Tech News Weekly 322 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.

0:00:00 - Mikah Sargent
Coming up on tech news weekly. Abrar Al-Heeti of CNET is here as my guest co-host. Abrar brings a great story to the table. It's all about streaming services and how they keep raising the prices. Then my story of the week is about how Amazon losing out on that Roomba acquisition is actually bad news for Roomba. What does the future of robotic vacuuming look like and what role did Roomba / iRobot play in the start of the robotic vacuum craze? Afterwards, we have an interview with Scott Stein of CNET, who joins us Wearing the Apple Vision Pro to talk about the Apple Vision Pro. And we round things out with a conversation with Reed Albergotti of Semafor, who talks about data centers at the edge and I mean truly at the edge in the middle of nowhere. Fascinating conversations. All of that is coming up on Tech News Weekly.

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This is Tech News Weekly episode 322, recorded Thursday, February 1st 2024. The Rising Costs of Streaming Services.

0:01:20 - Leo Laporte
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0:01:45 - Mikah Sargent
Hello and welcome to tech news weekly, the show. Wherever week we talk to and about the people making and breaking the tech news. I am your host, mica sergeant, and I am excited to say that we have our next regular guest co-host joining us today. It is CNET's Abrar Al-Heeti. Welcome to the show, a brah.

0:02:06 - Abrar Al-Heeti
Thank you, I'm so excited to be here. I'm really, really thrilled to be doing this.

0:02:09 - Mikah Sargent
Yeah, I'm so happy to have you. You know, I reached out and Told you kind of about the idea last at the end of last year, kind of leading into this year, and so it's great to have you on the show joining Amanda Silberling of Techcrunch, who will be with us next week. Yeah, we're getting a great cast of folks For tech news weekly and it really I'm really really pleased. So, as I mentioned to all of you who listen to the show, the way that this works is we will start off with our stories of the week, we'll say goodbye to our wonderful guest co-host and I will carry out some interviews in the latter half of the show. So, without further ado, a brah, please Tell us. What story of the week Did you bring to the table?

0:02:55 - Abrar Al-Heeti
Yes, I wanted to talk about the ridiculously constantly rising costs of streaming, and the more timely element here is that amazon prime video this week just rolled out ads, and if you don't want ads, you'll have to pay an extra three dollars a month, which you could dismiss as like, okay, it's a few extra bucks, what's the big deal? But it is a big deal because you already pay so much money for streaming subscriptions. So amazon prime costs fifteen dollars a month, or about a hundred and forty annually, and with that you're supposed to have, you know, free streaming and that's one of the perks of it. But now you have to add another monthly cost, and this is just something I've been thinking a lot about, because ads have become such a staple of streaming these days, these ad supported tiers or things that these companies are really leaning on, because it's they need to make money, right, that's the pressure that they've been facing over the last couple years especially. It's no longer about getting new subscribers, it's about making money, and so, um, these ad supported tiers are great because they're still getting subscription money from you, but then they're getting money from you know, these, these advertisements, and so we're seeing it everywhere and then, you know to kind of supplement this, the you know ads coming to amazon prime video. We also just found out yesterday that disney and um, disney plus and hulu and espn plus will Now be cracking down on password sharing, and that's the other thing, the other trend that we've seen, um, and so it's all because of netflix. So thank you netflix so much for really setting that precedent.

Um, but it just it just makes me think about the, the fatigue, because I have sat through, you know, my subscriptions and thought, okay, how often do I actually watch something like Apple tv plus? I canceled that pretty, pretty quickly just because it's something I only watch, like for severance, right, um. But now I'm thinking, netflix, do I really need to have netflix? Is it something that I watch often enough? And the answer is no, um, and so now I'm just kind of thinking through all these subscriptions and so I wonder if, if you know what your thoughts are on that, because are you also? Have you also been kind of combing through your own subscriptions and figuring out what, what to get rid?

0:04:56 - Mikah Sargent
of yeah. So I have to tell you it was kind of interesting. Um, this morning I woke up and I looked at my phone and I saw this More than a hundred dollar charge from amazon. I thought, did I wake up last night and and order something? And I don't remember what it is? And I went to my orders and I wasn't seeing anything there and then I realized, oh, that's my amazon prime subscription coming through. January is when mine renews. Fine, I use amazon prime for the delivery and everything else and occasionally prime stuff, but overall, you know that subscription is valuable to me just for the Delivery stuff that it provides.

So when it comes to amazon prime specifically, I'm not I'm not as perturbed by this, but I have to tell you I Am so allergic to ads, just so allergic to ads, and I say that as someone who you know we do, uh, host threat ads on this show and many of the shows on the network. And there's something this is not just me, you know, oh, but this is it genuinely it does feel different when I'm listening to a podcast and an ad is, you know, comes in from the person who is hosting the show. That doesn't give this same twinge in my brain. But anytime I'm hanging out with friends and they're playing you know that soft music in the background and then suddenly it cuts to and if you'd like to buy three of these uh special, uh little round balls that you can step on to strengthen your foot muscles, well, you like what and I will. I literally will turn to my friends, but can I just like Venmo PayPal cash app you some money to get you a subscription, because I cannot do these ads? And we had Hulu with ads for a while and then we were watching something that we, you know, wanted to watch regularly and I said look, you know, my partner was paying for this subscription itself. And I said I will pay the rest of the amount that doesn't have the ads so that we can watch this stuff without these ads, because it's just Ugh. So I, yeah, I don't like ads.

But here's the thing If amazon does it right, the company can make a lot more money by having ads in the content. Then it will. If it's just, you know, from the, the added expense that people are paying, and I think that that's always the, the kind of balance that they're trying to play. They know that enough folks are not going to pay. You see, if you make it too inexpensive, then you'll get too many folks that pay that extra one dollar and fifty cents or whatever and then it's not worth it because there aren't enough people on the ad. If you make it just enough, then only some people will jump to that. That means that you know you've got more people watching ads and probably making more money that way. So, yeah, I I think ultimately I understand why a company is doing this.

But yeah, I just got the notification that my disney plus subscription is going up. So now I'm thinking about canceling that because that I don't watch stuff on there regularly. It just kind of sits in the background and I don't know. Do you do any of the um subscribe when there's something that you want to watch, like in a season, and then you unsubscribe afterward?

0:08:24 - Abrar Al-Heeti
I think I'm gonna end up doing that with apple tv plus because I unsubscribed a few months ago. But I know when severance season two comes out, I will be flocking and I will be watching that and then I'll probably watch other things that I've been wanting to watch. Um, but I know that's something that people talk about, where it's like just wait until All this, all the episodes of something, drop and then just binge it all and then just have a one month subscription and then dip from there. Um, so I just I also just don't have really the attention span to binge things. Really, I'm more of a like one episode a day type of person which is just to bleed money with all these different subscription services.

But I have found myself, you know, like, with things like, for example, like I got like a peacock subscription during black friday it was like 12 dollars for the whole year and you're like, okay, I'll do that, it's ad supported, but I spent 12 bucks on it and I can handle ads while I'm watching down to abbey. It's fine, they're really annoying, they're really redundant, but it's like, okay, it's cheap, whatever, um, but things that cost significantly more, I just I don't know. My netflix subscription to the tier that I'm at is the 1199 basic, which I know they're trying to get rid of because they want you to either pay 15 dollars for the ad free version or pay the, whatever it is seven, eight for the ad supported, so that they can get your money there. But but I'm gonna have to do some serious thinking about what, what I'm actually gonna keep.

0:09:37 - Mikah Sargent
Yeah, this is the first time I think for me in a while. I realize that that is a privilege, like I understand that I'm in a position where, um, I have been able to have these subscriptions up to this point and not do too much thinking about it. But I am now at that point where I'm gonna, you know, sit down and look at what we actually are watching, what we're not, and make the decision of what stays and what doesn't, because it is now getting to be too expensive. But it also makes me wonder, in the words of, uh, a hero of yours, is it us, are we the problem? When it comes to, yeah, when it comes to that idea of, you know, temporarily subscribing to A service, is that the issue? Or is it perhaps something else that you've linked to here in, uh, your story of the week?

0:10:27 - Abrar Al-Heeti
Yeah, well, it's interesting because a lot of these companies have been looking for ways to incorporate things like sports, where it's like you have to have this subscription if you want to watch Um. I think there was, like for netflix, some wwe Uh agreement that they I don't know wwe very well, but I think they came to some sort of agreement where it's like you have to Um, you know, stay subscribed because it it's something that continues throughout the year, so if you want to watch it, you're gonna have to keep your netflix subscription. We see a lot of other companies, you know, partnering up with with other sports, uh, you know, and and that's something that can appeal to people so they don't keep their subscription for a month and then cancel Um. But I think, you know, I think it helps people to have like the lower cost every month. So you're like, okay, six dollars a month feels a lot less painful than than 15 a month.

Um, but um. But then if you're already attached to something like, the thing I will never give up is um. I'm over here bashing netflix for having $15 a month plan, but I willfully and happily pay my $15 a month for youtube premium, because I do have a youtube premium account because I can't handle ads on there. That's. That's something that I just um will not give up. But but I think it it really comes down to you know them, um, they're, they've also been toying with ways to um, they I know netflix especially played with the idea of releasing Every all episodes all at once with some shows, um, so that. But then I think that backfires because again you don't have people subscribing for longer periods of time as as each episode drops. But, um, but I think it's just constantly it's. They look to netflix. We see when netflix does and it does it well, and then everyone else does it.

0:12:02 - Mikah Sargent
Yeah, yeah, you're, you're right about that and you know, looking at the the industry here as a whole, uh, it was just on sunday I was talking with leo la port on our show. Ask, the tech guys and we were talking about the layoffs in media Are not in media but in tech in general. And it's uh one person who is an economist or or understands all of the money of things. Uh was asked about this and he sort of said it was it's kind of a herd mentality and that you know, one company does it and it does well for the bottom line, and so, even though the company's doing okay, other companies start to do that too, because the one company's doing it, and so everybody and yeah, we are seeing that we saw one company decide to make that move, make that change, and then suddenly now the prices are going up everywhere.

But you have to wonder if, in the long run, this is going to impact individual like it's. How many people can afford to Uh prop up these services with a little bit of extra money that they have in a month? And it's no surprise that you have folks sharing accounts but that that is kind of being changed across the board. I don't know about you, but I feel like that's going to. Really that could be an eye-opener, an eye-opener, slash, shocking moment for streaming media where cutting down on password sharing results in these companies actually going. Oh, maybe we should have let that keep happening, because clearly you are, then nobody's getting it right.

I don't think that there are too many cases where someone who can afford it is just not paying for it. I know there are some cases, but I don't think there are so many that it is going to make a difference in the long run. I think it's just going to be that one account maybe still existing because the parents can afford to, because they've already bought their house, but then the kids can't afford to buy their own and so then there's no extra coming in. You're not growing the user base. Yeah, I don't know. I'm curious your thoughts on that part of it.

0:14:25 - Abrar Al-Heeti
Yeah, absolutely. I think when Netflix started cracking down on password sharing, there was this general idea of oh, this is going to, this is going to, this is such a stupid move, this is going to ruin them. Why would they do that? And then they saw just this record number of signups, for people were flocking to get their own accounts because it's something they couldn't live without. Right, and Netflix has become a staple.

If you stream content, if you want to keep up with what's going on, and I think that's fine, okay, fine, netflix wants to do that. It's not fine, but whatever. And then every other platform starts to do it, and then you think, well, that's not sustainable, like I can't get us, I don't want to get a separate account. We were constantly like our family group chat is what's the Hulu password? Again, what's you know like? And we all live in different places, and so it's there's got to be a point where people just say, okay, well, I'm not going to do that anymore.

But then the other piece of that is, you know, a lot of these, these platforms are thinking of you know ways to kind of combine so that you have just one service, because there's so many services and maybe that's another way that they try to get you to be like okay, well, you only have to pay for one platform now, like we're going to combine X and Y and we're just going to. You just have to pay for this one thing now. But you know, they're going to do whatever, whatever works for them, and if suddenly we all decide we're not going to pay for it and they're going to have to change something up, they will.

0:15:41 - Mikah Sargent
I am curious. I can't quite picture what that's going to look like, what changes they'll make other than just going all in on ads and just a very expensive tier that doesn't have ads. And yeah, I think I think what we're going to see is Netflix, amazon, sort of seeing how well the ad supported thing works for them. And if those companies start to make a good amount of money, then we'll see everybody else jump on board fully and wholly with that. And, yeah, it could end up being that I have to spend a whole bunch of money if I want to get rid of the ads. So then I probably won't, so then I'll just have ads. And I mean, if that's the way of the future, I just really have something against it. In movies I don't. Tv shows is fine, but I'm in the middle of the movie there's a car chase happening, and then you cut into the car chase and tell me about some like rheumatoid arthritis thing. Right, I am pulled out of the film. Now I don't yeah.

0:16:46 - Abrar Al-Heeti
No, absolutely. Yeah, it's and it's. I mean it's ever. I see it even on TikTok. I started noticing there's an ad countdown and when I'm watching a video I'll be like ad starts in 321. I'm like what? Like what is happening? I mean it's at the end, but it's still annoying. But yeah, ads everywhere, we just got to get used to it.

0:17:01 - Mikah Sargent
Ads in our virtual reality helmets as well. Exactly Well. We will, of course, be kind of continuing to see how the streaming media industry shapes and reshapes itself to make more money and up next we'll talk about my story of the week, but I do want to take a quick break to tell you about Club Twit twittv slash club Twit. If you'd like to skip the ads, well, join Club Twit at twittv slash Club Twit for seven dollars a month. Eighty four dollars a year. You out there can join the club. When you do, you get every single one of our shows ad free, so it's just the content and none of the ads. You gain access to the twit plus bonus feed that has extra content you won't find anywhere else behind the scenes before the show. After the show, special Club Twit events get published there. We recently did an escape room in a box. I was dressed up as a lady mermaid from the deep because it was around Halloween, so that's why it was a lot of fun. You got to see that video Great time. And then, of course, you gain access to the Club Twit Discord, which is a fun place to go to chat with your fellow Club Twit members and also those of us here at Twit, as well as access to some Club Twit exclusive shows. There is Hands on Windows, a short format show from Paul Therat that covers Windows Tips and Tricks. Hands on iOS, which is or Hands on Mac, excuse me, which is my show that covers all sorts of Apple tips and tricks. Ios Today, which is the show I cohost with Rosemary Orchard, where we talk all things Apple and mobile devices in particular. And Home Theater Geeks from Scott Wilkinson, which is a show all about the home theater. So much great stuff exists in the Club, including our many, many Club members. So join the wave, join the fun, join the excitement. Many Club many listeners like you are there now, so get in to that group and meet us there. Twittv slash Club Twit All righty.

Time for my story of the week. This one comes from a regular on the show, jennifer Patterson Tue of the Verge, who was writing about where Roomba stands now that the EU has said that Amazon cannot acquire the company. So I want to start with kind of the base story here, which is that Amazon made a play to acquire Roomba, the smart vacuum cleaner company, and of course, as is always the case, you have to go through regulatory hurdles whenever you choose to acquire a company, particularly if you play in that space. Amazon has been under scrutiny with the EU in many other ways and in many other sort of monopolistic potential, monopolistic practices, and so it's no surprise to see such attention being paid to the company. And ultimately the EU said if Amazon acquires Roomba, that is going to negatively impact the robotic vacuum marketplace. So because of that, roomba is kind of reeling. It's a reeling Roomba. What I found interesting about this piece from Jennifer is that this kind of looks at how, even though on the face of it it's good for it, seems to be good for competition, it could mean the death of one of the main competitors in the space, which is Roomba. So Roomba is huge. I didn't even realize this.

Roomba basically invented and revolutionized the robotic vacuum marketplace. The company is responsible for being, if not the first, then the best creator of much of the technology that you now see across the board in all robotic vacuums. It was the first to figure out the auto emptying dock so that you didn't have to follow your little robotic vacuum and clean out its little dustbin all the time. It was the first to do room mapping so that it wasn't just a robotic vacuum running into your foot over and over again trying to figure out where it needed to go. It was the first to use AI algorithms to find that this is a pile of waste from your animal that I should not run over and run around all of your carpets, and it is well known for its ability to actually do a good job of cleaning your space.

I-robot the makers of Roomba have been at the forefront of putting in the work and, more importantly, putting in the research money to come up with the technology that now so many robotic vacuums have, and Tui kind of suggests Jennifer kind of suggests that because the company spent so much money on R&D leading up to this, that's kind of put it in this bad spot where the company is now operating at a loss and all of the other companies who in some ways profited off of the research that I-Robot did, they are now climbing the ranks and it could lead to I-Robot completely going away because they had counted on this cash infusion from Amazon. So I just think this is really interesting and there's more to it that we'll get into, but I kind of was curious, abraar, just in general, about your thoughts on robotic vacuums, first and foremost, and maybe if you had even thought about the amount of research and kind of innovation that I-Robot itself had done, outside of just making a little, what is it? Dj Roomba from Parks and Recreation.

0:23:09 - Abrar Al-Heeti
Yeah, you know, I was first introduced to Roomba's when my brother got one back in I want to say it was around 2011 or something like that. I remember it was this magical thing like how cool that a robot can clean your floors for you. But I noticed in this article she mentioned that if your last experience with the Rambo was pre-2013, they've come a long way, which I'm glad, because that thing really was just. I mean, it did great, but it was just bumping into all sorts of things and everything, yeah, everything.

So it's really cool to have learned about that, about the amount of research that went into that, and I think the thing that's really tragic is this juxtaposition between the amount of R&D that went into Roomba and everything that it's capable of doing, versus kind of the flashy like annual release from other companies that are just churning these things out in order to get you to just buy the latest model. But maybe it's doing too much. And I think what was interesting to learn from this is the fact that, okay, yeah, maybe Roomba took a while to hop onto the vacuuming and mopping combo, but that's because they thought it was better to keep those things separate, because you could do one thing really well, and but then in the end you just kind of have to follow the trends. Okay, fine, we'll add this feature and that feature just to compete with these other, with these other brands.

But I think it's just kind of symbolic of this entire shift when it comes to like buying anything, any type of appliance or gadget, where you know when you buy it, it's only going to last a certain amount of time, because it's not made to last and it's not made to be amazing, it's just made to be flashy and I think it's really sad that there could be this shift here with Roomba. If you know it's able to survive, that you know. There it will kind of follow the lead of all those other companies where it's like we just got to release the latest bottle. Let's just throw something else in there and make it all flashy and people will buy it and that's how we survive. But it's kind of just very telling of how things stand.

0:24:58 - Mikah Sargent
Yeah, that's, that's a really, really good point. I you see that happening in so many different spaces. Where how does a television set itself apart? And you know, the latest thing is to put AI somewhere into the system and until the next big technology comes out, that's what it's got to do. And yeah, I have been. You know some of these other brands that exist.

I've been blown away by the number of ecovacs, the number of different models of ecovacs robots that it has, because it's like this one has a special, this one you can talk to, this one has a special feature that will sing you a song. No, but there are just all these weird things that it's sort of spaghetti project ish. And what I found interesting and it really gets to the heart of what you're saying there is I had tested a couple of ecovacs robots and there was one that was the super premium model where it had a built in clean water tank dirty water tank and a built in dust bin emptier, and so it would drive up and park the robotic vacuum and it would empty out the dirty water and put down clean water and then it would suck out the dust and then, you know, do its thing and then it'd go back and it had a fan built in a heated fan that would dry the mop pads. And it had not only LiDAR atop the things so that it could map the room, but it also had cameras on the front of it that were using AI to identify different objects and move around them. And I had the one that was the less premium model that did not have the clean and dirty water tank but had a built in sort of water tank that you'd click into it, and it did not have cameras on the front. It did a better job of not running into things that I didn't want it to run into than the more premium one that was supposed to have all of this AI built in. That made it better.

And so I remember running the bigger one and it kept hitting the sides of my dog's bowls and knocking water all over the floor and kibble all over the floor, and so I immediately switched back to the one that was, you know, the less expensive model and that for some reason, worked better, and I think that it really goes to what you're saying, that they had all these flashy features that were supposed to make it better, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it's actually better, and it is such a good point too that you know if Roomba is going to stick around by having to try to play this game of what new features can we add? That's a bummer, I do wonder, because part of the reason that I think a lot of these other robo-vax have been successful is that they don't cost so as much as Roomba does, and so if there's a way that what this does is it makes Roomba have to come out with some more cost effective models, then that is good. That is competition. That is something that serves, I think, the consumer, and then maybe the company still does get to focus in the long term on. You know, we've got it sort of like I'm not going to say Apple, because even Apple's least expensive device is still very expensive but a company, another consumer technology company, where they've got the budget model and then they've got the sort of mid-tier model and then they've got the one that they put all the money into and if you can afford it, it's going to be the best, it's going to do the coolest things. If that's a pivot that the company can do which I've seen in a Roomba pivot, so I know they can do it, then I think that there's success to be had there. I think you're right about that.

I ultimately feel like, no matter the robotic vacuum I use, they all are still, to this day, rather disappointing. And so I, as much of a smart home enthusiast as I am, I'm still not convinced by robotic vacuums in general and their usefulness, because I still feel it's like if you hire a cleaning service and then you clean before the cleaning service comes, because you don't have the judgment. Yeah, I feel that way with the robotic vacuum, because I'm like you're going to end up trying to suck up this dog toy, you're going to hit the corner of that that you know dog bed and get it stuck in your wheels. So then I'm going around and cleaning it beforehand and say, like what's the point of this? I could just vacuum myself, exactly. I'm sure there are some people who swear by them.

0:30:07 - Abrar Al-Heeti
Yeah, well, and also I was not really aware, like when I was reading this, I was like all these other companies I haven't even heard of and, it's granted, I'm not as deep in the in the space really but but that really shows the power of a brand like Roomba. And but I think there, there must be it's interesting to hear you say that, because I wondered if that had gone easier the idea of like I'll just let the robot do it and it'll know exactly what to do and I don't have to worry. And I wonder how much of it is us being like control freaks and how much of it is like you know, yeah, yeah, cause I didn't see that that's so true, it might.

0:30:36 - Mikah Sargent
It might be able to go around those things, but I'm not giving it the opportunity to disappoint me. I would go again and cleaning it up anyway and, like I said, the the one has done a good job If you take the time. You know, with the room mapping stuff, the cool thing is you can set sections that you don't want the thing to go into, and so where are the dogs, foods and waters are? I have little blocks there, so they don't, it doesn't go there, and that that works quite well. So, yeah, again, over time this stuff has improved, but I think the real, the real test, will be somehow making one that can go up and down stairs. That would be super cool.

0:31:15 - Abrar Al-Heeti
Oh my God, absolutely, that'd be the coolest thing, I guess you know. The first step is making sure it doesn't fall down the stairs, which I hope it does better with now. And then from there, can it, can it just slither down?

0:31:25 - Mikah Sargent
Oh no, now that you've said slither, I take it back. I don't want this.

0:31:29 - Abrar Al-Heeti
Like how would that work?

0:31:30 - Mikah Sargent
Yeah, I'm scared now I don't want to come into my house with the robots, like I said it, so that when I am at home don't go down the stairs because I don't want to see that Is that an intruder is at the Roomba.

0:31:43 - Abrar Al-Heeti
Is it something that's coming to kill me? I don't know, but yeah, I mean it could be all three. It could be robots will attack us by being robotic vacuums downstairs yes.

0:31:54 - Mikah Sargent
Well, abraar, I want to thank you so much for your time today. If folks want to keep up with what you're doing, where is the place, or are the places, they should go to do so?

0:32:04 - Abrar Al-Heeti
Yeah, you can follow me on Instagram. It's my first name, last name, no hyphens Abra L H T or on X, it's L H T, underscore three, and you can catch my work at as well.

0:32:14 - Mikah Sargent
Wonderful. Well, I will see you next month. Thank you so much for your time today. Alrighty folks Up next. I bet you can probably guess what we're going to talk about. It's time to talk about Apple's new spatial computing device. Joining us here to talk about their review of the Apple Vision Pro is Scott Stein of CNET. Welcome Scott, hi, hi, it's pretty beyond. Yeah, happy to have you here. So let's get right into it. You had the opportunity. You were one of many a journalist who was able to check out I shouldn't say many, it's sort of many a journalist who was able to check out the Apple Vision Pro. And I'm curious do you still have the device and have you been using it? Look at that, what's in his hands. I do.

0:33:15 - Scott Stein
I was thinking about wearing it to start, but I can put it on as we talk. So, yeah, I have been using it, but not all the time as my main computer, and that is because it doesn't fully hook into all the things that I need yet and some of the interface things still need a little bit of polish and work. So to me, that's what's going to make it a computer. By the way, here is I'm going to have to log in with my passcode for the first time or use Optic ID, so some things feel iPad-like or Mac-like where it asks you to log in and your password after startup. It just updated to version 1.0.2. And I can see you right now through the pass-through, and you may not be able to see my eyes because they're very they're very, very subtle and dim, interesting.

0:34:12 - Mikah Sargent
So I thought I was still waiting to kick on. But there, there they're. Just so it is so dark, I expected it to be brighter.

0:34:19 - Scott Stein
I mean, you can see my laptop, but exactly Like it's so so you look through to that, but it is so dark and we found that really tough to photograph. You know a lot of ways. It's something like that you haven't really seen in a display. It's lenticular, so almost like those 3D postcards, but but it's. But it's designed to kind of be like dim and almost ambient. People called it like looking at my eyes through, like muddy glass. So it's something very new and, you know, is that better than not seeing your eyes at all, potentially for contact? But it's, it's not the same as actually having a pair of glasses, right, right. So let's.

0:34:57 - Mikah Sargent
Let's kind of talk about this, because there have been so many reviews about this headset, right, and the reviews tend to start with it does this really cool thing, it looks amazing, it does this awesome thing, and then it's. And then at the end it tends to be kind of but who needs this? What's, what's this for? And I'm curious, when this product was announced and when you kind of learned about it to, when you got to try it and as you've been reviewing it, how has your opinion and your thoughts about the device and sort of the the miracle of its technology, how has that changed over time? Has it stayed the same? Have you found it to be a lot more compelling than you originally thought? Or has it lost some of its luster as you've used it more and more?

0:35:48 - Scott Stein
Yeah, and also I'm getting tons of Twitter notifications on this headset, so I'm going to take it off for a moment. That sounds good Because it keeps beeping, and I didn't. I didn't learn how to silence it. So the world of notifications in mixed reality is still a work in progress, but I would say, um, yeah, that has been kind of the the, the reigning thought about this, and I've covered this space for a long time and worn just about all the headsets that are out there, and so I've kind of seen this future happening in slow motion, from the Oculus Rift to AR headsets, things like Magic Leap and HoloLens.

I saw mixed reality with high res displays in headsets made by a company called Vario back in, you know, I think it was pre pandemic, so you know, no-transcript. It felt like a synthesis of a lot of different things as opposed to a completely new thing. But I think that you also see a lot of Apple polish and a lot of iOS and their computing ecosystem all folded in and the ability to push and finesse the technology. So I guess what I'm saying is that I've been expecting a slow adoption on this for a long time, and so I don't think this product. I was not expecting it to kind of become something for everybody. Even so, I think that it is something. Until it proves out the full computer part, which is what they're calling it. I think that part is not ready for people yet in the way that they use things.

Like you know, somebody asked me online does it work with a mouse? It doesn't currently work with a mouse. It works with the trackpad. It works with the keyboard. The Mac connection for me was kind of going off and on, but that may be fixed in time for launch. But only one Mac display at a time, not multiple ones, and you can float iPad like apps there, and a lot of the apps right now are 2D as opposed to the immersive 3D type, which are the things that, if you're going to the people who work in mixed reality already maybe doing sculpting or advanced 3D work, I didn't see a lot of sculpting or a musical instrument or creative tools right now which I have seen in VR on things like the Quest, yeah, so I think Apple has to yeah, they kind of have to like, work these pieces together and figure it out, but it's only day one or day minus one, yeah, day minus one.

0:38:08 - Mikah Sargent
So let's go back to what you said. You said you can use it with a trackpad and with a keyboard. When you're saying that, you mean that an external physical trackpad and an external physical keyboard can be used with the device.

0:38:24 - Scott Stein
I was going to grab one, but it's like right out of the root Exactly.

Magic keyboard, magic trackpad is what I use. Curious compatibility with other things. But you can pair Bluetooth devices. Then again I paired a Bluetooth Apple mouse and it did not work for input, so your mileage may vary there and when you do that it feels like what I felt with other types of VR headsets, where you pair a keyboard and trackpad. You can do that on the Quest. It's nice that you can jump the cursor from app to app and that's kind of like what you can do already on Mac displays or Mac to iPad have it, have the cursor jump across.

But you have to get those accessories because to me the hand element is not going to do everything for you yet. You know it's a lot of. It is like a mouse where you're or a trackpad where you're doing swipes and taps and pinches. It kind of reminds me of, I mean, the Halllands did this too where you had eye tracking and taps and pinches. That's fine for browsing, but if you're going to do really fine tune stuff, like to grab that little tiny thing, your eye has to be looking at that thing, and I found sometimes that was that was hard to do.

Also, for keyboards, you float a virtual keyboard and no one has gotten better at conquering this yet. Meta also has this, where you one one tap per finger to tap on the virtual keyboard, or your eyes can pick the key and you can tap, but none of that's like really typing. You could dictate, but there are demonstrations, like Meta had shown a couple of years ago, typing on a desk just with your hands, and that it would somehow recognize that with machine learning. I'm sure that the companies are trying to achieve that, but Apple hasn't gotten there yet either. So I would love that you could just not have anything, and we're not at that point. So it's like a middle step in this being able to be all your tools.

0:40:22 - Mikah Sargent
One. Well, so I have two questions. I'll start with this. One of the sort of right before the product was was announced to be coming out, there was kind of a drumbeat among those of us who follow Apple Tech who suggested that this device was really a developer kit made available to the public, and there were some folks who said no, no, no, this genuinely is a consumer product. This is something just like the first Apple Watch. This is something that is not going to look like the final version in the long run, but it is a product that's ready to go. I am curious, based on what you've said thus far, do you feel like it is truly a consumer product or does it still feel like an unfinished thing that is mostly about getting into the hands of developers who will create those sculpting apps and the other 3D or augmented reality experiences?

0:41:29 - Scott Stein
Apple's straddling a very fine line here, I think, and that's like what you're pointing at. When you look at a lot of these high-end headsets the VR AR headsets in the past they've gone to business and enterprise. Hololens 2 was not sold as an everyday device. Magic Leap is. I'm not comparing Apple to Magic Leap in this regard, but there is something interesting in that the Magic Leap headset was launching as kind of a creator-developer thing and also aiming at a mainstream market. That was with not even having really any apps for it yet, or not very many Apple's doing that type of a thing. Where it's going to be for developers and early explorers and they're going to also have it in stores to buy, I think where they're going to get away with it and that it does work for the average person will be as a cinema that part which they've been talking about, the quality of its display, and this is just an AV play. It's stunning and to be able to play movies on this it looks really cinema quality and that's something that you don't see on any other VR headset right now and you may see it more with microLED technology. Micro OLED technology. You might see it on future headsets, including maybe Samsung's later in the year, but I think that that is a really unique feature. But who's going to pay $3,500 for that? I feel like that's a super high-end, ultra-luxury pair of headphones for your face.

And then all the other things are interesting fringe benefits that are going to keep growing over time the Mac part, or the not the Mac, the computer part, the comparisons to the Mac or to Lisa or to how Apple developed its computers.

I think there is an interesting analogy there because it's the beginning of a whole new interface and a whole new experience. But most people didn't have the original Mac, so we're really at very early days and, I'm sure, apple. What's interesting here is that Apple, versus other companies, does a relentless type of iteration of their products traditionally, where they don't tend to give up and they tend to just keep going and going and going. If they do that, there's a lot of ways this could be refined down the road, I think. But Google gave up on VR with Daydream and Microsoft got out of mixed reality, really for the most part with a lot of their efforts. They're still in it, but they changed path. And I think for Apple it's like are they in this for a really long game. And what's it going to keep evolving into? Maybe to glasses at some point?

0:44:03 - Mikah Sargent
Yeah, I mean that would be fascinating to see Apple fully pull out of a category after entering it, right, because that's not something. That's not something that's happened in a while. I guess the final question, or final couple of questions I'll have for you here surround the actual usage of the device. One of the most common things I saw from folks who had the chance to try this on with Apple still there and then also afterward, had to do with the weight of the device and sort of the longevity of usage. What has been your experience as far as that goes? Do you find it more comfortable, less comfortable than other devices, that other headsets you've strapped to your face, and does removing the battery from the headset itself help in any way? And maybe even that extra strap that they've added over time?

0:44:57 - Scott Stein
So I feel like it's pretty equivalent to other headsets and in that sense I don't find it remarkably heavy, but it is a little heavier than the Quest 3. It's lighter than the Quest Pro, but that's without the battery. So the battery, which is like 0.75 pounds you're going to put that in your pocket or something. So the headset without a battery, yeah, it's heavy. I think it really depends on the strap you have. Apple included two straps and that's interesting because it shows that there, in a way, isn't one perfect one. There's a single strap that's the iconic one, that's like an easy on, easy off, but after about half an hour it starts to feel top heavy, whereas the other one, which is kind of like a CPAP strap or something you know, it's like this dual loop strap. That is what I tend to wear. This balances the weight much better. This is something where I could wear it for longer, but it's very modular, which is impressive. It's very easy to detach and reattach things easier than a quest and I feel like it seems obvious that they would design other straps and other accessories and maybe balance the weight better, do things like that.

I think there's a lot of territory they could explore there and I wonder if that modularity is going to allow them to evolve the headset in ways that we didn't expect with this generation, especially with the battery being separate. Maybe they'll find ways to integrate it in a band or things like that. I mean, technically it's not impossible to make a battery strap thing. A lot of VR air makers put the battery in the back and you could do that and just have it lock in there. So I think it's not over with this first gen either. It just began. I think there's ways they could evolve this with accessories, with OS updates, with apps, and I would expect people buying this for $3,500 would expect that there would be a long life for this device that they buy, and I don't think they're going to be that quick to iterate to a second version. I think there's going to be a lot to explore with this version. So I think it's very interesting.

0:46:58 - Mikah Sargent
Hmm, that is. That's an interesting take, that perhaps this specific version has a longer life than we expect. And, yeah, any, any final things you want to say about it in terms of anything that surprised you, wowed you, disappointed you or just seemed unexpected?

0:47:21 - Scott Stein
I mean, what allows me continuously is the fidelity of it.

I think that's something that even people I mean.

I let a colleague look at it and she was saying, like she's used VR as well and it's just a whole level of level of detail, immersion that I think is really impressive and it's hard to convey, and I think the eye and hand tracking begin to feel almost like telepathy, and then sometimes they don't feel like telepathy Sometimes.

Sometimes they're off the mark and that can be distressing. So I think, in using this, what I find fascinating is that I was losing myself in these worlds more and yet also finding myself falling out of the flow of it. So I think that as I learn to use it and I'm a seasoned VR person I'm really curious how people find it hard to get on board or easy to get on board and where, where the difficulties are. To me that's like really interesting and I want to see where all the I mean Apple has these ways that things can interconnecting, like what about the phone? What about the Apple Watch? Like you should be able to sprout things that launch from the phone into the headset and throw things back and forth and that's what I want to see.

I and recognize your room more I think that's going to come. And fitness, like because I use VR for fitness, I think those can come, but I'm really curious that they're going to come in this first. You know version one loop and how fast.

0:48:45 - Mikah Sargent
Huh, okay, that's interesting. I love you. Something to look forward to Because, yeah, with all of our other Apple devices, they all play so well together in many ways, so it would be interesting to see more of that interconnectivity. Scott Stein, I want to thank you so much for your time today. Of course folks can head to if they want to check out the work you're doing. Is there anywhere else they should go to keep up with what you, what you've got.

0:49:07 - Scott Stein
Yeah, you can find me on threads at JetSky. You can find me on exit JetSky. Yeah, I believe I'm a jet sky to both. I'm around on blue sky Mastodon occasionally and you can always find me at Awesome, Thank you so much.

0:49:24 - Mikah Sargent
Yeah, thank you All. Right Up next, what do you do when you need the power of a data center, but you're in the middle of nowhere? Yes, a very fascinating conversation, but I want to take a moment to tell you. If you're out there listening and you are trying to make this year your brand's best year yet, well, you can meet your target audience with Twitter. For nearly 20 years, our audience all of those folks out there listening have remained the most successful group of individuals in the podcast world, whether it's CEOs, software engineering managers and entire enterprises.

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0:52:10 - Reed Albergotti
Thanks for having me. Good to be here.

0:52:13 - Mikah Sargent
Yeah, so I have to tell you I never even thought of this, the story that you have in the first place, and so I'm curious, kind of tell us about data centers at the edge, but also tell us about what led to you doing this story in the first place.

0:52:34 - Reed Albergotti
Yeah, I mean there's this story was about Armada and they have these. They basically make data centers in shipping containers and I I talk to a lot of people every day and there's always I'm always getting pitched on these companies, but I thought that this one just was fascinating, as you sort of found too Like I had never really thought of this problem before. And you have these businesses where they are in every business now, right, is a technology company, it's a, it's an and it's really increasingly an AI company, including oil drilling, right. So you've got these remote locations where you know oil rigs are out in the middle of the ocean and they're getting just all this data which in the past, you know kind of just in one, out in one ear, out the other. Because what are you going to do with all this data in real time?

Now, they can actually, they have the ability to learn really insightful things using machine learning, deep learning, ai, large language models, whatever, but they need to be able to process it very quickly in real time.

And you just can't do that because you don't have, you know, you're just, you don't have a hardwired, you know whatever two gigabit connection to, to AWS out in the middle of the ocean, and so you need to process it locally. So there's now this really interesting industry figuring out how to do that, and so this, our mod, is one company that is taking making a big bet on the fact that there's going to be this market, and they're putting, you know, gpus inside shipping containers and sending them out to remote locations, and then and then they have. They use Starlink or, you know it could be any satellite provider to kind of like keep it connected to the internet, but they're not sending the data to be processed, right, they're processing it locally and then sending the finished product out you know to where it needs to go. So it's pretty fascinating. I agree, and we can go into more detail, but I'll leave it at that for now.

0:54:38 - Mikah Sargent
Yeah, so this is the perfect time to talk about it. I am kind of curious what are some use cases or case studies that the company brought up? Because I would think that for the most part, even in the middle of nowhere, you would just find some way to get an internet connection and do things the way that you always did them. So there have to be times where that's just not viable and that you do need these data centers, kind of dropped down, which is again just such a such a wild idea, because we think about like miniaturizing and speeding up and making things more mobile and this kind of flies in the face of that. But once you hear about it, it's definitely a necessary technology. So, yeah, can you tell us about some use cases for this?

0:55:28 - Reed Albergotti
The one that I focused on in this article is sort of future warfare. And if you think about the battlefield of the future and you know, of course, talking about war, you know I would say, yeah, let's hope this doesn't happen. But you know, part of military technology is deterring and stopping a war from happening, right. But the advantages are really going to be probably around autonomy, ai, and that doesn't just mean the ability to have a drone go and bomb a target on its own or something along those lines. I think it also means just being able to come up with insights for strategy and tactics in real time on the battlefield. And so I've read about some of these futuristic kind of kind of sci fi scenarios of a future war where you might have an AI telling you exactly how to carry out, you know, a real battle in real time and where you should move the troops and all this stuff, like basically being the chess player sort of like, instead of the, instead of the general, right, the patent, sort of moving the little guys on the on the map, right, it's, it's like AI doing that. But if you, if you think about it like the, that's, that's a, that's like an interesting sort of thought experiment and sci fi scenario, but if you actually think practically like, wait, well, what would you need to enable that to happen?

There's, there's an interesting picks and shovel stuff that needs to happen, and one of those is like you don't, you're out in the middle of a desert or the mountains or wherever, like some place where you just aren't going to have a stable, a fast, stable internet connection that's going to be able to send, you know NASA, like terabytes of data in real time all the way to some data center in you know Oregon or wherever to be, to be processed. It's going to have to happen locally and then it's all going to have to be like interconnected in some way locally, without having to go all the way up to the cloud, and so you are going to have to have like a basically a mobile internet data center backbone. That that is that is out there, and so this company or model like their ideas. You'll have lots of these shipping containers out in these remote locations, a battlefield or whatever, and they actually act as a mesh network together. So you're hopping data from. Data is being processed in one location and then it's sent around to probably some central location, but it can hop from one shipping container to another, and so that's kind of how their idea of how you would make that futuristic scenario possible.

I just thought that was so interesting. Again, like you said, it's something I hadn't really thought of and was fun to kind of write about.

0:58:25 - Mikah Sargent
Yeah, I understand the comparison I'm about to make is not incredibly accurate. So, you know, folks, I've just it kind of reminds me a little of gaming via the cloud, because what I'm doing, if I, for example, use Amazon's Luna, right, I locally have a controller and I have the game that's in front of me, but essentially what's happening is the things that I'm doing with my device are getting communicated to that server that's elsewhere, that's running the game on whatever system it's running on, and the only thing that needs to be sent to me is video. It takes out all of the other compute that is involved and just makes it so that all I have to worry about getting locally is video. So it takes a lot of the burden off of what you're doing. And throughout this you kind of talk about the way that you can essentially take what would otherwise be huge amounts of data being sent over the cloud, and you know you run the risk of what if there's a storm that gets in the way, or an earthquake or a tornado or something else, because you're having to send so much data. If that processing can happen locally, you can still send data to where it needs to go, but the processing has already taken place, so it's kind of like only sending a video stream as opposed to having to send all of that information over the web.

I think that's fascinating In all of that. You did ask kind of so does this? Who's your competition? Does this make the cloud computing services the competition for something where they have these data centers at the edge? Can you talk about the response of this particular company? But I do feel like it would pertain to this specific little industry as a whole.

1:00:21 - Reed Albergotti
Yeah, I mean all these companies. They don't want to say who their competitors are. But I think they were sort of like yeah, we think the cloud companies will be more like partners and sort of, and we'll kind of fill in where they can't. He also said, I mean, they all have. All the cloud companies have these products that they, these edge compute products that they have, but they're like not really focusing on that. So I think it's just one of those places where it's probably the cloud companies are, probably they're competitors or maybe, like you know, frenemies in a way, because you can never take on like it's. You're not going to take on like these hyperscalers directly, but the way you do it is, you find like a little space where they're not paying attention and then you try to out-compete in that place where they're not totally focusing on it, and I think that's.

I think this is like one of those plays, but it's probably early and, like you know, there I think if this picks up, I mean there certainly will be competitors and there is a question of like, well, how do you, you know, how do you build that moat around this stuff? Right, it's the by nature, it's modular, it's movable, which kind of means. It's like you could, you could probably it might be like interchangeable. So it's hard to see, I mean, I guess, I guess there's a moat and just if you can get like military contracts and things like that, you know who knows what would happen in the private sector. But and there's definitely like a first mover advantage, but it's.

I mean, all this stuff is so unpredictable. Like I think there are these huge questions about where you know where this technology is all going to go right and maybe, maybe at some point, maybe there is like even satellite connections that are super stable and fast and you don't even have to worry anymore. Like maybe, maybe it all just goes up to space and and you don't need. You don't need the local stuff, and maybe there's data centers in space. I don't know. But yeah, it's just, it's just fun to think about.

1:02:22 - Mikah Sargent
For sure that's. That's kind of why this story really stuck out to me is it's just again something I hadn't considered. What do what does one of these shipping containers actually contain? Do they talk about kind of the makeup of a shipping container and what kind of companies, maybe outside of the military, are potentially using something like this?

1:02:45 - Reed Albergotti
Yeah, I mean, well, the oil drilling one is a real example. The containers are basically server racks, I mean what you would find in a data center. And then in the case of if you're trying to like run AI models probably running inference on on you know AI models you're going to have GPUs in these things too, but I think that's kind of like the interesting that you could put whatever you want in there and the cost of these things could could range from, you know, 50 grand to like millions, right, depending on, depending on, like what you you know what you need to do with it. We know, like GPUs are pretty expensive and hard to and hard to find these days. But yeah, I mean, I think I think if you just think of any industry that is happening and like that operates in remote locations now, like you know, mining is probably a great example Like they're just throwing off a lot of data now that they can, that they can actually use, and you know they're, they're probably a customer.

1:03:49 - Mikah Sargent
Right, yeah, that makes sense.

The opportunity for these to be moved around is what's what I think is the most compelling aspect of this that maybe before where you'd, you'd go to this random mining location and try to find some way to gain a connection to the data center that exists nearby, versus being able to just say, okay, let's bring this in, plop it down right here. I think that's a really compelling, you know, potential use case for it. I guess the last thing that I'm kind of curious about here is is, obviously, when you ask a company that is working on technology that maybe there is a future where we wouldn't need this necessarily, the company is going to suggest that there's always going to be a need for this. But yeah, how did how did the company respond to the idea that one day there would be a whole network of satellites, potentially that could connect everybody across the web, and maybe there's not a need for this? How do they still see the use case for something like this in a world where, in a world where everything's just all networks together?

1:05:06 - Reed Albergotti
Yeah, I mean, I think they they acknowledge that it's like you know, this is a risky bet, right, and they're taking, they're making a huge, you know, like, like any really kind of interesting startup.

It's a it's a risky bet, like most of them fail. So I think they were they acknowledge that this is, this is an early bet on a potential and one potential future. But, you know, I think they feel it's pretty confident that this is still going to be a need like the space is not going to move quite fast enough to be just a stable, you know, huge, hugely fast connection everywhere. All the time. I thought, actually, one thing that we didn't really talk about too, that I'd love to get your thoughts on, is, like there's a lot of talk about regulating AI development and and like you know what you have to do if you're building these large foundation models, and it's sort of it makes me think, well, if you can have these data centers out in the middle of the ocean, right and international waters, like how do you regulate this stuff? Like it's, you know, you could literally just be beyond the reach of any government.

1:06:13 - Mikah Sargent
Oh, my goodness, it's pirate radio, but it's a. I don't even know what to call it. That's wow. I had not considered that. Yeah, suddenly, oh man, now you know that there are multiple. What am I trying to say, like governments that around the world are probably thinking exactly that, yeah, because if you can, if you can put the whole data center that is bringing some country to its knees by doing denial of service attacks or whatever it happens to be, but it exists in a space that isn't regulated, oh my wow, yeah, that's mind blowing, Fascinating, right, yeah, yeah, or just like these models that you know, if you, if you I mean people are talking about making a size limit on AI models, right, I mean, obviously, who knows?

1:07:05 - Reed Albergotti
like maybe you couldn't really make a data center big enough to run some huge, to train some gigantic like five trillion, you know. Well, yeah, I know Wow.

1:07:18 - Mikah Sargent
Yeah, suddenly you've got these little things that can just pop up wherever, and it's super powerful AI that does whatever it is you want it to do and no one can really stop it, because it exists in a. There's no laws in that space. Huh, yeah, well, I guess we need to go shut this company. No, I'm just kidding. Wow, I hadn't considered that.

1:07:41 - Reed Albergotti
Huh, but it's not even to me. It's like, not even like, oh, we need, it's dangerous, but it's like it. It should sort of I don't know maybe inform how we think of regulation, right, absolutely, or how we want to. How do we, how do we want to like ensure that this stuff is safe? You know, maybe maybe just coming up with a law isn't quite enough, like maybe we need to to actually try to get ahead of it. You know, get ahead of it by by being first to develop it, right, being first to develop these new techniques. So I don't know, I'm just totally spitballing here.

1:08:17 - Mikah Sargent
No, I appreciate it. I think that that that adds to the conversation, frankly, and it opens up, you know, new, new ways of thinking about this, and that's what we need to be doing anyway, given how quickly AI is moving and how quickly or how, yeah, how quickly our laws and regulations have been shown to fall behind. That I mean even in things as simple as the AI generated pornographic images and, and you know, just recently, some sort of regulation trying to pass because Taylor Swift was involved in it. She was not involved in it, people involved her in it, and so somebody used her image.

Yes, yeah, to be clear, and so that, yeah, you're right that there's so much of this that we are really falling behind, and I think the we thought, we as humans thought that tech was moving fast before and that we needed to catch up. When it came to just the way that computers have have sped up over time and how much you know has changed there, that doesn't even come close to what we're seeing in terms of generative AI and how quickly that is speeding up and changing the way that we're doing things, and so I think this is going to be a big year for that and I will certainly continue to check in over on Semafor with your work and what you're covering there. Of course, folks can go back and watch our conversation about your predictions for AI for 2024. And yeah, thank you for your time today. If folks want to keep up with what you're doing, of course they can head to Is there anywhere else they should look?

1:09:59 - Reed Albergotti
Yeah, I mean well, I'd love for you to sign up for our free newsletter, which comes out Wednesdays and Fridays and is full of just sort of interesting tidbits and a good media article twice a week, Just you know. Sign, put your email address on the website and then you know I'm on X and threads and those things just at my name. But would love to hear from you, Love to hear from readers, so get the newsletter, respond to it, send me an email. It's a great, always great to have those conversations, Wonderful.

1:10:35 - Mikah Sargent
Well, Reed Albergotti, thank you so much today. We appreciate it.

1:10:39 - Reed Albergotti
Thank you, it's fun to be here.

1:10:41 - Mikah Sargent
All right folks. Tech News Weekly publishes every Thursday at twittv. That's where you can go to subscribe to the show Very important in audio and video formats, twittv. When you head there you'll see buttons to subscribe to audio or video. If you'd like to get all of our shows ad free I mentioned Club Twit, twittv slash club twit $7 a month, $84 a year. We also have individual show plans If you'd just like to get a specific show completely ad free.

If you'd like to follow me online, you can head to chiwawacoffee and, of course, check out later today those shows published on Thursday. You can also watch Ask the Tech Guys on Sundays. That's the show I co-host with Leo Laporte where we take your questions, live on the air and do our best to answer them. We always have such a great time bringing that show to you, so please tune in there and thank you all for tuning in to Tech News Weekly. I will be back next week with the wonderful Amanda Silverling of Tech Crunch for that, the second Tech News Weekly of the month. And yeah, I suppose it's time to say goodbye.

1:11:59 - Scott Wilkinson
Hey there, Scott Wilkinson here. In case you hadn't heard, Home Theater Geeks is back. Each week I bring you the latest audio video news, tips and tricks to get the most out of your AV system, product reviews and more. You can enjoy Home Theater Geeks only if you're a member of Club TWiT, which costs $7 a month, or you can subscribe to Home Theater Geeks by itself for only $2.99 a month. I hope you'll join me for a weekly dose of Home Theater Geek-a-tude.

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