Crashing Clockwise #551: ‘Clippy Vibes’

The tech podcast where every day is Earth Day, except for that time we recorded on Mars.


Dan Moren: Meta has rolled out its new AI Assistant in several places, including its smart glasses collaboration with Ray-Ban. Does this feel like the second coming of Google Glass, or does this time around feel like this kind of technology has more promise?

Like Karissa, I’ve been pretty impressed with my Meta Ray-Bans. But I hardly ever use their AI assistant. It only just recently got multimodal support so that I can ask questions about things that the camera can see, but I think that will be pretty limited in my usage as well. I’ve already got Siri for most of my random question answering, and although Siri doesn’t have all the answers, I’m more confident that it won’t hallucinate or lie to me as today’s AIs do.

That said, I’m bullish about glasses as an assistive device in general, even if it doesn’t revolve around asking questions. Just having a camera even more at the ready, along with microphone and speakers has been transformative for me and I’m excited to see where this product category goes over the next five or so years.

Having an AI chatbot in my Instagram search field is kinda weird, but I guess I kind of see the benefit? Surely it’s good for Meta to be able to roll it out everywhere and as long as it doesn’t get in my way of regular searches, I don’t mind an extra-capable search field there.


Karissa Bell: Are you Team Chronological Feed or Team Algorithmic Feed?

Why not both? I’m happy to have an algorithmic feed in social networks, music platforms, video platforms, etc. provided that there is also a chronological/default option. I see value in an algorithmic feed bubbling up stuff I might be interested in but would never see otherwise. But usually, I just want to see the stuff from people I explicitly followed first. Then if I run out of new posts, I’ll switch over to the For You” feed to discover new stuff.

I’d really really like it if I could choose to always open the chronological feed first too.

Of note, I use for the majority of my social networking. They only have a chronological timeline, and then a global Discover page that is manually curated. I like them both, but have resorted to reading my personal timeline via an RSS app because I want (a) to be a completionist and have synced/saved timeline position, and (b) to read my timeline from top to bottom, oldest posts to newest. It baffles me that timelines that include replies/conversations default to be read from newest to oldest. I wish every timeline-based app allowed you to switch to oldest on top so I can scroll naturally to the bottom, reading posts in the order in which they were made, and then eventually get to the bottom where there are no more posts. Doomscrolling on and on forever never feels great.


Rosemary Orchard: How do you find new software tools?

I’ll jump on the word-of-mouth bandwagon and say that most of my app discoveries come from blogs and podcasts I follow, or from social media. Occasionally I’ll go searching in the App Store for something to fill a specific need, but that’s pretty rare. Otherwise, I do subscribe to Setapp, so sometimes I’ll test run an app from their catalog if I see it in their newsletter, or promoted in their catalog app.


Anže Tomić: Where do you stand on one country banning apps from other countries?

Seems pretty untenable to a globally connected Internet in the long term. As I quipped recently, I’d much prefer laws be passed to regulate the specific actions that the government is concerned about rather than pursuing an outright ban/dissolvement.

Saying, Well, China bans our apps, so we should ban theirs,” feels like a cop-out reason.


Bonus Topic: What is your favorite animal that you have seen in real life?

I think otters are some of the coolest animals to watch. They’re so cute, so smart, and so playful. I could otter-watch all day and I’d so love to play with them!


Overtime Topic: What kind of program/scene for a Holodeck would you create?

It’d be super handy to explore back through my own memories if we had some way to capture them.

Otherwise, I’d sign up for a weekly travel program where I could walk around iconic places with interesting cultures. Travel takes so much time and expense, but there’s so much cool stuff in the world to see. I’d use a Holodeck to do some quick exploration down the streets of Paris, New Zealand, Antarctica, etc.

Until next week, watch what you say, and keep watching the clock! Bye everybody!

Crashing Clockwise

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