This Week in Tech Episode 939 Transcript

Please be advised this transcript is AI-generated and may not be word for word. Time codes refer to the approximate times in the ad-supported version of the show.

Leo Laporte (00:00:00):
It's time for Twitter this week in tech. Do not be scared of the internet. Mike Masnick is here from Tech during Georgia. Dow, the Internet's favorite psychologist and Yanko wreckers From the information we'll talk about Barbie. She just joined the Billion Dollar Club. Amazon's focusing on AI and why you can't buy an incandescent light bulb anymore. Aw plus, Elon Musk says he's lifting weights to prepare for his cage match with that will never happen with Mark Zuckerberg. All that and more coming up on TWI

TWiT (00:00:36):
Podcasts you love from people you trust. This is TWiT.

Leo Laporte (00:00:48):
This is twit this week in Tech. Episode 939 recorded Sunday, August 6th, 2023, the Immortal Sell. This Week Tech is brought to you by ZipRecruiter. If you're hiring, you know it's hard to attract top talent. Team up with a hiring partner who understands how tough it is and knows what you need. Ziprecruiter, go to our exclusive web address to try ZipRecruiter for free. Ziprecruiter.Com/Twit and buy express vpn. Be smart. Stop paying full price for streaming services and only getting access to a fraction of their content. Get your money's worth. Gets three extra months free with a one year slash twit. And buy Lookout, whether on a device or in the cloud, your business data is always on the move. Minimize risk, increase visibility, and ensure compliance with lookout's Unified platform. Visit today

Leo Laporte (00:01:53):
It's time for twit. This week in Tech, the show where we cover the latest tech news. And every week I put together a panel of people I love and want to talk to, and we did it again. Thank you. Jason Howell, producer extraordinaire, Georgia Dao is here from Montreal. She's the Internet's, Internet's psychotherapist, and my personal shrink. Hi Georgia.

Georgia Dow (00:02:16):
Hello. It's nice to be here. It's been a little

Leo Laporte (00:02:17):
Bit great to see you. Thank you. Georgia Westmount Therapy. If you're feeling low, if it's an emergency, you know call whatever your emergency number is in your country. But if, if you just want a little somebody to talk to, George is there. And, and, and we appreciate that. Thank you George. George always makes me smile. Also with us. One of my favorite people. And now Internet Superstar <laugh>, Mike Masnick. Hi Mike from Tech Dirt. Hello. You may have seen that little article about him in the New York Times Cashmere Hill's profile headlined an internet veteran's guide to not being scared of Technology. I feel like Cash probably didn't write that.

Mike Masnick (00:03:01):
I I'm guessing not. Yeah,

Leo Laporte (00:03:03):
I'm guessing that's a bizarre headline. Mike Masnick, who founded TE in 1998, by the way, she dissed you a little bit on the website, I have to say. Yeah,

Mike Masnick (00:03:11):
She did, didn't she? <Laugh>

Leo Laporte (00:03:13):
Writes for an influential audience of lawmaker CEOs and activists. Somehow he's still an optimist about the promise of technology. I think that's fair as well. Sure. Yeah. And, and I, I noticed they didn't really let you out of the office for any of the photos. <Laugh> <laugh>, you're like stuck in the office the whole time, which is hysterical.

Mike Masnick (00:03:32):
It, it was it was a difficult photo shoot, <laugh>,

Leo Laporte (00:03:36):
Was it? You don't look super comfortable, I must say.

Mike Masnick (00:03:39):
Yeah, it was, I I I I mean, you looked

Leo Laporte (00:03:41):
Like you're in better shape than the ficus behind you though. <Laugh>, that is not <laugh>. That is not doing well.

Mike Masnick (00:03:48):
No. Yeah. I don't, I don't know why they, I mean, the photographer was there for a few hours and

Leo Laporte (00:03:53):
And these are the ones they used. Huh? I,

Mike Masnick (00:03:55):
I'm a little surprised at the choice of photos. I mean, there, there it is true that there was not much to work with and, and we tried to look around to see if there was like, somewhere near the office. We took photos outside. I thought there were probably some with like, you know, the sky in the background. That might be nice, but for whatever reason, those are the photos

Leo Laporte (00:04:13):
They choose. You know what, I did learn something from this, besides the fact that your website looks like it's from 1998 <laugh>. I personally think your website is supremely functional and don't touch it. <Laugh>, if it started looking fancy, I wouldn't trust you as much. Right. It's exactly what it should look like. But I didn't know that you coined the term Streisand effect.

Mike Masnick (00:04:34):
That's correct.

Leo Laporte (00:04:35):
You did. Oh, wow. Yeah. See, I'm telling you,

Georgia Dow (00:04:38):
That was really cool. Yeah. Did you wanna tell everyone when they say it <laugh>, you'd be like, that was me. <Laugh>. That was me. God, that was me. No one would believe you. They'd be like, yeah, yeah.

Mike Masnick (00:04:48):
Well, people don't believe me. But

Leo Laporte (00:04:50):
Sure. It was, I invented it. Honest. When we have Christmas scene on, he invented the hashtag, right? Yeah. Gets, gets, you know, people in the know, know, but, you know, gets, you can't go around saying, well, yeah, I invented that, so, but good. But I wanna tell everybody have a t-shirt. Yeah. Get the T-shirt.

Georgia Dow (00:05:05):
You have to have a T-shirt. That's what you

Leo Laporte (00:05:06):
Need. Yeah. Then they really wouldn't believe you. That's true. So what, when did you coin Streisand effect? I didn't realize that

Mike Masnick (00:05:13):
It was 2005. So the, the event that where it ha where Streisand sued the, the photographer happened in 2003. And, and I wrote about at the time and the whole scenario in which, you know, she sued and then this photo that had had a grand total of eight views before she sued, then immediately shot up to a whole,

Leo Laporte (00:05:34):
It was a picture of her house. Exactly. And yeah, it's in Wikipedia now. <Laugh>. Yes. Good job, Barbara. Yeah, but I don't blame her. But that's why we need a term for it. The Streisand effect. Yeah.

Mike Masnick (00:05:48):
Yeah. So, yeah. So I, I I called it that in, in 2005, and then it took off. That was not through any work of my own. I have no idea why it caught on. I just, it was, it was like a, a fun thing at the end of an article.

Leo Laporte (00:06:00):
It was act it was very apt.

Mike Masnick (00:06:02):
And yeah. And now it's taken on its whole life of its own.

Leo Laporte (00:06:06):
Anyway. Excellent. Well, and I have to say, well-deserved article about you in the New York Times. I think it was this week. Thank you. And in fact, I thought, we'll never get Mike on the show now, <laugh>, it's all over <laugh>. He's a big star now. No, it happens. It

Mike Masnick (00:06:22):
Happens. No, no, no, no. Yeah. Not, not, not in this case.

Leo Laporte (00:06:26):
Also with us, we're really thrilled to have, from the Information Fast Company and others the wonderful Yanko Rutgers, who has been covering Hollywood and technology and the, and the, and the Nexus for some time. He's good to see you, Yanko. Thank you for to see you too, Leo. You don't age at all. I don't understand. <Laugh>, you just not quite true. <Laugh> you. It's just weird. Anyway low is his beehive newsletter. Well worth subscribing. Lots of great stories. In fact, we'll be talking about some of them. But the big story in Hollywood this week is Barbie in a billion dollars in revenue In what? A, like, less than a week, A week and a half. Have you seen Barbie at Georgia? Why am I asking you? I should ask one of the guys, right? <Laugh>, have you seen,

Georgia Dow (00:07:15):
You should ask one of the guys. Yeah. Yes. It's kind of,

Leo Laporte (00:07:17):
There's a little pink in your shot. Have you seen Barbie yet?

Georgia Dow (00:07:21):
<Laugh>. <laugh>, yes. I have seen Barbie.

Leo Laporte (00:07:23):
And again, have you seen Barbie yet? Yanko?

Janko Roettgers (00:07:26):
I have not.

Leo Laporte (00:07:26):
Have you, have you seen it Mike Masnick?

Mike Masnick (00:07:29):
I I have not either. No.

Leo Laporte (00:07:31):
Mike Masnick's the kind of guy who uses soap for shampoo. He's not going to see Barbie <laugh>. He's like

Georgia Dow (00:07:38):
All kinds of advertisers. <Laugh> everything. Now that's

Leo Laporte (00:07:43):
Me. I'm so mean. I'm sorry

Mike Masnick (00:07:45):
I had to No, no edit. I, I, yeah. No, I, I, to be honest, I haven't gone out to a movie in years, so I haven't gone out Me neither movie since pre, pre pandemic. So I have not not had a chance to see Barbie yet. I, I, maybe I'll see it at some point.

Leo Laporte (00:08:01):
Today's board, op, Jamer b the guy running the board rented a movie theater. So we could see the newest Dr. Strange movie a year or so ago. That was the only time I've been to the theater since Covid. But I am gonna go see Oppenheimer and IMAX on Friday. Finally, I, it's Friday because the, the, you know, there's a, you, there's only a small sweet spot in an IMAX theater. And and all, you know, it was like this hole was eaten out of all the seating charts for weeks ahead, <laugh>. I finally got a seat. It's only five rows from the screen, but that's the best I could do.

Georgia Dow (00:08:35):
So where, where is the best spot in an IMAX

Leo Laporte (00:08:39):
Kind of fir like a third of the way up and in the center sound is really important. So you wanna sit in the middle so you get the stereo effect, but obviously you can't be too close to the screen. 'cause You'll be like, have a crick in your neck at the end of the show. <Laugh>,

You could sit farther, I think farther a third or farther back. But I think most people kind of center of center is, is that's how it gets. If you look at the ticket sales, it, it's, it blossoms from the middle of the seating chart out. Anyway I'm looking forward to seeing that that will be my first real movie with other people. But apparently Barbies changed the world. Also. The highest gross for any female director previously held by Patty Jenkins for Wonder Woman, if you're collecting trivia wow. A billion dollar ticket sales. 400 million domestic, 500 million internationally faster than any other movie that the studio has ever produced, including Harry Potter. Only 53 movies have made over a billion dollars. Not accounting for inflation. Wonder Woman did 821 million, frozen, did 1.3 billion, frozen two 1.45 billion. I bet you've seen both of those too. <Laugh>, Georgia <laugh>.

Georgia Dow (00:10:00):
I have <laugh>.

Leo Laporte (00:10:02):
Yep. yeah. So, so for those of us who have not yet seen the Barbie movie, and by the way, I wanna just, in my defense say I tried to get Lisa to go see the Barbie movie with me, and she absolutely adamantly refused. So I wasn't gonna go by myself. That seemed a little too <laugh> <laugh>.

Georgia Dow (00:10:23):
That would've been really cute, though. He could've worn

Leo Laporte (00:10:25):
Pink. There's an old guy all by himself in the theater. They would know. They would've thrown me out. Are you kidding? You buy the ticket for the sweet spot in the middle of the, in the middle. I got the

Georgia Dow (00:10:35):
In IMAX <laugh>.

Leo Laporte (00:10:37):
But is, so there has

Georgia Dow (00:10:39):
Been, that's what you really went to see. It's Friday, you're going to see Barbie and imax. Barbie.

Leo Laporte (00:10:43):
Barbie and IMAX is the real deal.

Georgia Dow (00:10:45):
Now we know. Now we know. You just didn't wanna admit it.

Leo Laporte (00:10:48):
Is it a good movie? People say it's a good movie.

Georgia Dow (00:10:51):
So I it's an enjoyable movie. I did not find it as deeper in depth. I think that the issues like of, you know, women and empowerment and equality, I think that have, have been something that I already discussed and have discussed for a really long time. I think that it made it much more mainstream. But I think that the opposite effect that also has is that other people can be angry. I think that people feel like it was men hating and that it was actually causing kind of a rift between men and women instead of bringing people together, which I don't think was what the movie intended. And I don't think that that was the message of it. There

Leo Laporte (00:11:28):
Were people on the right who said it was anti-man.

Georgia Dow (00:11:32):
Yes. Yeah. And I, I don't find that it's anti-man, but I can understand where they're coming from with that idea, because it is very, you know, pushing equality and what it looks like to see the lens from an opposite kind of way, like the Barbie world. Like, not a spoiler, but

Leo Laporte (00:11:51):
Be like, see

Georgia Dow (00:11:52):
World. Yeah, it's girl's world, right? And so they see all these like, you know swimsuit models on the screen, and they go, oh, look, the Supreme Court, like <laugh>, it's a completely if only different, if

Leo Laporte (00:12:03):
Only <laugh> <laugh>.

Georgia Dow (00:12:05):
So it's a completely different world. But I think that it also says, and this they did not say, but I kind of thought too, is that if women were in power, that doesn't mean that the world would be a much sweeter, kinder world <laugh>, right? That they often, like we, we can do, you know, anyone in power can often want to protect that and often could push

Leo Laporte (00:12:23):
Us people, you know? I bet it makes,

Georgia Dow (00:12:24):
Which I think was the underlying message also that people, I

Leo Laporte (00:12:27):
Bet it makes the honchos at H B O a little upset. And, and LOV deserves it because they took the idol, which was originally shot by a female director, and they fired her because it was too much from a woman's point of view. This was a, a show that was on H B O you know, the weekend was kind of the producer of it. And so he was a, he had a major role in, it was terrible. It was horrible. They reshot it, it was very sexist and just an awful show with terrible ratings. And I'm thinking they really missed a bet. They, you know, this proves there's an audience what's wrong with having a feminine point of view? Nothing. Anyway the right, this, the reason that's maybe important is because this is probably one of the last movies be the writer's strike is now kicking in. And in fact screen actors guilds have followed with a strike. Nothing. Most Hollywood production is shut down. And in fact, Yanko did not, didn't the association of Motion Picture and Television Producers Alliance of Motion Picture and television producers meet with the Writer's Guild on Friday. And nothing

Janko Roettgers (00:13:42):
I, I'm not completely up to date, but it wouldn't surprise me. Yeah. If those things linger for much longer. And there was like this whole theory that somebody brought up that they're just waiting for the ri for the writers to basically give up. And

Leo Laporte (00:13:55):
Yeah, it wasn't a theory of a producer said it out. Last said, that's quiet for out loud. We're just gonna wait till they lose their houses, and then we'll set, they'll settle. That's not gonna work. I, I feel like that's a little vicious. Oh, okay. So you're not covering Hollywood as much as you used used to write for Variety. So you were,

Janko Roettgers (00:14:14):
I used to write for Variety, but I always cover more the tech side of it than,

Leo Laporte (00:14:19):
Well, there is a tech side of it, because one of the big issues is, is ai there are many other issues. The biggest issue, of course, residuals on a, in a streaming world is not the same as residuals used to be. Movie extras, n p r had a story, are worried about getting scanned and replaced, essentially. They N p R quoted a extra who was working on Wand, Avi, who said, after her four weeks of working as a background, it's not an extra Exactly, it's a background actor. After four weeks, she was told by the production crew to report to a tractor trailer where she and other background act actors were scanned one by one in front of, she reports a series of cameras on metal rigs behind glass. Have your hands out, have your hands in. Look this way, look that way.

Let us see your scared face. Let us see your surprise face. They were scanned for about 15 minutes, and digital replicas were created. Hollywood says, we'll never use those on any production. That's, you know, they're not already on. But I, I think that's one of the concerns SAG has about this. And of course, writers are concerned that AI will be used to create scripts, <laugh>, and they won't. And I've read some of the AI scripts, created scripts. I'm not too worried, but <laugh>, who knows, you know? Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, AI's getting better and better. I mean, I,

Georgia Dow (00:15:45):
It's a scary thing to think that you don't have a right over, like, you know, you give up your right once and then they could use it, and then suddenly you're in a hemorrhoid commercial, right. <Laugh>, and you're the butt, and you didn't even, you know, get paid for it. Well, and now suddenly, you know, you don't have a right of where you're gonna be used nor ask. Like, there has to be, like, this is kind of the, that brave new world of what technology can be amazing, but also we have to make sure that we've gone through and made sure, because if not, someone is gonna try and suddenly you're in a movie and you're like, I I, I can't believe, look at me. They're sitting in that seat that I didn't get paid for or choose to be part of that movie. Yeah.

Mike Masnick (00:16:21):
Yeah. The, the, the thing that I don't understand is that there are laws, I mean, we do have publicity rights laws. They're, they're state by state, so they're different depending on which state you're in. But most states have some variation on that. And to me, this seems like I, I have, I have a lot of problems with often how those laws are, are actually used in practice, but this seems like exactly what those laws are for. And so I'm, I'm sort of surprised that there's a lot less talk of it. There's a lot of talk about copyright in ai, which I think is the wrong discussion, but, but, you know, publicity, rights laws are like the exact example of this kind of thing. And so I, I, I, I don't understand why people aren't talking about that, because I think, I think that prevents this kind of usage. Of course, the, the response to that is, you know, scanning people is one thing, but you know, it's not that long until they can just design fake people to stand in for you in the first place. <Laugh>, that's a good point.

Leo Laporte (00:17:15):
Yeah. The

Mike Masnick (00:17:16):
Scanning part is kind of meaningless, <laugh>, you know, and

Janko Roettgers (00:17:19):
Actually the scanning part might be part of that, right? Because you still need some training data for all of that to happen. So now they're accumulating these scans with the, with the idea of, oh, we are just gonna put you in the background more often. And there's one production. But I think the danger really there is that once they have enough people scanned, they can just use that to then do meta humans or whatever, and have IA humans that don't really look at any of those scans anymore. So there's no question of compensation

Leo Laporte (00:17:45):
Anymore, actually. You say metahuman, that's an actual technology on real engines using to create virtual humans that are indistinguishable from real humans. And you're right, they need training data. And that's maybe how the A M P T P is getting aw, getting away with this is so, well, we would never use these scans in another image in another picture, another TV show. But yeah, it's training data. It won't be, it won't be you. It'll be you merged with you, merged with you, and, and we're gonna use that instead.

Mike Masnick (00:18:17):
So, Mike,

Leo Laporte (00:18:18):
Mike, Mike, here's my question for you, Mike. 'cause I, when we worked at Tech tv, we'd have people sign releases before they're on, and invariably the release would say something like we have all rights to your image in all forms of media now known or, or ever to be invented in perpetuity. There's always that little clause that allows you to use it in publicity and other things. I bet you that there's some contractual agreement that allows this. Would that, wouldn't that supersede any laws?

Mike Masnick (00:18:49):
It it really depends. You know, the, you know, again, all of these things are very context dependent and, and the specifics and the facts of each case really, really matter. But the idea that, you know, if they were taking somebody who is real and putting them somewhere that they have never been and presenting them as if that they were in that, that video, I, I think that publicity rights would

Leo Laporte (00:19:14):
Protect them, would,

Mike Masnick (00:19:15):
Would protect them.

Leo Laporte (00:19:16):
Yeah. And certainly that's one of the reasons that unions are striking and actors are striking, is to make sure that that's also in the contracts.

Mike Masnick (00:19:23):
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it, it also does become a contractual issue. And that, that's, that is where I think the strike part is really important Exactly. Is that, you know, negotiating this in the first place is, is really important. Which it goes back to, you know, that story with the, the scanning, you know, there's, I understand that people who are, you know, background actors or extras maybe don't have a lot of,

Leo Laporte (00:19:44):
They have no cloud, have zero cl Right. In that situation,

Mike Masnick (00:19:47):
<Laugh>. But, but like, it still strikes me as, you know, why, why would you agree to,

Leo Laporte (00:19:52):
To be Yeah. Walk away. But they may

Georgia Dow (00:19:54):
Not, they may not know when you're signing and you need to eat. Yeah. Yes. Like, you may not know absolutely everything that you sign. And I think that they need to go through to make sure, because like, let's just say it, these contracts, yes, no one reads them. Like whatever percentage of a of 1% will read them, but no one reads them. They don't know what's in it. And so I think that this is really important that people when you're hungry, like, you know, again, $250 could feed someone for like two weeks. So it becomes really difficult to be able to know Yes. What's there. And I think we need to have contract to be something that is legible, easy to read, not a whole bunch of fine print. And I think that we need to kind of overhaul contract law so that people that don't need to hire a lawyer, because let's be honest, most people can't afford to hire a lawyer to be able to look over a contract before they're gonna be signing to.

Leo Laporte (00:20:40):
That's a union's job to kind of make a boilerplate agreement mm-hmm. <Affirmative> that everybody is Yeah.

Mike Masnick (00:20:45):
And that, that is, that is where the, the, this aspect of the strike is important. Where if they can make that clear and understand that, and, and, you know, don't rely on people who have no power in the position to have to agree to it, just to, to be able to eat, you know, that is where the union is supposed to step in and say, we're going to create a contract that is fair, that prevents this kind of thing. Or at least sets it up in a way that there's pain. The person has ha has either payment or a clear decision of what it is that they're agreeing to, and that it's not in perpetuity for any project ever going into the future. Yes.

Janko Roettgers (00:21:18):
And the flip side is you could also imagine that there could be a fair contract for it, right? So I think the article mentions it's one $87 per day for a background actor to basically sit around all day and then sit in the cafe and, and pretend to talk for five minutes. If now this person was scanned one time and then they use that multiple times or mult multiple shoots, one, not, they get compensated every time that gets used in a shoot, that might actually be more money in the end. Or maybe it's a lot less work for comparative amount of money. So one could imagine a scenario that works out well, but obviously the studios would rather probably go a different route. But

Mike Masnick (00:21:54):
Again, go, go. Going back to the, the point that you made earlier where if this is just for training data Yeah. And then you're just creating models that then you can't associate the particular model with the original actor. So the actor's not gonna get paid if it's a fully, fully synthetic model.

Leo Laporte (00:22:11):
Is this legitimate? I mean, we are really seeing creatives, artists, writers, Sarah Silverman is suing because their stuff is being used for AI training. And of course the product of that training will not be the same. So it's under, I guess fair use. It's trans, it's transformational, but creatives are really starting to get more and more concerned about this. And actually we all should be that our, I mean, I'm sure Yanko, they've taken every article of yours and, and, and added that to a, a model, an L l m large language model. That's gotta be concerning. If you're the person cr creating the human creating the original, that at some point your, your content's gonna be used for training.

Janko Roettgers (00:22:57):
Yes and no. I think I'm not too concerned to be quite honest, at same as I'm not concerned that Google is caching my articles or the internet archive is archiving my articles. I think there's good, good points to be made for all of those use cases. And then that flip side is how do you compensate 4 billion people for all their writing that they ever put online? Yeah. That may or may not be used in a training model, which may or may not result in any article that may or may not compete with my work in the future. So it was really muddy thing there. Right. If

Leo Laporte (00:23:29):
I'm Sam Altman open ai, I am gonna argue this stuff's public. It's on the internet, we're just scanning public materials. You put it out there if you don't want it out there. Although I kind of agree with Google's plan to add a robots text style metadata to sites saying, please don't add this to an AI training model. I think that would be a

Mike Masnick (00:23:53):
Way to handle that. Yeah. I think, I think that's, it is a, a not necessary under the law, but a reasonable move for them to make in order to appease a bunch of people who are very angry. So

Leo Laporte (00:24:04):
Yeah. I mean, so Sarah Silverman and other comics are suing. Sarah Silverman has a book bed Wetter. And her point is, her attorney's point is you could go to chat g p t and say, summarize Sarah Silverman's bed wetter book, and it gets a full summary. And she's saying, well, how do they know?

Mike Masnick (00:24:22):
But, but yeah, I I I, I think it's a, that's, that one is a pr pretty bad lawsuit. I wrote something about it a few weeks ago, I think. I think her lawyers are the same ones. They filed a bunch of the lawsuits. There's like, I think there are seven or eight copyrights, so

Leo Laporte (00:24:36):
It's kind of ambulance chasers for LLMs kind.

Mike Masnick (00:24:38):
And, and yeah, they've, they've, they filed a, a few of them. And I don't think it's a strong lawsuit, because if you, and, and people get mad at me for this, so I'm like, do I want to start this? And have people <laugh> No, do

Leo Laporte (00:24:51):
No, no, no. But it's important. It's important. I agree with you. In fact, I've dismissed all of the artists copyright claims. Same thing. Tell us why, though. I feel like it's transformational. It's fair use.

Mike Masnick (00:25:04):
Yeah. It's, you know, to me the, the, the argument that I keep making is, you know, in, in her lawsuit, she presents this, you know, ask Chachi PT for a summary of her book, and it gives one, and the summary is not very good. It reads like, you know, a middle school book report, right? And, and then you begin to think like, is someone doing a middle school book report? Is that infringing? Well, no, that would be ridiculous. And to some extent, and yes, there are differences, and yes, the intent is different, but all that chat g p t is effectively doing is kind of a middle school book, middle school book style thing. And so, like, ingesting the content, reading the content, learning from it, and then being able to summarize it should not be copyright. Yeah. If

Leo Laporte (00:25:49):
You asked me to summarize Bed Wetter, which is, by the way, a great book, you should read it. She's very funny. Yeah, I could do that. Is that a violation of the law? Absolutely not.

Janko Roettgers (00:25:58):
And we don't even know if Che g d P actually read her book that's and summarized That's true. It, or if it just read a bunch of summaries of their book, including maybe us, Leo <laugh>, and then wrote a summary based on her summaries.

Leo Laporte (00:26:08):
Right. That's a good point. Yeah.

Mike Masnick (00:26:10):
Yeah. And so I, I, it's, you know, this focus, again, it goes back to like, the focus on copyright, I think is the wrong focus. It's, it is where everybody goes. And I think it's, it's sort of a symptom of the last, you know, whatever, 50, a hundred years where Hollywood in particular has convinced everyone that the only tool possible to protect artists for anything is copyright. And so everyone's jumping on this, on AI and saying, oh, we have to have copyright law protect us. And it's, I think it's the wrong tool, and it leads to really weird lawsuits and really weird claims and really weird outcomes if those, if those lawsuits are taken seriously.

Leo Laporte (00:26:42):
But if all you have is a hammer, that's the tool you use but

Mike Masnick (00:26:47):
There would, are other,

Leo Laporte (00:26:47):
Other tools would you propose? What would you propose how you said digital publicity rights perhaps would be another thing. So, right.

Mike Masnick (00:26:57):
So we, there already, there already are publicity rights in, in many states, not all. And again, there are differences in different states, and there are a lot of specifics in, in how they work. But in the case where you are legitimately copying someone and presenting them as if they, they did write something or they are appearing in something that they did not, publicity rights takes care, takes care of.

Leo Laporte (00:27:19):
You can't have Fred Astaire dancing with a vacuum cleaner unless you pay the, the state of Fred Astaire. Well,

Mike Masnick (00:27:24):
That's, that actually gets trickier because then there are questions of like postmortem publicity rights, and, and some states say yes, and some states say no, once the person has died, you can do whatever you want with them. So that one is a little more complicated. And so in some cases you don't, I don't, I don't remember the specifics with, with the Fred Astaire and the vacuum cleaner if, if they had to pay the estate or not.

Leo Laporte (00:27:49):
There's a very famous Fred Astaire dance with a hat rack that I think they repurposed to be a dirt devil vacuum cleaner. Yes. And now, I don't know if the Fred Astaire state got paid for that or not. Yeah, I mean, that's an interesting question. I I, can you use Albert Einstein's? Anybody can use a picture of Albert Einstein is Right. If it's a public domain picture, if,

Mike Masnick (00:28:13):
If it's a public domain picture, then sure. I,

Leo Laporte (00:28:15):
If I said Albert Einstein says, twit is the best podcast in the world, is Albert Einstein's estate gonna come after me? <Laugh>? Probably

Mike Masnick (00:28:24):
Not. I, I, I, I think, I mean, you, do you have ideas now, <laugh>

Leo Laporte (00:28:28):
I'm thinking, I'm thinking here. I got ideas,

Mike Masnick (00:28:31):
Right? I mean, you know, there are things like, there's like, you know, historical fiction that takes real That's true people and puts them into fictional arenas. And we think that's okay. For the most part, I think it would be a problematic world in, in which you had to get the estates Okay. Right. To put a real life figure into a historical,

Leo Laporte (00:28:48):
But you see how complicated this is. Yeah. And I could see an actor going to the Unreal Engines metahuman technology, and look, look how unreal epic publicizes this. Look how easy high fidelity digital humans made. Easy. You know, that you can create background actors from software that are good and realistic. Now, obviously it's trained on something, but do the people whose faces were used in the training, do they have rights to the result? I don't, I don't know. I mean, we just, this is un and I could see why. So what I'm thinking is happening is, you're right, Mike, there's probably not a lot of legal recourse for Sarah Silverman or Thomas Kincaid, the painter of light to get money from OpenAI. But, but there's definitely this feeling in the world of creatives that, well, they owe us something. Sure. Is that unreasonable?

Mike Masnick (00:29:48):
I, I, I don't think it's a, it's an unreasonable feeling or, I mean, anyone's feelings are, you know, <laugh>, I'm not gonna, feelings

Leo Laporte (00:29:57):
Don't win in a court of law. Is that what you're saying? <Laugh>?

Mike Masnick (00:29:59):
Yeah. I'm, I'm just not sure that there's, there's a, a, a legal scenario that that makes sense. That is going to make them happy or, or make them feel whole. Yeah. And you know, and, and

Leo Laporte (00:30:11):
That's why it something that we're all dealing with now in this world of large language models. It's a,

Mike Masnick (00:30:15):
But again, you know, like, like Yanko was saying, where it's like, you know, I'm, I'm not particularly worried, you know, I have 51,000 articles written, and I actually hope that AI reads through all of them, and that I could go into chat PT and say, write a detector article about X. Yeah. and, and not, not being Twitter X but maybe <laugh> <laugh>, you know, write, write an article about this. And, you know, and I know it's not gonna be great, but like, would that help me be more productive? I, I think it might be. And I think that would actually be useful. So I think, you know, not that in every case, that there, that like, there's an obvious way that it, it makes people more productive or more useful or whatever. But I think there are a lot of cases where that is going to be true. And I think that the focus for people should be to, to look for that. And, and the example I've used, I think it was even mentioned in that article about the body scanning was, was Grimes you know, the singer who released the AI version of her voice and said, anyone, go ahead and make songs with AI Grimes and you just have to gimme 50% cut of any rhythm.

Leo Laporte (00:31:32):
Very important. You have to give me 50%. Sure. Yeah.

Mike Masnick (00:31:35):
But, but, but it's a, it's a contractual setup that says, I am going to, right. Instead of like trying to shut this down and block it, I'm going to encourage it, but structured in a way that I benefit from. And so I think that the more that people start looking at this technology is in how can I make, make it, you know, a useful thing rather than saying like, this has to be stopped entirely. I, I think the sort of more forward looking approach, rather than like, I need to get paid for what happened before. It, it, it's just going to be a more overall beneficial setup.

Janko Roettgers (00:32:08):
And there's probably models to make that work for smaller creators too, when this comes to sort of collective licensing models. So the type of things that have worked in the music industry for decades, essentially. Right? So the unions have big influence, obviously in Hollywood. If they were to structure contract and say, you can only make firms with union actors if you pay, I don't know, 3% into this big pool, and we are gonna double it out to all our members as a flat fee at the end of the year for their use in AI work because it's gonna happen one regardless. It's a lot harder to track those types of things, but I think there's probably models to make it also work financially.

Mike Masnick (00:32:48):
Yeah. And, and, and that's interesting. But it's also, that also gets tricky, right? Because then you could say like, okay, I mean, that sounds great. Give have this 3% fund that then gets distributed to, to, you know, all the background actors or whatever who are used to train the models. But then you get to this world in which, you know, every background actor in every show or movie is from that. And you block out the ability for, for new actors to get into that pool, right? And then suddenly you have this like, you know, people who are 85, 90 years old getting paid is for being, you know, the, the model on which a 27 year old was based on or whatever. And so, you know, I I, I'm, I'm not against that kind of model where there's some sort of like, you know, collective licensing or, or however you wanna structure it, but that it does raise a bunch of questions about how that actually plays out in practice and then what that means for the, the overall market as well.

Leo Laporte (00:33:39):
Maybe this really is in the end, the future, you

Georgia Dow (00:33:41):
Know, in the end as, as more people you know, are being, like, as computers and technology is taking over certain jobs for people, people aren't gonna be in those places, right? So the thoughts of, you know, universal income or what do we do in order to give people different types of jobs while, you know, computers and, you know, other things are taking over for those places definitely become something that we need to discuss.

Leo Laporte (00:34:05):
I feel like there's a certain amount of whistling past the graveyard though with, with you and Mike and Yanko and me. 'cause I have more than 20,000 hours of content on the internet publicly available. And and you two, Georgia, you're putting all those videos up that we say, well, no one can duplicate what we do. We, what we do is so special as humans we're so good that, oh, go ahead. Let them have it. That may be a <laugh> a little short term. Okay. But long term that may be problematic. We may regret that. 'cause You're right, right now it's a middle schoolers report on Sarah Silverman. But in some amount of time, 5, 10, 15 years, it might be better than Sarah Silverman.

Georgia Dow (00:34:53):
Well, let's, let's say it's probably gonna be much faster than 5, 10, 15 years. Yeah. Right. Like in one year we can already see that it's article. These

Leo Laporte (00:35:00):
Are fast.

Georgia Dow (00:35:01):
Yeah. Quite good. Like not always. And if they're bad, they're really, really terrible. But these are things that I think that everyone, we, we are made to think that for me it'll be different. And that I don't have to worry. I'm

Leo Laporte (00:35:14):
Too good to be duplicating. Feel

Georgia Dow (00:35:15):
More. Yeah. We feel much more comfortable. That's our safe zone. So as humans, we like to say stay in that feeling of everything safe. And then we have other personality types that are the opposite, that are like <laugh> the world is crumbling and

Leo Laporte (00:35:28):
People like me, we have to wear,

Georgia Dow (00:35:30):
Wear the, the tinfoil hat. And so because of those two extremes Yes. Which probably neither of them are accurate, we end up not really taking care of things because people are like, oh, someone that, you know, says that, oh, we have to make sure that we've actually made sure that contracts cover people for, you know, maybe you, you know, not just that you use the license and you get paid, but do you have a say in which way is your likeness going to be used? And how, yeah. Like we still, that's an area of contract law that is relatively weak. 'cause It's like we can just use it for everything. And anything now and forever, don't ask us, and we can change the contract at any time. We'll kind of let you know. But it's considered that you've already accepted that. Like, there's certain areas where it's like, hmm, that seems much more sketchy. So I think that we need to kind of be in that middle ground where, you know, trust, trust, trust in the world, but make sure that you, you know, take care of your stuff as well.

Leo Laporte (00:36:24):
The, that's a psychologist's point of view is, is the two extremes. And no, I think that's, but that's important. That's an important insight. The,

Mike Masnick (00:36:32):
The, the, the, the one thing I would add though is like, I, I, I'm not, I don't, I don't think that, like right now, yes, the AI is not as good. I'm sure that the AI is gonna catch up. I I, I, but I, I actually would like that. Right? I mean, <laugh>, I feel

Leo Laporte (00:36:46):
Like I whistling past the graveyard, Mike. I,

Mike Masnick (00:36:48):
I don't know. I I I feel like I write about 10 to 15% of what I would actually like to write. And I would love to be able to 0.0 a little plastics ai. Yeah. Yeah. And, and, and pointed at, I wanna, this story is happening. I wanna write a Mike Masnick take on it. I think that would be really handy for me. What

Georgia Dow (00:37:07):
About, what do you feel about someone else saying, I wanna write a might mess

Leo Laporte (00:37:11):
Thing. Oh, I, this

Georgia Dow (00:37:12):
Is in the likeness of that's great and I'm gonna be paid by the people that usually pay you. Like, it can go a little bit further, a little bit further till you're, you might not be as comfortable with them. Like, I wouldn't mind someone doing, getting therapy from an ai. But then if they're doing like therapy, like Georgia Dao does therapy and now they're,

Leo Laporte (00:37:33):
I want a therapist in the style of GI Dao, I think that's a good,

Georgia Dow (00:37:37):
Let's make that. And then it's my face slightly altered. You know, that's giving like, there's a point where, you know, the comfort becomes, Hmm. Not so sure I'm as comfortable at this state of where it could go to.

Mike Masnick (00:37:51):
Yeah. I mean personally, I I I might be wired weird and that, like, I wouldn't mind if somebody was, was creating, you know, Mike Masnick style things, you know, especially because if if they're not doing a good job, then I can call that out. But just the fact that like, if somebody thinks that, that my takes have enough value that they would create them <laugh>. Like

Georgia Dow (00:38:09):
There's a certain amount of an ego gratification

Leo Laporte (00:38:12):
There, <laugh>. But, but you, you wouldn't be happy if somebody created a website called, I don't know, tech <laugh> and and Mike mass Tick writes a whole bunch of pieces that look exactly like something you would write with your point of view and your ideas.

Mike Masnick (00:38:28):
It, I don't know. I, I might, I might not mind that <laugh>, like that's kind of, that's kind of fascinating

Georgia Dow (00:38:33):
To me. No longer got paid

Leo Laporte (00:38:35):
Spoken as a fa as a technology fatalist, but I'm a kind of the, I don't,

Mike Masnick (00:38:39):
I don't get paid now <laugh>. Yeah,

Leo Laporte (00:38:41):
No, you're right. But it's the same thing. I I, that's a really good point you raised Georgia. 'cause I, you know, like I said, there's 20,000 hours of, or more of my audio and video, it'd be trivial to synthesize me. And I'm sure at some point AI get good enough to synthesize me that it's indistinguishable from the original. If I use that, that's fine. If, you know, if I can retire and all these shows we've done by an ai, that's fine. But if somebody created a TTW clone and did all of that and started ta eating our audience up, I would not be happy about that. So

Mike Masnick (00:39:13):
Here's, here's, here's the question. Do do you really think that the, the people who support you and follow you and follow the shows because of your involvement are going to be so quick to jump to an AI generat version of you? No,

Leo Laporte (00:39:25):
Not so quick. The, the, the the core fan base. No. The real issue is confusion. And we are gonna face this as we approach the election Sure. In the US in 2024 mm-hmm. <Affirmative> that there, there will be plenty of people who cannot distinguish between the real deal and a generated deal. And then you have all sorts of problems with misrepresentation disinformation. I think that is something that legitimately be concerned about.

Mike Masnick (00:39:50):
But, but, but those, those are different questions, right? That's not a question about the ecco the economic value.

Leo Laporte (00:39:54):
That's not about copyright. No, it's about right. It's about disinformation. I just have received, I've just received the figures <laugh> from 27,447 episodes of Twit with me on them. And since each episode's at least three or four hours long, <laugh> we're getting close to a hundred thousand hours of content out there. There it is. Plenty. You

Mike Masnick (00:40:17):
Might be plenty of

Janko Roettgers (00:40:18):
Planning data

Mike Masnick (00:40:18):
Might the ultimate model for, for ai,

Leo Laporte (00:40:22):
But I'm like,

Mike Masnick (00:40:23):
You might might be the king. I

Leo Laporte (00:40:24):
Would just retire, be like, Hey, cool <laugh>. Like, that's eternity, man. You know, I, Albert Albert Einstein, forget it. I'm, you know,

Janko Roettgers (00:40:32):
It's also different. So because, because you own twit, right? Or you are

Leo Laporte (00:40:37):
Yeah, I have a trademark. You found a twit. Yeah.

Janko Roettgers (00:40:40):
So imagine you work, or like think back, I don't know how long that has been for you, but us almost 20 years to work for work for other radio stations. And they were like, no, we're not gonna hire you anymore. Hire ai. We hire

Leo Laporte (00:40:52):
Leo ai, Leo. No, he's

Janko Roettgers (00:40:53):
Much cheaper.

Mike Masnick (00:40:54):
Or, or even e even like what if Leo, you're, you're able to replace, you know, ant and Jeff and everyone else with AI versions of them. That kind of sucks to them. Now we're, right now we're talking

Leo Laporte (00:41:06):
<Laugh>. I never thought of that. Excellent. By the way, Mike, or what

Georgia Dow (00:41:11):
If they used your ness to do something inappropriate or, you know, misogynistic or racist. Yes. And

Leo Laporte (00:41:20):
Now before's the mis that's the disinformation side of that. No. that's right. Words in my mouth or something you don't believe to.

Mike Masnick (00:41:25):
That's right.

Leo Laporte (00:41:26):
Yes. Exactly. And people don't distinguish

Georgia Dow (00:41:27):
It. It can become really creepy.

Leo Laporte (00:41:28):
Yeah. I can guarantee you before 2024, there will be fakes of Joe Biden saying horrific things. I drink the blood of children and enjoy it. And, and that will be so well done that there will be people fooled by it. Yes. Mostly people who wanna be fooled by it. By the way, bad, bad news, Mike. That's good point. Tech is already taken, but I think tech is available, so Excellent, excellent. Hurry, <laugh>. I I I'm just wondering what people are gonna do now with the clip where you're saying, I blood, I drink the Blood of Children. Yeah. Just think of what you can do with that <laugh> we've been playing this week. There's a hysterical tying into Barbie, a hysterical Johnny Cash deep fake of him singing the Barbie song. And I, I think I would be fooled by it if I didn't know that Johnny Cash obvi here. I'll play a little bit of it. I, I think I won't get into too much trouble. This is so don't show the screen. Just

AI Johnny Cash (00:42:26):
I'm a Barbie girl, party girl in Party World. It's fantastic. You can brush my hair <laugh>.

Leo Laporte (00:42:38):
Doesn't that, I mean, that would fool me. I know better 'cause I know he died before that was a song, but that would fool

Mike Masnick (00:42:47):
Me. But the, the thing is, like we, we've been hearing for, for like five or six years now about how this exact scenario was going to happen where there were going to be deep fakes, especially in the political realm. Yeah. And they were going to fool people.

Leo Laporte (00:42:59):
They've been bad so far. Right. I,

Mike Masnick (00:43:01):
I can't think of a single example. The only thing that I've, I've seen has been sort of in reverse where somebody has been caught doing something bad and then trying to claim that it was a deep fake to try and get out of responsibility for it. And so yes, like there is still the possibility that we're going to see a deep fake that, you know, is somehow realistic enough that it fools people. But the one thing that, that, you know, that gives me at least some comment is that we haven't seen one yet. That's been all that

Leo Laporte (00:43:32):
Successful. We will see, we'll see one in that might in this, in this election segment. I,

Georgia Dow (00:43:37):
I might be more naive, but when I saw the Pope, and this seems more ridiculous,

Leo Laporte (00:43:41):
<Laugh>, but like fool Oh, in the puffy jacket

Georgia Dow (00:43:42):
And do the Yeah. No, not even the puffy jacket, but he was like, did a magic joke. Like he took the the sheet and just pulled it and everything stayed. I was like, you believe that? What is he doing? <Laugh>.

Leo Laporte (00:43:52):
Wait a minute, wait a minute. Let's see that. Let's see that. Why see that it was, this is this is, this is from Ellen DeGeneres, so I'll skip and we're gonna get taken down. Of course aren't. But

Georgia Dow (00:44:05):
She'll come after you. She definitely

Leo Laporte (00:44:06):
Come after you. She, she's gonna come after me. This, she's gonna play this clip that you're talking about.

Oh God. It's, here's the pope. It's in a mass. He's he's coming up to St. Peter's basilica. He's coming up to the altar. He's laid some flowers on the altar and he pulls the tablecloth off and the cardinals are amazed and they're amazed, horrible there. And you know what makes it even better is it had a C n N lower third. It was so bad on it. That's pretty good. And, and it was so good. I'll tell you how good it was. Snopes.Com had to debunk it. Did Pope Francis perform the tablecloth trick <laugh>?

Georgia Dow (00:44:49):
That was for me. It was just for me. But when we talk about

Leo Laporte (00:44:53):
People, that was by the way, in 2015. So it

Georgia Dow (00:44:56):
Was a, while

Leo Laporte (00:44:57):
It, that was before we had really good technology <laugh>,

Georgia Dow (00:45:02):
But our brain beliefs, things that we see so much so that if you are in VR and you know that you are in your living room and you're at like, you know, a 15th floor, many people have a panic attack when they're walking a plank over the 15th floor out of the building. Because our brain, our, our occipital area of our lobe is so large that what we bel what we see will believe. Like anything you see often enough and it's repeated, starts to reform the way that we see things. And if you're very technologically savvy for

Leo Laporte (00:45:31):
Millennia of evolution, that was the case.

Georgia Dow (00:45:35):
Yes, we are, we are adapted for that. And that was a good thing then. And then we deal with people that might not be as technologically savvy or that already have that cognitive dissonance that they, they want to believe something. And when we're talking about our belief system of what we want, so if you're, your alignment is with a political party and that becomes your identity, you want to believe that so much so that you actually warp reality around it. And we've probably all been around people on whichever side that warp reality around their party. And even if you

Leo Laporte (00:46:06):
Can't, they're always doing it the truth. You don't even need it

Georgia Dow (00:46:08):
Fake, it doesn't even matter. So that little tiny possibility is all that they need to kind of latch onto because if, if their party is the one that's gonna fail, they need to have something to be able to hold onto. And so it gives us that excuse to be able to believe something. And so you'll actually, you actually don't believe something, even if there's facts. And the weirdest part is that true facts will actually make you even more aligned with a lie.

Leo Laporte (00:46:34):
I've seen that research. Yeah. That's wild. That's why you can't talk somebody out of a belief. The earth isn't flat. Have you ever been in an airplane? You could see the curvature? No. No. That's what they want you to think. <Laugh>. You cannot, it just solidifies it.

Georgia Dow (00:46:51):
Yeah. Yeah. Because it's your identity, right? Yeah. And if you don't believe that, because when it's too threatening, it's one of those core beliefs. Yeah. It changes all the rest of the way that you have to think about things. And that for us was really adaptively. Like remember, our brain hasn't evolved much in about 50 to a hundred thousand years. There's not much evolution. So a lot of this is adapted for like caveman times. So that made sense. 'cause The world didn't really change. Right? And having one belief system kept us alive, we were able

Leo Laporte (00:47:17):
To adapt.

Georgia Dow (00:47:18):
But not very quickly.

Leo Laporte (00:47:19):
Our ego structure is basically a Jenga tower. And if you <laugh> take one. Yeah, that's very well said.

Georgia Dow (00:47:26):
I'm killing that Leo. I'm stealing that. I love

Leo Laporte (00:47:29):
This is why it, a psychologist on every single freaking show to explain all this. It's great to have you Georgia Dao west Mount Therapy, but most importantly dao. Where, I mean, this is the best channel ever where you can, you can see, you know, a therapist reacts to popular culture. You can see the psychological underpinnings of stuff. Red Dead redemption. You've been spending a lot of time there. Look at this. It's a good game. Yeah, it's a good game. Yeah. Spider-Man into the spider verse. And I love how you, you really kind of mastered your YouTube thumb thumbnail. Fu <laugh> is very Thank you. Very, very good. <Laugh>, this is so good. Youtube.Com/Georgia dow also with us Mike Mag Masnick, I'm sorry, Mike Masick from tech No. Mike Masnick. Ah, I'm suing. I'm suing <laugh>. He, he he is an internet veteran.

He will help you not be scared according to Cash Hill. And I love in Cash Hill's by byline on this. It says she traveled to Redwood City, California for this article as if like, wow, that's Tim Timbuktu. Amazing. Amazing. It's great. Always great to have you on, Mike. I really, your insight is always superb. I often find our, we often find ourselves on all of our shows saying, I wonder what Mike Masnick would say about this. That's why we read Tert and Yanko Rutgers, he's at the information, but he's also got a really good newsletter at Beehive. It's called lopa. 'cause He filters the future Gannon lopa CC Lots. Actually in this pass we can talk about meta Horizons reboot this RO kid is making a TV dongle for its ar glasses. Maybe some insight into what what will be coming from Apple. Are you, are you sold on the Vision Pro? Do you think that's gonna be the next big thing?

Janko Roettgers (00:49:35):
Not the next big thing, but you know, a couple big things from now, three things down the line, maybe <laugh>

Leo Laporte (00:49:41):

Janko Roettgers (00:49:42):
I mean, I don't think anybody at Apple thinks it's the next big thing, a device that's 3,500 bucks and that they're only gonna make a hundred thousand off or 200,000 whatever the reports whoever, whichever report you believe. But I mean, things are going in the direction. And those are still just transitional devices that are supposed to get us to true AR glasses. Yeah,

Leo Laporte (00:50:06):

Janko Roettgers (00:50:07):
Basically as slight as regular glasses, but give you augmentation of, of everything around you all the time. And that's really hard to make. And we're not gonna have those for a couple more years at least. And so they're making these transition devices in between

Leo Laporte (00:50:22):
The history of technology is though that just because you were the one that you know, made the first one or the second one doesn't mean you're gonna be the one that wins these devices. They're making now, both meta H T C Apple are so early that it may well not be any of them that end up capitalizing on this. Somebody might come along down the pipe and magically might make spec, you know, the AR spectacles and then suddenly everybody says that's the one. So but I guess is it, it's fair to say that you need to do, you need to start to get there, right? Somebodys gotta do. Right. You

Janko Roettgers (00:50:57):
Need to, you need to collect some, some experience with these devices to what people actually wanna do with them. Right. I think with VR it was the same thing that people for longest attempt didn't really know how people are gonna use it. And now it turns out well the Quest is actually kind of popular for gaming. You

Leo Laporte (00:51:14):
Say that they sold $3 billion worth of software.

Janko Roettgers (00:51:18):

Leo Laporte (00:51:18):
Wow. That surprises me. Alright.

Janko Roettgers (00:51:22):

Leo Laporte (00:51:24):
Go ahead, I'll let you. No,

Janko Roettgers (00:51:25):
No, no. I was, I was gonna say, I, I think the VR is a perfect use case for them stumbling across, across stuff that they never expected. I think fitness and vr, no, nobody really saw that coming. Yes. And it's, it's, it's big. It's, it's actually really big.

Leo Laporte (00:51:41):
Well, I think we all know who is the biggest VR diva in the bunch here. Georgia Dao, who actually has dedicated VR rooms in her house, right? Am I wrong? Still do. Still do. You're not.

Janko Roettgers (00:51:56):
You're not. Yeah. I still do.

Leo Laporte (00:51:58):
<Laugh> still <laugh>. I wanna ask you about that, but we'll wait. We'll wait a little bit for that one. I gotta take a break. Really love this panel. We've got lots more to talk about. Our show today brought to you by Zip Recruiter. Oh man. If you're hiring, you know how hard it is to attract top talent. It's very competitive out there. You know, I mean, if you're good at anything, you've gotten multiple offers. That's why you need ZipRecruiter to get ahead of the game. You want a partner who knows how to get people to apply to that job. Zip. ZipRecruiter knows how tough it is right now, but they have figured out solutions for the problems you're facing, doing your hiring. See for yourself right now, you could try ZipRecruiter free at How does ZipRecruiter work so well? Oh, and by the way, we know this 'cause we use ZipRecruiter and I can tell you this is exactly the secret.

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Hey, you know what? These people seem to have the what you want. You go through that list and you pick a few, you pick the ones you like and invite them to apply. And I gotta tell you, that invitation puts you ahead of the line. Everybody else who wants that person, you are right up front because you ask them and people are flattered. They go, oh, they want me. You get first dibs on the best people. I also like ZipRecruiter 'cause the pricing is so straightforward. There's no surprise cost. You know what you're gonna pay before you post team up with a hiring partner who understands what you need. Ziprecruiter, we'll post, you know, I mean, it's the worst thing somebody gives you notice. Oh crap, we're gonna lose. Oh, one of our best people. What are we gonna do? We know people are gonna have to work harder.

It's gonna, we gotta get, go through the whole application process. But then Lisa will go and it's, you know, it's b we're having breakfast. She goes, oh no, we gotta replace. Ashley was most recent. We gotta replace Ashley in continuity. So what we do is we, she posts it at breakfast and I swear within a few hours, she's starting to say, I hear her across the, across the office. She's going, oh, we got one. Oh my gosh, here's another one. Great one. That's how we found Veeva Team up with a hiring partner who understands how tough it is and knows what you need. And it happens fast. Four outta five employers who post on ZipRecruiter get a quality candidate within the first day for us. It's almost always within the first few hours. Go to our exclusive web address to try ZipRecruiter for free.

Try it for yourself. It works for us. It's gonna work for you. Ziprecruiter.Com/Twit. Get the best people fast. Ziprecruiter.Com/Twit. ZipRecruiter is the smartest way to hire. We thank recruiter not only for supporting our show with their advertising, but for giving us a way to find great people we love Veeva. Alright, back to Hollywood. More Hollywood stories. We got infor, we got the YouTube results, quarterly results from Google, Google, YouTube ad spending up big, big time, which is a surprise. It looks like YouTube is really getting in gear. I can't remember what the increase was, a 4.2% increase year over year. But what's what's really interesting, it seems to be coming at the expense of the TV advertising market $70 billion a year at stake in TV advertising. Youtube's increase overall revenue increase 4% year over year at, by the way, that's the first after three straight quarters of decline.

Seems to come almost exactly at the cost of TV advertising as early May. Youtube. This is from the information story. Hollywood's Pain is YouTube's advertising gain. <Laugh> great headline. Thank you to Sahil Patel for this article. Youtube has already booked $7 billion in upfront ad spending deals. More advertisers have warmed up to the continent on YouTube thanks to creators like Mr. Beast. and while YouTube creators may not have the budgets of expensive TV shows to Heal writes, they draw younger viewers that traditional TV cannot. And that's really the key. Are we starting to see a shift yanko from traditional television advertising to YouTube?

Janko Roettgers (00:57:14):
I think we're seeing a shift in general from the traditional TV advertising to

Leo Laporte (00:57:18):

Janko Roettgers (00:57:18):
To streaming, yeah, to digital, to streaming, to all the streaming platforms. Youtube is one of the biggest benefactors. I think Nielsen also just put numbers out for, I guess those were new June numbers actually. But YouTube and Netflix are both the two biggest streaming services and then others are starting to catch up. Two B is like 1.4% of all TV viewing. Now, Roku channel, all these channels, all these digital properties are moving up. And it makes a lot of sense because people are cutting the cord. It's not stopping. Comcast has lost another half a million of subscribers to its TV products and across the board that continues and the con worse. And there is really not that much reason anymore to watch network television or cable television anymore. 'cause The best stuff is on streaming. A lot of stuff. If you don't, if you weren't looking for the hbos or, or the, the, the premium channels. If you just want to tune, tune into something, you know, just veg out in front of the tv, there's great free alternatives for that right now on streaming free

Leo Laporte (00:58:24):
VV and Pluto TV and

Janko Roettgers (00:58:26):
Exactly. All those guys. Yeah. so obviously the advertis are going by, the eyeballs are, and YouTube is one of the big benefactors, but I think be beneficiaries of that <laugh>. But I think all the other ones are benefiting from it as well.

Leo Laporte (00:58:43):
Netflix just added an ad supported tier. When you said Netflix at first I thought, wait a minute, Netflix doesn't have ads. Oh yes it does. The cheapest $7 plan has ads and apparently it's going quite well.

Janko Roettgers (00:58:56):
I think that they would say they're still very early and that they're still like, starting to build it out and figuring out how much to charge and who to work with. I think initiative, we're just saying, oh, Microsoft of all cases is gonna sell all our ads. And now they're like, well, <inaudible>, maybe we wanna have some other people there too, who can do that, maybe even better than Microsoft. That's my interpretation. But <laugh> I think, yeah, Netflix is in, in the, in the, in the ad business now. Hulu has long, the majority of people on Hulu get it with advertising. They're making more money with their ad supporter tier than with their tier without advertising. Oh, really?

Leo Laporte (00:59:35):
Just because, oh, that's interesting. Oh

Janko Roettgers (00:59:37):
And, and I think Netflix is sort of gearing for the same thing. So that's why they're discontinuing their, their cheapest free plan or the cheapest ad free plan now. 'cause They're basically like, oh, we can be even cheaper if we have ads, but we are gonna make a lot more money with that one thing that's going in that direction.

Leo Laporte (00:59:54):
One thing that's helping if when I've, in the past watched Hulu with ads, it's the same ad I was just getting so sick of Captain obvious from what it was, a Travelocity or something, same ad over and over again. And that was a real turnoff. But I've noticed lately I've been watching Pluto tv. They have more advertisers, they have more variety. It's a lot more like watching network television than it used to be.

Janko Roettgers (01:00:16):
Yeah, they're getting all smarter. They're doing the frequency capping so you don't see the same ad over and over and over again. Yeah. I think for a while it was also not just the, the question of the technology, but also the inventory. Right? There wasn't as enough advertisers and there was a huge demand streaming was growing leaps and bonds, and then you just have to show that same ad over and over again.

Leo Laporte (01:00:37):
We're we're, we're moving to a cord cutting world. I mean, that's pretty clear. If I were, if I were the cable companies of our Comcast and Cox and Spectrum, I'd, I'd be a little nervous. They're all moving to be internet as service providers as opposed to content provider over the top TV providers. Is, I mean is it inevitable that we just, everything's gonna be on the internet and that we'll no longer have an antenna <laugh> or a, or a cable.

Janko Roettgers (01:01:04):
I mean, people still use an antenna, surprisingly. And there's, there, it's a whole nother story. But basically the, the future of broadcast tv, they're still trying to push the new

Leo Laporte (01:01:17):

Janko Roettgers (01:01:19):
3.0, exactly. All of that. That's ridiculous. It still sort of exists.

Leo Laporte (01:01:24):

Janko Roettgers (01:01:25):
But I think primarily everything is streaming and that most people are comfortable with it. Now, most people either own a smart TV or a streaming device, or many cases both. Right. So it really doesn't make a whole lot of sense to pay those a hundred dollars or more For your, for your cable tv bundle. Do

Leo Laporte (01:01:45):
You, Georgia, do you you're in Canada, so I guess it's a little different, but do you watch broadcast television? Or is it all streaming? I would guess yeah, you could

Georgia Dow (01:01:54):
Cut. No, it's mostly streaming. Yeah. Like, it's hard when there, you have so many options out there. And I think that that's another issue is that now there's so many options that people are like cutting down on having every single service, but then there's YouTube and other ways that you can get content for free. So when you're competing against free, it does change the entire way. And it's easy, it's easy, it's easy to consume, and in the end when you're tired and you wanna veg out, which is what people often do at like, usually consuming media, is that time when you wanna veg out or you're driving your car, you're doing something else and you wanna do that with it, the easiest thing is often gonna work out. And so the more hoops that you have to kind of jump through, the less chance that that barrier to entry is gonna be so difficult that there's less chance that people are gonna go through with it. And so every time they make another, you know, little inconvenience for us, there's a greater chance that people are gonna be like, you know what? Hmm, I don't want to, unless it's that hit show that you really want and no matter what. And then you'll jump through every single hoop that you need to to get it.

Leo Laporte (01:02:52):
I just figured out how long the ad breaks are in jeopardy, and I know exactly how fast <laugh> how far to skip the first one's four minutes. You, you don't believe me, but I know the first one's four minutes. The second one <laugh>, the second one is two and a half minutes, and the third one is three minutes, 45 seconds. So you just skip that amount and, and you can, and well, I should say the second break, I include the interviews with the contestants. 'cause I don't care about them. I just want <laugh> Wanna skip my <laugh>? I should explain. Well,

Mike Masnick (01:03:20):
They, they, they, there there used to be systems that would do that automatically for you, but yeah,

Leo Laporte (01:03:24):
Remember replay and they got put outta business pretty much, right? Yeah. Yeah. With ads skipping good, because ads are good. Everybody should listen to all of our ads. <Laugh> no skipping. No, I'm, I'm always conflicted. 'cause As an, you know, an ad supported network I don't want to, you know, bash ads, but nobody, let's face it, nobody really likes ads. But I would also emphasize that if you're not willing to pay for something, you better be willing to watch ads. 'cause There's only two choices. Well, I guess the third choice is charity on my part. But, you know, we got lights, we got people to pay, we got things to, you know, it's expensive. I'm sure you feel the same way. Mike, I know you know, you, you say you're not making any money, but you have to pay the bills. You can't, yes. You, you know, you have to have advertising. Right? Is well, there, is there a tech, there is a sector premium.

Mike Masnick (01:04:22):
There, there is, there is a, we, we have a variety of ways that people can support us. So there, there is a, you have a

Leo Laporte (01:04:28):
Patreon, right?

Mike Masnick (01:04:29):
We have Patreon. We have what we call the Tech Dirt Insider set up, which is, is a premium version. But right now we really don't have ads on the site. And, and I think we had discussed this in the past where we, we had gone through problems with ad providers.

Leo Laporte (01:04:44):
I remember

Mike Masnick (01:04:45):
Yes. The Google problem.

Leo Laporte (01:04:47):

Mike Masnick (01:04:47):
Yes. And so we, we finally ditched it just because it was becoming too much of a pain for what we were getting out of it. We're not opposed to doing ads, but generally my take on that is, is that there, there either, there, there needs to be a balance in terms of, you know, most publications that I go to today that are ad supported are just, it's, IM, they're impossible to read. I mean, you have like a, something that comes down off the top, something that pops up across the bottom, and then every two paragraphs there's a giant ad and, and that it's, they're, they're just ridiculous.

Leo Laporte (01:05:21):
Especially on mobile. There are sites that I cannot read on mobile. Yes. 'cause of the way the ads will rearrange themselves, so you can't, can't scroll by them.

Mike Masnick (01:05:32):
So yeah. So, so I mean, we would never do that even if we did have ads. Right Now we don't. But the, the other thing is, I, I wish that we were talking about better ways to do ads because I do think that there are ways to do advertisements that are less annoying, less problematic, you know, less based on just trying to suck up all of your data and try and target you the best. But you know, that, that actually some people enjoy seeing, like, you know, you, there are ads that are actually good and enjoyable as, as content in their own right. And I, I've written about this for years as well. Like, I wish the ad market was moving more towards that world in which, you know, there are, they are advertisements and they're clearly labeled as advertisements, but they're not annoying and they're actually good enough that people don't mind seeing them. But, you know, the, the, the advertising market has not necessarily moved in, in that, in that realm. Whenever people approach us about advertising deals, we try to talk to them about like, Hey, can we talk about doing some sort of creative sponsorship that is something that people would actually enjoy? And so far we haven't really been able to convince many people to do that. But it is what we would like

Leo Laporte (01:06:45):
To do. I think that's what we're gonna end up. I mean, I think advertisers are starting to learn that playing all these games and snaring up all this data is not actually a, a long-term tenable point of view. In fact, I think we have a story along those lines here. I can't remember where I, where I stuck it. But basically ad targeting is just not a long-term good solution to this stuff. And people are really getting fed up with it.

Mike Masnick (01:07:15):

Leo Laporte (01:07:16):
Well, we'll see what, we'll see what happens. Yeah. I had it here somewhere. Moving right along. Let's talk about <laugh> Meta and Canada a divorce in the process. Georgia Dow <laugh> Canada has a bill that passed c we call it C 18, the Online News Act. It forces platforms like Google and Meta to negotiate deals with news publishers in Canada to pay for the snippets that those, well, in the case of Google, that Google uses in the search results or the shared articles in the case of meta that are showing up on Facebook. As a result, meta is now blocking news in Canada.

Rather than pay, they say, Nope, we're not gonna pay. And you no news for you. To which <laugh> Canadian Heritage Minister Pascal Sanon, who was apparently the one in charge of this weird heritage, okay. She's in charge of the government's negotiations with Meta. She said this week, this is irresponsible. They would rather block their users from accessing good quality and local news instead of paying their fair shared news organizations. We are going to keep standing our ground if the government can't stand up for Canadians against Tech Giants who will, I guess the key here is paying their fair share.

Does Meta owe the Toronto Globe and Mail when somebody on Facebook shares an article from the Toronto Globe and Mail and, and sends them traffic and sends traffic? Because it's just a clip, right? It's not the whole article and you click it. And where do you go? The Toronto Globe and Mail. This happened in Australia. Remember both Google and Facebook didn't like it, but ended up at the negotiating table after some concessions from the government. It happened in France. It happened in Spain. Google News left Spain for some time. I think it was years before the Spanish news organizations said, complete surrender. Come back Google, we missed you. What's gonna happen to C 18? First of all, Georgia, if you're not Michael Geist. Are people generally aware of this? I know Michael's been very outspoken against C 18.

Georgia Dow (01:09:50):
Yeah, I don't, I don't think that many people really know. I think that there's so many options for where you get your information. I don't think that many people will really be that bothered by it. I think that it's a really big issue. And, and in this, I'm not really much of a Meta or Facebook book fan, but in this case I'm kind of like, well, they, they have like a point, like, like where, where do you overstep your boundaries of trying to enforce your laws and, and what you're gonna do? And you know, who gets what and what is fair and how much is an article? And then can we be sued by personal people? Like it becomes one of those slippery slopes that can kind of go all the way through. So for most people, they don't care. For most people. They're kind of on the side of, not on the side of the government for this.

Leo Laporte (01:10:34):
So, oh, interesting. Even though the government's quote, standing up for Canadians, meta says only 3% of the content on its users feeds are news. News is not according to Meta a big deal for them. In fact, Rachel Kern, who's their head of public policy in Canada, said, news outlets voluntarily share content on Facebook and Instagram to expand their audiences and help their bottom line. They need us more than we need them. She says, in contrast, we know the people using our platforms don't come to us for news, so we're just gonna stop showing it. It was, I thought it was interesting when

Janko Roettgers (01:11:13):
Threats sort of launched and all the journalists flocked the threats because much, much better than whatever's going on at Twitter slash X these days. But then Meta came out and said, well, this is not really a platform where we want news to happen, or we are not gonna prioritize news at all. Never. It's like,

Leo Laporte (01:11:33):
Yeah, it's interesting they mentioned Facebook and Instagram. They didn't mention Threads, did they? Yeah. Yeah. But there's a lot news on threads.

Mike Masnick (01:11:41):
There's, there's some, but I was wondering if that was sort of covered by the claim of Instagram since Threads. Oh, maybe

Leo Laporte (01:11:47):
Sort of, sort of Instagram

Mike Masnick (01:11:48):
Property, but yeah, it's, it's not clear. And, and maybe there's just not enough users right now for it to matter.

Leo Laporte (01:11:54):

Mike Masnick (01:11:55):
But yeah,

Leo Laporte (01:11:56):
I do you're right though Yanko that as soon as Threads launched a couple of weeks ago, every brand, every news organization desperate to get off of Twitter flocked to threads. And most of my feed is still those, it's the brands in the news organizations, less normal people. 'cause Most of the normal people stopped posting on Threads. <Laugh> at least half according to most statistics. I like threads. Mike, you said you're using Blue Sky mostly these days?

Mike Masnick (01:12:26):
Yeah. Yeah. I, I've just found Blue Sky works for my sort of mental model of what, what I used to use Twitter for in terms of, you know, if I'm sort of working through ideas or thoughts or just wanna sort of chat with people who are thinking through similar things that I'm thinking through. Blue Sky's obviously a lot smaller, but for whatever reason it just, it just matches with, with my mental model of how, how you know, micro blogging kind of site should work.

Leo Laporte (01:12:53):
To me, threads looked the most like Twitter on launch. Bluesky felt a little bit more in crowd.

Mike Masnick (01:13:01):
Yeah. I mean, it's been expanding. It's actually been, you know, it's still invite only and so it's still relatively small. Yeah. But it's been growing really quickly. I think it's almost up to 500,000 people at this point. And as it grows more and more of the people that I, you know enjoy talking to <laugh> seem to be showing up and, and so far there haven't been too many. I wouldn't say it's certainly not entirely true that the people who make me frustrated about social media, there have been fewer of those on Blue Sky so far.

Leo Laporte (01:13:33):
Yeah. how about mast on both of you and, and Me also, we have our mast on handles in our lower thirds. Is Mast, is Mastodon just gonna be an also ran forever in this or? Well,

Mike Masnick (01:13:48):
The, I I think the big question is whether or not Threads really does embrace Activity Pub, which is what Mastodon is based on. Right. which they claim and they continue to swear is absolutely part of the plan. And so if Threads becomes the largest by far you know contributor to to activity pub discussions, then Mastodon might become more interesting because if you can communicate with people on threads via any of the, the various Mastodon tools that, that becomes a lot more interesting. Yeah. And so I'm, I'm sort of curious to see how that plays out in terms of what that will mean for Mastodon. What do you, what we gonna do with all our accounts then? Are we gonna merge

Leo Laporte (01:14:31):
Them again? Or <laugh>? I, you know, I so I run a Mastodon instance Twitter social, and I actually think Threads might be a really great opportunity for Mastodon to incorporate some of those brands Yes. And new sites because you can follow 'em and just stay on Mastodon. If you want a little touch of that, you can add it. But it doesn't mean you have to participate in threads. And more importantly, it doesn't mean you have to give any data to Facebook at all. It doesn't, it doesn't communicate it over. Right. Blue Sky

Mike Masnick (01:14:58):
Is, there

Leo Laporte (01:14:58):
Are some pri Blue Sky's also supposed to federate not with Mast It on, but in general. Right. I don't know if that's gonna happen. And that's,

Mike Masnick (01:15:05):
That is definitely part of the plan. And, and that, you know, I, I wanna see what happens there as well. I think that'll, you know, and, and if you listen to the developers on Blue Sky in terms of how they look at Federation and how they're thinking about it as compared to Mastodon you know, I think they're trying to solve for some of the problems that Mastodon ran into. Whether or not they accomplish that is, you know, a huge open question. But I think they're actually saying a lot of very thoughtful things in terms of how they're looking at Federation and how they look at sort of their role as, as owner of the protocol or control of the protocol, as well as running one particular node on it. But right now it's, it's all theoretical. And so, you know, who knows what'll actually happen.

Leo Laporte (01:15:48):
What is, what is your Georgia, what is your preferred social platform? Or do you even have one? I'm, I'm increasingly of the opinion. I don't need to tell anybody anything. <Laugh>. Yeah. I'm

Georgia Dow (01:15:59):
Kind of on the same stage as that. I'm like, less is more. Yeah. I don't really like, I'll do what I, I have to kind of for work. And so I can't say that I am, I'm, I don't have a social presence, but I'm not someone that likes to post my vacation pictures and where it's like, you know, it's just one of those things where I'm like, I'd rather not kind of engage in that thing. And I, I, I don't think

Leo Laporte (01:16:22):
Nothing good

Georgia Dow (01:16:23):
Have more followers

Leo Laporte (01:16:24):
Ever came of tweeting. It was always <laugh> just a recipe.

Mike Masnick (01:16:29):
I would, I would push back on that.

Georgia Dow (01:16:30):
I nothing good, but I think that for personal people, like it can definitely be something that you have to be careful what you put out there. 'cause It out there. People say things always

Leo Laporte (01:16:38):
Out on Twitter that, and it never goes away and

Georgia Dow (01:16:42):
Never goes away.

Leo Laporte (01:16:43):
I, nothing good ever came to my Twitter's. You disagree.

Georgia Dow (01:16:45):
It's only so much me

Leo Laporte (01:16:46):

Mike Masnick (01:16:46):
<Laugh>. You disagree with me. I, I I, I honestly think that that a lot of, you know, tech church recognition over the past 10 years is because of Twitter. You know, I think that that we got a lot of attention for various stories, mainly because of discussions on Twitter. Good and good. I think that I, so it was valuable

Leo Laporte (01:17:05):
For your business?

Mike Masnick (01:17:06):
Sure. Yeah. And I was able to, to meet people and communicate with people and, you know, and, and have connections almost entirely be a whole bunch of really what turned out to be really important connections almost entirely because of Twitter. And so I, I actually feel like, you know, what has happened to Twitter is really, really, you know, upsetting. Just because it, it was such a useful service for so many things. And I, I totally understand the reasons why for many, many people who are not in my position, it was a, a terrible, horrible, awful service and, and had no benefit whatsoever. But for, for, you know, for myself and, and for a number of other people that I know, you know, Twitter, you know, has helped people get careers and, and build up you know, wide network and friendships. And so, you know, having something that handles that role, I think is useful for a lot of people.

Leo Laporte (01:18:02):
Yeah. I stand correct. You're right. I, that was a facetious and foolish comment. However, I have to, I learned my lesson.

Janko Roettgers (01:18:10):
It's sort of an, it's sort of an interesting moment in that right now. And I think many people are in the same boat there as Georgia maybe, where

Leo Laporte (01:18:18):
Like, where do we go? We are re

Janko Roettgers (01:18:19):
We are rethinking a little bit, how have we used this in the past and how we're gonna use this. Like, I don't, I used to be on Twitter, well, not 24 7, but basically <laugh> my entire working day. Just having Twitter up and running and looking at it all the time. Which can take, like, once the election came around and then Covid and so forth, that can also take a mental toll for sure. And so now with, with all these new networks coming up, but none being quite that big, and Twitter just being a shit show I don't think I will ever go back to like a world where I pay 24 7 attention to these networks. I don't know if I ever want to have anything that replaces tweet deck, because like paying a little less attention to that and then diving in when it's useful for me. And then, but also taking a break during the workday from it for, for hours at a time seems to work actually a lot better.

Leo Laporte (01:19:09):
It is a little bit like rubbernecking a car accident when you visit X these days. Like, I can't look away, but it's, well, for instance, Elon Musk's latest tweet Zuck versus Musk fight will be live streamed on X, all proceeds will go to charity for veterans. What is

Georgia Dow (01:19:28):
That? Is that just recent? I thought his mom said he couldn't do it.

Leo Laporte (01:19:31):
Yeah, no, this is 14 hours ago. I don't know if, if if, if mu if Zuck is up behind this.

Georgia Dow (01:19:37):
Does does he know that Zuckerberg actually has been like doing Brazilian jiujitsu and his Oh,

Leo Laporte (01:19:42):
Z's would kick his butt

Georgia Dow (01:19:43):
Doing quite well. Yeah, he's been doing, doing quite well. Like he's actually training. Yeah. Quite like whatever you, well El think El says on Facebook, he's been training hardcore and his with like some of the best and he's doing very well. Like, he just competition.

Leo Laporte (01:19:56):
Well, he's a potato. We've seen pictures of Elon with his shirt off. He's a potato. Not a, I'm not a potato, I'm not, I I'm one of them, but he's of my, he's of my tribe, let's put it that way. <Laugh>, Elon, Elon did tweet, I'm sorry, exed an hour before that am lifting weights throughout the day preparing for the fight, don't have time to work out. So I just bring them to work.

Georgia Dow (01:20:19):
That's not gonna help you <laugh>. You can't work out from a guillotine.

Leo Laporte (01:20:24):
Wow. Elon also, and this is perhaps more serious, tweeted 19 hours ago, if you were unfairly treated by your employer due to posting or liking something on this platform, notice he doesn't say Twitter or X 'cause he doesn't know what the name is either on this platform we will fund your legal bill No limit. Yeah. Please let us know

Georgia Dow (01:20:48):
What is, could that be binding? No. Could that be No, not

Leo Laporte (01:20:51):
Only is is it not binding? It's guaranteed not to happen.

Mike Masnick (01:20:54):
Yeah. It's, it is almost entirely guaranteed not to happen. And there, there actually on Blue Sky, there was actually an interesting legal analysis of whether or not that was binding by, by Ken, Ken White, who's a, a lawyer who sort of walked through the, the different reasons. I, you know, I'm sure that somebody will probably take him to court at some point. <Laugh>

Leo Laporte (01:21:15):
Well wouldn't be fitting if it's a former Twitter employee that would perfect <laugh>. In fact, I think be in court with quite a few former

Mike Masnick (01:21:23):
There, there are quite a few of those. But, but yeah, I mean it's, it, it's so broad and it's so unclear and, and you know, the, the chances of it actually being found binding by a court are are pretty low. Mm-Hmm. but what a dumb thing to, to tweet. I mean, it's just, I

Janko Roettgers (01:21:41):
Mean, he's probably gonna do it, it for two or three believe

Mike Masnick (01:21:43):

Janko Roettgers (01:21:45):
He's gonna do it for two or three people who sued he'll. Really dumb things. And that's

Mike Masnick (01:21:49):
Gonna be exact

Janko Roettgers (01:21:50):

Mike Masnick (01:21:50):
It'll be, it'll, there'll be a few situations in which, well, the other thing too is like, you know, there are questions of, you know, if people are sued, maybe, but then there are questions of like, 'cause he sort of suggested like if you get fired or something, and if that's the case, like the person who's fired is probably not gonna have a legal claim unless they work for the government and there's potential First Amendment issues. But like, you know, if they, if you just work for a company and you say something really dumb on Twitter, which is what he seems to be encouraging and you get fired, you have no legal recourse. And he's sort of suggesting to people that they will. So I think what might happen is a bunch of people who do get fired for being complete jerks on Twitter, then file bogus legal claims and then go ask Elon for, to pay the legal bills. And, you know, if they're dumb enough and, and have supported Musk enough, maybe he'll just pay their legal bills. But, you know, the most likely scenario is that he's not gonna do anything.

Leo Laporte (01:22:44):
Well, if you read the replies to this tweet, it is a litany of <laugh> horrible people who deserve to be fired asking Elon to defend their case against their former employer. You know, doctors saying Don't get vaccinated. I mean, it, it's a, it's, it's actually a fascinating thread full of and by the way, Elon, it's very clear at this point, I'm, I'm not wrong when I say this right. That Elon just posts stuff. 'cause He knows he'll get in the newspapers and get, he'll get attention and he doesn't. He does. He's not attached to what he's saying. He's just, that's why he bought a company. Yeah. <laugh>, that's really what's going on. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. It's just he doesn't, I mean, I, I'm, I I think he believes it in the moment that he The moment, yes. Just like he believed he was gonna buy Twitter Yes.

In the moment. And then somebody held his feet to the fire and now he's screwed. But yeah, it's, that moment is he's got the attention span of a fireflight. It is not long. Yeah. Okay. Yeah, no, I agree with you in the moment. He firmly believes that. Okay, let's see here we are. Let me do a little break and then there's still so much news and I want to get through as much of this as I can. We have a great panel Ertz Superstar. Mike Masnick is here. I hope you're not scared of the internet <laugh>. 'cause If you are, he will make you feel better. <Laugh> for Mike, you're gonna be living this time. Isn't that George's job? I feel like Yeah. George's doing that. <Laugh>. Yeah, actually that's good. Georgia. If you're scared of the internet, Georgia Dow is here.

Youtube.Com/Georgia dow. It'll make you feel good about YouTube, that's for sure. I love her YouTube videos and Yanko records here from the information and other points, including Fast Company. Again, just freelancing for Yeah, yeah. Everywhere. But do follow him on his newsletter Pass cc our show today brought to you by Express v pn, the only V P N I use and recommend watching Netflix without using Express. V P N is like <laugh>. I like how they make this topical buying tickets to a Taylor Swift concert, but only being allowed to see the opening act. Huh. <laugh>. The reason is, you have, for instance, Netflix, you have a subscription to Netflix. And you may have noticed that Netflix in Canada has a whole different slate of shows or Netflix in England or Japan. Netflix is all over the world. I ask Netflix about this. They say, well, you have a Netflix account.

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As soon as you log off, it's gone. And so is every trace of your visit. And as if that weren't enough, express V P N runs on custom Debbie and distributions that wipe the drive every morning at reboot. So you, there is no trace of your visit to express V P N. That is true privacy. They invest in the network so you can stream in high def. It works with everything you've got. They've got servers all over the world, 94 countries. It works with every streaming service, YouTube, iPlayer, Netflix partly because they invest in rotating their IP addresses too. So when you use Express V P N, you merge on the public internet with an IP address that's not yours. That's theirs. And they rotate 'em. So these companies don't even really know that you're on A V P N. You just look like somebody who lives in Japan.

It's really a good service. I I think it's the right way to go. When you need A V P N, there should really be only one company. You think of Express V P N, get your money's worth right now. Express Be smart. Stop paying full price for streaming services and only getting an access to a fraction of their content. The opening act. Get the whole concert. And don't forget to use our slash twit. That way you'll get an extra three months of express vpn when you sign up for a year. It's a the best deal, less than $7 a month. Express If you want me to spell express vpn, I will. E X R e S Did you go, have you seen Taylor Swift yet? Georgia? You going to Taylor Swift? No. The ERAS tour? No. No.

Georgia Dow (01:28:25):
I I'm not much into concerts.

Leo Laporte (01:28:28):
I I'm not a I'm not a Swifty, but I know a lot of people who are going crazy. Taylor Swift's era's tour was in Silicon Valley this week. Somebody said, I don't know if this is true, that the local was it the Cupertino Police, instead of having a siren, were playing Tar Taylor Swift's songs through their last, I don't think that's, I saw it in the news though, <laugh>, but I don't think it's, it doesn't sound right. Right. Zuck went, he was seen in a box at Levi's Stadium. A lot of tech celebrities got tickets to see Taytay. Not me. Guess there's nothing more to, I don't know. I'm being sexist. I asked you about Barbie and now Taylor Swift Yanko, did you go see Taylor Swift when she was in town? I did not. I'm sorry. I can't help you. Mike. You were just down the road <laugh>. You were just down the road. Did you go down?

Mike Masnick (01:29:28):
I I also am not certainly not a big sort of concert person stadium stuff. Not, not, not by

Leo Laporte (01:29:35):
Scene. Yeah. Let me see if I can look This police siren thing up. It just doesn't seem,

Mike Masnick (01:29:42):
While you're looking it up, I would suggest also looking up what, what Zucks response to Elon's statements were on threat

Leo Laporte (01:29:49):
About the site. Oh, yes. Well before that, here is, I wanna do that. Here is the Santa Clara police from For those of you who actually believe will be swapping out sirens for Taylor Swift songs. We are not <laugh> <laugh> also. So you got fooled also. I got fooled by fake news also, no one's wearing a sale, A Swifty Clara Patch on their, on their they actually had the, and I wonder if she would sue them for it. <Laugh> just wondering. Yeah, I don't know. I think she'd be thrilled. Maybe. I think she'd be thrilled. <Laugh>. You think she'd be thrilled? Sure. <laugh>. Yeah. okay, so I got fooled. See, see, even, even you see, it's not so bad about the Pope now, is it? Even Albert Einstein believed it. So there you go. So what is he saying about what is Zuck saying about Elon on, on

Mike Masnick (01:30:39):
Threads if if you go to his, his thing on threads, he had two responses. So to the thing about it being streamed on X, he said, shouldn't we use a more reliable platform? Oh,

Leo Laporte (01:30:50):
Oh, no. The shade. Shade. I love it.

Mike Masnick (01:30:55):
And for the one about him lifting wage through the day, he said, I'm ready today. I suggested August 26th when he first challenged, but he hasn't confirmed and not holding my breath.

Leo Laporte (01:31:07):
Oh yeah. No, Elon has no intention. This is all part of his general plan to get everybody to pay attention. Yeah. Yes. I'm ready today. Oh, there it is. Yeah. So he's responding though. So see, he's getting Elon's getting the attention. Yeah. Z's paying attention to this. This is what he wants. Yeah. He says, I love this sport and will continue competing with people who train no matter what happens here. <Laugh>, I love this. I love it. It is really the ultimate shade when Elon spends $44 billion to buy Twitter to then just spin up something that's an exact duplicate and say, come over here. I mean, that's the cage match right there in a nutshell. Let's see. Amazon had a good quarter. And according to the Verge, every single Amazon team member is working on generative ai. Actually, it's not according to the Verge, it's according to Andy Jassy in the Thursday earnings call, Amazon and AI sitting in a tree.

Janko Roettgers (01:32:17):
I really wonder how that's gonna play out on your Kindle.

Leo Laporte (01:32:21):

Janko Roettgers (01:32:21):
God. AI box <laugh>. So, oh God, I don't know if you really meant every single team could also, you know, that's the Whole Foods Deli team and

Leo Laporte (01:32:29):
Yeah, I mean, there're, yeah, obviously there's some teams that are not AI would be, is actually very useful, I'm sure in business intelligence in doing things like saying how many widgets you sold and how many widgets you need to make for next year, things like that. But I honestly, the Amazon Echo could very much use a, a, an assist from something intelligent. So could Siri <laugh>. So could use the Google, the Google Siri, the Google Assistant. I'm surprised that we haven't seen more AI in those guys. Maybe it'd be too chatty.

Janko Roettgers (01:33:00):
I think there's also, with all these voice assistants, once they get things wrong, it can be really, really frustrating. We've all experienced it, I imagine. So when you add all this uncertainty of uc, hallucinating LLMs and so forth, yeah, it's gonna get really messy really quick. And they don't want people to say, oh, I'm never gonna use Alexa again because she just taught me complete, made up stuff.

Leo Laporte (01:33:22):
Good point. Too risky. Google is, is in court, of course, always the, the attorneys general of most of the states sued because they said Google was favoring their own services like Google Shopping or YouTube over third party services in a ruling unsealed on Friday, US District judge said, Nope, you can't, you have not demonstrated to my satisfaction that Google's search results harmed Yelp or Expedia. So we're gonna throw that out. He wrote the state's allegation on vertical search, quote relies not on evidence, but us almost entirely on the opinion and speculation of its expert. Simply put, there is no record evidence of anti-competitive harm. This is from us district Judge Ahmet Mitta. So the case will go on. But now that whole section has been removed and it will focus, its set for trial September 12th on agreements Google made with companies to make its search engine. The default Google rumors, say speculation says, pays Apple, for instance, around $15 billion a year to be the default search on Safari. Plaintiffs allege that kept rivals like binging and duck, duck go <laugh> from succeeding. I'm sure you've written about Mike. Is this, you said you pointed out, Bloomberg said this was a setback for the State's attorney general, but you said what AP said it was good news for them.

Mike Masnick (01:35:11):
I I don't know if I I said that.

Leo Laporte (01:35:13):
Oh, somebody said that was,

Mike Masnick (01:35:14):
That might have been some,

Leo Laporte (01:35:16):
I think that was me was okay. Yeah. The Bloomberg had a different slant. In other words,

Mike Masnick (01:35:22):
There's always two sides to the story,

Leo Laporte (01:35:23):
I guess. Yeah. I don't see how you read can read this too much differently. This seems like a whole chunk of what they were suing about is, is gone.

Mike Masnick (01:35:30):
And, and it's, it's the very thing, you know, Yelp has spent years, you know, probably a decade pushing this exact theory and really was, you know, one of the main driving forces behind this lawsuit. And to have that part of it, the part that really is about Yelp just tossed aside by the judge is kind of embarrassing for, for Yelp.

Leo Laporte (01:35:53):
I maybe you can fill me in on this since you, you really pay attention to this. It seems surprising to me that antitrust regulators, not just in the US but even in the eu, seem to be motivated by complaints from competitors. Sony complaining about Microsoft Activision or a tile complaining about Apple and their air tags or Yelp complaining about Google. Is that how it's supposed to be?

Mike Masnick (01:36:20):
Well, that depends on who you ask <laugh>, right? So there are different schools of thought when it comes to antitrust. And the, the big question is, you know, what, what is it that antitrust is supposed to be protecting? Is it supposed to be protecting the consumer or is it supposed to be protecting competition? And there are many times where those two things overlap, in which case antitrust then works in a reasonable way. But there are times where that is different. And, and that's where the complications come in. And so the people pushing these theories are the ones who say it's supposed to protect competition. And therefore, if there is a company that is not doing well, the question is, are they not doing well because they're not doing well good at what they do. They're terrible and they're not doing, yeah, they're, and they're, they're not attracting the interest from, from consumers, or are they not doing well because of an unfair business practice by the large incumbent?

And, and so that becomes a lot harder to parse out. And because it's sort of this fuzzy area, it allows any company that is struggling or flailing to claim that it's for antitrust reasons as opposed to their own inability to succeed. And you know, there's, there's, there's a lot of gray area in the middle in terms of, you know, which things are really impacting it. But to some extent, you know, competition means that sometimes companies lose, and that alone shouldn't be an antitrust violation. The real question just gets down to, is the big company doing something that is unfair that blocks their ability to compete fairly?

Leo Laporte (01:37:52):
So yeah, I mean, okay, that makes sense. And if a company complains and can demonstrate that, then they have every right to complain. Right? But they have to demonstrate that, that the,

Mike Masnick (01:38:01):
So, so, and, and I mean, you can sort of see it in this ruling, right? The, the part of the case that moved forward was the one where Google comes in and pays a ridiculous amount of money to have its search be the default that, you know,

Leo Laporte (01:38:16):
But that's not a monopoly. I mean sure. If I had Leo's search engine and had the money to pay <laugh> Apple $15 billion, I would be the default search. That wouldn't be a monopolistic behavior that's just spending an outrageous amount of money. Well,

Mike Masnick (01:38:30):
It, it, it depends, right? I mean, that's, that's where the analysis, you know, I mean, I still think there's a decent chance that even if this is going to trial, that Google could still win. Yeah. It's just a question of, you know, where does it get kicked out? I

Leo Laporte (01:38:42):
Mean, you don't blame you don't say, well, Kellogg's, you shouldn't have paid Safeway to be an end cap at the store That's really putting your serial in the front of right. Consumers. That's not anti antitrust and monopolistic behavior. That's just commercial behavior.

Mike Masnick (01:38:57):
Well, there are some, there are some people who disagree with you on that. Yeah. I mean, there are people who will say that some of that behavior, if the company is large enough and if they're able to block others from doing that then there might be, but I, I tend to lean towards, towards what you're saying, which is that, you know, it's, it's a more difficult antitrust case to make right. Than others. I think, you know, the, the, this, you know, there have been, there are a bunch of different antitrust lawsuits going on all at once, some of which I think are weaker than others. And I think this one was always kind of a, on the weaker end of the spectrum, I think there, there is another one involving Google's ad business that I think's a strong case stronger. Yes. Much, much stronger arguments about the things that they did behind the scenes, right? To really hurt competitors that we're not just like, we have more money and we're able to pay for the end cap kind of

Leo Laporte (01:39:47):
Situations. Yeah. Yeah. I think that's a strong case. You can't I don't think it's sufficient to say, oh, this company's just too big, your Honor. Yeah.

Mike Masnick (01:39:59):
But that's, you know, that's, and

Leo Laporte (01:39:59):
That's kind of what you're saying. If Google can afford to pay $15 billion to Apple to be the default search engine Yeah. Well, they're just too rich.

Mike Masnick (01:40:07):
Yeah. I mean, you could argue, certainly Microsoft has has plenty of money to pay to pay as well. Yeah.

Leo Laporte (01:40:13):
But if Microsoft were willing to spend 15 billion to be this default search, in fact, there were rumors for a while that binging was gonna do that. I can't remember where, but somewhere. And then they decided not to, in other words, they're making an economic decision. It's not worth it to be the default search engine on though,

Mike Masnick (01:40:29):
Though. I, I should know, by the way, this was a story that, that we had last week a week and a half ago where Techer got deleted from binging. Whoops. And then because we were deleted from binging, we got deleted from DuckDuckGo as well. <Laugh>. Yeah.

Leo Laporte (01:40:43):
Yeah, yeah. People think there are other search engines. There really is mostly just Google and Bing people license binging. I was, there was a good article about, which was a search engine I loved and used. Yeah. and why it failed, basically. And the, and I think it was in the Verge, but the, the premise was, you know, you can create a great search engine. Neeva was doing it. They first licensed Bing, and they were kind of weaning themselves off of being, they used ai, it was started by some Googlers who said, we can do this without ads if we ask people to pay. Right. And I was paying five bucks a month. I liked it. There were no ads. The search results were quality. They were getting better all the time. But the, the, the, is it the tyranny of the default or the tyranny of the $15 billion, whatever it is Neva had to fold and sell

Mike Masnick (01:41:33):
A, a lot of people, I, I keep hearing people now recommend. Another one that was, is in that, that vein where it's a paid for search engine called Khaki, K H E I I I hadn't

Leo Laporte (01:41:43):
Used it. Yeah. Yeah.

Mike Masnick (01:41:44):
But a lot of people have been, you know, there was there when there was a discussion about us getting deleted from DuckDuckGo, which, which turned into a fight on hacker News because the c e O of DuckDuckGo dropped in and people were saying, you keep claiming that you're not just binging, but, but it is, tech Techer got deleted from binging. Yeah. And it disappears from Duck, duck Go. It's sort of proving that's not the case. And so yeah, there, there's there, you know, but there are, you're right, there are others who are trying to build search engines, but the question is, you know, can they attract enough of an audience or a business model to, to make it work?

Leo Laporte (01:42:20):
Brave has just announced that they're gonna no longer use binging results, that they're gonna, they've been working hard to generate their own spider, and they're gonna start just doing braise results. I, I, you know, a lot of people use Brave because it's Chromium. It's a, it's a Chrome compatible browser that's not Chrome. I, I haven't seen that. I've looked at the results, but I can't. Does do you know if cgi, by the way, C e's confusing because it's also a payment service, but it's not related. Ah, that's a little confusing. But do you know if they use binging or if they,

Mike Masnick (01:42:55):
They, they claim they don't they claim that it's an entirely unique index, but I don't know nearly enough about it. Did detector

Leo Laporte (01:43:02):
Disappear from cgi? Is the, I guess

Mike Masnick (01:43:04):
You're now, you're now

Leo Laporte (01:43:05):
The litmus test. You're the canary in the coal

Mike Masnick (01:43:08):
Mine. Well, we, we, we, you know, after we complained, we did come back to we were back in binging and we were back in DuckDuckGo. Good. But good. I, I have no idea if we are in CGI or not. <Laugh>. Yeah.

Leo Laporte (01:43:21):
Yeah. it just shows how hard it is. The incu in this case, this is really, Google is a very strong incumbent. And and it just shows how hard it would be to create a competitor. It's almost virtually impossible. Which,

Mike Masnick (01:43:34):
Well, that, that, that gets to the antitrust question. Exactly. If, if it's impossible, then there are questions about, you know, does antitrust need to step in to help enable competition? Yeah. With the idea that if there is competition, then the consumer would benefit as well. But that's, that's where there are a lot of questions and, and a lot of, you know, very difficult legal questions involved.

Leo Laporte (01:43:57):
God, I mean, it wasn't that long ago, there was a huge diversity of search engines, right? Yeah. start page and, and Lycos and Alta Vista and Excite, and these are all names that are dim, dark, distant memories of the internet. Young people are going, who? What you mean Google <laugh>? Yeah, Google. That's the one I was talking about.

Mike Masnick (01:44:19):
Re remember when Google launched? I mean, this is you and I being old, but, but when Google launched, I thought it was way too late. Right? There are, we have too many search engines already. Yeah. Why do we need another

Leo Laporte (01:44:29):
One? They won because they were good and simple. Yes. But they really did give noticeably better results. Yes. The page rank algorithm worked, and they, and they won because of that. I think it, it's possible it, lean Khan and the F T C really want Google to break up Google. Yeah. and, and, and just have there be a search engine. And then, you know, YouTube is somebody else. And shopping is somebody else. And Airfares or somebody else that would be, and advertising. Advertising. Yeah. That would be very interesting. 'cause Right now they both buy and sell. They're a, they, they are definitely in that weird position where they control too much of the advertising market. And I think that that case has a lot of merit, but I don't know if you can break up Google. Good lord.

Mike Masnick (01:45:19):
Yeah. I think breaking them up would be very difficult, but

Leo Laporte (01:45:23):
Force 'em to offload the ad, the ad business maybe, except that's their business. Yeah. It's 80% of their revenue.

Mike Masnick (01:45:30):

Leo Laporte (01:45:31):
79% as of their last quarterly results. By the way apple had kind of weak to middling quarterly results, much as expected 1% down year over year. But the services were up. And, and a good part of that is the $15 billion that comes from Google every year. That, and of course this little thing called the iPhone app market, which makes quite a bit of money for. Apple. let's see. Should we take, yeah, let's take a little break. And when we come back, we have a lot of little stories. The little ones that seeped to the bottom. Great panel here. Georgia Dow, Mike Masnick, Yanko Rutgers. We're gonna have more of the show in just a second. But first, a word from our sponsor This week in Tech, brought to you by lookout, business has changed forever.

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But the claiming that they made a superconductor that operates at normal temperatures, which would be massive, would change the way everything works. Computing electric generation, everything. But what's interesting is that they created this out of, you know, kind of normal chemicals that are around the house <laugh>. And so and published the details about how they made it so that you've got a lot of Twitter people and YouTube people saying, oh yeah, I made it too. <Laugh> <laugh>. Oh, yeah, it wasn't that hard. There is, I think, a reasonable skepticism about this. This is a pretty extraordinary claim, but there are a lot of viral videos samples of material supposedly levitating because of the Meisner effect. I guess there's nothing much to say except you know, this is, this is more of the same with social networks. The most scientific experts say extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. That proof is still forthcoming. Nobody has quite replicated it. Even your favorite Instagram influencer <laugh>, although it'd be pretty hysterical if they did.

Mike Masnick (01:49:57):
Yeah, that would be what, think of that as a scientific achievement.

Leo Laporte (01:50:01):
Oh, yeah, I made it too. Yeah. Yeah.

Mike Masnick (01:50:03):
So social media influencers are proving these big scientific breakthroughs.

Leo Laporte (01:50:08):
There's a Russian anime fan who has disappeared now after claiming she had also synthesized it. I don't know. It's, it's just, I find it's fascinating, frankly, the way people have jumped on this Angry Russian home Scientist claims replication of LK 99 with a faster method. <Laugh> okay, fine. <Laugh>, she's disappeared from view. Maybe she didn't really do it. Good news, Voyager two has not disappeared from View. The antenna got knocked a skew two degrees off. Now remember, if you're, what is it? 17 billion miles out, two degrees means you're missing the earth entirely. But they were able to use a very powerful space telescope in Australia to, to ping it. And they've got the antenna, re-oriented. And we are now talking to Voyager two. It's been hurdling through space since 1977. It is I guess 12 billion miles out, which means the signal takes 18 hours to get to it and 18 hours to get back. It's not, not a very fast conversation, but good news. Voyager two is back in communication as it heads out to the outer planets. Where is it now? John? Do you know John Pluto Beyond Pluto? It's already beyond Pluto. Wow. That would be cool if Pluto were a Planet <laugh>. Sorry, sorry. Too soon. That's too soon. Too soon. <Laugh> Fortnite. I, I didn't know Fort, go ahead.

Janko Roettgers (01:51:57):
No, I was just gonna say, what kills me about these stories is that these devices from 1977 still seem to run fairly well. Every now and then they get a degree wrong. And meanwhile, my phone, like after a year or two kids completely outdated, <laugh>,

Leo Laporte (01:52:11):
I can't get a, why doesn't

Janko Roettgers (01:52:12):
Anybody use special antenna for that? Yeah, good

Leo Laporte (01:52:15):
Point. Excellent point. That's

Mike Masnick (01:52:17):
A fair point.

Leo Laporte (01:52:18):
I did not know that Fortnite had museums. Apparently it does. It has a Martin Luther King exhibition. They're adding a Holocaust museum. I imagine that if you're playing Fortnite, you probably jump past those museums pretty quickly. But the fact that it's there, I think is, is pretty cool. The museum I guess Epic allows you to create museums. The museum is has been created oh, it was by an expert, right? It's an expert. It better be an expert. Luke Bernard, who's the director of The Light In The Darkness, which is a game about a Jewish family in France trying to escape the Holocaust. Used Epic's tools to build the Holocaust Museum, got Epic's approval. It will now be I guess in the, is it in the lobby? I haven't, I haven't seen it, but I guess it's in the lobby and you can go see it. Here's some I think that

Georgia Dow (01:53:14):
That's a wonderful way to be able to reach people, is to go into the media where they already are. Like, again, maybe people won't go, but even if you reach some that may not have been as educated about this, or might be interested or, you know, add a storyline that goes to it, I think that we need to adapt the way that we educate people to where they already are. Like, go to where they are. Don't try to drag them into a regular museum that they may not be able to afford. Or it might be more antiquated, or they might think of it as boring. So I think it's an amazing idea.

Leo Laporte (01:53:46):

Mike Masnick (01:53:46):

Leo Laporte (01:53:46):
Yeah, yeah. Luke says 80% of Americans have never visited a Holocaust museum, so this is a chance to reach them.

Mike Masnick (01:53:54):
And, and, you know, the, the other thing that I, I agree with Georgia entirely. The other thing that I thought was kind of interesting is, you know, mark Zuckerberg spent all this time trying to create the, the metaverse that nobody goes to. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. And here you have, you know, Fortnite sort of creating a metaverse like experience almost by accident. And people are realizing, you know, where the people are. Then you can build interesting things. So seeing like this museum pop up and all of the stuff about concerts and other things that are happening in Fortnite it's, it's kind of interesting to see how these things, you know, which is certainly not what Epic planned originally for Fortnite. But what it's sort of turned into is, is really kind of fascinating. This is

Leo Laporte (01:54:33):
Actually Yanko, one of the things you cover, you, you cover horizon World. You got an article low Pass cc about the new shooter in Horizon's World. Super Rumble. Is this part of a general reboot of Horizon Worlds?

Janko Roettgers (01:54:49):
It is. And part of that is that they just upped the technical abilities. So before, everything basically in Horizon world had to be built in world. And it was so, it wasn't great looking. Everything looked sort of similar. The resolution was low. And now you can import objects and you can import things. And so that allows people to do much more professional stuff. And one of these examples for that is this new game, which actually I played it, it's, it's a lot of fun. I think they are sort of seeing that they have to push more with first party titles, with making, giving people a good reason to go there. And that goes to, to Mike's point with, with Fortnite, right? The game was there first. That's why everybody came. And everybody liked the game. And then they started branching out and, oh, maybe we can do a concert here.

Maybe people can build their own stuff. And then people start building museums and all those things. Horizon tried to do this backwards in a way, I think initially, or Meta tried to do it backwards, where they said, oh, it's a blank slate. You can do everything. They built a couple games, but those were, they were, they were okay, but it wasn't the best examples. And you couldn't do that much inwards. So all the stuff that people built was worse than what Meta started with. And so it wasn't very interesting. And now they basically retooled a lot of these things. And they're gonna do more first party titles. They actually build a game studio specifically for Horizon out of Matter, out of Oculus Studios that's gonna do first party. They're gonna partner with game publishers to bring some titles to Horizon. So things are gonna change quite a bit there. Over the next couple months.

Leo Laporte (01:56:23):
You you referred to a, a leaked memo from internally Memo from a meta saying <laugh> saying, Meta's own staffers won't even use Horizon Worlds. The the manager wrote, if we don't love it, how can we expect our users to love it? So it has been challenging for Meta. Do you Georgia, do you you don't use any of these social networks in your VR play, do you?

Georgia Dow (01:56:53):
No. That really, like we, I, like, I have, I've tested them out and like, gone on and, and usually they're ones that have the social aspect, but also have a game that's attached to it. So I'm really there for the game. And then you meet other people that are also playing the game. And now we're all, you know, doing a boss or doing a level. So it, it kind of feeds itself. But the ones that are just for social know, like, why, my, my just thought is why, right? Like, I think that it's wonderful if you're lonely or if you're, you know, you want company or you wanna do, but I think that it's much a, a much better thing is inside of a game where you're already participating in the game. And so because of that, then you can meet other people that are like-minded with the game and talk about the game, and then kind of branch out from it.

I don't find it is interesting to be there. I I find it much more tedious than having personal conversations with people that are in person because you're not reading the, like, the, there's that, that uncanny valley. Like, you're not reading someone really well. You don't get all of the same facial information. And at first it was really cute and cool to be able to do it, but after a while, I think that it just becomes kind of, he heavy and tedious. So it was not as fun for me. Yeah. Just to socialize online.

Leo Laporte (01:58:03):
I That's true in, in life as well. It's a lot easier. At least it is for me, a lot easier to socialize around a game. You know? That's why people play golf than just going to a spot and just saying, let's talk about something. It's a lot easier to have an activity. And then, and then there is a, there could be a very, you know, vital social environment when you have a card game or something that you're doing. I like my, I liked, I used to like my poker group 'cause it was a chance to get together with the guys and talk. And, but ostensibly it was to play poker, but the poker was just an excuse that makes sense to me that that would be much more in intriguing.

Janko Roettgers (01:58:40):
That's basically the story. Why Second Life never really went anywhere. They drew like a core crowd of people who really liked this creator aspect and this social aspect of it, and building stuff in the world and having your own economy and all these things. But it was way too complicated. And they mm-hmm. <Affirmative> purposefully never wanted to be a game because they thought games are for kids. No.

Leo Laporte (01:59:00):
Which is awesome. They were wrong. Yeah. A

Janko Roettgers (01:59:01):
Bad assumption, obviously. Yeah. As we know now. But yeah, so they missed the, the boat on a lot of those things. And never grew past, I think about a million concurrent users or monthly users.

Leo Laporte (01:59:14):
You know, what the game was that actually give people a reason. People still play Second Life, but it's mostly around sex. They found a game <laugh> that they could play. It's weird. I, you know, I used to be in Second Life and I went back a few years ago and people were buying like suit, like nude suits so they could be naked in second life and, and flirting. And so they did find, they did find an activity to commune around. Can't have been very satisfying, but it's still around. I

Janko Roettgers (01:59:46):
Think. It's still around. Yeah.

Leo Laporte (01:59:47):
Yeah. These are all lessons learned. I just don't know if we've learned them well enough to create a, a VR world that anybody wants to be a part of. We're a long way from the Metaverse, I hate to say it. What do you do these days? What do you play these days? What are your games? Georgia?

Georgia Dow (02:00:02):
So, I actually haven't played a lot of Uhhuh games in VR right now. So

Leo Laporte (02:00:07):
They're getting tired of it. Aren't you? Aren't you? It's

Georgia Dow (02:00:10):
Not the ti it's not the tired of it. It's that they haven't made really great games. Like after I'm Halflife, Alex and I, I did Hori. I did a horizon also, which I thought was good, but it was more of a climbing game versus the Horizon video game that I really enjoyed. And so like, Reddi Redemption is just, it's just a lot of fun. Much more relaxing. You can kind of do whatever you want.

Leo Laporte (02:00:34):
I red, so that's a good example. That's a VR game, even though it's on a two D surface. 'cause It's immersive. Once you're in it, you're in that world. Yes. Riding horses and camping around the

Georgia Dow (02:00:46):
Fire. Yeah. So Red Redden is not in VR that

Leo Laporte (02:00:48):
I know. It's a two D game.

Georgia Dow (02:00:50):
It's a nice two D game, and it's just fun, relaxing, enjoyable, the pace. You can make it whatever you want. You can you know, just play poker all day if that's really what you wanna do. And it's kind of enjoyable and chill. And so that's really good. Hi sir.

Leo Laporte (02:01:06):
Hiding any whiskey under that skirt for me. <Laugh> <laugh>, Georgia says, do not be a creep in Red Dead Redemption. <Laugh>, this is a great video.

Georgia Dow (02:01:20):
He has his moments. He's not usually

Leo Laporte (02:01:22):
<Laugh>, sometimes, sometimes. So that's an N P C. That's not you,

Georgia Dow (02:01:28):
That's you. That's,

Leo Laporte (02:01:29):
That is you. That's you <laugh> Are they making you say that? Or you just decided to say that?

Georgia Dow (02:01:33):
Yeah, you don't, you don't have a choice in that one. You usually do. You kind of get the, the good cop, bad cop. You can kind of decide which way you wanna go. Oh, nice. For most things. But sometimes he's just inebriated and he is a little bit awkward sometimes <laugh> and says things that he probably shouldn't. He owned it though. Like I was, I was p him for owning.

Leo Laporte (02:01:52):
I ha I, I think we ascribed too much importance to the heads, the nerd headset that really a, a good movie is a virtual reality experience. A good game is a virtual reality experience in the sense that you are immersed in a different world. And even if you don't have the surround picture, that you have a sensory of experience of being somewhere else. And being transported isn't mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. I mean, that's the goal. Right. And, and I think if you can do it without annoying people by putting, making 'em seasick or putting a headset on them, you've done a, a better job than most VR titles.

Georgia Dow (02:02:32):
No, I'll say a, a good, like good VR titles where you're immersed in the game and you really feel it. And it's more fun than that. Like, being able to look all the way around and you're like, you really do feel like you're in that world. Like, you feel a sense of sadness when you're playing something that's in VR that is exceptionally immersive. If you're into scary games, it is a thousand times more frightening to be immersed in the world than to play it on a screen. There's many games that are, that are scary that I can play if it's on the screen. But you put the headset on and I'm like, very quickly. I'm, there's, there's no way that I can continue on with this game. It's too much. So I still think that vr there's a place for it. And I think that there's many things that you can do and experience and test out and train and reprogram your brain through VR that can become exceptionally effective. But unfortunately, like, I don't think that Meta did us any favors by putting out a very poorly thought out experience that really failed on many aspects.

Leo Laporte (02:03:37):
So you think Apple's Vision Pro might prove your point?

Georgia Dow (02:03:41):
Well, the Vision Pro is, is not really vr. It's gonna be more ar. Right. And I think that I ar is a, is a different animal than what I would want. Like, I like if it was just like little tiny sunglasses and I feel like the Terminator and I get all the info about everything.

Leo Laporte (02:03:57):
That's a different thing though. That's not, that would

Georgia Dow (02:03:59):
Be kind of cool. Yeah. That's not what they're offering. It's not, yeah. So if you can't make the world, if this doesn't actually make things better the cost of having to put on a headset is going to be just too great. Even though you can still see your face beyond it, it's not really gonna work. Like you, it's, they're still very, very heavy on, on your head. Like even wearing a few pounds on your head. It's hard on your neck, the tires. And so, yeah. Yeah.

Leo Laporte (02:04:24):
I mean, I think if you go to a Mo I'm not talking about video games. If you go to a movie and it's, and it's a big screen, it's immersive. You've got music, you've got emotions, you get drawn into it. You could be just as scared by a a, a good movie or just as emotionally wrought by a good movie as you could by a VR game. Or is there something about, I don't

Georgia Dow (02:04:46):
It being, have you, have you played The Exorcist on vr? No.

Leo Laporte (02:04:49):
It's really scary. Huh? There's something you're saying it's something visceral that happens when it's immersive that you're in it.

Georgia Dow (02:04:56):
Well, you, you, there is. So if you look at a movie on a screen and you want to leave, like emotionally, you can look away. What you do is you kind of curl up. Yeah. We look somewhere else on the screen. We look at the other people. We are with others. We can support each other. Again, when every single part of our senses is in a terrifying experience. And everywhere you look, it's just more terror. It is a much more visceral experience and much more terrifying. And even mild ones, such as, I think there was called Two Sisters, and it is about dolls. Dolls can be relatively creepy. Was really frightening. And it's, it's one of these

Leo Laporte (02:05:38):
Experiences where, so I have Quest where I find vrs, I have a Quest Pro. Should I get The Exorcist? I

Georgia Dow (02:05:44):
Would, I I think it would be really fascinating to I would love to hear, I would love to watch you try it out actually <laugh>. Because I think that you would find it much more frightening than just

Leo Laporte (02:05:58):
Interesting. You really watching the movie, you're tricking your brain into thinking you're there. Basically. You're

Georgia Dow (02:06:03):
There. Yeah. You are there. Yeah. Every single sense besides feeling and smell is telling you, you are there. Yeah.

Leo Laporte (02:06:10):

Janko Roettgers (02:06:11):
And then when you add feeling to it, I think, George, you had that example earlier of the plank that you

Leo Laporte (02:06:15):
Yes. Oh, that is, is that I couldn't walk, I couldn't walk out that elevator door.

Janko Roettgers (02:06:20):
Yeah. Well, so you can do that with VR at home and you can actually put a piece of wood that you then map Yeah. Onto the ground. Yeah. Yeah. And even though you set it up yourself, you put that plank on your carpet, once you're in vr, you're gonna wa it, you're gonna wa over the head. Yeah.

Leo Laporte (02:06:36):
No, I, I didn't even have a wooden plank. I was just playing it here on the carpet. And I just can't, I can't go out there. I can't go out there. I had to really force myself to and so it does trick you. It does fool you. You're right. All right. I'm gonna get, I have the Quest Pro.

Georgia Dow (02:06:50):
Oh, are you gonna put it, are you gonna put it up somewhere? Are we gonna get to watch

Leo Laporte (02:06:53):
This <laugh>? Should I, should I, should I? Alright. Alright.

Georgia Dow (02:06:56):
That would be fascinating. I think that would be, can I Absolutely. Fascinating to see.

Leo Laporte (02:07:00):
Technically I can, can I show not with the Quest. 'cause I, I could do it with the HT c I could show the screen of what I'm seeing. Yes. And oh, I guess I can with a question if I pair it, I'm There is. Yeah. I think you can pair it to a, the screen. To a screen. Yeah. Alright.

Janko Roettgers (02:07:14):
I think you can even record with an iPhone yourself sort of in the experience. Yeah.

Leo Laporte (02:07:21):

Janko Roettgers (02:07:22):
I haven't never done that

Leo Laporte (02:07:22):
Actually. If I scream like a girl, you promise not to laugh.

Georgia Dow (02:07:26):
Well, we'll enjoy that. That will be, yes. We'll laugh, but that's the entertaining part of it, is to watch your terror while we're not terrified. <Laugh>, she'll love that. Right. Like to see someone that's absolutely in sheer terror. All right.

Leo Laporte (02:07:39):
Did we just bully Leo into Terror? <Laugh>? You just bullied me into being a a Skirty cat. It's, you're talking about the Exorcist Legion, right? The Exorcist Legion vr. Yeah. Yes. Chapter one. First Rites. It's on steam. Ugh. It's actually,

Georgia Dow (02:07:57):
Yeah. I would be worse. But don't even worry.

Leo Laporte (02:07:59):
The Eist movie scared the crap outta me, to be honest.

Georgia Dow (02:08:02):
Well then this is

Leo Laporte (02:08:05):

Georgia Dow (02:08:05):

Leo Laporte (02:08:06):
I'm real in real trouble. How do they handle movement? 'cause This is one of the problems with VR is you can't like walk down a hall. How do you walk down a hall?

Georgia Dow (02:08:15):
So you're, for this one, I believe it's free movement, which I don't love. I love teleportation. I think it's easier, but I, I can do it is you're just using your, your stick and you're moving it forward and you move wherever you place

Leo Laporte (02:08:26):
Face your stick. Okay. Like, like a joystick moves you forward. Okay. Yeah. I guess that's fine. That's like a real, that's like a video

Georgia Dow (02:08:31):
Game. And, and for some of them, if you have a big enough room, you can walk

Leo Laporte (02:08:35):

Georgia Dow (02:08:36):
And then you just turn the stick and you're, you've flipped

Leo Laporte (02:08:39):
The Oh, I get it. You know the world. Oh,

Georgia Dow (02:08:41):
Okay. Around you. And you can continue to walk. But I would say you should not be walking in this because it's so scary. You may choose to run <laugh>. Yikes. And

Leo Laporte (02:08:50):

Georgia Dow (02:08:51):
You're not, you're gonna run into something and then it will feel even worse. Should

Leo Laporte (02:08:55):
I get a barf bag though? Because it makes me a little, do you

Georgia Dow (02:08:58):
Get motion sick?

Leo Laporte (02:08:59):
A little bit. Yeah. Will I get motion sick on this one? Is this a So you,

Georgia Dow (02:09:02):
You could, like, I think that the terror, I don't think that you have to worry about motion out of all the things that you have to be frightened of. I don't think motion stick is gonna

Leo Laporte (02:09:09):
Get you that far. Oh God. Be

Georgia Dow (02:09:10):
Ending it. Nightmare before motion. Sick. God,

Leo Laporte (02:09:12):
You're, you're really selling it here. <Laugh>. Yes. Well, but so I mean, I wouldn't ride a rollercoaster ginger. There is a finite chance that I will die on a rollercoaster, but there is a zero chance that I will die. Zero

Georgia Dow (02:09:24):
Chance that you will die this fresh ginger cut up and have that that works really, really well. And have it a little bit before. Okay. And then have raw root of ginger chopped up and chew that a little bit after. And that works exceptionally well for motion

Leo Laporte (02:09:38):
Sickness. Okay. And if, if I do vomit, we won't We'll edit that out.

Georgia Dow (02:09:44):
Well again, how many viewers do you wanna watch it? That's your choice.

Leo Laporte (02:09:47):
<Laugh>, you just, you're right. She bullied me into this, didn't she? You're right. <Laugh>. You're right. I've been talked into doing, but, but it sounds fun. She know.

Mike Masnick (02:09:57):
She, she knows that Elon Musk game, which is, what is it gonna take to get you some attention,

Leo Laporte (02:10:01):
Leo? Because she knew how to push that attention. Leon attention

Georgia Dow (02:10:04):
Needs more attention.

Leo Laporte (02:10:05):
Yeah. I need the attention. Alright.

Georgia Dow (02:10:08):
How many more people you wanna join clubs? So I, I need a

Leo Laporte (02:10:10):
Young priest and I need an old priest. Join club. Quit and we're gonna play the game. Okay. Oh

Georgia Dow (02:10:15):
My goodness.

Leo Laporte (02:10:18):
It'll be a club exclusive. Yeah. Oh, that's good. You'll have to pay seven bucks if you wanna see me. Barf <laugh>. Speaking of games and the

Georgia Dow (02:10:28):
Number doubled

Leo Laporte (02:10:29):
<Laugh>, there is a game called Magic The Gathering. I'm thinking, Mike, you must have played magic when you were a kid. I, I

Mike Masnick (02:10:36):
Have never played Magic The Gathering, but I am very

Leo Laporte (02:10:39):
Familiar with it. Certainly. Yeah. How about you Yanko? Do they have magic? The Gathering in the Netherlands?

Janko Roettgers (02:10:45):
From Germany, but

Leo Laporte (02:10:45):
Oh, Germany. Okay. It's

Janko Roettgers (02:10:47):
Close enough. It's, it's almost the same thing. But I it wasn't part of my upbringing.

Leo Laporte (02:10:51):
I don't know why I thought you were Dutch. German. Of course. Well, there are people who did play this card game and it's still very popular. Wizards of the coasts adapted Lord of the Rings into a magic. The Gathering set and decided to make a card, just one with sar on's ring. Just one, a hyper rare card. It was found back in June. The owner has now sold it to Rapper Post Malone, who is apparently <laugh> a big magic, the Gathering fan. He bought the card for $2 million for basically what's, what is a playing card?

It's a, it's a paper. N f t right, right. <Laugh>. Except with a nice thing. Unlike an f t you actually have the card. Yes, yes. Post Malone seems really over the moon about the whole thing. Wow. You can, by the way, you can get a non-special unspecial version of this card and still use it and play it. It actually plays, but Pose, I guess if I had that many tattoos, I wouldn't wear a shirt either. I don't, it seems odd, I guess. But anyway, so here he is. He's opening up his, his magic deck, looking for something to play. That is wild. That is really wild. Can anybody tell if any of those tattoos have anything to do with Magic The Gathering? No, I can't either. Let's take a little tiny break when we come back. Final words with a great panel you're watching this week in Tech.

This show is also supported by our club members, our Club TWIT members. If you're not a member, I invite you to consider it. First of all, no ads means nothing to Skip <laugh>. You get, you get ad free versions of all the shows, which also means no no ad Trackers. 'cause We do have to use, we, we filter through sites like oh, I can't remember who we use anymore. I think advertise, cast as Direct a searching and pod sites. And we do that in, in a privacy forward way. We have to, it's the only way advertisers will buy ads to. They want to know if their ads are working. But you don't get any of that in Club Twit. You don't, you don't get ads and you don't get ad tracking. You also get access to the Fabulous Club Twit Discord, which is a social network par excellence.

Not just about the shows, but about everything in a Geek's life. I mean, it, I love Discord more. I use it the more I like it. And we've got a very active discord with lots of great people in there. It's really a lot of fun. I highly recommend that. Plus the Twi plus feed with shows we don't put out anywhere else. Shows like ha HandsOn Macintosh with like a Sergeant Hands on Windows with a Paul Throt. We have we just added Scott Wilkinson's Home Theater Geeks this week. Space started in the club. 'cause The club members finance it basically. So our club is very important to us. And I have to say, I think it's very fairly priced. $7 a month, you get all that. And you get special events that we're planning all the time in our club.

Twit, thanks to our community manager I have to say Amp Pruitt's doing a great job. We've got a photo walk coming up at the end of the month. I'll be part of that. Stacy's book club is coming up end of the month as well. We put together a really interesting fireside chat. Amp Pruitt interviewed Hugh Howie, the author of Wool, the the, the novels, the sci-fi novels that are the basis of Apple tv, Plus's, silo. And Daniel is friends with I'm sorry, Hugh is friends with Daniel Suarez one of our favorite sci-fi authors. So an and I will talk to Daniel Suarez and Hugh Howie. That's coming up in September. Another event for club members only. Again, $7 a month. Go to twit tv slash club twit and we thank all of our members who who make these shows possible. We had a great week this week on Twit. We've even made a little movie for your Enjoyment. Watch or not. Do I

TWiT Weekly Promo (02:15:08):
Need to move? Did I move? Should I move over? Yeah, you keep moving. Stop <laugh>, because I don't, I don't think I'm moving. I've been framing it every time You move. All right. Frame it there. You frame it there because I, I this is like directly the center. So if you could, he was framed <laugh> <laugh> previously

Leo Laporte (02:15:26):
On Twit iOS. Today,

TWiT Weekly Promo (02:15:29):
Rosemary Orchard and I, Micah Sargent talk about health apps and features for your iPhone, your iPad, and More Club TWIT exclusive. This

Is the currently Untitled AI show. A temporary name. We had to give it a name though of some sort because we've created a feed. So if you are a Club Twit member and you wanna subscribe to even these trial runs that I'm doing right now, you can do so through your Club Twit membership. There is now a feed called the Untitled AI Show. So go look for it.


Leo Laporte (02:16:01):

TWiT Weekly Promo (02:16:02):
Microsoft, just today. I didn't get a chance to look into this deeply, but they added spatial audio support for meetings to Microsoft Teams. No, I could tell you another feature that, no, no, that's cool. Oh, so we're in a meeting with six people. And when Joe's talking, he's over here. And when you're talking, you're over there. So imagine this. You're in a meeting, right? There's this guy, Bob, he doesn't talk a lot. You know, we're all talking, we're doing interaction. It's in some kind of a three D space now. There's a voice behind you over here. It's Bob. And he's like, Hey, what? And it's like, why, why, why do I want people around me? Like, that's weird. Twit. I'm not sure this is a good idea.

Leo Laporte (02:16:39):
If you missed a moment, you missed a mile, make sure you catch every episode of all of our shows. It's gonna be a great week. Some good news. Final thought. Some good news for Henrietta Lack. Do you know the story of Henrietta Lack halo? I bet you do. Georgia Dow No, doesn't ring a bell. There was a good book about it. It doesn't, no. So in the fifties, she was a black woman who I guess died of cervical cancer, but they harvested some cervical cells from her without asking. Turns out the cells had some remarkable properties. They reproduced very rapidly and have been, were saved and have been sold ever since. For use in scientific research. The procedure rendered her infertile probably 'cause she was black. They nobody told her years after she died, it was removed that it was revealed.

Their tissue was removed without her knowledge or consent. The halo cells, according to Johns Hopkins, universities are quote among the most important scientific discoveries of the last century. They've been used to develop the PO Polio vaccine, the C O V D vaccine. Understanding the AIDS virus leukemia studies. Henrietta Lacks as a state sued and particularly sued Thermo Fisher Scientific in 2021. This is the company selling those cells. Although I think the cells aren't exclusive to Thermo Fisher. And that case has been settled. We don't know for how much, but there is a settlement that was announced on what would've been her 103rd birthday. One of the family members said, it's outrageous. This company would think they have intellectual rights properties to grandma's cells. So I think this is a happy ending. Have you covered this at all, Mike?

Mike Masnick (02:18:41):
Yeah. I don't remember if I've written about it, but I've certainly followed the story more or

Leo Laporte (02:18:45):
Less. It is Fascinat. It's an amazing book.

Mike Masnick (02:18:47):
Yeah. Yeah. The book, the book is fantastic. There, there was a, a podcast that was done about it as well. I forget which podcast.

Leo Laporte (02:18:55):
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Is the book

Mike Masnick (02:18:58):
Fascinating? Yeah.

Leo Laporte (02:19:00):

Mike Masnick (02:19:01):
And, and I, I, I still, I still don't fully understand like what it is about, about her cells that enabled this, that, that, you know, they, they reproduce quickly. But it was never clear to me exactly like why or how. But it, it seems like so much of, like modern medicine is based on her cells. And the fact is that, you know, really prior to that book coming out, there were a couple stories, like a little bit earlier, but, but prior to that, like, people didn't even know that the Hela cells stands for her name Henrietta Hill. Right.

Leo Laporte (02:19:35):
It's just a g l a. Yeah.

Mike Masnick (02:19:37):
And most people thought it, it had, it meant, you know, it was just sort of like a either a made up term or referred to something else. People didn't even realize that it referred to the person who they were taken from. Yeah. Including her family.

Leo Laporte (02:19:48):
Yeah. So a good I think a happy ending to, yeah. What was a very sad case. The excuse that's offered is, well, at the time there was no, you know, there was no process for asking permission, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. They, the cells reproduced at a very high rate could be kept alive long enough to allow for more in-depth examination until halo cells, cells culture for lab studies survive for only a few days at most, which means you couldn't do as much testing. So these were the first cells to be observed that could be divided multiple times without dying. That's how they became known as immortal. It's fascinating. Good. A happy ending. I think Jonas Salk used them when researching the polio vaccine. His vaccine was tested on the halo cells. So really quite a contribution to science worth reading. The book came out in 2011, the Immortal Life of Henrietta Lax. This also says it was a, it was an H B O movie. So if you don't wanna read, you can look for that on H B O, the documentary on H B O. Let's see. The incandescent light bulb. Bye-Bye. August 1st they stopped selling incandescent. Did you know that? No more incandescent. Can you buy them in Canada? I might be visiting.

Georgia Dow (02:21:15):
I think that you still can. Yes. So, but we'll, we'll probably be fall, like it probably will be following suit soon. So, yeah.

Leo Laporte (02:21:23):
We tried to ban them back in 2014. Congress or actually maybe the Department of Energy passed the regulation saying they, you know, they're energy inefficient. No more incandescent light bulbs. We have better replacements. We have fluorescence. And more importantly we have LEDs. The, under the Trump administration, he put on, you may remember he said, no, no, we need our incandescent lights. So he, he put that off. It has now become law. And the Biden administration actually started under George W. Bush <laugh>, believe it or not. But the Biden administration is now officially approved and there will no, no longer be incandescent light bulbs in the store. Use l e d light bulbs. There are some exceptions. Weird lights like appliance lamps and plant lamps and specialty lamps. Traffic signals, apparently using concent bulbs. <Laugh>. So you can, you can do that. I guess. Heat lamps, probably you can use those too. 'cause That's the whole problem with cedes bulbs is they generate so much heat, they're wasting electricity. I think we could probably call it a day. Did you want to talk about Rocket? Or is it Ro Kid Yanko?

Janko Roettgers (02:22:44):
I think it's Roku. Yeah. It's a, it's a fun little story if you wanna check it out. On, on my newsletter, Lopez cc. Basically it's this Chinese company that makes AR glasses and now they made a dongle that turns the AR glasses into a smart TV or brings that same experience.

Leo Laporte (02:22:58):
Have you tried them?

Janko Roettgers (02:23:00):
I have not tried them. No. And I think the dongle won't sell until September. It's sort of smart glasses that basically just project something or that usually use them to mirror your phone or your game console. So it doesn't really interact, interact with the environment. But now you have this thing that you plug in and then it's basically a smart tv. And I thought it was kind of fun and interesting because what's really a TV these days, right? So now it's a thing that you put in your pocket.

Leo Laporte (02:23:27):
And these look like regular spectacles. They are not cheap. They're $529. It's a lot cheaper than a Vision Pro headset. But interesting. I think somebody needs to buy these and try 'em. And it's not gonna be me 'cause I'm busy throwing up playing the Exorcist <laugh>. . But no, I think this is kind of intriguing. Maybe we will get up here and, and, and see how they are. 'cause That would be great for an airplane or somewhere else. Yanko, thank you so much for being here. Yanko Records again his newsletter, brand new. Go on over and check it out. Lopa.Cc. And of course I read him all the time and the information and, and, and elsewhere. He does a lot of freelance writing. It's great to have you on. I appreciate it.

Janko Roettgers (02:24:13):
Always. Thanks

Leo Laporte (02:24:14):
For, happy to be you. Thanks for visiting Mike. Now a superstar. We're just lucky we could get him one last time before his sold out Eras tour. Mike, Mike <laugh>. Oh, gosh. Everybody,

Mike Masnick (02:24:27):
We need the, we need the Santa Clara Police playing my <laugh>.

Leo Laporte (02:24:30):
Yeah. Playing Mike Masnick theme. Every, I don't, you know, I gotta tell Cashmere here. Tech Dirt is exactly how it's supposed to be. <Laugh>. It's exactly right. Tech It is. If you wanna keep up on this stuff. I don't understand how Mike doesn't have an an ulcer. However, because <laugh> nine times outta 10, these are, it just makes me mad. It just makes me mad. The, the stuff they're talking about here. But it's all, it's all the news. You know, if they, as they say, if you're not outraged, you're not paying attention. If you want to pay attention tech and you got a, you got a game, tell me about the game. 'cause I think tell, something happened recently, right? With the game. We, we

Mike Masnick (02:25:13):
We, we released a game a few months ago called Moderator Mayhem.

Leo Laporte (02:25:16):
Yeah. Which is you get to be Elon Musk.

Mike Masnick (02:25:20):
You get to be a, a content moderator for a fictional social media slash review site. And you get to experience what it's like to make very difficult decisions with very little time and often not enough context, and have people yell at you and have to deal with a bunch of things along those lines. And so yeah, we released that in early May.

Leo Laporte (02:25:47):
So, nice. Moderator Mayhem Engine is, is that correct? Yes. Is this it? Yes, that

Mike Masnick (02:25:52):
Is it.

Leo Laporte (02:25:53):

Mike Masnick (02:25:53):
So you can play it on a, on a regular browser. It's designed for a mobile phone, but you slide cards left and right, whether take up, leave down

Leo Laporte (02:26:04):
Kinda like te oops. Kinda like Tinder, right? Did

Mike Masnick (02:26:09):
Did your boss yell at you? Yeah.

Leo Laporte (02:26:10):
So, so we played it on this week at Google when it came out, and yeah, I did not get very far through the deck. It, it is hard.

Mike Masnick (02:26:16):
You can get fired pretty, pretty easily. It is really say I'll really hard. I'll, I'll give you a heads up that, that probably, I, well, I'm not gonna say when, but very soon we're going to be releasing another game, which is in a similar vein. Whereas Moderator Mayhem is very much a frontline moderator. You're the person making the decisions as they come. The next game that we're very, very close on is you are running a trust and safety team for a fictional social media network. And you have to make resource allocation decisions, policy decisions and face lots of hard problems. Deal with crisis situations, have journalists yelling at you, having politicians yelling at you. It's

Leo Laporte (02:27:02):
A little too realistic. I just wanna say, as somebody who runs a moderates a masto on instance, this is a hard thing to do. And you, these are really tough. Here's the reported for illegal tutorial in the tutorial, a review of the film. Cocaine Bear encourages viewers to do cocaine while watching it. Content includes a picture of a bag with white powder, hashtag cocaine. Is that legal? Is that, is this, do you approve? In other words, right? If you think it's okay, you check it and wrong. This review clearly involved illegal activity and should have been taken down. Oh, I pushed the wrong button. Review of a drug includes a photo of a syringe, photo of a syringe. Hashtag my favorite drug. Is that illegal? If I said yes, I'd, I'd, I'd be wrong because the review is for illegal drug delivered by injection. So you can see how difficult this is <laugh>. It's a lot of fun. You did a good job with it. And it really, the point of it is, while it's a good game, the point of it is to tell people, teach people how hard it is to be a content moderator. And

Mike Masnick (02:28:05):
Yeah. It's, it's just because I think most people who haven't been in that role, who don't run their own Mastodon instance for example, or don't spend $44 billion to own Twitter, you know, they think that it's really easy. Yeah. You know, people look at it and say, well, I would take this down. Or, I,

Leo Laporte (02:28:20):
I think El thought was easy before he bought Twitter.

Mike Masnick (02:28:23):
Yes. He should have played my game. How hard

Leo Laporte (02:28:25):
Could that be?

Mike Masnick (02:28:27):

Georgia Dow (02:28:27):
Should, he should have played the game first.

Leo Laporte (02:28:28):
How do you find time to do this, Mike? I tell you, I well, you were right when you said that Elon's gonna speed run the what did you call it? The, the moderation curve.

Mike Masnick (02:28:37):
The, the content moderation. Learning curve, yeah. Speedwriting.

Leo Laporte (02:28:40):
So he has hit every point you said he would hit.

Mike Masnick (02:28:43):
Yeah. But he hasn't learned anything. <Laugh> <laugh>. So that's a weird part. Did you really

Georgia Dow (02:28:46):
Expect him to,

Mike Masnick (02:28:48):
I don't know. Most like you see other, like, I mean we sort of joked about it 'cause we would see other websites, you know, other new social media companies show up and, and go through this process where they would say, oh, you know, we're the free speech thing and we're never gonna, we're never gonna take down anything. And then suddenly they learn that that's, that's an impossible statement to live up to. But, but everybody else seems to learn at least something. Whereas Elon is just all over the map. See, that

Georgia Dow (02:29:12):
Depends on the personality construct he has <laugh>.

Mike Masnick (02:29:17):

Leo Laporte (02:29:18):
What would the construct be of somebody unable to learn a lesson even though he's taught it again and again and again?

Georgia Dow (02:29:25):
So when your identity is linked to people feeding your own self-worth it does not bode well to learn because that means you've made a mistake. And if you've made a mistake that hurts your ego. And so you can't do that. So you surround yourself just with Yes people try to do the things that gives you the fastest, easiest ego gratification. And rarely do the people in those personalities go in for actual help. So the learning curve is, is very you know, a straight line.

Leo Laporte (02:29:58):
And it helps if you've got billions and billions of dollars, you can hire the best. Yes. People

Mike Masnick (02:30:03):

Leo Laporte (02:30:03):
We see that a lot.

Georgia Dow (02:30:04):
Yes, exactly. Exactly. Surround

Leo Laporte (02:30:07):
Yourself with the very least

Mike Masnick (02:30:08):
Best. Exactly. At least the costliest. Yes. People <laugh>

Leo Laporte (02:30:12):
One a lesson we've learned, Georgia Dao is fantastic. And I honestly, I'm sincere when I say we need more psychological insight into all of this because it helps explain stuff that seems inexplicable. And you do it so well. Georgia Dao on YouTube she's just done the Red Dead Redemption game Therapist reacts, but there's a ton of them and some great stuff. Sylvania you do TV shows too, and movies, and I'm looking forward to your Barbie. Are you gonna do one on Barbie?

Mike Masnick (02:30:45):

Georgia Dow (02:30:45):
Dunno. Maybe. We'll see, we'll see what happens. <Laugh>.

Leo Laporte (02:30:49):
I would, I would watch that for sure. <Laugh>, subscribe. Do it. Go to Do, and of course, if you're feeling down email, Is that right? Am I, am I going too far? If I say that

Georgia Dow (02:31:09):
They, they can email. I'm not gonna, I can't give therapy over online. Like it's, it's not fair. There's no confidentiality can people, but I can tell them where to get help in the direction or what kind of help that they should get. Yeah. so I can send them in the right direction.

Leo Laporte (02:31:20):
Right, right. Such a pleasure. All three of you. Thank you so much for joining us. We do twit every Sunday with the best people. I have to say I can't afford them, but they come voluntarily, which is nice. Two to five p two to 5:00 PM east Pacific. That's five to 8:00 PM Eastern. That is 2100 utc. You can watch us do it live if you go to live twit tv. If you're doing that chat with us live, the IRC is open. All IRC twit tv or join us in the Discord. If you're a Club twit member club Twit is at twit tv slash club twit after the fact. You can download copies of the show. It's a podcast from the website, twit tv. You can also go to YouTube. There's a dedicated channel there. Best thing to do with the search for twit in your favorite podcast client, your podcast catcher. And you will automatically download if you subscribe the minute it's available, then you don't ever have to wonder, do I have another fresh twit? Thanks for being here. 18 years and counting. We've been doing this show, the longest running, I think the longest running tech news show in the world. Thank you for coming and visiting and we'll see you next time. Another twit is in the camp. This,

TWiT Theme Song (02:32:33):
He's amazing.


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