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Pivot with Kara Swisher and Scott Galloway
1 minutes | 2 years ago
Coming soon: Pivot with Kara Swisher and Scott Galloway
A weekly look at tech and business headlines, with provocations, predictions and insights from two leading voices in the worlds of journalism and marketing.
43 minutes | 2 years ago
What comes next after #TooEmbarrassed ends?
Two and a half years ago, we launched Too Embarrassed to Ask. And now, having answered your questions about everything from Snapchat to Juicero to tech addiction, it’s time to goodbye ... or maybe Goode-bye? This week, Recode’s Kara Swisher reunites with her longtime co-host Lauren Goode (now a senior writer at Wired) for one final show and one final “hashtag money.” They talk about wearables, podcasts, Phoebe’s twin sister on “Friends,” Facebook’s year of scandals and — of course — their cats. Give it a listen and stay tuned for a new Kara Swisher podcast, coming this fall. If you subscribe to Too Embarrassed to Ask now, make sure to stay subscribed; you’ll automatically get the first episodes of Kara’s new show once it’s ready.
45 minutes | 2 years ago
Should you quit social media?
Microsoft Research scientist Jaron Lanier talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about his new book, "10 Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now." He explains why those who have the opportunity to quit platforms like Facebook and Twitter should do so, comparing the problem to past crusades against “mass addictions” like smoking or drunk driving. Lanier also talks about the future of virtual reality, a field in which he helped drive interest in the 1990s.
29 minutes | 2 years ago
Why do people think their phones are spying on them?
Northeastern University assistant professors Dave Choffnes and Christo Wilson talk with Recode's Kara Swisher about their recent year-long investigation into a popular online conspiracy theory: Smartphones are secretly turning on their microphones to record conversations and serve us more targeted ads. Choffnes and Wilson say that although there have been a small number of apps that have surveilled users, they tested 17,000 of the most popular apps on Android and found that this doesn't happen; in fact, it doesn't need to. Although the theory may sound plausible, we provide a vast amount of information about ourselves through other means that can explain ads that feel eerily well-targeted to our lives. The researchers also explain some of the steps consumers can take to reduce these more mundane privacy violations and how app developers have reacted since their study was released.
45 minutes | 2 years ago
How do you get over burnout? Ask Kobe Bryant for help.
House of Highlights creator Omar Raja talks with Recode's Kurt Wagner about how he built his sports-focused Instagram account into a social media juggernaut. Today, it's owned by Bleacher Report and has nearly 10 million followers. Raja hasn't taken a day off in four years; however, the fame of the account has connected him with basketball stars like Kobe Bryant, who earlier this year gave Raja a personal pep talk and cured a growing sense of burnout. He also talks about how he decides what to feature on Instagram, why House of Highlights is expanding into YouTube and Twitter accounts and how it's making money on all of these platforms without looking like a sell-out in the eyes of its young fanbase.
42 minutes | 2 years ago
Disinformation on social media: How screwed are we?
Renée DiResta, the head of policy at Data for Democracy, talks with Recode’s Kara Swisher about how disinformation is spread on social media platforms and what can be done about it. DiResta says the tech community wouldn't be talking about this problem as much if Donald Trump had not won the presidency in 2016 — and that’s unfortunate, because a huge and diverse number of groups have weaponized social media, not just pro-Trump Russian agents. She explains why consumers shouldn’t be afraid of tech platforms sharing more information with each other and the government, and why one of the most useful things they can do is to politely correct people in their own communities who are spreading false information.
48 minutes | 2 years ago
Are VR games better than normal video games?
Recode’s Kara Swisher, her son Louie Swisher and Recode Radio producer Eric Johnson talk about Sandbox VR, a new virtual reality arcade installation south of San Francisco that they visited together, along with Kara’s other son, Alex. They share their reactions to an action-packed pirate video game, in which everyone was wearing a backpack computer and a VR headset and could roam freely around a room, all while shooting evil skeletons, dodging ghosts and solving puzzles. Kara says she’d prefer a similar VR experience to any video game, while Louie argues that it’s an unfair comparison, and that there are times he’d still prefer to play games on the TV. Meanwhile, Eric critiques the game’s design, and everyone complains about a parrot that wouldn't stop talking. Plus: Louie recounts a VR art installation that illustrates the peril of crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally, and Kara quizzes him about his latest feelings on Snapchat and Facebook.
39 minutes | 2 years ago
Anil Dash: How can we make tech more accountable?
Entrepreneur Anil Dash, the CEO of Fog Creek Software, talks with Recode’s Kara Swisher about ethics and accountability in the tech industry. Dash recounts his first “eye-opening moment” about the potential for abuse on the web, and why he is encouraged by an apparent shift in the tone of the conversation about harassment and inclusion. He also proposes a new way to talk about the worst forms of platform misuse, such as the genocide in Myanmar that has been fueled in part by Facebook. Plus: Why South Asian immigrants are overrepresented in American tech companies, and why Dash has become internet-famous for talking about mangoes.
34 minutes | 2 years ago
AT&T can buy Time Warner. What does that mean for everyone else?
Recode's Kara Swisher and Peter Kafka talk about this week's ruling that AT&T could buy Time Warner, likely ending a lawsuit brought against the companies by the U.S. Justice Department. The decision almost immediately triggered a $65 billion bid from Comcast for 21st Century Fox, which Disney had been publicly courting at a lower price. And more generally, Kafka says it means that any media distributor now feels free to buy content companies, should they want to mirror AT&T's planned marriage of its distribution infrastructure with Time Warner's media. Plus: What all this means for consumers and why it's significant that this verdict came down the same week that net neutrality was repealed in the U.S.
36 minutes | 2 years ago
Apple WWDC 2018: Why was there no new hardware?
Recode’s Kara Swisher and Dan Frommer talk about the 2018 edition of Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). Frommer explains why the company has stopped regularly unveiling new hardware at the event, and why Apple's decision to break that rule last year with an early preview of the HomePod smart speaker may have backfired. He also recaps the big announcements from this year’s conference, including updates to Siri and Apple’s augmented reality technology, ARKit. Plus: Why FaceTime now supports up to 32 callers at the same time, and why Apple is getting into the virtual avatar game with Memoji.
45 minutes | 2 years ago
Code 2018: When will Silicon Valley take responsibility for its products?
Recode's Kara Swisher and Peter Kafka, the co-producers of the 2018 Code Conference, talk with Converge host Casey Newton about this year's interviews and the unofficial theme that emerged over the past week: "With great power comes great responsibility." Kafka says that tech companies that have longed described themselves as "platforms" are having more responsibilities thrust upon them, whether they want them or not. Newton explains why he was encouraged by new Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi but frustrated by Spotify CEO Daniel Ek. Plus: The trio contrasts Snap CEO Evan Spiegel's apparently candid responses with the coached answers of Facebook executives Sheryl Sandberg and Mike Schroepfer, and debate whether that even matters.
56 minutes | 3 years ago
Pro lacrosse player Paul Rabil: Can tech help niche sports go mainstream?
Professional lacrosse player, entrepreneur and investor Paul Rabil talks with Recode's Kara Swisher and her son Louie Swisher about the intersection of sports and technology. Rabil says that for niche sports like lacrosse, it's especially important for athletes to respect the power of social media apps like Instagram, which can humanize the players and convert followers into fans. He also talks about broader trends affecting all sports today, including media consolidation, the generational divide over live television and emerging technologies such as AI, VR and wearables. Plus: Why Rabil hates the term "lax bro," and what he thinks will happen now that sports betting is on the road to legalization in most states.
54 minutes | 3 years ago
Should the big tech companies be broken up?
NYU professor and “The Four” author Scott Galloway talks with Recode’s Kara Swisher about how Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Tesla and other tech leaders are faring in an era of techlash. Galloway says many of these businesses, despite good intentions, have too much power and should be broken up. It's the responsibility of anyone who’s unhappy about privacy violations to elect lawmakers who will rein them in, he says. Previously having predicted the Amazon-Whole Foods acquisition, he makes a slew of new predictions, including: Snap will have to be acquired because it can’t compete with Facebook; Amazon will beat Apple to a $1 trillion market cap even though Apple is currently much closer to that milestone; and the Cambridge Analytica scandal may have undermined Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s ability to run for president one day. He also criticizes Tesla CEO Elon Musk for his “immaturity” on a recent call with shareholders and pleads for Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to help create a future of work that won’t rely on citizens receiving a universal guaranteed income.
57 minutes | 3 years ago
Who cares about privacy?
“Chaos Monkeys” author and Wired contributing writer Antonio García-Martínez talks with Recode’s Kara Swisher about his early-2010s stint at Facebook, where he helped develop the ad-targeting technologies that have landed the company in trouble in recent months. He evaluates how Facebook is dealing with a string of public controversies that culminated in CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifying before Congress, but argues that “most people don’t care about privacy” and that the company isn’t in any danger of going away despite the backlash. García-Martínez also talks about some common misconceptions about Facebook ads, why Google hasn’t been criticized as much for the same practices, and why the history of media suggests we could be in for decades of “fake news.”
64 minutes | 3 years ago
Why did Jason Calacanis sell all his Facebook stock?
Investor, author and serial entrepreneur Jason Calacanis talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about recent tech news stories, including Tesla's Q1 earnings, Facebook's data privacy scandal and Uber's rebound from a series of scandals. Calacanis, an early Uber investor and personal friend of ex-CEO Travis Kalanick, says chief U.S. rival Lyft missed its opportunity to capitalize on those "unforced errors" and now "the window has closed." He also talks at length about why he sold all his shares of Facebook last year when the stock was well below current levels: In part, Calacanis says, it's because CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been "completely immoral," both with his own products and with his willingness to copy those of other companies, such as Snapchat.
40 minutes | 3 years ago
Why is AT&T trying to buy Time Warner?
Recode managing editor Ed Lee talks with Kara Swisher about the pending $85 billion merger of AT&T and Time Warner. Lee says the deal is in part a reaction to the rise of Netflix and will, in theory, let the companies create new kinds of online video and smarter digital advertising. However, last year the U.S. Justice Department sued AT&T in an attempt to block the deal, which Lee says is plausibly more motivated by President Trump’s animus toward Time Warner-owned CNN than by actual danger posed to consumers. He also talks about what would change for consumers if the deal goes through and why its success could lead to a dramatic showdown between Disney and Comcast for the right to buy 20th Century Fox.
44 minutes | 3 years ago
When will regular people be able to go to space?
The Verge’s science reporter Loren Grush talks with Recode’s Kara Swisher about SpaceX’s launch of TESS, a NASA satellite that will search for planets beyond our solar system. Grush explains how SpaceX got back on track after two of its rockets were accidentally destroyed in 2015 and 2016, and how the company stacks up against private competitors like Jeff Bezos’s rocket company, Blue Origin, and the Boeing-Lockheed Martin joint venture United Launch Alliance. SpaceX originally planned to send humans into space by 2017, but now Grush predicts that won’t happen until 2019. Plus: Why was Elon Musk tweeting about giant party balloons, and could we build a garbage dump on the Moon?
51 minutes | 3 years ago
Mr. Zuckerberg goes to Washington
Recode's Kurt Wagner and The Verge's Casey Newton talk with Kara Swisher about Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's two-day marathon of hearings in front of Congress. On Tuesday, Zuckerberg was bombarded with basic questions that could have been answered by Googling — but as Wagner points out, those ill-informed questions from U.S. Senators speak to a widespread lack of understanding about Facebook's business. The trio agrees that Zuckerberg's second day, speaking to members of the House of Representatives, was more combative and informative, although it's still unclear whether Congress can find enough common ground to take any action against Facebook in the form of new privacy regulations.
45 minutes | 3 years ago
The YouTube shooting, Spotify’s IPO and a Facebook-Cambridge Analytica update
Recode's Kara Swisher and Teddy Schleifer talk about the shooting at YouTube's headquarters in San Bruno, Calif. and the other big tech story of that day, Spotify's unusual and long-awaited debut as a publicly traded company. They discuss how the former might change corporate culture in the famously laid-back tech industry, and how the latter might change how and when startups IPO. Later in the show, Recode's Kurt Wagner returns to provide an update on the Facebook-Cambidge Analytica data privacy scandal, which has blown up to the point that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will have to testify before Congress next week.
43 minutes | 3 years ago
What will we do without Lauren Goode?
To commemorate her final episode of Too Embarrassed to Ask as co-host, Lauren Goode counts down her favorite episodes from the past two years. Among the favorites: Juicero founder Doug Evans, Kara Swisher admitting to her phone addiction and Walt Mossberg's own farewell episode, for which Kara and Lauren concocted a devious plan in secret. The co-hosts also talk about how they started working together and what's next for both Lauren and this podcast.
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