The Mensa AG is coming quickly. If you’ve never attended, there are so many great programs and we talk a bit about them here.
There is also a problem with the Apple M1 chip. We discuss what the problem is and what it could mean for users.
Mensa AG – https://ag.us.mensa.org/
M1 Problem – https://knowtechie.com/mit-researchers-say-security-flaw-in-apples-m1-chip-cant-be-fixed
What Marvel character has been a member of the X-Men, but wasn’t a mutant?
Good morning, Alan. Good morning. Oh, green. Are you wearing? Is that green? We
[00:00:16] Alan: exactly. I’m we color coordinated. I have many of these they’re like from JC penny or something like that. I’m trying brand name is, but they fit me perfectly. And so it’s like, how about one in every color?
And then I have 12 of them now.
[00:00:27] Stephen: That’s good. Cuz Green’s like the opposite of orange. So it’s the antithesis of your favorite color, exactly.
[00:00:33] Alan: That, you know it’s and what’s funny is. I don’t wear as much orange as I once did have I talked about this? I wore so much that I became known as the guy in the orange.
And then I found out that there was a guy that they called the orange man on the east coast. That was actually an oddball, maybe even a Lety oddball. And it was like now that I’m going to more now that I’m more towards the east coast in Cleveland instead of Chicago. And when you go to the [00:01:00] ag, I’d wanna be, oh, there’s that jerk there’s right.
Yeah. Talk to him. So luckily I think I’m different enough that I get to wear orange without being labeled the orange
[00:01:09] Stephen: man. That’s worth, if you go to conventions and stuff like that, or one of the things a lot of places nowadays are having codes of conduct and ways to make it so that everybody there has a good experience, that it shuts down the worst of the trolls, the worst of the bullies in the jerks and stuff like that.
[00:01:26] Alan: But way before you formalize that there was always that underground network. People knew who the jerks were, the people who were bad drunks, the people who were pickup artists, the PE the people that would corner you and have a two hour long conversation on their favorite topic. You know what I mean?
Already back then you had that the, especially, I dunno, the ladies seemed to have the network of warning people away from the people that would take advantage of the fact that you’ve never met them before, and they can be all smooth and charming and slick and get you drunk and take advantage of it.
Like it’s always been [00:02:00] that’s getting together for festivals. Part of it is losing your inhibitions and In a human way saying let’s make sure that we don’t have inbreeding in our community. Let’s go with other communities. And I think that’s one of the slightly darker sides of social media now, and so much connectedness there we talk about it.
[00:02:18] Stephen: Connectedness is good. There’s a lot of good stuff, but downside is you see, when people say, oh, I had this experience. There’s one person saying it at this one thing they went to with this one person, but then. They see million people see that and it makes it seem like it’s bigger and more than it is.
So then everybody starts assuming every convention, every person and as a guy, when I was dating again, it was like, I’m afraid to say anything, do anything is someone go hit me with a lawsuit or harassment or I’m just being innocently saying something, but, oh, they took it the wrong way.
Cuz bullying nowadays isn’t they punch you in the playground and knock you down. It’s I said something and I’m [00:03:00] bullying you.
[00:03:00] Alan: Exactly. I had a difference of opinion, but I said it so that you didn’t like, I know what you’re saying. Yeah. The phones come out way too easily and early nowadays.
So I have a prime example of go to Halloween every year, which is the big Mensa annual, not annual regional gathering in Chicago, right around Halloween. And a friend Bob Finnigan was doing a lecture on and this is a funny Mensa topic. The sexual practices of animals, and really it’s slides that you can see, oh, that’s how Musk HOKs do it. That’s how praying Menezes do it. Including that they kill the male after the female is all that
[00:03:33] Stephen: kind of stuff, which is again, Amenta type thinking, all that’s information. I’d like to know it’s not meant to be pervy.
It’s not meant to be explicit, whatever it’s a topic. It’s scientists talk about this, they study this there’s a scientist out there right now that has a jar of piss that they’re studied and it’s just so that’s exactly right. It’s much more on the medical science thinking side.
I just wanted to say the reason
[00:03:59] Alan: that I [00:04:00] mentioned that is that Bob had asked me and another friend Carrie, to be up there to demo various of the different things. It’s
[00:04:10] Stephen: the animal Sutra.
[00:04:11] Alan: And that’s what it was. It was like, I thought it was gonna be like pointing at like going to the screening saying, look, that’s what.
A squid item looks like or something like that. Oh my God. But instead Gary and I are both funny and game people. And so we like, what would it be like to have squids with eight arms and all that kind of stuff? The minute that we did anything like that, the cameras came out and we were like, please, don’t the reason that we’re doing this is because we’re all friends here and this is a safe place and it’s gonna be ephemeral.
It’s gonna be for this silly hour. And then we’re gonna go onto our next program. But if this gets captured, it’ll be like Senator Balti. Would you care to explain this particular game of twister that you were involved in? Exactly. How weird is that? And so I share your. Not paranoia, but caution about you just can’t do anything.
And maybe it’s good because now bad [00:05:00] policemen can’t get away with it and bad directors can’t get away with the casting couch and stuff like that. But there’s all kinds of innocence, silly behavior that also follows you around forever. You know what I
[00:05:10] Stephen: mean? It’s the same thing as like the Dunning Kruger effect the people that are the experts don’t feel they are, and they know there’s more, they should know.
And the people that aren’t are the ones that say, oh, I know everything. It’s kinda the same thing. The guys that aren’t going to be the salacious pervy ones are way more cautious. It’s the ones that say, oh, I’m not that way. That really are, it’s a, that same type of thing. But it gives funny the whole group, a bad name, because again people read all these posts and it makes it look like it’s way more than it is sometimes.
[00:05:43] Alan: Exactly. And just that you can present it, not the entire context of what was going on, but you can take that one 32nd thing. And have it look really awkward, but that’s not what’s going on there. And this is funny. So people are and hope this is a whole big topic. Actually, the more [00:06:00] that we get to where you can’t like be a fool when you’re young and then you grow up.
But nowadays it really is that people are like getting branded when you’re 14, when I didn’t know what I was doing, I was an idiot. I was a stupid boy. And then you find out that some behaviors are not welcome and you self-identify saying that didn’t well, wasn’t at all. What I meant to do, it was just at the moment.
So I just, that I’m really happy. There’s any number of posts about thank God that I grew up when whatever awful things I said, prejudicial, it’s gonna, I’m not prejudicial, but they sure have sound that way. That, that’s all gone in the mists instead of being forever. And now that’s gonna follow you.
And this is a weird thing. People have this weird thing about I, if I’m there, then I’m part of the thing. Then I’m actually almost the celebrity. So people, when they take selfies and stuff like that, it’s I have to prove somehow that I met Tom Hanks or whatever. And it’s that doesn’t give you the right to intrude though the fact that you’re [00:07:00] there and that you’re gonna capture it, that, that doesn’t give you equal standing.
But people act like it a lot. As long as I’m within hearing or seeing distance, then I can somehow know I’m part of the scene and. I don’t know that’s having seen, there’s always been that way with certain people that have that paparazzi gene, that they’re determined to capture the picture or especially that they’re determined, this person is walking the red carpet and look beautiful all the time, but then they get a little gum on their shoe and they’re gonna clean that off.
And that’s exactly when they take the picture or something, that they’re looking for the awkward moment. I don’t wanna see a Royal tripping. I don’t wanna see a celebrity that I like sneezing and yet some, and then
[00:07:40] Stephen: I really love that stuff, but they click bait. It’s like that.
They have a video. And when you’re you take any video, us here, anything of anybody you go frame by frame, you’ll get a scene where they’re transitioning between looking here to looking there and their eyes are half closed or their mouth like that. And they’re like, they’re having a stroke. We can’t trust.
[00:08:00] It’s like my God, it’s literally one 24th of a second on a video frame. And it’s come on people.
[00:08:09] Alan: How it’s funny. I will say this, I often speak for political purposes. They’ll try to catch exactly that the worst of each of the presidents and all that kind of stuff. Yeah. And I know when I’ve seen pictures of Biden that he looks awkward, they had to go through a lot of pictures because usually he comports himself very politely and presidential and so forth, and they had to find, like you said, that transition, that awkward picture.
Whereas when I see two dozen photos of Donald Trump, they’re pretty consistently, man, what a jerk. He’s always searing. He’s always like he doesn’t look pleasant. He looks aggressive. He lo he the worst of them, of course, where he fakes being handicapped and makes fun of that. But in many other ways, just he doesn’t.
Like you, you don’t have to search to find a bad picture [00:09:00] of him. There’s many bad pictures because he, maybe he doesn’t care. Maybe he’s unaware of how he’s presenting himself. Maybe that’s part of his persona is to always look like he’s the Barker, he’s the guy that’s leaning in your face.
And that kind of is his business persona. There’s any number of people that he’s intimidated or cheated because he just doesn’t care. He doesn’t care that he’s wrecking his reputation better than everybody. Exactly. And emotionally, the people who don’t care about reputation, who don’t take that as a warning signal, then they’re the next, yeah.
You know what I mean? After you’ve heard that he screwed over his last 10 contractors, why would you be the guy that’s gonna build him a deck? Why in the world? Nope. You know what I mean? but people do
[00:09:39] Stephen: Looking at some of the news and things going on, it seems like more people are coming at him like, yeah, you know what?
We need to talk and he’s getting his come up and more rats are abandoning that ship. It seems.
[00:09:52] Alan: And maybe that maybe it just took whatever. Monument of data, whatever that wave that was gonna finally push it past. We just don’t really have all the [00:10:00] information. No, now we have more than enough. Yeah.
Yeah. And of course we had more than enough information. Then he already had a 70 year career as a grifter and a con man and a liar and a and yet people were. Wow. He says what I think and feel it’s like you think that you should be raping people. You think you should be walking into room fulls of partly clads 13 year old girls.
You think that you should be making fun of a handicap person? That talks to me a lot more about you than Trump. My friend that’s his superpower, his skill.
[00:10:29] Stephen: Yes. You’re absolutely
[00:10:30] Alan: right. Te that things post him or something he’s
[00:10:32] Stephen: able to figure out what people wanna hear and say that he doesn’t necessarily mean it.
It’s not necessarily the truth of what he does, but when he says it, he convinces them that Hey, I’m saying exactly what you wanna hear. And there you go. That’s all you get.
[00:10:46] Alan: I hope you don’t mind this. I’ve been reading this great book, the hundred, the most people in history and so much of. Is about what does influence mean?
It means do you have lasting influence? Do you have uh, effect on peers or [00:11:00] other people that carry on your good work and so forth? And so there really are some pretty nasty people Nicolo, Maia valley wrote a whole book about that. The only way to win is through force and violence. It isn’t negotiation and pleasantry, if you will.
And there’s any numbers Stalin was a amazing influential person while he was conducting horrible proms and death camps and all that kind of stuff. What will the, will Trump be part of history maybe because he was the lead of this weird seismic, sad period in the United States where we just abandoned decency for a couple years.
You know what I mean? We just decided that to let the worst of our nature out and he was our avatar and it’ll, we’ll write ourselves. You can’t have a nation stay together without there being a certain amount of pleas. And thank you without there being a certain amount of contracts matter that you have to keep your word, but gave a case of what it would be like if it was really back. The wild west and [00:12:00] brute force and BS like that. You know what I mean?
[00:12:02] Stephen: Yeah. And we’ve talked about that it, not all history is good, not all things that make an impact and people should know about are pleasant and good. The bad stuff sometimes needs to be.
We still, we have a whole description word macve so there’s an impact and Trump, we really won’t know it has to be history. It has to be in the past. So when he’s dead 20 years post then people will reassess the kids being born now that really don’t know any of that.
When they’re 30, 40, that’s when it’s gonna start. Shaking out a
[00:12:34] Alan: little bit. Exactly. It was reassuring to read about Napoleon kinda conquered a lot of the civilized world, but then he was indeed he lost, he was exiled twice. You know what I mean? He died. It’s that there’s, there is still justice.
It might, there might be that the wheels grind slow and that it takes a whole world banding together to stop the Hitler of the world. And that there is something about human nature, just isn’t gonna allow for, I don’t know, whatever terrible. [00:13:00] You can be influential by committing atrocities. And yet the world writes itself because sometimes when you see that you say never again, me leader, and we can only hope that we learn the lesson of that, that it’s not just I don’t know.
I’m reading a book from of 2000 years of people that’s how long recorded situation, right? because there really are a whole bunch of BC people Confucius and so forth. And yet we really have the system writes itself out of humanity. Won’t stand for it. They won’t stand being subjugated for any more than a certain amount or a certain amount of time or a certain amount.
Terrible depravity and people that we’re concerned with nowadays, the like pole pot, terrible tyrant, dictator, but he was around for five years, three years. He was quickly disposed of because he was aggressively insane. And I hope that
[00:13:46] Stephen: sometimes it takes and I’ve heard this over and over with the groups I run in, it takes our stories to bring that about that’s what science this fiction does. It points out the flaws in [00:14:00] society without beating you over the head. And now we’ve got our superhero’s fantasy.
It’s doing some of the same stuff. I think the comics delve into things deeper Tony’s alcoholism or how he set everything up for civil war. They didn’t capture that in the movie, but right. It, they bring it out and more mass people are the stories, get people thinking so
[00:14:22] Alan: exactly.
And in fact, another thing they talk about is there’s a number of people who did great work, but there’s a great quote I’ve done what I could because I stood on the shoulders of giants and that they show some of those amazing through lines though. You don’t. The space program without the first people that did electromagnetism and the first people that did gravity and the first people that did like how do you make a combustion engine?
You know what I mean? And that’s of course what we use for the space program, but that idea of yeah like how do you now we have metal that can withstand pressures that we’ve never had before. So you couldn’t make you can’t have a wood steam [00:15:00] engine without it waiting to explode all the time.
But once you start to have new materials and new ideas of how to harness them and Ford, he made a vehicle and not only that people could have one, but that many people could have one and changed the society with the model T and the model a and whatever else it might be.
When you’ve got a car that starts at a thousand dollars and comes down to two 90 and he, his vision was, I want everybody working in my plant to be able to buy one of these. This shouldn’t be where I make Jim’s shoes in Laos and send them off, cuz I can’t afford to wear them. Do you do what I mean?
And then there’s something very important about his vision of, we need a middle class, we need to have this enabling thing of the assembly line and appropriate wages for working on that assembly line so that it can combine my, their own product. And I don’t know, we, we don’t have enough of that nowadays.
We don’t have people who are actively saying. Put it this way, the ones who are doing that don’t get the press. It sure seems that the people who take advantage, the people who are really, you [00:16:00] know, they’ve got a hundred thousand employees of the Walmarts or the Amazons or whatever else it might be.
And they’re not able to make enough money to stay off government health assistance still, what job is that? And I know this is why this is, it’s funny. I don’t mean it’s not really relentless. Geekery except it is studying these things and big statistics and big movements through history, the way that you identify them, the way that you were able to say.
Yeah, that just doesn’t seem right. It’s not an individual people telling stories, as you just said is incredibly important, but it’s also everybody looking at each other and saying, we don’t have the same story. Walmart moved in, hollowed out our town. We’re all now surfs. We’re all indentured surface to this big company.
What have we done? We didn’t know. We were buy getting into that deal. They didn’t know that 50 years ago they have known it for the last 50 years and yet town council still sure. Let’s bring them in and kill our downtown. You know what I mean? Oh,
[00:16:58] Stephen: Yeah, because they [00:17:00] present it’ll bring these jobs, it’ll bring this tax base, whatever.
Yeah. But, and we joke about it, but seriously, the, you connected to Gere. SIM city emulates a large part of that. You have to watch where you put factories next to the business and the schools and the, you put a factory in and suddenly a booming residential area drops and you get more crime.
And so you have to think about that. So there is a definite that again, that’s what we like to think about. We were talking about the Pery stuff earlier. It’s not that it. Interesting knowledge so how towns are set up and how the economics work. That’s all stats. Interesting knowledge.
[00:17:41] Alan: I’ll tell you that. What a great example. SIM city has gotta be like 30 years old. Oh
[00:17:45] Stephen: my God. I played the first SIM city on an amiga in 87, 88,
[00:17:51] Alan: me on a max plus where it was still black and white there we didn’t have color yet. And yet what you just said, all the lessons of you [00:18:00] start things rolling, and then you start to see maybe not unforeseen consequences, but you have to actively manage what’s that gonna do to traffic?
What’s that gonna do to the tax base or how things will continue to grow without you being the one now directing it. Now you’re starting to pull the levers of the system, but it’s not everything that you’re got in controlling the entire thing. Things have their own momentum and their own growth initiatives and stuff like that.
So I learned incredible lessons and in fact, I hope that part of the reason that we’re now getting to, what are we gonna do about roads versus high speed rail? What are we gonna do about hollowing out cities and returning to walkable cities is because there were enough kids growing up playing SIM city.
And now they’re saying, wow, we really are set by those problems. I actually kinda learned how to do that in phase X of the game. And let’s apply some of that. Let’s build hydroponic towers for food, instead of it having to be the sprawl of farmland. Let’s not have roads be. And that there’s a whole terrible book about this.
You, if you remember you could put roads pretty much anywhere [00:19:00] can put through the center of the town. You’re gonna do a beltway. And when you put it through the center of town, whatever neighborhood was there, it gets disrupted cut in half or whatever. And there’s unfortunately, a lot of evidence that, that was a tool, an evil tool used by various different cities to break up.
Minority communities and to they’re they have no vote. They have no say they’re, it’s the poorest property. So why not there? But then forever you doom, whoever’s living in the shadow of that thing to like poverty and disruption and pollution and everything else. So nobody advertised it that way.
Nobody said, Hey you’re gonna get a road and you’re gonna have, they’re gonna say, Hey, you get an on-ramp right in your. How nice of you, but you get all the blight that goes with that too. And proably, now that we’ve done this, a number of times we what’s gonna
[00:19:46] Stephen: happen.
the worst example of that has got to be the Vons and their horrible poetry.
[00:19:54] Alan: exactly. If you’re gonna let, ’em put intra stellar bypasses, you have to go with their arts too.
[00:19:58] Stephen: Go find it in [00:20:00] the cellar and that locked cabinet with the one light in the leopard or whatever, beware of the leopard. Exactly. And that, and you’re right.
That’s a great thing about some of this stuff. SIM city probably inspired a lot of. Planning engineers and stuff like that. Just like rock band, even though people are like, oh, if you’re gonna do that, you might as well learn to play. You’re missing the point of a video game that it gives you that fantasy and that the play.
But there are people that played rock band that now went on to play music and enriched their lives because of it real guitars, real drums and stuff. Exactly. The video games can be dismissed, but it’s a bigger industry than football right now. I hear
[00:20:38] Alan: you so I love all different kinds of music, but some more than others.
And some, one of the reasons that I often dismiss them if you will, is because they’re too simplistic. There’s three chord rock. There’s nothing to the Ramones or the velvet underground or whatever else it might be in. The reason I mentioned that one is I saw a great quote that said. [00:21:00] Velt underground was not the band that won all the awards, but it’s the band that everybody else hearing them said, I’ll start a band.
It caused the creation. Have I mentioned this before that it was like this seed and everybody’s if they can do it, I can do it. I’ll get up on stage and say, maybe with Iki pop in the Stooges. And there’s a certain amount of youthful energy, if not right. Craziness. But then everybody’s inspired to be I’m gonna give it my shot.
And wonderful things came out of that. Sometimes it was only reactive. If you will, the sex pistols didn’t exist to make pretty music. They did. So they’d have a stage on which to tell here’s how horrible our system is. And I got nowhere to go except to stand on stage and yell.
[00:21:40] Stephen: You know what I mean?
Yeah. And know, it’s funny you say that cuz some of those groups were created by corporate minds to specifically take advantage of that. Exactly. And they still created a phenomena. Exactly.
[00:21:53] Alan: So it , I know we’re all over the place, but that’s because this, all this, that’s how our minds work. I’m seeing [00:22:00] the latest cover of rolling stone is another K-pop band Korean pop that is taking over the world in many ways.
Yeah. It’s amazingly popular making lots of money many videos and stuff like that. And yet it really has gotten to be, wow, I don’t know which one this is compared to of the last half dozen and I know them by name or I know them by occasional songs that I hear, but it’s not my kind of music because it.
Kind of simple and like repetitive in its themes and stuff like that. It’s all on machine or complex, but yeah they have the song writers know how to crank out a three and a half minute perfect song and they know how to style each of the it’s here’s the blonde and here’s the Burnett and here’s the redhead.
[00:22:41] Stephen: It’s just the music version of the anime. You’ll, you have five characters in the anime group. You have the strong guy, the smart guy, you have the girl, you have the stupid one it’s the same thing as a boy band or girl band too.
[00:22:57] Alan: They’re absolutely. Especially the multiple [00:23:00] cultures of that there really is that, that cross pollination of cultural archetypes, if you will.
Yeah. It’s really apparent in their music and in their games and in their live action stuff. What when are we gonna have. I don’t know, what’s the equivalent of the super bowl. That must be all K-pop bands. The biggest tour is going to be them taking over like a super bowl size stadium. Yeah.
Just already doing that in the United States and. I don’t know young people, young girls who really fall in love with them and like tickets, however, are not young girl prices. So mom or dad has to take ’em right. And there’s this incredible industry, because what you just said, the corporate people who created them, they didn’t do it.
Hey, let’s give these young kids a chance. They did it because I know that I can. Have this be not a flash in pan, but let’s say a five year run. Yes. You know what I mean? I’m gonna take a ton of
[00:23:51] Stephen: money off there. They’re total corporate creations, okay. We wanna do this group. That’s this style and [00:24:00] this, so get these five guys.
They all look good together. Make that one a little more earrings and stuff. Make that one, the leather jacket and teach ’em to dance. Exactly. That’s the
[00:24:09] Alan: bad part, the bad one. And then
[00:24:10] Stephen: We got two, three albums out. We had a couple hit songs. We made lots of money. Nobody cares anymore. Cuz they’re 22 and two old.
Now let’s move on the next one. And it’s a corporate product is totally what it
[00:24:23] Alan: is. What’s funny is some of this, some of the stuff sounds great. They really do find people with great voices and great dance moves. And so if you’re gonna produce a product, it is in. It’s like crystal in purple.
Oh yeah. For the thing it’s meant to be, but, and maybe on the other side of that is Dave gro just had a great quote saying the whole point of being in abandoned young is that you’re gonna suck. You just have to get out there and play and know you’re gonna suck and still have a great time doing it cuz you’re with your buddies in the garage.
And then, oh my God. Our first gig at the rec center or something. I love Dave roll. Keep going too long enough. You’ll stop sucking. You’ll get better at it. That has [00:25:00] always been, I guess my. My American example and rich in various other places is that you gotta be in those skiffle bands when you’re young to make your mistakes, tying it together, what you were just talking about, suck when nobody’s really watching you and filming you, get it all outta your system.
And then by the time you’re ready for your first album, your first video, whatever you at least like you’re watchable and listenable and right. Yeah.
[00:25:22] Stephen: And that’s the K-pop compared to what we normally listen to. That’s one of the things when I was at. Supernatural convention and Saturday night concert with loud and Swain and God come on when God’s singing for you, you gotta be a good band that’s right.
That’s right. But I loved them because they were a classic sounding grungy guitar band. That’s what they were. They didn’t have sense. They didn’t have a lot of weird effects and all sorts of things, nothing wrong with that, but this is what they were, and there’s just sometimes that garage band sound and feel of a crunchy guitar.
[00:25:58] Alan: I, I went to [00:26:00] school in Champaign, Orban, Illinois university of Illinois and. I loved when the bands I loved came through the UKs of the world and stuff like that. But what did I, what’s some of the best times I had at show captain raft and the blind rivets, a local band that just went up there and they had their hour and a half set of all perfect bar band.
Perfect. Grunge band, if you will, George Thurgood. The reason I still love seeing him is because he’s like the most accomplished at that. , he’s like a bar band made good. His I who knew that I’m so much how many songs of his are about drinking when I’m not at all a drinker, but I’m there singing one bourbon,
[00:26:37] Stephen: right?
Yeah. He hit that. Just perfect. That’s he’s not trying to be anything else. He’s not trying to be what he is not. And he hits that’s so perfect with that there. Exactly. Yeah. I love there’s just times, man. You gotta get that guitar band and crank it up a little bit and just rock out with it.
[00:26:56] Alan: Yeah, exactly. The blues influence the, you [00:27:00] can tell where they came from, because he’ll talk about that he love light and Hopkins or I, I’m not, he has many times like his, it’s the same kinda like inter song dialogue and stuff like that, but that’s what you’re there for.
It’s almost not comfort food because it is aggressive, but it is. That’s what I wanna see tonight is I wanna see him and his band having a great time. I want to hear that deep saxophone. I want to hear him on slide guitar. Yeah. And him bad is a bone another good song was stuttering in it, blah, blah, blah, blah.
[00:27:30] Stephen: Yeah. It’s AC DC every other song, some middle great middle school, sexual innuendo joke. And with a heavy guitar in drums I have grown to appreciate them more than I did when I was young. They were one of my Nees because they were so popular and pushing out other music that I wanted to hear.
[00:27:49] Alan: But now it’s they found their niche and they filled it perfectly and they have five great albums. And we talked about this, like the number one selling album of all time, or some [00:28:00] huge distinction is highway to hell that it’s like it’s sold, I want, I don’t wanna get the numbers wrong.
40 million copy. Yeah. Like maybe it’s the band has sold when they call, was it highway
[00:28:12] Stephen: to hell or the black album
[00:28:14] Alan: back in black? It could be either one of those. Yeah, I think it’s yeah, but, and I think might it be that they, as a band has sold like the eighth, most of any band ever total and I would immediately say Beatles rolling stones.
I could start naming the ones that I they’re Eagles that I know are popular pink Floyd. Cuz they had an album that was on this charts for five
[00:28:30] Stephen: years. Yeah. The wall or dark side of the moon. Sorry. Exactly.
[00:28:34] Alan: And, but then did you see really well because they were for the perfect time, they they had four albums in a row.
They each sold 5 million copies. And whatever, I, I. I knowing that no matter what the Allman brothers have sold more than like certain bands that I admire, because there’s something to be said about who doesn’t want to hear a good Allman brothers jam or a good AC C thunderstruck and [00:29:00] is actually one of their like more orchestrated fancy songs.
Yeah. Actually big
[00:29:05] Stephen: balls and it wasn’t even a seventies or eighties that was in the nineties
[00:29:08] Alan: even that’s right. That’s right. That was their Renaissance. That was their . Yeah. You know who I miss in excess? They lost Michael Hutchins. And he was a great front man, but like they had, they were a hook hit maker machine.
I don’t think Hutchins was the main writer. I think it was two guys in the band, maybe even brothers, but boy, when they, when MTV first came out and for that 10 year period of eighties into nineties, they made great albums. Yeah. Suicide, blonde and great songs. Great albums. I just, I don’t think they’re touring anymore.
I really don’t know much about them, but they definitely. The heart went out with them when they lost their lead singer. And I think they actually did find a replacement, but wasn’t the same. You know what I mean? Oh yeah.
[00:29:52] Stephen: Going back, we were mentioning Mensa and the RG AGS, the ag is coming up and I know it’s [00:30:00] coming up really quick.
And there’s a really great program. So again, we’ve talked about this in the past. People listening, probably a lot of people listening already know what the ag is in the program. But if I do have a few people. I know that listen, that aren’t in that. Circle in realm. It is a huge get together that has so much variety.
And the program is such interesting topics that, like you said, that’s not just rocket science, it, and there are weird, funny things. People juggling sometimes or knitting people talk about writing music or writing books people talk about games and playing games and they do tournaments, absolutely. So what’s on the the program for this year that you’ve seen. Wow.
[00:30:46] Alan: It’s funny part of our mission in re geekery is to pull back the curtain a little bit for the non Menon so they can get an idea of what it’s all about and why. I don’t know, it’s become a big part of Colleen and my social life always has been, we actually met through Mensa [00:31:00] the annual gathering is usually like 1500 to 2000 people.
This year is still a little bit lower because of fears of COVID because airfares are high, various different factors. And also like when we had it in Indianapolis, you’ve got half a dozen major cities within reasonable driving distance. Whereas it’s in outside of Reno, sparks Nevada. And besides Reno, you gotta go to Sacramento, Las Vegas.
There’s just, it’s not a, an easily reachable place. You really have to do work to get there. . So having said that there’s still hundreds of programs, one, a couple things they have Mensa has many SIGs, special interest groups that are cover every topic you can imagine. There’s hundreds of them. And so one of the things in the annual gathering is a chance for them to have a meet and greet.
So the people who are. The Disney SIG and the second amendment SIG and the science fiction, SIG, they all get the, a chance to like, you know how it is finally put a face to a name you’ve been corresponding online, maybe social media. Now you do get faces more than you ever did when it was back in the days of [00:32:00] email and BBSs, but there’s a whole different experience when you’re like, wow, we’ve been friends writing back and forth for 10 years and here you are, right.
I’m so glad to meet you, David. They have . This is very Menon. David’s called a debate room where they have moderators that make sure that the discussion doesn’t just turn into standing at each side of the room and barking at each other. That is actually hopefully sharing of facts, sharing of opinions, but learned ones and that kind of stuff.
But they don’t deal with what’s your favorite macaroni cheese? The topics are gun control, climate change vaccination make big things. So I tend to. Let’s see, having just said, maybe it’s not that bad. I’ve been to a couple of them where there really are people. Boy, they have an ax to grind.
They have an unshakeable opinion and they don’t have the best social skills. So they often will try to talk over someone, replying to whatever they just said. The quality of the discussion is not based necessarily on what facts are being exchanged. It’s based on the quality of the moderator that rides herd on the people that you [00:33:00] get two minutes to talk, make your best point.
Don’t spend it all in rebuttal of somebody else. Just that. So I tend to not do that because I tend to not like arguing. I like discussing and yeah, there’s a difference. Big difference. . Yeah but and so they have all kinds of local tours. They have we’re, they’re gonna go to the discovery museum.
They’re going to a place like where they it’s actual Either a distillery or a brewery or both you get to see the behind the scenes as well as Hey sampling. They have a thing called brew and bike. Where have you ever seen these? I think it’s six people sitting at a thing where they all pedal together and then there’s a table and they all like, you know what I mean?
So it’s a way of, that’s hilarious while mobile, but not in a car. So you’re not doing that. They’re going to the, they’re going to see some wild Mustangs and then they’re going to the Mustang ranch. Oh. Which is the Mustang. Ranch is not where the Mustangs go in. When they’re done running around for the day, the Mustang ranch is a brosel so people get, I don’t know, I have no experience of brothels.
I’d be curious to just go in there and say this is [00:34:00] so nicely. Look at this.
[00:34:02] Stephen: Yes. Now see, that’s the majority of the mentions that I know. Would be like, oh, I’m not interested in like paying somebody $300 for two minutes of sex or whatever, but what are these people like, why are they doing it?
What’s it look like in there? That it’s, again. Exactly. It’s more of that medical scientific clinical side, the interest, the facts, the knowledge, not not so much the messages there would be. Hey, I’m gonna the
[00:34:27] Alan: mustache branch. Do they have a coupon online?
[00:34:29] Stephen: Should I guess yeah. I remember the one ag I went to with the kids, I think in Florida, they had one of the writers or producers of big bang theory that had a book and they got up and talked about some behind the scenes stuff.
So things you wouldn’t hear normally not even at. Going to convention with the actors. This was somebody that most people wouldn’t be as interested in, but they told us all sorts of cool things like the picture out the window, they changed it. So the [00:35:00] background scenery of the city changed through the seasons.
That’s cool. That’s smart. And all the, all in the background, they always had whiteboards with scientific equations and. They were all real. They weren’t made up, they were
[00:35:12] Alan: all, I remember that they had some prevented them particularly to make sure that they wouldn’t embarrass themselves in front of the police community or
[00:35:17] Stephen: whatever.
Yeah. So the little things like that and how the floor plan of the apartment they’re in is unrealistic because the way it turns you could never build a, it’s almost an Esher building. okay. That’s funny. If you watch and pay attention, you’re like, oh my God, I never realized that before that doesn’t exist so little things like that.
[00:35:39] Alan: It’s, I don’t remember particular ones, but I’m sure that there’s a couple of those. There, there’s always people that here’s, we know about older Hollywood, that there’s what are the current movies being made? And they have comments about the special effects or about in a writerly way.
What’s the let’s look at the star wars universe and really say, how does all these new series fit in? And that fanboy [00:36:00] heaven, if you will They have programs on all kinds of local history. Oh yeah. Not necessarily like they’re gonna have something about the Comstock load. They’re gonna have all kinds of what were the migrations across the United States?
The Conestoga wagons and all that kind stuff, but were the past things about the Oregon trail, anybody who’s played, the Oregon trail game will be like, oh, there that’s some real pictures for me or that kind of thing. They, I, they have all kind, like they don’t necessarily have tracks, but there’s a sprinkling of there’s all kinds of wordplay and language stuff.
Richard letterer, a guy who’s really good at met him together. All the little sayings that how come you can park in a driveway and drive in a Parkway that kind of thing. , he’s he and lately he’s had a guy named bill shipper. If I remember correctly that they actually do a musical presentation where it’s little parody, songs little things almost like folk music about right.
Mundane, modern things, if you will I’m gonna be doing a program on the multiverse I’m book talker. And [00:37:00] so there’s comic books, there’s books, all kinds of things represented. They have many tournaments one of the men, many Menon are gamers and a, one of the cool things about going to any Mensa gathering is if you’re the one that was always just like blowing through your friends and family, because you’re too good at magic, like you said, prepare the perfect death deck and stuff like that.
There’s a whole bunch of really accomplished people at dominion and at Katan and at Puerto Rico and at ticket to ride and all that kind of stuff. So you up your game and have a really good game if what you want is true equality and true long term strategy and luck, that’s right. And they have gaming, they have a huge games room where they have hundreds literal, like literally. 300 plus games that the, that Mesa has accumulated. And they actually are a traveling collection that goes to each of the annual gatherings. And they’re all curated so that you have here’s the party games, here’s the strategy games, here’s the word games, that kind of thing.
And Oriel and Casey [00:38:00] brilliant programmer and designer actually made an. Lets you walk into the gay room and say I’m looking for a game. It’ll take about 60 minutes with four people. And I want it to be medium difficulty. And beep it’ll spin out a list of what you might want to try.
[00:38:14] Stephen: Oh, I
[00:38:14] Alan: gotta find that. That’s awesome. It’s really, in fact I, by being the publicity guy for the ag, that’s why a lot of these things are in my head and easy to be mentioned, but that’s one of those things instead of walking in and feeling just overwhelmed by the volume, I’ll start at a hope.
I find a good one. No, it can actually give you. Of course can just say, I’m gonna go to my old favorites. I feel like plain Scrabble or you can, there’s such a variety of cool things that can try to find a cool
[00:38:39] Stephen: thing. And there’s almost always a group that’s getting ready to play or what and they’re like, Anyone wanna play, we’re doing this and it’s very welcoming and open for the most part most of the
[00:38:50] Alan: time.
I’ve always loved that. You know what I mean, that Colleen and I have walked in and joined in just any number of things, because they were looking for two more, they, they have, oh, there’s wonderful [00:39:00] special events. This time, hats off to Tabby. We have a comedy show, a reli show, Mr.
Menon, Mr. Mensa, exactly. That, which is it’s mesons male and female. It so MIS Mr. Is MIS S where the Mr. Mensa, crown and sash. And I think it’s sexy legs, personal interview and talent. And as you might imagine, some of them are really talented and give you a beautiful piano piece.
And some of them are like, I’m gonna juggle puppies or whatever you might eat. Yeah. There’s just enough seriousness and just enough absurdity that it is a wonderful couple hours of. Seeing people that like, they left shame behind, they’re out there willing to share, and it’s a charitable event for the Mensa foundation, so that people vote with their dollars for what they think is the best candidate there’s judges.
And that let’s see that only has a certain amount of weight. There’s actual judges that they have that are the ones that are really gonna make the choice, but they actually have an auction for one of the judge seats. And so if you’re determined to be in the thick of things they can do that.
And actually they’ve even [00:40:00] expanded it now where people, they already know who the candidates are for it. So they’ve actually got like little videos and things out on their various different websites and social media saying are I’m playing a pirate, Jen Z Beski. I pronounced her name correctly one, two years ago, three years ago.
And part of how she did it was she did a great prelude, a big buildup of she looks great in her pirate mistres costume and just inhabited the character if you will. And then just kinda I love seeing. That people have unexpected talents. When you talk with somebody, you don’t realize they have an upper quality voice, you don’t realize that they really can play guitar.
Won’t get not, won’t get fooled again. Pinball wizard, and really do it. You know what I mean? Really sounds great. And stuff like that
[00:40:46] Stephen: they’re doing it on accordion with a drum at their feet that’s the type of weirdness you get.
[00:40:53] Alan: Sometimes they dress up like a doctor Sue character.
Yeah. And play the doctor, Sue type instrument, [00:41:00] so that’s fun. Who’s who’s the keynote and what’s the colloquium.
And actually we’re building towards that, okay. Sorry, jumping ahead. No, I know. Perfect. Thank you. It the colloquium this year is on giftedness through aging.
In other words, it, isn’t only that you have gifted children that gifted children turn into gifted young adults and older, and they talk about how there’s various different ways in which you can embrace that gift. And better it make use of it, share it with others all the way through your life.
And so Colleen and I are wow, we’re both in sixties now. I don’t think I’m put out the pasture yet. I still got a pretty good brain, but how do I maintain it so that I’m eating the right food and doing the right activities? The more that I play Wordle is that keeping my word brain active. Yes, it is.
That kind of stuff. The keynote speaker very interesting this year. There was a great book that came out about the mathematicians that helped due to the Apollo 11, right? Apollo 11 moonshot that this there weren’t computers back then, right? It wasn’t that we all have this amazing [00:42:00] device in our hand.
So they had Especially ladies black ladies that were amazing calculators. I think they were even called the calculators and they put us on the moon. Of course it was the bravery of the astronauts and it was the construction of the space capsule and stuff like that. But the ones that actually figured what’s the exact trajectory that we’re gonna do so that we use escape, burst gravity, use the moon gravity to do the right orbit while we’re there and make it back alive and safe.
[00:42:27] Stephen: not only that, you gotta remember we’re moving the moon’s moving. So you have to get that probably as precise time. So it’s the least amount of fuel and effort to meet up. Exactly. That’s crazy.
[00:42:39] Alan: As celestial mechanics of, we only have a certain amount of fuel, all those things you just talked about and they really figured it so that like they.
Did it, they checked each other’s work. They were like, they often had, they did have, of course some mechanical devices BAS engines have been around, they had the iliac and the UNIVAC and moving towards, but what they would often do is here’s [00:43:00] what the computer says. Excuse me. Loretto, would you mind checking this?
They trusted these brilliant ladies as much, if not more than they trusted the computers that were coming up with these calculations, having said all that the keynote speaker is the lady that wrote the book and darn it. Why is my
[00:43:17] Stephen: hidden figures? Is that it? That’s it. Thank you very much. You are
[00:43:20] Alan: so bright Vy of the day.
Exactly hidden figures. And so she’s the one that like on earthed, that great story. They were really not well known up until 10, 15 years ago. They made a big movie about them because all this information came out about the first of them were starting to die and it was like this is not fair.
They’re gonna go unheralded forever with this incredible contribution that they had made. So she’s the author of that book and we’ll hopefully. Tell all about, I actually did interview all of these brilliant people and brought the story out and the struggle to get the movie made, because sometimes there are people that are happy to think.
Nope, it was all John Glenn. It was all, yeah. Adam Armstrong, [00:44:00] it’s I’m, that’s a really cool we’ve had any number of keynotes over the years. Not they call him gala speaker because there’s a dinner associated with it. That have been a little more in the entertainment world we had will Wheaton, for
[00:44:13] Stephen: instance.
Yes. I missed him. I felt so bad,
[00:44:16] Alan: but that’s not necessarily heavyweight science. This is this is really men equality, Mensa level type stuff. So I’m looking forward to that. A couple years ago, I remember the one, maybe it was the Florida one that, that they had just talked about how the whole universe is ringing like a bell.
[00:44:33] Stephen: And there was this big article and the guy who wrote the article was the keynote that year and talked about it. Yes.
[00:44:39] Alan: Yes. And now my tragedy is, as my dad passed away in February. Mom is in memory care. We have court cases going on in California that are gonna be getting conservatorship of my mother so that we can take care of her, have medical and financial power of attorney to make sure all that happens.
When is our court date right [00:45:00] now? It just got scheduled to seven, eight. It’s not at one end of the gathering. It’s right in the heart of the gathering. So I just let Beth vice our ag chair know that I’m seeing how much do we need to be? There need to be there virtually. What do I have to be in California instead?
It’s currently not looking good. So I went into like wonderful publicity show mode and Hey, you gotta go there. And now it’s looking like I’m gonna get a out Colleen and I might not be able to make it. Oh man. And I just, I can’t believe it. You know what I mean? It really was that we’ve been working on getting this done for months and.
So we’re gonna see what happens. It’s not when, and now I’m less than a month away. I don’t have we’re checking, but one of it’s one of those things where it can’t, we can’t just say, oh, how about another date? Cuz it’s probably gonna be like another quarter, wait. We’re getting where money is tight.
Mom’s care is the most important thing in the world. We can’t not have the ability to do certain things, to make sure that she’s taken care of and safe. And so we don’t want to give up this [00:46:00] date if we don’t have to, I’m not the only brother and yet we’re finding out what we have to do. Good luck on that.
[00:46:06] Stephen: Ah
[00:46:06] Alan: But other than that, besides all the cool activities, it’s a thousand mens. All goofing off together. The quality of conversation is amazing. Like how we ricochet around and bounce off each other. It’s like that at every table that you sit down at everybody is well read. Everybody is they have got great life experiences.
You can’t mention a place you’ve traveled to that. Does someone doesn’t say, oh yeah. Did you try this south side of the mountain? You know what I mean? It and then the conversation isn’t just. Going to the beach or the tourist attractions. It’s a, okay. If you like this food, there’s this small little place we discovered, or if you really wanna see this cool little get up, there’s a cool statue.
[00:46:48] Stephen: And what it means for the history of the civil war it’s those little things that people will bring up more so than what beach to go to or what a shop to go buy something at exactly.
[00:46:59] Alan: [00:47:00] I talked about this before, to me, one of the big gifts that you get from people is when they tell you about the thing that, unless they told you, you might not stumble across it on your own.
It’s a little bit an obscure record. It’s an obscure place to go. It’s a cool food. And I used to before phones, smartphones were available, I still carried around like a little notepad in my pocket in pens, because I took notes all the time as to someone told me a great joke. So I’d write down the punchline so I could share it later.
Someone told me about a good TV show to watch that I was unaware of and stuff like that. Hey, book, Are you heading out? I’m heading out. Okay. Bye Colleen. Hi hon. okay. My way to Pittsburgh, there we go to my, to our listeners. That is my wife, Colleen, going to a client in Pittsburgh that see, she does travel for business, doing retirement plan type thing.
So I love you, boo. I’ll see you soon. Okay. All right. So just that you get just barrage with cool information. Yeah. And and also I love it when you’re the guy that can share it. You know what I mean? That, that, you’re [00:48:00] the one that has listened to the cool, like van Gayless just died who really, exactly.
I didn’t hear that. Unfortunately, he passed away and he’s really well known for chariots of fire. And let’s see, 1492 he did a couple great soundtracks, but boy I had an album of his called El Beto 0.39 of who has ever heard of that? It’s a great album. It has a song called Paul star on it.
That is just one of the best pure synthesized songs I’ve ever heard. Al BEO 0.39. The Abado of something is the reflective power of a heavenly body. And 0.39 is Earth’s. And so when you see us from space, that’s how much sunlight gets reflected off of the earth to make us this beautiful, glowing, nice marble.
nice. So nice. Anyway, cool.
[00:48:44] Stephen: All right. So here, let me shift gears on us for a minute. Before we run out too much time here, cuz you got an appointment to get to industry today for the, yeah, so we we were talking about the worldwide developer conference in apple and then right [00:49:00] after that they came, MIT came out with an issue they found in the M one chip.
So I read a little bit about it, but you’re probably much more immersed in it than I am. So
[00:49:10] Alan: it’s wow. It’s Big news because it is an unfixable flaw it’s in hardware. And what it is there’s a thing called let’s see packet, no pointer authentication codes. That the way that sometimes exploits are done is they can put code into memory that isn’t authorized to be executed.
But then by changing a pointer somewhere, they point the next instruction pointer to go do this code and they can have something run that was not allowed intended by the operating system. They have a system now where you use pointer authentication codes to make it so that you can tell that these pointers have not changed so that there’s no way to plant this bad code and then manipulate the system.
But what they found out was that these [00:50:00] there’s only a certain number of. Variations on the security that they use to make sure that those pointer authentication codes are indeed unchanged. And even if it’s a relatively big number, it’s not an infinite number, like doing true cracking of Des level encryption and so forth.
And of course, infinite, infinite is not the right number, but it’s one of those things that’s impractical for modern technology, right? They found out that this is actually a limited enough number that not only can you plant the bad code, but you can defeat that PAAC checking. That is what any number of places make you so to guarantee against that happening.
And what’s interesting is it was all done for the right reasons nowadays, boy this is a, this is an amazingly fascinating topic and I am only on the surface of it, but I’ve always been interested in it. Chip design nowadays is amazingly deep. It isn’t just. Run this instruction as fast as you can. They have, how do you do access to the [00:51:00] memory that you’re going to need, or even the hard drive and how do you prevent having to go to the hard drive?
Cause it’s a hundred times as slow. So you start doing cash in and keep that in memory. How do you do I’ve seen many things execute like this before I’m actually going to start doing things predictively where my guess is the next chunk of code I’m going to use the next kind of instructions I’m gonna execute are this.
And then they do a quick check to make sure that it is, but they’ve already got it in memory instead of waiting for it to load from a slower piece of memory like that and the fastest executable. And so they’ve done a whole bunch of stuff now to just optimize the bees out of things so that things can really run at the Terra flops level that we’re seeing from the latest, fastest, super computers.
And how much of that can you duplicate even down on your desktop machine or in your phone? But having said that the more that you do, those things, the more that you create complexity and complexity that can perhaps be exploited by someone saying if someone’s checking to see what code has been preloaded to be executed, [00:52:00] I could act like preloaded code that’s where I could put stuff.
And then it’s the only thing that’s making sure it’s not bad is those packs the authentication codes. And I can defeat that. So right now it isn’t a real bug in the wild because loading things into memory in beyond what, and it’s interesting, cause the MIT article didn’t go into enough of this. And again, to geek it up, apple has a thing called the security enclave that it makes sure that everything runs in its own memory partition.
You really can’t have spillover. If you will. Old exploit used to be that you would. In various different database things, you could have load code, and it would actually load into memory and spill over into another section of memory that might still be called upon to execute and whatever evil code was in that tail end, you could then point to that and that’s where you put your payload.
They now have it so that you really can’t do that. So there’s still lots of things in place to stop bad code for being loaded and to stop the manipulation of pointers to next executables like they’re talking about. [00:53:00] But what they know is that in this is in hardware on the chip and that you can’t issue a software update, an operating system update that now prevents this thing directly.
You have to make it so that all the other productions you have in place are always in place and enforced so that you can never create the conditions where this could happen. So I’m trying to think what the exact security guru phrases are for this it’s been seen in the lab it’s possible, but it’s not.
Possible, unless you just say, here’s my machine. Try to screw me. I’ll give you all the permissions you might need, but that’s not how machines operate. Not now I really do have a whole set of user permission system permissions, et cetera, etcetera. That’s actively managed by the OS and it’s looking for intrusions and it’s looking for or de continually detecting.
That’s not how this should work. Let’s go check and see why. So it’s not in the wild, it’s not out there. And they’re like, what they, [00:54:00] the term often use is a zero day exploit. Occasionally find things that really are out on machines and that they have to patch it right away now zero day, or it could be manipulated by the bad guys to cause bad execution on apple devices and tell devices wherever else it might be.
This is not that. And yet the fact that the apple was so pleased and proud of their M one chip with all of its advances, that now it has a Mar now it has this possibility of something happening and that they almost have to protect against it. So it’s, it is wow what a gut punch, all this enthusiasm.
Yeah. Developer conference about all the cool things that they’re doing. And, but
[00:54:40] Stephen: What I take from this and not throwing stones necessarily, but one of the dangers is you get these religious fanboys where apple can do no wrong that everything’s so perfect with apple. And there’s so much better than everybody else.
When in the reality, there are problems. There are updates, there are bugs, there are things, security [00:55:00] holes that get fixed all the time. It’s just, we don’t always hear about the hardware ones. And the difference is too, because apple does the hardware and software. Whereas with PCs, you get hardware manufacturers that are separate and several as opposed, and the software is different, but the problem is if you don’t continuously realize that just because we’re getting better and we’re upgrading and things, every time we add new features, it has more possibility for other holes, other problems.
And every time we change something, it’s another possible issue. It, you gotta be alert and it also shows that you can do everything you. There are still problems that you may not even know about. It’s just our world right now for every system, the phones and everything. I’ll tell you that another I’ve been to multiple technical conferences and like many.
[00:55:53] Alan: And one of the things that I often go to, even though I’m not actively involved in the field is I love going [00:56:00] to the Q and. Sorry, the QA discussions, quality assurance, because there’s a whole different mentality of people that go with. So this thing does all these wonderful things, but while it’s doing all those wonderful things, how could it be broken?
What’s the attack surface that bad guys could look in and say, I can do bad code. I can act like a bad actor. I can get in the middle of a handoff between two known good actors all various different things they try. And one of the things they’ve talked about was you can do amazing regression testing, that it does all what it’s done in the past.
And these new features with no anomalies, no differences. And so far as we can throw all kinds of tests at it, every corner case, every exploit that we can dream that someone might. It stops all of those. Then they started to have, I went to a great session on futzing fuzzy logic type stuff where you don’t do things that you think a human being might.
Do. You just try anything you just like, as if you put your cat walked across your keyboard, you put your elbow down. What if I did that exact set of [00:57:00] key presses? And I remember they had a session on, why do I never remember the name of this? There’s a particular primitive line editor that has come with dos and then windows forever.
And it’s not in the Unix world, it’s not VR. It’s, let’s say line edit, it’s called line edit. And that was thought to be rock solid. It’s been around for 20 years. It’s there’s just nothing wrong with it. And then Selma discovered that there is a particular weird thing that can break it, that can make it stop responding.
And after everyone in the world had used it and tried to break it, cuz they wanted to be the first one saying, I’m the mighty guy that’s thinking about what was wrong with line at it still is that little tiny bit of uncertainty that is wow. We really. Still haven’t tried absolutely everything.
There’s still a possibility that someone’s gonna spill their coffee on the keyboard and it’s gonna oh, I just wreck line at it. I don’t know. I’m being teasing. The, what I love about that is that as long as what am I as a user gonna do about that, I gonna learn how to do QA [00:58:00] testing on my, every program in the Microsoft office suite or something like that.
But what I do is I make sure that I. What are my malware engines that I use and that they’re always auto updating to make sure I’m getting the latest malware and antivirus and all those exploit definitions to prevent that from happening. I’m gonna make sure my operating system is as updated as it can be because right now the biggest problems with windows is not, of course, windows 11, it’s all the people still running like windows 95 windows, one windows XP.
Exactly. And that there’s glaring security holes, but it’s still running somebody’s cock shop in Wyoming somewhere. And they that’s where they got all their tire inventory. So they’re, they can’t move off of it until they make the big push to, to anyway, it’s so I having, and what’s one, one interesting I do that for both.
I’m tech support for the house. So for. I’ll lead at me. I take care of our desktops and our [00:59:00] laptops on our phones and make sure that we have not only all the malware detectors, but we actually have a cool thing that if every one of those walks away from the house. And remember, I mentioned, I use this out in California.
It actually like you can talk to your phone from afar, find out where it is then it’s still sending out. Here I am at 1, 2, 3 dub street. You can go to that place and say, Hey thief, do you have my phone anyway? It Colleen, just, we’ve had a hundred different system updates applied with no problems at all.
Apple really does have it down. Now that what I was just saying about having it, doing it on for you automatically. The reason it does that is cause it does it at two in the morning when you’re not on it. And it does it where it doesn’t wreck anything. You come back to your without even realizing that your machine has been up refreshed and spiffed up and further defended.
One of hers didn’t. One of hers went south and it wasn’t apple software. It was that her hard drive, her SSD hard drive. So not even mechanical failure, but something funny in the memory. And I’ve spent, this is no lie, two [01:00:00] weeks trying to do everything I could to get the hard drive back to a usable state so that I could just complete the system software update.
And I’ve finally gotten to the point where all of my tools, tech tool pro and drive genius and Apple’s ity and everything cannot get me back to a workable state. But luckily, and apple has this cool feature. You can set what minimal operating system I can run on it in what’s called safe mode or recovery mode.
Actually, you can set it so that your laptop is treated as a hard drive that the contents of the hard drive are still available as if it were an external drive. So that’s my next step is I, and I thought I had one, but I had to buy a USB to USB cable, like mail to mail because you’re not attaching it to another peripheral.
You’re attaching it to another. The computer, if you will. And I’ll be able to use disc recovery tools that they don’t really care that there’s now broken sectors or something wrong. They will look at all of what they can get to in memory, recreate the directory structure, if they can recreate the [01:01:00] files and especially all various different file types.
So that it’s not just this terrible mishmash, it’ll actually be able to say, here’s your word documents? Here’s your songs, whatever else it might be. But that takes time. And I’m about to try doing that. And if I do that and we can’t retrieve some things that Colleen really needs, then we’re gonna send it to one of those salvage places.
And they’ve got sophisticated tools
[01:01:22] Stephen: sector by sector on the sector by memory now.
[01:01:25] Alan: And one of those things like, Hey, my laptop fell into the ocean, they got it. And they got all the brain off of it and they were still able to recover data off of it. And there’s valuable enough stuff on there that we might actually pay hundreds of dollars to make sure we get everything off of there.
And having said that, that still, we actually are not only smart about what’s trapped on her laptop. She back ups to the cloud every day. I have a local backup here. That’s still over our home network. And yet we don’t want to have the uncertainty of, did you get everything right? And so nowadays that another machine costing a thousand dollars doesn’t matter as much as a thousand dollars [01:02:00] perhaps have lost data from the accumulation of her having had that box for eight years.
So we’re gonna see what’s next. I’m hoping that I get a nice, complete recovery hats off to apple. And if Mac Microsoft and the various different hardware vendors have done it also that they have things that can go into target disk mode. You know what I mean? So that’s available for the windows world as well, because it’s gonna be a lifesaver if I can do it, that just gimme the data.
I don’t care about everything else.
[01:02:26] Stephen: That’s why I learned. And this is changing, but why I learned long ago, not to really save things on my C drive. Yes. Programs usually installed by default. Even if install on a separate drive, you’re still going things in the registry and stuck in windows folder, yeah. But most of my documents are external drives. And they are also backed up by a cloud based backup unit. And my documents folder is also my cloud based Google now. [01:03:00] So when I save a document, it syncs up to Google plus it’s on an external drive that gets backed up to the so
[01:03:05] Alan: hopefully that’s, that is the key.
Don’t lose data cuz what’s more valuable than your time and your creativity. Cause you’re getting worse than like I just wrote a perfect chapter. It’s gone. I gotta recreate it. Yeah. It won’t be as good as what I wrote. It won’t be, I that’s my feeling is that I like my first inspired version of things.
Oh so good for you that you’ve got all those redundancies, hopefully.
[01:03:27] Stephen: Yeah. So good luck on your project. I’m
[01:03:30] Alan: gonna find, and it’ll be interesting outta town. I’m gonna take care of it this afternoon or so I hope so. It’ll
[01:03:34] Stephen: be interesting. see what happens with apple. See if anything comes of that flaw and what they do with now they’ve already got the M twos, so now they have to make sure that they don’t duplicate it in the threes.
[01:03:45] Alan: That’s exactly right. Then, and the, from what I understand, they found it in M one. They haven’t found it in M two, but I’m not sure if they. Tried duplicating exactly the same way. And do they know I’m waiting to hear, I’m waiting to hear the news as to whether that’s an inherited thing, because [01:04:00] some of that base level tiny code is exactly the same, the two okay.
[01:04:05] Stephen: Okay. Hey, before we go real quick, Collin gave me a trivia for you and it was specifically for you now let me preface this by this is Collins’ trivia. Okay. We haven’t, it hasn’t been looked up enough to make sure it is 100% accurate, but he was pretty darn certain that he was right.
That he’s done. He’s been reading like the X-Men from when they started and every issue of everything up to today, he’s been working his way through it. Oh, that’s a huge
[01:04:33] Alan: mythology. Good for, oh God, that’s an
[01:04:35] Stephen: amazing Saga’s Gary did it with Batman and green LAN. So it’s just so he asked me what is one, the one character that has been a member of the X-Men that did not have mutant powers.
And he, he made sure to say it is not like later, a lot of these characters were in and didn’t have a mutant [01:05:00] power, but they rec conned it. Or they changed something he’s like at the time they were in the comics in the group. Yeah. Did not have mutant powers. There’s one character he’s found.
[01:05:11] Alan: That’s interest.
So let’s see, doesn’t have to be human cause like Lockheed the dragon kitty Pride’s pet is not mutant.
[01:05:19] Stephen: It’s just, he was considering a human actual member. Yeah. Yeah. There are a lot of pets.
It’s one of those, when we told me I went, oh I guess that makes sense, but I didn’t get it. Yeah. So
[01:05:32] Alan: boy nothing Springs to mind cuz you would’ve thought that they would’ve had that as being like, oh, we gotta make sure we protect Doug cuz he just knows languages and he’s not really a fighter, and of course that turns out to be a really important thing, to be able to communicate with lost civilizations, aliens and so forth, so what’s Doug cipher, I think is his name was that still Howard?
Early or late like back to the
[01:05:54] Stephen: sixties. And it’s not that far back it’s a little bit more modern. Okay. [01:06:00]
[01:06:01] Alan: Nothing comes to mind.
[01:06:02] Stephen: I was the same way, but you’ll probably go, ah, he said was a member of the
[01:06:07] Alan: exfil. He gets from the crystal of CIAC instead of okay. And he’s I should have started thinking of that who got imbued or armored or something magic as compared to, because magic is magic Peter sput and sister Ilia.
So she’s got limbo powers. Is that, that she also has mutant powers. I jumping off are great. That’s great. Exactly Marco, right? Professor X’s brother half brother.
[01:06:37] Stephen: Yeah. That was part of why he was in it, but okay. Colin said he had no mutant powers. So I’m going to ask him if he’s come across to anyone else cuz he is still reading, but I was like, that’s a good and it, I love it because once you know the answer, if you know the whole thing, it’s oh, that makes sense.
And I love that. Yeah. It’s a great trivia. I’ll throw this out there. I just had a wonderful conversation while I was [01:07:00] getting Colleen’s car serviced on Thursday morning and a friend from Chicago Bradley Slavik, just in inherited like 5,000 comics. And he was looking at what might they be?
[01:07:10] Alan: If valuable wise was the pass to do that in terms of grading and selling and also just what should I read? He’s enough of a comic book fan that was like, wow, there’s so many to choose from that. It’s kinda I don’t know that I wanna read all 5,000. We went through title by title and sorry for the bit of crowing, it was a delight to be able to say, oh, that’s a great series of issues.
That’s the Frank Miller dare devil is where he first introduces Electra and bullseye. And the kingpin moves over from Spiderman. And no matter what he asked me, Almost I had a good feel for that’s cooler. That’s not like I, firestorm has always been a relatively lame character to me. And even though they’ve had multiple good writers on it and good artists on it, just the premise of it being a conjoined person that has elemental powers, they just haven’t done anything to me, magical as compared to, [01:08:00] he’s got some Sandman by Neil Gaman, he’s got doom patrol by grant Morrison.
And I was like, oh, you’re in for such a treat. The TV show that they’ve created is very much based on the doom patrol grant Morrison version, the really odd what the hell is going on here. Stuff as compared to pseudo superheroes, but tragic cuz they had an auto accident or whatever else it might be.
It was a wonderful trip down memory lane. Cause a lot of that was like, we had old teen Titans from the sixties and those might not be greatly written. They were kinda like almost mod where they were trying to bring in, Hey, sidekicks are people too and they’d have them kid flash and Aqua and Robin and all that kind stuff obviously.
But then, and so they’re valuable if he has ’em in good shape. Those are some things that, because it wasn’t a, I don’t think a huge seller back then. And hasn’t been an acclaim title where people kept grabbing onto it, but he, if he has old teen Titans, that’s some really nice, valuable stuff, old Sandman, I think there were so many [01:09:00] copies printed that it’s gonna be hard to make those valuable, but it’s gonna be a joy to read.
Yeah. And so I, I had such a nice and I had got to go into the thing of if he has any number of things where. It isn’t necessarily a run of the title, but there’s a whole collection of things where it’s, oh, that was the summer annual series where here’s the one about Atlantis attacks. Here’s the one about eclipse takes over the world.
Here’s about, and they used to have those big conclaves where they get all the writers and artists together and say, okay, we’re gonna do a big across all the titles type thing. And this time it’s gonna feature. SANOS. And actually most of what he was talking about was DC. So it’s gonna feature dark side, dC equivalent, if you will. And he had some authority that, and not all DC, he had some stuff for wild storm, and I love the authority by Warren Ellis, fantastic stuff. And then I said, oh, so if you have read the authority, you have to find planetary. He didn’t have any of that, but that’s some of the best stuff I’ve ever read, especially if you’re a person that [01:10:00] hasn’t only read comics, but has read.
Other paperback series, other old popes, other science fiction. There’s a whole bunch of wonderful it ties in Godzilla type monsters. It ties in Sherlock homes. It ties in down Savage, that kind of stuff. And so it’s besides what you stuff you just inherited, please write down that you have to go to the library and find planetary because you’ll you, you’re in for a treat if you read that up too.
So I it inspires sometimes when I do my comic book talks, I focus on a specific topic. If you will Hey, we’re gonna do the multiverse and talk about all how location matters in comic books. One thing I should do is just go in there and say, folks, here’s the top 20 things. If you read these things, this is as good as literature as I’ve ever read anywhere.
It’s not just comic books. Sandman is amazing. The dark net returns is amazing.
[01:10:51] Stephen: Watch man is amazing. should do that. Make a list 10 to 20 or whatever. We’ll put it on the website. Alan’s 20 recommended graphic novels, [01:11:00] comic books for if you’re like, look, I don’t read it. I just wanna read some of the best.
Here’s some the best, make a list. We’ll put it on the website with links. I really
[01:11:07] Alan: will work. I’ve already I’ve been thinking about this for a long time. So when I was doing the smart lock, I actually had some formative versions of that. And especially sometimes it’s not, oh, here’s the title from one to 30.
It’s more wow. The title was going long to was cooking along. And then all of a sudden starting like 1 58 or something, I don’t remember exact number. Frank Miller shows up. It’s that’s a breath of fresh air. That’s a great new take on it. And when Alan Moore took over swamping from Marty Pasco, if I remember right, it was.
It’s the anatomy lesson that is as much a supernova in the middle of an existing comic book run as I can. I can ever it’s so good. Such an upping of the game in comparison to what had gone before and any number of other examples, I can give that, that he has some Superman where it was the doomsday run where man dies and then there’s multiple replacement, Superman, and how each of them works or doesn’t work.
And they actually did, it was a [01:12:00] hope to cross over. And a lot of, oh, you’re gonna sell a lot of Superman titles. I can see what you’re doing here, but the stories weren’t just P they really were pretty good and hid together. And there was real drama and stuff like that. And same with green lantern and then green lantern going parallax because his city gets destroyed.
I don’t think I’m giving any spoiler alerts on a, hopefully not, but you know what I mean? And the green lantern where starts to go, and then there’s an entire spectrum of various different lanterns, various different powers based on color which is the greedy one, which is the loved one, that kind of stuff.
And I just I had a great time reviewing all those and thinking I got this big collection and I’ve been so much concentrating on cataloging. I need to like, go get myself one to 100 of span man or whatever. I made one to 72, however long it ran. Yeah. And just take good care of ’em it’s not Hey, I’m gonna bring him into the house and then I’ll spill a drink on him.
But it’s I really, some of those would really be worth rereading man, old Legion of [01:13:00] superheroes with the great darkness saga by Keith Giffin and stuff like that. Just there’s some fantastic stuff in comic books. Like just that ones I’m thinking that are popping out about what’s the best, that’s my list.
You know what I mean? If you haven’t, it’s very strong, like given G did great work on justice league where some of the titles were really serious and like just same good. Global level villains that only the justice league can take on. And then he did
[01:13:28] Stephen: some
[01:13:28] Alan: other really funny stuff about the soap opera of the justice league, about how Marshon manhunt likes.
Oreo is maybe a little bit too much, that he’s addicted to these silly snap cracker cookies and just that ability of a writer to not only be the kind of writer that he is, but to put on a different hat. And I love that comic books have surprised me so many times in my life with you think where something is going and then you like have to like, just.
Kind of put it down [01:14:00] and who can I tell about this? Oh, freaking
[01:14:02] Stephen: good. Oh yeah. Colin, like I said, he’s been going through he did Batman, he green Lander, like he, he compiled, he spent two weeks looking up every issue that contained Batman references, cameos, whatever,
[01:14:16] Alan: all the Braven bold, all the justice league.
Of course. Yes. Fine.
[01:14:19] Stephen: World’s finest and yeah, just everything. And then made a list. This is just his O C D coming out, but he made a list like chronological order of what he wanted to read and then he would go through and he’d check him off. And it was like, Eight pages or something. And I’m like, dude, you have way too much time on your hand.
I got some chores for you to do . Was
[01:14:39] Alan: he able to find everything he wanted to read? Because old world’s fines. So like from the sixties, that’s not
[01:14:44] Stephen: hard to find. That was very difficult for him. That was part of the fun and challenge. I do think there might be, might have been a few that weren’t exactly.
They might have been a little under shady means of giving em cause I don’t think he [01:15:00] got the actual physical of everything. Okay. If some some stuff just, you just will not get a hold of. Yeah. But he really does try to hold it in his hand when he wants to read everything.
[01:15:13] Alan: So I’ll tell you what if you’re not trying to be a collector and getting good quality copies of everything you can pick up whole runs of stuff in beaten up condition for next to nothing. Oh yeah, because they aren’t if anybody who’s a collector, they aren’t as valuable. But if all you wanna do is read those.
I have often thought of doing that, that I. Not care about that, but I would love to have more like forties, fifties, Batman than I have. My Batman starts pretty much when I came into the world in 59 and there’s all kinds of first appearances and interesting stories and science fiction, Batman and mystery Batman and whatever.
I that’s a, if you really read every single Batman appearance, That’s an amazing achievement.
[01:15:51] Stephen: Oh God. He spent like three, three and a half months and he was reading like three hours a day or so. And he reads pretty fast too, so he’s wow. [01:16:00] Okay. And again, that’s why at the store people come in and ask him, what’s your picks?
What do you like, what do you think of this? And he he’s got the authority now on it, so that’s very cool.
[01:16:13] Alan: Yeah. Wow. I’m impressed, honestly, that I have just read them as they’ve come. And I’ve filled in gaps in my collection and so forth, but I’ve never done that thing of I’m gonna, I, wow.
Wow. I’m inspired. You know what I mean? That’s cool. There’s certain things I can say. I’ve read every single one because they only started coming out when I was collecting. So I really have read every single Lobo or whatever, he only has existed for so long, okay. Yeah.
[01:16:38] Stephen: cool. All right. I know you gotta
[01:16:39] Alan: get moving. Me and the dentist. Thank you for bumping our schedule for it a little bit today. No problem. What did we talk? We had to talk about the boys. We have to talk about there’s a whole bunch of good TV ish things coming there is too
[01:16:49] Stephen: much TV. I was like I started naming series people like, oh, if you watch this, I’m like, no, I’m watching this and I’m oh my God.
I forgot about the, oh, this just came out and I’m like, there’s not enough time. It’s summer. Why is all [01:17:00] this good stuff coming out in June? Yeah,
[01:17:02] Alan: I just last night I was, I. Working on other things. I often now have my left monitor. I have something running to, to watch and I started watching the no time to die, the latest James Bond.
Oh. And it’s really good. And yet I was like, I’m just not giving this the respect. It deserves. I’m glancing over and seeing here’s the great battle in the, and I kinda. I don’t want to do that with certain things. would pay attention and get all the nuances of a new thing. Or when I rewatch something that I really love, I don’t wanna watch it halftime.
There’s any number of things that really are kinda like they don’t, they are not necessary to have your full attention. But there are some things that just it’s like a matter of respect. And a matter of my enjoying it fully. I don’t want it to be that it’s this little partial
[01:17:48] Stephen: attention that I wouldn’t say no time to dies the ultimate top of my favorite James Bond movies.
It’s definitely a good stop for Daniel Craig’s [01:18:00] arc and there’s a lot, again, it’s James Bond. We’re not going for the Nobel prize in literature. It’s a popcorn movie with action and it’s got guns and it does very well. It’s a good story though. It really is different for bond.
Absolutely. So it you’re right. It needs your attention for the two and a half hours of what it is.
[01:18:20] Alan: Yeah. Yeah. That’s my biggest objection to it. Was that the villain and why am I missing his name
[01:18:26] Stephen: Ramy? The guy that did the queen documentary, Fred. Exactly.
[01:18:31] Alan: He’s. Underused, he really he’s an intense actor and they still have blow felt. So he distract from this new guy. I would’ve been happy with him just being his own kind of crazy. And that he would’ve had a chance to chew a little bit more scenery and stuff. But anyway I really liked that for all the things you just said, a great end to Daniel Craig and that showing an aging James Bond where he is not liking impervious to harm, but actually has to kinda gather [01:19:00] himself after he is been really blown up multiple times, blown up, know ears ringing and stuff.
It’s it’s the nobility of he’s gonna do his duty, even if he’s really not able to do it fully anymore. He’s got a bad knee and stuff like that. And yet he master himself, he gathers himself and does amazing things. That’s so yay for old people.
[01:19:23] Stephen: yeah it’s a new world. That James Bond.
Definitely. Exactly. All right. All right. You guys get
[01:19:28] Alan: going. Thank you very much. Talk you later.