This Week in Tech Episode 860 Transcript

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

Leo Laporte (00:00:00):
It's time for TWiTThis Week in Tech, Jason Hiner joins us new editor-in-chief at ZDNet, Denise Howell, our internet, lawyer, and Harry McCracken and the techno we'll talk about Spotify and the Joe Rogan controversy, Google killing off flock, replacing it with topics. And now that Invidia is not buying R what is the chip landscape gonna look like going forward? Plus the biggest quarter in Apple history, it's all coming up next on TWiT.

New Speaker (00:00:31):
Podcasts you love from people you trust. This is TWiT.

Leo Laporte (00:00:45):
This is TWiT This Week in Tech episode 860 recorded Sunday, January 30th, 2022. I don't wanna be the cheese in your rule. This episode of This Week in Tech is brought to you by imperfect foods. Imperfect foods is catching the food. That's falling through the cracks of our food system by sourcing quirky yet delicious foods. Right now, imperfect foods is offering our listeners 20% off their first four orders. When you go to imperfect and use the promo code TWiT and by Blueland single use, plastic is so year 2000. The thing is it's 2022, which means it's way past time to make cleaning fun, beautiful, and plastic free. Right now you can get 20% off your first order when you go to and by audible audible, lets you enjoy all of your audio entertainment in one app, you'll always find the best of what you love or something new to discover. New members can try audible for 30 days free download the audible app and get started with a free trial at or text TWiT to 500, 500 and buy wealth front to start building your wealth and get $5,000 managed for free for life. Go to

Leo Laporte (00:02:13):
It's time for TWiT This Week in Tech show, we get together every week. I look forward to it all week long to talk about the latest tech news. I have assembled a cast of stays, wonderful people starting with Denise Howell, longtime host of our show this week in My favorite internet lawyer. Hello Denise,

Denise Howell (00:02:36):
The web's law department at your service. Love you

Leo Laporte (00:02:39):
The web's law department. Do you answer the phone like that should with my department? Yes. I'm sure we'll find some legal questions for you. Actually. There's a big question about Spotify. I want to ask all of our panel, Jason Hiner is also here brand new job for Jason editor and chief of ZD. Zdnet big shot. You're going places. Jason that's nice. Congratulations.

Jason Hiner (00:03:05):
Thanks Leo. Great to be here and yeah, thrilled to be back with the team at EDD net. My second tour of duty there and big things planned for 2022. Do

Leo Laporte (00:03:15):
You get to write anymore or are you just, it's all management now. Huh?

Jason Hiner (00:03:18):
I do. I do. And, and perhaps I'll have a little bit more time to write, you know, for the last three years I've been working at CNET and driving a lot of change transformation and didn't always have as much time to, to write as I would like more editing and guiding coverage. And so so I, I might have a little bit more to time to write.

Leo Laporte (00:03:40):
We'll see. Yeah. Well, that's great to see you and it's always nice to see the nice guys win. So that's great. Congratulations.

Jason Hiner (00:03:47):

Leo Laporte (00:03:47):
Lee. Also Harry McCracken and the techno from fast companies here. Hello Harry.

Harry McCracken (00:03:53):
Hey Leo. It's great to be here.

Leo Laporte (00:03:54):
Always. Good to see you, Harry writing about a whole bunch of stuff these days, not so much of the history though that you were doing before. I hope you get to keep doing your internet history and travels down memory lane and all that stuff.

Harry McCracken (00:04:08):
I actually my job's evolving a little bit too, and I expect to be able to write more good this year and devote some of that time to history stuff.

Leo Laporte (00:04:15):
Good. I love that. There's nobody you know, no better observer of this because you, you like me, we've been, we've been there. It's not, I've seen that. It's not history for us but it is for most everybody else. So I think I think we probably should kick off with Spotify, Joe Rogan and what's going on there. So Spotify under a little bit of heat last week, 270 physicians, epidemiologists scientists wrote an open letter saying you gotta, you gotta do something about Joe Rogan, Joe. Of course hosts the Joe Rogan experience, probably the most li likely the most listened to podcast in the world. He can claims 11 million listeners a week. I don't know if it's that many, it's easy to claim big numbers like that. That's a lot of people, a lot of young people, especially young men listen to Joe on the December 31st Rogan had a guest on who claims to have invented the mRNA vaccine in the face of all evidence to the contrary.

Leo Laporte (00:05:20):
And for furthermore said it doesn't work and you're being hypnotized into using it. That's stimulated the letter from the physicians and the scientists Spotify declined to respond. They didn't do anything about Joe Rogan. They've taken others of his episodes down, but they said that did not meet their threshold for take to down. So the response from other artists has been strong. Neil young at first said, take my music down. If you're not gonna take Joe down, Jonie Mitchell followed Neil Zofran others. When when Neil young said take my music down. I think Spotify's thought was, yeah, final man. Go ahead. Who cares? But the stock market did the company lost 4 billion in market value at stock price tumbled 12%. We'll see what happens on Monday. That might not, that might not hold for very long. But the real question I, I have for all the three of you is what let's start with you because you're an editor in chief at Z in it. What is Spotify's responsibility? They, they, they hired RO and they spent reportedly a hundred million to get exclusive access to his podcast. So they're his employer, I guess. I mean, if we were, if we're just a show, if we're a show GARS Spotify wouldn't have any more responsibility over it than anybody else would. Although I have to say Spotify, Apple and others have pulled down other podcasts. I think Alex Jones famously is, is hard to find a platform for him. What is Spotify's responsibility, Jason?

Jason Hiner (00:06:55):
Yeah, there's really two fundamental issues. And we'll start with maybe the, the sort of the first one, you know, getting back to the, the sort of the base principles of this is like what, what's your responsibility as a platform to have a certain level of freedom of expression, right? So that you know, you are, are you the arbiter of, of taste of, of, of, of what of truth, cuz truth is somewhat malleable or cuz cuz when you do that, then you open yourself up to th you know, claims of, of bias. So this goes back to the beginning of TWiTtter, TWiTtter sort of originally stated we are just the platform, whatever people put on here is up to them and and you know, the, the merits of it or the you know, the ability to, to publish things that not everybody likes is okay, cuz you have to put up with that in order to allow everyone to have a platform.

Jason Hiner (00:07:57):
Well, we see how that worked out them, right? Eventually they came under a lot of pressure in a number of different ways because of things that were done on their platform that then became even dangerous or destructive in some way to society. It's the same with Spotify. So they are going to be under continuing pressure. And I think there was a certain sense that if this was just Neil young who, who is a bit of, you know, can be a bit icon of classic right. He, he is a person who likes to take stands. Yeah. and and that

Leo Laporte (00:08:37):
It's very vocal. Yeah,

Jason Hiner (00:08:38):
Exactly. Very vocal. If it was just Neil, Simon, I think Spotify might have said, mm you know, we're, we're still gonna sort of stick to our guns on the platform angle, but once it, once it elevated from there to others and spread and the idea of this, well now it's, it's sort of a bigger problem where there's, there's more societal backlash against this and there's a lot more pressure. So that's the, the first piece is the, this platform issue. The second is the fact that their strategy, their podcast strategy has not really worked out as well as they thought. Yeah, just let's

Leo Laporte (00:09:19):
Well, that's clear, right's huge. A hundred million for Joe Rogan is a lot of money and they, they bought call her daddy for 60 million reportedly. They, they spent half a billion dollars on acquisitions of Gimlet media and anchor FM. Yep.

Jason Hiner (00:09:35):
They have a lot invested. And from what it, I, I, I can't remember exactly how much of this they have announced publicly, but the understanding is in the industry that Joe Rogan is by far their most popular podcast.

Leo Laporte (00:09:49):
I think he ranks number one on their, on their, on their list. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Jason Hiner (00:09:53):
Yeah. And so this is where it starts to get tricky from a business standpoint, it's a business that

Leo Laporte (00:10:00):
It's a money makering,

Jason Hiner (00:10:01):
He's the only, probably the biggest hit and maybe the only real hit that they've got. And so now they have a, also a very difficult question. That's gonna hit them in the pocketbook where a, a strategy that's already struggling and that they're, you know, looking at, maybe do we have to reboot this or pivot it. And now their biggest money maker is under a lot of heat. Yeah. And so it's a, it's a twofold question for them and they're in, they're in a difficult spot and we hope that they figure out a way to, you know, find a good path for

Leo Laporte (00:10:37):
Podcaster. Brene brown has said, I don't want my shows on Spotify. Megan, mark, and prince Harry, who were reportedly working on a show for Spotify and had paid a lot of money to do it now are expressing concerns. Yeah, I should mention I did not know this, but part of the story is that Neil young himself had poor polio. When he was five years old, contracted polio two years before there was a polio vaccine spent a lot of time in the hospital relearning how to walk people, forget what a scourge polio was in the fifties. And when the SA vaccine came out it was a, it was all, there was, I don't think there, I'm sure there were some people who refused to get it, but I don't think there were many, it was a terrifying disease. And I think that was almost universal supportive of the vaccination at that time. He is a vaccine supporter because that he also has epilepsy and type one diabetes. So these very kind of aware of this. What's the, is there a first amendment Denise? I Internet's attorney.

Denise Howell (00:11:42):
Hi quick answer. No, there's no first amendment story here.

Leo Laporte (00:11:45):
This's, it's not the government.

Denise Howell (00:11:46):
This is not the government. This is a private entity making decisions. And it has to confront a couple of factors here. Sometimes people use makes those decisions. Sometimes

Leo Laporte (00:11:57):
People use the words first amendment as a way of saying free speech, two different things. We do have free speech and, and, and, but he works for a company and any company has the right to say their employees. You can't say that

Denise Howell (00:12:10):
That's right. So it, it, it is a Spotify question of what sort of information or disinformation it's going to support on its platform. You know, we've been through this on other platforms. Spotify is no different than decisions that Facebook has had to make. Twittter has had to make as Jason has pointed out, except for the relationship that you pointed out, Leah know where they're, as you say, there's more of a, a partnership here between Spotify. They're

Leo Laporte (00:12:37):
Not just publishing his podcast, they own his podcast. Right. Which gives them a higher responsibility, I would think. Right.

Denise Howell (00:12:45):
Not from a legal standpoint, from a legal standpoint, they just have to decide, you know, if they can weather this storm of the adverse public opinion other artists pulling out I see also Joanie Mitchell and Neil's Lofgren have jumped in and said, yeah, we're gonna pull our content. So it's kind of like, you know, the whole close your account movement with Facebook. How much of that are they willing to sorry, meta, how much of that are they willing to put up with and how do they think they can weather of that kind of adverse both, you know, financial impact directly from what they're able to offer on their platform. And also the adverse public opinion. Do people really wanna support the platform, the adverse stock price impact. So there's a lot there. They're gonna have to, to make some business decisions about, I hope they have a good crisis PR firm, good crisis management team on board to help them make these decisions. And I think Jason's dead on that. They're gonna have to act responsibly not just to manage public opinion and their body 'em line, but lingering out there in the background, even though there's no legal requirement that I can think of right now. Certainly there have been rumblings among Congress people. The surgeon general of the United States has made several statements about misinformation and, and their lack of patience for it. So this is, we can,

Leo Laporte (00:14:17):
This is somewhat more complicated because while some of us might say saying the vaccine doesn't work and don't do it is misinformation. Others say, it's just an opinion. And so it's a little different public health, cuz an yes, it's just an opinion. But if it's, if it's a, if it's an opinion that is wrong from the terms of public health, then it's more than just an opinion. Right. It's

Denise Howell (00:14:44):
I, I think the surgeon general of the United States would say so. Yeah. And it's, and that's what, yes, that's what they have to get out in front of and not be the poster child for some sort of regulatory action or congressional action that is meant to curb this kind of thing.

Leo Laporte (00:15:02):
Well, how could Congress weigh in? I mean, doesn't the first amendment protect Spotify just as much as it does Joe Rogan.

Denise Howell (00:15:10):
So yes, you raise a good point that you can't, you Congress is not going to be able to do con

Leo Laporte (00:15:18):
Get thrown out in court immediately.

Denise Howell (00:15:20):
Yes. I think that that Congress is less of a threat, but you're right. There's, there are limits to the first amendment and if it is a public health consideration that I is decided, you know, yes, it would face a first amendment challenge, but I think it would be, you know, if you could demonstrably say that this is adverse to public health, that a court could very much uphold, right. Whatever was put in place. I, if I were Spotify, I would certainly wanna get out in front of this.

Leo Laporte (00:15:49):
Well, Daniel did publish a long piece today probably written by crisis PR crisis PR firm in which he you know, said what any crisis PR firm would say, he should say, we haven't been transparent around the policies that guide our content more broadly, but we have had rules and years for place kind of. So we haven't been more clear today we're publishing our longstanding platform rules, which apparently they had never published before. We're working in this is I guess the response. And I think this is probably the right response. We're working at a content advisory to any podcast. Episode of includes a discussion about COVID 19 directing listeners to our dedicated COVID 19 hub, which provides access to, he says data driven facts. You know, I I've always thought maybe the thing to do is just to say right at the beginning of the Joe Rogan show, Hey Joe, Rogan's a comedian. And the, his, the opinions of his guests or his own, please consult your physician before believing them or something.

Denise Howell (00:17:00):
Right. I mean, there was a go ahead. There was a time back last fall when people were kind of feeling this way about Fox news as well, right? That there were some commentators who had gone on that network and said some things that I think prompted a surgeon general to come out and say, Hey, you know, we need some more responsibility around the information that's being put out there, but I think you raised a really good point too. Leo is that, you know, here we are, it, this is a different format. Podcasting is not an largely scripted medium, although there's a lot of scripted podcasting out there. But when you're talking about discussion and people sitting around a table or a virtual table, as in our case here trying to wrap their head around the issues of the day and doing their best with that, even if they're sort of fumbling and stumbling along and they don't get everything right. There's value to that too.

Leo Laporte (00:17:54):
There's also and I probably should have said this in the contract language that says Spotify has exclusive distribution rights, but does not own the show, which gives them a little bit of a distance from the show, Harry, what should Spotify have done? Should they put a disclaimer on there? Should they take it down? Should they ignore it? And just say, Hey, it's a podcast. Anything goes,

Harry McCracken (00:18:21):
I mean, my guess is that the stuff that Daniel is saying today, won't make anybody terribly happy. And what it reminds me of is what the YouTubes or the world were doing a year to a year and a half ago. They started out initially saying that we will put labels on stuff and direct people to health information pages. And when they did that, it really didn't make anybody terribly happy. And they, they ended up tightening the screws a lot more on misinformation. I think it's possible that Spotify will have to do that too. I know some people thought that Neil young expected that Spotify might choose him over Joe Rogan, which was not gonna happen as seems a lot.

Leo Laporte (00:19:04):
They called his bluff right away on that one. Right?

Harry McCracken (00:19:06):
Well, he really raised the visibility, maybe this discussion now because he did that. And, and and because people that Joan Mitchell, who also had polio being of the same age group as Neil young reacted to what he did. And it really feels a little bit like Spotify who has this heritage in music, which is usually a bit less controversial than spoken word content does is still sort of catching up with, with where the rest of the internet was a lot earlier in the pandemic.

Leo Laporte (00:19:37):
Yeah. And, and I think the response of the artist is interesting because spot it's not like TWiTtter or YouTube, it's a little bit like YouTube, but really the artists are what makes Spotify money. And so reluctance to censor Joe Rogan because he makes him a lot of money and they spend a lot of money for the podcast is offset by other artists saying, well, you can't make money on my stuff in that case. And that actually is hidden Spotify where they live. I wonder you know, it, I think Neil young probably knew his voice alone was insufficient, but we hoped that others would follow his lead and that, you know, all that would be left on Spotify is kid rock, Ted NuGen and, and the Mormon tabernacle choir. I don't know. It's, it's an interesting situation. It's just another case like TWiTtter, like YouTube, where these platforms are challenged. And then of course it, it always becomes so politicized. And that's in, I think that's interesting too. It's become about politics, not about public health, not about what's right or wrong, but just, you know, what's politically expedient.

Harry McCracken (00:20:50):
I think, I guess as that, that more shoes will drop. I mean, it seems pretty unthinkable that this could involve any kind of breakup with Joe Rogan, but yeah, but more stuff could happen. We have no idea about the conversations going on behind the scenes at Spotify. And we might never know those and I don't Joe Rogan. I don't Joe Rogan double down on this stuff. Will he, he pull back.

Leo Laporte (00:21:11):
That's an interesting question. I wonder if Daniel Eck called Joe and said, Hey, would be nice if nest episode, you might say something like, Hey, I'm just a comedian. You should probably consult a variety of sources before you decide what to do. There are people, I know people who aren't getting vaccines because of Joe Rogan.

Harry McCracken (00:21:28):
Wow. He's really influential.

Leo Laporte (00:21:29):
He's very influential. He also sells vitamins. He also sells products that claim to boost your immune system. He's kind of promoting his own commercial interests to this a little bit as well, which I think is reprehensible. 

Denise Howell (00:21:44):
I have a question I'd like to ask you all about this. Why is an having this problem? Well, obviously they don't have Joe Rogan on board, but well, that's

Leo Laporte (00:21:51):
The difference also it, so Spotify IST, just a directory of podcasts. Yeah. Apple's just a directory of podcasts. So Apple, I think, I don't know, rightly or wrongly says, well, he's not our boy. Yeah. But they didn't pull Alex Jones down. It took a long time and a lot of pre pressure

Harry McCracken (00:22:10):
I'd see. And, and an Apple was tweeting about the fact that they still have all the Neil young you can listen to. So they that's

Leo Laporte (00:22:15):
Right. Had a little fun. They jumped on that one. They said, oh yeah, we're the home of Neil young.

Harry McCracken (00:22:21):
I mean, a lot of people have pointed out that you can listen to Steve Bannon by going to Apple podcasts, which is, I mean, you, you may might be able to make the case that you shouldn't be able to do that, but it's quite different given that Steve Bannon is not a content partner of Apple or right. Their signature signature podcast. And they're, they're just really pointing to it. And the way that Google points to reprehensible websites, it's, it's,

Leo Laporte (00:22:45):
It's part of the new world. Because when, when media was controlled by big companies, you could hold the, you could say, well, if the New York times publishes an article, that's bad, we can go after them. But podcasts, most for the most part are not owned by anybody. These companies would like to say, well, we're just a directory. But the minute Apple pulls down, Alex Jones suddenly it's not just a directory anymore. They're making editorial decisions. So they've kind of opened up this Pandora's box. I, for one don't wanna see any company like Apple or Spotify or Microsoft or any of any company, have to have the power to say to a independent podcast. You, you may not exist. Google has that powerful websites. You may not exist. Nobody can find you by the way. I should also point out Neil young hate hated at least for a long time, hated Apple because of the quality of the music. He said, never listen, iTunes, my song sound terrible on the, on iTunes. Maybe, maybe that's changed. Now that Apple does lossless as well, but 

Jason Hiner (00:23:52):
Ono. Wasn't that? The name? This,

Leo Laporte (00:23:54):
Yeah. I have a bono player. Yeah. I have a bono player. Yeah. Neil

Jason Hiner (00:23:59):
Young. It's a wonderful idea.

Leo Laporte (00:24:00):
Actually, the company has placed a playlist of Neil Young's music. I hear right into the brows brows section right under, we love Neil. Oh my goodness. So that's just blatant commercialism. That's just blatant. Like, that's not saying we love vaccines. That's I swear. 

Jason Hiner (00:24:20):
I mean, there's plenty of crazy stuff on Apples podcast.

Leo Laporte (00:24:24):
That's should

Jason Hiner (00:24:25):
Be directory. Don't

Leo Laporte (00:24:26):
You think there should be? I don't want Apple what you can

Jason Hiner (00:24:29):
Hear somebody else. Exactly. So the, I think where there's a couple factors here, one is that is the fact that that Spotify owns it as you, as you said Leo and they

Leo Laporte (00:24:45):
Don't, again, they don't own it. They only own exclusive rights to distribute.

Jason Hiner (00:24:49):
Sorry. Thank you.

Leo Laporte (00:24:51):
And that's a big distinction. It's not their show. They just have exclusive distribution. They, they signed a deal with Joe saying, oh, no one else can carry it.

Jason Hiner (00:24:58):
It's a little closer relationship than them just listing it in their director. That's right. So, so, so there is that piece and then there's is the fundamental issue of, of freedom, right? Like we all have a certain amount of freedom until that freedom. It infringes on somebody else's freedom or affects somebody else in a negative way. And, and so that's written into all of these principles, going back to what some of the, the sort of foundations of the idea of, of democracy and representative democracy and republics and freedoms and all of these things. And so this, I, there was no problem with this until it started having a lot negative effects on a lot of people and people are literally getting sick and dying because of some of the things that Rogan is saying, and it would be one thing if what he was saying was true, but because there's also an aspect of there's some you know, creative facts in, in what he's doing, then he has a certain from a, just a societal standpoint, he has a certain responsibility that is sort of MIS being misapplied and is, is hurting people

Leo Laporte (00:26:15):
Actually. And you're the first person to actually say it falls on Joe's shoulders. Not, not Spotifys. It falls on Rogan's shoulders. Right.

Denise Howell (00:26:25):
Well, I'm sure they're having some conversations along those lines.

Leo Laporte (00:26:28):
Yeah. I mean,

Denise Howell (00:26:29):
Spotify and Joe.

Leo Laporte (00:26:30):
Yeah. I mean, I, I, that's an interesting point to make, I kind of wanna defend Rogan's right. To say whatever the hell stupid thing he wants to say. I would hate to see the show pulled down for that reason. That's why I like a disclaimer, by the way,

Jason Hiner (00:26:49):
Let's say let's be clear. Yeah. Even if it is pulled down, the freedom of speech part comes in of like, it's not his right to, to, he can on Spotify, he can't show

Leo Laporte (00:26:59):
It's fire in a crowded theater.

Jason Hiner (00:27:02):
Yeah. He it's his right. So he can go and, and, and I'm sure if Spotify were to, to stop it, I'm sure he would just spin up his own site and potentially, you know, put it offer it directly or offered it on another platform. Or he has a big enough audience that people would probably just come, go to Joe and, and watch the show every day or whatever. The

Leo Laporte (00:27:24):
Let's not forget, Joe, Rogan's a U a UFC commentator, former host of the man show. He's not, he's not, he's a comic. Yeah. You know, and comics say stupid things all the time.

Jason Hiner (00:27:38):

Harry McCracken (00:27:39):
Grubber pointed out that if Spotify were to, of their deal with Joe Rogan, he'd be available on every podcast player. And he'd in all likelihood, he'd have a larger audience that he right than he does now. And the, therefore, if you are not crazy about him spreading this message, him being and Spotify exclusive is probably a good thing in terms of tapping it down at least a tiny bit.

Leo Laporte (00:27:58):
That's a good point right here. He

Denise Howell (00:28:00):
Wasn't hurting before this Spotify deal.

Leo Laporte (00:28:02):
Well, not at all here, is it data point from the verges Hotpod, which covers this medium. They talked to an ad buyer who also requested anonymity free speak freely about rates that says Spotify upped prices for all of its acquired and licensed shows a host red ad on Joe Rogan show used to cost the kind of ads we do tens of thousands of dollars prior to him going exclusive to Spotify next year, to get an ad on the, this year, I guess it would be now on the Joe Rogan experience, the minimum spend $1 million CPMs of upward of $60. That is actually not a super high CPO, but if he has 11 million user listeners, that's, that's why it's a million dollars. So even if they paid him a hundred million, all it's gonna take is a hundred ads and they, and they're back baby, less than a year's worth of advertising.

Leo Laporte (00:29:00):
So he's worth a lot of money to Spotify. And the other reason Spotify's been spending this money is because the music industry has kind of had a choke hold on them. They music industry is what is, who decides what Spotify's gonna pay artists, whether they're gonna get the artists at all, Spotify was looking for something they could own. That would be out of the hands of the music industry and podcasts were their, you know, next rate hope. And apparently if they're charging a million dollars for an ad on Rogan that was a, a good thing to do. That's an amazing number.

Jason Hiner (00:29:38):
All right. I like to think most people are smart enough to know that Joe, that you should not get your facts from the Joe Rogan show. Like it's an entertainment medium that said you know, there, there are, like you said, there, there, there are people out there that are not getting

Leo Laporte (00:29:55):
You know, where it's the

Jason Hiner (00:29:56):
Shot of

Leo Laporte (00:29:56):
That. It's not, somebody's going, I don't know what to think. Let me ask Joe Rogan. It's a, not that it's much more somebody who's leaning in that direction anyway. And then Rogan gives them the strength, the power, and maybe some information to, to do that, you know? Well, you're, you know, if you're young, he says, if you're young, your immune, system's good. You shouldn't get the vaccine. You don't need to get the vaccine and somebody who's leaning that way. Anyway. That's just all they need to say. Yeah. That's that's good. I don't wanna, I didn't want it anyway. I don't think he's convincing people.

Denise Howell (00:30:27):
Yeah. Confirmation of existing biases.

Leo Laporte (00:30:30):
That's that's exactly right.

Denise Howell (00:30:33):

Leo Laporte (00:30:35):
Yeah, I just don't wanna see, I, I don't wanna see censorship. And cuz I just put myself in that. What if all, all of a sudden, all of these companies said, we don't like people advocating masks and vaccines. We're gonna keep you off the air. Leo. I would be upset And rightly so. Right.

Denise Howell (00:30:55):
Of course. Yeah.

Leo Laporte (00:30:56):
So I don't know if so I, you know, I, I can see myself in the other, other side of this have a feeling it's not the last you're gonna hear about it. Denise. Hal is here. It's great to see you. How's the how's the business going? The tell me the name of it. Again. I

Denise Howell (00:31:16):
Fits with fits, fits

Leo Laporte (00:31:16):
With fits

Denise Howell (00:31:17):
Is a secondhand clothing experiment that I is dabbling in. I don't know that I'm gonna continue dabbling in it. I don't know. I'm I'm trying to I'm at a juncture Leo where my kid is about to graduate from high school. What, and I'm doing, doing a lot of self assessment and what what's next kind of stuff. Well,

Leo Laporte (00:31:37):
He's gonna be moving out soon. Denise. Yeah. Yeah. Empty nest. I can't believe your son ready to graduate from high school. He was this tall. He was just a little guy.

Denise Howell (00:31:48):
I know. Well, look at Henry. I know,

Leo Laporte (00:31:50):
I know my daughter turns 30 in a couple of months. That's crazy.

Denise Howell (00:31:54):
I can't believe Abby's 30. That's incredible.

Leo Laporte (00:31:57):
Insane. Well, I love the idea and I love your style, so I hope you do. I hope you keep doing something with,

Denise Howell (00:32:03):
I look a bit like an Irish fisherman today. I know. Thanks

Leo Laporte (00:32:08):
A lot. So, but no, apparently that's the sweater. I mean, do you know about that? The sweater?

Denise Howell (00:32:15):
No, I don't know about the sweater.

Leo Laporte (00:32:17):
Oh, well I'm trying to remember what show it was, where he's wearing a ratty old sweater, but it became like the thing, it was an Irish and sweater And you know, it was some, some of the young people we have on the show told me about the sweater. I think it was Christina Warren. And I can't remember the story, but anyway, yes, it's good to have you and your sweater on the show.

Denise Howell (00:32:37):
Thank you

Leo Laporte (00:32:38):
Technology. We're a package we MC Cracken thank you for being here. Always great to see you. And of course, good to be here to the new editor chief of ZDNet big shot. Jason. Hiner great. Great to have all three of you, our show today brought to you by, I love this. I don't know if you've tried this it's so cool. Imperfect foods. This was a company that was started on a, I think I premise that I really like, which is that a lot of the us food supply just gets thrown out or fed to animals because it doesn't fit our conception of a perfect food. You know, an Apple that's perfect and bread and, or a pomegranate at the size of your head or, you know, a carrot that doesn't look like Richard Nixon, but that's good food. Imperfect foods was started to eliminate all that food waste.

Leo Laporte (00:33:25):
That's going up it, I didn't know this 35%, th more than a third of the food supply in the us goes unsold or uneaten because groceries won't carry it cuz it's just doesn't look perfect. Well, you can help with perfect foods. You'll reduce food waste. You'll save your own time on grocery shopping and you'll eat more fresh and delicious food. And it really, you know, they call it imperfect. Some of it, you know, I, I admit those little Apples. They're like the ones I used to get that fell off the Apple tree they're sweeter than the giant Apples. They have more flavor. Grocery just don't want to carry 'em cuz cuz they don't, you know, they're not, they're not shelf perfect for a hundred days or whatever. Imperfect foods, sources, foods that would otherwise fall through the cracks and brings it to you. It's a great way that for you to, to do something, save money, save driving.

Leo Laporte (00:34:17):
It's it's a grocery delivery service that offers not just fruits and vegetables, but an entire line of sustainable groceries that taste delicious and reduced waste stuff that the groceries couldn't sell extras. That kind of thing. I, we get heritage chickens from imperfect foods and I guess they're too small for the grocery wants giant breasts, but they're the most flavorful. They it's a all will eat now. It's incredible. Their heritage delicious chickens. I love imperfect foods. So first thing to do is go and see if they deliver an area. Cuz I'm sad to say, even though I'm a big fan and they deliver here, they don't deliver everywhere. So go to imperfect Once you sign up, you can personalize. It's a weekly grocery order, fresh seasonal produce pantry staples, yummy X saves us a lot of grocery shopping time. You get your order on the same day, every week, which is nice, makes it easy to plan ours as Thursday.

Leo Laporte (00:35:09):
But one of the reasons they do that is to, they deliver weekly by neighborhood to reduce emissions. So their trucks produce 25 to 75%, fewer emissions than individual trips. If you had to go to the grocery store and in perfect foods, customers on average save six to eight pounds of food that would just be thrown out with every order. Plus say goodbye to packaging guilt. That's always something I worry about with food delivery services. We used to get it from a grocery store. Everything had come in big plastic bags, no imperfect foods is the only national grocery delivery company that makes it easy to return your package after every order. The it's cardboard for the most part, very, very little plastic. I really love imperfect foods. If you want to try it, if I've, if I've convinced you and I look at the website, I'll probably give you some even more ideas. Go to imperfect We're gonna get you 20% off your first four orders. If you use the promo code, TWiT imperfect promo code TWiT 20% off your first four orders. That's up to an $80 and trust me, I think you're gonna love it. I think you're gonna, I really I'm so happy with it. Promo code TWiT, join the movement. Really love these guys. Let's see. Let's see. Let's move on to another topic.

Leo Laporte (00:36:32):
No more flock. Oh Google. I go, I just, I don't get Google. They're just, there's something they're anyway, they were gonna, they said they announced publicly no more three third party cookies than advertisers said. Yeah. Well what, how, how are we supposed to target ads? So Google announced the federated learning of cohorts, which is the worst re ever. They have now announced that no, that didn't work. So they've scrapped flock. And now they're back with something called topics. The EF F when Flo, when flock was enough, flock was never relief. I mean, it was in beta. The idea of it was your browser would observe your habits and put you in a cohort. They never said how big the cohorts were, how many cohorts there were, but essentially a cohort of types that when you went to somebody's webpage, they could request your flock ID, which would by the way, change every few weeks based on your browser usage. And then they would know what kind of ads to show you. So the idea was it's a more impersonal way of targeting ads. The EF and others said, well, we know how de anonymizing works. It's probably not. They, they found all sorts of problems. Eventually Google just said, all right, fine, we're gonna do topics instead. Again, you have to be using Chrome. Although Chrome is about 63% of the world browser market. I think it's even more in the United States. Chrome will watch what you do in group you into a topic.

Leo Laporte (00:38:28):
One of the things about topics, Google likes is they don't, there aren't topics for sensitive topics like mental I health or or you know, drugs or whatever. Google can eliminate topics that it doesn't want advertising based on guns, things like that. And they think maybe it'll be more anonymous because it changes it rotates. I think the problem Google has is on the one hand, they hear people like us say privacy, private privacy. And the other hand they hear advertisers saying, but we wanna know more about people is, is, is topics a good replacement for flock Denise?

Denise Howell (00:39:06):
I like where they're going. I mean, it depends, you know, how much you trust Google when they say things like we're doing this, you know, I'm paraphrase saying, now we're doing this out in the open flock was a trial. We learned a lot from it. Here's a direct quote from Google's privacy sandbox leads, Ben Galbrath he says topics replaces our flock proposal. And I wanna emphasize that this whole process of sharing a proposal, doing a trial gathering feedback, and then iterating on the designs. This is the whole open development process that we wanted for the sandbox and really shows the process working as intended. We

Leo Laporte (00:39:44):
Meant to do this. We meant to do this.

Denise Howell (00:39:46):
Right, right. I mean, you, you can take that with a grain of salt, but I mean, if they're sincere, then, then you know, that is, that is how things should

Leo Laporte (00:39:56):
They have been doing it in the open and people responded and they said, okay, we'll try something else. So,

Denise Howell (00:40:01):
Right, exactly. So the problem that they have that you haven't mentioned yet that has advertisers up in arms is they're still concerned about Google having all this data itself and, and that it being the gatekeeper for all things targeted advertising. Yeah. that's, that's not making third parties happy who also want to be able to do effective, targeted advertising. But, you know, I mean, I, I do think that the they're innovating in this area and that I'd rather actually get an, that was based on some sort of topical basis rather than, you know, the, all the creepy, other ways that ads are

Leo Laporte (00:40:47):
Targeted at you. And, and, you know, I've always said top, you want target, people should want targeted ads. It's a waste of your time to see ads for things you don't care about. I don't, I don't to see barbed wire ads cuz I'm not a barbed wire buyer. Google is, I have to say probably partly aware of the fact that their dominance in advertising is slipping. Not only is it is Facebook a challenge, but so is Amazon. So is Apple all of a sudden, they're not the only play you can go to get targeted ads. So I think they're very reluctant to stop doing some sort of targeting because Facebook's sitting there going well, target all you want, whatever, what do you wanna know? Right. We'll tell you anything.

Denise Howell (00:41:32):
Yeah. This is a, this is a fine line. They have to tread given all their antitrust concerns in both the us and abroad.

Leo Laporte (00:41:37):
Right. Right. In fact the bill that Amy clocher and Marsha Blackburns bill to get companies to stop self dealing Google it's good. So it's Google, Amazon has now gotten out of the judiciary committee and could be brought to the floor of the Senate any time now. So yeah, Google's right. To be a little bit worried about this, Harry, where do you, where do you fall on the, on the privacy spectrum here? Should, should targeting advertising exist at all?

Harry McCracken (00:42:08):
Yeah. I mean, like you say, there is some value in seeing ads that there's, at some chance they might be useful to you. What's worrisome is just the degree to watch at Google and advertisers and other companies have gotten so unbelievably sophisticated at crawling through what you're doing online. And some lane, a really detailed profile of you that you don't really know that, you know, what it consists sub how long they're gonna keep it. Flock seem to be at least a little bit of a move in the right direction and topics seem a bit, a little bit better just in terms of making it possible to target you without doing such a deep dive and stuff about you in such a secretive way. I do think a lot of this is completely outside of Google's control though. You know, it may be that one of the reasons why flock did not take off is because Google was so completely unsuccessful in getting other browser companies to want to be involved with that. Not hugely surprising given that they don't have quite as much invested in ad targeting as Google does and whether or not anybody else will sign on for topics. I don't know. I haven't seen any news about whether the other browser companies are enthusiastic about it, but if it's a, a Chrome only thing, it seems like it's nowhere near as powerful as if it does become a little bit of an industry standard.

Leo Laporte (00:43:31):
Jason, I know you don't sell ads and I, you probably, your office is way down the hall from the guy in charge of that. But you, you know, a lot of the publications you've worked at forever are ad supported. Certainly mine are. Yeah. I am somewhat sympathetic to I don't think we need to target quite as much as we have been, but I understand why advertisers don't wanna waste stats spend either and, and ads are important to your business as they are mine.

Jason Hiner (00:44:01):
For sure. And I mean, for two decades, I've been working in ad supported media. Yeah. So I, I, I wouldn't do that if I didn't think that there was some value that that users get from well targeted at ads as you said, much better than, than sort of general things that many of which they don't need. And so because of that, when the, when you're seeing a lot of ads you don't need that typically means like a publisher is gonna then show you a lot more ads to try to find one

Leo Laporte (00:44:33):
That you, yeah.

Jason Hiner (00:44:33):
You like right.

Leo Laporte (00:44:34):
Good 0.1 targeted ad, as opposed to a hundred untargeted ads. That's a very good point.

Jason Hiner (00:44:40):
Yeah, that's right. So, so that's a, that's a good thing. Yeah. But I, I do fundamentally believe that the solution to this is not finding in these like little ways behind the scenes to try to, you know, engineer better systems. I, I know this is a, this is a tr this is a traditional view, but I, I feel like the best way to do it for a publisher is to create a relationship, a deeper relationship with your audience to give them so thing that makes the relationship so that they want to log in. They want to be a subscriber. And when they're a subscriber, they get a better experience and then they get more targeted ads because they are tacitly or not tacitly there directly giving you information to say, I, I understand that you and trust that you will give me a better targeted ad and a better experience by being logged in and giving you my subscriber data.

Jason Hiner (00:45:42):
I, I think that's the, the core now. What, what happens instead is those folks that are the most loyal that are the most logged in that are the most the ones that turn the most traffic and, and are the most engaged. We tend to take them for granted. And so, because of that, we don't give them that experience. And instead we say, oh, well, we're gonna try to find a way to monetize every user by, you know, doing cookies and, and that kind of things. So I believe that as an industry, you know, we dropped the ball on this a long time ago, and that's why there was a user revolt against cookies and rightly so, so that, and, and the come ups has, has come on that. And now I do believe that the answer is not to find other sneaky ways around this, like digital fingerprinted in that kind of thing. It, but instead it's to actually reengage with users and to give them an engaged experience where they'll want to give you more data and, and grow trust. I, I think that's the only way forward things like this, like flock and topics are helpful, but they're mostly helpful for the large group of user who are not logged in who you don't have a deeper relationship with and who you know, you're still trying to make a little bit of money off of

Leo Laporte (00:47:01):
Yeah. We, I mean, you and I are in a similar boat where our stuff is specific. It's really targeted at my case tech enthusiast audience. Yeah. So in a way it's target all is everything we do is targeted. And so our advertisers kind of know what they're getting. Yeah.

Denise Howell (00:47:18):
I'd love to push back on what Jason just said, that that's, that's gotta be the way forward. And, and I'm wondering if there's a way forward that could involve less data collection from any of the users. And maybe this is just, you know, cuz I'm deeply impacted by the fact that I've been involved with the TWiT network since, you know, almost its inception. And this is the way you've always done ads Leo, but I think it's so effective to, instead of having targeted ads have curated ads, the ad, you just read that imperfect foods, I'm writing down the code, I'm going, oh, that's just a great idea. I'm totally gonna sign up for that. Yeah. And I think there are a lot of people out there that, you know, would love for there to be a way for them to receive ads, not just on podcasts, but in their browsing experience that someone had selected because they think this is a good product, good service, valuable. It's been vetted somehow. You know, and it's not necessarily the thing that you're out there searching for, but it's the thing you might need anyway. It's

Leo Laporte (00:48:20):
Not gonna work for everybody though. I mean, if you're Coca-Cola or Budweiser, you're not targeted, right. You're a brand at advertising. So then you just buy, you know, football games cuz you want the biggest numbers. So I guess that's that's okay. I mean we'll never get those advertisers. People hate, I think part of this is people just hate ads. That's part of the problem. That's right. And then nothing we could do about that if we were at supported what we did is we started TWiT so that people who really hate ads who just buy a membership and then never hear and add it again. That's one way to do it. I don't, I don't know. I've Cory doctoral calls ad blockers, the largest consumer boycot of all time because so many people use 'em now. And, and don't ever see ads are here at ads and that's kind, that makes a

Denise Howell (00:49:12):
Part of the reason, part of the reason for that is that not only are you receiving ads that, you know, infringe on your privacy so that they can serve you a certain ad, but the whole experience is so awful when you get six popups in a video and it's slowing down your browsing and you know, the there's just, no, there's no incentive to allow them to keep invading your life.

Harry McCracken (00:49:37):
It is so bad

Jason Hiner (00:49:38):
Uses pushback though, too. Sorry, go ahead, Gary.

Harry McCracken (00:49:41):
I was just gonna say like last week I was researching a new pair of glasses and so I looked at the site of a eyeglasses company that show remain nameless. Although it it's initials are w

Leo Laporte (00:49:53):
We know who they are. Yeah. Yeah.

Harry McCracken (00:49:55):
And then I went out and bought, I bought them, but I'm still getting these freaking ads for the exact model that I'd been researching on almost every page on, on the internet. And I'd have no idea how to get rid of them. That's

Leo Laporte (00:50:08):
Part of the problem's that ads, it's the least

Harry McCracken (00:50:10):
Useful ad in the world. It's

Leo Laporte (00:50:11):
Such a Crapp system. It doesn't work well, recommendation engines notoriously are horrible. Yeah. Why does Amazon keep trying to sell me the thing I just bought Amazon? You ought know of all people. I just bought that.

Jason Hiner (00:50:25):
I, I do like, I, I wanna follow up and say like, I like Denise's pushback on this because I was just I was thinking about the fact that you all very nicely Leo, like your team sent me an invitation to club TWiT, and I actually haven't activated because when I listened to your show, especially like this show maybe most of all this version of your many shows I wanna hear the ads cause

Leo Laporte (00:50:57):
You actually thank you, Jason. I love you have

Jason Hiner (00:50:59):
Some good stuff on here. Love man. And I can't tell you how many times I've bought whatever dang thing it is

Leo Laporte (00:51:07):
Is, you know, it's funny, you're not alone. There's actually people in club, TWiTtter who complained. And we actually have a, a, an our discord server, a channel that's called all the ads. That's the, if you wanna listen to the ads that you're not getting in your club, TWiT version of the feed, you can, you can get them here.

Jason Hiner (00:51:26):
I have want more to things off of this show than literally anything else that I consume.

Leo Laporte (00:51:33):

Jason Hiner (00:51:33):
Don't know if you're targeted too,

Leo Laporte (00:51:35):
Just being nice, sir.

Jason Hiner (00:51:36):
You really, I'm not just being nice. I, I, I truly mean that. So that's why I was, I was you know, I was rocking the feedback. You're gonna like

Leo Laporte (00:51:43):
Actually all four advertisers today. This is unusual. And this is by the way way, one of the things that's changed, our, what we call B to C their consumer products. One of the things that's really changed, maybe it's cuz of COVID in our business. I think it's also because publications like E week and PC week are gone. And so it's hard for enterprise businesses to reach other enter. It's like if you're a security company selling security software, where you go, you write people, they're buying ads on CNN. Like that's the audience you want. So we're doing more and more of that kind of B to B business, to business advertising, which I don't have the same affinity for. I, because I'm not the business, I'm not somebody buying it. But that the, the, the that's because we're targeted in the same way PC week and E week we're targeted. That's how that's how PC week and E week were free. Cuz they knew they were reaching the audience that those advertisers wanted. That's a, seems to me a good model. I know it doesn't work for everybody, but it seems to me a good, good model.

Denise Howell (00:52:46):
Yeah. But you're not targeted in a creepy way, which is nice.

Leo Laporte (00:52:50):
We we're targeted cuz we know you like tech cuz you're listening to the show for grant.

Jason Hiner (00:52:54):
Well self-select

Leo Laporte (00:52:54):
Self-Selecting yeah.

Denise Howell (00:52:56):
Yes. And, and I echo Jason, there are so many things I bought from the ads on our various shows that have vastly improved my life. So

Leo Laporte (00:53:04):
The trend is away from that and I'm not I'm I'm here, here I am. I'm an old timer in podcast casting, you know, the way it used to be, but what's happening in podcasting now, partly because of Spotify, big, big part cuz of Spotify is no more host red ads they're injected, it's direct ad insertion where it's programmatically injected and that's by the way, partly because podcasts can't track you, but at least if you're downloading when you, your ads are literally injected in, when you download the podcast, cuz then they know your IP address, they at least can geotarget you. And if they have other information, they might know who you are. And so then those ads are tar much more targeted than the ads. When you buy a TWiT ad, you're buying, you know, anybody who listens to this show and that's the trend, which means, and this is why I hate ad targeting. It brings the whole thing down. It makes advertising worse, not better.

Jason Hiner (00:54:01):
Hmm. How so?

Leo Laporte (00:54:02):
Because instead of these human crafted ads aimed at an audience that would be interested in the show, the ads that you say work, you're just gonna get a, a injected ad that was recorded by somebody else based on your IP address. And I don't, well maybe they are more effective. That's what everybody's buying now. But I don't, I think it's not that they're more effecti. It's that? That's what happens when you start going down the road of ad targeting advertisers, think that's what they want. It's certainly easier for agencies to sell. So that's how the advertising goes and, and it's a vicious circle because then those ads are less appealing. They're they're and so people block them more. They don't like 'em as much. So then just as you said, Jason, when, when they start not reading 'em or seeing them, you gotta buy more ads, it's a fish, it's a bad direction.

Denise Howell (00:54:56):
I think we've hit on a business model. Somebody needs to create, which is curated advertising. You know, you, that's what we do agree to get the ads. Yeah. And, and it's

Leo Laporte (00:55:06):
Artis advertising.

Denise Howell (00:55:09):
I think there's a company with that name.

Harry McCracken (00:55:12):
It works great at TWiTtter scale. And

Leo Laporte (00:55:14):
That's the problem.

Harry McCracken (00:55:16):
Yes. And the scale of many podcasts, the question is, is there any way to scale that up to Google scale? I mean the, the original Google advertising approach was fantastic back when it much purely about you go to Google, you search for something and you see text ads next to your search results relate relating to the terms you searched for. That was, that was in some ways the most perfect form of advertising ever invented. But what Google is doing today is so much more complex and complicated invasive than that ever was.

Jason Hiner (00:55:48):
Yeah. And they're losing, they can't win that game against Facebook. Right. Ultimately right. Facebook has so much more data on and, and they are, they, they have shown that they have no qualms in using it and then they make it because they can target you. So narrowly it's also incredibly cheap. Right? You can only you can target the ones that you want and you don't have to pay for the ones that you don't want. And because of that, the economies of scale are, are ridiculous. Doesn't

Leo Laporte (00:56:18):
Google still do search ads though. I mean, that's

Jason Hiner (00:56:21):

Leo Laporte (00:56:21):
They do. That's still the bulk of their business. Isn't it? Bulk

Harry McCracken (00:56:25):
That experience has gotten way worse lately too though, because quite often now the ads take up the entire page above the scroll in a way they never did before. They're, they're no longer off on the side. And in conspicuous they are sometimes all you see until you start to roll, roll down the page. That's

Leo Laporte (00:56:42):
I guess what my point

Jason Hiner (00:56:43):
Was still horrible pit. Sorry, Leah. I was just gonna say it reached a horrible point this last year after the iPhone launch. If, if you would've looked at the iPhone, if you searched iPhone. Yeah. And you went to the, the page on Google after that, you would've seen that to, to look to Harry's point almost two thirds of those units were one way or another different paid because it was the carriers, it was accessory makers as everybody. And they, they had essentially, you saw what Google looks like when every ad unit is bought. And the experience for the user was really terrible. Also Apple bought Apple, had to buy I ads on there essentially to get their stuff defensively, front and center defensive, exactly defensively. And so the, so, so for, you know, in the, in the past like CNET you know, where I've worked for the last three years, you know, we've had a, a, a wonderful way to optimize and get the most useful information out to, to our readers. Through Google this year, it was very difficult near impossible because almost all of that real estate, the, the usable real estate was purchased.

Leo Laporte (00:57:53):
I guess that was my point. All along was you start going down this road, it gets more and more predatory. It gets more and more unpleasant people rebel more. And now you have this tenuous environment where people hate ads and they have to spy on you to do the ads. And people hate that. And it's just gone down a very bad road. And and it, and I think Google made a mistake. Maybe they didn't have any choice, but they made a mistake. They sh this was this was not the right way to go. And I, for one, no, I'm not gonna say that I pledge to you that we will continue to do host red ads for down home products. Nobody ever heard of. So there, yay.

Denise Howell (00:58:36):
I there's a distinction that, that I'd like to toss into the discussion between the ads, the advertising that we're talking about we're are people are buying ad placement by Google on a webpage. And then the ads that platforms serve you as Jason was saying, you know, that Facebook has all this data, that there is a distinctly different experience, or at least from my anecdotal use of platforms, I am pretty ruthless about, you know, if they're gonna serve me ads, I am going to block advertisers that I don't want to hear from. And I'm gonna use their tools to tell them, okay, that's not relevant, not relevant, not relevant. And now I actually on both TWiTtter and Instagram, I don't use Facebook proper, but on TWiTtter and Instagram, I will say that my ad experience is not bad. No,

Leo Laporte (00:59:28):
In fact, that's why I have to stop using Instagram, cuz they're so good. I always buy crap. I don't want

Denise Howell (00:59:34):
Right. But sometimes I buy crap, you know, just like you know, I'm writing down TWiT coats. Sometimes I'm actually grateful for the ads that get served to

Leo Laporte (00:59:41):
Me there. Oh, half of the stuff I buy online, I buy cuz of Instagram ads. It's really, it's a very effective platform. It really,

Denise Howell (00:59:48):
It would be better if those ads were actually instead of, you know, being targeted to your interests. And then you're rolling the dice on whether it's a piece of crap or not. Whether there was some sort of vetting that went into the product that

Leo Laporte (01:00:01):
You're buying. There're not that it, I guess, no,

Denise Howell (01:00:04):
Sometimes you luck out. I bought the greatest thing off Instagram the other day and it's, you know, very targeted at me. I bought cause I'm a skier. And I see with my phone and I, I you're constantly getting your phone out to take pictures or to, you know,

Leo Laporte (01:00:19):
I saw your phone, your work

Denise Howell (01:00:20):
Life where balance your

Leo Laporte (01:00:22):
Knees, your knees lost the battle and

Denise Howell (01:00:25):
You, my, my knees actually didn't lose. Well, my knees lost to the fact that I wanted to go skiing, but yeah, they're kind of in pain now. I was up in Canada skiing. It

Leo Laporte (01:00:33):
Looked amazing last week that looked like with a

Denise Howell (01:00:34):
Of 18 year olds. Oh

Leo Laporte (01:00:36):
My God. Yeah,

Denise Howell (01:00:36):
That was, that was some very nice ski. Oh. But on that trip, I brought with me this thing that I bought on I that attaches to your jacket and keeps your phone from falling out.

Leo Laporte (01:00:46):
Oh, that's what I need.

Denise Howell (01:00:48):
It's the most brilliant thing. And I would never have found it, but for that Instagram ad and, and I was happy to have it. So

Leo Laporte (01:00:57):
Where were you?

Denise Howell (01:00:59):
Canada. British Columbia. Oh,

Leo Laporte (01:01:00):
It's beautiful. Are you at Whistler or

Denise Howell (01:01:03):
No way in the middle of nowhere. Outside of a, in the Monashees and the caribou are the mountain rich. And

Leo Laporte (01:01:08):
Did you bring your personal photographer with you or what?

Denise Howell (01:01:10):
No, that's no. Wouldn't it be nice if that was,

Leo Laporte (01:01:13):
It looks like you got like, oh yeah, I have a, I have a guy. He does. He does all my stills.

Denise Howell (01:01:19):
Yeah. He, this is great. He yeah, thank you. We had such a nice time and, and my goal was just to make sure, look at that, that I had three 18 year olds with me who were, you know, they're, they're far more aggressive skiers than I am. Yeah, they are. And we met some really nice people from Oregon and just had the greatest time. It was a fabulous trip.

Leo Laporte (01:01:39):
Yeah. This morning I shaved with a razor blade. I bought an Instagram. I'm wearing Instagram on underwear right now

Denise Howell (01:01:47):
That that might be TMI by the way,

Leo Laporte (01:01:49):
If you, this is the, this is another example. If you buy a razor on Instagram, you will then get razor blade ads from every other RA because there's a hundred razor blade companies. For some reason, they're all trying to sell you now. Well, if you like that, you'll love ours. No, thank you. I'm happy. I got the way I got what I want. I'm not against advertising. I'm really not. It's what supports us is what keeps us afloat. We did offer club TWiTs so that people who hate advertising don't have to listen and that's worked out quite well, but not nearly to the degree that we could drop advertising. And I want people who don't wanna spend seven bucks a month to be able to hear our shows. I don't wanna paywall. So you know, I think it, it it's worked out for us. I don't, I, I worry about podcasting going forward in the war. Anyway, let's do an ad.

Leo Laporte (01:02:39):
Can't wait, do that. I, you know what? Get your pen out, Denise. You're you may already know about this, but you're, if you don't, you're gonna wanna get it. It's called Blueland do you know about Blueland? So there's a thread in, in what Lisa and I do these days. We're really trying to cut down waste single use plastic. We're trying to be kind to the earth blue land is so cool. So it's a couple of facts that we'll set this up. Did you know that an estimated 5 billion, plastic hand soap and cleaning bottles are thrown away every year, 5 billion. And, and by the way, every bottle, you know, that you buy in the store, 90% water. So you're paying to ship water, plus a little bit of active ingredient and all that plastic. Then you throw out the plastic. This does, this is not a tenable situation.

Leo Laporte (01:03:31):
It's a lose lose for you and for the planet. That's why we started using blue land blue land's revolutionary cleaning system. Instead you, you, when you set up blue land, I've done it now for myself, but also my daughter, which she got a new apartment. I got her a whole blue land thing. They'll send you the, the squirt bottles, the hand bottle, you know, the hand soap bottles, the detergent bottle, all the stuff, little tin cans. You could put your soap in for your dishwasher and your clothes washer. And then when you need more, they send you the power to form of it. You add the water, you buy the bottle once you refill it forever, no more plastic waste and no more shipping water. And it's great stuff. You just fill these beautiful, the Instagram whole yes. Bottles with warm water you pop in.

Leo Laporte (01:04:24):
So for the hand up, we love the hand up. In fact, I just got a whole set of in December Christmas smell. There's a gingerbread there's peppermint. I love how you use this gingerbread hand. So it smells like somebody's making gingerbread, man. You just, so you get it. You fill it with water to the line, you pop in the tablet, it OBS. And now it's hand soap, foaming, hand soap, or, or spray cleaner or, or bathroom actually. You know what people love and it's sold out a lot. I think there's some right now. So you should get it. Blueland toilet tablet cleaner. They sell out really fast. You put one in the toilet, it fizzes, it cleans it. You brush it and you're done. It's incredible. The sense, amazing Iris agave, Caroline lemon, lavender eucalyptus that you, I just want you to go to and check this out.

Leo Laporte (01:05:18):
There's I got my daughter, the clean essentials kit to get her all started. There's a hand soap duo. We actually have an every bathroom now. We have Blueland hand soap, different different scents. It's wonderful plastic free laundry and dishwasher, tablets that are great. They work. That's the other thing I think maybe you thought, oh, you've tried other, you know, recyclable or earth friendly products. They don't work these work great. These are just like the commercial products you'd buy, but without all the waste and without all the cost blue land's stunning high quality forever bottles start at just $10. When you buy a kit, they will be reused forever. The refill tablets, which is what you're gonna continue to buy two bucks, two bucks. So you save a huge amount of money. You save plant the planet by not using all this plastic waste.

Leo Laporte (01:06:04):
I use it. The dish soap is great. Blueland try it. You will love it. The planet will. Thank you. I had heard about this for years. We finally got it. And now I'm thrilled. It's way past time to make cleaning fun, beautiful, and plastic. Right now you get 20% off your first order. Go to B L U E. The color blue 20% off your first order of any Blueland products. And it is a great housewarming gift I gave Abby the whole set and she loves it. Everything smells great at it's easy to clean and you don't waste those bottles. Blueland.Com/TWiT. Don't forget. Yeah,

Jason Hiner (01:06:48):
I can't come on this show anymore. It's like expensive.

Leo Laporte (01:06:50):
You're gonna you. No, no. You know what? You will thank me. This is not expensive. You will thank me because this is gonna, this is the future I'm telling you. This is I, I no more guilt over th we, you know, we used to go through plastic bottles of dish soap, you know, every week there'd be a new anymore, not anymore. It's great.

Jason Hiner (01:07:09):

Leo Laporte (01:07:12):
Invidia's gonna abandon their 40, 40,000,040 billion. Let's get the number, right? Dollar acqui arm B it, I don't know if I'm sad or happy arm is currently owned by SoftBank. I feel like Invidia might have been a good partner. On the other hand, there were a lot of people worried that Invidia might, you know, kind of take over arm and make it hard for others to license arm stuff. I doubt that would've happened, but I understand anyway, regulators are gonna put the kibosh on that both here and in Europe SoftBank at this point says, we don't want it. We're getting rid of it. We're gonna do an IPO. We're gonna, we still want to get out of it. Jason, any opinion,

Jason Hiner (01:07:54):
You know, I, I don't think that this changes much. I think that Invidia still has a great future they're they are gonna be at the heart of what is this massive wave of artificial intelligence and machine learning that, that really over the next decade is gonna revolutionize so many things. They're, they're gonna do this fine without this. Arm is also, they're gonna be great. Like they, they have they have a great future as well, doing what they do, designing chips their chips are taking over the world. And it, you know, I, the wild thing is with what Intel doing becoming a, a chip maker for other for other people, it it's very possible that Intel is gonna probably be making arm chips, right? Manufacturing, arm design or, you know, designs that are that are from arm for other, for other companies.

Jason Hiner (01:08:52):
And so it it's a future that I, I could see them as an independent company still doing really well. And they have a great future. I, I think probably both companies, I, I think arm has a better future potentially independently. Because the future, you know, they have so much runway to their, their chips are gonna be in everything over the next more are things. And under arm, it, it was going be a little bit limited to, or sorry, under Invidia arm, would've been a little bit a little bit limited, but I, I don't think it really changes much. Both these companies have a great

Leo Laporte (01:09:29):
Future. Yeah. I'm very bullish on Invidia. Here's a good way to win a bar bet, ask somebody which is bigger in VI, which is a bigger chip maker, Invidia or Intel. Everybody will go with Intel, Intel's worth 211 billion. Invidia's worth 582 billion. Second only to TSMC, which is easily the biggest chip maker by market cap. Intel's not that big, it's smaller than Broadcom, smaller than Samsung.

Jason Hiner (01:09:56):
They missed the whole mobile wave. They

Leo Laporte (01:09:58):
Blew it. Yeah. Look at all. Four of these, the bigger ones are all mobile chips.

Jason Hiner (01:10:04):
Yeah. It was funny. I found some notes from an old Intel used to always have in San Francisco and Moscone west. They used to always have this event, Intel IDF Intel developer forum. And I, I found these old notes from two and seven where Intel had all these charts about the next great wave is in mobile. And we're changing the whole company to take advantage of where all of this is going and we're gonna be ready for it. And here's our roadmap. I mean, they, they knew it was coming and, and they just couldn't execute against it. They just weren't, you know, they they're mindset. Wasn't quite what it needed to be to, to take advantage of it. And boy did it hurt. 

Leo Laporte (01:10:44):
Ben Thompson's done a great series on his tra techie website and newsletter about Intel. And I think his take is pretty astute. All along. He said Intel's mistake was Doug Ling down on the idea of an integrated company where they both designed and manufactured chips. And they got beat by the companies that either that did one or the other, that by Invidia or arm, which were designed firms or TSMC, which is a build firm and both TSM TMS, TSMC, Taiwan, semiconductor manufacturing company, and and Vidia have gotten bigger than Intel by picking one and Intel because their fabs couldn't keep up with their designs was held back and really didn't make competitive designs. As you say, they missed out entirely on mobile. Their scale architecture was a flop. And so what is interesting is that pat Gelsinger, the new CEO of Intel, who is a chip designer, he was instrumental in the 4 86, Harry, you remember that?

Harry McCracken (01:11:50):
I do. Yes. Pat, pat basically designed that chip. He, he was the late architect on that.

Leo Laporte (01:11:54):
Yeah. And so now he's running the company and he's done something. I think that will, that is a big gamble. But I think at this point, maybe that's what you need to do. He's decided to in effect do both, but not integrated to, to, to build fabs that build big fabs in with building a big one in Arizona, I think they Ohio,

Harry McCracken (01:12:17):
Ohio, is it a deal in Ohio?

Leo Laporte (01:12:18):
That's right. And then also 20 billion. Yeah. 20 bill. But also then to, to double down on the design business, Harry, is this a good strategy? You think?

Harry McCracken (01:12:30):
I think it seems like he's doing smart things with the cards that tum when he signed up as CEO along with being willing to make chips based on other architectures, they're also opening up the X 86 architecture. So instead of you know, a chip that Intel based on Intel technology being what Intel thinks it should be, someone else could build on top of Intel's designs and tweak it, which is a lot closer to what arm has always done, where other companies license the rights to arms cores and build on top of them. It sounds, I mean, this is assuming this Invidia arm deal doesn't happen. It's really good news for Intel. It sounds like in general the tech end industry would just as much be relieved if the deal doesn't happen. Yeah. I think it's probably overall you know, and, and video will be fine. I think in, in video is such a smart company. There's a, a decent chance. They would've not screwed up arm, but I think there has been value to the fact that arm is always essentially in Switzerland this third party that the design stuff that any technology company can license and use, and that would've fundamentally changed if in VI, which has always been an armed customer up until now for its designs. It also owned arm. Yeah.

Harry McCracken (01:13:51):
So I'd say on balance, I'm, I'm glad if it doesn't happen, although it might have been okay. If it had,

Leo Laporte (01:13:56):
Of course at this point, the best known arm licensee is Apple with its M one architecture. I have to think Intel is somewhat stung by the performance and the, and the power curve of Apples. M one S especially since they keep saying, oh, we got chips that are faster. No, no, you send them, they want them back. Sorry, go ahead. Yeah. They wanna make them, they wanna make chips in the fabs for Apple, but you know, right now there's TMC, TSMC is doing a three nanometer process. Good luck Intel. Yeah.

Harry McCracken (01:14:27):
There's been this really healthy competition among all these companies, arms designs, and you have Apple taking some of the same IP and running away from Qualcomm, which ultimately is a good thing for Qualcomm because they, they have

Leo Laporte (01:14:40):
Is good for us all. That's right. Yeah. That's right. Yes.

Harry McCracken (01:14:43):
And they're, and they're building things they might not have been able to otherwise, sorry, go ahead, Denise.

Denise Howell (01:14:47):
Oh, no, you finished.

Harry McCracken (01:14:49):
I I'd say that all companies are doing things they might not have been able to, if they weren't a hundred percent responsible for designing processors from scratch. So it's, it's worked out really surprisingly, well, it arm always had this vision back to when they were founded decades ago. And it really came into its own just in this century.

Leo Laporte (01:15:08):
Go ahead, Denise.

Denise Howell (01:15:09):
I had a couple of just government re related observations on this story. Number one, it's just, you know, another sign that antitrust is on regulators minds, the FTC sued to stop this merger. China wants to stop it too. So, and, and I'm sure, you know, if EU regulators had any say in the matter they would want wanna stop it too. It just seems like there's a lot of,

Leo Laporte (01:15:34):
Well, he did cuz arm's a British company and I know the Brits were not happy about arm being bought by Envidia. Yeah.

Denise Howell (01:15:41):
Yeah. So, so there's just, you know, antitrust is, is a bigger force in the world than it has been in the last several years.

Leo Laporte (01:15:48):
Do you think?

Denise Howell (01:15:50):
I, yes. Qualified. Yes. Like I do feel like the flood of antitrust proposed legislation that came out earlier this year. Some was good. Some was bad, some was ugly. So I, I do think that we have to be aware of, of antitrust overreach, but at the same time, there's a reason why, why it's much more on lawmaker's minds. So I think this is just, you know, another symptom of that the other government OB observation I would make is, you know, I'm not worried about arm or invi. If this doesn't go through as both Harry and Jason have said arm is, is poised. I'm, I'm not quite sure how all this is shaking out, but it seems like as a chip manufacturer, they're gonna get a shot in the arm from the government, if they haven't already to, to bring some chip production to the more chip production to the us and, and deal with these supply chain issues that we're having. So I, I think they're probably excited about that. And then on the personal front one of my good family friends in the smartest AI guy, I know is the worldwide AI initiatives, VP at Invidia and the chair of their AI compute task force. Wow. And he's doing his names, Keith Tryer and you know, I he's gonna take them to good places

Leo Laporte (01:17:20):
When we watched, we, we streamed the Invidia's most recent keynote. I was just blown away, you know, because of the Samble salmon in our car segments, I'm very aware of what Avi is doing and automotive, it's obvious they're killing it and gaming in in, in crypto mining they're just firing an all cylinders. They have, they are. And the AI, they're huge. In fact, this new meta supercomputer just built is built with Invidia and Invidia chips. They are firing in all cylinders. I think they're a really interesting company. And so I guess, yeah, for that reason, I don't, they don't need arm and arm will, if it does an IPO, which I think is likely arm will then be a standalone company as it should be. And I think that's probably the best for everybody all around, but this competition is really good. I love seeing a strong Invidia you know what we didn't, haven't mentioned in all this as AMD which has been making a, that's doing great. Yeah. They've been making a run for it. Yeah.

Jason Hiner (01:18:22):
Yep. They're doing great. And, and you know, Intel as well, if we circle back to Intel, we all, we all are gonna be, be editor from a, a renewed Intel. Absolutely. And pat Gelsinger is, is a chip maker's, you know, chip maker. He knows the industry. He's an excellent leader and CEO includes lots of people knows how to put the right people in the right positions. He'll do great in Intel, but the best thing that he has going from the one thing you can never control in business is timing. And he has timing on his side right now, because one thing that we've learned over the last two years, the last 24 months, especially, is that having all of the chip making in east Asia and having all of those things shipped.

Leo Laporte (01:19:09):
Yeah. There

Jason Hiner (01:19:10):
Is Not a good, it's not a good

Leo Laporte (01:19:13):

Jason Hiner (01:19:13):
And so the world is, is going to gonna want to put that chip making in lots more places in closer to where the product design development, final manufacturing is, and that is gonna benefit a lot of people, but it's definitely gonna fit in sell, especially if the chips act passed in the us where then building chips in the us becomes as advantageous in terms of taxes and business investment, as it is in Asia, then you're not gonna only see Intel building here. You're gonna see as TSMC is already, they're, they're planning a plant here. Samsung is planting a plant in Texas. You're gonna see this movement to decentralize the making of these chips. Intel has a great, they have a level playing field potentially and some some opportunities to, to really go into this in a way where they can design where they're behind on, as we know from the nanometer, you know, side of things perspective, but also in terms of chip making, you know, they can start building they know how to build and manufacture things. That's gonna be an opportunity for them to really yeah,

Leo Laporte (01:20:30):
I worry a little bit because of course everybody talks when they talk about chip shortage about Intel AMD and Vidia, the real chip shortage is not those chips. It's all these little legacy cheapo chips that are almost commodities. But if you can't, if, if who was it, general motors had to sell a bunch of cars without heat, sea warmers, because the chip that controls the sea warmers is unavailable. If you can't sell cars, cuz that's missing, that's just as big a deal. And I doubt very much people are investing $30 billion to build the chips for sea warmers. I don't know where I don't know who's doing, but let's bring that home too. That could be the $10 million fat. Yeah, let's bring that home it

Jason Hiner (01:21:12):
Too. It's true. But AI and machine learning, you know, AI the cost of, of AI is decreasing rapidly right now. And so because of that over the next decade, the need for these more powerful chip is going to skyrocket right to power. Hey, I like this meta computer and Invidia and Intel

Leo Laporte (01:21:35):
That response to my concern, which is we're building all these fabs, are we gonna have a glut in three years when they all come online and suddenly everybody's making chips, but you think demand will, will, will increase to match the increase some productivity.

Jason Hiner (01:21:50):
Yes. Because of the, the, how rapidly the developments in AI and

Leo Laporte (01:21:55):
Machine. Well that's, what's happened. That's one of the reasons there's a shortage is demand is increased remarkably. Yeah.

Harry McCracken (01:22:00):
And every, you know, we're, we're just at the start of the age where almost everything is a computer, which means almost everything will have chips. And it's a am pretty likely that that will continue to ramp up at least as quickly as these new fabs come out.

Leo Laporte (01:22:14):
Not always a good thing.

Harry McCracken (01:22:17):
No, not at

Leo Laporte (01:22:17):
All. Lisa bought a mini Cooper electric mini Cooper about a month ago, 854 miles in it just stopped working. Oh. And, and I mean, literally it just said, no, you, you know, everything's broken said brakes, don't work, lights, don't work, drive, train malfunction every like all like a Christmas tree. And we had it towed down to where we bought it Marin. They said, oh, we don't know what they had. Then they had it towed to BMW for, or summer, I guess BMW makes the drive train in San Francisco. They finally looked at it. They said, well, it's gonna take us at least three weeks to get the board replaced. This car is a car, it's got four wheels. It's got all the stuff it needs, except that the chip in it is malfunctioned and is undrivable. So Lisa I needless to say is not too happy.

Denise Howell (01:23:16):
I think it's fascinating. Apple decided to go into the chip business and seems to be,

Leo Laporte (01:23:20):
It's been a very good move. Has it not

Denise Howell (01:23:22):
Being there? It's

Leo Laporte (01:23:23):
Been a very good move. They're making great stuff in effect. One of the stories from this week is how PCs have gone through the roof. And the biggest growth area was Mac is still only 8% of the market, but still big growth for Apple computers. And I have to think some of that is, is people going, oh, I like these new chips. So smart.

Jason Hiner (01:23:43):
We hired Johnny Saru to run their chip making business. And that was what an incredible move. Yeah. And obviously a team, you know, he doesn't design make all the chips himself. So, but he also knew the right people to hire. And they have just taken off like a rocket since, since they did that and put him in charge,

Leo Laporte (01:24:02):
Although they did just lose. One of the guys who designed the M one chip went back to Intel. They'd hired him away from Intel Jeff whale. Cox is going back to Intel to design systems on a chip. So it's a, it's a, quite a revolving door in that business. I think let's take a little break. We actually, this was the week Apple had it's quarterly results. Microsoft two, we could talk a little bit about, I don't think financial results have that much to do with technology as they do, at least not as much as they do with the market, but still this, you get some insights into how these companies are doing and what they're doing from their financial reports. Our show today brought to you by audible. Now here's another one where it's an easy recommend. I have literally been an audible.

Leo Laporte (01:24:47):
Remember 22 years. It all started for me. When I was commuting to San Francisco, I had a two to four hour commute every day. I was going crazy discovered audio books from audible and my life was changed. I've listened to, so I have more than 500 audio books I've listened to on audible. I just love them. Audible app makes it easy to listen any time anywhere you'll discover exclusive audible originals from big name celebrities, Steve Martin reading, born, standing up was just awesome. Keith Richards reading his biography, actually they ha they have Johnny deaf reading it for the first three quarters as if he's Keith Richards and then three quarters of the way through the biography. He suddenly says, and now ladies and gentlemen, K Richards T reads the last quarter of it, which I loved. You can listen to audible while you're traveling, commuting like me while you're working out, washing the dishes, walking the dog, by the way, audible also includes thousands of podcasts, some of the most popular favorites, exclusive of new series.

Leo Laporte (01:25:49):
And as a member at audible, you get full access to a growing selection of included audio books. Just part of your subscription. You can download or stream all you want. I was watching that new HBO show the Giled age and it's okay, but it made me crave some Edith, Wharton, you know, I wanted a real, the real deal, the author of the age of innocence. So I thought I'm gonna get the house of Merth. And I looked and audible had, I am not kidding. A dozen different versions of the house of Merth, but it turned out the best one I got for free is cuz it's an audible plus title. I'm yeah, I'm glad I checked. So that is a really nice thing. I cannot wait to listen to the house of Mer. They've got a great actress reading that you'll get a full selection of, of audio books as a member, audible gives members a chance to listen to and discover new favorites and explore different form mats.

Leo Laporte (01:26:43):
And that's one of the things that makes your membership so much more valuable. For instance, if you are like me, a fan of music, the words plus music series is fantastic. How albums were made, what happened? You know, the story behind the album or maybe a podcast you'd never heard of or, or considered before they even have theatrical performances. I love those Neil Gaiman's Sandman series. Part two just came out fully dramatized. It's the best radio theater you've ever heard. It's incredible. And as an audible member, you could choose one title a month to keep from their entire catalog. That's how I got 500 in my library and they're in your library forever. By the way, I often go back and listen. When the movie dune came out, I said, I wanna listen to Doune again, it was great that one's dramatized. As a matter of fact bestsellers new releases, classics, audible love science fiction.

Leo Laporte (01:27:32):
I know you, we all love science fiction. Audible's a great place for sci-fi because so much of the early sci-fi things like foundation and Doune weren't recorded originally audible actually set up studios to create the audible frontier series, which is finally audiobook versions of some of the most iconic science fiction novels. So that's really a great reason to join audible, all available to download or stream. You can listen anywhere, anytime on any device and you know what? You never lose your spot. Always pick up right where you left off. So I'll get home. I'll sit my office. I'll say, Hey, echo, read to me. It'll pick up right where I left off in the car. I love it. 2022 is all about celebrating our newfound self-awareness and making positive change, right? Audible helps make space for what matters to you. It's a destination for your wellness.

Leo Laporte (01:28:21):
Whether you're looking to soul search, be inspired, work towards new goals, unwind or simply be entertained. We've had some time to find out what truly makes us happy and audible let's us have more of it. Recently. We've been listening to audiobook called being mortal, which is kind of heavy, but it's about end of life and and, and how we think about it. And it's just a wonderful one. Wonderful listen. You're always gonna find the best of what you love or something new to discover new members. Try audible 30 days free download the audible app and get started with a free trial You can also text them if you wanna put it on your phone, just text TWiT to 500, 500, please do text TWiT to 500, 500. So they know saw it here or go to a U D I B L E text TWiT to 500, 500 to start your free trial today. There's a good example of an advertiser that's been with us from, I think more than a decade.

Jason Hiner (01:29:18):
I was gonna say Leo, weren't they? One of your first, one of the first

Leo Laporte (01:29:21):

Jason Hiner (01:29:21):
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Cause I heard about it on TWiTtter. On

Leo Laporte (01:29:26):
Audible. You blame me for that as well.

Jason Hiner (01:29:27):
Sure. Go ahead. I know. Thanks. It cost me thousands of dollars now. But but it's, it's I wanna say 2004, 2005. I, I heard it on TWiTtter and I remember getting it when I first got it, like download it to my computer and then sync it to my iPod. That's right. And then listen to it with my iPod. But was very glad that I did and have been, yeah, have been a, a member, you know, for now. I mean almost 20 years because of TWiT, which is

Leo Laporte (01:29:57):
Pretty, my only problem is I have so many audio books. I don't have as much time as I used to cause I Don of that four hour community anymore. I wish I could listen more often. But what I've discovered is there's the house of Merth I'm now starting at the expanse series. They've got all of them, really nice production of that. Lots of great stuff. One of the things I've done is is I've started listening when I'm playing video games. Cause I feel guilty that I'm playing a games, not doing anything important. And so I figured, well, at least I'm reading and playing a video game. So that's, that's how I feel better about myself. Last one Lisa and I listened to together was Hawaii. Boy, is that a long novel? I think that was what is it? 40 hours. It

Jason Hiner (01:30:40):
Was missioner yeah. Missioner

Leo Laporte (01:30:42):
51 hours and 56 minutes. Make it 52 hours. Yeah. That's a lot of Hawaii. The anyway audible, we love them. We love you audible. Thank you for being with us all these years. Audible.Com/Twittter, go text TWiTtter to 500, 500. It's important by the way, talking about this podcast thing. If you use those codes or you use that address, please, it's really important cuz that's how audible measures their effectiveness. And we want 'em to know that y'all listen and and, and subscribe because of us. Thank you. It's almost a cliche. Apple had the best quarter it's ever had. Again,

Leo Laporte (01:31:29):
Over overall revenue, up 11% earnings per share up 25% year over year iPhone revenue up 9% year over year. It's kind of amazing. You could make more, you could sell more iPhones, but I guess they found somebody who hasn't bought one yet big victory on services. You may remember when Apple said we're gonna be a services company. We're not gonna give you numbers of sales anymore. We're gonna talk, talk about revenue per user. And the best way to up revenue per users is to sell 'em stuff services. After the sale, 19.5, 2 billion that's 24% up year over year Mac revenue up 25% iPad revenue up 14% gross margin. This is the number I always makes me go, oh my God, 43.8%. That's a lot of margin.

Denise Howell (01:32:27):
What does that mean? Exactly.

Jason Hiner (01:32:29):
Profit margin, profit. That's profit.

Denise Howell (01:32:32):
That's their profit.

Leo Laporte (01:32:34):
Yeah. Wow.

Jason Hiner (01:32:35):
Most of these companies are trying, they're trying to get by with like five to 10%

Leo Laporte (01:32:40):

Jason Hiner (01:32:41):

Leo Laporte (01:32:41):
God, but, but not only does the revenue like through the roof 123 billion, but you get to keep 43% of that.

Denise Howell (01:32:51):
That's insane. It's insane.

Jason Hiner (01:32:53):
And nobody, nobody knows how to sandbag expectations like Apple. You know, and then that's why you said Leo. It's like, again, they exceed expectations. Somehow they always find a way to, to, you know, hold expectations in line that said no one, I, I remember a bunch of the analysts saying who they always take this new account. Right. They're like, there's, there's the Apple number. And there there's

Leo Laporte (01:33:17):
We've wall street. Yeah. We know they're gonna do better than what they told old us. Okay. Fine.

Jason Hiner (01:33:21):
But nobody expected it to go. They, it was just, I think it was just last year that they started breaking a hundred billion and now, you know, 1 23, you know, everybody was just like, where did this come from? That's

Leo Laporte (01:33:34):
For, for three months, that's more than 40 billion a month.

Harry McCracken (01:33:39):
And this was to spike. This was despite the supply chain issues. Yeah. And the fact that a lot of the hardware you couldn't really get, and there was long lead times to get things like an iPhone think on, well, they might have done if they could have fulfilled every iPhone order immediately.

Leo Laporte (01:33:56):
So forgive me cuz I don't wanna be the cheese in your gr or the, I dunno what, I dunno what the phrase is.

Denise Howell (01:34:03):
Can we make that the show title,

Leo Laporte (01:34:07):
But, but later they aren't exactly are. I mean, are they that much better than everybody else? The greatest company of all $3 trillion? Are they that much, much better or are they that much better at marketing? I guess

Jason Hiner (01:34:25):
You actually, you touched on it in the beginning. I think Leo. So, so look at, if you look at the us and China, they're two biggest, most important markets and the iPhone be in their most important phone. In China for the first time in six years, they, they shot to number one again, the number one phone, which no, nobody expected them to

Leo Laporte (01:34:44):
Retake. Remember that Huawei suddenly shot to the top last year or the year before when we blocked them. When we banned them. When we forbid us companies for dealing with Huawei out of it was assumed patriotism, the Chinese people said we're buying Huawei. That didn't last that long.

Jason Hiner (01:35:02):
It didn't. And then in the us, they're up to, I wanna say it's 47 or 49% of the of the us. They are growing margin smartphone margin in the us. They're growing it in China. They're two biggest markets. So why, why is that? Cuz just to your point, are, are they making a device that's that much better? I, I think we all think the answer is no, the devices are good. They're they're, they're excellent. But Samsung's excellent. You know, OnePlus is excellent. A lot of these are, are making really good devices. What appears to be their their FA the factor that's driving them forward is this integration, both with services and the other devices, as people are buying more Apple devices, you know that the, the conf you mentioned the Mac is up the iPad and the iPad was the one that got hit by the most by the supply chain. And Tim cook called it out, but iPads have had a big resurgence during the pandemic, more people at home and people on different screens, not wanting to watch the same things or do all kinds of other things. And then the services that people have really responded, especially to Apple one and the bundle, not just their, their bundle, but a lot of other bundles too. So services and the other devices seem to be what's carrying Apple and giving them a leg up. Cause it's not just the hardware itself,

Denise Howell (01:36:29):
It's the whole ecosystem.

Leo Laporte (01:36:31):
Well, and it's, it's the ecosystem in a kind of under Dures. So for instance Apple just released a beta of Mac OS 11 Monterey that features this new universal control. And of course, what does universal control require that you own a lot of Apple stuff? You can now move your mouse in your keyboard from Mac to an iPad and back and forth it's. So it's got a multi-screen experience. It's not even a new idea. There've been products that do this for a long time. But Apple now has built it into the operating system, or if you have an iPhone and you don't want to use face ID cuz you're wearing a mask. Well, it so happens if you have an Apple watch, it'll unlock your iPhone. They're very good at the ecosystem play. I don't

Denise Howell (01:37:26):
They're very good too. And this goes back to Steve jobs and we've all been around a long time. And remember, you know, the early days and how important it was to his company to deliver the killer, absolutely insanely great user experience. And I feel like the company has really kept that as a value because when you, yeah, I'll just use my own personal experience. I had an iMac that lasted me 12 years, that I just replaced it's quality.

Leo Laporte (01:38:00):

Denise Howell (01:38:00):
Quality. It's quality. Yeah. It lasted 12 years. My new one, I couldn't be more thrilled with it. It is just a beautiful fast

Leo Laporte (01:38:07):

Denise Howell (01:38:08):
Harrying wonderful. You

Leo Laporte (01:38:09):
Just reviewed the Dell XPS and I think they're very nice, but they don't have that same feel of quality. You know what I'm saying?

Harry McCracken (01:38:17):
Theb I have to say is, is pretty darn nice. It's

Leo Laporte (01:38:20):
Very nice indeed.

Harry McCracken (01:38:21):
But Dell is a computer company. They don't make phones. They have way less control over the software. You're not gonna feel your entire life with all kinds of Dell products. They're dependent on Microsoft for their operating.

Leo Laporte (01:38:35):
And there is just something about, and by the way, part of the reason Dell's PS is so nice is cuz they're copying Apple in a number of ways. Ah, There's something about a MacBook you're exactly right Denise. Yeah. It, it feels like a quality product

Denise Howell (01:38:49):
And, and on the services end, they don't drop the ball at all. In fact, they deliver in ways other need to look at and they don't

Leo Laporte (01:38:57):
Google it.

Denise Howell (01:38:58):
No, first of all, I I, to me, of course, and I think to a lot of people, the, the fact that they've taken a good stand on privacy and data is, is important and it matters to people even in the background as they're using their devices.

Leo Laporte (01:39:14):
No, I think it is important. I agree.

Denise Howell (01:39:16):
Yeah. secondly though, just as far as like your day to day use of the device, someone three weeks after I bought my new iMac, someone knocked it over, they're kind of, you know, they're not super solid, right?

Leo Laporte (01:39:27):
No, they're basically iPads on a stick, but go ahead. Right. Their

Denise Howell (01:39:30):
Ipads on a stick. So someone knocked over my three week old iPad on a stick and broke screen, just like you would break the screen on your phone. Oh. But it works to replace it just like it would work to replace the's screen on your phone. That's I have AppleCare, it costs $99 and I have a new screen and I'm back in business. So, and it took a week. Yeah. So that, that was just, you know, another just incredible experience and the other really great way. I think they responded under fire was during the pandemic when they had to shut down all their stores. They managed to just up their phone service and ability to respond by phone and mail in a way that was just, I'm amazing. Need to buy a new phone. Great. Don't go into the store, call them up. We'll deliver it right to you. Problem with your existing phone. No worries. We'll ship you a box, ship it back to us. We'll fix it or replace it. You're good to go. That, you know, lots of companies need to be taking

Leo Laporte (01:40:35):
Notes. You're sounding like a sheep. Will I have

Denise Howell (01:40:39):
Just, I've been there. You know, I've been there with other companies too. Yeah. And been just, you know, you roll your eyes and you go, okay, it's just poor customer service. We just have to get used to that. Yeah. And I've, I've never had that with Apple. Yeah.

Harry McCracken (01:40:52):
And you're saying you know, things like Apple is doing universal control and Microsoft and Google are working together to integrate windows with Android, which is actually pretty cool if you have a windows, laptop and an Android phone, but they're, they're never gonna be able to make anything as seamless as, as what Apple can do because they are two separate operating systems controlled by different companies. Yeah.

Leo Laporte (01:41:16):
Apple really

Jason Hiner (01:41:17):
Like universal, go ahead. Copy and paste feature. I was just gonna say like that. I I'm, it really blows my mind how you can just copy something on your computer or your iPad or, and, and send it to your phone. Like, you know,

Leo Laporte (01:41:32):
Oh, when I wanna embedded, dang

Jason Hiner (01:41:34):

Leo Laporte (01:41:35):
Attachment on my Mac in email, it says, you wanna take a picture with your phone? We'll just put it in. And it's like, yeah, that's hard for Dell to do. That's hard for anybody else to do. Yeah. Dell put a touch bar on that PS though. Right. They

Jason Hiner (01:41:49):

Harry McCracken (01:41:51):
Kind, kind of started. I mean the, the, the button don't jump around, they're fixed in one place is

Leo Laporte (01:41:55):
Like Dell is two years behind Apple. Apple has finally said, oh, God gets, get rid of that touch bar until hasn't got the memo yet.

Harry McCracken (01:42:04):
Well, I, and all fairness, I think it has really radical, different. Oh,

Leo Laporte (01:42:07):
Good. Okay.

Harry McCracken (01:42:08):
What Apple did? I mean, it's, it's way less ambitious. Whether it's better or not. I'm not sure. They also, when I talked to them, they, they talked about the fact that doing that also helped them make the system cooler. Right. The internals cooler removing that row of buttons.

Leo Laporte (01:42:26):
Oh, that's interesting. They

Harry McCracken (01:42:26):
Also, they've also done some things that Apple, you know, for better or worse, they they're doing things that Apple hasn't done. Like the the track pad on the UX to PS. There's no border around it at all there. Yeah. It's just, it's just, it's just the middle section of the rest area. So it is quite different. And, and also Dell kind of came up with the idea several years ago with the XPS. I was shrinking the borders of the screen down as much as possible. And Apple only got around to doing that last year. And that, that might be a, a case where Dell actually influenced Apple rather than the other way around.

Leo Laporte (01:42:58):
Yeah. Dell's taken a while to get, get rid of the Beil. Apple rather has taken a while. Apple of the Beil. Yeah.

Harry McCracken (01:43:05):
And they added a knock along the way. Yeah.

Leo Laporte (01:43:08):
And not, I, the notch, you don't notice it, but right. Denise, you don't. Oh, do you have a laptop? I don't know if you, do you have a you an iPad?

Harry McCracken (01:43:16):

Denise Howell (01:43:16):
Have an older MacBook air. No, I don't think I have a notch yet.

Jason Hiner (01:43:22):
I, I do wonder if we shouldn't and I, I think Denise mentioned this of like, we shouldn't underestimate the privacy and security part either because it is getting worse and, and more challenging and more difficult. Especially on privacy. See, you know, an Apple, th this was somewhat, again, this was timing and maybe a little bit of luck. But Apple, Apple wanted to get into advertising. They wanted to do that. And they, and they tried it and they realized pretty quickly, we're, we're just terrible at this. We we're, this is not a strength and we don't wanna invest to do it. So instead, let's go in the opposite direction and say, we're gonna be the company. That's not going to take your data and use it and try to advertise against you. We're gonna be the ones that say, we're, we're gonna push it back against all of that. And we're gonna make that a feature of our product. And take a, turn a weakness into, try to turn a weakness into

Leo Laporte (01:44:16):
A strength. How much of that's genuine, how much of it's marketing?

Harry McCracken (01:44:20):
Well, they do have a big deal with Google which Apple benefits hugely from, and let's Google get at Apple users and monetize what they're doing online. They

Leo Laporte (01:44:29):
Google, what is it? 11 for

Jason Hiner (01:44:30):

Leo Laporte (01:44:31):
Billion, no Google pays them 11 billion or something. That's right. To be the default search engine on a safari,

Jason Hiner (01:44:38):
But they don't. But they also, you know, it's, it's safari shutting an Apple shutting down a lot of this data stuff. That's moved, that's this stuff forward more quickly. Right. Because, you know, once it breaks on Apple devices, then, you know, a, a bunch of companies, lots of companies, and without more and more of the web is, is mobile. They knew that the gig was up and, and that was, you know, critical. And then with the things like they're doing with you know, video doorbells and, and other video cameras where the stuff is not sent to the cloud, but is used in a or is used in these secure enclave, like kind of ways is also another thing that, you know, is an example of them. They wouldn't do this. If they weren't focused on this idea that we're gonna turn security and privacy into a feature now there's certainly some marketing in it as you're pointing out Leo, I, I don't think they're, you know they're, they're not hiring a lot of PhDs in cryptography to try to, to make sure that all of their stuff is perfect.

Jason Hiner (01:45:49):
But they aren't doing the opposite of like signing deals with Facebook and everybody else and trying to sell their users data.

Leo Laporte (01:45:56):
It's interesting. And Harry, I think you've written a little bit about this, that Google is trying to get back into the Android tablets after essentially seeding the tablet market to Samsung. And to some degree to Apple Google has, for some reason, decided that they wanna, they wanna do tablets again,

Harry McCracken (01:46:13):
True AR Rael who he writes for fast company, but he also writes for computer world and he, he had a great, a great story on the history, the set long and sad history of Android tablets, which involves essentially Google, not investing enough to make it into it, a true competitor, the iPad, and therefore they're never being terribly satisfying. Even when they acquired an interesting company called bump top, they didn't do much with it. And it does feel a little bit like Samsung in the last few years has done way more of the heavy lifting than Google has to try to make decent Android tablets. And, but there's, even though Samsung actually has done some of the software layers on their own tablets, there's a limit to what they can do since it's not their operating system.

Leo Laporte (01:47:00):
People love,

Harry McCracken (01:47:01):
But Google does, but Google Jr. Did break the news that Google has hired somebody to be in charge of Android tab lots. And maybe that's a hopeful

Leo Laporte (01:47:10):
Sign. Yeah. I found a job listing and everything go, Google made one of my favorite tablets ever, which was that seven inch. I can't remember the name of it. 

Harry McCracken (01:47:19):

Leo Laporte (01:47:20):
Nexus nexus. Yeah. That was incredible. That's love that. And then just let it go.

Jason Hiner (01:47:25):
Good. Remember the Motorola zoom zoom with an X oh,

Leo Laporte (01:47:29):
Blackberry Blackberry had a

Jason Hiner (01:47:31):
Blackberry tablet, playbook, black playbook. Yeah. There were all those after the iPad came out, there were a lot of incredibly aggressively marketed Android tablets. 

Harry McCracken (01:47:44):
The HP touch pad, which was web OS.

Jason Hiner (01:47:48):

Leo Laporte (01:47:49):
The late low amended. Yeah. 

Denise Howell (01:47:51):
I think, I think it was Harry who pointed out that we are in a, the tablet having a resurgence kind of period with so much more being done via video and as opposed to in person, including, you know, if it's school or work or we had to take a COVID test that was video monitored and you're not gonna do on your phone. Right.

Jason Hiner (01:48:11):
Right. Yeah. It's a great zoom device. Zoom, zoom, the video conferencing zoom. As a matter of fact, the best zoom device in our household is a 13 inch 2020 iPad pro because it has like five microphones and it has this great noise cancellation and it has really loud sound. So you can be in a room and and put that almost anywhere and have a really good zoom call. Is

Leo Laporte (01:48:36):
It too late for Google to get back into the tablet marketplace? Having, let it go for so long?

Harry McCracken (01:48:42):
I mean, it seems like they spent the last few years way more interested in Chromebook. And you know, they've made Chromebook that are essentially convertible tablets in which run Android apps. And that seems like it's where their, their heart is. But there are all these developers out there who have never invested a huge amount of attention in developing great Android tablet apps, because there wasn't there weren't great Android tablets for the most part to run them. And so they'd have to, it's not just Google, they'd have to do a lot of shop that the hardware manufacturers would have to do it too. And developers would have to be interested in the way that they have logically enough, not been interested for a long time.

Leo Laporte (01:49:21):
It's Google extremely frustrating company. I really want them to do well. And they just, they, they seem to be very short attention span because we'd like, I mean, there should be competition for the iPad. The I Apple doesn't need to shouldn't dominate that space.

Jason Hiner (01:49:38):
I mean, Samsung's making some, some nice

Leo Laporte (01:49:40):
Talents, you know what the problem it's

Harry McCracken (01:49:42):
Like really nice ones

Leo Laporte (01:49:42):
They are. And that's what Jr's point is, is Samsung's done all the heavy lifting so far, but you can't fully blame Google cuz it's also the lack of tablet apps. When Google put out tablets, the app makers didn't respond by making apps. Maybe it was too hard to do with Android. I don't know, but didn't respond, but making apps that, but it adapted well to all that screen real estate. So I mean it's kind of chicken in the a yeah. Yeah. You gotta make something that they want to develop for. Let's take a little break. I do want to talk about the FBI. Apparently they were very interested in buying NSO groups Pegasus a couple of years back. Our show today brought to you by wealth front. A lot of investment apps make it easy to start trading, but just cuz it's easy to do. So it doesn't mean, you know what you're doing.

Leo Laporte (01:50:31):
I think people have learned. Maybe it's not that it, it shouldn't be that easy. I think it's really look, I, I am not gonna knock you. My kids love the idea of buying cryptocurrency or buying a hot stock, you know, because that's what, you know, it's a, they love that's fine. But honestly, and I tell 'em this over and over again. If you wanna build wealth, you need a slower strategy. Designed for growth. Wealth front makes it easy to invest, easy to grow your savings. You can have a little bit for fun, but wealth. Front's about getting ready for retirement. Getting ready for, for your kids. Buying that first house, having that first baby it's about saving money this smart way. And I have to say, you still have plenty of fun with wealth front. You can start investing in no time with wealth front's classic portfolio.

Leo Laporte (01:51:21):
That's a no brainer, or you can still make it your own with things you care about. Socially responsible love that idea. Technology funds you can even do crypto. They have crypto trusts. There's really literally hundreds of investments now on wealth front, but wealth front always, always looks out for you. They were, it was designed by financial experts to help turn your good ideas in a great investments. Without the hassle of doing it all yourself, you know about rebalancing experts say you should rebalance your portfolio regularly. Do you do it? Wealth front does it for you automatically. Wealth threats trusted with 28 billion in assets, half a million people use wealth front to build their wealth. It's easy to get started set up your first account with as little as $500 grow, grow your wealth easy way. Let wealth front do the work for you. The best part is their product is so simple yet.

Leo Laporte (01:52:17):
It's so powerful. The app on the app store has 4.9 outta five stars. People love it to start building your wealth to get your first $5,000 managed free for life. Go to w E a L T H F R O N T. Wealthfront.Com/TWiT get started today. Okay. And the first $5,000 managed free for life. That's a, that's a really good deal. Wealthfront.Com/To we thank them so much for their support ofThis Week in Tech, great week this week, we had a lot of fun. Well, in fact, I think we have a little mini movie you can watch to to share the excitement,

Speaker 6 (01:52:58):
But I feel like I am the biggest walking contradiction on this planet. Really? There's there's so many times I hear in a day, how someone just assumes that I'm just such a nice guy, but I feel like, man, let me show you what my t-shirt says today.

Speaker 7 (01:53:16):
What does it say?

Leo Laporte (01:53:19):
It says no

Speaker 8 (01:53:21):
Previously on TWiTtter tech news, weekly, Google

Speaker 7 (01:53:24):
Kill block flock this week, they replaced it with something called topics. Topics is an API that will essentially look at your browsing behavior and it will filter that into topics that you're interested in

Speaker 8 (01:53:37):
All about Android.

Speaker 9 (01:53:39):
It is the NGO air T2 wireless earbuds. And what struck me about these was that this, this little case is like so thin and so tiny. I don't know how they did it. The little like sub pocket inside your Jesus pocket.

Speaker 10 (01:53:54):
Yeah. It, the pocket within your pocket. That's awesome.

Speaker 9 (01:53:57):
It fits, it fits in the pocket within the pocket, which

Speaker 11 (01:53:59):
Is awesome passes Ron's pocket test, which he used to run with tablets,

Speaker 8 (01:54:04):
Windows weekly.

Speaker 10 (01:54:05):
How explain this to mainstream users who hear oh, Android apps on windows. So I can just get any Android app on windows. Right. But that's not how it's gonna work.

Leo Laporte (01:54:15):
As dwindle said, though, the good news is you'll be able to get candy crushed finally on windows

Speaker 10 (01:54:20):
Twit. Thank goodness. Right?

Leo Laporte (01:54:22):
It's about time. If you love tech, you will TWiT all week long. Pardon me?

Speaker 9 (01:54:30):
The important things. Yes.

Leo Laporte (01:54:31):
Candy crush. Yeah. Yeah. Actually I think you could get candy crush on windows for quite a while. In fact, I think you get it whether you want or not. That's, that's the joke of it all. Yeah. That we've talked about that last week, the big acquisition of activism, Microsoft biggest acquisition to date, New York times, Sunday times today, article about the FBI and Pegasus. So turns out, you know, we've been talking a lot about NSO group's Pegasus, which was zero click software that allowed a lot of authoritarian regimes to hack activists and journalists friends of Jamal Khashoggi hacked by the Saudi Arabian before he was murdered. Well first time ever, we've heard this story, the FBI secretly bought Israeli spyware and explored, hacking us phones with Pegasus. They, this was back in 2017. Interestingly it was right after they first got it, that we started to see all the news stories about Khashoggi and, and Pegasus being used for less positive things against dissidents in the in the United Arab EITs and against women's right.

Leo Laporte (01:55:55):
Activists in Saudi Arabia. CIA bought Pegasus. We've known the us to help in Jabuti in American ally. They were fighting terrorism in the UAE. Pegasus was used to hack the phone of a critic of the government. The FBI decided, eh, maybe we had back off a little bit on this and fortunately decided not to buy it, but, but it's been interesting because remember the, the president decided to sanction the NSO group over you know, just a few months ago. So now we know that the FBI bought and tested. So, so where for years they plans were to use it for domestic surveillance. They they bought a bunch of burner phones by the way, the Pegasus equipment is still in a New Jersey building used by the FBI. So I don't know

Denise Howell (01:56:59):
That conversation we were having about Apple taking a privacy stand. This takes the, that right off the table. Yeah. For, from the article, it's an independent solution that requires no cooperation from at and T Verizon, Apple or Google. Yep. The system, it says, this is from a brochure that was presented to the FBI will turn your target smartphone into an intelligence. Mine.

Leo Laporte (01:57:25):
It turns on, you can use it to it's zero click. That's what you're talking about, which means you don't have the the victim doesn't have to do anything. You just send 'em a text and boom you're in. And among other things you can turn on the microphone, the camera, you can see all the emails, you can see all the text messages, you can see everything that's going on. It turns the phone into this most amazing spy device. NSO group says that actually they have a switch in in Pegasus. That means it can't be used on us phone numbers, but the, but the company also gave the agency a demonstration of Phantom, another product, which can American phones

Denise Howell (01:58:08):
And did for that demonstration. Yep.

Leo Laporte (01:58:11):
Yep. I guess there's nothing really to say about that. It's good that the times got that story and something to pay attention to. It's a

Harry McCracken (01:58:20):
Great piece. It is a lot of detail on the way that Israel leveraged their relationship with S so to essentially get favors from other companies who wanted access to NSOs technology. It was a real point of political leverage for a long time, but

Leo Laporte (01:58:36):
I think anybody listening, anybody who's been following the coverage of Pegasus and, and so forth probably assumes that, well, we're doing it too. We may not know about it, but we're doing it too. Then this just proves. Yeah. As a matter of fact, we, we have been all this time

Denise Howell (01:58:54):
And they partnered with Mexico,

Leo Laporte (01:58:56):
So yeah. That's how they got El Chappo. Yeah, there was a on El Chapo's phone. Let's see, I mentioned Meads building an AI supercomputer. That will be the world's fastest by the end of 20, 22. What could possibly go wrong? Why shouldn't mark Zuckerberg? The world's fastest AI made out of been video hardware. 

Jason Hiner (01:59:27):
Not a fan of Facebook and I've long ago kind of stopped using the platform by

Leo Laporte (01:59:33):
Yeah. Except for Instagram, because I, I need to know where to get my underwear, but other than that,

Jason Hiner (01:59:37):
So I to stop using Instagram for the reason you mentioned, I kept buying. And, and by the way, unlike the TWiT stuff, like half of the stuff I got on Instagram, I was disappointed with. That's actually one of the reasons I stopped one buying stuff.

Leo Laporte (01:59:50):
Okay. Can I tell you one thing not to buy on Instagram?

Jason Hiner (01:59:53):

Leo Laporte (01:59:55):
I can't believe I bought this

Jason Hiner (01:59:56):
Underwear. No. No.

Leo Laporte (01:59:57):
Okay. The underwear's been fine.

Jason Hiner (01:59:59):

Leo Laporte (02:00:00):
Although when I got it, it said, do not wash a in the washing machine, which made me think

Leo Laporte (02:00:05):
That's not really useful when it comes to underwear. So I have been anyway and it's, it hasn't fallen apart. So I don't know how people with shoulders sleep, because unless you sleep on your back, which I cannot do, the shoulder seems to imp on your sleeping and it's not comfortable. So there's an ad, which I, I don't know if you've seen it. I saw it for a long time. Might, must mano. I'm a, I got a problem for this pillow that you put your arm in. It's called Medline and it, it holds you up and your arms in, and then you can, your shoulder will be comfortable.

Jason Hiner (02:00:46):

Leo Laporte (02:00:46):
I don't know why I bought this thing. It must have been in the middle of the night. That's does it work well, I guess, yeah, if you don't mind sleeping on a wedge. Yeah. It doesn't with your arm in a hole. Doesn't

Jason Hiner (02:01:00):
Sound good.

Leo Laporte (02:01:00):
Anyway, doesn't sound good. The problem is now I ha and it come with this giant worm of a body pillow. It, and it was expensive. I don't know what I was thinking. I must, I swear to God, it was the middle of the night. That's the problem with Instagram. It's 4:00 AM. You're scrolling. Yeah. Doom scrolling, and then you buy whatever it is, cuz you're completely at their mercy. Anyway, if anybody wants this thing, it's occupying a lot in my bedroom.

Harry McCracken (02:01:25):
And was that like a, was that an example of a targeted dad? Like, did they know you were somebody with shoulders

Leo Laporte (02:01:30):
Or I, it must have been sleep. The weird thing is now I still, I will still see it forever. I mean, like he's never gonna leave my feet now.

Leo Laporte (02:01:38):
Yeah, even though I bought it,

Jason Hiner (02:01:39):
I, but my disclaimer was I don't use Facebook or Instagram anymore. I essentially sent me retired from social media in 2018. Yes. 

Leo Laporte (02:01:49):
Smart man.

Jason Hiner (02:01:50):
But, and, and I, yeah, there's a whole nother thread to there, which was one of the smartest things I did. But the, the the, the, but is that one of the things that gets underestimated about Facebook is their, their technical prowes they from a technical standpoint

Leo Laporte (02:02:08):

Jason Hiner (02:02:10):
Are absolutely genius. And the interesting thing is like, they figure it out a lot. They essentially were the ones that figured out how to scale the database to to Webscale

Leo Laporte (02:02:20):
Billions. It blows me away. They've got three and a half billion users and it's like fast. It's amazing.

Jason Hiner (02:02:28):
Yeah. So they will anything where it's a technical problem to solve. They, they will win. I, I mean, I pretty much, you know, they, they just are they are incredible at that.

Leo Laporte (02:02:39):
They hire really good people. I'm surprised the best network engineers, including our own Colleen Kelly work for them. I met when I was in Mexico, I met a guy who works in the ready for production department, where they get stuff ready to put into production. So they testing it and all that stuff. And these are really smart people doing it. Amazing things. Look at this, this meta data center research super cluster phase one, if you're worried about Skynet, forget Google. This is the ne this is Skynet a hundred, hundred 75 petabytes of bulk storage, 46 petabytes of cash of cash storage, 10 petabytes, NFS storage. It's got 6,080 Nvidia, a 100 GPU, 6,000 of them, a 200 gigabit HDR, InfiniBand network per GPU. Every GPU has hundred gigabits of network. This thing's insane. What are you gonna use

Jason Hiner (02:03:47):
It for at this kind of technology? Yeah. Metaverse at this kind of technology. This is the stuff that they are. They are like the best in the world at no at scale. They are. They're incredible. I, I do, I do my doubt that they, that they could win at metaverse to be honest, but just, and, and the, the brand change was certainly smart on their part, but it

Leo Laporte (02:04:14):
Kind of all talking about the metaverse, it was very successful in that regard. Wasn't it?

Jason Hiner (02:04:18):
It was. But they also, for, for P people under 30, they've just, they've lost that demographic.

Leo Laporte (02:04:26):
They know it too,

Jason Hiner (02:04:26):
Right? Their brand. Yeah. Their brand is they, they,

Leo Laporte (02:04:29):
But you say that, but Instagram is very popular in that crowd, right?

Jason Hiner (02:04:34):
It is. I mean, I think I'm little dwindle.

Denise Howell (02:04:37):
I'm more, I'm more worried, you know, I, I think that they realize that, you know, social media may not be their future, but developing something that comes up with artificial general intelligence first time ever. That's

Leo Laporte (02:04:50):
What they're building. Yeah. I'm convinced that's what they wanna build. You know, they say, oh, this will help us train AI assist for voice recognition. Yeah. That's it, you don't need 16,000 GPS for voice recognition.

Denise Howell (02:05:09):

Jason Hiner (02:05:10):
And it's not about recognition. No. Agreed. I do worry about them because I think they're, they're probably the most a, a moral company in the tech industry. Exactly. Like they, they, they really only care about winning you know, from, from the top down and they they've shown that through their actions over and over again, not that there's a, that there is a lack, there is an ethics problem in Silicon valley in general, but they are the ones that care the least they will, they will do whatever it takes to win and then pay the fines that they have to, to the government afterwards, when they get sued, you know, because of done

Leo Laporte (02:05:46):
We help RSC. That's what they're calling this thing will help us build entirely new AI systems that can, for example, power, real time, voice translations, to large groups of people. You hate speaking a different language so they can seamlessly collaborate on a research project or play an AR game together. I have to think it's a little bit more than that we're talking about here a little bit more than that. Yeah, I wouldn't be, I mean, if your mark, you've got basically infinite resources, you've got this problem of your of your customer base aging out, you need the next big thing Skynet. Why not?

Denise Howell (02:06:27):
Someone's gonna do it. So

Leo Laporte (02:06:29):
Why not exactly. I have absolute, absolutely convinced that that's what this is all about. It's

Denise Howell (02:06:36):
Probably time to have James Barrett back on the network.

Leo Laporte (02:06:39):
They want to build, you said it a general AI, and I'm terrified if it's, if it's got Mark's brain in it, I'm, I'm really scared.

Harry McCracken (02:06:50):
And up until now, the companies that might be able to lay claim to having the world's most powerful supercomputer, urban companies like IBM, which I don't think people, people spend lot that much time worrying about these days Facebook having that as just a different situation.

Leo Laporte (02:07:05):
Absolutely. Absolutely. Steam decks coming out February 25th, I am expecting an article from you, Harry. We'll see if you can get one good luck. I'm signed up, but I don't, this is valves portable Linux based gaming system. There, there was a lot of interest when they announced it a year ago and it's coming out in in less than a month. Do you care about a robot bartender that will serve up cocktails at the winter Olympics?

Denise Howell (02:07:40):
I like that a lot better than metas super computer.

Leo Laporte (02:07:45):
I have this actually, they had this on the cruise ship. We went on a few years ago. They're doing this because of COVID. They don't want real bartenders. So if you're gonna get drunk at the winter Olympics, this robot will be happy to serve you a minute and a half for a drink is way too long, way too long. I think we can say we've covered the waterfront. Is there anything I missed the big stories that you guys, you, you all covering this all the time? Anything I missed? I think we, I think we've done it all here.

Jason Hiner (02:08:20):
One big one that I thought was was great. Last week was a invest did their research release their release search on big ideas, 2022. So the 14 transformative technologies to watch this year, that's the ver the version and from Valla Shar on on ZDNet writing about it, but everybody, they released all of their research for free. Unlike some of the agencies out there, they essentially kind of open source their, their research, which is, which is pretty cool, but this is a great read on where a lot of these things are from web three to autonomous vehicles, to, to AI to, to genomics and blockchain. They, they do some really different kind of research on these things and have a very great perspective on a lot of it. And so I, I think that for this audience there's a lot of people that will appreciate

Leo Laporte (02:09:20):
Bottom line it for us. What, what did they what do they, what's coming? What are we, what should we get ready for besides biggest?

Jason Hiner (02:09:28):
Yeah, the biggest is AI. So today, yeah, AI is, is, is a 10 trillion industry on $10 trillion industry. Wow. And many 30, they see it as 108 trillion. So that's the biggest one. Blockchain today is 1.4 trillion in 2030, it's 50 trillion. So a lot of these you'd expect battery technology, you know, is 1.5 trillion. They see that as 32 trillion. Those are the talk

Leo Laporte (02:09:56):
About, at all

Jason Hiner (02:10:00):

Leo Laporte (02:10:00):

Jason Hiner (02:10:01):
Like diff fusion reactor on, on, on the flu compactor and yeah.

Leo Laporte (02:10:06):
Okay. Yeah, yeah, no, I'm just MIS fusion. Yeah. That's the one no, I'm talking about fusion energy, because I feel like if there's, anything's gonna save society, it's coming up with cold and I know a lot of investors are throwing money into this and I wonder, is it scientifically even feasible or is this money thrown away?

Jason Hiner (02:10:27):
This did not come up in here, but you're, you're right though, that, that energy for, for this century energy for yeah. You know, energy is, is the big one, right? Yeah. Because more and more of what we do is gonna require energy. We know the fossil fuel story. So, so energy is, is gonna be a huge story for, you know, that's more of like a 25th between now and 2050 story than, than 2030. But but no, I think you're on the none.

Leo Laporte (02:10:54):
It's gonna matter if we don't solve the the climate crisis, if yes, me. Yeah. You're gonna have genome editing and blockchain, but if the ocean level is risen 10 feet, they're not gonna make that much difference. You know, it's interesting this this, this, this graph of the 14 transformative technologies, autonomous mobility. Yes. Re usable rockets. Yes. Blockchain, I O T AI robotics. Yeah. It's gonna be an interesting interesting world.

Jason Hiner (02:11:21):
The, these, these folks have some ETF funds as well that have gotten crushed in the, in the recent you know wall street scare on high growth, but, you know, put all that aside. That's not related to this research so much, right. This research is really just basic research on where the world, where the technology industry is going. And they, they do some of the most compelling stuff and they do it out in the public and they release it for everybody for free to look at. And so there's a lot in there that's worth putting yeah. Putting some time into

Leo Laporte (02:11:58):
Valla Ash's article on zing, a very, very interesting. Yeah.

Denise Howell (02:12:02):
And, and I forgot when we started the show, I promised the chat room, we would cover the net neutrality story and I can do that quickly.

Leo Laporte (02:12:08):
Oh yes, no, that's absolutely the case. Okay. So this is big. This is a, I think a big deal, the California courts. Well, go ahead. You, you tell us the story.

Denise Howell (02:12:18):
So I would just recommend for anybody who wants to sort of catch up and see how we got here, there's a really good Wikipedia page called net neutrality in the United States. That takes you through the whole weird back and forth history of net neutrality and title one, title two. And I'm not gonna try and go through that. I'll just refer you to that page, but the latest salvo over the table, tennis net in this ongoing struggle is well here, I'll tee it up by saying that the FCC under the Trump administration did away with what was called the open internet order, which was a national net neutrality regulation that went away under Trump and California responded by saying, okay, well, we're going to basically duplicate the open internet order here in California with few tweaks. And they did. And of course that was challenged court.

Denise Howell (02:13:16):
And what happened just this last week is the ninth circuit, which is our circuit court of appeals in this part of the world decided that that California law could actually stand the other side, had argued that it was preempted by federal law. There are, you know, certain things that the states aren't supposed to touch because it's the province of federal law. And interstate commerce tends to be one of those sort of hallmark things. But the ninth circuit decided no, because there was this reclassification of net neutrality from title two to title one. So we're going from common carriers to information services that this actually takes it out of federal preemption and leaves it to the states. So that's what the ninth circuit decided. I'm sure at some point another circuit will decide else for that part of the country, which means this will wind up before in front of the Supreme court. That's

Leo Laporte (02:14:18):
The question for you? Yes. Cause remember, you know, let's call a SP of spade, a freaking pie who got, you know, managed to get the unit neutrality order out then and said, and by the way you states you don't, you don't, you do it. And then California said, oh yeah, stop me. And and ADT sued. But the ninth circuit court, which is very liberal said the FCC has given up their authority to preempt this by saying, this is kind of interesting that internet access is an information service. Yeah. That was the whole debate now. Right. This is for the ninth circuit it's federal, right?

Denise Howell (02:15:04):
Yes. That's the federal court of appeals for our part of the world. And I, I really, I, you know, I mean different people will say, yes, there are political overtones to net neutral, but, but I have a hard time thinking of it as a political issue where, you know,

Leo Laporte (02:15:17):
I do agree too

Denise Howell (02:15:18):
Or conservative everything's nowadays. That's right, exactly. So unfortunate. But, but you know, I mean, small businesses definitely benefit from net neutrality. So,

Leo Laporte (02:15:29):
So this was ISPs brought this suit, right? Like Verizon at and T

Denise Howell (02:15:36):
Yes. Yeah. And, and so we're going to Ize either see this go to the Supreme court or the next move on the chess board or on the table, tennis table mixing my metaphors. Will, you know what there is there has been a hope that perhaps Congress would act on this and take this off the table, tennis table, at least as far as we're going back and forth in the courts. And then it go goes to the federal circuit and then back to the states and, you know, Congress could circumvent all that by just enact and not neutrality law. So we'll see if, if

Leo Laporte (02:16:15):
That would be nice, I don't hold

Denise Howell (02:16:16):
Any of that happens.

Leo Laporte (02:16:17):
Hold high hopes for that. But at least the ninth circuit has upheld it. Yes. And maybe that will be enough. Although I think the national cable television association will probably pursue this farther and of course in other states will bring up this and so forth and so

Denise Howell (02:16:35):
On. Right. And then the other sort of code to that is, of course, if this does wind up in front of the Supreme court and lots of other tech policy issues are, you know, coming down the pipe to the Supreme court, I guess it's worth mentioning that justice Breyer announced his retirement and a replacement for him is being sought. And there's a really nice piece at, I really love the Washington posts cybersecurity 2 0 2, if folks are not reading that it is a great publication. And Joseph Marks and Aaron Shaffer there did a nice summary of what briars retirement and the impact on the court might be what sort of issues the court can be expected to take on in the next several years. And as they point out justice, Breyer was never really involved in a lot of tech policy decisions. So it's not exactly leaving a void there, but that it also appears none of the judges being considered to replace him, have a lengthy track record in cyber and privacy cases. But as they point out they're all in their forties or fifties, which may suggest a closer familiarity with technology and it's pitfalls than some of the older justices. So we can just keep our fingers crossed that whoever replaces Briar has a little bit more sort of real world experience with the kinds of technologies that they're going to be making important decisions about.

Leo Laporte (02:18:05):
And more importantly, what was the name of that thing that you put your phone in? So you wouldn't lose it on, on the slopes. Oh,

Denise Howell (02:18:12):
It is called Yes. The chat room was already clamoring. So I put it there. It's called the hang time koala.

Leo Laporte (02:18:20):
And by the way, it benefits Ko. Koalas, if you get one right,

Denise Howell (02:18:23):
Hashtag not an ad

Leo Laporte (02:18:26):
Koala, did you get the koala 2.0 super grip?

Denise Howell (02:18:29):
I did. It works very well.

Leo Laporte (02:18:31):
I'm, you know, I'm thinking for Abby, cuz she breaks her phone very regularly. Maybe, although if you're not skiing and you're wearing this, you might look a little strange, but it's a rubber clip that holds the phone and keeps you from dropping it. And when you get a koala, you help a koala cuz they give 20% for a habitat. They must be from Australia. Right.

Denise Howell (02:18:55):
I would think. Yeah. Yeah. I didn't research it much when I bought, I just clicked on the ad like with your underwear. Yep.

Leo Laporte (02:19:02):
Yeah. Yep. Was it the middle of it? This one

Denise Howell (02:19:04):

Leo Laporte (02:19:05):
Well you

Denise Howell (02:19:05):
Needed this one. This one actually is a quality product.

Leo Laporte (02:19:07):
You need this one. Yes, yes I did. Don't put it in the wash though. Anything Harry that you think we should be thinking about this week in the tech world

Harry McCracken (02:19:18):
In terms of things that intrigued me, there was a lot of scutle but about a potential Apple spring event, maybe with a genuinely new MacBook error, which makes sense. Cuz they've like barely touched it. Oh that would the second generation one from years ago. So potentially very exciting. I mean they did an all new Mac MacBook pro last year and an all new iMac. So the time is kinda right.

Leo Laporte (02:19:42):
I'm loving. I have the 14 inch MacBook pro with the M one pro and it's just a beautiful laptop, but I'm, you've tempted me with that. PS, the Dell XPS, I must say

Harry McCracken (02:19:52):
I I'm tempt at it. It's really nice.

Leo Laporte (02:19:54):
I wasn't gonna get it cuz I thought, well they put a track pad on it. I don't like the track pad, but it sounds like it's better than just a track pad. It's not, it's not quite a track pad.

Harry McCracken (02:20:03):
No, they kind of went their own way.

Leo Laporte (02:20:04):
And I think Jason, you sound like you liked it as well.

Jason Hiner (02:20:08):
So Dan Ackerman from CNET had a really great opinion of it. Okay. And so, and he he's he's, he's my he's my guru when

Leo Laporte (02:20:16):
It comes to, I owned every PS for years, I was a big fan of the XPS series. So maybe it's time and also by the way, they always run Linux really nicely. Cause I'm not buying an another windows machine that's for sure. Thank you. You are awesome, Jason Hiner he is now officially editor in chief at ZDNet he's a big shot, but he still DS to appear on this little show. Thank you, Jason. I appreciate it. Always a pleasure still in Louisville, right though.

Jason Hiner (02:20:44):

Leo Laporte (02:20:45):
Still in Louisville. All right. It's great to see you again, Denise. Hal. I miss you. It's wonderful. See you and your fisherman's sweater.

Denise Howell (02:20:52):
Thank you. Yes. Real. I guess I wore this in honor of the no Easter.

Leo Laporte (02:20:58):
Yeah. Well you're in the, I think in Southern California you're you're probably okay. Yes, but 

Denise Howell (02:21:04):
This is definitely overkill for our climate today.

Leo Laporte (02:21:09):
Thank you for being here. We really appreciate it. And my pleasure and of course thank you so much, Mr. Harry McCracken, give my regards to Marie he's the editor. I will fast company technology editor does great stuff. We look forward to more from you in fast company. Thanks Harry.

Harry McCracken (02:21:26):
Thank you Leo. Thanks

Leo Laporte (02:21:27):
Everybody. Thanks to all of you for joining us. We do of Sunday afternoon, around two 30 Pacific five 30 Eastern 2230 UTC. If you would like to join us live, you can, the live audio and video streams are TV. The chat room You can also chat with us in our discord server that's for member of club TWiT. If you're not a member of club TWiT seven bucks a month gets you a free versions of all of our shows, access to the discord and the TWiT plus feed with some unique shows that we don't put out on the regular podcast feeds like our untitled Linux show Stacey Higginbotham's book club, the GIZ fizz, and a brand new show this week in space. The very first one comes out later this week on the TWiT plus feed with rod pile and his co-host Terra from the who Terra from

Leo Laporte (02:22:23):
Right? I think so. Yeah. Anyway it's a great show and it's gonna be very good, but right now members only. So if you wanna know more seven bucks a month go to TWiT and thanks to our corporate members too. We have a number of them now. There's a corporate membership available as well. TWiT. After the fact, all the shows we do including this one are available on our website, You can also get a copy on YouTube, all of the shows up there. In fact, every show has its own YouTube feed. So if you go to, you'll find links to all of those. You can also subscribe in your favorite podcast player. If you do that, please leave us a five star review. Let the world know aboutThis Week in Tech. If there could be, could there be anyone who doesn't know about it possibly, but a five star review would let them know. We thank you all for being here and we will see you next time. Another TWiT, this

Speaker 3 (02:23:19):

Speaker 12 (02:23:23):
Doing the baby, doing the, the.

All Transcripts posts