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Tech News: A Mega Load of Meta News And More

2022-07-28 | 🔗

Meta held its Q2 2022 earnings call and we learned a lot about what's going on with the company. We also learned that soon Meta will charge more for VR hardware and that it might be easing off on its misinformation policy. Plus news about Samsung, Google, Apple making a car and the next Grand Theft Auto game.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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six legs dot com slashed code to save up to twenty dollars on passes, plus daily tickets, starting at forty four. Ninety nine there were welcome to textile a production from I heart radio. Hey there and welcome to textile I'm your whole job and strickland diamond executive producer with I hurt radio and held the tec aria. It's time for. tech news for thursday July. Twenty eightth twenty twenty two and we are going to cover a ton. of news about meadow slash facebook, because the company recently held an earnings, call for a cue to of twenty twenty two that second quarter in case you nothing with the terminology- and it gives us more insight into The company and its priorities are,
We ve got other stuff that wasn't part of the earnings. Call, for example, an executive blogged about how the company hopes that it's totally okay to ease off on the crackdown for covid nineteen information, add to that in a bit first up, let's but what we learned during that earnings call and one really big piece of news is that net income is down by thirty six percent compared to this time last year. Now that is net income. Mind you! That's when you take your total revenue and you subtract costs from it go by total revenue. The company is actually only down by a single percentage point compared to this time last year, so that brought in a little less money. Overall, then, Facebook did last year. This is fun because remember that accompany changed its name from facebook them at all in late, twenty, twenty one, so cute too,
twenty twenty one is actually facebook, layaway matter made way less profit in cue to twenty twenty two, then facebook dead and cue to twenty twenty one and buy way less. I don't mean that matter is in oak strapped for cash or the danger of going out of business far from it. Thank you, too. The company brought in nearly seven billion dollars in profit. That is an and the third the mobile amount of money, not least for someone like me. I would love to fathom it, but my tax brackets like not even then the same solar system is that anyway, the wall street journal claims that this is the first time and met his history.
It actually had a drop in revenue, even though again, that was just a one percent drop in revenue. Thirty, six per cent drop in profit year over year, the company also reported it saw a modest increase in the number of users across its platforms, facebook. The platform, their average daily users increased by three percent users across the company's platforms overall increased by four percent, which is better news than what facebook reported earlier. this year, when the company saw a decline in users on some of its properties. Another thing our executor burger revealed during that earnings call. Is that your experience on instagram, if, in fact, you do use instagram is good? to change now. Already manner relies on artificial intelligence to promote content to users. Content from account that those users don't necessarily follow and that is not going away. In fact it's going to increase the zagreb
revealed that they were essentially going to double how frequently this happens so current The is responsible for recommending around fifteen percent of the content that shows up in your feet as you're scrolling through instagram. Soon that's going to go up to thirty percent, so nearly a third So you could think of. This is like every third thing you see instagram will be presented. you from this a algorithm, and you I see a lot more stuff from accounts that you don't actually follow. This also means that the content that is did by your friends and the accounts. Actually interested in is going to get me or diluted by all this other stuff, and you might say why well, it all comes down to money. Really, it's a continuing effort to compete against tech, talk Tiktok has a recommendation. Engine that has proven to be incredibly effective at keeping people on the platform and Zuckerberg says that since introducing
the eight recommendations on instagram the company has dean engagement on the rise and- it by engagement were really just talking about the amount of time the average user spends, while on the platform that directly up translate into how much ad revenue meadow can generate off each user. So matters goal is to coerce users into spending as much time on their platforms as is possible and the greatest greenberg I recommended content gets the job done, oh new world to have such algorithms in it. Getting back to the earnings. Call at one thing that factored into the thirty six percent drop in net income was the cost of operating the reality labs division. Now, that's Division within Mehta those responsible for stuff, like mixed reality: hardware like the the stuff that used to be oculus essentially and all oh the metaverse are indeed apartment.
reality labs generated four hundred and fifty two million dollars in revenue in Q, two of twenty twenty two, that's actually up from the previous year, so cute Two, twenty twenty one, the and brought in three hundred and five million dollars? So four hundred and fifty two million dollars good? If we get to see an increase but the aid division overall lost two point: eight billion dollars, that's up from two point: four billion this time last year, dubbing said in Q, one of this year, the division actually lost two point, nine six billion now is your overall that division lost ten billion dollars for for meta essentially said they they spent ten billion, By the way this is going, we might be looking at between eleven and twelve billion for this year. We'll have to see unless things dramatically, change in the second half of the year end
is trying to bring the concept of the metaverse into reality. So that does require a lot of money in order to make it happen, we're also about see some changes in meta strategy with this division. The company is about the hike prices on the meta quest to vr headsets, so each of those models of those headsets is about to become a hundred dollars more expensive. The price is going up by a hundred bucks for each of them. Other peripheral we'll also get a price hike and wonder why a company is increasing prices on hardware, that's it's been selling for quite some time. Now it's not like this is brand new. It's not like it's a new generation. It's the hardware that the company has been selling just now going to be one hundred dollars more expensive and one for this is that, like much of the industry, Mehta was hardware at a loss, or at least at a much
price than what it could have demanded. This was in an effort to create a large install base. You want to get as many people out there as possible using the product and we see this with video game consuls all the time you videogame companies like real microsoft and sony will sell their consuls for less than what it cost to make the call souls because they know they're, going to make their money back in game sales and subscription services, specifically the subscription services, that's going to be like ongoing theme throughout this episode, even when we get away from meta, so you could- this as a move. That meta is going to ease off on subsidizing it's vr hardware, at least to the extent that it had been and some more of that expenses, gonna going to fall on customers related to this, the federal trade federal trade, commission or FTC has sued meta in an effort to block a planned acquisition
a company called within now within makes a vcr workout, app called supernatural which has a subscription revenue model. So you an ongoing monthly fee. In order to keep using this, this particular app there easy argues that the reported lee four hundred million dollar deal would reduce competition and the vizier fitness space, which would potentially make meta a monopoly for that specific market. Now that sounds pretty niche to me right, it's. It sounds really kind of laser focused in a way, so I find it an interesting approach, and while I don't necessarily disagree with the ftc on this, I am I left to wonder of baby. This is a case where a regulatory agency is looking for footholds in order to grab opportunities to reduce accompanies envelopes. I have no way of knowing that. All of that is just wild speculation on my part, and that could be totally the furthest from the truth. But one thing that might have set off
pc is that meta has been acquiring various vr where developers over the last few years, that includes the company beat games which makes the popular vr title beat saber the empty, see, also argues that met up if they on both beat games within if they on both of those companies. Those Companies will have no incentive to innovate because in competitor is no longer. Competitor. They both belong to too many that's. The argument is that your idea of fine beat games and within is being she competitors in the space and when you have a lack of competition, there's typically a of innovation there's no reason to innovate. You don't need to because you ve already got all the players, though, why spend the resources to innovate if there's no competition and that this ultimately hurts consumers- and it's an interesting take- will have to see if it's success,
or of mega will continue its trend of gobbling up other companies in an effort to achieve corporate goals. Meanwhile, I'll as many tries to be the biggest fish is also. King to reduce employee headcount, so the company can buy other companies, but it can't afford to pay the folks who do its work, which is interesting but can't afford them being snarky here. Zuckerberg says he expects to do more with less potentially reducing headcount by as much as ten percent by the. the year according to insider the process has already started. The company has been slowing down. Headcount growth, also known as hiring across pretty much all of its departments that's going to continue, and then some teams within the company will in sucker own words, quote shrink, so we can shift entered into other areas inside the company and quote. He said that work and I will require more intensity with fewer resources and that he kind of sees this
the trial by fire situation, in which the company will emerge stronger. On the other side, this echoes things that we've heard Zuckerberg say before I he essentially centrally said their people who work at facebook, who probably should be working there, and that this process is in part awaited shake the tree pretty hard, so that the folks who shouldn't be there, will fall out of it. This weird analogy for me to use, but I think it's accurate. And golf were still going with a minister is here. So next up the verge manage to get a recording of an internal company meeting manner in which such a brig named apple They taught rival when it comes to developing the metaverse. Xo bird argued that apple's approach would be to create a closed off ecosystem and yeah it's pretty much in line with apple's mo. All you have to do is look at how the company has traditionally handled everything from the macintosh platform to ios devices to see the apples all about creating an entire eager,
system foundation and then maintaining tight control and influence over what Where is built on top of that foundation and that's not necessarily a bad thing if it's done well, it can help ensure that the content and services that are created till be on top of that platform all meet certain standards, but this also makes apple the final arbiter and also the feed collector that something that has left apple in that the target sites of various regulatory agencies around the world. So in this matter, internal meeting, secondary, said that met his approach would be a little more open than apples. The also our that apple is a company that counts on profit from hardware sales, at least to
I would actually argue that tim cook has really been guiding apple to lean much harder into becoming a services company and less of being a hardware company in recent years. But Zuckerberg's point was that you know apple sells iphones at really high prices, they're, not like marking down the cost or the price rather of these devices and selling them at cost or even lower than at cost to customers, whereas Facebook had been doing that at least with things like mixed reality, headwear, even with the the recent news of the price hike. My guess is that the hardware that they're you know the price that they're selling the hardware is probably still pretty close to at cost for the company. So he said you that's a totally different approach. We are trying to create an enormous you, is base, and then We will really rely on services to generate revenue which medley again, I think, takes it right back to apple's own strategy. Is this? The apple is.
The transitioning from being sold so much hardware focus to being services focused and met in this case is looking at just going services. focused from the get go, but I would argue that they really aren't that different in the long run, alright last a story for today and then we're gonna move on to other stuff. Nick clegg net, as head of global affairs, released a statement indicating that matter is asking its oversight bored. If may be possibly it would be ok for the company to start allowing misinformation about covert deposed on the site. Now that everything's fine in again but Jonathan I hear some of you say there most certainly not okay. Well yeah. That's that's true! That's real lee, but menace argument is that young? Maybe things are okay and we're back to me. it will now, maybe or something anyway clegg said that what the company
Considering is a major change in policy. Currently, the official policy of meta is that the company will prevent or remove posts, promote, covert misinformation in an effort to protect users. Now some people argue that this infringes upon free speech. I would counter that argument by saying free speech has never been entirely free. There have always been limitations in place, namely if the speech were to cause harm to others is not protected as free speech. Anyway, meta would like to change this policy they have been using so that the company could maybe go back to perhaps pushing misinformation, post slower and priority for its recommendation. Algorithms, so the words that would still allow the post, but they wouldn't spread as far in theory, and they would have less reach and maybe also to include labeling them as potentially include
big misinformation rather just outright banning the post entirely. The guardian and several other news outlets have all kind of posited that, since the oversight boards wreck nations are not mandatory matter, is under no obligation to actually enact any suggested. The oversight board makes them or like advisers in this. In this capacity, this could be a case where met actually already has a plan in place of what it is going to do like it, they've already decided, but that the company is trying to use the oversight board to kind of shoulder some of the responsibility for that decision, so that all the hate doesn't hit meta itself, in other words, matter is probably going to ease off on how it polices misinformation, because there's way more money fit allows misinformation to proliferate on the platform it just gets engagement and that means more money
The company loves that money, especially since the old in last, a blue quarters. Things have been a little more shaggy and they really need to reassure stakeholders, shareholders that the company is is here in a strong financial direction, but you know the You still would really like someone else to kind of take at least some of the heat for that decision. So of the oversight board says You know this is a reasonable thing for you to to switch gears because health Things have changed in the world. You don't need to ban everything, although the oversight board can take some of the heat for that decision, one that I think again that matter has already made so it omitted, becomes theatre, in other words, now, the oversight board has actually opened this matter up to public comment, which I suspect will be very active, and I can't predict what the board will
conclude. I just feel fairly sure that, no matter what the board says matter is heading to a future where it will not be taking a hardline stance against misinformation, as it had been forced to do in the recent past, Alright, we got a lot more news today before we get any of that. Let's take a quick break. I I I I I I I This is your summer that mean six legs in the taste of an ice, cold coca cola towards talking thrilling, coasters, delicious burgers, real moments together, and this coke is summer Freshman twenty need it most. So you can hop on another ride. Your summer. Six waxing coca cola can make it yours visit. Six flags dot com, slash code to save up to twenty dollars off passes, plus daily tickets, starting at forty four. Ninety nine. We could we fly is your summer. That means six flags in the taste of an ice, cold, coca cola,
talking thrilling, coasters, delicious, burgers, real moments together, and this coke is summer. refreshment when you need it most, so you can hop on another ride. This is your summer, six legs and coca cola cup. Making yours sixflags dot com, coke to save up the twenty dollars off passes, plus bailey tickets, starting at four thousand four hundred and ninety nine thanks to the internet. Artificial intelligence is everywhere now algorithms are making more and more the decisions that shape our lives. So let me ask you a question: who should have the power over a I? I'm bridget Todd the new hope f. I r l, yes award winning podcast is back, I'm taking a quick break from my own podcast
There are no girls on the internet to be your hosts, the sea. There will be talking about health care, gig work, social media and even killer robots, you'll a I builders around the world who make AI more trustworthy in real life. You will be able to challenge the algorithm. Technology sold. Some problems are definitely technology can be part of the problem. Areas to walk away from it and not contribute to us, and I have the power to try and change law this even where it happened. Internet health report over a I that I already international pact cats proposal at the nonprofit behind firefox, don't miss it go to your favorite pod cast out right now to find us
the yesterday, which was Wednesday July, twenty seventh, two thousand and twenty two for those of you from the future, for some reason decided to listen to a news episode of text off Google announced several new policies that will affect developers who are creating apps for android now those policies are for small technical things, for example, they're going the restrictions on the types of apps that will be able to access the alarm function on an android device. So if the app doesn't fall into one of a couple of specific categories, then it should not tap into that that particular function and any app that is discovered to do that that doesn't fall in those categories could be
new from Google play. Other policies are much more sweeping, such as measures that are meant to limit the spread of misinformation through apps and also to limit things like impersonation. So this means Google's going to crack down on apps. That advocate, for it while a harmful health practices, conversion there'll be being a big and terrible example of that. If an app is found to promote that sort of stuff, that is fundamentally harmful. Google will remove it also if an app actively spreads misleading claims about stuff, like vaccines like if an app says This vaccine will alter your dna, which is a false claim. Google will remove. It is is this? Is this These are the rule The google establishes so that it has the effect, need to do things like remove apps from the play store right. This is this,
saying hey, we told you what the rules were. If you don't follow them, then we get to act, As for impersonation, will that actually covers a lot of ground like impersonation in this sense doesn't mean an app to somehow impersonates a person necessarily instead, it's like creating false expectations or false representations in the ace of app user. So as an example, it is against Google's policy. Now for you design your app in such a way. That implies that you have a relationship with some other well known entity that which could be another app. It could be a famous it could be an official organization, and yet, no Actual relationship really exists between the two of you. So if I were to make an app that implied that somehow the app was connected to the fbi. But that was not true that there was no connection to the fbi, but I was claiming that
then I would be in violation of that policy and google could remove my app from the play store. or if I made an app that just claimed to be the official app of some celebrity I'll. Let's say tim curry, I says the the tim curry official app I provide no evidence to prove that it's the tim curry official app that there has been any involvement tim curry, or anything like that. Again, I would be violating Google's new policy. Other change will create more positive experiences for customers, including a policy that will require developers to get easier for users to cancel a subscription. Now this change requires develop. Was to make cancellation settings easier to find
it has to be included in the apps account settings that cannot be of use skating or buried like ten menus down, and if you click on the cancel, a feature or option in that menu, then you are supposed to be taken directly to that. Apps cancellation process or to google place subscription center. If the app is using. The Google architecture for that and there you should be able to cancel your subscription. It should not set you on a wild goose chase where the whole go again is to discourage you from cancelling, not canceling. convincing you that the service is worth having the by convincing you. It's too much trouble to go through the process to actually cancel the ding ding
darn thing: there are a lot of other policy changes that Google announced, including some really important ones like restrictions on apps that have been marketed as surveillance or spying apps, like apps, that are meant to track people's movements. That kind of stuff there's a policy that now restricts developers that are using the vpn service function on android from collecting person. User data without first giving prominent disclosure and getting consent from the users. helpers will have a thirty day grace period to make sure that their apps are conforming to these new policies before Google will start to take any action against apps that you know, don't do that. The? U s senate, as voted in favour of a bill that will ultimately allow for subsidies, grants tax breaks valued at me. Then fifty billion dollars in an effort to bring semiconductor manufacturing back to the united states on a grand scale up not to
it, doesn't happen in the? U s already, it does is just add a fraction of what it used to so quick history lesson. We used to have a lot of silicon manufacturing here in the united states, but other regions name Eight taiwan invested huge amounts of money to build up facilities that could make chips cheaper and at enormous manufacture, bring scale. Naturally, this meant that most semiconductor manufacturing would move overseas, and today, the? U s, makes up just twelve percent of the world's chip manufacturing. Taiwan is producing nearly half of all semi can use round the world, and it is even more than that when you start looking at advanced semiconductors, not just like simple ones, for the micro controllers and stop, but when you're looking at advanced they connectors. Taiwan produces more than half of those anti ones
The relationship with china is a big cause for concern. You know Taiwan is an island that is just off the the coast of mainland china. The history of these two regions is tightly intertwined. The the republic of china, the people's republic of china, but the republic of China, which was in charge of the whole country up to nineteen forty nine effectively rich, read it to taiwan and still live playing over mainland china when china is ruled by the people's republic of china, and it lays clay over taiwan. So you get these two entities that simultaneously, play and they're in charge of the other day for the china is way bigger than die. One is in there's always this concern that china might invade taiwan or otherwise.
As use methods to force taiwan under chinese rule and if you are dependent upon semiconductor manufacturing and an economic and political adversary is in charge of the manufacturing center. That's a thing it's not good for national security is not good for self reliance and, as we have seen with the pandemic, when Our interruptions then There are massive disruptions across multiple industries. The semiconductor shortage has affected everything in tech, so also there's also the concern. china and industrialists espionage this this. At least this perception, if not reality, that china is actively attempting to steal technologies from other countries,
merrily the united states, so moving manufacturing back over to the united states in large amounts would help the? U s become more self reliant and it would improve national security. It would improve the chances for the united states to make up some lost ground against china in high heck fields like artificial intelligence, machine learning, that sort of thing- and I personally I think that this move as well past. Do the effects the damn. It really highlighted how necessary it is to diversify their manufacturing process for things that are as critical as simeon there's if you rely really heavily on a small number of manufacturing facilities in a particular region region is disproportionately affected by something whether it's a pandemic or not tall disaster or a war whatever it may be. You see where that
having this massive consequence for everybody else said the it's good to diversify that. However, I also think this is just the beginning of a series of investments that the united states is going to have to make into promoting semiconductor manufacturing within the country. If the? U S, expects to keep them here, because other nations are doing that other than vest. Why I felt I one got the semiconductor industry established there in the first place, the government poured billions of dollars worth of investment into that make it a reality. If the united states doesn't do that, other countries will and then ultimately companies will say hey. We have an album
into our shareholders, and for us to do business, that's profitable. We have to go overseas, or else were wasting money and shareholders hate that, and then you start to see where we get stuck where we are now. Samsung has admitted to fall, advertising in australia. Regarding exactly how water resistant certain samsung galaxy line, smartphones actually are so the have you been here- is that samsung ransom marketing campaigns like commercials and things like that, claiming that these phone are more water resistant than reality would reflect in that. If people were to actually put these phones through any kind of activities that would get them wet, they might find them turn out to be a you know, inoperable so the company.
copped up to the fact that, between two thousand sixteen in two thousand, eight teen in exaggerated that water resistant feature on seven different smartphone models solely a stroll in court levied a fourteen million dollar. Fine, that's australian dollars on the company. Now, if he turn, fourteen million australian dollars upside down you find out it's about nine point eight million us dollars. That is a big fine, but obviously for really huge company, no ten million dollars you ass is of as a relatively small expense. Once you get into it, I you never want to see a ten million dollar expensive. You can avoid it, but it's not like this cripples samsung You might even argue that it might not be enough of a slap for samsung to to purposefully avoid this kind of thing in the future, but it is good for the australian court system to get samsung to own up to false advertising and
my hope is that I don't think this is going to stop false advertising, but I do hope it makes people little more critical when they evaluate products, because what companies are supposed to be forthright when they describe what their products do. That's not always the case and I would argue many times, companies will use language that lets them creatively enhance the truth. Let's say in recent episodes about apple's former head of industrial design johnny I have I mentioned that the company has long been at work, designing a car, but that project has taken more time than expected because, as it turns out, that's hard to do and there been a lot of delays because of different things. happened within apple and within that project, specifically However. Apple has recently hired Luigi taraborrelli, who previously
worked at a little supercar company called lamborghini. In fact, he worked there for more than twenty years must have been. A heck of an offer for apple to convince taraborrelli to come over to apple from lamborghini. Now, apple has still not mountain said what terror will be doing at the company or what this project is, but the obvious conclude is that he's going to be working on apple's attempts to design and build its own electric vehicle apples, internal name for this project, which is technically still secret, is just a very poorly kept secret is project titan and it's been going on for at least eight years already now. Does this mean it's actually building up the track?
and it's going to be needed to develop an apple electric vehicle- I don't know it has been long and development. I don't know if it's getting any closer to becoming a reality. I don't know if apple will ultimately kill this project before we ever get to see an actual like. No type, let alone a production model. It would be interesting. I long been curious to see what an apple vehicle would look like without Johnny ive there. The design is not necessary Are you going to have his influence built into it, though? I've done? work on designs for this project, while he was there, since just again, they never came to fruition will have to wait and see. But I am very curious. Okay, I've got some more stories to cover before we get to those. Let's take another quick break. I I I I I I I
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algorithms are making more and more the decisions that shape our lives. So let me ask you a question: who should have the power over ai I'm bridget todd? The new of IRA. Yes, yes, it was a winning podcast is back I'm taking a quick break from my own podcast. There are no girls on the internet to be your hosts, the sea. There will be talking about health care, gig work, social media and even killer robots, you'll make a I builders around the world who make AI more trustworthy in real life, You will be able to challenge the algorithm technology. Insult some problems, a definite eating those you can be part of the problem. I have heard to walk away from it and not contribute to us, and I have the power to try and change law. Fifty then we're happy Mozilla is internet health report to learn who should have passed
moreover, a I that's, our old international pockets promote Zella the nonprofit behind firefox, don't miss it, go to your favorite pod cast out right now to find us, So a few weeks I mentioned in a news story that Bmw is testing out something in a market, not the united states, but in south korea, in which it is turning its heated seats, option into a subscription service and how folks got upset about that, because the actual electronics that are necessary to heat the seats are already in the vehicle models right like it's there is. waiting to be turned on
So everything you need to heat a seat is still is already installed in the car, but to access the feature. Drivers in what the test market of south korea would first have to subscribe to service, and only then will the vehicle actually provide heating to the seats you it's behind a paywall, in other words, this led to the actions about car options and whether or not it makes sense to charge for those kind of features up front where they are at the time of purchase is built into the price tag the vehicle so you're buying the vehicle and all the options right then and there or if it makes sense, to go to an ongoing subscription based service and a few news outlets like wired vice are reporting. The drivers are already seeking out hacks. That will let them get around this lock on the feature, so bypassing the need to subscribe to be him w services nor to get access to it, and I think we're The consumers draw a line between ongoing,
services that are largely software, driven such as a subscription to internet radio that something that a lot of people feel ok. I understand this is an ongoing service that does not exist within the vehicle. I am paying for that. That makes sense to be a subscription v it says subscriptions that just enable functions that are already present in physical hardware that there seems to be like this fundamental barrier there, which I understand, I would think hey. If, if the thing I bought can do this but the manufacturer won't enable that function. Unless I cough up even more money, that's infuriating not just to be fair to be double you. It doesn't like this subscription approach with the heated seats. It's really a pilot programme, there testing a waters of what will and why fly in the market I'm guessing. Ultimately, this is going to be one that will fall into the won't fly category but,
never know it might be that people get distracted by something else and then they're like yeah it it stinks, but my seats cold. So I'm going to cough up the dough tesla has adjusted it's free data connectivity feature which is called standard connectivity. That's a feature that provides basic connectivity features like bluetooth streaming for your music and some basic navigation services. Well now, if you own a tesla vehicle after eight years that free service expires and you will have to subscribe to premium service premium connectivity or you gonna, lose those functions completely. Now some tesla owners might not to be too concerned about that because maybe they plan to trade their vehicle before they get to owning it for a ears. But it says we can have an impact on some test drivers as well as second hand, buyers like. If you buy a four year old tesla, then
you're, going to only have four more years of this basic connectivity. The standard connectivity available to you and then after eight years you'll be prompted to subscribe to a premium connectivity service which costs ten dollars a month or ninety nine dollars, if paid annually according to the verge, even accessing fm radio could be behind a paywall, and I don't see this as quite as egregious a move as the Bmw story. But it is another example of how car companies are shifting toward more subscription services. Just like everybody else, you know just like am cook, is doing with apple we're, seeing car companies say you know what model works. The services model, let's push even harder toward that so yeah, like that's, where everyone's going just like with video games a few years ago, where loot boxes were the way to go, and, after some, some
lashing out by various regulatory agencies around the world. We've seen that ease off a little bit, but you know now we're seeing this services model throughout a lot of tech company Here's some intriguing news out of colombia, universities, a program so in a project researchers set up and a high so that it would be able to observe physical phenomena through a video feed and then the ai was meant to suss out what was the minimal set of fundamental variables that would describe and enable the physical phenomena words based upon what you saw. What are the variables that determine the how this plays out and this reminds me a little bit of an experiment back in two thousand and nine at cornell, which in fact included some of the same people working on this project.
That was when we heard about a computer program that was able to deduce thee natural laws of physics by observing physical phenomena, namely the swinging of a pendulum but only because it also had certain variables that were identified in advance, so it didn't have to figure that stuff all own, this new, which is about figuring out those variables themselves. So one experiment used a double pendulum, which of you know, based upon our understanding of physics, tells us has four state variable So this pendulum is a double armed structure and the four variables that we know are important to determine the activity of the the pendulum are the angle of each arm. As well as the angular velocity of each arm, so the four angle of our one angle of arm to angular velocity of our one angular velocity of arm too
now the ai observed the swinging arms without any quote: unquote: knowledge of those variables and attempted to suss out what you know how many variables determine the movements and it came up with four point. Seven, the team said: well, that's close! It's not exactly what we have, but it's close. It's also weird to have point seven of a variable, but then the team had to try and figure out. What variables did the air I a program? I dinner fight like what what were those variables cause? That's not easily, understood. The ai has no way of communicating that to the team had to review the data that the EU had generated and had analyzed and determined that too variable they ate. And if I were in fact the angles of the arms of the double pendulum. So that correlates with what we understand, but no matter what they could not figure out. What the other two variables were, Fourth, what did the eight I figure out was also determining the movement of this double pendulum,
so the ai was able to identify some very Does that determine how this thing operates? We're able to identify variables that determine how this thing operates, and we both end up with similar answers for how it operates. using different variables in order to describe it, and that is intriguing because it raises questions about. If there are different ways to describe how things work, equally valid, but on a funds, mental level they are different. They include different variables. It's kind of mind blowing when you think of it. That way, the team also discovered that if they repeated the experiment by turning off the system and restarting it, essentially making the ai learn all over again. It would still come up with the same number of variables
but the specific variables were different each time. So yes, it would still say. Oh there's, like four point, seven variables that determine how this moves, but the specific variables were different from the time that it ran previously, so is saying: is it behaves this way because of these four things, but those four things changed every single time, It was run which is crazy. Now, why would you want something to be able to identify variables in the first place when you start looking at, very complex systems where you have your windsor variables at play. It becomes increasingly difficult to predict how those systems are going to behave over any given amount of time easiest exam I can give. You is weather forecasts in a weather forecasts a lot of variables into account, but not all of them. there are probably variables that we have yet to identify that are important in the fall,
nation of weather systems, and that's why, when you look at a weather forecast, you cannot be certain that what has been forecast is actually going to happen. So creating ways of identifying very This is as a step towards being able to have a deeper understanding of these kinds of complex systems. That is if we don't also discover that every system can be described by, the ex number of variables in X, different configurations. Because then you start to a point where you think will does anything mean anything anymore her but I'll? Leave that people who are way way way smarter than I am to figure out. a journal, the royal society open science, which is a peer, reviewed, scientific all its polished by the royal society has the news probably has gamers happy, namely the journal published research saying there as has been no causal link found between
playing video games and poor mental health. Now there is a caveat here. The caveat is as long as the gamer in question is playing because they want to play and they're not playing they feel they have to play. There's no negative impact on mental health, so by that you might say that professional rumours and pro gamers could experience mental health issues that are related to gaining because their obligated to play its part of their job if they aren't producing content or they're, not training for the next professional turn them. It then their income can be affected, but if you're, a gamer who just likes to settle in for a nice friendly evening of being called horrible things, as you play warzone the good news, it's not bad for your mental health, the gaming bed anyway, the abuse is a different story. This research, by the way, is based off a survey, that's important to note,
cause. I mean, let's face it: it's challenging to develop a survey that produces scientifically reliable results, because you can't really control for all the variables and it's hard to ask questions. Way, the doesn't lead people to specific answers. So that's another key, yet we should throw in here is that this is based off a survey, but still it seems like it's pretty good news for games and finally bloomberg reports that rock stars. Next title in the grand theft, auto series will feature a pair of protagonists and one of them. For the first time in the game's history, since it switched away from being an overhead view. Video game is going to be female, so where's will be able to play as a female protagonist in the main campaign of gta six for the first time since it went to a three d perspect
If now I I should add that you can create female characters for the online multiplayer version of grand theft auto, but that's different from the campaign, which you know, features, characters that have pre scripted responses to things right, you're, playing out a story in the single player experience as opposed to having an line multiplayer experience, so in addition to that news, Bloomberg also revealed that rockstar plans to introduce cities to the campaign overtime, meaning They will release content overtime, and the initially, when the game launches, it will focus on a single main city its rumoured rumored to be rockstar's version of miami which is known as vice city, and this. It reminds me of how some other games have been releasing content to players. I think of things like that.
telltale games which would release in chapters you get new chapter every so often and then you can play through, and then you had to wait for the next one or the recent hitman series where you will have levels released overtime, and that approach has several benefits for one. It keeps gamers engaged, The title and since more more games are launching with ways to generate ongoing revenue, either with in game purchases or on. I think are both keeping your player base around is important for the bottom.
It's a long tail revenue generation model for another. It gives development teams the opportunity to dedicate more time and hopefully avoid too much crunch time before they release a product. They don't have to release the game with every single city built out. They can focus on one part, get that part of the game out and then transition to working on the next bit. So the game scale can still be huge. It just is accessible gradually, as for when we can expect a release of gta six. it's still up in the air. Analysts are saying it's probably going to be at least two years from now, and that's mostly due to disruption. That's happened within rockstar and internal issues that have caused delays in production. Now I don't want to suggest that that disruption was necessarily Add because, from what I understand, it sounds like a lot
the reason for the delays are connected to a genuine effort to overhaul the corporate culture at rockstar and to eliminate working conditions, so every in from making sure that they, the company, is treating employees in a a more equitable way to making sure that they're not working people to death by trying to hit some some release date that is more or less arbitrary, and doesn't take into account the amount of work that still needs to be done in order for a game to go out and not be broken. as another thing that I think a lot of gamers or are frustrated with, is this tendency for games to be released. Only to be broken in some way and require you know some some sort of work and where to make them playable, but the flip side of that is delaying the release gamers
I tend to that either. Gamers are hard to satisfy mice, should for any game developers out there. Don't announce the release date of your game. In fact, don't even talk about your game until it's ready to go gold and that will do the best at avoiding this issue. I also early excites gamers when they find out about a game for the first time, and then they are told hey by the way this is available today. They they lose their their minds over that kind of stuff. That's my advice, game developers who brotherly know all too well about this stuff. Anyway, that's it for the news for thursday July twenty eighth, two thousand twenty two. If you have suggestions for topics I should cover in future episodes of tech stuff, please reach out to me. One way to do that is to download the eye heart radio app it's free to download you can navigate over to the tech stuff part of the app and you can leave a little voice message. You click on the matter when I caught liza up to thirty second message there for me
or you can reach out on twitter. The handle for the show is text of age s w and I'll talk to you again really soon The stuff is heart radio production for more pie? ass for my heart radio visit the How radio apple pod casts Are you listen to your favorite jobs? Tired of slow internet speeds, stop the buffering and start the bending with alter home internet, get fast, reliable, home internet throughout your home, with no contracts and no installation visit ultra home internet dot com to learn more thanks to the internet,
Artificial intelligence is everywhere now algorithms are making more and more the decisions that shape our lives. So let me ask you a question who should have the power over AI? I'm bridget Todd the new most of ira. Yes, Moselle is a word. Winning part cast is back. I'm taking a quick break from my own packages There are no girls on the internet to be your host. This season will be talking about healthcare, gig work, social media and even killer robots. Make a I builders around the world who make AI more trustworthy in real life You will be able to challenge the algorithm technology, and solve some problems are definitely technology can be part of the problem. To walk away from it and not contribute to us, and I have the power to try and change law. This is, then we're happy.
Mozilla is internet health report to learn who should have passed. Moreover, I that irish international pockets proposal at the nonprofit behind firefox don't miss it go to your favorite pod cast out right now to find us.
Transcript generated on 2022-08-04.