S3E14: Big Tech Monopoly and The Great Resignation

Podcast The Big Tech Monopoly and The great ResignationChapter 1

Big Tech Goes to Washington

https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/06/11/antitrust-legislation-curbs-silicon-valley/

So are Big Tech companies like the monopolies of old? The House is looking at five different bills in hopes of regulating Tech companies.

These bills while not naming specific tech companies would attempt to enact several requirements:

  1. A company can’t recommend their products above their competitors. Example: Google couldn’t on purposely suggest their Google Cloud storage over say Dropbox or another cloud storage competitor. Or Amazon suggesting their Amazon Basics brand batteries over Duracell. Also Apple would not be able to force developers to use their App store. It would also potentially force Microsoft to allow other options besides Teams be tied into the Office platform so Zoom or Slack could have one click options inside of Office
  2. They could set the bar higher on mergers. Meaning if Google wanted to buy say Twitter, Google would have to offer a lot more evidence that buying Twitter wouldn’t harm consumers.
  3. It would allow people to download and delete their data so they can do whatever they want. You can already download your content and even delete it but are you really deleted?
  4. It may also mean that Facebook and What’sApp have to break out, Google and YouTube, and Amazon’s store and their Cloud Services. 

All of these things have positives and negatives but would majorly disrupt our Internet lives. Are these tech companies too big? Yes but they also provide a lot of benefits. 

The winner in all of this, my vote, The Lobbyists. Tech Companies during the 2020 Election spent $124 million in lobbying and campaign contributions. Tech companies spent more than oil companies ( a group that has been the biggest spenders in the past). Last year Facebook and Amazon were the biggest spenders.

Chapter 2

The Big Resignation

https://www.axios.com/resignations-companies-e279fcfc-c8e7-4955-8a9b-47562490ee55.html

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/06/remote-workers-burnout-covid-microsoft-survey/

Surveys are claiming between 25 and 40% of workers say they will quit their current jobs if their current employers require them to return to the office full time. While a survey is well a survey and it shows perhaps what people hope or wish for, do you think people will really leave their jobs if it requires them to return to work? You would think people trapped at home for the last year would be tired of seeing their loved ones day in and day out but it has a lot of people thinking about work-life balance which until the pandemic sent a lot of us home we didn’t know it was a real thing. In fact we thought it was as rare as a Bigfoot sighting. So what do you think? If you were lucky or unlucky enough to be able to work from home, do you want to stay there? What about those folks who had to go into work day in and day out because there wasn’t any other choice, work, get paid, feed your family. Some companies are looking at this as a win-win (I love those business phrases like that) as they shrink their office spaces and sell open space for top dollar in this overheated real estate market. And folks are finding they don’t have to stay in the same old city to work if they can work remote. I know a guy who is living in Germany because the job can be done from practically anywhere. But it also means employers can find job candidates who are just about anywhere so you don’t even have to be geographically close to apply for a job.

Chapter 3 

Choose your own adventure

Do you want to hear about Twitter’s subscription service or Microsoft Windows 10 Support going away? 

Twitter Blue subscription service coming soon

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/06/03/twitter-blue-paid-subscription-service-launches-with-special-features.html

So for approximately $3.99 a month you will be able to subscribe to Twitter Blue. It will let you Undo a Tweet. Wow, we could have used that during the last presidency, manage Bookmarked content, and change your Twitter icon. Plus you will get some support from Twitter’s support team. 

Microsoft has announced in 2025 they will no longer support Windows 10. 

https://beebom.com/windows-10-sun-valley-21h2-update/

Why? Because Windows 11 is coming soon okay, since you are my friends I can tell you. It comes out October 2021. June 24 Microsoft will officially announce Windows 11 (which is technically Windows 10 21H2 but who’s counting) also aka Windows Sunvalley as opposed to Stardew Valley. The next version the interface gets rounded corners (actually just go look at MacOS Big Sur and well a lot of what Apple already does Microsoft is playing catch up with). Also we will get a floating start menu because well, why not. And it gets easier to reach settings from the tray for Sound and Network so you don’t have to fiddle around so much. All good things right?

That is this week’s show. If you would please Like and Subscribe. Hit that bell so you will know when I am causing trouble online.

The Return of the Podcast Season 3 Episode 1

Season 3 Ep 1 of the One-Off Tech PodcastShow Notes for Season 3 Episode 1 “The Return of the One-Off Tech Podcast…”

So I took some time off from the podcast and well, strange things kept happening. Folks kept downloading the podcast. What?!? Seriously? 

Having spent more than 24 ours on a Zoom call, I can so relate. I do not like showing my face much anymore in Zoom meetings as well, we stop paying attention. Zoom Fatigue is real.

Zoom Fatigue https://news.stanford.edu/2021/02/23/four-causes-zoom-fatigue-solutions/

Facebook Vs Apple. In the end, Rupert Murdock wins when it comes to the press, as for software developers I am hoping Apple gives in some and allows them to earn more of their money. Facebook, well, they will never change and I like seeing someone make them uncomfortable. But Google is coming out with a new tech that will make tracking you easier, so when evil thing goes away, another takes its place.

https://www.cnet.com/news/facebook-vs-apple-heres-what-you-need-to-know-about-their-privacy-feud/

Deep Nostalgia https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/mar/01/deep-nostalgia-creepy-new-service-ai-animate-old-family-photos

An example of creepy Deep Nostalgia at least to me anyway. Seeing Jesus represented this way is very creepy to me. For the ones that we have probably seen in History class or documentaries such as Einstein and Thomas Edison, those aren’t so creepy as I have seen them in videos. And the representations of art works, they seem more cartoonish to me. Tesla, well, he got a serious touch up by a plastic surgeon it seems. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=251pfVoGBUA

Bitcoin on Wikipedia.org
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BitcoinHere are links I reference in the Podcast.

Here is an attempt at a Transcript as provided by https://app.scribbbe.com/ This is a paid service that is not sponsoring this at all. I decided it was a good value proposition and I wanted to give them a try. So far about 85% accurate but they are getting better and it did save me a lot of typing.

The Transcript: Errors were either via Artificial Intelligence doing audio to text recognition or I just said something stupid:

Hey this Roy Richardson and welcome to the one off tech podcast. Wow, so we took a big break and I never thought the podcast would ever come back. I mean seriously. I never thought the podcast will come back, but folks kept downloading the podcast and the podcasting, I guess that was my first love and I’ve been running in so many different directions at once. Looking for a direction to share my creativity, and how many of you stifle your inner creative person and it begins to make you crazy it’s as if you’re filling up a tea kettle and suddenly the kettle just starts to boil, and if you don’t release the pressure, it makes a huge mess.

 

Well, that’s what happened to me. I was running in so many different directions with my creativity and I was trying to figure out what do I want to do and I’ve been looking at building up my YouTube channel and I’ve been looking at other facets of my creative self and I thought well wow, why? I mean why are people still downloading my podcast. What was going on? But that it’s been a year or more since I’ve recorded one, you know any episodes, and so here we are it’s season three.

 

This is episode one and again, thank you to all of my faithful listeners. I am so humbled by your support.

 

This is a one-off tech podcast. Today’s topic is what the heck is Bitcoin and was exploding popularity all of a sudden. Well in the tech community. It actually was slow simmering for quite some time and we been waiting for mainstream acceptance so that this is what is happening now, it’s gaining mainstream acceptance. In the early days when Bitcoin came to be it felt like it couldn’t possibly exist and that governments would take over or they would outlaw it. In fact, in China they did they outlaw using electronic currencies, so let’s talk about what is Bitcoin.

 

First of all, it’s not paper currency, okay, that isn’t exactly true, but mostly true. It’s essentially completely electronic currency. That is not centrally managed. So, in a world where most of our money is managed by central banks that control the world’s currency, Bitcoin was originally an attempt to decentralize control of currency.

 

In the early days a group of hackers, the good kind mostly worked on creating an electronic currency and a person name Santoshi Nakamoto, who may or may not be a real person, but no one really seems know back in 2008 Bitcoin.org was formed and by 2009, a Bitcoin network made up of open-source software was formed and the key to this currency is cryptography. The communications for this are all encrypted using 256-bit encryption keys, so it would take perhaps millions of years to break that encryption. So, over the years since I started the value of Bitcoin has fluctuated like just crazy. I mean just in insane crazy amounts of fluctuation in all his years and recently is getting close to $50,000 as you listen to this podcast it may be closer $75,000 or more so where’s, all this Bitcoin mining stuff. So, in order for the magic to happen, all the Bitcoin miners have to store the entire transaction database.

 

So, every time someone does a transaction, I’m selling to someone or someone is selling me selling me something and I’m paying in Bitcoin. This gets recorded to a transaction database that back in 2018, was 150 gigs according to Wikipedia. So, by now, when the rise in popularity, this has been tracking close to 500 plus gig, if not a Terabyte. Every mining rig ever has a copy of this database and each has to calculate the transactions through a process of encrypting and decrypting before transaction officially take place. The chain of blocks that make up this is called blockchain, so as all the chains of transactions link all the way back to the beginning of Bitcoin and that’s actually called like the Genesis block, so think of it as like a big family tree. So, everything links back to the original parent of this or think of it as cell division. So, you got one cell becomes two becomes four become {I said six but I meant} eight, just keeps going like that, and so that block chain links all the way back to the very beginning, and these hash blocks have to be number crunched and folks figured out long ago that graphics processors are great at math. So, you get like your G-force cards and all these different makers of cards and make graphics cards, and so they figured out how to take banks of graphics cards do the processing of these Bitcoin block chains in one of the big problems?

 

 The big problem is as Bitcoin gets bigger and bigger graphics cards they are power hogs? They use a lot of wattage and they require a lot of cooling, so think rooms full of graphics card and huge air conditioners, trying to keep it all cool so they can process more efficiently. I mean think of having a room full of hair dryers, so the room is just slam full of least 1,500 watt hair dryers and every single one of them has to run at the same time, You have to think the room is going to get hot, and so you have to have some way to dissipate the air. That’s in that room, so heat and computers are bad for each other. So, what the heck does this have to do it today? So, you’re probably asking yourself do I need to buy Bitcoin well before 2021 you only really needed to buy Bitcoin if you, if you were ransomwared and you intended to pay the hackers or you had a sense of adventure or you’re a techie type person or a day trader type, because trading in Bitcoin is speculative. It is like the stock market, but unlike the stock market, where you can do some research on the companies, an attempt to make an informed decision, whether you should invest in a coma or not, even so, the stock market can have bad days. I mean multiple bad days room or bad years, so you can have count me this way at the top and all sudden it is bottoms out and you’ve lost all the money that you invest in stocks in that company, but Bitcoin is even more speculative. I mean, as you see it, can go from fifty thousand one day and drop by thousands and thousands next am because it’s so volatile it’s hard to buy when it’s low unless you joined in early days, but the hype is so big, it is so easy to have FOMO. {Fear Of Missing Out}. If you want to buy Bitcoin yeah, you have so many options, but what is a place you can trust. So, there is Coinbase which is moving quickly and about to become the place to buy Bitcoin, but PayPal is moving in that space, while there are bunches of others out there.

 

But those are two that I have dealt with, that I have faith in and Coinbase is about the do an IPO {Initial Public Offering). So, it’s about to go insane and become a publicly traded company, so either platform will let you buy Bitcoin. But the catch right now is, is it good, and this will change quickly is changing, as we speak is that you can buy and sell Bitcoin on these exchanges, but as a challenge to actually spend it on anything. You can buy and sell Bitcoin, but where can I go and buy a Big Mac with my Bitcoin, and that is changing fast. I mean already, you can use Bitcoin to pay for your tesla, assuming you haven’t made actually buy a Tesla, I’m that were the. I don’t have that kind of money, but the other part that is. Can you afford to buy Bitcoin if you’re, taking away from your family or if you taking away from paying your rent or mortgage or putting food on your table or keep the lights own mew should not buy Bitcoin.

 

But if you have some money that you can truly control be called “disposable income”, then you can think of Bitcoin, like slot machine. Before you play a slot machine, you really should decide how much can afford to lose. Let’s say it’s twenty dollars, so you play twenty in the slot machine. If you make money great, but if you lose your original twenty, then you’re done and you didn’t lose something you can afford to lose because you had your mind set on what you could do, so my plan perhaps could be for Bitcoin, invest twenty bucks every two weeks or when you get paid. I might could spend twenty bucks or don’t. Right now it’s a hot thing for now but who own a bunch of a thing that is no longer the hot thing when it’s over like say: unlike Pokémon cards you are buying something that is made of ones and zeroes. It’s binary. It’s like when you are playing video games and your buying armor for your character and you had to pay real cash for that. Well, if the game goes defunct that money’s gone, my kids spent so much money on Minecraft mods and then the companies are hosting is minds, go away and they can’t access them anymore, that money is gone. Well Bitcoin is like that in that, if it goes belly up, you lose all that money, so you can’t afford to spend money that you can’t afford to lose. If you decide about Bitcoin or dodgy coin that there’s a bunch of different crypto currencies right now, you need to make sure that you secure it well to. You near really complex password. You need a minimum two factor authentication, and if you really go big on this, then you need some sort of hardware-based way to keep crypto currency. There may be a little too paranoid first, but if you go big, you will need to take that into account. Hackers could compromise your account and take over your currency, so be safe out there.

 

And now chapter two… Let’s talk about this week in Tech news, so Facebook and Apple are fighting it out over your Digital soul, and this fight is about your privacy. Apple says that they’re going to force applications to ask you to give up your information, as opposed to now, where they don’t ask for permits option to access your data and Facebook says that Apple’s just doing this to force their way to go to a subscription model where, in order to get your data, that you have to buy a subscription to an app and agree to give your data over and sue Apple would make money because Apple takes a thirty percent cut of every application that is on their website. So, for example, the reason you can’t buy stuff do an amazon app on iPhone is because Apple would take a thirty percent cut. However, there are lots apps where you buy a subscription, or you pay for a game or you buy in app purchases and Apple gets a thirty percent cut of all these. So Epic Games has been suing Apple because of this because they don’t pay that kind money and small publishers that don’t make a lot of money. So small app companies have also been fussing and saying: hey your walled garden is killing us why do we have to pay thirty percent? So, Apple said for companies that make less than a million dollars, they’ll to pay ten percent. So, if you are wondering why Apple is a multibillion-dollar company it is because of all the apps that you’ve been buying, And Apple’s got a thirty percent stake in it and they make a thirty percent stake every time.  you bought an in-app purchase.

 

Facebook on other hand is free, but as we have talked about on the show before free means that you are the product. So, are you willing to contain to give up personal information personally identifiable information by yourself, so that Facebook will continue to give you whatever benefits your gain from Facebook? And what benefits do you get from Facebook? An interesting experiment that would be the puts been happening in Australia, so they’re Australia. Legal system has been pushing the concept that google and Facebook were killing newspaper publishers, because they’re publishing your content for free. If you go to news that google dot com or a look at news articles from links on Facebook, google nor Facebook repaying any money for those lakes. However, lots of newspapers, New York times wall street journal many papers, Australia has a pay wall, so you’re only getting a subset. The news and I would argue that their links on the website take it their new site, and then you have to make the determination whether you want to buy the news or not. The viewers were scrapped as newspapers to get more information, but the Australian government saw it differently. They felt like Facebook and google should be pain. These news sites in order to post links so Facebook and google both threatened to just ignore Australia media completely. In the end, though, google gave in and paid a price in order to feature Australians or news sources on news that google dot com, but Facebook said no, and so for several days there was no news on the Australian Facebook sites. So, if you are in Australia, you visit Facebook, you saw status updates from friends and you didn’t see news links and it was like the old days of Facebook back when people used to publish links like hey, amigo, take a shower or hey. I just cut my grass or hay babies had her first steps or babies eating solid food. Now, oh and the point being, is that the Facebook that you used to know, and love hasn’t existed for quite some time. I’m assuming that status updates from friends and family was what drew you to Facebook to start with to post photos, news and say: hey. Look at me here are the great things happen in my life. Admittedly, we all did a jaded version of our lives where we only showed the good things avatar laughs, but it made Facebook a fun place to be there for a while and Australia for a brief period of time. Cats enjoy Facebook, as it once was, and now Facebook is given in and negotiated a deal and is paying something to the Australian media. Now Rupert Murdoch owns a lot of the media in Australia, and it can be argued that he was trying to get the government all along to be the strong arm to get me role is killing the him in order post their content, so Sydney’s be free, that’s another topic. For another day you have to pay money in order to get good news and there’s ways of getting that news are through advertisements, and I would have argued that google and Facebook linking to those news sites brought them traffic that they didn’t have otherwise, but sometimes all the news we read was what we saw on Facebook or google. It would embody click past the headline, and that is a disappointing part. That means that our news agencies out there weren’t getting the full story to us, because we only work in three second increments. Now we have a shortage of attention spans or we only set the bullet points and the click bait, and we don’t want the full story, so we miss out so much also much truth. There did. She could see so who really owns the news and who really owns your digital. So that’s a funny puzzle. Is it? What do we do in this day and age where news and the truth are hard to come by there’s so much news now this not true, and we went through a long new cycle of fake news and news that pulled toward a left or right or medium modern in the middle, and it was very hard to tell what the truth was any more in silver favorite news sources, it became challenging and then still others may have very clear that they were pulling due to the left or to the right, and he didn’t really have a chance to get the truth, because it was so tainted by the slant there most trusted news source these days. According surveys is the associated press. Supposedly, the associated press is the most unbiased news out there and so for a bit. I try to read the associate press, but it lacked a light color. It didn’t have any new opinions, and such so is news. Now, just opinions have we been trained so much so that we no longer just want to have our news. You want some may two dads. Is it forcing and give it a little bit means like the bird it that feeds her babies, she she’s at the food and then spits it down their throats and it’s partially digested, and so they get the nutrients for them navigate? Doing the effort to obtain the news. So, the throwaway back is Apple juice, building the wall garden and pushing their privacy to try to make more money, or do we legitimately care about our privacy, and we want perhaps even to pay to have some privacy, for example our medical records. We want them as hidden as possible. We want our thought processes at times hidden as well, so maybe we want Apple to protect us or maybe what Facebook to just respect our privacy little more. Facebook argues that without ads, that are tailored specifically does that people that use Facebook, mainly advertisers, have a hard time reaching their preferred audience. Thou be the folks of money and they are having small businesses go in. Do speeches in commercials to talk about how advertising on Facebook and pinpointing people exactly for their faith or their age or their gender or political leanings, makes it difficult to spot the audience in which you want to advertise to set your ad dollars. Go farther I’ll. Leave you to decide that I have my opinion, but you need to save yourself. Do you want to give away pieces of your privacy, and again, like I said always, is if you’re getting for free? You are the product

 

Chapter three. Next up on time at Zoom army of a spend all day and zoom meetings. I have had days where I spent hours upon hours upon hours upon hours. Well, many days I spent hours for hours and hours in one zoom call to the next and so we’re slowly getting what they call zoom fatigue. I have had a day where I am web ex a join me, multiple zooms, in a couple team meetings. All in one day, I have also had zoom cause the last twenty-four hours because of a crisis at work that involved all hands-on deck, and we literally kept the conversation going for hours upon hours in the same meeting in order to try to resolve the issue and he got old, he got very old and so scientists have been studying care. The zoom fatigue in have killed many ideas or why it drags you down so much. It’s that constant having to look at other people the whole time, and so one side is arguing that we should destroy the video part of our Zoom calls and just take advantage of it as a sharing medium in a way to communicate in a group and I’ll admit there lots of times. Now I have meetings, and I don’t share my video- I’m definitely not video friendly a movie. I don’t think I think our face radio will find out tomorrow, podcast find out if our face radiolara, but the point being is that it’s so easy to get burned out in this process and not find what we really are looking for. We spend so many hours on Zoom meetings, are things getting accomplished? We are communicating more, but are we listening more and as a challenge, resume meeting? Definitely a challenge in meeting so power. You pretty zoned out.  

 

And this week from the creepy technology desk. How about deep nostalgia? So, a service is taking old family photos and animating them for you, so that’s kind of creepy or what I think it is, but he does see for yourself. Basically, if you go out and google deep nostalgia and old family photos and you’ll find there’s a geology site. My heritage, that is animating old family photos, is taking kind of an amalgamation of multiple images and create the illusion that the person pitchers going from a frown to a smile, perhaps a few pictures of that or just showing their ass moving just a little bit, and so these are pictures that may or may not after you been doctored through a I artificial intelligence mean I really match the reality that was ever known. Maybe this person was never happy or maybe they were, but these pitchers just kind of creepy just a little bit. It’s kinda like scarlett love, so he isn’t alive in between different segments, would always have pitchers of the year the current host or the band, and they were still images and then they started doing kind of animated. Give flavored images between these sets in APIs little disconcerted. The first time I saw that, and so I didn’t really like that gotten used to it now, there’s no such problem, but here now we’re looking at pitchers that are doing the same thing and I’ll post links on the site to this searching. Your fun is for yourself sing. Take a look, but do we need old family photos animated? Yes, it’s just the way, I think about. That’s it for the sweet guys. This is Spain great to get back started and, yes, I know the zips as little distorted, trying to figure out where we go from here. I’m kind of boring to reinvent this in some ways, and yet in some ways I want to keep the old flavor and I really appreciate it. You guys have contained listen to the podcast here we are. This is season, three is episode one and I’m excited so much to see guys.

 

Thank you so much for listening and I look forward to talk to you next week. Thanks, and bye.