This Week in Tech 958 Transcript

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

0:00:00 - Leo Laporte
It's time for twit this week and tech Nate Langston joins us. He's got a show about AI on Bloomberg TV called AI IRL. Brianna Wu is here. She's got a new job and a new pitch and, of course, we love seeing David spark my old friend from tech TV, now host of the CISO series coming up. Pinball talk, mark Zuckerberg's secret lair it's pretty much a evil Bond villains place and seven things the New York Times learned About wordle. It's all coming up next on twit Podcasts you love from people you trust. This is twit.

This is twit this week in tech, episode 958, recorded Sunday, december 17th 2023. Never look a gift mouse in the horse. This week in tech is brought to you by our friends at IT Pro TV now. Aci learning ACI's new solution insights assists in identifying and fixing skill gaps on your IT teams. Visit go dot ACI learning comm slash twit twit listeners. You can get up to 65% off an IT pro enterprise solution plan. The discount is based on your team size, so fill out the form and find out how much you can save.

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It's time for twit this week attack, the last live show of the year, I guess, because next week is Christmas Eve and that's gonna be our old farts Christmas special, and then the following show, new Year's Eve. We wouldn't make you come in for that. That's gonna be the best of 2023. All the best stories. So this is officially the last one of 2023. So, of course, because it's the last one, we've put together the best panel of the year, except for all the other ones, which are also pretty good, because I don't want to hurt anybody's feelings. That's always, you know, it's like that with Johnny was always that way. With Johnny Carson, the last night's audience was terrible. You guys are great. That is David spark, my old friend from tech TV, who is now host, a producer of CISO series at CISO series. Calm, hi, david.

0:03:15 - David Spark
Hello Leo, it's so great to see you again. We we have decades of history, decades.

0:03:20 - Leo Laporte
His drow. Oh my god. Yes, it is great to see you again. Welcome back to our microphones Also with us from Bloomberg. He is technology editor, but more recently the host of their incredible AI show, ai IRL, a Bloomberg original. And, nate, it's always a pleasure to see you and your drum kit. Welcome back.

0:03:44 - Nate Lanxon
Thank you, thanks for having me back. I didn't realize this was the last live show of the year. I feel like I should have put my Santa's outfit on.

0:03:52 - Leo Laporte
I'm actually Realized this is a red smoking jacket, but I realize it actually makes me look like Hugh Hefner, which is not, I realize.

0:03:59 - Nate Lanxon
The intonation on my. It sounded like an accusation that you addressed a Santa. I actually know that's a smoking jacket because you've won it before. Yes, I do feel I should have dressed as Santa.

0:04:10 - Leo Laporte
Yeah, so yeah, do they have Santa in England?

0:04:15 - Nate Lanxon
Yeah, we do, yeah, yeah, we, yeah yeah.

0:04:19 - Brianna Wu
Allegedly. I haven't seen Very uncertain.

0:04:23 - Nate Lanxon
Well, I was trying to think of what's a really British joke to make about Santa, but I couldn't think of one that wasn't really offensive, so I just went with yeah, your.

0:04:33 - Leo Laporte
And that lovely voice to your left is, of course, brianna Woo. New job Progressive victory at progress Win. Hello, brianna.

0:04:42 - Brianna Wu
So good to see you. It's the Boston pinball takeover of your show, leo.

0:04:46 - David Spark
Oh god, I did. I don't live in Boston, I'm on the other coast.

0:04:50 - Brianna Wu
Yeah, but you're from Boston, that's close.

0:04:54 - Leo Laporte
Apparently, david and Brianna have been talking for the last half hour about pinball. Fanatics, that's right.

0:05:02 - David Spark
Well, you only have three machines. That's hardly. I know.

0:05:05 - Leo Laporte
I'm pathetic with only All right, well, we probably get a little pinball talk in here. I you put a picture of you. Can I show this on the air? You and your son at some sort of I don't know pinball expo or something was the yeah, this was the Riverside competition.

0:05:31 - David Spark
This is like kind of a big open Competition and the guy who's there with the beard that is Keith Elwin. And for those of you in the pinball node to Do two significant things about pinball. He's an amazing player but more importantly he is designed five pretty much the best pinball machines out there Godzilla, jurassic Park, iron Maiden, avengers and the sort of the. This the anniversary edition of the James Bond machine. Sle so deep their spectacular put some flippers in.

0:06:08 - Leo Laporte
You put five big silver balls in some bumpers. A picture of Gilligan's Island. You done what could be so difficult.

0:06:16 - David Spark
Oh, that let's. That's a great question and, brianna, I want you to start off explain to the people who don't get it why is pinball so much fun in such a big deal?

0:06:26 - Brianna Wu
So you spend so much of your life staring at screens. Pinball is it has like all the same reward centers of playing video games, like understand complicated rules, very difficult execution on it, but it's like this physical Experience in front of you. So it's just, it's really really rewarding, it's a great way to make friends and it's it's a really really, really deep hobby because it's not just playing pinball, it's also repairing pinball, keeping the machines up and running, which is very difficult sometimes.

0:06:59 - Nate Lanxon
I have no idea, pinball was still a thing level. It's huge, such a huge deal.

0:07:04 - David Spark
It's not a major research and sexually stern. The largest manufacturer just rebuilt new manufacturing facilities and they went from, I believe, just a single manufacturing line to now they've facility with three manufacturing lines on it.

0:07:17 - Nate Lanxon
Yeah, and this isn't because of this. Isn't the same reason that things like cassette tapes come back, that the next generation down by the way this generation of pinball machines are so deep and so complex.

0:07:28 - David Spark
Let me give you just a brief idea. If you look at the older machines, like the electro Mechanical machines, the ones that he maybe even had the physical dials that would turn the rule set on those machines you could probably fit on an index card. The newer machines, the one always explain, the Keith Elwin machines those rules are 25 pages deep. It is a very complex Series of risks and rewards all throughout the game and that's kind of what makes these, especially the newer machines, a lot of fun, because of how deep and complex I mean it's kind of a lifetime to be able to try to master one of these machines.

0:08:01 - Brianna Wu
That's right, but it's also very accessible when the things pinball has gotten better at in the last two years is making accessible for normal people. The game I just bought, venom, is fantastic because a new player can beat that, as long as they keep playing it, because you level up every Single time you play and it saves your progress. So, no, the thing about pinball is there's been this history that's been going on in Parallel to the video game industry for the last 30 years, and then you look around and you're like, oh my gosh, I've just been missing all of it, and there's 30 years of amazing stuff to discover. It's really rewarding.

0:08:37 - Nate Lanxon
I'm gonna have to make a video about this at one day.

0:08:42 - David Spark
I'm telling you it's there's. I Was. I was introduced to pinball when I was in college because I, like many people, they think, oh Just, you knock the ball around, you try to keep it in there, but you don't understand that again, these series of risks and rewards, and you're trying to aim for things and you're trying to control the ball, that's what makes a good pinball player is they can make their shot and they control the ball. You know, the better the player can do that kind of a thing. And then once I understood, ah, this, there's actually a pattern to the all this, then I started getting very addicted to it.

0:09:13 - Leo Laporte
One of the things that seems to be a trademark of this era Perhaps because of the internet is is exactly this, which is there are microcosms of enthusiasts who are absolutely passionate about, you know, home pickling or pinball or pez dispensers, and then, because of the internet, they can meet, they can get together and they get even more involved. Do you think that that has always been that way or is this something New? I'm sure there were, you know, in the 50s. They were car fanatics and stereo fanatics and pinball fanatics, but you think it's gotten more.

0:09:52 - David Spark
Each other easy. Yeah, bottom line right.

0:09:54 - Brianna Wu
It's easy I think that's true, but pinball is almost a throwback in the sense. Well, it is a call of duty Online. You know so many like fun and fancy 14.

0:10:04 - Leo Laporte
They're far more people playing call of duty than they're not playing pinball. I mean obvious.

0:10:08 - Brianna Wu
Yeah, right, right, but it's a really, really, really big industry. Actually, like numerically, we've got four new pinball manufacturers have launched what's a. Who are the people that just launched the the labyrinth table? You've got smokiest kicking, but America's very well.

0:10:25 - David Spark
The manufacturers that did a hundred percent.

0:10:27 - Brianna Wu
It is absolutely.

0:10:29 - Leo Laporte
We also have two new record stores selling vinyl records. I wouldn't necessarily say that that is the renaissance the thing is the vinyl record isn't changing.

0:10:39 - David Spark
The new pinball machines Are a new kind of. They have video screens and they actually you. They update the code virtually and, by the way, all these machines now being made are all internet connected and you can track your scores against other people.

0:10:53 - Nate Lanxon
So I rest my case definitely a more modern technology and do people stream themselves playing?

0:10:59 - Brianna Wu
Oh, yeah, oh yeah, in fact, dead flip stream so much he actually got a chance to make a game called food fighters and it was amazing. So, absolutely it's. It's a huge counterculture, like just as a market share it's exploding, like it's, it's really big business.

0:11:18 - Leo Laporte
Well, yeah, no kidding, I'm looking at the price list for Stern's new Godzilla Pinball accessories. If you want a Godzilla heat ray destruction topper, you can get it for a thousand bucks. Or a mothra egg shooter knob, that's a hundred seventy nine ninety nine. The King Ghedra side armor two hundred eighty nine dollars.

0:11:38 - Brianna Wu
God's door. Who don't door a?

0:11:40 - Leo Laporte
good door. Sorry, pardon me. Oh my, I should never get it wrong because you have a dog named after Kaiju.

0:11:48 - Brianna Wu

0:11:49 - David Spark
Kaiju, name of the battles in Godzilla. Oh lord.

0:11:52 - Leo Laporte
Oh. So I rest my case and actually podcasting has benefited from that, because there's a podcast about every one of these things or many.

0:12:01 - David Spark
There's a YouTube channel pinball podcast.

0:12:03 - Leo Laporte
Yeah, there's YouTube channels, there's websites. I mean this is, the internet facilitates this.

0:12:08 - Benito
This is Benito. Hi Benito, Also a pinball in TCS another one.

0:12:12 - Leo Laporte
Oh, we're in deep trouble. They don't put this panel together.

0:12:15 - Benito
Now I know what's going on the simplest explanation I can give you for the popularity of pinball is it's physics, the game it's physics.

0:12:22 - Leo Laporte
Yes, don't you get bored that it's the same game. I mean you have to have ten of them.

0:12:30 - David Spark
You have to have always no, no. I'm telling. These games are so complex. The newer ones are crazy complex.

0:12:37 - Leo Laporte
You see, I've only played old clip, old pinball. I guess, benito, do you have it with old machine? Do you have a pinball game at home?

0:12:43 - Benito
I don't have a bank account to we don't pay you. Well, oh machine but to answer Brianna's question, my favorite game was a Jurassic Park and I.

0:12:54 - David Spark
Had a sorcerer.

0:12:54 - Brianna Wu
I own it too. It's a great game college.

0:12:56 - Leo Laporte
It is a great game, so, benito we were gonna buy a pinball game for twit oh.

0:13:02 - Benito
I would want. Me personally, I wouldn't want Jurassic Park or Godzilla. That looks fun to hear.

0:13:08 - David Spark
Here's the big difference between those two games. Jurassic Park is a very linear game where you yeah, you're, you're going in a very sort of straight direction, trying to achieve, you're going from, like one point to another point. Godzilla is multi-dimensional. There's lots of things going on at any given time, so you're constantly making risk reward choices all throughout the game. I just want the two rex to eat the ball.

By the way, I think I mentioned last time I was on. I highly recommend people check up in ball map Dot com. I love where the closest. Pinball machines are near you loading now.

0:13:52 - Leo Laporte
We don't get to the news, yeah at this point I have no interest. I feel like this would be such a by the way, there's the mothra egg Like this would be Such a productivity killer if we got one of these for the studio.

0:14:06 - Brianna Wu
I have never missed, because I was playing pinball ever, leo, come on.

0:14:10 - David Spark
No, this is. This is a great like five to ten minute break that you need Quickly because, unlike video games where you get sucked in minimum an hour, this, this, actually you can.

0:14:22 - Brianna Wu
Are your games? Only five to ten minutes.

0:14:28 - David Spark
Plenty of Godzilla games have been that short.

0:14:30 - Brianna Wu
I am so good at venom my out my average games like 20 minutes.

0:14:34 - Nate Lanxon
At this point I'm so good at that game? Yeah, I just.

0:14:38 - David Spark
Went in as cool as you can control balls easier in that game. I've noticed pinball.

0:14:42 - Nate Lanxon
Yeah, I went to pinball map, as you said, and I thought I was gonna type in where I live and think, oh, this will just be like just a whole bunch of places in like Portland and the US and stuff. No Loads around where I am. There's one just a few miles away. It has Godzilla, it has food fighters, it has James Bond. 60th anniversary.

0:15:03 - Brianna Wu
Oh, that's the ultra rare one I have. That's really really there. Only 500 of those.

0:15:08 - David Spark
That's one here signed by Keith I believe on.

0:15:11 - Nate Lanxon
Yes, it is Wow, so I might go and check one of these out. You've inspired me. That's not anything I thought I was gonna learn tonight.

0:15:21 - Leo Laporte
It looks like there is a hook which that doesn't sound very good from 1992 at our local sports the. Willowbrook house has guardians of the galaxy pro.

0:15:41 - Brianna Wu
Here's Buffalo.

0:15:42 - Leo Laporte
Billions got the Mandalorian pro. They've got the Sopranos you like that one's awful that is a bad game, pinkie has terminated to judgment day from 1991. Good one classic call that a classic Kapu, which is our new, our new, our new tiki bar downtown fireball Flash Gordon. Jeannie lost worlds, got four of those are all classics. Okay, so that's what they went. With the 70s, they obviously 70s fit.

0:16:11 - Brianna Wu
Oh, I found a Godzilla. This is it. This is it. I found a Star Wars pro and a Tommy pros. Star Wars pros, okay, yeah, anything else I'm not Star Wars.

0:16:21 - Leo Laporte
That's it.

0:16:21 - David Spark
They. They're point systems like all over the map. That's what I probably.

0:16:25 - Brianna Wu
I don't think it's really well thought through. I'm sorry, I don't think well.

0:16:28 - Leo Laporte
I'm so glad we could do this mini pinball show. No politics, tech news, it's a tech news show. Actually, I wonder if Mark Zuckerberg put a pinball machine in his 5000 square foot underground bunker that he's building in Kauai, maybe, maybe that's how he's gonna have the rest, you know, and enjoy life after Armageddon. I bet you Mark's got a few good pinball games down there. Did you see this story? This is from Wired. I'm tired. Micah said he loved this. He loved the line that said almost anyone who passes compound security from carpenters to electricians to painters to Security guards is bound by a strict non disclosure agreement, according to several workers involved in the project.

0:17:18 - Nate Lanxon
I got real SPF vibes reading this. You know it's creepy. You know he's his Bermuda Compound.

0:17:25 - Leo Laporte
I just got flashbacks from all the this SPF could only dream Samuel bank, but freed could only dream of what Mark Zuckerberg is building. He's bought a significant portion of Kauai, which is the Garden Island in Hawaii, but apparently this is the one that the Oracle CEO. Yes, no, that's an island. That's. That's Lanai. That's a. Yeah, that's another one. He owns an island, also off Maui. That's a different Billionaire, but I have to think that you know. Yeah, okay, so this is Mark's place.

0:17:56 - David Spark
If you own an island, you can afford a pinball.

0:17:58 - Leo Laporte
This is not. He does not own the island. He only owns a significant portion of the island. It's a big island. I've been there and it's beautiful. The natives are not real. On with it, villain vibes, very bond villain, especially when you read about the 5,000 square foot underground shelter. That's, I guess, his plan for the the end of the world. The two central mansions will be joined by a tunnel the branches off into a 5,000 square foot underground shelter featuring living space, a mechanical room and an escape hatch that can be accessed via a ladder. It has its own food and water and electricity supply. It's completely self-sufficient.

0:18:40 - Nate Lanxon
You know what, if you're a billionaire and you're thinking about what do I do with, you know, a few hundred million dollars, why wouldn't you build an island and put a bunker on it?

0:18:47 - Leo Laporte
I would. I don't mind, I don't mind the, the island's paradise, but the bunker kind of creeps me out Right well.

0:18:55 - David Spark
I don't know the bunker. It defeats the purpose of the island paradise. Why?

0:18:59 - Nate Lanxon
would you. It's not mutually exclusive right. You can have the island and you just have the bunker, just in case something goes wrong.

0:19:05 - Leo Laporte
Well, do you, do you okay? So I suspect that we know this about mark, but pretty much everybody with the money it has built this. You know panic room for the end times, but doesn't that say something about I mean, that says something about our society that they're planning for the end times?

0:19:25 - David Spark

0:19:25 - Nate Lanxon
I think it's. It's it's people, who, who, who will target them. This is what always be my Never about the end of the world. It's like, okay, you build this place out in the middle of nowhere and if you've got somebody who is, as the means, motive to get to that island, they're probably gonna stick around to try and finish whatever they got there to start. So you probably need a bunker that's self-sufficient. That's just my guess. I do not know. I do not own a bunker. I would love a bunker, probably for the same reason but I have a different opinion on this.

0:19:55 - Brianna Wu
It was a few weeks ago I think it was Robert Reich. A few months ago it started talking about like the radicalization of Elon Musk and kind of lock the talking about a lot of these Tack figures. They've gotten really rich he. He wrote a really good op-ed in the times about this and how they seem to go down these pads. Paranoia and paranoia and get weirder and weirder and weirder and Looking at a lot of like the entire venture capital class and how they've kind of gotten this way, I think Elon is a really, really good example. I would guess that when you have that much money, you're surrounded with people constantly that just enable your absolute worst impulses and there's no limit on it. So I would imagine that like a low sense of paranoia Inevitably comes on and of course they're gonna do projects like this.

0:20:49 - Leo Laporte
Douglas Rush We've actually had him on the show to talk about this Wrote a book called survival of the richest escape fantasies of the tech billionaires he it talked to. He actually was summoned by five billionaires to a desert resort for a private talk on how to survive the event. That's what they call it a societal catastrophe they see coming, whether it's because of climate change or income inequality or the Attack of the AIs. You know, it depends on who you're talking to, but they're building silos in Abandoned ICBM missile silos. They're building little bunkers in there. They're doing it all over the world and I just think it's telling that some of the richest, most powerful and presumably best connected people in the world Think that the end times are nigh. Maybe we've always thought that.

0:21:42 - Nate Lanxon
I Love that he refers to it as the event, because there's this. It's not a sitcom, it's like a sketch show by these comedians Mitchell and Webb, who do this joke, this sketch about the event. That's never referred to by anything other than the event. But you inferred that it is a nuclear apocalypse and just a few survivors of Scrape together enough resources to live in this bunker and they're broadcasting this game show from underground and they just refer to it as the event. It's very, very funny you look it up.

0:22:11 - Leo Laporte
Neil Stevenson calls it the jackpot in his. What book is that? He actually has a trilogy of the jackpot, but the one was made into a TV show recently.

0:22:25 - Brianna Wu
Does he have a new book out? I've never heard of this one, oh my gosh.

0:22:29 - Leo Laporte
So peripheral was the first. No, no, I'm sorry, that's not. That was William Gibson. I'm sorry, I'm not, not Stevenson. Peripheral was the first and and and it is. It's an interesting story. Amazon made it into a decent show. But read the book. The premise is that very wealthy people in the future post jackpot and at first he doesn't really say what the jackpot is, but it's some sort of Apocalyptic event that happens in the near future that the they're able to Harness almost enslaved people from pre jackpot times using a technology they don't fully understand. It's a great book, but yeah, he calls it the jackpot. I think that that's kind of in the culture, but maybe it always has been because you know, I mean, that's what Christians thought was that you know, the end of the end of times was coming For a thousand years.

0:23:23 - David Spark
You're the issue with the end of times. It's not just the building of the location, but the people who are going to work for you During the end of time. Yeah, and then there was this whole thing of how do you keep people working for you and loyal to you, and there was talk, honest to God, of literally putting collars.

0:23:41 - Leo Laporte
You have to think about it. Yeah, so you're gonna have people guarding your bunker, your 5,000 square foot bunker on Kauai, but what's to stop them from just saying, hey, mark, priscilla, get out, this is ours now They've got all the muscle, so you'd have to do some right, because it might be.

0:23:59 - David Spark
If it's the end of time, so there's no economy, what is money gonna mean to right that point?

0:24:03 - Nate Lanxon
Yeah, this all just sounds like a metaphor for Facebook. No concept of money and finance.

0:24:12 - Leo Laporte
That all sounds kind of suspect right now you've been doing a show on AI and I have to think I'm actually I want to talk a little. Let's I'll tell you what. Let's take a little break. I want to talk a little bit about AI because early on, with these LLMs, chat, gpt and and its brethren, I was very skeptical because it, you know, it's like oh great, it can write a kind of semi mediocre paragraph. To me it was spicy, auto correct. I thought of is it a parlor trick? But it's getting better and better and more and more useful. And I, this weekend I talked With a guy who works in the field. He's worked at Google and Microsoft, he has his own company now. He's really intimately connected with what's going on in AI and he had a Point of view I found almost shocking. So I want to take a break and since this is the field that you cover, nate, I'd love to talk with you and, of course, david and and Brian, I'm sure you have opinions on this as well.

This is this is maybe one of the scenarios for the event is an AI apocalypse. We'll talk about that just a little bit. Great panel here. I appreciate all of you joining me. A last show of the year we should. It's fitting we should end on a pot. An apocalyptic note. Maybe the last show ever? This could be it. What would make your audience happier? An ad from ACI learning, probably. I'm thinking Thank you, david. You know them they were, by the way. I want to thank them because this is the last episode that they've been the studio sponsor for all of 2023. This is the last episode. For that. We really appreciate what they've done and you may be saying well, wait a minute, who's ACI learning? You may know them better as it pro TV long-time sponsors since the day they started it. Pro TV is now part of ACI Learning and I'll tell you this is a partnership made in heaven.

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0:29:00 - David Spark
By the way, leo, can I double down on something about you? Sure and you're in the sponsor Sure is that there is this mistaken belief that if I train my staff, I will train them and then they will leave. And all the data that we have seen is the complete opposite of that you train them and they actually stay because they know that, oh, if I stay here, I will improve my skills.

0:29:24 - Leo Laporte
I think good training is a benefit. It's like, you know, more vacation time. It's a benefit, and people who are in IT are not in it to well. We hope anyway, just to kind of slack off. They like what they're doing, they want to learn more and they want to get better at their job and, yeah, they're not gonna leave, they're gonna be happy. So thank you for confirming that. I appreciate it. So, ai apocalypse Now I have to think.

You know you go back in time. Every era has had, you know, an end of times. When I was growing up as a kid, we were doing duck and cover drills under our desks because, you know, it was very much in the back of our mind that there might be a nuclear fallout, a annihilation, and maybe we did come pretty close a few times. I don't know if we fully dodged that in the future, but now we're not as worried about that. I think. Climate change, running out of resources like food and water. And then there's a new one, the AI apocalypse. Nate, before I talk about my crazy friend, I'm sure you've done a lot. You know, in your show AIRL you've talked a lot about this. There's AI doomers, people like Elon Musk who says AI poses an existential risk to humanity, but there's also AI accelerationists who say don't hold it back, let it go, it's the next big thing. Where do you come down on this?

0:30:55 - Nate Lanxon
I'm really personally, I'm really boring because I'm right in the middle. I'm neither a doomsayer nor my own optimist. That's the boring reality to this. And yeah, we have done a lot on the show with this. We've had doomers on, we've had optimists on and we've tried to keep things pretty level headed.

You know, the argument for the doomsayers a lot of the time is either something along the lines of we don't fully understand how these things work and therefore we should control them or we should keep them in check. Or there are people that go a step further and say, well, it's only a matter of time before their capabilities will become so great that self-improvement and self-replication and self-development becomes so great that they develop themselves. They don't need us. And I've even heard arguments that go far further, that say that they try and argue that, well, even if you say, well, just pull the plug, Like these, things need electricity to run and they need a lot of it, so just press the off, switch, problem solved, they will argue that a sufficiently capable system will so intrinsically understand the nature of the human mind that it will successfully persuade you not to unplug it, or it will anticipate it and find alternate sources of energy or something like that, yeah, and when these are in novels, I find them wildly entertaining.

And a lot of books that I've read I've read a lot of books about this stuff, you know, by futurists. I sometimes think you just put this in the novel category and this would be fantastic. In fact, actually, kai-fu Lee, an amazing guy, he wrote, he co-wrote actually a book called AI 2040 or something 2041 I think where he sort of wrote 10, I think it was 10 futures or possible futures based on where the technology actually is today and where it could be in 20 years time, and some of it touched on quantum technology and a lot of it was about AI and data harvesting and privacy and stuff. But it actually felt like a nice balanced version of sort of prediction and looking down into the future, and that's kind of where I like things to be. It's like, well, let's not make it all terrible, like let's be cautious, let's be optimistic, let's be careful. I think that whole suggestion to pause things for six months, I think, was I mean I don't think it would have worked anyway, it's a terrible idea.

I don't think pause what you can't pause things.

0:33:28 - Leo Laporte
Chinese are gonna stop. I mean, who are you gonna pause? And it almost seems self-serving, like Elon saying can you just hold on, open AI, can you just hold on a minute so I can catch up, cause I don't think even Elon was gonna pause his efforts.

0:33:44 - Nate Lanxon
That's how it felt, but I think overall, I think that there are reasons to listen to even the most extreme viewpoints and I personally enjoy hearing extreme viewpoints on either side of political spectrum and on either side of the debate around anything because I feel like if you ignore all views, then you're not at least considering a possibility that an element of what they're talking about could be correct, which you then check, and then things are good. So that's how I approach it, and I'm personally not worried about a robot uprising, an AI uprising cause. That's the other thing. I think there is this massive and this is actually incredibly relevant to the episode of our show that's going out- you just did the robot show and all the subscriptors.

Well, that's the thing.

It's just about to come out, so the teasers have been starting to go out, but I didn't wanna do an episode about robots at all because in my head, and I think to a lot of people, robots and AI are incredibly separate, both incredibly well advanced and have been in development for decades, but actually to have an artificially intelligent robot is really really hard, really far away in terms of making one useful or applicable or even affordable.

And if you look at something like chat GPT, it has no physical presence, it can't pick anything up, and yet you can see these amazing robots that have incredible versatility in what they can potentially do, and yet they can't write anything with a pen. And so these worlds are really far apart still, and I feel like a lot of the people who are worried sort of assume that the merging of AI and robotics is much closer and much more significantly advanced than it actually is, and that's where some of this fear comes from, which is understandable, but I think it's the onus is on us to sort of say hey, we get it, but don't worry too much.

0:35:36 - Leo Laporte
Brianne, I could feel you championing it.

0:35:39 - Brianna Wu
No, no, no, no. I completely agree with Nate. I think that a lot of the doomsayers on this are completely just overblown. And, Leo, I hope I've been quick enough at this point that I can say this I am worried because it seems like you're getting an increasingly pessimistic attitude on everything.

0:36:01 - Leo Laporte
I've changed my tune. Yes, okay, so I'll tell you what has happened to me. Go ahead, you finish, and I can tell you what's happened to me Okay, okay.

0:36:09 - Brianna Wu
Well, it's just. I think, if you take the, I agree with you that there are a lot of genuine threats to human survival right now. Climate change we've obviously ignored it. It's a disaster waiting to happen. I think it's done.

0:36:23 - Leo Laporte
to be honest, I don't think there's anything we can do to turn around.

0:36:25 - Brianna Wu
I think it's really hard to change this.

I completely agree, we lack the will, and even if we did, at this point it's almost too late, but I think if you live through the French Revolution, I think you probably had extreme worries that, like, you're never gonna have a stable government again, right?

I think if you live through, you know, I think if you lived through some of World War II, I think you probably despair that there would never be peace in the world again, right? Or the Great Depression, like. It just feels to me that humanity finds a way to survive and life finds a way to go on. So I'm not saying we don't take these things seriously because it is going to. I think AI is gonna disrupt human life the same way that social media has really disrupted, I think, human happiness on a fundamental level. I'm very worried about what's happening to this generation of young children. At the same time, I think it's true that mankind was not built to have this much information coming into us all the time, and I think it's clearly making all of us, myself included more reactionary and more paranoid, and I think sometimes it's good to take a breath and take a longer view about where humanity has come from and where we're going.

0:37:45 - Nate Lanxon
Good point, I completely agree. I completely agree, and I think that sometimes you're looking in one place for where you expect the doom to be and in doing so, you ignore where the actual risk is. And I think the real world application of the argument right now would be well if you think it's gonna come from. Ai is becoming sentient and self-aware and developing an understanding of what it means to be alive and then exploit it. You're not looking at the fact that AI processing takes up so much energy to both do and to cool and to keep cool that it causes significant problems for other parts of the world. Whether that's climate change, whether it is just a draw on the power grid which makes clean energy more expensive, which means that people below certain levels of income can't afford to be as green as they'd like there's all these different things that can have knock-on effects and I think that that's a real problem. But realistically, we're not gonna get these sentient systems Like. I just don't think it's gonna happen. I think we anthroposize is that the term? We Anthropomorphosize?

0:38:52 - Leo Laporte
We anthropomorphize, which is a ridiculous word.

0:38:54 - Nate Lanxon
yes, we anthropomorphize things in the same way. We think, well, this looks a little bit human-like. So it's like, when you look back in the day, you would look up to Mars and you would. Well, I say you, we probably didn't, but there was this expectation that there was this little face on Mars looking at us and some people thought it's a beacon, it's the Martians saying hey we see you, we built this and it's not.

It's just a bunch of mountains and some shadows, and it's like the human brain is trained over millions of years to see itself in things. It's why you can look at a front of a barn and see a smiley face or something, and we see that in technology as well. I think that's where a lot of this kind of human-like worry comes from, but it is coming from a genuine place all the time and I do think it's wrong to dismiss it and I just think we should be better at saying you're not stupid for thinking it. But here's the reasons why it is stupid. It's called peridolia.

0:39:50 - Leo Laporte
Peridolia, which is the human tendency to see faces in things. It's just the way we're wired to see faces. Yeah, before I tell everybody what's really gonna happen, do you wanna weigh in?

0:40:05 - David Spark
Oh, hold on, wait, wait, wait. You've been teasing us all this time. You know the answer. I actually have the answer Having us say the incorrect answers until you tell us the right one.

0:40:14 - Leo Laporte
Yeah, I want you all to get it wrong first, and then I'll explain why you're wrong. Oh man, no, no, I'm not so sure. I'm not so sure as all that. I'm just wondering what do you think?

0:40:25 - David Spark
So I will just tell you in our program, when we talk to security professionals, guess what? This has come up a few times, I bet. Yes, yeah. So the way it comes up in our environment is the fact that malicious actors are using AI tools. There's two issues. They're using AI tools to be more efficient in the way they do attack, so this can be through social engineering efforts that they can do more targeted efforts to more people. The other thing is the fact that people at a company are unknowingly putting private information into these LLMs that they are unaware of. And all of a sudden you've got a PII issue privately identifiable information issue where now it's in these databases that you don't have any control of that could conceivably be yanked out by someone else. And then the other issue is well, some people have proven that you could actually create zero-day malware using these tools. Now, you can't do it as simple as saying, hey, chat, gpt, code me, a zero-day malware won't do that, but you can piece together the solution to do something like that, and there have been cases that have proven that as well.

The as a result, a recent IBM study showed that CISOs Chief Information Security Officers are spending an enormous, significant portion of the budget on AI protections. More than 50% increase in budgets on just these things. A lot of it is very fear-based. But going back to the discussions about risk, cisos operate on risk. They don't see themselves as security professionals but more as risk professionals, and right now, at this very moment, it's not imposing the highest risk. There are other things that are imposing highest risk and mostly it's the two thirds of the attacks that we're seeing on companies right now, or because somebody has compromised someone's credentials, and again it could be through AI or something else. But that is kind of the biggest risk that most security professionals are looking out for now our compromised credentials.

0:42:46 - Leo Laporte
That makes sense, which are done by very standard practices, because I mean, they're more than anyone concerned with quotidian issues right in front of them. They don't have time to say, well, what's gonna happen in two, three, five years? That's, they gotta look at what's happening tomorrow, right.

0:43:07 - David Spark
Is that they have to worry about today and the future. I mean, like in anything with any kind of a business plan, you can't just only think about today, you have to think about what's in your future. Same thing with security professionals they do have to concern themselves with today, but they also have to have a security plan for the future and for everyone. Part of their security plan for the future is how are they gonna manage AI? For? Because, by the way, ai is an amazing tool for businesses. All security professionals know this and there's a very small percentage, although there's in some cases that they are shutting down these AI tools like chat, tpt for this stuff Very small percentage. Most are trying to keep it open, but they're trying to educate the staff on how to use it wisely, which is like don't put personally identifiable information into it.

0:43:57 - Leo Laporte
That was initially I thought it very interesting. Ibm and a number of other companies said you may not use AI tools because it's gonna leak our business information. I think that's the wiser heads have prevailed. That was kind of almost a new-.

0:44:08 - David Spark
By the way, there is a history of that you should know. There is a long, long history of people saying you can't use this technology and consistently it's always failed, always.

0:44:21 - Leo Laporte
I do think, however, that they should be worried about AI-created malware because, yes, the early days it's been very limited, but it's rapidly See. The thing I think that we don't fully understand is the speed with which this is accelerating and, furthermore, it accelerates exponentially because, as it gets better, it influences future generations faster than humans can. Ai can learn from itself, I agree, and that's something that's hard to predict. It might well be exponential growth, you think.

0:44:55 - Nate Lanxon
There's two things with the speed argument. One, I think, is really clear when you look at the fact that chat GPT itself is only, let's say, a year old it was a year old last month Everything that most people who have talked about over the last year to do with how amazing AI is and all the disruption and all the brilliant things that it can do so much of the volume of that has been raised in the last 12 months alone, and that's why it feels so quick. It feels like the pace of development is so quick, which it is, but AI has been in development for decades in some form, not necessarily the generative stuff, not just the neural nets.

0:45:36 - Leo Laporte
Oh, I've been through three AI winters in my lifetime.

0:45:40 - Nate Lanxon
I mean.

0:45:40 - Leo Laporte
I've seen this come and go, come and go, come and go many times.

0:45:44 - Nate Lanxon
So what I think is interesting is you look at where these bursts of development come from and they look really fast, but they're actually built on I don't need to say built on the shoulders of giants, but do you know what I mean? It's like there is huge amounts of work that comes before it and then you get this big explosion of interest for some particular reason. In this case it's because of the deep learning and because of access to the data on the web, and who knows what the next one will be. But it's like it's not a flash in the pan, but nor is it a brand new thing that we have to fear is just being created out of nowhere and no one can control. It's more nuanced than that, and that's what I find so fascinating about this.

0:46:23 - Leo Laporte
I should point out this story from the MIT Technology Review from a couple of days ago. Google's DeepMind has just recently. One of the things we thought AI LLMs couldn't do is math, and this was a big issue earlier on, and Stephen Wolfram wrote an article saying well, let you auto use Wolfram Alpha in conjunction with an AI so you can actually do math. Deepmind used a large language model to solve a math problem that has been unsolved for centuries. That's a big deal, so DeepMind actually ended up writing a Python code, a Python script that solved a fundamental math and computer science problem.

0:47:18 - Nate Lanxon
I think that's a big deal. Didn't he try and create the code that could solve it? Like I don't, did it solve the problem or did it create code that could solve the problem? He created code that did solve the problem In a paper published in.

0:47:33 - Leo Laporte
Nature on December 14th. Researchers say it's the first time a large I'm reading from the MIT Technology Review a large language model has been used to discover a solution to a longstanding scientific puzzle. And this is the key phrase, remember this producing verifiable and valuable new information that did not previously exist. It wasn't in the training data, it wasn't known. Now this is very significant because up to now we've assumed LLMs are simply repackaging material that's scraped from the net in a new form, but not inventing. You know we talked about how you would judge an artificial general intelligence. You know it's one thing to analyze a movie and say what the emotional threads were in this movie, because it's seen a lot of reviews of the movie. What if it was a movie no one had ever seen before? Could it do the same thing? Well, now, for the first time, we have proof that an LLM can in fact create new material. That is a huge. That busts a lot of things that were reassuring people about LLMs. It is a major step towards artificial general intelligence and what's interesting to me is this is happening rapidly. As we speak, it's they're starting to write code.

This friend I was talking to yesterday said I don't write code anymore. He said I have chat GPT. I said you use copilot, which is the GitHub solution, and he said I just have chat GPT. Write it, I'll vet it, you know, and I might change things in a few things, but I don't, I don't. He says people aren't gonna. I said do I? I said I'd like to learn how to code this stuff. He says don't, you don't need to, people will not be coding.

0:49:20 - Brianna Wu
Well, he also by the way, this guy, well, but this guy's working directly in it.

0:49:27 - Leo Laporte
He's got a computer science and an EE degree. He knows he's immersed in this stuff. He's an accelerationist. Now, I have to say there are different groups around all of this now and the accelerations are the most bullish. Their point of view is this by the way, this is there was a great article we talked about last week from the New York times from 2015. It was just before. It was why open AI was founded Larry Page, elon Musk sitting around a campfire up here in Napa at a retreat with a bunch of other people watching on, and Larry Page pitching the future of AI and Elon saying well, what about humans? You gotta protect humans, you gotta think about safety. To which Larry says Elon, you're a speciesist, this is a new species. You are defending humans against the next thing You're a speciesist. Elon. To which Elon turned around, started open AI with the plan of being safe by the way, that was the reason for open AI and never spoke to Larry Page again. But Larry represents a very, I think, a significant portion of AI researchers, scientists, big thinkers who actually think.

Now, this is what I was gonna say. Yes, you said I was a pessimist, right, maybe I still am a pessimist, I don't know We've gone through five years of doldrums in technology. Right, it's just been nothing, and the big stories were a little cryptocurrency Give me a break ransomware that's a high happy subject, and so for me as a technology journalist, it's been tough. It's been like can I get excited about the new feature in the iPhone 15? Well, now we have a technology that is actually about to, I think, and I'm well, at least I think it's a possibility. I'm not sure, but I think it's about to change things more dramatically than the internet or personal computing. It is about to change things dramatically. My friend said this is a new species, this is first contact, this is an intelligence that we are creating, that is going to and he said, the next 10 years are gonna be. These were his words exactly really weird.

0:51:40 - Nate Lanxon
I think that's how Demis Hasabis described AlphaGo. He said there was a move. Was it move 37? That's right. When he was playing Lisa Doll, that's right. And he said it plays like an alien.

0:51:54 - Leo Laporte
It's a human move. Yeah, it was a brilliant move. It was a brilliant move, but no human would ever play it.

0:52:01 - Nate Lanxon
Yeah, and I think it's fascinating because it's basically looking at something that is not being confined by the limitations that we put on ourself when we're solving problems that only a machine can do, partly because it can try so many of them and see which ones work. But I agree it's very different.

0:52:20 - Brianna Wu
I wanna come back to something you were saying earlier, leo. You know we've been proclaiming the end of coders for my entire career. Right, I heard this in the 90s, I heard it about 10 years ago and I'm hearing it now and you know what I think at least what I see is for really high level tasks. Yeah, you can pump out like some crappy spaghetti code, right. But if you're working on a team for a lot of people, what are the skills that are gonna make you able to thrive long-term in computer science? Right, it's documenting your codes, whether people can use it. See, ability to pick up new, you know like, work with new technologies and apply them. And it's optimization. I cannot tell you how many times like I've had a friend who's had to go into some crappy code base right, and refactoring right.

0:53:13 - Nate Lanxon
This is the bread, Rihanna. Don't you see this? Hold on, let me finish for a second.

0:53:16 - Brianna Wu
So I think that the skills that we are going to see, especially as like, if you look at the way Apple has gone right so much of getting metal to work and so much of making your battery life last for a long time on a Mac it's about code optimization, right, and processor optimization and I just I don't accept. I think that there's going to be a place for this, but I do think it's gonna look more like co-pilot and I think someone like your friend with all respect, I don't know him personally, but I think if he's not willing to write his own code, it's just gonna generate it out. I don't think he's gonna have a long career and I don't think he's gonna solve interesting problems, just flat out.

0:53:59 - Leo Laporte

0:54:01 - David Spark
Don't you see this as really just an evolutionary step?

0:54:04 - Leo Laporte
Let's think about the history of code. No, it's not evolution, it's revolution.

0:54:08 - David Spark
Well, no, but it isn't. But in evolution we have hockey stick moments. This is a hockey stick moment.

0:54:15 - Leo Laporte
So it's not evolutionary in the sense that it's kind of a line item coding to object oriented and lots of things.

0:54:21 - David Spark
And then we have code bases like GitHub where we can take snippets of code that other people said. Now we're the next evolutionary step, and yes, it is revolutionary, but it is an evolutionary step. It still needs to be managed. That's the big thing. Everything still needs to be managed because, like anything, you need to give it some kind of direction, so it is going to require a type of wisdom.

0:54:50 - Leo Laporte
The thing though I feel like you guys are buggy whip makers saying but they'll always need a horse, right?

0:54:56 - David Spark
We'll always need a horse. I don't believe they will need a horse. No, I will think like if I was an artist right now I'd be very scared for my profession because of the you know Dolly at mid journey about how amazing these generations are.

0:55:11 - Leo Laporte
I'm almost saying that's the least of your worries. No, no, but I'm just pointing one example. No, I understand, but the problem is there's not going to be any money in five years. There's not. There is such a massive shift. Now I'm not, I'm believe me, I'm not convinced of this, but I think it's a very interesting proposition that I don't think is far-fetched. There may be such a massive shift ahead. Yeah, of course artists are worried. You know what?

0:55:43 - David Spark
We don't even know what it's going to look like in 10 years, and that's what's interesting to me, the most visual representation, is these image generating programs like mid journey and Dolly. I mean, I was introduced to it, I was an experimenter.

0:55:57 - Leo Laporte
Do you find just solved a scientific proof that did not know it was unsolvable, that no one. It came up with something no one had thought of before. That's to me more than I'm going to make a drawing based on you know, 5,000 images I've ingested. That's very different. I think there's a Nate, what do you think?

0:56:18 - Nate Lanxon
Well, I was just going to say it's funny that you mentioned artists, because my wife is an artist, her job is as a designer and illustrator and she has asked me a lot this year about AI. She's very interested in it for all the reasons you would expect, and I've been trying to explain to her that, in a weird sort of way, all you need to do is stay one step ahead of the people with no talent, because as long as you've got talent and you've got some skill, then you're always going to be at an advantage compared to the person who has no skill and relies on the AI. And I'll give you a couple of examples that I'm basically just paraphrasing from her, which is apparently in a bunch of subreddits around Photoshop and Illustrator and Firefly and all this sort of thing. There are people who are trying to find out what's what style of art something is, because they've created something using a I and they need to justify what it is. So they're having to go to forums to ask what is this thing that I've created, which is such a weird world to live in.

But she's, like you, really underscores where the difference is now between people with access to these tools and people who can, who can use it and do use it, but don't need to use it and it is being able to communicate what you've done, why you've done it, how you can improve it, why it's right, why it's wrong, why can it be better. And for a professional, right now, the advantages almost entirely still in their court, because the people who just want to do something quickly, there's no adapting and there's very little ability to differentiate yourself from anybody else who can do exactly the same thing right now. Currently. That, as you say, will all change. We don't know.

It look like in five years or ten years, but if you are just paying attention to this stuff, not seeing it as a threat, as an enemy and this is what Kate's doing is looking at these tools, playing with them, trying them out, incorporating bits, and it's a tool like anything else. When I've seen her learning to use Photoshop, illustrator or procreate, using an iPad instead of a tablet on a desktop, or using both, or using one for sketching and then using the other one for it for a final thing, like it's about moving something into a workflow that works for you, and I feel that what I've seen, from my limited perspective, is that the people who embrace that, or at least a lower risk of having their lunch is eaten them. People who don't.

0:58:47 - David Spark
What your wife needs to prove is that she, an artist with an AI image generating tool, can operate better than me or somebody else who has no artistic talent using the same tool. That is the edge she needs to have, and she has it and she can work. But the question is, can I, with no artistic talent whatsoever, produce the same results at her? Probably not because she has a more designer I than I have, but that's essentially the edge that you would need to have.

0:59:22 - Nate Lanxon
Yeah, absolutely. And the conversations that come up between whether it's employers or clients, you know well. Could we tweak this? Can we change that? All? Yeah, this is a good start, but actually we quite like something a bit more like this or it needs to fit in these templates, or oh, the, the printer sent back a different dimension, or there's no bleed around the edges all these little tiny things that someone who doesn't fundamentally understand how to change or alter their image or their product, like they, can't do that unless they. They potentially paid a lot of attention to prompt engineering and understanding how to be iterative and seeing generative AI is as a journey and not just you type in what you want to get it.

1:00:10 - David Spark
You can create like a style template if you will and apply it to a whole series of images. So if there's a style you created you like and you want to create multiple images in that style there's, essentially you generate a code and you can attach it to all of that. I mean that's extraordinarily powerful new version that it has. Yeah and.

I usually see the general. I mean I agree with you, leo. I agree like the fact that this is created, something out of whole cloth that is never been seen before, this sort of the solving of the code, I agree with you. But the visual representation of these image generating tools me personally, watching mid journey over the past year, a little over year and a half, how much it's progressed in that here at a time, has become quite astonishing. And I'm behind the Ape. All I got very much behind we're gonna take a little break.

1:00:59 - Leo Laporte
We'll come back. There's still a lot more to talk about. I hate to cut it off, but I have to take a break. David spark is here, our CISO series guru, host and producer, ciso series series to CISO series dot com. Nate Langston, tech editor at Bloomberg. He's in the UK and his show is on Bloomberg originals AI, I R L. I think it's gonna be must watch TV for sure. Nice to see you, nate. And from Brianna Wu from the, I guess I'll say progressive victory at progress. Yeah, job. But we know Brianna as a game developer, a pinball wizard and a boxer lover.

1:01:40 - Brianna Wu
And the second fastest Princess Peach speed runner on earth, don't forget yeah by the way that's okay.

1:01:47 - Leo Laporte
This is a good example. If a computer beat you as a speed runner, be meaningless, right course it can do it all the time. They do it all, yeah it hasn't taken the fun of speed running away. I play chess, computers can now. Your phone can now be the best human alive. That doesn't take the enjoyment away from chess it raises.

1:02:09 - Brianna Wu
It's not about the yeah, well, so we, we use TAS tool, assisted speed runs to figure out how to optimize strategy. I'll give you one example for Super Mario 64. We spent years figuring out for this one thing you can like ride around this carpet to go up and get the star. And we used to TAS to like automate thousands of jumping scenarios.

1:02:32 - Leo Laporte
That's what you do.

1:02:33 - Brianna Wu
Yes, or long, jump off the wall and get to the top 100%.

1:02:37 - Leo Laporte
So it's not. I mean of course a computer can win, can beat you in a speed run or beat you in chess. That doesn't take away away the human level pleasure of it. For a human to do it is still a big deal.

1:02:49 - Brianna Wu
It's not fun to watch it. Right, it's not. No one's gonna watch TAS, it's no big, it's no big deal.

1:02:56 - Leo Laporte
Actually, people enjoy watching computers play chess, but it's still it's not. You know, that doesn't take away the human pleasure. I thought it would when this happened, by the way, when the computer be Gary Kasparov years ago, and there was definitely the feeling that's it for chess. Who's gonna want to play it? But no, we found out humans like to play chess. I think humans will always create art. I don't think that that's gonna ever go away. That's not what I'm saying, but we'll find out what I'm saying when we continue Our show today, brought to you by delete me.

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Slash twit. Offer code is twit and I'll tell you. I'll reach you. I'll read you the story that makes me think we need this more than ever. This, david, you put this in from a 404 media dot co, which is a company we know well and love. Some of their. Their reporters are great Cox media group. You know the name. Cox, big cable provider, isp marketing company, is now telling their customers, the marketers, that they can target potential clients Thanks to their active monitoring of voice devices. Jeez, now this. Now I here. I'll read this. Read the lead a marketing team within media giants, cox media group, claims it has the capability to listen to ambient conversations of consumers through embedded microphones and smartphones, smart TVs and other devices, to gather data and to use that data to target ads. This is in their marketing material and from a pitch they gave to outside marketing professionals. It's called. They call it, active listening. They claim the company. Which is what you should do. You learn this Right. I'm listening very intently. So we should, we should, we should want this right, yeah.

1:08:48 - David Spark
Well, I Matt marketers want it. We know they want it.

1:08:51 - Leo Laporte
They want to know what they want. I, matt marketers, want it. We know they want it. They want to know everything about you. Right yeah, can they do it, david? What do you think is this? Is this them blowing smoke?

1:09:03 - David Spark
Well, no, first of all, turning on your microphone. You know that's. It's debatable whether you can or can't do it, and I believe both Android and Apple are claiming you know they're not going to enable this. But at the same time, I'm sure everyone has had this experience where you had a conversation with someone and all of a sudden you're seeing ads for that thing that you just had a conversation and you, you immediately assume is my phone listening to me, of which I know, of the reply. All podcast delved into this and they claimed it's not usually what happens. And again, it may be happening, it may not, it's still up in the air, but usually what happens is, say, you and I are friends on Facebook and you start looking up the thing that we were talking about. Then, all of a sudden, I may see it as well. So that may be the reason. But yes, marketers would love something like this.

But yes, it is lies in the face of people's concerns of privacy. I should also mention people's concerns of privacy are fairly new. I remember 13 years ago I heard Eric Schmidt I speak at an event at like I think it was the four seasons up in Lake Tahoe and he said to a group of tech professionals. With great pride, he said we can predict at a high rate where you are going to go next. And nobody screamed, hey, huge privacy concern. It was more like, hey, that's pretty darn cool. It is only recently. We're getting very, very concerned about privacy and I believe the European regulation GDPR, is really what brought it to the forefront, because after that we now see more and more here in the United States and also Europeans are far more privacy conscious than we are here in the US.

1:10:58 - Leo Laporte
So this thing is huge. Remember, cox is a cable company. They offer phone service. They probably have cellular service. This came in to Steve Gibson. We talked about it on security. Now on Tuesday, from a listener, justin, he says have you ever seen something like this? His cell carrier, which turns out to be Xfinity, is asking him to accept a root certificate on his phone and give it full trust. What Now?

obviously you know what the implication of that is? That puts a man in the middle on everything going on on your smartphone. Jeez, Now, I don't have Xfinity's cell phone service. I don't. Is this something that they do to every customer?

1:11:46 - David Spark
Cause, if they do. This is not the first example of this. There's many other examples of this as well. Exactly what you're describing, breanna.

1:11:53 - Brianna Wu
I'm just shocked. I mean that's horrible. I mean, look, the answer to all of this is look, I work in advertising At least I work with as far as political advertising. I have conversations every single day with people about the data we want to collect, who we want to target, ways to do it, ways to reach them out there, like because cable TV is not working so we've got to figure out how to micro target with more people and specificity on the internet.

So I see every day how broken this field is and I feel like a broken record on this show, leo, like believing there's going to be some moment where the lights are going to come on from the sky and people are going to understand that they shouldn't do this because it's wrong. That's not going to happen and the ways this is probably getting targeted is through these bottom of the barrel smartphone games or apps that like have crappy permissions on the Android and they ask you to give wide access to your phone and people probably say yes and they shouldn't, and get access to all your information that way. I have no doubt that's like what they're talking about here and the only way forward is regulation. I'm sorry, I know no one in the tech industry wants to hear that. But there is. Just show me a pragmatic way to get this garbage like from threatening our privacy, because it's going to keep getting worse and worse and worse if we don't do something.

1:13:16 - Leo Laporte
Nate, you're in the UK, which has a very interesting attitude about this. The EU, of course, wants to protect consumers. The UK government has a very aggressive plans to spy on everything you do right the Snoopers Charter and they want to break encryption.

1:13:33 - Nate Lanxon
Oh my God, yeah. Well, yeah, they're not fans of end-to-end encryption, because they believe that it enables predators and other illegal actors to do what they do, but they so far have not managed to make any actual encryption be broken, because everyone is against it, so that's not happened. They do also like to spy, but they've done that for a long time. The controversial thing recently was how do you prove that you are over 18 or over whatever legal age you need to be to access something? How about using AI to determine your age through a webcam or through a smartphone, like that's the current thing we talked about on the podcast the other week. Actually, what could possibly go wrong Exactly?

You don't need me to explain the reasons why that's such a terrible idea, but these are some of the suggestions that are made, and a lot of the time, they do come from a position of generally good intentions protect kids, stop terrorism but the reality is that you generally make things worse by cracking down on things that are actually predominantly used by good people for legitimate purposes. But in terms of the snooping and the advertising I mean, for a long time, yeah, we've kind of felt like devices are spying on us. I think the regulation has a huge part to play, but I actually think that not to sound like an Apple apologist or a fanboy, but one of the best things about Apple these days is Apple doesn't really need your data. It's evil in its own way. It wants you to spend a thousand bucks on a phone every year and iPads and stuff, but it doesn't need your data. It doesn't need your data in the same way that Google and others.

1:15:19 - David Spark
This is a very key point right there, yes, and so I sort of failed.

1:15:23 - Leo Laporte
First, party data is what we're talking about versus third party data Google operates.

1:15:29 - David Spark
their revenue model is based on behavioral data. Apple's revenue model is not based on behavioral data.

1:15:36 - Leo Laporte
Increasingly, though, apple is doing advertising and is collecting behavioral data as a first party.

1:15:43 - David Spark
But they very much market, they sell that they are the privacy conscious business.

1:15:49 - Leo Laporte
I think they speak out of both sides of their mouth. I think they say that because it's good for business, but at the same time, if you're selling advertising, you're collecting ad data, right.

1:15:57 - David Spark
Right, can that get to a bigger issue? I'm sorry, go ahead, nate.

1:16:01 - Nate Lanxon
Just to finish. The point, then, is that you can separate advertising. You can advertise effectively without compromising privacy. That is absolutely possible, and I think there is a big difference between selling something based on search terms and things and actively listening through a microphone to your device because you have an app. Right, that is the extreme level.

1:16:20 - David Spark
But I should tell you, nate, go to the Dreamforce conference. This is Salesforce's conference and literally every session is about how do I collect more about people, know more about people, target more against people? There is and I mean there's like 1,000 sessions at this conference. It's enormous. There is nothing about protecting people's privacy, and I mean nothing.

1:16:45 - Leo Laporte
Well, it is Salesforce, absolutely. Let's be honest.

1:16:48 - David Spark
No, but I'm just saying but no, but think about this, leo, for a second. Is the people responsible for collecting this information have zero incentive to protect your privacy? It is their incentive to collect as much as possible so they can be more efficient about the job that they're doing, and it makes sense.

1:17:07 - Leo Laporte
And I hate to be Go ahead, ok.

1:17:10 - Brianna Wu
No, I feel like I have to say it's not like you're doing this for malicious reasons, right?

1:17:14 - David Spark
Like for me. No, they're just doing their job.

1:17:17 - Brianna Wu
What I was going to say is for my particular job. It's like I'm trying to like I'm working on a project right now in Ohio. So if I want to go figure out people who are not registered to vote, how do you figure out the inverse of the voter file? Traditionally, the main data source that my party uses for this kind of stuff is literally going down to the circuit clerk's office, and every single Democrat Democrats have gone to every circuit clerk's office in the country and they've gotten that voter file information. They know what your address is, what party you're registered for, what election she voted for.

How do I get an inverse of that file to figure out who is not registered to vote and then go who would be someone who probably cares about these issues that we should try to get to registered about. The traditional way is like going and sitting outside of a supermarket and pray you run into the right person. That's obviously crazy, right? So there are. It's not like you're sitting here going whoa, I want to listen in on people and steal their information, like you're trying to figure out how to get messages to people. So there's just not going to be a moment where they're going to want anything less to do that job with, if that makes sense.

1:18:37 - Leo Laporte
I mean, look, you're not selling soap, but it's the same stuff. You're selling something and you're getting the same kind of information, and it's very clear that people selling soap also want that information. I have to tell you and this is kind of petty of me, but that's killing podcasting, because true podcasting, rss-based podcasting, doesn't have any of that information about its audience. And advertisers are fleeing from podcasting, just as they fled magazines and newspapers, and they're fleeing network television because they can buy advertising that tells them exactly who's seeing it, when they saw it, for how long they saw it, who they are, what their demographics are, and advertisers want that information.

Now, I think there's a lot of evidence, by the way, at least for advertising, not in politics. I think there's evidence to the contrary in politics. But in advertising it is not a very useful tool. But go ahead and try to tell advertisers that they want that information and they're going to get that information. It makes it very hard for us to sell ads. They'll say well, can you advertise to males in California? No, we don't have that information. That's not how it works. Spotify has that information. That's why Spotify exclusives cost the advertising in those podcasts, costs Joe Rogan's a million dollars a minute because they know exactly who's watching and listening.

1:20:00 - David Spark
So this is very much Our advertisers, by the way. They expect this. They assume that I'm going to get the names and email addresses of other people. You don't do that right, because you're, you can't.

1:20:11 - Leo Laporte
I don't know how, the heck do I know? Well, I know that.

Oh, this is my podcast and you're talking to CISOs who are, just like our audience, very sensitive to that kind of thing. Yeah, exactly that's. By the way, it's one of the reasons we had layoffs last week and it's one of the reasons that we canceled shows this week, because the revenues down dramatically. Advertisers are fleeing to the tune of eight billion dollars a quarter to YouTube, to places where they can get that kind of information, and so our, the model that I built Twitter on 15 years ago, is collapsing. That's why we push club Twitter so hard.

1:20:47 - David Spark
Well, I think, by the way, digital advertising was selling the, getting more information than what Nielsen was telling you. You know prior.

1:20:54 - Leo Laporte
Right. So what's killed? Matter yeah TV. You know what? There is a definite trend of advertisers moving to Google, facebook, youtube places where they get that kind of information, and away from broadcast television, which even broadcast television knows more about you than we do. And, by the way, why do you think so many TVs come with cameras built in nowadays? It's not, so you can zoom from your TV.

1:21:23 - Nate Lanxon
I've seen it where there are ads built into the TV sets themselves right, Absolutely Like a separate screen or Try to turn that off on it.

1:21:30 - Leo Laporte
I don't know how it is in England, but here in the United States you cannot buy a non-smart TV, because they're putting ads on the screen. They're using cameras to watch who's watching. Just don't connect it to the internet.

1:21:43 - Nate Lanxon
That's the first thing I tell people. I don't.

1:21:45 - Leo Laporte
I don't. I agree. Then you'll get old ads that are not targeted, but you'll still get ads.

1:21:50 - Nate Lanxon
Thing is, ads are useful. Like you know, I'm not anti-ad or anti-advertiser.

1:21:54 - Leo Laporte
We wouldn't exist without ads, yeah.

1:21:57 - Nate Lanxon
It's the world works and it's about, like, effective ads that aren't creepy, that don't exploit you. That's all we need.

1:22:04 - Leo Laporte
I agree, and it's difficult, but that's basically all it is and I think what's happening, unfortunately. You know we had this notion that the internet was free for the last 20 years and Gmail's free. It's free. Look at all the great free stuff I get through the internet. It was never free and that model could not exist. It cost them a lot of money to provide Gmail.

1:22:27 - David Spark
They have to show you ads. You know the classic line, leo if you're not paying for the product, you are the product Right.

1:22:33 - Leo Laporte
And it's absolutely the truth. So ad-supported media is where I come from. I was in radio and TV for years and I've been doing podcasts for 15. Sorry, 18 years, but honestly, the entire economic model of the internet is collapsing as we speak and there's only two ways to pay for it. Stuff is to either charge people and people are subscriptions shy by this time, death by 1,000 subscriptions or to somehow target you and get ads to you that advertisers will buy, and those are the incentives. So if you want to read a blog, if you want to read, listen to a podcast, if you want to watch a stream, all of that has to be paid for, and it's either you pay for it or the advertiser pays for it.

1:23:24 - Nate Lanxon
I was really interested that just really really quickly. I was really interested that Apple started doing this new subscription payment where it's contingent on you having a subscription to something else. Like if you subscribe to another app, you can give people a discount to subscribe to yours. Oh, that's interesting. I think maybe Google does this as well. I don't know, but it's an interesting idea because you don't have to be a subscriber to your company's app to offer the discount. Like you could say, well, if you're subscribed to such and such from this other company, then you can have a discount for this subscription, because maybe they work well together and it helps bolster the subscriptions of both. To think, well, if you're keeping both of these subscriptions alive, then that's good for everyone and I thought that's a really interesting idea. And how could that be applied in the wider world? And we do see that from the same companies, but not necessarily from different companies, and it comes down to data and who knows what else you're subscribing to.

1:24:25 - Leo Laporte
I got it. I see it. It comes to your own questions, David. If people pay for our podcast and we give them a discount on your podcast, could you do the same to your podcast or your listeners on our podcast? That would be the same thing as Nate's talking about, right.

1:24:36 - David Spark
We do that, but I don't charge anybody for my podcast.

1:24:41 - Leo Laporte
We have pushed the club like crazy now because that's the only way we're going to survive.

1:24:45 - David Spark
frankly, but it's interesting you mentioned that, leo, because Actually can I Go?

1:24:48 - Leo Laporte
ahead jump in. No man, it's Go ahead. Hold that thought, brianna, just pin it in there. Go ahead, david, go David, then you David then, brianna, I'll be very quick.

1:25:01 - David Spark
Years ago, I wrote an article about making money from podcasting and the bottom line is and I'm sure you're going to confirm on this there is no one stream. No, there's no one stream. Don't rely on any one stream. You create a mixture of things. It could be merchandising, it could be getting sponsors, it could be paying for premium services, which you're doing. All of those things, and there's lots more too, as well. We have I mean, we are pretty much all supported by sponsors, but we do live events and we have other, you know other kind of live-based things as well that have become popular, but we're mostly sponsor-based. But again, you have to look for multiple monitors and you have to evolve too. If the market changes, you've got to evolve.

1:25:51 - Leo Laporte

1:25:53 - Brianna Wu
The show has moved on. Let's just keep going. I would be returning to something like three points Return. I don't care. No, ok, I was going to say this is coming back three points ago.

But you were talking about basically criticizing the way the advertising has gone, and I agree with you. Like, there is certainly different today than it was in the 90s, I think I mean I don't get what it says. I understand what you're saying there, but I also think it's true that the kinds of products that can get advertised today are fundamentally different than the things that had advertising budgets back in the 90s. Like, remember what this was like? It was major corporations, it was really big things, small shops with these kinds of startup products. They didn't have access to, say, television or the newspaper, national newspapers. In the exact same way. This is actually a relatively new thing, right? Do you remember when Facebook advertising came along? It was really unique that a small shop could go out there like a local business, could target people locally. This is a relatively new invention in advertising.

So I hear what you're saying about being frustrating that the model has changed, but I also think fundamentally, the kinds of people that are advertising are changed. Yeah, we had one of our recent sponsors on. Rocket is a small company doing like a buckwheat pillow, right. That's for people with a very special like sleeping preference, right? So I don't know. I just I think that the expectations are going. Yeah, I don't mean to minimize, like the effect it's had on Twitter, but I think that it's not done out of malice. I think there's.

1:27:42 - Leo Laporte
Well, I'm not calling it malice, it's no, it's capitalism, it's the free market, it's the invisible hand. That's how they make more money. Now it's interesting because you're doing political campaign spending, political ad spending, and historically in our jurisprudence we have separated commercial advertising and political advertising, and so you know there's different rules and different regulations and I think we kind of recognize that. At least the court has recognized that political advertising is free speech as part of speech. But I got to point out did you see that in the 2022 federal election, spending for advertising was $8.9 billion?

1:28:27 - Brianna Wu

1:28:28 - Leo Laporte
It's crazy $8.9 billion compared to about $3.5 billion in 2002, 20 years ago.

1:28:35 - Brianna Wu
Yeah, this is going to be a hugely expensive election, and so much in my job.

1:28:40 - Leo Laporte
Yeah, this was midterms. What about 2024? Oh my God.

1:28:44 - Brianna Wu
This is so crazy because right now there's this war going on in the Democratic Party. I'm not trying to blast my friends and work in television advertising, but there is a I'm sorry, a corrupt class of advisors and consultants that make millions every single cycle because they advise ads for television right.

1:29:10 - Leo Laporte
And yeah, we just know what's having less of a seat, Getting money out of politics. Would you support? Oh, of course I would. Of course I would. I think it perverts it.

1:29:17 - Brianna Wu
Most of why I do. It's like it feels so dirty to use these tools, but I can't change the system through the lateral disarmament, right, yeah.

1:29:28 - Leo Laporte
Oh, it's terrible. Oh, we're not going to do that and lose every election. That's not going to work.

1:29:34 - Brianna Wu
No, you have to completely regulate how data is used in politics. It's fundamentally broken. The advertising is broken. The FEC we follow it. Every single step of it needs to be completely rethought. A lot of these regulations.

1:29:52 - Leo Laporte
Well, and a lot of this goes back to Citizens United, the Supreme Court decision that said corporations are people too and have unlimited spending capability. And I mean, this $8.9 billion doesn't come from you and me. This is from business corporations who are trying to change regulations in their favor.

1:30:11 - Brianna Wu
It's kind of off topic, but if you really get into Citizens United, it is opening up some more interesting questions like who? What does a PAC do? That classifies this free speech? What is a media company? So I feel like this is one of the things if you know a lot about it, people can get wrong, but directionally, people are correct to be really angry about unlimited money in politics.

1:30:32 - Leo Laporte
Yeah, and you have to. I understand completely. You've got to do it because that's the way the game is played and until the rules are changed, that's how you're going to have to do it. I completely understand that 100%. But it seems pretty clear that, of course, it's never going to happen because the people who benefit from all this spending are the ones who would have to change the laws. So the laws are never going to change.

1:30:56 - Brianna Wu
Just one super bright note though, leo. I was talking to Lisa earlier today and one of your video people. I think I'm probably going to have a job for her, so fingers crossed on that. That would be nice.

1:31:06 - Leo Laporte
Good. Thank you for hiring the people that we had to let go, just because, yes, you know we don't want to do layoffs. It's the last thing I want to do. We're shrinking because ad dollars are shrinking and the club is growing, but it's not growing as fast as we'd like it to grow. We, public broadcasting gets about 10% of its audience to become members. We are just about 1.2% of our audience, and this is Okay. Here's my plug for ClubTwit.

If you're not in ClubTwit, I honestly, because of this AI thing we were talking about, I feel like the next 10 years are going to be a big big deal and that you need good journalism to cover what is about to happen in technology. That's always been our mission. Our mission has been a little less important when it was just what's the new iPhone all about, but I think it's about to become extremely important. The mission is to educate you about what is happening in technology so that you can make informed decisions about your life and about the world, and I think you're going to need that and I think we want to keep doing it, and the only way that's going to happen is if you join the club. So the 99% of you who listen but don't join the club. Please consider this.

I understand it's seven bucks a month. Not everybody can afford it. But if you can, you get ad free shows, which means no tracking, no ads. You don't need to because you're paying. We can completely take that out of the equation. We do have a lot of extra content. Ios today is moving into the club. We have an untitled Linux show. We're placing Floss Weekly in the club. There's a lot of great stuff in the club and, of course, the great club Twit Discord, which is a great community, and I think all of that for seven bucks is a pretty good deal. That is extremely important. And I think it is important to you because I think you're going to need to know what's happening In the next few years of the world around us, not just for your job, but really life in general. Twittv slash club Twit. Okay, I put in a little plug, just a little.

1:33:02 - David Spark
Can I ask a quick question at Club Twit? Have people been hired through Club Twit and hired people?

1:33:09 - Leo Laporte
Absolutely. I mean, the club is valuable for so many reasons, I think. But certainly the connections, the people you meet in the club, those are important and I think, yeah, absolutely people have gotten jobs through Club Twit. I'm not saying join Club Twit to get a job, but I think also you can make the claims, david, that the information people get from our shows helps them in their work, helps them get a better job too.

1:33:33 - David Spark
This information is extremely important. All success in the work that we do boils down to is the content, or even the sponsors helping people do their job better.

1:33:45 - Leo Laporte
Yeah, All the boys found that and really and you I would agree, I'm sure agree with this too is that what podcasting is is community. It's, ultimately, that's the only thing podcasting offers is a community, and we have a good community. I wanna keep that community going. That community is a value to our listeners, not just the shows, but the community around the shows.

1:34:06 - David Spark
By the way, I give a tip to your sponsors. Hold on, can I give a tip to your sponsors?

Sure, the better that you can connect oh sorry With the Twit community, the better you can connect with that community. I say about our community as well, but the better you can connect, the better you will succeed. I agree, if you try to just send disconnected messaging that does not connect with the community, you're not gonna succeed. But the fact that you do live show reads that does everything right oh and we turned down a lot of advertisers for that very reason.

1:34:33 - Leo Laporte
You know, If an advertiser comes to us to sell women's underwear, we're gonna say, well, we're 98% men and I don't think we're gonna do very well for ya.

1:34:44 - David Spark
On the other hand, there might still be demand there.

1:34:46 - Leo Laporte
It might still be guys, goodbye, underwear for their women. Okay anyway, but no, we actually turned down a lot of advertisers. Where were you taking that, leo? There's nowhere to go. I shouldn't have even brought it up. We haven't turned down, though, e-sigs. We've turned down crypto. There's a lot of stuff we won't do because we don't think it connects with our eyes or it's good for our audience.

1:35:04 - David Spark
We don't wanna do that. We turned down a sponsor because my co-host did not like their marketing practices.

1:35:08 - Leo Laporte
Well, we do that all the time. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

1:35:10 - David Spark
But they were in cyber.

1:35:12 - Leo Laporte
Yeah, yeah, no, we do that all the time. There's a lot of companies we just say no to. If you hear us talking about a company, it's cause we either use it or we know about it, and we really. It is, in fact, a genuine endorsement and I think that's part of our model. It has to be right. That's the community thing. I'm not gonna tell you about something. I don't believe it. I'll give you an example.

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1:38:58 - Brianna Wu
Well, I was just going to say this is asymmetrical for the people doing it, because the government can get all this data and it's very hard for an individual to do the inverse to get all this data and prove that they're innocent.

1:39:09 - Leo Laporte
That they weren't there. Fbi used the geofence warrant, for instance, to collect information about a Black Lives Matter protest in Seattle, so they just basically got everybody who was at the protest. They got the names, addresses and phone numbers of everybody. We've seen this before a bank robbery they get everybody who was in the area. I think that really is abredging your rights, to be honest.

1:39:37 - Nate Lanxon
Because the potential then is that it's implicating you without you actually having done anything wrong in the first place. It's a phishing expedition, exactly yeah, because you used to be able to well, I'm sure you still can do this, but by triangulating the cell signal but you can't do it as accurately and you can't do it en masse like this, and you have to do it pretty much in real time, to a certain degree at least.

1:40:00 - Leo Laporte
You know somebody who's not doing this is the carriers, who have for years had a law enforcement portal for pen registers. This is stuff they don't have to have a warrant for, they just need a buck 50. And they could say hey, where was Leo the night of the 15th? And it's just online because all that stuff's being collected all the time about you. So this is something Google says will help with geofence warrants. They're also changing by default the auto delete settings.

It was 18 months on your location data. It's now going to be three months by default, which is great. Now I happen to like having all my. I like the map which shows me going to work and coming home, going to work and coming home and all that stuff, but if you don't want to, the lease automatically in three months, you don't have to remember it. Democrats sent a letter to Senator Pichai last year calling the company to quote stop unnecessarily collecting and retaining customer location data. Apparently, google had received get this in 2020, 11,554 geofence warrants. That's more than 1,000 a month from police jurisdictions all over the country.

1:41:21 - Nate Lanxon
I don't know why, but that doesn't actually sound like a lot. Well, you're in England, no, no, no. But even thinking about the US, I just think if you were chanceing it and you were trying, you think you might get something back. So you quickly, you file the request because there'll be a procedure in order to make it as easy and quick as possible for everyone, because there's loads of them. Then if you just try your hand and just say, well, maybe we'll get something back. I have no knowledge about this. I'm a total novice when it comes to how this stuff works, but I would have thought that would have been more. I mean, look at the number of takedown requests that you get through the DMCA and things. Well, that's a nice thing, it's a very different thing, but I think a lot of the time they just chance it.

1:42:08 - Brianna Wu
I think I have some good news on this. I think I've reasoned to be really happy. So, no matter what happens after 2024, there's going to be a new chapter for American politics, particularly in my party. Kind of, the end of the Obama era is going to end with this election one way or another and there's going to be new leadership in the Democratic Party, and what I am seeing with Everyone that's on the teams this kind of powers coalescing is I think there's an effort out there to figure out what are the broad messages that we need to be running on, and privacy is actually in every single one of the high level meetings I've been in, it's really towards the top of that list.

And think about it. This is one of these things that has really broad bipartisan support. It's kind of outside this dead-end culture war stuff that we end up in all the time. It's a really, really good issue to run on, because if you're talking to moms, they're out there worried about their kids being tracked and they see firsthand the damage that Instagram is doing to their girls, things like that, and Democrats see this for a different reason. So I actually think that, as this next chapter of American politics is being written. I do think you're going to hear more and more about this. I am shocked all the time when I'm out there talking to Republicans, their political professionals and even Republican Congress people, that they are concerned about this too. So I do think we're going to see bipartisan action on this eventually.

1:43:48 - Leo Laporte
God bless Ron Wyden, our favorite senator, who is probably the most technologically sophisticated senator.

He wrote last week a letter actually, yeah, a couple of weeks ago a letter to the Department of Justice, complaining about the fact that both Apple and Google, with the iOS and Android platforms, were giving law enforcement and government's information on push notifications. This, rowan says, gives the two companies unique insight into the traffic flowing from apps on their phones to the users and in turn puts them in quote a unique position to facilitate government surveillance of how users are using particular apps. He asked the DOJ to repeal or modify any policies that hindered public discussions of push notification spying. The part of the reason he said that is because Apple has said in this case, the federal government prohibited us from telling you that they were monitoring your push notifications. Now that this method has become public, we're updating our transparency reporting to detail those kinds of requests. A week later, apple added a passage to its law enforcement guidelines saying you have to have at least a subpoena or better to get this. They've updated their warrant requirements, which is a good thing. I guess they didn't have a warrant requirement before.

1:45:29 - Nate Lanxon
This seems smart and I kind of feel that, looking ahead to 2024, I feel it will be the year of the push notification crackdown. Just over the last couple of weeks, you look at what's been happening with Beeper Mini, with the whole iOS versus Android you know cat and mouse game that they're playing. You look at something like this in very close proximity and the technology behind a push notification really hasn't changed that much since they began to be introduced like what? 10 years ago. I feel like a lot's going to have to change with those in order to A make them more privacy focused because right now they very much are not, but also to just make them better, and I think, I really think, that next year we'll see a lot change with these. It might not look like they've changed a lot to the end user, but I think behind the scenes, a lot's going to have to change.

1:46:29 - Leo Laporte
You know it's funny. We've talked before on security, now about metadata. We often people worry about the contents of their messages, the contents of their communications, but so much can be gleaned from metadata. Who you're talking to, or push notifications, you know when that phone is dinging, it can tell them so much.

1:46:47 - David Spark
So where are your mouses on the screen and how long it lingers.

1:46:52 - Leo Laporte
Don't look at my mouse baby. That's a show title. Never look a gift mouse in the horse. No, that's wrong Google, by the way, speaking of Google, lost a big court case this week. The jury remember Epic sued Apple and lost in a judge's decision last year. Google this week lost in a jury trial. Epic said it's stifled. Google is stifled competition for its app store on Android devices. The jury agreed, deliberating for a mere three hours. It's not going to be up to the judge on what remedies Google will have to pursue. Of course, google is immediately appealing, so maybe the judge won't have to do anything at all. Walter White, wilson White, google vice president although if his name was Walter White it'd be so much better says I am the one who knocks no. No. Says we plan to challenge the verdict. We continue to defend the Android business model and remain deeply committed to our users, partners and the broader Android ecosystem. Say my name.

1:48:03 - Nate Lanxon
Isn't it funny how Apple won and Google lost. Apple had a judge, google had a jury. The jury said, no, this sucks, it's unanimous. And the judge said, no, it's basically fine.

1:48:13 - Leo Laporte
Yeah, isn't that?

1:48:14 - Nate Lanxon
it Do you think that's the difference.

1:48:16 - Leo Laporte
One other thing Tim Sweeney of Epic said is that Google tended to write things down. Apple did not.

1:48:23 - Nate Lanxon
Well, that just makes the case easier to argue, but the evidence I don't know. There's a lot of circumstantial evidence still I think it's really interesting that it's different. One's going to appeal. You know Epic's going to appeal against the first one. I think it probably already has an official name.

1:48:37 - Leo Laporte
Epic and Apple are both in the Supreme Court, appealing the Supreme Court over. You know the very minor loss Apple suffered over the App Store with the Epic case. Epic wants more obviously and I imagine Google will take this all all the way to the Supreme Court if they have to.

1:48:53 - Nate Lanxon
And with my Bloomberg hat on. If you looked at the Google stock when this all came out, it barely moved. It was down the tiniest little bit and the rest of the market was up. It basically means investors aren't worried because either they don't think it'll mean anything or it'll take so long that they don't need to make any meaningful change to their investment right now. But you sometimes see this where a company loses and you know the stock goes right up or it goes right down, whereas with Google you don't need to move much for it to represent a huge financial loss. You know 1% is enough to represent a pretty significant loss of investment, but it barely moved. So there's a lot to look at here and I think investors are pretty not moved by this.

1:49:42 - Leo Laporte
It's certainly if they appeal. It would go years and it won't have an impact on the app store. I think the EU is more likely to have an impact on the app store and that may be the other reason it has moved is that investors understand that the EU is going to make both Google and Apple open their app stores anyway, so it doesn't really matter what happens in court. Apple apparently has plans already. They've already put in place a system, if they have to, to open to other app stores. Apple, if you ask me, is far more culpable in this than Google. Google does allow you to sideload. There's a setting, so you're not you don't have to use the Google store.

1:50:19 - David Spark
But this was part of the arguments about, like in the case of Epic Games recently. They said it was too hard, too hard, so it doesn't need. You don't need to actually technically have a monopoly, you just need to make it difficult for the people to essentially sell their products other ways in other areas, and that's that's what they want in this case. So if you add, just honestly, a single extra step of complication, that can just end you. I mean, think about Google search results. Whoever looks at page two? No one, you know.

1:50:59 - Nate Lanxon
Yeah, I don't feel there'd be a problem with if you were to allow third party payment providers into the app store, because if you're already locked into Apple and already has all your money and it's already secure and it's using the biometric authentication, it's always going to be faster and easier. If the price is the same, you're just going to choose whatever's fastest, and that's probably going to be apples. So I think that worries.

1:51:24 - Brianna Wu
I think this shows that some like things should not be decided by juries, or at least I think it shows limitations of the jury system in the United States. My husband works in patent law and a while back he was advising on tremendously like complicated biotech case that had to do with patent infringement and delivery systems, right, and the lawsuit was 100% about chemistry and you really did have to like understand a PhD, to like in bio molecular chemistry, to understand this case and you know I, being married to him, I got to understand this. It was really clear to me that the jury just got it wrong because they didn't understand it. And I think, in the same way, like to understand what's going on with the app store and the differences in Google and like these.

Antitrust are really really, really, really, really complicated. I mean, even for those of us here in tech to really drill down and understand like the law here and every single one of the facts and the way antitrust can be applied here. I just I almost isn't completely not surprising to me. They have two companies, one of them, in my view, clearly more in the wrong and one of them gets the judgment against them and of course, it's going to go to like a federal appeals court, which will you have a panel of judges looking at this and making a call? I just I really suspect in this case that they go into arbitration in some way. Everyone would have gotten a more accurate judgment. I think it's limited.

1:52:58 - Leo Laporte
For that reason, I also wonder if Apple and Google had not tried so hard to win outright, if they had just said to Tim Sweeney, look you can't, tim wants an epic store on the iPhone and Android. If they had said, look, tim, you can't do that, but you know what, we're going to, let you use Apple's store and Google Play Store and not charge you 30%. We're going to, we're going to let you get all that. That would have been under compromise. It didn't compromise security, did not compromise safety, because I mean, but it may not have given Sweeney everything he wanted epic, everything they wanted but he might have settled for that and that would have gotten around the whole thing. I don't, I don't think. I know Apple's iPhone is not improved by having a variety of other stores on there. That's just a security nightmare. Just give them the money, for Christ's sake. That's all I want, right? Yeah, just let them keep their money.

Have you been watching the saga of Beeper Mini? Oh, my gosh, yeah. So the guy who founded Pebble founded a company called Beeper a couple of years ago and their first product, which they are, they offered kind of in beta, by invite only, and I think they're public now. Beeper was a cloud based service. They were running, we think, for a long time Mac minis in the cloud that you would then log into with your Mac Apple credentials and then it would connect to your Android phone so that you could use Apple's messages on Android. It wasn't actually Apple's messages, but at least you'd be a blue bubble. I recommend it I'm sure you did as well, david that nobody give their Apple credentials to any third party ever. That's a bad idea. But then they they found a high school kid who was apparently quite a genius, who had reversed engineered Apple's messages protocol actually reverse engineered the authentication protocol, and I was able to, and it was on GitHub. It's a Python script. Proof of concept was they were able to kind of weaponize it and allow you on an Android phone to log into an Apple account your Apple account, not anybody else's. Log into your Apple account and send and receive messages from your Android phone.

That looked to Apple and the iPhone, just like you were using an iPhone. In fact, when I, when I set it up, I got a notification on my Mac saying another Mac has joined or another iPhone has joined your network. Is that okay? I said. Well, that's a good sign. So it's been a cat and mouse hunt, ever since Apple, three days later, blocked the service. Earlier this week the service figured out an end around and went back online and I got another message and iPhone has joined your network. And then now it sends. Sometimes it doesn't receive all the time. It's very often on. Apple says this is a security hole. Nobody should be allowed to do this and we're going to block it every time we can. The folks at Bieber say well, they can't block it completely without breaking their own authentication system. Any any thoughts about this?

I think as I was to any of you use Android, no, no you're all. But I mean, are you an iPhone, primarily iPhone.

1:56:25 - David Spark
No, I'm fully not. I don't use any. Apple products at all.

1:56:29 - Leo Laporte
No Apple products for David, but but Nate and, and Brianna and I use iPhones, so we don't share your blue bubble misery. Brianna, do you look down on blue bubbles?

1:56:42 - Brianna Wu
I try to accept all people. I try to accept Android people. It's very difficult. No, I was going to say one of the things is really striking is I bust out my my. I met for the first time in a while to crunch some videos. I'm on and, yeah, it's like several versions behind and it was just astonishing to me how many things have broken, like trying to authenticate in this in the the years since I've turned it on. Like messaging systems broken. I spent two hours just updating it and I think one thing we've really just like a frog in a boiling pot, we've just become numb to, is how much like Mac OS has become. Like what we used to criticize windows for layers on top of layers and questions and set up and do this password and log your 10 things in here. It is really a pain in the butt to set up an iPhone or a Mac nowadays.

And so it is completely unsurprising to me, as Apple has gone. Well, you know, it'd be cool. We can add this new system to this. We can add this new thing here that their vulnerabilities in here and they haven't thought through the basics like they're onto authentication system, probably inevitable. We're probably going to see more of this and, yeah, you have no one to blame but yourselves.

1:58:09 - Nate Lanxon
This is a really interesting argument to watch from over here, because I barely know anyone who uses iMessage. You know even on everybody.

What's up. What's up and signal in in Europe tiny bit of telegram and then you know your WeChat and Kakao and all that stuff in in Asia, like any time I send somebody an iMessage I smell. It's rare Like most people don't even have it on the home screens. So this has been. It's been really interesting to see how it plays out. Because it's it feels like it feels like a US issue, yeah, but because it's Apple, it has to take a global stance. It's been really interesting. Are you rooting?

1:58:55 - Leo Laporte
for David or Elias. Do you have a dog in this one?

1:58:59 - Nate Lanxon
I don't really care, as long as it's interesting, I'm going to read about it and write about it Like I don't take sides. They're all. They're all great, they're all evil.

1:59:07 - Leo Laporte
Typical tech Do whatever. Typical tech journalist, I don't care.

1:59:11 - Brianna Wu
That's a dodge. That's a dodge. I'll tell you what I would like.

1:59:16 - Nate Lanxon
Okay, all right, I will All right, I won't. I won't dodge, I will say that I don't care professionally, but personally, I think it would be very interesting if Apple released an iMessage app for Android. I don't think it would help iMessage I still think they'd have an uphill struggle getting people to want to use it. But I do think they should do it. And I think that adopting RCS, which they've said they're going to do, is more a way of fending off EU regulation than it is about making something better for their customers. But I think Apple's missed a trick by not offering iMessage to Android.

1:59:51 - Leo Laporte
And I would also add that I think you'd be making a huge mistake to use Beeper or any other solution like this. Yep, apple's going to punish you. They're punishing Beeper right now.

2:00:02 - Nate Lanxon
And they don't like push notifications, and it's why I think this issue will be a big deal next year. But I also think on the on the Android stuff, look at what happened when Apple released iTunes for Windows and and allowed iPods to be supported by Windows. I'm not a huge fan of saying, well, look at what happened 20 years ago and let's assume the same will happen. But I'm pretty sure that would have happened for iMessage if they'd have done it back in the day when they could have. I think the boat sailed.

2:00:29 - Leo Laporte
I know that if you're an Apple aficionado it really separates the Apple fans from the rest of the world. The Apple fans are saying screw those Android people. They should be blue bubbles, apple's white in every respect and just protecting the integrity of their operation. Plus, no one should be able to reverse engineer their protocol and charge $2 a month for it. By the way, beeper is announced because their service is so up and down. They're not going to charge anybody until they can figure it out. I know I think Beeper is not long for this world. I think Apple is about ready to crush them.

And I think honestly it's no. The truth about Beeper was because it couldn't be your default messaging app on Android, because it doesn't send SMS. It's no different than just having WhatsApp or signal or telegram on your system. It's just another messaging app. So you can solve the whole problem if you just get your Apple friends to use WhatsApp and that solves the whole thing.

2:01:31 - Brianna Wu
I feel like I need to defend the honor of Apple people just briefly here. Leo, I don't think we sit around going. We're so much better than you because we paid too much for the same phone we bought.

2:01:47 - Leo Laporte
You don't read Reddit, obviously.

2:01:50 - Brianna Wu
Okay, fair enough. I think that the reason I don't want an Android like iMessage app with all respect to my friends to use Android is because I don't even have like fate, they can keep iMessage safe. I don't want to be much less like expanded to all these different phones. I just like the hand to God. There is no reason for anyone to be in iOS at this point because it's such a complicated product, except for the security, and I don't think they're magical, I don't think they're vulnerable. I think iOS is pretty much just less attacked, but it's in my view it is slightly better. So if they're going to f that up, I don't know what value iPhone has genuinely.

2:02:38 - Leo Laporte
David, do you feel bad being a blue bubble in this conversation?

2:02:43 - David Spark
Bubble here. This is how much I'm happy to be a blue bubble I.

2:02:48 - Leo Laporte
Turned his lights blue. You're the blue bubble. Yeah, I think it's a tepid in a teapot. You know who cares? Use signal. You want to be secure? Use signal. I wish I you know. Okay, sorry, I just wish I could get everybody to use the same thing. That's the real problem is that we have no agreement on a messaging says platform and the only people who have any kind of agreement is Apple users, because they all just use iMessage.

2:03:16 - David Spark
Well, certain countries, like I know Israel, like everybody's on WhatsApp over there, you know certain areas are heavy users of what's up. I would love it if everyone went over that what's up signals. Signal doesn't really work because I found, like I used to try to message people were not on signal what you can do, but it doesn't always get through. That's a problem.

2:03:36 - Leo Laporte
There's no good solution. Honestly, I don't want to use WhatsApp because it's Facebook. Nate is everybody in the UK and what's up?

2:03:44 - Nate Lanxon
Is that the that where everybody yeah but you know what, I was not on it for about two and a half years and I forced through emotional blackmail the people I loved most to move to signal and it worked for a Lot of people but it basically meant that they had signal and that was essentially how they talked to me. Right, and that did not make me feel good, but I sort of did it as a matter of principle to not to not use it. But they I mean app. I think met has done well to promote the privacy side of WhatsApp and I decided that it you know the the the trade-off. For me, it was worth it to just not have to deal with the social problems of not being what's up.

2:04:31 - David Spark
Here's what I usually say to people who don't use, like a, a private tool, like a signal, like a WhatsApp, because what's up actually uses the same sort of tooling that signal does is the classic case of you. We've all heard this before of well, I don't have anything to hide. What is it? And the answer to that is that is not the issue. The issue is the attackers are Using this information against you, and that's what you don't want. That's why your privacy matters.

2:05:01 - Leo Laporte
I love it. And then she's Prime Minister required Her ministers to abandon what's happened. Signal this is France, of course to use a French Messaging program called old vid, which I, as soon as I read the story, downloaded. And it's nice, it's got a lot of nice features. Well done it's. You know, it's probably pretty secure. But then, after she did that, critics pointed out that it's hosted on Amazon web services, which means all of those French messages are subject to American extra test territorial.

2:05:36 - Nate Lanxon
Mean they could specify an instance. Could they not have AWS? That's located? In fact, yes, they could, it's just Possible, right, it's just impossible.

2:05:46 - David Spark
I'll tell you a very quick story about a dangerous by using iMessage. A friend of mine who Got her ex-husband's Computer he was using iMessage did not realize that he had his set his computer set up to automatically Save all of his iMessages to his computer. So from his phone, also computer, and she saw some very sensitive private information that was he was sending via messaging.

2:06:17 - Brianna Wu
So I have a super quick question and y'all tell me if I'm cynical or whatever. So everyone, it seems like, in tech is always like Signal, signal, signal signal is the best. And like I why I'm it. I've not read deeply into the white paper on this and I understand end-to-end encryption, but I also have been in software development enough to Recognize that it's not just about the theory of your app, it's also about the Size of the team you have to maintain it and, like you're funding right, it goes down to the bunker you're gonna build, brianna a hundred percent, so the scale and the size of the team with signal.

I have the thing that really made me go Hmm, a signal really that secure is learning just how much of a shoestring budget they have to keep this running all around the world and like how small, like their server teams are. I honestly have questions if a team that small, with that few resources, can scale something to like stop hostile nation states from Like finding out ways to exploit it. I mean, is that crazy or is that not crazy? It's not crazy.

2:07:28 - Leo Laporte
I think that the story of signal was that we all trusted Moxie Marlin spike, who created the protocol and an open source library and which, by the way, is used by WhatsApp as well, and it was really a matter of personal trust for this guy. Now he's left. He's no longer at signal. It's run by Meredith Whitaker, who revealed this week actually was last month that signal's server costs were 40 million dollars per month, expected to rise to 50 million dollars a year in a couple of years. Now this is a nonprofit, charges no money for their product that's entirely based on donations. I think you're exactly right, brianna. How long can this go on? Maybe we shouldn't trust you. It'll go down fighting, if it goes down at all. Right, yeah, she's great. She was one of the people said I'm moving out of England if England, if the snoopers charter passes and they actually have to negotiate with her. I met her, said the same thing.

2:08:26 - Nate Lanxon
I think Apple said similar like yeah, if they, if they, if they try and break end of encryption, they'll. They'll leave signal using actually didn't the early days of WhatsApp.

2:08:32 - Leo Laporte
charge like a dollar for usage 99 cents a year.

2:08:43 - Nate Lanxon
Yeah, yeah, yeah, no.

2:08:44 - David Spark
I think initially you could just buy it once, and that was it. And then they did like the yearly thing and I think I spent the dollar. I did, I did, I did too.

2:09:02 - Leo Laporte
But now it just folds that into their signal gets. This uses 20 petabytes of data a year in bandwidth. Six million goes to telecom firms to pay for the SMS interface, which is very important and, by the way, not encrypted, but but it's really important for SMS, for signal verification as well.

2:09:26 - Nate Lanxon
as you know, I can use signal as my default messenger on Android because it supports SMS which makes you think how much money could signal save by disabling features that cost a lot but aren't used much like files sharing, because you can just share files in signal. There's one thing save money.

2:09:45 - Leo Laporte
We have learned, by the way, here at twit the most expensive part of your operation is the people. Signal has 50 people, 19 million dollar a year payroll, and that you know. That's one thing you can't really, you know, mess with. It's a bigger team than they used to have it. When signal started was three people working in a co-working space in San Francisco, including Moxie, my own spike. That was not so long ago. All right, let me take a break because we do have to pay those electric bills and we will have our final thoughts with our wonderful panel, nathan Lankson, who is I can't wait to watch your show AI IRL. It's on Bloomberg original series and he also is a tech editor at Bloomberg Europe. It's great to have you on Nate and your drum kit, which is thank you, seems to be growing. I don't know, maybe it's my imagination.

2:10:36 - David Spark
I think some of the drums are giving birth to other ones.

2:10:40 - Nate Lanxon
They are like my giant land snails. They don't even need other snails to reproduce.

2:10:47 - Leo Laporte
Also, david spark, my old friend from tech TV, was now the host and producer of CISO seriescom. If you're in security, you ought to listen to that for sure. Good to have you in your blue bubble. And Brianna, who's new thing is progressive, progressive victory. Now I'm a progressive, so I'm going to present. Progressive victory is about victory for progressives.

2:11:12 - Brianna Wu
It's about. It's about getting younger people out to vote. I have I have some extreme worries that the new generations are not believing in electoralism. I'm just seeing increasing pessimism about not even thinking democracy is worth participating in. I say it really, genuinely, and this is the problem I think I can use my efforts best to solve, and that's what progressive victory is all about. We actually sometimes work with people on the right that we think are reasonable is just about empowering them, and we think that will naturally lead to better policies in the country.

2:11:50 - Leo Laporte
I like it Well. Thank all of you for being here. Our final stories coming up in just a bit, but first a word from Palo Alto Networks, one of our newer sponsors. We love Palo Alto Networks. They now offer zero T for OT, david, what's that mean? Zero trust for operations?

2:12:08 - David Spark
operational technology. Yeah, I love that ZT for OT without the trauma to a sponsor with us as well.

2:12:17 - Leo Laporte
Yeah, they're great, great company we like. Keeping operational technology secure and running is a smooth as a tall order. It's enough to make even the coolest operations director wake up with night sweats. Well, now you got peace of mind with zero trust for operational technology. Zero trust OT security. Zero trust OT security delivers comprehensive visibility and security for all OT assets, networks and remote operations. Palo Alto Networks solution provides exceptional OT protection More than 1100 app IDs for OT protocols, 500 plus profiles for critical OT assets and more than 650 OT specific threat signatures supported. It provides the best in class security while simplifying OT security management. It sees and protects everything in the network. It automates threat detection and implements zero trust across all operations. You know you want this. Sleep better with the most comprehensive platform to detect, manage and secure OT assets. Learn how the Palo Alto Network zero trust for OT security solution can achieve 351 percent ROI over five years. To learn more, find the link in the show description or visit Palo Alto Networks dot com. Palo Alto Networks dot com.

Thank you so much for supporting this week in tech. Had a fun week this week and we have a little mini movie to celebrate watch. You know, I got a mystery gift yesterday A bunch of whiskey arrives. Why is that a mystery? I should have known it's a whiskey advent calendar.

Let's just see how many of these you can get through before the end of the show. Every time you say, insider, I shall take one. Yeah, oh, I got bad news for you. I built some talking about today.

Previously on twit. This week in Google got a special guest, stephen B Johnson. You may know him from his PBS television show, his books and podcasts, but he's also the guy who helped Google design a new tool for writers called Notebook L M, the number one skill in eliciting the behavior you want from a language model is, you know, a clear command and a persuasive command of the English language. Mac break weekly.

2:14:37 - Brianna Wu
I got a wacky theory about the iPad Pro I want to throw out there. What if the M3 iPad Pro, with that fancy MacBook like keyboard, ran macOS in a virtual machine?

2:14:49 - Leo Laporte
Whoa dude, it's never going to happen. You're nuts. Never going to happen. No, you're crazy. Security now.

2:14:56 - Stev Gibson
Quantum computing research conducted at Harvard made headlines last Thursday with what those in the know are pretty certain represents a significant step forward in the quest for a practical quantum computer. Asymmetric crypto such as RSA and elliptic curve crypto are both on the chopping block, so it was prescient that the academic crypto community began worrying about this years ago and has now generated a series of quantum safe replacement algorithms that are rapidly being moved toward adoption.

Twitter thousands of hours of high quality DREBEL using three dimensional, that's eight by three, by two, code blocks Connectivity with 228 logical to Qubit gates and 48 logical CZZ gates. These results heralded the advent of early error corrected quantum computation and chart a path toward large scale logical processors.

2:16:06 - Leo Laporte
Of course, it's obvious. Any fool knows that. Actually, when you get Steve Gibson saying quantum computing made a major breakthrough and you combine that with the stuff we've been talking about with AI, I think we, I think we are going to live in interesting times. I think that's the best way we could put it. And Nate Good news for anybody covering technology we're going to have a job in the next few years, a big one, I think, personally.

2:16:32 - Nate Lanxon
I think it's exciting. I love having a job. Yes.

2:16:37 - Leo Laporte
You said it, my friend. All right, before we wrap up, some some quickies. There was a lot of news this week Tesla Two million cars are recalled Thanks to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, which says Tesla's autopilot doesn't do enough to prevent misuse. Tesla autopilot will have to be updated and they will be monitoring. The spokesperson for the Nitsa said Tesla's mean for keeping drivers engaged was inadequate.

Many other cars my Ford, blue, cruise, gm's, whatever they call it have cameras that watch your eyes and know if you're sleeping or looking away from the road, reading a book, watching a movie. The Tesla does not. It's using a torque sensor in the steering wheel and it you know just, and people have actually tied ropes to it and phrase mechanisms so they can get in the backseat and take a nap. Do not, okay, don't, and I'm not sure what the recall will do. It's an over the air software update that started this week. It hit Tesla shares quite hard.

Also, some other bad news for Elon. The FCC, which had originally said we're going to give you almost a billion dollars subsidy for Starlink to provide communications infrastructure for rural America, has said the FCC has said that they failed to demonstrate they could do it. We're going to withhold the money. Eight hundred eighty five million dollars set aside for Starlink is not part of the rural digital opportunity fund, is not going to Starlink and Elon apparently was hopping mad, hopping mad. I think anybody who understands how Starlink works, that it costs six hundred dollars for the hardware and more than a hundred dollars a month, realize this is not rural digital opportunity by any means. Any comments, thoughts, we can move on. If not, don't worry, you don't have to say anything.

2:18:42 - Brianna Wu
I feel very strongly that outsourcing communications in the theater of war to company like Starlink is a threat to national security, and I don't care if it costs more. I think that if we are serious about national security, I think we need control of our own information space and I think we need to end this contract immediately.

2:19:06 - Leo Laporte
Yeah, yeah, I agree. Netflix has done something they never, they said they would never do. They've released viewing numbers for their titles. They didn't want to do it. I think a couple of things pushed them into it. One was, of course, the writer's strike and the screen actors killed strike because they weren't getting paid, because Netflix wasn't saying how many people were watching them, the shows.

2:19:28 - David Spark
Well, they did understand. Netflix didn't need to. They didn't have advertisers Right, they had no to Right.

2:19:35 - Leo Laporte
And the contracts with actors and writers that specified residuals were all for network television, not for streaming. There are no residuals for streaming. I think that contract has been updated Good news in both cases. But now we know that the biggest title in the first half of the year for Netflix was the night agent. Now Netflix doesn't put out numbers like normal television stations. They said 812 million hours of viewing. Is that a million people watched for half an hour? Is that? I don't know what it means either. I love that show.

2:20:10 - Brianna Wu
The night agent was good.

2:20:11 - Leo Laporte
That was the one where the guy, the poor guy, stuck in the basement to monitor a phone that never rang and then it rings.

2:20:19 - Nate Lanxon
Yeah, and that I'd heard of like two of the top 10. I've never heard of Ginny and.

2:20:24 - Leo Laporte
Georgia. I don't know that. That was number two. 665 million I've never heard of that. No, glory, a Korean drama. Number three never heard of that.

2:20:34 - Nate Lanxon
Now this is worldwide remember, yeah, Tom Merritt X of your Parish said some good things about that particular one. I think Ginny and Georgia are the glory, the glory, the glory.

2:20:45 - Leo Laporte
Okay, I'll watch it.

We started watching a Korean dating show. We stopped watching immediately. But I'll watch the glory and number four Wednesday, which was a good show, the Wednesday Adams story. That was quite good. One would have thought suits, given the fact that everybody was watching suits earlier this year. Suits, it definitely dominated in the U? S with almost 600 million hours of viewing across all nine seasons. So there you go. We never had these numbers. Now we have them. Who cares? E three is gone. They, you know, didn't? They haven't they canceled it now.

2:21:28 - Brianna Wu
They're like oh, I'm going to be in the next two years in a row. Yeah, they're trying to bring it back, but it's like it just doesn't work anymore.

2:21:33 - David Spark
So the ESA. I think about how huge that show was, how huge Comdex was. I mean, it's amazing. I've just shocked how the mighty shows fall.

2:21:45 - Leo Laporte
And yet CES persists.

2:21:47 - David Spark
You can touch stuff.

2:21:52 - Leo Laporte
Well, our RSA and the security space and black hat, those shows are massive, the charts, yeah, E three was the gaming show, the electronic entertainment expo, and you know the writing was on the wall when Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo, all three said, yeah, we're not going, we're just going to have our own events. I mean, I think without those three you really don't have much of a show.

2:22:09 - Benito
It is made up. But the weird thing is that, like they still did that on E three weekend, they still did their shows on E three weekend.

2:22:15 - Leo Laporte
I know they were still at. It was at that time. They were even around the corner right. They were in town. I think you know Paul Theron Benito, by the way, our wonderful producer. He is now officially full time producer of this show, as well as our TD and editors. So you do it all. Thank you, benito. We appreciate it. It's all this is great. Windows Weekly. We were talking about this and I think Paul or maybe it was rich but one of them said what you're really seeing is the fact that there aren't a million different game companies now. So in a day and age when there were many independent game companies, lots of different game companies, you could have a show because everybody had something to show and they needed the mass bulk of E three to do it. But when you're dominated by a handful of companies, all of which you know, steam can have their own event, they all can have their own event and they all do and they all do, you don't really need it.

2:23:08 - David Spark
It's like what was it Let me correct me if I'm wrong here, because I don't report in the game community but wasn't the kind of the point of E three for the platform, the platforms to fight against each other to see which platform would succeed?

2:23:20 - Brianna Wu
Yeah, there was certainly part of that. It was. It was just from an era before Nintendo Direct and you know it costs so much money to go to E three and produce those kinds of shows. Like you're exactly right on that and like eventually it's just like why should I spend this much money when I could produce something in house and get the information directly to people? I think the biggest loss here is it's just like a isn't that the E three was important? But it's it's more like this is just another thing of like institutions in the gaming press like being taken down and they're not being a financial model for it. You know gaming press is has had brutal layoffs this year. Like all media companies, it's moved largely to personalities on YouTube and, like you know, they're the ethical questions of who is reviewing games and what their motivations are. It's never been more extreme than it is right now. So you know, I just think it's sad for yet another thing in the game industry to like not be able to find a financial way forward.

2:24:26 - Benito
That's absolutely true, Like E three. When I used to work for the game's press, you three made up like, I think, 75% of our revenue. Wow, it made it paid my whole salary Whenever we covered E three. So like yeah.

2:24:39 - Leo Laporte
I mean the heyday of the big conferences, though, is long gone. I mean tech. Tv covered Comdex, and CES for me is a million dollars. Each time we went down there, we built big stages, we even did a tweet, did it for the few years we went down to CES, we'd have our own booth and stuff, but it was hundreds of thousands of dollars.

2:25:00 - David Spark
Well, one of the things that we're seeing in the security industry, specifically calling out RSA, is the gravity of these events introduce, and it's not just the event itself, but everything that goes around in the city around that event becomes enormous and becomes critical.

2:25:16 - Leo Laporte
Look what happened at Salesforce convention in San Francisco. It's the only thing that get the homeless off the streets. They cleaned up the whole city for the Salesforce event and then, of course, it went right back to the way it was before. I think that a lot of why people attend these, like them, is their social events. Right, but you know, it's a chance to see those people. Once a year you get to all get together.

2:25:41 - Benito
Yeah, I mean, CES was like that too. Ces is like that.

2:25:43 - Leo Laporte
Yeah, tech journalists love it. I mean, there we go to parties together, we dance, we sing the New York Times.

2:25:54 - Nate Lanxon
When I liked parties and seeing other people when I was less grumpy.

2:25:58 - Leo Laporte
We've all gotten grumpy. That's what it is. New York Times has analyzed a year's worth of wordles and, as published an article, the seven things we learned analyzing 515 million wordles. That's how many wordles were done. Do any of you do wordle? I do wordle. Do you like wordle?

2:26:18 - Brianna Wu
Yeah, yeah, but yes, what are opening words?

2:26:22 - Leo Laporte
Okay, so that's an interesting question, isn't it? That was one of the ones answered in this art. That's one of the ones they answered. I did not know, but apparently there's a wordle analyzing program that you can use.

The New York Times From the New York, so for people who don't know this was started. A guy named a wardle, was it Patrick? Wardle created this word puzzle where you would get one, two, three, four, five, six chances to guess a five letter word and it was kind of like remember, was it called mind, master, mastermind. So my first word is T, whoops, not TT. You never repeat that. You may get a repeat, but don't do that with your guests. T, e, a, r, s I always like to do that. Right. And now wordles telling me that there's no T, there's no E, there's no R, there's no S, there is an A, but it's not in that position. So that was a terrible first word. The New York Times says the most. What do you think the most popular first word is a do.

2:27:28 - Brianna Wu
Yeah, that's super possible. Is it because it's all vowels?

2:27:31 - Leo Laporte
Yeah, a lot of vowels. That is exactly I and you. But anybody who knows English knows that the most common letters in English are E, t, a, I, o and S, h, r, d, l, u, in that order.

2:27:42 - Benito
The ones that give you for free on wheel of fortune.

2:27:44 - Leo Laporte
The ones that give you for free. Thank you.

2:27:46 - David Spark
The vowels which they didn't always do that on wheel of fortune. They wised up eventually.

2:27:51 - Leo Laporte
Anyway, a do in fact does not help you, new York Times says. Our analysis shows that starting with a do or audio puts you at a disadvantage. On average, players who started with a do needed about a third of a turn more to solve their wordles, compared with players who started with slate. Is that your first word?

2:28:16 - Brianna Wu
I'm a Salé crony kind of gal.

2:28:18 - Leo Laporte
Those are my two go to reason I use tears, which is the same letters, by the way, almost the same letters. I have an R instead of an L, but both of those are good. Is I like to end with an S, just in case? Just in case you never know. But do you don't use it? You're going to be guessing on average.

2:28:35 - David Spark
I never have plural words.

2:28:37 - Leo Laporte
Well, somebody told me don't bother with the plurals, but I just I like to start with that. Maybe I shouldn't. I don't think they have plurals. I get E, t and A in, which are the most common letters in English.

2:28:49 - David Spark
I have failed consistently by starting with eight letter words Do not, there's no.

2:28:54 - Leo Laporte
No, are you crazy? You're nuts. Don't do that. Anyway, new York Times knows apparently exactly what's going on with the wordle, and that's that's our stories for the week, unless you guys have anything you want to bring up.

2:29:11 - Brianna Wu
No, I have. I have something I wanted to close out today.

2:29:14 - Leo Laporte
Oh good.

2:29:16 - Brianna Wu
So so, leo, you know when I first started coming on this show soon, the best people I've hired have come from New York Times and I really wanted to share with you guys that. I really wanted to talk about the best people I've met in your audience. Like a fantastic data analyst I worked with a while back. We are hiring at progressive victory and I really want to urge anyone out there If you work with TypeScript, node nextjs, react, especially If you're interested in, if you want to go, look at those jobs, go to progress, work with PV dot com, work with PV dot com. I would love to work with you. What I really want to find is someone who is skilled in the software industry, that has leadership experience and can carry a project across the finish line, the thing that we're building. I think it's going to be really important for democracy.

2:30:14 - Leo Laporte
Miss Woo. Yes, I am a Republican. Can I go to work for you?

2:30:19 - Brianna Wu
I will work with reasonable Republicans, but you should probably.

2:30:22 - Leo Laporte
Can I wear my MAGA hat?

2:30:25 - Brianna Wu
No, we may have to have a meeting about that.

2:30:28 - Leo Laporte
Okay, just checking.

2:30:32 - Brianna Wu
I wanted. The people on my team is actually a person that totally reasonable Republican. He's actually a former Marine that I've worked with quite a bit.

2:30:39 - Leo Laporte
That's very common right? Yeah, my wife was a Republican for many years.

2:30:45 - David Spark
There we go. I was a Republican at one time as well. Sure.

2:30:48 - Leo Laporte
Nothing wrong with Republicans and you could even be working for progressive victories if you wanted, if you were crazy enough to go to workwithpvcom. Thank you, brianna. That's wonderful, brianna. Always a pleasure we taught. We got Brianna to do this at midnight last night, so thank you.

2:31:10 - Brianna Wu
I need to hire some people. That's why I came on. I got some great candidates.

2:31:16 - Leo Laporte
You got your plug in.

2:31:17 - Brianna Wu
We got my video editor and they get my react developer. It's going to be great.

2:31:21 - Leo Laporte
It was hard to find people for the show because a lot of people are already on vacation. You lucky dogs. Vacation, vacation what's?

2:31:28 - Brianna Wu
that Nate.

2:31:29 - Leo Laporte
Langston, I cannot wait to see the robotics episode. When does that come out of AI IRL that?

2:31:35 - Nate Lanxon
is on Wednesday evening, I think it's like 7pm Eastern. It's on Bloomberg TV, but it's on the web and YouTube and things. It's the season finale. It's about robots. We have a woman on who wrote a book that went into quite a lot of detail about human intimacy with machines, which does form part of the topic, but it's you know, it's Bloomberg TV, so it's very much safe for work and we do interview a robotic woman who I didn't want to interview initially, but then she helped prove my point, so it ended up being probably my favorite episode of the entire run.

2:32:16 - Leo Laporte
Was she a human being who acted robotic, or an actual robotic woman? No, an actual robot. And was it, was she realistic?

2:32:25 - Nate Lanxon
I will let you be the judge of that, but it helps. That's the tease. There is a void between amazing robotics and amazing AI, and they do overlap, but not as much as we're maybe led to believe.

2:32:41 - Leo Laporte
So it's a fun episode, hard to navigate, I mean. Look at self-driving cars. They have not lived up to their promise by any means.

2:32:48 - Nate Lanxon
Yeah, absolutely.

2:32:49 - Leo Laporte
AIIRL on Bloomberg TV. And of course it'd be a good one to check out Catch Nate's work as tech editor for Bloomberg Europe and drummer extraordinaire, thank you. We don't know.

2:33:03 - David Spark
We don't know. They've just been there. We've never heard him play him, never.

2:33:07 - Leo Laporte
And all the times Nate has appeared on the show, he's never even tapped one of them.

2:33:11 - Nate Lanxon
It's true, I always promised to do a heavy metal like a death metal drum cover of the twit theme. I will do that this year. Could you Not now, because it's 1 am here, my wife's in bed, yeah, but.

2:33:22 - Leo Laporte
I will do it All. Drums solo all the time. That sounds fantastic.

2:33:28 - Nate Lanxon
I will, I will, I will do.

2:33:29 - Leo Laporte
I will do you a death metal cover this week in death metal. Now I'm now, you're talking Always a pleasure. Thank you, nate, I really appreciate it. You're staying up late with us. Give your wife back her microphone, but not right away. I will do. I will, yeah, and David spark my old friend from tech TV. He's the blue bubble in the bunch. Host and producer of CISO series at CISO seriescom. Always a pleasure.

2:33:55 - David Spark
And I. It's a pleasure, and I would also like to make a mention. If there's anybody in the San Diego area that is interested in cyber security, completely divorced from my organization, we have a meetup in the San Diego area. It's called the San Diego cyber group. It's on meetupcom. We're having one this Wednesday, the 20th of December. Please join us.

It's like a user group, I remember those, yes, a good old fashioned user group cyber script and we have fun. We do salon style discussions that play fun games with everybody. So how many people typically will show up for that? Well, we literally just started a few months ago and we have like 25 to 40 people show up so far. So we just started and it's working on it. It's been fun.

2:34:34 - Leo Laporte
And you do it at the Carl Strauss brewing company Carl Strauss in Sorento Valley in San Diego. Sounds nice. Can I have a beer during the?

2:34:42 - David Spark
event. Yes, there's beer and food and all that good stuff.

2:34:46 - Leo Laporte
I'm going, man. You got 49 people saying they're going Wednesday, december 20th. Thank you, david spark, thank you Nate Langston, thank you Brianna Wu and thanks to you, all of you, for watching the show. We do tweet. Well, I should say next week, the Christmas Eve, we're not going to be here, but we have a great show we recorded earlier for you the old farts Christmas special Doc Searle's, jeff Jarvis, Steve Gibson, rod Pyle and me.

2:35:12 - Benito
You have to be over 60 to go you really got them together.

2:35:15 - Leo Laporte
You have to be over 60 to do it, but if you are, you don't have to be over 60 to listen. But I you know what sometimes the gray hairs have some historic understanding of what's going on in technology. The conversation was fantastic. I highly recommend that episode Best episode of the year One of them anyway, along with this one. And then on New Year's Eve it's, of course, the best of where we do pick segments from all year long and we will be back January 7th with a brand new, all new episode of this week. In tech, we do the show two to five PM Pacific time, that's five to eight Eastern time, middle of the night in the UK it's it's actually 2200 UTC when we start and it only gets later. You can watch us do it live. We are streaming all our shows live on YouTube at no cost to you. That's a tweet, that was youtubecom slash twit and you know if you ring the bell it'll let you, it'll notify you when a live stream begins. We only do it during the show's production. If you are a member of club to it, you can watch in the discord as well and that that stream continues for the entire broadcast day. We will be back in January.

Have a wonderful holiday. I hope you had a good Hanukkah. May your festivist be full of grievances, may your Christmas be full of joy. And here's to what we all need more than anything a peaceful, joyous and successful 2024. Happy New Year, everybody. Merry Christmas, we'll see you next time. 

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