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November 15, 2019
Kara and Scott talk about all the Silicon Valley companies rolling out credit cards and checking accounts. Google is also partnering with a Catholic non-profit that has clinics and hospitals around the country. In that new project called 'Nightingale', Google will collect patient data in its cloud computing and use AI to give treatment recommendations. We're skeptical. In Listener Mail, Kara and Scott ask a question about the rivalry between Ali Baba and Amazon, as Ali Baba makes a secondary offering on the Hong Kong exchange.Dara Khosrowshahi, the CEO of Uber, are both Kara and Scott's fail this week. He likened Saudi Arabia's murder of Jamaal Kashoggi to mistakes made with self-driving cars. Win is Disney+ (Scott's obsessed with the 'Mandalorian'). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
November 8, 2019
Kara and Scott talk about former Twitter employees who were spying on user data for Saudi Arabia. They also talk about a big leak of internal Facebook emails that further shows Facebook's conniving use of data. A year out from the 2020 election, a new progressive PAC is trying to beat Donald Trump in the digital ad space. Kara and Scott agree it's a drop in the bucket. Scott bids a farewell to his presidential hopeful and "dreamy man crush" Beto. Kara's win is Airbnb's transparent handling of a few recent incidents. Meanwhile, in fails, SAT-takers names and data are being sold to elite universities ... so those schools can have a higher rejection rate. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
November 1, 2019
Kara and Scott celebrate Jack Dorsey announcing that Twitter will not be running political ads anymore. That puts Facebook on the spot. They talk about Kara's interview with Edward Snowden on her other podcast Recode Decode. In streaming wars news, HBOMax is joining and sweeping up all the content. How will net neutrality affect the streaming wars? In listener mail, we dig into a new bill introduced in Congress that would force big social media platforms to loosen their hold on user data.
October 25, 2019
Kara and Scott take a victory lap as SoftBank buys out Adam Neumann, the founder of weWork for a cool $1.7 billion. They talk about what the future might hold, now that Google has unveiled its quantum computer. Tesla proved Scott wrong and came out with some really big earnings this week. We also hear from Senior Recode reporter, Peter Kafka about what to expect from the streaming wars as Apple debuts its own platform. Winners are the women of Congress, who absolutely skewered Mark Zuckerberg in a Congressional hearing. Here is more information on Peter Kafka's Code Media Conference!
October 23, 2019
Kara and Scott met up at Stanford University (where they were both rejected from) for a live Pivot! They talk about the decline of applicants to elite M.B.A. programs, free speech in China and how Zuckerberg says he thinks free speech functions at Facebook. They get into Amazon's foray into the healthcare sector. They take questions from the audience on the Canadian elections, weWork and more.
October 18, 2019
Kara and Scott meet up at the Podcast Upfronts in NYC. And we make a special announcement...wait for it... WE'RE GOING TO 2 DAYS A WEEK! BOOM! They also talk about the likelihood that weWork has layoffs and declares bankruptcy. They talk about Bill Gates' ties to Jeffrey Epstein, Win: Elizabeth Warren intentionally submitted a Facebook political ad with false information on it to show the platform's failures. Fail: the crumbling of Facebook's cryptocurrency, Libra.
October 11, 2019
Kara and Scott talk about feuds with VC's, billionaires paying fewer taxes than the working class and tech companies folding to Chinese state media pressure. They take a listener mail question about Sidewalk Labs and the right way to make smart cities. They're concerned with the Turkish president's use of Twitter to announce an invasion of Syria. A win is Andrew Yang's $10-million boost in Q3. And Kara comes with her own prediction this week, that Michael Bloomberg is going to jump into the presidential race. (Also a big warm welcome to the Pivot team's newest favorite member, Kara's baby, Clara Jo!!)
October 4, 2019
Someone inside Facebook secretly recorded Mark Zuckerberg for two hours and sent the audio to The Verge’s Casey Newton; Kara interviews Casey about his scoop and gets Scott’s take on Zuckerberg’s apparent fear of President Elizabeth Warren. They also talk about why WeWork CEO Adam Neumann may have to go into the Unicorn Protection Program and why the company’s canceled IPO is a victory for the public markets. Plus: Kara dares Twitter to take responsibility for President Trump’s Tweets, and The Big Dog adopts a puppy.
September 27, 2019
Kara and Scott are live at the Elevate in Toronto -- Pivot's first international appearance! They talk about the continued implosion at weWork and CEO Adam Neumann stepping down. They ask -- have we reached peak "founder"? Wins are whistleblowers and Phoebe Waller-Bridge who is helping Amazon outpace Netflix in streaming content.
September 20, 2019
Happy 1st anniversary to Pivot! Kara and Scott talk about weWork's halted IPO (we'll take partial credit). They talk about Amazon manipulating its algorithm to present more of its own products in search. Facebook is making its own "Supreme Court", is it just a band-aid? Should Kara Swisher be one of the Justices? (Yes). Fail: Trudeau -- and the (STILL) Governor of Virginia -- wearing black face.
September 18, 2019
Scott joins Land of the Giants host, Jason Del Rey, live on stage at the Code Commerce conference in New York City. Scott tells Jason that Amazon needs to be broken up - and which parts of the company should be spun off first. They discuss Amazon’s ultimate impact on us as consumers, who are the companies left that can really compete with Amazon, and question the idea that we live in an era of innovation.
September 13, 2019
Kara and Scott talk at the annual Lesbians Who Tech Summit in New York City. Scott is dubbed a #LezBro. They discuss 48 state AG's putting forth an antitrust probe into Google. They love it. Kara comes with her new augmented reality glasses -- she thinks they're the future, Scott disagrees. WeWork's biggest investor encouraged them not to go forward with their IPO -- it's either because Pivot has gone so hard after them or because their S-1 is utter nonsense. Kara's win is Chrissy Teigen taking on Trump on Twitter. Scott's win is California's new law protecting gig workers. And they answer audience questions about how tech can be a better place for the LGBTQ community.
September 6, 2019
Kara and Scott bring on NYTimes reporter, Mike Isaac, to talk about his new book "Super Pumped: the Battle for Uber". They pick his brain about all the Silicon Valley drama around the ride-share company. Scott's win is Walmart for taking action in the gun-control debate. Mike comes prepared with his own fail and calls out Twitter for the hacking of Jack Dorsey's account. Scott is predicting that weWork doesn't ever actually go public.
August 30, 2019
Kara and Scott talk Peloton's S-1 ... is it the WeWork of exercise or an innovation in happiness? They also talk about Facebook's newest attempt to undercut Snapchat. Kara's fail is journalists who can't take a joke. And for the first time ... Pivot is taking listener mail! This week, Scott gets pushback from a listener in Minnesota on his Tesla views. PLUS: we get the inside scoop on how Scott comes up with his predictions (spoiler: it's more than shaking a Magic-8 ball).
August 23, 2019
Kara and Scott are back in the studio to talk about Trump bringing foreign policy to Twitter, state AG's taking on big tech and Tesla possibly being bought by Volkswagen (what a world!) Meanwhile, Scott's planning to buy Uzbekistan. Kara and Scott both think DoorDash taking tip money from its delivery people is a fail -- DoorDash, Pivot is watching you. And you heard it here first, Scott's big prediction this week is that Spotify will roll out hardware in the future. Warning: there are expletives used in this podcast ... per usual.
August 21, 2019
Kara and Scott meet up in New York City for an extra, unfiltered Pivot in front of a live audience. They recap some of the news already happening this week like "The Business Roundtable" redefining their mission statement to include stakeholders. Kara and Scott revisit some of the wins and fails of the the first half of 2019. And they take on burning questions from the audience. WARNING: this episode contains more expletives than usual.
August 21, 2019
Kara and Scott meet up in New York City for an extra, unfiltered Pivot in front of a live audience. They recap some of the news already happening this week like "The Business Roundtable" redefining their mission statement to include stakeholders. Kara and Scott revisit some of the wins and fails of the the first half of 2019. And they take on burning questions from the audience. WARNING: this episode contains more expletives than usual.
August 16, 2019
Kara and Scott take on sharks, summer in New England, WeWork's IPO and Tumblr's fall. They also talk about how trade-wars with China are slowing down tech. Scott had a win this week when Nike added a "rundle" subscription service.
August 9, 2019
Kara and Scott talk about Cloudfare dropping 8chan after its latest link to domestic terrorism and hate speech. They also talk about SoulCycle and Equinox's links to the Trump campaign. Kara's ready to dump SoulCycle, but Scott's holding out on Equinox. They also talk about Facebook rebranding WhatsApp and Instagram. Scott's getting Apple's new titanium card (apparently it could kill a person). And in predictions Scott thinks the TheRealReal's stock is about to get real.
August 2, 2019
Kara and Scott talk about the debates and how questions about big tech...well, didn't really come up. They also talk about Amazon and Apple earnings and how "wearables" are having a moment. In wins we have FOIA and transparency around tech companies and how they interact with ICE. And in predictions, Scott says stop trying to make fake bacon happen.
July 26, 2019
This week, your hosts Kara Swisher and Scott Galloway revisit the democratic presidential nominee race, and talk about the Mueller hearing. In wins and fails, they talk about revisiting controversies like Al Franken's. In predictions, they take a short trip down memory lane as they go over some of Scott's recent predictions-come-true.
July 19, 2019
This week, Scott wants to scoop on all of Kara's interviews with presidential candidates. Then, Scott and Kara chat Facebook's measly $5 billion fine and Disney's massive staying power.
July 12, 2019
This week Kara Swisher and Scott Galloway are together in D.C.; we repeat: they are together in D.C.! They chat Jeffrey Epstein and double jeopardy, President Trump's social media summit (where no major social media networks were invited?), and whether or not start up culture is dead. The pair also celebrate Megan Rapinoe and the U.S. Navy, and they contemplate what Kara should ask Pete Buttigieg about.
July 5, 2019
This week, Kara calls in from London! In addition to their excitement for the Women's World Cup, Scott and Kara talk about Zuckerberg's Aspen interview, the Democratic primary debates, and Twitter's decision to label politicians’ tweets that violates its terms of service.
June 28, 2019
When Scott Galloway is away, Kara Swisher will play... with The Verge's Casey Newton! This week, Kara and Casey get down and dirty about Bodies in Seats, Casey's exposé on the terrible conditions inside Facebook's North American content moderation sites. In predictions, Casey explores what the teens are playing with these days (#TikTok), and whether or not Chinese sanctions will make sure it doesn't last.
June 21, 2019
This week, Kara is in New York! And Scott's in... France? So close yet so far as usual, our hosts chat about Facebook's venture into cryptocurrency, Tim Cook's Stanford commencement speech, and YouTube for kids. In wins and fails, looks like Slack is killing it, and a stressed out Sheryl Sandberg is decidedly not.
June 14, 2019
This week's Pivot is live from the Code Conference in Arizona. Kara and Scott talk regulations for the tech industry and why we need more female CEOs so we don't feel bad about firing the bad ones. Also, our hosts review some of their old predictions and see just how spot on they were about Lyft, Snap, and more.
June 7, 2019
This week, Kara and Scott talk breaking down the big boys (Facebook, Google, etc) and YouTube kicking out the bad boys ("free speech" haters). Wins and fails this week include the revival of the FTC and DOJ, and some Bernie Sanders grandstanding.
May 31, 2019
Pivot takes up the internet-age-old question of Facebook's responsibilities as a media company. And, should businesses be boycotting states that are passing harsh anti-abortion laws? Also, Kara and Scott discover that both their dads were in the Navy.
May 24, 2019
The hosts opine on Medium, L'Oreal, and Quora. Scott critiques WeWork's EBITDA reporting, as well as the final GoT plot. Kara's back from Canada and her interview with Ev Williams, and now gearing up for the Code conference in Arizona.
May 17, 2019
Recode's Kara Swisher and NYU's Scott Galloway discuss Chris Hughes' Facebook breakup proposal, Away Travel's big funding, how southern states are trying to ban abortion and more.
May 10, 2019
"Union Scott" shows up to discuss the work stoppages at Uber and Lyft. Kara asks whether tech money for candidates is tainted. And the hosts analyze Game of Thrones (Facebook edition).
May 3, 2019
Kara and Scott discuss Facebook's new focus on privacy; what comes after the Web 3.0 era; and what Oprah has to say about Scott's new book. Enjoy more of Kara and Scott on Recode Decode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or in your favorite podcast app.
April 26, 2019
Kara and Scott talk about the FTC's fine on Facebook -- it's basically a "parking ticket". They also talk about the bombings in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday and their social media ban. In wins and fails they talk about the shake-ups at The MarkUp, the Tesla board and Scott's love big Broadway musicals.
April 19, 2019
Kara and Scott talk about Disney breaking into the content streaming business, the Uber IPO and, yes, Game of Thrones. Facebook actually gets a win this week for bringing on their first African American woman as a board member (but will she hold Zuckerberg to account?). YouTube very failed at getting accurate information on the burning of the Notre Dame cathedral. Prediction: the unicorn-class is the big loser of this year...
April 12, 2019
Kara and Scott talk about Congressional hearings on tech platforms responsibility for spreading white nationalism and other hate speech. New Zealand, Australia and the EU are so far ahead of the US in regulations ... when will we catch up? They also discuss the Pinterest IPO and AirBnB reversing their decision to pull out of the West Bank. MacKenzie Bezos becoming the 3rd richest woman in the world is a win. And Scott has some predictions for 2020.
April 5, 2019
Kara and Scott talk about the avalanche of recent Facebook news -- including Zuckerberg's new professed want for regulations. They also talk about YouTube and how the company actively seems to be overlooking all the toxic things that end up on the platform. We reached out to Managing Editor of AfroTech, John Ketchum, to talk about the late-Nipsey Hussle's contributions to tech and entrepreneurship as a way to uplift his community. It's part of a broader trend of affluent black celebrities putting their money into tech entrepreneurship. Speaking of rap/entrepreneurship (eye-roll implied), Elon Musk dropped a rap about Harambe on SoundCloud. Meanwhile, Patagonia is refusing to sell tech-bros vests and we are here for it. And finally, Scott revisits predictions about Lyft and Amazon.
March 29, 2019
Scott and Kara are skeptical of Lyft's IPO. What exactly is the network effect of ride shares? Also, Facebook says it's banning white nationalist posts. Cool, it's about time. Will anyone follow? Scott and Kara also talk about what Apple TV even is, the EU hitting Google with more antitrust fines and AOC continuing to win the heart of the internet.
March 22, 2019
Kara and Scott talk about terrorism against the Muslim community in New Zealand and how social media may be exacerbating this type of violence. They talk about admissions scandal and how colleges are harming the middle class with their exclusivity. Of course, Scott shouts out his man-crush Beto. His prediction is a white man becomes the 2020 Democratic nominee for president.
March 15, 2019
Kara and Scott are live in Austin, Texas for SXSW. They talk antitrust, the breakdown of big tech and take audience questions and predictions.
March 8, 2019
Kara and Scott are back! They talk about Zuckerberg's supposed shift towards more privacy on Facebook and, well, we'll believe it when we see it. Meanwhile Congress is ramping up its efforts on shaking up how we think of antitrust and big tech companies. They get into what they expect to talk and hear about at South by Southwest this week. If you're looking to learn more about all things Facebook check out our friend Casey Newton's newsletter The Interface.
March 1, 2019
Kara brings on her former co-host, Wired senior staff writer and Gadget Lab co-host, Lauren Goode. They talk about the moderating content on Facebook -- and the working conditions of the people who are tasked with looking at the gruesome videos.
February 22, 2019
Kara brings on co-host, legendary NYTimes journalist, Maureen Dowd. They talk about how Silicon Valley has eclipsed Washington, DC as the country's true seat of power.
February 15, 2019
Kara and Scott pop back into the studio to give their hot takes on Amazon pulling out of their HQ2 deal with New York City.
February 15, 2019
Kara and Scott pop back into the studio to give their hot takes on Amazon pulling out of their HQ2 deal with New York City.
February 15, 2019
Scott blusters in from his breakfast with Congress on how to regulate big tech — so Kara and Scott get into whether Congress will ever be regulating tech (seems not so likely). Kara sums up her twitter showdown with Jack Dorsey. Also more shade thrown on media outlets doing a bad job — like Esquire Magazine featuring a cover story about being a white boy in America and more generally Tucker Carlson,
February 8, 2019
BONUS episode: Scott couldn't wait to tell Pivot listeners what he thinks about Bezos' post accusing the National Inquirer of extortion.
February 8, 2019
Kara and Scott (sort of) celebrate Facebook's 15th birthday. With pop-ins and hot takes from a couple friends, including Congressman Ro Khanna and podcast Queen Aminatou Sow, they get into how they REALLY feel about the platform. Scott and Kara also talk about the moniker "people of wealth", the future of podcasting, and clap backs from Nancy Pelosi.
February 1, 2019
Kara and Scott talk about Apple and Facebook's latest gaffes and how Apple might be the only force left regulating Facebook. There's a-latte to say about Howard Schultz's presidential ambitions. Nancy Pelosi was a big winner this week (and Scott for predicting the shutdown would end on last week's episode!) We also hear from a historian who told the Davos crowd that a top-marginal tax has historically worked in the United States.
January 25, 2019
Kara and Scott talk about how Twitter duped us all again. Scott is fresh off a conference where both he and Sheryl Sandberg talked about the future of Facebook (spoiler alert: they have very different takes on how the company should move forward). Kara gets caught up in the Covington Catholic video drama. Now she's going head-to-head with Tucker Carlson (hey Tucker, want to come on our podcast?). Meanwhile, in another Twitter feud this week, Cardi B is a big winner after saying she'd "dog walk" Tomi Lahren. Also, Fyre Fest is still the biggest fail of all time (but the new documentaries about it are both a win!). And, Kara's prediction is that she'll never own another car again.
January 18, 2019
Kara and Scott are back together again! This week they catch up on Jeff Bezos' divorce and his not so hot texting skills (hey alive girls!). We're pretty sure Gillette listens to Pivot because they took Scott up on one of his predictions; they used a social justice trend in their latest marketing campaign. Meanwhile, during this weeks senate confirmation hearing, Attorney General nominee William Barr got a surprising amount of questions -- from both sides of the aisle -- about enforcing antitrust laws and big tech. And, let's face it, @AOC, aka Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is winning the Internet.
January 18, 2019
Kara and Scott are back together again! This week they catch up on Jeff Bezos' divorce and his not so hot texting skills (hey alive girls!). We're pretty sure Gillette listens to Pivot because they took Scott up on one of his predictions; they used a social justice trend in their latest marketing campaign. Meanwhile, during this weeks senate confirmation hearing, Attorney General nominee William Barr got a surprising amount of questions -- from both sides of the aisle -- about enforcing antitrust laws and big tech. And, let's face it, @AOC, aka Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is winning the Internet.
January 11, 2019
Scott brings on a guest-host, his NYU colleague and bestselling author Jonathan Haidt.
January 4, 2019
Kara brings on guest host Jon Lovett (Pod Save America) to talk about the government shut down, the new Congress and how it all might shake out for big tech.
December 28, 2018
Kara and Scott talk about some of the biggest stories in tech and business of the past year. They also make some big predictions for 2019.
December 21, 2018
Kara and Scott breakdown yet another Facebook scandal. This time, it turns out Facebook was passing on private user message data to partners like Netflix and Spotify.
December 14, 2018
Kara and Scott talk about Google's CEO testifying to Congress. The company is being evasive about its controversial search engine in China. But on the other hand, some US Representatives didn't know Google doesn't make the iPhone.
December 7, 2018
Kara and Scott talk about the latest dump of emails exposing Facebook management’s malfeasance, but Scott thinks it’s just the U.K. piling on.
November 30, 2018
Kara and Scott talk about Microsoft surpassing Apple. They also come to an agreement that “Republicans buy football teams and Democrats buy media properties”. In case you missed some recent headlines, Kara and Scott talk under-reported stories. China is unveiling a social credit surveillance system and it’s literally a ‘Black Mirror’ episode. Scott’s “win of the week” is NASA beating big tech to a Mars landing. Kara’s win is Google employees making bold statements about their company on her recent podcast.
November 23, 2018
Kara and Scott talk about how Facebook's C-suite has responded to reports of mismanagement.
November 16, 2018
Kara and Scott talk about Facebook and the explosive report on their mismanagement and deception over the past three years.
November 9, 2018
Kara and Scott talk about the upshot of the 2018 midterms, Amazon’s surprise HQ2 announcement and how our perception of social media has been permanently changed by bots and trolls.
November 2, 2018
Kara and Scott talk about Google's attempts to cover up sexual harassment claims against three of its top executives; the negative effects of cable news on society; and Scott's man-crush on Texas Senate candidate Beto O'Rourke. Plus: What Kara did on Halloween and Scott's taxonomy of love.
November 2, 2018
Kara and Scott talk about Google's attempts to cover up sexual harassment claims against three of its top executives; the negative effects of cable news on society; and Scott's man-crush on Texas Senate candidate Beto O'Rourke. Plus: What Kara did on Halloween and Scott's taxonomy of love.
October 26, 2018
Kara and Scott talk about Apple CEO Tim Cook's latest critiques of Facebook and Google; the fact that Uber's IPO could value the company at as much as $120 billion; and the ethical question of what to do if you're a startup that could raise money from Saudi Arabia, or a tech company that already has. Plus: Scott goes car-shopping for Kara, and the implications of Facebook losing another Oculus co-founder.
October 26, 2018
Kara and Scott talk about Apple CEO Tim Cook's latest critiques of Facebook and Google; the fact that Uber's IPO could value the company at as much as $120 billion; and the ethical question of what to do if you're a startup that could raise money from Saudi Arabia, or a tech company that already has. Plus: Scott goes car-shopping for Kara, and the implications of Facebook losing another Oculus co-founder.
October 19, 2018
Recode's Kara Swisher and NYU's Scott Galloway talk about Silicon Valley's Saudi money crisis, the ongoing fallout from Facebook Portal and the cities that never had a chance in Amazon's HQ2 competition.
October 12, 2018
Kara and Scott discuss why the Google Plus hack matters, the new Facebook Portal and its plastic lenscap, and Kara's affection for Taylor Swift (even before Swift's Instagram post exhorting her fans to register to vote). In this episode: (01:48) The Google hack; (7:03) Facebook Portal; (12:49) Wins of the week: Taylor Swift and Nikki Haley; (16:23) Anand Giridharadas and the problem with elites; (21:12) Predictions: Sniper retail acquisitions and techlash; (25:51) Would Apple or Google buy Tesla?; (28:42) Kavanaugh and Melania Trump
October 12, 2018
Kara and Scott discuss why the Google Plus hack matters, the new Facebook Portal and its plastic lenscap, and Kara's affection for Taylor Swift (even before Swift's Instagram post exhorting her fans to register to vote). In this episode: (01:48) The Google hack; (7:03) Facebook Portal; (12:49) Wins of the week: Taylor Swift and Nikki Haley; (16:23) Anand Giridharadas and the problem with elites; (21:12) Predictions: Sniper retail acquisitions and techlash; (25:51) Would Apple or Google buy Tesla?; (28:42) Kavanaugh and Melania Trump
October 5, 2018
On this episode of Pivot, Kara and Scott talk about: (01:20) Facebook's massive data breach; (06:05) Elon Musk's $20 million SEC settlement; (12:43) Wins of the week: Jeff Flake, Amy Klobuchar and Jeff Bezos; (20:47) Soul-sappingCycle and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
September 28, 2018
Kara and Scott talk about the dramatic departure of Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, Attorney General Jeff Sessions' war on "tech bias," and the future of Snap. In this episode: (01:44) The big story: Why did Instagram’s co-founders leave?; (07:13) Attorney General Jeff Sessions and “tech bias”; (12:39) Will Amazon buy Snapchat?; (17:44) GOATs of the week: Craig Newmark and Margrethe Vestager; (20:08) Absurd quotes of the week; (21:27) Scott’s prediction on the future of Facebook stock
September 24, 2018
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September 21, 2018
A weekly look at tech and business headlines, with provocations, predictions and insights from two leading voices in the worlds of journalism and marketing.
September 21, 2018
A weekly look at tech and business headlines, with provocations, predictions and insights from two leading voices in the worlds of journalism and marketing.
August 3, 2018
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.
July 27, 2018
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.
July 20, 2018
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.
July 13, 2018
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.
July 6, 2018
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.
June 29, 2018
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.
June 22, 2018
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.
June 15, 2018
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.
June 8, 2018
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.
June 1, 2018
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.
May 25, 2018
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.
May 18, 2018
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.
May 11, 2018
“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.”
May 4, 2018
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.
April 27, 2018
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.
April 20, 2018
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?
April 13, 2018
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.
April 6, 2018
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.
March 30, 2018
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.
March 23, 2018
Recode's Kurt Wagner talks with Kara Swisher and Lauren Goode about the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal, shortly after he and Swisher interviewed Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Wagner says reports of a political data firm exploiting a loophole in Facebook's old data platform has severely undermined public trust in Facebook, in part because the social networking giant knew the problem was out there years ago. The trio talks about why it took several days for Zuckerberg to weigh in on Cambridge Analytica publicly and how Facebook's need to grow when it was a startup laid the groundwork for this misuse.
March 16, 2018
SB Nation editor in chief Elena Bergeron talks with Recode’s Kara Swisher about the 2018 NCAA men’s basketball tournament — a.k.a. March Madness — and how other major sporting events like the Olympics and the NFL are being reshaped by tech. Bergeron says it’s easier than ever to be an “over-the-top” fan and watch as much of the NCAA tournament as you want, regardless of where you live, and explains how the entry of companies like Amazon, Facebook and YouTube will change sports broadcasting in the future. She also talks about online betting, bracket challenges and how social media has upturned the relationship among fans, players and the media. Plus: Why aren’t college athletes paid for playing?
March 9, 2018
Chain CEO Adam Ludwin talks with Kara Swisher and Lauren Goode about blockchain, ICOs and cryptocurrencies. He explains what all of those terms mean and the differences among blockchain-related products and assets, including bitcoin, ethereum, lytecoin and filecoin. Ludwin says blockchain is currently a "frontier technology" caught between two powerful forces — its technological innovation and its countercultural appeal — and argues that there's value to be discovered, in spite of today's "market mania." Plus: How easy would it be for Kara Swisher to create her own cryptocurrency?
March 2, 2018
Sophia Amoruso, the founder and CEO of Girlboss, talks with Kara Swisher and Lauren Goode about launching a new company "in the afterlife": In 2015, she stepped down as CEO of her first company, Nasty Gal, and two years later, it filed for bankruptcy. Amoruso says Nasty Gal's ambitions were right but that she made several "naive" mistakes about fundraising, hiring and her own interests and strengths as a leader. She also shares advice for other female entrepreneurs and talks about the #MeToo movement, as well as the Netflix show about her past exploits, "Girlboss," which was executive produced by Charlize Theron.
February 23, 2018
Writer Catherine Price talks with Kara Swisher, Lauren Goode and Kara’s son Louie about her latest book, “How to Break Up With Your Phone.” Price says our attitudes about tech addiction need adjusting — rather than taking a "tech detox," the goal should be to use our phones in ways that are useful and enjoyable, and using them less when they make us sad or distracted. She explains the brain science that makes that goal so difficult for so many people, and recommends tricks and habits that people who are looking for more balance in their lives can adopt.
February 16, 2018
The Verge's Lauren Goode roams the halls of the 2018 Code Media conference in Huntington Beach, Calif., interviewing attendees about their tech addictions and what we can do to be less addicted. Interviewees include startup founders, investors, a former ad exec — oh, and rapper-turned-entrepreneur Chamillionaire, the artist behind the hit song "Ridin'." Plus: Kara Swisher and Goode debate whether the responsibility for reducing tech addiction belongs to tech companies or consumers.
February 9, 2018
The Daily Beast reporter Taylor Lorenz talks with Kara Swisher and Lauren Goode about the state of YouTube in early 2018. The online video platform is more culturally powerful than ever, with no signs of slowing down. However, some of its biggest stars have begun to attract negative attention in recent years, most recently when YouTuber Logan Paul released a video of a human corpse filmed at a "suicide forest" in Japan. Lorenz explains what the site could be doing to keep videos like that off its platform — and why it hasn't been willing to proactively police videos in the past. She also talks about how YouTubers make money (spoiler alert: Merch!), why some of them ask journalists to pay them for interviews and how reality show-esque drama among video creators has taken over the site.
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