Favoriting Techtonic with Mark Hurst: Playlist from December 2, 2019 Favoriting

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Conversations with creators and thinkers who are charting the way forward in a tech-saturated society. In our shift to a digital future, we need alternatives to Big Tech. Homepage: techtonic.fm

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Favoriting December 2, 2019: Joe Hollier, co-founder, The Light Phone

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Gahan Wilson, 2/18/1930 - 11/21/2019. RIP.


Tonight: Joe Hollier, co-founder of The Light Phone - a simplified smartphone NOT designed by Big Tech. (The team is based in Brooklyn.) The Light Phone has texting and phone calls, and not much else.

The Light Phone, co-founded by Joe Hollier and Kaiwei Tang, originally funded via a 2015 Kickstarter and a 2017 Indiegogo campaign.

Full-page ad in the NYT from Light Phone (Sep 15)

JoeHollier.com, which also links to Joe's project fiveonthat.com

Review of Light Phone (DigitalTrends.com, Nov 26), which seems to miss the point: "The Light Phone 2 has an admirable mission. But why pay this much [$350] for a device lacking so many features?"

In tech news:

Twitter suspends man for hoping Star Wars character 'dies painfully' (CTVNews.ca, Nov 28): Twitter user banned after posting against Baby Yoda. "Apparently, the taboo is that you can’t make fun of puppets owned by Disney." Thanks to listener Mike!

All new cell phone users in China must now have their face scanned (MIT Technology Review, Dec 2): "How facial recognition plays out in China might have an impact on its use in other countries, too." Thanks to listener C!

U.S. Tech Companies Prop Up China’s Vast Surveillance Network (WSJ, Dec 1): "Intel, based in Santa Clara, Calif., provided seed money, as well as chips and technical solutions, to China’s NetPosa Technologies Ltd., which serves the police departments of Beijing, Shanghai and around 60 other cities, as well as the Ministry of Public Security."

Clear backpacks, monitored emails: life for US students under constant surveillance (The Guardian, Dec 2): "School shootings have driven a booming school security industry. Parents and students are still grappling with this new surveillance and its impact on a generation of kids."

Video of Max Stoller from Center for Humane Technology, talking to Braintree middle- and high-schoolers about Snapchat streaks.

- - -

Check out techtonic.fm for recent Techtonic interviews and Little Slice of Tech Pie segments.

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Artist Track Images Approx. start time
  Joe Hollier, co-founder of The Light Phone - a minimalist smartphone NOT made by Big Tech.
Tomaš Dvořák  Game Boy Tune   Favoriting
Favoriting
 
  Mark's intro  
Favoriting
 
  Interview with Joe Hollier  
Favoriting
0:17:02 (Pop-up)
  Your comments  
Favoriting
0:40:20 (Pop-up)
Pink Tiles  The Internet   Favoriting
Favoriting
0:55:03 (Pop-up)


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Listener comments!

Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:01pm
ultradamno:

Hi Mark! Techtoninimalists!
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:01pm
Webhamster Henry:

Nice Gahan Wilson cartoon there!
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:02pm
Webhamster Henry:

I looked into the lightphone, because I want a phone that can make calls, get texts and act as a hotspot with an e-ink screen.
  6:02pm
Dave Miss:

Hello all techies
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:03pm
Handy Haversack:

Gotta go to a meeting in a few but looking forward to hearing the show later so I can start showing my phone-having friends that there are alternatives. Wish I could stick around!
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:03pm
Bas NL:

Hi Mark & Markonics!
  6:03pm
melinda:

Hi all!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:03pm
coelacanth∅))):

greetings Mark and Techtonicreatures
  6:03pm
David in London:

Evening all.
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:04pm
Ken From Hyde Park:

Twenty Techtonickels for a dollar!
Avatar 6:04pm
Fredericks:

Is Mark's intro cassette tape starting to drag?
Avatar 6:04pm
Carmichael:

Heya Mark and Future Shocked.
  6:06pm
johnzo:

It’s been a quiet week in lake web-igon
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:06pm
coelacanth∅))):

that's a brilliant comic < but i'll share that when i was little Gahan Wilson's cartoons freaked/grossed me out
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:07pm
ultradamno:

That dissenting against Star Wars and The Beatles would become actionable was inevitable.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:07pm
coelacanth∅))):

so you're saying that twitter users are a bunch of twits?
  6:07pm
Sam:

What about Jar Jar Binks, LOL
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:07pm
mariano:

Wait, Twitter said you can't blaspheme against Disney properties?
  6:07pm
?:

wow, I work for Disney, totally not surprised
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:08pm
chresti:

Hi Techtonarrea!
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:08pm
ultradamno:

Will I get shut down if I tweet Sleeping Beauty should stayed in her coma?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:08pm
coelacanth∅))):

i'll up him/her one and say i hope disney itself falls off a high cliff into a rocky surf
Avatar 6:08pm
Carmichael:

There's a shot for that, chresti.
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:08pm
Bas NL:

Just found in my paper a preliminary conclusion of a governmental research group over here: Most applications of facial recognition now used in The Netherlands are against the law.
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:09pm
Handy Haversack:

First we break Disney, then we break Datney.
  6:09pm
Sam:

They WILL sue you for libel if you call Pinocchio a liar.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:10pm
coelacanth∅))):

but... his nose!
  6:10pm
Disney cog:

@ultradamno yes, but only because you can't be deported
  6:12pm
DMZ:

Loving the show. Thanks from SF. And check this video from the Chinese government to get you excited about surveillance: https://youtu.be/B7TIFe_SytU
Avatar 6:12pm
annie:

anyone heard of he xiaomi redmi note 8 phone?
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:13pm
ultradamno:

They'd dump me somewhere in the middle of Perceforest
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:14pm
coelacanth∅))):

smart chip implants
  6:15pm
David in London:

China is the ideal testing ground for Big Tech to perfect this technology before rolling it out slowly elsewhere across the globe. In the name of ‘security’.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:15pm
mariano:

Mmmmm... smart chips...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:16pm
coelacanth∅))):

Baked! not fried! Yummy epidermis flavor!
  6:16pm
Sam:

For a while NJ Transit was recording everyone on all light rail trains. But they stopped, I think it got struck down in court.
  6:17pm
Sam:

Recording audio I mean. There are still cameras freakin everywhere.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:18pm
coelacanth∅))):

"streaks"?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:19pm
mariano:

@coela: Yeah, wtf? Never heard of 'em.
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:19pm
Franco Twinkie:

I guess the solution to all of this is smash all your devices and just stay in the house.
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:19pm
tim from champaign (now washington):

I'm also unfamiliar with "streaks". Maybe I don't want to know.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:20pm
dale:

isn't that called pen pals? or addiction?
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:20pm
ultradamno:

Tik Tok sideswipe at The Onion: local.theonion.com...
  6:21pm
David in London:

The Fabulous Furry Streak Brothers aren’t becoming countercultural icons any time soon...
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:22pm
tim from champaign (now washington):

Without a visual, what was the response to the kids' question "are you happy" with Snapchat?
Avatar 6:22pm
annie:

i'd LOVE to be a fly on the wall when the whole system collapses..
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:22pm
dale:

it looks like the monolith from 2001.
  6:23pm
Julio:

iPhone 7?
  6:23pm
Sam:

It looks like a clock radio
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:24pm
Bas NL:

I don't do chat stuff, but this weekend i received six SMS messages of one person in a row... nothing alarming or important, but it felt... not good..
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:24pm
ultradamno:

Is this just a quick, cheap way to detonate a bomb?
  6:24pm
Sam:

Now that’s a phone I could actually get addicted to. It actually looks pleasant and not annoying to use.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:25pm
queems:

can i still look at maps on this thing
  6:25pm
JakeGould:

Light Phone right here: www.thelightphone.com
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:25pm
queems:

50% of my phone use is maps
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:25pm
tim from champaign (now washington):

Can you take photos with it? The only reason I have a smart phone is to send photos of my kids to distant family members.
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:26pm
ultradamno:

Well, as long as it allows me to call Rene Magritte.
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:27pm
chris:

hi, Mark and folks. how does the light phone compare to Blackphone in terms of privacy? en.wikipedia.org...
  6:27pm
iiibeat:

Sounds like the type of product I would like for my daughter's first phone. Its right around the corner, really. She is 7.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:27pm
queems:

i'm a piece of shit millennial so i'm pretty sure i wouldn't be able to go back to pre-smartphone life
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:27pm
coelacanth∅))):

i do occasionally use my phone's camera - but not so i can vainly selfie via snapshit and pretend other people give a shit where i am or what i'm eating or what my new facial piercing looks like .....
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:27pm
Webhamster Henry:

@tim/champaign there are some android based non-phone cameras that do that!
  6:28pm
JakeGould:

Kinda reminds me of the Punkt phone. www.punkt.ch...
Avatar 6:29pm
slugluv1313:

oh no!
had no idea Gahan Wilson had passed -- he is brilliant
  6:29pm
John in Texas:

I have a light phone. No camera. No maps. Phone, text and alarm. E-ink screen. Kind of like a kindle.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:29pm
coelacanth∅))):

i have a cheap nikon (so, still good) camera that is very easy to upload pictures to my laptop/home-computer... then i can email pix if i want.
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:29pm
Webhamster Henry:

The lightphone looks about the same size as an iPhone 4 or so.
Avatar 6:30pm
Davee:

Smart phone, smart for who, the companies? not the consumer.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:32pm
queems:

AW YEAH G SHOCK i've got a baby g
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:33pm
tim from champaign (now washington):

@Webhamster - thanks!
  6:33pm
JakeGould:

I have a Swatch.
  6:34pm
Peter from Dover NJ:

Actually, I can't figure out how to set the alarm on my cheap Timex Ironman watch.

Good program. Seldom able to tune in due to work.

BTW I'm using the WFMU app on my phone to submit this comment.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:34pm
queems:

there are so many neat swatches
Avatar 6:35pm
annie:

i'll stick with tracfone
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:35pm
coelacanth∅))):

i have a "smartphone" but i've disengaged all internet-type stuff.
so, phone, texting, camera, clock/alarm, shitty calculator, sound recorder...probably an mp3 player? ...
no gobble, no gps, no facadebook.....
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:35pm
ultradamno:

@Jake Me too, a sistem 51
Avatar 6:35pm
Davee:

The light phone swatch
  6:35pm
JakeGould:

Also, don’t hurt Baby Yoda!
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:36pm
ultradamno:

Who could resist though? www.dailydot.com...
  6:36pm
bore:

what would it take to get this be done at a lower price point?
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:37pm
Webhamster Henry:

I could write the WFMU app for it... heh.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:37pm
coelacanth∅))):

i use tracphone. they don't offer non-"smartphones" and nothing that isn't touch-screen, unfortunately. but a good monthly rate.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:39pm
coelacanth∅))):

ultra d -well...cuter than a human baby at least!
Avatar 6:40pm
annie:

i add minutes to my tracfone every 40 days or so, monthly rates scare me
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:42pm
dale:

a city where a taxi medallion was a million dollars and the cars were clapped out and smelled like b.o. inside - THAT was better?
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:42pm
Webhamster Henry:

You just need to let them call a service that calls uber / lyft for you and spoofs your location!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:42pm
queems:

put snake on it and call it a day
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:43pm
ultradamno:

Heh, reminds me of the Archer ep where Cherlyne says babies should be drowned and then has to clarigy "Not all babies, just baby people"
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:43pm
Webhamster Henry:

If it has a hotspot, you can bring along an iPad, iPod Touch or other tablet for your non LightPhone needs.
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:43pm
ultradamno:

errr, clarify.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:44pm
coelacanth∅))):

annie i use the 2 month/$35. plan -much more phone time than i need.
i just need my bill to be automatically paid or i'll forget about it and end up with no phone
  6:45pm
johnzo:

I lost my phone in the snow recently and bout a new one... then I found my old phone again & it still works. Regretting the purchase... I’d be interested in going back to a simpler technology again some day.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:46pm
dale:

how can you not know what a tracfone is? and you market cell phones?
Avatar 6:46pm
annie:

the tracfone i use is a simple flip phone...no smart/androids for me
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:47pm
queems:

i would probably drop dead if i didn't have a camera
  6:48pm
zoe:

big part of the conversation apparently missing here - i live in NYC and most people i know, arguably a large percentage of people under 35 use social media to conduct business and get income. just curious what the alternative for someone like me would even be if i got one of these phones, seems like it wouldnt be appealing to milennials based on this alone.
Avatar 6:48pm
annie:

tracfone has been around for a million years!!..well..ok maybe 15 or so
  6:49pm
kevlicki:

Damnit I lost track of time. Just tuning in now!
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:49pm
Webhamster Henry:

@zoe the idea is that that's not what this device is about. It's like asking a toaster to tweet.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:50pm
Ike:

Tracfone is just an MVNO, i.e. a reseller of minutes that are often much cheaper than Verizon, Sprint, and the other big operators. A lot of those are bring-your-own-device operations, though some of them also sell devices. You can bring an old flip phone, or a smartphone, or whatever. There are tons of MVNOs. I use one called H20 (operating on the AT&T network) w/an older smartphone. It's very cheap.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:50pm
coelacanth∅))):

damn. annie when i switched to tracfone and asked for a simple, non-touchscreen phone with no data/internet and they sent me the piece-of-crap lg phone i have still. i found out several months later that it is indeed a "smartphone". i called them and they said they don't offer anything that's not a "smartphone"!
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:51pm
Webhamster Henry:

Hey @Joe Hollier, Jony Ive is free to come up with a design for you and make a luxury version.
Avatar 6:52pm
annie:

coel, tracfone has a blog actually, they review new phones they carry all the time..
  6:52pm
zoe:

@webhamster so its basically for boomers
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:52pm
melinda:

I had a tiny flip phone with Net10 for years until the customer service became a nightmare.
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:53pm
Webhamster Henry:

@zoe the OK-B phone!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:53pm
coelacanth∅))):

hmm. Thanks annie i'll check that out.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:53pm
dale:

so this is a marketing guy - not a tech guy.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:53pm
queems:

how about that jitter bug
Avatar 6:54pm
Carmichael:

Dale the curmudgeon ....
  6:54pm
John in Texas:

Im a boomer and am having trouble selling the benefits of my lightphone to my Zoomer daughters
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:54pm
dale:

just reacting to what i hear.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:54pm
coelacanth∅))):

hahaha but it does sound that way!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:54pm
queems:

even jitter bug has smartphone now though
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:54pm
Ken From Hyde Park:

My first cell phone was the original RAZR. Just when the price came down to BOGO free.
Avatar 6:55pm
annie:

coel: tracfonereviewer.blogspot.com
  6:55pm
John in Texas:

But think my elem age son will get this lightphone as his first phone- he will be wildly disappointed
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:55pm
queems:

my dad has had the same razr phone for like 15 years
  6:56pm
Firebottle:

The Light Phone: What they give you when you enter the Social Media Addict 12 step program in exchange for your old smartphone.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:56pm
coelacanth∅))):

thanks annie
Avatar 6:56pm
annie:

:)
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:56pm
chris:

nice work on the light phone, guys.
  6:57pm
spodiodi:

thanks for the show, Mark, Joe
  6:57pm
dr.doppler:

What was the skateboard company!?!??!?
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:57pm
Webhamster Henry:

T-Mobile & Sprint are merging, so maybe Lightphone can support them both.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:57pm
queems:

i love the idea of the light phone, for sure. i just know that i wouldn't be able to use one
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:57pm
coelacanth∅))):

they could still put a camera in that, make it uploadable to other devices
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:57pm
Bas NL:

Thanks Mark!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:58pm
Mark Hurst:

@doppler: Five On That, Joe says.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:58pm
coelacanth∅))):

Thanks Mark! Thanks Joe Hollier!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:58pm
queems:

thanks mark & all!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:59pm
coelacanth∅))):

rest in peace Gahan Wilson.
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 6:59pm
Webhamster Henry:

The idea is to move the smarty ass part of smartphones to some other device that you can optionally leave at home.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:59pm
chresti:

Thanks Mark!
  7:00pm
Mitch M.:

Good NYT’s article 2day on protecting your privacy
Avatar 🤖 Swag For Life Member 7:00pm
ultradamno:

Back to the Pretty Vacant riff.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:01pm
Ike:

Hey, a Red Dwarf pic!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:01pm
mariano:

Hah, true @ultradammo!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:02pm
chresti:

I would be interested if it had a camera
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:02pm
Mark Hurst:

Thanks, everyone! Great chat tonight.
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