wanna join, we would love to have you tweet tv slash club tweet on we go with the show. Let's see what other news is hot and happening. NASA I mentioned is starting its own channel. NASA Plus, it's like Apple TV plus without the fees and the ads. It's the space agents. What is
Paris Martineau (01:57:29):
Going to be on there?
LEO LAPORTE (01:57:30):
Space, baby, I wonder. Oh, wow. Live space. Live space. I do. They have John tell me they have, I asked John if they're gonna have sci-fi moves, like maybe Bruce Willis saving the planet. No, it's just gonna be live, but it's not, there's not stuff going on all the time. Rer used
Paris Martineau (01:57:46):
Have ancient aliens on there, <laugh>.
LEO LAPORTE (01:57:49):
They have lots of
Paris Martineau (01:57:51):
Program. I think that would be a really good content synergy experience
LEO LAPORTE (01:57:54):
There. There's apparently a lot of programming. If you have the NASA app on your phone you'll be able to use that. The agencies, iOS and Android apps. There's also the desktop feeds and mobile browsers as well as stream shows on demand through media players like Roku, apple tv, and Fire tv. And it is free because as John has pointed out, we've already paid for it with our tax dollars. Yeah. Unless that's great. You're burning Madoff, in which cases you don't get to watch it. I don't know. <Laugh>, we've got <laugh>. I wa I watched the the Beanie Baby movie last night. Have you seen that yet? It's on Apple TV plus it's about Ty Warner and his creation of Bebe Beanie Babies. And I was really curious,
Paris Martineau (01:58:35):
Is this a new movie?
LEO LAPORTE (01:58:36):
Yeah, it just came out a Friday on Apple TV plus, oh, you're probably of the age where you might have had some Beanie Babies. You two. Yeah. You three.
Paris Martineau (01:58:46):
No Beanie Babies. I've
LEO LAPORTE (01:58:47):
Had Beanie Babies. Yeah. I, I I have a lot of Cabbage Patch Beanie Babies. Yeah. I had a lot of Beanie Babies. My daughter was really into 'em, and we bought every one of, we didn't collect them. Anyway, the story's actually interesting because he hired a young college freshman kind of as an intern, a receptionist, $7 an hour receptionist. Or actually it was less than that. It was minimum wage. But she, and this is in the early nineties, she knew about the internet. She was a computer science major and said, you know, we should have a webpage. No one had webpages. They created the, she created the first TA Beanie Baby webpage, but then did something really smart. She noticed that Beanie Babies were being resold for profit on eBay. Ty Warner said, we should shut that down. That's violating our trademarks.
She said, no, you don't understand. This is creating a secondary market. People will buy our Beanie Babies with the hopes of reselling them for vast sums on eBay. And I guess he got it. 'cause He let her do that. And they got a lot of information, market information by monitoring the very early on monitoring the internet, something everybody does now for sentiment analysis, for dollar values for which Beanie Babies to stop selling, which Beanie Babies to introduce. And she helped make it the most successful toy company of all time with a billion dollars in sales at one year. But of course, as the story goes, it's a, it's actually a parable for our Times. Three women helped him make that business, including that college freshman. He got rid of all of them at, when he got rid of the college freshmen. She said, but you, you're not gonna get the market information. He said, I don't care which point they overproduced, beanie Babies collapsed the market and went outta business <laugh>. But it's a true American story because he's worth $3 billion. <Laugh>, and you might be interested in this, he owns the Four Seasons Manhattan, the New York City Four Seasons, and just,
Paris Martineau (02:00:52):
Just the Manhattan one. Oh,
LEO LAPORTE (02:00:53):
He owns that one. And one one in Santa Barbara. Yeah. The Four Seasons chain runs it, manages it. But he won't let them reopen. He closed it in Covid and he won't let them reopen. It's too expensive. So it's, it's
Paris Martineau (02:01:04):
A, okay. I actually do really respect that if just owning a hotel, but not letting any, anybody operate it kind of just like a child in a large empty house. Cartman land kind of, yeah.
LEO LAPORTE (02:01:13):
He was Elon Musk before Elon Musk. I think we can say that it's a, it's actually watch the movie, but then read the story. 'cause There's more. He also, this is what made me think of it, was all this time stashing money in a Swiss account. So the I r s wouldn't see it. Ultimately, they think over $400 million in a Swiss account, they caught him and they gave him two years probation, felony tax evasion. Wow. He pled guilty to rob a seven 11. They'll kill you. But, but, but steal $400 million from the I r s. No problem. He did pay 50 million in fines. And the judge said, your charitable works lets you off the hook. So that's what made me think of it.
Paris Martineau (02:01:57):
So they, he, so he legally can't watch nasa Plus
LEO LAPORTE (02:02:00):
He is not allowed to. That's, that's how it comes full circle. He <laugh>. Yeah.
Paris Martineau (02:02:04):
I'm bringing it back.
LEO LAPORTE (02:02:05):
Yes. I wanted to say, honestly, I wanted to say Ty Warner, but I realized no one would know what I was talking about. So I said, Bernie Madoff, which isn't really a good one either. He's dead. So he's obviously mad not watching NASA TV plus, but Ty Warner. That was the real joke. Now that you've now, and now you know
Paris Martineau (02:02:25):
We're all here.
LEO LAPORTE (02:02:26):
The rest of the story the end of the line on the Uber fatal car story, you may remember back in 2015, it was the, I think the first fatality from a self-driving vehicle. And Uber killed a woman in Tempe, Arizona, who was crossing the street in the middle of the night, in the middle of the, the street, by the way, not at an intersection on her bicycle. The car hitter killed her. And there was a lot of conversation at that time. Is it, are these self-driving vehicles unsafe? Who gets blamed for a fatality in this case? The and there was a sa Now here's the thing. There was a safety driver, and we found out from telephone records, that she'd been playing a game wh while this car was going down the street. In her defense, it was the middle of the night. There was no, she, it wasn't easy to see. Had she even been driving, she might still have hit this person because she just came outta nowhere. In any event this week, she pled guilty to count of endangerment and was sentenced to three years of supervised pro probation. No time in prison. It's a plea deal. So there was no no jury. She was, she could have
Paris Martineau (02:03:41):
Faced. Does the company face any sort of accountability in that sense? Well,
LEO LAPORTE (02:03:45):
Isn't that a good question or is it just her? Yeah. because of the plea bargain, Uber does not have to worry about anything. <Laugh> at this point. There was a, a lengthy vesting, good for Uber, good for Uber. It would be nice <laugh> if you were to plead guilty <laugh>
Paris Martineau (02:04:04):
You were in the car. Yeah. You know we weren't anywhere near that.
LEO LAPORTE (02:04:08):
We weren't nowhere near the vehicle at the time. As you may remember, the National Transportation safety Board did have a lengthy investigation. The I'm not gonna say her name, but the, the safety driver's legal team had shown every intention to make its defense about shifting blame to Uber, arguing that she had been set up to fail. And, and the N T S B found that the car failed to identify hertzberg. The woman killed as a pedestrian. No brakes were applied. So the car just whizzed right through. Uber, according to the N T S B, also kept a quote, inadequate safety culture, doing little to protect test operators from the well-known phenomenon. We all have it of automation, complacency. That's why she was playing a game. The car's doing great. I don't need to worry about it. In the months before the crash, Uber had removed a requirement for there to be two test drivers in test pilots in each car. Solo operators were often looping the same monotonous route on hours long shifts left to self-police their usage of cell phones. Sounds like Uber's a little bit at fault.
Paris Martineau (02:05:21):
Yeah. And I'm sure these people aren't getting paid much. Yeah. If that
LEO LAPORTE (02:05:25):
Like Yeah. You know,
She Vasquez's, I'm sorry I said her name. Well, I'll say it now. Vasquez's attorney contended, she was only listening to the voice. <Laugh> not playing a game as operators are allowed to do. The investigators mixed up, which phone Vasquez was looking at in the seconds leading up to the fatality the defense attorney said in court, she was not watching the voice, your Honor. She was doing what she was asked to do by Uber. And that is to monitor the systems in the car. Nevertheless, judge, she's indicated the conduct itself was reckless. She acknowledges that accepts responsibility. So I mean, it's a tragedy. There's a person dead. We at the time kind of blamed Uber, but there was some question about the safety driver. She's now basically bearing all the criminal blame.
Shoshana Weissmann (02:06:21):
It would be interesting though, like, I know, you know, and I understand why we're thinking that Uber might be like, mainly at fault, but I do kind of wonder like, what if she was actually just watching the road and just like messed up? Like what if that were the case? Yeah.
LEO LAPORTE (02:06:34):
Which happens all the time, right? It's,
Shoshana Weissmann (02:06:36):
Yeah. And it's just hard to know in this case. 'cause I don't think that there was enough to figure out, you know, if she was playing a game or even if she was just watching the road and miss it or something.
LEO LAPORTE (02:06:49):
Well, and let's face it, there are many, many vehicles now from Waymo Cruz and others driving without safety drivers all over San Francisco, all over Phoenix, all over Los Angeles. A any of you ever driven in a self-driven car without have you, Lou?
Lou Maresca (02:07:09):
I have. It's a little freaky. Yeah. Especially as a passenger in the backseat, you have to kind of trust that they're doing the right thing. Yeah. What are you
LEO LAPORTE (02:07:15):
Gonna do A leap to the front seat and grab the wheel?
Lou Maresca (02:07:18):
Exactly. Or jump out.
LEO LAPORTE (02:07:20):
Yeah. Yeah. So in a way, this is this, this, this conviction is kind of the ancient history of self-driving vehicles. We don't have test, you know, safety drivers anymore. Not, not often. Anyway. All the cars in San Francisco, both from Chevy's, Cruze, GM's, Cruz, and Google's Waymo are unpiloted. They're empty. And so far, you know, there haven't been any fatalities that I know of. Maybe they're better at it. Tesla did. And this story came out this week, created a secret team to suppress thousands of complaints about the driving range Tesla. Now, this is in the early days of Tesla, where they would when you got in the car after charging up, predict a lengthy range of 300 some miles, then you'd get in the car <laugh>. And as you're driving, that number would start to plummet precipitously.
And in fact, that was intentional. Tesla would give an intentionally optimistic range that remember in the early days of electric vehicles, there was real range anxiety, real concern. There may be still is, it's still one of the things that makes it hard to sell an electric vehicle. But when you called Tesla to say, Hey, what's going on? My range was 3 53 miles and halfway through the right, it went to 12. Tesla had a team to take that call and say, no, no, there was nothing wrong. We're gonna cancel your visit. The reason being a service visit costs about a thousand dollars for Tesla. And there was a lot of pressure on service centers. Long waits for appointments. And I do remember that. And because really there was nothing to fix <laugh>, all they'd be able to do is say yeah. <Laugh>, that's normal. The car realized you weren't gonna get the mileage we thought you were. So we, we adjusted it. It is accurate. By the time you get to run out of by
Paris Martineau (02:09:25):
The time it says zero's, it's
LEO LAPORTE (02:09:26):
Accurate. Right? It's right. And actually one of the things that the Reuters story says is that Tesla did design their cars when it hit zero to have a buffer of about 15 miles so that you could get to somewhere a charger. That's nice. So there was, so it would say zero prematurely as well. The directive isn't
Shoshana Weissmann (02:09:46):
Even that great, you know, that's, especially if they're playing around with that to begin with. And then there's the 15 that's kind of worrisome. It's
LEO LAPORTE (02:09:54):
All over the place. Right. The, this is from Reuters. The directive to present the optimistic range estimates came from Tesla Chief executive Elon Musk. According to a source, Elon quote, Elon wanted to show good range numbers when fully charged. When you buy a car off the lot, seeing 350 mile, 400 mile range, it makes you feel good. Yeah, sure.
Paris Martineau (02:10:15):
LEO LAPORTE (02:10:16):
It sure does. Look at, this is Elon in a nutshell. Well,
Paris Martineau (02:10:20):
You realize at home that the car you purchased does not have that range. I bought. You might feel less good, but you've
LEO LAPORTE (02:10:26):
Already bought the car at expense. When I bought the Model X, I bought the bio weapon defense mechanism, and it even had a bio weapon. You know, that logo with a scary logo? It was just a HEPA filter. <Laugh>,
Paris Martineau (02:10:42):
Really? You bought a bio weapon defense system. Please come with
LEO LAPORTE (02:10:45):
That again, man. So stupid. Yeah. 'cause I thought, well,
Paris Martineau (02:10:50):
You're the target audience for this computer. Leo <laugh>,
LEO LAPORTE (02:10:53):
I also bought Ludicrous mode, which I quickly stopped using because it all, the blood would rush to my head and I would almost pass out. And that seemed kind of dangerous, you know, when you were excelling.
Paris Martineau (02:11:07):
What is ludicrous mode? <Laugh> ludicrous.
LEO LAPORTE (02:11:10):
So another great look at, if nothing else, Elon used to be a great marketer. I don't know if you could say that today, but he was a great marketer. And the, you could buy a normal car or you could buy it with insane acceleration, or you could buy it with lu ludicrous acceleration. And this is a thousand multi-thousand dollar, probably $4,000 upgrade. And all it meant was that instead of zero to 60 in six seconds, it would do zero 60 in three seconds. Right? And all they, and it's the same car, by the way. It's a knob. And then <laugh>, where
Paris Martineau (02:11:46):
Did you go to try this <laugh>?
LEO LAPORTE (02:11:50):
Just out here. So people would
Paris Martineau (02:11:52):
<Laugh> just as out and about. Yeah. People would, someone that's what these red light cameras are picking up. But they're like, this Leo dude is doing zero to 60 in three seconds. He's ludicrous. People
LEO LAPORTE (02:12:04):
Would <laugh> people would come over and I'd say, because this was, I brought a Tesla before it was widely available. You
Paris Martineau (02:12:12):
Say, do you wanna go ludicrous mode? People would
LEO LAPORTE (02:12:14):
Say, how's the acceleration? I said, well, well let's go for a ride. And there's this pretty much a good straightaway here. It's about like, I don't know, a thousand foot straight away. And the way you do ex ludicrous mode is you put your foot on the brake and the accelerator at the same time all the way <laugh>. What
Paris Martineau (02:12:35):
Is it? Mario Kart. That is how a child describes driving a car. And
LEO LAPORTE (02:12:42):
Then you say, hold on. And then you take your foot off the brake and you go, woo. And it really, there were a lot of videos at the time of people do surprising. You don't want to surprise somebody with this. 'cause The coffee cups go flying, so goes flying backwards. There are a lot of videos of that. But what I realized is this is probably dangerous because it would not only pin my head against the, the back like this, but I would start to red out and I thought, I'm going 80 miles an hour down a thousand foot straightaway into an, and there's, I probably should not do this anymore. So this is what happens.
Paris Martineau (02:13:19):
Yeah. We have to retract all of our previous statements about self-driving cars, because clearly we're the problem <laugh> that Uber was doing a cool 35.
LEO LAPORTE (02:13:30):
Yeah, exactly. This is the Bioweapon defense mode. See, it has this great logo. The the little creepy logo. My gosh. Yeah. And it's just a HEPA filter. Literally. That's amazing. I love it. He was a good marketer. I kind of, in the back of my mind, I knew I was being a sucker, but I thought this is part of the marketing. I'm supporting Elon's goal to get gas vehicles off the roads and to save our planet. And so I'm gonna, I paid a ridiculous amount of money for this vehicle and, but I'm, but I'm kind of subsidizing the next generation of Teslas, which will be affordable. And of course they weren't, but that was the theory, right? He was gonna release a model three, that would be 30,000 and everybody would buy it. And then everybody would be electrified.
Lou Maresca (02:14:20):
Leo don't, don't, these companies, they all have the same problem, though. I look at the lightning from Ford or, you know, all of them claim they, they, the control, the control of their experiments say, Hey, this car can go this far. But, you know, control. But like, they never, ever go that far. The same thing in like an analog to this is internet speeds, right? You kind of get pay for something, but you never ever get that speed. It's like, there needs to be something that enforces this so that when you do get it, you have a little bit of trust. And I think that's the biggest problem. All of them are gonna continue to do it if they're not forced to do it differently.
LEO LAPORTE (02:14:49):
This was this is a a super cut of Tesla, mono X super ludicrous mode rides.
Paris Martineau (02:15:01):
I'm sorry, I just, now I want a version of this video, but with just you and different people in your life.
LEO LAPORTE (02:15:06):
I think I think we have some fans who have those videos. <Laugh>, I think. Roberto, you made a video, didn't you? Roberto? I scared Roberto. He almost he almost had a heart attack.
It was actually, I shot that video with Roberto, actually. I didn't catch it.
LEO LAPORTE (02:15:17):
Were you in the car?
I was in the car. I shot that with him.
LEO LAPORTE (02:15:20):
I didn't know bonito. You were with us. Wait a minute. No,
No, no. And, and Gadget. And Gadget. When Roberto Roberto Baldwin.
LEO LAPORTE (02:15:27):
Oh, Roberto Baldwin. Yes. Did the pitch to X Robert. Yes. So you've been in there.
I did that one. Yeah. See
LEO LAPORTE (02:15:31):
The, see the buttons? It says, no, I want my mommy, or Yes, bring it on this guy. Wow. Brilliant marketing. Brilliant. Knew how to market like crazy. Lemme see if I can find the, the part where he steps on it here. It really scares you. Actually. It's so fast. I mean, yeah,
Lou Maresca (02:15:51):
There's videos from the new Roadster that have this
LEO LAPORTE (02:15:53):
Too. Oh, the plaid pretty crazy. Yeah, the plaid does that. Yeah. Or the new Roadster. Yeah. Yeah. No, and he is still selling this crap. Yeah. And it just pins your head to the, it's fun though. <Laugh>. Anyway, <laugh> moving, moving, right? Did I say 3 billion meta users? That's how we got started with this. There are 3 billion meta users. Good news. This is good news. Android is now gonna warn you if there is a Bluetooth tracker coming with you. Not, not only an air tag, but anybody's Bluetooth tracker. They mentioned this at Google io, but they're now starting to finally roll this out for Android. This was always a problem with air tags. The iPhone would say, you know, there's an unknown air tag near you, but Android phones, wouldn't you, it'd be easy to track somebody with an Android phone. So the good news is Android has now added that capability. It turned out Apple and Google are working on this together. They have said last May that they were gonna draft an industry-wide specification specifically for, for safety, focusing on how users could be alerted to unwanted tracking from Bluetooth devices. That's really good
Paris Martineau (02:17:06):
News. Yeah. Especially 'cause they don't often work together
LEO LAPORTE (02:17:09):
On these things. Yeah, there's only a few things, but this one, I, you know, and then Steve Jobs era, he hated Google. He sued him. He thought Android was a ripoff. But I think now the companies are a little more mature. Here's ex an example of what you'll see on an Android phone. It'll be an unknown tracker, alert tracker traveling with you. The owner of the tracker can see the location. And I think for people who are worried about a spouse trying to track them or you know, somebody that met in a bar, this was a very important thing to have. So it's good. Oh, wait a minute. <Laugh>, except <laugh>, the Google says the update is on hold. The decision was made to wait to roll out these updates. 'cause Google is now working in partnership with Apple to finalize the joint unwanted tracker alert specification by year end. So sorry about that.
Lou Maresca (02:18:07):
This is mainly targeted at the consumer ones though, right, Leo? 'cause There are con like other more commercial ones that don't use Bluetooth.
LEO LAPORTE (02:18:12):
If you're willing to spend 30 bucks, you can put a G P Ss tracker underneath the fender and you know, all betts are off. Yeah. This is those little tags. It's the tile. This will apply to tile chipolo and Apple's air tags and other ones like that. A little disappointing. Google had planned to do this by now. In fact, it's a little confusing 'cause the story said they are doing it. And then it says Android will now warn you about unknown Bluetooth trackers at the top. <Laugh> at the bottom. It says, nevermind they're waiting till the end of the year. Is that right? I I must be misunderstanding
Paris Martineau (02:18:52):
This. Yeah, I guess. But the, there must have been some update that happened right after io.
LEO LAPORTE (02:19:00):
All right. I'm, this is very confusing.
Lou Maresca (02:19:01):
It's like typical Google though, right?
LEO LAPORTE (02:19:03):
Yeah. They, within the space of one article, they announced something and killed it. It's a remarkable, by the way, Google had a very good quarter ad sales up 4.4% for YouTube alphabet handily topping earnings estimates. And the hatchet person, you Google's C f o Ruth Poat is being bumped upstairs. She's going to oversee investments for Google. She will no longer be the chief financial officer. So if, if you're blaming her for all the things Google killed, you can, you know, she's, she's moving a, she's getting her just reward. She's getting a better job. Actually, Microsoft had a good quarter, didn't it, Lou? Very good quarter.
Lou Maresca (02:19:45):
Yes, I did. Does that they they were, go ahead. I'm
LEO LAPORTE (02:19:48):
Sorry. I was just wondering. You know, normally financials are more for the stock market, but it is important for companies like Microsoft and Google because of stock awards, right? To employees. It's how they part of the way they pay salaries.
Lou Maresca (02:19:59):
Absolutely. Yeah. We, we, we get glued the screen every day, every time they release these things because we don't know ahead of time. And I would say like we watch the day of, they kind of drop drastically 'cause people don't know what's going on and then they're doing well and then two days later we have some happy days. So yeah, it's, it's,
LEO LAPORTE (02:20:14):
Oh that's, so that was with a question is so people do pay attention. Steve Jobs very famously did not want to go public with Apple 'cause he did not want employees watching their, their net worth every day on the, on the screen. Little net worth trackers. Right. And also 'cause he wanted to keep model for himself. But is that true? Is that what people do? Oh
Lou Maresca (02:20:33):
Yeah, absolutely. <Laugh>, we mean especially, yeah, I mean you, like you said, we get rewarded with stock awards every year. And so those vest over five years. And so you, you kind of have to wonder what they're gonna be worth when they do vest.
LEO LAPORTE (02:20:45):
It's too early to say whether AI has contributed to the bottom line. In fact, if anything, AI is costing at this point, although it didn't look like it costs much. Yeah, they were able to make
Lou Maresca (02:20:59):
It up. It's kind of housed in their Microsoft cloud, part of their revenue. So, but you're, you're seeing, you know, almost 30% increases there. So, you know, I think that's the biggest thing. Obviously Azure's kind of driving most of this.
LEO LAPORTE (02:21:11):
So as they say, a rising tide ra you know, lifts all boats. And yeah. Even though I'm sure Azure spends a lot of money, didn't they? They said $10 billion to, to, to open AI over a period of some years. Most much of that I imagine was in Azure credits. Right. Nevertheless, Azure's very, very profitable at this point. It's really a race between Amazon and, and and Microsoft for the cloud. A w is still bigger though, right?
Lou Maresca (02:21:46):
Yep. They're still bigger. It's big, bigger and d especially different parts of the world. And obviously a little bit more growth than the in Europe and in Asia than than Microsoft. So there's still some room Yeah. To,
LEO LAPORTE (02:21:55):
To grow. Yeah. oh, the kids woke up. I hear them in the background. Maybe time for another Barbie infusion. Let's see. U oh, good news. U p Ss and Teamsters have reached agreement. So the u p s news Yeah. Strike has been averted news. What is Amazon is Amma. So this is always an issue for Amazon. I remember reading this in a couple books about Amazon that the costs of shipping were a big part of what's holding Amazon profits down. Is that right? Paris?
Paris Martineau (02:22:34):
Well, I mean, this has been kind of the primary focus of Amazon, I feel like over the last decade, has been building out different parts of its logistics network in order to bring those costs in-house and bring them down, right? So I mean, now when you order something from Amazon, it's coming from an Amazon fulfillment center where it's being stored. Even if Amazon doesn't own the goods that good is being you know, packed, put on a a truck that is probably operated by an Amazon third party contractor who's probably dragging an Amazon branded trailer. And that'll go to, you know, a different sort center or kind of a delivery center that are all within this Amazon network using a bunch of different third party contractors that are within the Amazon bubble. So it's trying to lower its costs.
LEO LAPORTE (02:23:27):
I remember anecdotes in Brad Stone's second book about Amazon, Amazon Unbound, about, you know, the, when, when they came up with the price for Amazon Prime, there was no idea of how much that's gonna cost them. So they just made up a number and they've slowly raised that number. It's almost double what it cost initially. But nevertheless, despite that, it's still probably a money loser because it's so expensively to do second day shipping. And so Amazon plays hardball. They played hardball with American Express, I'm sorry, FedEx <laugh>. I confused Amex and FedEx. I don't know why, but the Federal Express, they played hardball with U P s. But I see when Amazon delivers, I see a lot more Amazon Prime trucks than I used to. Still, still occasionally the postal service deliver on Sunday. Occasionally I'll see a FedEx or u p s truck, but I think Amazon really is taking it all over. Didn't they buy a fleet of jets? Yeah.
Paris Martineau (02:24:25):
Yeah. I mean, Amazon owns most aspects of its transportation network and that's kind of been, its really big project, especially over the last five years. Interesting. It's bringing as much of that as it can in-house, because I mean, frankly with what we were talking about with labor unions, they don't want to have to play ball with, you know, U ss p s deal with. It was a big deal when they got U S P Ss to even deliver for them on Sundays. They don't wanna have to work with these larger labor unions and organizations that are going to charge higher prices when Amazon, 'cause Amazon is a very kind of spiky demand organization. There will be some times where all of a sudden they need thousands of packages to be going out every hour from a certain delivery station versus, you know, there will be other times when they don't really need that many employees. So they need to be able to, I guess from a purely like Amazon's perspective, they need to be able to have a highly flexible workforce, which is going to involve a lot of third party contractors that they can pay as little as possible in order to make everything as efficient as possible for the business.
LEO LAPORTE (02:25:30):
It's, it's a fascinating business. It looks like. Initially Andy Jassy was not I felt like wasn't really he hadn't really found his, his saddle yet. He wasn't really, but now he feels like he's doing a very good job maintaining maybe better than Bezos did. Amazon's supremacy. Would you agree? Is Jassi a good replacement for Jeff Bezos?
Paris Martineau (02:25:56):
I mean, I think it's hard to say. Obviously Bezos I think was presiding over a very different Amazon. Yeah. And he had built up this network, the kind of leadership part of Amazon was called the s team, the senior leadership team. And Bezos had provided presided over a very different company. The one you are seeing now over the last year or two since Jesse has taken over the head of Amazon's fulfillment and li like, hi, Amazon's fulfillment and logistics. Czar was this guy, Dave Clark, who essentially had built Amazon's whole kind of logistics apparatus from the ground up. He's gone. Many of his lieutenants are gone. Many of the other leaders in different parts of the business from retail to parts of entertainment have left. But obviously the business has a really strong foundation and has an insane amount of employees, even in its corporate ranks. And chassis is now ruling that version of Amazon, which is going to be a very different company than the one we'd seen five years ago. 'cause It's no longer exclusively about growth, growth, growth. It is about maintaining this giant beast. Yeah. And maintaining it, especially in one of the most difficult regulatory environments the company has ever seen. What
LEO LAPORTE (02:27:15):
Are, what are the investigations? Amazon is under investigation from the F T C for,
Paris Martineau (02:27:23):
For a variety of things. Politico my old ex colleague Josh Cisco actually had a really good scoop this week that the F T C is perhaps in the final stages of bringing its lawsuit against Amazon on kind of a number of fronts.
LEO LAPORTE (02:27:36):
They actually wanna, I think he says break up Amazon or could break up Amazon. Yeah.
Paris Martineau (02:27:41):
I mean that is, I think someone like Lena Kahn's ultimate goal is they, my understanding of it is that the issues that regulatory, that regulators have with Amazon, I mean, they're multifaceted. They kind of all tie back to this concept like a legal tying. Essentially saying that, you know, you have this company that I guess we'll take one example. If you are an Amazon seller, in order to have, like, let's say your, you sell towels in order to have your towels show up on the first page of Amazon results when someone searches towels, you need to be able, you need to be using Amazon Prime. You need to be for your stuff to be in the Amazon delivery warehouse. And also paying for Amazon's to deliver that, because that will make you show up in higher in rankings.
LEO LAPORTE (02:28:31):
Also give you the time they use those Amazon recommendations and the, and the page to basically blackmail third party suppliers.
Paris Martineau (02:28:40):
Yeah, I mean, with ads, like what you're talking about in order you have to pay for ads, you have to pay for sponsored recommendations and things like that in order to get in there. All this. Do you think
LEO LAPORTE (02:28:49):
The pink dumbbells paid to be in the top of my search, or that's
Paris Martineau (02:28:54):
Just almost certainly. Yeah. Those pink dumbbells, they have to play the game, Leo. And they also, I mean, part of this, they have to agree not to list their products for a lower price elsewhere. Yeah.
LEO LAPORTE (02:29:06):
Meanwhile, this is what Apple,
Paris Martineau (02:29:07):
Meanwhile, they're paying extra for the logistics. They're paying extra for ads. And people like Khan say, you know, that is ultimately harming consumers. And part of how Amazon's been able to do all of this, like you said before, you know, have lower prices, really build up this huge service, is because they have things like a W Ss and different, very profitable parts of the business that have allowed them to operate at a loss in various other parts of their business. So part of the impetus for perhaps moving towards a breakup would be that it would allow those parts of Amazon to compete more fairly with others.
LEO LAPORTE (02:29:44):
Even pink dumbbells have to play the game. And I think that that's the key <laugh>.
Paris Martineau (02:29:49):
LEO LAPORTE (02:29:49):
True. Actually, it's really interesting. 'cause Amazon wants you to use Amazon fulfillment. Not, not merely because they make money on it. They may not make money on it, but they get lots of information. And that's when you start to see your product duplicated by an Amazon Basics product or you know, by, and Amazon has dozens of fake company names that are really Amazon. And they'll, they'll say, oh yeah, those sheets are selling really well. We ought to undercut the price and sell 'em ourselves. That kind of thing. It's, it, it's so hard to untangle it. I mean, when you say something like breakup Amazon, you're, you're hitting it the foundation of American capitalism. I mean, clearly it's
Paris Martineau (02:30:31):
A problem. I mean, yeah. And Amazon's argument for, like, the argument from folks at Amazon would be that every company is doing this. You know, you look at a supermarket, you go to Trader Joe's and it's Trader Joe's brand, everything, and they copy all of the competitors. But I think that that is maybe what folks like Con are getting at is that Amazon seems like a good and meaty target to attack a part of capitalism that at least this sect of the political elite have deemed, you know, has gone too far.
LEO LAPORTE (02:31:00):
And they're doing it at a scale far beyond, you know, even Walmart. We I mean it's just a fascinating subject. You have a good, good beat and you do a great job on on the information. We're gonna wrap things up in just a second. I do wanna play a little video that I think Victor has worked so hard on. He's been really pretty all week long, but putting together some of the highlights from this week on Twit. And I would be remiss if I did not play it for you right now, watch in studio with us, because he just gave his big lecture at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco. Jeff Jarvis is so good to see you. He is so good to be here. It really is. And, and I,
Paul Thurrott (02:31:38):
LEO LAPORTE (02:31:41):
Gone. Craig, Craig gets his plug no matter what. Previously on Twit Tech News Weekly
Jason Howell (02:31:48):
To me, Jason Howell and I start off the show chatting with Kyle Kang from nothing about the Nothing Phone too.
Kyle Kiang (02:31:54):
Think the goal is when you see a nothing product you know, it has a design philosophy and Id that you know, that you, you can identify with. And it's been received positively. And the teenage guys and, and the team from London have, you know, I think have built around design that's been really well responded to
LEO LAPORTE (02:32:09):
Hands on Windows. We're
Paul Thurrott (02:32:10):
Gonna take a look at command lines in Windows 11, specifically Command Prompt and the slightly newer <laugh> Windows PowerShell
LEO LAPORTE (02:32:18):
Club TWIT Exclusive.
Ant Pruitt (02:32:20):
Today we're doing a fireside chat, not an A m a, which is slightly different with the host of this week in space, co-host of this week in space, Mr. Rod Powell. Mr. Powell. Hi. You be sir.
LEO LAPORTE (02:32:33):
Good, how are you? I
Ant Pruitt (02:32:34):
Am unbelievable. I'm glad. I'm so glad you didn't greet me with one of those Star Trek wavy kinds of things. 'cause You do come off as so much somewhat normal. Now,
Paul Thurrott (02:32:45):
The man who thinks that other men who throw around little bags of air for a living is more important than going into space. Starts off with
LEO LAPORTE (02:32:52):
Paul Thurrott (02:32:53):
<Laugh> right up front Twit, I expected no less. Thank you my friend.
LEO LAPORTE (02:32:58):
I'm calling it little bags of air from now on. That's it. We had a great week on Twit. I hope you watch, I hope you join Club Twit and we will have some great people coming up on Twit and many of our other shows soon. Final words in just a bit. Let's see. Oh, I did wanna mention Paris did a great story about something I'd never heard of. That was your weekend piece. You've never heard
Paris Martineau (02:33:25):
LEO LAPORTE (02:33:25):
I'd never heard of Blind. And now I'm worried that my employees are living. Have you ever heard of Blind? No. Oh yeah. Oh yeah. Oh. Oh, you have Lou.
Lou Maresca (02:33:34):
Big time. Yeah, big time. So what
LEO LAPORTE (02:33:35):
Is, what <laugh>, so what is Blind?
Lou Maresca (02:33:39):
So, I mean, I'll, I'll let Paris talk about it more in depth. Depth, but I can tell you anything that happens at, at a Microsoft or Google or, or whatever, people get on there and they, they voice their, you know, their, their issues with
LEO LAPORTE (02:33:51):
Their, and you're doing it anonymously. Anonymously. They can't tell you're doing it. Like well, I mean,
Lou Maresca (02:33:56):
They have your email address. Yeah. So they could technically like, relate you back to a username, but they don't supposedly don't tell the company tech
LEO LAPORTE (02:34:03):
People are smart enough to see whatever you want. They could anonym, I would imagine they can anonymize it Paris rates. Yeah. I
Paris Martineau (02:34:10):
Mean, so those, those work outta the loop. Go ahead. The Blind app, I think we should just explain what it is for, if anybody's listening. Yes. It's essentially anonymous workplace social media app where, you know, there are no names, but everybody on there has to sign up with a company email address. Oh,
LEO LAPORTE (02:34:29):
Paris Martineau (02:34:29):
And comment. So, you know, you'll see something from a username, it's just like X, Y, Z, 1, 2, 3, but they say Amazon next to it. And that means they're a verified current Amazon employee who's signed up using their Amazon email. And then people will use this to talk about kind of tech news, anything related to work. But you also then have kind of these internal company channels where Amazon employees can talk to Amazon employees. And so it's been a great source of like, leaks and interesting tech news because if you see a post from somebody who's a verified Amazon employee saying, Hey, don't know, don't ask me how I know, but layoffs are coming next week. You might pay attention more than just some Yahoo on Reddit. And
Lou Maresca (02:35:14):
It, it's pretty difficult to, to tease out sometimes the parody and the trolling accounts too. So like people would just start, oh yeah,
Paris Martineau (02:35:20):
It's a real wild west.
Lou Maresca (02:35:21):
These terrible conversations about people internally sometimes that you're like, wow, that's not real. So yeah, it's just tough. Sometimes
LEO LAPORTE (02:35:28):
Paris writes Blind has become something like a Reddit for Workplace is mixing anonymous nastiness with layoff leaks, confessions about compensation and a bonanza of corporate gossip. Oh, this sounds juicy. Can I just go and read it? Or do you have to
Paris Martineau (02:35:43):
Have You can, yeah. Anybody can go and read it. You can sign up with a personal email and you can just read whatever you want. You can also just look at it on the web browser without signing in. You could use your twit email though, Leo and make up make an account.
LEO LAPORTE (02:36:00):
I'm gonna do a parody account. <Laugh> <laugh>.
Paris Martineau (02:36:03):
And I mean, the thing is, there is, you know, precedent a lot of CEOs and founders, the reason why I ended up doing this article is 'cause this is a really popular app among, you know, tech workers and people in Silicon Valley, but a lot of what they're talking about are the sort of things that would piss bosses off. Yeah. And I started to hear that, you know, CEOs and founders absolutely hate blind. I mean, it's like all something a lot of them talk about all the time. Well, the worst thing you can trying to
LEO LAPORTE (02:36:30):
Do from the point of view of the boss is reveal how much you make bosses hate that you're legally protected. Yes, you can do that. It's not illegal. Bosses will lie to you. They'll say, oh no, we keep this secret. This could be a, there's not where no retaliation is allowed, but they do not want you to do that because then everybody has a better negotiating position. Because you know how much I know how much Jamer bee's making. I wanna make more if I'm running the board. Right. So
Paris Martineau (02:36:58):
Just, and that's one of the real reasons why Blind is taken off, is because, I mean, one of the primary uses outside of kind of gossip is people coming to blind being like, Hey, I got this offer from Google. Here is, you know, my experience here is the salary, here's the comp like equity package and things like that. I have an offer from let's say like Microsoft, also one from Uber. Here's what I've got. What do you guys think I should do? How should I negotiate? And people will get in there with very specific advice and examples.
Lou Maresca (02:37:26):
You, you'll find it interesting, a lot of the templates for just normal posts include tc. You'll see TC around there, which is total comp. And people just put that in there as like their, their, like the bottom part of their post. They, they could be talking about the lunchroom. Oh, and then just put TC their level and what they're making. And that's likes just what they do by default.
LEO LAPORTE (02:37:45):
That's table stakes. Wow. Mm-hmm. Hmm. It became you. Right? It became well known. And I, somebody, some of you may remember this, when a Korea, Korean air lines vice president lost it on a flight to Seoul. This was back in 2014 she was served macadamia and that's in a paper bag rather than on a plate. <Laugh>, she actually forced the plane to return back to the gate, but the then a post by an employee resulted in global media coverage and she ultimately got a year in jail for saying, where's my plate? <Laugh>?
Paris Martineau (02:38:28):
Turns out you can't really make a plane go back Wow. To the gate just because over macadamia. That's without having some people get involved.
LEO LAPORTE (02:38:37):
I will say, as a company founder and principal, I believe, I think this is great. I think people you know, it benefits employees. It's too bad that you have to sift through some of this stuff to know whether it's real or not. Is it pretty obvious Lou, when you read something that, oh, this is,
Lou Maresca (02:38:55):
Some of 'em are, some of 'em are people usually come to aid, so they'll say, this is not true. This is a troll. Or, you know, that kind of thing. And then, you know, most people will kind of jump on that, but it's, it's sometimes pretty difficult. Look at these, like when some, when the layoffs happen, you know, recently, you know, people always ask what's the reason for the layoffs? And sure there's really, you know, most people don't know. They're, you know, they could be performance related or budget related or whatever. And they'll go in there and speculate, but say it's like fact. And then people don't know. So it's tough.
LEO LAPORTE (02:39:24):
This is the from Paris's article of the information. This is the poster blind posted in 2015 around, you remember this around the campus? Oh yeah. Mini Microsoft 2.0, talk to your coworkers anonymously. And then on a phone screen it says, okay, I think I just got promoted. My comp only went up 8% is this right? And then a poll, no, you got screwed. <Laugh> <laugh>, yes, this is normal. It depends. And then Search for Blind in the App store or Google Play. This had not affiliated nor endorsed by Microsoft like Yammer, which of course was the big acquisition of 2015. Yeah,
Paris Martineau (02:40:01):
It's so funny because Microsoft was one of the first companies where Blind ever really took off and they got it to take off by making these posters which referenced this thing called mini Microsoft are really popular anonymous blog in the mid aughts and the two founders snuck into Microsoft's campus in the dark of night. Oh my God. One of them drove the other one. What? A story was skinnier and faster sprinted out and slapped them on different things before security guards could catch them and it helped their app. Well, yeah. Take off.
LEO LAPORTE (02:40:33):
I love this Uber. After Susan Fowler's famous blog post about sexual harassment, the company banned blind in 2017, Tesla and others have gone a step further and blocked inbound account verification emails from Blind. Oh, that's clever. Yeah. <laugh>. Oh, to stop employees from signing up. Wow. What a story. That makes sense. Yeah, that actually makes sense. Yeah. Companies don't want it, right? Yeah, it makes total sense.
Paris Martineau (02:41:02):
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it's really interesting. I asked the founders about this and they're like, actually, we don't really worry about it too much. It's been a thing ever since we were in Korea. It's very easy to get around email blocks. We can just make other emails and do other things, but he's like, it actually benefits us because when this happens, it's the Streisand effect, you know? Yep. Yeah. People start asking, what's blind? I hadn't heard of this. Why are they blocking it? And look them up and download it. And people end up talking. You can't really they had originally decided to make the app because there had been a, it's a South Korean company and one of the co-founders had worked for the Korean search Giant Neighbor, which had had a its own short-lived anonymous employee forum. That really took off among employees. And then the company shut it down once they started getting too frank and talking about, you know, the sort of things bosses don't like you to talk about, like compensation, whatnot. So from the beginning they've been like, we know companies aren't gonna like this but we've gotta find a way to give workers a voice.
LEO LAPORTE (02:42:03):
There's a long tradition of this. I mean, there there've been, there were remember a yak that was really caused problems in high schools. It was.
Paris Martineau (02:42:10):
LEO LAPORTE (02:42:10):
Secret. Oh my God. Yeah. both of which have gone away. Yeah.
Paris Martineau (02:42:14):
I mean, so one came to the US right? As all of these anonymous apps had really taken off and gotten a bad rap for just being anonymous. Toxic, toxic successfuls. Yeah. I think the thing that set blind apart was, it's tied to work. There is some level of
LEO LAPORTE (02:42:32):
Verification's still around. I didn't realize that. I think secret. Really? I think secret went away, right?
Paris Martineau (02:42:38):
Yeah. Secret died like 16 months after launching. Yeah.
LEO LAPORTE (02:42:41):
Oh, wow. 'cause It was, well, frankly, it was a real problem. I note though, that on the Yak webpage, find your herd on y Yak anonymously, connect with it, connect with anybody at your college. So they're pushing it more at college level. And there are, at the links at the bottom, there's jobs, privacy terms, and law enforcement <laugh>. So clearly, I mean, this was one of the issues is that some of the, some of the traffic on these sites was really actionable. It was completely inappropriate. Good. Well, I'm, I hope blind does well and continues to do well. I think that's a great thing and I'm so glad you are doing so well at the information. It is, it is worth subscribing for Paris Marino alone. But I get so much great stuff. You, you, a lot of scoops. I love the weekend edition. Just some, just some really good stuff. Yanko works there now. He's just did a thing on exploding kittens. Jessica Lessen is always interesting and provocative. I, I'm glad to put in
Paris Martineau (02:43:45):
For the info you want. You wanna a fun deep dive. Go read the comments. In my blind story, people are Oh, up in arms. There's 15 of 'em, you know. Oh. and the blind founders got in there at some point. Oh,
LEO LAPORTE (02:43:55):
I can't wait. Oh, I love it. Yeah, you have to, the commenting on on the information is great because you kind, it's, it's, it's a process. It almost feels like you have to be approved. Like it's very high level commenters. I guess it's
Paris Martineau (02:44:08):
Tied to your subscriber account, right? So if you comment, you have to comment with your name as a real person, which makes it very interesting.
LEO LAPORTE (02:44:14):
Yeah. Yeah. I've made comments on, on, I've made comment once I think on the information and it was a great conversation that resulted out of it. So
Paris Martineau (02:44:23):
Yeah. It's a lot of CEOs being like, blind attracts whiners and haters <laugh>.
LEO LAPORTE (02:44:29):
Yeah. It's only the negative people. You never hear from the happy employees on blind
Paris Martineau (02:44:34):
People aren't being like, I love my boss for giving me a job. <Laugh>. He's great.
LEO LAPORTE (02:44:38):
My favorite comment, Kenneth Goldman says, going to the app now, <laugh> <laugh>. And that was the big fear. That's exactly what they're saying. Good job. Paris Martino. So great to see you. Thank you for being here. Come back again soon. We, I just love having you on. Very smart, very interesting. Always
Paris Martineau (02:44:54):
LEO LAPORTE (02:44:55):
Be here. Yeah. Anybody who has read even a part of the Robert Moses biography is a star in my book. Thank you so much, <laugh> Lou, you are the greatest too, this week in enterprise tech. Every week on this network. If it weren't for Lou Mariska, there would be no twt. I gotta say you helm that show. You've got great co-hosts, like Bert and Franklin. We do. But, but honestly when father Robert left and you came on board that's when I knew the show would survive. 'cause You keep it. Well, thank you. You keep it going. That keep up the good work at Microsoft too. I really appreciate. You, you mostly work on office? Yeah,
Lou Maresca (02:45:33):
I do. I work on, on office and I get to work on the Excel team and office platform team. Nice. Which is like basically extending office, so nice,
LEO LAPORTE (02:45:40):
Fun stuff. Yeah. I'm very excited about co-pilot coming to office. Yeah. So are we, yeah, so fascinating. I didn't get to talk about AI with you at all, but I bet you you'll be talking a little bit about it on twit. So always we took a, we took an AI break this week.
Lou Maresca (02:45:55):
<Laugh>. We did, we had an AI guy on this week. We had a co-founder of Erudite. He's the AI for hr, so it's pretty interesting stuff. Yeah,
LEO LAPORTE (02:46:02):
It's really interesting. What's going on. Shoshana? Shoshana, Shoshana. I just love having you on. I want to get you on more too. Shoshana Weissman is head of digital media reet.org. What are you working on these days? Shoshana
Shoshana Weissmann (02:46:18):
A lot of automation lot of little automation things, but it's been a lot of fun just figuring out how I can cut down on the amount of burnout on my team so we can do more fun stuff. And we're doing a big email overhaul, and then I'm writing a kids online policy series that is stressful because there's a lot of constitutional and like, functional problems with kids online bills. So that's the fun in my life. Now, <laugh>,
LEO LAPORTE (02:46:43):
You know, we didn't even get to that and that is a big topic. I really wanted to talk about The kids online bill. They're kind of bringing back coppa. Yeah. And, and, and the real concern there is with age verification.
Shoshana Weissmann (02:46:55):
LEO LAPORTE (02:46:56):
I mean if you have to say what age you are before you use a website, it doesn't just apply to 13 year olds. It applies to everybody. And there are real privacy concerns with that. Yeah. Good. Keep fighting the good fight on that one. That's a Thank you so much. Problematic, bill. We'll, you know what? We should get you back to talk more about that. That's Sure.
Shoshana Weissmann (02:47:17):
I'm glad to.
LEO LAPORTE (02:47:19):
Is it, what is the prospect for that bill?
Shoshana Weissmann (02:47:22):
So there's a bunch of them. I ended up writing 12,000 words on it. I had started thinking I was gonna write 2000 because, and then I'm like, oh, crap. It gets worse and it gets worse and it gets worse. And I kept finding new issues with it, but COSA just passed judiciary and it'll probably get through Senate end in house more than likely. It's just very frustrating because I don't think lawmakers understand the real implications of what accurate age verification or burden on platforms to verify. Age means that if you're putting the burden on them, they have to do it. And that if they have to do it, it means face scans and government IDs. And that puts a lot of vulnerable people and just normal people who don't want their business everywhere at risk.
LEO LAPORTE (02:48:06):
Shoshana, Weissman, MuckRack, there you are. Muckrack.Com, Shoshana Weissman. If you wanna follow all of this stuff you write everywhere. I see you in reason. I see you in national Review, of course, at rre.org. You're keeping busy. Thank you. Yeah, I
Shoshana Weissmann (02:48:23):
Love stuff. Yeah. I need to chill out.
LEO LAPORTE (02:48:25):
<Laugh>, where is, where is the COSA article?
Shoshana Weissmann (02:48:28):
So that's email@example.com. Okay. Most of my kids online stuff is there. There's one piece in Tech Dirt talking about how if it wasn't for me being on social media as a teenager, I wouldn't have the career I have. And I also wouldn't know I have fibromyalgia.
LEO LAPORTE (02:48:42):
I really loved that piece. I did read that piece. That was really, oh, thank you. Really good. And and, and hit home, I think. Thank you so much. Mike. Mike's gonna be on Twit soon. We, we love Teter and I read it religiously along with all of the other places. Like the best Yeah. That you you write and r streete.org. Of course. Thank you, Shoshana. Thank you so much, Lou. Thank you, Paris. Thanks to all of you who joined us today, especially Plumb TWIT members. We do TWIT Sundays about 2:00 PM Pacific, 5:00 PM Eastern Time, 2100 U T C I say the time, so you can watch it if you want live. That's the, you know, the, as we make the show the live stream 24 hours a day is Live Twit tv. You can get audio or video there. In fact, we just added Kick another video provider.
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Also open to all, but as I'm I do with Twit Social, I have to approve every account only to keep spammers out. That's the main point of all that. But a good place to leave your comments about this show or any of the shows we do or any subject on your mind. You can also get the show on demand. There are a few places to go. Of course, our website's the first place to start. Twit tv. Just look for this week in tech. There's a YouTube channel called This Week in Tech that's got all the shows. You can also subscribe in your favorite podcast player. In fact, that's the best thing to do. If you subscribe, you'll get it automatically the minute we've done editing it. And that guarantees you'll have it in time for your Monday morning commute. Thank you everybody for joining us. I think, I think it's safe to say the longest running tech podcast in the world. Certainly one of them. Yeah. Right in our 18th year. And for 18 years I've been saying it. And I'll say it again. Another twit is in the can. Thanks for listen.