TWIT 746: My Robot Lawyer

Beep boop - this is a robot. A new show has been posted to TWiT…

What are your thoughts about today’s show? We’d love to hear from you!


In defense of Tesla’s approach to innovation (not Musk’s behavior), cruise control has been in cars since the 60’s and can plow through a group of people on the road or a sidewalk or a even a mall. It has no safety feature to identify terrain, pedestrians, weather conditions etc. yet that is fine by the NTSB and cruise control has been in cars for 50+ yrs. Cameras and radar have existed just as long, but aren’t a requirement to set a car to drive at 80mphs on cruise control. The driver could be drunk, fall asleep and even die and our current cars don’t have to have any mechanism that would stop a car using present day cruise control. Innovation can’t be held back solely on the irresponsible behavior or stupid people. Yes, we should try to do better. But why is Tesla being asked to do more than other auto manufacturers?

I read that Tesla is the only manufacturer calling their technology Autopilot and describing it in terms that might lead the non-technical to believe it was fully autonomous. If that’s true, it might explain why Tesla is being so closely examined on this.


Great discussions on various topics, but IMO…

  • not everyone would want to tinker or repair their own devices themselves, may be take it to an authorized or reputable repairer, yes.
  • Saying that it is not a problem of the technologies, but a cultural or racial problem, and that is what is needed to be fixed, well good luck with that. Regulating techs is much easier and pragmatic than trying to fix racism and ingrained cultural norms.
  • And definitely robot will replace lawyers in the future, for contractual stuff, but we need human as judges to uphold the Constitution, for example.
  • And The Mandalorian is just a bit weird at the moment, hope it will get better, or not.

@MikeElgan Everywhere I’ve looked the Baby Boom generation is classified as being born between 1946 and 1964, so you are a boomer like @Leo and I.


The problem isn’t that cruise control needs the driver to pay attention. The problem is that the Tesla system is no different, it requires the driver to pay attention at all times.

But it is marketed as autopilot and a lot of idiots just let it get on with the driving, without keeping it under constant surveillance. That is the problem.

Most modern cruise control systems have radar and camera warning systems, but none of them are perceived as being able to take over full control of the vehicle, because that is not how they have been marketed.


That’s what I was saying. I love Tesla’s adaptive cruise control and lane keeping. In fact, that’s an absolute requirement on my next car. Just don’t call it auto-pilot. It’s driver assist. And Elon’s empty claims that Tesla’s will be reach Level 4 or 5 autonomy by next year don’t help.

Also, apparently they’ve fixed the supply chain lag on parts. So I’ll stop dinging them for that. Still, I’m going to buy the Model X clone from Ford.


I wanted to comment on Alex‘s Zune battery life statement.

I have a Zune HD from 2009 I use every day in my car, I’m a uber driver in Maine so I drive a lot. The Zune HD never leaves the car and is plugged in and charging while the car is in operation. Once I turn the car off the power is cut to the Zune and it runs off its own battery. Occasionally I forget to pause it when I get home. The next morning when start driving the Zune HD is still playing on its battery, sometimes 18 hours later. Of course it’s almost dead at that point but it’s still playing music.

Microsoft solved the battery problem 10 years ago but it doesn’t make companies money. This is the world we live in today.


I had a Zune and loved it.

The Zune HD is perfect for a driver. I don’t even really have to look at it to change the song, it just sits on my dashboard and I swipe. It is on it’s last legs unfortunately the storage is starting to get a bit wonky.

The marketing is the downfall. I’ve always treated Autopilot in my Tesla as ‘driver-assist’ regardless of the hype. I suppose the layperson might not dig any deeper.

Leo was right. The conversation in this community is super elevated. Loving it!


What was wrong with you guys? You kept repeating “Ok Boomer” and every time you did that my Google Assistant popped up, Couldn’t you have bleeped that phrase?


I agree with this, with the proviso that people may not want to tinker at first, but later on may want the option to. I am not a automobile person to save my life, but I can change a tire and my headlights. Others could just call their roadside assistance.

I think everyone should have the choice to tinker or repair their own device - even if they never personally chose to do so.


Right to repair is unlikely to gain traction in the market (outside of hobbyists and enthusiasts) until hardware becomes more of a commodity. It needs to be feature-stable long term, or it’s not going to matter if you can keep a phone usable for ten years. Consumers will want attractive features and “swappable battery” isn’t one. But If all phones eventually stabilize on a performance point and feature set, swappable batteries and modular hardware might become more attractive, and then be a potential point of innovation. Until then, virtually any slight hardware or performance improvement is likely to be more attractive than anything that enables right to repair.

And as far as cars go, that’s a great example of how a combination of market demand and government regulation, not just “for the sake of it” engineering has whittled away at right to repair. I wasn’t sure who said it, about changing headlights, but has anyone here actually tried to change a headlight in a modern car? It’s as tricky and annoying as opening up a modern cellphone. The reason for that is largely down to saving weight and enhancing streamlining. I could practically fit my whole body down behind the headlight assembly in my 1987 Chevy Blazer, but in my 2018 Ford Escape, everything is packed so tightly, and assembled with more “snap fit” attachments that actually changing the headlight is a significant undertaking. And let’s not even get into sparkplugs, modern transmissions, or anything like that. Home repair of modern cars is about as accessible as home repair of iPhones.

Yup I thought so too. I’m just barely a Gen Xer - born in '65, so when it begins is easy to remember for me, anyway.

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Question: I normally skip the opening ads, which means I also normally skip the opening bumper (sorry; I want to get to the good stuff ASAP). But I was listening to the latest show (well, okay, the one before this one, but I’m posting here) and my hands were full, so I had to listen to the whole open. When did the opening bumper change? I recall Leo finally throwing up his hands over the Netcast issue a year ago (the last in a series of hand throwing over the issue), but it hasn’t been that long since the open changed, has it? Also, whose voice is it who does the Netcasts/Podcasts you love?

Leo decided to change it after he recently went to a podcasting convention.

I noticed the change right way, but feel that it’s kinda choppy now. Wish Leo would do a total record on it. But just my opinion.

OK boomer. ; )

Actually, it’s a point of controversy. I was born in 1961.

Pew Research Center says Generation X is people born between 1965–1980. But writers like William Strauss, Jeff Gordinier and Neil Howe say Gen X is people were born between 1961 and 1981. Author David Foot says Gen X people were born between 1960 and 1966.

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When I hear “Ok Boomer” - I think of this guy: