TWIT 846: I Love You Zune Much

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!

Around the hour mark: oh man - the Google Ads scandal hits a sweet spot with regard to how much or even whether you should trust monopolies or oligopolies in big tech. Granted, this is a case at the outset with much investigation and all of the court maneuvering still needing to be done, but there are clearly legible signs that the current situation of permitting such power concentrations in societies’ key markets is not helpful.

I wish you the best possible and most relaxing vacation, @Leo, but I am already missing you on TWiG this week. There is just that brilliant balance of power between Jeff, “The Protector of the Internet” ™, and you, when it comes to wrestling it out between the dark and the light side (slight exaggeration).

I still do not get how the American parliament or any of its chambers can be let of the hook so easily if they do not understand tech issues. Are there no commissions or special interest groups who get tasked with getting to the bottom of the substance discussed in congress or before its committees? Most of the technological issues that need settling have been developed in the US and the US parliament cannot find people to understand it and thoughtfully speak or interrogate on it?

On the “whatever Google is going to do, we are loving them anyways and since Corona, we love them even more” - that kind of a dependency sounds to me like the “hey days” / early onset of an addiction (if addiction has hey days). Just for that reason alone - just take Owen’s point about without Google, his kids would not get educated - it’s time to start regulating the giants.

Consumer harm? Well: would you consider addiction to the products of the monopolist harmful? If not… well then.

Man - and you guys got me all amped up and thinking about the Pixel 6…

To reign myself in: But then again, I’m also driving an Audi and that’s arguably one of the biggest scandal firms in Germany this century. Part of the problem being a brand of an oligopolist. Lovely cars though. Oh well. The Pixel does look nice.

Consumerism is a lot like I imagine addiction to be.


Just hearing mention of Google’s continued efforts in the home space reminded me of my annoyance that they bought Nest, and my similar annoyance about Amazon buying Ring. I really wish the smart home market had developed more independently, with better cooperation among players around standards and security.


I don’t understand the thinking of “we won’t make the best company we can, we will make a company we can sell to someone bigger!”

Where has the pride in making your own company the next big thing gone?

On the one hand, it is great having an integrated environment, like Apple’s, but on the other hand that is way too much power on one company’s hands, whether that be Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon etc.

I can’t say, “ooh, I like that product, it is a class leader, I’ll take that!” Instead it is, “ooh, that looks nice, if only it wasn’t from Google/Amazon/Facebook…” (or wasn’t tied to using one of those services in the background)


“I hear ya!” I suppose this has to do with the cult around (serial) entrepreneurship. The pride is about a skyrocketing success as a unicorn and particularly profitable exit. It seems less about the substance of the company and more about having played the game particularly smart and profitably. Much cynicism seems to be involved. Or, to be more precise, a sense of pride in winning that may seem like cynicism to the bystander.

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There was an interesting thread by Benedict Evans last week that touched on M&A through the lens of anti-competitiveness, not necessarily founders’ motivation to exit, but still interesting numbers and discussion.

Benedict Evans on Twitter: “A common talking point in tech anti-trust: big tech companies have made hundreds of acquisitions in recent years, and almost none were reviewed, let along stopped. So, last month the FTC released some actual data, for Google, Apple, FB, Amazon and Microsoft. :thread:” / Twitter

FYI @carbonga

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Apple does not use any of the ARM standard architectures. They have developed their own cores, memory architectures, bus, etc.

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According to this Washington Post article, “President Biden renewed pressure in July when he signed an executive order that set a November deadline for a new proposed rule from the federal agency.”

I finally went to an audiologist a couple of weeks ago and she confirmed that I have severe hearing loss in my left ear on higher frequencies and moderate hearing loss on lower frequencies in both ears. I’m super ready for hearing aids as communicating in moderately noisy environments like restaurants.

@Leo , do you think it’s worth waiting for the new guidelines to see if new products get announced shortly thereafter? I recall reading about a number of companies after CES in 2020 (or maybe 2019?) that they had products waiting to announce as soon as FDA approval was announced. Since you actually use hearing aids and are uniquely attuned to audio production, I’d love to see some reviews once these products drop. I suspect the tech whipper snappers on YouTube aren’t going to be in the position to offer the same sort of hands-on experience.

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Just had a look at Geers in Germany, basic hearing aids cost around 300€, high end with full fidelity, Bluetooth connectivity, in-ears, with titanium finish cost around 2,200€, with testing and fitting.

I think there are a number of companies poised to offer OTC hearing aids @alexhoward - it won’t be too long after the FDA gives in.

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My father resisted hearing aids for decades, despite being almost completely deaf in one ear and partial in the other. He would try cheap products available direct that didn’t work, and the cost of an audiologist was a barrier.

It was my Samsung Buds that convinced him, as they have basic accessibility settings that boost ambient sound with the mics. One evening trying those and he had an audiologist booked the next day. Treated himself to £3k Starkeys in the end (but they are excellent). Plus they have all the health smarts, fall detection and stuff.


Hearing, along with vision is covered by health insurance here, is that not the case in the USA? The testing is free and I believe you also get a certain level of subsidy from the health insurance companies, I think the current level is up-to nearly 1,000€ (I think 750€ for 1 ear, ~1,000€ for both).

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In the UK the NHS will provide them, with batteries and aftercare but they tend to be behind the ear types. Dad decided he preferred in canal ones.

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I find the resistance to hearing aids (or as I call them, “glasses for your ears”) absolutely baffling. I have older relatives who have worn glasses their entire adult lives but refuse to consider hearing aids. They wore these GIANT glasses all through the 1980’s but the thought of a little thing that goes inside their ear is just too much for them. I think for people who have grown up with little ear buds in their ears all day, transitioning to a hearing aid will be easy.


I hope so. I think it’s the view ‘they’re for old people.’ Glasses aren’t. But for my Dad, he’s had 20 years or so on the periphery of social situations and conversations.


Oh, you silly Europeans and your health care systems designed to service the population rather than make insurance companies and providers money. You’re so adorable. Everything is covered by insurance over my $2500 deductible. I have a health savings account that I put money into tax free with every paycheck that I then have the privilege to use for pay for certain health care related items like this which, of course my, company does not match or contribute to. I can also gamble by investing that money in stocks in order to hopefully make more money to pay for my future health care needs. Funny enough, my wife works for a hospital and she would be able to get hearing aids completely free. For me to go on her insurance would triple what she pays and incur a $100 penalty because I would be opting out of my employer provided insurance. God bless America!

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