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The Engadget Podcast Ep 3: Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)

Transcript of this episode:
Terrence:
Hello fellow humans and welcome to the Engadget podcast. I'm Terrence O'Brien. Joining me this week, Nathan Ingraham, Senior Editor.
 
Nathan:
Good morning, afternoon, or evening.
 
Terrence:
That's your thing now, huh?
 
Nathan:
It is.
 
Terrence:
Also joining me, Senior Editor Devindra Hardawar. How are you doing?
 
Devindra:
What's poppin’?
 
Terrence:
You had to go-
 
Devindra:
Did it. Take that, Velazco.
 
Terrence:
How's everybody doing this morning?
 
Devindra:
Tired, but can't complain.
 
Terrence:
Yeah?
 
Devindra:
Sure, just tired.
 
Nathan:
Just tired? Devindra's going to complain for the next half an hour or so.
 
Terrence:
We will try not to complain too much, at least not until after the podcast is over. Then all bets are off, it's just going to be a giant cry fest, basically. Since me and Devindra are clearly half asleep sitting here, doing our best to pretend to be alive for you, the [crosstalk 00:00:50] and viewer.
 
Nathan:
Come on guys, wake up, let's do this. There you go.
 
Terrence:
For those who are listening, I've just slapped myself to wake myself up.
 
Nathan:
Here's a gif. That's a great gif.
 
Terrence:
I think that should be good, yes. Somebody please make a gif.
 
Nathan:
We won't sue you.
 
Terrence:
Or gif, or whatever you want to call it. We're not having that debate once again. Not happening. Let's just jump right into it and get this moving. For those who are listening or watching, by the way, we are 1 person short this week. A little short staffed. Unfortunately, people are doing meetings and stuff like real work.
 
Nathan:
Writing and researching.
 
Terrence:
Fancy people with their real jobs. We're down to just 1, so we're going to do flame wars, as we do every week. Devindra and Nathan, you will each have 20 seconds to make your opening arguments as we debate the biggest topics of the week. At the end of that, I will declare a winner. Normally we farm this duty out to an independent third party.
 
Nathan:
You're really in the driver seat this week.
 
Terrence:
I am 100%, I am moderating, I am judge, jury, and executioner on this, and actually at the end of this, somebody will be executed.
 
Nathan:
Good.
 
Terrence:
That is what the loser gets.
 
Devindra:
We tied last time we competed.
 
Nathan:
Yeah, I'm looking forward to breaking that tie.
 
Terrence:
There will be no ties this week. We are going to do 3 topics instead of 4 as we've been doing, so somebody will be a clear winner at the end of it. Let's start with- My watch is banging against the table. I'm going to stop that right now. Let's start with the PS4 and Sony. Next week, I believe ...
 
Nathan:
Week after next.
 
Terrence:
Week after next? I have no idea.
 
Nathan:
Same day as Apple.
 
Devindra:
Right, it's going to be a wonderful day for us.
 
Terrence:
Yeah, it's going to be the best. Sony is holding an event where we are all expecting that they are going to announce the PS4 Slim, and potentially the PS4 Neo.
 
Nathan:
That's an upgraded version of the PS4, will probably run 4K, is what the rumors are saying.
 
Terrence:
All right.
 
Nathan:
Slim is the same as what's out there now, seems like.
 
Terrence:
Let's focus on the Slim. I'm going to start with you, Devindra. I think this is 1 of these things that every console has their minor revision, and I think some of us always question why, especially if you're looking in the face of some upgraded version. Why should people be excited about the PS4 Slim?
 
Devindra:
I know it seems a little too soon, right after the release of the PS4, but there's always a good thing that happens when the slim edition of consoles come out. That means the components are cheaper and they're getting smaller and more efficient, so better chance you'll have an affordable PS4 coming soon, and less change it'll die on you.
 
Terrence:
All right, and you came in under your 20 seconds. You always do, you always disappoint me. I like using my buzzer.
 
Nathan:
I'm going to do my best to ramble on so you can use it.
 
Terrence:
Excellent, Nate, I can always count on you. Nate, why is this PS4 Slim a waste of time and money?
 
Nathan:
I don't think the original PS4 needs to be changed that much. It doesn't have a giant power brick like the Xbox One. It seems like it's been pretty reliable, unlike the XBOX 360. It's reasonably sized. It seemed to do everything well already. I don't know what we're basically getting out of a slim at this point, especially, like you said, in the face of a Neo, which is going to be a clear upgrade. I just don't see any reason for 2.
 
Terrence:
Thank you.
 
Nathan:
You're welcome.
 
Devindra:
Nice to see your [fanboyism 00:04:23] showing, Nate. Such a fanboy. I do agree, the Xbox One S is probably a better slim update just because it's a whole new redesign. It looks really great. Honestly, the original PS4 was already pretty small. This 1 I just like more from a technical level. I like more efficient products and hopefully getting cheaper would be nice.
 
Nathan:
I think the point about cheaper and more reliable is a really good 1. I'll have to concede that to you. I think usually the slim generations come with an accompanying price drop. When the PS3 Slim came out, it came out to 300 bucks and was a really nice console. That was 1 case. The original PS3 was a bit of a beast.
 
Terrence:
It was a giant machine.
 
Devindra:
I still have 1 of those sitting around.
 
Terrence:
Really? I think it's fair to say also the Xbox One, the original version of that was also this giant beast.
 
Nathan:
Both of those consoles deserved upgrades. PS4 I feel like is good enough that it could ride out, although, again, there's also been rumors that there's going to be a new DuoShock controller as well, which'll have better battery life. That to me is more exciting than a console.
 
Devindra:
Or even a removable battery. I love the fact that it's rechargeable, but just let me take it out when the battery starts to die.
 
Terrence:
Before I declare a winner, I do have 1 more question. Primarily this is for you, Devindra. The rumors are that they're going to announce not 1 but 2 versions of the PlayStation 4 at this event, 1 of which is the Slim and the other which is going to be the Neo. Are they not kind of cannibalizing their potential sales by announcing the 2 things side by side? Microsoft might have done that to an extent because they teased Scorpio.
 
Devindra:
We know Scorpio's coming.
 
Terrence:
But they didn't give any details. If Sony officially announces the Neo alongside the Slim. How do you think that's going to impact sales?
 
Devindra:
I think it depends of price, probably. If the slim comes in cheap enough that somebody's like, oh I could take this for a year and then upgrade when the next 1 comes, that could be worth it. That's probably what's going to happen, too, because the Scorpio and the Neo, I assume, will be probably even more expensive than [crosstalk 00:06:25]. Like 4 to 500, I think closer to 500, if they're going to power VR and everything.
 
Terrence:
I am going to give this 1 to Devindra because as much as in theory I agree with you Nate, this seems like a thing that doesn't need to exist. I think at the end of the day, the cheaper, more reliable, and probably more power efficient thing ...
 
Nathan:
Usually ends up winning out.
 
Terrence:
Yeah, I'll give you that. Although I will say, the leaks suggest a significantly less interesting looking console.
 
Nathan:
Yeah, the pictures are not great. I that always happens-
 
Devindra:
No sharp corners.
 
Nathan:
I think that always happens. The leaked pictures of any gadget never look as good as it does n real life, but we'll have to see. 2 weeks from now we'll know.
 
Terrence:
Yeah, let's move on to our next topic, and that is these rumors that Amazon is going to be launching an Echo-exclusive music service. This would be either in addition to, or replacing, the existing Prime music service, I assume. Nate, why do you think this is a move that Amazon needs to make?
 
Nathan:
I think that the original Prime music service is just not very good. It hasn't seemed to have caught on. They're up against some really big competitors like Spotify and Apple Music, so I think it's time for a re-think on Amazon's music strategy, and coming up with something else that'll bolt to the Echo is never a bad thing since that's 1 of their most interesting products right now.
 
Terrence:
All right.
 
Devindra:
I could totally see that, but this idea just seems incredibly stupid because Amazon Music, yes it has problems, but they should fix those problems rather than create a whole new service that's unique to a device that only a handful of people own right now. It doesn't make business sense for Amazon.
 
Terrence:
You're both coming in way under time on this 1. You're denying- I'm just going to do it anyway because I want to.
 
Nathan:
So deserved that.
 
Terrence:
Yeah, 1 of the rumors though is that this is going to be an additional cost on top of the existing Prime service, Nate, so it's going to be an additional $5 to get this Echo-exclusive music service.
 
Nathan:
That sounds like a great idea. What?
 
Terrence:
What is your response to that?
 
Nathan:
My response to that is that it had better have a comparable catalog to Spotify and Apple Music and Title and all the rest because the existing Prime only has a couple million songs. I know that sounds ridiculous to say, but there are many, many popular mainstream albums out there that you can't find on Amazon Music. The though of paying an extra 5 bucks for that catalog makes no sense because right now you can get them on the Echo as it is. This will have to be a new service that offers significantly more music than what's out there.
 
Devindra:
Don't forget the Echo works with Pandora and it works with Spotify. With voice commands I can tell it to play a Spotify playlist. If Amazon's doing something significantly different, that could be interesting but [crosstalk 00:09:14].
 
Nathan:
I feel like the deck is stacked against me this week. I'm trying to defend some stuff that's not really all that good.
 
Terrence:
I feel like in that last little thing, you basically just accepted defeat.
 
Nathan:
Yeah, I'm giving up.
 
Terrence:
I am going to award this 1 to Devindra, not surprisingly.
 
Nathan:
I'm shocked.
 
Terrence:
Listeners should know that a lot of these positions are also not organic. We just divvy it up so we can have a healthy debate. Nate is not a terrible person.
 
Nathan:
No, we try to think of what the potential pros and cons are, and then we argue them. It's kind of an academic exercise.
 
Terrence:
This is an opportunity to play devil's advocate. This is not necessarily about us expressing our personal beliefs.
 
Nathan:
I will say that I think that if Amazon can come up with a good music service that costs 5 bucks a month, and is comparable to some like Spotify, they might have something because it's half the price. If it works other places besides the Echo too, you can get it online, get it on your smartphone, then that might be worth paying 5 bucks for. That could be something.
 
Terrence:
Yeah, do you think that there's a chance they might bet heavy on original content and exclusives, the way they have with the Prime video service?
 
Nathan:
They've actually been pretty good with Prime video getting some original stuff. The thing is, I don't know, most original music is not that interesting. Unless they have really great curators, people who really know music and independent music and are bringing in new artists or something, that could be kind of cool. Like what eMusic used to do. I used to love eMusic because they would always-
 
Terrence:
You're going way back.
 
Nathan:
Way back, but they would select great groups that I would never had heard of before. That's where curation ... That's sort of what Apple's selling with Apple Radio and the New Beats stuff.
 
Terrence:
I do miss eMusic a little bit.
 
Nathan:
It was nice and [hipstery 00:10:56]. It was fun.
 
Terrence:
It was. The early aughts, good times.
 
Nathan:
I still miss Rdio.
 
Terrence:
You're the only 1.
 
Nathan:
That's not true. We just wrote an article this week about this dude who skins Spotify to look like Rdio.
 
Devindra:
Sure, okay.
 
Nathan:
I'm clearly not talking to the right audience today. This is just not my day.
 
Terrence:
Sorry Nate, we still love you though.
 
Nathan:
Listeners out there, if you love Rdio, let me know.
 
Terrence:
I'm sure somebody out there ...
 
Nathan:
I'm going to get a good 5 or 6 responses.
 
Terrence:
Let's move on to our last topic in this debate segment, and that is Android 7.0 Nougat, which just launched this week. It's got a whole bunch of changes. Some of them under the hood, some of them to the UI, but a lot of it seems very specifically targeted at making Android a more viable OS for tablets and ...
 
Nathan:
Convertible screen phones.
 
Terrence:
[crosstalk 00:11:52] yeah, and other large screen devices. Nate, you've been using it for a little while. Does this make Android finally a viable OS on large format devices?
 
Nathan:
I would say it makes it much better than it has been. It's maybe a year later than it should be, but at least its on par now with how IOS handles multitasking. If you're using an iPad Pro or an Android tablet with a keyboard, they're sort of in the same ball park now. It's a pretty massive improvement over what came before. There's still maybe more they could do to make it easier to multitask but ...
 
Terrence:
Watch me do it and just paused, because you're like, yeah, rather than get buzzed over?
 
Nathan:
Yeah.
 
Terrence:
Fair enough. Devindra, you don't think this does quite enough to really make it work for a tablet?
 
Devindra:
Yeah, it's a noble effort. I actually did test it out on the Pixel C a couple months ago too, and I reviewed the original Pixel C. Android last year had nothing to do for multitasking. Now it has a little bit. I think they could have gone further, though, because Apple brought it last year to the iPad, so why? Apple copied from Samsung, Android should have hit it sooner.
 
Nathan:
Didn't meant to talk over you during your [inaudible 00:13:01], my bad.
 
Devindra:
That's okay.
 
Terrence:
You still got in just under the wire. I won't hit the buzzer again. I've also been playing with it a little bit on the Nexus 9, which I think we can all agree is kind of a terrible device.
 
Devindra:
You're the only person I know who has a Nexus 9.
 
Terrence:
To be clear, it is a review unit. It's just kind of like it was going to sit and collect dust here or [crosstalk 00:13:25].
 
Nathan:
Right, well this is trash, I'll hold on to it. It's a noble thing to do. Like taking in a foster dog, right?
 
Terrence:
For me it's mostly a thing of being able to access the newest versions of the OS. I am rocking a Moto X, it doesn't always get the updates right away. This was my way of being able to play with it. It's 1 of these things I'm very torn about. I think it does do a lot of good things, but I'm still not quite convinced that Android does enough here to be a viable tablet OS, or that I even need it. That might be partially due to the device I'm using. I want to hear a little bit more about your experience.
 
Nathan:
Yeah, honestly- Devindra reviewed the Pixel C ...
 
Devindra:
I hated it.
 
Nathan:
... 8 months ago, 10 months ago.
 
Devindra:
Yeah, when it was first released.
 
Nathan:
They've made a lot of software updates, not just the Nougat. It's actually just far more stable, it's faster. The keyboard works better. The actual physical keyboard is really nice. If I had to use this or an iPad Pro to do a lot of text, I would absolutely pick this any day of the week.
 
Devindra:
Its actually stable too. It has a great [crosstalk 00:14:32]. The iPad Pro [crosstalk 00:14:32].
 
Nathan:
It's stable, you can adjust the screen anywhere you want.
 
Devindra:
That's nice.
 
Nathan:
The keys are real keys. Apple's solution is very much for casual typing, just doing a quick little thing. I'll write whole reports on this thing.
 
Devindra:
You can hold it on your lap, which I kind of like.
 
Nathan:
Right, so this is an expensive but smart form factor. The software updates make it more useful. I'll often have Google Docs and Slack open, or Google Docs and a Chrome tab that I'm doing research in. It's pretty easy to go back and forth between those things. I wish they made it easier to move which app is on any side of the screen. That's probably the big missing thing here, but we're getting into the nitty-gritty. On the other hand, that's what you need to get into if you're going to make something really work and justify-
 
Devindra:
Does that make Android a useful productivity OS? It's nice to see 2 apps side by side, but I'd still prefer using a surface or something.
 
Nathan:
I think if you're heavily into Google's ecosystem of apps, then it's pretty good, which I use a lot of them. We do at work, we all have Google accounts. I can understand the perspective of who's going to buy this over something else.
 
Devindra:
That thing is super expensive.
 
Terrence:
That it is.
 
Nathan:
Do I have any hope here?
 
Terrence:
I am a little torn on this 1, but I think I am going to give this 1 to you, Nate. I think to degree I agree with you, Devindra. It's not earth-shattering. It's not this grand change. It's not going to replace my Windows device.
 
Nathan:
Should have happened a year ago.
 
Terrence:
It should have happened a year ago, but I do see some nice trends towards something that's actually useful towards productivity stuff. I see a little bit of a trend towards multitasking in a useful, serious way that I think IOS just started to do. It's finally catching up, but it is actually good. I could see myself using an Android tablet at this point, at least a little bit, which honestly I couldn't before, at least the larger format ones.
 
Devindra:
I don't think even Google could see anyone using the Android [crosstalk 00:16:43].
 
Terrence:
Once the Nexus 7 was done with, I was done with it, but testing out the new version of Android has brought the tablet back into my life a little bit. Not a ton, but a little bit.
 
Nathan:
I'll just say for my part, I've enjoyed using devices that aren't a normal Windows or Mac laptop these days just to see can I actually be more focused? This is more portable. It's fun to get a sense of what's out there, how's the computing form factor evolving. This is obviously a way that a lot of companies are looking at. It's fun to try.
 
Terrence:
We end flame wars this week 2 to 1, Devindra.
 
Nathan:
I will be getting my head chopped off at the conclusion of this podcast.
 
Terrence:
Yeah, we're going to do it probably out in the street.
 
Devindra:
Changing your name to Sean Bean.
 
Nathan:
Yes.
 
Terrence:
We don't want to get blood all over the office. They've been doing a lot of remodeling recently, so we don't want to ruin that.
 
Devindra:
It'll be a nice decoration for [inaudible 00:17:37] though.
 
Terrence:
Blood splatters all over the wall.
 
Devindra:
What happened back there?
 
Nathan:
Our colleagues will just love us for this.
 
Terrence:
Yeah, hopefully when this goes live, we will have a leaderboard for everybody to look at and track the progress in the flame wars competition.
 
Nathan:
Sadly I will not be on top of it as I was hoping I would be today.
 
Terrence:
You will not, but you will be on it.
 
Nathan:
Next week I'm going to pick different topics and just gear the whole thing towards me to win.
 
Terrence:
There you go, that seems like a perfectly reasonable thing.
 
Nathan:
Yeah, it's fair.
Terrence:
Let's move on to our big topic of the week, though, and group chat, where we did into one particular story a little bit. I think we should talk a little bit about Leslie Jones. Before we get too far into this, I want to acknowledge that we are going to be talking about harassment and issues relating specifically to being a minority and being a woman, and we are 3 dudes who are going to be discussing sexism, so we completely acknowledge that there are voices missing from this conversation that we would like to have. Unfortunately, it was just not possible to make that happen today. We also acknowledge that me and Nate are white men, and that is further damaging us.
 
Devindra:
I could not tell, guys.
 
Terrence:
I don't know if you could tell; the way the light is bouncing off of my face and whiting out some of the cameras, but that being said, we want to talk about this, because this is very important, and we want to try and address this is a reasonable and intelligent manner, and a sensitive manner. Let's start, though, at the most basic level. Let's just kind of recap the story so far. Nate, since you reported the news yesterday, do you want to tell us the basic here; the basic facts?
 
Nathan:
Yeah. Yesterday, on Leslie Jones's personal website, photos that were stolen from her iCloud account, presumably, were posted on- Her site was hacked, photos were put up of her. Revealing photographs; personal photographs, as well as, I believe, images of her passport and driver's license, so not just photographs, but personal information, were posted directly to her website. It was quickly taken down, but enough people saw this that it was conformed that this was her info, her pictures. I don't believe, at this point, she has said anything about it, nor have any publicists, but this comes about a month after she was trolled extensively on Twitter; tons of racist remarks were sent her way. She quit for a few days, and then Twitter banned Milo [inaudible 00:02:16] I don't know if I'm saying his name right; I honestly don't care.
 
Terrence:
Doesn't even matter.
 
Nathan:
He was banned, finally, from Twitter, after several years of abusive, horrible behavior. It seemed like he kind of stirred up the hornets' nest; sent them after Leslie Jones, and that was apparently the last straw for Twitter to finally ban him. She came back after that; she was actually very supportive of Gabby Douglas, who was also dealing with a lot of online harassment at the time, and then this happens.
 
Devindra:
She came back in the Olympics, and she was very excited about the Olympics, and then she got to go down there and actually do the Olympics too, so lots of joy for her coming back.
 
Nathan:
And then this happens.
 
Terrence:
Yeah. Let's take one quick second. Who is Milo [inaudible 00:02:58]
 
Devindra:
Sure. One of the biggest trolls on the Internet, but that's-
 
Terrence:
I mean, other than a raging asshole, who is he?
 
Nathan:
Terrible human being.
 
Terrence:
He is a garbage person. Let's start with that as a base level.
 
Devindra:
That should just be his title. "Garbage Person Milo [inaudible 00:03:13]"
 
Nathan:
I believe he still works at the conservative news site Breitbart.
 
Terrence:
Sorry, conservative, "news site," in parentheses. We're not hedging on that one at all. We're not even going to pretend, because they are not news.
 
Devindra:
Massive air-quotes happening for listeners who aren't watching.
 
Terrence:
You can call me liberal scum if you want, but they are not a news site. They are- I don't even know what they are.
 
Nathan:
He's just posted on Twitter, many times, various anti-women screeds, basically. He just seems to hate women, and has a large following with people who also hate women, and he stirs them up and directs them at different people; Leslie Jones being the most recent target.
 
Terrence:
He has a particularly strong history of stirring up misogynist hate, but he, in general, just seems to like to place himself at the center of alt-right controversy, basically. I guess he's like, a "hero" figure, as much as that scene can have one.
 
Devindra:
Sure. Yeah. That makes sense. I mean, he does seem like somebody who's always desperate for attention and the ability. He's sort of like the Joker, in a way. He likes to create anarchy, and it's not great.
 
Nathan:
I believe he said that he thanks Twitter for banning him because it made him even more famous.
 
Devindra:
Yup. Made him a martyr.
 
Terrence:
That being said, though, he's not directly responsible, or at least we don't have evidence that he's directly responsible, for this hack of Leslie Jones, but it's kind of hard not to see the 2 incidents as related.
 
Devindra:
Sure. We don't know much about the hackers yet, so there are a lot of details we're still waiting on, but the whole idea of this group that he's kind of whipped up into a frenzy to attack her in the first place, only because she was starring in the Ghostbusters movie, and it's weird how they focus on her and not the other stars of the film.
 
Nathan:
Well, let's back up. It's not because she was in Ghostbusters; it's because she's an outspoken black woman. Is that fair to say?
 
Devindra:
Yes. Outspoken black woman in a female-lead franchise. I think his calculus-
 
Nathan:
It was the perfect storm for her right now.
 
Devindra:
His calculus is really ingenious, too, because you get these people who are already annoyed about this thing and you give them a target to hate, and that's kind of how I know these people work; the people who kind of whip up the crowd frenzy like that. Those people; I wouldn't be surprised if some of those hackers were kind of part of that early group, and this almost seems like- The hack almost seems, like, in response to her joy. That's what it is. She can't have nice things, and that's what they're trying to prevent, and remind her that, "Oh, yeah, you're not actually special," which is the worst.
 
Nathan:
I was thinking about the celebrity hack that happened almost 2 years ago, in which Jennifer Lawrence and dozens of other celebrities had their pictures leaked. Those were not as publicly shared. One person hacked those, and-
 
Devindra:
Those were all over the place.
 
Speaker 2:
They were, but they originated on Reddit, or similar places. This was someone who took this stuff and put it right on the front of Leslie Jones's website.
 
Terrence:
This is more about-
 
Devindra:
It's a personal attack, yeah.
 
Terrence:
It's about embarrassing her and attacking her, as opposed to just, "We want to see naked celebrities." I think part of the evidence for that, though, is not just that it was put on her site, but that they posted her passport and her driver's license, which is basically daring people to steal her identity as well, or find out where she lives, or-
 
Devindra:
Make her life Hell. In general, make her life Hell.
 
Terrence:
Has Milo [inaudible 00:06:56]
 
Devindra:
Garbage Human.
 
Terrence:
Garbage Human done this to any other celebrities, though? I can't think of any off the top of my head. I know he's done this to other people, but I can't think of any other celebrities.
 
Devindra:
He's always picked choice people to fight against; the "SJWs" that his crowd would like to rally against, but yeah. I can't think of another celebrity.
 
Nathan:
I feel like it's more targeted in a general sense, rather than at 1 individual. She is also, though, even if it's not from him, hardly the only celebrity who has been victims of harassment and hacks like this, as you were just saying. One of the good things that has come out of stuff like this, and it's hard to say that anything good has come out of this, is that it has seemed to have spurred some conversation, though, around harassment on Twitter and Instagram and social networking, and they are kind of stepping up their game, it seems.
 
Devindra:
I don't know if it spurred the conversation; I think it forced these companies to not be able to avoid it any more, so that's it. The conversation was happening. It's been happening for years, and it's been ignored. Just yesterday, we reported that a sports journalist was banned from Twitter for sharing GIFs of the Olympics. GIFs he found on Reddit. Permabanned. Gone. Within a couple days.
 
Nathan:
Half an hour or something, before they locked his account and he was unable to open up.
 
Devindra:
That's what Twitter responds to. The complaints of its big, moneyed advertisers or partners, and not the complaints of its users. Milo's been doing stuff like this for years, and there are other people like him on Twitter still.
 
Nathan:
The fact that it took Milo years to get banned, but this sports writer got banned in the span of a couple days because he posted some harmless GIFs; how are these things equal? Where is Twitter's priorities here? It's ridiculous.
 
Devindra:
Only because the Olympics said, "No GIFs allowed of the Games at all." He was going against their wishes.
 
Terrence:
Pull the post down. It's not hard. That's something that a lot of these companies have always done. They put that focus more on things that are also, to be clear, a little more cut-and dry and a little bit easier to enforce. A copyright infringement is usually a much clearer case; a much easier to enforce thing. A record company can go to Google and say, "Hey, this video on YouTube is using this song; they didn't license it properly. You need to pull it," whereas I think with the harassment stuff, it's a little bit more of a gray area, and I think Milo Garbagehuman has said this before. I think, to an extent, he's right. He says, basically, "I'm not doing this." He is feeding people-
 
Devindra:
He's like a Simpsons character. He's like Mr. Burns, like, "I'm not creating environmental waste, but I have this whole system set up to make it happen."
 
Terrence:
That makes it a little bit harder to enforce. I guess one of the questions is, to what extent does Twitter have a responsibility to enforce that? Should they be policing people who are not explicitly and actively engaging in bullying and harassment, in a way that skirts things?
 
Devindra:
They might not always need to go to policing or banning people either; just basic tools to protect your users. Right? If you're a verified Twitter user, you have a nice quality filter in your mentions, but even if you have that, for a celebrity or something, it's not a great filter. Bad things still get through, and it still cuts out good things.
 
Nathan:
They're rolling that out to all users though, now.
 
Devindra:
Yeah. That's a thing, but the thing is, that tool has been around for years. They could work on improving it. They could work on giving you keyword filters or something, like basic protections. Thins that we've had in the online community for a while now. I've been on the Internet for a while, guys. I remember IRC chats, I remember bulletin board rooms where the mods would be there; if someone's being a jerk, they're gone and that's it.
 
Nathan:
I think there's just something with the volume of people and messages being posted, though. It's just exponential growth at this point. I'll admit, I don't know, technically, how you keep up with this, but I think the starting point is, you need to be more responsive to what your users are telling you.
 
Devindra:
As you grow as a service, you need people to take care of those users. That's the thing. These users are your moneymakers. They're the ones viewing the ads that are allowing you to stay alive, so give them some basic protections.
 
Terrence:
There was one other connection that I made looking at this. One of the other big stories of the week is that Gawker is no more. They were driven out of business-
 
Nathan:
Gawker.com.
 
Terrence:
Gawker.com, yeah. Gawker as a collective of websites will continue to exist under the Univision umbrella, but Gawker.com as a specific website and a gossip thing will no longer exist, and they were put out of business, basically, by a collection of lawsuits funded by Peter Theele or Theele or whatever.
 
Devindra:
Garbage Billionaire Peter Theele.
 
Terrence:
Garbage Billionaire Peter Theele, and Garbage Wrestler Hulk Hogan.
 
Devindra:
That was true since the 90s.
 
Terrence:
I think a lot of us in the media, myself included, were a little upset by Gawker being shut down basically because of this leaked sex tape of Hulk Hogan, and removing Peter Theele's questionable personal vendetta against Gawker, and his sort of shadowy quest to kill them as a property, what makes what Gawker did different from some of these other celebrity hacks and leaks, though?
 
Nathan:
That's a good question. Really difficult one. Personally, I've always come down on the side of, that story they reported was suspect. I can see why an individual would be upset having that posted. I think that their defense saying, "Oh, you know, Hulk Hogan has talked about his sex life extensively" doesn't quite pass muster for me personally. I understand there's a lot of room for disagreement on that. That's just how I've always felt, but I think Gawker deserves to be sued out of existence for that? No. They made a mistake; they should have taken down the post; I think, when they were requested to by the person who was in the video, that basically seems like human decency to me.
 
Devindra:
This sort of thing happened again, too, like they outed something about a random executive a couple years ago, and it was just some weird, personal stuff, and I think they took the post down and they also apologized, and then some editors left because of the apology and everything. It does seem like Gawker started to recognize, "Oh, if we push too far in this way-" It didn't serve a public good, really. It just outed this one dude who didn't really matter.
 
Nathan:
It makes it harder to do their bigger job, and obviously, now they don't do it at all, so-
 
Devindra:
That's a good point, Terrence, I guess it's not that different, but also, as a media organization, that's- Their job has been to report on things and gossip, and they've suffered because of that too; they've been punished in the past. They've had to go through all sorts of issues. I wasn't a big Gawker fan, but I don't think that they deserve this at all. That's not a great sign for media sites in general; especially one that, they were one of the few independent sites out there, and that's incredibly rare these days.
 
Terrence:
I do agree with you in principle at least; that they didn't deserve to be sued out of existence, but it is one of these things that I struggle with, personally at least, when I start thinking about it, because it didn't serve a public good, and I do feel like there needed to be some consequences; there needed to be some sort of action, whether legal or otherwise, in the same way that there is going to be for the hacker that did this to Leslie Jones if they ever find them.
 
Nathan:
I believe the hacker from CelebGate 2 years ago is in jail now.
 
Terrence:
Yes; more than one person went to jail over that, and that should happen, and I think when you put a media property in the place of "random hacker," it becomes a slightly touchier issue for a lot of us, especially in the media, but I do think that honestly, a lot of people out there would probably see it in exactly the same way, and see a lot of similarities there.
 
Devindra:
Yeah. What's interesting, too, is a lot of people I know who Gawker had focused on, and had attacked over the years, because Gawker's been around for a while; they were one of the original blogs. Even those people are like, "Yeah;" they hated Gawker and the coverage they did of it, but they also didn't want to see Gawker go like this. If your enemies are saying, "Hey, maybe that's going too far," yeah. That's probably a sign.
 
Nathan:
The thing is, most of what they did was reported at least fairly. They maybe didn't have- It may be hard for these people who are getting reported on, like they didn't want to see their names show up, but at least it wasn't, like, stealing information and posting private videos. Most of what they did seemed to be aboveboard for the most part. Even if you disagreed with it. The Hogan thing is a little dicier, but-
 
Terrence:
That is the big questionable one, I think.
 
Nathan:
I think if you're getting into nude images of anyone, celebrity or otherwise, what public good does this serve aside from embarrassment or harassing? It's questionable.
 
Devindra:
We are in a weird environment now, too. I think the standing of WikiLeaks has fallen considerably over the past year, just because they've been so flagrant in terms of the data they've been putting out, unvetted; getting people's personal information out there, and potentially harming people in the process, too, and I think that's it. It's that harm that really makes it all the more worse for me.
 
Terrence:
Yeah. I think that's as good a place as any to end it. I think that sums it up pretty nicely. Nate [inaudible 00:17:03] thank you for joining me. Where can the fine listeners and viewers find you on the Internet.
 
Nathan:
If you really want to, my Twitter handle is @NateIngram.
 
Terrence:
You assume that nobody wants to?
 
Speaker 1:
It's not pretty.
 
Devindra:
You'll find the Charlie Brown avatar there for him? [inaudible 00:17:17] Where can the fine people find you?
 
Devindra:
I'm @Devindra on Twitter, and I also podcast about movies and TV and Slashfilm.com.
 
Terrence:
I am @TerrenceOBrien on Twitter; lots of "E's;" no "A's," but don't follow me if you expect Tweets about technology; I mostly complain about baseball and politics.
 
Nathan:
How are the Mets doing this year?
 
Terrence:
Pretty terribly. I'm going to go back to my desk after this and cry a little but about it. Also, please feel free to reach out to any of the 3 of us, or reach out to us at Engadget.com, or @Engadget on Twitter; not dot com, just @Engadget, or you can email us at podcast@engadget.com, and please send us your feedback, your comments, your questions, your concerns-
 
Devindra:
Your gifts.
 
Terrence:
Yes, please send us all the gifts. We want to make this show enjoyable for you, and unless you tell us what you like and don't like, we can't make the changes to make you happy. Thanks for joining us, don't miss next week, but before we go, I want to leave you with the comment of the week, which comes from Bob19844: "Wow! That's going to affect tens of people!"
 
Devindra:
Thinking emoji. Yes.
 
Terrence:
Have a good weekend, everybody.
 
Devindra:
Oh, yeah.
Posted 08.26.16

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