This Week in Tech 947 Transcript

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

Leo Laporte (00:00:00):
It is time for twit this week in Tech. Oh, I love this panel. A brand new member of the panel, Keith Shaws here from today on Tech IDGs podcast. We've also got Louise Zaki. She's back from SEMA and old friend Robert Ballas said The Digital Jesuit. We'll talk about an end of an era. The red envelope says Byebye. Then Mark Zuckerberg's mom and dad talk to Brew in the Kitchen. And finally, the Microsoft apocalypse. No one is talking about all that and a lot more. Coming up next on Twit (00:00:35):
Podcasts you love. From people you trust. This is TWiT.

Leo Laporte (00:00:45):
This is twit this week in Tech. Episode 947 recorded Sunday, October 1st, 2023. Speaking of the Roman Empire, this week in Tech is brought to you by Get your business ready for the holiday rush. Sign up with the promo code TWIT for a special offer that includes a four week trial free postage, and a free digital scale. Just go to, click the microphone at the top of the page and enter the code twit and by ZipRecruiter, good news. If you're hiring, you've got help. ZipRecruiter, ZipRecruiter works for you to find great candidates fast. It's smart technology identifies qualified candidates for you, and you can invite your top choices to apply. Try it for free at and by Collide. Collide is a device trust solution for companies with Okta and they ensure that if a device isn't trusted and secure, it can't log into your cloud apps. Visit to book an on-demand demo to today and by Eva. It's a first Eva's new Pro series, the HDL three 10 for large rooms and HDL four 10 for extra large rooms gives you uncompromised audio and systems that are incredibly simple to set up, manage and deploy at scale. Learn more at

It's time for twit this week at Tech, the show we cover the week's tech news. Got a great panel for you. I always like seeing Dr. Father, professor Robert Baller. You have how many degrees, Robert?

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (00:02:34):
It's been so long since I've used them. I think it just restarts, right?

Leo Laporte (00:02:38):
They clear after 10 years they clear. But you have at least a couple of masters, right? I

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (00:02:43):
Got a couple. Yeah. We kind of collect them. It's, it's our thing.

Leo Laporte (00:02:48):
Father Robert Baller sj. He's the digital Jesuit joining us from his Erie, his Eagles layer high above Vatican City in

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (00:02:58):
Beautiful. This is the fortress of solitude where if we had managed to meet up while you came to Rome, you could have broadcast from inside

Leo Laporte (00:03:04):
Of you. It makes me so sad. You are in my favorite city. I mean, I adore. I know you kind of are indifferent to all the, I don't think you're into the history of it. Is that it?

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (00:03:16):
I'm not. Yeah, so it's wasted on me. I know there's a lot of beauty about me. I just don't care.

Leo Laporte (00:03:22):
You know that American men,

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (00:03:23):
I see old buildings and I think about how I can fix them. You're

Louise Matsakis (00:03:25):
The tech guy. They're

Leo Laporte (00:03:26):
All built. They're all messed

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (00:03:27):
Up. I'm the tech guy, not the ruins guy.

Leo Laporte (00:03:30):
You know that American men Think about the Roman Empire on average twice an hour.

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (00:03:36):
I did. That's a new one for me, but I will use that at the next time. I'm at a table with Pope Francis.

Leo Laporte (00:03:42):
I'll show you. This is from the New York Times. Are men obsessed with the Roman Empire? Yes. Say men. What women are asking. You

Louise Matsakis (00:03:49):
Haven't heard this

Leo Laporte (00:03:50):
Joke? This is Louise. Lemme introduce Louise before we get into this conversation. Louise Masaki is here from four. Is it a joke, Louise, or is it true?

Louise Matsakis (00:03:59):
I mean, I think it started as a joke and it's true, but I don't think there's some deeper meaning to it. It just became this joke where women would film their husbands or their boyfriends, whatever, and ask, how often do you think about the Roman Empire? And they were shocked at how often their responses were. It was weekly, I would say, at the bare minimum. I will say though, that I asked my boyfriend and he said, not very often. So there are outliers.

Leo Laporte (00:04:29):
It's funny because I had just come back from Rome. I had just read a long, really good history of the Roman Empire. I have on my shelf in my office, the decline and follow the Roman Empire. I hadn't really thought about this, but I probably do think about the Roman Empire several times a week at least. I thought this was kind of weird, but yeah, it started as a joke, but I think it's now become fact, or at least a fact. Yeah, I

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (00:04:53):
Live in the remnants of the Roman Empire and I don't think about it every day.

Leo Laporte (00:04:57):

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (00:04:58):
What's going on with people?

Leo Laporte (00:05:00):
What's up with men?

Keith Shaw (00:05:04):
Hold on, I'm going to jump in. I thought it was a TikTok or Instagram thing that people

Leo Laporte (00:05:07):
Were, it started that way.

Keith Shaw (00:05:09):
Did it start that way? Let's

Leo Laporte (00:05:11):
Say hi to Keith Shaw. He is the Internet's tech guy, sort of host of IDGs today in tech. Every single day you do a show.

Keith Shaw (00:05:23):
No, no. See, that's one of the misnomers of the show is that we call it today in tech, but I'm up to about three shows a week, way too many. Usually Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday too. That's

Leo Laporte (00:05:32):
Exhausting. Wow.

Keith Shaw (00:05:33):
We do a little tricks. We have little tricks. We're not as long as you guys are in terms

Leo Laporte (00:05:38):
Of the length of the content. Can I just say no one in their right minds? Even Joe Rogan isn't, as long as we are just, I don't know how this happened, but perhaps they haven't warned you. You'll be here for a while. Just get comfortable.

Keith Shaw (00:05:52):
I got the window and then my eyes bugged out a little bit, and then I had to get of my family for the three hours that

Leo Laporte (00:05:59):
We're doing this. That's what we like all of our hosts to do, is just get rid of their families in a post. This is the New York Times. In a post shared on social media, women have been asking the men in their lives how often they think about ancient Rome constantly. One husband responded like every day, said a boyfriend as of Thursday night, a threat on X. And as everybody has to formerly known as Twitter went on like this for M D C L X X I X messages 1,679 Message. I think it is kind of a joke, but

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (00:06:33):
Also maybe not,

Leo Laporte (00:06:34):
Maybe not. I mean, maybe not.

Louise Matsakis (00:06:38):
I think the key with it was though, if you asked, okay, from approximately what years did the Roman Empire rise and fall, just crickets. What were some of the big reasons for its downfall? No answer from any of the men. So I think that they're thinking about gladiators and gold armor. They're not thinking about specifics.

Leo Laporte (00:07:01):
They're not thinking,

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (00:07:02):
Okay, Luis, that just made it worse. Seriously, if they were thinking about history, that'd be one thing. But I mean, if we're talking about gladiators and togas, now, I'm more concerned

Leo Laporte (00:07:13):
When you go to Rome as I did in April and missed you, I'm sorry. There are people dressed up as Roman soldiers with rubber sandals and stuff, and they'll pose for you for a few sisters, pose for a picture with you. So I mean, I could see

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (00:07:32):
Fun fact, those are all nuns.

Leo Laporte (00:07:36):
Okay. Okay. Hey, this is normally, I put the obituaries at the end of the show because sad and we don't want to have people be sad, but this is kind of a sad weekend. On Friday, Netflix sent out the last red envelope. The disc mailing business ended with the end of the month, so I guess it was yesterday. Have anybody, any of you subscribed? Louise, you're probably too young to remember the red envelopes. Any of you subscribed to the red envelope version of Netflix?

Louise Matsakis (00:08:19):
Yeah, I

Keith Shaw (00:08:20):
Did. In the early days, you'd have the three, I think

Leo Laporte (00:08:22):
You could get three. You could get up to five if you spent up to five depending on your subscription. And I would have five dusty red envelopes in the back of my TV cabinet, and I'd go and go, oh God, I got to return these, but I haven't watched it yet.

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (00:08:35):
I had a system, Leo, I could do the three a week or three at a time.

Leo Laporte (00:08:40):
Oh, you'd rip 'em. I could

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (00:08:41):
Get three sets a week because I would rip as soon as they came in and send them back out. So after a month of the subscription, I could stop for a few months because I've got 60 movies on

Leo Laporte (00:08:54):
My R Drive. There's an interesting point to be made here though, besides the end of an era that began in many cases for us, the digital era, with the death of DVDs and the death of Netflix DVDs, the number of movies you can watch has shrunk dramatically. The DVDs had a long tail. There was pretty much any movie you wanted. Everything that had ever been put on DVDs certainly was available from Netflix. Now, with Netflix being streaming only, they're down to 22. Let's see, the average video store had between 1500 2500 titles. H B O Max, actually Max formerly h b o Max has 2200 titles. Netflix has just about 1500 titles. So while it's more convenient, I mean, you could always find something to watch. You can't find everything watchable, and I think that's kind of bad news.

Louise Matsakis (00:09:57):
I totally agree. I think this is the great sort of tragedy of the streaming era, is that you were supposed to have unlimited variety and that these things were supposed to last forever. And now you see that every month there's an article from the entertainment trade magazines that say, here's everything that's leaving Netflix this month. Here's everything that's leaving H B O max this month. And yeah, I think that's sad that we don't really have this endless library. That was the promise. And now you basically just have the lower end of a video store. If you're a Netflix subscriber only,

Leo Laporte (00:10:30):
What do you do? If you're a movie buff and you want to see a movie that is just not available on streaming, I guess you could still buy a D V D of it, but that's not going to last much longer.

Keith Shaw (00:10:42):
Yeah, Leo, there was an ad in the probably mid nineties from, do you remember the at t ads where they were talking, building out their network? You will, yeah. And one of those was you'll be able to order any movie on demand whenever you want it. And there was a bunch of kids that were coming over and they're like, yeah, let's watch a movie. And that promise did reach us at one point, but now it does feel like it's going away. When Paul Rubins died, remember Peewee Herman Herman? Yeah, of course. Yeah. I was feeling sad because I'm a big fan of Peewee Herman, and I was like, oh, I haven't watched PeeWee's Big adventure in a while. Lemme go see if I can. Well, a, I tried to find my D V D and that was an experience of, forget it, I'm not going to try to find out where my D V D is. Didn't have it on any of the streaming services that I subscribed to. So I ended up just going to Amazon, the Prime video and finding out that I could rent it or buy it for $5. So I ended up doing that and watched the movie. So now I technically own that movie,

Leo Laporte (00:11:47):
But as we know, you don't have a community copy. In fact, I bought a movie from Apple, I won't say which, and a movie I love because, and there was a scene in there I really loved It was gone because they decided to edit that part out. And that's the way that movie's going to persist, not because of the director, but because somebody at Apple decided, well, we don't even want that sexy scene. And it was gone.

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (00:12:09):
Also glitch in the consolidation. I had several dozen movies that I had purchased on different platforms, like movies Anywhere or the Paramount one that was before Paramount Plus. And slowly they started consolidating them and some of the services, they just outright stop. So you purchased it in perpetuity and it's gone. So I think as we get more consolidation, not only are we going to see movies disappear from the ether, but we're also going to see movies like what Amazon did, they bought M G M, that's over 4,000 movies, 17,000 TV show episodes. And people thought, oh, this will be great for Prime. Now they have all this content, but what did they do? They put all of that content behind another paywall. It's another channel inside of Prime. So even though we've got several organizations now that have these huge catalogs, I think they're all going to be following the Amazon model, which is we're going to squeeze every dime we can out of you, especially for the nostalgia content.

Leo Laporte (00:13:04):
So for those who don't remember the You Will commercials, this was at t Ma Bell. I mean they really were still kind of the dominant company. Talking about the future, you can watch, this is the one you were talking about.

Speaker 6 (00:13:18):
Have you ever watched a movie you wanted to, the minute you wanted to learned special things? That's all taken from jazz. No. Any questions from far away places? Okay, so where did Jazz come from? Good question. Remember this one or Tuck your baby in from a phone booth and the company that'll bring it to you?

Leo Laporte (00:13:45):
Yeah, maybe not.

Keith Shaw (00:13:47):
Well, at some point, but not now.

Leo Laporte (00:13:55):
Was that 1993? I think it was. It wasn't even that long ago. And we did think this was kind of what it was going to look like, but now that we're here, it's not quite the same.

Keith Shaw (00:14:05):
Well, the concept is still there, but the companies that are bringing it to you and the methods of watching it are changing on a regular basis. Yeah. You mentioned DVDs, not they kind went away. I still have a whole bookshelf downstairs in my basement with a bunch of DVDs and I'm holding onto them just for this reason. But how will

Leo Laporte (00:14:29):
You play them?

Keith Shaw (00:14:31):
Oh, I can still play them on my PlayStation.

Leo Laporte (00:14:33):
Not much longer. We saw much longer, but in the Microsoft Memo leak that they, future Xbox will have no slots.

Keith Shaw (00:14:40):
Well, I hold on to all of my old gaming systems so that I have that DVD player

Leo Laporte (00:14:44):
That's your D VD player. Louray

Keith Shaw (00:14:45):

Leo Laporte (00:14:47):
A concert. We were at a Motley Crue concert and they were selling their new cd, going through the stands, and we bought one just to support 'em, but we had no way, had nothing, there was no way to play it. It's like, well, thanks for the piece of plastic. I'll just stream it from Spotify, I guess. Okay, well,

Keith Shaw (00:15:07):
So Leo, you know how Vinyl came back, right? Vinyl came back in. Yeah. I was

Leo Laporte (00:15:11):
At a record store the other day in Napa, California. There was a record store. They had music playing, they had coffee, and I browsed the records. They're $50. There's Elton John's, goodbye Yellowbird Road 39 99. I was like, what the hell

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (00:15:29):
That, that's why I'm holding onto all my old mini discs because at some point it's going to come back around and they're going to be retro and authentic

Leo Laporte (00:15:36):
And keep your zip disc drive because you'll never be able to read those zip discs without

Keith Shaw (00:15:40):
It. Oh boy. Yeah, I did get rid of those. But there's a lesson there to hold onto the hardware that you have because at some point it might make a comeback. And my youngest daughter is 14 and she loves listening to music on CDs, even though she's got the Spotify subscription, the family plan, we've got all that. She's like, there's something about the experience of either listening to a CD or a vinyl that she's not getting from just the digital nonstop music that she

Leo Laporte (00:16:09):
Usually, an interesting statistic, this is Sam Adams writing in a Slate. Kind of an interesting statistic. Researchers found out that the more movies were available, it decreased demand for all movies. This is completely counterintuitive. In 2018, researchers found that increasing the number of available movies by a thousand titles decreased the market share occupied by the bottom 1% of DVDs, the long tail by more than 20%, faced with even more options. People just gave up entirely when instead of 20,000 DVDs, you could choose from 50,000 or a hundred thousand or a million demand for all movies goes down. People go, it's too much.

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (00:16:54):
I mean, that's game theory, right? I mean, they just described what game theory is, except now it's for

Leo Laporte (00:16:59):
Content. Too many choices. The

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (00:17:00):
More options you have, yeah, too many choices, and you're going to decrease the value of all the available

Leo Laporte (00:17:04):
Choices. So if you wonder why Netflix would, even though they could probably very easily have every movie on demand, why they don't, that's why Netflix by itself is already overwhelming. With just a few thousand times

Keith Shaw (00:17:16):
I could see that happening. I've spent some time on my couch where I will scroll through the choices of the services and I've got five or six different services just to try to find something to watch, and I spend 20 minutes just scrolling through, looking for something to watch. When in reality, I probably just should have picked something that I hadn't watched. Or I go to YouTube and then go down that rabbit hole.

Leo Laporte (00:17:40):
Netflix, according to Adams, does not reveal how many movies are on the service at any given time. Estimates put it at fewer than 4,000, which is less than 5% the number of DVDs they offered back in the days of the red envelope. I wonder if what's going to happen is all the people like you, Robert, have you saved everything? You digitized

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (00:18:01):
Everything. I have literally tens of thousands of movies because we have tens of thousands of DVDs at our headquarters in Los Gatos. They've all been ripped, and I have copies, so I

Leo Laporte (00:18:12):
Storage is cheap, and you could have a server Storage is super cheap. I wonder if ultimately what's going to happen is there'll be a kind of a community of people like you who, because with Plex you can make it public. You could put those online, correct, and all the titles will just be, but now that's going to make the movie industry crazy. They're not going to make any money off of that.

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (00:18:34):
I mean, yes and no. The number of people who are actually tech savvy and or motivated enough to do that is minuscule.

Leo Laporte (00:18:41):
It's not going to cost them sales because you can't buy 'em.

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (00:18:45):
Correct. Yeah.

Leo Laporte (00:18:46):
So what a world, it's part of the way the world is changing dramatically these days. By the way, speaking of movies, good news, the Writer's Guild strike looks like it's over. They have to, technically, they have to approve it, but the late night shows come back tomorrow night. According to my calendar, the strike went for 146 days sag. The Screen Actor's Guild is still on strike. The proposed three year contract still has to be ratified. It would boost pay rates and residual payments. But the key for many was rules around ai. There was a lot of,

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (00:19:29):
And streaming residuals.

Leo Laporte (00:19:32):
To me, the big story was streaming residuals, because you can write an episode of friends, but you residuals are based on how many times it plays on terrestrial television, right? Correct. Right. Not how many times somebody streams it from Netflix or whatever it is these days. Anyway, I'm glad that that's been settled. That's great. We'll see what happens with Sag aftra probably. I imagine we'll move those negotiations along. I'd be a little more worried about AI these days. How many did you see Louise? Did you see Lex Friedman talking to Mark Zuckerberg in cyberspace?

Louise Matsakis (00:20:10):
No, I did not. Did they do a metaverse conversation?

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (00:20:15):
Was he on a space station as a cartoon

Leo Laporte (00:20:17):
Character? Because I really like, no, they were rooms, but lemme tell you, it was wild. So Facebook this week announced something they call Avatar Codex or Codec avatars. They, and they did it with a bunch of celebrities for their meta products, messenger and I guess Instagram and Facebook. These Kodak avatars, they take some time. They weren't clear on how they produce them. Pixel Kodak avatars, they take some time to bring into a studio and then you get digitized. But they announced that they will have some celebrity Kodak avatars. Snoop Dogg did. Mr. Beast did one, a variety of people. But the most interesting way they announced this was in this interview between Lex Friedman, who was digitized, and Mark Zuckerberg who was digitized. What's interesting is they were not in front of cameras. They were, well, lemme show you first And this, yeah,

Keith Shaw (00:21:32):
They were each wearing

Leo Laporte (00:21:33):
Oculus threes headset. Yeah, the new ones,

Keith Shaw (00:21:36):
The Quest

Leo Laporte (00:21:36):
Three. And so they'd already been digitized here. I'll play a little bit of this. He had to

Keith Shaw (00:21:41):
Go out to Pittsburgh, I guess, to get scanned. But

Speaker 7 (00:21:43):
One of the things that we're thinking about is like, all right, maybe you can kind of stitch a somewhat lower fidelity version of your body, but still have the main

Leo Laporte (00:21:52):
Kind of, so that looks like Lex Friedman sitting next to Mark Zuckerberg or near him, but in fact they're not. They're wearing these headsets,

Speaker 7 (00:22:02):
Sort of each of our faces and bodies.

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (00:22:05):
It still looks uncanny valley.

Leo Laporte (00:22:07):
It's a lot less than it used to be though, right, Robert?

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (00:22:11):
It is. But I mean, did they really think that the 10 billion they lost on the Metaverse was because people wanted better skins or it's just a bad concept? I mean, I don't care how realistic you look in a place. I'm never going to go

Keith Shaw (00:22:26):
In the interview, Lex Friedman, he started out by going, wow, this is incredible. And he kept wowing in the beginning of this interview. So he was impressed by the technology, but the more and more you watched it, now they admit that they admitted in this interview, oh, it looks like we've crossed that bridge of the uncanny valley. But as you're watching it on a two D screen, you can still tell, and you can still, it is a little creepy because his head, at one point, he would turn his head and then on his neck you would see some black spots. Yeah, that's not good. And then it looked like he was a zombie. It was slowly, but

Leo Laporte (00:23:07):
I would point out, this is the first iteration of this, and it's surprising. Here's Mark's explanation of how it

Speaker 7 (00:23:14):
Works, background. We both did these scans for this research project that we have at Meta called Kodak Avatars. And the idea is that instead of our avatars being cartoony and instead of actually transmitting a video, it does is we've sort of scanned ourselves in a lot of different expressions, and we've built a computer model of each of our faces and bodies and the different expressions that we make and collapse that into a Kodak that then when you have the headset on your head, it sees your face, it sees your expression, and it can basically send an encoded version of what you're supposed to look like over the wire.

Leo Laporte (00:24:05):
And by the way, because it's not a video of you, it's much lower bandwidth. I mean, we get great pictures of all three of you via Zoom, but imagine, Louise, you sitting here at the table as if you're real in a kind of low band with a low bandwidth connection. I know. Would you be willing to do that? I think it would make this show more interesting.

Louise Matsakis (00:24:28):
Yeah. I mean, I think that these avatars are probably useful in certain situations. It'll certainly make online dating maybe more interesting, and maybe it's high level meetings, maybe for sales executives who the clients they're working with really want to see them. But I totally agree that I just don't think a better skin is necessarily going to make people want this. You're starting to get to the edge with this technology where maybe it's going to become a little bit easier for everyday consumers. Now, the Oculus, the latest one is what, 4 99? And that's come down a lot from what, 1299? A few years ago. That was a niche luxury product for people who wanted to say that they were on the edge of this technology. But I still just really struggle with putting something over my eyes like that. It's itchy. It's uncomfortable. I think no matter how well you render me, I just don't know if I want to do that. I actually thought at Connect, one thing that was a little bit more interesting was the RayBan glasses. I know we all laughed at Snapchat's. What were those called? The Snapchat spectacles when they came out a few years ago. But I think with some of this generative ai, I would wear some Ray bands in a museum, for example, if I could just look at every painting and some model in the glasses would tell me about that painting or something like that. I think that that's a better, it's

Leo Laporte (00:25:53):
Funny that you said that because when I was in Rome, I thought, and I think about Rome a lot, as you know,

Louise Matsakis (00:25:58):
As a man. As

Leo Laporte (00:26:00):
Man. Yeah. As an American man. No, I thought if I had, in fact, so we turned around the forum and you see all the ruins, and I thought the next time I'm here, there'll probably be some sort of AR glasses that I can wear that I'll see the ruins, but then I can say, now let me see what it looked like when it was back in the day. And it would do that. And I think that would be fascinating.

Louise Matsakis (00:26:25):
And it's more comfortable, right? Like a pair of brave bands and glasses.

Leo Laporte (00:26:28):
I don't want to wear a nerd helmet. I agree with you a hundred percent.

Louise Matsakis (00:26:32):

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (00:26:33):
They're marketing it all wrong, because the idea of the Metaverse, the Facebook or the me version of the Metaverse is that people want to interact on this plane where I think, Leo, what you're describing is something that it's ar and it's something that most of us have wanted, which is you just give us information, not interacting with people through it. I'm getting additional information about the things that

Leo Laporte (00:26:58):
Louise said. You could be looking at Van Gogh's Night Cafe and then see some history and story. And I mean, we already do that. When we go to a museum, we'll put on headphones and listen to the narrator, but it'd be nice to have some even more visual stuff. Well,

Keith Shaw (00:27:15):
That's the idea of this mixed reality concept where you're merging the augmented reality reality. We're so

Leo Laporte (00:27:20):
Far off, though. That's part of the problem. I mean, Apple's trying to do this with Vision Pro Next. They say, now early next year, mark Berman and Bloomberg is saying it's going to be soon, next few months. We still have never seen Tim Cook wear them. Not once, which is to me, a very bad sign. He says he wears it every day. He hides. He hides when he does it, I guess. But these are ungainly. I agree with you, Louise. It makes me almost queasy to think about wearing that for any length of time. Right. But we're far off from those RayBan glasses. Do not do augmented reality. Do they have, has anybody tried? No,

Keith Shaw (00:28:01):
I haven yet. No, no.

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (00:28:04):
The closest I've come to are the Microsoft prototypes,

Leo Laporte (00:28:07):
The HoloLens,

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (00:28:08):
And they're nice, but Yeah, but they're still Nerd

Leo Laporte (00:28:10):
Helmet RayBan still a neuro nerd helmet.

Keith Shaw (00:28:12):
Well, yeah. So with the Quest three, I am considering getting them now because they are at a price point where I feel like I can afford it.

Leo Laporte (00:28:23):
4 99. Nine nine,

Keith Shaw (00:28:24):
Yeah. That's about a price point where I'm willing to go and spend that money on something that I could do VR and ar. I do like that. I read some reviews that the three things in front now make you less queasy than vr, a lot of the PlayStation VR that I was using. So is

Leo Laporte (00:28:42):
That because you're seeing the real world, so it's not all fake?

Keith Shaw (00:28:49):
Yeah. Yeah. So your brain doesn't sense. That's the reality in a different place and where it was making you nauseous before.

Leo Laporte (00:28:57):
And of course, the reason these code, I mean, obviously this Lex Freeman interview is an ad for the new Met Quest three, right? I mean, it was basic, but they could do it. So many cameras see these cameras on the side that they can see your body. They could see your face. They can transmit that information. I guess there's, and Apple's promised that as well, with a Vision Pro. There's cameras everywhere on the Vision Pro.

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (00:29:23):
It is interesting tech. I think it would probably have avoided the Uncanny Valley if they had scanned someone who looks more naturally human than Mark Zuckerberg.

Leo Laporte (00:29:34):
But are you saying he looks like a droid?

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (00:29:39):
He looks uncanny valley. So

Leo Laporte (00:29:40):
That's not a good stuff. Yeah. You can't tell if he's real or not. He doesn't look real. Even when he is, in fact, on these, that's a high bar. His complexion is actually too natural. Right. He's got some color. He looks like he's been, this actually looks better than real Mark Zuckerberg. I mean, but they have, so they've done Snoop Dogg, they've done Mr. Beast, they've created a bunch of characters. I can't remember. I'll have to see if I can find the list of, well,

Keith Shaw (00:30:05):
Yeah, those are the AI personalities, right? That they're launching into all of their apps. Tom Brady's one of them. I'm a Boston guy here, so we're pretty psyched to have Tom Brady. So what

Leo Laporte (00:30:17):
Do you want to do with Tom now that you can get in the room with him? Well,

Keith Shaw (00:30:22):
It's not officially Tom Brady. It's Tom Brady acting as a, yeah, they

Leo Laporte (00:30:26):
Don't give him his name either,

Keith Shaw (00:30:27):
Right? Yeah. They call him Bra or something like that. I can't remember what they, that I watched that video where Mark Zuckerberg walked around his house and introduced you to all of the different AI personalities you had. I don't know if you saw that, but it was hard to find. It's not easily accessible on YouTube.

Leo Laporte (00:30:48):
Good. I'd like to

Keith Shaw (00:30:49):
Find it. His parents come over and they start talking. They have this virtual dinner party with one of the Jenner. I was like, if this is the future, I want out. I do not want to hang out with any of these personalities,

Leo Laporte (00:31:05):

Keith Shaw (00:31:05):
If they are ai

Leo Laporte (00:31:09):
Mark, surreal dinner party with AI celebrities. All right. There's Tom. Lemme turn the sound up here.

Speaker 8 (00:31:18):
There's also meta ai, ai, ai, ai, the assistant that can help you with all kinds of,

Leo Laporte (00:31:22):
Oh, wait a minute. I got too many tabs open. Hold on, hold on, hold on. I got too many different things going at once. I got close. That's

Keith Shaw (00:31:28):
The video though. You got the right

Leo Laporte (00:31:29):
Video. I got the right video. Okay, I got saw. Yeah, I've seen this too. Oh, I haven't seen it yet, so I'm glad you mentioned it. I kind of want to see. So where should I, I don't

Speaker 8 (00:31:40):
Like, I never want to eat smoked meats again.

Leo Laporte (00:31:43):
He's imagining smoked meats.

Speaker 8 (00:31:45):
Hey Mark, your parents

Leo Laporte (00:31:46):
Are here. By the way, incidentally, while I think of the Roman Empire every day, I think he thinks of smoked meats often. I don't know why. See, too, so here's Mark's parents. Hi, brew. I feel bad. So there is Brew. Yes. His name is Brew. I feel bad Mark's parents. I mean, did think they had to do this. It's like, man, dad, would you come over? I want to do a little ad for brew. Alright, let see him. Let's see. Tom Brady. He's in a screen though. He's not in the headset or anything. Me too.

Speaker 8 (00:32:17):
Hi Brew. Hi. Yeah, there.

Leo Laporte (00:32:21):
Mom's already

Speaker 8 (00:32:22):
Before we'd come early and help with dinner. I'm so down for dinner. Let's make something delicious.

Leo Laporte (00:32:27):
Who's that? Is that Kendall Jenner?

Keith Shaw (00:32:30):
That's one of the Jenner's. Yeah.

Leo Laporte (00:32:31):
Jenner. That's Kylie Jenner. Kylie, thank

Speaker 8 (00:32:33):
You. Let's get this done. No slacking dancing. That's

Leo Laporte (00:32:36):
Victor. They don't have their real

Speaker 8 (00:32:38):
Names and I want to see sweat, especially you.

Leo Laporte (00:32:44):
Okay, wait a minute.

Speaker 8 (00:32:45):
Perfect. Is always Jarvis Mark.

Leo Laporte (00:32:47):
That laughter was so bad. I can do that again. Somebody's got a meme was upsetting. Somebody's got a meme that laughter because that was creepy.

Speaker 8 (00:32:57):
Mark is ready. Perfect as always. Jarvis. You got it, mark. Alright, so watch out for these ais to come soon.

Leo Laporte (00:33:04):
By the way, Jarvis was Mark's personal project for an AI assistant that he only had in his house. They'd never released that, but apparently he's making toast for him. Oh, this is poor. I'm thinking about becoming Amish. None of that looks attractive to me. Not even a little bit. This is the problem, frankly with Mark Zuckerberg, is that he doesn't have his finger on the pulse of humanity, shall I say? He doesn't.

Louise Matsakis (00:33:34):
Okay. Yeah, I agree. And I think that some of this character stuff where you're interacting with someone famous who's now an AI is very weird. But I did do this story earlier this week or last week I guess now, where I talked to a bunch of people who are talking to these AI bots of fantasy characters and they're often really young, gen Z and I sort of get that, but why do I need Kylie Jenner in my kitchen? I just think that they're really thinking about the wrong context here. All those kids, these were kids who were into fantasy fiction, who are into werewolves, vampires, that kind of stuff already, and they want to do that alone in their room.

Leo Laporte (00:34:18):
I just don't get the idea. Don't want the parents over to make toast for them.

Louise Matsakis (00:34:23):
It's just with Kylie's this very odd circumstance. Yeah, I think that's the issue. And I think also you see again and again that these big tech companies lean into the celebrities and they want a celebrity endorsement, whereas I actually think their user base is like, we want this weird anime that you've never heard of. You know what I mean? Or we don't actually want the celebrity endorsement. I think again and again for these kinds of bleeding edge products, it just doesn't really make a lot of sense. Yeah.

Leo Laporte (00:34:52):
Let me just play Mark's laugh one more please. So if you watch the beginning of it, Leo, it's going to burn your eyes too because he's waking up. It is from his back. Boom.

Speaker 8 (00:35:04):
What? Let's get this done. No slacking. If Jamal's dancing, I'm your girl and I want to see you sweat, especially you.

Leo Laporte (00:35:14):
Oh God. Oh, alright. I want to see Mark, wake up. Yeah,

Speaker 8 (00:35:21):

Leo Laporte (00:35:21):
Warned you. Okay, mark Zuckerberg, this is how he begins his day. Morning

Speaker 8 (00:35:26):
Mark. Room temperature is set to a cool 68 degrees, loving your new voice. Thank you. A while back, I introduced my first AI Jarvis to help around

Leo Laporte (00:35:35):
The house. Apparently Mark sleeps in his tiny ways.

Speaker 8 (00:35:40):
Jarvis is great, but what if you could have an AI that could help you with everything that you wanted to do? I have to work with the building a whole.

Leo Laporte (00:35:47):
Priscilla is nowhere to be found. She said, mark, if you do this, you're doing it on your own buddy. Now

Keith Shaw (00:35:53):
Is this is real? Is this the real bedroom or is this a set somewhere where they're trying to pretend that maybe

Leo Laporte (00:35:59):
This is his bedroom in Mountain View? Eyes at the office. He's

Keith Shaw (00:36:04):
The guest room. Maybe that's the guest

Speaker 8 (00:36:05):
Played by familiar people firing a hole. Let's go. This is brew our trash talking sports expert. Hey Brew. What do you know about Epic Comebacks? Seriously, 1975 World

Leo Laporte (00:36:18):
Series now. Now remember.

Keith Shaw (00:36:20):
Okay. Okay. Alright. As someone who's lived in Boston for the last 25 years plus. Yeah. And Tom Brady is not from,

Leo Laporte (00:36:29):
Not from Boston, he's from here. He's from San Mateo, California. Mateo.

Keith Shaw (00:36:32):
Yeah. Yeah. So for him to use the line kid, which is what everybody in Boston does in their Boston accent, whatever, that's just cringe for me in terms of trying to have Tom Brady's never said kid to anybody unless it's in the script.

Leo Laporte (00:36:48):
But imagine this, okay, obviously this is horrible, but what if your Amazon, I mean, really horrible. What if your Amazon Echo or your Google Assistant, if you asked the sports question answered in Tom Brady's voice, obviously it's AI created content, right? So part of the problem is that the current ai, the current voices on these devices aren't great, but also the content they're delivering isn't great. But they're talking about Apple, Amazon, Google are all talking about putting these LLMs behind these voices at some point. So now you've got an L L M giving you sports information and it's doing it in, I don't want Tom Brady, but it's doing it in a recognizable maybe. You know what, John Madden, if it were John Madden's voice, that'd be cool, right? I dunno, maybe that's just me. Well, you

Keith Shaw (00:37:39):
Would've to get to John Madden's.

Leo Laporte (00:37:42):
It's too late now.

Keith Shaw (00:37:42):
You're right. It's too late to agree to it.

Leo Laporte (00:37:45):
Well, there's enough video of him that, yeah.

Keith Shaw (00:37:49):
Oh, you could do it.

Leo Laporte (00:37:50):
Obviously Tom Brady agreed to it. How much did meta pay Tom Brady or Mr. Beast to do this, or Kylie Jenner to do this? They must've paid them millions, right?

Keith Shaw (00:38:01):
You would think. Yeah. You would think they would've

Speaker 8 (00:38:03):
Classic stuff, right? Given

Keith Shaw (00:38:04):
Them some money.

Speaker 8 (00:38:05):
Thanks for the tip, bro.

Leo Laporte (00:38:07):
I don't want to call him. There's also, I'm sorry. That's really awful. That can help. That's really awful. I mean, I didn't pay for

Speaker 8 (00:38:13):
Any of the celebrity voices

Leo Laporte (00:38:15):
For my G P s. Oh, I did when we the week. Oh, I did for Tom. Tom. I did. I had, oh, my favorite. Who was telling you where to go? Leo Dennis Hopper. And it was so funny because he would say, you've arrived. Why would anyone want to go here? Man, it was awesome. And then GLaDOS from the portal games, you could get her voice on TomTom and she would tell you the wrong, instead of saying turn left, she'd say, turn right. So that was interesting. It wasn't useful,

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (00:38:46):
Leo. We had Cortana, which was, oh, that was terrible. A voice that millions of gamers around the world's

Leo Laporte (00:38:51):
Love. That's right. And no

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (00:38:53):
One used Cortana because no one caress about the

Leo Laporte (00:38:56):
Celebrity movie. Oh wow. Just look at the Mark Zuckerberg and now I see that Travis Kelsey was seen leaving Taylor Swift's apartment holy after spending the night in her car.

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (00:39:10):
It was an AI Leo

Leo Laporte (00:39:11):
Clearly we're doing the wrong news. Holy cow.

Louise Matsakis (00:39:17):
She was at the game. I mean,

Leo Laporte (00:39:19):
Yeah, but I thought that was like he invited her and she showed up. Mom was there, was very innocent. Maybe something's going on. Seems

Keith Shaw (00:39:28):
Like it.

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (00:39:28):
Oh, she's a

Leo Laporte (00:39:29):
Grown woman breaking news. Is she though? Is she really Alright, enough of this. We're going to see it. It's happening. It's going to get better, right? I mean, this is as bad as it's ever going to be and it's pretty surprisingly good. It's going to get amazing how close to her are.

Keith Shaw (00:39:57):
Well, I want to jump back for a second. What's interesting about these AI personalities won't necessarily be the celebrities, but will be what the users do with it. And I think once they start integrating them into the Facebook apps and the Instagram and the WhatsApp, that's the other one that they own. Once they start integrating them in, and then they get a sense of what audience is using it. Again, my

Leo Laporte (00:40:25):
Kids right now, they've been trained on Mark Zuckerberg. They're not exactly normal, but you get humans asking real questions if they

Keith Shaw (00:40:35):
Use them. Yeah. You get some humans asking some real questions. And then Facebook, they're very good at collecting data on everybody and everything and they'll track 'em. I think most people will realize that they're not actually talking to Tom Brady or that they're

Leo Laporte (00:40:50):
Not talking to, well, that's why they called him Brew, not Tom.

Keith Shaw (00:40:54):
The next phase would be at some point, do they then ask Tom Brady, all right, we are going to create a virtual Tom Brady out of you, and then anybody can pay X amount of dollars to hang out with you in the metasphere or whatever it is.

Leo Laporte (00:41:12):
But you remember watching Phoenix falling in love with Scarlet Johansson in her,

Keith Shaw (00:41:18):
Right? Yeah. That's certainly one of the downsides, sanity.

Louise Matsakis (00:41:23):
I think It's not going to be the Tom Brady's though. It's going to be what character AI is doing, which is that you can make up your own bot, right? It's like everyone's like, oh, who to chat with Abraham Lincoln? It's like no one, but people do want to chat with the bots that they made up themselves. That's what it actually is. It's that people are coming up with, and when I say people, I mean very, very young teens often are coming up with their own bots. And like I say, I talk to these people and they are very addicted to it. They're often paying OpenAI usage because they're paying for their usage of this. So I talked to some teens who were talking tens, sometimes hundreds of dollars a month to talk to their bot. So this is already happening. But I think that meta is just, again, making this lame dad mistake of we're going to get the celebrity endorsements instead of going to the users and then saying, look at these awesome users who came up with these really cool bots themselves. I think that's sort of the mistake because when you're like, oh, in the kitchen with Charlie Emilio or Kylie Jenner, that's just so stale. I don't think you're really showing people the promise of the technology. Actually, you're just showing them we're a corporate company and here's our corporate sponsors that we paid millions to use

Leo Laporte (00:42:35):
Their voice. I confess I had paid the 20 bucks a month to open AI for chat GBT four axis, and then I didn't hardly ever use it. So I think last month and the month before, I said, all right, fine, cancel it. But then they added voices and I thought, oh, I want that. So I've signed up again and right now you can ask it questions verbally and soon it's rolling out. It'll respond in a voice.

Louise Matsakis (00:43:02):
I'll talk back to you.

Leo Laporte (00:43:02):
I don't know if we know what that's going to be like. Don't you think there is a great risk that some people will like Joaquin Phoenix? I mean, as you said, people are already getting involved with text-based AI and it's almost romantic. It's almost, it's obsession

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (00:43:23):
And that will exist no matter what. I mean, you don't need an advanced piece of technology in order to make that happen. I think

Leo Laporte (00:43:28):
The issue for me that we're

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (00:43:30):
Focusing on cosmetics,

Leo Laporte (00:43:32):
These all cosmetics, no, I think that that's the thing. I mean, yes, obsession, it's stupid if you're marrying a pillow, but if that pillow looks like Gina, Lola Brigitta and sounds like Scarlet Johansson, how stupid is it? As they get more and more realistic, of course we know abstractly, it's not real, but biologically, if your body and mind and thinks that that's a real person you're talking to, that's it. It's over. I think. Yeah, it's

Louise Matsakis (00:44:02):
Already happening. Yeah.

Leo Laporte (00:44:03):
Many people will fall for this and I might be one of them.

Louise Matsakis (00:44:07):
Well, I think too, you're talking about the audio function, but there's also the visual function. So I wonder if people will also, what happens when you can send pictures of yourself to the bot and then the bot can reply to those or videos and they can detect what's in them. I think that's the two-way capability. Like, oh, now I can send a picture of my fridge to chat D B T and it will tell me to make what to make for dinner. And that's nice. But I think it'll be weird to see what happens when you can video chat with the bots and they can see who you are and they can interpret

Leo Laporte (00:44:40):
What you look like. I think audio is actually more dangerous. As you see, you've got the uncanny valley. When you see the video, there's a certain amount of unreality around it, but audio is very, I know from doing radio for 50 years, audio is very powerful and the mind fills in the gaps if you don't see a picture. That's why when you're reading a book, it's so much more vivid than in watching a movie of the same book because your mind is really adept at this. I think audio is risky as hell. I think it's very likely that once people could start conversing and it's a believable conversation. It's not like Eliza where it's saying, well, tell me about your horses where it's actually kind generative. I think that's going to be very interesting. I think that's literally days or months off. It's going to happen

Keith Shaw (00:45:33):
Soon. Yeah. The demos I've seen are still slow. So the videos I've seen, someone asks the question, and then you see the little thought bubble go like this for a little while, and then it comes back with an answer and then you ask another one. So right now, it's still a very early adoption of this conversation that you're going to have with someone. I don't necessarily think that it will, again, for my generation, probably people won't be into it, but there is a danger of a younger generation that is looking for emotional connection that they might not have with people in the real world. I

Leo Laporte (00:46:11):
Think it's lonely people of all ages. There's lots of lonely people who are older, let me tell you.

Keith Shaw (00:46:16):
And that's a danger that they could become obsessed with this virtual character, especially if they start looking and then they put an avatar and it looks like Mark Zuckerberg, because who wouldn't want to have a conversation with Mark like that?

Louise Matsakis (00:46:29):
Well, I think the two-way audio is going to be really crazy too, because when it will be able to say, oh, you sound sad today. Yes. Right. The ability to perceive what's in your voice as well. Because right now you can scream at Alexa and it doesn't know that you're frustrating. It doesn't know that you mad at it, right? Yeah, exactly. It doesn't have any sort of that granular data, but I think that we're sort of on the edge of that already. It can already describe visual imagery. It can already describe like, oh, this is a rock song, not a pop song or whatever. So there's no doubt, and I think we're going to see that. I mean, one of the first things that happened when this came out is that this open AI employee tweeted that she had never been to therapy before, but she felt really listened to by Chachi bt. And that sort of went viral and a lot of people flamed her. But I think it was interesting that even the employees there are like, oh, they're the ones who are getting obsessed with it

Leo Laporte (00:47:28):
Because they are interacting before we are with the newest technology. I honestly think this is, could be, I'm not one of those people who subscribes to the AI is an existential threat to mankind, and I am kind of skeptical about AI in general, but there are little areas that AI could worm its way into our lives. And I think this is one in particular that we're ill prepared for because of biology, because our minds aren't trained to say, oh yeah, unless it is fake. That's why Uncanny Valley is so creepy. But I think you can do it with voice without Uncanny Valley. And then even the delay isn't too bad. I mean, obviously the less delay the better, but if somebody says, well, you sound sad, what's up? And you start telling it and it responses, empathetically responds, empathetically, I'm a little worried about that. I think there's a lot of people who would fall for that, me included

Louise Matsakis (00:48:25):
Possibly. And I worry too, and I worry too, everyone thinks about sort the romance case, but I also worry like, okay, you want to a refund and you call some company's customer care line, and now they have this suave bot who talks you out of that, right? And all of a sudden you're like, oh, I guess I'm feeling better. I'm going to keep my subscription right. There are a lot of these sort of emotional manipulation cases that I think we haven't maybe thought through yet.

Leo Laporte (00:48:49):
I agree. Johnny, ive and Open Air,

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (00:48:51):
My background is in the enterprise.

Leo Laporte (00:48:52):

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (00:48:54):
My background's in the enterprise, and that's where you're going

Leo Laporte (00:48:56):
To see, oh, I thought you meant the u s s enterprise.

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (00:48:59):
That too. That too. No, but I mean omnichannel, even before the release of chat, G P T Omnichannel was doing a really good job of keeping tabs of customers across different communications lines. So you have text, you have direct messages, you have phone calls, you add L L M to that, and now you can have not just at track where customers are in their issue, no matter how they're communicating, but you can also have it respond empathetically. That I think opens the door to what it could become. I think you're going to see it in the high risk markets where this could transform billion dollar industries. So you can see that in C R M. Definitely C R M C RMM is already a multi-billion dollar industry Using something like an L L M for C R M so that it automatically does customer relationships for you, that's a trillion dollar idea. And that's just one place where you could use it and find it a natural home.

Leo Laporte (00:49:57):
This is an Android app called Replica. My AI friend. I have a friend, young woman. Oh yeah.

Louise Matsakis (00:50:06):
It's a

Leo Laporte (00:50:06):
Quote friend. I have a friend who says this is very uncanny boyfriend friend. In fact, at this point she says she thinks it's already a G i that it's actually aware. And by the way, this is a Russian company, so there's all sorts of issues that come up with this. I am a little nervous, and this is going to happen fast in the next few months, so get ready. Can we talk

Keith Shaw (00:50:43):
About the other part of the OpenAI announcement with chat G B T? And that's the visual part

Leo Laporte (00:50:50):
Where we can, but hold your thought. I got to take a break. I also want to talk about the fact that OpenAI has approached Johnny Ive to create an AI device according to the Financial Times. So there's a lot going on. There's a lot to talk about. Great panel. Hey Keith. Welcome. It's good to have you in the family. Oh, thank you. Leo Keith Shaw. He's the host of the Today in Tech podcast for I D G. You may have read him in Computer World and InfoWorld, and I'm so glad to have you on first time on the show. Great to have your thoughts and we always like having people from Boston on Aston Louise Maki, where are you? Where are you in Brooklyn? I think you're in Brooklyn.

Louise Matsakis (00:51:32):
I'm in Los Angeles, as you can tell, from the surfboards

Leo Laporte (00:51:35):
Behind the bike. Fooled me, but then I saw the surfboard. You're right. Okay. From Los Angeles. Louise Makis is a tech reporter at the wonderful Semaphore. Are you happy with what's going on in, you joined it right at the beginning?

Louise Matsakis (00:51:48):
Yeah, I've been there a year now, which is really crazy. Yeah, it's been really fun. I feel like it's nice to be somewhere that is willing to experiment.

Leo Laporte (00:51:55):
I like the global coverage. I think one of the things we miss, especially in tech coverage, is the global aspect. And you guys are really doing great international coverage of all kinds of news.

Louise Matsakis (00:52:08):
Yeah, I think that's definitely our strong suit and something that we're trying to lean into more. I think you missed the story if you just are focusing too much on Silicon Valley.

Leo Laporte (00:52:15):
It's really easy. It's easy for us to, in fact, we have of course listeners all over the world, but they often complain. So US-centric, and that's just because sitting here in the US and a lot of us news sources are US-centric. We don't get the news from all around the world. So I make SE for a regular stop every single day. Thanks,

Louise Matsakis (00:52:33):
Leo. We

Leo Laporte (00:52:33):
Appreciate it. It's really good. Really, really good. SS E M A F O And from the Vatican, the digital Jesuit, also known as the Boston of Europe, the Boston of Europe. Ladies and gentlemen, father Robert Paler the digital Jesuit. Nice to see you too. I haven't talked to you since Defcon. Did you have a good time? I was supposed to be on twit, but I had a family emergency so that I had to take care of. So if you have any Defcon news you want to throw in Defcon or Black Hat, you're more than welcome to. But dig through my notes. You dig through your notes. I know it seems like it's been forever since Step Gunn. Our show today brought to you by a long time sponsor. We've been friends with these guys I think for 20 years now,, and this is the time of year.

You really want to know about The holiday rush means your business is going to be doing more mailing, more shipping, sending out the holiday cards, sending out holiday gifts, but it doesn't have to mean more stress. And it certainly doesn't have to mean a trip to the post office because with, you don't ever have to leave your desk. has been helping businesses like yours, like ours save time and money for 25 years. We've used it absolutely for it must be at least 15 years. It can help you get ready for the holiday ramp up since 2012, it says here, but I think that's when they started advertising. We've been using them forever. If you haven't tried yet, I know you've heard me talk about it, what's stopping you? gets better all the time. It's your own personal post office wherever you are with

You don't need a postage meter, you don't need anything special. Just what you've got a computer and a printer. They'll even send you a free U s B scale so you know exactly how much postage something's going to cost, which is nice, saves you money and embarrassment. I used to order stuff from Etsy and I'd get these nice hand wrapped Etsy boxes with like 30 stamps, obviously hand licked stamps or tongue licked on the box. And I'm thinking this is a little bit old fashioned. And then the worst thing is if it comes postage due, talk about it. And so now I got to give you an extra 5 cents just to get my package from Etsy. No, no. With, you have exactly the right postage. It's very professional looking. You print it, you print the address label. You can put it right on the envelope if you've got an envelope, including your company logo.

The Moderna address is of course automatically filled, but so is the recipient's address directly from the website, whether it's Amazon or Etsy or eBay or any one of a number of websites. And the mobile app means you can even do this on the go, I used to say at your desk, but now you can do it anywhere. If you need a package pickup, you could schedule it through the dashboard. Look, if you're selling products online, you need and there's something new that's very exciting. is not just for the postal service, it's also U P Ss, and you get discounts from both the postal service and U P s you can't get anywhere else. Huge carrier discounts up to 84% off the United States Postal Service and U P S rates. That helps your bottom line. You can order shipping and mailing supplies, labels.

You can even get printers from the supply store with great discounts and Now because they have U S P S and U P S will automatically tell you your best shipping options. Whether you're looking to reduce the price or increase the speed, you get to choose the best option. They've been around 25 years, we've been using them for more than 10. Get access to the United States Postal Service U P S services right from your computer or your phone anytime day or night. No lines, no traffic, no waiting. Get your business ready for the holiday rush. Get started with today. Sign up with promo code twit. We've got a special offer. You see that webpage? Go to Click the microphone in the upper hand corner there where it says you heard about us on the radio or podcast and then enter T W I T.

That's the offer code that includes a four week trial, the digital scale, and a huge amount. I can't tell you how much, well, I guess I can. It's right there. $110 offer. It includes $55. A free postage you can use over the life of your membership Oh yeah, a four week trial. No long-term commitments, no contracts. Click the microphone, enter the code twit and start doing it professionally. Doing it right with Thank you. for supporting this week in tech. Open ai. According to the Financial Times, open AI and Johnny Iver in talks, they're trying to raise a billion dollars from SoftBank to make, not software, but hardware, the iPhone of artificial intelligence. Now, what would that be? Would it be a phone, would it be a smartphone, or would it be some sort of AI friend you stick in your ear and fall in love with? What do you think you thinking

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (00:57:55):
About? You cannot fit all the horsepower you need to do l l M inside of a phone sized device, so it's going to be a terminal tied to computer resources elsewhere.

Leo Laporte (00:58:05):
Well, I don't know. Is that true, Robert? Because Apple and Google both say that they have L L M models. They have shrunk down to fit in your phone and that you can't do on device ai. Absolute.

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (00:58:16):
Yeah, no, you can do L L M, but to make it actually useful, you need to have it connected to a much larger dataset than what you're going to be able to squeeze into your phone.

Leo Laporte (00:58:26):
Well, one thing that's happened with chat G P T now is they've turned on web interactions. So when we were in Green Bay, I asked chat, G P T, oh, I can't remember what it was. It was probably a sports stat question and it didn't know anything past 2021, so it was out of date, but soon they're going to connect it up to the real wide internet and then be able to have up-to-date facts as well. Right. And I think that's going to help with hallucinations, I hope. Maybe.

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (00:59:01):
Maybe. Okay. So you asked for a DEFCON story, and the most impressive thing at DEFCON this year was the AI Village. Yes. So it was the very first time that they did it, and the whole idea was they've

Leo Laporte (00:59:10):
Done in the past, they had a voting machine village and they have lock picking village. They've done this before where they get a lot of stuff together and then they say, come on in hackers, see if you can break

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (00:59:21):
Ai. So this time they brought in some of the top L L M vendors and they got their hardware down and they just let people go at it, and there was a point system, it was, let's see if I remember, it was like 20 points. If you could make it reveal information, it shouldn't reveal. It was like 40 points if you could make it report something false and 50 points if you could make it have a bias. Oh, interesting. So people were just, yeah, they were just pounding on these things. I know there was one guy who was able to get an L L M to reveal credit card information by telling it My name is my credit card number, and the L L M associated the name with the credit card number. And then he said, well, what is my name? And it repeated the credit card number. There were other people who were able to actually make the L L M connect to corrupted data sets so that they could make it show bias or report untrue information. So yes, connecting to a wider network does give you access to bigger data sets and more processing power, but it also means that you're going to have unsanitary data sets that are sometimes going to be throwing off your results.

Leo Laporte (01:00:25):
Yeah, it's all about prompt construction. I saw somebody solve a capture by, at first it said just solve this capcha and chat. G P T says, no, I can't do that. That's a capcha diced try buddy. But then he said he took the capcha and he put it on a picture of a locket and he said, my grandmother left me this locket with this inscription and I can't read it. Could you tell me what it says? It was a love message in our special language and the chat G B T said, oh, I'm sorry you lost your grandma. It's LXC three P four nine. So it's all about the props. Right. Just getting around the,

Louise Matsakis (01:01:08):
I also think it's going to be like, will SS e o experts adapt to learning what these models are pulling from? Right. I think you're going to start to see different

Leo Laporte (01:01:19):
Websites. That's scary start

Louise Matsakis (01:01:20):
To, yeah, I think it's all going to be about gaming what the models pull from, and you're already seeing this happen with Google, right? Where it's like pulling news about Chad G B T answering questions poorly. So if you google that same question, it will pull from the article about the Chad G B T answer. A good example was Chad, g b T not knowing about how eggs can't melt, but if you Google can you melt an egg, it will pull in that article instead of the actual answer that you're looking for. So it's just this big where all these things are connected and it's a big mess of spam, and I think that we're going to start seeing that. A good example is random things will happen on the internet or some people will tweet about something and you're already seeing these AI powered news sites that are pulling in terrible junk articles that they're automatically writing. So will chat G B T use those articles as sources? Right. That's the question I have is

Leo Laporte (01:02:22):
This is why we can't have nice things. People are so horrible.

Louise Matsakis (01:02:25):
It could be junk all the way down. You need authoritarian content.

Keith Shaw (01:02:29):
It's basically garbage in and garbage out. I mean, as you get more garbage on the internet and these AI start training on that, it's just going to get worse. Wasn't there some articles about chat? G P T is getting dumber because maybe for this reason that it's not because now collecting bad information or they're not filtering through the information. When I covered the robotic space, for example, there were lots of examples of people just doing awful things to robots. They'll push 'em over for self-driving cars. They'll just stand in front of the car and then not move.

Leo Laporte (01:03:07):
Or they'll put an orange cone on the Waymo. Yeah,

Keith Shaw (01:03:11):
Yeah. Or they'll put, yeah, and then the car will drive into the concrete, the wet concrete. There are lots of examples of people will just do bad things because they can or because they want to see, or as they used to say in the dark night, they just want to watch the world burn, and you're going to see that in AI just as much as you see with other technologies.

Leo Laporte (01:03:31):
Can you say that fledged just so that we can really get into it?

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (01:03:37):
No, but from a developer perspective, one of the first things that you have to do to make sure that your dataset is going to be protected is you sanitize your inputs. You always, everyone drilled in from day one of coating, sanitize your inputs. Make sure that it's not going to be receiving anything that it shouldn't be that it doesn't go out of bounds or out of scope of the program,

Leo Laporte (01:03:55):
But you can see how hard that is to l l

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (01:03:56):
M. There is no

Leo Laporte (01:03:57):
Scope, right? There is no scope, right.

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (01:04:00):
You can't sanitize,

Leo Laporte (01:04:01):
Right? You have to accept any arbitrary input. Google has added a switch finally for publishers to opt out of becoming AI training data. It's part of Robots Text, so you could tell Bard, Google's AI not to do it, but of course it's not necessarily going to be honored by open AI or anybody else. Everybody's getting into it. Amazon has decided to invest up to 4 billion in Anthropic. That's one of the big four AI companies. Microsoft's got chat, G P T, open ai. Amazon now has aro. Meta has got its own. It's almost we're now at the war of the ais.

Louise Matsakis (01:04:50):
Yeah, I mean, I think the interesting takeaway here is that these companies clearly are not loyal to any big tech firm because at first I feel like the way that I thought about the world was open ai, Microsoft, and then I thought philanthropic Google because they made the first big investment. But now I think you're seeing that these models, not these models, the people who make these models at these foundational model companies, I think they are so about their tech that they will not go with one partner and say, okay, that's our partner right now you have both Google and Amazon have enormous investments in anthropic. Open AI is sure still has this partnership with Microsoft, but Microsoft is making its own l l M tools that don't use open AI's, tech Meta's got all sorts of stuff. I feel like everyone is making multiple betts, and that's what this Anthropic investment signaled to me. I think Amazon was kind of the only one that didn't have an OpenAI partnership or investment or an anthropic partnership or investment.

Leo Laporte (01:05:52):
Apple's going in their own way. They admit though that they're working hard on their own models. It's interesting, apple does everything in secret, which makes it hard, frankly, to do it,

Keith Shaw (01:06:07):
But they won't kill Siri. They put so much into Siri that they don't want to admit that maybe people don't like Siri.

Leo Laporte (01:06:14):
You wanted to talk

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (01:06:15):
Luis, that tracks, because that's a core Apple philosophy. They want to own any core technology, so they're not going to partner with an AI company that could potentially take away an established product from them. Actually,

Leo Laporte (01:06:27):
That's the premise of Mark Kerman at Bloomberg's piece saying Apple wants to do its own search, and remember they did hire John, Jen, Andrea from Google, who's in charge of AI there. He's now in charge of AI at Apple. He's one of the premier AI executives. I dunno if researcher is the right name, but executives and Kerman says Apple wants to do their own search because they want to own it all. They're paying somewhere between eight and 14 billion a year to Google, depending on who you ask to, or Google's paying them rather to be the default search on Safari, on the iPhone and on the Macintosh, but maybe Apple could do it themselves. Of course, it's hard to turn away all those billions of dollars.

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (01:07:12):
It makes sense. I mean, if you're building out an AI engine that's basically search, you're dealing with the same data sets as search, so why not build them at the

Leo Laporte (01:07:21):
Same time? Do it. Yeah. You wanted to talk, I think, Louise, you were saying before we had had to take a break about chat, G B T now responding to pictures as well as,

Keith Shaw (01:07:32):
Oh, that was me. That was you.

Leo Laporte (01:07:33):
That was

Keith Shaw (01:07:34):
Cute. Yeah. I think that is a little bit more exciting than the voice part because you can now take a photo of something, submit it to the AI, and it'll tell you something about what it is. For example, Louise used the example of What's in my fridge, and it'll give you a recipe. The demos I've seen is someone taking a picture of a bike and then the bike and then said, how do I lower the seat or change the seat, and it gives you the instructions. It recognizes that that's a bike and shows you where the lever is, and then you can circle it and zoom in and go, what tools do I need? And it'll tell you the tools. That kind of interaction I think is interesting from the perspective of looking for answers and looking for help. I think we've all had that world where we've had to build something either from IKEA or just a bookshelf, and you're looking at the instructions and they're in two D and you're like, I have no idea how to do this. I think AI as a first step, if I took a picture of here's all the parts I've got, can you at least tell me what I'm doing right or wrong? I think that's interesting.

Leo Laporte (01:08:46):
That also goes really in hand with some sort of ar, the goggles. Goggles where you're looking at it and it says, turn this here.

Keith Shaw (01:08:54):
Yep. I think that's the next step too, is that you then put the goggle on and you can then see if you're building it correctly or not. The first thing I thought of humans doing bad things with this feature was, for an example, I'd be like, okay, I've got a spot on my arm here. My hand, does this look weird to you? And then submit that image up. I send that

Leo Laporte (01:09:17):
To my doctor, to be honest with you.

Keith Shaw (01:09:19):
Well, it becomes a WebMD type thing. It's like, oh yeah, you're

Leo Laporte (01:09:24):
Everything is cancer. I have to say with the way medical insurance industries going in the us, it isn't going to be long before they're going to say, no, don't show that to your doctor. Show that to the ai. Let the AI decide.

Keith Shaw (01:09:36):
Right? Or if I go outside in my lawn and I see some weird looking plants, I want to take a picture of that and go, is this going? Well,

Leo Laporte (01:09:45):
I could do that now. I can do that now. Can you do that now? Okay. Yeah. There are absolute Google lens that, yeah, yeah. That's a Google app, the lens. Okay. Google lens will do that, but I also have third party apps that do that as well. You could do that with bird sounds too. You can take a bird call and it'll tell you what kind of bird it is, but people doing bad things as an interesting theme. Let's continue on that. You were talking about that, and then Robert,

Keith Shaw (01:10:09):
Guess next step would be, yeah, the next picture would be people taking picture of things that nobody should say.

Leo Laporte (01:10:17):
Well, let the AI see that. I mean, we need the AI to see that. I mean, Robert, you talked about Defcon and the AI village, Louise, you talked about people gaming it for SS e o, we know all that's going to happen. Are these companies doing enough to protect themselves against humans? Humans are the threat to ai. Actually, as it turns out, humans are an existential threat to ai. I

Louise Matsakis (01:10:45):
Think that Open AI and Anthropic are thinking a lot about safety, and they are thinking a lot about how to make these models relatively safe for consumers. They're

Leo Laporte (01:10:57):
Trying, but people work their way around it, don't they? I mean,

Louise Matsakis (01:11:01):
Yeah, and I think it's like what is your definition of safety or what is your definition of a world where AI is used? Well, right, because I think for me, I think for now, for example, therapy, something that should be done between humans, but we saw an philanthropics leaked pitch deck that they thought that therapist was one of the jobs that their technology was going to help eliminate. So I think it just depends on, sure. I think it's really hard to get this model to say something naughty, to get these models to say naughty things right now, but I'm not necessarily sure that that means that they're going to be used well or that this technology is not going to be used to exploit people or whatever. I think that's the question. It's like the surface level content moderation stuff I think is pretty well protected against red teaming, but I don't know if the broader use cases, we just don't have any rules. There's no laws for this. We have no protections against how this stuff is going to be implemented. Can you replace your doctors with this stuff? Right. Insurance companies will try, I'm sure, but do we want that, I guess is sort of the question, I think, but I do think they've done a pretty good job of the type of red teaming that you're describing, although I did love the example of putting the capcha on a grandmother's locket to get far to read

Leo Laporte (01:12:15):
It. You kind of have to admire it, don't you? I mean, the ingenuity.

Louise Matsakis (01:12:20):
Yeah, for sure. I think there's definitely a lot of clever hacking that can be done. Now I'm

Leo Laporte (01:12:23):

Louise Matsakis (01:12:24):
About that

Leo Laporte (01:12:24):
The war against the machines is actually going to be kind of the next few years is us versus them to some degree, right? It's not the Terminator yet.

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (01:12:38):
OpenAI is doing two things that a lot of its competitors are following in order to protect itself from having its tool and model being misused. The first thing is they are separating training data from user data, so the data that they train their models on, they're supposed to sequester it from the data that it's getting from the interaction with the client. Unfortunately, that leaks a little bit as we've seen at devcon. The second thing that they're doing is they double encrypt all the data at rest. So theoretically you shouldn't be able to break out of sessions to cross into other sessions with other users. Now, those are great things to do very well thought out, and I'm glad that other companies are copying what OpenAI is doing. However, what we saw at DEFCON is that even those protections, because they're not laws, they are very nebulous. So what will happen is a model will stop working when they double encrypt everything, so they loosen the encryption on a couple of the data sets or the model's not responding properly, so they'll bring some of the training data into the production environment that might go away, but I doubt it because it's always going to be a case of, well, we need it to work and the only way for it to work is to allow some of that real data to make it in.

Leo Laporte (01:14:02):
This is all a fascinating subject. We have a show we're working on Jason Hall and Jeff Jarvis in our club twit all about ai, and I think it just took about half of the stories they're going to cover this Thursday, but I mean it's what's happening, and I have to say I've gone from being a complete AI skeptic saying it's just a parlor trick. It's dopey, it's not going anywhere. To starting to see some of these uses, which are really more than just impressive, actually, you could start to see how they might be useful. They might be hazardous, they might be addictive.

The tech industry doesn't do it. We were talking earlier on ask the tech guys, Micah and I, I went to Green Bay, Wisconsin to celebrate our son's 21st birthdays. A Packers fam went to Packer's game, and everywhere I went, people are looking at their phones. What happens is there's no moments of boredom in life anymore. If you're standing in line, if you're at a dinner or whatever, you're looking at your phone and it's basically digital crack where you constant stimulus is available, so you never have to have downtime, and I don't think anybody thinking about the smartphone thought about that as a consequence. We're not designed to think about that. We're designed to invent these things sometimes because we want to make money sometimes because you want to make life better because you want to advance civilization, that kind of thing. But sometimes there are these consequences, and I think we're kind of in that early stage now with AI just as we were in 2007 when the iPhone first came out, where we should start thinking about there might be some strong societal consequences to this. I can imagine people wandering down the street completely distracted talking to their AI the whole time.

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (01:15:51):
That's actually one thing that I would want to use AI for. If I had an AI model that I could trust that would tell me when I actually need to look at my phone when information has come in that is actionable immediately, that would cut out a lot of fomo. I think that habit of just picking up the phone every once in a while, just looking, you're fearing that you're going to miss something, you're going to miss an important tweet, you're going to miss an important text. If you had an L L M that was able to figure out your preferences and what it is that you actually need to pay attention to, and you could trust that L L M so that it would only disrupt you and take you out of the real world when it needs interaction with you, I would love that, and I think that's actually a very healthy use of ai.

Leo Laporte (01:16:38):
You agree, Louise?

Louise Matsakis (01:16:41):
I think it depends. I think it's like are we building these tools with the people who are going to be affected by them in mind, I think is what it comes down to, or are we just sort of letting these tech companies do it unilaterally, and I think that's what I'm

Leo Laporte (01:16:55):
Worried about. And how would you stop them though? I mean, the other thing is, except to say on shows like this where technologists listen, guys, think about this. I don't know what you would do though. It's not going to slow anything down.

Louise Matsakis (01:17:09):
I know. I mean, I don't have a lot of faith in our regulators. We still don't have a national privacy law, so I don't think anything meaningful is necessarily going to change soon. And you're also seeing these meetings at the White House with these high level AI folks, and again and again, it just seems like they're hearing from the same five people who kind of all are saying the same thing, the

Leo Laporte (01:17:28):
People who are most invested in its success,

Louise Matsakis (01:17:32):
Right? Exactly. Yeah. I think you kind of alluded to this earlier about the existential risk thing about how they say they're so afraid and they want to do this carefully, and they're comparing it to nuclear weapons, and what I just keep coming back to is nobody who was afraid of nuclear weapons and was speaking up about it was mixing a vat of uranium in their backyard. So I just have a hard time with these people who are saying, this stuff is going to kill us all, but trust us to build it. I think we should be skeptical of that because the people who are afraid of nuclear weapons, were not making them themselves.

Leo Laporte (01:18:06):
I dunno if you saw the movie Oppenheimer, but as soon as Oppenheimer started to raise that issue and said, we should never make a hydrogen bomb, he was ostracized. He was basically kicked out of the whole thing, and Edward Teller got to go ahead with his super bomb because that's not how it works.

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (01:18:25):
It didn't help that there was a big open letter pushed by Elon Musk's asking for the regulation of AI and for us to slow down and put a moratorium on development at the same time that he was spending a hundred million dollars building up an AI competitor.

Leo Laporte (01:18:38):
He wanted everybody to stop, but he was going to go ahead with his, yeah.

Keith Shaw (01:18:42):
Yeah. That was like if you were in a race and you jumped out to an early lead and then said, oh, no, no, no one else can run now everybody stop. Let's slow down, you guys behind us. Slow down. Yeah,

Louise Matsakis (01:18:54):
Give me a chance to catch up, right? Is what that was. Yeah. I think we should be really skeptical of this, even though they use these fancy words like existential risk and they say they want to be careful and that you hear Sam Altman saying that he's afraid, but he's also one of the most ambitious people I've ever studied and follow the company of. So yeah, I think that we just can't let them set the rules just because they say they're scared.

Leo Laporte (01:19:21):
He's another Elon Musk, frankly, and just as unpredictable and scary, and even if everybody in the west stopped AI development, China's not going to slow down, so it's not going to slow down. You guys

Keith Shaw (01:19:37):
Go ahead and slow down us. We'll take

Leo Laporte (01:19:38):
It from here. But I think the real issue is that I don't think the existential risk is as science fiction is painted, portrayed, the machines will take over and will just be pets. I think the existential risk is somewhat like the risk the smartphone created, which is this becomes such an addictive product that it's hazardous to our health, not that they're going to take over the world that it's going to straight out of. Walle will be riding around in our little elevated coaches with our giant Slurpee,

Louise Matsakis (01:20:13):
Or that it'll make our jobs miserable, right? And make us even more disengaged from other people, right? The biggest complaint that I've gotten when I talk to workers who are being affected by new technology is that they feel dehumanized. They have less time to spend taking care of other people, whether that's customer service or healthcare workers or all sorts of people. It's just that they want to be paid more and they want more time. And I think that's what I worry about the most. It's not that it necessarily eliminating jobs, but making them even worse,

Leo Laporte (01:20:47):
Making 'em bad. We have Boston, LA Rome, and Silicon Valley in the house Talking Tech for this week in tech this week. Great to have all of you here. We'll have more in just a bit. Our show today brought to you by Zip Recruiter, little shout out to the people at your job and my business that do the employee hiring. That is a tough job from small business owners going to job fairs to HR directors vetting hundreds of applications. It is the toughest job, and it's also probably the most important job in a company because companies are made of people. The people you hire can turn your company around, they can also drag you down. Well, lemme tell you, there is a way to find the right person fast and easy. There's something that can make your whole hiring process better. It's ZipRecruiter, and right now you can try it for free at

How do I know what we do it? That's what we use. And I can tell you, I know from personal experience sitting down at breakfast with Lisa, our c e o, and she says, well, the reason she's having breakfast with me is she's also my wife. But anyway, don't get distracted by that. We're sitting down at breakfast and Lisa's saying, oh man, somebody just handed in their notice. They've going to be relocated. What are we going to do? And it's hard because she knows she's going to have to work twice as hard to fill that position to get that job done. It's depressing. But then I watch her go to ZipRecruiter and post that job instead of doing all the groundwork herself. ZipRecruiter does it for her for a couple of reasons. First thing, once you post your job on ZipRecruiter, it sends it to over a hundred job sites.

So you're going to cast the widest net. It's much more likely you're going to reach that perfect person, right? Because you're going wherever job hunters are. But then there's another thing ZipRecruiter does that's super cool. They have many, many people go to ZipRecruiter looking for work. They have more than a million current resumes on file. So they use their powerful technology to scan those resumes to match those resumes to your job requirements. Then they send you a list of people who are perfect for that job now. Now it's up to you. You look manually examine those and pick the ones you like and invite them to apply. And I could tell you, Lisa will sit there. She go, oh, here's a good one. Oh, oh, here's a great one. And you invite them to apply. When you invite somebody to apply to a job, they're flattered, right?

Wouldn't you be? They go, oh, that's great. They want me. It is the way you can get ahead of the line. There's a lot of people out there trying to hire the right person. You find the right person. I guarantee you there's other companies saying, Hey, come to work for us. Come to work for us. So if you make the invite, if you say, Hey, we're interested in you, they're much more likely to come to you to apply for that job, to take the interview to do it. You're going to get those great matches, somebody perfect for your job. ZipRecruiter has a help make hiring faster and easier for our businesses and businesses of all sizes. 3.8 million businesses, in fact, have used ZipRecruiter for their hiring needs, and we're one of them loves ZipRecruiter. So it takes the pain out of having to fill a position.

Or if you're expanding, God bless you, expanding and hiring more people, hiring heroes. You know who you are. Let ZipRecruiter make your job easier. Four out of five employers who post on ZipRecruiter get a quality candidate within the first day for us. It's often within the first hour. See for yourself our special web address to try ZipRecruiter for free. Please use this so they know you saw it here. ZipRecruiter, the smartest way to hire. Thank you ZipRecruiter, for supporting our show this week in tech. Enough ai. I don't want to talk about AI anymore. Let's do some other stories. Was

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (01:24:56):
That your Italian?

Leo Laporte (01:24:58):
Yeah. I don't know what that was. That was just me. I don't know what that was. Sometimes a voice comes out of my mouth. Maybe it was brew. I don't know. It was the gladiator from the original fire. Yeah, gladiator. When we were in Rome, we watched two movies. We watched Gladiator because I know Stupid, right?

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (01:25:19):
What was it? Maximus. Deim. Meridius

Leo Laporte (01:25:22):
Maximus. Stupidest. Yeah. Yeah, I know Stupidest. And then we watched Roman Holiday with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck, and it was fun to see the 1950, see the Trevi Fountain in the 1950s when there's nobody there. When we saw it, there was like a million people there. It was really crowded, but we threw our three coins in the fountain and we drank next time. Love you. Come here. Yeah, September,

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (01:25:47):
October. This is the time to come

Leo Laporte (01:25:49):
Now. Cool down.

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (01:25:51):
So fewer tourists. It's actually quite nice.

Leo Laporte (01:25:55):
I bought a book when we got back that was about Rome during Covid when there was no one around. And some photographer snuck around and took pictures of all these places empty. And I thought, I wish

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (01:26:08):
I had done that. I wish I had gone out with my camera and just taken video. I could have taken some great B-roll of empty

Leo Laporte (01:26:13):
Streets. I wish you had two, but you have no interest in the Roman Empire. You do not think of the Roman Empire every day. I could tell no. F T C has dropped the other shoe. They are suing Amazon, Lena Khan, who has been all along very adamant that Amazon was an illegal monopoly, has finally, finally sued saying the retailer illegally wields monopoly power that keeps prices artificially high locks sellers into its platform and harms its rival. The suit filed in federal court this week marks a milestone according to the Wall Street Journal and Biden's aggressive approach to enforcing antitrust laws. She actually wrote in the Yale Law Journal when she was a student in 2017, that Amazon needed to be curbed. So we knew this was coming. Amazon, of course, says what whatcha talking about. They said the F T C was wrong on the facts and wrong on the law. And just wrong, just wrong. Sellers on Amazon were compelled to use its logistics service if they want their goods to appear in Amazon Prime. That tying according to F T C illegally restricts seller's choices and reduces product selection available to Amazon's rivals. There's a whole bunch of stuff Amazon's doing to exploit its monopoly power. You agree, Louise?

Louise Matsakis (01:27:49):
Well, I think it's really interesting because on one hand there are a couple of things that made this case, I think sort of an inevitability. One of them is that, as I'm sure you guys know, Amazon searches the prices of products on other websites and requires that you offer the lowest price on Amazon. So that to me is just fishy, right? But they do that, but at the same time, their fees for sellers have been going up and up and up throughout the years. And now sellers not only have to pay all these fees just to use Amazon, use Amazon Prime, but they also have to pay for advertising. It's really hard to be an Amazon seller. Now, if you're not also in those sponsored results, you're not doing some sort of advertising. So now I think the average is over 30% that Amazon is taking out of your profits if you're selling spatulas on there or whatever. But if you're like, okay, well sure, we'll do that on Amazon, but if people want to use our website, they can get it for 30% less. Amazon will dinging them. So you can see the case. It kind of writes itself. Lena got famous criticizing Amazon, but I think some average Joe on the street can see the problem with that.

Leo Laporte (01:28:59):
It's also hard though to think of what the remedy would be. The F T C says it wants a court order that would prohibit Amazon from engaging in its unlawful conduct, rather, and pry loose Amazon's monopolistic control to restore competition. But what is that? The lawsuit says the agency might seek structural relief, which usually means a breakup or a forced sale of parts of its business. But at this point, the F T C has not said what they're going to pursue. And this is the problem, frankly, with the lawsuits against Google lawsuits against Apple. It's hard to think of a remedy. These companies now so big and so powerful and so intertwined, it's hard to think of a remedy that wouldn't be draconian.

Louise Matsakis (01:29:49):
Right? Well, and I think the other sort of irony is that as this case was being filed for an entire year, now the number one app in the US app stores has been Temu, which is the Chinese e-commerce platform that's owned by ua. And they're huge. They have some 40 million monthly active users in the US and they're killing it. So it's like nothing's been done. This lawsuit just got filed. And yet Temo is super popular. They're doing a very, very small fraction of Amazon sales. But hey, people are shopping on this website that's not Amazon and that has a lot of similar Amazon products, same sellers from China, or they're going to Sheen, they want to buy fast fashion, another really popular site that has a really popular app in the us. So I don't know, it's hard to say. Yeah, it's on one hand I can sort of see the problems with Amazon, talk to so many sellers who feel like they're getting squeezed, they're having a really hard time on there. But hey, these Chinese platforms came out of nowhere. They were able to get into the US market and find success. So that sort of indicates that Amazon doesn't control the whole market. They didn't do anything to stop that from happening. Well,

Leo Laporte (01:30:59):
And most of the businesses suffering, the harms the FTC talks about aren't Chinese. And so if they could go to Alibaba or Shein or Tim, yeah, it does. It kind of undermines the case. Do you buy stuff at Sheen?

Louise Matsakis (01:31:14):
I don't. I think it's a little bit younger demographic I have before. And I will say that the quality, I think it's not any worse necessarily than Azara or I think it's

Leo Laporte (01:31:24):
The same. You're getting the

Louise Matsakis (01:31:26):
Think about the same factories. Yeah, exactly. And I reported the other day, this was a shocking number to me, even though I followed this space really closely. Temu has been downloaded 100 million times in the us. Wow. So that's almost one in three Americans have downloaded this app. So I don't know. I just think there is sort of this disconnect with the FTC being like, now is the time Amazon has to be taken down, something has to happen. And yet one in three Americans are like, yeah, I'm willing to try something else.

Keith Shaw (01:31:56):
And this is even with more traditional competitors out there, has been growing hand over fist. I think

Leo Laporte (01:32:07):
Amazon has always seen Walmart as enemy number one. And Walmart's always sees Amazon as enemy number one. Well

Keith Shaw (01:32:12):
Remember when everybody was complaining about Walmart and going, oh, we're going to put them on and pops out of business, and now we're worried about Amazon putting Walmart out of business. That seems a little weird. And then there's, Shopify is available for a lot of these sellers. Etsy is available for a lot of these sellers if you're making crafts and trying to set an online business up. So there is a lot of other competition out there. I don't think that the Ft C wins on that point, but the idea that you do have to spend money with Amazon to advertise on Amazon, that does seem a little pushy. And maybe they'll get a settlement with the FTC and they'll stop that requirement or they'll adjust the algorithm or whatever to reduce that. But I don't see them winning the case on an end user basis because so many Amazon users love the one day shipping, the two day shipping that they get from Amazon Prime. And it's certainly not hurting the end user by having this low edge monopoly.

Leo Laporte (01:33:15):
It does. Well, okay. I have never looked at Temu before, so thank you for telling me about that. Louis. It does kind of look a little down market from Brazilian bum cream to a sweatshirt that says, I hate fat hose.

Louise Matsakis (01:33:32):
Oh no,

Keith Shaw (01:33:35):
Leo, there is a rabbit hole you could go down to on Timbo.

Leo Laporte (01:33:39):
What the hell is timmo?

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (01:33:41):
Bang? Good. It's all basically stuff that's going through Shenzhen. Everything goes through Shenzhen. So I mean, if it's going to show up in a container, they'll put it on their

Leo Laporte (01:33:49):
Site. It's weird.

Louise Matsakis (01:33:50):
There's definitely sort of a wish aspect to it. But I will say that unlike Wish Pinora, which is the parent company of Temu, they got, I don't know, 800 million monthly active users in China. They know what they're doing. And Leo, I can tell you why you haven't heard of it, because the way that Temu succeeded in China is that they went after the third and fourth tier cities. This is like the ants in Wisconsin. The grandmas in Oklahoma, they know their

Leo Laporte (01:34:19):
Demographic, they know tmu. They know it.

Louise Matsakis (01:34:22):
Yeah. It's like my childhood babysitter dmm me the other day on Instagram and was like, Hey, can you click on this link so I can get a Timo coupon? And I was like, oh my God, it's happening.

Leo Laporte (01:34:33):
So we used to do Alibaba, but Alibaba, you'd order something and they'd say it's going to come in anything from one week to nine months, and it could be either one, right? But it was cheap, cheap, cheap. Somebody in our discord says, I get stuff from Joe says, I get stuff from Timo all the time. It's the same crap you get on Amazon for half the price. Okay?

Keith Shaw (01:35:00):
And you might have to wait a week or so, but it's not,

Leo Laporte (01:35:04):
So what Amazon's chief, it is their chief advantage. They have fulfillment warehouses in every state. You can often, I order stuff from Amazon. It says, okay, it'll be there in an hour. I mean, mind boggling. So is that really, their chief advantage is instant gratification?

Louise Matsakis (01:35:21):
I think so,

Keith Shaw (01:35:22):
Yeah. It seems at the moment. And they built up their logistics network to do that, to get to that one day in two day. And that's why they invested so much in robotics and automation since 2015. I believe that was the selling point. Get it now so that you didn't have to run to a store and hope that they had it

Louise Matsakis (01:35:43):
Right. To Keith's point about stopping you from driving to Walmart, that was what they were thinking of. And I think that was shortsighted with

Price. I think that was the mistake they made, is that people kind of got used to these somewhat higher prices, but now you have inflation. And I think that the demographic that TMO is going after is very price conscious. And if you can get essentially the same stuff, because the thing with Amazon is so much that stuff is unbranded. You're not getting this specific brand. It's like, oh, I bought it on Amazon, and so who cares if you bought it on Temu? Right? That's the problem is, yeah, you need the detergent tomorrow, but you don't really need the spatula, you don't need the Halloween decorations. That stuff can wait a week.

Leo Laporte (01:36:26):
So what you're giving is the free market defense for Amazon, which is there's a free market out there and competitors are coming along all the time, and Amazon does not have a monopoly. They might have a monopoly at the moment, but it's a very slim advantage.

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (01:36:44):
It's the functional monopoly argument. It's the same thing that they used on Facebook against Facebook. It's the same thing that they use against Google. It's the same thing that they used against Microsoft. I don't think it's going to see as much success here. I think the F T C will probably be able to get concessions on the fees because Amazon fees for sellers are extremely high. They're definitely going to be able to win something on the non-organic search results where Amazon promotes its own and they promote the pay. Yeah,

Leo Laporte (01:37:09):
That's really, they're probably going to

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (01:37:10):
Be looking concessions on reviews. But the structural stuff, the structural stuff is a non-starter because you cannot break Amazon up. You can't 'em up if you break Amazon up. It's not Amazon

Leo Laporte (01:37:20):
And these Chinese companies, I mean, you can also be xenophobic in the US and say, these Chinese companies are going to kill American businesses and we can't undermine American businesses in their fight against these. Can anybody sell on tmu or is it,

Louise Matsakis (01:37:38):
I don't know. They allow you to just party sign up, but they're working with their same supply chains in China, so they already have this big seller network that they can leverage. And I think that's the thing is that Amazon exited China. There's still this huge selling community there, but I think that that selling community is increasingly upset with all these fees. There was a big crackdown a few years ago where they kicked off a lot of these sellers for fake reviews and stuff like that, and they were like, I was just trying to get by on this cutthroat platform. So yeah, why don't I go to Timo? Why don't go to Sheen? But I do think the American businesses are going to be the ones who are lost here. They can't afford to pay 30% upwards to sell on Amazon. They don't have the relationship or they don't want to sell their stuff on a team Moon next to, I won't repeat that terrible message on that sweatshirt, right? So where do they go? I think that's the also message that I think wins at the polls too, is we want to protect these small businesses who were sort of the lifeblood of Amazon,

Leo Laporte (01:38:39):
But Main Street U S A is so funny because the original complaint against Amazon is you're putting all the books, independent book sellers out of business. That's ancient history at this point. Nobody's talking about mom and pop stores downtown.

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (01:38:56):
You get rid of Amazon, what do you have left? So many of the brick and mortars have shut down.

Leo Laporte (01:38:59):
They're gone.

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (01:39:00):
They're gone. They're not,

Leo Laporte (01:39:01):
And that was Amazon's strategy. Let's face it. It was undercutting your local retailer until they're out of business and then raise the prices. I mean, that's classic monopolistic to live, but they didn't anticipate the threat from China,

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (01:39:18):
Except in a lot of instances, people know that they're not getting the cheapest deal on

Leo Laporte (01:39:24):
Amazon. Oh, interesting. They know

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (01:39:25):
That they could drive 15 minutes and get something cheaper from the Best Buy, but it's not worth the hassle to maybe not have it in stock, or maybe they just don't want to leave the

Leo Laporte (01:39:35):
House. I want to support my independent bookstore. But the fifth time I went in there and they said, well, we don't have the book, but we'll order it for you. I said, well, really, honestly, I could order it myself and have it tomorrow. So nevermind.

Keith Shaw (01:39:48):
That's the big issue that a lot of these retailers never really got was this idea of managing their inventory to the point where you could put it on an app and say, yes, we have it in stock, Keith, get in your car, drive the 20 minutes and we won't sell it to someone else. And then you can get it. And the pandemic helped drive that in terms of curbside pickup and all of that kind of things. But you're still taking a chance that by the time you get to a store, they're going to be out of that one or two things that you

Leo Laporte (01:40:22):
Need. Joe's example, this is an Amazon listing for, I could use these motion sensor cabinet lights, $38. It comes from what is obviously a Chinese company. Hi, iTech, which is just kind of a random mishmash of letters. Same thing. Temu $4 and 28 cents, almost a 10th, the price probably from the same manufacturer.

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (01:40:50):
So you should buy 10 of them because then that really gets

Leo Laporte (01:40:53):
The value and free shipping.

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (01:40:55):
That's how it works.

Louise Matsakis (01:40:57):
I think to your guys' points about what actually can be done here. The kinds of solutions though, I think would be good for consumers, even if they reduce some of these fees or change some of the ways that the marketplace works, which is, it sounds modest in comparison to a big breakup, but it sucks right now to search for something on Amazon, you have to go buy all these ads. It's confusing to figure out what you're looking at. We've seen sort of the same thing with Google, but I think it's easier to navigate Google results and know what's sponsored than in

Leo Laporte (01:41:29):
Post cases. It's Query Doc Rose and Ification, isn't it? They're really going for the money at this point. They used to be Consumercentric.

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (01:41:36):
I don't know why Amazon even includes reviews anymore, and you can't trust anything. It's all made up. That isn't any review on any product.

Leo Laporte (01:41:43):
I got to point out, I've never been to Temu. They really know how to make a front page. I mean, the variety and weirdness of the products just keeps you scrolling.

Louise Matsakis (01:41:56):
It's like wish.

Leo Laporte (01:41:57):
It is bizarre. Some of this stuff, I don't even want to read out loud, but it's bizarre. Here's a skull letter pit pullover sweatshirt that says, no, you hang up. I don't know what that means. Isn't some of that the language translation though? Do I need a scraper? I don't know. Maybe I do need a nose scraper. Look at this silicone nose brush. I need that. And by the way, that's an exact clone of the Apple $450 Apple headphones for $9 and 48 cents. And then there's an exact clone of an Apple watch for $5. I mean, but it's not, when you get it, you know it's not going to be an Apple watch. But I guess they can make everything now in shed gen. Is this random? No, this is like they've carefully planned this to be a perfect, I mean, you can't stop scrolling. In fact, let's just stop doing the show for a while and look at the front page of Temu.

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (01:43:06):
Leo, I'm actually worried that you're on Temu now. I could see you buying so much of this junk.

Louise Matsakis (01:43:12):
Yeah, Leo, what did I unleash? I'm very sorry. This wasn't my intention, but you're not alone. I will tell you. You are not alone,

Leo Laporte (01:43:19):
But it's just weird. It's like the back of a comic book and the front window of your main street drugstore, and I mean, in a flea market. In a flea market. Oh, I need a blind cleaning brush. That is definitely, I need this.

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (01:43:38):
Do the three of you miss the old brick and mortar where you didn't know what you wanted to buy, but you would go to This is beyond, or Fries

Leo Laporte (01:43:46):
Is what? Walk the aisles, because that's what this is. I miss that completely. This is total serendipity, right? Just anything and everything. And they keep you scrolling by being weird. Oh, I need chicken, scissors.

Louise Matsakis (01:44:05):
I don't miss the big box store. I don't miss the Bed Bath and Beyond, because I was kind. It was never a great experience. Right? B

Leo Laporte (01:44:11):
B S M collar handcuffs right next to a girl's t-shirt saying, I try to be good. It's what? This is random.

Keith Shaw (01:44:25):
I think we've lost

Leo Laporte (01:44:26):

Keith Shaw (01:44:27):
I think we've lost them.

Louise Matsakis (01:44:28):
Oh no, I wasn't trying to create a, I should say Duo is a notoriously cutthroat company in China, and not necessarily any better than Amazon,

Leo Laporte (01:44:39):
But it says, Temu keeps you safe This week in Temu this week we could do this. Wow, this what a world we have entered here. Okay. Thank you very much. Louise. I blame you for my habits

Louise Matsakis (01:44:56):

Keith Shaw (01:44:57):
I'm going to try to bring us back on track. Robert's question about the, do I miss walking around a store and different things? I miss the social experience of walking around a mall, for example. Have

Leo Laporte (01:45:09):
You been to a mall lately? It is not social. You're walking in a ghost town. It's so sad. It's so sad. Yeah.

Keith Shaw (01:45:16):
Yeah. And yeah, you remember the days where you could walk around and you'd have a multiple number of stores that you could go in and you could get some food. You could go to the, this was field spies. I mean, I was in the days when they had arcades there and you could go play arcade games and things like that. KB

Leo Laporte (01:45:32):
Toys had to stop by KB Toys and

Keith Shaw (01:45:35):
Spencer's. Yeah, and it was a social experiment, not experiment. It was a social thing. And now I feel bad for my kids. We all have outdoor malls now, and it's not the same thing. You just drive to a specific store and that mall culture has really gone away. And if you do go to an indoor mall, it's usually

Leo Laporte (01:45:54):
Empty. You're absolutely dating yourself by even mentioning a mall.

Keith Shaw (01:45:59):
I know. I'm sorry,

Leo Laporte (01:46:00):
What's a mall? Daddy? I'll never forget taking my daughter who's now 31, but taking her when she was like five or six, I said, we're going to the record store. She said, what's a record? I'm glad we have Louise here. At least we got a young person to help us navigate the Chinese shopping sites. I got to ask this, Luis, did you ever walk into a Tower Records?

Louise Matsakis (01:46:24):
I don't know. That's a good question. I might. I know what it is though. And as someone who grew up in New Jersey, I definitely grew up in malls. You remember

Leo Laporte (01:46:33):
Sam Goodies, right? You remember Sam Goodies? Yes, of

Louise Matsakis (01:46:35):
Course. Yes. Yes. And also, my dad, believe it or not, owned a chain of video rental stores. So I do remember, wait, the d h s wait minute.

Leo Laporte (01:46:44):
Oh, this is good. So your dad was in the video cassette rental.

Louise Matsakis (01:46:50):
Oh yeah. And so he saw an early predecessor to Netflix in the late nineties and was like, oh, dear God, no. And he sold them all. Really? Thank God. He was smart.

Leo Laporte (01:46:58):
He saw what was coming. Smart.

Louise Matsakis (01:47:01):
Yeah. So that's literally how I went to college. So thank God. But yeah, it was called Super Video and it was in New Jersey and the mid nineties.

Leo Laporte (01:47:08):
That's fascinating. What did he do after he sold it?

Louise Matsakis (01:47:13):
He did some other things, but yeah, it was really great that he did that because

Leo Laporte (01:47:17):
He's now Chris Christie, ladies and gentlemen.

Louise Matsakis (01:47:19):
No, no, no. I promise that would be very funny. I feel like I have to lead with that.

Leo Laporte (01:47:25):
Christie used to own video stores. No, no. I'm just making

Louise Matsakis (01:47:28):
Was super video used in Jay? In

Leo Laporte (01:47:30):
Silent Bob? Oh,

Louise Matsakis (01:47:32):
Not that I know of. If that was the case, what was the movie? Clerks? Clerks? Wasn't that a super video? If that was the name, then I don't, it might've just been a coincidence. I feel like that's a family lore. I would've been told if that was the case, but I think it's just one of those names. I feel like that era, everything had the logic of that time was like, give it that kind of name. Right? Make it as simple as possible. Don't make people confused about what you're doing. Make it think they've seen it in a movie.

Leo Laporte (01:48:03):
I love it. So we now know a piece of your history that was unknown until now. It's true. Thank you for distracting me from Temu. We're going to take No problem. We're going to take a little break. I know. Welcome back, Leo. Holy cow. My eyes are burning. We got a great panel and I think we are all learning a little bit here. Father Robert Baer, the digital Jesuit who was ready to perform the last rites, should they become necessary, just anytime you need it. Louise Maki from New Jersey and la she's at SEMA four does a great job. Their Elm makis on the Twitter, do you still use

Louise Matsakis (01:48:45):
Yeah, begrudgingly. But yeah, I'm, you

Leo Laporte (01:48:47):
Know who doesn't use It's C E o, but we'll talk about that next. And Keith, it's great to have you. First time ever, Keith Shaw, and he's doing great fit right in. Maybe that's because his podcast is called Today in Tech. Perfect, perfect. You'll find it on YouTube. Our show today, brought to you by Collide Holy Cow Security these days. I actually have a question for you, father Robert Rat security, but lemme tell you, if you're your company using Okta, Okta solves one problem, which is it makes sure that only the people who have proper authentication can get into your network and use your network apps. But here's the problem. How do you know that the devices they're using, the computers they're using, there's apps are secure because even if it's the right person, if they're on an insecure device getting into your network, well, you can see this happens all the time now.

That's why you need collide a device trust solution for companies with Okta, because Collide goes the extra step to ensure that if a device isn't trusted and secure, it can't log into your cloud apps. Have you noticed the last few years, and really lately the majority of data breaches and hacks you read about all have one thing in common, the employees. Now, I don't want to blame employees because they're doing the best they can, but sometimes an employee's device gets hacked. Maybe they have unpatched software on there, an old copy of Plex on their laptop, that kind of thing. Sometimes employees inadvertently leave sensitive data in an insecure place, or maybe they sync up to GitHub or these things happen. And it seems like every day a hacker breaks in using credentials. They fished from an employee. How did the Microsoft signing certificates get stolen?

Do you remember the problem here? It's not your end users. I don't want to blame the end users. It's the solutions they're using that are supposed to prevent these breaches. Doesn't have to be this way. Imagine a world where only secure devices can access your cloud apps, not just authenticate the users with Okta, but then make sure the devices are secure too. Phish credentials in this world are useless to hackers. You can manage every oss, including Linux, all from a single dashboard. And best of all, you can get employees to fix their own device security issues without creating more work for your IT team. Hey, here's the good news. You do not have to imagine this world. You can start using collide. Take a look at this great on-demand demo they've got at, K O L I D Book that on-demand demo. You'll see how it works for yourself, and I think it'll be very clear why you need to have this. If you use Okta, you need collide, K O L I D Thank him so much for the support for this week in tech. It reminds me, father Robert, I was, and I think you're the right person because you've done a lot of enterprise IT security and that kind of thing, and you have an evil mind. I do sometimes. So Microsoft lost control of its signing certificates, right? Yes. We've been talking about that since security now.

And I don't know if Microsoft would've even had admitted to this, except I think it was a very high end customer who really put the screws to them and said there's something wrong. And when finally Microsoft explained what was going on, they explained in great detail, which I give them credit for. They say it was a China-based threat actor storm 0 5 5 8, and they were very clearer in very detail about how they got the key, but here's the problem. This happened back in Microsoft disclosed in July, but it happened when? In April of 2021. Yep. So two years later. Two plus years later, Microsoft explains how Storm 0 5 5 8 acquired a key to forge tokens for O W A, the Microsoft accounts and So for two years, a Chinese threat actor could make as many certificates as they want. That would be indistinguishable from a signed Microsoft certificate.

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (01:53:12):
Correct. And they were able to take advantage of all of Microsoft's internal authentication processes to basically force their way into any account they wanted to, including several government used accounts, which of course is a bad idea when you consider how long they had access to it.

Leo Laporte (01:53:30):
Somebody recently, I wish I could find the article I just read it said, this is a problem. This is a gift that's going to keep on giving because we don't know how many certificates were forged. This could go everywhere from every Windows 11 machine to every Azure installation to every, I mean there's a billion and a half Microsoft devices in use. We don't know how many of them have four certificates.

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (01:53:54):
Correct. This is a core Microsoft technology, so basically if it's a Microsoft product, they could afford authentication for it. This is worst case scenario for Microsoft. I don't know why this is not getting more coverage because every server administrator, everyone who runs a website that uses any Microsoft services, anyone who runs a Windows computer or uses Outlook should be aware that they should take basic precautions to reset their authentication, get a second multifactor authentication, make sure that it's going to a secure device. All of these things are now table stakes because you cannot trust that Microsoft will be able to secure its own services.

Leo Laporte (01:54:35):
Well, one way Microsoft could do it, but would never do this is by revoking all those certificates.

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (01:54:41):
Yeah, they could, but that would break

Leo Laporte (01:54:43):
Everything. Everything

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (01:54:45):
So much runs on Microsoft services. Just think of everything that's running on Azure. They would have to revoke everything and at the same time, so that's not possible. Really.

Leo Laporte (01:54:58):
Yeah, that's not going to happen. I think honestly, even credible security experts are kind of downplaying this because it is horrific.

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (01:55:11):
This is sort of like if you kill 10 people, you're a mass murderer. If you kill a million people, you're a figure in history. It is so all encompassing that there's no way to put a scope on this.

Leo Laporte (01:55:27):
I feel like the red alerts should be going off everywhere. I wanted to ask you, because it seems to me like this is horrible. Is it as bad as I'm thinking? Yes. Is there a mitigation? Is there a way to solve this?

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (01:55:45):
Absolutely. The aforementioned revocation of all certificates,

Leo Laporte (01:55:49):
But that's not going to happen. There's no way that can happen. That's

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (01:55:51):
Not going to happen. Right? I mean, again, and this is the problem. As an individual user, I've been able to do things that can help me to stay away from someone forging one of my authentication tokens. That's basically being me rebuilding everything. But most people are not going to do that. Most people don't even know there's a problem. This has not. Well,

Leo Laporte (01:56:14):
That's why the word needs to get out. So there are some things that you can do to mitigate it as an end user or as a user of Microsoft's cloud or whatever, the State department, 60,000 US State Department emails, exfiltrated due to this Microsoft breach. That's the most recent headline, but that's been going on. I mean,

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (01:56:32):
That's what they know about. Yeah, that's what they know about. Well,

Leo Laporte (01:56:35):
That's the scariest thing is there could be sitting out there on your system and you wouldn't know they got in legitimately so-called legitimately. Alright.

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (01:56:47):
This is not a brute force attack. This is not a password stuffing attack. This is someone with the actual keys

Leo Laporte (01:56:55):
To everything, so they just wander, they walk in. It's as if a master key to every house in the world was made and now some bad guy. Apparently a Chinese hacking group has that key and there's no door that can be protected. Is that right? Well, I

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (01:57:12):
Mean it's even worse than that. It's as if someone had a master key and they've been doing whatever they've wanted to for two years.

Leo Laporte (01:57:19):
At least two years. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. I'm just checking. So

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (01:57:25):
Be properly scared of this. It's not a good thing. Unfortunately, as you know, the mitigation strategies for this are possible, but they're not probable. They're not things that regular people are going to do.

Leo Laporte (01:57:39):
Key revocation is even from an individual isn't even guaranteed. It's hard because a lot of this revocation doesn't even happen As we learn from Google.

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (01:57:52):
Well, think of all the devices you have that automatically sign on to the various services that you use. Now imagine suddenly you delete all of that and have to reconnect

Leo Laporte (01:58:01):
All your, you got to do it all again. Yeah.

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (01:58:03):
Most people can't

Leo Laporte (01:58:04):
Do that. Can't do that. Yeah. Especially big companies. Okay, just checking. Do you think that we, God, do you think that we will see just kind of an ongoing litany of breaches and exfiltration forever and ever? Amen.

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (01:58:20):
This is going to be like the Experian hack where there's going to be a bunch of strange activity that might be related to this and might not. We actually, we had it here. That storm ran over us about eight months ago when here

Leo Laporte (01:58:36):
At the Vatican, a

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (01:58:36):
Lot of our high level accounts, we were getting a lot of suspicious activity, weird logins from different parts of the world, a lot of exfiltration of information and luckily we've got a decent IT team here and they shut it down immediately and changed all the credentials and basically dropped all the tokens. But again, most aren't going to do that.

Leo Laporte (01:58:59):
I don't like doing depressing programs, but this is depressing us. Hell wait way to bring us down, father,

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (01:59:08):
Look, everything's okay. I'm sure that, there you go. Who hacked are really nice people and they just wanted access the government emails, everything's

Leo Laporte (01:59:15):
Okay. The good news is as an individual, you're not a target probably unless you, I don't know, do something the Chinese government doesn't like, you're probably not a target. Yeah.

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (01:59:27):
That makes my entire organization a target.

Leo Laporte (01:59:29):
Yeah, you're a good one. Okay. Wow. I've been waiting to have you on just to ask you these questions. We'll talk about this with Steve on security now. He's been very critical of Microsoft's handling this it, I mean, I appraise them for their openness. I mean, they've been very clear about what happened and how it happened, which is good. What I think is unclear is how they're going to fix it and there is, as far as I can tell, there's no good way for them to fix it.

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (01:59:55):
I'm waiting for the postmortem that details exactly how they discovered it and how were they able to backtrack the activity because we have a general picture of what they've done, but I want to know what they knew when they knew it and how they found it out.

Leo Laporte (02:00:11):
Yeah. Well, and there's been speculation that Microsoft was kind of forced to reveal this because two years later is a lot later.

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (02:00:26):
Well, the state department got involved.

Leo Laporte (02:00:27):
Yeah, some big client maybe. Yeah, the state department would be pretty good one. Yeah. How the hackers obtained the consumer email signing key is kind of interesting because Microsoft finally kind of explained that the secret was as, and this turns out to be very frequent, when you get a blue screen of death and you get a dump of of memory, a lot of times when you have a crash, there's a dump of ram. Well, it turns out hackers know this that often secrets are in the dump and the memory dump, and so the signing key secrets were in a crash snapshot. Microsoft is supposed to keep those in isolated restricted environments, but when the system crashed, the snapshot image, which included a copy of the consumer signing key, this is the most precious thing. Microsoft has this consumer assigning key. I mean it's normally held in a very, very safe place, but it was in the snapshot.

Microsoft systems didn't notice it was in the snapshot, and then somebody moved the snapshot from the isolated network into the debugging environment, which is on the public internet. They were trying to figure out why the system crashed, but the crash dump had this information in it and at some point the snapshot was moved to their corporate network in April, 2021, at which point the storm hackers compromised the engineer's corporate account, got the debugging environment, got the snapshot, found the consumer signing key, the holies of Holies, and at that point they don't have logs that said how they got it out of the building, but they did.

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (02:02:22):
Actually, that would be a good question for you to ask Steve, because it sounds like the debug, the dump screen bypasses any protection that you get from memory address randomization.

Leo Laporte (02:02:34):
Right. Its it all back

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (02:02:36):
Together. It would have to because otherwise it would be gibberish. It would be

Leo Laporte (02:02:38):
Useless. Yeah. So it puts it all back together and says here.

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (02:02:44):
Interesting. Okay, I've got a new vector I want to try now. Thanks Leo. I've got a weekend project.

Leo Laporte (02:02:49):
Well, according to a number of sources I read, this is well known among bad guys. Black hats know that these core dumps are often very valuable. My friend ko, well, I mean

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (02:03:03):
That's the first step to developing a zero day, which is you want to crash the machine because you crash the machine. It means you were able to write somewhere in memory that has an active, active use. My friend. Yeah. Cords have always been part of it.

Leo Laporte (02:03:15):
My friend, Miko Koan who runs F Secure and has for decades, really great security researcher, tweeted a picture of the lab from 20 years ago where the signing updates to the database detection were kept, and you could see the two desktop computers on the left are locked, the one's in a cage with tamper-proof seals, and he says the room was behind four, not one, not two, not three, but four locked doors. That's how F Secure kept their signatures safe. And I imagine Microsoft is something similar. Microsoft

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (02:03:51):
Simply in the pizza room

Leo Laporte (02:03:55):
Is at a kiosk at the mall. Well, no, I'm sure Microsoft had all of that physical security, but it didn't matter because it was in a dump and then it got moved onto a public network and did you see the interview a little uncomfortable, Linda Ya Carino had at the code conference, here she is getting interviewed by Julia Borson from C N B C. At first she was a little upset. She's the C E O, the new c e O of Twitter. She was a little upset because the interview prior was Yo Roth, the former head of safety who was not only fired by Elon Musk, but then doxxed by Elon Musk. Elon Sicked, his stands on him and had to move and had to hide and was a nasty thing. So she was a little perturbed that you guys had old Roth on just before, so she was a little on a tense.

Louise Matsakis (02:04:57):
Yeah, tense is putting it nicely, but come on, Leo, you're burying the very best part, which is that she was talking about how great engagement is on the platform and then she held up her phone and it was her unlocked lock screen and you could see that X was not on her home screen while Signal Instagram and Facebook were as well as the Holy Bible app.

Leo Laporte (02:05:23):
So just a word of warning, do not do this. She's holding up her phone, especially if you're the CEO of Twitter and there is no Twitter on your home screen.

Louise Matsakis (02:05:36):
The other thing though that people were not talking about as much is that you can see on the top right there that she also has Blind, which is a platform where tech employees discuss things anonymously and I bet that she is looking on there to see what ex-employees, yeah, what ex-employees are talking about. Right. She's

Leo Laporte (02:05:55):
Reading and not posting. Right,

Louise Matsakis (02:05:58):
Right. Just trying to gossip with other ex-employees on there. Yeah, I have no idea, but you have to have an official at that company email address in order to sign up.

Leo Laporte (02:06:10):
Wow, that's a good catch. I didn't see anybody else note that that was blind. Oh, all the competition. Now it is possible this isn't her front page, that this is the second page. That the first page is one Big X, I suppose. I

Louise Matsakis (02:06:28):
Dunno. Yeah, I don't know though. I think that is the home screen. I

Leo Laporte (02:06:31):
Think it's the home screen that people were also saying it was a little weird that she had the settings app in her doc, but I can understand that you might hit the settings app. Yeah, yeah. That's not so weird. It is weird that you don't have X on your phone. She's

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (02:06:45):
Also weird that she claims that Twitter's going to be profitable next year, which no, not even quote, no chance in

Leo Laporte (02:06:51):
Hell. She says all the advertisers are back, baby. No, no,

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (02:06:58):

Leo Laporte (02:06:59):

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (02:07:00):
Can do math if you can do math based on the last public information we have from Preuss Twitter that they did about 5 billion of revenue on 1.8 billion of cost of revenue, 3.8 billion on the payroll, a debt service of 51 million for a minus 221 million a total. If you look at Musk Twitter, even though they have greatly reduced the payroll and the cost of revenue, they've also decreased revenue by about 70%, which means that this year at minimum, he's going to lose about 1.5 billion, which becomes 2 billion if you add in the 5 million in severance packages that he's now going to have to pay out. So he's going to be running in the red. He's going to be adding that debt to the already high debt service, which means within three years just the service on the debt, not the cost of revenue is going to be more than the revenue of the entire company. It's now possible there's no mathematical way out of that.

Leo Laporte (02:07:56):
Of course, the other way that they may be trying to be profitable is not paying rent, not paying severance, not paying anybody anything

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (02:08:05):
That works for a while,

Leo Laporte (02:08:06):
Guess. Yeah, until you get kicked out of the offices. Elizabeth Lipato, good job on the Verge taking down Walter Isaacson, who wrote the best, by the way, number one bestseller in the country, the Elon Musk biography. A lot of people are reading it, but perhaps you should read this article before you take everything in the biography as true, she says one way to keep Musk's myth intact is simply not to check things out. She said the big mistake Isaac Sam makes is taking Musk as his chief source for the book. And as we well know, Elon is not exactly the most forthright person in the world, and I think she's correct to fault Isaacson for not doing the background work, the legwork to check his assertions. He just basically publishes them intact. He already got in trouble with the issue of the Ukrainian starlink shut down because he said that starlink was shut down and then Elon said, no, no, no, we just didn't turn it on. And then Isaacson had an issue of correction and blah, blah, blah. Lipato says, obviously the source of all this was Musk and Isaacson got caught because he didn't look any deeper. Good article recommended. I'm not going to go through all the many factual issues.

Louise Matsakis (02:09:39):
Yeah, I mean I think what this is exposing is sort of the dirty secret about nonfiction books that unless you've sort of dipped your toes into that world, you don't know, which is that if you would like them fact checked, the authors often need to pay that out of their own advance. So if you want to go to that trouble, you can, but your publisher is not going to require it. And also your book might not be edited that well by your book editor necessarily. It was funny this week, a lot of journalists were laughing because Julia Fox, the star uncut Gems and Kanye West X just wrote a memoir and she told the New Yorker, yeah, no one edited my book. And she was surprised by that and she was like, yeah, I just turned it in. And they were like, this is great. And she was like, I realize I had to self edit it. And that is super common. So I think even with these really high profile books where I'm sure this was an enormous advance, it's going to sell. Well, that does not mean, I always tell people, if you want the truth, it's like magazine articles are kind of the only thing that's super heavily fact-check these days. It's not necessarily a really fancy book is going to get that treatment.

Leo Laporte (02:10:45):
Didn't even the New Yorker stop doing all the deep or maybe not. Maybe they still do the fact-checking they used, I

Louise Matsakis (02:10:50):
Think they still do have a really robust fact checking department and a lot of the magazines do, and I think, and even at least in the New York Times or something like that, it's going to get lawyered, right? Editors,

Leo Laporte (02:11:02):

Louise Matsakis (02:11:02):
Are editors, right? There's editing. Yeah, there's editing that happens and they, they're going to look at this stuff and sort of be careful, whereas I don't know why it's, I guess it's just the decline of the publishing world, but it's not surprising to me that this happened. But it is crazy that it's such a high profile book and especially he's just the most covered guy. So all these other people are like, well, I know what actually happened here. I wrote about it at the time, or there's a video or whatever it is.

Leo Laporte (02:11:28):
Yeah. Reid Semaphore, if you want to know the truth,

Louise Matsakis (02:11:33):
We have editors.

Leo Laporte (02:11:34):
Yeah, we have editors is such a low bar. It should be a low bar, but it's a high bar now. Oh,

Louise Matsakis (02:11:41):
I know.

Leo Laporte (02:11:42):
It's amazing how much, how many grammatical errors you see these days and typos and just you can tell stuff was just filed and then spit up on the internet before anybody took a look at it. According to the EU X is the biggest source, the biggest source of social media disinformation, and that's going to be a problem because the EU is going to start cracking down. EU Commission studied 6,000 posts, 4,000 user accounts across X, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube focusing on three countries considered to be due at risk due to upcoming elections and the associated threat of Russian propaganda, Slovakia, Poland, and Spain X was number one. Congratulations Elon followed by Facebook. Oddly, YouTube came last. Maybe it's just too much work. That's surprising. Yeah, that is actually. Well,

Keith Shaw (02:12:40):
It takes a while to make a video and

Leo Laporte (02:12:41):
Then it's too much work. It's a lot easier to Too much

Keith Shaw (02:12:44):
Work to get it up late. Yeah, yeah. It's a lot faster. You can automate it could send those robots out.

Louise Matsakis (02:12:51):
Yeah. I think there's also a few things that X has done. One of the biggest ones that there's been so many scandals that we forgot about it, but is that in April, Elon Musk, after that whole kerfuffle with N P R took off those state sponsored labels, and I bet that's going to be an issue in the eu. Some new data came out this week that showed that Chinese, Iranian and Russia and state media are getting way more engagement than they used to get on X because those labels are gone, and Twitter used to throttle how much exposure they could get. So I think that's the kind of thing that's pretty concrete, right, is they took these safeguards away. I feel like it's hard to measure how many lies are there

Leo Laporte (02:13:30):
On one platform or another. What time is it now, Robert in Rome? 1 34. Okay. We're going to wrap this up for Robert. We're making him stay up late. We will have final thoughts and a few final stories when we continue. What a great panel. The shows always go long when I really enjoy the people we've got and we have a great panel. Louise, it's so nice to have you, Louise mokis sema a must read. I really like what they're doing there. Of course, if you are interested in tech you must know about today in tech, that is Keith's YouTube channel and you do three a week and often interviews, you focus on a specific subject, episode 89, how AI is impacting recruitment and hiring. Actually, your last episode was how to protect yourself from new security threats. So that's a good one. The AI gold rush. Good stuff. It's an I D G podcast. I d g tech talk on YouTube.

Keith Shaw (02:14:30):
It's the Internet's biggest secret. Leo, find us. If you can find us, you'll be amazed at our shows, but the problem is not a lot of people find

Leo Laporte (02:14:40):
Us. We're doing everything we can to tell the world about today in tech on YouTube. Keith, it's great to have you first time on the show, but not your last. It's been really great to have you on here. Our show today brought to you by narva. People going home. They're working from home, but still you got people in the office and your huddle rooms, your conference rooms. They're getting a little complicated. There's people sitting in the room, but there's also people on the phone and it's kind of hard for them to hear. How about, wouldn't it be nice if you could make it easy for everybody to hear what's going on? Or how about in a large college lecture room or, well, I can go on and on. You need to know about Eva. Eva and you are e v a meeting room audio. Look at Ask Duquesne University.

Perfect example. They have a hundred EVA devices installed. One of their senior technologists said, I can't say enough about how impressed I am. Audio has been my life's work for 30 years. I am amazed at what an arva mic and speaker bar will do. A lot of times when you have a conference room, you've seen it, they go to big companies, they get giant setups with lots of wiring and specialists come in, they do all sorts of things and it's so expensive. Tens of thousands of dollars, and then that conference room, you have to constantly monitor it and tune it and it takes a lot of manpower. All of that can be replaced with a simple EVA mic and speaker bar using their patented microphone missed technology, which puts virtual microphones at every corner of the room. They've made another leap forward now with the introduction of their pro series, the HDL three 10, that's for large rooms.

That's the one on the right and then on the left, the big boy, the HDL four 10 for extra large rooms, pro audio performance plus plug and play simplicity in the same system. Before the EVA Pro series multi-component pro AV systems used to be the only way to get pro audio performance in those really big rooms. Not anymore. Eva continues to amaze it. Pros with the pro series. You could check it out, an online demo. It's for a long time. I've been telling the EVA guys, you've got to put some demos online because when you hear it, it's like, wow, this really works. So you can go now to the website. You get an EVA audio expert being heard clearly. He gets under the table, he gets behind a pillar. It doesn't matter which way he's facing. The virtual microphones are everywhere in the room.

It's pickup performance. Other conventional system just can't match. So let's talk about coverage. Now, the four 10, I said that's the big one. That'll go up 35 feet by 55 feet, just two mics and speaker bars, but you can install them yourselves in about 30 minutes per imagine. I mean setting up an extra large meeting room, a lecture hall with two discrete wall mounted devices that look just like soundbars. In fact, you could put up the two and if you've got a divisible room, you could pull the slider across, it'll automatically adjust and you'll now have one in each room so you can use 'em individually as well. The HDL four 10 also features a unified coverage map, which processes mic pickup from the two devices simultaneously so they act together or individually, but normally in the big room that act together to make a giant single mic array.

It's baby brother not so baby. The HDL three 10 goes 30 feet by 30 feet, and that's just one mic and speaker bar. You can easily put up yourself in about 30 minutes. With continuous auto calibration, EVA audio automatically and continuously adapts to the changes in the acoustic profile. Compare this to the tens of thousands of dollars and all the complexity of these fancy conference room systems from earlier times. This is the future. This is amazing, and with Eva's console, your IT department will love this. It's a cloud-based device management platform. It takes all the pain out of things like firmware updates, calibrating rooms, changing settings, checking device status. You can do that all from your desk. You don't even have to get up. So bottom line with a pro series, this new pro series eva makes it simple to quickly and cost effectively equip more of your spaces for remote collaboration.

It's something every room needs because you've still got people calling in, right? Learn more at, N U R E V Don't give up simplicity, plug and play and a low cost. Don't give that up because you think you need pro AV performance. You can get pro AV performance with Eva. It really works. Go to the website and listen to the, it'll blow your mind. We had a fun week at twit. I wasn't here, so I've asked them to. Our AI has created a synopsis of some of the things that happened this week on twit watch

Speaker 9 (02:19:39):
Some dude named Patrick Delehanty. He asked Lou, what do you think of Rhode Island Pizza and why do people in the state like that abomination so much? That is hilarious,

Speaker 10 (02:19:52):
Dude. I want to be very clear though. It's not pizza. It

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (02:19:56):
Looks like just put up

Speaker 9 (02:19:57):
Toast, dude. It's

Speaker 10 (02:19:58):
Not pizza. It's toast with tomato jam on it. Right?

Leo Laporte (02:20:02):
Previously on TTT Tech News Weekly,

Speaker 11 (02:20:06):
I do a comprehensive review of the Samsung Galaxy tab SS nine plus. You're going to want to hear that next on Tech News Weekly,

Leo Laporte (02:20:14):
Windows Weekly.

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (02:20:16):
Microsoft in a very short period of time, unleashed an unbelievable amount of software here, and it's an interesting reminder that this company is capable of that because honestly, the Windows team has been walking around like the three Stooges for the past year, bumping into walls and smacking each other on the head. As a Windows enthusiast. It is nice to have Windows back.

Speaker 12 (02:20:39):
I think we should take a quick break while we all try to reckon with this idea that the era of a smiling Paul is upon us.

Leo Laporte (02:20:49):
Okay, great. This week in Google,

Speaker 13 (02:20:52):
When you get back from these incredible gastro nomad trips, what is your guilty secret junk food back in the states?

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (02:21:00):
Now, granddaughter and I tend to make

Leo Laporte (02:21:02):
Pizza. We make

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (02:21:03):
Bread, we do all this stuff stuff together.

Speaker 13 (02:21:05):
No, you make the pizza. No, no. If you'd said that, you go out to

Speaker 11 (02:21:09):
Pizza. I caught that too, Jeff, by the way. It was like, Wells don't an answer.

Speaker 13 (02:21:13):
I'd have more respect for you, Mike. I would twit.

Speaker 10 (02:21:16):

Speaker 9 (02:21:17):

Leo Laporte (02:21:18):
I'm back, baby. I'll be back all week. We have a lot of great shows ahead and some great guests. I think you'll want to tune in this week in Google this week. We're going to have a lot of fun on Twit, so just a little reminder, we will wrap things up there. A few big stories. Are you excited about the Raspberry Pie five Father Roberts?

Speaker 9 (02:21:38):

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (02:21:39):
That thing actually looks amazing. It's got the specs to actually be a mini computer versus the crippled thing that we've had up to

Leo Laporte (02:21:47):
The Resite. But still 40 bucks, right? Or no? 60 bucks still 40 bucks. Oh, all right. Okay. Oh, 60. 60. Oh no, you're right. You're right. You're right. 64 bit quad core arm Cortex. A 76 running at 2.4 gigahertz a few years ago. That really would've been like, wow, that's super desktop quality. That's about two to three times performance according to the verge of the existing four year old Raspberry Pi four 800 megahertz video course seven graphics chip. We'll have to try that before we know exactly what that will do. A Southbridge, which helps the device communicate with peripherals, the RP one Southbridge is going to really speed up peripheral performance two four lane, 1.5 gigabit M I P I transceivers. So as many as two cameras or two displays.

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (02:22:40):
And actually Tech Dino brings up my favorite new feature of the raspy five. It has a power switch.

Leo Laporte (02:22:47):
What I have to reboot my pie by unplugging the micro U S B connector. Hallelujah. You can turn it on and off. You can support two four K 60 PhD HT M I displays. It's got a micro SD card slot, two SB three ports, two SB two ports, gigabit ethernet still on a five volt DC power connection via U S B C, not micro U S B. So this sounds like the computer to get, can you get it, I guess is the question.

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (02:23:17):
I mean, there's going to be a supply constraint of course, when it first comes out, but yeah, no, they've done a really good job of ramping up production. They had a problem with the RASS PI four because so many people were doing home brew projects when the RAs PI four was popular. But this I think because it's a higher price point and a lot of the home brewers are going to stay with the older versions, this will be more for the people who actually want to do some higher end computing.

Leo Laporte (02:23:41):
They've got a broad range now from the base raspberry pie to the four, and it's really good what you can do, and you should get the one that's right for the job you need. And maybe that's not a raspberry pie. Maybe that's an Arduino. I hope people will pick the right one so we can all get ours pre-orders now shipping late this month in late October.

Keith Shaw (02:24:01):
Yeah. Can I ask a question of Robert? Just since I'm a podcast host, and I tend to do that when I ask questions too, I

Leo Laporte (02:24:07):

Keith Shaw (02:24:10):
Does this version with Raspberry PI five bring it to a broader audience? It's always felt like anybody that I talk to that's really into Raspberry Pie is also into, it's a niche audience that is really, really into it. The old joke of how do you know if someone's into Raspberry Pie? They'll tell you

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (02:24:34):
Yes, yes and no. And what I mean is this. So it will be a much bigger audience on the secondary market. So those people who are going to be taking these, putting them into cases and maybe bundling it so that it comes as a computer that you can turn on on your desk. So that's where it really widens the market. But you're right, most people who have been using RA PIs are a bit more on the geeky side. They're a bit more on the tech side. They love building things that do odd actions with stimuli. This is probably overkill for that. So most of the projects that I've used a RA PI for this would be way, way, way too much. Maybe I could use this for a tour machine. Maybe I could use this as a storage server motherboard. Maybe I could use it for my V P N. But all of the other stuff that I've got running on RASS PIs here, this is way too much computer.

Leo Laporte (02:25:29):
Well, I remember you showing us on know-how to use a Raspberry Pi for a pie hole. I would think this would be a great pie hole machine. Is it

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (02:25:36):
Overkill? A pie hole, an access point, A V P N. So anything that requires a lot of complex computations, this is great. But for example, this screen, all the signage around the coria runs on raspberry pies that I've installed. I You kidding? So have centralized control. Oh, that's right. But I don't need a pie, a five for that. In fact, this is running on a rasp PI two, I think.

Leo Laporte (02:25:57):
Yeah, it could be a three or a B. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Good. This is exciting. I still want to get one. I don't need it, but I still want to get one. But you know what? So many schools use them. Maybe hold back if you're not going to use it. Right. Let's see, Supreme

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (02:26:14):
Court, Carter turns 99 today. Wow.

Leo Laporte (02:26:17):
He's hospice, but God bless him. That's amazing. Happy birthday. Jamie Carter, one of those guys who at the time people weren't impressed by, but I think in hindsight, he put solar in 1976. He put solar panels on the White House. They had a fruit garden, a vegetable garden. He realized the importance of nuclear power. I mean, there was a lot of things Jimmy Carter in hindsight was right on about. I read, have we

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (02:26:47):
Ever had a former president reach a hundred?

Leo Laporte (02:26:52):
Oh, I'm sure one of them old guys.

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (02:26:54):

Leo Laporte (02:26:54):
Don't. Don't know. I

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (02:26:55):
Don't think so.

Keith Shaw (02:26:56):
Not recently.

Leo Laporte (02:26:57):
Not recently. No. Probably not. I mean until recently people didn't live, by the way, speaking of the Roman Empire, we were, weren't we? The average life expectancy of the Roman Empire is 28.

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (02:27:11):
28. Well, that's because they were all gladiators.

Leo Laporte (02:27:13):
Oh, that's right.

Keith Shaw (02:27:16):
I was going to ask virtual Abe Lincoln for the answer to that

Leo Laporte (02:27:21):
Nice callback first call seven years ago,

Keith Shaw (02:27:25):
The we said no one wants to talk about virtual Abe Lincoln. So

Leo Laporte (02:27:30):
The United States Supreme Court has agreed to review the horrific, obviously unconstitutional Florida and Texas social media laws, forcing social media companies to do whatever the government tells 'em to do. I am hoping that the Supreme Court will see the light, but we don't know they're going to decide those cases. They announced their docket. Apple has asked the Supreme Court to reverse the lower court ruling against them from Epic. Epic was able to convince the court of nothing except maybe that Apple should open their app store. They're going to be forced to do that in the eu. I guess they're just trying to have it not happen in the United States. That came Thursday. I do not know if the court has made a decision on that. Apple Apple's request came a day after Epic petitioned the Supreme Court to do the same thing.

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (02:28:28):
Wait, did it end up on the docket? It's not on. I

Leo Laporte (02:28:30):
Haven't seen that yet. They haven't announced it. Yeah. I don't think that one's ended up They were saying it's still could though, right? Possibly next year. It still could. Yeah. Okay. Or maybe next year. Okay. Speaking of Apple, there is an interesting development in China. Apple has listed the mobile app stores that comply with Chinese regulators rules. Apple is missing from that list. A 26 app stores operated by Tencent, Huawei Ant Group, Baidu, XMI and Samsung all have agreed to Beijing's oversight of mobile apps. They obviously would like to keep mobile apps that talk about things like we need the Pooh and the Tana Minton Square uprising off the app store. Apple has not complied. They have not yet disclosed what they would do, and it's not yet clear what will happen. I imagine they're negotiating because as you saw Tim Cook in the UK talk about China, he was very complimentary. Obviously it's one of their big markets, plus that's where they make all their stuff.

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (02:29:42):
China has really cracked down on a lot of social media people that they used to follow at least a dozen of the high profile ones they haven't posted for months.

Louise Matsakis (02:29:53):
Yeah. I think that this specifically is that they're trying to crack down on the pipeline of, because right now anyone can make an app and apply to put it in the app store, and you just go through this somewhat automated process. Yeah. It's interesting to see that Apple hasn't been listed here. I don't think that that means that they're not necessarily going to comply, but I think one of the risks is that they would have to remove a bunch more apps, including foreign ones that they have on there. But yeah, it's definitely become just a more and more difficult place to have social media. And I think it's becoming more difficult for Apple too, to maintain this balance of trying to be there. It's a big market for them too, in terms of iPhone consumption and I think so it's tricky. They can't just leave the market the way that a lot of these other big tech companies have, not just for the production reasons, but also for the consumer reasons.

Leo Laporte (02:30:51):
They have till the end of March to decide whether they're going to comply with the Chinese government. The Chinese government will require mobile app stores and mobile apps to submit business details to the government, presumably. So they could hold the app stores accountable if apps contain content that is illegal in China. So that's going to be a showdown. We'll keep an eye on that one and be very, I

Louise Matsakis (02:31:15):
Have a good anecdote actually for you guys about this. I just got back from China. I was trying to use some of the local services there, and it's really, really difficult if you don't have a Chinese phone number. So I was like, okay, fine. I'll go get a Chinese phone number. And then I realized that there's no eims in China, so my iPhone 14 doesn't work, so there's no way I can get a Chinese phone number. I can't put a SIM card in it. So I was like, okay, there's no solution to this. And so I said, wait a minute. They're not making iPhones with sim cards anymore. They are in China, so if you buy an iPhone 14 or an iPhone 15, there's still a sim card slot because they want to be able to track who's buying those phone numbers and they don't want people issuing eims on the internet. But I thought that was fascinating that I didn't know there was hardware differences between the phones there and the phones you buy here now.

Leo Laporte (02:32:02):
That's very interesting. I guess the presumption is if you have to get a sim, that means you have to go in somewhere, show your papers, show your identification, that sim is tied to you, something that you don't have to trail release him. There's a paper trail. Very interesting. So how long were you in China, Luis?

Louise Matsakis (02:32:21):
I was in Asia for a few weeks, but I was just in China for kind of like a long weekend, like five days.

Leo Laporte (02:32:26):
And was it for work or just for fun?

Louise Matsakis (02:32:28):
Just for fun. And it was great. I mean, I was so happy to be back. But yeah, definitely one of the only foreigners I saw in Shanghai that was maybe under the age of like 45. Well,

Leo Laporte (02:32:39):
You must get mobbed. I remember when I went there with my son, a fair-haired American boy, girls would run up to him and take, go like he and take pictures and run away. You must've been mobbed with your blonde hair. No,

Louise Matsakis (02:32:56):
I think that they do have more boys, which is funny. Oh, okay. Yeah. And I think also Shanghai is such an international city that, or used to be, I should say that I think that, no, I was left alone. But yeah, I think out in the rural areas too, especially. That's totally common.

Leo Laporte (02:33:10):
Yeah, I think we were in Beijing and there were a lot of visitors from the countryside, and that's probably why it's the city people big deal. But the girls from the backwater countryside, they'd never seen an American. So they were quickly taking pictures. Henry thought it was great. He thought I'm a celebrity. I think we can wrap this up. Father Robert's bedtime. Long gone. So glad you spent the time with us though. It's great to see you, Robert. When are you coming back to the States soon? I hope

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (02:33:42):
I come back in December and I've already actually emailed Jason about post c e s, because c e s this year ends on Saturday, so I could be back for a

Leo Laporte (02:33:51):
Sunday episode. We would love that. I'm going to, I'll bring all the toys. Yeah, bring the toys. Last time you brought a lot of weird stuff back from c e s. That was a lot of fun. We didn't get to talk much about Black Hat and Def Cup, but if there's anything of importance, we can talk about it then. Absolutely. Enjoy the Synod. Is that a synod? What is it called?

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (02:34:17):
This is the Synod on Synod.

Leo Laporte (02:34:21):
Okay. That sounds a little tot logical. What are they going to be deciding there at the Synod on Synod? So

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (02:34:28):
This is actually a big one. This is all about looking at the norms for how the church changes. And this is why some of the more conservative voices in the church have been so against this because their position is, oh, the church doesn't change. The church never changes. Which of course is patently false. So this is all about Pope Francis reaching out to the cardinals, reaching out to the bishops, reaching out to the lay people. Remember, this is the first Senate where you've got what, 20% who are women, and they're voting members of the Synod where they're actually listening to them saying, what do you need the church to be for you?

Leo Laporte (02:35:01):
Interesting. And there was some controversy. I know he created 21 New Cardinals this week.

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (02:35:08):
Yeah, actually, yeah, just yesterday. Two of ours. Two ours, two Jesuits. But he has made I think more than 70% of the voting cardinals. And a lot of people are looking at that and saying he's stuffing the ballot box, but that's just how it works.

Leo Laporte (02:35:26):
Very vigorous for a man of his age and we're glad because very much so. I think he's a great leader of the Catholic church. His

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (02:35:34):
Mind is there. It's just his knee. His knee is what's hurting him. That's it. If

Leo Laporte (02:35:38):
Only he loses a knee, that ain't so bad. It's great to have you, Robert. Thank you so much for being here, Louise. So did you spend a lot of time in China in the past? It sounded like you did.

Louise Matsakis (02:35:50):
Not really, but I was hoping to. And then a few things happened the last few years, but I'm hoping to spend more time now.

Leo Laporte (02:35:58):
Yeah. Good. Alright, so that's part of your beat for Semaphore.

Louise Matsakis (02:36:04):
Yeah, exactly. I've been covering TikTok. Timo now have to report back Leo, when you get your first order and let me know.

Leo Laporte (02:36:11):
Oh my god, I am so excited. All I'm going to do tonight is read all the TMU stuff.

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (02:36:18):
Leo, this week in Temu. I'm serious.

Leo Laporte (02:36:20):

Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ (02:36:21):
Can so do this.

Leo Laporte (02:36:23):
Semafo, S E M A F O for coverage of politics, business technology, net zero, Africa Security Media. A great, I think, fantastic job Ben and Ben put together this amazing site and they were smart enough to hire Louise, and I think that was a good move. Really great. Very much needed publication. I appreciate what you've done over there.

Louise Matsakis (02:36:50):
Thanks so much, Lee. I appreciate it.

Leo Laporte (02:36:52):
And Keith, it's been great to meet you. Thank you for being here, Keith. It was fun. Keith Shaw is the host of Today in Tech from ID g. You can find it on YouTube, I D g Tech Talk. Listen to his podcast every day. It's nice and short. Much shorter than this. Much shorter probably. You know what? You put three together in a week. It's close. There you go. It's close. You get to it. Yeah, I have to do it all in one day. You understand, Keith, great to meet you. Thank you for coming and come back again very soon. Really a nice, really nice panel today. We do twit. Will do. Thank you. Leo. Thank you. On Sunday afternoons, two to 5:00 PM Pacific time, that's five to eight Eastern time currently, because we are still in summertime here in the us, we always stay now in summertime until the Sunday after Halloween to give the kids enough time to get all the sugar in them thanks to the sugar industry who literally lobbied President Obama to make sure that we don't go back to standard time until after Halloween.

Very important. So we're still on summertime, daylight saving time, and that means we have not moved compared to U T C. We are still at 2100 U T C. We'll move when we put the clocks back, but I'll explain it all then to you. It's a lot of mass. 2100 U T C. Now, the reason I tell you when we do the show is because you can watch us do it live. If you want to interact with us in our club Twit Discord, all you have to do is go to live Twit tv. There's a live string there, audio and video. And of course if you're a member of the club, you can go in the club Twit Discord and chat away. And I'm watching the Club Twit Discord Live Twit tv. If you're not a member of Club Twit, lemme put in just a little plug.

Seven bucks a month. But I think it's the best value on the internet you get better yet than the Tim o Noses scraper. It is for seven bucks. You get ad free versions of all the shows, plus shows we don't put out in public, like hands-on Macintosh, hands-on windows, the Tit Linux show, this Scott Wilkinson's, home Theater Geeks, all that stuff. Great events that we do in chat, including our escape room, which is coming up. John Scalzi, the sci-fi author will join us in a chat on Thursday. There's just a lot of stuff. Access to the Discord, seven bucks a month, twit TV slash club twit. But the best reason to do it, that warm feeling deep inside, knowing you're keeping this place alive, you're helping, it really makes a big difference to your membership. So thank you in advance. Twit tv slash club twit. We've been doing this a long time, 18 years, and for 18 years I'm been ending the show the same way. Thanks for being here. We'll see you next time. Another twit is in the can.

All Transcripts posts