Fri. 03/12 - Netflix Is Cracking Down On Password Sharing
Welcome to the tech at home for friday march. Twelve twenty twenty one bryan mccullough today. Net flicks is cracking down on password. Sharing apple sues a former employee for allegedly stealing trade secrets. Masa montesano is back baby. I guess we have to watch ads on our fifteen hundred dollars smart. Tv's now and of course. The weekend long reads suggestions. Here's what you missed today. In the world of tech the free ride is over and seemingly. Half of america is going to have to awkwardly cutoff. That boyfriend or girlfriend. They haven't spoken to in five years because netflix's apparently running a test that cracks down on password sharing prompting users to get their own account. If they don't live with the owner of an account cutting the struggle in the prompt customers are told that if you don't live with the owner of this account you need your own account to keep watching in order to continue. They need to verify the account with an email or text code or create a new account within a thirty day free trial. We've heard the test right. Now is only on tv devices. A net flicks. Most person told the stream abo- quote. This test is designed to help ensure that people using netflix accounts are authorized to do so. It isn't clear if users in the tests all need to be on the same. Ip address to be considered in the same household according to net flix terms and account can only be shared with members of your household. Quote the netflix service and any content viewed through our service are for your personal noncommercial use only and may not be shared with individuals beyond your household and quote until now. Netflix says not done anything to police. This except set limits on simultaneous streaming. Their basic plan allows streaming on a single device while the standard plan offers streaming on up to two devices and the premium plan on up to four devices. However they don't limit you on the number of devices a single account can be logged into. There has been talk. That companies will become more aggressive on password sharing as the industry becomes more mature and quote. Yeah we've known for years. That netflix has been aware for years. Just how much password sharing was actually going on. Don't think you were being that clever. So the interesting thing now is why. Now why is this the time that netflix's decides to do something about all this. Although some research suggests that the number of people digitally squatting as it were on other people's netflix account could be as high as a third of the net flicks user base. So you know that's not an insignificant number potentially tens of millions of users. Netflix could suddenly monetize for the very first time. Apple is suing its former materials lead simon lancaster for allegedly stealing trade secrets and leaking them to a tech reporter. Quoting nine to five mac. As first reported by apple insider the court documents detailing the lawsuit was made public on thursday. Lancaster allegedly used his senior role at apple to gain access to internal meetings and documents outside the scope end quote of his job as materials lead at apple in fact on his last day at apple. November i twenty nine thousand nine. He allegedly downloaded a substantial number of confidential apple documents. Lancaster departed apple after a decade to join the materials research and development company heiress which is actually an apple vendor. The trade secrets he stole from apple continued to benefit him in his new position. At arras the report explains lancaster described his role at arras as scratching a startup. Each but things get even more interesting when the media aspect of this story comes into play. The lawsuit explains that the reporter. I contacted lancaster. in november. Two thousand eighteen year before he departed apple apple. Trade secrets were allegedly exchanged throughout two thousand eighteen and twenty nine thousand nine the anonymous media correspondent who use the information in multiple articles and attributed the details to a source at apple. Details about the topics are unclear but lancaster attended multiple meetings about project x at apple and shared all of that information with the media correspondent and quote. So nobody knows who the reporter is who got this information though. Believe me those of us who traffic in these circles have spent all night gossiping about who we think it might be and were all assuming that project. X is referring to those ar and vr glasses being developed based on what we know about what lancaster worked on for apple. But all that friend of the show. Ed citron's sum up this whole thing from his twitter thread last night. Quote mad respect for the guy who stole a bunch of apple trade secrets and texted a reporter them from his company. Phone with stuff. Like here's the secret stuff. And i'm mad. Apple is secretly developing a competitor to one of my investors. When the guy in question resigned he texted the reporter about some secret documents. And the reporter said oh. Can you get me some secret documents. And the guy said sure which ones this guy rocks because he logged into apple's network after he left on his final day and downloaded a bunch of stuff. You know. I think apple might notice that dude. This guy also literally asked for positive coverage of his investments to in return for the secrets. Like did he not know. Apple had lawyers and quote kupang. The south korean e commerce company raised its ipo price yesterday above its range and then went. Public popping above the initial trading point giving the company initially a market valuation of about sixty billion dollars. But when all was said done kupang was worth over a hundred billion dollars and while this is yet another story of a tech company reaching public markets to great success. At the moment. i probably wouldn't have covered this except for one. Little detail quoting from bloomberg. Japanese conglomerate softbank kupang biggest shareholder has reaped a gain of more than sixteen billion dollars from the ipo burnishing the reputation of founder masayoshi sun in picking successful startups. Even after a number of missteps in november two thousand eighteen softbank's vision fund invested. Two billion dollars in the company in a deal that valued kupang nine billion dollars people familiar with the matter said at the time that funding followed one billion dollars from softbank itself. In two thousand fifteen valuing the startup about five billion dollars and quote so again after its pop in softbank's stake now represents a thirty three billion dollar windfall as we covered mussons stumbles with softbank. Last year with we work with wag with uber. That didn't pan out. As maybe massa hoped i guess we owe it to them to acknowledge that things have turned around recently. Softbank has done very well from its stakes in the like of door dash very well to the tune of eleven point. Two billion dollars and even uber has come back to the tune of around ten billion dollars. Give or take grab which softbank was very early on is talking about doing spec soon. So reminder folks investing is a hits business one or two big successes can make up for a lot of disappointment. Why have there been so many stories about spamming. Ads invading places. We don't want them are telecom. Companies selling are browsing gated advertisers. Google leveraging are spending to give us quote unquote special offers. And now. Chris welsh at the verge looks at the recent trend of ads showing up in your smart tv quote now. I'm fully aware that it's not unusual to see ads placed around the tv's home screen or main menu l. g. samsung roku video and others are all on this game. We live in an era when smart tvs can automatically recognize what you're watching and tv makers are building nice. Add businesses for themselves with all of the data that gets funneled in this stuff can come off as invasive but it's also partially steadily brought the prices down on even high. Mtv's i got this fifty five inch cx on sale for like fourteen hundred dollars and it's pretty much the best tv on the market for next gen gaming but even if this beautiful panel came cheaper than it might have without ads plastered in random places. The level of infiltration on display here is still disheartening to see. Lg recently announced it will be licensing web os to other tv brand so maybe the company is trying to see how far it can push things a random full on commercial just popping up in l. App store is there no escape from the stuff. We're just gonna cram adds into every corner of atv software Imagine if an auto play add started up while you were updating the apps in your smartphone and quote to which i'd say never say never i mean. Have you noticed that apple helpfully invites you to sign up to their various services inside other apps and even inside the settings app. What is that. If not an advertisement i told you about editor ex not too long ago. The design platform built specifically for designers and agencies where you can create complex sites while feeling like you're working on a visual design software platform editor. Ex is a wide workspace. Where you get total control powered by smooth drag and drop. 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I can talk about this all day but you should really go see it for yourself at editor x dot com and discover the new standard in web design editor x dot com if building software is your passion. Then you're gonna love thought works technology. Podcast it's a podcast. Four by techies. Their team of experience technologists a deep dive into a tech topic. That's peak their interest. It could be how machine learning is being used in astrophysics or maybe how to succeed at continuous delivery. They're always coming across fascinating ways. Technology is advancing and love to share what they learn. Whatever the topic. The discussions are always lively informative and opinionated. The team of co-hosts are experienced technologists from across thought works and include dot work dr rebecca persons and renowned writer and speaker. Neil ford past guests have included eminent technologists such as martin fowler mark richards and danah boyd. The episode i just listened to wasn't explainer on extended reality which is a blending of ar vr. Sort of along the lines of what we've been talking about on this show recently. So whether you went to broaden your knowledge on a specific topic or just want to immerse yourself in the world of tech thought works technology. Podcast has something for you to find out more just search for works technology on your podcast platform of choice and make sure you subscribe time for the weekend. Long reads suggestions and i up a couple of interviews. That people have been discussing all this week. The i was in an interview. That friend of the show. Noah smith who you'll recall. We did a recent weekend bonus episode with an interview. He did with stripe. co patrick. Collison patrick has a reputation for being a prodigious intellect. He founded stripe when he was twenty. Two years old. You'll recall but this interview which since no is an economist and is therefore interested in any number of big issues. Ranges among a number of fascinating topics really highlights. Why patrick has this reputation for being a brainiac. Like dude knows a lot about a lot. For example in the middle of this interview packages lays down the best description of the innovation roadmap for the entire tech industry over the next ten years that i've heard anywhere quote in terms of what the world needs. Improvements in medical. Technology are probably still number one. Climate change mitigation technology cleaner energy generation and co two sequestration and so on also quite high up more broadly. We need to make all of the things that you and i enjoy every day. Cheap inefficient enough for billions more people to afford with safety insecurity high on that list but need is a tough framing. There's obviously so much stuff that would be fabulously valuable. And it's hard to predict the magnitude of the impact upfront. Besides the obvious diseases better. Cures for depression and mental illness and other psychiatric conditions would be hugely beneficial hundred dollar robotic surgeries a machine for cheaply manufacturing food a three d. printer for nourishment into which you just insert elemental ink cartridges and not just for replicating already existing foods. The possible design space is very large flying cars. Obviously plus space-based earth to earth transportation. Fast growing trees. So that everywhere can be as blissfully are boreal as you like technology for comprehensively eliminating air pollution not just from internal combustion engines but also sand dust ubiquitous detectors for toxins like lead arsenic and benzene. Smart books that are better fit for purpose. A babel fish that works programming environments that are less hopefully primitive than those today. Take mathematica squeak genera and go far beyond them. Better education technology for everyone. What's khan academy but ten times better too cheap to meter water desalination batteries with so much energy density that they need never be recharged nanotechnology self repairing would flexible glass. Translucent steel quantum computers that accurately simulate physical chemistry completely new kinds of matter better catalysts for all major existing chemical processes and quote. so basically. There you have it. Make a successful company out of any of those areas mentioned and you can probably have a trillion dollar company and a couple of decades. These are the things. Technologist will be working on for the next few years laid out for you for free and then over at the verge neil. I spoke to cave on bake poor. Twitter's head of consumer product about all the things that twitter has been doing lately and also why they're suddenly doing all the things all the sudden. There are a lot of tea leaves to read in this one. Like i noticed how kevin was careful to tip toe pass any criticism of apple's tax were in an environment now where when someone elects not to pick a fight. It's probably more because it makes you wonder why couldn't apple acquisition of twitter be possible in this regulatory environment just leaving that there for now anyway quote fast forward to about a year ago we really started investing in audio and thinking about how we can enable audio as a new form factor for conversations on twitter. The same team. That's driving spaces. Today really started focusing on that. The first product that they built was what we call voice tweets which we put in market late last year on ios. Lets you record your voice in tweeted out. Basically around the same time they were thinking about the sort of conversational experience and this is when audio release started heating up and clubhouse was getting a lot of traction so we had a long and winding road to refocus back on that sort of multi person conversational format for audio but the team. That's building spaces. Now has had their heart in this for quite some time. Obviously hindsight is twenty twenty. We found much more customer. Success and impact and excitement around the multi party experienced than we did with the voice tweets experience. We still see a lot of really awesome use cases there but we've all of our focus to spaces now and quote next. I've said a bunch of times recently. How the whole no code low code movement takes inspiration from excel and how it trained. Millions of normies essentially the program without knowing they were programming. Well not boring. Takes a look at the spreadsheet that launched a million companies quote excel may be the most influential software ever built. It's a canonical example of steve jobs. Bicycle of the mind endowing. Its users with computational superpowers normally reserved for professional software engineers armed with those superpowers users can create fully functional software programs in the form of a humble spreadsheet to solve problems in a seemingly limitless number of domains. These programs often serve as high fidelity prototypes of domain specific applications. Just begging to be brought to market in a more polished form. Hundreds of b2b's startups have been built by taking a job. Currently being done in excel and trying to accomplish the job in more optimized purpose built to software every time you hear an entrepreneur say we're replacing silence spreadsheets and outdated processes with purpose built software. You're hearing the unbundling of excel in real time. Many popular sas applications fall into this category and yet despite being unbundled excel keeps getting stronger. That resiliency has inspired entrepreneurs to look more deeply at what makes excel tick and why adventurous builders are creating new software. That doesn't unbundle excel but is inspired by excel excels balance of usability and flexibility can be found in popular no code and low code products created over three decades since accel. I grace screen. The source of inspiration is less direct and more meta it is less about getting anything. Concrete that happens in excel and more about capturing the essence of what makes excel so successful. And i didn't do this as a full-fledged segment because i'm not convinced that there's really new news here but everyone has been discussing this. Mit technology review piece about how facebook allegedly sidelined ai. Experts and weakened initiatives internally to clean up misinformation because leadership didn't want to hurt mark zuckerberg's desire for growth. I'm linking to it though so that you're up on the conversation and i think that gideon litchfield decent summation of the peace quote the narrative. Facebook has been pushing over. These last years is that limiting misinformation and hate speech for billions of pieces of content. Posted daily is an incredibly hard technical challenge. That it's best minds are working tirelessly to solve. What karen. how figured out over months of reporting is that. This narrative is both true and false people at facebook like j. kenya. Narrow are indeed brilliant sensitive hardworking and deeply committed to doing the right thing but facebook itself cannot let them do it and the reason facebook cannot let people do the right thing and limit toxic content. Is that facebook is addicted to toxic content and its leadership is unwilling to make the one change that would allow it to kick the habit. Facebook has built content moderation systems to try to filter out the worst misinformation and hate but those systems are in a losing battle with the content recommendation. Algorithms that promote the stuff that doesn't get caught by the filters and quote and this month. We might talk about this more in coming months the one startup. That was new to me that has pushed its way onto my radar as potentially the next big thing or the latest. Next big thing is billy billy. What is billy billy. Well see. i didn't know either. So here's a great explainer intro piece. From the south china morning post. How chinese site dedicated to the anime subculture grew up with it's gen z users to become a mainstream success quote since launching in two thousand nine. Billy billy has grown into one of the most recognizable names in video streaming in china. It now fifty. Four million daily active users who spend an average of around seventy five minutes on the platform each day. Most of them are from. What billy billy calls. Gen z plus which the company to find those people who were born between nineteen eighty five and two thousand nine and many grew up with the site by the fourth quarter last year. Billy billy said it had one point nine million content creators who were contributing more than five point nine million videos each month some longtime users like qiu. Chang consider themselves part of a community made up of uploaded and their fans. She checks billy billy daily to see her favourite up have posted new content and quote and finally today a piece from wired that. I'm directing at whomever needs to hear it sometimes. It's okay to give up just because you devoted one hundred hours of your life to a given video game doesn't mean you have to finish it especially if it now bores you quote ultimately. I know i'm only playing this game. Because i've already played it for one hundred hours and giving up at this point feels tantamount to wasting four point one six seven days of my life. It's like avoiding breaking up with someone simply because you've already been dating for a year and they met your family and i no longer look forward to this game but if i stop now. What sense of accomplishment will i have. It becomes even more complicated when you think of the concept of game chores which anyone who's been playing animal crossing new horizons for the last year. We'll tell you as a whole thing. I can't begin to explain to you. How many times. I've opened that game just to check in at stores talk to villagers get my miles for the day and log off for weeks on end. It's the only interaction i had with the game. I wasn't playing or deriving entertainment just doing chores in my video game. I forgot to log in one day. Broke my nook mile streak and that's the very boring story of how i stopped playing animal crossing and quote no weekend bonus episode this weekend at all. Sorry i just need one weekend off. But also i'm gonna use this weekend to finalise the writing of the first elon. Musk miniseries episode. Never fear especially you ride home. Plus subscribers the next interesting raise episodes in the works for next weekend and for the weekend after that. We're gonna have the next office hours episode. This time with chris froehlich of first round capital. He's the guy that led first round investment in roablocks. So we're definitely going to hear some of the story behind that. But also chris. And i have been friendly for many years. He's the guy who. I got me involved with ted some years ago so i know for a fact. He has some interesting insights into investing and entrepreneurial success plus as all reveal. Dude has a full on gadget museum in his house. You'll hear i'll explain. Also we've got another regular bonus episode interview in the pipeline as well talked. Y'all on monday.