Too Embarrassed to Ask

By Recode

About this podcast   English    United States

Do you have questions about tech products or the week's tech news that you’re too embarrassed to ask? Kara Swisher and the rest of the team at Recode have the answers. Tune in to their podcast every Friday for straight talk about confusing topics. Submit your questions in advance by tweeting them to @Recode with the hashtag #TooEmbarrassed, or by emailing [email protected]

Professional lacrosse player, entrepreneur and investor Paul Rabil talks with Recode's Kara Swisher and her son Louie Swisher about the intersection of sports and technology. Rabil says that for niche sports like lacrosse, it's especially important for athletes to respect the power of social media apps like Instagram, which can humanize the players and convert followers into fans. He also talks about broader trends affecting all sports today, including media consolidation, the generational divide over live television and emerging technologies such as AI, VR and wearables. Plus: Why Rabil hates the term "lax bro," and what he thinks will happen now that sports betting is on the road to legalization in most states.
May 18, 2018
NYU professor and “The Four” author Scott Galloway talks with Recode’s Kara Swisher about how Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Tesla and other tech leaders are faring in an era of techlash. Galloway says many of these businesses, despite good intentions, have too much power and should be broken up. It's the responsibility of anyone who’s unhappy about privacy violations to elect lawmakers who will rein them in, he says. Previously having predicted the Amazon-Whole Foods acquisition, he makes a slew of new predictions, including: Snap will have to be acquired because it can’t compete with Facebook; Amazon will beat Apple to a $1 trillion market cap even though Apple is currently much closer to that milestone; and the Cambridge Analytica scandal may have undermined Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s ability to run for president one day. He also criticizes Tesla CEO Elon Musk for his “immaturity” on a recent call with shareholders and pleads for Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to help create a future of work that won’t rely on citizens receiving a universal guaranteed income.
May 11, 2018 · transcript
“Chaos Monkeys” author and Wired contributing writer Antonio García-Martínez talks with Recode’s Kara Swisher about his early-2010s stint at Facebook, where he helped develop the ad-targeting technologies that have landed the company in trouble in recent months. He evaluates how Facebook is dealing with a string of public controversies that culminated in CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifying before Congress, but argues that “most people don’t care about privacy” and that the company isn’t in any danger of going away despite the backlash. García-Martínez also talks about some common misconceptions about Facebook ads, why Google hasn’t been criticized as much for the same practices, and why the history of media suggests we could be in for decades of “fake news.”
May 4, 2018 · transcript
Investor, author and serial entrepreneur Jason Calacanis talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about recent tech news stories, including Tesla's Q1 earnings, Facebook's data privacy scandal and Uber's rebound from a series of scandals. Calacanis, an early Uber investor and personal friend of ex-CEO Travis Kalanick, says chief U.S. rival Lyft missed its opportunity to capitalize on those "unforced errors" and now "the window has closed." He also talks at length about why he sold all his shares of Facebook last year when the stock was well below current levels: In part, Calacanis says, it's because CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been "completely immoral," both with his own products and with his willingness to copy those of other companies, such as Snapchat.
April 27, 2018
Recode managing editor Ed Lee talks with Kara Swisher about the pending $85 billion merger of AT&T and Time Warner. Lee says the deal is in part a reaction to the rise of Netflix and will, in theory, let the companies create new kinds of online video and smarter digital advertising. However, last year the U.S. Justice Department sued AT&T in an attempt to block the deal, which Lee says is plausibly more motivated by President Trump’s animus toward Time Warner-owned CNN than by actual danger posed to consumers. He also talks about what would change for consumers if the deal goes through and why its success could lead to a dramatic showdown between Disney and Comcast for the right to buy 20th Century Fox.
April 20, 2018
The Verge’s science reporter Loren Grush talks with Recode’s Kara Swisher about SpaceX’s launch of TESS, a NASA satellite that will search for planets beyond our solar system. Grush explains how SpaceX got back on track after two of its rockets were accidentally destroyed in 2015 and 2016, and how the company stacks up against private competitors like Jeff Bezos’s rocket company, Blue Origin, and the Boeing-Lockheed Martin joint venture United Launch Alliance. SpaceX originally planned to send humans into space by 2017, but now Grush predicts that won’t happen until 2019. Plus: Why was Elon Musk tweeting about giant party balloons, and could we build a garbage dump on the Moon?
April 13, 2018
Recode's Kurt Wagner and The Verge's Casey Newton talk with Kara Swisher about Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's two-day marathon of hearings in front of Congress. On Tuesday, Zuckerberg was bombarded with basic questions that could have been answered by Googling — but as Wagner points out, those ill-informed questions from U.S. Senators speak to a widespread lack of understanding about Facebook's business. The trio agrees that Zuckerberg's second day, speaking to members of the House of Representatives, was more combative and informative, although it's still unclear whether Congress can find enough common ground to take any action against Facebook in the form of new privacy regulations.
April 6, 2018
Recode's Kara Swisher and Teddy Schleifer talk about the shooting at YouTube's headquarters in San Bruno, Calif. and the other big tech story of that day, Spotify's unusual and long-awaited debut as a publicly traded company. They discuss how the former might change corporate culture in the famously laid-back tech industry, and how the latter might change how and when startups IPO. Later in the show, Recode's Kurt Wagner returns to provide an update on the Facebook-Cambidge Analytica data privacy scandal, which has blown up to the point that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will have to testify before Congress next week.
March 30, 2018
To commemorate her final episode of Too Embarrassed to Ask as co-host, Lauren Goode counts down her favorite episodes from the past two years. Among the favorites: Juicero founder Doug Evans, Kara Swisher admitting to her phone addiction and Walt Mossberg's own farewell episode, for which Kara and Lauren concocted a devious plan in secret. The co-hosts also talk about how they started working together and what's next for both Lauren and this podcast.
March 23, 2018
Recode's Kurt Wagner talks with Kara Swisher and Lauren Goode about the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal, shortly after he and Swisher interviewed Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Wagner says reports of a political data firm exploiting a loophole in Facebook's old data platform has severely undermined public trust in Facebook, in part because the social networking giant knew the problem was out there years ago. The trio talks about why it took several days for Zuckerberg to weigh in on Cambridge Analytica publicly and how Facebook's need to grow when it was a startup laid the groundwork for this misuse.

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