TEH 222: Can they see you? AI and screenshots. Search engine agendas.

In This Episode: Can they see you? AI and screenshots. Search engine agendas.

This week the TEH Podcast is hosted by Leo Notenboom, the “Chief Question Answerer” at Ask Leo!, and Gary Rosenzweig, the host and producer of MacMost, and mobile game developer at Clever Media.

(You’ll find longer Bios on the Hosts page.)

Top Stories

  • 1:00 LN: The Recall feature will remember everything you’ve seen on your PC
  • 6:00 GR: Mac ChatGPT App
    • 8:00 AI Voices and legal issues
    • 13:30 Singer clones
  • 14:00 LN: Reactions in the comments on YouTube video about search engines.
    • 15:30 Controversy!!!! 
    • 16:30 Not an ad for Kagi
    • 17:00 Not everyone uses or wants to use an adblocker
    • 19:45 YouTube premium
    • 20:00 They’re clearly marked as “ads” …not
      • Many people report that they didn’t realize the thing they clicked on was an ad
    • 21:30 AI results. Love/hate?
    • 25:00 One concern: people using ChatGPT instead.
    • 27:00 Google Web results
    • 32:15 GR: Does google have an editorial agenda or is it an algorithm making it look like an agenda?
      • Algorithms!
    • 36:00 Should “Nike” bring up sneakers or greek gods?
    • 39:00 Do alternatives have an agenda? Like TikTok
      • 44:00 Yandex… headquartered in Moscow
    • 46:30 Forget the ads, the actual results are getting worse.
      • Many people blame SEO for crappy sites making it to the top
  • 50:55 GR: Update from last week: Amazon may be doing AI after all. (“Titan”)
  • 55:00 GR: Site attacks really ramp up over holidays
  • 57:40 GR: Atari Buys Intellivision 😝
    • 59:50 LN: T-Mobile buys UScellular

Ain’t it Cool

  • 1:01:00 LN: Kinda cool: Atlas on Netflic. AI uprising, and J-Lo.
  • 1:02:50 GR: Doctor Who: Boom and 73 Yards

BSP: Blatant Self-Promotion

AI Generated Summary

AI and Search Engines
Gary brought up AI summary capabilities in relation to a Mac app that allows users to take screenshots and receive information about what is displayed on their screen through text descriptions. He highlighted potential benefits of having an AI summary feature that could help users recall past activities or undo actions.

Leo and Gary discussed the new Microsoft Copilot Plus branded PCs, focusing on the recall feature. They mentioned that it takes a screenshot of the machine every five seconds when changes occur, allowing users to query based on their previous activities. Leo expressed concerns about privacy implications and potential controversies surrounding this feature.

Leo discusses his decision to stop using Google Search due to issues with ads, declining search result quality, and AI features not meeting his needs. He explores alternative search engines such as DuckDuckGo and Cadgya paid search engine which he finds preferable due to its clean interface and relevant results.

Leo shares surprising responses from readers regarding his article on alternative search engines, with over 100 comments expressing diverse viewpoints. Some accused him of promoting Kagi, while others questioned why he doesn’t use ad blockers.

Leo mentioned Google’s introduction of a new search parameter called “web,” which provides search results exclusively from other sites on the web. He highlighted that this feature aligns with how many users want the search engine to function and shared details about udm14.com, a website facilitating searches with this parameter automatically enabled.

Gary engaged in an extensive discussion regarding potential implications of Google’s new search parameter, speculating about its impact on user behavior and revenue optimization strategies at Google.

Leo expressed his belief that Google may have an editorial agenda influencing its search results. This led to discussions around tailored content based on user preferences and concerns related to privacy invasion versus efficiency gains through personalized results.

The speakers discuss public reactions towards AI integration into search results, noting mixed opinions ranging from cautious optimism among enthusiasts to widespread skepticism about relying on AI-generated information due to inaccuracies.

The conversation shifts towards search engine algorithms and their impact on delivering search results. Leo expresses uncertainty about Google’s approach compared to TikTok’s individual-level testing, emphasizing that watch time is crucial for TikTok while questioning if Google employs similar tactics. Gary mentions Yandex as a potential alternative search engine but raises concerns about its potential bias due to being headquartered in Moscow and influenced by external factors such as the Russian government.

The discussion delves into the impact of SEO manipulation on search results quality over time. Both speakers acknowledge using basic SEO practices in their work but express concerns about deteriorating search result quality due to misuse by individuals attempting to game the system through techniques like keyword stuffing and link farming.

Voice Actors and Rights
The conversation shifted to voice actors’ rights, with Gary mentioning an instance where another actor’s voice sounded too similar to Scarlett Johansson’s. This led to a discussion about James Earl Jones licensing his voice for future use as Darth Vader and considerations for protecting voice actors’ rights in such scenarios.

Leo suggests that companies should maintain an audit trail during voice actor recordings to address concerns about identifying voice actors. He proposes recording video of the voice actor during the session as a form of audit trail. Gary agrees, suggesting that including video in contracts could be a solution. They discuss potential implications for famous voice actors like Scarlett Johansson and James L. Jones.

Advertising and Content Monetization
Gary explains his stance against using ad blockers despite acknowledging their benefits in certain situations where ads are overly intrusive or disruptive on websites or platforms like YouTube.

Both Leo and Gary acknowledge the importance of advertising for content creators but express concerns about intrusive advertising practices affecting user experience negatively.

Leo expressed concerns about the performance of groups focusing on internal tools, which were considered a cost rather than a revenue source. He also questioned the profitability of Amazon’s Echo due to the hardware costs not covering expenses related to large model AI.

AI Content Curation and Algorithms
Gary discusses the issue of algorithmic content curation on platforms like TikTok, highlighting how user preferences for certain types of content can lead to a gradual shift towards more extreme or unrelated material. He explains that the algorithms aim to show users content they would like but may not differentiate between related and unrelated topics, potentially leading to exposure to sensitive or controversial material. Leo adds that TikTok’s individual-level testing tailors content based on a user’s interactions, potentially creating an echo chamber effect where users are only shown similar viewpoints.

Gary drew parallels between social media algorithms tailoring content for users’ interests and speculated that similar mechanisms might influence search engine results based on individual preferences or behaviors observed during searches.

Security and Privacy Concerns
Gary discussed his tool for detecting attacks on his website, noting that these incidents often occur during holiday weekends when administrators are likely away. Leo emphasized that all servers and services are constantly under attack, highlighting the pervasive nature of security threats.

Gary explains that scammers may attempt to trick individuals into disassociating their stolen iPhones from their Apple IDs, allowing the scammers to resell the devices. He advises users to remotely brick the phone and erase its data if it is stolen, emphasizing that this action protects personal information while rendering the device useless for resale.

Gary recommends putting a stolen iPhone in lost mode and erasing its data remotely as protective measures against theft. He highlights that even if a user’s password is compromised, encryption prevents unauthorized access to personal data. Additionally, he stresses the importance of not disassociating a stolen phone from one’s Apple ID as scammers may exploit this action.

Industry Updates and Developments
Gary shares rumors regarding Amazon working on a large language model update for Alexa named “Titan.” He speculates that charging $20 per month for this service would be counterproductive given Alexa’s primary purpose is driving sales through product suggestions rather than directly monetizing its usage. Leo agrees with Gary’s assessment, suggesting bundling it with Prime could enhance its value proposition instead.

Gary mentioned the merger between Atari and Intellivision as an interesting development in light of their historical significance in tech. The companies, although holders of intellectual property without recent production activities, merged their brands under one umbrella.

Leo brought up T-Mobile’s acquisition of U.S. Cellular and pondered its significance given U.S. Cellular’s ownership of frequencies implying hardware assets beyond being a mere reseller. This raised questions about potential impacts on network coverage and competition among major players in the industry.

Media and Entertainment
The discussion revolved around “Atlas,” a movie featuring Jennifer Lopez centered around an AI uprising reminiscent of Terminator themes amid ongoing discussions about artificial intelligence across various media platforms.

Gary shared positive reviews for recent episodes from “Doctor Who,” highlighting episode titles “Boom” and “73 Yards” as particularly noteworthy within sci-fi fan communities due to their compelling scripts despite minimal appearances by the main character.

Productivity and Workflow
Leo discussed using a bash script for the first time to run nightly on his Linux box. He sought help from Chat GPT for a “for” loop based on the number of files in a folder and executing commands individually. He received two code variations, implemented one, and found it effective.

Leo recounted his experience reformatting and reinstalling his machine after years without doing so, expressing surprise at how much software he actually used daily following this process.



3 Comments on “TEH 222: Can they see you? AI and screenshots. Search engine agendas.

  1. I like to listen to the podcast in the car during the commute. I used to be able to download it from the Latest Episode page. There is a link to do that but it is not working. Is this broken or are you not allowing that now?


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