All Summaries for Material

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Material is a weekly discussion about the Google and Android universe. Your intrepid hosts try to answer the question, “What holds up the digital world?” The answer, so far, is that it’s Google all the way down. Hosted by Andy Ihnatko and Florence Ion.

429: People Use Google Because It's Helpful
Google is officially on trial the same week Apple reminds us why some people can't get enough of its walled garden. _Wired_ interviews Sundar Pichai and even gets him to crack a bit.
Thu, September 14, 2023
428: Corporations Aren’t People
Google looks back on 25 years of search, just as it announces it's requiring disclaimers on AI-generation political ads. Also, did Android need a capital A?
Thu, September 7, 2023
427: I’m So Itchy
Andy and Flo are tired, but the show must go on. Google announces the next phase of AI infusion in Workspace. The company also leaked the new Pixel 8 before announcing a launch event in October. The modular Fairphone 5 is excellent but missing what makes everyone buy Apple and Samsung.
Sat, September 2, 2023
426: Rhubarbs That Turn Into Donnybrooks
We answer burning questions, like what Google wants with Johnny Cash's likeness and why it ceased development on an AR/VR device with Samsung. Sorry, parents, YouTube _has_ been targeting ads to kids.
Fri, August 25, 2023
425: Hump Day
Robo taxis are a menace to society, or at least it seems that way in San Francisco. Flo shares her final thoughts on Samsung and Google's foldables. And Google introduces a batch of new AI tools to help summarize web pages on the fly.
Thu, August 17, 2023
424: Attention K-Mart Shoppers
Prepare to get more of Johnny Cash singing Europop hits, as Google is working with Universal on deep fake AI-based music. You can listen to it while making Android apps in your browser and sleeping in Google's hotel. The future!
Fri, August 11, 2023
423: Fold vs. Fold
It's Taco Tuesday, even though we're recording on Wednesday and posting on Thursday: Flo has the Pixel Fold and Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 in hand, while Andy leads us in a game of "Is This Thing Google's Doing Evil, Or Not?"
Thu, August 3, 2023
422: New Winds Ahead
Flo is back! Andy is elated! The two hosts catch up on life over the last nine weeks and discuss the results of Alphabet's latest quarterly earnings. Samsung also puts on a mediocre show for some foldables.
Fri, July 28, 2023
421: The Me Show
Flo is back next week! So Andy is exploiting this final solo episode to make it all about Him. His frustrations about saving web archives from Chrome. His extended thoughts on Indiana Jones. To his credit, he did throw in some news about Google’s new AR Space Invaders game, just so that this Google podcast doesn’t lose its liquor license. But he still heroically pivots to his own opinions about technology’s responsibilities to move the needle.
Thu, July 20, 2023
420: The Snowball of Trust
Andy’s joined by a special guest this week: Jason Howell, host of All About Android on the This Week In Tech network. We replay the last episode of the first season of “Frasier” before digging into a new rash of civil lawsuits that content creators have filed against Google and other makers of AI language models. And then we talk phones: the Fair, the Nothing, and reviving Andy’s Pixel 1 by installing one of the mobile OSes birthed by the Android Open Source Project.
Fri, July 14, 2023
419: Oh...Canada.
Canada is the latest country to decide that somebody should be on the hook for the news industry’s financial issues, and it might as well be Google. And, just like the offside rule in professional hockey, this is a Canadian thing that Andy doesn’t really understand. Meanwhile, Google urges its AI models to both learn more and forget more. Isn’t this the sort of contradiction that made HAL-9000 go psychotic?
Thu, July 6, 2023
418: Google Is A Soft Cheese Company
Andy mourns the loss of Google’s Iris smart glasses, because he knows so way much more than Google or Apple about VR and XR. Reviews of the Pixel Fold are in! It’s a jim-dandy phone except for what happens when you unfold it. And reading coverage of last week’s Vidcon helps Andy be less judgmental about The Avengers.
Thu, June 29, 2023
417: It Prefers To Stay Inside The House
Reviews of the new Pixel Tablet are in, and it looks like maybe the world is about to fall slap-happy in love! (From a certain perspective, and placed in the correct context). Chromebooks are about to receive the X-gene, and Gannett Newspapers celebrates the first day of Summer with a beach clambake-slash-massive antitrust suit against Google.
Thu, June 22, 2023
416: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner In Bed
Why on Earth did Google release so many new features and updates on Flag Day? Well, Google bothered to create ‘em so Material is going to talk about ‘em...with the help of The Feature Roundup Dice. Oh, and also the EU is honking down Google’s snorkel about why it thinks it’s evil, and they want Google to knock that kind of stuff off.
Thu, June 15, 2023
415: Super-Soakers Filled With Dysentery
All of this week’s stories come from Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference! But Andy swears it’s all relevant to Google. Apple’s Vision Pro headset offers discussion about VR versus AI. Apple announced that they’re addressing iPhone users’ complaints about green bubbles in group messages and they’re doing it in the most Apple way possible. And Apple’s figured out a new way to hurt Android users: by going after their friends and family!!! Zounds!
Thu, June 8, 2023
414: Belief in a Higher Weirdo
Andy has access to the new AI-enhanced Google Search and is delighted to discover that he can now waste time on Reddit far more effectively. He also has access to a new web browser that’s so innovative and helpful that he’s compelled to give Chrome a lecture about Ambition that he may or may not have heard from his father when he was 14, 17, 22, 31, 37, and 46. And: thoughts on folding big things into smaller things.
Thu, June 1, 2023
413: Nickel-And-Diming My Attention Span
Andy comes right out and admits that his brain is like wet sand. All to make a larger point which may or may not land, because, as established, his brain is like wet sand. Then it’s time to talk about how Google is using AI as the spent uranium tip on new ads that will penetrate your cognitive shields. Also, there are cars and a sketchy analogy about whether or not Google and Samsung are happy in their relationship.
Fri, May 26, 2023
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