This Week in Tech Episode 971 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.

00:00 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
Welcome to twit. This week. In tech I'm to vendor hard war, a senior editor, and in gadget this week we're joined by Scott Stein from CNET, glenn Fleischman and Alex Lindsay. We're diving into the recent bill that could potentially ban tick-tock in the US. We also talk about the state of social media and what we like the most and you know Maybe what we do or don't want from an Apple car and car play.

00:24 - Leo  (Ad)
Podcasts you love from people you trust.

00:29 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
This is twit.

00:36 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
You're watching twit this week in tech, episode 971, reported March 17th 2024 the element of chaos.

00:44 - Leo  (Ad)
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02:14 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
It's time for twit this week in tech. I'm senior editor to vendor hardware from engadget. I'm filling in for Leo the port, who's taking a well-deserved break, and we're gonna be talking about all sorts of stuff, but mainly tick-tock and the latest government moves around. That and joining me today, I think, is one of the most interesting panels in tech just people who have so many talents. We've got Glenn Fleischman. How's it going, glenn?

02:37 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
I'm doing fabulous. Thanks for having me on.

02:39 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
Thank you for joining us. Like I've been reading and listening to you forever, glenn. I also know you were a type setter. You or you've been working in type forever, right?

02:48 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
That's right, I was. I was one of the last people trained as a type setter in the in the 80s, using Phototypes, setting equipment and and somehow I find myself in the future. It's like a man out of time.

02:59 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
Awesome, awesome. And you are also currently trying to kick start a book right now, right, that's right.

03:03 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
It's a book about the history of newspaper comics production and reproduction from an artist's pen all the way through to appearing on paper, and We'll have never but hold never told before stories. Stories never told before, I should say, including how a week of dunesbury in 1973 never ran because John Ehrlichman resigned.

03:23 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
What's the name of the book in the Kickstarter?

03:25 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
It's called how comics were made and it's live on Kickstarter and you can also find it at how comics were made at dot ink. That's that I nk.

03:34 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
Awesome, and we've got Scott Stein editor at large at CNET. Hey, scott, how's it going? Hey, it's good to see you.

03:39 - Scott Stein (Guest)
DaVintra, I'm glad to see you, I'm glad to be on here.

03:42 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
Yeah, this will. This will be fun. We've also got Alex Lindsay head of ops at 090. Hey, alex, how's it going? Hey, it's good to be here, good to get to chat with you too. Every time I see 090, I'm thinking go 90, which is the Verizon thing, and I was apart. I was, we were working as part of Verizon when that thing launched and that was a fun thing.

04:00 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
I was a just a crazy idea the owner of the company's is mark East, and so it's East. 090 is the East East media, so that's that's where it comes from.

04:11 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
Do you guys remember go 90? Do you remember what the pitch for go 90 was?

04:14 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
remember go 90?, but I can't remember what, I can't remember the details. The Verizon territory.

04:18 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
It well it's one of those things where when you're in a company and you watch your parent company, he's just doing the dumbest thing possible. And it was called go 90 because it was oh, when people are watching video on their phones, they're gonna turn their portrait-facing phone landscape. You're gonna go 90, baby, to watch video on mobile. Oh, because everybody wants to do that right.

04:40 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
Yeah, watch QB that way, or quibi.

04:42 - Scott Stein (Guest)
Sorry, maybe that's what I was thinking, my quibi also in the but that. But that's a landscape play. It was a landscape right. It was the phone you know I held out.

04:49 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
I held out for a long time like I'm like I'm gonna, you know, this really should be 16 by 9 this. And then there is some point where I'm, where someone put something 16 by 9 into tick tock or something like that and I was like, why are they doing this? This is really hard. It's hard to turn it sideways.

05:03 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
Apparently there's a new trend. I didn't discover this, but I read about it in Ryan Broderick's garbage day newsletter Love it.

Yeah, right here the air avatar last and air bender, the film or the live-action thing is shot, even though it's, you know, correct proportions for television. It's shot where all of the action is in the center tick tock frame for clipping. And he said another movie came out and he was looking at all the previews for it. I don't need to see it yet it was the same thing. There's no action that doesn't occur in that plane, so while they're shooting they may have a frame on it. I mean, makes sense to, obviously, the way things are shared. Oh, but not for what? For? For viral clip sharing? Would you do that? Yeah, it's, I don't know. I'm curious if it plays out over time or it's just. I would be yeah.

05:46 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
I find the fact, the fact that we're changing all these different formats. You know, one of the things we noticed a little while ago is AJR. The band started releasing their videos at like one, four, three, seven, you know, like it wasn't, wasn't one. I max is one, four, three, yeah, and and and, but it wasn't quite one four, three either, but it's. It is this weird kind of square-ish but not totally square format. It looks great like, like you know, and and what's interesting that we, one of the things we found with the Apple vision pro, is that that format looks way better on the vision pro then two, three, five or sixteen by nine, because the way your field of view works is you see a lot up and down, but you don't see as much in the vision pro side to side, and so that kind of square-ish Format tends to actually play out really well on the on the vision pro.

06:32 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
That's why the I max app actually looks tremendous, scott, like you played around with that I remember right like the, it looks like it feels like you're in an I max theater because you get the vertical kind of scale there.

06:42 - Scott Stein (Guest)
Yeah, yeah, it's good, and I feel like I'm getting frustrated by some of the trying to get a movie screen to fit in the perfect way when watching Like it works, but then I keep wanting to adjust my I want to find you to to you know. Oh, yeah, you know, I put I come.

06:57 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
I think I want those theaters, but I never want to use the like the. The Apple one lets you sit in the front or the back or the middle or whatever, and I'm like just pop the window up. What I do is I go in and I get the like Usually Joshua tree at night or whatever but I put up as the general background and then I put, then I put the screen on top of it so that I can do Exactly what Scott's saying, so I can move the screen to where I want it. I don't want to put it in a theater, it's not quite.

07:24 - Scott Stein (Guest)
But I want the distance, I want the sense of distance that I want the fine tuning, and then I feel like I'm stuck in like three different forms, which I'm also usually go 90ing when I'm like lying down. I feel like go 90. By the way, feels like a personal.

07:39 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
I've not touched a vision pro yet not out of principle. I just haven't even done it.

07:43 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
You should I mean for everybody listening you can. You can sign up for a free demo at an Apple store and it is. It is worth 30 minutes of your time because I think I mean, scott, like you wrote a long review, I wrote a freaking long review of it too. Like we put so many thoughts of that thing out there. It is so fascinating. Even if you don't think you know it's something you'll ever buy, oh, it is one of the most, like, yeah, fascinating things I've ever seen.

08:03 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
Yeah, I think for me that the interesting wasn't the first 20 minutes, it was a week or two into it. And I, because I use the quest a lot, I've been using the quest since it was an Oculus and I'll Oftentimes have it on for half an hour a day or something like that doing, yeah, I like doing supernatural, which is the boxing thing, and then, and I like Robo recall, which is in my, I like just ripping Android's heads off anyway. So the but the, the, so I, you know, kind of is a great way to kind of pass some time. But I noticed that with the quest I put it on and I go and play this and those are great, both of those are great products. But then I take it off and put it down like, okay, I've done the thing that I was gonna do on the vision very single use, yeah it is on the vision pro.

I get in Kind of fiddling around, I'm texting some folks and I do this, you know, and and I think that one of the things it really pays off, where you can kind of tell people who'd like the vision pro, are real Often I'm not always often real Apple people who have committed to all the Apple the ecosystem. Like I have 600 videos on Apple TV, so when I put it on, there's all these videos. No, now there's all these 3d videos that I didn't you know, they just are now available. And now there's all of these other videos, and so I can sit there, I have lots to watch.

And I suddenly what I realized with the vision pro and again the wait First 20 minutes, first 30 minutes you're like, wow, this is really heavy. And then, after you know, I don't know, I don't think about that anymore the, but I noticed that it's like there's been a couple times we're like holy smokes, I've been here for three hours. You know like I've, you know like I've been, you know, sitting here doing something, and again it's like I stop and start and do things and move around and and and so it's just a really that's the thing that I find, is that I, when people say, what are you doing on the Apple vision pro, like I, if you told me what, what are you doing on the quest? I can always tell you what I'm doing on the right, on the vision pro, I'm like Living in in spatial computing, like one thing I love is the blowing up the Mac.

09:55 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
You know display to like an ungodly size and sometimes I just sit and write and do that with the ton of windows around me. But I'm so focused on on the work and the research and stuff I'm doing is kind of wild. Well, actually this is a good topic like good, good to talk about, like all these legacy Video things and also what and the vision pros doing with video too, because the big topic this week is tick tock and everything happening around that. And apparently there was a really fast-moving bipartisan push to approve the bill that could potentially ban tick tock in the US or at least get it passing through the house. We still don't know what's gonna happen with the Senate.

We do know that President Biden has said if this thing passes Congress he will sign it and specifically they're saying this is basically they're calling it a diva sorry, a divestment bill, like if it's basically to push bite dance to sell tick tock in the US. Basically they have a hundred and eighty days to do that or it'll be delisted from app stores. They're not. They're saying it's not a tick tock ban, but it sure does sound like a ban to me. I Feel like this has been a topic at twit for the past couple years, I think even since it started with Trump, but I also know like this has come and gone, but it seems like this is the closest it's ever been and it's kind of wild to me that there are such like bipartisan support For getting rid of tick tock at this point. I just want to what do you guys think about this?

11:16 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
I didn't help themselves, you know. So the concern, the concern is that is not really about data. I mean, some people are talking about data, but the real concern is influence and and the influence can be both Overt influence, which is get everybody do something at one time, but also subtle, the and people say, well, it's not doing a very good job. There was a couple articles that were we were reading it. It's not doing a very good job if the idea is to make China more popular, but that may not be the goal. The goal may be to waste people's time and make them not trust their own government or their own media very much. You know like, so you, we think that that there's that someone's gonna do something right on the nose.

But if you were smart, you wouldn't do that. You would do it in a very subtle way. You and you move the needle a couple percentage points one way or the other, and that would be Enough to affect, you know, people over time. You know you have to think about it in the long term. So that's the concern I'm, by the way, I love tick, tock. I watch yeah, yeah, so I'm not. I don't make sure we're clear. I don't think that they should get rid of tick tock, but I'm just saying that I understand. And then what tick tock did to make it? To make this hard, as they told everyone to go call their congressperson, they did exactly.

Is exactly what they were worried about and of course everyone's like okay, let's vote. You know, because because they just they did the scary thing that everyone was afraid that the China would do. And we do have to remember that China, the China's relationship with its companies, are not the same as our relationship with our companies, you know, like you know, you know we're not, not are, but our government's relationship, our government's relationship with with companies is usually Tenuous at best. I mean, they both kind of put up with each other and don't really like each other most of the time. In China the government's pretty embedded into what the, what large companies like bite dance, are doing, and so there is a kind of a valid Concern of of those types of things.

So I so I again, as a tick tock lover, I don't make a lot of. I don't make a lot of tick tocks myself, but I watch a lot of other people's work and I think that you do see hints of what could happen, innocuous hints, I mean. But Some, some woman in the UK, decided to start dancing to David Gray's Babylon, and now it's everywhere and showing up back on radio. You know because, because you know, someone, literally, after a hangover, decided to sit to recover by doing Babylon once and that's the kind of ripple effect that I think that they're afraid of, but in a Nefarious way. If it happened, you can see the kind of influence that tick tock can exude in that process and you're specifically talking about.

13:37 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
I'm so tick tock within the app, sent a push notification to you US users saying hey, call your congressperson, type in your sip and they just overwhelmed.

13:44 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
I mean, they overwhelmed the systems of all these congresspeople, and that was exactly what they're worried that China is gonna do to them.

13:50 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
It's a. It was perhaps not the best move because there was reporting saying that some, some people who are like leaning Maybe yes is on the bill went definitely yes, after seeing this, even though I'll point out uber and a lot of companies have done very similar things within their apps, like call your congressperson because your city is trying to regulate us out of business. They just weren't as effective. Yeah, they weren't as effective, but they weren't China, and I feel like that's the big scary thing here. Scott.

14:15 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
I don't. I don't have tick tock installed on any of my devices and I encourage my children not to install it either, and I am. I'm not a xenophobic person, but I also do not trust China's policies in any way, and I think companies doing business in China, whether they're Chinese companies or companies that are based elsewhere, suffer from Both secret laws and a lack of a trustable court system that works enough, at least extensively fairway, and From government mandates that require that they adhere to rules that are far beyond what we see in most democratic nations, if in terms of oversight and involvement, and you see this just constantly preemptive self-censorship and censorship or actions based on what has to happen because you're doing business in China or you're a Chinese citizen and the reach that China wants is so huge. So I will not defend Facebook or Twitter or any other social network that's us based or based in another country for how they're dealing with moderation, doing with material that targets miners, personal information. There's no argument there that tick tock is somehow magically worse, but I think they are operating under a a Regime. I'm both like regime, regulatory regime, but also a regime that exercises more direct control.

So I've always felt dubious about what tick tock could be, despite whatever the motivations are of the company Itself, and so I don't want to blame I would never blame the people of China for something like this, but it's easy to say the Chinese government.

Tick tock could further the goals of the Chinese government in terms of of their extensive interest in espionage and breaking into systems and gathering information that you know China has done an incredibly effective job of being a 21st century you know, cyber I don't know whatever like multi-phasic warfare against Sort of a cold cyber war right that they try to seize themselves Existentially, exisentially threatened by everyone else in the world, and some things they're doing I think are very positive in terms of trying to establish Chinese businesses, people buying in China from Chinese companies and other things are Outwardly negative to the rest of the world. I don't think tick tock is per se that, but there's nothing that protects us From it and where Facebook, when subject to regulation, I believe has to, you know, does adhere to it ultimately or is or is under some kind of Stricture that they do because they're doing business and company in countries that have different Reliable judicial systems and so forth.

16:48 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
Gotcha. I do want to be clear. It seems like the politicians supporting this bill are saying, yeah, they are worried about the data that China gets access to because of tick tock. They're worried about this sort of like undue influence, as we've kind of like hinted at here. Like other social media companies get access to the same sort of data, they just don't have the same sort of influence on us. They're certainly not owned by China.

17:09 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
I feel like that's the big scary boogeyman to me and it's just and to be fair, we have our own propaganda machine, we have our own, like our government does, like we're not, we shouldn't, we shouldn't be like innocent lilies.

17:22 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
Isim, which is that there's a distinct difference between the way in which China requires companies there to secretly provide information with no oversight, with no free Journal, you know journalistic entities available. So when things like AT&T's involvement in the legend involvement Off was a proven involvement in providing information from their their core phone network to government agencies and stuff where that gets investigated, exposed, some actions turn out to be illegal, they get overturned. Companies here respond Google starts encrypting data and and between data centers. Companies in China have no ability or recourse to do any of that right.

17:56 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
But I'm saying as a projection company. I mean, you know, our government and and a lot of things project a lot of things into a lot of countries. You know we do a lot of those things. It's just that China is an adversary, like we just have to remember that we don't view China as our you know, like if the UK was doing tick tock we'd be like, ah, you know, they're having a good time, you know. But China is is specifically, you know, china and Russia are two largest adversaries, china probably being the most serious adversary to the United States. And so, in the same way that China has turned off a lot of our social networks there because they don't want to be affected by it, the United States is not not worried about tick tock being influential. It's worried about our primary adversary having a thumb on the ability to move ideas.

You know, and I think that I don't Again, I don't necessarily agree with banning it. I do think that you know making the threat of debate, you know that they have to divest. I think the chances of it going away are very, very low, the you know, I think that the chances of this passing the Senate are probably less than 50%. The chances of them not divesting if it did get signed is probably less than 10%. So it's probably not a not a high probability this is actually gonna happen. What it does do is it pushes lots of users out of tick tock. So the tick tockers are Now like they're all promoting their YouTube channels. You know, like I'm also on YouTube and I'm also on, you know, so just rattling the saber is enough to kind of weaken the, the system, and it also puts China a little bit on, you know, basically Reminds them that we're looking, we're rattling the saber, we're banging on a, on a, on a, we're banging on the pipe like we could come after you.

You know, and and I think that there's a little bit of that which which again scares some folks and again, the many tick tockers. The first time this happened, many of them started building their there, what is now a very large following on YouTube. So so the thing is is that they, every time we do this, there's this huge wash of both creators and followers of those creators going to primarily YouTube. I think YouTube is the primary benefactor of, of of these kinds of Interactions, because of shorts is a very natural thing for them to go to and it's a little less sticky. It's it's easier for them to just kind of push people towards as opposed to and I think Instagram and Facebook both benefited as well. That's, I think YouTube's probably the primary benefit.

20:13 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
I think this is a big topic, by the way, and I want to come back to this, but let's go to Leo to hear for a word from our sponsor.

20:20 - Leo  (Ad)
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All right, let's get back to twit. Devinder Hardware. Take it away.

22:04 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
Well, thank you, leo. Back to tiktok. I've been, you know, I've had a couple of chances to chat with the great documentary director Alex Gibney, and he did a. He did a movie almost a decade ago. That's basically about China being the center of cyber cold war, you know, and that that seems like the thing I think people in government and politicians are also really worried about, and us on the ground we don't really think about that much. You know, we will occasionally see Companies or certain types of infrastructure or hospitals get attacked, and sometimes those are tied to agents of the Chinese government. But beyond that it seems like there's no like direct you know, direct conflict happening between our two countries. Scott, I'm wondering what do you think of this entire situation?

22:49 - Scott Stein (Guest)
And I've been listening to all of you thinking about this and it's like you know, when tiktok first launched, I thought it was weird, and I was, you know. I felt like what, what's going on here? Then, like, a lot of time went by. It's, it's odd to me, I don't know the time frames and one question for you is when TikTok launched or when they bought musically.

23:08 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
So that's the other thing, because it's a different, because musically had its own culture which still permeates. You know TikTok.

23:16 - Scott Stein (Guest)
But I think now, obviously, it has a lot of power, Sure, and it's very popular and people are finding things useful about it too. So I don't know the timing on. You know, like, when does it? When do people decide? Okay, this is now a threat, because I feel like that should have been perceived like then all along. But you know, that's like that's what's a little strange to me, that you know that this was like that. Now this is taking action. The problem is now that, like, maybe it is because it has its power, but people are also used to using it. So we're in the midst of this big social media fatigue zone and falling out all over the place and, like, on a functional level, it's probably one of the least problematic that are out there.

24:01 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
I will introduce a conspiracy theory for you that's starting to build up is that the timing of this is remarkably close to TikTok not making a deal with UMG, so universal media, media group, you know it's. There's a growing number of people that think that while that was, you know, like the timing of the of the band and the breakdown of with the largest, the largest company in the music industry, you know, may not be completely disconnected, but that's.

24:29 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
I would say there's a couple of things there, but one of them is that you know surely, if that happened it would make TikTok much less relevant, and so that it's a problem takes care of itself. But I think one thing we haven't discussed before I think it's I mean, most people realize this, but I'm surprised when I find someone who doesn't which is that part of the Cold War aspect is that TikTok's available here in the United States and other countries. It's not available in China, and that most, I think, is it. Are there any American based or European based social networks available in China anymore? I mean, facebook is Twitter right.

So there's an asymmetry which is usually you assume there's something, there's a Cold War happening, when there's no bombs dropping. There's an asymmetry and information availability. So that is one issue, and it's one thing that's been used as a cudgel to is if TikTok is so great and it's not dangerous, why doesn't China allow it in its own country, and it has an analog there. But there is that that gets us into the whole censorship thing, the tightness by which China controls its citizens, controls the information they see Internet access in general.

25:28 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
like kids can, only they can only play online games for a certain amount of hours every school day, things like that.

25:33 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
So it sounds like a dream to American parents sometimes, but then you're like but what do we require to allow that?

25:39 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
Yeah, I'm here right now because I spent way too much time online when I was a teenager you know, and that's that's what it gets you, not like an army, you know, not a nation of would be engineers maybe.

So I don't know there's give and take there. I want to point something out to. There's a lot of like pushback against this, including from Mike Masnik of TechDirt, who's often here on Twitter and a great guest and always somebody I love to listen to, and he wrote a great piece titled Once More With Feeling. Banning TikTok is unconstitutional and won't do to deal with any actual threats, and that is kind of where I'm coming down on it. It does, yes, china does ban all other social networks. China does completely lock down what its citizens can see.

I don't know if, like that's not necessarily like a lesson we should be. We should be taking you know from them. Like it seems like a bad precedent for us to start going down this path, and we get to make this clear, like all the things we're worried about that TikTok is doing getting access to our data, influencing the population that is something every single social network, especially like the US founded ones, are all responsible for. It was not 2016,. It's not that long ago when we were reading about, like, the Russian influence on Twitter, and you know how that impacted that election too.

26:52 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
So is this an illegal taking? Also is like they're an argument he made that not always unconstitutional, potentially, but that this is actually. It's a wealth transfer from a Chinese company to some apparent, like Steve Mnuchin has put in, I guess, is working on a proposal to take over TikTok and it's like well, okay, so the money it's going to lose a lot of value because the algorithm is not part of the assets. Chinese wouldn't allow the algorithm to be exported. Maybe something used, yeah, right, so, yeah, so there's a argument made there, but at some level, this is, you know, the argument from the truth. The classical conservative perspective would be this is a taking of property without just compensation, in addition to any constitutional arguments.

27:29 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
But it's China, therefore bad, therefore, it's mine. Now, to me that feels just really wild. Axios had a good piece. Talk about the potential valuations. They're saying TikTok is estimated to be worth $100 billion if it does somehow include the algorithm, or $40 billion if it doesn't, which makes me think who will? Who could buy? That is another big tech company, and that's the other problem.

27:55 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
Yeah, I think the algorithm might have been important now, but I think a lot of people have a really good sense of how that algorithm works and I don't think it's as magical as it sounds. I think that there is something that's magical. I spent a lot of time analyzing these things for creators, and one of the things that we look at is that there's a distinct difference between TikTok and other ones, and it's the nature of sharing content between users. So there is an incredible like if you use somebody else's thing on YouTube, you get immediately. You can be either flagged, demonetized, whereas on TikTok, people put things up with the intention of you taking from them, and so you'll see something that gets popular. It might have a quarter million not a quarter million viewers, a quarter million videos created with the same audio sample, and so the thing is like this David Gray one that I talked about I study things like that, so I watch them and I just see okay, where is this going and how is it, how many it's like. The last time I looked, there was like 4,500 videos have been made with the same sample, and David Gray shows up on some of them because I think he's as mystified as everybody else. I mean, he's had a.

This hit was like 25 years ago, and suddenly everybody's playing it. And so the interesting thing is and I'm going to propagate it here it's Babylon, by the way. Babylon is the song. It's a good song. It's a good song, not a great song, not a song, not a super memorable song, but, man, it's a going.

So anyway, and the same thing, the Bleywood Mac saw that with, you know, with one of their songs, and so the so the thing is is that there's a nature of sharing between users at TikTok that allow them to have a unified experience among themselves. There was a point where the you know, there was a Nick Cage movie where he's laughing, or the other guy, you know. There's back and forth and people get to show what their own life, how their own life, applies to the exact same clip and they get to share that over and over. I mean, literally there were tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of videos of people saying this is what it's like in a meeting, or this is what it's like in here. This was like with my wife, this was like, you know, like whatever it is, and that is what's really powerful, I think, about TikTok.

29:58 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
You're absolutely right yeah.

29:59 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
And I don't think it's necessarily the algorithm. I think that they built a culture. I mean, I think the algorithm was important in the beginning and it still is, but it's a pretty. I think it's not that complicated. What they're doing, you know and so, but what is complicated is to build a culture of 170 million people who are believing this culture and use it all the time, you know so. I think that's the thing that makes it valuable still.

30:23 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
It's pure remix culture. You know, and I think that's something that, to me, has always been such a such a, you know, strong part of the internet and what makes the internet work so well. I mean, it's part of retweeting on Twitter and, you know, and adding stuff to it like that was a big part of the success there. I don't want to point out like we're talking about. This is a successful mobile video platform and we are just walking through a graveyard of failed ones right Go 90. Verizon's go 90. Quibi.

I talked to Jeffrey Katzenberg before Quibi launched and part of my discussion was like what the hell are you doing? Nobody wants this. Nobody wants to pay for mobile video. Youtube is here for free. What are you doing, jeffrey Katzenberg? They raised $2 billion for that thing and so many like US companies have tried to do mobile video and failed. Vine was great. Vine was succeeding and then Twitter killed it because they didn't fully see the potential of it and Twitter was not making any money at the time either, so they probably couldn't keep it running. But so much of what makes TikTok work is the power of Vine. Right Short videos short, easily shareable videos. But also that remix culture and Instagram can't do that, facebook can't do that. Everyone's racing to catch up. So yeah, you're absolutely right, and even YouTube.

31:34 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
Who does shorts, I mean, and shorts can be fairly successful, I mean, shorts are a pretty powerful platform on their own. Post-tiktok response by YouTube yeah, yeah and definitely. But they don't have that remix culture in YouTube. It's very, still very protective and that's their Achilles heel when trying to compete with TikTok.

31:52 - Scott Stein (Guest)
And they don't serve up in the same way, like I mean to me like the ability, the easiness of creating and a viewing, like it's the easiness too. Like you know, I feel like when I'm using TikTok that you know it's not a hard thing to bring in that stuff. In fact, it's designed to bring in the things that are meant to be shared and that's like the ease you have with the text-based social media app. You know that you're going to do that. Those are the tools exactly that need to be there, and then the discoverability of the stuff that people have made as a response is easy. You know so. Then you know, like on YouTube, that's not, and I think that's like that. Even though I don't like using TikTok all that much, I already see when I do that that stuff is a lot easier to kind of follow through with threads and work with, and it's just not like that on Instagram.

32:39 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
I'll tell you the other things. There's a great meme we missed, which is that that could have happened, which is that you remember the Star Trek Next Generation episode in which there's an addictive game that everyone puts on their head and they can't escape from right, so that's TikTok. Well, ashley Judd appears in that episode. Ashley Judd was planning at one point to run for Senate. She did not. But imagine if Ashley Judd were in the Senate and arguing that TikToks should be banned. They'd just be constant Star Trek memes of her from that episode with the goggles on.

33:06 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
But we missed that opportunity because you know we're not kicking up for this, we're not kicking up for that meme. There was a great piece at 4.4 Media, a site that I love, by Jason Kobler, that's called the US Wants to Ban TikTok for the Sins of Every Social Media Company. Strong title and also true. I think that is also very true. Of course, there's all the stuff we're talking about with China, but TikTok, compared to what other social media companies are doing, are you guys like? Well, how do you feel about that? Because to me it feels like the real way to allay our fears about what TikTok could do is to pass a national, you know, data protection law or something like to deal with this on a level that covers everything and not just the thing from China. I think it's an easier thing to solve too.

33:49 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
Yeah, but yeah, sorry, go ahead, and I think that my biggest complaint about social media in general is that it's just a big waste of time, and so it's just just as a just. If that's. All TikTok did was waste Americans time while Chinese continue to go to school, it might be an effective tool to undermine the entire country because of the amount of time being spent on it. Like, for instance, I feel like I feel guilty watching TikTok for time, not for anything else, but I don't like biking in the morning. So I find that if I the only time I get to watch TikTok is when I'm biking, like I've set up this rule so I have to be on my exercise before I turn TikTok on, and so that gets me exercising, because I want to get my 30 minutes or 45 minutes of TikTok in every day. But but I think that the so I combine those things.

But I, you know, I took Facebook off my phone. I took all the meta stuff off my phone, mostly because I realized I got a new phone and I didn't put those on and my battery lasted twice as long and I was like I don't know what is. It's not a privacy thing or anything else. I was just like my battery is lasting longer. I'm just going to leave them off, and so so I don't have any of the meta apps on there, and and I Elon Musk has made has been gracious enough to make X a lot harder to enjoy, so so I so it's been really easy for me not to spend as much time in X that I than I used to spend in Twitter, and so I've been kind of fortunate that these ones now I still watch. I watch a lot of YouTube, mostly on my TV, like that's like my primary television so good yeah.

It's YouTube on, like it's. I just have it on my Apple TV and I just watch in between YouTube and YouTube TV and I mean, that's that's how I like I put up with watching movies now, Like I was my wife when I go back and she was like what's, what's moving? I'm like let's watch YouTube.

35:32 - WOT Promo (Announcement)
And it's not even like good to YouTube is like I stop.

35:35 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
I'm like let's watch some Daily Dose Like the problem is we have to wait for the Daily Doses to come out, because we've watched every single Daily Dose. You know, now we're in the. We ran out of Daily Doses, so now we're like 131416 or something like that. There's some new one that we're still working through, but you know, and so the thing is, is that outside, that's the only one that I really spend much time on now, but I've been fortunate enough and there's so much good. I mean I will say, for all the goofy stuff that we watch.

I watched there's a new kid, 18 year old kid, putting something on YouTube and it is. It's something like chemistry in 19 minutes. I can't think of the name. It's like wacky scientist or wacky science, I think is the name of the channel. He's been out for like two months. He's got 45,000 followers.

I learned more in the first half of that video about chemistry than I did as a sophomore in high school for a whole year, and it was said more effectively and illustrated better than any of my teachers did during that time, and so you know that's what I think is. The real power of YouTube is that you just get people who get creative about how, and it's got little funny things, you know. It's like, you know, a little funny, like to keep it interesting, and so I think that there are great uses for social media as well. But I think that it's not that I don't I think social media is bad, but I do think that I found that for myself. I had to stop using it so much, you know, and so now I probably spend less than an hour a day on it. I find, I think of this TV.

37:00 - Scott Stein (Guest)
I agree with the take though that, like I mean, I think the China decision is easy to solve in that you know you can, you can make that demand. But the bigger question of what social media is still doing and what the tangle of all this ends up becoming, and how, how any government can sort of be involved in having a say in that, I think, is how you know we've not been able to solve it, and I think social media keeps getting stranger and it will keep getting stranger. The forms will keep getting stranger, like every indication it's like. So it's not been solved, now it's. There is a generation maybe that will, you know, learn to become more savvy about what's out there, media wise now, I think, but it's not in its final form, in in what you know, I think, as how it's going to evolve. With AI and and other tools to remix, media is already seeing like it's going to become more fluid. And so tiktok is interesting to me, but you know, no, no answer is there.

It's weird for me, the video part. I don't watch a lot, of, a lot of video social media. I have no idea why, but I think I know why, because I think it takes time. I think it's the pure time expense. Where I'm not a big like 2.0 speed, I should get into doing stuff like that. But like or 1.5, I don't know what 2.0 do me. No, no, no, no, 3.5. So I think like text I can just kind of scroll through fast. I read all sorts of crap in my attempted to curate feeds, but like the video I'll tend to like want to watch parts of shows or movies or read a book or then, but then I still have so many. So like I've not pruned apps for my phone, I have everything.

38:40 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
There is no need to prune apps anymore. That is a 2010 problem. My thing about prune apps is that I go from one.

38:46 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
When I every time I buy a new phone, I don't move the other phone over, I just buy the new phone and I reinstall the apps as it, as it comes up. And so I, just because I think I had one at one point, I had like 300 apps on one of my phones and I was like so I went to the next one and now I have maybe three or four pages because it pops into my head like, oh, I think I had an app that did that and I find it out in a little cloud with a little download. Yes, you already got that.

But I don't. I put them on organically, as I need them, as opposed to, you know, leaving them on my phone.

39:16 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
So I would say I got to, I got to agree with Jason Kobler quite a bit, which is despite. I mean, I, I, I and I'd voiced my concerns about China at the outset, and I think those are separate and legitimate. But the fact that it's politically obviously given that there was bipartisan support for this in the broad, broad bipartisan support. It's an election year, it's very popular to speak out against China. I mean, you know, one of the one of the things the Trump administration if I, if I can say a positive thing about the Trump administration that affected me was they actually challenged China on low cost shipping from China, which costs the U S Postal Service on the order of hundreds of millions of dollars a year. Very obscure thing, but very popular with me and some other people because it's a competitive reason. It makes the U S post office less solvent because we're subsidizing Chinese shipping.

So there's, you know, there's a million issues with China that various people support and some of them completely valid and some are xenophobic and racist and horrible. But the idea that China is trying to outcompete the United States because it can't do so, let's say, legitimately in certain spheres it does and legitimately in others, this is just yet another area. So it's really popular politically to do it. It's like it's not popular to say, after years of trying and failing to get anything done with Facebook, Twitter, you know, Instagram, many of the meta companies and Google related things, there's been no success there enforcing any regulation that fits within first amendment parameters and provides some of the safety for, particularly for children, but also in a lot of other categories that people actually want. So what's the most popular thing to do? We attack TikTok. It's very popular. Parents, it's one one, one weird trick that will get you votes from parents, I guess, is attacking.

41:02 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
You know you're in trouble when Jeff Jackson, who is the representative out of North Carolina, who probably has the largest TikTok following of anyone in Congress and is by far the most effective TikToker on in Congress, when even he votes for the bill, you're like oh my.

God. And then all the TikTokers, they, they, they, like you know, like 10,000 people stop following him almost immediately and because they're, they all do it, but he's like I don't think that he just wants them to be sold Like. He's like I don't want TikTok to go away, obviously, I just want it to be not in Chinese hands. And again, I, yeah, while I don't agree with it and I and I would prefer, lee, I think that you let the market do what it's going to do. I don't think that I think we have to. I actually think that we're building towards a culture that doesn't trust anything, which I think is actually pretty healthy. You know, I think that people, I think we should get to a point where we need to see a couple points of reference, Like at these days, anytime I see something even there was some video in the articles that we were researching for this this thing where someone said you know, the Chinese version only shows educational stuff to kids under 14 and TikTok shows this.

I looked at it and I said that might be the case, but I don't know because that's the only place, the only person I've ever seen, I've seen say that I'm going to need to see that in three or four other places.

42:14 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
It's not the entire truth, as people have like responded to.

42:17 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
Yeah, and so I was like but I but my back. My immediate reaction nowadays is that well, he said that now I can go now research a couple of different places to figure out whether other people say the same thing preferably people who don't necessarily agree with them, you know, on other things, and so if I can see those contested opinions that are going towards that, then maybe it's the truth. But you know that's the thing you have to be careful of.

42:41 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
I want to put words in your mouth briefly, but I want you to know if you agree with it, which is I think it's. It's not. Trust is not. You don't trust anything. It's more that you want to engage critical thinking about any source that's provided to you. So some things can be trustworthy once they're vetted. And it's different than you know. I'm going to do my own research. It's like no, I'm going to use legitimate sources, not any source I find to back something up.

And we raised my, my wife, I raised our kids with really almost no broadcast TV and very little TV, until they got over, older, partly because they were so fascinated by it and we thought this is probably the wrong direction. They can make decisions. They get older because you know the usual things anyway, but, like when we watch TV with them, when the commercials show up, it is the most fun because they ridicule the commercials. They poke five. We can't fast forward. They are the most critically critical consumers of advertising. I'm like all right, they can watch as much as they want now because their attitude is correct.

43:32 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
The dubiousness with which they approach information presented to them without factual basis, and I think that there was some point where, like my kids, you know, I made them have to get their apps approved by me. So I which still is, you know, they're 14 and 15 years old and so they didn't really get any social media. You know apps and now they don't want them. Like I said, do you want? Like? All my, all their friends have Snapchat right and no, they're like. No, because that makes everybody super stressed. Like, like they're like and my daughter's like. If someone wants to talk to me, they're going to have to text me because that, like you know, just just message all I need.

44:02 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
My teens are perverse. They got on Twitter after I got off. I left in November 2022. They got on, but just to laugh at how bad it like. They spent months laughing at how bad it was. Then they finally got bored with it, but I was like all right again, that's the okay attitude they're late teens.

44:17 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
So yeah, and I think that we need to have more tools, like one of the reasons that I probably spend of any social media, like reading it. I probably spend more time even though I don't spend as much time as I used to on X, I probably spend more of it. But the main tool that I that keeps me there is the filter, like when I, if I want to turn my filter off for a day, I have I filter out about 170 terms. So there's 170 terms that are in my list. I counted them. You know the takes on that of all these things that don't show up in my feed. If you say these things, or they're from these people or about these people, like Trump, I don't. I never see anything that Trump posts so or didn't for a long time and and so. But all these things are all these things that I don't, that I don't see, mostly because I just don't want to be activated.

I'm here to have fun. So most of mine is filled with audio. Does you know audio engineers and and videographers and designers and comedians, and I have a great. I have a great version of X, and even then I get bored. I get bored with it, but my version is way better. And I'm always like and, by the way, if you're watching, I am not going to give you my list because it'll make everybody upset because, like I filter out things from both sides. I'm just like I don't care, like I don't want to hear any politics, like I'm. It's not that I don't think politics are important, it's just that I don't think that Twitter is capable of of delivering that effect.

45:26 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
You don't have to drink the castor oil. Okay, either, it's okay, it's like. This is the whole point of customizable media.

45:32 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
It is so enjoy, like it is so much more enjoyable. I again and it's gotten kind of weird in the sense that it's not super weird for me because I filtered most of that out, but it's just not as there's just not as it feels like there's not as many people there anymore, like a lot of people that I was following. Just just don't post as often.

45:47 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
It's a bit of a ghost town, Like obviously are. Are you still seeing ads, Alex, on Twitter? Because to me that is the thing kind of hurting the experience, Like it's like ever after every two or three posts at this point.

45:57 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
So I don't really know. You know I scan so quickly, I'm scanning so fast. I used to like be, like no, no, no, and I would block every person that did an ad. So if you didn't add, I would just block your whole account. You know, like, like, just, and just try to get rid of as much as I could. Of course that's like whack-a-mole. And so now when I'm scanning through it and I have to admit because I have a critical mass of followers not a lot of followers, but enough that most of my time I spent in my notifications, like I post, and most of my stuff is responding to people who responded to me Like I don't really spend as much time reading the raw feed as as I used to.

46:30 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
It's mostly me. This is why my favorite email folder is the sent folder. Just, that's the stuff you're paying attention to, right? If somebody replies to you, it still shows up there.

46:38 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
So that's the thing, and I leverage it Like I was cleaning before, a couple of hours before the show, and I and I found a scorpion in my, in my garage.

46:46 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
Oh fun.

46:47 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
And I was like and I could have taken a picture. I could have done a bunch of googling, but I didn't. I just took a picture of it. I put it on Twitter and I said what kind is this? And immediately came back with an answer. I was like it's better than Google. Like someone came back and of course, and then I, I I Googled that and of course they're totally right, and so it's like you know it's it's.

47:05 - Scott Stein (Guest)
It's hard because I find now living between a lot of different apps is is deeply frustrating. The past, like you were saying, and I feel like there's a. My kids are not really in a social media at all and I get same as you said. You know they didn't, we didn't raise them with it, we kept that stuff away from them. They're in YouTube, they're into the idea of I mean, they know about memes.

They kind of make their own shared Google docs of like found memes, which is bizarre, like you know. Like there's like a. There was like a shared school list of just like like meme things that they were all curating for themselves and talking about or laughing about. And they do see through it and I just feel like I want to reach out to the people I want to reach out to. You know it's like a person-to-person basis, but right now it's not easy to do that. And then there's so much that falls off when you move from app to app where the traction works differently, where I find that if I'm posting one place, people don't see it or they may not react, or the conversation might not start, or here it might start. So it feels like a lot of different parallel universes and shards of the same group of people.

48:11 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
It's driving me crazy, and the invisible one behind all this, of course, is Discord. I'm in probably 30 Discord servers, and so they're all like and they're all different versions of everything else, and each one of them has its own set of structures and its own set of rules, and so, like the one that the Office Hours Global, which is the one that I have, we have about 2,000 people talking about things about, you know, around media production, but then there's other ones that are just talking about how to do better on this or how to do you know, and then there's the Twit one, which is excellent as well, that I'm on. It was just 7 or 8,000 people, and so, between all those you end up with, that's a whole nother place that I think a lot of people have taken refuge with the you know, from all the social media, here in the Reddit conversations.

48:52 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
It's an interesting problem when you're trying to promote something also is I've talked to a lot of creators. I'm a creator myself and it used to be you go on Twitter and that's where most of the people were, and then you use Instagram. You use some other different things. So I launched this Kickstarter campaign a few weeks ago. I'm like, oh, I just need to post on Mastodon, on Blue Sky, and I just set up a Facebook account, which I canceled because one of the largest comics related comic sister related groups the place you reach the most people in the world it's a Facebook group. It's not available anywhere else. Oh yeah, there's the three discords that I know are interested, and then LinkedIn and I'm like I have this list of you know 15 places.

49:25 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
I was going to say that the most effective one, as far as when I'm always surprised by when I look at stats from what we're doing and everything else, is LinkedIn, like LinkedIn, like someone. There was somebody who post I talked about a company in one of our show in a show and the company reached out to me on LinkedIn and said, hey, that was really great. Can we, can we use that? Can we post that on LinkedIn? I was like, yeah, sure you know. Like I wasn't really thinking like sure you can put it on LinkedIn, and there was like thousands of views that obviously came from that one post, you know and the end.

Because when it gets post to LinkedIn, I think that there's. I will admit that I relate to LinkedIn much differently. Like Twitter is me having fun posting pictures of scorpions. I would not post a picture of scorpions on LinkedIn, like you know. Like, because it's my professional network of people. Like I'm not going to, you know, or I'm not going to put up weird polls or funny things that I'm just kind of curious about. I entertain myself on X, but I, you know, and hopefully entertain other people every once in a while. But LinkedIn I take really seriously. Like I put up a post, or I like a post, or I comment on a post, and I think about every single one of them. I don't know if everybody does that, but I know that.

50:27 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
But it's very, very effective. It's like the millhouse of social networks, right, like you don't just kind of there, but all of a sudden it matures, it has a growth spurt. At some point it gets somewhat interesting in high school. And now this is, this is LinkedIn's time to shine.

50:40 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
Everybody yeah, I think Twitter the kind of Twitter, meant that you put more professional stock in it, and I feel LinkedIn also broadened where it's not. Some people do use it socially or more socially, but I feel like I'm comfortable posting my projects there as as well, as you know, kind of in the vein of active professional achievements, as opposed to before. I think I didn't post there very much at all, I didn't use it. I didn't even have a LinkedIn account until last year when I started doing some, you know, kickstarter consulting. I'm like I got to be on LinkedIn. If I'm actually talking to business people, oops, so yeah, but it's. But it's, I think, more lively than I expected.

51:15 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
It is absolutely yeah, yeah.

51:17 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
And right now a lot of people are picking up on on newsletters I guess are now the thing in LinkedIn. So so the so I, you know, I'm even looking at how do I start creating like a media, you know, kind of newsletter that that keeps people up to you know, up to things, but it seems like the best platform for that kind of thing right now, absolutely.

51:33 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
You know I want to talk more about, like what has happened now with social media and everything, but let's, let's hear from Leo for a word from our sponsor once again.

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53:54 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
Speaking of social media stuff, guys, I do kind of wonder, like, where are you living these days? Because I do find myself a little abandoned by Twitter, to be honest. So I'm spreading myself between Mastodon for tech stuff and Blue Sky for kind of all the fun pop culture stuff. Where does everything sit for you guys at this point?

54:14 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
Do you get much response from Mastodon and Blue Sky?

54:16 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
It depends. I have some people that actually know that moved over from Twitter and I mainly engage with those folks. Occasionally I get random people kind of joining in, but there's far less engagement and that is a big downside, because I remember that even in the early days of Twitter people would just be jumping into conversations. It was a very lively experience and Mastodon is not quite that, unfortunately.

54:38 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
I'm on Mastodon and it's been very good to me. I went in big from Twitter and I never had a huge following on Twitter In relative terms. I had like 30,000 people following me and I followed thousands. It was a cultivated group of wonderful people and many of them fairly technical and artisticly involved. A lot of that group went to Mastodon. So I have like 13,000 people following me there, which I'm shocked by Because, again, the only time I interact with any kind of audience is on Twitter. I have a very weird set of things I write and do and it's hard for people to find me. I don't know. I got that audience to kind of come over Because I was committing to Mastodon early on. I was posting and engaging. But Mastodon, I feel, has almost a dampening field. Intentionally it's designed to prevent amplification so that things don't cycle out of control. We don't have the main character of the day on Mastodon almost ever. Occasionally happens like happens literally daily on Twitter. It still does elsewhere.

55:38 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
Blue Sky has had some main characters of the day, all the time on Blue Sky.

55:44 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
Blue Sky is also, I think, a curated experience too, which is I originally was kind of I thought well, I don't want to be on another network, I don't want to be on one that Jack Dorsey has anything to do with, and then he kind of walked away from it a bit. He distanced himself and the developers are very cool. So I actually find Blue Sky very entertaining, but it's the number of people I follow who follow me there. It's a much smaller audience, and the algorithm there, even though you can kind of look at, is the Discover tab and so forth. I don't think there's as much feedback of outrage there either. The machine isn't fully functional yet. It may not become, I hope.

56:21 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
It's a very proto machine. That respect I will say. Like a, blue Sky does have the element of chaos that I think made Twitter so good early on and you kind of need that for the internet. Like the early the mid 90s internet for me was pure chaos and I loved it and I kind of love being in that sort of environment. So Blue Sky has sort of captured that. There's Macedon's, like you know, when you go to the computer lab, you know, and it's just like a bunch of nerds who's been sitting there for too long and I'm like, yeah, I like talking to those people, but I need, I need life too, like I need to do something beyond that group, but cool. So, scott, what are you up to these days?

56:56 - Scott Stein (Guest)
I'm split, like I'm split all across and I'm not happy about any of it. You know, I think that it's and I agree with you about the loving chaos, and then it's also like we've all been traumatized by chaos, and then I think that there's like no clear resolution on like I now find it hard to engage with or to create in those zones, and so I find that it's I'm in an uncertain zone. I don't know if I'm falling out of social media or I still feel like I need it. So, you know, Twitter, yeah, sure I should be out of it and and I, you know, I want to be completely out of it.

The number of people that I have as followers on Twitter is far, far greater than on anything else by like, a vast, vast margin, and it's not a huge amount of people, but it's like you know, it's everything like 20,000 versus 500. And you know, for me, threads I keep throwing myself at and staying in it, it's not enjoyable. You're desperate way, I don't find it enjoyable and I keep going. It's like music I'm trying to like. I'm like I what I'm going to like this At some point I'm supposed to. This is the flow.

58:09 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
This is me looking to Taylor Swift. Yes, yeah.

58:12 - Scott Stein (Guest)
No, I don't find any engagement. I don't know who's following me there, I don't know what I'm doing, I don't find it easy to even post on there and it just feels like it launched fast and is like what, what happened now? And then Blue Sky and Mastodon. I adore the ideas of it. I just don't go to them much at all and so I sold the small micro, whatever following that I had, and I'll post something. I'm not consistent about it. They didn't seem. I didn't seem to find the flow of it.

I find lately and I don't know what it is, but I feel like you know, pre-musk, I had the. You know, I understood the, the, the vibe or the flow of what my engagement with, with Twitter was supposed to be, and I found this flow of it that just felt like whatever it is, it is what it is, and I'm just not finding I'm grabbing that flow of anything right now. It all feels like music that's all out of rhythm, everything's all weird now to beat and I go. Is it me, have I gotten old? And my, you know what? What is it? What's happening here? But like and same thing with TikTok, I'll be like oh, people are going. The algorithm's great, you got to kind of feed it a bit, you got to kind of do stuff with it and I'll go on there and it'll just feel like a little fire hose and I'll make some absurdist, you know brief TikTok that you know maybe a few people see, and then I go. Okay, well, that was a thing.

Same thing with Facebook. It's such a tough relationship with Facebook for a long time where I said, okay, I get it, it's my old friends and my old you know tentacles of all the old people from the past and I didn't know what I feel like news stories were definitely being repelled from them or nobody saw them or nobody seemed to care. So I started putting up like pictures of oatmeal that I was having, like different spices in my oatmeal and people seem to like that. But literally it was like does anyone hear this? Is it, is it here? Is it not here? Am I trolling my own family?

And then I just kind of feel that way now where I just feel like it's a random flail or I'll just go. Maybe I should just go back to reading a book, you know, maybe I should just like write a play and I don't. I have a real like existential crisis about all of it right now, and I don't know how to deal with that. It makes me feel very, it times makes me feel very out of touch, or then I'll fall back to my easiest flow is, unfortunately, twitter. That's what happens and I'll go, you know.

01:00:26 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
I go.

01:00:26 - Scott Stein (Guest)
That has my, you know, I'll go, I'll go, I'll go, I'll go. It has my like what Alex was saying, like it has my. There are certain feeds in the VR air landscape or following, you know, sports stuff. That I'll go. Okay, well, it's the curated flow works. I'm trying to make that curated flow work on threads and it's not, I don't know, getting too much like weird character of the day stuff, as you say.

01:00:49 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
What's that voice is, what's your, what's the thing that drives you to social media? Because I felt like different things had a different time. Some of it's marketing for me, for projects and working on, but a lot of it during the pandemic. The height of the pandemic it was. I want a place where I can go and hang out, because I'm in my house with my lovely family, who I love, but we all spend a lot of time with each other. And then the post sort of lump of the pandemic is people are still I mean, I don't know, we're all four or five of us working from home. I work from home. But, yeah.

so it's like I don't know, so do we still have that thing? We're trying to find a thing that replaces. We don't have a second place. We lost our second place and our third place is hard to find because everyone's kind of moved around too. So I don't really have a third place and I never had a second place but freelancer.

01:01:37 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
It's sort of like an 80s movie. The community center was bought and turned, set on fire by the villain. Oh no, we're all just like.

01:01:45 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
Oh well, somebody was supposed to save this, but, don't you think, never showed up to help Well and I think that for me, I guess Twitter is still kind of an automatic, just because again, like what Scott was saying, my following there is much larger than other places and so if I want to interact, but it can be something like, I'll ask people a question like what about this?

Cause I'm interested in what they think. I'm just kind of interested in what the, the temperature of the people that see my poster. I'm not doing anything scientific or I find out what kind of scorpion was in my garage, but those are the kind of things that I'm, that I, you know it's so fast, like it's so much easier than chat, even chat GPT, and out those chat GPT on the speed, you know, of image recognition. I think for me, you know I, when COVID started, of course, I started this thing called office hours where I hang out with people two hours a day talking about media production, and so for me that kind of filled that in cause. I'm still doing it. We haven't missed a day in almost four years.

01:02:38 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
A little idea, by the way.

01:02:39 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
And it's really, it's absurd. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone to do it every day, seven days a week, for four years. I don't recommend taking something on like that. We just thought COVID wouldn't last so long and then, once we had gone through two years of it, we were like, eh, let's keep going and so, and so the but for me that you know that's it takes. You know, to do the show it takes 15 or 20 people.

So there's people, all the people that you see every day, and then the discord that we have.

That has 2000 people and they're all talking about those things and what happens with discord? Of course it's all where all your direct communication is with everybody too, so you're always chatting with folks and everything else, and so while I work at home, I feel connected to a pretty large global audience, and then there's the twit, the twit, discord as well, and so you have all these people that you're kind of connected to talking about it. So I don't feel like I don't lean on a lot of the social. I will admit that discord has been a really powerful tool where I feel connected to a lot of different vertical communities in production and so on and so forth, where I. Those are the things that I would have done on social media five years ago and now you know 25 discord servers solve that real quick. In fact, on Sundays I have to just go through and say red, red, red, red, red, red, red, red, because it's just there's so much data there that I can't Way too much.

01:03:52 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
So it feels like with this chord we are re basically reinventing IRC, except with rich media you know, like it's use net.

01:04:00 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
There's a lot more going on, but it's like use net, where everything is an alt dot header hierarchy top yeah.

01:04:06 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
That has mid journey in it.

01:04:08 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
Oh, my God. No, it's true.

01:04:10 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
If someone says something funny, you'll see me typing, because I'm going to just type this in and see what mid journey comes out with. You know, like, like, like. Let's just see what this looks like.

01:04:16 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
So yeah, yeah, the discord thing is interesting because I think it's been very successful. But in all the different fandoms and professional stuff I'm involved in, I could probably be in 15 discords. I mean three because I don't have to be full time job. A little discord, baby, it's too much I know Well, if I put in, if I was in the fourth one, I'd have to not make a living, I'd be on the street.

01:04:37 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
So it feels like it's like too much time to feed it. If you have thick skin, you go. Oh, I'm not going to look at that server this week, you know like I don't try to look at them all.

01:04:44 - Scott Stein (Guest)
I can't deal with managing. I can't deal. I'll end up ghosting out of stuff if I feel like I end up getting too much commitment to anything. Like I have to pick my communities carefully. That I know I can spend time with, but I do feel like it's a lot of time on social media. I'm trying to almost have a conversation with you know, with a room of ghosts or you know. I feel like I'm trying to like start a conversation and I guess I should just be posting what I'm writing on and I do that a lot, but then you know, I'm sending little ships out into the ocean.

But like, yeah, thorens, I was like classic example. I was, like you know, I literally wrote a one I'd love to have more conversations on here. Like Ulipo does anyone else read books on this? Because I'm reading a book on Ulipo which is, like you know, kind of become fascinating to me. No responses to that one, no, no, no, like serious dead silence to that one, which is fine. But it is the general feeling I have when, you know, I have an obscure thought or something that's in my head and I go. I want to see where that echoes out there and I go, I guess it's a discord.

01:05:44 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)

01:05:44 - Scott Stein (Guest)
Yeah, that's the thing. They all get missed. And then I think that that's just the feeling of it. I just feel like a person mumbling on a bench. You know, I feel like I'm. I feel like social media now is just me kind of like mumbling on a bench somewhere and I go well, it's nothing. That doesn't make me feel good, it doesn't make me feel great and I don't feel like I know where the conversations are. So I just lean on like texting my good friends to chat about this which is what I would do years ago.

01:06:11 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
Sure, that's what I did. The secret of Masenna, by the way, is to follow Lisa Melton, retired Apple engineer, and Lisa is a super connector and also a super retweeter. So if you know Lisa and you follow Lisa, and if Lisa manages to follow you I've known Lisa for a few years then she's constantly, she's like the super connector of Masenna. So there is, there is an unobtainium, and that is Lisa. So that's that's the secret. She knows everybody, everybody loves her and anyway, that's the answer.

01:06:41 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
You do realize people with a lot of views, like people with a lot of followers. Their life in Twitter is completely different than ours. Like you realize, like every once in a while I get this glimpse because, like you know, I know Justine Ezraic, you know, I Justine, and every once in a while she'll comment on something that I did, or or or or she'll retweet something. And you just log in, look at your statistics. It's like this, this, this, this, and then there's this giant spike that was just one of some random thing that she said oh, I liked that, or whatever, like it wasn't even something that she was focused on, you know, and you just realized that there's an entirely different world out there that is not not the one that we're having.

01:07:17 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
They just look differently from us.

01:07:19 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
you know, I like being like the C minus list or whatever it is and it's like well, but usually you meet somebody in the A list and or B plus list. And you're like oh, that's what it's like.

01:07:28 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
And and I and I like the fact that I think that that you know, I I'm not very organized about Twitter. Twitter is literally you know, cause I was there very early on and I don't take it very seriously and I just post things that I find fascinating or interesting or things that I think people should see, and there's not really any plan, and I think that I you know, so I think that it's so. I think for me it works out. I I'm never going to get used to saying X, but but the but as, but it's. It's kind of like this kind of fun little toy that I have that I can play with, that I get to get.

And again, I love the people that I'm connected to and Twitter and I think that that's the hard part is that, even though I'm I'm done and don't necessarily agree with every the direction that it's gone or how it's what it's done, I'm kind of like I don't know if I can give that up with with Facebook, I just have to go once a month or two, once every two months, and I got to go up there and go hey man, sorry, I didn't respond to your like. There's like 40 messages and I'm like I'm really sorry I don't spend much time here, but hi, how's it going? I'll I'll check this again in a month, you know so. So that's the only.

01:08:26 - Scott Stein (Guest)
That's my biggest stress when I deal with social media too is the idea exactly Like I'm, I'm kind of just being myself wherever I am, and then I don't have much of a plan.

But then I think, well, if you have a plan, then you know you kind of develop this mission. It makes me feel like I'm turning into a machine. And then, you know, the machinification of social media and your identity is very unsettling to me and I've see it happen over and over again. Where it's like you know, building your brand and I've heard this over and over again where you you want to narrow, cast your focus or do what people find interesting or what they're getting engagement on, or that shirt seemed to create good engagement, or you know, then I feel like you just become this increasingly amplified narrow slice of yourself and I feel like I'm always trying to battle that and, as a result, yeah, I probably am a mumbling person on the bench. You know where it's like. You know, okay, you know you're not, you're not being enough in any one particular thing, but I don't know Like I've made it to this point in my life so far.

01:09:23 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
Yeah, I think that for me it is. It's definitely like I do what I love to do and I hope other people will show up and see it. I think that there's two different things, because we talk a lot about this, with influencers so constantly trying to figure out how to build your audience, like how do we get another 100,000 viewers? Or how do we get you know what viewers you know how long should they be watching? And I play I fiddle.

I pay a lot of attention to my very, very small YouTube statistics, like I just pay. I pay. You know like I look at it and I look as we do live every day, right? So I'm looking at the live feed and the live curve and how many people left and how many will stay, and mostly out of just learning what to pay attention to and what not to pay attention to. But I have, I think there's two schools of thought. One is is to expand your reach so that you build up with this large number of subscribers, so that people will listen to you. The other side of that is to expand how you find the people who are interested in this little niche that you're interested in, and I think that that's a much more sane way to do this.

It takes, it's a lot more work because you're now trying to, you know, pull up every you know like make sure that other people know that you exist. But I've decided that I'd much rather have it be. I'm trying to find more people that want the weird thing that I'm doing, and not trying to find the widest audience that I can find, because I feel like that just wouldn't. I just end up making stuff that I don't enjoy doing. And you know, I kind of the dream is always to be doing things that you love. You know, making content that you love to make, which is like like Mac break, or the thing I do every morning with office hours or Twitter. You know, when someone invites me onto this show, I'm like yeah.

01:10:50 - WOT Promo (Announcement)
Yeah, but it's fun, I'm having a good conversation. I mean, alex, you know it's like it's gonna be a good time.

01:10:54 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
Yeah, alex, it feels like you're trying to apply to Twitter, like what you are apply to YouTube, what you used to do on Twitter. Right, it's just like dude, what's fun? Dude, just get yourself out there. I'll say that that's kind of that was my thing about Twitter too, and I think that's what was most enjoyable to it. I joined them, like 2008. And then also it was helpful to talk to new people in media when I wasn't quite in media yet and to make friends and when I was in New York, like that's how I met a lot of people and it was super useful.

And to what you're saying, scott, it does feel like a lot of some other social networks have just like devolved to very specific use cases. Like my thing about threads is it feels like such a cloud chasing engine. Like that's what it feels like to me for the people who are always about building their brands, and it feels like that was the only conclusion you know Zuckerberg and the Facebook people took from Twitter is like, oh, this is about brand building it, but about getting your name out there. Engagement likes retweets, whatever. It's about manufacturing as much of that as possible, and that's what just doesn't really stick with threads for me, so it feels too artificial. I guess is the word yeah.

01:11:53 - Scott Stein (Guest)
Yeah, and I like, I like I take that approach too of like hand picking. You know, over time, just this like group that you know, whatever it is, that my feed starts to fill with stuff that begins to feel like it's fitting into that idea zone or I keep, you know, removing one thing or adding one thing, and and that's like a very painstaking, slow, natural process and then it's like I'm going to have to live in Mastodon for like seven years to like make that happen. Realistically, there's no way I'm going to be able to accelerate that process it's, and so, you know, basically just have to do this all over again and my feeling is like, well, shit, like, or you know, like what, what am I going to do now? There's no way to. We're not person based, like.

I kind of love that you have like decentralized. You know, I want to, I want to be able to just have a cloud of people that I know and just kind of follow around. Sometimes that gets imported, sometimes it doesn't, sometimes it still doesn't feel the same, you know, then it's like where you have people who aren't posting there and I don't know. And then I wonder, should I be different people in different places and just become like you know personality social media.

Yeah yeah, I'll be an old man over here and then I'll be like, and I'll do this, like it encourages a sort of psychosis.

01:13:05 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
But I think that I think that the but I do think like like Twitter, I'm much more fun loving, so to speak, on LinkedIn. I definitely am more serious. It's still saying the same person. It's just that there's definitely a lot of things I post on Twitter that I'm not going to post on LinkedIn. Sure.

01:13:20 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
Twitter is you in a T-shirt and LinkedIn, is you putting a sport coat over that T-shirt? Maybe you're like I'm going to the.

01:13:27 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
I don't know if I put a sports coat on it, but a polo shirt maybe, at least something with buttons.

01:13:32 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
Scott, I have your slogan for oatmeal man it's a grueling job, Pretty of charge.

01:13:40 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
Love it, love it. Somebody needs to write the books then, in the art of social media engagement, like that's what we need right now. We just need to, like, figure it out and, I don't know, calm ourselves. I will say, though I will never forgive Elon Musk for destroying Twitter.

So I will put that out there and kind of destroying the internet as I knew it. And I'm not bitter, not at all. But let's talk about the next story. Elon Musk's SpaceX is building a spy satellite network for US intelligence agencies. Reuters had this exclusive yesterday. I saw this news come out and first of all I wasn't too surprised. But I too wonder what is the government thinking now that, seeing where Elon has gone after post Twitter and now where he is on his I don't know, just sort of like anti-Semitic, white supremacist bent, I didn't have a very while.

01:14:26 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
It is love of China and seeming interest in Russia, and I don't know why that would be a national secure and his use of this alleged use of drugs that violate many of the rules required to operate certain kinds of government contracts. Even though it's not proven I think it's been denied officially, but it is alleged by many parties, but a lot of reporting on it. So yeah, we, we Elon seems like the wrong company to invest in, except you may have the equipment that the government needs right now.

01:14:53 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
Just just while it's a hard thing to figure out, like I mean there's a lot of. I mean what he's doing is hard, like that's what. That's what he's gotten good at is doing hard things and actually having them come out the other end, and that's an unusual ability. Because it's not and I think that's what's put him in this place is that, you know, boeing has obviously proved that it's hard, you know. Like you know, this is a hard thing for you know to get things into space and have them work.

And so I think that the satellite, you know, obviously Starlink, has been approved, you know, a good proving model for that, a good test model. The thing that's important is is this very large array of satellites is much more resistant to. You know, we are in a point where you take out a couple of satellites in the United States and suddenly we lose all communication, like everything goes dark really fast, and so so I think that there is this concern that we've built up these hundred million you know 250 million, one billion dollar satellites that are up there. That are a handful of them, and if they go down, everything goes down where, if you have 12,000 satellites or 50,000 satellites up there, it's a much different thing, apart from the upset that this is created for astronomers.

01:16:01 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
Oh no, you just get a buffer overflow error and it goes to every satellite and communicates through mesh networking and they're all down also.

01:16:07 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
Maybe, maybe, you know, I think that there's a lot of. I mean, that's possible, absolutely, but I think that, but it's, it's, it's harder to do that, I will argue, than it is to shoot them down, like you know, and and so and so, yeah, absolutely. And we should not assume that all the countries, all the major countries, already have satellites up there that are armed and ready to shoot the other ones down. I mean, that would be, we should not assume that doesn't already exist. So so, but there's. But the ability to have a large number of satellites up there does make a difference, and the problem is there's not a lot of other people. Amazon's doing it, but you know, I think that there's. There's not a lot of other options, I guess, is what I would say for that.

And it is a very needed technology, and so, and we've, we've gone to. You know our country has used, you know, mci was a big benefactor. You know there was a long time where an MC, if you were, if you had a MCI satellite access in Africa, and you suddenly lost, suddenly lost connections or your connectivity went down, you knew that Africa was active. You know, like so because they would take over all the satellites. So so the, so the, so the. You know, mci built its entire infrastructure based on supporting the military, so the, so the so I think that we those are. I think that we just have to know that we're gonna have to use commercial, and so you're gonna pick someone's gonna be commercial and he's been the most effective of the bunch so far.

01:17:35 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
He's getting satellites up there. Starlink is the thing that exists, I think. First of all, I want to get the full context here Reading. I'm gonna read from the Reuters piece the network is being built by SpaceX's StarShield business unit under a $1.8 billion contract signed in 2021 with the National Reconnaissance Office, the NRO, the intelligence agency that manages spy satellites, and I think the idea is that it's just gonna be a global you know, global array of satellites that can, with high quality imagery or with high quality sensors. They can see anybody and track anybody anywhere on the planet at higher detail and resolution than we've ever had before. So, yeah, I can imagine the US government wants that.

My worry is, after we saw what happened with Starlink early on in the Ukraine and Russia, where it's Elon Musk himself kind of like enabling and disabling access because, you know, all of a sudden he was called in to help. Because he's the man in charge of this. I'm more worried about him than the tech, because he's not the guy personally responsible for developing this tech. Right, he has been very good at hiring and taking over companies that have been developed by other people, but also hiring smart people to build his big dreams. So you know that's my worry.

01:18:45 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
I think the issue is, though, is that it's one thing for him to you know, starlink made in a huge difference at the beginning of the Ukraine war, you know, to, you know, empower in Ukraine to be basically be able to operate, you know, and be able to have them move forward, and I think that it put him in a pretty complicated position. I'm not a big fan of, I'm not saying but, but it put him in a very complicated position of supporting, you know, getting into a war. That is not what Starlink was necessarily designed to do, and, by the way, the government not paying him to do that either. So so that you know, so all the costs are all sitting on his shoulders for something that that that doesn't, that it wasn't what he planned to do with these. So I think that there's that's on one side.

01:19:28 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
And didn't he volunteer the resources?

01:19:32 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
I think they were going to write him a check at one point, if I recall as well, but it's the lack of transparency he acts like a government is the issue. He lack of transparency on his decision making and actions that are affecting geopolitical issues.

01:19:45 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
Yeah, but I think that there's a difference between him affecting the, the how a commercial system is being used in a military application, to pulling the rug out of the United States Defense Department like or the NRO. That is like chances of him doing that are pretty low, you know, because you know, because the government asked him at this point.

So maybe, but I'm just saying that from a from a statistical perspective. That is the end of all the things. Like you know, like if you did that to the United States government, especially to the NRO, they're not going to have any sense of humor about that, you know, like, you know and it's, and so like there's a gray area when you're doing it inside of the Ukraine, where there's a mixed support for that and everything else is up and down, but there's a whole nother thing about, like, building a contract with the United States government. So I think that those are very different. I don't think that they they live in the same world as far as what, the what he would actually do.

01:20:38 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
I hear that, but I we're also looking at this man engaging with white supremacists, like several times in the past few days and just like, yeah, but you're talking about that's him.

01:20:48 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
Cutting off the United States. The United States intelligence agency is the end of all of your companies.

Like that would be like the government would come down so hard on him that would be the end of whatever he's doing. Like it would be. You know, he couldn't get into a contract with the NRO and then renege on it in any way, shape or form. If he's lucky to get out of the country, like you know. Like you know, that's like that's one of those things where, oh, he got into a car accident. How about that? You know?

like and so so that you know, they would take no sense of humor about being turned over like that, and so I just don't think I just I just think that there's he does a lot of crazy stuff, but I don't think that's one of the ones that would fit into what he where he would go, because that that is a I think even he would understand.

01:21:27 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
I don't think that would be. I don't, yes. The issue is I don't trust him with national security, so that's separate from what would he do. I simply don't trust him with it. I don't think we should be giving money to his firm based on his actions.

01:21:38 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
Most of these networks are based on not having trust with other people. Like most of the way the network interacts with the other, the way those satellites are going to interact with each other is not based on trust. I mean, that's how this is the deal.

01:21:47 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
No, but the money is going to his company. That's the whole point. And as regardless regardless, I mean fundamentally do you engage with people who don't act in good faith and don't act in the best interests of the country that is providing the money? But this is this will actually tie in. The flip side is who else do you go to? They're the only player, because Boeing mismanagement it all comes back to plugs falling out of window, or window plugs falling out is. If Boeing had him in mismanaged for the last 25 years in ways that were obvious, then Boeing might be a viable player to provide this service.

01:22:17 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
It is back to witnesses suspiciously dying to things, that's what they didn't follow.

01:22:21 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
You have thought of a window, though, but that's the only yeah, I feel bad for the guy.

You read the reports and it's like there's a lot of things that are dubious. We don't want to turn this into events fosters situation, but it's also I just feel bad for the guy because he was trying to do what's right and maybe experience. So if the narrative that is out there is to be believed, he just experienced so much pressure he couldn't continue, which is very, very sad for what he was trying to do to improve the safety of other people.

01:22:43 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
Yeah, for the SpaceX story, by the way, like I'm just wondering, like I'm not, maybe he would not be dumb enough to do something like overtly squirming over the US government. But if it's like, hey, maybe when we're covering this particular quadrant of Russia, or something, just like it's a little less clear.

01:23:00 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
I'm just not clear. He would know, Like I don't think you know, once they hand off this network to the United States government, he's not going to know what's happening.

01:23:08 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
He'd record those videos. You know, you see where you slide in the video that repeats and it shows like an ordinary hillside in front of the security camera and you just slide that in front of the satellite that's looking at that part of Russia.

01:23:18 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)

01:23:19 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
It's. I just think that it's not. It's a lot of those securities go into that process, the control of them. They're putting the birds into the skies. But the control of those birds once they're there is going to be pretty limited of what they know, what information would have, would go out from them.

01:23:33 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
Well, let's talk about somebody else who went into business with Elon Musk, and that is Mr Don Lemon from CNN. Oh man, recently that his, his, his contract with Twitter to promote a show on Twitter service has been canceled after one really testy interview with Elon Musk.

01:23:50 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
I don't even think he got it. There was before, right it was before, even one, amazing, amazing, incredible.

01:23:56 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
And so so what happened here was that Don Lemon, who was fired from CNN for I believe it was comments against Nikki Haley, just like his, his, like, really he. He made some really terrible comments about her not being a woman in her prime and, yeah, he was out after that.

01:24:10 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
But there were also reports that he was just not great to his colleagues and not apparently not like that great in the morning show that they put him in, yeah, they put him in a cranky position where he I mean I'm not defending him, but it's also great they did not take advantage of what he was famous for and what he was doing well, and then he did not behave well as a result.

01:24:26 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
He did not want to be on good morning CNN essentially, so, yeah, it did not work out so well for him, but yeah. So he entered a relationship with Elon Musk, who was trying to, I guess, say, hey, twitter is a place for all sorts of political backgrounds. Right, we have Tucker Colson, but we also have the guy from CNN. So therefore we're unbiased and fair. One interview and Don Lemon is not even that much of a tough interviewer, like I don't know, I've not seen clips here, but apparently after one there were some questions where he was directly asking Elon about his, I guess his own life and Elon did not like how personal and how, basically, how that direction went. But what do you think, alex?

01:25:02 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
I think that I think that Don Lemon, I think, felt like he needed to show that he wasn't Elon Musk's lackey. So I think he's in a position of I'm starting this, but I'm not, I'm not just following what Elon tells me and I'm going to show that I'm willing to put, you know, put the brass knuckles on and ask the hard questions and do all the things to prove himself so he could separate himself from Elon Musk. I'm on his platform, but I'm still going to be independent. So of course he hit a lot harder than he probably needed to and went much more personal.

I don't think it's the politics that bothered Elon Musk. I think it was the personal questions that bothered Elon Musk and I think that you know, I think it embarrassed him, I think it made him upset and I think that you know that's probably again he might have over. I think Lemon might have. He may have done this on purpose. Like I'm just going to see how far this will go, like I don't know if this is going to go anywhere. I'm just going to see how far this goes and maybe I'll get some good press out of it anyway.

01:25:55 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
So that might have been his whole plan. I've not seen the full interview so I'm not sure the full contact here it's just the reports of him asking about drug use and asking about all those other things.

01:26:02 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
I mean, I think that that he could have. He could have started a little like really dealing with politics and policy as opposed to going into, you know, going after personal issues.

01:26:13 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
I feel like that stuff may be related. Like the guy in charge, the second richest man in the world there are all these stories about him. Don Lemon's, now the poster boy for his supposed. Like you know, twitter is a more politically acceptable place for all sorts of people. It doesn't seem that unfair to me just because all the stories are out there and you have the guy in front of you, whereas I don't think a right wing politician, tucker Carlson, will not be asking any of those kind of questions because he's they're going to softball everything. So to me I guess that's where the politics comes in, because Don Lemon's actually asking questions that he has never answered before, and it's a basic function of journalism. So that to me seems like a useful thing. Like, I don't think that's going too far. It just seems like that's he's.

01:26:55 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
He was going too far. I'm just saying, I'm just saying that I don't. I'm not saying that he went too far, I'm saying that he just that's what got him. I think that if he had far for Elon, I guess yeah, I think if he wanted to get a lot of press, which he's done well, that was a great way to do it. If he wanted to actually build a platform on Twitter probably wasn't the right way to do that, but he was sure that he could ask anything though there were no rules, so you know that's that's cowtowing to the.

01:27:17 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
That's exactly the opposite of what must was was. Uh, was that claiming was true? Is it?

01:27:22 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
everything goes, so you know there's a business decision there, but I don't know yeah.

01:27:28 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
I think I would again if you wanted to build a platform on Twitter, if you want to build it. I mean, there's a certain level of knowing where you are in the food chain and so if you're going to build a platform, going after the owner and asking them again, asking them politics probably would have been fine.

01:27:42 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
Ask them personal questions, but that's not. I mean, come on, I gotta say that's just, that's just. I hear you, but I don't think this is the issue at stake, as Lemon was told he could ask anything, he was trying to show that he could be tough and he apparently asked questions that he claimed. I mean, we'll get to see, because they'll post. He's claiming he's going to post all the footage on and it'll be on X, but it's like. Actually, the critical part, though, I would argue, alex, is that ostensibly the one argument is that Lemon never signed the contract, so when the contract was canceled it wasn't actually signed. If that turns out to be true, then that is a huge cell phone. You don't ask those questions until you have the signed contract guaranteeing you the money.

01:28:19 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
We're also talking about him and we have forgotten about the show. So he's got. You know he may have gotten exactly what he wanted out of the whole thing.

01:28:27 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
Maybe, but he doesn't have a platform now, so did he get what he wants?

01:28:30 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
I mean he still has the platform right, so the only he can still post on. Twitter. It's a thing. He doesn't get the promotion. Yeah, he doesn't get the promotion, but now he can like pump this to YouTube or something which was probably going to be a safer bet for him.

01:28:40 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
Didn't Carlson sort of decamp to? Carlson was getting some promotion on X but then didn't get. You know, I didn't seem like it was much going on there. Now he's got kind of his own thing, but he's also posting an X. I didn't seem like Musk got much out of Carlson in the end either, or vice versa, I don't know I'm not fully paid attention to that but I don't know, I think this is hilarious, just like seeing the.

01:28:59 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
The tough guy to a lot of internet nerds is is so thin skinned that he cannot you know, cannot survive one interview. I just find that hilarious this the whole thing made me laugh.

01:29:09 - Scott Stein (Guest)
I mean, I don't think if Don Lemon is a tough guy, I don't care about Don Lemon. I don't read, I don't like to read anything that Elon Musk says ever. And then I just saw this like interview that led to the cancel, you know the, the cancellation of whatever it's like. Just don't have a relationship with Elon Musk. I feel like that's the. That's the thread of the last two stories. You know it's like yeah, john, how?

01:29:29 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
will he screw over the US?

01:29:30 - Scott Stein (Guest)
government. Let's tune it to find out, there's a lot of Charlie Brown, lucy, football stuff with, like in the past like seven years, with, like you know, like people you don't like, and then you go, you do business with them and then they like screw you over. It's like yes, yeah, it's like punchlines. Okay, I'm like. I'm waiting for the next one.

01:29:49 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
Did you see the Tesla pie story recently I mean, that was like last month, but the where Tesla had ordered a bunch of pies from a small local pie shop and then canceled the order the last minute and it was this whole disaster and the company the little pie shop could have gone out of business. Then Elon graciously stepped in and said this is all a mistake and paid them for all the pies, but it was still like it wasn't. It was like buying pie.

It was like 3000 pies, right or something. It was anyway. But it's like you can't even sell pies to a must company without worrying you might wind up on the short end of the pie stick.

01:30:23 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
I don't know what the state. Anyway, I'm sure we'll be hearing more about this story and whoever else Elon Musk does this with business with in the future. But let's head back to Leo Laporte for a word from our sponsor.

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01:33:14 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
Thank you so much, leo. We also saw a story this week from Mr Mark Gurman, I think following up on all of his Apple Car revelations, he was on who broke the story that that Apple Car project was dead after a decade and he spilled some details about that In Mark Gurman's latest newsletter over at Bloomberg. He wrote about how CarPlay is basically Apple's last gasp at the car industry.

We have seen a more advanced form of CarPlay being shown off, something that takes over the front instrument cluster, basically all the screens at the front of your car, and Apple has not right now. That is something really out to like very expensive high end luxury sedans. It's not coming to like a Corolla or something yet, but Apple really has no plan for what to do with CarPlay at this point, like they are spreading it out there. They're not charging manufacturers to use CarPlay, they're not charging customers or anything. Gurman is basically hypothesizing here that CarPlay that Apple will eventually have to charge for some element of CarPlay, maybe a CarPlay Plus for this higher end service. I'm just wondering what do you guys think about this idea and about, you know, the end of the Apple car as well?

01:34:25 - Scott Stein (Guest)
Well, I just started trying to buy a car recently and then backed out of buying the car.

01:34:29 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
Let's talk. Let's talk, yeah, because we're doing a lot of research on that. Yeah.

01:34:34 - Scott Stein (Guest)
It was very dramatic, but you know, I have a 2012 Honda CR-V that just has regular Bluetooth connections. I'm so slow to upgrade. Oh yeah. But, like the new 2024 Honda hybrid was the one I was going to get and I'm probably still going to. But then the prices.

01:34:49 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
I was dealing with dealers and it was ridiculous and then I realized it could be gotten for less and then I got out of my contract and you probably want to lease an EV at this point, like just I was so tempted. It's such a good deal I want to get an EV.

01:35:00 - Scott Stein (Guest)
But the problem for me is that's our primary car and that's a whole other thing where it's like I have not built the infrastructure and to do that and I'm probably a really slow adopter and I feel very bad about not selling up for an EV. But I also feel like the tech is going to change a lot and I like to live with a car for like 10 years and maybe I should lease. That's a good point and we should actually research that even more. But then the carplay like you know, I like the idea of it. I don't want more of it. You know, I kind of feel like the way I feel about it is like I love that it's there. It's so much better.

If it took over the rest of the car I think I'd freak out and I don't like what cars do with software at all. But I do like that the cars have some element to themselves that separate from that and I would be fine paying a service for carplay if it maybe did more. I don't know if it meant it would go away, but like, and I didn't feel any interest in the Apple car thing, although when someone was talking to me about like Teslas, which I would not buy. They were talking about like, oh, it's so much easier to buy one, and that you know you're not dealing with this. Like you know, let me check with my manager and like the prices all seem like they're in some gray zone and that drive, that drove me crazy and you know, I felt like car dealers are the worst.

01:36:19 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
Like the scourge of humanity. Yeah, I was and I just felt. I felt like you buy through.

01:36:22 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
you buy through Costco. I mean, I don't need to promote. They're not a sponsored up for the brand. I have no affiliation with them, even if I live in Washington state, the home of Costco. You buy from Costco and they just I've done this before and they're just like it costs as much. And you go to the dealer. They're like okay, and that's the entire transaction. So I don't know if it's still that good. I'm proud 2014 Honda Fit owner here, scott, so I'm in your camp with outdated I've heard I've heard good things about that process.

01:36:49 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
By the way, I have to say I'm weirdly a fan of Carvana, even though that company has been kind of messy.

I have bought two cars over Carvana and have done like trade ins and stuff. And there have been like some issues, like the release when I got a, got a Volvo, because again, I also don't have the infrastructure or you know, budget for an EV at this point but it came with bad breaks and I called them and I was like, hey, these breaks are rusted and they're like okay, new breaks, just because it's a crazy startup. So they're like, okay, we'll just, we'll just replace that. And then dealer would I don't know if a dealer would know much about that issue.

01:37:22 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
Yeah, I'm afraid that I just keep looking. I have a 2014 Dodge Caravan and it has an ox input. It's broken so I have to pull. I have to put the ox into it and then pull it to the side and wrap it around something so that it won't go back to the radio. And then I have this little and I have this. This, the peak design makes the case that I have on, you know, on this phone and it, and there's they make a little thing that hooks on to the to the vent, like get back just onto the vent. And then I just snap this onto the front and I have a map and I have music and I am in fun.

01:37:57 - WOT Promo (Announcement)
That's kind of all you need, and I have been doing.

01:38:00 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
My wife has a newer pilot, a Honda pilot, and every time I get into it I'm like, oh, I get this thing to sync up and get the Apple Apple thing to work, because it's, you know, set up for her phone and then there's too many phones already connected to it and then I have to do this thing. I'm like mine just works, it, just I just plug it in. I plug in the USB C on the bottom. I got a souped up USB C to to ox out, so I got more audio power into the car because it was a little too quiet. And so those are the little things that I've done.

And I have to admit I keep on thinking, wow, I really like that whole car play, but I'm kind of like my, my phone doesn't really work If you call me on in the car, which I kind of like, you know, like and so, so. So I, so I it's been and I and the problem is for both my wife and I. We both have cars now that are out. You know, we, we got loans for them and they've been paid off for since since COVID, and I look at the probably thousand to $1,500 a month that I'm not paying for those cars and I don't drive very much anymore. I mean I'm lucky to get to the garage, let alone go out, for most days, and so I, I just, you know, I kind of love the fact that I'm not paying for it and I just find that a lot of people like I remember growing up thinking that it was great to get a license so I could drive legally.

I've been driving for a long time but being able to drive like actually on the highway legally was really exciting and my kids, there's not just, there's not a lot of pressure, you know, like there's not that interesting. And the reason what's interesting is they'll say, well then, I'd have to, I can't be, I can't be interacting with other people on my phone if I'm driving, and that is just annihilating their interest in and their friends. Their interest in driving is because of their phone, it's because you know they don't want to do it illegally, they don't want to be like, obviously, texting and driving, but that means they don't want to. It doesn't mean that they don't want to text, it means they don't want to drive.

01:39:47 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
And also like you have enough ways to easily get around, like if you're in a city with like decent public transportation. That's fine, but everyone's just Ubering and lifting everywhere.

01:39:55 - WOT Promo (Announcement)
Or just working for money, or just working for, like, not going anywhere.

01:39:59 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
What's called, sometimes called, a numtah. It's a new urban memes for transit-oriented teens. Oh, my teen's about to turn 20. He's transit-obsessed. He's going to school in Boston now. He's undergrad in Boston, oh nice. And he, you know he will. He has a license. He may have to drive. He's going to go into his music ed major. So he's going to teach and who knows what city and whatever. But he is prioritizing his life around transit because he does not want to have to contribute to sprawl. He is actually very socially minded things. But I'll tell you, here's the most amazing thing. So Alex Scott and I and I think to Vindra, you said you bought two cars in the recent past we are. Alex Scott and I are like the least demographic people in our age groups.

01:40:40 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
I'm sorry guys. I'm sorry guys. I'm sorry, I got a 2012,. I got a 2014.

My Dodge gave it to me. It's amazing. I guess I'm in a weird place right now because I have much younger kids than you guys, it sounds like. So I have a five year old and I have a two year old and my life is the daycare drive in the morning and the daycare pick up in the afternoon and soon school and everything. So I've been like very much researching family cars for a while. So that's yeah, my brain has just been here. I will say I originally had a RAV4, a 2017 RAV4 hybrid, and that didn't have carplay. Then I swapped over to a Volvo XC90 that does have carplay and carplay just makes all the difference, because on the cars without it, if you're doing like aux audio or something, then you can't get map audio. You can't get map directions if you're listening to the radio.

01:41:24 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
So yeah, yeah, yeah, which I don't want, Like usually, like my thing is, I need it on the phone.

Yeah, I always like to not interrupt my music, like that's, what I like is that I'm listening to music and I can go over to the map and see where I'm supposed to go. But I'm like, and I don't. Admittedly, again, I don't travel a lot of places where I need to map that often, because I don't go very many places anymore. You know, I think that I am fascinated by the impact that COVID had, in the sense that pre-COVID I was traveling a quarter million miles a year and post COVID I drive maybe 3,000 miles a year, so you and I are hybrid customers.

01:41:58 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
Like the plug-in hybrid, I was like I want to get an EV next car. We just got our electrical rewired two years ago to get a heat pump, like all the exciting stuff. Right, like I could get an EV port. Then I'm like, well, you know, I don't think we're the right. I drive 20 miles to 30 miles a week, so plug-in hybrid.

01:42:16 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
Yeah, so I should also mention this. I did briefly have a plug-in hybrid and I got screwed over because it was a Chrysler and I realized I was like I can trust an American car at this point. Everybody loves the Chrysler Pacifica. Three weeks after I bought it basically ban a global recall on that specific model because it could catch fire, and Chrysler spent like nine months not doing anything, like not giving us updates, like not telling us how it would be fixed. So I kind of just was like I cannot just be driving this thing with my kids. So I kind of took I bit the bullet and I kind of like took the cost of like swapping over to that ball, though so it was not the best decision, but it was because of Chrysler's crummy engineering. But otherwise, plug-in hybrids are great, Like you can do.

01:43:00 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
But I also think that I think that Apple also had to look at the fact that the trend of how people use their cars is changing dramatically and that if you're not going to release something until 2026, 2027 and hope that it turns into a real business by 2030, that's a whole different world from where we are now, because we're seeing more people working from home, more people wanting to not have to drive very, very far. The next generation cars are not their identity. They're not their identity. You know, like there and I admit, for me it was never really my identity I drove. I've never bought a new car, I've always bought old I mean generally old BMWs, but then one, my last one, died and I had the caravan as like it's like a caravan is kind of like.

01:43:42 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
But your cars became old. A quarter million miles a year. Your cars were old in a year. So that's oh, no, no, no, I was flying those.

01:43:47 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
I was flying those. I'm sorry, I was like, how did you?

01:43:49 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
drive Okay, so I was flying a quarter million miles a year, like I was definitely not driving. Now, if I drive, if I drive into, San Francisco.

01:43:57 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
I'm like, I'm in, I'm like 35 minutes from downtown San Francisco and you go you might as well just lift it, you might as well just taxi in, because then at least you could do stuff on your computer. Bart, bart, bart Bart.

01:44:10 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
Bart, Well, I'm in. I'm in Marin, where we spent a century resisting any connection, direct connection to what to what the Marinites would call the riff-rack.

01:44:20 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
You know, like we don't, I just rode the smart network, the smart train in which is in Sonoma, which takes you between several cities barely in lovely Sonoma and only runs part of the day. It's a big stuff up though.

01:44:32 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
Apparently you often Larksboro, where you're still a mile a mile from the, from the like you have to walk like, especially when it's raining and really hot. You have to walk from the Larksboro drop off on smart all the way over, like they could have just run that. If they had run that train all and I think that they did this on, I think somebody did this on purpose If they had run that train all the way up to where the, where the ferries are, which are an amazing experience. Yeah, yeah, yeah, it's a great right.

So great, it's such a great thing to do. If they had just run that to the place where I don't have to walk for 20 minutes to get to them, I would. I'd be. I would never drive to San Francisco again. I would be taking the smart all the time grabbing. I'd go into San Francisco all the time cause I know I can get in with the way that it's set up.

01:45:12 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
It's like no no, I don't want to turn it into a transit podcast, but the when I went I flew in the Santa Rosa airport, which is great and smart, terminates at the Santa Rosa airport a mile from the airport and then till last summer there was no shuttle or anything. Now they run a shuttle with a private company. Had a lovely conversation with the driver. I was. It was a private shuttle, practically nobody on the bus either way, but I was like. The only one taking the was the train for me.

But you're like, these are anyway these are these are what get people to keep people in cars is the intermodal transportation nodes are missing. That's.

01:45:45 - Scott Stein (Guest)
that's the point I'm an, I'm an NJ transit person. So you know, for me, I'm, I'm, I'm lucky to walk, I'm lucky to be walking distance to the NG transit and they can take that into New York City, where I'm not there that many times a week since the pandemic or the ongoing pandemic or whatever. You know, whatever Nether zone we're in now but the, but the, basically the this phase and then. So I don't drive a lot and so I agree, Like I'm not identified by car. I kind of can't stand cars and I feel like they're just a thing. They I do relate to, like David Kronenberg and crash and the idea of just like just I look at highways and I'm just like I don't really comprehend the existence of this in the world. I'm not like kind of in love with it and then I go, okay, well, I need one, but then I want to stick with one for a while and like I agree, I'm paid off on it, so I don't want to, I don't want to deal with any of that all over again.

01:46:38 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
It's a pain of a car, like I hadn't had that happen in a long time. And when you have two paid off cars, it is like heroin, like you're like. Oh, I don't want to break it down because you're like all that extra money that I'm not spending. Yeah.

01:46:53 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
You know, and the insurance when you buy the new car, they give you the new shirts. Bill yeah, exactly, and I'm clear of that.

01:46:59 - Scott Stein (Guest)
I started to get to the point where the car had been like it started to have a few things wrong with it and the repairs were starting to mount up, and that was when friends had said to me okay, well, this is the time that you should be putting money into a new car. That's not that one. So we started looking, but it just made me feel squeamish and then I want to stick with that car for a long time. It goes back to my feeling on CarPlay, which is, like you know, we'll. I'm still curious about how this tech lasts over like 10 years.

01:47:27 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
And then it goes with your phone. Is the thing like the current new CarPlay thing, the infotainment powered? Carplay is powered by your phone. It is not built into the car like Android Auto Motive is, so that's like the key. It's as fast as your phone is technically yeah.

01:47:41 - Scott Stein (Guest)
But then at the same time, I would. It would be kind of nice in some idealistic world. I kind of feel like if, if, if you get to the point where, like you want to upgrade your car but not get a new car, like have that element be modular, you know, like, like something that like you know it's weird to me how many parts of the car are not modular, you know that are like. You know you only get these things if you get a new car. Like I just go, I kind of don't, I understand, but I feel like maybe Ken, ken, that CarPlay thing be something that you could. It's a slippery slope, cause I was going to say, as I'm saying this, I go, well, if that's something you could upgrade, then, like, apple and others are going to want to have a new one every you know couple of years and then they want you to pay for it.

01:48:22 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
Maybe that is going to be the thing Like maybe if they yeah.

01:48:25 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
I think for Apple, the CarPlay thing I don't know if they'll make someone pay for it, because I don't I think that a lot of it is just making sure that Apple users have a good experience when they're in the car. I think that's Apple's biggest thing is just to make sure that that they're not left out, that they don't feel like, oh, I can't connect, you know, cause the car is still something a lot of people use. And again, as someone who doesn't who again my wife, I connected. I actually find the CarPlay to be fine, Like it's great to have it in the car and it shows up on the little Honda screen.

01:48:50 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
You can get controls from your driving, from your steering wheel, and that is the key. Like being able to like do things really well there.

01:48:55 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
You know what Apple's going to do, though I will tell you I'm going to predict this and I believe I'll be correct is Apple isn't going to charge you for CarPlay. Apple is going to charge you for a package of emergency and assistance services because they have the satellite SOS via, starting with the iPhone 14. They said they wouldn't charge for a year. Then they extended it they're certain and then they added emergency roadside SOS with. You have to have a certain AAA service in the US, and so forth.

They're so clearly going to have like a $20 a month, $30 a month thing that's going to feature those two things plus whatever, and you have to have a newer phone which gives you the incentive if you have one or two generations behind, and then you will be paying them $3 or $400 a month. Maybe it'll be bundled with AAA in some way and you'll be like this is great, I love it. I, you know, I'm never lost. I'm not on a weird rural road because my phone, my car, is now tied in with emergency SOS or whatever. They will sell. I want to say they'll sell fear, just like they did with the satellite service.

01:49:52 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
I will say, as someone who once was helped by AAA on the five which, by the way, everything's way bigger than you think it is when you're in the car, when you're standing outside the car that was on, that was that AAA helped me, you know, in the middle of nowhere, on the five worth every penny.

01:50:09 - WOT Promo (Announcement)
They try so great, but the one thing is is that I was.

01:50:12 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
I barely ever use it and I remember that earlier that year I thought should I update this, like I haven't used AAA and I don't remember how many years? Yeah, yes, my wife was stuck at a ski area with the kids.

01:50:22 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
My wife was stuck at a ski area with the kids where she'd driven from Seattle not that far away but a good hundred miles to go tubing the clutch dies. We had a manual transmission she calls AAA and they said your plan doesn't include extended whatever. Would you like that? And we paid $30 more and they drove 200 miles for nothing and we said we will never not have them. But the fear part is Apple really marketed emergency SOS as a and I don't think unreasonably, because it is a fear we are. Do fear about people do take bigger chances.

01:50:55 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
They are in places where there isn't coverage and I think emergency SOS and emergency roadside assistance I think it's already saved lives, like there are any stories of people whose lives have been saved, why they've been the high key stuff.

01:51:06 - Scott Stein (Guest)
So I think what you're saying, glenn, the subscription service, your fall detection and the you know bill package. It'll be a Fib and all the car play.

01:51:14 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
Car play plus will be plus the right phone model and it's going to do all of these extra things and it will be integrated into the car as well as into your phone, so you get the same services as long as you're carrying your phone with you. And then everybody in the family needs to have a nine foot 14 or later.

01:51:30 - Scott Stein (Guest)
That's how it goes Peace of mind package Exactly.

01:51:33 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
I mean all the car manufacturers already make you basically pay extra for you know, remote security or remote.

01:51:39 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
That's also greatly affected my willingness to upgrade to a car Like I feel like I'm getting into a relationship with the car Like I. Right now I own cars that don't talk back to the manufacturer, that do the thing that they need to do. They get me from one place to the other, and I know I'm being a bit of a Luddite, but, man, like the idea that I'm now going to get hosed into, like I'm going to get pulled into like this, this subscription plan to run my car Like I own a little crazy with the subscription plans and like how they can enable and disable features.

01:52:09 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
It's the worst thing.

01:52:11 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
Or sell your data or sell your data to the. You saw the thing the Lexus Nexus data situation where people didn't realize by approving one thing in the fine print, they'd actually agreed to send all their acceleration and hard braking and speeding information, which has affected their insurance. I mean that is a kind of trust you want to cultivate with your customers for a lifelong relationship as a car company.

01:52:33 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
That's just just awful. I mean real quick. We should talk about like so Apple's a whole. It seems like the from the get go the plan for the Apple car a decade ago was kind of, I guess, like a setup for failure, because they were building up for true self-driving when everybody was chasing true self-driving and we've, you know, basically realized that that problem is harder to solve than everybody ever thought.

01:52:54 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
Yeah, If you, at the same time, you were designing a headset that would allow you to watch movies. A self-driving car, really useful Like the two of them coming to you if they had passed the if the receiver had been there when they threw the ball a long time ago. It would have been great. You just go into. Never, Never Land and you get to LA, you know like that's a that would.

01:53:16 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
The windscreen could have been a Vision Pro.

01:53:19 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
You don't even need to know but, it would have been kids to use them they wanted to get you away from, like you don't have a steering wheel, you don't have anything else, you sit in this little mini van. That is which, to me, was a dream it's still a dream is that I have a little, a little mini apartment. That's, you know, that I can go into and I can like work a little bit and I can hang out a little bit, and it's just moving me from one place to the other is the perfect car. It's just that that's the last mile is super hard, you know, and that's the, that's the challenge, yeah.

01:53:44 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
So, so, yeah. So the early reports were that, yeah, this would be a steering wheelless vehicle, just kind of a pod you hop in and take you places. Yeah, with a pure self-driving. The concepts that German reported on made it sound almost like a VW bug or not bug, the mini bus, so like like a pod shaped thing. Over at Engadget, carissa Bell, our reporter, just like, fed a lot of the design prompts into into an AI image thing and it came up with like this very cute, bespoke Apple looking thing. That was the plan. Clearly that didn't go anywhere because nobody has fully cracked self-driving, no matter what Elon Musk calls it, in Teslas. But the other problem is that I do feel like Tesla. Tesla built the Apple car. Unfortunately, like Tesla did, the thing that disrupted the car industry made you give you a different way to buy it compared to everybody else, like put in the new tech that wasn't really anywhere else, yet Tesla did it. So now the idea of Apple doing a plain old electric car just seems redundant, and I think that's the ultimate thing.

01:54:43 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
Again, I think that the real problem is is that the last mile is really hard, like the streets and people and streets like that is like super complicated and it is.

You know, it's the typical problem where you end up spreading too little jam over too much bread, you know it.

Just it's never going to turn out, and so the problem is is that it gets that they, they're trying to cover the last mile, whereas if you said all the highways, the companies are going to put all the billions of dollars that they've been trying to get working into the highway technology that allows the cars to really understand what's going on and gives them a bunch of telemetry and does all the things where you're going to drive, when you get off the highway.

But when you're on the highway, which is where we need it the most, it's going to do all the work for you and it's super safe and it understands what those things are, because it trying to figure out how to drive the back road in Pennsylvania, where I grew up, would be impossible, like like it's not counting the deer, you know. And so the so, the so. The thing is is that solving that problem super hard, solving every highway more than three lanes or more, expensive, but doable, you know. And the thing is is that the all, the all or nothing is what really is getting everybody when it comes to this, whereas what we really want to do is get on the five or get on the one to one and and have it.

01:55:56 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
Do the thing until until I get to until I get off, I will tell you guys, now, with newer cars you basically do get that with like a modern, like modern, uh, smart, assisted cruise control stuff, like Volvo has a thing, but you can't go to sleep.

01:56:11 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
Yeah, I got a rental car recently. Yeah, and this is how I keep up on technology. They run a car from time to time, yeah, and I plug my and I plug my iPhone and I'm like, oh, that's what carplay two looks like. Oh, it's very nice One, be all considerate. But I got one that was I felt was smarter than I was. I didn't know all the features and I didn't. And it started to enable things on me and I'm like, oh, this is actually a. Okay, this is all right, this is good. Like it's doing proper follow. I didn't know what could do that. It is proper following distance. When the car ahead of me slows down so I can put on. I'm like, oh, I know that it was. Oh, it's following the lane, so it's turning the steering. It was like, and this felt like a normal. I don't know, I had a Toyota or something. So I thought, okay, this is. I had to turn features off because I wasn't. I wasn't compatible with the car.

01:56:52 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
That's true. That's true. But most new cars, and especially as you go up higher end and like in trims and like other manufacturers and stuff, you do have like some basic stuff. So not full self-driving. But listen, I sometimes do a five hour drive to like Savannah because I'm outside of Atlanta now and to have just like I'm just chilling, I'm just chilling the driving seat and holding the steering wheel but I'm not like actually doing much, is pretty great so and we can do that. I can't even comprehend that it's a basic.

01:57:19 - Scott Stein (Guest)
Everything is so manual for me right now. I can't even comprehend that.

01:57:22 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
That's the reason to upgrade everybody. Like for you guys, I'm a micro operator on everything.

01:57:27 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
Yeah, I think that the issue is that what scares me about that and I've been in some of those cars and I won't do it is that is that if something goes wrong or if I have to take it over or if I have to make that, the problem is is mentally going down. You know, shifting, shifting into it. Right, I talked to a Boeing engineer a long time ago not recently. I've been a good Boeing engineer. I was talking about auto. This is back when they tighten the screws and the and we were talking about the autopilot. I was like how good is the autopilot? And he's like oh it, you know. It said we have a little trouble with tax is back no, 20 years ago probably. We have a little trouble with taxing, but once you get to the runway it can take off and land like it. And I was like so? And I said how often do they actually use the auto landing? He said most of the time once a month. You have to. You have to use it once a month to make sure that the system's working and you're overseeing it.

I was like why do we have humans? Is it the hard one, Like when it hits the ground really hard? Is that the one that's the autopilot, and he goes. No, he goes. It's the one that you barely feel, like you touch the ground, like you just appear on the floor. He goes, the pilots can't, can't do that. Like they can't do it, that because they don't have enough. They don't, they can't see all the data at one time. Anyway, and then and so I said so why?

I, you know, we got into this discussion about why do you have the pilot still do it? And he goes. Because if something goes wrong, the pilots still need to know how to do it. We don't want them out of practice. So we went then to do it all the time, and occasionally you'll hear that, oh, we're going to do an instrument landing. That's because it's too cloudy, the pilots can't see it and we're just going to turn the plane on and let the plane land because it can do it better than they can. But if we let the do what we let the computer do it all the time, the pilots will get out of practice and then we'll have planes hitting the ground, and so that's what I work. I think about that conversation a lot when I think about autopilot in the car, of getting this halfway in between where I'm like not really controlling it, but I am controlling it. You know that. That.

01:59:13 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
I think. I think that's where a lot of manufacturers have landed. So the thing I have on the Volvo is called pilot assist, you know, and it's essentially hey, I'm going to help you out. I'm not going to do it all for you, but I can do like. I can follow cars, I can help you change lanes, I can keep you on the highway without mentally, you know, having your brain.

01:59:29 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
The problem is, what I really want is to be able to go to sleep. Oh, absolutely.

01:59:33 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
You know LA, you know, that's really but you need somebody to watch you when you're on public transit, so someone knows and steal your wallet. That's the train.

01:59:40 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
We need that, that, that high speed train between LA and San Francisco. Oh yeah, you get a 30 billion dollars or a hundred billion dollars or something like that you get a sleeper, a sleeper car, on your high speed train.

01:59:49 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
I was in New York for 10 years. So let me tell you guys, like I don't I actually miss spending an hour on the subway to get to work, because that was such a great time where I'm not driving, I'm not like doing the thing, but I can read, I can like decompress, I can take a nap. You can nap on the subway and, like you're smart about it, like it's, if you're sitting on your wallet, it's very hard for somebody to steal your wallet, it's true.

02:00:09 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
There's always people pressed up around. We got light rail in Seattle several years ago and it's not very far from my house, and I went from somebody we just didn't have. We had bus transit. It's all. It's inefficient but goes, you know, locally it's good. And then suddenly it's like I can go to the airport. I have to drive there, I have to park there. It was, it's life changing as a family, a traveler, it's just like I had.

02:00:29 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
I had four days where there was like two days I was in the East coast and I went up and down between Boston and New York and Washington DC and I had all these meetings and in each one of those I just took the sub, I took mass transit and I just bounced around everywhere I needed to go. And then I flew to LA and spent two hours on the 405, like you know like in a car, in a rental car just going this is and this you know just like oh, no, oh you didn't take the subway in Los Angeles.

02:00:51 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
That goes almost nowhere. That's your school. I don't know, I don't even think that goes from Santa Monica to downtown, I think that's for some people.

02:00:58 - Scott Stein (Guest)
I prefer to stay local with my car.

02:01:00 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
Yeah, and then you just took it to the Oscars, so that was you know. He's dedicated to the subway and the bus. He is dedicated.

02:01:08 - Scott Stein (Guest)
Yeah, I'm a local driver. I'm not like. I mean, I definitely go on some trips, but obviously I'm not going to go into the city. That being said, I drove into the city today and it was, you know, as awful as always.

02:01:17 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
I agree.

02:01:18 - Scott Stein (Guest)
I don't. I mean, this is like another thing. I'm perfectly happy using my old fashioned phone clip to the vent and I agree it's not a problem. One random thing I just want to bring up, and I don't know if I'm the only person. I use Google Maps because I want to use Google Maps. It is such a to all these years. I just want to know why it's such a bizarre map while driving, even though it's intended for driving. If there's a change, if there's anything you need to route, the map kind of spins and turns around and does this like weird flip. And I go what? That's the last thing in the world you know while driving is for the map to start spinning and pulling out. And I go. Why, like I'm, people will say, use ways, but I go what? It's not designed for driving and yet it is clearly designed for driving.

02:02:07 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
Yeah, I don't understand it.

02:02:09 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
I would not use Apple Maps when I first tried it out and then I was like I'm not going to use Apple Maps. It's terrible. But the problem is now it is significantly better as a Google map than Google Maps and I hate saying that because it's just like because I was using Google Maps since it came out and I actually met the goofy look of ways kind of kept me away from using it. But now the Apple map, the Apple one is so good, it's integrated. It tells me where every I mean actually tells me where every radar there's a police officer right there, sorry, police officer.

02:02:43 - Scott Stein (Guest)
I just don't trust in Apple Maps. I still don't trust the route recommendations or that. Oh, and so I'm fine, because I.

02:02:51 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
I've had it get weird.

02:02:53 - Scott Stein (Guest)
And then Google Maps will definitely micromanage me too much and then I'll, like you know, try to get off one exit to save like 1.5 minutes, and but I, I guess yeah.

02:03:03 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
I've been at, apple Maps will get me off the highway onto a city street to bypass the clog, and then I drive around and back on the highway and I'm like, once it started doing that, I was like this is actually. Apple Maps started to teach me shortcuts in Seattle, even though I've lived here for 30 plus years. And once I once the maps are teaching me shortcuts, I'm like, all right, they've, they've. I will now trust them because they're doing better for me.

02:03:26 - Scott Stein (Guest)
I'm still not Apple Maps, I can't, I can't, I don't know, just Google Maps.

02:03:30 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
And again it was. For me, it was just like, well, google Maps is way better, and. But it got to a point where I started testing and what happened was and this is how Apple gets you. I got a new phone and I, as I said, I don't install things until I feel like I need them. And what happened was people kept sending me links to something and I click into Apple Maps, and this is probably four or five years after they were released. And I started going, oh, this isn't that bad, I'll give it a shot, like that was the. But it was four or five years after they released the first Apple Maps that I was like willing to turn it on, because people are just sending me links. When you click on it, it automatically gets you there and and put you into Apple Maps. And I was like, oh, it's way better than I remembered it. And now the problem is I'm totally you know, totally tied in now.

02:04:06 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
And, and, and it's, it's smarter and so much easier as an Apple user.

02:04:10 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
The problem is also is that it's really easy. It's you have to really think about using Google Maps, because you click on links, you do things and it automatically just takes you to Apple Maps and you have to really want to use Google Maps, to use them, and that's the. You know, that's the challenge.

02:04:24 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
What is nice about Apple Maps is that the driving experience is better because it can tell you hey, you need to be in the second right lane for you to make this specific, like turn, and Google Maps never does that in city driving. Maybe occasionally we'll do that in highway driving, but once in a while, highway yeah.

Yeah, once in a while it'll do that. But Apple Maps is like very specific, very much like, especially if you're in an unfamiliar city or something. It's a perfect way to go. So, okay, do you guys have any other thoughts about, like the Apple CarPlay or Apple's car ambitions at this point?

02:04:53 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
Well, I like that Europe was pushing back on the no buttons, no dials.

02:04:57 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
Yes, oh good God yes.

02:04:58 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
So I'm like when I saw the Apple, when I saw these rumors come out before about Apple taking, kind of taking over the dashboard and, along with you know, the Tesla approach, like there's a lot of reasons why I don't want to own a Tesla, but one of them is I don't like the whole. You know I don't want to drown in a lake is one of them. Screen is bad, allegedly, but it's also I. You know hasn't been proven. That was the reason why, just to disclaimer.

But I want physical buttons, even if they're fly by wire sort of things, because I want to have the discrete feel and let the haptics, I want the nature of it and I want to be able to learn the position and my hand always goes to the same place and all that I've seen with the interfaces. They seem to deny, however, many 100 years or more of ergonomics and and the processing of interaction with mechanical devices by having things change in position to require close scrutiny right when you should be looking at the street. So I don't want to. I don't want a carplay system that removes buttons, but I'd take one that was integrated with with dials. Give us buttons.

02:06:01 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
The whole crown, just give a lot of digital crowns.

02:06:04 - Scott Stein (Guest)
Everything is a digital way.

02:06:05 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
The whole steering wheel is a digital crown.

02:06:07 - Scott Stein (Guest)
Every digital crown is everywhere. I think that I think it is interesting that you mentioned Vision Pro and the car, because I think in a lot of ways cars and air headsets are solving for the same thing down the road and I think that it might be interesting to have Vision Pro out there for a long time to inform them on. You know, you got LiDAR, you've got like awareness, like all the proximity elements of this and the perceptual, like you're in this giant moving kind of perceptual bubble and the way that car interfaces need, do actually need to evolve probably with that, with heads up awareness, and I feel like maybe the, the, the world of air headsets can inform that. I remember talking with, like Microsoft about that at one point and, like you know, some people to urban edge computing it began I began to realize like, yeah, if you're solving for you know, headsets that are doing full sensory awareness and spatial awareness, then you're you're also working on solving for, like self-driving vehicles, possibly for robotics, for like the physical things.

02:07:07 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
So that's my only thought there is that they're probably as an interconnected part, I'm going to make my bold prediction that by 2040, we have the Apple personal air car. Like they, this is not they're not doing. They're not giving up on the car, they just decided to give up on the roads. So so so if we're still doing this in 2040, you'll be able to hold.

02:07:25 - Scott Stein (Guest)
Keep me honest, you know we're like we can use the roads.

02:07:30 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
It's back to the future. Seven is the air car.

02:07:33 - Scott Stein (Guest)
I really want the heads up wind screen, I mean.

02:07:38 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
I'm not kidding about it, as I think one of the things that would promote a lot of safety is to have a wind screen that had AR on it. That would provide more information. We're not looking down or looking to the side, and my wife has a vision condition where she can no longer drive at night, but she's perfectly safe to drive during the day. If she had a heads up display, if the wind screen did night vision, she could drive. It'd be perfectly, you know, safe. You have to hope that it doesn't go out in the middle of driving an highway. It's the only downside, but there's lots of, I think, enhancement, safety enhancements and low visibility. Driving in fog, I mean like the instrument rating on a plane, you could drive a reduction car yeah, all these things right, but that's, I'd love to see a vision pro.

I wasn't kidding. I said turn the vision pro into the car. I think it's a great idea.

02:08:20 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
All right, let's hop back to Leo for one more word from our sponsors, you know thank you, devinder.

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02:11:11 - WOT Promo (Announcement)
Be cheer for everybody. All hail the great explorer of Mars who has found a volcano, a big, whacking volcano that's been sitting in plain sight since at least 1971, when Marin and I was imaging the planet previously on Twitter this weekend.

02:11:30 - WOT Promo (Announcement)
This is the place that we had proposed as a possible human landing site. By being at a volcanic site that might still be active today, with ice that might still be preserved from the latest eruption, you have, in my view, a real good chance of finding a life that might still be alive on Mars, mac break weekly.

02:11:51 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
MacBook Air came out. I have them here. I wrote a review of this on six colors. They are what you'd expect. They're as fast as the M3i Mac. I put them on my desk with two displays and a lid closed MacBook Air, and guess what? It drove two studio displays On hands on.

02:12:06 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
Windows. We're going to take a look at one of the latest folding PCs and try to figure out if folding PCs are the future of the platform.

02:12:14 - WOT Promo (Announcement)
And so you can put this on the stand like you would with the HP foldable PC, and you can. It falls off, and this is the problem this week in Google.

02:12:23 - WOT Promo (Announcement)
Dahl was surprised in 2022 when the cost of his car insurance skyrocketed by 21%. Lexus Nexus sent him a 258 page consumer disclosure report and what it contained stunned him. It included the dates of 640 trips, the distance driven and an accounting of any speeding, hard braking or sharp accelerations.

02:12:43 - WOT Promo (Announcement)
This is about evil data brokers and evil insurance companies. The data is going to be out there. You can forbid it being collected. You can forbid it being used for insurance. That's what legislators are for. Tweet.

02:12:56 - Leo  (Ad)
Leo says hi.

02:12:59 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
Thank you so much, leo. So we're going to go from Apple to Microsoft and something is happening this week that I think most people in the tech community are absolutely not aware of. But in the tech press we have to pay attention to all the big events. Microsoft announced it's going to have a surface and AI event this week and over it in Gadget, we're preparing how to cover that. I'm hearing rumblings that it's not entirely a consumer event, that this is going to be kind of an enterprise event. To you, I think it's tied to Ignite their enterprise conference. But it does make me think, like, what is going on with surface? What do we think about all of Microsoft's AI ambitions at this point?

I've been testing out Co-Pilot and Co-Pilot Pro and haven't been like super excited or inspired by any of it, and I also think Microsoft is kind of dropping the ball a bit on surface. Last year we got a new Surface Laptop Studio, a new Surface Laptop Go. They're expected to introduce a new Surface Pro, the Surface Pro 10. That's the hybrid tablet slash laptop, and then a new Surface Laptop, the plain old laptop. I feel like Microsoft has just kind of given up a bit on the whole Surface tablet dream. What do you guys think?

02:14:11 - Scott Stein (Guest)
I don't know why it's taken everybody so long to make the tablet hybrid laptop happen.

It seems like Well, maybe it shouldn't happen at this point, maybe, but then, on the other hand, I feel like Apple selling an iPad and also a laptop, and it's getting the point where I go. Why do you carry both? And then you get to the point where Microsoft in the Pinae years, I remember, when they first had the there were different types and you had the Surface and you also had the Surface that went into the laptop base and they weren't the same Surface. And then you go okay well, Surface book yeah.

Yeah, the Surface book, and you go, why aren't those the same? So the modular thing was not modular and we'll get there eventually. But, like you know, Panos is no longer there and so I just look at it from afar like going, I'm baffled by that. But I'm also really curious about the AI part, like you said, because I think I find in my everyday use with AI I was just talking about this the other day at length, but I just feel it is an experimental dabbly thing for me and maybe people go, oh, you're not a power user, and I go, okay, well, maybe that's true, but the way it surfaces, You're pretty power user, scott, like you're in the head Probably.

Yeah, that's true, if anyone's a power user.

02:15:31 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
All of us in this room are yeah.

02:15:33 - Scott Stein (Guest)
Okay, yeah, so, but then you know I admit that I'm not like you know programming and I'm not like you know doing, like you know video edits or whatever but then how it surfaces, so to speak, in what you do, the very discrete uses of AI, like I was looking at this story and there was one point that it brings up midway through about like a rewind app that could go back into your history, and I thought that was super fascinating, because I feel like in browsers we have this, but then we don't have it for the rest of the. It's a little again a slippery slope, because do I really want it to know everything I'm doing? But I like the idea of it being a memory for me. I thought, oh, that's a use for AI. I find that it's very hard for me to find uses for AI that aren't drifty replacements for things that I'm already doing elsewhere, and so I want it to be like well, show me what I'm doing. Yeah, I got three.

02:16:25 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
I got three. None of them are really LLM per se, though that's the thing is LLM. I think is hard is AI transcription. It's gotten extremely good and I'm sure we all use it in different ways. And I have to trust and verify. You have to go back in. You want to get verbatim quote but for searching text, oh my God, I can now do.

I did an article last summer where I did 20 plus hours of interviews and to find what I needed. It would have been, it would have been totally unachievable or cost $1,000 in transcription and I paid $20 to a service, one of the better ones. So AI transcription the way that Adobe has integrated AI is varied across all its products, but I'll say edge detection for doing silhouetting is, and object recognition is unbelievable now compared to where it was before. It's not perfect, but it is. It's just staggering when it works well.

And the third one is I don't do that much coding anymore but when I like doing a website HTML, css, javascript, the eternal golden braid and I can't remember how to do something, and I just ask chat, gpt 3.5 or 4, and it says, oh, here's how you do it, and it gives me the starting point, it gives me the code. I haven't used co-pilot for co-coding, but even just the I need to do this thing my SQL I can't remember the you know arcane sequence I need to do my SQL query that does this and it's like here's all your left joins. So those are three discrete things that have saved me from, let's say, minutes to dozens or maybe hundreds of hours in the last year, and none of them involve generative AI per se.

02:18:00 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
That's true, those are true power user moves. I will say I'm using it for transcribing interviews. We also just put up a transcription of the Engage podcast.

Now I was trying to figure out the best way to do that and I've been using Mac Whisper on my Mac, so it's all done locally too, that's great, I'm sending stuff out to the service and it is so good I have to go in and, like, fix some things, but it takes 15 minutes as opposed to I don't know three to four hours to hand transcribe something that long. So yeah, that stuff can be pretty good yeah.

02:18:26 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
And I think that, like I suddenly realized that this pathway that I used to I you know I do a lot of presentations and keynote and I really I really love using mid journey for funny. Like the problem is you get something too heavy and you want to have something kind of funny in there into your, into your presentation, just to lighten things up and still keep on talking about what you're doing. And so I use mid journey all the time. I'm like and I have in the style of Pixar is a really popular one for me. Like I have a I want to confuse guy or I want a guy I had one talking about why I don't like open mics in presentations. Like when I'm at an event I try to get rid of all the open mics and I have this and all I typed in was no at all, with glasses yelling into a 50s style mic with a stand, you know, and I get this. I said, over a plain white background, 20% padding, right. So then I get this guy yelling. I got a whole bunch of them. I made hundreds of them before I got to the one I wanted, but it all took about 15 minutes and I've got hundreds of versions of this and then. But the problem is it's not perfect, so I take it and then I I run it through.

Hope has photo AI, so then I take it and I make it four times the resolution, so I get a big, really, really high resolution. I was like 10,000 by something or other. Then I take it into Photoshop and I use the genitive AI to, say, remove the background, and so it takes out the white mostly white background, makes a couple little errors and I fix that really quickly, and then I and then I scale it down to 19, 20 high, because that's the biggest I'll ever want it and that that, by cubic sampling, will make it all like blend together. So now it just looks like this beautiful, you know, image that I could never buy somewhere of the, exactly what I wanted. And I do that, I mean, and that take, that whole process that I talked about just takes like three or four minutes, you know like. You know like it's like 15 minutes of me making a hundred of them and then three or four minutes max to get it, to get it all to where it, where it needs to go, and I get these beautiful images that I get to put in people.

I have to admit sometimes it's a distraction. I'll get to the end of a presentation at Google. I don't know what we're going to do with that project. How did you do those images? It's the song that you're using.

I'm like mid journey, so and but I think that the other thing for me is that I try to use it a lot, because I'm trying to figure out how it thinks, you know, because I think that a lot of times I don't know how I'm going to use it, so I just use it. So, for instance, everything I cook now is chat you PT, like I'm, like you are in. The key is I've learned that you got to tell it where it's coming from and where you're going. And so you go. I'll say you are a Michelin star, a three Michelin star French chef. Give me, I would like a decadent. Decadent is a really good word when you're, when you tell chat you PT, decadent it means I don't care about time, I just want it to be great. And so that's what you do. You learn what it lifts into right. And and I say give me a decadent on French onion soup. And I just I have to admit I made it and now I can't unmake, like I can't go to restaurant. I ordered. I love onion soup. I go to every restaurant. It's the best French onion soup that I've had outside of Paris, you know. And and I and I can't now go to order it anywhere because I can make it better at home. And so, with chat, you PT, so I all my little recipes now, all my soup recipes and other recipes and everything else. I'm just like show me how to make this.

But what I've also found it really useful for is I'm trying to explain something complicated and I say you are, you know, you are the, you know like you are, you are this expert. Explain this to a fifth grader, or explain this to an eighth grader. And sometimes I'll ask, like, do it to a fifth grader, an eighth grader, a, you know, a senior or a graduate student, and it will reform that in seconds into an entirely different way that it describes it based on what it thinks it's you. Again, you have to have. It's a very simple logic function when are you starting? What are you doing? Where are you going? You know what is the output to it and if you give it those three things, you end up with these great. I mean like it just helps me and what happens? I don't use any of them, but what I do is it's as reference. It gives me new thoughts about how does it use a metaphor, how to use like, how to explain something to. You know how to explain something to somebody, and I'm it because the fifth grader one might be sound condescending, but it simplified something.

And again, as someone who knows it where, where I think it gets dangerous is when you're asking it things you don't know right, like if you don't know the and you can't cross check. That is where it becomes dangerous, because it's telling you things that you know. Like. Sometimes it just puts things out and I go, yeah, no, but there's been. But there have been times where, like, like, amazon's got its own little AI thing. When you're in AWS and you find that the chat GPT explanations of how to use AWS are better than AWS's little chat. You know AI function, so I'll go into chat GPT and I'm like I need to, I need to stream something and I need to stream it from one media live to this media connect and this is what I got here in AWS and boom, it just explains, like the whole process.

02:23:13 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
It feels like small, like well-defined domains work really well with LLM, where you're like here's a set of information, Tell me something about this set of information instead of in giving me an answer from all of what you know and create something there. I think they're relatively terrible at that. I use it for medical information I don't rely on as a diagnosis, but I'll get a test result back. It will use technical terminology I don't understand. I'll search on it.

It doesn't give me insight because it's still technical, and I'll say tell me this, for, like a college graduate level understanding someone who never took biology, and it'll give me an answer like oh, now I can look up the term, like this sounds reasonable. Now I will confirm, I'll go look up the terms to make sure it's telling me the correct thing. And then I look that up and in fact then I find the technical terminology in it. But this is before my doctors had a chance to interpret the results or whatever, and I feel like I'm I'll go to you know, then I go to Mayo Clinic or whatever, but I know what I'm looking for.

02:24:06 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
It gets into one of those things where a lot of times you have to be around a lot of people that know something before you understand the terminology. You don't even know how to say it. Like it's like this thing, and what chat TPC eliminates for me is that need to do that, like I'll go through it and I know that it's. I can sit there and talk to it all the time about something I don't understand. Then when I go to talk to people about it, there's a whole bunch of terms in there that I, that I, I can start to triangulate when I'm you know, because I'm, I'm fortunate enough, because of the office hours and other things, I'm around a lot of experts and so, and so I can, but I don't even know. Sometimes I don't even know how to ask the question. So it kind of helps me set that up, you know, in that process. And then it also does things like when I interview.

We have an interview show we do with Michael Krasny I don't, michael Krasny used to do a forum for KQED and sometimes I'm trying to think about questions that we could ask. We won't use those questions, but I sit there and I go in there and I go like ask me you know 20 thoughtful questions for Harald Boeber, you know something like that, and it'll ask a whole bunch of questions and you know most of them are not useful at all. But some of them are like oh, I like where, I like where it's going there. Sorry about that, I got a little bit.

02:25:18 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
But we need to update Alex. He's updated Alex 2.0.

02:25:22 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
My telestrator needed to be updated, so anyway. So the so but I. But. So for brainstorming, I find it to be incredibly valuable, and for making you know images again, mid journey is something I use a lot, and the genitive AI. And in Photoshop, I get scared again in the same way we were talking about before with auto driving, you know they. You know the saying is, you know it's an error as human, but to really screw things up requires a computer, you know. And so you know, the thing that I always get worried about is us taking our hands off of the, off of the steering wheel and allowing the AI to kind of run with it, because it's not because I'm worried about someone taking over the world or anything else. I'm just worried it's going to make huge mistakes and we're going to make huge decisions based on information. That is, you know it's hallucinating and I think it's already.

02:26:07 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
It already has been. There are reports of people who have been writing emails and things like that, based on just like an AI and LLM result and it's had errors in there and they didn't check, like they wouldn't fact check, they didn't check like names or certain things are correct and people are just like putting it out there.

02:26:23 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
I will tell you, if you do check it makes, does great cover letters Like. I'm not a very good cover letter person because I find them to be superfluous, and so I just go here's all the stuff I want to say in the cover letter. Write a cover letter and write it Now I might. I'll go through and edit a couple of things. It's tone is way better than mine, because mine is mostly like this is a big waste of time and I can't write it.

02:26:42 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
I mean screw, screw cover letters. I'm more wondering is it do we think it's wise for Microsoft to go all in on this stuff as it has, like spending over $10 million on open AI, essentially being its biggest shareholder? Like to me, all I see is like the worry of this right, because co-pilot within Windows it's nice to have, but it really takes power users to really like, dig into, like what it does so well. But I don't know what a general Windows user is going to do with this thing.

02:27:07 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
Well, I can, I can. I don't know what's going to happen. I have no information about this, but my guess is, when I saw it and they're going to talk about AI with surface the idea that your computer could have all the information that you're creating on it and locally not on the cloud, but locally have all that information in an LLM and have you be able to use plain text to interrogate all the information that you've created or that you have on your computer, all the PDFs you downloaded, all the other things. Tell me about this and tell me where it is. Like you know. So tell me, tell me about this and tell me where it is.

But you can't quite, you don't know where it. Like there's things I can't find. Like there's some file somewhere, I being able to open up my computer on a surface, let's say, and be able to say there was a file that I, that I wrote this letter to somebody, or I, I created this file that had this name in it and you show me where that is. You know and it just you know, it knows where all those things are. That would be a huge you know, or tell me about this and I've got all these PDFs about. You know, I don't know CMEs. You know I have a lot of PDFs about coronal mass injections for a variety of reasons. So so the so you'll, we'll all find out one day why or not? If it happens, you won't find anything.

So it'll, it'll all just be dark, so anyway. So the but the but tell me about this or tell me about when did when was the Carrington event? And then it just goes in and just goes, finds that and says it was in 1959 or whatever. So it tells me exactly where and when and that the telegraph fire and things caught fire and all these other things. But I can ask it those things without actually having to search and read. I just ask it for information.

02:28:40 - Scott Stein (Guest)
That would be very valuable, especially some sort of yeah, being like a collective, those, as I was saying, yeah, like the collective memory thing is interesting and it also feels like we have also like PCs trying to still catch up and be more like phones, Like I like the landscape growing more together because they kind of split a bit and you know, and, and, as the, the silicon becomes a little more similar and you get to the point where more, like you say, more on device things are able to be done. That's, that's, that's that's exciting.

02:29:11 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
This is a big deal.

02:29:14 - Scott Stein (Guest)
Yeah, and then also like yeah, trusting that you've got this enclosed system that you can work with or that you can understand the clutter of what you've got. Because I also find that you know in the past 10 years the way I've lived and I think it's probably common that the organizational systems have deteriorated. You know there's a much more sprawl, there's much more clutter. You know the days of, like, putting everything into special folders and tagging stuff. There's a lot of desktop folders.

02:29:42 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
You just grab everything with desktop and put it in the folder and then I'll get back to that at some point. It's not happening.

02:29:47 - Scott Stein (Guest)
Yeah right, it's like Gmail culture where it's like everything you know, the mail is just a sprawl and I search for it. But exactly like if you can apply kind of what I'm doing in mail or on a browser to the whole OS and all the things on it. I like what.

02:30:01 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
And again, if it was watching if it's watching that in the background, again local, on your computer. I think that is a big deal for companies, for enterprise, for all these things is this is happening on your home computer and it's making decisions, but it could remind you like, hey, you said you're in an email or discord or whatever. You said you were going to do this, this and this, and it's Tuesday and it's due tomorrow. Are you going to do anything about that?

Or do you want to like, like you know, but it, but it just reminded you, because there's a lot of things we just forget, like you know. Hey, you might want to. Like you know, the eclipse is coming up and you thought you were going to be in Austin.

02:30:34 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
You might want to get a ticket you know, like like they're pretty expensive All that stuff. Glenn, you were going to say something.

02:30:39 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
Oh, I, I'm a very brief answer, which is the uh, should. Should Microsoft go all in on this? They should spend as much huge amount of money like they are, because this could be the most exciting and transformative thing that's happened in the history of computing since whenever? Right, sure, absolutely. Should they deploy it for consumers and businesses as a customer product that's, that's trustable and should be out there right now? No, absolutely not. Everyone is jumping out on that, but everyone should be. There's all this money in tech? Right, there's that. I mean multi-trillion dollar companies, multi-trillion dollar companies like Apple and Microsoft. Should they be putting money into? Uh, should Apple have spent a billion or whatever dollars for a decade on the Apple cart? Yes, should they be investing in AI? Absolutely, but there seems to be a discretion factor where they're freaked out about not being leading out there in the market, which I think they should pull back in, but they should be spending all this money Absolutely.

02:31:29 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
It should be spending all this money I mean, that's what they exist for right To to do this groundbreaking work. But I I kind of agree Like I've talked to a lot of Microsoft executives, like I bring up my issues with this. I'm like, guys, these things are not always accurate. You are putting this tool in people's hands which could be spitting out garbage back to them and they may end up using it their work. And I would say, like you know, if I hired an employee who kept giving me wrong information, I would fire them. And Microsoft just tends to be like well, you know, we're in a growing phase and mistakes will happen and we will tell people this is all, like we are just trying to learn right, this is all kind of a just keep generating multi-racial Nazis until we get it right, Does not seem like a great strategy.

There. There seems like a lot wrong with this strategy. What do you guys think about the the idea of a surface tablet PC at this point? Are you over the idea? Cause I think even Microsoft is over the idea and I think the history of computers like so far, I think my favorite laptop is the MacBook Air, the new MacBook Air, the M2 and the M3 perfect computers. It doesn't need to be a tablet. That seems slightly off base.

02:32:30 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
But, devin, have you seen a Farrico Vetticis at a Mac stories? He created a Franken device. It's a hybrid Mac, ipod, ipad that he built together and he calls it the hybrid Mac, ipad, laptop and tablet that Apple won't make. So if we wanted to know what the best in class today might look like not exactly, you can see it and you go.

02:32:52 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
Oh, no, maybe that's literally.

02:32:55 - Scott Stein (Guest)
Yeah, like I sketched this out in a piece that was like six years ago, Exactly, like, exactly that's the thing. I've written like a billion articles about that. I go. I gave up on Apple doing that, but I still feel like it's going to happen in like a frog lowering into the pot type of way. But the problem is that I, exactly, I love the idea of the MacBook Air, like laptops are still incredibly useful. The problem with the surface tablet is I don't feel like Microsoft. It's kind of a common problem. I also feel with Microsoft and handheld gaming, which is a separate thing, but I don't feel like they made the tablet ecosystem good enough.

02:33:32 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
Yes, or we know that's the problem?

02:33:35 - Scott Stein (Guest)
Yeah right, and so it's not that you know Apple did the split strategy where it's like the iPad has a great ecosystem that works for a lot of people with that, but it's super annoying that it doesn't communicate with the laptop. And where it does, but it's not the same thing, and so you go. I have two things growing closer that aren't the same thing, but Microsoft has two of the same operating systems, but one is made for laptops and the other is not really great for tablets still, and that that's the problem too, is it's like tablet, but for what?

02:34:08 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
I think I think like looking at Apple solution right now is like if you want a tablet with a keyboard, you buy an iPad and you get a keyboard case, and if you want a good laptop, you get a MacBook of any kind and maybe you should just have both, because if you have an iPad and you put it next to your Mac, it becomes a second display problem solved.

02:34:25 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
And I think that it's also for a certain generation, because, you know, when I look at my, you know my parents spend very little time and my kids spend very little time on laptops Like they. You know my kids have Chromebooks for school which they would love to throw into the pool. I tell them no, it's bad for the water. So they, you know, so the Chromebooks are not like. I think that probably did more damage than Google knows to their whole brand, as to an entire generation, because what they connected, what they connect iPads to, is fun stuff that they do, and what they connect Chromebooks to is death, you know, like it is like it is.

So like they, they hate those Chromebooks so much and partially it's just because of the nature of being at school and all your homework is there, and partially because they don't work very well, you know they're really cheap and the problem is that if you're at home and you have an iPad, you're just used to all these things that the iPad does, and then you have this little Chromebook that doesn't do anything, you know, and so, other than schoolwork, you know, and so, but I think that a lot of people you go to an airport and you see it, you see the kind of generational thing where there's a lot of folks that are at a certain generation or and a lot of people that just don't like when I open up, when I go to the airport, I will use my iPad until I need to use my laptop. You know, and I take both of them. I have a. You know I have an air or not a pro. You know MacBook Pro, and they're all both stuff together and I pull out my and I generally will only pull out the laptop if I get forced into it and that's usually because I need the files I need to have.

You know there's a, I need to have a couple pro things that are there and I don't like opening up the laptop, but I but I generally prefer my iPad, but I but I again, there's a whole generation that isn't using laptops at all, you know, like for their regular stuff other than schoolwork, and there's a whole generation above that, at the 60 and above, I think, when you see it in an airport not to be, I mean just to be saying like when you look at it 60 and above everyone's on iPads, like you know, except for the road warriors or whatever, almost everybody's just using an iPad and and so I think that it depends on what you need, because it really is great to have a sandbox that isn't opened, that is safe, that relatively compared to everything else that you can't like.

When you know my, my parents got a PC and I was like, unless are you sure you want to do that Because you're not technically capable of keeping it safe, you know, like you know, and so that you know that's the. I mean, that's the. I much prefer people to be in a that aren't going to do the engineering work, to be in a computer that's relatively got lots of rails around it so that you can do the thing, because all they're doing is word processing.

02:36:52 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
This speaks to the, I think, the ingenious, I guess, way the Apple handle or maybe they just kind of stumbled into this right. They built a really good tablet and a good tablet experience. They've already had great laptops. They just keep those things siloed and just running in parallel.

02:37:05 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
I don't feel like they feel the need to merge it any further. Yeah, they, they, I would.

02:37:08 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
They will never do it because you look at what Microsoft did with the surface was like, let's make a crummy laptop. That's also a bad tablet, you know. So that it took a while. My first review of the surface RT, which was the one that was powered by an ARM processor, so it was on ARM in like 2012. And I just wanted to throw that thing at the window. It was so terrible. They got better and I think the design of the surface laptop, like tablets, is kind of amazing, like the amount of power they can get to that thing being so thin.

02:37:36 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
But they dropped the ball in software because windows just sucks and what's great is is that there are apps that it works really really well with. So I use I use a surface for using some control apps, because those control apps you can build them like there's a program. I don't use the surface necessarily for this, but I use this program. We use this program for office hours to run our show called universe, and it's out of Germany, and it lets you just design your interfaces and, and so you can design all these interfaces that you want and a surface happens to be PC only and the surface happens to be a great. Now you can publish it to other things through web pages and so on and so forth, but the surface is a great interface for that. And so when you build something out that's going to control that that's piece that runs on a PC and you build the interface out. You know, I think that one of the things that we haven't done enough of is building mission. We have generalized interfaces, and that's why we've been for a long time where, when you start working with touch screens, you start realizing that you could design the interface for the mission.

Every single time I moved the buttons to where you know. I move the buttons to where I want them. There's a program called Memo Live, which is what I use for the Michael Krasny show and the gray mattershow, and and I can design the interface and so I have all the edits that I want to do with the lower thirds and the graphics and the start live stream and live stream start records, all those things. But I built a nice little picture of it. Now I just tap on buttons. I mean, I'm not trying to remember what, what thing to click on or where to click it. I just tap on the big buttons that I created and if I don't like them I switch to edit mode, move them a little bit, turn, go back to show mode and go back to what I'm doing. And I think that that's where the surface, those we don't see enough of those. I think people aren't building enough apps like that where I'm going to design the interface, because that's what touch really wants you to do, like you want to have it there.

02:39:25 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
It's a, I mean listen for that use and the football coaches right Like surfaces, great, great computers, I guess.

02:39:31 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
A lot of times they threw the first couple of years.

02:39:33 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
There was all these clips of them throwing their surface around, because that's what I did in my reviews, Like I just wanted to get this thing out of my face Anyway we're going to have a dedicated co-pilot key is the?

02:39:45 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
is the rumor.

02:39:46 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
And I reviewed a couple of laptops that have those. It's fine.

02:39:49 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
It's totally fine, it'll age as well as the pizza key that was on the original Iopen, I think, is the. That was some indomitable pizza for you.

02:39:57 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
I mean, I could use a pizza box.

02:39:59 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
I mean when you think about the useful, I don't know why. When you said the NFL thing, think about how AI could affect NFL, where the quarterback gets off the thing and it just a ton of data all comes to. You know, this guy twitches his leg every time he's going to blitz. You know, like you know, like we just noticed that you might want to.

02:40:16 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
I want to look, at that I do. I'm also missing where he. I don't speak.

02:40:20 - Scott Stein (Guest)
Really interesting to see where AI is speaking. When you mentioned the ability to change interfaces, I mean I'm really interested down the road when AI has the ability to dynamically change your interface on the fly.

02:40:33 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
I mean that could that could create a little bit of that sounds like mad. Thing, yeah, although you know all my phone apps.

02:40:40 - Scott Stein (Guest)
All my phone apps on on my front page are the series suggested ones. So my front page on my phone is never the same grid of apps.

02:40:49 - WOT Promo (Announcement)
I love it. I love it because it's like I just I'm never changing.

02:40:55 - Scott Stein (Guest)
I've been living in an ever changing space that generally tends to serve me up stuff that usually works, and so I've given up on any app placement or order. But um.

02:41:03 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
You're giving into madness to chaos. You have to strike for control. I have.

02:41:08 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
That's what's like when you swipe down, then you get the recommended apps for this particular time. You know I do for the whole page.

02:41:15 - Scott Stein (Guest)
And anyway, I think that there is there's interest. It is insane, but they can always bring up the upgrade if you get lost or you know. Check to that I feel like there's interesting stuff that could be served up to you more and more, to the point where you yes, you can have an exit mode if you lose it. But I, but I, I think there's opportunities. There is what I'm saying, like.

02:41:33 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
I just feel like AI systems who can do some of that stuff for you? Like, hey, you got this meeting. Do you have all the things you said you would talk about before?

Or like all prep, like having that does it gets spammy is the dream and maybe maybe that would be good, maybe that does make your lives better, I don't know. But yeah, I'm sure we'll be talking about all this news. I'll be covering gadgets to keep an eye on that. We're going to have to wrap soon, but I do want to rapid fire. Just a couple of stories I think are fun. You guys can respond at the end if you find it interesting. We saw this week that the FCC raised the broadband minimum recommendations to 100 megabits per second down 20 megabits per second, up up from 25 and three.

02:42:10 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
So now that is three was absurd.

02:42:13 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)

02:42:13 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
So, now the people who voted against this should be ashamed of themselves. I shamed like realistic broadband speeds.

02:42:20 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
I think this is basic for everybody. But also, if you are actually working from home, I hope you have gigabit because that is the only way to live, but really I hope you have my brother in gigabit.

02:42:30 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
Yeah, we did this with plumbing, we did this with electricity, we did this with phone. We should be talking about fiber to the home Like it's just another utility. It is fiber to everyone's house, because then it's one gig, now 10 gigs, 40 gigs, 100 gigs, whatever it is, but we should be putting glass into every house the way we did other things, like it's not that we can't do it, it's that we won't.

02:42:48 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
We put glass in the windows. We can put glass to the curb.

02:42:53 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
Absolutely yes, we can totally do that 150 years apart. Yeah, another quick mention, by the way Pornhub says audio is to Texas after Texas enacted I basically their age verification law. That is the thing that's going to be moving forward according to appeals court. Yeah, tech Crew is very disappointed.

02:43:08 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
Yeah, sorry, that's a big callback to another story.

02:43:12 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
The Pornhub says goodbye to Texas before Texas can ban it.

02:43:16 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
An interesting way to censor without censoring is to require something that you can't, that no one's going to do Exactly. It's an interesting take on that, Also not a smart move.

02:43:25 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
Not a smart move. I do want to shed out a really great profile that I read on the Financial Times by the way of an Uber cheats or the developer of Uber cheats. This was an app that came out a couple of years ago, developed by a worker, actually somebody who moved to Pittsburgh, pennsylvania, to work on self-driving cars. He became disillusioned with the whole idea because he was like this actually won't help the environment and will help people. He's doing a bike safety startup now. The person's name is Armin Samy.

This is a really great profile called the Delivery Rider who took on his faceless boss. It talks about what he did to develop Uber cheats, which was this tool that could let you see how the Uber Eats algorithm was screwing you over as a worker, where it would underpay you or not track where you went effectively. Really useful thing. I think this is a good piece. Also, there's an interesting, saddened, very bit. Basically, over a billion people now are working for an algorithmic boss. That, to me, is mind-blowing Are working for some sort of service where they don't have a human to talk to their work. Everything is coming down through a machine to them For some people.

02:44:29 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
that's a good thing. I'll tell you, there's a story that came out, related to this just slightly, which was, I think it's Reason Magazine got all up in arms because some new laws in my home city here of Seattle that require all kinds of minimums for gig workers so that when they're idle, when they're not driving, whatever, it now costs $26 to get a latte delivered and $30 for McDonald's or whatever. The commentary I saw was well, that's what it costs for the living wage for the person who is delivering it to actually make money to pay all their bills and pay for all the stuff that they have to bear as a gig worker. The system is working correctly. The problem is it's the exposure of the actual cost of goods without grinding people in the dust. That is what people are angry about. Oh my God, the cost, the total cost it's driving, and they're saying restaurants are losing business and so forth. Yes, because you are building the entire thing on the backs of workers who are not making a living.

02:45:22 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
I saw this in the early days of Uber and I was in a co-working space with a startup that was essentially doing quick gig delivery stuff. It was the grossest thing in the world because the guy was just like I could pay these people to do nothing to do, just runs around the city and it would get them publicity. It would make them think like they're a real company but there's no tech there. There's no tech there other than using human meals. Anyway, I think this is a really good profile.

02:45:49 - Scott Stein (Guest)
It's the mechanical Turk. It's like to me. It's like the illusion of instantonnay that we want to put into physical goods. That reading that story disturbed me, because not only do you lose track of that, do I lose track of that when I think about ordering things, but also the inability to petition when things are incorrect and all the things that they were struggling with is a pure nightmare.

02:46:14 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
There's one example there are deliveries being made to McDonald's which doesn't exist and there was no mechanism within the app or even the Uber Eats structure to say, hey, this thing doesn't exist, stop this, so we can deliver better service to people. Just didn't exist because he didn't really have a human to talk to. Anyway, good piece. I want to wrap this episode by diving into what's good in pop culture for all of us. Scott, you got my mind racing yesterday because you were saying you were watching the Taylor Swift concert film on the Vision Pro and how much you wanted it to be an immersive video experience rather than just a flat 2D experience. Can you talk more about that?

02:46:50 - Scott Stein (Guest)
Yeah, I'm not a Taylor Swift fan but I do start. I'm starting to work out to her music in Supernatural, so I'm appreciating it. But I was curious about the concert and I only watched a handful of minutes of it, but it was interesting and I need to write about this because it threw me into a flip side. Thing which was the problem with watching anything in the headset is that you're creating the illusion of an experience, of that. I'm watching the illusion of a movie. You're creating a frame for things. It doesn't need to be that.

If you're watching a concert and it's now in film form like my TV is a TV and I thought you know it's showing up that way because it needs to show up that way. But if I'm watching this, obviously it's shot to be a film but it just feels weird because I'm distanced from it. On Vision Pro it's very nice, very immersive, but I obviously want it to be the immersive video format where I feel like I'm really at the concert or what is it Now I'm like more aware that I'm watching a film about Taylor Swift. I didn't feel, whereas on a TV I may be more feeling like I'm at the concert. So I think that sign that needs to be resolved by anyone designing the immersive stuff. Disney's not technically doing that here, but it was just the big thought where I thought, like what am I using the headset for in that regard?

02:48:06 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
And it brings up a whole bunch of questions. This is what I work on, so there are a couple things. One is do you need more than one camera or do you want to have the experience? What I find is when you start cutting, it just it turns. Your brain goes to this is a film. And when you do 24 frames a second, this is a film. When you stop cutting and you start increasing the resolution and the frame rate, it starts to become a window. So at 120 frames per second, 4k per eye or 8K per eye, it's an entire.

Like you are there and so and so, and then what happens is you start cutting, people start getting sick because their brain is no longer referring to this as a film, it's referring to it as a reality, and their inner ear and their eyes don't match up, and that usually means that they were poisoned for a million years. And so the and so the, so it is a complete. So what we're going to see is, I think, an entirely different kind of filmmaking where we actually go to much. I mean like for live events. We find that this is this immersive experience is great for live events. Did you see the? Have you seen the Alicia Keys?

02:49:03 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
It's amazing.

02:49:03 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
Yeah, yeah. For me, the only, my only complaint there was cutting it all Like I'm fine with just sitting next to Alicia Keys and having her sing to me you know where she's looking over and and singing and playing and doing, just naturally looking at me. I would have been much more happy with that without moving around at all, because that didn't feel natural. It immediately went back to a film.

02:49:22 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
Yeah, there was four cameras in different corners and it would have cut between them and felt yours.

02:49:26 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
They look like a little speakers, yeah, but they were really.

02:49:29 - Scott Stein (Guest)
It's the same feeling I have writing Soren at. I just came from Disney. So, like you know, the Soren ride. It's so strange to me that it's so immersive and you're cutting between different locations and then I go what, what was that about? But it's the same thing.

02:49:41 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
Like you're, you're, you're really in the place but you're also cutting, so there's something to be resolved, and we've we've been doing a lot of research in that area and we find that if you get the frame, if you get the, the height just right of the camera, and you get what they're you know, so it feels natural and you stop cutting. What happens is at first you feel slow and then you just get into it and you're just there Like you're immersive. And even even the stuff that Apple's doing right now with as their examples aren't doing that they're cutting, as you said, and that takes you out of it immediately. It just pulls you out of that, out of that experience, and so I think that we're going to see more, more experimentation in that area. But a lot of us have been thinking about the.

A lot of these productions may turn into one camera productions or something that the user says I want to like, I would want to walk over there, I want to sit above behind the drummer, or I want to sit somewhere, and it does become something that there's a couple of feeds available to them, that they can go and sit. But it's really their experience of it and if they leave it alone, they're going to sit. The problem we get into is that a lot of people think the artists need the audience. They don't. Most of them don't. They don't really see the audience after a thousand people anyway. But really, where the camera wants to be is about 10 feet away at about chest height, and if you put that camera there and everything, you get the full 3D experience and everything else and it's a. It's a great. You know, we I think you'll see more of that as we start to move forward, but I think the Taylor Swift thing proved at least that people want to go see a show.

02:51:01 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
Could you do constructed drone footage where you'd have be able to pull out? Have people like almost calculated positions or is that going to make everyone sick and be watching?

02:51:10 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
At a high frame rate.

Well, especially in in, you know, moving cameras in VR is something you have to be very careful about and generally can't do very much of, because, especially when people have a high performing inner ear so I have a low performing inner ear so I can watch anything but if you have a high performing inner ear you'll get sick really fast with any motion, and so the and so the. So the issue is you really can't start when you go into IMAX is the same challenge when you go into anything that you can't see the edges of the screen. So as soon as you can't see the edge of the screen, that becomes this problem of what you're doing because you don't have a reference point to it and so. But I think that again, film can stay at 24. And I think there's a reason for that. It tells you and you can watch it without getting sick and you can do all those other things. But these immersive experiences, sports music, those types of things I think you're going to see going towards higher frame rate, the 180 degree, especially for the headset.

02:52:06 - Scott Stein (Guest)
They have to be getting in VR games. That begins to narrow your thing to. You know the same reason, but I just want to let people know is a comfort thing that you know watch the Taylor Swift, you know concert, enjoy it. Don't feel any FOMO about not seeing an Envision Pro, because even though the screen looks great, it's not. In some ways that throws me out of the experience.

02:52:25 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
Yeah yeah, watching normal videos and vision, bro, can be good, but it's also like very much like. Oh, this is a weird virtual environment. I'm in.

02:52:35 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
Have you seen the app from Adam, the person who had sandwiched video on Blanketta's last name? Suddenly it's an app called TV for Vision Pro and it lets you use classic televisions in order to frame. That's interesting, why am I? Forgetting his last name, you know, adam Lisegour. Adam Lisegour, we've seen him in many, many ads that have been made by his companies.

02:52:56 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
Awesome Len. You put in a couple of things you want to talk about. Pop culture wise. Why don't you go ahead and shout this out?

02:53:01 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
Yeah, these are fresh, fresh hot takes. Apple TV plus has a series called Constellation which I'd seen early reviews of and it kind of talked about it being very slow and kind of maybe too slow. I'm. I think it's six episodes are out as we record this and I think it's amazing it's got Naomi or a pace, I think I knew me Reposs yeah.

Reposs, thank you, who is a terrific actress and just an amazing cast, and it's a contemplative space horror film or series rather, and it's very slow and I read one description that said, if you can see this as a movie about the strong relationship of a mother and a daughter or a TV series rather, then it reframes it. So it's it is a sci-fi show. It's deeply sci-fi. There's some great elements in it where I'm like, wow, it really feels like they're in the ISS, like they, the nature, the floating the scene, like I've seen pictures of it, I've studied it, I've written about aspects of the ISS professionally. I'm like feels like they really nailed it and just the experience of being an astronaut.

Which are the main characters, are what main character is and it's. There is kind of a central mystery that gets exposed, exposed sort of, I feel like, early on, and it's not a once you understand it which you can understand. Even in the first episode you see glimmerings or maybe you've sort of cracked the mystery, it doesn't matter. So it is slow, it is very. You know, it is sort of a Swedish, it's. The main character is supposed to be Swedish and some of it's filmed in different parts of Scandinavia and Germany, northern Germany. So it does have that sense of being maybe a little plotting, a little methodical, but I think it's kind of gorgeous to watch something that's filmed and acted scripted so beautifully and there are horror elements but there's also incredible emotional components. So I've really been enjoying that and I'm glad I got over the reviews that were like maybe it's too slow. I'm like, yeah, but not everything has to be fast. Some things are too slow.

02:54:57 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
And then a really good concept, from what I saw, yeah it's just, it's a.

02:55:01 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
it's beautiful and interesting in a lot of ways and it's all about, like everything is these days but the nature of identity.

02:55:08 - Scott Stein (Guest)
Yeah, the cosmic horror catnip thing is working for me. I've not seen it yet, but when I saw the trailers I have no one else in the family wants to see it with me, so I'm going to see it alone, but maybe that's the best way to see it.

02:55:19 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
It's so good. I just it's just painfully good to watch. So you kind of moments where they're like all right, they're walking across a frozen lake again. I'm like all right, I can deal with that because it's part of the scene. The other thing is very different pace, which is that on Amazon Prime Invincible the second half of the second season, which is heavily delayed through production or whatever, finally out. They started airing episodes from that.

I, when the series was about to premiere, someone put me onto the comic books which I had not read and they are amazing and sort of groundbreaking and interesting different take on superhero mythology and again it's about mothers and fathers and children. It's not just, you know, the usual thing. It's about relationships that are presented on this big backdrop and the TV series is, I think, pretty fantastic. Season two has been good and this latest episode was. It starts off and I'm just it's almost like heart punches. It's so emotionally strong for a show that's very bloody. A lot of punching goes on and a lot of technology mumbo jumbo and scientific mumbo jumbo A couple of genocides here and there in the show.

02:56:25 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
Like it's very violent, Like it's it's crazy. I've seen the entire second half of the season. By the way, it's it's good. I don't think it's like as good as the first season, but it's definitely worth watching. So thank you for shouting that out, Glenn. I do want to say I had this realization watching this. I think invincible is basically just Dragon Ball Z, and I need to say it because it's literally about somebody on earth who has learned from an alien civilization oh, you were here, you were supposed to take over earth, that was your plan and now he has to fight the alien civilization full of super power, you know, super humans. Like it's, it's all Dragon Ball Z. So I I like invincible, but it's not as groundbreaking as I thought it was initially. Maybe it is among American comics, but Dragon Ball Z.

02:57:07 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
I never read Dragon Ball Z. My kids were into it at one point, so I've missed the whole and it like Robert Kirkman's and other things since then, but it's a uh uh. There's a whole interesting history of the comic too, but I wonder how many times that criticism has been raised.

02:57:20 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
I've not heard anybody make that realization, but it is essentially the basic setup of Dragon Ball Z. I find that hilarious.

02:57:26 - Scott Stein (Guest)
Alex, is there? Dragon Ball Z oh man.

02:57:28 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
Now's the time. Rp Kira Toriyama. He passed away recently. Yes, I'm wearing a Chrono Trigger shirt now. He designed the characters for that. Yeah, so our, our RP Dude is a genius. Just seeing the entire world like Mo more in his loss is incredible. Alex, was there anything you wanted to shout out?

02:57:45 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
Oh yeah, one note the if you haven't seen the new me uh Rapese version of the girl with the dragon tattoo, and that whole series.

02:57:53 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
It's good.

02:57:53 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
It's all in Swedish, uh, and it is 10 times better than the American version. Like it is so good, like, uh, you know, and, and it is just it's hard to watch in parts, like it's it's, you know, pretty, pretty rough, but it is an a mate. It's a much better version than what we saw. That had a lot more money, it had a lot less money to spend and it did it really well, it was a TV movie basically, so yeah, it was really really well done.

Um, so this randomly showed up on my YouTube of a couple days ago. I guess it's only like seven days old. Um, there is a, uh, there's a conversation it's not really an interview between Alex Lifeson and Getty Lee. Getty Lee has a new book out. Um and uh, I didn't know anything about the book, I didn't know anything about this. It just showed up on my, you know, showed up on my YouTube or whatever, and it is the most wonderful conversation between two old friends that I've seen on YouTube. And I don't know how long. And I'm a reasonable rush fan. Like I grew up, I saw Rush a bunch of times when I was a kid. I don't really think about them that often I. It might go months before I listen to them again. It's not like I'm a huge, you know, rush fan, Um, but there, I've always thought it's a very sweet banier Canadian.

02:59:00 - WOT Promo (Announcement)
They talk about the other story where they tore apart the hotel, but then they came back and apologize the next day.

02:59:06 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
Oh, led Zeppelin would never do that.

02:59:08 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
Yeah, like like like like Alex, alex Tore, they tell a story where he tears apart the hotel and then he comes back and shook, shook every person's hand, apologize to every person in the hotel for what he did the day before. So, um, so very, very Canadian, um, but, but the which they they mentioned, but just such a um, so many, just great. There's a comfort to the two of them talking because they've they've been in this band together since they were 13 years old and, um, so for 50 years. They've been doing this together over 50 years and they just, they still love each other, you can tell, and they just have this great conversation.

If you just want to spend an hour, it's all feel good, just having fun watching something about two bandmates. It's just worth it, even if you don't know who rushes like I know that, you know, but but it's just really just an amazing video I found myself. I skipped through it, saw like five minutes of them talking and I was like, oh, I'm going to go get a drink, I'm going to pull it back and we're just going to watch the whole thing because it was and it was worth it.

03:00:05 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
This is the beauty of like random YouTube content. I think just something into these things. Um, there is a great rush, uh use. In the movie the iron claw, tom Sawyer pops up for an extended sequence. It's just so perfect. Such an incredibly sad and disturbing movie, but great use of fresh in that. Uh, I would just want to quickly shout out uh, we are on a good run for TV right now. Uh, guy Ritchie is a gentleman. The TV adaptation of his movie from a couple of years ago is a ton of fun. I didn't like the movie very much but I love classic Guy Ritchie and if you miss, like cool, swaggering British gangster dudes, uh, you know, uh, super cool brunettes who are, you know, are just so tough and smart. It is all the stuff that was in lock sock and two smoke and barrels and snatch and his earlier films and it is just that kind of remix, kind of modernized, but a ton of fun, super watchable. That's on Netflix now. I totally recommend it.

Also, shogun this is not in the notes, but Shogun on Hulu is an adaptation of the book that's been in the works for over a decade now. It is incredible. It is. I never cared about Shogun the book or the original miniseries, but this new one is. It feels very much like Game of Thrones. It is very politically um, you know, just dense. The character is really strong, incredibly well acted, including by a Hiryuki Sonata, who's an actor I've always loved and has never really had much chance to shine um on American movies or TV, so he's great here. It's an American production, but it's mostly in Japanese, so it's kind of wild that this thing exists in this form. Incredibly good, a great watch, wonderful television. It looks beautiful, the actors are great. I think it's just like. It's like being told a very good story. It feels like watching the early seasons of Game of Thrones, you know. So yeah, check that out. Everybody. You guys sound interested. So yeah, check it out.

03:01:51 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
Oh yeah, absolutely 100% Awesome, so I think.

03:01:53 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
I think we can wind it down for tonight, Glenn. Thank you guys all so much for joining us. Like I knew, this discussion would be fun and we went off on a lot of tangents, but I love letting those play because that is where we have the most fun as a conversation. Um, but I'd love to know where can we find you all online these days, Glenn Fleischman? Where can we find you?

03:02:12 - Glenn Fleishman (Guest)
Well, you can find me at uh, glenn, sorry I have to look at my own my own, but it's a Glennfun is an easy way to get to me with two ends. But I've got a Kickstarter project underway for a book about comics history, newspaper comic production history and how excuse me, how comics were madeinkinkink, and it's a book about uh, with all kinds of untold stories and never before seen objects and beautiful, weird things like flog, which I talk about regularly speaking tech, old tech, old tech and new tech.

03:02:46 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
Oh man, that's a whole other show. Old tech, I love old tech. Scott Skyn, where can we find you?

03:02:51 - Scott Stein (Guest)
I don't know. You could just try to, like look in the clouds and try to find it.

03:02:55 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
You can find Scott muttering on the social networks.

03:02:57 - Scott Stein (Guest)
Yeah, find him muttering on the bench of social media. So, um, you could find me, uh, uh, find me on threads. You could find me, um, on Blue Sky or Mass Sound. Remind me to post on there. You could, um, try to see whatever I've done on TikTok, which is nothing really. Um, you could find me on that. You could find me, um, also still on Twitter, but help me move to a place that I can be, somewhere. Carry me with you and let's build a blue sky, scott, let's just keep the witness going, let's do that, and let's build a little discord group and let's figure out like a park bench where we can live. So those are the places and I wish you luck finding me.

03:03:34 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
Awesome, alex Lindsay, where can we find you?

03:03:38 -  Alex Lindsay (Guest)
You could find me every morning from 7am to 9am.

I'm doing office hours global. You can go to office hoursglobal to see what the website looks like. It has a bunch of stuff there, uh. But you can also just go to YouTube and search for office hours global. We, we talk and all we do. We get up every morning and we just answer questions. So you have to put questions in Um and uh, we just sit, a bunch of my friends and I sit around and we just answer questions for two hours and then we go okay, we're going back to work, so, um, so that's pretty much the. That's all we do. We do it seven days a week. We don't broadcast Sunday, so we can talk amongst ourselves about what we like and don't like, about what we're doing, um. But but the other six days are are on YouTube and you can see them there.

Um, we're going to NAB. If you haven't heard of NAB, it's national association of broadcasters we're going to be covering. We got a booth, um, if you want to go to NAB because you get a booth, you get a code, so I'll give it to you. It's the MP zero seven. If you go to NAB and you sign up for the expo pass and you put in MP zero seven, it's free, so, anyway. So, um, there you go. So, so, anyways, you can go to the expo for free with that code. Um, but the uh, uh, but if you want to watch it, uh, we'll be covered. We'll be broadcasting live somewhere between three and six hours a day, um, and we've got wireless rigs and, uh, you know a bunch of stuff. Um, you know a lot, of, a lot of crazy stuff that we're going to be doing, so we'll be covering it on at office hours, global.

03:04:53 - Devindra Hardawar (Host)
Awesome, awesome. Thank you so much. And uh, yeah, you guys can find me at engadget. I review all sorts of stuff, I write about stuff. I cohost podcasts there. You can also find me on Twitter and maston and blue sky, at, at the Vindra, on all of those places I'm on threads, but don't message me there because I hate it. Um, also podcasts about movies and TV at the filmcast, at the filmcastcom, and if you liked our pop culture discussions here, you'll find more of that there. Thank you all so much for joining us. Another twit is in the can.

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