TWIT 755: Somebody Stole My Tim Tams!

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!

Great show, thanks guys!

On the IoT end-of-life discussion sparked by the Sonos news, I wanted to reference to an interesting and parallel discussion thread on “games as a service”. Ross Scott has made a great video and is on a little bit of a crusade on that topic: . A key thought and problem description: “products are designed to fail as soon as the provider decides to take away the service”.

In general, this relates to everything “as a service”. The problem appears to be that the lines are getting blurred between products and services: consumers are used to buying products and companies love the customer lifetime value (but despise the cost of maintaining everything) of selling services.

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I was surprised at the vociferousness, even as a devil’s advocate, with which Leo called on prosaic, pearl-clutching grounds for a panopticon dystopia. I’m also disappointed he passed over Zuboff’s latest piece in NYT calling for adherence to Section 230 immunity’s proper scope, wherein she also emphasizes that privacy, though individual, predicates open and free societies, upon which they are contingent, and in that sense it is not “private”, but a public good that must be stewarded trustworthily in interest of the commons:

Twitter surfaced important arguments against it, as well:

Imagine the oft-cited info-glasses’ data source about you being incorrect but from a private firm offering far from any recourse to correct it, but rather demanding payment for both access to discover what misinformation they may harbor against you and also for them to bother countenancing your claim against its veracity! It’s credit bureaus on steroids; while less overtly oppressive than under statist patronage, it is far more unruly, sinister, insidious, especially in a culture convinced of its own virtue that sees these dynamics parasympathetically. Yolking this to a law enforcement trough has already been happening with Amazon’s Ring, for example, so Leo’s straw-manning as harmless anything that’s not an authoritarian government, with his rhetorical framing at 01:38:20-42, or positing that if people want it and feel safer then by definition its trade-off’s are sensible, misses most of the point for anyone who cares about the substance of the ideals animating a free and open society and knows enough to know better than this atomized individualist perspective. Couple that with national security secrecy over investigations that turn political, as we’re seeing in the current arguments against impeachment, and even without being explicitly or overtly authoritarian per se, comparable prevalence of political calculus and its implications’ pollution of and impingement upon prerogatives is achieved. It may be less overtly oppressive, but it leaves little, if anything, free of its pall.

The EU’s regulation of Google is an unfathomably infinitessimal pittance compared to the prospect of the foolhardy errand of attempting to tame a seething ecosystem of parasitic data-brokers each with their own fiefdom of bullshit and cruft “info” about you they can hawk to any and all comers! Striking to the heart of the matter, as Zuboff so adroitly does, is critical; the eventualities—nay, inevitabilities—of insouciance, complacency, of negligence, untenable.

Instead, all we got from TWiT was hey it’ll tamp down on petty theft and other street crime and stuff, and Elgan found himself defending privacy for the right to run a stop sign if he’s convinced enough no one’s endangered. This is not the caliber of commentary I expect when I devote the attention to watch a TWiT show—its flag-ship long-form, no less.

To be clear, I think (or, at least, hope!) Leo does know better, but that doesn’t make it any less distasteful to countenance, although that’s probably why he articulates such a contradictory range of opinion over time as the show host encouraging the discussion to air differing perspectives and raise their spectres to be brought to a broader audience’s awareness and given the chance to be addressed.

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I appreciated the suggestion that new devices NOT have cords/bricks included.

I never use the included headphones, cords, or bricks in any of my devices. The exception is the lightning to 3.5mm adapters that came with my iPhone 7/7+ and the charging cord for my Apple Watch.

I already have Air Pods, V-Moda Crossfade M100s, and plenty of Anker Powerline lightning and micro USB cables and charging bricks. I have what I need my messenger bag, my bedside, my couch, my desk at work. They’re also higher quality.

Until Apple switches to USB-C on everything else I don’t need any new cords.

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I would still appreciate if Apple made it a free option by request with purchase of a new device, or if you’re trading up to one without it, as well as a cable for anything with a different port (yes, I realize this is only the port on the other end of the cable to the brick, but still) while they’re at it.

Sure, they could do it like the Apple Watch and band. The Apple Watch comes in one box and the band comes in another. Then, they wrap the two in a sleeve.

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I’d be fine if royalty free and common products like micro USB and USB-C did not come with cables.

As long as they are royalty free and cheap to make like the above which are just aluminum wires, they can be bought at the dollar store. Now some of those bricks are expensive because they are not so common and every factory in China does not make them. I’d hate having to pay an extra $40 after buying a laptop (that did not use USB-C for power.

Isn’t it time to move on and spend less time talking about online privacy or do these episodes actually influence decision makers?

By that standard, you should take your own advice and just shut up and vote. Just because you’re tired of hearing about it and/or cynical enough to accept being ignored by decision-makers doesn’t make it less impactful an issue, all the more important to discuss for those who care about its affect.