We start off talking about an interesting author – Cory Doctorow. Cory embodies the modern world and has been a big part of the EFF – Electronic Frontier Foundation. He also releases his books on his website digitally if you want to check them out.

We talk about Humble Bundle and what a great idea this is. Of course, it can be too great if you’re spending just a couple bucks and getting tons of bundles each month.

We get into a discussion of blockchain, NFT’s and other new technologies and where that could lead us. And what is the best to buy? We depend on Consumer Reports to help answer that question.


Cory Doctorow – https://craphound.com/





Stephen: All right. All right. Good morning, Alan. I see you, you went back in time.

Alan: Exactly. I have all kinds of things that I’ve downloaded and sometimes just click on the first one that looks interesting, as we’ve had the Dr. WHO theme and the Star Wars theme. Yeah. And the a awards theme and whatever else.

I shouldn’t say Harry Potter. Everybody else says Harry Potter. I don’t know why I say Hogwarts, because that’s the. Brand name, they’ve decided on world of Hogwarts and stuff. So branding takes in me,

Stephen: ok. Let’s see. You made a list of topics like usual.

It’s we could talk two or three. So let’s make a list of seven and then we’ll make seven brand new ones next week every time.

Alan: Honestly, if we just went back and picked up the breadcrumbs that we’ve littered behind us about things we wanted to talk about, now, some of them would be stale cause it’d be like, Hey, what about that Wonder Woman movie?

You know what I mean?

Stephen: And so you did mention co corey au books, and I think that’s super interesting. Did you just recently run into him

Alan: or? So he’s another one of those guys that I read a couple of him, honestly, like 10 years ago, and I hope I’m not, sometimes people say I’m looking for a person with 10 years experience.

It’s like that technology did not exist 10 years ago. But anyway, I think that he’s been writing that long and I really enjoyed him back then. But you know how it is. I kinda find a new author and then I often follow up on them. So when I learned about Mark Greeney with the lemme see how to say this.

The I like to read maybe a little bit of science fiction, then a little bit of fantasy, then a little bit of men’s adventure. I sprinkle amongst various different things. And if they’re river novels, that’s a I don’t know what the German term is, but I think the German term, it’s where instead of them being self-contained episodes, it’s serial.

And so often there’ll be enough. If not cliffhangers. Exactly. There’s enough open issues left from in the previous book that you wanna see how they resolve them. The next book, then they do that every book and she end up going, I don’t mean to read all these in a row because you also get the thing where if you keep pushing that button again and again, it wears on you.

You know what I mean? The writing style or the whatever. So I think I mentioned before, I really like Terry Pratchett, hilarious guy. But that particular sense of humor, like you really do him a disservice, or Douglas Adams, if you’re just discovering him or Martinez, you don’t wanna read, especially maybe humor a lot in a row because you didn’t, it’s effectiveness.

So having said that, for whatever reason, I didn’t keep up with Corey, Dr. O, and I’m sure that’s true for any number of. I don’t know, tech-based books. Si cyberpunk, cipher, punk, that kind of stuff. But I recently rediscovered, he has a trilogy that starts with Little Brother. Yep. And I love him by that meaning I think that there might even be YA books, there’s all kinds of great, you must have, if you go to the bookstore, the ya section is now an entire aisle. There were so much cool stuff from the Maze Runner and from Harry Potter and whatever else. And sometimes when I try a series even that’s heavily recommended, they really are. That is, ya is a young adult, right?

They’re a little bit simplistic or they’re a little bit They’re going through issues that I’ve already been through, the angst of young love or discovering your place in the world or whatever else it might be. And it’s actually nice to return to those once in a while to read about, there’s another great quote along maybe from Mark Twain.

If you live one life, you get your one life. If you read books, you get a thousand. And I kinda all was reading from the different perspective of I’m not a gunsmith, but if you read The Punisher, comic books or the Mac Bolen books, you get real good at guns. You know what I mean?

And I said it a little bit derisively there, but I actually have enjoyed reading. Some people are really good at imparting knowledge in those books. The Tom Clancy, the whoever, mark Grinis, they really have like descriptions, loving descriptions of the weaponry that they’re using. And it’s not like I’m ever gonna run into my using a rocket launch or something like that, but there’s something cool for the appreciation of, that’s a technology that is continued to march along and has gotten, better and better, faster, stronger, fi quicker rate of fire and stuff like that.

Flesh that guns, whatever else it might be. And so that the doctoral books, it’s very cool to read them from this perspective of a 15, a 17 year old, someone in high school who has all of their life, had cell phones, had computers, had the internet and so forth. And just their familiarity and their the fun of goofing around with it.

You know what I mean? I was. An interested hacker when I was young, a cracker more than a hacker. If you want to make that distinction between you just go exploring, but you don’t do damage. I wasn’t looking to be join the Legion of Doom or anything like that, and I said that it’s very cool.

He’s very good, I think at capturing that perspective of you’ve always had a phone, and so you’re always curious as to can you jailbreak it? How can you and he, by offhandedly talking about the kinds of things that kids do just to fuck around, just to mess with each other, just to see what they can do.

It really describes denial of service attacks well, or like how encryption works or doesn’t work based on is there a man in the middle attack that’s possible here? So talking about it, not in a rarefied like tech. Espionage heavy sets, but just what kids do to goof around. It’s fascinating.

The familiarity, almost the contempt that they have for, like they talk about in school, they were given school books and of course, what’s the joy of having a free computer? They get to track every single keystroke, every single website you’re going to. They get a whole bunch of information on you.

And that speaks to that bigger issue of, when you use social media, what’s the product? Not social media, it’s you, right? It’s you and all what you pay attention to and stuff. So it’s very cool to immerse myself in and he’s a smarty, the kid and he’s also got companions. And so it’s who did I play d and d with when I was young?

Me and my best friend, what do we do? And then they’re just exploring. They don’t have, 63 crusty years on them where they’ve seen some shit. And I know what I like and don’t like, but I like to surprise myself by trying new things. And so that’s what these books have been about, is.

There are page turners, there’s lots of cool stuff going on, just like Ready Player one that really immersed itself in that world of video games and the wonderful familiarity with not any particular video game, but like the waves, the improvements the things that were made, how you have the mindset you have to be in to be an explorer and a combatant and whatever else it might be.

So high recommendation for Corey, doctor o from just my being able to be a kid again and to have, if I wasn’t a, an outwardly snarky kid that was already, always called into the principal’s office, I sure had my set of, I wonder what would happen if I did this. Not even thinking of, wow, this could have ramifications of the NSA knocking on your door because you shouldn’t have penetrated that particular site.

I’m getting a kick out of being young again, or the craft that he captures in doing that kind of stuff. High recommendation for little Brother, I think. And yeah.

Stephen: There, there’s actually even more geekness with Corey, Dr. O than that. The little brother is definitely a nod to a 1984.

Absolutely it is. Yeah. Yeah. So if you read it, it’s definitely a callback. It’s like a modern version, almost a a retelling of 1984. In some ways. That’s

Alan: a great way to put it, because when you know he’s a kid and he’s just learning that if you poke the wrong bear, they will take you captive.

They will turn your life upside down. They will accuse you of things and all that kind of stuff. And if anything, again, 1984, what’s the indomitable spirit that says no matter what they try to pressure me to do, I’m not using, I’m gonna mix between, I’m not gonna use Newspeak, I’m not gonna back off of reading books because the firemen are here.

You know what I mean? All kinds of dystopian books. And so sometimes you need a rebel. That just won’t give in because it’s not in them. They thumb their nose at authority. They have to see how far the boundaries can be

Stephen: stretched. And yeah and forgive me, it’s been a while since I’ve been into his stuff, but he.

Was like one of the main guys of the what is internet Electronic foundation. I

Alan: believe it’s the e f, the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Yeah, that’s it. Frontier. That’s it. That’s it. Exactly. That’s there, there are, early people on the internet that talked about this is really a wonderful tool for information dispersal and also a potential for control and for right.

That kinda stuff. And we’re seeing that played out around the world. The great firewall of China is not let’s make the world safer democracy. It’s absolutely a mechanism for control of technology, of people and stuff like that. The more that you have face recognition and starts, they have face recognition, they have gate recognition, that’s maybe to help capture criminals.

And then you can see how if that gets misused, it can make everybody a criminal. It can, make it so that the people who control those devices, Can start trumping up charges or go after who they don’t want. Because I just, that guy once, took my lunch money and now I’m gonna wreak my bitter revenge.

Cause I’m the nerd that understands all this. So it there, they’re, I can see the implications of not only is he a rebel, but it’s if he had the power, what would he do with it? And you hope that he’s good with it. But some of his friends are the potential for, I don’t wanna stop Big brother, I just wanna be in the big chair.

I just wanna be the guy controlling

Stephen: things. He may have written this for young adults. Similar to 1984, cuz a lot of us are forced to read 1984 in school. And when you force a kid to do it, it’s not gonna go over as well. I’ve been preaching that point for a while. But he, I think he was hoping young people would read it and get the same message out of it that 1984 was giving but beyond the e F and thing he wrote a call, a blog post bogo, something like that.

Bo yeah. For many years. But from the thing that attracted to me, him, me to him years ago was he really believes in freedom of knowledge and the sharing on the internet and that At least he used to. And I’m assuming he still does, but all of his books, he releases for free on his website and he still publishes them and you can buy ’em and he still makes a living at it.

So it’s a point to show, hey look, just because you give it away for free, you’re still making money on it and living and all of that. So he definitely lives a lot of the principles he preaches. Yeah,

Alan: that’s great to know. I did not know that he did the, the simultaneous or the delay by a little bit release or something like that.

I bought all of them. Cause that’s still my preferred delivery mechanism for tax. Is he kinda like sitting down or laying down and just, I prefer that to reading on the screen. I read a lot on the screen, but falling into a book is a different experience and no shimmer from the screen, it’s just, it’s a right and being able to glance at the book, I’m sure I can put my pause on one and just being able to like, look up and say, oh, I’m about halfway done. Not because the page count says that because you’ll look at where you are right

Stephen: now. Now, that’s still I give Corey big kudos to that because he had a lot of people saying, oh, you can’t do that, blah, blah, blah.

And he still did it and said, look, I’m still making money, so all of you just but the thing about reading electronically his books free are electronic. You get a digital version. He’s not sending you a paper version, but there are those times when reading on the Kindle is so much better.

Cuz I’m rereading the Talisman by Peter Stro and Stephen King, here’s Rob. Okay. And it’s 40,000 pages or something like that. So I’m holding it and my arms are like falling asleep and I’m gonna fall asleep while I’m wa reading it. It’s gonna fall in my face and smother me and I’m never gonna get to finish it again.

My cats are going eat my body. That’s what’s gonna happen. It’s a lot

Alan: safer. That’s a big extrapolation there, Stephen. But well done.

Stephen: It’s that fiction brain,

Alan: right? It’s I know that, again, jumping around a little bit, he’s not the only one that has done that. The let’s see.

Was it r e m that like. Put out, or maybe it was bear with me, who did certain bands have said, yeah, we’re gonna not only release this in physical format, but we’re gonna make it available and you pay whatever you’d like for the download. Which is the equivalent. There’s any number of people that will take it free, but there’s people like me that would say, that’s a $10 cd.

Sure. I’ll pay you that. You know what I mean? Or my $7, my magic price for I’ll, that’s where I try to get things in order to make it worth it to me. So I’ve, or any number of bands now that are doing, Hey, we’ll send you the music. You just pay for pos and handling. So instead of being a digital download, it’s still a cd.

I probably bought 10 different things now from the empty pockets. You’re not gonna start naming the bands like that. They, that’s a way of them getting out there in the public eye. You post something on Facebook immediately, it’s seen by, a million millions of people. And I like the fact that people are still experimenting in the same way you said, all the people that are saying you’re gonna lose your shirt, what are you doing?

And they say, see what happens. Let’s just try and I know build a better fan base if you establish trust like that. Yeah. You know what I mean? It’s a different kind of fan. I know I’ve talked about Mil Meridian a lot, Meridian, the last 10 albums have done it where fans send in money to sponsor the production of the album.

Stephen: They like, like Kickstarter. Not even, it’s even

Alan: before Kickstarter, right? Way long ago. Racket records, you could just send in money and then in exchange for, they’d have the version of the album that was sometimes extended cuts as well as a little foldout that had all the names of the contributors to the album or when they’d go on tour, they’d show a big screen with thank you, and then, everybody in alphabetical order. However they did it. And I did that a number of times and I’m happy to say I helped that music exist in the world. I helped them bring that into the world. They didn’t have financial considerations or interference from the record companies or whatever else it might be.

It’s exactly what they wanted to be. And so their example of how to build a fan base is probably the biggest success story in music and you know what I mean? That’s cool that they were the brave ones. Yeah. Who knew that a pro band would be the. Not play off of fame, but payoff, play with loyalty.

Do that experiment and have it payoff. I

Stephen: love that. So there, there’s so many examples of that now and so many ways we can get ahold of this stuff. And there’s Patreon, there are lots of artists and musicians and whatever that do Patreon and I know some on my podcasts do, and you get some bonus material by, giving them a couple bucks on Patreon.

Exactly. It’s that old, almost that old multi-level marketing thing. If everybody listening to me gave me a dollar a month, I’d have enough money to keep doing this with other stuff. That’s right.

Alan: You don’t need a Medici, you don’t need a single person that’s gonna sponsor you.

You can say, Hey, if I get 10,000, a hundred thousand people that’s the cost of my doing this for a year. I’ll be happy to dedicate myself to that. I just. But something that I didn’t get in on when it was a Kickstarter, but it caught me because it, some things just make me laugh out louder.

You read the poll quote and it’s hilarious. There’s a series of books called Space Bastards. It’s about the intergalactic post office. It’s drawn by Derek Robertson. I don’t remember the name of the author. So it’s not, most of the time I really do by author’s works cause I’m familiar with how they spin a tail.

But Derek Robertson is the guy that did the boys and all kinds of other stuff that I’ve enjoyed. And they’ve, as opposed to putting it out in like the least valid form that you could do and still get it out, the fans, they made him into big album edition type things. Wow. So I just paid like 35 bucks for Colleen to get me this for my birthday.

I sent those four.

Stephen: That was so nice of her to discover that for you.

Alan: I always do that. It’s Colleen, if I get something, would you like to give it to me for my birthday? It’s something that I really would like and. I haven’t even opened it up yet, but I just, I love that fact that some like Rolling Stone Magazine did that well, a lot of magazines were folding or going digital.

Rolling Stone actually went bigger and Glossier and they said, we think we’ve got a fan base that’s gonna follow us to this and it’ll give us better pictures, better coverage. And it indeed has worked out for them. I don’t know how other music magazines spin or whatever have done, but Rolling Stone, I think is still high in circulation and good for them.

Yeah. And by the way, sorry about this. Apparently I am over caffeinated this morning. Can we pause for a moment while that’s, sorry.

Stephen: All right, and all right, I’m back. So to add to that, one of the other, Ones that I support quite a bit with some really good material is Humble bundle. It seems every month there’s something coming outta humble bundle that just grabs my attention. Like for example making video games.

There’s a lot of assets sprites and sounds and music and backgrounds and stuff, and they put ’em in a big collection. And for anyone that’s not been to humble bundle, there’s books, there’s movies, there’s games, there’s all sorts of stuff, digital, and you get this huge. Bundle of, I did a Star Trek comic and it was like all the gold key archive five Omnibus and all the new stuff and all the stuff from the eighties and collections.

And it was all digital, but it was like 20, 25 bucks at a minimum and you get it all and then you could give more money because some of the money goes to a charity. Some of it goes to the original owners of the ip. And then Humble Bundle gets a bit to keep it going, to give you the next set.

So exactly like video games. I love that. Yeah the artists, like for the video game assets, you get this cool little collection of zombie figures, but it’s not necessarily everything you need for a game. But if you like that artist, now you go find the artist and you buy other stuff from them.

So it’s a another way for creatives to get out there. And it, and some old stuff like the Star Trek stuff, that stuff’s been old for a while, but it gives people a way to still access it and get it. So personally I love humble bundle way too much.

Alan: Honestly, I need to start checking that out more often because I occasionally get like emails from them or notices on Facebook.

And if it’s not particularly to my taste hey, it’s, a whole bunch of war games and I don’t know that I’m that much of a fan of war games, whereas sometimes it’s wow, I could get like five of a title that I don’t really follow, but only for 25 bucks. That’s such a bargain. I should do that just to try them out, right?

So to do that kind of wonderful everything’s getting digitized nowadays. They’ve already made their money off it back in the IP days. What am I saying? Back in the printed or CD rom days. So now that they’ve got that intellectual property, as you just said, and I mentioned I bought, sets of CDs where Columbia doesn’t need to make any more money off of these, but they can give it to me as a bargain.

And so now I’ve got, five Weather report, CDs, five bread, all the things that I don’t know that I would’ve filled out my collection at $15 a cd, but for $20 for five of them, that’s very persuasive to me very cool. Humble bundle. And it’s interesting what’s your best thing that you’ve ever gotten?

Do you have a particular wow, this is an amazing

Stephen: value I got some 3d. Files to print out some 3d, like d miniatures. Okay. And I printed a few of those out for my friends that played d and Ds and my buddy painted them. And, these things cost it we had a beholder and, you could print a small one, you can print ’em medium, you can print ’em.

Big one. So it was like a $50 figure in the store and I printed it out for him and it was a couple bucks. Good for you. When all said and done and he painted it. Yeah. And was real happy with it. So that was definitely a good one. But I’ve gotten some books some good books. I’ve got some great comics and, assets for video games that I, not really music, I haven’t seen music on there, but it has video games and books and comics and Okay.

Some other stuff like that. Yeah.

Alan: It’s I mentioned one of the things, although already topics we may cover the world of, Adams versus bits that with everything getting digitized, what we just talked about, in some cases my experience of how I’d like to read a book is just fine as it is.

I just, we we finally sold my parents’ house a as of February, about a year after my father passed away. And a quick update, my mom is now here in the Cleveland area, right? So she’s a wonderful member care facility. We cleaned out and cleaned up re refurbished the house. It didn’t, my parents were immaculate housekeepers, but it just was 40 years dated, if you will.

Yeah, we sold it. We didn’t, we did some things at, with an estate sale or a consignment shop. And it’s it’s weird to see how many cool things my parents had accumulated in the course of theirhttp life that somebody got a bargain or they just went away. And I, that’s still heartbreaking to me.

Yeah. I really do live in the world of Adams. And but having said that, before we consigned that we did a big who wants what kind of a thing. And as you might imagine, I claimed lots of their books. Who knows if I will ever really make use of the Encyclopedia Britannica in print. But it just, I couldn’t have that go to the landfill.

I couldn’t I, so I have a whole bunch of time life books. I have a whole bunch of other series that they collected as well as just, if you have your parents’ collection, you can’t have them. What were they interested in? Where did they travel to? What were there? Some of the, and I got some things that are in Lithuania that I will not be able to read because my dad could and I could not.

And having said that, I just got the delivery. The way we did it was we loaded up a truck, had him go to Bruce’s house, and we were gonna have, it was dropped off at his house first in, in Bloomington and then come here and the the. Economics of it didn’t work out by having, doing a partial load and then moving on.

It just, it like was so much more expensive. So we offloaded everything in Bruce’s house and then waited while the weather was crappy for the last six months or so. Finally, he zoomed over and gave me the delivery. So now in my storage locker and instead of his garage, I have not only the cool books, but I’ve got all kinds of geodes and shells that my father’s collected.

Some sculptures, I’ve got all of the slide carousels that he had. He stopped doing photos after a while and would do slide carousels. So that’s how we’d watch our home movies and stuff, right? And in taking those on, I’ve taken on the task of well capture all that digitally, put it all together so that I give my brothers a gift, hopefully by this Christmas, but I don’t know, maybe it’ll take longer than six months cause there’s 40 slide carousels and all kinds of other stuff to digitize.

I gotta look into what’s the economical way to do that. I don’t wanna send it to a service because I’m pretty sure there’s a premium for that. So maybe it’s gonna, along things that I’m gonna get, the little device that hooks up by a u SB to my laptop, right? Digitizes, whatever it’s got for the slide.

And then while I’m doing other things, just a little robot. Put slide after slide into this thing. And so I’m glad I have them, but after I have digitized them, there really won’t be any reason to hold onto them. And that’s an interesting thing. Do I keep it for the archive so that nothing can ever go wrong with the digital version. And a little bit of what you just said, the things that I have all kinds of books. I’m never gonna digitize them though. There are now dig digital versions available for that. One of the cool things that I’m pretty sure it was either Amazon or Google that they, one of their overarching things corporate mission statements was to.

Make the world’s information available, digitize everything. And then there were some battles about, some places people don’t want to have their stuff available where it’s no longer sales numbers for physical books, that’s how they’re used to making their money and so forth. All kinds of contracts had to be worked up as to what’s the reproduction rights, what’s the, if this thing gets anthologized you, as an author are much more dealing with that than I, but I was aware of from how many different places it was talked about.

It didn’t just depend on who gets paid. It was all of the. Boy, 20 years ago, like piracy was a big hotbed issue, right? It was various different VCRs having different coatings so that you could or couldn’t make use of them in different countries. And same with DVD players. Then, there was, I’m trying to think what it was called the intellectual property chip.

The IP chip or something like that. And now that seems to have calmed down because we found the balance. Like Apple just started to say, Hey, buck a song that seems worth it. If an album has 10 songs on it, it’s 10 bucks. That seems like a worth worthwhile price. And then people could play with it of some places said, Nope, it’s a buck.

We don’t want to confuse things. Other places started to say, this week only it’s 39 cents. And so they had loss leaders and they had all that. And I like the fact that they found a compromise instead of it being tear 20 years later. This huge battle between the intellectual property hardliners and the people who say information wants to be free.

Some of the core doctoral, youthful thought that we just talked about, there’s a lot of people who think, Nope, that’s just free. All that stuff. If I can get a digital copy of it there’s no need to track down who to pay. I just got it. And I hope that the things nowadays are the people who have done delivery systems like Spotify, like Apple Music Amazon music, that there’s still enough of a sloofing back to the real creators and owners, that it isn’t just that they’re now the place of the rapacious record companies who, you fight, hear all these horror stories about John Fogarty or somebody like that, having not had the rights to his own music for 40, 50 years.

Or people that like, after they took out production costs and so forth. I made like a penny and an album, but I had the third best selling album of all time. But I’m not retiring. I don’t have a manor house because of this. So you even heard about. Those kinds of things that some of the happily successful people were the ones who wised up early.

The Robert Cripps and the Steve Veis and the Frank Zappos who said, it isn’t only about my making music. I gotta become a businessman. I gotta become a pretty hardnosed guy. Because there’s all kinds of people, there are all kinds of, if not parasites, at least wheelers and dealers. And they’re looking at how they can get a piece of me, even though they did nothing to create this cool thing.

And so that’s been an ongoing, all of my years have been, how does it work out? You know what I mean? There’s always been negotiations about that and that the government sometimes intrudes or sometimes backs off. We, we’ve had, should the internet be let’s Free isn’t the right word.

Whether the internet is a carrier so that they’re not responsible for content. Or are going to make it that now they are responsible for stopping some of the worst stuff out there. But then it’s funny how some of the worst stuff doesn’t become, oh my God, hideous child pornography, that it’s I don’t like that book.

And so you’re not allowed to have that on your network. It’s like always the people that are happy to be censors are pretty much Exactly. The ones who

Stephen: Shouldn’t be. Yes. Their

Alan: agendas are so much not having to do with real decency, real intellectual freedom and humanity. They’re from a very stilted viewpoint.

You know what

Stephen: I mean? And there’s actually an episode of South Park I watched recently that dealt with agents. The boys became agents cuz Token could sing. So every time Token sang somewhere, they got 10%, but they did absolutely nothing to get the gig. So that was what

Alan: they just put themselves, they’re the rent takers, there’s great.

There’s all kinds of terms that have had to come into existence because of how much that is in the world, right? If I happen to had a castle on the river, suddenly I make everybody pay a toll. Total freaking happenstance. Maybe you built the castle, maybe you built it just to be able to take the toll you didn’t make the river.

And now in this world, there’s all kinds of Shrek in the world that say, Hey, I sneakily bought, intellectual property on insulin, and now I’m gonna gouge people. Even though it’s not an inconvenient, nominal toll, it’s a life-threatening thing, right? If you can’t afford, and the worst of those things sometimes are taken care of, but there’s all kinds of things in place, right?

Boy, there’s whole books about this. I didn’t mean to talk over you, I’m sorry. No. Where they talk about, there’s places that used to specialize in. Filing lawsuits, not creating anything. Exactly, yes. But buying a technology that is somehow maybe impinged upon, especially by people with deep pockets.

And so they buy a little thing that has to do with how a GIF or Jeff is handled, and then they go after Apple and go after Oracle and go, whoever else might be trading in these kinds of things. And they had, most of the time, it’s worth settling instead of going to court, because if you, by, by terrible luck losing court, your company’s really screwed.

But the settlements were like, really, they didn’t create anything. All they had was the cunning nature to be able to say, if I can get in there the net that won’t go away, they’ll still pay me off. So I,

Stephen: and you said something about the artists owning the material and getting their rights back and things.

The blockchain technology is actually been talked about, being able to help take care of some of that, and I’ve heard rumors and ramblings of it, but it hasn’t really. Hit that market penetration. It hasn’t taken off. It’s not being used yet. It’s not quite there. But the example I hear a lot through some of the author community is, so I write a book and I release it with this blockchain attached to it.

So it, that information exactly has who wrote it, where it’s from and all that, and I sell it to you. So now you own it, but you own that copy. But I still own the book and the rights. So you could take then take that book. And you could sell it to Colleen as a used book so you no longer have any right to read it.

And she has that. But then I get, 10% of that used book sale. That’s, and you can sell it’s right to a half price bookstore and, whatever. If she gives it to her sister, now she can’t read it. You can’t read it. Only her sister could read it. But I still own it, and that’s something that’s being looked at that could be used for music, could be used for books, but it’s not quite being done.

Not quite there yet. Cuz I don’t think they’ve quite figured it all out.

Alan: Yeah. It, that the boy that’s also a 20 year issue. They, maybe 15 they’ve been talking about. That’s the next big thing for a long time because it really does give you provenance. It gives you proof of ownership if you do encryption correctly.

It really is. You can guarantee uniqueness, right? That kind of stuff that’s NFTs wouldn’t even exist, non fungible tokens without the blockchain and the encryption behind it that proves that. I’m. Some people dove in a big way and there’s entire exchanges that talk about how you can prove that you’re the only one that has a picture of Mighty Mouse in black or something like that.

I haven’t invested in that because that’s something that though I read a lot about it, I’m so much not wanting to have to be, become an expert in the latest legal ramblings about wranglings, about that so that I don’t kinda get screwed by someone who is just more cunning than I am. There’s big opportunities for making money and there’s also big opportunities for getting screwed.

Yeah. And that’s what kind of keeps me from doing it. That’s what keeps a lot of people from doing it. I’m a pretty tech savvy person and yet I don’t find it easy to trust. And maybe this is sweeping statements, I’m. There’s some people that are making a lot of money and have a lot of interest in crypto and bitcoins and all the various different possibilities of digital non fiat currencies.

And yet the more I read about how easy it is to do a branch, how easy it is to pump and dump the sale of those things. You know what I mean? You read about name it, not, not only Bitcoin and Ethereum and or whatever things might be well regarded, but how many things have had, Hey, I just lost 700 million because I lost my token, or my, my, my passcode.

I, I just had things stolen from me because they figured out my supposedly unbreakable 256, but I’m a human being. So if it’s not only digital, but I actually set it up and they know all the books that I’ve read, then they just start looking for exactly things that would narrow the possible solution space.

You know what I mean? Yeah. So I’m not totally suspicious. I’m not Rejecting of it, but I’m really cautious and for, I don’t know, Colleen and I about to be retired and we wanna make sure we hold onto our money so we’re not eating dog food. I always use that thing, that’s really, I don’t want to be in anything that doesn’t have the established track record of, hey, the N Y S E has been around for a long time and so have a couple other exchanges.

And so if I put money into those things, I’m pretty sure that they’re not just gonna. Overnight I go to the website, it doesn’t exist anymore. Wait, what

Stephen: if they did? We probably have more problems than just that going on.

Alan: True enough. I will say this, so we’re getting ready to do work on our kitchen and so we had a bunch of money that we’ve accumulated over the course of time and it really was just sitting in savings.

And I will, I’ll at PNC Bank and PNC Bank wasn’t great about, Hey we’re happy to pay you money, market rates or CD rates with the amount of money you got there. Why don’t you use one of these products? We heard BCUs from them over months and months. And so I did a little investigation of where can I put money that really will get reasonable money?

Market or CD rates and CDs. You have to make sure you’re doing it like however, every month, every quarter, whatever that we didn’t know how soon we would need it, so we decided, but just looking for a money market fund, we found like a 5% money market fund. And then what you have to do is this could easily be, hey, we say we have 5%, send us your money and then poof, it’s gone.

So I really checked to make sure that it’s legit. It’s been around a long time. Lots of other places talk about, and so we moved a bunch of money to be making a little bit of money for us there. Cuz you’ve got our kid new kitchens is gonna cost tens of thousands of dollars, right? So have over our little employees, tens of thousands of employees making us 5%.

That’s a better thing than just having it earning 0.015%. Like they did when interest rates were so low. So just another, I guess shout out, interest rates have been cl steadily climbing for the last couple years. All kinds of banks and places are so freaking happy to be dragging their feet about giving that back to their customers.

And so go to help p n C for having not preemptively struck and said, we will indeed pay you a reasonable wage for the money you got with us instead of just encouraging you to escape. And you, FB direct is the place they end up going with that was, regarded for reasonable money. So yeah, that al’s not quite a stock market corner, but the, and by, by the way I’m making a recovery, everybody’s talking about now that we might have hit that top in terms of how much they’ll keep raising interest rates and maybe no matter how bad the world might be in terms of Ukraine and various other places, the market after a while has taken all that information in and they have predictions as to what’s the world gonna be like based on covid and based on Ukraine and based on more hurricanes.

And so now the market seems to recover, be recovering because everybody wants to like let’s get back to business.

Stephen: Exactly.

Alan: And I’m pleased that I’m positioned with, I got out more than a hundred stocks in all different kinds of things that I think are the future. And I’m hoping that everybody will wake up and say, you are exactly right.

That med tech there and communications tech here and, all those. Things that I care about tasers here, that the world will say, if you guys are running your business we’re happy to have you keep increasing that business cuz we do a need need more CrowdStrike, to be able to stop cyber attacks.

We need more shockwave to be able to cure cancer with electricity. We need, all kinds of things that, like I, I’m in both Moderna and Biointech now because it sure seems that their m r NNA technology that we use to conquer covid, it’s not only gonna continue to conquer covid, it’s gonna have all kinds of applicability to all kinds of other infectious diseases.

Now it’s just a matter of how do you identify what makes yellow fever? Yellow fever and then, or let’s say malaria cuz it’s even a real example and then we finally have a cure for an incurable disease. Or if it’s a cure that is 90% efficacious, it’s better than 50, it’s better than only mosquito net.

And so I’m, I sure am hoping that. The market is fickle and fear-based in some cases. And so after everybody made their money from Covid and then they beat on those stocks because they didn’t have like right away, another miracle in the pipeline, I want a miracle and I want it right now.

The market is so stupid sometimes, and yet I invest for the long term. I’m pretty sure that these companies, or maybe they’ll be bought by other companies, whatever, we’re gonna see a miraculous. Like maybe, I’m still, I have melanoma. I never want to get it again. So I take my little supplements that are supposed to be good.

What would be better than any supplement A vaccine, right? That says, now not get melanoma. I would love to pop that into my body and have, before, before a while I was like, go nanotech. Make me live, longer because you’re in there automatically repairing and getting rid of the bad guys and maybe R M R N A now is one of those things that will teach my body how to create the defense systems.

We’re living in a time of miracles, man, and I want to get, I don’t care about making money. I care about encouraging their creation, right? So that Colleen and I can be around until. Till we’re both 1 41 and 1 43. I need to see 2100. I need to make it to the next century. Cause I, we’re in this place of the longer you live, the better your chances are living for a longer time than

Stephen: that.

Cause they keep

Alan: fixing. Hair loss is nothing. Make sure my organs don’t fail. Make sure my telomeres stay nice and long

Stephen: The medical stuff and sometimes I just don’t get it and understand it. All these viruses and germs and stuff, they’d be so easy to fix. Just get some bleach and inject it.

Bleach kills that stuff, right? Isn’t that what the wiser people than us said just inject bleach, right? Is that special lamps

Alan: too? There’s special lamps in a certain wavelengths. You know what I mean? That don’t worry, the UVA will not burn you like sunburn. This actually cures it. It’s just that is the problem.

The reason I’m in mRNA and Biointech and not in snake oil sales bill is cause there are all kinds of people that jump into it that make it so that people don’t as easily believe because they trade in disinformation and somehow still find a way to make money on it. Yeah. I vote kind of consumer reports wise, I don’t want the cheapest thing, I want the one that I know works. It doesn’t have to be the premium brand, but they did all the tests and they say this is indeed, they just had a study of all the different SPFs, some protection, fast factors, things out there. Yeah. And if I remember right, longstanding name Coppertone came out on top as it’s an SPF 50, but then it really is close to s SPF 50.

It doesn’t wash off it, you don’t have to like, make yourself white with zinc oxide and stuff like that. But this stuff really works. And there’s all kinds of things that. I’ve traded on their name or that they haven’t prepared the right emulsion so that it stays on you. You sweat it off in 15 minutes, you two and a half hours of protection.

And so that really might be one of my issues is I’m not getting melanoma again. I do whatever is necessary to wear my Tilly hat and slop, slip, slop, slide all my stuff on. And so I love the fact that someone is not only creating them, but then there’s people that are hats off the consumer reports for the last century of.

Here’s the best cars, here’s the best everything. We’re gonna look at laundry, Deion. We’re gonna look at lawnmowers. We’re gonna look at s SPF products, right? And they’ll guide me to what’s the best one, what’s the best value for the money? What are the ones that they trade on? Boy, it sure costs a lot, so it must be good.

Regularly, there are things that are like the most expensive, or like the third from the bottom in terms of right. You really are and the power of advertising, not the power of material science.

Stephen: The SPF one is such a great example because it just, we’ve talked many times on here about people that just take things that they want to believe and go with it.

And SPFs one of those, I see people getting these lip balms and it’s it doesn’t taste real good, but they said it’s like s pf 35,000, so I’m gonna get it. And I’m like, was that from the Acme Company? It sounds like something from Bug’s Bunny. Is that, how unit

Alan: is that why your lips are burning?

Stephen: Cause Exactly. How do you know it’s 35,000? What did they say that made it that? Why is that 35,000? But the one I’m using says four. You know what? Come on. And people just, oh, it says it, so it must be, yeah, it’s 35,000 if you’re like in a cave and it’s, you know what I mean? It just I don’t understand people sometimes.

And, a good example of other

Alan: things like that. There are people that think if it’s homey, it’s

Stephen: okay. Yeah. Yeah. It’s said it on the package. I’ll believe it. Techs, I, there’s so many times I get tech that is not the, what everyone else has, but it’s like the same and better. Numbers on it, and it’s wow, it’s a lot cheaper and yeah. And we’ve got an Aldi’s near us and I know Aldi’s are sweeping across the country, right? There are so many things at Aldi’s that are the Aldi brand that I like better than some of the name brand store stuff. And if you look at it, a lot of times it is healthier, better, or whatever. I think

Alan: we just talked about that a couple episodes.

Again, I went to on all these for the first time, within the last two months or something like that, and I really did get. The baskets, when they talk about consumer price index, they really don’t just base it on one product, they base it on a hundred. And so I would try to say let’s try their ranch dressing and let’s try their, let’s try their produce.

Do they get produce from a reasonable place or two days away from turning and stuff like that.

Stephen: You do get that sometimes with Aldi’s. What? Wonder what?

Alan: But I was satisfied with probably 80%. And so then it’s not, go to all these or not, it’s yes, I’ll go to all these, but now I know which things to get there.

That, the, I’m trying to think their breakfast sausages were just right. They’re, maybe they’re s spf, that kind of stuff. Like you said, sometimes they have the, all these brand, they regularly have articles from consumer Reports and others where they say, here’s exactly the same thing, but it’s got a Costco label on it, or an Aldis label, or a generic or whatever.

Yes. And you’re getting exactly the same thing. It really is. That factory is blurbing it into the same jar and they just put a different label on it based on what the destination is and. And

Stephen: that is not just speculation. I worked at a box factory when I was in college, and I witnessed this firsthand. We were printing out these boxes for this instant ocean.

It was for people that wanted saltwater fish tanks, that they put this stuff in their water and it puts all the right chemicals in. So you can put the saltwater fish in, and we’re printing this box, and it’s a nice art drawing. These are just cardboard boxes with one color outline pictures. So it’s like a coloring book, but they look good and it’s nice and it’s good quality boxes that we’re printing and stuff. And we print all these off and then we go to the next order. A lot of times when we did orders, it was like this one company would order. All these different things. And we would do all their orders in a row first come, first serve.

So we go to the next order and the box quality is not quite as good, not as many flutes in it. Okay. And the drawing was more simple and, but it was like ocean in a minute or something. And I’m looking at, I’m like, these look very much alike. And it’s from the same order form, and the guy runs says, oh yeah, it’s the same company.

I’m like, okay, what’s the difference in the products? He’s there is none. He’s like this one, they sell at the pet stores for 35 bucks. That one, they ship to Walmart for 15. I’m like, but it’s the same thing. Yeah, it’s exactly the same thing. That’s

Alan: exactly, honestly, there’s many examples of that.

This is terrible. I know that I’ve read a couple articles now about what’s called the pink Premium, where they have exactly the same product. Let’s say a razor, a little handheld razor. And if it’s for ladies, Then it’s 30% more. Because apparently that’s supposed to be gentler for shaving.

Instead of shaving your face. But it’s exactly the same thing. No difference in it’s a lubrication on the strip. It’s all number of blades. Difference. And marketing Exactly that. Marketing and advertising and made it that we’re gonna do product differentiation goes to different places, sold to different markets, but it’s one big vato stuff and it just, comes out with a different, I don’t know that.

I’m glad that consumer reports really does find differences in various different things. And sometimes it’s like a flavor profile and instead of it being one person tasting various different flavors, they’ll have a crowd of 30 or 40 people. And so then on balance they’ll say this is our expert team.

They’re all good, hyper tasters, they found this to be too salty or too oily, or whatever else it might be. And so I trust that a as compared to this kind of funny, Colleen’s family is big and often we’ll have discussions about where do you get various different stuff, like for Thanksgiving and stuff like that.

And they really do, I think mostly run on personal recommendation. The sister like it, so they’re gonna go get the same thing and then wow. But I found that Pecorino Romano at Costco and I’m pretty sure it’s like I looked and it’s from the same. If not distributor, the same manufacturer, the same cow for all money.

Heck, I guess is sheep. But anyway, I’m like, wow. I’m not trying to tell you what to do, but I know I say 30%. You might want to try it just to see. I, having said all that, I know. I’ve also read studies that say there’s like wines out there. I think it is Trader Joe’s, that they call two buck Chuck. It’s a $2 bottle of wine and then there’s a $30 bottle of wine and they have a big taste testing and if you do it blind, then often the two and the five went out. Totally. Yeah. If you do it, the label’s on, there’s something psychological that people say, I like this better.

I paid more money, so I will like this better. That’s how my mind works. Yeah. I’m gonna get more satisfaction out of, I brought the nice snooty bottle for my wife’s and I anniversary it. We wanted to go high end and so we did. It’s gonna taste better. So the mind is amazing. All that, psychosomatic effect that it has on matters of taste matters of maybe not matters of quality.

It doesn’t matter how nice a lawnmower looks, if it breaks down in two years versus 10 years. Yes. But there are people that will still, they’ll paint a green cuz that’s green, that’s,

Stephen: So there’s a series of books that I’ve read, several, I’ve got several sitting right here on my shelf. Okay.

The one I’ve read multiple times. It’s called Gorilla Marketing Weapons or Gorilla Marketing by, okay. Is it Jake Conrad Levison, I believe. I’ll look it up. I’ll put it in the show notes for sure. Okay. But I’ve read this book, I’ve listened to the audio book actually several times. Yeah. And they have different niches that they do books for and different topics.

But one of the stories that they tell is when he was working in a marketing firm, executive marketing firm they went to some conference, in LA or whatever it was, and they get into this cab, the four of ’em, and they’re talking, and the cabbie, this is a guy gets up every morning, jumps in his cab, drives people around, and that’s his job.

He’s oh, you guys are in marketing? They’re said, oh yeah, big marketing, convention, blah, blah, blah. He’s oh yeah. I don’t believe in marketing. They’re like, oh, you don’t, huh? And he’s no, I don’t think that stuff works. I get what I need. And I know, and, he’s going on and on and They said really well, what type of toothpaste do you use?

He says I use this like toothpaste. He said why? He says because I really don’t have time to brush between meals, so this helps keep that from blah, blah, blah. That was the whole marketing of that toothpaste was when you’re don’t have time to brush, when you should use our toothpaste, any Totally went with it and they all chuckled, but you could recite

Alan: the advertising campaign.

Yeah. For many of the things,

Stephen: I hear you and I had my, an ex family member was asking me, and this was back in the nineties, when things were a little different computer wise, but he goes, I’m going to get in a computer. I’m like, really? You’re go get a computer? He’s yeah, but I’m not sure what to get.

Should I get an Intel or Adele? I’m like, okay, that’s not really the right choice, but why? He’s those are the two I see the most on tv. He had no clue what he was talking about, about what to get. But the marketing is what he remembered, and that’s, you know what people forget, it’s.

You just get, get it out there in front of people. That’s half the marketing right there. Absolutely.

Alan: I know I read that when someone asked you like, you know what computer you should get, what I often say is if you want to have really good tech support, get a mat cuz I’ll help you. Then I can’t, I’m pretty good at Windows, but I’m nowhere near as current and as Conversant as that kind of stuff. And so my parents did, and both me and Armen could help him and stuff like that. I think Bruce and Chris have some things, apple and some things not, because sometimes it matters that you save a hundred dollars on Samsung or on Android devices instead of an iPhone and then you don’t get me.

And it’s just, and that’s a little bit, it doesn’t sound too arrogant, but it’s just practical. You know what I mean? Like I’m not the one to have said that first. I read that somewhere and I said that’s a way that you can go to your family members is I’m gonna be happy to help.

And it in fact Really good at helping, cuz I really have done that for 30 years now. But you’re gonna whatever that a hundred dollars you just saved first time you gotta go to another computer, fix it, place there goes that a hundred and it wasn’t in a threatening way, it was just I won’t be able to help you as much.

Whereas I will be happy to share. If you go with what I use,

Stephen: but that is so dangerous because if they are so computer like my mother, it’s so difficult sometimes to work with her on computers because it’s just the little things. It’s it’s broken, it’s not working.

I’m like, why not? I haven’t been able to get my email for a month. Email’s not working. No. You see this button that I told you about last time? That’s the network button. You turned it off. You’re not connected to anything. Look at that. It works now. And two months later it’s the email’s not working again.

No, it’s not the email that’s not working. But that, you know that with tech that gets so hard and I get with work, sometimes people will say something and then I’ll shoot ’em an email with six, seven questions on it and they get frustrated. They’re like, look, it’s just the email’s not working.

Fix it. I’m like, eh, my email works fine. The server’s fine. Let’s figure out why, what really the problem is, cuz it’s not the email. And they, people just think I told you. Look folks, you wouldn’t call your car mechanic and say, Hey, my car is broke. What’s wrong with it? I don’t know. Bring it in.

No, just tell me over the phone. My car is broke. What’s wrong with it? That could be a million things. People don’t understand that with tech. I hear you. It does. I

Alan: occasionally have frustration where I help family members or friends, and indeed it has been like just that, if anything, one of the, one of the fine features that I offer is I stay calm, while they’re panicking cause they need and get to their email or something.

They had, they know they had it. Now it’s missing. It’s we’ll find it, we’ll get it. You know what I mean? You’ll, it’ll be okay. There’s, it’s not, and as one of the first things is it’s not working. Must be a virus. And it’s I’ll bring over stuff that, we’ll check for that in particular, but that’s a low odds bet.

Unless you didn’t listen to all the things I told you about. Don’t click on things that you don’t know,

Stephen: But it, Microsoft it popped up and said Microsoft Windows was broke. Click here and call this number. I talked to somebody from Microsoft. How do you know it was from Microsoft?

They said, so here I got some toothpaste for you to use

Alan: it. It, I don’t know, just being a canny consumer, is behind all of this. I, I don’t know. I regularly do it. I really want to know a little bit about everything that I’m, like putting in my body or bring it in front of my eyes or something like that.

So it’s a very instinctive thing to me to know more so that I, and to know more so that I can ask the right questions if it breaks and stuff like that. And as there’s a whole set of people that just, I just want it to work. I don’t wanna know. I don’t really wanna know how the magic works.

I just do want it to work. And that’s okay. I’ll try to be available, but if I’m on vacation and your computer breaks I’m not taking a break from hiking half home. Cause you need your email right away. Or whatever else it might be.

Stephen: And how many times, and this is the Windows joke, it’s did you reboot?

And people joke about that, but Right. But the thing I get is so many times it’s either I want it fixed, I don’t wanna reboot. That sometimes fixes stuff quite often, or the other thing is I’ll get somebody that says I didn’t wanna bother you, so I rebooted 27 times. It’s still okay if it didn’t work the first time, it’s not gonna work the 27th time.


Alan: not like you’re rolling the dice and maybe this time it’ll come upset. Exactly. Colleen often talks about, she’s getting ready to retire and she’s communicating with all of her clients and making sure they know that she’s gonna be not be available and so forth. And so she’s done great work documenting and talking to and stuff like that, but she’s got certain clients that every year she’s tried to explain, here’s how to do this document that you fill out for the Department of Labor, or Here’s how to make your data ready so that it goes in, in the right format and so forth.

And every year she’s had to do that because she can tell they’re not taking any notes and they’re not absorbing it well, and it’s gonna be an entire another year. So most people’s. Memory or something that they did once isn’t necessarily reliable, right? So she’s had to say that when we walk through it this year, you really need to take notes because I don’t have time to write it up for you.

You need to take notes while we’re going through it. And then yes, I’ll have a replacement and that person will work with you as well. But the best thing you could do is to just be able to do it so that you’re not dependent on the next person and the quality of that next person and how much time that next person might have.

Because Colleen is extraordinary. She really does fit in more than an amount of time That’s right for that job. She’s very conscientious and very patient in the same way that I try to describe and people always talk about, you’ll miss me when I’m gone. Boy, are they gonna miss her?

Cause such an incredible combination of. Dealing with the dragon ladies, the people that really are the fire breathers and they don’t know what they’re talking about, but they sure are loud about it. I just used that on the lot. No lot and all the people that are determined to learn the least they can

Stephen: To be in their job.

Yeah. Wow.

Alan: I have always been, I wanted to know as much as I could out of self-defense, out of, just the inside of my head feels better when I know things. I kind of wonder, understand how things work and I guess the whole rest of the world is like not all the rest, whatever, the straight, there’s 10%.

That are determined to know everything and 10% are determined to know nothing. And there’s a spectrum of that. And yet you can see how many people get bitten that if they don’t understand their car or their computer or their stereo or whatever, they gotta go in and hope that they found a decent person that’s gonna repair it.

Or someone that’s gonna just totally screw them because they know, there’s whole comedy sketch worlds of, oh no, I’m a woman and I’m just gonna get screwed over by this guy cuz he assumes I know nothing. And you really have to fight that I ask, just if you don’t ask enough questions to let him know that you know a little bit about it, then they really are looking.

Sometimes for, we’ve had multiple times we try to get multiple estimates for things we’re getting done on the house. And sometimes their questions are to see how much, So they can know on the sliding scale, how much can I screw you? Where you stand. Yeah. Yeah. And it’s not the one that’s galling, but that’s just the way the world is too.

Stephen: And I, there’s so many things with that. I know somebody who. Just will install 500 extensions on their browser and then wonder why things are running slow and have 35 tabs open along with that and open up all this stuff and you told me this computer was good. I can’t get it to do anything.

That’s cuz you never close anything. Close stuff down you’re not using. Get rid of the I gotta keep it hygiene. Yeah. I gotta keep it safe. So I got five different antiviruses cuz I’m gonna keep it and I’m making this, you open their browser and like the top six inches is just extension bar after bar.

Exactly. And this computer isn’t working any better than the last one. So it’s been a year and a half. I’ll get a new one. I’m like, oh my God, I have my laptop for 10 years. You can’t even keep it a year and a half.

Alan: Yeah I’ll, any number of times I’ve bought like. A computers or dummies book, even though I know a lot about it because I want to get, if they’re trying to teach you how to do things that are like the smart way to not leave things open, I want to have that in me too, of like I, because maybe I’m arrogant and thinking that I know so much stuff.

I don’t want to go down a fool foolish path of, I like having many things open cuz I like to glance around. Yeah. But really there’s efficiencies to be gained from No, if you anything have a different set and if your computer supports having different identities, I’m now in investing mode, now I’m in development mode, I’m in goofing off mode.

If I’m in gaming, you should have nothing running at all except right. Get your frame rate up by having that be the dedicated resources of your computer are so you can get better looking dragons, that kinda thing. That a brief aside, so you know I’m a Mac guy and Mac support multiple monitors.

I just read the at all kinds of product announcements at the Worldwide Developers Conference and they mentioned that there’s new Mac Studios and Mac Pros that are like super, super powerful, but that led me to investigate. I have a an M one Mac Mini, and as we both talked about, we tend to get value for our computer.

This guy runs multiple monitors, exactly what I want. Keyboards fast enough for everything, but I just learned that the M one M two Ultra Mac Mini, which is still only like $1,300, it’s really not that expensive. It supports three monitors, not two. So I hate what I want instead of need, and yet I want Skynet.

I wanna be surrounded by.

Stephen: I can give you the use case on why that’s necessary and why you need that. See,

Alan: when I do things where I have like multiple pallets open, I like to have and just in my regular thing, it’s okay, I got my browser here and my email here and my notes, and I like to be able to like glance instead of move windows or click on to bring things to the fore.

I think I really am more efficient and 30, 40% more efficient, not from having to move things around. So I, and I have an extra monitor that I had bought when I was out in California, cuz when I was visiting, mom, all those times I brought my laptop out, but I made it so I had a simulated desktop rig from having a be a mouse and a even a numeric keyboard and my big screen instead of just a laptop screen.

That came home with me. It’s he’s sitting over there fallow. I could put him in use, I could get on the third monitor.

Stephen: The biggest reason to get a three monitor set up like that Yes. Is because then you could join the online racing league and you got your car with your side Windows Uhhuh that you could like.


Alan: Oh, I gotta go clean up. Oh, there you

Stephen: go.

Alan: I just imagine I know that they do things now, things can move from out of your Vermont easily if they really do have like panoramic screensavers where I could be surrounded by. It block

Stephen: falls outer space or something like that.

Outer space. Dinosaurs. The dinosaurs. See

Alan: the clock procession as the, time it, it lights up the world as we spin cuz there’s a sun. I just think that would be, it’ll tickle me to have that. Yes. It’s fun. 1300 bucks, not only on a whim, I think I really will be more productive, but I just, and it’s funny, nobody sees my rig.

I’m up here in Skynet. I hardly ever take a picture or bring someone up but I really would be like, if someone came up here and said, oh, are you like Norad? Are you like, yes. Are you running the world? Are you the one that’s gonna save us when the meteor’s about to hit, right?

Yes sir. You are correct. I am

Stephen: that guy. All right, so before we gotta go real quick. So you haven’t seen flash yet, so we’ll put that for next week. Definitely wanna talk about the flash right.

Alan: But that is during this week. Cause I wanna see it and Colleen doesn’t have as much interest in this.

She’s already got the marble thing, but not so much DC thing. So I’ll go catch it at a matinee No. And have the whole place to myself and crunch my popcorn.

Stephen: You know what I mean? But have you seen the new trailer for Craven, the Hunter? No, I have not. There is a trailer out.

Alan: Interesting. So what’s funny is I regularly go to the library and get graphic novels, collections of various different things cuz I haven’t been buying actively for 10 years.

A whole series of stuff is the interlocking craven and his daughter and his cloned craven and all kinds of stuff. So it is my guess that movie might be based on this Nick Spencer extended run of Spider-Man, where it upped Craven as one of his better villains.

Stephen: Ok. And they did put it in the venom verse from Sony.

Okay. Which does have a few ties over to the Marvel Spider-Man, okay. From some of the crossover shit they did. The old slash Sony. Exactly. Go see it. Go look up the trailer. We’ll talk about that next week with the flash. Sounds good. But I still haven’t seen the Muppet Mayhem on Disney.

That’s like on my list. But tomorrow’s secret invasion starts, so we’ve got that. There is that

Alan: too. In fact, I just also saw the second Captain Marvel movie, fury of the Gods. And it’s funny, I didn’t like it as much because I think that a big proponent of the first one was that it was innocent.

That it, captain Marvel was always a kid’s version of Superman and Captain Marvel fans. Of course. No. He was just as good and competitive with, but it’s a little kid made into a superhero. But his ethos his, the way he thinks of the world is still quite innocent and simple.

And he wants to do good because he is a good kid. Not, he shouldn’t have to, they had villainous enough villains and an interlocking enough plot and so forth that it made it too serious. I was looking forward to being fluffier and it was, it had some really dark scenes and that kind of stuff.

When I go to see Deadpool, I expect it to be Debo. You know what I mean? Those should be at the. Polar opposites, and there was it I didn’t enjoy it as much. Maybe because I had the preconception of this, this’ll be fluff, and it said it wasn’t totally fluff.

Stephen: I told Colin, I said, so DC’s trying to get a foothold and get things going.

So they’ve got what, six, seven movies out with Aquaman and Wonder Woman Inside. Half of them are Marvel, Shazam movies. I’m like, do we really need half of them to be Shazam movies?

Alan: I will say this, we talked about this a couple months ago. Black Adam came out and it was a Justice League movie cuz it was Justice Society.

And actually that kind of got panned by a lot of people. I thought it was really well done. Yeah. I like that. Black Adam again is, he’s a fanatic. He’s amoral, he’s not a superhero. It’s just that he happened to be fighting an even worse thing, but and then portraying the Justice Society, which kind of a change from Justice Society back in the forties, fifties was a more innocent version of the Justice League.

It really was more kind of corny, but boy they updated it so that Hawkman is really menacing. Yeah. And the kinds of things that they did with. They, I thought, brought it into modern sensibility to show that these old characters don’t only have to be the bam, pow, but that there really are cool elements of Dr.

Fate Pierce Brosnan, I think. Playing it. Yeah. He had just the right amount of world weariness and. I don’t know. It was a very adult movie, and that’s what I wanna have once in a while as the comic books arent only escapism and they’re not only innocence like Captain Marvel once in a while, heavy hangs the head that wears the crown.

If you got the power to save the world, but it’s not an easy thing. It’ll grind you down. You know what I, where you out it and Wow. Really that was I really liked it. I thought it had really cool elements to it. Yeah.

Stephen: Yeah. I like both of those Black Adam Men, the second Shazam movie. I don’t think they, my mind, I’m kinda a

Alan: sucker for superheroes in every way.

I just kinda I like the fact that they exist. Yeah. So long. They were only in my comic book world. And now that they’ve got the tech and the money to be able to do these things well, I’m looking forward to, that’s they just rejiggered the Marvel release schedule. So besides Secret Invasion about to be on tv they moved around what things are gonna come out with.

And in some cases I think that it’s, they need more time or that they just were like looking at maybe a little bit of real world marketing tie in type stuff. But, The fact that they’ve got like a dozen movies still coming out, when is the Marvels gonna come out? When is I like the fact that they’ve committed and that almost if you have one or two flubs, it’s not gonna stop the freight train from rolling forward of we are gonna get to the next big bad that is Kang.

And we’re gonna get through cosmic stuff like the Living Tribunal and I like that. I like that there’s An overarching commitment and that there’s really a desire to have it tied in together. I think I mentioned we went to see the Spider verse, the second spider-Man Spider verse movie.

Very uncommon to have a scene in the credits, but not sitting all the way till the end to catch that last tie-in that they really were like, wow, you let me down. You guys are the ones that started this trend and at whoop,

Stephen: lemme just turn that. To be fair, that was Sony more than Marvel on that

Alan: one.

You are correct. There’s dilution of the brand now because there are people that are own certain property rights and they’re doing things cooperatively, but they still want their stamp on it, that kind of thing, all right. Alright. All right, ma’am. Thanks very much.

Wonderful session. We’ll see you

Stephen: next week. See you next week. Have a good week. Okay. And I can’t wait to talk about Flash.

Alan: I, that’s, I’m seeing it. Alright. Alright. Byebye.