Give Me Apple Store or Give Me Death – Tech News Weekly 56

coming up on tech news weekly controlling a human being via the internet on Halloween also translating smart thermometer data into signals for medicine marketing a whole bunch of new Apple hardware that we're gonna dive into and that's right the holiday shopping season just began are you ready all that more coming up next on tech news weekly net kennis you love from people you trust this is true [Music] this is tech news weekly episode 56 recorded Thursday November 1st 2018 this episode of tech news weekly is brought to you by digital ocean the easiest cloud platform to deploy manage and scale applications over 150,000 businesses rely on digital ocean to remove infrastructure friction and deliver industry-leading price performance sign up today and receive a free $100 credit at doco slashed and by LastPass secure every password protected entry point to your business join over 43,000 businesses and start managing and securing your company's passwords today learn more at LastPass comm slash twit welcome to tech news weekly this is a show we talked to the people making and breaking the tech news I'm Meghan Maroney I'm Jason Howell so what do we start with making or breaking I think making yeah it kind of sounds like yeah let's start with with a maker tech this week of course was Halloween and among the trick-or-treating and sexy everything costumes some MIT researchers set out to do something really scary by allowing anyone in the internet to suggest and control the actions of a complete stranger it's called the be me project and today we're joined by niccolò pettit le who studies collective intelligence at the MIT Media Lab and he is here to tell us how it all went welcome to the show hi so first explain a little bit about the project itself yeah so be me is about checking if as a collective online we can sort of coordinate in real time to achieve complex goals like for example coordinating a character into a story and moving the character through the storyline and so the character was an actor not a real person you weren't putting a real person through this through the Internet's wishes for correct well that's what we told the press but actually there were like two people in our team who offered themselves as the actors are they still with us why needs right in front of you so you're not a trained actor I love acting during my high school years and I loved acting but no I'm not I'm not a professional actor what were the goals of the project so the goals of the project is seeing whether groups of people online can establish real time cooperation and coordination on complex games we have seen cooperation online for decades like Wikipedia reddit's are all examples of cooperation and curation of knowledge for example over time by many many users what we don't know if the same can happen in real time under under time pressure and if basically the the crowd can adapt to the environment to changing ever-changing environment and new problems so that's what we we wanted to test with this experiment I mean you have this all mapped out it's covering a large space if you end up kind of watching the video you can actually go to youtube and you can watch kind of some of the the playthrough or walkthrough whatever you want to call it's kind of hard to know it's it's kind of a video game but kind of real life but it it's expansive right it covers a large map what what were some of the rules like I'm sure there were rules put in place that people could and could and should not instruct the human to do what were some of those rules yeah so we had the ground rules and game rules so the game rules were extremely simple just suggest your command tried to upvote and downvote other people's commands and and try to move on in the story and complete the mission the ground rules were there in place to basically avoid bad things to happen so there was a rule of safety everybody should be never put in danger there was a law a law rule of lawfulness where of course no criminal activity should be should be ever made and then respect we didn't want anybody to feel uncomfortable at anytime and this includes the actors the bystanders that had to interact with the actors the users from home as well and so there was a backstory as well right talk a little bit about that yeah so we came up with a sort of eerie sci-fi mystery so the story goes that a sort of secret corporation called spam Church has developed the first and more powerful most powerful AGI or artificial general intelligence to date but unfortunately unfortunately these AGI has escaped and has been released accidentally online and is now in the process of making copies of itself and and debugging its own sort of code and and the rules that humans have have put in in in its codes this this process will take time and so these two heroes from the wisdom program which is this secret organization of scientists that tries to merge collective and artificial intelligence these two heroes are deployed to to stop anything bad from happening so I'm really curious to hear we're taking a look at kind of the interface that last night was was lit up and moving today is you know it's kind of in a standstill for the most part that the project is over but I'm curious to hear a little bit about how the technology aspect which is this interface that people are voting on what the the human does how is that translated and communicated to the human like at what point is it a hundred votes to jump and the human you know get something in their ear that says alright it's time for you to jump and they jump yeah that's a very good question so we took inspiration from reddit and from IRL streaming so I are a streaming is very popular at the moment in real time in real life streaming where basically users can see a live streaming of their favorite YouTube star and then can for a little bit of money they can suggest commands and simply a voiced text or text to speech algorithm simply relays that to the streamer we wanted to include the element of collective intelligence into it and that's where like the this up voting and down voting kind of reddit style comes in so users suggested commands and by uploading and downloading them in real time we had this sort of constantly updating ranking of of commands and the system had on the back end like a discounting algorithm where basically recent commands were sort of facilitated to go to the top because this exactly this time pressure this element of of timeliness was extremely important you can imagine somebody giving the best command but if it's two three minutes too late then it's a very bad command and the system simply like gives the the first command to the actor and when the actor executes the command that command is marked as done and and the next one comes in so I think of collective intelligence naming boats boaty mcboatface for example or just like the you know the old adage too many cooks spoil the broth is I mean if so I've always assumed that collective intelligence is not as smart is that accurate this is like a century old and even more conversation we have examples for both so sometimes together we create outstanding things some other times we we collectively fail in general I believe it's it's a matter of design ultimately collective intelligence is about how we share information what you know how is it integrated with what I know and and that's why designing the technological infrastructure that allows for an optimal sharing of information is critical for these intelligence to emerge what um I mean there's a lot going on here from a technical standpoint there's a lot of places that this could kind of fall apart what what would you say was the biggest technical challenge in executing this when you've got that many people participating and all this communication happening back to you or whoever you know the other human was what was the biggest technological hurdle the technical aspect yeah it was a very complex operation involving like many many people and of course the two actors and the digital infrastructure was was was there was already tested several times and a few days before the events we decided to expand our server capacity due to the wide media exposure and so we were ready like for more than ten ten thousand users and that estimation was was fairly accurate we stayed below that cap but still in 40 minutes we got more than 770 million sorry seven million requests and that means that if you do the math it's like something like seven thousand requests per user so a request is a simple in interaction with the interface it could be an up or down vote a command suggestion and so this this number seems a bit too high to me we will investigate if there was any you know BOTS or malicious intent behind but yeah we had some some technical issues particularly at the beginning at the very beginning so the big big question on your site was how does it feel to be the Internet and so can you answer that since you were the person how did it feel to be the Internet it's it's it's amazing I really felt you know this thousand of people like behind behind me a sort of inspiring me the actions inspire me how to interact with my environment I I cannot say that all the actions were you know sensible some were very outlandish but overall nobody misbehaved and there was like a very positive feeling in the room yeah it kinda tie kind of one of my one of my questions which is kind of your faith in humanity when given the the option to advise a human to do anything I mean at the end of the day it sounds like things were relatively tame you had the rules in place thankfully but does it give you faith in humanity I I also was extremely you know safe because I had all my collaborators monitoring the activity from from behind the scenes and and and flagging anything that was too dangerous or or inappropriate on time right right so I know this was only last night but are there any preliminary learnings or anything from this project so far one thing that I can say is that I I was very surprised to see at the at the very end where the the evil AI finally manages to get in touch with this with the the two actors and reveals that has basically hijacked the whole communication system from from the very beginning and offers the actors or like the the two characters a a final choice to join the AI I expected you know like from from expectations from from game theory and and traditional economic thinking people to defeat to suicide to defect so to sort of turn that backing against each other and actually that was an incredible amount of cooperation and and the two crowds basically decided to to save humanity rather than then going to the dark side so that was extremely pleasant to see so what's what's the next project we don't know yet maybe next Halloween but definitely we would like to expand being improved the interface and and gathered the feedback of the users that it's extremely extremely valuable to us and hopefully it would be who knows a new form entertainment was you know for the signs and then for the fun Niccolo petticoat le is a post doctorate postdoctoral associate at the scalable cooperation group at the MIT Media Lab and one of the creators of the be me project thanks so much for coming on thank you thank you take care okay and as if that last story wasn't black mirror enough for you the New York Times reports that ad targeting is getting sneakier this flu season an internet-connected thermometer is selling information about your family's body temperature to Clorox so they can sell you more Clorox wipes when you have a fever joining us to discuss this story is the writer who reported it for the New York Times Sapna Maheshwari welcome back to the show Sapna hey thanks for having me so tell us a little bit about how this ad targeting works sure so basically the pitch of this data is that it gets you one step closer to the health data the illness data than typing in a Google search or tweeting that you might have the flu so basically it's a thermometer and you take your temperature as you would if you're not feeling well except you have paired it with a smartphone app and it's tracking your temperature for you and you can input your symptoms so so Clorox is getting your temperature and what else what other information do they get so the big thing is that it's paired to your zip code and so the company Kenza has said that there's no identifying information they say forget it - the zip code level so basically what Clorox is getting is information that shows where there might be more fevers and they then use that to automatically target ads through programmatic buys so very automated very mousetrap like I feel like I'm so used to hearing companies say yeah but the data that we continue we have contains no personally identifiable information and then they're being studies later that prove that that's untrue but I mean it sounds like at this case like the at the macro level its zip code and or is there any reason we should doubt what they're saying here as far as that's concerned I'm just I'm left with enough doubt from previously been been stung by this yeah exactly I mean it well it's in a new area I think for sure in which to be sharing this the company itself says that it they have a public health mission and so they're saying they're not allowing companies to target individuals or to target kids in the house that kind of thing but a lot of what they're saying in that regard is their own guidelines so it of course raises the question well what about if a less ethical company makes a smart thermometer like it's to be seen right I mean is it what what is really the benefit for connecting my thermometer to my phone that's never the right question Megan everything should be connected but yes well so one interesting thing we've seen is this thermometer has been handed out in schools where families have four kids or more and that's probably helpful for those parents if they're keeping track of a bunch of little kids and maybe you know have a health issue and or maybe they just want to keep an eye on the kids in that way I am NOT a parent and so I don't know if that would be helpful but it seems like that's a big pitch they've been handing it out in schools and and they're also saying you know maybe you could see at your own school if fevers are on the rise I have all the thermometers I had when my kids were younger I don't have one now and for many years I just didn't even have one and this works on their forehead yeah it's one of those things that really makes you kind of I think do a bit of a double take with the word smart which I think we've been doing a little bit more of in the past few years and definitely will going forward I mean this is something you find at the local pharmacy and I think more and more we're just going to have to ask you know as more random household devices become smart what is their business model what are they pitching to marketers and you know how it might we inadvertently sharing things we just had no clue we were sharing and this is I mean this just keeps happening you know I keep more and more stories come along where he's just like okay obviously like ethically speaking this is their probably crossing a line here that a lot of people would feel uncomfortable with technically speaking there it sounds like they've got some protections in place you know saying that it's it's zeroed in on the zip code level I mean technically would give them the pass I think in in some people's minds but if companies can't be trusted to kind of follow their ethical boundaries from an ethical standpoint does that then once again we point to kind of regulation around this sort of stuff what do you think yes it's another example of one of those things where it feels like the regulatory process and and laws and guidelines are so slow when you see something like this introduced onto the market so I mean you would hope it does raise a conversation around ethics and potentially rules down the road but right now it kind of feels like it's way beyond where lawmakers even kind of understand where things are right now what do you guys think well I mean the reason I ask that is because I feel like we've we've pigeon holed ourselves with technology and more and more we're kind of seeing the the kind of the outcome of that where for as long as you know as long as I've been focused on tech the drive has always been make everything smarter smarter faster you know computers and everything and this is gonna be a wonderful lovely place but then at some point we started to realize well yeah in order to make these things as smart and capable and and useful as we thought we needed to that also does come carry with it this this requirement of passing this data that you may or may not feel comfortable passing along so yeah I mean I think you're right I think that the problem is is a lot larger than maybe you know regulation would have the I don't know the speed to deal with and at the rate things are snowballing right now it's just a difficult point in technology right now people want the best of all worlds and you know you you can't have this without giving away all of your data and how do you feel about that I guess that's at the end of the day that's what it's all about yeah go ahead I was just saying one of the things that made me think about too was of course you know people are buying this thermometer but there's still this data you know component of their business clearly and so you know more and more we're seeing that old saying you know if it's if it's free you're the product I mean it's increasingly becoming like you know you may pay for the product but it's still tracking you we saw that with Smart TVs this summer even something like peloton it's not for as far as I know it's not selling your data but once you buy this expensive bike you're still paying 38 bucks to man 39 bucks a month to get the videos to work out with it it just seems like software is creating this kind of dual I guess revenue stream business models and I wouldn't be surprised at peloton also was selling your data I mean that that's a you know someone who's willing to pay that much for a bike I mean not your exercise data but like they're probably you're probably on some kind of mailing list as being someone with a lot of money if you buy a peloton right I haven't proven that but I guess if they really have the public health in mind then that's what I think is a little makes me an easy about this because you know I I get like Google tracks flu data and I'm all for that data and the idea that like if a lot of people in a certain neighborhood have high temperatures then you know it'd be a good idea to start disinfecting things but they're not necessarily doing that I mean I guess they are like they see that as sending advertisements or coupons for Clorox wipes as a public health benefit to you but it really does seem like because it's like you said you've already bought this product and then they're targeting you for ads that's what I feel like is making me uneasy about this right I mean and it's hard thing because you like you said it could be gray and there could be a great public health mission but at the end the day it is a business it's a company that's raised twenty nine million dollars from really prominent VCS and it's also important to keep that in mind mm-hmm so what about the patent application you also have a part in your piece about Amazon applying for a patent the house that can detect when you've been coughing yeah I'm credit to Sina for forgetting that that's the first place that I had seen it so Amazon applied for a patent that this it could read into your voice and potential sniffling to help tailor their answers to you so if you make a request they might suggest you know chicken soup or or offer to get cough drops and so again kind of reading reading into the health and then essentially trying to sell you something Sapna thank you so much for joining us apni Hamish wari is a business writer at the New York Times you can find this piece as well as stories about the power of Google Instagram and others thanks thanks so much for coming on thanks for having me thank you sadness all right coming up Apple had a bunch more new hardware to show off this week you know it's second event but first this episode of tech news weekly is brought to you by digital ocean digital ocean provides the easiest cloud platform to deploy manage and scale applications with droplets virtual machines that are a scalable compute platform with add-on storage security and monitoring capabilities you can choose from standard or CPU optimized droplets and customized from their digitalocean is designed for developers have an easy to use control panel and an API that lets developers spend more 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event and with some pretty major updates to a few key products we thought we'd bring in Bradley chambers from 9 to 5 Mac to talk all about and welcome to the show Bradley hey thanks for having me glad to be here awesome it's great to get you here we appreciate it so before we get to all of that hardware the new hardware uh which event would you say spoke to you more a lot of the iPhone event not too long ago or this Monday's everything else event what do you think I mean the iPhone event certainly that's apples you know kind of keeper made of the event of the year you know I actually really missed the Macworld events in January I'm sure a lot of the your listeners remember those when they used to announce products in January that really missed those the iPhone event is always exciting this was a great event as well but yeah that that summer iPhone event is always the fun one for me well instead it's all condensed into like a few I mean Apple knows how to like dominate the the news cycles so they do it very well and I obviously this is probably one reason why these stacked events so let's I guess start with some of the some of the items that they talked about the MacBook Air it got a big bump you know Retina Display finally yay but boo - the butterfly keys I am NOT a big fan of the butterfly keys what's your take on this air refresh yeah so the the MacBook Air I mean in the tech community it gets really pandered but I just spent last week in Minneapolis at the chance nation user conference and Jam is the I would say the largest Apple only mobile device management company and I guess in the world and they announced that s AP had chosen Jam to manage their you know thousands of thousands and thousands of Apple devices and I could almost bet you every one of their Mac's or MacBook Airs that's you know people say why are they still selling us it's like that device sells like hotcakes to students and to enterprises and there's a couple reasons number one it has us be a number two it's very dependable from a hardware perspective and number three it's a it was affordable and so that's that's been I would say their best-selling laptop you know Tim kind of mentioned that that customers love the MacBook Air and and they really do like yes it was a very much a compromise device and the screen was terrible in retrospect but it reminds me a lot of the old MacBook Pro they sold for years that had the DVD drive with a terrible screen college students bought that like crazy and so yeah it's the MacBook Air the new one I'm really excited about the the keyboard I mean it's not my favorite but at this point as long as it doesn't break when I eat food around it I'll take it I mean you know the Retina screen that's you know that's obviously great be going to USB see that's it's a very much a problem it's a short-term problem I think but if you really break it down it's it's not about USB C it's about the fact they don't include an adapter the people in the Apple community have been buying dongles for years my first Mac was the PowerBook g4 and that was a great Mac by the way the 12-inch it included a mini DVI to VGA a mini DVI to DVI in the box and then when they switch over to Intel they started selling adapters and I think Apple would come in the gate a lot of consumer frustration they would just include one USB a USBC adapter in the box but on the flipside I'm just not plugging stuff up to my laptop that much you know what I'm at work I do a little bit but like when I kind of think about a regular consumer I'm not plugging stuff up to it yes I I do think it's probably hilarious that Apple's $1500 iPhone it doesn't include a USBC cable to charge to these new Macs but again these are kind of a short-term problem we'll get to USBC and then we'll forget about all this and it's just gonna take time but now that all the laptops across the board for Apple are USB C we hopefully should start seeing more peripherals that you know are USB C native but yeah you know one of the things people don't realize is they're actually still selling the old MacBook Air they cut the price to $19.99 and I suspect it'll still sell well but I think for enterprises the security conscious people will especially lean towards this new one for the t2 chip I think that for if you're in banking or those type industries that new chip is really really impressive so what do you recommend for students I know that you work at a school but it's a lower school but like what do you recommend for for high school and or you know any student that would be getting a Mac would you recommend the old MacBook Air or would you recommend the new one or would you say that's not necessarily enough power for what students are doing I think performance wise we got past the place where like what laptop you picked mattered years ago and I'll talk more about this we talked about the iPad but everything is moved for the web people are if you're in college you're not running high end applications on your computer unless you're doing graphic design which if that's the case you probably in the MacBook Pro anyways but if you just for your average college student that's going to English class to math class any of those computers are fine I would probably say get the new one it's got a nicer screen it's not that much more money and I always when I'm talking to students I say look get the very best computer you can afford and then use it till it falls apart and I think if you only can afford that $9.99 MacBook Air you could buy that today and get through four years of college no problem but if you can afford a little bit more money and get the new one it's just a nicer computer it's a great machine I mean it's not perfect but it's really just a great great computer and yeah I'll probably be buying at least 50 of these in the spring it was I was really frustrated I'm looking at a new Apple lease and like three years ago when I was working on this we got the MacBook Air again because I didn't like anything else that was on the market and I was like how are we still at this spot three years later where there was nothing else I suspect what happened is Apple thought the Mac book would replace the MacBook Air but they just never been able to get the price and performance kind of there together and I really don't understand why they're both still being sold to be honest with you to me it's like you should have just know there's like go back to have your consumer-level laptop in your pro level and right now they kind of get to consumer levels I don't get it so with those 50 MacBook Airs that you said you're buying are those for K through 8 students or teachers or teachers they're for teachers yeah so I'll be buying you know some dongles I'm sure I can expected I think I'm gonna end up spending $4,000 in dongles but we've been behind those for years anyways I mean thankfully Amazon you can get them usually pretty inexpensive but we've been buying HDMI adapters for years you know that's what I honestly really loved about the 2015 MacBook Pro which is what I'm on now gosh you had all the ports you would need it had HDMI had two USB a had two Thunderbolt and I had a SD slot it's like it was that was perfect but I know times have to change but I think getting to USB sees in the new MacBook Air is really really important so you mentioned the iPad pro so we might as well talk about that of course I feel like I saw a lot of people raving about the new design anyways the full-screen design is that its biggest improvement or what did what did you think about the iPad from I am as most dissatisfied with the iPad right now as I've ever been in its history when the iPad first came out it was what what was so revolutionary about it it was its form factor to price how much do you guys remember how much it was no you remember the Steve had this big thing it said $9.99 that's what I be room thought it was like the keynote a drop it's right exactly this it was like this almost computer thing for five hundred dollars and over the years now again they do have the lower end iPad which to me is in some ways the better deal but then they've got you know the iPad pro now starts at $7.99 and and last year it was 649 my biggest disappointment with like Apple and him Cook is there I know how to raise prices ever so slightly every single year and if you add if you you know if you take that seven nine nine iPad and then add the keyboard cover and then the pencil you're at MacBook Air level territory yeah and I know there are people that use the iPad full-time for their all their work and that's great I'm not one of those people and a lot of people I've talked to can't do that the iPads biggest problem has nothing to do with the hardware the hardware stop mattering with the iPad around iPad air to time yeah 82 anytime that they say oh this is the heat mature score for this it's better than the MacBook Pro it's like who cares this reminds me of back in like the 2000s when the windows people would say hey you buy that Mac for fifteen hundred dollars with my five hundred our PC cannot perform it nobody cared because if you wanted a Mac you wanted a Mac and you didn't care what it costs so my problem with looking at the specs is you know what yet I've had baby faster than the MacBook Air but you know the MacBook Air can do run a full web browser he can run a full Google Docs suite the Google Docs apps on the iPad do more to sell Chromebooks than any advertisement that Google has ever done and they're very that me the number one problem with the iPad has nothing to do with the hardware it's everything to do with mobile safari so I'm not buying a 1200 our iPad we're not throwing all the accessories to get a mobile version of Safari so until Apple can give us a full version of Safari on the iPad it's a crippled device in my opinion and I would if he told me I had to pick one portable device like tablet like device to do my all my work on it would not be the iPad it'd be the Google pixels light cuz at least it gives you a full web browser you should tell us how you really feel you know it's like I'll see people like kind of say that on Twitter and it's absolutely true it's not a hardware problem I mean nothing about the iPads problems as a hardware it's all software it's still running essentially the iPhone OS yes we've added some splitview things but yes we've added some multitasking that's great give us a full web browser Microsoft and Google have shown us that full computer for operating systems can work with touch it's time for Apple to figure it out I mean this this whole I mean how many devices they expect us to Bob we got the watch we've got the phone we've got the tablet we've got the computer it's like you you Apple used to always be the type company that would try to end-of-life its products with its own products and I don't feel like they're doing that I feel like they're trying to enjoy the revenue of both of these products again you give me an iPad at $12.99 that can replace my Mac and be an iPad I'm all-in but it's still drastically easier to do a lot of things on the Mac and it's faster because it has a full web browser yeah I have an article going up about this this weekend 495 Mac I'll give you kind of a preview Steve Jobs got his wish when he come flash right you know he wrote that letter thoughts on flash and flash is dead but you know what that did is that made web apps good enough native apps don't matter as much anymore web apps are good enough for most people we see that with Spotify we see that with slack these are not native apps these are essentially web apps running on electron and so what Apple got its wish because the world moved to html5 it my opinion especially for the iPad made native apps not matter as much so as an educator I know a lot of people are not really talking about the Apple sessions that was something that they did they dedicate a lot of time to I wonder what you thought of them are they do they sound like real educational opportunities for kids and adults or do they does that seem like more marketing you know efforts to get people in the store to buy more stuff I think it's both I mean that's one of the advantages that Apple has and having the retail the retail you know spots they do that you really Google just doesn't have and so they can really work with our customers to help them better use their products and better you can use the products the more likely you are to replace them in the future so I think it's great I think it's a wise use of their space my town still doesn't have an Apple Store and so I'm actually I got a my iPhone 10 is yeah one day left of warranty and I can't hardly hear out of it now so there's gonna be a new one they actually because I don't have an Apple store within two hours they will they drop shipping me a phone not cinnamon back but you know I think it's great I mean Apple stores are one of their biggest assets and so I think they should certainly use something you know the more you can get people in there the more you can keep them in the ecosystem I think that's I think that's valuable I thought you were in Chattanooga yeah we are we don't have an apple store within two hours no Apple store in chat now even with the Wi-Fi that you have yeah through it fast internet in America you know people say like is when the best cities are retired too but yeah the closest one is about an hour and 45 minutes south down in Atlanta and I'm not driving two hours to have an iPhone swapped we do have like a yeah they said you could go to Best Buy it's like I just really all send me one I don't trust it's like give me the Apple store or give me death yeah fair enough I mean I can't tell you how many times I've said that I was in the Linux mob which is in Atlanta here recently of course the Apple Store is crazy I mean it's only it makes me nervous to go in they need two of them but the Microsoft Store was so crowded as well and now this was right after they announced their new surface laptops they had minecraft material everywhere the Microsoft stores were crowded and I was I was surprised Wow well Bradley this is a lot of fun Bradley chambers nine-to-five mac.com really appreciate you taking time to tell us give us your thoughts on you guys have a good night all right we will we'll have you back soon we appreciate it thank you after the break Halloween is over and that means it's time to start thinking about the gifts for the geeks in your life Lindsey Turrentine from CNN is here to tell us what we should be buying for our geeks and ourselves the other geeks but first this episode of tech news weekly is brought to you by LastPass now we know that you we know you're good at creating and securing your passwords but what about the rest of the people in your company what is your company doing to ensure passwords are being shared appropriately 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families for your entire family and LastPass teams four teams of 50 people or fewer I love LastPass I have been using it forever I love that twit we all use it we all have to use it and they give it to us also for all our personal stuff so it's just really nice it's a great company benefit if you have employees think about it more than 16 million people trust LastPass the number one most preferred password manager learn more at LastPass calm slash twit today that's lastpass.com slash twit to see which product is right for you Thank You LastPass all right you may think it's too soon to start shopping for Christmas and while you might actually be completely right in thinking that CNN editor-in-chief Lindsay Turrentine is here to tell you that you are living in a fantasy world welcome back to the show Lindsay it's awesome to get you back Lindsey always great to get you on so I I will admit I actually started shopping for Christmas last week wait and Meghan's heard me like oh yeah I got this now I got this like three items so far which I like to think means I'm getting it done sooner and in advance but which I actually know deep down means I'm gonna end up buying more by the time the holiday rolls around is this what retailers are banking on well I will start by saying I am really oh I think you're gonna feel a little bit more relaxed as you move toward the holidays but what retailers are counting on is it's starting about now but especially in the weeks right moving up to Thanksgiving the heat is gonna be on and people will start spending more and more as they approach Black Friday that has become such a big deal that people feel like they have to get a head start and get a jump on Black Friday itself so you are not alone in your idea really although you might be missing the best deals by not waiting another week or two well I don't know I have an app called slick deals that I had that works really well for me as far as that's concerned but you probably heard of it do you work you you guys have this holiday buyer's guide so I'm sure you've heard of it Cina actually just released its holiday buyer's guide literally like a couple of hours ago being a see net alum myself I know how tech crazy everyone gets there around the holidays what are a few of the items that you're really excited about this season well I'm gonna start by giving sort of a blanket recommendation which is that if you have people in your life who still use wired headsets and I know people feel really strongly about that and there's some people like musicians who are gonna keep using wired headsets for fidelity reasons but for most normal people if they do not have wireless headsets by them that now and your options are just all over the place this year so you can get a really decent pair of like Skull Candy Wireless cans for 50 bucks you can spend a lot more money than that if you want you can buy upgraded you can buy air plugs of course you can buy wireless earbuds that are probably better than air pods we have tons of options in our guide in a collection of those and in all price points so we just got done talking about the Apple event this week and all the new products and of course Apple released their earnings which weren't so great are their Apple products on this list are you encouraging people to buy the new stuff the phones or the iPads or the MacBook Airs well what's interesting is that when we talk about phones the 10r is actually the phone that we have been waiting for from Apple if you are in that ecosystem and you want to stay in it and you've been looking for the best iPhone at the best price it is that phone we really so far we are testing the heck out of it right now when it comes to battery life but we are pretty impressed by that phone for the price that it is and so we're recommending it it's really hard to get a deal on Apple products at the holidays unlike many retailers Apple just doesn't cut them but our tip for finding deals on iPhones or any other Apple products if you're introduced to go through your carrier if there's an Apple product that your carrier sells so we're not talking about MacBooks here but maybe iPads indefinitely phones go to your carrier because you could get lucky and find sort of a two-for-one deal if you add another line we're seeing those this year we haven't seen them in the past it's a good time to shop on a family plan mmm that's a good tip and I mean we're talking about smart phones obviously Apple phones in a different category for that very reason they don't really go on sale very very often you're lucky if you find that what about just smart phones in general I feel like I mean as a tech you know reviewer of phones this time of year is just so chaotic cuz there's so many phones coming out so usually I would tell people all right hold off until like they are out and then you can make your decision if people are planning on buying phones for the holidays is now too earlier or are we kind of beyond that point to where okay we know what we're getting now you might want to wait until the week of Black Friday right you could start shopping as early as the Monday before Thanksgiving and there will be deals out there and I would guess if you're gonna buy a non iPhone there's probably a person in your life asking for a specific phone so find out which one they want because they will have an allegiance I think that it is very rare for somebody to be saying I just want a generic Android phone right but if you are shopping for something like a pixel give it a couple weeks know exactly what you want and then like you said do smart shopping but I think much past Thanksgiving you're not going to find a lot of phone deals that you haven't already heard of mm-hmm so you are a smart home expert CNET has at least one smart home where you guys get to test all kinds of fancy stuff what what do you recommend what son you know what do you recommend buying for your family or friends or other people on your list smart home stuff wise well it's interesting smart home is one of those categories but there are a few people who are gonna be like I'm just into the smart home and I want to have everything for the smart home the reality of the smart home is buy them products that match their interests so outside of the the smart assistant from the digital the assistant ready speakers which most people probably already have at this point find out whether the person you're buying it for is really into the kitchen is really into their lighting and then coming to our guide and shop from there we've got some really great recommendations for things like smart coffee makers we've got the instant pot blender which we actually really like it's a blender that also cooks find out what they love and then go from there because they're promised that if they're into home decorating or they're into fitness or they're into anything else you're gonna find a smart recommendation in the guide so I wish I could credit the person on Twitter ease of this but I don't remember but they coined the term Alexis ISM which is getting all of the smart home devices out of your house because you can't stand them I wish I came up with that term but I did not but I mean there's a lot of people who are like reaching the end my husband is one and so it's tough I mean we're still married for now but we'll see so what do you recommend for like before you really get these kind of devices the good advices that might listen to you or track you in other ways I mean do you recommend buying these for people who don't already have them if they're asking for it sure and I think there a lot of people right now if they don't already have you know and an echo home product or they haven't tried Google home they might feel a little left out or want to know what it's all about and the price point is I think it's so low that the for instance the dot or the Google home Mini will probably just like last year end up on sale for $35 so it's not going to be cost prohibitive to get somebody into that world if they are curious about it if they're kind of nath about it there are so many products that do amazing things that you can buy that are not their selling point is not about connecting to the internet so instant pot is a good example of that any sort of sous vide maker if somebody really likes to cook or is really an especially into cooking meat or there are all kinds of interesting things you didn't you might not know you can do with kitchen devices that don't require an internet connection yeah the Innova sous vide maker is actually really great did we don't use it all the time but it was it was a totally a Christmas gift I think last year the year before it was a big hit it was a total surprise for my wife and yeah it's pretty awesome so definitely if you have some money to spend get your family a robot vacuum oh yes that is life-changing we are recommending this year that youth be Robo back 30 see it they can you know they can collect or you can you can connect or you can control them be Alexa or Google but really what you're buying is not having to vacuum your floor every day or just having a clean floor if you're not the kind of person who's gonna vacuum every day yeah I just hope my dog doesn't attack it when it's going around that's my worry in there we'll see I'll have to buy one and let you know how that goes um what uh what can consumers do obviously you have the holiday gift guide so that's a great place for consumers to go to find this information but what about like apps and assistance around like price drops because price drops happen very suddenly nowadays I already kind of spoiled it a little bit my favorite go-to is slick deals but does Cena recommend any services that can kind of track these prices the two that I like to bring up most often are honey and camel camel camel oh yeah very similar things but they track prices they tell you about price history so that you can do research and see if something really is that different from the price that's been offered at in the past they both take coupons so or take into consideration coupon subtract this for you make sure you're not missing a chance to get a discount that you didn't know you get if you're buying something already so those are the two we most often offer but I love honey like honey is one of those things where like I kept hearing about it by so many people and it just looked a little it sounded scamming to me for some reason and then someone on another podcast that I trust recommended it and I downloaded it and I loved it I mean I'm sure that they are gathering all kinds of data about the stuff that I buy but I don't care because it's like at the point of purchase where they show you that you could save money as opposed to like slick tails which sends me I mean you can go to slick deals and say like I want to buy this and this and this and tell me when it's cheaper but but I just like honey and it's so cute it's got a little dancing coin of some kind it says I've looked through all the deals and you're getting the best price so I definitely second that right it's just another peace of mind thing I think that the Internet is so fractured and our shopping experience has become so complicated while it is sometimes easier to get things shipped to your home we've spent a lot of time second-guessing our choices and it's just nice to have that reassurance absolutely so your guide went up today where where do you want to point people to find cns Holiday Gift Guide for $28 even even if they think it's a little early November first but hey this is prime season we had the we had the classy good graces to wait until after Halloween good thank you at least for that where should people go they should go to holiday cnet.com for this unit app yeah either one and are their personal like do you have your list up there because sometimes I feel like when I read your tweets and Facebook posts that were the same person so do you have a list cuz I maybe just buy all that stuff I don't but I just just buy all the things that's you know no I'm kidding we don't we don't make money when you use except your awesomeness Lyndsey Turrentine from the CNET always great Lyndsey appreciate it thank you Thanks good to see you talk to you soon I finally were you aware Megan that your iPhone hates helium my iPhone did not tell me that yet apparently I haven't been around helium yeah well yeah well there is that apparently Morris Hospital in the Chicago area installed a new GE MRI machine and the process that they install there was a helium leak that at first went undetected suddenly throughout the hospital newer model iPhones and Apple watches were out of nowhere becoming inoperable 40 of them to be exact meanwhile Android devices and older iPhones continued plugging along it turns out that Apple replaced bulky quartz components and its newer devices with micro electromechanical systems timing oscillators and that the helium molecules penetrated those MEMS chips and rendered the devices temporarily useless Apple actually indicates in a section of its user guide to a warning against exposure to gases such as helium which they say quote may damage or impair our iPhone functionality so this was obviously a big test of that if this happens to you Megan ever I have no fear it should be fully recoverable if you unplug the device and wait a week waiting a week might be hard for you what do I do about my Apple watch I can't unplug my Apple watch it's unplugged good question I don't know on that one that's a good question I guess turn it off me yeah yeah yeah I love that a long time my favorite part of this story is that Apple's like duh we obviously knew it's in the manual you didn't read the helium section of the manual also it's like very high levels of helium we're talking about like if you just took a balloon and shot it at you're like a helium balloon that wouldn't happen I mean your iPhone would speak in really high voice with your iPhone detects that there's helium in the room suddenly here is really is rewarding so I I think that this kind of this much helium is bad for you like just bad for you as a human too so it's not like we're gonna be experiencing this but I highly recommend if you've got like 45 minutes to share despair and then you really interested in like weird technology troubleshooting check out the reddit thread cuz it's like you know you can go down that reddit rabbit hole of like well I once found this and it was caused by this after we did this this and this it's I mean I enjoyed it mmm-hmm and I should also point out that a I fix its Kyle Wayans who we had on the show I think last week or the week before he has a blog post up when I fix it and I think that was a that raised a lot of awareness or how this helium iPhone thing too so the more you know about your iPhone your new iPhone tech news weekly records live every Thursday starting at 2:30 p.m. Pacific at wit TV slash live you can be part of the show if you email us at TN w at twit TV and yeah I realize I sounded like I had more to say there but I don't see Liam voice again subscribe to the show go to Twitter be sliced tnw tell your friends - that is a way that we can spread the word you can do all the things you can go ahead write a review on an Apple podcast if that's a thing that people still do do it but also tell your friends like you know if you're interested in technology you have a Commuter you like to kick back on the couch and watch podcasts on your Apple TV all about technology tell your friends about that and if you want to tweet at me about anything I met Megan Maroney and I met Jason Howell tweet at me too although I might not see it for a little while and kind of slow on Twitter these days alright cool if you need to talk to Jason just email me thank you it's saving me a lot of grief Burak Josh jammer B Colleen so many people help us every week through the show and we really appreciate their efforts and and help each and every week and we appreciate you watching because without you what would we be we'll see you next week on another episode of tech news weekly bye everybody [Music] you