TWIT 818: The Tunnel That Bored Vegas

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!


I liked the show, and I love the title! I thought it was something else.


I have little patience for the preoccupation with ostensible innovation already meant to accrue to a rarified few controlling TWiT’s narrative as essentially the voice of the sponsors and the host as protean consumer of their wares delighted to be targeted in the means most directly amenable to such businesses (or at least their executives’ and funders’ mentalities as potential sponsors demanding “ROI” for running ads on TWiT): consumer benefits by context already prove that personalized targeting is unnecessary as Leo himself, ironically, pointed out in making a counter-point against others’ assertions that privacy matters by citing findings which cast Cambridge Analytica’s claims to have amounted to a hoax upon their investors and customers (and thank you to Ballecer for his proper admonishment that just because it was done incompetently this time doesn’t mean it can’t be done competently in the future with potentially dire precedents and/or repercussions, to say nothing of the self-reinforcing dynamo Facebook represents in these regards as then pointed out by Dan Moren!)!

The reason privacy is—as it should be—a 3rd rail is because of how easy its absence makes unaccountable abuse more likely by the state, if nothing else (and there’s plenty else, unfortunately!): if the infrastructure of individual dossier is made inescapable and pervasive, the temptation to turn such granular data into a political if not actual hit-list is pernicious to say the very least! It’s just an incredible spectacle that harm would be questioned, even merely for the sake of rhetorical exchange given its irresponsibility particularly in the current lingering socio-political climate in the US especially after a tactical strike team under cover of a murderous lynch-mob attempted a deadly-violent coup on the capital (so self-righteously brazen and deranged they live-streamed it on automatically-archived public social media!) and deliberate sabotage of governmental response amplified an historic plague, both fueled by the political/psychic oxygen afforded by predatorily manipulative content/ad filter bubbles that for-profit corporate platforms not just thrive on but rely upon so engineer for ever greater intensity. Really? Still waiting for harm to be shown??? Thank you, Denise Howell, for having none of that. A tech show high on its own supply that needs this spelled-out publicly for its narrative to be subjected to a reality-check, over and above the acknowledgement that its audience is not the target of these debates… shaking head Keep your eyes on the ball, if you would!


Until governments, institutions and the tech community can guarantee 100% that identity theft or misuse of collected data isn’t detrimental to “users”, privacy should be the default state for all services and sharing information should only be with the consent of the users.

If the user doesn’t want to share their information, the site being used should respect that and not load any external tracking sites. Only once the user has given their consent should third party tracking code be even loaded into the page!

The mantra, collect the minimum amount of data needed to perform the transaction and it should be kept for the shortest amount of time needed, should be tattooed onto the insides of the eyelids of all tech CEOs. That or “I am a data thief” tattooed onto their foreheads…


If companies are worried about users opting out of data collection and tracking, then maybe said companies should take it as a signal that they have failed to communicate the value of their services. I’m not a Google fan, but I use the Google Maps app all the time because it provides real value to me out in the world with great directions, real time traffic, and a rich POI database. Would I prefer to pay for a private and anonymized experience? Yes, but the value is enough for me to engage with it as-is.