This Week in Tech Episode 871 Transcript

Please be advised this transcript is AI-generated and may not be word for word.
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Leo Laporte (00:00:00):
It's time for TWiT this in tech. We got a great team here for you. Brian McCullough from tech meme, Ryan, right home podcast. The techno Harry McCracken is here and Alex Lindsay for Mac break weekly in office would celebrate 17 years of podcasting together our 17th anniversary. And we're gonna have a fun one. We could talk about Elon Musk, how bill gates kind of introduced AR and VR and the future in 1996, mark Zuckerberg's huge security bill and a whole lot more. This week in tech is next

TWIT Intro (00:00:39):

Leo Laporte (00:00:40):

TWIT Intro (00:00:40):
Love from people you trust. This is TWiT.

Leo Laporte (00:00:52):
This is TWiT this week in tech episode, 871 recorded April 17th, 2022, 17 years, 10,000 mistakes. This Modern businesses need flexible payment systems that can help them adapt to change, grow and scale fast. Discover how can help your business thrive at it. And by zip recruiter, according to research, 90% of employers plan to enhance their employee experiences here. And if you need to add more employees, they're zip recruiter, zip recruiter's technology finds qualified candidates for your job, and you can invite your top choices to apply. Try ZipRecruiter free today. Ziprecruiter.Com/TWiT And buy eight sleep. Good sleep is the ultimate game changer and nature's best medicine go to eight to check out the pod pro cover and save $150. Checkout eight sleep currently ships within the U S Canada and the UK. And by Blueland stop wasting water and throwing out more plastic, get blue land's revolutionary refill cleaning system. Instead, right now you can get 20% off your first order when you go to It's time for TWiT this week at tech, the show we covered the week's tech news. We have brought Harry McCraken into the studio, braving danger to come in mask list. Good to see Harry. Good to see you,

TWIT Intro (00:02:40):

Leo Laporte (00:02:41):
Leading back. You forgot how uncomfortable this chair is. Our

TWIT Intro (00:02:45):
Well it's it's at this point, it's a good, uncomfortable,

Leo Laporte (00:02:47):
It's a good, it's a good, uncomfortable to be. Anywhere person is better at home's so great to see you. Harry is a global technology editor at fast company, longtime techno. And we were just thinking back, cuz this is today, technically the 17th anniversary of TWiT. And we're thinking back to when you first appeared and we actually found it, it was 18, 2008. It was 14 years

Harry McCracken (00:03:09):
Ago, almost 14 years ago.

Leo Laporte (00:03:11):
Your very first

Harry McCracken (00:03:12):

Leo Laporte (00:03:12):
Isn't that cool

Harry McCracken (00:03:13):
Right after I left PC world.

Leo Laporte (00:03:16):
Yeah, actually you left PC world cuz they had taken down an article that about not liking apple or something like that. Am

Harry McCracken (00:03:24):
I? I left and I came back then I left again. And that was at the point at which you were nice enough to ask me on

Leo Laporte (00:03:30):
That was TWiT 1 48 S porn. I don't know what the topic was. It was you John C Devor and Harris and it was audio only wither Jerry Yang and Yahoo. 114 executives have left since 2007.

Harry McCracken (00:03:49):
I guess that was when Jerry Yang was back a CEO

Leo Laporte (00:03:51):
Maybe. Yep. In fact, VX leave Jerry alone. Let him manage Yahoo, Microsoft without gates cuz gates was retiring

Harry McCracken (00:04:00):
Or become chairman or whatever.

Leo Laporte (00:04:02):
I think he actually 2008, I think that was the one where they made the video of him packing up all his stuff and getting in his, in his Buick to leave ice discovered on Mars. I wonder how that's worked out. 

Harry McCracken (00:04:16):
Firefox was huge.

Leo Laporte (00:04:18):
Oh that's sad. Firefox topped 8 million downloads in a day. The golden

Harry McCracken (00:04:22):
Age of Mozilla

Leo Laporte (00:04:23):
And Invidia released their hot new graphics card. The GTX 280. We're now at the 2080. So a thousand cards ago

Harry McCracken (00:04:32):
You recommended flock, which I really loved when it was around. Remember flock,

Leo Laporte (00:04:35):
Flock, social

Harry McCracken (00:04:37):

Leo Laporte (00:04:37):
Browser. What happened to that? And web kit and Fox marks pick lens, hand break,

Harry McCracken (00:04:44):
Hand breaks still around

Leo Laporte (00:04:45):
Hand breaks still around. Yeah. Of the, of the bunch. Wow.

Harry McCracken (00:04:50):
Web kid is still around.

Leo Laporte (00:04:51):
Yeah. It's been it's been 17 years. 14 since your first appearance Alex, Lindsay, you probably go back even farther. I'm guessing.

Alex Lindsay (00:04:59):
I think so. I think so. I think

Leo Laporte (00:05:01):
Oh, nine media and office hours do global Alex and I started working together with Mac break.

Alex Lindsay (00:05:06):
Well with, with screensavers, I think.

Leo Laporte (00:05:09):
Well, yeah, I mean call for help, but yeah, but yeah, you were on tech TV in the day, but podcast, I think

Alex Lindsay (00:05:15):
It was on TWiT before, before, before M Mac break started. I think it was cuz we started doing the video ones. Remember and cut those. The first one was a whole bunch of different cameras and I told Leo that I could do it. I was like, we can do a multi camera. I'd never done a multi camera. So I, so I, we shot 'em all at that at, at roll at Molins. And I

Leo Laporte (00:05:31):
Remember I am eternally grateful all because of you. We did a three D remember the OZO camera. Oh yeah. Shoot of Mac break in 3d and I, what I'm really happy about is that is the best record still around of the old brick house studio. Cause oh is it really? Yes. If you look at it funny, if you watch the show. Yeah, yeah. But you wouldn't there you are. And we can, we can, we can see the whole studio and the operation and how things were working. And

Alex Lindsay (00:06:06):
I have to admit, I forgot. I even did that.

Leo Laporte (00:06:07):
You could even see what was going on in the street outside. Yeah. Thank you for doing that. There's Renee. Yeah.

Alex Lindsay (00:06:13):
That was

Leo Laporte (00:06:13):
A lot of fun Alex. Yeah. Andy and, and you know what? That episode 500. So we had a cake

Alex Lindsay (00:06:19):
Was a pretty good camera and it's fun. It was fun. Camera,

Leo Laporte (00:06:21):
No cake for today because it's only 17 and prime numbers do not deserve cakes, but they're already special. But Ashley in our market department said, what are you gonna do? I said, well, nothing. She says it's 17th. There's no podcasts that are 17 years old said, call me on my 20th. When we get

Harry McCracken (00:06:40):
18 is fairly

Leo Laporte (00:06:41):
Big. 18 might be me. The,

Harry McCracken (00:06:43):
All of us,

Leo Laporte (00:06:44):
If prime number you shouldn't be doing also here with us relatively newcomer. He's been our show many times. But but he started late later than these two prime McCullough from tech meme ride home.

Brian McCullough (00:06:57):
Probably my I've been on coming on for four years now. So yes, I'm

Leo Laporte (00:07:01):
Nothing a child

Brian McCullough (00:07:03):
Complete new, but

Leo Laporte (00:07:05):
It's hard to believe 17 years, so many great people have come and gone.

Brian McCullough (00:07:11):
Oh, here comes the immemorial.

Leo Laporte (00:07:12):
But like a Phish. Yeah, we should do that. I could sing a song. Let me say true. Right. To remember that time and said, I could just do the whole thing, but I'm not gonna do that. Not gonna do that. It's funny to look back though, on these older shows on the stories that we were talking about, if in my wildest imagination, you know, Harry said, do you think in 2005, when you started to it you'd think you'd be doing this maybe, but I never would. Would've thought some guy named Elon Musk, would've been trying to buy a thing called TWiTtter.

Harry McCracken (00:07:45):
Twittter was still a year off at that point.

Leo Laporte (00:07:47):
Twittter hadn't happened yet.

Harry McCracken (00:07:48):
Elon Musk was actually, I found a 

Leo Laporte (00:07:51):
Paypal was his first, right? So, well

Harry McCracken (00:07:52):
I found a 1999 profile of Elon from salon the other day, which is a good read. Oh. And predicts that he will go on to do big things. And it was when he was doing X, which maybe merged with PayPal.

Leo Laporte (00:08:08):
He had another payment system, the merge there was, so

Harry McCracken (00:08:11):
His merge was even like pre PayPal.

Brian McCullough (00:08:13):
And his first Leo, his first startup was zip two

Leo Laporte (00:08:16):
Zip. Yes. If you

Harry McCracken (00:08:17):
Remember that zip two was his big two success at that point.

Leo Laporte (00:08:20):
And, and that was also, he sold right.

Brian McCullough (00:08:23):
Founded X then X there's. There's a book that just came out a couple months ago. That is all about the, the PayPal story. Not even the PayPal mafia, but like just the story of PayPal. Cuz it, it, you think TWiTtter's situation was crazy. You know, people were, they were board grim COOs. There were all sorts of shenanigans

Leo Laporte (00:08:42):
Going on here is the article from 1999 in salon. It's still online. Elon Musk is poised to becomes Valley's next big thing. Oh they had no idea. Did they? What put him in the driver's seat?

Harry McCracken (00:08:55):
Driver's seat. Get it pretest.

Leo Laporte (00:08:57):
Yeah. It's pretest. He didn't start Tesla by the way he bought Tesla. Right.

Harry McCracken (00:09:01):
He was a advisor and investor originally.

Leo Laporte (00:09:03):
Yeah. So let's see Musk whos 28 at the time of this article was driving a McLaren F one because he'd sold his one internet company, zip to a creator of online city guides, compact bought it

Harry McCracken (00:09:20):
Compact Alon Musk pretty much

Leo Laporte (00:09:22):
For 307 million in cash. He and his brother Kimball held about 12% of the company and made out with tens of millions. Now he's starting salon says, which may be the hottest cup putting in Silicon valley. You've never heard of and probably still haven't ever heard of. It's so funny. There's no way you can predict any of this stuff. Right? Theres's no way, although, Hey, at least salon was and mark Guian or Guin who wrote this was savvy enough to know Elon had a good future ahead of him.

Harry McCracken (00:09:53):
The author can certainly take some credit for identifying him as an intriguing person. Yeah.

Leo Laporte (00:09:58):
And he was right now. Elon is doing, I don't know what I think, honestly, I'm curious what you guys think. This sounds like a classic pump and dump scam to me. So, you know the timeline we've been talking about it for a couple of weeks. Elon secretly over the first three months of the year, buying up bits of TWiTtter are finally coming out and saying, I have a controlling interest. By the way, weeks after he was supposed to violation, number one, he hid the fact that he was buying it up. Even after he crossed the 5% threshold. There is already a shareholder lawsuit over that because since he didn't announce it, he could continue to buy it up at lower prices. When he finally doesn't announce it, he hasn't 9.2% about $3 billion investment in TWiTtter. Stock price goes up 27% on the announcement. Now that would've been a good time to sell, make a cool billion, but no, no.

Leo Laporte (00:10:47):
He gets offered a board seat. We don't know if he turned it down. This was last week. Did he turn it down? Did they decide not to give him the board seat? My thinking was at the time this, this is TWiTtter saying, be on the board, then you can only have 15%. We're safe. You can't do a hostile takeover if you're on the board. I think Elon said, yeah, thanks. But no, thanks. After all sorts of ridiculous tweets, which he has since deleted, including proposing that they renamed TWiTtter titer, that's funny, Elon then announces this week $43 billion. I want the whole thing, an unsolicited bid, IE hostile takeover. But what's interesting. I think he thought at that time offering $54 a share, which is about six bucks more than I was going for that he brought, he thought, oh, this will boost it up a little more and then I can sell it all. See that's my theory. What do you think, Harry? I,

Harry McCracken (00:11:43):
I mean, it's Elon Musk, so it's hard to know. It's interesting. So many people are so confident they know what he is thinking or know what TWiTtter would be like. I don't, if he took charge.

Leo Laporte (00:11:53):

Harry McCracken (00:11:54):
Some people think it would, it would be fantastic for him to take over some think it would be the end of a democracy.

Leo Laporte (00:11:59):
I think it'd be that bad. I think

Harry McCracken (00:12:00):
Twittter's that important? Well, somebody said that or maybe not the end of democracy, but destructive to democracy. I think it's just really hard to say. I mean, my instinct, which might or might not be right, is that he is just sort of yanking their chain. And it's fun to make this. We

Leo Laporte (00:12:15):
Know that at least that

Harry McCracken (00:12:17):
There was this brief moment where they said he is gonna be on the board and that's wonderful. He leads with his heart. We're gonna do great things together. And that collapsed. And he

Leo Laporte (00:12:26):
Was supposed to do an AMA with the TWiTtter staff that was some, at least concerned about his ownership. And then that got canceled. Now they had an AMA with a TWiTtter staff explaining what they're gonna do about Elon Musk.

Harry McCracken (00:12:37):
I way he can't lose either. He is fine yanking chain or he, he takes control.

Leo Laporte (00:12:42):
Brian, you're gonna say something, I cut you off. What, what do you think?

Brian McCullough (00:12:47):
Well, so here in New York, I'm friendly with finance and wall street world folks, and they've been taking it not very seriously until the rumors that various private equity folks were gonna get together to help 'em with this bid. But they're still extremely skeptical of it for the simple of, of the deal actually happening. Because one thing we haven't talked about is you know, billionaires have most of their money sort of tied up in the stock that makes them billionaires. So he would have to sell a huge, I think it's like a fifth of his Tesla stock if he wanted to do, if he wanted to buy it all himself and that's not gonna help Tesla number two. If he were to if he were to get, say a private equity firm to, you know, go cowboy with him in the let's do this, they're, they're gonna want him to transform the business.

Brian McCullough (00:13:39):
They're not gonna want to do necessarily what he seems to want to do, which is mess with all of TWiTtter's operations and rules. And, and, and, you know, he's talking about free speech and all these things. So the, the reason that the people on wall street that I've talked to remain skeptical for the most part is that they don't think that anybody with enough money or reputable enough will, will sign off on this because they won't believe that Elon will make it a better business. Like he might make TWiTtter into the TWiTtter. He wants it to be, but they're gonna want him to four or five X TWiTtter. And I don't know

Leo Laporte (00:14:16):
That no one could do that.

Brian McCullough (00:14:18):
I don't know that anyone can do that. Yeah. And I especially think that no one believes that Elon right. Would do that

Leo Laporte (00:14:24):
Well. And we know that if you look at the stock market, because if you offer six bucks above the current going rate of a stock that would normally increase the value of the stock, the fact that the stock market didn't do anything tells you that it as a whole, the stock market said, yeah, he's not gonna pull this off. Right. That's a, that's a, yeah. That's the stock market. The

Brian McCullough (00:14:42):
Real, the real thing that they, the real thing that the finance people have told me is that this puts TWiTtter in play against that's the bigger issue

Leo Laporte (00:14:49):
Multiple times. That's the bigger issue. Yeah. TWiTtter's been in play before bill gross, tried to buy it some years ago. I remember for a, I just don't think,

Alex Lindsay (00:14:57):
I think it'd be hard to he

Harry McCracken (00:14:58):
Considered buying it, you know, briefly.

Alex Lindsay (00:15:01):
I think it'd just be hard to move the needle. Like I think that's, that's the issue of, I mean, of its value. You know, I think TWiTtter, all of these social networks are kind of, they're a little long in the tooth. They were, are really cool ideas when they started, but that's 15 years ago. There's a lot of technical debt, a lot of you know, established mentalities. So I think that, and they're big, hard to move hard to turn that that's that's, they have hard, you know, it's a big ship now. And so I think that it would be very difficult to make a dramatic change in the financial future of TWiTtter. It is

Leo Laporte (00:15:29):
What it is even Elon and a Ted talked to or Ted interview with Chris Anderson this week said, I don't know if I can do this

Alex Lindsay (00:15:36):

Leo Laporte (00:15:38):
Well, I don't know. And then of course he puts TWiTtter in play. Now they're thinking maybe Oracle, Larry, Allison, and others might step in and try to acquire another hostile takeover. And of course the TWiTtter there is the TWiTtter board has adopted a, what they call a poison pill strategy. I'll let you describe that. Brian,

Brian McCullough (00:15:55):
Essentially, you make it really, really expensive to, to continue the buyout. But let me give you one more conspiracy theory that I've heard because it sort of lines up with the, the TikTok of how this has happened. Elon is still technically remember when he did the four 20 thing, there's all sorts of things with the S E

Leo Laporte (00:16:17):
He got fined 20 million Tesla got fined 20 million with the

Brian McCullough (00:16:21):
Still wide open. Like, so it's not resolved yet.

Leo Laporte (00:16:23):
No, he's now saying I'm not gonna adhere to the agreement. It was wrong. I'm gonna try to get that overturned. Cause by the way, one of the things he read to is have a lawyer vet, every one of his tweets, which he obviously has not been doing.

Brian McCullough (00:16:36):
So this is, this is the, this is the theory that really, what he wants to do is get out from under the thumb of this, of the lawyers of the S E. He wants to be able to say whatever he want, wants, and not have to worry about there being any repercussions. So, okay. I'll become TWiTtter's biggest shareholder. And then maybe no one can tell me what I can and can't tweet. Okay, I'll go on the board. If I'm a board member, no one can tell me what I can and can't tweet. And every step of the way he's found out. Oh no, but you're the S E S E's still gonna come for you. Oh no. The lawyers, in fact, if you're on the board, the lawyers are gonna be worse. So the, I don't know that this is an AUMs razor theory, but it sort of make it line up with the timeline of how this has happened. He just wants the freedom. And again, that gets into what I'm saying about, he doesn't necessarily wanna make it a, a better business. He just wants the freedom. And you know, like Matt Levine

Leo Laporte (00:17:28):
Says, the thing that's keeping him from the freedom is not TWiTtter. It's S E C,

Alex Lindsay (00:17:33):
Right? Which what I think would have of a different I, I, I don't know what the rules are specifically, but I believe the would've less leverage if it was a private company privately held.

Leo Laporte (00:17:40):
Ah, no, because I guarantee you not because he's making tweets about a publicly held company. So it doesn't matter what the platform is that you announce fallaciously that you're gonna buy this stock, buy this, you know, take this company private for 420 bucks. If you announce it in public and then make money on it. That is, that is pump and dump. And that is illegal. And the S E fine, by the way, somebody did the math. If Elon Musks net worth is 270 billion, that's the estimate. According to Forbes and the median net worth for an American is $110,000. That 20 million fine to Elon is equivalent of a small fry at McDonald's to the rest of us. In other words, I don't even think he cares. He's much more concerned. I think you're right, Brian, about being told with, to say, then he's on money.

Brian McCullough (00:18:30):
I think he wants the lawyers off his back.

Leo Laporte (00:18:31):
Yeah. Just get outta my life.

Brian McCullough (00:18:34):
Matt Levine

Leo Laporte (00:18:35):
Go. What did Matt Levine say? And then, then go ahead.

Brian McCullough (00:18:37):
His overarching theory is that you're the richest person in the world. You play a game, that's your favorite game to play. And so you want the rules to be, you want the game to run the way that you wanna run it. And you, you wake up one day and you realize, Hey, I'm the richest man in the world. So why don't I just buy the game and change the rules to suit me? And because

Leo Laporte (00:18:55):
You're the richest man in the world, that's way too much work. You still got SpaceX and Tesla and other things, the boring company, you got flame throwers to sell who ain't got. You don't have time for TWiTtter. I think this is totally Elon. Just typical trolling. Right? Go ahead, Alex. Hey,

Alex Lindsay (00:19:10):
It might be. But I, I think that he may actually think that TWiTtter's broken. Like, I, I think that, you know, maybe it's, it's connected to the fact that he, well, what does he

Leo Laporte (00:19:16):

Alex Lindsay (00:19:18):
Oh, because he, I, you know, TWiTtter is influential. Like, it's, it's an influential, he just use platform and he may decide he may have a bigger picture of this, of, of that. This is really a broken system that needs to beef, you know, it needs to fixed. And he thinks he might be able to be the one that fixes it. And he's particularly aware of it because of what he's been told, what he can and can't do. But I don't know if it's, it's, it's as simple as he wants to say what he wants to say. And, and closer to, you know, I'm being affected by this, but a lot of other people are being affected by it and it needs to be adjusted. And I can do that.

Harry McCracken (00:19:49):

Alex Lindsay (00:19:49):
Still arrogant. It's still there again, but it's, but it's there,

Harry McCracken (00:19:52):
He's a libertarian, he thinks more free. Speech is better. I have no reason to think that isn't a sincere aspect of, of why he is interested in it.

Leo Laporte (00:20:03):
I feel like TWiTtter has an over blown importance in society though. Partly because there's so many journalists on it and everything that can it's said on TWiTtter gets amplified by these journalists.

Harry McCracken (00:20:14):
I mean, yeah. The average American is not on TWiTtter.

Leo Laporte (00:20:16):
It's not Facebook. Nobody's trying to buy Facebook. It's

Alex Lindsay (00:20:21):
I think it's, it's, it's that a lot of, I mean, I don't know how everyone, I, I talk to folks that are in, in the press and a lot of people have TWiTtter open a lot, like, so it,

Leo Laporte (00:20:29):
But it's, it is us. It is the press that, right.

Alex Lindsay (00:20:32):
Amplifi it? Yeah. Cuz it's a, it's a quick way to, to get, you know, you see trends coming true. Yeah. You know, it's the, I mean the, to me the two, the two, the two biggest ones for that actually is TWiTtter and tech meme. Right. You know, you know, of things like flashing through the system and you're constantly I mean, I, yeah, I know of a CEO that just keeps tech me open on one screen all the time. Tech

Leo Laporte (00:20:51):
Means legit. That's a, that's a, that's a news source. It's tech me used to be based on, it used to be algorithmic. Right. Brian, and then and now it is, you have editors, but it didn't used to be based on tweets.

Brian McCullough (00:21:06):
It, well, it was it launched before TWiTtter. Oh, okay. 

Leo Laporte (00:21:11):
There was some algorithm.

Brian McCullough (00:21:12):
Yeah. I don't know how much Gabe wants me to tell you, but yeah. It was essentially an algorithm that then Gabe spent all day with his sort of finger on the, on the dials. Yeah. And so essentially what happens now is there's 24 7, I'm on the tech meme slack right now. And there's, there's editors, there's an editor working in India right now. So 24 7, there are people monitoring the, the algorithm and then adjusting and writing the headlines and things like that. So a lot of what they do now is they take the the sort of lead from the algorithm them and then decide how, and in which ways to sort of craft it onto the page and which tweets to include and things like that

Leo Laporte (00:21:54):
Clearly. I mean, if you go to tech meme and by the way we all use this, I certainly use it. If you go to tech meme, you'll see references to people writing an article, but then you'll see a lot of tweets. I mean, clearly TWiTtter tech meme is to some degree much. Like what was it, what was I used to use all the time? That was all tweets all the time that they bought ended up buying 

Brian McCullough (00:22:18):
The the algorithm gives the signal of what is important and what has landed at the top. And then they decide how, and whether it's,

Leo Laporte (00:22:26):
Whether it's yeah. Worth, worth covering or yeah. Cause you don't want, you know, the Kardashians living at the top there, you've really gotta make sure that it's, it sticks to the Hughes, to the tech topics. Nevertheless, I think it's safe to say, well, I don't know, is it, I mean, when Trump was tweeting, it was, is a bully pulpit for a guy who theoretically has the bully pulpit.

Alex Lindsay (00:22:53):
If you get a, if you get enough followers, I mean, it does have an impact, you know, like, so it's, I mean, you definitely have, you know, it definitely has an impact. I, I don't, I, you know, I have a, a meager number of followers, but like every once in a while I'll do something with Justine and Justine TWiT something out and you realize she lives in entirely different world than I

Leo Laporte (00:23:09):
Like. You know, it's like, it's a it's,

Alex Lindsay (00:23:12):
It's like suddenly there's just this huge focus of, of things that all happen. So if you have a lot of followers you know, it's, it's, it's a it has a big impact. It moves a lot of people. It sells a lot of products. It, you know, moves, you know, people think about things because you're out in front of 'em and it's a, it's a different world because it used to be all controlled by people who it was three networks that told us what to, what was happening. And then the cable networks spread it out and social networks spread out somewhere. Yeah. So it's, it's, you know, it's, it's just a, it's a, it is a progression from there

Harry McCracken (00:23:42):
It's closer to being a town square than anything else. And people keep thinking, they can create their own TWiTtter like Finn, and it basically never works. Which is why Donald Trump even has his own TWiTtter clone, which he's not it's not working posting on because it has no critical mass,

Leo Laporte (00:23:59):
Even Fox news created an account this week, which wasn't Fox news. It was a verified Fox news account, which turned out not to be created by Fox news on truth social.

Alex Lindsay (00:24:07):
And I think if you, if you created TWiTtter today, it wouldn't work. Like it, it works because it's big, you know, like there's a lot of people that use it

Leo Laporte (00:24:15):

Alex Lindsay (00:24:15):
Yeah. And, and it's simple. I mean, it's relatively simple, you know, I, I like the, I very much enjoy the hiku of, TWiTtter's the only thing I really post on. And I like the Haku of fitting into that, that word limit, you know, that, and of figuring out how to say what you wanna say in a, in those, in that number of characters,

Leo Laporte (00:24:33):
It's article this week in the Atlantic, which I recommend to everybody, it's a little long by Jonathan H who have I've had on triangulation. He's a, a professor of I think sociology at, I think NYU he's written great book about the right and left, why the past 10 years of American life have been uniquely stupid and he puts the finger square on Facebook and TWiTtter, social media and he's got a good argument, which I won't recreate, but he's got a very strong argument for how social media drives us to the corners, you know, drives us to the extremes that America is essentially politically in the, the, the vast Centra center, very Centris. But the problem is thanks to these amplification systems, these amplification algorithms the extreme left and extreme right. Have, have outsized power.

Alex Lindsay (00:25:23):
I, I would, I would argue that. I mean, they made it, they may have accelerated it, but they didn't start it. You know, as, as Billy Joel said, they didn't start the fire. Right. You know, the fire. And, and I think that the fire, if we start looking at the fire, I think we, we probably go back to Lee water. So, so the thing is, is that there was an assumption in the eighties and the late eighties that, you know, or he came across this idea that, that Carl Roe picked up speed on later in the nineties, which is that you don't have to pay attention to the center. You do the

Leo Laporte (00:25:48):
Social, the core to the social, social core politics gets the core,

Alex Lindsay (00:25:53):
The base get the, well, it's not get the, yeah. Either side, get the core en energized and get the opposition not to show up. Yeah. And that's all you have to do to win. Yeah. And he proved that he could do that car Roe proved that he could do that. And both sides employ it now is that you get at the court to show up. And there's an incredible amount of energy spent on that. I

Leo Laporte (00:26:11):
Will agree with the motivation was there, but in the past they've had advertising and things like that. Now they have a, a weapon, a super weapon, oh yeah. A name from space,

Alex Lindsay (00:26:19):
But I'm saying Facebook, it didn't start there. It didn't with you. It, it, it didn't, there was this there's this, but, but we saw this in the nineties where we were, oh, no, like, this is what they're gonna, this is what's happening to politics. Started, started splitting in the mid nineties because the campaign started splitting, you know, like they, they started in the eighties, but it really started splitting the campaign started. And then, then it started taking over, you know, because you just realized you could win that way, you know? And I, and I think that that's the, I mean, that's, and then, then all of this stuff that gets accelerated. And I think that there's a lot of good points in that article. One of the things of verified users, only verified users getting amplified thinks a really good idea. You know, I think that there's a, I wish the real issue is, is not allowing machines to the, the, the biggest problem.

Alex Lindsay (00:27:00):
I think in almost all of these things is not allowing machines to post, you know, like it has to be a person to post it. And because the thing is, is that the, I had a, I, I, I did some tweet. I remember years ago, I did some, I did a tweet and I have no idea why it had, it got so many, it, it was running for months. It was getting huge numbers of re you know, of stuff. Some bot latched onto it. It wasn't, I looked at it, it was like an innocuous tweet, but it, it fulfilled some model of disinformation that was, and I deleted it. Like, I

Leo Laporte (00:27:34):
Was like, I don't know

Alex Lindsay (00:27:34):
Why, I don't know why this is being used, but I don't want it to be used. And I just took it out, you know, but, but it was because I kept on watching it, it was just one tweet. And it was again, very very like I don't like ABC TV or something. I don't like this show. It was like something like that. It was a

Leo Laporte (00:27:50):
Who, by the way, wrote a fantastic book called the righteous mind, which I highly recommend why good people are divided by politics and religion, which talks about that kind of trend that the Atwater RO trend that you were talking about. But in this article, in which he's kind of, it's kind of eulogizing America, he says things change in 2009 when Facebook offered users, the like button and TWiTtter offered the retweet button, those amplification mechanisms are exactly what you're talking about. Whether it's wielded by humans or bots. Of course, I think it's part of the problem with TWiTtter. How, I mean, I know try to get rid of bots, but I, I often have the feeling that at least half of my followers are bots. They're not humans.

Harry McCracken (00:28:33):
Remember when retweeting was something you did manually and

Leo Laporte (00:28:36):

Harry McCracken (00:28:36):
By hand putting and pasting was hard. I mean, that, that might, in some ways almost have been a better way to go about it, to put a little friction into the process

Leo Laporte (00:28:43):
On tweet deck, I could turn on free tweets. I do. And it is a very different TWiTtter, by the way, without the viral amplification retweet,

Alex Lindsay (00:28:51):
I, I, I block so many things in TWiTtter and then I follow, I have like 110 terms. Anytime I see a term, I go, I don't like that tweet. I look at a, I look at a word in there that makes it unique. And then I go into the word block and I say, block all the tweets like that. Right. And then I, and then I have all these great people that I follow that are everything coders and sound, sound designers. And all, I have a great TWiTtter. I mean, I have to admit my, whenever it complains about it, I'm like, I don't understand what everyone's so upset about. Cause mine is

Leo Laporte (00:29:15):
Great. I agree. I have a great Reddit. There's awful stuff on Reddit, but I don't, you know, if you don't follow it, you don't have to worry about it. And then you can do the same thing with TWiTtter. I don't know if that makes TWiTtter a better place for everybody or

Alex Lindsay (00:29:29):
Just for you. No, it doesn't. I'm just, I'm just saying from, I'm just saying it doesn't have to be, if you're, if you're, if you're I find going to TWiTtter to be enjoyable and fun because I've gotten rid of almost everything. I didn't want to, that that makes me stressed. Like I just, I was like, I'm not here. I'm not here to TWiTtter is not a good source of news, you know, like it is, you know, so, so I took, you know, things out. I don't care whether it's news or not. I, I, I go to other things like tech meme, like regular, you know, bunch of other news news organizations to get news and TWiTtter, TWiTtter, I go to have fun, hang out. Yeah. You know, so you see interesting things. Yeah.

Leo Laporte (00:30:02):
Twittter. I could just go to see who died. Cuz if you're trending, chances are you're dead.

Brian McCullough (00:30:10):
So what I've been asking people all week is let's say Elon does take over TWiTtter. Let's say he brings in a whole new regime and, and how things are done. Is there something that he could do that would kill TWiTtter for you? And, and, and cuz I've been asking people like, you know, TWiTtter has, has been famous for not iterating on its product, but I feel like they know that it's so delicate that they don't wanna do it. So if he comes in there and stomps around, then changes a whole bunch of stuff, would it be certain people like the people that you love following leaving? Like what, what would be the thing for any of you that would make you be like, well, TWiTtter used to be great, but I just don't do it anymore.

Leo Laporte (00:30:53):

Alex Lindsay (00:30:53):
A really good question. Higher character count. Like

Leo Laporte (00:30:57):
Did it get worse for you when they went to two 80?

Alex Lindsay (00:30:59):
No, no, no, no. I think, I think the current number is great. 80

Leo Laporte (00:31:01):
Is good, but,

Alex Lindsay (00:31:02):
But I think it's great. I think that one 40 was a little like little cramped. I think, I think the current number is really good, but I think that if we made it longer than that, I'd stop using it because it'd just be, oh my gosh. Like if I see an article that's too long, I'm like, okay, that's a lot of words. And so the so I think that, that, you know, the longer that, that would probably be, I think the biggest problem is, is that they're just gonna get a lot of red. Like if he does a bunch of, he can say whatever, maybe he can say whatever he wants, but TWiTtter's gonna be in all kinds of hot water. If it starts to, you know, dramatically change in a direction that makes countries concerned. You know? And so I think that that's more of what puts it under pressure.

Harry McCracken (00:31:36):
There's some evidence that they're working on. Like I wanna say it's called something like TWiTtter articles, but maybe not, not extending the key character account, but letting you attach something longer. Which people of course always do just by putting in screenshots. But that might be a way which,

Alex Lindsay (00:31:51):
Which I primarily ignore.

Leo Laporte (00:31:52):
Yeah. I agree. I think so. You know, I don't like TWiTtter threads either where you put a blog post, I hate that 15 TWiTtter posts that bothers me too. Hate that the top article, which is part of TWiTtter, blue is TWiTtter's kind of way of, of doing that. Yeah.

Alex Lindsay (00:32:08):
I'm always like get a, get a blog, like if you're gonna write something longer than two

Leo Laporte (00:32:11):
Characters. Yeah.

Harry McCracken (00:32:13):
But yeah, the TWiTtter blue feature, which is sort of their repackaged version of the idea behind nozzle

Leo Laporte (00:32:19):
Nozzle, that was the, what I was trying to remember in the past nozzle was entirely TWiTtter driven. Yeah. I love left nuzzle, Jonathan Abrams the guy who created Friendster last act and TWiTtter bought it and they kind of turned this into top articles, acknowledging that they are in fact a good place to get signals about what the zeitgeist is.

Alex Lindsay (00:32:40):
I think that they, you know, a lot of times they just have a hard time doing like everybody, all these companies have, they're not very good at many things. They're good at one thing that pays for everything. So TWiTtter's got a good fee. You know, Google has Google AdWords and display ads, everything else, isn't you, they do the best. They can mail mail turned out well and YouTube turned out well, but they bought that. But the, but most of it is, you know, like most of the, or ideas, you know, kind of go all over the place and then TWiTtter, like they, they put out live streaming I'm I'm I do live streaming. So I think about this, it's the worst platform for it. And you're like, it wouldn't be very hard to fix, but they, you know, they don't, they bun

Leo Laporte (00:33:11):
Van a lot. Remember they had, they bought vine and killed it. What did TWiTtter, TWiTtter call? It's not reals. What did they call it?

Alex Lindsay (00:33:19):
Of spaces,

Leo Laporte (00:33:19):

Alex Lindsay (00:33:21):
It's like that's

Leo Laporte (00:33:22):

Harry McCracken (00:33:22):
Clubhouse fleets for a while fleets

Leo Laporte (00:33:25):

Harry McCracken (00:33:25):
Failed, right? Twittter spaces is fun. Weest company. We've been doing TWiTtter spaces and actually pretty

Brian McCullough (00:33:31):
Cool. We record all of our interview episodes on spaces now because it's just so much, it's so easy to we've done it. We've been we've, we've done spaces where like Kon big pour of TWiTtter comes on, cuz we're talking about TWiTtter product. And so he'll pop in and it's, it's really great for if you're talking about a topic and then somebody involved in that topic happens by and you say, well, come up on stage and then, you know,

Leo Laporte (00:33:54):
That's clubhouse, right? That's what, yeah, it is

Brian McCullough (00:33:56):
Clubhouse, but it's for, for podcasting purposes, it's amazing.

Harry McCracken (00:34:00):
And it makes a lot of sense for it to be part of a TWiTtter. If you already are part of a community there versus having to become part of a community on clubhouse

Leo Laporte (00:34:08):

Harry McCracken (00:34:08):
It, you're not already investing people

Alex Lindsay (00:34:10):
Still using clubhouse.

Leo Laporte (00:34:12):

Alex Lindsay (00:34:13):
Is anyone using

Leo Laporte (00:34:13):
It? Isn't the number one download on the store, but people still,

Alex Lindsay (00:34:18):
We got really excited about it for a while. We did a bunch of clubhouse stuff and then we're like, okay,

Leo Laporte (00:34:22):
Why don't? So this is my TWiTtter feed. Why don't I see spaces? I used to see

Harry McCracken (00:34:26):
It at the top because its only mobile. It's it's only, I think you, maybe you can listen online, but order to mobile participate, you need to be on a phone. You can't even do it on an iPad at this point. Wow.

Alex Lindsay (00:34:38):
Yeah. The big things

Harry McCracken (00:34:39):
That they build it out about you also, if you're one of the speakers you only get in at the same time your audience does. So a lot of the time, the first couple of minutes are the speakers kind of getting interact together and realizing they need to be on a phone and you'd be much nicer if you could kind of get, come in five minutes early and get yourself acclimated. Don't tell they

Leo Laporte (00:35:00):
It out. What do you do? What do you do, Brian?

Brian McCullough (00:35:04):
I was gonna say, don't tell anyone. That's how TWiT works too. That we talk for 20 minutes

Alex Lindsay (00:35:08):
Before we exactly what well,

Leo Laporte (00:35:10):
And you didn't tell me.

Alex Lindsay (00:35:13):
So just kidding. So we did figure out how to hack that, that, that problem, you know, of the speakers getting their, their wits about them. Yeah. So what you do is there's a there's a little by a company called studio technologies. It's a, I can't remember what, which number it is. I have it around here somewhere, but it's a, it's what's called a Dante to Bluetooth. So what it does is it it's a little, it just has an ethernet that pops in the back. Dante is a, is an audio patching system that we use in events and it looks like a headphone to the phone, right? So it shows up as a blue. It says I'm a Bluetooth headphone. But what it does does is it connects it to your your entire audio system, you know, like, you know, so now, so I have a like this mic and everything else can be inside of spaces or, or clubhouse, but then you can run the whole show you wanted to from somewhere else. Cause we, we just didn't like the audio quality. So we were like, and, and we didn't like not be able to do pre-show and everything else. And so we just, we did this a lot with clubhouse, but it would work with spaces as well, where you just have, you can have the whole conversation. We actually were doing the conversation over zoom and then pumping it back into, into into clubhouse. Then everything sounds good. And we have all of our back channels, everything else

Leo Laporte (00:36:17):
Do normal people know about TWiTtter. I mean, I know they see it on TV.

Alex Lindsay (00:36:22):
They know about them. I don't think they actually,

Leo Laporte (00:36:24):
But they don't use

Harry McCracken (00:36:25):
It. They're watching all these TV shows that are 50% showing tweets. Huh?

Alex Lindsay (00:36:30):
Yeah. My, my parents know about TWiTtter, but they don't read it. They

Leo Laporte (00:36:32):
Would ever join it or use

Alex Lindsay (00:36:33):
It. I think most of my family doesn't actually read

Leo Laporte (00:36:36):
It. That's a problem for TWiTtter. Right. They only have 350 million active users and you know, it's and that's global. That's the biggest problem right

Harry McCracken (00:36:45):
There. It turned out. It's probably not something a billion people are gonna use. It's

Leo Laporte (00:36:48):
A niche product compared to Facebook. Anyway.

Harry McCracken (00:36:50):
I mean, I think it's a, it's a sad commentary on some ways on the tech business that you can have that many people on your server us. And it's a disappointment Compared to the days of magazines. Whether, you know,

Leo Laporte (00:37:03):
Oh, if you had three 50 million subscribers to time magazine,

Harry McCracken (00:37:06):
If you had

Leo Laporte (00:37:07):
You'd be done at

Harry McCracken (00:37:08):
PC world, we had 1.2, 5 million. And that, that was astonishing at the time.

Leo Laporte (00:37:12):
That's a huge number.

Harry McCracken (00:37:13):
I wish there was more of a place for things that liked TWiTtter that were quite, but not one to 2 billion people.

Leo Laporte (00:37:21):
I don't mind we're niche. Twittter's niche. Podcasting is for the most part niche, unless it's caller data or Joe Rogan. I think that's,

Brian McCullough (00:37:29):
I was gonna say Leo, like the argument for TWiTtter is that it's a smaller audience, but maybe it's more valuable audience. I mean that hasn't been proven out by their revenue numbers. But again, like I it's back to the beginning of this argument, which is, well, this is where the journalists and the famous people and the like, this is where the

Leo Laporte (00:37:46):
That's kind of what you wanna be. Right? The influencer, the one that,

Brian McCullough (00:37:50):
That was the word that I was trying to

Leo Laporte (00:37:52):
App sized. Wait, oh, sorry. I made you use it.

Leo Laporte (00:37:56):
All right. I'm gonna take a break cuz I'm done with TWiTtter, a quit TWiTtter on a regular basis. We're gonna take a little break, come back. There is more tech news. There's other stuff to talk about. So let's do it. We've got a great panel. Brian McCullough is here from tech meme, ride home every single day. Sometimes even on weekends, he is the gala galactic host. It says, so congratulations on that. We decided to give you a title cuz he was Jeff Alice cuz Harry McCraken is now the global technology editor at fast TA company. Congratulations on that. And of course normally we see him on Tuesdays on Mac break weekly and of course every day on office hours, doc global Alex Lindsay is here. Our show today brought to you by Tech should be, I think we can agree. Groundbreaking should promote innovation.

Leo Laporte (00:38:47):
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Brian McCullough (00:41:48):
IPO. I, I opened one show apologizing saying listen, sometimes even when I don't want to talk about it, there's nothing I can do. It's the top story that everybody's talking about. So even though we've done this four days in a row, guess what? Guess what? Here

Leo Laporte (00:42:00):
We go again. Yep. Yep. Let's see. We could talk about Ukraine. Of course. That's the eternal story if you watch cable news but there is a text story. The you may remember back in 2015 and this concerned me. I remember this the Ukraine grid went down for a number of hours under attack. We thought from nation state actors, probably Russia that, that at that time that was a malware used by they about Sam worm in 2016, which is the one of the names for the Gruss the Russian military intelligence hacking group. I think it's fancy bear cozy bear. They have all the, all the cute little names, sand worm they were using in destroyer. Well, this is the pro of when you reuse malware EENT and Microsoft say they stopped an attack this week on the Ukraine grid discovering a new variant of the same old worm that they used back in 2016.

Leo Laporte (00:43:09):
The Ukraine governmental computer emergency response team said the attack went after several infrastructure elements, including high voltage, electrical substations computers at the facility, network equipment and server equipment running Linux, two waves of attack. The initial compromise had happened back in February and then they triggered it Friday, April 8th, they triggered it in the evening but is set and Microsoft saw it and stopped it. So the good news is we have talked a lot about cyber warfare being one of the consequences of the Ukraine war invasion and the, even that the us might be victims of this. But the problem of course is you can't use these tools more than once and you, you know, you kind of have to save your powder I guess until the time is right. And I've been wondering why haven't we seen more attacks? Well, here's one reason they were ready. I, they

Brian McCullough (00:44:15):
Said, I keep, I, I keep wanting to ask that question and I'm so afraid that I'm gonna jinx, as soon as I say that.

Leo Laporte (00:44:20):
Yeah, I know. Knock on wood, right? Yeah. Yeah. But I think certain, the us has been very active in protecting and CISA have been very active in, in, you know, going to the electrical grid providers, for instance, in the us and saying, Hey, watch out. Here's what to be watching for helping them. They've been, they've been spending money to help 'em lock down their network and yeah, knock on wood. We haven't seen anything yet. Maybe we won't,

Alex Lindsay (00:44:46):
You know, the, the hard part with when you do any kind of attack, you gotta make sure that it's going to be effective because you're showing something like, this is what you can see here. Right. They showed it, you know, back a couple years ago. And then when they try to do it again, it's hard to do it again. And that's why you want to keep your powder dry in this area. So, so unless they feel like they're really gonna be able to succeed and Russia has not proven that they can see succeed at many things. Yeah. So I think that, you know, using, you know, just firing off an attack, they have to really feel like they can, they're going to achieve the result or it's not worth using up whatever secret that they figured out. Exactly.

Leo Laporte (00:45:22):
And maybe the Russian military isn't quite as advanced as we thought you saw this. I don't know if you did maybe 

Alex Lindsay (00:45:28):
The drone,

Leo Laporte (00:45:28):
The drone,

Alex Lindsay (00:45:29):
Oh my gosh. Ukraine,

Leo Laporte (00:45:30):
Soldier too. Down Russian drone finds a cannon rebel camera inside with the

Alex Lindsay (00:45:39):
Leaves, at least to mark two. That's all I'm saying

Leo Laporte (00:45:41):
It's a DS one. And they had glued down the the photo dial. So it couldn't accidentally go into manual mode. Anything like that,

Alex Lindsay (00:45:51):
Trying to put in active DGI TGIS cameras are nicer than camera. Like they're nose cameras.

Leo Laporte (00:45:56):
This is a drone, a Russian military drone that apparently costs like $80,000,

Alex Lindsay (00:46:01):
Which is nothing by the way, like,

Leo Laporte (00:46:03):
I know it's a cheap one.

Alex Lindsay (00:46:05):
That's really cheap. That's like, I, I think, I think ours are more dollars per copy. This is,

Leo Laporte (00:46:09):
This is the breakdown Ukraine soldier. The funny thing is a number of people say, this is really not so different from the radio controlled hobbyist drones, you might see people have built. There was even like a bottle cap used as a dial glued in. I guess if you don't open it up, you don't know how uni impressive the technology is.

Alex Lindsay (00:46:34):
Well, I mean, it, again, it's it, a lot of it has to do with you know, just our little recon, just, just our little recon drones are like 35,000 each. And these are like, do nothing like they're like tiny little, yeah,

Leo Laporte (00:46:46):

Alex Lindsay (00:46:47):
Little cute, little, a little big in that. But like once you start talking about, you know, reapers and so on and so forth, you're talking about, you know, tens or hundred hundreds of million reapers and global Hawks are like tens or hundreds of millions of dollars that we put into this. I,

Brian McCullough (00:46:59):
I keep doing stories about how it's Turkey, that supplies everybody with drones. Like, so what has Turkey done? Like how come they're like the, the go-to source for drone folks, all

Alex Lindsay (00:47:11):
The, because they, I, I, I don't know actually why, why of trick is except that they probably decided that they make it a business. Like they, you know, like it's, you know, they're willing to give you military grade drones, you know, the United States frowns on that in the United States. You know, we don't, we have, it's really hard unless you're the United States military, there's a real concern of people weaponizing the drones. And so it's not a great place to do that. And I'm sure

Leo Laporte (00:47:33):
They'd love to use D I, but they're from China, right? So that's not another probably place. You're not gonna go

Alex Lindsay (00:47:39):
Well. And, and I think China stayed away. I mean, they, they have their own military with their own drones, but I think that most countries that have drones don't want to pro proliferate that because really there is a future where the, I mean, if you see even just the effectiveness, the D Uranian military has had with some of the drones that they, that they got from from us and some of the drones that they got from, from Turkey is that that they they're able to, you know, kill tanks, you know, with these drones, they

Leo Laporte (00:48:06):
Drop, they drop munitions on these tanks.

Alex Lindsay (00:48:08):
Yeah. And so, and, and again, the other problem is, is that when you start, if you're getting good at drones, you start building like actually capable ones. You've got a lot of electronics in there and the drone is going to get shot down. Right. And you don't want to give it up. You know, you don't, you know, like the United States doesn't wanna have their drone, you know, they'll send people in to go get those, you know, because they don't, they have a bunch of stuff in them that they don't wanna, they don't want other people to copy. You know, cuz drones are very, very, it's a very disruptive te G there was a, I worked at an Alife an Alife company in the early nineties that, you know, could, it could learn, like it had an org, it was a, you know, computing organism that could learn.

Alex Lindsay (00:48:41):
And we ended up putting a little game, but it was, but the military wanted to spend a lot of money on it. And like the owners, the founders wouldn't sell it to them. But what they were talking about was firing their firing many, many, many small missiles. And as you shoot them down, they're figuring out how to get around you. Like, you know, so you just, you just shoot you just fire. Lots of 'em. You have to shoot them down. They're big enough. And then the missiles just keep getting bigger as, as the, as they start to learn, you know, what your defenses are, and that was 30 years ago. So, so, so it's, so the, the thing is, is that there's a, there's a capability of, of using these owns. And if you have a lot of them, even if they're small, that you can't ignore them. And as you shoot at them, you are telling you, you are, you are giving away your position. And so we, we're seeing a little bit of that here. But we, you know, definitely that was pretty used pretty heavily in Afghanistan.

Harry McCracken (00:49:28):
I do worry every time lair Putin tries to dissuade the west from getting involved by saying that we're running the risk of, of bringing on scenarios that, you know, we've never known in the past, whether he is talking about theoretically devastating cyber attacks. Of course he might also just be talking about nuclear attacks, but he'd

Leo Laporte (00:49:51):
Like to keep it vague just in case,

Harry McCracken (00:49:52):
But I wonder if he is right saving his powder for a scenario like that.

Alex Lindsay (00:49:59):
I think the only thing he has is nukes. Like the only thing he has, I mean, he has lots of devastating stuff, but I mean, the only thing he has that's decisive are Nokes, you know, I think that, I mean, he may able to do some cyber attack, but I'm, I'm pretty, I feel very confident. The United States could be probably shut most of Russia's infrastructure down if they wanted to, they just aren't gonna do it unless they have to our, our we've, we've been very careful not to show any cards. You gotta be careful about what we know and what we have, but, but of knowing what we have and what we could do, there's no reason to do it until you have to. So if they shut down our infrastructure, we'd probably do the same thing. The other thing you have, the other thing is, is the Russia. We spent a lot of time trying not to shoot the Nu Nokes, there's a rumor that, of course Russia has the dead switch, you know? So, so if you shut everything down, starts firing nooks. Right. You know, so right.

Leo Laporte (00:50:50):
What a world we live in, huh? Let's see. California's banning gas cars. That'll be interesting. At least they're proposing it. The governor of California some ago said we should get rid of gas vehicles by 2035, a scant 13 years from now. Now California's clean air resources. Board has unveiled its plan to phase out gas powered vehicles. There will be a 45 day public comment period. That should be fascinating. A June 9th public hearing. I hope they stream that. That'll be fun to watch and a vote in August. It phases it out. And it just means that new car sales will have to be electric not, or, or zero emission, I should say not necessarily electric and that used cars can continue to be gas cars. And of course, they're not gonna take your car off the road. If it's a gas causer what do you think is, seems like something we should do, we might need to do. Is it doable

Harry McCracken (00:51:54):
Also? How

Alex Lindsay (00:51:55):
Much about

Leo Laporte (00:51:55):

Harry McCracken (00:51:55):
Have on the rest of the country, given how

Leo Laporte (00:51:57):
Well, obviously California's gotta be a big market, California

Harry McCracken (00:52:00):
Been so much in the past to shape 

Leo Laporte (00:52:02):
What our emission standards changed. America's standards. Yeah.

Harry McCracken (00:52:06):
So this might be a big deal just in general.

Alex Lindsay (00:52:09):
So a lot, I just think it's interesting. They took, they took they're setting up regulations, but they they're taking away a lot of our incentives, you know, they, or they took a lot of 'em away. So how much off you get we're buying electric car and most importantly, the sticker for the H lane. That for a long time I was looking at,

Leo Laporte (00:52:22):
They took away the sticker.

Alex Lindsay (00:52:24):
You don't get the sticker all the time. And it was a certain number of oh yeah.

Leo Laporte (00:52:27):
The only issue a certain number every year. Yeah. Yeah. That's I

Alex Lindsay (00:52:29):
Think, I think that like, I'm, you can encourage people to just do it because the hub lane is very valuable, more valuable than money to me. So it's yeah.

Leo Laporte (00:52:37):
The high occupancy vehicle, AKA electric vehicle. Yeah. I see a lot of cars with those stickers. I don't have 'em on mine.

Alex Lindsay (00:52:44):
I know they, they stop, they stop issuing them. They had to be a certain kind and everything else. And, and so right. But, but I think that that was a, I, I know I was looking at it. I'm still, I still decided I'm gonna buy another car until I buy electric. Cuz I just, I just don't like going to the gas station. It has nothing. That's the,

Leo Laporte (00:52:58):
I just, I love it. I haven't been at the gas station in a long time. Although, you know, we had Lisa's car, she has an electric mini in, in the shop again. And so they gave her a, a gas loaner and I had to drive it down to pick up the car and I forgot how I was. You poor people.

Alex Lindsay (00:53:16):
I know

Leo Laporte (00:53:17):
You push on the pedal and it goes, okay, I think I can go faster electric car. It's like that.

Alex Lindsay (00:53:24):
I, my neighbor has two Teslas, a Tesla roof and two Tesla batteries. And and he has a totally li you know, it's totally closed system. Yeah,

Leo Laporte (00:53:33):
No, we have big solar panels. We have the Tesla power walls, electric, all electric vehicles. It's nice not to go to the gas station and I don't, you know, honestly you really wanna solve the climate problems and a lot of other problems you get rid of personal ownership of vehicles entirely. I hope that day comes at some point, cuz I'm getting older and I'd like to get an Uber for the rest of my life for a self-driving something for the rest of my life. It

Alex Lindsay (00:53:58):
Seemed like a good idea. Like I thought about that a lot until, until COVID and then after COVID now

Leo Laporte (00:54:02):
I don't wanna get so bad. Yeah, no, right. Yeah.

Alex Lindsay (00:54:04):
It's like, I need, I need a car cuz I can't get anywhere. Cause Uber takes a th Uber takes 30 minutes to get, to get to get you know,

Leo Laporte (00:54:12):
Haven't you heard COVID is over.

Harry McCracken (00:54:14):
I wonder. Well

Alex Lindsay (00:54:15):
It's just everyone left and didn't come back.

Harry McCracken (00:54:17):
Electric car will cost by 2035 because there's so many people who cost is a big factor. And I mean, I'm not even sure I'm much a decent used electric car cost at the moment, but it's not within the reach of everybody who needs transportation.

Leo Laporte (00:54:32):
Although with gas prices at least in California hitting five bucks electric cars starting to look maybe a little, where

Alex Lindsay (00:54:39):
Can you get appealing? Where can you get gas in California for five 20? What is it? I want to know it's in the six it's it's over $6. I just filled up a couple days ago. I was like, what the, what you know?

Leo Laporte (00:54:49):
Oh man,

Alex Lindsay (00:54:51):
You see, I don't know

Leo Laporte (00:54:52):
What price of milk is either. I just I live in a, in a different world. Wow. I didn't realize there was six. Yeah. So that's gotta make this. In fact maybe carb waited until cash was six bucks a gallon in California. Right? And then the, they thought now would be a good time. Let's try it. But you know, people are gonna freak out.

Alex Lindsay (00:55:12):
Well, the problem is, is that if in California has to fix its electrical system before they take away the

Leo Laporte (00:55:16):
That's I agree a hundred

Alex Lindsay (00:55:18):
Percent. We all have everywhere. I live. Now, when the electricity goes out, we're all prepared. Now we all have generators. You hear all these, these gas generators, all turning on all the way through the, through, through the

Leo Laporte (00:55:27):
Hills, unless you get the new Ford F-150 lightning. One of the selling points is when the power goes out and you might have seen these ads, you plug your truck into the house and then the truck runs the house, which I think is a good idea

Alex Lindsay (00:55:41):
For how long, I guess. Yeah. Well

Leo Laporte (00:55:43):
It's a pretty big battery. It might might get might get you through the night. Let's see what else? Muting your mic. This is an interesting story. We won't know the real story until this report comes out. University of Washington. Oh sorry. University of Wisconsin, Madison tested many popular apps to see if the video conferencing apps continue to capture audio when you press the mute button. And apparently many of them do. We won't know which until the 2022 privacy enhancing technology symposium, that's when the paper will be published this June. But the report says all of the apps they tested occasionally gather raw audio data while mute is activated one popular app. I'm gonna, I'm pretty sure it's zoom. I'm just gonna say, cuz Zoom's had this problem before, continue to gather data to the audio, to its server at the same rate, regardless that the microphone is muted or not. Now it's your zoom expert. This does not surprise me. That mute button on zoom is mostly just as saying don't send my audio to everybody in the conference.

Alex Lindsay (00:56:55):
Yeah. I, I will say that I, you know, it may inadvertently do that. I, I can tell, I, I will say that zoom worries about, I mean, especially after what happened in 2020 security is really important to them, you know? So I think that if they see something like that, it's probably a, a, you know, a very, very big, serious thing for them to get rid of. You know, I don't know if it's, it's a very popular, there are, we don't know a bunch of very popular ones that are less technologically advanced than zoom. So if you look at we WebExs and go to meeting and meet and teams and you know, I, to be honest with you, I I'd be more likely to think it was teams than, than zoom. Because I mean, zoom has got a laser folk teams is very complicated. It's just a connected to a lot of things. Zoom is focused on one, one thing and the security now, and zoom, if you turn all the dials up, it's pretty secure, you know, like it's and so you can inadvertently open it all the time though. That's the problem is that it's, you know, I have a physical mute right here.

Leo Laporte (00:57:51):
Yeah. That's the thing, I think that's a, if, if you're gonna take a moral from this article is get a physical mute button

Alex Lindsay (00:57:56):
Or maybe, but

Brian McCullough (00:57:57):
Also was just saying, is, is you you'd wanna, you'd worry more about a company that's focused on things like AI and things like that because like, what does zoom care about your audio? They're they don't have other business lines that they're gonna turn that into something else, at least that we know of. Right. But a Google might you know, a Microsoft might be using that to, to train data sets and things like that.

Alex Lindsay (00:58:21):
Good point. Yeah. Yeah. It's it, it I think that, I think that it's, it's we see a lot of people in office hours of course is all in zoom. And so we have a lot of people inadvertently muting themselves or unmuting stuff. One of the most popular things in any zoom meeting is we can't hear you, you know? Yeah. Muted. And so, so the, you know, so it's, and so inadvertently turning it on and off is a pretty common thing. I think that they're not, I, I, and I think that most of these companies, I mean, I it's, it, it definitely could be a problem. I think most of these companies are they, they consider holding onto that information without telling you to be a hot potato, you know, like that's not something that they, that they really want because they know it'll, you know, it's, it's, it's a lot of cite there.

Alex Lindsay (00:59:03):
So the, the other thing you'll notice if you, if you seem pictures sometimes of some business leaders you'll notice that they have a, he phone Jack, a little thing that pops in their, he phone Jack that tells it it's a he phone, but there's no mic to it. And they have their, their usually their webcam taped off almost all of us do that have worked in the states. My mine's off, you know, I have a, I have another camera and mine's, I, my webcams all get taped. And then I get, and then and, and even like, if you look at apple, if you do anything that asks for permission of that webcam, like to, to, to talk to it, like webcam settings or whatever, to restart your computer, to use it, like it's just apple just immediately turns it off. So, so I think that there's, there's a, a lot of sensitivity to it. But I, but even then you, again, you have business leaders and world leaders that will put things into it, make it to fool the hardware, to not take anything in.

Leo Laporte (00:59:52):
I have a little physical, this is a Lenovo has a little physical switch that I can see. Yeah, those are nice mechanically going over the camera, my framework, laptop as that. And the microphone's more problematic. There's, you know, you'd have to trust it that it's cutting off the

Alex Lindsay (01:00:06):
Microphone. And again, that's why I have, I mean, I do it for convenience because I, I turn mine on, off, on and off all the time. Like I, you know, because again, cuz of this mic, I'm constantly turning it off so I can like take a sip of T or whatever. Right.

Leo Laporte (01:00:16):
So it's right. How about this companies are starting to use AI to monitor your mood during sales calls. This is a new kind of AI software that detects emotion companies like unfor and Sybil, good name are building products that use AI. Zoom wants to do this as well. They've announced the plans to do this in the future to analyze the voice people's moods, their body language during a call to know if, you know, are they interested? Are they gonna buy? Are they not gonna buy sitting alongside someone's image on a camera during a virtual meeting, the cue for sales application, visual visualize emotion through a fluctuating gauge. You can see indicate in detected levels of sentiment and engagement, kind of like those cue dials TV companies use to measure your popularity based on the system's combined interpretation of their satisfaction, happiness engagement, surprise, anger, discussed, fear or sadness. Now the good news is you have to turn on this O call is being recorded. So that would be a, a protection against that. What do you think this like a lie detector built into software Harry?

Harry McCracken (01:01:33):
I mean, at first, plus it feels like it should pretty much be at like a no go zone. Yeah. Particularly if this is something that the people doing the selling can do to us and we ability to, to do the same thing, to see how they're feeling and if we might be able to cut a deal or whatever. I, yeah, I, I think that particularly if it's being done without us knowing specifically that this is being done rather than just we're being recorded, it just, it sounds terrible. Does the zoom one sounds slightly less bad cuz it's not real time. They're taking video afterwards and, and an aggregate analyzing it, which I also don't like, but it's, it's not quite as terrifying.

Leo Laporte (01:02:14):
It integrates into Salesforce. You're gonna have to have new Salesforce and

Harry McCracken (01:02:18):
Then just

Leo Laporte (01:02:18):
Think of settings. I

Harry McCracken (01:02:19):
Think about something like buying a car where you know, all the lot forever, when people have been trying to sell you a car, they're trying to read you and trying to figure out

Leo Laporte (01:02:26):
Well, that's the problem. You can't read that body language in a zoom call very well.

Harry McCracken (01:02:29):
Like, you know, is this person gonna walk? If I don't give them a better price, the idea they might use technology to gauge that is that is awful.

Leo Laporte (01:02:38):
A product from Cogito. This is from an article and protocol uses in call voice analysis to analyze the emotional state of callers or service reps during customer service calls and alert. As an example, shown says, frustration, detected show empathy.

Alex Lindsay (01:02:56):
The hard part is, is when people do this kind of sales by numbers, it usually comes across. Cuz the people who use it are usually people who are not very empathetic. So they're, they're not very good at it. So that's why they're, that's why you're turning on the autopilot is because you, you don't know how yeah,

Leo Laporte (01:03:11):
They were good. They wouldn't need it. Yeah. We

Harry McCracken (01:03:13):
Already, we already have all these people who are, you know, when you call a service provider, they spend too much time telling how much they care about your problem. Oh gosh. And how invested they are in solving it for you, which

Leo Laporte (01:03:24):
To solve it. But

Harry McCracken (01:03:24):
Which has nothing to do with them actually solving it. Right. 

Alex Lindsay (01:03:27):
Right, right. Yeah.

Leo Laporte (01:03:29):
I agree. I let's add this to podcasting though. Brian, wouldn't that be useful if you had a little button boredom, detected show empathy.

Brian McCullough (01:03:38):
Well, there's a lot of areas of in my life when people not caring what I say or what I'm talking about. I'd like to know that. But you know, you can always any, any system like this, they already have that for, you know, the, the calls to customer service because you know dropping FBOs and things like that or saying manager, manager, manager, like you, you know, they already have the escalation stuff in terms of like you know, just

Leo Laporte (01:04:04):
Does that work. If you go manager, manager, manager, I saw a video

Brian McCullough (01:04:08):
A couple times for

Leo Laporte (01:04:09):
Me it works. You use

Alex Lindsay (01:04:10):
It. I usually say representative. I usually just go, I pick it up. As soon as I hear a computer I'm like representative, representative, representative, just keep saying it until someone shows up push

Leo Laporte (01:04:17):
Zero until something operator operator.

Alex Lindsay (01:04:21):
All right. I mean, the thing is, is that we've been doing this for, I mean, I know for the last 20 years we've had eye tracking, which you do eye tracking against random samples. Yeah. And we did some 10 years ago and it was the probably it was, you know, you think, you know what you're doing and then you do eye tracking and it just devastated us. Like it was like all of the information that we thought we had. Like for instance, if you talk for, if you, if you're in a presentation with someone, we did this with, with folks watching a, a stream, we were doing live streaming tests. If, if they we found out that if they, if we talk for more than five to six minutes straight and to, you know, as a sales call they stop, they stop actively listening.

Alex Lindsay (01:04:56):
Like, they're just look, they're doing something else. And, and if we put a slide up, this is, this is the worst one. If you put a slide up you've 60 to 90 seconds before they stop listening to you. Wow. And, and it's like, and, and, and every time I see people putting up presentation slides, I'm, I'm the O you know, we have all this data that we generated from it. And we just go, oh, they're not gonna. And I notice myself doing it. I, someone puts up a slide in a presentation for more than 69 seconds. I'm checking my email. I'm, I'm looking at other things. And I didn't think about it until I did that. And I realize I do that in person too. I mean, like, if I'm at a seminar, you put the slide up too long, I'll start doing other things.

Alex Lindsay (01:05:29):
But it was, it was really interesting that data was super valuable. And we do that. We did that all through the OS, you know, with ads, you know, print ads, websites, the designer websites, we would look at, you get 200 random samples in there, you know, random people. And it turns out they, the lower brain does a lot of things really fast. You could put an ad in a certain place in a page and no one would even see it. And so, you know, that you just learn where, you know, if there's certain colors and certain things, the brain, the eyes are gonna go where they're, you know, they go a certain way. And very few people will vary from that. And, and so but so it was used in web design, ad design, video ad design, you know, it's, there's a lot of you know, eye tracking is a, is a real thing. And that not as a certain person, cuz it turns out, you don't need to, the eye tracking is pretty you know, certain designs and colors and objects. We will take the lower brain and just have it look at things, you know? And so you just gotta figure out what that is.

Leo Laporte (01:06:23):
It's, you're gaming it. That's what you're doing. You're gaming the eye tracking. Look at me, look at me, look at me. Oh,

Alex Lindsay (01:06:28):
Look at what I want you to look at. Absolutely. And you know, filmmakers have been doing that for century, you know? I'm yeah. I'm gonna take focus.

Alex Lindsay (01:06:35):
Yeah. When, when I worked on film, we, we would take things. We would take objects out of the background to make sure that you didn't, that you were always watching. Yeah. Yeah. You know, or put 'em back in because we want you to look over there, but you know, so it it's. But, but before it was all guessing and then it became in like the early two thousands, it became like a, an application that would do it. And now it used to be, it used to be a, a piece of hardware we used to, we used to use for that. And then it just became, you know, now you can get it on, you know, with a webcam.

Leo Laporte (01:07:00):
I know how to get people's attention back. A cute fuzzy dog picture will do it. This tweet,

Alex Lindsay (01:07:06):
Justin always

Leo Laporte (01:07:07):
From Elon Musk. Happy Easter. Now the problem with poor Elon now he can't just post a picture of a dog in a bunny outfit with Easter eggs before somebody says, well, wait a minute. Isn't that a Sheba? Youu is he promoting DOJ coin? What's going on? But actually that's his Sheba. He knew flaky. And I don't know what's inside those eggs. It does look a little bit like some sort of crypto, but well we'll never know. So happy Easter, everybody happy. Passover Ramadan also we are gonna have more in just a moment. I can watch your eyes lazing over right now, as I say, it's time for a commercial. Thank you, Alex. Lindsay, Brian McCullough and Mr. Harry McCracken for being here. Thank you for being here. Our sh our 17th anniversary episode, no cupcakes, no balloons. Cuz it's a prime number. We don't celebrate on prime number holidays this week at, to brought to you today by zip recruiter.

Leo Laporte (01:08:03):
You know, there is a good trend in employ and employment. These days, employers are desperate to get you back to work into the office. So according to research from ZipRecruiter, 90% of employers are making, enhancing your experience as an employee, a top priority this year, we even did it. We we've we've we have now four day work weeks for all our employees. You can make your employees happier by considering their opinion. What, what a thought focusing on company culture, offering more learning opportunities, allow for flexibility and work schedules, show more empathy, make time to connect. After all a happy workplace is key to attracting and keeping great employees. And when you need to add more employees to your team, don't forget ZipRecruiter. Right now you could try ZipRecruiter free at is what we use when we need to hire. And I have to say it really works for a number of reasons.

Leo Laporte (01:09:04):
You post to the broadest possible audience. That's fantastic. And ZipRecruiter technology actually finds the right candidates for your job and then proactively presents them to you. So you, you post your job and ZipRecruiter within minutes is gonna say, Hey, there's 10 people. We have, who I know would be great for you. Would you be interested in asking 'em and you can easily review those candidates, invite the top choices to apply. And by the way, when you get invited to apply for a job, you apply faster. You're more likely to take that job. You just feel better about that employer. It really works. No wonder ZipRecruiter's the number one rated hiring site in the us based on G2 ratings. I want you to try it. We've had such great success. Some of our best employees came to us through ZipRecruiter, hire the right employees with ZipRecruiter. Try it free our exclusive address. Recruiter.Com/TWiT zip recruiters, E I P R E C R U I T E R. Ziprecruiter.Com/T w I T. Thank you, ZipRecruiter for supporting TWiT. Thank you for supporting it by using that very special address. Ziprecruiter.Com/Twit. let's see. It kind of was a, was it a slow week? Brian? Do you notice when weeks are slow, you have to do news every day.

Brian McCullough (01:10:29):
Yeah. And those are the worst days because those are the days that it takes me the longest to put a show together. Yeah. 

Leo Laporte (01:10:36):
Our longest shows are when they're is nothing to say, for some reason, Alex will, Alex will vouch for that on Mac break weekly. Yeah, we

Alex Lindsay (01:10:42):
Just, we, we get, we, we just go into the rat hole and then end up in a rat cave and

Leo Laporte (01:10:46):
Yeah. Keeps on going. Yeah. I was gonna bring up, I'm just going through some of the, some of the stories there's kind of, it's kind of all a Pope right now. Bunch of different little tidbits, TikTok launching its own AR development platform. Do we need AR and TikTok? I think not. Well, they

Alex Lindsay (01:11:12):
Already have a lot of effects. I mean, TikTok already has a lot of video effects they've already been doing and people use it as part of their kind of narratives. When they, when they build videos,

Leo Laporte (01:11:20):
It's called effect house. It would allow creators to build AR effects for use in the video. It's officially live now. Oh,

Alex Lindsay (01:11:27):
I didn't. I misread that. So, so if they're, if it's, if it's actually letting developers do it, then it's more exciting because they, oh,

Leo Laporte (01:11:34):
Wouldn't that be cool?

Alex Lindsay (01:11:36):
Maybe. So they're not just stuck with what snap is doing 

Leo Laporte (01:11:39):
Create your own filters and even maybe sell them, right?

Alex Lindsay (01:11:44):
Yeah. Most people do. I think, oh, go,

Brian McCullough (01:11:48):
Oh, I was gonna say, I was, I was moving on. Like, do you wanna do that? I found that whole piece about metas AR and VR,

Leo Laporte (01:11:56):
As long as we're talking AR

Brian McCullough (01:11:57):
Timetable. Yeah, yeah,

Leo Laporte (01:11:59):
Yeah. The this is from the verge mark. Zuckerberg's augmented reality. I don't, I'm actually curious what y'all think is me, is this meta? Yeah. This Facebook thing is not working out. So let's get this AR thing going as fast as possible. According to Alex, Heaths writing for the verge, met us racing to release his first AR glasses in 2024. That isn't that fast to pivot, I guess maybe in the greater scheme of things two years is,

Brian McCullough (01:12:29):
Well, in theory, Apple's whatever headset would at least be announced before.

Leo Laporte (01:12:34):
Yeah. Might, might even be this year,

Brian McCullough (01:12:37):
But I mean, they are, they, we, we know they're spending 10 billion a year and there's 20,000 employees on this team for whatever the metaverse team is. You know? So it certainly sounds like this is the real deal in, in sucks. Mine,

Leo Laporte (01:12:53):
Anna, this is from he again, animating the push for AR and Facebook's rebranding as a desire by Zuckerberg to cast the company. He found as innovative. Once again, people familiar with his thinking, say I E insiders, the social network's reputation has been stained by a series of privacy and content moderation scandals, which has been hurting employee morale and faith in leadership.

Alex Lindsay (01:13:17):
If you that whole piece,

Leo Laporte (01:13:19):

Brian McCullough (01:13:19):
Ahead, Brian. Oh, I'm sorry. And, and I'll stop. Cause I keep cutting you off Alex. I apologizes

Leo Laporte (01:13:24):
If you it's just zoom. It's fine. Yeah.

Brian McCullough (01:13:27):
Yeah. If you read that whole piece, it is, it, it sort of is making the same argument that we've heard people put into Apple's mouth, but out how they believe that there's a line in there that Zuck wants this to be his iPhone moment, that they really do believe by the end of the decade that they can be selling hundreds of millions of these a year or whatever. So, you know, obviously metas over arching motivation for this is to get out out from under the thumb of Google and apple. But it is interesting. What I found fascinating about the piece is it laying out the timeline where, you know, they'll, they'll have a really high end one at the beginning 20, 24 is what they're claiming. And then iteration iteration iteration. And it's not till 20, 28 and into the next decade that they're feeling like, okay, now this will be mass adoption. So if you're meta, if you're a meta investor and they're spending $10 billion a year on this already, now you're look at all all the time and money and effort. You, you better hope that they're right at, at the end of the decade, that this is the next big thing.

Leo Laporte (01:14:32):
It's bold. I mean, if you had three and a half billion users and you were raking in money with advertising, even with apples, you know ATT you're still making a ton of money in advertising. It's pretty bold to say, yeah, we're gonna abandon this successful business and put all our money on the, you know, all are chips on something that is unproven that no one has really shown. There's even a market for let alone a successful business behind

Harry McCracken (01:14:59):
The verge piece is great. And I actually, yesterday wrote a piece spinning out of what Alex heat did specifically about this idea that this is met a wanting to create a, a iPhone moment,

Leo Laporte (01:15:12):
A, the next big thing.

Harry McCracken (01:15:13):
Hey, there have hardly been any iPhone moments other than the iPhone. Yeah. And tech history. Yeah. B it, this really speaks to something deep, I think in, in mark Zuckerberg, which is not just me psychoanalyzing him. It's also based on the fact that in 2015, I did a big story on what was then Facebook. And he me that like one of his few disappointments was that Facebook never got to have its own mobile operating system and

Leo Laporte (01:15:41):
Operating system. Yes.

Harry McCracken (01:15:43):
So it always like

Leo Laporte (01:15:44):
The Facebook phone

Harry McCracken (01:15:45):
Facebook always said as a layer on top of yeah. The iPhone or an Android phone. And 

Leo Laporte (01:15:52):
So as successful as Facebook is it is not successful enough to match Mark's ambition.

Harry McCracken (01:15:57):
Right. And also the problems with, at not controlling and operating system really came to four. Last year when apple rolled out the application tra tracking transparency, which lets the users say, yes, it's okay for this SAP to track me or no, they're not allowed to track me. And then you know meta says it's gonna lose billions and billions of dollars this year because apple has made it extremely easy for users,

Leo Laporte (01:16:26):
10 billion this year. And at least that much.

Harry McCracken (01:16:28):
Yeah. Back in 2015, his concerns were extremely reasonable from his point. And, and the downside of not controlling your own platform is still playing out for them. And there's a pretty decent chance that if AR does become something big, it will become a battle between whatever apple comes up with and whatever meta comes up with. And if you are mark Zuckerberg, wouldn't you be deeply concerned by the possibility that that apple will have the iPhone moment of AR and he might be stuck in the same situation. He, he has been all, all these years of, of having to do things the way apple wants him to do with them.

Leo Laporte (01:17:05):
I it's extremely bold. He, you know, obviously he's a smart fellow. He knows about the innovators dilemma, and normally a company like meta would rest on its laurels and try to kind of dribble out something that might be your next thing, but still continue to support the current thing. He sounds like he's saying, I'm gonna cut through that and I am gonna take a massive gamble. I'm going all in on AR, even though it's gonna take me years, 10 billion a year, 18,000 employees. And it's an unpro, not

Brian McCullough (01:17:35):
Just AR remember, this is the whole metaverse. Yeah. You're, you're, you're giving it short trip by just saying AR remember that.

Leo Laporte (01:17:42):
Well, but the primary technology that has to work is, is AR VR, right? If that doesn't work, you got nothing

Alex Lindsay (01:17:49):
And it's you,

Leo Laporte (01:17:50):

Alex Lindsay (01:17:50):
Hard problem. It's also a really hard problem. I mean, I, I, I think that, that Zuckerberg's history with this is prob is related to reading ready player one. And well

Leo Laporte (01:18:04):
Remember though, he bought Oculus rift for a lot of money bought Oculus,

Alex Lindsay (01:18:07):
But I'm saying he, he, he read ready player one. I, I think he saw, I, I, I think that he has, he may have seen a future that Facebook could really be part of, you know, like that, that it's an all encompassing experience, a different world and then bought Oculus because it's the closest thing to what was going on. And, you know, it's, it's a it's a really hard problem to a lot of it has with, there's a bunch of problems with it. I, I worked in, in full disclosure. I mean, I, I did a lot of the initial 360 video stuff for Facebook. So, so I'm, I'm thought about this a lot. And the the thing is, is that the 360 video that that's when we were doing, you know, that, that ozone, that I brought to your house, you to your office.

Alex Lindsay (01:18:51):
Yeah. That's what I was doing. We were doing a lot of the early stuff in that area. And the hard part, the first really hard part is, is resolution resolution and frame rate. So you have to get that resolution and takes an enormous amount of data to do that. Well you know, so we were playing with 4k 30, but you really need to get to eight K one 20 to really have it do it needs to do. And that would require a lot of chip, like an M one chip just to do that, you know? And so so anyway, so it's, it's a

Leo Laporte (01:19:19):
To do that on your head

Alex Lindsay (01:19:21):
To do that on your head and probably it'd be very hard and

Leo Laporte (01:19:23):
It does kind of explain why Apple's gone all in, on this low power, high efficiency

Alex Lindsay (01:19:28):
Chip. It makes a lot of sense. Yeah. And so that

Leo Laporte (01:19:30):
If you're gonna make a, a buy

Alex Lindsay (01:19:32):
Look, Alex,

Brian McCullough (01:19:34):
I, I did a story recently too that said, and I I'm breaking my promise not to interrupt you that okay. Even if

Leo Laporte (01:19:40):
You saw no, it's a better show if we all interrupt each other, trust me. If, if

Alex Lindsay (01:19:44):
You, if you it's all good,

Brian McCullough (01:19:45):
Even if you solve the hardware and the, the compute stuff you know, on the user I did a story worry. Maybe it was a couple months ago that said someone was pointing out that we don't have the infrastructure to beam all of the stuff that is required to do sort of like a really immersive, a really convincing metaverse. Because even if you solve all of the local hardware and compute problems, we don't have it. It's, it's, it's so far beyond what 5g or HG or anything could do that, that even if you solve this problem, by the end of the decade, you might not have the infrastructure in place to make it real.

Alex Lindsay (01:20:22):
Yeah. Kind of. I mean, so if you're doing video, absolutely. If you're doing you're, if you're taking it, I wanna do a servers offsite or whatever, because you really are like, if you're doing eight K one 20 per I you're talking hundreds of megabits per second, that need to be delivered to you. But if, but the geometry, if, if you send the geometry to it that doesn't, you know, you can send very high resolution geometry for an entire world. And maybe that takes a little bit of time, but then once there, what you need is GPU and CPU power or to render it. So if you're rendering it remotely, you're absolutely right. If you're rendering it locally, it doesn't, it can be a lot of geometry that it has to manage, but it might be 30, 40, maybe a hundred million polygons or something like that.

Alex Lindsay (01:20:57):
And you can, you can work inside of that. And then what you do is we, we take level what we call level of detail LDS. And so basically things often the distance don't have very much geometry things in close to you have a lot of geometry and better textures and all those other things. And so that you can kind of wander around in them, the bigger problem than all of the technical problems is the difference between what people feel, what they think they're, they're experiencing and what they feel that they're experiencing. So there's like a frontal lobe, lower brain problem, which is that if they feel like they're in something that is, that is real. And then their lower brain says, I'm not getting what I need. The Delta between those two is depression, you know? And that's what we see a lot of that's. Yeah. You know, so, so basically people get they're they're, they're, they're basically filling they're

Leo Laporte (01:21:38):
Saying VR makes you sad.

Alex Lindsay (01:21:40):
Well, social media makes you sad. So, so the thing is you think you're, you think you're in a community, but you're not. And so what happens is you get the

Leo Laporte (01:21:48):

Alex Lindsay (01:21:49):
Because you're, you keep on going to TWiTtter and, and Facebook looking for this is where my friends are going to be, and you keep on pulling it all in, but there's no fulfillment. It's kind of like, you know, the easiest way to kill ants is to feed. 'em A Splenda. You just put sugar out and you slowly cut it with Splenda and they can't tell the difference and they just start to death. And so the, so the yeah, go ahead.

Brian McCullough (01:22:07):
One more thing though, the like, okay, we're, we're talking about like all of this money spent and, and Leo said, this is a bull bed. It is a bull bed. And maybe it's something that they have to do because maybe social media is a thing that's on the downturn. But aside from, will the technology work out, will it be adopted? Will the infrastructure be there? There's one more big thing is, will people want it from mark Zuckerberg like that to me? No. That a huge biggest risk.

Leo Laporte (01:22:33):
Yeah. But what choice does mark have? I mean, if he's, he does mark Zuckerberg, he is mark Zuckerberg. So he can't really, you know, I mean, I think actually this may be you, Alex Heath makes a very good argument for this being the boldest bet we've ever seen in technology. It's huge apple with all of its investment in and AR and they're all in on it is still selling the iPhone. That's still their main business. This is, this is really a, I think, unprecedented, willingness to take a giant risk and I have to praise Zuckerberg for that. And yeah, he's stuck with himself. There's nothing he could do about it. He's gotta be hoping that people will get over that. If it's a, see, I'll tell you what, if it's a good enough technology, if it's really good, people will get over that. Doesn't

Harry McCracken (01:23:17):
The Oculus is an interesting case study because you know, by any standard, it is the dominant VR platform.

Leo Laporte (01:23:24):
The quest right now is number one by far

Harry McCracken (01:23:26):
A lot. They have 78% of the market. Yeah, it's done really well. And yet it hasn't really had an iPhone moment if if that means that like practically everybody has one VR is still really far from that. Despite all the, there's

Leo Laporte (01:23:41):
Also a problem with the quest, which is that it's set a press put of 2 99, it's gonna be very high, hard for him to create something anywhere near that price

Harry McCracken (01:23:48):
Point. They're, they're putting some incredibly price technology in, into these AR headsets. So

Alex Lindsay (01:23:53):
Yeah, I think that the other issue is just content is hard to make. Like there's not that many compelling tool things to do. I have a quest, of course. And, and I, I just not that much to play. And then the other big pro for the quest is a, this is a really interesting problem is the quest doesn't have a diopter. You can't change the focus on it. Right. And the Samsung, the old Samsung gears did a lot of us that would use the quest wear glasses. So, so the problem is, is that you have to either ruin your glasses or you have to get the, the special things for them to, you know, the, the lenses for them to, to work in the, and someone else has to pop out other lenses, the ability not I stopped using it. Like my kids use it.

Alex Lindsay (01:24:31):
I just was like, I'm tired of dealing with this. And so so the so I barely use the quest and, but I think that there's, there's a huge crossover of, of geeks and glasses, you know? And so, so I think that they, that's something they're kind of running up against. It'll be interesting to see how people handle it. Cause I know that I use the, I, I wouldn't always prefer to use the gear because I could take my glasses off, throw it on and just scroll a little wheel until everything was in focus. My glasses

Harry McCracken (01:24:52):
Don't fit inside. The quest too. Yeah,

Alex Lindsay (01:24:55):
Yeah. Not comfortably, you know, and, and if you have nice glasses, it'll destroy them. Like it just destroys their glasses slowly, your, your glasses slowly. So you have to put the lenses in, or you have to destroy, you have a glass, basically cheap glasses, you buy out of, you know, some, a online thing that you wear

Leo Laporte (01:25:08):
Different. This, this is one of dozens of problems with a R VR. It makes people nauseous, not the least of which

Alex Lindsay (01:25:15):
Well, so

Leo Laporte (01:25:17):
How are we gonna overcome all that's?

Alex Lindsay (01:25:20):
Well, the, the, the, yeah, the, the nauseous, but that's, again, why I think apple is probably spending more time. Apple has a tendency to be lot more methodical about the process. And so and they're, I mean, the, I clearly,

Leo Laporte (01:25:32):
What Facebook's plan is just to throw as much money and man manpower against it. I know, and I don't think having 18,000 people working on it is gonna give you any head start compared to anybody else. It might hurt, but you might hurt.

Alex Lindsay (01:25:44):
But like you see a lot of the upgrades that Apple's doing to final cut in motion are not for video. They are for AR and VR. Yeah. You know, they're 360 solutions and they're, they're building those things.

Leo Laporte (01:25:54):
Well, Apple's doing an incremental thing, which is very interesting, right. Everything apple does is building towards, it looks like building towards this kind of a future, I guess you could kind of say with the acquisition of Oculus with the release of the Facebook Ray band glasses with the release of the quest apple, I mean, Mike Matt is slowly moving in that direction, but not, it doesn't feel like the same kind of incrementalism as apple, apple has a different approach to this. They're not bet in the farm on this, the Ray band's way. It did not sell as well as oh, what a surprise expected. Yeah. I mean, the marketplace has said again, and again, we don't want this. I think,

Brian McCullough (01:26:29):
Well, what Alex said about content is actually the key, because they don't need an iPhone moment. They need a fortnight moment. Like

Leo Laporte (01:26:37):
They need

Brian McCullough (01:26:38):
A, they need something like that. That is a real phenomen killer

Leo Laporte (01:26:41):
App. A killer app.

Brian McCullough (01:26:43):
Yeah. Right. Not reinventing the wheel. Yeah. Yeah.

Alex Lindsay (01:26:47):
And what's funny is the killer app before, before this was still from epic games, it was robo recall. Robo recall is probably still one of the best games that was built for Oculus. And it was really immersive and really fun to play. And they haven't really reproduced that again, you know, like it was like, okay, once you beat it, you are, it's kind of like, okay, now what do I do? But because you go out and play other games and they just weren't as good. And so, and they commissioned that. I mean, Oculus commissioned that from, from epic or whatever. And so, so it was a great, it was basically first person shooter with robots and really, really, really well made game. And so, yeah, go ahead.

Leo Laporte (01:27:21):
When we celebrate our 27th in of anniversary doing TWiT 10 years from now, Brian, what's your prediction will AR from meta, be the hot new thing. Will we be doing this show in a metaverse

Brian McCullough (01:27:36):
What's the date you're

Leo Laporte (01:27:37):
Saying, oh, I don't know, 10 years out. You can, you can choose an arbitrary

Brian McCullough (01:27:40):
Year. 20, 20, 32. Okay. 

Leo Laporte (01:27:42):

Brian McCullough (01:27:45):

Leo Laporte (01:27:45):
Sounds like the future, but as we know, it'll be here any minute.

Brian McCullough (01:27:48):
Okay. So let's imagine that instead of us being on screens, we're all sitting around the table and then every listener slash viewer is seated at a chair with us so they can look around at our face. I

Leo Laporte (01:27:58):
Love that.

Brian McCullough (01:27:59):
Is that gonna be real 10 years from now? Yeah,

Leo Laporte (01:28:02):
I don't know. Is it

Brian McCullough (01:28:05):
It's? I, I don't think so. Okay. But Alex would know better than me and certainly Harry maybe has

Leo Laporte (01:28:11):
We, well, there's a, we don't know if the technology's there. We don't know if it'll be Facebook doing it. We don't know there's a lot. We don't know, but predictions, the wor

Alex Lindsay (01:28:18):
The worst part is, is that it's much hard. It'll get, it'll get worse before it gets better, because right now, nothing looks real. When we do yet to the uncanny valley, it's gonna be ugly. You know, like it's gonna be that uncanny valley is really hard to get through ILM with millions and millions of dollars. Still can't do princess Le and that's not in real time. That's

Leo Laporte (01:28:37):
In all of the, I think Facebook knows or meta noses, cuz in all of their samples, the people are kind of ghostly they're faded out to avoid on can valley experience, but they don't have legs. You know, it's very clear. They're not trying to be human. Maybe we'll have cartoon avatars.

Alex Lindsay (01:28:54):
It is. But the problem is is that there is so much that goes on in our, I mean, someone who I've done, you know, hours and hours of facial animation for projects, there is so much a human face does that is so complex. And, and I think that the problem is when you don't have all of that information, it's kind of soul sucking, you know, to always be looking at something that is a rough F simile of the real thing. It's part of why I think people get zoom. Fatigue is because they don't have good cameras. They don't have good audio. So they're looking at these hazy, he faces and their brain is doing, there's all this cognitive load of the brain sitting there trying to figure out what it's looking at and what it's hearing, because people have bad audio and bad video. We on office hours, we stay on for hours. It doesn't bother us at all because everybody's got a good mic and a good camera. So Alex, so the thing is, is that, go ahead.

Brian McCullough (01:29:36):
How do you solve the problem of, you know, I think Z's sort of killer app is you put it on and you can talk to grandma and it feels like grandma is sitting in on the couch across from you.

Leo Laporte (01:29:47):
I kind of have that with FaceTime right now,

Brian McCullough (01:29:49):
But, but how would you map grandma's face? I know that all of these cameras have like, like if we did, if we did Leo's thing for 10 years from now, we could be, have, you know, studios and, and cameras pointed us. And I know that that all sorts of these headsets now have outward facing cameras and all these things. And, but like, how do you solve the problem of if I'm really going the uncanny value of, if I'm really gonna feel like I'm talking to grandma sitting across from me, how do you map what her face is doing in real time? If she's got a headset on

Alex Lindsay (01:30:19):
You're making assumptions based on what you're seeing, the rest of the face in a won't be accurate and it'll feel really weird, it's gonna feel really weird. Like it's not gonna, you know, and it's gonna take a long time to get that right. Which is why apple smartly keeps on talking about AR because AR is adding things to the world that you already have. It's not,

Leo Laporte (01:30:33):
Well, how long does trying to replace it, Harry? How long does meta have they, do they have 10 years? It's if they're spending that much money every year. Well,

Harry McCracken (01:30:41):
Theoretically they've ever really long runway because do they they are, have historically gushed money, but they can't be sure that will go on forever. If, if their conventional business starts to collapse they might have a much more limited ability. Do

Leo Laporte (01:30:58):
They have 10 years,

Harry McCracken (01:30:59):
The new stuff? I mean, I still really feel like it if if this kind of a AR and the metaverse really is real in the 2030s and we're sitting around talking about it, it's, there's a very high chance the companies will be talking about are not meta meta or apple or, or even any company that exists right now. Yeah. Historically it's, it's been pretty rare for the, the tech industry to work that way. Apple has been like one of the, the few really big exceptions that they been able to ride more than one wave. There's not, would not be a lot of precedent if if me can go from social networking in its historic form, right. To the kind of stuff we're talking about now.

Leo Laporte (01:31:35):
And I can assure you, mark Zuckerberg knows everything we've just said absolutely. And is still putting his money right out there and saying, we're gonna to do it anyway. And we'll either make it, or there will be no meta in 10 years, but we are gonna do it. We're gonna try well.

Alex Lindsay (01:31:51):
But, but, but with his revenue, 10 billion a year is not AMA, you know, it's not putting, it's not going all in. It's like one chip off the pile, you know, to, to, to do this. And so I think that they can continue to work on a lot of different business models because they've got a lot of revenue coming in and I don't think that's gonna go anywhere. It's the social media is a pretty, I mean, Facebook's a pretty sticky thing. And even with some of the search stuff, not working and costing them some money, it is when you do Facebook advertising, it is like looking into this, both Facebook and Google goal. It's like looking into the sun. Yeah. I mean, it is, there is so much there's competition. Yeah. When you have meetings, when you with meetings with folks that are like, so what's your multiplier, multipliers, how much, how many dollars do you bring in versus the dollar you put into the Facebook? And it's usually like, you know, 3, 4, 6.

Leo Laporte (01:32:32):
Yeah. We used to say ROI now it's multiplier, which you give you.

Alex Lindsay (01:32:35):
So, but it's a, multipl, it's not 30%. Yeah. You know, it's so, so, so if, you know, if, if you, if you, if you understand how to, you know, and that's why all those, that's why all those tracking bits are important because it shows the effectiveness, the ad. And you know, it's not trying to track you to do things showing how, how can did the ad do,

Leo Laporte (01:32:52):
I'm glad you brought this up, Brian, cuz I, I, this is a, I think Alex heat deserves a lot of credit. He clearly did a ton of research and digging on this and it is a fascinating story in the verge mark, Zuckerberg's augmented reality. And I think it really is a big question. And I, I, I, I applaud Z's willingness to take a big chance. You're right. It's not gonna, I guess it's not make or break for meta feels like, it feels like they're willing to kind of ignore their core business to some extent to make,

Alex Lindsay (01:33:23):
Oh, I don't think they're ignoring it. I mean, yeah,

Leo Laporte (01:33:26):
No Cheryl's doing that. We got Cheryl, we've

Alex Lindsay (01:33:28):
Got a lot of people working

Leo Laporte (01:33:29):
On it. Shell take care of it. And 

Brian McCullough (01:33:30):
That line that you read Leo about seeming relevant and attracting talent, that's the immediate

Leo Laporte (01:33:37):
Thing they need, whether he's need to keep the engineers

Brian McCullough (01:33:39):

Leo Laporte (01:33:39):
Flowing. Yeah. That's a huge issue.

Alex Lindsay (01:33:43):
Isn't it? Well, and that's, that's when you've seen the dance with, with the Google, Facebook, apple all have that they're dancing around this kind of work from home problem because a lot of the folks that I know that work in those companies, they're like, if I have to go back to work, I'm not gonna quit, but I am gonna make sure my, my, my LinkedIn is really shiny, you know? So yeah, yeah. Up to date and ready to go because it's making them all the, that seems to be right now. The big thing is, is, is whether they get to whether they have to go into the office all the time, you know, and that's, that's

Leo Laporte (01:34:10):
A fascinating shift in the labor workforce that is unprecedented. I think, which you know, you can, Henry Ford didn't have to fight off, you know you know, engineers who said, Hey, you do what we say or we're walking off the, the floor. 

Alex Lindsay (01:34:30):
Well, it's, there's a constraint supply of, of engineers. That's the, that, I mean, that's the real issue

Leo Laporte (01:34:34):
ISS and it's a

Alex Lindsay (01:34:35):
Highly, they know it

Leo Laporte (01:34:36):
Highly skilled occupation. Right. But

Alex Lindsay (01:34:40):
It's also, it takes years to develop it. That's why you have things like grow with Google as grow with Google is like, we, we need more people faster. And

Leo Laporte (01:34:46):
I, you know, like I firmly believe I may be wrong, that there is a small con percentage of engineers who can get all that training and still be the top talent. Oh yeah. Right. To design a new chip or design an AR headset that's lightweight and works. And battery life is all day that you could train a thousand people and you might only get one or two that are really capable of that. Right.

Alex Lindsay (01:35:10):
I, I feel very certain that if there's all these big companies on the, in Fang, there's probably a hundred people. If you pulled them out of the company, it would collapse. Yeah. Like, you know, we tend, we, we refer to them as linchpins, right. Like, oh, that person's a linchpin. Yeah. I totally like that. That like, you pay attention to that person cuz they're a linchpin to the company because you know, they would, they, a lot of them tend to have very nebulous jobs and they just kind of are in a lot of teams, kind of just gluing things together. And and, and they get a lot of, they get a lot of stock. So, so you know, to, to the golden, the golden handcuffs are very thick.

Leo Laporte (01:35:45):
Sometimes they call it and some say, it's a myth, a 10 X programmer, a 10 X

Harry McCracken (01:35:49):
Developer, which is why having 18,000 people. 

Leo Laporte (01:35:52):
Well doesn't mean anything. Yeah.

Harry McCracken (01:35:54):

Leo Laporte (01:35:54):
The mythical man month. Yeah.

Harry McCracken (01:35:57):
There aren't, but

Alex Lindsay (01:35:58):
You do have a lot of

Harry McCracken (01:35:59):
Doing hire, no matter how much money you have.

Leo Laporte (01:36:00):
Yeah. But you don't wanna lose the five or 10 and you've gotta inspire them with the company's vision. And this

Alex Lindsay (01:36:09):
Them with stock

Harry McCracken (01:36:09):
And MEA has had an issue with losing some of its brain power. I mean, a lot of good people have left for obvious reasons.

Leo Laporte (01:36:15):
Alex, you have, you, you have people, you know, people are still at meta. We won't name names. Do they seem satisfied with the direction the company's taking or are they just kind of sitting on their options and hoping to

Alex Lindsay (01:36:27):
Cash it? Well, the folks that I'm the folks that I know at, at MEA seem pretty, they, they, they get to work on fun things, so excited. They don't really, they don't, they don't think about, I have to admit they don't, I don't get the impression that they're thinking of about the big picture of meta or Facebook or anything else? No, they

Leo Laporte (01:36:41):
Like their job.

Alex Lindsay (01:36:42):
Yeah. When they get up every morning, they get to work on something really cool. And occasionally they have to deal with the politics of a, of a big company. And then they get to go back to working on something really cool, where they get paid a lot of money to do something that's really fun. And that's what they care about. They don't think, you know. And so,

Leo Laporte (01:36:56):
You know, I met a guy is in the release to production department and he just loves it. He doesn't care. It's not, none of that stuff is an issue. Cuz he gets to work with new stuff and get it ready and release to production and that's for him. Right. The dream job. So he is, he's not thinking, but I

Alex Lindsay (01:37:12):
Mean, I, I mean, if you're in the R and D in the R and D most of the folks I know are doing R and D R R D, you, you get to order. Yeah. You get to order whatever you want. You get to play, you know, do whatever that you and

Leo Laporte (01:37:20):
You're well enough compensated that you're not, you know,

Alex Lindsay (01:37:22):

Leo Laporte (01:37:23):

Alex Lindsay (01:37:23):
Move on. The company buys all the things that you would've bought for yourself, except they buy them so that you can keep on cuz the people who are working in that area are so passionate about what they're doing. They just love the fact that they can go out and, you know, order, oh, I'm gonna order an $80,000 camera. So we can see if this will work. If you don't like, you know what? I was sitting in my, you know, like, like, so I can figure out like whether this is and, and you know, and all of that stuff is happening right now. And you know, and so that's a lot of really, so we, we think of it as a big number, but it's, it's a big, there are a lot of people that are really passionate about what they're doing and they're in some really cool areas. Yeah. You know, to do it, they're not doing the grind or dealing with the customers. No agree. The

Leo Laporte (01:37:56):
Government agree. And they're not thinking about all these other issues, the Francis Hogan whistleblower and all that stuff. It's not an issue for you.

Alex Lindsay (01:38:03):
Yeah. Yeah. They're not, they don't, they're not thinking about at all.

Leo Laporte (01:38:05):
It's very hard for us. Me, not you cuz you work with these companies, but for journalists on the outside of Harry, I'm sure you kind of have this experience to really under understand how, what it's like inside a company like that. I'm sure you do a lot of interviews. You, you try to understand. I think about Microsoft, Google, apple, Facebook, these companies, we cover day in, day out. It's hard to know. We, we, I think we often anthropomorphize them and act like they're act like they're humans. They're not, they're, they're, they're very different from that.

Harry McCracken (01:38:35):
They're enormous. And a lot of them, we just don't see you certainly won't see them if you just go through the official channels. Right. which is why it's valuable to run into people who work at companies who are have not been presented to you by the PR department of the company. In question,

Leo Laporte (01:38:51):
I still want an RTP sticker. I'm I'll put it on my laptop. I'm just saying, Brian, you, do you have that same experience? This, this is journalists and tech covering it from the outside. We, I think sometimes we, we forget what's what it's like to be on the inside.

Brian McCullough (01:39:08):
Well, and then one of the things that we haven't touched on is also the generational thing, which all of these companies are very attuned as well, where, you know, not just generational, oh, what are, what, what is a 19 year old interested in? But you know, look all the crypto stuff and, and, and things like that. Like if you're not the exciting place that people wanna work at when the next big thing happens that's also the thing that they're deathly afraid and, and reputationally. And that's where the Zuck quote about like, you know, being relevant again and things like so that if, if what Zuck wants to do is he wants to go find the hottest engineer or the hottest talent in the NFT space and be like, well, by the way, NFTs are gonna be a part of the metaverse and a part of what we're doing in AR and VR two. So why don't you lead that team? He needs to, he needs when he makes that offer to whoever that person is, he needs her to be like, yeah, I wanna work with you. I wanna, I wanna build this for meta as opposed to, well, I could build it for apple or I could start my own company. That's always what their start

Leo Laporte (01:40:13):
Your own company. Right. That's if you're coming outta school, that's the first thing thing you would think of?

Alex Lindsay (01:40:18):
I would, well, the big thing though, is that it's easier to start your own company. Once you've worked at one of the big companies, you know, you come out of, you know, oh, I worked at apple for two years or whatever that that's right. It goes a long way, you know? And I think, yeah. And, and the, the interesting thing though, is that you're seeing now these companies getting more aggressive, so grow with Google is, is a sleeper, but it is a big deal. Like they are saying, they're basically telling the company, they're telling universities, you are not producing enough product that we need. So we're going to go around you, you know, like we are going to educate the people in what we need, because those are the, what they're educating 'em in is the first, first line of defense jobs, right. That grow into all these other things. And so, and they, and they're not, they don't have a lot of age requirements to do the grow.

Leo Laporte (01:40:57):
I wonder how long before companies like Google, apple, Microsoft, the things start having high schools and middle schools,

Alex Lindsay (01:41:06):
You know, it's, well, you don't have to own the school. It's, it's interacting. I mean, the government's been doing this for a long, long time. It's called RO OTC, you know? And so RO OTC is a feeder system, you know, and, and our sports teams have little league and, you know, Warner, you know, pop all. So is it the first

Leo Laporte (01:41:21):
Competition? What, what do we have, what is our little league for Google

Alex Lindsay (01:41:25):
Google, well, and one of the things

Brian McCullough (01:41:27):
That they used to have to solve this problem, they don't have anymore, which is acquisitions, right? Because you could just buy up the hottest talent, do the acquihire thing. And it's so much harder for them to do

Leo Laporte (01:41:37):
That. And, and for sure, with Lena con at FTC, it's gonna get harder,

Alex Lindsay (01:41:42):
Well, harder. And again, and Apple's doing the same thing with swift playgrounds. I mean, they are, you know, that's a smart, easier and easier to, yes, it's a, and that's getting kids in early into switch.

Leo Laporte (01:41:51):
So more important even than getting them to, you know, sometimes I think the apple and Microsoft's, you know, outreach to education is so that people get used to using office so that when they get a office job, they'll use office. It isn't now is it it's to get, 'em used to programming swift, they need coders, we need

Alex Lindsay (01:42:09):
Coders, coders. They, they're just, they're horribly short on, on the supply of code. Interesting. You know? And and so they're, they're, and, and it's different, you know and they want to get them in early because the, the big thing is, is that your brain is so much, so much more, so much. It absorbs so much more inform information when you're young. Well, and so you want coders to start when they're early 

Leo Laporte (01:42:28):
It's a little Fale, but I'm also kind of a believer in Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000 hours. I really do think, so. It takes a while. Can I tell you something, can I tell you something

Alex Lindsay (01:42:37):
About that quote? He stole that. Oh yeah. So of course he steals a lot of things, but in, in Zen or I think Zen, Zen Buddism, it's referred to as 10,000 mistakes. Ah, The difference between the, the beginner, the beginner and the master 10,000 mistakes, not 10,000 hours, he switched it. I mean, so he stole it in the switched it. So it's

Leo Laporte (01:42:55):
His, I guess, same idea though.

Alex Lindsay (01:42:57):
You did enough change, but, but it's, it's 10. You hear,

Leo Laporte (01:42:59):
I think it's more mistakes thousand mistakes. I know I've made that

Alex Lindsay (01:43:02):
Way more. Yeah. You just wanna keep on and

Leo Laporte (01:43:04):
I'm making more than a 10,000, more than one mistake an hour. So

Alex Lindsay (01:43:07):
I exactly see, you can do it so much faster if you're reckless, you know, so, so anyway, but, but it's, but, but that's, but yeah, you want, but it's hard. Like I could never have done. I could have never done what I did when, when I was 26, I was at, at Lucas film, working on star wars. I, I wouldn't have done that starting at 18. Yeah. I did that when I, cause I started programming when I was nine. Right. You know? And that's the, I mean, that's what you have to get kids into early. Love

Leo Laporte (01:43:32):
It. Let's take a little break. I, I love this panel, Brian, my colors here. Take me ride home. Host, internet historian, and time magazine, cover collector.

Brian McCullough (01:43:41):
You, you wanna know how to stop making mistakes. Get better sleep.

Leo Laporte (01:43:46):
Oh, you must have eight sleep as a sponsor too. Also Harry MCRA and the techno Alex Lindsay from office Do you have a eight sleep cover by any chance, Brian? I do not, but I'm gonna get you to get one. Let me tell you. Yes. Kevin Rose told me about this on a TWiT sometime ago, Amy was on that TWiT. She got one. Then she said, oh, this is the greatest sleep. We finally got one a few months ago. I love this. Now for a long time, we had electric blanket to keep us warm at night. And then we got electric. Instead we got electric mattress pad. The warmths coming up, but the problem is that's a one way trip to sweaty sleep. The eight sleep is amazing. It not only gets warmer. It gets cooler. The eight, we have the eight sleep pod pro cover.

Leo Laporte (01:44:39):
It can go down to 55 degrees or as hot as 110 degrees. I can't wait till a hot summer night cause it's gonna be air conditioning in my bed. But it's amazing. And if, you know, if you think a little bit and I've read some evolutionary, so said, if you think about how we sleep, they, they know that we sleep better when it's cool, not hot when it's cool. But what you really want is to get in bed. It's nice and toasty. And then it gets cooled off in the middle of the night. You get the deepest sleep then, and then to wake up, you warm yourself up again. And that's exactly what my eight sleep pod pro cover does. I'm gonna do something a little risky here. I'm gonna open up my eight sleep app just to see what my sleep score was. I have to say before eight sleep, I'm in the sixties.

Leo Laporte (01:45:22):
I'm in the fifties. Oh, I didn't have a very good night. Last night. It was only 84% sleep fitness. I have to tell you it normally it's the nineties. Last time I showed it was 98. I think I've gotten to a hundred percent, which I, I don't think I experienced when I was an infant. This is the app is monitoring your sleep. It, the cover actually monitors your restlessness, your heart rate, your breathing, and then adjusts the temperature. According to how your sleep sleeping. They have something called autopilot. Oh, I have a temperature schedule update from autopilot. This is my temperature update. It says at bedtime, I'm gonna be plus four. Then it's going to go down. Plus two plus two plus five. I have. And, and, and by the way, it gets hotter over cuz it also checking the room temperature. This will modify itself F automatically.

Leo Laporte (01:46:15):
It is amazing. It is absolutely transformative and you're right, Brian, good sleep is a game changer for alertness, but not just for that for health research shows, good sleep can decrease the risk of heart disease. It can lower your blood pressure. Did you see my rest in rate? It's pretty good. Thank you. Ate sleep more than 30% of Americans struggle with sleep temperature. One of the main causes of poor sleep, the solution eight sleep E I G H T sleep and the pod pro cover. Now what's nice is of course Lisa has different. My wife has different sleep needs so that temperature of the cover adjusts each side of the bed, it's looking at sleep stages, biometrics, bed, temperature reacts intelligently. Her settings are completely different from mine. Eight sleep users fall asleep up to 32% faster sleep interruptions by 40% and overall get a more restful sleep.

Leo Laporte (01:47:15):
And I can absolutely vouch for that. Let me just see. Last night it was 88%. Friday night. Ooh, look, Thursday. I got 99% and I, I tell you the other stats are fantastic at the time to fall asleep was one minute that's cuz it was so cozy time to get up six minutes. It wakes me up by heating up and I jump outta bed. It's fantastic. You could see your sleep stages, your TOSES and turns your sleeping heart rate. Which for me got down to 62. This is I, I love you ate sleep. I just wanna say this. I love you deeply. With 30% more deep sleep. I feel like my mind and body are moving through the restorative sleep stages vital for physical recovery, hormone regulation, mental clarity. When I work out and I know, you know, my resting heart rate is down low. My heart rate variability is high. Just feel better powered by eight sleep. I can show up as the best partner, parent and podcaster.

Leo Laporte (01:48:18):
So that's why Brian McCullough, you have to get eight sleep, eight We're gonna save you $150 at checkout on the pod pro cover. They also have a mattress eight sleep currently ships within the us, Canada, UK, $150 off. When you go to eight sleep, E I G HT, right? I'm gonna stop raving about this, but I have to say it's the best night's sleep I've ever had. And Lisa and I are both saying, this is gonna be great on those hot summer nights when it's you're sweating, you're hot. You can't cool off. You got the, we get the fan on and it's like, oh, you're dying. I don't have to worry about it. It's just gonna cool. It's gonna be so nice. I can't wait. It's so great. Eight sleep. And it's been great during the cold winter nights too eight talking about VR, Harry McCracken. I've heard of him fast company. Earlier this month wrote an article. What the 1994 bill gates keynote tells us about the metaverse. Did, did bill know about the metaverse in 1994?

Harry McCracken (01:49:19):
He didn't, but he spent a lot of time talking about what the next 10 years of technology would be like at that point, which were about the information super highway.

Leo Laporte (01:49:27):
And so let me think this was windows three 11 dos

Harry McCracken (01:49:32):

Leo Laporte (01:49:33):

Harry McCracken (01:49:34):
And he, at the time he did these keynotes at Comdex, which was the big,

Leo Laporte (01:49:38):
It was a big deal show. Yeah. This was the big keynote. You'd get up early at 8:00 AM to see the keynote. The day before the show began Devor once edited all of bill gates, keynotes into gulps and just had along like half an hour of him. Like, it was funny when, when he actually took out all the meat. So what was the meat in this one? Well,

Harry McCracken (01:50:01):
He did this in 1994, he did this particularly elaborate one, which involved him on stage, but also this pretty lavish movie that Microsoft had made said in 2005, which,

Leo Laporte (01:50:13):
Oh, I remember

Harry McCracken (01:50:13):
That at the point, at this point, this, that was a decade in the future. Isn't that funny? And it showed all the technology we'd be using then we'd all be using wallet, PCs. Yeah. Which were not smartphones, but they were rather smartphone like and all along with giving you access to data, wherever you were people would use them like to control larger screens. So you'd be sitting in front of your TV and you'd use your wallet PC as kind of a remote control. 

Leo Laporte (01:50:40):
This was the information, your fingertips. Yeah. He,

Harry McCracken (01:50:43):
He showed that we all be getting video and demand and we'd be able to binge look

Leo Laporte (01:50:47):
At that looks to just like my Tesla. Yes. Wow.

Harry McCracken (01:50:50):
Essentially he got a lot of the broad brushstrokes pretty well pretty. He got pretty close on the broad brushstrokes and almost all of this

Leo Laporte (01:50:58):
Was before the famous internet memo. Right. Or was it right around? This was I

Harry McCracken (01:51:02):
Think at roughly the same time. Okay.

Leo Laporte (01:51:04):
Because for a long time he did not think the internet was gonna be

Harry McCracken (01:51:06):
Well, the, the internet and to the web only come up a little bit in this discussion that he doesn't completely ignore them. But at this point it wasn't clear whether it would be the, the internet that would give us the information super highway, or it might be cable TV.

Leo Laporte (01:51:21):
Let's go into the the home of 2005, which again, then was 10 years in the future. It's a nice looking house. There's

Future Mom (01:51:34):
You had your

Leo Laporte (01:51:34):
Breakfast. Oh, I remember this. The

Harry McCracken (01:51:35):
Movie is about this kid who gets bla

Leo Laporte (01:51:38):
Identify, wait a minute. I to history. Oh, no. I thought that was, that was the, they was watching the the TV. I didn't realize, I thought that was a background noise. He's watching news on his iPad.

Future Mom (01:51:53):
Aren't you supposed to be working on your report? Old cultures? I, this is not it. Turn it off

Harry McCracken (01:51:59):
At this point. Even flat screens. We're gonna futur.

Leo Laporte (01:52:01):
Really? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Remember they were so big. This have

Harry McCracken (01:52:05):

Leo Laporte (01:52:06):

Future Mom (01:52:07):
Start. I have a video later today. They can

Leo Laporte (01:52:09):
Picked up her Alexa. Good morning, mom. Oh, Nope. There's her eco B smart thermostat. She's setting the

Harry McCracken (01:52:19):
She's about to watch some TV.

Leo Laporte (01:52:21):
Now this, she was wrong on this interactive TV. Never did take off. Have a great evening. Thanks for watching. Goodnight. Everybody she's watching last night's. Now this was a big deal in 95 last night's Letterman. This

Harry McCracken (01:52:32):
Says pre TiVo.

Leo Laporte (01:52:33):
Yeah. And there's all her shows Oprah. Yeah. I guess this isn't actually far off from streaming.

Harry McCracken (01:52:41):
No, I mean, we, we, we do this this today. Although not in exactly the way that 

Leo Laporte (01:52:45):
The interface

Harry McCracken (01:52:45):
Showed, it took a little bit longer for it to

Leo Laporte (01:52:48):
Become and Oprah's no longer on, so that's another

Future Oprah (01:52:51):
In person today, partners in cyberspace meet face to

Leo Laporte (01:52:55):
Face and we don't call it cyberspace anymore.

Future Oprah (01:52:57):
Relationship survive.

Leo Laporte (01:52:59):
Right. Let me skip ahead a little bit. What else? What else are we gonna look for in our,

Harry McCracken (01:53:04):
If you're gonna find the wallet PCs, that was a big part of this movie.

Leo Laporte (01:53:07):
Yeah. Let me jump ahead.

Harry McCracken (01:53:09):
The kid also does this amazing multimedia presentation at school, which today would not be particularly exciting.

Leo Laporte (01:53:16):
This is when Microsoft spent millions with pro actors and all sorts of stuff on these videos. I kind of miss these keynotes Comdex keynote. Oh, I mean they, people still still spend millions on their, do they? Oh, here's the wallet. Oh yeah. Here's the wallet PC. The kids. Got it. Right. Let's go back here. But the

Future Oprah (01:53:37):

Leo Laporte (01:53:38):
First time she's still watching. Mom's still watching Oprah as mom does.

Future Oprah (01:53:42):
We'll talk about it on today's

Leo Laporte (01:53:43):
It's a little sexist. Mom is not a CEO at a major fortune 500 company. Apparently she's got lots of, she didn't have a zoom to watch. Yeah. She watches a lot of TV

Harry Smith (01:53:57):
Four. Come back to CBS this morning. I'm Harry Smith. Good

Leo Laporte (01:54:00):
Morning. Where's the wallet

Future Newscaster (01:54:03):
On the transition at the white house. We're gonna be taking a close look at the press. Elect plans for the nation.

Leo Laporte (01:54:08):
Who's the president 2005. He

Future Newscaster (01:54:10):

Harry McCracken (01:54:11):
It's a woman.

Leo Laporte (01:54:12):
Yeah, no. Sorry. All right. Here's the wait a minute. This is a cop show. Now

Harry McCracken (01:54:18):
There there's a murder mystery. That's part of this. Oh,

Leo Laporte (01:54:22):
There's a plot

Harry McCracken (01:54:23):
Stole on

Leo Laporte (01:54:23):
Us. There's a plot to this. Anything in the collection. Do you remember Harry in the audience and seeing this?

Harry McCracken (01:54:29):
No. I made a point of not going to bill gates, you know,

Leo Laporte (01:54:31):
Except point.

Harry McCracken (01:54:33):
Although now I, of course I wish that I had

Leo Laporte (01:54:34):
Wish you had, the only reason to go at the time really was these movies. But

Harry McCracken (01:54:37):
I discovered this once that came up on YouTube. Yeah.

Leo Laporte (01:54:40):
Yeah. Well, well, well tell me about the wallet PC. Is it like a smartphone? No.

Harry McCracken (01:54:45):
So it's a small screen you put in your pocket. I mean, this is my soft talking, so they think of it as being a PC. Right. But apparently you do not make phone calls on it. Touch screens are not part of this vision at all. If I remember correctly,

Leo Laporte (01:54:58):
Is there any AR VR at all?

Harry McCracken (01:55:01):
No, I don't think so either.

Leo Laporte (01:55:02):
So his idea, the metaverse is still at arms kind of arms length. Yeah.

Harry McCracken (01:55:06):
And and to be fair, the are trying to do stuff that's out there, but not incredibly out there. They I think he was trying to kind of pretty much figure out what the, the next things would be. And I thought of this again, coming back to mark Zuckerberg he's somebody who now is making these pretty elaborate videos, showing life in the metaverse

Leo Laporte (01:55:26):
That's right.

Harry McCracken (01:55:28):
Which are really in a lot of ways reminiscent to this. And I think the lesson is a if you're really smart, you might get some of the, of the broad picture. Right. but that doesn't mean you can predict the little details and B when, when the stuff did come along again kind of a little bit more like 2007, 2008, moving forward rather than 2005. The fact that bill gates was pretty good at anticipating what would happen did not mean that Microsoft dominated all the stuff that came

Leo Laporte (01:56:01):
Very good point.

Harry McCracken (01:56:01):
Instead, Microsoft release still a lot of things that weren't terribly successful. They did, they did not dominate smartphones. They had a holy holy crap video on demand. Holy crap. Form what

Brian McCullough (01:56:12):
Harry, I just did the math when this video happened, gates was 39 today. Mark Zuckerberg is 38.

Leo Laporte (01:56:20):
That probably makes sense. That's when you kind of are at your peak mastery of the universe,

Harry McCracken (01:56:25):
Right. And probably when you start to worry about the future, the future, maybe running away from you and somebody else determining that. So so the fact that Microsoft, even though it, it was quite good at predicting the future was not E really able to leverage that partially because it had this big business and windows, which to find how it, how it saw the world, I think has some lessons for us when we, we look at

Leo Laporte (01:56:47):
Well, as I said, I think mark has learned that innovators, dilemma message, and is willing to, that's why I think he's willing to, to risk meta in order to achieve this vision. But you make an excellent point just because you can see this, we can see it doesn't mean we're gonna be in instrumental in the next 10, 20 years. And

Harry McCracken (01:57:07):
Microsoft never bet everything on something else. Instead, it it's not, everything has been an extension of windows, which in Mo in most cases did not really work out that way.

Leo Laporte (01:57:16):
I think that that's one thing you could say, mark is not saying this, oh, the metaverses Facebook extended. I mean, he does certainly have a social aspect. That's

Harry McCracken (01:57:23):
Part of it. I mean, I think the ideas you'll still want to hang out with your friends. Yeah. In the metaverse

Alex Lindsay (01:57:28):
Yeah. The graph that Facebook has with people and they're connected and how they're connected to other people is very advantageous for a virtual world. And again, I think that that's an interesting puzzle where you see apple not going down that path. They're not trying to build that out. They're trying to augment what you already have.

Leo Laporte (01:57:41):
They're not worried about social at all.

Alex Lindsay (01:57:44):
Not yet. Not yet apples. I mean,

Leo Laporte (01:57:46):
Only assays into social were historic flops, right?

Alex Lindsay (01:57:51):
Yeah. Cuz they don't think that way. They think so much about privacy and about the individual. I think they have a hard time getting, even, even when you look at pages and numbers, which I love by the way. But the interaction between other people like sharing your pages or keynote is a great way to just not have it work anymore. So it's, you know, like doesn't work at all.

Leo Laporte (01:58:09):
In my opinion, did they did ping, they

Harry McCracken (01:58:12):
Did ping

Leo Laporte (01:58:12):
With iTunes, which was,

Alex Lindsay (01:58:14):
Yeah. That didn't

Leo Laporte (01:58:15):
Flop. Then remember they were early on in dial up networking. They had a little town E

Harry McCracken (01:58:23):
E were

Leo Laporte (01:58:23):
E world and you'd wander through this town and

Brian McCullough (01:58:27):
The apples think message was interoperable with aim back in the day too. Right. Like that was a big seller for,

Leo Laporte (01:58:33):
So they learned a couple of things. One never be never interoperate. I

Harry McCracken (01:58:36):
Think lately they've done a better job. I mean, both FaceTime and iMessage are looking like social platforms and have a ton of people using them

Leo Laporte (01:58:46):
Here was here was the E E world interface, which, and it was, it was like AOL. It was social network. So you would go in and get your email. 

Brian McCullough (01:58:56):
It kinda looks like a metaverse Leo,

Leo Laporte (01:59:00):
If you could only put on a headset and be there,

Harry McCracken (01:59:03):
What year was that again? That was, I'm not sure if that was, I

Leo Laporte (01:59:06):
Feel like that was roughly the same time as that bill gates keynote. 1996, it was close in 1996. So

Harry McCracken (01:59:16):
I'm not sure if that was Scully or Spindler

Leo Laporte (01:59:18):
Or wasn't CEO, but yeah,

Harry McCracken (01:59:21):
But it was not Steve.

Leo Laporte (01:59:22):
No. Yeah. Maybe apple learned, learned a lesson and said, nah, social's not it. But, and honestly I think apple wouldn't care if you used whatever hardware they made in the meta metaverse that's, that's not their business. They go ahead and use it with Facebook's.

Harry McCracken (01:59:39):
Yeah. They might be planning with you using some of also metaverse platform on apple

Alex Lindsay (01:59:43):
Hardware. But what, what of course, what they Facebook wants to avoid is the 30% surcharge. Apple's like sure. You can use our hardware. It's still gonna be 30.

Leo Laporte (01:59:50):
Apple's actually getting a little a little fun out of Facebook's announcement that they're gonna charge 47.5% on metaverse items. Apple says this shows Facebook hypocrisy cuz of course Facebook's been complaining about Apple's 30% V 47.5%. Well,

Brian McCullough (02:00:12):
Because, because isn't it something like, I know I did this story, but I don't remember a certain percentage goes to the Oculus platform, right? And then a certain percentage where does the other,

Leo Laporte (02:00:23):
So for every, so for every item sold in horizon worlds, which is Facebook's social VR platform, a 30% goes to meta via the Oculus platform. 25% goes to the meta app store. Oh 25% of the 70% goes to the meta app store. But

Brian McCullough (02:00:42):
They can say, look, our, our app store only takes 25%.

Leo Laporte (02:00:48):
I imagine all ends up

Alex Lindsay (02:00:49):
Not to mention that for 98% of the developers apple takes 15. So, so

Leo Laporte (02:00:54):
It's yeah. Yeah. somebody tweets the future of work is giving meta 47.5% of your salary apparently.

Brian McCullough (02:01:02):
And no one has,

Alex Lindsay (02:01:04):
I think, I think with all these, I think with all these percentages though, people are, are forgetting that, you know, the gap is buying shirts for $4 and selling 'em to us for 40. Right. I mean, mark

Leo Laporte (02:01:13):

Alex Lindsay (02:01:15):
Markup is it's

Leo Laporte (02:01:16):
Great tradition,

Alex Lindsay (02:01:17):
A lot of margin in, in a lot of things. And so we have this thing, like we know that oh, 47 is really high. Well do we, I mean, you know, like there's a lot of when they cut, when they cut it off at a, at a, at a, at a garden store for half off, they're still making margin. They're not making as much as they were before.

Brian McCullough (02:01:32):
Is that true? In a platform economy where I have to make my margins on top of your margins on top of someone else's margins, do you know what I mean? Like it is, I get what

Leo Laporte (02:01:42):
You're saying. It is rent seeking.

Brian McCullough (02:01:44):

Leo Laporte (02:01:45):
Yeah, yeah. It's

Alex Lindsay (02:01:46):
Complicated. We just don't

Leo Laporte (02:01:47):
It's complicated. Cause sometimes it's worth it and sometimes it's not

Alex Lindsay (02:01:50):

Leo Laporte (02:01:51):
I don't think Netflix should have to pay apple 30%, but if you've developed a game like Fortnite, I think that's appropriate. So I don't know. And you know, requires apples platforms. I don't, I don't know. We have these conversations on Mac break weekly. Yeah. Weekly as a matter, as a matter of

Alex Lindsay (02:02:07):
Yeah, just about

Leo Laporte (02:02:08):
Yeah. Yeah. big tech is pouring money into something that doesn't exist yet. This article from the Atlantic about carbon removal, Google and Facebook, nearly a billion dollars into a technology to zero out emissions. But there is no technology yet. The theory is if we pour money into it, maybe that technology will be invented. And there is a history that might confirm that in 2010, instead of donors committed one and a half billion to buy a vaccine for stripped Toco pneumonia before it had been invented. But that advanced market commitment spurred the rapid innovation and deployment of a pneumococcal vaccine, which has saved. Can you say that about

Alex Lindsay (02:02:55):
COVID as well? Yeah. I mean, you know, we, we, we figured out how to make a vaccine really fast with a lot, an enormous amount of money that no one wants to talk about. Like how much money they spent. Well,

Leo Laporte (02:03:03):
But we'd been working on RNA vaccines for a decade trying to get them to work. Right. And then the time came in, we and we needed them and they did work. I think that's a worthwhile expenditure. Are you saying it was too much money Alex?

Alex Lindsay (02:03:17):
No, not at all. Okay. No I'm saying, I'm saying that we, we were able to make it work. Yeah know, like we were, we were making, we were able to make it work by reinvesting, by, by putting in reinvesting and then putting enormous amount of money when it was needed. Yeah. And we may have to do that with carbon, you know, sequester all, there's a lot of easier ways to do it in a lot of there's things. Those trees and mangroves, all kinds stuff that if we planted more of would prob that works now today. Yeah. For success. So it

Leo Laporte (02:03:43):
It's, they're putting money 925 million into a new company owned by Stripe called frontier. Frontier has investments in 17 different or I'm sorry, 14 different carbon removal startups. One called carbon built is trying to sequester carbon trying is the operative word so far to sequester carbon by capturing it in concrete. The future forest company wants to accelerate the natural process of wa rock weathering. I somehow that helps project Vesta wants to line beaches with a carbon capturing mineral called all Levine

Brian McCullough (02:04:23):
Rock weathering, by the way is the natural. That's how the globe, when, when, when plate tectonics goes under, like that's how most of the carbon,

Leo Laporte (02:04:32):
Oh, it gets sequestered by just getting sucked under the crust.

Brian McCullough (02:04:36):
That's the natural process of removing carbon from

Leo Laporte (02:04:39):
Yeah. I like their motto, effing the future.

Alex Lindsay (02:04:45):
That's fun.

Leo Laporte (02:04:48):
That's interesting. Okay. you know what I, I'm not gonna in fact, is that all 925 million? Could we put a little more in please?

Alex Lindsay (02:04:57):
Yeah. That that's like, that's like flipping bill off the outside of your role just saying here.

Brian McCullough (02:05:03):
Yeah. They're yeah. They're saying it's still a thousand times shorter to the market. We need by 2050, but also the market here is there it's similar to the RNA stuff, which is, they're assuming the governments of the world are gonna pay for this, the right. Because if who's who, who would be motivated to get the like who, who could pay for getting the carbon out of the atmosphere. So they're assuming I'm looking right here. The carbon removal market will probably need to reach $1 trillion a year for it to work out, but who would pay for that would be the world's 

Alex Lindsay (02:05:37):
They're just moving the technology forward.

Brian McCullough (02:05:39):

Leo Laporte (02:05:41):
Yeah. Intel says they're gonna have a net zero carbon emission, their goal though, not till 2040. And they've only really got ideas for the, for two of the three scopes that are commonly causing carbon emissions scope. One is raw material scope. Two is manufacturing, but of course, creating microprocesors uses a lot of nasty chemicals. And they're only gonna rely on offsets for the hardest to reduce emissions. The ones involved in making things like per floor carbons, which warm the planet a thousand times more than carbon dioxide. So chip making is a nasty, nasty process. And Intel says, well, by 2040, it's gonna be less nasty, I guess would be the, the phrase not so nasty. You Houston Astros stadium using Amazon's walkout technology. The first major league baseball stadium that should go, well, I wanna just take a hot dog and go out, watch the ball game. Astros have teamed up with Amazon to install just walkout systems in two concession stores in minute made park, the 90 whole our market. So if you're in a, in the Houston area, get your snacks and souvenirs, you insert your credit card at the entry gate, you grab things off the shelf and you leave when you're done.

Alex Lindsay (02:07:11):
Don't you always feel like I buy a lot of stuff at the app. When I buy stuff at the apple store, I don't buy a lot of stuff. I don't get there very often, but I, when I go there, I buy it. Usually with my phone, I just open up the app store an apple store. I just take a picture of it. And, and then it charges me and then I walk out and I just feel like I'm stealing. Like I always feel like someone's gonna stop me.

Leo Laporte (02:07:25):
Yeah, no, no. I pay for this.

Harry McCracken (02:07:29):
Amazon is working also with Starbucks on this automated checkout and there's a Amazon go store. I go to a lot in San Francisco. Do you use it? Yeah, I do. But I'm does make you nervous. I'm usually not, not anymore, but I am interested in the fact that I I'm usually the only person there. And I kind of wonder whether maybe the future of this technology is, is not Amazon opening up. Lots of stores that offer at so my, as these partnerships. Yeah.

Brian McCullough (02:07:56):
Yeah. Harry haven't haven't you heard that they're sort of pulling back a bit, like they're taking their foot off the pedal a little bit on, on this sort of stuff. Maybe retail, generally their retail.

Harry McCracken (02:08:08):
I mean they've shut down a lot of their retail. They should on theirs stores. Yeah. The the Amazon go stores, least the ones I go to cut way back on the number of products they sell. I mean, I think they were unfortunate enough to be trying to ramp them up right before the pandemic started. And there's just less need for convenience stores, at least in San Francisco than there once was. 

Leo Laporte (02:08:30):
Well I think especially in San Francisco, just walk out is a, is a recipe for Trump. I think people have already started that in many stores in San Francisco.

Harry McCracken (02:08:39):
Yeah. Well at the Amazon go store you can just walk out, but just walking in as a bit of a challenge, cause you need

Leo Laporte (02:08:47):
To, you have to have your phone

Harry McCracken (02:08:48):
Amazon app. It used to be that there was an Amazon go app that was pretty convenient, but now they make you use the Amazon app and you have to scroll through to find this code, which it generates on the fly

Leo Laporte (02:08:58):
Time. I'm foods.

Harry McCracken (02:08:59):
Sometimes it doesn't work very well. So

Leo Laporte (02:09:00):
They want me to scan my phone and I start playing with they. Oh, forget it. I'll just pay, you know, funny

Alex Lindsay (02:09:06):
Thing. The funny thing is the whole foods app has a problem where the QR code doesn't come up. Yeah. Very fast. It takes a long time, but the Amazon one goes really fast. So it just pops right up. Like if you, when you get to it after,

Leo Laporte (02:09:17):
Should I use the Amazon app instead of the whole foods

Alex Lindsay (02:09:19):
App? Well, what's nice about it is if I ever can't remember what I bought that I like, oh, there, you know, they know they know what it and know everything. The hard part for me is that I would, I actually like check, you know, checking out without talking to anybody. But the problem is, is that in whole foods, I only, I really only shop the edges. Like I don't really buy products and boxes. And so, right. So the problem is, is that that becomes really difficult. Like if you've got, I, you know, I, I always said I was never gonna be that person that just has a pile of raw materials. It takes forever to get through the, I never, I was always behind, but you now, oh my God. Now I am it so, so way to show. So the problem is you can't, you can't go through the, trying to go through the audit automated thing with like lettuce and asparagus and stuff like that is not trivial. Like it takes a long time. I'd rather just have somebody scan it. You bought, so that's a

Leo Laporte (02:10:02):
Asparagus you bought Ruda.

Alex Lindsay (02:10:04):
Be wait it, cause you can't, you can't run it, roll over it. You have to weigh it and sit there, set it down. And I'm just like, oh, I can't, I can't everything wrong. I think

Leo Laporte (02:10:11):
We're all gonna begging for the return of cashiers any minute now. Yeah. Hey, I wanna take a little break before we wrap things up. We're getting to it's the end of the show. But I do want to, to show you this. This is Blueland. We were talking about being environmentally conscious. The number one thing we're trying to do at home is eliminate single use plastics, plastic bags, plastic bottles. It's a huge problem. Every year, 5 billion, PLA 5 billion with a B plastic hand soap and cleaning bottles are thrown away. And when you buy those bottles, they're mostly water. You're, you're paying and trucks to ship water, 90% water around the country. It's bad for the planet, bad for your wallet. I've got a better way. It's blue land. And I am a huge fan. I wanted to do a little science experiment cause I've talked about blue land a lot.

Leo Laporte (02:10:59):
This is the blue land foaming hand up. So this is designed never to be thrown at. It's a beautiful heavy glass container. I filled it with water so that didn't have to be shipped anywhere up to the fill line. And then I'm gonna add the, let's see what flavor is this? Iris agave, the foaming hand soap, little. This is the little tablet and you subscribe and they send you the tablet in the mail. So you never run out. It makes the best hand soap ever. And I don't throw away plastics, but it's not just hand soap. Get in there. There we go. We're gonna make some hands up. By the time the commercial is done, we'll have some hairy, you can wash your hands with my Iris agave foaming, hands up. Actually they have lots of flavors, sometimes special flavors for Christmas. I got gingerbread.

Leo Laporte (02:11:46):
So I smell like gingerbread. Whenever I wash my hands. Here's the, here's the the kinds of bottles. This is the let's see, it says multi-surface cleaner. Same thing. Fill it with water. You get the tablet. We use their powder for our wa dishwasher which works every bit as well. If not better than the plastic pods, we used to use same thing for our washing machine. They've got cleaners. The toilet tablets are fantastic. And by the way, these sell out every time they've got the, I've got some more in stock. The Blueland toilet tablet cleaner, you just pop in the toilet, walk away, finish your house. Cleaning, scrub the toilet with a little brush you're done. It's gonna sell out again. I know from the best selling clean essentials kit to their hand, soap duo to their plastic, free laundry and dishwasher tablets.

Leo Laporte (02:12:32):
I missed a huge fan. Blueland has something for every inch of your home. I love Blueland they're high quality forever bottles start at just $10. When you buy a kit, they're meant to be reused forever, no more plastics in the landfill and the money saving refill tablets. It's just two bucks. So you just pop those in and you never run outta hand soap or cleaning solutions or laundry detergent. I think it's a great way to eliminate waste PA and these are not, you're not sacrificing anything. These are great cleaners. They really work. At least. They actually did an experiment with our dish washing soap and our laundry detergent. We replaced them with blue land and she said, can you tell a difference? I said, no, it is great love. Blueland beautiful bottles, beautiful solutions. Well that smell, that smells so good. Iris agave para lemon lavender eucalyptus right now, 20% off your first order, go to Right now you can get 20% off your first order. Get your Blueland products. Blueland.Com/TWiT. I won't make you wash your hands, Harry, but this I have to tell you it's the best I have every bathroom in our house has Blueland foaming hands soap. It's still dissolving when it's done. We can all wash our hands of, of this show. Thank you. Blueland we love you. Blueland.Com/TWiT. Thank you for your support of this week in tech, our first science project on the show, John it's good.

Leo Laporte (02:14:07):
Hey, we had a great week this week in TWiT and we have a wonderful little mini movie, our talented staff. I think Victor made this just for your ation and joy

Ant (02:14:16):
Today. We're gonna do a fireside chat with the man that most of you all know as the angry one on this looking Google,

Jeff Jarvis (02:14:25):
Hey, Hey,

Ant (02:14:26):
Who's angry here

Jim (02:14:28):
Previously on TWiTtter, hands on photography.

Ant (02:14:32):
I challenged you. You stepped up for the challenge. Yep. We're talking about the moon photography challenge. You guys sent in a bunch of different images. I'm only gonna show you a hand full of them.

Jim (02:14:43):
Tech news weekly.

Jeff Jarvis (02:14:44):
So what does an NFT of a treat mean? I don't know, but AA paid 2.9 million for it. Whoa. the, you know, the punch find is that he is now trying to sell it and the best offer he got was actually $10,000 for $10,000. Do you find value in Dorsey's

Future Mom (02:15:02):

Jeff Jarvis (02:15:03):
Tweet? I think I would pay $2 and 80 cents. Okay,

Ant (02:15:08):
Nice. Nice it start

Jeff Jarvis (02:15:09):

Jim (02:15:11):
This weekend. Google. Oh,

Leo Laporte (02:15:12):
Gilbert Gottfried passed away at the young age of 67 way too young. Yeah. Very disturbed here. Here's the real Gilbert Godfried playing Microsoft's favorite mascot

Gilbert (02:15:26):
Office. HP. Where will just see about this? Hey, you, it looks like you're right. What you like beat it TWiT.

Jim (02:15:35):
Hey yo,

Leo Laporte (02:15:40):
They stopped right there. They didn't want my full Gilbert Godfried impression. Okay. I understand that. By the way, Owen Thomas, who was on tech news weekly, there will be joining us next week. I think on TWiT. Hope you enjoyed the show that interview with Jeff. I don't wanna disappoint you, but that's for club TWiT members. It appears on the TWiT plus feet, a little plug for club TWiT, add free versions of all the shows. You don't get the science experiments. You just get the content. Plus you get access to the discord, which is so much fun. We love our club, TWiT discord. It's my personal favorite social network of time. And the TWiT plus feed. We have so many shows that are only in club TWiT. Now Stacy's book club, that's part of the TWiT plus feed the untitled Linox show the GIZ fi with DT Bartolo, and we are launching more shows.

Leo Laporte (02:16:27):
Some of those shows thanks to members are we are able to then put into the regular feed like this week in space with rod PI and tar Malik, which we just launched in our regular feeds our newest show on the TWiT network. Thanks to the support of our club, TWiT members. I think it's a pretty good deal for seven bucks a month. TWiT. Thank you very much. We're talking about mark Zuckerberg. He has very good security. He has the most expensive security in Silicon valley, 25.2 million a year to protect Z shell Sandberg 9 million CI Pati only 4.3. For some reason, Evan Spiegel of chat really thinks he's at risk. He's got 2.3 million more than Larry Ellison. 2.2, Jeff Bezos, Amir 1.6 million to protect Jeff, but that's cuz he's so Buffy could protect himself. Warren buffet, just TWiTtter, $73,000. And the CEO, the new CEO of TWiTtter POAG agro will while $63,800. Right? But no number on Elon Musk. I wonder how much he doesn't want to talk about it. I wanna come. What's

Brian McCullough (02:17:37):
The number on you?

Leo Laporte (02:17:38):
Leo? My security. I think I don't know. We should have some, I don't wanna talk about it,

Brian McCullough (02:17:47):
Right? No,

Leo Laporte (02:17:47):
We laid him on that's right?

Alex Lindsay (02:17:49):
No, no one really, no one really knows what Burke's background is. You know, Leo keeps that hot secret secret. They just think he's the cook, but he's not he's he's a king ex

Leo Laporte (02:17:57):
Kickboxing. Yes, no. We actually had a, we had a guard at the front desk. The great Mo loved him. Ex-Marine carried a, he was licensed to carry and had a, you know, was greeted everyone coming in the door with a stern expression. But when COVID hit, nobody came to the door anymore. So we had to lay him off. But Mo's a great guy. He got a, he got another job. I'm glad to say. And I guess maybe someday we'll we'll bring him back. I I'm still nervous about having people in studio. I don't know. You're okay, Harry, I checked you.

Harry McCracken (02:18:31):
Yeah. Yeah. But I'm the only person here. Yeah. Other than the gang. Yeah.

Brian McCullough (02:18:35):
He said that and looked right at Harry

Leo Laporte (02:18:37):
With Anstead.

Harry McCracken (02:18:40):
When was the last time you had an actual audience in here?

Leo Laporte (02:18:44):
I think it would probably be February 20. 20. Wow. Yeah. Nobody's come in. Since we closed the studio a little bit before this date of California shut down on St. Patrick's day, March 17th, but we decided to mostly to protect. I asked the employees, I said, how do you feel about letting people come in? And a number of 'em said, you know, we don't feel safe with that. So we, we shut it down earlier. I, I don't remember the date. Do you remember John? No. I think it was early March.

Harry McCracken (02:19:11):
Maybe for your 18th anniversary. You can bring them back.

Leo Laporte (02:19:14):
I'm thinking 20th. I don't know. Sometime, someday. We'd have to bring Mo back too, because I I've gotta have security. I do. What do you think they get for 20? You would know this, Alex, you seem like a, a guy would know what you get for 25 million in security.

Alex Lindsay (02:19:30):
You know, a lot of it has to do with the function function of how much how much you travel. So a lot of that expense and then how also, how it's just budgeted by the, by the company because the private

Leo Laporte (02:19:41):
Jet's expensive. Right? I mean that's well,

Alex Lindsay (02:19:43):
Well, but that doesn't count is the, I mean that that's the, the executive has that. And so it doesn't cost more to put someone in. I mean, the only difference is the little sandwiches, you know? So the, so the you gotta have a taste they're expensive. They're expensive. We'll say the sandwiches are really good anyway. So the it's remarkably good. Like you're like, how did they get anything anyways, really?

Leo Laporte (02:20:01):
See, I've never been in a, a private jet.

Alex Lindsay (02:20:04):
Yeah. I had to do a bunch of tests in a G4. And so I, it was, it was fun cuz I just had to do, we just got the fly around trying to stream out of a G4, which doesn't work in case you're wondering. Oh

Leo Laporte (02:20:12):
Really? Anyways. So like somebody was saying our executive wants to do a

Alex Lindsay (02:20:17):
Show who knows an event, G4

Leo Laporte (02:20:19):
An event, an a G4.

Alex Lindsay (02:20:21):
They wanted to shoot the eclipse from a G four. Oh well that's cool. And so they wanted to stream 160 off the coast of, of, of, of Oregon, which means you can't shoot down because you can't, you know, so that's how you know, and you can't, and then it didn't have an up pointed satellite dish. And so you couldn't, so we were, we told them this isn't gonna work. I'm not gonna say who it was. We told them it wasn't gonna work, but they still wanted, they were committed to doing it. And I was like, well, if you want me to go up and test it, I will test

Leo Laporte (02:20:46):
Sandwiches is what you said.

Alex Lindsay (02:20:47):
But well, they used, they just, just, they just rented a G4 and it comes with the sandwiches and, and someone who serves them anyway, sandwich comes sandwiches, sandwiches. So, and they're really nice. They're really good sandwiches anyway. So the but the

Leo Laporte (02:21:01):
Air force one however can stream, I should say.

Alex Lindsay (02:21:04):
Yeah. Yeah, exactly. So, so you know, the, with security though, I mean, so a lot of someone at that level is, is typically pulling people outta soft, you know, special operations and as well as SAS, I mean, those are the two. And the problem is, is that the issue that you have with it is that they have to be good at what they do. And these are usually people who are really good at what they do. And they also have to be public facing. So there's a lot of people who are really good at, well,

Leo Laporte (02:21:30):

Alex Lindsay (02:21:30):
Can't have face hats and not gruff and not, not gruff, you know, like, yes, that's where like not like respond, you know, respond badly. Yeah. So, so the thing is, is that there's, you know, so there's a big percentage of the people who aren't publicly facing end up at Blackwater and the people who are publicly facing

Leo Laporte (02:21:46):
End up

Alex Lindsay (02:21:46):
In security, but you are competing with black water salaries, which are like 300,000 a year. So, so you, you know, you get a group of people that, that have to take care of someone, then you end up with, you know, six to eight of folks there, that's your base. Then you have to travel them around. Then you have to, you know, then you have, you know, all their hotels and anytime you go anywhere, there's a group of these people that are, that are wandering around and making sure everything's working. So you have, you know, at if, if the person travels a lot. So, you know, my guess is it's, it's heavily related to how much an executive travels is, how and mark, you know, we, we would assume gets around. And and so

Leo Laporte (02:22:20):
The other thing is you'd have to pay me a lot of money to be willing, to take a bullet for mark. You know what I'm saying? Oh,

Alex Lindsay (02:22:28):
He's he's people who live near. He's not, he's a good guy. Talk

Harry McCracken (02:22:32):
About the experience of encountering his security.

Leo Laporte (02:22:35):
Oh really? Yes. Well, didn't he buy all the houses around his house? I believe so. Yeah. And in Hawaii, I'm gonna move the microphone closer to you because it's monitoring. And in Hawaii he bought all the land. In fact, that's a big controversy cuz he, he bought lots of land. He and he tried to keep people off the beaches where they

Brian McCullough (02:22:54):
Well, and is that, is, is he traveling back? I've I've I did a story on that. Like he's been going back and forth to I think Hawaii and LA a lot, like maybe is it, it is the travel just back and forth between his like work stuff.

Leo Laporte (02:23:06):
And this is the other thing. He only gets a dollar a year compensation

Alex Lindsay (02:23:12):
He's doing okay. And I'm sure he is not.

Leo Laporte (02:23:15):
He just, but what does he have to sell stock a little bit at a time just to pay for the,

Alex Lindsay (02:23:18):
A lot of, so a lot of executives, just

Leo Laporte (02:23:20):
A dog Walker, how do you pay for the dog? Walker?

Alex Lindsay (02:23:23):
A lot of, a lot of executives have a set schedule to their stock, right? So to, you know, you don't wanna have any surges. Cause if you start selling a lot of it all at one time, someone something happen and so you set up a schedule. And so it's just turning that, turning that over and you're generating revenue from it all. And

Brian McCullough (02:23:36):
Then if you decide you wanna buy TWiTtter,

Alex Lindsay (02:23:41):
You need to that's a lot up. Well, the other thing they do is they borrow against, they borrow their stock. Right. And then they, and then that that's tax free. You know? So making a dollar just means you're not paying,

Leo Laporte (02:23:51):
You're probably doing a lot of stories. I'm sure. Brian on NFTs cryptocurrency, there've been a lot of ripoffs and scams lately. Yes. I thought I'd do a positive story about crypto. The board a tapes are getting a movie trilogy.

Brian McCullough (02:24:10):
I did this one too. Yeah, Yeah, yeah.

Leo Laporte (02:24:14):
Coinbase is producing a, a trio of films,

Brian McCullough (02:24:19):
But wait, stop. Leo Coinbase is producing. Not paramount,

Leo Laporte (02:24:23):
Not Hollywood Coinbase.

Alex Lindsay (02:24:25):
I'm sure that'll turn out. Great.

Leo Laporte (02:24:28):
The hard

Alex Lindsay (02:24:28):
Part, the hard part there is, is again, talent. Like the streaming companies have taken up like everybody's busy, you know? So if, if you're not doing it with a big studio, you're gonna wait, wait,

Brian McCullough (02:24:37):
Leo set the table. And then there's the, I, I wanna tell you the most interesting thing about this.

Leo Laporte (02:24:41):
Okay. The the first, the three installments for the series of animated shorts called the deacon trilogy. I'm sure there's a meaning to that. Well premier, no

Brian McCullough (02:24:52):
Degen like de

Leo Laporte (02:24:54):
Oh Degen, like yes. Oh degenerative cuz they're board apes. So they're degenerative. Well premier at NFT NYC in June with the NFT community of apes and non apes alike having a say in the film's plot. Oh it goes downhill. Oh, it goes downhill. So what's the, what's the, what's the story?

Brian McCullough (02:25:15):
Well, so not only is it plot by committee, but also one of the interesting things, at least I've been told, but we'll see how this actually plays out, but you own the IP of the ape that you own. That's like part of what they put into the Dow. Right. So you're the most interesting thing to me was everyone is allowed to audition their ape to be in the show or

Leo Laporte (02:25:41):
How do you NFT?

Brian McCullough (02:25:44):
Well, but that's, I, I mean, this is what's interesting. You have to apply and be like, look, my ape is the coolest, he's gotta sort of remember Leonardo from the teenage mu he's got like that sort of you know, he's a rebel, but he's cool. You know, like vibe, I dunno,

Leo Laporte (02:26:01):
You will not be able to see the videos unless you Coinbase wallet. Okay. I

Brian McCullough (02:26:07):
Think they're, I think to be fair, I think they're gonna debut it and God, listen, God knows if it was popular, you'll see it in a multiplex. That's right. But then eventually sort of like Disney used to do with, you know, snow white that they'll put it in a vault and only certain and people can see

Leo Laporte (02:26:24):
It. Did you ever go to the board yacht club themed popup burger restaurant in long beach? Oh my God.

Alex Lindsay (02:26:34):
What is mean? We think of all these, we think of all these things as crazy, but the reality is the art world has been crazy for a long time, you know, like it's, it's not, there's nothing like someone sold a banana for 185 S sure. So it's, you know, it's not any like NFTs it's like

Leo Laporte (02:26:47):
Art Bole, art world Bole or something like that. Right.

Alex Lindsay (02:26:50):

Brian McCullough (02:26:51):
Of the greatest pieces of art of all time is Duchamp's urinal. Right. Which he called fountain, which was a urinal. Right. But he called it a fountain on a wall. He put it on the wall. Yeah.

Leo Laporte (02:27:01):
Yeah. Isn't that funny? Ha no you're right. Or the banana, which

Alex Lindsay (02:27:06):
Well, but, you know, I was talking to someone about NFTs and the best thing that ever someone ever said when it clicked for me about NFTs was, was when he said, when he said it was basically babe, Ruth's, you know, 1927 card, the paper is worth nothing. Like the paper, the paper of the card is worth nothing. Sure. It's because we have Providence and we say, it's valuable. Like that is it like, you know, and, and the blockchain gives it Providence. And then we just start saying, it's valuable. So

Leo Laporte (02:27:31):
What went wrong with Jack Dorsey's first tweet.

Alex Lindsay (02:27:36):
It's absurd. There's an absurd idea.

Leo Laporte (02:27:38):

Alex Lindsay (02:27:39):
It's a lot of, there's a lot of art that gets bought and then it's not worth anything Leo it's like, are you

Brian McCullough (02:27:43):
Aware, are you aware of the fact that I'm pretty sure no one has been able to disprove this? I, I made an NFT of a podcast episode. I think it was January of last year. It's see if you can find it. It's on wearable. Look for tech meme, ride home on wearable. But I, I might, I've always sold eight of the 10, but I'm pretty sure it's the first NFT of a, of a podcast episode. So,

Leo Laporte (02:28:09):
So you get pride, pride, a place in that respect.

Brian McCullough (02:28:12):
That's what I'm trying to say. Here it is. And I was the

Leo Laporte (02:28:15):
Interview with Gary tan from February 6th of last year.

Brian McCullough (02:28:19):

Leo Laporte (02:28:20):
Titled bonus office hours with, did you, was there some reason Gary tan?

Brian McCullough (02:28:25):
No. I just, we were talking about NFTs at the time could have been

Leo Laporte (02:28:28):
Me. I agree. I, I missed the opportunity to be a pioneer in this space.

Alex Lindsay (02:28:32):
The point we're trying to make is there's two left and it's the first one. That's the point we're trying to make

Leo Laporte (02:28:36):
The current highest bid.

Brian McCullough (02:28:37):
No, there's eight left. There's eight. Oh, there's eight left IED.

Leo Laporte (02:28:42):
You made it 10. So two are gone.

Brian McCullough (02:28:45):
The most important thing is Christmas sold two. Yeah. I sold two Christmas.

Leo Laporte (02:28:49):
I bought one, which is nice.

Brian McCullough (02:28:51):
I, I sold two and I lost money because the gas fees, gas fees to actually make the sale happened cost more than I got in the, yeah, there's a,

Alex Lindsay (02:29:01):
You sold it for less than a hundred dollars

Brian McCullough (02:29:05):
A tax bill this year for crypto for the first time in my life because of this.

Leo Laporte (02:29:11):

Alex Lindsay (02:29:12):
That's funny.

Leo Laporte (02:29:13):
Well, somebody's getting rich and as usual, it's the behind the scenes, people who provide the highest bid 0.04 E

Brian McCullough (02:29:24):
Yeah. Let's get that up there. People come

Leo Laporte (02:29:25):
On 122 bucks for one edition. Come on. First

Brian McCullough (02:29:28):
One. Although the first, if the first tweet as I, I, I hijack that if the first tweet isn't gonna do it, I don't know that the first,

Leo Laporte (02:29:36):
Well, I mean, still going for 10,000, it wasn't 29 million. I kind of feel bad for the guy who spent the 29 million until I realized he probably didn't spend $29 million. He's probably spent some Bitcoin. He had lying around or something.

Alex Lindsay (02:29:49):
Yeah, no, I'm a lot of this I think is driven by people. Who've made a lot of money. They have a lot of money and they're not, they're not the kind of people that want to want something on the wall. They want something electronic. And so it provides something electronic and you know, they that's right. It's also, art is also a great way to you know, launder money. Yeah.

Leo Laporte (02:30:05):
Ladies, gentlemen, rare Go on and get your tech meme, ride home podcast. The very first, as far as we know, podcast NFT,

Brian McCullough (02:30:16):
No, one's been able to disprove it yet. And, and people haven't been talking about it.

Alex Lindsay (02:30:20):
That's awesome.

Leo Laporte (02:30:22):
Congratulate. You're you're a historic figure.

Brian McCullough (02:30:25):
Exactly. That's

Leo Laporte (02:30:26):
Very good. That's Brian McCullough tech meme ride home. It's easy to find you just go to tech meme dot coms on the front page there. But of course you probably should subscribe in your favorite podcast player. So you don't have to think about going anywhere. It just arise. Exactly. Magically. You doing anything else? Or is that a, that's probably a full-time gig. I would imagine

Brian McCullough (02:30:47):
It is. Although the podcast, sorry to say raised a venture fund recently.

Leo Laporte (02:30:52):
Wait a minute. What?

Brian McCullough (02:30:54):
Yes. It's

Leo Laporte (02:30:56):
Not only have an NFT, but you have a venture fund.

Brian McCullough (02:30:59):
Yeah. It started in October. All of the LPs are listeners of the show. It's a tiny, tiny fund. It's only an early stage.

Leo Laporte (02:31:08):
You're like a king of the newest finance

Brian McCullough (02:31:11):
Three mill, but it's, it's a rolling fund. And so that could go up too because any, any credited investor could invest. But it's, it's been beautiful because we're running it open kimono style. Every company we invest in, we have them come on the show, talk about what they're doing. So even if you're not an investor in the podcast hopefully, or in, in the fund, sorry all of the listeners of the podcast will become fans of you.

Leo Laporte (02:31:40):
You're quite the innovator ride home

Brian McCullough (02:31:45):
That is true.

Leo Laporte (02:31:45):
You're quite, when you say 3 million, is that like people have given you 3 million to invest

Brian McCullough (02:31:51):
As of this moment, three, $3 million now. Wow. It's a rolling fund. So next year, we'll see how many people reup

Alex Lindsay (02:32:00):
And, and have you invested anything yet?

Brian McCullough (02:32:03):
Yes. 18 companies. Wow. Of which only four are on there, because again, we're leveraging the show. You know, we don't wanna announce it until it's useful to the companies. And so when you come on and say, Hey, here's what we're doing, where we, we wanna be introduced to this company or we, we we're hiring in this area. So we've invested in 18 companies. But we'll see how long it takes.

Leo Laporte (02:32:30):
Brian. I'm guessing that you're

Brian McCullough (02:32:31):
39 39. Why do you say that?

Leo Laporte (02:32:35):
Because that's when people, you know, really kick into gear like bill gates and exactly Zuckerberg. And I think you you're kicking in the gear. My friend,

Brian McCullough (02:32:43):
Sadly, I'm 44. Oh,

Leo Laporte (02:32:45):
Well you're a little late. That's okay. It's close enough. That's close enough. You probably had the idea for this when you were 39.

Brian McCullough (02:32:52):
No, but listen the fact that, that you can do this through AngelList et cetera. Listen, I, I, I D to everything, I apologize. Take me,

Leo Laporte (02:33:03):
This is, I'm asking you for your plug and this is it. This is great. In fact, I'm, I'm blown away. Ride home fun. Protect

Brian McCullough (02:33:09):
Me, ride home. You The podcast. Yes.

Leo Laporte (02:33:15):
Not only. And by the way, it's early stage, right? So these are really, these are like ground floor getting in on round floor of these companies,

Brian McCullough (02:33:22):
Which is, which is Leo. Why? I think it works. Is that like, look, no

Leo Laporte (02:33:25):
One, yeah. Deal flow.

Brian McCullough (02:33:27):
Well, but no one that is raising a hundred million series B or C needs me. Right. But a certain type of company that wants to reach tens of thousands of people that work in tech. Might

Leo Laporte (02:33:41):
I just keep myself, I didn't think of this. That's all.

Brian McCullough (02:33:45):
Mm. You

Leo Laporte (02:33:45):
Can do it. No, Nor am I gonna offer an NFT, but we might have cupcakes on our 20th anniversary show. I'm just saying, hang in there for that ride home I love it. No, that's great. That's great. And don't forget rebel for your chance to get in. You know, what,

Brian McCullough (02:34:05):
If I, if I, if the NFT goes high enough, then forget the fun, you know?

Leo Laporte (02:34:10):
Yeah. Cuz you don't get to keep the 3 million, but you get to keep the 0.04 E I'm just, I'm a river to my people as they say that's exactly right. Yep. Harry MCRA and the techno did you think back in 1996, we'd be sitting here doing this global technology editor at fast company. And look what you're using an iPad mini using.

Harry McCracken (02:34:34):
I mean, iPad pro it's the small, I oh, it's the

Leo Laporte (02:34:38):
11 inch IPI.

Harry McCracken (02:34:39):
Not, I love it. The size is just perfect. Yeah. Yeah, that's, what's happier with this.

Leo Laporte (02:34:43):
Is that

Harry McCracken (02:34:43):
Your main computer? It's my main computer. And I'm much happier than when I use the larger one. Just because it's more portable and it works much better as a tablet than the larger you write

Leo Laporte (02:34:50):
All those great articles and fast company on that thing.

Harry McCracken (02:34:54):
98% of this stuff I've written since 2000 of an I've written on an iPad.

Leo Laporte (02:34:58):
Wow. Wow. That's I feel like carpal tunnel is in your future. I

Harry McCracken (02:35:03):
Don't, I hope not. My wrists feel pretty good at the, do

Leo Laporte (02:35:05):
They? Okay. Cause there's no travel on that. Right? It's

Harry McCracken (02:35:07):
No travel, but I I've never liked travel and keyboards. I've never met a keyboard snob at all. Nice.

Leo Laporte (02:35:13):
I'm so glad you came up. Thank you.

Harry McCracken (02:35:15):
It's been great. It's wonderful to see. Let's hope that you continue to have people in studio

Leo Laporte (02:35:19):
Gradually inch by inch. We're working on fingers. Just crossed. Yeah. really nice to see you, Harry. And of course, Alex, Lindsay, I'll see you on Tuesday. If you wanna hire Alex to test your G five S satellite capabilities,

Alex Lindsay (02:35:34):
I'm there. I'm there. He's there for you. It has to have sandwiches. Oh,

Leo Laporte (02:35:37):
Fams sandwiches. Oh nine. Oh no. I'm sure he actually wants real dollars. Oh nine oh media is his is his business. But of course the thing he's doing that is also groundbreaking office, soon to be seen on the six megahertz band of satellites or something working on it. Yeah. Right now though, you go off hours global, you can watch the YouTube videos. You can join the zoom conversation fill out a form, get an invitation, all sorts of stuff. Even things like cooking on the weekends,

Alex Lindsay (02:36:10):
Except is it, the geeky is cooking cuz it's people cooking from their home, but they have a multicam setup. So everyone talking to each other is like, let me show you the close up of what I'm doing here. I don't understand how to do said so it's, it's a yeah. It's we take it to a different, I take everything a little over. Honestly, that's kind of our thing. This

Leo Laporte (02:36:25):
Is the most innovative thing going on in in internet media right now. It's really fascinating what you're doing with it. Office hours, dot global. And it's pretty much all the time. It's like

Alex Lindsay (02:36:36):
24. It's 20. I'm coming down to this. I'm just gonna go hang out with everybody. You it's like the it's for 24 hours a day. There's like a, there's basically the most geeky water cooler you can possibly imagine as you just sit there and, and yeah, it's fun.

Leo Laporte (02:36:49):
It's great to have you Alex. And I'm looking forward to seeing you on Tuesday. Well, find

Alex Lindsay (02:36:53):

Leo Laporte (02:36:53):
Always fun. Talk about,

Alex Lindsay (02:36:55):
I love apple and I love Mac break, but it's really fun to be on TWiTtter. Cause it's just, it's not quite as 

Leo Laporte (02:36:59):
Talk about other stories.

Alex Lindsay (02:37:00):

Leo Laporte (02:37:01):
Yeah's definitely not focused today. It's a little blurry all around. Exactly. Thank you. All of you for listening and watching, we do it live on the stream. If you wanna watch us do it live every Sunday about two 30 Pacific five 30 Eastern, 2130 UTC, you can go to There's live audio and video streams there. Now, if you're watching live, you might want to, you know, explain what the hell is this to other people we're also watching live. That's what the IRC is for IRC You could join with a web browser or an IRC client of course club TWiT members also can yell at the clouds in our beautiful discord server. So we'd love to see you in either of those places. After the fact on demand versions of the show are available on the web at our website,, I think all 17 years worth of episodes, all 871 episodes are there.

Leo Laporte (02:37:59):
So you can download go back in time. If you want download any one of those, including Harry's first appearance in 2008, you can also go to the YouTube channel where not all of the episodes, but almost all the video episodes live and watch there. Best thing to do though, if you wanna listen to latest is subscribe in your favorite podcast client. And that way you'll get it automatically. As soon as it's done, the editors are gonna get ahold of it, cut out all the cus words and put it up on the on the internet via RSS. If you subscribe in your podcast player and they allow for reviews, do leave us a five star review. We would really appreciate that. It's hard to believe, but after 17 years in the business, there's still one or two people who've never heard of TWiT. So spread the good news. Thanks for being here. We'll see you next time.

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