[0:14] Number 934. Well, Steve and I got to spend a rare weekend with our entire family. Kyle and his family, flew in from Texas and we all converged at Lindsay's house to celebrate her daughter Sienna's third birthday. I even got to see my brother Grant, so it was a positively perfect weekend.
So that's why I'm on my road mic here, but we're still doing the live show, having a good time, and we just had a rare appearance by Forbes, my grandson, during the live show here. With any Any luck, Sienna will wake up in time for the end of the show to babble senselessly into the microphone, so that's always good.
Anyway, but don't worry about the show. We have lots of content for you.
We've got two really interesting interviews from the CSUN Assistive Tech Conference recorded and edited by Steve.
Remember on these interviews, the audio is great because we record them as though everyone is blind, so you don't have to see what we're seeing, but you can also watch the video version of all of the interviews at the links in the show notes.
Barry Fulk is going to be here to tell you why you probably want to come to MacStock in July a day early, because of the Midwest Mac BBQ and Wine Tasting event.
[1:18] Jo from the Northwoods steps in with a review of a cool app she's been using on her iPad for a really long time, and Bart Bouchats finishes us off with a very tame and mild security bits.
CSUN ATC 2023: Low Vision International Video Magnifiers
[1:31] I've done a lot of interviews with people who have devices for magnifying things on screen back from the early days when my mother had a device that did that.
But Low Vision International has some tools that work on the device you already own that I thought would be really interesting to talk to Kimberly Klein about at Low Vision International.
Thank you very much. We're glad to be here at CSUN. As you mentioned, we do have devices that work for people that have existing devices.
We always feel like you've already invested money in something.
Let's just add to that. So our latest product is our iPad product.
So if you have an iPad already, that's what you need because we actually don't sell iPads.
[2:11] We're just now connecting a distance camera that can do distance document and self viewing to that.
And with iPad, you cannot plug in a camera. So you have to connect via a router. So wirelessly.
So we've made a box. It's kind of like, it's a long rectangular box, like maybe a one shoe box.
Yeah, very good. One shoe box.
A pretty small foot. And inside that box is the router system and it's also the battery to power our distance camera. So the camera is up on an articulated arm and looking down at a document in front of us. That is exactly right and you could take the camera and rotate it out forward and open the actual lens to be able to get distance as well. The unique thing about this is a lot of times we have... Now it's upside down by the way we're doing it. All of our products can be used well let me just put it back on the stand.
The iPad keeps being too smart for us. So she's now pointing the camera down at the document and then what do we see on screen here?
We see a document that has several of our products on it and then within that, just like a regular iPad, you can pinch and zoom, you can change the color, you can change the contrast.
If it was like a column and you wanted to do a line marking, you could divide the columns.
You also could do OCR, so you could take a picture of it, have it read it to you, and, And then if you want to own that text, you can then save it to a USB.
[3:38] You could save it as a PDF, you could save it as a WAV file, you could save it as RTF.
[3:43] So you could bring it up on almost anything.
[3:44] So again, you're using your existing iPad that you have, you're just connecting to our distance camera.
The beauty of it is we sell a lot into schools, not just schools, but into schools, kiddos, don't want to look different than anybody else.
So this device could set off on the teacher's desk, other kids wouldn't even need to know they'd have it. Everybody has an iPad in the classroom just like them. Then they, can control everything through the software. Oh hang on, since it's Wi-Fi that's why the device can sit on the teacher's desk. The kid is just sitting there with an iPad like everybody else next to them but they're seeing it in a, different way. They're seeing it how they need to see it. Whatever color, whatever size. If they want to plug in a headset they could even do OCR. With permission from the teacher they also can take pictures of the board. If someone's doing a presentation with permission of everyone, they can video it so maybe they can come back and gain the information later because they can't take notes fast enough or they just are trying to focus on taking notes so they didn't really hear the presentation. So everything that somebody might need not just school but work or even home, a home environment because iPads are so popular and that's why this is our brand new product that works with the iPad. I'm really glad to see this because a lot of stuff I've seen at CSUN has been towards the Android environment because Android lets you do so much more to mutate the environment that Apple doesn't allow, but this is a way around it.
[5:03] But for the device that's the most popular.
But we don't want to leave our Android brethren out, correct?
No, no, absolutely not.
We have a company of their humanware, and they do Android quite well.
But you do Android with this as well, no? No, with this is just the iPad.
We do have a Windows solution. Oh, that's what it was. It was Windows, yes.
So if somebody has a Windows, they don't have to use, We do sell the actual device with this one.
[5:28] If they have their own, there's no reason for them to buy another one.
So describe what we're looking at here.
We're looking at a Surface Pro 8 tablet, which is 13-inch screen, and all we've done is take this tablet, we've added our software to it, and we built a stand.
It's totally portable, it's under 9 pounds, and you have the ability to add anything.
So if you're a ZoomText user, or any type of screen reader user, you know, JAWS, Supernova.
[5:55] Of those things, you have that ability to put this on here because this is Windows.
So if I go out of our software, I'm now at the desktop.
So you can add anything to it. Part of this stand is this articulated camera. Where's the lens?
Because it looked like it was looking at me. Right here and then right there you can open it and go across the room as well.
So let me... Okay, so she's just opened the lens on it so that it's... but it's looking at me.
I'm very confused. So I'm using this camera.
There's three cameras. Oh, okay.
So unlike Apple, Windows lets you attach a camera. It does.
So it was using the internal camera on the tablet and now it's looking at your camera.
Yeah, and then you also can use the camera underneath.
So we have three cameras. We have a downward facing camera, an upward facing camera, and our camera that's on the articulating arm that can do distance document self-viewing.
[6:43] You have the ability with all of them to do video, take pictures, and to do OCR.
Our cameras are 10x optical zoom, our distance cameras, so that means you could be sitting in a classroom, point at a board, 15-20 feet away, zoom in on it. If there's type written, you can do OCR from that far away.
Oh, that is really, really cool.
There's so much I love about this. Using the device that you already own, number one, but also the cost of the overhead projector sort of things, I don't know what you call that kind of device, but the cost of that big part of that is the screen and maybe over time that technology, You know it gets dated so maybe you want a higher resolution camera or whatever now you can replace the tablet Exactly, you're not rebuying everything exactly in fact We've had this product out for about three years and when we first started we were using surface pro fives now We're up to eight so when we got up to eight the stands a little bigger because it's 13 inch versus 12.3.
[7:37] We had people that said oh we want to pull our tablet out and move it, but Kimberly It's not going to fit so we built this stand so you can extend it out, So you don't have to spend all the money to get everything new again You just get the little kit to extend it. We can do it or you can do it. We can walk you through Oh, that's fantastic. This is really cool. So where would people find more about the oh wait, you had one more to show us, So yes, so there's this is you're using our existing camera So so again, we believe if someone invested in one of our cameras again, they should be able to utilize that, This particular camera is called the Magna link s it's similar to the other camera but instead of it being like a very bendable arm that goes up and down, it's a little bit...
It's sort of like two hinges.
Exactly. So this product...
Can fold all the way down. I've closed one part of it. I'm now closing the other part.
[8:28] It's 4.2 pounds. Very, very lightweight. It's really cool.
Okay, so I'm holding this up in my arm that's, what is that, like a foot and a half long and maybe eight inches wide. When it folds up, I'm holding it with one finger. So this is, the portable unit. And does it still hook up to one of the mini shoe boxes?
Yeah. No, you use it. Well, you can if you're using it with the iPad because you have to connect wirelessly but if you're using it for PC or Mac we give you the cable and you just plug right in and power from that. So PC, Mac, Chrome, if you're using it with the iPad yes you do need to use the actual power in the router but PC, Mac and Chrome you just cable it in or you can plug this just into a monitor. So if.
[9:10] You have a situation where you're all of a sudden doing a presentation or you want to watch TV and you don't want to sit in front of the TV because then your family can't see.
You could point this camera, we support screen on screen, our cameras are that good, and then you could just plug a little monitor in on your little side table and sit in your Lazy Boy, and everybody can see what they can see, but you can see the TV right up where you can see it.
These are really innovative solutions and that feels like really good hardware design.
It's pretty, it's clean, simple yet elegant is what I would describe it as.
So if people wanna find out more about these devices, where would they go?
Well, you can contact me directly. So the design, everything is hand built in Sweden.
We've been making products over in Sweden for 46 years. We weren't always in America.
For the last seven years, we now have LVI America.
I'm Kimberly Klein, I'm the Director of Sales. I oversee North America.
So they can contact me directly at 702-468-6611.
Or you can go to our website, www.lvilimavictorindia, lviamerica.com.
America.com. Perfect. This is fantastic. Thank you very much for your time. Thank Thank you so much. coming by.
Midwest Mac BBQ & Wine Event
[10:20] It's a good thing we always record with a live audience because alert listener Mark heard me start playing this next bit you're about to hear, and the very beginning I say, ever since MacStock was canceled. MacStock was never canceled, it's MacWorld that I met was canceled, and it will make a lot more sense in context if you remember the very first time I say MacStock, I mean MacWorld. All of the other times, hopefully, I really am saying MacStock when I mean MacStock. Anyway, let's get to our conversation with Barry Falk.
[10:48] After MacStock was canceled, a lot of us were really sad about the community that we lost, and Barry Falk, who's a crazy man, decided to solve that problem by inviting all Mac people to his house for a barbecue.
How are you doing today, Barry?
This is the crazy person himself, Barry. Hey, Al. Thanks so much for having me on today.
All right. So you actually invited, well, most importantly, you convinced your darling wife, Bobbi Ann, to let you invite all Mac people to your house for a barbecue.
So the original thought was, I really did miss, I mean, Macworld was such a great event and it was always a chance to catch up with the community and it could be anything from just running into a random individual to, like, you hosted some really cool events there as well.
And I just loved it. And with Macworld at the time going on, quote, hiatus, unquote, I was like, well, I'm missing that. And I think it was about two years after the first cancellation, it was like, I need to do something.
So you're correct, I convinced my wife, that I'm like, what if I just invited some friends over?
I figured it'd be local, six to 10 people was kind of my expectation.
Well, that's how you tricked her into it.
Yes, exactly, because my nefarious plan worked.
[12:07] So originally, it was gonna start out that, and it was just, literally I was gonna grill the backyard, have some people over a couple hours and start from there.
We have a nice little backyard and I thought it'd be fun.
And I believe the next step is you and I started talking about it.
I don't remember why specifically, maybe I just mentioned it.
And then you were like, Hey, Steve and I will come out like, really?
And you were also generous enough to let me on the show and to talk about it.
Cause I really do love the community here. And it was one of those things that I always felt that I wanted to give back somehow.
So you were.
[12:47] Set to come and then it kind of started to snowball because several, many of your listeners, said, hey, if Allison and Steve are going and Barry's gonna be there, Wels might show up, we better be there. And it was an amazing amount of traction very quickly because this, I want to say it was only within six, seven weeks before the actual event. It wasn't like months. It was an amazing – Oh, it was an amazing- We're just so spontaneous too.
Yeah. It shows everybody missed it, right? Exactly.
And it was amazing. So people were reaching out about the event.
I gave them the details.
I'm like, hey, it's gonna be in this date, come on over. The only real stipulation I had is either I know you or you know somebody that knows me.
I figured that's a safe way of making sure we're at least doing a little bit of vetting.
And with your audience and I ended up on other shows such as Mac geek gab.
I think I may have even talked to Ken Ray and a few other people in the podcasting world and everybody was super supportive.
Was great letting me come on the show, talk about it and it spiraled very quickly in a good way where all of a sudden that six to 10 became 20, 30, 50, 80.
And I think the final number was just shy of about 125. And I could even be low on that number.
So, imagine if you will.
[14:17] A yard full of wonderful. People in the community that literally my wife knew nobody other than me.
So this was a very literal divorce inducing event if things went poorly.
Eight years later whatever it is we're still together and.
[14:40] We are going to do it again. That is super exciting. So lots have changed in terms of my world.
I'm actually now based out of San Francisco. I'm not even in Chicago, but we still have the house there.
So in talking to you and talking to Steve and talking to Bobbi Ann, we said, hey, we could do this again. Hang on, we've skipped one little step in here.
The Midwest Mack Barbecue is what helped spawn Mac Stock, the conference.
So Mike Potter said, hey, wait a minute, if all these Mac people are gonna be in town, I should make a conference.
So he made a conference exist, and that's the genesis of Mac Stock.
So Mac Stock has kept going, obviously the last couple of years have been a little bit hit or miss, but it should be coming back strong this year.
And so when you say the Midwest Mac BBQ is back, that's gonna be right before Mac Stock, right?
That same weekend. Correct. Okay. So logistically, and I'll put this out now and I'm sure we'll repeat it, it is Thursday, July 20th.
So we wanted to give a little bit of time so if people were interested, they could come to Chicago early.
And it doesn't matter pretty much the whole day will be open i guess.
Figure food will start around two o'clock but if you're gonna be landing early or you're in the area and you wanna come early great just let me know like don't sit by yourself or gas station waiting for two o'clock.
[16:06] Come on early i'll even i'll even make breakfast. Hey don't say that that ends up your hosting thirty people for a benedict if you don't watch out.
Hey by myself out here now i've had to learn how to cook for myself so i do make a mean scrambled egg and we.
Really just are just gonna keep it open all day i hate saying goodbye so we may run late into the night that's fine but the reason i thought be nice to do it on a thursday.
[16:37] Is that way people could stay in the area so they can stay late.
They can head out to Woodstock that night if they want or they can just enjoy the area.
Chicago is of course a great city.
Hang out there during the day Friday and then head out. So your house is pretty close to the airport, right?
Yeah, I'm less than 10 minutes away from O'Hare. Okay.
So real easy to get to, a very easy taxi, Uber, Lyft ride. And again, I think once we get a little bit closer, I'm going to try to coordinate rides for people. So maybe people arriving at the same time, they could share a ride and just try and make it as easy as possible for everyone. I'll even put information on the website about the event, about hotels in the area, some other things to do. So I will note now and again later and in the show notes, I'm just using my own domain for this one. So it's BarryFulk.com.
[17:37] Okay so you said it's gonna be a it's gonna be a barbecue what is the people pay to go to this.
Yes so i mean basically.
No i'm hosting this are the goodness of my heart probably run some sort of go find me so if you can throw in a few bucks great if not i'm happy to have you over there the plan is to have.
Variety of food I do enjoy good barbecue but typically when we get to the size and I'm not good at estimating clearly so I'm not gonna guess how many people will be here but.
What's a safe fifty or sixty also cater and again based upon who's ours repeat so that will become an important part as we get closer to the event.
[18:23] Open to whatever so your traditional barbecue where we have you know.
Or beef and all sorts of nice sides but if you're a vegetarian or vegan or have other allergies just let me know i will accommodate that i have plenty of soft drinks water juices.
But last time i was really into the craft beer scene so i had a lot of beer people brought a lot of beer or other drinks happy to have that.
[18:50] But over the last, I mean I've always enjoyed wine, but over the last several years I've really gotten into wine.
And moving out right next door to wine country has really accelerated that.
Yeah, you're right next to Napa, right?
Yeah it's about an hour drive and.
I'm not saying that I'm pathetic and lonely on the weekends, but I have free time.
So about once a month, I do some research. It's very important that I do research.
Research. Yes. Yes. Yes. Research is the subject.
That's part of my day job. I make it part of my weekend. So I research wineries up there, do some tastings. I usually will stay up there. You'll also find this shocking, Alison, that I've made a whole bunch of new friends out in the Napa Valley area.
And so I'll hang with them and they'll introduce me to some new wineries as well.
So I've enjoyed the journey of learning about wines, everything from how they're planted and grafted onto the rootstocks to the different type of grape clones, the different processes of fermentation, the whole cycle of bud break to veraison to harvesting to the bottling.
[19:59] Some of you may know I have a slightly obsessive personalities.
When I really enjoy something like the Mac community, I really enjoy it.
And so I thought it'd be kind of fun to make that as part of this event.
It's not just a barbecue and just hanging out, but if people are interested about learning about wines or simply want to taste wines, or maybe we do a bit of a more formal tasting, a blind tasting and see what people think.
I think that'd be a blast. So one of the things I've done is convert our formal living room that was never used, except for the last barbecue and a few other formal events, to a wine lounge.
This started out at a wine tasting that BobbieAnne and I did, and we may have had a couple of drinks.
And they were selling something called a Riddling Rack, which if you're familiar with champagne is how champagne was basically bottled and then stored and turned on a regular basis so the yeast and all that would settle properly.
[21:00] And we thought that would look really cool in our house how do we get it and how do we ship it to chicago so talk to them it was super reasonable it's really cool i mean it's six foot tall like a and it's like an a.
Shape and it's like hardcore what so again if you're there you'll see it.
And we set it up as a centerpiece for the room.
And then we started moving things around, got a proper wine cooler, got some barrels, some nice chairs.
So it's a really nice place to relax.
So it's very exciting to me that we're able to kind of add into this.
But if that's not your thing, hang out on the deck, hang out outside, we'll have tents just in case.
And we've actually enclosed part of the deck.
Oh, okay, because it did rain, I think, the first year, right?
Actually, it rained quite significantly the first year.
So it was a good thing we had tents.
[21:58] But one of the things about Chicago that I like, and I know, Alison, you never get rain where you're at, except this year, is being outside in a storm is actually really cool, at least I think so, but you don't want to get wet.
So we thought, hey, what about enclosing part of the deck so we could be outside when it's still really nice out in the summer.
[22:21] And so we ended up working to enclose half of it with some drapes to keep the wind in or out, depending on how it is, so we can close the drapes.
And then we also have a fire table in there, so if it's a little cooler in the fall, warm it up nicely. We have a fan on top that swings the air around if it is still.
So we really kind of made it almost like a three seasons room.
So it's really exciting. So you basically redesigned your house to have the Mac community come visit you, is, what you're saying?
That is the primary reason, that is correct. Between that and wine.
All right, well this sounds fantastic. So if people want to check this out, you should go to BarryFalk.com.
You can read a little bit more of the details of what he's talked about.
You can see how to contact him to tell him if you're interested in coming.
And I gotta tell you, last night during the live show of the NocellaCast, so far eight people who were there are going to come to the to Macstock.
So that's as usual, the nocelic asteroids will represent.
Yes, they lead the way as always.
Well, thank you so much, Allison. I really appreciate it. I'm very excited to be hosting again.
It'll be great to see everybody and be back with not only community, but to see the Mike and Macstock.
Oh, yeah. Macstock's going to be great. The Midwest Mac barbecue and wine event will be awesome.
I can't wait. So excited.
Thanks again, Barry. Thanks, Allison.
Corkulous for Organizing Ideas – by Jill from the Northwoods
[23:57] Bought my iPad way back in 2010. Either the first app I bought or one of the first apps I bought was Corkulous. It is a virtual corkboard. Now part of the reason I like computing and computers so much is I can't read my own handwriting, or I can't even cut a straight line. When I imagine making a billboard full of cool pictures or making some kind of art with photos, I'm really terrible at it. I can't cut to save my life. So I found that when I had the iPad, I was able to do amazing things that was technically impossible for uncoordinated Jill to even get to. The iPad allowed me to be creative for the first time in a successful way.
Corculus was great for my iPad. I was able to make these boards, organize my thoughts, and this was a decade before anyone ever gave me access to Vizio. When it came time for for my server administration projects, I would sit out and draw my server plans using this app.
[25:03] My company was kind of cheap, and so they never gave me software that would properly allow me to draw up server diagrams for my farms.
But because I had this product, I was able to do that successfully.
This was way back in 2010. And over the years, I somewhat forgot about this.
But recently I did a podcast about creating vision boards and using all your senses in order to bring your goals forward to you.
[25:29] And suddenly it came back to my brain. Corculus.
I could make these vision boards in Corculus and have them around digitally, even if I didn't find a large format printer to print them out.
But certainly you could bring them to a local printer and get those printed out and hang them on the wall.
So I came back and started using Corculus again. And after my time away, I found a couple of really interesting things.
First of all, it was purchased by someone else. I'm not sure he was if he was involved in the first corculus or someone entirely new, But he brought new energy into the project He recently recoded it. So it uses modern codes and modern apis bringing it up to standards, But he made it even better. He listens to people talk about it He's put new enhancements into it and I can tell from the way he talks to reviews and responds to reviews That he's trying to make corculus into something amazing.
[26:27] And if you don't know a corculus id, again, it's just a giant cork board.
But you can have other backgrounds too.
The idea is that you're going to put cards, post-it notes, photos, embed PDFs, have emojis and lines of string.
If you're one of those people who likes to sit in the closet and figure out who the murderer is with photographs, articles and pieces of string attached to it, you no longer have to hide this in your bedroom so people don't wonder what's going wrong with you.
You can now put it on your iPad and keep it private.
[27:01] If you're a conspiracy nut and you're really trying to pull the threads of everything that's going around, you can also figure that too on your corculus board.
But for me, I just wanted better visualizations when it came to my goals.
Recently, I started working on marketing my podcast and trying to get more listeners.
I wanted to show my friend who's very visual what a marketing plan could look like.
And after reading the one-page marketing guide, I was able to create sort of a marketing plan for myself using corculus.
And even with all these different parts that you can put in your corculus board, it uses markdown language, you can embed code in there, it uses the apple pencil scribble so you can write and it will transcribe text, or you can just draw on things if you have a good hand at it.
One of the things I loved about it way back in the day is magazines used to be expensive.
So I would be able to take pictures of magazines and put them into my vision board.
But now we have a whole digital world in front of us and the world is really your oyster when it comes to corculus.
You can put darn near anything in it.
In my marketing plan, I had a PDF telling me how to do better with SEO.
Well, on my SEO area on how to market my podcast, there goes a PDF.
It's all together.
[28:23] In the end, you can make it anything you want. There's some examples I've seen of it around, where it's wedding photos, whether it's pictures of a kid, whether again, it's a vision board and you're looking at your goals.
[28:36] Anything you could imagine you could make with this. At one point I was in a fiction writing contest with a friend of mine, and I laid out the whole fiction story in Corculus, so I knew what would come first.
And if the order of the book changed around, I could move the cards around and visualize it better.
I know Scrivener does that too.
But this was a quick and easy way for me to write a short story without a lot of overhead.
One of the neat things about Corculus is when you create your board, You can also embed other boards into your board and then you can bring all your boards together, Ken if I was writing a story maybe each chapter is its own board and then there's a total board that has all the chapters in it.
[29:19] With the Pro version he also added the ability to sync with iCloud which is nice because it goes on my Mac and my phone and my iPad my brand new iPad and, And you have the ability to share it, which means I could share it as a PDF, a graphic image, or I could just save it as a corculus board.
So if my friend also had a corculus board, I could just share the file with her directly.
He recommends putting it in a place like Dropbox so you both have access to this particular file.
There used to be a standard version when it came to corculus way back in the day when I bought it, but it's a lot of overhead to keep track of two different versions of a It's actually a lot of work. So he gave a subscription price. There's also a very reasonable lifetime subscription price.
[30:07] Back in the day. I can't imagine what I paid for the other version. In fact, I think it was free, So I've been using it all these years for free, but for a monthly subscription price, it's $1.99, For a year subscription, it's $14.99 and the lifetime subscription, which is what I bought after he went pro is is $34.99.
But let's talk a little bit about how it handles. In using it itself, I found that on the iPad, it's great.
I can grip things, I can move them around. I find the navigation flawless.
Of course, this always started out as an iPad app, and then it went to iPhone.
And now with it being on Mac, I understand that you can bring a lot of things into Mac using Catalyst, but sometimes the navigation's a little different.
In this case, I found that it was hard at first to get around to being able to drop and drag things.
I would have to draw boxes around it, you know, with the mouse in order to grab something and move it around.
Right-clicking on it, it's very easy so that you can edit the item itself.
It also helps you find it and then move it and reshape it a little bit.
But to me, I think the iPad use of it is far superior than the way you use it on the Mac.
Again, I had a little bit of clunkiness with it when I used it on the Mac.
That might be me as much as the app itself, but definitely on the iPad it's intuitive and it works just the way you would hope it works.
[31:33] It's a good flowchart, a good diagramming device, it's a lot of fun to use. I use Vizio at work, which is a very serious app, it's not fun at all to use. Quirkulous does a pretty good job.
It has ways of aligning objects, it will help you shape objects so that they're in a column or in a row together. It does a really good job of trying to give you what you need when it comes to colors and manipulating the items that you're embedding inside of it. For my purposes, to create just some visual boards, to share things with friends, to make something fun. Again, I am going to find a large format printer and I'm going to print some of these out. It's great and it's been fun for me to use. So if you're looking for something that's good for you, good for your family, good for kids, so they can get their ideas out, plan something, plan a vacation, this is the right tool for you.
I like where it's going and I like the fact that the developer is very interested in improving this tool and making it better than ever. And if you have any questions, again, you can find me on Allison's Slack channel and you can find me at jill at smallstepspod.com.
Thank you for listening and have a great week.
[32:45] Well, thanks for the great review, Jill. And to everybody, I really recommend you listen to the podcast over at smallstepspod.com.
I do, and I love listening to her. I'm just happy all the time when I hear her.
Anyway, I wanted to make sure she knew and you knew that I looked into Corculus and it turns out you can still use Corculus for free with what they call the basic version on iPad or Mac.
With the basic version, you get just three boards. So that kind of makes it a great way to find out if corculus will work the way you think.
Check out corculus at corculus.com and it's spelled C-O-R-C-U-L-O-U-S.
So of course, use the link in the show notes.
CSUN ATC 2023: ScripTalk Talking Prescription Labels
[33:25] One of the problems that people with low vision and cognitive capability problems are is trying, to read prescription bottles.
And a company called Scriptalk from Envision, I'm sorry, the company is Envision America, the product is called Scriptalk, aims to solve that problem.
I am here with Amanda Tolson and she's going to tell us all about it.
Yeah, so thanks for coming over to the booth.
I love sharing this information.
Script Talk is a free service that's provided by the pharmacy as an ADA accommodation.
So anything- Meaning they have to do it.
Well, it's, yes, they do.
But they- They don't have to do it well, but they are doing it well.
That's right. And they don't have to do ours.
There are other options on the market, but ours is pretty common in most of your chains.
This is what you're going to find. So- Okay, so this is, I forgot to tell you, this is an audio podcast with a video component.
So presume nobody can see you. Nobody can see you.
Perfect. So Scriptrac is available at lots of pharmacies throughout the United States.
Walmart, Sam's Club, Kroger brand, Albertsons, lots of them.
So it's a free service.
Patient can get a reader in their home that reads all of the prescription information on the label or, they can use a free smartphone app. So how does it read a label? How does that work?
So the pharmacy puts on a special RFID label that has all of the text data stored in it.
And that's actually on the bottom of the bottle, correct?
[34:54] That's correct. They place that label on the bottom of the bottle.
Or if it's a box or package like that, they have a special hang tag so you know where it is to find it.
Okay, so I've got one of these prescription bottles in my hand.
It's got a little RFID tag on the bottom. And she's holding a device that's maybe four inches in diameter.
And I'm going to hold it somewhere on top. Just on the top.
Place it right there on the top of the device.
There's three raised buttons at the bottom. We're gonna press the center button.
[35:22] Patient, John J. Smith. Medication, amoxicillin, 250 milligrams.
So it's amoxicillin for John J. Smith.
That's right, and it would keep telling us how to take it, how many refills we have remaining.
Everything that's on the print label is going to be read out loud to the patient, including warnings.
Oh, including warnings. Yeah, that's the good one. Don't drink with that. I don't care what you say.
So the RFID tag gets put on by the pharmacy, and the device, the Scriptalk, is free to the consumer?
That's a weird business model for you. How does that work?
So the pharmacy, it's just built in that the pharmacy buys software and hardware and labels from us, and then we make sure that the patients are getting everything they need to access the labels that are being created.
The pharmacy just fills out a form and says, hey, John Smith's gonna use us for Scriptalk.
We have an entire patient care advocate staff that reaches out to the patient, goes over it, says, hey, do you want the app?
Do you want the device? And then they get them set up with whichever one, and we follow up with them on a regular basis to make sure everything's still working right for them.
So this is helpful for a lot more than purely, completely blind people.
[36:31] Oh, absolutely. There's no visual acuity qualification for this, which means it does not matter why you need this service. You can get it, whether it's illiteracy, whether you have a cognitive need to listen to an auditory instruction, doesn't matter, you're eligible.
So dyslexia, I'm just getting old and can't pay attention long enough.
Absolutely. All of those are great reasons why you would need something like this.
Wow, this is really, really interesting. And free. Did she say free to us? The pharmacies cover the cost? Absolutely. Free, free, free.
[37:03] That is fantastic. So where would people find Script Talk? And that's without a T, by the way.
So it's like prescription talk, Script Talk. Yep. So it's S-C-R-I-P and then T-A-L-K.
All one word. You can actually call us at 1-800-890-1180 and we have an entire patient care staff that can help you or you can find us online at www.envision.com.
Very good. Well, thank you very much. This is really cool. I've never heard of this before.
This is fantastic. Great. Bye!
Support the Show
[37:43] Well, how cool was that? I am really excited about that one for people that I think that was that is such broad appeal.
Well, anyway, this week Trevor Drover did something really cool with Patreon.
He changed the currency of his support from US dollars to Australian dollars where he actually lives.
I think it's excellent that Patreon lets you pick the currency that makes sense to you.
So instead of getting some weird monthly payment that's the round off of today's currency exchange rate or something like that, it's a proper round number for your ledger and you can make sure that it stays that same round number, you know, you can control it. And so I think that's one of the good things about Patreon.
By the way, I was just telling the live audiences that I will never forget, Trevor Drover met up with us in Australia when we had a tweet up before the Macmania cruise, and then he brought Steve and me two bottles of red Australian wine.
So not only that, he's a patron. How cool is that?
But I've got another story like that. A dear friend of mine in real life became the newest patron of the Podfeet podcast. She brings me delicious homemade baked goods. She was a chef in a former life and I thought that was payment enough, but she went to podfeet.com slash patreon and pledged an amount in the currency of her choosing that showed the value that she gets from all the shows. So thank you to Trevor for his continued patronage and thanks to the treats and the new pledge from my in-real-life friend.
Security Bits — 2 April 2023
[39:14] Well, it's that time of the week again. It's time for Security Bits with Barbu Shots. Let's see, you said it was going to be a slightly less agonizing report this week?
Yeah, it's kind of quiet. I don't know if that's the news reporters have stopped reporting all the not so scary stuff or if that's that we are actually getting better at this as a as an industry.
I was pondering that. You jinxed it now. Well, I was trying to sort of mentally think, has what I'm talking about changed?
And I am.
Maybe there's been enough high profile things that the baseline has shifted.
Maybe. Yeah. So we talk about the big stuff, like all the little breaches just are noise now.
Well, no, I meant it in the positive way, as in that I think your average, like, think about your average small company.
Security wasn't on their radar at all a decade ago.
Now it is. So maybe...
Yeah, that's true. Maybe we've just gotten a little bit better.
I probably have changed it now. Maybe.
Oh, well. individuals I doubt have.
[40:20] Maybe by accident because there's more our tech is helping us more so it's less our problem which is how it should be right more starting updates more automatically or with less friction.
[40:35] But if i look at the people that i talk to on the cruise when essentially every single person ask me for help with their phone had a big number on the you have an update screen.
Yeah, that's true. That's true. Okay, so we're not quite there yet. Anyway, it's a long way of me saying show notes aren't that long today, which is good. I've just realized that I have the wrong byword window open. So I can give you a preview of Let's Talk Apple on Thursday, but how's about I do a command tab here and switch over to this other window where I can tell you that it is the 2nd of April. One piece of follow up. Apple's emergency SOS via satellite has arrived in six more European countries.
They would be Australia, not Australia. That's not a European country.
Austria, Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands and Portugal, which is pretty cool. Yeah.
I have decided to do a deep dive into a story that isn't all that deep, but it's got a bit of news and it has a fun name.
Have you heard of the Acropolis?
A pro... A who? Acropolis. So the Acropolis is an ancient building in Greece. An apocalypse is a terrible thing and an Acropolis is a bug with cropping.
[41:55] Oh, I thought maybe it was a bad thing that happened in Greece.
I don't know. Well, actually, maybe one of the researchers was Greek. I don't know for for sure. I think it's basically just wordplay on crop and apocalypse. But anyway, it started.
Actually I'll give you the TL, the oral version, then I can give you the story. So basically, if you use the markup tool, which is part of the image editing suite on a Google Pixel, and it's not part of Android, it's actually part of the stuff Google do just for the Pixel.
And if you use that tool to crop an image or if you are a Windows 10 user who uses the um, oh it's a specific tool in Windows 10. Snipping tool?
No, it's the Snip and Sketch in Windows 10 and the Snipping tool in Windows 11, but not the snipping tool in Windows 10.
[42:51] Okay, we'll change the show notes to reflect what you just said then, because you said Snipping Tool in Windows 10 and 11.
Ah, yes, because I changed it further down. I forgot to change it in the TLD or... Yes, yes, yes.
Okay, I'll fix it. Thank you. So what is it called in Windows 10?
It is the Snip & Sketch Tool. Snip & Sketch. Okay. And what does this horrible thing do?
It means if you crop an image, it doesn't actually remove the data from the file.
It only makes it visibly not there anymore.
So if you crop out your house number and then post that on social media, it's still there?
Yes-ish, but not on social media, because social media are very, very price-conscious.
So they recompress every image you upload to save themselves on storage costs, and in the process, they accidentally protect you from this bug.
So yeah, not intentional. How do they how do they do that?
Well, they recompress everything. Right. When you upload it to Twitter, you always see it recompressing it because what they're actually doing is increasing the compression to give it a worse image quality because, hey, everyone's screen is tiny and it saves us money.
It's a penny an image. But, you know, under the size of these companies, a penny an image is kind of important.
So they've accidentally protected us all.
[44:09] I'd be curious what happens. I mean, maybe they all compress them, but I know on Mastodon it's far less compressed. It's one of the reasons I love following photography now is they don't all look like a horse poop. You know the photos actually look really great but they probably compress them some. They do. Well they re-encode them anyway because you can see it if you use the Mastodon app as opposed to one of the third-party apps you can actually watch it because it says server processing and you can basically see it redoing your image and then it comes back to you.
Yeah, well, I have seen that. Yeah. OK. They do it for a couple of reasons.
One of the other reasons is to strip away location data so that you don't accidentally dox yourself, which is nice of them to.
But anyway, so the good news is social media is actually not a problem here.
The other thing is that this is the PNG format.
So we really are talking screenshots here, not photographs, because photographs are almost always going to be JPEG.
They're not going to be PNGs because PNG is the portable network graphic format.
So it really is designed for graphics rather than photos.
So it's green. OK, so I take a screenshot and I and I drag down the top edge to cover up my home address.
That's still in the file.
Yes, that's the danger. So the way that this all comes down to the fact that, if you save an image over, if you save a file over itself and you don't then tell the operating system that the file is now smaller, then the bottom of the file stays right where it was.
[45:35] And the bottom of the file? OK, so you start writing at the top and whatever was left at the bottom is still left at the bottom of the original image.
Right. So you're pouring.
[45:49] I don't understand top and bottom when you're talking about start and finish.
Start and finish. Position zero in the file.
It has a logical address. Sorry, we're really stomping on each other here today. So what I'm trying to ask is when you're talking about top and bottom Are you talking about I cropped the bottom of the photo or you talk about the the text in the file the?
Ask your whatever the text text is being cropped from the bottom. I think it's You're not gonna you're not gonna guarantee quite the same but generally speaking taking the bottom of the file is the bottom of the picture.
But what if I crop the top of the picture, then it would be the top, right?
Yeah, only then you're probably safe because then you probably have two copies of the bottom.
[46:34] Okay. Right. So, well, I'm wondering whether one of the other things that could happen here, do they do anything like what Apple does where you've actually got versions of the file that exist?
That's not what's going on here. That's not what's going on here. So this is a much more simple thing. So basically you have a PNG file and the operating system says it's so many K from top to bottom, from start to finish, whatever way you want to describe it.
And you use a little drag and drop thing and you crop a piece off and then you hit save, not save as. And the clipping tool just rewrites the data it needs to rewrite.
There's a special symbol, sort of a sequence of bits that means end of PNG data.
And it just writes the end of PNG data and then just doesn't bother to truncate the file.
So it doesn't tell the operating system and now make this file smaller.
So what's left on the operating system is the original image data behind it.
So if you crop from the top, the chances are that what's left is a duplicate, of what's still in your image. But if you crop up, the chances are very high.
It's never guaranteed.
What if I crop from the left or the right? Then you're going to get some of your data. You're going to get left over with some of your data and you really can't trust that it's not data that matters.
[47:46] So this in the list of terrifying, horrible days, this does not sound terrible, horrifying, because you have to you have to send it to someone in a format that isn't the way most people send stuff, which is through social media.
You have to email it maybe or text message it to somebody, which is a certain way.
[48:08] Yeah. It's odd though that it's the Google Pixel from Android and Windows 10 and Windows 11.
It's like they made the same mistake, logic mistake, just coincidentally.
Yes, because it's not the same code base. That was one of the things that they looked at.
It's like, no, this isn't the same code. It's just the same mistake.
OK, that's odd. It is very odd, but there we go. So it has been patched.
So the March version of the update to the Pixel phones fixes it on Pixel land.
[48:42] And in Windows, Microsoft consider this. They're of your mind, Alison.
They consider this so not important. They're not doing software update.
You need to go to the Windows store and get the updates to the Windows store if you want to update those tools.
[48:56] You feel pretty much the same way. It's not a catastrophe. The only minor inconvenience is this goes back to the origin of those apps.
So you kind of have to think to yourself, have I ever cropped something that was actually important and sent it not through social media?
Right. To someone I don't trust. And yeah, but my hair's not on fire.
That's the worst. Yeah. That's the worst news we have this week. I can live with the acropolis.
Yeah. Mainly it was fun to talk about. It's a cute name. Yeah. Yeah. So what should we we do to protect ourselves, Bart?
Patchy, patchy, patch, patch.
There we go. Wow. The delay is really long today because even with video, which usually stops us stomping on each other, we're so far behind.
It's difficult. But hey, maybe I should have plugged in. I should have plugged in, Ethernet, which is sitting four inches to my right, which I did not.
I will make it through.
Action alert time. Apple have patched their old stuff. So if you're getting a bit of deja vu when you see things like iOS 15 and Mac OS Big Sur, it's not a mistake, it's not a typo, Apple really have fixed iOS 15 and Mac OS Big Sur and it's basically a week later than the patches we talked about last time for iOS 16 and Mac OS Ventura and they do include a pretty nasty zero day in webkit.
So patchy, patchy, patch, patch.
[50:19] Do you know how far back this goes? iOS 15 and Mac OS Big Sur.
Okay, so anything that can be running those. Let's mention again how my two-year-old Android phone can't be patched.
Trombone. Yeah, it's disgraceful. It's actually disgraceful. It's not just sad, it's disgraceful.
[50:41] Moving on to notable news. I think it is worth mentioning that if you put any stock in Twitter blue checkmarks, You need to stop doing that now.
As of April 1st, which is yesterday, the checkmark has exactly one meaning. You paid Elon.
That is it. That is the end of the meaning of the checkbox. The notable people have now lost them.
They mean nothing other than you paid for this blue thing.
[51:05] But wait a minute. I understand that originally it was you had to be somebody and there was some vague sort of hand-waving that verified that somebody was somebody in order to get the blue checkmark.
Then there was the whole thing that he said, okay, I just want money.
And he asked for eight bucks and everybody was registering fake names like they were pretending to be Elon.
And so all these people were getting these fake accounts and the whole thing with, who was it, Eli Lilly, where they announced that they were going to make the insulin free.
So then they went back to where you had to actually verify that you were who you were.
So I thought it means, maybe this means that the people who had blue checkmarks because they were who they were, lost them because they're not paying.
But I thought you also had to be who you said you were in order to get the blue checkmark and pay.
They're not making that guarantee.
They're basically doing enough to stop themselves getting in trouble, so they're moderating for their own benefit.
They're not giving us any sort of...
So Facebook have told us up front that on their platform, when they do checkboxes, it will mean verified photo ID, and they have described a process, so that is a strong verification.
Twitter have made no promise, and it's run by Elon Musk.
If you want to assign some sort of value to that tick box, by all means do.
I am assigning zero. Maybe it'll be like, if they say they're Eli Lilly, they're probably Eli Lilly.
But if they say they're Alison Sheridan and he hasn't heard of Alison Sheridan, then they could be anybody.
[52:34] Possibly. Yeah, probably is probably the right word to apply to the tick boxes.
They're probably who they say they are.
Yeah, okay. If I was feeling skeptical, possibly. But no, let's go with probably. That's nice.
I think my favorite thing about all the AI stuff right now is that I think we're learning all to not trust anything until we verify stuff ourselves.
[52:56] I hope we have nothing nothing is trustworthy so we used to think a lot of stuff was in the sun set was tricking us now we just have to assume everybody's trying to trick us at all times make sure you get three sources that are independent from from sources that you trust because two out of three could be lying.
[53:13] Yeah maybe accidentally or maybe not.
The next story is kinda fun. So we have the UK government's anti cyber crime.
People have been doing interesting things for a long time. Like they actually have school programs to try to divert young kids who are doing nasty things that isn't quite bad or just like, you know, knocking their friends off the Internet to win some sort of a game.
And so if they're trying to divert these people away from the dark side into the light side and they have all sorts of programs in schools to encourage people who have these kind of skills to to apply them as security on the white hat side instead of the black hat side.
Oh, I love that. I've always thought encourage those kids. Those are the ones you want to recruit, right?
Right. But they're now they've also revealed that they're doing something else, which is equally clever but somewhat different.
They are running fake DDoS services. So DDoS for hire services where they allow you to register, take all of your information and then at the point where you're expecting a control panel to launch an attack at your friend who's you want to knock off World of Warcraft, They're telling you, hi, this is the British government, we have all of your data.
This is illegal. Don't do this kind of thing again.
[54:27] Interesting. By the way, DDoS being denial of service or distributed denial of service attack.
So they give them the tools, the services to do it and then say no.
No, no. So they're pretending... You said they set up a service to do it.
Right. So these are all malware as a service, right? So it's like going to a storefront and getting as far as the checkout.
And you complete the checkout, but at no point in time do you ever have a tool.
[54:51] Right. I mean, they show them that they're going to let them do it.
That's interesting. And that's in the UK?
That's in the UK, and they basically say that if you're a UK citizen, you will be receiving a visit shortly from the police.
And if you're outside the United States, we have passed your details on to your country's law enforcement.
You mean if we're outside of the UK? No, no. If you're in the UK, the police will call. If you're outside the UK, they will pass on the data to your country's police.
You said outside the United States.
Oh, sorry. You meant UK in both cases. Yeah. Okay. So in your notes, you also say they set up fake booter sites. What's that?
Same thing. That's a booter.
So a denial of service with the point of kicking someone out of a game is called in slang by gamers, booting.
Oh, okay. Okay. Interesting. I hadn't heard that.
It is fun. It is fun. I like these kind of thinking outside the box kind of things that the UK are doing. So this is good.
Since I stopped you so many times on that, I'm going to say it again.
If you're in the UK, they tell you the police are coming. If you're outside the UK, they tell you we have referred you to your police department or FBI or whoever it is is appropriate for your country.
[56:04] Who may or may not care, right? If you're in Russia, yeah. Anyway, it's related and I think it's big news.
I also think it's not going to do anything. But an open letter has been written with some fairly substantial signatories, including Steve Wozniak and Elon Musk, asking everyone who's doing AI to take a pause for six months because it's out of control and we should all stop and have a good wee think about it.
So a little bit Pollyanna to assume that that's going to happen, because looking at this realistically, this is not a bunch of charities. This is a bunch of for-profit companies.
We are about to see a potentially massive upset to the most lucrative business on planet Earth, which is search. Everyone sees that Google are going to have to fight to retain their position and everyone sees that there is a possibility of upsetting the apple cart.
No one is stopping voluntarily. Best case outcome. And also Google tried to not do it quickly and they got caught behind because they tried not to launch it right away but everybody was launching theirs and like, alright, I I guess we're in!
[57:13] Also true i think the best case scenario here is that regulators take heat because the only the whole this is what regulation is for because businesses are supposed to do business that's their job, their job is not to do everything else right they are businesses and someone else is supposed to be the cop that keeps everyone on the straight and narrow and set some sort of basic rules everyone follows.
So I think best case, this raises awareness. This gets us thinking about how do we regulate this?
And even the people in the open letter don't think that we're in immediate danger of, oh, what's that thing from Terminator?
Like no one is saying Skynet is here now. Everyone's kind of saying, yeah, but if we don't actually stop, then at some point we're going to get there.
So I think there's plenty of time for people to, you know, for regulators and stuff to cop on, and so I think it's a good thing, but I don't think it's going to.
No one's stopping.
Here's another fun angle that they were talking about on the Accidental Tech podcast was, and I don't remember which company it was, I want to say it was Microsoft.
But so you know how the AIs have been trained on all available data, right?
And they've gone out and scraped every website, every artist's drawings, every program in all of GitHub.
They've done all this, they've taken all this data, and then now they're spitting it out.
And they're all perfectly good with taking everybody else's data that they never asked for in a lot of cases weren't even ever given, allowed to take.
But now what they've started noticing is that the AIs are copying from each other.
[58:41] So like Bing's AI is copying from Google's, is copying from chat GPT, and now they're all mad at each other saying, well, you can't take from ours.
[58:51] So they're okay with, they stole from the artists and the programmers. That's okay.
But it's not okay if you steal, if you steal from me now that I've got this data.
And so they're starting, and John Syracuse basically said this could cause it to wither on the vine.
I mean, it could dry up because it's going to get cyclical and all of a sudden it's got no data and then it just...
[59:11] We're done. I don't know that that's gonna happen, but it's an interesting way to think about it.
Well, this is one of the reasons I think that they're not all quite the same as each other, because one of the things that's interesting about Firefly from Adobe is that it's explicitly only trained on images they have the rights to. Which means it can't do things like show me a picture of Steve Jobs doing blah, blah, blah, because it doesn't have those kind of images.
But it's really good at generating clip art.
You know, I want the picture of some flowers and I'd like you to write the word hello filled in with a pretty Easter bunny or something. Right. And it can do all that because that's what's in its library of because they used to sell stock.
And so their images, they have trained their eye and you can buy access into it.
So that kind of stuff is perfectly legal.
Getty Images are doing the same, which is why they're also suing the pants off I can't remember which of the generative AI ones it is they're suing the pants off, because some of them, Getty logos appear when you ask the AI.
Right, right, I've seen that. Well, so if nothing else, the lawyers are going to make a lot of money and the legislators are going to spend a whole lot of time. So like seven years from now, this legislation of which you speak will come into play long after it's all changed.
[1:00:27] That's basically what I think is probably going to happen. Possibly.
I was also reading an interesting take on it from economist Paul Krugman, who pointed out that the lag between new technology coming and the technology changing the economy is surprisingly long because electric motors didn't really revolutionize industry until after World War One, even though we had electric motors well in the late 1800s, because we were using them as if they were not.
So with steam engines, your factories have to be these multi-story buildings where everyone is physically close to the conveyor belt connected to the one steam engine in the basement. So you had a typical picture of a mill as this really tall building with all the floors and everyone's all crammed in because it's a physical connection to one engine, whereas with electric motors, every every machine has its own source of motion, its own motor.
So what you actually want is everything far apart so you can move your raw materials and so you can move around your product and so everything works fine.
No one realised that until after World War I when everyone was rebuilding.
It's like, oh yeah, we don't want tall factories.
We want spread out flat factories. and it took decades for the industry to change and for the economy to have its boom.
[1:01:42] I don't think that's what's happening with a i think it's going a little faster than that there's no structure that has to be built again.
I am not i am taking i don't believe we're going to see this massive change that suddenly the whole economy different than no one has a job anymore i don't think it's gonna happen like quick.
I didn't say nobody's gonna have a job anymore we're talking about i'm saying that there's a business and people are already making money on it.
Yeah, right. But not business, the economy.
So people are predicting that the economy is about to be completely changed.
There's a difference between some businesses. What are you calling the economy?
I mean, GDP, like the GDP of America would go up by five percent.
You have all of these kind of predictions being made and how we don't have to worry about debt and stuff because our GDP is going to explode. The economy is going to take off.
The economy is the totality.
That is what economy means. It means everything. So we had a tech boom in the 90s.
No, no, no, no. That's the actual definition of an economy to an economist is the total of the money.
Anyway, the computer boom happened in the 90s.
Computers were invented in the 60s and 70s.
[1:02:48] And then it went kaput. Right.
Anyway, yeah, it's, it's, it's, it's, it's, maybe live in interesting times.
Exactly. Moving on, then, The next thing I just have is an interesting insight.
So I'm a huge fan of Nilay Patel because he's a very, very well read and intelligent person who has the ability to ask insightful questions.
And he does a lot of homework before his interview.
So whenever he interviews someone I care about, I listen because I know I'm going to learn.
Well, his guest this week was the CEO of Mastodon, and I was most curious to see how he was thinking about his company and therefore the platform that you and I are both getting way more engaged in since we don't quite like what he loves doing with Twitter. So highly recommend.
Answer me a question here. Because Mastodon is part of the Fediverse, it is a federated service. There's a lot of things in Mastodon using the Mastodon technology that are not owned by the CEO of Mastodon. So what does the CEO of Mastodon own? What exactly is that?
[1:04:03] So the CEO of Mastodon owns a company who writes the open source stuff that they make freely available and hope everyone steals. He literally said, I hope everyone takes this.
They write the official app and they manage the official webpage.
So if everybody's forking the code and doing what they want with it, then there isn't really one, mastodon. That's what's getting me confused. For example, one of the things that the CEO of Mastodon did not want is the ability to forward a toot and add content to it.
You can boost it, which lets your followers see it, or you can reply to the person that posted it.
But you can't reply and boost at the same time.
And he said that he wanted the replies to go to the person who wrote it or posted it, because you're more civil if you know that they're reading it.
So it was a little different angle.
But clients are writing it where you can do that.
So they're obviously simulating it.
[1:05:06] Okay, but I'm saying that's why I still get lost on what Mastodon is.
Because there is a version of the code that might be the official Mastodon, but if other people aren't using that one and it looks and feels like Mastodon and you're using it and you're on a different server, it just gets muddy in this case, because it isn't owned by anybody. Then I strongly recommend you have a listen, because one of Nilay Patel's fascinations is governance. And where lines are, how decisions are made, what levers there are, right? What levers is this guy pulling? So it's actually, I think you'd enjoy it, actually. Just given on on this discussion. I think you'll love this. Yeah, it sounds really interesting. Yeah.
[1:05:43] And then the next one I have in because it's cool tech, it is related to security. And I think if I were, if I were, say, the US Defense Department, I would be heartened that this research is happening. I would be, well, it's published with the intention of being used. So I would be taking them up on that offer with great gusto. So researchers in Germany in the Ruhr University and the Max Planck Institute for Security and Privacy have developed an algorithm that can take the schematics of a CPU down to, I think it was 15 nanometers was the lowest they could do at the moment. One five? I think it was 15. Yeah, I think it was a 15 nanometer. And they could then take a photograph of a die and they could match to see if the dye matched its design. In other words, has the chip been tampered with in a supply chain attack? And so they tested it in a very clever way. They tested it by altering the plans.
[1:06:49] So they got a chip, they designed the chip and they got it built, and then they changed the plan, and then they checked the physical chip against the altered plan, which should of course be wrong, because it's exactly the same thing as a hacked chip from a correct plan.
And so their algorithm works and they publish this.
Oh, that is really, really neat. You know where they could have used this? What was the...
Was it Forbes that had some claim? Forbes or Wired that had claimed that an Apple chip that was tampered with and they were never able to prove it?
Bloomberg. And it's one of two reasons Bloomberg never get any linkages from me. I will never link to Bloomberg because they never retracted that article.
Yeah. Well, they never retracted it or proved it. Or corrected it.
[1:07:37] Well, I mean, they claimed that it had happened and there was never any proof of it.
But they said, yeah, you just don't know.
Yeah, I'm sorry that they just lost all credibility in that, because that's true.
But I'm saying you could use this tool.
If it has happened, yes.
Right, right, right. That is really, really cool. Now you say this was via the nocellic cast community. Where'd you get it?
Well, now I'm having to say it may have come into me via Mastodon, but I think it was via Mastodon from a nocellic cast away.
OK, there we go. We'll take it. Yeah. And if it wasn't in the silicaster.
A lot of my followers are from the silicasteries at Mastodon.
That's kind of all the all the big stuff. So I have a palate cleanser, but it's an unusual one.
So the concept of palate cleansing is that it's not scary security stuff.
So what I have here is titled Immemorium. So it's an article about the death of Gordon Moore, the man of Moore's Law.
But it's really well written. And I learned more about Gordon Moore and his amazing contribution to Everything I Love than I had ever known before. Yeah, right, I knew Moore's Law and I knew he was involved in Intel.
But I didn't know nearly half of what happened before I was born, which is not unusual, I suppose. Remind people which one Moore's Law is.
So Moore's law is that the transistors on a chip will double every two years.
[1:09:06] Meaning an exponential growth of computing power. And as I think it was actually the article pointed out, most people who predict exponential growth are wrong.
Because stuff will grow exponentially for a short amount of time and then taper off.
But with our computers, we have had actual exponential growth.
And it's not exactly a factor of two, but it's pretty darn close.
As I recall, he was actually kind of surprised that it kept working.
Like he didn't really mean it to go on as long as it did?
Well, he didn't expect, yeah, he projected forward a line, and he did sort of expect it to deviate from his projections, you know, not decades later.
And, yeah, it's just actually kind of fascinating, because most of these things don't work out like that, but this one did.
But the thing is, it's also, is it a prediction that came true, or is it a target that was met?
I think the answer is yes and. Because it became a self-fulfilling prophecy because the industry strove, particularly Intel, given that he was one of their guys, they strove to meet or to stay up with Moore's Law.
So at some point in time it became the target, not a prediction, which is kind of interesting.
[1:10:26] Well after a while it does appear that Intel slowed down on that, right? Oh yeah.
Yeah, well they're now meeting in a different way, right? So we're now getting more cores on one die.
So we've stopped making the individual cores faster.
But we're now starting to double the number of cores.
Right. So it's still kind of it still keeps up surprisingly well.
And the M series chip are keeping up darn well, too.
They're they're amazing pieces of tech.
[1:10:53] Right. Well, is that all we got? Yeah, I did promise you it was short and you were kind enough to let me go for a slightly longer cycle because today was great. I have been rained on every single day since we recorded last week.
And today the sun was out and I got to spend extra time with the sun. So thank you.
[1:11:14] Very nice. That's exciting. We had sun here. It kind of freaked me out. I'm not used to it.
Hang on. No, you're not in California. That's why you freaked out. OK.
No, I am in California. It it had been raining and cold for so long.
We came down to Lindsay and Nolan's in San Diego and I didn't pack shorts.
It's like 70 degrees out yesterday. I'm basically wearing like my pajama shorts because I got nothing. All I have is pants, I have jeans and shoes.
I didn't bring flip flops.
I know, it's a nightmare. It's crazy, it's crazy, I tell you.
I'm sure you live, so no more atmospheric rivers or whatever weird things you guys had.
Well, I haven't checked the future weather. It keeps coming back.
[1:11:55] Well, fingers crossed. And of course, until next time, remember to stay patched, so you stay secure.
Well, that's going to wind us up for this week. Did you know you can email me at alison at podfeed.com anytime you like. If you have a question or a suggestion, just send it on over. You can follow me on mastodon at podfeed at chaos.social.
Remember, everything good starts with podfeed.com. If you want to join in the fun of the conversation, you can join our Slack community like Jill does at podfeet.com slash slack, where you can talk to me and all of the other lovely nocilla castaways.
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